Abbildungen der Seite


[ocr errors]

mystic scrolls, and though we may not God—when the saints live again, and be sure that we have the precise key 10 reign with Christ a thousand years. this Divine arithmetic, yet we have The second view is, that of most writstrong probability in favour of one of iwo ers* on prophecy in the present day. It methods of compating this prophetic is matter of history, that the Pope of time. The first is that of Bishop New. Rome, in 533, received the grant from ton, and other writers of high avihority: the Emperor Justinian, which constituted Anti-Christ arose (according to the Sacred him, nominally at least, the universal Scriptures), in the latter times of the Ro- bishop of the Christian church, the adopman empire, after it was divided into ten tion of which title, (according to the senkingdoms. The pope was established in tence of one of his most illustrious sucspiritual supremacy, in the seventh cen- cessors, who had grace enough to decline tury, but he became not a temporal it for himself, and to denounce it in prince, i. e. a horn, till the eighth centu- others) constituted him, certainly, the forery. In 727, Rome revolted from the runner of Anti-Christ. This is marked exarch of Ravenna, and shook off alle- as the commencement of the 1260 years giance to the Emperor of Constantino- of spiritual despotism, although the zeple. This is taken as the beginning of nith of papal power had not then arrived Anti-Christ, and for this reason, that because it is no where stated in Sacred though the mystery of iniquity had be- Scripture, that the period is calculated gun to work ever since the apostles' days, from the maturity of this awful apostasy. and though the Man of sin was conceiv. This was indeed the first tangible deed and born long before this date, now monstration of its existence. From that only could he be said to be revealed in time the avarice, ambition, and secularity the maturity of his powers and preten. of the Roman see, gradually developed sions.

its subtle and cruel policy. Tracing the From this beginning, we may antici- course of this despotism through a dark pate the end-for the little horn was to period of 1260 years, we are brought continue for a time and times and a hall. down to the remarkable era of 1792 The beast had power given him for forty when by the fall of the French monarand two months. The two witnesses chy, a strange and fearful revolution 100k were to prophesy one thousand two hun- place in the condition of the papal church. dred and three score days, and the wo- Previous to this time, notwithstanding the man was to continue in the wilderness partial resistance which the papal power the same period. Now, all these events had experienced from some of the soveare connected with each other, and all the reigns of Europe, it continued through dates affixed to them are reducible to the all the central territories of the Roman same period, viz. 1260 years.* This is empire, to hold the saints in subjection. the period assigned accordingly to the Neither in France, Spain, Portugal nor Romish church, and if so, it has not yet Savoy, were Protestants tolerated-nor in elapsed, nor can it till about the two any central part of the Western Empire, thousandth year of our Lord, or the six save in some of the cantons of Switzerthousandth year of the world. We are land. Europe appeared to slumber in pertold, indeed, that for the elect's sake, the fect security. The Protestant faith had lost days shall be shortened—but how much much ground since the Reformation-nor we cannot tell. We know, however, was there any prospect of regaining it. that at the end of this full period, a very England was the only portion of the anearly tradition of Jews and Christians, cient Roman empire, that had wholly emand even heathens, leads us to expect braced the Reformation, and destroyed great changes in the natural and moral the papal authority within its dominions. world. Then the Sabbatic rest of the But at the period spoken of, a series of seventh day will remain to the people of events began, which has shaken to its

foundation, the spiritual power of the How this is made out, see Faber's Provincial Letters, No. 6.

* Cunninghame Noel, p. 100. Lit., vol. 1. Vol. I.-16


papacy, throughout the greatest part of been sorely bruised, and the bounds of the Western Empire. The monastic or- her habitation in a great measure shortders were annihilated, the property of the ened, still her hand sways a mighty scepchurch confiscated, many spiritual prin- tre of moral influence, and her breast cipalities secularized; and in France, the never swelled with loftier anticipations Netherlands, and every part of Germany, than at this very moment. But, neverProtestants have, by a new constitution theless, we believe her doom is sealed of these kingdoms, obtained not only a and her days numbered—that the tempocomplete toleration for their private opin- rary advantages which she enjoys, will ions, but an equal claim to offices of pub- only enable her to fill up the measure of lic trust. These events seein to afford her iniquilies, and prepare the way for decisive evidence, that the judgment 10 her final destruction, at the coming of consume and destroy the dominion” of him who will consume her with the the papacy, began to sit at the fall of the breath of his mouth, and destroy her

, French monarchy in 1792, and conse- with the epiphany of his presence. Yet, quently that the period during which the we believe, ihat the beast has already re

, saints and times and laws of the church ceived its death-wound. Some parts of were given into its hands, have elapsed. its system may exhibit symptoms of unIt is true, that since that time the power usual activity, but its general interests of the papacy seems to be recovering its must continue to languish. Nor can it ascendancy. The order of the Jesuils ever be restored to health, though its last has been re-established, and the pope has struggles and efforts, like those of a dying recovered his temporal possessions. But monster, may be terrible to all who beall these efforts made to prop up a falling hold, and dangerous to all that are near. edifice, may be compared to the labours And now, after all this detail of facts and of children in giving solidity to houses coincidences, it may be asked, what have built with sand. The judgment is still we to do with them? To this I answer, silting, and we must wait to see the end. we are bound to protest against this sysThe period in which we live is pregnant tem of belief and practice, and by all prowith events of the most stupendous na- per means, to counteract its influence, and ture; and if we may judge of the future hasten its overthrow. It may be said, by the past, the astonishing celerily with that these are things of former days and which events have succeeded each other, other climes. Were it even so, the fact serves to show that the utter end of the that these things ever had been, would papal dominion is not distant. The blow justify our application of the prophecies, already given to the papal power, may be and furnish an elucidation of some of the justly deemed incompatible with its long most striking portions of the Scriptures. established domination—and the probabi- And that they have been so, we are aslity is great, that within the limit of an- sured; for he that runs may read them, other generation,* the sign of the Son of not only in the partial accounts of avowMan may appear in the heavens, and the ed enemies to the system, nor only in the redemption of his church be revealed.

practice of injudicious individuals among Be it admitted that the present condi- its friends, but in the decrees of her tion of the Romish church is one of par- popes, and the decrees of her councils. tial resuscitation. Though her heel has But are they not so still? Restrained in

its operation this system certainly is, but The ablest chronologers of the present that it is reformed in principle, where lime, contend that the earth is older than has been supposed, by one hundred and thirty-two is the evidence? Evidence of this we years; and therefore that the seventh day or

must demand ; and nothing will afford it, seven thousandth year begins in 1864. See but a public disavowal in her standards, Bickersteth's Guide to the Prophecies, and like that which the Protestant churches Elliott's Horæ Apocalypticæ. Had Bishop

once made, and which we must continue Newton been aware of this, it would doubtless have affected his calculations, especially if he

to make, while a vestige of this system had lived to see the changes which have taken

remains upon earth. But instead of this, place since his day,

we find a positive ratification of them, at



this very day, in this very land, by the awake to these enormities, but have highest authority in the most unqualified not seen any cause for apprehension of terms. And this being the case, we can- their revival among ourselves. Many not give place to her, no, not for an hour, have been aware of this danger, yet have not only, not by subjection, but even by doubted the expediency of any direct opfraternal intercommunion. “Nay, we position to their progress; or if they have are to remember, that it was the com- ventured to give the warning, they have mendation of the church at Ephesus, that not been prepared to apply the language they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, of these prophecies to the system which which Christ also hates — and though yet they so clearly describe ; and thus men daub over their sinful indifference lost a vantage ground in the controversy. with the false varnish of liberality, cha- We do not wonder that the great invisirity, and so forth, it will be an awful item ble Anti-Christ should adopt all possible against our souls, if we do not hate-ac- means to divert the attention of men from lively hate the deeds of Anti-Christian the silent operatian of this his mightiest Rome, and prove it by exposing the vile instrument

instrument of moral and political evil. snare, that we may disown those that are This he has done by means of that retaken captive, and preserve those who are condite learning and false tenderness and assaulted by this delusion. We must not groundless security and timid policy, fritter away God's truth, and trample out which have thrownra cloud of uncertainhis line of demarcation between a holy ty over these prophetic Sacred Scriptures, Worship, and the polluted sacrifice of an and consigned them 10 uiter obscurity; idol temple." I speak of the system. for well he knows, that while men sleep, I say nothing of the characters of its in- their enemy may sow his lares and hope dividual advncates—to their own master to reap anoiher harvest of souls. “ Hence they stand or fall. But, as one has said, it has come to pass, that our congrega*We need not tamper with our faith, by tions and communities are either ignorant sitting down to ascertain how much of or careless" on the whole controversy. Christianity I can discover in individu- Nay, more, from a common law of reals actively promoting a system against action, it would seem as if former averwhich God has pronounced an irrevoca- sion had given way, and a strong preble and withering curse."* In immediate possession in their favour were springing connection with one of the passages, just up and spreading abroad. For " if a considered, there is this striking observa- Christian now speak of that church after tion—" If thou půt the brethren in re- a Scriptural manner, or in the language membrance of these things, thou shalt of our reformers, who sealed their probe a good minister of Jesus Christ.test with their blood-he would be gene

It would seem as if this injunction it- rally called a bigot, or at least be esteemsell were prophetic-anticipating in its ed strangely deficient in that modern subFery language, the necessity and import- stitute for Christian charity so falsely ance of the direction it gives. At least called liberality, when applied to the we recognize it as a timely admonition truth of God, and the concerns of the which has been by many too much un.

soul. Hence the minister of the Gospel, heeded. It has been truly asseried, that who should lift up his voice like a trum" the ministers of the Gospel in recent pet to put the brethren in remembrance times

, have not been sufficiently impress of the enormities formerly committed ed themselves, and therefore have not under this apostasy, against ihe real memwarned the brethren of their household bers of Christ's mystical body, and the of faith, of the diversified evils and un- probability, yea, certainty of a renewal scriptural practices and pretensions of of the same, wherever civil disabilities the papal church.”+ Many have been are removed and expediency allows; in

stead of being acknowledged and honourCharlotte Elizabeth's Personal Recollec

ed as a good minister of Jesus Christ, he would be generally regarded as exciting unnecessary apprehensions, and manifest


tions, p. 165.
Literalist ut supra.

ing improper emotions, in the present ad- and therefore we must wait for their revanced state of knowledge and benevo- lease, till God shall please to destroy the lence.”

entire system, as he will with the brightThere are those who think that minis- ness of his coming. ters of the Gospel forget their proper But much may be done, to prevent place, and abandon their proper office, of others from falling a prey to this delusion, quietly feeding their flocks at home, by by reminding our still nominally Prothus entering into the battlefield of reli- testant people, of the real character of gious controversy. Of such, we would the system in question, unfolding all its ask, is there not a cause? We are per- disguises, and detecting it in its very suaded that this contest involves the germ. Without molesting others, whom hopes not only of every Protestant we have neither the power nor the wish Christian, but of every American citi. to harm, we may at least be allowed 10 zen. The fact we believe 10 be unde- banish and drive away all strange docniable, that there is a powersul conspi- trines from among ourselves. The neracy against the government of our coun- cessity of earnest and decided, yet peacetry. The principles and plans of the ful and prudent effort, to promote this

. philosophic Schlegel are in the full tide object, is becoming every hour more of successful operation in our land ; and deeply felt, by the ministers of every it scarce needs the prophetic warning of Protestant denomination ; and every one the philanthropic Lafayette, to assure us should resolve to contribute his mite to that they are likely to succeed, at least the great cause of Christian truth, and for a time. Some indeed still cry peace human happiness. and safety, but many that once felt se- If we have faith as a grain of mustard cure, are now filled with apprehension. seed, we shall look for the fulfilment of Liberal Christians begin to admit it; the word of God, and depend upon the calculating politicians do not deny it. power of his arm to bring it to pass. Apathy and timidity prevent those who Meanwhile to bear our witness to his profess to be the guardians of the coun- truth and power, is the humble but imiry's weal, from putting forth bold and portant duty he hath assigned us—and prompt endeavours, to stop the increase to bear it openly, solemnly, affectionate of those who are fast pre-occupying our ly, through evil report and good report, is national territory, and to counteract the the way both to secure his favour for influence of those principles, which are ourselves, and to hasten the manifestation necessarily inimical 10 our civil constitu- of his power upon the earth. Let us bear tion.

our pitchers and blow our trumpets at his Little, perhaps, can we hope to do for command, and the walls of Babylon will the enlightening and conversion of those be, in due time, laid low, and the mounwho are already the victims of these er- tains that support it be removed into the rors. There is a fatal conservativism in sea. Let us prophesy amid the dry the system that holds them in bondage. bones, and an exceeding great army shall They are generally shut out from all ac- be raised up for the battle of the Lord of cess to the only source of infallible testi- hosts. mony, the only standard of undefiled re- And finally, we shall be able to join in ligion. Their fundamental principle is the triumphal song Allaluiah, the king. not to doubt, much less to investigate its doms of this world are become the king. truth and authority. Rome cannot re- doms of our Lord, and he doth reign for form herself, without denying herself ever and ever. Amen.


Mede's Apostasie of the Latter Times. One vole only the richest promises of reward for London.

obedience, but the most awful threatenObservations on the Book of Daniel. One vol. By ings that heart could conceive, or tongue

Sir Isaac Newton. London.
Letter from Rome. By Conyers Middleton, D.D. express, in case of disobedience. One
One rol. London.

whole long chapter, the xxviiith of Deu

teronomy, is entirely occupied with deThat idolatry is the highest of all nunciations of the woes which should crimes, is sufficiently proved by the place come upon the children of Israel, (and it occupies in God's holy law. First of which did come upon them,) “if they all, as the most fundamental of all prin- should go aster other gods to serve them." ciples, it is commanded, “ Thou shalt And the rest of the books of the Old Teshave none other Gods before me.” And tament are filled with the histories and another and more specific mandate im- other proofs, which confirm both the esmediately follows, fencing round the first sential importance of this command, and with several distinct explanations, and so the necessity for its constant repetition. clearly leaving Rome without excuse, that But the more emphatically to represent she admits her own guilt by positively to us the intimate nature of the connecexcluding this second commandment tion which it pleased God thus to instifrom the table which she uses! “ 'Thou tute, between Himself and those whom shalt not make thee any graven image, He had “ espoused” and taken to be His or any likeness of any thing that is in own, He is pleased, in various passages heaven above, or that is in the earth be- of Scripture, to represent it to us in the neath, or that is in the waters beneath the light of a marriage-covenant, entered into earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself between his church upon earth and Himunto them, nor serve them: for 1, the self. “Thus saith ihe Lord God unto Lord thy God, am a jealous God." Jerusalem : Thy birth and thy nativity is

This prominence given to the prohibi- of the land of Canaan ; thy father was tion of idolatry, is doubly justified, by its an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite." essential necessity, and by man's con- -" And I spread my skirt over thee, and stant tendency to fall into that templation. covered thy nakedness; yea, I sware

Idolatry is the one grand offence, and unto thee, and entered into covenant with main rooi of evil, in the heathen world. thee, saith the Lord God; and thou beSt. Paul declares, that " they are without camest mine." “ But thou hast been as excuse; because that, when they knew a wise that committeth adultery, which God, they glorified him not as God, taketh strangers instead of her husband." but changed the glory of the incorrup- “Wherefore I will judge thee as women tible God into an image made like unto that break wedlock and shed blood are corruptible man, and to birds, and four- judged; and I will give thee blood in fury footed beasts, and creeping things :” and jealousy." (Ezek. xvi.) And again: wherefore, “as they did not like to retain “ Plead with your mother, plead, for she God in their knowledge, God gave them is not my wife, neither am I her husband: over to a reprobate mind :" And thus, let her therefore put away her whoredoms through idolaTRY, “ the whole world out of her sight, and her adulteries from lieth in wickedness."

between her breasts." “ She shall folGod then selected a single family; re- low after her lovers, but she shall not deemed them out of bondage “ with a overtake them; and she shall seek them, mighty hand, and an outstretched arm;" but shall not find them; then shall she . showed great signs and wonders ; and say, I will go and return to my first husthen gave them those plain and positive band, for then was it better with me than commands which we have just quoted. now.” (Hosea ii. 7.) And again :And to those commands he added, not “Surely as a wife treacherously depart


« ZurückWeiter »