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their land, and cast them into the great wine-press of God's wrath. The plain meaning of this is, the Scots condemned them and their doctrines as antichristian. Thus this stiffnecked race fought their way till 1688, when, by the act of toleration, in the first year of William III, they enjoyed their own kirk government, without any one to make them afraid.
Verse 20: "And the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the horse-bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs." This verse presents to the understanding a variety of considerations. First, the wine-press being trodden without the city, shows that the Scots, by their league and covenant, extirpated and cast popery and prelacy out of their city and country.
Second, as they were severely persecuted for non-conformity, by the bishops of the established Church of England, it shows that prelacy of every kind has an affinity; its roots are the same, though it may differ in appearance.
Third, and the blood came out of the wine-press, even to the horse-bridles. I find that in prophetic language blood means guilt; that a horse is figurative of the principle on which we act; that a bridle is the helm by which we conduct ourselves to either good er evil. Therefore, the prophet in this verse shows that prelacy conducted an evil, antichristian, and persecuting principle, which manifested its guilt to the people of Scotland, and they opposed it.
To conclude, the prophet now shows the extent of the country in which this great work was performed: and calls it a space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. reduce Scotland into a square whose sides are equal, each side will measure a space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs, or two hundred Scotch miles: and is a convincing proof of the truth of the things recorded in this holy book. Evidence of all kinds every where meets us in the earth of the
truthfuless of these Revelations of the inspired prophet, and the testimony of events occuring long after holy St. John had ascended unto his reward.
Thus the hardy sons of Scotia drove prelacy of every description out of their land; a deed not yet performed by any other nation on earth. Note that thirty-five Scotch miles are nearly equal to forty English miles.
THIS chapter contains a very interesting account of the triumph of the true worshippers of God, who had got the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark and the number of his name; and the severe judgments and wrath of God to be inflicted on those who obeyed the beast and his image, and had his mark, and supported the number of his name. And also of our ignorance of the Scriptures of truth until the seven plagues are ended.
Verse 1: "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." From these words, it appears that when the plagues or judgments are poured out and ended, mankind—I mean those of the Christian world — will be so far renewed in the spirit of their minds, that a repetition of them will for ever cease. The Christian world will break those fetters of spiritual delusion wherewith they are now so entangled. Both Jew and Gentile will discover those things which conduct to everlasting peace. When the millennium, or universal kingdom of Christ, commences, mankind will be enlightened, and their true interests understood. John calls them the seven last plagues, as none other will succeed.
Verse 2 : "And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the
number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God." Here is a sea very different from any mentioned in the other parts of this book. This sea will receive no unclean thing; its rivers or fountains cannot be corrupted. It is that sea or ocean of mercy, which is mingled with the fire or holy zeal of the Redeemer for man's salvation, which the prophet is giving this grand description of. On this sea the true believer stands secure. Neither the beast, nor his image, the pope, nor his antichristian mark, nor his number, six hundred and sixty-six, which is the papal strength and security, can prevail against him. All this combination of power cannot separate the true believer from his God and Savior. It is true that these powers of darkness may and have persecuted the faithful, even unto death, but could not prevent their rejoicing in the God of their salvation. They had the harps of God, and melodiously sounded his praise. They laid fast hold of the promises; they knew him in whom they trusted; they knew he had laid up for them a crown of glory which fadeth not away, and thus they went on their way rejoicing.
Verse 3: "And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”
Verse 4: "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest."
When we seriously reflect on these sayings of the prophet, and also on the other expressions of a like nature, through the whole of the Old and New Testaments, and even from the voice of nature, we should be constrained to use the same langnage. What can poor mortal man do but offer that tribute of adoration, thanksgiving and praise, which is so justly due to an all bounteous Creator? It is God alone
who justifies, who sanctifies, and who can adopt us into the happy number of his elect. It is by him we live, move, and have our being. It is by that great attribute of mercy, through and by the Redeemer, that we can find pardon and acceptance; for there is no other name given under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved.-Acts 4: 12.
Verse 5: "And after that I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened." These happy children knew the Lord's will and obeyed it. God made his abode with and dwelt in them. Their bodies became the temples of God, and were holy, and he preserved them from defilement.-1 Cor. 3: 16. The testimony of Jesus Christ was opened to them; they laid hold on the promises of him who is mighty to save. Neither death, nor life, nor principality, nor power, was able to separate them from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.- Rom. 8: 38, 39. Thus it was with the saints and martyrs during the Reformation, and thus I hope it is with many at the present time. But alas! the scene changes.
Verse 6: "And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles." Man's salvation was purchased dearly. The propagation of the gospel was attended with great sufferings, sore tribulations, and severe affliction. Notwithstanding this opposition, the apostles and their fellow laborers perseveringly went on, until the gospel was made known over a great part of the then known world. During the first century, the church continued pure, although some of the apostles complained of false teachers who had crept in unawares. In the second century, the church began to decline, for the salutary precepts of the gospel were neglected by its teachers. In the third century, its declension was great, for the third part of the sun, or gospel light, was smitten; and the third part of the moon, or brotherly love, was smitten; and the third part