followeth: behold the effect of this earth· quake; it is said, that the tenth part of

the city shall fall.'. By the city here he meaneth the great city of Rome, mentioned before, verfe 8. which is therefore called the great city, because it was the chief city of the Roman empire, and the very seat of Antichrist. Now then, the sense and meaning of the Holy Ghost is, that when there once beginneth to be an earthquake, that is, broils, contentions, alterations, * questions, and disputations about religion; and that the Popith doctrine, which had so long prevailed in the world, should be called in question; yea, openly preached against, convicted and condemned, that then Řome shall begin to fall, and Romish religion to suffer a great eclipse; yea, the tenth part, that is, some part of the city of Rome; I mean the doctrine and authority of Rome, shall be overthrown. Now this falling of the tenth part of Rome was fulfilled within some few years after the preaching of the gospel by Luther and his immediate successors; but since it is gone back many degrees, and hereafter it shall still ebb and consume away by degrees, even till it come

to nothing: as God willing, shall be plainly · proved hereafter.

Moreover, here is set down another ef,fect of this earthquake; which is, that

thereby shall be slain in number seven thousand, that is, many thousands; for the number of seven is a perfect and universal number, as formerly hath been declared. But the sense of this clause is, that all such as will not yield to the gospel after matters once come in question, and the light there. of breaketh forth, but continue still in their blindness and hardness, standing out stur. dily against the truth, shall feel the heavy judgment of God upon them, and come to miserable and wretched ends; as did here in England, Stephen Gardiner, bloody Bonner, and many other such open perfecutors in other nations and countries, as the book of martyrs doth plentifully wit- . nefs.

Last of all, it is said, that the rest were sterrified, and gave glory to the God of • heaven:' that is, the elect of God seeing these horrible judgments upon the persecutors of the gospel, and having their eyes opened thro' these contentions and broils about religion, should repent of their foriner idolatries; blindness and ignorance, should yield to the truth, and give glory to the God of heaven, as at this day we see thousands do, God be thanked. We heard before in the time of the Turks murdering army, when the third part of men were fain, that the rest-repented not of their

idolatry, . But now (God be praised for it) many do repent every day, and turn from dumb idols to serve the living Gud. And therefore although the times wherein we live be sinful and troublesome, yet are they golden times and days, in comparison of former ages, wherein Antichrist did reign and rule over all. Moreover, from this place may plainly and strongly be concluded, that the gospel shall prevail more and more in all the kingdoms of Europe, even until the end of the world. For here we fee it foretold and prophesied, that in the very last age of the world, and even as it were a little before the blowing of the sea venth trumpet, which presently hereupon is founded, as in the next verses appeareth, : many should repent, and give glory to God.

The second wo is past, and behold the "third wo will come quickly. And the fear venth angel blew the trumpet, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The • kingdoms of this world are our Lord's, and his Christ's, and he shall reign for

evermore,' Rev. xi. 14, 15.. · Now cometh the third, the last, and the greatest wo, which is the wo of eternal death upon all the ungodly, both in their fouls and bodies for ever in the last.judge ment. The second wo was Turkism: and

this third wo is the last judgment. For it now followeth, that the seventh angel bloweth the last trumpet; as our Lord Jesus fware before, that when the seventh angel fhould blow the trumpet, there would be no more time. Therefore when we fee all things fulfilled which do.belong unto the fixth trumpet, it remaineth that we should every hour expect and look for the blowing of the seventh trumpet and the end of the world. For the 'Holy Ghost telleth us, that when the kingdom of the Pope and the Turk shall fall, and the gospel be preached in many nations and kingdoms, that then the third wo will come anon, that is, the last judgment followeth presently upon it. Now at the blowing of this seventh trumpet there were great voices in heaven, * saying, The kingdoms of this world are

our Lord's, and his Christ's, and he shall reign for evermore.' .

These voices in heaven are triumphing voices of God's elect, who do exceedingly rejoice and triumph, that the kingdom of Satan and Antichrist is overthrown, and that the kingdom of God and of Christ is fet up, and shall stand for evermore. For now all adversary power being overthrown, Christ doth deliver up a peaceable kingdom to his Father, as it is written, Then * fhall be the end, when he hath delivered

[ocr errors]

* up his peaceable kingdom to God the • Father,' i Cor. . 15—24. For he must reign over the church militant, till he have trode down all his enemies under his feet; and when the Son of God hath subdued all things to himfelf, then shall he be subject to his father, as he is the Mediator of the church, and yet reign with his church triumphant for evermore.

i Then the four and twenty elders which fat before God on their feats, fell upon * their faces, and worshipped God, saying, < We give thee thanks, O Lord God Al

mighty, which art, which wast, and which 'art to come; for thou hast received thy great might, and hast obtained thy kingdom, Rev. xi. 16, 17.

These four and twenty elders do signify all the elect, both of Jews and Gentiles, as we have heard before; which all in molt suppliant manner do worship the only ever. lasting God, even in the church triumph. ant, and do greatly rejoice, and give all praise and glory unto him, because now he hath received the kingdom, the power, and the glory, both Pope, and Turk, and einperor, and all his enemies being subdued under his feet.

• And the Gentiles were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, Sthat they should be judged, and that thou

« ForrigeFortsett »