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tion being uttered with a loud voice, intimates a public declaration and general conviction, that adhering to the system of Popery, subjects men to eternal torments.
But notwithstanding this conviction in the members of the true church, such as adhere to the fyftem of Popery, fhall make fome efforts to maintain its influence, even after the battle of Armageddon; but thefe efforts fhall prove abortive, owing owing partly to their own divifions, but chiefly to the Jewish arms. We are told, that "the great city was divided into three ' parts, and the cities of the nations fell," Rev. xvi. 19.; that is, the rulers of the system divided
when the wrath of God fhall come on that devoted fociety to the uttermoft, they who adhere to her communion, shall be confidered as irreclaimable, and therefore justly configned to everlasting deftruction. This doctrine, which would be confidered as uncharitable at the time of the Reformation, or even in the prefent age, shall then appear perfectly confiftent with reafon and charity: 3. That the voice of this angel is coeval with the time immediately following the battle of Armageddon, appears from its coinciding in fentiment and expreffion with other paffages, which, without controversy, refer to that period. Compare Rev. xvi. 19. and chap xix. 20.
(1) The city fignifies fometimes the feat of the beast, but most frequently, as here, the fubjects of his spiritual jurifdiction.
divided into three feveral parties, which induced the nations who adhered to them, either as members of their communion, or as allies, to withdraw their support.
The nature and cause of these divifions, the event only can explain. But while they are thus divided among themselves, and deserted by their friends and allies, their system, as far as it is vifible in the world, is finally destroyed by the arms of the Jews, who conquer the countries over which the blafphemous king had authority, as we shall presently fee. They are the inftruments in God's hand, "to give unto "great Babylon the cup of the wine of the "fiercenefs of his wrath." After all, fome shall continue fecretly attached to Popery, so forcible is the influence of fuperftition over the human mind; but these shall be worn out gradually, by the prevailing power of the Gospel of Chrift, according to that declaration, "And the rem"nant were flain with the fword of him that fat upon the horse, which fword proceeded out ❝of his mouth;" Rev. xix. 21.
Conqueft of the Countries in the neighbourhood of Judea by the Jews.
ANOTHER remarkable event, which takes place betwixt the battle of Armageddon and the Millennium is, the conqueft made by the Jews of the feveral countries over which the blafphemous king had authority. We learn from Rev. xvi, 21. that after the battle of Armageddon, “there "fell upon men a great hail out of heaven,
every stone about the weight of a talent: And "men blafphemed God because of the plague of "the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding "great." Hail fignifies war, as in the firft trumpet; great hail, heavy or grievous war to the party conquered; its coming "out of hea "ven," fignifies that it proceeds from the church, under the authority and direction of God.
It appears from the prophets, that this war is carried on by the Jews, who, after the victory at Armageddon, lead their victorious army into the feveral countries in their neighbourhood, from which forces were fent to refift them. They undertake this war, not to gratify ambi tion or covetoufnefs, but as followers of him, who "in righteoufnefs doth judge and make
"war," to break the power of those who had concerted their deftruction, to extirpate fuperftition, and establish the truth.
The rapidity of their conquests is in general afferted by Ifaiah, chap. xi. 14. "They shall fly upon the fhoulders of the Philiftines to"ward the weft, they fhall fpoil them of the "east together; they shall lay their hands upon "Edom and Moab, and the children of Am"mon fhall obey them." A particular account of the conqueft of all Palestine is given, Ifa. xiv. 29.-32. to the close. As in the paffage quoted immediately before, the Jews are compared to an eagle, fo here to a fiery flying serpent darting on his prey. They are faid to come from the north, because they march up from Affyria. The effect of their coming is, that "all Palestine "is diffolved," the government is overturned, and the inhabitants are destroyed. Verfes 30. 32. are a defcription of the Millennium; and the conqueft foretold being interwoven with that event, shews, that the one immediately precedes the other. We have another account of this conqueft, Ezek. xxv. 15.-17. "Thus faith the "Lord God, because the Philiftines have dealt "by revenge, and have taken vengeance with a “despiteful heart, to destroy it (the houfe of Ju
dah) for the old hatred; therefore thus faith the Lord God, Behold, I will stretch out mine
"hand upon the Philiftines, and I will cut off "the Cherethims, and destroy the remnant of "the fea-coaft. And I will execute great ven66 geance on them with furious rebukes; and "they fhall know that I am the Lord, when I fhall lay my vengeance upon them."
A fimilar account is given by Zephaniah, chap. ii. 4.-8. "Gaza fhall be forfaken, and "Afhkelon a defolation; they fhall drive qut "Afhdod at the noon-day, and Ekron shall be "rooted up. Wo unto the inhabitants of the "fea-coafts, the nation of the Cherethites, the "word of the Lord is against you: O Canaan, "the land of the Philiftines, I will even destroy "thee, that there fhall be no inhabitant. And "the fea-coafts fhall be dwellings and cottages "for fhepherds, and folds for flocks. And the "coafts fhall be for the remnant of the house of "Judah; they fhall feed thereupon, in the "houfes of Afhkelon fhall they lie down in the "evening for the Lord their God fhall visit "them, and turn away their captivity.”
Thefe laft words fhew, that the conqueft in view, is coeval with the return of the Jews from their captivity; but no fuch event took place upon their return from Babylon; therefore it shall take place upon their return from the present difperfion, confequently after the battle of Armageddon.