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Let us now for a moment see what follows the nistory of the two witnesses.
14th verse, " The second woe is past, and behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” The second woe began by the civil wars in France and Germany, and ended in the French revolution; and the third woe will come quickly. It is the last great woe denounced against the woman sitting upon the scarlet-colored beast, and against the earth, which she hath filled with her sorceries, and the kingdoms of this world, which must all be destroyed under this woe.
15th verse, “ 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 his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” The third woe and seventh trumpet are both the same thing, (see Rev. viii. 13;) and the seventh trumpet is the last trump, when the dead shall be raised. See 1 Cor. xv. 52. It is evident, also, that we are carried into the eternal state forever and ever.
16th verse, " And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces and worshipped God.” By-the four and twenty elders, I understand the true ministers of Christ, alluding to the twenty-four courses of the priesthood appointed by David, I Chron. xxiv.
17th verse, "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.” This is the language of every humble and devoted minister of Jesus Christ, who makes the word of God his study, and believes in the overruling hand of God as accomplishing the great designs therein revealed.
18th verse, “ 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.”
This verse shows us what takes place at the sounding of the seventh trumpet and third woe, which the angel
says will come quickly after the French revolution, if I am right in my explanation of the two witnesses. It is morally certain that the word of God is not now in an obscure state; it is not hid from the world, neither is clothed in sackcloth. It is true that many voices have united in the Bible societies to spread the knowledge of the word of God; and that it is translated into about all the known languages in the world. It is almost absolutely certain that the French people are the nation that is compared to Sodom and Egypt, in the passage we have been examining; and likewise the earthquake spoken of is the French revolution. Then if the two witnesses are the Old and New Testament, we are certain the third woe is coming quickly, and the seventh trump must shortly begin to sound, as I have already proved in my lecture on the trumpets, in the year 1839. You have undoubtedly seen, my friends, that we are likewise brought down to the judgment, when God will reward the righteous, and destroy the wicked, who have persecuted the saints and trampled them under foot.
And once more let me inquire how it stands with you, my dear hearer. Are you prepared for that great and solemn day? Are you ready to meet the judgment? The two witnesses will appear for or against you. Their testimony will not fail. Do you believe them? He that believeth shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned. “The word that I have spoken,” says Christ, “the same shall judge you in the last day." Why will you not be warned? If half the evidence that I have brought of our being on the end of this dispensation, was brought to prove there was a great treasure hid in your field, how soon would you search and how diligently would you seek until you found it!
In this book, of which we have now been speaking, are durable riches, gold tried in the fire, seven times purified. “Search for it as for hidden treasures; scek and you shall find.” Can you tell me where the word of God, the Bible, has failed of being accomplished literally, and in the time specified ? Many events have been foretold, the times given, and not one failed. How can you disbelieve? How can you shut your eyes
against so much light? Where will you have an excuse in the day of judgment? I have repeatedly brought you down to this time, and shown, by Scripture proof, the judgment must commence immediately. You are in your hearts convicted that what has been declared concerning the two witnesses, in this discourse, is true. And if so, your reason must teach you that what follows under the third woe must be equally as true. “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 scrvants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
REV. xii. 6.
And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a placo
prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.
The history of the church, in all ages of this present world, is but a history of persecution and blood, when we follow her through all dispensations from Adam to Moses, and from Moses to Christ; so likewise from Christ's first coming down to his second appearance, the church have experienced, and according to the whole tenor of Scripture, must expect to realize from the kingdoms and men of this world, this one promise at least, “In the world ye shall have tribulation." These facts are so plain and obvious, that it has given rise to a common saying among almost all writers, that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church." Yet there is a bright side to her history; for she has come out of all her persecutions inore purified, more faithful, and with more energy, to prosecute the work her divine Master has left her to perform. And one other thing is certain — God has preserved her, whether in the wilderness or among the nations of the earth, in an extraordinary and miraculous manner; even her enemies themselves being her judges. Where has a kingdom stood when all the nations about them have conspired their overthrow? Where is the Assyrian and populous Nineveh? Where is Chaldea, the queen of nations ? Where is the Grecian empire, once the colossus of the world ? Where is imperial Rome? Gone, gone, by the power of earthly foes. But behold the church of Christ and of God, delivered first from Egyptian bondage by the mighty arin of the God of Jacob, led by miracles through the wilderness forty years, brought into the promised land, although all the nations of the earth were her enemies, preserved as a nation through the rise and fall of mighty empires, and experiencing a reverse of fortune only when she courted the aid of worldly kingdoms, or suffering diminution only when she adopted the more popular worship of heathen idolatry. Yet in her lowest estate, God told his servant the prophet, that “he had reserved seven thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal.” And if men would reason on the subject of religion as they do on other subjects, there could not be an infidel in the world. For nothing is or can be more manifest than the miraculous interposition of Providence in the preservation of his people through the most severe trials, heaviest afflictions, and deadliest hatred of all men, that men or societies ever endured.
Our present discourse will show us the history of the church by prophecy, through the darkest age the church has ever been permitted to experience since the days of Abraham.
I. I shall show what we may understand by “the woman" in our text.
II. I shall show what we are to understand by the great red dragon and beast.
III. I shall give the history of the woman given in the chapters of our text.
IV. The time specified in the text, 1260 days, theirbeginning and end.
I. What may we understand by woman in our text?
I answer, We must understand the people of God, in all ages of the church, whether among the Jew or Gentile: she is called a woman because she is the spouse of Christ; she is likewise called a woman because of her dependence on Christ for all things. As a man is the head of the woman, so is Christ the head over all things to the church, says the apostle. As the woman depends on her husband for a name, for food, and for raiment, so