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observed, that, when we consider the point to which we now seem to be arrived in the Apocalypse, we can scarcely doubt that we behold the rudiments of this confederacy rapidly acquiring form and stability; and that, whenever the Turkish empire is overthrown, there will then be no doubt at all.
At the pouring out of the last vial the 1260 years apparently expire, and the restoration of Judah commences. To this period therefore we must ascribe the expedition of the wilful king*; and at this same period the stone begins to smite the image upon his feet, and the Ancient of days to sit in judgment upon the Roman beast and his
* There is some reason for believing, that, during the effusion of the seventh vial and the contemporaneous expedition of Antichrist into Palestine, the sins of the papal empire, then left in a manner defenceless, will be severely punished by the desolating invasion of a great northern nation. In the language of symbols, a storm of hail denotes a hostile invasion from the north, the region where the natural hail is generated. Accordingly it is used by St. John, in his description of the effects produced by the first trumpet, to typify the irruption of the northern tribes into the Roman empire. Now it is worthy of note, that another hail-storm is to be one of the plagues produced by the seventh vial; and it is equally worthy of note, that some great northern king is said by Daniel to be engaged in hostilities with Antichrist at this very period. The necessary conclusion seems to be, if I be right in supposing the northern king to be Russia, that the hail-storm of the seventh vial means some dreadful invasion of the papal Roman empire by Russia and her northern allies during the time that Antichrist is engaged in prosecuting his conquests in Palestine and Egypt. This conjecture is founded upon Mr. Butt's paraphrase of Rev. xvi. 17, 18, 19, 20, 21; which the reader may compare with the text.
"17. And the last minister poured out his vial upon the spiritual power of mystical Babylon, and there came a great voice from the established church from the throne, saying, The mystery of God is finished, Antichrist is crucified. 18. And there were thanksgivings, and languages, and the thunder of preachers, and flashes of light; and there was a great revolution, such as never was from the time that men were upon the earth (Comp. Dan. xii. 1.). 19. And the great nation and empire was divided into three portions, and the communities of the Christian Gentiles were revolutionized, and catholic Babylon came in remembrance before God to give unto her the cup of crucifixion and extreme wrath. 20. And every little state was revolutionized, and the kingdoms were levelled, the foundations of the great city annihilated. 21. And great northern armies are caused to descend by the church and fall upon citizens; and the citizens blasphemed God for the plague of the northern armies, for it was inexpressibly heavy and dreadful." Butt's third part of notes on the Revelation, p. 24.
I am no way singular in supposing, that the effusion of the seventh vial synchronizes with the expedition of Antichrist into Palestine and the contemporary restoration of the Jews. Commenting on Dan. xii. 1, Mr. Lowth observes, "that the Scriptures speak of the extraordinary appearances of God's kingdom, as ushered in by great tribulations (See Isaiah xxvi. 20, 21. Jer. xxx. 7. Matt. xxiv. 21.). This some learned men suppose to relate to the times of the last vial (Rev. xvi. 18.), when there was a great earthquake, saith the text, such as was not since men were upon the earth.”
tyrannical little horn. It is observable that the stone smites the image upon his feet and his ten toes, previous to his other members being smitten. This exactly accords with what Daniel says relative to the fate of the four beasts. The Roman empire is to be first destroyed, and that in its divided form: the lives of the other three beasts are to be preserved for a season and a time. And both these prophecies equally accord with the Apocalypse. After the destruction of the Roman beast under his last head and the downfal of his false prophet or harlot-church, and after the thousand years have expired, then at length perish Gog and Magog; whose seats, together with those of their associates, are, as we find from Ezekiel, within the limits of the three first empires. I am much inclined to think, that the season and the time, during which the lives of the three beasts were to be preserved, is only another mode of expressing the thousand years mentioned by St. John. As a day in the prophetic language is a year, so a great time or year of the Lord was thought by the Jews to comprehend a thousand years; and this great time they were wont to style the great day of judgment, shewing thereby that days, and years, and millenaries, are equal in the sight of God *. At any rate the time, during which the lives of the three beasts were to be preserved, undoubtedly coincides with the thousand years; whence we are naturally led to conclude, that Daniel did not mean an indefinite time, but a time or year of some description or another. It cannot however be a time of 360 years, because it coincides with the Millennium; therefore it must be a great time or year of 1000 years.
The whole war, which terminates with the battle of Armageddon, is both minutely and geographically detailed by Daniel. The confederacy under its leader the infidel king will, at the time of the end or the close of the 1260 years, be opposed by a king of the north and a king of the south; yet, in spite of their efforts, it will succeed in overflowing many countries, and in conquering Palestine, Egypt, Libya, and the land of Cush. In the midst of these victories its chief will be disturbed by some unto
The reader will find some very curious remarks on this subject by Mr. Mede in his Works, B. v. C. 3.
ward tidings out of the north and out of the east: tidings probably of the arrival in Palestine of the navy of the great maritime power with the converted of Judah, which, supposing the infidel king to be then in Egypt and Libya, would reach him from the north and north-east. Enraged at such ungrateful news, he will go forth in his fury to devote to utter destruction his opponents: and he will succeed in taking Jerusalem. This however will be his last victory. Advancing to Megiddo a town near the shores of the Mediterranean, where (as we learn from St. John) the conflict will be finally decided; advancing therefore (will the conjecture be deemed too unreasonable?) against the forces of the maritime power, and such of the Jews as shall be under its protection (the apostates themselves perhaps, late the allies of Antichrist, being now of the number, and converted): advancing, I say, against this town, he shall there unexpectedly come to his end, none being able to help him. The triumphant Word of God shall break his confederacy, that Babel which he had so long been carefully erecting; and, at the head of the armies of heaven, shall supernaturally overwhelm him with sudden destruction.
During this period of unexampled trouble, which so awfully terminates with the slaughter of Megiddo, we are expressly taught by Daniel, in perfect harmony with the other inspired prophets, that the restoration of Judah shall take place: consequently the whole prophecy relative to the expedition of Antichrist must be so interpreted as to harmonize with the many predictions which treat of the conversion and return of the ancient people of God.
Yet, at the time when the power of Antichrist is broken, all his followers will not be involved in indiscriminate destruction. The least guilty will be spared, converted, and scattered into all nations. Wherever they go, they will earry the wonderful tidings, that God hath overthrown his enemies, and accomplished the restoration of his people Judah. One thing only remains to complete the grand scheme of general redemption, and fulfil the sure word of prophecy. Though Judah hath returned, the lost sheep of the house of Israel remain still to be gathered. But they shall not long continue in the land of their captivity.
Struck with the marvellous tidings of those that had escaped from the slaughter of Megiddo, all nations shall bring the brethren of Judah, an offering unto the Lord, to his holy mountain to Jerusalem; the stick of Joseph shall be united with the stick of Judah; one king, even the mystical David, shall be king unto them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided any more into two kingdoms*.
This circumstance of a two-fold successive restoration will perhaps shew us, as I have already observed, why Daniel divides the 75 years, which will intervene between the expiration of the 1260 years and the commencement of the 1000 years or the season of millennian blessedness, into 30 years and 45 years. The 30 years may be taken up with the restoration of Judah, and the Antichristian war of the infidel king and his associates at the time of the end; the 45 years may be occupied with the subsequent restoration of Israel, in consequence of the tidings carried far and wide by the converted fugitives from Armageddon. When the 75 years have elapsed, and when the whole house of Jacob has been brought back, then will commence the thousand years of the reign of the saints†. None except vital Christians, none except protestants in reality no less than in name, will then hold the reins of government throughout the whole world; the tyranny of Popery and Infidelity will be every where subverted; carth will become a school for heaven in a far higher sense than it has ever yet been; and man, daily conversing with his Maker, shall eat as it were angels' food, and walk as it were upon the threshold of the world of spirits.
At the close of the Millennium, after the destruction of Gog and Magog, the second or general resurrection will take place. The first heaven and the first earth shall
Isaiah lxvi. 19---24. Ezek. xxxvii. 19---25.
"We may venture to say in general, that there may be a considerable space of time between the fall of Antichrist, and the last judgments which shall be inflicted upon him. Some learned men, who have compared the prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation together, suppose the interval of time between the 1260 days and the 1335 days to be included within the times of the seventh trumpet, during which the seven last plagues will be fulfilled.”. (Mr. Lowth's Comment. on Dan. xii. 12.) This interval of time appears to me to belong exclusively to the seventh vial, as others have perhaps more justly imagined. See Mr. Lowth on Dan. xii. 1.
pass away, and a new heaven and a new earth shall occupy their place. The Church of God shall be finally translated to everlasting rest and happiness; tears shall be wiped from every eye; and death shall be swallowed up in victory.
The restoration of Israel-Their instrumentality in converting the Gentiles-The state of the Jews in the days of their dispersion.
Hosea i. 2. The beginning of the word of the Lord by Hosea was in this manner. The Lord said unto Hosea; Go, take to thee a wife of prostitution, and children of promiscuous commerce: for the land is perpetually playing the wanton, forsaking the Lord. 3. So he went, and took Gomer, daughter of Diblaim; and she conceived, and bare him a son. 4. And the Lord said unto him, call his name Jezrael (a seed of God); for yet a little while, and I will visit the blood of Jezrael upon the house of Jehu, and I will abolish the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5. And it shall be in that very day *, when I break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezrael. 6. And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said, Call her name Lo-Ruhamah (not beloved): for I will no more cherish with tenderness the house of Israel, insomuch as to be perpetually forgiving them. 7. But the house of Judah with tenderness I will cherish; and I will save them by the Lord their God †; and will not
In that very day.] "This entire abolition of the kingdom of the ten tribes shall take effect at the time when I break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezrael." Bp. Horsley's Hosea in loc.
I will save them by Jehovah their God.] "These expressions are too magnificent to be understood of any thing but the final rescue of the Jews from the power of Antichrist in the latter ages, by the incarnate God destroying the enemy with the brightness of his coming, of which the destruction of Sennacherib's army, in the days of Hezekiah, might be a type, but it was nothing more. It may seem perhaps, that the prophecy points at some deliverance peculiar to the house of Judah, in which the ten tribes will have no share; such as the overthrow of Sennacherib actually was: whereas the destruction of Antichrist_will be an universal blessing. But, in the different treatment of the house of Fudah and the house of Israel, we see the prophecy hitherto remarkably verified. After the excision of the kingdom of the ten tribes, Fudah, though occasionally