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selected by the spirit of inspiration without reference to their meaning, although it may be difficult for us at present to ascertain precisely what this meaning is. So, too, it seems probable, that names occurring in the Old Testament are not cited in the New without the design of bringing about the collation of the passages bearing this index, and thus affording some additional illustration. The word Gog is said to signify a cover, or that which covers—tectum vel solarium ; and Magog, covering—tegens, tegulans, (Cruden, Leusden, and others.)* This meaning would apply to a multitude of people, covering, as it were, the face of the earth ; or it would apply to the multitude of pretensions to self-righteousness, professing to furnish garments or coverings of salvation, by man's fullment of the law. This latter sense seems to us to be that in contemplation in the passage here under consideration.
Corresponding with this construction, we put a like interpretation upon the language of the prophet, alluding apparently to the same manifestation of a general perversion of doctrinal principles, operating against that economy
grace, which constitutes the Christian's asylum, or dwelling of rest, and of safety. “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God, In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses ; a great company, and a mighty army. And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel as a cloud to cover the land; it sball be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes,' Ezek. xxxviii. 14-16.
The dwelling safely of the prophet, we suppose to be equivalent to what we denominate the millennial rest of the Apocalypse ; as it is said in a preceding verse of the same prediction : “ And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely; all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,” Ezek. xxxviii. 11; as is Gog had heard of the gracious prediction, Zech. ii. 4, 5, and had determined to test the power of the promised protection : “ Jerusalem shall be as towns without walls ..... for I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the inidst of her." As the garment of salvation is to the disciple, so this wall of salvation is to the city—both figures representing the same protection of imputed righteousness. Against this protection, as if to show its insufficiency, the powers of the earthly system (Gog and Magog) are now gathered together, under the conduct of the accuser. Their number is
2a (Radix ipsa) dwua, Tectum.
Tromm. Index Heb. et Chald.
hyperbolically represented “ as the sand of the sea ;” and this, perhaps, because these elements are equally unstable, incapable of affording a foundation upon which to build a system of redemption. It is a little remarkable that these hostile powers should be described, as to multitude, by the same figure of speech as that applied to the promised multitude of the seed of Abraham, David, &r. Perhaps this may be designed to direct our attention to the fact, that the multitude of elements is the same, although in this latter representation they are in a perverted state; corresponding with the wayward character of the descendants of the patriarch.
Vs. 9, 10. And they went up on the Και ανέβησαν επί το πλάτος της γης, και breadth of the earth, and compassed tile έκύκλωσαν την παρεμβολήν των αγίων και camp of the saints about, and the beloved city and fire came down from God out από του θεού, εκ του ουρανού και κατέ
την πόλιν την ηγαπημένην· και κατέβη πιο of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the φαγεν αυτούς και ο διάβολος ο πλανών lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast αυτούς έβλήθη εις την λίμνην του πυρός and the false prophet (are), and shall be xui Jiov, örov zoi tò fi piov xoà ô ψευtormented day and night for ever and δοπροφήτης, και βασανισθήσονται ημέρας
και νυκτός εις τους αιώνας των αιώνων. .
$ 453. “And they went up on the breadth of the earth ;' or, upon the whole surface of the earth : the whole platform of earthly views of religious doctrine, as a multitude coming from the four corners of a square, however extensive, and spreading from side to side must necessarily cover the whole
* And compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city.'The camp of the saints, and the beloved city, may be nearly convertible symbolic terms—different figures of the same provision of safety: or the entrenchments of the camp may represent the same divine protection as the promised wall just now alluded to. So, in the case of a city without walls, when besieged its defenders fortify themselves in a camp round about it; as it is said, Ps. xxxiv. 7, “ The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them;" and, Zech. ix. 8, “I will encamp about mine house, because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth.” Within the camp, or within the city walls, is the place of safety. So, amongst the Hebrews, without the camp, or without the gate, was the position for suffering the penalty of death. In Christ all is rest and quiet ; out of Christ there is no peace. It is, perhaps, just the truth of this doctrine that is now about to be assailedall the elements of self-justification, under the command of the legal accuser, are arrayed against it.
The issue now to be tried, we may say, is whether the beloved city, with its encampment, be sufficient to withstand all the earthly elements brought against it by this great adversary—whether the economy of grace, of which the merits or righteousnesses of Jehovah alone constitute the defences, be a sufficient refuge from the wrath to come.
We suppose the saints here, or holy ones, to represent holy principles, (elements of this economy of grace,) these being the subjects of attack, on the part of the adversary and his forces. This economy of grace we presume to be termed the beloved city, because this plan of sovereign mercy is that in which divine goodness takes peculiar delight. As it is said, Ps. cxlvii. 10, 11, “ He (the Lord) delighteth not in the strength of the horse ; he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man”—he is not pleased with any means of salvation or deliverance other than those of his own providing : "The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” The visitation of wrath is represented as his strange work, (Is. xxviii. 21,) while, on the other hand, it is declared he delighteth in mercy. For the same reason, apparently, Christ himself is declared to be the beloved Son of God ; not merely that he is divine, or that he is an only Son, but that he is the means of redemption—the instrument of mercy, in which God delights. He is beloved on account of his office; on account of the functions of sovereign grace fu]Glled in him. In other words, the work of redemption itself is God's delight. He delights in being a Saviour, a Redeemer. The
The economy of grace is that over which he rejoices, and for this reason it is termed beloved. The legal dispensation was something going first into operation from necessity-as it was said, perhaps typically, concerning the first wife of the patriarch, (Gen. xxix. 26,)“ It must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born”—something resulting from the nature of things. The gospel dispensation, on the contrary, is something freely given, or, rather, something adopted of choice, and therefore an object of delight with him by whom it has been thus prepared.
Such being the beloved city and its camp, it is here represented as in a state of siege,-encompassed with armies. It is a town without walls, as supposed at present. Its only reliance is upon Jehovah of hosts; He is its only wall, its only defence. As we might say of the gospel plan of salvation, it depends entirely upon the element of divine sovereignty to sustain it. “ It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”-“ All nations,” says the Psalmist, "compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them,” (Ps. cxviii. 8, 9.) We suppose the cases to be analogous; one representing the position of the disciple bimself, the other the position of that plan of salvation upon which the disciple rests his hope. If the beloved city fall before its enemies, the last hope of refuge for the sinner flying from offended justice is cut off forever.*
* This favoured city represents, no doubt, the same object as that synıbolized by the holy city, (Rev. xi. 2.) although under different circumstances; and also as that
$454. 'And fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.'-So it is said, (Ezek. xxxix. 6 and 9,) “And I will send a fire on Magog . . . . . and they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the hand-staves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years.” The instrument of destruction in both cases is the same—the element of fire—the same consuming element as that which destroyed the harlot—the great commercial city—(the mercenary system.)
The conflict here represented is between the exhibition of truth and that of error, the beloved city and the camp of the saints being figures of the plan of salvation as set forth in the gospel; the hosts of Gog and Magog, on the other hand, representing the innumerable multitude of errors opposed to the truth as revealed in the Scriptures. The fire is the word of Godthe revealed word, understood in its proper spiritual sense. Coming down from heaven, is its revelation ; and coming immediately from God, may indicate this peculiar revelation to be that of the element of divine sovereignty, a truth overcoming all opposition. Or, perhaps, to be more definite, we may say, heaven is the written word ; the fire out of heaven is the true or spiritual sense educed from this written word. The spiritual understanding (Col. i. 9) is the gift of God; for which reason it is represented as fire coming out of heaven, from God. On this occasion this fire may apply particularly to that portion of truth which counteracts the delusion of the
The truth that God is a sovereign, and that this sovereignty is the principle of his government, once fully manifested puts an end to all cavilling on the subject of redemption by grace. He has a right to do as he pleases with his own—every thing is his ; as he is the only creator and preserver, so he is the only possessor and proprietor. There are none that can say unto him, What doest thou ? The question of what he ought to do cannot be mooted. The only question to be asked is, What is his will ? or, What has he declared to be his will ? and, whatever that will may be, the only language for the creature to hold is, Let that will be done. No sooner, then, does God reveal, in a manner not to be misunderstood, the fact that salvation by grace is his will, than the plan of salvation represented by the beloved city is safe; every element hostile to it is devoured or consumed ; the armies of the aliens are put to flight. As the blood of the Lamb (the element of divine propitiation) overcomes the dragon and his angels, (the elements of the law,) so the fire from God out of heaven, the manifestation of the truth as it is in Jesus, overcomes (devours) every principle of error.
spoken of, Rev. iji. 12, (the city of my God;) but otherwise, this is the first intimation we liave had of a city, the opposite of the great city, Babylon, just destroyed.
“And the devil which deceived them was cast into the lake,' &c.—The perverted views or errors, termed the nations, are represented as being all entirely destroyed. The verb employed is one signifying 10 eat, combined with an intensive; the same verb as that rendered (Rev. x. 9) by eat up; and the same verb as that employed to express the intention of the dragon towards the male-child, (Rev. xii. 4,) to devour or to destroy it altogether. These errors, therefore, may be supposed to be completely annihilated. Nothing remains of them after the exhibition of truth here contemplated. It is not so with the leader of the hostile band: he, too, is exposed to the destructive action of fire, but he is not supposed to be annihilated. His destruction is represented as something continually and perpetually in operation. He is cast into the lake of fire and brimstone : the element of sulphur being that giving perpetuity to the fire of the lake. The accusing spirit, the legal adversary, may thus be said to be ever in view. Those who are saved will have in contemplation, throughout eternity, the danger from which they have escaped—the adversary from whose power they have been preserved. Such contemplation, we may take it for granted, is necessary, and will be forever necessary, to perpetuate the gratitude of the redeemed for the great salvation they enjoy. Throughout eternity the ransomed sinner will never forget the justice of his condemnation, and the freeness of that grace by which he has been saved from wrath, and made an heir of immortal happiness.
• Where the beast and the false prophet (are).'— This seems to be added to remind us that the lake of fire is the same in both cases. It is something capable of acting upon the subjects represented by the beast and false prophet ; and as these two elements are evidently things of a figurative character, so the lake into which they are cast is something of a like character; and, consequently, the torment of Satan here spoken of, must be of the same description as that undergone by these two first principles of error.
And shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever:' or, as it might be rendered, And they shall be tormented, &c.; all three of them.We were before told that the beast and false prophet were cast into this Jake, but it was not then said for what purpose; now we have the further information that they, together with the adversary, are to be exposed to a continual and perpetual trial, or torture, as by fire—the fire of the Word of God; corresponding with the construction we have uniformly put upon the terms βασανίζω, βασανισμός, and upon the figures of sulphur and tre, and day and night.