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with this? We do indeed. The oath of Christ there assures us, that at the end of the 1260 years, the wilful power which had been presented, should be destroyed; but not till "he shall have accomplished to scalter the power of the holy people.” Then “all these things shall be finished.” It is solemn indeed to find it here taught, that this power (known as the beast from the bottomless pit) is to prevail to “scatter the power of the holy people,” just before his destruction. This is the healed head of the secular Roman beast; the same as the new beast of the last day, ascending, full of the names of blasphemy, from the infernal region, and sinking soon in destruction. Rev. xvii. We have thus the explanation of the bitterness of the little book in our text—the same, we must apprehend, with the slaying of the two witnesses, in Rev. xi. The event is there noted as being at the close of the 1260 years, and is said to be by the “beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit!” the same power with this wilful system in Daniel described. These things will receive further illustrations in their several places. Thus interesting are the trials which yet await the church.
The present inhabitants of the civilized world, who have lived to see half a century, have lived to witness the notable event which is designated by the descent of the adorable Angel of the covenant, in this tenth of Revelation; and it has afforded them a season of great instruction. The people of God in our United States have been most advantageously situated to see and improve those amazing scenes, and to derive the most solid lessons of instruction. We have been happily out of the reach of the immediate scenes of desolation; and yet sufficiently near, to behold and to learn the best lessons of wisdom. Often, during these terrors, did I fancy myself to be like one seated on a promontory, with a good glass, to behold a most tremendous sea-fight between all the navies of the most powerful nations, formed in two lines of battle, and for years together, in a blaze of the most furious contest!--feeling myself to be sufficiently distant from the power of the fatal shot; and yet sufficiently near to perceive every movement, every discharge, and the fate of every sinking snip. And while thus beholding, I formed my present view of the scenes of this tenth chapter of Revelation; the correctness of which, all subsequent views have confirmed.
Ver. 1. And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
3. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
This chapter gives a general view of the papal apostasy; of the trials of the people of God as his two witnesses; of the third trumpet; and of the introduction of the Millennium. The reed, in the text, was a ten foot measure, made of reed, a light kind of wood; and was such as was often used to measure land, buildings, or other surfaces. The temple to be here measured was a well-known visible emblem of the church on earth. Says an apostle, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of the Holy Ghost?”
6. Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them.” The temple of God at Jerusalem, consisted of a capacious covered building, and two courts; an inner and outer court. The inner court joined the door of the large covered building; and was for the priests. The altar for burnt offerings was here placed. And the outer court was for the accommodation of the common people of Israel in public worship. They were not permitted to enter the inner court, the court of the priests, unless individually, and when offering their sacrifices. To the second temple, a third court was added, called the court of the Gentiles, and designed for gentile worshippers. This gentile court was accounted holy in no other sense, than as a part of the holy city Jerusalem. In the large covered building of the temple, was contained the Holy of Holies; and various sacred emblems. This whole pile of buildings was called the temple: and it was an emblem of both the human body of Christ; and of his visible church on earth. The latter are hence known as the temple of
God; as well as his chosen generation, his royal priesthood, his holy nation, his peculiar people, to offer up special sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. In our text, the temple, comprising the great covered building, and the two courts first built, was to be measured. But the outer court, the court of the Gentiles, was to be left out of the measurement. This court was now presented as an emblem of the apostate and corrupt church of the Romanists, which could no longer endure the measurement of gospel rule. This had become unmeasurably corrupt. In the first formation of the ancient tabernacle, Moses was admonished to make all things after the paitern showed him in the mount. By this rule must the church and her concerns be formed; and then she can endure the measurement of the oracles of truth. But that great court of the gentile church, which for 1260 years should torture the true witnesses of Christ, should have no measurement of evangelical truth attempted upon it. It should be viewed and treated as fatally and utterly corrupt! That part of the professed city of God should be trodden under the feet of Gentilism, forty and two months. We here learn that at the commencement of the noted 1260 years (the same as the forty and two months), the papal church became utterly abominable, and was of God utterly rejected.* "The holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months!” a phrase borrowed perhaps from the words of our Saviour, " Jerusalem shall trodden own of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” If the enemies of
* As the 1260 years stand as a notable period in the prophecies; a few remarks for illustration shall here be given. This period we find in Dan. vii. 25; “a tiine, times, and dividing of times.” Dan. xii. 7; “time, times, and a half.” Our text, “ forty and two months.” Verse 3; "a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” Chap. xii. 6, and verse 14; “ a time, times, and a half time.” These all mean the same period1260 years. By a time, is meant, a year: times, two years: and half a time balf a year. These make the forty and two months. And all the different expressions of the period, reckoning (as did the ancients) 360 days to a year, give 1260 years. God said to Moses, Num. xiv. 34; “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, ye shall bear your iniquity, even forty years. In Ezek. iv. 6, the prophet was ordered to lie on his side forty days, as a sign to the people. God said, “ I have appointed thee each day for a year. This, therefore, became one mode of reckoning prophetic time; -a day for a year. And Daniel, chap. ix. 24; in predicting the time of the coming of Christ, hence graduated the period, giving seventy weeks for four hundred and ninety years. All prophetic time is not necessarily thus reckoned. But some is manifestly thus reckoned.
the church of Christ were to hold Palestine as a realm no better than grossly pagan, till about the close of the noted 1260 years; the immeasurable iniquity of the papal power would hold that vast territory of Christendom, which was within its power, in a state no less degraded and hateful.
Ver. 3. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4. These are the two olive-trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
Much has been said by writers on the question, who are the two witnesses? The different views which have been given, will not be here noted, on this, nor on many other questions in this book. Such a process would so encumber these lectures, that it will not be attempted: it would serve only to perplex. On this question, and on other points generally, I shall take the liberty to give that sense, whether ever before given or not, which, after my best consideration of the subject, shall appear best to accord with Inspiration, the analogy of things, and historic facts. The two witnesses will be here considered as an appellation given to all the true people of God, during the period noted. They are those who can truly endure the measurement of the word of God, as the antecedent texts decide; those who belong to the mystical temple and body of Christ. The description of them may have a special allusion to the true ambassadors of Christ; yet not to exclude his common members. The phrase,
my two witnesses, seems to imply that some beings are peculiarly known by this appellation. Who then are, in fact, best known by it? The ambassadors of Christ are thus. “Ye are my witnesses,” said Christ to them. “Ye are witnesses of these things.” “And ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and unto the utmost parts of the earth.” Those words our Lord addressed to his ministers, just before he ascended; having given them their commission, and promised to be with them always, even unto the end of the world. Here then, are men known, in the word of God, as Christ's witnesses; as also in the following passages:
" This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we (the apostles) are all witnesses.” Again: "Whom God raised
from the dead, whereof we are witnesses." “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection.” “And we are his witnesses of these things, and so is also the Holy Ghost. “And we are witnesses of all these things, which God did.” Ananias said to Paul, “For thou shalt be his witness unto all men. “The elders among you I exhort, who am also an elder and a witness.” Who, or what, besides the ambassadors of Christ, can claim such a number of inspired testimonies direct to the purpose? In ten passages they are thus denominated. The witnesses prophesy, or preach, “in the days of their prophecy!” To whom besides does this so fitly apply, as to the ministers of the gospel? The witnesses are noted as “the two prophets; that torment them that dwell on the earth.” What other prophets torment them that dwell on the face of the earth? These are the two olive-trees, Zech. iv. 3, 11, 14; standing one on each side of the candlestick; and are explained as being Joshua, and Zerubbabel; who unitedly prefigured Christ as our Priest and King. Of them the angel said to Zechariah, “these are the two anointed ones (Hebrew, sons of oil), that stand before the Lord of the whole earth.” But who, on earth, are more fitly called anointed ones (sons of oil), standing before the Lord of the whole earth, than the ambassadors of Christ? These are the same with the four living creatures, in this book, who stand between God and the elders,-common members of the church.
But, although the descriptions of the witnesses have thus a striking allusion to the ministers of Zion; they do not refer exclusively to them. For the witnesses are also the two candlesticks, in the text. But a candlestick is a noted enblem of the whole church of Christ, --ministers, and cominon brethren. See Rev. i. 20; and ii. 1, where Christ assures us that the seven stars are the angels (pastors) of the seven churches; and the seven candlesticks are the seven churches: and where our Lord thus distinguishes between these two classes of men; and yet treats them as in a close connexion. “These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand; who walketh in the midst of his seven golden candlesticks.” True ministers and Christians all unite in bearing their testimony for Christ.
And it is testified of the church, including her ministers, as follows; “The Spirit, and the bride
Thus the preachers of righteousness, and all their lay-brethren, form this whole,-the two wit