« PreviousContinue »
and nakedness. Nor were these the greatest evils; for they were frequently exposed to a fcarcity of the bread of life, when deprived of ordinances; fo that their fouls were ready to perish. But now they fhall be delivered from whatever might prove injurious, to their temporal or fpiritual happiness: "Neither shall the fun "light on them, nor any heat. They fhall ftand "before the throne of God, and ferve him day "and night in his temple; and he that fitteth on "the throne fhall dwell among them." The ordinances of God fhall be established in purity; in these men fhall place their delight, and on them God fhall beftow his prefence. "The taber"nacle of God fhall be with men, and he fhall "dwell among them." They fhall experience no more scarcity of the bread of life; "they fhall "hunger no more, neither thirst any more." The Redeemer shall himself feed his people. On them he shall beftow liberally the comfortable and gracious influences of his Spirit, which fhall prove a well of water fpringing up unto everlasting life'; and the tears which they fhed for the defolation of the church, as well as for their own particular diftreffes, fhall be wiped away. "The Lamb who is in the midst of the "throne fhall feed them, and shall lead them
(1) John iv. 14. and vii. 38. 39.
"into living fountains of waters, and God shall "wipe away all tears from thier eyes'." We have
(1) Lowman and Newton are of opinion, that the multitude, with palms in their hands, reprefent the glory of a future world, particularly the happiness of those perfons put to death by the Pagan Roman emperors; but I cannot agree with them in opinion, for the following reafons: 1ft, The happiness of the martyrs in their glorified state is represented in the first seal; it appears to me unnecessary to introduce them here again. 2d, If they were introduced in this place, they would have been mentioned before the 144,000 fealed ones; because they were poffeffed of happiness previous to the admiffion of converts into the church in the age of Conftantine, whereas, in the vifion, they are reprefented as following the fealed ones: "After "these things, I faw." That interpretation cannot be juft, which obliges one to reverse the order of the vifion. 3d, The expreffions which defcribe the happiness of this multitude, may appear at first view too strong to apply to the church militant; it is accordingly on this ground they have been referred to the church triumphant ; yet they are obviously borrowed from the prophet Ifaiah, and when compared with the context in the prophet, they certainly refer to the church militant, and not to the church triumphant. Now, it is reasonable to suppose they have the fame meaning here. Thus, verfes 15, 16, are borrowed from Ifaiah xlix. 10. "They fhall not hunger, "nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor fun fmite them;
for he that hath mercy on them fhall lead them, even "by the fprings of water fhall he guide them." And
have another view of the progrefs of the gospel, Rev. xiv. 6, 7. "And I faw another angel fly "in the midst of heaven, having the everlast"ing gospel to preach unto them that dwell on "the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, "and tongue, and people, faying with a loud "voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for "the hour of his judgment is come: and wor"fhip him that made heaven, and earth, and the fea, and the fountains of water'.".
verfe 17. is taken from Ifa. xxv. 8. "And the Lord "God will wipe away tears from off all faces, and the "rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the "earth." 4th, It appears more confiftent with the general defign of the Apocalypfe, to confider the multitude, with palms in their hands, as the church militant iffuing from a ftorm; for the general defign is to fhew, that the church fhall continue, in defiance of all oppofition, and fhall at length become triumphant on the earth, previous to the general judgment.
(1) The opinion of the excellent Mede, in which he is followed by B. Newton and others, is, that the ministry of this angel was fulfilled, in the public and ftrenuous oppofition made to the worfhip of images, by the Emperors of the Eaft, as well as by Charlemagne and the bishops of France in the eighth century. But neither the time nor the circumftances of this angel's miniftry can accord with that interpretation; while, on the other hand, the time
This angel represents the ministers of the word, for the ministry of reconciliation is committed to earthen veffels. He flies in the midft of heaven to reprefent the fupport of civil authority, and the great fuccefs of his ministry. His commiffion to preach, extends to all that dwell on the earth; and accordingly he propagates with celerity a knowledge of the truth to every
and the circumftances coincide with the founding of the feventh trumpet. 1, The miniftry of this angel muft coincide with the palm bearing multitude: For, as Mede argues, the immediate confequents of the fame dents must be contemporary. Now, the 144,000 fealed ones immediately precede the multitude with palms in their hands, chap. vii. The same 144,000 fealed ones immediately precede the voice of this angel, chap. xiv.; therefore the multitude with palms in their hands, and the voice of this angel must be contemporary. 2d, The voice of this angel muft coincide with the refurrection of the witneffes; for the 144,000 fealed contemporate with the witneffes mourning prophecy, their mourning prophecy is followed by their refurrection and ascension to heaven; fo here the 144,000 fealed ones are followed by the voice of an angel flying through the midst of heaven; therefore the refurrection of the witneffes, and the voice of this angel must coincide. 3d, The fame argument proves that the voice of this angel coincides with the fall of the Pope's temporal fovereignty, or the tenth part of the city; for the 144,000 fealed ones are contemporary with the 42 months of the beaft; the immediate confequent
every nation, and tongue, and people. The fubject of his miniftry is the gospel, the glad tidings of a Saviour, containing the whole counsel of God, refpecting the falvation of men. The gofpel was at all times everlasting, in as far as the plan of it was laid before the foundations of the world. The Author of it is the Everlasting God,
and the bleffing conferred on those that receive
confequent of thefe 42 months is the fall of the tenth part of the city; and here the immediate confequent of the fame 144,000 fealed ones is the voice of this angel, which is further confirmed by the expreffions of the angel, "the "hour of his judgment is come," exprefsly referring to the judgment then recently inflicted on the beaft. 4th, However fpecious the application of Mede may be, we fhall find, that the circumstances of the event to which he alludes, if minutely examined, will not fuit the voice of this angel. This angel preaches the gofpel, but the oppofition of the eastern Emperors, as well as of Charlemagne and the bishops of France, was too limited to justify this expreffion, that they preached the gospel. They joined iffue with the degenerate church in many tenets and practices, though they oppofed her in fome of the groffeft and most recent corruptions. Again, the term Everlasting here, feems to intimate the perpetual fuccefs of the gospel, from the period of its publication by this angel. Now, the attempt of the Emperors of the East, and Charlemagne, were as ineffectual as they were partial; whereas it is obvious from the pro