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great and dreadful day of the Lord, by signs and wonders in heaven and earth, agreeably to what we read in the Apocalypse under the sixth seal. The all-bountiful God desires, that all should watch and be prepared for the great day of judgment, which may be supposed not to be far distant at that time. For the same reason Christ, after the battle of the great day of the Almighty God, Apoc. xvi. 14, immediately proclaims: Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Blessed is the man, that keepeth solicitously his garments of virtue and good works, lest at Christ's coming he be found naked and exposed to shame and condemnation.

If we turn our eyes on another side, we see a beautiful picture exhibited to us by the prophets of the temporal prosperity, which will be enjoyed at this period of time by the Jews, that is, the Jews changed into Christians, under whose name may be comprehended the whole body of the Christian people. Among the many passages relating to this subject, we shall recite a few.

Joel, after describing the great slaughter in the vale of Josaphat, thus continues:

Chap. iii. v. 17. And you shall know that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Sion, my holy mountain: and Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through

it no more.

V. 18. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down sweetness, and the hills shall flow with milk: and waters shall flow through all the rivers of Juda: and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the torrent of thorns.

V. 19. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom a wilderness destroyed: because they have done unjustly against the children of Juda, and have shed innocent blood in the land.

V. 20. And Judæa shall be inhabited for ever, and Jerusalem to generation and generation.

Ezekiel speaks in the following manner:

Chap. xxxvii. v. 21. And thou shalt say to them: thus saith the Lord God: behold, I will take the children of Is

rael from the midst of the nations whither they are gone: and I will gather them on every side, and will bring them to their own land............

V. 24.

And my servant David* shall be king over them, and they shall have one shepherd, they shall walk m my judgments, and shall keep my commandments, and shall do them.

V. 25. And they shall dwell in the land which I gave to my servant Jacob, wherein your fathers dwelt, and they shall dwell in it, they and their children, and their children's children, for ever: and David my servant shall be their prince for ever:

V. 26. And I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will establish them, and will multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for ever, &c.

The same prophet, after relating the destruction of Gog, pursues thus, or rather the Almighty by his mouth.

Chap. xxxix. v. 22. And the house of Israel shall know that I am their Lord their God from that day and forward.

V. 26. And they shall hear their confusion, and all the transgressions wherewith they have transgressed against me, when they skall dwell in their land securely, fearing no man.

V. 28. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I caused them to be carried away among the nations: and I have gathered them together unto their own land, and have not left any of them there.

V. 29. And I will hide my face no more from them, for I have poured out my spirit upon all the house of Israel, saith the Lord God.

The prophet Amos gives us also a pleasing description of the same prosperity.

Chap. ix. v. 13. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of the grapes of him that soweth seed: and the

* Christ, the Messiah.

mountains shall drop sweetness, and every hill shall be tilled.

V. 14. And I will bring back the captivity of my people Israel: and they shall build the abandoned cities, and inhabit them: and they shall plant` vineyards, and shall drink the wine of them; and shall make gardens, and eat the fruits of them. And I will plant them upon their own land: and I will no more pluck them out of their land, which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God. Such is this remarkable æra of peace, prosperity, and spiritual blessings.

One may naturally suppose that the Christians, at their emerging from the severe trials they had been subjected to, were uncommonly full of zeal and religious fervour and so it seems to be intimated by the abovecited passages out of the prophets. But the human mind from its native inconstancy soon forgets the greatest troubles, when they are passed. Prosperity also is a charm generally productive of inattention and neglect, and contributes much to revive in man his natural propensity to licentiousness. Such will be the case of this last period of time, in which mankind will gradually relax in their fervour, and degenerate in their morals. Our Saviour has told us to beware of the last day, tó watch, and be ready to appear before him at the bar of judgment: Watch ye, says he, because ye know not what hour your Lord will come.—Be you ready, because at what hour ye know not, the Son of man will come, Matt. xxiv. 42, 44. And again he speaks in the Apocalypse:-Behold I come as a thief, xvi. 15. St. Peter also gives us the same warning: The day of the Lord will come as a thief, 2 Pet. iii. 10. But these admonitions will by degrees lose their influence and be forgotten, the human passions will recover their power, and the pleasures of the world will become again the common pursuit of men; as we learn from our Saviour's own words: As in days of Noe, says he, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered into the

ark. And they knew not till the flood came, and took them all away: so also shall the coming of the Son of man be. Matt. xxiv. 37, 38, 39. Thus then the generality of mankind having degenerated into a state of forgetfulness of God, employed now in indulging themselves in sensual gratifications, unmindful of all the ominous alarming signs that had preceded, and the repeated admonitions given them, Behold! The seventh seal is opened.


The History of the seventh Age of the Christian Church.

The seventh Seal is opened.

APOC. Chap. VIII. v. 1. And when he, the Lamb,

had opened the seventh Seal, there was silence in Heaven, as it were, for half an hour. The Lamb having opened the seventh Seal, there follows a silence in Heaven for a while, in appearance about half an hour. During this time, the Almighty thinks fit to disclose to the whole heavenly court of angels and saints, his eternal and inscrutable decrees respecting mankind and the exist ence of this world *. The heavenly auditory attend in silence and with profound respect, while he graciously unfolds to them the whole system of economy by which he has governed the world ever since its creation, and the whole course of his great and merciful dispensations to man. The Almighty is willing to display before them the immense and superabundant store of blessings that have flowed from the inexhaustible source of his paternal affection upon mankind, ever since the first moment of their existence. He shows, that his tenderness and bounty towards mankind, have been without measure, and that if a great number of them perish, their perdition is owing to themselves. He then makes known his intention of putting an immediate stop to the whole human race, and bringing them to judgment: he signifies, that the time he had

*This he does, not in words, but by secret interior communication, such as is suitable to the nature of spirits.

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