Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

fore added; that of terrible hail falling on man, every stone being of about an hundred and fourteen pounds weight; indicative of judgments as much more fatal than those usually known, as hailstones of this enormous size would be more terrible than common hail. The other vials were local: This is general; poured out into the air; or upon the kingdom of the devil on earth, who is the prince of the power of the air. The vast armies of Atheists, Pagan's, and the remains of the Papal and Mohammedan powers, collected in the Holy land, receive the first discharge of the artillery of Heaven, which sinks them in perdition. And the judgments will thence proceed, and will sweep off the vrolent enemies of the Church in every land. Probably violent, exterminating wars, civil dissentions, pestilences, and the raging elements let loose upon man, with other fatal judgments, will constitute the terrors of that day. The land of God will be seen by all, in scenes of vengeance. Men will know, that those who fall are the slain of the Lord, whose carcasses, we are assured, shall be at that day from one end of the earth, even unto the other end of the earth. (Jer. xxv, 33.) This is the day that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud, yea and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble, and that day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. (Mal. iv, i.) This is the day, when God will gather the nations, and assemble the kingdoms, and pour upon them his indignation, even all his fierce anger; and all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of his jealousy. (Zeph. iii, 8.) And he shall sweep the sinners thereof out of it. (Isa. xiii, 9.) They shall be consumed as the fat of lambs; into smoke shall they consume away. And the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight themselves in abundance of peace. The Scriptures which predict this destruction of the enemies of the Church, are numerous, both in the Old and New Testaments; and they are terrible!

As to the period of this vial; it will not be poured out till after the subversion of the Turkish empire, and the consequent return and conversion of Israel and

the Jews; and the collection of the armies of Gog and Magog against them. (Ezek. xxxvii, xxxviii, xxxix.) These things must occupy some time. There are many plausible things in favor of the calculations of those, who suppose the 1260 years are to be reckoned from the year 606, when the bishop of Rome was constituted universal bishop: Consequently that they will terminate in the year 1866. This seems to afford but a short time for the great events which are to intervene between the present period and the seventh vial. But this is an age of wonders. God will do much in a short time. He will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness; because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth. Christ speaks of the days being shortened for the elect's sake. As to the precise time of the seventh vial, I do not feel great confidence. But I believe it is hastening on apace.

According to the preceding scheme of the vials, and in confirmation of it, it is observable, that the three last vials fall successively upon the three great wicked powers, the Papul, the Mohammedan, and the Antichristian; giving to each a deadly blow; and the last vial deciding the controversy; sweeping from the earth all who are found in array against the Church. The first four of the vials were poured upon the Papal see, and its supporters; and were minor, and preparatory events. The three last are capital events. The fifth gives a death blow to the Papal beast, by the rise of Antichrist. The sixth subverts the Ottoman Empire. And the seventh plunges Antichrist, with the scattered remains of the two preceding powers, into perdition; and decides the controversy between the Church and all her inveterate enemies through evangelized nations. Mark the analogy between the vials and the trumpets. The first four of the trumpets related to minor events, which fell upon the Christian Roman empire. The three last related to capital events, and hence were called woe-trumpets. And each of these three related to a different power. The same thing is true of the vials, as they have been explained. The first four were minor judgments upon the Papal see, preparing the way for its destruction. And the three last are capital events, each relating to a different power.

I am constrained to think those authors to be correct, who have supposed the seventh trumpet or third woe does not comprise all the vials. It appears as though this trumpet and the seventh vial must meet, and receive their accomplishment in the same event.

Surely those many writers, who carry the origin of the period of the vials back to the early days of the Papal see, are far from viewing all the vials included in the seventh trumpet. For they place a number of them even before the sixth trumpet. Pool's continu. ators, upon the seventh trumpet, (Rev. xi, 15,) observe; "Here ariseth a great question, whether the seven vials, of which we shall find the sixteenth chapter treating, do belong all to the seventh trumpet? or whether some of them belong to the sixth trumpet? Great divines are on both sides of this question. Mr. Pool, in his Latin synopsis, has collected together their reasons.” The reasons offered in favor of all the vials being included in the last woe-trumpet, are, in my opinion, wholly inconclusive.

While the objections against this scheme are irresistible. And if the seventh trumpet does not contain all the vials, it can contain none but the seventh and last. For no objection can be offered against its containing only the last vial, which does not equally militate against its containing any number more than the last, but short of the whole. The third woe then must probably comprise either the whole of the vials, or only the last vial. And the latter I apprehend will prove to be the fact.

It is striking to observe the sameness of the two events, the last woe-trumpet, and the seventh vial: And that this trumpet and vial appear to stand precisely in the same relation to the introduction of the Millenni. um. Let us compare together the two prophetic descriptions.

In Rev. xvi, 17, to the end, is the last vial. In chap. xi, 15, to the end, is the last trumpet.

Of the vial we read; And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice

out of the temple of heaven saying, It is done. Of the trumpet we read; And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Of the vial; And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for the plague thereof was exceeding great. Of the trumpet; And the temple of God was opened in heaven; and there was seen in his temple the ark of the testimony; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Of the vial; And the great city was divided into three parts; and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath; and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. Of the trumpet; And the four and twenty elders, who sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, saying; We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who 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, ( avenged) and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and to them who fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them who destroy the earth.

Who can believe, that these two portions of prophecy

do not relate to precisely the same period and events? Both introduce the Millennium. Both describe the battle of that great day of God, in the same figures. And there is no appearance, that the description of the seventh trumpet contains any thing more than what is contained in the seventh vial. If it were designed to contain all the vials, or if the whole period of the vials were then future, how could the voices in heaven proclaim, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ? This does not appear to be one of those prophecies which speak of things far future as though they were present. To suppose it, is to destroy the very occasion of the joys of the heavenly hosts there noted. Their joys were,

that the time for the introduction of the Millennium had actually arrived. They well knew before, that this joyful event was future, and certain, and would arrive in due time. This they knew every time they turned their thoughts upon it. And were their peculiar joys, expressed at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, occasioned only by a new turning of their attention to that subject, which was still far future? A thing which they had done millions of times before! How could this afford them any new source of joy? But let themselves decide the question. Do they not decide, that the occasion of their peculiar joy is, the actual introduction of the blessed millennial glory? The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ. The same thing which is expressed upon the effusion of the seventh vial; It is finished.

In Rev. x, it appears to be decided, that the seventh trumpet does not contain the whole period of the vials; but is the same with the seventh vial. The seven thunders had uttered their voices; or the wars and rumors of wars attendant on the rise of Antichrist, had been heard. The Angel now, (verses 5, 6,) as though to check the impatience of the saints for the coming of Christ, as well as to assure them that it should be in due time, lifts up his hand to heaven, and swears, with unusual formality and solemnity, that, Xpovos OUM EGTUI ETI; the time shall not be yet: Or, the time shall not be prolonged. And he adds; But in the days of the seventh Angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. In this passage several things are decided:

1. At the time of the seven thunders uttering their voices, the seventh trumpet, or third woe, is still fu

« НазадПродовжити »