Henry Hammond’s Paraphrase and Annotations on Revelation

Henry Hammond (1605-1660) was a rising theologian and churchman during the reign of Charles I, the English civil wars, and the Interregnum.  Hammond was a royal chaplain and closely identified with the Anglicanism of the king and William Laud.  After the royalists’ defeat, Charles’s execution, and Hammond’s own ejection from his parish and other Church offices, he retired to the country home of gentry friends.  During this Interregnum retirement Hammond became a major figure in the theological controversies of the era, and was an important factor in the survival of Anglicanism.  Hammond was slated to be consecrated Bishop of Worcester at the Restoration but died – conveniently for purposes of periodization – in April 1660, the month of Charles II’s return to England.

One of the fruits of Hammond’s rustication, A Paraphrase and Annotations Upon all the Books of the New Testament, Briefly explaining all the difficult places thereof, was originally published as a folio volume in 1653.  A second, ‘corrected and enlarged’ edition of this New Testament commentary was printed in 1659, and it is the text of this second edition that forms the basis of the present study.

The organization of Hammond’s New Testament commentary is consistent with a tradition of biblical commentary stretching far back into the medieval era and forward into contemporary times.  The biblical text is given with glosses, notes, longer explanatory essays, and references to authorities.  This study will consider in detail Hammond’s commentary on a single book, the Revelation.  By concentrating on one book, the reader may gain insight into the method Hammond typically follows throughout his commentary.  This approach also will illuminate important areas of Hammond’s general theological position and, of course, will give extended consideration to an example of 17th century Anglican interpretation of Revelation in particular and of Caroline eschatology in general.  This last point may be of particular interest to historians of Hammond’s era, as the Interregnum was a period of great millennialist ferment, fervor, and speculation.  The study of pre-modern biblical interpretation has flourished among Church historians and theologians in recent decades.  Hammond’s commentary, however, has not received the attention it deserves.

The commentary on Revelation consists of 88 folio pages (pp. 862-949) and begins with a page and a half of introduction in which Hammond deals with typical preliminary matters:  the title, date, and authorship of the book.  In form this introduction is itself two annotations on the title of the book.  Hammond’s introduction is followed by the bulk of his commentary, the ‘paraphrase and annotations’ of his title.  The paraphrase and annotations are printed chapter by chapter in three main parts.  For each chapter Hammond gives the English text with accompanying marginalia, a paraphrase, and then annotations.  Each of these three parts requires a brief initial explanation.

  1. Text and Marginalia

Hammond gives the English text in full verse by verse.  The text, as one would expect from a mid-17th century Anglican clergyman, is that of the Authorized Version.  Hammond places within many of the verses two kinds of symbols which in turn direct the reader to marginal notes on both sides of the page.  In the outer margins of each page are single letters which are keyed to the same letters printed as superscripts within the verses of the text.  Each of these letters in turn refers to a keyed annotation or commentary in the third part (see 3. Annotations infra).  So this first category of marginalia is merely the key to chapter end notes or annotations.  On the inner margins of the pages are notes keyed alternately to either an asterisk or a dagger, which symbols also appear within the text of the verses.  These inner marginal notes keyed to an asterisk or dagger are usually brief and usually give the Greek text of a translated English word or phrase and sometimes an alternative translation or some other brief piece of information.

  1. The Paraphrase

Each verse of the English text also has with it a paraphrase, usually at least as long as, and often much longer than, the text paraphrased.  Each paraphrase is printed immediately with its verse, and both verses and paraphrases are given the verse number of the Authorized Version text.  These paraphrases not only clarify the text or its sense in the manner of the inner marginalia but also often interpret it in substantial ways, refer the reader to other relevant biblical passages, and in general forward a systematic interpretation of the text.  The reader could read the paraphrases alone as a continuous narrative or text, and Hammond might have printed the ‘Paraphrase of Revelation’ as a separate text from the biblical book itself.

  1. Annotations

After the English text, marginal notes, and paraphrase, Hammond provides annotations, commentaries, and essays on particular textual, theological, interpretive, and historical issues.  These annotations are often long and are keyed to the text through the letters in the inner margins.  Often in effect these more extensive annotations provide the substantial basis or argument for Hammond’s interpretation as revealed in his paraphrase.  Sometimes the paraphrase will assume a controversial point, and the annotations will explain or defend the assumption.  The annotations are printed in two columns.  As was usual in his period, Hammond makes his fairly rare notes to these annotations (usually Patristic or classical citations or the Greek text) in the margins rather than in end or footnotes.

In terms of the total commentary after the introduction, the Biblical text, marginalia, and paraphrases comprise roughly a third of the commentary (about 28 pages), while the annotations comprise about two-thirds (about 57 pages).

The annotations contain much of the substance of Hammond’s interpretation, particularly on controverted points, but they do not form the kind of continuous narrative one might find in a modern commentary or that one does find in Hammond’s own paraphrase of the text.  Nevertheless, the combination of the paraphrase and the more substantial annotations provides a clear interpretation of the book as a whole.

A.  Hammond’s general introduction to Revelation

As noted above, Hammond’s brief introduction to his commentary takes the form of two notes on the book’s title, ‘The Revelation of John the Divine’.  Hammond recognizes that this title is not itself a biblical text, but rather ‘was by the Church of the first ages affix’d unto it’ (p. 862).  The bulk of the introduction consists of a note on the meaning of ‘revelation’ (apocalypse) in the title.  A brief second note concerns the title for John of ‘the Divine’ (τοῦ Θεολόγου), whom Hammond readily identifies as the beloved disciple, apostle, and the author of the fourth gospel (p. 862).

In general Hammond identifies ‘revelation’ with ‘prophecy’ or vision or with any ‘knowledge extraordinarily communicated to any by God’ (p. 862).   In effect, much of Hammond’s introduction asserts principles for the interpretation of the revealed text, which principles in fact will serve to steer his commentary away from sectarian millennarianism.  Hammond asserts that while the book itself may be extraordinarily communicated by God, it is to be interpreted by normal hermeneutical means.  Prayer and grace are to be sought to interpret the sacred text by ‘comparing Scripture with Scripture, and Prophetick expressions with the Prophetick style, and Symbols with Symbols, and the observation of the use of words and phrases in the sacred dialect.’  (p. 862)  This general positive method is accompanied by a negative polemic against those who claim special inspiration in their interpretation, as if there were ‘Revelation of the Revelation’ or as if further inspiration does ‘reveal the Revelation, by God speaking to’ the interpreter (p. 862).  Hammond notes briefly a roughly contemporary instance of this fallacious style of interpretation, which he promises to consider further in the bulk of his commentary.  This erroneous interpretation, in an influential Latin commentary on the Apocalypse by Thomas Brightman, identifies the Asian churches of chapters 1, 2, and 3 with 16th and 17th century European churches.  Brightman died in 1607 and his commentary was published posthumously.  A fourth edition of The Revelation of St. John Illustrated with an Analysis & Scholions was published in London by Samuel Cartwright in 1644.  Brightman tended to identify with the Scottish and Genevan, ‘best reformed’, Churches rather than with the ‘Laodicean’ Church of England.  Brightman’s claims to personal inspiration were certainly offensive to Hammond.

In brief, then in his introduction Hammond rejects the claim that the book can only be interpreted with some special knowledge or key that is accessible apart from the normal means of biblical interpretation.  Biblical interpretation belongs particularly to those who are capable of comparing relevant biblical passages, who understand the biblical languages and their context, and in the case of Revelation who also understand the particular style of apocalyptic literature with its symbol systems.  Already in his introduction Hammond rejects Brightman’s attempt to interpret the text as referring to specific 16th or 17th century events or entities.  Later Hammond will directly reject as fanciful and unwarranted Brightman’s identifications of, for example, the Church of Sardis with Luther’s church in Wittemberg and of the Church of Laodicea with the Church of England (see Hammond’s annotation a on chapter 3, p. 881).

Hammond returns to his general rejection of claims to special inspiration particularly in his paraphrase and annotation on 22:18-9 (pp, 947ff.).  While prophecy may have continued into Justin Martyr’s day, now ‘this book should be the last, and so the close and seal of all publick Prophecie’ (p. 949).  Hammond is typically Anglican in believing that ‘no new doctrine was now farther to be expected by the Christian Church’ (p. 949).  Any claim to new revelation or authority to teach new doctrine now is false and falls under the curse of Revelation 22.  In so saying Hammond rejects enthusiastic or sectarian Protestantism but also the doctrinal claims of Roman Catholicism.

B.  Hammond’s commentary:  preterism and temporal references

In Hammond’s paraphrase of the first verse of Revelation he sets the tone for his general interpretation of the whole.  Basically Hammond understands Revelation to be ‘a Symbolical representation’ of ‘some things that should suddenly come to passe’ (p. 863).  Some of these things in turn Christ already made known to his apostles most plainly while he was alive, and of these things Hammond specifies one, namely Christ’s intended manner of ‘dealing with his crucifiers, and their [the apostles’] persecutors, the Jewes’ (p. 863).

This first paraphrase suggests that Hammond believes in general that a meaning founded on an allegorical interpretation or on a symbol or figure in a biblical text should elsewhere be supported in Scripture by other and more literal and certain texts.  Or, in the words of Thomas Aquinas concerning Augustine, ‘He also notes that nothing is occultly delivered in one text which is not plainly exposed in another.  Mystical interpretation should always be supported by plain meanings.’[1]  Hammond opposes excessive allegorizing and claims to extraordinary inspiration in matters of interpretation.

Hammond’s first paraphrase also suggests that his basic approach to Revelation is preterist.  Hammond does not believe that everything referred to in Revelation was completely fulfilled in the 1st century or prior to A.D. 70.  In his paraphrase of 1:3, Hammond says that the things revealed in Revelation include ‘things future’, that is events that will follow ‘the Jewes destruction’ (p. 863).  In his interpretation of the meaning of the millennium and its aftermath Hammond believes Revelation refers to some events long after the 1st century.  But while Hammond is not a full preterist, his inclination is to interpret most of John’s visions as referring to events long past.  This inclination is logical given the untethered and elaborate interpretation of Revelation and other apocalyptic biblical texts made by the Interregnum sectaries.  Hammond’s hermeneutical method, theological inclination, and political interests all lead in the same direction.

Hammond’s first marginal gloss is on the word ‘shortly’ (‘shortly come to passe’, Rev. 1:1).  Hammond gives the Greek for ‘shortly’ and then glosses it as ‘suddenly, speedily’.  This is a commonplace and obvious note, but perhaps it is significant that Hammond’s first marginal note leans in the same preterist direction as his first paraphrase.

In terms of the substance of Hammond’s commentary, this matter of Revelation’s temporal references and relevance is a central topic which must arise when considering any commentary on an apocalyptic text.  At this point rather than following Hammond’s text sequentially, this study will pursue this particular matter topically.

Hammond holds that much of Revelation refers to the liberation of the ‘persecuted Christians alive then, before the destruction of the Jewes’, which destruction was ‘approaching and drawing nigh’ at the time of the book’s writing (p. 867).  The Jews were, according to Hammond,

…the chief persecutors of Christianity, …hindering their publick assemblies where they had power, and where they had not, yet so calumniating the Christians to the Roman Emperours and Officers, that they had for some time brought great persecution upon them.  [Page 867]

Therefore, the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus in A.D. 70 ushered in a period of relative toleration for Christians.  This toleration was not perfect, and would wane when God wished to punish Christians for their sin, internal divisions, and infidelity, as ‘God’s promises [are] but conditional’ (p. 867).  Such punishing persecution from a Jewish source was stirred up again when ‘in Adrian’s time the Jewes under Barchocheba raise a sedition again, and lie very heavie upon the Christians, because they would not rise and joyn with’ the Jewish rebels (p. 868).   After the final destruction of Jewish power to persecute, Christian infidelity still could be punished by pagan persecutions when ‘the heathen Emperors are stirred up by the Devil, Magicians and Oracles’, and ‘so it often fared with them till Constantine’s time, that is, till the Roman Emperour was converted to the faith’ (p. 868).

In his first annotation on chapter 14 Hammond argues that chapter 13 presents the state of pagan Rome in Domitian’s time, while chapter 14 presents a summary of chapters 16, 17, and 18, ‘that is of all from Domitian to Constantine’, while the earlier chapters of the book present the ‘dissolution’ of ‘the Jews Polity’ (p. 918).  Other annotations and passages consistently apply these basic interpretations.  So, for example, the prodigies and plagues of Revelation 6 refer to events surrounding the siege of Jerusalem under the Romans (pp. 891-3).  Or again, the prophecies of doom in chapter 18 are directed against ‘heathen Rome…set down obscurely in prophetick style by way of Vision’ but ‘darkly understood before the coming of it, yet so far expected by Christians, that the heathens did take notice of this their expectation, and looked upon them as men that had an evil eye upon that City and Empire’ (p. 934).  Revelation, Hammond believes, unfolds a view of Christian history in a fairly straightforward, chronological manner.

Hammond introduces this general approach in an early annotation so as ‘once for all, to clear the many passages of this nature which are to be met with in these Visions’ (p. 868).  Revelation in general, according to Hammond, uses figurative and Old Testament language to refer to various periods in Christian history.  These periods are presented in roughly chronological order in Revelation and seem to move historically from:  first, the persecution of Christians by the Jews prior to the destruction of Jewish power; secondly, to the destruction of Jewish power following the rebellions of the late 1st and the 2nd centuries; thirdly, to persecution of Christians by pagans after Jewish power was destroyed and then to the fall of those pagan, mostly Roman, persecutors; and fourthly, to the peace and prosperity of the Church under Christian rule for a millennium after Constantine.  Since that millennium only takes the reader into the 14th or 15th century, one element of Hammond’s interpretation of the main periods in Christian history remains to be explained.

But before considering what follows the millennium, Hammond’s interpretation of the millennium itself requires more explanation.  Hammond is inclined to identify the triumph of the Church under Constantine as the beginning of the millennium, which he understands to be a literal historical period:  ‘for the space of a thousand years they shall live and reign with Christ, that is, the Christian  religion shall be no more interdicted or persecuted:  and that promise was perfectly performed.’ (p. 868)

Hammond’s particular identification of the millennium, ‘when these thousand years of the peaceable Christian profession should begin, and should determine’, is he admits ‘a thing of some doubt’ (p. 940).  It seems clear to Hammond that the beginning of the millennium dates from the destruction of the pagan power in Rome, which after the end of Jewish persecution was the thing that could disturb the early Church’s peace (p. 940).  The peace of the Church seems to require ‘the countenance and favour of Princes’ towards the Church (p. 939).  The beginning point of the millennium might date from the early 4th century during the reign of Constantine with Constantine’s own conversion, or with the end of imperial persecution, or with the decree proclaiming the liberty of the Church (p. 940).  Alternatively, since the pagans remained a strong party in Rome itself until the destruction of the city under the Goths, Vandals, and Huns, one might date the fall of paganism and the beginning of the millennium from the middle of the 5th century (p. 940).

Hammond does not decide between these alternative starting points, and in fact values the ambiguity:  ‘[a]greeable to this double beginning may be assigned a double end to these thousand years’ (p. 940).  The ‘letting loose of Satan’ which concludes the millennium (20:7) must, by Hammond’s definition, bring the end of the peace of the Church and the resumption of persecution of Christians.  Hammond sees such resumption in the Ottoman conquest of the Eastern Roman Empire.  Since Rome was the persecutor whose conversion brought in the millennium, its destruction in the east ended that period.  This destruction may date from the

…rising of the Ottoman family, and bringing Asia and Greece to Mahomedisme, that will be about the year 1310, and so about a thousand years from Constantine’s Edict:  But if it were at the Turks taking of Constantinople (mentioned here ver. 9) and turning the Temple of Sophia to Mahomedane worship about the year 1450, then will that be about a thousand years from the sacking of Rome by Gensericus.  (p. 940)

With the rise of Turkish power, Christians began to suffer ‘heavy persecutions again’ (p. 940).  Therefore, the millennium ends when ‘the Mahomedan religion was brought into Greece, a special part of the Roman Empire’ (p. 938).

Hammond identifies the ‘camp of the Saints’ and the ‘beloved city’ of 20:9 with Constantinople and Hagia Sophia in his paraphrase of that verse, as well as in the annotation just quoted.  In the paraphrase of 20:9 Hammond speaks of Constantinople as ‘that city so precious in God’s eyes for the continuance of the pure Christian profession in it, and known among the Grecians by the name new Sion’ (p. 938).  While the Laudian Church had an interest in the Eastern Orthodox Church as an alternative and counterweight to the Roman Church and the Calvinist ‘international’, here Hammond probably is thinking more of mere avoidance of the Arian and Gnostic forms of Christianity that he often mentions in his commentary.  In that case reference to Constantinople’s ‘pure Christian profession’ is not so much a statement of Laudian ecumenical aspiration as an appreciation of Nicene and Chalcedonian creedal orthodoxy.  Nonetheless, this identification of the termination of the millennium with the Turkish captivity of the Greek Church, is both interesting and suggestive.

Hammond’s interpretation of the millennium is, of course, heavily Euro-centric and ignores both earlier Muslim successes and also the fortunes of the very large percentage of the Christian world that lived in Persia, central Asia, and elsewhere outside the boundaries of the old Roman world prior to a sharp decline in the 14th century.  Hammond’s response to such objections in part might be to note that Revelation and its author were mainly concerned with the Jewish and Roman world which they faced.  But in any case the point of this study is to present Hammond’s commentary, not to defend it.

C.  The Church:  episcopal, sacramental, and pious

Whatever one makes of Hammond’s particular identification of the millennium, history did not end with the rise of the Ottomans.  As this ongoing history includes Hammond’s own day and his readers, it might interest those readers to know what follows the millennium.  Hammond thinks that the millennium ended with the end of the Eastern Roman Empire ‘just two hundred years ago’ (p. 938).  Does Revelation have anything to say about Hammond’s own day or beyond the end of the millennium so identified?

By way of dealing with such inevitable questions negatively, Hammond as already noted rejects contemporary millennialist theories:  Revelation is mainly about the past.  So, for instance, Hammond identifies the marriage of the Lamb in chapter 19 with a past, completed event, namely the triumph of the Church under Constantine.  The marriage of the Lamb refers to ‘the publick profession of the Christian religion by the Emperor Constantine and his Courtiers’ and the consequent ‘great Liberty and immunities and privileges now bestow’d on the Church by the Emperor’ (p. 937).  Hammond denies the ‘doctrine of the Millenaries’ who suppose that the coming down of the kingdom of Christ means ‘a new kingdome in this world’ (p. 938), when in fact it refers to a past revival of the Church’s prosperity and fortunes.  The ‘Millenaries pretensions suppose’ that the rising of the dead in 20:5 refers to the resuscitation of particular dead individuals.  In fact it refers to the revival of the fortunes of ‘Orthodox professors’ of Christianity under the Constantinian order (p. 939).

If the millennium is not, say, the establishment of a sectarian cult in Interregnum England, one still wonders what follows ‘the thousand years, and the Turks invasions of the Church’ (p. 944)?  If chapter 20 describes the millennium, which ended with the Turkish conquest of Greece and Constantinople, what of chapter 21 and its ‘Vision being…placed after that other’ (p. 944)?  Does chapter 21 refer to something after the Turkish conquest or does it simply repeat the basic ideas of chapter 20?

In his annotation on 21:2 (concerning the new Jerusalem), Hammond argues that chapter 21 is fundamentally a repetition of the previous chapter.  Chapter 18 was about the ‘conversion of the Gentile world’.  Chapter 20 is about the triumph of the Church and ‘flourishing piety, magnifying, blessing, praising God, and of charity and mercy to all men, which is the summe of this ensuing Vision, and (as that there, so here) the conclusion of all.’ (Page 944)  In other words, in Revelation the Church’s past unfolds, from 1st century persecution through the period of establishment and peace to the renewal of grave persecution and difficulties.  Revelation offers no historical interpretation or particular guidance to events in the post-Constantinian period, and Hammond condemns as sectarian and erroneous attempts to find in it detailed contemporary references, as in Brightman’s identification of the Asian churches in the early chapters with contemporary Western European Churches.  The matter of contemporary relevance begins with this negative, anti-millennialist starting point.

More positively, it seems significant that Hammond’s annotations on the final chapter of the book turn to sacramental and ecclesiological matters.  The Church flourished in the Constantinian millennium, in that it was free from persecution and supported by the state, and yet that same Church often sinned.  The Constantinian order appears to extend into later years in particular places when particular Churches continue to enjoy the favor of the prince and his suppression of any persecution of the Church.  The ‘summe’ and ‘conclusion of all’ seems to be that the Church should enjoy its advantages when it has them, avoid the sin which will hasten the end of those advantages, and in general engage in the worship which is her essential task.

The ongoing summation and message of Revelation, then, is contained in the Church itself, her worship, and her sacramental system.  It is these subjects, baptism, absolution, the Eucharistic sacrifice, and the episcopal organization of the Church, which Hammond takes up particularly in his commentary on chapter 22, though sometimes by elaborating points he has already made.

The Church is episcopalian in its government.  Hammond in his annotation on 1:20 notes that its ‘angels’ were ‘by antient writers known and affirmed to be Bishops, one in every of’ the seven metropolitical Asian Sees addressed in chapters 2 and 3 (p. 869).  The ‘angels’, in Hammond’s paraphrase of 1:20 are called ‘the seven Governours’ of the seven Asian Churches (p. 865).  Hammond in the course of his annotations on chapter 1 makes reference to the work of ‘the most reverend Archbishop of Armagh’ (p. 865) as well as to Ignatius of Antioch, indicating use of James Ussher’s contemporary scholarship vindicating both Ignatian authorship of the authentic epistles and also of the episcopal government implied in those epistles.  In Hammond’s paraphrases of the letters to the seven Churches in chapters 2 and 3 he writes ‘the Bishop of’ where the text reads ‘angel of’ in the cases of Ephesus and Sardis (p. 870) and elsewhere.

Entrance into the Church is by baptism, which is signified by the ‘pure river’ of 22:1.  Chapter 22:1-5 is merely an extension of chapter 21, and refers therefore to the state of the Church under Constantine.  In this period baptism began to be administered in a font, which was ‘in the Court before the Church, Fountain-water running always into it.  This Fountain-water is in the New Testament called …living water’ (p. 947).  The pure river in 22:1 refers to this water in part by analogy with the figure of water in Ezekiel 47:9.  So the ‘pure river’ of 22:1 is a figure of

Baptisme as an initiation into the Church…an entrance into a Christian and eternal life…Baptisme is a federal sacramental undertaking of all purity of living, forsaking all sin, and engaging of the soul to purity…  (Page 947)

22:1 further says that the pure river flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  Hammond takes the throne to signify ‘power and judicature’:  first, of course, that of God himself, and then that which ‘is by Christ enstated on the Governours of the Church’ (p. 947).  The authority to baptize, therefore, ‘was at first in the Apostles, and from them descended to the Bishops, and never permitted to any but by appointment from the Bishop’ (p. 947).  This point concerning episcopal authority in baptism Hammond supports with citations from Ignatius and Tertullian.  Hammond then extends the point concerning episcopal authority with a citation from S. Cyprian, who argues that the power of the keys, ‘that ruling power of the oecononus, intrusted to the Governours of the Church, the Successors of the Apostles’, embraces above all the power to admit people into the Church either by the key of baptism or the key of absolution (p. 947).  The bishops oversee the sacramental and disciplinary system of the Church.

The street of 22:2 refers to the assembling of the Church ‘where the prayers are offered up, and the sacrifice of the Church in the Eucharist, and where instruction is reach’d out’ to the assembled (p. 947).  The tree in the midst, between the font and the Eucharistic assembly, is piety, so that

betwixt the place of assembling on the one side, and the Font or Baptistery on the other side, stood Piety in the midst, Baptisme being on purpose designed to initiate, and engage us to piety, and by God’s grace to enable us to perform it, and the service of God in the assembly, the prayers and the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and Christian instruction designed so too, for the confirming our vows of new life, and to instruct us farther in our duty, and to bring down more grace for the performance of it. (Page 948)

The sacramental system of the Church, including baptism, the Eucharist, and absolution, as well as Christian catechesis and preaching and Church discipline, are designed to sanctify the faithful in the episcopal and universal Church, which began to enjoy peace particularly under Constantine, though that peace has been disturbed by Islam as well as by domestic sectarian revolution.  The constant bearing of fruit in 22:2 refers to the need for ‘holinesse at all seasons’ (p. 946).  Hammond expresses this need with a quotation from the Prayer Book:  ‘to continue to serve God in holinesse and righteousnesse all the days of our lives’ (p. 948).  Failures in holiness may bring on the withdrawal of the blessings of the Constantinian order.

The exclusion of the cursed in 22:3 also refers to Constantinian times, when ‘Ecclesiastical Judicatories were erected…, and so continued under the favour of Christian Emperors and Princes’, so that both the state and the bishops with their keys may remove ‘scandalous offenders’ from the Church (p. 948).  The Christian prince, therefore, bears some authority in the Church:  the bishops and the Christian prince are ‘branches of the same authority, by Christ communicated to the Apostles’ (p. 948).

Hammond’s commentary on Revelation does fit well with his more general vision of contemporary events.  Throughout his writings Hammond considers ‘the sins of Christians provoking God’ (p. 938).  The millennial prosperity of the Church ended due to such provocation, with the Turks serving as God’s instruments to punish a sinning Christian world as earlier the Romans punished a sinning Jewish world and as the barbarian invasions punished the pagan Romans.  In his own day Hammond interpreted the disasters visited upon the Laudian Church as a consequence of the indifference and sin of churchmen in the years of their prosperity.  The conclusion to Hammond’s Revelation commentary flows into his general theological and political position and is entirely consistent with that more general position.


For chapter 1 Hammond devotes two pages to the text, marginalia, and paraphrase (pp. 863-5) and four and a half pages to the annotations (pp. 865-9);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 2 take up two pages (pp. 870-1) while the annotations take up seven and a half pages (pp. 872-9);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 3 take up almost two pages (pp. 879-81) while the annotations take up one page (pp. 881-2);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 4 take up almost one page (pp. 882) while the annotations take up three and a half pages (pp. 883-86);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 5 take up one page (pp. 886-7) as do the annotations (pp. 887-8);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 6 take up a bit over one page (pp. 888-9) while the annotations take up four pages (pp. 889-93);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 7 take up one page (pp. 893-4) while the annotations take up a bit over one page (pp. 894-5);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 8 take up one page (pp. 895-6) while the annotations take up two and a half pages (pp. 896-9);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 9 take up a bit more than one page (pp. 899-900) while the annotations take up more than two pages (pp. 900-2);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 10 take up one page (p. 903) while the annotations take up just under one page (p. 904);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 11 take up a bit under two pages (pp. 904-6) while the annotations take up two pages (pp. 906-8);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 12 take up a bit more than one page (pp. 908-9) while the annotations take up one and a half pages (pp. 909-11);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 13 take up a bit more than one page (pp. 911-2) while the annotations take up five pages (pp. 912-7);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 14 take up a bit more than one page (pp. 917-8) while the annotations take up two pages (pp. 918-20);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 15 take up half a page (pp. 920-1), as does its single annotation (p. 921);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 16 take up a bit more than one page (pp. 921-2) while the annotations take up four pages (pp. 923-6);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 17 take up a bit more than one page (pp. 927-8) while the annotations take up almost four pages (pp. 928-31);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 18 take up a page and a half (pp. 932-3) while the annotations take up a bit over two pages (pp. 933-5);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 19 is an exception, with the annotations (less than half a page, p. 937) taking up much less space than the text, marginalia, and paraphrase (a page and a half, pp. 935-7);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 20 take up a bit more than one page (pp. 937-8) while the annotations take up three and a half pages (pp. 938-42);

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 21 take up two pages (pp. 942-4) while the annotations take up a page and a half (pp. 944-5); finally,

The text, marginalia, and paraphrase for chapter 22 take up one and a half page (pp. 945-7) while the annotations take up two pages (pp. 947-9).

[1] From VII Quodlibets. quoted in  St. Thomas Aquinas:  Theological Texts.  Oxford:  Oxford, 1955.  Edited, Thomas Gilby.  Page 18.

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