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sarily be their portion, who make no pretensions to having any covenant right to the favor of God; who cast off his fear, and desire not the knowledge of his ways?
In general, God, in his word, does not condescend to treat of, or make, the subject of his revelation or prophetic discoveries, any of the actions of kingdoms or nations, but, only in so far, as they respect the prosperity or persecution of his church and people.His plan has been finally to establish a people peculiar to himself, zealous of good works--a kingdom of saints--a glorious catholic or universal church triumphant in the new Jerusalem; not of this or that denomination of professors, but of all nations, languages and tongues, who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth-who fear God and work righteousness.—This has been a regular system from the beginning of time, to which all the prophets and apostles bear witness; and to which alone we are to look in considering the prophecies of the scriptures.
The modern pretended philosophers, for want of an humbling knowledge of the divine mercy and goodness towards a lost and sinful world, seem incapable of taking into their ideas, this whole plan the great salvation by Jesus Christ, notwithstanding the plainness and simplicity with which it is revealed in the gospel-T'hey see the mysterious conduct of the great governor of the universe, but on the dark side; and thereby all their reflections tend to mislead them, as the pillar of cloud did the Egyptians.
It is in vain for weak and foolish man, to say that God is the God of all flesh and no respecter of persons—A God of mercy and love who delighteth not in the death of a sinner, but would rather that he should return, repent and live. Let him look round him, on facts happening among mankind every day -behold the distinctions—the poverty—the misfortunes—the awful sufferings of many, while others are rolling in wealth-afluence and luxury-From whence arise wars-insurrections and bloodshed.
This very reasoning of the objector, proves the truth of the prophetic revelation, which has expressly asked in view of this temper of the infidel6. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world ? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? The natural man receiveth not the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are only spiritually to be discerned.”
The sole question ought to be, are these the predictions of unerring wisdom and truth, or are they not? We are now arrived at so late a period of the world, that we are able to look back and enquire, whether those things foretold some thousands of years ago, as to take place previous to this our day, have been accomplished or not? If they have not, we ought not implicitly to believe those, that are predicted to happen hereafter-but if they have, and that with a critical chronological exactness, sufficient to astonish the mind of the correct and careful en. quirer, has not the whole thereby received the sea] of truth; and is there not as much propriety in believing those that are to come, as those that are past ? --If, therefore, they are found by this unfailing testimony, to be the predictions of infinite wisdom, who or what presumptuous mortal has a right to ask why is it so? shall the clay say to the potter, why have you made me thus ?
Let the most scrupulous sceptic enquire then, las the fourth beast or the Roman government arisen up? has he been more powerful and stronger than all that went before him? did the people of the prince that did come, invade Jerusalem, destroy the city and burn the sanctuary with fire? did he cause the sacri. fice and oblation to cease? were the Jews, the peculiar people of God, dispersed among all the nations of the earth, and have they become a hissing and a bye-word among all people? Do they so continue to this day, and yet remain a separate people, contrary to
every other instance known in the world, as a miraculous and uncontrovertable evidence of the truth of prophecy? are not their conquerors and oppressors almost all destroyed so as to be lost and forgotten, while they remain, as an increasing proof of the truth of prophecy ? is their once goodly land overrun by Gentiles and Idolaters, and wholly taken out of their hands, so that they scarcely have a place for the soles of their feet?-did, in the days of this fourth government at the end of the appointed time, a great personage appear, declaring himself to be the Mes. siah foretold by the prophets, and proving his mission by miracles, signs and wonders; in a word, by doing works, that no other man ever did? did he, in the language of an early writer, “ show his humanity, when he hungered and was weary-and when veary, he thirsted; and when praying he was sorrowful-he slept upon a pillow and deprecated the cup of his passion—when in an agony he sweated and was strengthened by an angel-when betrayed by Judas and insulted by Caiaphas, as well as set at paught by Herod—when he was scourged by Pilate, derided by the soldiers-fainted under the weight of his load, ascending mount Calvaryfastened to the cross by the Jews, and crying with a load voice, commends his spirit to his father and bowing his head, he gave up the ghost? when his side was pierced by a spear, and being wrapped in fine linen, he was laid in a sepulchre, and on the third day raised from the dead? was not his divinity equal. ly discoverable, when he was worshipped by angels and visited by the shepherds--expected by Simeon and received testimony from Anna—when he was enquired for by the wise men and shown by a starwhen he turned water into wine, rebuked the sea and walked upon the waters-gave sight to the blind, bearing to the deaf and speech to the dumb—fed with a few loaves and some small fishes a great mul. titude in desart places--raised Lazarus from the dead-forgave sins and conferred the like power on his disciples."Were not these miracles performed at his word, in an instant, and some wrought on persons at a distance from him ?- They were done in the most public and open manner, at Jerusalem and in every part of Judea and Galilee--In cities, villages, synagogues, in private houses, in streets, in highways, in the presence of enemies, before Scribes and Pharisees, rulers of synagogues, when attended by multitudes, and in a word before men of all characters. Was he not condemned and crucified accord. ing to the predictions, and did he not rise again on the third day? and although despised and rejected of men-although forsaken by his own disciples and considered as a malefactor by the world in general, did he not by the means of twelve poor illiterate fishermen, and in opposition to all the governments of the different nations, both civil and religious, propagate his doctrines according to his positive declarations while living, so as to gain over princes and people, though previously his most determined enemies? Were not those doctrines wholly incompatible with, and destructive of, every other form and kind of worship, established and received by those na. tions? and yet they prevailed, by mere dint of reason and argument, against both power and the sword !
- Did the God of heaven thus set up the kingdom foretold by Daniel, which no power on earth has yet been able to prevail against ?-Has the fourth or Ro. man government been divided into two empires—then subdivided into ten kingdoms? Has there arisen a little horn or government, in this fourth kingdom