« 前へ次へ »
plication of the Scriptures; as that “ the word # of the Lord endureth for ever;” and “no pro“phecy of the Scripture is of any private inter“pretation.” Prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, equally with the commandments, have an application to all times, and to all generations of the world. The white horse will continue to go forth, and the Gospel will be preached unto the end of the world. The red horse will also go out; and notwithstanding the confident expectations entertained by many, of peace and long peace, there will be no peace, but wars and desolations will still continue to the end of time. There will, moreover, be seen the black horse; the living branches of the tree of righteousness will continue to bear fruit, and the yield will be abundant, some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred fold; and still there will be beheld the pale horse; the wicken will do wickedly, and evil men and seducers will wax torse and worse, and they will continue to die by the sword of discipline, and by famine of the bread of life; though, like the Lord of Samaria, they see with their eyes the plenty around them; and by death, that winged curse, that entereth into the house of the thief, and him that sneareth falsely by the name of the Lord, and consumes it, timber and stone; and by the beasts of the earth, there will always be bears in the wood to tear graceless children, who mock at the Lord's messengers. And yet again will be seen sacrificed souls, crying unto the holy and true God to “judge and avenge their blood on “ them that dwell on the earth. “ It was said “ unto them,” who, in the vision, were seen under the altar, " that they should rest yet for a “ little season, until their fellow servants also, " and their brethren that should be killed as they
were, should be fulfilled.” And as to the si.rth seal, it has as yet been opened only by some
Weak anticipations. Ilence, in the view of the whole subject, the inspired writers point to the great Judgment, as being the day when the books, shall be opened. Then, indeed, time Lord Jesus Christ will be revealed. And for this reason, that the volume of the book which is written concerning Christ, will not strictly be opened till the great Judgment; it becomes a certainty, that the Devil will not be bound in his prison, and none of the enemies of Christ will be utterly vanquished until the opening of “ that great day of God Al" mighty.”
“ And when he had opened the seventh seal, “there was silence in heaven about the space of “ half an hour. And I saw the seven angels “ which stood before God; and to them were given “seven trumpets.” This imports the standing up of the witnesses, and the opening of a new scene of the church's warfare. The work assigned to this Seal is to reveal the man of sin, and to recognize the enemy under his new.garbs, and in all liis deceivable forms; and thus to make out full evidence against him. The finishing of this work is denoted by the temple of God being opened in heaven, and there being seen in it the ark of his testament.
The first war with the Dragon, represented by the opening of the Seals, is said to be in hcaven ; because its operations are in the clear light of day, and the enemy appears in his proper undisguised form; and because the attack was made directly, and boldly, against the King of Heaven, and the little life guard band of his immediate followers. The uniform of this primitive army of holy apostles and confessors is white, denoting the purity of the first state of the church, and the admirable beauty of their first love; the gospel. church “ looked forth as the morning, fair as the “ moon.” And these soldiers of the cross are
called virgins; the word virgin, as applied to armies, is opposed to that of veteran, and signifies that they were new levies, and so they were; they knew nothing of the arts of war, excepting that they had learned well the first lesson of a good soldier, promptly and closely to follow his captain.
..They “ followed the Lamb whithersoever he went." Another wonderful trait in the character of these “ more than conquerors," was the undaunted courage with which they faced their cruel and mighty foes. They were more than brave, for “ they loved not their lives unto the death”
It has already been observed, that in the war with the Dragon, no compromise can be made in counsel, and no quarter can be given in battle. Several times the Pagans attempted to throw the Christians into the back ground by a seeming neglect of them; but no idea of tolerating them was ever entertained ; no, not by the most virtuous and humane; and it cannot be denied, that some of them were so illustriously. And when the opportunity presented, it was shewn that the enmity was as deeply rooted on the Christian side, as on the side of their enemies. In the battle that decided the fate of the Pagan empire, the baptized legions sell on, and held on, with a fury that astonished barbarian ferocity. Such a scene of carnage as lay there, spread around the standards of the cross, has never, perhaps, been witnessed since the long day of Joshua at Gibcon. The adverse army was, literally, dashed to pieces. The Dragon then, more than ever before, felt the meaning of his early sentence; It shall bruise thy head. Some have supposed that the expression of the captive Jews, respecting Babylon,* “ Happy shall he be that “ taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the
stones," did not accord with the spirit of the gospel; and it has been called old style. But I
venture to say, that when the enemy shall again appear in his old and proper form, as one day he certainly will, this old style will again come into fashion. The enmity placed between the seed of the serpent, and the seed of the woman, can never become extinct. All the revolutions of time, will tend only to give it a perfect root; and the ages of eternity, will do no more than to shew its solemn effects.
THE glorious first born champions of gospel strength, had no sooner laid their enemy prostrate at their feet, than like Sampson their true type, they fell in love, and laid themselves to sleep in the soft lap of the daughter of the vanquished foe; in which dalliance their seven locks, the acquisitions of the seven operations of their victorious warfare, were completely shaven from their heads; and awaking from their slumbers, they found themselves captives, bound hand and foot, in a mystical Babylon. There long they lay, inveloped in darkness, the sport and derision of an enemy, far more formidable and indignant than even the Dragon himself. · How gladly will the sound of the angel trumpets reach their ears from afar? At once their locks will be felt to grow again; and they will begin to feel for the foundations of that great temple, in the dungeon of which they have long been made, like vile slaves, to grind at the mill.
The work to be performed under the trump
ets is, first, to reveal the enemy, rising up one head after the other, in his intire triplex forin ; and, secondly, to recognize, identify, and substantiate full evidence against him, that he is indeed that wicked, and antichrist, which the prophets and apostles have said should come.
Trumpets were used in the Hebrew armies for the sounding of alarms, and for signals of movements ; to which uses of trumpets, these emblems of the Apocalypse have an allusion. They allude also, particularly, to the seven days movements, and to the seven movements of the seventh day, of Joshua and his army around Jericho; which movements were all directed by stven priests, blowing seven trumpets before the ark of witness. The first six of which soundings may be considered as reconnoitring the enemy, whilst the seventh gave the signal of onset. And besides, soine of these trumpets have an evident allusion to the 0-yes! of a judicial court.
It has been a question concerning the Revelation, that when the trumpets respect, evidently, the enemies of the gospel church, the Dragon, Beast, &c. why are none of them named and described until this work of sounding is finished. The reason of this, in the view here taken of the snbject, is clearly explained: For as it is the work of the trumpets to reveal, recognize, and identify the enemy, a clear and distinct report of him could not be made, though he was all the time playing upon the ground, until this discovering work was finished. It appears, therefore, that those denominations and descriptions of the grand enemy, which in the book follow iminediately the soundings of the trumpets, fall out precisely in the place in which they might naturally be looked for. In a court of justice, the strongest evidence against a criminal may be in process; but still he cannot be adjudged, and