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some other events in Xerxes' expedition after the battles of Platæa and Mycale, supposing that expedition the true era ;-yet even the autumn of this present year has not passed without some indication, that events of the character which was supposed to be predicted in the symbolical language of prophecy" the cleansing" or "vindicating of the sanctuary"-may shortly be expected to be developed. I refer to the present commotions in Greece and Turkey, and the political situation of Russia: but time alone can explain. There is enough, however, of probability in the hypothesis, to keep the waiting family of the Lord on their watch, with their "loins girded and their lamps burning :" and this we may say in general, whatever perplexity remains from the different readings of different copies; whatever ignorance may yet prevail in knowing how to affix the several dates of the times and seasons; whatever inaccuracies there may be in the received chronologies, there seem considerable grounds to conclude, that THE TIME IS FAST APPROACHING!
With respect to the several parties engaged in the last conflict, and the scene of their operations, as represented in the prophecy which we have been considering, we may almost say, the late revolutionary war has developed them, or something like them, to our view; and though not in the way predicted, they actually occupied the stations and took the ground which they, or other nations like them, will occupy in the last conflict; so that they have, in a remarkable manner, illustrated the language of prophecy, though they have not fulfilled it: they have shown in their leading movements, as it were by way of imperfect rehearsal, how the prediction may be accomplished.
We saw many of the separate sovereignties of the Roman empire combined to act together by the genius of one man, and the military prowess of one people: the divided empire discovered more than usual, for a short time at least, that it still had in it “ of the strength of iron.” The antichristian and atheistical character of the leading power of the times was, too, such as before its rise we could hardly have imagined among those who had been so long the abject slaves of superstition. We saw also how the crafty politician could still coalesce and act in unison with the former enemy of the people of God, whose power he seemed to have broken, and whose "great words” he could but despise : so that, according to the same word of prophecy, they might both have fallen together. We saw also a king of the south push at him: a power not in possession of Egypt indeed, as we expect will be the case hereafter, yet a power who could and did wrest Egypt from his hand, and a power who had, in its intercourse with India—with the countries beyond the rivers of Cush-covered the southern seas with its ships, and filled their ports with its mingled merchants and warriors ; illustrating the language of prophecy, “ the merchants of Tarshish with the young lions thereof,” in a manner most extraordinary.
We saw also the king of the north engaged in furious contest with the apostate. The issue was not according to the prophecy, for the time was not yet come. Buonaparte's empire was disunited, “ the iron would not mix with the clay:” the victories of the Russian with his allies discovered it to be “partly weak” as well as “ partly strong:" but the several parts still remain, once more to combine, in order to execute the purposes of God. It is remarkable, too, that the apostate power did actually,
during this contest, enter into “ the glorious land!” but not, as the prophecy foretold, from the north, having subdued the north, to go to reduce Egypt, but from the south, Egypt being in his possession. He actually encamped in the plain of Armageddon, but he found “ Israel restored”—“ no land brought back from the sword.” He was come without his commission, and soon caused to retreat. But this rehearsal, if I may so call it, wonderfully, to my mind, discovers the parties to be engaged in the last conflict, and shows how the political interests and relative situations of the present nations of the civilized world may bring them together on the very spot marked out by the unerring word of prophecy.
Extracts from the Prophet Habakkuk, I shall detain the reader with only a short reference to the prophet Habakkuk, who is to be numbered with the prophets of the captivity. His leading subject, as appears froni chapter i. verse 6, is the near approach of the Babylonian invasion; but from a comparison of the parallel prophecies, we shall, perhaps, suspect an ultimate allusion to the last great destroyer. The mystic Babylon seems especially to come in view in the second chapter. The vision is stated to be “ yet for an appointed time;" but we are admonished, " that at the end it will speak clearly,- it will not be found false. If it delay," or, according to the form of the original, if it seem to hesitate in coming, “ wait for it, for it will surely come, it will not be behind its time."
There follows a clear description, much to be remarked, of the source of that corruption which, in the latter ages, is to generate the great apostate:
Lo, it is lifted up,' his soul is not upright within him,
The pride of the unregenerated heart, which, at the same time that it disguises the real wants of fallen nature, rejects the Gospel doctrine of justification by faith alone, is considered as the first spring and origin of all corruption and apostacy in the professing church. For those wants of fallen nature are desperate, and cannot be long concealed, in the hour of distress; or where poverty, or some other calamity, has abated the swellings of pride, and laid bare the discovery of human wretchedness. The consequence is, some weak superstition must be invented by those who make merchandise of religion, in order to appease the cravings of uneasy consciences, and by a spiritual intoxication, as it were, to lull the suspicions of their votaries asleep, or to inspire themselves with delusive madness against Christ and his approaching kingdom.
6. Surely as, when wine deceiveth a man,
He enlargeth his desire as Hades,
I conceive this marks the rise of the apostate empire
of the latter days, rather than the ambitious schemes of
But gathereth to him all the nations,
Compare Jac "Tumore la
the literal Babylon. The apostacy begins with a proud opposition to the doctrine of JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, and in the end erects a fabric of superstition that rewards its builders with the wealth and dominion of the world: but the fate of this mystic Babylon is the same as denounced in the former prophets,- see verses 6-13. "The peoples labour for the fire; the nations weary themselves for a vain thing."
14. For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah,
As the waters cover the sea.1
The intoxication of the victim of judgment is again described, whether literal or spiritual: his character as a persecutor is glanced at:3 his vain idolatry is lastly described but mark by what this last system of idolatrous superstition is superseded:
20. But Jehovah is in his holy temple,
Let all the earth keep silence before him.
1 Isaiah, xi. 9.
3 Ver. 17.
2 Ver. 15, &c.
▲ Ver. 18, 19.