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15th verse, " 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 his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” The third woe and seventh trumpet are both the same thing, see Rev. viii. 13, and the seventh trumpet is the last trump when the dead shall be raised. See I. Cor. xv. 52. It is evident, also, that we are carried into the eternal state forever and ever.
16th verse, “ And the four and twenty elders which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces and worshiped God.” By the four and twenty elders, I understand the true ministers of Christ, alluding to the twenty-four courses of the priesthood appointed by David.*
17th verse, "Saying, we give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come, because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned." This is the language of every humble and devoted minister of Jesus Christ who makes the word of God his study, ard believes in the overruling hand of God as accomplishing the great designs therein revealed.
18th verse, " And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldest destroy them which destroy
This verse shows us what takes place at the sounding of the seventh trumpet and third woe which the angel says will come quickly after the French Revolution, if I am right in my explanation of the two witnesses. It is morally certain that the word of God is not now in an obscure state, it is not hid from the world, neither is clothed in Sackcloth. It is true that many voices have united in the bible societies to spread the knowledge of the word of God, and that it is translated into about all the known languages in the world. It is almost absolutely certain that the French people are the nation that is compared to Sodom and Egypt, in the passage we have been examining, and likewise the earthquake spoken of is the French revolution. Then if the two witnesses are the old and new testament, we are certain the third woe is coming quickly, and the
I. Chronicles, chapter xxiv.
Rev. xii. 6. “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score days."
The history of the church, in all ages of this present world, is but a history of persecution and blood, when we follow her through all dispensations from Adam to Moses, and from Moses to Christ, so likewise from Christ's first coming down to his second appearance, the church have experienced, and according to the whole tenor of scripture must expect to realise from the kingdoms and men of this world, this one promise at least, « In the world ye shall have tribulation. These facts are so plain and obvious, that it has given rise to a common saying among almost all writers, “ that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church." Yet there is a bright side to her history; for she has come out of all her persecutions, more purified, more faithful, and with more energy, to prosecute the work her divine Master has left her to perform. And one other thing is certain, God has preserved her, whether in the wilderness or among the nations of the earth, in an extraordinary and miraculous manner; even her enemies themselves being her judges. Where has a kingdom stood when all the nations about them have conspired their overthrow? Where is the Assyrian and populous Ninevah? Where is Chaldea, the queen of nations? Where is the Grecian Empire, once the colossus of the world? Where is Imperial Rome? Gone, gone, by the power of earthly foes.' But behold the church of Christ, and of God, delivered first from Egyptian bondage by the mighty arm of the God of Jacob, led by miracles through the
wilderness forty years, brought into the promised land, although all the nations of the earth were her enemies, preserved as a nation through the rise and fall of mighty empires, and experiencing a reverse of fortune only when she courted
ce the days of
the aid of worldly kingdoms, or suffered diminution only when she adopted the more popular worship of heathen idolatry. Yet in her lowest estate, God told his servant the prophet, “That he had reserved seven thousand that had not bowed the knee to Baal.” And if men would reason on the subject of religion as they do on other subjects, there could not be an infidel in the world. For nothing is or can be more manifest than the miraculous interposition of Providence in the preservation of his people through the most severe trials, heaviest afflictions, and deadliest hatred of all men, that men or societies ever endured.
Our present discourse will show us the history of the church by prophecy through the darkest age the church has ever been permitted to experience since the days of Abraham
I. I shall show what we may understand by the woman” in our text.
II. I shall show what we are to understand by the great red dragon and beast.
III. I shall give the history of the woman given in the chapters of our text.
IV. The time specified in the text 1260 days, their beginning and end.
1. What may we understand by woman in our text ?
I answer, we must understand the people of God, in all ages of the church, whether among the Jew or Gentile, she is called a woman because she is the spouse of Christ; she is likewise called a woman because of her dependance on Christ for all things. As a man is the head of the woman, so is Christ the head over all things to the church, says the apostle. As the woman depends on her husband for a name, for food, and for raiment, so likewise the church on Christ, for a name, “And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” Isa. Ixii. 245, “And they were called christians first at Antioch.” For food, our text says, “ that they should feed her there,” &c. The prophet Isaiah says, xl. 11," He shall feed his flock as a shepherd.” John vi. 53, " Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” For raiment, the psalmist speaking of the church says, “She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework; her clothing is wrought gold. The angel to the seven churches says, “ He that overcometh, the