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the Protestant Reformation, which commenced soon after the rising of the Turk's empire; and which measuring work is manifestly included in the subject of the testimony under consideration. Immediately after this direction to measure the temple, follows the particular account of the prophesying of the witnesses ; which prophesying, or witnessing, we consider the principal thing regarded through all the operations of the trumpets; but as I propose making the particular consideration of the witnesses a distinct head, I shall not here enlarge
Under the sixth trumpet, which, according to the view before us, will be observed to include the present times; notice is also taken, in a manner the most solemn and remarkable, of certain events, the express interpretation of which the spirit of prophecy thought fit to conceal. When the angel, who stood upon the sea and upon the earth, had cried with a loud voice, as when a « lion roareth ;" which seems to be intended as a prelude to his making proclamation of the alldecisive decree, “ that there should be time no
longer;" "seven thunders uttered their voices. “ And when the seven thunders had uttered their « voices,” says John, “ I was about to write: " and I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto “me, Seal up those things which the seven thun- . “ ders uttered, and write them not.” Respecting the events signified by these seven thunders, this much appears plain, that by their being connected with the prelude cry, they are the immediate preludes of the great and dreadful day of God. And considered thus, the reason is also plain why they were not written. It is fully declared in the Scriptures, that it is the design of heaven to conceal the approach of that day from an ungodly world ; and that as a snare shall it come upon « all them that dwell on the face of the whole * earth.” “For when they shall say, Peace and
safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon “them, as travail upon a woman with child; and “they shall not escape.” But if a disclosure had been made by the Revelator of the voices, i.e. the import of these thunders ; the grand issue would have been placed in such clear light, as would have been incompatible with this holy design..... The great variety of comments upon the Scriptures, and innumerable different sentiments, which have prevailed within the period allotted to the sixth trumpet, have greatly obscured the whole body of revelation; but the modern sentiment of the Millennium has operated particularly upon this point, to divert the attention of the world from every thing that might raise an expectation of the near approach of the Day of Judgment.
The sentiments of the church respecting the Millennium, until within the two last centuries, were in agreement, with scarce a single exception, that the world would go on in its natural course from bad to worse, until the day of “ judgment “ and perdition of ungodly men;" after which the great restitution would take place, and the kingdom of Christ and his saints would flourish for a thousand years, in the "new heavens and new “ earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” In opposition to which, a sentiment in the spirit of the old false prophets has of late prevailed, that a long era of a thousand years of
and safety to the church, and of prosperity to the world, was coming on before that great and dreadful day of God; and which happy times were now near at hand. A Hammond, a Lowman, and a Hopkins, with their numerous followers, have placed an impenetrable seal upon those parts of prophecy which relate to the dreadful and glorious scene of the last trumpet. These men had an eminent standing in the church; they wore the king's sig. net on their right hand, and they used it with astonishing effect in sealing up his letters; for so the Scriptures must be fulfilled......As for Faber, and other benders of prophecy to the shapes of political parties, they are merely the story-tellers of the day; the leprosy of Naaman cleaveth to them, and for bowing a little in the house of Rimmon, when their masters lean upon their hands, they will be pardoned. The question has often been asked, how it has come to pass, that when there has been so great an agreement in the church, respecting the particular passages of prophesy which have been in fulfilment, in the principal events of the christian age; Why has no one been able to point out, with clearness, the passages which have been regarded in the late events, than which, there have taken place none greater? The answer to which question is this..... Because these passages have not been, as others are, expressly written. And from this circumstance, that these events are not particularly to be found upon the page, it may be as clearly ascertained that these thundors are now uttering, as that other events have been known, by their comparing so well with the Revelation....... We have heard a loud voice in our day, and all agree, that it sounds like the voice of a lion ; and we have heard him say that his roar would be followed by thunder clups.....and so it has been; five or six in succession, echoing and re-echoing from the sea and from the earth; and the world stands in solemn suspense, waiting for one or two more, but nobody must tell, in a way that will gain credit, what it all means.
The three trumpets which conspired in the overthrow of the Roman empire, soundeda solemn alarm, and witnessed with great strength that there was something rotten in the state of the church. They roused
the slumbering conquerors,
and soon dissipated their foolish dream, that the Roman empire, because it had in name become christian, was the kingdom of heaven. By this event, proving the weakness of the Roman
government, its yielding even to undisciplined forces, the church saw clearly how deceived those had been, who fancied that this deadly and doomed power was, as some styled it, our Zion. The darkness and confusion which succeeded the fall of the empire afforded new proof, and loudly witnessed the fact, that christendom was indeed becoming a Babylon. And the invasion of the Saracens gave evidence of a nature still more decisive; for as the northern barbarians, who broke in upon the empire, were soon converted to christianity, a hope was flattered, that the affairs of the church were upon the whole going well; but the Saracens came on in the Dragon form, inspired with a religion unreconcilable to the name of Christ, and aiming their blow directly against the christian faith. But it remained for the Turkish conquests to give the uncontrovertible proof; for after the war was waged between the nominal church and the mosque, and a long series of crusades and holy wars, in which the whole strength of christendom was engaged against the musselmen, with various success on both sides; at length the scale of the crusaders kickt the beam, and not only was the bone of contention, Jerusalem, relinquished, but even proud Constantinople fell into the hands of a more faithful race of men, It will be observed, that at this period the cup of abominations of the Romish church was filed up, and every thing, both within and without, conspired in giving evidence against it, that it was, indeed, the great Whore of Babylon, and the Beast of Antichrist. And thus the work of surnishing ample documents for the prophesying of the witnesses was completed.
" And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The king“ doms of this world are become the kingdoms of
our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign “ for ever and ever. And the four and twenty “ elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell
upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying, “ We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, “ which art, and wast, and art to come; because “ thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and “ hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and
thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that “ they should be judged, and that thou shouldest
give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and thein that fear thy name, “ small and great; and shouldest destroy them “which destroy the earth......And the temple of “ God was opened,” &c. This intends, manifestly, the great judgment, and the times of restitution of all things. The seventh trumpet unfolds the whole Revelation of Jesus Christ. It contains the vials poured out upon God's enemies, and the kingdom of glory, which will immediately follow, in the same manner, as the seventh seal contains both the trumpets and the vials, and every successive opening of the volume of glory, unto the perfect day. Under this trumpet, as is declared, chap. x. 7, “ The mystery of God shall be finish"ed.”
The second war of the witnesses against the beast, represented by the sounding of the trumpets, is said to be in the “ streets of the great ci* ty, which spiritually is called Sodom and E
gypt,” &c. chap. xi. 3. This great city, as may be observed, is the same ground which is called, ver. 2, the court which is without the temple; which being given to the Gentiles, becomes a Babylon, a great city of peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. Reference is here had to the figure