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tyrant, and be hurried off the stage (too long
, stained with its bloody footsteps), in circumstances of terror that will indicate the high displeasure of the Almighty. It seems there will be an arduous contest between truth and falsehood, the real energy of Divine Power, and the successful mimicry of it by diabolical art, as was the case in EGYPT: that the innate wickedness of the apostacy, (kept up for so many ages against the light of the gospel, and reason, and conscience against the evidence arising from the faith and patience of the martyrs-against the successive judgments of heavën, with suitable intervals of respite left for their repentance, but still without effect,) may be made fully apparent to the world, and the truth and righteousness of God be justified in its punishment.
The impious rebellion of KORAH was pushed to the very last extremity, and an actual contest was maintained against God's two prophets, Moses and Aaron, decided only by the interposition of the Divine Arm itself, and the earth opening her mouth and swallow
ing up the infidel crew. The idolaters of Israel, in the time of Elijah, supported a similar contest in favour of BAALİM, as now the antichristians do in behalf of MAHUZZIM, their mediatory gods; and the decision was given by a miracle from the God of heaven, and the destruction of all the priests of BAAL.
Why then should it be thought a thing incredible that the great CONTROVERSY OF Zion should be decided in the same manner ? For in this more blood hath been spilt, and it is every way of far greater importance than any
of these three instances, wherein the Almighty bath condescended to a competition with his idol opponents, for the more effectual vindication of his oppressed truth, and his worshippers, and the final triumph of true religion over imposture and wickedness. For thus GREAT BABYLON will not fall but with the fullest attestation of both God and man to the full measure of her wickedness, and as “ber sins have reached unto heaven, so will ber judgment unto the skies.'
Christian faith and patience put to the test with un.
exampled severity. The true time of the death of the witnesses. The restoration of the Jews? in what manner it becames one of the plagues of popery.—The valley of decision,--fatal to the antichristian powers.—Prophetic picture of Christ, in his wars against the Beast.--He conquers by sufferings. Savage proclamation for the extermination of the witnesses, is reversed upon their enemies. The seventh vial.-The BEAST and FALSE PROPHET broken,-and snared-and taken, Their fearful end.
WHEN these things come to pass, it is obvious to suppose that it will be a season of very severe trial of the faith and constancy of all that profess the genuine doctrine of Jesus Christ ; and it will, in all probability, be indeed the hottest period of the long perpetuated
war, that the BEAST has waged against Christ and his saints. There is therefore a very particular warning of this given from the mouth of the blessed Jesus himself, as there had been a similar notice before given at two former periods of persecution, to put the true christians upon their guard, and remind them of their Lord's solemn cautions in the gospel :” he that will save his life," by sinful compliances, shall lose the life eternal; and he that will bazard his life in this world, for Christ's sake and the gospel's, shall secure the better and ever-enduring life of his soul, and“ what shall a man give in exchange for his soul,” if forfeited and lost, by unfaithfulness in the time of trial?
The proclamation made by the Holy Spirit on these two former occasions,* was" Here is the faith and patience of the saints !" which certainly implied that on these occasions, God would give many eminent examples to the 'world of the truth and power of christian principles; and that it would then behove those, who should be thus singled out for sufferings of so dreadful a nature, to look well to themselves, that they should not shrink back from the frightful conflict with death, in a form of such complicated horror. But the warning given here against this last struggle for life and victory, is couched in terms still more awful and alarming; and which seem to forebode a great and lamentable defection at this time from the cause of truth and heaven, through the overpowering force of the temptation, and the frequency of the example of this weakness, in characters from which better things might have been hoped. Even in ordinary cases, " when iniquity shall abound the
* Rev. xiii, 10, and xiv. 12.
“ love of many will wax cold;" but here the difficultics to be overcome, and the dangers to be encountered, will be such as demand greater fortitude and faith than on any former occasion. The antichristian enmity being more rancorous and cruel, and the powers
of the persecutors greater, and exerted to the uttermost to extirpate the gospel and its heretical partizans together,