Page images
PDF
EPUB

The mission of John the Baptist, preceding the first advent, prefigured and symbolized this, “and many of the children of Israel did he turn unto the Lord his God.” But the general rejection of the meek and lowly Saviour, and his betrayal and murder at that time brought a curse and not a blessing upon the land, under which it lies to this day. But still Elijah shall come first “before the great and dreadful day” “and restore all things," shall bring back the hearts of parents and children together, and arrange the survivors of Israel, a people prepared for their appearing Messiah, as Moses arranged them at Mount Zion, when Jehovah descended and the people entered into the first covenant. And this I believe to be the times of the restitution of all things," mentioned Acts iii. 20, 21; compare Matthew xvii. 11; Mark ix. 12; and remark that the same term is used in the original.

SECTION THE THIRD.

THE LAST MORTAL FOE AND INVADER OF RESTORED ISRAEL.

That foe the Roman Empire-All the Predictions and Symbols respecting

the last Enemy fulfilled in the character and history of this Empire-Opposed by certain Kings of the North and South.

THESE times of affliction, in which Israel does not go unpunished, and in which the nations hostile to them and to the approaching kingdom of the Messiah, are, in a manner, totally destroyed, will claim much of our attention; as all have a deep interest here. But the time of the bursting forth of these dreadful judgments upon the world, is marked in prophecy, as preceded by a combination of events, to take place in the history of the nations upon earth, to which we must first advert.

I have already in a former publication declared my conviction, that it is one and the same adversary, who is every where in Scripture in view of the Spirit of Prophecy, when he designates the events of the latter days, whether that adversary is spoken of as the “scoffers of the last days ;"* the 'foe

Enoch in Jude.

from Chittim ;'* denoted as “that wicked" in the Psalms ; so variously described in Isaiah and in the other prophets, and typified both by the Assyrian and by the Babylonian invader; and in the prophecy of Ezekiel, to which our attention has been much called, addressed as “Gog of' the land of Magog,” and described as at the head of all the sons of Japheth “by whom the isles” and “coasts of the Gentiles were divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations :" + combining with them also other nations in this last warfare, “Elam, Cush, and Put,” taking possession of the land of Egypt, “so that the Ethiopians are at his steps."*

In this prophecy of Ezekiel, I think, the word of God advertizes us, that one and the same adversary has been all along the theme of the prophetic Spirit, for Gog is addressed:

xxviii. 17. “ Thus saith the Lord Jehovah ; art thou not of whom he I have spoken in old time by my servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days many years, that I would bring thee against them.”

This certainly individualizes the subject. And for the final catastrophe as described in the subsequent pages of prophecy, the supposition of a different leader of the last invasion, seems altogether unnecessary

There were four “horns of the Gentiles which lifted

up the horn over the land of Judah, to scatter it.”

These answer to the four monarchies of

* Numbers xxiv. 24. Second Advent vol. i. p. 535.

+ Genesis x. 2, &c.

§ Zechariah i. 21.

Daniel, and are very generally understood to designate the successive rise of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, to an universal or chief dominion in the civilized world; and we must bear in mind there was to be no fifth monarchy, but that of “the Saints of the Most High.”

Now, the last of these four empires, which is so much the subject of prophecy, is so delineated as to afford every characteristic of the last invading enemy.

Was he to come from Chittim? such is the position of Rome. Was the developement of an apostacy from true religion with the exaltation of a “wicked one” to take place in the combination of that power which should prove the last foe of restored Israel ? Daniel and St. John, interpreted by the events of history, have made the application of all this very clear to the state and situation of the great western empire in these latter days. Was it, however, though located in Chittim, to be a portion of Magog? This, prophecy with history has explained. The nations of the north, most of them of Sythian origin, (and Magog was the father of the Sythian race,) it is well known have long since parcelled out the Roman Empire between them, and have been the instruments of reducing this last human monarchy into the divided state, represented by “the toes, part of iron, and part of clay,” in the visionary image of Nebuchadnezzar; and by the “ten horns” upon the fourth beast in the prophecy of Daniel ; and also in the revelation of St. John. So that, for “the king that does according to his will”* in the last scenes, which Daniel discloses; who in the last emphatic time of trouble overflows with his invading armies, and seizes upon Egypt,—when Michael stands up, and he without a helper comes to his end, where he had fixed his pavilion “between the seas on the glorious holy mountain,”-we have no occasion to seek for any other power to fulfil every part of his character, and every circumstance of the prediction. Nor yet for that combination of potentates in the prophecy of the sixth vial, which are assembled together in the field of Armageddon, “the kings of the earth and of the whole world,” as they are described, "gathered to the battle of the great day of Almighty God,” in which, those whose delusions gathered them, the dragon and the beast, and the false prophet, meet their respective dooms.

* Second Advent, vol. ii, p. 64.

I cannot perceive any weight in the reasoning of those expositors, who would split into two events the grand final catastrophe of the nations doomed to judgment, making the fall of the fourth empire distinct from that of the eastern or of the Mahommedan powers. The Mahommedan powers, which I believe indeed to have fulfilled the symbol of “the little horn” growing out of the third beast in Daniel's prophecy, were not one of “the four horns of the Gentiles which lifted up the horn over the land of Judah to scatter it:” the fact is, that ages before the appearance of Mahommed, Judah had been dispersed and scattered among the nations. “The people of the prince that should come” had long ago “destroyed the city and the sanctuary." Messiah had nothing there, all had been given to

« PreviousContinue »