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of the city, they will fhew themfelves in the thickeft of the battle, and do exploits. But being deferted and left alone, like Lot in Sodom, and Mofes when he fhewed himself unto his brethren in Egypt, and our Lord alfo where he was crucified, these laft champions of the truth, will be overcome and flain,
Section 4. The rifing of the Walls of Zion.
The difperfion of the builders of Babel, preferved the believing remnant which, otherwife, had been fwallowed up and loft, and made room for the work of faith in the tents of Shem; difclofing there, more and more, the divine will and doctrine of Chrift, until the fhout of a king was heard among them.
The people were called Ifrael, for they had power with God. And it early began to be realized by all the proud of the earth, that the divine inftitutions were indeed foundations; and that other foundations no man could lay. Rahab, of Egypt, had the fairest pretenfions; and firft, among the nations, claimed the empire; but, from hence, he was cut afunder. Canaan, who refufed to ferve in the tents of Shem, felt from hence, a ftill heavier doom.
On these eternal grounds, a Zion arose, whose walls were falvation, and whofe gates were praife. Who could fay to the high hills, Why leap ye? This is the hill of God.
The dragon of Affyria, who had humbled all the nations of the earth, received here, in the prime of his ftrength, an incurable wound. O that they had been wife! that they had underflood this! that they had confidered their latter end! How foon fhould all their enemies have been fubdued under them?— For their rock was not as the rock of Zion, they themselves being judges.
But, be aftonifhed, Oye heavens at this!The people of his Holiness coveted to be likę the nations, and left the divine inflitutions for vain things; and, by their many foolish inventions, they made themfelves viler than the heathen. Wherefore the Rock of their falvation fold them.
For the fore correction of a difobedient people by the hand of men, according to the covenant, and to be the great buyer of the poor captives of Zion; and as yet the will of God must be done, and the work of redemption be carried on and finifhed, by a refiflance unto blood against fin; God commanded that Babylon herfelf fhould rife, and become the golden head of the nations; and, age after age, be the great Aceldama of the faints and martyrs; and, finally, of her own lovers and supporters.
Section 5. Babylon the City of Kingdoms.
After Nimrod, whofe work was left unfinifhed, Semiramis, an ambitious woman, gave
to Babylon a great fet out; but her work feemed an object of parade and show, rather than of that deep policy, which, in the first undertaking, and in the iffue, characterized this empress of cities.
For fome ages Babylon remained an affociate with her fifter Nineveh; but from the time of Nabonaffar, who, in the fcriptures is called Baladan, which is commonly dated 747 years before Jefus Chrift, fhe began to rival the metropolis of the Affyrian empire; and fometime in the fucceeding reign of Merodach Baladan, about 710 years before Chrift, fhe feemed to affume her true ftyle; and not long after Judea, for the first time, was invaded by this power, and the country was laid waste, and Manaffeh the king was taken and carried bound to Babylon. It was not, however, until the time of Nabopolaffar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, about 630 years. before Chrift, that Nineveh was utterly deitroyed, when Babylon commenced her fingle career of glory. And as this most excellent fabric of human wisdom was thus finished by that family, Nebuchadnezzar was induced to confider it as his own work.
Here I would again obferve, that I have no zeal to fix dates. I confider it as impoffible to determine with certainty the dates of these ages; but, by the general confent of chronologers, the above dates are right within a computation of about ten years.
Babylon rofe up in the moft furpaffing flyle of religion. The name of Baladan, the first Babylonian monarch, was compounded of the
names of Bel and Dragon, which were the favorite deities of Babylon and Nineveh; by which liberality, doubtless, he intended to improve his popularity with both nations, and aid the unior of both ftates. And his fon improved upon this ftroke of policy, and to the name of Baladan, which he retained, he added that of Merodach. Baladan fignifies the fon of death, and Merodach, in the Syriac tongue, is the prince below, or as we should fay, the prince of hell.
Ancient idolaters conceived of two principal deities, which they worshipped, viz. a fupernal and an infernal deity; but as fear was the great principle of their religion, like the aborigines of America, they thought it moft to their advantage, and were induced to pay their chief homage to the evil genii. Thus the apoftle obferved, The things which the Gentiles facrifice, they facrifice to devils. or demons. 1 Cor. x. 20. The prophet Ifaiah, chap. xxviii. reproving and threatening the people of Ifrael for their alliances with the Affyrian and Babylonian powers, alluded to this ftyle of their kings, faying, Because ye bave faid, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell, are we at agreement; when the overflowing courge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us. Therefore thus faith the Lord Gad, Your covenant with death fhall be difannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not Stand; when the overflowing fcourge jhall pass through then ye shall be trodden down by it And John, in the opening of the seal which denoted the rifing of myllical Babylon, evi
dently alludes to the fame things, when he fays, I looked, and bewold a pale borse; and his name that fat on him was Death, and bell fol lowed with him. And hence all the powers of darkness are called the gates of hell. And when they fhall together receive their final doom, in the fecond death, at the second and laft judgment, it is faid, that death and hell were caft into the lake of fire. Merodach-Baladan may be confidered as the motto of the powers of darknefs, i. e. death and hell united.
This would be an excellent text for a mo
dern evangelical preacher, as he is juftly de fcribed by William Huntington, minister in London, in his Difcourfes on the Wife and Foolish Virgins. When the devil has in'fluenced, varnished, polished, set forth, and equipped fuch a profeffor as this, he perfuades him that his hearing the word, his receiving it with joy, his fpringing up in zeal, in knowledge, in a profeffion, in a reformation, and in a feparation from the world, and joining with God's faints, that this is converfion, it is regeneration, and the joy he felt is the power of God, and the i confidence that attended it is the work of faith wrought in the heart with power. And he jurnishes the world with preachers to con• firm fuch in their profeffion. To counterfeit every distinct operation of the Spirit of God is the devil's mafter-piece; and to be fet down in a falfe hope, and under an infernal influence, is the fool's deepest cell, the next to that of utter darkness. When the devil fends one of his ministers to counterfeit the first