Page images
PDF
EPUB

Palestine *, sufficiently shews, that Isaiah meant to describe a mystical character, and not to confine his prophecy merely to the literal king of Babylon. The literal sovereign of Assyria was assuredly never crushed in the mountain of God's land; but his empire, as it is well known, was broken by the Medo-Persians in the very midst of his capital city. Bp. Lowth accordingly observes, that “ the cir"cumstance of this judgment's being to be exe“cuted on God's mountains is of importance t." He refers us indeed primarily to the destruction of Sennacherib's army near Jerusalem ; but supposes that the prophecy may have a still further view to the overthrow of Gog and Magog, as predicted by Ezekiel I. In thus stating the matter, I certainly think him altogether mistaken, except in his opi. nion that the prophecy yet remains to be fulfilled : for the destruction of Sennacherib was not at all connected even with the return of Judah from the

* “ Surely, as I have devised, so shall it be; and, as I “ have purposed, that thing shall stand : to crush the As, “ syrian in my land, and to trample him on my mountains." Isaiah xiv. 24., 25.

+ Mr. Lowth has much the same observation. “To make " this part of the verse (ver. 25.) agree better with what fol: “ lows, then shall the yoke depurt from thy neck, which words 44 imply the final deliverance of God's people; I am apt to " think, that by the Assyrian may be meant some remarkable "' enemies of God's Church.” Comment. in loc. : ... Ezek. xxxix. 4.

Babylonian

[ocr errors]

Babylonian captivity; and the overthrow of Gog
and Magog, as we shall hereafter see, will not
take place at the era of the final restoration of
Israel, but at the close of the Millennium.
· If in some points the character of the mysticat
king of Babylon resemble that of the infidel king,
in others it no less resembles that of the Roman
beast under his Carlovingian head, when organizing
a confederacy of vassal kings, and planning an
expedition against Palestine. In the symbolical
language of prophecy, he is styled the bright:
morning star, pre-eminent in lustre above all the
other stars or sovereign princes of the political
firmament: and he is represented, as proudly saya
ing in his heart, I will ascend the heavens ; my
empire shall be an universal one, extending over
the whole heaven of royalty ; above the stars of
God, above all the anointed vice-gerents of the Lord,

I will exalt my throne ; subject to my federal in, Auence, and owing their very existence to me, they shall be mere vassals of my empire; I will be a king of kings; I will be the sole effective head of a vast body politic; I will ascend above the heighths of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Do we not in this description recognize the beașt under his last head, aiming at universal empire, possessing an unbounded sway over many vassal princes, and daring in the last stage of his mad impiety to contend even with God himself?

The

The sum of the whole matter is this. We have here exhibited to us, under the mystic name of the king of Babylon, a power destined to perish, at the yet future era of the restoration of Judah, in the land of Palestine; after it has exercised a most merciless tyranny over the surrounding nations, and after it has seated itself in the mount of the divine presence. We learn from Daniel, that a certain power, which should begin to manifest itself subsequent to the reformation, and which for reasons both circumstantial and chronological can only be infidel France*, will perform the very same actions, and will afterwards perish, at the very same time, and in the very same country. We further learn from St. John, that the power, which is to do and suffer all this, will be the last head of the Ro man beast, contriving and influencing a confederacy of the Pope and the Popish sovereigns of the Latin empire t. Now, upon turning from prophecy to facts, we find all these predictions, at once harmonizing together, and wonderfully according with existing circumstances. The republic of France, after running the mad career by which the first stage of the infidel king's existence is so strongly marked, is become a military despotism. Recent

* See my Dissertation on the 1260 days, Chap. 6.

+ See my Dissert, on the 1260 days. Vol. ii. p. 363 (2d edit. . p. 404.)

events

events have made the chief of that despotism the undoubted representative of Charlemagne, by whose very name indeed his servile flatterers des light to call him; and consequently have made him the last or Carlovingian head of the beast. And scarcely has he acquired this long coveted preeminence, ere he begins to form a conspiracy of federal kings as himself indeed scruples not to call them; a conspiracy, the rise of which we are taught by St. John to expect about this very period, and which, under the sixth apocalyptic vial, after the Ottoman empire shall have been overthrown, will begin to be gathered by secret diabolical in. ' Auence to Megiddo in Palestine *. The end of the monster few perhaps of the present generation will behold: yet that end is unanimously predicted by the inspired prophets who treat of the restoration of Judah ; and, from the accuracy with which all that they have foretold respecting this impious tyranny has been hitherto accomplished, we cannot doubt that all which they have declared respecting its end will be no less accurately accomplished. . · Let any person, with these views of the subject, carefully peruse the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, and, I think, he cannot but be struck with its wonderful exactness of description. Judah and Israel,

* It is a curious circumstance, that in one of the speeches, detailed by the Moniteur as delivered to the legislative body, the political system, which we now behold rapidly advancing to maturity, is styled a confederacy and a pious league.

now

now restored to their own country, exult over the the downfall of a mystic king of Babylon; whose empire is characterized as a rapacious exactress of gold, and himself as a merciless oppressor of the nations. The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers; the sceptre of him that smote the peoples in his wrath, that ruled the nations in his anger. By his fall the whole earth is at rest; and all, that behold it, exclaim; “ Is this the man that made the earth to “ tremble; that shook the kingdoms; that made " the world like a desert; that destroyed the cities? “ How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, o son of the morning! How art thou cut down to “ the earth, thou that didst subdue the nations ! “ Thou didst say in thy heart: I will ascend the

heavens; above the stars of God I will exalt my " throne; I will sit upon the mount of the divine

presence, on the sides of the north; I will ascend « above the heighths of the clouds; I will be like " the Most High. But thou shalt be brought down “ to the grave, to the sides of the pit. Thou shalt “ be crushed in the land of the Lord; thou shalt " be trampled upon in his mountains. Thy yoke « shall depart from off Judah; thy burden shall 66 be removed from off their shoulder *."

Such

* Vitringa supposes, that this prophecy respecting the king of Babylon will receive its ultimate accomplishment in the downfall of the Papacy. Though I think that the character of

this

« EelmineJätka »