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the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a
lake of fire burning 21 with brimstone. And
the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse; which sword proceeded out of his mouth; and all the fowls were fille ed with their flesh.
After the appearance of the Messiah and his armies, the armies of the worldly powers, under the beast, the false prophet, and the kings, who are * mustered by the spirits of demons to the great battlet, come in view. But the conflict, for which so vast preparation had been made, is finished in an instant. The leaders, they who
* Ch. xvii. 13.
+ Ch. xvi. 14. 1 There is great propriety and sublimity, in this rapidity of victory. An inventor would probably have dwelt upon this conflict, and have described it in a variety of detail: but this is a victory in which the arm of Omnipotence is displayed; and of which it may be said without extravagance,-Venit, vidit, vicit.
during so many ages had abused their civil and ecclesiastical power, are taken, and consigned to that everlasting prison, to which such offenders were originally doomed * Their followers, both small and great, fall; and are utterly destroyed by the word of Godt.
Thus, the kingdom of the beast and false prophet, of the civil and ecclesiastical power, administered so long and so abusively, comes to its end; and the kingdom of the Messiah, and of righteousness, is established. This is that happy period, the theme of many prophecies; which, being still future, it is presumptuous to explain particularly : yet thus far we may generally and safely conclude, that as we have already seen the reign of the beast and false prophet, the mystery of iniquity I, so exactly foretold, and the prophecy so wonderfully fulfilled ;-tyranny, irreligion, hypocrisy, and immorality triumphant and oppressive, by the means of pretended commissions from heaven: so, this usurpation will be utterly destroyed; and pure Religion, and peace and happiness, succeed. “ The wolf shall dwell with “ the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the “ kid;" &c. “They shall not hurt or destroy in all “ the holy mountain;- the earth shall be full of the « knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the “ sea G.”
• Ch. xvii. 8. Matt. xxv. 41.
+ Ch.i. 16. Compare with the battle here represented Isaiah xxxiv. Jer, vii. 32, &c. Ezek. xxxix. 17, &c. · Zeph. i. 7. See also Bishop Lowth de Sac. Poës. Heb. lec. xx. See notes, ch. xii.
Isaiah xi. &c.
The removal of the beast and false prophet is followed by the decline of impiety and wickedness, and by the rapid growth of true Religion and Virtue. This is symbolically displayed. The dragon, that ancient foe of man, who, under the disguise of a serpent, had be
guiled Eve; who had lent his throne, his authority and his arts, to the beast and the false prophet; to mislead the nations and their kings *; is taken and confined. His influence upon earth is wonderfully diminished. And this important object is accomplished by the same superior agency. For, though an angel is represented as binding satan, yet, whence has he the commission and the power? whence the key of the bottomless deep, but from him who alone is described, as having "the “ keys of hell and of death t;" from him, who shutteth, and no man openeth $? By his permission the bottomless deep had been opened $; by his power it is now closed and sealed. The author of all iniquity is confined in it, for a time; after which he is permitted to come forth again " for a season,” and “to deceive the nations.” But the beasts rise up no more. They are no longer the successful agents of satan. He is no longer permitted to employ this kind of civil and religious tyranny against true Religion, and the happiness of man. The blissful season, during which satan continues bounden, is called a thousand years. But of this more particularly, under the next section.
* See notes, ch. xii. # Ch. iii. 7.
4 Ch. i. 18. See note, ch, ix. 1.