Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and that this parenthetical intimation is made just before the account of the final destruction of that apostasy, there surely remains no reason to question the fact. Advancing to the more enlarged account of the utter destruction of that power, and of the apostate nations leagued with it, we find the Saviour represented as present in the dread conflict. The first nine verses of the 19th chapter of the Revelation tontain an account of the rejoicing of the saints in heaven, and their aspirations of praise to God, for the infliction of His judgments upon her who had corrupted the earth, and because the marriage of the Lamb is come. And, in the following part of this chapter, and beginning of the 20th, is declared the signal destruction of the enemies of Christ. In the 11th verse of the 19th chapter, the apostle saw beaven opened, and, behold, a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.” There can be no doubt that this Glorious Personage is the blessed Saviour, who is afterwards called the Word of God; and He hath on his vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords, “and on His head were many crowns." He meditates the destruction of His enemies; for the armies of heaven, wearing the raiment of saints, followed Him, “ and out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword that with it he should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron; and He treadeth the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” To intimate the extent of the carnage, the apostle "saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves unto the supper of the Great God, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." Without entering upon any particular examination of the imagery employed, we may merely observe, that the sharp sword going out of the Saviour's mouth is probably designed to intimate, that this work of tremendous destruction will be effected in obedience to His immediate command. - This is introduced in the blessing of Moses, already referred to in connection with the restoration of

Israel: “ There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he shall thrust out the enemy before thee, and shall say, Destroy them." Deut. xxxiii. 26, 27. The explanation, sometimes given, of the sword going out of the Saviour's mouth being designed to intimate His bringing the world into subjection to Himself, by the preaching of the Word, attended by the blessed influences of His Spirit, is quite inconsistent with the whole representation. The angels are commissioned to "pour out the wrath of God upon the earth.” Rev. xvi. 1.; and experience proves that the contents of the first six of their vials—all of which are light compared with the seventh-have not been of a converting but of a destructive nature. Tbe gospel is indeed at this time to be preached extensively to the nations, calling them to fear God and give glory to Him, on account of these tremendous judgments upon the enemies of religion and of mankind : “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven," says the apostle, immediately before the destruction of mystic Babylon, “having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every kindred, and nation, and tongue, and people, saying, with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of his judgments is come, and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.”* Rev. xiv. 6, 7. Had it been in gracious and be nignant influences that Christ was coming to these " kings of the earth, and their armies," there could have been no meaning in the fowls of heaven being summoned to the banquet: -“ And all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” This is evidently no other than that destruction of Antichrist which Paul informed the Thessalonians would be effected by the brightness of Christ's coming.

In a preceding chapter of the book of the Revelation, we have another statement of this final overthrow : “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, (the Roman empire not have

• How often is the first part of this text quoted, while the latter part, which is the substance of the angelic message, is studiously kept out of view ! There is something manifestly wrong, when we are so unwilling to declare, nay, so unwilling to believe, the denun. ciations of divine indignation upon the church's enemies.

ing been divided at the time the apostle had this celestial vision, but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings ; and they that are WITH Him are called, and chosen, and faithful;" for

The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Rev. xvii. 12-14. 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. “ And Enoch, also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints, to execute judgment upon all

, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Jude, ver. 14, 15. On this account of shall 'all the tribes of the earth mourn,” when “they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Matt. xxiv. 30. The result of this conflict with the kings of the earth and their armies follows: * And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles (wonders) before him....these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brinstope, and the remnant were slain with the sword of Hiin that sat upon the horse, which sword proceedeth out of His mouth." Satan himself, who has so long roamed the world, seducing men from their allegiance to heaven's high Majesty, shall be bound and shut up that he may not deceive the nations : “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand; and he laid hold on the Dragon, that old serpent which is the Devil and Satan, and bound hini a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled, and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Rev. xx. 1-3.

Thus are we brought to that “consummation” to which the expounding angel directed Daniel's faith, when that determined" should be poured upon the desolator—to

" the Times of the Restitution of all things,'' until which Peter declared the heavens must receive our Lord--to the blessed epoch announced by Paul, when the Saviour shall utterly destroy Antichrist " with the brightness of His Coming,"—to the period predicted by our Lord Himself when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled,"-and when " the end of the age ” shall arrive, for which His disciples longed, and which was afterwards announced, with awful solemnity, by an angel, in the hearing of him who was peculiarly beloved : “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea, and

upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Rev. x. 5—7.

SECTION XX.

FIRST RESURRECTION AND REIGN OF THE SAINTS.

HAVING in our investigations arrived at the end of this age, we proceed farther to inquire, what the Spirit of God has been pleased to reveal concerning" that which is to come.” One distinguishing feature of that age, is declared by the apostle Paul, when he reminds the saints at Ephesus, that God “hath made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure, which He hath purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, He might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him. ” Ephes. i. 9, 10. “ And I saw thrones, continues the apostle John, after the account of the detruction of the Antichristian nations, and the binding of Satan, " And I saw thrones, and they (or persons] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not wor. shipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark

their foreheads or in their hands; and they

upon

lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (But the rest of the dead * lived not again until the thousand years

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

From the word here translated “rest” being, in the Original, the same with that translated “remnant," Rev. xix. 21 ; Dr. Hamilton, (p. 213,) maintains the parties spoken of to be one and the same. To charge a Doctor of Divinity with unworthy quibbling would be unseemly; but really when attempts are made to set aside and decry a Scriptural doctrine, and to support an opposite opinion by such an artifice, suspicions will involuntarily arise. What would be thought of the wisdom or candour of him who should gravely maintain that Infidels and Christians must be precisely the same class of men, because he had found in some highly approved theological work, a remnant” of the one mentioned in juxta-position with the rest” of the other-the remnant and the rest meaning the same thing? Or, how many would be persuaded that "oil" and "blood" are exactly the same, although he should adduce the fact, that in the Scripture account of the legal ceremonial services, “the rest” of a portion of both are mentioned, within a dozen chapters of each other. Yet such is the nature of the evidence by which Dr. Hamilton would establish that the slain, (Rev. xix. 21.) are those described, (xx, 5.) as the rest of the dead who live not again till the thousand years be finished; and we much regret to add that Dr. Wardlaw has here followed the same course. Independently of the fact that it is a literal slaying of the former that is spoken of-for “ all the fowls were filled with their flesh". the sophism may be rendered still more apparent, by bringing together other instances from the New Testament, in which the Greek term that is here translated “rest” and “ remnant" occurs. For by following the same line of argument the Doctors might establish, beyond the power of controversy, not merely the identity of " the remnant" slain, with “ the rest” of the dead who lived not again; but they might also prove that both are the very party described, Rev. ix, 20, as “the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands;" and that still we have in Rev. xi. 13, these men, the very remnant who were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven."-"Oi Loron, the identical remnant who were slain,” exclaims Dr. Hamilton, with an air of triumph. We wonder it did not occur while he thus deceived himself, or endeavoured to practise upon the credulity of his readers, that the remainder of one thing could not be the “iden. tical remnant" of another, and that the character of these remnants differ just in proportion to the dissimilarity of the objects to which they apply, this being ascertained only from the connection in which they are found. “The restor “remnant” in English, with its equiv. alent in Greek, merely denotes what is not included, whether this be, as in Mat. xxii. 6," the remnant" of unworthy men who re. jected the invitation to the wedding of the king's son-or, as in Mat. xxv. 11, “the other" virgins who were denied access to the Bridegroom's presence-or the lusts of other" things which ren. der the word unfruitful, as in Mark iv. 19-or, as in Luke xii. 26, " the rest of the things about which Christ enjoined His disciples to take no thought.

66

66

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »