תמונות בעמוד

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 Oshall 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 armies, 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

manner in every part of the earth. Moreover we are here told, 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. The same we also learn from the prophet Isaiah: “And they (the people) shall go out,” says he, “and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh," lxvi. 24. It may seem strange that the inhabitants of Jerusalem should not be annoyed with the stench of such a heap of dead bodies lying so near them in the vale of Josaphat; but the infection is prevented by the birds devouring the flesh, as St. John told us, and leaving the bodies mere skeletons.

By the destruction of Antichrist, his armies, officers, and chief associates, we now see his kingdom dissolved, his power totally extinguished, and consequently the Roman empire finally put an end to. The prophet Daniel had foretold that Christ, or the stone that was cut out of the mountain without hands, should break down the statue, the legs and feet of which represented the Roman empire. This was executed in part by the fall of pagan Rome with its dominion, and by the establishment of Christianity upon its ruins. But this prophecy seems to receive a further, adequate, and final completion in the extermination of Antichrist, the last and greatest of the Roman emperors, in the destruction of Constantinople, his imperial city, and in the total suppression of the Antichristian power. From such a complete victory over its enemies rises then the completest triumph of the Christian religion. Such appears to be the import of that prophecy, in which Daniel speaks thus to Nabuchodonosor: “ Thus thou sawest, till a stone was cut out of a mountain without hands: and it struck the statue upon the feet thereof that were of iron and of clay, and broke them in pieces : then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer's threshing floor, and they were carried away with the wind : and there was no place found for them: but the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth,” ii. 34, 35.

Here then we may congratulate ourselves for having seen at last an end put to the innumerable evils and miseries, which Antichrist brought upon mankind, and which St. John denominates the second wo, chap. xi. 14. “The second wo," says he, “ is past: and behold the third wo will come quickly." The above dismal scene being over, the respite will not be of very long duration; for behold, the third woe, or day of judgment, will come quickly, is not far off.

But now the servants of God seemed at last to be rescued from their intolerable slavery, and were much rejoiced at the prospect of a happy peace. They saw their persecutors had all perished under the hand of the Almighty, they saw idolatry crushed, and that religion had regained its liberty. This bright gleam of happiness must however suffer some obscurity yet for a little while, before it shines forth in all its lustre. An unforeseen storm arises, which alarms them, especially those that inhabit Judea and Jerusalem. Satan, foiled in his prior designs before he could bring them to perfection, retires at seeing the divine vengeance coming to break on the head of Antichrist, and resolves to try another effort, if not effectual for recovering his power, at least to annoy and distress those he hates, the Christians. He therefore sets forward to raise up new enemies. This we learn from St. John, who says.

Chap. xx. 7. “ And when the thousand years shall be finished, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go forth, and seduce the nations which are over the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, and shall gather them together to battle, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” We have already seen how Satan stirred up the nations which are over the four quarters of the earth, and what desolation and havoc they made. He now instigates another great prince, named Gog, lo rise with his people, who are called Magog, and with other nations, and to proceed against the people of God. The omission here of the usual conjunctive particle and before the name of Gog, may be one among other indications, that this is a different army from that of the nations just before mentioned, and will come at a different time. But of this prince and his army and their march, we have a more explicit account in the prophet Ezechiel, who gives it thus :

Chap. xxxviii. 1. “And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:

V. 2. “Son of man, set thyself against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Mošoch and Thubal: and prophecy of him,

V. 3. “And say unto him: Thus saith the Lord God. Behold I come against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Mosoch and Thubal.

V. 4. “And I will turn thee about, and I will put a bit in thy jaws: and I will bring thee forth, and all thy army, horses and horsemen all clothed with coats of mail, a great mul. litude, armed with spears and shields and swords.

V. 5. “The Persians, Ethiopians, and Lybians with them, all with shields and helmets.

V. 6. “Gomer, and all his bands, the house of Thogorma, from the northern parts, and all his strength and many people with thee.

V. 7. “Prepare and make thyself ready, and all thy multitude that is assembled about thee: and be thou commander over them.Here then the Almighty challenges to battle the prince Gog with all his great multitude, or as St. John says, the number of whom is as the sand of the sea, consisting of the people of Magog, that is, as commonly understood, of a people of ancient Scythia, or what is now called Great Tartary, and of other Asiatic provinces under the names of Mosoch, Thubal, Gomer, and Thogorma. He will be also attended by the Persians, Ethiopians, and Lybians. The Alınighty continues to speak

V. 8. “And after many days thou shalt be visited: at the end of years thou shalt come to the land that is returned from the sword, and is gathered out of many nations, to the mountains of Israel which have been continually waste: but it hath been brought forth out of the nations, and they shall all of them dwell securely in it." Gog therefore will come at the end of years, or in the last period of time, to the land that is returned from the sword, and is gathered out of many nations, &c. that is, he will come to invade Judæa, from whence the Jews had been formerly expelled by the Roman sword, but are now returned and become Christians, and are settled in their land, in the possession of which they will be secured by the divine hand against all attempts.

V. 9. “And thou, Gog, shalt go up and come like a storm, and like a cloud to cover the land, thou and all thy bands and . many people with thee.

V. 10. “ Thus saith the Lord God: In that day projects shall enter into thy heart, and thou shalt conceive a mis chievous design. · V. 11. “And thou shalt say: I will go up to the land which is without a wall, I will come to them that are at rest, and dwell securely: all these dwell without a wall, they have no bars nor gates.” This refers to what St. John relates of Gog and his army: "and they came upon the breadth of the earth, and encompassed the camp of the saints, the good Christians, and the beloved city of Jerusalem.” Apoc. xx. 8.

It also refers to the future prosperous state of that city as foretold by the prophet Zachary: "Jerusalem shall be inhabited without walls," says he, “by reason of the multitude of men, and of the beasis in the midst thereof,” ii. 4.- Ezechiel proceeds to give the reason of Gog's invading Judæa.

V. 11. “ To take spoils and lay hold on the prey, to lay thy hand upon them that had been wasted, and afterwards restored, and upon the people that is gathered together out of the nations, which hath begun to possess and to dwell in the midst of the earth.” Here is the intent of Gog's coming, viz.

to plunder the converted Jews and Christians that are settled $ in Judæa, and who are come into possession of the immense

spoils of Antichrist's army, as we learn from the prophet

Zachary, who speaks thus of the abundance of those spoils: > “ And the riches of all nations round about shall be gathered = together, gold, and silver, and garments in great abundance," e xiv. 14.

V. 16. “And thou, Gog, shalt come," continues Ezechiel, “ upon my people of Israel like a cloud, to cover the earth. - Thou shalt be in the latter days, and I will bring thee upon

my land: that the nations may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

V. 17. “ Thus saith the Lord God: Thou then art he, of whom I have spoken in the days of old, by my servants, the prophets of Israel, who prophesied in the days of those times

that I would bring thee upon them :" namely by the prophets in Isaiah and Joel, as we shall see presently, besides Ezechiel.

V. 18. “And it shall come to pass in that day, in the day of the coming of Gog upon the land of Israel, saith the Lord Gog, that my indignation shall come up in my wrath.

V. 19. “And I have spoken in my zeal, and in the fire of my anger, that in that day there shall be a great commotion in the land of Israel.

V. 20. “So that the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the beasts of the field, and every creeping thing that

creeps upon the ground, and all men that are on the face of 5 the earth, shall be moved at my presence: and the mountains

shall be thrown down, and the hedges shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.” Here is mention of different alarming signs that will happen about that time, some of which are similar to the following, related by St. John, under the sixth seal: “every mountain, and the islands were moved out of their places : and the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the tribunes, and the rich, and the strong, and every

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