Revelation of John 8

* The seventh seal is opened and seven angels appear with seven

trumpets, ready to proclaim the purposes of God. (1,2) Another

angel casts fire on the earth, which produces terrible storms of

vengeance. (3-5) The seven angels prepare to sound their

trumpets. (6) Four sound them. (7-12) Another angel denounces

greater woes to come. (13)

1-6 The seventh seal is opened. There was profound silence in

heaven for a space; all was quiet in the church, for whenever

the church on earth cries through oppression, that cry reaches

up to heaven; or it is a silence of expectation. Trumpets were

given to the angels, who were to sound them. The Lord Jesus is

the High Priest of the church, having a golden censer, and much

incense, fulness of merit in his own glorious person. Would that

men studied to know the fulness that is in Christ, and

endeavoured to be acquainted with his excellency. Would that

they were truly persuaded that Christ has such an office as that

of Intercessor, which he now performs with deep sympathy. No

prayers, thus recommended, was ever denied hearing and

acceptance. These prayers, thus accepted in heaven, produced

great changes upon earth. The Christian worship and religion,

pure and heavenly in its origin and nature, when sent down to

earth and conflicting with the passions and worldly projects of

sinful men, produced remarkable tumults, here set forth in

prophetical language, as our Lord himself declared, #Lu 12:49|.
7-13 The first angel sounded the first trumpet, and there

followed hail and fire mingled with blood. A storm of heresies,

a mixture of dreadful errors falling on the church, or a tempest

of destruction. The second angel sounded, and a great mountain,

burning with fire, was cast into the sea; and the third part of

the sea became blood. By this mountain some understand leaders

of the persecutions; others, Rome sacked by the Goths and

Vandals, with great slaughter and cruelty. The third angel

sounded, and there fell a star from heaven. Some take this to be

an eminent governor; others take it to be some person in power

who corrupted the churches of Christ. The doctrines of the

gospel, the springs of spiritual life, comfort, and vigour, to

the souls of men, are corrupted and made bitter by the mixture

of dangerous errors, so that the souls of men find ruin where

they sought refreshment. The fourth angel sounded, and darkness

fell upon the great lights of heaven, that give light to the

world, the sun, and the moon, and the stars. The guides and

governors are placed higher than the people, and are to dispense

light, and kind influences to them. Where the gospel comes to a

people, and has not proper effects on their hearts and lives, it

is followed with dreadful judgments. God gives alarm by the

written word, by ministers, by men's own consciences, and by the

signs of the times; so that if people are surprised, it is their

own fault. The anger of God makes all comforts bitter, and even

life itself burdensome. But God, in this world, sets bounds to

the most terrible judgments. Corruption of doctrine and worship

in the church are great judgments, and also are the usual causes

and tokens of other judgments coming on a people. Before the

other three trumpets were sounded, there was solemn warning how

terrible the calamities would be that should follow. If lesser

judgments do not take effect the church and the world must

expect greater; and when God comes to punish the world, the

inhabitants shall tremble before him. Let sinners take warning

to flee from the wrath to come; let believers learn to value and

to be thankful for their privileges; and let them patiently

continue in well doing.
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