CORRECTION: I have found TWO dates given for the publication of this work by Knollys. The first was 1698 and is incorrect, it has to be, Knollys believed the second coming would be in 1689! He published this work believing Christ would return the following year.
Quotations from Hanserd Knollys Exposition of the Book of The Revelation, 1688.
The Visions and Prophecies of CHRIST
Are opened and Expounded,:
The great Counterfeits of our LORD Jesus Christ
for his Church over all His and Her Adversaries, PAGAN,
ARIAN and PAPAL and the glorious State of the
Church of God in the New Heavens and New Earth, in
these Latter Days.
One glimpse of the glory of God in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, (2Co 4:6) doth cause his saints and servants to look for more, (Ps 63:1-2) To see thy power and thy glory, as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Stephen had heaven opened, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus Christ standing on the right hand of God. (Ac 7:55-56) Peter also saw heaven opened, (Ac 10:11-16) and St. John beheld a door opened in heaven; that is, he had an open vision of unseen glory, as Stephen had, and a revelation of things that should come to pass.
Christ is said to have a rainbow upon his head, (Re 10:1) The rainbow was a token of Gods covenant with Noah, (Ge 9:11-16) and was applied by the prophet for the everlasting comfort of the church of God, (Isa 54:5-10) and signifies that God and Christ is ever mindful of the new covenant, and will perform his word to a thousand generations. (De 7:9 Ps 111:5) God will not break his covenant, (Ps 89:30-35) and Christ is the mediator of the new convenant between God and his people. (1Ti 2:5-6 Heb 8:6)
By the lightnings, and thunderings, and voices which proceeded out of the throne, the Church of God, that is, from Christ and the elders; we may understand the dispensations of the gospel, that cometh not in word only (signified by voices) but in power, (1Th 1:5) (expressed by lightnings and thunders) such are the right and just censures of Christ and his church, (1Co 5:4-5) against those in the church that are hereticks, schismaticks, or scandalous sinners; and the seven lamps of fire are the Seven Spirits of God. (See Re 1:14)
This sea of glass beareth some resemblance unto the sea of brass in Solomon’s Temple, (1Ki 7:2-3) like crystal, that is, clear and perspicuous; such is the gospel of the grace of God, (2Co 3:18) wherein we have an open vision of Jesus Christ, who is the image of the unseen glory of God. (2Co 4:6) By this sea of glass we may understand the pure worship of God under the gospel, (Re 15:3-5) mixed with fire; that is, with fiery trials, persecutions and sufferings for Christ, on which the victors stood with Christ, singing, praising and worshipping him.
ONE, that is, the first living creature was like a lion the lion is a kingly beast for courage and boldness, (Pr 21:1-2 2Sa 17:10) and turneth not away for any. (Pr 30:30) When he roareth the beasts of the forest do tremble. (Am 3:8) So the elders that rule well in the churches of saints have boldness for Christ, (as Peter and John had,)(Ac 4:13) and the church prayed God to give his ministers boldness (Ac 4:19,29) which holy boldness the ministers of Christ are to exercise, both in preaching the word, and in ruling and governing the church and flock of Christ, (1Ti 5:20 2Ti 4:2 Tit 1:13 3:10) according to Christ’s institutions.
By the ox, here is signified the pastors that labour in the word and doctrine, (1Co 3:9 9:4-11 1Ti 5:17) etc.
“the third living creature had a face as a man” Whereby the deacons of the churches of saints are fitly resembled, whose office, ministry, and work, is to attend the outward affairs of the church of God, and to serve tables in the daily ministration
The eagle flieth aloft towards heaven, (Pr 25:3) She mounteth up on high, (Job 39:27) whereunto the teachers in churches of saints are fitly resembled, who give attendance to reading, expounding, interpreting and teaching, (Ac 12:6-7 1Ti 4:13-15)
More to come…