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Dan. 12. I. And there shall be a time of Trouble, - such as never was since there was a Nation, even to that same time.
Or; as it is expressed by *t. Matth. 24. 21. For then shall be great Tribu
lation, such as was not since the beginning of the World to this time, no nor ever shall be.
Or, by *St. Mark 13. 19. For in those Days shall be Af
fli&tion, such as was not from the beginning of the Creation which God created, unto this time, neither shall be.
HIS PROPHECY thus differently expressed, con
tains a Solemn DenunciaT
tion of the dreadful Judg-ments that shall come upon the World in the last Times,
which will display themselves in two sorts of Evils.
2. SUPERNATURAL. 1. By the Natural Evils I understand principally, The Sword, the Pestilence, and the Famine.
2. By the Supernatural, The Affli&ions which the Church of God, and the whole World, shall undergo in the Reign of Antichrist, who is the Confummation of the Curse.
The Reafons why I'imagine these Natural Evils to be the Sword, Pestilence, and Famine, are these :
1. BECAUSE these (with that of the noifom Beasts) are callid God's Sore Fudgments; or as it is in the Original, his (Emphatically) Evil Judgments, Ezek. 14:21. and tho' indeed, in this and one or two other Places, we find the noisom Beasts, and fometimes the Earthquakes join'd with them; yet generally speaking, thefe Three are in most of the Prophets put together, as the Sum or Completion of all the Natural Evils that can befal a People.
2. BECAUSE they correspond to, and are the Natural Fruits and Productions of the Three great Divisions of Sin, mention'd by St. John, 1 Ep. 2. 16. 1. The Luft
, of, the Flesla; 2. The Luft of the Eye ; 3. And the Pride of Life; which he calls all that is in the World'; meaning, that all other Instances of Sin, may (generally speaking) be reduc'd to these Three Heads.
THE SĘ Thall ravage up and down in the World, in different places and Degrees, accordingly as Persons, Places, or Nations, may be more or less ripe for Vengeance; and are not only intended as a Punishment for the Sufferers, but as Warnings for those that shall escape them, that greater Evils are at hand : For fo faith our Blessed Lord,
Matth. 24. 7, 8. Mark 13. 9. Nation shall rise against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom: And i bere shall be Famines, and Pestilences, and Earthquakes in divers Places; and immediate ly subjoins, All these are the beginnings of Sorrows. Where the Original Word *, which **Sady. we translate Sorrows, fignifies particularly the Pains of a travailing Woman, and seems to be most emphatically used in this place, to represent to us, that these shall be, as it were, the Throws and Pangs of the Kingdom of Darkness, or Hellish Principle, fabouring to bring forth Antichrist, who is to be the Head and Completion of the Apoftacy, the Top-Fruit of the Mystery of Iniquity, in whom shall dwell the Fullness of Diabolical Deceit and Wickedness, in opposition to our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom dwelt the Fulness of Grace and Truth; yea, of the Godhead bodily.
BEFORE I proceed to a diftin& Confide- The preces ration of the several Parts, I shall premise ding Confsa one Thing; That seeing there are in Scri-derations
confirm'de pture many terrible Denunciations of
great Judgments, which have not yet been fulfilled, at leaft in their utmost Extent and Meaning; it is natural to imagine, that they do ultimately respect those latter Times, according to what our Blessed Lord tells us of them, Luke 21. 22. That these are the Days of Vengeance, that all Things that are written might be fulfilled : i.e. These are the Last and Great Days of Vengeance, in which shall be ultimately fulfilled all those heavy Denunciations of Judgment, which God by the Mouth of his Holy Prophets,
ever since the World began, has threatned to the Enemies of his Church, which is now, beginning to lift up her Head, and triumph over the Oppositions of all her
Enemies. The ciies of her refreshing are harge* about; to commence'; fhe shall pass securely
through this Deluge of Affliction, and shall come forth glorioully. This hath been represented to us, as it were, in miniature, by divers leffer Manifestations of the Divine Justice and Mercy: Thus the Apostle St. Peter tells us, 2 Ep. Chap. 2. That the Destruction of Sodom and Gönorrab was, as it were, a little Sketch and Representation of this last dreadful Scene: The Deftruction of the City and Temple of Jerusalem is likewise defcrib'd in such a Manner, and with such Characters, as plainly: shows it to he typical of that more dreadful DeAtruction, that fhall come upon the Apoftate World in the latter Days : Thus the Crimes and Punishments charg'd upon Babylen, Tyre, Edom, &c. in the prophetical Books, tho' they were in some meafure verliy'd according to the Letter in the Type; set it is clear to any that are acquainted wich History, that they were very far from being entirely fulfill’d, but are rather Types and Figures of the Antichristian World, as standing in some eminent Property or Chafaster, whence we see they are transcrib'd by the Divine Author of the Revelations, Ch. 17. 18. and apply'd to the Mystical Ba
bylon, or Apostare Christendom. “So, lastly, Gles to go yer further, the * Ancient Prophecy i n. of towb did, 110 doubt, in its most obvious
ind immediate Designs, point at the State ind Inhabitants of the old World, before he Flood in which he liv'd, warning them of the fad Degeneracy of Mankind, and he terrible Punishments that would ensue upon it: Yet the Apostle St. Jude, v. 14. :xpresly fays, that Enoch prophecyd of the Antichristian Members of the Churchi vhich were in his Days, but more partirularly of those that were to come in the aft Periods of the Church, v. 17, 18. Alt which Instances do help to confirm this Hypothesis, that all those great and fignal Punishments, denounc'd by the Holy Prophets against a People or Nation; those particularly which seem to run in General and Universal Terms, did ultimately and finally refer to this last terrible Catastrophe, when Vengeance shall be poured out to the full, corresponding to the full Meafure of Iniquity: For the Judgments never råke place, till the Sins of a Nation are filled up. So God did not bring the Flood upon the old World, till the Earth was filled with Violence, as he himself complains, Gen. 6. So also God tells Abraham, Gen. 15.16. that he could not yet possess the Land, which he had promised to him and his Seed, because their Sins were not yet full. So then in the latter Days, when the Measure of the Iniquities of Mankind shall be filled up, their Judgments and Punishments shall be so likewise : This Last and Great Defolation being the Forerunner and Introduction to the blessed Millennial Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, was what the Prophets