תמונות בעמוד

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(Ch. xiv. i.) he is described to be another angel. Such another angel had been before seen officiating in the presence of the Lamb*. He is an angel of the highest dignity, invested with a most important commission; to convey to Saint John, and to the Church, a large amount of prophetical information. For this purpose, he holds in his hand a little book ; little in respect to its contents, which are of the highest importance, but with a view to the purpose for which it was designed; to be eaten and digested by the prophet. The book is open, unsealed ; by our Lord's merits it had become sot; for, it was probably a part, or transcript, of the larger sealed book; because it comes under the opening of the sixth and seventh Seals, which are part of the contents of that book. It may be the same also with that part of the prophecy of Daniel † which was in his time sealed for a very distant period; a period which will be seen to have relation to these times of the apocalyptic visions.

Ver. 2. And he set his right foot upon the sea ; &c.] In the scene before the prophet, the heavens, containing God's throne, and his altar, and surrounding ministers, are above. The earth is beneath, not hanging like an orb or ball Ģ, but extended in a plain, and containing the divisions, before marked, of land, of sea, of rivers. The angel descends from heaven above, and takes his station on the earth, placing one of his gigantic feet on the sea, the other on the land ||. The Eastern nations, expressed by the division of the land, had been hitherto the principal scene of action under this Trumpet.

The angel's

Ch. vii. 2. and again viii. 3. + See note, ch. v. 9. | Dan, xii. 4. 9, Cicero, Somn. Scip. || See note, ch. viii. 7. 10)



placing one foot on the sea, seems to intimate that the Western nations of the Gentiles *, are to be an object of the remaining prophecy. And this is also expressed in ver. 11: he is “ to prophesy before many “people, and nations, and languages, and kings.”. It may be observed also, that the first, the right, or principal foot of the angel descends upon the sea, which seems to imply that the part of the Christian world, represented by the sea, is now to be principally concerned.

Ver. 4. The seven thunders.] The whole Prophecy is delivered under seven Seals, seven Trumpets, seven Vials t.

In this passage, a particular prophecy, or perhaps seven distinct prophecies, are uttered by seven voices, loud as thunder, aweful, and terrible as that of the lion-like voice of the angel which introduces them. But whatsoever intelligence the prophet might receive from this Divine communication, he is forbidden to disclose it. Thus, events of great import, belonging to the history of this Seal and Trumpet, are not revealed in this prophecy. What these were, it is certainly difficult, and may be presumptuous, to conjecture. But we may safely collect from this transaction, that many important events, perhaps recorded in history, are not disclosed. And we obtain herewith an additional confirmation of the notion already suggested, that this sixth Trumpet contains a period of long continuance.

Ver. 5. Lifted up his right hand.] The angel takes a solemn oath, in a form of Scriptural antiquity I. This mode of swearing has descended even unto our own times and nation, being still used in Scotland,

• Note, ch. viii. 8.

+ Note, ch. i. 4. 1 Gen. xiv. 22. Deut. xxxii. 40. Ezek, xx, 5. Is. Ixii. 8.


and there allowed, by act of parliament, to those dissenters who are styled Seceders *.

Ver. 7. That time shall be no more, &c.] The original language as used in the writings of the Old and New Testament, will not admit of the translation given by Daubuz, Lowman, &c.; viz. “ the “ time should not be as yet;" which would otherwise tend greatly to clear the obscurity of this passage. I will cast upon it what scattered light I can collect.

The whole passage, expressed in the seventh verse, taken together, has a plain reference to happy times, which are expected with the seventh Trumpet, and which have been promised with glad tidings under the Gospel. These times are mentioned as the scipou åvztužews, “ the times of refreshing ;" Xpovor åtoncleção GEWS wavlw, “ times of restitution of all things, which “ God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy

Prophets since the world began t.” There is a great similarity in the two passages.

The same times are likewise mentioned in Acts i. 7. and in both these places, as in this of the Apocalypse, the word Xpovos is used without that prepositive article which expresses a particular designation of time. And yet our translators have found it necessary to give that article in the English, (the times, the seasons,) as the sense seemed to require it. It may be questioned then, whether Xpovos, in this passage of the Revelation, without the article, may not be so translated and understood: and whether the time, which is not to be under the sixth Trumpet, may not be expected under the seventh. The attempt

* Paley's Moral and Political Philosophy, 4to. p. 159. The solemn league and covenant in the time of Charles I. had been taken after this


+ Acts iii. 19. 20,


to interpret the passage in this manner will be assisted by considering what the mystery of God is;-compare it with 2 Thess. ii. 7;—the mystery of iniquity,which appears plainly, from the context, to be the triumphant working of Satan. And therefore the mystery of God appears to be, (that which arrives also under the seventh Trumpet,) the triumphant reign of godliness. Compare also Dan. xii. 6—13; where the angel takes the same kind of solemn oath, referring to the same period of time which is named by the angel under this Seal, “ a time, times, and half,” reaching " to the time of the end *.” There was an obscurity then; Daniel “understood not :” and the passage before us is yet obscure : but we see enough, to fix our attention on the final establishment of the Messiah's reign. At the same time, it seems to be intimated, that there will intervene a long and busy scene of action, under the remainder of the sixth Trumpet, before this can be completed t.

Ver. 8-11. Go, take the little book ;-take and eat it; &c.] In this passage, Saint John receives commission as a prophet, in a form nearly resembling that by which Ezekiel was commissioned as a prophet to the Jews. The roll, or book, (for it is the same thing ^,) upon which the prophecy is written, is delivered to each prophet, with a command to eat it.

* Dan. xii. 7.9.

+ I have translated items on by the English was finished; and yet, I question whether we might not be authorized to translate it as if it were expressed by the other reading Telecin, which is rejected by Griesbach, and is properly rendered by the old translators should be finished; because I find T:necin in ch. xv. 1, clearly, from its context, expressive of time yet to come; and in this instance also now before us, it appears so; and therefore seems to be used as the on. See note, ch. v. i,


To eat it, that the contents may be completely pos. sessed by him internally, that, by digesting them, he may become as “ the living oracle of God.” Both these prophecies contained "woe,” and were unpleasing to both prophets; yet had seemed pleasant to the mouth on the first reception. To gratify curiosity with what is contained in the womb of time, has its delights : but so many bitter things are found written therein, that we must confess that it is by a kind dispensation of Providence, that man is ignorant of futurity *. But why this new commission to the

prophet ? He was sent originally to the seven Churches in Asia : wherefore this new designation,

" Thou “must prophesy again before many people, and na“ tions, and languages, and kings?” Observe then, , that, before the conquests of the Mahometan invaders, the seven Churches were situated near the centre of the Christian world. From the period of the Mahometan apostacy, they were no longer central in any sense. They lost their consequence; “repented not “ of their idolatry and wickedness ;” and in succeeding irruptions, they fell a prey to the victorious enemy. “ Their lamp-bearer was removed,” according to the threatening of their Lord t. But as Christianity receded in the East, before the arms and doctrines of the Mahometans, it spread and enlarged in the West. A new scene, and a new audience, have now therefore their commencement. The Gentile nations of Europe, (the sea, on which the angel places his first foot,) come into view ; those ten kingdoms, into which the remains of the western Roman empire were divided. And the period of this prophecy will be secn, in the next chapter, to be 1260 years.

* Compare Ezek, ii. 6-10. iii. 1-4, 14. xxi. 6. Eccl'us xl. 30. + Ch. ii. 5.

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