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chapter, is to shew, that both the Roman empire and papacy shall ebb as fast as ever they did flow, hall wain as fast as ever they did wax, shall decrease as fast as ever they did increase, and fall down as fast as ever they did rise up, even until they come to utter ruin and defolation..
This chapter containeth seven principle things. . .
First, It sheweth that God had his church upon the earth, even then when it seemed to be utterly extinct by the prevailing of the two outragious beasts, Rev. xiii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 .
Secondly, It sheweth that the poor perfecuted church did sincerely and zealously worship God even in the fire and flames of afflictions, verse 6, 7.
Thirdly, It sheweth that the gospel shall be preached with great success in these last days throughout many kingdoms, verse 8.
Fourthly, It sheweth that Rome shall fall down at the preaching of the gospel, verse. 9, 10, 11.
Fifthly, It seweth that all papists fhall be condemned, and cast into hell fire for ever, verse 12, 13. .
Sixthiy, It sheweth that it ihall go well with God's elect, which having refused the worship of the beast, do live and die in the Lord.
Lastly, Ii describeth the day of judgment, wherein all, both good and bad, Thall have according to their deserts.
Then I looked, and behold a Lamb • stood on the mount Zion, and with him a
hundred and forty and four thousand,
having his Father's name written in their • foreheads,' Rev. xiv. 1. ;
Now at the last the Holy Ghoit bringeth in Jesus Christ upon the theatre of the world, as it were to play his part in this tragedy, and to help the poor weak woman, which we heard of before, against the dragon, and the two monstrous beasts, which would have torn her in pieces, and utterly devoured her, if this Lamb Jesus Chrift had not stept in and rescued her. Well, now cometh in our Lord Jesus, and beginneth to stir in these matters, and to take upon him the protection and defence of the poor helpless woman, against both the dragon, and thedragon's too great instruments. Bur some may fay, What is a poor lamb to encounter with a dragon, with a lion, witla'. a leopard, and a bear? I answer, that although Christ be a Lamb to his church, even the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world, and the Lamb That was a flain sacrifice from the beginning for the redemption of his elect: yet to all his enemies he is a most strong and terrible
lion, even the Lion of the tribe of Judah, , as he is called before, Rey. y. 5. Now this most terrible Lion, even the Lord of hosts, the Lord mighty in battle, cometh forth to protect and defend his church against all her enemies, who is of such infinite might and puissance, that neither the old dragon, nor his young imps, nor all the cursed hell. hounds that bark, and bite, and take their part, shall ever be able to stand in his hands: for, rage they never so much he shall ham. per them all well enough. For though he hath given them the reign a long time, and let them alone, and suffered them to play the tyrants with the woman his spouse; yet now he will no longer put it up at their hands, but will up and maintain the wo: man's cause, and bear her out against them all: nay, he will make ready his bow, that he may shoot off, and make his arrows drunk in the blood of her and his enemies, and will whet his glittering sword, that he may sheath it in the heart of antichrist and all his adherents. Therefore now let both the great beasts and their fire look to them. selves; for here comes in one that will knock them all down, and lay them in the dust, that they shall never rise up again. For this cause now at length St. John in a vision seeth ą Lamb ftand upon mount * Zion, that is, Christ present with the
Church: for mount Zion was an ancient fi. gure of the church; as it is written, mount · Zion, lying northward, is fair in situation, . it is the joy of the whole earth, and the . city of the great King,' Psal. xlviii. 2.And again, ở The law fliall go forth of • Zlon, and the word of the Lord from Jens crusalem,' Micah iv. 2. : Moreover, St. John feeth here with
the Lamb a hundred forty and four thousand:' that is, the particular members of the church, putting a certain number for an uncertain, and specially allud. ing to the sealing of the twelve tribes of Ifrael, as before hath been thewed. For it might be demanded, where the church was when all the world wondered, and followed the first beast? Rev. vii. 4. And also when all, both small and great, rich and poor received the mark of the fecond beast? St. John answereth, that even then, in the midst of the heat of persecutions, God had his hid and invisible church, whom Jesus Christ did protect and preserve even in the very flames of persecutions, being always present with them, and amongst them, as he faid to his disciples a little before his bodily departure from them: “Lo, I am with you
even unto the end of the world.' And here he is said to stand upon mount Zion with his hundred forty and four thousand.’And
jt is added, that this number of God's faithe ful elect children . had his Father's name * written in their foreheads:' that is, they did profess and practise the doctrine and religion of God their father only, utterly renouncing and abhorring the worfhip and réligion of the beast. For the Father's name in this place is set opposite to the mark of the beast; to signify, that as the worshippers of antichrist received his mark; to the true worshippers of God received his brand, which is his Spirit, and the fruits thereof, whereby they were perfectly difcerned from those which had the beasts mark. So then, it clearly appeareth from this place, that God preserved many thousands of his true worshippers, even in the days of the great antichrist when there seemed to be very few or none remaining upon the earth, as it was in the days of Elias. In vain therefore do the papists ask us where our church was before Luther's time, since the holy apostle here stoppeth their mouth, and telleth us plainly, that Christ had his little flock in the wilderness, even then, when it was in greatest staights, and as we fay, driven to the walls. And therefore visibility is no sound note of the church, as the papists do most ignorantly dispute. For it is a fond and absurd kind of reasoning, to fay there is no church at all, because it
mark. Do that God Prinpers, even