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about, wherein their mouths are filled with laughter, and their tongue with singing. So the Egyptians were first overthrown in the Red sea, and then Moses and the children of Israel rejoiced in peace, and liberty, and sung that glorious song of triumph. So first Babylon is destroyed, and then the captivity of Israel is returved, and Jerusalem rebuilt. So when the beatheu Roman empire was overthrown, then commenced that prosperous and joyful state of the church that was in the days of Constantine. So when Antichrist is destroyed, there will follow that joyful glorious state of the church we are looking for. Isaac was the promised seed of Abraham, the father of all the faithful, the blessing he had long waited for, and when Sarah brought him forth, it represented the same thing as the woman in the xii. chap. of Rev. “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars : and she, being with child, cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." The accomplishment of the prosperous state of the church is in scripture often compared to a womau's bringing forth a child with which she had been in travail. It is so in particular by our Saviour, John xvi. 19, 20, 21, 22. “Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me; and again a little while, and ye shall see ine? Verily, verily, I say unto you, that ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice, and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail bath sorrow, because her hour is come, but as soon as she is delivered of the child she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now, therefore, have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” Hereby is especially represented the accomplishment of the church's glory, joy, and laughter, after the destruction of Antichrist, or the throne of Rome, that is spiritually called Sodom.

[431] Gen. xviii. Concerning the burning of Sodom, &c. Diodorus Siculus, b. 19. Where he describes the lake Asphalsites, says, “ 'The neiglıbouring country burns with fire, the ill smell of which makes the bodies of the inhabitants sickly, and not very long lived.” Strabo, b. 16, after the description of the lake Asphaltites, says, “ There are many signs of this country being on fire, for about Mastada they show many cragged and burnt rocks, and in many places caverns eaten in, and the ground turned into ashes, drops of pitch falling from the rocks, and running waters slinking to a great distance, and their habitations overtbrown; which give credit to a report amongst the inhabit

ants that formerly there were thirteen cities inhabited there, the chief of which was Sodom, so large as to be sixty furlongs round; but by earthquakes and fire breaking out, and by hot waters mixed with bitumen and brinstone, it became a lake, as we now see it. The rocks took fire, some of the cities were swallowed up, and others sorsaken by those inhabitants that could flee." Tacitus, in the fifth book of his history, has these words : “ Not far from thence are those fields which are reported to have been formerly very fruitful, and inhabited by a large city, but were burnt by lightning, the marks of which remain, in that the land is of a burning nature, and has lost its fruitfulness ; for every thing that is planted or grows of itself, as soon as it comes to an herb or flower, or grown to its proper bigness, vanishes like dust into nothing." Solinus, in the xxxvi. chap. of Salmasius's edition, has these words: “ At a good distance from Jerusalem, a dismal lake extends itself, which was struck by lightning, as appears from the black earth burnt to ashes. There were two towns there, one called Sodom, the other Gomorrah ; the apples that grow there cannot be eaten, though they look as if they were ripe, for the outward skin incloses a kind of sooty ashes, which, pressed by the least touch, flies out into smoke, and vanishes into fine dust." Grotius de Verit. b. i. sect. 16. Notes.

[359] Gen. xix. 23, 24. “ The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered in Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." This signified that the terrible destruction of the wicked is at the beginning of the glorious day wherein the Sun of Righteousness rises ou the earth, and at the coming of Christ, Lot's antitype, and visiting his church, the little city, the antitype of the church. So it was in the days of the apostles, in the morning of the gospel day, when Judea and Jerusalem were so terribly destroyed. So it was in the days of Constantine, and so it will be at the fall of Antichrist; and so it will be at the end of the world. See Job xxxviii. 13. Note.

[336] So Dagon fell once and again before the ark early in the morning; so afier the disciples had toiled all night and caught nothing, yet in the morning Christ came to them, and they had a great draught of fishes; so Christ rose from the dead early in the morning. It is said concerning God's church, that “ weeping may continue for a night, but joy will come in the morning."

The children of Israel were all night pursued by their enemies at the Red sea ; in the night they were in the sea, in a great and terrible east wind, but in the morning watch the Lord looked through the pillar of cloud and fire, and iroubled the hosts of the Egyptians; and in the morning the children of Israel came up out of

the sea, and the host of the Egyptians was destroyed, and the children of Israel rejoiced and sang. Jacob, after wrestling with the angel in the night, obtained the blessing in the morning. “He that ruleth over men shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds : and as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.” 2 Sam. xxiii. 4. Psalm xlix. 14. "The upright shall have dominion over them in the morning, and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. In the morning, when the Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in his wings, the day comes that shall burn as an oven, (as that day burnt in which Lot entered into Zoar,) and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, and the righteous shall tread down the wicked, and they shall be as ashes under the soles of their feet.” Mal. iv. at the beginning. The Church in the lix. Psalm, after expressing her great troubles from her enemies, and declaring how God should destroy them, says, verse 16, “But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning, for thou hast been dy defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.” So likewise the church, in speaking of her troubles, in Psalm cxliii. 8, “Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning, for in thee do I trust; cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto thee.” It is said of the Church, Psalm xlvi. 5, “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that right early.” And then in the 8th verse, it is said, “Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he hath made in the earth.” Hosea vi. 1, 2, 3. Come, and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind up. After two days will he revive us ; in the third day he will raise

up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning, and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter rain and the former rain unto the earth."


[276] Gen. xix. 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. Concerning the destruction of Sodom and the parts adjacent. The very ground of that region, great part of it, seems to have been burnt up. For it. was in great measure made up of bitumen, or what the scripture calls slime, Gen. xiv. 10. “And the vale of Siddim was full of slime pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain." And because of the abundance of bitumen in the lake of Sodom, it was called of old, and is still called Lacus Ashpaltites. It is full of bitumen, which at certain seasons boils up from the bottom



in bubbles like bot water. This bitumen is a very combustible

It is in some places liquid, and in others firm; and not only lies near the surface of the earth, but lies sometimes very deep, and it is dug out of the bowels of it. So that the streams of fire that came from heaven set the very ground on fire ; and therefore it is here, in the 28th verse, that Lot looked towards Sodom and Gomorrah, and towards all the land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace. So that the country burving was a very lively representation of the general conflagration; and by the melting of the bituminous ground in many places was probably a burning lake, and so was a lively image of hell, which is often called the lake of fire, and the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. Note, that bitumen is a sulphurous substance, (see Bailey's Dictionary,) and therefore is fitly compared to hell fire in scripture, Jude 7th ver. “ Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them ; in like manner giviog theniselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” There seeros to be an evident allusion to the manner of the destruction of this country in Isai. xxxiv. 9, 10, " And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night nor day: the smoke thereof shall go up for ever; from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever. Deut. xxix. 23. “And the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown, nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zebojim, wbich the Lord overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath ;" where we are expressly tanght that the very ground of this country was burnt. The ground burning up sunk the land, and made this valley deeper, so that after that the waters of Jordan perpetually overflowed it; and besides, there was probably an earthquake at the same time, by which the ground subsided, as the tradition of the heathen was. It is probable that the same time as the meteors of their air were inflamed, the bitumen and other combustible matter that was in the bowels of their earth was also enkindled, or the fire that was first kindled on the top of the ground might run down in the bituminous and sulphurous veins deep into the earth, and being there pent up, might cause earthquakes, after those cities and inhabitants were all consumed, which might make the country to sink, and turn it into a bituminous and exceeding salt lake. The ground there was doubtless very likely to sink hy an earthquake, being bollow, as it is evident it is still, in that since the surface of the

earth hath been broken to let down the water at the river Jordan and other streams, there is no outlet out of the lake above ground, but they have a secret passage under the earth. The bituinen there is mixed with abundance of nitre and salt, which by their repugnant quality might cause a more violent struggle in the fire that burnt down into the caverns of the earth to cause an earthquake. See many of these things in Complete Body of Divinity, p. 351, 352.

[239] Gen. xix. 26. Concerning Lot's wife. Revelation Examined with Candour. « The unrensonable delay of Lot's wife was without question occasioned by her solicitude for her children, which she left behind her. The story of Niobe weeping for her children, and being stiffened into stone with grief, is doubtless founded upon this history. Possibly, too, the fable of Orpheus being permitted to redeem his wife from hell, and losing her afterwards by looking anseasonably back, contrary to the express command given hiin, and then through grief deserting the society of mankind and dwelling in deserts, might be derived from some obscure tradition of this history. Sodom was now the liveliest eniblem of hell that can be imagined. It was granted to Lot by a peculiar privilege to deliver his wife thence. He was expressly commanded, Gen. xix. 17, "Look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” By her looking back, contrary to this command, his wife was lost; after which he quits the city, and dwells alone in the mountains. Here are all the main circumstances of the fable, and the poets had nothing to do but to vary and embellish as they liked best.

(380) But his wife looked back from behind her, and she became a pillar of salt. What happened to Lot's wife when she looked back as she was flying out of Sodom, is typical of what cominonly happens to men that are guilty of backsliding when they have begun to seek deliverance out of a state of sin and misery, and an escape from the wrath to come.

The woman was there stiffened into a hard substance; which signifies the tendency that backsliding has to harden the heart. She became a senseless statne ; wbich signifies the senselessness which persons bring on them by backsliding. There she was fixed, and never got any further; which typifies the tendency that backsliding has to hinder persons from ever escaping eternal wrath.

[361] Gen. xxi. 10, 11. " Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bond woman and her son ; for the son of this

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