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by Dr. John Thomas
The nation, however, did not maintain this edict for many months; for on May 7, 1794, Robespierre obtained a decree from the convention, proclaiming the existence of the Supreme Being; and another on June 8, decreeing a national festival to his honour, which was celebrated accordingly in Paris with popular demonstrations of joy.
Thus ended the sixth trumpet, which was to be quickly succeeded by the seventh and last.
THE SEVENTH TRUMPET.
"In the days of the voice of the seventh angel when he shall sound ( otan mellh salpizein ) the secret of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets".
Here is a continuance of time specified, namely, "in the days of the voice of the angel"; that is, the sounding of the last trumpet would be no exception to those which had gone before; but, that as they had occupied years in sounding, so the seventh would sound through a succession of years, even until the kingdom of God should be established as revealed in the writings of the prophets.
This is the declared mystery, to the manifestation of which all things are tending.
The things which will have been accomplished when the seventh trumpet shall have ceased to sound are stated summarily in the following words; "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Anointed (Cristov"); and he shall reign for ever and ever".
This is the consummation, which is introduced by these foregoing events, to wit: "The nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give the reward to thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth".
In connection with these wonderful events, "the temple of God was opened in the heaven, and there was seen in his temple the Ark of his testament"; and this exhibition is to be accompanied by "lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail"; the result of which will be the translation of the kingdom under the whole heaven to the prophets, and saints, and to them who fear the name of the Lord.
The eleventh chapter of the Revelation terminates with the glorious and terrible advent of Christ.
The thirteenth verse records the end of the sixth trumpet or second woe; and the nineteenth, the end of the seventh trumpet, or of the third woe, which is consummated in the destruction of the tyrants who have for so many ages been the demoralizers and destroyers of the people; and in the introduction of the era of blessedness to the world.
As I have said, the sounding of the last trumpet is not an instantaneous blast, but a sedes of blasts in regular succession.
He is the trumpeter who summons the nations to war throughout the time of the end, after which "the judgment sits to take away the dominion of the fourth beast to consume and to destroy it unto the end".
While this trumpet is sounding, seven angels, or messengers, are engaged in pouring out "the wrath of God upon the earth," or continental Europe and Asia, especially that portion of them comprised in the Greco-Roman Dragon.
The portions of wrath committed to these symbolical angels are termed "vials," which were to be emptied upon certain territories and powers of the Roman world.
The first five were consecutive in their beginnings, but afterwards concurrent for several years.
The vengeance they contained fell upon the ten horns of the beast, the two-horned beast, and the image of the beast; while the agent, or executioner, was the French democracy, to which "power was given".
They had first plagued God's enemies, and those of His people, in France; and having finished their work there, they were let loose upon the other horns of the beast, and upon his little horn and its appendages to plague them for their crimes against God and man.
The democracy were invited to their work abroad by the continental coalition against France, in which Austria was a principal.
The reader can consult the history of the period for details; it will be sufficient for me to say here, that with every disadvantage in the outset, the sans-culottes-soldiery became at length every where triumphant.
They were without funds, imperfectly armed and disciplined, and led on by inexperienced generals; they were opposed by well-appointed armies, with all the military talent of Europe to direct them: but God's power was with them in a way not visible to flesh.
They were contending with His foes, and avenging the blood of His saints, therefore no power could wit stand them so long as they did not transcend their mission.
The history of these events ought to teach politicians that God can punish the destroyers of the earth by an agency which in itself is without strength or wisdom.