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has kindly restrained the wrath of man. Had it not been for such restraining goodness of Heaven, things like the terrible prophetic hints contemplated, would, long ere this period, have buried us, and all nations, in desolation and ruin. The fire of thine enemies shall devour them."
Christians, while you contemplate such scenes as are furnished in the two first wo trumpets, may you joyfully recollect that the most savage destroyers of the human family can, in all their mighty rage, do nothing more than fulfil the wise and holy counsels of Heaven! The keys of death and hell our Saviour holds in his own hand of omnipotent power. And no infernal smoke of delusion can rise; no horrid locusts, as the propagators can ruin or torture men; no A pollyon can desolate sections of the earth, nor horrid Turks destroy a third part of men, unless the great good of God's kingdom requires ; and then the true friends of this kingdom of God shall be eventually safe, as the apple of his eye. Let Zion's children, then, rejoice that the Captain of our salvation rules, with full control, in the midst of his enemies. That he is a wall of fire round about his people, and a glory in the midst of them. And “no weapon formed against them shall prosper."
Thus safe are all who confide in the divine government, even in the days of vengeance upon the enemy. Let the saints be joyful in following the Lamb! Then may they conf in th ever-present Immanuel, God with us ; whom having not seen they love ; in whom, though now they see him not, yet believing, they may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, till they receive the end of their faith, the salvation of their souls.
Ver. 1. And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud; and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.
This chapter gives a notable event, which was subse
to the second wo in the preceding chapter (which was fulfilled in the rise of the Turks); and was to be antecedent to the third wo,—the battle of the great day, as we are assured in verse 7th. It is a notable descent of Jesus Christ, the Angel of the covenant, with his seven thunders, and his little open book. It will aid the exposition of this tenth chapter to consider that it gives the same event, in this first general division of the prophetic part of the book, with that given in the eighteenth chapter, in the second general division :-the tenth chapter giving the terrors of the event to the nations; and the eighteenth, the terrors of it to the papal see. It is a signal coming of Christ, not for the final destruction of popery, as in the seventh vial; but for the subversion of its dominant power, as in the fifth vial, as will be shown. Light will be reflected on this chapter, when it shall be shown that it predicts the same event with that found in the closing part of the prophecy of Daniel, as well as in other prophecies.
In the signal descent of Christ, in our text, he is “ clothed with a cloud.” This is a notable prophetic dress of the Saviour, when he comes for judgment. Thus we read of him, “ Behold, he cometh in clouds”—“Behold, the Lord rideth on a swift cloud !"_" Clouds and darkness are round about him." Christ came in a cloud of fire to the chosen tribes, fleeing from Egypt; and of confounding darkness to the pursuing Egyptians. Such a cloud is a bright emblem of his presence, of providential protection
to his church, and ruin of her enemies. The rainbow on his head, is an emblem of his covenant faithfulness; that he was now coming to fulfil some important parts of his word; and that he will in due time fulfil it all. This coming of Christ was on a vast design of judgment. His face appearing like the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire, are emblems (as was shown in chapter first) of his infinite divinity, and of the majesty and purity of his footsteps, in the fiery scenes then pending on his enemies.
Several great events had been predicted as the coming of Christ, when it was evidently not a literal, but a mystical coming ;-as that in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the Jewish commonwealth ;—that in the revolution in the Roman empire from paganism to Christianity by Constantine ;—that in the reformation from popery, in the days of Luther ;—that in the battle of that great day of God, just before the Millennium ;—and that in our text. It is noted in vision as though it were a literal descent, as is usual in language of prophecy. So familiar is this kind of language in the Christian world, that it is common to say, Christ has thus and thus come near to a nation,-a community,—or an individual ;-alluding to some judgment, or affliction ;-some tremendous coming of Christ, on a vast section of the papal earth, our text presents.
Ver. 2. And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth,
3. And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices.
This little book in the hand of the Captain of our salvation, is an emblem of the fact, that a new and very
interest ing era, in the events of the last days, is then commencing. A book, in prophetic language, denotes the counsels of God relative to a course of events to commence; as in chap. v. 1, where the sealed book, in the divine hand, was about to be opened. The book in our text is not a book which had been ever before seen, as the fancy of some men have suggested. It was a new book here presented: and it was a symbol of a course of events then introduced, of new and
signal interest, between the second and the third wo trum. pets, and distinct from both. This book Christ holds in his hand; assuring us, that all events fulfilling it are in the hand of our Saviour; and that his hand and special judgment should now be signally manifest. And the fact, that this book is open, seems a plain indication that when the event thus described should take place, it should be capable of being well understood; or it would be found to be of easy interpretation by the rules and analogies of the prophetic Scriptures.
Christ sets his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth ;-clearly to show both that he is God of earth and ocean; and that things were now going to take place on both these elements, which would be of deep interest to man. His crying with a loud voice, like the roaring of a lion, assures us that he was now going to take some notorious enemies in hand; as a lion roars, when about to seize his prey! Says the prophet, “God shall cry, yea roar, he shall prevail against his enemies.” He is represented as shouting, when about to smite his enemies, as did warriors of ancient days.
Seven thunders now utter their voices; a strong figure of an unprecedented scene of wars. In Isai. xxix. 6, we find thunder to be an emblem of war. And seven thunders striking at once, give an idea of those wars being general, and of awful terror; as the number seven, in this book, is a kind of perfect number. Most furious wars and battles then, were to desolate the regions marked out for the operations of this judgment.
To what scene of events then, does this chapter allude ? It clearly alludes to a period subsequent to the judgment of the sixth trumpet, fulfilled by the rise and ravages of the Turkish empire in the fifteenth century, as described in the preceding chapter,—the sixth trumpet, which looses the four angels bound in the river Euphrates, &c. And it is distinctly antecedent to the seventh trumpet; as we are assured in verse 7 of this chapter. Upon the close of the description of the judgment of the Turks, this chapter commences, " And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven”-given as a next great event.
While the events of the Revelation are not uniformly given in a direct course; yet when the descriptions are connected, as in this case, the events clearly are in a direct course.
Those two events are manifestly thus, in this first general division of the book.
To what then, does this notable descent of Christ allude? What great event on the papal earth did, at the period noted, occur, which could answer to the figures here presented ?-It must allude to the scene of horrors introduced by the revolution in France of 1789, which for twenty-five years converted the papal nations of Europe into fields of blood and terror, till the close of the battle of Waterloo ! The revolution,—the reign of terror in France,—and the following wars and battles, were such as to be fully adequate to the figures in this chapter. It has been calculated that not less than ten millions of the human race perished by the violent measures of these scenes. These horrors are too well known to this generation, to need any thing like a full history of them to be here given. The minds of millions now on the stage retain impressions of those events too deep to be easily removed, or to need here much of any recapitulation of them. Europe was long involved in a terrific blaze of war; in which vast armies were slaughtered in quick succession; kings were hurled from their thrones; and a great part of that quarter of the world was revolutionized! Old governments were torn down, and new ones set up, as in a day. The greatest empires trembled for their existence, and the political world seemed about to be hurled from its foundation !
Some particulars of these scenes shall be given in future lectures.
Some of the horrors of the closing parts of these wars, shall here be concisely noted, to evince that this scene was fully adequate to the figurative descriptions given in this tenth chapter. And let these events which shall be noted, be contemplated not as merely historical events; for then the propriety of presenting them in a religious discourse might be doubted. But let them be piously and devoutly considered, as strokes of divine judgments, inflicted by Jesus Christ on his enemies, to fulfil his word, to vindicate his authority, and to prepare
for the advancement of his own kingdom of grace and salvation. It is in this point of light that we read of the wars and battles of the Old Testament, as a part of the word of God. These scenes we ought to view as in fulfilment of important prophetic scriptures, and in fulfilment of that