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After this, the prophet takes a cursory view pf the fall and destruction of the whole
system of popery, of which the breaking out of the reformation had been the prelude. He exhibits it under two emblems very frequent ly alluded to in the ancient prophets, with the same intention. First, A FULL RIPE HARVEST, to which a reaper is divinely commissioned, and cuts it down :-and secondly, A VINTAGE, for the gathering of which another mighty instrument of Providence is also raised up, (or perhaps the same continued,) and specially supported to the complete performance of the task appointed him. He also executes the work of God, and the great wine press of
of, the wrath of God is set to work upon what has been thrown into it; "and blood issued out even to the horses bridles, by the space of thousand and six hundred furlongs.” -Some greater slaughter than even the former of the
none but popish bigots should hereafter be held in the pains of
“ Who is wise, and he shall understand these things ? prudent, and he shall know them for the ways of the Lord are right, and the just shall walk in them; but the TRANSGRESSOR shall fall therein.” (Hosea xiv, 9.) VOL. II.
harvest seems to be here alluded to, and is described in the usual hyperbolical language of prophecy : and that some dreadful fact corresponding to it will certainly take place, it were profane to entertain any doubt; as the place where it will happen is not only described, but literally and accurately measured likewise. For St John says it is without the city, and the measure that of 1600 furlongs ; which, as Bishop Newton and Mr Mede observe, “ is the measure of St Peter's PATRIMONY, or the state of the church, which reaching from the walls of Rome to the river Po and the marshes of VERONA, contains the space of two hundred Italian miles, or exactly sixteen hundred furlongs."*
im So remarkable a coincidence with matter of fact, in a professedly prophetic writing, there can be no reason to ascribe to mere accident. The literal fulfilment of all the other prophe sies might as well be imagined accidental; whereas, the contrary is declared in many of them. (Mat. ii.. 15, 17 ;-xxviii %, 85, &c
The opening of the TABERNACLE of the TESTI-.
MONY in heaven,ấor the reformation of religion and the church,--preparatory to the seven divine judgments upon the kingdom of THE BEAST,—which are to effect its total overtbrow. -The impenitency and blindness of his worshippers, (while a long respite is given them,) still continuing.-Tbe judgment begins with the plague of a figurative ULCER. By the infliction of the second plague, its corroding malignancy spreads over the whole popish system,
-and works deadly effects by the inflyence of the third.
THE judgment of the apostate church having been related concisely under the types
of an HARVEST and a VINTAGE, the prophet now,
in chap. xv. resumes the tale of woe, in order to unfold the particulars more at large
The heaven where this scene is represented is (as before) the hoĻY ROMAN EMPIRE, or vhole extent of the pope's spiritual dominion. Seven angels* are summoned to hold themselves in readiness against the time (now near approaching) when God will require their services, to execute so many several judgments upon the kingdom of the mystical Egypt, which, as warnings and inducements to repentance, are to advance nearer and nearer, by several approaches, to the throne and person of the spiritual PHAROAH, and end in his destruction.
But previously, a view is taken of the state of religion amongst the reformed, or witnesses, at the time when these plagues are about to begin ; and they are reported of very favorably, as contrasted with the shocking corruption of the apostacy. They are represented as “ standing upon a sea of glass mingled with fire,”—an emblem which re
* NATURAL CAUSES operating, the judgments of God upon his enemies are figuratively called Angels. Such was the destroyer of Sennacherib's army.
presents the purity of their doctrine, and the ardour of their zeal for God and his truth. Or it may represent their troubled state, and frequent suffering of martyrdom by fire, from the triumphant power and cruelty of their persecutors. Yet suffer what they may, they still
in " singing the song of Moses .and of the Lamb;" they adhere steadily to the holy scriptures of the OLD AND New TESTAMENT, as the sufficient and only safe guides in faith and practice; and “rejoicing even in tribulation,” they anticipate in hope and faith, the happy time when God will deliver and avenge his church, and receive glory and a pure worship from all nations.*
The “opening of the temple of THE TABERNACLE OF THE TESTIMONY in heaven," is the opening of the reformation in religion, and republication of the gospel, which under the uncontrolled reign of the beast, might be compared to the temple of God shut up, and made inaccessible to his pure worshippers,
* Zeph. iii. 9.