Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

bowed down and dismayed; for their pleasure was turned into fear. Then said the Lord, go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. And he saw chariots and horsemen; and he hearkened diligently with much heed. And he cried, A lion : my Lord, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen : and he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen ; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. Then follows the kind language of redeeming love to the poor, despairing, captive church, O my threshing, and the corn of my floor. Thou hast been threshed as the wheat, and for thy sake Babylon has been threshed as the straw and chaff, that thou mightest be threshed out of it; therefore, as Babylon is fallen, the year of my redeemed is come. Babylon being cast out as the straw and chaff, thou shalt be saved as the corn of my floor-with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, and will gather thee as wheat into my garner.

This vengeance and grace were both executed by Cyrus, as we may read in his commission : Thus saith the Lord to Cyrus Subdue nationsloose the loins of kings-break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron-for Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine electCyrus is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure, even saying to Jerusalem, thou shalt be built ; and to the temple, thy foundation shall be laid.

Esau hated Jacob, because the Lord loved him; and the children of Edom were the most implacable enemies to Israel and Judah, who said, in the day of the destruction of Jerusalem,

raze it, raze it, even to the foundation thereof; and also stood in the paths, to cut off the feeble, scattered inhabitants, flying from the fire and sword of the Chaldeans. Wherefore, the Lord, when about to turn again the captivity of Zion, visited Edom, and first showed himself to his people, as their Savior, coming from thence, all over stained, as though he had been treading in the wine-fats of Bozrah; but, according to bis own account, it was Edom's blood that sprinkled his garments and stained all his raiment. He came travelling in the greatness of his strength, like a mighty conqueror from the field of battle, reeking with the blood of the slain.

And in this apparel he is glorious; for by speaking in righteousness he shows himself to his people willing and mighty to save. Saviors shall come upon mount Zion, to judge the mount of Esau. Edom's destroyer is Judah's deliverer.

God's vengeance against the Jews, when, for rejecting their Savior and King, wrath came upon them to the uttermost, was connected with, and the evident means of, that wonderful spread of the gospel among the Gentiles in all the earth, which then, as never since, was carried to the ends of the world, and was preached to every creature under heaven.

And the promises of the great day of the redeemed-the approaching glorious jubilee—are all preceded by threatenings of the day of vengeance.

That the battle of that great day of God Almighty, spoken of in the sixteenth chapter of the Revelation, will precede the millennium, is gen

erally granted ;* though people's ideas of that day must be very different, according to their different ideas of the millennium itself. They who expect the millennium will be merely a reformation and melioration of the world, will have no greater ideas of the battle of that great day to precede and open it, than of some remarkable revolutionary struggles, between patriots and tyrants, about forms of government, and civil judgments upon anti-christians, the pope, or papists, Mahometans and pagans, which shall destroy their civil powers, and favor the spread of the Christian religion. But they who expect the millennium will be a restitution of all things, natural and morala heaven, earth, and Jerusalem, entirely new-will have no less ideas of the battle of that great day of God Almighty, than the dissolution of the whole frame of this world, political, moral, and natural--the removing of those things which can be shaken, as things of a perishing nature; to be succeeded by things which cannot be shaken, and are eternal-a new heaven and a new earth, which shall remain before the Lord, even as the new Jerusalem, and her seed and name shall remain. This difference does not arise from

any

darkness and obscurity of the Scriptures, but from prejudices and prepossessions of the human mind; by which the best of men, in this life, are most astonishingly influenced.

This unhappy influence in the judgment of many great and good men, respecting the battle

* See Doctor Hopkins's Treatise on the Millennium, from page 104 to page 144.

of that great day of God Almighty, to precede and open the millennium, must appear astonishing indeed, when we consider that none will deny, that the prophecies of that great day of God are the fullest and most fearful revelations of his judgment, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries, that could possibly be made to the human mind by words.

It appears from the sacred predictions, that by this day of God's vengeance the wicked will be utterly consumed and destroyed.

By the place of the battle of that great day being called Armageddon, there is an evident allusion to the memorable battle at the foot of the mountain of Megiddo, when Sisera and his host were utterly destroyed, and there was not a man left.

This sudden and complete overthrow of the Canaanites, the enemies of God and his people, which issued in the final deliverance of Israel from their power, “ was a type of the total overthrow of the enemies of Christ and his church, which will issue in the peace and prosperity of the church in the millennium. This is intimated in the concluding words of the song of Deborah and Barak, in which this victory and deliverance is celebrated.” “ So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord : but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.”*

And if also, by this name, there be an allusion

* The texts in this Lecture marked with quotations, refer to events which will take place before the millennium, in the opinion of divines who, in that respect, differ from us, and adopt the modern plan.-See Dr. Hopkins's Treatise on the Millennium, Sec. iv.

to the overthrow of the combined enemies of God and his people in the valley of Jehoshaphat, as some have supposed, that also was a sudden and complete destruction-none escaped.

“The day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low : and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day."*

The same is predicted in the following words : " I have cut off the nations : their towers are desolate : I made their streets waste, that none passeth by; their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant. Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the

prey :

for
my

determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to .pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger : for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jeal

“ These words doubtless have reference to the events which were to take place under the sixth and seventh vials, when the nations and kingdoms of the world are to be gathered, and God will rise up to battle, to the prey, and pour upon them his indignation, even all his fierce anger; and all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of his jealousy; and thus the cities of the nations shall fall : and the nations shall be cut off.

The awful scene of this day is described by

ousy.+

* Isa. ii. 12, 17.

#Zeph. iii. 6, 8.

« AnteriorContinuar »