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in them, heard 1 saying, Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
And in Revelation 14th, saith the same apostle, “ 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 fountain of waters.
“ 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 bis mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
“ 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 I amb:"
This is followed by a long description of the downfall of spiritual Babylon, and the weepings and lamentations of every class of people which had been so long duped by her wickedness, and spiritual lewdness. And this is followed with acclamations of praise and thanksgiving to God for thus judging tbis great city, whom John has described as the mother of spiritual harlots. In these words, “ After these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia ; salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:
• For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with ber fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
" And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever.
“And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.
“ And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
" And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thun,
derings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reign. eth.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him : for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
“And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white : for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.
“ And he saith unto me, write, blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God."
Then, in the next chapter, we have the following account:
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and satan, and bound him a thousand years,
" And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled : and after that he must be loosed a little season."
Then follows a description of the first resurrection, and that these prophecies in general have reference to the great outpouring of God's divine spirit upon the earth in the latter days, is evident; for many of them will not apply to any period past, neither will they apply to that glorious state of things, which we believe will exist after the general judgment.
Or, to speak in the language of our text, " the restitution of all things.” And the greatest care ought to be taken by divines, not to blend these times of refreshings, and restitution together, for there is scarcely any thing which is more calcu lated to mislead the mind as to the plan of redemption, than for us to blend these points of doctrine together. But when we compare the prophesies with the plan of redemption, we find they most beautifully harmonize and open progressively to the mind, the wonderful works of God.
Once more let us remark, it is evident that many, if not all, of the prophesies which we have quoted from the Revelations, will take place successively one after the other, as they stand recorded, that is from the 13th chapters, to the close of the book, with very few exceptions at most. Some divines, by blending these times of refreshings together, have supposed that Christ will come personally and set up his kingdom at Jerusalem, in the latter day glory of the church, but this seems to contradict some express passages of scripture: for our text informs us that the heavens must receive him till the restitution of all things. Perhaps the inquiring mind by this time is ready to ask, what means and measures God will take to bring about these great events ? and we are ready to answer as far as the scriptures have given us information on this subject. And I think that Peter's sermon is full on this point. First, “ Repent and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come," "and he shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you.” And in the second verse following our text says the apostle, that "it shall come to pass, that every soul that will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.”
Unquestionably we may expect great displays of God's judgments amongst the people, as well as the abundant out-pourings of his divine spirit, in order to accomplish this great event on the earth, in order to bring down all usurped power, which has been usurped contrary to the mind and will of God, both in church and state. But should we attempt to inquire when the great event last referred to shall be fully accomplished, we acknowledge would be a question perhaps too hard for us to define; and should we enter on that part of the subject it must swell this discourse far beyond what we should be able to attend to at present.
Therefore, it must suffice to say, we think the time is not far distant when God will make rich displays of his power and grace for the salvation of his people ; and I think the period is already arrived spoken of by Daniel the prophet, “ when many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased," and that the dawn of the latter day glory in some small degree has already appeared.
We shall now turn our attention to the latter part of the subject, which is still more weighty, interesting, and sublime, when the Messiah shall fully accomplish and complete his mediatorial kingdom and reign; or, to speak in the language of the text, when the "restitution of all things,” and the last general “refreshings” of the Zion of God, which is to be eternal, " shall come."
And this we find has been spoken of by the mouth of all the Holy Prophets since the world began. Notwithstanding these solemn and weighty events have been so frequently spoken of by the prophets, yet time will not admit of our reciting but a few of them on this occasion; consequently, we shall attend to those passages which clearly speak of this most solemn and awful event. We shall begin with the epistle of Jude.
This apostle informs us that “Enoch the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their un: godly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against Crim.” That this passage has reference to the general judg. ment, which is emphatically called the great day, I think is ev. ident for the same apostle in the same epistle, speaks in the following manner, in verses 6th and 7th.
" And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day.
“ Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
I think Daniel must have reference to the same period which Enoch referred to; which passage is found recorded in the prophecy of Daniel, 12th chapter, and the three first verses.
"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a na. tion even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall he delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
** And many of them that sleep in the du the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
“ And they that he wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for erer and ever.”
We will now compare the declaration of Daniel, which we have just quoted, with the latter part of the 20th chapter of the Revelations; and I think we shall be convinced that they refer to one period of time.
" And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
" And shall go out to deceive the nations, which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle; the number of whom is as the sands of the sea.
" And they went up on the breadth of the earth and compassed the camp of the saints about and the beloved city; and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.
i And the devil that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophets are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
" And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it,
from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found co place for them.
* And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened ; and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works.
* And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works.
" And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire; this is the second death.
66 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life, was cast into the fire."
And these prephecies perfectly agree with the declarations of Paul, in his two epistles to the Thessalonians, for saith the a postle," the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first :
" Then we which are alive, and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
And again, saith the apostle, " Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you;
" And to you which are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
"In faming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ;
“ Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power ;
** When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.”
And Peter, it is evident, has reference to the same period, when he saith, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up.
Seeing then that all these things must be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness ;
“ Looking for, and hastening unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?