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There was not the immediate interposition of God in the way of miracles, as in the propagation of the gospel in the early periods of Christianity; but the agency of God in the one case was as real and efficacious as in the other. There is no accounting for the singular combination of circumstances, and the success of the measures which were then adopted, but in the

way of admitting, that the Reformation from Popery was the work of God. And while they ascribe the praise to bim as the author, they openly avow their relation to him as his people. • Salvation to our God which sitteth upon

the throne. And even enemies need hardly be told, that their open and social avouching of the Lord to be their God was a principal means of furthering the work in which they were engaged. In this way they strengthened the hands and encouraged the hearts of one another, and stood like a firm compacted body, upon

which the attacks of adversaries could make only a very feeble impression.

The manner in which they sing this song is also noticeable; they cried with a loud voice. This marks their great cordiality in the work of praise. It was with the whole heart, and not feignedly, that they sung the praises of their Deliverer. They knew the salvation to be great, that the hand of God had wrought it for them, and that it was their duty to return and give him glory. “Their mouth was filled with laughter, and their tongue with singing, and they said one to another, The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad!

This section of the prophecy is concluded with an account of the fellow-worshippers of the multitude, as in ver. 11, 12. Their companions in the exercise of praise were all the angels. The whole of the countless myriads of these sons of God shouted for joy. These blessed spirits do not stand like unaffected spectators either of the trials or the deliverances of the church ; they take a deep interest in all that concerns her; and when they see any new and great deliverance wrought for her, they are filled with a holy exultation, and give God the praise. If there is joy among them over one sinner that repenteth, how great must

Their powers of intellect were of the strongest kind; their zeal was so great, that no perils or temptations could diminish its force ; nor did any

of them seem to know what it was to be afraid, or ever hesitate to go where the calls of duty enjoined them. But who girded them with strength ? Who endowed them with talents so admirably fitted for the times in which they lived, and the difficult and perilous services they had to perform ? He, that in former times raised up saviours to judge the mount of Esau, gave them the several endowments with which they were favoured, and all that measure of success with which their labours were crowned. The whole praise, therefore, was due to God, and is here ascribed to him.

4th, The best times of the church are yet future. She has had manifold tribulations ; long dreary nights of adversity have passed over her. But she has had times of prosperity also. Her settlement in the land of Canaan was a season distinguished for godliness ; Israel was then holiness to the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase. Her return from Babylon, and the early periods of Christianity, were both seasons of great spiritual prosperity. The Reformation from Popery was also a very prosperous time in the church. There were then daily added to the church such as should be saved. A mournful defection has long since taken place in all the Protestant churches; the life and power of religion, and a becoming zeal for the truth, have almost perished in these societies. But when mystical Babylon shall be finally subverted, a more remarkable reviving than has ever yet been enjoyed will be given. Zion's converts shall be so numerous, that they will be like the grass upon the ground, or the stars in the sky for multitude. Songs of praise will be heard from the uttermost parts of the earth, even glory to the Righteous One.

5th, Praise ought to constitute a very considerable part of the exercise of the members of the church. When Antichrist began to fall, this song was begun to be sung ; and every new stroke given to that interest should be considered as furnishing a new occasion for singing this song of praise upon a higher key.

upon what the innumerable multitude had sung. They gave their cordial assent to all that the church had so joyfully declared ; delighted with their melodies, and particularly enraptured with the matter of their song, they join in the chorus, and express their high approbation of the whole. Fully satisfied also, that the God whose praises the innumerable multitude had so sweetly sung, was well entitled to receive all that praise which was ascribed to him, these holy intelligences, as with one heart and one voice, say, Amen.

OBSERV. 1st, The most remarkable depressions of the church are usually followed by the most remarkable revivings and restoration. Antichrist certainly did much to wear out the saints of the Most High; he meant to exterminate the whole body of faithful witnesses. But his interests no sooner began to decline, than an innumerable multitude of witnesses appeared. The little cloud that rose in Saxony waxed bigger and bigger, till it covered a very considerable part of the European continent; and the true church, in the language of holy wonder and gratitude at the number of converts, could not fail to exclaim, These, where had they been? Who hath begotten me these?

2d, The prospect of the church's deliverance is peculiarly gladdening to her genuine members. John must have been greatly affected when he saw the heavens covered with blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and a more furious and destructive storm ready to burst upon her, than any she had met with during the whole time of the Pagan state of the Roman empire. But he was comforted with the best assurances, that a respectable number would be in safe keeping, during all the time that this storm would continue to exert its force. He was also comforted with assurances that this storm would pass away, and that the friends of truth would increase into such a multitude as no man could number.

3d, Whoever be the instruments of the church's deliverances, God is to be contemplated as the author, and the praise is to be ascribed to him. Luther, Calvin, and Knox, were admirably qualified for the important services they had to perform. Their powers of intellect were of the strongest kind; their zeal was so great, that no perils or temptations could diminish its force; nor did any of them seem to know what it was to be afraid, or ever hesitate to go where the calls of duty enjoined them. But who girded them with strength ? Who endowed them with talents so admirably fitted for the times in which they lived, and the difficult and perilous services they had to perform ? He, that in former times raised up saviours to judge the mount of Esau, gave them the several endowments with which they were favoured, and all that measure of success with which their labours were crowned. The whole praise, therefore, was due to God, and is here ascribed to him.

4th, The best times of the church are yet future. She has had manifold tribulations; long dreary nights of adversity have passed over her. But she has had times of prosperity also. Her settlement in the land of Canaan was a season distinguished for godliness ; Israel was then holiness to the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase. Her return from Babylon, and the early periods of Christianity, were both seasons of great spiritual prosperity. The Reformation from Popery was also a very prosperous time in the church. There were then daily added to the church such as should be saved. A mournful defection has long since taken place in all the Protestant churches; the life and power of religion, and a becoming zeal for the truth, have almost perished in these societies. But when mystical Babylon shall be finally subverted, a more remarkable reviving than has ever yet been enjoyed will be given. Zion's converts shall be so numerous, that they will be like the grass upon the ground, or the stars in the sky for multitude. Songs of praise will be heard from the uttermost parts of the earth, even glory to the Righteous One.

5th, Praise ought to constitute a very considerable part of the exercise of the members of the church. When Antichrist began to fall, this song was begun to be sung ; and every new stroke given to that interest should be considered as furnishing a new occasion for singing this song of praise upon a higher key.

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LECTURE XLIX.

Rev. vii. 18—17. And one of the elders answered, saying

unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes ?

and whence came they ? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me,

These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood

of the Lamb: Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day

and night in his temple : and he that sitteth on the throne

shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any

heat : For the Lamb, which is in the midst of the throne, shall feed

them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters : and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

This paragraph has been generally viewed as a description of the church triumphant. Many of the figures are so remarkable, it has been supposed that she never can be placed in any condition on the earth to which they will be applicable; and that therefore John was here favoured with a vision of the excellent glory in the highest heavens. But though the description is highly beautiful and sublime, and peculiarly fitted to impress our minds with the great honour and felicity of her condition, we do not meet with any thing here but what accords with the descriptions of the glory of the latter days, in the writings of Isaiah and other prophets. The close of the Ix. chap. of Isaiah is fitted to excite in our minds as exalted sentiments of the prosperity of the church as the verses before us; and you have only to look into the connexion in which

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