Page images

gave authority at first to the beast, and governed all along unseen by his means, so now he appears openly as his supporter. As Popery was all along Paganism, varnished over with an appearance of Christianity, so now the Pagan powers avowedly support the Popish party, in resisting the converted Jews. The emiffaries of this triumvirate


forth to the kings of the earth, to procure their support for the beast, in his last extremity. And they are fordid, loquacious, and amphibious, like frogs. They use the meanest shifts to form alliances, croak portentuous ills to mankind, ari. sing from the dominion of the Jews, and suit


* In that day the Lord, with his fore and great, and strong « sword, shall punish Leviathan the piercing ferpent, even “ (and) Leviathan that crooked ferpent; and he shall say “ the dragon that is in the sea.” Our translators seemed to have considered the names here mentioned, as belonging to one enemy, or at most to two ; but whoever reads the passage in the original, will immediately perceive that three diftinct enemies are pointed out. Accordingly Lowth fo understands it in his translation. The time of their punishment is after the conversion of the Jews, mentioned Isaiah xxvi. 12, 13. The two Leviathans are described by characters that suit the first and second beasts in the Apocalypse. The character of the first is pride and tyranny ; that of the second, subtilty and cunning. The second beast is the same with the falfe prophet. The dragon retains the name and character in both passages.



their arguments to the peculiar circumstances and dispositions of those whom they address.

These are perilous times ; an exhortation is therefore inserted, intimating the suddenness of the judgments which shall overtake these enemies of the truth, and cautioning Christ's faithful followers from being led away by the delu

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is “ he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, “ left he walk naked, and they see his shame;' Rev. xvi. 15.

The delusion spread by the Popish emiffaries is so great, that the kings of the earth are perfuaded to enter into a league, and bring together their combined forces, in order to support the beast and resist the Jews. “And he gathered “ them together into a place called in the He“ brew tongue Armageddon ;" Rev. xvi. 16.


Of the Battle of Armageddon.

THE battle fought at Armageddon is fo de-

cisive for the interest of religion, that it is largely described by the ancient prophets. I shall therefore take the benefit of their united light, to discover-the place of the battle,—the parties engaged,—the manner of the event,and the consequences of the victory obtained.


The Place of the Battle is near Jerusalem. That the place of Armageddon, or mountain of destruction, is Judea, we might infer from the residence of the beast in Judea, previous to the battle, and his collecting allies for a defensive war. It is most natural to fuppose, that he will make his last stand in the country where he resides. But waving this, his destruction in Judea, is clearly asserted in the following passages of scripture : “ The Lord of “ hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have

thought, thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I “ have purposed, so shall it stand ; that I will “ break the Assyrian in my land, and upon my “ mountains tread him under foot : then shall “ his yoke depart from off them, and his bur. “ den depart from off their shoulders. This is “ the purpose that is purposed upon the whole “ earth ; and this is the hand that is stretched “ out upon all the nations. For the Lord of “ hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul " it? and his hand is stretched out, and who " shall turn it back ?" Ifa. xiv. 24.-27. The Affyrian can be no other than the king of Babylon; mentioned in the preceding part of the chapter, and the king of ancient Babylon cannot be intended, because no such event took place, as his destruction in the land of Israel. But as the name is elsewhere bestowed on the head of spiritual Babylon, so the character here given fitly agrees to him ; ver. 13.-15. This destruction takes place at the time the Jews are restored to the favour of God and their own land; but the description of that restoration can by no means apply to the return from Babylon; ver. 1.-3. The yoke of this Assyrian laid on the Jews shall then depart from off them ; ver. 25. “ The whole earth," “ all nations,” inimical to the true religion, shall be punished together with the Aflyrian ; ver. 26. exactly corresponding

with the Apocalypse, which represents the destruction of the kings of the earth, and their armies, together with the beast at Armageddon. But this destruction takes place “in the land ~ of Israel, and on the mountains of Judea ;" ver. 25. Therefore Judea is Armageddon.

“ Through the voice of the Lord shall the

Affyrian be beaten down, which smote with “ a rod.-For Tophet is ordained of old : yea, “ for the king it is prepared : he hath made it

deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and “ much wood : the breath of the Lord, like a 6 stream of brimstone, doth kindle it ;" Isa. XXX. 31.–33. Here the fame Assyrian mentioned formerly is introduced, for he is said to be 66 beaten down” at the time the Jews are restored to their land, and enjoy the blessings of the Millennium, largely described ver. 18.–26. Again, the manner of his destruction corresponds with the representation given of it in the Apocalypse, chap. xix. 20. “ The beast was taken, " and with him the false prophet.—These both " were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with « brimstone.” But the place where he is beaten down is Tophet, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, which lies to the east of Jerusalem. “ Then " Ihall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a

mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean “ man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from

« PreviousContinue »