Page images
PDF
EPUB

a half the spirit of life from Ched there a great earthquake, and

nesses.

13 And the same hour was entered into them, and they

, stood upon their feet; and great the tenth part of the city fell, fear fell upon them which saw and in the earthquake were them.

slain of men

seven thousand : 12 And they heard a great and the remnant were affrighted, voice from heaven, saying unto and gave glory to the God of them, Come up hither. And heaven. they ascended up to heaven in a 14 The second woe is past ; cloud; and their enemies be- and behold, the third woe comheld them.

eth quickly suppose that it is to be taken liter- signs of his approval, as much so as ally: “I saw the souls of them that if he called them to dwell in his imwere beheaded for the witness of Jesus,” mediate presence. &c., referring to the Christian wit- 13. Tenth part of the city fell.

If we adopt the literal inter- This verse shows that the revelator pretation, then we are to suppose, was describing scenes that were conthat after the bodies had lain in the nected with the partial destruction of streets of Jerusalem for a short time, the city; and that its total overthrow they were raised to life again, and had not yet come, although it was ascended to heaven. If we take the very near at hand. He had taken a metaphorical sense, we shall under- momentary retrospection of the buildstand the death of the witnesses to ing of the temple and the sufferings describe the tribulations and suffer- of the Christians in the holy city, be. ings of those men who rendered them fore he proceeded to describe its final selves eminent by bearing witness of overthrow. Jesus told the Jews, in the resurrection of Jesus. Ezekiel connection with his description of the had described the low state of the overthrow of their city, that they had house of Israel under the figure of killed and crucified the holy men death. He saw a valley full of bones whom God had sent to them; and which were very dry. Subsequently that their nation should be held acthere was a shaking among them; countable for “all the righteous blood the sinews and flesh came upon them shed upon the earth, from the blood and the skin covered them; breath of Zacharias unto the blood of Baraentered into them, and they "lived chias, whom they slew between the and stood upon their feet;" xxxvii. temple and the altar.” And the pun1--10. The language of the revela- ishment of this treatment of God's tor is similar : « Life from God en- witnesses he said, should "come upon tered into them, and they stood upon this generation ;” Matt. xxiii. 34–36. their feet.” The resurrection of the 14. The third woe cometh quickly. witnesses, in this view, would repre- There is no delay; the mighty angel sent their deliverance from suffering, had sworn there should be none; the success of their cause, the fulfil- Rev. x. 6. The first woe embraced ment of their predictions, and the tri- the first approach of the Roman arumph of the truth.

mies; the second woe embraced the 12. Ascended up to heaven. - If the final approach of those armies, and account be understood literally, they the declaration of the angel that the ascended, like Jesus, into heaven. end had come, and time should be no If metaphorically, it may be intended more; and the third woe embraced to complete the figure, and show that the sounding of the seventh angel, unto the last God gave them evident and the winding up of the great scene.

THE

JUDGMENT

WAS SET

AND

THE

15 And the seventh angel voices in heaven, saying, The sounded; and there were great kingdoms of this world are beAnd that no considerable time elapsed be left to other people, but it shall between the second and third woe, is break in pieces and consume all these evident from the declaration of ihe kingdoms, and it shall stand forangel, and also from the words, “The ever;" Dan. ii. 44. Jesus shall reign third woe cometh quickly.” Let us forever and ever; or, as Isaiah says, attend to the sounding of the SEVENTH “Of the increase of his government angel, the last of the series.

and peace there shall be no end ;' 15. The seventh angel sounded. ix. 7.

Nebuchadnezzar was taught The seventh trumpet was the great “ that the Most High ruleth in the trumpet, the sabbatical trumpet, kingdoms of men ;" Dan. ii. 17, 25, which announced the end ; no other 32. God exalteth and abaseth whom trumpet was to follow, for this was he wili. Hence Daniel saw, in his the last, in the matter the revelator vision, “that the thrones were cast was describing: We have stated down, and the Ancient of days did again and again, that seven was a sit ;" vii. 9; and at that time is thou. favorite arithmetical series with the sand thousands ministered unto him, Jews. The revelator speaks of the and ten thousand times ten thousand seven churches, seven golden candle. stood before him (agreeing very well sticks, seven stars, seven horns, seven with the language of the revelator] : eyes, seven spirits, seven angels, seven thunders, seven trumpets, seven BOOKS WERE OPENED.' See Dan. vii. last plagues, seven vials full of 10. Now that this describes the wrath, &c. &c. When, therefore, judgment of the nations, at the time we come to the seventh trumpet, we of the establishment of Christ's kingcome to the last of the series. There dom, cannot be denied. It was then is no eighth trumpet, or ninth ; the that the judgment took place; it was closing of the whole scene is described then that the books were opened ; under the seventh. [ The kingdums Dan. vii. 10. And hence Daniel of our Lord and of his Christ. · And said, in that immediate connection, what happened when the seventh an- concerning the Son of man : “ And gel sounded ? Hark! “ There were there was given him dominion, and great voices in heaven!” The mys- glory, and a kingdom, that all people, tery of God is about to be finished! nations, and languages should serve And what did these great voices in him : his dominion is an everlasting heaven say ? Listen again! “Tue dominion, which shall not pass away, KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME and his kingdom, that which shall THE KINGDOMS OF OUR, LORD AND OF not be destroyed,” verse 14; that is, HIS CHRIST; AND

REIGN “ he shall reign forever and ever.”

This is the Who can doubt that Daniel and the establishment of Christianity upon the revelator described the same scene fall of Judaism. It is the setting up in the passages quoted? The arguof the reign of God and his Christ. ment, it seems to us, has the force of It was the subject of all sacred proph- demonstration. Jesus, the Son of ecy, that in the days of the Roman man, established this kingdom. It power the God of heaven should set was called “ the kingdom of heaven," up a kingdom, and this kingdom was “the kingdom of God.” The gospel to triumph over all the nations of the was “the gospel of the kingdom.” earth. « And in the days of these Jesus came to usher it in. His prekings shall the God of heaven set up decessor said, “ The kingdom of a kingdom, which shall never be de- heaven is at hand ;” Matt. iii. 2. stroyed : and the kingdom shall not When Jesus began to preach, he said,

HE

SHALL

FOREVER

> AND EVER.'

come the kingdoms of our Lord, their seats, fell upon their faces, and of his Christ; and he shall and worshipped God, reign forever and ever.

17 Saying, We give thee 16 And the four and twenty thanks, O Lord God Almighty, elders, which sat before God on which art, and wast, and art to

[ocr errors]

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand;" Christ; and he shall reign forever iv. 17. And when he sent out the and ever ;” ver. 15. It is not meant twelve, he told them to say, “The that the kingdoms of this world had kingdom of heaven is at hand;" x. 7. then already been, in full effect, won It was partially established during the over to Christ. That, of course, was life of the Lord Jesus, but not fully not true; but it was true that a train

His coming in his flesh was of measures were put in operation marked by his humiliation ; but there which would in time render that was to be another coming, a different event certain. The work was comone, “in the glory of his Father.'' menced; the kingdom of heaven was “For the Son of man shall come in established among men ; and it was the glory of his Father, with his an- certain that in the operation of the gels; and then he shall reward every principles of Christ, the whole world man according to his works. Verily should at last be subdued. The lanI say unto you, There be some stand- guage of the revelator regards the fuing here which shall not taste of death ture as being present. As if a general till they see the Son of man coming in should say, on taking some favorable his kingdom ;Matt. xvi. 27, 28. position that ensured him the victory, Again, “ There be some of them that "I have now gained the day;" i. e., stand here which shall not taste of I have taken those measures which death, till they have seen the king- render success certain. dom of God COME WITH POWER;" 16. Worshipped God. – What else Mark ix. 1. Mark the latter expres- could we expect? These were the sion. The kingdom of God came elders mentioned in chap. iv. 4, as WITH POWER at the fall of Judaism, sitting around the throne, the reprewhen the great voices in heaven were sentatives perhaps of the Jewish and heard to utter, “ The kingdoms of Gentile Christians, twelve for each, this world are become the kingdoms – twelve for the tribes and twelve for of our Lord and of his Christ." This the apostles. They worshipped God. kingdom was at hand when Jesus 17. Hast taken to thee thy great and his apostles preached; they an- power. - The kingdom of God had nounced its coming; and they very come with power, viz., the power of particularly stated, again and again, God, which indeed he might have that it should come in power and with exerted before, had he seen fit; but great glory, during the generation he did not see fit to do so until the then on the earth ; Matt. xvi. 27, 28 ; proper time arrived. That time did Mark viii. 38; ix. 1; Luke ix. 26, 27. arrive at the sounding of the seventh We have not a doubt, therefore, that angel; and then God took to himself the sounding of the Seventh angel his great power and reigned, and (the last, the sabbatical angel) de caused “the kingdoms of this world noted the time when the kingdom of to become the kingdoms of our Lord, God came with power, and the city and of his Christ.” Not that Chrisand temple fell, and Judaism was tianity at that day prevailed in every set aside. Well might the great heart, although there was a very wide voices in heaven say, “ The king- diffusion of it. But the meaning is, doms of this world are become the that the opposing religion had fallen; kingdoms of our Lord, and of his the kingdom was to be established só

[ocr errors]

JUDGMENT

WAS SET

AND THE

come; because thou hast taken gry, and thy wrath is come, and to thee thy great power, and the time of the dead, that they hast reigned.

should be judged, and that thou 18 And the nations were an- shouldest give reward unto thy that it never could be put down; it “THE had been set up among all nations, BOOKS WERE OPENED;" then the Son and could not be overthrown; the of man came with the clouds of heav. “kir om was that which shall not n;" then“ was given him dominion, be destroyed ;" Dan. vii. 14. That and glory, and a kingdom, that train of measures was put into full all people, nations, and languages, and complete operation, which were should serve him," &c. See Daniel to evangelize the world, in spite of vii. 9–14. All these events were all opposition. When the kingdom simultaneous. How strange it is, of God came with power, the crisis then, that expounders of the Bible took place; then the gospel passed have separated so widely the judgout of its state of humiliation into its ment from the establishment of the state of power and great glory. kingdom. The judgment commenced 18. The nations were angry.

This when the kingdom of God came with agrees exactly with the testimony in power. That this judgment was to the 2d Psalm, viz., that the heathen take place when the Son of man came

ged and the people nagined in his power and glory to reign, is vain thing, at the time when God set evident from a great variety of texts. his king upon the holy hill of Zion, For instance, take one: “For the Son the place where Judaism had pre- of man shall come in the glory of his vailed. The time of the dead. This, Father, with his angels; and then he too, was the time of the dead that shall reward every man according to they should be judged, a subject that his works. Verily, I say unto you, will be more fully considered when There be some standing here, which we come to the 20th chapter and 12th shall not taste of death, till they see

It was the time of the re- the Son of man coming in his king. ward of the faithful Christians, for dom;" Matt. xvi. 27, 28. To this although they were in great difficul- agrees precisely the testimony of ties, they were saved. It was the the Lord Jesus in the Apocalypse : time of signal retribution to their " And behold, I come quickly; and enemies, who were overwhelmed in a my reward is with me, to give every common destruction. To this Peter man according as his work shall be; referred when he said, “For the time xxii. 12. Does not this assert the reis come that judgment must begin at warding of men according to their the house of God; and if it first begin works? and what else can the judging at us, what shall the end be of them of the dead, small and great, intend ? that obey not the gospel of God ? Did it not take place shortly after the And if the righteous scarcely be revelator prophesied ? Mark the lansaved, where shall the ungodly and guage, “Behold, I come quickly.the sinner appear?” 1 Peter iv. Professor Stuart' maintains that the 17, 18. The great mistake of com- coming of Christ was to take place mentators in regard to this judgment speedily ; and he classes all the prehas been, that they have placed it at dictions in the pocalypse to this the giving up, or close of Christ's effect together. " The plain and obkingdom; whereas it is certainly rep- vious sense [of en tachei] is speedily, sented as being set up when the king- quickly, shortly; so ho kairos engus dom of God came with power.

Then in Rev.i. 3, plainly interprets it. See “the Ancient of days did sit,” and also Rev. ii. 16; iii. 11; xi. 14; xxii. “the thrones were cast down;" then 17, 12, 20.” — (Com. on i. 1.) Here,

verse.

servants the prophets, and to the shouldest destroy them which saints, and them that fear thy destroy the earth. name, small and great; and 19 And the temple of God it will be seen, the professor classes that thou shouldest give reward unto all these passages together, and sup- thy servants; the time for the latter poses them to refer to something that had also come; Rev. xxii. 12. Did was speedily to take place. We in- not the revelator look on all these quire again, then, if men [the dead in things as taking place at the same ignorance, in trespasses, and sins] time? We have shown that the nawere to be rewarded according to tions were angry when God set his their works at the coming of Christ, king upon his holy hill of Zion. The which was then near at hand, why heathen raged; the people imagined need we look any further for it? a vain thing; Psa. ii. Christ was We here apply the professor's words, exalted to reign over and judge the which we find in another of his books, nations, - to break them with a rod but on the same subject : “What John of iron, and dash them in pieces like declared would take place shortly, hap- a potter's vessel. Some said, “We pened according to his prediction; will not have this man to reign over and if so, the dispute whether it is all us ;” Luke xix. 14. They were anto happen over again (we place the gry. Jesus' wrath came upon them. italics as he did] aster so many cen- < But those mine enemies, which turies, cannot be a dispute of much would not that I should reign over interest or importance. One fulfil them, bring hither, and slay them bement is enough.” – (Hints on Proph- fore me;" Idem, 27. It was at the ecy, 2d ed., 1812, pp. 141, 142.) time of the exaltation of Christ to But let us take another view of this reign in power and glory upon his matter. In the verse before us it is mediatorial throne, that he gave resaid, “ And the nations were angry, ward unto his servants and to the and thy wrath is come, and the time saints, and them that feared his name, of the dead, that they should be small and great; it was then that he judged, and that thou shouldest give destroyed them who destroyed the reward unto thy servants the proph- land by their iniquities. The above ets, and to the saints, and them that argument is strengthened by the confear thy name, small and great; and sideration, that God's judgments are shouldest destroy them which destroy in the earth. On this point the sacred the earth ;" xi. 18. Here the nations writers are very explicit. “ Verily, are described as being in existence as he is a God that judgeth IN THE nations. “Thy wrath is come,” as EARTH;" Psa. lviii. 11. The Saviour mentioned vi. 17 : “For the great said: “ For judgment I am come into day of his wrath is come, and who this world.Again, he said, “ The shall be able to stand ?" Lightfoot Father judgeth no man, but hath says, “ One would think the final dis- committed all judgment unto the solution of all the world were spoken Son;" John ix. 39; compare John of; but look in ver. 16, and you find v. 22. Now, if God has committed the very same words that our Saviour all judgment unto the Son, and if applies to the destruction of that peo- Jesus came into this world to fulfil ple (the Jews.] They said unto the the high appointment of execu mountains, Fall on us, and hide us, judgment, then the judgment must be &c.”—(Works, vi. 291, 292.) “ Thy in this world. Hence Jesus said, on wrath is come, and the time of the another occasion, “Now is the judg. dead that they should be judged ;"ment of this world ;” John xii. 31. i. e., the time of the dead that they See, also, 1 Peter iv. 17, 18. The should be judged is come also ; and revelator says, “The great day of

« PreviousContinue »