Hanserd Knollys – Revelation 9

(Emphasis was added to anything that look interesting or quotable.)

popekoran

Rev. 9.1:

a star fall from Heaven unto the Earth etc. This star was some very eminent Church-man, some Angel of the Church; (see Re 1:20)

Heaven, that is, the state of the true visible Church, where our Lord Jesus Christ did set some apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the work of the ministry. (Eph 4:11-13 1Co 12:12-28) By Earth we may understand here the earthly state of the false anti-Christian National Church, (or Catholic Church) nationally so called. To fall from Heaven unto the earth, signifies a visible apostasy from the true Church of God, and from the pure worship of God, unto a false Church, and false worship, according to the commandments of men, their superstitious and idolatrous inventions and traditions.

And to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. By the keys of the kingdom, we are to understand that stewardly-ecclesiastical power in the Church, which our Lord Jesus Christ gave unto his Apostles and elders to rule well, and to govern in his Churches of saints according to his own institutions, laws, and ordinances. (Mt 16:18 1Ti 5:17 Heb 13:7-17) And by this key of the bottomless pit, we may understand the power, throne, and great authority, which the dragon (that old serpent called the devil, and Satan,)(Re 12:9) gave unto this fallen star or angel. (Re 13:2) And other false apostles, deceitful workers, and false teachers, (2Pe 2:1-3) who fell with him, or after him, and exercise coercive power over the consciences of men, under their church government. Thereby shewing himself to be God. (2Th 2:3-4)

Rev. 9.2:

Here begins the exercise of the anti-Christian papal power, by this fallen angel of the Roman Clergy or Prelatical Priesthood. As soon as he had gotten the key of bottomless pit, he opened it; Constantine the Great, and other Christian emperors, shut the bottomless pit of idolatry, but their public edicts; but now, by this apostate star, the bottomless pit, (that is, a hell of heresies, false doctrines, and idolatrous worship is opened, practised, and exercised by the Roman Papal Prelates and Priests). (1Ti 4:1-2 2Pe 2:1-2)

By this smoke we may understand all corrupt doctrines, traditions of men, and all the rudiments of the world. (Col 2:8-18) Idolaters are compared to the smoke of a chimney, (Ho 13:2-3) year, the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. By the sun and the air, we are to understand all the lights that God hath ordained in the Heaven of his Church, the holy Scripture. (Ps 43:3) Thy Word is a light to my feet. (Ps 119:105-130) And Christ’s able ministers of the New Testament. (Mt 5:14) These ecclesiastical lights in the firmament of the Church were darkened by the great smoke of popish superstitions that arose out of the bottomless pit of Hell.

Rev. 9.3:

By these locusts, we may understand the Popish Clergy, with the swarms of Monks, Friars, Priests, Jesuits, and other men of the Pope’s holy Orders, etc. Franciscus Claudius a Friar, expounded this place of heretical teachers; also the Remists upon this text, say as much in their marginal notes. (Read 1Ti 4:1-3 2Ti 4:3 2Pe 2:1-3) The Apostles did prophesy of such in the latter days. The scorpion is a subtle and venomous creature, which hath a flattering countenance, and a deadly sting in the tail. Such are the Roman Priests, who by feigned words, and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple. (Ro 16:18)

Whose sting being venomous, doth infect and venom the whole body with poison and pain. So do those Popish locusts torment the consciences of men and women with their damnable doctrines, poisoning their souls, filling them with troubles, and tormenting them with horror and fear of purgatory, and hell, without any ease or remedy. The damnable Doctrines of Priests and Jesuits, can sting and wound men’s consciences, but they cannot cure and heal a wounded conscience. When the pains of hell took hold of David, he got not peace, comfort and quietness, by worshipping of images, and praying to saints deceased; but by calling upon the name of JEHOVAH. (Ps 116:3-5)

Rev. 9.6:

By those days, we are to understand the time of their torment and trouble of conscience; by the terrors of the Almighty for their sins, as Ps 38:1-3. A wounded spirit who can bear? (Pr 18:14) Men shall seek death; that is, wish and desire to die, but all in vain, and to no purpose; for death shall flee from them; there will be no deliverance (one way or other) out of their trouble of conscience, and torment of their hearts; no cessation of misery, no mitigation of horror and torment during their appointed time.

Rev. 9.7:

In this verse we have a further description of the locusts; that is, the Roman Popish Clergy, and anti-Christian prelacy, in three particulars. First, like unto horses prepared unto battle. For their boldness, expertness, and readiness to oppose any that gain-say them, their doctrines or worship, and prepare war against their opposers. And on their heads were as it were crowns of gold whereby we may understand the grandeur, pomp, and kingliness of the Roman prelacy and clergy; such are the Pope’s Triple Crown, the Cardinal’s Cap, and Prelate’s Myter. And their faces were as the faces of Men whereby is signified their assembleness, courtesies, visibility, and confidence. They are bare-faced, openly testifying all their damnable doctrines, altar-sacrifices, worshipping of images, etc. And they are men of arts and parts, learned men, able to say as much for themselves as sophistry, vain philosophy, and school-men, can say in the defence of their doctrines and worships. faces like men, that is, transforming themselves into the ministers of Christ, but are indeed the ministers of Antichrist. (2Co 11:13-15)

Rev. 9.8:

Women’s hair is given them for an ornament. (1Co 11:15) The hair of those locusts signify the external ornaments of the Roman Priests, that is their vestments, scarlet robes, and all their copes, myters, hoods, tippets, altar-coverings, pulpit embroidered clothes, of purple, scarlet, and gold, as. (Re 17:4-6) Their teeth were as the teeth of Lions: biting and devouring like lions. Hereby is signified the cruel and bloody actions of those locusts. (Re 13:1-17)

Rev. 9.10:

By the tails of the locusts, we are to understand the false prophet, (Re 19:19-20) that is, false teachers. (2Pe 2:1-3) The prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. (Isa 9:15) Read 2Th 2:8-11. The stings in their tails, signify the venomous deadly poison, that is, in their false doctrines, called the doctrines of devils (1Ti 4:1-3) by which, the souls and consciences of men and women that worship the Beast or his image, are stung, pained, and poisoned to death. And their power was to hurt men five months; that is, only those men which had not the seal of God in their foreheads. (Re 9:4)

Rev. 9.11:

By the king of the locusts,we may understand the Pope, the Roman Pontifex, who is supreme, exercising absolute sovereignty over all the locusts, who are of various orders, dignities, and degrees, but yet are all subordinate unto that supreme head, and their king, the Pope of Rome.

Whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon; a destroyer of the believing Jews; but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon; that is, a destroyer of the believing gentiles.

Rev. 9.14:

By these four Angels, we may understand the chief commanders of the armies of the Turkish emperor, for they consisted of four several sorts of people, that is, Arabians, Saracens, Tartars and Turks, whose four Souldans in Asia, Aleppo, Damascus, and Antioch, (as historians tell us) had their chief residence near the river Euphrates, and were bounded by that great river, from coming over into Europe. And now God gave them permission to pass over that great river with their armies, who destroyed the third party of the then Roman Empire, as the Turkish history, and the holy war relate unto us.

Re 9.15:

And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

The work those four commanders were appointed by God to do, was to kill the third part of men in the Roman empire, who worshipped images, especially those idolaters, who had apostatised from the true worship of God.

Which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, which it taken prophetically, is three hundred and ninety years, and some odd time. Or else. thereby is signified some certain time appointed of God.

Rev. 9.16:

The Turkish armies consist most of horsemen; therefore they are numbered two hundred thousand thousand, a certain number for an uncertain; their footmen are not numbered, because they were not so considerable, nor so terrible, or else exceeding many more than the horsemen, as if they were innumerable.

Rev. 9.18:

This may be understood literally. By these three; that is, by the fire of the Turkish canons, killing men, and burning towns in the Roman Empire; and by the smoke; that is, the Turkish Alchoran and Mahometan religion (Islam); and by the brimstone which issued out of their mouths; that is, the powder and bullets which the Turkish horsemen shot out of the mouths of their muskets, carbines, pistols, etc. The third part of men were killed; that is, in the Roman empire, were slain and destroyed in the European wars by the Turkish armies.

Rev. 9.19:

The Turkish power was in their mouth; that is, their Mahometan doctrine and worship, whereby they did hurt to the souls of those Romans that turned to the Turks religion.

Rev. 9.20:

By the rest of the men, which were not killed by these plagues; we may understand those Roman papists, who apostatised from the sound doctrines and pure worship of God, to popish doctrine of devils. {1Ti 4:1-3} Forbidding the priests to marry, and commanding the people to abstain from meats, etc. yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, etc. that is, they added impenitency to their heathen and hellish idolatry; of imaginary worship, called the works of their hands; because the images, crosses, crucifixes which they adore, are the work of their hands: The Roman Papist make the image of the Virgin Mary, and worship it; and the image of Christ upon a cross, and worship it: Thus the apostate papal Romans heathenize. (Read Le 17:7 2Ch 11:15 Ps 115:4-8) that they should not worship devils, drink of the cup of devils, (1Co 10:19-22) partake of the table of devils, and so sacrifice to devils, as the heathen did. (Ps 115:4-8 135:15)

Rev. 9.21:

In this verse there are four sorts of heinous sins mentioned, which these apostates lived in without repentance; to wit, murder, sorcery, fornication, and thefts.

The murders of those apostate Romans are of two sorts; First, the Jesuits, priests, friars, and the rest of the Roman clergy, murdered the souls of them that believed their false doctrines, and practised their image-worship. Secondly, they murdered the bodies of many, because they would not worship images, crucifixes, come to mass, fall down before their host, and worship their heathen God, the consecrated wafer.

Nor of their sorceries; whereby we are to understand those false doctrines by which the Roman priests did bewitch the poor ignorant people. {as Ga 3:1} And their false miracles, such as are called lying wonders. {2Th 2:9-10}

Nor of their fornications; that is, of their corporal and spiritual whoredoms. The fornication of the great Whore, and the Mother of Harlots, (Re 17:5) mystical Babylon.

Nor of their Thefts: In taking and getting to the Roman Church the papal clergy, and religious houses, monasteries, nunneries, priories, etc. by indirect ways and means, such great revenues, under pretext and pretence of giving pardons, indulgences, dispensations, etc. Platina, Martinus, Unaphrius, and Bellarmine himself, have written enough, to testify, that the Roman papal clergy are guilty of these heinous sins.

see also Gill on Revelation 9; Andrew Fuller on the Follower’s of Mohammed.

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