Eureka - An Exposition of the Apocalypse - John Thomas
Chapter 9 8.
II. THE SEVENTH SEAL OPENED This seal covers the whole period from a.d. 324 to a.d. 1908, an interval of 1584 years. It therefore exhibits the judgments specially allotted to the seven trumpets, seven vials, and seven thunders. It treats of the development of the Imperialized Laodicean Apostasy into "the Powers that be" of the Greco-Latin, or Roman Habitable, under the forms of the Beast of the Sea, the Beast of the Earth (Apoc. 13), the Scarlet-colored Beast and Drunken Babylonian Rider (Apoc. 17:1-6), and the Image of the Beast (Apoc. 13:14-18; 15:2); and of the relation of these powers to the Fugitive Woman, and to the Remnant of her Seed, "who keep the commandments of the Deity, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Apoc. 12:17). They are prevailed against; (Apoc. 13:7; 11:2; Dan. 7:21); but the Ancient of Days comes to their relief; the tide of adversity is turned; the Saints become victorious; the Apostasy, incorporated in the blasphemous Names and Denominations of "Christendom" is abolished; and they take possession of the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven (Dan. 7:27) of Daniel's Four Beasts. ARENA OF THE SEVENTH SEAL
"The earth and the whole habitable" (Apoc. 16:14), or, Territory of Nebuchadnezzar's Metallic Image. TRANSLATION Apoc. 8 1. And when he opened the Seventh Seal, silence ensued in the heaven about half an hour. 2. And I saw the seven angels, who stood in the sight of the Deity, and seven trumpets had been given to them. 3. And another angel came, and stood by the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him many odors, that he might cast for the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which is in the sight of the throne. 4. And the smoke of the perfumes for the prayers of the saints ascended from the hand of the angel in the presence of the Deity. 5. And the angel took the censer, and filled it from the fire of the altar, and cast into the earth, and there were voices and thunders and lightnings, and an earthquake. 6. And the seven angels having the seven trumpets prepared themselves that they might sound. 7. And the first angel sounded, and there was hail and fire which had been mingled with blood, and it was cast into the earth: and the third of the earth and the third of the trees was consumed, and every green blade was burned up. 8. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire, was cast into the sea; and the third of the sea became blood. 9. And the third of the creatures in the sea having souls, died; and the third of the ships was destroyed. 10. And the third angel sounded, and a great star blazing as it were a torch fell out of the heaven; and it fell upon the third of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters. 11. And the name of the star is called the Apsinthian; and the third of the waters became undrinkable; and many of the men died out of the waters, because they were made bitter. 12. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third of the sun, and the third of the moon, and the third of the stars, was smitten; so that the third of them was darkened, and the day shone not the third of it, and the night likewise. 13. And I saw, and heard from one, an eagle flying in mid-heaven, saying in a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe, to the dwellers upon the earth, from the remaining voices of the trumpet-call of the three angels hereafter to sound." EXPOSITION 1. Silence in the Heaven John was informed, that the opening of the seventh seal would be marked by silence coming into existence in the heaven -- egeneto sige en to ourano. This implies, that before the opening of the seventh seal there was the absence of silence; in other words, that there was noise or tumult in the heaven. The uproar must have been very great, from the fact, that the silence ensuing was deemed worthy of prophetic annunciation. When we are reminded of the events of the sixth seal, there is no difficulty in conceiving the nature of the uproar. The "great red Dragon" of paganism was then in the heaven, and the Michael-Power also. These were two antagonist forces which could not dwell together in unity: so war broke out between them, and they contended for the throne of Deity in the heaven. And so it is written. "There was war in the heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was a place found of them still in the heaven" (ch. 12:7, 8). This expulsion of the Pagan Dragon-Power from the heaven left the Michael-Power sole occupant of the throne in the heaven; so that the final victory over the Dragon-Power placed the Michael-Chieftain, who was the new born Son of the Woman, upon the apocalyptic throne of the Deity, to which he had been "caught up" by a career of conquest during eighteen years, in which he never lost a battle. Being therefore, only one supreme power in the heaven, all uproar between powers in the heaven would necessarily cease, and "silence" would ensue. Hence, "silence in the heaven" was peace in the political aerial -- the stillness and quietude of a calm after one storm; and before the outburst of another. As one of the idol-poets of the heathen sings: 'Twas as we often see against some storm, A silence in the heavens; the rack stand still, The bold winds speechless, and the orb below As hush as death: anon the dreadful thunder Doth rend the regions. The "silence in the heaven" then, was a period of tranquility in the region of government, extending from the terminus of the sixth seal, signalized by the decisive battle of Chrysopolis, a.d. 324; and reaching to "the voices," which resulted from the "fire cast into the earth," by the Angel-Priest of the Apocalyptic Temple (ver. 5). Between these two epochs, the reign of the conqueror was undisturbed by rivals or usurpers; and he was enabled to bequeath to his own family the inheritance of the Roman world. "The general peace," says Gibbon, "which he maintained during the last fourteen years of his reign, was a period of apparent splendor rather than of real prosperity; and the old age of Constantine was disgraced by the opposite yet reconcilable views of rapaciousness and prodigality." Having no competitor to dispute his authority, he might have been the happiest of rulers, but for the corrupting influence of prosperity; and the quarrels of the Arian and Trinitarian factions of his new religion. He condescended to beseech these ignorant fanatics not to disturb the general tranquility of the times. "The favor which I seek," said he, "is that you examine the causes of division, and bring the controversy to a close, and that you thus restore peace and unanimity among yourselves; so that I may triumph with you over our enemy the Devil, who excited this internal strife because he was provoked to see our external enemies subdued and trampled upon beneath our feet" -- as symbolized by "the moon under the Woman's feet." While then, there was silence in the government, there was uproar in the Church characterized by every evil work, which at length became the cause of the providentially retributive "voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and earthquake" which preceded the preparation of the angels to whom the sounding of the seven trumpets was assigned (ver. 6). 2. Half an Hour Tranquility reigned in the newly constituted government of the Roman Dragon hos hemiorion, about half an hour. This is symbolic time, or time in miniature. The apocalypse in the general is a miniature representation of an original conception of Divine Wisdom, which, when manifested in the accomplished facts will vastly exceed in magnitude the terms in which the conception is expressed. Hence, all its particulars partake of this general character, as parts partake of the nature of the whole. Thus, in respect of number, the 144,000 is a miniature representation of an undefined multitude vastly in excess of that numerical square of twelve thousand; and in respect of person, an angel represents a class of agents; so also it is with time; the times of the apocalypse are upon a miniature, but proportional scale; and suited to the nature of the subject in hand. The longest period in the apocalypse in reference to the affairs of the saints is 1,260. It is transferred from the book of Daniel, ch. 7:25, and 12:7, where it is given in the formula "a time, times, and the dividing of time." This formula is itself reproduced in Apoc. 12:14, as representative of the period during which the Fugitive Woman was to be nourished in the two wings of the Great Eagle. The question, how should these "times" be expressed in figures? is answered in the sixth verse of this chapter, where the period of the nourishing or feeding is stated at 1260 days. This, therefore, gives us certainty, that "a time, times, and the dividing of time" is a period equal to 1260. This 1260 is a whole number constituting the numerical expression of the aion or cycle pertaining to the saints, in their hostile relations to that blasphemous power into whose hands they were to be given (Dan. 7:21-25; Apoc. 13:6). The shorter times of the apocalypse are proportional parts of 1260; which is itself the half of 2520, or Seven Times, allotted to "the Kingdom of Men," styled by Paul, "the powers that be." Between these and the saints in Christ Jesus, there was to be war. The saints were to be overcome till their aion expired; and then they are to conquer, and their conquest will be complete, when the aion of "the Powers that be," the 2520, shall be full (Dan. 4:16, 23). The apocalypse has to do with the second half of the 2520; the former half in the first six centuries and half of it pertaining to Israel according to the flesh exclusively; and in its last six centuries, to the faithful in Christ in their conflict with paganism and catholicism before the legal and constitutional establishment of Popery. The second, or latter, half of the 2520, is the aion of the saints running parallel with popery; and terminating with the manifestation era of the Ancient of Days, or Time of the End, which ends with the end of the 2520. But, what are these Seven Times of 2520? Are they so many of what the Gentile speculators term "literal days" of twenty-four hours each; or literal years? When we consider the subject of which the 2520 is the aion, or cycle, we shall see that it can only be a cycle of years. It is the Cycle of a Tree representing the loftiness and extension of the Kingdom of Men. This umbrageous dominion existed in great glory; and was symbolized by the majesty of Babylon, styled, in the days of Nebuchadnezzar, "the house of the Kingdom." Nebuchadnezzar being the reigning monarch, was the representative for the time then present of this Tree-Dominion, as was Cyrus after him; and Alexander the Great many years after Cyrus. Over this kingdom 2520 were to pass in the line of its gold, silver, brass, iron, and clay dynastic constitutions. What happened to Nebuchadnezzar was typical of what should happen to the Tree. He was hewn down from his loftiness, deprived of reason, and made to herd with the beasts for 2520 "literal days," or seven times of days. This was the sign, or type; and a sign, in its times, persons, actions, &c., always represents something, analogous indeed, but different from itself. According to the sign, then, so it was to come over the kingdom of men, at that time overshadowing the nations to the end of the earth, like a tree whose height reached to heaven, and the sight thereof to all the earth. Its loftiness was to be hewn down, as it was by Cyrus; but it was not then to be uprooted: the stump of its roots was to continue in the earth, banded with iron and brass; and 2520 was to pass over it. Now the Kingdom of Men undeniably exists in our time; and has continuously existed from the days of Nebuchadnezzar, who began his reign over it about 2478 years ago. It is now the stump banded with a Greco-Latin band; and will continue so banded until it shall have been completely eradicated by Christ and the saints at the end of 2520. The reader will perceive, then, that the Kingdom of Men being the subject to be passed over by the 2520, the limitation of this period to "literal days" is out of the question. It can only signify 2520 years; and this being so, the 1260 of the apocalypse, being the latter half of it, must be years also. But this apocalyptic aion of 1,260 years is expressed in months as well as days. Divided by 30, the number of units in the twelfth of a time, the product is 42. These, in Apoc. 11:2, and 13:5, are termed "forty-two months," during which the saints, or Holy City, are trodden under foot by the Gentiles of the unmeasured court, and symbolized, in their civil and ecclesiastical constitution by the Beast of the Sea and his Mouth of Blasphemy. By this example, we learn, that a symbolic month is equal to 30 years. Now, a moon or month is the twelfth of a cycle. If the cycle be of 360 days, it will be 30 days; but if the cycle be of 360 years, then the month will be 30 years. Month is used six times in the prophecy; twice in the singular. Except in Apoc. 22:2, it always stands for 30 years, or the twelfth of a time. Being, then, the twelfth of a cycle, it is also the Hour of that cycle. The small cycle of light, called a day, which is the root of all the greater cycles, was divided by the Jews into twelve equal parts; and the night into other twelve. If they had divided their day-cycle into twenty-four hours, as we do, a month and an hour would not be equivalent. But their division, which is the scriptural one, makes a month and an hour representative of twelfths of a whole to be determined by the subject treated of. In Apoc. 9:15 there is a notable proportional use of a symbolic hour, day, month, and year. Here hour is proportional of day; and month similarly proportional of year. The nature of the subject excludes the idea of "day" signifying a day; and "year" signifying 365 days, or year; besides that symbolic time, which is time in miniature, always represents time longer than itself. Here, "day" stands for year; and "year" for a term of years; so that the "hour" is the twelfth of the "day" or 30 days; and the "month," the twelfth of the "year," or time of years, and therefore equal to 30 years. This is the only place in the apocalypse where hour stands for thirty days. It occurs in seven other places after this; but in all these it stands alone, and represents a judicial period of thirty years, or the twelfth of a time. But, in ch. 8:1, are we to understand the Half-hour, as fifteen days or fifteen years? or, as the literalist theory of thirty minutes? The literalist notion is too ridiculous for a serious refutation. A silence of fifteen days would be no novelty, or new thing to predict; for during the uproarious period of the sixth seal, there were many "fifteen days" of silence; but there was no "silence in the heaven as it were fifteen years." This was peculiar to the opening of the Seventh Seal. We conclude, then, that the half-hour in the text, and it is the only half-hour specified in the New Testament, is a period of fifteen years. The silence continued about that time. It may have fallen a little short. If it had been written in the text egeneto sige hemiorion, silence ensued half an hour, then we should expect to find that it continued exactly fifteen years; but the insertion of hos, about, before hemiorion, leads us to expect the probability of the silence not being prolonged to the full measure of half an hour. What, then, is the 3. Historical Testimony In the case? It is that the decisive battle that ejected the "Great Red Dragon" out of the heaven, in which he had been carrying on war against the Michael-Power, was fought at Scutari, or Chrysopolis, a.d. 324. "By this victory of Constantine," says Gibbon, "the Roman world was again united under the authority of one emperor, thirty-seven years after Diocletian had divided his power and provinces with his associate Maximin." Constantine reigned after this battle till a.d. 337, in which he died on May 22. This gives a little over thirteen years to his death. But to these thirteen years there are four months to be added, as the silence continued so long after the emperor's death. It may, therefore, be said that the silence was unbroken for nearly fourteen years. As I have already quoted, Gibbon characterizes the last fourteen years of Constantine's reign as peaceful; "the general peace," says he, "which he maintained during the last fourteen years of his reign." I cannot, however, make it quite so long. If he is correct, then, it would be over fourteen, and in the fifteenth year of silence to the first voice. At all events, the "silence in the heaven" fell short of the full half-hour, by some months. It was therefore as the text declares, not exactly, but "about half an hour." 4. The Apocalyptic Temple The sealing of the 144,000 being inaugurated at the opening of the Seventh Seal, by which sealing process the Spirit "spued out of his mouth" the Laodicean Catholicism of the Nikolaitans of the day -- the Ariuses, Athanasiuses, Eusebiuses, Lactantiuses, and their coreligionists of the fourth century -- the Temple, or Tabernacle of the Deity, in which he would condescend to sojourn upon the earth, must be sought for in connexion with a community to which these ecclesiastics, whether Arian or Athanasian, were opposed. The reader will understand that during that Half-hour Period of the Seventh Seal, there were Two Temples in the Greco-Latin, or Roman, world. They were two hostile establishments which would tolerate no fellowship between their respective members. The one was constituted of all who styled one another Arians and Athanasians; of all who professed a religion of sacraments; worshipped the ghosts of martyrs; venerated relics; practised celibacy and monachism; commanded to abstain from meats; and gloried in their alliance with the State. This was the temple in which Paul in 2 Thess. 2:4, predicted "the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition," would appear. That he would set himself up above all that is called god, or a power to which homage is paid; and that as a supreme power he would sit in the Temple of the Power, showing himself that he is a supreme power or god. The nucleus of this power had just been born, as the Man-child of the Catholic Woman; and, although an unbaptized emperor, sat in the temple and exhibited himself there as the supreme power, or god. He presided in the Nicene and other Councils, and made laws for his church; and punished with severe pains and penalties those who conscientiously refused submission to his decrees. He was constituted "Head of the Church," and determined all matters of discipline; and acted in all respects as the spiritual vicegerent of the Deity. He confiscated the buildings in which the Donatists assembled; and sent many of them into banishment, which he ultimately revoked. He ordered the observance of martyr-festivals; dedicated churches with great solemnity; preached discourses in them; ordered the sacred observance of Sunday, to which he added that of Friday also, as the week-day of the crucifixion; and taught the soldiers of his army to pray by a form made for their use. But, sound principle being wanting, all this was mere superstition. His sermons had as little scriptural teachings of the truth, as those of the clerical speculators of our own time; they were rhetorical and indistinct, so that no determinate propositions can be extracted from them. He was the living incarnation of the spirit inhabiting the temple in which he sat enthroned. The worst of Constantine's character came out in the half-hour of this seal. "The conclusion of his reign" says Gibbon, "degraded him from the rank which he had acquired among the most deserving of the Roman princes. In the life of Constantine, we contemplate a hero, who had long inspired his subjects with love, and his enemies with terror, degenerating into a cruel and dissolute monarch, corrupted by his fortune, or raised by conquest above the necessity of dissimulation. An impartial narrative of the executions, or rather murders, which sullied his declining years, will suggest to our most candid thoughts, the idea of a prince who could sacrifice without reluctance the laws of justice, and the feelings of nature, to the dictates either of his passions or of his interest." Maxentius, the ruler defeated by Constantine at the battle of Milvian Bridge just outside Rome (312). Just before this battle, he claimed to have seen the cross superimposed on the sun -- thus his veneration of Sol Invictus the Sun god and toleration of Christianity. He treated the sun and the Christian God as one. As late as 318 he was issuing coins with the legend Sol Invictus Comes Augusti, and his edict enforced Sunday as a day of rest. His victory resulted in his domination of Rome, capital of the Empire. Constantius is portrayed entering London in the year 296; as Caesar he was responsible for Spain, Gaul and Britain. He was the father of Constantine. Licinius for a time shared the rule of the Empire with Constantine but was in turn defeated and ousted at Chrysopolis in 323. This left Constantine in sole command. On 18 Sept., 324 Constantine crossed the Bosphorus to receive the submission of Byzantium, which two years later he commenced to rebuild. He renamed it New Rome, or Constantinople as it came to be called. Such was the Imperial Bishop of the Catholic Temple, in which superstition and self righteousness flourished vigorously; while "the truth as it is in Jesus" was utterly unknown, or disregarded. The patience of Deity, however, waited until about the end of the half-hour, when he began to visit upon the family of Constantine, "voices and thunderings and lightnings and earthquake," in retribution of his crimes against the guiltless, his spiritual usurpation, and his blasphemy against heaven. The medallion, (left) issued by Constantine depicts the Emperor on one side, his left shoulder covered by a shield on which can be seen the Wolf and Twins; his right hand holds the bridle of a horse, and behind a shield is a standard. On the imperial helmet in front of the plume is a Christogram. The reverse side shows the Emperor addressing his cavalry. The detail of the helmet indicates the dual commitment of Constantine to both Sol the sun god, and Christ. The standard visible behind Constantine's shield recurs later as a specifically Christian object. The medallion, (right) -- This coin depicts an early form of the imperial "labarum", the standard adopted by Constantine. It is significant that the standard is depicted as being thrust into a serpent. See Apoc. 12:9, 15. But, in opposition to all this, the Deity was building for himself a habitation, in which his Word should be enthroned. Illustrative of this, we may remark, that Paul, in writing to the ecclesia of saints in Corinth, says in 1 Cor. 4:15, "I have begotten you in Christ Jesus through the gospel." This was the prime agent of their introduction into Christ -- the gospel ministered by the apostle; so that when, through a hearty belief of it, they came to be immersed for the putting on of him in whom they believed, he says to them in 1 Cor. 12:13, "By one Spirit are we all immersed into One Body, whether Jews or Gentiles." The many members of this One Body being all the servants of the Deity sealed in their foreheads by the gospel, the apostle tells them in 1 Cor. 3 that they are "a building of Deity;" "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the foundation-corner; in whom, all the building fitly framed together groweth into a Holy Temple in the Lord; in whom ye are builded together into a Habitation of the Deity through spirit," or the truth (Eph. 2:20). Thus, "the Deity dwelleth not in temples," or "churches," "made with hands," but in a Holy Temple built by the formative power of the truth understood, believed, and obeyed. Every stone of this temple is living, and precious, and bought at the high price of the blood of Jesus Christ. Peter says, they are "lively stones built up a spiritual house," or temple (1 Pet. 2:5; and in 2 Cor. 6:16), Paul repeats the idea, saying to the true believers, "Ye are the temple of the living Deity." After such plain and pointed declarations as these, no one being acquainted with them, and comprehending them, can possibly believe, that the temples of the "religious world," whether the term be affirmed of a name, or denomination, or of all names and denominations collectively, or of cathedrals, churches, chapels, and conventicles, -- are temples of the Deity. These are none of his buildings. The impress of his workmanship is upon none of them; and therefore in none of them doth he reside, either by the truth, or spiritual gift. The temples styled by the clericals "Houses of God," are what Daniel's prophecy denominates mivtzahrai mahuzzim, "Bazaars of the Guardians;" or ecclesiastical edifices dedicated to angels and the ghosts of saints, which are regarded in the mystery of spiritual sorcery, as "guardian spirits," or protectors of those who honor them. In these church-bazaars are deposited "sacred" images and pictures of "saints." They are Demon-Temples, wherein are placed shrines for the repose of relics, supposed to have belonged to the demon, or ghost, when a dweller upon earth; also silver, gold, and ivory crucifixes; old bones, and divers junk-store odds and ends, and various kinds of votive trumpery. They are literally "dens of thieves," without ever having been houses of the Father -- dens where people are robbed of their money under divers false pretences. They are places where pews are sold by auction, the proudest sittings being knocked down to Mammon's greatest favorites; places where fairs of vanity and deceit are beheld for "pious objects;" and where spiritual empirics pretend to "cure souls" in consideration of so much per annum. In view of these facts, the scriptural epithet bestowed upon the ecclesiastical edifices of the Apostasy is most appropriate. They are truly Bazaars of spiritual merchandize; and the prospering craft, "the great men of the earth" made rich by trading in their wares, are the Bazaar-men who extort all kinds of goods from their customers by putting them in fear, and comforting them with counterfeits upon some fictitious bank in the world to come. They "buy and sell" under license from the Ecclesiastical Power, having received its mark in their right hand or in their foreheads, or the name of the beast, or the number of its name (Apoc. 13:16, 17). The catalogue of their merchandize is exhibited in Apoc. 18:12, 13. Among the articles of trade are tithes, bodies, and souls of men. But the trade of those soul-merchants is in any thing but a satisfactory state at present. Great numbers of their customers have discovered that the profit is all on one side; nor are they backward in proclaiming that when a favorable opportunity presents they will break up the iniquitous concern, and make the cheats disgorge their unhallowed gains. This will be a sad day, a day of universal bankruptcy for the weeping and wailing merchants of "Babylon the Great" -- the temple of the Man of Sin; "for no man buyeth their merchandize any more." When the man's trade is thus broken up, nothing but ruin stares the shattered tradesman in the face. This is the fate that awaits the preachers of all the gospels of the Bazaars -- gospels other than Paul preached, and which leave men in ignorance and disobedience; gospels which make them zealous partizans of human crotchets and traditions; and the apologists of anything sincerely professed as a substitute for the truth. It is a remarkable characteristic of this designation, that the bazaars for priestly and clerical wares, are distinguished from houses or stores of fair and honorable trade, by the word Mauzzim, being styled Bazaars of Mauzzim. When jewelers, bakers, hardwaremen and such like, open stores, they emblazon their signs with their own names; but when the clergy open houses for the sale of their "spiritual things," they impose upon the ignorant public the idea that the houses belong to the apostles, and to those whom the apostles fellowshipped as saints and brethren! They make their dupes believe that these ancient christian worthies are not dead, but alive in heaven, and greatly interested in human affairs, especially in church-edifices, and the spiritual things vended therein by clerical and ministerial auctioneers! Hence, they put their statues in niches and on parapets, and make them presents of the "sacred buildings" in dedicating them, as is clear from the names they bear; as the "church of the Holy Apostles," and St. Sophia, at Constantinople, St. Peter's at Rome, Our Lady's at Paris, St. Paul's at London, New York, and Richmond, and so forth, in all cities and countries of the Gentiles. The grossness of the imposition, however, is not confined merely to the dedication of their auctionrooms to nonentities as if really in being; but, while they give them to their alleged "departed spirits," they will not permit the gospel the apostles preached, and the institutions they ordained, to be announced within their walls; but perversely persist in excluding it, and in making it of none effect by their vain and foolish traditions. But the whole system is a cheat, and a very profitable one for the present to those that live by it. It is ecclesiastical craft caused to prosper by the civil and military power; witness Rome, for instance, in the occupation of the French; what would become of church-craft, if the military power of France were withdrawn? Nay, what would become of it anywhere, but for the protection of the State? But this is emphatically the hour of church imposture and hyprocrisy; which will certainly continue to prosper, until Israel's Commander shall appear; and by his energy cause the mightiness of the truth to prevail, to the disruption and annihilation of all unprofitable and lying vanities. But to return. The temple of the Deity has no community of faith, interest, or practice with the spiritual bazaars of "the religious world." The apocalyptic temple is founded upon intelligence of the word, and is undefiled by the impostures and superstitions of the Apostasy. This is a temple the purity of which must be maintained, and he that defiles it by word or action will be certainly destroyed; as saith the apostle to the faithful in Christ Jesus, "If any man defile the temple of the Deity, him shall the Deity destroy; for the temple of the Deity is holy, which temple ye are" (1 Cor. 3:17). Now this temple of the Deity is apocalyptically manifested in two states. In the first state, the "Tabernacle of the Testimony" alone is visible, and that not in the heaven, though in heaven in a certain sense (ch. 8:3; 13:6); but, in the second state, "the temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony" becomes visible; and its interior even is opened, and the Ark of the Covenant is seen therein; and the whole developed in the heaven (Apoc. 3:12; 11:19; 15:5; 21:22). These apocalyptic temple states answer to the Altar-Court, the Holy Place, and the Most Holy within the Vail of the Mosaic Building. The apocalyptic Altar-Court and the Holy Place are what Paul styles in Eph. 1:3, "the Heavenlies in Christ." They are constituted of "the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus," who are partakers with the Altar, and worshippers therein (1 Cor. 9:13; 10:18; Heb. 13:10; Apoc. 11:1). An Ecclesia of Christ is, apocalyptically speaking, "the Altar and them that worship therein." They who constitute it have all been "cleansed in the Laver of the Water with doctrine;" and in passing through the water have passed into the Christ-Altar, and become one with it. When they die, they lie under the Altar, or "sleep in Jesus;" when they are slain for the word of the Deity and for their testimony, they are blood-souls under the Altar, crying for vengeance. But while they are living in the present state of tribulation and patience waiting for Christ, they are Altar-worshippers "having access by faith into" the heavenlies where Christ sits at the right hand of Power (Eph. 1:20; Rom. 5:2). But, being constituents of the Altar, they are "a Holy Priesthood," consecrated for the purpose of "Offering up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to the Deity through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet, 2:5). Now these sacrifices have to be offered both in the Altar-Court and in the Holy Place, where are the Bread and the Wine, and the ministry of the word, prayer, praise, and fellowship. As a community of priests, the faithful come together on the First Day of the Week, and in their session are manifested as a Heavenly; as a Holy Place; as the Tabernacle of the Testimony, "showing forth the praises of Him, who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light" ver. 9. In their ministrations and worship they stand, as it were an angel at the altar in the court, with the golden frankincense bowl of prayer. They are themselves this golden bowl, in which is much incense of prayers and praises, which they offer upon the golden altar. Their petitions and thanksgiving are kindled into odors of acceptable perfume by the fire taken from the altar of the court; and as constituents also of the golden altar of the Holy Place, the perfumes ascend before the Deity as it were out of the angel's hand. The Triumphal Arch of Constantine near the Colosseum, Rome A monument to the changing times, the arch is famous for the inscription in the middle of the attica. An English translation reads: "To the Emperor Caesar Flavius Constantine the Great pious, happy, Augustus, since he, inspired by the Godhead and by greatness of spirit, with his army, with lawful weapons and with one blow, avenged the State upon the enemy and upon his whole troop, the Senate and the Roman people dedicate this arch as a sign of his triumph." The reference to the Godhead was a neutral expression acceptable to both pagans and Christians! The reader will perceive that we are now in view of the scene dramatically exhibited in ch. 8:3-5. In this the angel, the altar, the golden censer, and the golden altar, are all symbolical of one body -- the temple of the Deity; or the saints in their spiritual apparatus of worship. They were the thousands being sealed in the half hour, whose prayers against Constantine and his Clergy, in their perversions of the truth and blasphemies against heaven, were answered when the half hour was about expiring, by the "voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and earthquake," which retributively scourged their enemies, the family of the emperor, and the excessively corrupt and vicious Catholic Church. The answer to the prayers from the Divine Temple is dramatized by the angel filling the censer or frankincense bowl with fire of the altar of sacrifice and casting it into the earth. This scene indicates that the judgments inflicted upon the church-peoples or Gentiles of "Christendom" are in the interest of the true believers. In writing to these, Paul says, "All things are for your sakes" (2 Cor. 4:15). These voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and earthquake, were for the sake of those "whose prayers ascended before the Deity out of the angel's hand." The voices, and so forth, would work no harm to them, provided they "loved the Deity, and were the called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28). The sealed of the 144,000 Foursquare Community prayed, and, in so doing, sent up many perfumes from their burning hearts, which smoked before the Deity. In his presence is their Forerunner, the Head and Chief of their community, no longer like themselves, "compassed with infirmity," but perfected, and, as the Quickening Spirit, makes intercession for them according to the Divine Will (Rom. 8:26, 27). He returned the answer to their prayers; for to him is given all power in heaven and in earth (Matt. 28:18). The judicial fire, therefore, went forth from the Christ-Altar, and kindled judgment upon the Arians and Athanasians of the Laodicean Apostasy, styled "the earth," illustrating the saying of Paul, "our Deity is a consuming fire." The reader will observe that, during this half-hour of silence in the heaven in which the prayers of the sealed saints are odoriferously and fragrantly ascending, the Seven Angel-Trumpeters are standing inactive before Deity. They are represented, in ch. 8:2, as having received their trumpets, but they are not in the attitude of sounding. The powers they represent are quiescent; for, in ch. 7:1-3, four of them -- the first four to sound -- were commanded not to operate until the sealing was effected to a due degree. They stand by, therefore, waiting during the half-hour of incense-burning, during the "voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and earthquake," and during all the years elapsing between the earthquake and the consummation of the sealing, when they "prepare themselves to sound" (ch. 8:6). The temple and altar of the Deity are measured, which is equivalent to saying that the saints who constitute the temple and altar are measured. Their measurement is 144,000 furlongs, or 144 cubits. This is the "measurement of the Man, that is, of an Angel" (Apoc. 21:17). None are included in this measurement who are not in the Man, who have not believed into Christ, and are, consequently, not members of the One Body, which is the almighty angel or Messenger of the Apocalypse. All not of this measured community constitute "the Court which is without the temple." This is cast out unmeasured and given to the Gentiles (Apoc. 11:1, 2) -- who, in relation to the temple of the Deity, are mere outside barbarians, "walking after the imaginations of their evil hearts." This ejected Court of the Gentiles is wholly occupied by those symbols of their civil and ecclesiastical organization, the beast of the sea, the beast of the earth, and the image, and the scarlet-colored beast and drunken woman that sits thereon. What are termed "the Names and Denominations of Christendom," all belong to this outside arena or court, reeking with pollution, and with the blood of the saints and witnesses of Jesus (Apoc. 17:6). No fragrant perfumes ascend from this court before the Deity. It is the arena of "philosophy and vain deceit;" of "science falsely so-called;" of "voluntary humility and worshipping of angels;" of "ordinances after the commandments and doctrines of men, which are a mere show of wisdom in will-worship;" of vain heathen repetitions, in which they think they will be heard for much and loud speaking; of professional prayer-making and sermon-mongering; of "seducing spirits and teachings of demons, who speak lies in hypocrisy with a seared conscience, forbidding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats;" of pietistic riotings for religion-getting; it is the arena of all these abominations and blasphemies, and yet more than we have time or space to set forth. These are the pestiferous odors that ascend to heaven from this "court without the temple." They are a thick and heavy fog, too dense to transmit a ray of light from the anointing that shines within the Tabernacle of the Testimony. "Darkness," therefore, "covers the earth, and gross darkness the peoples." The worship of this court, according to the rituals of the Greeks, Latins, and Teutons, is mere will-worship. The Deity has not required it of them; and that which he has required they will not observe to do. Catholics and Protestants, churchmen and dissenters, are all outer court worshippers of Deity "according to the dictates of their own consciences," not according to his appointment. Their worship, therefore, is vain, and not a spiritual sacrifice. "Spiritual sacrifices acceptable to the Deity through Jesus Christ," do not belong to this ejected outer court. Worship in spirit and in truth (and the Father-Spirit seeks only such (John 4:23, 24) belongs exclusively to the Altar and Holy Place -- to the Tabernacle of the Testimony. In this only are spiritual sacrifices offered according to the truth. The sacrifices of the Names and Denominations of the Outer Court are offensive abominations; for "the sacrifice and way and thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to Yahweh; he is far from them, and heareth not their prayer" (Prov. 15:8, 9, 26, 29). And that they are wicked, though professors of piety, they themselves confess in their liturgy, saying "Lord have mercy upon us, miserable sinners! We have done those things we ought not to have done, and we have left undone those things we ought to do; and there is no health in us!" Miserable sinners in whom there is no health are unquestionably the wicked. The Outer-Court Church, or "Religious World," is constituted of the wicked; who confess that the charge made against them by the Spirit is true -- that they "are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked" Laodiceans. Now the scripture saith, "the Deity heareth not sinners" -- "they cry unto Yahweh, but he heareth them not;" but of the true worshippers of the Tabernacle of the Testimony it saith, "if any man doeth his will, him he heareth;" and "the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers." The faithful in Christ Jesus are styled apocalyptically, "His Tabernacle," because they constitute the only habitation the Deity has on earth. "He dwells not in temples made with hands," but in the hearts of his worshippers in spirit and in truth. In writing to these, the apostle saith, "Let Christ dwell in your hearts by faith;" and Christ said, "I am the truth." When the truth, therefore, dwells or tabernacles in a man, the Deity dwells there. Hence, an ecclesia of such men is the Deity's Tabernacle preeminently. It is furthermore styled the Tabernacle of the Testimony, because the faithful in Christ are the community of saints "who keep the commandments of the Deity, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (ch. 12:17); and "the testimony is the spirit of the prophecy" contained in the apocalypse (ch. 19:10). The apostle John was one of this tabernacle, for he bare record of the testimony and suffered for it in Patmos (ch. 1:2, 9). The souls were laid under the altar in blood because of their faithfulness to this testimony (ch. 6:9). The tabernacle overcame the Dragon, red with their blood, by the word of their testimony (ch. 12:11). It is synonymous with "the Name," and "them dwelling in the heaven;" for all the constituents of the tabernacle are constituents of the Name, having been all immersed into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and they "dwell in the heaven," in the sense that "the Deity hath made them to sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). Saints walking in the truth, and being in fellowship with the apostles, and therefore with the Father and the Son (1 John 1:3), are a holy, heavenly community; and, being all in Christ, when they sit down to break bread and to drink wine, as Aaron and his sons did in the typical heavenly place, and to be instructed by the exposition of the word, which shines into their understanding and illuminates them, after the type of the seven branched lamp enlightening Aaron and his sons, the faithful sit down together in Christ, and apocalyptically "dwell in the heaven" (ch. 13:6). But, though the Tabernacle of the Testimony is visible on earth and may be discerned by all who have spiritual understanding; and though it is now the temple of the Deity, it is not the tabernacle and temple as it will be in the future state. The whole temple of the Deity consists of the Altar-Court, the Holy Place or Tabernacle, and the Most Holy Place or naos. These are the apocalyptic divisions, and answer to like divisions in Solomon's building. The word naos is applied in Greek to the inmost part of a temple occupied by the Deity worshipped. In ch. 15:5, the whole divine habitation is styled ho naos res skenes tou marturiou en to ourano, the Nave of the Tabernacle of the Testimony in the heaven, understanding by nave the place where "Deity manifested in Flesh justified by spirit" dwells. In this sense, the apocalyptic nave is separated from the tabernacle by the Veil of flesh. That is, those who constitute the tabernacle are believing men and women, in the flesh and mortal; while those who constitute the nave will be flesh and bones incorruptible and deathless, that is, spirit, as Jesus Christ is now. The way into "the Nave of the Deity" has been demonstrated by him -- first, wash in the Laver of immersion, through which the Altar is approached; then the Tabernacle is entered; death places under the Altar, and the Veil is rent; but, secondly, resurrection to incorruptibility and life constitutes the subject who had been a constituent of the Tabernacle a constituent also of the Nave. At present, the Nave is not opened. It is not yet in manifestation as the Tabernacle is. Jesus is the Nave, being a quickened as well as a Quickening Spirit; and true believers have the promise that "they shall be like him." They, therefore, now enter within the veil where he is, not in person, but by faith; for now they "walk by faith, not by sight." The grand difference between the Tabernacle and the Nave is the difference between flesh and spirit. When the true believers shall be perfected, they will have been both flesh and spirit. As flesh, they are the Tabernacle of the Testimony, witnessing for Jesus against the Apostasy enthroned in the Outer Court; and, as spirit, they are the Nave of the Deity with "the Ark of his Covenant" in their midst, ready to consummate the wrath of the Deity in developing "the lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and earthquake, and great hail," by which the lies, superstitions, and institutions of the Outside Arena will be utterly swept away. The opening of the Nave is "the apocalypse of the Sons of the Deity" (Rom. 8:19). "We are now the sons of the Deity," says John, "but it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He (Christ) shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2). This is apocalyptically expressed by the words, "The Nave of the Deity was opened in the heaven, and the Ark of his Covenant was seen in his Nave." It is nowhere seen in the Tabernacle of the Testimony in the apocalyptic visions, because the Ark belongs to the Most Holy, not to the Holy, heavenly ecclesia. These words of Apoc. 11:19, are interpreted in ch. 14:1, by "the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him an 144,000." The Lamb of this vision is the Ark of that, and the 144,000, in the midst of whom he dwells, the Nave of the Deity. But, when the Nave is apocalypsed, it is accessible only to the glorified community of the saved, each of whom is a pillar in the Nave (ch. 3:12). When opened in the heaven of the apocalypse, it is "filled with smoke from the glory of the Deity, and from his power." The door of admission into it is closed against all occupants of the Outside Arena. Only those who are ready enter into the marriage, and, against all who are without light, "the door is shut" (Matt. 25:8, 10). This exclusion, however, is not perpetual. "No man is able to enter into the Nave till the Seven Plagues of the Seven Angels are fulfilled" (ch. 15:8). When the judgment given to the saints is fully executed, and they have possessed themselves of the kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven (Dan. 7:18, 26, 27), then the smoke of the power of Deity in wrathful exercise will be dispelled; and the nations shall walk in the light of it, being "blessed in Abraham and his Seed," and "the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and their honor into it" (ch. 21:24). Though this is especially affirmed of the Holy City, it is also affirmable of the Nave; for the glorified saints who constitute the one also constitute the other. But, in respect to the saints in their relation to Deity, the Nave, as distinct from the Holy City, no longer obtains. While judgment is being executed by the saints, as the Most Holy smoking with wrath, the Kingdom is being set up; when this is established, the smoking Nave becomes quiescent, and the Holy City is apocalypsed in all its glory. "I saw no Nave therein," says John. If he had seen a nave in the Holy City, he would have seen a community higher in dignity, glory, honor, and nature, as the peculiar habitation of the Father, than the Holy Municipality constituted of the Lamb and his Bride, the saints glorified together with him (Rom. 8:17, 32). He saw "no nave therein," for Jesus and his Brethren glorified are the incorporation of the Spirit of the Father, between whom and them there are no intermediates in whom he dwells. Between him and the Tabernacle of the Testimony there is intermediation, because the Nave is not yet opened in the apocalyptic heaven, and that intermediate personage is the Forerunner into the Nave-state, even the Lord Jesus; but when the Forerunner and the runners after him shall meet in the glorious Nave-Convention, all intermediation between them and the Father will have been done away, and he will be epi panton, kai dia panton, kai en pasin, "over all, and through all, and in all," or ta panta en pasin, "the all things in all" (Eph. 4:6; 1 Cor. 15:28); so that this "all" will be a Divine Unity, or Deity manifested in Flesh, justified or perfected by spirit. This is the great, glorious, and omnipotent "e Pluribus Unum" of the apocalypse -- a Nave or Unum, constituted of a Multitude "which no man can number." It is in direct and intimate union with the Deity, as Jesus is at the present time. Between the Father and Son there is no intermediate, neither will there be between the Father and all his Sons -- Jesus and his Brethren -- when the Nave is "opened in the heaven." But John's declaration that he saw no Nave in the Holy City is immediately followed in the Common Version by the intimation causatively expressed, to wit, "For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it" (ch. 21:22). But what John penned is preferable to this version of it; as, "For the Lord the Deity, the Almighty, is the Nave of it, even the Lamb." This, presented in harmony with the Mosaic teaching, would read, "For Yahweh Elohim, the Almighty, is the Nave of it, even the Lamb." "Not by army, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Yahweh Tz'vaoth." Now, the Lamb with Seven Horns and Seven Eyes is the symbol of the Seven Spirits of the Deity, or omnipotence, that is, of the Eternal Spirit. Yahweh Elohim is the multitudinous apocalypse of this the "One Spirit," apocalypsed or manifested in Jesus and his Brethren "glorified together." They, in "the Time of the End," and in all subsequent aions, will be "Yahweh Elohim, the Almighty, the Nave of the Holy City," in which John saw no Nave; for the Holy City, being a sinless, guileless, faultless, incorruptible, and deathless municipality in all its constituents, is no longer in need of temple arrangements. The Ezekiel temple is a "house of prayer for all nations," in which the "Yahweh Elohim Almighty" will officiate as the sacerdotal intermediation between him who dwells in light, whom no man can see and live, and all the enlightened, justified and regenerated nations of the Millennial Age (Exod. 33:20, 1 Tim. 6:16). INDUCTION OF THE JUDGEMENTS OF THE SEVENTH SEAL Though cast out of the third of the heaven, as indicated by his Tail drawing the third of the stars of the heaven, and casting them into the earth (Apoc. 12:4), the Dragon still retained power in "the earth and sea" of the Greco-Latin polity (Apoc. 12:12, 13, 15, 16; 7:3). His power there was a "woe" to their indwellers, not excepting those who professed the faith of Jesus. Retribution, however, followed in his entire exclusion from the heaven, a.d. 324 (Apoc. 12:8); upon which the sealing of the 144,000 servants of the Deity, and the period of "silence, about half an hour," began. Further retribution was suspended during the silence; but this being ended, the prayers of all the saints, which ascended during the silence as a cloud of incense from the golden altar of the Tabernacle of the Testimony, before the Deity (Apoc. 8:3, 4), were answered by "voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and earthquake," (Apoc. 8:5); which preceded the preparation of the Seven Trumpeters to sound against the earth and sea (Apoc. 8:6). 1. "And there were Voices." The Angel of the Golden Altar, as we have seen, represents a community -- a community consisting of all the saints, with their Chief within the Veil, contemporary with the generation existing in the days of the silence, the voices, the thunders, the lightnings, and the earthquake. These saints were the sufferers by the persecutions of Constantine and his clergy; their prayers would therefore be for deliverance, and divine retribution upon the oppressor who was ruling them unrighteously with a rod of iron (ch. 12:5). "And shall not the Deity avenge his own elect, who cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you, said Jesus, that he will avenge them speedily" (Lk. 18:7). This was verified in the instance of these saints. Before the half hour of silence was fully expired, their frankincense bowl was dramatically filled with fire of the sacrificial altar, and it was cast into the earth. This symbolic action indicates the nature of their prayers. Fire is the symbol of judgment against those upon whom it falls; and it was cast in answer to the prayers of all the saints; by which therefore we may know that they had been praying for the avengement of their wrongs upon the heads of their enemies. It was dramatically cast out of the heaven into the earth. We have seen that the saints who constitute the tabernacle and its apparatus of worship, "dwell in the heaven"; because they constitute the holy and heavenly corporation. In relation to them, the Gentiles of the outside arena, or world, whether they be rulers or nations ruled, are "the earth" and "the inhabiters of the earth"; while these, in relation to affairs peculiarly heathen or gentile, have a heaven, and earth and sea special to themselves. The judicial fire being cast at the prayerful instance of "them who dwell in the heaven," it is represented as falling thence "into the earth," although it especially affected those who dwelt in that other heaven where the silence reigned. The saints did not dwell in this heaven. The Imperial Bishop of the Laodicean Apostasy, and his Hierarchy of Arian and Athanasian Priests, dwelt in the heaven out of which the Great Red Dragon had been cast, and from which silence was about to depart. The saints lived under this heaven, not in it; and were sun-stricken and scorched by the day-star of its firmament (ch. 7:16).Voices were the first results of the Lamb's response to the prayers of his saints. The offering of perfumes in the tabernacle being ended, the noise began in the court without. They were the voices of the Lamb rendering recompense to his enemies. On the twenty-second of May, a.d. 337, death terminated the life of Constantine, at the age of sixty-four. The demonstrations of mourning were excessive. His body, adorned with the vain symbols of greatness, the purple and diadem, was deposited on a golden bed, in an apartment of his palace at Constantinople, splendidly furnished and illuminated for the purpose. The forms of the court were strictly maintained. Every day, at the appointed hours, the principal officers of the state, the army, and the household, approaching the person of their dead emperor with bended knees and a composed countenance, offered their respectful homage as seriously as if he had been still alive! From motives of policy, this theatrical representation was for some time continued; and, in the language of Laodicean flattery, it was remarked that Constantine alone, by the peculiar indulgence of heaven, had reigned after his death. But this reign could subsist only in empty pageantry, and therefore by the favor, not of heaven, but of fools and assassins; who, while they were performing their idolatrous antics before the corpse of their deceased sovereign, were intriguing against the welfare of his kindred. His ministers and generals conducted their intrigue with zeal and secrecy till they had obtained a loud and unanimous Voice from the soldiery, that they would suffer none except the sons of Constantine, to reign over the Roman empire. These military factions continued above four months; and, if they had proceeded no further than to make this loyal declaration, Constantine's three sons, Constantius, Constantine and Constans, would have entered peaceably into the possession of the empire, and the silence in the heaven would have remained unbroken. But this was not the purpose of the Deity. His name had been blasphemed, His truth perverted, His worship superseded by theatricals, and His saints oppressed, and therefore vengeance must be executed upon the guilty. It was destined to begin in the heaven by putting an end to the silence there with a voice of the cry of shepherds, and a howling of the princes of the imperial house. Astonished and overwhelmed by the tide of popular fury, they remained without the power of flight, or of resistance, in the hands of their implacable enemies. Their fate, however, was suspended till the arrival of Constantius, who, according to Athanasius, made oath for the security of his kinsmen. But the oaths of princes are mere matters of convenience. Having allayed their apprehensions by an imperial promise, his next business was to trump up some specious pretense by which he might release himself from its obligations. The arts of fraud were made subservient to the designs of cruelty; and a manifest forgery was attested by Eusebius, the catholic bishop of Nicomedia. He handed to Constantius a fatal scroll, affirmed to be the genuine testament of his father; in which the emperor expressed his suspicions that he had been poisoned by his brothers; and conjured his sons to avenge his death, and to consult their own safety by the punishment of the guilty. The spirit, and even the forms, of legal proceedings were violated in a promiscuous massacre; which involved the two uncles of Constantius, seven of his cousins, of whom Dalmatius and Hannibalianus were the most illustrious, the patrician Optatus, who had married the sister of the late emperor, and the praefect Ablavius, the proud favorite of Constantine, who had long directed his counsels and abused his confidence, and whose power and riches had inspired him with some hopes of obtaining the purple. "If it were necessary," says Gibbon, "to aggravate the horrors of this bloody scene, we might add, that Constantius himself had espoused the daughter of his uncle Julius, and that he had bestowed his sister in marriage on his cousin Hannibalianus. These alliances, which the policy of Constantine, regardless of the public prejudice, had formed between the several branches of the imperial house, served only to convince mankind, that these princes were as cold to the endearments of conjugal affection, as they were insensible to the ties of consanguinity, and the moving entreaties of youth and innocence. Of so numerous a family, Gallus and Julian alone, the two youngest children of Julius Constantius, were saved from the hands of the assassins, till their rage, satiated with slaughter, had in some measure subsided. The Emperor Constantius, who, in the absence of his brothers, was the most obnoxious to guilt and reproach, discovered, on some future occasions, a faint and transient remorse for those cruelties which the perfidious counsels of his ministers, and the irresistible violence of the troops, had extorted from his inexperienced youth." The massacre of their kindred was succeeded by a division of the empire between the three brothers. Constantine, the eldest, ruled Gaul, Spain, and Britain; Constantius, Thrace, and the countries east; while Italy, Africa, and the Western Illyricum, acknowledged the sovereignty of Constans But, after this partition, three years had scarcely elapsed before these unnatural brothers seemed impatient to convince the world of their total unfitness for their position. Constantine soon complained with a voice of discontent, that he was defrauded of his just proportion of the spoils of their murdered kinsmen. He therefore demanded of Constans the cession of the African provinces, as an equivalent for Macedonia and Greece, which he had acquired by the death of Dalmatius. Constans' want of sincerity in the negotiation which proved tedious and fruitless, exasperated the fierceness of his temper; and he eagerly listened to his favorites who suggested that both his honor and interest were concerned in the prosecution of the quarrel. At the head therefore of a tumultuary band, suited for rapine rather than for conquest, he suddenly broke into the dominions of Constans, who, on the voice of this invasion reaching his ears, detached some Illyrian troops against him. The conduct of his lieutenants soon terminated the unnatural contest. By artful appearances of flight, Constantine was betrayed into an ambuscade concealed in a wood, where, with a few attendants, he was surprised, surrounded, and slain. The fate of Constans himself was delayed about ten years, and the revenge of his brother's death was reserved for the more ignoble hand of a domestic traitor. The vices and weakness of Constans had lost him the esteem and affections of the people. The public discontent encouraged Magnentius, an ambitious soldier, to assert the honor of the Roman name. Aided by the friendship of Marcellinus, count of the sacred largesses, he was enabled to persuade the soldiery to break the bonds of hereditary servitude, and to salute him as emperor in the place of the degenerate Constans. In February of the year 350, Magnentius became master of the troops and treasure of the palace and city of Autun. The voice of the desertion of his soldiers and subjects, left no alternative to Constans but flight or instant death. He fled for a seaport in Spain, but ere he could reach it, he was overtaken near Helena at the foot of the Pyrenees, by a party of light cavalry, whose chief, regardless of the sanctity of a temple, executed his commission by putting him to death. The usurpation of the sceptre of the West by a perfidious barbarian, excited the indignation of Nepotian, a rash youth, son of the princess Eutropia, and nephew of Constantine. Arming a number of desperate slaves and gladiators, he overpowered the feeble domestic guard of Rome, received the homage of the Senate, and assuming the title of Augustus, precariously reigned during a tumult of twenty-eight days. The march of some regular forces put an end to his ambitious hopes; the rebellion was extinguished in his blood, in that of his mother Eutropia, and of his adherents; and the proscription was extended to all who had contracted a fatal alliance with the name and family of "Constantine the Great." Another voice that disturbed the tranquility of "the heaven" was the ferocious administration and tragical death of the Caesar, Gallus a.d. 354. Gallus, and his half-brother Julian, afterwards styled "the Apostate" by Arian and Trinitarian Laodiceans, were the two nephews of Constantine, who were saved from the fury of the catholic soldiery when they massacred his kindred. Gallus was then about twelve, and Julian about six, years of age. The jealousy of Constantius consigned them to the strong castle of Macellum, near Caesarea, an ancient palatial residence of the kings of Cappadocia. Carefully educated in the philosophy and science falsely so-called of the day, they passed six years of their existence there, deprived of fortune, of freedom, and of safety, in the company of slaves, devoted to the commands of a tyrant, who had already injured them in the murder of their kin beyond the hope of reconciliation. At length, however, the emergencies of the state compelled Constantius to invest him with the title and authority of Caesar, and to cement the political connection, to give him the princess Constantina, the cruel and ambitious daughter of Constantine, for wife. His residence was fixed at Antioch, from whence he ruled with delegated authority the eastern prefecture during three years; while his brother Julian obtained an appearance of liberty, and the restitution of an ample patrimony. But he soon proved himself incapable of reigning. A temper naturally morose and violent, instead of being corrected, was soured by solitude and adversity; and the ungoverned sallies of his rage were often fatal to those who approached his person, or were subject to his power. Constantina, his wife, is described as one of the infernal furies tormented with an insatiate thirst of human blood. She exasperated the fierce passions of her husband whose cruelty was sometimes displayed in the undissembled violence of popular and military executions; and was sometimes disguised by the abuse of law, and the forms of judicial proceedings. A general consternation was diffused through the capital of Syria, the provinces, and among his own courtiers. But he forgot that he was depriving himself of his only support, the affection of the people; whilst he afforded the unnatural and timid emperor the fairest pretence of exacting the forfeit of his purple and of his life. As long as the lightning of internal war was flashing between Constantius and Magnentius, the emperor dissembled his knowledge of the weak and cruel administration to which his choice had subjected the East. But when victory was decided in his favor, Constantius privately resolved, either to deprive Gallus of the purple, or at least to remove him from the indolent luxury of Asia to the hardships and dangers of a German war. Two ministers of illustrious rank, Domitian and Montius, were empowered to visit and reform the state of the East. The rashness of these commissioners hastened their own ruin, as well as the Caesar's. Discarding all prudence, Domitian delivered a concise and haughty mandate, importing that the Caesar should immediately repair to Italy, and threatening that his delay or hesitation should be punished, by suspending the usual allowance of his household. Gallus replied to this by delivering Domitian to the custody of a guard. Upon this, Montius aggravated the situation by his reproaches; and by requiring the civil and military officers, in the name of their sovereign, to defend the persons and dignity of his representatives. By this rash declaration of war, Gallus was provoked to embrace the most desperate counsels. He ordered his guards to stand to their arms, and appealed to the populace for safety and revenge. His commands were fatally obeyed. They seized on Domitian and Montius, and tying their legs with ropes, dragged them through the streets of Antioch, and precipitated their mangled and lifeless bodies into the Orontes. The arrest of Gallus in his capital from this voice appearing to be dangerous, the slower and safer policy of dissimulation was practised with success. He was deceived by the affected tranquility, and frequent epistolary professions of confidence and friendship from "the Head of the Church." After so many reciprocal injuries, Gallus had reason to fear and distrust. But he had neglected the opportunities of flight and of resistance; and being deprived of the credit of his wife by her unseasonable death, the ruin in which he had been involved by her impetuous passions was completed. After a long delay, the reluctant Caesar set forwards on his journey to the imperial court. Having arrived at Hadrianople, he received a mandate, expressed in the most haughty and absolute style, that his splendid retinue should halt in that city, while the Caesar himself, should hasten to the imperial residence at Milan. The dissimulation which had hitherto been preserved, was laid aside at Petovio in Pannonia. He was conducted to a palace in the suburbs, where the general Barbatio awaited the arrival of his illustrious victim. In the evening, he was arrested, ignominiously stripped of the ensigns of Caesar, and hurried away to Pola in Istria. His horror was increased by the appearance of his implacable enemy the eunuch Eusebius, by whom, with the aid of a notary and tribune, he was interrogated concerning the administration of the East. Sunk under the weight of shame and guilt, he confessed everything with which he was charged. Constantius was easily convinced that his own safety was incompatible with the life of his cousin. The sentence of death was signed, despatched, and executed; and the nephew of the great Constantine, with his hands tied behind his back, was beheaded in prison like the vilest malefactor. Such were the Voices by which silence was excluded from the heaven; and the family of "the First Christian Emperor" nearly exterminated from the earth! How true it is that "the seed of evil-doers shall not be renowned to the Olahm. Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers, that they may not rise, nor possess the earth, nor fill the face of the world with cities" (Isa. 14:20). This was said of Belshazzar in whose kindred it was verified, as it was afterwards so notably in Constantine's. Constantius was the only one of them who died a natural death. Why was slaughter prepared for Constantine's kindred? The only scriptural answer that can be given is that he was preeminently an evil-doer. He was the Antichrist of his day, the newly born Man-Child of Sin, and Son of Perdition; "who opposed and exalted himself above all that is called Power, or an object of veneration; so that he as a supreme power sat in the temple of the Power, showing himself that he is supreme." The bloody fate that befell his family by "the voices" is significant of the like consummation that awaits the family of Antichrist by the "lightnings, thunders, and voices" which are to "proceed out of the throne" at the approaching "apocalypse of the sons of the Deity." The sanguinary extermination of the modern family of the Antichrist, will be as complete as that of Constantine. The Voices of the Deity are terrific to all evil-doers. They spared Gallus and Julian in childhood; but when their characters were developed, and they proved themselves evil as their catholic fathers were, voices were uttered against them also, and they too were swept from among the living. 2. "And there were Thunders" The twenty-four years of the reign of Constantius were a period of "voices, and thunders, and lightnings," ending in "earthquake." The whole period was characterized by these, which, affecting the so-called "christian church," evinced the displeasure of Heaven, and the indignant contempt of the Deity for its unholy and blasphemous speculations on the consubstantiality or likeness of his Son. "The christian religion, which, in itself," says Ammianus truly, "is plain and simple, Constantius confounded by the dotage of superstition. Instead of reconciling the (Arian and Athanasian) parties by the weight of his authority, he cherished and propagated, by verbal disputes, the differences which his vain curiosity had excited. The highways were covered with troops of bishops galloping from every side to the assemblies which they called synods; and while they labored to reduce the whole sect (of catholics) to their own particular opinions, the public establishment of the posts was almost ruined by their hasty and repeated journeys." This remarkable passage justifies the reasonable apprehensions of Athanasius, that the restless activity of the clergy, who wandered round the empire in search of the true faith, would excite the contempt and laughter of the unbelieving world. When we consider the impiety and profanity of the church, and the blind impulsiveness of Constantius, the Head thereof, whom its spirituals distinguished by the acceptable and lofty title of "Bishop of Bishops" -- a title well befitting the Antichrist of the day -- there is no room for surprise at the "thunders and lightnings" that shook and rent the firmament of the heaven. On the frontier, between the Roman and Persian empires, there was a continued roar of conflict between the two nations from the death of Constantine through all the reign of Constantius. The irregular incursions of the light troops alternately spread terror and devastation beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, from the gates of Ctesiphon to those of Antioch. This active service was performed by the Arabs of the desert, who were divided in their interest and affections; some of their independent chiefs favoring the King of Persia, whilst others had engaged their doubtful fidelity to the Roman emperor. The more grave and important operations of the war were conducted with equal vigor; and the armies of Rome and Persia encountered each other in nine bloody fields, which, with the campaign of Julian, resulted in the slaughter of thousands of catholics and pagans; and the restoration of five provinces beyond the Tigris, the impregnable city of Nisibis, and certain places in Mesopotamia, to the Persians. But beside this long war in the East, there were thunders also in the West, that uttered their voices with terrible effect. While the lightning of civil discord was illuminating the heaven with its glare, a numerous swarm of Franks and Allemanni crossed the Rhine, and inflicted upon the catholics of the empire incalculable misery. Forty-five flourishing cities, Tongres, Cologne, Treyes, Worms, Spires, Strasburg, &c., besides a far greater number of towns and villages, were pillaged, and for the most part reduced to ashes. The scenes of their devastations were three times more extensive than that of their conquests. At a still greater distance the open towns of Gaul were deserted, and the inhabitants of the fortified cities, who trusted to their strength and vigilance, were obliged to content themselves with such supplies of corn as they could raise on the vacant land within the enclosure of their walls. Under these melancholy circumstances, Julian, the brother of Gallus, was appointed Caesar, a.d. 356, and sent to Gaul, as he expressed it himself, to exhibit the vain image of imperial greatness. Though profoundly ignorant of the practical arts of war and government, the active vigor of his own genius, aided by the wisdom and experience of Sallust, an officer of rank, enabled him soon to acquire a reputation in both departments in advance of his contemporaries. In Aug. a.d. 357, he encountered thirty-five thousand of the bravest warriors of Germany under the fierce Chnodomar, and with a small army of thirteen thousand men gave them a signal overthrow in the obstinate and bloody battle of Strasburg. Chnodomar was made prisoner, six thousand of the Allemanni slain, and the country relieved by the retreat of their compatriots across the upper Rhine. After repulsing the Allemanni, he thundered against the Franks, who were seated nearer to the ocean on the confines of Gaul and Germany. In the spring of a.d. 358, he attacked these barbarians, the most formidable and warlike of the German tribes, dispersed in predatory hordes from Cologne to the ocean. While they supposed him to be in his winter quarters at Paris, he appeared among them with his legions; and by the terror, as well as by the success, of his arms, soon reduced their suppliant tribes to implore the clemency, and to obey the commands of the conqueror. Thus, in 359, the thunders ceased to roll, and the victories of Julian suspended, for a short time, the inroads of the barbarians, whom he had expelled and thrice invaded, and delayed the ruin of the Roman empire in the West. 3. And there were Lightnings Thunders are international wars, whose echoes reverberate through the heavens of the respective states; while lightnings denote civil discord and revolutions in the government. The tragic voice which announced the murder of the Emperor Constans by the agents of Magnentius a.d. 350, developed an important revolution. The authority of the regicide was acknowledged through the whole extent of the two great praefectures of Gaul and Italy; and the usurper prepared by every act of oppression, to collect a treasure to supply the expenses of a civil war. The intelligence of this revolution which so deeply affected the honor and safety of the House of Constantine, recalled the arms of Constantius from the inglorious prosecution of the Persian war. He consigned the East to his lieutenants, and afterwards to his cousin Gallus, whom he raised from a prison to a throne; and marched toward Europe, with a mind agitated by the conflict of hope and fear, of grief and indignation. He rejected the ignominious terms of peace that were offered to him, with disdain; put the usurper's ambassadors in irons, and prepared to wage implacable war, as became the Chief Bishop of the Apostasy! The contest with Magnentius was serious and sanguinary. He advanced with rapid marches to encounter Constantius, at the head of a numerous army of Gauls, Spaniards, Franks, and Saxons. During the greater part of the summer he operated in the fertile plains of the lower Pannonia, between the Drave, the Save, and the Danube, where he showed himself the master of the field. The humbled pride of Constantius condescended to solicit a treaty of peace, which would have resigned to Magnentius the sovereignty of the provinces beyond the Alps. But the haughty usurper replied by detaining the ambassador in captivity, and despatching an officer to reproach Constantius with the weakness of his reign, and to insult him by the promise of a pardon, if he would instantly abdicate the purple. This, however, he declined to do, and answered that "he should confide in the justice of his cause, and the protection of an avenging Deity." The two armies were confronted in order of battle upon a naked and level plain round the city of Mursa, which has always been considered as a place of importance in the wars of Hungary. On this ground, Sep. 28, a.d. 351, the army of Constantius formed, with the Drave upon its right; while the left extended far beyond the right flank of Magnentius. Upon this host the son of Constantine bestowed an eloquent speech, and then retiring into a church at a safe distance from the battle-field, committed to his generals the conduct of this decisive day. They deserved his confidence by the valor and skill they exerted. Once began, the engagement soon became general, and was scarcely ended with the darkness of night. Victory declared for the imperialists. The number of the slain was computed at fifty-four thousand men, and the slaughter of the victors was more considerable than that of the vanquished; a circumstance that proves the obstinacy of the contest, and justifies the remark of an ancient author, that the forces of the empire were consumed in the fatal battle of Mursa, by the loss of a veteran army, sufficient to defend the frontiers, or to add new triumphs to the glory of Rome. After this fatal overthrow, the pride of Magnentius was reduced by repeated misfortunes, to sue, and to sue in vain, for peace. On Aug. 10, a.d. 353, the bloody combat of Mount Seleucus completely broke the usurper's power. He was unable to bring another army into the field; the fidelity of his guards was corrupted; and they saluted him with shouts of "Long live the Emperor Constantius!" Perceiving by this that all was lost, he prevented their design of delivering him up to his enemy, by the easier and less ignominious death of falling upon his sword. Magnentius being removed, the public tranquillity was confirmed by the execution of the leaders who survived. A severe inquisition was extended over all, who either from choice or compulsion, had been involved in the rebellion. The most innocent subjects of the west were exposed to exile and confiscation, to death and torture; and as the timid are always cruel, the mind of Constantius, the Bishop of Bishops, was inaccessible to mercy. These lightnings having ceased to scatter their deadly bolts, the international thunders between the catholic empire and the barbarians of Germany, began to roll as we have already related. They were the echoes of these lightnings; for during the civil war, in the blindness of his fury, Constantius abandoned to the Franks and Allemanni the countries of Gaul, which still acknowledged the authority of his rival. He invited them to cross the Rhine, by presents and promises, by the hopes of spoil, and by a perpetual grant of all the territory they might be able to subdue. The rapacity of his barbarian allies being thus excited, when he had no further use for them he discovered and lamented the difficulty of dismissing them, after they had tasted the richness of the Roman soil. They refused to retire, and treating, as their natural enemies, all the subjects of the empire, pillaged and destroyed at pleasure. To relieve the country of this scourge, Julian was sent to Gaul to thunder upon them, as already related in section 2. While the Gallic legions and barbarians were thundering upon the Rhine, the Quadi and Sarmatians, against Constantius and his Illyrian forces, were thundering upon the Danube. Thus, at the same time, "there were thunders" on the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euphrates. Julian and Constantius were both victorious in Gaul and Illyricum; and the praises of Julian were everywhere repeated, except in the palace of Constantius, who was jealous of his popularity, and determined, if possible, to deprive him of his power. In April a.d. 360, while attending to the public affairs in Paris, Julian was surprised by the hasty arrival of a tribune and a notary, with positive orders from the emperor, that four entire legions, and three hundred of the bravest from each of the remaining bands, should instantly begin their march for the frontiers of Persia. This numerous detachment constituted the strength of the Gallic army, which loved and admired Julian; despised, and perhaps, hated Constantius; and dreaded the laborious march, the Persian arrows, and the burning deserts of Asia. If Julian complied with the orders he had received, he subscribed his own destruction, and that of the people, who would again be exposed to the invasion of the Germans. But a positive refusal was an act of rebellion, and a declaration of war. After a painful conflict he ordered the troops to march. A scene of general distress ensued. But the grief of an armed multitude is soon converted into rage. Their line of march was through Paris, in the suburbs of which they were to be reviewed by Julian. On their approach he went out to meet them. He addressed them in a studied oration, and then dismissed them to quarters. At the hour of midnight their discontent became furious. With sword, and bows, and torches in hand they rushed into the suburbs; encompassed the palace; and careless of future dangers, pronounced the fatal and irrevocable words, Julian Augustus! He earnestly protested against their treason, but it was useless; they repeatedly assured him, that if he wished to live, he must consent to reign. Thus, the lightning of revolution and civil discord again began to flash its fires in the political aerial. Julian was a worshipper of Jupiter, the Sun, Mars, Minerva, and all the other deities of the old superstition; while his cousin Constantius was the Chief Bishop of the Apostasy. Hence, they were rival champions of the old and new superstitions of the empire, which were now about to contend for the dominion of the world. While offering peace to Constantius, he made the most vigorous preparations for war. The cruel persecution of the adherents of Magnentius had filled Gaul with outlaws and robbers. These flocked to the standard of Julian. Several months were ineffectually consumed in negociations at the distance of three thousand miles from Paris to Antioch; at length, perceiving that his adversary was implacable, he boldly resolved to commit his life and fortune to the chance of a civil war; and though some weeks before he had celebrated the catholic festival of the Epiphany, made a public declaration that he committed the care of his safety to the Immortal Gods; and thus publicly renounced the religion, as well as the friendship of Constantius. 4. And there was an Earthquake The storm of thunders and lightnings being expended, the earth into which the fire from the angel's frankincense bowl was cast, began to shake. The seasonable death of Constantius a.d. 361, delivered the Roman Empire from the calamities of civil war, which had hitherto progressed without serious effusion of blood. Julian was now acknowledged as emperor by the whole empire. His throne was the seat of philosophy and science, falsely so-called, heathen piety, and vanity. He despised the honors, renounced the pleasures, and discharged with incessant diligence the duties of his exalted station. The reformation of the imperial court was one of the first and most necessary acts of Julian's revolutionary government. Soon after his entrance into the palace of Constantinople, he had occasion for the service of a barber. An officer magnificiently dressed presented himself. "It is a barber," exclaimed Julian, with affected surprise, "that I want, and not a receiver general of the finances." He questioned the man concerning the profits of his employment; and was informed that besides a large salary and some valuable perquisites, he enjoyed a daily allowance for twenty servants, and as many horses. A thousand barbers, a thousand cupbearers, a thousand cooks, were distributed in the several offices of catholic luxury; and the number of the eunuchs of this "christian" establishment could be compared only to the insects of a summer's day. The "Bishop of Bishops" was distinguished by the oppressive magnificence of his dress, his table, his buildings, and his train. The domestic crowd of the palace surpassed the expense of the legions. The monarch was disgraced, and the people injured, by the creation and sale of an infinite number of obscure and even titular employments; and the most worthless of mankind might purchase the privilege of being maintained, without the necessity of labor, from the public revenue. The waste of an enormous household, the increase of fees and perquisites, which were soon claimed as a lawful debt, and the bribes they extorted from those who feared their enmity, or solicited their favor, suddenly enriched these haughty menials. Their rapine and venality could be equalled only by the extravagance of their dissipations. Their silken robes were embroidered with gold, their tables were served with delicacy and profusion; and the most honorable citizens were obliged to dismount from their horses, and respectfully to salute any eunuch they might meet on the public highway. All this excited the contempt and indignation of the philosophic Julian, who despised the pomp of royalty, and was impatient to relieve the distress, and to appease the murmurs of the people. By a single edict, he reduced the palace of Constantinople to an immense desert, and dismissed with ignominy the whole train of slaves and dependents. The splendid and effeminate dress of the Asiatics, the curls and paint, the collars and bracelets, which had appeared so ridiculous in the person of "the first christian emperor," Constantine, were rejected with contempt by his philosophic and pagan nephew, Julian. But the "earthquake" would have only slightly shaken the Apostasy, if Julian had only corrected the abuses, without punishing the crimes, of his catholic predecessor's reign. "We are now delivered," says he, in a familiar letter to one of his intimates, "we are now surprisingly delivered from the voracious jaws of the many-headed Hydra. I do not mean to apply that epithet to my brother Constantius. He is no more; may the earth be light upon his head! But his artful and cruel favorites studied to deceive and exasperate a prince, whose natural mildness cannot be praised without some efforts of adulation. It is not, however, my intention, that even those men should be oppressed: they are accused, and they shall enjoy the benefit of a fair and impartial trial." To conduct this inquiry, Julian named six judges of the highest rank in the state and army; and as he wished to escape the reproach of condemning his personal enemies, he fixed this extraordinary and inexorable Chamber of Justice at Chalcedon, on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus; and transferred to the commissioners an absolute power to pronounce and execute their final sentence without delay and without appeal. The office of president was exercised by the venerable praefect of the east, a second Sallust, whose good qualities conciliated the esteem of Greek sophists, and catholic bishops. He was assisted by the eloquent Mamertinus, one of the consuls elect. But the civil wisdom of these two magistrates was overbalanced by the ferocious violence of four generals. One of these, Arbetio by name, more fit for the prisoners' bar than the bench, was supposed to possess the secret of the commission; the armed and angry leaders of the Jovian and Herculean bands encompassed the tribune; and the judges were alternately swayed by the laws of justice, and by the clamours of faction. A devout and sincere attachment for the gods of Athens and Rome constituted the ruling passion of Julian; and the superstitious phantoms which existed only in his mind, had a real and judicial effect through the government of the empire. The vehement zeal of the catholics, who despised the worship, and overturned the altars, of those heathen rivals of the martyrs, engaged their imperial votary in a state of irreconcilable hostility with a very numerous party of his subjects. The subsequent triumph of this party, which he deserted and opposed, has fixed a stain of infamy on the name of Julian; and the unsuccessful "apostate has been overwhelmed with a torrent of Arian and Trinitarian invectives, of which the signal was given by the sonorous trumpet of Gregory Nazianzen. The catholics, who beheld with horror and indignation the apostasy of Julian from their superstition, had much more to fear from his power than from his arguments. The pagans, who were conscious of his fervent zeal, expected that the flames of persecution should be immediately kindled against the enemies of the gods; and that the ingenious malice of Julian would invent some cruel refinements of death and torture, which had been unknown to the rude and inexperienced fury of his predecessors. But the hopes, as well as the fears, of the rival religious factions were disappointed by one who was persuaded that neither steel nor fire can eradicate the erroneous opinions of the mind. Influenced by this conviction he extended to all the inhabitants of the Roman world the benefits of a free and equal toleration; and the only hardship he inflicted on the catholics, was to deprive them of the power of tormenting their fellow-subjects whom they stigmatized as idolators and heretics. Among these so-called "heretics," were those who in the reigns of Constantius and Julian were being sealed in their foreheads with the seal of the Deity as the 144,000. The pagans were expressly ordered to reopen all their temples; and they were at once delivered from the oppressive laws, and arbitrary vexations they had sustained under the reign of Constantine and his sons. At the same time the trinitarian bishops and clergy, who had been banished by the Arian emperor, Constantius, were recalled from exile, and restored to their respective conventicles; also the Donatists, Novatians, Eunomians, and so forth. Julian, who understood and derided their theological disputes, invited to the palace the leaders of the hostile sects, that he might enjoy the agreeable spectacle of their furious encounters. The clamour of controversy sometimes provoked him to exclaim, "Hear me! the Franks have heard me, and the Allemanni;" but he soon discovered that he was now engaged with more obstinate and implacable enemies; and though he exerted the powers of oratory to persuade them to live in concord, or at least in peace, he was perfectly satisfied before he dismissed them from his presence, that he had nothing to dread from the union of the "christians" so-called. As soon as he ascended the throne, he assumed, according to imperial custom, the character of Supreme Pontiff, not only as the most honorable title of imperial greatness, but as a sacred and important office, the duties of which he was resolved to execute with pious diligence. Encouraged by the example, exhortations, and liberality of their pious sovereign, the cities and families resumed the practice of their neglected ceremonies. "Every part of the world," exclaims Libanius, with devout transport, "displayed the triumph of religion; and the grateful prospect of flaming altars, bleeding victims, the smoke of incense, and a solemn train of priests and prophets, without fear and without danger. The sound of prayer and of music was heard on the tops of the highest mountains; and the same ox afforded a sacrifice for the gods and a supper for their joyous votaries." As the army is the most forcible engine of absolute power, Julian applied himself with peculiar diligence to corrupt the religion of his troops, without whose hearty concurrence every measure must be dangerous and unsuccessful; and the natural temper of soldiers made this conquest as easy as it was important. On the days of solemn and public festivals, the emperor received the homage and rewarded the merit of the troops. His throne of state was encircled with the military ensigns of the Roman republic; the name of Christ was erased from the Labarum, and the symbols of war, of majesty, and of pagan superstition, were so dexterously blended that the faithful subject incurred the guilt of idolatry when he respectfully saluted the person or image of his sovereign. The soldiers passed successively in review, and each of them, before he received from the hand of Julian a liberal donative proportioned to his rank and services, was required to cast a few grains of incense into the flame which burned upon the altar. This restoration and encouragement of paganism revealed a multitude of pretended christians, who, from motives of temporal advantage, had acquiesced in the catholicism of the former reign, and who afterwards returned, with the same flexibility of conscience, to the superstition professed by the successors of Julian. As I am not composing a history of the Julian earthquake, but merely evidencing illustratively by history the symbolical drama of the apocalypse, it is only necessary that I should show that the events of the first sixteen months of his reign over the whole empire, following the "lightnings," were, in the fullest sense, such a revolution as could only fairly and properly be represented by "an earthquake." I need not go into all the details of his remarkable reign. It will, therefore, be sufficient to say that, in his great work of humbling the Laodicean Apostasy in the lowest depths of degradation into which he could plunge it, he proclaimed himself the gracious protector of the Jews! He had no love for these unfortunates, but they deserved the friendship of the idolator by their implacable hatred of the christian name. He proposed to rebuild their temple in Jerusalem, and relieved them of the pecuniary oppressions imposed upon them by the bishops and eunuchs of the court of Constantius. The catholics were firmly but erroneously persuaded that a sentence of everlasting destruction rested upon the whole fabric of the Mosaic law. Julian, therefore, argued that the success of his rebuilding speculation would prove the falsity of the prophets, and turn the truth of revelation into a lie. But had he succeeded, his success would only have proved the ignorance of the catholics, who understood nothing aright. His enterprise, however, was defeated by an earthquake, a whirlwind, and a fiery eruption, which scorched and blasted the workmen, overturned and scattered their works, and compelled the abandonment of the undertaking. Foiled in this manoeuvre, he attacked the catholic church in the very seat of its soul. He transferred to the priests of his own superstition the management of the liberal allowances from the public revenue which had been granted to their church by Constantine and his sons. The proud system of clerical honors and immunities was levelled to the ground, testamentary donations were forbidden, and the catholic priests were confounded with the last and most ignominious class of the people. By this policy he aimed to deprive them of all the temporal honors and advantages which rendered them respectable in the eyes of the world, which is "the enemy of God." But, besides this, he prohibited catholics from teaching the arts of grammar and rhetoric, observing that the men who exalt the merit of implicit faith are unfit to claim or enjoy the advantages of science, and that they ought to content themselves with expounding, not Homer and Demosthenes, but Luke and Matthew in the conventicles of the Galileans. This edict deprived them wholly of the education of youth, which, in the Roman world, was intrusted to masters of grammar and rhetoric, who were elected by the magistrates, maintained at the public expense, and distinguished by many lucrative and honorable privileges. Having thus substituted pagan sophists for catholic priests, he invited a free and general resort to the public schools, in a full confidence that the tender minds of the scholars would be paganized by the impressions received. The greater part of the catholic officers were gradually removed from their employments in the state, the army, and the provinces; and the hopes of future candidates were extinguished by his maliciously, but most correctly, reminding them, that it was unlawful for a christian to use the sword either of justice or of war; and studiously guarding the camp and the tribunals with the ensigns of idolatry. The powers of government were entrusted to the pagans, who professed an ardent zeal for the superstition of their ancestors. Under their administration the catholics had much to suffer and more to apprehend. Julian was averse to cruelty, but his provincial ministers exercised a vexatious tyranny against sectaries, on whom they were not permitted to confer the honors of martyrdom. He dissembled the knowledge of the injustice exercised in his name, and expressed his real sense of their conduct by gentle reproofs and substantial rewards. The most effectual instrument of annoyance with which they were armed was the law that obliged the catholics to make full and ample satisfaction for the temples they had destroyed under the preceding reign. The zeal of the triumphant Laodicean Apostasy had not always the sanction of the public authority; and the catholic bishops, who were secure of impunity, had often marched at the head of their congregations to attack and demolish the rival fortresses of Satan. On his consecrated lands, which had been given to the clergy, and on the ruins of paganism, the catholics had frequently erected their conventicles. The ground had to be cleared of these, and the stately temples of the idols which had been levelled, and the precious ornaments which had been converted to catholic uses, had to be restored, making a very large amount of damages and debt. But the catholics, who had robbed and destroyed the property of "heretics" as well as pagans, in this, the dark hour of retribution, were unable to pay. The Roman law, therefore, gave the claimants a right to the debtors' persons. They were, consequently, seized by Julian's ministers, and subjected to bodily pains and torments. In this the moment of their prosperity, they dragged their mangled bodies through the streets, pierced them by the spits of cooks and the distaffs of enraged women, and the entrails of catholic priests and their ecclesiastical females, after they had been tasted by these bloody fanatics, were mixed with barley and contemptuously thrown to the unclean animals of the city. About the same time, Julian was informed from Edessa that the proud and wealthy faction of Arian catholics had insulted the weakness of a sect of "heretics" styled Valentinians, and committed such disorders as ought not to be suffered with impunity in a well regulated state. Upon hearing of this, he confiscated the whole property of the church by his mandate to the magistrates of the place. The money was distributed among the soldiers, the lands were added to the state's domain, and, with the most pungent irony, he wrote to the offenders, saying, "I show myself the true friend of the Galileans. Their admirable law has promised the kingdom of heaven to the poor; and they will advance with more diligence in the paths of virtue and salvation when they are relieved by my assistance from the load of temporal possessions. Take care," continued he, in a more serious tone, "take care how you provoke my patience and humanity. If these disorders continue, I will revenge on the magistrates the crimes of the people; and you will have reason to dread, not only confiscation and exile, but fire and sword." The catholics, both Arian and Athanasian, who, before the "earthquake" that levelled their high towers in the dust, had possessed above forty years the civil and ecclesiastical government of the empire, had contracted the insolent vices of prosperity, and the habit of believing that they were the saints, and that the saints alone were entitled to reign over the earth. As soon as the justice of Julian deprived the clergy of the privileges conferred by the favor of Constantine, unmindful of their own tyranny against "heretics," among whom were the sealed servants of the Deity, they complained bitterly of "the Apostate's" most cruel oppression; and the free toleration of idolators and heretics, who were alone benefited by the Julian earthquake, was a subject of grief and scandal to catholics. Their present hardships, intolerable as they might appear, were considered as a slight prelude to impending calamities, which were suspended till their crafty oppressor's victorious return from the Persian war, when laying aside the mask of dissimulation, he would cause the amphitheatres to stream with the blood of hermits and bishops; and that catholics who persevered in the profession of their opinions would be deprived of the common benefits of nature and society. These gloomy forebodings of deserved punishment, however, were suddenly dispelled by the death of Julian, who was mortally wounded, June 26, a.d. 363. He was pierced by a Persian javelin, in the thirty-second year of his age, after a reign of one year and eight months from the death of Constantius. He was the last of the house of Constantine, which was left without an heir, and the empire without a master, by his unexpected death. The trembling of the catholic world subsided, and the military election of Jovian restored tranquillity to the church and state. Volume 3 FOREWORD TO VOLUME THREE In the original edition of Eureka, the present volume formed the second part of Volume Two, making it all a large book of some 736 pages. Subsequently this was found to be somewhat unwieldy, and the volumes was divided into two, numbered Volume 2A and Volume 2B. But the volumes were divided in the middle of a sentence which added to their awkwardness. As we have reset the contents in larger type, we would have added to the original problem if we had presented Volume Two as it first appeared; at the same time we certainly wanted to avoid the problem of dividing it in the middle of a sentence. Hence we have created a new Third Volume of Eureka. The previous volume, having introduced the opening of the Seventh Seal (v. Apocalypse 8:1-5), which opening followed the prayers of the saints (4), this present volume expounds upon the first and second sections of it. The opening of the seal revealed seven angelic trumpeters. The sounding of the first four called forth judgments upon Catholic Europe. The Fifth Trumpet, also styled the First Woe, directed attention to the east, and predicted the uprise of the Saracenic Moslem power. The Sixth Trumpet, or the Second Woe, symbolized the uprise of the political Euphratean power, and the consequent demise of the Eastern catholic Empire with its headquarters in Constantinople. Then follows the prophecy of the Rainbowed angel destined to conquer the world (Apocalypse 10); after which, in accordance with the plan of The apocalypse, the second section of the Seventh Seal relating to the death and resurrection of the witnesses (Apocalypse 11:1-14) is expounded. This introduces the Third Woe as outlined in the rest of the chapter (Apocalypse 11:15-19), culminating with the triumph of the saints and the Nave of Deity opened in the political heavens of the future age. At that point, this section of The Apocalypse, and this Second Volume of Eureka closes. It is with great personal satisfaction that we have been enabled to present this Volume to the Reader. We trust he will derive as much pleasure out of studying it as we are sure the Author had in writing it, and we certainly have done in re-producing it. May the Reader enjoy the blessing pronounced upon those who study The Apocalypse with understanding. The Construction of the Apocalypse "BLESSED ARE THEY WHO READ, HEAR AND KEEP THESE WORDS" -- Apoc. 1:1-3. No. Introductory Vision Chap. Septiform Unfolding of Things "To Come to Pass" Chap. Apocalyptic Son of Man Seven Letters: Commendations Warnings and Promises to Ecclesias 1 -- Ephesuii and iii God's Kingdom Established. Throne in Heaven iv and v Seven Seals: Pagan Roman Empire Overthrown 1 -- White vi Sealed of God Gathered before the Throne vii Seven Trumpets Summon the Enemies of Rome and divide it in the West and East 1 -- Hail aWESvii and ix Rainbowed Angel Conquers the World Seven Phases of Ecclesiasticism 1 -- Measurxi Lamb on Mount Zion 144 Thousand in Triumph xiv and xv Seven Vials of Wrath on Western and Eastern Rome 1 -- Earth xvi 'It is Done" xvi 17 Seven Thunders -- Christ conquers the world x:3, 4 Judgment on Babylon leading to perfected world. Introduction 1-6 xvii Zion v. Rome 1 -- Judgmexvii FINAL ADMONITION xxii 6-21