« PoprzedniaDalej »
BY BRYCE JOHNSTON, D. D.
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT HOLYWOOD.
A NEW EDITION.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
A MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR,
THIS chapter contains an account of the fixth
year 1999. This last part of the chapter foretels events which are cotemporary with the prophefying of the two witnesses in fackcloth in the preceding chapter, the reign of the beaft in the following chapter, and the pouring out of the feven vials in the fixteenth chapter. So many cotemporary representations of the fituation of the Chriftian church and of the Roman hierarchy, in different points of view, throw light upon each other, and confirm their meaning.
Verfes 1ft, 2d. And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the fun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve ftars: and fhe being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
The word in the original which is tranflated wonder, is σημείον, which fignifies a fign. Signs and wonders are perfectly diftinct from each other, and are expreffed in the Greek language by words as different from each other as these two words are in the English language. They are both mentioned in Heb. ii. 4. among those ways by which God bore teftimony to the declarations of the apostles: "God alfo bearing them witness, both "with figns and wonders, and with divers mira
cles, and gifts of the Holy Ghoft." In that verse, ensor is the word in the original which is used for a fign, and refac for a wonder. All these four Τερας ways of divine testimony, by figns, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghoft, are diftinct from one another. To explain the proper import of every one of them would be a deviation from our prefent fubject: A fign is fome vifible reprefentation, by which a future event, which fhall bear a ftriking resemblance to that fign, is predicted. When an event takes place, which corresponds to that fign, men may be certain, from its correfpondence, that it is the one which was fignified by the fign.
Both in the Old and New Testament many inftances of figns occur.. I fhall mention only a very few of them, from which the reader may perceive the proper meaning of a fign. Ezekiel iv. 1, 2, 3. "Thou alfo fon of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and pourtray upon it the city, even Jerufalem. And lay fiege against it, and build a fort against it, and caft a mount against it; fet the camp also against it, and set battering "rams against it round about. Moreover, take "thou unto thee an iron pan, and fet it for a wall "of iron between thee and the city, and fet thy “face against it, and it shall be befieged, and thou "fhalt lay fiege againft it: this fhall be a fign to "the houfe of Ifrael." Thus, this vifible reprefentation