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over them, and make merry: and shall send gifts one to another, because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth. For three days and a half the bodies of Henoch and Elias will remain exposed to the sight of an infinite multitude of people from all nations of the earth, who will be then in Jerusalem: nor will they suffer the bodies to be buried, for the hatred they will have conceived to the two holy prophets. Those that dwell on the earth, or the bad sort of people, will every where rejoice at their death, and will send presents to congratulate one another on being freed from such importunate preachers, and from the dreadful effects of their miraculous powers. But,
V. 11. “And after three days and a half," continues St. John, “the spirit of life from God entered into them. And they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them. ..
V. 12. “And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them: come up hither. And they went up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them.” Here we see the Almighty hand raising the two dead heroes to life; and they are called to the reward of their labours, a happy immortality; their enemies seeing them with astonishment mount into heaven. In fine,
V. 13. “And at that hour there was made a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell; and there were slain in the earthquakes names of men seven thousand: and the rest were cast into fear, and gave glory to the God of. heaven.” At the time that the two resuscitated martyrs will ascend to heaven, an earthquake will happen, which will throw down a tenth part of the city of Jerusalem, and destroy seven thousand of Antichrist's adherents, who deserve no more than the mere name of men. But those that remain will be struck with terror, will acknowledge the hand of the Almighty in this dreadful event, and, deserting the wicked party, will be converted to God. Such will be the glorious triumph of Henoch and Elias. It will happen some time before the close of the persecution; because the period of their ministry is the same in length with that of the persecution, viz. three years and a half, and they had employed some share of their time in converting the Jews before the persecution commenced.
Whether some nations of Africa will revolt from the dominion of the Antichristian tyrant, or whatever else will be the provocation, it seems that he will himself also carry his arms into that country. This appears from a passage of the
prophet Daniel, which St. Jerom and some other ancient interpreters have so understood.
Chap. xi. 40. “And at the time prefixed,” says Daniel, "the king of the south (the king of Egypt) shall fight against him, and the king of the north (Antichrist) shall come against him like a tempest, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with a great navy, and he shall enter into the countries, and shall destroy, and pass through.
V. 41. “ And he shall enter into the glorious land, and many shall fall: and these only shall be saved out of his hand, Edom and Moab, and the principality of the children of Ammon.
V. 42. “And he shall lay his hand upon the lands: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
V. 43. “And he shall have power over the treasures of gold, and of silver, and all the precious things of Egypt: and he shall pass through Lybia and Ethiopia.” During these exploits.
V. 44. “And tidings out of the east, and out of the north shall trouble him: and he shall come with a great multitude to destroy and slay many." Antichrist will be alarmed with tidings out of the east and out of the north, probably of nations revolting against him, as the sixth age is full of such confusion, according to that of our Saviour: “ Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.” Matt. xxiv. 7. The exasperated tyrant will therefore leave Africa, and proceed with his prodigious army into Asia, the provinces of which lie to the east and north of Egypt, and there he will destroy and slay many. He is yet in the full gale of prosperity, and therefore will bear down all before him. Among his present Asiatic expeditions, it seems he will vent his rage a-second time against Jerusalem. Provoked, perhaps, that such a number of his partisans had perished in the earthquake which happened at the triumph of Henoch and Elias, and that the rest had deserted him to become the servants of God, he* will lay siege to Jerusalem, and take it, as we learn from the prophet Zachary.
Chap. xiv. 1. “Behold the days of the Lord shall come, and thy spoils shall be divided in the midst of thee.
V. 2. “And I will gather all nations to Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses shall be rifled, and the women shall be defiled: and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the rest of the people shall not be
* Or one of his generals.
taken away out of the city.” On this occasion the prophet informs us that some Jews will be found in Antichrist's army; for he says, v. 14, " And even Juda shall fight against Jerusalem.”
Antichrist thus goes on, regaling himself with the destruction and havoc he makes every where, and drenching himself with the blood of martyrs. But, notwithstanding all the miseries of war, famine, pestilence, &c. that at this period like a torrent poured in upon mankind, notwithstanding the unparalleled tyranny of the furious beast, notwithstanding that these excessive calamities are known to proceed from the avenging justice of an angry God; still, who would believe it! the wicked remain incorrigible, and those that have basely sunk into the abomination of idolatry, take not warning to retrieve themselves, but continue hardened in their iniquity. For thus speaks St. John,
Chap. ix. 20. “And the rest of the men, who were not slain by these plagues, did not do penance from the works of their hands, that they should not adore devils, and idols of gold and silver and brass and stone and wood, which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.
V. 21. “ Neither did they penance from their murders, nor from their sorceries, nor from their fornications, nor from their thefts."
Antichrist having, by the strength of his armies and by the assistance of the infernal associates, borne down all opposition, we may now view him raised up to the pinnacle of human glory, to the suinmit of power. He reigns the greatest monarch the world ever saw, and a short period of time has carried him through all his conquests, and placed him upon a throne that commands the whole earth. He has prevailed upon or compelled a great part of mankind to adore him as a god, and of those that refused he has sacrificed an infinite number to his rage and jealousy. But, unhappy being! now approaches the period which the Supreme Being, the Almighty, has fixed to his dominion. The three years and a half allowed him to tyrannize over mankind, are now expiring. And it had been pronounced: “judgment shall sit, that his power may be taken away, and be broken in pieces, and perish even to the end.” Dan. vii. 26. Intoxicated however with pride and power, and stimulated by Satan, he pursues his former resolution to suffer no rival, but to contend for superiority with the Sovereign of heaven, contemning what he had heard from the Christians, that all power shall be wrested from him by Christ, and himself laid in the dust. In this view he proposes to cope with Christ and all bis heavenly attendants, by a proportionable army assembled from the whole earth by the three evil spirits that had been sent, as we have seen, for that purpose. His thoughts are now wholly bent upon preparations for this daring encounter. He therefore drops the persecution, and ceases the war.–And now the second wo is past, that is, the persecution and war of Antichrist: and behold the third wo, or day of judgment, will come quickly, Apoc. xi. 14. Here the prophet Daniel pronounces: “ Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh unto a thousand three hundred thirty-five days,” xxii. 12. He had said in the preceding verse: “ from the time, when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away," and the abomination unto desolation be set up, “there shall be a thousind two hundred ninety days." These 1290 days, which are dated from the time of Antichrist setting himself up for God and forbidding all Christian worship, now expire with the close of his persecution; and that number being taken froni 1335, there remain 45 days from the close of his persecution to the day of his destruction: and therefore Daniel pronounces him blessed who lives to see that day. This space of 45 days Antichrist employs in collecting together ali his armies.
We may on our sides employ a share of this time in taking a view of the great body of martyrs, the glorious victims of tis persecution. To separate the good from the bad members, Christ has subjected his Church to the severest trial she ever underwent, and streams of holy blood have been flowing to appease the divine anger irritated against mankind for the excess of their wickedness. St. John thus exhibits to us the sight he was favoured with of that blessed company, after they were crowned.
Chap. vii. 9. “After this I saw a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues : standing before the throne, and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands." A numberless multitude appears to St. John, consisting of
people of all nations from the four parts of the earth, clothed · in white robes in token of their present bliss, and with palins
in their hands, the known emblems of victory. In this attire they are presented before the throne, and the Lamb.
V. 10. “ And they cried with a loud voice, saying: salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb." They break forth into loud acclamations, saying: “Salvation
(or victory) to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb," victory and triumph to the Almighty and to our Saviour over their enemies.
V. 11. “ And all the angels stood round about the throne, and the ancients, and the four living creatures: and they fell down before the throne upon their faces, and adored God.
V. 12. “ Saying: Amen. Benediction, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, honour, and power, and strength to our God for ever and ever. Amen." The angels here join in the profoundest homage to Almighty God. They acknowledge and praise his providential dispensations to his Church on earth, with the seven same expressive terms, except one which were applied to the Lamb. Apoc. v. 12.
· These terms of acclamation to the Almighty are: Benediction or praise for the immortal bliss he in parts to his saints: Glory, that is reflected upon him for his bountiful adınonitions to mankind, conveyed by extraordinary signs and threatening prodigies in the heavens and in the earth : Wisdom, in raising up kingdoms and demolishing others according to the wise determination of his justice: Thanksgiving, for his protection of the Church against the power of heresy and schism: Honour, which he receives, from the glorious conflicts and victory of his martyrs : Power, which he has so fully manifested in subduing the world by the word of his gospel : and Strength, which he exhibits in his terrible scourges upon the wicked part of his people. St. John proceeds,
V. 13. “And one of the ancients answered, and said to me: these that are clothed in white robes, who are they ? and whence came they?
V. 14. “And I said to him, My Lord, thou knowest. And he said to me: these are they who are come out of great* tribulation, and have washed their robes, and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb." St. John not knowing in particular what that holy troop was, is here informed that they came from the great tribulation, that is, from the great persecution of Antichrist, and that they have washed their robes, and have inade them white in the blood of the Lamb: they have washed them by martyrdom, and they have made them white by entering into glory, both which favours, were purchased to them by the blood of the Lamb.
V. 15.“ Therefore they are before the throne of God, and. they seive him day and night in his temple: and he, that
* In the Greek, "the great tribulation.”