Page images
PDF
EPUB

-rit join his standard from the four corners of the carth? In fact, the countries from which his followers come, according to the Prophet, are situate with respect to Judea to the four quarters of the earth. Is it not reasonable to expect, that so immense an army shall lay waste an excensive territory, and of course harrass the church in many places, and yet their chief design may be against, 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 respect, that he expressly 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 supposed to be the Turks, but the 6. Turks are the authors of the second 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 conclu. five against the existence of the Ottoman empire, at the period in which St. John represents Gog and Magog compafling about the beloved city. But the very good reasons which induce him to Luppose Gog and Magog in Ezekiel, to represent the Turks, I see not.

The thirty-third chapter of Isaiah throughout, refers to this invasion of Gog. My reasons for this opinion are the following, of which the reader may judge: 1. It cannot apply to Sennacherib's invasion in a strict and literal sense; because, verses 5, 6. contain expressions too lofty to suit Hezekiah's government, but they are ftrictly true of Christ's. Again, in verses 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 destruction of Sennacherib's army, and the glory of the Millennium? Whereas the destruction 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 describes 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 invasion. This is a sud. den attack with the sword, verses 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. xxxviji. 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.

reader

After

After the destruction of Gog, the church, at least that of the Jews, enjoys an uninterrupted calm, till the day of judgment i Compare ver. 10. with Ezek. xxxix. 22.

Another passage which appears to me to rofer to the invasion of Gog is, Zech. xiv. 1, 2, 3. The Prophet having mentioned an attack upon Jerusalem, and the consequences, promises that God shall interpose for the deliverance of his people, in the same manner that he interposed on a former occasion. “ 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 describe it, as well as what precedes and follows after it, from verse 4: to the close. The circumstances mentioned clearly shew, 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, must be that of Gog and Magog.

When we compare these passages, and receive their united light, we have as distinct a view of this last persecution as we could reasonably expect or desire, of an event not accomplished.

The agents in this persecution are diftin&ly noted. The great invisible adversary is the first mover of this, as of every former persecution, while the Sovereign Ruler sees meet to

permit this last 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 prosperity, and harboured mul. titudes of hypocritical profeffors in her bosom, 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 resides, and his occupation: “Gog, in the land of Magog, the chief “prince of Meshech and Tubal,” Ezek. xxxviii. 2. The inspired writers commonly denominate nations by the names of their progenitors, and countries by the names given them on the firit partition of the earth betwist the sons of Noah. Now, it appears from Genesis, chap. X. 2. that Magog, as well as Melhech and Tubal, were sons of Japhet an, d all the learned agree, that they originally settled in the neighbourhood of each other, to the east and north-east 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 show, that some adventurous Tartar prince reliding near the Euxine Sea, and reigning over

the

the neighbouring countries, fhall at the end of the Millennium, set up the standard of rebellion against the church. But we are carefully to observe, that besides his natural subjects, he is joined by malcontents, from all the corners of the earth. So the Apostle says expressly, (Rev. xx. 8.) and the prophet Ezekiel says as much by implication ; for he enumerates, not only “ Gomer and his bands, Togarmah and his c 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, situated at the four quarters of the earth.

The motives which animate these enemies of the church are various. The grand adversary, under the influence of the old enmity, endeavours, in this last effort to suppress religion by open violence, not to undermine it as formerly, by the beast and false prophet'.

The

(1) The latest Popish writers on the subject of Antichrist, 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 succefsion of individuals ; an Afiatic, not an European prince; an open, not a fecret enemy of religion. But the answer is easy; Antichrist and Gog, though both enemies to religion, are very different powers, rising in very different ages of the world, the appearance of the last distant from the final fall of the first 1000 years.

« PreviousContinue »