Dissertation on the Prophecies...
(2nd ed., Boston, MA, 1814)
P R O P H E C I E S
ANTICHRIST AND THE LAST TIMES;
RISE, CHARACTER, AND OVERTHROW
SEVEN APOCALYPTIC VIALS.
BY ETHAN SMITH, A. M.
PASTOR OF A CHURCH IN HOPKINTON, N. H.
Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come. _ JOHN.
The Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit _ ANGEL.
The Lion hath roared; who shall not fear? _ AMOS.
The destroyer of the gentiles is on his way _ JEREMIAH.
Blow ye the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in my holy mountain. JOEL.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG,
No. 50, CORNHILL.
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS -- To wit:
District Clerk's Office.
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the nineteenth day of February, A. D. 1814, and of the thirty-fifth year of the independence of the United Stales of America, SAMUEL T. ARMSTRONG; of the said District, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as Proprietor; in the words following, to wit;
"Dissertation on the Prophecies relative to Antichrist, and the last Times; exhibiting the Rise, Character, and Overthrow of that Terrible Power: and a Treatise on the seven apocalyptic Vials. By Ethan Smith, A. M. Pastor of the Church in Hopkinton, N. H. In the last days perilous times shall come _ PAUL Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come _ JOHN. The Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit _ ANGEL. The Lion hath roared, who shall not fear?_ AMOS. The destroyer of the gentiles is on his way _JEREMIAH. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in my holy mountain. _ JOEL."
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, intitled "An act for the encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the times therein mentioned;" and also to an act intitled, "An act supplementary to an act, intitled an act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the Arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical and other Prints."
WILLIAM S. SHAW,
Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.
[ iii ]
17 We are taught, in the prophetic parts of the sacred Scriptures, to expect the rise of a terrible, atheistical Power, and a vast influence of Infidelity, in the last days, or just before the Millennium.
25 Preliminary remarks upon the xth arid xith chapters of Daniel.
33 This Infidel Power predicted in Daniel xi, from verse 36, to the end.
42 Antichrist another Power beside the Papal hierarchy
52 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
67 Antichrist predicted in Revelation xiith chapter.
70 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
93 The ten horns of the Antichristian Beast.
102 The ten horns of the ancient Roman Beast.
115 Antichrist predicted in Revelation xviiith chapter.
125 The closing part of the 4260 years occupied by Antichrist. Paul's Man of Sin
128 Conclusion of the chapter.
131 The last days have arrived, and an incipient fulfilment of the predictions concerning Antichrist, is now manifest before our eyes.
131 Chronological remarks.
145 Enormities of the French revolution.
152 Doctor Robison and the Abbe Barruel.
154 Origin of the French revolution.
163 And a further description of that revolution.
168 The re-establishment of Popery by Bonaparte not inconsistent with Atheism's being the characteristic of the French Empire.
174 Antichristian influence in the United States of America.
192 Views and conduct of the French government.
201 Falsehood the basis of that government.
206 Other causes, which have facilitated the spread of Infidelity in our nation.
217 Conclusion of the chapter.
The last days have arrived, and an incipient fulfilment of the predictions concerning Antichrist, is now manifest before our eyes.
Further particulars relative to the subject.
219 The trials of the Church under the reign of Antichrist.
259 Gog and his bands: Or the final expedition and overthrow of Antichrist in Palestine.
293 Mr. Faber's opinion concerning Gog considered.
306 Mystical Resurrection.
310 Different comings of Christ.
zzz360 Ezekie1's Chambers of Imagery.
334 The bastard of Ashdod: Or the illegitimate Antichristian government.
341 Other prophecies, relative to the last expedition and the overthrow of Antichrist, and the ruin of the enemies of the Church.
349 A Babylonian and Assyrian of the last days.
358 On the seven apocalyptic Vials.
361 Vial 1. Fulfilled in the discovery made of Papal corruption, at the reformation, early in the sixteenth century.
382 Vial 2. Fulfilled in the terrible wars in Italy for nearly half a century between Charles V, and Francis I..
396 Vial 3. Fulfilled in the subsequent wars with the house of Austria, and in Papal nations.
412 Vial 4. Fulfilled in the operations of the civil European governments against the interests of the Papal hierarchy; and the expulsion of the Jesuits from the principal nations in Europe, alter the middle of the eighteenth century.
421 Vial 5. Fulfilled in the overthrow of the Papal Beast, by the rise of the Antichristian.
453 Vial 6. To be fulfilled in the subversion of the Turkish empire, to prepare the way for the restoration of the ancient people of God to the Holy land.
466 The three unclean spirits like frogs.
471 Vial 7. To be fulfilled in the destruction of Antichrist, in his expedition against the Jews in Palestine; and in the destruction of all the persecuting enemies of the Church, to prepare the way for the Millennium.
486 A concise view of the book of the Revelation.
End of the volume. Two auxiliary Charts.
524 The millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ.
524 The true sense of the Kingdom of Grace.
528 Predictions of the coming of Christ's millennial Kingdom.
538 The desirableness of this Kingdom of Christ.
547 Remarks and deductions upon the subject.
554 In which some dates are suggested, calculated to withstand the Infidelity of our times.
554 1. Repentance and reformation.
558 2. Faithfulness in the government of our literary Institutions.
559 3. Vigilance and faithfulness in the ambassadors of Christ.
562 4. Caution in the induction of men into the Gospel ministry.
562 5. A faithful support and improvement of the regular administration of the Gospel; avoiding erroneous and unknown teachers) and affording our aid to the missionary cause.
569 6. Due exertions to promote the sanctification of the Lord's day.
570 7. Due caution in the admission of members into the Church; and a faithful support of Christian discipline.
571. Also due exertions of good people to promote Reformation.
574 8. Family religion; and a pious, discreet family government.
576 9. The employing of pious as well as able instructors of our children.
577 10. Wisdom and prudence in the choice of our civil rulers.
581 11. A vigilant eye upon the movements of the enemy; and a solemn attention to the signs of the times.
582 12. Watchfulness, and special prayer.
SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT NOTES, IN THE FOLLOWING WORK.
30 The whole passage, Dan. xi, 21-35, relates to Antiochus as a type of Christ.
71 The revolution in Rome from Paganism to Christianity.
78 On the mark of the Beast.
82 The lives of the rest of the Beasts prolonged for a season and a time.
92 Charlemagne not the last head of the Roman Beast: -- Also the long death of the Imperial head of the Beast considered.
99 The Antichristian Kingdom partly strong and partly broken.
120 Exposition of Rev. xiv.
143 On the length of the prophetic year.
168 Expedition of Bonaparte into Egypt.
233 Scott on the slaying of the witnesses.
235 A signal propagation of the Gospel just before the battle of the great day.
267 Gog, and the last head of the Roman Beast, the same.
286 Exposition of Isaiah xviii; or a naval power of the last days aiding the restoration of the Jews.
298 The great day of the Lord in the Old Testament, and the seventh vial, the same.
439 A scheme relative to Rev. x, and some other passages considered.
456 Relative to the time of the overthrow of the Turks.
[ vi ]
The testimonies kindly given, by those Divines, to whose inspection and advice the manuscript of the first edition of this work was submitted, will not be here inserted; (as they were inserted in the first edition;) except the two following, as a specimen of them.
Rev. Dr. Hemmenways. "Having heard a considerable part of the Dissertation above mentioned read, I can heartily concur with the others, who have recommended the publication of it, as ingenious, seasonable, and highly worthy of the public attention.
Wells, Nov. 38, 1809.
Rev. Dr. Thayer's. "Having attended to a Dissertation in manuscript, of Rev. E. SMITH, on the Prophecies, relative to Antichrist and the last days; including a Treatise on the seven Vials; I am fully of opinion, that new light is thrown upon the subject; that the predictions, and the events stated as their fulfilment, better accord with each other, than in any publication that I have seen upon the interesting subject. The work appears to be handsomely and judiciously executed; and calculated to afford important and necessary instruction and warning to the present generation. For these reasons it is wished that it may be made public.
Kingston, July 2, 1810.
[ vii ]
Since the publishing of the first edition of this work, the signs of the times continue to be very interesting. And the evidence, that a new era of affairs has indeed commenced, is decisive. Nothing has occurred to evince that any material point in this publication, is incorrect. As far as the author has understood, the sentiments of it have met with general approbation. He is hence encouraged, as the first edition has for some time been disposed of, and a second has been requested, -- to submit this to the public.
The work has been diligently revised, and enlarged. A new chapter has been inserted, or. the Revelation of St. John: And one on the millennial Kingdom of Christ: A new section also, on Ezekiel's chambers of Imagery: And a section on the illegitimate dynasty in modern France. Some other sections are revised, and enlarged. To some of the vials, especially the fifth, considerable additional attention has been paid. In the chapter on the Revelation, two charts arc given, to facilitate the explanation of this mystical book. An introductory chapter was prepared, to ascertain the origin and use of the figurative language found in the Bible, and to explain many of the symbols usual in prophetic imagery. But this has since been given to the public in a small separate publication, as A Key to the figurative language found in the sacred Scriptures. Hence it is here omitted.
The late signal reverses in the affairs of the French Empire, it is believed, furnish no serious objection against the views given of that Empire, as the last head of the secular Roman Beast. They indeed furnish the fulfilment of a feature, found in the prophecies, relative to this last part of the Roman Power, which, till lately, has been wanting; -- that "the feet and toes" of the great image should be "part of iron, and part of clay;" that "the kingdom should be partly strong, and partly broken." That the earth should help the women, (the Church) and occasionally open her mouth, and swallow up the floods, cast from the mouth of the dragon, with a view to sweep her from the world. That "the wrath of man shall praise God," when he comes down in the last days, to save all the meek of the earth; "and the remainder of that wrath," or what would exceed the divine purposes, "he will restrain." That after the infidel Power, Dan, xi, 36-45, shall have done according to his will, and have magnified himself above every god, or legitimate ruler, and
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spoken marvellous things against the God of gods, and Jesus Christ; after the same nation shall have received a god, or ruler, whom their fathers knew not; -- an emperor of foreign descent; -- and shall have been led by him to overrun the most strong holds of neighboring nations; and this foreign god shall have divided out the Roman earth for gain, to his vassal kings of an hour, -- at the time of the end, (when these things are thus far accomplished,) a kingdom of the south shall push, (butt) at him; and a kingdom of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, which prostrates all in its way. A whirlwind, or tornado, for so many centuries predicted, composed of a vast coalition of powers, might be expected to sweep its way, and prostrate opposition.
An incipient fulfilment of these prophetic strokes, has of late caused a smile upon the face of the world; and revived hopes, which had become almost extinct. To how great a degree these reverses may proceed, God only knows. Should the broken-ness of this last part of the Roman Power be now made in a considerable degree as conspicuous, as has been his antecedent strength; (as the text seems to warrant us to expect; ''the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken,") that wicked Power would indeed, for the present, be prostrated! But should this be the case, should all the horns of the Antichristian Beast be torn off', and the wretch lie bleeding and fainting; yet it appears evident that all his work is not yet done. This great Roman Beast does not go into his final perdition, till the battle of that great day of God, which is subsequent to the restoration of the Jews to Palestine.
The enormous Power, or Influence, symbolized by the Beast from the bottomless pit, probably depends on no one man; -- though it has been accommodated hitherto with a leader truly prepared for the work of judgment. In the first reign of the imperial head of the Roman Beast, emperors were set up, and deposed, and numbers slain, in thick succession And it repeatedly seemed as though destruction had fallen upon the Empire. Still that imperial head continued. That genius of the people continued, which would be governed by nothing short of a military despotism. And this, we may expect, will be the case, henceforth, on the Roman earth, till the Millennium. Should revolution succeed revolution, it would not alter the case.
The principles of atheism, licentiousness, and disorganization, taught and supported in a profound system, and which constitute the very essence of the Beast from the bottomless pit, are so extensively and deeply disseminated, that the infernal current of them will not be effectually controlled nor regulated, even though prime leaders be destroyed, and the earth open her mouth and swallow up their floods of efficient rage! The fountain of the extensive mischief remaining, it will, in some shape, fill all up again. The nature of the Beast from the bottomless pit is not changed. It rests on the broad basis of a
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general systematic corruption, which will never be purged, but with the exterminating fire of the great and notable day of the Lord; which is subsequent to the restoration of the Jews. Most joyfully would I participate in the fond hopes of those, who with some confidence expect, that the arm of the oppressor is either already finally broken, or will very soon be no more; that the horrors of Atheism are nearly expired; -- that the modern system of licentiousness will now immediately be banished from the world; -- and that the Church of the Redeemed will speedily and joyfully rise, with but little more depression or interruption, into her millennial Glory. God in mercy grant, that this may be the case! Gladly would I resume this my former fond sentiment upon the subject, and acknowledge that my subsequent fearful apprehensions have risen too high, relative to the prophetic warnings of this period.
I have no doubt but God's people have every thing to excite their hopes, and their exertions. Their expectations cannot be too sanguine, relative to the final termination of their struggles. But I still apprehend that the rising sun of the Millennium is at some distance; and that the inspired warnings to the people of God, relative to the events between the present time, and that day, are solemn and interesting. Hopes, that are too much elated, maybe of real disservice to the people of God, by leading them to imagine the work is done; and their warfare is accomplished; and by throwing them off their guard against the enemy. And such hopes may be of service to the enemy, by enabling them the more fatally to plan and prosecute their deeds of intrigue and mischief. It is while men sleep, that the. enemy sows tares. The deep system of iniquity, (copied from the code of the Jesuits, with vast improvements,) which has produced the unprecedented scenes of modern date, and has brought the civilized world within a hair's breadth of ruin, will not be annihilated, on receiving the first, or second check. Men may fondly hope for the affirmative, and lay their fears to sleep. But they will find new attacks. That diabolical system, after some of its "floods are swallowed up," its "kingdom partly broken," and its "wrath restrained," -- will rally and form again in deep recesses. Its masks and disguises may be shifted. But probably the nations have more yet to hear from it. The three unclean spirits like frogs are, after the sixth vial, to terrify the world; and are to gather the antichristian nations to the valley of slaughter; where, in the most hostile array against Christ, they will be utterly destroyed. Then "the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of God's jealousy;" and "he will sweep the sinners thereof out of it." This burning up of all the wicked and the proud, and leaving them neither root nor branch, is an event still future. Between the present time, and its fulfilment possibly as great intervals of light may be experienced, as might be expected to form a transition from the events of one great vial of wrath, to another. But whatever joyful hopes and
x Preface to the Second Edition.
anticipations may, in such intervals be excited; -- it will appear, that the summer itself Is future of the unerring tokens of its approach. April days may be dark and lowery. And even the bloom of May may for once be overcast with a storm of hail.
It has usually been the case, relative to the trials of the Church, that nothing is more zzzillunorI, than present appearances, in relation to the final termination of an impending calamity. As "the kingdom of heaven cometh not with observation;" -- but the coming of Christ is like the coming of a thief; -- so when light has seemed to be dawning, it has often proved, in event, that scenes of great darkness were still in reserve. On the other hand, when all things have seemed full of despair; -- light has suddenly broken upon the astonished sight of the sufferers. Human wisdom must be baffled. "Salvation is of the Lord." The knife must be at the throat of the Church, in Isaac, before the angelic voice stays the slaying hand, and proclaims relief. After the bitterness of death is thus in a sense past, in the critical moment relief comes. The proverb is hence annexed, "In the mount (of distress) God will appear."
Let an ancient mirror reflect light upon the present state of things. After darkness, which might be fell, had filled and astonished the kingdom of Egypt, while light rested upon all the dwelling of Jacob, and Pharaoh in consternation commanded Israel to go, with their little ones, and serve the Lord; it seemed as though relief was at the door. But after this, the tyrant's heart was hardened; and he would not let Israel go. Another tremendous portion of wrath was to be discharged on the enemies of the Church, in the death of their firstborn. After this, salvation seemed to be complete. Laden with the riches of the Egyptians, they were thrust out at once from the house of bondage, and under the immediate leadings and smiles of the Almighty, they commenced their march toward Canaan. Certainly now (would Israel naturally say) "The darkness is past, and the light it shineth." Farewell, thou vanquished tyrant; and all the slavery of Egypt, farewell! We are upon the wing for our long promised land of rest! Your chains and your menaces vie now defy! God has broken your power, and taken us out of your hands!
Divine promises, and circumstances seemed to warrant such triumphant language. But what was the result? Israel's slavery in Egypt was indeed at an end. But events the most terrifying of all, were still before them. The tribes of the Lord were after this, and before their final release from the land of Egypt, to be driven to their wits end; and to give up all for lost. The sea in front; an enraged enemy in arms pressing upon their rere; and unpassable ways in each hand, united to threaten their inevitable destruction. All, within human sight; was desperation! The call of heaven by Moses was; -- "Fear not; stand still, and See the salvation of the Lord!" Nor was the call in vain! Deliverance
Preface to the Second Edition. xi
came from the Almighty arm. The sea was divided. The cloud of God removed, and came between Israel, and the persecuting foe. To the former it was a protecting light; to the latter, darkness and terror. The Egyptians were plunged in the deep. The Church was safe. And she sang the song of Moses.
And is not the song of Moses and of the Lamb to he sung at a period still future? The destruction of the persecuting enemies of the Church, and her deliverance which will occasion the song of Moses and of the Lamb, at the close of the vials, must surely be future events. The deliverance of Israel at the Red Sea was among the "shadows of good things to come." It was a type of event* just at the dawn of the Millennium. Some of the preparatory lucid intervals have indeed already dawned upon the people of God. The Most High has undertaken their deliverance and enlargement. His holy arm is made bare in the sight of all nations. But in the joys of the belief of an approaching Millennium, it does not behoove the tribes of the Lord to lose sight of their danger; nor to overlook the Antitype of the scene at the Red Sea, Though "God will finish the work of judgment, and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make in the earth;" yet he will take time enough to accomplish this work in the best manner; -- and to have some of the most signal displays made of human depravity; of divine justice; and of the grace and faithfulness of God.
Under the fifth vial, in this edition, it is ascertained,, that a new and signal period of judgments, in the last days, was clearly to precede, and to be distinct from the battle of that great day of God Almighty, the seventh vial: And that we are notified, that men would naturally mistake the former for the tatter: But that the latter, when the former becomes tremendous, "is not yet" but is future. This thing appears in most of the prophecies, which most clearly describe the events of the last days. The "sun is to be turned into darkness, and the moon, into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord shall come:" Joel ii, 31. An unprecedented cutting off of the nations, desolating their towers, making their streets waste, destroying their cities, and greatly sweeping off their inhabitants, must precede, and be distinct from God's rising up to the prey, gathering the nations, assembling the kingdoms, and pouring upon them his indignation, even all his fierce anger, when the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of God's jealousy; -- that he may turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, and serve him with one consent. Zeph. iii, 6 -- 9. Unusual divine "judgments arc to be abroad in the earth; and God's hand is to be lifted high," -- before he gives the warning, "Come, my people, enter into thy chambers, shut thy doors about thee, hide thyself for a little moment until the indignation be overpast. For behold the
xii Preface to the Second Edition.
Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain:" Isa. xxvi, 9, II, 20, 21. At a new and amazing period of judgments, in the last days, between the second and third woes, seven thunders of unprecedented wars utter their voices. These are mistaken for the finishing scenes of judgments. But the angel decides that the finishing scene "is not yet; -- but in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets;" Rev. x, 3-8. The hour of God's judgment was to be announced to the world, as come, (at the same time with the flight of the missionary Angel through the midst of heaven,) as an event clearly preceding, and distinct from the appearing of the destroying Angel upon the white cloud, to reap the harvest and to gather the vintage of the earth, then ripe; Rev. xiv, 7, 14 -- 20. Wars and rumors of wars new and terrifying to the world -- were to prove but the beginning of the sorrows of the last days. But it is at the same time expressly ascertained, that "the end is not yet." Many interesting things are yet to be accomplished, before the sign of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, shall be presented; Matt, xxiv, 6, 8, 29, 30. The flushing of the king of the south, and the coming of the king of the north like a whirlwind against the infidel Power, clearly precede, and arc distinct from the event of this Power's coming to his end between the two seas in Palestine; Dan. xi, 40, 44, 45. A temporary prostration by such a military whirlwind -- for twenty four hundred years predicted -- precedes, and does not prevent the going forth of the same Power, with great fury, utterly to make away many after the restoration of the Jews to the Holy land. Here is the expedition of Gog and his bands in Ezek. xxxviii. These synchronical prophecies all unite in the sentiment, that the seventh vial, (the battle of the great day) is after and distinct from i. new scene of terrors, which were to. indicate its approach. The fifth vial fills the kingdom of the Papal Beast with gross darkness. But terrible as the events of this vial are, they are by no means to be confounded with the events of the seventh vial. The sixth and seventh vials are future and distinct from it. The Turkish government must be destroyed, and the Jews restored, and the great subsequent coalition formed against them, of what is called, "the kings of the earth and of the whole world," to prepare the way for the seventh vial. What intervals of light, or of respite to a sinking world, may take place between some of the last vials; -- ^what short intervals of general peace may induce mankind to hope that the most fatal scenes of judgment are past, God only knows. But it is believed that a new. era of judgments has commenced, which will terminate only with the destruction
Preface to the Second Edition. xiii
of all that is antichristian; and with the full preparing of the way for the millennial glory of the Church.
In one of the prophets we learn that three signal overturnings, were to precede and introduce the Kingdom of Christ. Ezekiel (chapter xxi) predicts a sharp sword, sharpened for a sore slaughter, and furbished that it may glitter; -- given into the hands of the slayer; -- a sword of the great men to be slain. 'The prophet is directed to cry, and exhibit tokens of distress. "Smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the. third time; the sword of the slain. -- Ah, it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter-" -- "Thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown! this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; (the crown; or will show myself terrible to the wicked kings of the earth) and it shall be no more, until he come, whose right it is; and I will give it him." The ultimate accomplishment of this is clearly the introduction of the Millennium. One great overturning we have seen; -- that of the Papal Beast. Two overturnings are still future; -- that of the Turks; and of a subsequent coalition against the Jews. Christ will then come, and take the Kingdom; and fill the earth with his salvation.
That the friends of Zion may devoutly search the scriptures, and learn their true sentiment, and their warnings relative to these last days, is the desire of
Hopkinton, N. H. Sept. 1, 1813.
[ xiv ]
The events of the period, in which we live, are of great magnitude. To open in a connected and judicious manner the sacred Prophecies relative to the last days, with their fulfilments, must be a desirable object.
I am not insensible of the arduousness of this undertaking; and that some worthy men discountenance attempts to explain prophecies, till a long time after their fulfilment. Doubtless the prophecies generally will be more clearly understood, when they shall be viewed at a considerable distance past. But this should not preclude our present attempts to form correct opinions relative to those which are not fulfilled; much less, relative to the accomplishment of those, which arc recently fulfilled; and of those, which are now in a train of fulfilment. The Jews were by our Lord reproved for not understanding the signs of the times; i. e. for not understanding the fulfilment of prophecies, then taking place before their eyes.
The prophecies were given, not only to evince the divine origin of Revelation, by being viewed after their evident fulfilment; but also to direct and animate the people of God in the prospect of, and during their fulfilment. But this implies our duty to study them, while the events, which they predict, are taking place, and while they are future. Accordingly, when the Revelation was made to St. John, it was prefaced with this admonition; Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand. Repeatedly is it given in charge, in the midst of some of the darkest prophecies; Let him, that readeth, understand. We read; None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. They shall know the judgments of the Lord. Daniel previously understood by books the return of the Jews from Babylon. This knowledge excited his prayer for the accomplishment of the event. Simeon, Anna and others, who waited for the consolation of Israel, understood by prophecies the coming of the Messiah; and they discerned the accomplishment before their eyes, in the Babe of Bethlehem. We are told; The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him: And, The Lord God will do nothing, but he will reveal it to his servants the prophets. Not by new revelations; but by leading to a correct investigation of those already given. All the directions given to the people of God, relative to the perilous times just preceding the Millennium, clearly imply, that the Church will, at that day, understand the
Preface to the First Edition. xv
most interesting prophecies then about to receive their fulfilment. Otherwise, how could the ambassadors of Christ, as commanded, Joel ii, 1, "Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in God's holy mountain," when the day of the Lord is nigh at hand? Hence there is much encouragement to pray and study, that we may form correct views, in the light of prophecy, of the great events of our days.
The Church of Christ has been premonished respecting most of the signal events, in which she was to be much interested, in every age. In this the care and kindness of her divine Lord have ever appeared. And he has graciously so ordered, that his people should be led to form essentially correct views of the fulfilment of those premonitions. Shall the great events of this period of the world then, be an exception to this general rule? Shall the events of our days, more interesting than events of former ages, and which fur more than twenty years have been alarming the world, and demonstrating the commencement of a new and important era, be supposed to be veiled in impenetrable mystery? It cannot be probable! Some of the most interesting prophecies of Revelation have recently received their accomplishment; which is leading on a train of events most important, and clearly predicted. And it must be important to Zion to be able rightly to view, in the light of Divine prophecies, the present, and the subsequent designs of Providence.
Attempts to write upon the prophecies have been, in the estimation of some, brought into disrepute, by the Jailing of even able and good men, in their conjectures upon the subject; and especially by the injudiciousness and enthusiasm of others. But shall occasion be hence taken to neglect this important and useful part of the word of God?
The author of the following work is not insensible of the perils of the times, and the delicacy of his subject, at such a day as this. Permit him once for all to protest, that he is not knowingly governed, in any thing he has written, by the party interests of the day, viewing them merely as political events. He confidently appeals to all, who for twenty years have known the tenor of his public ministry, and of his life, that he is no party man. What he has written, is written under a solemn conviction of the infinite weight of evangelical truth; and of his accountability to God, as a minister of the Gospel. Events of a political nature are noted, to show their fulfilment of the word of God; to ascertain moral duties, moral turpitude, and the dangers of the times from the just displeasure of the Most High In this point of light, it is the duty of every minister of Christ to have his eyes open to political events. I am indebted to Mr. Faber for my conviction, that the prophecies concerning Antichrist, instead of being exclusively applicable to the Romish hierarchy, designate an Atheistical Power of later date; and am indebted to him for finding in Dan. xi, 36, -- a prediction of this
xvi Preface to the First Edition.
Atheistical Power; and finding a fulfilment of it in the French nation But this author wrote before the government of France bad assumed its Imperial form There are striking traits of character in the above noted prophecy, and in various others, overlooked, or misapprehended by this author. On reading his application of the prediction in Dan xi, 36, -- to the French nation, I felt a difficulty from the seeming abruptness of such an application. But on consulting the preceding parts of the chapter, in connexion with chapter xth, and learning, as I apprehended, the object of the revealing Angel, I found my doubts removed, and my confidence in the correctness of the application of the passage to the French nation, established. With this clew I have endeavored to examine various other prophecies, which respect the same period, and some preceding, and. subsequent periods; with what success, the reader will judge. I acknowledge many expositions given in this work are new; at least they are so to me; which has excited my fear and solemn attention in the investigation of the true sense of those passages. I have endeavored to consult and compare authors on this subject; and have long been in a habit of perusing them with some pleasure. But it will be seen that I have not been governed wholly by old opinions; but have endeavored to compare Scripture with Scripture, and to adopt its most obvious and natural meaning. I have no other apology to make for presenting this Dissertation to the public, than the fact, that gentlemen, whose judgment I venerate, have advised to it; and my own conviction of the truth of the scheme, and the weight of the subject here presented.
Hopkinton, July, 1810.
[ 25 ]
We are taught in the prophetic parts of the sacred Scriptures, to expect the rise of a terrible, atheistical Power, and a vast influence of Infidelity, in the last days, or just before the Millennium.
There are many predictions of this event, both in the Old and New Testaments; some of which will be noted in the following sections. This terrible power is-to exist after the predominant reign of Popery, and not long before the battle of that great day of God Almighty, which is to prepare the way for Christ's millennial Kingdom. This Power is not a fifth Monarchy on earth; but is comprised in the fourth; or is the last head of the old Roman Beast. It is, in the language of prophecy, the old bloody, persecuting Roman Empire revived, after it had long lain dead: Ascending out of the bottomless pit, in the last days; to accomplish God's works of judgment; and then to go into perdition. This I shall endeavor to substantiate. The rise of this Power is predicted as a new and terrible event.
Preliminary remarks upon the xth and xith chapters of Daniel. The first passage, which will be adduced to prove the proposition staled in Chap. I, is Dan. xi, from the 36th verse, to the end. To prepare the way for the consideration of this passage, let the following things
26 Remarks on Dan. x and xi.
be premised. The prophet Daniel had twice predicted the existence of the Roman empire; in the legs of iron; * and in the fourth beast strong and terrible, having great iron teeth. Popery had been before predicted, under the emblem of the little horn of the Roman beast, speaking great things against the Most High. Mohammedism had been predicted, under the emblem of the little horn of the he-goat § as Mr. Faber has ingeniously shown. ||
In Dan. ix, we have an account of the prophet's fasting and supplication, relative to the return of the Jews from Babylon; upon which he has his vision of their return; of the seventy weeks; of the coming and death of the Messiah; and of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Then, in the beginning of chap, x, we are informed, In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a thing was revealed unto Daniel, and the thing was true; but the time appointed was long. And the whole of the succeeding chapter is taken up in preparing to present this far distant thing to view. In verse 14th, the Angel says, Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people, in latter days; for yet the vision is for many days. No such formal preparation was made, nor notice given, of the great distance of the event, when the prophet was about to predict the Roman empire; or the introduction of Popery; or of Mohammedism; although the two latter were then ten or twelve hundred years future. Here was a new subject, a most interest thing to be revealed, the time of which was to be long posterior to those which had just before been predicted. The revealing angel seems to have but one thing in view: A thing was revealed to Daniel. It was to be a thing closely connected with what should befal the Jews in the latter days. This could not refer to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. For this had been before predicted; ¶ and it was not by far
* Dan. ii, 34, 40.
Dan. vii, 7.
Dan. vii, 8, 24.
§ Dan. viii, 9.
|| Vol. i, p. 158,
¶ Dan. ix, 26, 27.
Remarks on Dan. x and xi. 27
so distant, as was the thing now to be revealed. The letter being what is to befal the Jews in the latter days, evinces, that it was to be something beside Popery. The Papal imposture never so materially affected the Jews, as a nation, as appears to be here indicated. The thing to be revealed then, must be an event to take place near the time of the final restoration of the people anciently in covenant with God; and just before the Millennium; and an event, which will deeply affect that people at that period. It was also a thing before predicted by the other prophets. Dan. x, 21, But I will show thee that, which is noted in the Scripture of truth. Popery was not much before noted in the Scripture of truth; till this prophet himself had just before predicted it. * But concerning the restoration of the ancient people of God, in the last days, it had been abundantly before noted by the prophets, that a terrible Power will, soon after their return to the land of their fathers, attack and greatly afflict them. Some expositors have applied this prediction of Daniel (which is to be particularly noticed in the next section) to the Papal hierarchy. But in view of the preceding remarks, it appears unnatural thus to do. And the picture there drawn does not apply to Popery, without unnatural distortions of its features. The power there predicted is to remain in the tide of his glory, till the battle of the great day of God Almighty; a thing which cannot now be believed of the Papal hierarchy. This power then, can be no other than the atheistical Antichrist of the last times. The way being thus prepared, the Angel says, chapter xi, verse 2, And now I will show thee the truth, i. e. I will draw towards the great object in view. But before he comes directly to it, he begins, as is usual in such cases, with a line of preceding kings and events. When the Romish hierarchy was to be predicted, chap, vii, the prophet introduces that wicked power, by giving the preceding succession of the eastern monarchies. When Mohammedism was to be predicted, chap, vii,
* Dan. vii, 8, 24.
See Chap. III, Sec. 2 and 4 of this book.
See the close of Dan. xi.
28 Remarks on Dan. x and xi.
the prophet ushers in that vile imposture, by briefly alluding to the succession of the preceding powers, in the line of which it came. So in the case before us, the Angel describes a line of kings from the then present period, in order to introduce, not the atheistical Power in view immediately, but Antiochus Epiphanes, a noted king of Syria, as a type of the atheistical Power, who was to rise in the last days. This terrible Power the prophet predicts, first by his type Antiochus. St. Jerome informs us of its being a generally received maxim, "that it is the manner of the holy Scriptures to deliver beforehand the truths of futurity in types." (Bp. Hurd, p. 57.) We find much of this." When the Millennium was to be predicted, in Psalm lxxii, it was introduced by its type, the reign of Solomon. And the Holy Spirit there, without any formal notice, slides from the type to the antitype. This is a common thing in prophetic writings. In like manner, this terrible Power of the last days is predicted, first by a description of his type. It is an old opinion of expositors, that Antiochus was a notable type of Antichrist, even while they supposed the Romish hierarchy to have been Antichrist. But much more strikingly do the type and the antitype agree, if the latter be the terrible infidel Power of the last days, as I trust will appear. The type Antiochus was to afflict the Jews grievously, after their restoration from Babylon. And the infidel Power, then about to be predicted, is to afflict them much more grievously, soon after their final restoration, just before the introduction of the Millennium. The revealing Angel proceeds. Three kings he notes, who were to arise in Persia, after Darius, then on the throne. Then a fourth, richer than all the three, who should meddle with the realm of Greece to his ruin. Alexander is then noted. Then his four generals, among whom his empire was divided. Then the wars of the two most distinguished of them, culled the king of the north, and the king of the south; or Syria and Egypt; in which wars the Jews were deeply interested; -- till the Angel, verse 21, introduces Antiochus, the type of the terrible Power then so far future. On this type he dwells for fifteen
Remarks on Dan. x and xi. 29
verses. And from the prophetic description, we learn, in the character of Antiochus, something of the character of Antichrist. In this description we observe, that Antiochus, the type of Antichrist, was a vile person; not the heir of the crown of Syria; but obtaining it by flatteries. He overflowed his enemies with the arms of a flood. He deposed the prince of the covenant, or Onias, the Jewish high priest. He wrought deceitfully, even after the obligations of solemn treaties. He did what neither his fathers had done, nor his father's fathers. He reduced strong holds, by forecasing devices against them. He scattered the prey among his favorites. He stirred up his courage and power against the king of the south, who checked his progress by a furious, though unsuccessful effort of defence. Ptolemy was overcome through the treachery of some of his own subjects. Antiochus returned from Egypt with great riches. He was elated with pride; and his heart was against the holy covenant, or the church of God. * He makes another attack upon the king of the south; but not with his former success. He is annoyed with the navy of a rival power, (the ships of Shittim, or Rome,) and is obliged to return. His indignation again rages against the holy covenant, or the church of God at Jerusalem. He has intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant; or he intrigues with apostate Jews. Arms stand on his part; or armed soldiers are sent into Judea, to enforce his abominable orders. The sanctuary of strength or the temple at Jerusalem is polluted. The daily sacrifice is taken away. The abomination, that maketh desolate, is set up. Apostate Jews are corrupted by flatteries. But such as know their God, are strong and do exploits. They who understand, instruct many; yet they Jail by the sword, by flame, and by captivity, and by spoil, days, (as in the original.)
* He slew forty thousand of the Jews; he sold as many more for slaves; and polluted the temple at Jerusalem.
The desolation of the temple, and the taking away of the daily sacrifice by the commissioner of Antiochus continued three years and a half, according to Josephus. Newton on the Prophecies. Vol. i, p. 310.
30 Remarks on Dan. x and xi.
Yet when they fall, they are aided with a little help. But many cleave unto them with flatteries. And some of the people of understanding fall, to try them, to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end. *
* A celebrated modern author supposes, that the Angel here leaves the events of the days of Antiochus; and from verse 31st to 35th gives a prophetic sketch of events down to the sixteenth century of the Christian era: That verse 3 1st predicts the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, forty years after the ascension of Christ: That verses 32d and 33d predict the persecution of the primitive Christians under Pagan Rome: that verse 34th predicts the conversion of Pagan Rome to Christianity, in the revolution under Constantine, and the subsequent corruptions of Christianity in that empire, which gave rise to the Man of sin: And that verse 35th predicts the Papal persecutions of the witnesses down to the sixteenth century. This scheme I cannot conceive to be correct, for the following; reasons:
1. Simply to predict the line of events, from the time then present, till the rise of the Power, which he had in view to predict, appears not to have been any part of the object of the revealing Angel. If it had been, it would not have been said, chap, x, 1, A thing was revealed unto Daniel; and the thing was true; but the time appointed was long. (See also verse 14th.) Hut it must have been said, that many things were revealed to Daniel; some of which were far distant, and some of which were near. To reveal that one thing appears to have been the sole object of the Angel, in chapters x, and xi. And the manner of his doing this appears to have been, not the predicting of a course of events, which should reach to the time of the rise of the Power; but the predicting of the Power by his type, Antiochus Epiphanes; and thus passing immediately to the antitype. If the object of the Angel were to predict simply the course of great events, which should reach down to the rise of Antichrist, why did he dwell for at least ten verses, (from v. 2lst to 31st, according 10 the scheme of this author,) on the wars of Antiochus Epiphanes; and then touch so lightly on the subsequent events, which were of far greater magnitude, and which were to occupy seventeen or eighteen centuries? Why should he, after dwelling for ten verses on the affairs of Antiochus, appropriate but one verse to the great event of the coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish nation by the Romans; two verses to the ten persecutions of the primitive Christian church, under Pagan Rome; one verse to the conversion of Pagan Rome under Constantine, and the subsequent corruptions, which issued in the Papal apostasy; and but one verse to all the Papal persecutions of the witnesses
Remarks on Dan. x and xi. 31
Thus the Angel proceeds in his description of Antiochus, the type of the terrible Power to be predicted,
down to the sixteenth century? Who can account for such an amazing want of proportion in the communications of the Angel, if simply a prediction of facts were his object?
2. When a person or event is predicted by his type, it is not usual for the prophet, after predicting the type, to give a sketch of events, which should take place between the type and the antitype. This is usually no part of his object. But the writer, in such cases, slides from the type to the antitype, without regard to the length of time, or distance of place. This we find in Psalm 72d, in the predictions of the kingdom of Christ, with its typical reign of Solomon. This we find in the various predictions of the coming of Christ; and of the battle of the great day. We should hence be led to expect, that after the revealing Angel had presented to Daniel the type of the POWER in view, he would pass immediately to the antitype. And this I apprehend is the fact.
3. The language from verse 31st to 35th appears in perfect unison with the preceding prediction of Antiochus. But it does not seem at all to apply to a variety of new subjects, and distant events, without a most unnatural and forced construction. Let us examine. For the ten preceding verses, it is a given point, that Antiochus is the subject. In the last of the ten, or verse 30th, we read, "For the ships of Chittim shall, come against him, (Antiochus on his expedition in Egypt,) therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do: he shall even return and have intelligence with them, that forsake the holy covenant. Verse 31. And arms shall stand on his part." On whose part? What does grammatical construction, what does the common sense of the reader reply? Does the word hit here relate to the person, who is the subject of the preceding verse, and of the ten preceding verses? Or does it relate to a new subject; a subsequent empire; and to events sonic centuries after the events of the preceding verse? If liberty may be taken to say the latter, may not any expositor take liberty to fix any sense to a text, which he may please? There is sometimes a shifting in relatives, to a different person from the antecedent, when type and antitype are the subject. I he antecedent may be the type, and the relative may respect the antitype. But in no other cases can this be admissible. But, says the objector, does not the substance of this 31st verse decide that it relates to the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans? And they (the arms that shall stand on his part,) shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. Does not our Lord, Mark xiii, 14, apply this very text to the siege of Jerusalem?
32 Remarks on Dan. x and xi.
and in a detail of events under his tyranny, till verse 36. Here he drops the type, and takes the antitype, as
Answer. By no means. Daniel had spoken of the abomination of desolation, in three passages; chap. ix, 27, relative to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; chap, xi, 31, (the passage under consideration) relative to the persecutions of the Jews by Antiochus; and chap, xii, 11, relative to the rise of Popery, or Mohammedism, or both, at the beginning of the 1260 years. And now, to which of these did our Lord, Mark xiii, 14, refer, as he applied it to the destruction of Jerusalem? Surely to the passage in chap, ix, 27, which relates to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans; and not to either of the two other passages, which relate to different periods and events. A desolating abomination is a common prophetic figure, to denote an invasion of the rights of conscience. It is found in different passages; and in relation to different invasions. We may as well say, Christ referred to the passage in Dan. xii, 11, which relates to the beginning of the 1260 years; as that he referred to that in chap, xi, 31; and thus confound the whole order of those prophecies. The very thing predicted, in the passage under consideration, forbids that it should be applied to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans. For polluting the sanctuary of strength, and burning it, are two very different things. The latter was performed by the Romans: But the former by Antiochus; and the whole verse was fulfilled by him, when he with armed fortes plundered, and defiled the temple; called it the temple of Jupiter Olympus; placed in it the image of this heathen god; forbade the Jewish sacrifices; and compelled the Jews to eat swine's flesh, and to conform to the idolatrous rites and manners of the heathen.
Verses 32, 33. And such as do wickedly against the covenant, shall be corrupt by flatteries: but the people, that do know their God, shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people, shall instruct many, yet they shall fall by the sword, and by the flame, and by captivity, many days Who shall corrupt by flatteries the apostates from the covenant? It is said he shall do it. Antiochus has been the subject of the whole paragraph, without the least interruption, or notice of the introduction of a new subject. The unity of the whole passage seems to decide, that the people spoken of were the Jews under the persecution of Antiochus, and not the promiscuous Christians of other nations many centuries afterwards. Verse 34: Now when they shall fail, they shall be helpen with a little help; but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. To apply this to the revolution in Rome, and those lucrative establishments in the Church, by which Constantine designed to set the Church superior to the violence of her enemies; but which
Remarks on Dan. x and xi. 33
is common in prophetic writings; and he immediately describes the thing, which was to be revealed.
This Infidel Power predicted in Dan. xi, from the 36th verse to the end.
THE way being thus prepared, the Angel comes to the Power, who was to be revealed, whose time was long; or who was to exist just at the close of the wicked ages of the world.
And the king shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god; and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods; and shall prosper, till the indignation shall be accomplished; for that, which is determined, shall be done.
Upon this verse let the following things be noted:
proved, as some say, the occasion of the rise of the Papal hierarchy, appears to violate the unity of the whole prophecy. Verse 35; And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end, because it is yet for a time appointed. And does this relate to a new subject still? to the persecuted witnesses under the Papal hierarchy, down to the sixteenth century? Will not such a mode of exposition open the door to the wildest conjectures of men, in the interpretation of prophecy? There appears to be a perfect unity in the whole fifteen verses, (from the 21st to the 35th inclusive,) which is incapable of being broken, or of permitting the different parts to be applied to a variety of different powers, and in far distant ages. And it is a fact, that events took place under Antiochus Epiphanes, which appear to answer to every part of the predictions. (See 1 Mace, i, 21-23, and from the 41st to the end; and chap, ii; 2 Mace, the 2d, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th chapters; and Heb. xi, 35-38.) Its being said, that some of them of understanding should fall to try them -- to the time of the end, because it is yet for an appointed time, does not necessarily carry our thoughts to the battle of the great day, nor to the end of the world, nor to the sixteenth century; but to the end of the tyranny and persecutions of Antiochus, the subject then under consideration. As Antiochus was presented here as the type of Antichrist; so the end of his persecution was typical of the time of the end of the antitypical Antichrist.
34 Remarks on Dan. xi.
1. That here is a change of characters, or a subject introduced, is acknowledged by expositors; and is evident from all that follows. What precedes was but a few centuries after Daniel's time. But what follows, or what the Angel had in view to reveal, was to take place at a time then far distant, just at the time of the end. This we learn from verse 40th; And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him; and the king of the north shall come against him. What precedes the 36th verse, is spoken of the king of the south, and king of the north; in order to exhibit Antiochus, as has been shown. But now, at the time of the end, many centuries after the time of Antiochus, we find those two powers uniting against a third Power; who is the new Power introduced verse 36th. And the king, says the Angel; q. d. The king, that I have in view; who has been described in his type; and is now to be described in his own character.
2. By a king, in the language of prophecy, is generally to be understood a dynasty, or government; a kingdom, or civil power; whether monarchical, or republican; and not an individual person. In this sense we are to understand the king in this text. Instances of this kind in prophecy are numerous. Antichrist is by no means an individual person; but a vast Power.
3. In this passage we are presented with a great atheistical Power, who in his commencement is to be anarchical; raised up to be an instrument of the Divine indignation; and who is to exist till that work of judgment shall be accomplished. His licentiousness is first noted; he shall do according to his will; breaking every restraint. His anarchy follows; and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god; i. e. above every king or legitimate ruler. That this is the sense of the passage, is evident. The following clause decides it; where the Most High is called, The God of gods; i. e. the King of kings, and Lord of lords. Kings and earthly rulers are, in Sacred Writ, called gods. I said, Ye are gods. Thou shalt not revile the gods; i. e. thou shalt not speak evil of the rulers of thy people. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth
Remarks on Dan. xi. 35
among the gods. In such passages, kings, and other lawful rulers are called gods; which passages may suggest the true sense of this Power's exalting himself above every god. War with kings was to be among his first characteristics. His Atheism follows; and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods. He shall blaspheme and deny the God of heaven; the King of kings. And a train of astonishing successes shall follow, or attend his arms; till the work of judgment, for which he is raised up, shall be accomplished. For the Divine counsel has originated the event for judgment; and nothing can frustrate its accomplishment.
Verse 37; Neither shall he regard the god of his fathers, nor the desire, of woman; for he shall magnify himself above all. Kings, and the God of heaven, were before denounced. Now his fathers' god, their pretended head of the church; so long venerated, even as a god, in all Popish countries, is by this Power rejected. Antiochus deposed Onias the Jewish high priest. And the Antitype of Antiochus deposed, and reduced to beggary the pope of Rome. And the Seed of the woman, to be the mother of whom was the fervent desire of the Jewish women, before his incarnation, and whose vicar the god of the fathers of this infidel Power pretended to be, is impiously disregarded, and his religion abjured. Eve upon bearing her first son, exclaimed, I have gotten the man, the Lord, as in the original. Her desire to be the mother of the promised Seed, suggested to her fond imagination, that this babe was the person. This same general desire continued in after ages. And it was perhaps chiefly on this account, that barrenness in Israel, where the Seed of the woman was to be born, was deemed so great a reproach. The desire of women, therefore, seems a suitable enigmatical appellation of the Messiah then to come, and then thus desired by women.
How exactly does the character here given to the infidel Power, accord with the New Testament characteristics of Antichrist! He is Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son. Denying the Lord who
36 Remarks on Dan. xi.
bought them. Denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Despising dominions; speaking evil of dignities. Such predictions in the New Testament probably allude to this very passage in Dan. xi, 37. They identify the subject of their description, with that of the prophet; or show that the Power predicted in both is the same. For the first thought of the application of the desire of women to Christ, I am indebted to Mr. Faber. At first, the application appeared to me doubtful. But on deliberation, I apprehend it to be correct; so perfectly does it agree with the characteristics of Antichrist in the New Testament, as is noted above, and as may further appear.
The supposition that the clause, Neither shall he regard the desire of women, is the same with the characteristic of the Papal hierarchy, Forbidding to marry, cannot be admitted. For the Power under description is a Power different from Popery, as has been suggested, and as will more fully appear in the course of this Dissertation. And the two passages literally express different things. The desire of women must mean what women desire. It must mean the object of the desire, which women did then entertain, when the passage was written. But forbidding to marry is quite another thing. *
Verse 38; But in his estate shall he honor the god of. forces. When this Power shall view himself established, although he deny God, and Christ, and all legitimate authorities, yet shall he acknowledge Mozim, (in the Heb.) translated by Mede and others, gods -- protectors; i. e. tutelar gods. He shall adopt his fancied deities, like the country-gods of the ancient heathen.
* Should any doubt relative to this exposition of the passage, let them examine the following; Neither shall he regard, but shall destroy the monarch of his own nation: And his queen, and hundreds of thousands of innocent females, shall he destroy, as though the desire of women for their lives, for the lives of their children, and for that protection, which is their due from man, were wholly disregarded. The queen, and 250,000 females were murdered in France, during the reign of terror there; furnishing an unprecedented trait of character, and of diabolical cruelty, in the history of man.
Remarks on Dan. xi. 37
Some things highest in popular estimation, shall be reputed as gods. Or some deceased champions of their Infidel order shall, in the impious fancy of their followers, be deified; and perhaps their bones deposited in some temple.
Or, after this Power shall gain national importance, he shall honor military munitions; or pay his first attention to the arts of war; a sense which the term Mozim may bear.
The last part of verse 38th; And a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honor with gold and silver and precious stones and pleasant things. Although his fathers' god, and all gods have been rejected; yet a god, or ruler, of foreign descent, shall by and by come to be acknowledged by this power, and honored with the greatest magnificence.
Verse 39th; Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory; and he shall cause them to, ride over many, and shall divide the land for gain. This infidel Power shall overrun strong holds, and powerful nations, with this foreigner at their head, who shall be received as their supreme ruler, and honored with the highest dignity; and he shall lead them to subdue states and nations; and shall distribute their governments among his favorites, for his own aggrandizement. *
Verse 40th; And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him; and the king of the north shall come against him, like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. After this Power shall have been for a time in existence, trouble shall arrest him from powers here called, the king of the south; and king of the north.
* The Hebrew word Mehir, rendered by our translators gain, signifies a price, worth, value. See Micah iii, 11, and 2 Sum. xxiv. But the radical idea is to exchange. He shall divide out the nominal crowns of his conquered nations, for an exchange of homage and aid, which in his turn he is to receive.
38 Remarks on Dan. xi.
These names, in the preceding parts of the chapter, are applied to Egypt and Syria. These countries are now under the dominion of the Turks. These appellations, in the above passages, may be designed to denote the Turkish empire. This empire, it is thought, is soon to be subverted; that the way for the return of the Jews may be prepared. (See section on the sixth vial.)
The sixth trumpet established the Ottoman empire, by loosing the four Turkish sultanies, which were bound upon the river Euphrates. * And it is expected the sixth vial will effect the ruin of the Turks; and this at a period not far distant. The attack in this passage in Daniel, of the king of the south, and the king of the north, upon the infidel Power, may probably be an event introductory to the judgment of the sixth vial. The Ottoman empire may in some way be engaged in a war with the infidel Power, to its own ruin. Whether this will be the case, or whether some other powers, on the south, and on the north of the infidel Power, will prevail to check the common enemy, time will decide. In favor of this being the case, it may be remarked, that the leading subject, in this chapter, preceding the 36th verse, changes, in this verse, from the type to the antitype. In like manner the kingdom of the south, and kingdom of the north, spoken of after this change in verse 36th from the type, to the great Power of the last days, may relate to different powers from the kingdom of the south and kingdom of the north, in the preceding parts of the chapter. Some nation in the south of the infidel Power may push (butt) at him, and prevail so far as to impede his ambitious projects: And some mighty power in the north may lead a numerous host against him. The coming of this king of the north against him like a whirlwind, with chariots and horsemen, (armies of infantry, artillery, and cavalry) and many ships, seems clearly to intimate, that a vast coalition is formed in the north against him, in connexion with some naval power
* Rev. ix, is.
Rev. xvi, 12.
Remarks on Dan. xi. 39
And the phraseology seems to intimate also great success against the infidel Power. For a mighty whirlwind usually prostrates every thing in its way. This great reverse of things perhaps, fulfils the predictions in parallel prophecies; -- that the last part of this Roman Power -- being part of iron, and part of clay, -- should be partly strong, and partly broken; -- that its parts should not cleave one to another; -- that the earth should open her mouth, and swallow up the floods; -- or the remainder of that wrath God would restrain.
A new turn seems in this passage to be given to the operations of the infidel Power: Or he is, afterward, found making new invasions. He enters into the countries; overflows, and passes over. Some distant expedition is set on foot. Something new and wonderful must be done, perhaps to retrieve the tarnished fame of his arms; and to accomplish some deep plot formed against the enemy. He is by and by found in the Holy land. The way must be prepared for another vial of divine wrath to be discharged.
Verses 41st -- 13d; He shall enter into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hands, even Edom and Moab, and the chief of the children of Amman He shall stretch forth his hands also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and Ethiopians shall be at his steps. Great success, attending the arms of the infidel Empire, in this his first expedition into the east, is here indicated. Having entered into the countries, probably of Turkey in Europe, and having overflowed, and passed over the ancient Hellespont into Asia Minor, he enters into Palestine, from the north, laying all the Turkish provinces at his feet. The south eastern Arabs, in Arabia Felix, escape, as being far out of the line of his tour. But the express exception of these, implies, that the other countries generally, in those parts, will fall before
40 Remarks on Dan. xi.
him. He beats his way round into Egypt, where he makes a thorough conquest, and finds access to whatever treasures the subdued people may have in their possession; or may have been conveyed thither by Turks, fleeing in consternation. Ethiopia, (probably not the African, but the Arabian,) and Libya, or the States of Barbary (now subject to the Turks) are to become subservient to his views. Thus he finishes a most extensive expedition; in which probably, the judgment of the sixth vial is fulfilled, in the subversion of the Euphratean empire, that the way of the return of the Jews and Israelites to the land of their fathers, may be prepared.
Verses 44th and 45th; But tidings out of the cast and out of the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palaces between the seas, in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. These tidings out of the east, and out of the north, probably will relate to the return of the ancient people of God. Their return may be expected soon to succeed the overthrow of the Turks. And the infidel Power evidently feels his interest extremely affected by this event. To have such an influence set up within his lately acquired territories, in favor of the Christian Religion, and of those powers, who support it, will fill him with rage. These tidings may be said to be out of the east, and out of the north, as they will relate to the collection of the Jews and Israel from eastern and northern regions, to the Holy land. Repeatedly the restoration of the Jews is predicted as being from the land of the north, See Jer. xvi, 14, 15, and xxiii, 7, 8. The infidel Power will therefore be excited to collect "the kings of the earth, and of the world," for a new expedition into Palestine; * and to
* That this passage in Daniel xi, from the 40th verse to the end, predicts two expeditions of the infidel Power into Palestine, and at some distance of time from each other, I trust will appear very evident from collateral prophecies, which will come into view in the course of this Dissertation. This concise prophecy
Remarks on Dan. xi. 41
unite in a vast confederacy for the utter extirpation of the new church of God in Jerusalem. The seventh vial finds him there, in Armageddon, at the head of his vast coalition of the kings of the earth, and of the false prophet; and it plunges him in ruin. Here, under the most signal judgment of the-great Head of the church, he comes to his end, and none shall help him.
Other passages in the Old Testament predict this infidel Power, and his overthrow in Palestine. But as the way may be better prepared to form a right understanding of them, the consideration of them will be deferred till the third chapter of this dissertation.
in Daniel makes no mention of this Power's crossing the Mediterranean, to return home from his first expedition; or of any events, after he subdues Egypt, and has the Ethiopians and Libyans at his steps; till the tidings out of the cast and out of the north trouble him, and call him again to Palestine. But we cannot infer from this, that he returns to Palestine from Egypt; or that the event takes place immediately, or before he returns home from his first expedition'. The contrary of this will doubtless appear to be the fact. This first expedition prepares the way for the restoration of Israel, by the subversion of the Ottoman empire; as I trust will appear. And the return of God's ancient people, their conversion to Christianity, and tho preparing of the way for the last coalition against them, must occupy some time; as long a time, I apprehend, as the space between the sixth and seventh vials. For I believe it will appear, that the first expedition of this infidel Power will fulfil the sixth vial; and that the second will open the way for the fulfilment of the seventh. To suppose that this prophecy in Daniel predicts but one expedition of the infidel Power into Palestine, is to involve the subject in great obscurity. The first expedition being said to be at the time of the end, (verse 40,) amounts to no great objection against there being two expeditions. The slaying of the witnesses is said to be, when they shall have finished their testimony. Yet some authors suppose that the event may consistently with this be more than three centuries before they shall have actually finished their testimony. This I believe to be incorrect. Yet I think it very consistent with the language of prophecy, where the year is not specified, to say, a thing is at the time of the end, when it is yet as far distant, as is the time of the sixth vial from that of the seventh.
See chapter 3d of this Dissertation.
Rev. xvi, from the 13th verse to the end; and xix, 19, 20, 21.
Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy.
It has been the general opinion of Protestant divines, that the predictions concerning Antichrist were fulfilled in the Papal hierarchy. Some of late doubt the correctness of this sentiment. It probably may be doubted I shall in this section note some prophecies, and make some remarks, not so much with a view to find the certainty of the rise of a great Power subsequent to the reign of Popery, as to show that this terrible subsequent Power is emphatically the Antichrist of the New Testament. In the prophecies now to be noted, and in the remarks to be made, both the above objects will be ascertained.
No doubt the Romish hierarchy was indeed anti-christian; and was so to a fatal degree. It was the blasphemous horn of the Roman Beast, into whose power the saints were to be delivered, for 1260 years; Dan. vii, 8, 25. It was the apostasy predicted by Paul, 1 Tim. iv, 1,2, that "in the last days some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." It was the second Beast, in Rev. xiii, 11, which rose out of the earth, had two horns like a lamb, but spake like a dragon. It was the woman, Rev. xvii, called "Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth." It was the subject of various prophecies; a terrible power; an awful judgment to the world; and as abominable, as any have ever conceived.
But it appears evident, that the Papal hierarchy was not the last great and terrible Power, foretold to be raised up in judgment to the wicked nations, in the last days. Another Power was to be raised up, for the execution of divine judgments, to be a rod of iron, a battle axe of destruction, to execute divine wrath on that Mother of harlots, to hate the whore, to make her desolate and naked, to eat her flesh, and burn her with fire, and to dash in pieces the nations of God's enemies. This work of judgment was not to be done by a Papal
Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy. 43
hierarchy! but by a tremendous Power, raised up for the purpose, subsequent to the reign of the Papal hierarchy.
In the predictions to be noted in this dissertation, it is evident, that it is the secular Roman Beast, under his last head; and not the Papal Beast, the little horn, the false prophet, that is, the great leader in battle array against Christ, at the time of the end, or of the seventh vial. This appears in Dan. vii, 11, "I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words, which the horn spake, I beheld even till the BEAST was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." It is important to note here, that the great Power upon the stage, predominant when Christ appears at the battle of the great day, is the Roman Beast, which in verse 2, rose out of the sea, or the tumultuous state of the nations, before the Christian era. This Beast is here spoken of as distinct from the Papal power, which in the same passage is mentioned as the horn of this same Beast. The Beast is the great Power then to be slain, and his body destroyed and given to the burning flame. This event, of his body's being destroyed and given to the burning flame, none can pretend has yet taken place. It must be future. The Roman Beast then, great and terrible, must be found in existence, distinct from Popery, either now, or at a time still future. This secular Roman Beast is the great Power in hostile array against Christ; and is the Leader of the contending nations, in that last battle of the great day of God.
The above passage in Daniel accords with, and is explained by, Rev. xix, 19, 20; where we have a more full account of the same period and event. After a description is there given of Christ in battle array, occasioned by a war against him by the terrible Power of the last days, we read, "And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth gathered together to make war against him, who sat on the horse, and against his army. And the Beast was taken, and with him the false prophet, that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them., that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image: -- These both
44 Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy.
were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him, who sat upon the horse." It is thus evident, that the great Power of the last days, leading the battle against Christ, is the old Roman Beast, distinct from the Papal hierarchy, and managing this hierarchy, as a puppet in his hands; which hierarchy in the above passage, is noted, as the false prophet; and in the corresponding passage, in Daniel, as the horn of that Beast. In various other passages these two Powers are found, at the same period, in the same connexion; the Beast and ihe false prophet. The Beast is first, or is the great mischievous Power, then in existence. And the horn, the false prophet, is a mere subordinate tool of mischief in his possession.
In Rev. xvii, this Power is found ascending, in the last days, from the bottomless pit, to go into perdition. (A passage which will be explained in another section.) The going of this Beast into perdition, is there twice Spoken of, as nearly connected with his rise from the infernal world, and from his state of long inactivity; indicating, that the time of this his revival is in the last days, or but a short time before he goes into perdition. This idea we repeatedly find. The apostles inform, of the same Power, "that his judgement lingereth not, and his damnation slumbereth not;" that he bringeth upon himself swift destruction; as did the rebelling angels, and various most notorious transgressors of old; Jude 5-8 verse. And 2 Pet. ii, 1-10. But so short a reign cannot be attributed to the Papal hierarchy; which continued for a great course of centuries. The great Power of the last days then, must be subsequent to, and distinct from Popery.
In the above noted chapter, Rev. xvii, this great Power is represented as distinct from Popery. The one is the scarlet colored Beast, full of the names of blasphemy. The other is a woman, with all the characteristics of the hierarchy, borne by this Beast, and by his horns executed, verse 16. This Beast must be the tremendous Power of the last days, noted in the aforecited passages, Dan. vii, 11; and Rev. xix, 19, 20.
Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy. 45
In Rev. xvi, 13, we find this Beast, distinct from Popery, and placed before it, as a greater enemy. The passage informs of the three unclean spirits like frogs, from the mouth of the dragon, (the devil) of the Beast, (the newly raised terrible Power, placed next to die dragon) and of the false prophet; (the skeleton of Popery and false religion) spirits of devils, going out into the kingdoms of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Here is a Beast, at that time, beside, and superior to Popery. These three Powers, the devil, the Beast, and the false prophet, are found again in the same connexion, in Rev. xx, 10, being cast together into the lake of fire. From the view of these passages, it clearly appears, that a great and terrible Power was to rise posterior to Popery. The same appears, as will be noted, in Rev. xiv, 8-11, where, after Papal Babylon is fallen, a most terrible Beast is presented.
The present state of the Romish hierarchy forbids, that it can be that terrible Power of the last days. That hierarchy has already fallen under the iron grasp of a far superior Power who is inflicting on its nations the denounced judgments of heaven. To whatever degree of mischief, to the people of God, the dependant skeleton of the hierarchy may be yet made an occasion, before the battle of the great day; (and the indications concerning this are thought to be not uninteresting,) yet this false prophet will be only an engine of policy, and perhaps of desperate malice, in the hands of a far superior Power, who most heartily despises all true religion.
The great Power of the last day is, (Dan. vi, 40-43,) at or near the time of the end, engaged in a war with the king of the south, and the king of the north, and probably a coalition united with them. This was never fulfilled in the Papal hierarchy. If it were, it must have been in the attacks of the Saracens, who fulfilled the first wo trumpet, Rev. ix, 1-12; or in the invasions of the Turks under the second wo trumpet, Rev. ix, 12-21. No other events can have the least
46 Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy.
even apparent claim, as having been a fulfilment of that prophecy. But the former of these events was more than 1200 years ago; and the latter more than 350. But the time of the end, when this war, with the king of the south and king of the north, is to be undertaken, must be still future. Consequently, that war must be with a Power subsequent to the hierarchy, viz. the terrible Power of the last days. The king of the south was Egypt: The king of the north, Syria. Those nations are now under the government of the Turks. The Turkish government is soon to be subverted, under the sixth vial of wrath; Rev. xvi, 12. The fulfilment of the prediction, relative to this war, with the king of the south, and the king of the north may soon commence. And some power may be found in union with the latter or the Turks, which may give an emphasis to his being called, at this late period, the king of the north. However this may be, the argument in this paragraph shews, that a great and terrible Power was to be raised up subsequent to the reign of Popery. Popery was a very different thing from a rod of iron to dash wicked nations to pieces. It was an abominable corrupting system; a harlot, to pollute, and to prepare the nations for judgment. But it was very far from being that great new threshing instrument, having iron teeth, to beat the nations to powder, which was to be furnished in the last days, Isa. xli, 15. It required an instrument very different from the Papal hierarchy, (represented as a delicate female,} to beat small the mountains of wicked potentates and kingdoms of the earth, and to make the hills as chaff. And a very different instrument was, for this purpose to be furnished, and is indeed furnished, before the face of the world.
When the reformation under Luther, the art of printing, and the revival of learning in Europe, after the dark ages, had unveiled the abominations of Popery; there were many millions whose pride of heart would not permit them to embrace the doctrines of the reformation, and who would easily be induced to deny the Christian Religion, and its blessed Author.
Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy. 47
This was a process very natural in old corrupt Popish countries, after the mummery of their false religion was exposed, and became ridiculous. Especially was this the case in a nation constitutionally licentious, volatile, haughty, and impatient of every restraint. Such a people would need only an association of infidel philosophers, under the instigation of the infernal dragon, to institute a scheme, which would give birth to the terrible Power of the last days. And such will appear to have been his origin.
A question now arises: -- Is this the Power, that was to be known by the name of Antichrist; The Papal hierarchy was indeed predicted to exist; a most abominable apostasy. But a posterior, and most terrible Power, raised up for the work of divine judgment, was also much more abundantly predicted to exist. And the apostle John speaks of Antichrist, who, they had heard, was to come. Now which of the two above noted Powers was to be that Antichrist of John?
Reply. A decision of this is not very material. The leading sentiment of my dissertation is not materially effected, be the question decided as it may. For it is that great Power of the last days, of which I treat; whether that prediction of John, relative to Antichrist, apply exclusively to this Power, or not. If it do not apply exclusively to it; still there are many predictions that do; and these contain the subject of my dissertation.
I have taken the liberty to apply to this Power, the name of Antichrist; being of opinion, that this Power is essentially included in the Antichrist of John, if not most immediately the very Power designed.
Several of my reasons for this opinion I will now state.
1. It is the express characteristic of John's Antichrist, that he is an Atheist; denying the Father and the Son; denying that Jesus is the Christ; denying that Christ is come in the flesh. And we find it to be the leading characteristics of the terrible Power of the last days, (as' has appeared in Dan. xi. 36--, and as will Appear in the next section, on the writings of the apostles,)
48 Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy.
ties,) that he denies God and Christ; -- "privately bringing in damnable heresies; -- denying the Lord, who bought them; -- and bringing upon themselves swift destruction:" -- "Denying the only Lord God; and our Lord Jesus Christ." Abundantly this Power is represented, as Antichrist is represented to be, a gross infidel.
But the papal hierarchy did not deny the Father, nor he Son. It did not deny the only Lord God; nor the Lord Jesus Christ. It did not deny that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh. It professed the highest veneration for God, and Christ, and the Christian Religion. And though this profession was not gracious, but was abominable hypocrisy; yet this profession (uniformly constituting an essential part of their system from the beginning) is not to be blended with the personal wickedness of its subjects. It is in itself proper to profess a veneration for God and Christ, and the Christian Religion. And this profession lying at the foundation: of a system, constitutes a feature in the basis of that system, very different from the atheism of Antichrist. Antichrist, at his development, takes to himself the character of a gross atheist. Whatever "form of Godliness" while he denies the power of it) he may afterward find it most convenient to his diabolical views, to adopt, yet he is a noted atheist.
2. Another argument in favor of the idea, that the terrible Power of the last days is the Antichrist in John's epistle, is as follows: This Power is abundantly represented as engaged in an actual war with Christ. This war is represented as carried on with such spirit and power, as to bring down the Captain of our salvation from heaven, with all his retinue and apparatus for the most terrible warfare. Christ is represented as engaging in this war, with unprecedented attention; and pursuing it to a final and most decisive victory over the Beast, and the false prophet, the kings of the earth, and all their armies.
In Dan. xii, 1, after the great infidel Power of the last days, described in the preceding chapter, has reached Palestine, to make war with God's ancient
Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy. 49
covenant people there, "Michael (Christ) the great Prince, stands up for the children of his people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time." Here is a war greater than any ever before known, between this very Power, and Christ. In Re v. xiii, 7, we learn, that the great object of this healed head of the Roman Beast, (the great Power of the last days,) is war with the people of God." "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints." In Rev. xvii, 14, we find the same. Of the ten horns of this very Beast from the bottomless pit, it is said; "These shall make war with the Lamb." Of the same Beast it is said, relative to the witnesses, Rev. xi, 7, "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them." Rev. xii, 13, "And when the dragon saw, that he was cast out unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, that brought forth the man child." His floods of rage, falsehood and violence, now poured forth, to cause the church to be carried away; and the voice of wo, at the same time from heaven, against the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea, because the devil had come, with great wrath, knowing he had but a short time, (or the Millennium was about to dawn) all indicate unprecedented war at that time against Christ. In Rev. xiv, 12 -- to the end, the same thing is indicated. After the missionary Angel had begun his flight through the midst of heaven, to preach the Gospel to all nations; after it was ascertained that Papal Babylon had fallen; and a third warning voice was heard, warning mankind, as they would escape inevitable damnation, to abstain from all affinity with the Beast, (the horrid blasphemous Power of the day,) solemn indications follow. This warning will not be taken in good part, by the powers implicated. And it follows; "Here is the patience of the saints: Here are they, that keep the commandments of God, and the. faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord, from henceforth;
50 Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy.
yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." A signal war against the church is here implied. And what follows confirms the indication. For the Captain of her salvation immediately appears in arms. The next verse presents him upon the white cloud, with his sharp sickle. The harvest of the earth is reaped. The clusters of the vine of the earth, fully ripe, are gathered for the pressing. The wine-press is trodden; and a river of blood is emitted. All this implies, that the great Power of that day is in arms against heaven; having instituted a most furious war with Christ.
The same is found in Rev. xiii, 13--. To prepare the way for the seventh vial, the agents cf the dragon, the Beast, and the false prophet, (unclean spirits like frogs, called spirits of devils,) go out unto the people of the whole world, to gather them to the "BATTLE of that great day of God Almighty." War virtually against Christ, is the object. And the Beast (the great Power of the last days) next after the infernal dragon, is the great instigator of it, by his threefold diabolical influence. Christ upon this proclaims, that his coming should be sudden and dreadful. His enemies are convened in battle array at Armageddon. There he comes upon them, and decides the contest.
A sublime description of this warfare, and of its final decision, we find in Rev. xix, 11 -- to the end. Christ, as a great triumphant general, upon a white horse, an ancient emblem of victory, rides forth. His eyes are as a flame of fire. Many crowns are upon his head. His vesture is already dipped in the blood of his enemies. All the armies of heaven follow him upon white horses. The war against him has become most serious. Out of his 'mouth goeth a sharp two edged sword, by which to smite the nations. He is now going to rule them with his rod of iron, and to tread the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. On his vesture and on his thigh his titles appear in capitals, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. The "occasion of this tremendous order of battle, following verses unfold. "And I saw the Beast,
Antichrist not the Papal hierarchy. 51
and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together, to make war against him, who sat upon the horse, and against his army. Here is the great Power of the last days, at the head of the coalition against heaven. This is the Power, concerning whom we have so many express predictions of his being in array against Christ. Is he not then, the Antichrist? What is meant by Antichrist? The word signifies against Christ. Does the word of God inform of any other Power, as having been more expressly against Christ, than this Power of the last days? Can one third so much of war language be found in the word of God, relative to the Papal hierarchy, or any other power, as is found relative to the great Power of the last days? Let the analogy of Scripture then, decide who is the Antichrist of the New Testament.
3. Another argument, that the Antichrist in John is this great infidel Power, is this' -- John says, "Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come." He here refers his readers to an event well ascertained in prophecy. This was before his Revelation was written, or the books of the New Testament collected, or filled up. His reference then, must have been chiefly, if not wholly, to the Old Testament. This was their Bible. And it was there they had heard that Antichrist was to come. But in the Old Testament they had read but very little, and that in one or two obscure hints, relative to the Papal hierarchy: -- While they had read much, very much, relative to the terrible Power of the last days. See section ii, and v, chap, iii, of this dissertation. This terrible Power, predicted Dan. xi, 36-- to the end, we find, was a Power much predicted before by the prophets. Chap, x, 21, "But I will shew thee that, which is noted in the scriptures of truth." This Power had been the great subject of Ezekiel xxxviii, and xxxix chapters; Gog, the land of Magog; -- and of other prophecies of the Old Testament. So that, when his destruction is predicted, Rev. x, 7, by the seventh trumpet, or third wo, it is there said to be, only "as God hath declared to his servants the prophets." And in Rev. xvi, 14, when the abominable, slippery and
52 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
crooked agents of this Beast collects the kingdoms of the world, it is said to be "to the battle of THAT GREAT DAY of God Almighty." What great day? THAT great day so well known in the Old Testament; as in the above quotation, Rev. x, 7, "as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." John's Antichrist then, being the Power, that his readers had heard was to come, (1 John ii, 18,) must, I think, be the great Power, that leads the coalition in the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
I might multiply arguments: But it seems needless. It will appear in the next section that John's Antichrist, when he appears, is soon to be destroyed. But the Papal hierarchy was to exist 1260 years. Which argument seems sufficient to show, that Antichrist was to be a Power subsequent to the reign of the Papal hierarchy.
Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
In 1 John ii, 18, we read, Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. This Epistle is said to have been written with a principal view to the Christian Jews. A principal object of the writer probably was, to exhibit the beauties of the Christian character, in contrast with the bitterness of the unbelieving Jews, and of the carnal heart; and to evince the great doctrine, that Jesus Christ is the true Messiah; in opposition to the infidelity of the Jews. *
* It has been supposed by some, that St. John, in this Epistle, had his eye upon the heresies of the Gnostics and Ebionites. The Gnostics, a heretical, gentile sect, from Simon Magus, boasting of their knowledge sufficient to teach men the things of God, denied the humanity of Jesus Christ; and held that he suffered only in appearance. The Ebionites, a heretical sect of Jewish Christians, denied the Divinity, and the miraculous conception of Jesus Christ; yet pretended to hold that he was sent of God. Possibly the sacred writer had his eye upon these heretics. They virtually denied the Father and the Son, and thus were antichrists, but the infidelity and bitterness of his
Antichrist predicted by the Apostles. 53
This Epistle is supposed to have been written just before the destruction of Jerusalem; which was one coming of Christ, or a lively type of the destruction of Antichrist, at the battle of the great day. Some, it is true, have conjectured, that it was written upwards of twenty years after the destruction of Jerusalem. But there is no evidence of this; as good expositors acknowledge. I think those have the most evidence on their side, who think it to have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem. Doctor Guyes was of this opinion; and thinks, that the individual antichrist spoken of, chap, ii, 18, and iv, 1, were the Judaizing teachers, predicted by Christ, Mutt, xxiv, 24, to come before the destruction of the temple. These were forerunners, or typical, of the false teachers of the last days. This circumstance, that the Epistle was written just before the fatal catastrophe of the Jews, by Titus the Roman, accounts for the writers sayings, "It is the last time." In the original, it is -- the last hour. It was then, as it were, the last hour, previous to the coming of Christ, in the fatal catastrophe of the Jewish nation. There were at that time many violent opposers of the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, especially among the Jews, and the Judaizing teachers; * from which event the Apostle infers, that it was the last hour with that unbelieving nation. And so it proved in fact. For wrath soon came upon them to the uttermost. Eleven hundred thousand Jews perished by the sword, at the siege and taking of Jerusalem by the Romans. And more than fourteen hundred thousand were destroyed in that war. Their temple was burnt; their city destroyed; and the small remnant of the Jews were sold for slaves to different nations. Ye have heard that Antichrist shall come. He alludes to predictions of an event, which was then Jar future. When he adds, even now are there many antichrists, he could not mean,
nation, the Jews, and the hordes of Judaizing teachers, whom Paul calls dogs, evil workers, and the concision, Phil, iii, 2, probably were one great occasion of his writing this Epistle.
* Titus i, 10, 11.
See Josephus on the destruction of Jerusalem.
54 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
that these many antichrists constituted that Antichrist, who they had heard was to come. He distinguishes between that Power then far future, and the petty, individual antichrists of his day, putting one in the singular, and the other in the plural. We may view the passage, as amounting to what is expressed in the following paraphrase: Ye are assured in various predictions, that a terrible Power, which may properly be styled Antichrist, on account of his enmity against the Christian cause, shall arise in the last days; and shall bring upon himself swift destruction: So that the appearance of that wicked Power shall be a certain token of its then being the last time with the enemies of the Church. And even now are there many among our countrymen, of the same bitter, infidel spirit; by which we know it to be the last time with the Jewish polity. Josephus informs, that in the last tremendous scenes of the destruction of the Jews, it was common for them "to make a jest of Divine things, and to deride, as so many senseless tales, and juggling impostures, the sacred oracles of their prophets." They were given up to the most gross and barefaced infidelity; and thus they were the antichrists of that day. Or they may be viewed as a type of the great Antichrist of the last time. Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. * And every spirit, that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God: and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world. Here it is the decided character and spirit of Antichrist, that he is a gross Infidel: Not merely loving to have pre-eminence; or corrupting the ordinances of Christ; as did the Romish hierarchy; but expressly denying Christ; having the very spirit, which the infidel Jews possessed. The Apostle in the above passages teaches, that the Antichristian spirit, then existing, indicated that it was the last hour with its subjects. But it was the last hour only with the Jews. It
* 1 John ii, 22.
1 John iv, 3.
Antichrist predicted by the Apostles. 55
Was their gross infidelity then, which he calls the spirit of Antichrist. His inference, that the spirit of Antichrist, then existing, indicated that it was the last hour with its subjects, was deduced from this fact, which he understood to be a truth, viz. that the rise of Antichrist was to be but a short time, like an hour, before his utter destruction. The reasoning of the Apostle rests on this ground. For surely if Antichrist might exist many centuries, as did Popery, before he goeth into perdition, the Apostle could not have inferred from the existence of the spirit of Antichrist in his day, that it was the last hour with its subjects. We arrive then at this conclusion from the remarks of St. John, that Antichrist is another Power beside the Papal hierarchy; and that his rise was to be but a short time before the battle of the great day. And these ideas we find clearly exhibited in various prophecies. The other apostles, Paul, Peter and Jude, predict this Power, and his abominable agency and influence. I shall first note the writings of Jude. He inscribes his Epistle to the people of no particular place; but to the true people of God; "to them, that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Christ Jesus, and called." From various considerations, which I shall proceed to note, it is evident, that his Epistle is prophetic; or that the events of it, when he wrote, were for future; and were to take place but just before the Millennium. I shall first make this appear; otherwise, my remarks upon the Epistle will be of no avail to my object.
1. In verse 4, the writer hints what he was going to do; by informing, that the characters, he was about to describe, "were of old ordained to this condemnation." In the original it is, "of old forewritten to this judgment." Alluding to the ancient predictions, in the prophets, relative to the great Power of the last days. It is as though Jude had said; I am now going to describe the characters and agents of that tremendous enemy of the church in the last days, just before the millennial Kingdom of Christ, so much predicted and described in the prophets; -- - the people there "forewritten
56 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
to this judgment;" -- or, predescribed to this character and destruction. If the descriptions in this Epistle had some primary reference to the Judaizing teachers of that day; it is evident, from the above clause, of their having been "of old forewritten to this judgment," that they had their ultimate reference to the characters, that introduce the battle of that great day of God Almighty. For these are the characters fore- written, in the ancient prophets, as has been noted, and as will more fully appear.
2. In verse 14, of this Epistle we have another clew for our guidance, in our inquiry for the period and characters described. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these (these characters, that I describe) saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all, that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds, and of all their hard speeches, which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Here we learn, that the characters described are those, who shall be in existence on earth, when the Lord shall come, with all his retinue of war, to sweep the wicked from the earth: -- That it is their malice against him, (in his people) their hard speeches and ungodly deeds, which will be the immediate occasion of that tremendous judgment: -- And that their wickedness and their ruin are to be so terrible, that Enoch was inspired to predict the events, more than seven hundred years before the flood!
How striking, that this solitary and precious fragment of most ancient prophecy should be preserved now for fifty centuries, to designate, with other scriptures, the period, character and overthrow of the terrible Power of the last days! And how exactly its language, of the Lord's coming with thousands of his saints, comports with the descriptions of the same battle, in Rev. xix, 11, -- to the end; "all the armies of heaven following him on white horses:" Joel iii, 11, where Antichrist is gathered to the valley of decision; and the prophet adds, "Thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord:" As Zech. xiv, 5, upon the same period and
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event; "and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
3. In verses 17, 18, the point under consideration is decided "But, beloved, remember the words, which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how they told you, there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts." Here the characters, whom he was describing, are the mockers of the LAST TIME. And they are the very characters described by the other apostles; that, "in the last days perilous times shall come;" "there shall come, in the last days, scoffers."
Thus we may consult Jude's Epistle with an assurance that those whom he describes, are the abominable characters of the last days.
In his introduction of the subject is a solemn caution to duty. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you, that ye should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints." He then begins his subject. "For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ." Here is the same character, given of the terrible Power, Dan. xi, 36 -- rejecting God and the Savior. 1 John ii, 22, "He is Antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." These characters have "crept in unawares:" -- come, as from some dark recess: Under fatal disguises: -- Are among a people, and have effected their mischievous plans, before they are known.
The writer now, to fortify the minds of his readers, before he leads them over the ground, or unfolds the terrific picture, introduces the idea, which generally attends the description of this terrible Power, that his reign shall be short; he shall soon be destroyed. This he does, in verses 5, 6, 7, by noting the signal ruin of the ancient most inveterate enemies of God, as an emblem of what is just ready to be executed on these
58 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
wretched characters of the last days, when they should appear. "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them, that believed not. And the angels, who kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, and set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." He goes on, ''Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." They are here noted by the Holy Ghost as dreamers. Their plans are wild dreams. They areas much at variance with the established and most useful institutions among men, and the approved paths of experience, as dreams are at variance with common sense. And they are notorious for despising virtuous dominion, and vilifying all dignified characters, who stand in their way. "Yet Michael the Archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not ('could not endure to) bring against him a railing accusation; but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
But these, (i. e. the characters of the last days) speak evil of those things, which they know not; but what they know naturally as brute beasts, in those things they correct themselves." Characters and institutions, whose excellency is beyond their perverted conceptions, they slander. And their natural powers are utterly vitiated.
"Wo unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam (or reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core." Cain hated and slew his brother, because his own works were evil, and his brothers were righteous, 1 John iii, 12. Balaam was hired to curse, and labored to corrupt and to destroy the people of God. Korah, and his impious company rose against the order of Religion and government established in Israel; and all perished under the immediate avenging hand of God. Sec
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Numb, xvi, 1-38. These characters of the last days are, in all these particulars, followers of those men.
"These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear; clouds without water, carried about of winds; trees, whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever." Amazing descriptions of the diabolical deceivers of the last days! The last above mentioned is striking; "wandering stars!" or comets with fiery tails, sweeping awry over every land; crossing the orbits of all other planets; and deemed harbingers of war and judgments. The afore-noted passage, relative to the prophecy of Enoch, follows. This has already been noted. The description then continues.
"These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaking great swelling words; having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." Murmuring and complaining, under some sly pretence, against whatever impedes their purposes: Their words being abundant and very stout: While they flatter the tools, and cringe to the more important agents of their cause.
"But, beloved, remember the words of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you, there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts."
The next characteristic is remarkable. "These be they, who separate themselves; sensual, having not the spirit." Their plans are formed separately from the mass of mankind. All is done in the dark. The great spring of their vast machine is designed to be kept out of sight. Their object is designed to be kept concealed, till it is effected. The world is to be bound by m. visible hands.
And their leaders are not only graceless, but grossly "sensual." Sensuality and selfishness are their highest motives. "Having not the Spirit." The mass ot mankind have usually been subjects of the striving,
60 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
checks and restraining; influences of the Spirit of God. Even the violent people of the old world were thus. God said of them, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man;" which implied that he was then still striving. But with the diabolical seducers of the last days, the Spirit of God has ceased to strive! It is emphatically announced of them, even in comparison with the rest of the impenitent part of mankind, that they have not the Spirit. A spirit very opposite to the Spirit of God, has leavened their whole souls. The whole scheme is, in other scriptures, represented as being under the agency of the wicked one, instead of the Spirit of God. "For they are spirits of devils," it is said of these three unclean spirits like frogs. In one passage they are represented, to be "an habitation of devils; a hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." This Beast "ascendeth out of the bottomless pit." "And the dragon gave him his power, and seat, and great authority.'' "Wo to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea; for the devil is come down unto you, having great wroth, because he know- eth he hath but a short time." No wonder then, that it is said of them in Jude, "having not the Spirit" They have a reprobate spirit, the spirit of the wicked one. Hence David, predicting the Kingdom of the righteous Ruler, (Christ,) and the scene of its introduction, concerning these very characters in Jude, writes thus; "But the sons of Beliel shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands; but the man, who would touch them, must be fenced with iron, and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burnt with fire in the same place." 2 Sam. xxiii, 6, 7.
Jude informs, (as we have seen,) verses 17, 18, that the other apostle also predicted these mockers of the last time. We may then turn to their writings with an assurance, that we shall find their predictions of these wretched characters. And we do find them.
Paul described this terrible Power of the last days, and the agents of his mischief, not only in the Man of sin in an Epistle to the Thessalonians; (see sect, viii,
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chap. 1 of this dissertation;) but also in 1 Tim. iii, 1-8. In this first Epistle, he had predicted the apostasy and superstition of the church of Rome, chap, iv, 1-3. "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, (mark here! it is not in the last days; but latter times} some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry; and commanding to abstain from meats, which God had created to be received with thanksgiving of them, that believe and know the truth." Here was predicted, not a system of infidelity, but of superstitious religious rites; "doctrines of demons," the papistical worshipping of saints and images, as some expositors explain it. But in his second Epistle, iii, 1-8, Paul makes an advance; and predicts the rise of another later Power; and one of a different character. "This know, also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." q. d. This know, over and above what I before predicted concerning the Papal apostasy. That was to be in the latter days; this in the last days. "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce- breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despises of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away. For of this sort, are they, who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts; ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres (the pagan magicians of Egypt) withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith." Here we have a striking description of the malignant passions of men let loose from the restraints of Religion, and of a good education; as is abundantly predicted to be the case, in the last days, in the reign of infidelity and of terror; when the rage of the times will be; "Let us break their bands asunder; and cast away their cords
62 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
from us." Even these characters, after they have fixed their characteristic of infidelity, may be led to adopt some trite form of Godliness; having found it necessary for their existence in the world; or to cover their enormities; or to propagate their sentiments with more fatal effect. Or this trait of character here given may peculiarly relate to some class of them; perhaps that from the mouth of the false prophet; zealots in religion; while yet they are propagators of real infidelity. Their clandestine operations in the propagation of their sentiments, are strikingly noted, by their creeping into houses and leading captive the simple and uninformed, who are under the influence of sensual motives. Their fair pretences are hinted. Ever learning. Yet they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. For their hearts are utterly hostile to the truth, corrupt, and reprobate.
Peter informs us of the same characters; whom he calls scoffers in the last days. He fills a whole chapter with the most lively and affecting descriptions of them. It is evident that the wretched beings, presented in 2 Pet. ii chapter, are the very characters predicted by Jude. For Jude evidently has this very chapter, and the beginning of the next, in view, not only when he directs us to "remember the words, which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how they told you, there should be mockers in the last time-," but in the whole of his Epistle. None, who will compare the two chapters, can doubt of this. The characteristics given, and the stile, are the same. We are hence assured, that the deceivers described by Peter, are the infidels of the last days.
He says, "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." Here is the very character of Antichrist; "denying the Lord, that bought them." And as in Jude, they introduce their damnable heresies privately. Also, as in the various other predictions of them, their destruction comes swiftly.
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They are here false teachers. They are those, who (some under one disguise, and some under another,) undertake to instruct mankind, and to form the public sentiments. This they will do in preaching; in gazettes; or in other communications.
"And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of." As Paul had before said to Timothy, for the time will come, when they (the mass of the people} will not endure sound doctrine: but, after their own lusts, shell heap to themselves teachers; having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. Peter proceeds.
"And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not; and their damnation slumbereth not." With deceptive words, and sordid views, they seduce and ruin the people.
Peter now, as did Jude, in the beginning of his description, relieves the minds of his readers with the idea, that their reign should be short, and their ruin terrible; by adverting to the destruction of the sinning angels, of the old world, and of Sodom and Gomorrah, as an emblem of what shall shortly befall these wretches of the last days. See verse 4-7, And for the support of the persecuted people of God, at the same period, they are here reminded of God's delivering ""just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked," and with their unlawful deeds. "For the Lord knoweth how to deliver the Godly out of temptation; and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." And especially these characters of the last days, who, he tells us, "walk after the flesh, in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government;" i. e. all evangelical and virtuous government: -- "Presumptuous are they, self willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas, Angels, who are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these are natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things, which they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption:
64 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots are they and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings, while they feast with you." Horrid pictures of depravity! Sporting themselves with the success of their devices; while they are enjoying, with the deceived, the blessings of life. "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls; an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Who have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity; the dumb ass speaking with man's voice, forbode the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water; clouds that are carried with the tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure, (through the lusts of the flesh through much wantonness,) those, who were clean (wholly) escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruptions. For of whom a man is overcome, of the same he is brought into bondage." Amazing and most interesting catalogue of the mischievous characteristics of the horrid deceivers of the last days, who will desolate the civilized world! Liberty and the rights of man are their first theme: While corruption the most diabolical, is the origin, and bondage and ruin the sure result, to all who are overcome by their delusions. Beguiling the unstable. Their greatest success is with the unprincipled and fluctuating parts of communities. And by swelling words of vanity, they present the most depraved motives in such an enticing light, as to allure many into ruin, who were thought to have wholly escaped from those, who live- in error; or, were thought to be verily good people. Through the abounding of this iniquity, the love of many (even of this class) will wax cold; and, to the surprise and grief of the Godly, they will be found among the enemy. The chapter closes zzz solemn remarks, relative to such apostates, who
Antichrist predicted by the Apostles. 65
were introduced, in verse 18, as being allured, after they were thought to have escaped; "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them, than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again: and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire." We have here a most solemn and express warning to professors of Religion, when those last days shall arrive! They will be tried to the uttermost. Many of them will fall. The love of many of such will wax cold. "But he, that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved."
Peter, in the next chapter, pursues the same subject. He informs his pious readers (whom in the introduction of this Epistle he had called, "elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ;" and "who have obtained like precious faith with us,") that this second Epistle he now writes, in which to stir up their pure minds by way of remembrance; "That ye may be mindful of the words, which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior; knowing this first, that there shall come, in the last days, scoffers, walking after their own lusts; and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they are willingly ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished. But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men."
66 Antichrist predicted by the Apostles.
There have been some perhaps, in all ages, of this infidel cast. But in the last days, there is to arise a generation of them, whose audacity and awful wickedness are to be such, that they are spoken of, as though such men never before existed. They deny the coming of Christ; and insultingly challenge the people of God upon the subject. Their wilful unbelief concerning the deluge, and the future judgment is noted; also the falsehood of the premises, on which they rest; and the sophistry of their reasonings. To give plausibility to their denial of any future coming of Christ, they say, "For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were, from these beginning of creation." But this is not true. All things have not continued as they were, from the beginning. God once (notwithstanding that the habitable earth was raised above the water, and the laws of nature seemed to ensure that it should safely continue thus verse 5,) controlled the laws of nature, and deluged the world, in fatal judgment to an impious generation. Though these scoffers of the last days may deny it, and may ransack the bowels of the earth, and may exert all their impious sophistry, in hopes of giving plausibility to the denial, yet the fact is incontestable. But what if all things had continued as they were., from the beginning? Would this render it certain that they always will so continue? and that Christ will never punish his enemies? Here is a specimen of the boasted reasonings of scoffers! But their ignorance of the coming of God, in the judgment of the flood, is a wilful ignorance. And it is wilful ignorance, that scoffers do not infer from the judgment of the flood, the certainty of the future destruction of scoffers, and of all the enemies of Christ. For the same word of God, which predicted the judgment of the deluge, has predicted the coming of Christ to judge and destroy his enemies, and save his friends. And as the former was fulfilled, so the hitter will, at the appointed day be fulfilled. But such reasoning, and to believe and obey the word of God, is far beyond all the moral ingenuity of the- scoffers of the last days: --
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This the apostle clearly ascertains in the passage which has been given.
Thus, four of the apostles have in their Epistles strikingly ascertained the rise of the terrible Power, and influence of infidelity in the last days.
Antichrist predicted in Revelation xiith Chapter.
In this chapter the church of Christ is symbolized by a woman away in the aerial heavens, clothed with the sun; the moon under her feet; and on her head a crown of twelve stars. The desires and exertions of the Church for the propagation of the Gospel and the salvation of men, are represented by the woman's travailing in child-birth, and being pained to be delivered. The devil is symbolized by a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads; and his tail drawing a third part of the stars, and casting them to the ground. And his rage against the cause of Christ is represented by his standing before the woman, to devour her son as soon as it was born. * The eventual safety of the succession of the Church, is represented by the child's being born; and being caught up to the throne of God. The devil now persecutes the church; upon which she flies into the wilderness for 1260 years. From what follows in the chapter, we learn, as it is thought, that the war of the devil against Christ was carried on, through the dark ages of Popery, in the symbolical heaven of the Papal church. The devil fought under the standard of Religion, in the corruptions and persecutions in that wicked system. But at the time of the reformation under Luther, the devil was cast out of this symbolical heaven, by the exposure of the abominations of Popery, to the symbolical earth; or where he commenced a system of Infidelity, and of direct opposition to the Protestant cause. This new system of opposition the devil is represented as instigating with
* This may be in allusion to Pharaoh's destroying the male infants in Israel, Exod. i, 33; Isa. li, 9; and Ezek. xxix, 8, 3.
68 Antichrist predicted in Rev. xii.
great rage. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea: for the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. The inhabiters of the earth and of the sea, being contrasted with the heaven of the Church, or a zealous profession of Religion, must mean the great mass of Infidels, scoffers, and non-professors. For these bear a similar relation to the church of Christ, to that which the earth bears to the heavens. And they are likewise denominated inhabiters of the sea. The great mass of the people of this character are said to be like the troubled sea. when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. * The sea is repeatedly used to symbolize the mass of God's enemies, who are marked out for judgment. And their peculiar state of revolution and effervescence, at the time of the devil's coming down to them, may well entitle them to the appellation of the inhabiters of the sea. In Luke xxi, 25, The sea and the waves roaring, are expressions of similar import, and relate to the same period. The infernal Power will now bring into the most furious operation his new and master-engine against the Church, because he learns that the Kingdom of Christ is at the doors. The Church is therefore represented as again fleeing into the wilderness. And floods of delusions, of wicked agents and impostors, of falsehoods and abuse, of national rage, armies, and bloody violence, will be excited, as though belched forth against the cause of Christ out of the mouth of the old serpent, like an overwhelming torrent: Insomuch, that nothing can save the cause of Christ from destruction, but signal interpositions of Providence, in counteracting those violent measures, and confounding the enemy; like the earth's opening her mouth, and swallowing up floods of water. All this implies the rise of a terrible Antichristian Power, at that period; who by himself and his agents, shall be the instruments of these tremendous operations. For though the devil is represented as being the mover of these scenes of opposition
* Isa. lvii, 20. f
See Rev. viii, 8, and xvi, 3; also xvii, 1, 15.
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and violence, yet his being symbolized by a great red dragon, of seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads, indicates that his operations will be through a Power of this description. By the dragon, (says an expositor) "we understand the devil in the heathen emperors of Rome." * Satan's operations against (Tie Christian church, when she was first travailing in birth for the propagation of the Gospel through his dominions in heathen lands, was by the instrumentality of bloody Pagan Rome. And his last, violent operations against the Church, previous to the Millennium, and while she is again peculiarly struggling to propagate the Gospel through heathen lands," will be through the instrumentality of Infidel Rome, under her last head. And both these states of Rome, (or Rome Pagan, and Rome Infidel, under her last head,) are unitedly symbolized, Rev. xiii, 1-11, by a beast of seven heads and ten horns. And Rome Infidel, under her last head, is symbolized, Rev. 17th chapter, by a scarlet Beast of seven heads, and ten horns. The devil therefore, the malignant manager of these beasts, and who gives to them his power, and seat, and great authority, though he be an invisible agent, is represented as having the body of a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads. The reason of which no doubt is, that his most violent, and mischievous operations were to be through a Power of this symbolical description; the revival, and last reign of which, were to fulfil the predictions concerning the Antichrist of the last times.
This Power of the last days, we learn in this chapter, is to receive great providential checks. The earth is to open her mouth, and swallow up his floods. The same thing we find in various other figures. In Dan. ii, the feet and toes of the great image, (symbolizing the last part of the Roman Power, and that part which is destroyed by the coming of Christ, at the battle of the great day,) are part of iron, and part of clay: Or, that furious kingdom of the last days "shall be
* Pool on Rev. xiii, 1.
See Rev. xiv, 6, 7, 8.
70 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
partly strong, and partly broken." The prophet upon the same event informs, that "the Lord shall create upon mount Zion and upon all her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day; and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for upon all the glory shall be a defence." Another prophet represents God as camping round about his house, (the church) because of the coming and going of the enemy. And the psalmist expresses the same idea, when he says, of God's coming down to save the meek of the earth, "Surely, the wrath of man shall praise thee, and that remainder of that wrath shalt thou restrain" All this implies an annoying Power, a terrible enemy to the Church, at that day: The same, that is implied in this twelfth chapter of the Revelation.
The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
IN order to find the terrible Power under consideration among the prophetic Beasts, we will examine three portions of Scripture, in which those Beasts, which relate to Rome, are found. Although references are repeatedly had to some of these Beasts, we find a full description of them given only in three passages; Dan. vii, and Rev. xiii, and xvii. In each of. these passages, it is remarkable, that we find two distinct powers given; the Roman empire; and the Papal hierarchy. The two are not blended; but given and kept distinct, in each passage.
In Dan. vii, 7, we find the Roman empire symbolized by a great Beast strong and terrible, (rising out of the sea, verse 2,) with great iron teeth; and with ten horns. The explanation is given, verses 23 and 24. None doubt of its application to the Roman empire. In a little horn of this Beast is symbolized the Papal hierarchy, (verse 8.) And it is to be noted, that this Beast, as distinct from the little horn, is in existence, when the Ancient of days appears; or the battle of the great day commences. This Roman Beast is the great dominant power then destroyed. Verse 11, I beheld
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then, because of the voice of the great words, which the horn spake; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. Here is in existence the Roman Beast, as distinct from Popery, and predominant, when they are destroyed. Let this idea be remembered. It will aid our forming a correct view of Antichrist. In the 13th of Rev. we find this subject resumed; and the same two powers, the empire, and the hierarchy, distinctly given in a still clearer view. In verse 1, the empire is presented under the same symbol, as in Daniel; a Beast rising out of the sea; but with some additional appendages; and more particularly described. The description of this Beast given in Daniel relates more peculiarly to the deeds and circumstances of the Beast in the former part of his existence: And the description given in Rev. xiii, may relate especially to those of the last part of his existence; or just before his destruction. The genera of the different parts of the Beast are now given. His body is like a leopard; or like the Macedonian empire. His feet are as the feet of a bear; or like the Medo-Persian empire. And his mouth is as the mouth of a lion; or like the Babylonian empire. The meaning is, all the terrors of the preceding empires concentre in this one. This beast has seven heads, and ten horns. On his horns are ten crowns; and on his heads the name of blasphemy. And he received from the dragon, (the devil) his power, and seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as is were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed. His sixth, or his imperial head was wounded to death A. D. 320, in the revolution from Rome Pagan, to Rome Christian, under the reign of Constantine. * But this imperial, deadly wounded head is,
* As a beast, in the symbolic language of prophecy, is a great power, hostile to the cause of Christ; so the wounding to deal!) of such a beast may be effected by a revolution in such an empire, from Paganism to Christianity; as well as by its being utterly destroyed Such a revolution look place in Rome, in 310; or, according to some, in 323; and others 317. Soon after the tenth most bloody persecution in Pagan Rome, under Diocletian, Constantine, upon the death of his father Constantius, became
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before the battle of the great day, healed; the sense of which healing we shall learn by and by, in chapter xvii; where this newly healed head is distinctly symbolized by a new beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, and goeth into perdition. After this imperial head is healed, so great and terrible is the event, that we read, chap. xiii, 3. And all the world wondered
* emperor of his part of the western branch of the Roman empire. Galerius, who had succeeded Diocletian, was emperor of the other part of the western branch; who carried on persecution against the Christians. Galerius was smitten with a loathsome, tormenting, and incurable disease. After he had raged under its torments for a considerable time, he became conscious, that it was the hand of God upon him, for his cruelty to the Christians. He therefore put an end to his persecutions, by a public edict; and desired the Christians to pray for his restoration to health. But his disease soon terminated his life. Maxentius had got himself declared emperor at Rome; and a large faction followed him. Constantine became friendly to the Christians; and determined to favor their cause. He marched against Maxentius; who met him with an army of 170,000 foot, and 18,000 horse. After a bloody battle, Maxentius was defeated; and Constantine became sole emperor of the west. In the eastern wing of the empire, Maximin, and Licinius were emperors. The former made war upon the latter; but was defeated with great slaughter of his numerous army. Upon this, Maximin put to death many of his Pagan priests and soothsayers, as impostors, for their false flatteries. Soon after, as he • was meditating another battle with Licinius, he was smitten with a violent disease of intolerable torments, became blind, and died raging in despair; confessing the just judgment of God upon him, for his spite and violence against Christ and his religion. Licinius was now the only emperor in the east, as was Constantine in the west. The former yet violently persecuted, the Christians. A war broke out between Constantine and Licinius. Licinius was worsted, and forced to flee. But recovering, he gave Constantine another moot furious battle. Licinius was again defeated; 100,090 men are reported to have been slain. Licinius was taken prisoner. And not long after, for an attempt against the life of Constantine, he was put to death.
Thus Constantine became emperor of the whole eastern and western empire. 'He soon after removed the seat of his empire from Rome to Byzantium; which he named Constantinople He new modeled the government of the empire; put the administration into the hands of four praetorian projects; abolished all the power of Paganism; and established the Christian Religion throughout the empire. And all the power of the persecutors was totally destroyed.
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after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon, which gave power unto the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make -war with him? By worship here is not meant religious homage; but admiration, and perhaps subjection. The days of superstition are then chiefly over; and the days of Infidelity will be found to have commenced. And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. This latter passage has perplexed, and I believe misled, expositors. It has induced them to think, that a power is here intended, different from that, symbolized by the Beast in Dan. vii, 7; which has been noted, as representing the Roman empire. In short, it has induced them to believe this first Beast, in Rev. xiii, 1, to be the Papal hierarchy; because its chronology is supposed to agree with that of the latter; but not with Daniel's Roman Beast.
Bishop Newton upon the event says, "The great lights of die heathen world, the powers civil and ecclesiastical, were all eclipsed and obscured. The heathen emperors and Cesars were slain; the heathen priests and augurs were extirpated. The heathen officers and magistrates were removed. The heathen temples were demolished; and their revenues were appropriated to better uses."
Here we have the wounding to death of the sixth head of the old Pagan Roman Beast. He now ceased to be a Beast, in the language of prophecy; the empire became friendly to Christianity. Now was fulfilled the judgment of the sixth seal; Rev. vi, 12, to the end. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal; and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became blood. And the stars of heaven felt unto the earth, even as a fig-tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed an a scroll, when it is rutted together; and every mountain and island was moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand.
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But their opinion on this subject I believe to be a mistake; and that this is the very Roman Beast, presented in Daniel, symbolizing the idolatrous empire, from the time it captivated the Church of God, sometime before Christ, till its final destruction at the battle of the great day. The passage relative to his continuance forty and two months, forms no serious objection to this idea. It does not say, the whole term of his existence is forty and two months; as in the objection is taken for granted. But it relates only to the time of his end. When this terrible Beast is presented, as an event most interesting to the Church, the question naturally occurs, How long is this terrible adversary to continue? The correct reply is, The forty and two months; or to the end of that well known term of the residence of the Church in the wilderness. The passage must be viewed as elliptical; not designed to inform relative to the origin of the Beast; nor the whole term of his continuance; but when the Church shall be released from his tyranny. This was the interesting point. And it should be at the end of the forty and two months.
A similar passage we find Rev. xii, 14; which to me confirms the sense of the passage here given. In the former part of this xiith chapter, after the man-child is caught up to the throne of God, and at the commencement of the war between Michael and the dragon, in the mystical heaven of the Roman Church, the true Church flies into the wilderness, there to remain 1260 years; the exact period given in Dan. vii, 25, for the giving of the saints into the hands of the little horn. After the war in heaven closes, and the dragon, upon the reformation under Luther, was cast out into the earth, he again persecutes the woman. Upon this she again flies into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and an half time, (or 1260 years) from the face of the serpent. Now, can this mean that she was to continue in the wilderness from this time of her second flight, 1260 years? This cannot be. It would confound all chronological calculations upon the subject. The 1260 years were the "whole term of her continuance in the wilderness.
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This term commenced many centuries before; at the commencement of Popery; at the time of her first fight; and it was now nearly expired. Yet she is represented as again flying into the wilderness for 1260 years. The sense must be, she flies back into the wilderness, to remain there the residue of her 1260 years; or to the end of that well known term.
So in the passage under consideration. The Roman Beast, with his head, which had once been wounded to death, now healed, was to continue forty and two months; i. e. to the end of that well known period. He drives the Church, in her second flight, into the wilderness, for 1260 years; i. e. for the short residue of this noted term; and his own continuance is represented as being for the same term; forty and two months; i. e. for the short residue of tins noted term. Then the Church is to obtain relief; and he, with his false prophet, the wretched remains of the Papal hierarchy, and his vassal kings, is to go into perdition.
To me it appears a very evident point, that this first Beast in Rev. xiii, and the Beast in Dan. vii, 7, symbolizing the Roman empire, as distinct from the Papal horn, are one and the same. They have the same origin. Both rise out of the sea; or the convulsed state of the world, before the time of the coming of Christ in the flesh; and both terminate at the same period. As the Beast in Daniel exhibits the Roman empire, from its rise, to its going into perdition; so we should surely expect to find something in the Revelation answering to this symbol. Shall the Papal hierarchy be represented in the Revelation by a number of different Beasts; and the Roman empire, which in Daniel is symbolized by the Beast, that arose out of the sea, be represented exclusively by none? Such an idea cannot be admitted. As the empire and the hierarchy are, in Daniel, kept distinct, even to their end; so when we find in both the passages in Revelation, where the Beasts are noted, (chapters xiii and xvii) two distinct powers, why should we blend them? Why shall we not naturally conclude, that the one answers to the Beast in Daniel; and the other to his little horn? We must
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so conclude. Every objection against it is capable of a fair solution. And the arguments in favor of it are invincible.*
The consideration of the remaining part of the account given of this first Beast, Revelation xiii, will be deferred, till I come to remark upon the Beast in chapter xvii; which is the same with the healed head of the Beast just considered; or which is the Roman empire revived under its last head. For the characteristics in both are essentially the same.
A second Beast appears, in Rev. xiii, from the 11th verse to the end; symbolizing the Romish hierarchy; and answering to the little horn of the Roman Beast, Dan. vii, 8. Upon the wounding to death of the sixth, the imperial head of the Roman Beast by Constantine, and while this Beast lay dead, an intermediate Beast, after some centuries, rose out of the earth; or out of the earthly views of the Romish Christians. He had
* Some may deem it an objection to the idea of this first Beast in Rev. xiii, being precisely the same with that of Daniel; that the rise of the civil Roman Beast was an event long past, when John had his vision; whereas the vision of John purported to be of things future. This objection has no weight. It fully accords with the usual imagery of prophetic writings, for the revealing Angels to present to John as a preparatory scene, the origin of the Beast then in existence; when his object was, to unfold the most interesting character and deeds of the same Beast, at a period than far future. Such a preparatory scene was necessary, in order to ascertain who this Beast was, whose future deeds were to be predicted; or to identify him with the Roman Beast in Daniel.
The Antichristian Beast, in Rev. xvii, rising out of the bottomless pit, in the last days, is presented with his seven heads, symbolizing so many forms of government in the Roman empire. Not because he is personally possessed of them, or that those different forms of government are then future. So far is the fact from this, that Jive of them had fallen, when John had his vision, seventeen centuries before the Antichristian Beast rises into existence. Yet the whole seven are represented as possessed by this Beast, when he rises out of the bottomless pit in the lust days; in order to ascertain, that this is not a fifth monarchy upon earth; but is mystically the old Roman Beast revived. In like manner, John beholds the rise of the Beast from the sea, whose far future deeds he was about to predict, though zzzilmiruc was actually past, when he had the vision..
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two horns like a lamb: He gored Christ's witnesses with his two horns; or his vile, superstitious management of ecclesiastical and civil tyranny: But he spake as a dragon. Or, his denomination was Christian; but his spirit and views the same, that governed Pagan Rome. The same infernal agent, that managed the one, managed the other. And this Beast grew, till he came to exercise all the power of the first Beast before him, holy dead, or of Pagan Rome. The lucrative establishments of Constantine in the Church, (it is said by some,) proved a source of corruption to the bishops of Rome. The city of Rome, under their Gothic kingdom, was suffered to maintain the shadow of her own government. The citizens fell into contentions and factions; and often found it convenient to apply to the bishop of Rome for a decision of their quarrels. This gave him great importance; which he ambitiously improved; till Boniface III. was by the emperor Phocas constituted Universal Bishop.
This haughty, aspiring prelacy, either then, or in after days, obtained the characteristic of the little horn in Daniel, into whose hands the saints were to be delivered for 1260 years. This Pontifical establishment was utterly hostile to the Church of Christ. She now flees into the wilderness. The Romish bishopric now becomes a new Beast, which was to continue to annoy the followers of Christ, during the death of the Roman Beast. But this system of annoyance and hostility was to be veiled under the most sanctimonious Christian profession. So different was it to be from an open avowal of Paganism; while yet in essence it was no better than the preceding Roman Paganism. This system is therefore represented as an image of the first Beast, caused by the Papal Beast to be made, and wholly under his management. A solution of the representation may be given by a simple history of facts. the Romish hierarch, in time, procured the establishment of a system of idolatry and superstition, essentially of the same nature with that antecedently practised in Pagan Rome. One essential feature of the idolatry of Pagan Rome was, paying adoration to deceased heroes and great men;
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constituting them their mediators with the superior gods; and venerating their statues and images. And the essence of this idolatry the Papal Beast caused to be revived. "In the eighth century the worshipping of saints was established by law." * The names of deceased favorites were not selected, as before, from the names of the princes and heroes of Pagan Rome; but from those of the Apostles, and of other eminent Christians. But the nature of the idolatry was essentially the same; viz. constituting those deceased Christians, mediators in heaven; and venerating their statues and images; together with establishing many arbitrary rites and doctrines of human invention. This newfangled system of idolatry, under the Christian name, and supported under pretence of obedience to Christ, and of his authority, is strikingly represented by an image made to the first Beast, or Pagan Rome, and directed by the Papal Beast. The latter gave life to this imago, and procured obedience to it, by false miracles, decrees, bulls and canon-laws. The Papal Beast is represented as having power to make this image speak; and to cause, that as many as would not worship the image of the Beast should be killed. This he verified by excommunicating, and delivering over to the civil sword all, who would not comply with every order of his superstition. The civil powers throughout his dominions, the German empire especially, the Papal Beast came, in a course of time to manage, chiefly by his sanctimonious influence, as a puppet in his own hands, to enforce his laws and dogmas." And thus he reigned over the kings of the earth; and caused the Roman earth to worship the first Beast, or Pagan Rome, by woi shipping his image in the hands of the Papal hierarchy.
* Scott. The worship of images was established by the second council of Nice in A. D. 787. See Faber, vol. ii, p. 163, 164, 165.
Rob. Hist. Charles V. vol. iii, p. 185.
As to the number of this Beast, and of his name, see in section i, chapter ii, of this dissertation. The Papal Beast caused all his subjects to receive a mark, in their right hands, or in their
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Several passages occur in the description of this second Beast, which relate to the first Beast, and need
foreheads: And that none might buy, or sell, if destitute of this mark, and of the name of the Beast, and of the number of his name. Repeatedly, in this mystical book, reference is had to this characteristic, chap, xiii, 9. "If any man worship the Beast, and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand; the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God." Verse 11, "And they have no rest, day nor night, who worship the Beast, and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." In chap, xv, 2 -- the triumphant saints are described as they, "that had gotten the victory over the Beast; and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name." And in chap, xx, 4, the victorious followers of Christ are again described as these, "who had not worshipped the Beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands." Though these descriptions are deeply enigmatical; yet being repeatedly used to distinguish the two great classes from each other, (the righteous and the wicked,) and at a period, which is still future; it is of importance to form some correct views of their import.
This receiving of a mark, is supposed to be expressed in allusion to an ancient custom, of masters marking their servants, in their foreheads, or in their hands with some characters, according to their pleasure; either with the initials of the musters' name; or of their god; or what they pleased. Thus the subjects of the Roman Beast are represented, as designated by a mark. Certain things were, in fact, demanded of Roman Catholics, as essential to their exemption from persecution, and to their peaceable enjoyment of the rights of citizens. They must receive and use the sign of the cross. They must cautiously submit to all the superstitious rites of men's invention, attached to that system; a constant round of real idolatry! The members were strictly watched. And if any absented themselves from mass, or any of their idolatrous rites, they were exposed; and if they persevered in the neglect, they were outlawed, and persecuted. Particularly, they hail to perform all their devotions in Latin, This was a distinctive badge of their order. In the catholic church, every thing was done in Latin; mass, prayers, hymns, litanies, canons, decretals, Papal bulls, results of counsels, canon laws, reading the scriptures, preaching, and all the concerns of the church, were transacted in Latin, It was peculiarly the Latin church. The ancient Romans were called the Latins. Latinos was their real, or fictitious founder. This name, in numerals, (as will be shown in another section.) forms in Greek, (the language in which the New Testament was first written) the number 666. And the word Rumiit, the name of the Roman empire, in Hebrew, (in which the Old Testament
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explanation. Verses 12 and 14,; whose deadly wound was healed; -- and which had the wound by the sword
was originally written,) in numerals makes 666. So that the name of the Beast denotes the Roman, and the Latin church. Submitting then, to the catholic superstition of performing all their devotions in Latin (a language different from their mother tongues,) may be viewed as out mark of the Beast, or of having the number of his name. It was a point with the true witnesses, that they would not conform, in those catholic superstitions, to the Romish church. And hence they were grievously persecuted.
The descriptions, in the above texts, are given with an express view to the people of the old Roman earth. But people beyond those local bounds will be found interested in them. As those, who worshipped the image of the Beast, were as criminal, as those who worshipped the Beast himself; and as all, who shall partake of Babylon's sins, shall, as well as Babylon herself, receive of her plagues; so the people of whatever nation, under gospel light, who shall be found subjects of fatal superstition, of will worship, of hypocrisy, or false religion, will probably be viewed and treated us having virtually the mark of the Beast. They have the very spirit, and essential character, for which the literal subjects of the Papal Beast were condemned. They all essentially belong to one class; and will sink together.
The denunciations in the word of God against certain defined characters, will prove equally true and dreadful against all, who shall be found possessed of characters essentially the same; whatever circumstantial differences (of time, place, or manner,) may attend. They all have the mark of the same class. There are certain characteristic -marks which are not affected by minor circumstantial differences.
In this sense multitudes, beyond the bounds of the old Roman earth; multitudes among us, will be found subjects of the essential mark of the old Papal Beast; -- fatally deceived; real idolaters under Gospel light; hypocrites, no better than Roman Catholics. Here let me further note, that the subjects of the Papal Beast were, in fact, in the last days, to assume a new mark, of characteristic infidelity. The mummery ol their false religion was to be exposed: And they were to exchange it for atheism. Their system was to be exhibited as a system of blasphemy; as a habitation of devils; a hold of every foul spirit; and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. The rod of iron, for the dashing to pieces of the wicked nations, was to be forged in the infernal furnace of the Papacy; the Beast from the bottomless pit, was to arise; the tremendous and blasphemous Power of the last days, who was to deny the Father and the Son; and to collect a vast coalition against Zion, -- against Heaven! Here was to appear a mark of the Beast, abundantly predicted, and most notorious.
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and did live. These passages cannot mean, that the Roman Beast then, in the time of the Papal Beast, was actually alive; that his deadly wound was then actually healed. They a/e simple references to the description given of the first Beast, in the former part of the chapter. There we have a description of the Beast, symbolizing the civil Roman empire, from its origin, to
The Papal Beast was to bring forth the antichristian, as her own executioner; and was fatally to fall under his iron grasp.
He was to be distinguished by the mark of blasphemy, and atheism; and also by a mummery of Papal superstition, as a cloak of wickedness. He was to be distinguished by the mark of a most efficacious system of falsehood, imposition and delusion; which was to spread over the face of the earth; and to collect the wicked world to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Here was to be a mark of the Beast, to be set upon the foreheads, or hands, of millions who would be seduced with delusive influences and hopes; and ingulfed in ruin. This was to be a mark discerned and distinguished by the Godly; but probably denied by the notoriously wicked. "None of the wicked shall understand: but the wise shall understand."
The Beast is the great predominant power upon the ground. Mystical Babylon is the same. While Popery was predominant, this was the Beast and Babylon. But when this was succeeded by a greater and predominant power, the latter became the Beast, and Babylon. These two powers have their characteristic marks; which, either in the forehead, or in the hand (more evidently, or more covertly) designate their subjects. Those passages which speak of the mark of the Beast, in relation to the time of the Papal supremacy, relate to the Papal mark; Which has been noted. And those which speak of the mark of the Beast, in relation to the time of the Antichristian reign, must be viewed as relating to the Antichristian mark. And some passages may have reference to both the marks, or characteristics of these fatal systems. The passage Rev. xiv, 9, -- seems evidently to relate to the Antichristian mark. The missionary Angel had begun his flight. A second Angel announced the fall of Papal Babylon, as accomplished And a third Angel announces the terrors of God against all, who worship the Beast, and receive his mark. The Beast and his mark now, (alter the Papal Babylon is fallen,) must relate to the succeeding Power, the Antichristiun. His characteristic is atheism, including perfidy, disorganization, military disposition, and bitterness against Zion. And each distinguishing manifestation of this his characteristic, under whatever name, must be viewed as going to constitute his mark; over which the Church must obtain the victory, or of which she must be kept clear.
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the battle of the great day. And among other descriptions, this Beast is represented as having a deadly wounded head healed; or as having a wound by a sword, yet afterwards living. And this trait of his character is referred to, in the above verses, in the course of the description of the second Beast: The reason of which is this; the pagan Beast's having been wounded to death in the head, yet afterwards living, was his most remarkable characteristic. By this therefore, he would naturally be spoken of, when allusion was had to him. But this reference was not designed to indicate, that this healing of the wounded head was then already effected, nor to indicate any thing relative to the time, when the Roman Beast was to recover life. The fact, I believe, will appear to be, and the horn of the Beast. But it is never after this called a Beast. §
* Rev. xix, 20, and xvi, 13. t
Rev. xvii, 5.
Dan. vii, 11.
§ I am aware it may here be objected to my proposition, that we read in Dan, vii, 12; At concerning the rest of the Beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives mere prolonged for a season and time: as though they all existed, as Beasts, at one and the same time. But this cannot be the meaning
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The only remaining passage, which seems to militate against the explanations given, is in verse 14th, on the
of the prophet. When the real sense of the passage is ascertained, I think it will afford no objection to my proposition, that two Beasts cannot exist on the same ground, at the same time. The passage, it seems, was designed to note the contrast between the manner, in which the Antichristian Beast shall be destroyed; and the manner in which the preceding ancient Beasts were overthrown. The former loses not only his dominion as a Beast, but his existence on earth, at the time of his overthrow; being not subjugated by a human conqueror, as were the others, but utterly destroyed by the Lord from heaven, in the battle of that great day of God Almighty: when not only the Beast is slain, but his body it destroyed and given to the burning fame; as in the preceding verse. But so it was not with the former and ancient Beasts, when they lost their dominant power. How many soever of their soldiers were in fact slain in battle, nothing took place, which was like the bodies of those Beasts (the multitudes, who had constituted them) being destroyed, and given to the burning flame; as is to be the case with Antichrist. The powers symbolized by those Beasts, instead of being utterly destroyed, were only subjected, each in his turn, to the dominion of the succeeding power; and there received tolerable treatment as subjects. And to express this difference of treatment, in the immediate view of the body of the Antichristian Beast, being destroyed, and given to the burning flame, at the same time, in which the Beam is slain, as in the preceding verse; it is said, of the rest of the Beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. This elliptical mode of expression was most naturally adopted, instead of expressing the whole evident sense, as follows: Concerning the rest of the Beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet the multitude who had constituted their body, instead of being destroyed and given to the burning flame, as shall be the case with Antichrist, were chiefly spared, and received tolerable treatment under their new masters. But the prophet could not mean to teach us, that all these Beasts had existed, as Beasts, at one and the same time! Nothing could be more unnatural; or untrue. When the Macedonian he-goat, for instance, stamped upon, and slew the Persian ram, this ram is never represented to be in existence, as a Beast, afterwards; although the people of Persia still existed for a season and time; and to the present day.
The opinion, that the two Beasts, in Rev. xiii, were co-existent for 1260 years, must be an absurdity. A universal or a great empire, disposed to persecute the Church, is in prophetic style a Beast; whether the empire be of secular dominion; or a hierarchy. But when did two such independent, persecuting
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subject of the Papal Beast, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles, which he had power to do in the sight of the Beast. Here it seems to he suggested, that the Papal Beast wrought miracles in the sight of the Pagan Beast; as though the latter were already revived. But if he were already revived, what need of an image being made to him? And it has been noted that two Beasts cannot exist on the same ground, at the same time. It cannot mean then, that the Pagan Beast was already revived. The clause, in the sight of the Beast, must therefore
powers co-exist on the Roman earth; or in the world? Were it possible for two vast empires to be found independent of each oilier, and acting in no concert, yet both persecuting the cause of Christ; possibly they might be symbolized by two co-existent Beasts. But two such powers never co-existed on the Roman earth. Popery fully answered to such a power. But no civil power, within the Papal influence, did at the same time exist, which could answer to such a power. However independent of the Pope the emperors of Germany, or any other civil powers within the Roman earth, might have been, as to their civil jurisdictions during the Papal supremacy; yet those civil powers never persecuted the cause of Christ, only at the Papal instigation. The hierarchy was the system, during its supreme power, that persecuted the witnesses. The civil authorities were only its executioners. "The fourth council of Lateran (says Bishop Burnet) decreed that all heretics should be delivered to the secular power, to be extirpated." In the time of Pope Innocent the third, false accusations were raised against the Waldenses and Albigenses; -- upon which, the Pope decreed a crusade against them. And he sent his emissaries into the west, enjoining it on sovereign princes, and other Christian people, to extirpate those heretics. Upon this Vitringa observes, that in France alone, a million were destroyed. The persecution (though executed by the civil powers) originated in the Papal Beast. The same is true of all the persecutions during the Papal supremacy. In this thing the hierarchy was "that great city, which reigned over the kings of the (Roman) earth." The reign was not theirs; but hers. The imperial authority, co-existent with Popery, was nothing more (as a persecuting power) than one of the two horns of the Papal Beast. This Beast is presented with two horns. And his clergy, and the civil flowers under his superstition, were most fitly symbolized by these two Papal horns: -- As was his system of real idolatry, under the Christian name by an image made to the old Pagan Beast.
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mean, either in the sight of the image of the Beast; putting by a metonymy, the prototype for the copy; or, in admiration, or imitation of the Pagan Beast; i. e. that the Papal hierarch wrought his deceptive miracles with a view to confirm a system no better, than the old Pagan system. This he actually did, in what was called the image of the Beast, before described. "In the sight of the beast; i. e. to his honor, and to gain him a reputation!" (Pool on the passage.) And what follows the above clause, as an explanation of it, appears to confirm this as being the true sense; saying to them, who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the Beast. As the Papal Beast caused the earth to worship the Pagan Beast, (v. 12) by causing them to worship his image; (v. 14) so the miracles wrought by the Papal Beast were done in the presence of the Pagan Beast, by being done in the presence of his image. Mistaking the sense of these several passages, and the one before explained, relative to the continuance of the first Beast forty and two months, I conceive, has been the occasion of perplexing commentators, and of leading them erroneously to blend and confound the Roman and Papal Beasts. I have shown that the two powers in Daniel are given as distinct; also in Revelation xiii, just noted. And they are thus presented, in Revelation xvii; to which I shall now attend. In this passage, the terrible Power of the last days is strikingly exhibited.
One of the Angels, who in the xvith chapter had poured out the vials of the wrath of God, proposes to show to the evangelist the judgment, or destruction, of the Papal harlot. John is carried into the wilderness. The harlot in her turn is in trouble: She is bewildered. John beholds a woman in lewd attire; with the superscription of her abominable character upon her forehead; indicating, that she, as the worst of criminals, is presented for speedy execution. Bishop Pearson and Doctor Lardner, upon the superscription over the head of our Savior, have shown, that it was a custom among the ancient Romans to place on, or over, the foreheads of the worst of criminals, the superscription
86 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
of their guilt, at the time of their execution. The superscription upon the cross of our Savior was upon the same principle. The great harlot is presented with this her superscription upon her forehead, inscribed in capitals; MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And she has also upon her the symbols of her past magnificence, and of her allurements, and crimes; in order to shew her to be the Papal hierarchy. She is mounted on a Beast, that may be said to be bearing her to her judgment or execution. * This Beast is of a scarlet color, to denote his cruel and bloody character. He is full of the names of blasphemy, to denote his infidelity and wickedness. And he has seven heads, as well as ten horns, to identify in him the old heathen Roman empire now revived.
The Angel, in explaining the mystery of the Beast, informs, that he was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition; and they, who dwell on the earth, shall wonder (whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the World J when they behold the Beast, that was, and is not, and yet is. The seven heads, the Angel informs, (in addition to their being seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth, or on which Rome was built,) are seven kings, or forms of government, in the different periods of the Roman empire. "Five arc fallen," those of Kings, Consuls, Tribunes, Decemvirs, and Dictators, were past, when John had his vision. "One is;" the then present form was Imperial, and was the sixth head, or form of government, "And the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space." Concerning this seventh head, or form of government, then future, which when it should come should continue a short space, expositors have been divided and perplexed. Every scheme, which they have adopted, appears attended with unanswerable objections. The reason I think is obvious. Nothing had taken place, to
* This is not a woman directing and governing an empire; but just the reverse.
The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts. 87
which the description was applicable: Or, the event was still future. The sixth head continued, till the days of Constantine. Then it received its wound, and died. There was now no Beast, till the Papal hierarchy arose. But this was not the revival of the Roman Beast, as has been shown. Whenever the Roman Beast revives in his seventh head, which continues a short space, it must be in his heathen or Infidel nature of avowed, as well as real opposition to the cause of Christ. Otherwise he is not the real Roman Beast. For whatever wickedness, cruelty, or real idolatry was attached to the Papal imposture, that was only the image of the Roman Beast, but not the Beast himself. Whenever this Beast himself shall revive, it must be with the characteristic of direct opposition to the cause of Christ. And that he was thus to revive, as distinct from Popery, is evident from the passages relative to the Roman Beast, which have been noted;* and from what we shall find in this xviith chapter. Also that his revival was to be but a short space before the battle of the great day, is clearly ascertained, as will appear. This revival of the Roman Beast, in his seventh head, has I believe never taken place, till of late. And, if I am not deceived, this head has recently appeared under an Atheistico-democratic form of government; reducing the principal nations of the old western Roman empire under its power; and continuing the short space of several years; which was longer than some of the former heads of this Beast continued. The seventh head then gave way to the eighth; which is symbolized in this chapter by a new Beast, ascending out of the bottomless pit, great and terrible. Verse 11, And the Beast, which was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
Here we find that the Beast in this chapter, who is bearing the Papal harlot to her execution, is the eighth head of the old Roman Beast. This last head of the old Beast is symbolized by a new Beast of peculiar, and terrible features. And yet there is a uniting of this
* See Dan. vii, 11; and Rev. xiii, 3, and onward: and xiv, 8. 9.
88 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
symbol with that of the old Roman empire, to evince, that it is mystically the same Power. "The Beast, which was." He was in his ancient heathen form. "And is not." He was slain; his sixth head was wounded to death, in the revolution under the reign of Constantine; and has ever since lain dead, only as he has existed in his image in the hands of the Romish hierarchy; till he began to recover his life in his seventh head; which was to continue a short space; and has his deadly wound completely healed in the eighth. As the changing of the government in the Roman empire, under Constantine, from Pagan to Christian, was the wounding to death of the Pagan Beast, in his sixth head; so the reversing of this scene, or changing the government from being professedly Christian, to a government of atheism, is, on the same principle, the recovery of that Beast to life. Now he recovers his own nature, independently of an officious, ecclesiastical hierarch. And this new Power, in his turn, takes the Papal hierarchy into his grasp, and makes it a mere tool of his own ambitious policy; and he is, in the course of Divine providence, bearing this Mother of harlots to her execution.
This Roman Beast revives under the immediate agency of the devil. "And shall ascend out of the bottomless pit." The same idea, which we have seen in Rev. xiith chapter; and in chapter xiii, 4; where the dragon gave power to the Beast, after his deadly wound was healed. And the event is but just before the battle of the great day: -- and goeth into perdition. -- Twice expressed in the same words. His exit is thus as it were immediately connected with his rise, in verses 8, and 11: As says the Apostle, of this very Power, And shall bring upon themselves swift destruction: * And, Whose damnation slumbereth not.
But how is this new Beast the eighth head; and of the seven? The Roman Beast has but seven heads!
Answer. He is the eighth numerically; and in point of chronology. The Imperial form of government,
* 2 Pet. ii, 1.
The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts. 89
existing when John had his vision, was the sixth. Five are fallen; and one is; (verse 10.) This was Imperial. The Atheistico-Republican form was the seventh; which, when John had his vision, had not yet come, or was far future: And which when he should come, would continue a little time. After a short space, this gave way to the last head under consideration. This came under an Imperial form. And this Imperial head, now healed from its deadly wound, is chronologically and numerically the' eighth. It is the next after the seventh. But still it must be of the seven; or must belong to one of the seven. For the Beast has but seven specifically different heads. It must be specifically the same with one of the former heads. And it is specifically the same with the sixth, the Imperial. It is then mystically the sixth, the. Imperial head, recovered from its deadly wound, given in the reign of Constantine.
The greatness of this event is hinted, both in the xviith, and in the xiiith chapters, after the deadly wounded head is healed. I will give the two passages relative to this idea, collaterally. This view of the two passages will at the same time evince, that they both describe one and the same Power.
Chapter xiii. The Revived Head.
V. 3 -- "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: And all the world wondered after the Beast.
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies -- And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God; to blaspheme
Chapter xvii. The Anti-Christian Beast.
V. 8. -- "The Beast, that thou sawest, was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition.
And I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet colored Beast, full of the names of blasphemy.
90 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
The Revived Head.
his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints. And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the Beast; and they worshipped the Beast, saying, Who is like unto the Beast? Who is able to make war with him?
And all the world wondered after the Beast. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain, from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear.
He, that leadeth into captivity, shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword." (i. e. As the Papal power has sought to destroy the saints; so this power, in turn, is destroyed.)
The Antichristian Beast.
These (the horns of the Beast) shall make war with the Lamb.
These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast. -- For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life, from the foundation of the world, when they behold the Beast, that was, and is not, and yet is.
And the ten horns, which thou sawest upon the Beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire."
The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts. 91
Thus we find, that the accounts given of the healed head of the Roman Beast, and those given of the Beast from the bottomless pit, which is also the eighth head, and of the seven, are essentially the same. The two passages describe one and the same subject. The symbol, or the first Beast, in chapter xiii, contains the Beast in chapter xvii. The latter is that head of the former, which had been wounded to death, and was healed. In chapter xvii, this head is symbolized by a new Beast; which yet, to shew that it is but the healed head of the old Roman Beast in chapter xiii, is described with seven heads, as well as ten horns. It is called both the Beast; and a head of the Beast. It is a new Beast; and at the same time it is a head of the old Roman Beast; as verse 11; "And the Beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth (head) and is of the seven (heads.)"
It is remarkable that the Imperial head of the Roman Beast, that, under which the greatest mischief has been done to the Church of Christ, is thus represented as twice existing; and its two reigns, which mystically constitute but one, are represented as existing at distant periods. Under the first reign of this head, and before it received its deadly wound, Jesus Christ was crucified. Under the second reign of the same head, Christ will terribly destroy this Beast. In the first reign, the head persecuted the primitive Christians in ten bloody persecutions. The great object of the Beast, in the second reign, is, war against the same cause. These shall make war with the Lamb.* And it was given unto him to make war with the saints. In the first reign, this imperial head destroyed the Jews, according to the prediction of Christ with respect to his coming in judgment upon that generation: And it thus furnished a lively type of the destruction of Antichrist, at the battle of the great day. At the close of the second reign, the same imperial head will experience all the terrors of this latter event. At the close of the first reign, tin's head experienced the tremendous scene- of the great day of God's wrath, under the sixth seal,
* Rev. xvii, 14.
Rev, xiii, 7.
92 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
Rev. vi, from the 12th verse to the end,) in the revolution under Constantine; when the sixth head received its deadly wound. And the same head, at the close of his last reign, will sink into perdition, under that awful appearing of the day of the Lord, to which that former event may be viewed but as a "prelude. These reigns of the sixth head of the Roman Beast are numerically two. In this sense the last is the eighth head. But they are specifically one; and mystically represented as one. In this sense the last head is of the seventh being the sixth, healed of its deadly wound. *
* The idea of the late author, that the last head of the Roman Beast arose in Charlemagne, or was in a measure fulfilled in the subsequent German emperors, appears to me incorrect, for the following reasons.
1. The Carlovingtan dynasty was destitute of the first essential characteristic of the last head of the Roman Beast, Atheism. I think there is conclusive evidence that the last head of the Roman Beast and Antichrist are the same. At least, it is evident that the last head of the Roman Beast is an atheist. But was Charlemagne an Atheist? So far was he from this, that he was even a zealot for the cause of the Catholic religion. In 772 he turned his arms against the powerful nation of the Saxons, in the confines of Germany, in order to abolish their idol- try, and lead them to embrace the Christian Religion. Perhaps his motives were not evangelical. But this piece of history shows that he had not the character of an Atheist. In 775, 776, and 780, he pursued his wars upon the same ferocious people; in hopes of bringing them into the pale of the Christian Church.
This mighty emperor, called by Guthrie, (p. 427.) "the glory of those dark ages," having Spain, France, Germany, and part of Italy, under his dominion, confirmed to the Popes the grant made by his father Pepin, king of France, of the Exarchate of Ravenna; and he enlarged the donation. And he was, in 800, crowned by the Pope, king of the Romans. Mr. Lowman observes. "Charles the Great, like another Constantine, seemed to have laid the foundation of -- a state of great outward prosperity for the Church." Dr. Mosheim says, "The reign of Charlemagne had been singularly auspicious to the Christian cause. The life of that great Prince was principally employed in the most zealous efforts to propagate and establish the religion of Jesus among the Hans, Saxons, Frieslanders, and other unenlightened nations." Vol. II. p. 163.,
* See Mosheim, vol. ii, p. 47, 48.
On Rev. xvi, 8.
The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts. 93
The old Roman Beast had ten horns. And this revived new head of the same Beast has ten horns. The Angel informs, verse 12, And the ten horns which
Surely these things do not appear like the Atheistical characteristic of Antichrist, or the last head of the Roman Beast. And the succeeding emperors of Germany were far from having the character of Atheists. Indeed the same objection lies against the Carlovingian dynasty's constituting the Beast from the bottomless pit, or Antichrist, that lies against i In- Papal hierarchy's constituting Antichrist. For both alike were firm supporters of the Catholic Religion. And I can conceive of no more propriety in representing Charlemagne as instituting the system, which the French Emperor has perfected, than in supposing that Peter the Great did the same; or than in saying, the image of the Beast (Rev. xiii, 14,) is the Beast himself. The powers are wholly distinct Indeed the family of Charlemagne was expelled from the government of Germany in the year 880.
2. The last head of the Roman Beast has ten horns; ten vassal kingdoms; as we shall see in the chapter under consideration. But the Carlovingian dynasty did not possess vassal kingdoms, which were sufficient to accord with this representation. 3. It has already been noted, that two Beasts cannot exist on the same ground, at the same period. It is as great a solecism, as to say, there are two captain generals in an army; or that each one of two things is the greatest. A Beast symbolizes a great ruling power of opposition to the cause of Christ. And surely there can be but one such power on the same ground, at the same time. Every subordinate branch is but a horn of the dominant Beast. The Papal Beast had two horns. He managed two systems of influence, ecclesiastical and civil. These by their Christian profession were rendered horns of the lamb. But neither of them could form a separate Beast. The Beast to which they belonged, was but one, the Papal Beast, the Hierarchy. But the Papal Beast was in existence many centuries after the reign of Charlemagne; yea, till the revolution in France. Then his throne was overturned; his whole kingdom was for the first time, filled with darkness, and he ceased to be a Beast. Alter this the Papal hierarchy is called, the false prophet; because another power, hostile to the Church, becomes predominant. But all this clearly implies, that the lust head of the Roman Beast was not in existence in the days of Charlemagne: Nor can his origin be carried back to this early date, as will be noted. The two Beasts could not exist collaterally. This is the force of the argument used by Paul, 2 Thes. ii, 6, 7, 8; And now ye
94 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
thou sawest, are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, but receive power as kings, one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall
know what withholdeth that he (the man of sin, or the Papal Beast) might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he, -who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the nay. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. The spirit of this apostacy had a long previous existence. But it could not prevail to constitute the man of sin, or the Papal Beast, so long as the Roman empire, which let or hindered, was in existence. The Roman emperors would not suffer ecclesiastical power to grow tu such an height, while they held their authority: Or, the two powers could not each predominate at the same time. And in like manner the last head of the Roman Beast could not exist, during the predominance of the Romish hierarchy, the Papal Beast. The latter in his turn must cease to exist as a Beast, or a dominant power, when the former rises into existence. But the Papal Beast did exist, till his throne was subverted, and his kingdom filled with darkness, upon the rise of Antichrist in France. Consequently the last head of the Roman Beast did not rise till then.
4. It is a characteristic of the last head of the Roman Beast. that he is bearing the Papal harlot to her judgment, or execution, as has been shown.* Popery is borne, or managed, by the Antichristian Beast] as a mere tool of an ambitious policy; and is going to be plunged by his agency into total destruction, as we learn, Rev. xvii, 16. But this thing cannot have been said of the Carlovingian government. For this was a firm supporter of Popery. Notwithstanding the ruptures sometimes existing between the Popes and the Emperors, yet the latter • were firm supporters of the Papal religion. And the German empire was not the executioner of the Papal harlot. The Carlovingian dynasty was destitute then, of this essential feature of the last head of the Roman Beast, that he is hearing the harlot (presented for execution) to the scaffold; and that his horns are to hate her, and burn her with fire. But the present French Empire has this, as well as every other feature of the last head of the Roman Beast. And this is not the German empire continued; but is of a new, and characteristic origin.
5. The last head of the Roman Beast was not to exist for so long a term, as to admit that Charlemagne was the origin of it. The predictions concerning this terrible infidel Power all go to evince, that his existence was to be but short. He was to arise, not in the latter days with Popery; but in the last days. This
* See what is said on Rev. xvii, p. 57.
See 1 Tim. iv, 1.
The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts. 95
give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them; for he is Lord of lords, and King
know also, that in the last days, perilous times shall come. * He was not to continue a long course of centuries. But his existence was to be short; his ruin, at his origin, was to be even at the doors. Peter, predicting the agents of this power, says, Denying the Lord who bought them; and bringing upon themselves swift destruction. Their judgment, he informs, lingereth not; and their damnation slumbereth not. This is the Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless flit, and goeth into perdition. -- He is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. This latter clause is thus repeatedly added, as though his destruction were united with his very origin. This is a prominent idea in the predictions of this Power. Soon after this development he meets his fatal overthrow. But was this verified in the Carlovingian dynasty? Or, are these predictions consistent with the prosperous existence of this last head, for more than a thousand years; i. e. for 1050 years at least? Impossible! The origin of this Power must have been of recent date. Or, if it have not appeared in France, it must be still future. We find nothing of the Roman Beast, after his deadly wound inflicted by Constantine, till the revolution in France; excepting his image in the management of the Papal Beast. 1 he latter held the ground, till his kingdom was filled with darkness, at the rise of Antichrist. But this Papal was not the great Roman Beast.
Should it appear to any difficult to admit, that the Roman Beast should lie dead for so long a time; let them remember, that such an event does accord with the tenor of the prophetic writings. Elias lay dead many centuries, before he lived again in John the Baptist. Many of those, Rev. xx, 4, who had been beheaded for the witness of Jesus, had lain dead for a longer term, than did the Roman Beast, before they rose, in their successors, to live and reign with Christ, at the commencement of the Millennium. Anil the rest of the dead, (the wicked; Gog and Magog, slain at the battle of the great day) remain extinct through the Millennium. Then they rise again, in their successors at the close of the Millennium; Gog and Magog upon the four quarters of the earth, Rev. xx, 5-8. Here we find the same Power mystically, rising again, or living a third time. Antichrist goes into perdition, at the battle of the great day, under the denomination of Gog, the land of Magog. Ezek. xxxviii, and xxxix. And after lying dead through the Millennium, he mystically rises again under the same denomination; Gog and Magog. The rest of the dead (Rev. xx, 5,) now live again for a
* 2 Tim. iii, 1, et afia.
96 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
of kings; and they that are with him, are called, and chosen, and faithful. And the ten horns, which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shalt be fulfilled. These ten horns have been supposed to be the same with the ten horns of the ancient Roman Beast. But this must be a mistake. Expositors have met with insuperable difficulties, in their attempts to find, in the ancient horns of
short space, to prepare the way for Christ's final coming. * The idea is the same, with that of type and antitype. And these are often at a greater distance from each other, than were the days of Constantine from the French revolution. There were upwards of 1800 years intervening between the events in Dan. xi, 35, and those in the verse succeeding. The former verse relates to Antiochus; and the latter to the antitype of Antiochus. Yet the reading seems to indicate an uninterrupted series of events. In Psalm lxxii, two systems of events are predicted as one, in an uninterrupted series; which events were yet 3000 years apart; the reign of Solomon; and the reign of Christ, in the Millennium. Numerous are the Scripture instances of this kind. Antichrist is Babylon raised up again, Rev. xvi, 19. But we find a longer time between the fall of ancient Babylon, and the rise of Antichrist, than between the revolution under Constantine, and the French revolution. It therefore fully accords with the usual imagery of prophetic writings, to represent the ancient Pagan Roman empire, and the present French empire, by one Beast with, as many heads, as the Roman empire has had forms of government; with one of these heads wounded to death; but now healed; and the world wondering after him; even though the lust head had lain wounded to death for many centuries. We have special notice of this long death. The Beast was, and is not, and yet in. This clause, and it not, shews that for a long time he had not actual existence; and yet is; he had a mystical existence; or he was again to rise: As it is again expressed, The Beast, that thou sawest, wag, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless flit, and go into perdition. Here he was to be in a state of non-existence, till he should, in the last days, ascend out of the bottomless pit, to go into perdition. His rise under diabolical agency was to be but a short time before his fatal overthrow.
* See sect, iii, chap, iii, of this dissertation.
The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts. 97
the Roman Beast, the things here ascribed to the horns of the Antichristian Beast. Insomuch, that in Pool's Annotations upon the passage, we read, "But who these ten monarchs be, or what these ten kingdoms are, I must confess myself at a loss to determine. I am much inclined to think the prophecy to concern some kings nearer the end of Antichrist's reign." Even this acknowledgment was made, while under the mistake, of supposing the Beast, that wore these horns, to be the Papal hierarchy; a sentiment attended with inexplicable difficulties! Had the pious expositor viewed the Beast wearing these horns in the character, in which he has just been exhibited, I trust he would have been still more inclined to view the prophecy, as respecting events still future, when his annotations were written.
These ten horns are kingdoms under the Anti- Christian empire. We find the great Power noted in Dan. xi, 36, and onward, subduing neighboring nations, and distributing their principalities to his favorites. * He is thus forming to himself horns. We find in various passages relating to this terrific Beast of the last days, that he has a group of kings at command. Here then are the horns of the Antichristian Beast. And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against him, that sat on the horse, and against his army. Whether the number of these horns will be precisely ten; or whether a certain number is put for an uncertain, time will decide. But as the number of the seven heads is definite, I apprehend the number of the ten horns is likewise definite; that ten will be the precise number of the vassal kingdoms of the Antichristian empire.
* See Sec. ii, chap, i, of this dissertation.
Rev. xix, 19. See also Rev. xvi, 13; and sec. 2, chap, iii, of this dissertation, relative to Gog and his bands.
The following arrangement of titles and of dislocations and creations of kings is reported in letters from Germany to have- been determined on between the Emperors of France and Austria.
98 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
Their servility, as well as the shortness of their existence, is hinted, which have received no kingdom as yet; but have received power as kings, one hour with the Beast. The word in the original, made in our translation to import not yet, I think is designed here to express only an emphatical negative. It is not ___ __; but _____ prefixed to the verb ____, from __ not, and __ by any means. Which have not by any means received a kingdom. They have not the independence of a kingdom. But they have received power as kings, one hour with the Beast. Each has only the resemblance of a kingdom; or the name, without the thing; and this but for a short space, like an hour, under his imperial master.
Their object is noted. These shall make war with the Lamb. The final event is given. And the Lamb shall overcome them. The unanimity of these horns, and the government of God in it for judgment, are strongly expressed. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the Beast. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God
Napoleon I, Emperor of France, Sec. King of the Romans.
Francis II, Emperor of Austria and Franconia, and co-protector of the confederation of the Rhine.
The Archduke Charles King of Spain, and of the Indies.
Joseph Napoleon to be King of Italy.
Ferdinand IV to be restored to the throne of the two Sicilies.
Joachim to be King of Poland.
Eugene to be King of Macedonia.
Louis Napoleon to be King of Bavaria.
The hereditary prince of Bavaria to be King of Holland and Berg.
Jerome Napoleon to be King of Wirtcmberg.
The King of Wirtemberg to be King of Westphalia.
The grand duke of Bad- n to be King of Switzerland.
"The King of Prussia to cede Silesia to Austria."
(Gazette of July 3, 1810.)
This evinces the inclination of the French Empire to create vassal kingdoms, which may answer to the horns of the Anti-christian Beast. What vassal kingdoms may eventually be found to answer to the ten horns of this Beast, those who may live at the time of the battle of the great day, will be better able to decide, than we can do at this period.
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shall be fulfilled; as in the forecited passage, Dan. xi, 36; and shall prosper, till the indignation be accomplished; for that, which is determined, shall be done.* And The above passages admit, and parallel prophecies teach, as was noted in the last section, that the Antichristian Empire will exhibit a striking mixture of strength and weakness. It will, at times, appear, as though it were going to speedy destruction. And yet the Providence of God will signally uphold it, beyond the limits of. human calculations.
The above ten horns have one mind to give their power and strength unto the Beast. There was not to be found among them a strange yielding to this their fate, contrary to what might have been expected. And the reason of so strange an event is given. "For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the Beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled." God signally governs the event for judgment, to fulfil his own word and purposes. The strange obsequiousness of those kingdoms to a most despotic dynasty, is hence accounted for. This seems to imply, that, aside from this special divine superintendence, for judgment, the submission of those states and kingdoms, would be unaccountable, and contrary to human probability. This Power, (though with great reverses,) we are assured on the whole, "shall prosper, (or exist) till the indignation shall be accomplished; for that, which is determined shall be done; Dan. xi, 36. This implies, that while this Power may seem to be on the eve of ruin; and the world are rising on tiptoe, to hail the destruction of their destroyer; yet they will be in a measure disappointed. The existence of the rod of iron, the battle axe of the nations, is still upheld, till the work of divine indignation is accomplished.
In the description of the feet and toes of the great image, Dan. ii, the idea under consideration is clearly given. The legs of iron, (verse 33,) were immensely strong: as was indeed the old Roman Empire. But the feet and toes, or the last part of the same Empire, with its ten vassal kingdoms, are, for a season before the coming of Christ to destroy them, presented to the world as part of iron, and part of clay. The sense is given; verse 41, 42, 43; "And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes part of potter's clay, and part of iron; the kingdoms shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron; forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with the miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay; so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. They shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven act up a kingdom." Here is the finishing dynasty of the Roman empire, with its vassal kingdoms, when Christ comes and
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the final destruction of the Romish hierarchy by these horns, is predicted. These shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate, and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. And thus the Papal power, which has led into captivity, now goes into captivity. He, that has killed with the sword, is now killed with the sword. Here is the patience and faith of the saints; either that righteous vindication, for which the martyrs have been represented as patiently waiting and expecting; * or new trials to the saints under Anti-Christian
dashes them to pieces, to set up his own kingdom. And this dynasty is composed of iron and clay: -- "Partly strong, and partly broken."
Great battles, and vast enterprises may be lost. Men may say, Now this Empire is going to ruin at once! But they will find their mistake. "The end is not by and by." "The time is not yet; but in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished." An emperor may be hurled from his throne. For the Antichristian Empire depends on no one man. Emperors were hurled from their thrones, and others succeeded them, in the first reign of the imperial head of the Roman Beast, even in the time of the legs of iron. And similar events may again take place, under the Antichristian reign. But whatever great commotions may take place; this kingdom will stand, till the time arrives for the Stone to grind it to powder.
In Rev. xii, 16, is the same idea. The infernal dragon, by his new instrument of persecution, pours out floods of armies, falsehoods, mischief, rage and terrors, to cause the Church o be swept away. But the earth helps the Church, and opens her mouth, and swallows up these floods. Earthly views and motives will induce some to counteract the strength and violence of this great instrument of Satan; so that, while it is partly strong; it will also be partly broken. While it has much iron, it will possess much clay. But its strength will prevail, till the indignation is accomplished: or the word of God is fulfilled. While a mixture of iron and clay will be exhibited, which will keep the nations in a tremendous uproar; the iron will prevail, till the period arrives for the Stone, cut out without hands, to smite the feet and toes, and all the materials of the image, to dust, and to setup his own millennial kingdom. But this will not be so immediately, upon the appearing of the Antichristian Power to be parity broken, as many may imagine. (See remarks on Rev. x, and Matt, xxiv, in the sequel of this work, under the fifth vial.)
* Rev. vi, 9, 10, 11.
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tyranny. The Papal harlot appears, in the beginning of the chapter, dressed out and presented for execution; as has been noted. The Beast is, under the direction of Divine providence, bearing her to her judgment, or execution. I will show thee the judgment of the whore. And now the event takes place, under the agency of the ten horns of the Beast, as her executioners. Whether this execution of the Papal harlot will be finished in the mutinies, and bloody havoc, which are to take place among the combined powers, under the Antichristian Beast, gathered in Palestine against the Jews; * or in some preceding events, time will determine. To me the former appears probable. For the false prophet is represented as present, in union with the Antichristian Beast, and going into perdition with him, at the battle of that great day. By the false prophet here, must be understood Popery, after it ceases to be a Beast, its throne being subverted, and its kingdom being filled with darkness, upon the rise of the Antichristian Beast. This is evident from Dan. vii, 11, compared with Rev. xix, 19,20. In the former, it is "because of the voice of the great words, which the horn (Popery) spake, that the Beast (the last head of the Roman Beast) is slain, and his body is destroyed and given to the burning flame." In the latter passage, (which clearly relates to the same period and event,) we find the Beast and his kings and their armies, gathered to battle against Christ. "And the Beast was taken, and with him the false prophet, that wrought miracles before him, and -- both were cast alive into the lake of fire." Here we learn, that the horn, in the former passage, or Popery, is the false prophet in the latter passage. The false prophet in the Revelation then, is Popery, in that subjugated form, in which it goes into perdition. This subjected relict of Popery must have some new name. And, as it is a scheme of false religion, found in the most mischievous connexion with the Antichristian Beast, as his nominal form of Godliness, it is rational, that the term fake prophet should' be given.
* See Sec. ii and iii, chap. iii.
See Rev. xix, 20.
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The destruction of the vast confederacy, at the battle of the great day, is represented as being partly, if not chiefly effected by the swords of each other. The great city, probably meaning the empire of the Anti-Christian Beast, is then said to be divided into three parts. (Rev. xvi, 19.) The part of the coalition which is more attached to Popery, or the false prophet, may be one of these three parts, rising in mutiny against the Beast their master, and falling first by the swords of his vassal kings: And thus the execution of the mother of harlots be completely fulfilled. An incipient fulfilment it receives, in events, which were to precede the battle of that great day; as appears in the next section.
I shall close this section with some remarks concerning the ancient horns of the Roman Beast. Expositors have, I believe, generally agreed, that the ancient ten horns of the Roman Beast symbolized ten kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was divided, when the western branch of it was overrun by the northern barbarians, in the fifth and sixth centuries. Sir Isaac Newton, By Newton, Machiavel, and others, have undertaken to find these ten horns. But their catalogues have differed. And they have found it no easy task to present one, which has even plausibility on its side. For those petty barbarian kingdoms were fluctuating and changing like the waves of the sea. It has never been pretended that the number ten, could be found but for a short time among them; and indeed several successive kingdoms on the same ground have sometimes been reckoned to make out the ten.
Is it not possible, that the venerable expositors have been under a mistake upon this point? And that the ten ancient horns of the Roman Beast were designed to represent the different kingdoms or countries existing under the old Roman empire, in its most flourishing state? That empire in the zenith of its power, had indeed its many, if not precisely ten horns, or governments, united under its imperial dynasty. We may probably count the number ten of the vassal kingdoms, under the sixth head of ancient Rome. Italy, Greece,
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Macedon, Syria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Carthage, Spain, Gaul, and Britain, were at once under the dominion of Cesar. Should it be said that Greece and Macedon may be reckoned as one kingdom; we may reckon Pontus, bordering on mount Caucasus, early subjugated by the Roman arms, a distinct kingdom from Syria. Or if this reckoning be deemed incorrect, I do not doubt, but that by further reflection and examination into Roman history, we may be able to find precisely ten in the nations, which were under, and which constituted the strength of, the ancient Roman empire. I ask then, why were not these vassal powers to be reckoned the ten horns of the ancient sixth and imperial head of the Roman Beast? That they were to be thus accounted, I apprehend is a truth for the following reasons:
1. A horn is an emblem of power. The seven horns of the Lamb, are emblems of his omnipotence. And the ten horns of the Roman Beast appear to be most proper emblems of ten collateral kingdoms, which constituted his power. His power did indeed consist in such a number of kingdoms at once under his command. But,
2. To say that the ten horns of the Roman Beast were the ten parts, into which the empire was divided, in the fifth and sixth centuries, after it was subverted by terrible Divine judgments, and by legions of victorious barbarian invaders, seems to give a most lively representation of the weakness instead of the power of the Roman Beast. To represent the scattered fragments of a once powerful empire, by so many horns of that empire, one would be apt to construe as ironical! The notable horn, between the eyes of the Macedonian he- goat was an emblem of his then present power in Alexander. And though four horns, which arise after this is broken, symbolize the division of Alexander's empire to his four generals, yet full notice is given that they were to be subsequent, and inferior to the first notable horn. But we could hardly construe the one notable horn, even had we not been informed it was the first king, as being some king to arise a number of centuries
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after the period of the greatest strength of the he-goat, and even after he was destroyed. When the prophet informs us of the Most High having horns coming out of his hands, and there was the hiding of his power, we naturally construe this as a symbol of the present Divine omnipotence, as well as of some certain act of judgment against his enemies. And when we read, Dan. vii, 7, of the fourth Beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, having great iron teeth, devouring and breaking in pieces, stamping the residue with his feet, and having ten horns; we should not naturally believe, that these ten horns were designed to symbolize the broken fragments of the empire of this Beast, after the period of his power was long past, and his dominions had fallen under the ravages of succeeding barbarous nations.
3. The Roman Beast was dead of his wound given by Constantine, long before the division of his empire took place. The sixth, the imperial, the most mischievous head of this Beast, was wounded to death, in the revolution from Paganism to Christianity. The Roman empire then ceased to be a Beast. This Beast had been; but now was not; Rev. xvii, 11. Nothing more was to be seen of him, except in his image in the power of the Papal Beast, Rev. xiii, 14, till he should revive in his own avowed, as well as real Pagan nature, under his seventh head, and should have his deadly wound completely healed under his eighth head, which is of the seven, being specifically the sixth revived; ascending, in the last days, from the bottomless pit; and going into perdition. How then can we conceive that some kingdoms, which should rise out of the broken mass of the empire, some centuries after it became Christian, and the old Beast was dead, should be represented as his horns? The Papal horn might be represented as a horn of this Beast, though he rose after the Beast was dead. For notice is given that his rising was to be afterward: And another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first; Dan. vii, 24. But can we infer from this representation, that all the ten horns were to rise into existence long after the death of the
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Beast? Let us examine the propriety of such a representation. We find the Antichristian Beast of the last days has his ten horns; Rev. xvii, 12. Now, could it be proper to view the ten horns of the Antichristian Beast as symbolizing some future kingdoms, to arise on the ground, and out of the broken mass of the Anti-christian empire, some centuries after Antichrist is no more? Are they not designed to symbolize the vassal kingdoms under the very dominion, and which constitute the strength of Antichrist? The latter no doubt is the fact. And why did not the same thing hold true of the ten horns of his precursor, the ancient sixth head of the Roman Beast, which is mystically revived in Antichrist? Why is it more proper to view the ancient ten horns as coming into existence long after the power, and even the actual existence of the Roman Beast became extinct, than to view the ten horns of Antichrist as coming into existence long after Antichrist himself shall have gone into perdition? If the vassal kingdoms, actually under the power of Antichrist, be his ten horns; why were not the vassal king- do ms actually under the power of the ancient Imperial head of the Roman Beast, the ten horns of that Beast?
Another argument in favor of this opinion is found in Dan. ii, 44; And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and -- it shall break in pieces and consume all those kingdoms; and it shall stand for ever. In the days of what kings? Those represented by the preceding ten toes of the great image; which must have been the same with the ancient ten horns of the Roman Beast. In their days the God of heaven was to set up his kingdom. This must, at least primarily, refer to the coming of Christ in the flesh, to set up his Gospel kingdom. But if this was to be in the days of those kings, which constituted the ten toes of the image, and these were the ten horns of the Roman Beast, then the vassal kings under Imperial Rome, at the commencement of the Gospel dispensation, were indeed those ten horns. Consequently they could not have been the kingdoms, into which the Roman
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empire was divided in after ages. It was so far from being in the days of the latter, that the God of heaven set up his kingdom, in any peculiar sense; that it may rather be said to have been in their days, that Satan was suffered to erect the Papal and Mohammedan pillars of his kingdom; and the Church of Christ fled into the wilderness for 1260 years.
This passage in Dan. ii, 44, is one of those predictions, which are constructed with a view to receive a twofold accomplishment. Its first accomplishment has been just noted. But its ultimate one is still future, and will be fulfilled in the destruction of Antichrist, with his ten horns; and the introduction of the Millennium. The latter event is clearly connected with the passage. The Stone cut out of the mountain without hands, is to smite the image upon the feet; (the parts of it then in power) upon which the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, are dashed in pieces, and like chaff are blown away; and the Stone becomes a great mountain, and fills the world. This will be fulfilled in the battle of that great day of God Almighty, and the subsequent Millennium. But though this be the ultimate fulfilment of the passage, it had a primary fulfilment in the apostolic age; in which we learn that the primitive ten horns of the Roman Beast Were then in existence.
There is one passage, which at first view may seem to militate against this interpretation; viz. Dan. vii, 24, And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings, which shall rise; and another shall rise q/"/er them, and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. This may seem to indicate, that these ten kingdoms were to be at some period subsequent to the Roman empire; or were to rise from its ruins. But the text does not necessarily convey such an idea. If the arguments in favor of the forementioned scheme, be conclusive, and this text be fairly capable of receiving a construction, which accords with it, such a construction must obtain. The ten horns, according to the scheme above given, did indeed rise out of the Roman empire. The Roman government was first.
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And those kingdoms rose into view, under this new relation of the horns of the Roman Beast, one after another, as the Romans formed new conquests, in ages far future to the period of the prophet Daniel. Alight hot the expounding Angel then say, of those vassal kingdoms of the Roman empire, The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kingdoms which shall rise? Ten kingdoms did rise from, by or through the power of the Roman dynasty, and both rendered terrible, and characterized the old Roman Beast. The clause in verse 8, And behold there came tip among them another little horn, may have induced some to suppose, that the tea must have been collateral with the Papal horn, or in existence at the same time with it. But no such thing is implied. The clause is only a description of the symbol. The horns there must have been beheld by the prophet all at once. But this did not indicate, that the actual existence of the events symbolized should be all at once. The expositors upon the old scheme make the origin of some of the horns some centuries before that of others. And my exposition does only the same. But the explanatory text, verse 24th, decides that the Papal horn, and the ten horns were not collateral. And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first. Here the Papal horn was to be posterior to the other horns. And nothing is indicated but that this posteriority was to be as long, as was the rise of Popery after the death of the Pagan Beast, in the year 320.
There is one more passage, which has led to the supposition, that the horns of the ancient Beast were the kingdoms, into which the European branch of the Roman empire was divided; viz. Rev. xvii, 16, which relates to the ten horns of the Beast from the bottom, less pit hating and destroying the Papal harlot. But these are the ten horns of the Antichristian Beast of the last days; and not the ten horns of the ancient Roman Beast; as has appeared in the preceding section. 5. Another argument in favor of the view given of the ancient ten horns, I think may be derived from the account of three of them being plucked up before the
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Papal horn, if we consider this account in the light of its fulfilment. Verse 8, I considered the horns, and behold there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. Verse 20, And of the ten horns; -- and of the other, which came up, and before whom three fell Verse 24, And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. Concerning these three kingdoms plucked up by the Papal power, authors have been much divided, and much perplexed. Some have supposed they were Lombardy, Ravenna, and the neighborhood of Rome. Some have conjectured them to have been the exarchate of Ravenna, the senate and people of Rome, and the German empire. And others have formed other, and contradictory conjectures. But one difficulty is, those places, on which expositors have hit, could not be called kingdoms among the kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was divided. Or, over those places which might be called kingdoms, the Pope never obtained civil jurisdiction. For expositors have taken for granted, that the Pope's obtaining civil jurisdiction over these three kingdoms, was the true idea of their being plucked up before him. And there never have been three places found, which might be properly said to have been three kingdoms rising out of the old empire, over which the Pope did obtain civil jurisdiction. No wonder then, that authors have been divided and perplexed upon this point. To perceive the difficulties, which attend their schemes, let us concisely examine them. Lombardy has been often mentioned as one of these three kingdoms. The Lombards did indeed set up a kingdom in Italy, after the subversion of the old empire. And they were afterwards subdued; but not by the Pope. And but a part of their kingdom fell afterward under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. Could so small u circumstance then constitute the plucking up by the roots of one of those three kingdoms noted in that ancient prophecy? Ravenna has been supposed to be one of these three kingdoms. Ravenna was
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an ancient city in Italy, the capital of Romagna. Of this, and of some provinces in its vicinity, it is acknowledged the Pope obtained civil jurisdiction, by the donation of Pepin, king of France. But could that petty territory be recognized in ancient prophecy as a kingdom, a horn of the Roman Beast? It never was a kingdom! An if every such section, having once belonged to the Roman empire, may be called a horn of that empire, we should be furnished with not only ten, but perhaps ten times ten horns of that ancient Beast. When Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths took Italy, in 493, he made Ravenna the capital of his kingdom. But did this constitute it a kingdom? In the reign of Justinian, emperor of Constantinople, Belisarius and Narses, his generals, overturned the kingdom of the Ostrogoths in Italy; and Narses was constituted governor of Italy with the title of duke. He made Ravenna his capital; and not long after it became an exarchate. But could this constitute it a kingdom, a horn of the Roman Beast? And with no more propriety could the city of Rome, with her "senate, people and neighborhood" be represented as one of those kingdoms. When Theodoric established Ravenna as his capital, he suffered Rome to retain under him some appearance of her former government. But still it was in fact but one city in his kingdom; and that inferior to his capital. And under the succeeding dukedom of Narses, Rome was stripped of every appearance of her ancient form of government, and reduced to a mere duchy; and this long before it fell under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. Rome was besieged and taken five times in twenty years; and was reduced to a miserable condition. A sorry kingdom indeed, to be supposed one of Daniel's ten Roman horns; and one of the three, which- fell before the Papal hierarchy! But even supposing these, (viz. Ravenna, and Rome with its neighborhood) to be two of the three horns; where shall we find the third? We must leave Italy. And where else did the Pope obtain civil jurisdiction? Some have tried to find one of these three horns in Germany. But surely the Pope had no civil kingdom there. It is true we find
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there were in Germany spiritual princes with civil jurisdiction. Some time after Pepin gave to the Pope the exharchate of Ravenna, and constituted him a civil prince in tome of the Italian states, Charlemagne, Pepin's son and successor, endowed some of the bishops in Germany with temporal dominions, and annexed to their bishoprics the civil jurisdiction of their dioceses. These ecclesiastico-civil princes obtained the enlargement of their civil dominions, till some of them came * o rank with the highest sovereign princes; were even electors; and not inferior to kings. But these sovereignties were not under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. So fully disconnected were their civil jurisdictions from his, that Dr. Lowman imagined, (though I think incorrectly) that those German establishments collectively constituted the second Beast in Rev. xiii; while the Roman hierarchy constituted the first. * The sovereign ecclesiastics in Germany constituted but a minority of the German empire. How then could Germany be one of these three kingdoms which fell before the Pope? The long contentions between the Popes and the German emperors concerning the right of investitures, were far from indicating, that Germany had been plucked up by the Papal horn, in point of civil jurisdiction. But even if Germany had been under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope, it would fail of answering to the prediction in Daniel concerning any one of the three horns. For the primitive Germans never belonged to the ancient Roman empire. The ancient Germans, a fierce warlike people, though they trembled at the Cesars, and lost bloody battles with the Romans, were never subdued by the Roman arms. Charlemagne was the first, who subdued them, in the beginning of the ninth century. Surely then Germany could not be one of those three horns.
A late celebrated writer on the prophecies, feeling as it is presumed, the difficulties attending the old schemes of exposition upon this point, gives a new one of the following tenor. The first kingdom, he tells us, to be
* Lowman on Rev. p. 139.
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plucked up, was that of Odoacer, king of the Heruli, who took Italy in 476, put an end to the western Roman empire, and caused himself to be proclaimed king of Italy. But his kingdom was plucked up in 493, by Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, when he established his Gothic kingdom in Italy, which I before noted. This latter was plucked up by Belisarius and Narses, generals of the eastern emperor, by the aid of the Lombards, who were auxiliaries under them. Italy now, after being thus twice plucked up, (not by the Pope indeed, nor in his presence; for he was not yet in existence!) was made a province of the eastern emperor, under the dukedom of Narses. Italy now not being an independent kingdom, its next revolution was not to be reckoned. This next, which was not to be reckoned, took place sometime after, by the invasion of the Lombards, who under Alboin set up a kingdom in Italy, about the year 508. In 752, they, under Aistulphus, took Rivenna; and threatened Rome; upon which the Pope applied to Pepin king of France, for protection. Pepin came with an army; subdued the Lombards; and gave the exharchate of Ravenna, as the patrimony of St. Peter, to the Pope. This was the third kingdom plucked up before the Pope. Here is the plucking up of the three kingdoms before the Papal horn. But I think not less difficulties attend this scheme, than those, which attend the others.
First: These three kingdoms are in fact but one and the same nation, Italy. If one nation, by successive revolutions, may make the three horns; why not by ten revolutions, make the ten horns? Perhaps there have been revolutions enough in Italy to amount to the ten horns! This would prevent the necessity of looking abroad from Italy to find the ten horns of the Roman Beast: We should have only to ascertain ten revolutions there.
Secondly: But a small part of this threefold kingdom of Italy fell under the civil jurisdiction of the Pope. The exarchate of Ravenna, and in after days some other provinces, did in this sense fall before him. But with what propriety could that part of the Lombardic kingdom,
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which fell into the Papal hands, be reckoned even one, and much less the three of those kingdoms so long foretold by Daniel?
Thirdly: The above scheme as really makes four horns falling before the Papal horn, as three. The revolution under Belisarius and Narses, was as real and great, as any of the others. And a vast dukedom under a great empire, may as properly constitute a horn, as a short lived, barbarian kingdom, which embraces only the same territory.
Fourthly: The prophecy says of the Papal horn, And he shall subdue three kings. * But according to the scheme of this author, the Popes subdued but a part of one kingdom; and not that neither! for the king of France subdued it for him. And with the preceding conquests of Italy, the Papal horn had nothing to do. For they took place long before his existence! Upon this scheme it appears, that instead of the Pope's subduing three kingdoms, he never subdued one. And if those successive revolutions in Italy, which preceded the rise of the Papal horn, were to be noted in ancient prophecy, as kingdoms subdued by the Pope; why should not all the revolutions in Italy, from the days of Romulus, be thus noted?
The above scheme appears to me untenable; as do indeed all the schemes I have ever seen upon the subject. And I cannot but apprehend, that the lameness, which appears to attend the old expositions on this subject, affords a strong argument, that the old scheme, relative to the ten horns of the old Roman Beast, is incorrect.
To find the fulfilment of the three horns falling before the Papal horn, I think we must find three great sections of the primitive Roman empire, falling peculiarly under the fatal delusion of the Papal imposture. This fatal influence, appropriate to Popery, is something, in which the Papal power is indeed diverse from all other powers, which had been noted in prophecy. And another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from
* Dan. vii, 24.
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the first; and he shall subdue three kings. * This diverse characteristic seems to have been overlooked. If his subduing three kings mean his obtaining civil jurisdiction over them, then he was not in this respect diverse from other civil powers. But the Papal characteristic of being diverse, is a circumstance, which seems to indicate, that the influence, with which he subdues three kings, is of a kind diverse from civil government. It must mean his tilling them with his own characteristic influence, Popery. And do we not find this thing fulfilled? Behold Italy, France, and Spain, (which were indeed horns of the empire of the ancient Cesars,) the chief theatre of Papal delusion; and eventually plucked up by the roots by the consequences of that wicked system! This is an event interesting to the Church; and might be expected to have been a subject of ancient prophecy, when the Papal imposture was predicted. But the old view of the subject appears to be on too small a scale; and the events scarcely interesting to the Church at all. By Italy, France, and Spain, I mean ail that was formerly included in them: Italy containing all that country south of the Alps: France, the ancient transalpine Gaul, including all the old Roman dominions between the Alps and the Pyrenees, the Helvetii, or Switzerland, and a considerable part of the modern German empire: And Spain including all west and south of the Pyrenees: For the ancient kingdoms of Spain and Lusitania, or Portugal, were but one horn of the ancient Roman empire. Britain, though it was under the empire of the Cesars; and though it was in the dark ages much perverted with Papal delusion for centuries; yet considering its early renunciation of that pestilent error, its different lot at the end of the scene, and its being reserved as a cradle of the Church of Christ, it would not be represented as plucked up by the roots, or subdued by the Papal horn. The British were the most loath to submit to the impositions of
* Dan. vii, 24.
See Guthrie's Geog. p. 4J3,
114 The Roman, Papal, and Antichristian Beasts.
Popery. Says Mosheim, vol. ii, p. 16, The ancient Britains and Scotts persisted long in the maintenance of their religious liberty; and neither the threats nor promises of the legates of Rome could engage them to submit to the decrees and authority of the ambitious pontiff." This long opposition to the corrupting ambition of the Papal tyrant; and the very early renunciation of Popery, in the British isle, we might expect would be followed with special tokens of the divine benignity. The evils of Popery were to be of so much longer duration, and its events so much more fetal, in Italy, France, and Spain, that it appears rational that they should be thus designated, in that ancient prophecy concerning the Papal delusion, as the principal theatre, (among the horns of the ancient Beast,) of its fatal operations. The other nations, which constituted the other horns of the Beast, were not so conspicuously to be the theatre of Papal delusion and ruin. And we accordingly find they were not. The horns in Africa, Asia, and even Greece, escaped this deadly influence. Ancient Germany, and the more northern nations of Prussia, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden, though they were long enveloped in Papal delusion, and share in the judgments of Papal nations, yet they did not belong to the old Roman empire; and therefore could not be represented as horns of that Beast falling before the Papal horn. The descriptions, of belonging to the horns of the old Roman Beast, and being subdued by the characteristic influence of the Papal horn, (its false religion) meet, in a peculiar and equal degree, only in those three notable, ancient horns, Italy, France, and Spain. These three great territories did indeed fatally fall before the Papal horn. They from first to last formed the principal seat of his delusion; and appear to be forming the principal theatre of the judgments of Heaven upon that wicked system.
If the view given, of the plucking up by the roots of the three horns before the Papal horn, be correct; it shows that the horns of the ancient Beast were the kingdoms, which constituted the old Roman empire in its zenith, and were in existence, when the God of
Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii. 115
heaven set up his kingdom at the commencement of the Gospel day; and were not the kingdoms into which the old empire crumbled to pieces. For Italy, France, and Spain, including the places above noted, cannot be said to be three of ten different kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was by the northern barbarians divided. And as the old Imperial head of the Roman Beast had its ten horns; so the same head mystically revived from the bottomless pit, in the last days, has its ten horns.
Antichrist predicted in the XVIIIth chapter of Revelation.
In this chapter, a further view is given of the judgments of God upon Papal Rome.
1. An angel descends from heaven, having great power; and the earth is lightened with his glory: Indications of some great event now to be accomplished! An event, which should be noted through the whole earth!
2. And he cried mightily, with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. Here is the sum of the event. And the greatness and terrors of it 'are strikingly indicated by the Angel's haying great power, the earth being lightened with his glory, his repeating the event, and doing it mightily with a strong voice. In the preceding chapter, Papal Rome, as distinct from the Antichristian Beast, is symbolized by a harlot, borne or managed by this Beast, and is called, Mystery, Babylon the great. Babylon the great, in this xviiith chapter, must be the same power, the Papal hierarchy, as distinct from the Antichristian Beast. In the preceding chapter this harlot is presented for execution, as we have seen. And in this xviiith chapter, we have the commencement and process of her execution. But this Divine judgment upon her implies an instrument, by which it is inflicted. Therefore,
3. The origin of the instrument of the fall of Popery is hinted: And is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclear, and
116 Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii.
hateful bird. Some capital revolution in her territories is here indicated, in which her own dominions are exhibited to the world, as a habitation of devils; the disgorgings of the infernal world; and a pandaemonium of every species of licentiousness and abomination. Here is the origin of the Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, or Antichrist. This is the furnishing of the executioner of Papal Babylon. Here was to be forged the rod of iron, which is fully implied in the subsequent predictions of her judgments in this chapter. The instrument of the Divine vengeance was to rise out of her own territories, and corruptions. Here were to be exhibited the habitation of devils, the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. The egg of Papal Babylon was thus to break out into a viper, which should become a fiery flying serpent. She was thus to be fatally stung with her own scorpions; yea, gored to death with the horns rising from her own corruptions. It was a remark of Sir Isaac Newton, that "the tyranny of the Papal power, which has so long corrupted Christianity, and enslaved the Christian world, must be brought to an end, and broken to pieces, by the prevalence of infidelity."
4. The fulness of the measure of Papal Babylon's sins, and her consequent judgments, are noted in the following verses. And I heard a great voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. The account proceeds, in which judgments are doubled to her according to her works; her cup of indignation is filled twice as full as that, which she had filled for the saints. Torment and sorrow are given in proportion as she has glorified herself, and counted upon prosperity. Her plagues shall come as it were in one day, death, mourning, famine, and fire, under the strong hand of God, who judgeth her. Decisive events are here indicated. Papal Babylon is taken into the grasp of Antichrist, for her execution. And in the struggles and scenes of blood, which attend the rise, and the forming of the horns of
Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii. 117
the Antichristian Beast, the Mother of harlots finds the execution of the judgments of God upon her in dreadful succession. The scenes of judgment become tremendous on one Papal nation, and on another. All in their turn have blood to drink. And Babylon the great sinks as a mighty millstone into the depth of the sea of revolution, tumult and blood, never to rise again.
5. The kings of the Papal earth, who have revelled in the idolatrous embraces of the harlot, lament and bewail her fall and miseries: At the sight of the smoke of her torments, which rises and is seen to the ends of the earth; or at the sight and hearing of her judgments and miseries, they cry, Alas, alas! In her distress they realize their own.
6. The merchants of the Papal earth likewise, (the dignitaries, and various orders of the Popish clergy) who have been literally made rich in her infamous and ungodly traffic, in superstitious rites, and the souls oj,' men, now cry, Alas,, alas!' They weep and mourn over the ruins of their beloved hierarchy. Wailings and lamentation are heard through the nations of Papal superstition; while the judgments proceed with tremendous roar, and echo from land to land! These admirers of the harlot, standing afar off, some as fugitives in foreign lands, and others inclined to be as far distant as possible, for fear of her torments, lament her fall, crying, Alas, alas! that great city Babylon! For in one hour it her judgment comet Yea, the ship masters, ship companies, (it may be in a literal sense) traders and sailors, interrupted in their mercantile pursuits, by the perils of the times, are represented as standing afar off, in consternation at the view of the burnings of Babylon, or at hearing of the judgments on Papal nations, and bewailing the loss of their livings.
7. The blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth, is found here; and it no longer cries for retribution in vain. The God of judgment hears, and rises up out of his holy habitation. A tremendous scene of Divine wrath is opened, which overturns the seat of the Papal kingdom, and fills it with darkness, so that they gnaw their tongues
118 Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii.
for pain. The horns of the Antichristian Beast, in this chapter, are beginning to perform the execution of the Mother of harlots; though the scene will not be completed, till the battle at Armageddon. There in due time, the false prophet, (the remaining skeleton of Popery) and the Antichristian Beast himself, will sink into perdition.
All the events of this chapter imply the rise of a terrible instrument of judgment on Papal Babylon. This instrument, no doubt, is the Antichristian Beast. His horns were to hate the whore, to make her desolate and naked, to eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. These are judgments which may be as long a time in execution, as from the time of the fifth vial, to that of the. seventh. But they commence at the rise of Antichrist.
8. The judgments in this chapter, cannot be the same with the seventh vial, in the destruction of Antichrist, and all the enemies of the Church. For in the latter case, there will be no Antichristian kings, not mystical merchants of the Papal earth left, to bewail the fall of Babylon; as is the case in this chapter. For then they will all, far and near, sink together. So the predictions of that event clearly decide. The whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. The View of the whole of this xviiith chapter, in the light of the chapter preceding, evinces, that it is Papal Babylon, and not Antichrist, whose fall is here predicted. It is that Baby Ion, whose kings and mystical merchants had long been enriched with her delicacies and superstitious traffic. This is a trait of character, which cannot be applied to Antichrist; but which perfectly applies to Popery. The events of this chapter then cannot be the seventh, but must be the fifth vial. * In this, the Papal Beast is destroyed by the rise of the Antichristian Beast. The events of this chapter are the first capital judgment, which falls on Papal Babylon. Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen. However she had before experienced a number of judgments,
* See Treatise on the fifth vial.
Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii. 119
four vials of the wrath of God; yet she never fell before. And she is never found standing on her own foundation, afterward. This particular appears clearly to identify the event, with that of the fifth vial. For the Papal Beast has a seat (throne) and a kingdom, till the fifth vial; but afterward he has none. His seat is overturned and his kingdom filled with darkness. I apprehend then, that this xviiith of Revelation, and the fifth vial, predict the same event, the subversion of the predominant power of Popery, by the rise of Antichrist; although the events of this chapter may extend further, than those of the fifth vial, even to the time of the seventh, where Antichrist himself, as well as the remains of the Papal hierarchy, shall be totally destroyed.
9. This chapter, as well as the one preceding, presents a Babylon, distinct from Antichrist. While the Papal hierarchy was predominant, it was Babylon the great. But when it ceased to be predominant, having fallen under the power of Antichrist, the latter becomes the mystical Babylon, or Babylon the great. The appellation applies to the great dominant Power upon the ground, be it Papal, or Antichristian. Accordingly we find a Babylon the great falling in this xviiith chapter of Revelation, which, I conceive, predicts the same event with the fifth via!: and yet we also find a great Babylon coming into remembrance before God, when he gives unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath, in after days, Rev. xvi, 19), under the seventh vial. The collateral prophecies of this latter event, decide, that by great Babylon here, Antichrist, or the last head of the Roman Beast, is primarily intended, although Popery, as a subordinate power, may be included. While the Papal hierarchy was predominant, this was the Beast; and the old Roman Beast lay dead. But when the latter revived, and took the ground, the Papal Beast died. Popery is not thenceforward called a Beast, but the false prophet, under the dominion of the new Beast: And as the Papal Beast dies, on the rise of the Antichristian; so in like manner Papal Babylon sinks under the fifth vial, and in this xviiith of Revelation, upon the rise of the Anti-christian
120 Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii.
Babylon. And the latter is the Babylon, whose destruction was announced by the ancient prophets in Israel, us an event just to precede the Millennia um. Various of those ancient predictions of the destruction of ancient Babylon, will meet their ultimate accomplishment in the destruction of Antichrist, under the seventh vial. He is the Babylon to be destroyed rit the battle of the great day.
This view may help to explain Rev. iiv, 8; * And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen,
* This xivth chapter of Revelation I apprehend will be found to contain events, which exactly synchronize with the events of the seven vials: Or, events from the opening of the reformation from Popery, till the close of the battle of the great day, which is to precede the Millennium. Verse 1; And I looked, and to, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion; and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. This follows a description of the Papal Beast. Some time in the course of his dismal tyranny, the event here introduced might be looked for. It was an event some time to precede the fall of Papal Babylon, by the rise of the terrible Power of the last days; as the announcing of this fall of Papal Babylon is found in the 8th verse of this chapter. This appearing of the Lamb on Mount Zion, indicates a remarkable appearing of Christ in his Church, for the enlargement, purity, and protection, of his followers. His having with him 144,000, who have his Father's name written in their foreheads, indicates a vast accession to the number of his witnesses. lit Rev. vii, 1, we find four angels holding the four winds, or staying impending judgments, till the people of God should be sealed in their foreheads. The number of zzz1 44, you are sealed. Expositors inform us, that this description related to the prosperous state of the Church, in the Roman empire, after the revolution under Constantine, from Paganism to Christianity; and before the awful judgments of the northern invasions commenced. The Church then enjoyed a sealing time, a season of great enlargement. Vast multitudes, represented as 12 times 13,000 (12 being the number of the apostles, and also of the patriarchs) were sealed; 144,000, or a vast multitude, a certain number put for an uncertain. In this verse (chapter xiv, 1) we have a similar representation; as if it had been said, Christ again, after a dismal reign of darkness and Papal tyranny, appears in his Church. Another remarkable sealing time commences. Another 144,000 (or class of countless multitudes) are set apart for God's pure worship. To what event could this relate, but to the reformation under Luther? The events
Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii. 121
is fallen, that great city, because" she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. After wonderful missionary exertions to propagate the
of that day perfectly answer to the figure. And no events of any preceding period do appear to answer to it. The succeeding verses accord with the events of the reformation. Verse 2; And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps. 3; And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song, but the hundred and forty and four thousand, who were redeemed from the earth. 4; These are they, who were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they who follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto Cod, and to the Lamb. 5; And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God. Here the scene enlarges, as the doctrines of the reformation progress through Protestant lands. The heavenly hosts on the occasion sing, Rev. xii, 10; Now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the flower of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down. The voice of the Protestant worshippers becomes like the roaring of great waters; yea of mighty thunder. It is the voice of harpers, or of those engaged in the sublime worship of God. Their song is new, and known by none, but those, who are taught it by the Spirit of grace. The purity of their doctrines and worship from the filthy idolatries of the Papal harlot, is strikingly noted. Idolatry is spiritual whoredom. And the Protestants, having renounced the idolatries of the Papal see, and become correct and holy in their doctrines and modes of worship, are represented as above, and as being spotless before the throne of God. Freedom from idolatry was the perfection of Job, of David, and of Asa. And this was the perfection of the Protestant multitudes here described. They are the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb; a resemblance of the dawn of the Millennium, and an earnest of it. The Church now seemed to be fast coming forth from her long exile in the wilderness.
In process of time, after the doctrines of the reformation are extensively and well established, and the scene of judgments on Papal nations has commenced; the eyes of Protestant multitudes are opened, and their hearts united and enlarged, to attempt great things toward evangelizing the heathen world. Verse 6; and I saw another angel, (or the first of several angels) fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people; 7;
122 Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii.
Gospel through the world, as we find indicated in the preceding verse, it becomes a matter of public notoriety,
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him, who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of water. A spirit of Missions wakes up, and diffuses itself through the Protestant nations. Much is shortly done toward disseminating the knowledge of Gospel salvation through heathen lands. The Missionaries introduce their message, as they must do to Pagans, by unfolding first the volume of nature: We have come to teach you who made yonder heavens; this great earth; the sea; and the fountains of water; and how you must worship and serve him. Their argument evinces, that the preaching of the Gospel, here predicted, is an advance made from the preaching of the Protestant doctrines to the Papal nations, at, and soon after the commencement of the reformation. It was to be an event subsequent to that period. We find it was to be in the tame hour with the more signal judgments of God on the Papal see. "For the hour of his judgment is come" And the next verse informs of the object of this divine judgment, that it was the fall of Babylon; -- the subversion of the Papal Power. The flight of the Angel to preach the Gospel, is an event collateral with this, or in the same hour with it. Some exertions have been made, for the propagation of the Gospel among Pagans, for many ages. Bui they did by no means amount to a fulfilment of the sublime figure under consideration. Here is represented one great and general exertion for this object; and the unity of the undertakers: The Angel is one. And his object is to evangelize every nation, kindred, tongue and people. Great engagedness in the object is indicated: the angel cries with a loud voice. Great facility and perseverance are implied: The angel flies directly on, over mountains, lakes, and seas. Nothing obstructs his course or progress. Obstacles impassable to footmen, are nothing to him. An event is predicted which God would undertake, by inclining the hearts of the children of Zion to undertake it; by removing obstacles; causing provision to be unexpectedly made; preparing instruments; opening effectual doors; thus sending out his word, and unfolding his glorious grace: Not to convert the heathen world at once. For the millennial morn is still future -- But to light up Gospel fires in heathen lands; to call in some; to fulfil his own counsels; and to prepare the way for the Kingdom of Christ. The Gospel of the Kingdom must first be preached to all nations, for a testimony unto them. We have lived to see the commencement of this flight of the Angel.
Soon it is ascertained what the unprecedented judgments of God, in the same hour with the flight of the Angel, have effected, Verse 8; and there followed another angel, saying Babylon is
Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii. 123
that Babylon is fallen, is fallen. And it is that Babylon, which made all nations drink of the wine
fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the mine of the wrath of her fornication. It must be Papal Babylon, and not antichristian Babylon, whose fall is here ascertained. For it is the Papal, and not the Antichristian Babylon, who has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the Antichristian Babylon does not fall, till the close of this chapter, under the tremendous scene of the harvest, and the vintage.
The clear perception of the fall of Papal Babylon, excites another proclamation through the Church, of solemn caution and warning. Verse 9; And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast, and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand; 10, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God. Here note, that a Beast is in existence, which the world is in danger of worshipping, after Papal Babylon is fallen. Terrible denunciations of judgment are here expressed, and follow upon all, who are contaminated with the spirit of the Beast than on the ground.
This bold and powerful warning probably will provoke the then dominant Beast, and the minions oi his order, to invade the rights of conscience in the kingdom of Christ. And it follows; verse 12; Here is the patience of the saints; here are they who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Here the patience of Christians must be tried, that it may be known who truly have his faith, and keep his commands. Verse 13; And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. Here are indicated peculiar trials then to be endured by the Church. But the Captain of her salvation soon interposes. The next verse, and the following verses to the end of the chapter, describe the scenes of consequent judgments to be inflicted on Antichrist, and on all the active enemies of the Church. An Angel, like the Son of man, with a golden crown, and a sharp sickle, appears upon a white cloud. And he soon reaps the harvest of the earth, which is then fully ripe. His ministers of Providence soon collect the vine of the Infidel world, with its grapes then fully matured, and cast it into the great wine-press of the wrath of God; which is trodden; and which emits a river of blood for 200 miles. Here is a double figure to represent the terribleness of the scene of the battle of the great day of God. The harvest, and the vintage, both unite in that event. For both are subsequent to the depression of the Church under the reign of Antichrist. But
124 Antichrist predicted in Rev. xviii.
of the wrath of her fornication. This was the Papal harlot. But this her fall is not the last scene at Armageddon. For the saints are to be tried by the influence of some other power, after this announced fall of Babylon; which other power must be Antichrist. Verses 12, 13; Here is the patience of the saints: here are they, that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus Christ. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. And scenes of awful judgment succeed, some time after this fall of Babylon; represented by the Angel on the white cloud, with his sharp sickle, reaping the vine of the earth: -- And by another Angel, who has also a sharp sickle: -- And by a third, who has power over fire; who directs the second Angel, with the sharp sickle, to thrust in his sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, whose grapes are fully ripe. The latter obeys. The vine of the earth is gathered, and cast into the great wine-press of the wrath of God; which is trodden; and which discharges a river of blood, as high as the horse bridles, for the space of two hundred miles. These are the finishing scenes of judgment. And they arc subsequent to the above fall of the harlot, Babylon: Which shews, that she, and the subsequent Power finally to be destroyed, are two distinct Powers; and their falls are at different periods. One is at the rise of Antichrist. The other is at his destruction. There is a striking affinity between these two Powers, the Papal and the Antichristian Babylon. The latter rose on the ground, and from the corruptions of the former. It supplanted and took the place of the
no vial of wrath on Antichrist, except the seventh, is subsequent to that depression.
Thus the events of the xivth chapter occupy the same period with the vials in the two succeeding chapters; -- the period of the seven last plagues upon the enemies of the Church. That appearance of Christ on mount Zion introduced enlargement and salvation to his Church; and destruction to her enemies.
Daniel's 1260 years, and Paul's Man of Sin. 125
former. And in the judgments finally executed upon Antichristian Babylon, those threatened to Papal Babylon, (as to her ultimate ruin) will be fulfilled. But the two Babylons are spoken of as two distinct Powers. One of them falls under the fifth vial; the other under the seventh.
The sense, which has been given in this section, of the fall of Papal Babylon by the rise of Antichrist, is not destitute of countenance in Old Testament prophecies. I shall note one passage, Dan. vii, 26. But the judgment shall set. and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. This is spoken of the Papal horn; and of the time and manner of his overthrow. The judgment shall set. It shall open a new era of Divine judgment, and they shall take away his (the Papal) dominion. Who shall take it away? The antecedent is not expressed. But the pronoun they implies an antecedent. It implies instruments sufficiently powerful raised up to overturn Popery, and to execute vengeance on Papal nations, to take away the Papal dominion, and to consume and to destroy it. In Rev. xvii, we learn who this instrument is; -- the Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit. The horns of this Beast hate the whore, and eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. The vengeance begins to be executed before the time of the end; as is implied in its continuance till that time; -- to consume and to destroy it unto the end. This scene, I apprehend, opens in a new and fatal vial of Divine wrath, which overturns Popery; and which will ere long (or after the Turks shall be overthrown, and the Jews returned) issue in the seventh vial, the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
The closing part of the 1260 years occupied by Antichrist. Paul's Man of Sin.
The prophet Daniel informs, * that the saints were to be given into the hands of the little horn, 1260 years.
* Dan. vii, 25.
126 Daniel's 1260 years, and Paul's Man of Sin.
But if a portion of the last part of this term were to be occupied by the tyranny of Antichrist, how is this prediction of Daniel fulfilled? Answer. Antichrist originates in the corruptions of Popery. He was to arise directly out of the putrefactions of that abominable collection of filth and impurity. And after his development, and his establishing his characteristic mark oj Infidelity, he was to re-establish Popery, as his form of godliness, and a convenient engine of his ambition. It is not unnatural then, that the Papal horn should In represented, in that concise stroke of ancient prophecy, as having possession of the saints 1260 years, notwithstanding that a small portion of the last part of the term should be occupied by the terrible Antichristian Power. For the latter was to be produced, and the whole wilderness state of the Church occasioned, by the corruptions of that Papal horn. In that ancient concise sketch then, it is no wonder that the saints should be spoken of, as being under the power of the Papal horn for 1260 years; even though for a short term, in the closing part of that period, the horn itself, and the saints should be under the tyranny of a superior Power, which rose directly from the nature, and corruptions of the Papal horn.
This solution may aid us in forming a correct idea of the predictions of Paul, relative to the Man of Sin. 2 Thess. ii, 3-12; Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day (the day of Christ) shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all, that is called God, or worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shelving himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he, who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose
Daniel's 1260 years, and Paul's Man of Sin. 127
coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned, who believed not the truth, but had pleasure, in unrighteousness. The apostasy of the Papal hierarchy is here predicted. Yet the Power here predicted is to be destroyed with the brightness of Christ's coming, at the battle of the great day. And one would be apt to conclude, from reading the passage, that the Power spoken of is to be the great dominant Power of that day. And we are naturally strengthened in this conclusion, from the allusion the essential parts of the description appear to have, to the noted passage in Dan. xi, 36--, which relates to Antichrist. These considerations seem to make the Romish hierarchy, and Antichrist one and the same. I apprehend the fact to be, that the passage presents a complex view of Popery and Antichrist; the former rising after the subversion of Pagan Rome; and the latter rising from the corruptions of the former, in the last days. The passage, I conceive, contains a prophetic glance at the whole apostasy, both in its Papal, and Antichristian form; saying some things peculiarly applicable to the one; some to the other; and some to both. Had no other Scriptures predicted the rise of the Infidel Power subsequent to Popery, we should naturally have taken this prediction of the Apostle, as relating only to the Papal hierarchy; and should not learn from it the rise of the Infidel Power. But as we are furnished with such a variety of predictions, which evidently relate to a vast Infidel Power, subsequent to Popery; we cannot suppose this short passage of Paul designed to contradict those passages; or to indicate, that they were to receive their accomplishment in simply the Papal Power. This passage then, must be viewed as a general description, or rather glance, of the whole apostasy, Papal and Antichristian, viewing them
128 Conclusion of the First Chapter.
in their natural connexion; although other prophecies present them, (as we have seen) as two distinct Powers. The Man of Sin then, primarily, is the Papal hierarchy; and ultimately, the Infidel Power of the last days, which originated in the corruptions of that hierarchy, and in which the dominant power of the hierarchy was to terminate. Paul's Man of Sin properly comprises both these Powers, viewed in their connexion. Although they are two, when they go into perdition-, the Beast, and the false prophet; yet they both unitedly go to constitute Paul's Man of Son, and that son of perdition, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming. That description from the Apostle, which has been recited, viewed in the light of the other numerous and more distinguishing predictions, both concerning the Papal hierarchy, and the subsequent Infidel Power, seems necessarily to evince, that the Man of Sin was of the complex character above presented; -- that he comprised both the hierarchy, and the atheistical Antichrist. For he rises with the former, after the Roman empire that let or hindered, was taken out of the way; and sinks with the latter; or, the last head of the Roman Beast; and has the characteristics of both. He is, in that prophetic glance, presented as one Power; though other more definite predictions present him as two. He represents the whole Romish apostasy, both in its Papal and Atheistical form.
Thus we are taught, in the prophetic parts of the sacred Scriptures, to expect the rise of a terrible atheistical Power, and a vast influence of Infidelity, in the last days, or just before the Millennium. I do not pretend that I have adduced all the prophecies of this event. Various other predictions of it, especially in the Old Testament, will be noted in the future pages of this dissertation, where the way will be better prepared for them to be understood. I shall here add a comment on the words of our blessed Lord; * And shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry unto
* Luke xviii, 7, 8.
Conclusion of the First Chapter. 129
him day and night, though he bear long with them? Hell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Here we read of the coming of Christ to avenge his elect. His coming at the destruction of Jerusalem, probably was primarily intended. But his coming at the battle of the great day, as well as at the end of the world, must be viewed as included in the prediction. And the question in the last verse implies, that what has been called the Christian world will then be found overrun with gross Infidelity. Our Lord again says of the same period, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." This is equal to saying, that what of faith those may have had, shall fail: Infidelity will take its place.
But so great an effect implies an adequate cause, or a systematic propagation of Infidelity. And the coming of Christ, at the battle of the great day's being to avenge his elect, implies, that this Power of Infidelity will then be found violently directed against his elect, or his cause. The operations of Infidels, previous to the rise of Antichrist, or beside that combination, which gave him birth, did not amount to that systematic propagation of Infidelity necessarily implied in the rise of Antichrist; although they had their influence in preparing the way for it. There was a want of unity and efficiency in their operations. The British Infidels, Hobbes, Tindal, Chubb, Morgan, Woolston, Collins, Shaftesbury, Herbert, Hume and Bolingbroke, were Antichristian indeed. Yet their operations and writings did not mark the rise of Antichrist. They were destitute of that unity and efficiency of operation. Many of their first principles counteracted each other. And they matured no powerful, systematic opposition to the cause, which they individually hated. It remained for Infidels within the region of Popery to remedy this happy defect. The latter were not only to propagate real Infidelity in a far more energetic system; but were to furnish a fatal plan of uniting their minions and sophists of impiety against the cause of Christ; and to
130 Conclusion of the First Chapter.
secretly inure their hearts to cruelty, and deeds of violence; till they should be prepared to burst upon the Christian and civilized world, like a torrent of burning lava from a volcano! The uniting of their rivulets of Infidelity into a powerful current; swelling the latter, by the confluence of numberless streams, into an overwhelming flood; and directing this mighty deluge against the principles of the Christian religion, and of all virtuous civil government; this was to be the development of the Infidel Power under consideration; this the Antichrist of the last times.
(pages 131-218: under construction)
[ 219 ]
In this section I shall remark upon some of the prophecies, which are thought to relate to the trials of the people of God under the prevalence of Antichristian tyranny. But previous to the consideration of the prophecies, relative to those days, let it be noted, that the denominating of the infidel Power of the last days Antichrist; his being also represented as the old Roman Beast revived, and as the sixth, or Imperial head, recovered from its deadly wound; these things alone portend solemn things to the Church. Why is this Power called Antichrist? Why was his existence in the last days so long, and so abundantly and solemnly predicted to the Church under this, and various other terrific appellations? Will he not verify the hostility indicated in his very name? Can the appellation of Antichrist be unmeaning? Why is he represented, in addition to this, as the last head of the old Roman Beast? And the sixth, the most persecuting head, recovered from his deadly wound? The best expositors agree, that a Beast, in the symbolic language of prophecy, means a great power hostile to the Church of Christ. Powers ever so great, not hostile to the Church, are not symbolized by Beasts. And when a great power, that has been hostile to the Church, and has been symbolized by a Beast, ceases to be hostile to the Church, that Beast is represented as dying, or being wounded to death: As in the case of the old Pagan Roman empire, when, in the revolution under Constantine, its government was changed from Pagan to Christian. And when the same Beast is represented as reviving, the indication
220 Trials of the Church under Antichrist.
can be nothing less, than that a similar Power equally hostile to the Church, and mystically the same, has come into existence. If this trait of character be not verified by the hostility of such a Power to the Church, there can be no meaning in the representation, that the old Beast is revived
And the representation of the sixth, the Imperial head of the old Beast being recovered from its deadly wound, and this under the immediate agency of the devil, in his rage of the last days, because he knoweth that he has but a short time, must indicate alarming hostility to the cause of Christ! This was the head, which in ancient days was the most terrible of all the heads of the Roman Beast. Under this, Christ was crucified. Under this, the Apostles were put to death. And under this, the greatest exertions were made, in ten bloody persecutions, to eradicate primitive Christianity from the earth. If this head then, be symbolically represented as rising out of the bottomless pit, being revived under the agency of the devil, in his last rage before the Millennium, and all this under the additional name of Antichrist, who the Christians in the days of John had heard was to come; we need not wonder, that solemn admonitions are given to the Church relative to the event. And if amazing hostility be not exerted by this Power against the Church, why is Jesus Christ abundantly represented as coming from heaven, with all his armies and equipage of a most mighty conqueror, to carry on a war against him, and to vanquish him in the battle of that great day of God Almighty? Does not all this indicate the most violent hostilities to be undertaken by the terrible Power of the last days against the true Church of Christ?
In Rev. xvii, 14, we read, concerning the horns of the last head of the Roman Beast, These shall make war with the Lamb. Here we learn, that one real object of Antichrist is, War with the Lamb.
In Rev. xiii, 6, 7, 8, it is said of the healed head of the Roman Beast; (which is the same that is symbolized by a new Beast in chap, xvii;) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his
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name, and his tabernacle (or church) and them, that dwell in heaven, (live in Gospel order.) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them, and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all, that dwell upon the earth, shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Here is the extent of his power. God grant it may mean only the old Roman earth! Here is his object, as in chap, xvii, 14, just noted; war with the saints. Here is his fatal success against the saints for a time; -- and to overcome them. But how does this agree with the other prediction of the same event, chap, xvii, 14; These shall make war with the Lamb; and the Lamb shall overcome them. Reply. These passages, which seem to contradict each other, relate to different parts of the scene. Antichrist will prevail for a season; as did the Egyptian tyrant, when he had the tribes of the Lord shut up in Pihahiroth; (the straits of Hiroth;) and every thing external indicated that they were given into his hands. But at the close of the scene, the Lamb shall overcome; as in that case, when the people of God were by and by safely standing on the eastern bank of the Red Sea; and the terrible enemy sunk like lead in the mighty waters. This we may view as a prophetic miniature of the destruction of Antichrist. On the occasion of the latter, the saints sing the song of Moses, and of the Lamb; which indicates, that the song of Israel on the eastern bank of the Red sea, and its occasion, were a type of the victory and the song of the followers of the Lamb, at the close of the period of the vials.
In Rev. xii, we find the depression of the Church under the reign of Antichrist. After a long season of warfare in the symbolic heaven of the corrupt Church of Rome, the dragon was, at the reformation, cast out unto the earth. For a space of time the Church of Christ now rises, like the spouse coming up out of the wilderness, leaning on her Beloved. She doubtless hopes her days of tribulation are at an end; and that she is going uninterruptedly to ascend into her millennial glory.
222 Trials of the Church under Antichrist.
But alas, it is there added, (verse 13,) And when the dragon saw that he was east out unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time. and times, and half a time from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his month water, as a flood, after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman; and the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his month. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, who kept the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. Mr. Faber supposes, and I think it is very evident, that the casting out of the dragon from heaven to earth, was fulfilled at the time of the reformation under Luther. Consequently, the new attack of the dragon upon the Church must be sometime subsequent to the reformation; viz. after his prime instrument, the Imperial head of the Roman Beast, is revived. But this new attack produces a second flight of the Church into the wilderness. She had fled into the wilderness at the commencement of the war in heaven, verse 6; or upon her being delivered into the hands of the Papal Power, for 1260 years. But after the reformation, and the devil was thus cast out of the Papal heaven, by the discovery of the abominations of that system, and before he had prepared his new engine of persecution, the Church had in some good degree returned from her wilderness state. The Lamb had appeared on mount Zion, or in the Protestant Church, and with him vast multitudes, with their Father's names on their foreheads; worshipping God in the purity of the Protestant religion, in opposition to the idolatries of Papal Rome. When lo! the woman is again driven into the wilderness, by the new attack of the dragon in Antichrist, for a time, times and half a time; i. e. for the short residue of this noted term: It cannot now mean for the whole of this term. For 1260 years were the
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term of her depression, at the time of her first flight, many centuries before. Her being now to remain in the wilderness 1260 years, must of course mean, the short remaining part of the 1260 years. And the days of this remaining part, Christ will for the elect's sake cause to be short: Otherwise, no flush could be saved. He will alleviate the distress, by causing the earth to help the woman. When they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help. The extreme sufferings of the Church may not continue more than three days and an half; i. e. three years and an half. The Captain of her salvation will interpose, and lighten the rest of the way with the cloud of his gracious presence, the wonders of his Providence, till her deliverance shall be complete. Floods of rage, mischief and violence, poured forth against the Church, as from the mouth of the old serpent, will be providentially swallowed up. Unexpected events, probably from earthly, or political views, will counteract the mischief aimed against the cause of Christ. And the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against the flood of the enemy. Upon this the dragon, in vexation and rage, goes to make war with the remnant of the woman's seed; or with some distant branch of the Church. Some new and powerful attack is undertaken. Probably this will be fulfilled in the furious coalition led by Antichrist against the converted Jews in the Holy Land; which will prepare the way for the battle of the great day. Thus in the xiith chapter of Revelation, appear to be clearly predicted great trials to the Church, under the reign of Antichrist.
Do the preceding passages furnish a clew to the events in Rev. xi, 7, relative to the slaying of the two witnesses? The striking coincidence, between the former and the latter, has forced a conviction on my mind, which I cannot relate without sensible concern. Alas! I had long hoped, that the slaying of the witnesses was a past event. I well knew that some good men are of opinion that it is still future. But others have in this differed from them; and have indulged the pleasing hope, that all the peculiarly fiery trials of the Church are past; and that she is henceforth to enjoy greater and greater degrees
224 Trials of the Church under Antichrist.
of prosperity, till she reaches her millennial glory. I had fondly embraced this opinion; and was pleased when I found arguments adduced in favor of it. May the king of Zion mercifully grant, (if it accord with his holy plan,) that this may yet prove to be the case! But attention to the subject has constrained me to doubt of the correctness of the sentiment, that the slaying of the witnesses is a past event. I have turned to the arguments of those, who view it thus; and I cannot on the whole feel satisfied with them, or deem them conclusive. May the friends of Zion examine the subject with devout attention!
And when they (the two witnesses) shall have finished their testimony, the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall make tear against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies, three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. * And they, that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth. And after three days and an half, the spirit of life from God entered into them; and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them, who saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
Upon the question, Who are the witnesses? much has been said. Some have supposed them to be the
* The witnesses lie dead three days and an half, probably meaning three years and an half. Was not this event prefigured by the abominable desolation made upon the Jewish Church by the typical Antiochus? Bp. Newton observes, that "the desolation of the temple and the taking away of the daily sacrifice by Appollonius (the commissioner of Antiochus) continued three years and an half." Vol. i, p. 310.
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two Testaments. This appears irrational. We find no other instance, in which either of the Testaments is personified, or represented as God's witness. Bp. Newton thought the two witnesses to represent the few faithful followers of Christ through the 1260 years. Mr. Faber thinks them to mean the twofold Church of the Old and New Testaments. Some have supposed them to mean a Christian magistracy and ministry. Pool's continuators understood by them the faithful Gospel ministry. They observe that Christ first sent out his ministers two and two; and note, that the embassadors of Christ are called witnesses, in many sacred passages. "And ye are witnesses of these things." "And ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, -- and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." These were the last words spoken by Christ on earth. Addressing his ministers, (after having told them before, Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world,) he now, the moment he ascended, tells them, they shall be his witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Accordingly we abundantly find them afterward so denominated. "One must be ordained to be a witness with us of the resurrection." "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we are all witnesses." "Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us" * Does not the clause, "I will give power unto my two witnesses," imply that they are persons known by this appellation? But who are so well known by this appellation, as the true ministers of Christ? The prophesying of the witnesses, Dr. Lowman observes, "signifies persons full of the Spirit of God; preaching God's word, and bearing witness to the truth." The witnesses are called, the two prophets who tormented them that dwell on the earth. But who else answer so well to this description, as do the faithful preachers of the Gospel? "These (says the Revelator) are the two olive trees."
* See also Acts iii, 15, and iv, 33, and v, 32, and x, 39, and xxii, 15, and xxvi, 16; I Peter v, 1.
On Rev. p 109.
Rev. xi, 10.
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This relates to Zech. iv, 3, 11, 14. The two olive trees there (one on each side of the candlestick) are supposed to have been Joshua and Zerubbabel, who unitedly prefigured Christ; and who Pool supposes prefigured also the embassadors of Christ. These (said the angel to Zechariah) are the two anointed ones (sons of oil, Heb.) that stand by the Lord of the whole earth. The gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit are represented by an anointing with oil. And the ascension-gifts of Christ to his embassadors, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ, render it fit for them to be called, olive trees, or sons of oil. Thus reference appears to be had, in the witnesses, more immediately to the ministers of Christ.
But the witnesses are also the two candlesticks. A candlestick is a noted emblem of the Church. The seven candlesticks which thou sawest, are the seven Churches. * Doubtless the true members of Christ are not to be excluded from constituting the witnesses. They are cordially united in the same cause with their pastors. And though special reference is had to the latter, in the description of the witnesses, yet all the true Church are to be viewed as included.
But why are the witnesses said to be two? Reply. Two witnesses constitute a complete testimony. At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. Two were essential to the scriptural validity of a testimony. See Deut. xix, 15; and Matt. xviii, 16. And God never left himself without a competent testimony from his followers among men. In the darkest times his number of witnesses was indeed small, but always competent. Our Lord first sent out his disciples two and two. Many are of the opinion, that two elders were ordained over each primitive Church. Under the Old Testament Moses and Aaron were sent for the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. Zerubbabel and Joshua were found united in after days. The prophets Elijah and Elisha were found in company.
* Rev. i. 20.
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In the darkest times under Papal tyranny, and in after days, there appears something remarkable in the duality of signal instruments of salvation. We find Luther and Calvin; Cranmer and Ridley; John Huse and Jerome of Prague; yea, and the Waldenses and Albigenses. No doubt it is a fact, as Mr. Faber observes, that in this small number of the true followers of Christ, was in a sense contained the essence of the Church of the Old and New Testaments. Whether some reference be not had to this circumstance, in the dual number of the witnesses, I would not decide.
Concerning the slaying of the witnesses, authors have been much divided. It would be tedious, and needless to hint their different schemes, and the proper objections to them. See the schemes given in Bishop Newton, vol. ii, p. 226, 7, 8, 9. But after all, the good Bish6p deemed the event still future. He says; -- "The greater part of this prophecy, relating to the witnesses, remains yet to be fulfilled."
I will mention the scheme of a late celebrated author upon the point, and my objections to it. His scheme is this; that the witnesses were slain in Germany, in 1547; when the two German princes, the Elector of Saxony, and the Landgrave of Hesse, sometime after the commencement of the reformation, were overcome at Mulhberg, in a battle with the emperor of Germany, and were forced to submit at discretion. Several years before this event, these German princes, and some others, espoused the cause of the reformation. They by an association, called the league of Smalkalde, gave a kind of political life to the Protestants in Germany; which at the defeat above noted, was taken from them; and the cause of the reformation in Germany, seemed to be lost. But the reformers again stood upon their feet in 1550, by defeating the duke of Mecklenburg; and in 1552 a peace was ratified at Passau, and confirmed at Augsburg, in 1555, by which the Protestants in Germany were allowed the free exercise of their religion. And the Church, according to this author, then ascended to her political heaven.
228 Trials of the Church under Antichrist.
Against this scheme, the following objections appear to me of weight;
1. Those events were inadequate to a fulfilment of the prediction; and in some things contrary to it.
One would think so much importance could not be attached to the political privileges obtained, and for some years enjoyed by the Protestants in Germany, as that the interruption of those privileges, for several years should be represented, in ancient prophecy, as the slaying of God's witnesses? The witnesses had lived and prophesied, without those privileges, through all the preceding ages of their testimony, till within a few years of their defeat at Mulhberg. And if they were alive before those privileges were obtained, why not equally alive, alter they were taken from them? Indeed if the throwing of the Protestant Churches now, in the vast Christian world, into a similar situation with that of the reformers in Germany, after the battle of Mulhberg, might amply amount to what was designed in ancient prophecy by the slaying of the witnesses; it does not hence follow, that the above event in Germany was adequate to a fulfilment of that prophecy.
It is evident that the slaying, the lying dead, and the resurrection, of the witnesses, are represented in the prophecy as events of extensive and great moment. And they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they, that dwell upon the earth, shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another, because these two prophets tormented them, that dwell on the earth. What kindreds, and tongues, and nations took so great delight in the defeat of the German Protestants at Mulhberg? Wherein did they rejoice, and make merry, and send gifts one to another? How long had the people, who dwelt on the earth, the kindreds, and nations and tongues, been tormented by the German Protestants? What were the emotions in fact excited among the catholic nations on that occasion? They were the very reverse of the joy and triumph indicated in the prophecy,
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upon the slaying of the witnesses. * Upon the dispersion of the army of the Protestants, combined under the Smalkalde league, and the submission of all to the Emperor, except the Elector of Saxony, and the Landgrave of Hesse: and when the prospect appeared certain, that these two princes would be overcome, as they afterward were; a general spirit of jealousy arose among the Catholic powers, in fear of the unrestrained dominion about to be obtained by Charles. He had professed, this his war against the confederate princes was not undertaken on account of their religion; (though this was evidently the Pope's motive in aiding this war) but to vanquish a political combination. The real motive of the Emperor no doubt was, the extension of his own power, at the expense of the liberties of Germany; and the eventual re-establishment of the Catholic religion through Germany, as being more favorable to his ambitious views. But in the terms of the submission of those Protestant states to Charles, not a word was said concerning any abridgment of their religious rights, nor even concerning religion. But as the Smalkalde league had been viewed, even by other Papal powers, as a salutary check to the thirst of the Emperor for universal power, and as the Catholic nations dreaded his ambition; so upon the dispersion of the Protestant army, and the prospect that the Elector and the Landgrave would soon be subdued, the Papal powers became alarmed. The Pope himself trembled for the fate of the Italian states. And he immediately sent and recalled his troops from the Imperial army. This greatly perplexed the Emperor. For he had depended on the aid of these troops, for the reduction of the two princes yet in arms. Charles entreated, and threatened; but all in vain. The Pope was inflexible; and his armies were recalled to Italy.
The Pope also at the same time revoked the license, which he had given to Charles, of taking to himself certain Church lands in Spain, as an inducement to suppress those, whom he called heretics. Francis also,
* See vol. iii, p. 368, of Robertson's Hist, of Charles V.
230 Trials of the Church under Antichrist.
the French monarch, was distressed at the thought of the reduction of the Protestant German princes. Not that he favored the reformation; but rejoiced in the check of his rival. He sent his embassadors, and labored to revive the Smalkalde league; and to prevent the submission of the Elector and the Landgrave to Charles. And he sent them large sums of money, to enable them to withstand the Emperor. The Pope expressed great joy upon hearing of the total defeat of Albert, marquis of Brandenburg, whom Charles had sent forward with a detachment, to aid Maurice against the Elector, but whom the Elector had intercepted, and cut off." And great exertions were made to form a coalition, to consist of the Pope, the Italian states, France, England, and Denmark, against the Emperor on this occasion. The Emperor, after he had subdued the two princes, published his system called the Interim, a kind of bungling attempt to reconcile the Catholics and Protestants. This was disgusting to all parties. The Pope and the Catholics execrated it. And the Protestants despised it. In short, the feeling and conduct of all, on that occasion, formed a striking contrast with the events in the prophecy, of all nations, tongues and languages rejoicing, and sending gifts one to another.
The compact obtained by the Protestants, in the peace of Augsburg, respected only the Protestants in Germany; and those only, who adhered to the confession of Augsburg. The others, who thought this confession was too lenient to the catholics, the followers of Calvin and Zuinglius, and all the Protestants in other countries, were left by this peace unprotected.
2. A difficulty attends the scheme of this author, in point of chronology. The slaying of the witnesses is said to be when they shall have finished their testimony. I am sensible that some critics are of opinion, that the verb ______, being found in the first aorist, subjunctive, may admit the rendering, When they shall be about to finish. If the word may bear this construction, it is not the most natural one. Had that been the meaning of the writer, he might have adopted words
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to have expressed it precisely. But the literal rendering of the words ____ ____, is when they shall finish, or have finished. It is the same verb, mode and time, found in the following verse, Matt, x, 23, which is rendered thus, "Ye shall not have finished the cities of Israel." But admitting the rendering in the criticism referred to; with what propriety could the witnesses be said to have been even about to finish their testimony, at the time of the defeat at Mulhberg? That defeat was in 1547; 319 years before they will actually have finished their testimony, according to the above author's calculations; making the 1260 years terminate in 1866. Should they terminate at a later period, the difficulty would be proportionably increased. There was then, according to this scheme, at the time of the slaying of the witnesses, more than one quarter of the whole long time of their prophesying still before them. Surely they were not, at that time, even about to finish their testimony. They were to prophecy 1260 years; Rev. xi, 3. But according to the above scheme, they prophesied but 941 years.
3. We should conceive, from reading the account of the resurrection of the witnesses, and of their ascension to heaven, that their days of sore trial were chiefly over. I cannot but think this idea, upon perusing that prediction, would at first be impressed without a doubt upon every impartial reader. But some of the most dismal persecutions ever experienced by the Church, under Papal tyranny, have taken place, in various Catholic countries, since the peace of Augsburg. Recollect the massacre of the Protestants in France, on the evening of St Bartholomew, in 1572 under Charles IX, when 30,000 were destroyed; the slaughter of them in Ireland, in the reign of Charles I; and in Poland, in after days. Recollect the persecutions under Louis XIV, who repealed the edict of Nantz, in 1685, and murdered and banished nearly two millions of his Protestant subjects in one year; the persecutions of the Piedmontese by the duke of Savoy, toward the close of the seventeenth century; when one million in France were murdered; and many other bloody scenes, experienced
232 Trials of the Church under Antichrist.
by the followers of Christ, in Popish countries, since the aforementioned peace of Augsburg. And read the prophecies of the trials, which the Church is to experience under the reign of Infidelity, just before the battle of the great day, whether the witnesses be then to be slain, or not. These things do not appear to accord with the representation given of the witnesses, after their resurrection, and their ascension to heaven.
4. In the same hour with the ascension of the witnesses to heaven, there was a great earthquake, in which a tenth part of the city fell. There was no event within a prophetical hour of the peace of Augsburg in 1555, which can answer to this prediction. No event is by the aforementioned author supposed to have answered to it, till the revolution in France, in 1789. But this was 234 years after the supposed resurrection of the witnesses. And to say that two disconnected and different events, 234 years apart, may yet be said to take place in the same hour, would be extraordinary indeed. It would be unprecedented in the Bible, and in all common conversation.
5. The agent, by whom the witnesses are said to be slain, was not in existence, till centuries after those events in Germany. The first apocalyptic Beast rose (as did the same Beast in Dan. vii, 2, symbolizing the heathen Roman Empire) from the sea. * The second apocalyptic Beast (answering to the little horn of the Roman Beast in Daniel, and symbolizing the Romish hierarchy) rose from the earth. The third apocalyptic Beast (numerically the eighth, but specifically the sixth head of the old Roman Beast, healed of his deadly wound, and at the same time symbolized by a new Beast, in Rev. xvii) rose from the bottomless pit. This is expressly said to be the agent, that slays the witnesses. Twice in the description of this Beast, in Rev. xvii, he is said to ascend out of the bottomless pit. And it is said of the witnesses, And when they shall have finished their testimony, (or when their 1260 years shall
* Rev. xiii, 1.
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be closing,) the Beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. The rise of this Beast is by far too recent, to have slain the witnesses in Germany in 1547. There can be no plausible pretence, that Charles V. was this Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit. And it appears most evident, that this last head of the Roman Beast did not rise in Charlemagne, as has been ascertained.
Finally. The Papal Beast had been making war upon the witnesses from the beginning of the 1260 years. No new attacks then, instituted in his dying struggles, could amount to a new war against them. But the text, "And when they shall have finished their testimony, the Beast that ascended out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them," seems clearly to indicate, that a new war, by a new Power, shall then commence against the witnesses; -- a war subsequent to that, which was prosecuted against them by any Papal power.
For these reasons I am constrained to dissent from the aforementioned scheme, relative to the slaying of the witnesses; and to admit the sentiment, that the event is still future. The remarks above stated go equally to refute all the schemes of authors, who have placed the slaying of the witnesses in past centuries. *
The dead bodies of the. witnesses are to lie three days and an half in the street (according to Mede and Pool,
* Since the publishing of the first edition of this dissertation, I have for the first time learned the sentiment of the celebrated Mr. Scott, upon the above point.
lam strengthened in my opinion, in finding that his fully accords with it. lie says, "Many private interpretations (for so they appear to me) have been given of this passage, (Rev. xi, 7-12) as if it related to the martyrdom of individuals, or partial persecutions, in past times: And some imagine, that it denotes only the constant persecutions of true Christians through the whole period of 1260 years. I cannot, however, but think. that it relates to events yet future; and that it will be fulfilled about the time of the sounding of the seventh trumpet!
In the following page he further informs, that, though the above was written some time since; and he has, before the publication
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in "the territories, and jurisdiction") of the great city? which spiritually, or mystically, is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Our Lord was crucified under the sixth head of the Roman Beast. A governor of Imperial Rome, at the instigation of the Jews, condemned and crucified him. And under the same head our Lord was crucified, in his members, in ten bloody persecutions, before that head received its deadly wound in the year 320. Must it not then be in the city, or under the dominion, of this same head, healed of its deadly wound, in order to be in the city where our Lord was crucified, that the witnesses are to lie slain and unburied? It is to be in a city mystically called Sodom and Egypt. Sodom and Egypt were Pagan. How much better the Atheism of Antichrist accords with their character, than did the sanctimonious professions of Papal Rome? Our Lord was not literally crucified under Rome Papal; but he was under Rome Pagan. And under the latter, revived in the last days, it is natural to look for the slaying of his witnesses.
What is to be particularly understood by the witnesses being slain, and lying unburied, the event will determine. The predictions of the event may lead us to expect, that the rights of the Church, and of conscience,
of his last edition, had time to re-consider the subject, and to compare it with the writings of others, and with the events of Providence; "he still avows his full conviction, that the transactions (the slaughter and resurrection of the witnesses) have not hitherto taken place." He gives his belief, that till the testimony against idolatry and Popery, in the ten kingdoms, is generally suppressed, the witnesses are not slain. That "the triumphs of the persecutors, in Germany, Bohemia, Spain, or Italy, do not amount to any thing, which can be called the slaying of the witnesses; so long as a public testimony -- for the true Gospel, is born in any other parts of the western empire." Again. "Nor is the term (the 1260 years) yet expired. The witnesses are not indeed, at present, exposed to such terrible sufferings, as in former times But these scenes will probably be re-acted, before long. And they have abundant cause to prophecy in sackcloth, on account of the state of religion, even in the Protestant churches." These remarks of Mr. Scott are indeed of weight.
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will under some pretence be invaded. And the pretence probably will be, as it was in ancient times, against Christ, and against his persecuted followers; a pretence of their being bad and dangerous members of civil society, detrimental to national interests; speaking against Cesar; moving seditions; weakening the hands of the men of war; and, We have a law; and by our law he ought to die. *
Perhaps the process of the events of that period is hinted in Rev. xiv. Christ there appears on mount Zion; or comes powerfully into his Church, in the reformation under Luther. The Church enjoys a sealing time, as she did after the revolution under Constantine, Rev. vii, 1-8. Vast numbers, as at that period, are sealed to the day of redemption. A description of the enlargement of the Protestant churches, and of their purity from the defilements of the Papal harlot, follows. In process of time a missionary spirit is excited, and pervades the Church; the Angel, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to heathen lands, begins his flight. This, he gives us to understand, is in the same hour with the judgment of God on the Papal see. A second
* That great man, the late President Witherspoon, published a very able sermon entitled, "The Charge of Sedition a nd Faction against good Men, especially faithful Ministers, considered and accounted for." The preacher concludes one part of his subject by saying, "That worldly men have been always disposed first to oppress the children of God, and then to complain of injury from them; that by slander they might vindicate their oppression. Their slander too hath still run in the same strain; troublers of Israel, deceivers of the people, enemies to Cesar, and turners of the world upside down, have been the opprobrious titles generally give to the most upright and most faithful men, in every age and country."
In accounting for this fact, he says, "True religion docs indeed, give trouble and uneasiness to wicked men, while they continue such; and it cannot be supposed, but they will deeply resent it."
See Witherspoon's Works, vol. ii, p. 415, Woodward's edition.
As this flight of the missionary Angel, is a very interesting event; I shall here adduce some of the other prophecies, which foretell the same thing. So signal an event we might expect to find in other prophecies. And it is there found.
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Angel announces, Babylon is fallen, is fallen. The signs of the times become notorious. The fall of Papal Babylon, by the rise of Antichrist, is ascertained.
Christ, when predicting to his disciples his coming, Matt. xxiv, Mark xiii, Luke xxi, informs, that "this Gospel of the kingdom must first he preached to all nations, for a witness unto them; and then shall the end come." It is, by and by in this section, shown, that while this coming of Christ, with which this passage stands connected, had a primary reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, it had a more signal reference to the battle of that great day, immediately preceding the Millennium. Though the above prediction had a primary fulfilment in the propagation of the Gospel by the apostles through the Roman world, before the destruction of the Jews; yet it is to have a more extensive fulfilment just before the ruins of Antichrist; or in the flight of the missionary Angel, above noted.
We might expect that the prophet Isaiah would give some intimation of this great event. And repeatedly does he give sublime hints of it.
In Isa. xl, the chapter begins with a prediction of the final restoration of the Jews; that their long dispersion is accomplished; and they have received of the Lord's hand double for all their sins. An account then follows of the same event with that of the missionary Angel, Verse 3. "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness; Prepare ye the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a high way for our God. Every valley shall be exulted; and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough places plain; and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed; and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."
This passage had a primary and typical fulfilment in the preaching of John the Baptist, in the wilderness of Judea, to introduce the advent of the Messiah. He accordingly says, John i, 23, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord; as said the prophet Isaias." But we are no more taught in this, that the passage had then its ultimate fulfilment, than we are taught, that the predictions concerning the kingdoms of Christ on earth had their final accomplishment in the primitive Christian Church; or the introduction of the Gospel dispensation. They had only a primary, negative fulfilment in those days.
The above prediction in Isaiah is one of those, which are to receive a primary, and an ultimate fulfilment. Mr. Faber informs of such; which, "instead of being incapable of a double fulfilment, we perpetually find such evidently constructed with the express design of receiving a double accomplishment. They are first fulfilled in an inchoate manner; and afterward
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The warning flies through the Church. Upon this, a third Angel follows; warning of the sins of God's enemies; and of the judgments of Heaven now just ready
will be fulfilled more amply at a period, to which they ultimately and principally refer." Many great authorities he quotes to support this opinion.
At the time of the ministry of John in the wilderness of Judea, the "warfare," or dispersion, of the Jews was so far from being accomplished, that the introduction of their long dispersion of at least 18 centuries, was then at some distance future. Certainly then, the ultimate and most important fulfilment of that voice in the wilderness, just at the period of their final restitution, must have been far future, in the days of John. And his ministry in the wilderness of Judea was but a type of it; and, as to a type of it, he was led to apply the prophecy to himself.
It is to prepare the way for the millennial glory of the Lord to be revealed, when all flesh shall see it together, that the voice of missionaries is to be heard in the wilderness of the Pagan world; saying, "Prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the desert a highway for our God." It is then, that God's "highway" is to be exalted; where the unclean shall not pass; in which the way-faring man, though a fool, shall not err; and where the redeemed of the Lord shall walk, and shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joys.
After the voice in the wilderness adds, that all the nations then are like a field of grass just about to be cut off, (as the missionary Angel announces, that "the hour of his judgment is come") this most animating direction follows; "O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain. O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up; be not afraid: Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold the Lord God will come with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: Behold his reward is with him, and his work before him." This and what follows indicate the introduction of the Millennium. Hence the final fulfilment of the voice in the wilderness is at that period.
In Isa. xxvii, 1-7, is a prophecy of the destruction of Antichrist; and of the dawn of the Millennium. The prophet informs, that God will, "in that day" (viz. when he shall have come out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, as in the preceding verse,) punish, with his great and strong sword, leviathan, the piercing and crooked serpent; or the Antichristian dynasty; and will be about to water his vineyard of red wine, and to keep it, night and day. He now, (us is usual,) notes the event of its dawn. Verse 13. "And it shall come to pass, in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown: and they shall come, who are ready to perish, in the
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to fall upon all, who have the mark of the Beast, and plunge them into endless burnings. The trumpet is now blown in Zion; the alarm is sounded in God's
land of Assyria, and the outcasts of the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem." The great trumpet of Gospel grace is then to sound through Pagan lands: And many of the miserable outcasts of the heathen are to be brought to the worship of God, in the order of his kingdom.
In Daniel xii, 4. (found in close connexion with the battle of the great day, as you may see, by turning to the passage) it is predicted, as one token of the time of the end. that "many shall run to and fro; and knowledge shall be increased." This is the same event, at the same period, with that of the missionary Angel, Rev xlv; and with that of the voice in the wilderness, Isa. xl.
The prophet Joel predicts this event. Chap. ii, 1, "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in my holy mountain, let all the inhabitants of the land (earth) tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand." Here, when the great day of the Lord is nigh at hand, the trumpet is to be blown from Zion, or the church, that all the inhabitants of the earth may hear and tremble. That day of the Lord is described; and then it follows chap, iii, 1, "For behold in those days and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat." This decides, that the time, when the trumpet is to be blown, that ail the inhabitants of the earth my tremble, is about the period of the return of Judah and Jerusalem from their long dispersion. The Gospel must then first be preached to all nations.
I shall note one passage more upon this point; which is in the last chapter of the Old Testament. With a primary reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, but with much more important reference to the great battle, at the fall of Antichrist, the prophet introduces the chapter: "Behold the day cometh, that shall bum as an oven; and all the proud, yea all that do wickedly shall be as stubble; and that day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, and it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you, who fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; and they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. "It is certain that this passage is not yet, more than in atypical tense, fulfilled. Doctor Hopkins refers it to the battle of that great day of God. And the great and dreadful day of the Lord, in the next verse but one, and in the last but one in the chapter, mutt relate to the" same event. The prophet now, as
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holy mountain. * Warning is given concerning all, who worship the Beast, or receive his mark. This bold warning through the Church must be very offensive to
is usual In such cases, proceeds to note an important event, which introduces the scene. "Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." As the prediction of judgment in this chapter had a primary fulfilment in the destruction of Jerusalem, but is to have an ultimate one still future; so this prediction of the coming of Elijah had a primary fulfilment in John the Baptist; but is to have an ultimate fulfilment in the flight of the missionary Angel, just before the battle of the great day. In relation to that primary fulfilment, our Lord applied the passage to John. Matt, xi, 14, "This is Elias, who was for to come." But Christ no more teaches, that the passage received its highest and final accomplishment in John, than he taught, when, he predicted his coming, in Matt xxiv, Mark xiii, and Luke xvi, and said it should take place upon that generation, that his coming, in the ruin of the Jews finally accomplished that awful coming in those chapters predicted. Those terrible predictions received only a typical fulfilment in the subversion of the Jews, (as is shown in this section) In like manner the passage in Malachi, concerning the coining of Elijah, received only a typical fulfilment in the ministry of John. His preaching in the wilderness of Judea, just before the coming of Christ in his public ministry, was a beautiful emblem of the ministry of the missionary Angel, just before the battle of that great day.
Bp. Hurd remarks, More than one sense was purposely inclosed in some of the prophecies. We find in fact that the writings of the New Testament give to many of the old prophecies an interpretation very different and remote from that, which may be reasonably thought the primary and immediate view of the prophets themselves. This (he says) is what divines call, the double sense of prophecy; by which they mean an accomplishment of it in more events than one, -- at distant intervals." (Introduction to the study of prophecy, p. 55) This remark is exactly fulfilled in the application, which Christ makes, of that prediction of the coming of Elias before the great and notable day of the Lord, to John the Baptist. This may account for the apparent contradiction between Christ and John, upon this point. When the priests and Levites interrogated John who he was? and whether he was Elias? or that prophet predicted? John i, 21, "He saith, I am not." Yet our Lord, in the afore-noted passage, said, he was Elias. The sense appears to be. this. John was instructed to say, he was not Elias: i. e. in the final and most important sense of the prediction. But Christ said he was that Elias: i. e. in a primary and typical sense.
* Joel, ii, 1.
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those who are implicated. Infidel powers, or Anti-Christian Babylon, and those, who partake of her sins, and are now notified of it, and that they are about to receive of her plagues, will be far from taking this in good part from the witnesses of Christ. And God only knows what the former will now be enraged to attempt against the latter! The texts, which follow, are indicative of evil to the Church. Verses 12 and 13; Here is the patience of the saints: here are they, that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead, who die in the Lord from henceforth; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them. Here the patience of the saints is to be tried. Now it is to be known, who keep the commands of God, and have the faith of Christ. Now the voice from
Viewing the two passages in this light there is no contradiction.
This then, is the sense of that passage in Malachi. Behold I will send you one in the spirit of Elijah, about half a century before the great and dreadful day of the Lord upon the Jewish nation. And this shall be a type of a similar event, upon a far greater scale, in the last days. For the spirit of Elijah shall diffuse itself among the sons of the churches, not long before the battle of that great and notable day of the Lord, which shall burn as an oven, and consume all who shall be found in array against the Church. A wonderful missionary spirit, a spirit of zeal and of power from God, (such as Elijah possessed, in the days of the wicked, idolatrous, and persecuting Ahab,) shall be excited among the ministers and people of God. Though Elijah had to flee into the wilderness, under that persecution; yet thence he returned, confounded the persecuting idolaters, and vindicated the cause of the God of Israel. Then, after a distressing drought of three years and six months, the cloud like a man's hand soon overspread the heavens, and a plentiful rain ensued.
Various events in this history of Elijah may prove to have been emblematical of things still future, relative to the Church. "Elijah must first come." This coming of his had a primary fulfilment in John the Baptist. John for his faithfulness was imprisoned and beheaded. But the most important sense of the coming of Elijah, before the great and notable day of the Lord is still to be fulfilled, or is fulfilling.
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heaven announces, that from henceforth, and while the troubles then overwhelming the Church shall continue, peculiarly blessed are the pious, who find rest ui their graves. The cruelties of the enemies of the Church, here indicated, soon demand the presence of the Captain of her salvation. The next verse, accordingly, presents him upon the white cloud, with his sharp sickle. The harvest of the earth is reaped; the vine of the earth, with her grapes now fully ripe, is gathered; and the wine-press trodden: striking emblems of the judgments of the last vial; or the destruction of Antichrist, and of all the contending enemies of the Church. In this striking portrait of the affairs of the Church, from the days of Luther, till the close of the battle of the great day, reference appears to be had to that depression of the Church, under consideration; and perhaps we find also, a hint of the immediate occasion of it; the faithfulness of God's witnesses, in ascertaining the signs of the times; warning the wicked of that day; and announcing the impending judgments of Heaven. But the particulars of the event, the day will unfold.
Our blessed Lord gave to his disciples a description of an awful coming of his in judgment against his enemies; and of scenes, which should both indicate its approach, and prepare the way for it: See Matt. xxiv, Mark xiii, and Luke xxi. These are parallel accounts of the same predictions. We are here presented with several instances of the coming of Christ. Chronological predictions, Mr. Faber informs us, can receive but one accomplishment. But this prediction of Christ is not of that description; but is to be ranked among those prophecies, which are constructed to receive a twofold accomplishment; and involve both type and antitype. There are many predictions of this tenor, as Dr. Hopkins, and other judicious writers on the prophecies, inform us. Mr. Faber upon this point observes, "But an unchronological prophecy, -- instead of being incapable of a double fulfilment, we perpetually find such evidently constructed with the express design of receiving a double accomplishment. They are at first fulfilled in an inchoate manner;
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and afterward will be fulfilled more amply at a period, to which they ultimately and principally refer." * Many of the predictions of the battle of the great day, in the Old Testament, are of this description. They had a primary and literal fulfilment in ancient events; but are to receive their ultimate fulfilment in events still future. This is the case with the above noted prediction of our Lord. It had a primary and typical fulfilment in the destruction of Jerusalem. But it will receive a much more interesting fulfilment in the battle of the great day: And a still more important fulfilment at the great judgment day. In relation to the former, Christ gave assurance, that it should take place upon that generation. But in relation to the latter, he informed his disciples, that as a snare shall it come on all them, that dwell on the face of the whole earth. This could not be said of the destruction of Jerusalem. For that event came as a snare on but a very small part of the earth. It was predicted of our Savior, that he should proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God. But surely if the copious and affecting predictions of Christ, recorded in Mat. xxiv, Mark xiii, and Luke xxi, related only to the destruction of Jerusalem, he did but in a very partial sense indeed proclaim the day of vengeance of our God. But Christ decides this point. Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
* Faber on the Jews, p. 46.
Mr. Faber quotes, in favor of this opinion, Archdeacon Woodhouse, Bp. Lowth, Jortin, Sir I. Newton, Bp. Hurd, Bp. Sherlock, Bp. Warburton, Bp. Home, Jones, and Nares.
Bp. Hurd informs us, (Introduction to the Study of the Prophecies, p. 55,) "There is reason to believe that more than one sense was purposely inclosed in some of the prophecies. And we find in fact that the writers of the New Testament give to many of the old prophecies an interpretation very different and remote from that, which may be reasonably thought the primary and immediate view of the prophets themselves. This is what divines call the double sense of prophecy; by which they mean an accomplishment of it in more events than one; in the same system indeed; but at distant intervals, and under different parts of that system."
Isa. lxi, 2.
Mat. xxiv, 22, and Mark xiii, 10.
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Compare this with Dan. xii, 1, which relates to the war between Antichrist, and the great head of the Church, just before the Millennium. After having described the terrible infidel Power of the last days, and brought him into Palestine against the Church there, the Angel says; And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince, who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was, since there was a nation, even to that same time. Now if the words of Christ, in the former of these passages, had exclusive reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, then the above passage in Daniel is untrue. For our Lord declares there never shall be such trouble on earth again, as that, which he then predicts. Certainly both the passages are not true, if they relate to different events. For each of two different scenes of distress cannot be the greatest, that ever was, or ever shall be. This argument evinces, that the event predicted by Christ, is the same with that in Dan. xii, 1. And the words of Christ it is thought evidently allude to that very passage. But the latter is the battle of that great day of God. Consequently these predictions of Christ must relate to the same. Although they received a primary fulfilment in the days of the Apostles; yet they also related to events then far future. This point is still more clearly decided, in 1 Thes. ii, 1-9. Paul there exhorts the Church to which he wrote, not to be shaken in mind, nor troubled, from an opinion, that the day of the Lord was at hand. For that day, he assured them, should not come, till after the great Papal apostacy, and the rise of the man of sin; "whom the Lord will consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and destroy with the brightness of his coming." The Thessalonians, reading those predictions of Christ relative to his coming; and finding it stated, that it should take place upon that generation, were trembling in immediate expectation of the event. Paul instructs them on the subject, q. d. It was only as the prediction of Christ's coming related to a primary, typical fulfilment on the Jews, that it was to take place on that generation. As it relates to the Antichristian
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world, it is not to be accomplished, till after the 1260 years of the Papal delusion. It is then to have a dreadful accomplishment in the overthrow of that Power. Here it is decided by divine authority, that a more important instance of that predicted coming of Christ was to be fulfilled in the destruction of Antichrist in the last days. The same thing is again decided, in Rev. xvi, 15. Between the sixth and seventh vials, Christ gives the warning; "Behold I come as a thief--" q. d. The time is now just at hand, (the effusion of the seventh vial,) when my coming as a thief, of which I gave notice, in the days of my humiliation, shall be accomplished. It is no longer then, a matter of doubt, whether those solemn prophecies uttered by Christ, in Matt, xxiv, Mark xiii, and Luke xxi, have a special reference to his coming in the battle of that great day of God Almighty; or the seventh vial. The above two passages decide in the affirmative.
Our Lord says; * And when ye shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars, see that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass; but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Here I apprehend we have predicted the wars and commotions, which were to attend the rise of the Antichristian Beast, and the formation of his horns. The latter events must of course occasion as great wars and commotions, as are here predicted; as great as are indicated of the same period, in Rev. x, 3, by the seven thunders uttering their voices. But as the Angel there affirms, that the time shall not be yet, as in the original, verse 6; or the time shall not be prolonged; so our Lord informs, with respect to the wars and rumors of wars; But the end is not yet. A season is to intervene, though not long, between the rise of Antichrist, and his overthrow. And Christ proceeds to foretell some of the events of this intermediate space. Some of these predictions I will now adduce, as they are collected in harmony from the evangelists, by Dr. Doddridge.
* Matt. xxiv, 6--.
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"And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven. All these are the beginning of sorrows. But take heed to yourselves. For they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, and shall deliver you up to councils, and into prisons, to be beaten and afflicted, and shall kill you; and ye shall be hated of all nations; and shall be brought before rulers and kings for my name's sake, for a testimony against them. And it shall turn to you for a testimony. And the Gospel must be first published among all nations. But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, settle it in your hearts not to meditate before what ye shall answer; and take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak; but whatsoever shall be given yon in that hour, that speak ye. For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay, nor resist. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. Now the brother shall betray the brother to death; and the father the son; the children shall rise up against the parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved -- In those days there shall be great tribulation, and distress in the land, such as was not from the beginning of the creation unto this time; no, nor ever shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved; but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, those days shall be shortened. -- And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun
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"be darkened; and the moon shall not give her light; and the stars shall fall from heaven; and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
No events of the Apostle's days are to be viewed as more than a primary and typical fulfilment of these sublime and interesting predictions. The last clause, which seems to relate to much that precedes, Then look up. and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh, had no relation to the days of the Apostles. It can relate to no period short of that which is connected with the dawn of the Millennium. Does not this clause then decide, that these predictions relate to scenes, which shall just precede the Millennium? And do they not indicate most solemn things to the Church, at this period?
The battle array of the last head of the Roman Beast, and his false prophet, and the kings of the earth, against Jesus Christ and his armies. Rev. xix, 19, confirms the sentiment, that the Church is to be sorely tried under the reign of Antichrist. For although this passage relates to the last attack, the expedition in Palestine against the church of Judah and Israel, yet it shews, that war with Christ is the object of Antichrist. And such a Power will be able greatly to afflict the people of God.
Our Lord gave his disciples a signal, when they should flee out of Jerusalem. * When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him understand) then let them who be in Judea flee into the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes.
* Matt. xxiv. 15.
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Daniel had spoken of the abomination of desolation in three passages, and in relation to three different events. The first is Dan. ix, 27; And in the midst of the week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. This related to the arm its of the Romans in array against Jerusalem, with their eagles and other images, which they worshipped; which were an abomination to the Jews; and which (when seen around the walls) indicated the speedy destruction of Jerusalem. The second is Dan. xi, 31; And arms shall stand on his part, and they sail pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination, that maketh desolate. This relates to the invasions and garrisons of Antiochus, the noted type of Antichrist, in order to compel the Jews to renounce their religion; to eat swine's flesh, and to violate their consciences. Upon this occasion many of the Jews suffered martyrdom, and underwent the most cruel torments. *
This conduct is here predicted by the Angel, when he was preparing the way to give a prophetic description of Antichrist, and was first presenting him by his type, Antiochus. The third passage, in which Daniel speaks of the abomination of desolation, is in chap, xii, 11; And from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate, set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. This relates to the impious establishment of Popery, or Mohammedism, or both, in the year 606, or whenever Popery was established.
The question then occurs; To which of these three passages in Daniel did our Lord refer, when he spoke of the abomination of desolation, as the token to his
* The particulars of this persecution are given in the 5th» 6th, and 7th chapters of the second book of the Maccabees. The material parts of the account are copied by Polybius and Josephus; and are found in Rollin's Ancient History. Book xviii, Art. 2.
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people to flee into the mountains? Answer. As the direction applied to the Apostles and Church at Jerusalem, we must conclude he referred to that which relates to the Roman eagles and idolatry, when the Romans were besieging Jerusalem; Dan. ix, 27. As the direction applied to the Christian Church at the commencement of Popery, or Mohammedism, the direction must be viewed as referring to the passage, which relates to that period; Dan. xii, 11. And as the direction respects the Church in the days of Antichrist, we must view our Lord as referring to that passage, Dan. xi, 31, which relates to the type of Antichrist, or to Antiochus; and was given, when the Angel was undertaking to give a description of the infidel Power of the last days. When that shall take place under Antichrist, which was prefigured when his type Antiochus set up the abomination, that made desolate, in the holy place, then this token to the Church at that period will be fulfilled. Violating the rights of the Church, making a direct attack upon them, may prove to be this abomination, that maketh desolate. Setting up a desolating abomination, seems to be a prophetic figure to express a violent attack upon the people of God. As the persecutions of Antiochus are noted by the Angel, when his object was to predict the rise, character, and overthrow of Antichrist, this seems to indicate, that events may be expected under the reign of Antichrist, corresponding with those cruel deeds of Antiochus. It becomes interesting then, to examine those predictions concerning the cruelties of Antiochus, and their fulfilment. The Angel says; * And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination, that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries; i. e. hypocrites and apostates will be found to be fit tools of his intrigue and malice against the Church; but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And
* Dan. xi, 31.
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they that understand among the people, shall instruct many, yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, days. This was a sore persecution under Antiochus. Now it was, that the events took place, narrated in Heb. xi, 35-38: And others were tortured not accepting deliverance, (i. e. on wicked terms) that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings; yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonments. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheep-skins, and goat-skins, being destitute, abided, tormented; of whom the world was not worthy I they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens, and caves of the earth. Antiochus at this time plundered and defiled the temple at Jerusalem; calling it, The temple of Jupiter Olympus; and erecting there, upon the sacred altar, the image of this heathen God. This, with the attendant evils, of defiling the Jewish altars, forbidding their sacrifices, and compelling the Jews to conform to the rites and manners of the heathen, was the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place. Upon this, multitudes of the pious Jews fled to the mountains, as is noted in the above passage in Heb. xi, 35--; an event, to which probably our Lord alludes, when he gave the direction to his disciples, to flee to the mountains, at the destruction of Jerusalem. A powerful army was sent by Antiochus, with a command to destroy Jerusalem; to put to death all the men, and to sell for slaves the women and children. The commander, after arriving at Jerusalem, concealed his object; till on the sabbath, when the Jews were assembled for Divine worship, he undertook to execute his orders. The massacres and horrible scenes, which followed, were dismal. The city was plundered, set on fire, and some of the walls demolished. The temple was spared. But a fortress was built, to prevent any worshipper approaching it. The impious monarch resolved utterly to extirpate the Jewish religion. He issued a decree, enforced with the severest penalties, that no God should be worshipped,
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within his dominions, but his own gods. And he adopted the most rigorous measures to carry the edict into full execution Athenias, an old and ferocious minister, skilled in the Grecian idolatry, was sent to enforce the edict among the Jews: For the suppression of their religion was the great object of the decree. He dedicated the temple to Jupiter Olympus; and erected on the altar the image of this god. All, who refused to worship this idol; he either put to death, or put them to dismal tortures. Altars, groves and statues were established throughout Syria. And all the Jews were commanded to worship them, under the severest penalties. Another edict was issued by Antiochus, making it instant depth to sacrifice to the God of the Jews, to observe the sabbath, or any Mosaic rite. Strenuous attempts were made to destroy every copy of the law; which the king commanded to be given up, under pain of death. After great numbers had fled to the wilderness, some had apostatized, and many had most firmly sealed their testimony with their blood; Antiochus, in person, came to Jerusalem, to see his edicts enforced with greater violence. He had recourse to the stake, the rack, and to various modes of execution the most horrid. The constancy of the sufferers filled him with surprise and madness.
After a season of such cruel sufferings, the Jews armed in defence of their religion, and their rights. And God enabled them to do wonders, in the time of the Maccabees, in destroying their idolatrous enemies, and freeing themselves from their horrid oppressions. "This desolation of the temple, and the taking away of the daily sacrifice under Antiochus, continued three years and a half;" * the very term given for the slaughtered state of the witnesses!
It is striking to observe the coincidence of the following events. When the tribes of Israel, just redeemed from Egypt, fell under the Divine displeasure, they were doomed to wander forty years in the wilderness.
* Newton on the Prophecies, vol. i, p. 310.
Rev. xi, 9.
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When Jezebel persecuted the prophets of the Lord, Elijah fled into the wilderness. When Antiochus was suffered to invade the rights of the Jewish Church, and set up his abomination in the temple of Jerusalem; some of the pious Jews fled into the wilderness, and wandered about in sheep-skins And goat-skins, -- in deserts, mountains, dens and caves of the earth. When the Roman abomination of desolation was found in array against Jerusalem, the disciples were directed to flee, in the utmost haste, over the tops of their flat-roofed houses, and from their fields, out of Jerusalem, into the mountains. When Popery and Mohammedism were suffered to invade the rights of conscience, and thus set up their abomination of desolation in the holy place, the true Church fled into the wilderness, (or into a situation mystically so represented) for 1260 years. And when Antichrist appears, and the dragon commences his last furious attack upon the woman, previous to her millennial glory, she is represented as again flying into the wilderness, the residue of her 1200 years; * indicating, that she had previously in a measure come forth from her wilderness state; but is again driven back to it. What particular kind of fulfilment this prediction of the woman's second flight into the wilderness, will receive, time will disclose. But the predictions which relate to that event, give it a very interesting complexion.
In Isa. xxvi, the introduction of the Millennium, and the tremendous events preceding it, are prophetically described. And the chapter closes with the following address to the saints; Come my people, enter info thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee; hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her mood, and shall no longer cover her slain. The former of these texts has been supposed to import only the flying of God's people to Him, in that day of
* Rev. xii, 14.
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distress. And this, no doubt, is a blessed idea involved in the words. The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. But in the light of the predictions already noted, relative to that period, it appears natural to view this text as a brief description of the state of the Church, during the little moment, or the three prophetic days and a half, of the severest trials of the witnesses; that for this short term, they will, through the violence of the tempest, in some way resemble persons, who are driven from their business, and hid in their inner chambers. This idea has countenance as has been noted, in Ezra iv. The return of the Jews from Babylon, and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, were a type of the introduction of the Millennium. But the walls of that new Jerusalem were built in troublous times. And the builders, through the falsehood and violence of their enemies, were forced to discontinue the work, for a time. The antitype of this event may be experienced in a time still future, through the instigation of vile Samaritans, and by persecuting authorities.
Is it not analogous with God's usual dispensations toward his people, that the Church should endure her most severe conflict with her enemies, just before the dawn of her millennial glory? What has given rise to the well-known maxim, The darkest time is just before day? No doubt this has abundantly been found to be true, in its figurative import. The Church and individuals have often found it true in their trials. The severest struggle is often just before relief comes. Recollect the oppressed state of the Church in Egypt; and in the subsequent captivities of Israel. The truth of the above remark was there very manifest. The events, which have been supposed to be emblematical of the relief of the Church, at the dawn of the Millennium, favor this idea; for instance, the scene at the Red Sea; and the passing of Israel over Jordan, into the promised land, when that river was overflowing all its banks, in the time of wheat harvest. Relative to the former, the Egyptians seemed to have been vanquished; and Israel, saved from their power, had commenced
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their march. But the most frightful scene of all was still before the Church of God; -- the scene at the Red Sea, which was but a type of that which will occasion the song of Moses and of the Lamb. Gideon with his three hundred men wrought a great deliverance in Israel from the vast combined hosts of the Midianites, Amalekites, and children of the east, whose camels and numbers were as the sand of the sea. (Judges vii, 12,--) This deliverance was preceded by the breaking of the pitchers, which contained the lights, in the little army of Gideon. How fit an emblem were those pitchers of the followers, particularly of the ministers of Christ! Paul said to the Corinthians, But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us; alluding probably to that very passage in the history of Gideon. How far Christ's earthen vessels are to be broken, before the armies of Antichrist shall be vanquished, God only knows. But the severest trials often just precede the greatest deliverances. This idea has been found true in the greatest and in smaller events. When the devil found he was about to be cast out of the youth brought to Christ, (Matt, ix, 20,) he exerted all his violence upon the unhappy subject. He threw him down, cried out, tore him, yea rent him sore, and left him as dead. The reason is evident; it was his last opportunity. And how natural is the import of the solemn notice from Heaven, Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea; for the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, because he knoweth he hath but a short time. Here Satan's rage increases, as his time to persecute diminishes. Docs not the above text decide, what analogy forcibly suggests, that the Church will see most trying scenes, just before her millennial salvation? Or will the analogy of God's usual dealings with his people fail on that occasion? *
* Possibly all the predictions, which indicate the fiery trials of Christ's witnesses, may relate only to his witnesses on the old Roman earth, or within the present compass of the Empire of the last head of the Beast. For that seems to be the theatre of the events of many of the predictions of the Apocalypse. And
254 Trials of the Church under Antichrist.
Scripture and analogy seem unitedly to teach, that it may be said of the Church general, at the opening of the Millennium, These are they who came out of great tribulation. And the same thing is indicated in their song of Moses and of the Lamb. The Church will just have been delivered, under the Captain of her salvation, from the most violent assaults of the enemy; as were Israel on the eastern bank of the Red Sea, under the direction of Moses, when they uttered their song of praise.
It is not to be expected, that the Church will again see such depression, as she saw in the worst times in the dark ages; such smallness of numbers; and involved in such clouds of ignorance! It does not seem probable that she will be forced to return to this state. The present numbers of the Church, and the light which has dawned upon her, seem to forbid it. Perhaps the numbers of true Christians, and the light enjoyed in the Church, will never be less than at present; nay, will increase. But can we hope a majority of the people of the Christian world will become gracious, before the battle of that great day? No doubt a very great majority of them will continue to reject Christ. This is gathered from the predictions, which relate to that period. What then may we expect this very great majority of people, rejectors of Christ, will be found to be doing, under all the artful and powerful attacks of Infidelity and licentiousness? and under the attack of that three-fold agency, of the dragon, of Antichrist,
no doubt some of Christ's true witnesses are there, notwithstanding that those regions are so enveloped in Atheism. Whether the predictions of the depressions of the people of God in the last days, under the reign of Antichrist, will principally be fulfilled upon the few followers of Christ who may be found in the old Popish countries, the event will decide. God in mercy grant, that the calamities may be no more extensive! But I do not feel satisfied, that the prophecies do not give them a far wider extent. The Church of the restored Jews in Palestine is surely included in the last struggle. And we have much reason to apprehend that the great body of the Christian Church will be involved in trials under the reign of Antichrist.
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and of false religion; * which if it were possible, would deceive even the very elect? They will be gathered to the battle of that great day of God Almighty! They will be found rapidly filling up the measure of their sins. Usual restraints will be taken off. Let us break their bands asunder; and cast away their cords from us. The abounding of iniquity will cause the love of many to wax cold, and to indulge violent hatred. Their opposition will rise in proportion to the evangelical light, which they reject; as did that of the crucifiers of Christ. This principle of human depravity, of hating the more, the more clearly the light shines, will then be found operating to an unprecedented degree; as restraints will be taken off, and things will be found ripening to an unprecedented crisis. This may cause the Jordan of Antichristian violence to overflow all its banks; and to roll its turbid billows, even in the time of wheat harvest, between the tribes of the Lord, and their millennial Canaan then in view! In this way the impenitent under the Gospel will be prepared for the awful scenes of judgment, which will burst forth upon them, and accomplish the designs of the battle of the great day. The slain of the Lord, at that period, are to be many, from one end of the earth, even to the other end of the earth. And they will prove to be the slain of the Lord, in consequence of being found in battle array against the Lord. And this their battle array will be threatening, as the subsequent judgments will be decisive and awful.
Ye friends of the kingdom of Christ; how interesting are the times, into which it has been our lot to fall? We behold the last head of the Pagan Roman Beast; the deadly wounded head healed; and the Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, presented before our eyes! This is mystically the head, that crucified our Lord; and in ten bloody persecutions, endeavored to banish primitive Christianity from the world! And his eventual object now will be, war with the Lamb;
* Rev. xvi, 13, 14.
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(Rev. xvii, 14;) war with the saints; (Rev. xiii, 7;) persecution of the woman; (Rev. xii, 13;) to make war against him who sitteth on the horse; (Rev. xix, 19;) to fulfil the deeds of the antitype of Antiochus; (Dan. xi, 31-35;) to make war against the witnesses; (Rev. xi, 7;) and to fulfil the distressing things against the Church, predicted by Christ in Matt, xxiv, Mark xiii, and Luke xxi, as noted in this section. This may not be the present motive of Antichrist. While forming his vassal kingdoms, his object will appear to be more political. But the above are objects predicted to be eventually accomplished by him, and by men of his spirit. These things are interesting to us. We may have peace in our day; and we may see the reverse. Let us not be greatly disappointed, if we are called to meet sore trials!
When these days are found opening upon us, are not the following sacred injunctions emphatically applicable?
"Watch ye; stand fast in the faith; quit you like men; be strong. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put en the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. -- Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day; and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth; and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit; and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and supplication for all saints. Seek the Lord all ye meek of the earth, -- seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye may be hid in the day of the Lord's anger, for as a snare shall it come on all who dwell on the face of the earth. Ye are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you unawares. Exhort one another,
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"and so much the more as ye see the day approaching. Take heed that no man deceive you. Watch ye therefore, and pray always; that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things, that shall come to pass; and to stand before the Son of man."
What matter of gratitude and joy, that we are not left in darkness relative to the termination of the trials of the Church under the tyranny of Antichrist! Though she may for a season be depressed; yet God will be near, and will regard her as the apple of his eye. And she will eventually rise; and the enemy will sink. The first reign of the Imperial head of the Roman Beast closed in his being wounded to death. And the second, his present reign, will close in his going into perdition. This will be inconceivably more terrible and decisive, than the first catastrophe. Concerning the first, in the revolution under Constantine, we read, (Rev. vi, 12, to the end,) And I beheld, when he. had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the gun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; and the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heavens departed as a scroll, when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens, and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand? This exhibition of divine wrath, at the wounding to death of the Imperial head of the Roman Beast, was terrible. How much more terrible will be the exhibition, when Antichrist, who is represented as this same head revived, and renewing his war with Christ, shall be utterly destroyed under the most signal judgments of heaven? This latter event will answer
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to that description, in a far more extensive and terrible sense, than did the revolution in Rome, in the year 320, to which the passage, in its chronological order relates.
Ye learn then, O Christians, who may live in the days of Antichristian violence, the happy termination of your struggles with Antichrist. Your afflictions will for a time abound; and your consolations may also abound. Hear the animating words of your Almighty Captain, when the terrors of the battle shall be perceived.
"Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. When thou walkest through the waters, they shall not overflow thee; and through the fire thou shalt not be burnt. I am with thee, to deliver thee, saith the Lord. I, even I am he, that comforteth you. Who art thou, that thou shouldst be afraid of a man, that shall die, and of the son of man, that shall be made as grass; and forgettest the Lord thy Maker, who hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as though he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor? When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings. Fear not them, who kill the body; and after that have no more that they can do. But fear him, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground, without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows! Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father, who is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father, who is in heaven. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it, that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?
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"Art thou not it, that hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depth of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over? Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away."
We have then a clew, by which to understand the predictions in the xxxviiith, and xxxixth, chapters of Ezekiel, concerning Gog and his bands. The Angel said to Daniel, when about to predict Antichrist; But I wilt show thee that which is noted in the Scripture of truth. Antichrist then, was before noted in the Scripture
* Dan. x, 14.
Dan. x, 21.
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of truth. We may believe he here refers to these very chapters of Ezekiel. For in no other part of the Old Testament had Antichrist been more clearly predicted.
In Ezekiel xxxvi and xxxvii, we have very express predictions of the return, re-union, and conversion of the house of Israel; meaning not only the Jews, Levites and the tribe of Benjamin; but also the other ten tribes. In chapter xxxvi, 16--; God relates the criminal cause of their dispersion; the great dishonor they had done to his name among the heathen, where they had resided; and that for his own name's sake he would gather them. * God says; For I will take you from among the heathen, and will gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land: Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes; and ye shall keep my judgments and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land, that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. In chapter xxxvii, the subject is resumed; and their restoration and conversion are predicted under a figure of the resurrection of a valley full of dry bones. The vision is applied, verse 11; These bones are the whole house of Israel; i. e, the Jews, and all the other tribes. Therefore prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come out of your graves, and bring you info the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I
* The following texts predict God's treatment of the Jews in their dispersion; and their return. Hos. iii, 4; Deut. xxix, 64; Numb. xxiii, 9; Deut. xxviii, 37, 65; Hos. iii, 5.
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will place you in your own land. Then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it saith the Lord.
A striking representation follows of the re-union of the Jews and the ten tribes. The prophet by Divine direction takes two sticks. Upon the one he writes, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; i. e. For the Jews, and such of the other tribes, as returned with them from Babylon. On the other stick he writes, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions; i. e. For the ten tribes of Israel, who revolted in the days of Rehoboam, and have ever since been separate from the Jews. These two sticks miraculously become one in the prophet's hand. And this miracle God explains, by the two nations, the Jews and Israel, becoming permanently united in one nation, in the land of their fathers, and remaining holy and happy thenceforward under the reign of Christ, their spiritual David.
And now, in the two following chapters, we have a description of a terrible event, which is to take place upon this their re-union and re-settlement in the Holy Land. Lest Israel should expect to regain their ancient inheritance, and enter upon their millennial bliss, without any signal danger; or lest, when they should find an extensive and furious coalition formed against them, not long after their return, they should deem this event inconsistent with the promises of God; and also that the Church of God might be forewarned of so signal an event, as what was now to follow; an account is given of a most extensive and terrible combination against the Jews and Israel in Palestine.
As the ancient deliverance of Israel from Egypt was attended with signal judgments on the Egyptians; as their entrance on the possession of the promised land was succeeded by the destruction of the Canaanites; and as their deliverance from Babylon was attended with the total destruction of that Pagan empire; so the resettlement of that people of God in the promised land, after their long dispersion, must be succeeded by scenes of destruction to the surrounding enemies of the Church,
262 Gog and his Bands.
And these scenes of destruction are to be as much more terrible, than were those of old, as the importance of this restoration of Israel shall exceed those former restorations. God will now suffer the devil, and his legions of followers on earth, to do their worst, and make their most desperate effort, in order to exhibit a new momento of what is in the human heart; to occasion to the Church of Israel their last and most fiery trial, previous to their millennial glory; and to afford the great Head of the Church an opportunity to make an exhibition of his power and faithfulness, in the most signal vindication of his cause; and in the destruction of the kingdom of the devil.
This last and most terrible effort is to be directed by a Power, called Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. *
The prophet begins; And the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophecy against him, and say, Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. The Power here addressed is veiled with a mystic appellation; as is usual in prophecy. Different things have been conjectured concerning this name. Some have supposed it derived from Gyges, an ancient king of Lydia, a country in Asia Minor, which fell under
* Some expositors read the above passage; Gog, the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. This I think is incorrect. We find the names of Magog, Meshech and Tubal, in ancient sacred record; but not the name Rosh, or Ros; excepting a son of Benjamin of this name, (Gen. xlvi, 21) who could not have been reckoned among the re-settlers of the earth after the flood. Why this Hebrew word ros, found in connexion with prince in the text under consideration, should be construed as a proper name, I cannot comprehend. Ros in Pike's Lexicon, signifies head, chief, top, captain principal, first. This word then, when found among the names, who were known to be among the ancient re-settlers of the earth, and united with the word, which imports prince, is well rendered by our translators, the chief prince; or prince of the chief, as rendered by Pool. But to render it a proper name, fetters the text with the. needless difficulty of having to ascertain who can be meant by Ros, and what connexion Gog has with him. To ascertain which, no data can be found.
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the dominion of Antiochus; and that the address was to Antiochus. Possibly this may account for the name, as Antiochus was a designed type of Antichrist. But whether it account for it, or not, there appears full evidence, as I shall attempt to shew, that the address was designed for Antichrist. The name Gog appears a natural abbreviation of Magog; and is doubtless designed to signify a noted dynasty or government of the descendants of Magog. It signifies a roof or covering; and would be naturally applied to the most noted sovereignty of the descendants of Magog, at the time of the restoration of Israel.
The dominions of Gog are called, the land of Magog. Magog was a son of Japhet, and grandson of Noah. His descendants peopled ancient Scythia, which lay east and north of the Euxine and Caspian seas} north of Syria. Thence they spread, and peopled the vast regions of the present Tartary. They are said to have peopled a large tract in the north of Asia and Europe, 5000 miles in length, from east to west; and of great breadth, from north to south. "There can be no doubt (says Mr. Guthrie, Geo. p. 89,) that the Scandinavians" (the inhabitants of Denmark, Norway and Sweden,) "were Scythians by their origin." The descendants of ancients Magog, under the various names of Scythians, Tartar, Moguls, Turks, Goths, Vandals, Huns, Franks and others, have made the most terrible ravages in the earth. Various clans of them, in early ages, overran, and peopled a considerable part of Asia and Europe. "A little before the Christian era, (says a geographer, *) Sigge, afterward called Odin, from the north cast of Asia," (where Magog settled) "conquered and then inhabited part of Sweden." There we accordingly find a Gothland, whose ancient inhabitants were thus of the descendants of Magog. Hordes of these northern barbarians were ravaging various kingdoms in the south of Europe, in the early days of Christianity. In the reign of Gallus, "an almost innumerable company (says Dr. Lowman ) of Scythians
* Morse, Geog. p. 64.
On Rev. p. 49.
264 Gog and his Bands.
fell upon Italy, and ravaged Macedonia, Thessaly and Greece; a part of them, from the Palus Moeotis, broke through the Bosphorus into the Euxine sea, and laid waste many provinces." And abundantly are we informed of the terrible ravages made in the Roman empire, or in the kingdoms in the southwest of Europe, in the former ages of the Christian era, by floods of these invading northern barbarians. "These fierce tribes were scattered (says Mr. Guthrie *) over the vast countries of the north of Europe, and northwest of Asia, which are now inhabited by the Dunes, the Swedes, the Poles, the subjects of the Russian empire, and the Tartars. -- Great bodies of armed men, with their wives and children, -- issued forth, like regular colonies, in quest of new settlements. New adventurers followed them. The lands, which they deserted, were occupied by more remote tribes of barbarians. These, in their turn, pushed forward into more fertile countries; and, like a torrent continually increasing, rolled on, and swept away every thing before them -- The scourge of God, and the destroyer of nations, are the dreadful epithets, by which the most noted of the barbarian leaders were known." These barbarians, it is well known, overran, and settled in the south of Europe, particularly in the western branch of the old Roman empire. The Suevi and Alans settled in Spain in the year 409. They were afterward overran by the Goths. In 410 the Goths took Rome; and settled in Italy. The Franks about the year 420 overran the ancient Gauls, and settled in France. The Huns took up their abode in Hungary, in 460; some say at earlier date. The Gapidae and Lombards established a kingdom in Italy, in 568. The Vandals, who had before settled in Gallicia in Spain, crossed the straits of Gibraltar, under the command of Genseric, and invaded the seven northern, rich and fertile provinces of Africa, where they established a kingdom. Thence they, in 455, invaded and plundered Rome, which they possessed for nearly a century, till they were subdued by Justinian. Thus
* Geo. p; 56, 57.
Gog and his Bands. 265
these floods of barbarians, the descendants of Magog, left their own countries in the regions of the north; and for several centuries rendered the fairest parts of Europe a field of blood; and they took up their residence there; they divided the Roman empire into various kingdoms. Well may these territories then, be called, the land of Magog. They perfectly answer that prophetic and mystical appellation.
Gog is called also the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Meshech and Tubal were brethren of Magog: And no doubt their descendants were mingled. The posterity of Meshech peopled Cappadocia, and Armenia. Thence they sent colonies to the north, who were called the Moschi, or Moscovites. The posterity of Tubal, Josephus informs, peopled Iberia on the Black Sea. According to Bochart, Tubal was the father of the Tibarenes, on the north of Armenia the Less. And Martin (in his Philological Library) informs, that Tubal was the father of the Russians. All these may have been different branches of the descendants of Tubal. We must naturally suppose, that in the rage of invasion, which excited the numerous clans of the northern barbarians in the fifth and sixth centuries, the descendants of Meshech and Tubal united with their neighbors and brethren in these incursions upon the Roman empire. No doubt so many of the ancient posterity of Meshech and Tubal intermingled with their neighboring brethren, the posterity of Magog, and became one with them, that it was proper, in a prophetic hint, to add the names of Meshesh and Tubal to that of Magog, to designate a distant and most interesting Empire of their descendants.
Other reasons may, in the course of Providence, occur, to evince the propriety of the addition of these two names. Should the influence of the French dynasty be found to be extended over regions in the north east, evidently peopled in ancient times by the descendants of Meshech and Tubal, it might afford an additional reason why their names were added in the prophetic description of their sovereignty, of the last days. This We are led to suspect may be the case, after the judgment
266 Gog and his Bands.
of the sixth vial; or the subversion of the Turkish empire by the arms of the infidel Power. And this appears to be hinted in the course of these descriptions of Gog, where he forms various of those nations into his vast confederacy, and directs their operations against the house of Israel.
A terrible Power rising on the ground of the old Roman empire answers with as real precision to the description Of Ezekiel's Gog, as would a Power rising in the north of Europe, or Asia, should such an event take place, where the posterity of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal, had their primary residence. Indeed, the description given, as it respects these three names, affords an almost boundless range, in which to look for the dynasty represented by Gog. We have the vast field, of the old Roman empire; especially its western branch; the present Russian empire; and the north and western parts at least of the Ottoman empire. Pool informs, that Syria, and Asia Minor have been supposed to belong to the land of Magog. And he was of opinion that the Scythians or Tartars, the Turks, and the Roman Antichrist, (by which he meant the Papal Power) would be found, at some time to unite in the confederacy predicted in this chapter concerning Gog. He was of opinion, that in the last times some active, daring prince would be found to unite these numerous nations, and lead them against the Church of Israel re-settled in Palestine. But this must be done under the last head of the Roman empire. For if another Power should rise to do it, it would be a fifth monarchy upon earth: Which the prophetic scriptures forbid. See Dan. ii, and vii, chapters.
In looking over this vast range of nations, to find the Power designated by Gog, are we not constrained to fix our attention on the terrible Power, which has risen on the ground of the old Roman empire; and which exhibits every characteristic of the last head of the Roman Beast; the Imperial head, recovered from its deadly wound; the Antichrist of the last times? Here we find a Power, which bids fair to be of equal magnitude with Gog; which with sufficient precision is in the
Gog and his Bands. 267
land of Magog, is the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and which goeth into perdition on the same ground, at the same period, and on the same expedition, with the Gog and his bands, under consideration. Do we need further evidence then, that Antichrist and Gog are the same? The numerous points of coincidence between them leave no room to doubt of the affirmative. *
* As some have doubted whether the Gog of Ezekiel, and the last head of the Roman Beast are the same Power, the following is subjoined to prove the affirmative.
The Roman Beast is clearly and repeatedly represented as the last great Power in hostile array against the Church; in the times just preceding the Millennium. And the prophecies relative to that period do not admit of a fifth monarchy arising on earth, before the Millennium. The succession of the great eastern monarchies, symbolized by the different parts of the great image, Dan. ii, 31-35, is to close with the fourth, the Roman monarchy; denoted by the legs of iron, and the feet and toes, part of iron, and part of clay.
This is the part of the image, that is last destroyed, to prepare the way for the Millennium. The Stone (Christ) cut out with. out hands, smites these feet and toes, and grinds them, with the remaining materials of the image, to powder; upon which the Stone becomes a great mountain, and fills the world. Inspiration explains it, verse 44; that in the days of these kings (the ten toes of the image, under a dynasty partly strong and partly broken, the last head of the Roman Beast) the God of heaven shall set up his millennial Kingdom. Surely then, it cannot be admitted, that so notable a Power as Gog, shall rise after the destruction of the Roman Beast, and before the Millennium.
The same thing we find in the parallel prophecy, Dan. vii, 11. "I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake, I beheld even till the Beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame." Here is the destruction of the secular Roman Beast, at the battle of the great day. And the millennial Kingdom is represented as the next event. Verse 17, 18; "These great Beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever." Here no dynasty or Power rises between the destruction of the fourth Beast, and the reign of the saints. In Rev. xvii, it is the last head of the secular Roman Beast, that ascends in the last days from the bottomless pit, and goes into perdition, to prepare the way for the Kingdom of Christ. And in chap, xix, the same thing is evident. There it is the Beast, (clearly the last head of the secular Roman Beast,) with his false prophet, (Popery in its reduced form;)
268 Gog and his Bands.
The reasons why Antichrist may properly receive the appellation of Gog, the land of Magog, the chief, prince of Meshech and Tubal, may be summoned up as follows.
and with his kings of the earth, that is found in array against Christ, and that is destroyed, and cast into the lake of fire, in order immediately to prepare the way for the Millennium, which there follows. And it appears evident that this Beast is the Gog of Ezekiel. The destruction of each is found in the same connexion with the Millennium. And descriptions essentially the same are given of both. Take one instance. In Ezek. xxxviii, 17-20, is a call from the Most High (relative to the slaughtered bands of Gog) to the carnivorous fowls and beasts, to gather themselves together, to eat the flesh, and drink the blood of the mighty, of the princes of the earth, and to be filled at the table of God with slaughtered armies. And in the account of the destruction of the last head of the Roman Beast, Rev. xix, 17-19, is the same thing; and it rests on that very passage in Ezekiel. An Angel, standing in the sun, calls on the fowls, to gather themselves together to the supper of the great God, to eat the flesh of kings, and captains, and mighty men, and their hosts. This, and the various descriptions in the two chapters clearly relate to the same Power, and period. And they appear evidently the same with the forenoted text, Dan. vii, 11, where the Beast and his subordinate horn are destroyed and given to the burning flame. Surely then, Gog cannot be a Power rising in Turkey, or among some of the eastern nations, after the destruction of the Roman Beast, and before the Millennium.
To ascertain this point still further, consider what address is made to Gog; Ezek. xxxviii, 17; "Thus saith the Lord God, Art thou he, of whom I have spoken in old times by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days, many years, that I would bring thee against them?" Here we learn, that Gog is a great and notable dynasty; and not a mere accidental rising of some nations; and of so small account, as not to be reckoned a monarchy on earth. We learn here, that Gog is the very Power so abundantly predicted of old by the prophets in Israel; and who is to collect the nations, in the last days, to the battle of that great day of the Lord, in an expedition against the Jews; -- "that I would bring thee against them." But this great Power, so much noted in the prophets, was clearly the Roman Beast of the last days; and not a Power subsequent to the Roman Beast.
To prepare the way for the striking prediction of the last head of the Roman Beast, in Dan. xi, 36-- to the end, the Angel says; chap, x, 14, 21; "Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befal thy people' in the latter days; for yet the vision is for many days.; I will shew thee that which
Gog and his Bands. 269
1. Gog is a natural abbreviation of Magog, and naturally be taken as a mystic appellation of a terrible dynasty or government of some important empire of the descendants of Magog.
2. The French, and the nations, which do or will constitute the French empire, may properly be said to have been the natural descendants of Magog, Meshech and Tubal, since the northern barbarians overran, and settled in those nations, in the fifth and sixth centuries.
3. These appellations are striking, on account of the similarity between Antichrist, and those northern barbarians, in point of real heathenism, conquests, and cruelty; both alike overwhelming the Roman empire, and nations marked out for a prey, like a sweeping flood; pulling down and setting up kingdoms at pleasure, in
is noted in the scripture of truth." Here the last head of the Roman Beast is the power that was "holed in the scripture of truth;" or much predicted of old; just as Gog was "he" of whom God spake of old times by the prophets;" as before noted. Also here the last head of the Roman Beast is to occasion what shall befal the Jews in the last days; just as Gog is to be brought against them; Ezek. xxxviii, 17.
In the view of the above scriptures, compared with what is said of the seventh trumpet, and the seventh vial, we learn that. Gog, and the last head of the Roman Beast, are the same. Rev. x, 7; But in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." Here the Power that falls, under the third wo, is that Power noted and destined to this destruction, in the prophets. Rev. xvi, 14; -- "to gather them to the battle of THAT great day of God Almighty." The seventh vial then, is that great day, so well known in the prophets, as destroying the last enemy of the Church, before the Millennium.
If Gog be not the same, with the last head of the Roman Beast; but be some subsequent eastern Power; then he is a fifth monarchy upon earth. For the Gog of Ezekiel is a great and most noted Power; as is evident from the afore-noted address of the Most High to him; and from the wonderful exploits to be done by him, of collecting so great a part of the world, and leading them against Palestine. But it has been shown that the prophecies do not admit of a fifth monarchy. Hence Gog and the last head of the Roman Beast must be the same -- the great Kingdom of the last days, partly strong, and partly broken.
270 Gog and his Bands.
defiance of all justice, and the laws of nations. Antichrist has thus exhibited a character similar to the chief princes of those barbarous invaders, who were called The scourge of God; and the destroyers of man. And
4. The future conquests and influence of Antichrist in the east, and north, may add a still further emphasis to the propriety of these appellations. Thus much for his description.
The prophet proceeds in recording the words of the Most High to Gog, in Ezek. xxxviii: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armor, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. This text suggests not only the entire control, which pod will exercise over Gog, but also the greatness of the numbers of the mixed multitudes under him. Other passages of Scripture speak of them as being the kings of the earth, and of the whole world. * For behold in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will, also gather all nations, and will bring them down unto the valley of Jehoshaphat.
The prophet proceeds to give a summary list of the nations in this coalition under Gog: -- Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shields and helmets: Gomer and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands, and many people with thee. Vast mixed multitude! Let us trace them. Persia is at the head of the catalogue. Persia is situated on the east of the Ottoman empire; and is of the same religion, the Mohammedan. And as it is of late thought that the Afghans in Persia are the ten tribes of Israel, who will then have quitted their Persian territories, and gone to the land of their fathers, the Persians will readily be induced to unite in the coalition against Israel in Palestine. Perhaps they will claim them as their subjects; as the
* Rev. xvi, 14, and xix, 19.
Joel iii, 1, 2.
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ancient Egyptian monarch did the tribes of Israel, when they were fleeing from his territories.
Ethiopia and Libya: These names are noted, as in connexion with the infidel Power, in his preceding expedition into the east; Dan. xi, 43; And the Libyans and Ethiopians shall be at his steps. It is natural then, to expect them to be in this final coalition. But who are the Ethiopians here mentioned? A considerable part of Africa is comprised under the name of Ethiopia; -- Upper and Lower. The former including Nubia, and Abyssinia. The latter all the kingdoms south of the equinoctial line. But it is not probable that this vast territory, so far to the south, can be the Ethiopia in the coalition under Gog. The original Ethiopia, or Cush, was in the northwestern parts of Arabia. Here, east of the northern parts of the Red Sea, Cush the son of Ham, took up his residence. From him those regions, in the Stony Arabia, were called the land of Gush, or Ethiopia. Here Moses married his Ethiopian wife. * This is nearly in the line pursued by the infidel Power in his preceding expedition. These northwestern Arabs, it is natural then to suppose, will be the Ethiopians in the coalition under Gog. Probably they will be induced to unite, in hopes of rich plunder.
Libya comprises the States of Barbary. The Hebrew word for Libya here, is Phut. But Phut, the son of Ham, (Martin in his Phiollogical Library informs,) took up his residence in the western pans of Africa, on the Mediterranean, in the country of Mauritania, now Morocco and Algiers, where we find a city Putea, and a river Put. Pool on this passage informs, that Libya here means "a people of Africa, either now subjects of, or confederate with the Turks." As the Libyans are said to be at the steps of the Infidel Power, at the time of the overthrow of the Turks; as the States of Barbary are now subject to the Turks, and are the only powers of any note west of Egypt; and as the Libyans in the prophecy under consideration must
* Numb, xii, 1.
Dan. xi, 40-43.
272 Gog and his Bands.
be supposed to be of some note, to have been predicted three or four and twenty centuries ago, to be in the coalition under Gog; the Barbary powers must have been designed by the Libya or Phut in this place.
Gomer and all his bands. Gorher, the oldest son of Japhet, peopled Galatia, Phrygia, and some regions round about the Euxine Sea. Thence his descendants penetrated into Europe; and according to Brown they peopled Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal and Britain. Some of the Scots and Irish, the Picts particularly, are supposed to have been of the same origin. Martin is not so full upon the descendants of Gomer. But he informs that the ancient Gomerites and the Gaiatians were the same: That from Galatia they sent colonies into Europe, and settled Germany; from which they spread themselves into France, where they were called by the Greeks Galatae, or Gomerites, by the Latins Celtae, and by the Britons Gauls. Thus the name Gauls is derived from Gomer. And from Germany, or France, Martin informs, Came the first inhabitants of Great Britain. France, being the only people of importance, who retain the name of their primitive ancestor, or an evident derivation from it, must be the people meant by Gomer. Gomer, and all his bands: i. e. The Gauls and all their Empire. It was the original inhabitants of France, and some of her neighboring nations, who descended from Gomer. They in process of time became mixed with their barbarous invaders from the north, the descendants of Magog, as has been shown. They now therefore, answer to both the names. The two names of the French illustrate this idea; Gauls, or Gomerites; French, or Franks, a clan of the descendants of Magog. Brown informs, * that the ancient Gomerites in France and Switzerland were long a terror to the Romans; but were conquered by them; and were finally swallowed up by the descendants of Magog; meaning the floods of the northern barbarians.
* Dictionary of the Bible,
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But some may inquire, whether more is not included in the clause, Gomer and all his bands, than the nations included in the present French empire? The original inhabitants of Britain, after the flood, were from Gomer's line. * The Welsh in Britain call themselves Cumri, Cymro, or Comeri. These also are ancient Britons, who upon the invasion of England by the Saxons, from the north of Germany, in the sixth century, (in the fifth century, according to Milner, or in A. D. 447, vol. iii, p. 109) were driven into Wales. It is evident then, that the first inhabitants of Britain were Gomerites. If therefore France is included in Gomer and all his bands, notwithstanding her being overrun by the northern invaders, because her original inhabitants were Gomerites; why must not Great Britain, and consequently the United States, be likewise included, notwithstanding that Britain, after it was settled by the Gomerites, was afterward overrun by the Saxons, and then by the Normans; and the present English have descended from some of them? Reply. Should Britain and the United States fall under the French Empire, they would answer, with sufficient precision, to the description of Gomer, and all his bands, both as being, in their primitive ancestors, the descendants of ancient Gomerites; and as belonging at last to the bands of the Gallic Empire. But we devoutly trust, that gracious Heaven does not design the subjugation
* The present Gaelic multitudes, in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, are a remnant of this people. The above denomination of their dialect is, no doubt, a derivation from the name Gomer. This people are descendants from the ancient Celtae, or Gomerites. Says the Secretary of the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian knowledge, relative to a new edition of the Bible in the Gaelic language, -- "I will not enter into the question, how far the preservation of that ancient dialect of the Celtic, the language of our forefathers, the primitive inhabitants of this island, is an object of just desire. -- Surely while the Celtic, whether in the Irish, Welsh, or Gaelic dialects, is the existing language of great bodies of remote and ignorant people, no wise and good man will refuse to give them the means of instruction in the only language, in which they are capable of receiving it." See the Panoplist for Sept. 1805, p. 167.
274 Gog and his Bands.
of our land, nor of that of our ancestors, to that devouring Power. We may hope for exceptions under this general prediction. The great body of the Church of Christ is now found in these two nations, the distant ramifications of Comer's line. And
"For his own Church's sake."
But how many nations will eventually be found included in the bands of Gomer, time alone will disclose.
The house of Togarmah. Togarmah, a grandson of Japhet, peopled Phrygia, Cappadocia, Turcomania, some parts of Armenia and Paphlagonia. No doubt Asia Minor is here included, and probably the chief of the countries of the present Turkish or Ottoman empire. Of the north quarters and all his bands. This may be read in apposition with the house of Togarmah; and leave out the of: The house of Tagarmah; the north quarters; and all the bands of the north: Many of the Tartars, and perhaps the Russians. And many people with thee. Many others promiscuously united.
Here is a traversing round Palestine, from Persia on the east, to Arabia on the south; and to the west, through the north of Africa; then to the north, through the southern and middle nations of Europe; then round to the cast, through Asia Minor, and the Turkish empire; then away indefinitely to the vast regions of the north. Amazing combination, collected from at least three of the quarters of the globe, to destroy and plunder the Hebrews, recovered from their long dispersion; a combination excited by the threefold agency of the dragon, the Beast, and the false prophet; and prepared for the battle of that great day of God Almighty. * This is indeed gathering the nations and assembling the kingdoms, to pour out upon them the Divine indignation. I will gather all nations and tongues, and they shall come and see my glory. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to
* Rev. xvi, 13, 14.
Zech. ii, 8.
Isai. lxvi, 18.
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battle.* And I saw the Beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
Various motives no doubt will be found operating among the various nations and tribes thus uniting; such as enmity against the Christian religion; rage at the restoration of the Hebrews; rage at their conversion to Christianity; rage against some rival nation, who will have been aiding in their restoration or conversion, and may be ready to afford them further assistance; a desire among the fragments of different denominations, (as Papists and Mohammedans,) to meliorate their own broken cause; and an expectation of rich plunder. The latter will be a prime motive among many of these confederates; as we learn in the course of this chapter. The Jews and Israel having gone in great numbers from different parts of the world to Palestine, and transported with them vast sums of property; their silver and their gold with them unto the name of the Lord; this will naturally turn the attention of the multitudes, among whom they have resided, after them. No doubt some will feel as though they have a right to pursue and recover them, as their subjects; or to plunder them, as having conveyed off vast wealth from their territories. They may hence be excited to pursue them, like Pharaoh of old, rallying his army to pursue Israel, when leaving his dominions. And all the mighty movements will fall under the direction of Gog, or Antichrist.
The Most High addresses him. Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou and all thy company, that are assembled unto thee; and be thou a guard unto them. Most significant, ironical admonition! After many days thou shalt be visited; in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste; but
* Zech. xiv, 2.
Rev. xix, 19.
Isai. lx, 9.
276 Gog and his Bands.
it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. In the last days God will fulfil these things by you against his people, just recovered from their long dispersion, and dwelling heedlessly; or, they shall be built up, notwithstanding all your rage against them. Thou shalt ascend, and come like a storm; thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou and ail thy bands, and many people with thee. Your attack shall be like a terrible shower, which ascends from the horizon, rises, approaches, roars, darkens the hemisphere, extends its wings beyond sight, becomes terrific with its lightning, thunder and wild commotion, till it overwhelms all, and seems about to blend the heavens and earth in ruin. Thus saith the Lord God, it shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought. And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages, I will go to them who are at rest, and dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, to take a spoil, and to take a prey, to turn thine hand upon the desolate places, that are now inhabited, and upon the people, that are gathered out of the nations, who have golden cattle and goods, and dwell in the midst of the land. Here one motive of the vast movement is exposed, which is plunder. They will expect to make an easy prey of the rich and defenceless. The He brews will return with much riches, of cattle and goods: Their silver and their gold with them unto the name of the Lord. * They will have no city walls, nor gates; will have made no effectual arrangements for defence; but will appear an easy prey. This text clearly indicates, that the attack will be made not long after Israel's return: And yet that it will be a season; probably a number of years.
Mark what follows! Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee. Art thou come to take a spoil? Hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? To
* Isa. lx. 9.
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carry away silver, and gold; to take away cattle and goods; to take a great spoil? Who are these? Is this an additional account of the nations in the confederacy under Gog? Or does it present a coalition in opposition to him? In favor of the latter, it may be observed, that the nations in a coalition under Gog, from every point of the compass, were before enumerated. And it does not seem probable, that the Holy Spirit would resume this subject, as though several powers had been forgotten or passed over. We must conjecture, that Gog had anticipated a powerful opposition in this enterprise. Else why had he collected so vast an army? The motive of the Most High, is to destroy his enemies; and that the nations should be collected, to see his justice and glorious power. But this is no part of the motive of Gog. And he too must have a motive, or reason, for collecting so vast an army. Do such sagacious generals make such vast collections of forces, to beat the air? Or to take a city, where they expect little or no opposition? No verily! The movements of Gog indicate, that he expects powerful opposition. The earth had previously helped the woman, and swallowed up his floods cast forth for her destruction. And he, in vexation and rage, undertakes this new expedition. * Tidings out of the east and out of the north trouble him. Some rival power assisting in the restoration of the Hebrews, or the conversion of the latter, fills him with wrath: Therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. This text, and the vast collection, which he makes of forces, clearly indicate an expectation of vastly more opposition than he can expect from the Jews and Israel in Palestine. It is evident in this chapter that he expects little or none from the latter. His expectations of opposition must be from another quarter beside the Jews. Palestine is at that time chosen as the seat of contest with a more formidable power; although the affairs of the Jews and Israel afford a pretext for the expedition. A most desperate effort Antichrist
* Rev. xii, 17.
Dan, xi, 44.
278 Gog and his Bands.
now makes, to destroy and utterly to make away many; Dan. xi, 44, to exterminate the forces of some rival enemy. Hence the vastness of his movements.
And this rival enemy is here presented, under the name of Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish with all the young lions thereof. Their language is not that of friendship, but of opposition. 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? Here then is a voice, that dares to interrogate Gog in the height of his glory; at the head of his countless legions; in those days of revolution, and of blood!
But who are they, that constitute this coalition? Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof! God can either raise up, or strengthen an opposition to Gog, from nations, that may now appear the most unlikely. Some noted power may be aided by others now insignificant. Who are these merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof? Tarshish was a grandson of Shem. He peopled Cilicia. And from him the city Tarshish, or Tarsus, there (the birth place of St. Paul) had its name. Its inhabitants became the most expert seamen; built the best ships; * and many of them became merchants. The Mediterranean in their vicinity came to be called the sea of Tarshish. This name was given to a city in Spain, Tartossus, or Tarshish. The west end of the Mediterranean came to bear the same name. And many, authors inform us, Tarshish came to be a name for the sea in general. Accordingly, the ships of Tarshish (Psalm xlviii, 7, and other places) mean the ships of the sea. (See Pool on this passage.) Nothing is more common, than for names in prophetic language to be thus extended, and transmitted from one place, and even nation, to another. When we read therefore, of the merchants of Tarshish, at the time of the restoration of Israel, we must understand, not the descendants of any of those ancient cities of that name; but the
* 1 Kings x, 22.
Ezek. xxvii, 25; and Jer. x, 9.
Gog and his Bands. 279
merchants of the sea; or some great mercantile, maritime power. And their ships of war, we may suppose, are designed by all the young lions thereof. The lion may be the sign of their navy; or their coat of arms; as Castor and Pollux was the sign of the ship, in which Paul sailed to Rome. Acts xxviii, 11.
This naval, mercantile power will appear interested for the Jews; and will dare to interrogate the leader of the coalition against them. This idea receives countenance from collateral prophecies. In Isaiah lx, the return of the Jews is predicted in lively colors; flying as clouds, and as doves to their windows. In verse 9th, we are informed of an agency employed in their restoration. Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God. Here we find the same power; the isles, and the ships of Tarshish first, officiating in the return of the ancient people of God, with their treasures, to Palestine. And as this naval power of the isles will be found with ability to do this, in those days of revolution and of terror; so we must naturally expect they would do what is indicated by the above interrogations to Gog, when he shall be about to plunder the Jews of their treasures, and to seek their ruin. The isles and ships of Tarshish first bring back the people of Israel, and their silver and gold with them unto the name of the Lord. Gog rises to plunder and ruin them. And the merchants of Tarshish, with all their young lions, and with others upon this occasion, interrogate Gog; 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? Surely then, the isles, and the ships of Tarshish, in Isa. lx, 9; and the merchants of Tarshish, and all the young lions thereof, in the passage under consideration, must ie the same.
In Psalm lxxii, we find the same thing. To predict the Millennium is the object of the Psalm. And in verse 10 we read, The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents. In the light of the preceding
280 Gog and his Bands.
texts, we must naturally conceive, that this bringing of presents, by the powers of Tarshish and of the isles, must refer to the restoration of the house of Israel; which is a most prominent event in the prophecies of the introduction of the Millennium. Then that ancient people of God will need just such services; but probably not afterward. In Zeph. iii, 10, we read, From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, my suppliants, the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring mine offering. Or, From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, (away in the western hemisphere,) my worshippers shall bring mine offering, viz. the children of my dispersed, or of Israel. It is natural then to expect, that this mercantile naval power, (be it who it may,) with all its lions of naval strength, will be found, with whatever nations they may find to unite with them, in opposition to Gog, in his expedition against the house of Israel in Palestine.
But who are the Sheba and Dedan connected with them in this passage. We find several of the name of Sheba; as Sheba, a grandson of Cush; * Sheba, the son of Joktan of the line of Shem; and Sheba, son of Joksham, and grandson of Abraham These all settled in Arabia; "and perhaps most of them in the southern parts of it." § There was a country of this name. Thence it is supposed some of their descendants crossed the Red Sea, and peopled Abyssinia. || Here I apprehend is the place designed by the Sheba under consideration. The queen of Sheba came to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon's reign was a type of the Millennium. And his visit from the queen of Sheba may be viewed as a kind of prelude to the early aid Sheba is to afford to the house of Israel at, or after, their restoration. In Psalm lxxii, where the reign of Solomon and the Millennium are unitedly predicted, (one as type, and the other as antitype,) we read, verse 10; The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts.
* Gen. x, 7.
Gen. x, 27.
Gen. xxv, 3.
|| See Pool on Joel iii, 8; and Brown on the word Sheba.
Gog and his Bands. 281
Here are Tarshish and Sheba connected, as in the text under consideration. In the afore-noted prediction of the restoration and conversion of the house of Israel, Isa. lx, where the isles and ships of Tarshish are first to wait on God, >i>to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them unto the name of the Lord; it is predicted, verse 6; All they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense. Where then is this Sheba? Whence did the queen of Sheba come to hear the wisdom of Solomon? Brown says it is not agreed whether she came from Sheba in Arabia Felix, or from a place of this name in Abyssinia. In favor of its being the latter, he observes, that Abyssinia abounds with just such kind of treasures as that queen brought to king Solomon. And she is said to have come from the uttermost parts of the earth; i. e. the uttermost parts then known to the Jews. But Abyssinia was then known to the Jews, and was the southernmost nation then known by them. Sheba in Arabia was not so far distant. In Abyssinia their language and religion are similar to those of the Jews. And that people have a tradition, that a queen of theirs in ancient times visited king Solomon. And they fondly relate a number of things relative to this event. These things render it most highly probable, that the Sheba sought was in Abyssinia. The Sheba in the text no doubt denotes the country, in which it was situated; under whatever name it may now be known. And it must appear highly probable, that Abyssinia is the place designed. This is a large country in Africa, south of Egypt; bounded east by the Red Sea; 900 miles in length; 840 in breadth; and is an important part of Ethiopia. "This spacious empire (says a historian) contains a great mixture of people, of various religions; Pagans, Jews, and Mohammedans; but the main body of the natives are professed Christians, who hold the Scriptures to be the sole rule of faith. Their emperor is supreme, as well in ecclesiastical, as in civil matters. The patriarch is the highest ecclesiastical dignitary in this empire. This patriarch is by his clergy called Abuna, the Hebrew word for our father.
282 Gog and his Bands.
The next order of ecclesiastics -- is a kind of Jewish Levites, who assist in all public offices in the Church. They boast that they are of Jewish extraction; and pretend to imitate the service of the Jewish temple. -- They have other priests of various orders. They use different forms of baptism; and keep both Saturday and the first day of the week, as a Sabbath. They are circumcised, and abstain from swine's flesh. -- Their Divine service consists in reading the Scriptures, administering the Eucharist, and hearing some homilies of the fathers." *
It was from this country, it is believed, that the pious eunuch came to Jerusalem to worship, to whose chariot Philip was commanded by the Holy Ghost to join himself. Milner upon this event observes: "This Ethiopia seems to be that part of the country whose metropolis is called Meroe, situated in a large island encompassed by the Nile, and the rivers Astapus and Astabora. For in these parts, as the elder Pliny informs, queens had a long time governed under the title of Candace."
This eunuch was said to be a man of great authority under Candace, queen of Ethiopia. And his coming up to Jerusalem to worship indicates, that some peculiar acquaintance then subsisted between his nation and the Jews. This was probably the case ever after the visit of their queen to king Solomon. How many of the Jews might flee thither, after their dispersion by the Romans, we know not. But multitudes of Jews now reside there. Accordingly we read, of the time of their restoration, (Isa. xi, 11,) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Puthros, and from Cush (Ethiopia) and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the isles of the sea. The Cush or Ethiopia here mentioned, is among the places, from
* H. Adams's View of Religion, p. 363,--
Acts viii. 26--
Church Hist. vol. i, p. 54.
Gog and his Bands. 283
which God will set himself to recover his people, the Jews. And it seems the Ethiopians will be so far from being disposed to pursue after them, or unite in a coalition against them, that they will be found operating in a coalition of powers in their behalf; and will early share in the blessings of the Millennium. Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. * From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants shall bring mine offering even the daughter of my dispersed. All they from Sheba shall come. And he shall live; and to him shall be given the gold of Sheba. § These predictions seem to indicate, that Sheba, or Abyssinia, will be of some note in favor of the Jews upon their return to Palestine. Sheba is mentioned first in the coalition, in the text under consideration; Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish. And the repeated mentioning of the latter as beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, seems to indicate some connexion between the Ethiopians, and this mercantile, naval power, in aid of the Jews.
Dedan is another power in this coalition. We find two of this name among the early settlers of the world; Dedan a brother of Sheba, and grandson of Cush; || and Dedan a brother to another Sheba, and grandson of Abraham. ¶ These both settled in Arabia; the former on the west side of the Persian gulph, in Arabia Felix, where there is a city Dedan. ¦¦ The other Dedan probably gave name to the city Dedan on the frontiers of Idumea. The Dedanites were formerly of some note as merchants, trading in the fairs of Tyre. ± But probably no correct genealogy is now to be found of their posterity. No doubt they mingled with the other tribes of Arabia. The Dedan in the text will probably be found to mean some people inhabiting Arabia Felix, and the southeastern parts of Arabia; and is the same with Seba, found in connexion with the kings of Tarshish and Sheba, who are engaged in favor of the
* Ps. lxviii, 31. Zech. iii, 10.
Isa. lx, 6.
§ Ps. lxxii, 15.
|| Gen. x, 7.
¶ Gen. xxv, 3.
¦¦ Brown on the word Dedan.
± Ezek. xxvii, 15, 20,
284 Gog and his Bands.
Jews, at the time of their restoration. The kings (or powers) of Tarshish, and of the isles shall bring presents; the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. * Here are three powers, connected in the same object, at the same period, with the three powers in the text under consideration. Must not the powers then, be the same? Two of them are of the same name. And we must suppose the third to be the same with the Dedan in the text. A rational account can be given for this changing of names. It has been noted, that several by the same of Sheba settled early in Arabia; and some of them in the southern parts of it; whose descendants emigrated, and peopled Abyssinia. Those who remained were known by the name of Sabeans, or Seba. Dedan, it has been observed, settled in the same region. And no doubt his descendants intermixed, and became one people with the Sabeans. And the subsequent inhabitants of that country were called Sabeans, or Seba; and Dedanitcs, or Dedan. They were travelling companies; Isa. 21, 13; "O ye travelling companies of Dedanim." A tribe of the Sabeans in the time of Job, infested Arabia Deserta, and robbed him. of his cattle. But most of the Sabeans probably dwelt farther southeast. These Sabeans are mentioned in Joel iii, 8, in a sublime prediction of the battle of the great day; which seems to indicate that the Sabeans will then be present in some kind of opposition to the enemies of the Jews on that occasion. The Most High announces to the nations to be convened to the valley of Jehoshaphat, that their children shall be sold to the Sabeans, a people far off. Repeatedly we find in the predictions of the salvation of the Jews, in the last days, Sheba and Seba connected in their behalf. I gave Ethiopia and Seba for thee: § The same with Sheba and Seba, as shown before. The merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee. || Here then, are Sheba and Seba, connected with the kings of Tarshish and of the isles, Psalm lxxii, 10,
* Ps. lxxii, 10.
Job i, 15.
See Pool on Joel iii, 8.
§ Isa. xliii, 3.
|| Isa. xlv, 14.
Gog and his Bands. 285
in aid of the Jews, after there restoration: And the Sheba and Dedan, in the same connexion with the merchants of' Tarshish, with their lions, must be the same.
The merchandise of the Sabeans shall come over unto thee. The people of the southeast of Arabia, as well as in Mecca, have been famed for trading with the Turkish caravans, in balm, manna, myrrh, cassia, aloes, frankincense, spikenard, cinnamon, pepper, cadamum, oranges, lemons, pomegranates, figs, honey, wax and other articles. The city of Bassora, at the head of the Persian gulf, in Irac Arabia, is one centre of this trade. "Here are many Jews." * Probably there are Jews in Arabia Felix, as well as in Abyssinia. In the enumeration of nations, from which devout men were at Jerusalem, on the day of Pentecost; (Acts ii, 5-11,) are mentioned Arabians, And more went thither in after days. A writer remarks; "Egypt and Arabia were filled with Jews, who had fled into these corners of the world from the persecution of the emperor Adrian." And when God shall bring the seed of Israel from the east, and gather them from the west; shall say to the north, Give up; and to the south. Keep not back; these Jews in Arabia, as well as in Abyssinia, will fly as clouds, and as doves to their windows.
And the friendly interest, which the Dedanites, or Seba, will be excited to take on the occasion, in connexion with the two other powers noted, time will disclose. It is remarkable, that these three powers are so repeatedly found in this connexion, in the prophecies, as aiding the people of God in Palestine, after their return thither.
This Dedan, or Seba, most probably, is the people meant by the Edom, Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon, in Dan. xi, 41; who are to escape out of the hands of the infidel Power, in his first expedition into the east. The ancient nations under these names have long since been extinct, or been swallowed up among the Arabian tribes. When these names
* Morse's Gaz.
Morse's Geo. p. 578.
Isa. lx, 8.
286 Gog and his Bands.
therefore are said to escape out of the hands of Antichrist, in his first excursion into the east, in distinction from the Ethiopians in the northwest of Arabia, who shall be at his steps; * they must mean the people of Arabia Felix, and those in the east of Arabia. And why are they expressly excepted from the conquests of Antichrist, in his first expedition; unless to indicate, that they are to be of some note in opposition to him, in his subsequent operations? The name of Edom is in prophecy mystically applied to the greatest enemies of the Church. Christ, in the battle of the great day, is said to come from Edom with died garments. The Edom here is Antichrist. But when it is applied to some people in Arabia, who shall escape the domination of Antichrist, it is not thus mystically, but is more literally applied: And it may denote a people there, whom God will excite to aid his cause in the re-establishment of the Jews in Palestine. And probably this Edom, and Moab, and chief of the children of Ammon, and Dedan, and Seba, all denote the same power.
* Dan. xi, 43.
Isa lxiii, 1.
The agency of the naval power in this coalition, in the return of the Jews to the land of their fathers, we find predicted in Isa. xviii, as well as in other passages. I will quote this chapter, with some small variations from our transition, but which are according to Bp. Lowth, in his Isaiah, or other able translators.
"Ho land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: 3 That sendeth messengers on the sea in vessels of bulrushes, on the face of the waters. Go ye swift sailors, to a nation scattered, and with their hair plucked off; to a people remarkable from the beginning and hitherto; a nation of line, line;" (or, "the people looking for, and expecting one to come;" so some Jews in the east have translated the passage;) and trodden under foot; whose lands the rivers have spoiled. 3 All ye inhabitants of the world, when the standard is lifted up on the mountains, behold ye; and when the trumpet is sounded, hear ye. 4 For thus hath the Lord said to me, 1 will take my rest, and will regard my fixed habitation, like the clear heat after rain, and like a cloud of dew in the days of harvest. 5 Surely before the vintage, when the bud is perfect, and the blossom is becoming a swelled grape, he shall cut off the shoots with the pruning hooks, and shall cut down and take away the branches. 6 They shall be left together to the rapacious fowls of the mountains, and to the wild beasts of the
Gog and his Bands. 287
The prophet proceeds. Therefore son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord, in the day when my people dwell safely, shalt thou not know it?
"earth; and the fowls shall summer upon them; and the beasts shall winter upon them. 7 At that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts, of a people scattered, and with their hair plucked off; of a people remarkable from the beginning and hitherto; the people looking for, and expecting one to come; who are trodden under foot; whose lands the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion."
1 Ho nation, darkening with thy sails, or thou great maritime power of the last days, when this address shall become applicable; thou land beheld in vision as though in a line with Ethiopia, (or the Sheba, who shall aid my people) but away beyond her rivers; how far, and in what particular direction, the event shall unfold: 2 Thou land, whose embassadors and missionaries are conveyed by sea to distant climes seemingly with as great facility as that nation, beyond which thou art in vision beheld, used to navigate its rivers in light vessels made of the rind of Papyrus: * Come thou naval power; I have a business for thee to perform. Thy art and power in navigation shall now be found to answer a new and important purpose Go ye swift seamen; collect my ancient people: That people, who have long been scattered over the face of the earth; who have long been insulted and abused: That people, whose history has been so remarkable from ancient date: That people long looking for and expecting another Messiah, beside Jesus of Nazareth; but in vain: Who have been trodden under foot among the nations: Whose ancient inheritance in Palestine, the mystic rivers of invading nations, (the Romans, the Persians, Saracens, Turks, Egyptians, and Ottomans in turn) have overflown and ravaged. But the Ottoman Euphrates being dried up, and the way for the return of my people being prepared, go ye now, and aid their return. Thus it is predicted, Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring my sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord. (Isa. Ix, 9.) 3 All ye inhabitants of the world, now behold the standard of salvation, which I am about to erect! Hear ye the great trumpet, which shall now be blown. (Isa. xxvii, 13.) 4 For thus saith the Lord, I am going to regard and renew my ancient resting place; I will again have a fixed habitation in Canaan, as I have declared by the prophets; especially in Zech. i, 16; Therefore thus saith the Lord, I am returned to Jerusalem
* The bulrush vessel, in ancient date, contained a scourge for the tyrannical oppressor of God's people, and the deliverer of the chosen tribes. Exodus ii, 8.
288 Gog and his Bands.
Thou wilt hear of their defenceless state, and wilt attempt their ruin. And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou and many people with thee,
with mercies; my house shall be built in it. And viii, 3, Thus saith the Lord, I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. This event shall be as life from the dead to the Gentiles: Therefore ye nations behold. I will now be to mine heritage like the genial heat of the sun after rain, and like the cooling dew after the sultry heat of harvest; as I have repeatedly predicted, Israel shall be as the tender grass springing out of the earth, by the clear shining after rain. (2 Sam. xxiii, 4.) I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall grow as the lily; and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. (Hos. xiv, 5.) 5 But, connected with the introduction of this event, is a scene which awaits mine enemies, as I have always given notice, in the many predictions which relate to that period; ruin to mine enemies, and salvation to my cause! The seventh vial, the vintage of wrath, must be fulfilled. And at the time of the return of the house of Israel, this event will be even at the doors. As in the natural vineyard, when the blossom is succeeded by the swelled pulp, which soon arrives to the size of the grape, indicating that the vintage is near; so at the time of the return of the Jews, wickedness will have blossomed, pride will have budded: The sour grapes will have obtained their bigness; and the time for casting the vine of the earth into the great wine-press of the wrath of God, will be at hand. (Isa. lxiii, 2-6; Joel iii, 13; Rev. xiv, 8-20.) 6 Soon the most prominent branches of this vine shall be scattered upon the mountains of Israel, at Armageddon; and the fowls of heaven, and the beasts of the earth, shall feast upon them. (Ezek. xxxix, 4, 17-21; and Rev. xix, 17, 18.) 7 To prepare the way for this event, the present, which I now claim of you, must be brought unto the Lord of hosts, of the people long scattered over the earth, and long insulted and abused; that people, whose history has been so remarkable from ancient date; that people long expecting another Messiah beside Jesus of Nazareth, but in vain; who have been trodden under foot among the nations; whose ancient inheritance in Palestine invading nations have long occupied; the present shall be brought consisting of this people, unto the Lord of hosts, to the literal mount Zion. *
The naval power here addressed, being described in relation to the rivers of Ethiopia, both in the first verse of this chapter,
* Since writing the preceding comment on this chapter, I have, for the first time, seen Bp. Horsley's comment upon it; published in Mr. Faber's volume upon the return of the Jews; and am pleased to find my opinion on the great points of this prophecy confirmed by so distinguished an authority. In some particulars his exposition differs from the one, which I have given. But in those differences I think my interpretation as well accords with the text; and better with collateral prophecies.
Gog and his Bands. 289
all of them riding upon horses, a great company, a mighty army. Ancient Babylon was called, the land of the north, * because most of the Assyrian empire
and in Zeph. iii, 10, before noted, which rivers may mean the Nile, and according; to Pool, the Red Sea, which lies upon the eastern bound of Ethiopia, and resembles a great river; also the skill of this naval power in navigation being described by the bulrush navigation of the Nile and the shores of the Red Sea, seems to indicate some connexion of this naval power with these Ethiopians (Abyssinians, or people of Sheba) in this service, to which they are called. If the meaning be simply, that this naval power is away somewhere westward of the mouths of the Mile, why are these called the rivers of Ethiopia? Perhaps the true solution may be, this power is beheld in vision, in a line with Ethiopia, or Sheba, to denote some connexion between them, in the friendly aid to be afforded to the Jews. This power's being beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, does not decide relative to the particular point of compass, or the distance, at which the power is to be found. It decides only, that it will be in the western hemisphere from Jerusalem: But whether in the west of Europe, or in America, the event will decide.
Other predictions seem to favor this coalition against Gog. Obad. 21; And saviors shall come union mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord's. By the mount of Esau here must be meant, that terrible enemy of the Church, prefigured by ancient Edom, (Isa. lxiii, 1.) The event is to take place when the kingdom becomes the Lord's, or at the introduction of the Millennium. And saviors are then to come to mount Zion, to aid the destruction of the great enemy. Though Christ fights that battle, yet he may make use of some human instruments. And this prediction hints that he will.
Micah v, 5-9. "For now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread on our palaces, then we shall raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. And they shall waste the lain! of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders. And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles, in the midst of many people, as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep; who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lift up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off."
* Jer. iv, 6; and xlvi, 20; and iii, 12.
290 Gog and his Bands.
lay in a latitude north of Jerusalem. But France lies in a latitude much farther north, than did the Assyrian empire. It extends almost twenty degrees north of
"Some imagine, (says Dr. Gray, Key to the Old Test. p. 465,) that Micah foretells in this prophecy the victories obtained by the leaders of the Medes and Babylonians, who took Ninevah. Others suppose him to speak of the seven Maccabean leaders, with their eight royal successors, from Aristobulus to Antigonus." But the Doctor goes on to give his opinion, that it refers to some higher triumph still future, and refers us to the scene of Ezekiel's Gog for its accomplishment The prediction might receive a primary and typical accomplishment at the time of the Maccabees. For Antiochus then afflicting the Jews, was a type of Antichrist. But it will probably receive its great fulfilment in the antitype of the wars of Antiochus upon the Jews, or at the time of the last expedition of Antichrist into the east. And if so, it teaches, that God will then make some use of human instruments in the destruction of the Antichristian confederacy against the Jews in Palestine, beside their own swords. I will call for a sword against him. (Ezek. xxxviii, 21.)
Zech. ix, 11-14. "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit, wherein is no water. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope; even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee: When I have bent Judah for me, filled my bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrows shall go forth as the lightning; and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south."
Here is the return of Judah and Ephraim (the Jews and the ten tribes) at the latter day. The passage received but a very partial, if any degree of accomplishment, in the return of the Jews from Babylon. For but a few, if any of Ephraim then returned. God did not then fill his bow with Ephraim. The event must be still future; And by the blood of the covenant, (the entail of the covenant with Abraham,) it will ere long be fulfilled. The Jews and Israel are indeed like prisoners in a dry pit. But they are prisoners of hope. God has promised to recover them. And he will fulfil his promise. And at that period God will find occasion to raise up the sons of Zion against the sons of Greece; and he will make the former like the sword of a mighty man. Grotius gives this paraphrase to this part of the passage, "I will animate the Jews against the troops of Antiochus." But those scenes of warfare were but a type of the scene still future between Antichrist and the Jews, as has been noted. Accordingly Bishop Newcome, upon the
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Jerusalem; and may well therefore be called the north parts. And thou shalt come up against my people Israel as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days; and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes. Thus saith the Lord God, Art thou he, of whom I have spoken of old times by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in those days, many years, that I would bring thee against them? As though the Most High comes out to view the combined armies; and address their chief; Art thou that mighty being, so long foretold by the various prophets in Israel, to do such wonderful things in the last days? Most portentous address!
"And it shall come to pass at the same time, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up into my face. For in my jealousy, and in the fire of my wrath, have I spoken. Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel; so that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all the creeping things, that creep upon the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall
above passage of Grotius, observes, "It is true, that Judas Maccabaeus gained some advantages over the Syrians. But the language of this prophecy seems too strong for these events; and may remain to be fulfilled against the present possessors of the countries called Javan, or Greece." When we consider that Antiochus, in his wars against the Jews after their restoration from Babylon, was a lively type of Antichrist, in his attack upon the Jews to take place after their final restoration; and when we consider that the armies of Antiochus were considerably composed of Grecians, and that the nations of Greece, or of Asia Minor, are to be in the final coalition of Antichrist against the Jews and Israel, we shall discover that the prophecy quoted had a primary and typical fulfilment in the success of the Maccabees against Antiochus; but it is to receive its great fulfilment in some power to be raised up against Antichrist in his final expedition against the Jews in Palestine. And this probably will prove to be the coalition indicated in Ezek. xxxviii, 13, by Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof.
292 Gog and his Bands.
"fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. And I will call for a sword upon him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God; every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence, and with blood; and I will reign upon him and upon his bands, and upon the many people, that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hail-stones, fire and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am the Lord."
Here we have the tremendous scene of the vintage * on Gog, and his vast armies. The judgments, at the same time, will be executed on the cities of the nations, and on the enemies of the cause of Christ through the Christian world. Here is the battle of that great day of God Almighty, the seventh vial.
The next chapter, Ezek. xxxix, is taken up in repeating and enlarging on the predictions of this destruction of Gog and his bands. In verse 6, the judgment is extended. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles. The empire of Gog, the nations of his government, will be burnt in the same fire. And the wicked and careless people of distant lands will perish. As in other prophecies; The cities of the nations fell. To the isles he will repay recompence. This slaughter is not to be confined to the literal armies of Gog. Nor will it probably be effected at once. But the fatal evil will progress through the nations. The slain of the Lord are to be from one end of the earth to the other.
In this xxxixth chapter, the beasts and fowls are invited to come and partake of the supper of the great God, the sacrifice, about to be made for them; as in Rev. xix, 17; where the same figure is used upon the same occasion; being borrowed from this passage. The stench of the unburied carcasses of the bands of Gog fills various parts of the land. Seven months are
Isa. lxiii, 1,-- Rev. xiv, last part.
Gog and his Bands. 293
occupied in burying their carcasses, and cleansing the country.
The military apparatus of these slaughtered hosts furnishes the nation of Israel with a sufficiency of fuel for seven years. And the account closes thus: Then shall they (the Church of Israel;) know that I am the Lord their God, who caused them to go into captivity among the heathen: But I have gathered them into their own land, and have left none of them any more there; (in heathen lands;) neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.
Thus ends the infidel Power of the last days. After he shall have filled a considerable part of the world, for a course of years, with carnage and terror, he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. * He is thus slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. The Beast, that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, thus goeth into perdition. And the beast was taken and with him the false prophet, that wrought miracles before him -- these both were cast alive into the lake of fire, burning with brimstone. §
The nine succeeding chapters of this prophet, which close the book of Ezekiel, present a description of the Church of God in the Millennium, under the similitude of a vast capacious temple and city, whose name thenceforth shall be, THE LORD is THERE.
* Dan. xi, last part.
Dan. vii, 11.
Rev. xvii, 8, 11.
§ Rev. xix, 20, 21.
294 Gog and his Bands.
(remainder of this section is under construction)
Rev. Ethan Smith's
Dissertation on the Prophecies