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Egypt and Libya, and retraces his steps to Judèa. Going forth in the height of his fury, he threatens to destroy all such as should oppose him; and, calling in the aid of Popish bigotry, he sanctifies his expedition by representing it as a holy crusade against heretics; and, with banners blessed by the false prophet who (as we have reason to believe from the Apocalypse *) will be his attendant t, he devotes many to utter extermination under the blasphemous pretext of religion. His wonted success at first attends him. He besieges Jerusalem now occupied by his enemies, and takes it. Here he exercises his usual barbarity; a barbarity, increased ten-fold by the defection of his late allies. The houses are rified, and the women are ravished, by his licentious soldiery. Half of the inhabitants are made captive: but the other half are permitted still to remain in the city, under the controul most probably of a strong garrison. Thus does he plant the curtains of his tents between the seas in the glorious holy mountain : and thus is Jerusalem, now for the last time, trodden down of the Gentiles,
* See Rev, xix. 19, 20, * Mir, Whitaker conjectures, that the seat of the Papaving will be finally removed to Jerusalem, (Comment, on Rev. p. 443.) I think his conjecture by no means improbable. The remarkable passage, contained in Rev, xix, 19, 20, seems at least to favour the belief, that the power of the Papacy, 10 less than that of Antichrist, will be broken in Palestine.
During During these disasters, the troops of the maritime power appear to have retreated towards the sea-shore, in order that they may be able to regain their ships, if all further resistance should prove fruitless. Here they would doubtless be joined by the great body of their allies, the first converted Jews, and by such of those that were afterwards converted, as were able to effect their escape from the rage of Antichrist. To this devoted host the tyrant now directs his attention. Anticipating an easy victory over his last enemies, either by suddenly cutting them off from their ships, .or by compelling them to re-embark, and with proud exul. tation looking forward to the uncontrouled empire of the civilized world, he leaves Jerusalem, and advances with his whole army to Megiddo. Between this town and the sea we may suppose the troops of the maritime power and the Jews to have taken their position, hopeless probably of victory from their vast disparity in numbers to the huge hosts of their enemy. But the battle is not always to the strong, nor the race to the swift. At this anxious moment, the glory of the Lord is suddenly manifested in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jehovah himself becometh a wall of fire around her. The Almighty Word of God goeth forth, like a man of war, in the greatness of his strength; and all his saints, the innumerable armies of heaven, are with him. His awful commission is from the Most High. For, after the manifestation of the glory,
the Lord of hosts sendeth him unto the nations that have spoiled his ancient people; that he may shake his hand over them, that they may become a spoil unto those whom they had made their servants, that they may know that the Lord of hosts hath sent him, that they may learn that he who toucheth Judah toucheth the apple of his eye.
The tremendous vision balts for a moment on the mount of Olives; which, like Sinai of old, acknowledges a present God, and with a nighty earthquake cleaves asunder in the midst. , It then advances to the valley of Megiddo, and hovers over the heads of the palsied troops of Antichrist. The divine Word displays himself to the assembled nations. The faithful look up with awful wonder, knowing that their redemption draweth nigh. Every eye seeth him; and they also, his kindred after the flesh, which pierced him, now behold him in his glory. He cometh with clouds : and all kindreds of the Latin earth wail because of him.
He descendeth in his wrath: he treadeth the winepress in the fury of his indignation : his garments are sprinkled with the blood of his enemies.
It appears, from comparing various prophecies together, that the overthrow of the Antichristian conferleracy will be effected partly by supernatural and parily by natural agency.
Christ will indeed tread the wine-press alone, for to his sole might will the victory be owing: yet will he likewise use the instrumentality of others. While he miracu
lously smites his enemies with a dreadful plague, so that their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth; he will send likewise among them a great tumult from the Lord, so that they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. Judah also, summoned to the dreadful task of vengeance by his God, shall take an active part in the destruction of his enemies: for, in that day, the Lord will make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire
among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left. Thus will Antichrist come to his end, and none shall help him : Thus will the beast now under his last head be taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image. These both will be cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone: and the remnant will be slain with the sword of that Almighty Conqueror who sitteth upon the white horse, the sword that proceedeth out of his mouth; and all the fowls will be filled with their flesh.
There has been so long a suspension of the visible interpositions of Providence, a suspension
nevertheless expressly foretold by Isaiah *, that we are apt in the present day to feel a sort of hesitation in admitting that they will ever be renewed. The Jews perpetually required a sign of the Lord, at the period of his first advent : we, on the contrary, can scarcely bring ourselves to interpret literally even the most express predictions, relative to his miraculous and personal manifestation at the period of his second advent f. Few have felt the
* See Bp. Horsley's Letter on Isaiah xviii. P. 96. f ". The time for the restoration of the Jews,” says Bp. Horsley, " is no otherwise defined than as the season of our Lord's second advent,” (Letter on Isaiah xviii. p. 16. See also p. 14.) His Lordship might have added, with Mr. Mede, on the authority of Dan. xii. 6, 7, that the time of their resto.. ration is likewise defined to be the season at the expiration of the 1260 years.
As I shall have frequent occasion, in the course of the present work, to mention the second advent of Christ, it may not be amiss briefly to state what I understand by it.
The second advent of Christ is commonly spoken of, from the pulpit and in ordinary conversation, as the time when our Lord will come to judge both the quick and the dead, and to assign to all their everlasting portion either of happiness or misery. This notion of it is not perfectly correct. The second advent includes indeed the final destination of the whole race of mankind; but it includes likewise much more, commencing long before that time which we are wont familiarly to call the day of judgment. In fact, the great day of judgment synchronizes with the whole period of the second advent, comprehending at once the final destination of mankind and many other antecedent particulars. It is necessary to form a clear idea of this point; otherwise, when it is said that the Jews will be restored at the era of the