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The circumstances of the Battle, ifsuing in a glorious Victory for the Jews.
THE fame light of truth which discovers the parties, reveals likewife the manner of the battle of Armageddon.
After the Jews are trained forty years in the wilderness of Affyria, from the date of their converfion, under the immediate eye of God: After the kings of the earth, deluded by Popish emiffaries, during the fame period, are induced at length to bring their armies into Judea, to refift them; the Jews by a mandate from heaven under the conduct of the Meffiah, march up to take poffeffion of the land given by promise to their fathers. "And there fhall be an high
way for the remnant of his people, which "fhall be left from Affyria, like as it was to "Ifrael in the day that he came up out of the "land of Egypt;" Ifa. xi. 16.
So folemn an occafion, will readily bring to their recollection the dealings of God with their nation in time past, and certain circumstances in his dealings, will as readily excite fears for the future. Those fears, and the manner in which God removes them, are laid before us, Ifa. liv. 4.-17. to close.
It will be natural for them to reflect, now that they are about to poffefs the land, that they were put in poffeffion of it twice before, and were as often expelled out of it, while the laft expulfion was far more fevere than the firft; hence the dread of being ejected a third time, with ftill greater feverity, damps their joy, and overwhelms their spirits. To remove this fear, God addreffes them: "Fear not; for thou "fhalt not be ashamed: neither be thou con"founded; for thou shalt not be put to fhame: "for thou shalt forget the shame of thy "youth, and shalt not remember the reproach "of thy widowhood any more. For thy Ma"ker is thine husband; the Lord of hofts is "his name: and thy Redeemer the holy One "of Ifrael; the God of the whole earth fhall "he be called. For the Lord hath called thee "as a woman forfaken, and grieved in fpirit, " and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, "faith thy God. For a fmall moment have I "forfaken thee; but with great mercies will "I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face "from thee for a moment; but with everlast
ing kindness will I have mercy on thee, faith "the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the "waters of Noah unto me: for as I have fworn "that the waters of Noah fhould no more go "over the earth; fo have I fworn that I would
I not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. "For the mountains fhall depart, and the hills "be removed; but my kindness fhall not depart from thee, neither fhall the covenant of εἰ my peace be removed, faith the Lord that "hath mercy on thee;" Ifa. liv. 4.—19..
After intimations of the warmeft love, compared to that of a husband for the wife of his youth, the object of his first and strongest affection, he affures them, that as he formerly fwore to Noah, and pledged himself to his pofterity, filled with the dread of a fecond deluge, that no fuch event fhould ever take place to dif poffefs them of the earth; fo now he folemnly fwears that he never will be wroth with them, nor rebuke them, by difinheriting them of the land they are about to poffefs. So long as the earth endures, they fhall remain in it, and when time shall be no more, they fhall experience his loving-kindness in a heavenly country, throughout the ages of eternity. It will readily occur to them, that ease and profperity corrupted their fathers. The fubmiffion they learned by a courfe of difcipline in the wildernefs, was changed into difobedience, upon their poffeffion of the land; "Jefhurun waxed fat "and kicked."
The humility they acquired by their captivity in Babylon, was, fome time after their return, YY
loft in Pharifaical pride, and many other degrees of wickedness; it is therefore natural that they should feel an apprchenfion that they or their pofterity may again fall away from their allegiance to the Deity, and relapse into irreligion and profaneness. The folitary wilderness, with the favour of God, appears preferable to a land abounding with outward delights, where they are in danger of provoking him to anger. To comfort them under this apprehenfion, God fays, "Oh thou afflicted, "toffed with tempeft, and not comforted! be"hold, I will lay thy ftones with fair colours, "and lay thy foundations with fapphires. And "I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant ftones. And all thy children fhall "be taught of the Lord; and great shall be "the peace of thy children. In righteousness "fhalt thou be established: thou fhalt be far "from oppreffion; for thou shalt not fear and "from terror; for it fhall not come near thee;" Ifa. liv. 11.-14.
God promises, that for their preservation, he will form a national establishment, civil and religious, as far fuperior to any formerly known, as a city built of precious ftones excels the most finished fpecimen of human architecture. He farther promises fpecial grace to every individual, and in confequence peace to the commu
nity; that prevailing righteousness shall secure them from internal oppreffions, and not only from the attacks, but from the fear of external enemies. Another ground of fear is, the formidable force collected in Judea to refift them. To remove this, God fays, 66 Behold, they shall furely gather to"gether, but not by me: whofoever shall ga"ther together against thee, fhall fall for thy "fake. Behold, I have created the fmith that "bloweth the coals in the fire, and that bringeth "forth an inftrument for his work; and I have "created the wafter to deftroy. No weapon "that is formed against thee shall profper; and
every tongue that fhall rife against thee in "judgment thou shalt condemn ;" Ifa. liv. 15, 16, 17. He intimates, that the forces, of which they heard a report, would gather together to refift them, but at the fame time promises a victory over them. To eftablish their faith in this promife, he reminds them, that men, their weapons, their counfels, the fuccefs of their counfels, are all at his difpofal, and again af fures them, that neither the weapons, nor the more dangerous calumnies of their enemies, by which they deluded the world to oppofe them, fhould prevail to their hurt.
Their fears being removed, they are reprefented as addreffing themselves to God by a folemn prayer. The fum of it is laid before