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"I have now done, by the completion of prophecy. Shew that ye have uttered prophecies "which have been already accomplished, or shall "hereafter be accomplished; or utter prophe"cies now, with affurance of their completion: "that we may know your claim to be just.
To the fame purpose, Ifa. xliii. having briefly mentioned the converfion of the Jews, ver. 8. he adds, "Let all the nations be gathered to"gether, and let the people be affembled: who among them can declare this, and fhew us "former things! let them bring forth their "witneffes, that they may be justified: or let "them hear, and fay, It is truth. Ye are my "witneffes faith the Lord, and my fervant "whom I have chofen: that ye may know and "believe me, and understand that I am he: "before me there was no god formed, neither "fhall there be after me. I, even I am the Lord, and besides me there is no Saviour;' Ifa. xliii. 9, 10, II.
So Ifa. xliv. The converfion of the Jews is represented from the beginning to ver. 6.; then follows an addrefs to the Jews: "Thus faith the "Lord the King of Ifrael, and his Redeemer "the Lord of hofts; I am the first, and I am "the laft; and befides me there is no god. "And who is like me that he should call forth "this event, and make it known before hand,
" and difpofe it for me, from the time that I "appointed the people of the destined age. "The things that are now coming and are to ઃઃ come hereafter, let them declare unto us. "Fear ye not, neither be ye afraid: have I not "declared it unto you from the first? ye have "foreshewn it, and ye are my witneffes. Is "there a God befides me? Yea, there is no fure "protector. I know not any';" ver. 8. After which there is an addrefs to idolaters, containing the most acute and forcible arguments against image-worship which are to be found in the whole fcripture'.
But while the church rejoices, and the gospel fpreads, the fame tidings fill the blafphemous king and his adherents, with a horrible confternation and dread, reprefented in the fixth vial, Rev. xvi. 12.-16. The reafons of that confternation, we may eafily conceive from the circumstances already detailed. He was Jealous of the Jews, that they would lay claim to the land' of his poffeffion, and therefore endeavoured to exterminate them by a virulent perfecution. He now finds that the effect of the perfecution has been to collect them together, so that they
(1) I have followed Lowth's tranflation, as it renders the fenfe of the paffage more clear.
(2) See likewife chap. xlv. 20.-25. to the clofe,chap. xlvi. 5.11, 12.
they form a great army; that they are preferved in the wilderness; where he expected they would have perished by famine, (though I prefume he will not allow their preservation to be the confequence of a Divine interpofition); that they are infected with the Proteftant herefy, as he will term it, fo fatal to his empire in Europe: He must confider thefe concurring circumftances, as menacing the existence of his government and religion. He therefore difpatches his emiffaries to every prince and potentate on earth, from whom he can expect any fupport, in order to make their united and laft effort in a religi ous war. "I faw three unclean fpirits like "frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, "and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of "the mouth of the falfe prophet. For they are "the fpirits of devils, working miracles, which
go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of "the whole world, to gather them to the battle "of that great day of God Almighty;"Rev.xvi. 13, 14. Here is a triumvirate, united to refift the converted Jews. The dragon, Satan in his proper colours. The beaft, the head of fpiritual Babylon, now refident in Judea. The falfe prophet, the Popish clergy'. As the dragon'
(1) So exactly do the prophecies agree, that we find the fame triumvirate mentioned, by Ifaiah chap. xxvii. I.
gave authority at first to the beaft, and governed all along unseen by his means, fo now he ap pears openly as his fupporter. As Popery was all along Paganism, varnished over with an ap pearance of Christianity, fo now the Pagan pow ers avowedly fupport the Popish party, in refifting the converted Jews.
The emiffaries of this triumvirate go forth to the kings of the earth, to procure their support for the beaft, in his laft extremity. And they are fordid, loquacious, and amphibious, like frogs. They use the meaneft fhifts to form alliances, croak portentuous ills to mankind, arifing from the dominion of the Jews, and fuit their
In that day the Lord, with his fore and great, and strong "fword, fhall punish Leviathan the piercing ferpent, even "(and) Leviathan that crooked ferpent; and he shall slay "the dragon that is in the fea.” Our translators feemed to have confidered the names here mentioned, as belonging to one enemy, or at most to two; but whoever reads the paffage in the original, will immediately perceive that three diftinct enemies are pointed out. Accordingly Lowth fo understands it in his tranflation. The time of their punishment is after the converfion of the Jews, mentioned Ifaiah xxvi. 12, 13. The two Leviathans are defcribed by characters that fuit the first and second beafls in the Apocalypfe. The character of the first is pride and tyranny; that of the fecond, fubtilty and cunning. The second beast is the fame with the falfe prophet. The dra gon retains the name and character in both paffages,
their arguments to the peculiar circumstances and difpofitions of those whom they address.
These are perilous times; an exhortation is therefore inserted, intimating the suddenness of the judgments which shall overtake these enemies of the truth, and cautioning Chrift's faithful followers from being led away by the delufion. "Behold, I come as a thief. Bleffed is "he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, “left he walk naked, and they see his shame;' Rev. xvi. 15.
The delufion spread by the Popish emiffaries is fo great, that the kings of the earth are perfuaded to enter into a league, and bring together their combined forces, in order to fupport the beast and refift the Jews. "And he gathered "them together into a place called in the He "brew tongue Armageddon ;" Rev. xvi. 16.