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THE LAST TRUMPET.
But in the days of the voice 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.-REV. x. 7.
THE Sounding of trumpets "was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob."
By the ordinance of the Lord, the chosen tribes assembled, marched, celebrated their holy feasts, and joined battle with their enemies, by the sound of trumpets.
By divine appointment also, trumpets were used for the dividing of times: the ending and beginning of every month was noted by the voice of the trumpet, particularly the seventh; on which account the first day of the seventh month was called ". a day of blowing the trumpets"
a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets."
The seventh month was thus distinguished, because in it were the great day of atonement, and the great feast of tabernacles.
But the last and most remarkable division of Jewish time was the great jubilee; which also was proclaimed by blowing the trumpet. This is called, Leviticus xxv. 9, the trumpet loud of sound; and Isaiah xxvii. 13, the great trumpet: and this also was blown on the seventh month, and in the order of institution, as well as of the division of time, was the last trumpet. To which seventh division of time, and this last great jubilee, and the trumpets which ushered them in, continual reference is had in those passages of Scripture which note the opening of the last dispensation of the mediatorial kingdom.
According to such a pattern from the mount, one of the visions of St. John is divided by trumpets, the seventh and last of which is the most remarkable, and answereth to the Jewish seventh month, or last division of time, the great jubilee.
Our present inquiry, concerning the great truths of revelation, will be, what is to take place at the sounding of the seventh trumpet?
The seventh trumpet will commence the glorious kingdom of Christ.
'And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." Rev. xi. 15-17.
This future kingdom of Christ, is the great jubilee-the year of the redeemed-the year of release.
The feast of tabernacles on the seventh month was a bright memorial in Israel, of their redemption and release from the iron bondage of Egypt, which was a clear type of the future perfect and glorious deliverance of the church from the bondage of sin and Satan. The great jubilee, also, was instituted as a memorial of the redemption from Egypt, and was an heart-affecting remembrance of that event, and the most perfect type of the future perfect release and freedom of the church-the great sabbath and restitution of all things. This, all this, will be fulfilled under the sounding of the last, the great jubilant trumpet for then the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and if so, they will become the kingdoms of the saints: for if Christ takes the kingdom, the saints will take the kingdom; the kingdom will be restored to Israel, if restored to Israel's Lord and Christ. And then shall be given "reward unto God's servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear his name, small and great."
The kingdom of God, to commence immediately at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, will be perfect and eternal. Antichrist, and all the rest of the beasts, will be destroyed; and nothing will remain to offend, hurt, or destroy, in all Christ's holy mountain, that is, his kingdom: which now, as in Daniel, becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth. It will be a state of uninterrupted and endless blessedness. "The
seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." Rev. xi. 15. "And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." Daniel vii. 14. "But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever." Verse 18. "And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom." Verse 27.
The words everlasting and forever and ever, so emphatically applied to the kingdom as under the seventh trumpet, import that it is now brought to its state of everlasting perfection and glory: they do not respect its Christocracy, or adminis tration in the hands of Christ, but its full maturity-uninterrupted and endless blessedness. In the sense, indeed, that the Lord Christ is said to reign from everlasting-i. e. as he is God, the everlasting Father-he will reign to everlasting; but as man-as he is said to receive the kingdom, and to be anointed king upon the holy hill -his reign will terminate.
But as man, Christ will be the head of the kingdom under the seventh trumpet. (See Psalm viii.) When that ceases, he will deliver it up to his head, which is God.
All his undertaking, as the Christ, will have
an end, and all will be accomplished in the world: for this whole work, and the reward, glory, and honor, belong to him as the second Adam; and the dominion, glory, and honor of the first Adam was the world. (See Psalm viii. and Heb. ii.*)
"This kingdom of Christ on earth, to come, is a far more glorious condition for the saints than what their souls have now in heaven: for these here overlook that condition, which yet they were to run through; and their thoughts fly to this for comfort, (We shall reign on earth)." This, and not their present blessedness in heaven, is the "reward of the prophets."
The mystery of God shall be finished.
The word, and work of grace and reconciliation, pardon and peace, in our rebellious world, is the mystery, emphatically called the mystery of God, Colossians ii. 2, and the mystery of Christ, Col. iv. 3. In this the disciples were instructed when the Lord said, "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God." Mark iv. 11.
To the ministry of reconciliation, the preaching of the gospel of peace, Paul refers, 1 Cor. ii. 7: "We speak the wisdom of God in mystery." The same, he calls (Eph. vi. 19,) "the mystery of the gospel."
Particularly, the dispensation of the word and
* There have been a diversity of sentiments respecting the duration of the seventh trumpet. Some have thought that it must be a thousand years literally; others, that it might, and most probably would be a prophetic thousand years, i. e. reckoning a year for a day. But we may pass this, as our present inquiry is concerning the events, and not the duration of the last trumpet.
† Goodwin's Expo. of the Revelation, page 14.