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all his solis awful commtion of the glory,
to the uncontrolled empire of the civilized world, he leaves Jerusalem, and advances with his whole army to Megiddo. Between this town and the sea we may sup. pose 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 tre. mendous vision halts for a moment on the mount of Olives; which, like Sinai of old, acknowledges a present God, and with a mighty 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 wine-press 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 confederacy will be effected partly by supernatural and partly 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. Whilehe
e among the wour all the people til Antichrist
miraculously 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 influence of this prejudice more than myself: and nothing but a laborious comparison of prophecy with prophecy has enabled me to subdue it. Yet, while I now fully assent to Mr. Mede's opinion, that there will be some such preterna
* See Bp. Horsley's Letter on Isaiah xviji. P. 96.
† “ 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
tural manifestation, I cannot think that he assigns to it its proper piace in the succession of events. He supposes, that it will be the cause of the conversion of the Jews : whereas, according as matters appear to me, they will be
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 restoration 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 second advent, the reader might be in danger of imagining that they would not be restored till that era which is familiarly called the day of judgment, that is to say, the final consummation of all things : whereas, after their restoration and conversion, they are to flourish in their own land during the space of at least 1000 years.
Mr. Mede has treated this subject so well, that I cannot do better than avail myself of his remarks.
“ When Daniel's times are done, the Son of man comes in the clouds of heaven, to receive the empire of all the kingdoms of the world. Dan. vii. 14.
- When St. Luke's times of the Gentiles are finished, then shall be signs in the sun and moon ; the Son of man comes also in the clouds of heaven, the redemption of Israel and the kingdom of God are at hand. Luke xxi. 27, 28, 31.
“ The first coming of Christ was to be while the fourth kingdom was yet in being; the second, when it should end." Works, B. iv. Epist. 8. p. 744, 745.
« The times of the Gentiles are that last period of the fourth kingdom prophesied of, a time times and half a time ; at the end whereof the angel swears unto Daniel (Chap. xii. 7.) that God should accomplish to scatter the power of the holy people. This is that fulness of the Gentiles, which being come, St. Paul tells us, The deliverer shall come out of Zion, and all Israel shall be saved.” Works, B. 11. Treatise on Daniel's Weeks, p. 709.
- The mother test of Scripture, whence the Church of the Fews grounded the name and expectation of the great day of judgment, with the circumstances thereto belonging, and whereunto almost all the descriptions and expressions thereof in the New Testament have reference, is that vision in the seventh of Daniel of a session of judgment when the fourth beast came to be destroyed : where this great Assises is represented after the manner of the great Synedrion or consistory of Israel ; wherein the pater judicii had his assessores, sit. ting upon seats placed semi-circle wise before him from his right hand to his left. I beheld (saith Daniel Chap. vii. 9.) till the thrones or seats were pitched down (namely for the senators to sit upon, not thrown down, as we of late have it), and the Ancient of days (pater consistorii) did sit. And I beheld, till the judgment was set (that is, the whole Sanhedrim,) and the books were opened."
“ Here we see both the form of judgment delineated, and the name of judgment expressed ; which is afterwards yet twice more repeated : first, in the amplification of the tyranny of the wicked horn (Ver. 21, 22.), which is
previously converted; and Christ will be revealed, not to turn them to the faith, but to execute judgment upon his enemies. “I incline to think,” says he, “ that they shall be called by vision and voice from heaven, as St. Paul was ; and that that place of Zechariah They shall see him
they have pierced, and that of Matthew Ye shall
- From this de
of judgment and the day
the same a
"From the sa where this day is
' " Hence St
lonians, that th
tinued till the Ancient of days came, and Judgment was given to the saints of t]
the most High, i. e. potestas judicandi ipsis facta ; and the third time in t shall take
gel's interpretation (Ver. 26.). But the Judgment shall sit, and they serve also
away his dominion to consumé and destroy it to the end. Where, obO, that cases of dominion, of blasphemy, and apostacy, and the like, I to the jurisdiction of the great Sanhedrim. n this description it came, that the Jews gave it the name of the day
ent and the day of the great judgment ; whence, in the epistle of St.
Ver. 6.), it is called the judgment of the great day. should be
m the same description they learned, that the destruction then to be be by fire, because it is said (Ver. 9.) His throne was à fiery flame,
Wheels burning fire ; and (Ver. 11.) The beast was slain, and his body yed and given to the burning flame. om the same fountain are derived those expressions in the Gospel,
this day is intimated or described ; The Son of man shall come in the of heaven; The Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his engels: forasmuch as it said here, Thousand thousands ministered unta
and that Daniel saw One like the Son of man coming with the clouds ven, and he came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near him.
ence St. Paul learned, that the saints should judge the world, because it
a that many thrones were set, and (Ver. 22.) by way of exposition, that Mement was given to the saints of the Most High.
lence the same apostle learned to confute the false fear of the Thessans, that the day of Christ's second coming was then at hand : because that could not be till the man of sin were first come, and should have reigned me appointed : forasmuch as Daniel had foretold it should be so, and his destruction should be at the Son of man's appearing in the clouds ; ose appearing therefore was not to be till then. This is € 10xveice Tng 09861os auto in St. Paul : whom the Lord (saith he) shall destroy at the Poever of his coming. Daniel's wicked horn is St. Paul's man of sin, as the rch from her infancy interpreted it.
But to go on : while this judgment sits, and when it had destroyed the yourth beast, the Son of man which comes in the clouds receives dominion,
& Slory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve na obey him (Ver. 14.) ; which kingdom is thrice explained afterwards to be the kingdom of the saints of the Most High, Ver. 18, 22, 27.
“These grounds being laid, I argue as followeth :
'The kingdom of the Son of man and of the saints of the Most High in Daniel begins when the great judgment sits.
"The kingdom in the Apocalypse, wherein the saints reign with Christ a thousand years, is the same with the kingdom of the Son of man and saints of the Most High in Daniel.
“ Ergo, It also begins at the great judgment.
“ That the kingdom in Daniel and that of a thousand years in the ApocaJypse are one and the same kingdom, appears thus :
“ First, because they begin ab eodem termino, namely, at the destruction of the fourth beast : that in Daniel, when the beast (then ruling in the wicked horn) was slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame (Dan. vii. 11, 22, 27.): that in the Apocalypse, when the beast and the false
his time appoint that his destruct
not see me henceforth till you say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord *, seems to imply some such matter. They will never believe that Christ reigns at the right hand of God, until they see him. It must be an invincible evidence which must convert them, after so many hundred years settled obstinacy. But this I speak of the body of the nation; there may be some Præludia of some particulars converted upon other motives, as a forerunner of the great and main conversion f.” To this opinion of Mr. Mede it was objected by Dr. Twisse, how such a vision could be manifested to the Jews dispersed in several parts of the world. The answer was, that u vision or apparition in heaven may be seen by the greatest part of the world at the same time, as stars
prophet (the wicked horn in Daniel) were taken, and both cast alive into a lake burning with brimstone. Rev. xix. 20, 21.
“ Secondly, Because St. John begins the regnum of a thousand years from the same session of judgment described in Daniel ; as appears by his parallel expression borrowed from thence. Daniel says, Chap. vii.
| St. John says, Chap. xx. “9. I beheld till the thrones werell 4. I saw thrones, and they sat upon pitched down-and the judgment (i. e. || them. judges) sat.
“22. And judgment was given to the And judgment was given unto them. saints of the Most High.
“ And the saints possessed the king-|| And the saints lived and reigned with dom ; viz. with the Son of man who|| Christ a thousand years. came in the clouds.
« Now, if this be sufficiently proved, that the thousand years begin with the day of judgment, it will appear further out of the Apocalypse, that the judgment is not consummate till they be ended ; for Gog and Magog's destruction and the universal resurrection is not till then : therefore the whole thousand years is included in the day of judgment.
“ Hence it will follow, that, whatsoever Scripture speaks of a kingdom of Christ to be at his second appearing or at the destruction of Antichrist, it must needs be the same which Daniel saw should be at that time, and so consequently be the kingdom of a thousand years which the Apocalypse includes between the beginning and consummation of the great judgment." Mede's Works, B. iv. Epist. 15. p. 762, 763.
In short, the whole matter may be briefly stated as follows. The day of Christ's second advent or the great day of judgment commences at the close of the 1260 years, when the vengeance of God begins to go forth against the Antichristian faction ; extends through the period of the Millennium ; and terminates with the final destination of all mankind either to everlasting happiness or everlasting misery. Hence this day of the second advent comprehends two manifestations of the Messiah ; the one previous to the Millennium for the destruction of Antichrist, the other subsequent to the Millennium for the universal judgment both of quick and dead. The first of these manifestations is predicted in Dan. vii. 9, 10, 11, 18, 22, 26, 27. and Rev. xix. 11-21. the second is predicted in Rev. xx. 11-15.
* Zechar. sij. 10. Matt. xxiii. 39.