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ometh, and sive power oChrift, tells
From the imprisonment of Satan, the prophet · proceeds to the kingdom of Christ, and the first re
surrection of the juit. “ And,” says he, -* I saw " thrones, and they sat upon them :" evidently alluding to the thrones promised by Christ, when upon earth, to the apostles, and to the just made perfect, through faith in him. When Peter heard the parable of the rich man, he asked Christ, saying, “qfo We “ have forsaken all and followed thee, what Thall “ we have therefore ? And Jesus said unto them, • Verily I say unto you, that you who have followed “ me in the regeneration, where the Son Of MAN 66 shall fit in his glory, ye shall fit on twelve thrones, “ judging the twelv.: tribes of Ifracl." Again, “ He that overcometh, and keepeth ny words unto .66 the end, to him will I give power over the na" tions." So the prophet, speaking of Christ, tells us, * $ And he hath made us (the apostles, maros tyrs, and saints) kings and priests unto our God, 5 and we shall reign upon earth.” And farther, “II
“ faw (in this kingdom) the souls of them that were .66 beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word os of God;" meaning all the prophets, apostles, saints, martyrs, and righteous men, who shall have suffered death, before the second coming of Christ, either by the pagan powers, whether Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, or Roman, or by the apostate powers of Mohamedanism and popery, “ for the 66 witness of Jesus and the word of God;" and also the souls of those " which shall not have worshipped - The beast || ; neither his image; neither shall have " received his mark upon their foreheads or in their « hands;" that is, which shall not have been corrupted from the fear and love of God into the
* Chap. XX. 4, 5, 6. of Matth. xixi 27, 28.
. § Rev. V. 10.
“ filthy and blafphemous impurity of atheism ;'! and these “s lived and reigned with Christ a thousand < years *. But the rest of the dead” (meaning, as I humbly apprehend, all those who shall not have " nfc feared God and given glory to him," according to the merciful invitations of Christ himself, and, in particular, the black and hardened children of atheism) To lived not again until the thousand years were “ finished. This is the first resurrection.” “Blefjed 6 and holy is he that hath part in the first refur« rection;" blessed, indeed, for they are now separated from, and placed above, all the troubles, vexations, misfortunes, and destructive evils of the world, and even above the temptation and power of Satan! blessed, indeed, because they have now recovered that glorious state of innocence, felicity, and perfection, which they had forfeited through the disobedience of their first parents; and blessed above measure, for they have now found their lostShepherd, and are now to be fed by him, and repose in the sunshine of his perfection for ever and ever! and holy indeed! for they are pardoned and justified by his blood, and anointed and fanctified by his righteousness, and so perfectly holy, that the second 66 death," or the wrath of God, which shall be poured out upon the wicked in The last day, to their eternal punithment, « shall have no power over " them; but they shall be priests of God and of « CHRIST, and shall reign with him a thousand “ years $.”
Having foretold the reign of Christ upon earth, the prophet paffes to the next, the most awful, im- . portant, and decisive events of the providence of God contained in the prophecies, which are to come
* Ver. 5. + Chap. xiv. 7. xi. 18. § Psalm ii. per totum. Isaiah xxxy.
to pass at or immediately after the termination of it. He does not mention what are to be the effects of the merciful reprieve of the “ lives” or superstitious rites of the pagan nations; nor was it a matter of any moment for us to know; it would only be one among innumerable instances of the mercies of God in the course of his government of mankind ; and if the abundant proof of that truth displayed before our eyes has not convinced us of it, a knowledge of the facts oinitted would not answer that purpose; however, as a God of infinite wisdoın does nothing in vain, we may reasonably suppose that many of those nations, now no longer subject to the tempta: tions of Satan, but left to their free will, and having, as it were, before their eyes the beatitude of the children of God, will, upon a comparison of their fallen, sinful, and miserable state, with the ineffable righteousness, peace, and felicity of the kingdom of Chrift, forsake their ancient and deep-rooted prejudices and habits, and their sensual and abominable idolatry, embrace the truths of the ever living God, and, at the laft, be saved, and thus fulfil one of the parables of Christ himself when foretelling his kingdom, and alluding, among others, to this very event: he there * compares his kingdom to a 6 Lord " of a vineyard and his labourers, fome of whom he “ called in at the firt hour, others at the third, and " the fixth, and the ninth, and the eleventh : and 66 when at night he called them in to receive their " reward, he paid those that came at the eleventh " and last hour first; and those that were called in " first he paid the last, and gave to all the same re“ ward;" and then adds, 66 info fo the last shall be “ fird, and the firft laft; for many be called, but “ few chosen." Thus he foretels, as I humbly interpret the parable, that the Pagan nations and the Jews * the latter of whom are to remain in a dirperfed ftate among the former, until after the coinmencement of the reign of Christ), who were the first transgreffors of the word of God, shall be the Infi called, saved, or punished, as they shall receive or reject the Gospel of Christ; “ for many be called " but few chosen;" and that the obliinate and perverse followers of the Mohamedan and the papal apostasies, and of the atheistical ly liem, and of the great confederacy, who have been the left in transgression, shall be the first punished. But whether or not any of those nations ihall avail themselves of the merciful opportunity of coming over to Christ in his kingdom, we shall prefently find that many of them, a mighty host, “the number of whom is to 66 be as the land of the tea,” shall not only remaia refractory, preferring their filthy idolatry to the adoration of the true God, but stirred up and led on by Satan, shall make a laft effort to destroy the kingdom of Christ. Let us therefore return to the prophet.
* Matth. XX. 1-16.
* Ver. 16.
' That the restoration of the Jews is not to take place until after the coming of Christ to reign, seems probable from the afsurance given by him to the apostles, that when " he shall fit in “his glory, they shall fit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve «'tribes of Ifraele.” For it seems, from sundry parts of the prophecies relating to that blessed event, which I have not now leisure to explaio, they will be called and restored at some time during the period of a thousand years ; that so the two churches, of God may be uvited under Christ, and then they dhall be “ judged by their own twelve elders, who, together with the twelve apostles, are the four and twenty elders, having on their heads crowns of gold, who the prophet reprefents, in divers places, as bemg with Chrift in heaven 6. Besides, we are told that “their plagues should be " of long continuance, and their fore fickness of long continuance, " and that they should be for a sign and a wonder upon their feed “ for ever;" that is, during the whole period of the Christian dil. pentation.
· Matth. xix. 27, 28. Rey. iv. 4. v. S. 14. xi. 11. xix. 3. - Deut. xxviii. 46. 59.
Ver. 7, 8.-" And when the thousand years " are expired, Satan shall be lopfed out of his 65 prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations " which are in the four quarters of the earth, " Gog and Magog, to gather them together " to batile, the number of whom is as the “ fand of the fea. And they went up on the " breadth of the earth, and encompassed the « camp of the saints about, and the beloved *6 city : and FIRE came down from God and - devoured them."
Here we have a brief account of the last battle which will ever be fought upon the earth: a battle between TRUTH and FALSE HOOD, between the Son of the Most High God, his faints and just men made perfect, and redeemed from a fallen finful world. The account of this battle the prophet begins by informing us, that Satan will be released from his im“prisonment, and suffered to resume his loft power at the expiration of the thousand years; and that he will go out to deceive the nations, Gog and Magog ; meaning, as I humbly conjecture, the idolatrous nations, who having, as it were, had ocular demonftration of the bletted fruits of the word of God in the kingdom of Christ, shall despise and reject it; for, according to prophetic history, all other nations are to be destroyed before this event by the judgments and wrath of an offended God, except those that Thall liave obeyed his divine will revealed by Christ. This conjecture seems to receive a degree of probability from the text itself; for the nations here referred to are described by the terms Gog and Magog. And we learn, from ancient histories, Tacred as well as profane, that “ Magog” was the country of the Magogians, Gomerians, and Tubalines, the de*fcendants of Magog, Gomer, and Tubal, the sons of