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them to separate themselves the one from the other; in which case the good man, Lot, was left alone; for it proved that he had not, as Abraham, an Eliezer to head his household; and, consequently, he lost his household, and all his concern, together with his wife; and, most probably, two daughters. And yet, the mercy of God was greatly mágnified, in saving hini alive.
What will be the great cause, leading to the final destruction of the world, is plainly intimated, Matt. xviii. 9. Woe unto the world because of offencês! for it must needs be that ofences come: but wQE TO THAT MAN by whom the offence cometh. These offences, as may be seen in the connection, were expected to arise among the brethren in the church, Cases of offence, which cause breaches in the church, may generally be traced to an individual, or at least to a small number of
persons. It is not unlikely, that the son's-in-law of Lot were the principals in the strifes among the herdmen, which caused the fatal separation between Abraham and Lot. It may be seen in the story of Laban and Jacob, that it was the custom of these people who kept cattle, to employ their daughters and sons-inlaw with their flocks; and it may be feared that Lot hiniself, though not the principal cause, was yet not altogether iñinocentmihe consequence of all which was, woè upon woe-woe upon the city! and woe upon the offenders !--In like manner, our Lord pronounced a double woe, as the consequence of the offences which must come in the lalt
days. Woe to the world-woe to them who are without, who will be stumbled, and snared, and fatally involved in the fearful result of offences among the brethren; but, especially, woe to the man, the brother in the church, who is the first aggreffor, or who is the prin. cipal obstacle in the way of reconciliation and healing of the division; it had been good for ihat man, if he had not been born. Ah! Tittle do the thoughtless world confider, how deeply their own interest is concerned in the breaches and divisions which, in this day, are spreading in the church of Christ. Is it nothing to you,
all ye that pass by? behold, and fee!
To this broken, embarrassed and utterly helpless state of his people, in the last days, our Lord often refers; as how they shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfólks, and friends: And there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. What then can be done? It is plain, that when the matter comes to this, the cause, as iç respects the preservation of the world, must be given over. And when we coasider the abounding iniquity, and how fast the mighty forces of the great city are gathering around; whilst, at the fame iime, the liule flock of Christ, by a complication of evils, are embarrassed on all sides; and their power
divided and scattered in every quarier. Alas! how gloomy is the prospect
. The Lord's two witnesles, however, will never quit the ground—they will resolve to fell their lives at their polt--and in the freet
of the city, they will shew themselves in the thickest of the battle, and do exploits. But being deserted and left alone, like Lot in Sodom, and Moses when he shewed himself unto his brethren in Egypt, and our Lord also where he was crucified, these last champions of the truth, will be overcome and slain,
Section 4. The rising of the Walls of Zion,
The dispersion of the builders of Babel, preserved the believing remnant which, otherwise, had been swallowed up and lost, and made room for the work of faith in the tents of Shem; disclosing there, more and more, the divine will and doctrine of Christ, until the shout of a king was heard among them.
The people were called Israel, for they had power
with God. And it early began to be realized by all the proud of the earth, that the divine institutions were indeed foun. dations; and that other foundations no man could lay. Rahab, of Egypt, had the fairelt pretensions; and first, among the nations, claimed the empire; but, from hence, she was cut asunder. Canaan, who refused to serve in the tents of Shem, feļt from hence, a still heavier doom.
On these eternal grounds, a Zion arose, whole walls were salvation, and whose gates were praise. Who could say to the higb hills, Why leap ye? This is the hill of God. The dragon of Affyria, who had humbled all the nations of the earth, received here, in the prime of his strength, an incurable wound. O that they had been wise! that they had understood this! that they had considered their latter end! How soon should all their enemies have been fubdued under them? For their rock was not as the rock of Zion, they themselves being judges.
But, be astonished, ye heavens at this!-The people of his Holiness covered to be like the nations, and left the divine institutions for vain things; and, by their many foolish inventions, they made themselves viler than the heathen. Wherefore the Rock of their. falvation sold them,
For the fore correction of a disobedient people by the hand of men, according to the covenant, and to be the great buyer of the poor captives of Zion; and as yet the will of God must be done, and the work of redemption be carried on and finished, by a relittance ụnto blood against fin; God commanded that Babylon herself should rise, and become the golden head of the nations; and, age after age, be the great Aceldama of the saints and mara tyrs; and, finally, of her own lovers and sup. porters.
Section 5. Babylon the City of Kingdoms,
After Nimrod, whose work was left unfin. ihed, Semiramis, an ambitious woman, gave
to Babylon a great set out; but her work seemed an object of parade and show, rather than of that deep policy, which, in the first undertaking, and in the issue, characterized this empress of cities.
For some ages Babylon semained an associa. ate with her sister Nineveh; but from the time of Nabonassar, who, in the scriptures is called Baladan, which is commonly dated
747 years before Jesus Chrift, fhe began to rival ihe metropolis of the Affyrian empire; and sometime in the succeeding reign of Merodach-Baladan, about 710 years before Christ, She seemed to affume her troe style; and not long after Judea, for the first time, was invaded by t'nis power, and the country was Jaid waste, and Manasseh the king was taken and carried bound to Babylon. It was not, however, until the time of Nabopolassar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, about 630 years before Christ, that Nineveh was utterly deftroyed, when Babylon commenced her fingle career of glory. And as this most excellent fabric of human wisdom was thus finished by that family, Nebuchadnezzar was induced to consider it as his own work.
Here I would again observe, that I have no zeal to fix dates. I consider it as impossible to determine with certainty the dates of these ages; but, by the general consent of chronoJogers, the above dates are right within a computation of about ten years,
Babylon rose up in the most surpassing svle of religion. The name of Baladan, the first Babylonian monarch, was compounded of the