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the pestilence, and burning coals safety, it may be well to notice of went forth at his feet. * He stood the nations generally, that however and measured the earth: He be- some Scriptures may apparently held, and drove asunder the na- speak of their absolute and entire tions; and the everlasting moun- destruction; yet that living creatures tains were scattered, the perpetual will be left, both men and animals, hills did bow,” &c. " Thou didst from out of that dreadful time of ' march through the land in indigna- desolation : for I must again remind
tion, thou didst thresh the heathen the Reader, that one passage of ' in anger.—Thou wentest forth for Scripture must not be so interpreted
the salvation of thy people, even for as to contradict another ; but such a * salvation with thine anointed, sense must be sought for, as shall &c. i
" The adversaries of the Lord be consistent and harmonious with shall be broken iu piers: out of the whole of divine Revelation. heaven shall He thunder upon That some will escape is, generally them :--The Lord shall judge the speaking, rather a matter of inferends of the earth, and he shall ence, to be educed from certain exgive strength unto his King, and pressions in those passages themexalt the horn of his Anointed.”j selves, which, in their first aspect, “ The heathen raged, the kingdoms would lead us to conclude the conwere moved : He uttered his voice, trary : for I apprehend, that the the earth melted, The Lord of Spirit would have our minds chiefly hosts is with us, the God of Jacob fixed on the very great and extenis our refuge. Come, behold the sive desolation. works of the Lord, what desola- First, let us take the prophet tions he hath made in the earth. Isaiah. In chapter xxiv, 5, 6, we He maketh wars to cease unto the read: "The earth also is defiled ends of the earth; he breaketh under the inhabitants thereof; bethe bow, and cutteth the spear in cause they have transgressed the ' sunder, he burneth the chariot in • laws, changed the ordinance, " the fire.Be still and know that I broken the everlasting covenant. am God: I will be exalted among
Therefore hath the curse devoured the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth, and they that dwell the earth.”
" therein are desolate : therefore the III. Another point remains for ' inhabitants of the earth are burned, inquiry which is of intense interest -and-few men left." This first to the Church of Christ; viz. What speaks as if all were burned; but becomes of the Lord's people during afterwards it lets fall an intimation, this time of tribulation and of pos- that a few will be left. sible, may I say probable, confla- In chap. lxvi, 16, when the same gration.
Prophet says; “ By fire and by his 1. Previous to shewing their sword the Lord will plead with all
* I lay no stress upon it in the way of argument, but I have a persuasion on my mind from these words__"before him went the pestilence, and BURNING COALS went forth at his feel that Christ's advent will be preceded (it is impossible to say hy how long an interval) by some pestilence which will overspread the world, and which the cholera appears to answer to ; and that his coming will be accompanied by some tremendous and extensive eruption of volcanic matter, siguified by the burning coals at his feet. Thus He will “ touch the mountains and they shall smoke: He will cast forth lightning and scatter them ; shoot out his arrows and destroy them.” Psalm cxliv.
i Halı, bi, 5-1.
il Sam. ii, 10.
k Ps, xlvi, 6-10.
flesh,” he addsma" and the slain of Through not carefully collating the Lord shall be many :” but that Scripture with Scripture on this this does not mean all, though the principle, Mr. Irvine, looking only prophecy relates to the great cata
at Numbers xvi, 26–33, and constrophe under consideration, is evi- sidering the great destruction there dent from verse 19-“ And I will described of Korah and his com
send those that escape of them unto pany, takes it as a type of the utter the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, Lud, destruction also of the infidel powers Tubal, Javan ; &c.” which is im- in their last rebellion.*
in their last rebellion.* Certainly, portant as giving color to the opi- when we look at this passage, it nion, that the nations on whom the would seem that all belonging to desolation falls are those of Christ- Korah did perish :
Korah did perish : “ So they gat up endom, or of the prophetic earth, from the tabernacle of Korah, and does not include the tribes and Dathan, and Abiram on every side : families of the earth still called ' and Dathan and Abiram came out heathen.
and stood in the door of their tents, Jeremiah xliv is worthy also of and their wives, and their sons, notice,-not as containing matter and their little children." (v. 27.) immediately bearing upon the Judge- And the earth opened her mouth, ment, but as evincing how expres- and swallowed them up, and their sions must be qualified and deter- houses, and all the men that apmined by the general context. In pertained unto Korah, and all their verse it we are told, that none of goods : they, and all that apperthe remnant of Judah, which are tained to them, went down alive gone into the land of Egypt to so- ' into the pit, &c.” (vv. 32, 33.) journ there, shall escape or remain, But turn to Numbers xxvi, 11, and &c: yet at the end of the verse is we have these words; notwithadded none shall return but such standing the children of Korah died as shall escape.
Verse 27 is still not:' and a more careful review of more sweeping in its sentence of the former passage will then lead us destruction : Behold I will watch to see, that it is not the children of over them for evil, and not for Korah who are there enumerated, good : and all the men of Judah but of Dathan and Abiram. that are in the land of Egypt shall Our Lord's intimation likewise be consumed by the sword and by concerning the tribulation, is to the • the famine until there be an end of point in hand; that except those " them." But in the next verse it is days should be shortened there added,
Yet a small number that should no flesh be saved :" for they escape the sword shall return, &c.” clearly intimate that some in the A similar instance
in flesh will be saved. Zechariah, chap. xiv, in which all I apprehend that what is spoken nations are first described as gather- of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel ed against Jerusalem to battle, xxxix, 2, before the whole pro(v. 2) then as smitten with a plague phecy concerning this war is set which consumes them ; (vv. 12~15) out, is the real key to this diffibut afterwards there is mention of culty : “ I will leave but the sixth
every one that is left of all the part of thee :” and that the nu' nations that came against Jeru- merous passages which speak of salem."
" them that escape of the
* See Irvine on Daniel.
tions, " the nations of them that to buying and selling, building and are saved,” the remnant of them,” planting, marrying and giving in
all that are left," must be con- marriage. The three angels, in the sidered as referring to the same
vision of Zechariah, report of a pepoint.
riod apparently preceding this time : Further, in regard to animals (as
“ We have walked to and fro well as men) the promise to Noah ap- through the earth, and behold
all the earth sitteth still and is at pears to me to justify the conclusion, that there will not be an utter destruc- ' rest."m But when they shall tion, any more than when the earth say, Peace and safety then sudden was destroyed by water :- neither · destruction cometh upon them, as ' will I again smite any more every travail upon a woman with child ; thing living, as I have done :”
' and they shall not escape.
The another instance also, that the words most striking figures are made use
every thing living" must be quali- of to show, how sudden and unexfied, and the contents of the ark pected the Judgement and Advent deducted.
will be :
the pangs of labor”. The viïith Psalm is likewise ap- as the lightning cometh out of plied to the reign of Christ, both in the east and shineth unto the Corinthians and Hebrews; and this west”—" as a snare or trap upon states, “ Thou hast put all things the nations ;” and “as a thief in under his feet, all sheep and oxen, the night :” just as in Pharaoh's yea and the beasts of the field, the time, the destroying angel went out fowl of the air, and the fish of the at midnight, and a cry of distress sea :” so that if the conflagration was heard from the king on the be pre-millennial, there are animals throne to the captive in the dungeon. preserved from it. By what means
By what means Up to the moment of his coming, I presume not to state: until God men will be refusing to look at proby his special power brought them phecy, and saying, "Where is the to Noah into the ark, no man could promise of his coming;'o and so have conceived how they should little will his approach be credited, have been saved from the waters of or his power believed in, that the a flood; neither have I a satisfac- Lord makes question, whether, when tory perception of the mode in the Son of Man shall come, he shall which all these things will be so find faith on the earth.P brought to pass as to harmonize But of the righteous we are exwith the entire Scriptures.*
pressly told, that the day of the 2. Of the safety of God's people Lord shall not overtake them as a at this period of judgement, we have thief in the night :9 they will be abundant and clear testimony. The looking out for the Saviour's apworld and the merely professing proach, satisfied, from the signs of Church, will, alas! be taken by sur- the times, that their redemption prise. In the first instance all will draweth nigh.r It would indeed appear going on as usual, in peace appear that some of those careless and security. Just as when the and lukewarm spirits, whose love is flood came in the days of Noah, and now waxing cold through aboundthe burning in the time of Lot, they ing iniquity, will be saved, and that will be giving their chief concern by means of the tribulation itself :
1 Matt. xiv, 38. 0 2 Pet. jii, 4.
m Zech.i. Compare v. 11 and vv. 18-21.
n 1 Thess. v, 3. r Luke xsi, 28.
it will be as by fire, and they will
herit the land : when the wicked suffer loss. s Zechariah speaks of
are cut off thou shalt see it-The an elect remnant, whom the Lord at transgressors shall be destroyed this time will bring through the fire, together : the end of the wicked in such manner as to refine them as shall be cut off : but the salvation silver is refined, and to try them as of the righteous is of the Lord, he is gold is tried. t And Isaiah distin- their strength in the time of trouble; guishes between some who will and the Lord shall help them and profit by the tribulation, and others deliver them; he shall deliver them who will despise the warning and from the wicked and save them, perish. He says, “When tly judge. because they trust in him.” Again 'ments are in the earth, the inha- in the xlvith Psalm, God is our "bitants of the world will learn refuge and strength; a very pre
righteousness. Let favor be shewed sent help in trouble : therefore 'to the wicked, yet will he not learn ' will we not fear, though the earth ' righteousness-in the land of up- 'be removed, and though the moun
rightness will he deal unjustly, and tains be carried into the midst of ' will not behold the majesty of the the sea; though the waters thereof • Lord. Lord, when thy hand is roar and be troubled ;—though the lifted up, they will not see: but mountains shake with the swelling they shall see, and be ashamed for thereof."w
Isaiah says of the their envy at the people ; yea the Lord's people—“ They shall dwell fire of thine enemies shall devour in a peaceable habitation, and in
sure dwellings, and in quiet restBut it is those who look and wait ing places; when it shall hail, for the Lord, whom I would more coming down on the forest, and immediately speak of;—and these, the city shall be low in a low though they will apparently wit- place.”x And again, “ Come, myness the tribulation, and it will people, enter thou into thy chambe cut short for their sakes, will be bers, and shut thy doors about spared in it; of which, I repeat, we
thee” (an exhortation to prayer) have many blessed promises. First, “ hide thyself as it were for a little David says of the righteous_" that moment, until the indignation be in the floods of great waters they overpast.
Forbehold the Lord shall not come nigh unto him.”'u cometh out of his place to punish In another place--" In the time of the inhabitants of the earth for « trouble he shall hide me in his ' their iniquity—the earth also shall pavilion—in the secret of his disclose her blood, and shall no tabernacle shall he hide
more cover her slain.”y he shall set me upon a rock.”v
There is also a remarkable proPsalm xxxvii is throughout to phecy in Jeremiah concerning Israel
and Judah at this time. These this point, but especially verses 34, 38—40: Wait on the Lord, (he says) are the words that the and he shall exalt thee to in- * Lord spake concerning Israel and
* Another proof, that fire is a symbol of wrath and destruction : for this latter clause describes the mode in which these blinded persons will be destroyed ; viz. the enemies of the Lord will mutually destroy each othermit is by their fire or wrath the desolation will chiefly be effected.
s I Cor. iii, 13–15.
W vv. 1-3.
t Zech xiii, 9. u Ps. xxxii, 6. v Ps. xxvii, 5. x Is. xxxii, 18, 19. y Is. xxvi, 20, 21.
concerning Judah. For thus saith (as the ark rose above the waters of · the Lord : We have heard a voice the deluge, so in the fiery deluge,) of trembling, of fear, and not of the Church will rise to meet the peace. Ask ye now and see, whe- Lord in the air, whilst the conflagra'ther a man doth travail with child ? tion is going on below. The deliver· Wherefore do I see every man with
ance also of Lot at the destruction his hands on his loins, as a woman of the cities of the plain, set forth as ' in travail, and all faces are turned a special example of the vengeance ' into paleness? Alas! for that day of eternal fire,b abounds with signifi' is great, so that none is like it. cant instruction. The Exodus from It is even the time of Jacob's Egypt again typifies a way of saltrouble ; but—he shall be saved out vation for the people, at the very For it shall come to pass
time when their enemies shall be in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, involved in destruction. ' that I will break his yoke from off ceeding of Jehu,c in the destruction thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, of the whole of the worshipers of and strangers shall no more serve Baal, just at the moment when they themselves of him : but they shall thought their cause was most prosserve the Lord their God and Da- perous; and the careful exclusion vid their King, whom I will raise from among them of the worshipers up unto them."z
of Jehovah; I take to be another The next promise I shall notice is type. The well known escape of in Joel. After describing the time
the christians to Pella at the destrucof trouble, he adds : ~ The Lord tion of Jerusalem may also be in
shall roar out of Zion, and utter his stanced ; as may many other events. ' voice from Jerusalem, and the earth But I must now bring this subject
shall shake : but the Lord will be to a conclusion with an enumeration ' the hope of His people and the of various practical applications of
strength of the children of Israel.”a those truths which I have discussed, I shall only quote one more from since my last citation of similar Zephaniah, because it shews again texts at p. 67 ; viz—the doctrines of the suitableness of prayer at this the first resurrection, judgement, &c. time : Seek ye the Lord, all ye
First, these things are practically meek of the earth, which have enforced as a call to the ungodly ; * wrought his judgement : seek that they may seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be
Repentance, &c. of the Lord's anger.”
Repent ye therefore, and be I do not consider arguments de converted, that
converted, that your sins may be rived from types as suited to lay at blotted out, when the times of rethe foundation of a doctrine ; but freshing shall come from the presence when we have direct testimony of the Lord ; and He shall send Jesus similar to that which I have brought Christ, which before was preached forward, they are very important unto you, whom the heaven must collateral evidence. The analogy receive until the times of restitution then of the types clearly confirms of all things, &c.” Acts iii, 19, 21. the testimony adduced. The deli
God now commandeth all men verance, for example, of Noah at the every where to repent ; because he flood ; from which some argue, that hath appointed a day, in the which
2. Jer. xxx, 4-9.
a Joel iii, 16.
C 2 Kings x, 18-25,
b Jude v. 7.