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of David, and the bright and morning star.” And while these blessings are presented to our admiring eyes, “ The Spirit and the bride say, come. And let him that heareth say, come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” ver. 17. The Lord Jesus then denounces an awful threatening against all who add to this prophecy, as if it were deficient, or take away from it, as if it were redundant. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book : and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things that are written in this book.” The glorious second Advent of Christ is once more distinctly announced. “He that testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly; Amen.” The Apostle with ardent desire replied “ Even so, come, Lord Jesus." He then concludes the whole with the usual benediction: “ The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."
What a mercy it is that the most important parts of the sacred Scriptures are much easier to be understood, than those which have formed the subject of the preceding pages. The unfulfilled prophecies have the veil of futurity cast over them : but this should not deter us from modestly inquiring, “ What shall be the end of these wonders ?” They are things revealed, and therefore belong to us and our children; and we are encouraged to study them by a gracious promise, “Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein." Rev. i. 3.
Į have for a long time been dissatisfied with the mystic view of many authors, and my dissatisfaction has been considerably increased by the great diversity of their opinions on almost all symbolic prophecies : such as the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials-the two Beasts—their heads and horns, &c. To exhibit this diversity of interpretations, I have with much labour collected and arranged their different systems, the contemplation of which I hope will be of some service to the students in prophecy. See the different Tables.
It is evident that there is a mixture of literal and figurative language in the prophecies; therefore they that maintain that they are all literal, and they who maintain they are all figurative, are alike unworthy of being our guides. With this admission, and all the liberty of interpretation which it gives, there are, however, some parts of the prophecies which are hard to be understood, of which I have never met with an explanation which satisfied me, nor am I able to give one. I have given what I conceive to be the most probable, and must wait for clearer manifestations of the mind of God. We should receive the doctrine of the Scriptures with the disposition of little children, and pray constantly that the Spirit of truth inay lead us into the knowledge, love, and obedience of all truth.
I suspect there must be some great mistake among Christians in the present day, relative to the coming of the Lord Jesus; or else there must be a most lamentable defect in their love to him : for who would not desire to be with the object of their highest love? It is generally thought that the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven is simply to judge the world ; to sentence the wicked to hell torments : and to take the righteous with him to heaven. Now, with merely this view of the subject, it is no wonder that we never hear good people pray, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” But if the coming of the Lord includes not only the destruction of all antichristian powers, and the binding of Satan; but also “ the restitution of all things"—the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, when he shall take to himself his great power, and reign — “when the kingdom shall be the Lord's, and he shall be the governor among the nations; and all shall know him, from the greatest to the least, and the knowledge of the Lord cover the earth as the waters do the sea, and the will of God be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Then; when we contemplate the declaration of our Saviour, “Surely I come quickly," our hearts would all respond, with the Apostle, “Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus." Having thus expressed his ardent desire for the coming of his Lord, he very appropriately concludes this sacred book with a benediction on his fellow disciples, which I pray may descend on all who read these pages. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”