Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

)

Sacred Writings. Every thing in prophecy and circumstance marks them out as likely to take an important place, and to act a prominent part, in the events which are shortly coming upon the earth. They have been once, if they be not now, the wisest and most enlightened people. Salvation is of the Jews. Their uninspired literature contains, as it always did, many valuable instructions and maxims, especially with regard to moral and religious practice, and the conduct of life. Their long period of affliction and persecution is likely to have disciplined and instructed their hearts and dispositions, and prepared their minds for the reception at length of pure religious truth and wisdom. Salvation is of the Jews. And whether the Redeemer himself shall first come to Zion again, and rule over his people from thence, and from thence send forth the true and perfect law, and the pure word and river of life, flowing from a full interpretation and comprehension of the Bible as a fountain, or whether the Jews shall first return to their land and be converted, and devote their studies and zeal to the eliciting and illustration of Christianity from every word of the Old and New Testaments,-preparatory to His second coming,-in either case, the Jews seem to be destined to act a glorious part in extracting the abundant and overflowing riches of Divine wisdom and Christian truth, which are hidden, as in an inexhaustible mine, in all the types and figures, and precepts and parables, and ceremonies and prophecies, and lives of saints and patriarchs, and every event of history, as recorded in Holy Scripture, from the beginning of creation to the times coincident with the first coming of our Lord.

[ocr errors][merged small]

We cannot even approach to forming an adequate conception of the sight, when we shall see clearly and know perfectly the word of truth and revelation, as it shall be fully developed to us. We can just perceive some symptoms of the errors of our present systems and opinions, as being opposed to the spirit and form of Scripture truth, and some small signs of the direction which sounder views and interpretations might take, in approach towards the true spirit and wisdom of revealed truth. We can perceive that the Bible is an immense treasure of hidden wisdom,–because each person, as he penetrates further into it, is only more convinced that he is still but on the threshold ; and that more faithful practice and obedience must be the key,*-for that the whole book is sealed to us by our self-chosen principles of conduct, and practices; and that the Jews are not only the natural interpreters, if they could but be weaned from their traditions, and be brought to it with a right intention and spirit, but that they are more likely to be disciplined at length into this right course of thought and a suitable teachableness, by their long chastenings and afflictions, because we find that all our worldly advancements and growth in wealth, luxury, power, prosperity and civilization, only lead us farther from the maxims and spirit and motives and rules of Christianity, and the capability of obeying or believing them. We know nothing of the real nature of our ultimate regeneration, or of the manner of the second coming,-more

* “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”—Matt.

“Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as He is pure.”—1 John, iii. 3.

V. 8.

than the Jews knew and believed of the manner of the first coming to redemption,—or whether our Lord will bring it at once and immediately by Himself, or first by his ministers ; – but we feel and groan under the desire of a further redemption and regeneration of the body and mind and spirit and understanding, and of the knowledge and practice of a more real and perfect Christianity.

It may be, that the temple of God is already opened in heaven, and there is seen in his temple the ark of his testament: that is, the first signs and leaven of perfect Christianity. But no one can enter into the temple, till the plagues of the seven angels are fulfilled. But now at this time, by the pouring out of the sixth vial, it seems that the great river Euphrates (the great flood, or ocean) is drying up, that the way of the kings of the East may be prepared. The Eastern habits of thought and conduct must first take their due share, in forming our minds, and the perfecting of civilization. After that, the seventh vial shall be poured out into the air ;-and then shall the spirit of religion become pure and perfect; and then, and not till then, shall the true believers in Christ enter into the temple of God, and worship him in spirit and in truth.*

* Rev. xi. 19 ; xv. 5, 8; xvi. 12, 17.

ESSAY VIII.

THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST.

" THAT WAS, AND IS NOT, AND YET is."--REV. xvii. 8.

SPIRITUAL INCEST-THE REVIVAL AND USE OF HEATHEN LEARNING

AND PRINCIPLES-THE HEALING OF THE BEAST- PERFECTED AFTER

THE

REFORMATION - ARISTOTLE THE FATHER OF INFIDELITY-IN

SUCCESSIVE AGES - OPINIONS OF PRIESTLEY, FLEURY, LUTHER, DR. ARNOLD-ROME REVIVED-CLASSICAL LIBERTY-DIGNITY AND

WORSHIP OF HUMAN NATUREAGE

AND

AUTHORITY SLIGHTED

LIBERTY OPPRESSIVE-POOR AND POOR LAWS OF ATHENS AND ROME

-CORRUPTION

OF

CAPITAL

CITIES - THEATRES GLADIATORIAL

SHOWS HEARING AND SEEING SOME NEW THING-SPIRIT OF UN

TRUTHQUAKER EDUCATION.

But there is a still heavier charge, which lies against the ruling principles in Christendom; for if certain not lightly pondered surmises be correct, they realize the renewal and re-establishment of the Greek and Roman Empires, and the revival of the heathen beast prophesied of in Revelations.

It may not be easy to place the right crown precisely upon each head of the anti-christian beast. But the Protestant Churches have felt no scruple in affixing the crowns of the Greek and Roman Empires upon the Greek and Roman Churches, which renew and glory in the same respective names of those two heathen and op

posing empires, which Christ came to put down;--and if, in some sort, the same circle of regal dignity were said to embrace the head and horns of the Protestant Kingdoms and Churches, it would not be more impossible on the ground of promised infallibility, nor improbable on the ground of lamb-like meekness, and absence of

presumption.

Sir George Rose, in his “ Scriptural Researches," has supported views hardly, if at all, falling short of this proposition ; and he seems to look forward to that final consummation of wickedness in the Gentile Churches, which it is foretold shall bring down the most signal punishment upon them.* He speaks respecting the essential imperfections of the Gentile-Christian Church in this manner : “ It appears therefore, that the Christian Church, the Bride of Christ, which from the first would have been Jewish, had not Israel resisted and rejected its Redeemer, and would have existed in the most intimate union with him, passed into the hands of the Gentiles, and became weak and corrupt in their possession, one in some sense scarcely legal, and always imperfect. And all that we learn from prophecy, and have hitherto seen with our own eyes, demonstrates to us, that this Church, as long as she is under Gentile headship, will be fallen and degraded ; and it is brought distinctly to our view by Holy Writ, that it will never be seen in a perfect and beatific state, until Israel, having received the Gospel, shall assume its long-destined pre-eminence in the universal Church, under the rule

* Dan. ix. 27, Marg. upon the desolator. Luke, xxi. 24.

« AnteriorContinuar »