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Let one passage
considerations which the prophecies have originated, I have little doubt but the converted Jews will be the chief agents in carrying the gospel to the nations, and in subduing them to the faith. suffice : “ In those days, it shall come to pass,
that ten men shall take hold out of “ all languages of the nations, even shall “ take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew,
saying, we will go with you; for we have • heard that God is with you'.”
Until, therefore, the Jews be converted, we need not look for the Millennium ; for, from among them chiefly, messengers will be sent to declare the glory of the Lord. Their character as Jews, the mercy they have experienced, the recollection of God's dealings with their fathers, his care of their nation, and a thousand similar circumstances, will all conspire to make them preeminently qualified to act as agents to make known the graciousness of the Lord to the remotest ends of the earth.
III. Let us, lastly, attend to the circumstances which shall precede and usher in the Millennial period. These are unfolded
e Zech. viii. 23.
to us as follows: “For behold, the Lord “ will come with fire, and with his cha“riots like a whirlwind, to render his
anger with fury, and his rebuke with “ flames of fire. For by fire and by his “sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: 6 and the slain of the Lord shall be many.
They that sanctify themselves, and purify " themselves in the gardens, behind one “ tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and “ the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the Lord?.”
The subjects of the Lord's indignation are open, or concealed enemies. Open enemies are Pagans and Mahometans; concealed enemies are the adherents of the man of sin, and false Christians among the different protestant denominations. By some, it is supposed that the prophet here refers to the battle of Armageddon, of which mention is made in the book of Revelation'. He does not, however, according to the most correct opinion I have been able to form on this subject, refer to this one event; but rather, to a series of awful judgments, including this event, and ter
d v. 15, 16, 17.
e xvi. 16.
minated by it, which will precede the latter-day glory. By such judgments God established his Church in Canaan, driving out the Heathen before her. By such judgments he established his Church in the Roman empire, after Christ's incarnation. And by such judgments he will establish his Church in the world.
These judgments in the establishment of his Church in Canaan, were not confined to the Heathen. Before the Church entered the promised land, she herself was purged of her rebellious members by fire and sword. Before she made her footing sure in the Roman empire, she was purified by fire and sword. Thus also before the Millennial day, the Church must be tried, and pass through the waters of affliction.
The Lord will previously plead with flesh, even all flesh, by his fire and sword. The particular judgments he will inflict, can not all be designated. But, among them are bloody and long continued wars, earthquakes, the eruptions of volcanoes, thunder and lightning, hail, tornadoes, and that long, fearful catalogue of diseases, which waste the spirits and terminate the lives of men.
In these different
the Lord will plead with all flesh, before he brings in his ancient people together with the fulness of the Gentiles. Having done so in time past, when he was about appearing in behalf of Zion, we must expect that he will do so before the latter-day glory. Many passages from the prophets might be adduced, to establish this truth, but time forbids. Let one or two suffice.
“Proclaim ye this,” saith Joel,
the Gentiles. Prepare war, wake
the mighty men, 6 let all the men of war draw near, let " them come up: Beat your plow-shares “ into swords, and your pruning-hooks into
spears: let the weak say, I am strong. * Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye “ heathen, and gather yourselves together “ round about: thither cause thy mighty
ones to come down, O Lord. Let the “ heathen be wakened, and come up to the
valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit “ to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye
in the sickle; for the harvest is ripe: c me, get ye down; for the press is full, “the fats overflow; for their wickedness is
great. Multitudes, multitudes in the val
ley of decision : for the day of the Lord “ is near in the valley of decision. The
sun and the moon shall be darkened, and * the stars shall withdraw their shining 66 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and o utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the “ heavens and the earth shall shaked." “I « will turn my hand,” saith God by Isaiah, to the Church, “ upon thee, and purely
purge away thy dross, and take away all “ thy tin : And I will restore thy judges as " at the first, and thy counsellors as at the
beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, • The city of righteousness, The faithful
city. Zion shall be redeemed with judg
ment, and her converts with righteousness. 56 And the destruction of the transgressors “ and of the sinners shall be together, and
they that forsake the Lord shall be cone sumed.”
In this way, by pouring out his indignation
upon his enemies, will he usher in the Millennium. In these judgments, though his people will share, yet they will be supported by his grace. They will be enabled to enter into their chambers, to shut their
d Joel jii. 9--16.
e Isaiah i. 25-28.