Verse 20. And the rest of the men who were not killed - Whom the Saracens did not destroy. It is observable, the countries they over- ran were mostly those where the gospel had been planted. By these plagues - Here the description of the second woe ends. Yet repented not - Though they were called Christians. Of the works of their hands - Presently specified. That they should not worship devils - The invocation of departed saints, whether true, or false, or doubtful, or forged, crept early into the Christian church, and was carried farther and farther; and who knows how many who are invoked as saints are among evil, not good, angels; or how far devils have mingled with such blind worship, and with the wonders wrought on those occasions? And idols - About the year 590, men began to venerate images; and though upright men zealously opposed it, yet, by little and little, images grew into manifest idols. For after much contention, both in the east and west, in the year 787, the worship of images was established by the second Council of Nice. Yet was image worship sharply opposed some time after, by the emperor Theophilus. But when he died, in 842, his widow, Theodoura, established it again; as did the Council at Constantinople in the year 863, and again in 871.
Verse 21. Neither repented of their murders, nor of their sorceries - Whoever reads the histories of the seventh, eighth, and ninth centuries, will find numberless instances of all these in every part of the Christian world. But though God cut off so many of these scandals to the Christian name, yet the rest went on in the same course. Some of them, however, might repent under the plagues which follow.