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Prophecies in the Bible Books
of Daniel and Revelation

Table of Contents
PAGE
CHAPTER
Part A
Prophecies of Daniel
Part B
Prophecies of Daniel
Part C
Prophecies of Revelation
Part D
Prophecies of Revelation
PAGE
CHAPTER
558 XIII Persecuting Powers Professedly Christian
628 XIV The Three Massages
681 XV The Seven Last Plagues
684 XVI The Plagues Poured Out
702 XVII Babylon - The Mother
709 XVIII Babylon - The Daughters
725 XIX Triumph of the Saints
732 XX The First and Second Resurrections
748 XXI The New Jerusalem
763 XXII The Tree and the River of Life
777 Appendix
793 Index of Authors
794

Index of Texts

796 General Index

 

Table of Illustrations
p 16-18

PAGE
CHAPTER
 Part A
Prophecies of Daniel
Front-
ispiece
PORTRAIT OF AUTHOR
25 SIEGE OF JERUSALEM BY NEBUCHADNEZZAR
36 DANIEL AND HIS FELLOWS ARE SOUGHT TO BE SLAIN
48 A BABYLONIAN PALACE
52 BABYLON TAKEN BY THE MEDO-PERSIANS
55 ALEXANDER REMOVING THE RUINS AT BABYLON
60 ALEXANDER COMMANDING THE CONFLAGRATION OF PERSEPOLIS
71 MAP SHOWING TERRITORY COVERED BY THE FOUR UNIVERSAL KINGDOMS
84 THE THREE HEBREWS REFUSING TO BOW TO THE IMAGE
88 THE THREE HEBREWS IN THE FIERY FURNACE
96 THE HUMILIATION OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR
105 BELSHAZZAR'S FEAST
118 DANIEL IN THE DEN OF LIONS
124

THE LION-SYMBOL OF BABYLON

126 THE BEAR-SYMBOL OF MEDO-PERSIA
129 THE LEOPARD -SYMBOL OF GRECIA
130 THE FOURTH BEAST - SYMBOL OF ROME
133 THE LITTLE HORN - SYMBOL OF THE PAPACY
140 WALDENSES FLEEING FROM PAPAL PERSECUTION
143 THE LAW AS CHANGED BY THE PAPACY
152 BELISARIUS ENTERING ROME
156 PROMINENT MARTYRS
Part B
Prophecies of Daniel
164 THE RAM - SYMBOL OF MEDO-PERSTA
167 THE HE-GOAT-SYMBOL OF GRECIA
169 ALEXANDER VIEWING THE BODY OF DARIUS
173 THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL VIII
187 THE TEMPLE AT JERUSALEM IN THE TIME OF CHRIST
210 THE ANGEL GABRIEL SENT TO INSTRUCT DANIEL
214 DIAGRAM OF THE 70 WEEKS AND 2300 DAYS
221 REBUILDING THE WALLS OF JERUSALEM
228 THE CRUCIFIXION
263 THE ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY
272 THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM: FULFILLING DAN. 11:25
277 A ROMAN TRIUMPH
291 IMPRISONMENT OF HUSS
296 STORMING OF THE TUILLERIES
312 PETER THE GREAT
317 OPENING OF THE TURKISH PARLIAMENT
317 BATTALION OF TURKISH TROOPS AT JERUSALEM
334, 335 "MANY SHALL RUN TO AND FRO, AND KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED"
Part C
Prophecies of Revelation
348 JOHN WRITING THE REVELATION
365 THE ISLE OF PATMOS
382 CHRISTIAN MARTYRS IN ARENA
435 ARCH OF CONSTANTINE
446 THE LISBON EARTHQUAKE
452 METEORIC SHOWER, OR FALLING STARS, OF Nov. 13, 1833
483 THE VANDALS INVADING AFRICA
486 ATTILA, KING OF THE HUNS
491 SURRENDER OF WESTERN ROME TO ODOACER
494 "WOE, WOE, WOE, TO THE INHABITERS OF THE EARTH!"
499 MOHAMMED AND MOHAMMED II
503 SARACEN WARRIOR
511 TURKISH WARRIOR
513 ENTRY OF MOHAMMED II INTO CONSTANTINOPLE
519 THE ANGEL ON SEA AND LAND
522 PREACHING THE ADVENT MESSAGE IN NORWAY
534 FUGITIVE HUGUENOTS
540 THE BERLIN INSURRECTION OF 1848
544 THE GOSPEL CHURCH
547 PAGAN AND PAPAL ROME
554 BURNING THE PAPAL BULL
556 EMINENT REFORMERS
Part D
Prophecies of Revelation
566 SYMBOL OF THE UNITED STATES IN PROPHECY
575 LANDING OF THE PILGRIMS
578 MAP SHOWING THE TERRITORIAL GROWTH OF THE UNITED STATES
590 FEDERAL COUNCIL OF CHURCHES IN SESSION
632 THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL
648 THE THREE MESSAGES OF REVELATION 14
687 THE SEVEN ANGELS POURING OUT THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
697 THE GREAT EARTHQUAKE
708 THE MESSAGE OF REV. 18:1
722 BABYLON FALLS, LIKE A MILLSTONE THROWN INTO THE SEA
743 THE INVESTIGATIVE JUDGMENT
752 THE ANGEL SHOWING JOHN THE HOLY CITY
765 BANYAN TREE ILLUSTRATING THE TREE OF LIFE
772 "VISIONS OF BEAUTY ARE THERE, FIELDS OF LIVING GREEN"
Plates in Color - OPP. PAGE
42 THE GREAT WORLD-KINGDOM IMAGE, DAN. 2:31-34
143 THE LAW OF GOD
315 MAP ILLUSTRATING THE EASTERN QUESTION
759 FOUNDATION WALLS OF THE NEW JERUSALEM

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DANIEL

and the REVELATION

 

by Uriah Smith - 1897

 

- Part D
Continuing the Book of Revelation


Persecuting Powers Professedly Christian
CHAPTER XIII

p 558 - VERSE 1. And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.   2.    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.   3.    And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.   4.    And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?   5.    And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.   6.    And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.   7.   And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.   8.    And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.   9.  If any man have an ear, let him hear.   10.   He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The sea is a symbol of "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Rev. 17:15. A beast is the Bible symbol of an unrighteous nation, or power, representing sometimes the civil power alone, sometimes the ecclesiastical in connection with the civil. Whenever a beast is seen to come up out of the sea, it denotes that the power arises in a thickly populated territory; and if the winds are represented as blowing upon the sea, as in Dan. 7:2, 3, political commotion, civil strife, and revolution are indicated.

p 559 -- By the dragon of the previous chapter, and the beast first introduced in this, we have the Roman power as a whole brought to view in its two phases, pagan and papal; hence these two symbols have each the seven heads and ten horns. (See on chapter 17:10.)

The seven-headed and ten-horned beast, or, more briefly, the leopard beast, here introduced, symbolizes a power which exercises ecclesiastical as well as civil authority. This point is of sufficient importance to justify the introduction of a few of the conclusive arguments which go to prove it.

The line of prophecy in which this symbol occurs commences with chapter 12. The symbols of earthly governments embraced in the prophecy are, the dragon of chapter 12, and the leopard beast and two-horned beast of chapter 13. The same line of prophecy evidently continues into chapter 14, closing with verse 5 of that chapter. Commencing, therefore, with verse 1 of chapter 12, and ending with verse 5 of chapter 14, we have a line of prophecy distinct and complete in itself.

Each of the powers here introduced is represented as fiercely persecuting the church of God. The scene opens with the church, under the symbol of a woman, anxiously longing for the promise to be fulfilled that the seed of the woman, the Lord of glory, should appear among men. The dragon stood before the woman for the purpose of devouring her child. His evil design is thwarted, and the child is caught up to God and his throne. A period follows in which the church suffers severe oppression from this dragon power. And though in this part of the scene the prophet occasionally glances forward, once even down almost to the end, bacons all the enemies of the church were to be actuated by the spirit of the dragon, yet in verse 1 of chapter 13 we are carried back to the time when the leopard beast, the successor of the dragon, commences his career. From this power, for the long period of 1260 years, the church suffers war and persecution. Following this period of oppression, the church has another conflict, brief, but sharp and severe, with the two-horned beast. Then comes deliverance; and the prophecy closes with the

p 560 -- church brought safely through all her persecutions, and standing victorious with the Lamb on Mount Zion. Thank God for the sure promise of final victory!

The one character which ever appears the same in all these scenes, and whose history is the leading theme through all the prophecy, is the church of God. The other characters are her persecutors, and are introduced simply because they are such. And here, as an introductory inquiry, we raise the question, Who or what is it that persecutes the true church? - It is a false or apostate church. What is it that is ever warring against true religion? - It is a false and counterfeit religion. Who ever heard of the civil power, merely, of any nation, persecuting the people of God? Governments may war against other governments, to avenge some wrong, real or imaginary, or to acquire territory and extend their power, as nations have often warred against the Jews; but governments do not persecute (mark the word - do not persecute) people on account of their religion, unless under the control of some opposite and hostile system of religion. But the powers introduced in this prophecy, - the dragon, the leopard beast, and the two-horned beast, - are all persecuting powers. They are actuated by rage and enmity against the people and church of God. And this fact is of itself sufficiently conclusive evidence that in each of these powers the ecclesiastical or religious element is the controlling power.

Take the dragon: what does it symbolize? - The Roman empire, is the undeniable answer. But this is not enough. No one would be satisfied with this answer and no more. It must be more definite. We then add, The Roman empire in its pagan form, to which all must also agree. But just as soon as we say pagan, we introduce a religious element; for paganism is one of the hugest systems of counterfeit religion that Satan ever devised. The dragon, then, is so far an ecclesiastical power that the very characteristic by which it is distinguished is a false system of religion. And what made the dragon persecute the church of Christ? - It was because Christianity was prevailing against paganism, sweeping away its superstitions, overturning its idols, and dismantling its

p 561 -- temples. The religious element of that power was touched, and persecution was the result.

We now come to the leopard beast of chapter 13. What does that symbolize? The answer still is, The Roman empire. But the dragon symbolized the Roman empire, and why does not the same symbol represent it still? - Ah! there has been a change in the religious character of the empire; and this beast symbolizes Rome in its professedly Christian form. And it is this change of religion, and this alone, which makes a change in the symbol necessary. This beast differs from the dragon only in that he presents a different religious aspect. Hence it would be altogether wrong to affirm that it denotes simply the Roman civil power.

To this beast the dragon gives his seat, his power, and great authority. By what power was pagan Rome succeeded? We all know that it was by papal Rome. It matters not to our present purpose when or by what means this change was effected; the great fact is apparent, and is acknowledged by all, that the next great phase of the Roman empire after its pagan form was its papal. It would not be correct, therefore, to say that pagan Rome gave its seat and power to a form of government merely civil, having no religious element whatever. No stretch of the imagination can conceive of such a transaction. But two phases of empire are here recognized; and in the prophecy, Rome is pagan until Rome is papal. The statement that the dragon gave to the leopard beast his seat and power, is further evidence that the dragon of Rev. 12:3 is not a symbol of Satan personally; for Satan has not abdicated in favor of any other malevolent being; and he has not given up his seat to any earthly power.

But it may be said that it takes the leopard beast and two-horned beast together to constitute the papacy, and hence it is to these that the dragon gives his power, seat, and great authority. But the prophecy does not say so. It is the leopard beast alone with which the dragon has to do. It is to that beast alone that he gives his power, seat, and great authority. It is that beast that has a head that is wounded to death, which is afterward healed; that beast that the whole

p 562 -- world wonders after; that beast that receives a mouth speaking blasphemies, and that wears out the saints for 1260 years; and all this before the succeeding power, the two-horned beast, comes upon the stage of action at all. The leopard beast alone, therefore, symbolizes the Roman empire in its papal form, the controlling influence being ecclesiastical.

To show this more fully, we have but to draw a parallel between the little horn of Dan. 7:8, 20, 24, 25, and this power. From this comparison it will appear that the little horn referred to and the leopard beast symbolize the same power; but the little horn is acknowledged on all hands to be a symbol of the papacy. There are six points of identity, as follows: -
    1. The little horn was a blasphemous power. "He shall speak great words against the Most High." Dan. 7:25. The leopard beast of Rev. 13:6 does the same. "He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God."

   2. The little horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. Dan. 7:21. This beast also (Rev. 13:7) makes war with the saints, and overcomes them.

   3. The little horn had a month speaking great things. Dan. 7: 8, 20. And of this beast we read, Rev. 13:5: "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies."

   4. The little horn arose on the cessation of the pagan form of the Roman empire. The beast of Rev. 13:2 arises at the same time; for the dragon, pagan Rome, gives him his power, his seat, and great authority.

   5. Power was given to the little horn to continue for a time, times, and the dividing of time, or 1260 years. Dan. 7:25. To this beast also power was given for forty-two months, or 1260 years. Rev. 13:5. 

  6. At the end of that specified period, the dominion of the little horn was to be taken away. Dan. 7:26. At the end of the same period, the leopard beast was himself to be "led into captivity." Rev. 13:10. Both these specifications were fulfilled in the captivity and exile of the pope, and the temporary overthrow of the papacy by France in 1798.

p 563 -- Here are points that prove identity; for when we have in prophecy two symbols, as in this instance, representing powers that come upon the stage of action at the same time, occupy the same territory, maintain the same character, do the same work, exist the same length of time, and meet the same fate, those symbols represent the same identical power.

Now all the particulars above specified do apply alike to the little horn, and the leopard beast of chapter 13, showing that these two symbols represent the same power. It is admitted on all hands that the little horn represents the papacy; and he who claims that this leopard beast does not represent the same, must, to be consistent, show that at the same time that the papacy arose, there arose another great power exactly like it, occupying the same territory, bearing the same character, doing the same work, continuing the same length of time, and meeting the same fate, and yet a separate and distinct power; which would be as absurd as it would be impossible. TOP

The head that was wounded to death was the papal head. We are held to this conclusion by the very obvious principle that whatever is spoken in prophecy of the symbol of any government, applies to that government only while it is represented by that symbol. Now Rome is represented by two symbols, the dragon and the leopard beast, because it has presented two phases, the pagan and the papal; and whatever is said of the dragon applies to Rome only in its pagan form, and whatever is said of the leopard beast applies to Rome only in its professedly Christian form. But Rome was pagan in John's day, who lived under the sixth or imperial head. This shows us at once that six of the heads, including the imperial, belong to the dragon; and if it was any one of these heads which was wounded to death, then it was one of the heads of the dragon, or one of the forms of government that belonged to Rome in its pagan form, and not one of the heads of the beast; and John should have said, I saw one of the heads of the dragon wounded to death. But he says that it was one of the heads of the beast that was wounded to death. In other words, this wound fell upon some form of government that existed in the Roman empire after its change from paganism

p 564 -- to Christianity. But after this change, there was but one head, and that was the papal. 1  Thus it is placed beyond controversy that it was none other than the papal head that was wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed. This wounding is the same as the going into captivity. Rev. 13:10. It was inflicted when the pope was taken prisoner by Berthier, the French general, and the papal government was for a time abolished, in 1798. Stripped of his power, both civil and ecclesiastical, the captive pope, Pius Vl, died in exile at Valence in France, Aug. 29, 1799. But the deadly wound was healed when the papacy was re-established, though with a diminution of its former power, by the election of a new pope, March 14, 1800. (See Bower's History of the Popes, pp. 404-428; Croly on the Apocalypse, London edition, p. 251.)

This beast opens his mouth in blasphemy against God to blaspheme his name. (See mention under Dan. 7:25 of the presumptuous titles assumed by the popes.)

He blasphemes the tabernacle in heaven by turning the attention of his subjects to his own throne and palace instead of to the tabernacle of God; by turning their attention away from the city of God, Jerusalem above, and pointing them to Rome as the eternal city; and he blasphemes them that dwell in heaven by assuming to exercise the power of forgiving sins, and so turning away the minds of men from the mediatorial work of Christ and his heavenly assistants in the sanctuary above.

By verse 10 we are again referred to the events of 1798, when that power that had for 1260 years led the saints of God into captivity, was led into captivity itself, as already noticed.

1--   The symbol as here presented has but seven heads, denoting seven forms of government, not contemporaneous but successive. Of course only one head is ruling at any one time; but all are placed alike upon the dragon and beast to identify both these symbols as denoting the Roman power. Six heads belonged to the dragon; that is, six forms of government were developed and passed away one after another,while the religion of Rome was pagan; and only one remained to be developed after the change to Christianity, and that was the papal; which as a spiritual power continues to the end (2 Thess. 2:8), and as a temporal power to the time when his dominion is taken away just before the end. Dan. 7:26.

p 565 -- VERSE 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.   12   And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.   13   And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  14    And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by the sword, and did live.   15    And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.   16   And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:   17   And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

These verses bring to view the third great symbol in the line of prophecy we are examining, usually denominated the two-horned beast. We inquire for its application. The dragon, pagan Rome, and the leopard beast, papal Rome, present before us great organizations standing as the representatives of two great systems of false religion. Analogy would seem to require that the remaining symbol, the two-horned beast, have a similar application, and find its fulfilment in some nationality which is the representative of still another great system of religion. But the only remaining system which is exercising a controlling influence in the world to-day is Protestantism. Abstractly considered, paganism embraces all heathen lands, containing more than half the population of the globe. Catholicism, which may perhaps be considered as embracing the religion of the Greek Church, so nearly identical with it, belongs to nations which compose a great portion of Christendom. Mohammedanism is an effete system, which has ceased to be any important factor in the world's progress. Moreover, it seems to have received enough prophetic attention in Daniel 11 and Revelation 9. But Protestantism is the religion of nations which constitute the vanguard of the world in liberty, enlightenment, progress, and power.

If, then, Protestantism is the religion to which we are to look, to what nationality, as the representative of that religion,

p 566 --


(Symbol of the United States in Prophecy)
TOP

p 567 -- does the prophecy have application? There are notable Protestant nations in Europe; but for reasons which will hereafter appear, the symbol cannot apply to any of these. A careful investigation has led to the conclusion that it does apply to Protestant America, or the government of the United States. We trust the reader will now feel impatient for some of the reasons for such an application, and will carefully consider the evidence by which it is supported.

    1.   Probabilities Considered. - Are there any reasons why we should expect that our own government would be mentioned in prophecy? On what conditions have other nations found a place in the prophetic record? -  First, if they have acted any prominent part in the world's history; and  secondly, and above all, if they have had jurisdiction over, or maintained any relations with, the people of God. In the records of the Bible and of secular history, we find data from which to deduce this rule respecting the prophetic mention of earthly governments; namely, whenever the relations of God's people to any nation are such that a true history of the former, which is the object of all revelation, could not be given without a notice of the latter, such nation is mentioned in prophecy. And all these conditions are certainly fulfilled in our government. No nation has ever attracted more attention, excited more profound wonder, or given promise of greater eminence or influence. And certainly here, if anywhere on the globe, are to be found a strong array of Christians, such as are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, whose history could not be written without mention of that government under which they live and enjoy their liberty.

And the conviction has fastened itself upon many minds that the hand of Providence has been conspicuously manifest in the rise and progress of this nation.

Governor Pownal, an English statesman, in 1780, while our Revolution was in progress, predicted that this country would become independent, and that a civilizing activity, beyond what Europe could ever know, would animate it; and that its commercial and naval power would be found in every

p 568 -- quarter of the globe. He then speaks of the probable establishment of this country as a free and sovereign power as -

"A revolution that has stronger marks of divine interposition superseding the ordinary course of human affairs, than any other event which this world has experienced."

De Tocqueville, a French writer, speaking of the separation of the United States from England, says: -

"It might seem their folly, but was really their fate; or rather, the providence of God, who has doubtless a work for them to do in which the massive materiality of the English character would have been too ponderous a dead-weight upon their progress."

Geo. Alfred Townsend, speaking of the misfortunes that have attended the other governments on this continent (New World and Old, p. 635), says: -

"The history of the United States was separated by a beneficent Providence far from the wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent."

Such considerations as these are calculated to arouse in every mind a strong expectation that this government will be found to have some part to act in the carrying out of God's providential purposes in this world, and that somewhere it will be spoken of in the prophetic word. TOP

   2. The Chronology of This Power. -   At what period in this world's history is the rise of this power placed in the prophecy? On this point, the foundation for the conclusions at which we must arrive is already laid in the facts elicited in reference to the preceding or leopard beast. It was at the time when this beast went into captivity, or was killed (politically) with the sword (verse 10), or (which we suppose to be the same thing) had one of its heads wounded to death (verse 3), that John saw the two-horned beast coming up. If the leopard beast, as we have conclusively proved, signifies the papacy, and the going into captivity met its fulfilment in the temporary overthrow of the popedom by the French in 1798, then we have the time definitely specified when we are to look for the rise of this power. The expression "coming up " must signify that the power to which it applies was but

p 569 -- newly organized, and was then just rising into prominence and influence. The power represented by this symbol must, then, be some power which in 1798 stood in this position before the world.

And in what condition stood the United States of America at that time? Macmillan and Co., the London publishers, in announcing their Statesman's Year Book for 1867, make an interesting statement of the changes that took place among the leading nations of the world during the half century between the years 1817 and 1867. They say:  -     "The half century has extinguished three kingdoms, one grand duchy, eight duchies, four principalities, one electorate, and four republics. Three new kingdoms have arisen, and one kingdom has been transformed into an empire. There are now forty-one states in Europe against fifty-nine which existed in 1817. Not less remarkable is the territorial extension of the superior states of the world. Russia has annexed 567,364 square miles; the United States, 1,968,009; France, 4,620; Prussia, 29,781; Sardinia, expanding into Italy, has increased by 83,041; the Indian empire has been augmented by 431,616. The principal states that have lost territory are Turkey, Mexico, Austria, Denmark, and the Netherlands."

In their bearing upon the prophecy before us, these statements are worthy of the particular attention of the reader. During the half century named, twenty-one governments disappeared altogether, and only three new ones arose. Five lost in territory instead of gaining. Only five besides the United States added to their domain, and the one which did the most in this direction, added only a little over half a million of square miles; while the United States added nearly two million square miles. Thus the American government added over fourteen hundred thousand square miles of territory during the fifty years named, more than any other single nation, and over eight hundred thousand more than were added, during that time, by all the other nations of the earth put together. Can any one doubt what nation was emphatically "coming up" during the period covered by these statistics?

p 570 -- Certainly it must be admitted that the United States is the only power that meets the specifications of the prophecy on this point of chronology.

Mr. Wesley, in his notes on Revelation 14, written in 1754, says of the two-horned beast: -     "He has not yet come, though he cannot be far off; for he is to appear at the end of the forty-two months of the first beast." TOP

   3. Age of This Power. -   There is good evidence to show that the government symbolized by the two-horned beast is introduced into prophecy in the early part of its career; that it is, when first brought to view, a youthful power. John's words are, "And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb." Why does not John simply say, "He had two horns"? Why does he add "like a lamb"? It must be for the purpose of denoting the character of this beast, showing that it is not only of a very innocent and harmless demeanor, ostensibly, but also that it is a very youthful power; for the horns of a lamb are horns that have but just begun to grow.

Bear in mind that by the preceding argument on chronology, our gaze is fixed to the year 1798; and the power symbolized was then a youthful power, according to the present argument.    Question:   What notable power was at that time coming into prominence, but still in its youth? England was not, nor was France, nor Russia, nor any European power. For a young and rising power at that epoch, we are obliged to turn our eyes to the New World. But as soon as we turn them to this continent, they rest inevitably upon this country as the power in question. No other power this side of the ocean is entitled to any mention in comparison with it.

   4.  Location of the Two-horned Beast. -  A single declaration of the prophecy is sufficient to guide us to important and correct conclusions on this point. John calls it "another beast." It is a symbol in addition to, and different from, the papal beast which the prophet had just had under consideration; that is, it symbolizes a power separate and distinct from that which is denoted by the preceding beast. This

p 571 -- which John calls "another beast" is certainly no part of the first beast; and the power symbolized by it is likewise no part of that which is intended by that beast. This is fatal to the claim of those, who, to avoid the application of this symbol to our own government, say that it denotes some phase of the papacy; for in that case it would be a part of the preceding, or leopard beast.

If this is "another" beast, it must be found in some locality not covered by any other symbols. Let us, then, take a brief survey of those symbols found in the word of God, which represent earthly governments. These are found, chiefly, if not entirely, in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. In Daniel 2, a symbol is introduced in the form of a great image, consisting of four parts, - gold, silver, brass, and iron,- which is finally dashed to atoms, and a great mountain, taking its place, fills the whole earth. In Daniel 7 we find a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a great and terrible nondescript beast, which, after passing through a new and remarkable phase, goes into the lake of fire. In Daniel 8, we have a ram, a he-goat, and a horn, little at first, but waxing exceeding great. In Revelation 9, we have locusts like unto horses. In Revelation 12, we have a great red dragon. In Revelation 13, we have a blasphemous leopard beast, and a beast with two horns like a lamb. In Revelation 17, we have a scarlet-colored beast, upon which a woman sits, holding in her hand a golden cup full of filthiness and abomination.

What governments and what powers are represented by all these? Do any of them symbolize the United States? Some of them certainly represent earthly kingdoms, for so the prophecies themselves expressly inform us; and in the application of nearly all of them there is quite a uniform agreement among expositors. The four parts of the great image of Daniel 2 represent four kingdoms, - Babylon, or Chaldea, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The lion of the seventh chapter also represents Babylon; the bear, Medo-Persia; the leopard, Grecia; and the great and terrible beast, Rome. The horn with human eyes and mouth, which appears in the second phase of this beast, represents the papacy, and covers its history

p 572 -- down to the time when it was temporarily overthrown by the French in 1798. In Daniel 8, likewise, the ram represents Medo-Persia; the he-goat, Grecia; and the little horn, Rome. All these have a very clear and definite application to the governments named; none of them thus far can have any reference to the United States. TOP

The symbols brought to view in Revelation 9, all are agreed in applying to the Saracens and Turks. The dragon of Revelation 12 is the acknowledged symbol of pagan Rome. The leopard beast of chapter 13 can be shown to be identical with the eleventh horn of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, and hence to symbolize the papacy. The scarlet beast and the woman of Revelation 17 as evidently apply also to Rome under pagan and papal rule, the symbols having especial reference to the distinction between the civil power and the ecclesiastical, the one being represented by the beast, the other by the woman seated thereon.

There is one symbol left, and that is the two-horned beast of Revelation 13. On this there is more difference of opinion; and before seeking for an application, let us look at the ground covered by those already examined. Babylon and Medo-Persia covered all the civilized portion of Asia. Greece covered Eastern Europe, including Russia. Rome, with the ten kingdoms into which it was divided, as represented by the ten toes of the image, the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the ten horns of the dragon of Revelation 12, and the ten horns of the leopard beast of Revelation 13, covered all Western Europe. (See Map of the Four Kingdoms, facing page 81.) In other words, all the Eastern Hemisphere known to history and civilization, is absorbed by the symbols already examined, respecting the application of which there is scarcely any room for doubt.

But there is a mighty nation in the Western Hemisphere, worthy, as we have seen, of being mentioned in prophecy, which is not yet brought in; and there is one symbol remaining, the application of which has not yet been made. All the symbols but one are applied, and all the available portions of the Eastern Hemisphere are covered by the applications. Of

p 573 -- all the symbols mentioned, one alone, the two-horned beast of Revelation 13, is left; and of all the countries of the earth respecting which any reason exists why they should be mentioned in prophecy, one alone, the United States government, remains. Do the two-horned beast and the United States belong together? If they do, then all the symbols find an application, and all the ground is covered. If they do not, it follows, first, that the United States is not represented in prophecy; and secondly, that the symbol of the two-horned beast finds no government to which it can apply. But the first of these suppositions is not probable, and the second is not possible.

But one conclusion can be drawn from these arguments, and that is that the two-horned beast must be located in the Western Hemisphere, and that it symbolizes the United States.

Another consideration pointing to the locality of this power is drawn from the fact that John saw it arising from the earth. If the sea, from which the leopard beast arose (Rev. 13:1), denotes peoples, nations, and, multitudes (Rev. 17:15), the earth would suggest, by contrast, a new and previously unoccupied territory.

Being thus excluded from eastern continents, and impressed with the idea of looking to territory not previously known to civilization, we turn of necessity to the Western Hemisphere.

   5.  The Manner of Its Rise. - The manner in which the two-horned beast was seen coming up shows, equally with its location, age, and chronology, that it is a symbol of the United States. John says he saw the beast coming up "out of the earth." And this expression must have been designedly used to point out the contrast between the rise of this beast and that of other national prophetic symbols. The four beasts of Daniel 7 and the leopard beast of Revelation 13 all arose out of the sea. New nations generally arise by overflowing other nations, and taking their place. But no other nation was overturned in order to make room for the United States, and the struggle for its independence was already fifteen years in the past when it came into the field of prophecy. The prophet saw only peace.

p 574 -- The word which is used in verse 11 to describe the manner in which this beast comes up, is very expressive. It is anabainon (anabainon), one of the prominent definitions of which is, "To grow or spring up as a plant." And it is a remarkable fact that this very figure has been chosen by political writers, without any reference to the prophecy, as the one conveying the best idea of the manner in which this government has arisen. Mr. G. A. Townsend, in his work entitled The New World Compared with the Old, page 635, says: -

"In this web of islands - the West Indies - began the life of both [North and South] Americas. There Columbus saw land; there Spain began her baneful and brilliant Western empire; thence Cortez departed for Mexico, De Soto for the Mississippi, Balboa for the Pacific, and Pizarro for Peru. The history of the United States was separated by a beneficent Providence far from this wild and cruel history of the rest of the continent, and like a silent seed we grew into empire; while empire itself, beginning in the South, was swept by so interminable a hurricane that what of its history we can ascertain is read by the very lightening that devastated it. The growth of English America may be likened to a series of lyrics sung by separate singers, which, coalescing, at last make a vigorous chorus, and this attracting many from afar, swells and is prolonged, until presently it assumes the dignity and proportions of epic song."

A writer in the Dublin Nation, about the year 1850, spoke of the United States as a wonderful empire which was    "emerging,"    and    "amid the silence of the earth daily adding to its power and pride."

In Martyn's History of the Great Reformation, Vol. IV, p. 238, is an extract from an oration delivered by Edward Everett on the English exiles who founded this government, in which he says: -

"Did they look for a retired spot, inoffensive from its obscurity, safe in its remoteness from the haunts of despots, where the little church of Leyden might enjoy freedom of conscience? Behold the mighty regions over which, in peaceful

p 575 --


(Landing of the Pilgrims)
TOP

p 576 -- conquest - victoria sine clade, - they have borne the banners of the cross."

Will the reader now look at these expressions side by side, - "coming up out of the earth,"   "emerging amid the silence of the earth,"   "like a silent seed we grew into empire,"   "mighty regions" secured by "peaceful conquest." The first is from the prophet, stating what would be when the two-horned beast should arise; the others are from political writers, telling what has been in the history of our own government. Can any one fail to see that the last three are exactly synonymous with the first, and that they record a complete accomplishment of the prediction?

Another inquiry naturally follows:     Has the United States "come up" in a manner to meet the specifications of the prophecy? Let us see. A short time before the great Reformation in the days of Martin Luther, not four hundred years ago, this Western Hemisphere was discovered. The Reformation awoke the nations, that were fast fettered in the galling bonds of superstition, to the fact that it is the heaven-born right of every man to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience. But rulers are loth to lose their power, and religious intolerance still oppressed the people . Under these circumstances, a body of religious heroes at length determined to seek in the wilds of America that measure of civil and religious freedom which they so much desired. In pursuance of their noble purpose, one hundred of these voluntary exiles landed from the Mayflower on the coast of New England, Dec. 22, 1620.  "Here," says Martyn, "New England was born," and this was "its first baby cry, - a prayer and a thanksgiving to the Lord."

Another permanent English settlement was made at Jamestown, Va., in 1607. In process of time, other settlements were made and colonies organized, which were all subject to the English crown till the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776.

The population of these colonies, according to the United States Magazine of August, 1855, amounted in 1701 to 262,000; in 1749, to 1,046,000; in 1775, to 2,803,000. Then

p 577 -- commenced the struggle of the American colonies for independence. In 1776, they declared themselves a free and independent nation. In 1777, delegates from the thirteen original States, - New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, - in Congress assembled, adopted Articles of Confederation. In 1783, the war of the Revolution closed with a treaty of peace with Great Britain, whereby the independence of the United States was acknowledged, and territory ceded to the extent of 815,615 square miles. In 1787, the Constitution was framed, and ratified by the foregoing thirteen States; and on the 1st of March, 1789, it went into effect. Then the American ship of state was fairly launched, with less than one million square miles of territory, and about three million souls. Thus are we brought to the year 1798, when this government is introduced into prophecy. And now, passing over a little more than a hundred years, to the commencement of the twentieth century, the territory of the United States government has expanded to 3,678,392 square miles, and its population has increased to over 93,000,000 people. Its growth in all industrial pursuits, agricultural productions, cattle raising, newspapers, schools, production of the precious metals, and wealth of all kinds which pertain to a civilized people, has been equally remarkable, and furnishes an ample basis for the application of the prophecy. TOP

   6.  Character of the Government Symbolized by the Two-horned Beast. - Under this division of the subject we find still further evidence that the symbol represents the United States government. In describing this power, John says that it had "two horns like a lamb." The horns of a lamb indicate, first, youthfulness, and secondly, innocence and gentleness. As a power which has but recently arisen, the United States answers to the symbol admirably in respect to age; while no other power, as has already been proved, can be found to do this. And considered as an index of power and character, it can be decided what constitutes the two horns of the government, if it can be ascertained what is the secret of its strength and power, and

p 578 --


(Map Showing the Territorial Growth of the United States)

p 579 -- what reveals its apparent character, or constitutes its outward profession. The Hon. J. A. Bingham gives us the clue to the whole matter when he states that the object of those who first sought these shores was to found "what the world had not seen for ages; viz., a church without a pope, and a state without a king." Expressed in other words, this would be a government in which the ecclesiastical should be separate from the civil power, and civil and religious liberty reign supreme.

It needs no argument to show, and even the statement is unnecessary, that this is precisely the profession of the American government. Article IV., sec. 4 of the Constitution of the United States, reads:    "The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government."    Article VI:     "No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."    The first amendment of the Constitution (Art. 1) begins as follows:    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."    These articles profess the amplest guarantee of civil and religious liberty, the entire and perpetual separation of church and state; and what better symbols of them could be given than "two horns like a lamb"? In what other country can be found a condition of things which would meet so completely this feature of the symbol?

   7.  A Republican Government. - The two-horned beast symbolizes a nation with a republican form of government. This is shown by the absence of crowns both upon its head and its horns. A crown is an appropriate symbol of a kingly or monarchical form of government; and the absence of crowns, as in this case, would suggest a government in which the power is not vested in any such ruling member, but is, per consequence, lodged in the hands of the people.

But this is not the most conclusive proof that the nation here symbolized is republican in its form of government. From verse 14 we learn that appeal is made to the people when any national action is to be performed:    "Saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast," etc.

p 580 -- Were the government a monarchy, national questions would hardly be submitted in this unqualified manner to the people; and the fact that appeal is here made to the people shows that the form of the government is such that the power is vested in their hands; and this is emphatically the case in the United States government, but not in any other government to which any one could reasonably think of applying this symbol. This is another strong link in the chain of evidence that this symbol must apply to the United States of America. TOP

   8.    A Protestant Nation. - The two-horned beast also symbolizes a government which is Protestant in religion, or which, at least, is a non-Catholic power. It has been shown that the preceding beast symbolized the papacy; and of the two-horned beast we read that he causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast. But in all Catholic countries, the people voluntarily worship the beast, or obey the dictates of Catholicism, without being "caused," or compelled, to do so by the government. The fact that the people of this government do not render this worship till caused to do so by the civil power, shows,that the religion they entertain is not Catholicism. As an almost inevitable consequence, it follows that it is Protestantism! for these are the only two religions of any consequence in Christendom. The United States is a Protestant nation, and meets the requirements of the prophecy admirably in this respect. Thus again the prophecy points directly to this government.

   9.   The Dragon Voice. - After contemplating all the good features presented in this symbol, it is with pain we read that. "he spake as a dragon." Before entering upon a discussion of,this topic, let us look at the points already established. It has been shown,

              (1)    That the government symbolized by the two-horned beast must be some government distinct from the powers of the Old World, whether civil or ecclesiastical.
              (2)    That it must arise in the Western Hemisphere.
              (3)    That it must be seen assuming a position of prominence and influence about the year 1798.

p 581 -- (4)   That it must rise in a peaceful and quiet manner, not augmenting its power, as other nations have done, by aggressive wars and successful conquests.
               (5)   That its progress must be so rapid as to strike the beholder with as much wonder as would the perceptible growth of an animal before his eyes.
               (6)   That it must be republican in its form of government.
               (7)   That it must be Protestant in its religion.
               (8)   That it must exhibit before the world, as an index of its character and the elements of its government, two great principles which are in themselves perfectly just, innocent, and lamblike.
               (9)   That it must perform its work this side of 1798.

And we have seen that of these nine specifications, it can be said, first, that they are all perfectly met in the history of the United States thus far; and secondly, that they are not met in the history of any other government on the face of the earth. It is therefore impossible to apply the symbol of Rev. 13:11 to any other government but that of the United States.

But after describing the lamblike appearance of this symbol, the prophet immediately adds this, "And he spake as a dragon." The dragon, the first link in this chain of prophecy, was a relentless persecutor of the church of God. The leopard beast, which follows, was likewise a persecuting power, grinding out for 1260 years the lives of millions of the followers of Christ. The third actor in the scene, the two-horned beast, speaks like the first, and thus shows himself to be a dragon at heart; "for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh," and in the heart actions are conceived. This, then, like the others, is to be a persecuting power; and the reason that any of them are mentioned in prophecy, is simply because they are persecuting powers. And if the United States is the power intended by this symbol which speaks as a dragon, it follows that this government is to enact unjust and oppressive laws against the religious profession and practice of some of its subjects. TOP

Nor is this so improbable an event as might at first appear. We must remember that in the last days the vast majority of

p 582 -- the people of the most favored lands are to relapse into the low moral condition described in such scriptures as Matt. 24:12; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 2 Peter 3:3, 4; Luke 17:26-30; 18: 8; and it is from such that those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Tim. 3:12.

Evil is also threatened from another quarter. Roman Catholicism, which has grown strong through immigration, has fixed its rapacious eyes on the United States, determined to bring this government under its power. Votes rule here, and Romanism controls an immense suffrage, which it carefully manipulates to its own ends. With such a weapon in its hands, its power for evil is almost unlimited; for multitudes of unscrupulous politicians, who under their country's pay, labor not for their country's good but for their own selfish aggrandizement, stand ready to help any party carry out any scheme, no matter how wicked, if that party will keep them in office.

Within recent years we have witnessed the ominous phenomenon of the consolidation of the Catholic elements in this country into one gigantic society, or "federation," as it is known, which holds annual conventions in our large cities, and conducts an active campaign in the interests of the Catholic church. The federation has been careful to announce that it was not going into politics, - meaning by this that it would not ally itself with any one political party, knowing of course that to form such an alliance would be to incur the opposition of other political parties. It is however in politics with the idea of controlling all political parties, and having the opposition of none, which is the very worst sense in which any church party can be in politics. This great federation, which now has more than two million members, can swing its vote and its influence solidly against any political or governmental action to which it is opposed; and as between the political parties which are contending for the mastery in this country, it easily holds the balance of power, and can dictate terms to either; so that no matter how an election turns, it is sure to go in favor of the papacy. Already this organization has boasted of its power over Congress. When it seemed likely that this

p 583 -- government would join with England in some action toward putting an end to the atrocities practiced in the so-called Congo Free State under the rule of his Catholic Majesty Leopold I of Belgium, the federation intervened, and a feature of the secretary's report at the next convention (held at Indianapolis, July, 1907), was a lengthy statement setting forth how the federation had taken action "refraining the United States from any act of intervention in Congo affairs."

And not only does the federation aim to control legislation, national and state, but it is conducting an active campaign for the suppression of all anti-Catholic literature in public libraries, and even from circulation in the mails.

The regular attendance of the President, and other high government officials, at mass in a Catholic church in Washington on Thanksgiving days, and the participation of the President and Vice-president, and Ex-president, and leading members of Congress, at the jubilee of Cardinal Gibbons (June, 1911) are marked indications of the strong hold which Rome is securing upon this Protestant republic.

In addition to this, we have Spiritualism, infidelity, socialism, free love, and trades unions, or labor against capital, and communism, - all assiduously spreading their principles among the masses. These are the very principles that worked among the people, as the exciting cause, just prior to the terrible French Revolution of l789 and onward. Human nature is the same in all ages, and like causes will surely produce like effects. TOP

   10.  Great Wonders. - In that part of the prediction which sets forth the work of the two-horned beast, we read that "he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men." In this specification we have still further proof that the United States is the government represented by the two-horned beast. That we are living in an age of wonders, none deny. (See on Dan. 12:4, remarks on the wonderful achievements of the present age, and double page of vignettes illustrating some of the leading triumphs of scientific and inventive skill.)

But this prophecy is not fulfilled in the great advancement in knowledge, the discoveries and inventions, so notable at the

p 584 -- present time; for the wonders to which the prophet had reference are evidently wrought for the purpose of deceiving the people, as we read in verse 14: "And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast." This identifies the two-horned beast with the false prophet of Rev. 19:20; for this false prophet is the power that works miracles before the beast, "with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image," - the identical work of the two-horned beast. We can now ascertain by what means the miracles in question are wrought; for Rev. 16:13, 14 speaks of spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of God Almighty; and these miracle-working spirits go forth out of the months of certain powers, one of which is this very false prophet, or two-horned beast.

The Saviour, predicting events to occur just before his second coming, says, "For there shall arise false christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Here, again, are wonders foretold, wrought for the purpose of deception, so powerful that, were it possible, even the very elect would be deceived by them.

Thus we have a prophecy (and there are many others) setting forth the development, in the last days, of a wonder-working power, manifested to a startling and unprecedented degree in the interest of falsehood and error. The earthly government with which it was to be especially connected is that represented by the two-horned beast, or false prophet. The agency lying back of the outward manifestations was to be Satanic, the spirit of devils. The prophecy calls for such a work as this in America at the present time. Do we behold anything like it? Read the answer in the lamentation of the prophet: "Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because be knoweth that he hath but a short time." Stand aghast, O earth; tremble, ye people, but be not deceived!

p 585 -- The huge specter of evil confronts us, as the prophet declared. Satan is loosed. From the depth of Tartarus myriads of demons swarm over the land. The prince of darkness manifests himself as never before, and throwing over his work a would-be heavenly garb, he calls it - Spiritualism.

(1)    Does Spiritualism, then, bear these marks of Satanic agency?

a.   The spirits which communicate claim to be the spirits of our departed friends. But the Bible, in the most explicit terms, assures us that the dead are wholly inactive and unconscious till the resurrection; that the dead know not anything (Eccl. 9:5); that every operation of the mind has ceased (Ps. 146:4); that every emotion of the heart is suspended (Eccl. 9:6); and that there is neither work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, where they lie. Eccl. 9:10. Whatever intelligence, therefore, comes to us professing to be one of our dead friends, comes claiming to be what, from the word of God, we know he is not. But angels of God do not lie; therefore these are not the good angels. Spirits of devils will lie; this is their work; and these are the credentials which at the very outset they hand us.

b.   The doctrines which they teach are also directly contrary to the Bible. They deny God. They deny Christ. They deny the atonement. They deny the Bible. They deny the existence of sin, and all distinction between right and wrong. They deny the sacredness of the marriage covenant; and, interspersing their utterances with blasphemies against God and his Son, and everything that is lovely, and good, and pure, they give the freest license to every propensity to sin, and to every carnal and fleshly lust. Tell us not that these things, openly taught under the garb of religion, and backed up by supernatural sights and sounds, are anything less than Satan's masterpiece. TOP

(2)    Spiritualism answers accurately to the prophecy in the exhibition of great signs and wonders. Among its many

p 586 -- achievements, these may be mentioned: Various articles have been transported from place to place by spirits alone; beautiful music has been produced independent of human agency, with and without the aid of visible instruments; many well-attested cases of healing have been presented; persons have been carried through the air by the spirits in the presence of many others; tables have been suspended in the air with several persons upon them; and, finally, spirits have presented themselves in bodily form, and talked with an audible voice.

(3)    Spiritualism answers to the prophecy in that it had its origin in the United States, thus connecting its wonders with the work of the two-horned beast. Commencing in Hydesville, N. Y., in the family of Mr. John D. Fox, in the latter part of March, 1848, it spread with incredible rapidity through all the world. A letter to the writer from a leading Spiritualist publisher, December, 1895, claims five million believers in the United States, and fifty million throughout the world. Of those who have become its devotees, Judge Edmonds said, as long ago as l853:  -

"Besides the undistinguished multitude, there are many now of high standing and talent ranked among them, - doctors, lawyers, and clergymen in great numbers, a Protestant bishop, the learned and reverend president of a college, judges of our higher courts, members of Congress, foreign ambassadors, and ex-members of the United States Senate."

The foregoing statement was written many years ago; and from that time to this the work of the spirits has been steadily progressing, and spreading among all classes of people.

One reason why it is now difficult to estimate the number of those who might properly be denominated Spiritualists, is that the more prominent and respectable of the adherents of this movement are drawing under cover the obnoxious and immoral features of the system, heretofore so prominent, and assuming a Christian garb. By this move they bring themselves and a multitude of church-members upon common ground, where there is no distinction between them in fact, though there still may be in name; the latter still remaining with their various denominations.

p 587 -- A little work by Hudson Tuttle, What Is Spiritualism? p. 6, gives a list of twenty-two emperors, queens, princes, and members of the nobility, who have through Spiritualism sought counsel in their affairs, or favored and supported its claims. It is thus preparing to fulfil Rev. 16:14, and gather the nations to the battle of' the great day.

   11.   An Image to the Beast. - Closely associated with this working of miracles is the erection of an image to the beast. The prophet thus connects the two in verse 14: "And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast which had the wound by a sword, and did live." The deception accomplished by the working of the miracles prepares the way for compliance with this demand for the formation of an image to the beast.

To understand what would be an image of the papacy, we must first gain some definite idea of what constitutes the papacy itself. The full development of the beast, or the establishment of papal supremacy, dates from the famous letter of Justinian, which was made effective in A. D. 538, constituting the pope the head of the church and the corrector of heretics. The papacy was a church clothed with civil power, - an ecclesiastical body having authority to punish all dissenters with confiscation of goods, imprisonment, torture, and death. What would be an image of the papacy? - Another ecclesiastical establishment clothed with similar power. How could such an image be formed in the United States? Let the Protestant churches be clothed with power to define and punish heresy, to enforce their dogmas under the pains and penalties of the civil law, and should we not have an exact representation of the papacy during the days of its supremacy?

It may be objected that whereas the papal church was comparatively a unit, and hence could act in harmony in all its departments in enforcing its dogmas, the Protestant church is so divided as to be unable to agree in regard to what doctrines shall be made imperative on the people. The answer is, There are certain points which they hold in common, and which are

p 588 -- sufficient to form a basis of co-operation. Chief among these may be mentioned the doctrine of the conscious state of the dead and the immortality of the soul, which is both the foundation and superstructure of Spiritualism; and also the doctrine that the first day of the week is the Christian Sabbath. TOP

Let, now, an ecclesiastical organization be formed by these churches; let the government legalize such organization, and give it power (a power which it will not have till the government does grant it) to enforce upon the people the dogmas which the different denominations can all adopt as the basis of union, and what do we have? - Just what the prophecy represents, - an image to the papal beast, endowed with life by the two-horned beast, to speak and act with power.

And behold, just such an organization as this, a colossal union of the leading churches of this country, constituting the greatest and most powerful federation ever formed in the history of this nation, has within the last few years come into existence. The mere formation of such a confederacy, apart from any question of what is to come from it, is one of the greatest events of modern times; and indeed is hailed by its advocates as the greatest religious movement since the Reformation. And this great federation, it is to be noted, has been formed for the express purpose of controlling the politics and the legislation of the country, in the interests, as they view it, of Christianity. By such means they expect to bring the nation to Christ, and by the extension of the plan to other nations, usher in the kingdom of Christ on earth. That is what they say.

Webmaster note: The printing of this book is 1907, and it speaks of just the beginning of what we see today in the organization of the World Counsel of Churches and it's sub-organizations such as the National Counsel of Churches, and ministerial alliances, etc. End Webmaster note.

Let us note briefly the leading facts pertaining to the formation and present working of this mighty federation.

In the year 1900, a meeting of Protestant ministers was held in New York City, at which was organized the "National Federation of Churches." This was followed by the formation of state and local federations throughout the country.

Two years later, at a meeting of the organization in Washington, D. C., a committee of correspondence was chosen, which sent to all the leading Protestant churches in the United States, an address on "The Co-operative Relationship of the Churches

p 589 -- of Jesus Christ, in Christian Work." A call was made for "the concentration of effort for the removal of social evils, the cleansing of the centers of vice and corruption, and the promotion of temperance, Sabbath observance, and general morality."

By November, 1905, the plan of general federation was sufficiently advanced for the holding of the first general convention in Carnegie Hall, New York City, at which were present several hundred delegates representing all the leading Protestant churches in the United States. Denominations with a membership of 500,000 or more were allowed fifty delegates at the conference, while those with less than 100,000 membership were allowed five delegates each. In a speech of welcome on behalf of the churches of Greater New York, Dr. R. S. MacArthur said that the conference meant more to America and to the world than any other that had ever been held.

At another meeting, when the report on federation was under consideration, one speaker (Dr. Dickey) said: "I trust that one of the practical result of this conference will be the organization of a force that law-breakers and law-makers will respect and heed, when great questions of morals are involved. Our gospel is the fulfilment of the law. It is our province, in the name of our Supreme King, and seeking the good of mankind, to ask rulers to respect the church." And at the final meeting of the conference, Bishop Hendrix, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, spoke of the nation as being the last product of the church, and of Christ as being the world's first citizen. "Christ," said the bishop, "is not a Saviour from the world, implying separation therefrom, but the Saviour of the world; and the kingdom of God is to come by the quiet processes of civic righteousness." TOP

The close of this convention saw the federation fully formed, and ready to begin its activities in the affairs of church and state. It embraced, according to official statements, thirty denominations, and eighteen million church communicants, representing a general following of fifty millions of people. The scope of its intended operations may be seen from the following official statement, which we quote from the Plan of Federation: -

p 590 --


(The Federal Council of Churches in Session in Carnegie Hall, New York)

p 591 -- "4.    To secure a large combined influence for the churches of Christ, in all matters affecting the moral and social condition of the people, so as to promote the application of the law of Christ in every relation of human life."

The power of this church federation therefore will be felt "in all matters affecting the moral and social condition of the people," and "in every relation of human life;" which is to say that it will be felt in everything, and everywhere, throughout the nation.

In December, 1908, the first session of the federation, which took the name, "Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America," was held in Philadelphia. It gave attention to such topics as Week-day Instruction in Religion, Cooperation in Foreign Missions, State Federations, Local Federations, The Church and the Immigrant, The Church and Modern Industry, Temperance, Sunday Observance, Family Life, and International Relations. When the topic of Sunday Observance was reached, an unpremeditated incident occurred which drew aside the veil of outward Christian fellowship, and disclosed a different spirit dwelling in the inner sanctuary of the movement, and proved that the theory of federal unity was too weak to bear the strain of practice. A committee appointed to bring resolutions on Sunday observance before the council, presented the following: -

"1.     It is the sense of the council that a new and stronger emphasis should be given in the pulpit, the Sunday-school, and the home to the Scriptural observance of the first day of the week as the sacred day, the home day, the rest day for every man, woman, and child.

"2.     That all encroachments upon the claims and sanctities of the Lord's day should be stoutly resisted through the press, the Lord's day associations and alliances, and by such legislation as may be secured to protect and preserve this bulwark of our American Christianity.

"3.   That we rejoice in the prospect of unity of action among the various organizations striving in America for the preservation of the Lord's day as a day for rest and worship."

Evidently the Seventh-day Baptists, who had joined the

p 592 -- federation, could not well be expected to subscribe to such a declaration as this. An effort was accordingly made to preserve the fundamental idea of Christian unity and harmony in the council, by the following resolution which was offered for adoption.      

 "Resolved,    That in these resolutions there is no intention to interfere with those brethren represented with ourselves in this council, who conscientiously observe the seventh day of the week instead of the first day as the day of rest and worship." TOP

No sooner was the reading of this resolution finished than a Methodist bishop (Bishop Neely) was on his feet. "The people referred to by this resolution," he said, "do not believe in the Lord's day, but in some other day. These resolutions emphasize the Lord's day. We must stand for the Lord's day and not weaken what we say."

Rev. Wayland Hoyt made an earnest plea in support of the resolution, reminding the delegates that the Seventh-day Baptists were members of the council in full standing, and that the spirit of brotherhood required that their convictions should be respected. One of the Seventh-day Baptist delegates, Rev. A. E. Main, dean of Alfred Theological Seminary, N. Y., obtained the floor and said:  -

"We know that we represent the smallest body in this council, and on that account we recognize with gratitude your recognition of us, and your invitation to unite with you, as being evangelical and Christian. We have joined heartily with you in the work of this federation; and shall it be that in this city of brotherly love, where a Seventh-day Baptist presided at a session of the Continental Congress, - shall it be that this council composed of professed brethren shall favor legislation adverse to us, and refuse to say that we shall be free when we stand shoulder to shoulder with you in this movement?"

But these pleas for religious freedom in the federation were without result. The sentiment of the council was strongly in opposition to the resolution. And in the speeches made against it, pointed reference was made to observers of the seventh-day Sabbath as being a class of people to whose attitude the council

p 593 -- should not give even the semblance of endorsement. The resolution was lost by a decisive vote.

This incident, coming unexpectedly into the proceedings of the conference, clearly revealed the fact that this great federation of churches stands ready to coerce the religious minority in matters of religious teaching and practice. And this is so not because of any purpose or desire on the part of its members to be intolerant toward others, but because intolerance is inherent in the very nature of the movement they have inaugurated. To obtain power was the primary idea of federation; and the power thus obtained, - the power of numbers, - is not exercised to persuade, but to coerce. There is another power quite independent of numbers, - the power of godliness, - which convinces people of the truth, and draws people together into unity on the platform of the truth. But it is not such power that the churches are seeking through federation. What they have secured is the power of a great religious combine, a church trust; and it is the nature of a trust to put down everything that stands in its pathway.

In this federation, the churches do not pretend to be bound together in "the unity of the Sprit," but only to be federated together, and the spirit of such union is quite another spirit than that divinely designated, the "Spirit of truth." The Federal Council laid no emphasis upon the value of truth; it could not do so when the very ground upon which it stood was that of the setting aside of the differences of religious belief among its members, for the sake of obtaining the worldly power of their combined numbers.

The avowed purpose of the federation, officially stated, was to express "the fellowship and Catholic unity of the Christian church." Yet the intolerant spirit within it could not be concealed, but ruled the council in opposition to its professed spirit of fellowship and unity. And when such is the attitude of this great religious trust toward those who stand with it and work for its advancement, it can easily be understood how tolerant it will be toward the religious minority outside of it.

And this great religious trust purposes to exercise a complete religious monopoly throughout the entire country.

p 594 -- "The time has come," said a speaker who voiced the sentiment of the conference, "when the churches may and must know every individual in the entire community as accurately as they know their own membership.... It thus becomes possible, as in two states already, to announce the watch word, 'Some church responsible for each square mile.' ... The policy of the federation should be to emphasize the 'responsibility districts' which it establishes. When these cover the state, and the churches so appreciate their opportunity and responsibility, that each church will know the position of every voter on moral issues, and tirelessly work to place every one upon the right side, moral reforms will come swiftly and permanently." TOP

In answer to the question, then, whether anything like an "image" to the papal beast can be set up in this country, we have before us a gigantic ecclesiastical organization of Protestants, with power to bend the government to its will; intolerant of its own members when the question of Sunday sacredness is concerned; by resolution declaring its purpose to exalt the first-day sabbath both by teaching and legislation, and by vote refusing to respect the "convictions, rights, and privileges of those ... who religiously and conscientiously observe the seventh day instead of the first day of the week;" expressly claiming to be a federation of all Christian churches, and therefore recognizing no church outside of it as Christian; and purposing to monopolize religious work in every square mile of American territory. Is not such an organization prepared to deal with any body of people outside its ranks in very much the same way as the papacy dealt with dissenters and heretics in the days of its power?

At the first annual meeting of the executive committee of the federation, held in December, 1909, at Louisville, Ky., the intolerant spirit of the organization again appeared in a speech by the president, Bishop Hendrix of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which be spoke of the smaller denominations as "fragments," and said that if they ever had any real mission they had served their purpose and should now be merged into the larger bodies. "In a few years," he said, "all religious

p 595 -- work done by Protestants in the United States, ought to be carried on by not more than eight or ten of the larger denominations."

  12.   The Mark of the Beast. - The two-horned beast enforces upon its subjects the mark of the first beast. We have now in the prophecy three agents introduced, which we must carefully distinguish from one another to avoid confusion.

      (1)   The papal beast. This power is designated as "the beast,"   "the first beast,"   "the beast which had the wound by a sword, and did live," and "the beast whose deadly wound was healed." These expressions all refer to the same power; and wherever they occur in this prophecy, they have exclusive reference to the papacy.

       (2)     The two-horned beast. This power, after its introduction in verse 11 of chapter 13, is represented through the remainder of the prophecy by the pronoun he; and wherever this pronoun occurs, down to the 17th verse (with possibly the exception of the 16th verse, which perhaps may refer to the image), it refers invariably to the two-horned beast.

       (3)    The image of the beast. This is, every time, with the possible, but not probable, exception just stated, called the image; so that there is no danger of confounding this with any other agent.

The acts ascribed to the image are, speaking and enforcing the worship of itself under the penalty of death; and this is the only enactment which the prophecy mentions as enforced under the death penalty.

The mark of the beast is enforced by the two-horned beast, either directly or through the image. The penalty attached to a refusal to receive this mark is a forfeiture of all social privileges, a deprivation of the right to buy and sell. The mark is the mark of the papal beast. Against this worship of the beast and his image, and the reception of his mark, the third angel's message of Rev. 14:9-12 is a most solemn and thrilling warning.

This, then, is the issue, which, according to this prophecy, we are soon to be called upon to meet; namely, human organizations, controlled and inspired by the spirit of the dragon,

p 596 -- are to command men to do those acts which are in reality the worshiping of an apostate religious power and the receiving of his mark; and if they refuse to do this, they lose the rights of citizenship, and become outlaws in the land; and they must do that which constitutes the worship of the image of the beast, or forfeit their lives. On the other hand, God sends forth a message a little before the fearful crisis is upon us, as we shall see under chapter 14:9-12, declaring that all who do any of these things "shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation." He who refuses to comply with these demands of earthly powers exposes himself to the severest penalties which human beings can inflict; and he who does comply, exposes himself to the most terrible threatenings of divine wrath to be found in the word of God. The question whether they will obey God or man is to be decided by the people of the present age under the heaviest pressure, from either side, that has ever been brought to bear upon any generation. TOP

The worship of the beast and his image, and the reception of his mark, must be something that involves the greatest offense that can be committed against God, to call down so severe a denunciation of wrath against it. This is a work, as has already been shown, which takes place in the last days; and as God has given us in his word most abundant evidence to show when we are in the last days, that no one need be overtaken by the day of the Lord as by a thief, so, likewise, it must be that he has given us the means whereby we may determine what the receiving of the mark of the beast is, which be has so strongly condemned, that we may avoid the fearful penalty so sure to follow the commission of this act. God does not so trifle with human hopes and human destinies as to denounce a most fearful doom against a certain sin, and then place it out of our power to understand what that sin is, so that we have no means of guarding against it.

We therefore now call attention to the very important inquiry, What constitutes the mark of the beast? The figure of a mark is borrowed from an ancient custom. Bishop Newton (Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. III, p. 241) says: -

p 597 -- "It was customary among the ancients for servants to receive the mark of their master, and soldiers of their general, and those who were devoted to any particular deity, of the particular deity to whom they were devoted. These marks were usually impressed on their right hand or on their forehead, and consisted of some hieroglyphic character, or of the name expressed in vulgar letters, or of the name disguised in numerical letters, according to the fancy of the imposer."

Prideaux says that Ptolemy Philopater ordered all the Jews who applied to be enrolled as citizens of Alexandria to have the form of an ivy leaf (the badge of his god, Bacchus) impressed upon them with a hot iron, under pain of death. (Prideaux's Connection, Vol. II, p. 78.)

The word used for mark in this prophecy is Caragma (charagma), and is defined to mean, "a graving, sculpture; a mark cut in or stamped." It occurs nine times in the New Testament, and with the single exception of Acts 17:29, refers every time to the mark of the beast. We are not, of course, to understand in this symbolic prophecy that a literal mark is intended; but the giving of the literal mark, as practiced in ancient times, is used as a figure to illustrate certain acts that will be performed in the fulfilment of this prophecy. And from the literal mark as formerly employed, we learn something of its meaning as used in the prophecy; for between the symbol and the thing symbolized there must be some resemblance. The mark, as literally used, signified that the person receiving it was the servant of, acknowledged the authority of, or professed allegiance to, the person whose mark he bore. So the mark of the beast, or of the papacy, must be some act or profession by which the authority of that power is acknowledged. What is it? TOP

It would naturally be looked for in some of the special characteristics of the papal power. Daniel, describing that power under the symbol of a little horn, speaks of it as waging a special warfare against God, wearing out the saints of the Most High, and thinking to change times and laws. The prophet expressly specifies on this point: "He shall think to change times and laws." These laws must certainly be the

p 598 -- laws of the Most High. To apply it to human laws, and make the prophecy read, "And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change human laws," would be doing evident violence to the language of the prophet. But apply it to the laws of God, and let it read, "And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and laws of the Most High," and all is consistent and forcible. The Hebrew has (dath), law, and the Septuagint reads, nomoV (nomos), in the singular, "the law," which more directly suggests the law of God. The papacy has been able to do more than merely "think " to change human laws. It has changed them at pleasure. It has annulled the decrees of kings and emperors, and absolved subjects from allegiance to their rightful sovereigns. It has thrust its long arm into the affairs of nations, and brought rulers to its feet in the most abject humility. But the prophet beholds greater acts of presumption than these. He sees it endeavor to do what it was not able to do, but could only think to do; he sees it attempt art act which no man, nor any combination of men, can ever accomplish; and that is, to change the law of the Most High. Bear this in mind while we look at the testimony of another sacred writer on this very point.

The apostle Paul speaks of the same power in 2 Thessalonians 2; and he describes it, in the person of the pope, as "the man of sin," and as "sitting as God in the temple of God" (that is, the church), and as exalting himself "above all that is called God, or that is worshiped." According to this, the pope sets himself up as the one for all the church to look to for authority, in the place of God. And now we ask the reader to ponder carefully the question how he can exalt himself above God. Search through the whole range of human devices, go to the extent of human effort; by what plan, by what move, by what claim, could this usurper exalt himself above God? He might institute any number of ceremonies, he might prescribe any form of worship, he might exhibit any degree of power; but so long as God had requirements which

p 599 -- the people felt bound to regard in preference to his own, so long he would not be above God. He might enact a law, and teach the people that they were under as great obligations to that as to the law of God; then he would only make himself equal with God. But he is to do more than this; he is to attempt to raise himself above him. Then he must promulgate a law which conflicts with the law of God, and demand obedience to his own law in preference to God's law. There is no other possible way in which he could place himself in the position assigned in the prophecy. But this is simply to change the law of God; and if he can cause this change to be adopted by the people in the place of the original enactment, then he, the law-changer, is above God, the law-maker. And this is the very work that Daniel said he should think to do.

Such a work as this, then, the papacy must accomplish according to the prophecy; and the prophecy cannot fail. And when this is done, what do the people of the world have? - They have two laws demanding obedience, - one, the law of God as originally enacted by him, an embodiment of his will, and expressing his claims upon his creatures; the other, a revised edition of that law, emanating from the pope of Rome and expressing his will. And how is it to be determined which of these powers the people honor and worship? - It is determined by the law which they keep. If they keep the law of God as given by him, they worship and obey God. If they keep the law as changed by the papacy, they worship that power. But further: the prophecy does not say, that the little horn, the papacy, should set aside the law of God, and give one entirely different. This would not be to change the law, but simply to give a new one. He was only to attempt a change, so that the law that comes from God, and the law that comes from the papacy, are precisely alike, excepting the change which the papacy has made in the former. They have many points in common. But none of the precepts which they contain in common can distinguish a person as the worshiper of either power in preference to the other. If God's law says, "Thou shalt not kill," and the law as given by the papacy says the same, no one can tell by a person's observance of that

p 600 -- precept whether he designs to obey God rather than the pope, or the pope rather than God. But when a precept that has been changed is the subject of action, then whoever observes that precept as originally given by God, is thereby distinguished as a worshiper of God; and he who keeps it as changed is thereby marked as a follower of the power that made the change. In no other way can the two classes of worshipers be distinguished. From this conclusion, no candid mind can dissent; but in this conclusion we have a general answer to the question, "What constitutes the mark of the beast?" and that answer is simply this:    The mark of the beast is the change which the beast has attempted to make in the law of God. TOP

We now inquire what that change is. By the law of God, we mean the moral law, the only law in the universe of immutable and perpetual obligation, - the law of which Webster says, defining the term according to the sense in which it is almost universally used in Christendom,      "The moral law is summarily contained in the decalogue, written by the finger of God on two tables of stone, and delivered to Moses on Mount Sinai."

If now the reader will compare the ten commandments as found in Roman Catholic catechisms with those commandments as found in the Bible, he will see in the catechisms - we mean those portions specially devoted to instruction - that the second commandment is left out, that the tenth is divided into two to make up the lack caused by leaving out the second, and keep good the number ten, and that the fourth commandment (called the third in their enumeration) is made to enjoin the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath, and prescribe that the day shall be spent in hearing mass devoutly, attending vespers, and reading moral and pious books. Here are several variations from the decalogue as found in the Bible. Which of them, if any, constitutes the change of the law intended in the prophecy? or are they all included in that change? Let it be borne in mind, that, according to the prophecy, he was to think to change times and laws. This plainly conveys the idea of intention and design, and makes these qualities essential to the change in question. But respecting the omission of the

p 601 -- second commandment, Catholics argue that it is included in the first, and hence should not be numbered as a separate commandment; and on the tenth they claim that there is so plain a distinction of ideas as to require two commandments - so they make the coveting of a neighbor's wife the ninth command, and the coveting of his goods the tenth.

In all this they claim that they are giving the commandments exactly as God intended to have them understood; so, while we may regard them as errors in their interpretation of the commandments, we cannot set them down as professedly intentional changes. Not so, however, with the fourth commandment. Respecting this commandment, they do not claim that their version is like that given by God. They expressly claim a change here, and also that the change has been made by the church. A few quotations from standard Catholic works will make this matter plain. In a work entitled, Treatise of Thirty Controversies, we find these words: -

"The word of God commandeth the seventh day to be the Sabbath of our Lord, and to be kept holy; you [Protestants], without any precept of Scripture, change it to the first day of the week, only authorized by our traditions. Divers English Puritans oppose, against this point, that the observation of the first day is proved out of Scripture, where it is said, the first day of the week. Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2; Rev. 1:10. Have they not spun a fair thread in quoting these places? If we should produce no better for purgatory and prayers for the dead, invocation of the saints, and the like, they might have good cause indeed to laugh us to scorn, for where was it written that these were Sabbath days in which those meetings were kept? or where is it ordained they should be always observed? or, which is the sum of all, where is it decreed that the observation of the first day should abrogate, or abolish, the sanctifying of the seventh day, which God commanded everlastingly to be kept holy? Not one of these is expressed in the written word of God." TOP

In the Catechism of the Christian Religion, by Stephen Keenan (Boston, Patrick Donahue, 1857), p. 206, on the

p 602 -- subject of the third (fourth) commandment, we find these questions and answers: -
"Ques.- What does God ordain by this commandment?
"Ans.- He ordains that we sanctify, in a special manner, this day on which he rested from the labor of creation.
"Q.- What is this day of rest?
"A.- The seventh day of the week, or Saturday; for he employed six days in creation, and rested on the seventh. Gen. 2:2; Heb. 4:1; etc.
"Q.- Is it, then, Saturday we should sanctify, in order to obey the ordinance of God?
"A.- During the old law, Saturday was the day sanctified; but the church, instructed by Jesus Christ, and directed by the Spirit of God, has substituted Sunday for Saturday; so now we sanctify the first, not the seventh day. Sunday means, and now is, the day of the Lord."

In the Catholic Christian Instructed (J. P. Kenedy, New York, 1884), p. 202, we read:
"Ques.- What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday preferable to the ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?
"Ans.- We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolic tradition.
"Q.- Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?
"A.- The Scripture commands us to hear the church (Matt. 18:17; Luke 10:16), and to hold fast the traditions of the apostles. 2 Thess. 2:15. But the Scriptures do not in particular mention this change of the Sabbath."

In the Doctrinal Catechism (Kenedy, New York), p. 174, we find further testimony to the same point: -
" Ques.- Have you any other way of proving that the church has power to institute festivals of precept?
"Ans.- Had she not such power, she could not have done that in which all modern religionists agree with her - she could not have substituted the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, for the observance of Saturday, the seventh day, a change for which there is no Scriptural authority."

p 603 -- In Abridgment of Christian Doctrine (Kenedy, New York), p. 58, we find this testimony: -
"Ques.- How prove you that the church hath power to command feasts and holy days?
"Ans.- By the very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday, which Protestants allow of! and therefore they fondly contradict themselves by keeping Sunday strictly, and breaking most other feasts commanded by the same church.
"Q.- How prove you that?
"A.- Because by keeping Sunday they acknowledge the church's power to ordain feasts, and to command them under sin."

And finally, W. Lockhart, late B. A. of Oxford, in the Toronto (Catholic) Mirror, offered the following "challenge" to all the Protestants of Ireland, - a challenge as well calculated for this locality as that. He says:  -

     "I do therefore solemnly challenge the Protestants of Ireland to prove, by plain texts of Scripture, these questions concerning the obligations of the Christian Sabbath:   (1)   That Christians may work on Saturday, the old seventh day;   (2)   that they are bound to keep holy the first day, namely, Sunday;   (3)   that they are not bound to keep holy the seventh day also."

This is what the papal power claims to have done respecting the fourth commandment. Catholics plainly acknowledge that there is no Scriptural authority for the change they have made, but that it rests wholly upon the authority of the church; and they claim it as a token, or mark, of the authority of that church; the "very act of changing the Sabbath into Sunday" being set forth as proof of its power in this respect. For further testimony on this point, the reader is referred to a book entitled, The Change of the Sabbath, in which are also extracts from Catholic writers refuting the arguments usually relied upon to prove the Sunday-sabbath, and showing that its only authority is the Catholic Church. TOP

"But," says one, "I supposed that Christ changed the Sabbath." A great many suppose so, and it is natural that

p 604 -- they should; for they have been so taught. And while we have no words of denunciation to utter against any such persons for so believing, we would have them at once understand that it is, in reality, one of the most enormous of errors. We would therefore remind such persons that, according to the prophecy, the only change ever to be made in the law of God was to be made by the little horn of Daniel 7, the man of sin of 2 Thessalonians 2; and the only change that has been made in it, is the change of the Sabbath. Now, if Christ made this change, he filled the office of the blasphemous power spoken of by both Daniel and Paul, - a conclusion sufficiently hideous to drive any Christian from the view which leads thereto.

Why should any one labor to prove that Christ changed the Sabbath? Whoever does this is performing a thankless task. The pope will not thank him; for if it is proved that Christ wrought this change, then the pope is robbed of his badge of authority and power. And no truly enlightened Protestant will thank him; for if he succeeds, he only shows that the papacy has not done the work which it was predicted that it should do, and so that the prophecy has failed, and the Scriptures are unreliable. The matter would better stand as the prophecy has it, and the claim which the pope unwittingly puts forth would better be granted. When a person is charged with any work, and that person steps forth and confesses that he has done the work, that is usually considered sufficient to settle the matter. So, when the prophecy affirms that a certain power shall change the law of God, and in due time that very power arises, does the work foretold, and then openly claims that he has done it, what need have we of further evidence? The world should not forget that the great apostasy foretold by Paul has taken place; that the man of sin for long ages held almost a monopoly of Christian teaching in the world; that the mystery of iniquity has cast the darkness of its shadow and the errors of its doctrines over almost all Christendom; and that out of this era of error and darkness and corruption, the theology of our day has come. Would it, then, be anything strange if there were yet some relics of popery to be discarded ere the reformation will be

p 605 -- complete? A. Campbell (Baptism, p. 15), speaking of the different Protestant sects, says:  -

"All of them retain in their bosom, - in their ecclesiastical organizations, worship, doctrines, and observances, - various relics of popery. They are at best a reformation of popery, and only reformations in part. The doctrines and traditions of men yet impair the power and progress of the gospel in their hands."

The nature of the change which the little horn has attempted to effect in the law of God is worthy of notice. True to his purpose to exalt himself above God, he undertakes to change that commandment which, of all others, is the fundamental commandment of the law, the one which makes known who the lawgiver is, and contains his signature of royalty. The fourth commandment does this; no other one does. Four others, it is true, contain the word God, and three of them the word Lord, also. But who is this Lord God of whom they speak? Without the fourth commandment, it is impossible to tell; for idolaters of every grade apply these terms to the multitudinous objects of their adoration. With the fourth commandment to point out the Author of the decalogue, the claims of every false god are annulled at one stroke; for the God who here demands our worship is not any created being, but the One who created all things. The maker of the earth and sea, the sun and moon, and all the starry host, the upholder and governor of the universe, is the One who claims, and who, from his position, has a right to claim, our supreme regard in preference to every other object. The commandment which makes known these facts is therefore the very one we might suppose that power which designed to exalt itself above God would undertake to change. God gave the Sabbath as a memorial of himself, a weekly reminder to the sons of men of his work in creating the heavens and the earth, a great barrier against heathenism and idolatry. It is the signature and seal against atheism and idolatry. It is the signature and seal of the law. This the papacy has torn from its place, and erected in its stead, on its own authority, another institution, designed to serve another purpose. TOP

p 606 -- This change of the fourth commandment must therefore be the change to which the prophecy points, and the Sunday sabbath must be the mark of the beast! Some who have long been taught to regard this institution with reverence will perhaps start back with little less than feelings of horror at this conclusion. We have not space, nor is this, perhaps, the place, to enter into an extended argument on the Sabbath question, and an exposition of the origin and nature of the observance of the first day of the week. Let us submit this one proposition:    If the seventh day is still the Sabbath enjoined in the fourth commandment; if the observance of the first day of the week has no foundation whatever in the Scriptures; if this observance has been brought in as a Christian institution, and designedly put in place of the Sabbath of the decalogue by that power which is symbolized by the beast, and placed there as a badge and token of its power to legislate for the church, - is it not inevitably the mark of the beast? The answer must be in the affirmative. But these hypotheses are all certainties. 1

It will be said again, Then all Sunday-keepers have the mark of the beast; then all the good of past ages who kept this day had the mark of the beast; then Luther, Whitefield, the Wesleys, and all who have done a good and noble work of reformation, had the mark of the beast; then all the blessings that have been poured upon the reformed churches have been poured upon those who had the mark of the beast; and all Christians of the present day who are keeping Sunday as the Sabbath, have the mark of the beast. We answer, Not so! And we are sorry to say that some professedly religious teachers, though many times corrected, persist in misrepresenting us on this point. We have never so held; we have never so taught. Our premises lead to no such conclusions. Give ear:    The mark and worship of the beast are enforced by the two-horned beast. The receiving of the mark of the beast is a specific act which the two-horned beast is to cause to be done. The third message of Revelation 14 is a warning mercifully sent out in advance to prepare the people for the coming

1 -- See "History of the Sabbath," and other works on the subject. To these we can only refer the reader, in passing.

p 607 -- danger. There can therefore be no worship of the beast, nor reception of his mark such as the prophecy contemplates, till it is enforced by the two-horned beast. We have seen that intention was essential to the change which the papacy has made in the law of God, to constitute it the mark of that power; so intention is necessary in the adoption of that change to make it, on the part of any individual, the reception of that mark. In other words, a person must adopt the change knowing it to be the work of the beast, and receive it on the authority of that power, in opposition to the requirement of God.

But how is it with those mentioned above, who have kept Sunday in the past, and the majority of those who are keeping it to-day? Do they keep it as an institution of the papacy? - No. Have they decided between this and the Sabbath of our Lord, understanding the claims of each? - No. On what ground have they kept it, and on what do they still keep it? - They suppose they are keeping a commandment of God. Have such the mark of the beast? - By no means. Their course is attributable to an error unwittingly received from the Church of Rome, not to an act of worship rendered to it.

But how is it to be in the future? The church which is to be prepared for the second coming of Christ must be entirely free from papal errors and corruptions. A reform must hence be made on the Sabbath question. The third angel proclaims the commandments of God, leading men to the true in the place of the counterfeit. The dragon is stirred, and so controls the wicked governments of the earth that all the authority of human power shall be exerted to enforce the claims of the man of sin. Then the issue is fairly before the people. They are required to keep, on the one hand, the true Sabbath; on the other, a counterfeit. For refusing to keep the true, the message threatens the unmingled wrath of God; for refusing the false, earthly governments threaten them with persecution and death. With this issue before the people, what does he do who yields to the human requirement? - He virtually says to God, I know your claims, but I will not heed them. I know that the power I am required to worship is antichristian, but I yield to it to save my life. I renounce your allegiance, and

p 608 -- bow to the usurper. The beast is henceforth the object of my adoration; under his banner, in opposition to your authority, I henceforth array myself; to him, in defiance of your claims, I henceforth yield the obedience of my heart and life. TOP

Such is the spirit which will actuate the hearts of the beast-worshipers, - a spirit which insults the God of the universe to his face, and is prevented only by lack of power from overthrowing his government and annihilating his throne. Is it any wonder that Jehovah denounces against so Heaven-daring a course the most terrible threatening that his Word contains?

  13.  The Closing Work. - We have now seen what would properly constitute an image to the beast, such as the two-horned beast is to erect, and also the probability that such an image will soon be perfected in this country; and we have also learned what constitutes the mark of the beast, which is to be enforced upon all the people. An ecclesiastical organization composed of a greater or less number of the different sects of our land, with some degree of coalition also between these bodies and Roman Catholicism, together with the promulgation and enforcement of a general Sunday-sabbath law, would fulfil what the prophecy sets forth in reference to the image and the mark of the beast; and these movements, or their exact equivalent, the prophecy calls for. The line of argument leading to these conclusions is so direct and well-defined that there is no avoiding them. They are a clear and logical sequence from the premises given us.

When the application of Rev. 13:11-17 to the United States was first made, as early as the year 1850, these positions respecting a union of the churches and a grand Sunday movement were taken. But at that time no sign appeared above or beneath, at home or abroad, - no token was seen, no indication existed, that such an issue would ever be made. But there was the prophecy, and that must stand. The United States government had given abundant evidence, by its location, the time of its rise, the manner of its rise, and its apparent character, that it was the power symbolized by the two-horned beast. There could be no mistake in the conclusion that it was the very nation intended by that symbol. This being so, it

p 609 -- must take the course and perform the acts foretold. But here were predictions which could be fulfilled by nothing less than the above-named movement respecting church and state, and the enforcement of the papal Sabbath as a mark of the beast.

To take the position at that time that this government was to pursue such a policy and engage in such a work, without any apparent probability in its favor, was no small act of faith. On the other hand, to deny or ignore it, while admitting the application of the symbol to this government, would not be in accordance with either Scripture or logic. The only course for the humble, confiding student of prophecy to pursue in such cases is to take the light as it is given, and believe the prophecy in all its parts. So the stand was boldly taken; and open proclamation has been made from that day to this, that such a work would be seen in the United States. With every review of the argument, new features of strength have been discovered in the application; and amid a storm of scornful incredulity we have watched the progress of events, and awaited the hour of fulfilment.

Meanwhile, Spiritualism has astonished the world with its terrible progress, and shown itself to be the wonder-working element which was to exist in connection with this power. This has mightily strengthened the force of the application. And now, within a few years past, what have we further seen? - No less than the commencement of that very movement respecting the formation of the image, and the enactment of Sunday laws, which we have so long expected, and which is to complete the prophecy and close the scene.

Reference has already been made to the movement to secure a union of the churches for the purpose of adding strength and influence to ecclesiastical movements in certain directions. And now a class of men is suddenly springing up all over the land whose souls are absorbed with the cognate idea of Sunday reform, and who have dedicated themselves, heads, hands, and pockets, to the carrying forward of this kindred movement. Organizations called Sabbath Committees have been formed in various places, and have labored zealously, by means of books, tracts, speeches, and sermons, to create a strong public sentiment

p 610 -- in behalf of Sunday. Making slow progress through moral suasion, they seek a shorter path to the accomplishment of their purposes through political power. And why not? Christianity has become popular, and her professed adherents are numerous. Why not avail themselves of the power of the ballot to secure their ends? Rev. J. S. Smart (Methodist), in a published sermon on the Political Duties of Christian Men and Ministers, expresses a leading sentiment on this question, when he says: -

"I claim that we have, and ought to have, just as much concern in the government of this country as any other men.... We are the mass of the people. Virtue in this country is not weak; her ranks are strong in numbers, and invincible from the righteousness of her cause, - invincible if united. Let not her ranks be broken by party names." TOP

In accordance with the logical development of these feelings, an association has been formed, now called "The National Reform Association," which has for its object the securing of legal enactments for religious institutions, by means of such an amendment to the national Constitution as shall "place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages of the government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the land." Here is the germ of religious revolution, the entering wedge of church and state.

This movement originated at Xenia, Ohio, in February, 1863, in a convention composed of eleven different religious denominations, who assembled for prayer and conference.

To be sure the leaders in this movement disclaim vehemently any such purpose as a union of church and state; but a sentence now and then escapes them which reveals more than they intended. Thus, at a convention of this association in Pittsburg, Pa., Dr. Stevenson, one of these leaders, said: -

"Through the immense largesses it receives from corrupt politicians, the Roman Catholic Church is, practically, the established church of the city of New York. These favors are granted under the guise of a seeming friendliness to religion. We propose to put the substance for the shadow, - to drive out the counterfeit by the more complete substitution of the true."

p 611 -- There are several guess-roads through which we may look for the intent of this language; but inasmuch as they all arrive at one conclusion, this conclusion is neither ambiguous nor doubtful; it is simply that the Protestant Church shall become really established, as the Roman Catholic now is practically. This is confirmed by the very next sentence, which reads:  

"What we propose is nothing of a sectarian character. It will give no branch of American Christians any advantage over any other."

Professor Blanchard undertakes to give a definition of what they mean by a "union of church and state," as follows: -

"But union of church and state is the selection by the nation of one church, the endowment of such a church, the appointment of its officers, and the oversight of its doctrines. For such a union, none of us plead. To such a union we are all of us opposed."

The reader is requested to mark this well. Here is given a definition of a union of church and state such as no one expects or fears; such, in fact, as is not possible in the existing state of the churches, and then a special plea is set up that they are opposed to a union of church and state! To such an impossible combination as they describe, they may safely write themselves opposed; but to a union of church and state in the popular sense of the phrase, - a union, not of one church, but of all the churches recognized as orthodox, or evangelical, - a union not giving the state power to elect church officers nor to take the oversight of church doctrines, but giving the churches the privilege of enforcing, by civil laws, institutions and usages of religion, according to the faith of the churches, or to the construction put upon those institutions and usages by the churches, - to such a union, we say, they are not opposed. They are essentially and practically, despite their professions, open advocates of a union of church and state.

We are not alone in this view of the subject. Mr. G. A. Townsend (New World and Old, p. 212) says: -

"Church and state has several times crept into American politics, as in the contentions over the Bible in the public schools, the anti-Catholic party of 1844, etc. Our people

p 612 -- have been wise enough heretofore to respect the clergy in all religious questions, and to entertain a wholesome jealousy of them in politics. The latest politico-religious movement [italics ours] is to insert the name of the Deity in the Constitution." TOP

The Christian Union, January, 1871, said: -

"If the proposed amendment is anything more than a bit of sentimental cant, it is to have a legal effect. It is to alter the status of the nonchristian citizen before the law. It is to affect the legal oaths and instruments, the matrimonial contracts, the sumptuary laws, etc., etc., of the country. This would be an outrage on natural right."

The Janesville (Wis.) Gazette, at the close of an article on the proposed amendment, speaks thus of the effect of the movement, should it succeed: -

"But, independent of the question as to what extent we are a Christian nation, it may well be doubted whether, if the gentlemen who are agitating this question should succeed, they would not do society a very great injury. Such measures are but the initiatory steps which ultimately lead to restrictions of religious freedom, and to commit the government to measures which are as foreign to its powers and purposes as would be its action if it should undertake to determine a disputed question of theology."

The Weekly Alta Californian, of San Francisco, March 12, I870, said: -

"The parties who have been recently holding a convention for the somewhat novel purpose of procuring an amendment to the Constitution of the United States recognizing the Deity, do not fairly state the case when they assert that it is the right of a Christian people to govern themselves in a Christian manner. If we are not governing ourselves in a Christian manner, how shall the doings of our government be designated? The fact is, that the movement is one to bring about in this country that union of church and state which all other nations are trying to dissolve."

The Champlain Journal, speaking of incorporating the religious

p 613 -- principle into the Constitution, and its effect upon the Jews, said: -

"However slight, it is the entering wedge of church and state. If we may cut off ever so few persons from the right of citizenship on account of difference of religious belief, then with equal justice and propriety may a majority at any time dictate the adoption of still further articles of belief, until our Constitution is but a text-book of a sect, beneath whose tyrannical sway all liberty of religious opinion will be crushed." TOP

But it may be asked how the Sunday question is to be affected by the proposed Constitutional Amendment. Answer:    The object, or, to say the least, one object of this amendment, is to put the Sunday institution on a legal basis, and compel its observance by the arm of the law. At the national convention held in Philadelphia, Jan. 18, 19, 1871, the following resolution was among the first offered by the business committee: -

"Resolved, That, in view of the controlling power of the Constitution in shaping state as well as national policy, it is of immediate importance to public morals and to social order, to secure such an amendment as will indicate that this is a Christian nation, and place all Christian laws, institutions, and usages in our government on an undeniable legal basis in the fundamental law of the nation, specially those which secure a proper oath, and which protect society against blasphemy, Sabbath-breaking, and polygamy."

By Sabbath-breaking is meant nothing else but Sunday-breaking. In a convention of the friends of Sunday, assembled Nov. 29, 1870, in New Concord, Ohio, one of the speakers is reported to have said:      "The question [of Sunday observance] is closely connected with the National Reform Movement; for until the government comes to know God and honor his law, we need not expect to restrain Sabbath-breaking corporations." Here, again, the idea of the legal enforcement of Sunday observance stands foremost; and the same principle would apply equally to individuals.

Once more:   the Philadelphia Press of Dec. 5, 1870, Stated that some Congressmen arrived in Washington by Sunday

p 614 -- trains, December 4, on which the Christian Statesman commented as follows (we give italics as we find them): -

"1.   Not one of those men who thus violated the Sabbath is fit to hold any official position in a Christian nation....

"2.   The sin of these Congressmen is a national sin, because the nation hath not said to them in the Constitution, the supreme rule for our public servants, ' We charge you to serve us in accordance with the higher law of God.' These Sabbath-breaking railroads, moreover, are corporations created by the state, and amenable to it. The state is responsible to God for the conduct of these creatures which it calls into being. It is bound, therefore, to restrain them from this as from other crimes, and any violation of the Sabbath by any corporation should work immediate forfeiture of its charter. And the Constitution of the United States, with which all state legislation is required to be in harmony, should be of such a character as to prevent any state from tolerating such infractions of fundamental moral law.

"3.   Give us in the national Constitution the simple acknowledgment of the law of God as the supreme law of nations, and all the results indicated in this note will ultimately be secured. Let no one say that the movement does not contemplate sufficiently practical ends."

What these National Reformers desire and design to secure in their campaign, is expressed by one of the secretaries of said association, J. M. Foster, in the Christian Statesman, October, 1S92. He says: -

"But one danger lies in this: The church does not speak as a church. The American Sabbath Union has done a good work. The denominations have spoken. But the Christian organized church has not officially gone to Washington and spoken. The work there has been largely turned over to associations. But the voice of God, authoritative, official, is through his church. Should there not be joint action of the denominations in this? They should, it would appear, appoint a joint committee to speak for God; and properly and courageously done, there can follow but the very same results. ... Much is lost by the church failing officially to speak at the

p 615 -- right time, and in the right place. No association is clothed with this authority. They are individual and social; but the church is divine. She can, and ought to, utter the voice of God in the halls of Congress, as an organized church." TOP

The italics are as we find them; but other declarations in the foregoing extract are equally deserving of emphasis. It may well be questioned whether any more arrogant and pompous words were uttered previous to the setting up of the papacy itself. What they complain that they lack, they of course intend to have. And look at the picture:   The church (that is the different denominations, confederating on dogmas held in common, and represented by a "joint committee," - a central authority) is divine, and woe unto all dissenters from the authority of a divine church! So said Rome in its palmiest days of dungeons, stakes, and blood; so she would say to-day had she the power; and so apostatized Protestantism will say when it gets the power! And this "joint committee" is to "speak for God,"   "utter the voice of God" (a second vicegerent of the Most High, now claimed as a monopoly by the pope), and authoritatively and officially lay upon Congress the commands of God, for it to perform! Such are the dark schemes for which these men are now working. Alas, that the realization of them should now stand as an attainable prospect before their eyes! Did ever Rome ask for more? And when these would-be spokesmen for God secure their object, will it not be, we still ask, Rome over again in a Protestant garb - a very image of the beast itself'?

Within recent years the influence of the National Reform party has been rapidly on the increase. It has now become international in its scope, and at frequent intervals, holds world conventions, at which plans are laid to set up the National Reform ideal of government in all other countries where it does not already exist. To this end much is hoped for from the influence of Christian missionaries, many of whom have seemingly been captivated with the idea of converting heathen governments to Christianity, and see greater results to come from that than from the slow process of converting heathen individuals. At a world convention held in Philadelphia, in November,

p 616 -- 1910, the following pronouncement was made on this point: -

"This conference expresses its appreciation of the fact that so many missionaries are alive to the importance of the kingship of Christ over the nations, and we urge upon all missionaries in all lands, the inculcation of these principles, and that they testify in their respective nations for the royal prerogative of Jesus in national life."

Among those who participated in the program at this convention, were F. E. Clark, president of the World's Christian Endeavor Union, Bishop Neely of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Dr. McCauley, district secretary of the Federal Council of Churches, Attorney John A. Paterson, of Toronto, representing the Canadian government, the Rev. David J. Burrell, president of the Alliance of Reformed Churches, besides missionaries from India and China, and from Roman and Greek Catholic countries. This affords striking evidence of the extent to which National Reform ideas have permeated the religious world.

Another most significant and alarming step toward the accomplishment of these evil designs, is the position taken by the great "Christian Endeavor" movement, which has arisen to a membership of millions within a few years, and is a common channel through which all denominations can work. The political functions of this great body are centered in a "Christian Citizenship League," which boasts that it will have branches in every state, county, city, village, and hamlet in the United States, and see to it that only Christian men are put into office. What remarkable "conversions" will then take place! How politicians will become "Christians," and the "millennium" hasten on! At the great Christian Endeavor convention, held in Boston, Mass., July 10-15, 1895, W. H. McMillan, as given in the published Proceedings, p. 19, said: -

"Here is a power that is going to wrest the control of affairs from the hands of political demagogues, and place it in the hands of Him who is King over all, and rules the world in righteousness. Our political leaders have been counting the

p 617 -- saloon vote, the illiterate vote, and the stay-at-home vote, and all other elements that have hitherto entered into their canvassings of probabilities; but they have not yet learned to count the Christian Endeavor vote. I want to serve notice on them now that the time is drawing near when they will discover that a political revolution has occurred, and they will be found coming home from Washington and our state capitals without a job." TOP

These sentiments were cheered to the echo in the convention; and it is not difficult to foresee the effect they will have; for they were intended for that class of men among whom they "will do the most good;" that is, the body of average politicians, who, when threatened with a boycott, become the most abject sycophants on the face of the earth.

All this, however, would be of no avail, if those who are really patriots at heart would awake to this danger before they find themselves committed to movements, the effects of which they did not foresee, and if the two houses of Congress would stand true to the Constitution which they are sworn to maintain; for this movement means nothing less than a subversion of that noble instrument.

But alas! Congress has already turned its back on its sacred trust to fawn upon the church influence so rapidly rising. When the managers of the World's Fair of 1893, in Chicago, asked Congress for an appropriation in their behalf, churchmen brought their influence to bear upon the national legislators, and induced them to make it a condition of the gift that the gates of the Fair be closed on Sunday. In carrying this point a most remarkable scene occurred. A senator called for a Bible, and caused the clerk to read the fourth commandment of the decalogue; whereupon grave statesmen argued, and at length by vote decided, that the day enjoined by that commandment as the Sabbath, is Sunday!

This was legislating upon a religious question, which the Constitution expressly forbids. (See Amendment I.) It broke down the barriers against the union of church and state, and opened the flood-gates for all the evils that invariably accompany such a union. The religious-amendment clergy hailed the

p 618 -- event as a great triumph, and openly boasted that they had Congress in their hands, and could compel it to do their bidding.

What the practical working of these changes will be is already made apparent. On the statute-books of most of the states of the American Union, are found Sunday laws; and as the agitation in behalf of the seventh day increases, religious zealots are not slow to use these laws to put the machinery of persecution in operation. Observers of the seventh day manifest no defiance of these laws in laboring on Sunday, as the higher law of God gives them an unalienable right to do; and they studiously refrain from disturbing others, or in any way infringing upon their rights, by boisterous or offensive labor. Yet it is construed to be "disturbance," if they are even seen anywhere at work, or even if it is known that they are at work anywhere, though unseen or unheard. If no other way appears for detection, they are searched out by ministers or church-members, or the police acting under their direction. Then follow arrest, conviction, and penalty by fine, imprisonment, or the chain-gang. Up to Jan. 1, 1896, over one hundred arrests of this kind had been made, some of them under circumstances of great oppression and cruelty, fines and costs had been imposed to the amount of $2,269, and prisoners had served an aggregate of nearly fifteen hundred days in jail and chain-gangs.

But public sentiment would not endorse such proceedings, and the leaders in the movement, noting this fact, decided to call a halt until such time as they would have public opinion molded in their favor. Hence there have been fewer cases of persecution for non-observance of Sunday in recent years; but meanwhile a vigorous campaign has been carried on by the National Reform party, the "International Reform Bureau" or lobby at Washington, D. C., the "Lord's Day Alliance," the "Sunday League of America," the "New England Sabbath Protective League," and other religious bodies, having in view the creation of Sunday-law sentiment among the people, and in the state legislatures, and especially in the national legislature at Washington. Within recent years, the contest between the

p 619 -- friends and foes of American liberty, has been concentrated upon an effort to commit Congress to religious legislation by the enactment of a Sunday law for the District of Columbia. Bills for this purpose have been repeatedly introduced, and one introduced by Senator Johnston, of Alabama, in 1908, has been urged upon Congress continually up to this date (1911), being promptly reintroduced at the first opportunity after each failure of enactment; and the intention seems to be to keep pressing it upon Congress until that body yields to the demand, and the decisive step is taken which will give to the cause of religious legislation the endorsement of the national government. That will greatly strengthen the Sunday movement throughout the nation, and the work of securing and enforcing Sunday legislation in the state governments will be much more easily accomplished. TOP

At this point it may be profitable to take a glance at the progress of the Sunday-law movement in this country during the recent past. The following are some of the more prominent of the events which mark its advancement.

   1890. - Breckenridge Sunday bill for the District of Columbia introduced in Congress. (January 6.)
  1892. - Congress orders the gates of the Chicago World's Fair closed on Sunday, and decides that Sunday is the Sabbath of the decalogue. (July 19.)
  1900.  -  Congress makes the appropriation of $5,000,000 for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition at St. Louis, conditional upon Sunday closing of the gates "during the whole duration of the fair." (March 1.)
  1904. - A Sunday bill for the District of Columbia passed the House of Representatives. (April 6.)
  1906. - Congress makes the appropriation of $250,000 for the Jamestown Exposition, conditional upon Sunday closing. (June 29.)
  1906. - Wadsworth District Sunday bill passes House of Representatives. (June 11.)
  1908. - Samuel Gompers officially announces that the American Federation of Labor not only is in favor of Sunday rest, but that it has "done as much, if not more, than any other

p 620 -- organized body of men and women, to enforce the observance of the Sunday rest-day." (September 14.)
  1907-8. - Ten bills for Sunday observance introduced during the first session of the sixtieth Congress. (December 5 to May 1.)
  1908. - Johnston District Sunday bill, passed by the Senate. (May 15.)
  1909. - Johnston District Sunday bill reintroduced in the Senate. (March 22.)
  1910. - Johnston District Sunday bill reintroduced in Senate. (January 17.)
            - Johnston District Sunday bill passes Senate. (January 27.)
            - Johnston District Sunday bill introduced in the House. (January 28.)
  1911. - Johnston District Sunday bill introduced in special session of Congress. (April 6.)
            - Favorably reported by the Senate District Committee. (May 22.)
            - Mann bill, "For the Observance of Sunday in Post-Offices," introduced in House of Representatives. (May 16.)

All this is exclusive of Sunday legislation in the states of the union, and in other countries. During the year 1910 there was such legislation or agitation over the same, in California, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the countries of Canada, England, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland.

Most of the state governments have in their constitutions, or in their adopted "Bill of Rights," provisions guaranteeing the fullest religious liberty; and the inconsistency of legislating on religious questions, under these circumstances, is at once seen; while the treachery of oppressing people for opinion's sake, in such states, is keenly felt. Every conceivable invention is therefore resorted to, to make it appear that it is not religious persecution at all, but only the question of obedience to civil law. One of these inventions is that Sunday is only a civil institution, and its enforcement only a police regulation, a civil requirement necessary for the public good. But this is

p 621 -- impossible; for every one knows that Sunday in its origin, history, and very nature, is a religious institution. No claims in its behalf would ever have been heard of, but for its religious basis. Hence any enactment to enforce it by pains and penalties is religious legislation and religious oppression. TOP

But if there is a law for it, should not that law be obeyed until repealed? Every law that does not trench upon the domain of conscience, if it becomes unacceptable to the people, should nevertheless be obeyed till it can be changed or repealed. But Sunday laws interfere with the conscience of the observer of another day, and for that reason cannot "bear upon all alike." And no true Christian can make his obedience to God depend upon the permission of his fellow men. It may be said again, In a country like the United States, do not majorities rule? and must not their decisions be obeyed? And the answer again is, Yes, in everything but questions of conscience, but never there. "Render ... unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Men may legislate to guard the mutual rights of all members of society, but no further; and in this they will never infringe upon the rights of any one's conscience; for a "good" conscience (I Peter 3:21) will never invade the rights of others, like the polygamy of the Mormons, or the human sacrifices of the heathen.

The founders of the American republic never intended that any trouble should arise, through the laws of the land, over any question of conscience; but they permitted the evil principle of religious laws to remain in their political structure, a principle sure to spring to life at the first opportunity. In the further development of religious truth, it is now found that these laws forbid men to render obedience to what the Bible requires of them, and thus conflict with their unalienable rights. Such laws, therefore, the Christian cannot regard, and the government, to be true to its professed principles, should wipe them off the statute-books wherever found. But this the religio-political clergy will not permit; and the nation is doomed; for it will thus put itself in line with the religious despotisms of the past; and the cry will go up from God's suffering children,

p 622 -- "It is time for thee, Lord, to work: for they have made void thy law." Ps. 119:126.

While, according to the prophecy, the "image" can be looked for only in the United States, the worship of the beast will prevail in other countries also; for all the world is to wonder after the beast.

Some one may now say, As you expect this movement to carry, you must look for a period of religious persecution in the United States; nay, more, you must take the position that all the saints of God are to be put to death; for the image is to cause that all who will not worship it shall be killed.

A period of persecution has been for about fifty years expected and predicted. It has now begun, and is thus demonstrating the correctness of the application of the prophecy as set forth in this work; but it does not by any means follow that all, and we do not think that even many, will be put to death, though a decree to that effect will be promulgated; for, as the prophet elsewhere declares, God does not abandon his people to defeat in this dire conflict, but grants them a complete victory over the beast, his image, his mark, and the number of his name. Rev. 15:2. We further read respecting this earthly power, that he causeth all to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads; yet chapter 20:4 speaks of the people of God as those who do not receive the mark, nor worship the image. If, then, he could "cause" all to receive the mark, and yet all not actually receive it, in like manner his causing all to be put to death who will not worship the image does not necessarily signify that their lives are actually to be taken.

But how can this be? Answer:   It evidently comes under that rule of interpretation in accordance with which verbs of action sometimes signify merely the will and endeavor to do the action in question, and not the actual performance of the thing specified. The late George Bush, Professor of Hebrew and Oriental Literature in New York City University, makes this matter plain. In his notes on Ex. 7:11 he says:  -

"It is a canon of interpretation of frequent use in the exposition of the sacred writings that verbs of action sometimes

p 623 -- signify merely the will and endeavor to do the action in question. Thus in Eze. 24:13: 'I have purified thee, and thou wast not purged;' i.e., I have endeavored, used means, been at pains, to purify thee. John 5:44: 'How can ye believe which receive honor one of another?' i. e., endeavor to receive. Rom. 2:4: 'The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance;' i. e., endeavors, or tends, to lead thee. Amos 9:3: 'Though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea;' i. e., though they aim to be hid. I Cor. 10:33: 'I please all men;' i. e., endeavor to please. Gal. 5:4: 'Whosoever of you are justified by the law;' i. e., seek or endeavor to be justified. Ps. 69:4: 'They that destroy me are mighty;' i. e., that endeavor to destroy me; English, 'That would destroy me.' Acts 7:26: 'And set them at one again;' i. e., wished and endeavored; English, 'Would have set them.'" TOP

So in the passage before us. He causes all to receive a mark, and all who will not worship the image to be killed; that is, he wills, purposes, and endeavors to do this. He makes such an enactment; passes such a law, but is not able to execute it; for God interposes in behalf of his people; and then those who have kept the word of Christ's patience are kept from falling in this hour of temptation, according to Rev. 3:10; then those who have made God their refuge are kept from all evil, and no plague comes nigh their dwelling, according to Ps. 91:9, 10; then all who are found written in the book are delivered, according to Dan. 12:1; and, being victors over the beast and his image, they are redeemed from among men, and raise a song of triumph before the throne of God, according to Rev. 14:2-4.

The objector may further say, You are altogether too credulous in supposing that the masses of our people, many of whom are either indifferent or wholly opposed to the claims of religion, can be so far brought to favor the religious observance of Sunday that a general law can be promulgated in its behalf.

We answer, The prophecy must be fulfilled, and if the prophecy requires such a revolution, it will be accomplished.

To receive the mark of the beast in the forehead is, we understand, to give the assent of the mind and judgment to his

p 624 -- authority in the adoption of that institution which constitutes the mark. By parity of reasoning, to receive it in the hand would be to signify allegiance by some outward act.

VERSE 18. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The Number of His Name. - The number of the beast, says the prophecy, "is the number of a man;" and if it is to be derived from a name or title, the natural conclusion would be that it must be the name or title of some particular man. The most plausible expression we have seen suggested as containing the number of the beast, is the title which the pope takes to himself, and allows others to apply to him. That title is this: Vicarius FiIii Dei, "Vicegerent of the Son of God." Taking the letters out of this title which the Latins used as numerals, and giving them their numerical value, we have just 666. Thus we have V, 5; I, 1; C, 100 (a and r not used as numerals); I, 1; U (formerly the same as V), 5 (s and f not used as numerals); I, 1; L, 50; I, 1; I, 1; D, 500 (e not used as a numeral); I, 1. Adding these numbers together, we have just 666.

This title, there is reason to believe, was formerly inscribed upon the pope's crown. The following testimony on this point is given by the late Elder D. E. Scoles, of Washburn, Mo.:  -

"I have met two men who declare that they have seen this specific crown; and their testimony is so perfectly in agreement that I am convinced that what they saw is true. The first man was M. De Latti, a Sabbath-keeper who had previously been a Catholic priest, and had spent four years in Rome. He visited me when I was pastor in St. Paul, Minn., several years ago. I showed him my tract, 'The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.' He at once told me that the inscription was not correctly placed in my illustration. He stated that he had often seen it in the museum at the Vatican, and

p 625 -- gave a detailed and accurate description of the whole crown. When my tract was published, I was ignorant of the arrangement of the words of the Latin inscription, hence, in the illustration of the crown, placed them in one line. Brother De Latti at once pointed out the mistake, and said the first word of the sentence was on the first crown of the triple arrangement, the second word on the second part of the crown, while the word Dei was on the lower division of the triple crown. He also explained that the first two words were in dark-colored jewels, while the Dei was composed entirely of diamonds. TOP

"During a tent-meeting which I held in Webb City, Mo., I presented the subject, 'The Seal of God and the Mark of the Beast.' I used charts to illustrate it, one being a reproduction of the crown as Brother De Latti had described it. A Presbyterian minister was present, Rev. B. Hoffman, and when I described the crown, he spoke out publicly and made a statement to the congregation, saying that while in Rome studying for the priesthood, he had seen this very crown, and noted its inscription, and that the word Dei was composed of one hundred diamonds. I met him and learned his name, and visited him at his home, and was convinced from his description that this was the identical crown that Brother De Latti had seen, but which has been denied by many. I then asked him for a written statement, and he gave me the following: -

"'To Whom It May Concern:    This is to certify that I was born in Bavaria in 1828, was educated in Munich, and was reared a Roman Catholic. In 1844 and 1845 I was a student for the priesthood in the Jesuit College in Rome. During the Easter service of 1845, Pope Gregory XVI wore a triple crown upon which was the inscription, in jewels, Vicarius Filii Dei. We were told that there were one hundred diamonds in the word Dei; the other words were of some other kind of precious stones of a darker color. There was one word upon each crown, and not all on the same line. I was present at the service, and saw the crown distinctly, and noted it carefully.

"'In 1850 I was converted to God and to Protestantism. Two years later I entered the Evangelical Church ministry, but later in life I united with the Presbyterian Church, of

p 626 -- which I am now a retired pastor, having been in the ministry for fifty years.

"'I have made the above statement at the request of Elder D. E. Scoles, as he states that some deny that the pope ever wore this tiara. But I know that he did, for I saw it upon his head.

"'Sincerely yours in Christian service,
(Signed)
"' B. HOFFMAN,
"' Webb City, Mo., Oct. 29, 1906.'"

The following extract is from a work entitled The Reformation, bearing the date of 1832:  -

"'Mrs. A.,' said Miss Emmons, 'I saw a very curious fact the other day; I have dwelt upon it much, and will mention it. A person, lately, was witnessing a ceremony of the Romish Church. As the pope passed him in procession, splendidly dressed in his pontifical robes, the gentleman's eye rested on these full, blazing letters in front of his miter: "VICARIUS FILII DEI," the Vicar of the Son of God. His thoughts, with the rapidity of lightning, reverted to Rev. 13:18.'    'Will you turn to it?' said Mrs. A. Alice opened the New Testament and read: 'Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.' She paused, and Miss Emmons said, 'He took out his pencil, and marking the numerical letters of the inscription on his tablet, it stood 666.'"

webmaster note: More on this is in Facts of Faith, pp. 218-233, available on this site from index page.

Here we have indeed the number of a man, even the "man of sin;" and it is a little singular, perhaps providential, that he should select a title which shows the blasphemous character of the beast, and then cause it to be inscribed upon his miter, as if to brand himself with the number 666. The foregoing extract doubtless refers to a particular pope on a particular occasion. Other popes might not wear the title emblazoned on the miter, as there stated. But this does not affect the application at all; for the popes all assume to be the "Vicar of Christ" (see Standard Dictionary under "vicar"), and the Latin words given above are the words which express that

p 627 -- title, in the form "vicar of the Son of God;" and their numerical value is 666.

Thus closes chapter 13, leaving the people of God with the powers of earth in deadly array against them, and the decrees of death and banishment from society upon them for their adherence to the truth. Spiritualism will be, at the time specified, performing its most imposing wonders, deceiving all the world except the elect. Matt. 24:24; 2 Thess. 2:8-12. This will be the "hour of temptation," or trial, which is to come, as the closing test, upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth, as mentioned in Rev. 3:10. What is the issue of this conflict? This important inquiry is not left unanswered. The first five verses of the following chapter, which should have been numbered as a part of this, complete the chain of this prophecy, and reveal the glorious triumph of the champions of the truth.      TOP

 

The Three Messages
CHAPTER XIV

p 628 -- VERSE 1. And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the Mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.   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:   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.   4.   These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.   5.    And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

It is a pleasing feature of the prophetic word that the people of God are never brought into positions of trial and difficulty, and there abandoned. Taking them down into scenes of danger, the voice of prophecy does not there cease, leaving them to guess their fate, in doubt, perhaps despair, as to the final result; but it takes them through to the end, and shows the issue in every conflict. The first five verses of Revelation 14 are an instance of this. The 13th chapter closed with the people of God, a small and apparently weak and defenseless company, in deadly conflict with the mightiest powers of earth which the dragon is able to muster to his service. A decree is passed, backed up by the supreme power of the land, that they shall worship the image and receive the mark, under pain of death if they refuse to comply. What can the people of God do in such a conflict and in such an extremity? What

p 629 -- will become of them? Glance forward with the apostle to the very next scene in the program, and what do we behold? - The very same company standing on Mount Zion with the Lamb, - a victorious company, harping on symphonic harps their triumph in the court of heaven. Thus are we assured that when the time of our conflict with the powers of darkness comes, deliverance is not only certain, but will immediately be given.

That the 144,000 here seen on Mount Zion are the saints who were just before brought to view as objects of the wrath of the beast and his image, there are the very best of reasons for believing.

1. They are identical with those sealed in Revelation 7, who have already been shown to be the righteous who are alive at the second coming of Christ.

2. They are the overcomers in the sixth or Philadelphian state of the church. (See Rev. 3:11, 12.)

3. They are "redeemed from among men" (verse 4), an expression which can be applicable only to those who are translated from among the living. Paul labored, if by any means he might attain to a resurrection out from among the dead. Phil. 3:11. This is the hope of those who sleep in Jesus, - a resurrection from the dead. A redemption from among men, from among the living, must mean a different thing, and can mean only one thing, and that is translation. Hence the 144,000 are the living saints, who will be translated at the second coming of Christ. (See on verse 13, note.)

On what Mount Zion does John see this company standing? - The Mount Zion above; for the voice of harpers, which no doubt is uttered by these very ones, is heard from heaven; the same Zion from which the Lord utters his voice when he speaks to his people in close connection with the coming of the Son of man. Joel 3:16; Heb. 12:26-28; Rev. 16:17. A just consideration of the fact that there is a Mount Zion in heaven, and a Jerusalem above, would be a powerful antidote for the hallucination of the doctrine known as "The Age to Come."

A few more particulars only respecting the 144,000 in

p 630 -- addition to those given in chapter 7, will claim notice in these brief remarks. TOP

  1. They have the name of the Lamb's Father in their foreheads. In chapter 7, they are said to have the seal of God in their foreheads. An important key to an understanding of the seal of God is thus furnished us; for we at once perceive that the Father regards his name as his seal. That commandment of the law which contains God's name is therefore the seal of the law. The Sabbath commandment is the only one which has this; that is, that contains the descriptive title which distinguishes the true God from all false gods. Wherever this was placed, there the Father's name was said to be (Deut. 12:5, 14, 18, 21; 14:23; 16:2, 6; etc.); and whoever keeps this commandment has, consequently, the seal of the living God.

  2. They sing a new song which no other company is able to learn. In chapter 15:3, it is called the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. The song of Moses, as may be seen by reference to Exodus 15, was the song of his experience and deliverance. Therefore the song of the 144,000 is the song of their deliverance. No others can join in it; for no other company will have had an experience like theirs.

  3. They were not defiled with women. A woman is in Scripture the symbol of a church, a virtuous woman representing a pure church, a corrupt woman an apostate church. It is, then, a characteristic of this company that at the time of their deliverance they are not defiled with, or have no connection with, the fallen churches of the land. Yet we are not to understand that they never had any connection with these churches; for it is only at a certain time that people become defiled by them. In chapter 18:4, we find a call issued to the people of God while they are in Babylon, to come out, lest they become partakers of her sins. Heeding that call, and leaving her connection, they escape the defilement of her sins. So of the 144,000; though some of them may have once had a connection with corrupt churches, they sever that connection when it would become sin to retain it longer.

  4. They follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. We understand that this is spoken of them in their redeemed state.

p 631 -- They are the special companions of their glorified Lord in the kingdom. Chapter 7:17, speaking of the same company and at the same time, says, "For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters."

  5. They are "first-fruits" unto God and the Lamb. This term appears to be applied to different ones to denote especial conditions. Christ is the first-fruits as the antitype of the wave-sheaf. The first receivers of the gospel are called by James (chapter 1:18) a kind of first-fruits. So the 144,000, ripening up for the heavenly garner here on earth during the troublous scenes of the last days, being translated to heaven without seeing death, and occupying a pre-eminent position, are, in this sense, as would seem very consistent, called first-fruits unto God and the Lamb. With this description of the 144,000 triumphant, the line of prophecy commencing with chapter 12 comes to a close.

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,    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.   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.   9.   And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,   10.   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 Lamb:   11.   And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.   12.   Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. TOP

The First Message. -  Another scene and another chain of prophetic events is introduced in these verses. We know that this is so, because the preceding verses of this chapter describe a company of the redeemed in the immortal state - a scene which constitutes a part of the prophetic chain commencing

p 632 --


(The Everlasting Gospel)

p 633 -- with the first verse of chapter 12, and with which that chain of events closes; for no prophecy goes beyond the immortal state; and whenever we are brought in a line of prophecy to the end of the world, we know that that line there ends, and that what is introduced subsequently belongs to a new series of events. The Revelation in particular is composed of these independent prophetic chains, as has already been set forth, of which fact, previous to this instance, we have had a number of examples.

The messages described in these verses are known as "the three angel's messages of Revelation 14." We are justified in applying to them the ordinals, first second, and third, by the prophecy itself; for the last one is distinctly called "the third angel," from which it follows that the one preceding was the second angel; and the one before that, the first angel.

These angels are evidently symbolic; for the work assigned them is that of preaching the everlasting gospel to the people. But the preaching of the gospel has not been intrusted to literal angels; it has been committed unto men, who are responsible for this sacred trust placed in their hands. Each of these three angels, therefore, symbolizes a body of religious teachers, who are commissioned to make known to their fellow men the special truths which constitute the burden of these messages respectively.

But we are to consider further that angels, literally, are intensely interested in the work of grace among men, being sent forth to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation. And as there is order in all the movements and appointments of the heavenly world, it may not be fanciful to suppose that a literal angel has charge and oversight of the work of each message. Heb. 1:14; Rev. 1:1; 22:16.

In these symbols we see the sharp contrast the Bible draws between earthly and heavenly things. Wherever earthly governments are to be represented, - even the best of them, - the most appropriate symbol that can be found is a cruel and ravenous wild beast; but when the work of God is to be set forth, an angel, clad in beauty and girt with power, is taken to symbolize it.

p 634 -- The importance of the work set forth in the verses last quoted will be apparent to any one who will attentively study them. Whenever these messages are due, and are proclaimed, they must, from the very nature of the case, constitute the great theme of interest for that generation. We do not mean that the great mass of mankind then living will give them attention; for in every age of the world, the present truth for that time has been generally overlooked; but they will constitute the theme to which the people would pay most earnest regard if they were awake to that which concerns their highest interests. When God commissions his ministers to announce to the world that the hour of his judgment is come, that Babylon has fallen, and that whoever worships the beast and his image must drink of his wrath poured out unmingled into the cup of his indignation, - a threatening more terrible than any other which can be found in the Scriptures of truth, - no man, except at the peril of his soul, can treat these warnings as nonessential, passing them by with neglect and disregard. Hence the necessity for the most earnest endeavor in every age, and especially in the present age, when so many evidences betoken the soon-coming of earth's final crisis, to understand the work of the Lord, lest we loose the benefit of the present truth. TOP

This angel of Rev. 14:6 is called "another angel," from the fact that John had previously seen an angel flying through heaven in a similar manner, as described in chapter 8:13, proclaiming that the last three of the series of seven trumpets were woe trumpets. This was near the close of the sixth century. (See under chapter 8:12.)

The first point to be determined is the chronology of this message. When may the proclamation, "The hour of his judgment is come," be consistently expected? The bare possibility that it may be in our own day renders it very becoming in us to examine this question with serious attention; but the great probability, nay, more, the positive proof that this is so, which will appear in the development of this argument, should set every pulse bounding, and every heart beating high with a sense of the thrilling importance of this hour.

p 635 -- Three positions only are possible on this question of the chronology of this prophecy, and as might be expected, all of them are taken by different expositors. These positions are   (1)    That this message has been given in the past; as, first, in the days of the apostles; or secondly, in the days of the Reformers;   (2)    that it is to be given in a future age; or   (3)    that it belongs to the present generation.

We inquire, first, respecting the past. The very nature of the message forbids the idea that it could have been given in the apostles' days. They did not proclaim that the hour of God's judgment had come. If they had, it would not have been true, and their message would have been stamped with the infamy of falsehood. They did have something to say, however, respecting the judgment; but they pointed to an indefinite future for its accomplishment. In Matt. 10:15; 11:21-24, a quotation from Christ's own words, the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, Tyre, Sidon, Chorazin, and Capernaum, was located indefinitely in the future from that day. Paul declared to the superstitious Athenians that God had appointed a day in which he would judge the world. Acts 17:31. He reasoned before Felix "of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come." Acts 24:25. To the Romans he wrote, directing their minds forward to a day when God should judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. Rom. 2:16. He pointed the Corinthians forward to a time when we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. 2 Cor. 5:10. James wrote to the brethren scattered abroad that they were, at some time in the future, to be judged by the law of liberty. James 2:12. And both Peter and Jude speak of the first rebel angels as reserved unto the judgment of the great day, still in the future at that time (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6), to which the ungodly in this world are also reserved. 2 Peter 2:9. How different is all this from ringing out upon the world the startling declaration that "the hour of his judgment is come!" - a sound which must be heard whenever the solemn message before us is fulfilled.

From the days of the apostles nothing has taken place which any one, so far as we are aware, could construe into a suggestion

p 636 -- of the fulfilment of the message, till we come to the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Here some seem disposed to make quite a determined stand, claiming that Luther and his colaborers gave the first message, and that the two following messages have been given since his day. This is a question to be to be decided by historical fact rather than by argument; and hence we inquire for the evidence that the Reformers made any such proclamation. Their teaching has been very fully recorded, and their writings preserved. When and where did they arouse the world with the proclamation that the hour of God's judgment had come? We find no record that such was the burden of their preaching at all. On the contrary, it is recorded of Luther that he placed the judgment some three hundred years in the future from his day. Such records ought to be decisive, so far as the Reformers are concerned. TOP

The foregoing considerations being sufficient to forbid utterly the application of the message to the past, we now turn to that view which locates it in a future age. By "future age" is meant a period subsequent to the second advent; and the reason urged for locating the message in that age is the fact that John saw the angel flying through heaven, immediately after having seen the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with the 144,000, which is a future event. If the book of Revelation were one consecutive prophecy, there would be force in this reasoning; but as it consists of a series of independent lines of prophecy, and as it has already been shown that one such chain ends with verse 5 of this chapter, and a new one begins with verse 6, the foregoing view cannot be urged. To show that the message cannot have its fulfilment in a future age, it will be sufficient to remark: -

    1.   The apostolic commission extended only to the "harvest," which is the end of the world. If, therefore, this angel with the "everlasting gospel" comes after that event, he preaches another gospel, and subjects himself to the anathema of Paul in Gal. 1:8.

  2.   The second message cannot, of course, be given before the first; but the second message announces the fall of Babylon, and a voice is heard from heaven after that, saying,

p 637 -- "Come out of her, my people." How absurd to locate this after the second advent of Christ, seeing that all God's people, both living and dead, are at that time caught up to meet the Lord in the air, to be thenceforth forever with him. They cannot be called out of Babylon after this. Christ does not take them to Babylon, but to the Father's house, where there
are many mansions. John 14: 2, 3.

  3.   A glance at the third angel's message, which must be fulfilled in a future age if the first one is, will still further show the absurdity of this view. This message warns against the worship of the beast, which refers, beyond question, to the papal beast. But the papal beast is destroyed and given to the burning flame when Christ comes. Dan. 7:11; 2 Thess. 2:8. He goes into the lake of fire at that time, to disturb the saints of the Most High no more. Rev. 19:20. Why will people involve themselves in the absurdity of locating a message against the worship of the beast at a time when the beast has ceased to exist, and his worship is impossible?

In verse 13 of Revelation 14, a blessing is pronounced upon the dead which die in the Lord "from henceforth;" that is, from the time the third message begins to be given. This is a complete demonstration of the fact that the message must be given prior to the first resurrection; for after that event all who have a part therein (and this includes all, both living and dead, who are not assigned to the second death) become as the angels of God, and can die no more. We therefore dismiss this view concerning the future age as unscriptural, absurd, and impossible.

We are now prepared to examine the third view, that the message belongs to the present generation. The argument on the two preceding points has done much to establish the present proposition; for if the message has not been given in the past, and cannot be given in the future after Christ comes, where else can we locate it but in the present generation, if we are in the last days, as we suppose? Indeed, the very nature of the message itself confines it to the last generation of men. It proclaims the hour of God's judgment come. But the judgment pertains to the closing up of the work of salvation

p 638 -- for the world; and the proclamation announcing its approach can therefore be made only as we come near the end. It is further shown that the message belongs to the present time when it is proved that this angel is identical with the angel of Revelation 10, who utters his message in this generation. That the first angel of Revelation 14 and the angel of Revelation 10 are identical, see argument on the latter chapter. TOP

But the strongest and most conclusive evidence that the message belongs to the present time will consist in finding some movement in this generation through which its fulfilment has been, or is going forward. On this point we refer to a movement of which it would now be hard to find any one who is wholly ignorant. It is the great advent movement of the last century. As early as 1831, Wm. Miller, of Low Hampton, N.Y., by an earnest and consistent study of the prophecies, was led to the conclusion that the gospel dispensation was near its close. He placed the termination, which he thought would occur at the end of the prophetic periods, about the year 1843. This date was afterward extended to the autumn of 1844. (See diagram and argument under Dan. 9:24-27. [Webmaster note: on p 214 -- Picture (Diagram of the 70 Weeks and 2300 Days)] We call his investigations a consistent study of the prophecies, because he adopted that rule of interpretation which will be found lying at the base of every religious reformation, and of every advance movement in prophetic knowledge; namely, to take all the language of the Scriptures, just as we would that of any other book, to be literal, unless the context or the laws of language require it to be understood figuratively; and to let scripture interpret scripture. True, on a vital point he made a mistake, as will be explained hereafter; but in principle, and in a great number of particulars, he was correct. He was on the right road, and made an immense advance over every theological system of his day. When he began to promulgate his views, they met with general favor, and were followed by great religious awakenings in different parts of the land. Soon a multitude of colaborers gathered around his standard, among whom may be mentioned such men as F. G. Brown, Chas. Fitch, Josiah Litch, J. V. Himes,

p 639 -- and others, who were then eminent for piety, and men of influence in the religious world. The period marked by the years 1840-1844 was one of intense activity and great progress in this work. A message was proclaimed to the world which bore every characteristic of a fulfilment of the proclamation of Rev. 14:6, 7. The preaching was emphatically such as might be called the everlasting (age-lasting) gospel. It pertained to the closing up of this age, and the incoming of the everlasting age (aiwn) of the King of righteousness. It was that gospel of the kingdom which Christ declared should be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then the end should come. Matt. 24:14. The fulfilment of either of these scriptures involves the preaching of the nearness of the end. The gospel could not be preached to all nations as a sign of the end, unless it was understood to be such, and the proximity of the end was at least one of its leading themes. The Advent Herald of Dec. 14, 1850, well expressed the truth on this point in the following language:  -

"As an indication of the approach of the end, there was, however, to be seen another angel flying through 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. Rev. 14:6. The burden of this angel was to be the same gospel which had been before proclaimed; but connected with it was the additional motive of the proximity of the kingdom - '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.' Verse 7. No mere preaching of the gospel, without announcing its proximity, could fulfil this message."

The persons who were engaged in this movement supposed it to be a fulfilment of prophecy, and claimed that they were giving the message of Rev. 14: 6, 7.

With this movement also began the fulfilment of the parable of the ten virgins, recorded in Matthew 25, which our Lord uttered to illustrate and enforce the doctrine of his second coming and the end of the world, which he had just set forth

p 640 -- in Matthew 24. Those who became interested in this movement went forth to meet the Bridegroom; that is, they were aroused to expect the coming of Christ, and to look and wait for his return from heaven. The Bridegroom tarried. The first point of expectation, the close of the year 1843, which according to Jewish reckoning ended in the spring of 1844, passed by, and the Lord did not come. While he tarried, they all slumbered and slept. Surprised by the unexpected doubt and uncertainty into which they were thrown, the interest of the people began to wane, and their efforts to flag. At midnight there was a cry made, "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh! go ye out to meet him." Midway between the spring of 1844, where it was at first supposed that the 2300 days would terminate, and that point in the autumn of 1844 to which it was afterward ascertained that they really extended, just such a cry as this was suddenly raised. Involuntarily, this very phraseology was adopted: "Behold, the Bridegroom cometh." The cause of this sudden arousing was the discovery that the great prophetic period of 2300 days (years) of Dan. 8:14 did not end in the spring of 1844, but would extend to the autumn of that year, and consequently that the time at which they supposed they were warranted to look for the appearing of the Lord had not passed by, but was indeed at the door. At the same time, the relation between the type and the antitype relating to the cleansing of the sanctuary was partially seen. The prophecy declared that at the end of the 2300 days the sanctuary should be cleansed; and as in the type the sanctuary was cleansed on the tenth day of the seventh month of the Jewish year, that point in the autumn of 1844 was accordingly fixed upon for the termination of the 2300 years. It fell on the 22d of October. Between the mid-summer of 1844, when the light on these subjects was first seen, and the day and month above named when the 2300 years terminated, perhaps no movement ever exhibited greater activity than this respecting the soon coming of Christ, and in no cause was ever more accomplished in so short a space of time. A religious wave swept over this country, and the nation was stirred as no people have been stirred since the opening of the great

p 641 -- Reformation of the sixteenth century. This was called the "seventh-month movement," and was more particularly confined to the United States and Canada. TOP

But the general movement respecting the second advent of Christ, and the proclamation that "the hour of his judgment is come," was not confined to this hemisphere. It was worldwide. It fulfilled in this respect the proclamation of the angel "to every nation and kindred and tongue and people." In Advent Tracts, Vol. II, p. 135, Mourant Brock, an English writer, is quoted as saying: -

"It is not merely in Great Britain that the expectation of the near return of the Redeemer is entertained, and the voice of warning raised, but also in America, India, and on the continent of Europe. In America, about three hundred ministers of the word are thus preaching ' this gospel of the kingdom;' while in this country [Great Britain], about seven hundred of the Church of England are raising the same cry."

Dr. Joseph Wolff traveled in Arabia Felix, through the region inhabited by the descendants of Hobab, Moses' father-in-law. In his mission to Bokhara, he speaks as follows of a book which he saw in Yemen: -

"The Arabs of this place have a book called 'Seera,' which treats of the second coming of Christ, and his reign in glory! In Yemen I spent six days with the Rechabites. 'They drink no wine, plant no vineyards, sow no seed, live in tents, and remember the words of Jonadab, the son of Rechab.' With them were the children of Israel of the tribe of Dan, who reside near Terim in Hatramawt, who expect, in common with the children of Rechab, the speedy arrival of the Messiah in the clouds of heaven."

The Voice of the Church, by D. T. Taylor, pp. 342-344, speaks as follows concerning the wide diffusion of the advent sentiment: -

"In Wurtemberg, there is a Christian colony numbering hundreds, who look for the speedy advent of Christ; also another of like belief on the shores of the Caspian; the Molokaners, a large body of Dissenters from the Russian Greek Church, residing on the shores of the Baltic - a very pious

p 642 -- people, of whom it is said, 'Taking the Bible alone for their creed, the norm of their faith is simply the Holy Scriptures' - are characterized by the 'expectation of Christ's immediate and visible reign upon earth.' In Russia, the doctrine of Christ's coming and reign is preached to some extent, and received by many of the lower class. It has been extensively agitated in Germany, particularly in the south part among the Moravians. In Norway, charts and books on the advent have been circulated extensively, and the doctrine has been received by many. Among the Tartars in Tartary, there prevails an expectation of Christ's advent about this time. English and American publications on this doctrine have been sent to Holland, Germany, India, Ireland, Constantinople, Rome, and to nearly every missionary station on the globe. At the Turk's Islands, it has been received to some extent among the Wesleyans.

"Mr. Fox, a Scottish missionary to the Teloogoo people, was a believer in Christ's soon coming. James McGregor Bertram, a Scottish missionary of the Baptist order at St. Helena, has sounded the cry extensively on that island, making many converts and premillennialists; he has also preached it at South Africa at the missionary stations there. David N. Lord informs us that a large proportion of the missionaries who have gone from Great Britain to make known the gospel to the heathen, and who are now laboring in Asia and Africa are millenarians; and Joseph Wolff, D. D., according to his journals, between the years 1821 and 1845, proclaimed the Lord's speedy advent in Palestine, Egypt, on the shores of the Red Sea, Mesopotamia, the Crimea, Persia, Georgia, throughout the Ottoman empire, in Greece, Arabia, Toorkistan, Bokhara, Afghanistan, Cashmere, Hindustan, Thibet, Holland, Scotland, and Ireland, at Constantinople, Jerusalem, St. Helena, also on shipboard in the Mediterranean, and at New York City to all denominations. He declares he has preached among Jews, Turks, Mohammedans, Parsees, Hindus, Chaldeans, Yeseedes, Syrians, Sabeans, to pashas, sheiks, shahs, the kings of Organtsh and Bokhara, the queen of Greece, etc.; and of his extraordinary labors the Investigator says, 'No individual has, perhaps, given greater publicity to the doctrine of the second

p 643 -- coming of the Lord Jesus Christ than has this well-known missionary to the world. Wherever he goes, he proclaims the approaching advent of the Messiah in glory.'"

Elder J. N. Andrews, in his work on The Three Messages of Revelation 14:6-12, pp. 32-35, speaks as follows concerning the message under consideration: -

"None can deny that this world-wide warning of impending judgment has been given. The nature of the evidence adduced in its support now claims our attention, as furnishing the most conclusive testimony that it was a message from Heaven. TOP

"All the great outlines of the world's prophetic history were shown to be complete in the present generation. The great prophetic chain of Daniel 2, also those of chapters 7, 8, 11, and 12, were shown to be just accomplished. The same was true of our Lord's prophetic description of the gospel dispensation. Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21. The prophetic periods of Daniel 7, 8, 9, 12; Revelation 11, 12, 13, were shown to harmonize with, and unitedly to sustain, this great proclamation. The signs in the heavens and upon the earth and sea, in the church and among the nations, with one voice bore witness to the warning which God addressed to the human family. Joel 2:30, 31; Matt. 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-26; Luke 21:25-36; 2 Timothy 3; 2 Peter 3; Rev. 6:12, 13. And besides the mighty array of evidence on which this warning is based, the great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in connection with this proclamation set the seal of Heaven to its truth.

"The warning of John the Baptist, which was to prepare the way for the first advent of our Lord, was of short duration, and limited in its extent. For each prophetic testimony which sustained the work of John, we have several which support the proclamation of Christ's near advent. John had not the aid of the press to disseminate his proclamation, nor the facility of Nahum's chariots; he was a humble man, dressed in camel's hair, and he performed no miracles. If the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves in not being baptized of John, how great must be the guilt of those

p 644 -- who reject the warning sent by God to prepare the way of the second advent!

"But those were disappointed who expected the Lord in 1843 and 1844. This fact is with many a sufficient reason for rejecting all the testimony in this case. We acknowledge the disappointment, but cannot acknowledge that this furnishes a just reason for denying the hand of God in this work. The Jewish church was disappointed when, at the close of the work of John the Baptist, Jesus presented himself as the promised Messiah. And the trusting disciples were most sadly disappointed when he whom they expected to deliver Israel was by wicked hands taken and slain. And after his resurrection, when they expected him to restore again the kingdom to Israel, they could not but be disappointed when they understood that he was going away to his Father, and that they were to be left for a long season to tribulation and anguish. But disappointment does not prove that God has no hand in the guidance of his people. It should lead them to correct their errors, but it should not lead them to cast away their confidence in God. It was because the children of Israel were disappointed in the wilderness that they so often denied divine guidance. They are set forth as an admonition to us, that we should not fall after the same example of unbelief.

"But it must be apparent to every student of the Scriptures that the angel who proclaims the hour of God's judgment does not give the latest message of mercy. Revelation 14 presents two other and later proclamations before the close of human probation. This fact alone is sufficient to prove that the coming of the Lord does not take place until the second and third proclamations have been added to the first. The same thing may also be seen in the fact that after the angel of chapter 10 has sworn that time shall be no longer, another work of prophesying before many people and nations is announced. Hence we understand that the first angel preaches the hour of God's judgment come; that is, he preaches the termination of the prophetic periods; and that this is the time which he swears shall be no longer.

"The judgment does of necessity commence before the advent

p 645 -- of Christ; for he comes to execute the judgment (Jude 14, 15; Rev. 22;12; 2 Tim. 4:1); and at the sound of the last trumpet be confers immortality upon every one of the righteous, and passes by all the wicked. The investigative judgment does therefore precede the execution of the same by the Saviour. It is the province of the Father to preside in this investigative work, as set forth in Daniel 7. At this tribunal, the Son closes up his work as high priest, and is crowned king. Thence he comes to earth to execute the decisions of his Father. It is this work of judgment by the Father which the first angel introduces. TOP

"The great period of 2300 days, which was the most important period in marking the definite time in that proclamation, extends to the cleansing of the sanctuary. That the cleansing of the sanctuary is not the cleansing of any part of the earth, but that it is the last work of our great High Priest in the heavenly tabernacle before his advent to the earth, has been clearly shown. [See on Dan. 8:14.] And we understand that it is while the work of cleansing the sanctuary is taking place, that the latest message of mercy is proclaimed. Thus it will be seen that the prophetic periods, and the proclamation which is based upon them, do not extend to the coming of the Lord."

That the mistake made by Adventists in 1844 was not in the time, has been shown by the argument on the seventy weeks and twenty-three hundred days in Daniel 9; that it was in the nature of the event to occur at the end of those days, has been shown in the argument on the sanctuary in Daniel 8. Supposing that the earth was the sanctuary, and that its cleansing was to be accomplished by fire at the revelation of the Lord from heaven, they naturally looked for the appearing of Christ at the end of the days. And through their misapprehension on this point, they met with a crushing disappointment, though everything which the prophecy declared, and everything which they were warranted to expect, took place with absolute accuracy at that time. There the cleansing of the sanctuary began; but this did not bring Christ to this earth, for the earth is not the sanctuary; and its cleansing does not involve the destruction

p 646 -- of the earth, for it is accomplished with the blood of a sacrificial offering, not with fire. Here was the bitterness of the little book to the church. Rev. 10:10. Here was the coming of one like the Son of man, not to this earth, but to the Ancient of days. Dan. 7:13, 14. Here was the coming of the Bridegroom to the marriage, as set forth in the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25. We have spoken of the midnight cry of that parable in the summer of 1844. The foolish virgins then said to the wise, "Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone [margin, going] out." The wise answered, "Go and buy for yourselves." And while they went to buy, the Bridegroom came. This is not the coming of Christ to this earth; for it is a coming which precedes the marriage; but the marriage, that is, the reception of the kingdom (see on chapter 21), must precede his coming to this earth to receive to himself his people, who are to be the guests at the marriage supper. Luke 19:12; Rev. 19:7-9. This coming, in the parable, must therefore be the same as the coming to the Ancient of days spoken of in Dan. 7:13, 14.

And they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut. After the Bridegroom comes to the marriage, there is an examination of guests, to see who are ready to participate in the ceremony, according to the parable of Matt. 22 :1-13. As the last thing before the marriage, the King comes in to see the guests, to ascertain if all are properly arrayed in the wedding garment; and whoever, after due examination, is found with the garment on, and is accepted by the King, never after loses that garment, but is sure of immortality. But this question of fitness for the kingdom can be determined only by the investigative judgment of the sanctuary. This closing work in the sanctuary, therefore, which is the cleansing of the sanctuary, and the atonement, is nothing else than the examination of the guests to see who have on the wedding garment; and consequently until this work is finished, it is not determined who are "ready" to go in to the marriage. "They that were ready went in with him to the marriage." By this short expression we are carried from the time when the Bridegroom comes to the marriage,

p 647 -- entirely through the period of the cleansing of the sanctuary, or the examination of the guests; and when this is concluded, probation will end, and the door will be shut. TOP

The connection of the parable with the message under examination is now apparent. It brings to view a period of making ready the guests for the marriage of the Lamb, which is the work of judgment to which the message brings us when it declares, "The hour of his judgment is come." This message was to be proclaimed with a loud voice. It went forth with the power thus indicated between the years 1840-44, more especially in the seventh-month movement of the latter year, bringing us to the end of the 2300 days, when the work of judgment commenced as Christ began the work of cleansing the sanctuary.

But, as has been already shown, this did not bring the close of probation, but only the period of the investigative judgment. In this judgment we are now living; and during this time other messages are proclaimed, as the prophecy further declares.

The Second Message. -  This message, following the first, is announced (verse 8) in these few words: "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." The chronology of this message is determined, to a great extent, by that of the first message. This cannot precede that; but that, as has been shown, is confined to the last days; yet this must be given before the end, for no move of this kind is possible after that event. It is therefore a part of that religious movement which takes place in the last days with especial reference to the coming of Christ.

The inquiries therefore naturally follow:   What is meant by the term Babylon? what is its fall? and how is it fulfilled? As to the etymology of the word, we learn something from the marginal readings of Gen. 10:10 and 11:9. The beginning of Nimrod's kingdom was Babel, or Babylon; and the place was so called because God there confounded the language of the builders of the tower; and the word means confusion. The word is here used figuratively to designate the great symbolic

p 648 --


(The Three Messages of Revelation 14)

p 649 -- city of the book of Revelation, probably with special reference to the signification of the term, and the circumstances from which it originated. It applies to something on which, as specifying its chief characteristic, may be written the word "confusion."

There are but three possible objects to which the word can be applied; and these are   (1)   the apostate religious world in general,   (2)   the papal church in particular, and   (3)   the city of Rome. In examining these terms, we shall first show what Babylon is not.

   1.  Babylon is not confined to the Romish Church. That this church is a very prominent component part of great Babylon, is not denied. The descriptions of chapter 17 seem to apply very particularly to that church. But the name which she bears on her forehead, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth," reveals other family connections. If this church is the mother, who are the daughters? The fact that these daughters are spoken of, shows that there are other religious bodies besides the Romish Church which come under this designation. Again, there is to be a call made in connection with this message, "Come out of her, my people" (Rev. 18:1-4); and as this message is located in the present generation, it follows, if no other church but the Romish is included in Babylon, that the people of God, as a body, are now found in the communion of that church, and are to be called out. But this conclusion, no Protestant at least will be willing to adopt. TOP

   2.  Babylon is not the city of Rome. The argument relied upon to show that the city of Rome is the Babylon of the Apocalypse runs thus: "The angel told John that the woman which he had seen was the great city which reigned over the kings of the earth, and that the seven heads of the beast are seven mountains upon which the woman sitteth." And then, taking the city and the mountains to be literal, and finding Rome built upon just seven hills, the application is made at once to literal Rome.

The principle upon which this interpretation rests is the assumption that the explanation of a symbol must always be

p 650 -- literal. It falls to the ground the moment it can be shown that symbols are sometimes explained by substituting for them other symbols, and then explaining the latter. This can easily be done. In Rev. 11:3, the symbol of the two witnesses is introduced. The next verse reads: "These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth." In this case the first symbol is said to be the same as another symbol which is elsewhere clearly explained. So in the case before us. "The seven heads are seven mountains," and "The woman is that great city;" and it will not be difficult to show that the mountains and the city are both used symbolically. The reader's attention is asked to the following points: -

       (1)   We are informed in chapter 13 that one of the seven heads was wounded to death. This head therefore cannot be a literal mountain; for it would be folly to speak of wounding a mountain to death.

       (2)    Each of the seven heads has a crown upon it. But who ever saw a literal mountain with a crown upon it?

       (3)   The seven heads are evidently successive in order of time; for we read, "Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come." Revelation 17. But the seven hills on which Rome is built are not successive, and it would be absurd to apply such language to them.

       (4)   According to Dan. 7:6, compared with Dan. 8:8, 22, heads denote governments; and according to Dan. 2:35, 44; Jer. 51:25, mountains denote kingdoms. According to these facts, the version of Rev. 17:9, 10 given by Professor Whiting, which is a literal translation of the text, removes all obscurity:  "The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth, and they are seven kings."   It will thus be seen that the angel represents the heads as mountains, and then explains the mountains to be seven successive kings, or forms of government. The meaning is transferred from one symbol to another, and then an explanation is given of the second symbol.

From the foregoing argument, it follows that the "woman" cannot represent a literal city; for the mountains upon which the woman sitteth being symbolic, a literal city cannot sit

p 651 -- upon symbolic mountains. Again, Rome was the seat of the dragon of chapter 12, and this was transferred to the beast (Rev. 13:2), thus becoming the seat of the beast; but it would be a singular mixture of figures to take the seat, which is sat upon by the beast, and make that a woman sitting upon the beast.

       (5)   Were the city of Rome the Babylon of the Apocalypse, what nonsense should we have in chapter 18:1-4; for in this case the fall of Babylon would be the overthrow and destruction of the city, in fact, its utter consumption by fire, according to verse 8. But mark what takes place after the fall. Babylon becomes a habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. How can this happen to a city after that city is destroyed, even being utterly burned with fire? But worse still, after all this a voice is heard, saying, "Come out of her, my people." Are God's people in Rome? - Not to any great extent, even in her best estate. But how many can we suppose to be there, to be called out, after the city is burned with fire? It is not necessary to say more to show that Babylon cannot be the city of Rome. TOP

  3. Babylon signifies the universal worldly church. Having seen that it cannot be any one of the only other three possible objects to which it could be applied, it must mean this. But we are not left to this a priori kind of reasoning on this subject. Babylon is called a woman. A woman, used as a symbol, signifies a church. The woman of chapter 12 was interpreted to mean a church. The woman of chapter 17 should undoubtedly be interpreted as signifying also a church. The character of the woman determines the character of the church represented, a chaste woman standing for a pure church, a vile woman for an impure or apostate church. The woman Babylon is herself a harlot, and the mother of daughters like herself. This circumstance, as well as the name itself, shows that Babylon is not limited to any single ecclesiastical body, but must be composed of many. It must take in all of a like nature, and represent the entire corrupt or apostate church of the earth. This will perhaps explain the language of Rev. 18:24,

p 652 -- which represents that when God makes requisition upon great Babylon for the blood of his martyrs, in her will be found "the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all" that have been slain upon the earth. The Greek Church is the established church of Russia and Greece; the Lutheran Church is the established church of Prussia, Holland, Sweden, Norway, and a part of the smaller German states; England has Episcopacy for her state religion, and other countries have their established religions, and zealously oppose dissenters. Babylon has made all nations drunken with the wine of her fornication, that is, her false doctrines; it can therefore symbolize nothing less than the universal worldly church.

The great city, Babylon, is spoken of as composed of three divisions. So the great religions of the world may be arranged under three heads. The first, oldest, and most wide-spread is paganism, separately symbolized under the form of a dragon; the second is the great Romish apostasy, symbolized by the beast; and the third is the daughters, or descendants from that church. Under this head comes the two-horned beast, though that does not embrace it all. War, oppression, conformity to the world, the worship of mammon, the creed-power, pursuit of pleasure, and the maintenance of very many errors of the old Romish Church, identify, with sad and faithful accuracy, the great body of the Protestant churches as an important constituent part of this great Babylon.

A glance at some of the ways in which the Protestant church has deported herself will still further show this. Rome, having the power, destroyed vast multitudes of those whom she adjudged heretics. The Protestant church has shown the same spirit. Witness the burning of Michael Servetus by the Protestants of Geneva with John Calvin at their head. Witness the long-continued oppression of dissenters by the Church of England. Witness the hanging of Quakers and whipping of Baptists even by the Puritan fathers of New England, themselves fugitives from like oppression by the Church of England. But these, some may say, are things of the past. Very true; yet they show that when persons governed by strong religious prejudice have the power to coerce dissenters,

p 653 -- they cannot forbear to use it - a state of things which we look for in this country under a further fulfilment of the closing prophecy of chapter 13. TOP

Mark also how far they have departed from the teachings of Christ in other respects. Christ forbade his people to seek after the treasures of this world. But the popular church, as a body, exhibits greater eagerness for wealth than do worldlings themselves. In how many churches does mammon bear rule! Christ says, "Be not ye called Rabbi," that is, master, or doctor; "for one is your Master, even Christ." To do this is to partake of the same spirit which has led aspiring men to assume to be the head of the church, the successor of St. Peter, the vicegerent of Christ, and a god upon earth. Yet how many in the Protestant church, in imitation of the Romish, adopt the title of "Reverend," which in our version of the Scriptures is applied to God alone: "Holy and reverend is his name." But not content with this, some become "Very Reverend," and "Right Reverend," and "Doctors of Divinity." The New Testament speaks in the most decided terms against adornments and extravagance in dress; yet where shall we look for a display of the latest fashions, the most costly attire, the most gaudy adornments, the richest diamonds, and the most dazzling jewelry, except in a fashionable assembly in a Protestant church on a pleasant Sunday? Such is now the state of the religious world, that many, in pursuit of their vocation as lawyers, doctors, politicians, merchant kings, etc., seek through the avenue of church connection success in business, honor in society, high offices in the nation, and lucrative positions everywhere. And much more of this will be seen, when, as already explained, church and state shall be united in America, and a religious profession shall become a qualification for political office. To adopt the form of godliness from such motives must be most abominable in the sight of God; yet these very classes are welcomed by the churches, because it will make them still more popular.

Babylon is represented as trafficking in the souls of men. A custom common in the Church of England would seem to come under this head. There, vacant livings are sometimes set

p 654 -- up for sale, and the highest bidder, regardless of his moral qualifications or religious standing, becomes the possessor of the revenue belonging to the position, and the pastor of the people of that parish. To come to the United States, look at all the arts and devices resorted to to draw the multitude, not to convert and save them, but to gain their patronage and influence. The most disastrous result of all this is that the minister must preach smooth things, and tickle fashionable ears with pleasing fables.

It was the will of Christ that his church should be one. He prayed that his disciples might be one, as he and the Father were one; for this would give power to his gospel, and cause the world to believe in him. Instead of this, look at the confusion that exists in the Protestant world, the many sectional walls that divide it up into a network of societies, and the many creeds, discordant as the languages of those who were dispersed at the tower of Babel. God is not the author of all these. It is just this state of things which the word Babylon, as a descriptive term, appropriately designates. It is evidently used for this very purpose, and not at all as a term of reproach. Instead of being stirred with feelings of resentment when this term is mentioned, people should rather examine their position, to see if in faith or practice they are guilty of any connection with this great city of confusion, and if so, separate at once therefrom.

The true church is a chaste virgin. 2 Cor. 11:2. The church that is joined with the world in friendship, is a harlot. It is this unlawful connection with the kings of the earth that constitutes her the great harlot of the Apocalypse. Revelation 17. Thus the Jewish Church, at first espoused to the Lord (Jeremiah, chapters 2, 3, and 31:32), became a harlot. Ezekiel 16. This church, when thus apostatized from God, was called Sodom (Isaiah 1), just as "the great city" (Babylon) is so called in Revelation 11. The unlawful union with the world of which Babylon is guilty, is positive proof that it is not the civil power. That the people of God are in her midst just before her overthrow is proof that she is professedly a religious body. For these reasons, is it not very evident that

p 655 -- the Babylon of the Apocalypse is the professed church united with the world? TOP

The fall of Babylon will next claim attention. Having now learned what constitutes Babylon, it will not be difficult to decide what is meant by the declaration that Babylon is fallen. As Babylon is not a literal city, the fall cannot be a literal overthrow. We have already seen what an absurdity this would involve. And besides, between the fall and the destruction of Babylon, the clearest distinction is maintained by the prophecy itself. Babylon "falls" before it is with violence "thrown down," as a millstone cast into the sea, and "utterly burned with fire." The fall is therefore a moral fall; for after the fall, the voice is addressed to the people of God who are still in her connection, "Come out of her, my people;" and the reason is immediately given, - "that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues." Babylon therefore still exists to sin, and her plagues are still future, after the fall.

Those who make Babylon apply exclusively to the papacy, claim that the fall of Babylon is the loss of civil power by the papal church. But such a view would be inconsistent with the prophecy in several particulars: -

  1. Babylon falls because she makes all nations drink of her wine, or instils among them her false doctrines. But this by no means caused the loss of the pope's temporal power; on the contrary, it was the very means by which he so long maintained his supremacy.

  2. Because of the fall of Babylon, she becomes the hold of foul spirits and hateful birds; but such is not at all the result to Rome of the loss of civil power.

  3. The people of God are called out of Babylon on account of her increasing sinfulness resulting from the fall; but the loss of the temporal power of the papacy constitutes no additional reason why the people of God should leave that church.

The reasons given why Babylon meets with this moral fall is "because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath [not anger, but intense passion] of her fornication." There is but one thing to which this can refer, and that is false doctrines.

p 656 -- She has corrupted the pure truths of God's word, and made the nations drunken with pleasing fables. Among the doctrines she teaches contrary to the word of God, may be mentioned the following: -

  1.   The doctrine of a temporal millennium, or a thousand years of peace and prosperity and righteousness all over the earth before the second coming of Christ. This doctrine is especially calculated to shut the ears of the people against the evidences of the second advent near, and will probably lull as many souls into a state of carnal security which will lead to their final ruin as any heresy which has ever been devised by the great enemy of truth.

  2.   Sprinkling instead of immersion, which is the only Scriptural mode of baptism, and a fitting memorial of the burial and resurrection of our Lord, for which purpose it was designed. Having corrupted this ordinance, and destroyed it as a memorial of the resurrection of Christ, the way was prepared for the substitution of something else for this purpose, which she attempted in.

  3.   The change of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, the seventh day, into the festival of Sunday as the rest-day of the Lord and a memorial of his resurrection, a memorial which has never been commanded, and can by no possible means appropriately commemorate that event. Fathered by heathenism as "the wild solar holiday of all pagan times," Sunday was led to the font by the pope, and christened as an institution of the gospel church. Thus an attempt was made to destroy a memorial which the great God had set up to commemorate his own magnificent creative work, and erect another in its stead to commemorate the resurrection of Christ, for which there was no occasion, as the Lord himself had already provided a memorial for that purpose.

  4.   The doctrine of the natural immortality of the soul. This also was derived from the pagan world. As distinguished converts from heathenism entered the ranks of Christians, they soon became "Fathers of the church," and foster-fathers of this pernicious doctrine as a part of divine truth. This error nullifies the two great Scripture doctrines of the resurrection

p 657 -- and the general judgment, and furnishes a well-laid track for the car of modern Spiritualism with its load of pollution. From it have sprung such other evil doctrines as the conscious state of the dead, saint-worship, Mariolatry, purgatory, reward at death, prayers and baptisms for the dead, eternal torment, and Universalism.

  5.   The doctrine that the saints, as unclothed, immaterialized spirits, find their eternal inheritance in far-away, indefinable regions, "beyond the bounds of time and space." Thus multitudes have been turned away from the Scriptural view that this present earth is to be destroyed by fire at the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men, and that from its ashes the voice of Omnipotence will evoke a new earth, which will be the future everlasting kingdom of glory, and which the saints will possess as their eternal inheritance.

  6.   That the coming of Christ is a spiritual, not a literal event, and was fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem, or is fulfilled in conversion, in death, in Spiritualism, etc. How many minds have by such teaching been forever closed against the Scriptural view that the second coming of Christ is a future, definite event, literal, personal, visible, resulting in destruction to all his foes, and everlasting life to all his people!

  7.   Trailing the standard of godliness into the very dust. Men are made to believe that a form of godliness is all-sufflcient, and that the words, "Lord, Lord," though repeated as an empty formula, will be a safe passport to the kingdom of heaven. If any one doubts this statement, let him listen to the next funeral discourse, or visit the cemetery, and mark what the tombstones say. TOP

The world has gone almost stark mad in the pursuit of riches and honor; but in these things the church takes the lead, and thus openly sanctions what the Lord strictly forbade. If the churches were united as they should be, what a stumbling-block would be taken out of the way of sinners! And if it were not for the false doctrines which she has instilled into the minds of all men, how the plain truths of the Bible would move the world! But people are held by these, as under the stupefying influence of the most powerful intoxicant.

p 658 -- To come now more particularly to the application of the prophecy concerning the fall of Babylon, let us see how the religious world stood with reference to the possibility of such a change, when the time came for the proclamation of this message, in connection with the first message, about the year 1844. Paganism was only apostasy and corruption in the beginning, and is so still; and no moral fall is possible there. Catholicism has been for centuries about as low in the scale as it is possible for a church to sink. No room for a moral fall in that church. Two great branches of Babylon were, therefore, when the second message became due, in so low a condition morally that a further declension with them was scarcely possible. Not so, however, with the Protestant branch of this great city. These churches, which commenced the great work of reformation from papal corruption, had done some noble work. They had run well for a season. They reached a moral plane vastly higher than that of the other divisions named. They were, in a word, in such a position that with them a moral fall was possible. The conclusion is therefore inevitable that the message announcing the fall had reference almost wholly to the Protestant churches.

The question may then be asked why this announcement was not made sooner, if so large a portion of Babylon, the pagan and papal divisions, had been so long fallen. And the answer is at hand: Babylon, as a whole, could not be said to be fallen so long as one division of it remained unfallen. It could not be announced, therefore, till a change for the worse came over the Protestant world, and the truth, through which alone the path of progress lay, had been deliberately discarded. But when this took place, and a moral fall was experienced in this last division, then the announcement concerning Babylon as a whole could be made, as it could not have been made before, - "Babylon is fallen."

It may be proper to inquire further how the reason assigned for the fall of Babylon, namely, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, would apply to the Protestant churches at the time in question. And the answer is, It would apply most pertinently. The fault with

p 659 -- Babylon lies in her confusion and false doctrines. Because she industriously propagates these, clinging to them when light and truth which would correct them is offered, she falls. With the Protestant churches, the time had come for an advance to higher religious ground. They could accept the proffered light and truth, and reach the higher attainment, or they could reject it, and lose their spirituality and favor with God, or, in other words, experience a moral fall. The truth which God saw fit to use as an instrument in this work was the first message. The hour of God's judgment come, and the approximate second advent of Christ was the doctrine preached. After listening long enough to see the blessing that attended the doctrine, and the good results that flowed from it, the churches, as a whole, rejected it with scorn and scoffing. They were thereby tested; for they then plainly betrayed the fact that their hearts were with the world, not with the Lord, and that they preferred to have it so. But the message would have healed the evils then existing in the religious world. The prophet exclaims, perhaps with reference to this very time,   "We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed:" Jer. 51:9. Do you ask how we know this would have been the effect of receiving the message? We answer, Because this was the effect with all who did receive it. They came from different denominations, and their denominational barriers were leveled to the ground; conflicting creeds were shivered to atoms; the unscriptural hope of a temporal millennium was abandoned; false views of the second advent were corrected; pride and conformity to the world were swept away; wrongs were made right; hearts were united in the sweetest fellowship; and love and joy reigned supreme. If the doctrine did this for the few who did receive it, it would have done the same for all, if all had received it. TOP

But the message was rejected; and what was the result? The result upon those who rejected it will be spoken of by and by; and the result upon those who received it, demands mention here. Everywhere throughout the land the cry was raised, "Babylon is fallen," and, in anticipation of the movement brought to view in Rev. 18:1-4, they added, "Come out of her, my people;" and about fifty thousand severed their connection

p 660 -- with the denominations where they were not allowed to hold and proclaim their views in peace.

A marked change then came over the churches in respect to their spiritual condition. On the hypothesis that the proclamation of the second coming of Christ was in the order of prophetic fulfilment, and that the message was the "present truth" for that time, the result could not have been different. When a person refuses the light, he necessarily puts himself in darkness; when he rejects truth, he inevitably forges the shackles of error about his own limbs. Loss of spirituality - a moral fall - must follow. This the churches experienced. They chose to adhere to old errors, and still promulgate their false doctrines among the people. The light of truth must therefore leave them. Some of them felt and deplored the change. A few testimonies from their own writers will describe their condition at that time.

The Christian Palladium of May 15, 1844, spoke in the following mournful strain:      "In every direction we hear the dolorous sound, wafted upon every breeze of heaven, chilling as the blast from the icebergs of the north, settling like an incubus on the breasts of the timid, and drinking up the energies of the weak, that lukewarmness, division, anarchy, and desolation are distressing the borders of Zion."

In 1844 the Religious Telescope used the following language:       "We have never witnessed such a general declension of religion as at the present. Truly, the church should awake, and search into the cause of this affliction; for as an affliction every one that loves Zion must view it. When we call to mind how 'few and far between' cases of true conversion are, and the almost unparalleled impenitence and hardness of sinners, we almost involuntarily exclaim, 'Has God forgotten to be gracious? or is the door of mercy closed?'"

About that time, proclamations of fasts and seasons of prayer for the return of the Holy Spirit were sent out in the religious papers. Even the Philadelphia Sun of Nov. 11, 1844, had the following:   "The undersigned ministers and members of various denominations in Philadelphia and vicinity, solemnly believing that the present signs of the times - the spiritual

p 661 -- dearth of our churches generally and the extreme evils in the world around us - seem to call loudly on all Christians for a special season of prayer, do therefore hereby agree, by divine permission, to unite in a week of special prayer to Almighty God, for the outpouring of his Holy Spirit on our city, our country, and the world."

Professor Finney, editor of the Oberlin Evangelist, in February, 1844, said:    "We have had the facts before our minds that, in general, the Protestant churches of our country, as such, were either apathetic or hostile to nearly all the moral reforms of the age. There are partial exceptions, yet not enough to render the fact otherwise than general. We have also another corroborative fact, - the almost universal absence of revival influence in the churches. The spiritual apathy is almost all-pervading, and is fearfully deep; so the religious press of the whole land testifies. Very extensively, church members are becoming devotees of fashion, joining hands with the ungodly in parties of pleasure, in dancing, in festivities, etc. But we need not expand this painful subject. Suffice it that the evidence thickens and rolls heavily upon us, to show that the churches generally are becoming sadly degenerate. They have gone very far from the Lord, and he has withdrawn himself from them." TOP

Should it be said that our views of the moral fall and spiritual dearth of the churches are shown to be incorrect by the great revivals of 1858, the testimony of the leading Congregational and Baptist papers of Boston relative to these revivals would correct that impression.

The Congregationalist, November, 1858, said:       "The revival piety of our churches is not such that one can confidently infer, from its mere existence, its legitimate, practical fruits. It ought, for example, to be as certain, after such a shower of grace, that the treasuries of our benevolent societies would be filled, as it is after a plentiful rain that the streams will swell in their channels. But the managers of our societies are bewailing the feebleness of the sympathy and aid of the churches.

"There is another and sadder illustration of the same general truth. The Watchman and Reflector recently stated that

p 662 -- there had never been among the Baptists so lamentable a spread of church dissension as prevails at present; and the sad fact is mentioned that this sin infects the very churches which shared most largely in the late revival. And the still more melancholy fact is added that these alienations date back their origin, in most cases, to the very midst of that scene of awakening. Even a glance at the weekly journals of our own denomination will evince that the evil is by no means confined to the Baptists. Our own columns have, perhaps, never borne so humiliating a record of contentions and ecclesiastical litigations as during the last few months."

The leading Methodist paper, the New York Christian Advocate, of Aug. 30, 1883, contains an article headed "The Greatest of Questions," from which we copy these statements:      

"1. Disguise it as you like, the church, in a general sense, is spiritually in a rapid decline. While it grows in numbers and money, it is becoming extremely feeble and limited in its spirituality, both in the pulpit and the pew. It is assuming the shape and character of the church at Laodicea.

"2. There are thousands of ministers, local and conference, and many thousands of the laity, who are as dead and worthless as barren fig-trees. They contribute nothing of a temporal or spiritual nature to the progress and triumphs of the gospel throughout the earth. If all these dry bones in our church and its congregations could be resurrected, and brought into requisition by faithful, active service, what new and glorious manifestations of divine power would break forth!"

The New York Independent of Dec. 3, 1896, gave an article from D. L. Moody, from which the following is an extract:  

 "In a recent issue of your paper I saw an article from a contributor which stated that there were over three thousand churches in the Congregational and Presbyterian bodies of this country that did not report a single member added by profession of faith last year. Can this be true? The thought has taken such hold of me that I can't get it out of my mind. It

p 663 -- is enough almost to send a thrill of horror through the soul of every Christian. TOP

"If this is the case with these two large denominations, what must be the condition of the others also? Are we all going to sit still and let this thing continue? Shall our religious newspapers and our pulpits keep their mouths closed like ' dumb dogs that cannot bark' to warn people of approaching danger? Should we not all lift lip our voice like a trumpet about this matter? What must the Son of God think of such a result of our labor as this? What must an unbelieving world think about a Christianity that can't bring forth any more fruit? And have we no care for the multitudes of souls going down to perdition every year while we all sit and look on? And this country of ours, where will it be in the next ten years, if we don't awake out of sleep?"

The second angel's message is addressed to those organizations where the people of God are mainly to be found; for they are specially addressed as being in Babylon, and at a certain time are called out. The message applies to the present generation; and now God's people are to be looked for, certainly, in the Protestant organizations of Christendom. But as these churches depart farther and farther from God, they at length reach such a condition that true Christians can no longer maintain a connection with them; and then they will be called out. This we look for in the future, in fulfilment of Rev. 18:1-4. We believe it will come, when, in addition to their corruptions, the churches begin to raise against the saints the hand of oppression. (See further under the chapter last named.)

The Third Message. -  Commencing with verse 9, the third message reads as follows:  "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his 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 Lamb: and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever

p 664 -- and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

This is a message of most fearful import. No severer threatening of divine wrath can be found in all the Bible. The sin against which it warns must be a terrible sin, and it must be one so plainly defined that all who will may understand it, and thus know how to avoid the judgments denounced against it.

It will be noticed that these messages are cumulative; that is, one does not cease when another is introduced. Thus, for a time the first message was the only one going forth. The second message was introduced, but that did not put an end to the first. From that time there were two messages. The third followed them, not to supersede them, but only to join with them, so that we now have three messages going forth simultaneously, or, rather, a threefold message, embracing the truths of all three, the last one, of course, being the leading proclamation. Till the work is done, it will never cease to be true that the hour of God's judgment has come, nor that Babylon has fallen; and these facts still continue to be proclaimed in connection with the truths introduced by the third message.

There will also be noticed a logical connection between the messages themselves. Taking our stand just before the first message was introduced, we see the Protestant religious world sadly in need of reformation. Divisions and confusion reigned among the churches. They were still clinging to many papal errors and superstitions. The power of the gospel was impaired in their hands. To correct these evils, the doctrine of the second coming of Christ was introduced, and proclaimed with power. They should have received it, and been quickened by it into new life, as they would have been had they received it. Instead of this, they rejected it, and suffered the consequences spiritually. Then followed the second message, announcing the result of that rejection, and declaring what was not only a fact in itself, but a judicial judgment of God

p 665 -- upon them for their recreancy in this respect; namely, that God had departed from them, and they had met with a moral fall. TOP

This did not have the effect to arouse them, and lead them to correct their errors, as it was sufficient to do, had they been willing to be admonished and corrected. And now what follows? - The way is open for a still further retrograde movement, - for deeper apostasy and still greater evils. The powers of darkness will press forward their work, and if the churches still persist in this course of shunning light and rejecting truth, they will soon find themselves worshiping the beast and receiving his mark. This will be the logical sequence of that course of action which commenced with the rejection of the first massage. And now another proclamation is sent forth, announcing in solemn tones that if any man shall do this, he shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation. That is to say, you rejected the first message, and met with a moral fall; continue to reject truth and disregard the warnings sent out, and you will exhaust God's last means of grace, and by and by meet with a literal destruction for which there will be no remedy. This is as severe a threatening as God can make to be inflicted in this life, and it is the last. A few will heed it, and be saved; the multitude will pass on, and perish.

The proclamation of the third message is the last special religious movement to be made before the Lord appears; for immediately following this, John beholds one like the Son of man coming upon a great white cloud to reap the harvest of the earth. This can represent nothing else than the second coming of Christ. If, therefore, the coming of Christ is at the door, the time has come for the proclamation of this message. There are many who claim the name "Adventist," and who with voice and pen are earnestly teaching that we are in the last days of time, and that the coming of Christ is at the door; but when we remind them of this prophecy, they are suddenly at sea, without anchor, chart, or compass. They know not what to do with it. They can see as well as we that if what they are teaching respecting the coming of Christ is true, and

p 666 -- the Lord is at hand, somewhere - yes, all over the land - should be heard the warning notes of this third message.

The arguments on the two preceding messages fix the chronology of the third, and show that it belongs to the present time; but, as in the case of the former, the best evidence in behalf of the proposition that the message is now going to the world, is to be able to point to events which demonstrate the fulfilment. Having identified the first message as a leading proclamation with the great Advent movement of 1840 - 44, and having seen the fulfilment of the second message in connection with that movement in the latter year, let us look at what has transpired since that time.

When the time passed in 1844, the whole Adventist body was thrown into more or less confusion. Many gave up the movement entirely; more jumped to the conclusion that the argument on the time was wrong, and immediately went to work to readjust the prophetic periods, and set a new time for the Lord to come - a work in which they have continued more or less to the present time, fixing a new date as each one passed by, to the scandal of the Advent movement, and the discredit, so far as their limited influence extended, of all prophetical study; a few, searching closely and candidly for the cause of the mistake, were confirmed in their views of the providential character of the Advent movement, and the correctness of the argument on the time, but saw that a mistake had been made on the subject of the sanctuary, by which the disappointment could be explained. They learned that the sanctuary was not this earth, as had been supposed; that the cleansing was not to be by fire; and that the prophecy on this point did not involve the coming of the Lord at all. They found in the Scriptures very clear evidence that the sanctuary referred to was the temple in heaven, which Paul calls "the sanctuary," the "true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man;" and that its cleansing, according to the type, would consist of the final ministration of the priest in the second apartment, or most holy place. They then saw that the time had come for the fulfilment of Rev. 11:19: "And the temple of God was opened

p 667 -- in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament." TOP

Having their attention thus called to the ark, they were naturally led to an examination of the law contained in the ark. That the ark contained the law was evident from the very name applied to it. It was called "the ark of his testament;" but it would not have been the ark of his "testament," and it could not have been so called, had it not contained the law. Here, then, was the ark in heaven, the great antitype of the ark, which, during the typical dispensation, existed here on earth; and the law which this heavenly ark contained must consequently be the great original of which the law on the tables in the earthly ark was but a transcript, or copy; and both must read precisely alike, word for word, jot for jot, tittle for tittle. To suppose otherwise would involve not only falsehood, but the greatest absurdity. That law, then, is still the law of God's government, and its fourth precept, now as in the beginning, demands the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. No one who admits the argument on the sanctuary pretends to dispute this point. Thus the Sabbath reform was brought to view; and it was seen that whatever had been done in opposition to this law, especially in the introduction of a day of rest and worship which destroyed the Sabbath of Jehovah, must be the work of the papal beast, that power which was to oppose God, and try to exalt himself above him. But this is the very work in reference to which the third angel utters his warning; hence it began to be seen that the period of the third message synchronizes with the period of the cleansing of the sanctuary, which began with the ending of the 2300 days in 1844, and that the proclamation is based on the great truths developed by this subject.

Thus the dawning light of the third message rose upon the church. But they saw at once that the world would have a right to demand of those who professed to be giving that message, an explanation of all the symbols which it contains, - the beast, the image, the worship, and the mark; hence these points were made subjects of special study. The testimony of the Scriptures was found to be clear and abundant; and

p 668 -- it did not take a great while to formulate from the truths revealed, definite statements and propositions in explanation of all these points.

The argument showing what constitutes the beast, the image, and the mark, has already been given in chapter 13; and it has been shown that the two-horned beast, which erects the image and enforces the mark, is our own country, now in mid-career, and hastening forward to perform the very work assigned it in the prophecy. It is this work, and these agents, against which the third message utters its warning, which is still further proof that this message is now in order, and shows the most conclusive harmony in all these prophecies. The arguments we need not here repeat; it will be sufficient to recapitulate the points established.

  1.   The "beast" is the Roman Catholic power.

  2.    The "mark of the beast" is that institution which this power has set up as proof of its authority to legislate for the church, and command the consciences of men under sin. It consists in a change of the law of God, by which the signature of royalty is taken from the law, - the seventh-day Sabbath, the great memorial of Jehovah's creative work, is torn from its place in the decalogue and a false and counterfeit Sabbath, the first day of the week, is set up in its stead.

  3.   The "image of the beast" is some ecclesiastical combination, which will resemble the beast in being clothed with power to enforce its decrees with the pains and penalties of the civil law.

  4.    The two-horned beast by which the image, after being made by the people, is given power to speak and act, is the United States; and all but the final steps toward the formation of the image are already seen.

  5.   The two-horned beast enforces the mark of the beast; that is, he establishes by law the observance of the first day of the week, or Sunday-sabbath. What is being done in this direction has already been noticed. The movement is urged on by individuals, by organized Sabbath committees, by politicians, indirectly by the infidel element, by the National Reform Association, by the American Sabbath (Sunday) Union,

p 669 -- by the W. C. T. U., and by the Christian Endeavorers, with their Good Citizenship Leagues, etc. TOP

But the, people are not to be left in the dark in this matter. The third message utters a solemn protest against all this evil. It exposes the work of the beast, shows the nature of its opposition to the law of God, warns the people against compliance with its demands, and points out to all the way of truth. This naturally excites opposition; and the church is led so much the more to seek the aid of human authority in behalf of its dogmas as they are shown to lack the divine.

What has this message accomplished, and what showing does it make in the world to-day? In answer to this query, some striking facts may be presented. The first publication in its interests was issued in 1850. Today this message is proclaimed by books, tracts, and periodicals in sixty-seven different languages, and maintains twenty-eight publishing houses scattered throughout both hemispheres, in which are published one hundred and twenty-six periodicals, in twenty-eight languages. The value of its literature sold during 1910 amounted to $1,560,000. Its evangelical work is carried forward in forty-six countries, both civilized and savage.

Such a movement is at least a phenomenon to be explained. We have found movements which fulfil most strikingly and accurately the first and second messages. Here is another which now challenges the attention of the world as a fulfilment of the third. It claims to be a fulfilment, and asks the world to examine the credentials on which it bases its right to such a claim. Let us look at them.

  1.  "The third angel followed them." So this movement follows the two previously mentioned. It takes up and continues the promulgation of the truths they uttered, and adds to them what the third message involves besides.

  2.   The third message is characterized as a warning against the beast. So this movement holds prominent among its themes an explanation of this symbol, telling the people what it is, and exposing its blasphemous claims and works.

  3.   The third message warns all against worshiping the beast. So this movement explains how this beast-power has

p 670 -- brought into Christendom certain institutions which antagonize the requirements of the Most High, and shows that if we yield to these, we worship this power. "Know ye not," says Paul, "that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey?" Rom. 6:16.

  4.   The third message warns all against receiving the mark of the beast. So this movement makes it the burden of its work to show what the mark of the beast is, and to warn against its reception. It is the more solicitous to do this, because this antichristian power has worked so cunningly that the majority are deceived into making unconscious concessions to its authority. It is shown that the mark of the beast is an institution which has been arrayed in Christian garb, and insidiously introduced into the Christian church in such a way as to nullify the authority of Jehovah and enthrone that of the beast. Stripped of all disguises, it is simply setting up a counterfeit sabbath of its own on the first day of the week, in place of the Sabbath of the Lord on the seventh day, - a usurpation which the great God cannot tolerate, and from which the remnant church must fully clear itself before it will be prepared for the coming of Christ. Hence the urgent warning, Let no man worship the beast or receive his mark.

  5.   The third message has something to say against the worship of the image of the beast. So this movement speaks of this subject also, telling what the image will be, or at least explaining the prophecy of the two-horned beast, which makes the image, showing that it is our own government; that here the image is to be formed; that the prophecy concerns this generation; and that it is evidently on the very verge of fulfilment.

There is no religious enterprise going forward in the land except this by the Seventh-day Adventists, which claim to be a fulfilment of the third angel's message, - no other which holds forth, as its prominent themes, the very subjects of which this message is composed. What shall we do with these things? Is this the fulfilment? - It must so stand, unless its claims can be disproved; unless it can be shown that the first and second messages have not been heard; that the positions taken in reference

p 671 -- to the beast, image, mark, and worship are not correct; and that all the prophecies, and signs, and evidences which show that the coming of Christ is near, and consequently that this message is due, can be wholly set aside. But this the intelligent Bible student will hardly undertake.

The result of the proclamation, as declared in verse 12, still further proves the correctness of the positions here taken. It brings out a company of whom it can be said, "Here are they that keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." In the very heart of Christendom this work is done; and those who receive the message are rendered peculiar by their practice in reference to the commandments of God. What difference is there in practice, and what only difference, among Christians, in this respect? - Just this; some think that, the fourth commandment is kept by devoting the first day of the week to rest and worship; others claim that the seventh day is the one set apart to such duties, and accordingly spend its hours in this manner, resuming on the first day their ordinary labor. No plainer line of demarkation could be drawn between two classes. The time which one class regard as sacred, and devote to religious uses, the other look upon as only secular, and devote to ordinary labor. One class are devoutly resting, the other zealously laboring. One class, pursuing their worldly vocations, find the other class withdrawn from all such pursuits, and the avenue of commercial intercourse abruptly closed. Thus for two days in the week these two classes are kept apart by difference of theory and practice in regard to the fourth commandment. On no other commandment could there be so marked a difference. TOP

The message brings its adherents to the seventh day; for in this way only are they made peculiar, inasmuch as an observance of the first day would not distinguish a person from the masses who were already observing that day when the message was introduced. And in this we find still further evidence that Sunday-keeping is a mark of the beast; for the message, presenting as its chief burden a warning against receiving the mark of the beast, will of course bring its adherents to discard that practice which constitutes the mark, and to adopt the opposite.

p 672 -- It does lead them to discard the observance of the first day of the week, and adopt that of the seventh day. In view of this, it is at once seen that there is here more than an inference that Sunday-keeping is the mark of the beast against which it warns us, and the observance of the seventh day, to which it leads us, is its opposite.

This is in harmony with the argument on the seal of God as given in chapter 7. It was there shown that sign, seal, mark, and token are synonymous terms, and that God takes his Sabbath to be his sign, mark, or seal, in reference to his people. Thus God has a seal, or mark, which is his Sabbath. The beast also has a seal, or mark, which is his Sabbath. One is the seventh day; the other is just as far removed from it as possible, even to the other extremity of the week, namely, the first day. Christendom will at last be divided into just two classes; to wit, those who are sealed with the seal of the living God - that is, have his mark, or keep his Sabbath - and those who are sealed with the seal of the beast - that is, have his mark, or keep his Sabbath. In reference to this issue, the third angel's message both enlightens and warns us.

As so much importance, according to this argument, attaches to the seventh day, the reader may ask for some evidence that a person cannot be said to keep the commandments of God unless he does keep the seventh day. This would involve a discussion of the whole Sabbath question, which it is not the province of this work to give. Though it may be proper to present here, as this much perhaps is called for in this connection, the leading facts connected with the Sabbath institution, - facts which are fully sustained in the works referred to in the note below. 1

  1.   The Sabbath was instituted in the beginning, at the conclusion of the first week of time. Gen. 2:1-3.

  2.   It was the seventh day of that week, and was based on facts which are inseparably connected with its very name and

1 -- As a standard work on the question, we refer the reader to the "History of the Sabbath and First Day of the Week," by Elder J. N. Andrews, for sale by the Southern Publishing Association, Nashville, Tenn., in which the question as related to the two days is thoroughly discussed from both a Biblical and a historical standpoint. But many less exhaustive works are issued at the Office above named, accoriing to its catalogue, and at other offices herein named, which are conclusive, so far as they carry the argument.

p 673 -- existence, - facts which never can become untrue, and never can be changed. God's resting on the seventh day made it his rest-day, or the Sabbath (rest) of the Lord; and it can never cease to be his rest-day, as that fact never can be changed. He sanctified, or set apart, the day then and there, the record states; and that sanctification can never cease, unless it is removed by an act on the part of Jehovah as direct and explicit as that by which he placed it upon the day in the beginning. No one claims that this has ever been done, and he could not prove it if he did so claim.

  3.   The Sabbath has nothing in it of a typical, shadowy, or ceremonial nature; for it was instituted before man sinned, and hence belongs to a time when, in the very nature of things, a type, or shadow, could not exist.

  4.   The laws and institutions which existed before man's fall were primary in their nature; they grew out of the relation between God and man, and man and man, and were such as would always have remained if man never had sinned, and were not affected by his sin. In other words, they were, in the very nature of things, immutable and eternal. Ceremonial and typical laws owed their origin to the fact that man had sinned, as they never would have existed had this never been a fact. These were from dispensation to dispensation subject to change; and these, and these only, were abolished at the cross. The Sabbath law was a primary law, and therefore immutable and eternal.

  5.   The sanctification of the Sabbath in Eden renders its existence certain from creation to Sinai. Here it was placed in the very bosom of the decalogue as God spoke it with an audible voice, and wrote it with his finger on tables of stone, - circumstances which forever separate it from ceremonial laws, and place it among the moral and eternal.

  6.   The Sabbath is not indefinite, any seventh day after six of labor. The law from Sinai (Ex. 20:8-11) makes it as definite as language can make it; the events that gave it birth (Gen. 2:1-3) confine it to the definite seventh day; and the 6,240 Sabbath miracles in the wilderness, three each week for forty years; namely, (1) a double portion of manna on the

p 674 -- sixth day, (2) the preservation of the sixth-day manna on the seventh day, and (3) none on the seventh day (See Exodus 16), show that it is one particular day, and not simply a proportion of time. To claim otherwise would be like claiming that Washington's birthday or Independence day was only a 365th part of a year, and might be celebrated on any other day as well as the day upon which it occurred.

  7.   The Sabbath is a part of that law which our Lord openly declared that he came not to destroy. On the other hand, he most solemnly affirmed that it should endure in every jot and tittle while the earth should continue. Matt. 5:17-20.

  8.   It is a part of that law which Paul declares is not made void, but established, by faith in Christ. Rom. 3:31. The ceremonial or typical law, which pointed to Christ and ceased at the cross, is made void, or superseded, by faith in him. Eph. 2:15.

  9.   It is a part of that royal law, a law pertaining to the King Jehovah, which James declares is a law of liberty, and which shall judge us at the last day. God does not have different standards of judgment for different ages of the world. James 2:11, 12.

  10.   It is the "Lord's day" of Rev. 1:10. (See argument on that verse.)

  11.   It appears as the institution in reference to which a great reform is predicted in the last days. Isa. 56:1, 2 compared with 1 Peter 1:5. Under this head would also come the message under consideration.

  12.   And in the new creation, the Sabbath, true to its origin and nature, again appears, and will thenceforward shed its blessings upon God's people through all eternity. Isa. 66:22, 23.

Such is a brief synopsis of some of the arguments to show that the Sabbath law has been in no wise relaxed, and the institution in no way changed; and that a person cannot be said to keep the commandments of God unless he keeps it. To have to do with such an institution is a high honor. To pay heed to its claims will prove an infinite blessing. TOP

p 675 -- The Punishment of Beast-worshippers. - These shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. When is this torment inflicted? Chapter 19:20 shows that at the second coming of Christ there is a manifestation of fiery judgments which may be called a lake of fire and brimstone, into which the beast and false prophet are cast alive. This can refer only to the destruction visited upon them at the commencement, not at the end, of the thousand years. Again, there is a remarkable passage in Isaiah to which we are obliged to refer in explanation of the phraseology of the threatening of the third angel, and which unquestionably describes scenes to take place here at the second advent, and in the desolate state of the earth during the thousand years following. That the language in the Revelation was borrowed from this prophecy can hardly fail to be seen. After describing the Lord's anger upon the nations, the great slaughter of their armies, the departing of the heavens as a scroll, etc., the prophet says:   "For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever." Isa. 34:8-10. And since it is expressly revealed that there is to be a lake of fire in which all sinners perish at the end of the thousand years, we can only conclude that the destruction of the living wicked at the commencement of this period, and the final doom of all the ungodly at its close, are very similar.

Duration of the Punishment. - The expression "forever and ever" cannot here denote eternity. This is evident from the fact that this punishment is inflicted on this earth, where time is measured by day and night. This is further shown from the passage in Isaiah already referred to, if that is, as above suggested, the language from which this is borrowed, and applies to the same time. That language is spoken of the land of Idumea; but whether it be taken to mean literally the land of Edom, south and east of Judea, or to represent, as it

p 676 -- doubtless does, this whole earth at the time when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion comes, in either case the scene must eventually terminate; for this earth is finally to be made new, cleansed of every stain of sin, every vestige of suffering and decay, and to become the habitation of righteousness and joy throughout eternal ages. The word aiwn here translated forever, Schrevelius, in his Greek Lexicon, defines thus:       "An age; a long period of time; indefinite duration; time, whether longer or shorter."

The period of the third message is a time of patience with the people of God. Paul and James both give us instruction on this point. Heb. 10:36; James 5:7, 8. Meanwhile this waiting company are keeping the commandments of God - the ten commandments, and the faith of Jesus - all the teachings of Christ and his apostles as contained in the New Testament. The true Sabbath, as given in the decalogue, is thus brought out in vivid contrast with the counterfeit sabbath, the mark of the beast, which finally distinguishes those who reject the third message, as already set forth.

VERSE 13.   And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.   14.    And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.  15.   And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.  16.   And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. TOP

A Solemn Crisis. -  Events grow solemn as we near the end. It is this fact which gives to the third angel's message, now going forth, its unusual degree of solemnity and importance. It is the last warning to go forth prior to the coming of the Son of man, here represented as seated upon a white cloud, a crown upon his head, and a sickle in his hand, to

p 677 -- reap the harvest of the earth. We are fast passing over a line of prophecy which culminates in the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven in flaming fire, to take vengeance on his foes, and to reward his saints. Not only so, but we have come so near its accomplishment that the very next link in the chain is this crowning and momentous event. And time never rolls back. As the river does not flinch and fly as it approaches the precipice, but bears all floating bodies over with resistless power; and as the seasons never reverse their course, but summer follows in the path of the budding fig-tree, and winter treads close upon the falling leaf; so we are borne onward and onward, whether we will or not, whether prepared or not, to the unavoidable and irreversible crisis. Ah! how little dream the proud professor and the careless sinner of the doom that is impending! And how hard for even those who know and profess the truth to realize it as it is!

A Blessing Promised. -  John is commanded by a voice from heaven to write, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth;" and the response of the Spirit is, "Yea, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."  "From henceforth" must signify from some particular point of time. What point? - Evidently from the commencement of the message in connection with which this is spoken. But why are those who die after this point of time blessed? There must be some special reason for pronouncing this benediction upon them. Is it not because they escape the time of fearful peril which the saints are to encounter as they close their pilgrimage? And while they are thus blessed in common with all the righteous dead, they have an advantage over them in being, doubtless, that company spoken of in Dan. 12:2, who are raised to everlasting life at the standing up of Michael. Thus, escaping the perils through which the rest of the 144,000 pass, they rise, and share with them in their final triumph here, and occupy with them their pre-eminent place in the kingdom.  1   In this way, we understand, their

1 -- Those who die after having become identified with the third angel's message, are evidently numbered as a part of the 144,000; for this message is the same as the sealing message of Revelation 7, and by that message only 144,000 were sealed. But there are many who have had their entire religious experience under this message, but have fallen in death. They die in the Lord, and hence are counted as sealed; for they will be saved. But the message results in the sealing of only 144,000; therefore these must be included in that number. Being raised in the special resurrection (Dan. 12:2; Rev. 1:7) which occurs when the voice of God is uttered from the temple, at the beginning of the seventh and last plague (Rev. 16:17; Joel 3:16; Heb. 12:26), they pass through the period of that plague, and hence may be said to come "out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7:14), and being raised from the grave only to mortal life, they take their stand with believers who have not died, and with them receive immortality at the last trump (1 Cor. 15:52), being then, with the others, changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. Thus, though they have passed through the grave, it can be said of them at last, that they are "redeemed from among men" (Rev. 14:4), that is, from among the living; for the coming of Christ finds them among the living, waiting for the change to immortality, like those who have not died, and as if they themselves had never died.

p 678 -- works follow them: these works are held in remembrance, to be rewarded at the judgment; and the persons receive the same recompense that they would have had, had they lived and faithfully endured all the perils of the time of trouble.

It will be noticed that in this line of prophecy, three angels precede the Son of man on the white cloud, and three are introduced after that symbol. The opinion has already been expressed that literal angels are engaged in the scenes here described. The first three have charge of the three special messages, and may also symbolize a body of religious teachers. The message of the fourth angel is evidently to be uttered after the Son of man, having finished his priestly work, takes his seat upon the white cloud, but before he appears in the clouds of heaven. As the language is addressed to Him who is seated upon the white cloud, having in his hand a sharp sickle ready to reap, it must denote a message of prayer on the part of the church, after their work for the world is done and probation has ceased, and nothing remains but for the Lord to appear and take his people to himself. It is doubtless the day-and-night cry spoken of by our Lord in Luke 18:7, 8 in connection with the coming of the Son of man. And this prayer will be answered; the elect will be avenged; for does not the parable read, "And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him?" He that is seated upon the cloud will thrust in his sickle, and the saints, under the figure of the wheat of the earth, will be gathered into the heavenly garner. TOP

The Wheat Garnered. - "And he that sat on the cloud," says the prophecy, "thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped." By this language we are carried down past the second advent, with its accompanying scenes of destruction

p 679 -- to the wicked and salvation to the righteous. Beyond these scenes we must therefore look for the application of the following verses: -

VERSE 17.  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.  18.   And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.  19.   And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.  20.   And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. 

The Winepress of God's Wrath. -- The last two angels have to do with the wicked, - the wicked, most fitly represented by the bloated and purple clusters of the vine of the earth. May it not be that the closing doom of that class at the end of the thousand years is here presented, the prophecy thus making a final disposition of both the righteous and the wicked; the righteous clothed with immortality, and safely established in the kingdom, the wicked perishing around the city at the time of its ultimate location upon the earth?

This can hardly be applied at the time of the second advent; for events are here given in chronological order; and the destruction of the wicked would be contemporaneous with the gathering of the righteous. Again, the living wicked at Christ's coming drink of the "cup"of his indignation; but this passage brings to view the time when they perish in the "winepress" of his wrath, which is said to be trodden "without the city," answering completely to the description of Rev. 20:9; and this latter expression would more naturally denote their complete and final destruction.

The angel comes out of the temple, where the records are kept and the punishment is determined. The other angel has power over fire. This may have some connection with the fact that fire is the element by which the wicked are at last to be destroyed, although, to carry out the figure, the wicked, having been likened to the clusters of' the vine of the earth, are said to be cast into the great winepress, which is trodden without

p 680 -- the city. And blood comes out of the winepress, even to the horses' bridles. We know that the wicked are doomed to be swallowed up at last in a flood of all-devouring flame descending from God out of heaven; but what preceding slaughter may take place among the doomed host, we know not. It is not improbable that this language will be literally fulfilled. As the first four angels of this series denoted a marked movement on the part of the people of God, the last two may denote the same; for the saints are to have some part to act in meting out and executing the final punishment of the wicked. I Cor. 6:2; Ps. 149:9.

The Saints Triumphant. - Thus closes this chain of prophecy - closes as others close, with the complete triumph of God and Christ over all their foes, and with the glorious salvation that awaits the faithful followers of the Prince of life, forever secured. TOP

 

The Seven Last Plagues
CHAPTER -- XV --

p 681 -- This chapter introduces the seven last plagues, a manifestation of Heaven's unmingled wrath, and the fulness of its measure, for the last generation of the wicked. The work of mercy is then forever past.

VERSE 1.  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.   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.  3.   And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.  4.   Who shall not fear thee, 0 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.  5.   And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:  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.  7.   And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever.  8.   And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

A Preparatory Scene. - Thus reads the fifteenth chapter entire. By it we are carried back to a new series of events. The whole chapter is but an introduction to the most terrific judgments of the Almighty that ever have been, or are to be, visited upon this earth in its present state; namely, the seven last plagues. The most that we here behold is a solemn preparation

p 682 -- for the outpouring of these unmixed vials. Verse 5 shows that these plagues fall after the close of the ministration in the sanctuary; for the temple is opened before they are poured out. They are given in charge to seven angels, and these angels are clothed in linen pure and white, a fit emblem of the purity of God's righteousness and justice in the infliction of these judgments. They receive these vials from one of the four beasts, or living creatures. These living beings were proved (see on chapter 4) to be a class of Christ's assistants in his sanctuary work. How appropriate, then, that they should be the ones to deliver to the ministers of vengeance the vials of the wrath to be poured upon those who have slighted Christ's mercy, abused his long-suffering, heaped contumely upon his name, and crucified him afresh in the treatment of his followers! While the seven angels are performing their fearful mission, the temple is filled with the glory of God, and no man - oudieV (oudeis), no one, no being, referring to Christ and his heavenly assistants - can enter therein. This shows that the work of mercy is closed, as there is no ministration in the sanctuary during the infliction of the plagues; hence they are manifestations of the wrath of God without any mixture of mercy.

God's People Remembered. - In this scene the people of God are not forgotten. The prophet is permitted to anticipate a little in verses 2-4, and behold them as victors upon the sea of glass as it were mingled with fire, or sparkling and refulgent with the glory of God, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. The sea of glass, upon which these victors stand, is the same as that brought to view in chapter 4:6, which was before the throne in heaven. And as we have no evidence that it has yet changed its location, and the saints are seen upon it, we have here indubitable proof, in connection with chapter 14:1-5, that the saints are taken to heaven to receive a portion of their reward. Thus, like the bright sun bursting through the mid-night cloud, some scene is presented, or some promise given, to the humble followers of the Lamb, in every hour of temptation, as if to assure and reassure them of God's love and care for them, and of the certainty of their final reward. Verily

p 683 -- the words of the prophet are among the true sayings of God:  "Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him;" but "Woe unto the wicked! it shall be ill with him." Isa. 3:10, 11.

The song the victors sing, the song of Moses and the Lamb, given here in epitome in these words:   "Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints,"   is a song of infinite grandeur. How comprehensive in its terms! how sublime in its theme! It appeals to the works of God which are a manifestation of his glory. With immortal vision the saints will be able to comprehend them as they cannot here; and yet astronomy reveals enough to fill all hearts with admiration. From our little world we pass out to our sun ninety-three million miles away; on to its nearest neighboring sun, nineteen thousand million miles away; on to the great double pole-star, from which it takes light, in its electric flight of one hundred and ninety-two thousand miles a second, forty years to reach our world; on past systems, groups, constellations, till we reach the great star Aleyone, in the Pleiades, shining with the power of twelve thousand suns like ours! What, then, must be the grand center around which these myriads of shining orbs revolve! Well may the song be raised, "Great and marvelous are thy works." But the song covers another field also - the field of God's providence and grace:   "Just and true are thy ways, Thou King of saints." All the dealings of God with all his creatures in the eyes of the redeemed, and the sight of all worlds, will be forever vindicated. After all our blindness, all our perplexities, all our trials, we shall be able to exclaim at last in the exuberance of satisfied joy,"Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints." TOP

 

The Plagues Poured Out
CHAPTER XVI

p 684 -- This chapter gives a description of the seven vials of the unmingled wrath of God, and the effects that follow as they are poured upon the earth. Concerning the character and chronology of these plagues, there is a difference of opinion among Bible readers. Our first inquiry therefore is,   What is the true position on these points? Are they symbolical, and mostly fulfilled in the past, as some contend? or are they literal, and all future, as others no less confidently affirm? A brief examination of the testimony will, we think, conclusively settle these questions.

VERSE 1.   And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.  2.   And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image.

The Chronology of the Plagues. - The description of this plague clearly reveals at once their chronology; for it is poured out upon those who have the mark of the beast, and who worship his image, - the identical work against which the third angel warns us. This is conclusive proof that these judgments are not poured out till after this angel closes his work, and that the very class who hear his warning, and reject it, are the ones to receive the first drops from the overflowing vials of God's indignation. Now, if these plagues are in the past,
the image of the beast and his worship are in the past. If

p 685 -- these are past, the two-horned beast, which makes this image and his work, are in the past. If these are past, then the third angel's message, which warns us in reference to this work, is in the past;and if this is past, - that is, ages in the past, where this view locates the commencement of the plagues, - then the first and second messages, which precede that, were also ages in the past. Then the prophetic periods, on which the messages are based, especially the 2300 days, ended ages ago. And if this is so, the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 are thrown wholly into the Jewish dispensation, and the great proof of the Messiahship of Christ is destroyed. But it has been shown on chapters 7, 13, and 14, that the first and second messages have been given in our own day; that the third is now in process of accomplishment; that the two-horned beast has come upon the stage of action, and is preparing to do the work assigned him; and that the formation of the image and the enforcement of the worship are just in the future. And unless all these positions can be overthrown, the seven last plagues must also be assigned wholly to the future.

But there are other reasons for locating them in the future and not in the past.

  1. Under the fifth plague, men blaspheme God because of their sores, the same sores, of course, caused by the outpouring of the first plague. This shows that these plagues all fall upon one and the same generation of men, some being, no doubt, swept off by each one, yet some surviving through the terrible scenes of them all; a fact utterly subversive of the position that they commenced far in the past, and occupy centuries each in their fulfilment, for how, then, could those who experience the first plague be alive under the fifth?

  2. These plagues are the wine of God's wrath without mixture, threatened by the third angel. Chapter 14:10; 15:1. Such language cannot be applied to any judgments visited upon the earth while Christ pleads between his Father and our fallen race; hence we must locate them in the future, when probation shall have closed.

  3. Another and more definite testimony as to the commencement and duration of these plagues is found in chapter 15:8:

p 686 -- "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." The temple here introduced is evidently that which is mentioned in chapter 11:19, where it says, "The temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament." In other words, we have before us the heavenly sanctuary. The testimony is, then, that when the seven angels with the seven golden vials receive their commission, the temple is filled with smoke from the glory of God, and no being can enter into the temple, or sanctuary, till they have fulfilled their work; there will therefore be no ministration in the sanctuary during this time. Consequently, these vials are not poured out till the close of the ministration in the tabernacle above, but immediately follow that event; for Christ is then no longer a mediator; mercy, which has long stayed the hand of vengeance, pleads no more; the servants of God are all sealed. What could then be expected but that the "storm of vengeance should fall," and earth be swept with the besom of destruction? TOP

Having now shown the chronology of these judgments, that they are before us in the very near future, treasured up against the day of wrath, we proceed to inquire into their nature, and what will result when the solemn and fearful mandate shall go forth from the temple to the seven angels, saying, "Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth." Here we are called to look into the "armory" of the Lord, and behold the "weapons of his indignation." Jer. 50:25. Here are brought forth the treasures of hail, which have been reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war. Job 38:22, 23.

The first plague. - "And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image."

There is no apparent reason why this should not be regarded as strictly literal. These plagues are almost identical with those which God inflicted upon the Egyptians as he was

p 687 --


(The Seven Angels Pouring Out the Seven Last Plagues)

p 688 -- about to deliver his people from the yoke of bondage, the literality of which is seldom, if ever, called in question. God is now about to crown his people with their final deliverance and redemption, and his judgments will be manifested in a manner no less literal and terrible. What the sore here threatened is, we are not informed. Perhaps it may be similar to the parallel plague which fell upon Egypt. Ex. 9:8-11.

VERSE 3. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.

The Second Plague. - A more infectious and deadly substance can scarcely be conceived of than the blood of a dead man; and the thought that the great bodies of water on the earth, which are doubtless meant by the term sea, will be changed to such a state under this plague, presents a fearful picture. We have here the remarkable fact that the term living soul is applied to irrational animals, the fish and living creatures of the sea. This is, we believe, the only instance of such an application in the English Version; in the original, however, it occurs frequently; showing that the term as applied to man in the beginning (Gen. 2:7) cannot be taken as furnishing any evidence that he is endowed with an immaterial and immortal essence, called the soul.

VERSE, 4. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.   5.  And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, 0 Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.  6.   For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.  7.   And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

The Third Plague. - Such is the description of the terrible retribution for the "blood of saints" shed by violent hands, which will be given to those who have done, or wish to do, such deeds. And though the horrors of that hour when the fountains and rivers of water shall be like blood , cannot now be realized, the justice of God will stand vindicated, and his judgments approved. Even the angels are heard exclaiming,

p 689 -- Thou art righteous, 0 Lord, because thou hast judged thus; for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets. Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. TOP

It may be asked how the last generation of the wicked can be said to have shed the blood of saints and prophets, since the last generation of saints are not to be slain. A reference to Matt. 23:34, 35; 1 John 3:15, will explain. These scriptures show that guilt attaches to motive no less than to action; and no generation ever formed a more determined purpose to devote the saints to indiscriminate slaughter than the present generation will, not far in the future. (See chapter 12:17; 13:15.) In motive and purpose, they do shed the blood of saints and prophets, and are every whit as guilty as if they were able to carry out their wicked intentions.

It would seem that none of the human family could long survive a continuance of a plague so terrible as this. It must therefore be limited in its duration, as was the similar one on Egypt. Ex. 7:17-21, 25.

VERSE 8. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.  9.   And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory.

The Fourth Plague. - It is worthy of notice that every succeeding plague tends to augment the calamity of the previous ones and to heighten the anguish of the guilty sufferers. We have now a noisome and grievous sore preying upon men inflaming their blood, and pouring its feverish influence through their veins. In addition to this, they have only blood to allay their burning thirst; and, as if to crown all, power is given unto the sun, and he pours upon them a flood of liquid fire, and they are scorched with great heat. Here, as the record runs, their woe first seeks utterance in fearful blasphemy.

VERSE 10. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.  11.   And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

p 690 -- The Fifth Plague. - An important fact is established by this testimony; namely, that the plagues do not at once destroy all their victims; for some who were at first smitten with sores, we find still living under the fifth vial, and gnawing their tongues for pain. An illustration of this vial will be found in Ex. 10:21-23. It is poured upon the seat of the beast, the papacy. The seat of the beast is wherever the papal See is located, which has been thus far, and without doubt will continue to be, the city of Rome. "His kingdom" probably embraces all those who are subjects of the pope in an ecclesiastical point of view, wherever they may be.

As those who place the plagues in the past have the first five already wholly accomplished, we here pause a moment to inquire where, in past ages, the judgments here threatened have been fulfilled. Can judgments so terrible be inflicted, and nobody know it? If not, where is the history of the fulfilment? When did a noisome and grievous sore fall upon a specified and extensive portion of mankind? When did the sea become as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul die in it? When did the fountains and rivers become blood, and people have blood to drink? When did the sun so scorch men with fire as to extort from them curses and blasphemy? And when did the subjects of the beast gnaw their tongues for pain, and at the same time blaspheme God on account of their sores? Interpreters who thus put such scenes in the past, where a shadow of fulfilment cannot be shown, openly invite the scoffs and ridicule of the skeptically minded against God's holy book, and furnish them with potent weapons for their deplorable work. In these plagues, says Inspiration, is filled up the wrath of God; but if they can be fulfilled and nobody know it, who shall henceforth consider his wrath so terrible a thing, or shrink from his judgments when they are threatened? TOP

VERSE 12. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.  13.   And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  14.   For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to

p 691 -- the battle of that great day of God Almighty.  15.   Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.  16.   And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

The Sixth Plague. - What is the great River Euphrates, upon which this vial is poured out? - One view is that it is the literal River Euphrates in Asia; another is that it is a symbol of the nation occupying the territory through which that river flows. The latter opinion is preferable for the following reasons: -

   1.   It would be difficult to see what end would be gained by the drying up of the literal river, as that would not offer an obstruction at all serious to the progress of an advancing army; and it should be noticed that the drying up takes place to prepare the way of the kings of the East; that is, regular military organizations, and not a promiscuous and unequipped crowd of men, women, and children, like the children of Israel at the Red Sea or at the Jordan. The Euphrates is only about 1,400 miles in length, or about one third the size of the Mississippi. Cyrus, without difficulty, turned the whole river from its channel at his siege of Babylon; and notwithstanding the numerous wars that have been carried on along its banks, and the mighty hosts that have crossed and recrossed its streams, it never yet had to be dried up to let them pass.

  2.   It would be as necessary to dry up the River Tigris as the Euphrates; for that is nearly as large as the latter. Its source is only fifteen miles from that of the Euphrates, in the mountains of Armenia, and it runs nearly parallel with it, and but a short distance from it throughout its whole course; yet the prophecy says nothing of the Tigris.

  3.   The literal drying up of the rivers takes place under the fourth vial, when power is given to the sun to scorch men with fire. Under this plague occur, beyond question, the scenes of drought and famine so graphically described by Joel, chapter 1:14-20; and as one result of these, it is expressly stated that "the rivers of waters are dried up." The Euphrates can hardly be an exception to this visitation of drought; hence

p 692 -- not much would remain to be literally dried up under the sixth vial. TOP

These plagues, from the very nature of the case, must be manifestations of wrath and judgments upon men; but if the drying up of the literal Euphrates is all that is brought to view, this plague is not of such a nature, and turns out to be no serious affair, after all.

These objections existing against considering it a literal river, it must be understood figuratively as symbolizing the power holding possession of the territory watered by that river, which is the Ottoman, or Turkish, empire.

Webmaster note: At the time of the writing of this book, the Ottoman Empire seemed to be the obvious power to point to, however, today we must take time and place into consideration to apply this prophecy. In previous prophecies we are talking historical facts, whereas this prophecy is talking about things that are still unfolding in time.

  1.   It is so used in other places in the Scriptures. (See Isa. 8:7; Rev. 9:14.) In this latter text, all must concede that the Euphrates symbolizes the Turkish power; and being the first and only other occurrence of the word in the Revelation, it may well be considered as governing its use in this book.

  2.   The drying up of the river in this sense would be the consumption of the Turkish empire, accompanied with more or less destruction of its subjects. Thus we should have literal judgments upon men as the result of this plague, as in the case of all the others.

But it may be objected to this, that while contending for the literality of the plagues, we nevertheless make one of them a symbol. We answer, No. A power is introduced, it is true, under the sixth vial, in its symbolic form, just as it is under the fifth, where we read of the seat of the beast, which is a well-known symbol; or as we read again in the first plague of the mark of the beast, his image, and its worship, which are also symbols. All that is here insisted upon, is the literality of the judgments that result from each vial, which are literal in this case as in all the others, though the organizations which suffer these judgments may be brought to view in their symbolic form.

Again:   It may be asked how the way of the kings of the East will be prepared by the drying up, or consumption, of the Ottoman power? The answer is obvious. For what is the way of these kings to be prepared? Answer:   To come up to

p 693 -- the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Where is the battle to be fought? - Near Jerusalem. (Joel and Zephaniah.) But Jerusalem is in the hands of the Turks; they hold possession of the land of Palestine and the sacred sepulchers. This is the bone of contention; on these the nations have fixed their covetous and jealous eyes. But though Turkey now possesses them, and others want them, it is nevertheless thought necessary to the tranquillity of Europe that Turkey should be maintained in her position, in order to preserve what is called the "balance of power." For this the Christian nations of Europe have co-operated to sustain the integrity of the sultan's throne, because they cannot agree as to the division of the spoils, when Turkey falls. By their sufferance alone that government now exists, and when they shall withdraw their support, and leave it to itself, as they will do under the sixth plague, that symbolic river will be wholly dried up; Turkey will be no more, and the way will be all open for the nations to make their last grand rally to the Holy Land. The kings of the East, the nationalities, powers, and kingdoms lying east of Palestine, will act a conspicuous part in the matter; for Joel says in reference to this scene, "Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat." The millions of Mohammedans of Persia, Afghanistan, Toorkistan, and India will rush to the field of conquest in behalf of their religion. (See more about Turkey in Dan. 11:40-45.)

Those who place five of the plagues in the past, and contend that we are now living under the sixth, urge, as one of their strongest arguments, the fact that the Turkish empire is now wasting away, and this takes place under the sixth vial. It is hardly necessary to reply,  The event that takes place under the sixth vial is the entire and utter consumption of that power, not its preliminary state of decay, which is all that now appears. It is necessary that the empire should for a time grow weak and powerless, in order to its utter dissolution when the plague shall come. This preliminary condition is now seen, and the full end cannot be far in the future.

Another event to be noticed under this plague is the issuing forth of the three unclean spirits to gather the nations to the

p 694 -- great battle. The agency now already abroad in the world known as modern Spiritualism, is in every way a fitting means to be employed in this work. But it may be asked how a work which is already going on can be designated by that expression, when the spirits are not introduced into the prophecy until the pouring out of the sixth plague, which is still future. We answer that in this, as in many other movements, the agencies which Heaven designs to employ in the accomplishment of certain ends, go through a process of preliminary training for the part which they are to act. Thus, before the spirits can have such absolute authority over the race as to gather them to battle against the King of kings and Lord of lords, they must first win their way among the nations of the earth, and cause their teaching to be received as of divine authority and their word as law. This work they are now doing; and when they shall have once gained full influence over the nations in question, what fitter instrument could be employed to gather them to so rash and hopeless an enterprise?

To many it may seem incredible that the nations should be willing to engage in such an unequal warfare as to go up to battle against the lord of hosts; but it is one province of these spirits of devils to deceive, for they go forth working miracles, and thereby deceive the kings of the earth, that they should believe a lie. TOP

The sources from which these spirits issue, denote that they will work among three great religious divisions of mankind, represented by the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, or Paganism, Catholicism, and apostate Protestantism.

But what is the force of the caution thrown out in verse 15? Probation must have closed, and Christ have left his mediatorial position, before the plagues begin to fall. And is there danger of falling after that? It will be noticed that this warning is spoken in connection with the working of the spirits. The inference therefore is, that it is retroactive, applying from the time these spirits begin to work to the close of probation; that by an interchange of tenses common to the Greek language, the present tense is put for the past; as if it had read, Blessed is he that hath watched and kept his garments, as the

p 695 -- shame and nakedness of all who have not done this will at this time especially appear.

"And he gathered them." Who are the ones here spoken of as "gathered," and what agency is to be used in gathering them? If the word them refers to the kings of verse 14 it is certain that no good agency would be made use of to gather them; and if the spirits are referred to by the word he, why is it in the singular number? The peculiarity of this construction has led some to read the passage thus:   "And he [Christ] gathered them [the saints] into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon [the illustrious city, or New Jerusalem]." But this position is untenable. The following criticism, which appeared not long since in a religious magazine, seems to shed the true light upon this passage. The writer says:  -

"It seems to me that verse 16 is a continuation of verse 14, and that the antecedent of autouV [them] is 'the kings' mentioned in verse 14. For this latter verse says, 'Which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them,' etc., and in verse 16 it says, 'And he gathered them.' Now in the Greek, 'a neuter plural regularly takes a verb in the singular.' (See Sophocles's Greek Grammar, sec. 151, l.) Might not, therefore, the subject of the verb sunhgagen [gathered] (verse 16) be ta pneumata [the spirits] of verse 14, and thus the 'gathering' mentioned in the two verses be one and the same?

"And if this is to be a gathering of 'the kings of the earth and of the whole world,' will it not be for the purpose mentioned in the text; namely, 'to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty' ?"

In accordance with this criticism, several translations use the plural instead of the singular pronoun.

Mr. Wakefield, in his translation of the New Testament, renders this verse thus:   "And the spirits gathered the kings together at a place called in Hebrew Armageddon."

The Syriac Testament reads:   "And they collected them together in a place called in Hebrew Armageddon."

Sawyer's translation renders it:   "And they assembled them in the place called in Hebrew Armageddon."

p 696 -- Mr. Wesley's version of the New Testament reads:   "And they gathered them together to the place which is called in the Hebrew Armageddon."

Whiting's translation gives it:   "And they gathered them into a place called in Hebrew Armageddon."

Professor Stuart, of Andover College, a distinguished critic, though not a translator of the Scriptures, renders it:   "And THEY gathered them together," etc. De Wette, a German translator of the Bible, gives it the same turn as Stuart and the others. TOP

Mr. Albert Barnes, whose notes on the New Testament have been so extensively used, refers to the same grammatical law as suggested by the criticism above quoted, and says, "The authority of De Wette and Professor Stuart is sufficient to show that the construction which they adopt is authorized by the Greek, as indeed no one can doubt, and perhaps this construction accords better with the context than any other construction proposed." Thus it will be seen that there are weighty reasons for reading the text, "They gathered them together," etc., instead of "he gathered." And by these authorities it is shown that the persons gathered are the minions of Satan, not saints; that it is the work of the spirits, not of Christ; and that the place of assemblage is not in the New Jerusalem at the marriage supper of the Lamb, but at Armageddon (or Mount Megiddo), "at the battle of that great day of God Almighty."

The hills of Megiddo, overlooking the plain of Esdraelon, was the place where Barak and Deborah destroyed Sisera's army, and where Josiah was routed by the Egyptian king Pharaoh-Necho.

VERSE 17. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.  18.   And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.  19.   And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.  20.    And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.  21.   And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven,

p 697 --


(The Great Earthquake)

p 698 -- every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

The Seventh Plague. - Thus has Inspiration described the last judgment which is to be inflicted in the present condition of things upon those who are incorrigibly rebellious against God. Some of the plagues are local in their application; but this one is poured out into the air. The air envelops the whole earth; it follows that this plague will envelop equally the habitable globe. It will be universal. The very air will be deadly.

The gathering of the nations having taken place under the sixth vial, the battle remains to be fought under the seventh; and here are brought to view the instrumentalities with which God will slay the wicked. At this time it may be said, "The Lord hath opened his armory, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation."

"There were voices."   Above all will be heard the vice of God. "The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel 3:16. (See also Jer. 25:30; Heb. 12:26.) This will cause the great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth.

"And thunders and lightnings" - another allusion to the judgments of Egypt. (See Ex. 9:23.) The great city is divided into three parts; that is, the three grand divisions of the false and apostate religions of the world (the great city), Paganism, Catholicism, and relapsed Protestantism, seem to be set apart each to receive its appropriate doom. The cities of the nations fall; universal desolation spreads over the earth; every island flees away, and the mountains are not found; and great Babylon comes in remembrance before God. Read her judgments, as more fully described in chapter 18. TOP

"And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven." This is the last instrumentality used in the infliction of punishment upon the wicked, - the bitter dregs of the seventh vial. God has solemnly addressed the wicked, saying, "Judgment

p 699 -- also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place." Isa. 28:17. (See also Isa. 30:30.) And he asks Job if he has seen the treasures of the hail, which he has "reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war." Job 38:22, 23.

"Every stone about the weight of a talent." A talent, according to various authorities, as a weight, is about fifty-seven pounds avoirdupois. What could withstand the force of stones of such an enormous weight falling from heaven? But mankind, at this time, will have no shelter. The cities have fallen in a mighty earthquake, the islands have fled away, and the mountains are not found. Again the wicked give vent to their woe in blasphemy; for the plague of the hail is "exceeding great."

Some faint idea of the terrible effect of such a scene as is here predicted, may be inferred from the following sketch of a hailstorm on the Bosporus, by our countryman, the late Commodore Porter, in his Letters from Constantinople and its Environs, Vol. I, p. 44. He says:  -

"We had got perhaps a mile and a half on our way, when a cloud rising in the west gave indications of approaching rain. In a few minutes we discovered something falling from the heavens with a heavy splash, and with a whitish appearance. I could not conceive what it was, but observing some gulls near, I supposed it to be them darting for fish, but soon after discovered that they were large balls of ice falling. Immediately we heard a sound like rumbling thunder, or ten thousand carriages rolling furiously over the pavement. The whole Bosporus was in a foam, as though heaven's artillery had been charged upon us and our frail machine. Our fate seemed inevitable; our umbrellas were raised to protect us, but the lumps of ice stripped them into ribbons. We fortunately had a bullock's hide in the boat, under which we crawled, and saved ourselves from further injury. One man of the three oarsman had his hand literally smashed; another was much injured in the shoulder; Mr. H. received a blow in the leg;

p 700 -- my right hand was somewhat disabled, and all were more or less injured.

"It was the most awful and terrific scene I ever witnessed, and God forbid that I should ever be exposed to another! Balls of ice as large as my two fists fell into the boat, and some of them fell with such violence as certainly to have broken an arm or leg had they struck us in those parts. One of them struck the blade of an oar, and split it. The scene lasted perhaps five minutes; but it was five minutes of the most awful feelings I ever experienced. When it passed over, we found the surrounding hills covered with masses of ice, I cannot call it hail, the trees stripped of their leaves and limbs, and everything looking desolate. The scene was awful beyond all description.

"I have witnessed repeated earthquakes; the lightning has played, as it were, about my head; the wind has roared, and the waves at one moment have thrown me to the sky, and the next have sunk me into a deep abyss. I have been in action, and have seen death and destruction around me in every shape of horror; but I never before had the feeling of awe which seized me on this occasion, and still haunts, and I fear forever will haunt me. My porter, the boldest of my family, who had ventured an instant from the door, had been knocked down by a hailstone, and had they not dragged him in by the heels, would have been battered to death. Two boatmen were killed in the upper part of the village, and I have heard of broken bones in abundance. Imagine to yourself the heavens suddenly frozen over, and as suddenly broken to pieces in irregular masses of from half a pound to a pound weight, and precipitated to the earth."

Reader, if such were the desolating effects of a hail-storm of ice, which discharged stones the size of a man's fist, weighing at most a pound or so, who can depict the consequences of that coming storm in which "EVERY STONE" shall be of the weight of a talent? As surely as God's word is truth, he is thus soon to punish a guilty world. May it be ours, according to the promise, to have "sure dwellings" and "quiet resting places" in that terrific hour. Isa. 32:18, 19.

p 701 -- "And there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, and from the throne, saying, It is done!"  Thus all is finished. The cup of human guilt has been filled up. The last soul has availed itself of the plan of salvation. The books are closed. The number of the saved is completed. The final period is placed to this world's history. The vials of God's wrath are poured out upon a corrupt generation. The wicked have drunk them to the dregs, and sunk into the realm of death for a thousand years. Reader, where do you wish to be found after that great decision?

But what is the condition of the saints while the "overflowing scourge" is passing over? They are the special subjects of God's protection, without whose notice not a sparrow falls to the ground. Many are the promises which come crowding in to afford them comfort, summarily contained in the beautiful and expressive language of the 91st psalm, which alone we have space to quote.

" I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Ps. 91:2-10. TOP

Babylon - The Mother
CHAPTER XVII

p 702 -- VERSE 1. And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come thither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:  2.   With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.  3.   So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.  4.   And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:   5.   And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

In verse 19 of the preceding chapter, we were informed that "great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath." The prophet now takes up more particularly the subject of this great Babylon; and in order to give a full presentation of it, goes back and gives us some of the facts of her past history. That this apostate woman, as presented in this chapter, is a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church, is generally believed by Protestants. Between this church and the kings of the earth there has been illicit connection, and with the wine of her fornication, or her false doctrines, the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk.

Church and State. - This prophecy is more definite than others applicable to the Roman power, in that it distinguishes between church and state. We here have the woman, the

p 703 -- church, seated upon a scarlet-colored beast, the civil power, by which she is upheld, and which she controls and guides to her own ends, as a rider controls the animal upon which he is seated.

The vesture and decorations of this woman, as brought to view in verse 4, are in striking harmony with the application made of this symbol; for purple and scarlet are the chief colors in the robes of popes and cardinals; and among the myriads of precious stones which adorn her service, according to an eye-witness, silver is scarcely known, and gold itself looks but poorly. And from the golden cup in her hand, - symbol of purity of doctrine and profession, which should have contained only that which is unadulterated and pure, or, explaining the figure, only that which is in full accordance with truth, - there came forth only abominations, and wine of her fornication, fit symbol of her abominable doctrines and still more abominable practices.

This woman is explicitly called Babylon. Is Rome, then, Babylon, to the exclusion of all other religious bodies? - No, from the fact that she is called the mother of harlots, as already noticed, which shows that there are other independent religious organizations that constitute the apostate daughters, and belong to the same great family.

VERSE 6. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.   7.   And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. TOP

Cause of Wonder. - Why should John wonder with great astonishment when he saw the woman drunken with the blood of saints? Was persecution of the people of God any strange thing in his day? Had he not seen Rome launch its most fiery anathemas against the church, himself being in banishment under its cruel power at the time he wrote? Why, then, should he be astonished, as he looked forward, and saw Rome still persecuting the saints? The secret of his wonder was just this: all the persecution he had witnessed had been

p 704 -- from pagan Rome, the open enemy of Christ. It was not strange that pagans should persecute Christ's followers; but when he looked forward, and saw a church professedly Christian persecuting the followers of the Lamb, and drunken with their blood, he could but wonder with great amazement.

VERSE 8. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.  9.   And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.  10.   And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  11.   And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Rome in Three Phases. - The beast of which the angel here speaks is evidently the scarlet beast. A wild beast, like the one thus introduced, is the symbol of an oppressive and persecuting power; and while the Roman power as a nation had a long, uninterrupted existence, it passed through certain phases during which this symbol would be applicable to it, and during which time, consequently, the beast, in such prophecies as the present, might be said not to be, or not to exist. Thus Rome in its pagan form was a persecuting power in its relation to the people of God, during which time it constituted the beast that was; but the empire was nominally converted to Christianity; there was a transition from paganism to another phase of religion falsely called Christian; and during a brief period, while this transition was going on, it lost its ferocious and persecuting character, and then it could be said of the beast that it was not. Time passed on, and it degenerated into popery, and again assumed its bloodthirsty and oppressive character, and then it constituted the beast that "yet is," or in John's day was to be.

The Seven Heads. - The seven heads are explained to be, first, seven mountains, and then seven kings, or forms of government; for the expression in verse 10, "And there are seven kings," should read, and these are seven kings. "Five are fallen," says the angel, or passed away; "one is;" the sixth

p 705 -- was then reigning; another was to come, and continue for a short space; and when the beast reappeared in its bloody and persecuting character, it was to be under the eighth form of government, which was to continue till the beast went into perdition. The seven forms of government that have existed in the Roman empire are usually enumerated as follows:   (1)   kingly; (2)  consular; (3) decemvirate; (4) dictatorial; (5) triumvirate; (6) imperial; and (7)   papal. Kings, consuls, decemvirs, dictators and triumvirs had passed away in John's day. He was living under the imperial form. Two more were to arise after his time. One was only to continue a short space, and hence is not usually reckoned among the heads; while the last, which is usually denominated the seventh, is in reality the eighth. The head which was to succeed the imperial, and continue a short space, could not be the papal; for that has continued longer than all the rest put together. We understand, therefore, that the papal head is the eighth, and that a head of short continuance intervened between the imperial and papal. In fulfilment of this, we read that after the imperial form had been abolished, there was a ruler who for about the space of sixty years governed Rome under the title of the "Exarch of Ravenna." Thus we have the connecting link between the imperial and papal heads. The third phase of the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, is the Roman power under the rule of the papacy; and in this form it ascends out of the bottomless pit, or bases its power on pretensions which have no foundation but a mixture of Christian errors and pagan superstitions. TOP

VERSE 12. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.  13.   These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14.   These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The Ten Horns. - On this subject, see remarks on Dan. 7:7, where they are shown to represent the ten kingdoms that arose out of the Roman empire. They receive power one hour (Gr. wra, hora, an indefinite space of time) with the

p 706 -- beast; that is, they reign a length of time contemporaneously with the beast, during which time they give to it their power and strength.

Croly, in his work on the Apocalypse, offers this comment on verse 12:   "The prediction defines the epoch of the papacy by the formation of the ten kingdoms of the Western empire. 'They shall receive power one hour with the beast.' The translation should be, 'in the same era.' (mian wran). The ten kingdoms shall be contemporaneous, in contradistinction to the 'seven heads,' which were successive."

This language must refer to the past, when the kingdoms of Europe were unanimous in giving their support to the papacy. It cannot apply to the future; for after the commencement of the time of the end, they were to take away its dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end (Dan. 7:26); and the treatment which these kingdoms are finally to bestow upon the papacy, is expressed in verse 16, where it is said that they shall hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. A part of this work the nations of Europe have been doing for years. The completion of it, burning her with fire, will be accomplished when Rev. 18:8 is fulfilled.

These make war with the Lamb. Verse 14. Here we are carried into the future, to the time of the great and final battle; for at this time the Lamb has assumed the title of King of kings and Lord of lords, a title which he does not assume till his second coming. Chapter 19:11-16.

VERSE 15. And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.  16.   And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire.  17.   For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.  18.   And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

An Important Symbol Defined. - In verse 15 we have a plain definition of the Scripture symbol of waters; they denote peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. The angel told

p 707 -- John, while calling his attention to this subject, that he would show him the judgment of this great harlot. In verse 16 that judgment is specified. This chapter has, naturally, more especial reference to the old mother, or Catholic Babylon. The next chapter, if we mistake not, deals with the character and destiny of another great branch of Babylon, the harlot daughters.

p 708 --


( The Message of Revelation 18:1)
TOP

CHAPTER -- XVIII -- Babylon - The Daughters

p 709 -- VERSE 1. And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.  2.   And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.  3.   For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Some movement of mighty power is symbolized in these verses. (See under verse 4.) The consideration of a few facts will guide us unmistakably to the application. In chapter 14 we had a message announcing the fall of Babylon. Babylon is a term which embraces not only the Roman Catholic Church, but religious bodies which have sprung from her, bringing many of her errors and traditions along with them.

A Moral Fall. - The fall of Babylon here spoken of can not be literal destruction; for there are events to take place in Babylon after her fall which utterly forbid this idea: as, for instance, the people of God are there after her fall, and are called out in order that they may not receive of her plagues; and in these plagues is embraced her literal destruction. The fall is therefore a moral one; for the result of it is that Babylon becomes the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unwclean and hateful bird. These are terrible descriptions of apostasy, showing that, as a

p 710 -- consequence of her fall, she piles up an accumulation of sins even to the heavens, and becomes subject to the judgments of God, which can no longer be delayed.

And since the fall here introduced is a moral one, it must apply to some branch of Babylon besides, or outside of, the pagan or papal divisions; for from the beginning of their history, paganism has been a false religion, and the papacy an apostate one. And further, as this fall is said to occur but a short period before Babylon's final destruction, certainly this side of the rise and predicted triumph of the papal church, this testimony cannot apply to any religious organizations but such as have sprung from that church. These started out on reform. They ran well for a season, and had the approbation of God; but fencing themselves about with creeds, they have failed to keep pace with the advancing light of prophetic truth, and hence have been left in a position where they will finally develop a character as evil and odious in the sight of God as that of the church from which they first withdrew as dissenters, or reformers. As the point before us is to many a very sensitive one, we will let members of these various denominations here speak for themselves.

Alexander Campbell says:       "The worshiping establishments now in operation throughout Christendom, incased and cemented by their respective voluminous confessions of faith, and their ecclesiastical constitutions, are not churches of Jesus Christ, but the legitimate daughters of that mother of harlots, the Church of Rome." TOP

Again he says:       "A reformation of popery was attempted in Europe full three centuries ago. It ended in a Protestant hierarchy, and swarms of dissenters. Protestantism has been reformed into Presbyterianism, that into Congregationalism, and that into Baptistism, etc., etc. Methodism has attempted to reform all, but has reformed itself into many forms of Wesleyanism. All of them retain in their bosom - in their ecclesiastical organizations, worship, doctrines, and observances - various relics of popery. They are at best a reformation of popery, and only reformations in part. The doctrines and

p 711 -- traditions of men yet impair the power and progress of the gospel in their hands." - On Baptism, p. 15.

The report of the Michigan Yearly Conference, published in the True Wesleyan of Nov. 15, 1851, says:       "The world, commercial, political, and ecclesiastical, are alike, and are together going in the broad way that leads to death. Politics, commerce, and nominal religion, all connive at sin, reciprocally aid each other, and unite to crush the poor. Falsehood is unblushingly uttered in the forum and in the pulpit; and sins that would shock the moral sensibilities of the heathen go unrebuked in all the great denominations of our land. These churches are like the Jewish church when the Saviour exclaimed, 'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites.'"       Is their condition any better now than it was then?

Abundance of similar testimony might be produced from persons in high standing in these various denominations, written, not for the purpose of being captious and finding fault, but from a vivid sense of the fearful condition to which these churches have fallen. The term Babylon, as applied to them, is not a term of reproach, but is simply expressive of the confusion and diversity of sentiment that exists among them. Babylon need not have fallen, but might have been healed (Jer. 51:9) by the reception of the truth; but she rejected it, and confusion and dissensions still reign within her borders, and worldliness and pride are fast choking out every plant of heavenly growth.

Chronology of This Movement. - At what time do these verses have their application? When may this movement be looked for? If the position here taken is correct, that these churches, this branch of Babylon, experienced a moral fall by the rejection of the first message of chapter 14, the announcement in the chapter under consideration could not have gone forth previous to that time. It is, then, either synchronous with the message of the fall of Babylon, in chapter 14, or it is given at a later period than that. But it cannot be synonymous with that; for that merely announces the fall of Babylon, while this adds several particulars which at that time

p 712 -- were neither fulfilled nor in process of fulfilment. As we are therefore to look this side of 1844, where the previous message went forth, for the announcement brought to view in this chapter, we inquire, Has any such message been given from that time to the present? The answer must still be in the negative; hence this message is yet future. But we are now having the third angel's message, which is the last to be given before the coming of the Son of man. We are therefore held to the conclusion that the first two verses of this chapter constitute a feature of the third message which is to appear when this message shall be proclaimed with power, and the whole earth be lightened with its glory.

The work brought to view in verse 2 is in process of accomplishment, and will soon be completed, by the work of Spiritualism. What are called in Rev. 16:14 "spirits of devils, working miracles," are secretly but rapidly working their way into the religious denominations above referred to; for their creeds have been formulated under the influence of the wine (errors) of Babylon, one of which is that the spirits of our dead friends, conscious, intelligent, and active, are all about us; and this renders such denominations unable to resist the approach of evil spirits who come to them under the names and impersonations of their dead friends.

A significant feature in the work of Spiritualism, just now, is the religious garb it is assuming. Keeping in the background its grosser principles, which it has heretofore carried so largely in the front, it now assumes to appear as respectably religious in some quarters as any other denomination in the land. It talks of sin, repentance, the atonement, salvation through Christ, etc., almost as orthodoxly as the most approved standards. Under the guise of this profession, what is to hinder it from intrenching itself in almost every denomination in Christendom? The basis of Spiritualism is a fundamental dogma in the creeds of almost all the churches. Its secret principles are, alas! too commonly cherished, and its dark practices too commonly followed, to put them at variance on that ground, so long as they seek a common concealment. TOP

p 713 -- What, then, can save Christendom from its seductive influence? Herein is seen another sad result of rejecting the truths offered to the world by the messages of chapter 14. Had the churches received these messages, they would have been shielded against this delusion; for among the great truths developed by the religious movement there brought to view, is the important doctrine that the soul of man is not naturally immortal; that eternal life is a gift suspended on conditions, and to be acquired through Christ alone; that the dead are unconscious; and that the rewards and punishments of the future world lie beyond the resurrection and the day of judgment. This strikes a death-blow to the first and vital claim of Spiritualism. What foothold can that doctrine secure in any mind fortified by this truth? The spirit comes, and claims to be the disembodied soul, or spirit, of a dead man. It is met with the fact that that is not the kind of soul, or spirit, which man possesses; that the "dead know not anything;" that this, its first pretension, is a lie, and that the credentials it offers, show it to belong to the synagogue of Satan. Thus it is at once rejected, and the evil it would do is effectually prevented. But the great mass of religionists stand opposed to the truth which would thus shield them, and thereby expose themselves to this last manifestation of Satanic cunning.

And while Spiritualism is thus working, startling changes are manifesting themselves in high places in some of the denominations. The infidelity of the present age, under the seductive names of "science,"  "the higher criticism,"  "evolution," etc., is making not a few notable converts.

Public attention was forcibly called to this situation by a writer, Mr. Harold Bolce, in The Cosmopolitan Magazine for May, 1909. Having made an investigation into the character of the teaching that was being imparted in some of the leading universities of this country, he reported the results in The Cosmopolitan, which drew forth this comment from the editor:   

"What Mr. Bolce sets down here is of the most astounding character. Out of the curricula of American colleges, a dynamic

p 714 -- movement is upheaving ancient foundations, and promising a way for revolutionary thought and life. Those who are not in close touch with the great colleges of the country will be astonished to learn the creeds being fostered by the faculties of our great universities. In hundreds of class-rooms it is being taught daily that the decalogue is no more sacred than a syllabus; that the home as an institution is doomed; that there are no absolute evils; that immorality is simply an act in contravention of society's accepted standards.... These are some of the revolutionary and sensational teachings submitted with academic warrant to the minds of hundreds of thousands of students in the United States."

At about the same time The Independent, N. Y., an exponent of the higher criticism, referred to conditions in the Baptist and Presbyterian churches, with the announcement that       "the heretics have won the day in Chicago and New York."       This was shown by the action of their ministers' meetings in those cities, in refusing to exclude from the ministry, teachers of the most open heresies.       "It has been a bad week for the old guard,"       said The Independent,       "and these occurrences give evidences of a mighty change of view on questions of theology within the past twenty years, or even ten." TOP

Continuing, the same journal said:   -

"The mighty breadth of tolerance which these Baptist and Presbyterian bodies thus allow, is hardly less than revolutionary. It began with the scientific and historical study of the Bible. When we found that the world was more than six thousand years old; that there was no universal flood four thousand years ago; that Adam was not made directly from dust, and Eve from his rib; and that the tower of Babel was not the occasion of the diversification of languages, we had gone too far to stop. The process of criticism had to go on from Genesis to Revelation, with no fear of the curse at the end of the last chapter. It could not stop with Moses and Isaiah; it had to include Matthew and John and Paul. Every one of them had to be sifted. They had already ceased to be taken as unquestioned final authorities, for plenary inspiration had followed verbal

p 715 -- inspiration just as soon as the first chapter of Genesis had ceased to be taken as true history. The miracles of Jesus had to be tested as well as those of Elijah. The date and purpose of the gospel of John had to be investigated historically, as well as that of the prophecy of Isaiah; and the conclusion of historical criticism had to be accepted with no regard to the old theologies. We have just reached this condition; and there is repeated evidence that it marks an epoch, a revolution in theologic thought. This is what we learn from Chicago and New York from two such militant denominations as the Baptist and the Presbyterian."

From the standpoint of such a lamentable outlook, and under the leadership of such men, how long before Babylon will become full of spirits that are foul, and birds that are hateful and unclean? What progress has already been made in this direction! How would the godly fathers and mothers of the generation that lived just before the first message was given, could they rise from their graves, and comprehend the present condition of the religious world, hearing its teaching and beholding its practices, stand aghast at the fearful contrast between their time and ours, and deplore the sad degeneracy! And Heaven is not to let all this pass in silence; for a mighty proclamation is to be made, calling the attention of all the world to the fearful counts in the indictment against these unfaithful religious bodies, that the justice of the judgments that follow may plainly appear.

Verse 3 shows the wide extent of the influence of Babylon, and the evil that has resulted and will result from her course, and hence the justness of her punishment. The merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Who take the lead in all the extravagances of the age? Who load their tables with the richest and choicest viands? Who are foremost in extravagance in dress, and all costly attire? Who are the very personification of pride and arrogance? - Are they not church-members? Where shall we look for the very highest exhibition of the luxury, vain show, and pride of life, resulting from the vanity and sin of the

p 716 -- race? - Is it not to a modern church assembly on a pleasant Sunday?

But there is a redeeming feature in this picture. Degenerate as Babylon has become as a body, there are exceptions to the general rule; for God has still a people there, and she must be entitled to some regard on their account until they are called from her communion. Nor will it be necessary to wait long for this call. Soon Babylon will become so thoroughly leavened with the influence of these evil agents that her condition will be fully manifest to all the honest in heart, and the way be all prepared for the work which the apostle now introduces.

VERSE 4. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  5.   For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.  6.   Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double.  7.   How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her; for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.  8.   Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. TOP

The voice coming from heaven denotes that it will be a message of power attended with heavenly glory. How marked becomes the interposition of Heaven, and how the agents for the accomplishment of God's work multiply, as the great crisis approaches! This voice from heaven is called "another" voice, showing that a new agency is here introduced. We now have five celestial messengers expressly mentioned as engaged in this last religious reformation. These are the first, second, and third angels of chapter 14; fourth, the angel of verse one of this chapter; and fifth, the agency indicated by the "voice" of verse 4 now before us. Three of these are already in operation. The second angel has joined the first, and the third has joined them. The first and second have not ceased. All three now have the field. The angel of verse 1 is entering upon his mission, as the conditions which call for his work are supplied; and the divine call from heaven must take place in connection with his work.

p 717 -- Proof has already been offered to show that the message of verses 1 and 2 of this chapter is to be given in connection with the now current third message, and will mark a new era in this work. An idea of its extent and power may be gathered from the description of the angel there given. The first message is said to go with a "loud voice;" the same is also said of the third message; but this angel, instead of simply flying "in the midst of heaven," like the others, is said to "come down from heaven." He comes, as it were, nearer to the earth, with a message more pointed and direct; and he has "great power," and the earth is "lightened with his glory." No such description of a message from heaven to man is elsewhere to be found in all the Bible. This is the last; and as is meet, it comes with surpassing glory and unwonted power. It is an awful hour when a world's destiny is to be decided, - a most solemn crisis when an entire contemporaneous generation of the human family is to pass the bounds of probation, as the last note of mercy is sounded in their ears. In such a time, the world must not be left without warning. So amply must the great fact be heralded, that none can plead a reasonable ignorance of the impending doom. Every excuse must be taken away. The justice and long-suffering and forbearance of God in delaying threatened vengeance till all have had an opportunity to receive a knowledge of his will, and space to repent, must be vindicated. An angel is sent forth, panoplied with Heaven's power. The light that encircles the throne enshrouds him. He comes to the earth. None but the spiritually dead - yea, "twice dead, and plucked up by the roots" - would fail to realize his presence. Light flashes everywhere. The dark places are lighted up. And while his presence dispels the shadows, his voice in thunder tones utters a warning. He cries "mightily." He speaks in no feeble tones, and with no uncertain sound. It is no parlor announcement, but a cry, a mighty cry, a cry with a strong voice. The fatal defects in the profession of a worldly church are again pointed out. Their errors are once more, and for the last time, exposed. The inadequacy of the present standard of godliness to meet the final crisis is emphasized beyond all mistaking. The inevitable

p 718 -- connection between their cherished errors and irretrievable and everlasting destruction is heralded till the earth resounds with the cry. Meanwhile, great Babylon's sins mount up to the heavens, and the remembrance of her iniquities comes up before God. The storm of vengeance gathers. The great tidal wave of supernal wrath rolls onward. The feathery foam plays along its crest, indicating that but an instant remains ere it will burst upon the great city of confusion, and proud Babylon will go down as a millstone sinks in the depths of the sea. Suddenly another voice rings out from heaven, "Come out of her, my people!" The humble, sincere, devoted children of God, of whom there are some still left, and who sigh and cry over the abominations done in the land, heed the voice, wash their hands of her sins, separate from her communion, escape, and are saved, while Babylon becomes the victim of the just judgments of God. There are stirring times before the church. Let us be ready for the crisis.

The fact that God's people are called out so as not to be partakers of her sins, shows that it is not till a certain time that people become guilty by being connected with Babylon; and this explains how it can be said of the 144,000 (Rev. 14:4), many of whom are the very ones here called out, that they were not defiled with women.

Verses 6 and 7 are a prophetic declaration that she will be rewarded or punished according to her works. Bear in mind that this testimony applies to that portion of Babylon which is subject to a moral fall. As already pointed out, it must apply especially to the "daughters," the denominations who persist in clinging to the personal traits of the "mother," and keeping up the family resemblance. These, as pointed out on a previous page, are to attempt a sweeping persecution against the truth and the people of God. By these the "image of the beast" is to be formed. These are to have what will be to them a new experience, - the use of the civil arm to enforce their dogmas. And it is doubtless this first intoxication of power that leads this branch of Babylon to cherish in her heart the boast, "I sit a queen, and am no widow;" that is, I am no longer chra, "one bereaved," or destitute of power, as I

p 719 -- have been; but now I rule like a queen; I shall see no sorrow; God is in the Constitution; the church is enthroned, and shall henceforth bear sway. The expression, "Reward her even as she rewarded you," seems to show that the time for this message to be given, and for the saints to be called out, will be when she begins to raise against them the arm of oppression. As she fills up the cup of persecution to the saints, so the angel of the Lord will persecute her (Ps. 35:6); and judgments from on high will bring upon her, in a twofold degree, the evil which she thought to bring upon the humble servants of the Lord. TOP

The day in which her plagues come, mentioned in verse 8, must be a prophetic day, or at least cannot be a literal day; for it would be impossible for famine to come in that length of time. The plagues of Babylon are without doubt the seven last plagues, which have already been examined; and the plain inference from the language of this verse, in connection with Isa. 34:8, is that a year will be occupied in that terrible visitation.

VERSE 9. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,  10.   Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city BabyIon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.  11.   And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.

p 720 -- A Fitting Retribution. - The infliction of the very first plague must result in a complete suspension of traffic in those articles of luxury for which Babylon is noted. And when the merchants of these things, who are to a great extent citizens of this symbolic city, and who have been made rich by their traffic in these things, suddenly find themselves and their neighbors smitten with putrefying sores, their traffic suspended, and vast stores of merchandise on hand, but none to buy them, they lift up their voices in lamentation for the fate of this great city; for if there is anything which will draw from the men of this generation a sincere cry of distress, it is that which touches their treasures. And there is a fitness in this retribution. They who but a short time before had issued a decree that the saints of God should neither buy nor sell, now find themselves put under the same restriction by a far more effectual process.

The question may arise how persons involved in the same calamity can stand afar off and lament, etc.; but it must be remembered that this desolation is brought to view under a figure, and the figure is that of a city visited with destruction. Should calamity come upon a literal city, it would be natural for its inhabitants to flee from that city if they had opportunity, and standing afar off, lament its fall; and just in proportion to their terror and amazement at the evil impending, would be the distance at which they would stand from their devoted city. Now the figure the apostle uses would not be complete without a feature of this kind; and so he uses it, not to imply that people would literally flee from the symbolic city, which would be impossible, but to denote their terror and amazement at the descending judgments.

VERSE 12. The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,  13.   And cinnamon, and odors, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

Babylon's Merchandise. - In these verses we have an enumeration of great Babylon's merchandise, which includes everything

p 721 -- pertaining to luxurious living, pomp, and worldly display. All kinds of mercantile traffic are brought to view. The declaration concerning "slaves and souls of men" may pertain more particularly to the spiritual domain, and have reference to slavery of conscience by the creeds of these bodies, which in some cases is more oppressive than physical bondage.

VERSE 14. And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all. TOP

Gluttony Rebuked. - The fruits here mentioned are, according to the original, "autumnal fruits;" and in this we find a prophecy that the "delicacies of the season," upon which the luxurious gormand so sets his pampered appetite, will be suddenly cut off. This, of course, is the work of the famine, which is the result of the fourth vial. Chapter 16:8. And we may be even now having a premonition of this destruction in the phylloxera of the vineyards, the "scales" and moths, and other recent enemies to vegetation.

In this connection we can hardly forbear glancing at the general aspect of the times in respect to the remarkable physical phenomena everywhere manifesting themselves as they seem so plainly to indicate that all the courses of nature are disturbed, and that the earth itself is waxing old in anticipation of the time when it shall vanish away. Within a few years past, how many unnatural visitations of earthquake and fire, storm and flood, have wrought ruin in different localities, and awakened forebodings of fear in the hearts of men in general. Witness the Chicago fire, the Baltimore fire, the Toronto fire, and the destruction by earthquake and fire of San Francisco, Valparaiso, and Kingston; the floods of the Ohio, the Mississippi, and other Western rivers; the devastating floods of Europe; the famines of China and Russia and the plague in India; the cyclones and tidal waves, sweeping away the proudest works of man, and hurling thousands of human beings into untimely graves.

VERSE 15. The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,  16.  And saying, Alas, alas that great city, that was clothed

p 722 --


(Babylon Falls, Like a Millstone Thrown Into the Sea. Rev. 18:21)

p 723 -- in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!   17.    For in one hour so great riches is come to naught. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,  18.   And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  19.   And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Emotions of the Wicked. - The reader can readily imagine the cause of this universal voice of mourning, lamentation, and woe. Imagine the plague of sores preying upon men, the rivers turned to blood, the sea like the blood of a dead man, the sun scorching men with fire, their traffic gone, and their silver and gold unable to deliver them, and we need not wonder at their exclamations of distress, nor that shipmasters and sailors join in the general wail. Very different is the emotion the saints are called upon to exercise, as the following testimony shows.

VERSE 20. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.  21.  And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.   22.   And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;  23.   And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.  24.   And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Emotions of the Righteous. - The apostles and prophets are here called upon to rejoice over great Babylon in her destruction, as it is in close connection with this destruction that they will all be delivered from the power of death and the grave by the first resurrection.

Like a great millstone, Babylon sinks to rise no more. The various arts and crafts that have been employed in her midst, and have ministered to her desires, shall be practiced no more. The pompous music that has been employed in her

p 724 -- imposing but formal and lifeless service, dies away forever. The scenes of festivity and gladness, when the bridegroom and the bride have been led before her altars, shall be witnessed no more.

Her sorceries constitute her leading crime; and sorcery is a practice which is involved in the Spiritualism of to-day. "And in her was found the blood " of "all that were slain upon the earth." From this it is evident that ever since the introduction of a false religion into the world, Babylon has existed. In her has been found, all along, opposition to the work of God, and persecution of his people. In reference to the guilt of the last generation, see on chapter 16:6. TOP

CHAPTER -- XIX -- Triumph of the Saints

p 725 -- VERSE 1. And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power, unto the Lord our God:  2.   For true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.  3.  And again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up forever and ever.

Continuing the subject of chapter 18, the apostle here introduces the song of triumph which the redeemed saints strike up on victor harps, when they behold the complete destruction of that great system of opposition to God and his true worship comprehended in great Babylon. This destruction takes place, and this song is sung, in connection with the second coming of Christ at the commencement of the thousand years.

Forever and Ever.- There can but one query arise on this scripture, and that is how it can be said that her smoke rose up forever and ever. Does not this language imply eternity of suffering? Let it be remembered that this is borrowed language; and to gain a correct understanding of it, we must go back to its first introduction, and consider its import as there used. In Isaiah 34 will be found the language from which, in all probability, such expressions as these are borrowed. Under the figure of Idumea, a certain destruction is brought to view; and it is said of that land that its streams should be

p 726 -- turned into pitch, its dust into brimstone, that it should become burning pitch, and not be quenched night nor day, but that its smoke should go up forever. Now this language is spoken, as all must concede, of one of two things; either of the particular country called Idumea, or of the whole earth under that name. In either case it is evident that the language must be limited. Probably the whole earth is meant, from the fact that the chapter opens with an address to the earth and all that is therein, the world and all that come forth of it; and the indignation of the Lord is declared to be upon all nations. Now, whether this refers to the depopulation and desolation of the earth at the second advent, or to the purifying fires that shall purge it of the effects of the curse at the end of the thousand years, the language must still be limited; for after all this, a renovated earth is to come forth, to be the abode of the nations of the saved throughout eternity. Three times this expression of smoke going up forever is used in the Bible: once here in Isaiah 34, of the land of Idumea as a figure of the earth; in Revelation 14 (which see), of the worshipers of the beast and his image; and again in the chapter we are now considering, referring to the destruction of great Babylon; and all of them apply to the very same time, and describe the same scenes; namely, the destruction visited upon this earth, the worshipers of the beast, and all the pomp of great Babylon, at the second advent of our Lord and Saviour.

VERSE 4. And the four and twenty elders and the four beasts fell down and worshiped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alleluia.  5.   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.  6.   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 thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.  7.   Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.  8.   And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

A Song of Triumph. - The Lord God omnipotent, the Father, reigneth, is the language of this song. He reigns at the present time, and has ever reigned, in reality, though sentence

p 727 -- against an evil work has not been executed speedily; but now he reigns by the open manifestation of his power in the subjugation of all his foes. TOP

"Rejoice, ... for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." Who is the "bride, the Lamb's wife," and what is the marriage? A vast field for thought is here opened, and material furnished for a more lengthy exposition than falls within the design of this work. The Lamb's wife is the New Jerusalem which is above. This will be noticed more fully on chapter 21. The marriage of the Lamb is his reception of this city. When he receives this city, he receives it as the glory and metropolis of his kingdom; hence with it he receives his kingdom, and the throne of his father David. This may well be the event designated by the marriage of the Lamb. That the marriage relation is often taken to illustrate the union between Christ and his people, is granted; but the marriage of the Lamb here spoken of is a definite event to take place at a definite time; and if the declaration that Christ is the head of the church as the husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23), proves that the church is now the Lamb's wife, then the marriage of the Lamb took place long ago; but that cannot be, according to this scripture, which locates it in the future. Paul told his Corinthian converts that he had espoused them to one husband, even Christ. This is true of all converts. But while this figure is used to denote the relation that they then assumed to Christ, was it a fact that the marriage of the Lamb took place in Corinth in Paul's day, and that it has been going on for the past eighteen hundred years? Further remarks on this point are deferred to a consideration of chapter 21.

But if the city is the bride, it may be asked how it can be said that she made herself ready. Answer:   By the figure of personification, which attributes life and action to inanimate objects. (See a notable example in Psalm 114.) Again, the query may arise on verse 8 how a city can be arrayed in the righteousness of the saints; but if we consider that a city without inhabitants would be but a dreary and cheerless place, we

p 728 -- see at once how this is. Reference is had to the countless number of its glorified inhabitants in their shining apparel. The raiment was granted to her. What is granted to her? Isaiah 54 and Gal. 4:21-31 will explain. To the new-covenant city are granted many more children than to the old; these are her glory and rejoicing. The goodly apparel of this city, so to speak, consists of the hosts of the redeemed and immortal ones who walk its golden streets.

VERSE 9. 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.  10.   And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

The Marriage Supper. - Many are the allusions to this marriage supper in the New Testament. It is referred to in the parable of the marriage of the king's son (Matt. 22 :1-14), again in Luke 14:16-24. It is the time when we shall eat bread in the kingdom of God, when we are recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:12-15. It is the time when we shall drink of the fruit of the vine new with our Redeemer in his heavenly kingdom. Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18. It is the time when we shall sit at his table in the kingdom (Luke 22:30), and he will gird himself, and come forth and serve us. Luke 12:37. Blessed indeed are they who have the privilege of partaking of this glorious feast.

John's Fellow Servant. - A word on verse 10, in reference to those who think they find here an argument for consciousness in death. The mistake which such persons make on this scripture is in supposing that the angel declares to John that he is one of the old prophets come back to communicate with him. The person employed in giving the Revelation to John is called an angel, and angels are not the departed spirits of the dead. Whoever takes the position that they are, is to all intents a Spiritualist; for this is the very foundation-stone of their theory. But the angel says no such thing. He simply says that he is the fellow servant of John, as he had been the fellow servant of his brethren the prophets. The term fellow

p 729 -- servant implies that thy were all on a common footing as servants of the great God; hence he was not a proper object for John to worship. (See on chapter 1:1, "His Angel.") TOP

VERSE 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  12.   His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew but he himself.  13.   And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  14.   And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  15.   And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  16.   And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.  17.   And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  18.   That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.  19.   And l saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  20.   And tho beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  21.   And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

Christ's Second Coming. - With verse 11 a new scene is introduced. We are here carried back to the second coming of Christ, this time under the symbol of a warrior riding forth to battle. Why is he represented thus? - Because he is going forth to war, - to meet "the kings of the earth and their armies," and this would be the only proper character in which to represent him on such a mission. His vesture is dipped in blood. (See a description of the same scene in Isa. 63 1-4.) The armies of heaven, the angels of God, follow him. Verse 15 shows how he rules the nations with a rod of iron when they are given him for an inheritance, as recorded in the second psalm, which popular theology interprets to mean the conversion of the world. But would not such expressions as "treadeth

p 730 -- the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God," be a very singular description of a work of grace upon the hearts of the heathen for their conversion? The great and final display of the "winepress of God's wrath," and also of "the lake of fire," occurs at the end of the thousand years, as described in chapter 20; and to that it would seem that the full and formal description of Rev. 14:18-20 must apply. But the destruction of the living wicked at the second coming of Christ, at the beginning of the thousand years, furnishes a scene on a smaller scale, similar, in both these respects, to what takes place at the close of that period. Hence in the verses before us we have this mention of both the winepress of wrath and the lake of fire.

Christ has at this time closed his mediatorial work, and laid off his priestly robes for kingly attire; for he has on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. This is in harmony with the character in which he here appears; for it was the custom of warriors anciently to have some kind of title inscribed upon their vesture. Verse 17. What is to be understood by the angel standing in the sun? In chapter 16:17 we read of the seventh vial being poured out into the air, from which it was inferred that as the air envelops the whole earth, that plague would be universal. May not the same principle of interpretation apply here, and show that the angel standing in the sun, and issuing his call from thence to the fowls of heaven to come to the supper of the great God, denotes that this proclamation will go wherever the sun's rays fall upon this earth? And the fowls will be obedient to the call, and fill themselves with the flesh of horses, kings, captains, and mighty men. Thus, while the saints are partaking of the marriage supper of the Lamb, the wicked in their own persons furnish a great supper for the fowls of the heavens.

The beast and false prophet are taken. The false prophet is the one that works miracles before the beast. This proves him to be identical with the two-horned beast of chapter 13, to whom the same work, for the very same purpose, is there attributed. The fact that these are cast alive into the lake of fire, shows that these powers will not pass away and be succeeded

p 731 -- by others, but be living powers at the second advent of Christ.

The papacy has long been in the field, and has come to the closing scenes in its career. And its overthrow is emphatically predicted in other prophecies than the one now before us, notably in Dan. 7:11, in which the prophet says that he beheld till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. And this followed close upon the utterance of great words which the horn spake, which words were doubtless heard in the decree of papal infallibility in the great ecumenical council of 1870. This power must therefore be very near the close of its existence. But it does not perish till Christ appears, for it then goes alive into the lake of fire.

The other power associated with it, the two-horned beast, we see fast approaching the very climax of the work it has to do before it also goes alive into the lake of fire. And how thrilling is the thought that we see before us two great prophetic agencies which are, by all the evidences, near the close of their history, which yet are not to cease till the Lord shall appear in all his glory.

It appears from verse 21 that there is a remnant not numbered with the beast or false prophet. These are slain by the sword of Him that sits upon the horse, which sword proceeds out of his mouth. This sword is doubtless what is spoken of elsewhere as "the spirit of his mouth" and "the breath of his lips," with which the Lord shall slay the wicked at his appearing and kingdom. Isa. 11:4; 2 Thess. 2:8. TOP

 

The First and Second Resurrections
CHAPTER XX

p 732 -- VERSE 1. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.  2.   And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,  3.   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.

The event with which this chapter opens seems to follow, in chronological order, the events of the preceding chapter. The inquiries that here arise are, Who is the angel that comes down from heaven? what are the key and chain which he has in his hand? what is the bottomless pit? and what is meant by binding Satan a thousand years?

  1. The Angel. - Is this angel Christ, as some suppose? Evidently not. A bright ray of light is thrown from the old typical service directly upon this passage. Thus, Christ is the great High Priest of this dispensation. On the day of atonement, anciently, two goats were taken by the priest, upon which lots were cast, one for the Lord, and the other for the scapegoat. The one upon which the Lord's lot fell, was then slain, and his blood carried into the sanctuary to make an

p 733 -- atonement for the children of Israel, after which the sins of the people were confessed upon the head of the other, or scapegoat, and he was sent away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness, or a place not inhabited. Now, as Christ is the priest of this dispensation, so by arguments, a few of which we here introduce, Satan is shown to be the antitypical scapegoat.

   (1)   The Hebrew word for scapegoat, as given in the margin of Lev. 16:8, is Azazel. On this verse, Jenks, in his Comprehensive Commentary, remarks:       "Scapegoat. (See diff. opin. in Bochart.) Spencer, after the oldest opinion of the Hebrews and Christians, thinks Azazel is the name of the devil; and so Rosenmuller, whom see. The Syriac has Azzail, the angel (strong one) who revolted."       The devil is here evidently pointed out. Thus we have the definition of the Scripture term in two ancient languages, with the oldest opinion of the Christians, in favor of the view that the scapegoat is a type of Satan.

Charles Beecher, in Redeemer and Redeemed, pp. 67, 68, says:      "What goes to confirm this is that the most ancient paraphrases and translations treat Azazel as a proper name. The Chaldee paraphrase and the targums of Onkelos and Jonathan would certainly have translated it if it was not a proper name, but they do not. The Septuagint, or oldest Greek version, renders it by apopompaioV (apopompaios), a word applied by the Greeks to a malign deity sometimes appeased by sacrifices. Another confirmation is found in the book of Enoch, where the name Azalzel, evidently a corruption of Azazel, is given to one of the fallen angels, thus plainly showing what was the prevalent understanding of the Jews at that day.

"Still another evidence is found in the Arabic, where Azazel is employed as the name of the evil spirit. In addition to these, we have the evidence of the Jewish work Zohar, and of the Cabalistic and Rabbinical writers. They tell us that the following proverb was current among the Jews:   'On the day of atonement, a gift to Sammael.' Hence Moses Gerundinensis feels called to say that it is not a sacrifice, but only done because commanded by God. TOP

p 734 -- "Another step in the evidence is when we find this same opinion passing from the Jewish to the early Christian church. Origen was the most learned of the Fathers, and on such a point as this, the meaning of a Hebrew word, his testimony is reliable. Origen says, 'He who is called in the Septuagint apopompaioV, and in the Hebrew Azazel, is no other than the devil.'

"In view, then, of the difficulties attending any other meaning, and the accumulated evidence in favor of this, Hengstenberg affirms with great confidence that Azazel cannot be anything else than another name for Satan."

  (2)   In the common acceptation of the word, the term scapegoat is applied to any one who has become obnoxious to the claims of justice; and while it is revolting to all our conceptions of the character and glory of Christ to apply this term to him, it must strike every one as a very appropriate designation of the devil, who is styled in Scripture the accuser, adversary, angel of the bottomless pit, Beelzebub, Belial, dragon, enemy, evil spirit, father of lies, murderer, prince of devils, serpent, tempter, etc., etc.

  (3)   The third reason for this position is the very striking manner in which it harmonizes with the events to transpire in connection with the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary, as far as revealed to us in the Scriptures of truth.

We behold in the type, (a) the sin of the transgressor transferred to the victim; (b) we see that sin borne by the ministration of the priest and the blood of the offering into the sanctuary; (c) on the tenth day of the seventh month we see the priest, with the blood of the sin-offering for the people, remove all their sins from the sanctuary, and lay them upon the head of the scapegoat; and (d) the goat bears them away into a land not inhabited. Lev. 1:1-4; 4:3-6; 16:5-10, 15, 16, 20-22.

Answering to these events in the type, we behold in the antitype, (a) the great offering for the world made on Calvary; (b) the sins of all those who avail themselves of the merits of Christ's shed blood by faith in him, borne, by the ministration of Christ while pleading his own blood, into the new-covenant

p 735 -- sanctuary; (c) after Christ, the minister of the true tabernacle (Heb. 8:2), has finished his ministration, he will remove the sins of his people from the sanctuary, and lay them upon the head of their author, the antitypical scapegoat, the devil; and (d) the devil will be sent away with them into a land not inhabited.

This we believe to be the very event described in the verses under notice. The sanctuary service is, at the time here specified, closed. Christ lays upon the head of the devil the sins which have been transferred to the sanctuary, and which are imputed to the saints no more, and the devil is sent away, not by the hand of the High Priest, but by the hand of another person, according to the type, into a place here called the bottomless pit. Hence this angel is not Christ. For a full exposition of this subject, see the work Looking Unto Jesus; or Christ In Type and Antitype.

2.   The Key and Chain. - It cannot be supposed that the key and chain are literal; they are rather used merely as symbols of the power and authority with which this angel is clothed upon this occasion.

3. The Bottomless Pit. - The original word signifies an abyss, bottomless, deep, profound. Its use seems to be such as to show that the word denotes any place of darkness, desolation, and death. Thus in Rev. 9:1, 2, it is applied to the barren wastes of the Arabian desert, and in Rom. 10:7, to the grave; but the passage which specially throws light upon the meaning of the word here is Gen. 1:2, where we read that "darkness was upon the face of the deep." The word there rendered deep is the same word that is here rendered bottomless pit; so that passage might have been translated, "Darkness was upon the face of the abyss, or bottomless pit." But we all know what is meant by the word deep as there used; it is applied to this earth in its chaotic state. Precisely this it must mean in this third verse of Revelation 20. At this time, let it be borne in mind, the earth is a vast charnel-house of desolation and death. The voice of God has shaken it to its foundations; the islands and mountains have been moved out of their places; the great earthquake has leveled to the earth the mightiest

p 736 -- works of man; the seven last plagues have left their all-desolating footprints over the earth; the burning glory attending the coming of the Son of man has borne its part in accomplishing the general desolation; the wicked have been given to the slaughter, and their putrefying flesh and bleaching bones lie unburied, ungathered, and unlamented from one end of the earth to the other end thereof. Thus is the earth made empty and waste, and turned upside down. Isa. 24:1. Thus is it brought back again, partially at least, to its original state of confusion and chaos. (See Jer. 4:19-26, especially verse 23.) And what better term could be used to describe the earth thus rolling on in its course of darkness and desolation for a thousand years than that of the abyss, or bottomless pit? Here Satan will be confined during this time, amid the ruins which indirectly his own hands have wrought, unable to flee from his habitation of woe, or to repair in the least degree its hideous ruin. TOP

4. The Binding of Satan. - We well know that Satan, in order to work, must have subjects upon whom to work. Without these, he can do nothing. But during the thousand years of his confinement to this earth, all the saints are in heaven, beyond the power of his temptations; and all the wicked are in their graves, beyond his power to deceive. His sphere of action is circumscribed, he being at this time confined to this earth; and thus is he bound, being condemned throughout this period to a state of hopeless inactivity. This, to a mind that has been so busy as his has been for the past six thousand years in deceiving the world, must be a punishment of the most intense severity.

According to this exposition, the "binding" of Satan means simply the placing beyond his reach of the subjects upon whom he works, and his being "loosed" means their being brought again, by a resurrection, to a position where he can again exercise his power upon them. Over this exposition some assume to grow merry, telling us that we have mistaken the parties, and have the wicked bound, not the devil. Yet how often do we hear, in the daily transactions of life, such expressions as these:   My way was completely hedged up; my hands were

p 737 -- completely tied, etc. But do we understand, when persons use such expressions, that some insurmountable obstacle was literally thrown across the path they were traveling, or that their hands were literally confined with ropes or cords? - No; but simply that a combination of circumstances rendered it impossible for them to act. Just so here; and why will not people grant to the Bible the same liberty of speech that they give, without question and without ridicule, to their fellow men in the common intercourse of life? But more than this, there is here a great limitation of Satan's power, which may well be called a "binding." He no longer has the power of traversing space, and visiting other worlds; but like man he is confined to this earth, which he nevermore leaves. The place of the ruin he has wrought now becomes his gloomy prison-house, till he is led out to execution, at the end of the thousand years.

VERSE 4. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  5.   But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  6.   Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

The Exaltation of the Saints. - From the devil in his gloomy confinement, John now directs our attention to the saints in victory and glory, - the saints reigning with Christ - their employment being to assign to the wicked dead the punishment due their evil deeds. From that general assembly John then selects two classes as worthy of especial attention:   first, the martyrs, those who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus; and secondly, those who had not worshiped the beast and his image. This class, the ones who refuse the mark of the beast and his image, are of course the ones who hear and obey the third message of Revelation 14; but these are not the ones who are beheaded for the witnes of Jesus, as some who

p 738 -- claim that the last generation of saints are all to be slain, would have us believe. The word rendered which, in the expression, "and which had not worshiped the beast," etc., shows that there is another class introduced. The word is the compound relative, ostiV (hostis), not merely the simple relative oV, and is defined by Liddell and Scott, "Whosoever; whichsoever; any one who; anything which;" and by Robinson, "One who; some one who; whosoever; whatsoever." As one class, John saw the martyrs, and as another, he saw those who had not worshiped the beast and his image. TOP

It is true that ostiV is sometimes used as a simple relative, as in 2 Cor. 3:14; Eph. 1:23, but never in such constructions as this, preceded by the conjunction kai.

Lest any one should say that if we render the passage "and whosoever had not worshiped the beast," we thereby include millions of heathen and sinners who have not worshiped the beast, and promise them a reign with Christ of a thousand years, we would call attention to the fact that the preceding chapter states that the wicked had all been slain, and the seal of death had been set upon them for a thousand years; and John is viewing only the righteous company who have part in the first resurrection.

To avoid the doctrine of two resurrections, some claim that the passage, "But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished," is an interpolation, not found in the original, and hence not genuine. Even if this were so, it would not disprove the main proposition that the righteous dead are raised by themselves, in a "first resurrection," and that there is a second resurrection a thousand years later, in which all the wicked are brought from their graves. But the criticism is not true. All scholarship is against it. The Revised Version retains the passage.

Two Resurrections. - "The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished." Whatever may be said to the contrary, no language could more plainly prove two resurrections; the first, a resurrection of the righteous at the commencement of the thousand years; and the second, that of the wicked at the end of that period. On such as have part in

p 739 -- the first resurrection, the second death will have no power. They can pass unharmed through the elements which destroy the wicked like chaff. They will be able to dwell with devouring fire and everlasting burnings (Isa. 33:14, 15); they will be able to go forth and look upon the carcasses of the men who have transgressed against the Lord, as the quenchless fire and undying worm are preying upon them. Isa. 66:24. The difference between the righteous and the wicked in this respect is seen again in the fact that while God is to the latter a consuming fire, he is to his people both a sun and a shield.

The Wicked Raised to Life.. - The wicked who are raised at the end of the thousand years as really live again as they have once lived on the earth. To deny this is to do violence to this scripture. In what physical condition they will be raised, we are not informed. It is usual to say on this point that what we have lost unconditionally in Adam, is restored unconditionally in Christ. With respect to physical condition, this should not perhaps be taken in an unlimited sense; for we have lost greatly in stature and vital force, which need not be restored to the wicked. If they are brought back to the average mental and physical condition which they enjoyed during life, or the period of their probation, that would certainly be sufficient to enable them to receive at last understandingly the reward due them for all their deeds.

VERSE 7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,  8.   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 sand of the sea.  9.   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.  10.   And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The Perdition of Ungodly Men. - At the end of the one thousand years, the holy city, the New Jerusalem, in which the saints have dwelt in heaven during that period, comes down, and is located upon the earth, and becomes the camp of the saints, around which the resurrected wicked come up, numberless

p 740 -- as the sand of the sea. The devil deceives them, and thus brings them up to this battle. They are induced to commence an impious warfare upon the holy city, in prospect of some advantage to be gained by fighting against the saints. Satan doubtless persuades them that they can overcome the saints, dispossess them of their city, and still hold possession of the earth. But fire comes down from God out of heaven, and devours them. The word here rendered devoured, Professor Stuart admits is "intensive," and signifies "to eat up, devour, so that it denotes utter excision." (Hudson's Christ our Life, p. 146.) This is the time of the perdition of ungodly men, - the time when the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and when the works that are in the earth shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:7, 10. In the light of these scriptures, we can see how the wicked are to receive their recompense in the earth (Prov. 11:31); we can see also that this recompense is not eternal life in misery, but an "utter excision," entire and complete destruction. TOP

The Wicked Never Tred the New Earth. - Two views deserve a passing notice at this point. The first is that the earth is renewed at the second coming of Christ, and is the habitation of the saints during the thousand years; the other is that when Christ appears the second time, he sets up his kingdom in Palestine, and performs, in connection with his saints, a work of conquest over the nations left on the earth during the thousand years, and subdues them to himself.

One among many objections to the first view is that it makes the wicked, in their resurrection, come up, with the devil at their head, and tread with their unhallowed feet upon the purified and holy earth, and the saints, who have held possession for a thousand years, are obliged to yield the ground, and flee into the city. But we cannot believe that the saints' inheritance will ever be thus marred, or that the fair plains of the earth made new will ever be soiled with the polluting tread of the resuscitated wicked; for besides outraging all ideas of propriety, there is no scripture from which even an inference can be drawn to support it.

And as to the second view, one among many of its absurdities

p 741 -- is that notwithstanding Christ and his saints have conquered the earth during the thousand years, at the end of this period the wicked get the upper hand of them, they lose their territory, the work of a thousand years is undone, and they are compelled to beat an ignominious retreat into the city for shelter, leaving the earth to the undisputed sway of their foes. Those who wish, may rack their brains in trying to harmonize the inconsistencies and absurdities of such theories, or may endeavor to draw consolation from the dubious prospect. For ourselves, we prefer better employment and a brighter hope.

A Thousand Years In Heaven. - In contrast with these theories, there is a beautiful harmony in the view herein presented; namely, that the saints are with Christ in heaven during the thousand years while the earth lies desolate; that the saints and the city come down, and the wicked dead are raised and come up against it; that the latter there receive their judgment; and that from the purifying fires which destroy them come forth the new heavens and the new earth, to be the abode of the righteous throughout endless ages.

The Subjects of Torment. - From verse 10, some have argued that the devil alone was to be tormented day and night; but the testimony of this verse is more extensive than that. The verb "shall be tormented" is in the plural, and agrees with the beast and false prophet; whereas it would be in the singular number if it referred to the devil alone. It will be noticed that in the expression, "where the beast and the false prophet are," are is a supplied word. It would be more proper to supply the words were cast, answering to what was spoken of the devil just before. The sentence would then read, "The devil was cast into the lake of fire, where the beast and false prophet were cast." The beast and false prophet were cast in there, and destroyed, at the commencement of the thousand years. Rev. 19:20. The individuals of whom those organizations were then composed, now come up in the second resurrection, and a similar and final destruction is visited upon them, under the names Gog and Magog. TOP

The Lake of Fire. - Some reader may be inclined to ask for a definition of the lake of fire. As a comprehensive definition,

p 742 -- may it not be called a symbol of the agencies which God employs to close up his controversy with the living wicked at the beginning of the thousand years, and with all the hosts of the ungodly at the end of that period? Literal fire will of course be largely employed in this work. We can better describe its effects than the thing itself. At the second coming of Christ, it is the flaming fire in which the Lord Jesus is revealed; it is the spirit of his mouth and brightness of his coming, by which the man of sin is to be consumed; it is the fire in which great Babylon shall be utterly burned. Rev. 18:8. At the end of the thousand years, it is the day that shall burn as an oven (Mal. 4:1); it is the fervent heat that shall melt the elements and the earth, and burn up the works that are therein; it is the fire of Tophet "prepared for the king" (the devil and his angels, Matt. 25:41), the pile whereof is deep and large, and which "the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle." Isa. 30:33. It is the fire that comes down from God out of heaven. (On the expression, "tormented day and night forever and ever," see on chapter 14:11.)

VERSE 11. 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 no place for them.  12.   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.  13.   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.  14.   And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15.   And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

With verse 11, John introduces another scene to take place in connection with the final doom of the ungodly. It is the great white throne of judgment, before which they are assenibled to receive their awful sentence of condemnation and death. Before this throne the heavens and the earth flee away, so that no place is found for them. A moment's reflection on the changes which must then take place in the earth will bring out the great force of this language. The scene is that of Peter's

p 743 --


(The Investigative Judgment)

p 744 -- burning day, which is the "perdition of ungodly men," and in which even the "elements" melt with fervent heat. 2 Peter 3:7-13. The city is then located upon the earth, the foundations of course extending under its whole area, so that it will not be affected by any changes that may take place, or any conditions which may exist, in the earth beneath it. Fire comes down from God out of heaven.

First, the works that are in the world are burned up; and by the poisonous gases evolved, and the flames, the wicked are destroyed; this is the fire of Gehenna, which contains all the elements necessary to consume utterly every mortal being that comes under its power (Mark 9:43-48); and then will be fulfilled Isa. 66:24: "And they [the righteous] shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh."

Secondly, the heat is raised till all the material of which, this globe is composed, is fused like the ores in a smelter's furnace, and the whole earth becomes a fluid, fiery, molten mass. Upon this the city floats, as the ark of Noah floated upon the waters of the flood. Then will be fulfilled Isa. 33:14: "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" The answer, in the following verses, shows it to be the righteous, and this must be the time when it will be fulfilled. TOP

Thirdly, there is one stage more to be reached. It is well known that with a sufficient degree of heat, any substance on this earth can be reduced to the condition of gas, and thus become invisible. So will it be then with this whole earth. The heat being raised to a sufficient degree of intensity, would not the whole earth be converted into gas, and become invisible, and thus appear most literally to flee away, so that no place is found for it? The city would then seem to be, as virtually it would be, suspended in mid-heaven.

But the elements are not destroyed. They are only, by that process, purged from the last and minutest taint of sin, and every token of the curse. The almighty fiat again goes

p 745 -- forth, "Behold, I make all things new. ... It is done" (Rev. 21:5, 6), and the particles combine again to compose a new world; and there, beneath the wondering and admiring gaze of all the redeemed and the angelic host, the work of creation is gone through with again. At the first creation, tho morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. Job 38:7. At this new creation, that song and shout will be augmented by the glad voices of the redeemed. So will this earth, wrenched for a time, by sin, from its intended orbit of joy and peace, be brought back, renewed, into harmony with a loyal universe, to be the everlasting home of the saved.

The Books of Record. - Men are judged out of the things written in the books, from which we learn the solemn fact that a record of all our deeds is kept on high. A faithful and unerring record is made by the angelic secretaries. The wicked cannot conceal from them any of their deeds of darkness. They cannot bribe them to pass over in their record any of their unlawful acts. They must meet them all again, and be judged accordingly.

The Execution of the Sentence. - The wicked are to be punished according to their works. The Scriptures declare that they shall be rewarded according to their deeds. There are, then, to be degrees in the punishment of the wicked; and it may be asked how this can be harmonized with the view that death is the punishment for sin, and comes upon all alike. Let us ask believers in eternal misery how they will maintain degrees in their system. They tell us the intensity of the pain endured will be in each case proportioned to the guilt of the sufferer. But how can this be? Are not the flames of hell equally severe in all parts? and will they not equally affect all the immaterial souls cast therein? But God can interpose, it is answered, to produce the effect desired. Very well, then, we reply, cannot he also interpose, if necessary, and graduate the pain which will attend the infliction of death upon the sinner as the climax of his penalty? So, then, our view is equal with the common one in this respect, while it possesses great advantages over it in another; for while that has to find its degrees

p 746 -- of punishment in intensity of pain alone, the duration in all cases being the same, this may not only have degrees in pain, but in duration also; inasmuch as some may perish in a short space of time, and the weary sufferings of others be long drawn out. But yet we apprehend that the bodily suffering will be but an unnoticed trifle compared with the mental agony, that keen anguish which will rack their souls as they get a view of their incomparable loss, each according to his capacity of appreciation. The youth who had but little more than reached the years of accountability, being less able to comprehend his situation and his loss, will of course feel it less; to him of older years, more capacity, and consequently a deeper experience in sin, the burden of his fate will be proportionately greater; while the man of giant intellect and almost boundless comprehension, - who hence possessed greater influence for evil, and so was the more guilty for devoting his powers to the service of that evil, - being able to understand his situation fully, comprehend his fate, and realize his loss, will feel it most keenly of all. Into his soul the iron will indeed enter most intolerably deep. And thus, by an established law of mind, the sufferings of each may be most accurately adjusted to the magnitude of his guilt.

That the degree of suffering which each one is to endure is taken into the account as a part of the punishment of his crimes, is evident from Rom. 2:6-10. Paul, here speaking of the future "judgment of God," says:   -

"Who will render to every man according to his deeds: to them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality [he will render], eternal life; but unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness [he will render], indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile."

The Book of Life. - Why, it may be asked, is the book of life brought forth on this occasion, when all who have part in the second resurrection, beyond which this scene is located, are already forejudged to the second death? At least one apparent reason is, that it may be seen that none of the names of all

p 747 -- the multitude who die the second death are in the book of life, and why they are not there; and if the names have ever been there, why they were not retained; that all the intelligences of the universe may see that God acts with strict justice and impartiality.

"And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death." This is the final epitaph of all the forces that have risen up, from first to last, to oppose the will and work of the Lord Almighty. Satan originated and led out in this nefarious work. A portion of heaven's angels joined him in his false position and murderous work; and for him and them the everlasting fire was prepared. Matt. 25:41. Men become involved therein only because they join him in his rebellion. But here the controversy closes. The fire is to them everlasting because it allows of no escape. The second death is their punishment, and it is "everlasting punishment " (Matt. 25:46) because they never find release from its dread embrace. "The wages of sin is death."

"And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." Reader, is your name written in the book of life? Are you striving to avert in your own case the fearful doom that awaits the ungodly? Rest not till you have reason to believe that your name is registered in the list of those who are to share at last in the blessings of eternal life. TOP

CHAPTER -- XXI -- The New Jerusalem

p 748 -- The burden of this chapter, commencing with verse 2, is the New Jerusalem; but before that is introduced, John tells us how the present heaven and earth and sea are to be disposed of, as follows:

VERSE 1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

New Heaven and New Earth. - By the first heaven and first earth, John unquestionably means the present heaven and earth, "the heavens and the earth which are now." 2 Peter 3:7. Some have supposed that when the Bible speaks of the third heaven, in which are paradise and the tree of life (2 Cor. 12:2; Rev. 2:7), it refers to the heaven which is yet future, and does not prove that there is a paradise and tree of life literally in existence in heaven at the present time. They base their view on the fact that Peter speaks of three heavens and earths,  - (1)  those before the flood,  (2)  the ones which now are, and  (3)  the ones which are to come. But that theory is completely overturned by the first verse of Revelation 21; for John here reckons but two heavens and earths. The ones which now are he calls the first, so that the future new heavens would, according to this count, be the second, and not the third, as Peter reckons. Hence it is certain that Peter did not design

p 749 -- to establish a numerical order, in accordance with which we should speak of one as the first, another as the second, and the last as the third. The object of his reasoning was simply to show that as a literal heaven and earth succeeded to the destruction of the earth by the flood, so a literal heaven and earth would result from the renovation of the present system by fire. There is no proof, therefore, that the Bible, when it speaks of the third heaven, refers simply to the third state of the present heavens and earth, for then all the Bible writers would uniformly have so reckoned it. Thus the arguments of those who would endeavor to disprove the idea of a literal paradise and tree of life in existence at the present time, fall to the ground. The Bible certainly recognizes three heavens in the present constitution of things; namely, the first, or atmospheric heaven, which the fowls of the air inhabit; the second, the planetary heaven, the region of the sun, moon, and stars; and the third, high above the others, where paradise and the tree of life are found (Rev. 2:7); where God has his residence and his throne (Rev. 22:1, 2); to which Paul was caught up in heavenly vision (2 Cor. 12:2); to which Christ ascended when he left the earth (Rev. 12:5); where he now, as priest-king, sits upon the throne with his Father (Zech. 6:13) ; and where the glorious city stands, awaiting the saints when they enter into life. Rev. 21:2. Blessed be God that from that bright land intelligence has been brought to this far-off world of ours! and thanks be to his holy name that a way has been opened from the dark places of earth, which leads like a straight and shining path of light up to those blest abodes!

The Sea No More. - Because John says, "And there was no more sea," the question is sometimes asked, "Is there, then, to be no sea in the new earth?" It does not certainly follow from this text that there will be none; for John is speaking only of the present heaven and earth and sea. It might be translated thus: "For the first heaven and the first earth were passed away, and the sea [ouk estin eti] was no more;" that is, the old sea no longer appeared, any more than the old

p 750 -- heaven and old earth; and yet there may be a new sea as there is a new earth.

Dr. Clarke says on this passage:      "The sea no more appeared than did the first heaven and earth. All was made new; and probably the new sea occupied a different position, and was differently distributed, from that of the old sea." TOP

The river of life, of which we read in the following chapter, proceeding from the throne of God, and flowing through the broad street of the city, must find some place into which to discharge its waters; and what can that be but the new-earth sea? That there will be a sea, or seas, in the new earth, may be inferred from the prophecy which speaks of Christ's future reign as follows:   "And his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth." Zech. 9:10. But that three quarters of the globe will then, as now, be abandoned to a waste of waters, cannot be expected. The new world will have everything which will contribute to its, utility and beauty.

VERSE 2. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  3.    And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  4.   And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

The Father's House. - In connection with the view which John has of the holy city coming down from God out of heaven, a voice is heard, saying, "The tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them." The conclusion naturally follows that the tabernacle here mentioned is the city. This same city is called in John 14 the Father's house in which are many mansions. If an objection should arise in any mind that this is too permanent a place to be called a tabernacle, we reply that the word "tabernacle" sometimes has the signification of a permanent dwelling-place. The great God takes up his abode on this earth; but we do not suppose that God is confined to this, or any other one of the worlds of his creation.

p 751 -- He here has a throne, and the earth enjoys so much of his presence that it may be said that he dwells among men. And why should this be thought a strange thing? God's only begotten Son is here as ruler of his special kingdom; the holy city, which is called the Father's house, and which it is natural to suppose will be the most beautiful and glorious object in the universe, will be here; and the heavenly hosts take an interest in this world probably above what they feel in any other; yea, reasoning from one of the Saviour's parables, there will be more joy in heaven over one world redeemed than over ninety and nine which have needed no redemption.

No Cause For Tears. - And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. He does not literally wipe away tears from the eyes of his people; for there will be no tears in that kingdom to be thus wiped away; but he wipes away tears by removing all causes of tears.

VERSE 5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  6.   And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

The New Creation. - He that sits upon the throne is the same being that is mentioned in verses 11, 12 of the preceding chapter. He says, "I make all things new;" not, I make all new things. The earth is not destroyed, annihilated, and a new one created, but all things are made over new. Let us rejoice that these words are true and faithful. And when this is accomplished, all will be ready for the utterance of that sublime sentence, "It is done." The dark shadow of sin has then forever passed off from the universe. The wicked, root and branch (Mal. 4:1), are wiped out of the land of the living, and the universal anthem of praise and thanksgiving (Rev. 5:13) goes up from a redeemed world and a clean universe to a covenant-keeping God.

VERSE 7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.  8.   But the fearful, and unbelieving and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

p 752 --


(The Angel Showing John the Holy City)
TOP

p 753 -- The Great Inheritance. - The overcomers are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. Gal. 3:29. The promise embraces the world (Rom. 4:13); and the saints will go forth upon the new earth, not as servants or aliens, but as lawful heirs to the heavenly estate and proprietors of the soil.

The Fear That Hath Torment. - But the fearful and unbelieving have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. The word "fearful" has been a trouble to some conscientious ones, who have had fears more or less in all their Christian experience. It may be well, therefore, to inquire what kind of fear is here meant. It is not fear of our own weakness, or of the power of the tempter; it is not fear of sinning, or of falling out by the way, or of coming short at last. Such fear will be very apt to drive us to the Lord. But it is a fear connected with unbelief; a fear of the ridicule and opposition of the world; a fear to trust God, and venture out upon his promises; a fear that he will not fulfil what he has declared, and that consequently we shall be left to shame and loss for believing on him. Cherishing such fear, one can be only half-hearted in his service. This is most dishonoring to God. This is the fear which we are commanded not to have. Isa. 51:7. This is the fear which brings into condemnation here, and will finally bring all who are controlled by it into the lake of fire, which is the second death.

VERSE 9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.  10.   And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,  11.   Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;  12.   And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:  13.   On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.  14.   And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

The Bride, The Lamb's Wife. - This testimony is positive that the New Jerusalem is the bride, the Lamb's wife. The

p 754 -- angel told John distinctly that he would show him the bride, the Lamb's wife; and we may be sure that he did not practice upon him a piece of deception, but fulfilled his promise to the very letter; but all that he did show him was the New Jerusalem. It would be unnecessary to offer a word of proof that this city is not the church, were it not that popular theology has so mystified the Scriptures as to give it this application. This city, then, cannot be the church, because it would be absurd to talk of the church as lying foursquare, and having a north side, a south side, an east side, and a west side. It would be absurd to speak of the church as having a wall great and high, and having twelve gates, three on each side toward the four points of the compass. Indeed, the whole description of the city which is given in this chapter would be more or less an absurdity if applied to the church.

Again:   Paul, to the Galatians, speaks of the same city and says that it is the mother of us all, referring to the church. The church, then, is not the city itself, but the children of the city. And verse 24 of the chapter under comment, speaks of the nations of the saved, who walk in the light of this city. These nations who are the saved, and on earth constitute the church, are distinct from the city, in the light of which they walk. It follows that the city is a literal city, built of all the precious materials here described.

But how can it then be the bride, the Lamb's wife? Answer:   Inspiration has seen fit to speak of it under this figure, and with every believer in the Bible, that should be sufficient. The figure is first introduced in Isaiah 54. The new-covenant city is there brought to view. It is represented as being desolate while the old covenant was in force, and the Jews and old Jerusalem were the special objects of God's care; but it is said to her that "the children of the desolate" shall be many more than "the children of the married wife." It is further said to her, "Thy Maker is thy husband;" and the closing promise of the Lord to this city contains a very similar description to the one which we have here in Revelation; namely, "I will lay thy stones with fair colors, and lay thy foundations with sapphires; and I will make thy windows of agates, and thy

p 755 -- gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord." It is this very promise to which Paul refers, and upon which he comments in his epistle to the Galatians, when he says, "But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Gal. 4:26); for he quotes, in the next verse, this very prophecy from the book of Isaiah to sustain this declaration. Here, then, Paul makes an inspired application of Isaiah's prophecy which cannot be mistaken; and in this he shows that under the figure of a "woman," a "wife" whose "children" were to be multiplied, the Lord by the prophet speaks of the New Jerusalem, the city above, as contrasted with the earthly Jerusalem in the land of Palestine; and of this city the Lord calls himself the "husband." In addition to this, we have the positive testimony of the twenty-first chapter of Revelation to the same facts. TOP

With this view, all is harmony. Christ is called the Father of his people (Isa. 9:6); the Jerusalem above is called our mother, and we are called the children; and, carrying out the figure of a marriage, Christ is represented as the Bridegroom, the city as the bride, and we, the church, as the guests. There is no confusion of parties here. But the popular view, which makes the city the church, and the church the bride, exhibits the inexcusable confusion of making the church at the same time both mother and children, both bride and guests.

The view that the marriage of the Lamb is the inauguration of Christ as King upon the throne of David, and that the parables of Matt. 22:1-14; 25:1-13; Luke 12:35-37; 19:12, 13, etc., apply to that event, is further confirmed by a well-known ancient custom. It is said that when a person took his position as ruler over the people, and was invested with that power, it was called a marriage, and the usually accompanying feast was called a marriage supper. Dr. Clarke, in his note on Matt. 22:2, thus speaks of it:   -

"A marriage for his son.] A marriage feast, so the word gamouV properly means. Or a feast of inauguration, when his son was put in possession of the government, and thus he and his new subjects became married together. Many eminent

p 756 -- critics so understand this parable as indicating the Father's induction of his Son into his Messianic kingdom. (See 1 Kings 1:5-9, 19, 25, etc., where such a feast is mentioned.)"

A Christian City. - The names of the twelve apostles in the foundations of the city, show it to be a Christian and not a Jewish city; while the names of the twelve tribes on the gates, show that all the saved, from this dispensation as well as from the former, are reckoned as belonging to some one of the twelve tribes; for all must enter the city through some one of these twelve gates. It is this fact which explains those instances in which Christians are called Israel, and are addressed as the twelve tribes, as in Rom. 2:28, 29; 9:6-8; Gal. 3:29; Eph. 2:12, 13; James 1:1; Rev. 7:4.

VERSE 15. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.  16.   And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.  17.   And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel.  18.   And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

The City's Dimensions. - According to this testimony the city is laid out in a perfect square, measuring equally on all sides. The measure of the city, John declares, was twelve thousand furlongs. Twelve thousand furlongs, eight furlongs to the mile, equal fifteen hundred English miles. It may be understood that this measure is the measure of the whole circumference of the city and not merely of one side. This appears, from Kitto, to have been the ancient method of measuring cities. The whole circumference was taken, and that was said to be the measure of the city. According to this rule, the New Jerusalem will be three hundred and seventy-five miles on each side. The length, breadth, and height of it are equal. From this language, the question has arisen whether the city was as high as it was long and broad. The word rendered equal is isoV (isos); and from the definitions given by Liddell and Scott, we learn that it may be used to convey the idea of proportion: the height was proportionate to the length and

p 757 -- breadth. And this idea is strengthened by the fact that the wall was only a hundred and forty-four cubits high. Taking the cubit at about twenty-two inches, the length which is most commonly assigned to the ancient cubit, it would give only two hundred and sixty-four feet as the height of the wall. Now, if the city is just as high as it is long and broad, that is, three hundred and seventy-five miles, this wall of less than three hundred feet would be, in comparison, a most insignificant affair. Probably, therefore, the height of the buildings of the city is to be judged of by the height of the wall, which is distinctly given. TOP

The following criticisms on verse 16, the verse which gives the dimensions of the heavenly city, are undoubtedly correct:  -

"It has been inferred from the above text that the New Jerusalem city is to be as high as it is long, and that its length will be twelve thousand furlongs, or fifteen hundred miles. It seems to us entirely unnecessary to place such a construction upon the language. The word equal does not always mean the same as to dimensions or position; it is frequently used in the sense of proportion. If we were to say that the length and the breadth and the height of the city were in proportion, we should not violate the language." This view is taken by Jas. Du Pui, A. M., in his Exposition of the Apocalypse. The following from Thomas Wicks, author of Lectures on the Apocalypse, presents the same idea:       "The language, however, will bear another meaning, which is far more natural. It is not that the length and breadth and height were severally equal to each other, but equal with themselves; that is, the length was everywhere the same, and the breadth everywhere the same, and the height the same. It was perfect and symmetrical in all its proportions. This is confirmed by the fact distinctly stated, that the wall was one hundred and forty-four cubits high, or two hundred and sixteen feet, a proper height for a wall; while it is said that 'the length is as large as the breadth."'      This writer allows but eighteen inches to the cubit.

The Greek word isos, which is translated equal, will, according to Pickering, bear the meaning of proportion. Greenfield, in defining one of its cognate words (isotes), gives to it the

p 758 -- sense of "equal proportion," and refers to 2 Cor. 8:13, 14 as an example where this definition is quite admissible.

It would appear, therefore, that the height of the city was proportionate to its length and breadth, and not that it was as high as it was long. The text certainly admits of this interpretation; and this frees the language from all ambiguity, and the city from all disproportion, and shows perfect harmony in the general description.

The building of the wall was of jasper. Jasper is a precious stone usually described as of "a beautiful bright green color, sometimes clouded with white or spotted with yellow." This we understand to be the material of the main body of the wall built upon the twelve foundations hereafter described. And let it be remembered that this jasper wall was "clear as crystal" (verse 11), revealing all the glories within.

VERSE 19. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;  20.  The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.

A Literal City. - If we consider this description exclusively metaphorical, as is done by the great mass of those who profess to be Bible teachers, and spiritualize away this city into aerial nothingness, how unmeaning, yea, even bordering upon folly, do these minute descriptions appear; but if we take it, as it is evidently designed to be understood, in its natural and obvious signification, and look upon the city as the Revelator evidently designed we should look upon it, as a literal and tangible abode, our glorious inheritance, the beauties of which we are to look upon with our own eyes, how is the glory of the scene enhanced!

It is in this light - though it is not for mortal man, of himself, to conceive of the grandeur of those things which God has prepared for those that love him - that men may delight to contemplate the glories of their future abode. We love to dwell upon those descriptions which convey to our minds, as well as language can do it, an idea of the loveliness and beauty


(The New Jerusalem Foundations)

p 759 -- which shall characterize our eternal home. And as we become absorbed in the contemplation of an inheritance tangible and sure, courage springs up anew, hope revives, faith plumes her wings; and with feelings of thanksgiving to God that he has placed it within our power to gain an entrance to the mansions of the redeemed, we resolve anew, despite the world and all its obstacles, that we will be among the sharers in the proffered joy. Let us, then, look at the precious foundation stones of that great city, through whose gates of pearl God's people may hope soon to enter. TOP

The Glorious Foundation. - "The word adorned"- (garnished), says Stuart,      "may raise a doubt here whether the writer means to say that into the various courses of the foundation ornamental precious stones were only here and there inserted; but taking the whole description together, I do not apprehend this to have been his meaning.

"Jasper, as we have seen above, is usually a stone of green, transparent color, with red veins; but there are many varieties.

"Sapphire is a beautiful, azure, or sky-blue, color, almost as transparent and glittering as a diamond.

"Chalcedony seems to be a species of agate, or more properly the onyx. The onyx of the ancients was probably of a bluish white, and semipellucid.

"The emerald was of a vivid green, and next to the ruby in hardness.

"Sardonyx is a mixture of chalcedony and carnelian, which last is of a flesh-color.

"Sardius is probably the carnelian. Sometimes, however, the red is quite vivid.

"Chrysolite, as its name imports, is of a yellow or gold color, and is pellucid. From this was probably taken the conception of the pellucid gold which constitutes the material of the city.

"Beryl is of a sea-green color.

"The topaz of the present day seems to be reckoned as yellow; but that of the ancients appears to have been pale green. Plin., 38, 8, Bellermann. Urim et Thummim. p. 37.

p 760 -- "Chrysoprasus, of a pale yellow and greenish color, like a scallion; sometimes it is classed at the present day under topaz.

"Hyacinth [jacinth], of a deep red or violet color.

"Amethyst, a gem of great hardness and brilliancy, of a violet color, and usually found in India.

"In looking over these various classes, we find the first four to be of a green or bluish cast; the fifth and sixth, of a red or scarlet; the seventh, yellow; the eighth, ninth, and tenth, of different shades of the lighter green; the eleventh and twelfth of a scarlet or splendid red. There is a classification, therefore, in this arrangement; a mixture not dissimilar to the arrangement in the rainbow, with the exception that it is more complex."

VERSE 21. -- And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.

The Gates of Pearl. - Whether we understand that these gates were of solid pearl, or whether composed of pearls thickly set in a framework of some other precious material, does not materially affect the testimony. If it should be objected that it would be contrary to the nature of things to have a pearl large enough for a gate, we reply that God is able to produce it; the objection simply limits the power of God. But in either case the gates would outwardly have the appearance of pearl, and in ordinary language would be described as gates of pearl.

The Streets of Burnished Gold. - In this verse, as also in verse 18, the city is spoken of as built of gold, pure, like unto clear glass, or, as it were, transparent glass. It is not necessary to conclude from this language that the gold is of itself transparent. Take that, for instance, which composes the street. If it were really transparent, it would simply permit us to look through and behold whatever was beneath the city, - the substratum upon which it rested, - a view which cannot be anticipated as specially pleasing. But let us suppose the golden pavement of the street to be so highly polished as to possess perfect powers of reflection, like the truest mirror, and

p 761 -- we can see at once that the effect would be grand and striking in the extreme. Think for a moment what the appearance of a street so paved would be. The gorgeous palaces on either side would be reflected beneath, and the boundless expanse of the heavens above would also appear below; so that to the person walking those golden streets it would appear that both himself and the city were suspended between the infinite heights above and the unfathomable depths below, while the mansions on either side of the street, having equal powers of reflection, would marvelously multiply both palaces and people, and conspire to render the whole scene novel, pleasing, beautiful, and grand beyond conception.

VERSE 22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.

The Living Temple. - With the temple is connected the idea of sacrifices and a mediatorial work; but when the city is located upon the earth, there will be no such work to be performed. Sacrifices and offerings, and all mediatorial work based thereon, will be forever past; hence there will be no need of the outward symbol of such work. But the temple in old Jerusalem, besides being a place for sacrificial worship, was the beauty and glory of the place; and as if to anticipate the question that might arise as to what would constitute the ornament and glory of the new city if there was to be no temple therein, the prophet answers, "The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it." It appears that there is now a temple in the city. Chapter 16:17. What becomes of that temple when the city comes down, revelation does not inform us. Possibly it is removed from the city, or it may be put to such a different use as to cease to be the temple of God.

VERSE 23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.  24.   And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.  25.   And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall he no night there.  26.   And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.  27.   And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

p 762 -- No Night There. - It is in the city alone, probably, that there is no night. There will of course be days and nights in the new earth, but they will be days and nights of surpassing glory. The prophet, speaking of this time, says, "Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound." Isa. 30:26. But if the light of the moon in that state is as the light of the sun, how can there be said to be night there? Answer:   The light of the sun shall be sevenfold, so that although the night is as our day, the day will be sevenfold brighter, making the contrast between day and night there as marked, perhaps, as at the present time; but both will be surpassingly glorious.

Verse 24 speaks of nations and kings. The nations are the nations of the saved; and we are all kings, in a certain sense, in the new-earth state. We possess a "kingdom," and are to "reign" forever and ever.

But it appears from some of our Saviour's parables, as in Matt. 25:21, 23, that some will occupy in a special sense the position of rulers, and may thus be spoken of as kings of the earth in connection with the nations of the saved. These bring their glory and honor into the city, when on the Sabbaths and new moons they there come up to worship before God. Isa. 66:23.

Reader, do you want a part in the unspeakable and eternal glories of this heavenly city? See to it, then, that your name is written in the Lamb's book of life; for those only whose names are on that heavenly "roll of honor" can enter there. TOP

 

The Tree and the River of Life
CHAPTER XXII

p 763 -- VERSE 1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2.  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

The angel continues to show John the wonderful things of the city of God. In the midst of the street of the city was the tree of life.

The Broad Street. - Although the word street is here used in the singular number, with the definite article the before it, it is not supposed that there is but one street in the city; for there are twelve gates, and there must of course be a street leading to each gate. But the street here spoken of is the street by way of distinction; it is the main street, or, as the original word signifies, the broad way, the great avenue.

The River of Life. - The tree of life is in the midst of this street; but the tree of life is on either side of the river of life; hence the river of life is also in the midst of the street of the city. This river proceeds from the throne of God. The picture thus presented before the mind is this: The glorious throne of God at the head of this broad way, or avenue; out of that throne the river of life, flowing lengthwise through the center of the street; and the tree of life growing on either side, forming a high and magnificent arch over that majestic stream, and spreading its life-bearing branches far away on either hand. How broad this broad street is, we have no

p 764 -- street diagrammeans of determining; but it will be at once perceived that a city three hundred and seventy-five miles from side to side in either direction, would be able to devote quite an ample space to its great avenue.

A very natural conception of the arrangement of the streets of the city would be that shown in the accompanying diagram; namely, the throne in the center, and a grand avenue in which is the river of life and the tree of life extending out in four directions to the wall of the city on all of its four sides. This would give all corresponding parts of the city equal access to the grand avenue. It would also furnish opportunity for one magnificent gate in the center of each side of the city, opening upon the grand avenue. The length of each of these four branches of the avenue (depending of course on how much space is allotted to the throne) would be at least some one hundred and eighty miles. It may be said that this is carrying speculation a degree too far. Perhaps it is. But it is assumed that those who hope soon to enter into that city, will not be averse to a little innocent speculation in that direction.

The Tree of Life. - But how can the tree of life be but one tree, and still be on either side of the river?   1.    It is evident that there is but one tree of life. From Genesis to Revelation it is spoken of as but one - the tree of life.    2.    To be at once on both sides of the river, it must have more than one trunk, in which case it must be united at the top or in its upper branches, in order to form but one tree. John,

p 765 --


(Banyan Tree, Illustrating the Tree of Life)
TOP

p 766 -- caught away in the Spirit, and presented with a minute view of this wonderful object, says that it was on either side of the river. Another who has been privileged to behold in vision the marvelous glories of the heavenly land, has borne similar testimony:       "We all marched in, and felt that we had a perfect right in the city. Here we saw the tree of life and the throne of God. Out of the throne came a pure river of water, and on either side of the river was the tree of life. At first I thought I saw two trees. I looked again, and saw that they were united at the top in one tree. So it was the tree of life on either side of the river of life; its branches bowed to the place where we stood; and the fruit was glorious, which looked like gold mixed with silver." Experience and Views, pp. 12, 13.       And why should such a tree be looked upon as unnatural or impossible, since we have an illustration of it here upon earth? The banyan tree of India is of precisely the same nature in this respect. Of this tree the Encyclopedia Americana thus speaks:       "The ficus Indica (Indian fig, or banyan tree) has been celebrated from antiquity from its letting its branches drop and take root in the earth, which in their turn become trunks, and give out other branches, a single tree thus forming a little forest."       In just this way the tree of life could extend and support itself.

The tree of life bears twelve kinds of fruit, and yields its fruit every month. This fact throws light upon the declaration in Isa. 66:23, that all flesh shall come up "from one new moon to another " to worship before the Lord of hosts. The words new moon should be rendered month. The Hebrew has (hhodesh), the second definition of which Gesenius gives as "a month." The Septuagint has mhn ek mhnoV (men ek menos) "from month to month." The redeemed come up to the holy city from month to month to partake of the fruit of the tree of life. Its leaves are for the healing of the nations; literally, the service of the nations. This cannot be understood as implying that any will enter the city in a diseased or deformed condition to need healing; for then the conclusion would follow that there will always be persons there in that condition, as we have no reason to understand that the

p 767 -- service of the leaves, whatever it is, will not be perpetual, like the use of the fruit; but the idea of disease and deformity in the immortal state is contrary to the express declarations of other scriptures.

VERSE 3. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.

This language proves that the great God, the Father, is referred to, as well as the Son. The marks of the curse, the deadly miasma, and the ghastly scenes of desolation and decay, will no more be seen on the earth. Every breeze will be balmy and life-giving, every scene beauty, and every sound music.

VERSE 4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.

The word his, in the sentence, "And they shall see his face," refers to the Father; for he is the one whose name is in their foreheads; and that it is the Father, we learn from chapter 14:1. This will be a fulfilment of the promise in Matt. 5:8, "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God."

VERSE 5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.    6.    And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to show unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.    7.    Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Here, again, we have the declaration that there shall be no night in the city; for the Lord God will be the light of the place. Verse 7 proves that Christ is the speaker, a fact which it is of especial importance to bear in mind in connection with verse 14. To keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book is to obey the duties brought to view in connection with the prophecy, as, for instance, in chapter 14:9-12.TOP

VERSE 8. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.    9.    Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this

p 768 -- book: worship God.    10.    And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand.    11.    He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.    12.    And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

(For remarks on verse 9, see on chapter 19:10.) In verse 10 John is told not to seal the sayings of the prophecy of this book. The popular theology of our day says that the book is sealed. One of two things follows from this:   either John disobeyed his instructions, or the theology above referred to is fulfilling Isa. 29:10-14. Verse 11 proves that probation closes, and the cases of all are unalterably fixed, before the coming of Christ; for in the very next verse Christ says, "Behold, I come quickly." What dangerous and insane presumption, then, to claim, as age-to-come believers do, that there will be probation even after that event! Christ's reward is with him, to give every man as his work shall be, which is another conclusive proof that there can be no probation after that event; for all the living wicked, those "who know not God," the heathen, and those "who obey not the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ," the sinners of Christian lands (2 Thess. 1:8), will be visited with swift destruction from Him who then comes in flaming fire to take vengeance on his foes.

The declaration of verse 11 marks the close of probation, which is the close of Christ's work as mediator. But we are taught by the subject of the sanctuary that this work closes with the examination of the cases of the living in the investigative judgment. When this is accomplished, the irrevocable fiat can be pronounced. But when the cases of the living are reached in the work of judgment, we apprehend that what remains to be done will be so speedily accomplished that all these cases may almost be said to be decided simultaneously. We have therefore no occasion to speculate as to the order of work among the living; that is, whose cases will be decided first, and whose last, nor whether or not it will be known that any are decided before all is finished.

p 769 -- VERSE 13. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.  14.    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Christ here applies to himself the appellation of Alpha and Omega. As applied to him, the expression must be taken in a more limited sense than when applied to the Father, as in chapter 1:8. Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, of the great plan of salvation. Verse 14, as before noticed, is the language of Christ. The commandments of which he speaks are his Father's. Reference can be had only to the ten commandments as delivered on Mount Sinai, He pronounces a blessing upon those who keep them. Thus in the closing chapter of the word of God, and near the very close of the last testimony which the faithful and true Witness there left for his people, he solemnly pronounces a blessing upon those who keep the commandments of God. Let those who believe in the abolition of the law, candidly consider the decisive bearing of this important fact. TOP

Instead of the reading, "Blessed are they that do his commandments," some translations, including the Revised Version, have, "Blessed are they that wash their robes." On this point Alford's Testament for English Readers has this note:       "The difference in the readings is curious, being in the original that between poiountes tas entolas autou, and plunontes tas stolas auton, either of which might easily be mistaken for the other."       In view of this statement, it is not surprising, perhaps, that this difference of reading is found. But there seems to be good evidence that the first is the original, from which the latter is a variation by the error of transcribers. Thus the Syriac New Testament, one of the very earliest translations from the original Greek, reads according to the common English version. And Cyprian, whose writings antedate any extant Greek manuscript (Ante-Nicene Library, Vol. XIII, p. 122), quotes the text as reading,        "Blessed are they that do his commandments."       We may therefore safely consider this as the genuine reading.

p 770 -- VERSE 15. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Dog is the Bible symbol of a shameless and impudent man. Who would wish to be left in the company of those whose lot is outside of the city of God? yet how many will stand condemned as idolaters, how many as those who make lies, and how many more as those who love them, and love to circulate them after they are made!

VERSE 16. I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Jesus testifies these things in the churches, showing that the whole book of Revelation is given to the seven churches, which is another incidental proof that the seven churches are representatives of the church through the entire gospel dispensation. Christ is the offspring of David, in that he appeared on earth in the line of David's descendants. He is the root of David, inasmuch as he is the great prototype of David, and the maker and upholder of all things.

VERSE 17. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

Thus are all invited to come. The Lord's love for mankind would not be satisfied in merely preparing the blessings of eternal life, opening the way to them, and announcing that all might come who would; but he sends out an earnest invitation to come. He sets it forth as a favor done to himself if persons will come and partake of the infinite blessings provided by his infinite love. His invitation, how gracious! how full! how free! None of those who are finally lost will ever have occasion to complain that the provisions made for their salvation were not sufficiently ample. They can never reasonably object that the light given to show them the way of life was not sufficiently clear. They can never excuse themselves on the ground that the invitations and entreaties that Mercy has given them to turn and live, were not sufficiently full and free. From the very beginning, there has been a power exerted as strong

p 771 -- as could be exerted and still leave man his own free agent, - a power to draw him heavenward, and raise him from the abyss into which he has fallen. Come! has been the entreaty of the Spirit from the lips of God himself, from the lips of his prophets, from the lips of his apostles, and from the lips of his Son, even while, in his infinite compassion and humility, he was paying the debt of our transgression. TOP

The last message of mercy as it is now going forth, is another and final utterance of divine long-suffering and compassion. Come, is the invitation it gives. Come, for all things are ready. And the last sound that will fall from Mercy's lips on the ear of the sinner ere the thunders of vengeance burst upon him, will be the heavenly invitation, Come. So great is the loving-kindness of a merciful God to rebellions man. Yet they will not come. Acting independently and deliberately, they refuse to come. So when they shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God, and themselves thrust out, they will have no one to accuse, no one to blame, but their own selves. They will be brought to feel this in all its bitterness; for the time will come when Pollok's thrilling description of the condemnation of the lost will be true to the letter: -

"And evermore the thunders murmuring spoke
From out the darkness, uttering loud these words,
Which every guilty conscience echoed back:
'Ye knew your duty, but ye did it not.'
Dread words! that barred excuse, and threw the weight
Of every man's perdition on himself
Directly home -
'Ye knew your duty, but ye did it not."'

The bride also says, Come. But the bride is the city, and how does that say, Come? If we could be strengthened to behold the living glories of that city and live, and should be permitted to gaze upon its dazzling beauty, and be assured that we had a perfect right to enter therein, and bathe in that ocean of bliss and blessedness, and revel in its glory forever and ever, would it not then say to us, Come, with a persuasion which no power could resist? Who of us, in view of this, could turn away, and say, I have no desire for an inheritance there?

p 772 --


("Visions of Beauty are There, Fields of Living Green")

p 773 -- But though we cannot now look upon that city, the unfailing word of God has promised it, and that is sufficient to inspire us with implicit and living faith; and through the channel of that faith it says to us, Come. Come, if you would inherit mansions where sickness, sorrow, pain, and death can never enter; if you would have a right to the tree of life, and pluck its immortal fruit, and eat and live; if you would drink of the water of the river of life, that flows from the throne of God, clear as crystal. Come, if you would obtain through those glittering gates of pearl an abundant entrance into the eternal city; if you would walk its streets of transparent gold; if you would behold its glowing foundation stones; if you would see the King in his beauty on his azure throne. Come, if you would sing the jubilee song of millions, and share their joy. Come, if you would join the anthems of the redeemed with their melodious harps, and know that your exile is forever over, and this is your eternal home. Come, if you would receive a palm of victory, and know that you are forever free. Come, if you would exchange the furrows of your care-worn brow for a jeweled crown. Come, if you would see the salvation of the ransomed myriads, the glorified throng which no man can number. Come, if you would drink from the pure fountain of celestial bliss, if you would shine as the stars forever in the firmament of glory, if you would share in the unutterable rapture that fills the triumphant hosts as they behold before them unending ages of glory ever brightening and joys ever new.

The bride does say, Come. Who of us can resist the invitation? The word of truth is pledged to us that if we keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, we shall have right to the tree of life, we shall enter in through the gates into the city. And we shall feel that we are at home in our Father's house, the very mansions prepared for us, and realize the full truth of the cheering words, "Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb." Rev. 19:9. TOP

"Let him that heareth say, Come." We have heard of the glory, of the beauty, of the blessings, of that goodly land, and we say, Come. We have heard of the river with its verdant banks, of the tree with its healing leaves, of the ambrosial

p 774 -- bowers that bloom in the Paradise of God, and we say, Come. Whosoever will, let him come, and take of the water of life freely.

VERSE 18. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  19.   And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

What is it to add to, or take from, the book of this prophecy? Let it be borne in mind that it is the book of this prophecy, or the Revelation, which is the subject of remark; hence the words concerning adding to or taking from have exclusive reference to this book. Nothing can be called an addition to this book except something added to it with the intention of having it considered as a genuine part of the book of Revelation. To take from the book would be to suppress some portion of it. As the book of Revelation could not be called an addition to the book of Daniel, so if God should see fit to make further revelations to us by his Spirit, it would be no addition to the book of Revelation, unless it should claim to be a part of that book.

VERSE 20. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.  21.   The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

The word of God is given to instruct us in reference to the plan of salvation. The second coming of Christ is to be the climax and completion of that great scheme. It is most appropriate, therefore, that the book should close with the solemn announcement,"Surely I come quickly." Be it ours to join with fervent hearts in the response of the apostle, "Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

Thus closes the volume of inspiration, - closes with that which constitutes the best of all promises, and the substance of the Christian's hope - the return of Christ. Then shall the elect be gathered, and bid a long farewell to all the ills of this mortal life. How rich in all that is precious to the Christian

p 775 -- is this promise! Wandering an exile in this evil world, separated from the few of like precious faith, he longs for the companionship of the righteous, the communion of saints. Here he shall obtain it; for all the good shall be gathered, not from one land only, but from all lands; not from one age only, but from all ages, - the great harvest of all the good, coming up in long and glorious procession, while angels shout the harvest home, and the timbrels of heaven sound forth in joyous concert; and a song before unheard, unknown, in the universe, the song of the redeemed, shall add its marvelous notes of rapture and melody to the universal jubilee. So shall the saints be gathered, to be joyful in each other's presence forever and ever, -

"While the glory of God, like a molten sea,
Bathes the immortal company."

This gathering has nothing in it but that which is desirable. The saints can but sigh and pray for it. Like Job, they cry out for the presence of God. Like David, they cannot be satisfied till they awake in his likeness. In this mortal condition we groan, being burdened, not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon. We can but be "upon tiptoe" for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body. Our eyes are open for its visions, our ears are waiting to catch the sounds of the heavenly music, and our hearts are beating in anticipation of its infinite joy. Our appetites are growing sharp for the marriage supper. We cry out for the living God, and long to come into his presence. Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly. No news more welcome than the announcement that the command has gone forth from the Lord to his angels, Gather together unto me my elect from the four winds of heaven.

The place, of gathering has nothing but attraction. Jesus, the fairest among ten thousand, is there. The throne of God and the Lamb, in the glory of which the sun disappears as the stars vanish in the light of day, is there. The city of jasper and gold, whose builder and maker is God, is there. The river of life, sparkling with the glory of God and flowing from his throne in infinite purity and peace, is there. The tree of

p 776 -- life, with its healing leaves and life-giving fruit, is there. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Noah, Job, and Daniel, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, the perfection of heavenly society, will be there. Visions of beauty are there; fields of living green, flowers that never fade, streams that never dry, products in variety that never ends, fruits that never decay, crowns that never dim, harps that know no discord, and all else of which a taste purified from sin and raised to the plane of immortality, can form any conception or think desirable, will be there.

We must be there. We must bask in the forgiving smiles of God, to whom we have become reconciled, and sin no more; we must have access to that exhaustless fount of vitality, the fruit of the tree of life, and never die; we must repose under the shadow of its leaves, which are for the service of the nations, and never again grow weary; we must drink from the life-giving fountain, and thirst nevermore; we must bathe in its silvery spray, and be refreshed; we must walk on its golden sands, and feel that we are no longer exiles; we must exchange the cross for the crown, and feel that the days of our humiliation are ended; we must lay down the staff and take the palm branch, and feel that the journey is done; we must put off the rent garments of our warfare for the white robes of triumph, and feel that the conflict is ended and the victory gained; we must exchange the toil-worn, dusty girdle of our pilgrimage for the glorious vesture of immortality, and feel that sin and the curse can never more pollute us. O day of rest and triumph, and every good, delay not thy dawning! Let the angels at once be sent to gather the elect. Let the promise be fulfilled which bears in its train these matchless glories. EVEN S0, COME LORD JESUS. TOP

APPENDIX

p 777 --1. -- RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN OUR TIMES AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION.

In the books both of Daniel and the Revelation distinct reference is made to that abnormal national experience known as "The French Revolution." (See Dan. 11:36-39; Rev. 11:7-10.) The time when the principles of irreligion and infidelity were given full opportunity to bud and blossom and bear fruit, that all the world might judge of their nature; when men were left to show to what deeds of darkness the carnal heart would lead, unrestrained by any principles of righteousness and truth, was most appropriately noted in prophecy. And the descriptions given of the character of the last days by the same pen of inspiration, are such as to show that the masses will then fall, to a large extent, if not wholly, under the same principles of evil. While such is the representation of prophecy, it is a serious question in many minds whether the preliminary stages of this condition of things are not already appearing before our eyes, and if we may not now be on the threshold of one of those eras wherein "history repeats itself " in its worst forms.

Those who entertain the sentiments concerning the nature of our times set forth in some portions of this work, are often charged with being pessimists, alarmists, and looking too much on the dark side of the picture. To the charge of being alarmists in the bad sense of that term, we do not plead guilty. While there may be such a thing as imagining evils which do not exist, and anticipating trouble which never comes, there is, on the other hand, such a thing as crying, "Peace, peace," when there is no peace, and shutting our eyes to real danger till it is too late to guard against it, and we find ourselves involved in irretrievable calamity and loss. The wisest of men has said, "A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished." Prov. 22:3. Noah was not an alarmist when he warned the world of the approaching catastrophe of the flood; nor Lot, when he warned the Sodomites that an all-devastating storm of fire was hanging over their doomed city; nor our Lord, when he foretold the utter destruction of Jerusalem, and gave his people directions how to escape it. Let us not be diverted from the real situation by the cry of "alarmist," nor think that there can be no danger because all do not see it; for St. Paul has warned

p 778 -- us that "when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them." 1 Thess. 5:3.

But we need offer no apology for ourselves in this particular; for the strongest utterances we put on record are simply those we find in the secular press of the day. Even so cautious a paper as the Chicago Evening Journal, in its issue of Aug. 26, 1874, under the heading "The Reign of Crime," drew the following picture of the times, which no one can say have been growing better since that time:  -

"If Mr. Beecher used to be rather soft on the doctrine of ' total depravity,' we suspect he may have got more light on this point by this time. But Brooklyn does not by any means monopolize the illustrative evidence of it. Crimes of all sorts and sizes seem just now to be 'breaking out,' like the measles, all over the body social. The newspapers, if they give the news at all, have to be darkened with the wretched records of misdoings. We confess that the dailies at the present time are not so cheerful reading as might be. Suicides, murder, and the whole catalogue of offenses against God and man, are startlingly prevalent. Is it symptomatic of some great social disease, the seeds of which have long been growing, but long hidden? Is there some malign moral miasma in the air, some taint in the blood, some great, though subtle, popular error that has been silently conceiving sin, and is at last bringing forth iniquity? Or is it only a kind of spiritual contagion, or epidemic, like the epizootic, for instance, among animals, that has somehow got started, and is sweeping across the continent?

"Such questions are full of significance, even if not easily answered. The philosophy of epidemical influences in society is better understood than it was a generation ago; but we suspect the subject is far from being cleared up yet. We need more light, both as to the incipient causes and the concomitant conditions which allow such alarming potency to causes that seemed to be latent, until, all at once, they break forth, as if thousands had suddenly taken to the habit of carrying loose powder and matches in the same pocket. 'As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.' Is it, then, that somehow communities get to thinking of the same ill things, and the bad thought becomes a tempting suggestion, and forthwith begins to work in the heart like a spark of an old-fashioned tinder-box? If so, one scarcely dares to think of the frightful consequences that may come of this Brooklyn scandal-sowing throughout the land." TOP

While this extract speaks of our own land, there is testimony to show that an equally alarming state of things prevails in Europe. As a representative statement upon this point, we quote from the distinguished and devoted J. H. Merle daubing, author of the History of the Reformation, who, just previous to his death, prepared a paper for the Evangelical Alliance, which was read at a meeting of that association. All thoughtful persons will consider his words most solemn, and his statements as startling as they are true:   -

 "If the meeting for which you are assembled is an important one, the period at which it is held is equally so, not only on account of the great things which God is accomplishing in the world, but also by

p 779 -- reason of the great evils which the spirit of darkness is spreading throughout Christendom. The despotic and arrogant pretensions of Rome have reached in our days their highest pitch, and we are consequently more than ever called upon to contend against that power which dares to usurp the divine attributes. But that is not all. While superstition has increased, unbelief has done so still more. Until now, the eighteenth century - the age of Voltaire - was regarded as the epoch of most decided infidelity; but how far does the present time surpass it in this respect! Voltaire himself protested against the philosophy which he called atheistic, and said, 'God is necessarily the Great, the Only, the Eternal Artificer of all nature' (Dialogues, xxv). But the pretended philosophers of our day leave such ideas far behind, and regard them as antiquated superstitions. Materialism and atheism have, in many minds, taken the place of the true God. Science, which was Christian in the brightest intellects of former days, in those to whom we owe the greatest discoveries, has become atheistic among men who now talk the loudest. They imagine that by means of general laws which govern the physical world, they can do without Him from whom these laws proceeded. Some remains of animals found in ancient strata of our globe, make them reject the creation of which the Bible inaugurates the account in these solemn words: 'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.'

"Eminent literary men continually put forward in their writings what is called Positivism, rejecting everything that goes beyond the limit of the senses, and disdaining all that is supernatural. These evils, which had formerly only reached the upper ranks of society, have now spread to the working classes, and some among them may be heard to say, 'When man is dead, all is dead.' But there is a still sadder feature of our times. Unbelief has reached even the ministry of the word. Pastors belonging to Protestant churches in France, Switzerland, Germany, and other continental countries, not only reject the fundamental doctrines of the faith, but also deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and see in him nothing more than a man, who, according to many of them, was even subject to errors and faults. A synod of the Reformed Church in Holland has lately decreed that when a minister baptizes, he need not do it in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. A journal, when relating this fact, adds, 'Will they then baptize in the God abyss?' At an important assembly held lately in German Switzerland, at which were present many men of position both in the church and the state, the basis of the new religion was laid down. 'No doctrines,' was the watchword on that occasion. 'No new doctrines, whatever they may be, in place of the old; liberty alone,' which means liberty to overthrow everything. And too truly some of those ministers believe neither in a personal God nor in the immortality of the soul. For a portion of the European population there is no other gospel than that of Spinoza, and often much less even than that."

Such words from such a source should cause the most thoughtless to pause and consider. Mark the expressions:   The spirit of darkness

p 780 -- spreading through Christendom, superstition and unbelief increasing, the present age far surpassing that of Voltaire in infidelity, atheism taking the place of God, science becoming atheistic, eminent literary men teaching Positivism; the masses becoming pervaded with these ideas, and even Protestant ministers denying the fundamental facts of the gospel, - these are the prominent features of the times. TOP

Professor J. Cairus, D. D., of Berwick, England, draws the following picture of the present generation:       "The advance, so rapid and wonderful, of science and art, and the progress of education and the diffusion of literature; the self-assertion, by long-oppressed nationalities, of their rights and liberties; the approximation to a commercial and political unity of the human race, - all tend to foster the idea of man's inherent capacity, and to set afloat wild and chimerical schemes and hopes of moral regeneration, irrespective of Christianity. The dream of independent morality finds countenance. Theories of spiritual development, more exaggerated and fictitious by far than these of physical development, are accepted. The march of intelligence, or the revolutionary impulse, is to make all things new. Meanwhile, the sad and humbling aspects of the nineteenth century - its hideous vices and crimes, its luxury, selfishness, and greed set over against pauperism, debasement, and discontent; its wars and international feuds, with ever-increasing conscriptions and standing armies - are overlooked."

Hon. Geo. H. Stuart, of Philadelphia, thus spoke before the Alliance:       "The field is the world. It has in it 1,300,000,000 immortal souls, destined to meet us at the judgment bar of God. Of these 1,300,000,000, there are some 800,000,000 bowing down to stocks and stones, the workmanship of their own hands. Besides these 800,000,000 heathen, there are 110,000,000 Mohammedans and 240,000,000 of other false systems of religion, leaving only 100,000,000 nominal Protestants. It is not for us to say how many of these 100,000,000 are true disciples of our risen and exalted Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

Sad indeed is the view here presented; and is it not every year growing worse? Students of prophecy are sometimes looked upon as fanatics, because they believe that the second advent of Christ is soon to take place, when all the wicked will be destroyed and the righteous saved. But we ask the candid reader whether the man, who, in the face of all the facts above stated, believes in the speedy conversion of the whole world and the near approach of the millennium, may not more justly be regarded as a fanatic. While a few thousand pagans in heathen lands are receiving the gospel, millions in Christian lands are turning away from it, and embracing false religions and atheism; and among these we find the educated, the scientific, the so-called higher classes taking the lead. But this need not surprise us; for Jesus himself said respecting the last days, "Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8.

From this general description, let us come to particulars. Every student of history understands that like causes produce like effects, and that indications which foretokened the occurrence of certain

p 781 -- events in one age, will generally reappear when similar events are about to transpire in any other age. As in the natural world there must be the gathering of clouds and the accumulation of electricity before the storm, so in the moral and political world there must be the dissemination of principles, the formulation of ideas, and the rousing of passions, before the revolution. Causes which in the past have led to anarchy, rapine, license, and a general disintegration of society, will, if permitted to operate, produce again the same results. The French Revolution of 1789-1800 stands fixed in history as the "Reign of Terror." Each succeeding faction which gained power during that awful era shed in torrents the blood of its enemies, until over 2,000,000 lives were sacrificed. All social order was destroyed. The marriage covenant was abrogated, and lust stalked abroad everywhere, licensed and unrestrained. Christ was declared an impostor, and his religion a fraud. The existence of God was denied, and the reading of his word forbidden. All this was the work of infidelity. Behold, therefore, in that terrible Revolution, the miniature of the world without the restraining influence of God's revelation. And is there danger that this frightful condition of things may be reproduced in our own day? Facts constrain us to answer in the affirmative; for the same causes are operating everywhere to-day which a hundred years ago were at work in France. The same names and principles may be heard and seen all about us. Let us first notice some of the more prominent elements which produced the French Revolution. TOP

1.   Spiritualism. - Says Samuel Smucker in his Memorable Scenes in French History, p. 116:        "We find in the records of that period, materials and events which prove that then it was that the impostures of modern spiritual rappers and mediums were first practiced, in precisely the same way and for the same results as they are at the present day. ... Count Cagliostro enabled Cardinal Rohan to sup with the deceased D'Alembert, with the king of Prussia, and with Voltaire, all dead some years before. He convinced His Eminence that the worker of these wonders had himself been present with Christ at the marriage in Cana of Galilee. ... In the triumphs of Cagliostro, of Misner, and of St. Germain, which at this period were at their greatest height, we behold another instance of the uprooting of the firm and stable foundations of society in an excessive desire for novelties, and a restless itching after things new, mysterious, and wonderful."

As a system of pretended communication with the dead, Spiritualism, is as old, at least, as the Mosaic dispensation, for it was strictly forbidden in his day; and it has at favorable epochs manifested itself among men; but its wonder-working phase is peculiar to modern times, and first manifested itself in this country, according to the prophecy of Revelation 13. Its principles and spirit found congenial soil in France in the Revolution. But if what then appeared contributed in any manner to produce the state of society which then existed, what must be its tendency today?

p 782 -- 2.   Infidelity. - Mr. Anderson, in The Annals of the English Bible, p. 494, says:       "Never let it he forgotten that before the Revolution of 1792, the promoters of infidelity in France are stated to have raised among themselves, and spent, a sum equal to £900,000 in one year, - nay, again and again, - in purchasing, printing, and dispersing books to corrupt the minds of the people and prepare them for desperate measures."

Dr. Dick, in his work on The Improvement of Society, p. 154, says:       "The way for such a revolution was prepared by the writings of Voltaire, Mirabeau, Diderot, Helvetius, D'Alembert, Condorcet, Rousseau, and others of the same stamp, in which they endeavored to disseminate principles subversive both of natural and revealed religion. Revelation was not only impugned, but entirely set aside. The Deity was banished from the universe, and an imaginary phantom, under the name of the Goddess of Reason, substituted in his place. The carved work of all religious belief and moral practice was boldly cut down by Carnot and Robespierre and their atheistical associates. Nature was investigated by pretended philosophers, only with the view to darken the mind, and prevent mankind from considering anything as real but what the hand could grasp or the corporeal eye perceive."

The infidelity of today, in many respects, according to the quotation from D'Aubigne, leaves that of France at the time of the Revolution far behind.

3.   Socialism. - Webster makes this word synonymous with "communism," which he defines as follows: "The reorganizing of society, or the doctrine that it should be reorganized, by regulating property, industry, and the sources of livelihood, and also the domestic relations and social morals of mankind; socialism, especially the doctrine of a community of property, or the negation of individual rights in property." TOP

These principles were carried into practice in France, and as the result the Revolution blossomed into all its horrid reality. The relations of the different classes of society were completely changed. The monarchy was overthrown, and an infidel republic established on its ruins. The king and queen were beheaded.

Alison, Vol. IV, p. 151, says:       "The confiscation of two thirds of the landed property in the kingdom, which arose from the decrees of the convention against the emigrants, clergy, and persons convicted at the revolutionary tribunals, ... placed funds worth above £700,000,000 sterling at the disposal of the government."

Titles of nobility were abolished. It was a conflict between the rich and the poor, between capital and labor. The motto of the Revolution was, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" - blessed words, but, with the strangest inconsistency, wholly outraged and misapplied. The same principles are treated in the same way today, and are shouted as the watchword among the discontented masses and the labor organizations the world over. The principles of socialism, or communism, were probably never so widely diffused as at the present time.

p 783 -- 4.   Free Love. - When the existence of the true God was denied, as it was during the French Revolution, and in his place men set up a lewd woman as the Goddess of Reason, and the object of their highest adoration, it was a natural consequence that the sacredness of the marriage relation should be wholly discarded. Marriage was therefore declared a civil contract, binding only during the pleasure of the contracting parties. Divorce became general, and the corruption of manners reached a height never before known in France. One half of the whole number of births in Paris were illegitimate. See Thiers's French Revolution, Vol. II, p. 380. Free-lovism is an integral part of the spiritualistic movement of our day, not so openly advocated as formerly, but none the less cherished and practiced as a part of the boasted "freedom" to which the human race is attaining.

5.   The Commune. - This word is derived from a small territorial district in France governed by an officer called a mayor. It has come to have a much more extensive application at the present time; but the origin of the word is not so important as the principles which it is taken to represent. Of these we have already had a definition from Webster, and seen a practical illustration in the French Revolution. Thiers's French Revolution, Vol. III, p. 106, gives the whole number of persons guillotined during the reign of terror as 1,022,351, besides massacres of other kinds in other places, in some of which the population of whole towns perished. Dr. Dick, in his Improvement of Society, p. 154, says:       "Such was the rapidity with which the work of destruction was carried on, that within the short space of ten years not less than three million human beings ... are supposed to have perished in that country alone, chiefly through the influence of immoral principles, and the seductions of a false philosophy."

In connection with this, as showing the tendency of the times, may be mentioned the "International," an association which, not long since, was prominent and created a good deal of apprehension. The object of its members was to overthrow those whom they esteemed their enemies, namely, kings and capitalists. Its platform was, briefly, the abolition of all class rule and privileges; political and social equality of both sexes; nationalization of land and instruments of production; reduction of hours of labor; education to be controlled by the state, and to be obligatory, gratuitous, and secular; religion to be ignored, a direct system of taxation based upon property, not upon industry; the abolition of all standing armies; and associative production instead of capitalist production. TOP

It will be seen at once that to put these principles into practice would be completely to change the present political and social relations of society. The different branches of this revolutionary body may now go by different names, as Nihilists in Russia, Communists in Germany, Anarchists and Monarchists in France, Fenians and Land-Leaguers in Ireland, the different secret labor organizations in this country, and Socialists everywhere. The principles involved are similar in all their divisions; the end sought, the same; and in the natural order of things, a great crisis in respect to these movements is inevitable.

p 784 -- The impress of the Satanic hand is clearly seen in that the state of society sought for is exactly the opposite of that established by God in the garden of Eden. There God was supreme; Christ, by whom God made all things, was recognized and honored; God's law was the governing rule; a spirit of true worship, prompted by love, controlled man's mind; the marriage relation was sacred; and the Sabbath was honored as God's great memorial. In the French Revolution, God was dethroned, Christ crucified afresh, Christianity denounced, and all restraint broken off from the carnal heart, worship discarded, the rest-day abolished, the marriage relation annulled, and society rent into mournful fragments. Let Communism prevail, and such is the state of society we shall have again.

The fruit of this agitation is appearing more and more in the strained relations between labor and capital, all the time growing greater, the multiplication of "orders" among the working men, and the combination of capital for self-protection, the great strikes and mobs of 1893-95, necessitating even armed intervention on the part of the government. Suspicion and mistrust everywhere prevail; and "What are we coming to?" is the question that trembles on many a lip. Truly, as our Lord said it would be just before his coming, "men's hearts" are "failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." Luke 21:26.

2. -- THE "SEVEN TIMES" OF LEVITICUS 26.

Almost every scheme of the "Plan of the Ages," "Age-to-come," etc., makes use of a supposed prophetic period called the "Seven Times;" and the attempt is made to figure out a remarkable fulfilment by events in Jewish and Gentile history. All such speculators might as well spare their pains; for there is no such prophetic period in the Bible.

The term is taken from Leviticus 26, where the Lord denounces judgments against the Jews, if they shall forsake him. After mentioning a long list of calamities down to verse 17, the Lord says:  "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins." Verse 18. Verses 19 and 20 enumerate the additional judgments, then it is added in verse 21:   "And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins." More judgments are enumerated, and then in verses 23 and 24 the threatening is repeated:   "And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins." In verse 28 it is repeated again.

Thus the expression occurs four times, and each succeeding mention brings to view severer punishments, because the preceding ones were not heeded. Now, if "seven times" denotes a prophetic period

p 785 -- (2520 years), then we would have four of them, amounting in all to 10,080 years, which would be rather a long time to keep a nation under chastisement. TOP

But we need borrow no trouble on this score; for the expression "seven times" does not denote a period of duration, but is simply an adverb expressing degree, and setting forth the severity of the judgments to be brought upon Israel.

If it denoted a period of time, a noun and its adjective would be used, as in Dan. 4:16: "Let seven times pass over him." Here we have the noun (times) and adjective (seven); thus, (shibah iddan); but in the passages quoted above from Leviticus 26, the words "seven times" are simply the adverb (sheba), which means sevenfold." The Septuagint makes the same distinction, using in Dan. 4:16, etc., epta kairoi but in Leviticus simply the adverb, eptakiV.

The expression in Dan. 4:16 is not prophetic, for it is used in plain, literal narration. (See verse 25.)

3. -- THE TEN DIVISIONS OF ROME.

The ten kingdoms which arose out of the old Roman empire, are symbolized by the ten ten horns on the fourth beast of Daniel 7. All agree on this point; but there has not been entire unanimity among expositors as to the names of the kingdoms which constituted these divisions. Some name the Huns as one of these divisions, others put the Alemanni in place of the Huns. That the reader may see the general trend of what has been written on this subject, the following facts are presented:  -

Machiavelli, the historian of Florence, writing simply as a historian, names the Huns as one of the nations principally concerned in the breaking up of the Roman empire. Among those who have written on this point with reference to the prophecy, may be mentioned, Berengaud, in the ninth century; Mede, 1586-1638; Bossuet, 1627-1704; Lloyd, 1627-1717; Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727; Bishop Newton, 1704-1782; Hales, -1821; Faber, 1773-1854.

Of these nine authorities, eight take the position that the Huns were one of the ten kingdoms; of these eight, two, Bossuet and Bishop Newton, followed by Dr. Clarke, have both the Huns and the Alemanni; only one, Mede, omits the Huns and takes the Alemanni. Thus eight favor the view that the Huns were represented by one of the horns; two, while not rejecting the Huns, consider the Alemanni one of the horns; one rejects the Huns and takes the Alemanni Scott and Barnes, in their commentaries, and Oswald, in his Kingdom That Shall Not Be Moved, name the Huns.

p 786 -- 4. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES
--
Prominent Martyrs

John de Wycliffe, - born about 1324, styled the "Morning Star of the Reformation," was an English divine, whose piety and talents procured for him one of the highest ecclesiastical positions of honor. Having openly preached against the corruptions of the Roman Church, he was displaced, the pope issuing several bulls against him for heresy. Accordingly, he was examined by an assembly, but made so able a defense that it ended without determination. Continuing to denounce the papal corruptions, ordinances, and power, he was again summoned before a synod, but was released by order of the king's mother. It is remarkable that although he continued his vehement attacks upon vital points of Romish doctrine, he escaped the fate of others similarly accused; but over forty years after his death, which occurred in 1384, his bones were exhumed, burned, and cast into the River Swift, which bore them through the Severn to the sea, his very dust thus becoming emblematic of his doctrine, now diffused the world over. His most important work was the first English version of the Bible.

John Huss, - the celebrated reformer, was a native of Bohemia, born in 1370, and educated at the university at Prague, where he received the degree of master of arts, and became rector of the University and confessor to the Queen. Obtaining some of the writings of Wycliffe, he saw the errors and corruption of the Romish Church, which he freely exposed, though persecuted by several popes. By his teaching, a reformation began in the University, to check which the archbishop issued two decrees; but the new doctrine spreading still more, he was finally brought before a council, thrown into prison, and after some months' confinement, sentenced to be burned. Though urged at the stake to recant, he firmly refused, and until stifled with smoke, continued to pray and sing with a clear voice. He was burned in 1415, and his ashes, and even the soil on which they lay, were carefully removed, and thrown into the Rhine.

Jerome of Prague, - who derived his surname from the town where he was born somewhere between 1360 and 1370, completed his studies at the university of the same name, after which he traveled over the greater part of Europe. At Paris he received the degree of master of arts, and at Oxford he became acquainted with the writings of Wycliffe, translating many of them into his own language. On his return to Prague, he openly professed Wycliffe's doctrines, and assisted Huss in the work of the Reformation. Upon the arrest of the latter, he also expressed his willingness to appear before the council in defense of his faith, and desired a safe-conduct of the emperor. This was not granted, but on his way home he was seized, carried to Constance, and after the martyrdom of Huss, threatened with like torments. In a moment of weakness, he abjured the faith;

p 787 -- but on being released, bemoaned his sin, and publicly renounced his recantation, for which he was consigned to the flames, 1416. TOP

William Tyndale, - an eminent English divine, was born about 1484. He received an ample education at Cambridge and Oxford, and took holy orders. Embracing the doctrines of the Reformation, he excited so much enmity among Romanists by his zeal and ability in expounding them, that he was compelled to seek refuge in Germany. Believing that the Scriptures should be read by the masses in the vernacular, he produced a complete version of the New Testament in English, which, though ordered to be suppressed, was in such demand that six editions were published. This version was also the model and basis of that of King James, and is but little more obsolete. He also translated the Pentateuch. For these and other reformatory writings, he was arrested at Antwerp at the instigation of the English government, and after eighteen months' imprisonment, was burned, first being strangled by the hangman, 1536.

Thomas Cranmer, - the first Protestant archbishop of Canterbury, was born in 1489. Although saintly in his profession as a divine, he was somewhat politic as a statesman, and thus was well suited to unite the religious and worldly enemies of popery. He was also a servile adherent of Henry VIII. After the death of the latter, he joined the upholders of Lady Jane Grey, who was also a Protestant, and was accordingly sent to the Tower on the accession of Mary; and being accused of heresy by the papal party, was burned at Oxford, 1556. As a reformer, he introduced the Bible into the churches, and so used his influence as a regent of Edward VI that the Reformation greatly prospered during the young monarch's reign. Shortly before his martyrdom, he signed a recantation contrary to his convictions, in hope of life; but at the stake he was more courageous, first thrusting into the flames the hand which signed the document, exclaiming many times, "O my unworthy right hand!"

Hugh Latimer, - born about 1490, one of the chief promoters of the Reformation in England, was educated at Cambridge, receiving the degree of master of arts. At the beginning of the Reformation, he was a zealous papist; but after conversing with the martyr Bilney, he renounced the Catholic faith, and labored earnestly in preaching the gospel. Henry VIII, being pleased with his discourses, made him bishop of Worcester; but being opposed to some of the king's measures, Latimer finally resigned. After the death of his patron, Cromwell, the latter's enemies sought him out, and he was sent to the Tower. He was released by Edward VI, but refused to be restored to his diocese, and remained with Cranmer, assisting in the Reformation. When Mary came to the throne, he was again sent to the Tower, thence with Cranmer and Ridley to dispute with popish bishops at Oxford. Here he argued with unusual clearness and simplicity, but was condemned and burned at the same stake with Ridley, 1555.

p 788 -- John Bradford, - was born in the first part of the reign of Henry VIII. He early evinced a taste for learning, and began the study of law; but finding theology more congenial, removed to Cambridge University, where his ability and piety won for him, in less than a year, the degree of master of arts. Soon after, he was made chaplain to Edward VI, and became one of the most popular preachers of Protestantism in the kingdom. But after the accession of that rigid Catholic, Mary, he was arrested on the charge of heresy, and confined in the Tower a year and a half, during which time he aided with his pen the cause for which he suffered. When finally brought to trial, he defended his principles to the last, withstanding all attemps to effect his conversion to Romanism. He was condemned, and committed to the flames in 1555. He died, rejoicing thus to be able to suffer for the truth.

Nicholas Ridley, - a learned English bishop and martyr, educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, was born about 1500. His great abilities and piety recommended him to the notice of Archbishop Cranmer, through whom he was made chaplain to the king. In the reign of Edward VI, he was nominated to the see of Rochester, and finally to the bishopric of London. By his influence with the young king, the priories and revenues devoted to the maintenance of corrupt friars and monks were used for charitable purposes. On the decease of Edward, he embraced the cause of Lady Jane Grey, and in a sermon warned the people of the evil that would befall Protestantism if Mary should come to the throne. For this, and for his zeal in aiding the Reformation, he was seized by Queen Mary, sent to Oxford to dispute with some of the popish bishops, and on his refusing to recant, was burned with Latimer, 1555. TOP

John Hooper, - was born about 1495, and was educated at Oxford. After taking his degree of bachelor of arts, he joined the Cistercian monks, but his attention being directed to the writings of Zwingli, after a diligent study of the Scriptures, he became a zealous advocate of the Reformation. Knowing the danger to which his opinions exposed him, he went to France. On his return to England, he found that plots were again being laid against his life, and escaped to Ireland, thence to France, and finally to Germany, where he remained some years. Again returning to England, he applied himself to instruct the masses, laboring so successfully that the king, Edward VI, requested him to remain in London to further the Reformation, and created him bishop of Worcester. On the accession of Mary, however, he was immediately arrested, sent to the Fleet prison, and, after eighteen months' confinement, was tried for heresy, and condemned to the flames in 1555. He endured the agonies of the stake with great fortitude, though they were unusually protracted on account of the use of green wood.

John Rogers, - the first of the many who were martyred during Queen Mary's reign, was born about 1500. He was educated at Cambridge, receiving holy orders, and was afterward chaplain to

p 789 -- the English factory at Antwerp, where he became acquainted with Tyndale and Coverdale, and by their aid published a complete English version of the Bible. Removing to Wittenberg, he became pastor of a Dutch congregation; but when Edward VI came to the throne, he was invited home, and made prebendary and divinity reader of St. Paul's. On the Sunday after Queen Mary's accession, in a sermon at St. Paul's, he exhorted the people to adhere to the doctrines taught in King Edward's days, and to resist all Catholic forms and dogmas. For this he was summoned before the council, but vindicated himself so well that he was dismissed. This not pleasing Mary, he was again summoned, and ordered to remain a prisoner in his own house; but he was soon after seized, and sent to Newgate. He was then tried and condemned, and refusing to recant, was burned, 1555.

EMINENT REFORMERS

Martin Luther, - the greatest of reformers, was born in Saxony, in 1483. When a poor boy, a benevolent lady took him in charge to educate. At first he studied law, but a narrow escape from death so affected him with the uncertainty of life that he retired to a monastery. Here he came in possession of a Bible, and was struck with the difference between the teachings of the gospel and the practices of the Romish Church. Being sent on an errand to Rome, the impression was deepened, and when the pope issued his famous bull granting the sale of indulgences, Luther, who was then professor of divinity in the University of Wittenberg, was prepared to oppose it, which he did so ably that multitudes, including many nobles, upheld him. He was ordered to appear at Rome, but refused. The pope issued a condemnation, which Luther burned. At the Diet of Worms he refused to retract, and soon spread his views throughout the kingdom by his writings. He also translated the Bible into German. A decree being passed that the mass should be universally observed, a protest was issued by the reformed party, from which they received the name of Protestants. The confession of Augsburg, the standard of their faith, was then drawn up. He still kept on writing and laboring until he died, worn out by excessive toil, in 1546.

Philip Melancthon, - the famous reformer and friend of Luther, was born in the grand duchy of Baden in 1497. At the age of seventeen he graduated as master of arts from the university of Heidelberg, and soon after obtained the Greek professorship at Wittenberg. Here he formed a friendship with Luther, whose opinions he accepted, and defended in his lectures and writings. His prudence aided the promulgation of Protestant doctrines greatly, as it guarded them from the abuses of intemperate zeal. His greatest work was the drawing up of the Augsburg Confession, although he was a fluent

p 790 -- writer, and was the author of the first system of Protestant theology, which passed through more than fifty editions, and was used as a text-book in the universities. His learning and moderation became famous throughout all Europe, and the kings of England and France invited him to their kingdoms; but he preferred to remain at Wittenberg, where he died in 1560.

Ulric Zwingli, - whose name in the annals of Protestant reformers ranks second only to that of Luther, was born in 1484. As he early evinced a taste for study, he was sent first to Bale and Berne, and finally to the university at Vienna, to receive an education. On his return he was pastor of a large parish near his birthplace, and afterward preacher to the cathedral church at Zurich. Here he made a special study of the Scriptures committing to memory the whole of the New and a part of the Old Testament. His theological researches led him to see the corruptions of the Romish Church, and he commenced declaiming against them, especially against papal indulgences, until he effected the same separation for Switzerland from the Catholic dominion, that Luther did for Saxony. These religious dissensions brought on a civil war in Switzerland, and Zwingli, who accompanied his army as chaplain, was slain on the field of battle, 1531. TOP

John Calvin, - an eminent reformer, and founder of the religious sect known as the Calvinists, was born in 1509. He was early destined for the church, being presented with a benefice when only twelve years old. He was educated at Paris for the ministry; but becoming dissatisfied with the tenets of the Romish Church, he turned his attention to the law. He soon received the seeds of the reformed doctrine, and so strongly defended them that he was obliged to leave France. He retired to Bale, Switzerland, where he composed his famous Institutes of Christianity, which was translated into several languages. He then settled at Geneva as minister and professor of divinity, but was compelled to leave for refusing to obey some papal forms. Going to Strasburg, he raised up a French church, where he officiated. By the divines of this town he was sent as deputy to the Diet of Worms. He returned to Geneva after repeated solicitation, and was actively engaged as speaker and writer in the interests of' the Reformation, until his death in 1564.

John Knox, - the celebrated Scotch reformer, was born in 1505 and was educated at St. Andrew's University. He received a Priest's orders, but renounced popery after reading the writings of St. Augustine and Jerome. He was accused of heresy, and his public confession of faith condemned; but he began to preach it openly from the pulpit, and the reformed doctrines spread rapidly. St. Andrew's being taken by a French fleet, he was carried to Rouen, and condemned to the galleys, where he remained nineteen months. After his liberation, he went to England, and was made chaplain to Edward V1, having refused a bishopric. On Mary's accession, he went to Frankfort and preached to the English exiles. Thence he went to

p 791 -- Geneva, where he was much esteemed by Calvin, to whose doctrines he was much attached. He returned to Scotland, where he died in 1572, after rendering the Reformation triumphant in his native land.

John Bunyan, - the most popular religious writer in the English language, was born in 1628. He was a tinker by trade, and therefore received but a meager education. His mind was little drawn toward religious matters until his enlistment as a soldier, during which one of his comrades, who had taken his post, was killed. This he looked upon as a direct interposition of Providence, and after his return home, became deeply concerned about his spiritual welfare. He soon joined the Baptist Church, and from an exhorter, became a successful preacher among them. At this time all dissenters from the Church of England were punished, and Bunyan was thrown into jail, where he remained twelve years. Here he wrote the world-renowned Pilgrim's Progress, which has since been translated into every tongue of Christendom. He was also the author of other religious writings, such as the Holy War. At the close of the persecution he was released. He soon resumed his former labors, and was popularly known as Bishop Bunyan. His death, in 1688, resulted from exposure.

John Wesley, - the founder of Methodism, was born in 1703, and was educated at Oxford, becoming an eminent tutor in Lincoln college. With his brother and a few others, he formed a society for mutual edification in theological exercises, and they rigidly occupied themselves in religious duties, in fasting and prayer, and visiting prisons and relieving the suffering. At the solicitation of General Oglethorpe, Wesley accompanied him to Georgia with a view of converting the Indians. He finally returned to England to engage in missionary labors, but his design was not to withdraw from the established Church of England, but to create a revival among the neglected classes by preaching salvation through simple faith in Christ. However, the churches being shut against him, he held open-air services, obtaining so many converts that organization became necessary, and spacious churches were built. Until his death in 1791, he was indefatigable in his self-imposed work, which he carried through England, Scotland, and Ireland, traveling nearly 300,000 miles, and preaching over 40,000 sermons, besides being a voluminous writer. TOP

George Whitefield, - an English clergyman, born in 1714, was educated at Oxford, where he received the degree of B. A., and where he became acquainted with Charles Wesley, and was an enthusiastic member of the club which gave rise to Methodism. He was soon ordained, and commenced his remarkable missionary career. Upon the urgent invitation of John Wesley, who was in Georgia, he embarked for America, but soon returned to solicit funds for a proposed orphan asylum. He made five subsequent visits to America, preaching in all the large cities, also in those of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and made a journey to Holland. He met with great opposition from the clergy, and being shut out of the churches, was the

p 792 -- first to introduce open-air services. Having differed from the Wesleys in some belief, they finally separated, which gave rise to the two classes, Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. He still continued his laborious efforts, sometimes speaking three and four times a day for weeks, until his death, in 1770, at Newburyport, Mass., while preparing for a seventh missionary tour in America.

John Fletcher, - was born in Switzerland, in 1729. He was of noble birth, and was educated at the university of Geneva. Not conforming conscientiously to all the Calvinistic doctrines, he forsook the clerical profession, and entered military service. Peace being proclaimed, he went to England as a tutor. He joined the Methodist society, and received orders from the Church of England. Though presented with a good living, he declined, saying "that it afforded too much money for too little work." The poor and suffering were his charge, and in a region of mines and mountains, midst opposition and persecution, he labored with charity and devotion. He visited France, Switzerland, and Italy, and on his return was president of a theological school, but his advocacy of Wesleyanism sundered the connection. He afterward devoted his life to parishional duties, making long missionary journeys with Wesley and Whitefield, and to the preparation in writing of their peculiar doctrines. His death occurred in 1785.

William Miller, - the greatest reformer of modern times, born in Massachusetts in 1782, was of poor but honorable parentage. Having a thirst for knowledge, he acquired considerable education by his own exertions. He served in the war of 1812, and was promoted to the rank of captain. Until 1816 he favored infidelity; but a careful study of the Bible for the purpose of refuting Christianity convinced him of his error, and opened to the world the then almost unexplored fields of prophecy. After much solicitation, he began his life work, - the promulgation of the prophetic interpretations, especially in regard to the second advent, thus inseparably connecting himself with the great religious movement of 1844. The message soon became so wide-spread that invitations came from all the principal cities of the United States, as many as possible of which he answered; and a revival such as had never been known sprang up in every denomination, extending even to Europe. Though disappointed in the time of the second advent, by a misapplication of prophecy, the majority of his views proved themselves to be correct, and introduced a new era in the never-ending work of reformation. He devoted himself to the work which he had begun, both lecturing and writing, until his peaceful death in 1849. TOP

p 793 - 800

INDEX OF AUTHORS
AND AUTHORITIES REFERRED TO OR QUOTED IN THIS WORK.

 
PAGE
 
PAGE
 
PAGE
Adams, Dr. 450, 451 Encyclopedia Americana 267, 268, 276, 307, 445 Paragraph Bible
368
Advent Herald 231, 639 Evagrius 151 Philadelphia Public Ledger 315
Advent Shield 218, 219, 237 Everett, Edward 574 Philadelphia Sun
660
Alford (New Testament) 769 Experience and Views 766 Pollok
771
Alison 301 Exposition of Seven Trumpets of Revelation 8, 9 478 Porphyry 21
American Tract Society 450 Faber
68 Porter, Commodore 699
Andrews, J. N 368, 64:3 Finney, Professor
661 Portsmouth Journal 450
Andrews, S. J. 227 Fox
157 Pownal, Governor 567
Arnold, Edwin 108 Gage, history of Rowley, Mass
450 Prideaux
24, 170, 174, 175, 225, 2:19, 248, 264, 271, 278
Bagster 242 Gavin, Anthony
157 Ranke 147
Barnes, Albert 145, 155, 237, 358, 425, 432, 441, 481, 484, 696 Geddes 157 Rapin
284
Baronius 150 Gesenius 134, 159 Religious Encyclopedia 174
Beecher, Charles 733 Gibbon
61, 146, 150, 151, 284, 481, 482, 487, 509, 510 Religious Telescope 60
Bellarmine, Cardinal 157 Gill
374 Rice. Dr
433
Benson 373, 422 Greenfield
417 Rollin
131, 236, 262
Bingham, Hon. J. A.. 579 Griesbach
370 Sabine, Ecclesiastical History
480
Blackwood's Magazine 293 Hales, Dr. 219 227, 22A 232 Sanctuary and its Cleansing 222
Blanchard, Professor 611   Harmony of Prophetic
Chronology
219 Sawyer, New Testament
695
Bliss 95, 226 Hengstenberg 216, 237 Scholefield 418
Bloomfield
358, 370, 418, 421 Henry, Matthew
100, 374 Scientific American 332
Blunt, H 386 Here and Hereafter 309, 676 Scott 374, 421, 425
Bolce, Harold 713 Herschel 449 Scott, Church history
154
Bonaparte, Napoleon 314 Historic echoes of the
Voice of God
309 Scott's Napoleon

293. 295, 298
Boothroyd 135, 292 History of the Waldenses
388 Sears, Guide to Knowledge 450
Bower
148, 149, 564 Horne
308 Sears, Wonders of the
World
444
Brock, Mourant 641 Hudson
740 Signs of the Times
219
Buck 157, 443 Hugo, Victor
337 Smart, Rev. J. S 610
Burr, E. F., D. D. 330 Independent, N. Y.
662, 714 Smith, Key to Revelation
295
Bush, Professor George
622 Janesville (Wis.) Gasette
612 Smith, Phillip 540
Campbell, Alexander
605, 710 Jenks
733 Spiritualism a Subject of Prophecy 585
Catechism, Christian
Religion
601 Johnson's Universal
Cyclopedia
45 Stanley 144, 147
Catechism, Doctrinal 602   Josephus 175, 271 Statesman's Year Book,
1867
560
Cassiodorius, Aurelius 229 Keenan, Stephen
601 Stevenson, Dr.
619
Catholic Christian Instructed 602 Keith
478, 487, 495 Stockius
216
Chambers' Encyclopedia 508 Kenedy, J. P.
602 Stonard, Dr.
239
Champlain Journal 612 Kitto
281, 377 Stores, George 538
Chaumette 298 Kossuth, Louis 314 Stuart, Professor
696, 740, 750
Christian Advocate 662 Kurtz
378 Syriac New Testament 695
Christian Palladium 660 Life of Edward Lee 450 Taylor, D. T
641
Christian Statesman 614 Limbroch
157 Tenney
451
Christian Union 612 Litch, Josiah
507 Thiers
303
Chronicle, San Francisco 314 Lloyd 68 Thompson 355, 357, 375, 407
Clarke. Adam 92, 107, 135. 154, 103, 280, 307, 309, 370, 384, 439, 750, 755 Lockhart 302 Townsend, G. A

568, 574, 611
Comprehensive Bible 368 Lockhart, W., B. A. 603 Treatise of Thirty Controversies
601
Comprehensive Commentary 388 Lyell, Sir Charles
445 True Wesleyan
711
Congregationalist, The 661 Machiavelli
147 Tuttle, Hudson
587
Cottage Bible 134, 368, 161, 286. 287, 564, 706 Macmillan & Co.
669 United States Magazine
576
Bowls, H., D. D. 62 Madden, R. R
308 Vulgate, The
135
Carol, Geo.
Current Literature
266 Margin 576 Wakefield, New Testament
695
Cyprian
769 McMillan, W. H.
616 Watchman and Reflector
661
D'Aubigne
142, 151 Mede
145, 292 Watson
384, 388
Davidson
134 Mercerus 216 Webster, Noah
600
De Tocqueville 568 Methodists (Wesleyan) 711 Weekly Alta Californian
612
Devens, R. M
454 Miller, William
384, 388, 437 Wesley

387, 416, 418, 420, 422, 696
Doddridge
424 Mine Explored 368 White 303
Domestic Bible
368 Missionary Review ... 586 White, Mrs. E. G.
550, 552, 719
Dowling
157,158 Montanus 216 Whiting, Prof., New Testament 650, 696
Dublin Nation 574 Mosheim
144, 148, 153, 434, 436 Whittier 451
Du Pin 284 Nelson, David
78 Who changed the Sabbath?
603
Du Pui, James
757 Nevins
368 Wicks
757
Dwight, President 450 Newton, Bishop 145, 166, 168, 252, 256, 200, 268, 273, 318, 373 Wieseler
226
Ecclesiastical Commentaries 433 Newton, Sir Isaac 145 Wintle 292
Edmonds, Judge 5S6 Newton, William 73 Wolff, Dr. Joseph 641
Elizabeth, Charlotte
157 Olshausen
368 Woodhouse 424
Elliott
150, 153, 222. 490, 510 Oswald 154, 157    
TOP


INDEX OF TEXTS
IN OTHER BOOKS OF THE BIBLE SUPPORTING THE EXPOSITION OF DANIEL AND REVELATION SET FORTH IN THIS WORK

 
PAGE
 
PAGE
 
PAGE
GENESIS
1:2
498, 735 25:12; 29:10
205 26:23
359
2:1, 2
602, 672 25:30 698 ROMANS
2:4
623
2:7
442, 688

Jeremiah
25:30-33

125, 455, 459 2:6-10
746
3:24
378

30:4-7

473 2:16
623
4:9, 10
441, 442

49:39

165 2:28, 29; 9:6-8; 11:17-24
380, 470, 756
10:10, 8-10, 11
24, 44, 45

50:25

686 3:31
674
17:11
460

51:9

659 4:11
460
48:5
471

51:25

650 4:13, 14
404, 427, 753
49:9, 10 423

EZEKIEL
1:14

212 4:17
358
EXODUS
5:2
533

4:6

160, 232 6:16 670
7:17-21, 25
689

9:4

460 Romans
8:24, 25
404
9:8-11
688 12:13
26 8:29
358, 359
9:23
698 14: 9, 20; 28:3
19 9:6, 7
380
10:21-23
690 20:12, 20 463 10:7
735
15:17
183, 184 21:25-27, 31
202, 339 I CORINTHIANS
6:2
539,680
19:4
553 23:2-4
543 6:2, 3
142, 390
20: 8-11
673 24:13
623 8:5
462
25:8, 9; 26:30; 27:8
189, 191, 396 45:18
397 9:27
394
25:9, 40
379 JOEL
1:14 -20
691 10:33
623
25:31, 32, 37; 26:35; 27:20
2
417 1:18-20
473 13:13
405
5:16; 31:18
542 2:32 323
  l5:20
359
28:41, 43
396 2:30, 31
643 l5:20, 23
358
30:22-30
237 3:16
326, 629, 678, 698 15:24
321
31:13
463 AMOS
9:3
623 15:24-28
410
40:9, 10 218 OBADIAH
16
430 15:50
76
LEVITICUS
1:1-4; 4;3-6; 16:5, 10, 15, 16, 20-22
734 HABAKKUK
2:11
441 15:51-54
381
8:10-15
237 ZECHARIAH
3:3-5
393, 405 15:52
525,678
16:17, 20, 21, 30, 33
197, 397 4: 1-14
531 16:2
601
16:8
733 6:12, 13
234, 410, 749 II CORINTHIANS
3:14
738
16:33
190 9:10
750 5:10
235, 635
17:11, 14
196 MALACHI
4:1
429, 532, 742, 751 8:13, 14
758
NUMBERS
13:11
471 MATTHEW
3:12
430 11:2
654
14:34

160, 232

5:5
427 11:13
375
22:25; 31:13-16
385 5:8
767 12: 2
377, 748, 749
19:13
442 5:17-20
674 GALATIANS
1:8
636
DEUTERONOMY
10:2, 5
542 5:18
31 1:11, 12
526
12:5, 11, 21; 14:23, 24; 16:6
465 10:15; 11:21-24
635 3:28, 29
380, 404, 427, 753, 756
12:5, 14, 18, 21; 14:23; 16:2, 6
630 10:28
381 4:21-31
728
28:49, 50
203 10:32, 33
395 4:26
378, 755
29:29 352 11:15; 13:9, 43
377 5:4
623

I KINGS
1:5-9, 19, 25

756 12:8
372 5:6
405

18; 19; 21

388 13:16
343 EPHESIANS
1:9, 10
525
II KINGS
19:15
464 18:17
602 1:20, 21
359, 546
20:14-18
27 18:19, 20
38 1:20-22
321, 410
II CHRONICLES
2:12
464 19:28
135 1:23
738
20:7, 8
184 22:1-14; 26:29
646, 728, 755 2:8
404
EZRA
1:1
21 23:34, 35
689 2:12, 13
756
1:1-4; 6:1-12;7
222 24:12
582 2:15
674
6:14
57 24:13
390 3:3, 6
526
7:9
233 24:14
344, 639 4:8
327, 415
NEHEMIAH
2:16; 6:15
223, 224 24:15, 16