Imatges de pÓgina

them to separate themselves the one from the other; in which cafe the good man, Lot, was left alone; for it proved that he had not, as Abraham, an Eliezer to head his household; and, confequently, 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 magnified, in faving him alive.

What will be the great caufe, leading to the final deftruction of the world, is plainly intimated, Matt. xviii. 7. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come: but WOE TO THAT MAN by whom the offence cometh. These offences, as may be seen in the connection, were expected to arife among the brethren in the church, Cafes of offence, which caufe breaches in the church, may generally be traced to an individual, or at leaft to a fmall number of perfons. It is not unlikely, that the fons-in-law of Lot were the principals in the ftrifes among the herdmen, which caused the fatal fepara tion between Abraham and Lot. It may be seen in the story of Laban and Jacob, that it was the custom of thefe people who kept cattle, to employ their daughters and fons-inlaw with their flocks; and it may be feared that Lot himself, though not the principal caufe, was yet not altogether innocent-the confequence of all which was, woe upon woe-woe upon the city! and woe upon the offenders!-In like manner, our Lord pronounced a double woe, as the confequence of the offences which must come in the lait


days. Woe to the world-woe to them who are without, who will be ftumbled, and fnared, 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 principal obftacle in the way of reconciliation and healing of the divifion; it had been good for that man, if he had not been born. Ah! little do the thoughtlefs world confider, how deeply their own intereft is concerned in the breaches and divifions which, in this day, are fpreading in the church of Christ. Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold and fee!

To this broken, embarraffed and utterly: helpless state of his people, in the laft days, our Lord often refers; as how they fhall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends: And there fhall be five in one houfe 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 it refpects the preservation of the world, must be given over. And when we confider the abounding iniquity, and how faft the mighty forces of the great city are gathering around; whilft, at the fame time, the little flock of Chrift, by a complication of evils, are embarraffed on all fides; and their power divided and fcattered in every quarter. Alas! how gloomy is the profpect.

The Lord's two witnelles, however, will never quit the ground-they will resolve to fell their lives at their poft-and in the street

of the city, they will fhew themselves in the thickeft of the battle, and do exploits. But being deferted and left alone, like Lot in Sodom, and Mofes when he fhewed himself unto his brethren in Egypt, and our Lord alfo where he was crucified, these last champions of the truth, will be overcome and flain,

Section 4. The rifing of the Walls of Zion.

The difperfion of the builders of Babel, preferved the believing remnant which, otherwise, had been fwallowed up and loft, and made room for the work of faith in the tents of Shem; difclofing there, more and more, the divine will and doctrine of Chrift, until the fhout of a king was heard among them.

The people were called Ifrael, for they had power with God. And it early began to be realized by all the proud of the earth, that the divine inftitutions were indeed foundations; and that other foundations no man could lay. Rahab, of Egypt, had the fairest pretenfions; and firft, among the nations, claimed the empire; but, from hence, she was cut asunder. Canaan, who refused to ferve in the tents of Shem, felt from hence, a ftill heavier doom,

On these eternal grounds, a Zion arose, whose walls were falvation, and whofe gates were praise. Who could fay to the high 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 ftrength, an incurable wound. O that they had been wife! that they had understood this! that they had confidered their latter end! How foon fhould all their enemies have been fubdued under them?— For their rock was not as the rock of Zion, they themselves being judges.

But, be aftonifhed, Oye heavens at this!The people of his Holinefs covered to be like the nations, and left the divine inftitutions for vain things; and, by their many foolish inventions, they made themselves viler than the heathen. Wherefore the Rock of their falvation fold them,

For the fore correction of a difobedient 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 refiftance unto blood againft fin; God commanded that Babylon herself fhould rife, and become the golden head of the nations; and, age after age, be the great Aceldama of the faints and mar tyrs; and, finally, of her own lovers and fup porters.

Section 5. Babylon the City of Kingdoms. After Nimrod, whofe work was left unfinished, Semiramis, an ambitious woman, gave

to Babylon a great fet out; but her work feemed an object of parade and fhow, rather than of that deep policy, which, in the first undertaking, and in the flue, characterized this emprefs of cities.

For fome ages Babylon remained an affoci.. ate with her fifter Nineveh; but from the time of Nabonaffar, who, in the fcriptures is called Baladan, which is commonly dated 747 years before Jefus Chrift, fhe began to rival the metropolis of the Affyrian empire; and fometime in the fucceeding reign of Merodach-Baladan, about 710 years before Chrift, the feemed to affume her troe ftyle; and not long after Judea, for the first time, was invaded by this power, and the country was laid wafte, and Manaffeh the king was taken and carried bound to Babylon. It was not, however, until the time of Nabopolaffar, the father of Nebuchadnezzar, about 630 years before Chrift, that Nineveh was utterly deftroyed, when Babylon commenced her fingle career of glory. And as this most excellent fabric of human wisdom was thus finifhed by that family, Nebuchadnezzar was induced to confider it as his own work.

Here I would again obferve, that I have no zeal to fix dates. I confider it as impoffible to determine with certainty the dates of these ages; but, by the general confent of chronologers, the above dates are right within a computation of about ten years.

Babylon rofe up in the moft furpaffing fivle of religion. The name of Baladan, the first Babylonian monarch, was compounded of the

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