« السابقةمتابعة »
is marked the anger of the nations ; doubtless that time of trouble so distinctly marked in the prophecies of Daniel and of our Lord. But it is the season of God's wrath too; doubtless that day of righteous vengeance which destroys the nations and their armies, so much the theme of prophecy from its very commencement. Lastly, the resurrection of the dead is marked as occurrence to take place during this period; evidently the first resurrection, for the prophets and all that fear God receive here their exceeding great reward. And the destruction of them that destroy the earth, being mentioned in connexion with the judgment of the dead, reminds us of those prophecies we have met with before, which seem to predict, that great persecutors and oppressors receive, at this time, the sentence of their eternal doom. The sight of the ark of the covenant, in the temple of God, inasmuch as that ark was a type of the Redeemer's throne, the throne of Israel's King, who is to arise and inherit all nations, I conceive to be symbolical of the glorious kingdom that is to succeed the destruction of them that destroy the earth. It is manifested in the midst of awful judgments,“ lightning,”
voices,” " thunderings,” and
The Third Interlude: Chapters xii., xiii., and xiv., contain
ing the History and Characters of the chief Actors and
Victims in this last Trumpet. But before we are called to see the symbols of these last judgments more at large, which properly compose the
seventh trumpet, or the third woe, we are, first, in a variety of visionary representations, made better acquainted with the several parties engaged in these last conflicts, with their histories and with their characters, and are enabled to perceive in what attitude they meet the last grand crisis of the manifestation of the judgment of God. Thus, in the next vision, which forms the twelfth chapter, we are made to resume the history of man's redemption from the very first; we review, from its commencement, the raging of that hostility which the first promise announced, between the serpent and the woman, and “ between her seed and his seed:” —
1. “ And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon
her head a crown of twelve stars."
This is plainly symbolical of the mystic Eve, the mother of all the living; that is to say, she is an emblem of the church of God. 1
" And she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”
We are familiar with this mystical representation in the ancient Scriptures. To the mystic Eve, the ideal mother of all the regenerated people of God, A SEED, -a particular seed or offspring, called, by way of eminence, the WOMAN'S SEED was to be born; and, on the birth of this child, all the hopes of the long waiting people of God were made to depend : *—
I “She is represented as being moon, which, like herself, is a clothed with the sun, to denote symbol of the church; to mark that that her spiritual nakedness is only she shines only with a borrowed clothed by the righteousness of light, being naturally a dark opaque Christ :
as standing upon the body,” &c.— FABER.
3. “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and, behold, a great red dragon, 'having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads." And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.”
We are expressly told, in verse the ninth, that this dragon is the old serpent, called “ the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” But it is also evident, that he is here represented as actuating the fourth beast of Daniel, and carrying on his operations through it, as his visible instrument. He is, accordingly, identified with this beast, as he was identified, in his sentence in Paradise, with that serpent in whose form he had tempted mankind.
A symbol of the“.fourth: empire, in all its extent and duration, is certainly before us. Its seven heads represent it in all its forms of government, from its earliest kings'to' its latest emperors, of whatever description, for so these heads are elsewhere explained. The ten horns, as we have also learned, are symbols of ten sovereignties, into which the empire is at last divided. And the tail drawing the third part of the stars of heaven is meant to denote the apostasy of the Christian clergy of the empire : so that Rome, from first to last, is, as it were, painted on the red dragon. But we have a very distinctive mark whereby to judge of the particular time meant to be pointed out the crowns are upon the heads of the beast. It is, then, Rome, not yet divided, but under one of its supreme forms of government, that we are to contemplate as the body possessed by the great adversary on the occasion intended to be symbolized.
We distinguish, also, what time is meant, by the situation of the other symbol: the church is as a woman in travail, that draweth nigh the time of her delivery; that is, the Messiah is not yet born, but speedily expected. We are, therefore, placed at the eve of the first advent:
4. “And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it should be born. And she brought forth a manchild, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron : and her child was caught up unto God and his throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand and two hundred and threescore days."
We have here a general sketch of the history of the church from the era of the incarnation. The anxious mother was not disappointed; she brought forth the. promised child, the very child that was to rule all nations. The God of this world feared this, and therefore actuated the ruling powers of the earth, all of whom, at that time, were of Roman appointinent, or acted by Roman authority, to destroy this predestined king as soon as he should be born. This, accordingly, he attempted by Herod, and thought he had effected by Pontius Pilate. But what is the event? The SON OF Man, raised from the dead, is caught up to the throne of God, where, as ancient prophets foretold, he is to “ sit till all his enemies have been made his footstool.” With respect to the mystic mother, who is left on earth, she must not yet expect to see her seed bruise the serpent's head, and inherit all nations. To her cost, she must still be exposed to the enmity of the serpent; and, in particular, must prepare for a concealment of one thousand two hundred and sixty years, the period long ago predicted of the reign and tyranny of her adversaries.
"I most confidently follow the church. In the promise to Dean Woodhouse in considering Abraham, the phraseology of Scripthe birth of the manchild brought ture makes Christ the Son of the forth by the woman to denote the Father of the faithful. Isaiah, ix.' actual nativity of our Lord; and 6, may be called a parallel passage ain surprised, while the following to the one before us : “ Unto us passages stand on record, that a child is born, unto us a son is Messrs. Faber and Cuninghame given, and the government shall should deern it incongruous to the be upon his shoulder.” And does universal phraseology of Scripture. not the Scripture, in many places, Gen. üïi. 15. Here Christ is the refer to him as “ the First-born Seed of Eve, and Eve a type of
among many brethren?"
But we are to be shown, in a new, distinct set of images, how all this is brought about how the mystic mother is persecuted - and at length driven to this her long banishment:
7. “ And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not: 8. Neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world, he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10. And I heard a loud voice, saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and
ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inbabiters of the earth, and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time."