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dominions, and through the civilized world, this is known as the 1260th year of the Mahomedan religion. It terminates in January, 1845. Forty-two months, according to the Eastern reckoning of months, contain 1260 days; the date being expressed in months, gives it a correspondence with the Mahomedan reckoning of lunar years, and for that period the Mahomedan is the prevailing power in the East. The Gentiles have literally trodden down the city of Jerusalem for a large part of that period. The city was given to idolatry and superstition under a Christian name, and was taken by the Caliph Omar, in 636, and with an exception of 88 years in the time of the crusaders, who were also full of superstition and idolatry, has been in the possession of Mahomedans ever since. This again then furnishes another sign of the times in which we live, and marks farther the passing away of the second woe.
The quick approach of the third woe has next to be noticed. Behold! the third woe cometh quickly. The third woe is the seventh trumpet. We shall enter afterwards more fully on its nature, and what accompanies it.
“ Between the fifth and the sixth trumpets there was a period of above one hundred years. This interval was predicted thus: One woe is past, and behold there come two woes more hereafter.'. The prophecy shows that there would be a considerable interval between these woes: a time of delay. But the expressions describing the interval between the second and third woe-trumpet, calling attention to the quick coming of the third woe-trumpet, ' Behold the third woe cometh quickly,' forbid us entertaining the idea of a lengthened delay. It is to be expected in a much shorter period,—we have no reason to expect or anticipate any lengthened delay of the woe on the wicked.
“We have already had given to us, in the six vials pouring out since the French Revolution began, solemn warnings in God's providence, of that last and greatest tribulation, bringing the most awful and final judgments of God's wrath on his enemies: so often revealed as the great day of judgment. But the apostate Christian nations have not nationally turned to God repenting of their deeds. Rev. xvi. 11. The armed host, as it were, who on the last day of the seven, six times surrounded Jericho, before the trumpet sounded, has thus encircled Babylon. Six of the vials have been poured out. The sixth is now fulfilling its commission in Turkey, and among Christian nations. There is yet to come the pouring out of the seventh vial, the opening of the seventh seal, the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and all the momentous events dependant upon them. Just as when, at the close of the seventh time of the surrounding of the city, the priests blew for the last time with the trumpets, and the walls fell down, and the people entered and took the city, and excepting Rahab and her father's household, all the inhabitants of Jericho perished, so will it be when the seventh trumpet sounds, and the third woe descends. We read, the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead that they should be judged; and that thou shouldest destroy them that destroy the earth.'
“ It is important for us to see, in what respects it is called a woe-trumpet, and 'the third woe,' the greatest of all woes that has to come on the inhabitants of our earth. It is material here to distinguish between the people of God and the enemies of God. The third woe connected with the coming of our Lord is no woe, but a distinguished mercy to the people of God; it is, we are expressly told, the time that thou shouldest give the reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to thy saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great.' It is their entrance into their glory. We have often this discrimination in the character of the same event. The 136th Psalm is full of it
. Every event the most afflictive and destructive to others, is a mercy to the people of God. To him that smote Egypt in their first-born, for his mercy endureth for ever: and brought out Israel from among them, for his merey endureth for ever. Destruction to his enemies is mercy to his people. So it is said, 'Your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence,
be will come and save you.' So again: ‘The day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly shall be as stubble. But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings.'
" This part of divine Scripture, then, strengthens greatly all those many warning voices which run through the New Testament, calling us to prepare to meet our God, to be ready for our Lord's coming, to wait for it, to be watchful and prayerful: by showing us that they have a direct application to ourselves, and a special meaning and force in these times, and to the generation now living. This corresponds with the warning voice under the sixth vial, ' Behold I come as a thief; blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.' It is as if the Lord told us by a voice from heaven, now is the time for special attention to the admonition, 'Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh. Let your loins be girded, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for the Lord. Take heed to yourselves lest that day come upon you unawares, for as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.' We need not wonder, then, that there is a special call to attention in the words, ‘Behold the third woe cometh quickly.” “Other signs of the times tend to confirm the view that this is the present state of the world. Other indications concur to awaken general attention.
“ The increasing interest felt by Christians for the Jewish nation, and the awakenings among the Jews, mark the period of their restoration, and the appearance of Christ to them. This is clearly predicted, • Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favour her, yea, the set time is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof.... When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. This sympathy with Zion, among the servants of God in the Gentile Churches, has Fery remarkably, and with progressively increasing strength and fulness, been manifested; and was especially seen in the foundation of the Protestant episcopacy on Mount Zion, under a converted Jew, and by the concurrence of the two chief Protestant kingdoms of the earth. Our Lord directs us to a similar token, indicating his return, in his last address to the Jews, ‘Behold pour house is left desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.' The very object of the drying up of the Euphrates is, that the way of the kings of the East may be prepared. I believe those kings of the East to have a special reference to Israel. It is predicted, All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains : and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye. In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of Hosts, of a people scattered and peeled, ... to the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts' Isa. xviii. Our Lord also foretels the sign of the Son of Man, and the mourning of all the tribes of the earth,' and a great sound of' a trumpet,' as connected with his coming, and the gathering of his elect. Matt. xxiv. 30, 31.
" The wide preaching of the gospel to all nations eminently distinguishes the present day. This also is a clear indication of the approach of the judgment; for this accords with the prediction, 'I saw another
angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people; saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come.' Everything betokens a preparation of the whole earth for some great event affecting the whole human race. The way in which the most distant parts are now united is wonderful. The chief Protestant nation, Britain, by its possessions and its constant commerce, touches America
with one hand and China with the other, plants one foot on the Cape of Good Hope and another on North West America, and the children of God send forth the messengers of mercy east and west, north and south. Steam-vessels, railways in all lands, a general peace, friendly intercourse among the nations, increased commerce, the thirst for knowledge, the fresh discoveries in arts and in science, in a remarkable way fulfil the prediction “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased,' and prepare the whole earth for the great change which is at hand, and for understanding that most important of all events that has hitherto occurred on our earth,-the coming again of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven, and the resurrection and translation of his saints to his glory.
“The daring avowals of infidelity, lawlessness and Popery, mark this same period. The prophecy describing this has been dwelt upon in my. Divine Warning.' It is in these words: 'I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dragon, and out of the mouth of the Beast
, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils
, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold I come as a thief, blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. This corresponds to several similar prophecies, describing the features of the last times. There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming ?' (2 Pet. iii. 3, 4.) So Jude describes 'the Lord's coming, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.' The full description of these ungodly men in the
perilous times of the last days, we have in 2 Tim. iii. 1–5. And the counterpart we have, alas, spread half over Christendom. The conflicts of the church will therefore probably multiply, the hour of temptation shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth,' the elect shall cry day and night unto God; and the difficulty of faith immediately before the Lord's coming is set before us in the awakening enquiry of our Lord, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
" Thus on every side, the signs of this great event are multiplying. The political state of all nations: the general cry of peace and prosperity, the peculiar situation of the Jews, the actual exertions of true Christians, the general state of the visible church, the unclean spirits all abroad, indicate distinctly the approaching day of Christ."--(pp. 26-35.)
Such are Mr. Bickersteth's views of our PRESENT POSITION, and having followed him to this point, we regret to say that we must here limit, or nearly so, our extracts from his interesting work. There are indeed many other topics of the highest practical im. portance, on which we would gladly have allowed Mr. B. to speak for himself; but we have thought it desirable to occupy what space we could allow by giving in extenso his deliberate and matured views on the important prophecy which forms the basis of his work-a prophecy connected, as he conceives, with the times in which we live, and, if so, opening before us unparelleled interest, and presenting a loud call to the high and momentous duties which he has so forcibly urged upon wish it were possible, in few words, to convey anything like an adequate idea of the solemn and awakening reflections which the subject suggests. Had we the ability to do so, we could not better
reward the attention of our readers, or express ourselves more seasonably with reference to a crisis which seems to gather within itself
, at the present time, every element, whether of general or particular interest, all that is worthy of the profoundest thought, whether by statesmen, philosophers, or divines. But we must content ourselves with a very few concluding remarks. And, first of all, let us, from Mr. B.'s preface, give what we can cordially adopt as our own view of the signs of the times at home, with reference to the point touched upon--a point which has received further elucidation since that preface was written, and which connects itself in a very affecting manner with “the sure word of prophecy" to which Mr. B. has so seasonably called our attention, as indeed it must, and evidently does, with all men's speculations touching the progress and prospects of society, the present and future condition not of our own nation only, but of Europe and the world,--we mean, the manifest revival and extension of Popery.
" While we thank God,” Mr. B. observes, “ for the reprobation of dishonest subscription by the convocation at Oxford, yet the signs of the times respecting a temporary triumph of popery, correspond very much with the prophecies indicating the same thing.' When we see that on February 13, in this year, 386 members of convocation at Oxford refused to admit that an English clergyman had been guilty of bad faith, who
asserted, that in subscribing the Articles he renounced no one Roman doctrine; that 544 members of convocation have published their thanks to the proctors for negativing a proposal to condemn Tract No. XC; that out of twenty-four colleges at Oxford, fifteen have Tractarian tutors; that out of sixty-four tutors, only twenty-two are Anti-Romanists, and twenty-five are Tractarian, the remainder seventeen being neutral; that it has been said by a Tractarian journal
, apparently on good grounds, that out of 230 resident members of convocation, only forty-eight were opposed to the views of Mr. Ward, and that in one large college of 188, only one voted against him, and that at Cambridge a society so papal as the Camden, should have gained such influence; what true Protestant can but be anxious for our country! When we witness government at the risk of its stability, and after all past experience, while our beloved Queen has sworn in her coronation oath that popery is idolatrous, withdrawing our many testimonies
against it, and supporting its institutions, and favouring this idolatrous religion—true Christians cannot but discern the imminent danger of our country from revived popery. The Lord graciously again deliver us. The Lord graciously strengthen his people to make a fresh protest at every cost against this abomination. "The measures of government are a painful index of the state of the nation : they show that, in the mind of the majority, there is a real departure from God, by a preference of fancied expediency to strict religious principle. Government could not thus act, if there was a large general manifestation of Protestant principles. But fear of evil consequences so possesses many sincere followers of our Lord, that they dread acting on their principles. May God graciously call forth’a general national testimony, that, cost what it may, as a nation we will not support falsehood, and we will nationally adhere to the confession of God's own revealed truth. Then there would indeed be a bright hope for our country. No doubt the difficulties are serious, especially in places where Romanists are the vast majority ; but it is the property of real faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and of it alone, to overcome all difficulties, and obtain a full triumph for the truth. 2 Cor. ii. 14; 1 John v. 4, 5.. The whole history of Christianity shows this. Our departure from this is our national apostasy."—(pp. xiii-xv.)
We are happy to think that there is good ground for the remark which follows, as there certainly is for the suggestions which conclude his preface.
“But thanks be to God,” adds Mr. B., "his true church amongst us, consisting of the blessed company of all faithful people, is not apostate, but is continually increasing in numbers, in decision, and in faithfulness; and no tongue can tell the blessings that this church may yet diffuse through our land, and through the world, and the victories it may gain in the times of its conflict, even before the full and final victory assured to it, at the return of our Redeemer.
“ If the views to which the author has been led are correct, we have, bowever, reason to expect growing conflicts, and that among those who neglect and 'hate the gospel, iniquity will yet more fearfully abound, and that all their worldly hopes of earthly prosperity will be suddenly and completely disappointed. We have reason to expect also special trials for the people of Christ, and that their Saviour will speedily return in glory and majesty, to execute vengeance on his enemies, and deliver his people. When we consider how little prepared his professing people are to meet him, what need have we to cry with Habakkuk, O Lord, I have heard thy speech and was afraid. O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years; in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. When we consider what a glory at his return is before his faithful followers, and what ultimate blessedness then awaits our earth, what reason they have to 'comfort one another' with the hope of his coming. 1 Thess. iv. 18."-(pp. xv, xvi.)
There is one more incidental remark of Mr. B.'s which embodies, and that very strikingly, an idea much impressed upon our own mind. It is connected with a previous one suggested by Dr. Arnold's view of the Book of Daniel. Mr. B. justly observes :
“The efforts of the great enemy of souls seem peculiarly directed to keep far away the divine armour of prophecy from the people of Christ. It is so mighty a weapon against him, when grasped by a firm and scriptural faith, that we need not be surprised at Satan's varied efforts to hinder its use. From the days of Porphyry, prophecy bas been a special object of attack." -(p. ix.)
Having animadverted upon Dr. A. in what appear to us very just and charitable, though apparently severe, terms, he adds,
“What reason all who love our Saviour have to unite in defence of his truth! When I look at the vigorous publications of open Infidels, Socinians, and Papists, and see the energy and strength with which they assail their respective opponents, it appears as if every minor and feebler error was grinding to pieces between the upper millstone of infidelity and the nether millstone of popery, and leaving no place for half-way, indecisive, and doubtful characters. "Nothing but the rock of God's own truth can withstand the con. tinual beating of the waves of error which roar on every side. And blessed be his name, prophecy is his own truth; and it is not darkness, but a light shining in a dark place.”—(pp. xi, xii.)
We have expressed in a note some doubt whether Mr. B. has