« 上一頁繼續 »
of the temple. The sanctuary or inner court of the temple was the emblem of heaven, for there was seated the highest, i. t. the legislative authority. Both the ordaining and promulgating of the law is the concern of the sanctuary. Hence Jesus Christ, as being a lawgiver, is styled a minister of the sanctuary; and Moses, for the same reason, is viewed in the same relation; and the keeping of the law was committed to the priests, who were ministers of the sanctuary, and it was their prerogative to dispense it. As therefore, the ordaining and promulgating of the law is a sanctuary prerogative, the first war with the Dragon, which, as we have seen, was about the law, is said to be in heaven. But when, on that ground, he is vanquished, he is said to come down unto the earth; and here we find him in the court of the temple, which is the emblem of the earth. This court being subject to the sanctuary, it is requisite that all its tenants profess subjection to the law given from thence. In this condition, therefore, Satan puts on his disguise, for it is at all times easy for him to lie. He began soon, when the Saviour was in the world, to make a gospel profession, and to acknowledge that Jesus was Christ the Son of God; and he now professes himself a good subject; and on account of his incomparable talents, in addition to the soundness of his faith, he offers himself without a competitor, to be made a head man in Solomon's porch, which was the principal avenue of the temple, the entrances of which, in the text above quoted, are called the “streets of “ the great city.”* And in this eligible standing he succeeds readily to the first honors, and ob
* John, in calling the frame of the temple a city, conformed to the style of Ezekiel. See Ezek. xl. 2. The whole figure intends the church, including both the sanctuary and court,
tains the highest places both in the judicialand exes cutive departments; which provinces, according to the pattern, lie within the compass of the court extending around the sanctuary. The adversary, having thus seated himself in these high places, lets in every bird of his own feather, whilst the holy and the clean, men of faith and of the Holy Ghost, on every side, meet his frowns, and cannot even walk the streets, and enjoy the goings out and the comings in of their Father's house, without molestation. But, although the enemy finds his way to these high places almost without opposition, yet he does not long hold his seat in the gospel chureh, without a competitor....God will not leave himself without a witness in the earth. Such are the circumstances which prepare the way, and bring on the long and dreadful conflicts between the witnesses and this most formidable party of Antichrist.
In this war, the uniform of the witnesses is black, denoting the low and humbled state of the church; and the penitence and deep mourning of the servants of God, that through their unwatchfulness the enemy was suffered to take such advantageous ground, and to come within the walls of the city; for if the directions of Christ and his apostles had been duly observed, this deplorable evil could not have existed....... Also, this sackcloth denotes, particularly, that they are suffering from a captivity in Babylon; for it has a plain allusion to Zecha. iii. 3. where it is said that Joshua, who was in type one of the witnesses, on his return from Babylon," was " clothed with filthy garments;" on which ac-" count Satan stood at his right hand to resist u him."
It is also observed, that in like manner with the primitive army, the witnesses stand forward against the Beast, and sustain the battle on foot. This denotes the subaltern state of the church, and their great labour and exposure to fatigue. Also, that their exertions depend upon their personal strength; and that in this war, they have no other aid but “the sword of the spirit, " which is the word of God.”
SECTION IV......The Tivo Witnesses.
THE question is often asked, who, or what, are the Two Witnesses? and a great variety of opinions have existed respecting the answer. The reason of which is, that the question, in a full view, ought not to look to any particular persons or things; but to every creature and thing throughout the world, whereby the trutlı of God is manifested and supported. There are clear reasons, however, for considering the true government of the church, which has been shewa to be by the ascension gifts, men of faith and of the Holy Ghost, as being chiefly intended by the Witnesses, “the two olive trees, and the two “ candlesticks," mentioned in the Revelation.
These two anointed ones are interpreted, in Zech. to be Joshua and Zerubbabel, who sustained the priesthood and the royalty, and were thus the united head of the church. In Dan, it is said, refering evidently to the event of the slaying of the witnesses by the Beast," when he shall have ac
complished to seatter the power of the holy “people, all these things shall be finished;" by which power of the holy people, the rightful government of the church is plainly intended......
Again, “ They shall pollute the sanctuary of “strength.” This implies that the desolating blow will be aimed against the instituted government of the church, which is its strength; and it suggests the manner in which the pollution of the sanctuary will take place, viz. By the removal of true men, men of faith and of the Holy Ghost, who being sanctified themselves, will keep the house clean, and by placing faithless, unholy and profane men in their stead. The same who, Rev. xi, are called witnesses, in chap. xii, are denoted by the remnant of the woman's
seed, which keep the cominandments of God, " and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” This is a perfect description of the witnesses. By their having the testimony of Jesus, is expressed their competency for the work of witness-bearing; and by their keeping the commandments of God, is shewn their faithfulness to do it. These are manisestly the men of ascension gifts, who are known in the gate, after the man-child is taken up unto the throne in heaven. Their relation to the king, bespeaks them princes of the house of David. Man-child, as Eve interpreted the word man, means the Lord-Child; and this remnant of the seed of the woman, are his legitimate brethren. It may also be noticed, that the word for witness, is the same in the original'as martyr. The witnesses are martyrs. The first Christian martyr was one in the secular authority of the church, and was placed there, expressly, as being a man of faith and of the Holy Ghost.
The Revelation of John, combines perfectly the whole Divine Theory, as,
1. In the creation there arose the division of heaven and earth. Hence, the distinction in regard to the pattern of the Lord's house, of a sanctuary and a court without. Again, the earth or world was divided into sea and land. Hence,
the trumpets and vials, which are the concomitants of the prophesying of the witnesses, respect alteritately the earth and sea, or land and waters. It is observed, that the angel of the covenant, thus denoted by the “rainbow upon his head,” is represented in the action of giving forth his testimony, as standing with one foot upon the sea, and the other upon the earth. In this posture, he lifted up one hand, which expresses the unity of the witness. But standing upon the waters alone, as represented in Daniel, he made oath by lifting up both hands; which emblematic representations, taken together, express very distinctly, the same things. All which regular process, in substantiating the truth of Christ, conforms most carefully to the law, that in the mouth of two or three agreeing witnesses, every word shall be established. This may be called the wilness or truth establishment; which is the same as the establishment of God's covenant.
Also, in the creation, time was divided into day and night, which are referred to expressly as being witnesses of God's truth. See Jer. xxxiii. 20, 21, 25, 26. “ Thus saith the Lord, If you “ can break my covenant with the day, and my
covenant with the night,” &c. And this idea of a covenant with day and night, and of their being witnesses for God, by keeping their limits, is applied in the same manner to the sea and earth. See Isai. liv. 9. In like manner, in view of their being witnesses, and supporting the truth, it is said of Joshua aud Zerubbabel, that “ the counsel of peace shall be between them “ both.” In the same division, is included the sun and the moon, the rulers of the day and the night. See Psal. Ixxxix. 37. In the Jewish state a swift witness in a capital cause, was denoted by his having his face covered. See Ezek. xii. 6. Thus the Jews, who witnessed against Jesus,