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SECTION THE SEVENTH.

THE GREAT DAY OF THE BATTLE OF ALMIGHTY GOD.

The kings and their armies gathered at Armageddon-The judgment of

the vintage-Destruction of the nations, and all their armies—The general conflagration, and production of new heavens and a new earth-A time of trouble, such as never was, or ever will be, in the creation of God—The meaning of the prophetical language that describes great changes in the heavenly bodies, and on the surface of the earth : not always symbolical and typical—The alarm of sinners amidst these dreadful conflicts, and confidence of the people of God in their Great Deliverer.

In the field of Armageddon “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” were already gathered. They had assembled “to take a prey and gather a spoil ;" but now “Michael, the great prince, standeth up for the remnant of his people.” The Redeemer has raised and received to himself in glory all the true believers of his gospel church, with all that died in the faith of Him that was to come; and has also conducted certain portions of restored Israel in the flesh by his miraculous interference through the deserts. The time is come, at length, when his enemies are to be made his footstool: (Psalm cx.)

“ Jehovah sendeth forth the sceptre of thy power out of Zion,

Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
The concourse of thy people is great in the day of thy power,

On the holy hills;
Greater' than from the womb of the morning
Is the dew of thy progeny."

The destruction at Megiddo is distinguished as “the great day of the battle of Almighty God :" the armies of the apostate are assembled there, and there they meet their fate. But, at the same time, the judgments of Jehovah Sabaoth are poured upon the countries from which these armies came,--the inhabiters of the fourth empire especially: the beast, that symbolizes that empire, is represented as “taken and destroyed, and his body given to the burning fire.” Thus, when Gog and his armies are described, in Ezekiel, as“ falling upon the open field,” on the mountains of Israel, it is said: “And I will send a fire on Magog, and,” or “even on them that dwell carelessly in the isles : and they shall know that I am Jehovah.” * So again, when the judgment of the same apostate power is described, (Isaiah xxxiv.) which is there spiritually called Idumea and Bozrah, we read: “For the indignation of Jehovah is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies.” “For my sword shall be bathed in heaven: behold, it shall come down upon Idumea, and” or “even upon the people of my curse to judgment.” In like manner, when the final destruction of the mystic Babylon is presented to our view, (Rev. xviii. xix.) though the beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies, are overtaken when engaged in the invasion of Palestine, at the same time is the cry heard: “ Babylon the great is fallen! is fallen!" Nay, she is “then utterly burnt with fire.” “ The kings of the earth, who had committed fornication, and lived deliciously with her,” are described as “ seeing” “afar off,” the smoke of her burning."

| xxxix. 6.

The site of the judgment of the vintage, where “the word of God” “treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God,” is particularly marked as being in the land of Palestine—“and the wine-press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine-press, even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs;” this measure is the length of the Holy Land, and the country is not within the limits of the fourth empire, and therefore, “without the city;" yet, in the same judgment we must include the destruction of the city or empire of the mystic Babylon :* according to that of Isaiah, (ch. lxiii.)

· Who is this that cometh from Edom,
With sprinkled † garments from Bozrah ?
This that is glorious in his apparel,
Reclining in his great strength ?
I who speak in righteous vengeance,
Contending to bring salvation.

• For

the devoted destruction of Megiddo," see Second Advent, Vol. II.

+ Or "wine-stained.”

Why this' red on thine apparel ?
And why thy garments like him that treadeth the wine press?
I have trodden the press, alone,
And of the nations no man was with me.
And I trod them in mine

anger,
And trampled them in mine indignation.
And their life's-blood spirted on my garments,
And I have stained * all my apparel.
For the day of vengeance was in my heart,
And the

year

of
my

redeemed was come.
And I looked, and there was no helper,
And I found myself alone, without an upholder.
And mine own arm hath wrought salvation for me,
And mine indignation hath upholden me.
And I have trodden down the nations in mine anger,
And I have crushed them in my indignation,
And I made their life's-blood to run down on the ground."

So according to Rev. xix. when the great Redeemer, as we may say, is described as entering the field of Armageddon, to tread the wine-press there, in the most restricted application of the figure, he is “ clothed with a vesture dipped in blood,” It is already described, that “out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron,” &c. t We may therefore argue, that though the destruction of the mystic Babylon, and of the fourth empire, is contemporaneous with the gathering the armies at Armageddon, yet the stretching forth of the iron sceptre, when the nations, “as the vessels

* Or “polluted.”

+ Ver. 15.

99

of a potter, are to be broken to shivers,” especially in the judgment of the Roman empire, will rather precede the destruction of their congregated armies, to be

“ food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, on the mountains and plains of Israel."

While Gog of Ezekiel is coming up with all his bands to the destruction of “ the land of unwalled villages ;” while the emphatic “king” of Daniel“ is doing according to his will,” and “overflowing the countries;" when the tide, perhaps, rolls back from Egypt, and “he plants the tabernacle of his palaces between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; at that hour, it may be-himself reserved for the last victim—the indignation falls upon the devoted countries. In these countries, symbolized by Edom and Babylon, and sometimes by Sodom and Egypt, no repentance was produced by the late judgments, but, on the contrary, God was “blasphemed because of the hail ;" therefore are they compelled to know, and to feel, in their everlasting destruction, that He is Jehovah !

This, then, is “the great and terrible day of the Lord :” and in this manner will it come upon restored Israel, upon the fourth empire, with he nations of the apostolic world, and upon their armies arrayed in Palestine. This, therefore, is “the day when the Son of man is revealed.” The general description of this day, though it is big with mercy and glorious deliverance to the faithful remnant of the gospel church, and to the holy seed that shall remain to Israel after the flesh, is awful and terrible

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