Oldalképek
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

ogy suggest, relative to the time of the third woe? It suggests that it may rationally be expected not long before the close of the 2000 years. This woe then, must be at too late a period to be viewed as including all the vials. And if it do not include them all, it probably includes only the seventh vial; or is the same in the first great division of the book of Revelation, with "the battle of that great day of God Almighty, in the second division. For an account of this general division, see chapter v; A concise view of the Revelation.

The numerous predictions in the Old and New Tes. taments, of the awful and universal destruction of the contending enemies of Christ, to prepare the way for his millennial Kingdom on earth, evince, that the event will be of sufficient magnitude to fulfil the seventh trumpet, the third woe, the battle of that great day of God Almighty, and the seventh vial: Or, that these different representations may all relate to this same event. Its extent and terrors will be such, that it is not to be esteemed strange, that in addition to its being called the seventh trumpet, if should be represented as the third woe, the battle of that great day of God Almighty, and the seventh vial. We do not imagine the third woe to be a different event from the seventh trumpet; nor the battle of that great day of God Almighty to be an event different from the seventh vial; although they are different representations. Why then should it be deemed improper to conclude, that the seventh trumpet and the seventh vial relate to the same event?

The supposition, that the seventh trumpet includes all the vials, involves the subject in inexplicable diffi. culties. We must then say, according to the foregoing scheme of the vials, that the third woe commenced, or the seventh trumpet was blown, at the time of the reformation, early in the sixteenth century. Consequently, that the slaying and the resurrection of the witnesses, and the earthquake, (see Rev. xi, 7—15,) preceded that period. How then could the witnesses be said to have prophesied in sackcloth, 1260 years, Rev, xi, 3. Or be said to have been given, for this

period, into the hands of Popery? Dan. vii, 25. Or the witnesses, when they were slain, be said either to have finished, or even to be about to finish their testimony of 1260 years.

And how could the Angel announce, (Rev. x, 5, 6,) But in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets? Or how could the great voices in heaven, chap. xi, 15, announce, at some period before the reformation, or at that time, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ? For the kingdoms have not yet become thus. And the commencement of the reformation was nearly three hundred years ago.

Or shall it be said the third woe commenced at the time of the revolution in France and that the vials then began to be poured out? But can we exclude from the vials that regular series of fatal judgments upon the Papal see, which commenced at the time of the reformation, and which have been noted as fulfilling the four first vials? Have they not a most evident claim to be reckoned among the vials? Can it appear judicious to exclude them; and then to suppose (with a late author) that at least four of the vials were accomplished on France and her dependencies, in about twenty years? This appears too much to diminish the object of the vials. And has it not been shown, in section ii, chapter iii, in remarking upon the slaying of the witnesses, that no event took place antecedent to the French revolution, which can be viewed as answering to that representation?

It does appear indeed, from every consideration, that the seventh trumpet is still future. is not yet prepared for the kingdoms of this world to become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. But is it probable, that after all the fatal judgments inflicted on Papal Rome, the whole period of the vials is still future? This cannot be admitted. It follows then, that the seventh trumpet does not comprise all the period of the vials. It probably comprises only the seventh vial.

For the way

According to the foregoing scheme of the vials, we áre yet under the second woe. According to Bp. New. ton, the second woe continues, till the Turkish empire is broken. And this, I think, is evident. The sixth trumpet established that empire. And it is natural to view it as closing in the subversion of the same empire under the sixth vial. The voice then proclaims, “The second woe is past; and behold the third woe cometh quickly.” Rev. xi, 14.

Four of the vials have been poured out. The effu sion of the fifth has been introduced in our day; and is now, with unprecedented terrors, fulfilling the judg. ments of Heaven on Papal nations. The sixth vial may not be far distant. And the seventh (the terrific and decisive scenes of the third woe, and the battle of that great day of God Almighty) will be fulfilled at the close of the 1260 years, and will decide the controversy between Jesus Christ and his enemies.

This scheme concerning the vials accounts for all the late commotions in Europe; and ascertains that a new and most important era has commenced; although the third woe is still future. The tremendous scenes, which have recently taken place, are the judgments of the fifth vial; the subversion of the seat (throne) of the Papal Beast, by the rise of the Aiheistical Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son. These are the wars and rumors of wars, foretold by our blessed Lord, as the harbingers of his coming, and as the beginning of sorrows. These probably are the seven thunders uttering their voices, at a period subsequent to the second woe, and not long antecedent to the third; whose import was to be sealed up, till they should be fulfilled; whose events would then be naturally mistaken for the coming of Christ in the third woe; but upon which the Angel swears, that the time is not yet, the end shall not be by and by. Events most interesting to the Church must intervene between this and the destruction of her enemies, to introduce her millennial glory. The bitter contents of the little book in the Angel's hand must be experienced. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and

it was in my mouth sweet as honey; and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophecy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. The events bere hinted, if they be future, (as must be apprehend. ed, from the connexion of the events of the passage,) future days must unfold! The people of God need to be prepared for every event. * Never perhaps were the Christian armor, and holy vigilance and faithfulness, more necessary, than at the present period. Our Lord, when predicting this period, gives in charge; Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I

And what I say unto you, I say unto all, waTCH.

• This representation is consistent with all that has been said of the Beast from the bottomless pit's soon going into perdi. tion; and his damnation slumbering not. His reign will be short, compared with the events of prophecy; though in the view of the then present generation, it will not be so immediato, as they are inclined to hope.

CHAP. V.

new.

A concise view of the Revelation of St. John. The following exposition of this mystical book is submitted. The brevity, which in one short chapter must be consulted, forbids the adducing of many arguments relative to the subjects exhibited, or of many objections against different schemes. I might state what authors have said on each point; but it would be un. wieldy. Many of the expositions given, are such as accord with the most approved expositors. Some are

Let these be examined by the word of God; and may the reader devoutly search, compare and judge for himself.

I shall give but a concise view of the contents of each chapter. The plan, chronology, and outlines of the book, in its several parts, will be my chief object. If these be correctly settled, more minute particulars will not be of difficult decision.

The revelation contains three subjects, of very unequal length. Christ denominates them, (chap. i, 19,) “The things which thou hast seen; and the things which are; and the things which shall be hereafter.The first were contained in the first chapter, exhibited in the former part of the first scene, which was opened to St. John. This may be viewed as a prologue, or introduction to the whole.

The second subject, or the things which then were, are found in the second and third chapters, in continu. ation of the first scene. They were delivered from the mouth of Jesus Christ in his enditing of seven epistles, one to each of the seven churches then in Asia Minor. These were not designed as a prophetic part of the Word of God. But like the other admonitory parts of the sacred Scriptures, they equally apply to all people of characters similar to those here described, in every age.

« ElőzőTovább »