Revelation of John 8* The seventh seal is opened and seven angels appear with seventrumpets, ready to proclaim the purposes of God. (1,2) Anotherangel casts fire on the earth, which produces terrible storms ofvengeance. (3-5) The seven angels prepare to sound theirtrumpets. (6) Four sound them. (7-12) Another angel denouncesgreater woes to come. (13)1-6 The seventh seal is opened. There was profound silence inheaven for a space; all was quiet in the church, for wheneverthe church on earth cries through oppression, that cry reachesup to heaven; or it is a silence of expectation. Trumpets weregiven to the angels, who were to sound them. The Lord Jesus isthe High Priest of the church, having a golden censer, and muchincense, fulness of merit in his own glorious person. Would thatmen studied to know the fulness that is in Christ, andendeavoured to be acquainted with his excellency. Would thatthey were truly persuaded that Christ has such an office as thatof Intercessor, which he now performs with deep sympathy. Noprayers, thus recommended, was ever denied hearing andacceptance. These prayers, thus accepted in heaven, producedgreat changes upon earth. The Christian worship and religion,pure and heavenly in its origin and nature, when sent down toearth and conflicting with the passions and worldly projects ofsinful men, produced remarkable tumults, here set forth inprophetical language, as our Lord himself declared, #Lu 12:49|. 7-13 The first angel sounded the first trumpet, and therefollowed hail and fire mingled with blood. A storm of heresies,a mixture of dreadful errors falling on the church, or a tempestof destruction. The second angel sounded, and a great mountain,burning with fire, was cast into the sea; and the third part ofthe sea became blood. By this mountain some understand leadersof the persecutions; others, Rome sacked by the Goths andVandals, with great slaughter and cruelty. The third angelsounded, and there fell a star from heaven. Some take this to bean eminent governor; others take it to be some person in powerwho corrupted the churches of Christ. The doctrines of thegospel, the springs of spiritual life, comfort, and vigour, tothe souls of men, are corrupted and made bitter by the mixtureof dangerous errors, so that the souls of men find ruin wherethey sought refreshment. The fourth angel sounded, and darknessfell upon the great lights of heaven, that give light to theworld, the sun, and the moon, and the stars. The guides andgovernors are placed higher than the people, and are to dispenselight, and kind influences to them. Where the gospel comes to apeople, and has not proper effects on their hearts and lives, itis followed with dreadful judgments. God gives alarm by thewritten word, by ministers, by men's own consciences, and by thesigns of the times; so that if people are surprised, it is theirown fault. The anger of God makes all comforts bitter, and evenlife itself burdensome. But God, in this world, sets bounds tothe most terrible judgments. Corruption of doctrine and worshipin the church are great judgments, and also are the usual causesand tokens of other judgments coming on a people. Before theother three trumpets were sounded, there was solemn warning howterrible the calamities would be that should follow. If lesserjudgments do not take effect the church and the world mustexpect greater; and when God comes to punish the world, theinhabitants shall tremble before him. Let sinners take warningto flee from the wrath to come; let believers learn to value andto be thankful for their privileges; and let them patientlycontinue in well doing.
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