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particular subjects: the first, upon the grosser parts of Popery : the second, upon the Antichristian hierarchy : the third, upon particular states and kingdoms, with their heads and rulers : the fourth, upon the German Emperor, house of Austria: the fifth, upon the city of Rome : the sixth, upon the Turk, or Ottoman family: but the seventh blast is general, reaching all things whatsoever that stands in the way of Christ's kingdom. And this the change of speech used in this vial, different from all others, noteth also, as it seems to me: for whereas the other vials are poured out upon such and such things—the first upon the earth; the second upon the sea; the third upon the rivers and fountains of water, &c.—this seventh and last is said to be poured out into the air : noting hereby the spreading and dilating of itself as far as the air spreads, in such manner as that thereby all and every place is filled with the effects of it. Now a vial might be poured out upon the air, yet not dilate itself into every part to fill the whole with it; as the first vial, poured out upon the earth, &c..... but now this seventh is poured out into the air, noting a dilating and diffusing of itself as far as the air goes, which (I have said before) is general, filling all things and places. Accordingly, this vial reacheth, 1. The whole kingdom of the dragon or devil, who is called the prince of the power of the air (Eph. ii. 2); who, upon the pouring out of this vial, with all his host, shall be bound and shut up in the bottomless pit for a thousand years, as Rev. xx. 1-7. And here indeed it had been more orderly to have placed our foregoing discourse of the thousand years; but because truth is to be preferred before order (which, when it tends to the obscuring of the truth, is but curiosity, and to be shunned), I have therefore, because in my judgment it stands more for the advantage of truth where it is than it would do here, chosen to be a trespasser in point of nicety. 2. The whole kingdom of the Antichrist, or the Papacy. 3. The remaining powers of the Great Turk, which were not destroyed by the sixth vial. 4. The kingdoms of this world, i. e. such as neither have dependence upon the Papacy nor the Great Turk : all shall come under this vial, and be utterly ruined and broken in pieces by it.
3. The adjunct - A great Voice. “And there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne, saying, It is done.”—This voice is Christ's : Rev. xx. 5, 6; “He (that is, Christ) that sat upon the throne, said unto me, It is done.” The meaning of the words, It is done, I have formerly shewed to be only this: Now is the New Jerusalem established ; now is my kingdom set up; the work now is done and completed. For this work had its beginning before, under the former vials, and that from the first day that the little stone began to smite the great image. And therefore Dan. ii. 44, speaking of the kingdom of Christ, saith, “ In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom -i.e. Christ's kingdom shall have its beginning, as the same is a stone in the days of the fourth monarchy, before yet the same is destroyed; and it shall grow up by little and little, smiting the great image ; and still as it smites be increasing in strength and greatness : but yet the same is not a mountain filling the whole earth, till it had broken in pieces the great image in such sort as that the place thereof is no more found (vers. 34, 35) i. e. the kingdom of Christ shall not be completely set up, it shall not be the fifth monarchy (though yet it shall be in a rising way), until the seventh vial be poured out, which breaks in pieces and wholly removes the fourth monarchy and all worldly powers. And this is clear Dan. vii. 12; who there tells us that the rest of the beasts had not their lives taken away (i. e. the kingdoms of this world are not completely the Lord's and his Christ's, as Rev. xi. 15), until such time as the thrones of the
fourth beast (i.e. the Roman monarchy as under Antichrist) are cast down (ver. 9), the beast himself slain, his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame (ver. 11). Then shall it be said (as here) with a great voice, It is done : then shall be verified what is said Rev. x. 7, “ The mystery of God is finished,” &c. : that is, now all things spoken of by the prophets, as touching my kingdom, and the setting of it up, are finished; for it is done; the new Jerusalem is established. And truly here let me add, that although some godly men (whose thoughts I have an esteem of) look every day for the setting up of the fifth monarchy, and that by having the powers of the world laid down, and let fall out of the present hands they are in, who hold them (as they judge) of the fourth monarchy, and left free for saints to come take up and execute; yet must I needs say (being convinced of the contrary) in this I am not of their mind, conceiving their mistake to lie in this, namely, a not considering (what too comes from a non-acknowledgment of Christ's personal coming before it) by whom, how, and when the fifth monarchy is to be set up. And for my own part, as I greatly rejoice to see so much power in saints' hands already, and believe more will be every day, as the stone by rolling grows greater: so do I also wait for that (which some presently expect) till that day wherein our Lord shall appear, who himself will do this work : namely, Destroy the beast, cast him into the burning flame, and then give the kingdom and dominion, and greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, unto the people of the saints of the Most High ; when that which but now is rising, and shall rise every day, growing still greater and greater, as an augmenting stone, shall become a huge and great mountain, filling the whole earth.
And of this kingdom, as to the first rise of it, which is little, in an unlikely way, in the midst of many difficulties ; I take it David's kingdom was a type: but as to the glory of it, when
the same shall be a mountain filling the earth, the kingdom of Solomon was rather a type: for which reason, Psal. Ixxii. (which is a clear prophecy of the glory, riches, durability, vast extent of the kingdom, agreeing in many things with that glorious prophecy Is. Ix.), is entitled, “A Psalm for Solomon.” Yet in respect of Christ, the King or Monarch in the kingdom, David in Scripture is ever the type, and not Solomon; because Solomon, after he was sate upon the throne, did foully backslide to idolatry, but David did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.
This voice coming from the throne, intimates (what I have been speaking) that now Christ's throne shall be set up, and himself sit_upon it, as chap. xxi. 5 : which also we have chap. iii. 21 ; “ To him that overcometh,” &c. The throne Christ here speaks of is a distinct throne from his Father's throne ; such a throne as he was not to sit on till he should come from his Father's throne: for (saith he) the throne I am upon at present is my Fat
's throne, which I, overcoming, am privileged to sit upon : but I have a throne of my own, which I shall one day sit upon: when " he that overcometh shall sit down with me on this my throne, as I now, by overcoming, am set down with my Father on his throne.” Which, as it proves Christ shall have a throne distinct from that on which he now sits; so also it confirms what I said even now, that the dominion, or the throne, is not to be given to the saints until such time as Christ himself comes and sits him down upon his throne: according to that, Matt. xix. 18, I
Ye which have followed me in the regeneration,” &c. : and it is for this reason, because the Apostles shall be advanced as chief in this New Jerusalem, that chap. xxi. 14 tells us that the foundation of this city shall have in it the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.
And this throne, because not only Christ himself sits upon it, but also his saints with him, is therefore called thrones, in the plural number, Rev. xx. 4; which words exactly agree for time (as before I have sbewed) with this of the seventh vial. Now whereas this throne, upon which Christ sits and utters his voice, is said to be in the temple of heaven, it clearly denotes (heaven in Revelation being always understood of the church on earth) the erecting of the throne here below. And indeed, if we compare with chap. xxi., where we have the same throne spoken of, together with the voices from it, “ It is done” (vers. 5, 6), it will evidently appear that the New Jerusalem, there described, is to be understood of a glorious state of the church here on earth, and not (as some) of heaven hereafter
First : Because John sees a new earth, as well as a new heaven.
Secondly: Because the New Jerusalem is said to come down from God out of heaven (ver. 2); therefore not a descent of the church in heaven. Which coming down out of heaven, lest we should imagine it (as some) to be visional only---namely, that John in way of
vision saw it come down, but really it is above-we have therefore (to free us from such a mistake) a great voice added, ver. 3 : “ Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men :" i. e. on earth, the place of men's habitation : whereas, were the New Jerusalem to be understood of heavenly glory, the contrary should benamely, the tabernacle of men with God.
Thirdly: Because the glory of the kings of the earth (which glory is outward), and of the nations, shall be brought into it (vers. 24, 26.) Neither of which can agree to heaven hereafter, but do most excellently agree to what is spoken at large in the Prophets of the glorious state of the church on earth in the last days. To say (as is commonly) such of the kings of the earth, and those of the nations, who shall be converted here, shall be there glorified; and this to be the bringing of the glory of the kingdoms and nations thither; to this I answer: 1. How can this be said to be their glory, which is rather God's put upon them than theirs ? 2. How is this brought thither? Is the glory of heaven fetched thither from earth? 3. How can they be said to bring it thither who never receive this glory till they come there?
Fourthly: Because it is evident, from the 12th and 14th verses, that the twelve tribes of the children of Israel, and the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, shall be first or chief in the New Jerusalem; but let it be proved from any other Scripture that they shall be so in heaven hereafter.
Fifthly : Because chap. xxii. (which to ver. 6 is a continued description of the New Jerusalem) tells us, ver. 2, of a tree in the New Jerusalem whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. Now let it be shewn how the nations shall be healed in heaven hereafter.
Sixthly: Because in the New Jerusalem we have express mention made, as of the throne of God, so also of the Lamb: Chap. xxii, 1, Proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 'Verse 3, There shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. But now in heaven hereafter, though Christ, as God, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father, shall reign for ever, yet not as the Lamb: which is clear 1 Cor. xv. 28; And when all things shall be subdued unto him, &c. &c.; that God may be all in all-i. e. the human nature of Christ, which died for our sins, rose again (as the Apostle in the foregoing verses speaketh), was exalted above all the creatures all the time of the thousand years and the general judgment, (according to which nature Christ is said to be the Lamb slain), shall now be subjected, after the end, to the Godhead, or Divine nature, which in heaven shall be all in all; so that Christ as the Lamb shall not have a throne there. And this interpretation is not so much mine, as Augustine's long ago, and Calvin's since; who both speak the same thing, confessing a subjection of the humanity of Christ to be here intimated : whom I think good here to name, not that their authority, nor my saying so, proves the thing to be truth; but that I might hereby stop the mouths of such who otherwise possibly would be ready to condemn the truth itself for error. Yet let none hence conclude (as some now-a-days fancy), a cessation of the human nature, by being turned into the Divinity, so as that Christ shall be Godman no longer: for the Apostle, in saying the human nature shall be subject, denotes plainly that the same shall even in heaven hereafter have a being: for how can that be subject which hath no being? And as the Lamb's having a throne in the New Jerusalem proves clearly it cannot be meant a heavenly glory after the day of judgment, so doth it as strongly prove (which before I have laid down), that not a spiritual only, but a personal presence of Christ shall be with his people in the New Jerusalem, all the time of the thousand years : for Christ as the Lamb hath his throne in it; but Christ spiritually only is not the Lamb, nor was he sacrificed in that sense.
Seventhly, and lastly: Because Isai. Ix. (which chapter, as is most evident, speaks not of heavenly glory, but of a glorious state of the church here on earth), is, for time, one and the same with this : as plainly will appear by comparing one with the other :Isai. lx. 11 (1st part) compare with Rev. xxi. 25 3 ..
24 10 and 11 (last part)
26 1 and 20
27 Yet, because it would be a thing hard to be believed that the New Jerusalem glory should be here on earth, therefore it is said, chap. xxi. 5, These words are true and faithful: and again, xxii. 6, These sayings are faithful and true. One thing here is of special concernment to be opened, to the end the words of the seventh vial may be brought to a reconciliation with the description of the New Jerusalem chap. xxi. (both, as I have observed, being to be referred to one and the same time), which is this: Seeing John, in describing the New Jerusalem, saith, I saw no temple therein (chap. xxi. 22); and the contrary is here intimated (There came a great voice out of the temple of heaven); how can these things agree, or the one be made expository to the other, when they speak things contradictory? I answer: John saw no material temple, such as was in Jerusalem of old, to which here New Jerusalem is opposed : or secondly, (which I rather incline to,) John saw no such temple as was the former temple, or church's state under the Gospel. But that a temple there shall be is manifest ; for, saith he, in the next words (which are given as a reason why no such temple as formerly had been should be in the new state, because, indeed,