Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads.
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Hurt not: From the time that the Lord suffered, not only was the dominion of the enemy who opposed Him destroyed, but that of worldly power too, as we both see with our eyes, and read of in the image which the stone from the mountain "broke in pieces." foreheads. For to this end was the empire of the nations broken up, that the face of the saints might be freely marked with the seal of faith, which these had resisted. For, again, the figure of the cross itself represents the kingdom of the Lord extending everywhere, as the old saying proves:- "Behold the world four-square, in parts distinct, To shew the realm of faith possessing all." And not in vain was the sacred Name of the Lord, of four letters, written on the forehead of the High Priest, inasmuch as this is the sign on the forehead of the faithful, of which it is also sung in the Psalm "for the winefats," "O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is Thy Name in all the earth?" and the rest, until he...
As, then, when Egypt was smitten, the Jewish people could not escape except by the blood and the sign of the lamb; so also, when the world shall begin to be desolated and smitten, whoever is found in the blood and the sign of Christ alone shall escape.
Hurt not the earth Some understand Christ himself, who gives his commands in this manner to the Angels; others, an Angel of a higher rank or order.
Till we seal the servants of our God in their foreheads, which may be expounded, let not persecutions and trials come upon them till they are strengthened by the spirit and grace of God, with which St. Paul sometimes says the servants of God are signed and sealed. See 2 Corinthians i. 22.; Ephesians i. 13. He alludes to the passages of Ezechiel, (Ezechiel ix. 4.) where God bids an Angel mark with the letter Tau the foreheads of those who should not be hurt by the judgments that were to fall upon Jerusalem; so God would protect the faithful Christians, who believed and put their trust in Christ crucified, and who from the first ages So that the action itself puts us in mind that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross; and by the words, we make a profession of our Christian faith, that we believe in one God and three Persons. Can we do this t...