Page images

truction seems appointed to range from one end of the world to the other ;*-and to sweep away with the besom of destruction the palace and the cottage, the rulers and the ruled, the young and the old, man and woman with an indiscriminating fury, like a real whirlwind, to which he is often compared.-It seems also but too well to agree with the horrors of these calamitous and dreadful times, in which the restoration of the Jews is to be accomplished.† Isaiah in particular says, that in consequence of the preceding troubles, mankind shall be so much reduced in number upon earth, and the

*Probably the papal world only,-or otherwise all those countries which answer to the several parts of the image, (Dan, ii.) which still remain in the catholic league.

† Isai. iv. 1; xxix. 6 ;-Dan. xii, 1.-In Isai. xxxiv. 5. &c. the sword of God bathed in heaven, (or the apostate church) seems to allude to the same instrument of destruction, as the battle axe of God, in Jeremiah,—I have before shewn that Idumea or Edom is one of the mystic names of Rome, and heaven often signifies the church. The figure is a very bold one, and I cannot see what rational meaning can be assigned to that passage taken in context from ver. 1, to ver. 12,-unless it be interpreted of the mystic Babylon of St. John, Rev. xviii, that is, of Gods final judgments upon popery, and the great executioner of them, under the divine direction.

world so depopulated, that*" in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saving,

we will eat our own bread and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach." Then immedi ately there follows, as usual in all the prophecies of the latter days, a description of the highly improved state of religion, by the happy restoration of the jews, which is to be the ultimate effect of these troubles. "In that day shall the BRANCH OF THE LORD"‡ (one of the peculiar names of Messiah,)— "be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely§ for them

* By a late account accurately taken of the present popula tion of France, it appears that the females now exceed the males in number, by more than 5,000,000! If only the same proportion holds good as there is reason to suppose it must exceed,) in all the other kingdoms of the papal empire, of which this has been the overflowing scourge, how prodigious an havock of the human species has the fell ambition of one man occasioned ! t Isai. iv. 1. Amongst the jews it was esteemed a reproach for a woman to live unmarried.

The BRANCH, or Messias. Zech. iii. 8; vi. 12.—Isai xi, 1.-Jer. xxiii. 5; xxxiii. 15.

§ God being a crown of glory and a diadem of beauty to the "residue" of his people Isai xxviii. 5.

that are escaped of Israel"-(the remnant of that people)." And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion shall be called boly,* every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem," who " shall be found written in the book," as the same idea is expressed by Daniel, xii. 1,) or partaker of the first resurrection,--according to St John.


In this remarkable prophecy there is so striking a coincidence with several others, that relate to the time of the emancipation of Israel, and the fall of mystic Babylon, that it is unreasonable to object to its application in the same sense, and to the same times, from the single circunstance of the allusion to the custom of polygamy among the ancient jews; because it is universally admitted, that the imagery and descriptive language of the sacred writers, was always accommodated to the ideas and customs of the times when the wri

* Be called holy, means, he shall be so, as in Jer. xxiii. 6, and Isai. ix 6,-and refers to the holiness of the age of the MILLENNIUM, about this time to be introduced-1sai. lx. 21. "thy people shall be all righteous.

ters lived, of which Joshua commanding the sun to stand still, (when according to philosophical truth, he ought rather to have fixed the motion of the earth,) is a pregnant instance. Every thing else is strictly conformable to the whole stream of prophecy of the last times. These are certainly promises that have never yet been fulfilled, and only can be so by the peace and holiness to be expected in the MILLENNIUM,

This "mighty and strong one," is called a THRESHING INSTRUMENT for Israel, as his destructive exploits will be displayed upon their captors, and for their advantage, to cust up a way for their march to the land of their fathers. It is a new one, having teeth, and sharp ones too, and its prodigious powers, and great execution of much work in a little time, will be exhibited to the astonished world in a way never before attempted, at least to the same extent; by the most unprincipled application of treachery, corruption, and intrigue, combined with unparalleled skill in military

movements, and a new system of the art of war.*

He is called A FIERY FLYING SERPENT,† in allusion to the rapidity of his motions, and the subtilty and venomous rancour of spirit by which they are directed. 66 Rejoice not, O Philistia, with one consent; because the rod that smote thee is broken: for from the root of the serpent shall come forth a basilisk; and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent." I have shewn how strikingly the former part of this chapter applies to the papal tyranny, (which smote the subject nations with a stroke unremitted,) and the following part to the destruction of the papal power, and also of the BREAKER himself, "upon the mountains of God's land." This interpretation gives an easy application of the concluding part, in which PHILISTIA (or the idolatrous church) is admonished not to exult too much

Isai. xli. 15.-By these admirable qualifications for his em ployment, he grinds the nations, as with sharp and strong teeth, or beaters, in a threshing mill.

+ Isai. xiv. 29;

+ Sect, xvi. p. 415.


3 S

« PreviousContinue »