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The leader of this expedition appears to be chiefly under the influence of covetousness. “ Thou shalt say, I will go to them that are at “ rest,—to take a spoil, and to take a prey ; to “ turn thine hand upon the people, which “ have gotten cattle and goods.--The mer. “ chants of Tarshish shall say unto thee, Art “ thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered “thy company to take a prey? to carry away “ silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, “ to take a great spoil,” Ezek. xxxviii. 11, 12, 13. The multitudes who join his standard from all corners, besides the expectation of booty, seem to be actuated by resentment against the discipline of the church. It would appear, they consider themselves oppressed by the restraints of religion, and have recourse to him for protection. This is implied in the Prophet's ironical address to the leader, “ Be thou “ a guard unto them,” ver. 7. The holiness and happiness of the Millennial state, cannot permit any species of oppression; if therefore the followers of Gog claim his protection to deliver them from the dominion of the church, it must be a desire to be set free from the reftraints of religion. No oppression is so grievous to an unsanctified heart, as that which arises from the purity of Christianity. A desire to fhake off this yoke, is the true cause of that op
position Christianity has met with from the world in every period, and will, it is most likely, be the chief motive to influence the followers of Gog in his time. It would appear, that all parties joining in this expedition are encouraged, by the hope of obtaining an easy conquest ; a sentiment they would readily adopt from the state of the church a thousand years before : “ Swords were beaten to plowshares, and spears " to pruning hooks, nation did not lift up sword “ against nation, neither did they learn war.” As they felt no injury, and feared no danger, they were ignorant of the art of war, and neglectful of those means of defence, which the jealousy and fear of mankind provided in more perilous times.
The Prophet introduces Gog meditating on this circumstance in his own mind, and then communicating it to his followers, “ At the “ same time shall things come into thy mind, rs and thou shalt think an evil thought. And 6 thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of un“ walled villages, I will go to them that are at “ rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling 6 without walls, and having neither bars nor “ gates,” Ezek. xxxviii. 10, u.
The terror and dismay occasioned by Gog and his formidable army in Judea, is described by the prophet Isaiah : “ Behold, their valiant
“ ones shall cry without; the ambaffadors of
peace Shall weep bitterly. The highways lie “ waste, the way-faring man ceaseth: He hath “ broken the covenant, he hath defpired the “ cities, he regardeth no man. The earth (land) “ mourneth and languisheth; Lebanon is a. “ shamed and hewn down ; Sharon is like a e wilderness; and Bashani and Carmel shake off “their fruits.” chap. xxxiii.7, 8, 9. At length he and his army are represented as arriving at Jerusalem ; " and the city shall be taken, and 4 the houses rifled, and the women ravished ; “ and half of the city shall go forth into cap" tivity, and the residue of the people shall not “ be cut off from the city," Zech. xiv. 2. For “ in this alarming situation the church is defcribed as having recourse to the protection of the Deity. " O Lord, be gracious unto us ; 6 we have waited for thee: Be thou their arm
every morning, our falvation also in the time « of trouble,” Ifa. xxxiii. 2. While they are engaged in prayer, a conviction of God's interposition in the destruction of their enemies, is impressed on their heart; fo that their supplication is changed to thanksgiving." At the “ noise of the tumult the people fled; at the
lifting up of thyfelf the nations were fcattered. “ And your spoil shall be gathered like the ga“ thering of the caterpillar: As the running to " and fro of locusts, shall he run upon
them. • The
“ The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: “ He hath filled Zion with judgment and righ“ teousness,” Ifa. xxxiii. 3, 4, 5. As a farther answer to their prayers, the Deity is introduced addresling Gog and his army, in folemn threatenings. “Now will I rise, faith the Lord : so now will I be exalted, now will I lift up “ myself. Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall
bring forth stubble: your breath as fire shall devour you. And the people shall be as the “ burnings of lime: as thorns cut up, shall they 66 be burned in the fire,” Ifa. Xxxiii. 10, 11, 12.
These threatenings are instantly executed, The multitudes that compose the vast army of Gog are destroyed, partly by the swords of each other, partly by the fire of the elements, as God formerly destroyed his enemies of Armageddon, " And it shall come to pass at the same time, s when Gog shall come against the land of Ir. “ rael, faith the Lord God, that my fury shali s come up in my face. For in my jealousy, and “ in the fire of my wrath, have I spoken, Surely s in that day there shall be great shaking in h the land of Israel.-And I will call for a sword “ againt him throughout all my mountains, « faith the Lord God: Every man's sword shall “ be against his brother. And I will plead a
gainst him with peftilence, and with blood i " and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands,
“ and upon the many people that are with him, “ and overflowing rain, and great hailftones, fire
and brimstone," Ezek. xxxviii, 18, 19. 21, 22. “ And fire came down from God out of heaven, 66 and devoured them," Rev. xx. 9.
A Decline of the Gentile Churches. No remarkable event occurs during the period that elapses betwixt the destruction of Gog and the last day; only it would appear, from various paffages already quoted, that the Jewish church continues faithful until Christ's appearance. It is particularly asserted after the deftruction of Gog, Ifa. xxxiii. 20. “ Thine eye shall see Je“ rusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that " shall not be taken down, not one of the stakes “ thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any
of thecords thereof be broken.”—“So the “house of lfrael shall know that I am the Lord “ their God, from that day and forward,” Ezek. xxxix. 22. Their endeavours to maintain purity and fidelity, are increased in consequence of Gog's invasion. Being fully sensible of the great evils arising from a spirit of opposition to the discipline of the church, which ani.