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not be that of the Jews at the taking of Jerusalem) he adds,

Let him that readeth understand. In those days the sun shall be darkened, &c., and then shall they see the Son of Man,' &c. Who does not perceive, that Christ will come to give the finishing stroke to the great work begun by the might of his Spirit, to establish his kingdom upon earth, and to bring those happy days, · When ten people shall lay hold on an Israelite, saying, Lead us to the temple of the Lord;' when the kid shall feed with the lion, and a child lead them; when he that dieth young shall die an hundred years old ;' and when righteousness shall cover the earth, as the waters fill the sea. I cannot conceive how so many divines have such an idea of God's wisdom, as to think (contrary to the plain text of bis word) that so happy a time will last but a few days; and that this Apokalvyis twv TAVTwv will no sooner take place, but the earth will be destroyed by fire : such must be, however, the inconsistent opinion of those who confound our Lord's second with his third coming

“ 3. After our Lord's ascension, the angels promise the Apostles, who then represented all true believers, that they should see Jesus Christ coming from heaven, but said not a word of the end of the world.

. 4. The second coming of our Lord was so frequently talked of in the Apostles' days, that many expected it daily, so that St. Paul, who knew it was yet afar off, thought it necessary to refute the strong expectation of the Thessalonians concerning the nearness of Christ's appearing : • That day will not come, says he, ‘before the apostasy, and the revelation of the man of sin, the son of perdition :' which is the same as if he had said, You shall know that the Lord will shortly come, when you shall see the universal apostasy that I foretell you : nay, the Apostle goes a great deal farther, for in the same chapter he assures us, that the Lord will destroy the man of sin by the brightness of his

presence. Can anything be plainer ? 5. Our Lord told his Apostles, at the last supper, that he should not drink any more of the fruit of the vine, till he should drink it new in the kingdom of heaven ; which kingdom will be set up on earth, thousands of years before the end of the world.

" Having thus established the second coming of our Lord, give me leave, sir, to remove a specious objection.

“ Those who dislike an opinion because it is not generally received, will object, that all that is said in Matt. xxiv. Mark xiii. &c. of our Lord's second coming, is certainly spoken of his last, immediately before the judgment; because Jesus says, that the angels shall gather his elect from the four winds; which seems to imply the resurrection, and the judgment following it. But so far from granting it, this is the very thing that shews our Lord did not speak of the end of the world and the judgment: else why should not the reprobate be gathered from the four winds, as well as the elect? Shall these only be judged, while the mouldered bodies of the wicked shall rest in peace? Is this Scriptural ?

“What, then, can be the meaning of that gathering of the elect? The question would be too deep for a short-sighted man to answer, had not the Spirit of God revealed it to St, John, and all the believers who with an humble mind search the writings of the prophets. I will begin at Rev. xvii., to shew, by the bye, how well every thing I have wrote concerning the man of sin, and his destruction, agrees with the account St. John gives us of his visions.

“ There he gives such strong characteristics as at once points out Rome, and the Pope ; they agree extremely well with St. Paul's and Daniel's description : the beast, and the ten kings that defend it, having made war with the Lamb, shall at last be overcome by him ; whereupon the ten kings (xiii. 16), forsaking the whore, or popish idolatry, shall rebel in their turn against the pope, and, with the Lord's unexpected assistance, shall destroy him, his city, and all his adherents.

“ The xviii th chapter is a sublime description of the vast alteration which this fall of Babylon will cause in the world, pride and luxury falling with the same blow.

The xix th chapter contains a magnificent account of the sudden manner in which God's kingdom shall take place. Christ comes down (this is again his second appearing, not distinguished enough from the third by our divines); Christ comes down to be avenged of his enemies, who are all destroyed in a last and decisive battle; whereupon all the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdoms of our Lord.'

“ The xxth chapter displays to our expectation the most glorious scene that can be on earth. • Satan is bound for a thousand years, and if they, are prophetic ones, for three hundred and sixty thousand *.

* Thrones are set up, and judgment is given to those that sit on them ;' which probably refers to what our Saviour promised his Apostles, that at his coming, they should sit upon twelve thrones and judge the twelve

“ * I should rather be of this opinion, for a day is before the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day.' How would at last vanish the pitiful objections of unbelievers concerning God's choosing to create a world where the good were to bear no proportion to the wicked! What a fine in. stance should we have of God's mercy, and of the efficacy of our Saviour's blood! How gloriously would these words be explained : I punish to the third or fourth generation, but shew mercy unto thousands (of generations) of them that love me!'

tribes of Israel.' And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, as well as the souls of those that had not worshipped the beast nor its image,' &c., and, having been gathered from the four winds (Matt. xxiv.) they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years : but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished : this is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that has part in the first resurrection : on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.'

"This is taking away all the difficulty arising from that gathering of the elect so long before the day of judgment, and it confirms the idea, you give us in your hymns of God's wrath and mercy:

· His wrath doth slowly move,

His mercy flows apace.' Nor can I conceive, that Jesus would accept of a kingdom without his members, without the ‘heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ.'

“ The world, however, shall not last always in this happy state. Ezekiel and St. John are very express on this article. Satan shall be loosed at last out of his prison, and seduce two powerful nations, Gog and Magog; but this second almost universal rebellion will be quenched, as prosperously as that of Antichrist. How long the world shall last after this, no one knows, not even the angels of God; but it is certain that all those things must come to pass before the conflagration of this globe spoken of by St. Peter, as well as before the second resurrection and judgment : see the end of chapter xx. We have in the xxist chapter an account of the Palingeny [regeneration] of the earth after its purification by fire, of the New Jerusalem, and of the ravishing happiness of those who shall have persevered unto the end.

“ This is, sir, a short account of the gentleman's system ; which, far from fearing a severe examination, does never appear in a better and clearer light than when it is compared with the writings of all the Prophets and Apostles, with the prophetic Psalms, and, in a word, with the whole Bible.

Give me leave to conclude with some reflections, that naturally flow from what has been said on that system.

“ 1. Many people, I know, look on the meditations of prophecies, so expressly enjoined by St. Peter, as one of the greatest instances of presumption and enthusiasm ; because they believe there is no sure ground to build upon, and that it is a land of darkness, in which the most enlightened Christians will never fail to stumble and fall shamefully. But is it probable that God, who foretold to a year, and very clearly, the deliverance of the

VOL. 11.--NO. II.

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Israelites from their Egyptian bondage, the return of the Jews from their captivity in Babylon, and the building of the second temple, and the birth and death of the Messiah-is it probable, I say, that he should have been silent, or not have spoken as clearly, concerning his coming to destroy the destroyers, and to set up that kingdom which we pray for, when we daily say, according to our Lord's appointment, Thy kingdom come? If God has exactly foretold, for the comfort of believers, the various revolutions that have happened to his church in ages past, is it possible that he should have left himself without a witness concerning the most important of all-I mean the last? If he shewed the prophets the first acts of his drama, is it not highly probable he has not forgot the last, without which his wisdom, justice, and mercy would always remain hid under a thick cloud ?

“ 2. Let none say, that Jesus himself, as a man, knew not the end of the world ; and that Moses says, 'hidden things are for the Lord, but revealed ones for us and for our children.' I acknowledge that the end of the world, and the time of the purification of this globe by dissolution and fire, is a secret too deeply hid in the glass of God's decrees for any man to fathom, before God himself is pleased to reveal it; but nobody talks here of the end of the world; nobody fixes either the hour or day, or even the year, of Christ's second appearing; since he did 'not think fit to reveal it to us, we ought to stand in continual readiness for it. For, supposing this system to be true in all points—supposing the tribulation is to begin next year—it will still be impossible to determine whether Jesus will come down in ten or fifty years ; so that our Lord's words are true, in all their extent, even now, for that day and hour, and even that year, knoweth no man. Yet we expect to see the full cleansing of his sanctuary, by the fire of persecution ; the destroying of Antichrist and unbelief, his great enemies; the subduing of all nations to his easy yoke; the calling of the Jews ; the fulfilling of God's gracious promises to that long-scattered seed of Abraham; and the bringing of those times when the fear of the Lord sball cover the face of the earth as the waters do that of the sea. Where is the child of God that dares to say, that all these things must not come to pass before the end of the world ? and if so, when should they happen, but in the time he has been pleased to fix in his holy Bible? Where is that man that makes God a liar, because he is an unbeliever? Shall the Lord say, and shall be not do? Shall he promise, and shall he not perform? If he has borne with the wickedness of the world so long, not being willing that any man should perish, shall he delay to all eternity to fulfil his threatenings? God forbid : the day is fixed, it is foretold ; and though the vision was to be after many days, as the angel said to Daniel, yet it may be fulfilled in a few days or us, who live in the last times.

“ 3. It is lawful, yea, needful, that we and our children should often think of these things : for 'hidden things are for the Lord, but these are revealed for us and our children; 'they are revealed in all the Prophets, from Moses to John, and more especially in the Revelations of this beloved Apostle. Let but those objectors ponder the word Artokalvýıs, and they will be ashamed to say, that we must not look into those things because they were never revealed unto us.

4. If Jesus told his disciples, that it was not theirs to know the times when those things should be accomplished, it does not follow that it must be hid from us, who are far nearer concerned in them than they were. Besides, how should they have understood and borne those things, before they had receivde the Comforter, since they thought them bitter, after they had obtained the Divine gift, when they had some knowledge of them? Add to this, that Daniel's vision was to be closed till the end,' and could not be perfectly known till very near the time of the fulfilling of it.

5. It is remarkable, that more books have been written upon the Prophecies these last hundred years, than were ever known before; and all (those at least which I have read) agree that these things will, in all probability, soon come upon the earth, I know many have been grossly mistaken as to the year; but because they were rash, shall we be stupid ? because they said • TO-DAY,' shall we say “ Never?' and cry Peace, peace, when we should look about us with eyes full of expectation ?

6. I know that a good part of 100,000 Protestants, scattered in France, expect some great revolution, that will turn at last to their good, and re-unite them to the children of above 200,000 of their brethren, that were either expelled the kingdom, or forced to leave it, because they would not take the mark of the beast in their hands or on their foreheads.'

“Let us not judge rashly, nor utter vain predictions in the name of the Lord; but yet let us look about us with watchful eyes, lest the enemy take an advantage of us, and we lose the opportunity of rousing people out of their sleep, of confirming the weak brethren, and building up in our most holy faith those who know in whom they have believed. If we are mistaken in forming conjectures ; if the phenomena we hear of every where are but common providences; if these things happen not to us, but to our children (as they most certainly will before the third generation is swept away), is it not our business to prepare ourselves for them, to meditate on them, and to warn as many people as we can prudently, lest their blood should be required at our hands, were they to fall because of a surprise? Let us pray to God more frequently, that for the elect's sake he would still more shorten the days of the tribulation, and add daily to the true church such as will be saved. But let us not forget to re

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