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will amount nearly to the same thing, one of his ministers *, is the agent who opens the infernal deep. Upon the opening of this pit, vast clouds of sinoke are seen to ascend, darkening the sun and air. Ignorance and superstition, frequently described in Scripture under these figures, invade the Christian atmosphere t. Under covert of these clouds, and engendered in these “ depths of Satan I,” locusts come forth. Locusts are described by profane as well as sacred, by ancient and by modern authors, as committing the most extraordinary depredations in the eastern regions; the horror of which is represented as beginning with a deprivation of light. Solem obumbrant, “they darken “ the sun,” says Pliny ş. “At that time, Syria suffered
from a scarcity of food for cattle of all kinds, and " of corn, occasioned by a multitude of locusts, so
great, as had vever before been seen in the memory “ of man; which, like a thick cloud, flying about “in mid-day, and obscuring the light, devoured the
products of the fields on every side ||. “Suddenly " there came over our heads a thick cloud, which - darkened the air, and deprived us of the rays of “the sun; we soon found, that it was owing to a " cloud of locusts (.” But the locusts, seen in this
# Jude 6.
§ Nat. Hist. xi. 29. || Laborabat eo tempore pabuli omnis generis et annonæ inopiâ Syria, ob locustarum nusquam hominum memoriâ tantam visam multitudinem : quæ densæ nubis instar, die in media, luce obscuratâ, volitantes, agrum circumquaque depastæ sunt. Thuanus, clxxxiv. vii. p. 364. tom. v.
Adamson's Voyage to Senegall, p. 127. See also Bochart, on Joel. ii. 10; and Chandler, on the same place. These quotations are collected by Archbishop Newcome. And to these add the following, from Holy Scripture; Exod. x. 12, 6. Jer. li. 27, &c. Nahum iii. 15.
vision, have a yet more dreadful character; they have the power of scorpions, and stings in their tails; and their prey is not (as usual with locusts) the grass
and green plants, and trees of the field; they are permitted to attack man; yet not all men, “those only “ who have not the seal of God upon their foreheads;" by which we plainly understand *, that all sincere servants of Christ are preserved from the mischief. The scorpion is a small insect, contemptible as the locust in its size and appearance; but formidable by reason of its sting. Scorpions are classed in Holy Writ, together with serpents, as a part of the power of the infernal enemy t. And our Lord gives his Disciples power over them; and it is in consequence of this gift that the sealed escape their venom.
The men who are attacked by them are not killed, but wounded and tormented. They lose not altogether their spiritual life in Christ, their knowledge of a life immortal, purchased and revealed to them by their Redeemer, whose name they still confess, and to whom they may yet return, and live #; but the impression made upon them by this infernal attack, renders the prospect of a pure spiritual life no longer the object of delight; they are of those who love darkness better than light, because their deeds are evil ş.
A nearer See note, ch. vii. 2.
+ Luke x. 19. See note, ch, iii. 1. vi. 8. § A most eloquent representation of mental torment, conveyed under the emblem of scorpion-stings, will be found in these lines :
“ Cold, fearful drops stand on my trembling flesh; -
A nearer view of these swarms of Antichristian corrupters exhibits them,
Naturalists have remarked the
resemblance in shape between the Ver. 7. Like horses
head of the locust and that of the prepared for battle.
horse*. They are swift, intrepid, and formidable; the worldly-minded, who have not the seal of God, (cannot easily escape them. ? The true golden crown is the proper ornament of Christ himself, of his elders, of his followers, of
those who overcome sin and the Upon their heads, world, by his example and power. as it were, crowns See notes, (ch. iii. 12. ii. 12. iv. 4. of gold.
vi. 2.) These imposing enemies of the true faith, have crowns, not of gold, but, as it were of gold: (see Matt. xxiii. 27, 28.) they deceive under the appearance of the ChrisLtian Religion.
The face of man given to an animal, implies a reasoning power in that animal ;
Os homini sublime dedit, cælum que tueri
These deceivers impose by a show Their faces as the of reasoning and by the specious elofaces of men. quence which is human. Ignatius, in
his Epistle to the Church of Smyrna, written about the time when the great Gnostic heresy began to
+ Bochart, on Joel ii, where it is said of them, “like horsemen “ shall they run." Ray, on Insects; quoted by Bp. Newton.
, prevail, calls these deceivers Supec åvpwropoppa, wild-beasts with the appearance of men. (Patres ApostoLlici, sect. iv.)
They possess the arts of allure
ment. The hair of the women, Their hair, as of among the Eastern nations of women.
antiquity, was long; which was accounted effeminate in a man. |(1 Cor. xi. 14, 15.)
Yet under this effeminate alluTheir teeth, as of destroy. (Joel. i. 6. Psalms lvii. 4.
ring appearance, they devour and lions.
lviii. 6. Ezek. xix. 6. xxii. 25. 1 Pet. v. 8. Heb. xi. 33.)
The natural locust has a breastplate, or coat of mail: these symbolic
locusts have defensive armour, to They have breast
repel the weapons of controversy,-plates, as of iron.
such Scriptural opposition as the orthodox Christian would bring
Lagainst them. Ver. 9. The sound
Their attack is powerful and of their wings is as
alarming; with the furious noise of the sound of cha
a great host, they overbear all beriots, of many horses fore them. (Joel ii. 5.) rushing to battle.
As by the appointment of the
Creator, the face belongs to man Ver. 10. They only; so the tail is peculiar to brutes : have tails like to and thus the more brutal passions scorpions, and stings and appetites seem to be here emin their tails. ployed, as an instrument of seduction. The dragon acts by the same
instrument, the tail, (ch. xii. 4).
“The sting of death is sin,” (1 Cor. (xv. 56).
The continuance of these antiTheir power is to christian invaders is during five injure the men, five months, or 150 days; that is, in months,
prophetical language, (sce note, ich. ii. 10.) 150 years.
The king, or leader of this warfare, is not one of the scorpion-locusts, one of their own earthly stock and nature; they have super
natural assistance and direction; Ver. 11. Lastly, the evil angel, who had embittered They have over them the waters, and opened the infernal a king, the angel of abyss, being himself their king. the bottomless deep. With respect to the name Apollyon, Hisname in Hebrew observe, that Judas Iscariot is called is Abaddon, in the by our Lord ở vios tūs a Torelas, the Greek Apollyon, son of perdition or destruction, after that is, Destroyer. Satan had entered into him, (John
And the heresies described in 2 Pet. ii. which by the best commentators are supposed to be of the Gnostic cast, are styled
χαιρεσεις απολειας. . After this comparative view of the figurative language of the text, we may proceed to observe, that, as swarms of locusts, under the Old Testament, are used to signify armies devastating the Holy Land, the heritage of God, the Theocracy under which the Israelites enjoyed superior blessings and protection : So, under the New Testament, such an invasion, led by an evil angel, from the depths of hell, must be un