Bookshelf/ Vol.I / Vol. IV. Part VI. Contents. Chapter I. 1. 2. 3. II. 1. 2. 3. III. 1. 2. 3. IV. 1. 2. V. 1. 2. Appendix I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. II. 1a. 1b. 2a. 2b. 2c. 3. 4. III 1. 2a. 2b.


At the Reformation the light which had previously gleamed here and there on the subject of Antichrist, and then been at length for a while all but extinguished, burst into a blaze; and the voice of the Waldenses, Wicliffites, and Hussites, protesting against Popes as the Apocalyptic Beast, and Rome as the Apocalyptic Babylon, revived, after a temporary suspension, in power hitherto unparalleled. Vain was the authoritative prohibition of writing or preaching on the subject of Antichrist, by the 5th Council of Lateran. [1] There was an energy in the impression and the voice, as if derived not from books or earlier traditions, but from the Spirit’s own teaching. Alike in Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Sweden, England, it was received as an almost self-evident and fundamental truth by the founders of the several Protestant Churches: indeed as, in itself, a sufficient justification of the mighty act of their separation from Rome. [2] But the difficulty remained to adjust and explain certain details of the Apocalyptic prophecies respecting the Beast, Antichrist, and Babylon; as well as to offer a satisfactory and consistent solution of the many other mysteries of this prophetic Book. Nor was the difficulty slight; or one soon, or as yet fully, to be overcome.

It is my purpose in the present Section primarily, and at large, to set forth the Apocalyptic views in the 16th century of the Fathers of the Protestant Reformation; then very briefly, in conclusion, to sketch the views of Apocalyptic exposition with which, after long reflection, the Papal Doctors, as that century drew to a close, thought best to meet the arguments so fearfully urged against them from the Apocalyptic Book.


1. And on this head my illustrations of the history of Apocalyptic interpretation must commence of course with a brief sketch of the views of the great Father of the Reformation, Luther. - In my Vol. ii. ch. iv., [3] I have described the time and the manner in which the idea of the Popes being the Antichrist broke upon the mind; and also in the chapter v., next following, [4] how it was primarily from Daniel’s prophecies respecting the little horn and the abomination of desolation, that he drew this his conclusion. It was also there intimated that in 1522, at the time of concluding the translation of the New Testament, he had come to doubt of the genuineness of the Apocalypse as an Apostolic or inspired Book. [5] But it would seem from a Latin Treatise of his, now in my hands, “De Antichristo,” dated by himself at its ending, Wittenberg, April 1, 1521, [6] (the very day, I believe, before his setting out for Worms, [7] ) that the doubt had not then fixed itself in his mind: for he not only alludes in more than one place to the Apocalypse, [8] as an inspired prophetic book, but interprets the prophecy of the scorpion-locusts in Apoc. ix. in considerable detail. And other evidence appears to the same effect in the writings of the year 1520 just preceding. [9] A few years later, viz. in 1528, he is stated to have found and republished an Apocalyptic Commentary, expounding the Beast to mean the Popedom; written some hundred years, [10] or rather, as Pareus shows, some 150 years before Luther’s time: [11] an evidence of his inclining then again, as at first, to view the Apocalypse as inspired Scripture. Finally, in 1534, he prefixed to the Apocalypse in his great Edition of the German Bible a brief explanatory sketch: from which, and from certain notices found elsewhere in his writings, [12] I may give what follows as in the main his views on the subject.

Like most of his predecessors, he judged that the Book must be more or less a prefiguration of the chief events and æras of Church History: the Seals chiefly prefiguring the physical or political evils under which the Church and world connected with it was to suffer, the Trumpets the spiritual; and either septenary running on from the commencement of the Christian æra to the consummation. - Thus in the Seals, the 1st, or white horse and rider, indicated (as in Zech. i 6, “But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers?  and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.”) the persecutions of tyrants; the 2nd, or red horse, wars and bloodshed; the 3rd, or black horse, famine; the 4th, or pale horse, pestilence and mortality: all to have fulfillment, from time to time, to the last day: - the 5th Seal figuring martyrdoms of the saints, early begun, and ever and anon repeated, even to the end; the 6th, great political revolutions; and its sealing and palm-bearing visions, the preservation and ultimate salvation of the saints. The 7th Seal’s half-hour’s silence he does not explain. - Of the Trumpets he makes the 1st to figure the heretic Tatian and his Eneratites, enjoining righteousness by human works of merit, so as did afterwards the Pelagians; the 2nd, Marcion, and the Manichees and Montanists, exalting their fancies about Scripture; (so as to late Munzer and his Anabaptists;) the 3rd, Origen and the false philosophy, revived in our own high schools; the 4th, Novatus and the Donatists, denying repentance to the lapsed; [13] the 5th, Arius and the Arians; [14] the 6th, Mahomet and the Saracens: contemporary with whom was the Woe of the Papacy: depicted alike in Apoc. x., xii., and xiii.

And here, on Apoc. x., xi., is the most curious particular explanation in Luther’s Commentary. Deeply impressed with the Pope’s and Papacy’s mock show of Christ and Christianity, and with an impression also, probably, even then, of the resemblance of those seven thunders, which sounded in sequence to the rainbow-crowned Angel’s cry, to the Papal mandates and thunders, [15] he was led to explain the whole vision, including the Angel himself, of the Popes and Popedom. “The mighty Angel,” he says, “with a rainbow and a little bitter book, is Popery;” Popery in the speciousness of its spiritual forms and pretensions. So the Popes, he thinks, are figured as a mock Christ on the scene of vision; the opened book being that of Papal laws, given the Evangelist to eat, as representative of the Church visible; the lion-like voice and seven thunders, the great swelling words and thunders of the Popedom. - Moreover, it is the Popes that are still symbolized [16] at the commencement of Apoc. xi. as measuring the temple, or Church, with their laws and regulations; casting out the court without; (in the sense, I presume, of anti-papal heretics;) and establishing a mere formal kind of Church, with outward show of holiness.- The subject having to be renewed and more fully developed in the vision of the two Beasts, Apoc. xiii., Luther speaks of the interposition, for the comfort of God’s people, of two intermediate and very different visions: viz. 1st, of the two Witness-preachers, signifying a succession of faithful witnesses kept up for Christ; 2ndly, of the Woman with child, meant of Christ’s true Church, and God’s provision for her, during the Beast’s reign, in the wilderness. - In Apoc. xiii., Luther explains the first Beast to mean the Papistic secular revived Roman empire, the second Beast the Pope’s ecclesiastical or spiritual empire: Popery now ruling by the sword, as before by the book; and constituting the third and last Woe, proclaimed by the seventh Angel. Of the seven heads of the Beast the five that have fallen are, he says, those in Greek Christendom; the sixth, “which is,” that of Papal Germany; (the head wounded to death, or old Roman empire, having been thus revived:) the seventh, or “that which is to come,” he considers to be Spain; the eighth, (“which is of the seven,”) Rome or Italy. the ten horns are Hungary, Bohemia, Poland, France, England, &c.; which, though Popery’s profest defenders, are sometimes to attack and desolate it. The Beast’s image is the new empire, which is but the shadow of the old. [17] - The number of the Beast, 666, Luther explains to signify the number of years that the Beast may be destined to endure; measured, he says in his Table Talk, from Gregory, or perhaps Phocas. [18] - The seven Vial-Angels he interprets of the gospel-preachers of the latter days: the seat of the Beast being thereby darkened; and the Euphratean drying up, under the sixth Vial, also figuring the exhaustion of the wealth and power of Papal Rome, the modern Babylon: while the three frog-like spirits depicted Papal sophist, like Faber, Eck, and Emser, stirring up opposition to the Gospel. - Finally, the millennium is the 1000 years between St. John and the issuing forth of the Turks: (these latter being the antitype to the Apocalyptic Gog and Magog;) Satan’s incarceration and binding meaning only that Christianity and Christians will, during that whole period, subsist in spite of him. - I may add that he in various places notes his view of the predicted Antichrist as one that should be an ecclesiastical person. So in his “De Antichristo;” [19] saying, “The Turk cannot be Antichrist, because he is not in the Church of God.” And again, “Who ever so came in Christ’s name as did the Pope?” [20]

On the whole it will be seen that Luther did not advance far towards the solution of Apocalyptic mysteries. His explanation of Apoc. x. - xi. 2, seems to me the most observable of what is peculiar to him; and that of the two Beasts of Apoc. xiii., as signifying respectively the secular Roman Empire and the ecclesiastical. Of these opinions, the former, about the rainbow-crowned angel and the seven thunders, was never, I believe, adopted by any other expositor of note: [21] the other has had its advocates and followers event to the present day. [22]

2. It will have been observed that Luther does not enter on the question of the meaning of the several Apocalyptic periods; more especially the 3 1/2 times, 42 months, and 1260 days. - But it was quite impossible that Apocalyptic interpretation could go on without that question being considered, and concluded on. Accordingly we find that, almost immediately after Luther’s publication of his Bible, it, was discussed by the chief Protestant prophetic exposition that followed; and in most cases the year-day question, Vol. iii. p. 284, I have illustrated the somewhat curious ground on which they fancied that his view might be partly based, from Osiander’s Book entitled “Conjecture de Ultimis Temporibus, ac de Fine Mundi;” a Book first published at Nuremberg, A.D. 1544, and dedicated to Albert Marquis of Brandenburgh and Prussia. “Sunt duo genera annorum magnorum in sacris litteris; unum Angelicum, alterum Mosaicum. Annus Angelicus constat ex tot annis civilibus nostris ex quot diebus nostris constat annus noster civilis. Nobis enim qui coelo inclusi sumus cursus solis ab occidente ad orientem, et rursus ab oriente ad occidentem, diem absolvit; id quod fit spatio 24 horarum. Angelis autem, qui extrà et suprà globos æthereos versantur, dies est quem sol in zodiaco ab austro in aquilonem, et ab aquilone rursus in austrum, circumvolvendo conflcit.” So that to an Angel’s view (as outside, I suppose, of our solar system) the only mundane revolution observable would be the annual; and consequently our year be to them a solar day. [23] - Aretius of Berne, who taught theology with much reputation at Marburg, and died A.D. 1574, urged the same explanation a little after Osiander: [24] and so too Chytræus, in his Apocalyptic Exposition published in 1571, of which more presently. And, advanced so far as they now were in the Christian æra, it became a primary element with all such expositors, in calculations of the probabilities of the future, to consider what the probable commencing date of these same fateful prophetic periods: as the lapse of 1260 years from it might be supposed to fix the epoch of the consummation; except, indeed, in so far as the Lord might in mercy shorten the days. By help of the last consideration the earliest Reformers, German, Swiss, and English, even though taking the year-day view, might yet hope for a speedy consummation to the world; as I have already shown in my Part iii. Chap. v. [25] Others looked to an epoch further forward, as supposable. Said Aretius: “We may reckon Antichrist’s beginning from Constantine’s establishment of Christianity, A.D. 312; 1260 years from which end in 1572.” - Said Chytræus; “If numbered from A.D. 412, when Alaric took Rome, and overthrew its empire, the end will be in 1672; or, if from the time of Phocas, A.D. 606, when the Pope’s supremacy began, (I beg the reader’s attention to this,) then the end may be expected A.D. 1866.” [26] Other Protestant Expositors however of this æra construed the prophetic periods less definitely.

3.Reverting to the more general subject of Apocalyptic interpretation, I shall select Bullinger and Bale, as two of the more eminent and characteristic of the Apocalyptic Expositors of the middle of the period under review, in Germany, Switzerland, and England respectively. [27]

Bullinger’s work, which is in Latin, is made up of the Conciones delivered by him at Zurich; and dedicated, as a book well fitted to furnish them with consolation, to all the exiles from France, England, Italy, and other kingdoms, taking refuge in Germany and Switzerland. The date of the Preface is Jan. 1557: a date during the reign of our Popish Queen Mary; which explains those terms in the dedication, and adds to the Book’s interest. [28] The following are in brief the heads of his exposition.

Of the Seals he makes the first to signify the triumphant progress of the Gospel, even under suffering, whether from Pagan or Papal powers, from its beginning to the end: - the second, wars, including alike the Roman civil contests, the Gothic and Saracenic desolations, the Bellum Sacrum begun in the xith century, and then the Turkish Othman wars: - the third, scarcities, inflicted from time to time, from that mentioned in the Acts under Claudius the Roman emperor, even till now; e.g. that in 1529: - the fourth, pestilence, as under Decius, Justinian, Gregory, &c. &c: - the fifth, martyrdoms of the saints, begun by the Roman Pagan emperors, continued by the Arians, and then for above 500 years by Antichrist, even unto now, and which must be expected till the completion of the elect: - the sixth, “corruptela doctrine sanæ in ecclesiâ,” from the heresies of Valentinus down to those of Mahomet and the Papal Antichrist: heresies whereby men’s minds had been agitated, the Sun of righteousness been obscured, the doctors of the Church fallen, like falling stars, by apostasy, and the heaven of Christ’s true Church been withdrawn, [29] - In the Sealing Vision there was figured the hindrance of the breathing of God’s Spirit in gospel-preachings and Bible-reading; a hindrance enacted by Pagan Roman emperors first, then by Popes: while the sealing itself told of the multitudes saved all along, even in Papal Anti-Christendom; [30] and the palm-bearing, of the saints’ ultimate blessedness in heaven.

Proceeding to the Trumpets, (the silence in heaven having been explained simply of the waiting on God’s revelations in admiration, and the Incense-Angel as Christ the intercessor, the great remedial object in all heresies and troubles about to be noted under the Trumpets,) he thus expounds them; premising that the use of trumpets in Israel was for convoking assemblies, moving the camp, and war. - The 1st was the Trumpet of alarm, as sounded by the apostles and early Christians, against Judaizers and pseudo-Christian philosophers: the 2nd, that against Valentinus, the Manichees, and Montanists: - 3. against the star fallen from heaven, or Arias: 4. against Pelagius and Pelagianism: - 5. against the first Woe, Popery: Gregory the Great’s successor, Boniface, having, under Phocas, opened the pit of the abyss, with his Papal clergy, the king of the locusts the Pope; the time mentioned (five months) having reference to that brief duration of the natural locusts; and indicating that the time of the plagues figured was defined and limited by God. In Trumpet 6, the second Woe, or Mahommedan Saracens and Turks, was figured with reference to their course of universal desolation: [31] the Euphrates being taken literally; and the four angels loosed explained as Arabs, Saracens, Turks, Tartars; the previous four great Euphratean powers of Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes, Persians, having had their power long bound.

After a curious interpretation of “the rest of men non-repenting,” in (Apoc. ix. 20, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:”) - as if meaning people, both nationally and individually, that were spiritually killed neither by the Papal nor Mahommedan plague, i.e. who, though neither Mahommedans nor Pagans, had yet not given themselves to God, [32] and must consequently not expect to escape God’s judgment, Bullinger proceeds to Apoc. x., xii., a part relating (as I believe in common with him and other Reformers) to his own times; and which he appears to me to have explained better than all else in his Commentary. The Angel-vision in Apoc. x. he explains of Christ’s intervention through the Reformers, [33] against the Papal Antichrist and Mahommedans; the antithesis between Christ, as here figured, and the Papal Antichrist, being drawn out in detail. The book opened is the Gospel, opened to men by gospel-preachers, and with the aid of printing, in spite of the Pope: the seven thunders, the gospel-preaching by Christ’s faithful servants, as by men with the spirit of those two apostles who were called sons of thunder; the sealing them being meant in the sense of authentication to the good, and that of being hidden to the wicked: the oath (one deeply to be noted [34] ) alluding to the 3 1/2 times of Dan. xii.; and showing to Christians at that time living that their redemption, as to be effected at Christ’s coming and the resurrection, was even then drawing nigh: the charge, “Thou must prophesy again,” meant of preachers of St. John’s spirit and doctrine against Antichrist and Mahommedanism in the last times; [35] and showing (I beg attention to this, as a point in which I now first see that Bullinger anticipated me) that God’s own legitimate commission attached to the ministers of the reformed Protestant Churches, although not ordained by bishops. [36] He notes how by translation of the SS into German, Spanish, French, Italian, English, besides sundry Eastern languages, John’s doctrine might be said to be preached by faithful ministers over a large part of the world. This is the case even now; says he: “Hodiè ista et audimus et videmus.” [37] Finally, “the court within” [38] cast out, he takes to be the Roman Pontifix and Pontificii, “excommunicated by God;” but does not apparently follow up his own principles by explaining it, in the manner I have done, of the excommunication as acted out by the Doctors of the Reformation. [39]

So Bullinger comes to the Witnesses. - The number two indicated these Witnesses for Christ to be but few, yet sufficient. The 1260 days of their witnessing in sackcloth, and of the Gentiles treading the Holy City, are an uncertain, yet, in God’s purpose, definite time. For above 700 years we know that there have existed such, who opposed themselves to Papal abominations. - The statement, “When they shall have completed their testimony the Beast shall kill them,” he applies individually; in the sense that none shall be cut off till they have done their appointed work. The great city of their slaughter is the empire of Papal Rome, spread over the world: analogously with the fact of their Lord’s place of crucifixion having been within the old Roman empire: - the Papists’ prefigured joy at Christ’s Witnesses’ death being ever notorious; and just recently illustrated from the rejoicings of the Romanists, even then when Bullinger wrote, at the news of Queen Mary’s persecutions of the Protestants in England: [40] the 3 1/2 days of their lying dead, the short time before their revival in others; so as Huss and Jerome, for example, killed at Constance, were quickly revived first in the Bohemians, then in Laurentius Valla, Savanarola, Luther. [41] The Witnesses’ ascent to heaven he makes that of their departed spirits entering Paradise; and the falling of the tenth of the city, and killing of the 7000, to mean the mighty defections already begun from the Papal Church and empire. He notes too the taking and sack of Rome itself in 1527, by the Constable Bourbon. [42] - On the 7th Trumpet he says, “It must come soon: therefore our redemption draweth nigh.”

Passing on to Apoc. xii., Bullinger explains the travailing Woman, like most of his predecessors, of the Church; [43] the triumph and ascent of Christ’s members being assured and involved in that of Christ himself; who is here figured not merely as the Child caught up to God’s throne, but also as Michael the Church’s protecting Angel. But he gives a new interpretation to the Woman’s flight into the wilderness; as meaning that of the Church from Judæa and the Jews, (who of old constituted God’s enclosed vineyard,) to the Gentiles. [44] The 3 1/2 times are expounded generally, as before. And so too, in a general sense, the Dragon’s seven heads and ten horns; as indicating that the Devil “præfuit omnium seculorum monarchis impiis, et omnium cornuum vel regnorum sanguinolentorum præsultor fuit.” [45] Then, in Apoc. xiii., the first Beast is rather, remarkably made by him the old Pagan Roman empire; remarkably, I mean, for Bullinger, a Protestant. (As offered by Papal expositors, e.g. Bossuet, the explanation was quite natural.) The seven heads had allusion to Rome’s seven hills: and also to seven of its kings; whether the seven earliest kings, or the seven Julian Emperors, ending with Nero: in whom (sc. Nero) the Beast suffered a deadly wound; which however was healed by Vespasian. [46] The ten horns might indicate that Rome’s empire was then made up of many kingdoms, or perhaps that it at last was to be dissolved into many: viz. under the desolation of the Goth and Vandal invaders of the 5th century; as it was said in the prophecy, “He that killeth with the sword shall be killed with the sword,” &c. [47]

The second Beast is explained to be the Papal Antichrist, (being the same as Daniel’s little horn and St. Paul’s Man of Sin,) rising up under Gregory I, and his successor Boniface, to be Universal Bishop, soon after Totilas’ utter destruction of old Rome; just as this second Beast was seen to rise after the first. The Beast’s two lamb-like horns indicated his claims to both sacerdotal and royal supremacy, in heaven too and on earth: agreeably with which the Pope has the two swords, and Boniface VIII, at the first Jubilee, A.D. 1300, appeared on day in the pontifical habit, another in the imperial purple. Bullinger draws out here a contrast of this Antichrist and Christ: and notes his changing times as well as laws; substituting his feriæ for Christ’s sabbath, his traditions for Christ’s written Scripture. In short, one must be blinder than Tiresias, he says, not to see in the Popes the great predicted Antichrist. [48] - The image of the Beast is the new Roman or Western Secular Empire: which is, indeed, says he, but the shadow of the old one. [49] The explanation of the second Beast’s giving breath to the image is, on this hypothesis, obvious. Unless the Pope confirm the new emperor’s election, his election is invalid; and in the ceremony of his confirmation he has to take an oath of allegiance to the Pope. So is the emperor in a manner the Pope’s creature; and in case of Councils alike, general or national, (so Bullinger all but touches on what I believe the true explanation,) the Council “Papæ spiritu regitur.” [50] - But already he has had to meet difficulties from his explanation of the first Beast. The second was to exercise all his power enwpion, before, or in presence of, the first. How does Bullinger get over the difficulty? He refers to Aretas, saying, that it might be in the sense of following and imitating. [51] I need not say how incorrectly. Again, it was to make the earth adore the first Beast. How so? By making men regard the Roman empire, says Bullinger, as something divine. Further, the miracles of the second Beast, said to be done in sight of the Beast, meant in sight of the first Beast’s image, or ghost. And his causing that all who adored not the Beast should be killed, was meant of not adoring the decrees (the Conciliar decrees) of the new Roman empire, as inspired by the Pope. On the name and number he prefers Irenæus’ solution of Aateinov: dwelling on the Latinism of the Papacy, much like Dr. More afterwards. [52]

Proceeding onward through the next three chapters, it may suffice to observe that he interprets the Angel with the everlasting Gospel in Apoc. xiv., and also the two Angels following him, of gospel-preachers then in existence; the invention of printing aiding their progress; [53] that the Vials of Apoc. xvi. are explained as the closing judicial plagues on the Papal Egypt: the 1st being the “posca Gallica,” which first broke out, he says, A.D. 1494, in the Neapolitan war between French and Spaniards, and was rife especially in the Romish convents; [54] the 2nd, pestilences generally; the 3rd. Popes and Papal princes, stirring up bloody wars in which themselves were slain; the 4th (on the sun), heat and drought; the 5th (that on the Beast’s seat), the darkening of Rome’s majesty through the progress of the Reformation; the 6th, on the Euphrates, the drying up of the resources and powers of the Papal Babylon; while the three frogs consequent thereon were the Papal legates e latere, issuing forth to the kings of the earth, (and so, like the frogs of Egypt, even in king’s houses,) to stir them up to war against Christ’s gospel-ministers. The 7th, or Vial on the air, meant elemental convulsions, like those predicted by Christ, Matt. xxiv., as to precede his coming: and the three parts into which the great city would fall in consequence, those of true Christians, Papists, and “neutrals.” - Further, on Apoc. xvii., feeling the difficulty of his original solution of the first Beast as the old Roman empire, he speaks of the Apocalypse as here conjoining in the figured Beast, whereon the Woman sate, both the Beast and Beast’s image, old and new Rome, the empire and the Papacy. [55] The “was and is not” he thus explains. The old empire was from Julius to Nero, in the Julian Cæsars; then, after a while, became great under Trajan. [56] The “five heads that have fallen,” were the five emperors that had followed after the deadly wound under Nero; viz. Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus: the one “that is,” Domitian; the 7th, that was to last but a short time, Nerva; (so does Bullinger unconsciously fall in with Victorinus;) the 8th Trajan: which last might be called of the seven, as having been adopted by Nerva. [57] - The statement that the ten kings received power at one hour with the Beast, he makes to have reference to the second Beast, or Popes, not the first; (so again showing, indeed now confessing, the difficulty from his solution of the first Beast; [58] ) these being the ten horns, among which the Papacy was as the dominant little horn; also, while explaining the ten kings desolating Rome primarily of old Rome’s desolation in the days of the Goths and Vandals, he suggests (after Luther) that there may not improbably be a second and future sense, as well as a primary one; and that these kings may be ultimately instruments for desolating Papal Rome too, though none but Christ will destroy it. - Finally, the bridal in Apoc. xix. Bullinger makes to coincide with the saints’ resurrection; [59] the vision of Christ and his army on white horses to symbolize the last judgment; the Beast then taken with the False Prophet to be the Papal Roman Empire: [60] (mark again this necessary inconsistency resulting from his former explanation of the seven-headed Beast:) also the millennium to be the 1000 years either from Christ’s ascension to A.D. 1034, when under the pontificate of Benedict IX Satan seemed loosed to deceive the nations; or from A.D. 60, when Paul speaks of the Gospel having been preached over the whole world, to the pontificate of Nicholas II, A.D. 1060; or from A.D. 73, the date of the destruction of Jerusalem, to the pontificate of Gregory VII, A.D. 1073. At the same time he objects not, he says, if any prefer to follow the chiliasm of Papias. [61] - The Gog and Magog loosed he of course interprets of the Turks: makes the first resurrection to be that from sin, the second that from the grave: and in the figured new heavens and earth recognizes the renovation of this our world. [62]

Bale, Bishop of Ossory under Edward VI, and twice an exile from England, viz. in 1540 under Henry VIII, and in 1553 under Mary, [63] next calls for our notice. - He published his Apocalyptic Commentary, under the significant title “Image of both Churches,” i.e. of the true and the false, shortly, as it would seem, before Bullinger’s [64] It consists of three Parts, published at three different times, and paged as separate volumes: the first with frequent marginal references to previous authors, of the incorrect printing of which he complains grievously; [65] the other two, in consequence, without. His first Preface gives a very copious list of Apocalyptic expositors, from the earliest period; which I think it may be well to abstract below. [66]

The Seals he explains, much like other Reformers, to prefigure, as they were opened, the mysteries of the seven ages of Christ’s Church, though not without certain peculiarities in the details: - 1. Christ and his apostles’ triumphant progress: 2. the earlier heretics figured by the red horse, and Pagan Roman persecutors figured by its rider with the great sword: 3. the Arians, Pelagians, and all false Prelates; with the Devil, holding his deceitful pair of balances, for their rider: 4 Popery as commencing with Boniface I, and Mahommedism with Mahomet; the horse symbolizing “the universal synagogue of hypocrites, or dissembling Church of Antichrist; pale as men without health,” and ridden by “Death and Damnation:” [67] 5. the martyrdom of Christ’s saints, specially by the Papal Antichrist; e.g. those of the Publicans, [68] Albigenses, and Waldenses: 6. the convulsions of Antichrist’s kingdom, now at length revealed in its real character: convulsions begun under Wicliff, [69] continued under Huss, and now experienced yet more: the true sun Christ eclipsed in it; the moon-figured Church, once fair, now taught only of flesh and blood; the stars, or doctors, fallen from Christ’s heavenly doctrine, &c.; the heaven of true doctrine past away; their mountains too of strength passing from before them, under the preaching of the Word and with fearful looking-for of judgment. [70] - In the Sealing Vision the Angels of the winds are explained to mean Antichrist and his agents, seeking to withhold the Holy Spirit: and the sealing of the 144,000 as figuring Christ’s intervention to mark and seal his true Church; an intervention specially evident at the time then present. - In the 7th Seal the half-hour’s silence betokened the peace then to be given to the Christian Church, when Babylon shall have fallen, the Beast been slain, and the Dragon tied for 1000 years. For, as all the age after Christ is called by John “the last hour,” [71] this half-hour may well mean the 1000 years of Apoc. xx. “In the time of which sweete silence shall Israel be revyved, the Jewes be converted, the heathen come in agayne; and Christ seeke up his lost sheepe, and brying hym agauyne to hys folde; that they maye appeare one flock, lyke as they have one shepeherde.”

The æras of the Trumpets Bale, like others before him, identifies with those of the Seals: [72] - the 1st being figurative of the wicked Jews and Gentiles, opposed to and persecuting the Christians in the apostolic æra; the 2nd of false brethren, inciting the Roman emperors against Christians; the 3rd of heretics, such as Arius, Eutyches, Valens, that fell by apostasy from Christ’s Church, and poisoned by their heresies the streams of religious doctrine; the 4th of the progress of superstition, image-worship, and hypocrisy, obscuring the light of truth, and ending in Popery and Mahommedism. - Then the Woe-denouncing Angel he makes to be men like Joachim Abbas, raising their warning-voice; followed afterwards by such as Arnold and Savanarola. The fallen star of the 5th Trumpet Bale explains as “the shyning multitude of prelates, pastours, and relgious fathers, fallen away from the doctryne of the Spyrite” in the middle age: darkening the light by false teachers, as by smoke from hell: and from which came swarms of Cardinals, Popes, Abbots, monks of every order, schoolmen, &c., like beasts. The 6th Trumpet’s horsemen from the Euphrates (the river of Babylon) he expounds to mean the Antichristian Papists, ever prepared for evil, whether at the hour, day, month, or year: many, however, from among the four angels (whom he pretty much identifies with the horsemen) “that were sometime Antichristes, hypocrites, tyrauntes, and murtherers, having been loosened from Euphrates by the present age’s gospel-Trumpet’s sounding;” “the Lord having anoynted many with his Spirit in this age to preache delyveraunce to the captive, and to pen the pryson to them that were in bondage.” [73]

The Vision of Apoc. x. Bale explains clearly and strikingly, just as Bullinger, or the Reformation: the book opened being the Scriptures; the Angel, the gospel-preachers of the Reformation, whose light is to be seen alike in the isles and on the continent; the seven thunders, God’s fearful coming judgments: which fact was to be noted, though the mysteries were sealed up and hid; such as about the hour and day of judgment, of which knoweth no man. As to the time, times, and half a time of Daniel, which seemed alluded to in the Angel’s oath, the time was that from Daniel to Christ; the times, the ages from Christ to the 7th Seal’s opening, and 7th Trumpet’s sounding; the half-time, that from thenceforth, wherein the days shall be shortened for the elect’s sake. Of which 7th Trumpet the sounding must be near, though when we know not. And then in that 7th age of the Church all shall be finished. So “are the faithful to be ascertained that their final redemption is at hand. [74]

In Apoc. xi. (which begins his second Part and Volume) Bale makes the measuring-rod to be God’s word, “now graciously sent us out of Zion, by men having his special grace, as by John, to have dominion heere in the midst of his enemies:” [75] the temple, God’s congregation or Church, defined and discriminated by his word from the synagogue of Satan; the altar, Christ; the Gentiles cast out, Popish prelates and priests that forsake Christ; the Holy City, “the living generation of them that fear the love God;” the two Witnesses, faithful protesters for Christ, that continue with God’s people all through the time of the Church’s oppression by the Gentiles; and that were never in more power than now, in this sixth age of the Church. - Of the Witnesses’ slaughter by the Beasts Antichrist, when they have individually finished their testimony, and their reviving in others, much, says he, has been already fulfilled, though something remains to be accomplished yet. The 3 1/2 days of their exposure, or 7 half-days, he supposes to be the seven ages of the Church. The Witnesses being seen by their enemies to ascend to heaven, is illustrated from the acknowledgment often made even here by Romanists, to their having been godly men. The “tenth part of the city falling,” is the decay of the riches of the Papal Church. - “Thus,” says Bale, in concluding this subject, “have we heere what is done already; and what is to come under this sixt Trumpet, whereunder we are now, which all belongeth to the second wo.” [76] The 7th Trumpet, he adds, is to introduce the full declaration of God’s word, and peaceable time figured by the half-hour’s silence. Which, however, will not always continue; as there is to follow in that last age the outbreak of Gog and Magog, and the last judgment. [77]

Passing to Apoc. xii., Bale interprets the vision of the Woman and Dragon much as others before him. The woman is the Church bringing forth Christ in his members; the Dragon, the Devil; the Dragon’s seven heads having a probable reference, he conjectures, 1st, (and before the flood,) to the serpent, in which form he first tempted man; 2. to the calf, as the early object of idolatry; 3, 4, 5, 6, to Daniel’s lion, bear, leopard, and terrible Beast; 7. to man; this last figuring the Papacy. - In Apoc. xiii. he makes the first Beast to be “the universal or whole Antichrist;” including all Antichrist’s members, from the beginning of the Christian æra. And thus “none other is this Beast, here described, than was the pale horse in the 4th age, the cruel multitude of locusts in the fifth age, and the horses of incomparable lewdness for the sixt.” His seven heads he makes the same as the Dragon’s; the deadly wound of the 7th head, that by the Reformation; [78] the healing of it accomplished by the partial re-establishment of Popery, as now in England under Bishops Bonner and Gardiner, “with authority to hang and burn at pleasure, by act of Parliament:” [79] the duration of which healed head however will be but short, as shown us in Apoc. xvii. - As to the second Beast, it figures false prophets and teachers, such as have been even from the world’s beginning; the lamb’s horns indicating their counterfeiting of Christ and Christianity: the Beast’s image, Popish emperors and kings, [80] now especially, speaking as dictated by their Confessors: the Beast’s name and number perhaps (as earlier Expositors suggest) the names antemov, arnoume, (this Bale specially affects,) [81] teitan, or Dic Lux: or perhaps Dialolus Incarnatus, or Filius Perditionis; which two last want but 4 and 6 respectively of the fated number 666. Bale also adds, as adopted from “a certain unnamed disciple of Wielif,” (he should have rather said from Joachim Abbas, [82] ) a suggestion of the 600 indicating the world’s 6 ages till Christ’s coming, the 60 the 6 æras since Christ to the ending sabbath, the 6 that ending sabbath itself.

In Apoc. xiv. he explains the 144,000 as “the universal congregation of Christ, (contradistinctively to that of Antichrist,) all clear from the superstitions of men:” their song of harmonious voice, of God’s holy word. The three flying Angels, next following, he interprets very much as Bullinger, and with special reference to the time of the Reformation: also the earth’s harvest and vintage as close at hand. The seven Vials Bale makes to synchronize with the seven æras of the Seals and Trumpets. Passing over the rest, the drying up of the Euphrates in the 6th, under which Bale supposed men then were, was the drying up of the worldly spirit; “pompes, possessions, and pleasures of he Antichristian church of Babylon:” not till the completion of which will the way of the kings from the sunrising be prepared, or “governors rule according to Christ’s doctrine.” Also the three frogs he explains as the spirits of idolatry, filthy superstition, and hypocrisy; even then gathering the Antichristian powers to battle against Christ and Christ’s ministers. - In Apoc. xvii. John’s being carried by the Spirit into the wilderness, to behold the vision of the Harlot, is resembled to the then recent escape of many of the Reformers out of Babylon: [83] that the Beast “was” is explained of the Antichristianism of the pre-Judaic and Judaic times: that it is not refers to the destruction in St. John’s time of the Antichristian Judaic power; and yet is, was meant of its revival in the Popes and Mahomet. Also its seven heads meant alike the seven hills of Rome, and the seven monarchies of the seven climates of the world: 5 heads having fallen from Rome’s universal monarchy, viz. all in Africa, Asia, and part of Europe; the 6th being the feeble Roman Western Empire remaining; the 7th the spiritual empire of the Popedom raised by Phocas. [84] As to the ten kings (which, says he, some think to be England, France, Spain, Portugal, Castile, Denmark, Scotland, Hungary, Bohemia, and Naples,) they received authority at one hour with the Beast, when at the 4th Lateran Council they were allied together for a crusade, and had Papal confession enjoined on them. And, while omitting all primary reference of the statement about the ten horns tearing the whore to the Gothic and Vandal desolations of Old Rome, he anticipates Bullinger’s other view of the prophecy’s reference also to the time of the end: saying that it is reserved as their destiny to tear and desolate the harlot Rome: a thing already indeed begun, not only by secular rulers, but even ecclesiastical, as Cranmer, Latimer, Luther, Zuingle, Calvin, Bullinger, [85] &c.

In Apoc. xix., Bale says, on the Lamb’s bridal; “Sence the begynning of the world have the faithfule prepared for this heavenlye marriage; and in the resurrection of the righteous shall it be perfectly solemnized, celebrated, and magnified; such time as they shal appear in full glory with Christ. In this latter time will the true Christian Church be of her perfect age, when all the world shall confesse his name in peace, and apte unto this spousage.” - Yet on the millennium, Apoc. xx., contrary to his previous identification of it with this coming period of rest and evangelization of the world, [86] a period destined to follow on the destruction of the Popedom, he reverts to the old Augustinian solution: making it the 1000 years from Christ’s ascension to Pope Sylvester II: so Wicliff, says he, in his book De Solutione Sathanæ. Then was the Devil loosed in the Papal supremacy; and the Turks also, as Gog and Magog; though no doubt the foundations of the Popedom were laid 400 years earlier by Phocas. It was now at length a plenary loosing; but only “for a little while:” as Berenger, and then the Waldenses, Wicliffites, &c., very soon after opposed the Papacy; and subsequently, yet more, the Reformers Luther, &c. “And I doubt not but within few dayes the mightie breath of Christ’s mouth, which is his lyving gospele, shall utterly distroye hym.”

On the new heaven and earth Bale professes to look for an earth purified and renovated by the fire of judgment, “goyng before the Judge;” very much as in King Edward’s Catechism, cited by me at p. 102 of this Volume.

4. A brief notice may suffice of the two interpreters Chytræus and Marlorat, who published some twenty years later, in the middle æra of the Reformation; for they both very much followed in the track of their predecessors.

Thus in David Chytræus’ Explicatio Apocalypsis, published Wittenberg 1571, the six first Seals are made to depict the gospel-progress, wars, famines, pestilences, persecutions, and political commotions, &c., as from time to time repeated, or continued, throughout the whole time of the Church; and the Sealing Vision the multitudes sealed and saved through all this same period. Of the Trumpets the four first Chytræus interprets of the heresies of Tatian, Marcion, Origen, and Novatus; so as Luther, says he, in his Bible, “ad marginem Editionis Germanicæ:” the 5th, of the Papacy, as established by Gregory and Phocas’ Decree; the 6th, of the Saracens and Turks; the Euphrates being specified, says Chytræus, with a more specific geographical reference than others, because of the Saracen capital Bagdad being situated by it. - The Angel vision in Apoc. x. is Christ’s succouring the Church in those times of darkness, by opening the Scriptures and raising up true preachers: [87] John’s charge to prophecy again being given him, not so much in his personal as in his representative character: the office assigned to these gospel preachers being to attack the Papal and Mahometan errors, till the 7th Trumpet’s sounding, or the end of the world. - In Apoc. xi. the figuration of the temple showed that even in the worst times, under Popery and Mahommedanism, there would be a Church of God, recognizing the true altar, or Christ in his characters of Priest and Mediator; and the exclusion directed of the outer court meant God’s own exclusion of Papists; boasting themselves to be the true Church, but rejected by the measuring rod of God’s law. The 1260 days of the Gentiles treading the holy city are to be explained, Chytræus adds, as angelic days, i.e. as 1260 years: and to be calculated (I noted this a little previously [88] ) perhaps from Alaric’s taking Rome, A.D. 412, perhaps from Phocas’ Decree, A.D. 606; on the former of which suppositions the date of ending would be A.D. 1672; on the latter, 1866. Correspondently with which view of that mystic period the two Witnesses signified all Christ’s successive witnesses during the 42 months of Antichrist’s reign; such, says he, as have been recently detailed in the “Catalogus Testium.” [89] Their death and speedy revival he explains, like Bullinger and others, to signify the speedy revival of other witnessing and witnesses, on each individual occasion of their temporary suppression by Antichrist. - In Apoc. xiii. he follows Bullinger in making the first Beast the old Pagan Roman Empire; explaining too its seven heads after him: only he makes the wounding of the seventh head to be that of the Goths. I should have observed that he notes on the 1260 days, how some had explained them of the Interim, from May 15, 1548 to the beginning of 1552: - the first introduction this, I believe, of the Interim into Protestant Apocalyptic interpretation. The second Beast is Rome Pontifical; the image of the Beast the Western Empire, the shadow of the old one. - The Beast’s name and number some, he says, explained as a title, e.g. Aateinov; some as chronologically marking the time from Christ to Phocas or Pepin. - The millennium is 1000 years from Christ to Gregory VII and the Turks.

Augustin Marlorat’s Exposition of the Revelation of St. John, published A.D. 1574, with a dedication to Sir. W. Mildmay, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Elizabeth, is professedly collected out of divers notable writers of the Protestant Churches; viz. Bullinger, Calvin, Gaspar Meyander, Justus Jonas, Lambertus, Musculus, Œcolampadius, Pellicanus, Meyer, Viret. - The first novelty that I observe in it is on the 2nd Trumpet; where the figure of the burning mountain cast into the sea is explained of the Roman empire swallowed up, as in the sea, by Christ’s kingdom. The 5th Trumpet is applied to Mahomet and the Pope; the 6th to the Papal Antichrist yet more strongly. - On Apoc. x. I mark the clear decisive explanation of its Angel-Vision usual among the Reformers, as figuring the opening of the Scriptures, and revived gospel-preaching at the Reformation: also the exclusion of the outer court in Apoc. xi., as signifying the exclusion of Papists: there being here, however, in Marlorat this variation, that on the Angel’s oath, living securely as he did under the Protestant Queen Elizabeth, he not unnaturally expresses a strong opinion that the 2nd Woe had past in time, even though the 7th Trumpet might not have sounded. - In Apoc. xii. he interprets the Dragon’s seven heads like Bale: in Apoc. xiii., the first Beast as Antichrist and his kingdom: (the deadly wound, made by Mahomet, being healed by the Popes:) the Beast’s image as the images of saints; the Beast’s name and number, much as Chytræus. Finally, in Apoc. xx. he explains the millennium as the period from Christ to Antichrist; during which Satan, he says, was restrained: and he takes occasion on it to reprobate the errors of the Chiliasts.

A word, ere I pass to the last quarter of this century, on Bibliander: an expositor contemporary with the two former; and who, in his exposition of the Seals, as I learn from Foxe, [90] offered certain noticeable novelties. Like Berengaud he supposed them to symbolize successive ages of the world from the beginning: but not the same as Berengaud. According to Bibliander the 1st Seal figures the age from Creation to the Flood; the 2nd from the Flood to Moses; the 3rd from Moses to Christ; the 4th from Christ to Constantine; the 5th from Constantine to the commencement of Papal supremacy by Phocas’ grant, and of Mahommedanism by Mahomet about A.D. 606; the 6th (including Pepin and Charlemagne’s acts of aggrandizement to the Roman Church) from Phocas to the Councils of Constance and Basle A.D. 1431; [91] the 7th from thence to the consummation.

5. In conclusion of my Historic Sketch of Protestant Apocalyptic Expositors of the century and æra of the Reformation, I shall now briefly state the opinions of Foxe, Brightman, and Pareus; expositors who published in the last quarter of that century, as dated from A.D. 1517.

The Exposition by Foxe, our venerable English Martyrologist, was written (as appears by two chronological notices in the book) in the year 1586; [92] and had been only advanced to Apoc. xvii., when the work was interrupted by his death. [93] The next year it was published by his son, under the modest title of Eicasmi in Apocalypsin; (Conjectures on the Apocalypse;) with a Dedication to Archbishop Whitgift; in size making a thin folio of about 400 pages. It seems to me to deserve attention, not merely from the venerable character of the writer; but also from the learning and original thought and views manifest in the Commentary itself.

Thus, to begin, [94] he makes the horses and horsemen of the four first Seals to signify the same four great empires of the world that were previously symbolized by Daniel’s four beasts, the Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Roman: [95] the fifth picturing primarily the Christian martyrdoms under Pagan Rome, from Nero to Diocletian: secondarily, and by the intimation added, “till their brethren should be killed even as they,” the later succession of martyrs also, slain under Antichrist, whereby was to be made up the Christian martyrs’ complement: which later succession, having commenced from the time of Satan’s loosing 1000 years after Constantine, [96] or near about the æra of Wicliff, had when Foxe wrote amounted to the same number ten, [97] as the successive persecutions of the Christian Church under Rome Pagan. - On the sixth he compares its symbols of the earthquake and the elemental convulsions with similar ones in Isaiah and Joel, denoting Babylon’s overthrow and Jerusalem’s respectively; as well as others figuring the last judgment. And he thence infers that it may signify primarily the overthrow, following on the completion of the first set of martyrs, of the Roman Pagan persecuting emperors and empire accomplished by Constantine: yet so as to symbolize also, secondly and chiefly, the greater day of judgment; on the completion of the second and final set of Christian martyrs, slain by Antichrist. Which judgment, Foxe thought, might be regarded as very near at hand.

The Sealing Vision, included in the same sixth Seal, showed the preservation of the saints at this period of the judgment, amidst the physical disturbances of the mundane system, (for the stagnation of the winds, the literal winds, indicated a stop in the usual course of nature,) [98] and conflagration of the world; just as the fate of the antichristian and wicked had been depicted in the previous figuration: the 144,000 sealed, whom Foxe identifies with the innumerable body of the palm-bearers, being the universal church of the redeemed.- Then, the half-hours silence in heaven, Foxe, dissatisfied with other views, conjectures to mean the peace of the world under Augustus, preceding Christ’s birth: and that the prayers of all saints that followed, being prayers of the saints after Christ’s death and ascension, while under persecution from Jews and Romans, brought down on their persecutors the judgments symbolized in the Trumpets. Thus Trumpet 1 was the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; Trumpet 2 the plague and other troubles under Aurelius, after the fourth Pagan persecution: Trumpet 3 the plague under Decius of which Cyprian wrote, and that far greater one, together with all the other troubles, under Gallienus; Trumpet 4 the convulsions and quenching of the political lights of the Roman empire by Goths, Vandals, and Lombards; [99] Trumpet 5 the woes possibly of the Papacy, but more probably in Foxe’s opinion of Mahommedanism, the one from Phocas, the other from Mahomet; [100] (the five months specified having reference simply to the time of the natural locusts, that constituted the figure, making their ravages;) [101] Trumpet 6 the Turks. On which last point Foxe is very strong. “It is clearer than the light itself,” he says, “that this is the main intent of the Trumpet.” [102] He dates the Turks’ power in Asia from A.D. 1051, when the alliance was formed by them with the Caliph of Bagdad; [103] and traces their history thence downward to A.D. 1573.

“And the rest,” it is said, Apoc. ix. 20, “repented not of worshipping idols, &c.” The Anglo-Rhemenses, observes Foxe, [104] explains this of heathen idols. But were the Greeks that have been slain and enslaved by the Turks, worshippers of such idols? - Then he proceeds to the vision of Apoc. x., xii.; all under the same sixth Trumpet, “in quâ hactenus versamur.” [105] In Apoc. x. the magnificent vision of Christ, there given, signified chiefly two things: - 1st, the restoration of gospel-preaching, “Thou must prophesy again;” the book in the Angel’s hand figuring God’s word, and John being a representative person on the scene of vision: 2nd, a declaration of the surely approaching judgment under the seventh Trumpet. [106] He explains both these of his own æra, though as begun indeed earlier, even from the time of Wicliff: (times included likewise in the Turkish woe-period, or 6th Trumpet;) and he refers in one place, as illustrative, to the wonderful discovery of printing. Mark specially, he observes more than once, the word “Prophesy again.” [107] It implies there having been previously a cessation of it; so as in fact for centuries under the Papacy. - Then, preparatorily to the next vision, Foxe has a dissertation to show that the great Antichrist of Scripture prophecy is the Pope, not the Turk; and the temple he was to sit in, the Christian Church. Accordingly in Apoc. xi. the temple is the Church; its inner court true worshippers, its outer false: also the measuring it indicated its reparation and reformation, during the then current woe of the sixth Trumpet, “as in our day.” This reformation implied a previous corruption of it, he adds, by Antichrist: the progress of which he traces. - As to the 42 months, during which the Holy City was to be trodden down, it was no doubt the same as the 42 months of Apoc. xii., xiii. And this, arguing from the length of the Jewish and Roman Pagan persecutions of the Church, from Herod’s beheading of St. John to Constantine, and which he computed at 294 (?) years, [108] he deemed to be on the scale of one month to seven years; a singular scale, applied however by him to the number in Daniel also! This then would be the duration of the Turks and Pope jointly oppressing the Church; a term equal to that of the Jews and Pagan’s oppression of it, till Constantine. And as from Satan’s loosing and the rise of the Ottomans, A.D. 1300, 286 years of the term had, when Foxe wrote, elapsed, there would now remain of it but eight years more. - Similarly the Witnesses’ 1260 days of prophesying in sackcloth, dated by Foxe from A.D. 1300, would on the scale before mentioned have to end in 1594. At the same time he mentions Aretius’ and Chytræus’ view of the period, as one of angelic days, i.e. of years: ending, if measured from Constantine, in 1572; if from Alaric, (A.D. 412,) in 1672; if from Phocas, in the year 1866. [109] - The witnesses prophesying 1260 days in sackcloth, and then being killed by the Beast, he explains of the proceedings of the Council of Constance in the condemnation of Huss and Jerome: (so too, he says, Bibliander:) its first Session having been Dec. 8, 1414; and last, May 22, 1418, just 3 1/2 years after. After which time their principles, thought to have been suppressed, soon revived. Foxe dwells long and minutely on this history; deeming it evidently a very remarkable fulfillment of the prophecy. [110] - Since which time the revived Witnesses had come down to the time of Luther and the Reformers. - All this had been under the sixth or Turkish Trumpet; which Foxe regarded as then, when he wrote, near its end: the 7th Trumpet being thus close at hand; when the Church would have its time of blessedness accomplished, in Christ’s coming and the saints’ resurrection.

In Apoc. xii. the Woman travailing was God’s true Church, - that same of which David in his 87 Psalm described the glory: [111] the Dragon, the Devil; seeking through Herod to destroy Christ at his birth, and persecuting him afterwards till his death and ascension. After which event Woman flying into the wilderness, which from the more immediate observation and fury of the enemy, like the caves and dens of the earth spoken of in (Heb. xi. 38, “(Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”,) [112] had for 1260 mystic days, meaning 294 years, as stated before, i.e. until the time of Constantine, (and the Devil’s coincident millennial binding,) to undergo oppression and persecution. [113] - The first Beast of Apoc. xiii. is explained by Foxe, as by Bullinger, of the heathen Roman emperors: his seven heads, besides their primary signification of Rome’s seven hills, meaning either, so as Bullinger had interpreted them, the seven original kings of Rome, or, as Chytræus, the seven Julian emperors to Nero; or perhaps, as Peter Artopæus and D. Fulco, (Foxe should have added the earlier Osiander,) the seven orders of chief ruling magistrates, Kings, Consuls, Decembirs, Dictators, Triumvirs, Cæsars, and Emperors of foreign ancestry. [114] (Let my readers mark this very important step of progress in Apocalyptic interpretation.) The ten horns Foxe inclines to interpret as the emperors who originated the ten Roman Pagan persecutions of the Church. The 42 mystic months of his ruling as a persecutor were to be taken, as before, to signify 42 x 7, or 294 years. And here Foxe recounts, somewhat mysteriously, that his secret of the mystic numbers, and true scale of computation intended, had been revealed to a friend of his, a martyrologist; meaning, I presume, himself. [115] - The Beast’s head wounded was fulfilled in the Goths’ destruction of old Rome; its healing, in the uprising of the Roman Papal supremacy. - So he comes to the second Beast; which he interprets of course as the Popes, or Antichrist: who, while reviving the old Roman Empire that had been wounded to death, [116] fulfilled also the symbol of two horns like a lamb by their hypocritical pretensions to Christianity; as also indeed, agreeably with the Apocalyptic sketch, to miracles. It had in Hebrew the name VWGxmr (Romanus) =  666; a name which Foxe preferred to others of the same numeral value in Greek or Latin: and in the oaths of fealty to the Romish Church, imposed on all functionaries, secular and ecclesiastical, stamped them as it were the Papal character or mark. [117]

Of the Apocalyptic Vials the five first were explained by Foxe as woes poured out on the old Roman empire; the other two on that of Papal Rome: viz. 1. Gallienus’ elkov or plague; 2. and 3. the bloodshed in the civil and foreign wars of the persecuting emperors; 4. the plagues of drought and famine about the same æra; [118] 5. Rome’s destruction (the seat of the Beast) by the Goths; 6. the Turkish plague from the Euphrates, the same as in the 6th Trumpet. [119]

The millennium, or 1000 years of Satan’s binding, he explains, as I before observed, of the 1000 years from Constantine to the acme of Papal supremacy, and the outbreak of Ottoman Turks, about 1300, A.D.

On the whole, the following points seem to me chiefly notable in Foxe’s very valuable and interesting Commentary: viz. his reference of the fifth and sixth Seals, partially at least, to Diocletian’s persecution and the revolution under Constantine; his strong and distinctive application of the 6th Trumpet to prefigure the Turks; his application of the visions in Apoc. x., xi., of the Angel’s descent, John’s prophesying, and the measuring of the temple, to the Church’s revival in the Reformation; and his explanation, after Fulco and Artopæus, of the seven heads of the Beast; all advances in the right path, I conceive, if not altogether correct: - also his date of Satan’s binding, as one to be computed from Constantine; Foxe being, I believe, the first so to compute it. He was followed herein soon after by the Romanist Alcasar. Here I conceive him to have been quite in error; as also in that on which he thought himself favored with peculiar discernment; viz. the scale on which the prophetic periods were to be calculated.

Passing over Junius, as an Apocalyptic expositor not so important as to call for any detailed notice, [120] I proceed to one of whom it is my duty to speak fully and particularly, I mean Brightman. His Commentary, which is dedicated to “the holy reformed Churches of Britany, Germany, and France,” appears to have been written and first published in the year A.D. 1600, or 1601, before the death of Queen Elizabeth. [121] It is one of great vigor both in thought and language; and deservedly one of the most popular with the Protestant Churches of the time. He himself gives a brief summary of it; which I here subjoin, with a few illustrative Notes. [122]

“Apoc. vi. The Seals. 1. The truth is first of all opened, and overcometh, [ this is the white horse,] under Trajan, Hadrian, and Antoninus Pius; [123] at the voice of the first Beast, Quadratus, Aristides, and Justin Martyr. 3. At the voice of the second Beast, (viz. the same Justin Melito of Sardis, and Apollinarius,) cometh forth the red horse under Marcus Antonius Versus, confounding all things with wars. [124] 5. The third seal being opened, the third Beast, Tertullian, crieth out under Severus the emperor, when the black horse scourgeth the world with famine and barrenness. 7. The fourth seal is opened; and then speaks the fourth Beast Cyprian, Decius being emperor; when the pale horse wasted all with war, famine, pestilence, and wild beasts. 9. The fifth is opened, [125] and some intermission of the public persecution given under Claudius, Quintilius, Aurelian, and the rest, till the 19th year of Diocletian. 12. The sixth is opened, when Diocletian and Maximian Herculius rage: till at length they were cast out of their empire by the power of the Lamb; for fear of whom those tyrants fled, and hid themselves. [126]

“Apoc. vii. The seventh seal offereth first a general type of all the ages following. 1. When wicked men were ready to trouble all the world with contention, ambition, heresy, war, they are restrained by Constantine the Great; till he had sealed the elect, by providing for the faithful (who were few and living in obscurity) in that great calamity of the Church which straightway followed. 9. Which rueful time being at least passed over, the prosperity and happiness of the faithful grew great. [127]

“Apoc. viii. Secondly, to this seventh seal belongeth the silence that was in heaven: i.e. peace procured by Constantine. 2. The trumpets are prepared, and Constantine calleth the Nicene Council to cut off troubles; which yet by it are more increased. 6 The Angles sound the trumpets; at the sound of the first whereof the contentions of the Arians about the word co-essential arose. 8. At the sound of the second, the burning mountain of ambition is cast into the sea, by the decree concerning the primacy and dignity of bishops. 10. At the third the star falleth from heaven; the Arian heresy being defended by Constantius and Valens. 12. At the fourth, the third part of the sun (the Church of Africa) is smitten by the Vandals. 13. The world is warned concerning more grievous Trumpets to ensue by Gregory the Great.

Apoc. ix. 1. At the fifth sounding the bottomless pit is opened, [128] and swarms of locusts crawl out: that is, of religious persons in the West, of Saracens in the East. [129] 13. At the sixth the Turks invade the world, which is punished for the Romish idolatry. [130]

“Apoc. x. 1. At what time the Turks rise up, the study of the truth [131] in many in the Western parts is kindled. 9. By whose endeavor the interpretation of Scripture is restored again to the earth. [132]

“Apoc. xi. 1. Prophecy being restored, there was a more full knowledge of the age part: namely, that the Church from Constantine’s time for 1260 years was hidden in the secret part of the temple; [133] the Romans in the mean time boasting of the holy city and outmost court. 7. And that, at the end of those years, [134] the Bishops of Rome shall wage war against the Church, cut the throat of the Scriptures with his Council of Trent, yea, make very carcasses of them, and triumph over them for three years and a half; and should also, by the help of force and arms from Charles the Fifth, tread upon the saints in Germany: who yet, after three years and a half, lived again in the men of Magdeburg and Mauritius; [135] struck the enemies with a great fear; and overthrew the tenth part of the empire of Rome. 15. The seventh Angel soundeth; and about the year 1558, Christ getting himself new kingdoms; England, Ireland, Scotland embracing the Gospel. [136]

“Apoc. xii. The first part of the seventh trumpet giveth yet a more full light into the state of the age past; the century-writers of Magdeburg being raised up by God. [137] The whole matter is repeated from the beginning: and we are taught; - 1. that the first Church of the Apostles was most pure, yet most of all afflicted by the Dragon, [138] i.e. the Roman heathenish emperors, who endeavored with all their might that no way might be given to any Christian to the highest empire: - 5. at length that Constantine the Great was born, the male child of the Church; at whose birth, though the first purity fled into the wilderness from the eyes of men, yet this Constantine threw down the Dragon from heaven, the heathenish emperors being driven out, and put from ever reigning again in or against the Church: - 13. that, all hostile power being taken from the Dragon, he persecuted the Church under the Christian name by Constantius and Valens: - 15. and that he sought to overwhelm her, fleeing from him, with an inundation of barbarians rushing in upon the West; 17. which flood being dried up, he stirred up the war of the Saracens.

“Apoc. xiii. 1. The Dragon being cast out of heaven by Constantine, he substituted the Beast to be his Vicar there; which Beast is the Pope of Rome, who sprung up at once with Constantine, was made great by the Nicene Council, was wounded by the Goths invading Italy, was healed by Justinian and Phocas, and thenceforth made greater than ever before. 11. The second Beast is the same Pope of Rome, enlarged in his dimensions by Pepin and Charles the Great; who gave him a new kind of springing up, whence he grew extremely wicked. [139]

“Apoc. xiv. For 1000 years from Constantine, the Church abiding in most secret places, was hidden together with Christ, but did no great matter famous and remarkable by the world. 6. Those 1000 years being ended, Wickliff preached the Gospel in the world. 8. John Huss and Jerome of Prague succeeded him, who threatened the fall of Rome. 9. After these followed Martin Luther, inveighing most bitterly against the Pope of Rome. 14. After that there is a harvest made in Germany by Frederic of Saxony, the rest of the Protestant Princes, and the free cities. 17. After that a vintage in England by Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Cranmer.

“Apoc. xv. Hitherto reacheth the first part of the 7th Trumpet concerning things past. 1. A preparation of things to come is of the seven Angels with their Vials. 2. The reformed Churches dissent amongst themselves; yet all triumph over the Pope of Rome, he being vanquished. 5. The temple is opened, and knowledge increaseth, and the citizens of the Church are made the ministers of the last plague; the issue whereof the new people of the Jews expect, before they come to the faith.

“Apoc. xvi. The Vials are poured out. The first, our most gracious Queen Elizabeth, and other Protestant princes; by means whereof the Popish crew are filled full of ulcerous envy. 3. The second by Martin Chemnitius upon the Council of Trent; whereby the sea of Popish doctrine was made full of filthy matter, and carrion-like contagion, by the Jesuits, the masters of controversies. 4. The third by William Cecil upon the Jesuits, who are the fountains of Popish doctrine; until when our times proceed. - The rest of the Vials are to come; yet shortly to be poured out. 8. The fourth upon the sun, i.e. the Scriptures; with the light whereof men shall be tormented, and shall break out into great anger and contentions. 10. The fifth upon the city of Rome, the throne of the Beast. 12. The sixth upon Euphrates; whereby a way shall be prepared for the Jews of the East, that, after they have embraced the faith of the Gospel, they should return into their own country: when there shall be a great preparation of war; partly by the Turk against these new Christians in the East, partly by the Pope in the West. 17. The seventh upon the air, whereby the mystery shall be made perfect: the Turkish and Popish name being both quite destroyed; and the Church also being established in as great happiness as can be looked for upon the earth.

“Apoc. xvii. 1. The first execution of the fifth Vial upon the throne of the Beast; wherein it shall be demonstrated by most certain arguments, by some man of no great account in the world, [140] both that Rome is the seat of Antichrist, and that it became the seat since the Roman emperors were banished thence.

“Apoc. xviii. The second execution of the fifth Vial is final destruction of the city of Rome by three angels: - 1. the first descending out of heaven; 4. the second exhorting the Romans to fight, [qu. flight?] and describing both the lamentations of the wicked, as also the joy of the faithful; 21. the third confirming this everlasting destruction of a great millstone cast into the sea.

“Apoc. xix. The joy of the saints is described because of the destruction of Rome. The sixth Vial is explained, and the calling of the Jews is taught. A preparation likewise of war: partly in respect of Christ the captain, and soldiers; partly in respect of the enemies. 20. The seventh Vial is declared by the destruction of the false prophet, the Pope of Rome, the Western enemy and his armies.

“Apoc. xx. 1. The whole history of the Dragon is repeated, such as he was in the heathen emperors before his imprisonment: 2. such as he was in prison, whereinto he was cast by Constantine, and bound for 1000 years; all which space there was a contention between the elect and the Pope of Rome: and after that was at length ended, the first resurrection is brought to pass; many from all places in the West, with all their endeavor, seeking to attain to the sincere religion. [141] 7. Together with this resurrection Satan is loosed, and the Turk, with the Scythians Gog and Magog: who now, destroying a great part of the earth, shall at length turn their forces against the holy city, i.e. the Jews that shall believe; in which battle the Turkish name shall be quite defaced. 11. The second resurrection is brought to pass by the second and full calling of the Jews. [142]

“Apoc. xxi. The last part of the seventh Vial describeth the happiness of the Church, after all the enemies of it be vanquished; by the new Jerusalem descending out of Heaven, being of a most glorious workmanship.

“Apoc. xxii. 1. It is declared how this happiness shall abound both with drink and with meat, to the use of others, and shall remain for ever. [143] 6. The conclusion confirmeth the whole prophecy, with many most effectual arguments.”

Pareus’ Commentary followed not long after Brightman’s. It was the substance of Lectures, delivered in the year 1608 [144] to the Academy of Heidelberg, over which he presided; but seems not to have been published till the year 1615. [145] - My own edition is an English translation by Elias Arnold; printed Amsterdam, 1644.

In the four first Seals he makes the horse the Church, Christ being its rider: - First white, with reference to its primitive purity; chiefly for the first 200 or 300 years: [146] - next red, with reference to its persecutions and blood-shedding of martyrs by the Pagan emperors, early begun, and running on to Constantine; indeed beyond him to the Arians Constantius, Valens, &c.: - thirdly black, with reference to the heresies that soon darkened it; Christ holding the balance of his word with which to try them, and the words about corn, wine, &c. indicating a spiritual scarcity: - fourthly pale, as with the deadly disease of the hypocrisy and apostasy of Antichristianism: a disease prepared in the clerical and prelatical luxury and pride consequent on the Constantinian revolution; and developed, as having then taken hold of the whole body ecclesiastical, in the time of Gregory and Boniface III; the latter made Universal Bishop by Phocas, and so sitting in the chair of “universal pestilence.” [147] - The fifth Seal depicts the blessedness of the martyrs slain in Christ’s cause “from Nero unto Boniface, the first Antichrist;” with intimation added of another set of martyrs to be slain under Antichrist before the time of vengeance: the sixth Seal, 1. the horrible confusions and calamities from which the Church was to suffer, for 1000 years and more, under the reign of Antichrist; 2. the day of the Lamb’s wrath and judgment against the Antichristians; 3. the preservation meanwhile of a true Church to himself during Antichrist’s reign, viz. “the Church militant,” figured under the 144,000 sealed ones; 4. their ultimate blessedness and songs of victory, “as the Church triumphant,” in heaven. - On the seventh Seal’s opening, Pareus explains the half-hour’s silence to be merely a break and pause, during which St. John rested from the contemplation; a new series of visions being then marked as commencing.

For he makes these visions to retrogress to the times of the beginning of the Christian Church. First, Christ, as having ascended, is seen acting as the High Priest for his people; and sends down the fire of the Holy Ghost on his disciples, in answer to their prayers: - consequent on which are the voices, thunderings, and lightnings; typifying what before was typified under the red, black, and pale horses; and an earthquake, moreover, answering to the revolution in the church and world, caused by the rise of the Papal Antichrist and of Mahomet.

The Trumpets Pareus refers to the same time respectively as the corresponding Seals: the 1st being significant of the injuries to the faithful, from the time of Nero to Domitian; the 2nd, of the bloodshed of the subsequent fiery Pagan persecutions to Constantine; the 3rd, of the preparation for Antichrist, in the rapidly-developed ecclesiastical apostasy; an apostasy fitly figured as a star falling from heaven, and embittering the streams of Church doctrine: the 4th being the darkening of the Church for some 300 years, from Silvester to Gregory I, under the advancing apostasy; the 5th and 6th, the rising of the Western and Eastern Antichrist, or the Popes and Mahomet: the desolations by the former of whom were depicted under the figure of locusts; (the time five months having only reference to the usual time of locusts making their ravages;) those by the latter under that of horses and horsemen from the Euphrates. In the case of the Euphratean horsemen the four angels bound were Arabians, Saracens, Tartars, Turks: the “hour, day, month, and year,” for which they were prepared, designating only their preparation at any day that the Lord should send them. For Pareus, while noticing Brightman’s notable view of this clause, as meaning a period of 396 years from A.D. 1300, measuring the Turkish empire’s duration, hesitates to admit it. - The non-repenting remnant, (Apoc. ix. 20, “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:”), is explained (quite rightly I conceive) of the Papists still persisting in idolatry, after all the Turkish desolations of Christendom.

In Apoc. x. the vision of the Covenant-Angel shows Christ’s provisions for the preservation of a Christian ministry, and for the opening of his word, [148] during all the long times of opposition, especially that under Antichrist. (So that Pareus, like Brightman before him, made a less definite application of this prophecy to the times of the great Lutheran Reformation than some of his Protestant predecessors had one.) - By the seven thunders were meant the thunders of Christ’s servants against tyrants and Antichrist, during the time spoken of. [149] By the Angel’s oath it appeared, he says, that both but one Trumpet more remained after the Turkish woe to the consummation. “Thou must prophesy again,” is applied by him to all the preachers of truth who lived near the end of the 5th and 6th Trumpets; a reformation of the Church being thereby promised, to take place in the last time, so as stated in the next vision of Apoc. xi. Accordingly the temple-measuring he explains of the Church’s reformation, (Antichrist’s followers being excommunicated,) as begun about the time of Huss, continued A.D. 1517. The 1260 days of the Gentiles treading the Holy City he inclines to reckon as 1260 years, beginning from Boniface’s grant of the title of universal Bishop to the Roman Pope, A.D. 606; a period ending, says he, A.D. 1866. [150] But he leaves the decision of this point with God. The two Witnesses he understands indefinitely for all true Christian witnesses: their Anti-Papal witness being developed more and more clearly as Antichrist’s tyranny and iniquity was more and more manifested. [151] Their symbolized slaughter, when individually they had completed their testimony, and the 3 1/2  days’ exposure of their dead bodies in the great city of the Papal empire, had respect to the repeated slaughter, and as repeated revival very speedily, of Christ’s witnessing servants: Foxe’s particular case of Huss and Jerome at Constance, and Brightman’s case of the Council of Trent’s temporary triumph over Protestantism till its revival through Prince Maurice, both included. The Witnesses’ resurrection he explains of the martyred saints’ resurrection literally: and makes the tenth part of the city, that fell, to be the part that fell off from the great city of Papal Christendom at the time of the Reformation.

In Apoc. xii. the Woman (as usual) he makes to be chiefly the Church bringing forth Christ in his members; though the literal view of Christ’s birth of the Virgin Mary might be also in St. John’s mind: the Dragon, the Devil; his seven heads and ten horns symbolizing indefinitely the multitude of earthly powers under him. The battle, or rather war in heaven, is explained 1st spiritually and literally, of the conflict of Christ and Satan; 2nd historically, of Constantine’s being advanced to the throne of the Roman Empire. - The waters cast after the Woman are both heresies, such as the Arian; and also the flood of invading barbarians. The Woman’s 1260 days in the wilderness are to be dated from the Papal Antichrist’s constitution by Phocas, as before; she having been for 300 years, from Constantine to Phocas, in movement thitherward. - In Apoc. xiii. Pareus considers and rejects the idea of the first Beast out of the sea symbolizing the Old Roman Pagan empire; and applies it to the Popedom, with reference to the Pope’s asserted imperial power and authority; his deadly wound being that of the 40 years’ Papal schism, begun A.D. 1378, and healed at Constance. The second Beast was the Papal Antichrist in his character of a seducing Prelate; the head with the members, or whole crew of his seducing priests The image of the Beast Pareus deems to be one image for many; meaning the images of saints, which the Papal Beast requires men to worship. The name and number he makes with Irenæus and Foxe, respectively, to be Aateinov and VWGxmW - In Apoc. xiv. the first preaching Angel is explained as Wicliffe and Huss; the second as Luther; the third all faithful preachers since Luther. - In Apoc. xvi. the seven last plagues are the plagues under the last of the four periods into which the Christian æra is divided: viz. 1 that to Constantine; 2. that to Phocas; 3. that to Leo and Luther; 4. and last, that after Luther. The first Vial is the ulcerous sores that fell on the Papists from Luther’s Reformation; the 2nd, the deadly decrees of the Council of Trent; the 3rd, the persecuting Papal Bishops and Doctors becoming blood for having shed the saints’ blood, - a plague yet future; the 4th, a fresh heat and light from the Scriptures opened by Christ, yet with the result of only the more enraging the Papists; the 5th, the darkening of Rome from its former luster; the 6th, the drying up of the resources of the Antichristian Babylon or Rome; the 7th, the smiting of the air or natural atmosphere with pestilence, and the universal destruction thence following.

On Apoc. xvii. Pareus explains the Beast to designate Antichrist not simply, but as clothed with the skin of the Roman empire: an empire which “was” under the old government of kings, consuls, &c.; which “is not” because of the Roman ecclesiastical hierarchy not having begun in St. John’s time; and which Is to ascend out of the bottomless pit” at the time of Phocas. Further, the seven kings, answering to the seven hills, are construed by him, after Aretius Napier and Brightman, [152] to signify Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, Military Tribunes, and Emperors, according to the enumeration of Rome’s ruling magistrates given in Tacitus; five having passed away, and the sixth, or Pagan Emperors, holding rule at the time when St. John saw the vision: the seventh head being the Roman Christian Emperors from Constantine, and the eighth the Popes or Antichrist. “And is of the seven,” Pareus understands to mean that this eighth would have the same ruling power as the seven previous (He notes, in passing, that other Protestant expositors made the eighth to be the 7th head, that of the Christian Cæsars. The statement that the ten kings, after rising at one and the same time with the Beast, are to strip and make bare the Woman, or Rome, he speaks of as a thing still future. [153] But they are not, he adds, therewith to destroy the Papal Antichrist; he being destined to survive Rome’s destruction, and to be destroyed only by the brightness of Christ’s coming.

On Apoc. xx. the millennium is explained nearly on the Augustinian principle; Satan having no power, says Pareus, after Christ’s first advent and ministry effectually to maintain Paganism: and that his destined post-millennial loosing was at the time of Antichrist’s full development in Gregory VII; i.e. A.D. 1073. Meanwhile the saints and martyrs did all reign with Christ in heaven after death, during that earlier part of Antichrist’s reign which lasted from 606 to 1073; in which although he was not then fully developed, they had yet to encounter and resist him. (Pareus here takes occasion to controvert the Chiliasts, the first resurrection being spiritual, he says, not corporal.) - Then Gog and Magog are explained as the Turks loosed about the time of Gregory VII.; and finally that it was the heavenly glory of the redeemed that was typified under the figure of the New Jerusalem.

There is much that is valuable in Pareus’ exposition. One point in it that specially deserves notice is his explanation of the two Beasts; distinguishing between them, as he does, as symbolizing the Papa Antichrist the one in his imperial supremacy, the other in his ecclesiastical and prelatic supremacy. He seems however to have overlooked the agreement of the Papal pretensions as Christ’s Vicar with the character of the Antichrist of prophecy: on which pretensions in fact the Pope’s grand super-imperial supremacy was wholly grounded. Nor was he more successful than his predecessors, as I think, in solving the difficulties of the Beast’s seventh head; though clear as to the eighth. On certain other points he appears to me to have retrogressed, rather than advanced.

The reader has now before him pretty much the state in which Apocalyptic interpretation was left among the Protestants, at the close of the æra and century of the Reformation. The advance made by them in it seems to me to have been very great: at least in those parts of the prophecy with which they were most concerned, respecting the Beast Antichrist, the witnesses, and vision of the rainbow-crowned Angel who held the opened biblion, or bibliaridion, in hand, and recommissioned John to prophecy.

But what meanwhile as to the Romish divines and expositors? This was to be our second head of inquiry in the present Section.

II. The ROMISH APOCALYPTIC EXPOSITORS of the æra and century of the Reformation.

It seems, as both Foxe and Brightman report to us, that for some time following the Reformation the Romish Doctors were very shy of the subject. [154] At its first outbreak indeed, on Luther’s anti-Papal protest, some unguarded Doctors of the Papacy, in the true spirit of the 5th Council of Lateran, just then concluded, which had solemnly identified the then existing Romish Church with the New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse. [155] - I say there were certain Doctors, as Prierio and Eck, so unguarded as to take up the Lateran theory, and broadly declare the Papal dominion to be Daniel’s 5th monarchy, or reign of the saints. [156] But what then of the little horn, or Antichrist, that was to intervene, according to Daniel’s declaration, between old Rome’s iron empire and the saints’ reign? The question was so puzzling that it must have been abundantly palpable to all thoughtful Romanists that such a Danielic theory was untenable; and that some better one must be taken up, if the Papal citadel were to be defended on prophetic grounds. The same of the Apocalypse. So at length, as the century was advancing to a close, two stout Jesuits took up the gauntlet; and published their respective, but quite counter, opinions on the Apocalyptic subject: - the one Ribera, a Jesuit Priest of Salamanca, who about A.D. 1585 published an Apocalyptic Commentary, which was on the grand points of Babylon and Antichrist was we now call the futurist scheme: the other Alcasar, also a Spanish Jesuit, but of Serville, whose scheme was on the main points what may be called that of the wholly præterists. Either suited the great object of the writers nearly equally well; viz. that of setting aside all application of the prophecies of Antichrist from the existing Church of Rome: the one by making the prophecy stop altogether short of Papal Rome; the other by making it overleap almost altogether the immense interval of time (that of the Popedom’s dominancy inclusive) which had elapsed since the prophecy was given, and plunge in its pictures of Antichrist into a yet distant future, just before the consummation. Ribera’s futurist Commentary, when first published, excited vehemently the indignation of our countryman Brightman; and indeed served to hasten on his own antagonistic and masterly exposition of the Apocalypse. [157] Again, Alcasar’s was published just in time to receive the notice, criticism, and rebuke of the Protestant expositor Pareus. [158] From the notices in which latter author, and a few that have met my eye elsewhere, I now abstract a brief sketch of either exposition. I so borrow from others because of my not having had access personally to the commentaries themselves.

1. Ribera.

And let me at the outset beg my readers to observe, respecting this expositor, that he had not the hardihood which has been manifested by modern Futurists, to suppose the plunge into the distant future of the consummation to be made by the Apocalypse at its outset. For while, as Pareus states, Ribera has thought good to explicate the argument of the Apocalypse as if it were nothing else but certain commentaries upon our Lord’s prophecy in Matt. xxiv., [159] he makes it begin with the early period of the Church. So his 1st Seal’s white horse and rider signify the gospel-triumphs of the apostolic æra; his 3rd Seal’s black horse and rider, heresies; his 4th Seal, the violence of Trajan’s persecutions of the Church, and multitude of deaths of Christians under it, by sword, famine, wild beasts, &c. At length in the 6th Seal Ribera explains the phenomena there figured as meant of the signs before Christ’s second coming spoken of in Matt. xxiv. and Luke xxi.: [160] and construes the sealing vision too, with all that follows in the Apocalypse, to have reference to the times of Antichrist: the four winds (life-giving winds) being meant literally; and their restraint by the four good Angels indicating the calamities then destined to fall on the persecutions of the saints. [161] The 144,000 of Apoc. vii. he makes to be the Jews converted to Christ at the consummation, though inconsistently afterwards explaining the 144,000 in Apoc. xiv. of both Jews and Gentiles under Antichrist; and taking the number 144,000 literally.

Passing to the 7th Seal Ribera explains the incense-offering Angel to be Gabriel; and the thunderings, &c., consequent to signify generally the judgments impending. Which judgments of the four first Trumpets he explains literally: - as plagues respectively of hail, of some great fiery globe (qu. as of a comet?) cast into the sea; of a fiery exhalation falling from heaven; and of signs in the sun and moon, such as in Matt. xxiv. The locusts of the 5th Trumpet however he expounds figuratively of a woe of cruel and barbarous invading armies, (as barbarous as the Goths and Vandals of old,) with their crowned kings leading them on against the Church. In the 6th Trumpet the four angels are evil angels, bound at Christ’s first coming, but now at length let loose to hurt men. [162] - In Apoc. x. the descending angel is the same that proclaimed about the book in Apoc. v.; and who swears that, because of men’s not having been led to repent by the six previous Trumpet-plagues, the end of the world and last judgment are now at hand. [163] - St. John’s direction to prophesy again meant simply that he had still many things to predict against the Gentiles. - In Apoc. xi. alike the temple and holy city figured the Church: and the city’s being given to be trod by Gentiles meant that it would be obtained and occupied by Antichrist with armies consisting of heathenish men. [164] Ribera’s slaughter-place for the two witnesses, (I presume, Enoch and Elias,) when slain by Antichrist, or the Beast from the abyss, is the city Jerusalem: [165] their 3 1/2 days of death denoting Antichrist’s 3 1/2 years. [166] The 7th Trumpet is that of the last judgment: but it is here noted by anticipation; as the prophecy reverts to a description of Antichrist’s kingdom and doings. [167]

In Apoc. xii. Ribera acts out the futurist. The Woman is the Church travailing in the last times, just before the 3 1/2 years of Antichrist; seeing that her 3 1/2 years in the wilderness coincides with those of Antichrist’s reign: for he identifies the Dragon with the Beast Antichrist. [168] Then, as to the Beast and his great city Babylon, in Apoc. xiii. and xvii., here is the main point in Ribera’s system. He admits that the Woman in Apoc. xvii. is Rome, Papal Rome; and argues from (xvii. 16, “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”,) that shortly before the consummation the ten kings, figured in the Beast’s ten horns, shall overthrow Rome; this being probably before the coming of Antichrist. But how so, seeing that the Woman is seen sitting on the Beast from the abyss, which in Apoc. xi. Ribera had admitted to be Antichrist? Because in this chapter xvii., with marvelous inconsistency, he makes the Beast to be the Devil reigning. Yet in Apoc. xix., just after, when the Beast is taken, (of course the same as in the preceding chapters,) and the Dragon, and False Prophet, he admits the Beast to be Antichrist, just as in Apoc. xi. [169] Elsewhere Ribera doubts whether it will be the ten kings before Antichrist, or Antichrist himself, that will destroy Rome, after having his seat a while there. [170] But what of the Pope when Rome is destroyed? Ribera, admitting that the Papal seat will be destroyed, says that notwithstanding the Pope will still be the Roman Bishop, though he sits not at Rome; just as during the absence of 70 years at Avignon. [171] In Apoc. xvi. the vial-plagues are expounded literally, as those on Egypt. In Apoc. xviii. Rome’s burning is explained to be in judgment on the sins both of old Pagan Rome, and of Rome apostatized. [172]

On the millennium Ribera follows Augustine. It is the whole time from Christ’s resurrection to Antichrist’s kingdom: the new Jerusalem being viewed by him, Pareus seems to hint, as a figure of the Church of Rome. [173]


Of this expositor, and his Præterist system, Pareus gives a very succinct yet clear sketch, which I cannot do better than copy. Alcasar, he tells us, [174] explained the Revelation of John as teaching, “that Rome, of old the head of Pagan idolatry, by an admirable vicissitude was to be changed into the metropolis of the Catholic Church; that the Roman Church was gloriously to triumph both in respect of the Roman city and the whole empire; and that the sovereign authority of the Roman Pope should always remain in the height of honor.” Alcasar exults, and gratulates the Pope, that he first out of the darkness of the Apocalypse should have showed this light. But surely, observes Pareus, this might cause laughter or shame even to the Roman Court itself.

Further, Pareus states that Alcasar’s general argument is that the Apocalypse describes a twofold war of the Church; one with the Synagogue, the other with Paganism; and twofold victory and triumph over both adversaries. More particularly the development of the subject was thus: - 1. from Apoc. i. - xi. the rejection of the Jews, and desolation of Jerusalem by the Romans: [175] 2. from Apoc. xii. - xx., both inclusive, the overthrow of Paganism, and establishment of the empire of the Roman Church over Rome and the whole world; the judgment of the great Whore, and destruction of Babylon, being effected by Constantine and his successors: 3. in Apoc. xxi., xxii., under the type of the Lamb’s Bride, the New Jerusalem, a description of the glorious and triumphant state of the Roman Church in heaven. [176]

[1] “Tempus quoque præflixum futurorum malorum, vel Antichristi adventum, aut certain diem judicii, prædicare vel asserere nequaquam præsumant.” Harduin ix. 1808. - I have already quoted this in my Vol. ii. p. 84.

[2] On this principle [viz. “that the Man of Sin, or Antichrist, could be no other than the man that fills the Papal chair”] “was the Reformation begun and carried on; on this great separation from the Church of Rome conceived and perfected. For, though persecution for opinion would acquit those of schism whom the Church of Rome had driven from her communion, yet on the principle that she is Antichrist, they had not only a right, but lay under the obligation of a command, to come out of the spiritual Babylon.” Warburton’s Works, p. 408

[3] Pp 117 et seq.

[4] Pp. 135 et seq.

[5] Ib. p. 135 Note 1.

[6] “Vale in Christo, mi Vineilae! Vvttenbergæ, Anno MDXXI., prima Aprilis.”

[7] “So merle d’Aubigué.

[8] “In nobis impleri oportet quæ Daniel, Christus, Petrus, Paulus, Judas, Joannes in Apocalypsi, prædixerunt.” E. (The original Edition before me so distinguishes its pages by the letters of the alphabet, four pages to each letter.)

[9] He argues from the Apocalypse in his answer to the Pope’s Bull, dated Dec. 1520. See Foxe v. 675, Waddington i. 288

[10] Such is the general statement.

[11] “The Author disputing on Apoc. xx. touching the 1000 years, testifies that he wrote A.D. 1357; which, saith he, is our present date.” So Parcus, p. 12, English Translation. (Amsterdam, 1644.) - It seems from him that it contains the same Prologue which Lyra in his Postill had noted, and which is prefixed also to Joachim Abbas’ Treatise; in which latter it is ascribed to Gilbert of the xiiith century.

[12] Where not otherwise stated, the interpretation given will be found in Luther’s Preface, or marginal explanatory Notes to the Apocalypse, in his German Bible.

[13] “Among these four,” says Luther, “nearly all our clergy may be classed.”

[14] So in Luther’s Preface to the Apocalypse. In his earlier Treatise “De Antichristo,” spoken of a little before, he explains the locusts to mean the Romish Schoolmen, “Scotist, Thomists, and Modernist:” who, headed by Aristotle, introduced the dogmas of freewill, merits and the efficacy of good works for salvation. The star that fell from heaven, and opened the pit whence the locusts emerged, he makes to be Alexander de Hales, or Thomas Aquinas himself. G. ii.

[15] A remarkable explanation of the seven thunders; and which I have already cited in my Vol. ii. p. 122. “Great was the tyranny of the Pontiff: who, without law, to gratify his own arrogance, has ever lightened and thundered with ample puffed-out cheeks. It was all in vain for a man to give credence to the four Gospels, if he did not receive the Decretals of the Roman Church. These are the great swelling and loud-trumpeted words of which St. Peter speaks: these the seven thunders of Papal intimidation in Apoc. x.” - The fact of Luther’s having so explained the symbol, was of course the more interesting to me, when brought to my knowledge, from the circumstance of my having long previously arrived at the same understanding of it; though with quite a different view of the context from that which Luther took; and without an idea that such a view had been taken of the symbol by any previous expositor. The citation is given by the Rev. C. Smith from Luther’s Treatise on the Keys, and also from the Frankfort Edition of his Tischreden, or Table Talk. In my English Editions of the Tischreden it does not appear.

The Table Talk exhibits Luther’s views generally as expressed in later late. That he had some such idea however of the Apocalyptic symbol here referred to when he wrote the “De Antichristo” in 1521, seems to me probable from his so explaining the seven trumpet-angels’ voices,* as well as for other reasons.

*Illud angelorum genus quod tubà canit, quorum sunt septem Apoc. viii., non nisi Romano Episcopo Convenire potest. Tubâ enim canere e textùs consequentià, et effectibus secutis, aliud esse non potest quàm Decreta condere, id quod nullus præter Romanæ ecclesiæ Episcopus sibi unquam arrogavit.” So page G. ii; just after speaking of the Pope’s “larvalem faciem.”

[16] So the Tischreden, or Table Talk.

[17] So Eberhard, pp. 207, 208 suprà.

[18] Table Talk, ii. 12. (English Trans.)

[19] P. 10, Smith’s Translation.

[20] Ib. p. 41.

[21] i.e. till my own unconscious adoption of that part which regards the seven thunders.

[22] A practical improvement of the whole subject ends Luther’s Comment.

[23] Mr. C. Maitland, p. 431, says “that Luther allowed the possibility of 1290 years from A.D. 38 to 1328.” He does not give reference or authority; and I have not observed it in the few writings of Luther that I have myself read. But supposing this correct, then Luther may be numbered as among those to whom the application of the year-day principle to the great prophetic periods suggested itself, as possibly the true one.

[24] So Foxe reports of Aretius: “Vaticinium hoc (de Testibus) non de communibus, sed de angelicis mensibus et diebus, interpretatur.”

[25] Vol. ii. pp. 137-145.

[26] How this epoch of Phocas’ Decree was referred to by others of the Reformers has been noted already, Vol. iii. p. 302.

[27] For a brief notice of Leo Juda, another contemporary Protestant expositor, see my Vol. ii. p. 141.

[28] “Ad omnes per Germaniam et Helvetism Galliæ Angliæ aliorumque regnorum vel nationum Christi nomine exules, atque adeo ad universos ubique fideles, Christi Domini Judicisque adventum expectuntes.” The reader will I think feel with me the interest of this touching dedication. The last clause, in Italics, is a further illustration of my view of the Angel’s oath made before St. John, (Apoc. x. 5-7, “ And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”.) (My Edition of Bullinger is that of Basic 1557.)

[29] The true Church contradistinctively to the Roman. - In reference to a different view of this Seal, as figuring the last judgments, he observes that while not objecting to it, yet in the immediate sequel (viz. in the sealing vision) some of the Apocalyptic details were such as to make the application inadmissible.

[30] “Etiam in Anti-Christianismo.” This is stated broadly and strongly, p. 99.

As to the Jews’ restoration, which was urged by some from this figuration of the sealing of the tribes of Israel, he says, ibid.; We must take care lest we fall into chiliasm, so as Papias, Irenæus, &c. He adds: “I believe that the predicted restoration of the Jews is threefold: 1. historical and national, as begun by Cyrus, and continued to the Maccabees; 2. spiritual, of the election (chiefly Gentile election, adopted into the true Israel) from Christ even to Antichrist’s destruction; 3. that which “incipiat à restituto evangelio, et extreme judicio, et progrediatur usque in secula seculorum.” Which last is to be the most absolute restoration of all things; and by Christ when he said, “Then life up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” A passage very observable.

[31] He quotes Nicephorus; Tots Sapakhnoi hrxanto thv tou pantov erhmwsewv. p. 120.

[32] “Colligimus ex his non sufficers ad vitam piam et beatem ne quis sit Papista aut Mahumedieus, &c.” p. 123. He explains the various sins specified in their spiritual fullness, as against the first or second code.

[33] As beginning however before Luther.

[34] “Est enim res maximi monenti, consolatione plenissima, omnibusque omnino salutaris et necessaria hominibus.” p. 129. See my Vol. ii. p. 142. Another passage to the same effect occurs a little before in Bullinger, on his p. 126, ad init.

[35] John bearing here a symbolic or representative character. So, Bullinger says, the Gloss and T. Aquinas: the latter thus; “In ipso Joanne intelliguntur alii prædicatores, quos Dominus ad tempus Antichristi vult instanter prædicare.” p. 133. So also others.

[36] p. 134.

[37] pp. 135, 136.

[38] Bullinger takes first the reading eswqen; but refers to exwqen also.

[39] p. 137.

[40] p. 146.

[41] p. 148.

[42] p. 149.

[43] The Church “of all times,” p. 156. He hints an allusion also to the Virgin Mary, in the passage on the child-bearing.

[44] p. 158. Compare W. Brute, p. 209 suprà.

[45] p. 157.

[46] p. 166.

[47] pp. 171, 172.

[48] p. 174

[49] Very much as Luther. See pp. 197, 198 suprà. Compare too Hippolytus, p. 140, Note 1108 suprà.

[50] p. 181.

[51] p. 175.

[52] See my Vol. iii. p. 253. - On the number 666 Bullinger further intimates a chronological solution. It was about 666 years from the revelation of the Apocalypse to Pepin’s endowment of the Papal See. p. 193. - Under the witnesses he says; How long the duration of the Pope is to be from the fated 666 God only knows.

[53] p. 199.

[54] p. 215.Compare my solution Vol. iii. pp. 358, 363, 374.

[55] “Conjungit Bestiam et imaginem Bestiæ, Bestiam et insidentem Beastiæ, superbum scortum, ut dirimere non liceat. De utroque ergo imperio locus est exponendus.” p. 225.

[56] Or perhaps, he says, (we must mark this his aliter,) it was as the old Roman empire; and “is not, and yet is,” as the new western empire, which is of the old but the shadow and image.

[57] p. 230.

[58] p. 231.

[59] p. 252.

[60] p. 261.

[61] p. 265.

[62] pp. 280, 282.

[63] So Part i. B/4 “John Bale, an exyle also in this lyfe for the testimonye of Jesu.” See Bale’s Life, prefixt to the Parker Edition of his works.

[64] He alludes frequently to the persecutions of Protestants in England at the time when he wrote; and this in his first Volume and Part, as well as the others. So in the primary Preface; “The boystuous tyrauntes of Sodoma, with theyr great Nemroth Wynchester, (i.e. Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, mentioned Part 2, § 6, on Apoc. 13,) . . have of long tyme taken much payne; and many have they cruelly burned; as was scene of late years in Coventrie, London, and other places.” Of these Anne Askew is mentioned, p. 170, who was martyred in London under Bonner, in 1546. Again, at the conclusion of the whole work, on the last page, there occurs the following passage, as written while Henry VIII was still living. “In the which dayly prayer is that most worthy minister of God Kyng Henry the 8, afore all other to be remembered; which hath so sore wounded the Beast that he may before his departure, or Prynce Edwarde after him, throw all his supersticions into the bottomlesse lake agayne.” Hence it is evident the English persecutions and martyrdoms of Protestants that Bale refers to are those of the later years of Henry VIII, after Cromwell’s fall.*

In the Parker Edition the allusion to Henry VIII is omitted; being copied from some later Edition than mine.

*As regards Bullinger his Treatise is dated, we saw, 1557: but Bale does not mention it in his list of neoteric Apocalyptic Expositors, given in my Note 1856 below. Later, however, in the Work he refers to Bullinger himself as a contemporary. See p.220, Note 1875, infrà.

[65] “Two cruell enimyes have my just labours had . . . The Printers are the fyrst; whose headic hast negligence and covetousnesse commonly corrupteth all bookes. These have both dysplaced them; (sc. my many allegacions, both of the Scriptures and doctors, in the mergent of the first Part or Volume:) and also changed their numbers, to the truthes derogacion.” Preface to the 2nd Part. - Bale was of a rather choleric temperament.

[66] 1. Patristics. - Justin Martyr, Melito, Irenæus, Hippolytus, Victorinus, Tichonius, Jerome, Augustine, Primasius, (“which volume I have redde,”) Aprigius, Cassiodore, Isidore. - (The Aprigius spoken of was, he says, Bishop of Pace in Spain, and made a notable work on the Apocalypse, A.D. 530.)

2. Benedictines. - Bede, Alcuin, Haymo, Stabus Fuldensis, Rabanus Maurus, (qu. Adso?) Ambrose Ansbert, Robert of Tuy, Joachim Abbas, a certain Benedictine monk of Canterbury, and Easterton, also Auglus.

3. Regular Canons. - Ricardus de Sancto Victore, Gaufredus Antisiodorensis.

4. Carthusians. - Henricus de Hassia, Dionysius Rikel.

5. Secular Priests. - Ambrose on the seven Trumpets, Berenger, Gilbert, an English “Auctor à centum annis,” John Huss, Paulus Burgensis, Mathias Dorinck. Jacobus Stralen.

6. Carmelites. - Baconthorpe, Tytleshale, Thomas de Ylleya, John Barath, John de Vernone, Nicholas of Alsace, Bloxam, Elyne, Tilneye, Winchingham, Thorpe, Egidius, Haynton.

7. Augustinians. - Augustin de Anchona, Jordanes Saxo, Bertrand of Toulouse, Augustin of Rome, Philip of Mantua, John Capgrave, Sylvester Meoccius of Venice.

8. Dominicans. - Jordanes Botergius, Hugo Barchinonensis, Albertus Magnus, Stephanus Bisuntunus, Nicholas Gorham, Bernard de Trillia, Paganus Bergomensis, Alvarus de Cuturco, Frederic of Venice, John Annius of Viterbo, Savanarola.

9. Franciscans. - Alexander de Hales, Helias de Hanibalis, Petrus J. Cathalanus, John Walleys, Petrus Aureolus of Toulouse, Nicholas Lyranus, Astesanus Astensis, Bernardinus Senensis, Theodoric Andree of Thoulouse, Franciscus Titelman.

10. Neoterici. - Luther, Sebastian Meyer, George Æmilius, Francis Lambert, (died 1530,) Zwingle, John Brencius, Calvin, Melchior Hofman, “and many other more.”

In this long list not merely direct Apocalyptic Expositors are included, but those also that have in works on other subjects commented indirectly on any part of the Apocalypse.

[67] Compare Bishop Hooper, p. 158. “Read the 6th of Apoc. and ye shall perceive that at the opening of the 4th Seal there came out a pale horse, and he that sat on it was called Death. . . This horse is the time wherein hypocrites and dissemblers entered into the Church, under pretence of true religion, as monks, friars, nuns, massing priests, etc.: that have killed more souls with heresy and superstition than all the tyrants that ever were have killed bodies.”

[68] i.e. the Paulikinans.

[69] “Anon I behelde a merveylous earthquake arise. Most lively was this fulfilled such tyme as William Courtency the Archbishoppe of Caunterbury, with Antichrist’s sinagoge of sorcerers, sate in consistoric against Christes doctrine in John Wycleve. Mark the yeare month day and houre; and ye shall wonder at it.” This was in 1382. During the sitting of the Synod, held at Greyfriars in London, an earthquake shook the city, and alarmed some of the members of the Synod. Wicliff, who did not attend, used to call it afterwards, in irony, “the earthquake Synod.”

[70] Let me here give a specimen of Bale’s style and Commentary. “When they have done all mischief, . . and can doe no more, then run they to those hipocrites [the Papal priests], then seeke they up those Antichristes. There must they be confessed; there must they hide their sinnes. They must be covered with hys dyrty merites, and with hys holy whoredome. And, to be prayed for, that monastery must be builded; that prebendary or chauntery must be founded. There must be masses and dyrges; there must be anuaries and beadmen. He must be buried in S. Frauncis’ gray coate; and he is our Ladie’s holy habite. He must have S Dominike’s hoode: and he S. Augustine’s girdle. - And thus the cry to those earthly hils and rocks, to those filthy dunge heaps, . . Fall on us with such stuffe as ye have! Cover us with your works more than need! Pray, pray, pray; sing, sing, sing; say, say, say; ring, ring, ring! Give us of your oyle, for our Lamps are out! Help us with Requiem eternam! Poure out your Trentall masses! Spew out your commendations! Sing us out of that hotte fierie Purgatorie, before we come there!

The reader will see above a characteristic sketch of Bale’s own style, and also his hot temperament. But let the passage also further bring home to his mind the wretched delusions, under the name of Christ’s religion, which prevailed for ages in England: and from which, in God’s mercy, the glorious Reformation was our deliverance. For Bale’s sketch is a sketch from the life.

[71] 1 John ii. 18, “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” A passage often alluded to, we have seen, by the earlier fathers Jerome, Augustine, &c.: see my Vol. i. pp. 396, 397: and also by later expositors: see my Vo. ii. pp. 365, 391, and p. 201, Note 1727 suprà.

[72] p. 109/2

[73] p. 129.

[74] p. 147. A passage cited by me more folly, Vol. ii. p. 144.

[75] Part ii. p. 7.

[76] p. 25/2.

[77] p. 27/2, 26.

[78] “If this be not a deadly wounding of one of the Beastes heads, I think there is none.”

[79] Both Bonner and Gardiner are named by Bale.

[80] Somewhat like Bullinger; but in a larger and more general sense of Popish princes.

[81] Like Mr. C. Maitland, p. 149.

[82] Please See pp.197, 198 suprà.

[83] “Blessed be the Lord whose word in this age hath admonished many, as the Angell did John, and brought them also cleane from his abominations into a secret consideration of the Spirit, unknowen to the world, where both to see hir pride, and to understand hir judgments. For it followeth in the text that the Angel conveyed John away into the wilderness in the Spirite.”

A Little before Bale, speaking of John’s exile to Patmos, had said: “And so did I, poore creature, with my poore wife and children, at the gatheringe of this present Commentary; flyinge into Germany for the same testimony of Jesu.”

[84] The reader will again observe how often this epoch of Phocas’ decree is referred to by the early Protestant expositors.

[85] Mark this notice of Bullinger.

[86] See p.218 suprà.

[87] The seven thunders Chytræus makes the seven-fold gifts of the Holy Spirit.

[88] p.213 suprà.

[89] Compare my notice of this Catalogue, Vol. ii. p. 204.

[90] Foxe, pp. 43, 44.

[91] There is a little obscurity here; but I think this is Bibliander’s meaning. Compare what Foxe says, p. 60, on the 7th Seal’s not figuring the events of the 7th millennary, but rather of the 6th.

[92] First, on the 6th Seal, where he speaks of the current year as A.D. 1586: secondly, where he states it as 286 years from A.D. 1300, on Apoc. xi. - Eicasmi, pp. 60, 123. (My Edition is the original Edition of 1587.)

[93] See the notice at the conclusion of the Commentary, p. 396.

[94] Let me premise that just before beginning the Seals (p. 46) he has some excellent observations on the careful use necessary of the allegorical meaning, so as not to set aside the historical. “Non me fugit istud, nullo modo fustidiendas esse omnes in Scripturis allegorias.” Both Christ and Paul, he says, uses them; “at maximè in exhortando, consolando, doccudo.” “In prophetando non ita propriè luditur allegoriis; aut, si in prophetiis usu ita veniat quandoque, ut per similium collationem parabolæ adhibeantur, at non ideo tamen scusus historicus per allegorismos et tropologias evertendus est; praesertim ubi res ipsa ad historias nos mittit, non ad allegorias.”

[95] The same view that Mr. Foxe. has in our own days advocated; whether as an original idea, or adopted from Foxe. See his Sacred Calendar of Prophecy. It seems from Foxe that Petrus Artopæus had so construed the 1st Seal before him.

Foxe (pp. 46-50) criticizes, and shows the inconsistency and untenableness of, the old Church-schemes of the Seals at some length. How is Christ the rider of the 1st horse, when represented otherwise as on the throne, opening the Seals? How on a war-horse, and with bow in hand, as a warrior; when going forth (according to those expositors), not to inflict judgment, but simply in the peaceful progress of the gospel? How in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Seals one and the same rider, the Devil, when the different horses, with different colours and characteristics, might seem to require different riders to each? Moreover, how could the Devil be supposed the rider, when the time at which he would be so riding was that at which in the millennial vision [such being Foxe’s idea of Apoc. xx.] he was figured as bound in the abyss? - Again, in the 2nd Seal, “the killing one another’ could only be applied to civil wars and slaughter, not to dissensions of Christians. - And, as to the 3rd Seal, the small price * of a denarius for the measure of wheat and three measures of barley, conjoined with the intimated abundance also of wine and oil, might rather signify a dearth of men to buy, than a dearth of the provisions to be bought

* Foxe does not enter on the question of the size of the chænix measure.

[96] Such will be seen to be Foxe’s view, p. 55.

[97] Viz. 1. under Henry IV and V in England; 2. in the Council of Constance, and in Bohemia; 3. under the Roman Pontiffs in Italy; 4. under the Emperor Charles V in Germany; 5. under Henry VIII in England; 6 under Henry II in Gaul; 7. under James II in Scotland; 8. under Charles IX in France; 9. under Mary in England; 10. under Philip II in Spain and Flanders. p. 55.

[98] If any preferred to take it metaphorically, then the winds might mean the gospel-preaching stopt by four evil angels, chiefly the Papal agencies.

[99] So falling on what I believe the right interpretation of this 4th Trumpet. He adds, as an alternative, that if any prefer to understand the obscuration of the firmamental luminaries ecclesiastically, it may be explained of the darkening of heaven by Mahommedanism.

[100] Here again, I conceive, Foxe is in the right.

[101] p. 90.

[102] p. 98. Rightly, I doubt not, again. I have noticed this in my Vol. ii. p. 145, on the Angel’s oath.

[103] p. 94. So Mede afterwards.

[104] p. 99.

[105] pp. 99, 100.

[106] pp. 102, 105. See the joyous citation given from Foxe in my Vol. ii. p. 144.

[107] p. 107, &c.

[108] See on Apoc. xii., next page..

[109] pp. 144, 145

[110] At p. 180 Foxe briefly notices Huss’ dream and prophecy, as I more fully have done, Vol. ii. pp. 459, 460; not aware, when I did so, that any other expositor had noted it before me.

[111] “Glorious things are spoken of thee, thou City of God.” p. 197. Foxe contrasts this with the Romish pseudo-Church.

[112] p. 205.

[113] p. 206. Foxe here hints that “the little season” of the Devil’s loosing may indicate a second 294 years of oppression from after the end of that millennium; or epoch of the Turks loosing against Christendom about A.D. 1300.

[114] p. 214. Osiander published A.D. 1544. See my Vol. iii. p. 116. Note 2.

[115] 216

[116] The Beast’s image he seems at p. 268 to make the restored greatness of the old Roman Empire. But he does not enter on the point distinctly.

[117] pp. 269, 270. In his discussion of Apoc. xiii Foxe devotes some 40 pages, or more, (from p. 224 to 268) to a controversial discussion with Romanist on the great subject of the Antichrist and Apocalyptic Beast.

[118] So very similarly, says Foxe, p. 362, the expositor Fulco.

[119] p. 373.

[120] Francis Junius, or Du Jou, was professor of divinity at Leyden, and joint translator of the Old Testament with Tremellius. He as born of a noble family at Bourges, A.D.1545, and died of the plague at Leyden. A D. 1602. In 1502 he published a Latin treatise on the Apocalypse, which was dedicated to Henry IV., King of France and Navarre, and of which an English translation was printed and reprinted in 1592, 1594, 1596, 1616. The Edition of 1596 has pp. 286.*

* He had a son of the same name, famous expecially for his Gothic lore, born at Heidelberg 1589, died at Windsor, 1677.

I will note from it the following particulars. He makes the 1260 years range from Christ’s death to Pope Boniface, A.D. 1294; the millennium of Satan’s binding being reckoned from the time of his casting down by Christ. The woman of Apoc. xii. he makes the early Judæo-Christian Church; and her hiding in the wilderness to have been partly fulfilled in the Church’s safe refuge at Pella during the 3 1/2 years of the Jewish war. The remnant of her seed was the faithful Christian Church afterwards; and the witnessing of her children in sackcloth prolonged to Boniface. Then, at Boniface’s Jubilee, the people from the Papal nations having gathered at Rome, certain Christian witnesses were hanged there; and the Papists rejoiced over them as in (Apoc. xi. 10, “And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.”). But, 3 1/2 years after, Boniface was made prisoner by a French general, and soon died. In 1301 a great earthquake happened at Rome: and the witnesses rose to heaven by the gathering of converts to the true Church; - the Apocalyptic heaven.

[121] See e.g. p. 525; also the 2nd page of the Preface. My Edition is the 4th, Loudon, 1644. Brightman.

[122] In Apoc. iv. the Book with seven seals is supposed to have been the whole Apocalyptic Book.

[123] The triumph of Christ’s truth Brightman illustrates from Hadrian’s Edict, that no Christian should be condemned unless guilty of some violation of the civil laws. Euseb. iv. 3.

[124] Especially the wars with the Parthians and the Marcomanni.

[125] The opening epoch of the fifth Seal, is, according to Brightman, the persecution under Gallienus: the white robes given being an emblem of the temporary respite for 40 years; and the intimation about other martyrs to be sacrificed, before God’s promised vengeance, having reference to the martyrdoms of the next and last Pagan persecution under Diocletian.

[126] The elemental convulsions of the 6th Seal are supposed to be those of Diocletian’s persecution, when the very Church itself seemed to be blotted out of the visible heaven; the kings’ subsequently figured flight and terror, on the other hand, the overthrow of the Pagan emperors by Constantine, and their awful deaths.

[127] Brightman places the Sealing Vision distinctly under the 6th Seal; but makes its figured symbolization to give an anticipative view of what was to happen afterwards under the Trumpets and Vials. (p. 240.) The contention, ambition, heresy, and war, specified in his summary, are made by him the four evil angels of the sealing vision: the same, he says, that were developed in the four first Trumpets; and arrested all four by Constantine, the sealing angel. The sealing was by means chiefly of the Council of Nice; into the spirit of which, however, few entered; so that the true Church, or number really sealed, was small. The 144,000, depicted as the first sealed, were the first-fruits and representatives of a true church of the elect, similarly sealed, down to A.D. 1300; (p. 254;) when the palm-bearing vision began to have fulfillment, in the ingathering of a larger multitude of Gentile converts, after the Waldenses, &c.; it being intended to include ultimately also the converted Jews, restored to the privileges of Christ’s Church, (not Jewish temple, as of old,) after their great tribulation.

[128] The key-bearing opener of the pit is, according to Brightman, the Pope. “Doth not the Pope worthily boast of his keys, and carrieth them instead of an ensign?” p. 289.

[129] The five months, or 150 days of the locusts, he explains of two or three different periods of that duration, marked in the Saracen ravages; such as that from their first ravages of Syria, about A.D. 630, to their overthrow by the Emperor Leo, A.D. 780. “We define this first overrunning of the earth by the Saracens in 150 years, not because at the end of these years they were straightway cast out of those countries which they had conquered; but because they had ill success afterwards in their battles against the Romans; being often conquered, put to flight, and slain, hardly holding that which they had gotten, much less getting any more.” p. 300. This resembles the view afterwards given by Doubuz; and adopted by myself from him, as well as by many others.

[130] “The hour, day, month, and year,” Brightman reckons on the year-day principle to be the 396 years of the Turks’ duration, measured from their revival under the Othmans, A.D. 1300; and thus that the year 1696 would see their destruction. (Compare, at pp. 222, 223 suprà, Foxe’s commencing date, A.D. 1051.) This anticipation was naturally called to mind on Prince Eugene’s victories about that same year; (indeed one of our Bishops had repeated Brightman’s prediction previously;) and the overthrow of Turkish supremacy consequent.

[131] This prefigured revival of the study of the truth is supposed to date from the times of the Waldenses: the little book opened being the Scriptures, especially the Apocalypse: a book now little, because so much of the whole seven-sealed Apocalyptic Book had been already developed. This is notable, as the first step, If I mistake not, towards Mede’s remarkable and I doubt not erroneous view of the little book, as a separate and detached Part of the Apocalyptic prophecy, of which more in the next Section. The main and most important idea, however, of the symbol figuring the opening of the Scriptures at the particular time figured, viz. under the 6th Trumpet, Brightman, unlike Mede, loses not. The seven thunders Brightman explains as the voices of the three angels flying through mid-heaven, and the others after them, in (Apoc. xiv. 6, “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,”) &c;* of which the mysteries were for a while to be kept secret. - “There shall be time no more,” he construes as, “There shall be no more delay.”

* But, says Pareus (p. 202), with reference to this idea of Brightman’s, “there (viz. in Apoc. xiv.) only six angels ae mentioned.” Brightman includes, I conceive, the one like the Son of man on the bright cloud of (xiv. 14, “ And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.”): which included, there are four mentioned in the closing part of that chapter, to be added to the three before.

[132] He allots 200 years to the Waldensian and Wickliffite time of preparation, as included in this chapter x., their earnest desire of spiritual learning being figured in the eating of the book by John: (for John was a type of Christ’s ministers:) and that then a fuller prophecy was given; and through the unfolding of history by Luther, Melancthon, Guicciardini, &c., the faithful were prepared for understanding the state of the church and of Christian witnesses in former times, as figured in the next chapter, ‘Apoc. xi. (p. 345.) - All this too seems to me very observable.

[133] Retrospectively Brightman supposes the subject figured in the temple-measuring to join on to the time of Apoc. vii. So the reed like a rod had reference to Constantine’s rod of authority; but whom there was the first defining of the temple. Another point observable. “The reed’s being like a rod teacheth us that the truth was to be greatly helped and underpropped with the authority of princes: for a rod is often put for a sceptre. . .  that sceptre which kings carry.” (p. 347.) I was quite unacquainted with Brightman when I first took a similar view of this point in the symbol.

Brightman’s “church hidden in the secret part of the temple,” may have furnished Mede perhaps with the first hint of his atrium interius and exterius.

[134] The two witnesses Brightman makes to be the Scriptures, and the assemblies of the faithful. (p. 356.) - Their 1260 lunar years he explains as but 1242 Julian years. These, measured from Constantine’s accession A.D.304, ended in 1546, (pp. 353, 364,) the year of the assembling of the Council of Trent; which in its third Session slew the Scriptures, by making the Vulgate the only standard, and the authority of tradition equal to that of Scripture. The slaying of the assemblies of the faithful was by Charles the Vth’s victory over the Protestants, April 22, 1547: against whom the Protestants of Magdeburgh rose in Oct. 1550, 3 1/2 years from the former date; and in 1555, having united with Maurice, overthrew Charles’s anti-Protestant plans, and procured freedom to the Reformed religion. (pp. 366, 375, 376.)

[135] So Cuninghame, afterwards.

[136] p. 381. This view of the epoch of the 7th Trumpet’s sounding was peculiar, I believe, to Brightman.

[137] p. 389. Mark this reference to the Centuriators of Magdeburgh, and their “Catalogue of Witnesses;” noted also p. 220 suprà.

[138] The Dragon’s ten horns are explained as alluding to the Roman ten Prætorian or imperial Provinces.

[139] Mark here, 1st, Brightman’s singular distinction of the two Beasts, as each alike the Popes and their empire, only at two successive times; the earlier from Constantine to Pepin, the second from Pepin and Charlemagne; the one being the primary seventh head, the other the secondary seventh, or eighth: 2ndly, the notice (the first I have observed) of Justinian’s Decree as an epoch of Papal greatness: (p. 433:) 3. that Brightman makes the Beast’s ten horns here to be the ten Christian emperors, on the Beast’s seventh head, from Constantine to Theodosius the 2nd that gave power to the Pope: whereas those that would in God’s time hate the whore and tear her, as he considers foretold in (Apoc. xvii. 16, “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”), were a later succession of them, on the Beast’s eighth head; the first being Charles V. (pp. 605, 609.)

As regards the Beast’s seven heads, besides the sense of Rome’s seven hills, Brightman, like Foxe and others, supposes them to signify Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, Tribunes, Emperors, Popes: the Popes reigning on Rome’s seven hills for “a little while,” viz. 100 years from Constantine’s removal to Constantinople; then being overthrown by the Goths; then restored again as Popes in the time of Phocas, or Pepin: so being the 8th head, and yet one of the seven. pp. 589, 590.

[140] Meaning himself, I suppose; for between Apoc. xvii. and xviii. Brightman inserts an admirable Treatise on Antichrist against Bellarmine. If so, a little time is allowed by him for the Treatise having its effect; the 4th and 5th Vials being, he says, “shortly to come.” See above.

[141] Mark this.

[142] An explanation of the rising of the dead, small and great, and the judgment of the great white throne, in which Brightman, I believe, stands alone.

[143] i.e. as he explains, all the time the world shall last after this.

[144] Pareus’ Preface notes the date, being thus headed; “The Author’s Preface on the Revelation of St. John, happily begun and propounded unto his auditory in the University, Anno 1608.” - It was the result of thirty years’ thought, he tells us, Pref. p. 20.

[145] At p. 18 of the Preface, (English Edition,) Pareus gives an extract from a letter received by him, apparently while preparing the work for publication, or while passing it through the press, dated March, 1615.

[146] In a measure, he says, the time might be extended to Gregory I; though before that time “the whiteness was somewhat changed, and black spots begun to appear.” p. 108.

[147] p. 118.

[148] Pareus (p. 199) explains the Book in the Angel’s hand as both the Apocalyptic seven-sealed book and the gospel.

[149] He notices the emphasis in the expressions, tav iautwn Fwnav. p. 202.

[150] Again my readers will mark how the early Protestant expositors referred to this epoch. But, adds Pareus, for the elect’s sake the Lord will shorten the time. p. 220.

[151] p. 225. A just view of the thing in my opinion; and which I have myself urged. See my Vol. ii. pp. 423, 424.

[152] This explanation has been ascribed to James I. (So Daubuz, p. 514, on Apoc. xii. 3.) In King James’s comment I find the explanation stands thus: “The seven heads of the Beast signify as well seven material hills, whereupon the seat of this monarchy is situated; as also seven kings, or divers forms of magistrates, that this empire hath had, and is to have hereafter.” He is said by the Editor of the Edition of his Works in 1616, the then Bishop of Winchester, to have written this commentary on the Revelations before he was twenty years old; which would be A.D. 1586. And I see in Watt’s Bibliotheca that 1588 is put down as the date of its first publication. Now this was the same year that Foxe’s Eicasmi was published, giving the same solution; and giving it as from Peter Artopæus and Dr. Fulke, both some years King James seniors. See my p. 223 suprà. Fulke published on the Apocalypse A.D. 1573, and died 1589; Artopæus earlier. And, as I observed at p. 223, Osiander suggested nearly the same solution yet earlier.

[153] On this passage Pareus strongly insists that the right reading is ewi to qhrion; not, what Bellarmine would have, kai to qhrion.

[154] “Post Thomam illum haud quisquam fere sit ex totà illà cohorte Pontificià, infinitàque scribentium multitudine, qui vel verbum in hanc Apocalypsim commentre sit ausus.” Præfat.

[155] See my Vo. ii. pp. 442-444.

[156] So Merle d’Aubigne, ii. 138, of Silvestre Mazzoline de Prierio, Master of the Sacred Palace at Rome; writing against Luther, “que la damnination Papale étoit la cinquiéme monarchie de Daniel, et la scule veritable.” Also of Eck, in the Leipsic dispute; ibid. 61. (3rd Ed. Paris.)

[157] So in the Dedication of his Comment “to the Holy Reformed Churches of Britain, Germany, and France.” Says Brightman: “But mine anger and indignation burst out against the Jesuits. For when as I had by chance light upon Ribera, who had made a Commentary upon this same holy Revelation, Is it ever so? said I. Do the Papists take heart again; so as that book, which of a long time before they would scarce suffer any man to touch, they dare not take in hand, to entreat fully upon it? What! was it but a vain image or bug, at the sight whereof they were wont to tremble a few years since, even in the dim light, that now they dare be bold to look wishly upon this glasse in the clear sunshine; and dare proclaime to the world that any other thing rather is poynted at in it than their Pope of Rome?

[158] Pareus’ notices appear partly in his Preface, partly in the body of his Commentary.

[159] Pareus, Pref. p. 16.

[160] Ibid. pp. 112, 115, 123. - On the 5th Seal Ribera says that the Apocalyptic figure of souls under the altar had respect to the ancient custom of Christians laying up the relics of saints under the altar. ‘For when,” saith he, ‘an altar is builded, there is made under it a sepulchre for to keep the relics: and the priests, dipping his finger in the chrism, makes thee sign of the cross upon the four corners of the sepulchre, &c.’” But in this, remarks Pareus, “Ribera is to be hissed at: . . . for this custom is superstitious and gross idolatry, idly invented many after.” p. 119.

[161] Ib. 137, 138

[162] Ib. pp. 153, 159, 162, 176, 185.

[163] Ib. 197

[164] Ib. 212, 215.

[165] Ib. 235.

[166] Cressener, p. 176: who adds that on Apoc. xx. Ribera inconsistently objects to the year-day principle.

[167] Ib. 217.

[168] Ib. 256, 260, 265.

[169] Ib. 438, 411, 450 of Apoc. xvi.

[170] Ib. 456.

[171] Ib. 441. - And so Bellarmine, says Malvenda; i. 350.

[172] Ib. 456.

[173] Ib. 507, 549. - Ribera, says Malvenda, i 402 contends strongly that it is absurd to suppose that the old Roman empire has not been taken away (defecit), so as the old Fathers expected, because of the German empire being still called the Roman empire. This is but, says he, in rather curious accord with Luther, the simulacrum or ghost of the old empire.

Let me here add that Bellarmine closely followed Ribera in time and prophetic views. Only, instead of partially applying the year-day principle, as Ribera had done, he declares absolute war against it; anticipating Dr. S. R. Maitland in some of this arguments. So far as I know it was now for the first time since St. John that the principle was formally denounced.

[174] Pref. p. 16.

[175] Yet Alcasar confesses the later Domitianic date of the Apocalypse. Ib. 17.

[176] Ib. 17. - Alcasar’s Commentary was the result, as Malvenda tells us, (i. 333,) of above 40 years’ study. It was the prototype of the Præteriest system of Grotious, and the more modern German rationalistic expositors.

The general character of Alcasar’s Commentary is given in the text. It may be well perhaps to add one or two less important particulars here. - And 1st. let me state, with reference to the 3 1/2 days of the witnesses lying dead, that Alcasar applies it to the Jewish persecution of Christians; leaving it indifferently to be taken either for so many years, or months. (Par. 240.) Thus Bellarmine’s attack on the year-day principle had not convinced Aleasar. - 2. He strongly impugns the interpretation of the Beast of Apoc. xiii. as Antichrist: declaring it to be indubitably the Roman Pagan Empire. On this he has a battle with Malvenda; i. 429 - 431. - 3rdly, he has another battle with Malvenda on account of his patronizing in any measure Ribera and Bellarmine’s idea that the Babylon of Apoc. xvii. might mean Rome in the last days, becoming heathen again, ejecting the Pope, and persecuting Christians. Ib. 350 - 4. Alcasar makes the Church’s millennium of rest to date from the destruction of old Pagan Rome, his Apocalyptic Babylon. Ib. 433.

Alcasar’s contemporary, the monk Pinto, made Daniel’s 45 days = 45 years: like Lyranus. So Malvenda ii. 244.