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rit join his ftandard from the four corners of the earth? In fact, the countries from which his followers come, according to the Prophet, are fituate with respect to Judea to the four quarters of the earth. Is it not reasonable to expect, that fo immense an army shall lay waste an extensive territory, and of course harrafs the church in many places, and yet their chief defign may be againft, and their final overthrow may take place in the land of Judea? So far is the Apostle from contradicting the relation of the Prophet in this refpect, that he exprefsly mentions their compaffing about the beloved city, that is, the Jewish church. The learned prelate proceeds: "Gog and Magog, in Ezekiel, are with very
good reason fuppofed to be the Turks, but the "Turks are the authors of the fecond woe, and "the second woe is paffed before the third woe, " and the third woe long precedes the time here "treated of." This argument is certainly conclufive against the existence of the Ottoman empire, at the period in which St. John reprefents Gog and Magog compaffing about the beloved city. But the very good reasons which induce him to Luppose Gog and Magog in Ezekiel, to reprefent the Turks, I fee not.
The thirty-third chapter of Ifaiah throughout, refers to this invafion of Gog. My reafons for this opinion are the following, of which the reader
reader may judge: 1. It cannot apply to Senna cherib's invafion in a strict and literal fenfe; becaufe, verses 5, 6. contain expreffions too lofty to fuit Hezekiah's government, but they are ftrictly true of Chrift's. Again, in verfes 21, 22, 23, 24. we have the language in which the Prophets uniformly describe the happiness of the latter times; but what connection can be traced betwixt the deftruction of Sennacherib's army, and the glory of the Millennium? Whereas the deftruction of Gog's army and the Millennium, are closely connected.-2. The connection of this with the preceding chapter, lead me to apply it to Gog. The former chapter concluded with an account of the Millennium; this defcribes an invasion of Judea pofterior to it, precisely agreeing to the account in the Apocalypse, that when the thousand years are expired, Gog leads his army against the beloved city.-3. All the cir cumftances agree to Gog's invafion.. This is a fudden attack with the fword, verfes 1. and 8. compared with Ezek. xxxviii. 9. 15, 16. and Rev.xx.8. The invasion is undertaken to gather fpoil from the peaceable habitations of the church. Compare ver. 1. with Ezek. xxxviii. 11, 12. Yet the attempt shall end in making the invaders a spoil
to the people of God, ver. 1.4. with Ezek. xxxix. 10. God's hand is visible in their destruction,
and their punishment is partly by fire, ver. 3. 10, 11, 12. Ezek. xxxviii. 22. and Rev. xx. 9. After
After the deftruction of Gog, the church, at leaft that of the Jews, enjoys an uninterrupted calm, till the day of judgment! Compare ver. 10. with Ezek. xxxix. 22.
Another paffage which appears to me to refer to the invasion of Gog is, Zech. xiv. 1, 2, 3. The Prophet having mentioned an attack upon Jerufalem, and the confequences, promises that God fhall interpofe for the deliverance of his people, in the fame manner that he interpofed on a former occafion. "As when he fought in "the day of battle;" the former battle to which the reference is made being likewise future, the Prophet begins to defcribe it, as well as what precedes and follows after it, from verse 4. to the clofe. The circumftances mentioned clearly fhew, that the battle to which he alludes, is that of Armageddon : Now the only battle pofterior to Armageddon, is that of Gog and Magog: therefore the battle first mentioned; and referring to Armageddon as a prior event, muft be that of Gog and Magog.
When we compare these paffages, and receive their united light, we have as diftinct a view of this laft perfecution as we could reasonably expect or defire, of an event not accomplished.
The agents in this perfecution are diftinctly noted. The great invifible adversary is the first mover of this, as of every former perfecution, while the Sovereign Ruler fees meet to
permit this laft effort of the enemy, by taking off the reftraint under which he was laid for a season, (Rev. xx. 7.) not only to try the faith and patience of his people, but likewise to separate the chaff from the wheat. It appears clearly, that the church had much declined by long continued profperity, and harboured multitudes of hypocritical profeffors in her bofom, for these lay hold of the first opportunity that offers, to throw off the mask, and join the standard of an enemy against her.
As to the visible agents, the leader of the army in this expedition is described by the country in which he refides, and his occupation: "Gog, in the land of Magog, the chief
prince of Meshech and Tubal," Ezek. xxxviii. 2. The infpired writers commonly denominate nations by the names of their progenitors, and countries by the names given them on the first partition of the earth betwixt the fons of Noah. Now, it appears from Genefis, chap. x. 2. that Magog, as well as Mefhech and Tubal, were fons of Japhet an, d all the learned agree, that they originally fettled in the neighbourhood of each other, to the east and north-eaft of the Euxine Sea, and that Magog is the father of the Scythians and Tartars. It appears to me, that the intention of the prophecy is to fhow, that fome adventurous Tartar prince refiding near the Euxine Sea, and reigning over the
the neighbouring countries, fhall at the end of the Millennium, fet up the ftandard of rebellion against the church. But we are carefully to observe, that besides his natural fubjects, he is joined by malcontents, from all the corners of the earth. So the Apoftle fays exprefsly, (Rev. xx. 8.) and the prophet Ezekiel fays as much by implication; for he enumerates, not only "Gomer and his bands, Togarmah and his "bands, out of the north quarters;" but he likewise mentions Perfia, Ethiopia, and Lybia, countries widely distant from each other, and from the land of Magog, and with respect to Judea, fituated at the four quarters of the earth.
The motives which animate these enemies of the church are various. The grand adverfary, under the influence of the old enmity, endeavours, in this laft effort to fuppress religion by open violence, not to undermine it ast formerly, by the beaft and false prophet'.
(1) The latest Popish writers on the fubject of Antichrift, apply the prophecy concerning Gog in Ezekiel to Antichrift, and triumph in it, as containing an ample vindication of the Papacy; for Gog appears to be an individual, not a fucceffion of individuals; an Afiatic, not an European prince; an open, not a fecret enemy of religion. But the anfwer is eafy; Antichrift and Gog, though both enemies to religion, are very different powers, rifing in very different ages of the world, the appearance of the last distant from the final fall of the first 1000 years.