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things are wrong and want mending; but there are exceedingly few who will speak out, remonstrate, and use their influence, that things may be put upon a more defencible footing. We keep reading what we do not approve—the damnatory sentences in ATHANASIUS's Creed for instance-professing what we do not believe--subscribing what we know or suspect to be wrong, and swearing to observe laws which are truly horrible in their tendency, all our lives long, for the sake of a little paltry food and raiment, and a moiety of worldly honour.-Is this the way to glory, and honour, and riches everlasting?-If WICKLIFFE, and LUTHER, and CRANMER, and RIDLEY, and LATIMER, and the glorious army of Martyrs, had acted in the manner we do, no reformation had ever taken place. We should have been Popish priests at this day. The same spirit that keeps us quiet in our several snug Protestant preferments now, would have kept us quiet in our several snug Popish preferments then, if such had been our situation. It is much more easy to fawn, and cringe, and flatter, with ERASMUS, than face a frowning world, with LUTHER, and his noble companions.
From the foregoing short view of these two classes of predictions concerning the Saviour of mankind, and the condition of the Christian Church in the world, every candid and sober-minded nian, I think, may see, without the smallest room for deception, that there is something far more than human in the Prophetic Scriptures*. It M 2
is * There have been some predictioris passing in our own time which seem somewhat more than lucky conjectutes. Most of my readers have probably seen that which is said to have come from Paris. possessed it ever since 1799, so that, in this respect, there could be no dem ception. It is said to be of six centuries standing. Be this as it may, is
appears to speak of the present and past events of Europe with more than human foresight. Without detailing the whole, I will write down what he saith of the several years from 1700 to 1800, and leave the reader to form his own judgement.
“ In 1790, There will be a rebellion against the French king; and when the present Pope dies, there will be no other elected.
· In 1791, There will be a war among many of the European powers against France. In 1792, More of the Christian powers engaged in the war.
is impossible to account for all these strange coincidences upon any principles of nature or art whatever. here is a long series of predictions running through all time, partly fulfilled, partly fulfilling, and partly to be fulfilled. Let any man account for it, without supernátural interposition, if he can. If he cannot, then the Scriptures are of divine original; Jesus is the Saviour of mankind; all the great things foretold shall be accomplished; Infidels and Infidelity shall be confounded world without end ; and sound practical believers in CHRIST JESUS, of every denomination, shall stand secure and joyful amidst the convulsion of nations, the subversion of churches, " the wrecks of matter, and " the crush of worlds."
« Such, in that day of terrors, shall be seen
« The centre shakes : their hearts disdain to move." For, are not abundance of these predictions fulfilling at this day before our eyes ? Is not the religion of JESUS diffusing itself far and wide among the nations of the earth? Did not the corruptions of it commence at a very early period ? Did not the Church of Rome assume a
In 1793, The war increases through Europe.
In 1794, There will be little or no forms of religion observed in France. In 1795,: There will be a destructive division
In 1796, There will be great slaughter, and much bloodshed by land and sea.
In 1797, There will appear Gog and MAGOG, that will make war against all nations in the world.
In 1798, There will be a great destruction, that will thin the inhabi. tants of the earth.
In 1799, There will come a descendant of DaviD, who will perform such acts of grace by a power derived from ALMIGHTY GOD as to de. stroy Gog and Magog, and will cause,
In 1800, The remnant of all nations to be of one religion, and there shall be no more wars among men, but they shall live for ever after in bonds of love and friendship one towards another."
Eight of the first of these years are surprisingly exact. and two following are highly improbable. The war this year has hither. to not been very bloody any where but in Ireland.
universal spiritual empire in the seventh century, and temporal dominion in the eighth*? Is it not expressly predicted, that the illegitimate empire of that Church should continue the precise period of 1260 years ? Does it not seem that those 1260 years are upon the point of expiring? Were not great changes to take place among the kingdoms, into which the Roman empire was to be divided, about the expiration of the said term? llave not great changes already taken place in those kingdoms? Were not the nations, which, for so many ages, had given their power unto the Beast, to turn against that Beast, and use means for its destructiont? Is not this part of the prophecy also, in a good degree, fulfilled at the present moment? Have not all the Catholic powers
forsaken his HOLINESS of Rome in the time of his greatest need? And is not He, who, a few ages ago, made all Europe tremble at the thunder of his voice, now become weak like other men ? Are not the class of the Beast cut, and his teeth drawn, so that he can no longer either scratch or bite 1? Is he not already, in our own day, and before our own eyes, stripped of his temporal dominion? And doth not the triple crown
• It is remarkable that Mahomet began his imposture in the very year that the Bishop of Rome, by virtue of a grant from the wicked tyrant Phocas, first assumed the title of Universal Pastor, and thereon cļaimed to himself that
, which he hath been ever since endeavouring to usurp over the church of CHRIST. This was in the year 606, when MAHOMET retired to his cave to forge his impostures; so that Antichrist seems at the same time to set both his feet upon Christendom together ; the one in the cast, and the other in the west.
Prid. Life of MAHOMET, p. 13. A valuable Correspondent, thoroughly acquainted with the prophetic Scriptures, gives it as his opinion, that we are now in the second period of the seventh vial, Rev. xvi. 17-21. “ The battle of the great
GOD “ has been, and is fighting. The sacking of the nations is conie. The “ Man of sin who has been sitting in the temple of God 1960 years, all " but a few; whom God hath been consuming with the spirit of his “ mouth since the Reformation; whoin he is now ready to destroy with " the appearance of his presence, we see is ready for the blow. + Consult the seventeenth chapter of Revelation.
See the treatment the present Pope of Rome has received from the French. They even took the ring from his finger, and deprived him of his-snuff! Ungenerous Frenchmen Cruel conquerors !
even now dance upon his head? or rather, has he not for ever lost all right and title to wear it? Is it not extremely remarkable, and a powerful confirmation of the truth of Scripture prophecy, that just 1260 years ago from the present 1798, in the very beginning of the year 538, BELISARIUS put an end to the empire of the Goths at Rome, leaving no power therein but the Bishop of that metropolis ?
Read these things in the prophetic Scriptures * ; compare them coolly with the present state of Europe, and then, I say again, deny the truth of Divine Revelation if you can. Open your eyes and behold these things accomplishing in the face of the whole world. This thing is not done in a corner.
It would be well, MY COUNTRYMEN, if you would seriously considerstill further, that the opposers of the Gospel areno other than tools and instruments in the hands of that REDEEMERT whom you so cordially despise and rashly reject. He sitteth in heaven, at the right hand of power, and laugheth at all your puny and malicious efforts to impede the interests of his kingdom I. He permits his
• There is an astonishing chain of prophecy in the Sacred Writings, and the argument from thence is invincible. Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Newton, and several other writers, have treated upon them with effect. The prophetic scheme may be ridiculed, but it can never be answered. Consult Simpson's Key to the Prophecies, for a concise view of this indissoluble chain.-Bishops HURD, HALLIFAX, Clayton, and others, have written with ability upon these abstruse parts of Sacred Writ. Dr. APTHORP, Mr. MACLAURIN, and Brown, have thrown pretty much light upon them. But, of all who have treated upon the book of Reven LATION, none seems to me to have excelled Lowman.
+ See this matter discussed at large in Dr. GERARD's Dissertation, entitled Christianity Confirmed by the Opposition of Infidels.
I Would the reader be at the pains to compare the second and hundred and tenth psalms with the history of those persons who in the several ages have set themselves to oppose either the Jewish or Christian dispensa. tions, he could not fail of receiving strong conviction of the truth of these two prophetical compositions. We may, indeed, deny any thing, and turn into ridicule every prophetical accomplishment, as Josephus informis us the Jews did in the last dreadful ruin of his unhappy countrymen. It was familiar with them “ to make a jest of divine things, and to deride, " as so many senseless tales, and juggling impostures, the sarced oracles Śc of their prophets;" though they were then fulfilling before their eyes, and çyen upon themselves,
WORD, however, to be tried like as silver is tried. But the more it is opposed, the more completely will it be refined. The more it is scrutinized, the more it will be approved. The severity of your criticisms willserve the cause itis intended to overthrow. Your assistance is advantageous to us, though infinitely dangerous to yourselves. You are co-operating, unintentionally indeed, with all the zealous servants of Christ, in carrying forward the designs of heaven, in like manner as Šuvas, with the Jerus and Romans, contributed to the fulfilment of the ancient prophecies, and the salvation of the world, in betraying the LORD of glory. The greater the learning, the more rancorous the hatred, the stronger the opposition, the more brilliant the talents of its antagonists, the faster will the kingdom of Messiah come forward, and the more. .complete and honourable will be the victory*. The Gospel never triumphed more gloriously, in the first ages, than when Celsus and PORPHYRY drew their
DiocLESIAN and Julian their swords, vowing its annihilation. Truth fears nothing more than inattention. It is too important to be treated with indifference. Opposition calls forth and sharpens the powers of the human mind in its defence. The cause of the Gospel hath ever gained by investigation. Credulity is the bane of it. Sound policy in the Deists would let it alone, and leave it to itself. It was by opposition from all the world it wasoriginally propagated. When that opposition ceased, and the GREAT ON ES of the earth smiled upon and fostered it, a worse
If the reader is disposed to examine another prophecy, I will refer him to the ninth chapter of Daniel. The late eminent Philosopher and Mathematician Ferguson has written a Dissertation upon it, which he concludes in these words: « Thus we have an astronomical demon. stration of the truth of this ancient prophecy, seeing that the prophetic year of the Messiah's being cut off, was the very same with the astronomical.” Astronomy, p. 373---377.
* “ Christianity may thank its opponents for much new light, from time to time, thrown in on the sublime excellence of its nature, and the manifestation of its truth; opponents in some sort are more welcome than its friends, as they do it signal service without running it in debt ; and have no demand on our gratitude for the favours they confer. The stronger its adversaries, the greater its triumph; the more it is disputed, the more indisputably will it shine,”!