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that the enemies of the gospel will bring destruction upon themselves.
The character given to this divine warrior must not be overlooked. He is “ faithful and true," as performing all his engagements to God, and fulfilling all his promises to men. “ In righteousness he doth judge and make war.” The cause in which he is engaged is just, and all his measures are in harmony with it. “ His eyes were as a flame of fire,” burning with holy indignation against his enemies. “ And on his head were many crowns,” denoting his great power, and numerous conquests.
66 And he had a name written that no man knew but he himself ;" for after all that is known of the glory of his character it passeth knowledge. The “ vesture dipt in blood” refers to what has been said of the destruction of his enemies by means of wars kindled by their own malignity. “His name is called the Word of God," as being that divine person
whose office it is to reveal the mind of God to men, and whose victories are accomplished by means of the gospel. " The armies of heaven on white horses” are the friends of Christ, , who go forth in their respective stations, and lay themselves out to promote bis kingdom. “ The sharp sword that goeth out of his mouth,” is his truth, which is not only the means of saving believers, but of punishing unbelievers. By bis word they shall be judged at the last day, and his threatenings will fall upon them even in the present world. Those who are not destroyed by his judgments on the antichristian party, will be despoiled of their power, and ruled as with a rod of iron. “ And he treadeth the winepress of be fierceness and wrath of Almighty God"--The vine of the earth being ripe for destruction, like grapes cast into a press, he will tread them in his anger, and trample them in his fury. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.". In this there is something especially appropriate, as it respects those kings who have opposed his gospel, and lorded it over the consciences of his subjects. He has long sustained this name in right, but henceforward he will sustain it in fact.
And now comes on the decisive battle, the battle of Armageddon, the great day of God Almighty, the supper of the great God!
Terrible things in righteousness bave occurred in our times; but by the strong language used to express this event it seems as if it would surpass every thing whicb was goue before it. It is unlikely that it should consist of a single battle, but rather of a war, or succession of battles, though doubtless one must be the last. It is proclaimed by an“ angel standing in the sun," whose voice would of course be heard from the rising to the going down thereof. The mode in wbich he announces it is by an invitation to the fowls of heaven to come as to a supper, to feast upon the carcases of all ranks and degrees of men who shall be found on the antichristian side. The beast, and the kings of the earth who make common cause with bim, being gathered together with their armies to make war against him that sitteth upon the horse, and against his army, will now be utterly overthrown. Those powers which shall be found supporting the papal hierarchy, together with “ the false prophet,” or the hierarchy itself, after a corrupt and bloody reign of 1260 years, will be " taken and cast alive into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone."
It was remarked on Chapter xvii. 7. that the corruption of the church is ascribed to her alliance with the secular beast ; and it is no less remarkable that the overthrow of the secular beast is ascribed to its alliance with the church. It was“ because of the great words that the little horn spake against the Most High, that The beast on whose bead it grew should be slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.” Dan. vii: 11. Let governments consider this, and tremble at such alliances.
It is true that neither political nor ecclesiastical bodies, as such, can be literally cast into a place of torment, as individual unbeliev. ers that compose them will be: they may however be cast into perdition so as never to rise any more, which may be the whole of what is intended. As the, Christian church in her Millennial glory is described in language applicable to individual believers, (Ver. 8.) so the antichristian church is represented as a hardened sioner, arrested in a course of wickedness, and sent to his own place.
Finally, It is supposed that after this terrible overthrow there will be a remnant, like the scattered remains of a defeated army, who shall still be on the side of antichrist : but they shall be “ slain by the sword of him that sitteth upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth.” As the battle above described is the same as that of Armageddon under the sixth vial, so “the sword proceeding out of Christ's mouth” corresponds with the spiritual judgments under the seventh vial. They, who have escaped the temporal calamities of the former, will, except they repent, fall under the spiritual judgments of the latter. The threatenings of Christ's word will overtake them. Their hearts will fail withid them, as did the beart of Nabal when told of the words of David. Like him they will be smitten of God and die ; and having no successors to stand up in their place, their cause will die with them.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled : and after that he must be loosed a little season.
We have seen the taking of the beast and the false prophet, and in that the fall of Babylon : but the principal mover in the confederacy is the dragon, and of him no mention was made in the battle before described. From bence, though he had not been expressly called " that old serpent the Devil and Satan," we might bave presumed that he was not of an order of beings to be crushed by the hand of man. His being in one place described as a great red dragon" with the seven heads and ten horns of the Roman beast, (Chap. xii. 3.) can therefore only respect the form under which he at that time acted out his mischievous designs.
This great red dragon that bad formerly been cast out of heaven is supposed to be yet on earth ; and after the taking of his agents, the beast and the false prophet, is about to rally his sc: tered forces, and to engage in new schemes against the Lord an Vol. VI.