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as to give great satisfaction : As, in opening the mystery of the : battle in Heaven, (Rev. xii,) and the casting-down Satan unto the earth, he shews that states and kingdoms in the world political are indeed much answerable to the condition of world natural, and accordingly represented in scripture. For, as the world natural consists of heaven and earth, so in each state a kingdom is found somewhat answerable hereunto, and that is the Nobility and Laity. And as in Heaven there are Sun, Moon, and Stars of lesser and greater magnitude, so in every kingdom there is a King, and Queen, and Nobles, and that in great variety of degrees of magnitude, And as in earth there is great variety of creatures, as of trees of various sorts, and of herbs and flowers; so in the people of any Commonwealth is
From the multitude of French Protestants who had then taken refuge in England to avoid the tyrannical measures consequent on the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz, it was not difficult to obtain a French minister who would embark on the expedition here described. A subsequent quotation from the same work will explain this matter more fully, and will also serve to shew that even the Bishop of St. Asaph himself, though happy in one of his conjectures, was a more sanguine interpreter of sacred prophecy than Mr. Mede had been, and therefore committed greater mistakes.
.“ June 18th 1690. Fast-day. Visited the Bishop of St. Asaph. He and his company's conversation was on the Vaudois in Savoy, who had been thought so near destruction and final extirpation by the French, being totally given up to slaughter, so that there were no hopes for them; but now it pleased God, that the Duke of Savoy,—who had hitherto joined with the French in their persecution, was now pressed by the French to deliver up Saluce and Turin as cautionary towns, on suspicion that he might at last come into the confederacy of the German Princes,--did secretly concert measures with and afterwards declared for them. He then invited these poor people from their dispersion amongst the mountains whither they had Aed, and restored them to their country, their dwellings, and the exercise of their religion, and begged pardon for the ill usage they had received, charging it on the cruelty of the French who forced him to it. These being the remajuder of those persecuted christians wbich the Bishop of St. Asaph had so long affirmed to be the two witnesses spoken of in the Revelation, who should be killed and brought to life again, it was looked on as an extraordinary thing that this prophesying Bishop should persuade two fugitive ministers of the Vaudois to return to their country, and [should] furnish them with Twenty Pounds towards their journey, at that very time when nothing but universal destruction was to be expected, assuring them and shewing them from the Apocalypse that their countrymen should be returned safely to their country before they arrived. This, happening contrary to all expectations and appearance, did exceedingly credit the Bishop's confidence how that prophecy of the witnesses should so come to pass, just at the time, and the very month he had spoken of some years before. I afterwards went with him to Mr. Boyle and Lady Ranelagh his sister, to whom he explained the necessity of it so fully and learnedly made out, with what events were immediately to follow viz. the French king's ruin, the calling of the Jews to be near at hand, but that the kingdom of Antichrist would not yet be utterly destroyed, till thirty years, when Christ should begin the Millennium, not as personally and visibly reiguing on earth, but that the true religion and universal peace should obtain through all the world. He shewed how Mr. Brightman, Mr. Mede, and other interpreters of these events, failed, by mistaking and reckoning the year, as the Latins and others did, tu consist of the present calculation so many days to the year, whereas the Apocalypse reckons after the Persian account, as Daniel did, whose visions St. John all along explains as meaning only the Christian Church." Idem.
found great variety of differences. And upon this ground, and by this course of interpretation which he taketh, whereas other writers give pretty interpretations many times, which the reader perhaps could wish to be true; Mr. Mede, by his grounds and manner of proceeding, convinceth the reader of the truth of that sense and meaning of the text which is delivered by him, even to admiration.
By New Jerusulem is meant · Christ and his raised saints;" who are called the saints whom he shall bring with him.' (1 Thess. iv.) And by the nations are meant 'all the faithful servants
of God who shall be found here alive at Christ's coming.'* And I find that, through the want of distinguishing these, the Ancient Fathers, and particularly Epiphanius, have discoursed very wildly against the glorious kingdom of Christ here on earth, yet in just opposition to the Cerinthians, whose guise it was to discourse very carnally of the glorious kingdom of Christ; the consideration whereof moved Austin to relinquish the doctrine of Christ's kingdom here on earth, which formerly he embraced, as himself professeth in one of his works, De Civitate Dei, where he treats thereof.+
* That Dr. Twisse and his brother Calvinists ought not to have appropriated to themselves this character, is very evident by the following extract from Mr. Mede's Remains : “ Those who shall be partakers of this kingdom are described to be of two sorts : (1.) The deceased Martyrs who shall resume their bodies and reign in heaven: (2.) Such of the living as have not worshipped the beast, nor his image, neither have received his mark, &c.; these shall reign on earth. Under the second sort of those reigners, together with the virgin Christians of the Gentiles', (who are the surrogate Israel,) 1 would in a particular respect understand the nation of the Jews, then converted to the faith of Christ; who, coming in toward the end of the day, may above all others be said to be those who had not worshipped the beast, &c., which most of the christian Gentiles bad done, and therefore at their cleansing are rather described as those that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.
† To the exception, that Mr. Mede afforded too much countenance to the Chiliasts, or those who expect the Millennium on earth, it has been said in answer by his biographer: “ That what Mr. Mede did herein cannot bejustly counted any blemish to his name and honour. For, grant that opinion were an error, yet, saith be, it bath very much to plead its toleration and their pardon that hold it. Whatever it be, it passed for a precious truth, even in the purest and most untainted ages of the Church for the space of above three hundred years, and had the suffrages of the most eminent doctors that lived in those times. Nor was it ever discountenanced, till the Church, recovering breath from her persecutions, began perhaps a little too much to prize her peace, and, disvaluing her expectations, to set up her rest in her enjoyed tranquillity. Not to argue its verisimilitude from the consonancy, it seems to have with the many glorious prophecies of Christ's Kingdom in the Old Testament, which otherwise find many cold interpretations among expositors,-a man can bardly, without admitting it, make good sense of those places, in the twentieth and twenty-first chapters of the Revelation, which tells us of a First and Second Resurrection, and of a Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God. Which last seemed to him extremely harsh to expourd of the state of bliss in heaven; and to make descending out of heaven' to signify ascending up thither,' was more absurd than that of the Canonist, who expounded Constituimus by Abrogamus. So that he was compelled by that and many other places, against his inclination, to allow
“ What cause have we to bless God for bringing us forth in these days of light ! May we not apply that of Esay unto these times ? : When darkness covered the earth, and
gross darkness the people, the Lord hath risen upon us, and his glory hath been seen upon us. (1) Not only in respect of the great Reformation wrought in this western part of the world, a hundred years ago and more: God awaking as it were out of a sleep, and like a giant refreshed with wine: And the Lord Christ awaking, and stirring up his strength for the raising up of Jacob, and restoring the desolations of Israel, and blessing us with a resurrection of his gospel, and discovering the man of sin, and blasting him with the breath of his mouth. (2.) But also opening the mystery of the slaughter of the witnesses, t which we have just reason to conceive to have been on foot divers so much of Chiliasm as might make sense of those prophecies; yet always keeping himself from falling into those dotages which some of that opinion fancied, ur at least were charged with: Neither denying any necessary Catholic verity, nor admitting any thing inconsistent with the analogy of faith, and submitting his opinion to the judgment of the Church. And, within these limits, I never yet learned why he, or any other learned man, may not have the liberty of his own sense, or in such problematical points should incur any censure for dissenting from others.” Mede's Life.
*“ What a gracious God do we serve, that hath so well provided for us in these times and for our consolation so many hundred years ago! And as he hath reserved us for these times of light, so he raisethup some to open these oracles unto us! What should man be better for that sweet dew, (honey, I mean,) if the Lord had not provided such a creature as the bee by natural instinct to seek after it, and gather it for the use of others, as well as for themselves ? I protest unto you, if I should lie in prison all days of my life, next unto the consolations of God's Spirit your writings would most refresh me: They do always dispel melancholy. I desire no better preferment than you can perform, and that is, to be preferred to acquaintance with your rarities." Twisse's Eleventh Letter:
A number of these flattering episodes are to be found in various parts of the correspondence : Their intentiou is obvious, but they had not the desired effect upon the integrity of Joseph Mede's spirit. Few men of that age were entitled to make a declaration similar to that which occurs in one of his letters to Mr. Hartlib in 1638 ; for he could say with truth, “ I confess I endeavour, as much as I can possibly, to subdue myself unto freedom from prejudice, studium partium, or from a desire to find for tbis side rather than that:" And whoever reads another of his declarations in page 519, will perceive the correctness of this remark. In the same letter to Mr. Hartlib, he adds, “ The world loves to be deceived rather thau to be taught, and will never entertain any man well that shall deal ingenuously with them. He must look to have Micaiah's luck: He must say true, and yet not prophesy against Ahab! If he does, he must to pound and to bard meat for it." This was, in Mr. Mede's case, the language of experience.
+ The following extract, from King James's Paraphrase on the Revelation, displays considerable ingenuity; he speaks in the person of St. Jobn, and says: “ (2) Tbe hypocritical and antichristian church shall tread down and persecute the true church, for the space of two and forty months, or three years and a half, for it is both one number. This space prescribed by Christ alludeth to Daniel's prophecy of two times, a time, and half a time: For as Daniel meant thereby the half of his prophetical week, so, Christ means by this, that the persecution of this destroyer shall last the half, to wit, it shall reign about the midst of the last age of this whole week, which begins at his incarnation and first coming, and ends at his last coming again, hich, because it is the last period, is here compared to a week.—(3.) But I
years, not by judicial proceedings only in the martyrdom of God's saints, but by the sword of war, first in the Low Countries, then in France, after that in Bohemia, then in Germany, (which how long it should continue, Mr. Mede professeth to be uncertain,) and now amongst us, first in Ireland, then in England, and that by the anti-christian generation, with so manifest opposition unto truth and holiness under a Protestant Prince as, I think, the like was never known since the beginning of the world.
shall give that holy town to two witnesses of mine, who, clothed with sackcloth, shall prophesy tbe space of one thousand, two hundred and three score days: For, these my successors he shall raise up, as witnesses, to wit, a sufficient number of them, (for out of the mouth of two or THREE witnesses every word is confirmed,') to witness, that their doctrine is false who persecute the church which he shall give unto them: For be shall make them their patrons, to defend and feed them by the power of the true word, and they shall preach repentance to that counterfeit church; and therefore they are said to be clothed in sackcloth. And, to assure us to our great comfort, that, in all the time of blindness, God shall ever be raising up some of these two witnesses against the bypocritical destroyer, and to comfort and confirm his true church, it is said, they shall prophesy the number of days that ye have heard, wbich is correspondent justly to the months before mentioned, to wit, they shall not leave off to witness all the time of the antichristian kingdom.-(4.) These witnesses are two green olives, who anoint the elect with that holy oil; and two candlesticks, (as Christ said, to enlighten the world with their brightness,) who are set down and do their office, in the presence of Him who is Lord and Ruler of the earth.-(5.) And if any shall press to harm them, fire shall come out of their mouths and devour their enemies : For, whosoever will do them any hurt, himself must be slain so, to wit, the Holy Spirit, who is the fire in their mouth, shall accuse and cause to be destroyed, with the second death, all them that either persecute them, or will not hear or obey their doctrine.-(12.) And they heard a great voice from the heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither : Then they ascended up into heaven, and their enemies saw them do so : For although that, during the flourishing of this heretical and hypocritical monarchy, the true pastors no sooner appeared than they were put to death, yet at the last this monarchy shall begin to decay when the three years, or the three days and a half thereof, shall be expired: And then shall the Spirit of life from God, to wit, the Holy Spirit sent from God, work mightier in the latter pastors of these days, so as in them shall the by-past martyrs be revived, and their doctrine shall take root in the hearts of many; and their reasons shall be so pithy, as the antichristian sect and the rest of the world shall know as perfectly that they shall prevail, as if they heard God call them to heaven, to reward them there for their victory: Neither shall they bave power of their lives; for God shall move the hearts of many to defend them in such glory and safety, as if they were mounting up to heaven iu a cloud, and they not able to hinder them."
These premises were too general, and the consequences too spiritual, for the purposes of Dr. Twisse and other Puritans, who called themselves the two witnesses, and the reputed Arminians were the antichristian beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, &c.
* This is a clear and unequivocal exposure of the views entertained by Dr. Twisse and the Calvinistic party concerning the persons intended by the prophetic designation of the two witnesses. In their estimation they were no other than themselves, the Calvinists of Holland, France, Bohemia, Germany, Ireland and England. In the preceding part of this Appendix, from page 242 to 266, I have given a brief exposition of “the uncommonly enthusiastical aspect” which was communicated to these Foreign Predestinarian Churches, by “ the partially successful experiment of the Synod of Dort, and by the Elector Palatine's acceptance of the crown of Bohemia,"
“After this strange war and slaughter of the witnesses," which hasteneth to a period, the continuance of it shall be but three years and a half; in which space of time they that dwell on the earth shall rejoice over them and make merry,and send gifts one to another; because these prophets tormented them that dwelt upon the earth. But after three days and a half, when the Spirit of life from God should enter into them, and they stand upon their feet, great fear should fall upon them which saw them. which induced them to augur propitiously concerning the ultimate and speedy establishment of a Calvinian universal Monarchy." I bave also shewn, from page 267 to the close of Appendix P, that though “ these imaginary Calvinistic triumphs severally terminated in the hopelessness of despondency, yet a great door of hope was opened to the party in England;" and that the English Predestinarians were not " content to have this ground of hope in their eye only and to contemplate it by faith," but, in the language of Sir Henry Vane, they considered “there was a duty of the day, a generation-work, respecting the time and circumstances of action in which the lot of their lives was cast, which called upon them to use all lawful and righteous means that were afforded by the good hand of God, through the inward light and knowledge he vouchsafed, and outward providences and helps which he cast in, whereby to make way for and to be hasting unto the coming of that day of God." They were not slow or reluctant about adopting this operative or militant plan, but entered heartily, upon its execution. The expressions of Dr. Twisse in the text, among the multitude of other wit. nesses, are in proof of the extraordinary enthusiasm which actuated the whole fraternity. For he makes all those who had been vexed " by judicial proceedings," as well as those slain " by the sword of war,” to be God's saints and martyrs." He tells his readers “ that this slaughter of the witnesses, which had been on foot divers years, was then hastening to a period;" after which “ the Spirit of God should enter into them, they should stand upon their feet, and great fear should fall upon thuse which saw them.” That part of the prediction which regarded " great fear” was literally fulfilled ; for, like the followers of Mahomet, who were their brethren in the belief of Fatalism, they employed the sword for the propagation of their faith, and put the multitude of their opponents into bodily fear. But in nearly every other circumstance the prediction failed: Dr. Twisse did not hear“ a voice from heaven saying unto him, Come up hither !," when be was constituted Prolocutor of the Assembly of Divines, unless he contented bimself by interpreting to his own advantage the commonly-abused maxim of Vox populi vox Dei :-The Calvinists did not commence a millenary tranquillity, whep under their beloved Republic they furiously debated conceroing a mutual toleration of their ecclesiastical differences :- And they did not, either literally or metaphorically, “ ascend up to heaven in a cloud in sight of their enemies ;". but were doomed to resume their much-abhorred
sack-cloth" as a judicial punishment, and, by a striking train of providential occurrences which no man could then have foretold, were compelled to suffer a series of distresses and privations, nearly as loug in their duration as those which they had presumptuously inflicted on their Arminian brethren.
From the whole of this correspondence it will appear, that almost all the Calvinistic divines of eminence in those days were visionary Millenarians, and abused that doctrine in promoting their own vile purposes. I could demonstrate this from the publications of several of them, as well as from their private correspondence. It afterwards indeed became the fashion to cast the blame of all this fanaticism upon the Fifth-Monarchy men, the Vanists, &c. who ran into some more egregious extravagancies than the earlier Calvinistic Republicans. But, in their eager expectations of the unmolested enjoyment of a kind of terrestrial paradise, there was no great difference between the parties.
* In the year 1655, after nearly all the mischiefs had been commiited which are described in a preceding part of this Appendix, a quarto volume was pub