תמונות בעמוד

wine of them; and shall make gardens, and eat the fruits of them. And I will plant them upon their own land: and I will no more pluck them out of their land, which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” Such is this remarkable æra of peace, prosperity, and spiritual blessings.

One may naturally suppose that the Christians, at their emerging from the severe trials they had been subjected to, were uncommonly full of zeal and religious fervour: and so it seems to be intimated by the above-cited passages out of the prophets. But the human mind from its native inconstancy soon forgets the greatest troubles, when they are passed. Prosperity also is a charm generally productive of inattention and neglect, and contributes much to revive in man his natural propensity to licentiousness. Such will be the case of this last period of time, in which mankind will gradually relax in their fervour, and degenerate in their morals. Our Saviour has told us to beware of the last day, to watch, and he ready to appear before him at the bar of judgment: “ Watch ye," says he, “because ye know not what hour your Lord will come. Be you ready, because at what hour ye know not, the Son of man will come.” Matt. xxiv. 42, 44. And again he speaks in the Apocalypse :-“ Behold I come as a thief," xvi. 15. St. Peter also gives us the same warning: “ The day of the Lord will come as a thief.” 2 Pet. ii. 19. But these admonitions will by degrees lose their influence, and be forgotten, the human passions will recover their power, and the pleasures of the world will become again the common pursuit of men; as we learn from our Saviour's own words; “ As in days of Noe,says he, “ so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that in which Noe entered into the ark. And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away : so also shall the coming of the Son of man be.” Matt. xxiv. 37, 38, 39. Thus then the generality of mankind having degenerated into a state of forgetfulness of God, employed now in indulging themselves in sensual gratifications, unmindful of all the ominous alarming signs that had preceded, and the repeated admonitions given them, Behold! The seventh seal is opened.




The seventh Seal is opened.

A poc. viii. 1. “ And when he (the Lamb) had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven, as it were for half an hour.The Lamb having opened the seventh seal, there follows a silence in heaven for a while, in appearance about half an hour. During this time the Almighty thinks fit to disclose to the whole heavenly court of angels and saints, his eternal and inscrutable decrees respecting mankind and the existence of this world. The heavenly auditory attend in silence and with profound respect, while he graciously unfolds to them the whole system of economy, by which he has governed the world ever since its creation, and the whole course of his great and inerciful dispensations to man. The Almighty is willing to display before them the immense and superabundant store of blessings, that have flowed from the inexhaustible source of his paternal affection upon mankind, ever since the first moment of their existence. He shows that his tenderness and bounty towards mankind have been without measure, and that if a great number of them perish, their perdition is owing to themselves. He then makes known his intention of putting an immediate stop to the whole human race, and bringing them to judgment; he signifies, that the time he had fixed for the existence of the world is now expired, and he is now going to put an end to it.† Upon which

The seventh Trumpet sounds. . Chap. xi. 15. “And the seventh angel sounded the trumpet: and there were great voices in heaven, saying: the

* This he does, not in words, but by secret interior communication, such as is suitable to the nature of spirits. · † That such are, in part, the divine intimations on this occasion, may be collected from the applauses of the heavenly choirs expressed in the fola lowing trumpet. As upon the opening of the seventh seal the period of the world finishes, it is just that at that time the wise and bountiful economy of Christ through the whole government of his Church should be acknowledged. For that reason benediction or praise was solemnly offered to the Lamb. Apoc. v. 12. See page 43.

bondman, and every freedman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of mountains." Apoc. vi. 14, 15.

V. 21. “ And I will call in,” continues Ezechiel, " the sword against him in all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man's sword shall be pointed against his brother.

V. 22. “And I will judge him with pestilence, and with blood, and with violent rain, and vast hailstones: I will rain fire and brimstone upon him and upon his army, and upon the many nations that are with him.” Here we see in what manner the Almighty will destroy Gog with all his army in the mountains of Judæa, by turning every man's sword against his brother, by pestilence, by violent rain, and vast hailstones; and in fine, he will rain fire and brimstone upon them. To the same the royal psalmist seems to allude, saying : “ The Lord shall rain snares upon sinners: fire and brimstone and storms of wind shall be the portion of their cup.” Psalm x. 7. St. John also gives us their destruction in few words, but tó the same purpose : “ And there came down fire from God out of heaven," says he, “and devoured them.” Apoc. xv. 9. And thus is fulfilled what God had promised by his prophet Zachary: “ I will be to Jerusalem, saith the Lord, a wall of fire round about,” ii. 5. The Alnighty again, speaking by his prophet Isaiah, after proclaiming his future vengeance upon the Anti-christian Babylon, proceeds to announce also his judgments upon Gog in the same terrible language, styling that prince the Assyrian, on account of his reigning over the country formerly called Assyria : “ So shall it fall out,” says God, “ that I will destroy the Assyrian in my land, and upon my mountains tread him under foot : and his yoke shall be taken away from them, and his burihen shall be taken off their shoulders." Isaiah xv. 25. And again : “ And the Lord shall make the glory of his voice to be heard, and shall show the terror of his arm, in the threatening of wrath, and the flame of devouring fire; he shall crush to pieces with whirlwind and hailstones. For at the voice of the Lord the Assyrian shall fear being struck with the rod.” Isa. xxx. 30. 31.

Ezechiel having described the fate of Gog by anticipation, is told to return to the historical account of him:

Chap. xxxix. 1. “And thou, Son of man, prophecy against Gog, and say: thus saith the Lord God: behold I come against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Mosoch and Thubal.

V. 2. “And I will turn thee round, and will lead thce out, and will make thee go up from the northern parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.

V. 3. “And I will break thy bow in thy left hand, and I will cause thy arrows to fall out of thy right hand.

V. 4. “ Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and thy nations that are with thee: I have given thee to the wild beasts, to the birds, and to every fowl, and to the beasts of the earth to be devoured.

V. 5. ^ Thou shalt fall upon the face of the field : for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.” With this account coincides what the Almighty promises the Jews by the prophet Joel: "I will remove far off from you,” says he, “the northern enemy: and I will drive him into a land unpassable, and desert, with his face towards the east sea, and his hinder part towards the utmost sea : and his stink shall ascend, and his rottenness shall go up, because he has done proudly,” ii. 20. Here the northern enemy points out Gog, who, according to Ezechiel, comes from the northern parts, v. 2. He is driven into a land unpassable, that is, into the mountains of Israel, v. 2, where he is placed between the east or Dead sea, and the utmost or Mediterranean sea. In these mountains, after that fire from heaven has slain him and his people, their carcasses shall lie to infect the air with stench and rottenness. -The Lord continues to speak by Ezechiel :

V. 6. “And I will send a fire on Magog, and on them that dwell confidently in the islands; and they shall know that I am the Lord." Does not this perhaps mean, that at the time that Gog perishes, fire will also be sent to make destruction in Magog, his own country, and in the islands that are confederated with him ?

V.7. “And I will make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and my holy name shall be profaned no more: and the Gentiles shall know that I am the Lord, the holy one of Israel.

V. 8. “Behold it cometh, and it is done, saith the Lord God: this is the day whereof I have spoken.

V. 9. “And the inhabitants shall go forth of the cities of Israel, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, the shields, and the spears, the bows and the arrows, and the hand staves, and the pikes: and they shall burn them with fire seven years.

V. 10. “And they shall not bring wood out of the countries, nor cut down out of the forests: for they shall burn the weapons with fire, and shall make a prey of them to whom they had been a prey, and they shall rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.

V. 11. “And it shall come to pass in that day that I will give Gog a noted place for a sepulchre in Israel : the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea, which shall cause astonishment in them that pass by: and there shall they buy Gog, and all his multitude, and it shall be called the valley of the muliitude of Gog.

V. 12. “ And the house of Israel shall bury them for seven months to cleanse the land.

V. 13. “And the people of the land shall bury him, and it shall be unto them a noted day, wherein I was glorified, saith the Lord God.

V. 14." And they shall appoint men to go continually about the land, to bury and to seek out them that were remaining upon the face of the earth, that they may cleanse it: and after seven months they shall begin to seek.

V. 15. “And they shall go about passing through the land and when they shall see the bone of a man, they shall set up a sign by it, till the buriers bury it in the valley of the multitude of Gog.

V. 16. " And the name of the city shall be Amona,* and they shall cleanse the land.

V: 17. “And thou, O son of man, saith the Lord God, say to every fowl, and to all the birds, and to all the beasts of the field: Assemble yourselves, make haste, come together from every side to my victim, which I slay for you, a great victim upon the mountains of Israel; to eat flesh, and drink blood.

V. 18. “ You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and you shall drink the blood of the princes of the earth : of rams, and of lambs, and vi he-goats, and bullocks, and of all that are well fed and fat.

V. 19. “And you shall eat the fat till you be full, and shall drink blood till you be drunk, of the victim which I shall slay for you.

V. 20. “And you shall be filled at my table with horses. and mighty horsemen, and all the men of war, saith the Lord


V. 21. “And I will set my glory among the nations: and all nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.”

Thus is Gog and his whole army exterminated. They are not allowed to reach Jerusalem, but are stopped by the divine hand at a distance in the mountains of Judæa, where by fire

* Multitude.

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