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hare the mark and name of the beast ; so have these the seal of God impressed *, and the name of God written, on their foreheads. They alone are able to learn the new song of the heavenly harpers, because they alone are the worshippers of the one true God through the one true mediator Jesus Christ; the adherents of the Apostasy offering up their devotions to other objects, and through other mediators. They are virgins, undefiled with women, inasmuch as they are free from the pollutions of idolatry; which is spiritual whoredom, and adultery. They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, resolutely adhering to the religion of Christ in troublesome times as well as in prosperous ones, and fleeing into sequestered vallies and wild deserts rather than relinquish their profession of the Gospel. They are redeemed from among men, being rescued by the almighty power of divine grace from the corruptions and abominations of Babylon; and they are consecrated as the first fruits of Christianity unto God and the Lamb, an earnest and assurance of a more plentiful harvest, first at the era of the Reformation and afterwards at the yet more glorious era of the Millennium, In their mouth was found no guile : inasmuch as they handle not the word of God deceitfully, like Popish venders of indulgences, and preachers of purgatory, human merit, and idolatry; but faithfully and simply declare the way of ever

* Rev. vii. 3.

lasting lasting life. And they are without fault before the throne of God, having' washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; God not imputing their trespasses' unto them, but accounting them as if they had never sinned, through the imputed righteousness of Christ, who was made sin for them, in order that they might be made the righteousness of God in him.

By these 144,000, I understand peculiarly the depressed Church in the wilderness previous to the time of the Reformation : for history sufficiently demonstrates, that there have been in every' age some faithful worshippers, who consented not to the general Apostasy, but who prophesied, although in sackcloth, against its abominations. These however went on their way in comparative obscurits, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer for the name of the Lord Jesus. They make no very prominent figure in history, nor were they able to shake the deep-rooted authority of the man of sin. Hence they are represented only as patiently exulting in their sufferings on mount Zion in the presence of the Lamb. We must next turir our eyes to those more efficacious and decisive measures, which forced the papal tyrant to tremble upon his usurped throne for his now disputed authority *

* See Bp. Newton's Dissert: on Rev. xiv. In the exposition of the first part of this chapter, I have followed his Lordship; in that of the succeeding verses I am obliged to dissent from him.

1, " And .

1. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of “ heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach

unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every “ nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.

Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship bim that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”

The appearance of the angel, or Christian minister*, here mentioned, is sudden and unexpected. While the 144,000 are humbly singing the song

of the Lamb in despised obscurity, this servant of God boldly shews himself in the very midst of the symbolical heaven, a conspicuous object to the whole world, armed only with the everlasting Gospel; which he openly preaches to them that dwell on the earth, or the Roman empire, loudly calling unto all nations to fear God and worship him only.

This striking and peculiar type will be found precisely to answer in every particular to the dawn of the Reformation. When the 144,000 had long rejoiced in their sufferings, and had long separated themselves from the communion of the man of sin in order that they might “ follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth ;" when a reformation of the glaring corruptions of Popery was little likely to originate in the symbolical heaven either ecclesias

* See Rev. i. 20.

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tical or secular : then it was that Luther first stepped forward.

" While the Roman pontiff,” says the historian Mosheim, "slumbered in secu

rity at the head of the Church, and saw nothing

throughout the vast extent of his dominion but “ tranquillity and submission; and while the

; worthy and pious professors of genuine Christi

anity almost despaired of seeing that Reforma"* tion, on which their most ardent desires and “ expectations were bent: an obscure and in" considerable person arose on a sudden, in the

year 1517, and laid the foundation of the long " expected change, by opposing with undaunted “ resolution his single force to the torrent of papal * ambition and despotism *.”

(1.) The angel is represented as bearing the everlasting Gospel-Accordingly the Gospel was the only instrument which his antitype Luther'used in opposing the fury and machinations of his enemies, and in spreading the light of the Reformation. After the appearance of a special edict of Leo the tenth, in which he commanded his spiritual subjects to acknowledge his power of delivering from all the punishments due to sin and transgressions of every kind, and when the iniquitous traffic of indulgences was at its height; then did Luther raise his warning voice, and call upon the whole earth to turn away from those vanities into one God and one media'tor between God and man, to worship him only

* Eccles. His. Cent. 16. Sect. i. Chap. ii. VOL. II.



who made heaven and earth. Not content however with barely maintaining this evangelical tenet, he speedily turned the powerful two-edged sword of the Gospel against his antagonists. In order that the people might no longer be deluded through their ignorance of the word of God, he published a German translation of the Bible; " the different

parts of which," says Mosheim, being successively and gradually spread among the people,

produced a sudden and almost incredible effect, " and extirpated, root and branch, the erroneous

principles and superstitious doctrines of the “ Church of Rome from the minds of a prodigious - number of persons.

Thus accurately did the type of an angel bearing the Gospel answer to the proceedings of the great reformer Luther : and it is worthy of notice, that the Reformation itself, which he was one main cause of introducing, and which was in reality a republication of the long concealed Gospel, has been actually so termed in ja history of its progress quoted by Mosheimn * The rapidity with which it afterwards spread among the kindreds, tongues, and nations, is suffciently well known; and its progress is further pointed out in the type of the two angels, who appeared to the prophet as closely following the first.

(2.) The angel is seen to fly in the midst of heacen-In the language of symbols, heaven signifies

* Historia Evangelii renovati.

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