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olution almost ruined it; and the hand of the Almighty will shortly end it. The signs of the present time clearly indicate the speedy downfall of this hoary mother of harlots, which has ruled in the earth so long, and made the nations drink of the wine of her fornication. Let him that hath understanding discern the number and mark of the beast, and fly from its rocks and mountains.

Thus clearly hath God by his prophet forewarned the nations against the arts and influence of the Romish hierarchy, and made known his will so that he that runneth may read.


Verse 1: "And I looked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads." The Redeemer is here represented as standing on mount Sion, accompanied by one hundred and forty-four thousand of his brethren and friends the Jews - for they had his Father's name written on their foreheads; that is, they had a knowledge of truth from the Father, and walked in the true light, then shining upon them. The number in this verse seems to be figurative; for twelve was the number of the tribes, which when multiplied by the number of the apostles, produces one hundred and forty-four. This is typi cal of the thousands of Israel that are to be saved. In many parts of the Scriptures, God has promised to multiply them exceedingly, provided they obeyed his statutes. The same figurative number is mentioned in the sixth chapter, when the Jews are to be sealed, on their return to their Lord and Savior, previous to the millenium.

Verse 2: "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." This verse presents to the understanding,

First, a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, showing the Redeemer coming with power to reveal to sinful man the will of his heavenly Father. See Rev. 1. It also

implies the voice and testimony of the old prophets concerning him.

Second, the voice of a great thunder. Thunder, in prophetic language, signifies the powerful introduction of a new religious system. This happened among the Jews, and extended to the Gentiles, when Christ came into the world.

Third, the voice of harpers harping with their harps, beautifully expresses the joyful and melodious sound of the gospel as delivered by the apostles.

Verse 3: "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." This verse directs our attention to the happy state of those who are going on rejoicing in the God of their salvation: they extol their bounteous Creator for his power, mercy, wisdom, and providential care, in and over them; they are filled with gratitude for the benefits conferred on them by the law and the gospel; they dread not the severity of the law, because their Mediator liveth; they rejoice in the gospel covenant, because their Redeemer hath purchased them. Therefore none can learn that song, but they who are redeemed from the earth and its sensual allurements, and created anew unto good works. In addition to and in support of what has been already said, the prophet adds,

Verse 4: "These are they which are not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wheresoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb."

Verse 5: "And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God."

Following the Lamb wheresoever he goeth implies adherence to his cause through prosperity and adversity, in evil as well as in good report. Those spoken of in the text as

being the first fruits unto God and the Lamb are most evidently presented by the prophet to show the perfection at which the Jewish converts attained in the early days of Christianity. When we consult the Acts of the apostles, we see a confirmation of this. The prophet sums up the whole with the great and emphatic declaration: "For they are without fault before the throne of God.

Verse 6: "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." These words exactly correspond with the injunctions of the Redeemer: "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witness unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the utmost part of the earth."-Acts 1: 8.

By perusing the New Testament, we find that the disciples punctually obeyed these injunctions; they preached the word, and established churches in a great part of Asia, and in Greece and Italy. Many were converted; many even at Rome, that sink of degeneracy and corruption. This work was accomplished by Paul and his companions, before the martyrdom of the former by bloody Nero. A great number of churches were planted in Africa, even in the first century. Thus this angel, or governing principle of the first Christians, diffused itself over the then known world, through the zeal and activity of the apostles and their helpers. To prove that this great work of conversion among the Gentile nations was the flying angel that St. John alludes to, see what he says in

Verse 7: "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." Whoever examines the apostolic writings with care will find that this verse might almost be

called their creed, it being the doctrine they impressed on the Gentile nations that knew not God, and worshipped the works of their own hands. Even Athens, at that time the seat of learning and the polite arts, is represented by Paul to be wholly given up to idolatry; and to this corrupt city Paul uses almost the very words of John. See Acts 17. Rome, the capital of the then known world, was guilty of the most detestible vices. Thus we may see the state of the heathen world at that time. Yet at no period since has Christianity been so rapidly diffused. By consulting the sacred writings we find that vast multitudes were turned to the Lord in Asia and Europe and in the Mediterranean islands; and history informs us that in Africa the work was great. In other parts of this book, John speaks of these preachers as a burning mountain cast into the sea expressing their zeal in the midst of the heathen world.

Verse 8: "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." In this verse, Rome is charged by the Asiatic church with being the cause of the decline of true Christianity, and also of intoxicating the nations with false doctrines. Even her wrath is not omitted, because she compelled the nations to obey the frantic errors at this time established. Again we are brought down to the time of the council of Nice, A. D. 325, at which period commenced the five months' torment, and the first woe. The church in Rome had then fallen, fallen! It had lost its primitive purity, and not only acted contrary to the maxims of gospel law, but compelled others to do likewise. What impressive solemnity do the words of the prophet contain, and how strikingly reveal the condition of the apostate church at that period. History confirms them by a spectacle of diabolical intrigues, bloody wars, horrid massacres, merciless persecutions, strifes and envyings, urged on by the church and court of Rome. Well

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