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SECTION THE FOURTH.

SIGNS OF THE APPROACHING DAY OF THE LORD.

These wars and commotions among the nations, &c.—The abounding of religious impostors-A more extensive preaching of the Gospel among the Heathen nations-The depression and spoliation of the Papal see-The sixth vial considered-Kings of the East-The three unclean Spirits like frogs-The invasion of Palestine-A siege of Jerusalem pointed out as the grand crisis of the Divine interposition.

IN these conflicts and predicted movements among the nations upon earth, we are taught by the word of prophecy to trace the near approach of "the great day of the Lord." The dreadful judgments of that day, as executed by the immediate hand of God, will hereafter engage much of our attention. The sufferings however, of mankind during these bloody wars, and these contests of the nations which we have been tracing, I do not reckon among the judgments of "the great day:" they are only a prelude to it; but when they begin to come to pass, they may certainly be contemplated as signs of its approach. These conflicts produce not, immediately, any other effects, than such as we may term the common calamities of mankind; the vanquished

understand these prophecies of Scripture; and may contemplate with wonder the infatuated apostate of the west, rushing forth, in the very predicted line, towards his ruinous and long ago appointed end.

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It is to be remarked also that it is foretold in Daniel, that while the adversary is triumphing in his Egyptian conquest, and dividing his spoils, tidings out of the east and out of the north" shall desturb his festivity; so that "he goes forth again with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.'

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To what these tidings may particularly refer we will not anticipate; but still, as it should seem, the king is for a little longer the instrument of an avenging Providence, and the sword in his hand, is the rod of God's indignation. "He overflows in righteousness," still he is "the abomination that maketh desolate" "even until the consummation, and that determined, shall be poured upon the desolate," then "he comes to his end, and none can help him." He perishes, as we shall see hereafter in a siege of Jerusalem, which he all but carries; and it is at this particular crisis that Jehovah Sabaoth is himself manifested in judgment.

* Daniel xi. 44.

SECTION THE FOURTH.

SIGNS OF THE APPROACHING DAY OF THE LORD.

These wars and commotions among the nations, &c.-The abounding of religious impostors-A more extensive preaching of the Gospel among the Heathen nations-The depression and spoliation of the Papal see-The sixth vial considered-Kings of the East-The three unclean Spirits like frogs-The invasion of Palestine-A siege of Jerusalem pointed out as the grand crisis of the Divine interposition.

In these conflicts and predicted movements among the nations upon earth, we are taught by the word of prophecy to trace the near approach of "the great day of the Lord." The dreadful judgments of that day, as executed by the immediate hand of God, will hereafter engage much of our attention. The sufferings however, of mankind during these bloody wars, and these contests of the nations which we have been tracing, I do not reckon among the judgments of "the great day:" they are only a prelude to it; but when they begin to come to pass, they may certainly be contemplated as signs of its approach. These conflicts produce not, immediately, any other effects, than such as we may term the common calamities of mankind; the vanquished

will suffer, and the victors with their blood will purchase renown, and new means of earthly enjoyment to the survivors. But the executed vengeance of "the great day of the battle of Almighty God" will be very different: there will be drawn the sword, not of man; and the judgments upon the nations that have sent forth these armies, will come from a miraculous display of the Divine power, both upon them and upon their armies, and not in the ordinary way of the present providential dispensation. I think the words of our Lord are applicable here: "And ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet." And it seems there will be other prognostics of the approach of the great day: "and there shall be famines and pestilence, and earthquakes in divers places."

These are, indeed, but the usual visitations of a correcting Providence; but their magnitude and the frequency of their occurrence towards the last, may serve for signs and tokens, to warn mankind— if they will take warning-of the approach of "the Righteous Judge of all the earth." It is added in St. Luke: "and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven:"* whatever these may be, when they appear the timorous no doubt will fear and tremble and think, in truth at last, that'the world is going to be at an end!' and the philosopher, perhaps, will scientifically account for all these phenomena, and lay the world at their ease. This at any rate we know for certain, the world will take

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* Luke xxi. 11.

no warning, "for the day of the Lord must so come as a thief in the night. When they shall say peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them as pain upon a woman with child."

Another sign which has been pointed out by our Lord, is the abounding of religious impostors, and the striking effects produced by artful deceivers, a sign which has been abundantly manifested in these latter ages. The Mahomedan imposture in the east, and the masterpiece of the deceptions of Satanthe Papacy in the west, have long deceived their multitudes, and trampled upon the ruins of primitive Christianity. But, perhaps, the abounding of seducers, that should arise and deceive many, which should more particularly afford a sign of the near approach of the coming of the Son of Man, must be looked for from that heretical and sectarian spirit, which has been so exceedingly prolific in our day, which, defying all authority and despising all order, has introduced such a diversity of opinions, and so many plausible schemes of doctrine and ecclesiastical polity, that we see the simple beyond measure perplexed and bewildered.

Many ably devised schemes are there indeed abroad in the religious world "to shew signs and wonders to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect." And not only is the Papacy marked for destruction by the word of prophecy, at that day; but seducers, that stand in rather an opposite relation to the Apostolic Church, "They perish in the gainsaying of Corah." "Such are they that separate themselves, having not the

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