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God,“there the eagles” of Satan “shall be gathered together," to destroy and torment.*
The parable of the tares makes it manifest. Matt. xiii. 36. “And his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare
unto us the parable of the tares of the field. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom" of Christ; “but the tares are the children of the wicked one; the enemy that soweth them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As therefore the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them that do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire : there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the
kingdom of their Father.” The justice and mercy Luke xii. 48. of his judgment is evident from his words“But
he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required."
The progressive withholding the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit from the unregenerate, in
* The same judgment the Lord evidently showed to Abraham, after the promises made to him. Gen. xv. 8, and 17.
the last days, is spoken of in the prophecy of Amos:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that Amos viii. 11. I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”
Again, by Isaiah, “ Therefore, thus saith the Isaiah lxv. 15. Lord God, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but
ye shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed; behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye
shall sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit.”
Hence, the prophetic words of comfort of David; “ Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that Psalm lsxxiii. fear him, and upon them that put their trust in his
mercy, to deliver their souls from death, and to feed them in the time of dearth.”
Hence, the prophetic warning of Jeremiah“ Give glory to the Lord your God, before he Jer. xiii. 16. cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains; and while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.”
The progressive darkness in the spirit of the beast, is meant by the vials of wrath in the revelation of St. John :" And the fifth angel poured out Rev. xvi. 10 his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness ;” their lamps gone out, as explained in the parable of the virgins. “And they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blas
phemed the God of heaven, because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.”
The same is referred to by the prophetic words of Isaiah viii. 21. Isaiah, “And they shall pass through it hardly
bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward; and they shall look unto the earth, and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.” The same judgment of the kingdom of the beast is referred to, Isaiah ix. 18. 20., and Zechariah xiv. 12. 15.; and in other parts of the prophetic writings.
Of the outward signs of the times previous to
the judgment of this world, we are informed that, Matt. xxiv.15. “ When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of
desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand Matt. xxiv. 21. in the holy place,”—" for then shall be great tribu
lation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened ;"_“ for these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”
Having but one Saviour and one faith, the
abomination of desolation means, the denying that Heb. vii. 27. Jesus was the promised Christ, the Son of God,
who has redeemed us from all iniquity by the sacrifice of his temporal life; as he is in heaven the daily sacrifice, by whom sin is not imputed to his disciples, under the Mosaic law.
Therefore, by denying that the Word of God has made the sacrifice for us he has done in our nature, and fulfilled his promise to Abraham and his posterity, brings the curse upon them denounced by the Mosaic law in transgressing it: and for this unpardonable offence, great power shall be given in the last days to a tyrant, that shall reign upon earth; and, in consequence of his extraordinary success, he shall magnify himself, “ even to the Dan, viii. 11. prince of the host: and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down: and an host was given him * against the daily sacrifice, by reason of transgression, and it cast the truth to the ground, and it practised and prospered."
In consequence of the success of this impious tyrant, “ the love” of the gospel “ of many shall wax cold,” by their misconception of the cause of this success being allowed him; but when the object of delusion is attained, and the persecution of wickedness is arrived at its height, and when they shall say “Peace and safety”—from their prosperity—“then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape.”—For, “ at that time thy people Dan. xii. 1.
* Revelations xiii." And the dragon gave him his power, his seat, and great authority.”
shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book of life. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. But they that be wise shall shine," in the Spirit of the Lord, “ as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” Therefore, many shall be purified from the spirit of Satan; “made white” in the spirit of the Lord, “ and tried" by patience and temptations to prove their faithfulness; “ but the wicked shall do wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand” the judgments of the Lord, “but the wise” in the Spirit of the Lord “ shall understand” them.
The coming of this impious tyrant is further ex2 Thess. ii. 1. plained by St. Paul—“Now we beseech you, bre
thren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye
be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first” from the faith, “and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things ?” This St.