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the stone cut out of the mountain without hands gradually grows. So Christ teaches us, that the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, Matt. xiii. 31, 32, and like leaven bid in three measures of meal, ver. 33. The same representation we have in Mark iv. 26, 27, 28, and in the vision of the waters of the sanctuary, Ezek. xlvii.-The scriptures hold forth that there should be several successive great and glorious events by which this glorious work should be accomplished. The angel, speaking to the prophet Daniel of those glorious times, mentions two glorious periods, at the end of which glorious things shall be accomplished : Dan. xii. 11. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. But then he adds in the next verse, Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days; intimating, that something very glorious should be accomplished at the end of the former period, but something much more glorious at the end of the latter.
II. I now proceed to show how this glorious work shall be accomplished.
1. The Spirit of God shall be gloriously poured out for the wonderful revival and propagation of religion. This great work shall be accomplished, not by the authority of princes, nor by the wisdom of learned men, but by God's Holy Spirit: Zech. iv. 6, 7. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain. before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain, and he shall bring forth the head-stone thereof with shoulings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. So the prophet Ezekiel, speaking of this great work of God, says, chap. xxxix. 29, Neither will I hide my face any more from them ; for I have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel, saith the Lord God. We know not where this pouring out of the Spirit shall begin, or whether in many places at once; or whether, what hath 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 prevails; and shall cause that vital religion, which is now so despised and laughed at in the world, to revive. The work of conversion shall break forth, and go on in such a manner as never has been hitherto; agreeable to Isa. xliv. 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 the 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 bad heretofore been. This great work of God shall be brought to pass by the preaching of the gospel, as is represented in Rev. xiv. 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. xxv. 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, as is foretold in Isa. xxvii. 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 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 pouring out 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 sball flow together to the goodness of the Lord, one multitude after another continually, as in Isa. lx. 4, 5. Lift up thine 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 so ver. 8. Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the 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 suc. cessful to bring in multitudes from every nation; and shall spread more and more with wonderful swiftness, (see Isa. lxvi. 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 a violent and mighty opposition made. In this the scriptyre 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. xvi.) 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. The beloved disciple informs us, (ver. 13, 14,) that 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 etfort of Satan to save his kingdom from being overthrown; though, perhaps, he may make as great towards the end of the world to regain it.
When the Spirit begins to be so gloriously poured forth, when the devil sees such multitades Hocking 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 of Constantine the Great." To this end he set up those mighty kingdoms of Antichrist and Mahomet, and brought in all the beresies, 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 Mahometanism, and Heathenism, 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 ; i. e. there sball be the spirit of Popery, the spirit of Mahometanism, and the spirit of Heathenism 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 bere an eye seems to be had to Mahomet, wbom his followers call the great prophet of God. This 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 battle; 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 external 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. xix. 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 belong to bis kingdom, will every where be stirred up, and engaged to make an united violent opposition 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. xix. II, &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 the seventh vial shall be poured out. It is said, Rev. xvi. 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. Satan's last and greatest opposition is conquered ; all his measures are defcated; the pillars of his kingdom broken asunder, and will fall of course. The devil is utterly baffled and confounded, and knows not what else to do. He now sees his Antichristian, Mahometan, and Heathenish kingdoms through the world, all tumbling down. He and his most powerful instruments are taken captive. Now thai is in effect done, for which the church of God had been so long waiting and hoping, and so earnestly crying to God, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, &c.
The angel who set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the earth, lift up his hand to heaven, and swore by him that liveth for ever and ever, &c. that when the seventh angel should come to sound, the time should be no longer. And now the time is come; now the seventh trumpet sounds, and the seventh vial is poured out, both together; intimating,
that now all is finished as to the overthrow of Satan's visible kingdom on earth. This victory shall be by far the greatest that ever was obtained over Satan and his adherents. By this blow, with which the stone cut out of the mountain without hands shall strike the image of gold and silver, and brass, and iron, and clay, it shall all be broken to pieces. This will be a finishing blow to the image, so that it shall become as the chaff of the summer threshing-floor.
In this victory will be a most glorious display of divine power. Christ shall therein appear in the character of King of kings, and Lord of lords, as in Rev. xix. 16. Now Christ shall dash his enemies, even the strongest and proudest of them, in pieces; as a potter's vessel shall they be broken to sbivers. -Then shall strength be shown out of weakness, and Christ shall cause bis church to thresh the mountains, as in Isa. xli. 15. Behold, I will make thee a new 'sharp threshing-instrument having teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. And then shall be fulfilled Isa. xlii. 13-15.
III. Consequent on this victory, Satan's visible kingdom on earth shall be destroyed. When Satan is conquered in this last battle, the church of Christ will have easy work of it; as when Joshua and the children of Israel bad obtained that great victory over the five kings of the Amorites. When God sent great hail-stones on their enemies, they had easy work of subduing the cities and country to which they belonged. So it was also after the other great battle that Joshua bad with a great multitude at the waters of Merom. After this glorious victory of Christ and his church over their enemies, the chief powers of Satan's kingdom, they shall destroy that kingdom in all those cities and countries to which they belonged. After this the word of God shall have a speedy and switt progress through the earth ; as it is said, that on the pouring out of the seventh vial, the cities of the nations fell, and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found, Rev. xvi. 19, 20.When once the stone cut out of the mountain without hands had broken the image in pieces, it was easy to abolish all the remains of it. The very wind will carry it away as the chaff of the summer threshing-floor. Because Satan's visible kingdom on earth shall now be destroyed, therefore it is said, that the seventh vial by which this shall be done, shall be poured out into the air; which is represented in scripture as the special seat of his kingdom; for he is called the prince of the power of the air, Eph. ii. 2. Now is come the time for punishing leviathan, that piercing serpent, of which we read in Isa. xxvii. 1. “ In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword, shall punish leviathan, the piercing serpent,