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the Reformed Church, in which neither fea zabel, nor Balaam, nor the Pope nor Popery are any longer tolerated , because she broke with the Roman Church. But why would we have the Ages of our Reformation since Luther to be branded with fo black & fatal a Character, Thou hast a name to live, but art dead ? Be watchful, & strengthen the things which remain , & are ready to dy ; for I have not found thy works perfeet before God. I think our Reformation deserved at least as much praise as that of the Albigenfes. The Zeal thereof was great, &the Doctrine pure.
Philadelphia is the sixth Church, & signifies according to Forbes , the Church that Thall carry the Reformation to its greatest height, that shall have but a small number of members, but they shall be very Zealouş.
Laodicea is the last Church or the last Period. The Holy Spirit terribly blames it. Thou art neither bot nor cold. Thou saist I am rich, & have need of nothing, 6c, & doft not know that thou art wretched, miserable, 8 poor, blind, & naked. According to Forbes this is those Churches that making all their glory to consist in their having quitted Baby. lan do fall back , & make Religion to conGift in nothing but duties purely external. This last Period must be placed at the end of the World. Thus you have Forbes's system.
Let us proceed to that of Cocceius. According to this later Author, the Church of Ephesus is the Apostolical Church, 1. 6.
The Ex: that wherin the Apostles preached. So that of the my- this Period
must be extended to the death of stery of
St. John. The Nicolaitans spoken of in this Churches first Epistle , are Hereticks in general. Niaccording colaos in Greek signifies the Conquerour of the
People. 'Tis the Character of Hereticks to make themselves masters of the people by seducing them.
The Church of Smyrna signifies the Church suffering in all places, & especially that of the three first Ages. The perfecution of ten Days according to this , muft signify the ten Persecutions, which the Church suffered during those three Ages under the Pagan Emperours. This doth not fallout ill; but I fear it was chance that made this hit; for the rest doth not fall out in the same manner. The holy Spirit saith, Some of you shall be cast into Prison, that ye may be tryed. This is very feebly to express the great number of Martyrs, and the cruel Sufferings to which the Church was exposed during these three first Ages of the Church. 'Tis much more probable, that this fignifies some light Persecution that was to befal Smyrna, in which Persecution the Evil should not go beyond the imprisoning fome perticular Persons.
The Epistle to the Church of Pergamus is the third, & according to Cocoeius , ?tisthe Church from Constantine's time to the birth of Antichrift. Pergamus is the name of a famous fortress of Troy. Rome signifies strength or fortress. 'Tis in Rome that satan's seat is. But why should the seat of fatan be fixed in Rome
converted by Constantine ? It had been much better to have fix'd it in Rome Pagan , or to reserve it for Rome Antichristian that was to follow immediately after. Antipas the martyr fignifies ( faith he) the Orthodox that maintain'd the consubftantiality of the Son. Antipas for Antipatros , & Antipatros for Isopatros , equal to the Father. I have nothing to say hereupon, but it doth not please me very well.
The Church of Thyatira is the fourth, & sig. nifies according to Cocceius the Church under the reign of Antichrist. fezabel that appears in, this Epistle is the Antichristian Church. They that suffer fezabel the Prophetess are the elect mingled among the Antichristian Idolaters. That fickness that God would send on fezabel in casting her on her bed, are those mortifications which Antichristianisin was to receive by the several disasters that befel the Roman Church till the Reformation. This falls out pretty well, but 'tis by meer chance; for how can that magnificent Élogy be applied to this period of the Antichristian church, I know thy works, &tby charity, Ethypatience, that thy last works are more than the first ? Never was the church so void of saints & of good works as in this fad Period
Sardis is the fifth Church & the fifth Period, & according to Cocceins as well as according to Forbes 'tis the Reformed Church. But I say hereto as I said before on occasion of Forbes, why should we say of our Reformation thou hafta name to live, & behold thou art dead;strengthen the things which remain are ready to dy.
Philadelphia signifies brotherly Love, this is the sixth Church which carries in its name the character of a Church yet to come, wherein love and charity shall reign, but amongavery small number of people. This church Ihall be persecuted. Attempts will be made to shut the door against its conversions. Yet after this the Kings of the Earth shall submit themselves to it. This is in after ages. So that we have nothing to say about it.
Laodicea signifies the Church that shall im. mediately precede the time wherein God shall pass that judgment spoken of in the Ith. ch. V:18. i. e. when the reign of J. Christ shall come to be establisht on the Earth. That is to say, that immediately
Kingdom of J: Christ comes on the Earth, the Church must fall into that dreadful decay meant by these words, Thou art neither hot nor cold, thou art
poor, blind e naked. I do not well understand how all this hangs together. The Church of Philadelphia,which is the sixth after ithath been persecuted shall remain victorious over all the Kings of the Earth , which fignifies, that all the nations of the Earth shall be converted, see here the reign of J. Christ on the Earth. And yet after this comes a seventh Period, wherein religion shall almost entirely perifh before the Kingdom of J. Christ comes on the Earth. Besides all other inconveniencies this fyftem hath this further, viz. that besides these seven Periods an eighth must be added for the reign of the Church on the Earth. This is a thing that was never heard of, & the times.
were never in any prophecy divided into eight.
The myDr. Henry More is one of the last that hath ktery of spent his Labours on the Revelation. He be- Churches lieves also that these seven Epistles are my
according ftical & prophetical, & see how he under-Iden. More. stands them.
The Church of Ephesus is the Period that ran out from J. Chrift's time to the tenth year of Nero's Empire. See here a Period short enough. There is not usually so great an inequality between the Periods that divide the times in the Prophecies. Moreover one may be assured that there is not so much as one word in this Epistle, that may not as happily be applyed to the two following Ages, as to the firit: so that this Application is purely Arbitrary, and without any Ground.
The Church of Smyrna is the Period from the tenth year of Nero, to the
year 324. i.e. to the Reign of Constantine and the Council of Nice. This falls in with Cocceius's Notion; wherefore I cannot approve of it for the Reason above-mention'd.
Pergamus, according to Dr. More, fignis fies the Church from the year 324. to the year 1242. during which time the Empire of An. tichrist was establisht, taking in the time in which the Waldenses and Albigenses appear’d in the World, and were extinguisht. The Foundation of this Explication is the Seat of Satan. Iknow where thon dwellest, even where Satan's Seat is. And the Martyr Antipas, that signifies, according to this Author, Anti-Pope, or