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at the gate of the temple, made perfectly whole ;-walking, leaping, praising God, and spreading its triumphant wings to the ends of the earth. The same press which the arch-atheist Voltaire had employed, at Fernay, to fill his regions with blasphemy, became happily employed in disseminating the word of life in those same regions. And the hint was taken from the subtle plan of Voltaire and the devil, relative to filling the world with cheap blasphemous tracts, to spread over the world tracts of gospel truth and salvation, after Voltaire had gone to his own place!

Your ark, O Zion, will outride the storm; while the antichristian world will sink in the deluge of eternal wrath. Such is the evidence which attends the divinity of the ancient prophecies;-and hence of the whole word of God in view of the signs of the times of the present day.



Ver. 12. Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

13. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

In the preceding verses, solemn warnings were given against all affinity with the antichristian systems of the day. This, as might have been expected from the depravity of the human heart, wakes up the ire and reaction implied in the text, which try the patience and faith of the people of God; insomuch that a great voice from heaven testifies, that blessed are the dead who have died in the Lord;

they being now out of the reach of persecution. This general assertion is true in all ages. But it is designed to have a chronological and peculiar application here; "from henceforth;" or from the commencement of these trying days. The truth of these perils of the times is further enforced by what follows, the appearance of Christ on a white cloud with his sharp weapon of indignation, reaping his harvest and gathering his vine of the earth. These sacred passages imply the terrors of the times, as do other prophecies relative to the same period: such as the bitterness of the little book, Rev. x.; the slaying of the witnesses, chap. xi.; the three unclean spirits collecting the world to the final battle, chap. xvi. ; and various other predictions of the same. There is something natural in this trial of the people of God implied at that time. The wicked hate and contend with their reprovers, which has been a great cause of the persecutions of the church in past ages. "The world hateth me, because I testify of it that the deeds thereof are evil.” “I hate him (said Ahab of the pious Micaiah), for he never prophesieth good of me; but evil." "They hate him that rebuketh in the gates." And when the wicked predominant powers of Antichrist shall find themselves reproved, as is predicted of the second and third angels, in the last lecture, and especially the third,—so emphatically thundering the eternal fire of God's wrath against all who have the mark of the beast, or of his image; they would of course become outrageous. And, when supported by numbers and influence, and by hosts of false teachers; their rage may be expected to become formidable and bloody. And God only knows what they may be led to undertake, and to effect. The fulfilment will, in due time, give the true comment upon the passages.

Ver. 14. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap: for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

16. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

17. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire: and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

19. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God.

20. And the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

All this confirms the solemn indications noted in the preceding verses. Such rage of the enemy against the church, soon brings down the Captain of her salvation, armed for judgment, to examine the contest, and to give to it such a turn and decision, as his word, his cause, and his faithfulness may require. When Zion is in trouble, her King is near. "I will not leave you comfortless; I will come unto you." "I will be a wall of fire round about." "In that day sing unto her, a vineyard of red wine; I the Lord do keep it. I will water it every moment. Lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day." Jesus Christ now comes on his white cloud of victory and triumph, having on his head his golden crown, as about to vindicate his kingdom. He holds in his hand his implement for the collection of his harvest and vintage; and this implement is noted as sharp." He comes fully prepared for his work, as King of kings, and Lord of lords. His enemies, through antichristian lands, having been long treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath,— their measure will now be found to be full. By new efforts of deadly malignity, it will be found that they will have given the finishing touch to their meetness for perdition! The volcano, it will appear, has long been ready to burst. And now its breaking forth will come suddenly as in a moment, and the double figure of the harvest and the vin


tage uniting, will give to the event its long predicted "decision," fatal to all the camps of the contending foe.

Our text is one of the predictions of the battle of that great day of God Almighty. It alludes to several of the ancient predictions of that day: particularly to the fatal treading of the wine-press, in Isai. lxiii. 1-6, and to the decisive harvest and vintage of the same event, in Joel iii. 1, 2, 9-17. In the process of this final decisive scene, we find something in the agencies employed very interesting. After the description of the Son of man on his white cloud, it is said, "And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Who can this angel be, directing Christ to his work of judgment? Did we ever find an angel in heaven thus employed? They fly in swift obedience to Christ: but do they ever undertake to direct him? Surely not! The language of this text must be the language of prayer; showing that Christ accomplishes this work of judgment in answer to prayer. But whose prayer?—that of angels, or of saints on earth? Surely the latter, as may be shown. This angel then, who calls on Christ to thrust in his sword, and reap, must be a representation of Zior, imploring by her gospel ministry, and members. The seven epistles to the seven churches are addressed to the angel (the ministry) of each church. And the angel whom John was about mistakingly to worship, speaks of himself as one of his fellow-servants, the prophets. In Rev. xv. 7, one of the symbols of the gospel ministry is presented as giving into the hands of the seven angels their seven vials of wrath; of which the judgment in our text is one, and the last. That fact gives a clew to the business of the angel in this text. The plain sense, no doubt, is this; (which fully accords with the whole Bible) that at the awful crisis under consideration, Zion, led by her gospel ministry, will pour her addresses into the ear of this same Saviour, presented on the white cloud;-even as Moses, at the Red Sea, in the height of that distress (which was a type of the very scene of distress in our text), "cried unto the Lord" for help. Jesus Christ now dashes the powers of Antichrist, as with his rod of iron, in answer to the prayers of the saints. He does, accordingly, in this very


book, represent the saints as doing this very work of judg Rev. ii. 26, 27; "He that overcometh, to him will I give power over the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken in shivers; even as I received of my Father." Here is the very event in our text; and it is noted as being done by saints. It is done by Christ at the prayers of the saints. This therefore explains the figure of a messenger from the temple, saying to Christ, "Thrust in thy sickle." The dangers of the times will then urge the ministers and people of God to most importunate prayers; such as the following:- "Is it not time, Lord, for thee to work, for men have made void thy law?" "Let God arise; let his enemies be scattered; let them that hate him flee before him! As smoke is driven away; so drive them away. As wax melteth before the fire; so let the wicked perish at the presence of the Lord." These, and similar prayers, Inspiration puts into the mouth of the saints at just such a time and occasion as in the text. And they perfectly accord with the prayer of the symbolic messenger in our text; "Thrust in thy sickle and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe." Zion will then urgently cry for deliverance, which Christ will give in the battle of that great day of God, in our text. This explanation of the request of the symbolic angel under consideration, receives further confirmation from the fact, that that, and other works of judgment upon the enemies of Zion, are repeatedly ascribed to the people of God. Thus the two witnesses have power to shut heaven "that it rain not in the days of their prophecies; and to smite the earth with all plagues, as oft as they will." The psalmist says of the saints, "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people: to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all the saints." Certainly then, in so great an extremity, as the church will be in our text, we might expect some special notice would be given of this her power with God against her enemies; alluding to the power of her prayers when in the depth of affliction from the rage of Antichrist,-beseeching

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