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ture. In the preceding chapter the effects of the first and second woe-trumpets are described. In this 10th chapter, instead of going on to a description of the third woe-trumpet, as would seem to be natural, and as he does in the course of the following chapter, a notable intervening event is introduced, by the crying of a mighty Angel with a loud voice; and by seven thunders uttering their voices. *
* The description of this Angel indicates the introduction of some most interesting event, after the period of the second woe, and before that of the third. At the introduction of the first woe, chap. ix, 1,- a star falls from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit. The Mohammedan delusion, propagated by myriads of Saracens, arose. The second woe, chap. ix, 13,a prediction of the invasion of the Turks, was introduced by the ministry of an Angel, loosing the four Turkish sultanies upon the river Euphrates. The Millennium, chap. xx, 1,- is intro. duced by the descent of an Angel, with a great chain in his hand, to bind the old serpent. The battle of the great day is introduced, chap. xiv, 14,— by an Angel upon the white cloud, with a sharp sickle. So in the 10th chapter under consideration, a great event, between the second and the third woes, is introduc. ed: To prepare the way for which, we read; And I saw another mighty Angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire. And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. The whole introduction of this chapter indicates that the events of it are great and interesting. The harbinger of them must be a mighty Angel, at once bestriding earth and sea; clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow (the emblem of God's cov. enant faithfulness) upon his head; his face as the sun; and his feet as pillars of fire. This no doubt was the Angel of the cov. enant, Jesus Christ. He has a little book in his hand. The object of this exhibition is so great that a little book is appropriated to it. This book, though sweet io the mouth, is bitter in digestion; probably as unfolding a new task of labors, struggles, and dangers to the people of God, in these scenes, which were to precede the third woe. Seven thunders are heard, whose import must remain unknown till they are fulfilled. Then they might be understood. At the period of their fulfilment, this An. gel lifts up his hand to heaven, and swears, that the time of the events of the third woe shall not be yet. This seems to imply that it would be by many now expected; and also that it should
Thunder is a striking emblem of war.*
And seven shocks of thunder breaking at once must be a striking emblem of an unprecedented scene of wars.
The im. port of this symbol was sealed up, till it should be ful. filled. Then it was no doubt to be understood. These seven thunders, we may, apprehend, have been heard in the wars of our day, attending the rise of the Antichristian beast, and the formation of his horns. Our blessed Lord, when predicting his coming, t foretold that there should be wars and rumors of wars, which are but the beginning of sorrows; but the end, he says, is not by and by; or is not yet: As the Angel in this chapter swears, that the time is not yet, or immediately. These two passages, no doubt, relate to the same period and thing. And when the great events of the seven thunders, which must be viewed as opening a new era of affairs, commence, instead of introducing the events of the third woe, as some would, from the greatness and terrors of the scenes, naturally expect,
not be then long deferred. This chapter appears clearly to be a prediction of the rise of Antichrist. And it seems to imply, that the event should be attended with an expectation, which yet should prove incorrect, that the coming of Christ to finish the mystery of iniquity, and set up his millennial kingdom, is then opening upon the world.
But this the Angel announces is not quite yet; but in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declar. ed to his servants the prophets. The tremendous scenes of judgment shall then be finished, as it were at once. But in the mean time the bitterness of the little book must be realized, in the successors of John being called to prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. It must be very interesting to ascertain the period of the events of this chapter. And we find for certainty, that it is a period interven. ing between the sixth and seventh trampets, or the second and third woes. It intervenes between the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, in 1453, and the destruction of Antichrist under the seventh trumpet. What then can these events be but the rise of Antichrist? This event appears perfectly to accord with the representation of the seven thunders. And how well do the bitter contents of the little book agree with the predictioos of the trials of the Church under the reign of Antichrist? See scc. i, chap. iii.
* Sec Isa. xxix, 6. + Mat. xxiv, Mark xiii, Luke xxi.
the Angel announces, that the seventh trumpet is still future, that it shall not be quite yet; or shall not be long deferred. The great events of the seven thunders then, are not the seventh trumpet.
2. In verse 7, we learn, that at the beginning of the seventh trumpet, when the Angel shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished: precisely the same idea with that in chap. xvi, 17; where upon the pouring out of the seventh vial into the air, the great voice from the temple of Heaven announces, It is done, But surely if the mystery of the prosperity and tri. umphs of the enemies of God, is finished, in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, his beginning to sound must be at a later date, than the introduction of the period of the vials! It must be the same with the seventh vial; which does indeed finish the mystery of iniquity. If the beginning of the seventh Angel to sound, or the commencement of the third woe, be but the introduction of the period of the vials, how could the Angel of the covenant announce, that when the seventh Angel shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished? The assertion would be utterly untrue; as would the assertion in chap. xi, 15, upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet before noted, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms.of our Lord, and of his Christ. Do not these Scriptures viewed in this connexion, demonstrate, that the seventh trumpet and the seventh vial, relate to the same event?
3. The seventh trumpet, we here learn, relates to the great event which God of old revealed to the prophets. But in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. What great event of these last days did God of old abundantly re. veal to his servants the prophets in Israel? The event of the seventh vial, the destruction of the final and mystical Babylon, to prepare the way for God's Israel to build their millennial Jerusalem, was abundantly revealed of old to God's servants the prophets. The battle of that great day was very much by them pre
dicted; as may be seen in the second and third sections in chapter iii of this Dissertation. And lest any should say that that event, so much predicted in the ancient prophets, comprises all the vials, as they have conceived that the seventh trumpet comprises them, we find the dreadful event restricted, in Rev. xvi, 14, to the seventh vial: To gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. What great day? That great day so well known, as abundantly revealed in the prophetic parts of the Word of God. - This clause, applied to the seventh vial, forcibly implies, that this vial is that very event so abundantly predicted in the prophets, that God would gather the nations, and as. semble the kingdoms, and pour out upon them his indig. nation, even all his fierce anger; and the whole earth should be devoured with the fire of his jealousy And that he would destroy the sinners thereof out of it. The minor events of the preceding vials probably were not much known in the prophets of the Old Testament. But the dismal, decisive event of the seventh vial was well known in the writings of the ancient prophets. And the predictions of this event can by no means admit that the judgments of all the vials are included in that tremendous scene. For it is ever represented, not as a series of judgments, occupying some centuries; but as one decisive event: A day that burns as an oven: A gathering of the nations to the valley of de. cision: And a short work, which the Lord will make upon the earth. Surely then that event, declared to the ancient prophets, could not comprise all the vials. It comprised only the seventh; which is accordingly called, The battle of that great day of God Almighty; as being
so well known in the prophets. Yet the passage in Rev. x, 6, under consideration, identifies the seventh trumpet with this very event in the prophets, which is to be fulfilled in the seventh vial; or shows their events to be one and the same. But in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. Here then it appears decid, , ed, that the seventh trumpet doe not comprise all the
vials; but only the seventh. Consequently the seventh trumpet and the seventh vial relate to one and the same event.
The numerous predictions in the Old and New Testaments, of the awful and universal destruction of the contending enemies of Christ, to prepare the way for his millennial kingdom on earth, evince, that the event will be of sufficient magnitude to fulfil the seventh trumpet, the third woe, the battle of that great day of God Almighty, and the seventh vial: Or, that these different representations may relate to this same event. Its extent and terrors will be such, that it is not to be esteemed strange, that in addition to its being called the seventh trumpet, it should be represented as the third woe, the battle of that great day of God Almighty, and the seventh vial. We do not imagine the third. woe to be a different event from the seventh trumpet; nor the battle of that great day of God Almighty to be an event different from the seventh vial; although they are different representations. Why then should it be deemed improper to conclude, that the seventh trumpet
and the seventh vial relate to the same event? The supposition that the seventh trumpet includes all the vials, involves the subject in inexplicable difficulties. We must then say, according to the foregoing scheme of the vials, that the third woe commenced, or the seventh trumpet was blown, at the time of the reformation, early in the sixteenth century. Consequently, that the slaying and the resurrection of the witnesses, and the earthquake, (see Rev. xi, 7-15,) preceded that period. How then could the witnesses when they were slain, be said either to have finished, or even to be about to finish their testimony? And how could the Angel announce, (Rev. x, 5, 6,) But in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets? Or how could the great voices in heaven, chap. xi, 15, announce, at some period before the reformation, or at that time, The kingdoms of this world are bécome the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ? For the kingdoms have