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things that God will bring upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble, the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame.” “Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, for they prophesy a lie unto you." (Jer. xxvii. 9.) Again, (xxix. 8,) Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed; for they prophesy falsely unto you in my name : I have not sent them, saith the Lord.”
We read in the third chapter of the prophet Zechariah, of Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. " And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee.” In the Book of Wisdom it is said, (xvii. 7,) “ As for the illusions of art magic, they were put down, and their vaunting in wisdom was reproved with disgrace.” In Ecclesiasticus, (xi. 31,) it is remarked, that the heart of the proud is like a spy, watching for thy fall.
" For he lieth in wait, and turneth good into evil; and in things worthy of praise will lay blame upon thee.” know who he was, whose pride was his condemnation, and still continues the instigator of it. The various artifices practised against us by our infernal adversary, and the various temptations by which he seeks to effect our eternal ruin, we know are only permitted for our ultimate good,
and merely serve to constitute our transitory trials: “ Before man is life and death, and whether him liketh shall be given him.” (xv. 17.) “Good is set against evil, and life against death.” (xxxiii. 14.) “So look upon all the works of the Most High, and there are two and two, one against another.” (15.)
And the task assigned us by our divine Instructor, is to overcome evil by good; and this he has done himself in an infinite extent. Subsequent to the irresistible miraculous attestation given to the truth of Scripture by the illustrious fulfilment of the prophetic denunciations pronounced against the Jews, there is good reason to believe that the evidence supplied by miracles was utterly withdrawn. We read of no well authenticated ones later than the conclusion of the two first ages.
Dr. Douglas observes, “ That the age of Christian miracles must have ceased with the
age of Christian inspiration. For so long as heaven thought proper to set apart any particular set of men to be authorised preachers of the new religion revealed to mankind, so long may we rest satisfied miraculous powers were continued. But whenever this purpose was answered, and inspiration ceased to be any longer necessary, by the complete publication of the gospel, then would the miraculous powers, whose end was to prove the truth of inspiration, be of course withdrawn."** And these are amply now supplied, by the miraculous evidence (we think it may be justly denominated) of fulfilled prophecy; as nothing short of a divine interference could have effected the accomplishment of the predictions we behold. And when the miraculous attestations vouchsafed by heaven to prove the truth of the assertions imparted to mankind by the power of light were no longer manifested, there can be no doubt but that the permissions granted to the power of darkness were likewise discontinued, as it would be utterly inconsistent with the goodness and wisdom of the great supreme Governor of the universe to suppose, that Satan's kingdom would be supported by the performance of wonders, which were no longer opposed by the superior power of the kingdom of light.
* Douglas' Criteria, pp. 403, 404.
There is, however, reason to suspect, that previous to the final destruction of our world, the allowances formerly granted to the power of darkness may be for a short space restored. Should the Israelites become all converts to the Christian dispensation, and be again reinstated in the country they forfeited by transgression, the evidences to the truth of the Christian religion would indeed blaze bright; the Jews would then become the riches of the world ; a very glorious epoch would consequently ensue, and Christianity be probably adorned by a conduct correspondent to its precepts, by its myriads of professors. This, it appears most likely, is the period wherein it is foretold that the great hellish chieftain will be held in chains for one thousand of our years, and not be permitted to disturb the
happiness of the new Christian world. This space of time, when viewed in perspective, appears to us a long one; but to the high and lofty One inhabiting eternity, 'tis but as yesterday. Mankind, during this happy era, there is good reason to conclude, will be blessed with abundance not only of spiritual, but of temporal blessings-(though they still will have to combat with the lusts of a tainted nature, and the pride of life.) “ For it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go
ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people. And they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
O house of Jacob, come ye, and let us walk in the light of the Lord.” Isaiah ii. 3–5.) “ And the Spirit shall be poured upon you from on high, and the wilderness shall be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteous
ness quietness and assurance for ever. people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places.” (xxxii. 15—18.) Every man shall sit under his vine and under his fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (Micah iv. 4.)
But notwithstanding these transcendent blessings, spiritual and temporal, there is much reason to fear, from the sure word of prophecy, that the blessed fruit of faith will become again much adulterated. After the lapse of centuries, and mankind have been familiarised to the incontestable evidence to the truth of the Christian religion, demonstrated by the calling in of the Jews, together with an uninterrupted series of temporal prosperity, Jeshurun again will kick, , and iniquity abound, proving that a long continuation of worldly happiness was not designed for man; lusts will war in his members, and bring forth wars and fightings. * (James iv. 1.)
Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places;" (judgments effected by natural causes, though brought to pass by miraculous interference, to awaken mankind from out of the sins into which
* The prophecy just inserted, and which declares that they shall learn war no more, must mean, we conceive, during that happy era, when Satan will be bound up for a thousand years; as the predictions are very clear as to the period immediately preceding the end of the world being filled with wars and rumours