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general systematic corruption, which will never be purged, but with the exterminating fire of the great and notable day of the Lord; which is subsequent to the restoration of the Jews.
Most joyfully would I participate in the sond hopes of those, who with some confidence expect, that the arm of the oppressor is either already finally broken, or will vary soon be no more; that the horrors of Atheism are nearly expired; that the modern system of licentiousness will now immediately be banished from the world;--and that the Church of the Redeemed will speedily and joyfully rise, with but little more depression or interruption, into her millennial Glory. God in mercy grant, that this may be the case! Gladly would I resume this my former fond sentiment upon the subject, and acknowledge that my subsequent fearful apprehensions have risen too high, relative to the prophetic warnings of this period.
I have no doubt but God's people have every thing to excite their hopes, and their exertions. Their expectations cannot be too sanguine, relative to the final termination of their struggles. But I still apprehend that the rising sun of the Millen. nium is at some distance; and that the inspired warnings to the people of God, relative to the events between the present time, and that day, are solemn and interesting. Hopes, that are too much elated, may be of real disservice to the people of God, by leading them to imagine the work is done; and their warfare is accomplished; and by throwing them off their guard against the enemy. And such hopes may be of service to the enemy, by enabling them the more fatally to plan and prosecute their deeds of intrigue and inischief. It is while men sleep, that the enemy sows tares. The deep system of iniquity, (copied from the code of the Jesuits, with vast improvements,) which has produced the unprecedented scenes of modern date, and has brought the civilized world within a hair's breadth of ruin, will not be annihilated, on receiving the first, or second check. Men may fondly hope for the affirmative, and lay their fears to sleep. But they will find new attacks. That diabolical system, after some of its "floods are swallowed up,” its “kingdom partly broken,” and its "wrath restrained,” will rally and form again in deep recesses. Its masks and disguises may be shifted. But probably the nations have more yet to hear from it. The three unclean spirits like frogs are, after the sixth vial, to terrify the world; and are to gather the antichristian nations to the valley of slaughter; where, in the most hostile array against Christ, they will be utterly destroyed. Then “the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of God's jealousy;" and "he will sweep the sinners thereof out of it.” This burning up of all the wicked and the proud, and leaving them neither root nor branch, is an event still future. Between the present time, and its fulfilment, possibly as great intervals of light may be experienced, as might be expected to form a transition from the eyents of one great vial of wrath, to another. But whatever joyful hopes and
anticipations may, in such intervals be excited;-it will appear, that the summer itself is future of the unerring tokens of its approach. April days may be dark and lowery. And even the bloom of May may for once be overcast witlia storm of hail.
It has usually been the case, relative to the trials of the Church, that nothing is more illusory, than present appearances, in relation to the final termination of an impending calamity. As “he kingdom of heaven comcth not with observation;" — but the coming of Christ is like the coming of a thief;-50 when light has seemed to be dawning, it has often proved, in event, that scenes of great darkness were still in reserve. On the other hand, when all things have seemed full of despair;-light has suddenly broken upon the astonished sight of the sufferers. Human wisdom must be baflled. "Salvation is of the Lord.” The knife must be at the throat of the Church, in Isaac, before the angelic voice stays the slaying hand, and proclaims relief. After the bitterness of death is thus in a sense past, in the critical moment relief comes. The proverb is heuce annexed, “In the mount (of distress) God will appear.”
Let ancient mirror reflect light upon the present state of things. Alter darkness, which might be felt, had filled and astonished the kingdom of Egypt, while light rested upon all the dwelling of Jacob, and Pharaoh in consternation coinmanded Israel to go, with their little ones, and serve the Lord; it seemed as though relief was at the door. But after this, the tyrant's heart was hardened; and he would not let Israel go. Another tremendous portion of wrath was to be discharged on the enemies of the Church, in the death of their firstborn. After this, salvation seemed to be complete. Laden with the riches of the Egyptians, they were thrust out at once from the house of bondage, and under the immediate leadings and smiles of the Almighty, they commenced their march 10ward Canaan. Certainly now (would Israel naturally say) “The darkness is past, and the light shineth.” Farewell, thou van. quished tyrant; and all the slavery of Egypt, farewell! We are upon the wing for our long promised land of rest! Your chains and your menaces we now defy! God has broken your power, and taken up out of your hands.
Divine promises, and circumstances seemed to warrant such triumphant language. But what was the result? Israel's slave. ry in Egypt was indeed at an end. But events the most terrifying of all, were still before them. The tribes of the Lord were after this, and before their final release from the land of Egypt, to be driven to their wits end; and to give up all for Lost! The sea in front; an enraged enemy in arms pressing upon their rere; and unpassable ways in each hand, united to threaten their inevitable destruction. All, within human sight, was desperation!
The call of heaven by Moses was;—"Fear not; stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord!" Nor was the call in vain! De. liverance came from the Almighty arm. The sea was divided. The cloud of God removed, and came between Israel, and the persecuting foe. To the former it was a protecting light; to The latter, darkness and terror. The Egyptians were plunged in the deep. The Church was safe. And she sang the song of Moses.
And is not the song of Moses and of the Lamb lo he sung at a period still future? The destruction of the persecuting enemies of the Church, and her deliverance which will occasion the song of Moses and of the Lamb, at the close of the vials, must surely be future events. The deliverance of Israel at the Red Sea was among the shadows of good things to come." It was a type of events just at the dawn of the Millennium. Some of the preparatory lucid intervals have indeed already dawned upon the people of God, The Most High has undertaken their deliverance and enlargement. His holy arm is made bare in the sight of all nations. But in the joys on the belief of an approaching Millennium, it does not behoove the tribes of the Lord to lose sight of their danger; nor to overlook the Antitype of the sce; eat the Red Sea. Though “God will finish the work of judgment, and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make in the earth;" yet he will take time enough to accomplish this work in the best manner;—and to have some of the most signal displays made of human depravity; of divine justice; and of the grace and faith-fulness of God,
Under the fifth vial, in this edition, it is ascertained,, that a new and signal period of judgments, in the last days, was clearly to precede, and to be distinct from the battle of that great day of God Almighty, the seventh vial: And that we are notified, that men would naturally mistake the former for the latter; But that the latter, when the former becomes tremendous, "is not yet," but is future. This thing appears in most of the prophecies, which most clearly describe the events of the last days. The “sun is to be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord shail come:" Joel ii, 31. An unprecedented cutting off of the nations, desolating their towers, making their streets Waste, destroying their cities, and greatly sweeping off their inhabitants, must precede, and be distir.ct from God's rising up to the prey, gathering the nations, assembling the kingcloms, and pouring upon them his indignation, even all his fierce anger, when the whole earth shall be devoured with the fire of God's jealousy;—that he may turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, and serve biin with one consent. Zeph. iii, 6–9. Unusual divine "judgments are to be abroad in the earth; and God's hand is to be lifted high," -before he gives the warning, “Come, my people, enter into thy chambers, shut thy doors about thee, hide thyself for a little moment until the indignation be overpast. For behold the
Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain:" Isa. xxvi, 9, 11,
At a new and amazing period of judgments, in the last days, between the second and third woes, seven thunders of unprecedented wars utter their voices. These are mistaken for the finishing scenes of judgments. But the angel decides that the finishing scene “is not yet;--but in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God shall be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets;"? Rev. x, 3–8. The hour of God's judgment was to be announced to the world, as come, (at the same time with the flight of the missionary Angel through the midst of heaven,) as an event clearly preceding, and distinct from the appearing of the destroying Angel upon the white cloud, to reap the harvest and to gather the vintage of the earth, then ripe; Rev. xiv, 7, 14-20. Wars and rumors of wars new and terrrifying to the worldwere to prove but the beginning of the sorrows of the last days. But it is at the saine time expressly ascertained, that "the end is not yur" Many interesting things are yet to be accomplished, before the sign of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, shall be presented; Matt. xxiv, 6, 8, 29, 30. The pushing of the king of the south, and the coming of the king of the north like a whirlwind against the infidel Power, clearly precede, and are distinct from the event of this Power's coming to his end between the two seas in Palestine; Dan. xi, 40, 44, 45. A temporary prostration by such a military whirlwind-for twenty four hundred years predicted-precedes, and does not prevent the going forth of the same Power, with great fury, utterly to make away many after the restoration of the Jews to the Holy land. Here is the expedition of Gog and his bands in Ezek. xxxviii. These synchronical prophecies all unite in the sentiment, that the seventh vial, (the battle of the great day) is after and distinct frorn a new scene of terrors, which were to indicate its approach. The fifth vial fills the kingdom of the Papal Beast with gross darkness. But terrible as the events of this vial are, they are by no means to be confounded with the events of the seventh vial. The sixth and seventh vials are future and distinct from it. The Turkish gove ernment must be destroyed, and the Jews restored, and the great subsequent coalition formed against them, of what is called, “the kings of the earth and of the whole world,” to prepare the way for the seventh vial. What intervals 'of light, or of respite to a sinking world, may take place between some of the last vials;—what short intervals of general peace may induce mankind to hope that the most fatal scenes of judgment are past, God only knows. But it is believed that a new.era of judge ments has commenced, which will terminate only with the des.
(ruction of all that is Antichristian; and with the full preparing of the way for the millennial glory of the Church.
In one of the prophets we learn that three signal overturnings, were to precede and introduce the Kingdom of Christ. Ezekiel (chapter xxi) predicts a sharp sword, sharpened for a sore slaughter, and furbished that it may glitter;—given into the hands of the slayer;-a sword of the great men to te slain. The prophet is directed to cry, and exhibit tokens of distress. “Smite thine hands together, and let the sword be doubled the, third time; the sword of the slain. Ah, it is made bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter:"_"Thus saith the Lord God, Re. move the diadem, and take off the crown! this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it; (the crown; or will show myself terrible to the wicked kings of the earth) and it shall be no more, until he come, whose right it is; and I will give it him.” The ultimate accomplishment of this is clearly the introduction of the Millennium. One great overturning we have seen; that of the Papal Beast. Two overturnings are still future;that of the Turks; and of a subsequent coalition against the Jews. Christ will then come, and take the Kingdom; and fill the earth with his salvation.
That the friends of Zion may devoutly search the scriptures, and learn their true sentiment, and their warnings relative to these last days, is the desire of
THE AUTHOR. Hopkinton, N. H. Sept. 1, 1813.