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IV. These are two pretty considerable and rather alarming signs of the times; and, if persisted in, they bode no good to the ark of Christ's church in this land, but rather the banishing of the faith from it; and unless it please God to say to the demon that is now destroying the souls of the people, 'It is enough ; stay now thine hand,' the faith of this church will be materially damaged.
V. There is evidently a religious up-heaving in all the earth; and the three unclean spirits, like frogs, foretold by St. John (Rev. xvi. 13), have been, for a considerable time, most industriously engaged in their most unholy work, of intriguing with the kings of the earth, to gather them together to the battle of that great day of God the Almighty; and in the meantime, in consequence of the infidel expediency and the Popish leaning of the Government, we seem to be drifting into a new war. These three infernal spirits are, the principle of Infidelity, or political expediency; the principle of Democratic Anarchy, which is endeavouring to overthrow the throne and the altar everywhere, and all regular government; and though last, yet not the least, the principle of Popish Propagandism, which through the agency of the Jesuits is endeavouring to recover that dominion over the souls and consciences of men, of which it was partially stripped at the Reformation.
VI. It may possibly be, that the last Crimean war may have been the pouring out of the sixth vial, under the effusion of which the Mahomedan superstition will be broken up; some symptoms of disruption have already appeared, by the removal of many religious prejudices, and the proposal of tolerating Christianity. The downfall of that superstition will prepare the way for the restoration of the two branches of the house of Israel, when the stick of Joseph shall be joined to the royal stick of Judah; and they shall become one stick (Ezek. xxxvii. 16-19); when Ephraim shall no longer envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim: but the living waters shall again go out from the cleansed sanctuary in Jerusalem, and the Lord shall be king over all the earth.
VII. In the following pages, something has been said about all these sorts of things; and a vast deal about everything else; with many things besides, which can only be understood by those who will be so obliging as to read the volume, which we hope many new subscribers will kindly do. We must again, another year, entreat our supporters to recommend THE CHURCH WARDER to their friends; and especially to those who will circulate it, by lending it to the working classes, for whose benefit it is chiefly intended. We beg our friends to accept of our most hearty thanks, for their kind and steady support during the last ten years; and earnestly to solicit a continuation of their good will.
We heartily wish our Subscribers a merry Christmas, many happy new years, all the comforts of this life, and the hope and assurance of a better.
Churchman's Companion, 29.
Achill Herald, 124.
Duel. fatal, 38.
Elephant, the, 183, 242,
Florum Sacra, 222.
Gunpowder Plot, 350.
Two Cottages, 126.
Zion, citizen of, 157.
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES. In the nineteenth century most men can no more discern the signs of the present times than the 'hypocrites’ to whom our Lord addressed these words; 'ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times ?' These hypocrites had the sign of the prophet Jonas who was a type of our Lord's death, burial and resurrection, events which were then within a year or two of fulfilment; neither would they believe their own prophets. Both they and we have the examples of Noah and of Lot to warn us against neglecting the signs of the times; in the days of the former 'they did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage;' and in the days of the latter, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded. All these ordinary occurrences were to take place before our Lord's second coming to judge the great Christian apostacies of the East and of the West. Now all these things are going on just as usual, now when our Lord is actually come and is now sitting in judgment; why it was only last Sunday when the banns for upwards of two hundred were proclaimed in the morning, and nearly as many children were baptized in the afternoon service, in our parish church. But these, with eating and drinking, are such common occurrences, that we think no more of them than we do of the signs of the times. This indifference to passing events, is not laid to our charge so much as sins, as to shew the carelessness of men at all periods of the church for the judgments of God, which he brings about by the agency of second causes.
The prophecies have all hitherto been fulfilled, as they were delivered, chronologically; and in the past history of the world, the attentive student of prophecy can see the exact fulfilment of them all up to the present time, when the portentous signs of the times,' betoken those "signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men's heart's failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when those things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. That is, the deliverance draweth nigh of the church general, from the oppression of the secular power in Protestant countries, and of the Papal, Mahomedan, and Autocratic tyranny in other countries. But the last sentence shews that this description of the coming of our Lord is not to the general judgment; but to that terrible vengeance which he will take on apostate Christendom in the East and in the West which “repented not of the works of their hands that they should not worship devils and idols of gold and silver, and brass and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk; neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.' Some fastidious friends would have accused us of want of charity if we had said as much of ourselves of the Eastern and the Western churches; but the above is the language of the Holy Ghost; therefore both the Eastern and the Western churches are idolaters; that is, they have added heathen idolatry to the worship of the true God.
The angel that revealed to St. John the mystery of the harlot or apostate church, and the Wild Beast or the secular Roman Empire which carried her, informed him that this symbol was distinguished by having seven Heads, or forms of government, and ten Horns, or of having been divided into ten kingdoms by the Gothic invaders. Five, the Angel said, of the seven heads had fallen or become extinct; that the sixth head was then in existence; and that the seventh head had not yet come; but when he did come; that he should remain only a short time. The sixth head which was then