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tion against prejudging the unwise virgins. It is not the prerogative of mortals to draw the line between the wise and foolish, or between the sheep and goats. To Him alone, who is "the judge of all” belongs the sovereign right to arbitrate the sinner's case. On Him alone rests “the spirit of counsel and might,” that shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord." “And he shall not judge after the sight of His
eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears : but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth," (Is. xi : 2-4). It requires an omniscient mind to comprehend all the circumstances and relations of each individual, to know perfectly how to sympathize with their infirmities, and make due allowance for their peculiar mental constitutions, and physical temperaments, the prejudices of early education, etc., etc. All these things the Supreme Judge will understand, and award to each, and to all, their just and righteous retribution, according as their work shall be.
" therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of their hearts.”
But, it may be asked, can we not distinguish the foolish virgins by their unbelief in this last message, and their smiting the servants, who are "giving meat in due season,” by making the proclamation, “Behold the bridegroom cometh.” We answer, as it was not an instantaneous work for the wise virgins to awake from their slumbers, arise, adjust their lamps, and pour in the oil ; so we may expect time will be requisite, to
scrutinize and investigate this subject; to do away preconceived opinions ; and step on to the true position, as presented in the parable. Our specific work will be to disseminate light, and contend for the truth, and possess our souls in patience, committing our ways to Him that judgeth righteously, and in believing that in relation to ourselves, and all others, “surely the judge of all the earth will do right.”
EVENTS CONNECTED WITH THE SIXTH SEAL.
Before referring particularly to this subject, we will just glance at the events delineated under the preceding seals. We have in Revelation vi, a consecutive history of the world, commencing with the spread of the gospel in the apostolic age, and running down to the end, or “the great day of His wrath.” The first seal presents the diffusion of the gospel in the apostolic age. The second, the persecutions of the Church under Imperial Rome. The third, the great scarcity of provisions, or the prevalence of famine from the third to the commencement of the fourth century. The fourth, the commencement of persecution under Papal Rome, expressed in verse 8. “And power was given unto them over a fourth part of the earth, to kill with the sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” The fifth refers to the period of the Reformation, at the beginning of the 16th century. Under this symbol, John saw “the souls of them that were slain.”
“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth ?” This sentiment is analagous to the one presented in Gen. iv: 10; “ The voice of thy brother's blood crieth from the ground,” But they were to “rest yet a little season, until their fellow servants, and their
brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand ?” (Rev. vi: 12–17).
The events under this seal carry us down to the end of the world.
1st ITEM. "A great earthquake." This occurred A.D. 1755, at which time the city of Lisbon was sunk, and not less than 60,000 persons lost their lives. The effects of this earthquake were felt throughout the world.
2d ITEM. " And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair.” If this prophecy be consecutive, the darkening of the sun is subsequent to the "great earthquake,” which accordingly came to pass May 19th, 1780. The Evangelists, Matthew and Mark, refer to the same event, and inform us that it would occur immediately after the tribulation of the Church. The persecution of the Church did terminate A.D. 1779. How exact the correspondence! This event is also alluded to by the prophet Joel. “And I will show wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE DAY OF THE LORD COME. If the darkening of the sun could be explained upon philosophical principles, that would not destroy the reality of the sign. The fulfilment, whether resulting from natural or supernatural causes, was in perfect correspondence with the prophecy, and therefore sufficient for the support of our faith. And the accomplishment was not only perfect in regard to the nature of the event, but also in regard to its chronological order. It transpired between the earthquake and the falling of the stars. Thank God. Our position on this subject we believe to be impregnable.
3d ITEM. “ And the moon became as blood." From authentic testimony we learn, this was the exact appearance of the moon, both in the evening subsequent to the darkening of the sun, and on the succeeding morning
4th ITEM. " And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth.” This prophetic declaration was fulfilled Nov. 13, 1833, in the presence of many witnesses.* “The present generation may consider itself privileged in having witnessed grander displays of fiery meteors,
* See exposition of Mat. ch. xxiv.