Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

This describes the defection and fall of the bishop of Rome, and the consequences which flowed out of that defection. The bottomless pit is the hell or purgatory, the invention of priestcraft.* The locusts upon the earth are the clergy. The command of Popery, or Romanism, to them is, that they should not hurt the grass of the earth," or the spiritual nourishment provided by Popery; "neither any green thing," or that which is alive in Popery; "neither any tree," or any man, a Papist; but only those men which (as they say) "have not the seal of God in their foreheads," (which they pretend to put there, xiii. 16.) The remaining portions describe Popery and its power threatening purgatory. Men desire to die, but priesteraft says, Nay, ye shall not die, but be in purgatory for five months, or a part of a future time. "The hair as of women," is a covering of religious systems; "teeth as lions," power to hurt, claiming to be Christians, tearing and destroying in the name of the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The angel of the bottomless pit-the Destroyer-is the Pope, or Popery.

"The sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them. And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of five, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the beads

* See " Druths Maintained."

of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone. By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths. For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt. And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts."

This describes Mahomedanism destroying the third of mankind. It is a remarkable fact, and demanding attention on the part of Christians, that Mahomedanism is nothing like so greatly condemned in the Scriptures as apostatised Christianity. Herein "is a voice from the four horns of the golden altar." These words imply truth. Truth, however, prepared in time, which the several divisions by which time is marked denote. It means that Mahomedanism selects the truth out of previously prevailing sentiments. Being, however, prepared in time, and therefore mingled with falsehood, it is defective. Mahomedanism is superior to every other form of religious belief, excepting true Christianity, in this, that it asserts, "There is but one God." Mahomedanism is, therefore, but little condemned. This trumpet announces woe to Christendom. Mahomedanism appears to have been raised as a barrier to prevent the spread of false Christianity. The remarkable silence maintained

with regard to Mahomedanism is particularly observable in the book of the prophet Zechariah. It is introduced under the symbol of "a chariot with red horses;" but not one word is said in condemnation. Prophecies show that it will be wasted away; but it will not be wasted away until a Christianity is presented superior to Mahomedanism. If the idol-worship of Christendom be put in contrast with the faith of Mussulmen in one God, the impurity of Christendom stands out very prominently.

Between the sounding of the sixth and the seventh trumpets an important epoch is presented. It will be seen that the seventh trumpet announces the final overthrow of the false Christianity. "The kingdoms of this world" mentioned, are intended for the kingdoms which, in another part of the Apocalypse, we find give their strength to the beast, or Romanism. These kingdoms become "the kingdoms of our Lord,” at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The epoch spoken of has reference to the seventh trumpet. "In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets." The days of the voice are with us. The seventh trumpet is beginning to sound, the mystery of God about to be finished.

A mighty angel is described, coming 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. This angel preaches glad tidings of reconciliation. He has God's countenance with him, and he marches onward supported by religious truth.

"He had in his hand a little book open," a book of

truth; and "he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth." By the aid of truth he is instrumental in conquering Paganism and Romanism. His teachings will subdue both.

"When he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices." The seven thunders issue from the seven mountains, symbols of false religious systems. The seven mountains on which Romanism sits (xvii. 9), are these mountains. Romanism is built bined sentiments of false religions.

upon com

The effect

These "thunders are to be sealed up." of promulgating truth will be to seal them up.

"The angel which John saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the prophets.'

[ocr errors]

The angel has announced that God is the Author of all things. As stated here, "the heaven and the things therein, the earth and the things therein, and the sea and the things therein." These are all products of God, and created in time. Now these spiritual things of time should be no longer. The mystery of God is about to be finished. False religious systems, having their birth in time, will be dissolved by the truth put forth in the open book.

"And the voice which John heard from heaven spake unto him again, and said, Go, and take the

little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth. And John went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And John took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in his mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as he had eaten it, his belly was bitter. And the angel said unto John, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."

This passage is prophetic. It teaches that the little book will be digested by John's prophecies. John, through its means, will prophesy again. Its taste is sweet; it presents the fruits of John's labours. "His belly is bitter," not the book bitter, but John's belly is bitter, and he digests the book. It will be found that, through its aid, John prophesies "again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings."

To John is given a reed like unto a rod. The reed is a measuring rod of priesthood, and by it the temple of God, the true worshippers, are rightly measured.

The temple is now contrasted with the court which is without. The court is given to the Gentiles, heathen Christians, and they tread under foot the true worshippers forty and two months, that is, for 1260 years.

At the expiration of the 1260 years, an earthquake, or revolution, is announced-the Reformation.

"The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly."

"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »