« PreviousContinue »
will spring the instruments of those last delusions, which will deceive the nations to their final destruction. No very noble emblem, in truth, symbolizes these accursed agents,-“ three unclean spirits like frogs,"1 _“ spirits of demons.” But what will most strike our attention is, that they are represented as “ working miracles.” We understand, because history has explained to us, how the Roman Catholic clergy, represented by the lamb-like beast, “ deceived them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.”* The same “working of Satan,” then, it seems, “ with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and
with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish,”+ is to continue to the time of the end, and is still to be the great principle of action and of deception in the fourth or Roman empire.
It is difficult, therefore, to say what these “ frogs" can symbolize, coming out, as they do, from the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, but a revival of the worst delusions of the Roman Catholic superstition, or something worse than these, springing from the same sources. We had thought, perhaps, that the world had now become too wise and enlightened to become the dupes of such lying wonders as had deceived our rude forefathers; but it should seem we are mistaken. Modern philosophy, perhaps, will have done but little. Its atheistical and free-thinking principles, it may be, will have been found not practicable. The favourite
I“ Frogs, in ancient authors, as Pliny, Philo, and many others, are symbols of impurity, vain glory, observe." -PYLE. imposture, flattery, and impudence,
Chap. xiii. 14.
+ 2 Thess. ii. 9.
instrument of Satan will still be “miracles” and “ lying wonders;" and the authorities, both political and ecclesiastical, of the Roman Catholic world, will unite their efforts with the prince of darkness, to set forward this last delusion which deceives the nations.
The success of this delusion is great indeed. By means of these symbolical frogs, " the kings of the earth and of the whole world are gathered together," - to oppose that cause which, in the event, proves that very cause of God in which his own avenging right hand will be stretched out. The “ earth and the whole world” is understood to mean, not only the kings of the Roman empire, but, in a manner, of all surrounding nations. And it has already appeared, that not only the nations of the Latin empire are drawn together on this great occasion, but many more besides. In Ezekiel was specified, besides the western colonies of Magog, Gomer, &c., all the nations of the north, and of what now forms the Turkish and Persian dominions. And, finally, he has power over Egypt, and the African nations are at his steps ; so that it is plain but little is left of all the nations that ever forined the bodies of the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian, or the Roman empires.
As we have seen in former prophecies, * however, “ tidings out of the north and out of the east alarm him," and “ Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish with the young lions thereof,” question the success of his mighty enterprise; and we know the issue.
6 He comes to his end, and none doth help him.”
We are strongly reminded, by the text, that these preparations lead to the grand final catastrophe, – the
• Daniel; Ezekiel.
principal theme of prophecy since the world began; and we are reminded, also, of the prognosticated sudden and unexpected coming of Christ :13. 66
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."
This is certainly a note of admonition to the people of God. By their garments, it seems safe to conclude, is meant the same as the fine linen” which clothed the saints in a former part of the vision,-“ the robes washed and made white in the blood of the Lamb." It is the symbol of a Saviour's imputed righteousness. The meaning of the admonition will be, Blessed are those of my professed servants, who, in the times of these strong delusions, " when false Christs and false prophets shall arise and deceive many, and shall show great wonders, so that they shall deceive, if it were possible, the very elect,”— blessed are they who, in these times of error, hold fast and “ keep whole and undefiled” this grand essential truth, for otherwise his nakedness will be seen : no doctrine of human merit, no modification of the selfrighteous principle, nothing short of a simple and entire trust in a Saviour's merits, can supply a covering for us in that day, when “judgment shall be brought forth unto victory!”
After the introduction of this admonition, the effect of the delusion under which the nations are acting, is foretold :
16.“ And he gathered them together into a place called, in the Hebrew tongue, Armageddon."
We were told, in a former part of the vision, that the wine-press of the wrath of Almighty God. would be trodden without the mystical city. The space of sixteen hundred stadia was marked out, which proves to be the extent of the shores of the Holy Land. It was also the uniform language of every prophet that prophesied of the fall of the last mortal foe, or more especially of its armies, that the scene of this great destruction will be the hills and valleys of this highly destined country.
Armageddon is most commonly understood to signify the “ mountain," — or rather,
or rather," the devoted destruction, of Megiddo.” Megiddo is the name of a town in Palestine, celebrated, on several occasions, in the history of Israel, * and marking a district which we before conceived, from the intimation of former prophecies, to be pointed out as the scene of this last conflict of the apostate nations.
The account of a late traveller respecting this district of the Holy Land, and his observations, are, in the view of our subject, highly interesting and important. Megiddo, it should seem from this author, marks out the great military post of this part of the world, on which all invading armies would of course, from the nature of the country, consolidate their power. “ This plain,” “ called, by way of eminence, the great plain, in Scripture, and elsewhere the great plain or field of Esdraelon,” “the field of Megiddo, the Galilean plain,” — “we found one vast meadow, covered with the richest pasture.” “ It has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in this country, from the days of Nabuchodonosor, king of Assyria, unto the disastrous march of Napoleon Buonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christian Crusaders, and antichristian Frenchmen, Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors of every nation that is under heaven,
Judges, v. 19; 2 Kings, xxiii. 29, 30.
have pitched their tents on the plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld the banners of their nations wet with the dew of Tabor and Hermon.”i
The Seventh Vial.
17. “ And the seventh angel poured out his vial upon the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake and so great. 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; and every island fled
away, and the mountains were not found; 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
The great voice from the throne, proclaiming “ It is done,” clearly intimates that this seventh vial contains the consummation of that destined judgment of the enemies of God - of that judgment which has been the perpetual theme and anticipation of prophecy. It is the era, therefore, of the casting of the stone against the image -- of the destruction of the fourth beast of Daniel — the time when Michael shall stand up. For then, as it was told to the prophet, " There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even
I CLARKE's Travels.