« PreviousContinue »
wife," the two churches, the one in heaven, the other on earth, by their union, have now made themselves ready to receive and obey him. And to her was "granted that she "should be arrayed in linen, clean and white; "for the fine linen is the righteousness of "saints" that is, in other words, and now to her was "granted a full pardon of all her trans"gressions, through the righteousness of Christ imputed to her, and received by her through faith in his Gospel† ; for the righteousness of Christ is the righteousness of saints.‡. "Blessed are they which are called unto the "marriage supper, to the union of Christ with "his church: blessed indeed, for they are jus“tified, and shall live with Christ in his holy kingdom."
The churches, now united, justified, and fully prepared to receive their Redeemer, the blessed Son of the most HIGH GOD is figuratively represented as coming to pour out this vial of the wrath of God upon the impious confederacy, and to remove it for ever out of the way of his reign upon earth. The prophetic description is awful, grand and sublime. It is expressive, as far as human language can express, not only of his divine and holy character, but of the business he is to be sent to perform. "And I saw heaven (the spiritual church) opened, and behold,§ a white horse; and he "that sat upon him was called Faithful and
* Ver. 9, 7, 8.
Rom. v. 16, 17, 18.
+ Ver. 6, 7, 8
True; and in righteousness doth he judge "and make war." He is represented as sitting upon a white horse, to denote that, although he had taken upon himself the nature of man, ye he remains immaculate, and infinitely innocent and pure; and he is called Faithful and True, to shew that he had, with the most perfect fidelity and truth, executed the great trust reposed in him by his merciful Father, in bringing out of a sinful and miserable world a part of his fallen creatures, into a state of immortality and happiness. It is farther said, that " in righteousness he doth judge and make war;" to intimate, that the judgment passed upon the impious confederacy,and that the war and destruction he should pour down upon it, had been highly merited.-"And his eyes were as a flame of fire;" they were full of ire and wrath at the impiety and extreme blasphemy of the confederacy, he was coming to destroy. "And on his head were many crowns." While his divine truths went forth only conquering and to conquer the heathen world, he had one crown only given to him*, the crown of the pagan empire of Rome; but now, having collected a church, consisting of Jews, and many Gentile nations, over whom he is coming to reign, he has many crowns. "And he had a name written, that no man knew but himself." He had the name, the power of God, the extent and infinity of which.
* Rev. vi. 2.
no man could comprehend but himself." And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood;" to denote that he was coming on THE GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY, to meet this horrid confederacy, now "gathered together," to offer him "battle," and to sink it in utter ruin Armageddon," the "Mountain of Destruction." "And his name is called The Word of God;" the name by which the prophet describes him in his Gospel*; because, through him alone THE WORD OF GOD has been revealed to his fallen creature, man. "And the armies which were in heaven," the saints and martyrs," the first fruits of his Gospelt," followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean," to show, that, being now justified by his imputed righteousness, through faith in him they were without sin, immaculate and pure. And out of his mouth goeth" a sharp sword, that with it he might smite the (confederated nations." This sharp sword is said to go out of his mouth, to describe his Almighty power, and the ease with which he shall destroy his enemies. It is to be done by a word, or even the breath of his mouth, as with a sharp sword. So St. Paul says, he shall consume the man of sin," or the powers of atheism, "with the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming." And Isaiah," he shall smite the earth with the rod "of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips
* John, i. f.
† Rom. viii. 23
† 2 Thess. ii. 8.
"shall he slay the wicked*." To show the utter and everlasting destruction with which he is to overwhelm the ungodly,and to prevent their ever molesting his church during his peaceful and blessed reign upon earth, he is figurately represented as " treading them in
thet wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath "of Almighty God," as a vintner treads, mashes, and separates his grapes, never more to be united. And now having consigned the ungodly to everlasting perdition, he is to be KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS; that is, he is to be KING, and reign over the kings, and princes, and the lords of the tribes of Israel, and over all the Gentile kings and lords, who have been justified by his righteousness.
Ver. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21.-Here the prophet passes to the immensity of the destruction and the issue of the battle between the Son of God and the innumerable host of his enemies, on the great day of God Almighty, at Armageddon. He represents "an angel as standing in the sun," a place from which he overlooks the whole earth, crying with a loud voice, saying, " to all the fowls that fly in the midst "of heaven, come, and gather yourselves toge
ther, 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
* Is. xi. 4.
To tread in a wine-press, means utter destruction, Lam. .15, Isaiah, lxiii. 3. Rev. xiv. 19.
"that be on them, and the flesh of all (kinds "of) men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings " of the earth, and their armies, gathered toge"ther*, to make war against him that sat upon "the horse, and against his army.'
Ver. 20. "And the beast was taken, and "with him the false prophet that wrought mir"acles before him, with which he deceived "them that had received the mark of the
beast, and them that worshipped his image:" meaning by the beast, the beast of the sea, or the church of Rome; and, by the false prophet, the head of, or the blasphemous bost of atheists, who, not corrected by the plagues of the second and fifth vials, had now joined in a conspiracy against Christ, with the dragon, or polytheism, as I have before shewn. "These "were cast into the LAKE OF FIRE AND BURN"ING BRIMSTONE. And the remnant were "slain with the sword of him that sat upon. "the horse, which sword (or breath) proceed"eth out of his mouth (an immense and dread"ful slaughter,) for ALL THE FOWLS WERE FIL"LED WITH THEIR FLESH.”
Here the attentive reader will observe, that the powers of apostacy and atheism are to be utterly destroyed in the battle of the GREAT DAY OF GOD ALMIGHTY, but that nothing is said respecting the "dragon," or the powers of Polytheism or Pagan idolatry, although par
Rev. xvi. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.