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and that low ebb of piety in the Church of the living God, which the present age exhibits, and to it may probably be traced the almost total failure of Christianity in the earth, ever since the fifth or sixth century. But when the seventh trumpet sounds on high, the sovereignty of the world will revert to its rightful owner. Infinite Intelligence, and Almighty Love, will claim the absolute and undivided government of this earth. “ The kingdom of God will then be set up,” and “his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."
Although, however, the kingdom or reign of God commences at this period, still if the state of the world at the period of this transfer of government be taken into account, it is quite evident, that the first acts of the new Sovereign, on returning to this rebellious province of his Empire, must be punishment; and, although judgment is “the strange work" of the God of Love, yet, whenever necessary,
it would be weakness in the Lord of all, did he not punish rebels against his throne. Accordingly we find that the seventh trumpet which ushers in the kingdom of the Most High, is pre-eminently a trumpet of woe. The wrath of God, long, very long restrained, is at length poured out on a guilty world,—the cry of the “souls under the altar of them who were slain for the word of God,” for vengeance is at last answered. The monstrous systems of Civil and Spiritual Despotism, - the two grand machines of Satan for enslaving and destroying the earth,-will by the vials of divine wrath for ever be annihilated, and every enemy to God and man swept from the face of the earth. Hence the most conspicuous contents of the seventh trumpet are WRATH, VENGEANCE, and DESTRUCTION :“We give thee thanks, O Lord God almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come ; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry,
and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldst give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great, and shouldst destroy them which destroy the earth."-Rev. xi. 17, 18.
We have thus noticed the leading character of the great prophetical era denoted by the sounding of the seventh trumpet, let us now proceed to consider the remaining results. These are contained in the verse which follows the
of the twenty-four elders,—“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament; and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”—Rev. xi. 19.
“The temple of God in Heaven," denotes that place in the Heavenly world, where Jehovah, in an especial sense, takes up his abode ; there he sits enthroned, manifests his glory, and receives the worship of the celestial hosts.
On examining the book of the Revelation, it will be found that this mysterious and sacred place is only mentioned after the sounding of the seventh trumpet.
Whilst the seals are being successively opened, and their sublime and awful contents disclosed to the eye of the beloved Apostle, and whilst the six first trumpets sound their notes of alarm, we read nothing of “ The temple of God in Heaven.” It is the scene of none of those grand events of which that part of the Apocalypse treats,—no voice is heard to proceed in superhuman tones from that dwelling-place of the Almighty,—no angelic or redeemed creature is beheld entering or leaving its stupendous portal. During the whole of this period it remains closed, and it has no medium of connexion with this lower world. But on the blast of the seventh trumpet being heard echoing throughout the vaults of Heaven,—“ The temple of God is opened," and from this period it forms a conspicuous part of the scenery of the Apocalypse, being mentioned no less than ten times ; and hence we are provided with a rule which will hold good throughout this mysterious book, that, wherever the temple of God in Heaven appears upon
the scene, the prophecy in which it is mentioned receives its accomplishment subsequent to the sounding of the seventh trumpet, when the sovereignty of the earth has been transferred from the Prince of this World to the Prince of Peace.
To proceed with the investigation of the prediction : the temple of God denotes, as just observed, that place where the Almighty visibly and peculiarly dwells seated on a throne of dazzling light, where he condescends to display his glory, and hold intercourse with finite creatures, receiving the homage of their praise, and employing them to execute his will (Isaiah vi.)
The opening of the temple of God in Heaven, therefore, clearly signifies that this earth was now again exposed to the immediate influence of the blessed God, and that mankind were
once more brought into direct connection with the presence and glory of its Creator. Not that this or any part of the material universe was ever absolutely cut off from the influence and control of the Governor of all things ; but that up to this period, the world had been almost wholly abandoned to the rule of “the Prince of this World," and his confederates. The immediate and effectual presence of God had been withdrawn. The divine glory had not been manifested in reference to our guilty race, except in partial and isolated instances. Now, however, that the temple of God was opened, the Almighty would as it were come down to this lower world,--the glories of his character be brought to bear upon this rebellious province of his empire, in short, the symbol bears a striking analogy to the declaration uttered by great voices at the opening of this trumpet, -“The kingdom of the world is become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.” The opening of the temple of God in Heaven, leads to the exposure
of the ark of the Testament to the vision of men, “ And there was seen in his temple the ark of His Testament.” Under the Jewish economy, it is well known, the ark of the Testament constituted the most sacred of all the contents of the temple. It was deposited within the Holy of Holies;- it was beheld only by the Priest, and by him only once in a year, on the great day of atonement, when the doctrine of vicarious suffering was publicly declared to the Jews. When, therefore, we read that one of the great results of the seventh trumpet's blast, will be the vision of the ark of the Testament in the temple of God, it clearly imports that the great truths of religion,-spiritual things, would at this period, be clearly perceived by his people on earth. That professors of the Gospel would be generally distinguished by a vigorous comprehension of divine truth. The faith of the Gospel would become a mighty and efficacious principle of action, instead of a mere speculative profession that exercises no influence on the life. The mind of the believer would penetrate“ within the ceil," and see with a clearness and vigiour resembling the perceptions of sense, the great principles as well as the higher mysteries of the oracles of God. And how beautifully expressive is the figure by which this glorious truth is taught, the ark of the covenant, the depository, both of the divine will, and of the symbols of his mighty works, is brought forth from behind the veil, and seen-publicly, openly seen in His Temple !
There exists therefore the strongest reasons to believe that on the sound of the seventh trumpet, a general and lasting revival of religion will take place in the Church of Christ. It does not refer to an extension of the Redeemer's cause, so much as to a mighty increase in the power of godliness where it already exists, although it may include both. And oh! how cheering is this prospect to the people of God, and espe
cially to the faithful Ministers of Christ! How consoling, amid the difficulties, discouragements, and unfruitfulness of the Christian ministry in the present day, is the assurance thus afforded, that within probably about thirty years, a universal, and mighty, and permanent revival of godliness will commence amongst the followers of the Lamb! How much, alas ! does the present state of the visible Church require it! Like that of Laodicea of old, she says,—“I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and knoweth not that she is wretched and miserable, and blind, and naked." How cold and powerless is the faith of Christians in the present age! To what an extent are professors engrossed with the affairs of time! How fearfully does covetousness which is idolatry," and worldliness and self-indulgence, reign in the Christian's heart! And how numerous are the instances in which even the shepherds of the flock are equally culpable! How little of apostolic simplicity, and holiness, and self-devotion is observable! Oh, how consolatory to those who view with grief this state of the visible Church, to look forward with confident faith to a period, fast approaching, when the veil of spiritual darkness and carnality will be removed from the professor's heart, and “the ark of the covenant [the depository of God's will to man] SEEN in His temple !" The only remaining result stated in the very
brief account of the sounding of the seventh trumpet is the manifestation of divine wrath against the Anti-christian powers,—“And there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, und great hail.” On referring to the account of the effusion of the sev nth vial, it will be found that these very same symbols again occur, and as that vial is by all expositors placed under this trumpet, it is manifest that the same identical events are denoted in both instances. There are, it is true, some trifling variations in the two