« AnteriorContinuar »
of the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? This exhibition, at the wounding to death of the Imperial head of the Roman beast, was terrible. How much more terrible will be the exhibition, when Antichrist, who is represented as this same head revived, and renewing his war with Christ, shall be utterly destroyed under the most signal judgments of Heaven? This latter event will answer to that description, in a far more extensive and terrible sense, than did the revolution in Rome, in the year 320, to which the passage, in its chronological order, relates.
Ye learn then, O Christians who may live in the days of Antichristian violence, the happy termination of your struggles with Antichrist. Your afflictions will for a time abound; and your consolations, may also abound. Hear the animating words of your Almighty Captain, when the terrors of the battle shall be perceived.
"Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for “I am thy God. When thou walkest through the wa. "ters, they shall not overflow thee; and through the "fire thou shalt not be burnt. I am with thee, to de"liver thee, saith the Lord. I, even I am he, that "comforteth you. Who art thou, that thou shouldst “be afraid of a man, that shall die, and of the son of “man that shall be made as grass; and forgettest the “Lord thy Maker, who hath stretched forth the heav"ens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast “feared continually every day, because of the fury of "the oppressor, as though he were ready to destroy? “And where is the fury of the oppressor? When these "things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift "up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. "Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of "their revilings. Fear not them, who kill the body; "and after that have no more that they can do. But "fear him, who is able to destroy both soul and body “in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? stand one of them shall not fall to the ground, without "your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all snumbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more
"value than many sparrows! Whosoever, therefore, "shall confess me before men, him will I confess also "before my Father, who is in heaven. But whosoever “shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before "my Father, who is in heaven. Awake, awake, put "on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in "the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art "thou not it, that hath cut Rahab, and wounded "the dragon? Art thou not it, that hath dried the sea, "the waters of the great deep; that hath made the "depth of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? “Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and "come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy "shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness "and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away."
Gog and his Bands: Or the final expedition and over
throw of Antichrist, in Palestine.
It may be fairly collected from various predictions, noted in the preceding pages, that Antichrist is the Power who is to lead the attack upon the ancient people of God, after their return from their long dispersion, to the land of their fathers. The noted passage in Dan. xi, 36, to the end, clearly favors this opinion. Says the Angel, in his preparatory remarks; Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days* And the Power, whom he proceeds to predict, is found, at the time of the end, in the Holy Land, and there meets his overthrow! The prediction relative to the coalition and destruction at Armageddon, Rev. xvi, 13—; that relative to the beast from the bottomless pit, Rev. xvii; that relative to the last battle of the beast, and his vassal kings, with Christ, Rev. xix, 194; and that relative to the Roman beast, as distinct from the Papal horn, being slain at the battle of the great day, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame, Dan vii, 1l; all unite to evince, that Antichrist is to lead in this attack upon the church of Judah and Israel in Palestine.
* Dan. X, 14.
We have then a clue, by which to understand the predictions in the 38th and 39th chapters of Ezekiel, concerning Gog and his bands. The Angel said to Daniel, when about to predict Antichrist;* But I will show thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth. Antichrist then, was before noted in the Scripure of truth. We may believe he here refers to these very chapters of Ezekiel. For in no other part of the Old Testament had Antichrist been by any means so clearly predicted.
In Ezekiel xxxvi and xxxvii, we have very express predictions of the return, re-union, and conversion of the house of Israel, meaning not only the Jews, Levites and the tribe of Benjamin, but also the other ten tribes. In chapter xxxvi, 167, God relates the criminal cause of their dispersion; the great dishonor they had done to his name among the heathen, where they had resided; and that for his own name's sake he would gather them. God says; For I will take you from among the heathen, and will gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes; and ye my judgments and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land, that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. In chapter xxxvii, the subject is resumed; and their restoration and conversion are predicted in the figure of the resurrection of a valley full of dry bones. The vision is applied, verse
* Chap. x, last part.
11; These bones are the whole house of Israel; i. e. the Jews, and all the other tribes. Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brour: ht you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it saith the Lord.
A striking representation follows of the re-union of the Jews and the ten tribes. The prophet by Divine direction takes two sticks. Upon the one he writes, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; i. e. For the Jews, and such of the other tribes, as returned with them from Babylon. On the other stick he writes, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions; i. e. For the ten tribes of Israel, who revolted in the days of Rehoboam, and have ever since been separate from the Jews. These two sticks miraculously become one in the prophet's hand. And this miracle God explains, by the two nations, the Jews and Israel, becoming permanently united in one nation, in the land of their fathers, and remaining holy and happy thenceforward under the reign of Christ, their spiritual David.
And now, in the two following chapters, we have a description of a terrible event, which is to take place upon this their re-union and re-settlement in the Holy Land. Lest Israel should expect to regain their ancient inheritance, and enter upon their millennial bliss without any signal danger; or lest, when they should find an extensive and furious coalition formed against them, not long after their return, they should deem this event inconsistent with the promises of God; and also that the Church of God might be forewarned of so signal an event, as what was now to follow; an account is given of
most extensive and terrible combination against the Jews and Israel in Palestine,
As the ancient deliverance of Israel from Egypt was attended with signal judgments on the Egyptians; as their entrance on the possession of the promised land was succeeded by the destruction of the Canaanites; and as their deliverance from Babylon was attended with the total destruction of that Pagan empire; so the re-settlement of that people of God in the promised land, after their long dispersion, must be succeeded by scenes of destruction to the surrounding enemies of the Church. And these scenes of destruction are to be as much more terrible, than were those of old, as the importance of this restoration of Israel shall exceed those former restora. tions. God will now suffer the devil, and his legions of followers on earth to do their worst, and make their most desperate effort, in order to exhibit a new memento of what is in the human heart; to occasion to the Church of Israel their last and most fiery trial, previous to their millennial glory; and to afford the great Head of the Church an opportunity to make an exhibition of his power and faithfulness, in the most signal vindication of his cause; and in the destruction of the kingdom of the devil.
This last and most terrible effort is to be directed by a Power called Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.*
*Mr. Faber in his last publication, which has come to my knowledge since the writing of this Dissertation, reads the above passage, Gog, the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Mesheck and Tubal. This I think is incorrect. We find the names of Magog, Meshech and Tobal, in ancient sacred record; but not the name Rush, or Ros, as read without the points; excepting a son of Benjamin of this name, (Gen. xlvi, 21.) who could not have been reckoned among the re-settlers of the earth after the flood. Why this Hebrew word ros, found in connexion with prince in the text under consideration, should be construed as a proper name, I cannot comprehend. Ros in Pike's Lexicon, signifies head, chief, top, captain, principal, first. This word then when found among the names, who were known to be among the ancient re-settlers of the earth, and united with the word, which imports prince, is well rendered by our translators, the chief prince; or prince of the chief, as rendered by Pool. But to render it a proper name, fetters the text with the need. less difficulty, of haying to ascertain who can be meant by Ros,