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In what age has herefy been
more prevalent? In what period did false teachers ever arise with so much power to deceive? When did fuch multitudes fall the victims of delufion? When did iniquity fo generally abound fince 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-fee nation rifing against nation, and kingdom against kingdom -defection and fchifms in the churches-infurrections, commotions, and convulfions in the great and in the little ftates of the world, and the governments of all fhaken in a manner unexampled in the annals of history? And is it poffible to describe the character of the times more exactly than in the following terms?
Upon the earth, distress of nations, with perplexity, the fea and the waves roaring." This distress and perplexity was to arife, 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 occafion this tremendous
See vol. i. p. 235.
confufion. 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 feem now to wait their doom with the anxieties of fufpenfe, 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 pafs, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." The reign of Antichrift is near its clofe, 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 fhall fee neceffary 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 fhall endure to the end, the fame fhall be faved h.
See vol. i. p. 215, and p. 91 of this volume, for the fulfilment of this promife, as it refpected the first Christians during the fiege of Jerufalem, and the Church of Philadelphia. Whoever,
Whoever, or whatever church or nation, fhall continue firmly attached to the Lord and Saviour of the world, in an age when he is crucified afresh, and put to open fhame "in the great city, which is fpiritually called Sodom and Egypt," from its dreadful wickednefs, and oppreffive tyranny; whoever fhall refift the enticements of deceit, the fword of terror, and the torpor of indifference, "fhall come forth as filver that is tried in the furnace;" for
THAT SHALL ENDURE TO THE END,
SAME SHALL BE SAVED; faved from the panic and fuffering which fhall overspread the kingdom of the first beaft, in this time of her plagues"-faved from the tyranny of the fecond, and be preferved as " wheat, to be gathered into the garner, when the chaff is burnt up before the prefence of the Lord, when he cometh to establish his everlasting kingdom," in happiness and glory, according to the promifes of God from the beginning of the world.
Thus do I beg leave to interpret the angel's intimation, Rev. xi. and therefore confefs my fear that the witnesses are yet to be flain in fome way or other, which at present we cannot understand," in the ftreet of this great city;" by which I understand, the principal feat of the power of the fecond beaft, wherever that may be.
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 relate to present times, particularly interest our feelings, and must be allowed to be a proper exercise for our judgment. But the Prophecies which refpect future times, must be confidered as objects of our faith, rather than vour understanding. A dark veil hangs before them, which the curiofity of man cannot penetrate, nor his ingenuity wholly remove. though the precife time, and the manner in which the Divine defigns will be accomplished, be doubtful, mysterious, and unknown,
the predictions concerning the events are confpicuous and undeniable, and offer to the pious mind many fubjects of devout contemplation. From meditation arife, almost involuntarily, conjectures concerning their completion; and if these conjectures are accompanied by due humility and caution, they cannot be deemed reprchenfible.
We may then pursue this attempt to show the harmony which pervades the whole of Prophecy, and the poffibility 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 courfe of inquiries to which the study of the Prophetic writings, and the paffing train of events, directly lead; and provided we re- member, 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 fagacious speculatift, a very few years ago. Changes, now equally unknown, may again come on as fpeedily as thofe have done which now. excite our wonder, and again may prove the vanity of human forefight. But "the word of God is fure;" and every change will tend to for