Page images


The restoration of Israel is evident also, from their marvellous preservation, as a distinct people, retaining their language, their religion, and peculiar habits, in circumstances, which would render these things seemingly impossible. That the Israelites should blend with no other nations, among whom they reside, must be owing to a special interposition of Divine Providence. Are they not thus miraculously preserved for the great purposes which have been noticed in the prophecies?

It is further remarkable, respecting this scattered, and most depressed people, that they are full of hope and expectation, of returning, in due time, to their ancient inheritance. For this great object, they seem to be making preparation. They are careful to accumulate move: able property; as if preparing for a long and expensive journey. So strong is their expectation of returning to their own land, that they would renounce the religion of Moses and Abraham, rather than give up this expectation. And the way seems to be fast preparing for their return. The inhabitants of the land are sinking in sottish stupidity; and dwindling down to ruin. The Jews, on the other hand, are a rich, powerful and enterprising people. Should it be necessary, they may possibly possess the whole land by way of purchase, or redeem it with their money:

We have further to remark, that, at this day, the seed of Abraham are, more and more, setting their faces Zionward. There are, at present, as there have been for twenty years past, increasing numbers of hopeful conversions, among God's ancient people. The seed of Israel are even now, on our shores, as well as in other parts of the world, preaching to their unbelieving brethren, as well as to others, the everlasting gospel of Christ. The Jews are also said to listen, more and more to the doctrines of the cross. There are, indeed, many things, indicative of a speedy restoration of Israel to their ancient inheritance.

The prophet Ezekiel, who is more clear and lucid on this subject, than any other prophet; having clearly

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

predicted the conversion and restoration of Israel, in the thirty-sixth and thirty-seventh chapters of his prophecy; proceeds to state the happy consequences which will result to the heathen. 6 And the heathen shall know, that I, the Lord, do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forever more. 66 At that time, many nations," not the antichristian, but the heathen nations, “ shall come and say, Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths : For the law shall go

forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” From these prophecies it is evident, that the Israelites, when brought back from their long and distressing captivity, together with an innumerable multitude of the heathen, who shall by their means, be converted to the christian faith, will constitute the great body of the christian church previous to the utter destruction of antichrist. Of course, it will be previous to what is called in the Revelation, “ The battle of that great day of God Almighty." of this battle, we have an illustrious description, in the thirty-eighth and thirty-ninth chapters of Ezekiel's prophecy. The summary of which great battle is this; that when the set time for the utter destruction of antichrist shall come, the vast armies of Gog and Magog, by which are meant all the relics of the antichristian powers, from the north quarters, or from the Papal and Mahometan regions, together with all the powers of infidelity and idolatry, raging with envy and malice against the church of Christ; and especially against the Jews, who shall be restored from their captivity, shall combine together to go up to the mountains of Israel; hoping, by one grand effort, by one great and decisive battle, to put an end to the christian cause, by the total extirpation of the church; and, at the same time, to take an immense spoil from the great riches of God's restored people, Hear the boasting language of antichrist himself : « And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villa

go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them, dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates ; to take a spoil, and to take a prey; and

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ges; I will

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

to turn thine hand upon the desolate places, that are not inhabited; and upon the people (Israel] that are gathered out of the nations, who have gotten cattle and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land.” With these envious, proud and avaricious views, all the antichristian hosts shall 66

go up like a flood to cover the whole land." “ And thou shalt come up against my people Israel, like a cloud, a great company, and a mighty army." Probably a sevenfold greater host than ever appeared before, in the field of battle. This mighty host is to be destroyed before God's restored people. “And I will call for a sword against him, throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man's sword shall be against his brother.” Immense will be the slaughter, on the part of antichrist; and it will be chiefly effected, by their mad butchery of one another. 66 And I will plead against him, saith the Lord, with pestilence, and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon

the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone." This exactly coincides with the judgments denounced in the Revelation, under the seventh and last vial.66 And 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.” We hence see clearly, that this war of Gog and Magog, will be the execution of the plagues under the seventh and last vial; which awful events, are to us yet future; but are hastening to their accomplishment. Jews and heathen are beginning to advocate the christian cause; and the antichristian world is advancing in pride and atheism ; so that these predictions are evidently drawing near to their great and awful crisis. These great judgments being executed on the armies and people of Gog and Magog, the result will be glorious. For the residue of men, shall by means of these great events be convicted and converted to the holy religion of the gospel. The pro nised Millenium shall then commence, and advance gloriously. After this decisive battle, war, which has been a scourge of nations, for so many ages, shall be

[ocr errors]

finally terminated : And henceforth, “ nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself, saith the Lord God. And I will be known in the eyes


many nations; and they shall know, that I am the Lord. And the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. And I will set my glory among the heathen; and all the heathen shall see my judgment, that I have executed, and my hand, that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know, that I am the Lord their God, from that day and forwards. Therefore, thus saith the Lord, Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel: And I will be jealous for my holy name."

We have now had a sufficient view of the prophecies clearly to


that all the tribes of Israel will, sooner or later, be restored to their own land; and there they will be conspicuous as a christian church, to the end of the world. Their restoration will probably take place, in a great measure, before the fall of antichrist. For, it is against this restored people of Israel, that the great warfare will be waged. We have found also, that the restoration of Israel, together with the battle and fall of antichrist, will be as life from the dead to the gentile, or heathen nations. Accessions to the church, which have begun already to multiply, both from the Jews and heathen; will greatly increase, so as to constitute a formidable

army, before the decisive battle. The purity and harmony of the church will also be greatly improved. And from and aster that great day of battle and decision, there shall be one Lord, and his name and worship will be uniform and harmonious. No more will be heard of jarring sects and denominations ; and no more of heresies and delusions. 66 All shall know the Lord, from the least to the greatest ; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas." Such will be the purity of the church, that hypocrites shall find no place, and “ there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts."

Having considered the events which, according to the prophecies, will introduce the Millenium, we proceed to

[ocr errors]

state, more particularly, those things in which the peculiar glory and felicity of that period will consist. Onc great thing which has been incidentally suggested, is, ali entire exemption from the horrors of war.“ They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” “ The meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in abundance of peace.” So great will be the love and harmony of all classes of people, and so strict will be their honesty and integrity, that civil society will scarcely need the aids and restraints of law and government. Some are of the opinion, that the government will become altogether ecclesiastical. Mutual love will be so strong, that no envying nor.jealousies will be cherished. Each will esteem others better than himself; and by love men will serve one another.

Another thing conducive to the happiness of that day will be a state of great outward prosperity. The earth shall yield her increase. No more will hunger, nakedness and poverty distress the inhabitants of the world. A divine blessing will be implored on all the labors and occupations of mankind : and a prayer hearing God will pour down his blessings, so that there shall scarcely be room to receive them.

Probably the Millenium will be also, generally, if not altogether, a time of health. Pestilence is one of the sore judgments, with which God chastises his rebellious people. But, in that glorious period, there would seen to be no special occasion for divine chastisements. It is indeed written, respecting that blessed period, " That, the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick.” Health and plenty will be among the precious blessings of the Millenium.

Furthermore; In that day, there will be a very great increase of knowledge, especially the knowledge of divine truth. So early in life, and so rapid will be the progress of knowledge, that, in strong terms, it is alle. ged by the prophet, that “there shall be no more thence an infant of days.” Comparatively speaking, none shall be infants in knowledge. The child, in this respect, shall die an hundred years old. Regeneration of heart will probably be in early childhood; and the knowledge of

« PreviousContinue »