« PreviousContinue »
grovelling cast. For the symbols of prophecy are always truly characteristic of the thing predicted; and the symbol of this last wonder-working instrument is a frog!"-" a frog" the dragon produces, and "a frog" is the production of the beast, and "a frog" of the false prophet. Some very contemptible contrivance deceives the gay, the enlightened, the philosophical world at last!! Nor is it unlikely that among the "scoffers" of " the last days," superstition must work its way more secretly and covertly, and that the encouragement of trade and of the fine arts, the improvement of agriculture and mechanics, and—we are admonished by prophecy to add the love of war, will be seen chiefly to occupy the public attention, and to supply matter for the grand concern and business of life. We read in an ancient oracle:
Surely it is' the day of Jehovah Sabaoth!
Against every thing that is high, and it falleth;
Even against all the cedars of Lebanon,
And against all the oaks of Bashan:
And against all the high mountains,
And against all the lofty eminences:
And against every high raised tower,
And against all the ships of Tarshish,
And it shall bow down the high things of men,
The Approach of Messiah's Kingdom proclaimed.
Chap. xix. "And after these things, I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornications, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia! And her smoke rose up for ever
FROM these congratulatory songs of heaven, we collect that it is in the judgment of the great apostate church, or in scenes that quickly follow her judgment, whatever partial changes might have taken place among her votaries, that the fourth empire falls :
4. " And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts,"or," living creatures,"" fell down, and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen, Alleluia. And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many. waters, and as the voice of many thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad, and rejoice, and give honour to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready, And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are called unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to
worship him: and he said unto me, See thou do it not; I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy."
These congratulations of heaven proclaim the promised kingdom of Messiah to be approaching nearer and nearer. At the fall of the mystic Babylon, we had long since learned, it was to be manifested. We shall recollect, too, in the symbol of the bride- a very ancient symbol of the happy state of the church at the second advent-when her great adversary has been destroyed, and she, with her royal husband, is manifested in glory. But these congratulatory songs, after the wonted style of the Revelation, only prepare us for the introduction of the proper emblems that are to represent the business of the second advent. These immediately follow-corroborating all that the prophets have said since the world began, concerning the power and coming of the JUST ONE," who appeared once"-at his first advent-to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and to them that look for him, will appear a second time, without sin, unto salvation:
11. "And I saw heaven opened, and, behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was faithful and true, and in righteousness doth he judge and make war. His eyes are as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written which no man knew but he himself: and he was clothed in a vesture dipped with blood: and his name was called the WORD OF GOD.".
We cannot hesitate for a moment to pronounce of
* Psalm xlv.; Isaiah, lxii.; Hosea, ii. 19; Jeremiah, iii. 14.
whom this symbol is to be deciphered. It is the longpromised REDEEMER, FAITHFUL to his engagements, TRUE to his promise. He comes in glorious majesty and with regal dignity, as is denoted by "the white horse" and by "the many crowns." He is to judge the quick and dead in the character of the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE. He is going forth to the battle of the great day of Almighty God," the day of vengeance is in his heart, the year of his redeemed is come," therefore are "his eyes like a flame of fire," and "his garments red like him that treadeth the wine-press."
14. "And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean."
The consideration of many former Scriptures have led us to believe, that the holy ones, or saints, that come with Christ, when he cometh to judge the apostate world, and to destroy the last human adversary, are not angels only, but more especially the glorified men whom he hath redeemed from the earth: and what is here said of the armies of heaven that follow the WORD of GOD upon their white horses- that is to say, with regal characterproves this notion to be true. Their garments bespeak them partakers of the atonement in the blood of Christ: "The fine linen is the righteousness of the saints,”
they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."*
15." And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness
• Compare Psalm cxlix.; Isaiah, xiii. 3; Dan. vii. 22, &c.; Haggai, ii. 7; Zech. xiv. 5.
and wrath of Almighty God. And, he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND Lord of LORDS."
We know this symbol so well in the ancient prophets, that it would be superfluous to interpret: only we may remark, it is not with the sword, as of a common warrior, though that metaphor be frequently used to predict this vengeance, but with his all-powerful word-pronouncing sentence as a Judge - that he fights and contends with his adversaries. And so we shall recollect that many Scriptures, foretelling this last grand destruction of the enemy, ascribe it to the voice of Jehovah. *
The Battle of the great Day of Almighty God.
17. "And I saw another angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come, and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both bond and free, both small and great."
The angel standing in the sun, from a comparison of other visions, may denote that the head of the Roman state is the victim pointed out. And indeed it must be so, from all the former prophecies of "this day of the great battle of Almighty God:" none other can be
Compare Psalm xxix.; xlvi. 6; lxviii. 33; Isaiah, xxxiii. 3; xlii. 13; lxiii. 1; Jer. xxv. 30; Joel, iii, 16.