to comment upon the book of Revelation; I approach my subject with humility and diffidence; yet not without hope that the meaning of the Holy Spirit,
in the passage selected for our meditation, is rightly apprehended, and that something may be adduced for instruction and edification. Let us endeavor,
I. To ascertain the object of this prophecy; and then,
II. Investigate the period of its accomplishment.
First. To ascertain the object of this prophecy, and determine what event is here predicted, let it be observed that in this chapter several distinct visions are
recorded, which follow each other in uninterrupted succession, referring to events, which, in that very order, will be accomplished; that the vision now under
consideration is the second, and, in regard to its meaning and precise object, is uninfluenced by what precedes or follows.
John once beheld and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying, with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth!
[Rev. viii. 13.]
The characters and scene now before us are of a different nature; instead of woe and alarm, they are replete with glad tidings and consolation.
I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth. In this text
the hieroglyphical and alphabetical language both occur. A few symbols are first introduced, after which an explanation succeeds in the ordinary style.
The SYMBOLS are, heaven, and an angel, bearing a precious treasure, flying in the midst of heaven, and crying
with a loud voice. HEAVEN is often, throughout the scripture, used literally to indicate the place of glory, the beatific vision, the mansion
of the blessed. In the passage before us it is a symbol, and means the Church under the New Testament dispensation. The midst of heaven, then, is the
midst of the Christian Churches. ANGEL is an official term; it is frequently applied to those spiritual and celestial beings who