Page images

mense mass of pagan darkness and filth, under the most discouraging depression? From the time of its revelation, in the first century, he permitted it to struggle with, and often languish under, the most dreadful persecutions, as it were, in perpetual succession, even to the last, the most general, the longest continued, and the most bloody, under Dioclesian, in the latter end of the third century and yet, how suddenly! how unexpectedly! how miraculously! did Christ, in less than half a century, snatch his church from this desponding state, and place it upon the throne of the greatest Power on the earth? and how soon after did he, in the course of his Almighty Providence. spread his holy word, from the eastern coast of Ásia, to the western shores of Europe. Seeing, then, that his omnipotence and mercies are not lessened, and that he has been pleased to lead his church, to reject and fight against Pa-' pal and Mohamedan apostacy ever since the reformation to this day*, a period, a few years only, short of that which he allowed it in the beginning to contend with pagan idolatry; may we not thence humbly hope, that if we have not already, we shall soon see this angel flying through the midst of heaven, having "the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them


*It is worthy of remark, that from the time Christ disputed with the doctors in the temple (anno 12) to the conversion of Constantine, and the exaltation of the church, in the year 312,is three hundred years; so from the time Luther began to preach publicly against Popery, in 1517, from which commentators date the reformation to this day, is two hundred and ninety-two years.


"that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, "and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying, with a loud voice, (that is, with good "effect) Fear God, and give glory to him?" For have we not seen, ever since the dawn of the reformation, Mohamedan apostacy daily sinking under the load of its own impurity, down to a lethargic stupor and inability to defend itself, and seeking protection even from "the ANGEL OF THE WATERS," the temporal head of the church of Christ? and farther, have we not seen Papal apostacy at length in a manner destroyed, by the offspring of her own loins? while the blessed word of the everliving God has, in a remarkable manner, been rising out of these sinks of corruption and sin, until its fundamental truths are spread over Europe, and a great part of America? And,, besides, what mean those exertions of pious men, associating for the sole purpose of spreading the knowledge of the true God, and the Gospel of his blessed Son, among the heathen, even to the ends of the earth, sparing neither labour nor expense? O may they not relax in their pious design; but, encouraged by this prophetic verse, double their diligence a hundred fold!

But to return from this introductory digression, to the following verses in this chapter. The prophet, having foretold many instances of the watchful care and tender mercies of Christ, proceeds to the last token of it, before his second coming. He here represents the

Son of God, after having announced the decree for the utter destruction of BABYLON THE GREAT, or the grand confederacy of the ungodly, as warning, at that last and most critical period, his beloved church, with all the tenderness of an affectionate parent, to separate herself from it: "*Come out of her, my people," come out of her all ye, who, according to my Gospel preached unto you, have learned to "fear God and give glory to him" (and if you have swallowed the least particle of the poisonous principles of Mohamedan and papal apostacy or atheism, cast it away, and flee from it as ye would from certain perdition, before this vial of the wrath of God be poured out upon the ungodly,)" that ye be not parta"kers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues for her sins have reached unto heaven, and God has remerabered her iniqui"ties."



The remainder of this chapter contains an anticipated view of the extreme depravity and sins of the confederacy, and of the dreadful effects of this vial of the wrath of God, when, it shall be poured out, and the decree executed upon it, for rejecting the "everlasting Gospel," when preached to it, and for its audacious presumption in preparing to destroy it. The prophet seems to labour in describing the awful scene; and perhaps the horrors of it seem too great to be fully conceived by the finite intel

* Verse 4.
H h

lect of man. However for the sake of brevity, I shall take the liberty of referring the reader to an humble and studious perusal of it, presuming that he cannot fail in finding it not a limited, but AN EVERLASTING PERDITION.


The second coming of CHRIST to destroy the ungodly Confederacy, preparatory to his taking possession of his kingdom upon the Earth.


THE decree being proclaimed, and the vial ready to be poured out on the ungodly confederacy, the prophet now represents the Church of Christ as praising the GOD OF HEAVEN. "After these things," says he, "I heard "a great voice of much people in heaven (in "the church of Christ,) saying, Alleluiah*; "salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, "unto THE LORD OUR GOD. For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged THE GREAT WHORE, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication (her wick"edness), and hath avenged the blood of his ser"vants at her hand.-and again they said, AL"LELUIA. And† her smoke rose up for ever and "ever. And the four and twenty elders, and the "four beasts, fell down and worshipped God that "sat on the throne, saying, Atelluia." Here

Chap. xix. 1.

Isaiah, xxxiv. 10.

Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4.



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


this awful and solemn scene of joy, thanksgiving and praise, is to begin in the church in HEAVEN, and to be acted by the same holy elders, the heads of the church, who were before the throne of God, when "THE LAMB was "found worthy to open the book sealed with seven seals," and to reveal his FATHER'S will to the prophet*. For the prophet proceeds immediately after to open a like scene of joy and praise upon this great occasion in the church, as yet militant upon earth; but not before it is authorised to take a part in it: For," says the prophet," a great voice came. "out of the THRONE, saying, Praise our God "all ye his servants, and ye that fear HIM, "small and great"; that is, as I humbly apprehend, whether with Christ in heaven, or in earth. It is now, under this divine permission and command, that the church upon earth joins the heavenly concert, which, when thus united, the prophet describes in the following words:" And I heard as it were, the voice "of a great multitude,and as the voice of many "waters (nations and tongues), and as the "voice of mighty thunderings, saying ALLE

[ocr errors]


LUIA; FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT cc REIGNETH. Let us be glad and rejoice, and "give honor unto HIM, for the marriage of "THE LAMB is come, and his wife hath made "herself ready ;" that is, the time of the union of Christ with his church is come," and his

# See Rev. v. 8. and the chapter throughout.

Ver. 5.

« PreviousContinue »