« AnteriorContinuar »
In the language of prophecy, a type is usually borrowed from some state either already destroyed or shortly about to be destroyed, and applied to a nation the destruction of which is remotely future.
Thus Tyre, Sodom, Babylon, and Egypt, are all used as types of the spiritual empire of the Papacy: and no confusion can arise from such a mode of speaking, because all these powers had either fallen when the predictions that literally concerned them were delivered, or fell shortly after. But, if we suppose Ezekiel's Gog and Magog to be typical of St. John's Gog and Magog, we must then admit, that a power, the destruction of which was most remotely future even in the days of the apostle, may be typical of another power the destruction of which is still more remotely future; and consequently we must advance through an infinite series of types and antitypes, till we are bewildered in a confusion of ideas from which it will be no easy matter to extricate ourselves. Viewing the matter
horn of the he-goat, will be destroyed previous to the commencement of the Millennium. It is worthy of observation, that the Rabbies themselves consider the war of Gog and Magog to be perfectly distinct from, and posterior to, the destruction of the fourth or Roman beust ; but they conceive that it will take place soon after their restoration. In this particular, as it appears from the Apocalypse, they are mistaken. Indeed, from the data afforded them by Ezekiel, they had no right to draw such a ... conclusion. He simply places the war of Gog and Magog after the destruction of the mystic Edom, and after the restoration of the whole house of Israel; how long after, he no where determines. Medle's Works, B. iv. Epist. 24.
then in this light, I can scarcely think it probable, that St. John would adopt a type so necessarily and so needlessly ambiguous. In the case of his using Babylon as a type, all is perfectly clear: but can an instance be produced in the whole Bible, except the present as it is explained by Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton, in which a nativn, the very existence of which was future when St. John wrote (supposing with these commentators that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog are the Turks), is used to typify another nation, the rise of which is yet more remotely future?
On this argument however I do not wish to lay too great a stress; for what appears to myself a complete anomaly in the very principle of typical language, may not strike, others with equal force : let us see then how far the assertion, that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog will invade Palestine at the era of the restoration of the Jews, and consequently previous to the commencement of the Millennium, is well founded. Now so far is this assertion from being at all warranted by any thing which the prophet says, that he leads us to conclude that the very reverse of it is the truth. He represents both the house of Judah and the house of Israel as having coalesced into one people; as having both been restored ; as having both been restored a considerable length of time, for they are said to have
gotten cattle and goods, to have rebuilt their deso. late cities, and to be dwelling in the land in all the carelessness of confident security: that is to
say, he represents them as being in that very state of confident security, with which God had promised to bless them when the rankling thorn of all their enemies should have been removed *. Such then is the condition, in which the united kingdom of Judah and Israel will be at the era of the great invasion of Gog and Magog. Now the whole of this certainly implies, that the invasion will take place after the Millennium has commenced: but, if it take place after the Millennium has commenced, we must necessarily fix it either to some indeterminate period in the course of the Millennium, or to the end of the Millennium. We learn however from St. John, that nothing of the kind will take place in the course of the Millennium : it follows therefore, that it must take place at the end of it. This matter will be yet more decidedly evident, if we consider that Ezekiel places the invasion of Gog and Magog after the return of the house of Israel, and its coalition with the house of
Judah. Now we learn from Isaiah, that Judah · will be first restored; that he will be attacked · hy a confederacy of God's enemies; that those enemies will be completely overthrown; that
such as escape will be scattered into all coun· tries; and that they will be an instrument of bring
ing about the subsequent restoration of Israel to Since then Gog and Magog are to invade Palestine after the restoration, not only of Judah, but of
Israel ; since consequently they are to invade it, not previous, but subsequent, to the commencement of the Millennium ; and since they are to invade it after the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy (which synchronizes with the restoration of Judah and precedes that of Israel), when the united tribes have long been dwelling confidently in their own land : I see not what they can be except the Gog and Magog of St. John*.
But Mr. Mede and Bp. Newton urge, that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog come from the north, whereas St. John's Gog and Magog come from the four quarters of the earth ; and that the former attack the Jews only, whereas the latter attack the saints and church of God in general. To this I reply, that Ezekiel no doubt represents Gog and Magog as issuing from the northern regions of Rosh, Mesech or Mosoch, and Tubal; but he likewise represents the invading army as composed, not only of these northern warriors, but of auxiliaries both from the east, the south, and the west. Gog is indeed the chief of the confederacy, but he musters under his banners the future inhabitants of Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya. He comes up as a cloud to cover the land, both he and all his bands from their place out of the north-parts, and many people with him from the three other quarters of the globe. And, when he thus comes up in number like the sand of the sea, against whom is his attack directed ? Ezekiel tells us, The Israelites now dwelling confidently in their own land; St. John tells us, The camp of the saints, and the beloved city. Now where is the fancied discordance between these two accounts ? If the Jews are to be restored to the country of their fathers, and to dwell there during the period of the Millennium, the beloved city can only be Jerusalem; and, if the Jews are to be converted to Christianity, they are undoubtedly, though perhaps not exclusively, the saints thut inhabit that beloved city. It appears then, that both Ezekiel and St. John equally foretell an invasion of Palestine by some powers which they equally term Gog and
* Though Mr. Lowth thinks with Mr. Mede, that Ezekiel's Gog and Magog are most probably the Turks, yet he fully acknowledges that their invasion of Palestine will take place some time after the restoration of the Jews; a circumstance, which amply proves, as I shall presently shew, that they cannot be either the l'urks or the Antichristian confederacy, and consequently that they must be the same as St. John's Gog and Nagog. Commenting on Ezek. xxxviii. 8, Mr. Lowth justly observes, that “ the sense is, that, after the return of the people of Israel « into their own country and their having lived there for some “ time in peace and safety, this enemy will think to take ad
vantage of their security, and fall upon them unexpectedly.” He adds, that ver. 11 contains “ a description of a people i that live securely without any apprehension of danger. Com“ pare Jerem. xlix. 31.” And he further remarks, that in ver. 19 " Judea is described as a country that lay desolate before the “ Jews' return into it. After it had been for some time re, “ inhabited, Gog and his associates designed to fall upon it “ with all their forces." See likewise his Comment, on ver. 14,