« AnteriorContinuar »
ders, the British and Foreign Bible Society, was called forth into action. Formed at first by a few obscure individuals, for the purpose of distributing the Scriptures without note or comment; it rose gradually from very small beginnings into a sphere of vast importance; and extended its power and its usefulness, until, in the course of about fifteen years,
it has acquired an annual revenue of £100,000, has distributed inore than 2,000,000 copies of the Scriptures, and has printed them (either wholly or in part) in nearly 100 different languages and dialects : so that unless its progress should be arrested, it will require but a few years more, to send the sacred oracles to every people and nation of the earth in the vernacular tongues : whilst at the same time, Missionary Societies have been sending forth preachers continually; and societies have been formed in every quarter of the globe for the instruction of the people; and to enable them to read, and understand the word of life thus placed in their hands. A more accurate fulfilment of the type, which represents the witnesses, as ascending up to heaven in a cloud, and filling the heavens with their voice, cannot well be imagined. The effect has been to arrest the attention of many; and the enemies of vital religion continue to behold these things, with apprehension, lest their systems should be overthrown.
But at the same season with the death, and the resurrection of the witnesses, another great event takes place, which is thus related in the book of the prophecy :
Verse 13. “ And the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand ; (names of men, margin.) And the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
This earthquake is the French Revolution. It is announced as the fore-runner of a far greater earthquake, which shall follow it: and three peculiar features are pointed out, that we may be enabled to understand the sign. A tenth part of the mystic Babylon falls ; seven thousand names of men are slain ; ' and the remnant, according to the election of grace, seeing the Lord's hand in the judgment, are filled with fear, and give glory to his name.
This portion of the prophecy has also been accurately fulfilled, by the circumstances which took place at the French Revolution. France, one of the ten kingdoms of the mystic Babylon, fell from its estate : its kingly government was overthrown. The orders, or titles of nobility, both spiritual and temporal, were abolished in that country; which is, indeed, the only way in which the names of men can be slain : and the number of titles so abolished was, as Mr. Faber
observes, exactly seven : 1. Prince ;-2. Duke ; 3. Marquis ;—4. Count;-5. Viscount ;–6. Bishop ; -7. Baron. This tremendous revolution produced also an immediate sensation throughout Protestant countries. For, with almost one consent, it was acknowledged to be a judgment upon the mystic Babylon : from that time to the present, every commentator upon prophecy has referred to it in that view ; and the attention of Christian people has ever since, continually been excited to watch the signs of the times, in reference to the expected fall of Babylon; giving glory to the Lord for making his judgments manifest. The earthquake of this revolution has, however, at length subsided, after afflicting the countries of Europe more than thirty years : and those who form their opinions according to the judgment of man's wisdom, rather than upon the word of God, have of late inclined to believe, that peace on earth was established upon a firm and sure basis, so that it might continue for a length of time. The word of prophecy by no means favours this opinion ; for the second woe being past, it is written, (v. 14.) “ Behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” That woe consummates the mystery of God, (see Rev. x. 7.) in the manifestation of the kingdom of Messiah ; and it is thus related in the text:
Verses 15 to 19.—" 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 for ever 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. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged; and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven; and there was seen in his temple the ark of his covenant: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thun. derings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
The contents of the last woe, or seventh trumpet, have been already spoken of, for they are the same as those of the sixth seal. It is only necessary to add, that under this trumpet the Kingdom of Messiah is made manifest, and is established in the sight of all
The judgment of the nations, the first resurrection, the reward of the Lord's people, and the voices, the lightnings, the thunderings, the earthquake, and the great hail, which form the chief events of this trumpet, introduce Messiah's reign. The times of the present generation seem to have reached the awful interval, which precedes the last
How soon that woe may overtake us, it is not
for man to say ; but observing, that if the scheme already given be correct, the prophetical period of thirty years from the French Revolution is now elapsed ; making 1290 years from the giving of the saints into the hands of the little horn to destroy them: And seeing also that the present day is marked by pestilence, and by a feverish spirit of an infidel and revolutionary cast, wbich has not only extended itself over our own land, but also throughout the other countries of the world, it cannot be unprofitable to repeat our Lord's admonition, and to say unto all the dwellers upon earth, “ Watch."