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Christ to fulfil his word, in pleading his own cause. "Shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry unto him day and night, though he bear long with them? I tell you (says our Saviour) he will avenge them speedily." This language, as explanatory of our text, is abundant in the word of God. "When the Lord shall build up Zion, he will appear in his glory: he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer."

In answer to this request, Christ thrusts in his sickle, and the earth is reaped. Another angel is then presented with a sharp sickle, who is probably an instrument of judgment. God performs his works of judgment by the ministry of angels. He did thus of old, and probably will do it in the battle of that great day. In the cups of wrath, the seventh angel pours out his vial, to produce the very scene under consideration. The hosts of angels are in other prophetic descriptions of this very scene, represented as being present; "And all the armies of heaven followed him (Christ) upon white horses." Of the same it is again said, "Thousands thousands ministered unto him; and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him." "Thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord.”

Another angel comes from the altar having power over fire, and directs his angelic associate to thrust in his sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, with her grapes fully ripe. The deed is done. How far the element of literal fire may be made to have a terrible agency in the events of that day, when the cities of the nations shall fall; time alone will decide. That one of the angelic instruments of the terrors of that day should be said to appear, "having power over fire," may indicate fatal conflagrations in antichristian cities. Whether this will be the case, or not,-Inspiration says of the rage of that day, "The fire of thine enemies shall devour them." The wine-press is now trodden; and behold the extensive effect. Blood flows forth as high as the horses' bridles, for the space of two hundred miles. This is a figure; but one of amazing import. See blood flowing from a centre of destruction, and filling a region of two hundred miles; and as high as horses usually carry their heads. This would be a sea of blood indeed.

This treading of the wine-press is "without the city."

Or, the commencement of the battle of that great day of God, is somewhere out of the bounds of the old Roman earth. It is not to be finished there: no, the regions of Antichrist (properly so called) will not thus escape. The infinite terror will roll through every antichristian land. All that belong to the beast, or have his mark, shall sink. All that partake of his sins shall receive of his plagues. But the tremendous scene commences "without the city." Some general motive will lead the hostile powers of the day to concentrate their forces in some region "without the city" of the old Roman world, or papal territories. And to this the prophecies do expressly agree. Various of them present Palestine as the seat of this event in its first opening. In Joel iii. 1, 2, 12 (which is the parent text of the harvest and the vintage explained), the scene is a gathering of all nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat, when God shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. The same is expressly decided in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel. There Gog and his bands perish in an expedition against God's ancient people, restored from all nations to the land of their fathers. In Zech. xii. 2, 3, and xiv. 1-3, we have the same. The gathering of all nations is at Jerusalem. In Rev. xvi. 16 is the same: they are gathered to Armageddon. These passages may have also a mystical import. But we have no right to exclude from them all (if from any) a literal import. The two hundred miles' length of the sea of blood to be shed, may be designed to be bounded by the two hundred miles' length of the Holy Land. And the figure seems well to accord with the description in Ezek. xxxviii. and xxxix, of the slaughter of Gog and his bands upon the mountains of Israel.

But wherever the battle (the harvest, the vintage) commences, it will not fail to sweep over the antichristian world. Jeremiah assures us, "The slain of the Lord shall be at that day, from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth." In Zeph. God says, "I will gather the nations, and assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." In Isaiah the scene is abundantly given, as having a general and most fatal extent. "The destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be Ꮓ


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together." "He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." "I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease.' "The nations shall rush like the rushing of mighty waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off,-and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains." 66 Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down." The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof." "Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth; and they that dwell therein are desolate; the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." "For behold, the Lord cometh forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." "Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong, for I have heard from the Lord of hosts a consumption determined upon the whole earth." “Behold,

the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the earth desolate, and to destroy the sinners thereof out of it." These are a few of the many denunciations in this sublime prophecy which all relate to the same period and event; and which give it a most general and decisive effect. The shorter prophets abound with the same event, and give it as no less general and fatal to all the hostile enemies of God. One passage more from the Old Testament shall be given as a specimen for many. The last chapter of it commences thus: "For behold the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and that day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord, and shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked, and they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts." The event in our text is the same with that under the seventh trumpet; with that under the seventh vial; with the going into perdition of the beast from the bottomless pit; with the sinking of mystical Babylon like a millstone into the depth of the sea,

never to rise; and the destruction of the beast, and false prophet, with the kings of the earth,-being cast into the lake of fire; Rev. xix. 20. Thus we have the scene of the Son of man upon the white cloud; the harvest and vintage; the battle of that great day of God, towards which the world is tending, and into which the affairs of the nations are now fast ripening.

May the people of God be prepared for whatever shall occur to try their faith and patience. These graces have fiery trials yet to pass, before the millennial sun will smile upon the earth. The people of God who may then live, will have a signal opportunity to glorify our Lord Jesus Christ, and to brighten their eternal crown. May all professed followers of the Lamb, when those days shall be found approaching, watch; stand fast in the faith; quit themselves like men; and be strong. Let them take to themselves the whole armour of God, that they may be able to stand in the evil day.

And let those who, when the days of trial shall be found rolling on and coming near, shall find themselves arrested by some fatal harbinger of mortality, and about to die, after a life of faith, joyfully recollect the testimony borne by the great voice from heaven, relative to that day, that "blessed are the dead that die in the Lord from henceforth;" or when that period commences. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them."




Ver. 1. And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous,-seven angels having the seven last plagues for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

This chapter is an introduction to the seven vials, the period of which is synchronical with the events of the preceding chap. xiv. Both traverse the period from the time of the Reformation, early in the sixteenth century, to the Millennium; each closing in the battle of the great day. The sign, in the text, great and marvellous, marks a new era in the state of the man of sin, as his downfall here commences. These seven vials, each in the hand of an angel, are the seven last plagues, containing the fulness of the temporal judgments, in which God would sweep Antichrist from the earth, and clear the way for his own kingdom of salvation. But before entering on these scenes of judgment; the minds of the saints are first to be prepared by having a glance of the glorious things which should follow this succession of judgments; and should be in a measure anticipated, and enjoyed by faith, even during these judgments, by the true people of God. This is the soothing course, which had by the Spirit of Grace been pursued in this book; first fortifying the minds of the church, when terrible things were opening before them, with the glory that should follow, and the faithfulness of God which should attend.

Ver. 2. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over

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