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rather than seducing them by iniquitous blandishments;
Buklet us examine, how far the character of the mystical king of Babylon will answer to that of the infidel king.
They are both to be oppressors: they are both to be notorious exactors of gold: they are both to smite the peoples with unremitting strokes, and to rule the nations in their fury. If the king of Babylon is to sit in the mount of the divine presence ; the infidel king is to pitch the curtains of his pavilions in the glorious holy mountain between the seas : and, if the king of Babylon is to be crushed in the land of God, and to be trampled down in his mountains; the infidel king is, in the very same re. gion and at the very period, namely that of the final re... storation of Judah, to come to his end, none being able to help him*. The prince of Tyre indeed is said to be cast out of the holy mountain : but, in his case, the holy mountain must be understood, not of the literal mount. Zion, but of the Christian Church; because he is described as having long been in it, even during his perfect or uncorrupted statet. Whereas, in the case of the king
of Babylon, the mount of the divine presence must, like · · the holy mountain between the seas mentioned by Daniel,
be understood literally : both because the king is not said,
* Mr. Lowth, like myself, supposes Isaiah xiv. 13. and Dan. xi. 45. to be parallel passages. Comment. on Dan. xi. 45
+ Compare Isaiah xiv. 13. with Ezek. xxviii. 14, 15, 16:- The whole context of this latter passage shews, that it can only be understood figuratively. But it will be discussed at large hereafter in its proper place.
ws, that Isaabylon, namesigned for the am
like the prince of Tyre, to have sat there in a perfect state, but only in the course of those events which terminate in his destruction; and because it is afterwards literally predicted that his overthrow shall take place in Palestine. · Hence we must, I think, as in the parallel prophecy of Daniel, understand the king's sitting in the mountain of the divine presence, and his afterwards perishing in the holy land, as absolutely literal matters of fact. And here I may remark, that the region, assigned for the destruction of the king of Babylon, namely, Palestine *, suffici. ently shews, that Isaiah meant to describe a mystical cha.. racter, and not to confine his prophecy merely to the lite. ral king of Babylon. The literal sovereign of Assyriawas 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 circumstance of this judgment's being to be executed on God's moun. tains 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 t. In thus stating the matter, I certainly think :him altogether mistaken, except in his opinion that the .. prophecy vet remains to be fulfilled: for the destruction. of Sennacherib was not at all connected even with the return of Judah from the 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 mystical 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
*“Surely, as I have devised, so shall it be ; and, as I bave purposed, that thing shall stand : to crush the Assyrian 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 follows, then shall the yake depart from thy neck, which words 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.
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 saying 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 influence, and owing their very existence to me, they shall be mere vassals of my empire ; I will be a king of kinys; I will be the sole effective head of a vast body politic; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High. Do we not in this description recognize the beast 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 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 cir: cumstantial 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 Roman beast, contriving and influencing a confederacy of the Pope and the Popish sovereigns of the Latin empiret. 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
* See my Dissertation on the 1260 days, Chap. 6. . + See my Dissert. on the 1260 days. Vol. ii. p. 363 (2d edit. p. 404.)
strongly marked, is become a military despotism. Recent events have made the chief of that despotism the undoubted representative of Charlemagne, by whose very name indeed his servile flatterers delight to call him ; and consequently have made him the last or Carlovingian head of the beast. And scarcely has he acquired this long coveted pre-eminence, ere he begins to form a conspiracy of federal king's 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 influence 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, now restored to their own country, exult over the downfal of a mystic king of Ba. bylon; 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, son of the morning! How
company person, Wisenth chapter of derful ex
* 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.
will ac of the ,;.!ill exoscend
art thou cut down to the earth, thou that didst subduce the nations! Thou didst say in tliy 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 heights 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 be removed from off their shoulder *.”
Such will be the destruction of Antichrist : but the prophet, by “one of the boldest prosopopæias that ever was attempted in poetry,” carries us yet beyond his de.
• Vitringa supposes, that this prophecy respecting the king of Babylon will receive its ultimate accomplishment in the downful of the Papacy. Though I think that the character of this mystic sovereign corresponds much better with the infidel tyrant than the Pope, the interpretation of Vitringa is nevertheless important, as it shews his decided opinion, like that of the two Lowths, to have been, that we must look beyond the literal king of Babylon for the complete fulfilment of the prediction.
“ Imperii vero Babylonici, ad quod Joannes in Apocalypsi alludit, quo modo in hac prophetia describitur, hi sunt characteres. . Est imperium magnum et vastum. B. Cujus metropolis est urbs magna, ampla, splendida, regnorum decus, excellentia sua superbiens (Cap. xiii. 19.). g. Quæ captivum tenet populum Dei olim et longum tempus liberum, cumque duro premit juge servitutis (Cap. xiv. 1, 2, 3, 4.) £. Cui præest Rex sive Reges violenti, tyranni crudeles, exactores, populis violenter et inclementer imperantes. (Cap. xii.
11. xiv. 6, 12.) 6. Tanto fastu se supra humana omnia efferentes, ut se Deo * æquent, et summam cum eo partiri gaudeant gloriam (Vs. 13, 14.), sedentes in templo Dei, tanquam Deus, et quidem ad latera Aquilonis. . Turbantes totum orbem, bellor&mque inter gentes jacientes semina (Cap. xiv. 16.). %. Qui Rex, complexe sumptus, vi tandem dejiciendus sit de throno imperii, et detrudendus ad inferos (Cap. xiv. 15). 2. Cum admiratione omnium popu. lorum et gentium, quæ crediderant imperium ejus fore æternum (Cap. xiv. 6.). 1. 'Abolita simul omni hujus imperii successione (Vs. 21, 22.). x. Interito autem suo involvet plenarium excidium Babelis, ita destruendæ, ut nunquam postea habitetur (Cap. xiii. 20, 21. xiv 23.) ^. Cujus judicii administri essent maximam partem gentes truces, crudeles, bellicosæ, Babeli septentrionales, non parsuræ incolis Babelis (Cap. xiij. 17.). M. Effectus autem esset liberatia ecclesiæ a jugo, que hactenus pressa fuerat, ejusque jubilum cum deprædica. tione divinae justitiæ et gratiæ (Cap. xiv. 1, 2.) Hæc nunc applica, sodes, ad Romam, persecutricem sanctorum, et mysticos tanti imperij reges, et nullibi hærebis, exceptis iis, quorum implementum adhuc expectamus." Comment. in Jesaiam in loc.
It is a remarkable circumstance, that, as the literal Babylon was destroyed by the instrumentality of nations which lay northward of it, so we have some reason to believe from prophecy that a great northern nation will be employed to punish the Roman Babylon while Antichrist is engaged in his expedition against Palestine. This point will be discussed hereafter, when I treat of the predictions of Daniel and St. John.