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an. 12. 1. And there fhall be a time of Trouble, fuch as never was fince there was a Nation, even to that fame time.
Or, as it is expreffed by
. Matth. 24. 21. For then shall be great Tribulation, fuch as was not fince the beginning of the World to this time, no nor ever fhall be.
. Mark 13. 19. For in thofe Days Shall be Af fliction, fuch as was not from the beginning of the Creation which God created, unto this time, neither shall be..
HIS PROPHECY thus differently expreffed, contains a Solemn Denunciation of the dreadful Judg-ments that shall come upon the World in the laft Times, which will display them
lves in two forts of Evils.
1. By the Natural Evils I underftand rincipally, The Sword, the Peftilence, and e Famine.
2. By the Supernatural, The Afflictions which the Church of God, and the whole World, fhall undergo in the Reign of Antichrift, who is the Confummation of the Curfe.
THE Reafons why I'imagine these Natural Evils to be the Sword, Peftilence, and Famine, are these :
1. BECAUSE these (with that of the noifom Beafts) are call'd God's Sore Judgments; or as it is in the Original, his (Emphatically) Evil Judgments, Ezek. 14. 21. and tho' indeed, in this and one or two other Places, we find the noisom Beafts, and fometimes the Earthquakes join'd with them; yet generally fpeaking, thefe Three are in moft of the Prophets put together, as the Sum or Completion of all the Natural Evils that can befal a People.
2. BECAUSE they correfpond to, and are the Natural Fruits and Productions of the Three great Divisions of Sin, mention'd by St. John, 1 Ep. 2. 16. 1. The Luft of the Flesh; 2. The Luft of the Eye; 3. And the Pride of Life; which he calls all that is in the World; meaning, that all other Inftances of Sin, may (generally speaking) be reduc'd to thefe Three Heads.
THESE fhall ravage up and down in the World, in different Places and Degrees, accordingly as Perfons, Places, or Nations, may be more or less ripe for Vengeance; and are not only intended as a Punishment for the Sufferers, but as Warnings for thofe thar fhall efcape them, that greater Evils are at hand: For fo faith our Bléffed Lord,
Matth. 24. 7,8. Mark 13.9. Nation fhall_rife against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom: And there fhall be Famines, and Peftilences, and Earthquakes in divers Places; and immediately fubjoins, All these are the beginnings of Sorrows. Where the Original Word *, which **ow. we tranflate Sorrows, fignifies particularly the Pains of a travailing Woman, and seems to be most emphatically used in this place, to reprefent to us, that these fhall be, as it were, the Throws and Pangs of the Kingdom of Darkness, or Hellish Principle, la bouring to bring forth Antichrift, who is to be the Head and Completion of the Apoftacy, the Top-Fruit of the Mystery of Iniquity, in whom shall dwell the Fullness of Diabolical Deceit and Wickedness, in opposition to our Lord Jefus Chrift, in whom dwelt the Fulnefs of Grace and Truth; yea, of the Godhead bodily.
BEFORE I proceed to a diftinct Confide- The preceration of the feveral Parts, I fhall premife ding Confione Thing; That feeing there are in Scri- derations confirm'd. pture many terrible Denunciations of great Judgments, which have not yet been fulfilled, at leaft in their utmoft Extent and Meaning; it is natural to imagine, that they do ultimately refpect thofe latter Times, according to what our Bleffed Lord tells us of them, Luke 21. 22. That these are the Days of Vengeance, that all Things that are written might be fulfilled: i. e. These are the Laft and Great Days of Vengeance, in which fhall be ultimately fulfilled all those heavy Denunciations of Judgment, which God by the Mouth of his Holy Prophets, B 2
ever fince the World began, has threatned to the Enemies of his Church, which is now beginning to lift up her Head, and triumph over the Oppofitions of all her Enemies. The times of her refreshing are * about to commence; fhe fhall pass fecurely through this Deluge of Affliction, and shall come forth glorioully. This hath been reprefented to us, as it were, in miniature, by divers leffer Manifeftations of the Divine Juftice and Mercy: Thus the Apostle St. Peter tells us, 2 Ep. Chap. 2. That the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrab was, as it were, a little Sketch and Representation of this laft dreadful Scene: The Deftruction of the City and Temple of Jerufalem is likewife defcrib'd in fuch a Manner, and with fuch Characters, as plainly fhows it to be typical of that more dreadful Deftruction, that fhall come upon the Apoftate World in the latter Days: Thus the Crimes and Punishments charg'd upon Ba-wth bylon, Tyre, Edom, &c. in the prophetical Books, tho' they were in fome measure verify'd according to the Letter in the Type; yet it is clear to any that are acquainted with Hiftory, that they were very far from being entirely fulfill'd, but are rather Types and Figures of the Antichriftian World, as standing in fome eminent Property or Character, whence we fee they are tranfcrib'd by the Divine Author of the Revelations, Ch. 17. 18. and apply'd to the Myftical Babylon, or Apoftate Chriftendom. So, laftly, Cube's to go yet further, the * Ancient Prophecy 1. Of Emuch did, no doubt, in its most obvious
and immediate Defign, point at the State and Inhabitants of the old World, before the Flood in which he liv'd, warning them of the fad Degeneracy of Mankind, and the terrible Punishments that would enfue upon it Yet the Apoftle St. Jude, v. 14: exprefly fays, that Enoch prophecy'd of the Antichriftian Members of the Church which were in his Days, but more parti cularly of those that were to come in the laft Periods of the Church, v. 17, 18. Al which Inftances do help to confirm this Hypothefis, that all thofe great and fignal Punishments, denounc'd by the Holy Prophets against a People or Nation; thofe particularly which feem to run in General and Univerfal Terms, did ultimately and finally refer to this laft terrible Catastrophe, when Vengeance fhall be poured out to the full, correfponding to the full Meafure of Iniquity: For the Judgments never take place, till the Sins of a Nation are filled up. So God did not bring the Flood upon the old World, till the Earth was filled with Violence, as he himself complains, Gen. 6. So alfo God tells Abraham, Gen. 15. 16. that he could not yet poffefs the Land, which he had promised to him and his Seed, because their Sins were not yet full. So then in the latter Days, when the Measure of the Iniquities of Mankind fhall be filled up, their Judgments and Punishments fhall be fo likewife: This Laft and Great Defolation being the Forerunner and Introduction to the bleffed Millennial Kingdom of our Lord Jefus Chrift, was what the Prophets