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D. 1063-1073; and from these last dates, the main body of these prophecies runs on in different branches, to the end of the great conflict. It is yet worthy of observation, concerning the three woes, that the fiery trials which they cause the church to suffer, do not properly commence with the sounding of the trumpets, but more exclusively with the extraordinary numbers, by which the periods of these wo trumpets are extended and enlarg. ed. This is my reason for adopting the ordinary time of the trumpets into the column of the Church, and for as, signing the extraordinary numbers exclusively to the woes,
VII TRUMPET-COMPENDIOUS VIEW OF IT.
The seventh trumpet is of momentous import in the Revelation. It contains the final issue of that great conflict, between the Son of God and the powers of darkness, so often mentioned in this work, and only terminates in the glorious morning of Millennian day.
The Revelation considers the world in armed rebellion against God; at the head of which Satan plays a game of awful grandeur. Hostilities were commenced by the father of the human family, and prosecuted by many thousand millions of his posterity, down to the present day. This is the great sin of the world, in which all have participated, and became guilty of death in the sight of Heaven ;-the sin for which no creature could atone. What a horrible spectacle this must be to immortal spectators ! Every nation, and every generation joins in this criminal enterprise as soon as they are born, and side with the enemy against the anointed One of the Lord from a propensity in their nature. It will not shield us, to say, that we have not been accessary in concerting such an infernal plan of opposition. We are all guilty
of high treason, and have contributed to continue the overt-act against our heavenly Sovereign.. Atheists, de. istical writers, and ringleaders in vice, project plans of warfare, and prepare the minds and hearts of men for sedition. Some furnish arms, and others ammunition, whilst others carry provision, or fill the ranks of dying rebels. Not a few assist as spies, and many serve to bear seditious messages, and false insinuations through the country, suggested by the heads of this turbulent multitude. · All cherish unrighteous inclinations, and disregard the laws, promulgated for their reconciliation and happiness. There a whole kingdom rises in frontless defiance against the Redeemer; and here hell exhausts all her inventions, to establish a power in the very heart of the Church, to poison every part of her institution, and frustrate every purpose of the Lord. But the Son of God sits enthroned on high, and beholds the wicked proceedings of his estranged creatures, in this distant province of his empire. He has prepared means, and adopted meagures for every exigency, and all his arrows are sure. He will lead his enemies as Elisha did the Syrians into the midst of Samaria, II Kings vi, 18-20. and they shall be confounded at last.
Verse 15. 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. 16. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on
their seats fell upon their faces, and worshiped God.
His victory is sure-Conquest and triumph will be on his side ! Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, 0 earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains : for the Lord will comfort his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted church, Is. xlix. The remaining part of this chapter, contains an a bridged view of the most prominent.
"features of the seventh trumpet. This again concerns both the Churcir militant & triumphant, the power of hell, and the kingdoms of this world, the living and the dead.
Verse 15. Great voices in heaven. This trumpet is first heard in the invisible world, and its contents made known and celebrated by angels and saints in glory; from whence it is conveyed to the earth, and begins to sound in the next chapter. Probably on such an occasion as this, a new arrangemet relative to this earth takes place in the invisible regions and a new change of measures among ministering spirits, adapted to the eternal purposes now intended. When such a change of measures is observed, the heavenly hosts cannot remain without conjecture, for they are not omniscient, and yet full of ardent desires for the glory of God's kingdom, and longing to participate in universal felicity. But in this instance, they were not left in doubt, and rejoiced the more.
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. S. R. Griesbach, Bengelius, and the Vulgate read Baside a kingdom, in the singular number, in place of Businevai, kingdoms; but in either reading, the sense is nearly the same. Here may be intended all the kingdoms established within the limits of the four great empires in Daniel, cháp. VII: the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Macedonian; and the Roman divided into ten distinct dominions. Within their confines, the fifth empire of the people of the Most High, or the glorious Kingdona of Christ, according to that prophet's prediction, is to be first established, Dan. 11, 44. But I am rather disposed to believe, that the 'expression, “The kingdoms of this world,” is here to be taken literally and in its greatest latitude, as comprehending the whole world. If we survey a map of the earth, or a gen-. eral history of nations, how small are the countries, occupied by Christians, in comparison with the numerous nations, who yet sit in darkness and in the shadow of
death, without knowing even the name of their Redeem
The Revelation considers these Gentile nations, both in a civil and religious point of view, in the power of Satan, and excluded from the kingdom of God; as all their religious and civil institutions are thence impregnated with Polytheism, Superstition and Idolatry. This is in some degree also the case with all the governments, empires, kingdoms and republics in Christendom, none of which are formed or adıninistered on the principles of the Gospel, and which therefore stand in need of great reformation. Now all these kingdoms of the world, shall become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Anointed at the termination of the seventh trumpet. Glorious promise! Reader, would our hearts unite with those great voices in heaven, to rejoice in God our Redeemer, if we could live to see that day of Gospel glory? But we shall see it, if even we die before it penetrates the darkness of this stumbering and alienated world. All these nations will yet be converted, and all these kingdoms reformed and administered on Gospel principles, to support the Church of Christ, and train their citizens for endless joy. This government will be a Theocracy, but on a plan far more perfect than that in the Old Testament. Church and state will be united under one head, and Christ, the Anointed of the Lord, will be both king and the object of worship ; he will both govern, and save his people from their sins. This kingdom shall not be subject to revolutions and changes, like the ingenious fabricks of men ; it shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him, Dan. VII, 27.
Verse 16. The four and twenty elders. These elders are the representatives of all the holy martyrs, as we have seen chap. IV, 4. and largely interested here, because they are appointed to the first stations in the future kingdom of Christ on carth, chap. v, 10. St. John describes
them as sitting on thrones before the throne of God, india cative of their future appointment.
They fell upon their faces. Hitherto they worshiped the Lord without this particular mark of humiliation, chiap. iv, 10. v, 8. 14: but now for the first time, in this posture of awful reverence and most profound veneration. This shows, that they are essentially concerned in the accomplishment of the seventh trumpet, at the termination of which they shall reign on earth. But it also indicates, that now an event of great moment occurred in heaven. .
Verse 17. 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. 18. 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 them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
Here the homage due to sovereignty, is paid principally to the eternal Father of the Godhead. This is evident from the form of expression, “Lord God Almighty," o favtoxgatws, but more particularly from verse 16, where he is described on his throne of government, in manifest reference to chap. iv, when the Lamb received the book with seven seals at his right hand. It is nowhere said in the Revelation, that he left that throne, or resigned the government to the sole administration of Christ, in his exclusive character. We may therefore suppose that it was a joint government from that period down to the seventh trumpet, and that it will remain such to the commencement of the Millennium. But at that remarkable period, a new form of civil government will be established on earth, at the head of which Christ will appear in his mediatorial character, as King of all the rulers of the world, as the Anointed One of Jehovab, and