« PreviousContinue »
We have a most awful instance of this kind, in the 16th chapa ter of Numbers, from the Ist. to the 36th verse. And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred and ifty men that offered incense. And in the second book of Kings Ist chapter, from the 2d. to the 17th verse; and in the Ist. book of Kings, 18. l. And James 5. 17 18. Elias was ä man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnest. ly, that it might not rain; and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, , and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. 6. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. We have an instance in the seventh of Exodus of this power given to the servants of God, in smiting the earth with all plagues, and in turning their waters into blood; but this alludes to nations of men. 19. And the Lord spake unto Moses, say unto Aaron, take thy rod, and stretch out thy hand over Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water that they may become blood;and that there may be blood thro'out all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and vessels of stone. 20.And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants, and all the waters were turned irito blood. 7. And when they shall have finished (are about to finish) their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them and overcome them, and shall kill them.
In this chapter there is a field open to view, which would baffle all the line writers on earth to elucidate; and which the best authors have utterly failed in explaining. The Almighty ruler of the universe, needs no effort to manage his undisturbed affairs. It is his prerogative alone, to bring good out of evil, light out of Carkness, and order out of consusion. Who can create mil
lions of worlds with a word and dash them to nothing with a frown; and who can do mighty wonders by the feeblest means, or no means at all. Is the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to be built up in our wretched world, against the Dever ceasing hostility of all the powers of earthand hell; He does not need to employ; "Twelve legions of angels, but twelve poor illiterate fishermen. Does a poor wicked hardened wretch, in some remote period of the history of the Roman Empire, invent the punishment of the cross, for malefactors; let christians say, as every christian will say, from his inmost soul, with the apostle Gal. 6. 11. But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Does the Lord intend to deliver his people from the power of the oppressor in Egypt; He makes use of a simple rod in the hand of Moses and Aaron, two old men without arms, or a military force. Does he intend to put them in possession of the promised land; He has for that great achievement, raised up and qualified a Joshua; trained in the school of allliction forty years in the wilderness. Does the Lord intend to liberate a highly favored and unthankful people in the new world, from the tyrany & oppression, of the strongest horn of the dreadful and ter rible beast, which the prophet Daniel could find no name for, among all the dreadfal ferocious monsters of this world. (Ho had great iron teeth and nails of brass, and which the apostle John calls the dragon.) For this mighty achievement, the Lord raised up and qualified a Washington, another Joshua; and first raised up and qualified a Columbus, to discover this new world, to be an asylum for the oppressed of all nations.
Does the Lord intend that the human family shall be enlighten ed and set free from the strong fetters of iron and brass, so long forged by aristocracy and their tools, kings-craft and priest-craft. Anold man unconscious ofwhathe wasdoing by cutting a few simple figures on the greenbark oisomesticks,and wrapping them in paper, to divert bis grand children, was the origin of the divine art of printing, which has discovered a power, a thousand times greater, than the lever of Archimedes.
Is labor saving machinery to be discovered to meliorate the condition of man; a Bacon, an Arkright, and a Fulton can accomplish it. Does the sovereign Lord and ruler of the universe, suffer a number of abandoned wretches, enemies to the whole human race, who were making war, overcoming, and killing God's two witnesses, in the great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where, also our Lord was crucified; As if to confound the things that are mighty, the Lord made use of an humble minister of the gospel, in a little obscure congregation of pious christians in the mountains of Wales, by pro. viding his own congregation with bibles, which gave rise to tho British and foreign bible society, and consequently all the bible societies in the world; to carry terror and dismay into the very centre of the enemies camp; which not only caused great fear to fall on them which saw them; but will cause their final and everlasting overthrow,
CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS. In the year of our Lord, 1793, the 1200 years, the reign of Antichrist, was to expire; or more correctly speaking, Daniel 7. 26; but the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 2. Thess. 3. 8. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, 'and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: and the beast that carrieth the woman, that was drunk with the blood of the saints, and the great city Babylon, will be cunsumed, and fall together. The rescript of Justinian, in the year 533, declaring the Pope, universal bishop; and the ten horns, also, giving their power to the beast completes his guilty title to this seat. Chap. 17. 12. 13. And the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten king, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour, (or the same hour.) with the beast. 17, For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
Now this has been all acknowledged as literally true, as 50ber simple matters of fact, yet I have looked in yain for right conclusions, or inferences drawn from these premises. And though I am indebted to Newton, Croly and others for the his. tory of the fulfilment of the prophecies, as we are informed by the numerous historians. The mistakes of commentators chief ly arise from not observing the distinctions, between the woman that was drunk, with the blood of the saints, and the beast, that carries her: And the distinction all along is kept in view by the prophets, between the same harlot, and the great city Babylon. It is easy to account for these mistakes. The early writers, smarting under the cruel unrelenting popish persecutors, lost sight of the beast and Babylon, and ascribed too much to popery, and from a just veneration for these great and good men, the later writers, implicitly followed them.Another mistake in a very important point,leading many,and indeed, almost all astray, was the precious promise, that kings should be the nursing fathers, and their queens the nursing mothers of the church. By not taking an enlarged but detached view of this important point, has led to the mistake. Now, instead of giving sanction to kings-craft, it only shows that all things shall work together, for good to them that love God, even the devil, that goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, only drives the poor helpless, feeble sheep closer to the great shepherd.
Isaiah 49, from the 13th to the 24th verse. Sing, O heavens, and be joyful, 0, earth; and break forth into singing, 0, mountains, for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion, saith the Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woo man forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the fruit of her womb?Yea,they may forget,yet will I not: forgetthee. Behold, I have graven thee on the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers, and they that made thee waste, shall go forth of thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee as a bride doeth. For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. the children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other,
skal! say again in thine ears, the place is too strait for me; give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine Leart; who hath begotten me these, seeing, I have lost my children, and an desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro; and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone, these, where had they been? Thus saith the Lord God, behold I will lift up mine hand to the gentiles, and set up a standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the carth, and lick up the dust of thy feet;and thou shalt know that I am the Lord;for they shall not be ashamed that wait
Now this is a history of the church, both in her prosperity, and adversity, under both the Old and New Testatment; but these exceeding great and precious promises have a special regard to the glory of the latter day church, or the Millenium. It is clearly understood that good kings and queens, in the Old Testament church, were instruments to build up, nourish and cherish the church; and Constantine and Thcodocius and their queens were friends to the church. And since the reformation, many of the European kings and queens have been the nurses