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this moment. In what age has heresy been more prevalent ? In what period did false teachers ever arise with so much power to deceive? When did such multitude's fall the victims of delusion? When did iniquity fo generally abound since the light of the Gospel arose to guide us into the paths of eternal life and happiness? And what age was ever marked like this, with indifference to the truths and the interests of Religion? Do we not hear of wars and rumours of wars—see nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom defection and fchisms in the churches-insurrections, commotions, and convulsions in the great and in the little states of the world, and the governments of all smaken in a manner unexampled in the annals of history? And is it possible to describe the character of the times more exactly than in the following terms ?
Upon the earth, distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.” This distress and perplexity was to arise, we fee, not from the ambition of monarchs, or the ufual causes of contention among nations ; but was to be created and continued by the lower ranks of people &. It was to be a democratic Spirit that was to occasion this tremendous
& See vol. i. p. 235.
confusion. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming upon the earth. Wearied by the failure of conjecture, the disappointment of plans, and the torments of suspicion, the inhabitants of the earth seem now to wait their doom with the anxieties of suspense, and the chill of despair.
But amidst all these dreadful images of the
days of vengeance,” what gracious comfort does our Lord afford to his faithful church ! “ Be ye not terrified. When these things begin to come to pass, then look
and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” The reign of Antichrist is near its close, and the glorious day of your Lord is at hand.. “ Be ye not terrified;" “ Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Be patient under the correction which your Father shall see necessary to prepare you for a place in my kingdom. Stand firm in the day of temptation, which shall come upon all the earth; and remember, that he who fall endure to the end, the same shall be saved ".
See vol. i. p. 215, and p. 91 of this volume, for the fulfilment of this promise, as it respected the first Christians during the fiege of Jerusalem, and the Church of Philadelphia. VOL. II.
Whoever, or whatever church or nation, shall continue firmly attached to the Lord and Saviour of the world, in an age when he is crucified afresh, and put to open shame " in the
great city, which is fpiritually called Sodom and Egypt,” from its dreadful wickedness, and oppressive tyranny i ; whoever shall resist the enticements of deceit, the sword of terror, and the torpor of indifference, shall come forth as silver that is tried in the furnace;” for “ HE THAT SHALL ENDURE TO THE END, SAME SHALL BE SAVED;” “ saved from the panic and suffering which shall overspread the kingdom of the first beaft, in this time of her plagues"-faved from the tyranny of the
second, and be preserved as “ wheat, to be gathered into the garner, when the chaff is burnt up before the presence of the Lord, when he cometh to establish his everlasting kingdom,” in happiness and glory, according to the promises of God from the beginning of the world.
! Thus do I beg leave to interpret the angel's intimation, Rev. xi. and therefore confess my fear that the witnesses are yet to be pain in some way or other, which at present we cannot understand, “ in the street of this great city;" by which I understand, the principal seat of the power of the second beast, wherever that may be.
CLASS CLASS II.
CIIAPTER THE FOURTI.
PROPHECIES WHICH REMAIN TO BE FULFILLED
-RECAPITULATION, AND CONCLUSION OF
THE WHOLE WORK.
THE comparison of historic facts with Prophecy establishes Revelation, and strengthens Faith. The examination of Prophecies which i relate to present times, particularly interest our feelings, and must be allowed to be a proper exercise for our judgment. But the Prophecies which respect future times, must be considered as objects of our faith, rather than our understanding. A dark veil hangs before them, which the curiosity of man cannot penetrate, nor his ingenuity wholly remove. But though the precife time, and the manner in which the Divine designs will be accomplished, may be doubtful, mysterious, and unknown, the predictions concerning the events are confpicuous and undeniable, and offer to the pious mind many subjects of devout contemplation. From meditation arise, almost involuntarily, conjectures concerning their completion ; and if these conjectures are accompanied by due humility and caution, they cannot be deemed reprehensible.
We may then pursue this attempt to show the harmony which pervades the whole of Prophecy, and the possibility of reconciling most of the various opinions concerning it, into the regions of futurity, provided we confine our steps to the path prescribed by Scripture for the course of inquiries to which the study of the Prophetic writings, and the passing train of events, directly lead ; and provided we remember, that the utmost reach of our researches can only attain to probability. The astonishing circumstances which have recently and rapidly happened in the European world, would have appeared incredible to the most sagacious speculatist, a very few years ago. Changes, now equally unknown, may again come on as speedily as those have done which now. excite our wonder, and again may prove the vanity of human foresight. But “ the word of God is sure;" and every change will tend to for