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fyrant, and be hurried off the stage (too long
The impious rebellion of KORAH was pushed to the very last extremity, and an actual contest was maintained against God's two prophets, Moses and Aaron, decided only by the interposition of the Divine Arm itself, and the earth opening her mouth and swallow
ing up the infidel crew. The idolaters of Israel, in the time of Elijah, supported a similar contest in favour of BAALİM, as now the antichristians do in behalf of MAHUZZIM, their mediatory gods; and the decision was given by a miracle from the God of heaven, and the destruction of all the priests of BAAL.
Why then should it be thought a thing incredible that the great CONTROVERSY OF Zion should be decided in the same manner? For in this more blood hath been spilt, and it , is every way of far greater importance than any of these three instances, wherein the Almighty hath condescended to a competition with his idol opponents, for the more effectual vindication of his oppressed truth, and his worshippers, and the final triumph of true religion over imposture and wickedness. For thus GREAT BABYLON will not fall but with the fullest attestation of both God and man to the full measure of her wickedness, and as « her sins have reached unto beaven, so will ber judgment unto the skies."
Christian faith and patience put to the test with un.
exampled severity.The true time of the death of the witnesses. The restoration of the Jews, in what manner it becomes one of the plagues popery.—The valley of decision--fatal to the antichristian powers.- Prophetic picture of Christ, in his wars against the Beast. He conquers by sufferings. Savage proclamation for the extermination of the witnesses, is reversed upon their enemies.-The seventh vial. The BEAST and FALSE PROPHET broken,--and snared--and taken, Their fearful end.
WHEN these things come to pass, it is obyious to suppose that it will be a season of very severe trial of the faith and constancy of all that profess the genuine doctrine of Jesus Christ; and it will, in all probability, be indeed the hottest period of the long perpetuated
war, that the BEAST has waged against Christ and his saints. There is therefore a very particular warning of this given from the mouth of the blessed Jesus bimself, as there had been a similar notice before given at iwo former periods of persecution, to put the true christians upon their guard, and remind them of their Lord's solemn cautions in the gospel :so he that will save bis life," by sinful compliances, shall lose the life eternal; and he that will hazard his life in this world, for Christ's sake and the gospel's, shall secure the better and ever-enduring life of his soul, and" what shall a man give in exchange for his soul,” if forfeited and lost, by unfaithfulness in the time of trial?
The proclamation made by the Holy Spirit on these two former occasions,* was— Here is the faith and patience of the saints !” which certainly implied that on these occasions, God would give many eminent examples to the world of the truth and power of christian
* Rev. xiii, 10, and xiv. 12.
principles; and that it would then behove those, who should be thus singled out for sufferings of so dreadful a nature, to look well to themselves, that they should not shrink back from the frightful conflict with death, in a form of such complicated horror. But the warning given here against this last struggle for life and victory, is couched in terms still more awful and alarming; and which seem to forebode a great and lamentable defection at this time from the cause of truth and heaven, through the overpowering force of the temptation, and the frequency of the example of this weaậness, in characters from which better things might have been hoped. Even in ordinary cases, " when iniquity shall abound the love of many will wax cold;" but here the difficulties to be overcome, and the dangers to be encountered, will be such as demand greater fortitude and fạith than on any former occasion. The antichristian enmity being more rancorous and cruel, and the powers of the persecutors greates, and exerted to the uttermost to extirpate the gospel and its heretical partizans together,