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From the imprisonment of Satan, the prophet proceeds to the kingdom of Christ, and the first resurrection of the juit. “And," says he, -* I saw " thrones, and they sat upon them :" evidently alluding to the thrones promised by Christ, when upon earth, to the apostles, and to the just made perfect, through faith in him. When Peter heard the parable of the rich man, he asked Christ, saying, “uf We “ have forsaken all and followed thee, what shall
we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that you who have followed
me in the regeneration, where the Son of Man “ shall fit in his glory, ye shall fit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelv.: tribes of Ifracl." Again, " He that overcometh, and keepeth my words unto “ the end, to him will I give power over the na66 tions.”
So the prophet, speaking of Christ, tells us, $ And he hath made us (the apostles, mar
tyrs, and faints) kings and priests unto our God, " and we shall reign upon earth.” And farther, “ I ! “ faw (in this kingdom) the souls of them that were “ beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word " of God ;” meaning all the prophets, apostles, faints, martyrs, and righteous men, who shall have suffered death, before the second coming of Christ, either by the pagan powers, whether Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, or Roman, or by the apostate powers of Mohamedanism and popery, 66 for the 56 witness of Jesus and the word of God;" and also the souls of those " which shall not have worshipped “ The beast || ; neither his image; neither shall have " received his mark upon their foreheads or in their « hands;" that is, which thall not have been corrupted from the “ fear and love of God into the
* Chap. xx. 4, 5, 6. op Matth. xixi 27, 2$.
§ Rev. V. 10.
filthy and blasphemous impurity of atheism ;" and these “lived and reigned with Christ a thousand “ years *
But the reft of the dead” (meaning, as I humbly apprehend, all those who shall not have
* feared God and given glory to him,” according to the merciful invitations of Christ himself, and, in particular, the black and hardened children of atheism) is lived not again until the thousand years were “ finished. This is the first resurrection." '*" Blessed " and holy is he that hath part in the first refur« reclion;" blessed, indeed, for they are now separated from, and placed above, all the troubles, vexations, misfortunes, and deftructive evils of the worl], and even above the temptation and power of Satan! blessed, indeed, because they have now recovered that glorious state of innocence, felicity, and perfection, which they had forfeited through the disobedience of their first parents; and blessed above measure, for they have now found their loft Shepherd, and are now to be fed by him, and repose in the sunshine of his perfection for ever and ever! and holy indeed! for they are pardoned and justified by his blood, and anointed and fanétified by his righteousness, and so perfectly holy, that the second “ death," or the wrath of God, which shall be poured out upon the wicked in The last day, to their eternal punithment, “ shall have no power over " them; but they shall be priests of God and of “ Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand
Having foretold the reign of Christ upon earth, the prophet passes to the next, the most awful, important, and decisive events of the providence of God contained in the prophecies, which are to come to pass at or immediately after the termination of it. He does not mention what are to be the effects of the merciful reprieve of the “ lives” or superstitious rites of the pagan nations; nor was it a matter of any moment for us to know; it would only be one among innumerable instances of the mercies of God in the course of his government of mankind ; and ifthe abundant proof of that truth displayed before our eyes has not convinced us of it, a knowledge of the facts oinitted would not answer that purpose; however, as a God of infinite wisdomn does nothing in vain, we may reasonably suppose that many of those nations, now no longer subject to the temptations of Satan, but left to their free will, and having, as it were, before their eyes the beatitude of the children of God, will, upon a comparison of their fallen, finful, and miserable state, with the ineffable righteousness, peace, and felicity of the kingdom of Chrift, forsake their ancient and deep-rooted prejudices and habits, and their sensual and abominable idolatry, embrace the truths of the ever living God, and, at the last, be saved, and thus fulfil one of the parables of Christ himself when foretelling his kingdom, and alluding, among others, to this very event: he there * compares his kingdom to a “ Lord “ of a vineyard and his labourers, fome of whom he “ called in at the first hour, others at the third, and " the sixth, and the ninth, and the eleventh : and " when at night he called them in to receive their “ reward, he paid thote that came at the eleventh " and last hour first; and those that were called in
* Ver. 5.
☆ Chap. xiv. 7. xi. 18. § Pfalm ii. per totum. Isaiah xxxv.
first he paid the last, and gave to all the same re“ ward;" and then adds, if fo the last shall be firft, and the firft laft; for many be called, but few chofen."
chosen.” Thús he foretels, as I humbly interpret the parable, that the Pagan nations and the
* Matth. XX. 1-16.
* Ver. 16.
Jews * the latter of whom are to remain in a difpersed ftate among the former, until after the coinmencement of the reign of Chritt), who were the first transgressors of the word of God, shall be the Inft called, saved, or punished, as they shall receive or reject the Gospel of Christ ; “ for many be called " but few chofen;" and that the obliivate and perverse followers of the Mohamedan and the papal apostasies, and of the atheistical lyfiem, and of the great confederacy, who have been the left in tranfgression, shall be the first punished. But whether or not any of those nations ihall avail themielves of the merciful opportunity of coming over to Christ in his kingdom, we shall presently find that many of them, a mighty hoft, “the number of whom is to “ be as the tand of the tea,” shall not only remaia refractory, preferring their filthy idolatry to the adoration of the true God, but ftirred up and led on by Satan, Thall make a laft effort to destroy the kingdom of Christ. Let us therefore return to the prophet.
• That the restoration of the Jews is not to take place until after the coming of Christ to reigo, seems probable from the allsurance given by him to the apostles, that when " he shall fit ja
his glory, they shall fit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel".". For it seems, from sundry parts of the prophecies relating to that blessed event, which I have not now leisure to explain, they will be called and restored at fome time during the period of a thousand years ; that so the two churches, of God may be uvited under Christ, and then they shall be “ judged" by their own twelve elders, who, together with the twelve apostles, are the four and twenty elders, having on their heads crowns of gold, who the prophet reprefents, in divers places, as being with Chrift in heaven. Besides, we are told that “their plagues should be " of long continuance, and their fore sickness of long continuance, " and that they should be for a sign and a wonder upon their leed " for ever;" that is, during the whole period of the Chriftian dirpentation.
· Matth. xix. 27, 28. Rey. iv. 4. v. S. 14. xi, 11. xix. 3. c Deut. xxviji. 46. 59.
Ver. 7, 8.-"And when the thousand years “ are expired, Satan shall be lonfed out of his “ prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations " which are in the four quarters of the earth,
Gog and Magog, to gather them together " to batile, the number of whom is as the “ fand of the sea. And they went up on the “ breadth of the earth, and encompassed the “ camp of the saints about, and the beloved «6 city: and Fire came down from God and « devoured them."
Here we have a brief account of the last battle which will ever be fought upon the earth: a battle between TRUTH and FALSE HOOD, between the Son of the Most High God, liis saints and just men made perfect, and redeemed from a falleri finful world. The account of this battle the prophet begins by informing us, that Satan will be released from his imprisonment, and suffered to resume his loft power at the expiration of the thousand years; and that he will go out to deceive the nations, Gog and Magog ; meaning, as I humbly conjecture, the idolatrous nations, who having, as it were, had ocular demonftration of the bletfed fruits of the word of God in the kingdom of Christ, shall despise and reject it; for, according to prophetic history, all other nations are to be destroyed before this event by the judgments and wrath of an offended God, except those that shall have obeyed his divine will revealed by Christ. This conjecture seems to receive a degree of probability from the text itself; for the nations here referred to are described by the terms Gog and Magog. And we learn, from ancient histories, lacred as well as profane, that « Magog" was the country of the Magogians, Gomerians, and Tubalines, the descendants of Magog, Gomer, and Tubal, the fons of