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cheering feeling, that let the enemies of truth and revelation—the enemies of Christ and his saints— vent their impious rage as they may, and conceive, with that infidel Voltaire, that they have at length crushed that which is to them so great a torment, yet that their rage is vain, and their triumph but short. The Lord’s witnesses shall be re-animated with the Spirit of life from God, and stand upon their feet, to the inexpressible confusion and dread of those who hate them; and even in this respect the Lord will vindicate his injured servants. But a higher award, a nobler triumph than any earthly honour, enjoyment, or any earthly privileges, awaits them | They not only rise again into existence and to consideration, and that to the utter confusion of their enemies; but intimation, in some clear, unequivocal manner, is given them F RoM He Ave N. They heard, it is said, a loud voice from heaven, that they are to ascend thither; for this loud voice, in whatever way it is conveyed, said unto them, “Come up HITH ER.” There is room for no mistake here, with regard to the language used:—the voice was from heaven the heaven of heaven where God resides! and it will bear no other meaning. It can be no political heaven ; not only this word as used in other places forbids the idea,” but the circumstances which surround it render it impossible. The political heaven, or ruling powers, consists of those who have been the cause of all the church's sufferings, and they now behold its resurrection to political life with “great fear,” and therefore cannot have contributed to it. But as if to shew that political honour cannot be meant by this great and loud call from heaven, the former verse, as above explained, shews they have already attained it. What follows, therefore, must be something of a totally listinct and infinitely more glorious nature. “AND THEY Asce N DED UP to H E A v EN IN A cLou D, AND THEIR ENEMI Es B E HELD THEM.” If it were possible to imagine this to be a political ascension, the last expression, “their enemies beheld them,” appears quite superfluous—because this would be a matter of course, and, as such, would not be noticed here. It implies further, that those who were before their enemies are still their enemies. It must be, therefore, that this expression refers to an extraordinary scene; to that most extraordinary scene which it was inferred, in a former part of this work,” must take place, from the whole phraseology of the 7th chapter, viz., - A TRAN SLATIo N to He Ave N All the interpretations there given, to which the reader is again referred, is here fully confirmed by this one assertion, “And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud!” In the language of the 7th chapter we will again follow them; for it is a thing most delightful to dwell upon. “I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no one could number, of all nations, and kindreds
* Rev. x. 4 : xiv. 2, 13.
and peoples, and tongues,” (and this language is sufficient of itself to explain what is meant by the two witnesses,) “I beheld this innumerable multitude,” says the Apostle, “standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cry with a loud voice, saying, The salvation be ascribed to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. And one of the elders spake, saying unto me, These clothed in white robes, who are they, and whence came they P And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they which came out of the GREAT tribulAtio N, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb : therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple, and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water : and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes P’ Thus this three years and an half is not only the counter-part of the three years and an half of our Saviour's sufferings, making the “one week” of Daniel, ch. ix. ver. 27, but of his resurrection and ascension. And here it may not be irrelevant to notice, that the prophet Elijah likewise appears to have been an eminent and remarkable type of the two witnesses; or of the church in this her last period of
trial and suffering. His being miraculously fed for three years and an half, during a time of great famine;” and the still greater famine of the Word of God; the fixed resolution of his enemies, during this period, to take away his life; a sound of abundance of rain being sent immediately after his servant had been to look at the sea seven times;f the miraculous confirmation which God gave in favour of his own truth at the time of sacrifice; the unanimous attestation that was given to this attestation by all who witnessed it; and finally, Elijah's triumphant ascension into heaven in chariots of fire and horses of fire—all appear highly significant of what we have seen in the history of God's witnessing people in this place; and to point to their end on earth being, as it is expressed it shall be, of a similar nature. As he therefore ascended to heaven without dying—as Christ himself, whilst his disciples beheld, was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight-so shall all the members of his church, at this great crisis, “ascend up to heaven in a cloud ' " And it is observable that our Saviour himself brings forward these three years and six months' famine in Elijah's time, as a proof of the great and awful doctrine of his own sovereignty;S teaching us that the supply of bread and oil, which his poor and despised church has received in her mournful and depressed condition, has been the result of discrimi
* Luke iv. 25. + 1 Kings xviii. | Acts i. 9. § Luke iv. 25, 26.
nating mercy, according to the language in St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion upon whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Hence, when the elect of God are gathered together in heaven, the praise is given to whom the praise is due. “The salvation,” they cry with a loud voice, “be ascribed unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” And the top stone shall be brought forth with joy, crying Grace, Grace, unto it—“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name be all the glory.”
* Rom. ix, 15, 16.