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12th-17th verses, “ And I beheld when he had open ed the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake.' On the opening of this seal there is a great earthquake This earthquake is spoken of in other places in this book and alludes to the French revolution, and of course this seal opened about A. D. 1790. “And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood." Sun sometimes denotes rulers or kings, as in the case of Joseph's dream, when the sun, moon and stars made obeisance to him, meaning his father, head over all Israel, his mother, and his brethren; for where the king is called the sun, the queen is called the moon, and inferior rulers are called stars, as Christ is called sun of righteousness, because he is king of Zion. The church is called the moon, because she is the bride of Christ. Ministers are called stars because they are inferior rulers in Christ's kingdom. Therefore I understand this to mean in that revolution when the king lost his authority, and tried to disguise himself, and fled from his own subjects, afterwards was beheaded. The queen, too, became blood, and all the nobility of France fell to the earth. One decree levelled all titles and distinctions with the commonalty, like a fig-tree casting her untimely figs. "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together.” The heavens must mean that circle in which the planets move; and if that is to be understood figuratively, so must this. Hearens must then mean the laws and government of France. These were all swept away, or rolled up and laid away like an old parchment out of date or use." And every mountain and island were moved out of their places." Mountains and islands are figures of large and small governments, and in the French revolution every government was removed from their legitimate sovereigns, except England, in the old Roman empire, and given to kings of Bonaparte's creation. And certainly all the kingdoms in Europe were changed from what they were before; so that when legitimacy was restored, the ancient kings could not and have not found their kingdoms
in the same situation they were in before the revolution. * And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the rocks and mountains, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”
It is a well-known fact to all who are conversant with the history of the French revolution, that almost every king in Europe had to flee from his kingdom during the space of about five and twenty years: the king of Portugal to Brazil; the king of Spain to France; the king of France fled to England; the Pope died in exile; the king of Sardinia left his kingdom and fled to the island of Sardinia; the king of Naples to the island of the same name; the king of Austria left his capital; and the king of Prussia took shelter under Russia; the emperor of all the Russias left Moscow to its fate; and Bonaparte himself fled to the island of Elba, and died a prisoner on St. Helena. The great men and chief captains, and all orders and degrees of men, had to flee from the land of their fathers, and seek an asylum among strangers. So true was this passage of Scripture fulfilled that many writers and divines actually supposed that it was the last great battle and supper of the great God. “For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ?" The sixth seal is not yet wholly opened; for it is evident that we are carried down to the last day, the great day of wrath which will immediately follow the sealing time which · he gives us in the next chapter.
Rev. vii. 1, “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that it should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” Daniel tells us, vii. 2, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” The four winds, then, means the opposing elements, war and contention. These principal elements of war and contention God would restrain for a little season, so they should not fan up the spirit of war and strife, neither in the Roman government, (called earth,) nor on the great
nations, (called great sea,) nor on individuals or small societies of men, (called trees;) and this has been remarkably fulfilled for twenty years past. Not a particle of opposition has been experienced against the translation and spread of the Bible, or the missionary cause. Kings have been nursing fathers, and queens nursing mothers, to help forward the cause of God. The wind of Papacy has been kept down by the angel, so that all the opposition they could raise has been weak and inefficient. The Mahometan wind has not blown a blast for twenty years; the idolatrous and pagan nations of the East have, by some invisible power, been kept in check; the infidel and deistical principles of the West have been held in complete subjection by the same invisible hand, until the servants of God should be sealed. Therefore, since the French revolution, none of these four winds of opposition to Christ have been permitted to use any physical force, as formerly, to suppress the spread of the gospel through the earth. “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the eartlı and the sea." The angel here spoken of as ascending from the east, is the angel standing on the land and on the sea, with a little book open, and the same that is represented in another place as flying through the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to them who dwell on the earth. Coming from the east, the place of light, and having the seal of the living God, shows plainly that it is the angel of the gospel. The four angels are the four messengers of God, who suppress those four opposition principles, until the sealing time shall be over,“ saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of God in their foreheads." The four angels are here commanded not to let these four winds of opposition hurt the earth, sea, or trees, until the sealing time is past, which is the same time spoken of, Daniel xii. 1, "Then shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” “And I heard the number of them which were sealed; and there were sealed a hundred forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel."
John first gives us an account of the number that were sealed in his day, out of all the tribes of Israel. They were sealed, as he tells us when he wrote, it being fin. ished in the close of the Jewish dispensation. It being a complete number, 144,000, and therefore could be numbered; and as these were sealed at the close of that dispensation, so John now saw in vision a great number, which no man could number, sealed at the close of the Gentile dispensation, of which he has been prophesying; for after he has gone through with numbering twelve thousand in every tribe, he then says, Rev. vii. 9, “After this I beheld,” that is, after this sealing, by which 144,000 had been sealed among the Jews, he beheld, “and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands." This evidently refers to the last sealing time among all nations ; he again hears them singing the grand chorus song, as at the close of the history of the seven churches, “And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honor, and power, and might be unto our God forever and ever, amen."
This shows us that we are again brought down the stream of time, to hear a part, at least, of the song which no man can sing, but those whose bodies are redeemed from the earth. “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 unto me, These are they which come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." This passage shows who those were that John saw, and how they obtained the honor and glory, which John saw them possessing, through great tribulation, and 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;" the same as in Rev. xx. 6, “And they lived and reigned with him,” in the New Jerusalem state; for he goes on to describe this state of happiness, which John does in Rev. xxi. 145, compared with the two following , and there can be no doubt on the mind that John is de. scribing the same in one place as in the other. “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.” There can be no doubt left on the mind of any man, that John has, in these passages, given us a view of the New Jerusalem in the immortal state. We have been permitted to hear a part of the new song, and have received, in the passage just read, the blessed promises contained in that beloved city. And now, we only wait for the last seal to open.
« And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” Zechariah says, ii. 13, “ Be silent, О all flesh, before the Lord; for he is raised up out of his holy habitation!” Habakkuk says, ii. 20, “ But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him!” From these passages I should infer, that when God arises up to the prey, when his great white throne is set in the heavens, and when the Son of Man shall come in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, then will all flesh be silent before him. And it is reasonable to suppose that the whole universe of rational beings who may be permitted to witness that grand scene, will be so filled with wonder and awe at the sight of the glory of God, that they will be silent. Then, too, will the redeemed souls, while the great Judge is separating them from the wicked, while they are rising to meet their Lord in the air, be silent. They will, like the children of Israel, stand still, (be silent,) and see the salvation of God. And the wicked world, who have scoffed at the idea of Christ's second coming, who have said, “Where is the promise of his coming ?” and laughed and ridi