Page images

froin whatever precise period they ought to be dated. Now we learn from concurring prophecies, that, at the close of those years or at the time of the end, four mighty powers will be the principal actors in the great drama of nations : the Roman beast under his last or Carlovingian head, a head which we can now scarcely avoid considering as identified with the infidel kingdom, although the governor of that kingdom has not yet formally assumed the title of Roman emperor; some great protestant maritime and commercial state; a king of the north; and a king of the south. If then, what can scarcely be doubted, we be now rapidly approaching to that time of the end, when all these four powers will be in action; we may naturally expect to behold some at least of the powers already in existence. Accordingly, upon turning from prophecy to the present state of things in Europe, we see a kingdom, which exactly and in all points answers to the character of Daniel's infidel kingdom, transferring from Germany to itself the ancient imperial honours of the Carlovingian head, and rapidly establishing a sort of federal empire, which no less exactly answers to the character of the apocalyptic confederacy of the Roman beast under his last head, the false prophet, and the kings of the Latin earth *. We moreover see

a mighty

* See Rev. xvi. 13-16. and xix. 17-21. The confederacy will not begin to be gathered to the battle of the great day of God Almighty, till after the overthrow of the Ottoman empire;


å mighty protestant maritime power, arriving with rapid strides at the most complete naval superiority that ever was possessed by any modern nation; and, having singularly availed itself of the suggestion of one whose whole life has been spent upon land *, no longer as formerly either fighting its enemies on equal terms or gaining over them indecisive victories, but annihilating whole fleets at a blow, esteeming what would once have been deemed a victory as worthy only of censure t, and triumphing over all its opponents in all quarters of the globe. We further see a vast northern


but it will plainly be either formed or forming, about or before that event takes place. The three demons are not represented as gathering or forming the confederacy itself; but only as gathering it, when formed, to the battle of the Lord.

* John Clark, Esq. This gentleman, who, so far from being bred to the sea, had not even performed a single voyage, first suggested the present system of naval tactics, the prominent feature of which is to break the enemy's line of battle. A long series of indecisive actions excited the at. tention of the inquisitive mind of Mr. Clark. He became the inventor of an entirely new system, which was first acted upon by Lord Rodney. Since that time no engagement has proved indecisive: but each succeeding victory has surpassed its predecessor in completeness and in importance. Does not such a man deserve public honours from his country?

† On the 22d of July 1805, Sir Robert Calder, with 15 sail of the line and two frigates, fought the combined squadrons of France and Spain, consisting of 20 sail of the line, three ships of 50 guns, and five frigates. Without losing a single ship of his own fleet, he took from the enemy two sail of the line. He returned home; was tried by a court martial; and was severely reprimanded for having done nothing more.


[] sovereignty, the chief of which may well be called by way of eminence the king of the north, extending itself on every side, and rising in the inconceivably short space of little more than a century from barbarous insignificance to immense power and influence. As yet we behold indeed no state, which, consistently with the general tenor of prophecy, we can even guess to be the kingdom of the south : of this however we may rest assured, that at the close of the 1260 years, some kingdom of the south will unite its arms with the kingdom of the north in opposing the progress of Antichrist ; and that they will both fail in their attempt. Yet, although they will fail, no intimation is given that they will be totally destroyed by that tyrant: whence we may perhaps venture to conclude, that they will be rather baffled than subjugated *.

Is then England the great maritime power, to which the high office of converting and restoring a large part of his ancient people is reserved by

• So far indeed from the northern kingdom being subjugated, we have some reason from prophecy to believe, that it will be a tremendous instrument in the hand of God to scourge the guilty inhabitants of the papal Roman empire. The irruption of the northern power into the south-western regions of Europe will most probably take place, unless I be mistaken in supposing such an irruption to be predicted, during the absence of Antichrist in Palestine and Egypt. More will be said on this subject hereafter.


the Almighty? To this question, I am compelled to say, that we have no right positively to answer in the affirmative. England may, or may not. The thing is certainly not improbable in itself; and I will even add, that the present aspect of affairs by no means contradicts the conjecture, that our hitherto highly favoured country may be the protestant European naval power intended by Isaiah : yet I must likewise add, that such an opinion, should it be entertained by any, can be considered in no other light than that of a mere conjecture; a conjecture authorized indeed, as some inay imagine, by existing circumstances and by the high probability that we are not far removed from the time of the end, but a conjecture, totally unauthorized by the prophet himself. This however I

This however I may safely say, that, the more true piety increases among us, the more likely will it be that England is the great maritime power in question. At the present awful period, when the judgments of the Lord are so manifestly abroad in the earth, the accession even of

every individual to the cause of vital religion and Christian holiness renders us more strong and more secure; and increases the probability that the maritime power may be England, because it makes us more fit for the task (a task meet only for the sincerely pious) of converting and restoring the lost sheep of the house of Judah. A wicked nation can be expected to furnish no very suitable missionaries. So great a labour of love will res quire proportionable purity of heart and conversation, and proportionable devotedness to the service of God. If iniquity therefore increase, and righteousness decrease, among us; I may say, without pretending to the spirit of prophecy, that we certainly cannot be that naval power, which the Lord will delight to honour by delegating to it the venerable office of carrying the Gospel to his ancient people.


It will be proper for me now to make a few remarks on the mode of exposition, which will be adopted throughout the following pages.

Between chronological prophecies and unchronological prophecies there is a striking difference, which ought always to be kept in mind. A chronological prophecy, that is to say, a prophecy consisting of a series of predictions which succeed each other in regular chronological order like those of Daniel and St. John, is incapable from its very nature of receiving a two-fold accomplishment; because every link 'of such a prophecy is exclusively confined to a particular period of history by the links which both precede it and follow it, and therefore can only be applied to a single event. In short, a chain of chronological predictions is simply an anticipated history: and each link is just as incapable, and that for the very same reason, of a double completion, as each fact recorded



« EelmineJätka »