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doubt. They are a people, as represented by the prophet, " distinct and separate from the saints, not in their manners only, but also in their seats and habitations; for they are said to come up from the four corners of the earth upon the breadth of the earth, and there to besiege the camp of the saints and the beloved city.”
The papal Antichrist is an apostate from the church of God; and as such he is clearly and particularly described in the prophecy, by his falling away. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning !-by being within, even within the holy temple; and by planting the tabernacles of his palace in the glorious holy mountain. *
No circumstance respecting this enemy of Christ is more insisted upon in the prophecy than that of apostacy from the church. We shall quote one passage only, 2 Thess. ii. 3, 4. “ Lei no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come the day of the coming
* It has been the expectation of some, that the Christian apostates, the Papists, &c., will in the end throw off the mask, and join boldly with the open and avowed Antichrists, the Pagans, Mahomedians, Unitarians and Deists; who all together, with dreadful wrath, will attack the witnesses--those who hold the truth--(the Jews, perhaps, with the Gentile believers, being now united) and bring upon the church that severe conflict, and deadly treading down in the courts and streets, so often mentioned of the time of trouble a little before the coming of Christ even the time of Jacob's trouble. It has also been thought, that this combination against the church, or the head of it, is most emphatically called the Antichrist; whose triumph, however, will be short, not exceeding three years and a half; and that to this, particularly, these words of Daniel refer-" He shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace,” &c.
of Christ-see 1st chap., 7, 8, 9, 10) except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who sitteth in the temple of God.” But how very different is the prophecy concerning Gog! Not a word there of a falling away in the church--of a going out from us-of his planting the tabernacles of his palace in the glorious holy mountain--of his sitting in the temple of God, or of his showing himself there : on the contrary, an account of an invasion by a foreign force, raised as should seem afar off, very far from her gates—of Satan, at the close of the millennium, being loosed from prison, rallying his legions, deceiving them with new, vain hopes, that by a united exertion they might give themselves some relief, or at least might give Christ and his blessed saints some disturbance; and of their marching to war with the beloved city--the kings and priests of God.
Whilst in one of these cases there is the most clear and particular account of the enemy's rising up from within, in the other there is the most clear and particular account of the enemy's rising up from without. We ask, therefore, if Gog and Magog be also an apostasy from the church, why does the Holy Ghost so clearly and particularly represent Antichrist as an apostasy within ; but this as an attack from without ?
Some late writers represent the saints of that beloved city put in great fear by the Gog and Magog army-s0 terror-struck as to forget not only the invincible strength of their fortress, but also the sure promise of the fire of heaven : they represent them apparently in as bad plight as were the inhabitants of Jericho, with their walls laid flat with the ground-diminished and reduced
to a handful -on the brink of ruin-ready to sink-to be swallowed up and totally destroyed. But where is any such thing in the Bible ? Old Babylon broke down the walls of Jerusalembroke up the city, and burnt her holy and beautiful temple with fire; new Babylon also has made wide breaches in the walls of Zion-fearful wastes in her streets, and has trodden down her sanctuary; but search the Scriptures, and see if any such feats be done by Gog and Magog-if any such loss be sustained by the new Jerusalem : walk about this new Zion, and go round about her; examine well her gates, consider her towers, mark ye her bulwarks, that ye may tell if one bar of her gates be broken-if one breach be made in her bulwarks—if one stone be jostled from her walls.
It does not appear from the Scriptures that the inhabitants of the beloved city will suffer any more alarm or distress from the wrath and design of Gog and Magog, than the inhabitants of heaven now do from the rage and vain imaginations of wicked men and devils : no, the new Jerusalem still shines undiminished in all its immortal strength and splendor.
And not content with this, they represent the saints of the new Jerusalem, at this time, doubly exposed-exposed, apparently, on either side"; both by the fire of the enemy, and by the fire upon him But all this is fancy; from the Scripture account, nothing appears of their being thus exposed, either to the one or to the other.
We have but a small geography of the world to come; but what we have furnishes us clearly with one distinction of places, which is sufficient
for our purpose, viz., within and without. “And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie; but they that are written in the Lamb's book of life.” « Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.”
It is not, surely, incumbent on us to show that there will not be wicked ones existing somewhere in the millennial age ; but that they will not exist in the millennial church, nor rise up as an apostasy out of it; which we think not a hard task. Such, no doubt, there will be in the millennial world, as represented by John, who shall have no rest day nor night, but shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. Agreeably to this, Isaiah says that the millennial church, the seed, or saints of the new Jerusalem, shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me : for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched, and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. Malachi says the wicked shall be ashes under the soles of the saints' feet in the millennial day.
The people called by Isaiah carcasses, and by Malachi ashes, are the very people called by John dogs, sorcerers, &c. And these vile carcasses, ashes, dogs, and sorcerers, who through the millennium are tormented in the presence of the holy
angels and of the Lamb, and are an abhorring unto all the saints, are, we doubt not, the Gog and Magog army; which, about the close of the millennium, the triumphant kingdom of Jesus, shall be mustered by his old enemy the devil; and which, with all the rage and fury inspired by a gnawing worm and a quenchless flame, shall surround the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but shall be able to do no more than breathe. out their curses against it and its King, and show their weakness, wickedness, and folly.
It is related of Dr. Cotton Mather, that he was “much displeased with those who, proposing rather to carp than to search, think they have at once routed all hopes to understand the Scriptures, and secured an unintelligible obscurity and ambiguity to the divine Oracles, only by demanding, with an air of contempt, Where will you find Gog, and Magog? They are not ordinarily capable of receiving a rational answer, till they have more seriously thought on what is to arrive a thousand years before the rising of Gog and Magog. Suppose (what indeed the Doctor would not allow) the question to be unanswerable: he would then ask, Is there no question concerning the raised bodies of the faithful which these people confess cannot yet be answered? And yet, con. tinued he, they will not renounce the faith of the resurrection.
“ The Doctor used to say, I will also ask you one thing, which if you can tell me, I will in like wise tell you : The bodies of the raised, shall they be furnished with teeth, or no? Or I will only ask, Where will you find the nations over which the raised saints (or the overcomers) are