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and the Millennium, ver. 21, 22, 23. Their punishment is expressed by a phrase signifying the torments of hell ; Mark ix. 44. 46. 48. That punishment is seen in their carcases; that is, a conviction of it is impressed upon the mind, by the manner of their destruction. “And the beaft " was taken, and with him the false prophet " that wrought iniracles before him, with which “ he deceived them that had received the mark, c of the beast, and them that worshipped his " image. These both were cast alive into a lake “ of fire burning with brimstone ;" Rev. xix. 20. The punishment represented here can be no other than the torments of hell ; for they are cast alive into the lake, consequently it must be that place where “the worm dieth not, and the fire “ is not quenched;" besides it is the same lake into which “ death and hell are cast" after the general resurrection, exprefsly termed the lecond death ; Rev. xx. 14. The persons fo pu. nished are “ the beast and false prophet,” in other words, the Pope and the Popish clergy looking not to individuals, but to the head and supporters of the system of Popery. They are said to be taken at Armageddon, because the finfulness of the system is there fully detected and clearly exposed by the interposition of the Deity in the destruction of its supporters, The fame punishment is denounced against all those
who adhere to the fyftem: “And the third an. “ gel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “ if any man worship the beast and his image, « and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his “ hand, the fame shall drink of the wine of “ the wrath of God, which is poured out with“ out mixture into the cup of his indignation; « and he shall be tormented with fire and brim“ stone in the presence of the holy angels, and “ in the presence of the Lamb: and the smoke « of their torment afcendeth up for ever and “ ever: and they have no rest day nor night « who worship the beast and his image, and 66 whosoever receiveth the mark of his name;" Rev. xiv. 9.-11. The voice of this angel is coeval with the period immediately following the battle of Armageddon'. This proclama
(1) Mede, Newton, and some others, suppose the voice of this angel to have been fullilled by the Reformation; but to this interpretation I cannot agree, for the following reafons: 1. This angel follows after the former two, and the first of them points to a period still future, as we have seen: 2. It is not true, that the reformers denounced etera nal damnation against all that remained members of the church of Rome. They spoke of the difficulty of salvation in the church of Rome, but that is a language essentially different from the peremptory declaration of this angel. But we may easly conceive, that at some future period,
tion being uttered with a loud voice, intimates a public declaration and general conviction, that adhering to the system of Popery, subjects men to eternal torments.
But notwithstanding this conviction in the members of the true church, such as adhere to the system of Popery, shall make fome efforts to maintain its influence, even after the battle of Armageddon ; but these efforts shall prove abortive, owing partly to their own divifions, but chiefly to the Jewish arms. We are told, that “ the great city' was divided into three
“ parts, and the cities of the nations fell,” - Rev. xvi. 19. ; that is, the rulers of the system
when the wrath of God shall come on that devoted fociety to the uttermost, they who adhere to her communion, shall be considered as irreclaimable, and therefore justly consigned to everlasting destruction. This doctrine, which would be considered as uncharitable at the time of the Reformation, or even in the present age, shall then appear perfectly consistent with reason and charity : 3. That the voice of this angel is coeval with the time immediately following the battle of Armageddon, appears from its coinciding in sentiment and expression with other passages, which, without controversy, refer to that period. Compare Rev, xvi. 19. and chap xix, 20.
(1) The city signifies fometimes the seat of the beast, but most frequently, as here, the subjects of his fpiritual jurisdiction.
divided into three several parties, which indu. ced the nations who adhered to them, either as members of their communion, or as allies, to withdraw their support.
The nature and cause of these divisions, the event only can explain. But while they are thus divided among themselves, and deserted by their friends and allies, their system, as far as it is visible in the world, is finally destroyed by the arms of the Jews, who conquer the countries over which the blasphemous king had authority, as we shall presently see. They are the inftruments in God's hand, “ to give unto " great Babylon the cup of the wine of the “ fierceness of his wrath.” After all, some shall continue fecretly attached to Popery, so forcible is the influence of superstition over the human mind; but these shall be worn out gradually, by the prevailing power of the Gospel of Christ, according to that declaration, “ And the rem. 66'nant were flain with the sword of him that fat “ upon the horse, which sword proceeded out 66 of his mouth;" Rev. xix. 21.
Conquest of the Countries in the neighbourhood of
Judea by the Jews.
Another remarkable event, which takes place betwixt the battle of Armageddon and the Millennium is, the conquest made by the Jews of the several countries over which the blasphemous king had authority. We learn from Rev. xvi. 21. that after the battle of Armageddon, “ there " fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, “ every stone about the weight of a talent: And “ men blasphemed God because of the plague of " the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding “great." Hail signifies war, as in the first trumpet ; great hail, heavy or grievous war to the party conquered ; its coming " out of hea. “ven,” signifies that it proceeds from the church, under the authority and direction of God.
It appears from the prophets, that this war is carried on by the Jews, who, after the victory at Armageddon, lead their victorious army into the several countries in their neighbourhood, from which forces were sent to resist them. They undertake this war, not to gratify ambition or covetousness, but as followers of him, who “ in righteousness doth judge and make