After the thousand years are expired, Satan is let loose again, and falls to his old trade of deceiving the nations again, ver. 8. Zohar hath this saying: "It is a tradition, that, in the day, when judgment is upon the world, and the Holy Blessed God sits upon the throne of judgment, then it is found that Satan that deceives high and low, he is found destroying the world, and taking away souls." When the Papacy began, then heathenism came over the world again, and Satan as loose and deceiving as ever: then idolatry, blindness, deluding oracularities and miracles as fresh and plenteous as before: from the rising of the gospel among the Gentiles these had been beaten down, and Satan fettered and imprisoned deeper and deeper every day: and though his agent, Rome, bestirred itself hard to hold up his kingdom, by the horrid persecutions it raised, yet still the gospel prevailed, and laid all flat. But when the Papacy came, then he was loose again; and his cheatings prevailed, and the world became again no better than heathen. And if you should take the thousand years fixedly and literally, and begin to count either from the beginning of the gospel in the preaching of John; or of Peter to Cornelius, the first inlet to the Gentiles; or of Paul and Barnabus their being sent among them,--the expiring of them will be in the very depth of Popery: especially begin them from the fall of Jerusalem, where the date of the Gentiles more peculiarly begins, and they will end upon the times of pope Hidebrand [1073AD] ; when if the devil were not let loose, when was he?
He calls the enemies of the church, especially antichrist, "Gog and Magog;' the title of the Syro-Grecian monarchy, the great persecutor. [Pliny mentions a place in Coelosyria, that retained the name Magog.] So that John, from old stories and copies of great troubles, trancribeth new, using known terms from Scripture, and from the Jews' language and notions, that he might better be understand. So that this chapter containeth a brief of all the times from the rising of the gospel among the Gentiles, to the end of the world, under these two suns,--first, the beating down of idolatry and heathenism in the earth, till the world was become Christian; and then the Papacy arising doth heathenize it again. The destruction of which is set down, ver. 9. by fire from heaven, in allusion to Sodom, or 2 Kings, i. 10. 12; and it is set close to the end of the world: the devil and the beast [imperial Rome], and the false prophet [papal Rome], are cast into the fire and brimstone, ver. 10; where John speaks so, as to show his method, which we have spoken of. "The devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are:"