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is upon the eve of its full accomplishment. On this just ground our Lord censured the jews, that as quick sighted as they were in whatever concerned their prejudices, and their false views of their own security and interest, yet they were unable to discern “ the signs of the times," and those strong and manifest indications by which the accomplishment of their most important prophecies was shewn to be even at the doors.
From the computation of the time, (notwithstanding those circumstances which have been the cause of some uncertainty designedly connected with it,) and other evidences arising from the corresponding testimony of many strong facts, alluded to in the course of these Reflections, it manifestly appears that the time of preparation for great changes is fully come; and whenever this is the case, God will not be at a loss to find or create suitable instruments, competent to the work he assigns them.
There is now a very conspicuous character, towards whose extraordinary enterprises, and the wonderful success that has attended upon them, to the afflicting of the papal Roman empire, all eyes have been turned with various apprehensions; while every succeeding year winds up the alternate hope and fear of the astonished world to a pitch of expectation, which no trivial events (or mean catastrophe to the lengthened tragedy) can satisfy.
66 That man's heart
KING CHARLES I.
If success, as the poet avers, stamps the character upon all enterprises, and the hero of the tale is to be covered with glory, or loaded with execrations and historical infamy, as fortune shall decide ; this great man seems already to have acquired a very splendid nitch in the temple of fame along with Cyrus,
ALEXANDER, and CÆSAR, the scourges of the world in their respective times, and who designed as little as he the fulfilment of prophecy, the glory of God, or the amelioration of the state of mankind, by the introduction of righteousness and peace upon earth.
He has been raised to a prodigious emi- . nence, by a course of very extraordinary events, in which it cannot be doubted that the hand of God was employed, both from the tendency that the exaltation of a character of this description has, to the fulfilment of the judgment written against the papal APOSTACY, and also from the long duraiion and unexpected stability of an empire founded as this has been, and perpetuated upon a suffering and reluctant people ; compelled to become the executioners of the judgments of God upon others, by means which at the same time inflict an equal share of the vengeance upon themselves.
He sprung from “the root of
the root of popery, * and was fostered in the midst of the corrup
tions of that apostacy of which he has proved the afflicting scourge : and he cannot cease from goading it on by the most extraordinary means, (perilous, even in the extreme, to the security of his own person, and the perpetuity of his precarious power ;) to meet that fatal catastrophe that awaits it. Like PHAROAH, he affords an evidence to the present unbelieving world, of the foreknowledge and omnipotence of God, “ for to this end bave I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power;" to display that wonderful overruling influence, which, without destroying the freedom of man, so that he should not become justly accountable for the good or evil of his actions, can give such a direction to his passions, that the will of heaven is eventually fulfilled by those vast projects of human ambition, which have for their secret objects the very reverse of God's designs.Like SENNACHERIB, he is appointed The BREAKER, to pull down, and to destroy, and to lay waste the fenced cities in ruined heaps," from which the palladium of the divine protection is withdrawn. Like ALEXANDER,
he outstrips the winds in the rapidity of his march of conquest, and with the violence of a whirlwind, and an overflowing scourge, he “ enters into the countries, and overflows, and passes over," while he directs his course against the bypocritical nation, the men of God's curse, and is maintained and prospered in the most perilous attempts, and shielded from harm in the most critical moments of danger. Neither the hostile sword, nor his own impetuosity, and contempt of fortune, involving him in irretrievable disaster.
God is so noble a pay-master, that he even acknowledges with reward the services of them that acknowledge not him, when (by a secret instinct) he sends them upon the execution of his judgments upon other sinners ; as he plainly declares in Ezekiel, xxix. 18. “ NEBUCHADNEZZAR, king of Babylon, caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus; every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled : yet bad be no wages,"—(he was unsuccessful in that war,)“nor his army for Tyrus, for the sere