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information cannot be safely collected from them.
Principio cælum et terras, camposque liquentes,
Æneid. vi. 7241 • In confirmation of which we may observe, that in ch. xvi, all the seven angels are ordered to pour their vials on the earth, as tão gñv : and yet only one of them obeys the order literally and specially, eis TOY goo: because, in pouring their vials on the sea, rivers, &c. they fulfil the order in the general sense in which the word earth was applied. The word is first used, generally, to signify the whole extent of the earth, as containing the land, sea, rivers, &c.; then particularly to mean that part of it only which we call the land.
+ See Isaiah li. 15, 16. Hosea iv. 3. Nahum i. 4, 5. Hab. ii. 6, 8, 11, Zeph, i. 3. Hagg. ii. 6. Phil. ii. 10.
Know, first, that heav'n and earth's compacted frame,
In the fourfold enumeration before us, the rivers and springs are kept separate from the other waters, for a particular purpose of illustration, which will be seen. Hereby also is inade that fourfold division, which, containing every part of the square, implies universality and completion *. For, as, the vision of the four horses, at the voices of the four Cherubiin, passing completely around every side or angle of the throne, is seen to exhibit a sketch of the Christian degeneracy in all its parts, from its first purity to its utmost corruption ;
Third Cherub. -so, the four first trumpets seem to compose a whole, and, under a fourfold division, to represent all the parts of the Christian world as affected by the commotionst:
Fourth Trumpet, Heavenly Luminarjes.
Rivers, &c, * See note, ch. iv. 6.
† I say the Christian world; for thus appear to me, those “ new “ heavens,” and that " new earth,” described by the Prophets, and the Apostles, to be “ created after God in righteousness." Isaiab li, 16. Eph. iv. 24. Α Α
And, for this reason, it is not necessary to suppose that these attacks are made in an exact, successive, chronological order. If the whole of Christianity (as under the seals) were to undergo four several attacks, such attacks could only succeed each other ; but these assaults being upon the four parts of the whole, are not' necessarily successive, but may be contemporaneous; each assault might begin, or end, at nearly the same time; and yet they would be narrated in a progressive order; for, the history of one part must be told before that of another.
Ver. 7. Hail and fire mingled with blood.] Both hail and fire are instruments of destruction. Hail is such more especially in the warmer climates, as may be seen in the accounts of modern travellers ; affording such testimony, as to give perfect credibility to the Scriptural history, which relates surprising events of this kind. (See Job xxxviii. 23. Josh. x. 11. and the commentators.) And even in the climate of France, so congenial to our own, there are undoubted relations of such destructive effects from hail. During the expedition of our Third Edward against that kingdom in 1360, the hail-stones fell so large, as to kill men and beasts *. The effect of fire and hail united, is - seen in Exod. ix. 23. Psalms xviii. 12. cv. 32. cxlviii,
8. Ezek. xxxviii. 29. Eccl’us xxxix. 29. And the horror is increased by their being mingled with blood, as in Exod. iv. 9. vii. 17. Is. xv. 9. These, 'like the incense and fire in the preparatory vision, are cast to the earth; but not upon the earth in general: not upon every part of it, but upon that part, which, distinguished from the sea, we call the Land. Now, in the prophetic writers, 'H Tnthe land, as opposed to the sea, is found frequently to signify the Holy. Land, the people of Israel, so long as they con tinued the people of God *. And between these and the Gentile converts, who are represented by the seats there was, in the early times of Christianity, a marked line of distinction; the circumcised being bound to the observance of the ceremonial law, while the un circumcised were free from such obligation. They are separated in the New Testament also,. under the different appellatious of Axor and Envolt, and on account of this division, there was a corresponding distribution of offices to the Apostles and teachers; some among whom being sent to the circumcision, others to the Gentiles . This distinction has occurred before in ch. vü. of this prophecy; and will recur in the progress of the book. The descendants of the twelve Patriarchs, preserved miraculously as a separate peos ple, may probably make a separate part of Christ's heritage after their conversion to his name ll.
* Froissart, liv. i. ch. 212. And extraordinary ravages by hail on the agriculture of France, are related by Mr. Arthur Young, in his late account of that kingdom.
Ib. And the third part of the land was burned up, and the third part of the trees was burned up, and all green grass.] Trees, and other vegetables, repre. sent the converts of Religion; some of whom are
• See Is. xxiv. throughout, and the Prophets generally, † Şee note below, v. 8.
Acts iv, 27. xxi. 28. xxvi. 17. 23. Rom. xv. 10. § Gal. ii. 7, 9.
| See notes, ch. ii. 9. vii. 4. xi. 1.-We have reason to believe, that the Church, even in its glorious and triumphant state, shall still be conformed to its primitive division : for, Christ assured his Apose tles, that when the Son of Man should sit upon the throne of his glory, they also should sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Jones's Lectures on the Epistle to the Hebrews, p. 381. A A %
" rooted and grounded in the faith ;" others, having no root, cannot stand against the storm *. The third part of these is destroyed. To apilov, the third part, is an expression not uncommon with the prophetic writers : compare Ezek. v. 12. and Zech. xiii. 8, 9, &c. ; where the third part represents the remnant of the people who are to be saved,-few in number, when compared with those who are to perish: but here the greater: part of the Christian plants are to survive the attack. But no grass is left ; "all green grass “ was burned up." Grass, in Scriptural language, represents the gaily flourishing; those who exhibit à promising appearance, yet, like herbage in hot burning climates, are soon withered and gone f. Such persons, our Lord foretold, would "spring up quickly; " with joy receive the word, but, in time of perse“cution, fall away.” The first persecution which attacked the. Church, arose from the Jewish zealots, and fell upon the converted Jews. Saint Stephen and Saint James the Elder, and James the Just, suffered martyrdom under such. Saint Paul was an instrument of this rage, and afterwards a sufferer by it. It continued to molest the Church grievously at the time when this prophecy was uttered, as may be seen in ch. ii. 9-12. iii. 9 : and the few ancient records which we now possess of those early times, shew that it was continued afterwards I.
• Psalms 1. 3. Ixxx. 8, 9. &c. Isaiah v. 7. 24. Ixi. 3. xliv. 4. Jer, ii. 21. 2 Kings xix. 30. Matt. iii. 10. xiii. 6. 21. xv. 13. Eph. iii. 17. Jude 12.
+ See Psalms lxxii. 16. sc. 7. Matt. vi. 30. James i. 10. And by comparing Exod. x. 15; Is. xv. 6. xxxvii. 27 ; Ezek. xvii. 24. xx. 47 ; in the Septuagint; it will be evident, that tawgos xoplos is the green, flourishing grass, opposed to the Engos, withered...
I See Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Trypho, in various passages. See also the martyrdom of Ignatius, where the unconverted Jews are