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An Address to the Public, and Especially the Clergy

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    THE TWO WITNESSES PROPHESY IN SACKCLOTH

    Chapter 11:1, 2. “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod; and the angel stood, saying, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.”APEC 126.1

    The temple here spoken of, and which the Revelator was commanded to measure, is the church of Christ, composed of his living members, whether Jews or Gentiles, See Ephesians 2:19-22. This is emphatically the temple of God; and it was the church he was to measure.APEC 126.2

    “But the court ... leave out ... it is given unto the Gentiles, and the holy city shall they tread under foot 42 months.”APEC 126.3

    In the ancient temple at Jerusalem the outer court was devoted to the Gentiles; into that they were permitted to enter and present their sacrifice to the priest.APEC 126.4

    So also in the Christian temple, there are those who, although professed members of Christ’s body, are no more than Gentile or outer court worshippers, after all. Such is, and has been, the character of the church of Rome. She, while God has had a seed to serve him, has been treading that holy city under foot, and for 42 months, or 1260 years, the saints were given into her hand to oppress, persecute, and put to death. This church was not, in measuring the true church, to be taken into the account as forming any part of the temple of God.APEC 126.5

    Verse 3rd. “And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” Verse 4. “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”APEC 127.1

    The 4th verse seems to be a reference to Zechariah 4th chapter. The prophet was presented in vision with a view of two olive trees. He asked, What are these? and was told, “This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel.”APEC 127.2

    The two olive trees, then, represent the word of the Lord. Had we no farther evidence as to the character and person of the two witnesses, this ought to be sufficient. But we have other evidence. John 5:39. Jesus said to the Jews, “Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me.” Here the Savior explicitly asserted that the Old-Testament Scriptures bore witness of him. And hence they are his witness.APEC 127.3

    Again; Matthew 24:14. He said, “This gospel of the kingdom must be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations.” What is this but calling the gospel his witness? The Old and New Testaments are, therefore, Christ’s two witnesses. They were to “prophesy,” testify the truth of God, during all that long dark night of papal rule.APEC 127.4

    Clothed in sackcloth.” Sackcloth is the emblem of sorrow or mourning. So the word of God is represented as mourning over the desolation of the church during that reign of wickedness. But still it bore a faithful testimony, and many by its heavenly light were led to the Savior.APEC 128.1

    “If any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth their enemies”APEC 128.2

    If any man add to the words of this book, it testifies that God will add to him the plagues written therein. And if any take away from the words of this book, his part shall be taken from the book of life, and from the holy city. Again, John 12:48. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” Thus fire proceedeth out of the mouth of these witnesses and devoureth all who would hurt them.APEC 128.3

    These have power to shut heaven that it rain not.” When the word of God was obscured, the rain of grace, the genial influences of the gospel, were withheld; revivals of religion, during the greatest part of papal rule, were almost unknown. “And have power over waters to turn them to blood.” While the restraints of the word of God were withdrawn, the nations of the earth were continually involved in war and bloodshed.APEC 128.4

    And when they have finished their testimony,” or, according to Faber, when they are about to finish their testimony, “the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.”APEC 128.5

    The beast from the bottomless pit is the same as the wilful king, Daniel 11:36, revolutionary France. That infidel government, so far as it could be done, made war on, and put to death, both the Bible and the God of the Bible. The one they declared, by a formal enactment, a lie, and prohibited its use; and the other they declared a nonentity, a being which did not exist.APEC 128.6

    They not only declared the Bible a lie and prohibited its use, but gathered it in heaps and burned it. At other times it was dragged through the streets with every circumstance of contempt.APEC 129.1

    And their dead bodies shall lie in the streets of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom, and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.APEC 129.2

    “Streets of the great city.” Paris. “Spiritually is called Sodom.” The crying sin of Sodom was its licentiousness. But probably in no part of the world, since the ruin of Sodom, has this sin ever been carried so far as in France during the reign of terror. On the 6th of June, 1794, a formal enactment was passed in the city of Paris, to establish fornication by law. A parallel cannot be found.APEC 129.3

    It is also spiritually called “Egypt.” The crying sin of Egypt was her atheism. “Who is the Lord, that I should let the people go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let the people go,” was the language of Pharaoh. So also was it in France. One infidel, after the existence of God had been denied, declared that he and his fellows “detested God.”APEC 129.4

    Where also our Lord was crucified.” The motto and watch-word of the infidel crew was, “Crush the wretch,” meaning Christ. Nor was it an empty cry. All who bore the name of Christ were either banished from France or seized and put to death. It might be also in reference to the murder of the 30,000 Christians, members of Christ’s body, on St. Bartholomew’s eve, that it is said to be the great city “where our Lord was crucified.”APEC 129.5

    “And they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” The nations of the earth saw and heard of the dangers of the French revolutionists in regard to the Bible, but did not suffer it to be buried out of sight. It still stood out prominently in Great Britain. “Three days and a half.” The decree condemning the Bible and establishing atheism was passed Aug. 26, 1792. And that decree continued in force until March, 1796, a period of about three and a half years. During those three and a half years they lay dead in Paris in sight of the nations.APEC 130.1

    “And after three days (years) and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them.” The decree by which they were condemned was repealed, and the Bible was again permitted to be read.APEC 130.2

    “And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.”APEC 130.3

    The great voice from heaven is the great demand which the world has made for the Bible since that time. The 1260 years of the prophesying in sackcloth of the two witnesses ended with the fall of Popery, 1798. In 1801 the British and Foreign Bible Society was formed, which, by the aid of the American Bible Society, has translated and printed the Bible, either in whole or in part, into more than 150 different languages. And missionary societies have been multiplying beyond even the most sanguine expectations of the warmest friend of the heathen world forty years ago, and the work is still going forward with unparalleled rapidity. The gospel will continue thus to spread until it has reached the last heathen nation as Christ’s witness; “then,” according to his declaration, “shall the end come.” And the same fact is presented Revelation 11:14, 15: “The second wo is past, and behold the third wo cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.”APEC 130.4

    If the calculation on the periods of the 9th chapter are correct, we are upon the very verge of the time when this text will begin to be accomplished. For as soon as the second woe passes, the third will come quickly. How soon, it is impossible to tell. The only safety any one can have, will be in securing an interest in the Lord Jesus Christ. The third wo will come as a thief in the night. It will come when the world are crying peace and safety. Of the day and the hour, no man knoweth. But rest assured, reader, when you see the Turkish empire fall, 4It has now fallen. that it is nigh, even at the door. And by the close of 1843 we may expect that all these things will be finished, and the righteous glorified.APEC 131.1

    Now, I ask those who contend for a temporal millennium, to show me where it is to find a place between the sounding of the seventh angel, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he begins his everlasting reign, “and the time of the dead, (verse 18,) that they should be judged, and that God should give reward unto his servants, the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear his name, small and great; and destroys them that destroy the earth?”APEC 132.1

    Where, again I ask, is the place for the millennium to be found?APEC 132.2

    Then “let Zion’s watchmen all awake.” Let them cry aloud and spare not, until a slumbering world is awake to its danger, and flies to Christ for refuge. For now it is especially true, that “He which testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” Revelation 22:20, 21.APEC 132.3

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