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Antichrist meets with at his arrival in the infernal regions. All hell is in an uproar, the princes, the giants or famous war: riors whom he had slain, rise up and advance to meet him, addressing him with derision: Oh! Thou art also wounded then as well as we, thou art at last dealt with as thou dea. t with us: Thy pride is brought down to hell, &c.
V. 12. “ How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations ?
V. 13. “ And thou saidst in thy heart: I will ascend to heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God, I will sit in the mountain of the covenant, in the sides of the north.
V. 14. “ I will ascend above the height of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.
V. 15. “ But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, into the depth of the pit.” The princes in hell continue to insult Antichrist, saying: How art thou fallen, thou that shone in majesty and brightness like Lucifer, the morning star? They remind him of his former pride, arrogance, superlative insoJence, his proclaiming himself God, &c., all which they paint in lively colours: After which with a contemptuous triumph they tell him: But yet thou shalt be brought down to hell into the depth of the pit.
V. 16. “They that shall see thee, shall turn towards thee, and behold thee: is this the man that troubled the earth, that shook kingdoms.
V. 17. “That made the world a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof, that opened not the prison to the prisoners ?
V. 18. “ All the kings of the nations have all of them slept in glory, every one in his own house.
V. 19. “But thou wert cast out of thy grave as an unprofitable branch defiled, and wrapped up among them that are slain by the sword, and are gone down to the bottom of the pit as a rotten carcass."
THE CONTINUATION OF THE HISTORY OF THE SIXTH AGE.
NotwitHSTANDING the vengeance of God has thus manifested itself in the total extermination of Antichrist and his
power. He proceeds to enumerate several of those injuries, which he declares he will retaliate upon them. After which he continues,
V. 9: “ Proclaim ye this among the nations : prepare war, raise up the strong: let them come; let all the men of war come up.
V. 10. “Cut your ploughshares into swords, and your spades into spears. Let the weak say: I am strong.
V. 11. “ Break forth, and come, all ye nations from round about, and gather yourselves together." Here the Almighty challenges them to battle; after which he pronounces,
V. 12. “ There will the Lord cause all thy strong ones to fall down." There will the Lord, the Almighty Son of God, crush thee, O Antichrist, and all thy strong men. Hitherto God had spoken to them altogether, challenging them to battle; but here he suddenly changes his discourse, and addresses solely their commander, Antichrist: there will the Lord cause all thy strong ones to fall. Joel goes on,
V. 13. “ Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, and go down, for the press is full, the fat runs over; for their wickedness is multiplied.” The harvest and vintage are ready; and therefore people are called to reap the corn, and to gather and tread the grapes. An allusion, slowing that the wickedness of these nations is so multiplied, that they are ripe for the slaughter which is going to be made of them.—Joel continues,
V. 14. “ Nations, nations in the valley of destruction : for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of destruction.
V. 15. “The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining.
V. 16. “ And the Lord shall roar out of Sion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem: and the heavens and the earth shall be moved: and the Lord shall be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Numberless nations, immense armies, now appear gathered together in the valley of Josaphat, the valley of destruction, all which the Lord has determined quickly to destroy
And when he shall come down from heaven to execute his judgments upon these armies, the sun and moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining, and he will pass over Jerusalem with a dreadful noise, that will strike them with terror and dread: “the Lord shall roar out of Sion, and uttrr his voice from Jerusalem.”
To this we may add a sublime, pathetic, and short de
scription of the same tremendous scene from the prophet Isaiah.
Chap. xxxiv. 1. “Come near, ye Gentiles, and hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein ; the world, and every thing that comes forth of it.
V. 2. “ For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies : he has killed them and delivered them to slaughter.
V. 3. “ Their slain shall be cast out, and out of their carcasses shall rise a stink : the mountains shall be melted with their blood.
V. 4. “ And all the hosts of the heavens shall pine away, and the heavens shall be folded together as a book : and all their hosts shall fall down, as the leaf falls from the vine, and from the fig-tree.” Here the Almighty declares in the most solemn manner, his indignation is going to fall upon all nations, and his fury upon their armies, and he will deliver them up to slaughter, v. 1, 2. Such will be soon the fate of Anti: christ and his armies. What is added of their slain being cast out, and a stench rising from their carcases, &c. v. 3, seems to belong to the destruction of Gog and Magog, which we shall see afterwards. But before these terrible judgments happen, “all the host of the heavens shall pine away, v. 4, and shall fall down, as the leaf falls from the vine, and from the fig-tree: and the heavens shall be folded together as a book.” These threatening signs in the heavens, which were also just above-mentioned in Joel, are here expressed nearly in the same terms, as we saw them in the Apocalypse under the sixth seal, where we read, “ The sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood: and the stars from heaven fell upon the earth, as the fig-tree casts its green figs when it is shaken by a great wind. And the heaven departed as a book folded up." Apoc. vi. 12, 13, 14. Isaiah had forewarned us in another place : “ The day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and highminded, and upon every one that is arrogant, and he shall be humbled—And the loftiness of men shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.--And they shall go into the holes of rocks, and into the caves of the earth from the face of the fear of the Lord, and from the glory of his Majesty, when he shall rise up to strike the earth,” ii. 12, 17, 19. St. John speaks in the same tenor under the sixth seal: “ The kings of the earth,” says he, "and the princes-hid them
selves in the dens and in the rocks of mountains: and they say to the mountains and the rocks, fall upon us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb." Apoc. 15, 16.-See the explication of the sixth seal.
Antichrist therefore having seated himself upon Mount Olivet, with his armies round him extended over the valley of Josaphat and adjacent plains, he haughtily thinks himselt equal to cope with all the powers of heaven. This man of sin, this son of perdition, this enemy of God and men, thougb upon the brink of destruction, persists in his resolution to de fend his impious and insolent pretensions. He claims 10 himself the power and honours that belong to the supreme Deity, and will permit no other but himself to be thought master of the world. He has, for the space of three years and a half, exercised the most despotic and cruel tyranny over mankind, and now he braves the Almighty himself. But, behold!
Chap. xix. 11. “And I saw heaven opened,” says St. John, “and behold a white horse : and he that sat upon him, was called faithful and true, and with justice doth he judge and fight.
V. 12. “And his eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many diadems, and he had a name written, which no man knows but himself.
V. 13. “ And he was clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood : and his name is called, THE WORD OF GOD." The heavens open, and St. John sees Jesus Christ, the Son of God, descending; seated on a white horse, in the same manner as we saw him first set out on his conquests; which shows him to have been all along continuing them: “He went forth conquering that he might conquer." Apoc. vi. 2. He is known by the peculiar appellations here attributed to him: faithful and true, v. 11, faithful in protecting his servants and revenging their injuries upon their enemies, and he is ever true to his promises. As the father has given all judgment to the Son, John v. 22, so the Son with justice doth judge and fight, which he is coming to do at present. But what eminently distinguishes him, is his name, THE WORD OF God, v. 13, which is well understood to belong solely to him: but it is so comprehensive in its meaning, that human reason cannot fathom it, and no man knows it but himself, v. 12. His eyes were as a flame of fire, indicating his anger; and on his head were many diadems, the mark of his power over all those nations he is now coming to punish: and as this will be done by a great slaughter of all Antichrist's armies, he therefore, appears clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood. St. John proceeds,
V. 14. “And the armies that are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean." The celestial armies of saints follow the son of God, as their captain and commander; they are all like him, mounted on white horses, and clothed in fine linen white and clean, a symbol of their merit and glory.
V. 15. “And out of his mouth proceeded a sharp twoedged sword: that with it he may strike the nations. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron : and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty..
v. 16. “And he hath on his garment and on his thigh written, King of kings and Lord of lords." A sharp twoedged sword is the weapon Christ will use to strike the nations, which are assembled with Antichrist against him. The sword is said to proceed from his mouth, because it executes his command. The son of God is the sovereign master and judge of all mankind, and therefore he rules his rebellious subjects with a rod of iron, by scourging them in this life, and subjecting them to everlasting punishments in the next. And he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of God the Almighty, that is, he is the ministor of the Almighty's wrath, and executes his terrible judgments upon the wicked. In fine, the son of God is entitled to all his power, because he is King of kings and Lord of lords; which name is written on his garment, that it may be visible to every eye; and on his thigh, to show that he is possessed of strength to vindicate his sovereign title, the thigh being commonly put for the emblem of strength in man. Some of the attributes bere mentioned are also ascribed to Christ by the prophet Isaiah: “Why then is thy apparel red,” says he, “and thy garments like theirs that tread in the wine-press? I have trodden the wine press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me: I have trampled on them in my indignation, and have trodden them down in my wrath, and their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, and I have stained all my apparel,” lxiii. 2, 3.-St. John proCeeds,
V. 17. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that did fly