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for there is none to deliver him." Long had the man of sin remained in his zenith of impious glory; and had deemed his seat and fortress as fixed among the stars, and for ever secure. But the time of a new era of events for the mother of harlots,-to compel her to a retrograde motion, had arrived. A climax of fatal judgments was now to open upon this diabolical system, which should close in her being hurled into the burning lake. The events of this chapter were to be synchronical with those of the seven vials, in the two succeeding chapters. They relate more immediately to the church; and the seven vials give those which relate to her enemies.

The sixteenth century commenced with vast and portentous events, as will be shown in the lecture on the first vial. Our text assures of a new sealing time, after the dark and horrid papal ages. The mount Zion here, is the true church of Christ reviving. And the hundred and forty and four thousand (a certain number, probably, for an uncertain) are the Protestants of that day. Twelve hundred years before God's grace had caused a sealing time to bless the Christian empire, as chap. vii. A long and dreary period, from that time, had lain with dreadful weight on Christ's two witnesses. But scenes of grace at last awoke on Zion. A faithful God will not fail to keep her as the apple of his eye. Martin Luther now appeared; and other powerful coadjutors, by Heaven pared, to be champions of grace. These, and especially Luther, God girded with his might; and he shielded them as with a wall of fire. These bold reformers drew the horrid veil which long had hid from common view the seas of papal filth and impious abomination. This caused millions to flee from that sink of pollution, to the firm ground of the Protestant establishment. The name of God inscribed upon the foreheads of the company who now appeared with Christ, alludes to the bold profession, and manifest pure religion of those who now renounced the papal see.


Ver. 2. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps.

3. And they sung as it were a new song before the

throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

4. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.

5. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

We have here the increasing numbers of the Protestants of that period; their evangelical songs of praise; and their utter disconnexion with the idolatries of popery. The kingdoms of England, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, almost half the princes of Germany, large parts of France, of Switzerland, and other realms, relinquished, utterly, their allegiance to the hierarchy, the papal monster,and engaged to support the pure religion of the gospel. And the voices of the praise of their swelling numbers arose from a likeness to the sound of great waters, to that of mighty thunderings! And with sacred instruments, as well as with vocal music, they adored the God of salvation in the new song of redeeming love, which none but the new-born could understand. Their freedom, which they now enjoyed from the idolatries of popery, is here noted under the figure of virgin purity. Inspiration here testifies of these reformed multitudes, "These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." The doctrines of the Reformation, and the religious order and rites then maintained by the Protestants, are well known. And they are thus approved of God," These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth." And what follows confirms the approbation; they are said to be "the first-fruits unto God, and to the Lamb: and in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God." This testimony, borne in relation to the church, fifteen hundred years after Christ, is very consoling relative to the known doctrines and order of the Protestants of the sixteenth century. They were the first-fruits to God and the Lamb, as the first ripe fruits

offered in Israel of old were an earnest of the harvest at the close of the year. Those Protestants were but an earnest and a miniature of the state of the whole church on earth in the Millennium. But they were only comparatively faultless before the throne of God; not fully thus. For there is not a just man on earth that doeth good, and sinneth not." Inspiration assures us, that they who say they have no sin, lie, and speak not the truth. But they were by divine grace comparatively pure; and they were justified by grace. "Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not sin." "Thou art pure, my love; there is no spot in thee." Or, I will behold none to mark it against thee. "Israel was holiness unto the Lord." We have thus a commanding view of the Reformation; an event so interesting that we might expect to find it noted in the prophecies of this book. No other event can lay any claim to be viewed as a fulfilment of these five first verses in this chapter. The Reformation has a perfect claim to be thus viewed, both from its chronology, and from its accordance with the figures in these verses. The event is the same with that hinted in chap. xii. 7-12; the casting of the dragon from heaven, &c.

Ver. 6. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

7. Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

"Another angel!" as though it were not the first! but it was the first in this series of events. Three angels were to fly in succession; and this is the first of the three. The Greeks, in such a case, would call each of the three, allos angelos, another angel. But in English, the first in such a case would be rendered an angel. And this is all that is here meant; or, the first of several angels. And we here have a sublime figure, importing that a missionary spirit should, at the period in the text, or some time after the Reformation, arise in the church, denoted

here by the heaven; or a general exertion should commence to spread the gospel over the world.

To illustrate this passage, I will here insert a dissertation voluntary, which I wrote in May, 1795, before the formation of any missionary or Bible society in Britain, or America, had reached my ears. This I read before my association, various of the members of which are still living; Rev. Dr. Burton, yet alive, being then moderator. It was as follows. "Are we not to expect that there will be a wonderful propagation of the gospel through the nations of the earth before the great and notable day of the Lord, which shall aid the opening of the way for the Millennium? In favour of the affirmative, I adduce the following;

1. Rev. xiv. 6, 7-" And I saw another angel, &c." (quoting our text).*

This has, by some, been applied to Martin Luther, at the Reformation. But did he preach the gospel so extensively on earth, as is thought shall be the case, in this figure? He did not. And he had no occasion to introduce his messages of grace with the appeal to the volume of nature, which is found in the text, and which is most appropriate to missions among the heathen: as though the missionary should say, I am come to teach you the knowledge and worship of God who made yonder, heavens, this earth, the sea, and the fountains of water. This introduction indicates missions to the heathen world. And the imagery of the text gives it an extent not realized in the Reformation; an angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, tô every nation and kindred, and tongue, and people. And besides, the events of the Reformation were given in the commencement of this chapter, in the appearing of Christ on his mount Zion, the church, and instituting a new sealing time; and not in this sixth and seventh verses. And the thing predicted in our text is found in other prophecies.

2. We find the same in Isa. xi. 11, 12; which stands connected with the destruction of Antichrist, by the rod out of the stem of Jesse, and the introduction of the Millennium.

* This text had never, to my knowledge, been applied to such an event as the present spirit of missions.

"And it shall come to pass, in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again, the second time, to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from the isles of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah, from the four corners of the earth." These events have never yet been fulfilled; and their fulfilment implies such an event as is predicted in our text; and in his setting up" an ensign to the nations."

"And it shall

3. The same is found in Isa. xxvii. 13. come to pass, at that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come that are ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts of the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount of Jerusalem." The connexion and language of this passage show it to convey the following sentiment; that, nearly connected with the day of the perdition of Antichrist, given in this chapter, the gospel (called the great trumpet, in allusion to the trumpet of jubilee, and other joyful trumpets blown in ancient Israel), shall be proclaimed through the nations as it never was before; and a remnant of God's chosen seed, who had been perishing in paganism over the earth, shall be brought into the circle and blessedness of the gospel church, that they may be hid in the day of the Lord's anger, then about to open upon the world.


4. In Dan. xii. 1-4 is the same. Michael (Christ) stands up to plead for his people and a mystical resurrection takes place, of both good and bad characters. Many now appear, in the Christian world, in the spirit of former and most eminent saints; and many in the spirit of former and most hateful enemies of God. And the fol

lowing event opens,- "Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." This is said to be, "at the time of the end;" or near the end of the reign of sin. Here is the event, and at the very period of our text. "The hour of his judgment is come!"

5. In Isa. xl. 3, is the same. Near the return of the Jews, when they are to be comforted, as having received double from the Lord's hand for all their sin, it is said, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a

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