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Hence

did. And accordingly in Chap. 9. he be gins to fhow how the Vengeance is execu ted. The first Thing remarkable is, 2 great Cry to them that had the Charge of the City, to come near every Man with his de ftroying Weapon in his Hand. Which may anfwer to the Cry and Roaring afore-mentioned, out of the Prophet Joel and the Reve lations; And behold fix Men came from the way of the higher Gate, which lyeth toward the North, and every Man a flaughter (or breaking) Weapon in his Hand: By the Number Six we are to understand deftroying (and probably evil) Angels, the Executioners of the Divine Vengeance, to whom the Number* Six is moft fitly apply'd; expreffing this Num that they have, not, yet attained to the ber is thrice bleffed Septenary of Harmony and Peace, repeated in where all Discord and Strife are done away, &teriftick being fwallowed up in the Universal Prinof Anti- ciple of Reft and Love. The next Thing chrift, Rev. obfervable is, that they came from the North; xii. 18. that being, as was before obferved, the Region of the Curfe and of Vengeance. And one Man among (or in the midft of) them, was cloathed with Linnen, with a Writers Inkborn by his fide, v. 2. In the midst of these fix Deftroyers is a feventh Perfon, coming in the Spirit of Peace and Mercy, figured by the Number Seven; he is cloathed with Linnen, fignifying Evangelical Righteouf nefs, Rev. 19.8. And the Glory of the God of Ifrael was gone up from the Cherub whereupon he was, to the Threshold of the House. The * Wordwhich we tranflate Threshold, feems to have been otherwife underftood by the

the Chara

. LXX

LXX in this Place, having translated it lerov, as they have alfo in three other Places of this Prophecy; a Word fignifying the open Air, or the Door-place, as it is used in three Places of the 40th Chapter of this Prophecy; it has alfo been used to fignify the Covering or Roof of a House; whence Axeberov in Sophocles, is rendered by the Scholiafts Oeguir natataČua; all importing the departure of the Shecinah, or Glorious Prefence, from the Cherubims to the Door, the Roof or Covering of the Houfe; by all which we are to understand God's forfaking his Church, because of the full Measure of their Iniquities. And he called to the Man cloathed with Linnen, that had the Writer's Inkhorn by his fide, V. 3. And the Lord faid unto him, Go through the midst of the City, through the midst of Ferufalem, and fet a Mark upon the Foreheads of the Men that figh, and that cry for all the Abominations that be done in the midft thereof, v. 4. Here we fee God's first and principal Care is to show Mercy to his chofen Children and Servants, by marking them as his peculiar Property, as Perfons on whom the Curfe can have no Power; and fo we find in Holy Scripture, that Vengeance cannot be powered out till the Servants of God are fafe and out of Danger. So the Angel that was commiffioned to deftroy Sodom and Gomorrah, advifes Lot to make hafte to efcape to his little City of Refuge; For (faith he, Gen. 19. 22.) I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. So Rev. 7. 3. The 7.3. Angels are commanded, Hurt not the Earth, D 4

neitber

* Corruptio optimi eft peffima.

neither the Sea, nor the Trees, till we have fealed the Servants of our God in their Foreheads. They being like the Twelve Priefts in the River Jordan, Joshua 3. who ftopped the Floods from overflowing till they were clean got over. And when this fealing of the Righteous was finished, an audible Voice came to the fix Destroyers, faying, Go ye after him through the City; and fmite: Let not your Eye Spare; neither have pity. Slay utterly Ol and Young, both Maids, and little Children, and Women; but come not near any Man, on whon is the Mark; and begin at my Sanctuary. It i to be an utter Deftruction, and to begi at the Sanctuary or Houfe of God; that when it is corrupt, being the Source an Spring of all Abominations; Religion, whe it is crrupted, of the best Thing is becom the worst. Then they began at the ancie Men which were before the Houfe. By the a cient Men which were before the Houfe, ma be understood, those ancient Levites, wh being for their Age difcharged from t difficult and laborious Services of the Functions, were faid to be free, as it is e preffed, 1 Chron. 9. 33. who are faid alfo be the chief of the Fathers, or ancient Me and who might properly be faid to be be the House, their Charge being to lodge ro about the House of God, and to open it ez Morning, v. 27. And thereby mày poffi be meant the Heads of the Apoftate Chur in whofe Guilt they cannot but be dee involved, they being conftituted Overfe and Watchmen, to take charge of the Fi and Church of God, and put a stop

ey

every the leaft beginning of Corruption; and these being firft in the Guilt, are to be firft in the Punishment. And be faid unto them, Defile the House, and fill the Courts with the flain; Go ye forth. Thefe laft Words, Go ye forth, feem to be the laft Charge or Inftruction given to these Six Executioners, which it is faid in the next Words they punctually obferved: They went forth and flew in the City, v. 7. as the Seventh Man, who had the Writer's Inkhorn, did his; for it is faid, v. 11. Behold the Man cloathed with Linnen, which had the Writer's Inkhorn by his fide, reported the matter; faying, I have done as thou hast commanded me. All which the Lord will haften in his time.

41

PART

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PART II.

Of the PESTILENCE.

JEREM. IX. 21, 22.

21. Death is come up into our Windows, and is entered into our Palaces, to cut off the Children from without, and the young Men from the Streets.

22. Speak, thus faith the Lord, even the Carcafes of Men fhall fall as Dung upon the open Fields, and as the handful after the Harvestman, and none fhall gather them.

HE next Inftance of Judgment to

TH

be confidered, is the Plague or Peftilence; which, as being one of the Sore Judgments that God inflicts upon a guilty Nation, Ezek. 14. 21. must also bear its Part in that Great Day of Trouble, as our Lord tells us, For Nations fhall rise against Nations, and Kingdom against Kingdom; and there fhall be Famines, and Peftilences, and Earthquakes in divers places, Matth. 21.7. And this indeed feems to be a deeper and more internal Manifeftation of the Curfe or Wrath of God in external Nature: For whereas the former feemed to be a more general and circumferencial Evil, in refpect of particular Perfons, who cannot be fuppofed (at leaft a great Part of them) any otherwise to fuffer, than in their In

terests

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