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his cause? for, if they had not revolted from him after their conversion, no reason can be assigned why he should so bitterly attack them *.
Troubled with such unpleasant tidings from the east and from the north, Antichrist hastily quits Egypt and Libya, and retraces his steps to Judèa. Going forth in the height of his fury, he threatens to destroy all such as should oppose him: and, calling in the aid of Popish bigotry, he sanctifies his expedition by representing it as a holy crusade against heretics; and, with banners blessed by the fulse prophet, who (as we have reason to believe from the Apocalypse t) will be his attendant, he devotes many to utter extermination under the blasphemous pretext of religion. His wonted success at first attends him, He besieges Jerusalem now occupied by his enemies, and takes it. Here he exercises his usual barbarity; a barbarity, increased ten-fold by the defection of his late allies. The houses are rifled, and the women are ravished, by his licentious soldiery. Half of the inhabitants are made captive : but the other half are permitted still to remain in the city, under the controul most probably of a strong garrison. Thus does he plant the curtains of his tents between the seas in the glorious holy mountain :
* It is possible however, that the tidings out of the north may relate to the northern huilstorm of the seventh vial, and those only out of the east to the revolt and conversion of the Jews in Jerusalem.
and thus is Jerusalem, now for the last time, trodden down of the Gentiles.
During these disasters, the troops of the maritime power appear to have retreated towards the seashore, in order that they may be able to regain their ships, if all further resistance should prove fruitless. Here they would doubtless be joined by the great body of their allies, the first converted Jews, and by such of those that were afterwards converted, as were able to effect their escape from the rage of Antichrist. To this devoted host the tyrant now directs his attention. Anticipating an easy victory over his last enemies, either by suddenly cutting them off from their ships or by compelling them to re-embark, and with proud exultation looking forward to the uncontrouled empire of the civilized world, he leaves Jerusalem, and advances with his whole army to Megiddo. Between this town and the sea we may suppose the troops of the maritime power and the Jews to have taken their position, hopeless probably of victory from their vast disparity in numbers to the huge hosts of their enemy. But the battle is not always to the strong, nor the race to the swift. At this anxious moment, the glory of the Lord is suddenly manifested in the midst of Jerusalėm, and Jehovah himself becometh a wall of fire around her. The Almighty Word of God goeth forth, like a man of war, in the greatness of his strength; and all his saints, the innumerable armies of heaven, are with him. His awful Vol. II.
commission is from the Most Higħ. For, after the manifestation of the glory, the Lord of hosts sendeth him unto the nations that have spoiled his ancient people, that he may shake his hand over them, that they may become a spoil unto those whom they had made their servants, that they may know that the Lord of hosts hath seut him, that they may learn by bitter experience that he who toucheth Judah toucheth the apple of his eye. The tremendous vision halts for a moment on the mount of Olives; which, like Sinai of old, acknowledges a present God, and with a mighty earthquake cleaves asunder in the midst. It then advances to the valley of Megiddo, and hovers over the heads of the palsied troops of Antichrist. The Divine Word displays himself to the assembled nations. The faithful look up with awful wonder, knowing that their redemption draweth nigh. Every eye seeth him; and they also, his kindred after the flesh, which pierced him, now behold him in his glory. He cometh with clouds; and all the kindreds of the Latin carth wail because of him. He descendeth in his wrath: he treadeth the winepress in the fury of his indignation : bis garments are sprinkled with the blood of his enemies
* After a long and attentive examination of the subject, I rest in Mr. Mede's opinion that there will be some preternatural manifestation of the Messiah, though I cannot think that he assigns to it its proper place in the succession of events. i 19
It appears from comparing various prophecies together, that the overthrow of the Antichristian confederacy will be effected partly by supernatural and partly by natural agency. Christ will indeed tread the winepress alone, for to his sole might will the victory be owing: yet will he likewise use the instrumentality of others. While he miraculously smites his enemies with a dreadful plague, so that their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth; he will send likewise among them a great tumult from the Lord, so that they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. Judah also, summoned to the dreadful task of vengeance by his God, shall take an active part in the destruction of his enemies : for, in that day, the Lord will make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left. Thus will Antichrist come to his end,
He supposes, that it will be the cause of the conversion of the Jews: whereas, according as matters appear to me; they will be previously converted; and Christ will be revealed, not to turn them to the faith, but to execute judgment upon his enemies. See Isaiah lxiii. 1-6. Dan. vii. 9, 10, 11. Joel iii. 16. Zech. ii. 8-11. xiv. 3, 4, 12, 13.
2 Thess. ii. 8. Rev. xix. 11-21.
and none shall help him. Thus will the beast now under his last head be taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both will be cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone: and the remnant will be slain with the sword of that Almighty Conqueror who sitteth upon the white horse, the sword that proceedeth out of his mouth; and all the fowls will be filled with their flesh.
Since the Jews are to be restored in the midst of war and bloodshed, or, as Daniel expresses it, during a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, we may reasonably suppose that great numbers of them will perish. Accordingly we find, that their return from the countries of their dispersion is expressly compared by Ezekiel to their ancient exodus from Egypt. As God pleaded with their fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt; so will he likewise plead with them, causing them to pass under the rod, and purging out from among them the rebels. It is probable indeed, that only a small part of the first generation of those that are restored will quietly sit down ander their own vines and under their own fig-trees. One whole generation of the Israelites, that were brought out of Egypt, perished in the course of forty years in the wilderness: and there is reason to think, that the