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Of the Battle of Armageddon.
HE battle fought at Armageddon is fo decifive for the intereft of religion, that it is largely described by the ancient prophets. I fhall therefore take the benefit of their united light, to discover-the place of the battle,-the parties engaged,-the manner of the event,and the consequences of the victory obtained.
The Place of the Battle is near Jerufalem.
THAT the place of Armageddon, or mountain of destruction, is Judea, we might infer from the refidence of the beaft in Judea, previous to the battle, and his collecting allies for a defenfive war. It is moft natural to fuppofe, that he will make his last ftand in the country where he refides. But waving this, his deftruction in Judea, is clearly afferted in the following paffages of fcripture: "The Lord of "hofts hath sworn, faying, Surely as I have thought,
"thought, fo fhall it come to pafs; and as I "have purposed, fo fhall it ftand; that I will "break the Affyrian in my land, and upon my "mountains tread him under foot: then shall "his yoke depart from off them, and his bur"den depart from off their fhoulders. This is "the purpose that is purposed upon the whole "earth; and this is the hand that is ftretched "out upon all the nations. For the Lord of "hofts hath purpofed, and who fhall difannul "it? and his hand is ftretched out, and who "fhall turn it back?" Ifa. xiv. 24.-27. The Affyrian can be no other than the king of Babylon, mentioned in the preceding part of the chapter, and the king of ancient Babylon cannot be intended, becaufe no fuch event took place, as his destruction in the land of Ifrael. But as the name is elsewhere beftowed on the head of spiritual Babylon, fo the character here given fitly agrees to him; ver. 13.-15. This deftruction takes place at the time the Jews are reftored to the favour of God and their own land; but the defcription of that restoration can by no means apply to the return from Babylon; ver. 1.-3. The yoke of this Affyrian laid on the Jews fhall then depart from off them; ver. 25. "The whole earth," "all nations," inimical to the true religion, fhall be punished together with the Affyrian; ver. 26. exactly correfponding
with the Apocalypfe, which represents the deftruction of the kings of the earth, and their armies, together with the beast at Armageddon. But this deftruction takes place "in the land "of Ifrael, and on the mountains of Judea ;" ver. 25. Therefore Judea is Armageddon.
"Through the voice of the Lord fhall the "Affyrian be beaten down, which fmote with "a rod.-For Tophet is ordained of old: yea, " for the king it is prepared: he hath made it "deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and "much wood: the breath of the Lord, like a "ftream of brimftone, doth kindle it ;" Ifa. xxx. 31.33. Here the fame Affyrian mentioned formerly is introduced, for he is faid to be "beaten down" at the time the Jews are reftored to their land, and enjoy the bleffings of the Millennium, largely defcribed ver. 18.-26. Again, the manner of his deftruction correfponds with the representation given of it in the Apocalypfe, chap. xix. 20. "The beaft was taken, " and with him the falfe prophet.-These both "were caft alive into a lake of fire burning with "brimftone." But the place where he is beaten down is Tophet, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, which lies to the east of Jerufalem. "Then "fhall the Affyrian fall with the fword, not of a mighty man; and the fword, not of a mean "man, fhall devour him: but he shall flee from
"the fword, and his young men shall be dif"comfited. And he fhall pafs over to his strong "hold for fear, and his princes fhall be afraid " of the enfign, faith the Lord, whose fire is in "Zion, and his furnace in Jerufalem ;" Ifa. xxxi. 8, 9. This prophecy may have a double meaning. Every word of it is applicable to Sennacherib. His army fell by the fword of the angel, not therefore by the fword of a mighty He fled from the fword, and his army was discomfited. He paffed over to Nineveh, his strong hold, for fear, and his princes or captains haftened out of the land of Judea, for fear of that God whose refidence was in Zion, and whom they experienced to be a confuming fire to his enemies.
or a mean man.
But the prophecy, as appears from the connection, points likewife to the fall of the blafphemous king, fo often termed the Affyrian, and the expreffions are fo happily chofen, that every word is applicable to his cafe. The power and interpofition of the Deity, fhall be confpicuous in his fall; but previous to that he fhall flee for fear of the fword of the Jews, to Jerufalem his strong hold, the armies that fupport him fhall be discomfited. He and the kings of the earth fhall be confumed at Jerufalem, as in a furnace, by fire from heaven. The reprefentation here as to the place and manner of his · fall
fall, accords with that in the paffage quoted immediately before.
"Let the heathen be wakened, and come up "to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will "I fit to judge all the heathen round about ;" Joel iii. 12. From ver. 9. to 18. we have an animated description of the battle of Armageddon; for the expreffions of it are quoted and applied to that event, Rev. xiv. 14.—20. In the preceding context, we have an account of the perfecution carried on by the blafphemous king previous to the battle, as I have already observed, and in the following context, there is a description of the Millennium, according to the order of events laid down in the Apocalypfe; fo that the battle of Armageddon must be intended; but the place of that battle is the valley of Jehoshaphat, which is a continuation of the valley of Tophet, or the son of Hinnom, lying to the caft of Jerufalem, through which the brook of Kedron runs.
"Behold, I will make Jerufalem a cup of "trembling unto all the people round about, "when they shall be in the fiege both againft
Judah and against Jerufalem;" Zech xii. 2, The word tranflated againft, fignifies concerning, and is rendered for, as often as against. It is fo tranflated in the verse immediately preceding, for Ifrael." It ought to be fo rendered in this