« ElőzőTovább »
world. And so completely under the direction of the wicked one will the whole agency be found to be, that it is said, For they are the spirits of devils. Their subtilty is indicated; —like frogs:-Unclean, hateful reptiles! Sly, out of sight, slippery, stationary, or swift in their motion, as will best answer their purpose; creeping into every apartment; as was said of the frogs in the Egyptian plague-which shall go up, and come into thine house, and into thy bed chamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading troughs. Sly, yet bold, impudent, and disgusting. Their power of deceit is noted. Work. ing miracles; doing wonders in the sight of men. The depth of their scheme, the unity of their design, their incredible perseverance, the corruptions of the human heart, and the agency of Satan, will all unite to give the most astonishing force to their operations. Every incident, every corrupt passion, and all the
of sly insinuation, will be pressed into their service. In a word, licentiousness, Infidelity, and false religion, will unite their influence to aid the same cause.
So great, complicated, and fatal an agency, from the three kindred systems of licentiousness, of infidelity, and of false religion, as we here find predicted to go forth to the cabinets and nations of the world, after the sixth vial, cannot be expected to have risen at once. No verily! Their rise and organization will be found to have been a work of time. These very spirits are in fatal operation some time before the subversion of the Ottoman empire; though they are not noted in the predictions of the vials, till after the sixth vial; and to prepare the way for the seventh. The effects of these spirits of devils will then be more peculiarly seen, preparing the world apace for the tremendous harvest. They are hence predicted, as most notorious and fatal, at that period. But this prediction does not teach that those three systems of influence originate after the sixth vial; though the symbol presents them as then appearing from the mouths of the dragon, Beast and false prophet. This does not forbid, (and the vast deeds
ascribed to them do imply,) that they will have been in operation for some time be,ore the period, at which they are here first noted. For such vast and subtile systems of influence do not spring into existence at once. Their rise and deep organization will be found to have been a work of time. These abominable spirits bave been in operation from the time of the rise of the infi. del Power. The many predictions of the rise and progress
of that infidel Power, teach, that this complicated agency, which will be found to be so extensive and fatal, after the sixth vial, was prevalent and dreadful, long before it. (See section 4, chapter i, of this dissertation;-Antichrist predicted by the apostles.) These unclean spirits like frogs have already long been discovered, as operating in the Papal earth; and going forth thence in multitudes over the civilized world. They in fact gave direction to the French revolution; and bave been the most mischievous occasion of the terrible scenes of judgment, through the civilized world, of modern date. But their agency and mischievous operations are to be still more extensive and fatal, after the effusion of the sixth vial, and to prepare the way for the seventh vial, the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Some great checks they will receive, in the prosecution of their plans, till after the return of the Jews to Palestine. Their kingdom will be "partly strong and partly broken.” The earth will swallow up some of their foods. And the alarms of many may be Jaid to sleep. But the wicked object is not relinquished. The infernal agents gain strength in dark recesses. And after the restoration of the Jews, they will work miracles of success; and will sink the wicked world, or introduce the battle of that great day.
The extent of this agency is amazing: Going forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world. If the whole world literally be not here designed, a great part of it surely must be understood. The nations favored with the light of Revelation will be included. The object of this combined and vast agency is interesting: To gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. To prepare and gather the people
of the world to that battle, so abundantly predicted in the prophetic parts of the Bible; to the event, which may be called, the battle of that great day so well known.
And he gathered them together into a place called, in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon. This text probably will be fulfilled both literally and mystically. There is to be a literal expedition under Gog, against the Church of Christ; consisting of the Jews and peo. ple of Israel in Palestine.* And Armageddon, or the mountain of Megiddo, may be the place literally where Gog and his bands will be destroyed.t Armageddon inports, the mountain of Megiddo, (or Megiddon, which is the same) or the mountain, that declares. Me. giddo was a city of Manassah, 44 miles north of Jerusalem. It was there, that Jabin's army was routed by the few men under Barak and Deborah; Judges i, 27; and v, 19. It appears to have been a seat of the warring Canaanites. Ahaziah fled thither from Jebu; and there died of his wounds just before received; 2 Kings is, 27. In this place Josiah was slain by Pharaoh Necho; 2 Chron. xxxii, 22; and all Judah mourned for him. This place was hence noted as a place of slaughter, and of mourning; Zech. xii, 11. Mr. Ed. wards remarks, that the words waters of Megiddo, and valley of Megiddo, imply a mountain, or rise of Megid. do. Probably this mountain or rise is small. Indeed, as mount Carmel was in the vicinity of Megiddo, this mountain may be alluded to, and in the prophecy, called the mountain of Megiddon. I conceive it to be of no great consequence, whether the word, importing mountain, and prefixed to Megiddon, relates wholly, or in part, to a mountain in that part of the country, as Carmel, or any other mountain or hill; or whether it is wholly mystical. Though I do conceive the text will have a kind of literal fulfilment, as it relates to Gog and his bands, who are to be destroyed in Palestine;-and a mystical fulfilment only, as it relates to the body of the Antichristian nations, to be destroyed at that period,
* See Ezek. xxxvii, xxxviii, and xxxix.
Perhaps there is the same reason, and only the same, for this place to be called mount Megiddon, as for Perazim, in Isa. xxviii, 21, to be called mount Perazim. Predicting primarily the destruction of the Jews, and ultimately the batile of that great day of God, the prophet says; “For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim.”
We know not of any mountain in Perazim, where the Lord broke forth, before David, like a destroying food, upon the Philistines; 2 Sam. v, 20. Yet in predicting the battle of that great day of God, it is said, in allusion to that ancient event, “The Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim.” So the wicked of the world are to be gathered to mount Megiddon.
In Joel iii, 9-12, they are gathered to the valley of Jehoshaphat. That valley likewise implies a mountain. Hence the men of war are there challenged, "let them draw near; let them come up!” Gog and his bands will be collected in Palestine. The numerous nations predicted to be in that vast coalition, will need the subtilest maragement, to excite and give direction to the event. But the object of this subtile agency will no doubt have a mystical fulfilment. Countless multitudes throughout ihe evangelized nations, will be prepared and mar. shalled, as in battle array against the Church, and the King of Zion; and will be cut off in fatal judgments, under the seventh vial. A general spirit of licentiousness, Infidelity, and of false religion, will be found cooperating over the world; producing the most fatal effects to the temporal, and especially to the eternal in. terests of men; leading the multitudes of the people to treasure up wrath against the day of wrath; and thus to be found in the mystic Armageddon, when the day of that battle shall arrive.
In the midst of the account concerning the three unclean spirits like frogs, we find a pause; and our Lord in heaven gives the solemn admonition to the world; Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he, that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Most vrgent warning! When such wickedness prevails, the chariot-wheels of justice are near! God will take his enemies on surprise. They
believe not in his coming. And the event will be to them like the coming of a thief; yea, like lightning from heaven. And all, whose souls are not adorned with grace, will be exposed to sink with Infidels, under the shame of their wickedness, and the terrors of that day. Let this kind warning sink deep into the ears and hearts of Christians! Says inspiration to them, Ye are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Our blessed Lord has repeatedly predicted, that his coming shall be as that of a thief; unlooked for; un. expected by the wicked world; like the flood upon the old world, and like the destruction of Sodom. Luke xvii, 26–30. The perils of those times are predicted, and the most wakeful vigilance enjoined. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments. Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing.
THE SEVENTH VIAL.
And the seventh Angel poured out his vial into the
air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven from the throne saying, It is done.
And there were voices, and thunders, and light. nings; and there was a greut earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mouitains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. (Rev. xvi, 17, to the end.)
We have here a large assemblage of figures, and of the most terrific kind. This is the most tremendous of all the vials. It appears more terrible, than all the pre