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unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations :27, “And be shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as I received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.” 29, “ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches."
In closing the prophecies to the churches, our Divine instructor carries them down to that day when he shall come to be admired in all them that believe, or to glorify his saints, to crown them his in his kingdom of glory, to break in pieces all the kingdoms of the earth as a potter's vessel is broken to shivers, as the last text says, which proves that when Christ comes, he will bring all the saints with him, and this too when the kingdoms of this world and anti-Christ will be destroyed. And this proves another important point in which many good and pious people aregreatly mistaken, (viz.) that there will not be a thousand years happy reign previous to Christ's coming the second time without sin unto salvation. What happy reign there can be while the kingdoms of the earth stand as they now do, while the anti-christian beast has power to seduce and draw the servants of God into idolatry, and lull to her serpentine folds thousands and tens of thousands human beings yearly, and deceive the nations by her syren song of mother church, while by means of her poison, subtle, secret and deep, she is undermining and sapping the foundation of every religious sect but her own; of every civil: government but such as will resign their power unto her control. And now, while I am speaking, she is exerting an influence in this once favored land, by means of her Jesuits, that will set father against son, and son against father, and drench our country in blood. Can this monster of murder, iniquity, and blood, retain her life, her standing in society, and we have a happy reign? No. She must and will sink like a millstone in the mighty deep, and God will avenge the blood of his servants. Her flesh must be eaten by dogs; yes, the kings of the earth shall eat herflesh and God shall consume her with fire before the happy: reign comes. " Come Lord Jesus, come quickly."
Rev. i. 20. “ The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand and the seven golden scandlesticks. The seven stars are the angets of the -seven churches, and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches."
In my former lectures I have given my views of four of the churches spoken of in the text. Three more remains which will complete the prophetic history of the church through all the ages of the New Testament times until the state of trial shall be fulfilled, and the church shall enter her glorified kingdom in triumph. You have undoubtedly been led, by the comparison of the churches with the his. tory thus far, to admire the agreement of the prophecy of the four churches with the history of the times, and truly this is one of the greatest evidences we have of the truth of the divine inspiration of Revelation and this evidence fixes the authenticity of the scriptures beyond a reasonable doubt. I shall now claim a few moments indulgence while I attempt to show where and when the other three churches have been or will be fulfilled. See Rev. iii.
1," And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write." Song of joy, or that which remains, is the signification of Sardis. The last signification is the one which the heavenly instructor has affixed himself to this church in the second verse, Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain.” The church preceding this had passed a long, dark and benighted age of the world, and every writer of these times calls them the dark ages; and truly it was an age of superstition, bigotry and ignorance, therefore we must reasonably suppose that but few were the true worshipers of God, and those few enjoying but a faint knowledge of divine things. But we will pursue our course, “ These things, saith he, that hath the seven spirits of God, and the seven stars, I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” The
same character that has addressed the other churches still gives himself a quality by which we may know that it is him who is called God man, having the spirit of God, and as man governing his church, as the star of Bethlehem. This church began about the tenth century and lasted until the Reformation under Luther, Calvin and others. They had a name, were called Waldenses, Valdenses, &c. " and art dead;" that is, she was or would be of little use to the rest of the world, hiding her influence within her own sphere, and of course did not manifest her light to the world, was inactive, idle, not performing the work which God had commanded them to perform, to set their light on the candlestand that it might give light to all. This was the case with the church in the vallies of Piedmont during the time of the crusades to the Holy Land, and while the Pope had the command of all the armies of Europe, the church lived in these vallies of the Pyrenees, nearly in the centre of Europe, unknowing and unknown.
2d verse, "Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.” Although the church in this age retained some of the leading principles of the gospel, the ordinances were in part retained among them, yet towards the close of this Sardis age, the Papal monks and priests were sent in among them, and many of the Waldenses became corrupted by the Papal beast and her doctrine. Therefore the admonition, be watchful and strengthen the things which remain.”
3d verse, "Remember how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast and repent. If, therefore, thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” The judgment threatened in this verse, “ I will come upon thee,” is undoubtedly a prophecy of the persecution of the Waldenses and Lollards, by the Papal authority and through the inquisition as an instrument about the close of the fourteenth century, when for their departure from the true doctrine of the gospel and the commands of God, they were persecuted and scattered among all nations, so that by the judgments of God, for their transgressions, they were made instruments in the hands of God of spreading the knowledge of the gospel among the nations, which they ought to have done in obedience to his word and for the love of souls. And these judgments served the double purpose of punish
ment for sin, and opening a door for a more general display of salvation.
4th verse, “ Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments, and they shall walk with me in white for they are worthy.” There were a few even in this age of moral darkness who followed Christ in his laws and ordinances, and they receive the promise of justification before God," walk with me in white."
5th verse," He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life; but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.” Whenever the word, “he that 'overcometh,” is used, it always implies I think, in the scriptures, that the persons addressed are, or will pass through a time of persecution, and in this text the church in this age is shown that those only who can endure tribulation and persecution will be acknowledged at the bar of God as the children of faith. And then this church is again warned to hear and believe what the spirit saith to the churches.
6th verse, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith to the churches.” I shall
now attempt to show to what age we may calculate the Philadelphia church should answer, and when this prophecy was fulfilled.
7th verse, “ And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and nó man openeth.” This verse is a description of the character addressing the church and gives an account of his holiness, his veracity, authority and power, and leaves us without a doubt that it is Jesus the son of David, the Holy One of Israel, the faithful and true witness, he that hath all power in heaven and in earth. And he thus addresses them, 8th verse," I know thy works : behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it, for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” The signification of the name of this church Philadelphia, is brotherly love, and this age began about the time of the Reformation, for then God opened an effectual door for the gospel to be spread which no man or set of men has been able to shut. And the early reformers displayed a zeal and fearlessness in their cause which astonished their
friends and confounded their enemies. At this time, too, christian love and fellowship was evidently one of the strongest marks of the day and manifested that the work was of God.
9th verse, " Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of satan which say they are Jews and are not, but do lie.” The characters here spoken of are the same as those who sit in satan's seat, who profess to be christians, but are antichristians, they are worshipers of the Papal beast, professing to be the mother church, but are only that part which are fallen away, as Paul has told us,
" There should come a falling away first, and then the man of sin should be revealed who opposeth (or is anti,) and exalteth himself (calling themselves Jews, a figurative expression, or name for christian) above all that is called God.” “Behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee,” This sentence shows that anti-Christ would be humbled in this age of the church and brought to take the back ground, or in some measure lose her civil power over the Protestant church and be humbled at her feet. Has not this prophecy been accomplished strictly according to the letter? Witness Great Britain, Germany, and other nations. And to this day she has not been able to bring into subjection any of the Protestant states, and is only permitted to dwell among them by toleration. And although within a few years past she . seems to be making an effort to regain her lost
and authority; yet it is but a last struggle, a dying gasp, for soon she must and will fall to rise in civil power no more forever.
10th verse, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth.” This part of the prophecy was fulfilled on or before the French revolution, when Atheism and Deism made such rapid progress through Europe or the Roman government, which in prophecy is called the earth. See Rev. xii. 9. And it is a fact that through this age of profligacy and
corruption, the church retained her principles as pure and *with as little defection as any age in modern times, although men of the world were led away by the plausible writings of Voltaire, Hume, Tom Paine and others, yet it had no effect on the christian church : 'and the promise, “I will keep thee from the hour of ternptation," was fully and