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at the top of the fifteen steps, in descending which the fifteen songs of degrees had been sung. This Psalm is clearly referred to in Rev. xix. 5: "And a voice came out of the throne (the holy of holies), saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great." But immediately before this, in the narration, we find a voice of much people in heaven singing Hallelujah (xix. 1-4), for the destruction of Babylon: therefore the silence in heaven of the seventh seal is posterior to the destruction of Babylon. And since it is manifest that xix. 9, like xxii. 6, is the winding up of the whole; and the song, xix. 5, is at the conclusion of the seventh seal, as we have just seen; the events of the seventh seal come in between verses 4 and 5 of Rev. xix. and these events, recorded in the language of the church in the songs of degrees, are described in their effects upon the world xix. 11, to the end. The Apostle sees heaven open, and the King of kings come, the armies of heaven following him this explains, and does in fact necessitate, the silence in heaven of the seventh seal, which no other interpretation will explain, and which thus precludes any other. But xix. 6 proclaims his reign—of necessity posterior to xix. 16, xvii. 14; for he must come forth as king before his reign can commence, since he in person wins his crown and slays his enemies;--and this reign the whole creation proclaims in the new song, which the church first learns (xiv. 3), which all the earth repeats (Ps. xcvi. 1), declaring "his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people;" when the heavens" rejoice, and the earth is glad, and the whole creation shall rejoice before the Lord; for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth (ver. 13). This is clearly the "adoption," the "redemption of the body," the "manifestation of the sons of God" which the whole creation waiteth for (in Rom. viii.); and it clasps with another ligature, and confirms with another seal, the connection we are maintaining, between the destruction of Babylon as the commencement and the enthronement of Christ as the conclusion of the silence in heaven for half an hour at the opening of the seventh seal. The universal song is still more fully given in the following (Psalm cxxxvi.), which seems to answer to Rev. iv. 11, beginning with creation, giving thanks for the deliverance from Egypt, and the final redemption from all their enemies, "for his mercy endureth for ever."
During the opening of the seals, the Apostle's station was necessarily in heaven, or at the "door;" for the book was in the right hand of Him that sat upon the throne, and the seals were opened by the Lamb, who stood before the throne: therefore the contents of the seven seals are only described from that station according to their consequences in heaven, silence for half an
hour being the consequence of the seventh. In the same station he witnesses the delivery of the seven trumpets to the angels, thus deducing their commission from heaven; and the coals of fire cast from the altar into the earth, deducing the earthquake and all its attending woes from the same source. The Apostle's station then changes to the earth; and from different stations on the earth all the other visions are beheld, as "the sand of the sea" (xii.), "a great and high mountain" (xxi. 10), &c.: and this has the same effect as the departure of the cherubim in Ezekiel x.; their ascending to heaven, or the Apostle's descending to earth, making the same separation between the place of glory and the seer. And as the Prophet Ezekiel denounces a long series of woes upon Israel and judgments upon the nations, till, in chap. xl., he is taken to an high mountain to measure the temple, in preparation for the returning glory of the Lord; so the turning point of time in the Apocalypse is marked by a similar action, in the Apostle's being carried away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, to behold the New Jerusalem descend from heaven for the dwelling-place of God and the Lamb. In the case of the Prophet, he measured the temple and city on the mountain, being then and there prepared; but the heavenly Jerusalem had been preparing from the commencement of the Christian dispensation, in the election, known only to God the Father, and therefore not visible either in earth or in heaven. This certainty in the appointment of God, and concealment from the observation of man, is indicated in Rev. xi. 1: Rise, measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein." The temple here is the Naos, or Nave, answering to the holy place, where stood the golden altar and candlestick and shew-bread and the numbers of the worshippers, or the measures of the place, are not recorded, that we might not suppose that the place sanctified all the worshippers, or that there were no true worshippers in more than one place. This temple is not in heaven when measured; for the Apostle had seen the angel come down from heaven in chap. x., and he is sent to measure it without having changed his station; and the two witnesses, whom he subsequently beholds in the same chapter, ascend into heaven. The court, also, of the same temple, is trodden under foot of the Gentiles. But there is also a temple in heaven, containing the ark of the testament (xi. 19); though into this no man can enter, till the seven plagues of the seven vials are fulfilled (xv. 8)—the last vial being for the destruction of Babylon, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, just before the opening of the seventh seal-their admission into the temple being the bride making herself ready to come forth with her Lord (Rev. xix. 11; Zech. xiv. 5).
To conclude: the series of events we gather from the whole of
Prophecy, the Pentateuch, Psalms, Prophets, Gospels, and Epis tles. The order and time of the events we derive from the Apocalypse, and find them coincide with the order of the feast days of the Jewish year. In the series thus collected and arranged, we now stand at the time of Harvest, and in continual expectation of the sounding of the seventh trumpet, which coincides with the Feast of Trumpets at the beginning of the civil year of the Jews. At the Feast of Trumpets, the Jews on the year of jubilee began to prepare all things for recovering their lands and liberty; that on the sound of the horn of jubilee, ten days after, there might be no delay, but they might instantly enjoy their inheritance: so at the seventh trumpet, the church of God, and his ancient people the Jews, so long held in thraldom by the Papal and Mohammedan apostasies, begin to prepare for their jubilee by mustering to their several quarters; the unconverted but pious Jews drawing towards Palestine; the true waiting church, both of Jews and Gentiles, raised to the clouds of heaven: for Babylon shall then be shaken to its foundations, and from its wreck those hosts be mustered which shall perish in the war of Armageddon. On the tenth of Tisri was the Day of Atonement, the crisis of the nation, the High Priest's own day, in which he himself performed all the services, the priests and Levites looking on in which services he entered into the holy of holies four times; and on his coming out the last time the horn of jubilee sounded, and the year of release began. The affliction of soul on that day, the many and significant sacrificessuch as the scape-goat, &c.-we need not dwell upon; they typify the time of Jacob's trouble, the great tribulation, the day of the great slaughter when the towers shall fall, followed by the even-tide of jubilee, when it shall be light (Zech. xiv. 7); after which the present shall be brought to the Lord of the remnant of his people (Isai. xviii. 7; Psal. xlv. 15; Zeph. iii. 10; Isai. Ixvi. 20). But this is, of course, a continuous, not an instantaneous work; and is going on the whole time between the Day of Atonement on the tenth, and the Feast of Tabernacles on the fifteenth. These fifteen days, between the Feast of Trumpets and of Tabernacles, would agree in some respects with the fifteen songs of degrees; which would then be retrospective, commemorating the mighty deliverances both of his church and people at the coming of the Lord, first as the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, then in planting his throne of glory on the earth: but many considerations forbid this interpretation; as, those which we have already alluded to, resulting from the songs in heaven over the destruction of Babylon (xix. 1), quite incompatible with the silence in heaven under the seventh seal, and forcing us to postpone its opening till after that time; next, from its succeeding of course to the sixth seal, which we have seen carries
us down to the Feast of Tabernacles in chap. vii.; but above all from this silence being half an hour, while the kings reign one hour with the beast (xvii. 12), and in one hour Babylon is judged (xviii. 10-17). But, taking the interval of ten days, between the Feast of Trumpets and Day of Atonement, as the one hour in which Babylon is destroyed; five days, or half that period, half an hour, would bring us to the Feast of Tabernacles, the time at which we suppose the last seal will be opened and the mystery of God finished. Then, after the silence of half an hour in the Hallelujahs of heaven, the throne itself shall be transferred to this earth, the Son of God having already potentially redeemed it, by taking of its substance and in it bruising the serpent's head; Christ shall mount his own throne; his people shall reign with him kings and priests for ever; and “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."
THOUGHTS, MORAL AND DIVINE, TOUCHING GOD'S METHOD AND ORDER OF REVEALING HIMSELF.
(By the Rev. EDWARD IRVING.)
I. Of God, The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
CONCERNING God, it is to be believed that He loveth all and hateth none of the creatures which he hath made; being the Good One, who, out of very goodness, and to communicate of his goodness to the creatures, did create all things out of nothing by his Son, and for his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, through the Holy Ghost. Also, that He is the most Holy One, who cannot look upon iniquity but with detestation and abhorrence; and that all which is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, are not of the Father, but of the world. Sin is the uncaused act of the creature's will, which, like all his other works, God created good, and endowed with the noblest faculty of freedom, which it abused by taking part against its Maker. In all this, whether it be the sin of angels or of men, God had no hand whatever, direct or indirect, but did all which, consistently with the freedom of the will, he could do to prevent it; advertising man of the sure and certain penalty of death which would follow if he should transgress the commandment delivered unto him. When man had sinned, I believe that God's holiness, which continueth unchanged and unchangeable, shewed itself forth in the way of judgment, in
flicting upon man death-that is, the loss of liberty in his will, of cleanness in his conscience, of incorruption in his body, and of obedience in all his members, drawing on and ending in the dissolution of his being by death; which would have been eternal, but for the operation of God's love; which also continueth, like every Divine attribute, unchanged and unchangeable, and shewed itself forth in the forms of mercy and grace. His holiness demanded satisfaction; and the satisfaction is nothing less than the penalty and wages of sin, which is death, in the large and full sense declared above: his love presented to the first, as to the last, and to all men, the fountain of a new life in Christ Jesus, and entreated us, without money and without price, to come and obtain, from the Lamb slain, liberty to the will, cleanness to the conscience, resurrection to the body, and a holy life to the whole man here, and hereafter for ever. And, being thus regenerated with new life through faith in Christ, he did require of us to use this regenerate life in crucifying the natural life; and so to vindicate his holiness, and execute the penalty of sin upon ourselves all our life long; the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus fighting against and making us free from the law of sin and death. Thus I believe the love of God did (upon the entering in of sin), fall asunder into two parts or poles; the one, holiness, visiting moral and natural and eternal death,-the other, grace in Christ, presenting regeneration, resurrection, and eternal life unto all men. Concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, it is to be believed that he is the eternal Son of the Father; very God of very God; the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; whom the Father loved as Himself, being indeed of his own substance, equal in power and glory; yet, for the much love with which together they loved the children of men, the Father did consent to yield him up from his own bosom to die the most cursed and cruel death of the cross; and He, the Son, did forego the dearest love of his Father, and was willing, for the great love with which he loved us, while we were yet sinners, to come into the world, and die, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us unto God. This purpose of redemption was laid in Christ before the world began-from the foundation of the world he was the Lamb slain, and before the foundation of the world eternal life was promised to us in him ;-wherefore he is called the First-born of every creature, the Beginning of the creation of God: not that he became a creature until he was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, but that he was the Christ before the foundation of the world, and as the Christ did create all things for himself, in whom all things subsist. The Father was moved to give up his Son by nothing but his love: the Son was moved to give himself by nothing but his love. The Father had no desire that his Son should suffer and die; still less had he any gratification in seeing