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perceive how mercifully he invites “ the world” to “ hear" the warning threats of his “indignation, and of his fury which shall be upon all their armies." This proves it to be his will that we should bestow all possible attention on what the Holy Spirit has revealed respecting these direful periods ; and which, as the terminating scenes of the Christian dispensation, are replete with interest. Thus, amid the revelation of his judgments his saints are encouraged to expect final deliverance; and he guards them against supineness, commanding them "not to be slothful, but followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises;” to be “always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as they know that their labour is not in vain in the Lord.” In short, to excite us to a due and watchful diligence for the advancement of his kingdom, the Saviour declares, that “ he who gathereth not with him, scattereth abroad,” while, by his prophet, he assures us that “ they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.”
But the language of Almighty vengeance is still more remarkable in the following quotations, which seem to allude to-First, The overthrow of the papacy,-Second, The decisive conflict with the adherents of this destructive apostacy at the battle of Armageddon,-Third, The overthrow of Gog and Magog, or the northern powers, &c., during their invasion of Palestine,—and Fourth, The destruction of the wicked at the Second Advent.
The first passage is in combination with a prophecy denounced against ancient Babylon, and appears to be couched in language too strong to be confined to that period:
Isaiah xii. 9–12. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate : and a he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light : the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make ba man more precious than fine gold ; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
The application of this portion of the prophecy to modern Babylon will appear just, by observing that “sinners” are to be “ destroyed out of it,” which can only relate to a still future period. Besides, the destructive nature of this dreadful concussion of physical power, cannot, with any propriety, be applied to the fall of the ancient Babylonian empire.
Mr. Bickersteth justly remarks: “ There are but few predictions of Scripture that have received their full accomplishment.
When God foretells things, he takes that large view which comprehends the whole of his dispensations, and frequently passes rapidly from a commencing to a completing accomplishment.”
Although the grand theatre of war may principally rage in portions of the ten European kingdoms, which have ' given their power and strength unto the beast," Rev. xvii. 13, yet we may justly conceive that the extraordinary effects resulting from this dreadful disorganization of mankind, this “ distress of nations with perplexity," and even of those the most civilized, must extend their fearful influences to the remotest colonies, and other regions of the earth. Of this we have a recent instance in the remarkable power which the French revolutionists exercised over their colonies, the massacres in which were probably more numerous, for extent of territory, than those of the mother country. But the following portions of Scripture will prove what reason we have to suppose that a most violent collision of principles throughout the other kingdoms of the world will have taken place, from the present increasing facilities of communication; and that much greater scenes of horror and bloodshed will be the result. But by whatever instrumentality these effects may be produced, the Scriptures are too explicit on the subject to be misunderstood.
a Prov. Il. 22.
b Isai. iv. 1; xxiv. 6.
Jeremiah xxv. 29–33. I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation ; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth ; for a the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth : they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be as dung upon the ground.*
Psalm Lxxvi. 5—10, 12. The stout-hearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep : and none of the men of might have found their hands. At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep. Thou, even thou, art to be feared : and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry ? Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven ; the earth feared and was still, when God arose to judgment to save all the meek of the earth. Selah. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: 5 the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
a Isai. xxxiv. 8. b Matt. 11. 13-16; xxiv. 22.
* See Supplement, No. III.
He shall cut off the spirit of princes : he is terrible to the kings of the earth.
Psalm xxi. 8–12. Thine hand shall find out all thine enemies : thy right hand shall find out those that hate thee. Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of thine anger : the LORD shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them. d Their fruit shalt thou destroy from the earth, and their seed from among the children of men. For they intended evil against thee: e they imagined a mischievous device, which they are not able to perform. Therefore shalt thou make them turn their back, when thou shalt make ready thine arrows upon thy string against the face of them.
Isaiah Lix. 18, 19. According to their B deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies ; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of When the
shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.
Psalm xlvi. 8-10. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder ; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Here it is proclaimed that the Lord “ will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth ;" and whatever circle we may consider these predicted ravages to embrace, the dreadful prospect is calculated to awaken our utmost energies to save some portion of the deluded, perishing race of Adam.
Long have we complained of burdens which press heavily on society in various kingdoms and states ;-burdens, which have, in some instances, nearly severed the social compact,
d Ps. xxxvII. 28 ; Mal. iv. 1. e Matt. xxi. 38; Ps. X. Rev. xvii, 14.
B Heb. "recompences."
and almost banished hospitality from the Christian domicile! But, ah! what are they, compared to the extensive calamities which sin must yet produce? What are all our past sufferings compared with the pressure of such times as are hastening on apace, when “ the evil shall go forth from nation to nation," when the multitude of the slain shall be too great to be either " lamented, gathered, or buried ?" The improvements which continue to be made in the art of destruction, remove every doubt as to the mode by which these desolations shall be accomplished, so soon as the elementary principles of destruction become sufficiently matured.
After the return of Israel to their own land, further assaults await them; so further judgments become necessary to repel these; and to whatever period we may imagine those predicted in the 76th Psalm to relate, whether to those of Armageddon, or the discomfiture of Gog, (and these, as some imagine, pourtray the same event,) it is the time when God will " arise to save all the meek of the earth;” the period in which it is expressly proclaimed that the wrath of man shall praise Him; the time in which His judgments shall have effected an influence incalculably beneficial throughout the world, by which many shall “ hear and fear;" the period from whence “ the remainder of wrath shall be restrained,” and “ the spirit of princes become” finally “cut off.”
Yet this remainder of man's wrath shall endure but for a short season; for the Lord's “ hand shall find out all his enemies;" “ the fire of his wrath shall devour them," and “ their seed shall be cut off,” so that neither root nor branch shall remain. They have long “made war with the Lamb" and with his followers, but “ the Lamb shall over