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enemies of Christ and of his church. This country also
is without the mystical city.
Such is what we may call the ecclesiastical history of the seventh, the last trumpet.
The Preparation for the pouring out of the Seven Vials.
THE fourteenth chapter, which we last considered, may be called a general survey of the domestic history of the church and of the kingdom of Christ, during the period of the seventh trumpet. The more general preaching of the Gospel-the fall of Babylon-the calamities of her votaries—the resurrection of the just-the gathering of the elect-the final destruction of the apostates and their armies, are marked as so many steps of its progress and manifestation upon earth. But we have not yet entered upon the regular order of prophetical events which compose this last woe-trumpet, as they affect the nations upon earth, and prepare them for the awful catastrophe.
Each of the six seals, it will be remembered, with the seventh, branching out into its seven trumpets, showed us so many successive periods in the history of the fourth empire and of the civilized world. So we shall find the seventh trumpet, branching out into seven vials, continues the history of this same fourth empire — now existing in its last divided state- until the time in which it falls in the great day of the battle of Almighty God, when the stone smites the image, and the whole fabric of human power and authority is destroyed for ever.
Chap. xv. “ And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous; seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.”
In deciphering the symbol of the sea of glass mingled with fire, we may refer to the scenery of the Jewish sanctuary; and understand by the sea the laver which stood between the altar and the most holy place. On this supposition, the triumphant church of God is represented as ready to be delivered unto God the Father, being now, through the blood and Spirit of the Redeemer, perfected in holiness. Or we may explain the symbol: this sea, now calm as a molten looking glass, but still glistening with the fiery indignation that had lately disturbed it, is to be considered as the antitype of the Red Sea, in that day when Israel came out of Egypt, and saw their adversaries dead on the sea shore. Thus explained, the emblem shows the issue of these last plagues: the church will be delivered for ever out of the captivity of the spiritual Egypt, and shall look in triumph on its last persecutor, fallen to rise no more. This last interpretation seems to be corroborated by the style of the following verses, where an allusion is evidently made to the inspired song of Moses, which he taught to the children of Israel when they had reached in safety the opposite shore. 1
3. “ And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy
I LOWMAN. Bishop NEWTON.
works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints, — or, “ of the nations.”I_ Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”
All this, however, let us remember, is in anticipation only of the final issue of these last judgments about to be poured out:
5. “ And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened; and the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts," — or, " living creatures,”—“ gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."
This reminds us of the dedication of the tabernacle by Moses, and of the temple by Solomon. * On both these occasions, the sanctuary was filled with a cloud and with the glory of Jehovah; so that his ministering servants could not enter therein. The vision, therefore, symbolizes the manifested presence of Jehovah, which, according to ancient prophecies, is to be revealed as of old, in his tabernacle, which is to be again pitched upon earth. But this is not to be seen of men till these plagues are over.
• Exod. xl. 34, 35; 1 Kings, viii. 10, 11.
The First Vial.
Chap. xvi. “And I heard a great voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God
the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his inage.”
All things considered, I accede to the opinion of Mr. Faber and Mr. Cuninghame - but posterity will judge – that this is the revolutionary, atheistical mania that, in our day, has disturbed, from their very foundations, the kingdoms of the Latin or Roman Catholic world, has deluged Europe in blood, and hath plunged in afflictions, hardly to be paralleled in the page of human history, disastrous as it is, the most civilized nations of the earth.
The breaking out and spreading of those licentious principles from which all this has sprung, might well be symbolized by an epidemic, like the plague, suddenly breaking out and raging over the Roman world. France, the Netherlands, southern Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, have been the chief scenes of the noisome and deadly pestilence. It is a distemper of which it may be justly doubted whether the European family can ever be radically cured; and there is too much reason to suspect that great and violent political changes, leading to strong and oppressive military governments, will complete the sad history of the fourth empire, and help to fill up the measure of its iniquity.
So great a revolution in sentiment and political feeling has, perhaps, never before taken place among civilized nations. It seems, indeed, in a great measure, to have altered the leading characteristics of apostate Christendom. Infidelity, atheism, and contempt of all authority, civil and religious, if not substituted in the room of the ancient credulity and superstition, have been in a remark
a able manner, blended with them: and this is a change that many of the prophecies we have already considered seemed to intimate, respecting the last perilous times.
Worthy of notice is the language of a periodical writer, quoted by Mr. Cuninghame, on the French revolution, made, however, without any reference to prophecy :
We live at the commencement of an era more distinctly marked, by the great and immediate revolutions with which it has been ushered in, than any other in the annals of the world. No precise line of demarcation can be traced through the twilight boundaries of ancient and modern history; but the outline which separates this new era from that which has ended within our own remembrance, is strongly and conspicuously drawn for future ages.
The French revolution has, as it were, been the breaking up of the abyss; and from our ark of liberty, which rides securely upon the waters, we behold every thing around us laid waste by the deluge.” May what this author calls “ the ark of liberty” be found to be the ark in which the small remnant of the faithful are concealed, who have escaped from the corruptions of apostate Christendom, for so only can our country hope to pass in safety the waves of these troubles that are to