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pronounced guilty, until all the requisite evi dence is gone through. This conclusion of the business is intimated at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, by the opening of the temple of God, and there being seen in it the ark of his tes tament; which opening of the temple, and discovery of the ark of testimony, is the grand point looked to, by the trumpets being contained under the opening of the seventh seal.
"The first angel sounded, and there followed "hail and fire mingled with blood, and they "were cast upon the earth: and the third part "of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass "was burnt up. And the second angel sound"ed, and as it were a great mountain burning "with fire was cast into the sea; and the third part of the sea became blood. And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, "and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon. "the third part of the rivers, and upon the foun"tains of waters: And the name of the star is "called Wormwood: and the third part of the "waters became wormwood; and many men di"ed of the waters, because they were made bit"ter." I take these three trumpets together, because they relate, manifestly, to one subject, as the work accomplished under them is so particularly spoken of as being done by thirds; and to what subject they relate, the scriptures furnish us with the plainest information.
The first operations under the trumpets, as has been observed, are to reveal the Man of Sin, and that wicked," Whom the Lord shall consume "with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy "with the brightness of his coming.". And the apostle informs, that the event which would os
pen the way for the revealing of this head of antichrist, was the fall of the Roman empire. See 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8. "He who now letteth will let, "until he be taken out of the way. And then "shall that Wicked be revealed." This passage was early understood to intend the Roman CeIndeed the cautious manner of expression, his not naming the subject, carries in it an internal evidence, that the apostle had therein his eye upon the Roman government. We have, therefore, certain date for the commencement of the sounding of the trumpets. And it will be observed, that the scenes do very truly comport.
First. The Goths fell like a hailstorm, with terrible lightning, upon the centre and most delightful parts of the empire, sweeping away its verdure, and destroying the cultivations of ages. Secondly. The Vandals, having planted themselves in Spain, after a mighty struggle, took possession of Africa and the Mediteranean Sea; which conquests may be considered as equal to another third part of the empire. And, lastly, The Franks, having seated themselves in Gaul, now France, finished this astonishing work, and extinguished the last hopes of eternal Rome.
In each of these descriptions of the fall of Rome, there is an allusion to the prophetic style of the ancient scriptures; which allusions are very striking. With the first, compare the threatening against false apostates. Isai. xxviii. 2.....17. The church, seduced by a worldly spirit, fell away from Christ, and took shelter under the Roman authorities, falsely styling them ChristiBut the prophet had said, "The Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest " of hail and a destroying storm, shall cast down "to the earth the crown of pride: And the hail "shall sweep away the refuge of lies." With the second, compare Zechariah iv. 7. "Who
"art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel," which significant name, was given in type as one of the witnesses. States and kingdoms are often represented in scripture by mountains. And our Lord said, that it was within the province of faith, for his disciples to "say unto "this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou "cast into the sea." And with the third, compare Isai xiv. 12. "How art thou fallen from heaven, "O Lucifer, son of the morning." By the word Lucifer, is here meant the day star; and under this emblem, is meant the Chaldean monarchy. And when Isaiah had used the figure of a fallen star, in allusion to the overthrow of Babylon, it was natural for John to use the same figure to express the fall of Rome. By the star being called Wormwood, and the waters into which it fell becoming wormwood, is intimated, that the despotism of the empire and the barbarism that suc ceeded to it, were evils of the same nature, and which equally imbittered the enjoyments of life, even those which are the gifts of nature. I know not how it came to pass, that wild wormwood is called roman. By this appellation given to the Roman power, we are reminded of the cruel act of the Roman soldiers, in giving our Saviour wormwood to drink upon the cross; they had wormwood to drink in their turn.
"And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part "of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and "the day shone not for a third part of it, and the
night likewise." This intends, as has been generally understood, that state of mental darkness and ignorance which so notoriously prevailed through the world for many ages succeeding the fall of the Roman empire. I here repeat the observation already made respecting the word of
prophesy, that though we have satisfactory evidence of its having a fulfilment in a particular event; yet we ought not, therefore, to conclude that it respects no other event, and that it may not, at another time, have a still more literal accomplishment. The darkening of the heavenly luminaries may one day literally take place; and some other passages seem calculated to induce, strongly, such an expectation.
"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a "star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to "him was given the key of the bottomless pit. "And he opened the bottomless pit, and there "arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a "a great furnace: and the sun and the air were “darkened, by reason of the smoke of the pit. "And there came out of the smoke locusts upon "the earth," &c. This has been understood to intend the conquests of the Saracens, and the spread of the Mahometan delusion; and there can be but little doubt of its looking to this event; but it appears to look also to the rising of the last beast, which enemy is said also to ascend out of the bottomless pit. There is not, perhaps, one word either of the promises or threatenings of God, which, in all respects, has been, at any one time, fully accomplished. A reason why both these enemies are described by certain marks here given, may be this, that they will perform certain similar deeds, and that one will remain in one quarter, while the other shall arise in another quarter, of the once Roman empire: and that both together, in the great day, shall go into perdition. It seems strongly intimated in the passage, chapter viii. 13, that the three wo trumpets are generally of one nature; and, in a large view, may be considered as one trumpet, for so it is expressed, Wo, wo, wo to the inhabitants of the earth, by reason
of the voices of the TRUMPET of the three angels which are yet to sound.
"And 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," &c. This intends the conquests of the Turks, and with them the new spread of the Mahometan delusion. And this trumpet, in its full operation, will bring us near to the grand closing scene......... The seventh trumpet includes the vials, as the seventh seal includes the trumpets; so that by this sixth trumpet, the same as by the sixth seal, the great and dreadful day of the Lord is presented to view. Hence, after giving a description of the immense army, which, under four heads, called angels, were loosed from the river Euphrates, and of the effects of their angelic powers, the Revelator proceeds to say, chap. x. " And I saw another migh"ty angel come down from heaven, clothed with "a cloud," &c.; and he stood " upon the sea, "and upon the earth;" and he "lifted up his "hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth "for ever and ever, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the se"venth angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath. "declared to his servants the prophets."
Another important view which discloses underthis trumpet, is that of the measuring of the temple. The Revelator further goes on to say, chap. xi. "And there was given me a reed like unto a "rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and "them that worship therein. But the court which "is without the temple leave out, and measure it not," &c. This, with great certainty, intend