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the rage and fury of the world, in persecu-
Lastly, It sheweth, that after the preaching
And there was given unto me, a reed like unto a rod, and the angel stood by, faying, Arise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein,' Rev. xi. 1.
Here Jesus Christ giveth a reed unto John like unto a rod, and hereupon he is commanded by an angel to go about the measuring of the temple, altar, &c.
By this measuring with a reed like a rod, is signified the restoring and building up of God's house, which now was greatly ruinated, and run into decay through the long prevailing of Popery. Measuring with a reed, is taken for the building up of God's church, after the decayed estate thereof, both in Ezekiel, Zechariah, and this prophely. John in the persons of all faithful ministers, hath this measuring rod given him, because the church was to be restored
and built up by the ministers and ministry of the gospel.
The Thing to be measured is the temple, the altar, and them that worship therein.
This is an allusion to the legal worship, whereby our fpiritual worship is represented. For by the material temple, is meant the fpiritual temple, or church of God. 'By the altar of stone, is meant the spiritual worship. By them that worship therein with carnal facrifices, is meant all the true members of the church, which worship God in fpirit and truth.
Now then, both the church, the true worship and worshippers, were all to be measured, repaired, and built up by ministry of the word, which all were decayed and almost laid waste, by the Pope's tyre ranny.
(But the court which is without the temple cast out and measure it not, for it sis given to the Gentiles: and the holy
city shall they tread under their foot two and forty months.' Rev. xi. 2. ..
John is here forbidden to measure and build up the court which is without the temple. Whereby is meant all heretics; hypocrites, worldlings, and all such as have a place in the church, but are not of the church. This phrase of speech is taken from the old shadowish worship as the rest
before. For in the temple of Jerusalein there was an outward court which was common to all good and bad: the holy place which was proper to the priests and Levites; and the holy of holiest, or most holy place, where none might come but the high priest only.
Here is a reason added why the Lord God refuseth all Papists and hypocrites, and all such as belong to the outward court only, and it is this: that this outward court :“ is given unto the Gentiles,' that is, to all
false Christians and counterfeits in religion, which are members of the visible church, but have nothing to do with the invisible.
These are compared to Gentiles in two respects: First, in regard of profaneness, for they are as profane as the heathen. Secondly, In respect of perfecuting the truth: for hypocrites and Atheists are as forward in perfecuting the people of God as the heathen emperors, which persecuted the church by the space of three hundred years. All comes in this, that when the church fhould be gathered and built by the preaching of the gospel, God would have all Pa. pists, Atheists, and hypocrites shut out.
Moreover, here is the second reason yielded, why the outward court should be cast out, and not measured; to wit, because
foot, forty and two months:' that is, they should perfecute the church all the time of Antichrist's reign. For forty two months in this verse: and one thousand two hundred and fixty days in the next verse: and s three days and a half,' verfe 9: ' and time, "times, and half a' time,' in the twelfth chapter, the fourteenth verfe, and one thousand two hundred and sixty days in the twelfth chapter, the sixth verse, do fignify all one thing, which is the short reign of Antichrist; for these months, these days, and these times, do every one of them anake three years, and an half, for who knoweth not that forty two months make just three years and an half, and that one Thousand iwo hundred and fixty days, inaketh even so much also: and by time he ineaneth a year, by times, two years, and by half a time, half a year. Now the reason why Antichrist's reign is numbered by days, inonths and half times, and all amounting but to three years and a half, is to note the short continuance thereof, for the comfort of the church, as appeareth more fully and plainly in fundry places of this prophesy, where it is set down in plain words, that Antichrist should reign but a short time; for what is five or fix hundred years in comparison of eternity
: But here the Papists do Mew themselves
most fottish and ridiculous, in that they would gather from hence, that the Pope is not Antichrist: for (say they). Antichrist. shall reign but three years and an half, but
fore the Pope is not Antichrist.
Now to answer the proposition of their argument taken from this place. First, it may be answered, that this place is not to be understood literally, but myftically: as many other things in this book.
Secondly, Here is a certain number put for an uncertain, a definite number for an indefinite, which also is usual in this book, as we heard before concerning the fealing of the tribes, of every tribe twelve thousand, which maketh a hundred and forty four thousand. Now no man is so mad as to think there were just so many fealed, and neither more nor less.
Thirdly, Here is an allusion to Daniel's weeks, and other prophetical computations, . wherein sometimes a day is put for a year, a week for seven years, as in Daniel's se. ven months and a month for thirty years. So then I conclude that it is extreme folly to interpret this place literally. The curious and frivolous interpretations of this place, and such like in this book, by some writers, I do of purpose omit, as matters untrue, unsound, and unjudicial; for I only in this