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battles were fought in the closing scenes of the seven thunders in our text. In the battle of Grossgorchen, which place was taken and retaken six times at the point of the bayonet, 20,000 men fell. In the battle of Bautzen,-a general action of nearly four days continuance, and with about 300,000 on both sides engaged,-about 50,000 fell. The Confederation of the Rhine, so called, now revolted from their new imperial master, Bonaparte, and 400,000 men were soon in arms against him, under à host of the first generals of the age. A number of furious battles were fought, before the noted battle of Leipsic in Germany. In this, all the remaining armies were now concentrated. The citizens of Leipsic could behold, from their steeples, the armies of the French encircling their city. And soon they could discover the armies of the allied enemies of France forming another exterior circle. The work of death commen
enced, with six hundred cannon on both sides, which, with more than half a million of small arms, presented a frightful preparation for blood and carnage. The furious contest raged for a day, without bringing any thing to a decision. The second day was then taken up, by mutual consent, in making preparation on both sides, to renew, on the third day, the fiery combat. The third day dawned, on which it was conceived the fate of Europe and the world rested! Five of the most able generals of Europe (Blucher, Wittgenstein, Barckley de Tolley, Bernadotte, and Schwartzenberg) led the allied armies on the one hand; and Bonaparte, with his generals, on the other. Monarchs of allied nations were present, to engage as aids to these powerful generals, or to stand as anxious spectators of the scene ! The work of death commenced, and before nine o'clock it raged through the whole lines. The day was dreadful. The French were defeated, with the loss of 40,000 men. An equal number, probably, were slain on the other side. And the confusion and terror of the French emperor, in his retreat, were exceeded only by his flight from Russia on the preceding year.
The consea quent slaughter of French garrisons, between Leipsic and the French capital, were most disastrous to the latter. The vanquished emperor entered France a second time as a fugitive, and demanded of his astonished people a levy of 300,000 men. The victorious combined armies of
300,000 men followed him. Further scenes of carnage ensued, till Paris was taken by the combined powers, invading in their turn; and the noted emperor was vanquished, and banished to the little island of Elba !
After a season, Bonaparte again found means to appear in France at the head of a mighty army; and the combined powers were once more compelled to take the field against him. But in the general and tremendous battle of Waterloo, he was again defeated, and lost his empire, and was banished to the desolate island of St. Helena, where he ended his days !
In the scenes of carnage and terror which thus closed, in which the seven thunders of war unitedly roared for about a quarter of a century, we find events which seem fully adequate to the sublime figures in the text, and which do most fully agree with them, both in point of chronology, and in the description of the events. The remaining part of the chapter is deferred to the next lecture.
It is striking to reflect how fully these events accord with other prophetic descriptions of them in the same period, as may be made to appear. It may be shown under the vials, that they are the same with the fifth vial, poured upon the seat (throne) of the papal beast, and filling his kingdom with darkness. Rev. xvi. 10, 11. They are thought to be the same with those in Zeph. iii. 6, 7, where (just before the battle of the great day, which is there given, verse 8, to introduce the Millennium, verse 9)-God says, “ I have cut off the nations ; their towers are desolate; I made their streets waste; their cities are destroyed,” &c. The scenes are thought to be the same with the dragon's casting out of his mouth floods of water, to cause the destruction of the church, and the earth helping the woman, and swallowing up the floods, Rev. xii. 16. The same with the description in Dan. ii. 41-43, where the feet and the toes of the great image-meaning the latest remains of the secular Roman empire—are “part of iron, and part of clay ; partly strong, and partly broken,” until, under the seventh vial, the stone (Christ) shall smite them, and grind them to powder, in the final battle just antecedent to the Millennium. And they are the same with the descriptions given of the same power as the beast from the bottomless pit, Rev. xvii., which is believed to have been
fulfilled in the explosion of French atheism, and the horrors of their revolution and consequent scenes of blood. They are also the same with that descent of Christ, given in chapter xviii., where its effects upon the papal see, and upon its doting multitudes, are described.
How terrible are the judgments of Christ against his enemies ! He has plenty of justice for them, as well as of mercy for his friends. He proclaimed not only the acceptable year of the Lord; but the day of vengeance of our God! The latter he executes as • Head over all things to the church !” When a violent, extensive, and armed system of atheism arose in the French revolution of 1789, which threatened to banish Christianity, as well as civil liberty, from the world : our blessed Captain of salvation saw fit to represent himself as making the descent in our text. He assumed the glorious appearance there noted, and came down! “Darkness was under his feet, and he did fly upon the wings of the wind !" “At the brightness that went before him, his thick cloud passed-hailstones, and coals of fire! The Lord thundered, the Highest gave his voice-hailstones and coals of fire ! He sent out his arrows, and scattered them; he shot out his lightnings, and discomfited them! Then the channels of the waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils !" This the church may sing, and may add, “He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of great waters !” Such a protector has the church, and such an antagonist has her persecutors ! The latter may seem to triumph ; but “salvation is of the Lord;" and God will make bare his holy arm in the sight of all nations, and the ends of the earth shall see
Behold then, 0 Zion, the works of the Lord! Devoutly reflect on his glory, and his kind expostulations. " Wherefore didst thou fear, 0 ye of little faith ?" nothing terrified by your enemies, which is to them an evident token of perdition; but unto you of salvation, and that of God.” 66 Who art thou that thou shouldst be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man that shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy maker who hath stretched out the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth ; and thou hast feared continually because of the fury of the oppressor, as though he were ready to destroy ;
and where is the fury of the oppressor ?" The rainbow on the head of Christ in our text, may be seen by the eye of faith depicted on every dark cloud of judgment, be it ever so terrific. Behold the sun of righteousness shining upon it, and to the eye of faith, the rainbow will appear. God with us, in his infinite faithfulness in these things, says, " It is I; be not afraid !" Say unto Zion, Behold
• Your God will come with a recompense, he will save you." "Be strong in the Lord then, and in the power of his might; that ye may be able to stand in the evil day!"
LECTURE X I.
Ver. 4. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write : and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.
It has been shown in the preceding lecture, that the notable descent of Christ in this chapter, must have alluded to the scene of judgments introduced in the French revolution of 1789. These seven thunders prefigured its wars, which were most terrible. Some ideas of the import of these seven thunders, seem to have been communicated to John, which he was about to commit to writing ; but he was forbidden to do it. This is not to be understood as though the import of these seven thunders was never to be known on earth. For if they were never to be known; why were they given at all? They were given, and left on record for man, as well as were the other prophecies ; and their being sealed up, was only till the time of their fulfilment, as may be shown from Daniel's prophecy, and as we have indicated in the fact, that the “little book” in the hand of the angel (Christ), when the event takes place in our text, is presented as open. This sealing up of the
true sense of the scene is copied from the visions of Daniel of the same event. Light will be reflected upon this tenth of the Revelation from what we have in Daniel, chapter xii. The prophet Daniel had predicted the rise of the wilful power of the last days, as shall by-and-by be shown. It is said, Dan. x. 1, that " he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision,” even as is implied in our text, that John had some understanding of the things uttered by the seven thunders. But Daniel was commanded (Dan. xii. 4) to "shut up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end !” as again in verse 9, “ Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up, and sealed till the time of the end !” precisely as John was directed in our text, to “seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not !” The former is the parent text of the latter; both being of the same period and event. The passage in Daniel is followed in the same, verse 4th, by information of an event, which should betoken the time when this seal upon the words should be taken off, viz. the missionary spirit of the last day, when “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased !” or when the missionary angel of the last day shall fly to preach the gospel to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people; then may the seal be taken off! The little book in the hand of Christ shall then be found open. The event of this judgment shall then have burst upon the world, and may be understood. We may here note, that the prohibition relative to this particular prophecy's being not to be understood till fulfilled, is so far from indicating that other prophecies generally shall not be understood till accomplished, that the indication is just the reverse. The prohibition here is a special case, and attends not the other prophecies; but the divine commands relative to them are, that they may and should be understood, even before their fulfilment, at least in some good degree, as has been shown.
We will now consult the parent prophecy in Daniel, relative to the events in this tenth chapter of the Revelation. We find in Dan. X. 1, "a thing was revealed to Daniel ;
and the thing was true; but the time appointed was long !" This remark, and all that is said upon its event, go to assure us, that the thing then to be revealed, was a new event of the last days; and the prohibition