Sidor som bilder

to Christ. As the perdition of the antichristian community is described in language alluding to that of individual unbelievers, (Ver. 3, 20.) so that the glory bestowed on the church at this period allades to that which is conferred on individual believers when they are “washed, and justified, and sanctified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” Thus the cbarch in the days of Zerubbabel, when she had been polluted among the heathen, is represented by Josbua the high priest, “ clothed with filthy garments," and her justification by the “ taking away of his filthy garments and clothing bim with change of raiment.' Thus also the glory of the church at another period is expressed in language applicable at all times to individual believers_“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salva. tion, and bath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth with jewels.” (Isa. Ixi. 10.) Christ's salvation will then be to her as a beautiful garment, and his righteousness as an ornamental robe.

9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage-supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

A blessing was pronounced by our Lord on those who saw and heard the things which were then to be seen and heard, and a still greater blessing is in reserve for those who shall see and partake of the good here predicted. The most glorious things spoken of the church of God will then be accomplished. The success of the gospel in different parts of the world during the period of the vials will then meet as a confluence of rivers near the ocean. The tides of mercy and judgment towards Jews and Gentiles will pow find their level in the salvation of both.

“ In times past we believed not God, but obtained mercy through their unbelief :" QOW " through our mercy they also shall have obtained mercy.” Rom. xi. 30, 31. lo former ages God blessed the eastern parts of the world; of late ages the western ; but now the kingdom of Christ, like a returning tide, shall spread over both west and east. Isa. Ix. 1-11, “ Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days!" Dan. xii. 12.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

These predictions respecting the overthrow of Babylon, and the establishment of the church are attested by the angel as " the true sayings of God.” Such an attestation would tend to strengthen the faith and hope of believers, who might otherwise during the long reign of the antichristian beasts be tempted to think that God had forgotten to be gracious, and would be favourable to his church

no more.

Here I consider the sacred ode on the fall of Babylon and the marriage of the Lamb as closing, with only a few words of the apostle concerning his informant.

10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow-servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The angel here spoken of seems to be him whose voice was heard out of the throne, calling for a repetition of the song. Ver. 5. John probably supposed bim to be the Son of God himself, who had more than once in his visions appeared as an angel, and wbom he was in the babit of worshipping. But the angel refuses his adoration on the ground of his being merely a servant, the fellow. servant of him and of bis brethern, who had the testimony of Jesus. They testified of things concerning him which were accomplished; as of his birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and the way of salvation by bim: he revealed prophecies wbich as yet were unaccomplished. Yet their work was much the same: the theme of their testimony contained the spirit or substance of what he had imparted by prophecy. They were therefore fellow-labourers in the same cause, and must not worship one another, but God. Christ himself is not an object of worship considered as man, but as God only. That he is God as well as man, and as such an object of divine worship, this circumstance of the angel's refusal folly evinces. We see in his conduct what we see in that of Paul and Barnabas at Iconium ; and every creature who fears God must follow the example. If Jesus therefore were not God, he ought on all occasions to have refused divine worship, and certainly would have done so. His never having done this is sufficient proof of his divinity. Nor can it be justly alleged that the worship paid to Christ was mere civil respect; for then the same might be said of John's worshipping the angel, and which he might have done without being repulsed. We learn therefore from this circumstance that Jesus is not only the theme of the gospel ministry, and the spirit or substance of prophecy; but that he is truly and properly divinę.



Chap, xix. 11-21.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse ; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns : and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself: 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called, The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations : and he shall rule them with a rod of iron : and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come, and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together, to make war against him that sat on the horse, and Vol. VI.


against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before hint, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth : and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

When the Israelites, full of fearful apprehension from the pursuit of their enemies, cried out for fear, Moses said unto them, “ Fear not: stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see no more for ever!” In going over these last ten chapters, we have seen and beard much of the beast, and the false prophet, and of the mischiefs which they have wrought upon the earth : but this is the last account that we shall have of them. By the prophecies in these verses they are buried in oblivion, so that the church in after times shall know of them only as we know of Pharaoh and his host, namely, as matters of bistory.

In cases wherein the parties have been assured of victory, it has not been unusual for a battle to be preceded by a song of triumph. It was thus when Jehoshaphat went forth against his enemies : singers were first appointed to praise the Lord, and then the army was led on to the engagement.* And thus our Lord, when about to engage the powers of darkness, being certain of victory, exclaimed, “Now is the judgment of this world : now shall the prince of this world be cast out!-Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him !" It is thus, I conceive, that the prophecy, having anticipated the victory over Babylon in a song of triomph, proceeds to describe the battle. The scene of the song was in heaven ; but the battle in which the event will actually occur is upon earth. It is the same as that before described under the sixth vial, namely, the battle of Armageddon; “the great day of God Almighty,"_“the supper of the

great God!"

Observe the preparations for it.-"Heaven is opened, a white horse is seen, and he that sat upon it is called Faithful and True,

* 2 Chron. XX.

+ John xij. 31. xiii. 31.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »