Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." Compare this with Rev. 16: 1, 2, "And I ard a great voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God UPON THE EARTH. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a NOISOME AND GRIEVOUS SORE upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." This proves beyond all controversy that the punishment spoken of in the text under consideration, was inflicted in this world. The beast spoken of in the text is acknowledged on all hands to be a figure of some false object of worship. No one supposes that this beast will exist in another world, or that he will be worshipped there; and as the punishment of those who worshipped the beast was to be experienced during the time that this worship was rendered, hence the text can have no reference to punishment to be inflicted in another world.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Sufficient has already been said on this text to show that it affords no proof of the doctrine of endless punishment; but, for the satis faction of those who may wish to know more on the subject, we offer the following additional remarks.

THE PAT

All the figures employed in this text, and in the context, are frequently employed in the sacred Scriptures to designate punishment to be inflicted in this world; but not one of them is used, in a single instance, to designate punishment in another world. 1. We have the word "fire." We have already shown that no term is more frequently employed by the sacred writers to represent God's temporal judgments, than the term fire. 2. We have "fire and brimstone." This phrase is frequently employed for the same purpose as the term fire. See Job 18: 15, "C Brimstone shall be scattered upon his (the wicked man's) habitation." Ps. 11: 6, Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup." Isa. 34: 9, "And the streams thereof (of the land of Idumea) shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone." Ezek. 38: 22, "And I will plead against him (Gog) with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and

[ocr errors]

upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hail stones, fire and brimstone." 3. We have "wrath of God." Luke 21: 23, "For (at the destruction of Jerusalem) there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people." 1 Thes. 2: 16, "For the wrath is come upon them (the Jews) to the uttermost." 4. We have "cup of the Lord's indignation." See Ps. 11: 6, above, and Ps. 75: 8, "For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.” Jer. 25: 15-18, "For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me, Take the wine-cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send thee to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to drink unto whom the Lord had sent me: to wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse, as it is this day." 5. We have "smoke of their torment.” Ps. 37:20, They (the wicked) shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." Isa. 34: 10, "The smoke thereof (of the land of Idumea) shall go up forever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it forever and ever."

The meaning of the text, when stripped of its figures, appears to be this: That as the worshippers of the beast were the adherents of a false religion, and rendered worship to something besides the true God; hence, they would find no rest or enjoyment in the service of such a religion; but, on the contrary, it would be to them a source of continual disquietude, anxiety and torment.

[ocr errors]

This idea

is expressed in the text and context under the figure of their being "tormented with fire and brimstone," of the "smoke of their torment ascending up forever and ever;" that is, unceasingly, perpetually; and of their having "no rest day nor night." There are quite a sufficient number of such kinds of religion in the world, and God knows they have too many adherents, who experience the truth of the declaration contained in the text in all its length and breadth.

To this exposition of the text we know of but one plausible objection. It is said that "this punishment must be in another

world, because it is said to be inflicted in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.'" But, have we not shown that the worshippers of the beast were to be punished at the very time when they worshipped him, and in the place where time is measured by day and night? Most certainly we have. If, then, the objector supposes that the presence of the holy angels, or messengers, and the presence of the Lamb, is confined exclusively to another world, he must also suppose that the beast is in another world, and that he is worshipped there. He must also suppose that time in eternity is measured by day and night. Again, have we not proved that the seven angels poured out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth; and that a grievous punishment fell upon the worshippers of the beast in this world? This cannot be denied, Well, then, we ask, which is most rational and consistent, to conclude that the beast exists in another world, and has his worshippers there; or that his worshippers might be punished in this world, and at the same time that punishment be inflicted in the presence of the holy messengers, and in the presence of the Lamb? It will be admitted that by the "Lamb" here is signified Jesus Christ. Well, did he not promise to be with his disciples, even after he ascended to heaven? And has he not promised that where two or three are gathered together in his name, there he will be in their midst? The presence of the Lamb, then, is not confined exclusively to another world, but may be, and is, in this world. Hence, this punishment might have been inflicted in the presence of the Lamb, and, at the same time, have been inflicted in this world.

19. Rev. 19: 3. And again they said, Alleluia, and her smoke rose up forever and ever.

that " horns."

The connection shows that this was spoken of spiritual Babylon great city," called the "beast with seven heads and ten In the 17th and 18th chapters we have a particular account of this beast, and of his overthrow. In chapter 17: 8, we are told that this beast "ascended out of the bottomless pit." This that the bottomless pit is in this world, for no one will suppose that cities can ascend out of such a pit in a future state of existence. But it is also said, that this beast shall "go into perdition." This shows that it is not necessary to go into a future state to go into perdition; for, surely, no one will contend that

proves

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

cities are to be carried into another world, and be sent into perdition. there! What the nature of this perdition was, may be learned from chapter 17: 15-17, "The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and BURN HER WITH FIRE.” See, also, 18: 210, "And he (the angel) cried with a loud voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double, according to her works; in the cup which she hath filled, fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her PLAGUES come in one day, DEATH, AND MOURNING, AND FAMINE; and she shall be UTTERLY BURNED WITH FIRE for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament her; when they shall see THE SMOKE OF HER BURNING, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas! that great city Babylon, that mighty city! FOR IN ONE HOUR IS THY JUDGMENT COME." It is supposed by some, that Babylon here spoken of, signifies pagan Rome. But, if the reader will examine all that is said about it in the Revelation, he will see that it is much more natural to understand it of the city of Jerusalem. For instance, see chapter 11: 7, 8. "And when they (the two witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the BOTTOMLESS PIT shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, WHere also our Lord wWAS CRUCIFIED." We

are also told that "that great city was clothed in fine linen, and
purple, and scarlet," see chapter 18: 16,-and that men "cried,
when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like
unto this great city?" Verse 18. Again: "Rejoice over her, thou
heaven, and ye holy APOSTLES and PROPHETS, for God hath avenged
you on her." Verse 20. Once more: "And in her was found the
blood of PROPHETS, and of SAINTS, and of all that were slain upon
the earth." Verse 24. Then the 19th chapter commences thus:
"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in
heaven, saying, Alleluia; salvation, and glory, and honor, and
power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are his judg
ments; for he hath judged the great whore which did corrupt the
earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his serv-
ants at her hand. And again they said, Alleluia, and her smokele
rose up forever and ever." Now, whether this was pagan Rome, or
Jerusalem, no further proof is needed that there is no allusion here
to punishment in another world. We see that here, as in many
other places in the Bible, the term fire is used as a figure of God's
temporal judgments, and that the phrase forever and ever is evi-
dently used in a limited sense.

ee words

Pra Clare

20. Rev. 20: 10. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

De word

We have seen what the beast here spoken of was, and that he was to go into perdition that is, be utterly destroyed by the judgments of God. This text shows that the same fate awaited the devil or impostor. The lake of fire and brimstone here signifies precisely the same as perdition, and, so far from being in another world, is expressly declared to be in this. See Rev. 19: 20, 21, "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These BOTH were cast ALIVE into a LAKE OE FIRE burning with BRIMSTONE. And the REMNANT were SLAIN with the SWORD of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth; and all the FOWLS were filled with their FLESH.' In this passage, and in the text under consideration," the persons who are said to be tormented forever and ever are not real, but figurative,

39

[ocr errors]

stmen

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Price in

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »