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this moment. In what
In what age has herefy been
more prevalent? In what period did false
teachers ever arise with so much power to de-
ceive? 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-see nation rifing
against nation, and kingdom against kingdom
-defection and fchifms in the churches-in-
furrections, 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 diftrefs and perplexity was to arise, we see,
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

66

See vol. i. p. 235.

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confufion.

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 difappointment of plans, and the torments of fufpicion, 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 Antichrist 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".

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"

See vol. i. p. 215, and p. 91 of this volume, for the fulfilment of this promise, as it refpected the first Christians during the fiege of Jerufalem, and the Church of Philadelphia.

VOL. II.

Whoever,

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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 shame "in the great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt," from its dreadful wickedness, 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 "HE THAT SHALL ENDURE TO THE END, THE SAME SHALL BE SAVED; "faved from the panic and suffering which fhall overfpread the kingdom of the first beast, in this time of her plagues"-faved from the tyranny of the second, 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.

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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 prefent 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.

CLASS

CLASS II.

CHAPTER THE FOURTH.

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 exercife for our judgment. But the Prophecies which refpect future times, must be confidered as objects of our faith, rather than your understanding. A dark veil hangs before them, which the curiofity of man cannot penetrate, nor his ingenuity wholly remove. But though the precife time, and the manner in which the Divine defigns will be accomplished, may be doubtful, myfterious, and unknown,

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the

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 reprehenfible.

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 remember, 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 moft fagacious fpeculatift, 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 forward

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