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another; and that, therefore, all manner of lies and falsehoods, errors and delusions, should be endured and repeated—for the devil is the author of them all; and however his children may sometimes quarrel, it is natural that on some occasions they should cordially unite, and act as brethren of one family. But real Christian faith comes down from heaven—it is the offspring of God—and it is therefore hated by all that hellish rout; they cannot endure it.” This is the kind of tormenting therefore that is here alluded to, the contrary life and conversation of the Lord's people to that of the people of the world, which to them is a perpetual torment and reproach. Its effect is seen in the lives of Cain and Abel ; but most conspicuously in that of our blessed Lord and Saviour himself, which was such a keen and perpetual torment to the pharisaical Jews, that they could not be satisfied till it was quenched in his blood. From its being in this manner that the two witnesses have likewise tormented “them that dwell on the earth,” by these latter must be meant those upon whom it has had a similar effect to that which it had upon Cain and upon the wicked Jews: in other words, it means the idolatrous paganizing Christians; for it is they who have persecuted and slain, from age to age, those that have shown forth a righteous conversation. It is these therefore that will rejoice on the occasion of the coming tribulation; it is the myrmidons of Rome that will be in such an ecstacy of joy to see the success of the beast out of the bottomless pit. Although the greatest it will not be the first demonstration of such an ebullition of delight at the sufferings of the Saints of God, as the rejoicings at the horrid massacre of St. Bartholomew can testify. Let the church therefore be awake to all her enemies. If the ostensible arm that strikes her dead be Infidelity, those that can so signally rejoice and triumph over her fall, cannot but have lent all their best aid towards its accomplishment, and, as the most incredulous now begin to confess, do lend their aid, and, in every way they can devise, are sapping the foundations of her strength. And it is not easy to conceive anything that in stronger terms could demonstrate the greatness of the tribulation, and the depth of the trial that is coming upon us, than that it should be so great a gratification to the malice of those that hate her.
* Sermons, p. 309.
Having thus gone through these few verses, which gave such a particular account of the last great Persecution, “the Tribulation, the great one,” we now come to speak of the Church's triumphant rescue and deliverance.
* See chap. vi.
STILL A CONTINUATION OF THE CONCLUDING SCENES OF THE SIXTH TRUMPET.
The connection of the history of the Two Witnesses with that of the Seven Seals and first Sir Trumpets—Depressed condition of the true church for 1260 years—Connection of the VII. of Revelation, with the ascension of the two witnesses—Translation of the true church to heaven—The witnesses' revival to life—In the first place a political revival—The Spirit of life from God, what— The translation demonstrated — Typified by Elijah—All the result of sovereign grace.
CHURCH2S TRANSLATION TO HEAVEN.
BEFoRE considering the next two verses, which describe the glorious and triumphant manner in which God will appear for his people at the end of this three years and an half persecution, it will throw additional light upon the subject, if for a moment we retrace the events of the seven seals and the six first trumpets, and connect them with the new aspect of the church given in this history of the two witnesses. In contemplating its state, as it appeared under the influence of the ruling powers of the empire, that is, as it is exhibited under the seven seals, in vain do we attempt to discover, after at least the first seal in the age of Constantine, anything like the appearance of real vital godliness in its external aspect. We see nothing but a state of gradual decay, corruption, and extreme wickedness, ending in the most awful apostacy. We hear indeed the voice of martyrs crying for vengeance, giving fearful intima