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es, designed to be excited by public or private suggestions.
Here is probably the strongest hold of the agents of Infidelity, the minions of Antichrist. “Armies of principle, (say they) can prevail, where armies of soldiers cannot be introduced.” Their highest expectations have rested on what they have hoped, to be able to effect among the mass of mankind, by a secret, disguised dissemination of their principles; and by suggestions, accusations, and innuendos, against characters and systems marked out for ruin. It is a known art of mod. ern innovators, to hint, or assert things, however un. true, which make for their cause; and to persevere in the assertions till they come to be believed. Read the letters and maxims of Voltaire, and of his associates, and you will find this principle a prominent feature of their scheme. This leads us to recollect some of the characteristics of the agents of Antichrist, given in sacred Writ; “False accusers, fierce, despisers of them that “are good; murmurers, complainers; speaking evil of "dignities, and of things which they understand not; "haters of them that are good; followers of Cain, of Balaam, and of Korah.” With such conduct as is here predicted, what evils have been done! Every republic in Europe has been subverted and destroyed. Our own republic is in this way violently attacked; though the assailants are in disguise. Neighbors and bre:hren, equally attached to the good of their country, have been divided, and even inflamed against each other. This evil has been long and systematically practised in these States. And the consequences have become alarming! The best characters, civil and religious, have been vilified. The most inflammatory things have been circulated, tending to fill the mind with disgust, if not with rage, against the best of characters, by no means excepting the ministers of Christ; and calculated to subvert all order, sacred and civil. Has this been with. out design? Charity cannot believe that it has Have we not need then to watch, and guard our hearts against the evil? How many have imbibed it, to their great detriment, and that of the community? Whence orig
inated the modern practice of traducing the best chatacters? Whom did we hear first publicly vilified? and by whom? Washington groaned under this abuse!
A vigilant eye upon rulers, is not inconsistent with duty to God, and the community. And the detection of corrupt principles, in leading men, and leading measures, is essential to the security of the civil rights of a nation. But these things are different from a torrent of groundless clamor and abuse poured forth against men of the most established characters: Which conduct began the torrent of mischief in our nation. Such were the men marked out for ruin, by the leaders of Illuminism. Surely if it is a duty to reverence civil authority, and to be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake; it must be provoking to God, and ruinous to a community to clamor against
, and weaken the bands of good civil rulers. This is repeatcdly noted in prophecy, as among the fatal evils of the last days: Despising government--speaking evil of dig. nities. A deep and dark system of this evil has been framed, and set in motion; and has hurled the best of men from office. Shall we be caught by it? Shall we imbibe the poison, which has been, with so much art and base design, prepared? Shall we accede with enthusiasm to grievances sketched out for us? Shall we not rather discover the mischief, and escape the snare? Let our hearts be guarded against those prejudices, on the exciting of which our enemies have made their highest calculations. Shall we permit ourselves to be bound and immolated by “invisible hands? Shall strangers devour us and we know it not, till it is too late? Shall old neighbors and friends, who went hand in hand through our revolutionary struggles, and who never have felt or had but one interest, be alienated from, and inflamed against each other, by foreign intrigue? This hateful game has been played upon us, till we have appeared approaching the brink of ruin. May the God of our fathers kindly interpose, and save us from every species of delusion and imposition! Let us pause, and consider. Let us awake to our dangers; and with wisdom and calmness use the best
methods of evading them. Let us distinguish between flattering professions, and real character; between our friends, and our enemies. Let us disdain, and repel every insinuation which is calculated to alienate us from our Christian teachers; or to excite our disgust against men and measures, the best adapted to our prosperity. That we inay escape the snares deeply planted for our ruin, the heart must be kept with all diligence against every malignant passion. The angry spirit of the times must not be imbibed. We behold national, and even domestic bliss exposed to destruction. We read of the nations drinking of Babylon's cup, and of their being mad!* There shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. Parents and children are to be divided by the fatal arts of Antichristian imposition. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come. How weighty is the Divine admonition, which relates to tie same period: "Seek ye "the Lord, all ye meek of the earth; seek righteousness; "seek meekness; it may be ye may be hid in the day of "the Lord's anger." This leads to the other particular under this head; which is,
Special Prayer. Never perhaps was special prayer more needful, than at the present day. The directions of our Savior are now emphatically applicable; “Watch “and pray, that ye enter not into temptation. Watch “ye, and pray always; that ye may be accounted wor"thy to escape all those things which shall come to pass, "and to stand before the Son of man. Special dangers demand special prayers. Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee; and thou shalt glorify me. Prayer is the girding on of the Christian armor. Praying always, with all prayer and supplication. This is a potent mean, which reaches the enemy, in a defence. less point. It disarms them, before they perceive that they are attacked; and defeats them in ways against which they have made no calculations.
God taketh the wise in their own craftiness. He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprises. This the Most High performs for his people, in answer to prayer. With prayer Jacub disarmed Esau; so that although Esa u set out to meet Jacob with four hundred men, probably intent on revenge, he met him in peace, and did him no injury. Jacob as a prince wrestled with God, and prevailed. Prayer dispersed vast armies of old, combined against the people of God; that in the days of Gideon; that in the reign of Jehosaphat, and others. Prayer enabled men, who were marked out for ruin, to "quench the violence of fire; to escape the edge of the "sword; out of weakness to be made strong; to wax “valiant in fight; and to turn to flight THE ARMIES OF "THE ALIENS."
* Jer. li, 7.
Prayer, no doubt, is an essential part of the means, by which the witnesses, in Rev. xi, 5,– are said to "devour “their enemies; and to smite the earth with all the plagues (as oft as they will. With this weapon the Church has always defeated lier cnemies. It is through the effica. cy of prayer, that the burning bush has never been consumed; and the sheep among wolves never finally devoured. Prayer rescued Daniel from his intriguing accusers; and shut the mouths of the lions. It protected the three children of God under the violent rage of the king of Babylon; yea, in the burning fiery furnace. It delivered the Jews in Persia from the bloody decree of Haman; and hung that haughty courtier upon his own gallows.' Prayer cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon. It parted the waters of the Red Sea for the rescue of God's oppressed people. Armed with this weapon, the Church will answer to the prophetic description; “Let the high praises of God be in their “mouths, and a two edged sword in their hands, 10 "execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishment "upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and "their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them “the judgment written; this honor have all the saints."*
Prayer is the essential mean by which the Church will escape the ruin planned for her by her most poten:
* Psalm cxliv, 6-9.
enemies of the last days. With this weapon, she will thresh the nations of her enemies to powder. “Behold "I will make thee a new threshing instrument having "teeth; thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them "small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt “fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and wthe whirlwind shall scatter them; and thou shalt re. "joice in the Lord, and shalt glory in the Holy One “of Israel. * This prediction, no doubt, relates to the same event with that in Dan. ii, 34, 35, where the stone cut out without hands, smites the feet of the image, and grinds them, and the remaining materials of the whole image, to powder, which like chaff is blown away. This is the dashing of the nations to pieces, as a potter's vessel. But the Church is represented as gaining this very victory over her enemies. Rev. ii, 26, 27. The truth is, Christ performs this work of signal judgment, to the glory of God, and the salvation of Zion, in answer to her prayers for the security and advancement of his
Thus we read, “And shall not God avenge “his own elect, who cry unto him day and night, “though he bear long with them? I tell you he will "'avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son “of man cometh, shall he sind faith on the earth?” Here the coming of Christ, in those decisive scenes of judgment, is to avenge his elect; and is in answer to their long and persevering cries."
Here then is the powerful weapon, which shall secure to Christians the victory. If the effectual, servent prayer of a righteous man availeth much; surely the effectual, fervent, and special prayers of all the righieous, under the oppressions of the last days, will avail more. “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the "needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him “in safety.”
The following Divine directions and proroises are accordingly given; “Ye, that make inention of the “Lord, keep not silence; and give him no rest, till he “establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the
Isa. xli, 15, 16.