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Rev. xiv. 1 to 5.-“ And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having bis Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers, harping with their harps : and they sung, as it were, a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song, but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God, and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.”
In the two next verses, a most important event is revealed, which prepares the way for the final deliverance of the Church. It is the universal spread of the Scriptures, throughout the world.
Verses 6 and 7.-“ And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel, to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying, with a loud voice, fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."
Commentators, who have written since the event, have interpreted these verses with reference to the British and Foreign Bible Society, which, most astonishingly and literally, bas fulfilled this portion of
the prophecy. From its first institution, in 1803, it has proceeded with a power, and a rapidity, which marks the immediate hand of God in the work. Through its own exertions, and those of its auxiliaries, in conjunction with other similar societies in different countries, which have been established chiefly under its auspices, and through its instrumentality, it has, at this time, nearly completed the vast work of conveying the word of life to every nation, tongue, and kindred, upon the face of the globe : and if, by the expression, "unto them that dwell on the earth,” those ,
" are signified, who dwell in an outward and nominal profession of Christianity, the prophecy has been most fully accomplished." The admonition of the angel must not be passed over, for it contains an awful warning of things which must shortly come to pass. When this universal spread of the Scriptures takes place, the hour of God's judgment is come, which is, moreover, plainly intimated by our Lord himself, in Matthew xxiv. 14. The operations of the Bible Society may therefore be well regarded, as a leading feature of the times.
Verse 8 to 13.-" And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying, with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his band, the same shall
drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out, without mixture, into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have
no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, 1and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the
patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth : Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
The reason assigned in verse 8, for the destruction of Babylon, is worthy of observation. It is not merely because she has, corrupted the nations, but because she has persecuted— made them drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication." Whether the two angels who are spoken of, are yet future, it is not easy to determine. It is evident that neither of them declare the destruction of Babylon to have been actually accomplished; because the latter one announces to the people, the judgments which will fall upon those who continue to abide in the city--which would be absurd, if the city were no more. The word fallen, must therefore be taken in the same sense as in Rev. xviii.2, where it evidently signifies nothing more than that Babylon is fallen from the faith once
delivered to the saints, and is become the sink of every: abomination.
If these two angels are, indeed, made manifest, the fulfilment may probably be traced in the general stiri which is now seen to have taken place, throughout many parts of Christendom, evincing an universal and an increasing sense of the corruptions of the Romish Church. It is a well-known fact, that in the principal Roman Catholic countries, the Scriptures have been for some time making a silent and certain progress; and that men who know, and who preach the truth, have been raised up in very many places. Meni of this description, mixing with the population, have disseminated the truth of the gospel extensively, amongst the mass of the people; and at the same time ecclesiastics, some of considerable note, have also been brought to know the truth, and to preach it to their congregations. Some of these bave resisted the Pope's prohibition of the Scriptures ; some have, to a certain extent, renounced their allegiance to him; and others have thrown it off entirely, declaring themselves to be Catholics, but not Roman Catholics. The circumstances, however, are as yet but impere is fectly known; and it may require that the events should be more fully developed, before an opinion is
hazarded, as to whether this portion of the prophecy has, or has not been accomplished. A short period, however, may decide: for all things seem preparing for the great event, which is announced in the following verses :
Verses 14-20.—“And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of Man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another anget came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap;
for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud, thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel ,
. came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry, to him that had the sharp sicklė, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God. "And the wine-press was tródden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press, even - unto the horses' bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”
These verses evidently relate to the circumstances of the last days. When the Son of Man cometh with power and great glory, the earth is reaped. The corn, that is, the good seed, which groweth upon the earth, will be carefully gathered together, and placed