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kingdom of this world is become our Lord's and his Christ's, and he shall reign for ever and ever. Amen.
V. 16. “And the four and twenty ancients, who sit on their seats in the sight of God, fell on their faces, and adored God,
V. 17. “Saying: We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and who wast, and who art to come: because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and thou hast reigned,
V. 18. “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldst render reward to thy servants the prophets and the saints, and to them that fear thy name, little and great, and shouldst destroy them who have corrupted* the earth.
V. 19. “And the temple of God was opened in Heaven: and the ark of his Testament was seen in his ternple, and there were lightnings, and voices, t and an earthquake, and great hail.”
On the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which follows on the Almighty concluding the communication of his councils, all the heavenly choirs break out into acclamations and applause, saying: “The kingdom of this world is become our Lord's and his Christ's, and he shall reign for ever and ever :" or, praise be to the Lord, because he is going to take possession of all the kingdoms of the earth, &c. Thus, they acknowledge it is time that he should suffer no longer any human power to reign; but that He, Omnipotent, with his eternal Son, the Christ, should assume all dominion, and sway for ever. Then the four and twenty ancients, v. 16, 17, whom we saw from the beginning sitting round the throne of God, fall down prostrate before the Almighty, and offering their homage, give him thanks also for assuming all power into his hands, as belonging solely to himself, who is, who was, and who is to come; that is, who is the beginning and end of all things, who was the Creator, is the Conservator, and will come presently as the Judge, of all mankind. The ancients continue to say: "the nations were angry," v. 18., mankind in different ages abandoned thee, their God, rebelled against thee, and set up the infamous worship of idols; they endeavoured to exterminate thy holy name from the earth, and
* In the Greek " who destroy the earth.” + Here the Greek text adds, "thunderings."
they waged war against thy people; but thy wrath is come, and it is just it should now at last overtake them, and punish them according to their deserts. We are glad the time of the dead is come, that they should be judged, &c. the course of human nature has run a sufficient period; it is now fit and just, that judgment should be passed upon the whole race of men, that your faithful servants may receive the full reward they have deserved, and your enemies be destroyed, or a final period be put to the efforts of the wicked, who are labouring to subvert your holy worship, and again to corrupt mankind. Thus the whole company of angels and saints express their approbation of the divine decrees and declarations which the Almighty had condescended to communicate to them.
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of his testament (or covenant) was seen in his temple," v. 19.
This passage alludes to the sanctuary or holy of holies of the temple in Jerusalem, which was kept shut, and contained the ark of the covenant. The ark was ordered by Almighty God to be thus kept as a monument and testimony of the covenant he had made with the Jews. And as the opening of the sanctuary at Jerusalem, when the veil that hung before it, was rent in two at our Saviour's death, showed that the Jewish covenant was then fulfilled and terminated; so here, the temple or sanctuary of God in heaven is opened, and the ark of his covenant with the whole human race is exposed fully to view, to indicate that God has now fulfilled his covenant or all his engagements with mankind relative to this world, which is therefore now to be put an end to.
We had heard the angel that stood upon the sea and land, Apoc. x. 5, 6, solemnly proclaim, that at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, time shall be no more. The trumpet has sounded, and here then is finishing the period of time allotted for the existence of the world. The destruction of the whole frame of the universe follows, and is ushered in by the terrifying alarms mentioned above: and there were lightnings and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail, v. 19. Upon which immediately
The seventh vial of the wrath of God is poured out. ' Chap. xvi. 17. “ And the seventh angel poured out his vial upon the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple from the throne, saying: “It is done!
V. 18. “And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunders, and there was a great earthquake, such a one as never
had been since men were upon the earth, such an earthquake, so great.
V. 19. “And the great city was divided into three parts: And the cities of the Gentiles fell. And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the indignation of his wrath.
V. 20. “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
V. 21. “And great hail like a talent came down from heaven upon men: and men blasphemed God for the plague of the hail : because it was exceeding great."
The seventh vial is poured upon the air, which lies between the earth and the heavens, to indicate that the judg. ments of God are going to fall upon both the heavens and the earth, that is, on the whole system of the creation. “And there came a great voice out of the temple, v. 17, from the throne where sits the Almighty, saying: it is done : all is over: this is the last hour; time shall be no more !” Then follow the dreadful calamities of the last hour. And there were lightnings, v. 18, and voices, and thunders, and there was a great earthquake, such a one as never had been since men were upon the earth, such an earthquake, so great. Here is enough to strike all the living at that time with dread, horror, and consternation. We saw the same sort of disasters happen at the sounding of the trumpet, but here they are renewed and aggravated to the most terrible degree. The heavens echo with the loudest and most terrifying thunder; the sky is rent in every part with most dreadful flashes of lightning; and the whole air resounds with horrible voices or noises.
The earth is shaken from its foundations with an earthquake, such as has never been felt before, nor has ever entered into man to imagine such a one. The whole compages or fabric of the world is unhinged and falls to pieces. All is confusion, wreck and ruin. The great city of Jerusalem, v. 19, is split into three parts, and the other cities of the world fall to the ground. But such is the weight of God's anger against the great Babylon, that is, the two Babylons, viz. pagan Rome and pagan Constantinople, or against the heathen Roman emperors and their people, and against Antichrist and his people, for their impiously opposing the worship of him to give place to idolatry, and for their spilling so much of the blood of his faithful servants; such, I say, is the weight of God's anger against them, that they stand as the principal detestable
object in his sight, and he now resolves to make them drink the full cup of the wine of the indignation of his wrath, by completing the measure of their punishment, in dooming their bodies together with their souls to burn in the most scorching flames of fire and sulphur for ever.
Such is the general concussion caused by the above-mentioned earthquake, that all the islands immediately vanish, v. 20, being perhaps either sunk in the deep, or thrown against the continent; and of the mountains, some tumble to pieces, and are levelled with the surface of the earth by the same cause; others burst out into volcanoes, and by their internal fire are dissolved and melted into a fluid matter.* Then follows a storm of hail, v. 21, infinitely exceeding what had ever been heard of: the hailstones are of the weight of a talent, or fourscore pounds: which doubtless must kill a great number of people. But, notwithstanding such a shocking catastrophestrange!—many will persist obstinate in their wicked dispositions, will not yield to turn their hearts to repentance and sue for pardon in these last moments, but will even complete their impiety by blaspheming God for these calamities which they suffer.
As all mankind are sentenced to die, those that are not car. ried off by the disasters just mentioned, will probably be despatched by the fire which will go before the Son of man when he comes to judgment : for so it seems to be specified by the royal psalmist with other circumstances relating to this terrible day: “A fire shall go before him, (the Lord,) and shall burn his enemies round about. His lightnings have shone forth to the world: the earth saw and trembled. The mountains melted like wax at the presence of the Lord; at the presence of the Lord all the earth. The heavens declared his justice, and all people saw his glory.” Psalm xcvi. And again in another place: “ The earth shook and trembled: the foundations of the mountains were troubled and were moved because he (the Lord) was angry with them. There went up a smoke in his wrath: and a fire flamed from his face: coals were kindled with it. He bowed the heavens and came down, and darkness was under his feet. And the Lord thundered from heaven, and the Highest gave his voice, hail and coals of fire. And he sent forth his arrows, and he scattered them: he multiplied lightnings and troubled them. Then the foun.
* Before we saw the islands, and mountains "moved out of their places,” Apoc. vi. 14., but here they entirely disappear.
t o wie impared and be forindations of the world were
Ciscoter" Pse DITË. It is pain that many of the dreadfe eres un cor Tisions of nature here expressed are the same Wit Dose relaidd above by St John. Such will be the Írge scenes, te uz Tersal confusion and destruction in to: OLT O This tim: dar of tribulation and distress, that day o CEVIT aga misert. The prophet Isaiah has also sketches 07 10 28 the ouvides of tha: sarbe terrifying picture :
C:22, mnr. 17. - Fear, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee bou inbabitant of tbe earth.
TIS. - Acisa come to pass, tbat be that shall flee from the noise of the lear, shall fall into the pit; and he that shall n. hinse f out of the DL shall be taken in the snare; for the boodgates from on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth stal: be sa sen.
T. 19. - Wan breaking shall the earth be broken, with crushing shall the earth be crusbed, with trembling shall . the eand be mored.
1. 20. - Wrib shaking shall the earth be shaken as a drunken man, and shall be removed as the tent of one night; and be iniquity shall be beary upon it, and it shall fall, and sball pot rise again."
The beautifol frame of the universe being therefore now totally disfigured. broken, torn to pieces, and reduced to a mere wreck, fire will be the instrument the Almighty will use to dissolve the whole mass; as we learn from St. Peter, 2 Epist. iii. 10. " The day of the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens shall pass away with great violence, the elements shall be mested with heat, and the earth and the works that are in it, shall be burnt up.
V. 11. “Seeing then that all these things are to be dissolved, what manner of people ought you to be in holy conversation and godliness ?
V. 12. “ Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of the Lord, by which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with the burning heat.” Here then we see that the world will be set on fire, that the heavens will be quickly dissolved by the prodi. gious activity of the fire, and so vanish: that the earth will be likewise burned, with the works that are in it, with all that it contains within it or upon its surface; and that the elements, namely, water and air, will lose their fluidity, and their substantial parts will be dissolved or melted. “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” said our Saviour. Luke xxi. 33. But