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who, though now for a season hid with his Father, shall come forth again to honour those whom he finds honouring him, and all who are giving his honour to another to destroy.
3. The next vision, being the third in order from the beginning of the book, and the second under the head of future things, opens in ch. viii. with the exhibition of Christ employed in fulfilling the High Priest's office on the day of atonement; and offering unto God the prayers secuted and oppressed saints, of which prayers the substance is briefly set forth, vi. 10; to be judgment upon their adversaries, the oppressors and destroyers of the earth ; and deliverance of the righteous into the possession of that inheritance of the earth which they have from the beginning had the promise of (Psal. xxxvii ; Matt. v. 5; Rom. iv. 13) and received the full assurance of, when the Lamb slain got possession of the seven-sealed book, Rev. v. 10. We are thereby led to think that this vision of trumpets is to reveal Christ as our High Priest in heaven, while the vision of candlesticks revealed him as our High Priest on earth ; because on the day of atonement the high priest of the Jews went into the most holy place, the type of heaven, Heb. ix. 24: [that it is the action of the day of atonement we know by the golden censer which might be used on no other occasion]. In this thought, suggested by his action of offering out of his hand in the golden censer the prayers of saints, we are confirmed by looking at the consummation of the vision or the state of things attained by the seventh trumpet, which as it is declared xi. 15-19, consisteth in these things : 1st, Christ's reign entered upon, and celebrated by his church the joint-heirs of his kingdom, ver. 15--17. 2dly, The judging, righting, and rewarding of his servants the prophets, the saints, and them that fear his name, together with all the dead, great and small, who had died in the Lord. 3dly, The destruction of the nations who had so long destroyed the earth in the day of Christ's anger and wrath, Psal. ii. ; cx. 4thly, The opening of the temple in heaven, to the shewing of the inmost recesses of the holy of holies, which I understand to be the manifestation of the heavenly things, the revealing of the inheritance, the coming down of the new Jerusalem. Being confirmed by the consideration of this which the vision consummates, í go back to the beginning and find that, besides the action of offering the prayers of saints, there is another action (ver. 5) of taking fire of the altar and casting it into the earth whence arose voices, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake; whereupon seven angels go forth one after the other, and bring on seven woful inflictions of the wrath of Christ until his enemies and the enemies of his church are utterly consumed from the earth. Now taking the interpretation of this symbol from Ezek. x. 2, where the casting of the fire upon the city of Jerusalem doth signify the destruction of its glory and its sanctity in the days of Nebuchadnezzar ; and from Hos. viii. 1, where, as in all the Scriptures, the blast of the trumpet is the harbinger of woe; we come to this conclusion upon the whole, that the vision of trumpets is to reveal Christ in his character of effectual Intercessor for his saints, receiving power from God to avenge their death upon his enemies and theirs, and to bring them through great tribulations into the inheritance of the earth. If I err not, the whole vision of trumpets is but a commentary upon that text twice written in the prophet Isaiah concerning the day of atonement, which was also the day of redemption, when all bondsmen went free, and all inheritances returned to their proper possessors (Isa. xxxiv. 8; lxiii. 4). “ For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the
redeemed is come:" both of which chapters do reveal that desolation of the Gentile church (the cruel Edom or Esau) which shall make way for the return of the Jews : while our vision of the seven trumpets reveals the larger but parallel mystery of the destruction of all apostate Christendom, and the casting out of the devil its master, and the opening of the prison-house of death where the bodies of the saints lie in loathsome bondage, and the redemption of the inheritance of the earth and their installation in the government and possession thereof as the royal priesthood who minister from the opened temple, the celestial city of the new Jerusalem, holiness and blessedness to the earth and all the inhabitants thereof.
I consider therefore, that while the first vision sets forth Christ as Head of the church, and the second which ex. tends over all the rest of the book, but specially includes the ivth, vth, vith, and viith chapters, doth set Him forth as the Inheritor of the earth; this third vision, in subordii nation to the second, doth set him forth as doing seven actions of vengeance upon the oppressors of his church and their inheritance, ending in their final expulsion from the face of day, or rather in their being put under his feet, and the feet of his saints. It is Christ the Intercessor, presenting the endurances of his people and receiving power from his long-suffering Father to bring one act of retribution after another upon the wicked, until at length he comes in person, under the seventh trumpet, to judge the quick, and to govern the survivors in righteousness during the Millennium ; after which having judged also the dead, and cast the wicked into hell, he doth give up the mediatorial kingdom of the earth with all the sons of glory perfected and completed : in reward of which he, with his made kings and priests, doth receive from the Father the whole encircling universe, sun, moon,
every star, to govern and to possess in everlasting righteousness and blessedness.
And what serveth such a revelation to the church? Much every way. It sheweth Christ in his character of Judge, in which the Father hath constituted him, John V., but which we are too apt to sink in his character of Saviour. It shews him Head of the evil as well as of the good, over Satan and the wicked dominant as well as over the church and the righteous, bringer of all judgments which come, as well as of all bounties; in one word, Head over all unto his church ;-pouring out judgment, and for what reason ? To avenge the truth. This is the end of the vision, to keep in the minds of men that Christ is to judge the world, that he who ruleth over all doth restrain the wickedness as well as patronize the good of all ; even the same who is to stop in its high flood the wickedness of the wicked by the judgment of the quick at his coming, and to establish the pains and misery of the second death, which is the undoing and preventing of all iniquity; and all iniquitous things. All this coming judgment and woe upon the world is here set down in successive acts, to the end that the church may properly understand and believe that horrible pit from which she is herself delivered ; and that she may be ever stirred up to preach grace and mercy, and salvation, from the wrath which is revealing
itself more and more until the consummation, when the despised Saviour shall come as the righteous Judge who is to condemn the world, and to make good unto his saints that which they have committed to his trust. These are the objects of this the third part of the book, which hath also its realization in time and place, to shew that Christ is executing on a small progressive scale that wrath which he is at length to execute on the largest scale of God's righteous judgment: so that the church rightly reading and apprehending these things, might be preserved from that falsest idea of a God all merciful, of a Saviour all grace, and that the Gospel might be no encourager of licentiousness or of indifference, but a trumpet-alarm unto the world, in the midst of whose terrors there should be ever heard the still small voice of peace and salvation. Salvation is salvation from something. What is that something? “ The day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." But will God not relent? This vision verifying itself in every successive trumpet, proves that he will accomplish it all. I would that preachers and people knew and felt that there is a power and holiness and righteousness in every word of God. For oft we preach, and they hear as if there was no judgment; as if he had laid aside the thunderbolts of his power; which these seven successive strokes of judgments, almost all already arrived unto the earth, and being just about to close, are intended to make manifest.
Before proceeding to the fourth vision we may observe, that this third vision is contained in ch. viii., ix., and x., to verse 8, with which a new series of prophesyings is introduced. The seventh trumpet is however brought in out of its place, at ch. xi. 14, for reasons which we cannot enter upon here, but shall fully explain in their proper place. And yet these concluding verses of ch, xi. do not contain the particulars of the seventh trumpet, but only the consummation of good which is brought about by the action thereof: and herein they serve the same purpose which the concluding verses of ch. vii. did to the action of seals; each setting forth in their proper language the end and consummation of Christ's work and office, as it is severally represented by the symbols of these visions. But for the particulars of the seventh seal and seventh trumpet
which are parallel with one another, as indeed are the other seals and trumpets, they are in both cases suppressed at the place where they should properly have been given, namely, vii. 1; x. 4 : being reserved until all the intermediate doings having been developed, as they are in ch. x., xi., xii., xiii., xiv., and the whole causes for such a fearful act of wrath fairly set out; the act of the seventh seal, and of the seventh trumpet, and the treading of the wine-press (xiv. 20), which are one act—the act of anger, the great day of wrath-might then be fully and distinctly laid out in ch. xv. and xvi., and illustrated in ch. xvii., xviii., and xix. : so that it may be truly said that the seventh seal and seventh trumpet, and the treading of the wine-press, do occupy five complete chapters of the Apocalypse, which stand immediately antecedent to the first resurrection, the reign of Christ, and the millennial blessedness, and the New-Jerusalem state of the world. This only is necessary to be remarked further, before leaving the vision of trumpets, that the facts or accomplishments of the several pre. dictions are done upon the eastern half of the Roman empire, of which Constantinople is the head; whereas the seals have their proper locality in the western Roman Empire, of which Rome is the head. This division of the fourth or Roman Empire into two parts began from the time of Constantine, who gave the ground of it in the building of Constantinople, and in the subdivision of his empire into three parts: whence in this vision we have always a third part, and no more, affected by the several judgments. The sufficient grounds for believing that the scene of these two visions is different, while the action of them is contemporaneous from Constantine's time down to the coming of Christ, together with the ends served by this two-foldness, will more fully appear in the sequel of these lectures : but we mention it at present that the method and the substance of the book
be brought thus early under one point of view.
4. Now the fourth vision, which occupies the remainder of ch. x. from ver. 8, and the whole of ch. xi., except the verses containing the seventh seal, which are introduced there for the sake of synchronism(that is, to mark the time of the siaying of the witnesses as being the same with the time of the seventh trumpet and the seventh seal), and the