« PreviousContinue »
BY* BRYCE JOHNSTON, D. D.
A NEW EDITION.
TO WHICII IS ADDED,
A MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,
THE REV. JOHN JOHNSTONE,
MINISTER OF CROSSMICIIAEL.
PRİNTED 'FOR WILLIAM CREECH.
To CADELL & W. DAVIES, LONDON.'
C Ο Μ Μ Ε Ν Τ Α R Y
THIS chapter contains an account of the fixth
vision which John saw. In it, from verse first to fifth, is contained a comprehensive view of the state and appearance of the Christian church, from the time of the resurrection of Christ to the commencement of the temporal power of the Roman pontiff in the year 756. From verse 6th to the end of the chapter is a comprehensive view of the situation of the Christian church, from the year'. 756 to the final overthrow of Papal Rome, in the VOL, II.
year 1999. This last part of the chapter foretels events which are cotemporary with the prophesying of the two witnesses in sackcloth in the preceding chapter, the reign of the beast in the following chapter, and the pouring out of the seven vials in the fixteenth chapter. So many cotemporary representations of the situation of the Chriftian church and of the Roman hierarchy, in different points of view, throw light upon each other, and confirm their meaning.
Verses ift, 2d.—And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the fun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars : and she being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
The word in the original which is translated wonder, is
σημειον, which fignifies a fign. Signs and wonders are perfectly distinct from each other, and are expressed in the Greek language by words as different from each other as these two words are in the English language. They are both mentioned in Heb. ii. 4. among those ways by which God bore testimony to the declarations of the apostles: “God also bearing them witness, both " with signs and wonders, and with divers mira
cles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost.” In that verse, σημειον is the word in the original which is used for a fign, and repas for a wonder.
wonder. All these four ways of divine testimony, by signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, are distinct from one another. To explain the proper import of every one of them would be a deviation from our prefent subject : A sign is fome visible representation, by which a future event, which shall bear a ftriking resemblance to that sign, is predicted. When an event takes place, which corresponds to that fign, men may be certain, from its correspondence, that it is the one which was fignified by the fign.
Both in the Old and New Testament many inAtances of signs occur.. I shall mention only a very
few of them, from which the reader may perceive the proper meaning of a fign. Ezekiel iv. 1, 2, 3
“ Thou also fon of man, take thee a tile, “and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the
city, even Jerufalem. And lay fiege against it, and “ build a fort against it, and cast a mount against “it; set the camp also against it, and set battering “rams against it round about. Moreover, take “ thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for å wall " of iron between thee and the city, and set thy “ face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou " shalt lay fiege against it: this shall be a sign to " the house of Ifrael.” Thus, this visible represen