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who is the beast? what' are his seven heads? what are his ten horns? what are the waters which the woman, that is, the whore of Rome fitteth upon? Moreover, for the better understanding of this prophecy, we anuft note, that the writings of Moses and the prophets, unto which there are sundry allusions, and from which sundry things are drawn, do clear divers things in this Revelation. The knowledge of antiquities ininistreth much aid to the understanding of this prophecy. The knowledge of the histories of the church, and the particular state thereof in divers ages, bringeth great light. The observation of the phrases and manner of fpeech used by the old prophets, doth help also not a little. The serious and deep weighing of all the circumstances of the text, and comparing one thing with another, the consequents with the antece. dents, and the antecedents with the conse. quents, furthereth greatly for the blotting out of the true and natural sense. And furthermore, as the Spirit of God is this author of this prophecy, so the fame Spirit is the best interpreter of it, and doth open and reveal it to all fuch, as using all other good means are earnest and humble suitors unto God, for the illumination thereof, whereby they may all understand both this, and other mysteries of his will, which the
apostle faith, God hath revealed unto us by his Spirit, « for the Spirit searcheth all
things, yea, the deep things of God.' To all this may be added the knowledge of arts, tongues, and the learned writings and interpretations of sundry excellent men, which all do bring great furtherance to the understanding of this prophecy. Since then there are so many helps for the opening and expounding of this Revelacion, why should any be discouraged from the reading and study thereof? But if any man demand a reason, why St. John writeth this Revelation in such mystical allegorical manner? I answer, that there may be divers reasons yielded hereof. “ First, that the world be. ing blinded might fulfil the things herein fpecified. Secondly, because John was to publish this Revelation in such a manner and form as he had received it from Jesus Christ, which was figurative and allegorical. Thirdly, because it was much more wisdom to foretel the destruction of the Roman empire, which all that time bare the sway almost over all the world, under covert of figurative speeches, than in plain terms, least the Roman princes should rage more against the Christians, even in that
respect. The like also may be said for Dam ...niel's dark manner of delivering his prophecy; for if he had uttered those things
in plain terins, which he spake darkly and allegorically, it might have cost him his life. For the heathen enemies would never have endured to hear that all their empire's glory and renown fhould fall one after anosher, and one by another; and that the Jews were the only holy people whom God did defend, and to whom in the end God would not only give a quiet poffefsion of their own land and kingdom, but also a kingdom everlasting, and that thro’ their Meffiah and great deliverer. But to come to a conclusion, dear reader, thou shalt find in this short treatise, First, an exposition of the first thirteen chapters unto the twentieth, reduced all to one head, which is to prove the five points propounded, and last of all, the three chapters following briefly and plainly expounded. If any through laziness will not, or through want of leasure cannot read over this short treatise, yet for his comfort, let him read those things only which are written upon the fourteenth chapter. And thus, Christian reader, hop. ing that thou wilt not neglect that which may be for thine own good, I commend thee to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build farther, and to give thee an inheritance among all them that are fanctified. Thine in the Lord.
Upon the fourteenth chapter of the book of the
Revelation, the free following points are handled.
First, That Babylon in this book of the Revelation is called Rome.
Secondly, That Rome fhall fall, and how. 6. Thirdly, That Rome shall fall finally, and
come to utter desolation in this life, before the last judgment. .
Fourthly, By whom, and when it fhalli be overthrown.
Fifthly, The causes of the utter ruin and overthrow thereof.
Rev. xxiii. 4. I heard a voice from heaven fay, go out of ber my people, that ye be not partakers of her fins, and that ye receive not of ber plagues.