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wicked world, for opposing him, his church and the gospel ; and an incontestible evidence of the truth of christianity, by fulfilling his predictions and promises, taking vengeance on the enemies of his people, and effectually supporting them, and their cause. He will doubtless make use of instruments in this battle.
The holy angels may be made the instruments of many events which shall be full of evil to wicked men. And the true church of Christ, bis witnesses in his cause, and against the delusions and wickedness of the antichristian church, and of the world, are represented as having a hand in bringing upon their enemies all the evils which will come upon them ; because they will take place in answer to their prayers, in their cause, and in order elfectually to avenge his own elect of their adversaries.*, Therefore, it is said of them, “These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not, in the days of their prophecy : And have power over waters, to turn them into blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.”+ And the wicked themselves will be instruments of afflicting and destroying each other, in a very cruel and dreadful manner, by opposing and fighting with one another, and carrying on destructive and bloody wars, killing men by thousands, and laying waste whole countries and nations ; by which the earth will be in a great degree depopulated ; and rivers of blood will be shed by the unrestrained pride and cruel rage of man. And many will probably put an end to their own lives, and instances of suicide will be greatly multiplied.
But multitudes of mankind will be destroyed by the more immediate hand of God, by famine and pestilences, which will prevail in many countries, at different times, in an extraordinary manner, and to a degree never known before ; by which vast multitudes will perish suddenly, and in circumstances very surprising and awful. And there will be earthquakes, and terrible stornis of lightning and thunder, and inondations of water, by which many vities and places shall sink and be overflowed, with all the inhabitants; and multitudes will perish by these, and innumerable oth . er evil occurrents, which will take place in an unusual manner, and in quick succession ; so that the hand of God will be visibly stretched out against the inhabitants of the world, to punish and destroy them for their wickedness ; and the following prediction will be fulfilled, in the full and awful extent of it. “ Fear, and the pit, and the snare are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who feeth from the noise of the fear, shall fall into the pit ; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit, shall be taken in the snare : For the wine , dows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dis. solved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage, and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again.": . Luke xviii. 7.
| Rev. xi. 6. # Isa, xxiv. 17,18, 19, 20.
This battle will not be fought at once, so as to be soon finished; but will be carried on through a course of years, probably for more than a century and an half, in order to make a suitable and sufficiently clear display of the displeasure of God with a wicked world ; and to give opportunity to men to repent and reform, when they are warned, called upon, and urged to it, by being made to suffer such a variety and long continued series of calamities, for their sins; and to discover, and set in the most clear and striking light, the bardness, obstinacy and wickedness of the heart of man, while they continue disobedient and inflexible, under all these terrible dispensations of providence, suited to awaken and reform them, to teach them the evil of sin, and the awful displeasure of God with them ; and to warn them to fly from the wrath to come, and unto Christ, as the only refuge ; and go on to revolt yet more and more, and blaspheme the hand which inflicts these evits. By all this will be more clearly manifested, than eyer before, how totally lost and infinitely miserable mankind are, and their infinite need of a Redeemer ; that no means that can be used, or methods taken to reclaim and save them, will be in the least degree effectual, unless the Spirit of God be given to change and renew their hearts, and therefore that the salvation of men depends wholly on the mere sovereign grace of God, even all that good, holiness and salvation, which shall take place in the Millennium ; and it will, in this respect, prepare the way for that day of grace.
This battle and terrible slaughter and destruction of men in so many ways, and for so long a course of years, will greatly lessen the number of mankind in the world ; so that in the close of this terrible scene, comparatively few will be left alive. Those will be the christians who shall be then members of the churches, and descendants from good people who have lived in former ages, and others who will then be true penitents, who will look back on the terrible scene which had taken place in the battle of the great day of God Almighty, and see, and have a clear and affecting conviction of his displeasure with mankind, for their sins and the terribleness of his wrath ; and will acknowledge the righteousness of it. They will consequently see the guilty, miserable, and utterly lost state of man, and their need of a Redeemer, to make atonement for their sins, and the necessity of the Holy Spirit to renew their hearts, and form them to right, and truly christian exercises : And will be clearly convinced of the truth of all the great and important doctrines of the gospel, and cordially embrace them. And they will repent and humble themselves in the sight of the Lord, and earnestly, with united hearts, cry to heaven for the forgiveness of their sins, and for mercy on themselves, and on their children, acknowledging their infinite ill desert, and flying to Christ, and sovereign grace through him, as their only refuge and hope. And then the scene will change. The battle will be over, divine judgments will cease, and there will be no more frowns on man, in the providence of God; but all dispensations and events will be expressions of kindness and mercy ; and the Holy Spirit will be poured out on them and their offspring, and all shall be holiness to the Lord ; and the Millennium will begin, and men will mul. tiply and soon subdue the earth, and fill it with inhabitants.
As antichrist and the church of Rome will have a large share in the cup of indignation and wrath which will be poured out ; so all the christian world will have a distinguished portion of it, as the inhabitants of it are much more guilly than others. There is no reason to consider the antichristian spirit and practices to be confined to that which is now called the church of Rome : The protestant churches have much of antichrist in them, and are far from being wholly reformed from the corruptions and wickedness, in doctrine and practice, which are found in that which is called BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS, AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. Her influence in promoting delusion and wickedness extends, in some degree, to all the inhabitants of the world, and more especially the christian world. She is the Mother of all the false doctrines, superstition, infidelity and abominable practices in the protestant world. And where can the church be found, which is thoroughly purged from all these abominations ? Some churches may be more pure, and may have proceeded farther in a reformation than others; but none are wholly clear of an antichristian spirit, and the fruits of it. There may be, and in many instances doubtless there is, much of the exercise of the spirit of antichrist, in opposing whai is called antichrist, and the church of Rome ; and by running into as great extremes another way. The Apostle Paul said, this mystery of iniquity, the man of sin, which is antichrist, began already to work in the churches even in his day.* How much of this then, may it be reasonably thought, is to be found in most, if not all the churches now ? In this view, the spirit and operation of antichrist are very extensive. And how few churches, or individual chris. tians, have so far come out from this mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth, as not to be in any degree partakers of her sins, so as not to receive of her plagues ! And while the sixth vial continues to run, it is not to be expected that the protestant churches in general will grow more pure ; but the evil spirits which are gone forth will promote and spread still greater corruption in doctrine and practice, by which they will be more ripe for divine judgments, and prepared to suffer in the battle under the seventh vial. The purest churches, and real christians, will suffer much in this battle, and few will go wholly unpunished. By this, the rebels, or false hearted professing christians, will be purged out from among real christians, and these shall be purified, and made white, and tried ; but the wicked shall do wickedly."
The Jews have suffered greatly for their peculiarly aggravated wickedness, in rejecting and crucifying the Son of God; and . 2 Thes. ii. 7.
† Dan. xii. 10.
they are now, and have been for near two thousand years, in a state of great affliction, and under the manifest displeasure of Heaven, to a great and distinguished degree. They yet continue a people, distinguished from all other nations, though scattered all over the world, as outcasts and vagabonds ; and will continue thus a distinct people down to the Millennium. But though they have suffered so much, they yet continue as obstinate as ever in rejecting Christ, and in all their sins. And there is reason to think they will not escape the battle of the great day of almighty God; but great and new calamities will fall upon them, by which they may be much diminished, so as to be left few in number, compared with what they have been, or are now. And the threatening denounced against that people by Moses will then be executed on them, in the full meaning and extent of it. “ And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude: Because thou wouldst not obey the voice of the Lord thy God."* But God will not make a full end of them, which he probably will do of some, if not of many other nations.
The revolutions which will take place in this battle will open the way for their return to the land given to their ancestors ; and they which are left will repent and return to the Lord Jesus Christ, against whom they and their fathers have sinned, and unto their own land, and will become an eminently excellent part of the christian church, who shall multiply, and fill all that vast tract of land given to Abraham and his posterity, from the river of Egypt, to the gre river Euphrates, t which has never yet been fully possessed by them. And their being thus received into the church of Christ, will be as life from the dead to them, and to the Gentiles.
But whether they will continue a distinct people from all other christians, through the whole time of the Millennium, or be so intermixed with others, as not to be distinguished from them, will be determined by the event : But the latter is most probable, as the ends of their being preserved in such a state of distinction, will then be answered ; and those circumstances and things, which have been, and still are, the means of their continuing a distinct and separate people, will then cease ; such as circumci. sion, and their observance of other Mosaic rites. When they shall become christians, their name by which they are now distinguished will be lost, and they will be absorbed in the christian church, the true Israel of God, where there is neither Jew nor Greek, but all are one in Christ : And then there will be one fold, and one shepherd. And then, by this event, the following prediction will be fully accomplished : “ And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen ! For the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name."
That the above representation of this baitle, which will be previous to the Millennium, and will introduce it, taken from the
Deut. xxvii, 62. + Gen. xv, 18. $ Isaiah Ixv. 15.
passages in the Revelation which have been considered, is just, and agreeable to the true sense of them, farther appears, and is confirmed by other parts of holy scripture, especially by the prophecies of this same event, recorded in the Old Testament.
The destruction of the world of mankind by a food, and the preservation of Noah and his family, who were by this brought into a new world, to be replenished by them, may be considered as a typical and prophetic representation of the great battle with the wicked world, previous to the Millennium ; by which the wicked will be swept off the earth, and the true church of Christ will be delivered and preserved, and the way opened for its pros. perity, and filling the earth.
The series of judgments brought upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians, for their disobedience to JEHOVAH, and oppressions of his people, and their dreadful overthrow in the Red Sea, to prepare
for the deliverance of Israel, was also a prophetic type of this great battle. So was the destruction of the inhabitants of Canaan, in order to introduce the people of Israel, and put them in possession of that land. Therefore, reference is had to this in the representation of the battle of that great day, as has been observed.
David was a man of blood, carried on great wars and destroyed much people, and many nations, who were enemies to him, and the people of God ; and by his conquests prepared the way for the peaceable and glorious reign of Solomon, and the building of the temple. In this, David was a type of Christ, when he shall go forth, clothed with a vesture dipt in blood, and in righteous. ness make war, and destroy the nations of mankind, his enemies, to prepare the way for the Millennium. Solomon was a type of Christ reigning in the Millennium, when the church shall rise to a state of beauty and glory, of which Solomon's temple was a type, when the meek shall inherit the earth, and delight them. selves in the abundance of peace.
The coming of Christ, in favour of his church, and of the redeemed, is spoken of as a time of vengeance to his and their enemies, in which they shall be punished and destroyed, and his people shall be avenged on them. “ The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek : to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn. “ For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.' “ And shall not God avenge his own elect, who cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them : I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.” “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets ; for God hath avenged you on her. And I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Hallelujah! Salvation and glory, and honour, and power unto the Lord our God : For true and • Isa. Ixi. 1, 2. lxii. 4.
† Luke syiii. 7, 8.