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Verses 1-11. And the fifth angel sounded; &c.] In these eleven verses is contained a very particular description (and indeed the first particular description occurring in the Apocalypse) of the prevalence of Anti-Christianity. For, the prophecies of the six Seals do not descend to any minute delineation; and those of the four first Trumpets are, each of them, comprized in a very narrow compass; in one, or at the most, two short verses. Now the prospect enlarges into a more exact display of the warfare.

Upon the blast of this Trumpet, which is woeful to the inhabitants of the earth", a star is seen to fall, or just to complete its fall, from heaven to earth : for, such seems to be the sense of WETTWUOTE T. The descent of such a star was seen under the third Trumpetf; this leader of iniquity had begun his evil ininistry by embittering, by corrupting the Waters of Life. This corruption, in which we have seen him

• Ch. viii. 13.

+ Præsens-perfectum. Annot. S. Clarke, S.T. P. in Hom. Iliad. lib. i. lin. 37. - Ch. viii. 10. consult the note.

successfully

ce

successfully employed, produced those beginnings of darkness, ignorance, and superstition, which were disclosed under the fourth Trumpet. Upon the blast of the fifth Trumpet, this evil increases. To these beginnings of darkness, he is permitted to add the smoke and machinations of hell *. It is by permission, that he opens this source of infinite mischief: for, the keys of death, and of hell, belong to another power, even to the Lord of Life t. But “the Spirit of God will “ not always strive with man I.” The wilful and reprobate are at length given up to the just consequences of their wilfulness. The key of the great infernal deep, (whence are the Been oalavã, the depths of Satan ş, those black corruptive doctrines, which destroy the purity and splendour of the Church,) is given to the fallen star, to the fallen angel ; to “ the prince of the power of the air; the power of darkness; that spirit which worketh in the children of “ disobedience l.” He is an angel, for so he is expressly called, (v. 11.) the angel of the bottomless “deep,” and surely an evil angel : and in this description, as also in his fall from heaven, his evil chàracter will be found to correspond with that of the chief of our infernal enemies, called Satan in the twelfth chapter: who, under the symbol of a fiery dragon, is there described as having fallen from heaven. There can be little or no doubt therefore, but that the Prince of Darkness, Satan, or, which

* For å luogos is certainly used to signify that part of 'Adns, or bell, which is to be the place of punishment to the wicked. Compare ch. xx, 1-3. and 2 Pet. ii. 4. . ** + Ch. i. 18., ' Gen vi. 3. See note, ch. ii. 24.

** | Eph. ii. 2. Luke xxii. 53. Col. ii. 15. See also John xii. 31. 46. * xiv. 30. Acts xxvi. 18. Eph. vi. 12. Heb. ii. 14.

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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 smoke 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
so 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 ex-
traordinary 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 §. “ 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 never 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.
+ Prov, ii, 13. Joel ii, 10. John xii. 35. 46, Eph, v, 8. 11, &c,
Ch. ii. 24,

Nat. Hist. xi. 29. | Laborabat eo tempore pabuli omnis generis et annonæ inopia Syria, ob locustarum nusquam hominum memoriâ tantam visam multitudinem : quæ densæ nubis instar, die in media, luce obscurata, volitantes, agrum circumquaque depastæ sunt, Thuanus, clxxxiv. vii, p. 364. tom. v.

1 Adamson's Voyage to Senegall, p. 127. See also Bochart, on Joel. ii. 10; and Chandler, on the same place. These quotatiops are collected by Archbishop Newcome. And to these add the following, from Holy Scripture; Expd. x. 12, 6. Jer, li. 27, &c. Nahum iii. 15,

vision, 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 I; 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 g.

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 ;-
“ O coward consicence ! how dost thou afflict me!
“ Oh, the affliction of those terrible dreams
“ That shake us nightly! Better be with the dead,
“ Than on such torture of the mind to lie.
". Ob ! full of SCORPIONS is my mind, I'm fill'd with horro !

MACBETH

. [Pt. III. $ 4. A nearer view of these swarms of Antichristian corrupters exhibits them,

r Naturalists have remarked the

resemblance in shape between the Ver. 7. Like horses

head of the locust and that of the

horse*. They are swift, intrepid, prepared for battle.

and formidable; the worldly-ininaled, 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 Chris-
(tian Religion..... !!
[ The face of man, given to an ani-
mal, implies a' reasoning power in
that animal ;- . . *

Os homini sublime dedit, cælum'que tueri
Jussit.-

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,

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