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turn his hands, not only against the leader, but likewise against the mean ones, even all his inferior followers. Of the whole Antichristian army two thirds shall perish, and one third only shall be preserved. This third part shall be brought through the fire of affliction to sincere faith and repentance; and every one, that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to worship the king, the Lord of hosts. But first, as I have just observed, and as we are taught both by Isaiah and Zechariah, they will be scattered through all countries; and, carrying whereever they go the wonderful tidings of their own defeat and of the restoration of Judah, they will be made instrumental in bringing about also the restoration of Israel.
In the 14th chapter, which contains a prediction of the sacking of Jerusalem, and a more particular account of the manner in which the confederacy of Antichrist will be overthrown*; it is said, that,
* “ This chapter goes on to foretell a siege, in which Jeru“ salem will be taken and sacked, and half of its inhabitants “ carried into captivity, whilst the rest will be enabled to stand " their ground. In this critical situation they will be relieved " by the arm of divine power, exerting itself wonderfully in “ their behalf, and attended with the most beneficial conse" quences; such as living waters going forth out of Jerusalem ; " the name and majesty of the true God acknowledged through “ the whole earth ; and the entire re-establishment of Jeruof salem in security. In the mean time, the hostile invaders,
in the great day of the Lord, there shall not be light, but cold and a thick fog; that it shall be, as it were, neither perfect day nor perfect night; but that in the evening it shall be light. It seems most natural to understand these expressions allegorically. The meaning of them may perhaps be, that, at the beginning of the period styled the great day of the Lord, the high counsels of God shall not be clearly understood. The temporary success of Antichrist, particularly his taking Jerusalem even after the conversion and penitence of its inhabitants, will throw over them a veil of darkness and obscurity. Even the pious may begin to doubt, whether the time for the restoration of God's ancient people be yet arrived. But, when the Lord goeth forth to fight against his enemies, when his feet stand upon the mount of Olives, when the hitherto victorious legions of Antichrist are suddenly cut off in the midst of their strength; then will all darkness be removed, then will the purposes of heaven be clearly understood, then
“ debilitated by sickness, thrown into confusion, and falling « foul upon each other, will yield themselves and their wealth v an easy conquest to the assailing Jews. After this a con“ formity in religious worship will be required of all the na« tions under a severe penalty; and all things in Judah and “ Jerusalem, from the least to the greatest, shall thenceforward “ be accounted holy. Such are the great outlines of this ex. “ traordinary prophecy; to fill up which with any tolerable “ certainty, it will be necessary perhaps to wait the times of " įts accomplishment.” Dr. Blayney in loc, '.
will the interposition of the Almighty be acknowledged. Obscure as the greatest part of that wonderful day may be, at evening-time it shall be light.
When the enemies of God and his people are subdued, living waters shall go forth from Jerusalem. The children of Israel shall be sown through all nations, and shall be greatly instrumental in spreading universally the knowledge of the truth. Every one then shall have an opportunity afforded himn of drinking of the waters of life.
The prophecy concludes with foretelling the holiness and happiness of the Millennium, when the Lord shall be king over all the earth. It intermingles however with these promises of general felicity an oblique intimation, that some will, notwithstanding such visible tokens-of divine interpos sition, fall away from the faith even of the Millennian Church. A plague is denounced against such families of the earth as shall refuse to come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts: whence it is natural to infer, that some families will withhold the adoration which is due from them. Accordingly we are told very particularly by Ezekiel and St. John, in their prophecies concerning those last rebels against God whom they agree in calling Gog and Magog, that this will certainly be the case. But the last confederacy will be overthrown like the former confederacy; and the Church will at length be translated from earth to heaven.
PROPHECY XLI. The restoration of the Jews at the close of the
times of the Gentiles.
Luke xxi. 20. When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know, that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21. Then let them which are in Judèa flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. 24. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be: fulfilled.
.. COMMENTARY. In these words of our Lord, we have an oblique though a decisive prediction that the Jews shall be restored. Having foretold, that Jerusalem shall be besieged and taken by the Romans, and that the Jews shall be led away captive into all nations, Christ adds, that Jerusalem shall be trodden, down
of of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Hence we must necessarily infer, that, so soon as the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, Jerusalem shall cease to be trodden down by them, and the scattered Jews shall be restored to their own land.
What is meant by the times of the Gentiles is sufficiently plain from the circumstance of the er: piration of those times being coupled in point of chronology with the return of Judah. When Judah begins to be restored, the 1260 years will be finished, and the judgments of God will go forth against the Roman empire under its last head, Hence it follows, as Bp. Newton observes, that " the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled, when " the times of the four great kingdoms of the Gen“ tiles according to Daniel's prophecies shall be "expired, and the fifth kingdom or the kingdom " of Christ shall be set up in their place, and the " saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, "" and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever " and ever *." .
Whether the remarkable hieroglyphical passage t, which succeeds this prophecy, may be applied to the times of the second advent, or whether it must be confined to the figurative coming of our Lord in judgment against Jerusalem when it was sacked