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And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison; and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.---REVELATION xx. 7, 8.
The objections against what has been advanced in these Lectures have chiefly been brought into view as we have proceeded; but there remains one, and the principal one, yet to be considered.
The Gog and Magog army is thought to be formidable to our doctrine of the millennium, and is often set in battle array against our beloved city. And although for its defence we marshal host on host, under the banners of the prophets and apostles, yet at the very mention of Gog and Magog our opponents shout for victory, like the Philistines at the appearance of the giant of Gath.
The objection is this : If the judgment of the great day to come before the millennium shall burn
as an oven, and the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and that day shall burn them up,
and leave them neither root nor branch; and if the kingdom of God shall then come on earth, in which the church of Christ shall shine forth in all the perfection and glory foretold of the new Jerusalem; whence comes Gog and Magog ?
As Gog appears to be the champion of the modern millenists, I have let him stand by for a single combat; which will be our principal task in this lecture. And as it will become a stripling like me to encounter this old warrior with great caution, and guard my first approaches, you will give me time to fortify my posts, and cover as I advance.
Our surest knowledge of the Scriptures is obtained by comparing spiritual things with spiritual. The Scriptures themselves afford the best interpretations of the Scriptures. The Gog and Magog of the Revelation is, perhaps, almost the only passage of Scripture that stands singly and alone, and that has no spiritual things to compare with ; therefore we cannot be so sure that we understand it as we may be of other parts of Scripture, of which the sense is cleared by being expressed in different connections and words.
Some, indeed, have supposed that the Gog and Magog of the New Testament must be the same as the Gog and Magog of the Old; but upon this supposition it is not at all in the way of our millennium, for the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel are to be dead and buried, every bone of them, before the millennium. The last work done
before the millennium there, is to bury Gog. See Ezekiel, 39th chapter.
But when we carefully attend to Ezekiel, it appears that this Gog is the antichristian apostasy; whilst the Gog of the Revelation appears to be an attack made by the devil upon the millennial church-the holy city, new Jerusalem-of which this is the only prophetic record.
Now, let them be asked who make so much of this objection, whether a passage upon which they themselves confess they can find neither root nor limb, ought so boldly to be opposed to other passages, the sense of which is cleared and supported by their concordance ?
This consideration has availed with many, though they could not set their face against Gog to hold fast, notwithstanding the faith for which we contend. For, though one cannot conquer, he may keep the field; and though none of us should be able to give an account of Gog, that surely ought not to be thought the destruction of
Sad indeed would be our situation, might we not believe any part of the Scriptures until we understood the whole, or until we were able to answer every objection that might be made to it.
Dr. Burnet confessed that Gog and Magog was a difficulty. He called it a strange doctrine, an army of giants; but observed, at the same time, that it was a common difficulty to all-equally great to the modern millenists as to him : and, further, he observed, “that it is no more than what is found in all other matters remote from our knowledge. Who can answer all the queries that may be made concerning heaven, or hell,
or paradise? When we know a thing as to the substance, we are not to let go our hold, though there remain some difficulties unresolved; other. wise we should be eternally sceptical in most matters of knowledge. Therefore, though we cannot give a full account” of the future world,* of some particulars of the new earth, the first resurrection, &c., we ought not to deny or doubt whether there will be a new earth or a first resurrection ; for the revelation goes clearly so far, and the obscurity is only in the consequences and dependencies of it; which Providence thought fit, without further light, to leave to our search and disquisition.”
Having thus fortified our citadel and secured ourselves a retreat, should we not be able to vanquish our enemy and drive him from the field, we advance to reconnoitre and survey the ground of contest. Here we observe, that the whole field for which we need contend lies within the walls of the holy city, the new Jerusalem.
It is the millennial church, the city of God, that all the glorious things are spoken of in the millennium. It is this city, and this only, of which we wish to say that there shall be no sorrow, crying, pain, nor death ; and into which there shall in no wise enter anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie : but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. This great city, the holy
* How many questions might have been asked Noah concerning the world promised to him after the flood of waters, which, after a hundred and twenty years' study, he could have answered. And yet he believed the promise.
Jerusalem, is what we wish and believe to see one day on the earth, in the presence of the Father and of the holy angels, married to the Lamb by the bands of eternal glory.
To the walls and gates of this city, therefore, we fly for our defence, and think we may safely trust to them our cause, for they are high.”
The modern millenists, regardless of the difficulties and dangers of forcing jasper walls, that have twelve foundations, and at least are three, some say twelve thousand furlongs high; and gates of pearl, strengthened by angelic guards; have attempted to bring Gog and Magog into the midst of the city-yea, they would hatch this dire insurrection out of the bowels of those saints, and make even the monster, Gog himself, the child of the millennial church!
Of all the conjectures respecting Gog, which are almost without number, ihis, perhaps, is the most extravagant. I could even adopt the fanciful hypothesis of his being hatched out of the mould, mud and slime of the millennial world, as the heathen fabled of the old giants, in preference to this.
But whatever there be dark respecting the question, Whence comes Gog? we are happy to say, so much at least is cleared by the Scriptures, that he comes not from the millennial church, that holy city–his genealogy, or generation, cannot be traced there ; but to other far distant dwellings.
This is the clearest thing respecting Gog and Magog, and almost the only thing in the prophecy that is cleared, as should seem, beyond all