« AnteriorContinua »
not yet become thus. And the commencement of the reformation was nearly three hundred years ago.
Or shall it be said the third woe commenced at the time of the revolution in France and that the vials then began to be poured out? But can we exclude from the vials that regular series of fatal judgments upon the Papal see, which commenced at the time of the reformation, and which have been noted as fulfilling the four first vials? Have they not a most evident claim to be reckoned among the vials? Can it appear judicious to exclude them; and then to suppose (with a late author) that at least four of the vials were accomplished on France and her dependencies, in about twenty years? This appears too much to diminish the object of the vials. And has it not been shown, in section ii, chapter iii, in remarking upon the slaying of the witnesses, that no event took place antecedent to the French revolution, which can be viewed as answering to that representation?
It does appear indeed from every consideration, that the seventh trumpet is still future. For the way is not yet prepared for the kingdoms of this world to become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ. But is it probable that after all the fatal judgments inflicted on Papal Rome, the whole period of the vials is still future? This cannot be admitted. It follows then, that the seventh trumpet does not comprise all the period of the vials. It probably comprises only the seventh vial.
According to the foregoing scheme of the vials, we are yet under the second woe. Under this, six of the vials were to be accomplished. The sixth trumpet established the Ottoman empire. And this trumpet will close in the subversion of the same empire under the sixth vial. The existence of the Turkish government then, as it introduced, so it bounds the period of the second woe. The latter commenced, and will end with the former.
Four of the vials have been poured out. The effusion of the fifth has been introduced in our day; and is now accomplishing, with tremendous roar, the judg
ments of Heaven on Papal nations. The sixth vial may not be far distant. And the seventh, the terrific and decisive scenes of the third woe, and the battle of that great day of God Almighty, will be introduced at the close of the 1260 years, and will decide the controversy between Jesus Christ and his enemies.
This scheme concerning the vials accounts for all the late commotions in Europe; and ascertains that a new and most important era has commenced; although the third woe is still future. The tremendous scenes, which have recently taken place, are the judgments of the fifth vial; the subversion of the seat (throne) of the Papal beast, by the rise of the Atheistical Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son. These are the wars, and rumors of wars, foretold by our blessed Lord, as the harbingers of his coming, and as the beginning of sorrows. These probably are the seven thunders uttering their voices, at a period subsequent to the second woe, and not long antecedent to the third; whose import was to be sealed up, till they should be fulfilled; whose events would then be naturally mistaken for the coming of Christ in the third woe; but upon which the Angel swears, that the time is not yet; the end shall not be by and by. Events most interesting to the Church must intervene between this and the destruction of her enemies, to introduce her millennial glory. The bitter contents of the little book in the Angel's hand, must be experienced. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings. The events here hinted, if they be future, as must be apprehended, from the connexion of the events of the passage, future days must unfold! The people of God need to be prepared for every event. Never perhaps were the Christian armor, and holy vigilance and faithfulness, more necessary,
than at the present period. Our Lord, when predicting this period, gives in charge; Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house com.
eth, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning; lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, watch! CONCLUSION,
In which some duties are suggested which seem calcu
lated to withstand the Infidelity of our times. I have now finished my arguments and proofs in fayor of the points proposed in this Dissertation. Concerning the weight of the evidence, the reader will judge. But proceeding on the ground that the points proposed are substantiated; what have the friends of Zion to do, to withstand the Infidelity of this period? They have much to do: much with their own hearts; much with their families; and much with their fellow
The Divine precepts, now emphatically applicable, are many, and most weighty. One important direction we find prefixed to the prophetic description of the rise of Antichrist in Jude. The Apostle exhorts us that we contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. The duty here enjoined implies, in addition to faithful support of the scheme of Gospel grace, the diligent use of all proper remedies against the insidious attacks of all, who aid the cause of Antichrist. As these attacks are concealed, oblique, and subtile; so the means of withstanding them must be extensive; and must consist much in guarding those principles, on the subversion of which, the enemies make their highest calculations. These means ought to be wisely ascertained, and vigilantly applied.
For this purpose, I shall now suggest some things, which may be esteemed important.
1. Repentance and reformation.
If these be neglected, all other means will be of but little avail. For God will wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. This will hold true of nations, as well as of individuals. However blamable may be the instru. mental causes of our calamities or public dangers, yet
they are a just punishment for our sins. Nothing but sin could betray us into the hands of the agents of Infidelity and disorganization. Our nation is deeply defiled with sin. We are guilty of ingratitude and impiety toward God; of undervaluing the Gospel of his Son; and of much contempt of his authority. Almost
every species of vice and profanity are abounding. It is thought this nation has made unprecedented progress in wickedness; and this notwithstanding our most signal Divine blessings, and our great obligations to God.
It has been but a short time since the first fathers of New England arrived in this western hemisphere, then a wilderness of savages and beasts. Their sole object in the perilous adventure was, the enjoyment of the liberty of conscience, and the maintaining and enjoyment of the Institutions of grace in their purity. Great things, God did for them, in sustaining them under pressing calamities and dangers. And great things God has since done in building us up into a great, independent, and flourishing nation. Our obligations to God to be a virtuous people are proportionably great. But alas! how have they been violated! When we compare the spirit and manners of our nation with those of our pious ancestors, the contrast is dismal. And it evinces that our degeneracy has been rapid and great.
God is angry with this nation. And justly may he exhibit his displeasure, by suffering the spirit of Antichrist to propagate his impositions in so guilty a land. But how dismal must be our prospects, should Antichristian influence find a permanent residence here! Our national judgments in that case would not linger; but we should be involved in the plagues of the infidel Power of the last days.
Every thing then calls for repentance and reformation. The word of God, and the signs of the times, enforce on us the following paternal language of heaven; Amend your ways and your doings; and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Return unto me; and I will return unto you,
saith the Lord of hosts. But if ye will walk con.