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world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. It is not meant that they shall be gathered into one place on this globe, or any where else; but that they shall be united with one heart in the same cause of sin and Satan, against God, and his revealed truth and ways, in whatever part of the earth they live; and thus take arms, and rise in open rebellion, provoking the Almighty to battle, and, in a sense, challenging him to do his worst. Thus they will be as really gathered to the battle as an army are gathered together to engage in battle with another army, or to besiege a city.
“ And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Armageddon is the Mountain of Megiddo, at the foot of which the memorable battle was fought between the Canaanites, the enemies of Israel, and Barak, and the army under him, when Sisera and his host were defeated and utterly destroyed, which was a complete overthrow of the Canaanites, and issued in the final deliverance of Israel from their yoke and power. This was a type of the total defeat and overthrow of the enemies of Christ and his church, which will issue in the peace and prosperity of the church in the millennial state. This is intimated in the concluding words of the song of Deborah and Barak, in which this victory and deliverance is celebrated. “ So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord; but let them who love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.” (Judges v. 31.) There is, therefore, an allusion to the type in this prophecy of the event which was typified by it, viz., the overthrow of all the combined enemies of Christ and his church, in the battle of that great day of God Almighty. It cannot be reasonably inferred from this prediction that there will be a decisive battle between Christ and his followers, and their enemies, in any particular place. All that is signified by these words is, that as Jabin, king of Canaan, gathered together a great army under Sisera, to fight with the God of Israel and his people, at the foot of the Mountain of Megiddo, who were there overthrown and destroyed in battle, when “they fought from heaven, the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.” So, by the agency of the spirits of devils, under the superintendence and direction of divine Providence, the world of mankind in general, and especially those in Christendom, will be so corrupted and obstinately rebellious, in all kinds and the greatest degrees of wickedness, as to be united, and, in this sense, gathered together, all armed in a spiritual war against God, his cause and people. And their iniquity being full and they ripe for battle, God will arise as a man of war, and in his providence contend in battle with them till they be utterly destroyed from the face of the earth. Thus "the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the Lord shall be as the fat of lambs; they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away;” and by this, way shall be made for the meek to inherit the earth, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. (Ps. xxxvii. 11, 20.)
But this battle is to come on under the next vial, which is the seventh and last. When mankind shall be prepared and gathered together, by the great degree of all kinds of wickedness, while God has been waiting upon them, even to longsuffering, in the use of very powerful and all proper means to reclaim and reform them, he will arise to battle, and, by doing terrible things in righteousness, will manifest and display his awful displeasure with them for their great wickedness and obstinacy in rebellion against him; and the events will then take place which are predicted under the seventh vial.
" And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, IT IS DONE.” This yial being poured out into the air, denotes that it should affect and destroy Satan's kingdom and his followers in the world in general, who is the prince of the power of the air. And the voice from heaven, saying, It is done, is a prediction that the events under this vial, by which the battle before mentioned is to be carried on and completed, will utterly destroy the interest and kingdom of the devil in the world, and finish the awful scene of divine judgments on the anti-Christian church and the wicked world in general. The prophecy then goes on to give a general and summary account of the battle of that great day, from the seventh verse to the end of the chapter, and the great and marvellous effects it will have upon great Babylon, i. e., the church of Rome, and upon the nations of the world in general. There will be the greatest convulsions and revolutions in the political and moral world that have ever been, attended with awful judgments upon men, which are predicted in prophetic language. “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings, and a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” “ And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” The great city, and great Babylon, seem to be one and the same thing, the church of Rome. In the next chapter, this same false church is called “ Babylon the great,” and “the great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Rev. xvii. 5, 18.) What is meant by this city being divided into three parts will be better known when the prediction shall be accomplished. It doubtless intends, that which shall break the anti-Christian church into pieces, and will issue in the ruin of it, the fatal blow being struck. Perhaps it intends a division and opposition among those who have been the members and supporters of that church, by which this spiritual Babylon shall fall, or which shall hasten on the ruin of it; as a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, but is brought to desolation. In the prophecy of this kingdom of antichrist' by Daniel, in the latter end of it, he says, “ The kingdom shall be divided; and by this it shall be partly broken." (Dan. ii. 41, 42.)
" And the cities of the nations fell.” Divine judgments, and a peculiar measure of wrath, shall fall upon the Christian world in which the anti-Christian kingdom has been set up; but the rest of mankind shall share in the calamity of that day, and be punished for their wickedness, to which this expression seems to have respect. The cities of the nations of the world are their strength, defence, and pride. These shall be demolished and wholly taken away, that they shall no more be able to tyrannize over one another. The pride and power of Mahometans and heathen nations shall be made to cease by a series of divine judgments. “ The day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up, and he shall be brought low. And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low, in that day. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.” (Isa. ii. 12, 15, 17; xiii. 11.) The same is predicted in the following words: “I have cut off the nations, their towers are desolate; I have made their streets waste, that none passeth by; their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, there is none inhabitant. Therefore, wait upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (Zeph. iii. 6, 8.) These words doubtless have reference to the events which were to take place under the sixth and seventh vials, when the nations and the kingdoms of the world are to be gathered, and God will rise up to battle, to the prey, and pour, upon them his indignation, even all his fierce anger, for their obstinate continuance in sin and rebellion against him; and all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of his jealousy; and thus the cities of the nations shall fall, the nations shall be cut off, their towers made desolate, and their cities destroyed.
The prophecy under the seventh vial goes on, " 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." There is reference in those words to the destruction of the Canaanites, in the great and terrible battle, when the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them, and they died, and there were more that died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. (Josh. x. 11.) And God said to Job, “ Hast thou seen the treasures of hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war.” (Job. xxxviii. 22, 23.) Therefore, when great judgments and awful destruction of men are predicted, they are represented by storms of great hail. “ Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail, and a destroying storm, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet, and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies. The Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones." (Isa. xxviii. 2, 17; xxx. 30.) “Say unto them who daub with untempered mortar, that it shall fall; there shall be an overflowing shower, and ye, Ogreat hailstones, shall fall, and a stormy wind shall rend it. I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it. And I will plead against him with pestilence, and with blood, and I will rain upon him and his bands, and upon many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone." (Eze. xii. 11, 13; xxxviii. 22.) All these passages* will doubtless have their ultimate and most complete fulfilment under the seventh vial, and in the same sore calamities and judgments which are predicted in
Unless that in Ezekiel be an exception, which is a description of the punishment of Gog and Magog, by which name the multitude of wicked men are called, who shall rise up when the millennium is ended, and will be destroyed when Christ shall come to judgment. These words may have their ultimate accomplishment then. But as the Gog and Magog of Ezekiel represent the wicked world which shall be destroyed before the millennium begins, as well as those who shall rise up when it shall end, this passage has a primary, if not an ultimate, reference to the destruction of the former.
the words under consideration, by the great hail which fell on men out of heaven. The hailstones are represented as weighing a hundred pounds, which is the weight of a talent, to denote the greatness of the judgments and destruction predicted, the sore and awful distresses which shall come on men; "for the plague thereof was exceeding great." These judgments will not reform the obstinate enemies of God on whom they shall fall; they will be exasperated and blaspheme God the more, until they are utterly destroyed, and swept off from the earth, agreeably to the prophecy which may be considered as referring ultimately to this dreadful scene.
66 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry; and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry they shall sret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward. And they shall look unto the earth, and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven into darkness." (Isa. viii. 21, 22.)
This battle is more particularly described in the nineteenth chapter, from the beginning of the eleventh verse to the end of the chapter: “ And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he who sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness doth he judge and make war.” This person is further described, by which he appears to be the Lord Jesus Christ. " And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." This does not mean that the inhabitants of heaven, or the saints on earth, will join in a visible army, and personally fight with the enemies of Christ and his church, and destroy them; but only that these shall join with Christ and be on his side when he shall arise in his providence, and by his power destroy his and their enemies. In this sense, all heaven will be with him, when he shall come forth to battle in his providence, and execute his wrath upon men in awful successive judgments, in which the angels may be used as invisible instruments of his vengeance; and he will do all this, in answer to the prayers of his church on earth, and in their cause, to vindicate and deliver them, and prepare the
for the prosperity of his church on earth. That he will be the great invisible agent in this battle, appears from the following words: “ And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; and he treadeth the wine press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” This is the battle of that great day of God Almighty. This awful scene proceeds and is yet further described: “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly