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was gradually abandoned by its inhabitants; and will only therefore be completed in Babylon, the great city of Antichrist.
We have now seen the execution of the divine judgments upon Antichrist's armies and his great city. But as his magistrates and his adherents who are dispersed in all the different countries of the earth, may be deemed equally guilty with those that have perished, it seems to appear that the hand of divine vengeance will also reach them. This is announced immediately after the sentence passed upon the last Babylon, and is as follows,
Chap. xiv. 9. “ And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice: if any man shall adore the beast and his image, and receive his character in his forehead, or in his hand;
V.'10. “ He also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mingled with pure wine in the cup of his wrath, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the sight of the holy angels, and in the sight of the Lamb.” Those therefore that have adored the beast, or Antichrist, and his image, and received his character, or mark, are condemned to drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mingled with pure wine in the cup of his wrath, that is, those who have been guilty of all the three above-named crimes they will be slain, in the same manner as Antichrist's army. To drink of the wine of the wrath of God, denotes the divine punishment on the body or corporeal part of man, as wine itself is not a pure substance, but contains gross lees; and the mixture of pure wine in the cup of the wrath of God, indicates the simultaneous punishment of the soul, which is a pure substance, and which on the slaughter of the body is violently separated from it. When both these component parts, soul and body are reunited at the general judgment, then the whole man shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in hell in the sight of the holy angels, and in the sight of the Lamb. But,
V. 11. " And the smoke of their torments," proceeds St. John, “shall ascend up* for ever and ever: neither have they rest day nor night, who hath adored the beast and his image, and whosoever receives the character of his name.” Here is the present fate of the soul, which at the instant of death is tormented in hell fire, without intermission or rest : which is
* In the Greek, “ascends up."
the sentence pronounced upon all those who have adored the beast, &c. whatever may be their death, and whenever it may happen. Then St. John adds,
V. 12. “ Here is the patience of the saints, who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Here is the motive, on which is founded the patience of the true servants of God, namely, in bearing with all trials, hardships and persecutions in this life, with the view of avoiding the eternal torments, and purchasing the eternal rewards, of the other world.
The preceding dreadful judgment of God on the votaries of Antichrist, wherever they be, seems to be also foretold explicitly by the prophet Jeremy, as follows:
Chap. xxv. 15. “ Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel : take the cup of wine of this fury at my hand: and thou shalt make all the nations to drink thereof, unto which I shall send thee.” Expressions similar to what we saw above in St. John.
V. 30. “And thou shalt prophesy unto them all these words, and thou shalt say to them: the Lord shall roar from on high, and shall utter his voice from his holy habitation : roaring he shall roar upon the place of his beauty : the shout as it were of them that tread the grapes, shall be given out against all the inhabitants of the earth.
V. 31. “ The noise is come to the ends of the earth: for the Lord entereth into judgment with the nations : he entereth into judgment with all flesh, the wicked I have delivered up to the sword, saith the Lord.
V. 32. “ Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: behold evil shall go forth from nation to nation: and a great whirl-wind shall go forth from the ends of the earth.
V. 33. “ And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end thereof: they shall not be lamented, and they shall not be gathered up, nor buried: they shall lie as dung upon the face of the earth.” Here is the tremendous roaring noise, v. 30, 31, before taken notice of from Joel, of Christ coming down from heaven to destroy Antichrist and his people. The Lord entereth into judgment with all flesh, and delivers the wicked up to the sword, v. 31, and the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even to the other end thereof, v. 33. Hence it appears, that not only Antichrist's arınies, assembled in the valley of Josaphat, shall be slain by the sword, but all his principal idolatrous abettors shall be cut off in the same
that intolerable tyranny they have laboured under for three years and a half. This exploit of the almighty Son of God, we see expressed beautifully by his prophet Isaiah: Dizistis enim—Idcirco hæc dicit Dominus Deus; delebitur fædus vesTrum, &c. Isaiah xxviii. 15, 18. But we seem to be furnished with further interesting circumstances of this memorable day by the prophet Zachary, if we understand right his following prophecy :
Chap. xix. 1. “Behold the days of the Lord shall come, and thy spoils shall be divided in the midst of thee.
V. 2. • And I will gather ali nations to Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses shall be rifed, and the women shall be defiled: and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the rest of the people shall not be taken away out of the city.” This siege and taking of Jerusalem by a body of Antichrist's troops, we have explained before.Zachary goes on,
V. 3. " Then the Lord shall go forth, and shall fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
V. 4. “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is over against Jerusalem towards the east : and the mount of Olives shall be divided in the midst thereof to the east, and to the west, with a very great opening, and half of the mountain shall be separated to the north, and half thereof to the south.
V. 5. " — And the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with him.” The Lord my God, the almighty Son of God, will come, accompanied by all the saints, v. 5, as St. John represented him, and he will destroy at once all those nations, v. 3, as he destroyed in the day of battle, the Egyptians in the Red Sea. Mount Olivet, it is here said, v. 4, shall be split in two; in order perhaps to open a passage to Antichrist and his false prophet, at the moment they are cast down alive into the infernal pit. Christ will stand upon the mountain : and while he is in this posture, the immense heap of slain lying in the plains below him, may not his enemies then be truly said to be made his footstool ? Psalm cix. 1.
V. 6. " And it shall come to pass in that day,” continues Zachary, “that there shall be no light, but cold and frost.
V. 7. "And there shall be one day, which is known to the Lord, not day nor night: and in the time of the evening there shall be light.” That one day, known to the Lord, is the day of vengeance upon Antichrist and his people, which properly wl neither be day nor night, the sun, moon, and stars, being
obscured and veiled over, as we learned from Joel, saying of that day “the sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars have withdrawn their shining,'' jii. 15. The light that will then illuminate the earth, will be that resplendent brightness with which our Saviour will come down to do the execution. While the rays of the sun are ihus intercepted, no wonder the air grows cold and frosty. But in the evening there will be light, that is, when the scene is over, and Christ mounted up back to heaven, the sun's light will return, viz. in the evening, the time indicated also by St John in the invitation of the birds to a supper.
V. 12. “And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord shall strike all nations that have fought against Jerusalem: the flesh of every one shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongues shall consume away in their mouth." While Antichrist's armies in the vale of Josaphat are slain by the sword, those troops which took Jerusalem in the abovementioned siege, and treated there the servants of God so barbarously, will be punished by their flesh melting and consuming away, &c. and thus the people will be preserved from any stench of the carcasses.
V. 16. “ And all they that shall be left of all nations that came against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year, to adore the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
V. 17. “ And it shall come to pass, that he that shall not go up of the families of the land to Jerusalem, to adore the King, the Lord of hosts, there shall be no rain upon them.” Those that join not Antichrist's army, but remain in their country, will be ordered to depute a certain number of persons to go every year to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of tubernacles: and if any country neglect this obligatory devotion, it will be punished by the want of rain. The feast of Tabernacles was kept by the Jews in memory of their sojourning forty years in the desert, and this place may signify the soleinn festival, which will be annually observed by the Christians at Jerusalem, in memory of their deliverance from Antichrist, by the destruction of him and his people in and near that city. And as the feast of the tabernacles was kept on the fifteenth of the Hebrew month Tizri, which answers to the moon of our September; this may indicate that the great day of destruction will happen about the autumnal equinox; in which case counting back three years and
a half, Antichrist will begin bis war and persecution in spring.
Though we have already seen a pretty ample account of the fate of Antichrist, we seem however to be presented with another beautiful picture of it, illustrated even with some new scenes, by the prophet Isaiah. Thus speaks he:
Chap. xiv. 3. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that when God shall give thee rest from thy labour, and from thy vexation, and from the hard bondage, wherewith thou didst serve before.
V. 4. “ Thou shalt take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and shalt say: How is the oppressor come to nothing, the tribute hath ceased ?
V. 5. “ The Lord has broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of the rulers,
V. 6. " That struck the people in wrath with an incurable wound, that brought nations under their fury, that persecuted in a cruel manner.
V. 7. “ The whole earth is quiet and still, it is glad and hath rejoiced.”
Though this prophecy may in some measure relate to the king of ancient Babylon, yet it seems to be principally spoken of Antichrist, king of the last Babylon, and to be finally completed in him. It is usual with prophets to join in the same description two objects that have a relation one to the other. Here then the Almighty tells his people that, when they shall be freed from their labour, vexation, and hard bondage under Antichrist, v. 3, they shall address heaven in a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, saying: How is the oppressor (Antichrist) come to nothing ? The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, the rod of the rulers that struck the people in wrath with an incurable wound, that brought nations under in fury, that persecuted in a cruel manner: and now the whole earth is quiet and still, it is glad and hath rejoiced, v. 4, 5, 6, 7.
V. 9. “Hell below," continues the prophet, “was in an uproar to meet thee at thy coming, it stirred up the giants for thee. All the princes of the earth are risen up from their thrones, all the princes of nations.
V: 10.“ All shall answer and say to thee: Thou also art wounded as well as we, thou art become like unto us.
V. 11. “ Thy pride is brought down to hell, thy carcass is fallen down: under thee shail the moth be strewed, and worms shall be thy covering.” Here we see the reception