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vast multitude, not having on the wedding garment, be silent ; for the scripture says, “ He was speechless."
And now my dear friends, what say you, have you wept much to know whether your names are written in the Lamb's book of life? “Weep not,” for “behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to open the book," and he says, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels." Therefore rejoice because your names are written in heaven,” says the dear Saviour.
But you, my impenitent friends, who have never wept nor confesssed your sins to God, who have been more anxious to have your names written in the book of fame, of worldly honor, of the riches of this world, than in the book of life, remember you too will weep when all heaven is silent--when the last seal is broken,
-then you will see the book, and your name blotted out. Then you will weep and say, once my name was there, I had a day of probation, life was proffered, but I hated instruction, I despised reproof, and my part is taken from the book of life. Farewell happiness; farewell hope ! Amen.
1. REV. xi. 3. * And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophecy a thousand two hundred and threesore days, clothed in sackcloth."
The two witnesses in our text, have caused as much speculation among the writers on the New Testament, as any other passage in the word of God. Some have supposed that it was a succession of orthodox divines, whom God had raised up to witness to the truth, during the time specified, which all agree is twelve hundred and sixty years. And those writers who have taken this side of the question, have endeavored to find some favorite divines, among their sect, answering to the description given of the two witnesses. Upon this construction every sect might claim the honor of giving to the world the two witnesses. And were this explanation true, instead of two witnesses we should have more than eight hundred; for every sect must have a set, and I dare not give preference to any. This would destroy the idea of two witnesses at once.
Other writers have fixed on the church as the two, clergy and' laity, but here are many difficulties to encounter, the same as above. Every sect must have their own church and clergy or admit at once that they are not the true church. But let us now come to the word of God. And if the word of God does not explain the two witnesses," I shall despair of ever coming to the truth on this subject, for I am commanded by Christ himself to call no man master. I shall then
I. Attempt to show what the bible calls the two witnesses.
II. What we may understand by their being clothed in sackcloth.
III. Their history, prophecy and time specified.
1. What is the bible account of the two witnesses ? And 1st. What is a witness ? I answer a witness is a person, or legal instrument, testifying to the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth, on matters of fact which are supposed to be known no way but through testimony, either oral or written. Oral testimony is given by a person who is sworn to tell the whole truth, as above, and relate what he actually knows, by the medium of his own senses, and no more nor less. The apostles were such witnesses; for they testified to the things which Christ did in public. And when Judas fell by transgression, Peter informed his brethren that one must be chosen “of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning at the baptism of John, unto the same day that he was taken up from us must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.” But these could not be the “two witnesses ;" for here were twelve. But we learn by this history what a witness must be. He must go in and out, he must know by actual observation, or he could not testify any thing concerning Christ. That was the manner of oral testimony in that day, and so it is at the present. This then precludes the idea at once of any men or set of men, being Christ's witnesses at the present day, or since the days of the apostles. But, says the objector, does not the word of God call all christians witnesses for Christ? I do not know of any scripture where christians are called witnesses except the prophets and apostles, or inspired writers, that is concerning Christ. They may witness a good profession, or they may witness for themselves, that they believe in Christ or his word; but further they cannot go. They are not witness either to the person of Christ, to his works, death, miracles, or resurrection and ascension ; and if there was no other testimony but oral, we should be no better off than the darkest Hindoo or most ignorant Hottentot. But, thanks be to God, he has not left us without a witness. There is a better testimony than all christendom, which is written, and it is this which I hold in my hand, it is the word of God. It tells the truth, “ for not one jot or tittle of this word shall fail.” It tells the whole truth, “that the man of God may be perfectly furnished to every good work.” It tells nothing but the truth ; for it is the truth indited by him who cannot lie.
AN You are well aware, my friends, that written testimony is considered in all courts, under all laws, to be stronger than any oral testimony whatever. For instance, take the last will and testament of any man, if it was wrote or in