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God and his righteousness, temporal blessings are added unto us; and thus if we lay ourselves out in extending his cause among the heathen, he may at the same time, by bis providence, be working in another quarter the overthrow of that which is opposed to it.
The cry of the angel does not denote that Babylon would be immediately and entirely destroyed at this time; for if so, the warnings of the third angel, which follow, would be unnecessary. Besides, it is by the harvest and the vintage, towards the close of the chapter, that the overthrow will be effected. But the church is here called upon to expect it, and to observe the course of events as preparing the way for it.
9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the the Lamb : 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever : and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his
12 Here is the patience of the saints : here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from henceforth : Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
This is the language of solemn warning. It is addressed to all whom it concerns, good and bad, especially to those who live at the time here referred to; the time immediately preceding the fall of the antichristian power, and so looks with a severe aspect on those who persevere in their attachment to it, notwithstanding the light which will have been diffused in the world. They who at any period surrender their consciences to human authority, and fully imbibe the antichristian system, will incur the wrath of God : but they who do this in the face of that light which by this time will be spread through the world, will incur greater degrees of the divine displeasure than those who have been carried away with it
in darker ages.
The 12th and 13th verses would seem to portend a time of persecution prior to the final overthrow of the antichristian power ; a time wbich may be as the last struggles of the beast. This is the flood cast out of the mouth of the dragon after the woman (Cbap. xii. 15.); the gathering together of the “ kings of the earth and of the whole world to the battle of the great day of God Almighty (Chap. xvi. 14.); and the war made by the beast and the kings against him who sat upon the horse, and against his army." Chap. xix. 19.
14 And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden cr own, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap : for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth ; and the earth was reaped. 17 And another ángel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God. 20 And the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the horse-bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hnndred furlongs.
The angels have delivered their messages, and now the Lord himself appears. He comes as it were to judgment, and to the antichristian party a terrible judgment it will be. Under the symbols of a harvest and a vintage, is predicted its utter overthrow. Whatever distinction there may be between the one anıl the other, both I doubt not refer to that series of calamities which is reserved to destroy the beast and his adherents. They refer to the same things which have been noticed from Chap. xi. 18: when the wrath of God was come, and the time of the dead that tbey should be avenged, and those destroyed who had long de
stroyed the earth. This being a general description of events which will be more particularly set fourth under the pouring out of the vials, we shall find them again under “the battle of Armageddon, or the great day of God Almighty" (Chap. xvi.); also in
supper of the Great God,” to which the fowls are invited, and in which “ the beast and the false prophet are taken.” Chap. xix.
One thing is remarkable in both the harvest and the vintage, they indicate that the papal abominations shall be ripe, fully ripe. There is a tendency to inaturity in both good and evil, in individuals and communities, and even in the world itself. Popery matured is infidelity. To this it tends, and here it will probably land the great body of its adherents. I see no solid ground for Mr. Faber's hypothesis of an infidel king, any more than of an infidel antichrist. The historical exposition of the with chapter of Daniel by PRIDEAUX (Connexion Part II. Book II, III.) appearing to me to be the true one: but I have no doubt that infidelity is, and will be, the distinguishing feature of the last times. What is said of the “ scoffers of the last times” is indeed descriptive of what we daily witness; but it is only of individuals that these things are spoken. Infidelity does not appear to be symbolized in the scriptures, either by a beast, a horn, or a king : it is merely the papal beast grown old, or popery as having produced its proper fruits, which fruits may be the appointed means of its destruction.
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. 2 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. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty : just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 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. 5 And after that I looked, and bek old, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was
6 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. 7 And one of the four living creatures gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials, full of the wruth of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was Vol. VI.
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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.
Three general descriptions baving been given of the antichristian power, each of which carried us to the end of the 1260 years, the series of the prophecy from the time of the sounding of the seventh trumpet is now resumed. This trumpet, it bas beeu observed before, wears a two-fold aspect. It is partly a woe-trumpet, and partly the harbinger of joy. The seven vials are a part of it, and answer to the former view. The other part comprehends the success of the gospel preparatory to the Millennium, the Milleonium itself, and all that follows to the end of the prophecy, and answers to the latter view. At present we are to consider it as a woe-trumpet, or as comprehending the seven vials; which, containing a more particular account of the judgments already binted at towards the end of the general descriptions, will, like them, bring us to the close of the 1260 years,
The angels with the vials are called “ a sign in heaven, great and marvellous,” because the judgments which follow are signal and fearful, and the times very eventful, so as deeply to interest the church of God.
The sefen vials are denominated “the seven last plagues, in which will be filled up the wrath of God." This supposes that in various instances God had already poured forth his wrath upon these antichristian powers,
but that this should be the FINISHING Hence it follows that we are not to consider these vials as including all those plagues which at different periods have been poured upon the antichristian party, but merely those which shall bring it to its end. As the vials are a subdivision of the third and last woe-trumpet, they could not begin to be poured out till that trumpet was sounded : and as they are emphatically called the seven last plagues, they must refer to the latter end of the 1260 years. In short, they are the particulars of wbat was signified under the general representations by God's wrath being come, and the time of the dead that they should be avenged-and by the harvest and the vintage. Chapters xi. and xiv,