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Signs of the times : being the substance of a discourse delivered in Chillicothe, Ohio ... / by John M'Farland. M'Farland, John. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-88-27380504 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Signs of the times : being the substance of a discourse delivered in Chillicothe, Ohio ... / by John M'Farland. M'Farland, John. Joel R. Lyle, Paris, Ky. : 1821. 39 p. ; 22 cm. Coleman Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1993. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN02922.05 KUK) Printing Master B92-88. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Sermons, American. fvyl BEING THE SUBSTANCE OF A DISCOUR'E DELIVERED IN CHILLICOrTHE OHIO, IN MAT ToASTS AND ALS) IN PARIS, KY. ON THE LAST THURSDAY OF AUQUST 1820. BY JOHN M'FARLAND, MI VISTER OF THE GOSPEL LV TM- PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, PARIS, KY. PUBLISHED BY PARTICULAR REQUESV- sCa you not discern the signs of the times ' Mat. XVI: PARIS, Kr. Munted by JOEL R. LYLE, 1821. To the Assoicate Reformed Co0ngregation in Chillicotle; and to the Presbyterian Congregation in Paris, who heard the discourse, the sub- stance of which is now given to the public, the following pages are with much affection inscribed. ts miny of yol solicited its publication, some explanation for the farm in which my views now appear is necessary. I bave merely to state, that what is now given to the public, was nearly all written out last winter in its present form. My object then was merely co furnish a few numters for the WEEK(LY RECORI)ER, on "The Signs of the Times." As I proceeded I found they would be too lengthy for insertion in that paper. Anid as both means disposition were wanting to influence me to intrude my views upon the public, in a pria- ted pamphlet, I threw them, with other matter into that form in which vou heard them. Sio that neither the form, nor all the matter, which you had from the pulpit, will he found in the following sheets. 'l'hc views and sentiments are the same on the main subject, and some small ,A.ditions have been made which were omitted for want of time in tlhe delivery. Hoping that they may promote God's glory, and influence ou and all who lnuty give them a reading, to pursue the course which s;cly leads to worlds on high. I suoscribe myself Yours affctionatelv, JOHN M'FARL kND. P.ARIs, Sept. 1820, As man is a creature of hope and fear; and as t'6e prin. ciple of i.imortality is interwoven with his nature, he in. voluntarilv feels a deep interest i; fulturity. Hence many are easily duped by fortune-tellers, by pretended prophe s, and often by their own fond hopes, and calculations. The wise and better informed know that the particulars, whith enter into the chequiered life of manl, and the great book of futurity lie open only toithe omniscient God; and that it is his prerogative to "tell thc end from the beginning." Such however, are habitually forming their calculations, and in a certain sense propheysing. rhe philosopher, acquainted with the laws of nature, and of the revolutions of the he ,v- enly bodies; and knowing from frequent observation that certain effects are produced by certain phtnomina, may, and does foretell many ev'ents in the natural world, which excite the astonishment of the unlearned. Such, also, as are acquainted with the prink iples oi human nature; the history of God's providence and government. may foretell, with astonishing precision, th8'greac events which are ab-But to happen in the nations, and kingdoms whose character circumstances are known. WVhen to these data, the be- liever in divine revelation adds the Knowledge of things there foretold, he maix and ought to know the great events which are shortly to come to pass. God has been pleased to give to his church such a disclosure of futurity, as may enable her friends, if they be wise attentive, to foresee the days of evil and provide tor them. They are also thus. prepareCl to meet God in the marches of his providence, and to perform their duty to him, and for his kingdom with propriety. This principle of our nature, then, which is so prevalent, and influences all to look as f.r into futurity as possible, is implanted for wise and salut. ry purposes, and ought to bl) particularly improved. Considering its import- ance, and the means which God has afforded for obtaining the necessary knowledge of his providence, the times, in Ai -0 4 which our lot is cast, it is criminal to be ignorant inattru. tive. Our Saviour severely rebuked the Jews, who could, from the signs of the sky, foretell what was about to hap- pen in the natural world, but could not discern those signs, which clearly indicated, under the light of their prophets, the nature ofthe times, and the great events about to trans- pire in the moral and religious world. The attempt there- fore in the following pages is not only the dictate of nature, but also of duty, and when such attempts are judiciously conducted, thev are at once highly interesting and useful. The object is not to give any thing like an exposition of prophecy, or to amuse the reader with a novel, or romantic theory, but to throw tight upon the manner and means, used by the Governor among the nations, for putting an end to the reign of iniquity and oppression; and for introducing the long expected Jubilee of the world, the millennium. The object is of practical influence; for if i acorrect views of the manner and means, hich God is using for this great and desirable purpose, be entertained by those who are wvishing to be feMllo workers wnthi him, it must have a serious effect upon their measures and efforts. It appears, at present to be a prevalent opinion, both in the religious, and political world, that there will be a peace- ful close of the reign of ignorance, iniquity and oppres- sion, and that the reign of light, lib rtv and happiness will be introduced gradually, by the dissemination of knowl- edge, and a pacific spirit, without any of those convulsions and effusions of blood, which have mar! ed all the great revolutions recorded in history. Notwithstanding there be many things which are calculated to eherish such an opin- ion, I am constrained to consider it incorrect. In the fol. lowing pages my views are first brieflv expressed, and then the reasons are given, in detail, which support them. They are collected from the Scriptures, from history, the actual state of things, at the present time. I have aimed at per- spicuity and brevity, and therefore have omitted references to those writers, to whom I am indebted for mv historical information. The facts of which I have made use, are so well knowh, that references could answer no purpose, uN- Iess to crowd the margin, and make a show of learning. CHA-PTrER 1. CHRtST'S KINGDOM AND REIGN-WHAT OPPOSES IT- AND l HOW THE OBSTACLES WILL BE REMOVED- AND THE MILLENNIUM INTRODUCED. The great question wv ich has been at issue, since the day that AXlam rebelled, is. whether the creature, or God and his _I. ssiah shall reign. There can be no dispute who ought, and Nvill reign. God says, "I have set my king ul)on my holy hill of Zion-I w ill give him the heathen for his irtheritaice and the uttermost parts of the earth for hit possession-His kingdom shall extend from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth-all the kings of the earth shall bow before, and all nations shall serve him." And accordinglv we hear the Son, this universal King, saying, "the Father judgeth no man but bath corn- mitted all judgemernt unto the Son, that all men should honour the Son even as they hoaiour the Father-all power in Heaven and in earth is givea unto me, go ye therefore into all tbe world and preach the gospel to every creature." From these, and similar declarations in the Scriptures, we learn that God tile Father, whtlose are all things, has de- termined to honor, or glorifv the divine perfeztions, ill and through his Son, whom he has appointed Saviour of the world: and that as such, le has given him universal do- minionW and made him heir of all things. The Heathen howvever, and the ends of the earth, given to him for his inheritance, were under the dominion of sin and Satan, consequently under the curse of God's law. Hence before the Son can become actual possessor of his inheritance, he must redeem it by price and powcr. On this great errand he comes into the world-gives his own life as the ran- som-makes an end of sin-bruises the head of the Ser- pent-destroys death and the grave; rises triumphantly to hleaven, and thence, according to his infinite wisdom, car- ries on a process, which shall terminate in the expulsion of sin, Satan find the curse from the earth. To effect this he a instituted a kingdom called his Church, which is a pro gressive. and renovating svstem. As he extends the vic- tories of his grace, this kingdom increases, ant it is through the officers, the laws and ordinances, given by him, to the kingdom, that he extends his victories. And when all nations shall be subdued unto the obedience offaith in the Lord Jesus as A7ng, his Church shall be as extensive as the earth, and he shall actually possess his inheritance. The language here used implies hostility to him, and his king. dom. He mustsuzbdue all nations. That the world has ever been hostile to the reign of God's Messiah needs no proof -and Itt it be recollected that the great question is respecting Rlule. If opposition to Christ, as King, were removed, there would be no difficulty with respect to his prophetical and priestly offices. This is the fact with eve. ry renewed sinner When he ceases to rebel, and submits to Christ's authority, all that Christ is and has is cordially received. And every believer is sanctified just so far as he conforms to the laws ot Christ; and so far as he does not, he remains unholy. Now, as it has been with individual members of the Church, so has it been with the Church. They cordially submit to Christ as Priest, and as prophet, so far as his authority is not brought to bear in precept; but to submit and obey hii as legislator, and Lord, has been nominally, or in profession, rather than in reality. This remark should be impressed upon the mind, ;s it ap- pears to be the prevailing opinion among professing chris. tians that the heathen and unbelieving world only are op- posed to that, reign of the Messiah, which is to take place in the latter days. Christ indeed has long since instituted his Church, and entered upon his reign, but the degree of submission to his legislative authority has been as linited, even in his Church, as the extent of it has been circ um- scribed in the world. And when he subdues the heathen, and makes his Church embrace all nations, it may be said, that he will then begin his reign. Never, until that period will the Church manifest any thing like becoming subor. dination to her lawgiver and King. These remarks are tsupported both by scripture matters of fact. The names and metaphors, by which the Church of Christ is exhibi. ted in the scriptures, teach us, that she is a completely ore ganized society, and that she has a form and governmvientt, as wtvlI defined, as an) society on earth. She is calkd a kingdom; a city ; an house; the body and the spouse of Christ. She has laws and ordinances, which can neither be changed, incr ased, nor diminished. She has officers, with the nature oftheir duties and the extent of their auk thority, ckarly delineated. Sheis represented as one; con. sistent and harmonious in all her parts.-And this we are taught she actually shall be, when she arises from the dust, puts on her beautiful garments, and becomes the glory of al the earth. Then she shall be conformed to the will of her Lord, as declared in the Scriptures. Now what is the actual state of things So far are mar iwv sections of the Church from acknowledging the laws, order government of Christ's house, that they deny that he has legislated at all, with respect to the organization and fbrm of government, which he would have observed by his people. Others, who are very strenuous en the opposite side, are so fir from being satisfied with the legislation of Christ, that they supply what would appear to be his defi- citncies, and imake laws for admission into his house, and terms of admission to his table which suit their party views and prejudices. In both these cases Christ's authority is virtually rejected. In the first, he has a Kingdom without order and jorm, which is an absurdity-an impossibility and the consequence is, that the Church, instead of appear- ing ONE;, is fifty, an hundred-just as many as thereare congregations; and the authority brought to bear in cases of disc ipliiie is no other than human. In the other case, Chnist's authority, as legislator, is usurped and prostituted to seal and sanction views and acts contrary to his word. Thus it is, thjt Christ is little known and recognized as King; and his church is carricatured, and cut up into jar- ring and discordant parties. Each of these sets up for per- fection, and is to flourish as the model, to which all will contformn in the dlays of the millennium. Tbis is openly declared by some, and practically declared by all denomi- Mtuons. 8 Wherever Christs authority is thus rejected, usurped, ox prostituted, thle hearts and lives of professing people cannot be brought into conformity, generally, with the word of God. Mhere his authority is not realized, or where it is prostituted, there will be a correspondent looseness in reli- gion and mordls.' And hence the little personal and famiiy religion, among those, who have by an open protession, taken Christ for their King. And hence, the worldly spec. ulating spirit, and the gross immoralities, which disfigure and slander the Church, and dishonour her head, Can any one suppose that this state of things shali continue in that day, when the Church, as one harmonious kingdom, shall be exalted above all other kingdoms, and shall be the praise of all the earth Or can any think. that, if all the human family were formed into such churches, and chris. tians as we now see, that the millennium described in the Scriptures would be realized Nay verily; we are taught to look for another state of things. And it must atepear evident to all, upon the least reflection, that both the chris. tian and heathen world must be revolutionized, and sub- dued to obedience to the Ki ig of kings, and Lord of Jords. Rebellion against his authority, or the want of re- coglnziiCg it, in the kingdom!s, governments, denominations and parties, which exist, is the sum of all the opposition against his kindom and universal reign. The 'mountains' which those kingdoms and governments in their present state and form, constitute; and the "crooked things," of sects and denominations, which embarrass and disgrace the church, are the great obstacles to the coming of the Mes- siah in his millennial kingdom. How are these obstacles to be remomed; and how will the millennium be introduc- cd 'Tlhis brings us to the main subject, which was to be illucidated. God's manner of working, and the means which he uses iil bringing about his great purposes, are not such as human wisdom would devise. Hence, when he comes in aiiv remarkable providences, he always comes on his people, and on the world, unexpectedly. He takes the wxse in their own craftiness and the counsel of the froward he carries headlowg; and tbat before thy are aware of it. One remarkable trait in all the great revolutions, which lhe has effected, in his church, and in the world, so far as con- nected with it, is a twofold process; one by which he grad. nally introduces the new order of things, and another by which the old order is brought to ruin. In this manner, it appears the millennium will be introduced. Thlirough the increase of light, or knowledge, the injustice, unreasona- blenessand oppression of systems, and governments are exposed, and the people taught insubordination to the pow- ers that be. They are also taught their own strength, and their rights, which, under the general influence of humanr depravity, eventually leads to rebellion, and civil wars. Unprincipled, aspiring adventurers at such times, become the instigators, and leaders of the people; and in rushing to eminence, or empire, turn their country into a Golgotha, would inevitably leave it in anarchy, or despotism, were there not a counteracting process. Where increase of light is accompanied with grace, and a sufficiency of moral prin. ciple, the result is a happy revolution, although marked with all the horrors, and miseries of war. The kingdom or government appears in a new form, put under new laws and rulers. Thus all the kingdoms of the earth are to be overturned, convulsed, shaken to pieces, and reor- ganized. A similar process, under the increase of light, and the influence of depravity, in various forms will bring all the sects and denominations of Christians into a state of evo- lution and anarchy, in which my church and your church, and our church will be swallowed up; in which all the crooked things. all the errors, and peculiarities of sects, shall be lost ; and from which, as the world at first out of old chaos, the church shall rise, and "s put on her beautiful garmeiuts." This process may not indeed be marked with bload, but it will be at least with ink and gall; with dis- sentions and schisms; with the prostitution of authority by some, and the entire neglect of it, and discipline, by oth- ers. The wars and collisions will not be so much between different denominations, as between the members of each and everv deno.mnination. They shall be their Ow!1 e-cell- B 10 tioners. This prncess, in the political and religious world, would, without a counteracting procss, introducca state of things more hopeless, and distressing, than ever was experi- enced since the entrance of sin. And notwithstanding the counteracting process, it may be to the whole Church, and tq the world, what the state of things, in the siege, and de- struction of Jerusalem, was to the nation of the Jews. By the counteracting process I mean that process of grace which God is carrying on by various means, and agencies, and by which he is spwing the seed of his word throughout the earth, and preparing the whole world for the reception and right use of it, "without note or comment." This is where the Church was left when her Legislator completed his code of laws, and closed the cannon of divine revelatio,,.- Such are mv views; the principal reasons iu support of them will be found in the subsequent pages. CHAPTE' R II. REASONS IN SUPPORT OF THE FOREGOING VIEX S- PROPRECY-TIHE ANALOGY OF PRECEDING REV- OLUTIONS. It will be seen from the preceding pages, that if I differ from the most common views of christians Ik divines, it is with respect to the process which is to revolutionize all the kingdons, governments, sects dentominations u hich exist; k io introduce in them, previous to the millennium convu I- sions of the most serious and desolating kind. In other words the dales, a short time previous to the end of Satdn's reign. t ill be tile most distressvinrg and perplexing, wvhich the Church has experienced. In favour of this opinion I might quott some few authoritie.4, fromn tihe writers ou prophecv. I however sh-all begin first wvith the Scriptures3 11 ,ot confining nWtv reasons, or proof to this single point, but to mv views in general. In the prophecy of Ezekiel XXXVIII and XXXIX we have an account of the enemies of God's people ill the last days, under the names of GOG and MAGjOG. It is evi- dent fro;n the connection, and the parallel passage in the revelation of fohn, that they will appear in dreadful array, and be destroved just before the millennium. God speak- ing to Ezekiel says, "and thou son of marl, thus Faith the Lord God; speak unto everv feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field; assemble yourselves and comne; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh atnd dring blood-ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rains, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks all of them fatlinus ofifashan-and ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sactifice which I have sacrificed for voti. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of ovar, saith the Lurd God. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judg- ment that I have executed, and my hand that I have lall upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that dav and forward." John says, Rev. XIX. "and I saw an angel standing ill the Suii, and he cried with a loud voice, saving to all the fowls that flv in the midst of Heaven, come,and gather yourselves to- gether unto the supper of the great God; that ye mav eat the flesh of Kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty mel, and the flesh (f horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men both free and bond, both small and great." c. Again God says, by Joel, Chapter III. "Proclaim ye thi;s among the Gentiles; prepare wvar, wurike uip the mighty men, let all the men of war draw 1ear; let them come up: beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say I am strong. Assemble vour- selves, and come all ye heathen, and gather yourselves B 2 12 round about; thither cause thy mighty ones to come dowa 0 Lord. Let the heathen be wakened and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat, for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle for the harvest is ripe; come get you dv)wn for the press is full, the fats overflo .v; for their wickedness ;s great. Multitudes, muli- titudes in the valley of decision, for, the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Trhe Sun and the Moon shall be darkened, and the Stars shall "vithdrav their shin- ing. The Lord shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel." In R-g. IT, 6, 7, we fitid similar language, 'For thus saith the Card of hosts, yet once, it is a little while, and It will shake the heavens, and the earth and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all na- tions shall come. Verse 22, and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy tie strengti of the king- doms of the heathen: and I will overthrow the chariots and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come dozen, every one by the sword of his brother. Of this period, Daniel, Chapter XII; 1. God appears to speak, "and at that time shall Michael stand up for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as ne- ver was since there ivas a alation, even to that same timee; and at that time thy people shall be delivered; every one that shall be found written in the book." And of this same period our Saviour speaks in the xxiv chapter of Mlatthewv, altho' he has a primary reference to the siege, and destruction of Jerusaiem, In connection with these passageF, it we consider the sixteenth and nine- teenth chapters inclusive of the Book of the Revelatioit, we may come to the following conclusions. I. That these prophecies are not yet fully accomplished. A primary, and a partial accomplishment they may have had; as all prophecies respecting the Church have their fulfilment progressively through the series of her history. But it must be evidcnt that if the great and terrible things spoken of in the preceding quotations, have bees adea- plisbied the millennium ought to be introdluced; and Satan cast out ofthe world and shut up in the botuoailets pit, 2. We learn that the last period, previous to the millenr nium is to be marked with blood; with the shaking and overthrow of thrones and kingdoms; and of the heavens 6; the earth, the sea and the dry land ; which expressions in- clude all kinds of bodies, ecclesiastical and political. 3. That the Jews, God's ancient people wilt at this pe- riod, be restored to their own land and shall enjoy with the surviving Gentiles, the reign of their Messiah in the happy period which is to follow. The general analogy of all the great changes and rtvolu- tions, whicl God has effected in the world, correspond with those prophecies, and illustrate and establish the views which have been advanced. All acquainted with the his. tory of God's providence, respecting the Church and the world connected with it, know, that he proceeds in effect. ing great revolutions ui the r oral world, upon principles, and in a mode, as clearly ascertained, as the principles and mode, according to which he effects revolUtions ui the 1vat. ural, or astionoinical world. This principle of analogy is one of the principal keys to prophecy. For if we can as- certain how any prophecy has received its primary, and incipient accomplishnent, we ma ascertaxn how it will receive its perfect and final accomplishment; for the for- mer is to be considered as a sample. and pledge of the lat- ter. Thus the coming of the Son of man for the destruc- tion of Jerusalem, and the entire revoltijon of the Church, as prophesied in the xxiv chapter of Matthew, is. the pri- mary and ineipient accomplishment of the prediction, and alio a sample and pledge to the Church of the coming of the Son ot manr in the last day to destroy this world and revolutionize all things, which will be the perfect and final accomplishment of the prediction. With these remarks it will be sufficient merely to mention the deluge-the deliv- erance of Israel out of E-yp)-and the great revoiution, at, and shortly after the introduction of the New Testament dispensation. In all these the judgements of the Laord 14 brushed his enemies and delivered his friendsi The last scene also displayed the greatest indignation, and was most replete with terrible dismay, and wide-spread ruin. The plagues of Egypt were tremendous; they desolated the kingdom of Pharaoh, but they were only the beginnings of sorrow, compared with the last scene, the Red Sea. The conflicts of the Jews with the Romans, and the miseries of the siege, horrible as they were, present no scene like the closing one, wvhen Jerusalem sunk into heaps of ruin, by fire and sword, amidst the shouts of the victors, the clang. or of arms, the spouting of blood, and the groans of the dying. Now, if this be God's manner of working, if those in- stances of revolution be samples of what he will yet effect is there not a scene to b' witnessed bv the Church, and the world, such as never has been witnessed since men were upon the earth We are to observe, in the above instan. ces, that God by means and agents, instructed and prepar- ed his own people for the new state of things and brought them into that state, through water and through fire. In a similar manner he is instructing, and preparing his Church for passing into the millennial state. Noal was 120 years preparing the Ark, and admonishing the ungodly; b)ut then he entered the Ark, the emblem of God's Church, and she carried him gallantly amidst the wrecks of the world which perished, into that world which is in reserve for the flames of the last day. The Church prepared, and having her King at the helm, and freighted with all God's people, will as gallantly ride out the storm, and lpass through that crimson deluge, which the breaking lp or kingdoms and the torrents of God's wrath shall produce, previous to th2 age of rest, righteousness and peace. 16 CHAPTER Ill. The subject continued -God's object to Arn6ble the przde 6f' man 6y leaving him to experinments-from Creation to the flood-from the flood to C/zrst-from Chrtst to the Ref. ortnation-fromn the Reformation to the present day. It appears both from the Scriptures and the history of facts, that the governor of the world has determined, in his infinite wisdom, to leave nqan to a full and fair experi. intnt of his powers, in order to humble his pride, and to evince that to remove sin and all its attendant woes, is solely. the work of the Messiah, through the instrumentality of the gospel. Now as this is the last age of experiment, as the world is far from being cured of the pride of human wisdomn. God must, in order to accomplish his end, overthrow all the devices, and boasted constitutions of men. The happiest, and best organized governments, civil and ecclesiastical, which have been formed by man's policy, mnust become the tport of human depravity, and have all their grandeur laid in the dust. Let us amplify, and illustrate this 4rgumcit a little. At first God created man, and set him up with high pow- ers, and in extensive fund of knowledge, and materials. But he soon forsook the wisdom and counsel of the Most High, and at once became a rebel, a bankrupt and a crimi- nal. God pitied him-taught him the wvay of pardon and restoration-gave him a new stock of knowledge suited to his forlorn circumstances, and said, occupy and zmprove.- And in less than sixteen centuries, "the whole earth was corrupt." Immorality, violence and cwild misrule made one general movement agaiinst the lain s and government of God. Ti'o teach man wisdom-to purify the earth,. and to give an. other fair experiment, the flood is brought in upon the world of the ungodly, and Noah, the only righteous main, with his faraily, is saved, and is made a new and instructive head to the humran family. But man, by this vwful display of divine justice, and the evil of sin, t'als not cured df tke love of'sin and the pride of his own wisdom. He again forsook the wisdom fromi above-pursued the gratification of his depraved nature-cornmencdd philosopher and poet, and lo! the world sinks into a long night of "1 gross dark- ness," idolatry and oppressive wickedness. This dreadful reign of philosophy continuce6 until thw earth h4d nearly reached her fortieth century. An experiment, one might suppose, sufficiently long. It did indeed, demonstrate what is in man, and what human wisdom and human depravity can do. It brought the world to "the crisis." The light of truth, which God had miraculoiislv preserved in one na. tion, was ready to expire. The wvick, or "smoking flax," was glimmering in the socket, and the philosplhising Jewv- ish doctors were, in their wisdom, and zeal prestilng the ex- tinguislhr upon it. 0! it was an awful crisis! it was inl deed, "the fullness of time." A little longer, and then, hope and the world parted forever. But all hail! the Star of Bethlehem appears in the east; and the Sun of righteous- ness arises with healing in his rays. God's Messiah is an- nounced, who puts an end to the uncontroled reign of sin, brings in by his obedience and death an everlasting right- eousness; and by his resurrection, makes the light of life and immortality spring from the tomb. Now with this cheering light, with the gospel ministry, with a perfect reielation and with free access to the fountain of wisdom and benevolence, the world is left to another ex- periment. God, man's liberal and marvellously kind ben- efactor, says again, occupy improve, and draw upon me for all that you need. Mark the result, again man takes the downward road, and in a few centuries is found in gross idol atria having turned the temple of God into the synagogue of Satan, and the Chiurch of Christ into the mother of har- lots and abominations. The reign of darkness, supersti- tion, cruelty and crime becomes again almost universal, and continues tuntil the light from heaven bursts forth in the ref. ormation of immortal memorv. Tile world thu's resctied a second time, and having an ad- ditional stuck of experience ; the learning of all ages, the inestimabl: art of printing, ai ith all former privileges, coters if the last period in the great series of experiment. This will continue to the millennium, or it will terminate in that dreadlul catastrophy just before it, in which, "the loftiness ot nrsan shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low, and the Lord alone shall be exalted." As there are some nircuinstances and things which ap- pear to cherish the opinion that this last age of experiment w ill termliate happily without any suoh catastrophy it will be necessary to taxe a retrospective view of this age, and consider in some detail the evidence it affords in favour of my views. And here I lay it down as a well attested fact, that the mere increase of light, or knowledge never has, among the great mass of mankind, produced any thing, but revolu- tion, disorder and anarchy. It requires something more thai) knowledge, to make such depraved creatures as men, consistent Christians, or even good moral citizens. The knowledge and intellect of fallen angels, far surpass what is enjoyed by Adam's most favoured sons. They however spurn the government of God, and delight in the work of anarchy and woe. The history of man illustrates and es- tablishes the same remark; and particularly in the period now under consideration. The light of the reformation ex- posed to view the impious absurdities, the abominations, tyranny and cruelties of Antichrist. The world was shock- ed. But alas! it was nevertheless an ignorant, depraved world, long under the tutorage of the worst of masters. And hence, the light, and the discovery made by it, natu- rally tended to weaken. and destroy all subordin.ttion, and respect for authority. And this was actually the case. God did indeed, by his omnipotent spirit. arrest the attention of a Luther, a Calvin, and some others, to the truth as it lies int the Bible; and he gave them a disposition to receive and obey it. But vast numbers veered off into infidelity, and atheism. The gangrene of Sx inur, and all kinds of pernicious errors and lawless practices sprung from the sinks of popery when visited with light, like noxious vap. ours from fens and marshes under the rays of the morninm sun. Such was the effect of mere light, or the increte di C knowledge at the reformation, and such, in fact, it alwavs has been and ever must be upon depraved human nttvre. Our a-e is called, and with much pripriety too, the '.gt of light, but can it with th. same propriety be called also o'le age of piety -Are our learned and most knowingv men re- rnarkable for their zeal and devotedness to God, and per- sonal reli Jon Afl know that it is lamentably the rev'irse. Multitudes of those who are active and liberal members of Bible Societies, have neither the power nor form of godli- ness. And it has been correctly remarked that personal pi- ety, and family religion do nPt keep pace with public, or newspaper religion. WVith this is connected a remarkable fact, which goes to establish the same general views, which have been advanc- ed, viz. the decline of all authority since the reformation, and particularly in the eighteenth century. This is a fact, so far as I know which has not been noticed and applied in the development of the effects which are to flow from the present state of things; and therefore demands our particu. lar attention. Here it must be recollected that the forms in which au- thority is exercised, usurped, or prostituted in governments civil and ecclesiastical, are the great obstacles to the reign of the Messiah in the millennium. And it is respect for authority, which is the life and support of all order, and government. Order and subordination are Heaven's first law. And hence the law of our natures predisposing us to respect authority. How could one mortal sway the scep- tre over millions, and move them at his pleasure, had not the God of law and government, clothed him with that au- thoritv, which human nature was constituted to recognize and obey But let men, through the uncontrouled prev- alence of iniquity, or through the abuse and cruel prostitu- tion of authority, be brought to disregard, and trample upon it, and anarchy comes in like a flood, and chaos k olt night brood over the ruins of human society. Now, the increase of light exposes to view the injustice, the oppression, and the deformities of governments, and renders those clothed with authority odious and detestable: and through the asso- 19 Nation of ideas authority itself becomes hateful and into!- erable. TI'he great. increase ot light, therefore in the pre- sent age, which many think will gradually change, ame- liorate the state of the world, must first, in the nature ot things produce a very different effect. If we refiect upon the influence of authority before and since the reformation, and upon its decline, and the causes, which have, aid still are producing it, we will find that convulsions, and revolutions are awaiting all the kingdoms, governments and donomin. ations upon earth. Never was greater authority usurped and prostituted than some time previous to the reforuation; and never was there such profound respect paidl to authority in any human being. The Pope had thrust himself into the seat of God, and usurped his prerogative. Uniting in himself civil and religious authority, he held Europe in chains; and the mighty funeral piles which smoked around him, with all the dread implements of death, filled the adoring crowvds with the profoundest awe. But when their eyes were open- ed they spi .rned the monster, and his authority, threw off all subordination; and as is. usual, rushed to the opposite ex- treme. It was with great difficulty that the reformers es. tablished any thing like order and discipline in the church. es. They themselves had broken the charm of authority, which had bound Europe for ages. They rebelled, and encouraged others to follow their example. This, in them, at that time, was noble and. praiseworthy. But mark the result. They succeeded, and all the sectarian adventurers succeeded, in throwing off the papal voke and in obtaining freedom from that prostituted authority. Thus they learn- ed their own strength, and slowed to the world that author- ity is not so sacred, and powverful but that it may be hon. orably, and successfully resisted when improperly exercised. Prom this period authority declined, both in church and state through many parts of Europe. The civil and reli- gious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries-the various successes of conspirators, and revolutioilists-the variety of church courts, independent of each other -the freedom of speecC5 and of the press, thro' which, often great Lind good C men, in authority, reviled, and exposed each other's sent rnets, and acts, had the most deleterious effects upon the minds of the people respecting authority. But in the eighteenth century authority received a blow, of which it will never recover, until it expires in that scene of revolution, and anarchy anticipated. Voltair, his asso- ciates, and the Illuminati of Germany, made one powerful movement against all authority civil and religious. Aitho' they have passed away, the effects of their bold and impious attempt, have prepared the kingdoms, which were the the- atre of their operations, for nothing but despotism, or the most direful convulsions and bloodshed. Of these they have already had some lamentable experience, and in therm again they must soon be involved. The light which ena- bles them to see their chains, and all the degradation of their condition they do enjoy; but being in heart infidels, and atheists, or the subjects of a detestable superstition, they must, before many years, rise in the fury of their might, and spread terrific desolation through the governments which nowv hold them in subjectton. Another remarkable fact which happernd in the eigh- teenth century was the disrepute, into which systems and system-makers fell, in the learned religious world. Until the days of Lord Bacon the learned world was burdened, per. plexed and chained down, in every branch of science by the, multiform svstems of romantic, or low-ploding theorists. But when he dared to break the fetters, and by the force end effulgence of his genius, exposed to view the errors, and absurdities of his predecessors, an entire revolution was commenced, which was vigorously carried on by many, particularly in the eighteenth century. Authorities and theories were laid aside. The mathematics and facts were pursued to their clear and natural results: A spirit of re- search, investigation and enterprise was excited, which has and is daily astonishing the world with new discoveries, and improvements in the various arts. This decline, and I may say almost annihilation of au- thority, in the schools, and all the departments of science, kpon affcted the politicaland religious world. The rights 21 of man, and the nature of existing grirninwntf were freely investigated. All arbitrary authority was boldly called ln question. Fhe United States of America proclaimed Inde. pendence, and set British authority at defiance. Succeeds ing in this, civil authority received a deadly wound; and the precedent, though noble and entitled to immortal mem' mnory, will encourage the ambitious and unprincipled to insurrectians and the prostration of all law and government. It has already had powerful influence in Europe and South America. No less extensive, and portentous is the decline of au- thority in the Church. Previous to the reformation, the Bible, common sense and facts were laid aside, and the de. crees of counsels, and the systems of the Fathers, in folio, occupied their place. The labour and study necessary to understand these were an hundred fold more than what were requisite for understanding the sacred volume. And what was the worst of all, when mastered, they determined noth ing; btaf left their several admirers broken up into hostile parties, engaged in endless and useless contention. The reformers were acquainteI with those decrees, and the huge volumes of the Fathers, but when they attempted to wield them against the Pope and his advocates, they soon found that it was ii vain; and that often equal, if not the same authorities, wtere produced by Smoth parties. The reformers then had recourse to the Scriptures, and made use of the Fathers as it might answer their purpose. They found the word of God a two edged sword, and with it they spread confusion and disrmay in the ranks of their adversaries. But by writing, illustrating and defending the truth in the Scrip- tures the reformers themselves became Fathers. Their works and their systems of doctrine, issued under judicial authority, became standards of truth. A course through them, or a selection of them became the course of theolo- gical study. The Bible was not indeed entirely neglected y but to wade through those mighty volumes, in the terma generally assigned, and at the same time study the Scripture was literally impossible. It was looked at but it was thro' neftecting and distorted mirrors. Thisd was generally the 2Q oase until within the last twentv, or thirtv vear'. And even, now Trurriten, Witsius, Ridgels, Brown, Scott, c. are standard althors, and command as much, if not more time in the study of divinity, than the sacred volume; and by manv are quoted as of nearly equal authority. But the (o- vernor among the nations, the infinitelv wise disposer of all events, in the last century let loose infidelity, and her phi. Josophers upon his church and thus did her immense ser- vice. For these philosophers, discarding all scriptural and human authorities, attacked Christianity with objections and arguments drawn from history, from oriental literature, and the laws of nature. In other words, as they had rejected the various theories and authorities in natural science, and biad recourse to facts ard demonstration, they pursued this method in attacking christianity. This led her advocates to pursue the same course in her defence. They left their old ground, and weapons and met those philosophers on their own ground, and swith their kind of weapons. The result was happy. Chri itianity gained much by the con- test; and h-r.advocates became much better acquainted with the Bible, with important facts, and with their own powers and resources. But this was not all. They, as it were sprung a mine fatal to all human systems, and author- ities in the Church. The study of divinity is gradually w dergoing a change. Systems and commentaries, are,. in some measure, and in some seminaries, giving place to the investigation of the original Scriptures, and of scriptural facts, facts in the works and providence of God. Many are cutting loose, and by ignorant daring, and vain specu- lation, show how low both human and divine authority has fallen in their estimation. . A large iumber nLost zealously adhere to, and support the old order. The result must oe contention, confusion and disorganizdtion. This, as will appear herafter, is the result nowv in a great measure. In tracing the declin of authority in the eighteenth cen- lury we cannot, with propriety, pass over the influence of George Whitefield, and John Westlv, when the Church of EntLand was irrogatig to herself the sole authority of li- censure and ordination, in the three Kingdoms--WVhen evangel' al religion was apparently expiring, amidst cere-- Inony and cold forms, these two, in defiance of all author. ity upon earth, issued forth as religious adventurers; en- dowed with zeal and talents admirably calculated to ensure success, in such circumstances. WVhitefield, still profess- ing to be a son of the Mother Church, and espousing the doctrines of grace, had free access to all who believed these doctrines; but coming under the authority of no Church, he made warm partizans, formed divisions, and undermin- ed order discipline in almost every congregation, which became the threatre of his irresistable eloquence. That he was instrumental in thl salvation of many, is granted by his bitterest enemies. But the precedent which he set, and his great popularity and success gave a severe blow to author- ity and helped forwvard its decline. XWestly, vacillating for some time between the Calvin- istic and Arminian doctrines, was determined, it is said, by the throw of a shilling, in favour of the latter. Without attempting to decide, whether, on the whole, John Calvin,- o; James Arminmus, was the most consonant in their vie ws, to the Apostle Paul, I would just observe that the latter was determined in favor of those religious sentiments which Adamii- had in a state of innocence, and which always have been cogenial with our nature. XVith these sentiments, his zeal, and popular address he could not but succccd. But his success was much more fatal to authority and dis- cipline than that of Whitefield. He formed anew st ct; and opened the door of the sacred office to the lowest and most illiterate. The degradation of the pulpit ensued. The minist' rial office, and the legitimate authority of the gospel ambassador, becane contemptible; and the infidel sophist often triumphed over the man professing to be supernatu- rally aided to preach and defend the truths of christianity. About the same time the Secession from the established Church of Scotland wat made; which again divided, and became two hostile troops. At this period of throwing off authority, and forming new sects, different, and exclusive communmons were introduced or became prevalent. Ai-d fronm 'hut time it has been a common thing lor Aliniste9sK and Church courts of otne denomination, to debar, in the name and by the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, cer- tarn characters from his table, who by the Ministers, and Church courts of another denomination, and often in the same place, have been invited in the same name and by the same authority. Such monstrous and habitual prostitu- tion of his sacred name and authority, must lay the church under great guilt, and render all ecclesiastical authority government perfect nuJities. This is a lamentable and no. torious fact, which will be made appear in the fAllowing Chapter. :o o:o _ CHAPTER IV. Present siate of things-Insubordination in Church and State-Two sets of men in every denomination sud king- dom-State, and prospect oflmerica. The actual state of things in the church, and in the world shows that authority is low, and that a scene of disorder, and desolation may be expected. The facts already stated respecting the devided state of the church, the different terms of debarring and inviting to the Lord's Table, has been subversive both of authority and discipline in the church. If a member grossly violates the moral law he may have something like an honest and impartial trial; but if he violates the law of sect, or does not conform to the peculiarities of his denomination, the spirit of the body is roused, and the partial and blind zeal, with which he is hunted down is so palpable, that he disregards the sentence; applies to another sect and is readily ad-nitted. The pros. elyting and party spirit is still so prevalent, that every cul- prit knows, that if he is even justly cast out of one church, he can find refuge in another. And thus through fear of losing members, and particularly wealthy members alto- gether, church courts are shamefully negligent M calling 2S offenders to an account. These are facts so notorious, that they often excite the world's jeers, and ridicule, do most clearly show that church authority and discipline have little more than a nominal existence. Somne few ecclesiastical courts, and congregations may form exceptions, they are however rare indeed. T'ie same insubordinate spirit prevails in civil society. Our liberty has degenerated into libertinism. And author. ity is so low in families, in schools, and every department, that those in authority dare not enforce order, and the ob- servance of the laws. Insubordination fron the nurserv up to the State government, in our country, is one of the re- markable, and portentous features of the times. A variety of causes is operating to bring forth a generation, as rest- less, impetuous, and ungovernable as the Ocean. It is also a remarkable fact that in almost every comnu. nity civil and religious there are two different sets of men- different in views, measures, and manner of action. This- has always been in some measure the 'case, but never so extensively as at present. A pacific spirit has been mani. fested, of late years, among the different denominations, by a variety of the members: but this very circumstance, has contributed to the formation of two sorts of characters a- mong them al!. III the General Assembly Presbyterian Cburch, Hopkinsians, and Anti-hopkinsians have, for some- time, been appearing in a menacing array. [he Associate Ieformed Church appears near dissolution, thro' the two parties on Communion and Psalmody. The Associate Church has in her bosom parties nearly similar. The Bap- tist church has long been divided into the Arminian, and Ctilvinistic parties; but of late it abounds with Socinians, and Antinomians, and in it some are for free communion' Arruinianisnm and Socinianism have for somne ti'n-e divided the Methodist church, and recently they are forming into what may be termed the regular and irregular; the former opposing and prohibiting shouting and -bodily exercises, the latter encouraging and supporting them. The Episco- pal Church, both in this country, and in Europe, bas he. two parties, the one evangelical, the ottr ArLni.ii.-. Mltany D 26 ofthese denominations, are increasing in numbers, and many of them uniting in Bible Societies; yet it is a fact, that Popery and Socinianism are keeping pace with the truth of God's word; and not one sect has vet been sacri- ficed upon the altar of concord. Bigotry, prejudice and party spirit have been denounced by 'many formally,- but they yet hold their ground, and will never disappear so long as.party and denomination exist. Nearly all the kingdoms of the world are in the same situation. Beginningeastward with China, we learn that a new order of men, forming a powerful party, has arisen in that populous empire, and portends direful convulsions, and revolutions. Light has reached that region of despo- tism and oppression. And we have already learned what are the effects of light in such a state cU society. In India many kingdoms have been shaken to pieces, and made a prey, by one another, and by British influence and power, And as light, avarice, ambition, and the gos- pel, arc all assailing that country, its kingtloms must fall, and swell the tide of revolution, and sweeping desolation. In the same, or similar condition are Persia,-:he Ottoman empire-and all the Kingdoms of Europe. Russia is com- posed of so many nations, and is risinu so rapidly under an able Emperor, that the new order of men may tiot yet have formed, or given any alarm. But with respect to the oth- er nations of Europe, it is well known that they are in an alarming situation. And the man who can suppose that any ofthem can be harmonized, and reformed, without purgation by war and the copious flow of blood, must know but little of their moral, and political character, and little of the historv of human nature. France, Spain and some others, have, for several years, been in the-vortex of revo- lution; the eddying whirl has occasionally settled inito still- ness, and some have thought they were about to reach a The Burghers tnd Antiburghers, the two parties of Seceders in Scotland, and Nova Scotia have united; and it ii probable that it the United States they may soon be one body. It appears however 'ol be only the breaking up of sects, not a real and happy union. peaceful haven; but anon the circling current has seized them, and they have again run another dangerous round. Thus the late revolution in Spain is considered a glorious thing by many, whilst the crowned heads of Europe view it with dismay, as a precedent which they may be compell- ed to follow. But Spain is notregenerated-the two sets of men there are not amalgamated and after a pause, they will break over that devoted country, like two bickering clouds in whirlwind and storm. Ai-d so shall it be with France, England, and others. Putrescent bodies-leaky ships, rotten beyond repair, and old mouldering walls, twelling out in various points, are their fit emblems. Their foliticians-the members of their several cabinets, are now Fabouring like seamen at the pump. But it is in vain. The odds against them is fearful. Check, and suppress tumult, and havoc for a time, they may; but snon the re. ceding wave will return with redoubled fury-soon shall the growing factions, enlist, and lead on the oppressed and indignant population to deeds of desperate enterprize-and having demolished thrones and trampled upon crowns- they will find themselves upon the wide ocean of anarchy; and adventurer after adventurer, pessing on for superi- ority or empire, siall wave the flag of death over Eu- rope, and execute the tremenlous judgements of the Lord. Thte Holy Alliance in Europe, and the pacific spirit which has been manifested for sometime, may influence many to anticipate a very different state of things. But let us look at all the measures conduct of the crowned heads engaged in tlhat holy alliance. They meet; they negociate, they covenant all to promote and secure universal peace. They return home- issue new, and additional levies-fortify their froa- tiers and prepare for war, as if at the door! Such man- wouvering cannot be misunderstood. And with respect to the liberal spirit which of late has prevailed among na- tions, sects and parties, it may be remarked, that a want of confidence is as conspicuous as liberality. All appear to see, and feel that all'things are going on in a course which must change and break down the present order of things; and as every one has his own sect, or party, which 1) 2 he still likes a little better than any other, lie fears that it mnay fall before the general current; and hence, whilst he joins in Bible Societies, with others of every description, whilst he denounces bigotry, and extols sentiments of lib. cralitv; and whilst he is hailed, and has his harangue ra- ciprocated by those of diflerent sects, he is not sure that they are friendly to his peculiar views and party, and on his return home hie feels more sensibly, that all things are get. ting afloat, and that he cannot calculate on the public lib. erality for the support, and protection of the bark in which he sails. And thus it is through every department of hu- man society. Free intercourse, professed liberality, and good will have, of late, greatly increased; but for the want of moral principle in the world; and through the love of sect, and the fear that in the great and general movement, favourite party interest may be lost. confidence is reposed in none, and every one appears to be preparing for the worst. But the great want of confidence is not merely be- tween those of different sects, but of the same sect. The two opposing sets of men in every kingdom, and denom- ination; and the popular spirit of liberality, and charity, having far outstripped moral, and religious principle, put general confidence out of all rational calculation. Some honorable exceptions there may be to these remarks, but their truth, I presume, all conversant with their fellow men, and acquainted with the world, will readily acknowledge, in a general point of view. The present state of America, although happy and flat. tering in comparison, to Xhat of the European nations, neva ertheless affords reasons to anticipate division and internal convulsions. South America has for some time been the thentre of conflict, and revolution. But ignorance, debas- ing superstition, corruption, and want of moral principle must doom it, putting foreign power out of the account, to a long series of carnage and desolation. In these United States harmony has never prevailed. The two sets of men Federal and Republican which divided for many years the population, wvere never so inimical as to give any serious cause for alarm. But the views and sentiments manifested 29 in our late Congress, between members fwim the Eastern, Western, and Southern States; the alienation of affection, and the ideas of separate and opposing interests, indulged by many, must make every genuine lover of his country fear for the peace and stability of the Union. " United we itand, divided we fall." But let the current of opinion, and feeling, which has for some time been setting in, in. crease-let some Aaron Burr be chagrined, and checked in his career for Presidential pre-emipence, and a dismem- berment of the Union is not only probable, but almost certain. And when this step is taken more than one aspi. ring Cataline will be found on each side of the niountains; and 0 thenr! the cup of the old world, is the cup of my country!-May the Governor among the nations forbid it'. But considering the present, and the past-considering the fate of ll human productions, and efforts, we have no good reason to believe that our country shall not be visited with that roll of God's curse, which has been flying over the nations, and in which are written "lamentations, mourn. ing, and woe." America as a nation has not bowed the knee to Jesus. She must be humbled to do it, for God has said it. - :. :o: CHAPTER V. Counteractzng process;,by which the Church wIl be pre. pared for the crisis, and the world for the millennium- Thve Gospel AZIinistry-Bi7le, Missionary Societies, Cc. The cloud which accompanied the Israelites in the wil- derness gave them light and direction; but to their ene- mies it was gloomy and dismaying. Such is God's word in every age; and such the nature of his providence. The view which we have taken, it must be confessed, is gloo. my; and to the world affords fearful anticipations. It mby also be distressing, and perplexing to the people of God, but light arises to thein in darkness. It is their privilege so to have the Lord for their sun and shield, and to see the wonderful working of his hand, and the glorious marches of his grace, among the nations, who are about to experi- ence the vials of his wrath. In his wise providence he car- ries on a process of judgment, and a process of mercy- by the one he destroys the old order of things, by the other he preserves his church and introduces the new order. In each he makes use of subordinate agencies and means. Thus in the process of mercy which so far counteracts the process of judgment, that the gates of Hell shall never pre- vail against the church; and that entire desolation shall not unpeople the earth, he is pleased to make use of the gos pel ministry-the ordinances of his grace; Bible, Mission. arv and educating Societies, Sunday Schools, c. And so wonderful is the success and multiplication of these in- stitutions, in our day, that many have supposed that they will soon usher in the millennium, having extinguished, graduallv, the kingdom of Satan. It however has always be n the case, that men have attributed ilore than was due to means and subordinate agents in the work of salvation. We know that it has pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.' And we know that hit providence h4s been concerned in raising up and supporting the institutions just mentioned. But it is of importance that ve ascertain what God has designed they shall accom- plish and what they shall not. Let God's wvord direct us in this, and every other similar enquiry. We are there taught that the world is Gods' harvest-thal the gospel ministry are the labourers to gather it in. The word and ordinances are the constituted means with which they are. to tabour-and God's blessing gives the increase. These things heing so, we learn the relative importance and use of Bible and Missionary Societies, and what they and other benevolent institutions are about to effect. Fill the world faith Bibles, without Teachers, and vou have only sup. plied the harvest with seed and implements of husbandry. The seed will lie unproductive, and the implements of hus- bandry immoveable, without labourers. Thus Bible So. ,cieties will never gather the nations to Jesus, but they will 31 smpply the nations with the word of God, withoutz which the labourers, when multiplied and sent forth could do no- thing. When the world is therefore furnished with Bibles we are not to think that this will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and introduce the millenniumn. The heathen will stand as immoveable in piganism with Bibles strewed a- round them, as the corn or wheat in the field, with sickles at the root. Thus all the benevolent Societies which now throng the christian world are to be considered as auxiliary to the Gospel Ministry, so far as they have any bearing up- on the empire of sin and misery. Detachel from that min. istry and unaccompanied by it, they would be utterly una- vailing, were it even possible to multiply them till they lit- erally cover the earth. Now, according to the ratio in which Ministers, and the population increase, at the end of a cen- ttury, a great part of the world, called christian, would be destitute of regular, and stated preaching. This may teach us at once, that all the wonderful and encouraging efforts, and institutions of the present day, and all that we cail ra- tionally calculate on, will effect nothing more than the dis- semination of the Bible, the location of a few missionaries in the heathen world, and the maintenance of the Church amidst the commotions of the earth, in the days of tribula- tion. Zion is lengthening her cords, and strengthening her stakes-the seed which is to spring up in the millennium is now scattered by the Bible Societies. Missionary Socie- ties and Schools are furnishing, and will furnish many to go forth and occupy various detached posts among the hea- then. Sunday schools, tracts, c. will aid in bringing many to the church of Grid, and the knowledge of the truth, but all these things will scarcely enable the church to sur- vive, when the nations are raging and instigated by her great enemy in his last and most desperate efforts. This will appear more evident when we come to consider the slaying of the witnesses, mentioned, Rev. XI. Let it therefore be distinctly marked, that the Bible Societies; the benevolent institutions; and laudable efforts of chris- tian3, which justly excite our wonder, and call for gratitude to God, appear calculated, Ad intenced by him nterelv tn pfrepare the church to sustain the crests; and to SQW tl seed of the word throughout the world. I his is to be con- sidered preparatory for the millennium, but it will not re- move the obstacles-it will not destroy the kingdom of Sa- tan, nor sweep out the enormous mass of corruption and hostility pervading the kingdoms and governments of the eartb. This is the work of God by, and through the pro- cess ofjudgment. Thus when the Bible shall be given to every nation in its own laaguage-when missionary posts shall be established throughout the heathen world-wheu knowledge of every kind shall be greatly increased, and the heralds of the cross multiplied, there will still he two essential requisites before the millennium can take place, viz. the destruction of God's enemnies, and the pouring out of his spirit upon all flesh. These twvo things belong solely to God; and when he performs thetm, he will have all tile glory of introducing the millennium. Having thus ascertained the use, and what is to be ac. complished by human agencies, and means in Bible Soci- etie.i, c. and having assigned them all the hono'ur which properly belongs to them, I may without derogating ironi th- importance of Bible Societies mention another 'effect which they will produce, and have already produced in some measure, namely a false and pernicious standard of chris- titinity. I have already intimated that Bible Societies have taken the ground on which will rally those, who will sur- Vice the wrecks of all denominations, and will form the millennial Church. But then the spirit of God, being poured from oi high as the spirit of regeneration, light, and holiness, will secure universal piety, and personal, and so. cial religion. But at present the ground is occupied in coinmoin bv all sects, and by high and low-holy and pro- fanz; aind the irreligious and immoral find ah easy pass- port to all thle high hionors of the Christian, by pecuniary contribution, and anniversary harangues. WVe all already feel hoiv delicate and dangerous it is to say that a man may be an active, liberal, and zealous member of a Bible Soci- ety, and yet have his back on God and Heaven, and be in italitv a clIOl of the devil; and were it not that tie celebra- 33 ted Chalmers has dared to urge, and insist on the correct- Sess of the idea, I could never afford to publigh it to the world. Thus while Bible Societies, under God are pour- ing the heavenly treasure among the nations, they will thro' human depravity, give a tone, and fix a standard of reli- gion throughout the Protestant world very little different from the tone and standard in the Papal dominion. In short the Bible cause appears at once fraught with destruc- tion to the old order of things; and with the materials and elements of the new order. Thus all things appear to bring us to the one point, that there are to be universal revolu- tions, and times such as have never been exp.rienced.' When the Son of man comes he will not find fidelity, on the earth-no, not even in his own church. Hence the universal tribulation. CHAPTER VI. THE SLAYING OF THE WITNESSES.-Rev. xi. This subject affords decided and satisfactory proof of my general views, and is of such a nature that it requires a more particular consideration than could be given it, in the chapter containing proof from prophecy, and therefore it is reserved for this place. Without troubling the reader with the various opinions respecting those witnesses, 1 would observe that the most generally received among the judicious is, that these wit- nesses are the faithful followers of Jesus Christ, constitu- tir;g his body the Church. There is, however, one pow- erful objection to this opinion, viz. that they must be liter. ally slain, and then the gates of Hell will have prevailed against the church-and there must be also a literal resur- rection, all which is repugnant to the language of prophecy and the declaration of the Saviour. Angther opinion which appears much nearer the truth, E 84 is, that the gospel ministry are the witnesses. Christ him. self is the faithful and true witness-he chose his Apostles to be his witnessts-he ,ent them forth twD,'and two, and the Presbyters, whlo succeeded them in office are represen- ted as composed of ome class who rule, and of another, who rule, and also labour in word and doctrine. And our Saviour's promise, which he gave to the gospel ministry, is, "Iwhere two, or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them." These scriptures appear clearly to point out the gospel ministry as the 1ztnesses. And this opinion is not encumbered with the difficulty at- tending th 'other. An officer may, in figurative language, be slain, When he is violently put down from the exercise of his office. And thus the slaying ot the witnesses is no- thing more than the violent expulsion of ministers from their offices charges, exposing them publicly, stripped of their authority and honours. It appears that their ene- tries preserve them to grace their triumph. They keep them exposed in the street of the great city three days and an half-that is, they keep them in their degraded state as trophies of victory,exposed openly for insult, three years and an half, and then they are raised up and taken to Ilea- ven, that is, they are restored, in the adorable Providence of God, to the exercise of their office, and pass into the nail lennial state. Now history and the prophecy respecting those witnesses teach us that they are not yet slain, and raised up. 'I his was to take place when they had finish- eci their testimony, at the end of a thousand two hunrdred and three scote days. And these days, it is agreed on all hands, are not yet run out. Their testimony is the testi- mony of Jesus-it is against the world in his favour. Ard they must prophecy, that is, hold forth the testimony, Unl- til the world will endure it no longer; and shall have Arriv- ed at that point of wickedness and outlawry against God, that all bands shall be bLast asunder, and all cords -all restraints shall be cast away; and by one fell sweep all the faithful Ministers of the gospel shall be hurled from their iphere. I his will be a day of darkness to the Church. but a day of rejoicing to the world. And in tbree years andlan 35 half of triamphant practical atheism, anarchy and des'i- ti',v shall come in like the flood upon the old worldA; and as the enemies of the Lord perish his witnesses willjix. The judgements of the Lord, 1v which he will destroy his arlversaries are numerous, but in Zz :ha-a l XIV. 13, we are told they shall destroy one another. ",Aad it shall .rome to pass in that day that a great tuinult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour." This work of anarchy and carnage shall give liberty to the witnesses; and the Jews shall complete the victory. They shall fight at Jerusalem, and shall enjoy the wealth of the heathen round about; verse 14. See also lIagg. It. S. The order, the particular circumstances, and precise manner in which these things may take place, no man can now tell. Many judicious interpreters have laboured much to ascertain when the millennium will commence. And according to some of their calculations, it is not more than 36 or 45 vears distant. And indeed, the signs of the times might, on a cursory view, influence us to conclude that the great crisis would come within that period. There are however various circumstances wvhich render that conclus- ion doubtful. The comntmncement of Antichrist's reign is the point from which we are to calculate the 1260 years, through which the witnesses are to prophecy in sack cloth. Interpreters have differed exceedingly respecting the date of that commencement. The four following periods have been fixed upon. 1. When John of Constantinople asssumed the title of universal Bishop. 596 2. When Bonifice 3d assumed the same 606 3. When the Pope assumed temporal dominion 755 4. When the worship of images was restored 7 80s According to those several dates the millennium would commence 1856; 1866, 2015 and 2040. There is one gtneral remark which may lead us to make a selection of one of these dates, which is, that Antichrist, or the mal of sin, was in embryo long before the first of these dates, WlA iE 2 36 that in the days of John, Bisl;op of Const3ntinonple, he be. gan to appear. hihs was tie period of his childhoold, or nonage. He continued to grow ands evolve his charnienr until he could iceld, anl did actutly comnhine and wield both ecclesiastical and civil -mthoritv. Th en he may u ith propriety he said to have entered on his reigii and the '.t it- nesses to have gone into mourning. J hi. too k place about 750. This added to 1260, the period of his rt itn, and the witnesses prophecying in sack cloth, will make about 2010. As thin:rs often exist before they appear in form and oper- ation, ttri or fifteen years may he thrown off or added to the precise time suhen am Pope took his formal stand and exercised the authority hehich gave him the open and deci ded chara6ter of Antichrist, without materially affecting any given date. And I pr,-'sutme one of the common er- rors of interpreters has been, that then calculated Anti. christ's commencement upon tie principle that he came in- to being at once, and not progressively through a seris of years; and of gradmal corruption and usurpation. Taking therefore th vear 740, for the commencement of his reign, it will terminate in the vear 2000. This date for the com- mencement of the millennium has been adopted by some, and it appears on the whole supported by better evidence than any of the others. It has the great principle of analo- Fy in its favour, viz. that the seventh portion of time is sacred, or a period of rest, and the other six are to be spent in difficulties and labour. Under the old Testament there was not onlv a seventh day, but a seventh vear of rest, and release; and there was also the great Jubilee at the end of seven times seven, that is, 49 'tears. Thus after the world has had Ier wcek, her six thousand years of hard bondage, she shall enjoy her Jubilee of one thousand. This date of the millennium, allows sufficient timie for Bible and'Missionary Societies to perform their'work; and for America to make a fair and full experiment of the gov- eminent, which is considered sufficient with our virtue and resources to exalt us to the summit of permanent human happiness and glory. Th-e extensive regions stretching WVeft to the Pacific Ocean, and up Northward to the strait 57 connecting us with Russia, are to be occupied by a dense and civilized population. Missionary posts must be ex- tended literally round the globe. And Western America must come to maturity and have her day before she falls in the general wreck of nations. All this, the nature of things, and the holy scriptures teach us must be, before the witnesses finish their testimony, and all things are made new. And as the only other calculation, which has any thing plausible, is that whieh makes the millennium com- mence in the year 1866. it appears that sufficient time is not allowed by it, for the great, and nuinerous events which must take place in the old and new world before the latter day glory can be introduced. I however candidly con- fess that mv mind has long wavered between the dates 1866 andl 2000. And the reason, I introduced any remarks, (hi the subject, was that I knew some would be expected. The particular times and seasons the Father hath put in his own power, and it is not given to us to know them. Hence our duity to watch, and to be always ready at our posts. This we know with certainty, that the time is now short; and that, at the longest, Messiah will come within two centuries, to revolutionize the world, to cast out Satan and make his Church triumphant and glorious through al the earth. CONCLUSION. If the views advanced be suppported by sufficient proof they teach us some important practical lessons. First that our nature and world are corrupt beyond all possible reform by any human means and efforts. Depravity has through a long series of experiment been demonstrating that no works, no lawF7, no governments can stand before it. When the Messiah calne to save and to bless, it hung him on the cross and laid him in the grave, Those territories, ;ind kingdoms which his gospel a.d grace subdued, ant where his Church was erected, it has desolated and trans- formed into the reions of darkness, wretchedness and death. And now the world, under its influence, is moving on, regardless of God and all the lessons of his providence and word, to that crisis, which shall convulse the nations, unhinge governments, demolish thrones, and burn in . ne common grave all the favourite productions and distinc- tions of men. All the efforts of God's people-all that Bible Societies and benevolent institutions can do, will be insufficient to reclaim, to purify arnd establish the world in righteousness and peace. This is the work of God's Son, and when he effects it man shall know it, and give hint the glory. Let us therefore humble ourselves upon the ac- count of this incurable depravity of our natures, and let us look and pray to God's Son that he would make us, and the world new Creatures in him to the praise and glory of his grace. In the second place we learn howv our means and efforts should be directed and employed for promoting God's glory, and the great interests of his kingdom in the salva- tion of men. We have seen, that although me-ins and hu- man efforts, can never effect the great Jubilee of the world, yet God is pleased to make use of them. And we hac ascertained the relative importance of the various means and efforts which have been put in requisition-we have ascertained that God's great mean of salvation is P R E A C H . I N G; and that of all the human agencies e mployed, none are so important as the Ministers of the gospel. Edluca- ting Societies and Theological Seminaries ought therefore to engross our means and efforts. For every cent thrown into anv other benevolent fund, we ought to cast ten into their funds. The world will be supplied with Bibles long before it is with expositors, and labourers. And as all earthly things are soon to be shaken--as wealth, houses and lands will be held by a very doubtful tenure, and as the treasuries of benevolent institutions, are the treasuries of the Lord wlvlre we may deposit our money with safety; and with interest of an hundred fold, and as depositing it there will be laying up for posterity inl time, and ourselves 39 in Heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves do not break thro' ani steel, we can be in no want for motives to influence us to act the wise and liberal part. whe Signs of the Times, admonish us of the approaching storm-let all flee to Jesus the ark of safety, and give all diligence to be found in him. Let them show that they are his, by coming to his help-to the help of the Lord again st the mighty. He is on his march-let friends meet him in works of righteousness and mercy; and let enemies tremble, for they shall be smitten and perish by the light flings of his eye. Even so come Lord Jesus.-Age a.