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and nakedness. Nor were these the greatest evils; for they were frequently exposed to a scarcity of the bread of life, when deprived of ordinances ; so that their souls were ready to perish. But now they shall be delivered from whatever might prove injurious, to their temporal or spiritual happiness: “Neither shall the sun " light on them, nor any heat. They shall stand " before the throne of God, and serve him day “ and night in his temple ; and he that fitteth on “ the throne shall dwell among them.” The ordinances of God shall be established in purity; in these men shall place their delight, and on them God shall bestow his presence.
" The taber16 nacle of God shall be with men, and he shall • dwell among them.” They shall experience no more scarcity of the bread of life ; “ they shall “ hunger no more, neither thirst any more.” The Redeemer shall himself feed his people. On them he shall bestow liberally the comfortable and gracious influences of his Spirit, which shall prove a well of water springing up unto everlasting life'; and the tears which they shed for the desolation of the church, as well as for their own particular distresses, shall be wiped away. 66 The Lamb who is in the midst of the " throne shall feed them, and shall lead them se into living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from thier eyes'.” We
(1) John iv. 14. and vii. 38. 39.
) Lowman and Newton are of opinion, that the multitude, with palms in their hands, represent the glory of a future world, particularly the happiness of those persons put to death by the Pagan Roman emperors ; but I cannot agree with them in opinion, for the following reasons : 11, 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 Constantine, whereas, in the vision, they are represented as following the sealed ones :“After “ these things, I saw." That interpretation cannot be just, which obliges one to reverse the order of the vi. fion. 3d, The expressions which describe 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 Isaiah, 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 same meaning bere. Thus, verses 15, 16, are borrowed from Isaiah xlix. 10. “ They shall not hunger, s nor_thirst, neither shall the heat nor fun smite them; us for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even 6 by the springs of water shall he guide them.” And
have another view of the progress of the gospel, Rev. xiv. 6,7. "And I saw 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, saying with a loud “ voice, Fear God, and give glory to him ; for " the hour of his judgment is come: and wor
ship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water'.”
verse 17. is taken from Isa. xxv. 8. 6 And the Lord 66 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 design of the Apocalypse, to consider the multitude, with palms in their hands, as the church militant issuing from a storm ; for the general design is to fhew, that the church shall continue, in defiance of all opposition, and shall atlength 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 strenuous opposition made to the worship of images, by the Emperors of the East, 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 ministry 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 vessels. He flies in the midst of heaven to represent the support of civil authority, and the great success of his ministry. His commission to preach, extends to all that dwell on the earth; and accordingly he propagates with celerity a knowledge of the truth to every nation, and tongue, and people. The subject of his ministry is the gospel, the glad tidings of a Saviour, containing the whole counsel of God, respecting the falvation of men. The gospel 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 blessing conferred on those that receive
and the circumstances coincide with the founding of the feventh trumpet. A, The ministry of this angel must coincide with the palm bearing multitude: For, as Mede argues, the immediate confequents of the fame antecedents must be contemporary. Now, the 144,000 sealed 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 must coincide with the resurrection of the witnesses; for the 144,000 sealed contemporate with the witnesses mourning prophecy, their mourning prophecy is followed by their resurrection and ascension to heaven ; so here the 144,000 fealed ones are followed by the voice of an angel flying through the midst of heaven; therefore the resurrection of the witnefles, and the voice of this angel must coincide. 3d, Thesame argument proves that the voice of this angel coincides with the fall of the Pope'stemporal sovereignty, or the tenth part of the city; for the 144,000 sealed ones are contemporary with the 42 months of the beast; the immediate
consequent of these 42 months is the fall of the tenth part of the city; and here the immediate consequent of the same 144,000 sealed ones is the voice of this angel, which is further confirmed by the expressions of the angel, “the “ hour of his judgment is come,” expressly referring to the judgment then recently inflicted on the beast. 4th, However specious the application of Mede may be, we shall find, that the circumstances of the event to which he alludes, if minutely examined, will not suit the voice of this angel. This angel preaches the gospel, but the opposition of the eastern Emperors, as well as of Charlemagne and the bishops of France, was too limited to justify this expression, that they preached the gospel. They joined issue with the degenerate church in many tenets and practices, though they oppofed her in fome of the groffest and most recent corruptions. Again, the term Everlasting here, seems to intimate the perpetual success 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