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in the Lord's storehouse, before the wicked are brought to judgment. This was shewn under the sixth seal, (see p. 172.)
The vine of the earth refers to the children of the evil one, who, having filled up the measure of their iniquity, are become ripe for destruction. They are to be destroyed without the precinct of the Church, for the wine-press of wrath is trod without the city, so that the mischief comes not nigh unto the Lord's peo ple. The wicked will be gathered together for this purpose, as appears also by other parts of Scripture. The space of 1600 furlongs, over which their blood flows, has been supposed to describe the land where this judgment shall overtake them : and some think Palestine will be the place, the valley of Jezreel, or Esdraelon, in which David encountered the Philistine. But to those who are watching for their Master, such conjectures are of little interest, for they know they shall be with him, and shall be like him, in the day when they enter into his rest.
The fifth set of symbols, which was presented to the eyes of the apostle, will be found in Rev. xv. and xvi. They are the vials of wrath, termed the seven last plagues Commentators have considered the pouring out of these vials, as commencing with the French Revolution, and they interpret them with reference to the temporal judgments, which at that time fell upon France, and the other Catholic countries of Europe. The accuracy of this exposition seems questionable.
In the out-pouring of the seven vials, the wrath of God is said to be filled up--eos, fulfilled, or finished: and if these vials should have respect only, or indeed principally, to temporal judgments, the heaviest portion of God's anger, even that which is manifested in respect to spiritual things, and to the concerns of the life to come; such as the taking away of the bread, and of the water of life, would in no degree form part of the judgment; neither would it be at all noticed in the prophecy. The prophet Micah, in
summing up the Lord's judgments upon Israel, adverts to judgments of this description, as the last, the most severe, and the most awful.
" Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing of the words of the Lord.” Micah viii. 11. The prophet Isaiah speaks in this wise :-“ Make the hearts of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes; and hear with their ears,
and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”—Isaiah vi. 10. And so the Psalmist, in de. nouncing the judgments upon Judah, says, “ Let their table (of the Law) become a snare before them, and that which should have been for their welfare, let it become a trap. Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not.” As judgments of this description became the portion of God's ancient people, who persecuted unto death HIM, who is the head of the mystical body, the Church; how should they not also be the portion of the Gentiles, who, in like manner, persecute the members of that mystical body,! And well, indeed, did the apostle caution the Gentiles, lest they should incur a like condemnation, saying, “ If God spared not, the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.”
The vials are introduced thus :
Rev. xv.-" And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels, having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 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 mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name; for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee : for thy judgments are made manifest. And after that, I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened : 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. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels, seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. - And the temple was filled with the 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 text declares, that another series of symbols, or types, is here introduced--another sign. And the persons described in v. 2, 3, and 4, as being in heaven, and standing on the sea of glass, mingled with fire, are those of the gospel dispensation, who being washed in the laver of regeneration, baptized with the Holy Ghost, and with fire, purified by faith, and made
perfect in love, are led by the Spirit of God, into more immediate communion with him, and by a more especial outpouring of his Spirit upon their hearts, are enabled to understand his word more per fectly; to know the signs of the times, to mark the words of prophecy, and to discern the awful judgment of God, as it cometh upon the children of Satan, in a manner not permitted unto others. To them, the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven, or, in other words, the Scriptures of truth are laid fully open; for all the treasures of the word of God are theirs, and many things which the world cannot understand, are revealed freely to their hearts; so that living, as it were, in the sun's disk, the brightness that is shed around them, affords them a clear prospect of the seven prophetical declarations, which denounce the seven last blows, or visitations of God, ordained to fall upon the mystic Babylon.
The seven angels coming forth from the temple: may represent prophets of the Old Testament, by whom the judgments in question have been foretold. Our present imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, and of the spiritual significations with which they abound; and our almost utter ignorance of the types and figures of the Old Testament, and of the true interpretation of Scripture pames, make it very difficult, and perhaps impossible, to