Page images

places at once; or whether what has already taken place be not some forerunner and beginning of it.

This pouring out of the Spirit of God, when it is begun, shall soon bring great multitudes to forsake that vice and wickedness which now so generally prevail; and shall cause that vital religion, which

now so despised and derided in the world, to revive.

The work of conversion shall break forth, and go on in such a manner as never has been hitherto. Isa. 44 : 3, 4, 5. God, by pouring out his Holy Spirit, will furnish men to be glorious instruments of carrying on this work; will fill them with knowledge and wisdom, and fervent zeal for promoting the kingdom of Christ and the salvation of souls, and propagating the Gospel in the world.

The Gospel shall begin to be preached with abundantly greater clearness and power than had heretofore been. This great work of God shall be brought 10 pass by the preaching of the Gospel, as it is represented, Rev. 14 : 6, 7, 8; that before Babylon falls, the Gospel shall be powerfully preached and propagated in the world.

This was typified of old by the sounding of the silver trumpets in Israel in the beginning of their jubilee. Lev. 25 : 9. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month: on the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land." The glorious times which are approaching, are the church's jubilee, which shall be introduced by the sounding of the silver trumpet of the Gospel, aš is foretold. Isa. 27 : 13." And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to

[ocr errors]

up thine

perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts of the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem.” And there shall be a glorious outpouring of the Spirit with this clear and powerful preaching of the Gospel, to make it successful for reviving those holy, doctrines of religion which are now chiefly ridiculed in the world, and turning many from heresy, from Popery, and from other false religions; and also for turning many from their vice and profaneness, and for bringing vast multitudes savingly home to Christ.

The work of conversion shall go on in a wonderful manner, and spread more and more. Many shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, one multitude after another continually. Isa. 60: 4, 5. “ Lift

eyes round about, and see; all they gather themselves together, they come to thee; thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together.” And ver. 8. " Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows ?" And as the Gospel shall be preached to every tongue, and kindred, and nation, and people, before the fall of Antichrist ; so we may suppose that it will be gloriously successful to bring in multitudes from every nation; and shall spread more and more with wonderful swiftness. Isa. 66:7-9.

2. This pouring out of the Spirit of God will not affect the overthrow of Satan's visible kingdom, till there has first been made á violent and mighty opposition. In this the Scripture is plain, that when Christ is thus gloriously coming forth, when the destruction of Antichrist is ready at hand, and Satan's kingdom begins to totter, the powers of the

kingdom of darkness will rise up, and mightily exert themselves. Thus, after the pouring out of the sixth vial, which was to dry up the river Euphrates, to prepare the way for the destruction of spiritual Babylon, Rev. 16, the powers of hell will be mightily alarmed, and will stir up themselves to oppose the kingdom of Christ, before the seventh vial shall be poured out, which shall give them a final and complete overthrow: (ver. 13, 14,)“ three unclean spirits like frogs shall go forth unto the kings of the earth, to gather them together to the battle of the great day

of God Almighty.” This seems to be the last and greatest effort of Satan to save his kingdom from being overthrown; though, perhaps, he may make as great towards the end of the world to re

gain it.

When the Spirit begins to be so gloriously poured out, when the devil sees such multitudes flocking to Christ in one nation and another, when the foundations and pillars of his kingdom are ready to come to swift and sudden destruction, all hell will be greatly alarmed. Satan has ever had a dread of having his kingdom overthrown, and has been doing great works to prevent it, especially since the day's of Constantine. To this end he set up those mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mohammed, and brought in all the heresies, superstitions, and corrupt opinions in the world. But when he sees all begin to fail, it will rouse him exceedingly. If Satan of old dreaded being cast out of the Roman empire, how much more does he dread being cast out of the whole world !

It seems, in this last great opposition, all the forces of Antichrist, and Mohammedanism, and Heathen.

ism will be united: all the forces of Satan's visible kingdom through the whole world of mankind. And therefore it is said that "spirits of devils shall go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them together to the battle of the great day of God Almighty." And these spirits are said to come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet ; that is, the spirit of Popery, the spirit of Mohammedanism, and the spirit of Heathenism shall be all united. By the beast is meant Antichrist; by the dragon, in this book, is commonly meant the devil, as he reigns over his heathen kingdom; by the false prophet is sometimes meant the Pope and his clergy; but here reference seems to be had to Mohammed, whom his followers call the great prophet of God. These will be, as it were, the dying struggles of the old serpent; a battle wherein he will fight as one that is almost desperate

. We know not particularly in what manner this opposition shall be made. It is represented as a batile; it is called the battle of the great day of God Almighty. There will be some way or other a mighty struggle between Satan's kingdom and the church, and probably in all ways of opposition that can be: and doubtless great opposition by exter. nal force. The princes of the world who are on the devil's side shall join hand in hand; for it is said, "The kings of the earth are gathered together to battle." Rev. 19: 19. And probably there will be great opposition by subtle disputers and carnal reasoning, persecution, virulent reproaches, craft, and subtilty. The devil now doubtless will ply his skill, as well as strength, to the utmost; and those who

[ocr errors]

belong to his kingdom, will every where be stirred up and engaged to make an united violent opposi. tion against this holy religion, which they see prevailing so mightily in the world. But,

3. Christ and his church shall in this battle obtain a complete and entire victory over their enemies. They shall be totally routed and overthrown in this their last effort. When the powers of hell and earth are thus gathered together against Christ, and his armies shall come forth against them by his word and Spirit, in how august and glorious a manner is this advance of Christ with his church described, Rev. 19:11, &c. And to represent how great the victory they should obtain, and how mighty the overthrow of their enemies, it is said, ver. 17, 18, that “all the fowls of heaven are called together, to eat the great supper” given them “of the flesh of kings, and captains, and mighty men," &c. and then, in the following verses, we have a distinct account of the victory and overthrow.

In this victory ihe seventh vial shall be poured out. It is said, Rev. 16 : 16, of the great army that should be gathered together against Christ: “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon ;" then it is said, “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.” Now the business is done for Satan and his adherents. When this victory is obtained, all is in effect done. Saian's last and greatest opposition is conquered; all his measures are defeated; the pillars of his kingdom are broken asunder, and will fall of course. The devil is utterly baffled and con

« PreviousContinue »