Imatges de pÓgina

great difperfion. Is it not therefore reasonable to infer, that the apoftle uses them in the fame fenfe? The prophets allude to the former deliverances of the Jewish nation, all of which were preceded by the drying up of waters. The deliverance from Egyptain bondage was preceded by drying up the waters of the Red Sea; the calamities of the wildernefs had an iffue, by drying up the waters of Jordon; and their return from Babylon was preceded by drying up the waters of the Euphrates. But those who receive the authority of the New Teftament know, that their future return fhall be preceded by a change in the moral world, greater than either of these was in the natural world; that their infidelity fhall be removed, and that they fhall cordially unite in the faith of the Meffiah whom they have always rejected? "Preparing the way" is an allufion to the expreffions of Ifaiah (lxii. 10.) Prepare ye "the way of the people, caft up, caft up the high-way, gather out the ftones, lift up a "ftandard for the people," which, from the context, appear obviously to refer to the future return of the Jews. They are called "Kings," perhaps in allufion to their privileges as Chrif tians, for all Chriftians are kings as well as priests to God; or it may be on account of the


(1) 2 Cor. iii. 15, 16, 17. Rom. x. 26. (2) Rev. i. 5, 6.

the fuperior glory of their church, after their conversion to Christianity. But for whatever reason they are so called, the expreffion is borrowed from the prophets. Thus, Ifaiah (lxii. 3.) foreshewing the glory of the Jewish church, upon their converfion to Chriftianity, fays, "Thou fhalt alfo be a crown of glory in the "hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the "hand of thy God." So Zechariah fays (ix. 16.) "And the Lord fhall fave them in that "day as the flock of his people; for they shall "be as the ftones of a crown, lifted up as an

enfign upon the land." They may be called "Kings of the eaft," either because their progenitor Abraham came from the east to Judea, or it may be a Hebraifm, meaning ancient. Now, in the latter days, the denomination of ancient pertains to them, in preference to any

other nation on earth.

Secondly, The illuftration given of the fixth vial, Rev. xix. 5.-10. contains feveral expreffions which obviously point out the converfion of the Jewish nation. Thus, "the marriage of "the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made "herself ready." Embracing the true religion is frequently in fcripture reprefented by the metaphor of a marriage-covenant; but particular


ly the converfion of the Jews in the latter days is fo denominated. "Thy Maker is thine huf"band. The Lord hath called thee, as a wo"man forfaken and grieved in spirit, and a "wife of youth, when thou waft refufed, faith "thy God," Ifa. liv. 5, 6. "As the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, fo fhall thy "God rejoice over thee," Ifa. lxii. 5. As these expreffions refer to the future restoration of the Jews to the Divine favour, it is reafonable to fuppofe, that when the apoftle uses the fame expreflions, he has the fame times and perfons in view. Indeed they are not applicable, with any propriety, to the Gentiles, on account of the time of this marriage. The Gentile church was married to Chrift for two thoufand years before. It cannot therefore be faid of her, that her marriage is come at the fixth vial; that it is "then fhe made herfelf ready; but it is perfectly applicable to the Jews; for "blindness is happened to Ifrael, until the fulness of the "Gentiles is brought in, and then all Ifrael fhall be faved," Rom. xi. 25, 26.

What is faid, Rev. xix. 8. "And to her it "was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is "the righteoufness of faints," manifeftly alludes to the words of the parable, Matth. xxii. 11.13. The primary defign of the parable is to re


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prefent the rejection of the Jewish nation, and the caufe of it. They are caft out from the marriage-feaft, because they had not the wedding-garment. The Apostle John gives the counter part of the parable. He intimates that they are received again, by introducing them as parties in the marriage, arrayed with the wedding-garment. By the wedding-garment, we are to understand the righteousness of Christ. Their wanting the wedding-garment, fignifies their infidelity, refufing to fubmit to his righteousness; for when the Apoftle Paul fhews the reafon for which Ifrael was rejected, in plain terms, without a parable, he ftates it thus: "But Ifrael hath not attained to the law of righteoufnefs. Wherefore? Because they fought it, not by faith, but as it were by the "works of the law. For they, being ignorant "of God's righteoufnefs, and going about to "eftablish their own righteousness, have not "fubmitted themfelves unto the righteousness "of God. For Chrift is the end of the law for " righteousness to every one that believeth." Rom. ix. 31, 32. and chap. x. 3, 4. In like manner, the Apostle John explains what we are to understand by their having the weddinggarment, "the fine linen is the righteoufnefs of "faints," that is, a submission by faith to him whofe name is "THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUS"NESS,"

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NESS," Jer. xxiii. 6. I cannot doubt, therefore, that the Apostle John understands by the wife married to the Lamb, the converfion of the Jewish nation.

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Thirdly, The kings of the east are they who execute the wrath of God on the beaft and his adherents, at the feventh vial. This is obvious from the whole ftrain of the narration. Now, by the uniform teftimony of the prophets, the Jews returning to their own land, under the aufpices of the Meffiah, are the inftruments of divine vengeance on fpiritual Babylon; at least they who give it the laft and decifive blow. Hence it follows, that by the kings of the east the Jews must be intended; and in regard they cannot be partakers of the divine favour, nor inftruments of divine vengeance, while their infidelity remains, we may infer, that the fixth vial, which prepares their way, intimates their


The time of their converfion I fuppofe to be intended by Daniel, chap. xii. 11. "And from "the time that the daily facrifice fhall be taken CC away, and the abomination that maketh defo"late fet up, there fhall be a thousand two "hundred and ninety days." He calculates from the beginning of the reign of Antichrift,


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