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ανθρώπες uñuas 11 sile. "Egeon is
αυτών βασιλέα τον αγελος της ασύσσε όνομα αυτά 'Ebçaisi 'Abad, και εν τη Ελληνική
ovopaz ix* 'ATA12 λύων. Η έαι η
μία απήλθεν· . ιδε, έρχονlαι έτι δύο μαι μετά ταύτα. .
brew is Abaddon; and
behold there come yet
the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the
Greek tongue hath his 12 name Apollyon. One
wo is past, and behold there come two woes more hereafter.
Verses 1-1]. 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 WETTWHOTæ f. The descent of such a star was seen under the third Trumpet ; this leader of iniquity had begun his evil ministry 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. 1 Ch. viii. 10. consult the note.
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 Badi T8 calavã, the depths of Satan ợ, 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 dark
ness ; that spirit which worketh in the children of “ disobedience ll.” 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 character 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 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 f. Under covert of these clouds, and engendered in these " depths of Satan 8,” 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 §. “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
* For a Cuoros is certainly used to signify that part of 'Adns, or hell, which is to be the place of punishment to the wicked. Compare ch. xx, 1-3. and 2 Pet. ii. 4. + Ch, i. 18. I Gen vi. 3.
See note, ch. ii. 24. | Eph. ii. 2. Luke xxii. 53. Col. ii. 15. See also Jobn xii. 31. 46. xiv. 30. Acts xxvi. 18. Epb. vi. 12. Heb. ii. 14.
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 ll.” “ 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.
s 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 mediâ, luce obscurata, volitantes, agrum circumquaque depastæ sunt, Thuauus, 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 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.
Ch. ix. 1–12.]
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
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.
4 Luke x. 19. See note, ch. ii. 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-ıninaled, who have not the seal of God, i 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 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.