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and kingdoms while they have no direct concern with the church. The reason is obvious. The scriptures were written for the use of those who receive them. Prophecies would be useless to those who have no connection with the church of Christ, and either reject or are ignorant of the Sacred Writings. Yet the prophecy of Noah, respecting his three sons, (Gen. ix. 25–27,) is an epitome of the history of all nations. The prophecies of Daniel too, contain an abridgment of the history of the four great empires that have prevailed in the earth.

These empires are foretold in the second chapter of Daniel, under the figure of a golden image, and in the seventh chapter under the figure of four wild beasts; representing the Babylonian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman empires.*

[139] In considering the fulfilment of prophecies respecting nations connected with the Jews, we have a most striking evidence of the inspiration of the holy scriptures; an evidence that is obvious to every sincere inquirer, and every candid mind.

For the full proof of this the reader is referred to the following works:-Bishop Newton's Dissertations, Davison on Prophecy, and Keith on the evidence of Prophecy.

The prophecies respecting BABYLON are recorded—Isa. xiii. xiv. xlv. xlvii. Jer. 1. li.: respecting NINEVEH, by Nahum, and Zephaniah ii. 13—15: respecting Tyre, Isaiah xxiii. Ezek. xxvi. xxvii. xxviii. EGYPT, in Ezek. xxix. xxx.—xxxii.* AMMON, Ezek. xxi. 28–32; xxv. 1–7. Jeremiah xlix. 1-6. Edom, in Isaiah xxxiv. 'Jer. xlix. Ezekiel xxxv. Obadiah. MOAB, in Jer. xlviii. Ezekiel xxv. 8. The PhiliSTIANS, Amos. i. 6-8. Zephaniah ii. 4—7. Jer. xlvii. And the ARABS in Gen. xvi. 10-12.

It is most strengthening to our faith to know, from the universal, though often unconscious, testimony of all historians and travellers, Christian or infidel, that these prophecies have been fulfilled, if not wholly, yet in a vast variety of particulars, in the sight of all men at the present hour.

* A clear and plain illustration of these prophecies will be found in Cuninghame's Political Destiny of the Earth.

+ The situation of Egypt, at the present moment, cannot but be one of much interest to the Christian; not only from its ruler having now possession of the Holy Land, but also from the peculiarly vigorous, active, and enterprising spirit of the pacha and his son, and the powerful army and navy that they have got together, connected as these are with the state of Turkey and Russia; and with the predictions in the latter days, respecting Israel, Assyria, and Egypt, (Isaiah xix. 18—25.) Bishop Lowth considers Isaiah xviii. as referring to Ègypt. Bishop Horsley and Faber refer it to a maritime country, meaning Great Britain. America may possibly be intended. A little time will more fully develope these remarkable prophecies.

[140] There is a further use and application of these prophecies made by our Lord (compare Isa. xiii. 10, and Matt. xxiv. 29, &c.) and his apostles, on which Dean Woodhouse makes the following remarks:

“Throughout the whole of the prophetical scripture a time of retribution and vengeance on God's enemies is announced. It is called the day of the Lord; (Mal. iv. 5, the day of wrath and slaughter: (Rom. ii. 5,) of the Lord's anger, (Zeph. ii. 3,) visitation, (Mic. vii. 4,) and judgment, (Matt. x. 15,) the great day, (Jude 6,) and the last day, (John vi. 44.) At the same time it is to be observed, that this kind of description, and the same expressions which are used to represent this great day, are also employed by the prophets to describe the fall and punishment of particular states and empires; of Babylon, by Isaiah (ch. xiii.) of Egypt, by Ezekiel (xxx. 2—4; xxxii. 7, 8,) of JERUSALEM, by Jeremiah, Joel, and by our Lord, (Matt. xxiv.); and in many of these prophecies the description of the calamity which is to fall on any particular state or nation is so blended and intermixed with that general destruction which in the final days of vengeance will invade all the inhabitants of the earth, that the industry and skill of our ablest interpreters have been scarcely equal to separate and assort them. Hence it has been concluded by judicious divines, that these partial prophecies and particular instances of the divine vengeance, whose accomplishment we know to have taken place, are presented to us as types, certain tokens, and forerunners of some greater events which are also disclosed in them. To the dreadful time of universal vengeance they all appear to look forward, beyond their first and more immediate object. [141] Little indeed can we doubt that such is to be considered one use and application of these prophecies, since we see them thus applied by our Lord and his Apostles.He then refers to Isa. xiii. 10, and xxxiv. 1-6, 8, and compares them with Rev. vi. 12-17, and states, that though Idumea is mentioned by the prophet as the particular object of vengeance, yet it has a more sublime and future prospect, and in this sense the whole world is its object. Such prophecies whave all of them been typically fulfilled in the fall of those nations whose after-ruin they prefigured; but a more perfect completion is reserved for them, with which their grandeur of design and sublimity of expression more exactly accord: for they seem to unite with the apocalyptic prophecy in pointing ultimately and emphatically to the great day of the Lord's wrath.

But even out of the great tribulation (the tribulation, even the great one, ons 6x04ews tus pezaans, Rev. vii. 14) a great mullilude which no man can number are to be saved (ver. 9). And when it is ended the Jews' are to be a blessing to all nations: Jer. xxxiii. 7-9. Ezek. xxxiv. 26. Zech. viii. 13. Rom. xi. 12– 15. It is this concluding of all (Gentiles as well as Jews) in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all, that made the apostle cry out-() the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

CHAPTER X.

THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.

[142] There are many PROPHECIES THAT HAVE BEEN FULFILLED in the state of the Christian church since the coming of Christ, and that are now manifestly fulfilling. We may refer to Bishop Newton on the Prophecies, in proof of this. A considerable part of the book of Revelation has, in this way, been made sufficiently clear by the event.

The statements given by St. Paul respecting a falling away of the Christian church, are very striking. He tells the Thessalonians, (second Epistle, chap. ii. verses 3, 4.) that the last day should not come, “except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” All history shews how exactly this, with the following part of the description (verse 6-12.) marks the Pope of Rome, arrogating the title of His Holiness, claiming infallibility, dispensing absolution, restraining the scriptures, exalting his own decrees above [143] them, usurping a right to depose kings, and the like. The same falling away is described again, (1 Tim. iv. 1.) “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron: forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.” The apostacy of the Roman Catholic church is here again distinctly marked—their multitude of mediators-worship of saints-legends, and pretended miracles-the celibacy of their clergy-and the numerous fastings from particular meats, are clearly foretold.*

* God having promised a blessing on the study of the prophetic word; and many of the most eminent and honoured of God's servants, after lengthened

CHURCH OF

Now these very predictions are in the keeping of the Roman Catholics. They, like the Jews, are unexceptionable librarians of the prophecy. And if it be asked, why they do not renounce popery, we have the very same reason to give as we had respecting the Jews; thousands and tens of thousands, and millions and tens of millions, when the holy scriptures were fully laid before men at the reformation, on this very ground forsook the Roman church; and the perseverance in corruption of the rest, till the entire destruction of this fallen church, [144] is foretold in the very same writings which predict its fall from primitive purity.

There are similar prophecies respecting the Mahomedans given in the books of Daniel, chap. viii. 9-25, and Revelations, chapter ix. which have also been remarkably fulfilled.

In considering THE FUTURE STATE OF THE Christ, let us first look at the peculiar design of God in directing the gospel to be preached to the Gentiles. The gospel was to be preached to every creature, and the promise was added, " he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;" and the threatening annexed, “he that believeth not shall be damned.Mark xvi. 15. Though « God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth," (1 Tim. ii. 4,) yet it does not appear by the scriptures or by facts, that he purposed by the present preaching of the gospel to save all men. Matt. xxiv. 14. The most extended preaching of the gospel is the hour of God's judgment. Rev. xiv. 6. St. Paul leads us to this idea, that through the fall of the Jews, salvation came to the Gentiles; that the Gentiles by unbelief, highmindedness, and not continuing in his goodness may be cut off ; and that the natural branches shall be grufted into their own olivetree. Rom. xi. 11,

20–24. St. James gives us the same view of the design of the gospel, (Acts xv. 14); God graciously visiting the Gentiles To TAKE OUT OF THEM A PEOPLE TO HIS NAME; and then building again the tabernacle of David, that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles. Our Lord says to his disciples; “ye are not of the world; but I have chosen you out of the world.” John xv. 19. There are, as we have seen, clear predictions of a [145] falling

study, having for centuries come to the conclusion, that the Man of Sin describes the Pope, and Babylon, Papal Rome, it is in the highest degree improbable that this interpretation should be erroneous. Whatever farther fulfilment may take place in the close of the mystery of iniquity, and in its final destruction, the past fulfilment has been such as to satisfy the general body of Protestants that this is a true interpretation: indeed Cressener, in his "Demonstration of the Apocalypse,' has shown that Roman Catholic writers themselves furnish many testimonies that help this Protestant application of the prophecy. See farther remarks on this subject in following chapters.

away in the Christian church, (1 Tim. iv. 1-3; Dan. vii. 25.) and this falling away, in the sight of all men, has largely taken place. JUDGMENTS also on the professing church of Christ are clearly foretold. The falling away is connected with awful consequent judgments (Dan. ii. 44; vii. 9-11, 26; 2 Thess. ii. 8-12.) which we dare not overlook in considering the future state of the Christian church.

From all these things we may gather, that the present dispensation of the gospel, till the Jews are restored, was not designed for the universal conversion of the whole Gentile world; but to gather a church out of the Gentiles.* It is after the punishment of God's enemies, that his glorious kingdom is to be fully established; though there be indeed a full harvest yet to be gathered in the previous day of tribulation, as shewn in a subsequent chapter.

In considering the punishment of those enemies, we may first notice that the destruction of Popery is an event clearly predicted. “ The mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (or hinders) will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming." 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8. The voice shall yet be heard, “ Babylon the great is fallen.” Rev. xviii. 2. The pouring out of the vials, (Rev. xvi.) is probably already in progress, and the fall of the mystical Babylon must follow. May God's people everywhere obey their Saviour's direction, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not [146] partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. xviii. 4. The destruction of the imposture of Mahomet is equally clear; “he shall be broken without hand,” Daniel viii. 25. 66 The sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up," Rev. xvi. 12. The prediction is plain, “ And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” Rev. xix. 20.*

A continuance of the servants of Christ intermingled with the ungodly till the end, and then a separation, and the punishment of the ungodly, is also clearly foretold. Well

* The author refers with satisfaction to Mr. M'Neile's Sermon on the times of the Gentiles, as conclusive to his own mind.

+ The application of the prophecies to Popery is noticed in a subsequent chapter.

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