Lecture on the Battle of Gog
EZEK. xxxix. 1,11.
Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I wilt give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses (or mouths) of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog, and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog.
A FEW things, in this prophecy, may to us be dark and intricate, not because God designed in his revelation to make it so, to deceive, puzzle or perplex his children, in the study of his holy word; - far be it from me to impute such motives to my heavenly Father; - but on account of the translators' retaining certain words, or names of places, or things, in the original language, which might have been used intelligently when Ezekiel prophesied of them in their common tongue, but which, as it respects us, have become obsolete. Yet I think when I read this passage, which at first view may appear dark, with other prophecies of like import, and compare scripture with scripture, I find not only much instruction, but comfort and consolation in believing that in God's light I can see light. And even in the history of modern times, I can behold the prophet's eye calmly surveying scenes, (on which we are looking, or may look,) with a keen vision and clear perception, which on the score of human reason can never be accounted for, only by supposing something more than mortal had given to the prophet's eye powers of perceiving the end from the beginning; which fixes upon our minds a solemn conviction, that the ken of the prophet once looked on scenes, which he has described in the common language of his day; which he saw far in the distance of the future; and describes them unto us in the typical language of his time. Much of it now has become a matter of history unto us, and the very last part is now being fulfilled before our faces. This consideration ought to lead us to humble prayer, for the same Spirit's piercing rays of light to discern the truth, and for the same child-like, teachable disposition of soul, to receive, as our fathers the prophets evidently possessed. May God, therefore, by his Holy Spirit direct us while we shall attempt to understand, - I. THE CHARACTERS AND PERSONS DESCRIBED IN THIS PROPHECY. II. THE HISTORY AND TRANSACTIONS PROPHESIED OF. And, III. THE TIMES AND PERIODS GIVEN US IN THIS PROPHECY. We shall feel as though we were not treading on forbidden ground, while we attempt, I. TO UNDERSTAND THE PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS SPOKEN OF BY GOD IN THIS PROPHECY. And first, it appears to me that this prophecy has special reference to the two great contending powers on the earth; their contention, and the final victory of the one over the other. As it respects personal power, it means the wicked and righteous. As far as principle may be involved in this prophecy, it would mean sin and holiness; but if men in a collective sense, then it must be understood to mean the kingdoms of this world in a worldly sense, and the kingdom of God in a spiritual sense. The places spoken of in these chapters, sometimes describe the world at large, at other times the particular places where the people or kingdoms have sway, spoken of in the prophecy. And, now, let the reader keep in view these principles, or rules, and a knowledge of some of the principal outlines of history and geography will give, in my humble opinion, sufficient helps to understand the literal sense of these chapters, and with the aid of the Holy Spirit, he may improve upon this knowledge, to the glory of God, and to the good of his fellow-beings. What does Gog mean? Answer. God tells Ezekiel that it is “the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.” He is a chief, over what? I say over the world, or wicked nations of the world. Meshech, if a character is meant, signifies, “to draw by force.” If a place is meant, it would mean what is now Russia in Asia, Georgia, &c. Meshech was the sixth son of Japheth, and settled in that part of the world, when the earth was divided, after the flood. Tubal signifies “confusion,” or, properly, “the earth or world.” If a place is designed, then it would be in Syria, Armenia, &c. He was the fifth son of Japheth. It is my humble belief, that by Meshech and Tubal we are to understand the character and quality, rather than place of this chief prince. My reasons are these: the places from whence the multitude of the forces of this chief come, are given in another place, Ezek. xxxviii. 5 and 6, and include the three quarters of the world, then supposed to be the whole earth, i.e. - Persia, which is in Asia, and was settled by the descendants of Shem, the third son of Noah; Ethiopia, which is Arabia and Upper Egypt. This country was peopled by Ham's posterity. Sheba and Dedan are mentioned in this prophecy, 13th verse, both of them sons of Ham. See Gen. x. 7. Libya is Egypt, Barbary, Tripoli, in Africa. This land was settled by the descendants of Ham also. Gomer was the oldest son of Japheth, and his sons peopled the Grecian islands, and all the maritime countries of Europe, and the part now called the Russian empire, both in Asia and Europe. Togarmah, he too was a son of Japheth, and settled the countries of the north; the same as I have mentioned before - the Russian empire. “These were the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.” Gen. ix. l9. Magog is mentioned too in this prophecy, as “the land of Magog,” Ezek. xxxviii. 2, which signifies “covering.” He, too, was one of the sons of Japheth. And Noah says of Japheth, Gen. ix. 27, “God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant.” This prophecy has been literally fulfilled, and the descendants of Japheth have actually covered the world with fruit, and for ages have dwelt in the tents of Shem, and have been chief prince over the nations of Ham. Tarshish is also mentioned in this prophecy; he also was a descendant of Japheth, and settled in Europe. This country lay upon the north side of the Mediterranean sea. There is now no doubt remaining in my mind, that the Gog spoken of in our text means the great powers which Daniel gives us to understand were to arise up, and each successively rule over the world: the Babylonians, the Medes and Persians, the Grecians, and lastly the Romans. These nations, or kingdoms, have, each in their turn, ruled over the people of God, drawn them into idolatry, and persecuted them with a spirit of the old serpent, the devil, for more than 2500 years. Gog, then, has appeared and “drawn away” the holy people, and ruled over the world, made war with the saints, and opposed God. Gog, in my opinion, constitutes the wicked powers of the earth, and especially Antichrist, or Rome papal. These are the “kings of the East,” and of the world, which will be gathered to the great battle of God Almighty in the last day, when the final issue of Gog and the church will be decided, at the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ. You have undoubtedly noticed the similarity of events between Ezek. xxxix. 17 to 21, and Rev. xix. 17 to 21. These are events of the same time, and describe the last great battle, when God shall destroy the kingdoms of this world, and set up his glorious kingdom, which shall fill the whole earth. Israel is the other character specially noticed in our text. We should suppose, that there could be no dispute on this word, or who is meant by Israel. Yet on this name there is as much division as on any other in the whole Bible. Some will tell you, that it means the ancient covenant people of God, the Jews; others will tell you that Israel means the “ten tribes” of the children of Israel which were separated from the Jews in the days of Jeroboam; but if you will suffer me to give my opinion, I shall say, that “Israel” means the whole household of faith, whether among Jews or Gentiles, whether under the law or gospel. And Paul has given us this rule in Rom. ix. 6 and 7: “For they are not all Israel that are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children; but in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” Here is the stumbling stone, where our teachers of prophecy stumble; they will have Israel mean the Jews, and so prove the Jews' return, by this mode of expounding the prophecies; when Paul has given us a plain rule to the contrary. Therefore, wherever I find a prophecy unfulfilled when the gospel was preached by Christ and his apostles, I am constrained to understand the word Israel to mean the children of Christ, except where they plainly declare they mean Israel in the flesh. Then so far as this prophecy was not fulfilled before Christ, I must understand the “house of Israel” to mean the household of faith. By the word “heathen,” we understand not only unbelievers among the Gentiles, but also among the Jews; “for God hath included them all in unbelief,” as Paul tells us, “that he might have mercy upon all.” II. I WILL NOW PRESENT THE HISTORY AND TRANSACTIONS PROPHESIED OF. I will give a paraphrase of the chapter, which will enable me to present my views clearly on this point.
Verse 1. Therefore, thou Ezekiel, prophesy against the great kingdoms of the world, and say, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against you, O ye kingdoms that have persecuted my people, and ruled over the whole world. Verse 2. And I will turn you back, and destroy you with six plagues; and I will cause you to come up from the north parts, and will bring you upon the governments of my people. Verse 3. And I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand, i.e. destroy all their power. Verse 4. You shall be destroyed by the government of my people; you, and all your armies, and the people who support your power. I will give you to the warriors of the common people, and to the smaller kingdoms, to be destroyed. This has been literally fulfilled with the four great monarchies, which have each in their turn persecuted the visible people of God. First. Babylon, the lady of kingdoms, was destroyed by the two smaller kingdoms of Media and Persia. Persia, the second great monarchy, was destroyed by the small states of Grecia. Then Grecia became the third great monarchy, and in her turn was swallowed up by the Roman Republic. Rome in her turn became mistress of the world and a great empire; which was destroyed by the barbarians of the north. (See verse 2.) Then arose up the wonderful beast, Papacy, which is the Gog of our day, and ruled over kings, filled the world with her abominations, and must and will fall upon the mountains of Israel. Already have the kings of the earth eaten her flesh, and no one can dispute but that the present signs of the times indicate her final dissolution; together with the false prophet, the Turkish empire, and Eastern Gog. Verse 5. You shall fall upon the face of the field, (world;) for I have spoken it, saith the LORD GOD. Verse 6. And I will send a fire on Magog, (supporters of Gog,) and among them that dwell confidently in the isles, and they shall know that I am the Lord. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the Gentiles shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel, (the church.) Thus far we have the character of Gog. Verse 8. “Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord God; this is the day whereof I have spoken.” We learn by this text that Gog had already come, in that day when Ezekiel prophesied, and the work was already done of leading the children of God into bondage, as God had spoken by Moses and his former prophets. Already were the prophecies being fulfilled concerning these kingdoms which would be the chief ones of the earth. Compare Isa. xiv. 4-9. Amos vi. 1-14. Verse 9. “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth,” be scattered over the world, or in these kingdoms called Gog, “and shall set on fire and burn the weapons,” their armor of opposition to the word of God, which is compared to fire, (see Jer. v. 14,) “both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves and the spears,” (Isa. liv. 15-17,) “and they shall make a fire of them seven years.” Compare with Isa. x. 12-25. Oba. 18. Luke xii. 49. (The seven years spoken of in this verse will be attended to under my last division.) Verse 10. “So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire.” This shows us that the people of God would not be under the necessity of going forth into the open field of the world to find subjects, on which to operate by the fire of God's word, but they would find enough among themselves; nor to go into the dark and benighted corners of the earth, while there were heathen enough in their immediate vicinity. “And they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord God.” By this clause it is evident I am right in my construction of the former; for here we are clearly informed, they shall spoil and rob those (meaning the nations) that had spoiled and robbed them. And surely the history of these nations, from Babylon to Rome, has proved this prophecy to be true. Verse 11. “And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will give unto Gog,” meaning Rome papal, who would be chief prince at the closing scene of the world, “a place there of graves in Israel,” meaning a place where the power of Gog, or Rome papal, would be destroyed among the people of God. “The valley of the passengers on the east of the sea.” This, in my opinion, means the great thoroughfare in Europe on the east of the Atlantic, as England, France and Germany; here, Papacy would meet its death-blow. “And it should stop the mouths of passengers; and there shall they bury Gog, and all his multitude; and they shall call it the valley of Hamon-gog,” or multitude of papal Rome. To “bury,” is to put down, or rule over. See Ecclesiastes viii. 9, 10: “All this have I seen, and applied my heart unto every work that is done under the sun: there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another to his own hurt. And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this is also vanity.” Verse 12, shows how long the kings of the earth would be putting down the power of Rome papal. “Seven months shall the house of Israel be in burying them, that they may cleanse the land.” This would be done by christian kingdoms. See Rev. xvii. 16, 17: “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” Verse 13. “Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown, the day I shall be glorified, saith the LORD GOD.” This text shows us that this will be done immediately previous to the glorification of the saints. And who cannot see, in the history of Europe, an exact fulfillment of this prophecy, for more than two centuries past? Verse 14. “And they shall sever out men (missionaries) of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months (which I will show was 1798) shall they search.” Verse 15. “And the passengers (or people of God who are called “strangers and pilgrims”) that pass through the land, when any seeth a man's bone, (or principles of Papacy,) then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers (kings or rulers) have buried it in the valley of the multitude of Gog,” (or Papacy.) Verse 16. “And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land.” What city is this? I answer, it is the great city, Babylon, that “made all nations (multitude) drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” Rev. xiv. 8. It is the great city which is now or will be “divided into three parts.” Rev. xvi. 19. Also the great city “which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” Rev. xvii. 18. It is called a woman, because she claims to be the church of Christ; she is called the multitude, because she is the mother of more children than any other, or all others, on the earth; she is called Gog, because she is chief prince, and rules, or hath ruled, over the kings of the earth.
Exekiel. xxxix. 17-21. Rev. xix. 17-21.
And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; Speak unto every And i saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which Lord God. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive that I have laid upon them. into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Let the reader compare, if he please, Ezek. xxxviii. 14 to 22, with Rev. xvi. 14 to 21, and he must see a striking likeness between the two prophecies; and that, in both places, they describe the last great battle of the kings and of the world, when Christ will come and destroy all the kingdoms of this world, and set up a kingdom which will fill the whole earth. Every living thing on earth is described as taking part in this awful conflict. The heavens and earth shake in this mighty war; voices and thunders, lightnings and earthquakes, fish and fowl, beast and birds, men and worms, blood and fire, plague and pestilence, rain and hail, all commingle in this last great throe of expiring nature. How awful is the scene described by these two prophets! Some expositors have supposed this to be a moral battle only; but I am of the opinion, as every living and active thing, whether in earth, air or water, is described as taking a part in this mighty struggle, so will every power, whether spiritual or physical, be put in desperate requisition in this last struggle for an earthly existence. I could not, upon the supposition of a moral battle only, account for this description of kings and captains, warriors and mighty men, horses and chariots, bond and free. If it is all to be understood in a moral sense, why are they called princes of the earth? Why are they to eat fat and drink blood until they are full? Surely, I think these questions cannot be answered, if it is a moral battle only. From the 22d to 24th verse inclusive, God shows the prophet, that then he will justify himself in the eyes of his people and in the eyes, of the world, and show good and sufficient cause why he suffered his people to be persecuted in the world, a scattered and a peeled people; why he suffered the chief princes to rule over them; why they have been so long robbed and spoiled and led into captivity. He gives one good reason; yet we heed it not. He says it was for our iniquities, trespasses, uncleanness and transgressions. Verse 25. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God: Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name.” Some have supposed that we have here a proof of the Jews being gathered to their own land; but I cannot so understand it; for not only Jacob would have to be gathered, but the whole house of Israel; and this would prove too much, unless they admit a literal resurrection before it takes place. They could not all be there without; for Jacob is dead. O yes, says the objector, but Jacob is used in that passage as a figure. Very well, sir; the very same arguments that you would bring to prove Jacob is used in a figurative sense, I will bring to show that the whole house of Israel is used so too; then what becomes of literal Israel? Paul has given us, in Romans xi. 26, the meaning of Jacob; it is those whose sins are forgiven through the atonement, and turned from ungodliness. Israel is said to be the children of Christ. Rom. ix. 6-8. Then the bringing of them again is the bringing of his sons to glory. Heb. ii. 10. And the gathering of his elect from the four winds of heaven, and from the land of death, the last enemy, and sanctifying them in the sight of the world, (for every eye will see them separated, changed, and caught up to meet the Lord at his coming,) is an explanation of the 27th verse. Verse 28. “Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land,” (new heavens and new earth, 2 Pet. iii. 13,) “and have left none of them any more there.” Where? None are left in death, nor in the grave; for certainly the grave is called the land of the enemy. Jeremiah xxxi. 16. Now if this passage means the literal Jew, then certainly it includes the whole; for none are left any more there. This would prove too much for our judaizing teachers. Verse 29. “Neither will I hide my face any more from them.” This certainly must be after Christ's second advent. 1 John iii. 2: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” See Isaiah liv. 8: “In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” Now let the reader examine this chapter, and he will find the same gathering and promises as in Ezekiel, and if one means Jews only, so must the other. “For I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.” The house of Israel. What language could the prophets have used, in the days when the Old Testament prophets prophesied, to have described the people of God under the new dispensation, better than Jacob, Israel, &c.? What, my brethren, will rend the veil from your faces in reading the Old Testament? Have you no love for the soul of the perishing Jew? Will you deceive them until the last? Will you forever harp on the old string, “God's ancient covenant people?” Will you not even inquire who are that people? Are they the Jews? No, sir, not the Jews only; for the promise was first made to Abraham, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. Where is the Jew, as a Jew, said to be entitled to one promise in the gospel, that the Gentile is not? Can you say they have a promise of the land of Canaan, which is not fulfilled? See Joshua xxiii. 14, 15: “And ye know in all your hearts, and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all hath come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” Then, in my opinion, the captivity spoken of in verse 25th, is the subjection the people of God have been and will continue in to Gog, the principal kingdoms of the world, until Christ's second advent; when he will destroy all those kingdoms, conquer death, and let his people go free. III. I SHALL SHOW THE TIMES AND PERIODS GIVEN IN THIS CHAPTER. First. In the ninth verse, we are told, that they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall burn the weapons of their enemies “seven years.” This must mean either literal or figurative years. If this passage has not been fulfilled, then I argue that it cannot be fulfilled in a literal sense; for we have no such weapons as are there described, at the present day. Again, it would be very unnatural to suppose that there could actually be weapons of war enough collected, contiguous to many cities, to supply the inhabitants of them with fuel seven years. It appears unnatural to me in every view of the subject to understand these things as describing a literal battle, and yet not to be fulfilled; for it is evident that the people of God are meant, as one party. It cannot be in the gospel day, for two reasons: Christ forbade his servants to fight, and the gospel does not permit its subjects to rob and spoil others, because they rob and spoil us. From these considerations, I must conclude that the 9th and 10th verses are figurative language, and that seven years are seven times 360, making 2520 common years; that these kingdoms denominated Gog in our text would lead into captivity the Israel or children of God, spoil and rob them of their peace and rights, and scatter over the earth Judah and Israel; and in process of time would smite the Shepherd of Israel and scatter the sheep. All this has been fulfilled in the history of the children of God for ages past. The next question which would naturally arise, would be, When did the seven years begin? Our text tells us, “They that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth.” This shows us what event will begin our prophecy: it will be the children of Israel going forth into captivity. 2 Kings xvii. 20: “And the Lord rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight.” Isa. xlii. 22-24. Amos vii. 11 and 17. Again, 2 Kings xvii. 23: “Until the Lord moved Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.” Isaiah prophesied that within sixty-five years Ephraim should be broken and be not a people. Isa. vii. 8. This was in the days of Pekah and Rezin, 742 years before Christ. Sixty-five years afterwards, B.C. 677, Esarhaddon, king of Assyria and Babylon, came with a large army into the land of Israel and Judah, carried away the last remnant of Israel, and they have not been a nation since.* (* Rollin's Ancient History, vol. i. page 286.) Then he also made war against Jerusalem, took Manasseh and carried him to Babylon; which begins the “seven times” Judah was to be in bondage to the kings of the earth, and also the “seven years” Israel should be a captive, robbed and spoiled people; both beginning and ending at one time, 2520 years, beginning B.C. 677, ending A.D. 1843. To 1843 add 677, and the sum equals 2520. Perhaps the reader may not be aware that Ezekiel was commanded to understand a day for a year. See Ezekiel iv. 5, 6. We can hardly read a chapter in any of the prophets, but we find this thing prophesied of, i.e., the captivity of Israel, the spoiling and robbing of them, both Israel and Judah, by these great kingdoms of the earth, which Ezekiel has called Gog in our text. It must and will be acknowledged, by every man conversant with his Bible, that the times of their captivity have, in every case, been prophesied of by the prophets of God. And, in general, the cases of captivity, which would end in the dispensation in which the prophet lived who prophesied these things, are given to us in plain language; as 400 years' captivity, or bondage, in Egypt, meant years. This was literally fulfilled before the law was given on mount Sinai, which was the beginning of the Mosaic dispensation. Then the 70 years' captivity of Judah in Babylon was literally accomplished in the same dispensation. Judah was released, (not all Israel,) from their captivity in Babylon; but the captivity of Israel is nowhere limited to the law dispensation: but the release of Israel from their captivity is a gospel release, and the subjects of this release must be gospel subjects; for if the dispensation changes, so, of course, must the subjects change; for “old things are done away; behold, all things are become new.” See Paul's most powerful reasoning on this subject, in Hebrews eighth and ninth chapters. Who can read these reasons of Paul's and not be convinced? Moses was faithful over his house; so was Jesus Christ faithful over his house, “whose house are we, (says the apostle,) if we hold fast our confidence unto the end.” It was Israel in the flesh that was scattered then, and was never gathered under the law. The gospel came, the law of Israel was done away; he is not a Jew who is of the flesh, but circumcision is of the heart. They are not all Israel which are of Israel; but in Christ thy seed shall be called. For he will gather in one all the children of God (true Israel) scattered abroad. John xi. 52. The high priest, although a Jew, understood that Christ was to gather not only that nation, the Jews, but all the children of God scattered abroad. How can our judaizing priests get over this text? But to return to our subject. The seventy weeks prophesied of in Dan. ix. 24-27, are used in a figurative sense; a day stands for a year. Why so? Because these seventy weeks in their fulfilment would carry us seven years, at least, into the new dispensation; and as the veil was not yet taken away, and they could only see into the new as through a glass darkly, God therefore only spake to them by his law and prophets in types and figures. Therefore the “seven years” must be used in a figurative sense, for the above well-grounded reasons. And the children of God in the new dispensation are called Israel, for the same reason that papal Rome is called Babylon under the new. For the law was a shadow of good things to come; it made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better covenant did perfect the comers thereunto. Now carry out this reasoning of Paul's, and what must Israel be in order to be made perfect? They cannot be made perfect without us Gentiles. See Heb. xi. 40, also ix. 8-12. How a man can read the arguments of the apostle, and retain these judaizing sentiments of gathering the Jews, as Jews, to their own land, and building up their temple and city again, I cannot conceive. But another time is specified in our context. See verse 12: “And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.” See also verse 14. This transaction is in the last days of Gog's power, and probably under the last form which Gog may assume, and must mean Rome papal, which is the last head of abominations; who has, by her abominable doctrine and practices, filled the world with her sorceries and fornications; - she has made the kings of the earth support her ecclesiastical power, and commit fornication with her; - she has filled the earth with her murders, and drenched the soil with the blood of victims which she called heretics; - she has leagued herself with kings and princes to support a power, which she blasphemously pretended was given her by God. By these means, and many more, she has filled the world with the cup of her abominations, and covered the earth with her pollutions. The “seven months” spoken of in the verse we have quoted, are 210 days, or 210 years, as Ezekiel was commanded to reckon. Then the people of God would be 210 years putting away this rotten carcass of papal power, which had for ages ruled over kings and lorded it over his people. The year 1588, the edict in favor of Protestants, which was afterwards called the edict of Nantes, was first published by Henry IV., king of Navarre, one of the principal heads of the Protestant cause in France, who began a war in Europe between the Catholics and Protestants, which lasted, with very little cessation, for 210 years, until 1798; when finally the Protestants destroyed the power of the pope, and he that had ruled over kings, became weak and inefficient as any of the smallest dukedoms in Europe. The struggle between the Protestants on the one part, and the Catholic league on the other, was, with the former, to destroy the power of this Gog, of whom we have been speaking, and to humble in the dust this Meshech and Tubal of modern times; while with the latter it was to retain power, which papal Rome had long exercised over the kings of the earth, and over the consciences, lives, and fortunes of her subjects. All the civil power was finally taken from her, and nothing remains but the bones, or principles of the carcass. The kings of the earth have eaten her flesh, and burnt her with the fire of their anger; nothing remains but a skeleton of this once most powerful empress, that had humbled kings at her feet, and had made princes vassals at her will. But John had, many centuries before, prophesied her consumption, and the manner of it. See Rev. xvii. 16: “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.” He also has given us to understand that there would be kings and great men of the earth who would lament her fall and loss of power. See Rev. xviii. 8-16. All this was literally fulfilled in those wars to which I have directed your attention. One thing more I will notice. After they had eaten her flesh and buried her power, they severed out men of continual employment, meaning missionaries, who were to go through the land and search for her bones, or principles, which would remain on the face of the earth, after the “seven months,” that is, after the civil power of Papacy should be destroyed, which took place A.D. 1798. And when any should see a man's bone, they were to set up a sign by it, until the buriers should bury it in the valley of Hamon-gog. Who can but see, that the relics of Papacy are to be found in almost every church in our land? The love and practice of slavery is a bone of the old mother; the love and practice of war is another bone; sectarian prejudices, and a tyrannical display of physical force to put down principles not harmonizing with our views, is a great bone. Taking to ourselves titles that belong to God, or calling men Rabbis, which belong only to Christ, are men's bones. Puffing each other in public papers, and passing resolutions in our own favor, are bones of the feet or the hands of man. To preach the traditions of men, instead of the word of God; and the laws and ordinances of the church and councils, instead of the laws of the Scriptures and ordinances once delivered to the saints by Jesus Christ and his apostles, is the backbone of Gog, and must and will be buried, and will no more come into mind. Some may inquire, Is this the same Gog in Ezekiel, as we find in the twentieth chapter of Revelation? I answer, it is the same, with this difference only: this is prophesying of his power, his acts, death and burial; that of his resurrection, judgment, and final and last destruction from the earth. Now, my dear reader, do you want to know whether you belong to Gog, or the saints? Try your spirit. If you are proud, haughty, tyrannical, selfish, worldly, dogmatical, full of bigotry, egotism and wilfulness, prone to misrepresent, deceive and lie against your neighbor, because he cannot see in every point exactly as you do; you may rest assured that your warrant is not a counterfeit, - you belong to the ARMY OF GOG. AMEN.