Tor, as hail doth beat down corn, and dee . stroy the fruits of the earth; fire doth con. fume, and blood doth corrupt and putrify; fo false doctrine and heresy doth annoy, consume and corrupt the fouls of men. Hor, it is said, that all these things minga

led together, were cast upon the earth: . that is, the inhabitants of the earth, and the third part of the trees, that is, the numbers of men or a very great part of the world was corrupted. For trees, in fcripture signify men; and all green grass ' was burnt,' that is, the fresh fruits of grace did wither apace and dry up; for as error and heresy did prevail, so truth and godliness did decay. All this hath relation to the heresies of Sabellius, Manicheus, Marcion, Fotinus, Paulus, Samofatenus, Nestorius, Novatus, Diodorus, Apolinaris, Pelagius, and many others, which about this time, being four hundred years after Christ, began to fpring up and grow apace.

. And the second angel blew the trum. * pet, and as it were a great mountain burnsing with fire was cast into the sea, and • the third part of the sea became blood.'

Upon the blowing of the second truin. pet by the second angel, here appeareth a great mountain burning with fire, whereby is meant some great and notable heresies,

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as that of Arius, which troubled and wafted the church for the space of three hundred years, being greatly favoured of sundry emperors and other great potentates in the earth, by means whereof, it continued and overspread so long. Also this may be referred to other great and notable arch-heresies, as that of Donatus, Macedonius, Eutyches, Valentius, and such like: which all are here compared to a mountain for their hugeness and greatness, and to a burning mountain, because the church was almost burnt up thereby. For this word mountain, is fometimes in the scripture put for any let or hinderance to true religion, as is error and herefy, Zech. iv. 7. Luke iij. 5.

Therefore it is said, that it was cast in, to the sea,' that is, these great heresies are.cast upon the world in God's wrath and heavy indignation; for the sea is pus for the world; Rev. iv. 6.-xiii. 1.- 1.6. for as the sea is full of rocks, fands, firts, waves, storms, and tempests: so it fareth with this present evil world..

Moreover it is faid, the third part of the sea became blood,' that is, all Europe, or fome great part of the world was corrupted and infected with these great heresies. And he faith in the next verse, that the third part of the ships were destroyed,' that is a great number of mariners and ship-maf- . ters, as well as were infected} with these herefies, and died of ihem. '',

" Then the third angel blew the trumpet, and there fell a great star from heaven,,, • burning like a torch, and it fell into the third part of the rivers, and into the foune tains of waters, Rev. viii. 10. ,

Stars in this book are put for the miniIters of the gospel, as we have heard out of the firt chapter, and the reasons why. :* Then followeth, that the falling of this star from: heaven, doth most fitly fignify and ! set forth the declining and fall of the pastors - 1 of the church, and their corrupting of them true doctrine, which is meant by the fresh i rivers, and pure fountains into which it is fell. This ftar hath his name of the elect, for it is called worinwood; because through in the fall of it, the sweet waters into which it fell, were turned into bitterness, and men died of them, that is the doctrine was cors ni

rupred, which turned to the destruction of ,;. - many.

"And the fourth angel blew the trumpet, and the third part of the fun was smitten, do 6 and the third part of the moon, and the . * third part of the stars, so that the third part of them was darkened,' Rev. viii. 12,

This darkning of the sun, moon, and is Itars, doth signify that great darkness which

was brought upon the 'church by such teachers as did daily more and more dege. nerate.

Three things are generally to be obseryed in the blowing of these first four trumpets.

First, That the plagues here mentioned, are specially to be understood of spiritual plagues.

Secondly, That there is a progreffion from lefser to greater in these plagues.

Tbirdly, That in every one there is mentioned but a third part destroyed, which plainly sheweth, that although the church was greatly annoyed and pestered with these errors and herefies, yet it was not destroyed and brought to utter defolation; for the full setting up of Antichrist was not yet come. All these errors and hereties which were cast upon the world, and did {pring and grow a-pace in all places, did, as it were, make way for Antichrist, and (as it were by ftirrups) hoist and help him up into his cursed chair..

By the stories of the church, and course of times, it seemeth that the Holy Ghost pointeth at those manifold heresies which : sprung up in the church after the first three hundred years, especially after the death of Constantine the Great, who procured

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peace to the church, destroyed idolatry, and set up true religion in his days. .

Now after his reign, and the reign of Theodosius that good emperor, Constantinus, Julianus, Arcadius, Honorius, and many other wicked emperors succeeded; by whose means all things in the church grew worfe and worse; yet this one thing is to be observed, that all true religion was not utterly extinct and put out, till the full loosing of Satan, which was a thousand years after Christ, as we shall plainly fee when we come to the twentieth chapter, concerning the binding of Satan for a thousand years. For sure it is, that the main principles and grounds of religion, bonii. nued in the church till this full loosing of Satan; which was about the time of Silvefter the second, that monster, as afterward we thall hear. But: The . But now in the mean time, we see what heresies sprung up, what corruption grew and increased more and more, what darkness began to over-Spread a third part of the world; and ihese things grew worse and worse, even till by these means the great Anticlirist came to be poffefsed of his cursed Teat and fee of Rome, which was about fix-hundred years after Christ. ..And I beheld, and heard one angel fly

ing in the midst of heaven, faying with a

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