« הקודםהמשך »
shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hail. stones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it. Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hail-stones in my fury, to consume it.” Ezek. xxxviii. 22, “ And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hail-stones, fire and brimstone." Also, Rev. xi. 19, “ And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail."
By reading the connection of these texts, you cannot but be struck with the agreement of the prophets in their descriptions of this last and dreadful judgment of God upon the world. All of them evidently fix it on the last day; all call it apparently a rain of great hail-stones, like those which fell upon Egypt in the days of Moses. Exodus ix. 23—25, “ And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven; and the Lord sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the Lord rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.”. This, it is evident, is the type of the last part of the seventh plague.
And now, my friends, will you believe ? Six of these plagues have been accomplished in as literal a manner as we could expect, after a fair and scriptural explanation of the figures and metaphors used. And again I ask, Do you believe? You think, perhaps, you will wait until you see the hail come, and then you will believe. But will you not recollect that our text says, “ And they blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail"? Will you thus tempt God through six successive judgments, and wait for the last before you will believe? What hope or prospect have you that the seventh will do what the six preceding could not do that is, make
you believe? Is there one rational conviction that you will be then convinced ? No, not one. Then will you not see and learn wisdom by what is gone before ? Pharaoh had no space for repentance under, or even just before the last plague. And so it will be with you; the door will have been shut before any part of the seventh vial will be poured out, for then will be heard a great voice reverberating through the upper vault of heaven, and, sounding even to the dark cells of the pit of woe, shaking the middle air with its deep-toned thunder, and, like the lightning, darting its vivid flash of fire from east to west, will pierce the deafest ear, and make the hardest heart to break, although a thousand fold more hard than the adamantine rock, saying, “ It is done.” This brings me to show,
II. What we may understand by “ It is done.”
The first question which naturally arises on the mind is, What is done? When Christ was about expiating for the sins of the world ; when he was closing up the work which his Father gave him to do on earth in the flesh; when the spirit was about leaving the tenement of clay which it had inhabited through a life of thirtythree years of pain, sufferings, deprivations, sorrows, groans, and tears, made more acute by temptations trying as the arch-demon of hell could invent; suffering reproach from the haughty Pharisee, and the more obstinate Sadducee, and contempt and ridicule from the base rabble of his own people; persecuted even until death by the envy, malice, and hatred of those who had received boons and blessings of life at his hands, — he had saved them from disease, death, and the rage of demons; yet, in this moment of great need, he was forsaken of all; they stood afar off; and when he was about giving up the ghost, he cried, “It is finished !” and bowed his head, and died. The fratricide man could do no more; he had followed him to death; beyond that the envy of his brother could not reach him. The rabble, who a few days before had cried, Hosannas to the Son of David! this day were crying, Crucify him! crucify him! now could cry no more, but with downcast looks, returned into the city. The Pharisees and rulers could do no more; they had plotted his death, and obtained
their object; but into the dark recess of the tomb they dare not, they would not, follow. The great red dragon (the Roman power) had sought his life when a child, but the hour had not come. Herod sought his life when a man, but he could not succeed until the last day of the seventy weeks should be accomplished. Then the powers of earth, wicked men, and devils, could combine to take the life of the Lord of glory. Then, while these powers had control, the heavens hid their face; nature stood back aghast, and the material world shuddered with a groan. Then, at that awful, fitful period, he who had been the object of all this malice, cried with a loud voice, “ It is finished !” The work on earth in the flesh is finished; the temptations of Satan are finished; the persecution of his brethren are finished; envy, malice, and hatred towards the person of Christ are finished; the power of earth, hell, and wicked men to do any thing with him, is finished ; death has no more terrors over him. It is finished.
Although Christ had finished his work, and had endured all the sufferings which he was to finish; yet in his spiritual body, the church, the measure of his sufferings was to be filled up. His people must pass through the same scenes in the world as their divine Master had experienced from satanic temptations and the hatred of the world. “ The world will hate you and persecute you for my name's sake, even as they hated me before they hated you,” says our blessed Redeemer. Therefore the same manifestations of cruelty, contempt, persecution, and death, were to be acted over again in the church until the 2300 years should be accomplished, when Christ would come again, receive home his weary, persecuted people, conquer death, and him that had the power of death, which is the devil. " And there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne, saying, It is done.” The power of earth, hell, and wicked men over the dear people of God, is done. Their temptation in the flesh is done; their trials, persecutions, sufferings, darkness, fears, and death itself, are done. As the sufferings of the head was finished in Christ, so will all the pains of the body be completed when the seventh and last vial shall be poured into the air, and cleanse the atmosphere from all noxious vapors, pestilence, and death. “Then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," and then will the great voice from the throne say, It is done. These old heavens and this old earth will have passed away, and the New Jerusalem come “ down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” Rev. xxi. 3-6.
“ And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them and be their God, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done.” Here we have the same expression as in our text, having the same identica) meaning, the same " great voice,” in one as in the other; the same throne, and the same voice speaking, alluding to the same period of time when the old things are done away and the new heavens are finished, to the same point in prophecy, “the end." Therefore, as we have passed the sixth vial, the seventh and last hangs trembling in the air. The drops of this vial are already contaminating the minds of men; already wo see the unclean spirit going forth; the great city is being divided, and the signs of the heavens denote a moral conflict, and on the earth a speedy revolution.
Then, my friends, let us be wise; let us make peace with Him who has power to save or to destroy. For we learn by our subject that the world and worldly scenes are passing away; every vestige of mortal grandeur, every form of carnal pride, every fashion of human glory will soon be eclipsed by the grandeur of that great white throne from whose face the heavens and earth will flee away, and the great voice from the throne will sound the last requiem, “ It is done."
« Yet when the sound shall tcar the skies,
And lightning burn the globe below,
There's a new heaven and earth for you."
MATT. xxv, 1.
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins
which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
PARABLES are always given to illustrate some doctrine or subject which the speaker wishes to communicate, and is an easy or familiar manner of making his hearers or readers understand the subject, and receive a lasting impression. Nothing has so good an effect on the mind as to teach by parables moral precepts or spiritual truths. In this way we are taught by visible things, or familiar objects, to realize, in some measure, the truths and subjects presented. This was the manner Christ taught his disciples and followers, that their memories might the more easily retain, and be often refreshed, when they beheld any scene like the representation of the parable; and in this way, they might always keep in view the important truth that is likened to the parable. A parable, rightly applied and clearly understood, gives good instruction, and is a lasting illustration of the truth. But if we apply the parable wrong, if we put on a false construction, it will serve to lead us into an error, and blind us, instead of producing light, — as Christ said of the Pharisees, he spake to them in parables, that, “seeing, they might see and not perceive, and hearing, they might hear and not understand.” Men often explain parables by fancy, to suit their own notions, without any evidence but their own ingenuity; and by this means there will be as many