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after the sufferings the church shall endure in that war, she shall arise, and as it were ascend into heaven ; i. e. as they interpret it, the church shall be directly advanced to her latter day rest, prosperity and glory. And consequently, this conflict must be the same with that great battle between Antichrist and the church, that is described chap. xvi. 13, to the end, and more largely chap. xix. 11, to the end. For that which is described in these places, is most evidently and indisputably the greatest and last battle or conflict that shall be between the church and her Antichristian enemies ; on which the utter downfall of Antichrist, and the church's advance. ment to her latter day glory, shall be immediately consequent. And so the earthquake that attends the resurrection of the witnesses chap. xi. 13, must be the same with great earthquake that is described, chap. xvi. 18. And the falling of the tenth part of the city must be the same with that terrible and utter destruction of Antichrist's kingdom, chap. xvi. 17, to the end.
But these things cannot be. The battle chap. xi. 7, cannot be the same with that last and great battle between the church and Antichrist described, chap. xvi. and xix. For the things that are said of one and the other, and their issue, are in no wise consistent. In that battle, chap. xi. the church of God conflicts with her enemies in sorrow,sackcloth and blood : But in the other the matter is represented exceedingly otherwise ; the church goes forth to fight with antichrist, not in sackcloth and blood, but clothed in white raiment, Christ himself before them, as their captain, going forth in great pomp and mag. Dificence, upon a white horse, and on his head many crowns, and on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords ; and the saints that follow so glorious a Leader to this great battle, follow him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, in garments of strength, joy, glory and triumph ; in the same kind of raiment, that the saints appear in, when they are represented as triumphing with Christ, with palms in their hands, chap. vii. 9. And the issue of the latter of these conflicts, is quite the reverse of the former In that battle, chap. xi. 7.5 The beast makes war with the witnesses, and overcomes them and kills them. The same is foretold, Dan. vii. 21.“ I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” And Rev. xii. 7. “ And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” But in the issue of that last and great battle, which the church shall have with her Antichristian enemies, the church shall overcome them, and kill them; Rev. xvii. 14. 6 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them ; for he is Lord of Lords, and King of Kings ; and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful,” compared with chap. xix. 16, and following verses, and chap. xvi. 16, 17. In the conflict that the beast shall have with the witnesses, the Beast kills them and their dead bodies lie unburied ;* as though they were to be meat for the beasts of the earth, and fowls of heaven : But in that last great battle, it is repre. sented that Christ and his church shall slay their enemies, and give their dead bodies to be meat for the fowls of heaven," chap. xix. 17, to the end. There is no manner of appearance, in the descriptions that are given of that last great battle, of any advantages gained in it, by the enemies of the church, before they themselves are overcome ; but all appearance of the contrary. Be sure the descriptions in the 16th and 19th chapters of the Revelation will by no means allow of such an advantage, as the overcoming of God's people, and slaying them, and their lying dead for some time, and unburied, that their dead bodies may be for their enemies to abuse, and trample on, and make sport with. In chap. xvi. we read of their being gathered together against the church, a mighty host, into the place called Armageddon ; and then the first thing we hear of, is the pouring out of the seventh vial of God's wrath, and a voice saying It is done. And so in the 19th chapter, we have an account of “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, being gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” And then the next thing we hear of, is, that "the Beast is taken, and with him the false prophet ; and that these are both cast alive into the lake of fire; and that the remnant of the vast army are slain, and all the fowls filled with their tesh. The issue of the condict of the beast with the witness. es is the triumph of the church's enemies over God's people, looking on them as entirely vanquished, and their interest utterly ruined, past all possibility of recovery : They that dwell on the earth shall see the dead bodies of the saints lying in the streets of the great city, and shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and send gifts one to another. But the issue of that great and last battle is quite the reverse ; it is the church's triumph over her enemies as being utterly and forever destroyed.
Here if any one shall say, That the ascension of the witnesses into heaven in the sight of their enemies, may, as has more generally been supposed, signify the church's last victory and triumph over her Antichristian enemies, and final deliverance from them, and yet the battle between Antichrist and the witnesses, spoken of Rev. xi. 7, wherein the witnesses are slain, may not be the same with that last and greatest battle between Antichrist and the church, chap. xvi. and xix. that immediately precedes and issues in the church's final victory and deliverance ; there may be two great battles, soon following one another, though both are not mentioned in the same place ; one, a conflict wherein Antichrist prevails against the witnesses, and overcomes them, and kills them, and another, that great batile described chap. xvi. and xix. after the witnesses' resurrection, before their ascension into heaven, wherein they shall prevail and overcome their enemies, and kill them : I say, if any one shall say thus, they will say that which the prophecies give no reason for, nor allow any room to suppose.
That last battle between the church and Antichrist, wherein Christ and his pcople obtain a complete victory, is evidently one of the greatest and most remarkable events foretold in all the Apocalypse : And there is no one thing, unless it be the consummation of all things, in the two last chapters, that is described in so solemn and august a manter.
And the description shews that it is an event which, with its circumstances, must take up much time. There is vast preparation made for it by the church's enemies : The VOL. III.
devils, in order to stir men up, and gather them together, to this battle of that great day of God Almighty, go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to propagate various kinds of delusions, far and wide, all over the world ; which undoubtedly must take up many years' time; chap. xvi. 13, 14. And then great preparation is made in the church of God, to make opposition ; chap. xix. 11....17. Now can any reasonably suppose, that in what is represented, chap. xi. of a great conflict between Antichrist and God's people, wherein the latter are overcome and slain, and lie dead three days (or three years) and an half, and their enemies triumphing over them, but God's people rising again from the dead in the midst of this triumph of their enemies, and ascending into heaven, while their enemies stand astonished and amazed spectators....that the manner of the description leaves fair room for us to suppose, that after this resurrection of God's people, they continue long before they ascend, to encounter with Antichrist in a new conflict, wherein their enemies after long time to prepare, should engage with them with vastly greater preparation, strength, and violence than before, and should wage war with them with the mightiest army that ever was gathered against the church, and in the greatest battle that ever was fought?
And besides, the witnesses ascending into heaven in the sight of their enemies, spoken of chap. xi. cannot be the same with the church's gaining a glorious ascendant over her enemies, in her final victory over Antichrist, spoken of chap. xvi. and xix. because the descriptions of the events that attend the one and the other do by no means answer each uther. For, observe, it is said that when the witnesses arose, and stood on their feet, and ascended into heaven, the same hour there was a great earthquake : But this does not seem to answer to what is described chap. xvi. 18. “ And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." It is said that at the time of the first carthquake, chap. xi. 13. “ The tenth part of the city sell :" But how far does this fall short of what is described, as
attending the great earthquake ? Chap. xvi. 19, 20.“ And the
? great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell ; and great;Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierce. ness of his wrath ; and every island fled away, and the mount. ains were not found.” It is said of the earthquake, chap. xi. 6. And in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand : But how far is this from answering the slaughter described chap. xix. 17, &c. ? Which is represented as a general slaughter of the kings, captains, mighty men, horses, and armies of the earth, and of the whole world ; so that all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, as far as the sun shines, are filled with the flesh of the dead carcases, it being the flesh
of all men, both free and bond, both small and great : (Compare chap. xvi. 14.) Who can think, that this great slaughter that is thus represented, should in chap. xi. be only called a slaying seven thousand men ?
If we read this very eleventh chapter through, we shall see that the falling of the tenth part of the city, and the witnesses rising and ascending into heaven, are entirely distinct from the final destruction of Antichrist, and that advancement of the church to her latter day glory, that is consequent upon it. The judgments here spoken of, as executed on God's enemies, are under another woe ; and the benefits bestowed on the church, are under another trumpet. For immediately after the account of the rising and ascending of the witnesses, and the tenth part of the city's falling, and the slaying of the seven thousand men, and the affrighting of the rest, and their giving glory to the God of heaven, follow these words in the 14th and 15th verses, “ The second woe is past ; and behold the third woe cometh quickly. And the seventh angel sounded ; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever." And in the following verses, we have an account of the praises sung to God on this occasion. And then in the last verse, we have a brief hint of that same earthquake, and that great hail, and those thunders and lightnings and voices, that we have an ac,