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and the nature and the happy issue of them, to all who know and love and serve the Lord. Hence he can rise above the dark clouds which hang all around, and see the glorious day of light and love, which shall break through at last. He can act on his Saviour's directions, When these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.
As we see the day of Christ approaching, we should be more earnest, and more watchful. This is therefore an exceedingly holy and practical subject in the Christian ministry. Thus the Apostle Peter teaches us to use it—The end of all things is at hand, be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
The Book of Revelation, the close of the sacred canon, is the deepest and the most full of holy instruction for our use. We may discern this, as the God of love has pronounced only on this book, (Rev. i. 3 ; xxii. 7.) a double blessing on those who give heedful and diligent attention to its sacred contents. This was the more requisite, since it is, as might be expected from the closing book of the word of God, the most mysterious and difficult, as well as the most solemn, heavenly, and soul-elevating of all the books of Holy Scripture. We should not therefore be deterred by its difficulties, but only stirred up to a more quickened and diligent search, remembering especially that the promise of the Holy Spirit is given most expressly, to guide us into all truth. Oh let us all so seek that heavenly guidance, that we may be preserved from error, and taught all profitable truth, for our soul's welfare !
The attention of the reader is now directed however, only to a part of the contents of this wonderful book. It is a part which appears to the author, to show to the Christian Church what is its present situation, and thence to instruct us as to what is now shortly to come to pass. It is that part of this divine prophecy, which after lengthened and careful study of the whole book, and in concurrence with the general views of Protestant interpreters of the whole book, the author believes to be now fulfilling in events taking place before us. Thus the circumstances of the times makes it to be peculiarly important as the present truth, the truth now needful, the meat to be given in due season, by the servant who desires to be commended by his Lord as wise and faithful.
In that part of the Book of Revelation in which is contained the account of the angel's sounding the seven trumpets, (Rev. viii-xi.) we read at the close of the sixth trumpet, these words; the second woe is past, and behold the third woe cometh quickly. 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 his Christ, and he shall reign for ever. Events have taken place, which appear to the author to accomplish one part of this prediction, and to prepare the minds of Christians to expect the speedy accomplishment of the latter part of it. But to make this more clear, it will be requisite to enter into a brief review of the vision of the trumpets.
There are several distinct visions or prophecies in the Book of Revelation, revealing different parts of the divine wisdom and love, righteousness and goodness, in the dealings of God with men. The seven trumpets form a distinct and fresh vision given to the Apostle, being warnings of open judgments on men for their rejection of the Gospel. They are seven in number, as complete in themselves. We have the type of them in the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets before the ark of the Lord, and compassing the city of Jericho as the divinely appointed means of its being overthrown. Jericho, a large well-fortified city at the very entrance of the promised land, impeding the taking possession of it by the people of God, was a fit type of that great city, which is predicted as ruling over the kings of the earth. The seven priests with trumpets were one of the three parts of the nation of Israel, that encompassed it : corresponding to the seven angels with trumpets; the celestial horsemen described in the sealed book, correspond to the armed host; and the rereward of the women and children, to the woman, the man child, and the remnant of her seed. Rev. xii. The trumpets sound the signals of war, against the Lord's enemies, and the events which follow the sounding of each trumpet, are the steps in providence by which those enemies are to be overthrown.
ON THE ENEMIES OF
The character of these events may now be more distinctly noticed.
They are GOSPEL ; on those who hinder and oppose its progress. As the encircling of Jericho seven days, prepared the way for the fall of that great and well fortified city, the chief defence of the Canaanites, so the sounding of these trumpets, and the events connected with them, prepare the way
for the overthrow of all that opposes the kingdom of Christ. Thus Jericho was the type of Rome in its pagan and papal state, as the great enemy which prevents the Church of God from taking possession of the promised inheritance of the whole earth, according to the word, Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. This great enemy, the Babylon described in the Book of Revelation, has ever been so strong in its walls and bulwarks, that the power of the Church, in itself, and by its own means only, is utterly unequal to gain the conquest. But we have a Captain of our salvation, the same who appeared to Joshua (v. 13—15.) and through him our complete and full victory is sure.
The Lord Jesus Christ is first represented as the angel of the covenant standing at the altar. There he acts as our High Priest, and according to the suffering times in which the vision opens, the time of the pagan persecutions, he is offering up the prayers of the saints mingled with the incense of his own intercession. Upon this follows divine judgments on the sinful nations for their rejection of the Gospel.
It is true that the Roman empire under Constantine, outwardly embraced Christianity, as is predicted in the 12th chapter of this book, but the vast mass of the population continued hostile to its pure and holy truths, even under a visible profession of them, and thence judgments become as necessary on apostate Christians as on open Idolaters.
These judgments INCREASE IN WEIGHT AND SOLEMNITY. The first four trumpets warn men of judgments distinct from each other, in chronological succession, on different parts of the same empire in different states.
The first Trumpet affects the earth, or the subjects of a settled government, and relates to the Gothic invasions before Constantine.
The second Trumpet affects the sea, or nations in a state of tumult and anarchy, and relates to the fall of Rome and of the Latin Emperorship.
The third Trumpet affects the rivers and fountains of waters, which become wormwood, thus the public sources and means of instruction and fertility were polluted and embittered. This relates to the religious feuds of the East.
The fourth Trumpet is followed by the darkening of the third part of the sun, the moon, and the stars, or the eclipsing of the ruling powers of the empire, de