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is fallen, and from the time when this sentence went forth, the execution of it has been gradually accomplishing, and will, in due time, be fulfilled. And the smoke of their torment ascended 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 name.


Such have been the labours of good men, and, in a far less degree, such they are still, in opposing this power, in whatever shape it appears. 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. Accounted by the beast heretics, and by men of candour destitute of charity, they gain no credit here, nor can; their praise must come from another quarter. And in the last day, when the counsels of the heart shall be made manifest, then shall every man have praise of God.

Here is introduced the third period :-The labours of opposing popery are heavy, and the sufferings severe, but in comparison with the dreadful state of the world at the time here described they are light;-1st. because of such carelessness, infi. delity, lukewarmness, hypocrisy, and form without power of godliness as then abound, so that few live unto the Lord;-2dly, because of the evils which shall come upon the earth in the dreadful judgments both of the harvest and the vintage-sa

that it is a mercy to die from the evil coming, or come upon the earth. For Paul says, this know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 Tim. 3 1. The marks are very distinct from those of the latter times when some should depart from the faith. 1 Tim. 4. 1. As the angels flying in the midst of heaven announced that the hour of their judgment was come who so departed, for such are the Babylon of John; so these last days are the period introduced by the vision which he saw of the Son of Man according to our text. Taking that description which Paul gives of the last days, and comparing them with what we are eye witnesses of, will be the best way under God's Spirit of finding out whether these days are begun, or are yet to come. But if commenced or to come, they are dreadful, whether we consider profession of religion, the church of God, or the world at large; and therefore blessed from henceforth, from the time of the exercise of the patience of the saints, are those who die in the Lord, whether men regard the cruel sufferings endured by those who should oppose popery, or the times of peril in these last days, in which, the faithful have not only the harlot to contend with, but also to beware of, and turn away from, a more subtil, poisonous, and dangerous association of professors represented under the image of a vine; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.

And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on bis head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. So remarkable a voice struck John, and made him look up, as he was pondering upon those things which went before. And when he looked, he saw a cloud, a white cloud, as one of those which are seen in autumn, of snowy whiteness, and great majesty. This cloud is also mentioned of Isaiah, So the Lord said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place, like a clear heat upon. herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. 18. 4. That the church is described in the representation to John is certain, and so in Isaiah's description. There is no dwelling place of the Lord, but either heaven; The Lord's throne is in heaven; or in Zion, here will I dwell, I have desired it. Ps. 131. 14. But this in the text is not heaven, then it is the church which is called a cloud of witnesses. Heb. 12. 11. It is a time of rest, sitting is a resting posture there is no general call of God by preaching as when the angel flew through the midst of heaven, nor yet violent tho' just declara- . tions, as in the third angel's message. But the Lord sits in his dwelling place, as a clear heat upon the herbs, and as cloud of dew in the heat of : harvest; there are no general and refreshing. showers as in spring, all that falls is dew, just

enough to keep alive, and the plants are herbs not trees, believers but weakly in the general.

And he that sat on the cloud is prepared for the work just to be done, and he appeared to John like the Son of man. This representation is designed to shew in what way the Saviour of the world is regarded at the time here described, and what appearance he makes in the church. His religion is at this period, as it was in the days of his flesh. There are but few, very few, who find and enter in at the strait gate of life; but nominal Christians of all parties are multitudinous. He and his followers then were a little flock, and so at this time.

The striking character of the Son of man is, that he was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Isa. 53. 3. And as he is represented in his followers, they in the general are at this time to be in the same circumstances. Much afflicted, bowed down, and exercised, and oppressed. At a distance from God, tho' longing to be with him: under many sufferings of soul, tho' chastened as sons; and in much anxiety waiting for the time of their dismissal. Despised and rejected of men, esteemed a devil, a blasphemer, a madman, a gluttonous man, and a wine bibber, yet at the same time he was acknowledged, and confessed by the most knowing, to be the heir, and by the most ignorant, to be the Christ that should come into the world.

Notwithstanding he is so contemned, yet is he followed and attended to, but in the general from the most carnal motives, and with the most selfish views. Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled. But these hanging on no longer than they were pleased, were offended by his spiritual doctrine, and walked no more with him; though, at first professing so great esteem and zeal.

To this may be added much dissention and disputation among his true disciples, through the company of one whose communications were evil, and so corrupted even good manners. And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked then, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves who should be the greatest. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. Mark 9. 33. Who he was, the end proved. He, by his treachery, hath served every saint; delivering Jesus to death, by which we are saved. This is that leaven of hypocrisy against which our Saviour cautioned his disciples. Pride at the bottom, with nothing but deception to keep it up, this being disappointed, or discovered, works most desperate enmity.

He speaks in the Psalms, Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of


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