Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

(6 ones (hall

cry without;

the ambaffadors of

peace shall weep bitterly. The highways lie "wafte, the way-faring man ceafeth: He hath "broken the covenant, he hath defpifed the

cc

cities, he regardeth no man. The earth (land) "mourneth and languifheth; Lebanon is a"fhamed and hewn down; Sharon is like a "wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel fhake off "their fruits." chap. xxxiii. 7, 8, 9. At length he and his army are reprefented as arriving at Jerufalem;" and the city fhall be taken, and "the houfes rifled, and the women ravished; " and half of the city fhall go forth into captivity, and the refidue of the people fhall not "be cut off from the city," Zech. xiv. 2. For "in this alarming fituation the church is defcribed as having recourfe to the protection of the Deity. "O Lord, be gracious unto us; "we have waited for thee: Be thou their arm every morning, our falvation alfo in the time "of trouble," Ifa. xxxiii. 2. While they are engaged in prayer, a conviction of God's interpofition in the deftruction of their enemies, is impreffed on their heart; fo that their fupplication is changed to thanksgiving." At the "noife of the tumult the people fled; at the

lifting up of thyfelf the nations were scattered. "And your spoil fhall be gathered like the ga

thering of the caterpillar: As the running to "and fro of locufts, fhall he run upon them.

"The

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"The Lord is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: "He hath filled Zion with judgment and righ"teousness," Ifa. xxxiii. 3, 4, 5. As a farther answer to their prayers, the Deity is introduced addreffing Gog and his army, in folemn threatenings. "Now will I rife, faith the Lord : "now will I be exalted, now will I lift up "myself. Ye fhall conceive chaff, ye shall "bring forth stubble: your breath as fire shall devour you. And the people shall be as the "burnings of lime: as thorns cut up, fhall they "be burned in the fire," Ifa. xxxiii. 10, 11, 12.

These threatenings are inftantly executed. The multitudes that compofe the vast army of Gog are destroyed, partly by the fwords of each other, partly by the fire of the elements, as God formerly deftroyed his enemies of Armageddon. "And it shall come to pafs at the fame time, "when Gog fhall come against the land of If"rael, faith the Lord God, that my fury fhall "come up in my face. For in my jealousy, and "in the fire of my wrath, have I spoken, Surely "in that day there fhall be great shaking in "the land of Ifrael.-And I will call for a fword "against him throughout all my mountains, "faith the Lord God: Every man's fword fhall "be against his brother. And I will plead a"gainst him with peftilence, and with blood ; " and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands,

"and

" and upon the many people that are with him, "and overflowing rain, and great hailftones, fire "and brimftone," Ezek. xxxviii. 18, 19. 21, 22. "And fire came down from God out of heaven, " and devoured them," Rev. xx. 9.

SECTION II.

A Decline of the Gentile Churches.

No remarkable event occurs during the period that elapfes betwixt the deftruction of Gog and the last day; only it would appear, from various paffages already quoted, that the Jewish church continues faithful until Chrift's appearance. It is particularly afferted after the deftruction of Gog, Ifa. xxxiii. 20. "Thine eye fhall fee Je"rufalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that "fhall not be taken down, not one of the ftakes "thereof fhall ever be removed, neither fhall 66 any of the cords thereof be broken."-" So the "houfe of lfrael fhall know that I am the Lord "their God, from that day and forward," Ezek. xxxix. 22. Their endeavours to maintain purity and fidelity, are increased in confequence of Gog's invafion. Being fully fenfible of the great evils arifing from a fpirit of opposition to the discipline of the church, which animated

[ocr errors]

mated Gog and his followers, they endeavour to discover and suppress the first movements of it. So I understand thefe expreffions: "And they fhall fever out men of continual employment, paffing through the land, to bury with the "paffengers thofe that remain upon the face of "the earth, to cleanse it. And the paffengers "that pafs through the land, when any feeth a "man's bone, then fhall he fet up a fign by it, "till the buriers have buried it in the valley of "Hamon-gog," Ezek. xxxix. 14, 15. These expreffions cannot be taken in a literal fense; because the army of Gog, if it were allowed to remain unburied for seven months, would occafion peftilential disorders: Again, if you fuppofe the bones mentioned, to be a few scattered over the mountains, which had escaped the notice of thofe who buried the main body at the end of feven months, the danger arifing from them would be over; and the burial of them does not appear of fo great importance, as to require that men fhould be appointed for that employment; nor could it be faid that the burying of these bones, cleansed the land. The expreffions are certainly figurative, as the Jews unconverted. are compared to dead and dry bones, Ezek. xxxvii. So the bones of Gog's army here, fignify perfons unconverted, who refift the authority of the church, and hate the reftraints of religion. That

[ocr errors]

That men answered to the continual employment of discovering these bones, implies, that the church appoints officers for the purpose of searching into the first movements of the fpirit mentioned. When the spirit is discovered, the officers employed make it publicly known to the ordinary civil magiftrates, who, by every legal method, suppress it. The proper employment of the civil magiftrate is, to fupprefs all vice, immorality, and irreligion, as a burier covers out of fight a naufeous carcafe. By the lawful diligent exercise of difcipline, the land is cleanfed, the Jewish church is kept pure.

3

However, it would appear that the Gentile churches are represented as declining from the purity of the Millennial state, and that the fame spirit of oppofition to the truth, which animated Gog and his followers, shall continue to prevail and to spread till the last day.

This is implied in the representations given of the state of the world immediately before the laft trumpet founds. "As it was in the days "of Noe, fo fhall it be also in the days of the "Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they "married wives, they were given in marriage "until the day that Noe entered into the ark: "and the flood came and deftroyed them all. "Likewife also as it was in the days of Lot, "they did eat, they drank, they bought, they fold,

« PoprzedniaDalej »