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undefined character which some people are apt to suppose. On the contrary, the more closely it is analyzed, the more is it capable of a very high and close degree of demonstration. In the onward course of events therefore, after the era formed by the Reformation had passed, the change that took place was one that in all points corresponded with the contents of this sixth seal. A great revolution did take place—the kingly power was obscured or eclipsed—the mass of the subjects of the kingdom did become blood—men who in any way rose above their fellow-creatures, did lose their standing, and “equality” was the watchword—the political heaven did disappear—every kingdom and all the minor independent states, which might be compared to clusters of islands were moved out of their places—and the “kings of the earth,” (which proves at least this must have happened after the division of the empires into kingdoms,) and all their subjects were in expressible alarm and dread, and fancied the day of judgment was at hand. These things have happened, and happened in connection with a great change in the outward aspect of the church, brought about by the French revolution. It was a new enemy to vital godliness that at this time appeared, and was the occasion of bringing about this new situation in which the church found itself. Instead of being, as heretofore, in the hands of Popery—instead of being either sunk in its darkness and apostacy, or exposed to its persecutions, during this period Christianity was exposed to the actings of Infidelity; and in the contents of this seal, those principles are brought to the life, and their effects fearfully exhibited. For it was infidelity, or an utter contempt of God’s most holy word, and an utter rejection of Christ, that brought France to a state of revolution; and with that, its train of attendant miseries. And although the alarms and commotions which it occasioned subsided with the great battle of Waterloo, when its great champion and head was defeated and dethroned, yet the principle has, in a yet more direct way before this seal closes, to be directed against “the servants of God l’” The consideration however of this, which involves such deeply interesting events to the true church, and sadly, yet triumphantly, is to close the present dispensation, must be left to the next chapter.
SUSPENSION OF THE FEARFUL DOOM HANGING OVER THE NATIONS:
SEALING AND PRESERVATION OF THE SERVANTS OF GOD AFTER A PERIOD OP PERSECUTION;
OPENING OF THE SEVENTH SEAL.
Present state of peace—Most destructive wars only suspended— Deliverance of the righteous from them—Their sealing—Their symbolical number—Their characters—Nature of their preservation — A newly-arrived company seen in Heaven — Proof that it is Heaven—That they are newly arrived—That they have erperienced a great Salvation—Their Song–That they came out of a great Tribulation— That they are the company that was sealed—Their arrival in Heaven appears to have been a Translation—Arguments to prove this to be probable—Nothing incredible, and why—Seventh Seal—A solemn and awful pause —General observations.
HAv ING thus disposed of that part of the contents of the seven-sealed book which is PAST, bringing it down, through the commotions of the French Revolution, to the memorable period of the Battle of Waterloo, we are now come to that which is PRESENT.
“And after these things,” the Apostle goes on to say, “I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another Angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the Living God : and he cried with a loud voice to the four Angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (vii. 1–3.)
Three things are here very apparent— 1. That there should, after the events already described on opening the sixth seal have passed, be a