Apr 3, 1804 Sermon Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection
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and rapture. It was such preaching and such propagation of the Gospel as John never before contemplated. There was a magnitude in the plan, a concurrence of sentiment, a speed in the execution, a zeal in the efforts, and a prosperity in the enterprize, which distinguished this from all former periods.

The event here described comprehends a series of causes and effects, a succession of means and ends, not to be completed in a day, or finished by a single exertion. It is represented as a growing and permanent work. It commences from small beginnings in the midst of the Churches, but it proceeds, and will increase in going. There are no limits to the progress of the angel. From the time he begins to fly and preach, he will continue to fly and preach until he has brought the everlasting Gospel to all nations, and tongues, and kindred, and people in the earth. Hail, happy period! Hail, cheering prospect! When will that blessed hour arrive? When will the angel commence his flight? This leads us,

Secondly. To investigate the time when this prophecy will begin to be accomplished.

The whole structure of the vision, the grandeur of the scene, and the solemn exposition of the symbols, recommended this illustrious prophecy to the peculiar notice of the Chruches? and yet it seems to have been generally neglected or misrepresented by commentators. It has either been restricted to what happened at the Reformation, or thrown into the great mass of events which are to take place after the Millennium has fully commenced. Whereas, upon examination, it will be found, both from the order of the vision and its express object that it comprehends something vastly beyond what was realized at the Reformation. And, so far from actually belonging to the millennial period, it is only the appointed means for introducing that state; whatever may be its progress or consummation, it must, in the nature of things, begin its operation some considerable time


before the Millennium can commence. Let us impartially examine the subject.

Prophecy is furnished, like history, with a chronological calendar; and the predictions, with respect to the time of their accomplishment, may be referred to three distinct classes. Some expressly specify the period when the thing foretold shall take place, and give, either in literal or symbolical numbers, the exact series of years that shall elapse before the fulfilment. - So to Abraham it was said in plain terms, that four hundred years should pass away before his posterity would be freed from bondage. So seventy years were appointed for Judah to remain in captivity. So also seventy weeks, a symbolical term for four hundred and ninety years, were to intervene between the decree of Artaxerxes and the death of the Messiah. Other predictions do not specify any series of years from which a computation can proceed, but connect the even with something preceding or subsequent. In such, the key of explanation must be found in the order of the events. To the third class belong those prophecies in which no time is mentioned, and no order established, but other events are predicted, and declared to be coexistent. Whenever, therefore, those take place, the event in question may be expected.

Agreeably to this arrangement, we find the prediction now under consideration does not belong to the first class. There is no mention of time, no period named, no number of years, either symbolical or literal, from which a calculation can proceed, or any expectation be formed, when the preaching angel will begin his flight.

To the second class it must be attached. To the order of the event we must be principally indebted for information. The vision before us is the second recorded in this chapter. Consistently with an established rule respecting an uninterrupted order of prophecies expressing the actual series of events, the time when the angel will commence his preaching must be,


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