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who, in wisdom and providence, suffers the corrupt and infidel nations of the earth to pull down each other, and to bring about his purposes and designs, and will eventually destroy all the kingdoms of the earth, by such means, and in such ways, as the prophets have foretold; and whoever lives until the year 1839 will see the final dissolution of the Turkish empire, for then the sixth rumpet will have finished its sounding, which, if I am correct, will be the final overthrow of the Ottoman power. And then will the seventh trump and last woe begin, under which the kingdoms of the earth and the anti-Christian beast will be destroyed, the powers of darkness chained, the world cleansed, and the church purified. See the 10th chapter of Revelation, 5th, 6th, and 7th verses, “And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven.” This is the angel of the covenant, the great Mediator. See the first verse, “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud.” So is Christ to come in the clouds with power and great glory. “And a rainbow was upon his head.” This shows plainly that it is Christ; for the rainbow is a token of the covenant. “And his face was as it were the sun.” The same as when he was transfigured, Matt. xvii. 2, “And his feet as pillars of fire.” See Rev. i. 15, “His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace.” Surely this must be Christ. “And he had in his hand a little book open.” None could open the book but the lion of the tribe of Judah — another strong proof that the angel in Rev. x. 5 is Christ. And who but Christ could stand upon the sea and upon the earth, and lift “up his hand to heaven, and swear by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer”? that is, gospel or mediatorial time should cease. No more time for mercy; no more Spirit to strive with you, sinner; no more means of grace; no more repontance unto life; no more hopes of heaven; for Jesus has sworn by himself, because he could swear by no greater, that your day of probation “should be no longer.” For “he that is filthy shall be filthy still.” The Bridegroom has come, and shut to the door. I know, sinner, you will then cry, Lord, Lord, open unto us; but he will say unto you, Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, for I know you not: when I called to you to open the door of your hearts, that I might come in and sup with you, ye refused; when I stretched out my arm all the long day of the gospel, ye regarded it not; I will now laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh. Then will the angel, flying through the midst of heaven, cry, with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth; for, when the last woe is pronounced, and “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” “The second woe is past, and behold the third woe cometh quickly. 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 forever and ever,” Rev. xi. 14, 15. By these passages we learn that, when the sixth trumpet has done sounding, when the second woe is past, then the third woe comes quickly. The seventh trump begins to sound; the mystery of God is finished — all that has been spoken by the prophets, that is, all that concerns the kingdom of Christ; for then will be brought to pass the saying, Death is swallowed up in victory; for, when the last trumpet shall sound, the dead in * Christ shall be raised: “For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” “But every man in his own order. Christ the first fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.” “The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.” “As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now, this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” “Behold, I show you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed; for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” “Then will be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory,” 1 Cor. xv. 22–54.
REy. i. 20.
The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand,
and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the an
i. of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks which ou sawest are the seven churches.
It has generally been believed that the seven churches to whom the angel instructed John to write, were seven different and distinct churches in Asia, and by almost all of our commentators at the present day are understood to mean seven literal churches. But your speaker is forced, from the reasons which will hereafter be produced, to believe that these seven churches of Asia are to be understood in a figurative sense, alluding to seven periods of the church militant, during the Christian dispensation, down to the first resurrection, and the commencing of the glorious reign of Christ on the earth, commonly called The Millennium. If this view of the subject should prove to be the correct exposition of the text, how important and interesting is the subject to us who live in the last stage of the church Then we who live at this day, are particularly, and solemnly and awfully, admonished in what is said by Christ to the church of the Laodiceans, that church corresponding with our stage of the church immediately previous to the commencing of the millennial glory; and how necessary that we should know that these admonitions do most deeply concern us!
This view of the subject will then claim our first attention. , Were the seven churches used as a figure of the whole Christian dispensation, or were they not 2 I answer, In my humble opinion, they were. Because, first, the book of Revelation does evidently contain a prophecy of things which did not concern those seven literal churches in Asia; for those churches have long since passed away and become extinct; yet the book of Revelation contains prophecies which are daily fulfilling, and have been for eighteen centuries. It is also said to be a revelation of things which must shortly come to pass. “The revelation of Jesus Christ which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass.” Not things that have been. Yet if Christ is only giving admonitory advice to those seven literal churches, then he is only relating their characters as they then were, and so far as these churches were concerned it would cease to be a prophecy, and the very first verse in Revelation would be violated. Again, 3d verse, “Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand.” We see that it is called a prophecy in this verse, and must allude to the whole book; but who will pretend that the three chapters in the beginning of Revelation are a prophecy, if we understand them as relating the character of seven literal churches in Asia only 2 None, In One. Again: the word seven is often used in the word of God as a mystical number, meaning the whole, as seven spirits, seven stars, seven angels, seven candlesticks, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, seven thunders, seven plagues, seven mountains, seven heads, seven eyes, seven horns, seven crowns, seven kings, and seven churches. All these are used in Revelation and apply to or concerning the whole Gospel period. If, then, the number seven is used so often in this book in a figurative sense, may we not reasonably suppose that it is so used in the dedication of this book to the seven churches in Asia, and the history of those seven churches be prophetic 2 for no scripture is given for any private interpretation, and surely the instruction in the introduction of the book carries us down to the coming of Christ in the clouds—“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every