« AnteriorContinuar »
it is eternal life; but at this time it may be termed everlasting, in regard it shall never be again obscured by the subtilty of the dragon, and his emissary the beast. This angel preaches the gospel so as to counteract the poison of Babylon's doctrine. The doctrines of Popery impress the mind with the fears of purgatory, and of devils, together with an excessive reverence of saints and angels, which have a tendency to banish from the mind the fear of God. But this angel recals the attention of mankind to that principle which is the source of every duty we owe to God, and to mankind ; saying with a loud voice, Fear God. He adds, Give glory to him. God is glorified by obedience to his commandments, but the church of Rome requires of her votaries implicit submission to her authority. So that it may be said of them, as of the apostate Jews, “ Ye reject the command“ments of God, that ye may keep your own
“ traditions. - traditions. In vain ye worship me, teaching 6 for doctrines the commandments of men.” But this angel directs men to the true rule of obedience, the divine precepts : “And worship
phecies, that after the fall of the beast, the gospel shall. be propagated, fo as never to be again obscured. Far. ther, the argument by which this angel enforces his preaching, cannot apply to the opposition made by the Emperors of the East, and Charlemagne. There was no Judgment at that time inflicted on the beast: on the contrary, he was then hastily advancing to the zenith of his glory.
him that made heaven and earth, the sea, and “ the fountains of waters.” The worship of. God is the great mean by which obedience of heart and life is maintained. And in this likewise the church of Rome grossly misleads the members of her communion, by enjoining the worship of angels and saints, and even of images and relicts; but this angel exhorts men in the language of God's law, “ Thou shall worship the “ Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou ferve;" because, to him alone worship is due, who is the great Creator and Preserver of all things, the bountifùl Benefactor, from whom every blessing, temporal and spiritual, flows; while he urges these truths with success, from the completion of prophecy, made manifest in the judgment of God fo recently inflicted on the beast, by depriving him of his temporal sovereignty.
A third view, representing the efficacy of the gospel in these times, is laid before us, Rev. xi. 19.“ And the temple of God was opened in hea. « ven, and there was seen in his temple the ark 66 of his teftament." This took place immediately
after the seventh trumpet founded, as we learn from verse 15. and represents the clearer mani. festation of himself, which God will bestow on his faithful worshippers at the time specified. Under the law, the high priest only once a year was permitted to see the ark. The vail which separated the most holy from the holy place, prevented the priest, who officiated daily in the fanctuary, from seeing it; and if the high priest entered within the second vail, except on the day of expiation, he died for his temerity, Lev. xvi. 2. But under the New Testament dispensation, there is access for every real Chriftian “ to the holiest of all, by the blood of ” Jesus,” Heb. X. 19. This access was typified by the rending of the vail at Christ's death, Mat. xxvii. 51. Accordingly, it has been the privilege of fome individuals, in all periods of the Christian church, to be admitted to the hoJiest of all, and to see the ark; but the extending of this privilege to the whole body of the church is reserved for that period in which the seventh trumpet shall sound. The primitive church is represented by worshippers in the inner court of the temple, meaning the court of the priests in which the altar of burnt-offering stood, Rev. xi. 1. However that does not im. ply access to the holiest of all, to see the ark. In the time following the reign of Antichrist,
and during his reign, the temple and the inner court are shut, the outer court is trodden under foot by the Gentiles, (verse 2.), and the few witnesses faithful to God on earth, are mingled with those Gentiles, prophesying in fackcloth. But when the seventh trumpet sounds, all the Gentiles are expelled from the outer court, and there is not only access to the inner court, as formerly, but the door of the sanctuary is thrown open, even the inner vail is removed, and all the worshippers are permitted to see the ark of the covenant ; that is, God shall at that period give clearer views of his truth, and more comfortable manifestations of his presence, than at any former period, by bestowing more generally and more liberally the influences of his holy Spirit.
The same truth is laid before us by another type borrowed from the Mosaic æconomy, ap. plicable to the same period, Rev. xv. 8.“ And " the temple was filled with smoke from the “ glory of God, and from his power ; that no u man was able to enter into the temple till the « seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfil. “ led." The opening of the temple is men. tioned verse 5. in almost the same words used Kev. xi, 19. There is a reference to that pas. fage, in order to Thew the time of opening the temple; namely, when the seventh trumpet sounds. Out of the temple came the seven an.
gels, gels having the seven last plagues. Immediately the temple is filled with smoke, or a cloud, which continues during the time that the angels are pouring out the vials. This unquestionably refers to the confecration of the tabernacle by Moses, and the dedication of the temple by So.. lomon. On these two memorable occasions, the house of God was filled with a cloud, so that even the ministers of the sanctuary could not enter it ; the cloud was a symbol of the divine presence; it then filled the house; whereas it commonly appeared only on the mercy-seat within the vail, to intimate that his presence on that occasion was bestowed more abundantly than on ordinary occasions. That ministers of the sanctuary could not enter in, proceeded from their deep reverence for that visible display of the divine presence; just so when the seventh trumpet sounds, the church of Christ, purified from the defilements of Antichirst, and consecrated to Christ, shall be acknowledged by peculiar manifestations of God's presence, and the liberal influences of his Spirit.