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to be reached in his government, and a manifestation made of the results of his mysterious dispensations, that shall vindicate their rectitude and wisdom. The halleluia of the multitude that the Lord the God Almighty has reigned, indicates that they are to see that the peculiar administration which he has exercised, is most skilfully adapted to the great ends of his empire, and worthy of his infinite attributes, and has prepared the way for the reign of grace that is to follow through everlasting years.
The summons to rejoice and give him glory, because the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself, denotes that the period of the resurrection and public adoption of the holy dead has arrived, that his previous administration has served to fit them for the new relations to which they are to be exalted, and that it is to be to them an epoch of peculiar joy and exultation. Her being artayed in fine linen, bright and pure, sig nifies their public justification; her marriage, their exaltation to stations as heirs and joint-heirs forever in his kingdom, as is shown by the symbol. As a bride by her marriage is united to her husband through life, so the redeemed are by their marriage with the Lamb, to be exalted to that relation to him which they are forever thereafter to sustain. They are never to descend to a lower station ; they are never to ascend to a higher; but are to reign with him as kings and priests forever and ever. Their marriage is therefore to involve their resurrection from death, and exaltation to the thrones on which they are to serve him through their endless existence.
They who are to be called to the supper of the marriage of the Lamb, are different persons from the raised and glorified saints who are denoted by the bride, and are doubtless the unglorified saints on earth.
The response of the angel to the apostle when falling to worship him, is eminently beautiful, indicating a befitting sense of the sanctity of God's rights, and exalting the services of the witnesses of Jesus to an equality with his own. I am a servant of the same order as you and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; for you and they in proclaiming that testimony before the nations and kings of the earth, are to fulfil essentially the same office as I, guided by the revealing Spirit, have fulfilled in interpreting the prophecy to you.
CHAPTER XIX. 11-21.
THE WORD OF GOD AND HIS ARMIES.
I 1 1
And I saw heaven opened ; and behold a white horse, and he who sat on it is called faithful and true ; and in righteousness he judges and makes war. And his eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head many diadems, having a name written which no one knew but he. And he was clothed in a garment dyed with blood. And his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and pure. And from his mouth proceeds a sharp sword, that with it he may smite the nations, and he shall rule them with an iron sceptre, and he shall tread the wine-press of the wine of the vehemence of the wrath of God Almighty. And he has on his garments, and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
And I saw one angel stationed in the sun. And he cried with a loud voice saying to all the birds that fly in mid-heaven, Come, gather ye together to the great supper of God, that ye may eat flesh of kings and flesh of commanders of thousands, and flesh of mighty men, and flesh of horses, and of them who sat on them, and flesh of all, both freemen and slaves, both small and great.
And I saw the wild beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war with him who sat on the horse and with his army. And the wild beast was taken, and the false prophet with it, who wrought wonders before it, with which he deceived those who received the mark of the wild beast, and those who worshipped its image. And they two were cast alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were slain with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.
He who sat on the white horse, is shown by his characters and titles to be the Son of God. As his diadems are the badge of his office as the incarnate Word, that there is a name written on them which no one knows but he, indicates that the aims of his incarnation, exaltation, and reign over the universe through eternal years, wholly transcend the grasp of created intelligences, and are comprehensible only by Omniscience. That he is known by them, however, to be the incarnate Word, is shown by the name by which he is designated, The Word of God, the creator of all things, the revealer of the Deity to creatures, the Redeemer
And on his robe and on his thigh are written the titles of the office which he descends to assume on earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords. He appears in his own person, because no created agent has any adequacy to represent him either in nature or office. The office of the horse is simply to symbolize his descent to the earth as a king, and like the splendor of his countenance, the effulgence of his diadems, his garments, and his armies, to show that his advent is to be visible, and with the power and pomp of a victorious and avenging monarch. He is faithful and true; he descends to judge and to execute judgment on the nations, and to reign over the earth.
The armies in heaven that follow him, are of the same corporeal nature as he, manifestly, from their being seated on horses, and are shown to be the raised and glorified saints, also, by their robes of fine white linen, in which the bride, by whom they were symbolized in a former vision, was given to be arrayed. They also appear in their own persons, because neither any other beings, nor any fictitious symbols, are suited to represent them; and their descent is likewise to be visible. The opening of the heavens to reveal them, denotes that their descent is to be from paradise, the world where the Redeemer now reigns, and the ransomed dwell; not merely from the higher regions or clouds of our atmosphere, like the rainbow-angel,
the angel announcing the fall of Babylon, and others, who symbolize men who arise and exert important agencies on earth.
All these peculiar representations, render it indisputable that this coming is to be a personal and visible advent. There is no instance in the Apocalypse, or any of the other symbolic prophecies, in which the Son of God is exhibited as the symbol of a created being, or succession of creatures. There is no analogy between him and his subjects by which he could appropriately represent them. It were to contradict their relations to each other. It were to detract from his dignity and the sanctity of his rights. It were indeed, in this instance, to foreshadow an assumption of his office as King of kings and Lord of lords, and exercise of his incommunicable prerogatives by creatures, and to sanction, therefore, a usurpation of his throne, like that of which the wild beast and false prophet are guilty. This personage indisputably has the name and titles of the eternal Word, and descends to exercise his peculiar office in judging and taking vengeance on his enemies, and reigning over his saints, and, therefore, if he be a symbol of an order and succession of men on earth, it is an order and succession who assume his name and ti
tles, arrogate his prerogatives, and attempt to exercise his peculiar office as God-man, the king of saints, and the destroyer of those who refuse submission to their reign ; and those are the assumptions and endeavors of the antichristian powers which he comes to destroy. There is no supposition, therefore, that so contradicts the whole prophecy, that so detracts from the dignity, the rights, and the wisdom of the Redeemer which he comes to assert and vindicate, and that is thence so certainly false, as that which exhibits him as here appearing as a representative of
It is, in every relation, the grossest solecism, making the creator the symbol of creatures, the king the symbol of his subjects, the judge of those whom he judges, the infinitely upright of rebels, Christ of usurping antichrists.
The supposition that the coming symbolized by this descent, is not personal, but merely by acts of power, justice, or grace, or a manifestation of his presence by effects, as held by Dr. Whitby, Mr. Faber, Mr. Vint, Mr. Bush, Mr. Stuart, and many others, is equally untenable. As the agent himself is exhibited, and is wholly distinct from his agency, so indisputably he is symbolic, as well as the acts he exerts. His act also in descending is to be regarded as a symbol as much as his act in ruling and judging the nations, treading the wine-press, or any other which he is represented as exerting after he reaches the earth. It can no more be assumed that the agent is not to descend, than it can that he is not to reign, to judge, and inflict vengeance on his enemies. To hold that it can be otherwise, is to imply that a similar assumption is justifiable in respect to every other symbolic agent in the visions, and erase at a stroke every trace of significance from the prophecy. If the agent in this instance symbolize nothing, if there be nothing foreshown but an agency, it may and must, for whatever reasons authorize that assumption, be in like manner deemed that the other symbolic agents are of no significance, and that nothing is foreshadowed but mere acts. The dragon, the wild beasts, the great sorceress, the image, the woman clothed with the sun, the witnesses, the martyr souls, the angel ascending from the east, the rainbow-angel, are no longer on that assumption to be regarded as representative agents ; their natures, their titles and characteristics, convey no information in respect to any beings who were or are to appear and act on the earth. We have no longer the slightest indication that any of the agencies foreshown are to be exerted by men, but rather a presumption that they are to be the work of invisible beings. We have, consequently, no indication that any one of the agencies symbolized in the visions has yet been exerted, inasmuch as we have no knowledge of any acts of invisible beings that are a fulfilment of the prophecy. The events which are alleged by interpreters as accomplishments of the predictions, are the actions of men, not of invisible agents. They were men who exercised the agency which is supposed to be foreshown by the horsemen of the first four seals, and the hail, the burning mountain, the wormwood meteor, the locusts and the horsemen of the trumpets. They were men, and men alone, to whom the acts are ascribed which are generally supposed to be symbolized by the sevenheaded dragon, the ten-horned wild beast, the wild beast of two horns, and the sorceress. If the symbolic agents, therefore, are
nificance, if their exhibition in the visions presents no ground for the conclusion that they are to appear in the scene of the agency
which they foreshow, if that agency may be the work of beings invisible and immeasurably distant, then no just ground remains for the assumption that any acts which men have exerted are fulfilments of the prophecy, and every interpretation hitherto advanced must be rejected as without any demonstrable or probable accuracy. Such is the refutation of their own systems of construction which their assumptions involve, who hold that there is nothing but a mere agency symbolized in the presence and agency of the Son of God in this vision.
In like manner if some of the actions which the symbolic agents are exhibited as exerting may be assumed to be of no significance, all certainty is destroyed that any of them are of a representative character. Whatever consideration can show that the act of the Word of God in descending from the opened heavens to the earth is of no symbolic meaning, will equally show that his smiting the nations, his ruling them with an iron sceptre, and his treading the wine-press, are without any prophetic import whatever, and divest at once all the agencies of the symbols, as well as the symbolic agents themselves, of a representative character. Such is the bottomless gulf of error and absurdity into which they precipitate themselves, who assume that the descent of the Word of God in this vision is no symbol of his personal advent.
That assumption is irreconcilable also with the representation that the armies in heaven follow him in his descent. What import can be attached to that act unless his descent is symbolic of a personal advent? If they are not personally and visibly to come when the great acts are to be exerted which the vision is designed to foreshow, there clearly is no agency of which they