Изображения страниц


upon the interesting and seasonable work of Mr. Cooper. That this work was peculiarly seasonable, I think will appear by its effects, in arousing public attention, and awakening the discussions upon prophecy which had so long slept. Mr. Cooper's views, both respecting the chronology of the 1260 years and the general arrangement of the Apocalypse, as exhibited in his Prophetical Chart, so nearly coincide with my own that I could not but consider him as a most powerful auxiliary to my scheme of interpretation, and for the manner in which he is pleased to refer to my work I felt much indebted to him. But with respect to the solidity of his application of Dan. xi. 36–45. to the late Napoleon Bonaparte, I have considerable doubts, of a chronological nature, as it appears to me that the expedition of the king into Palestine is the last act of his political life, and on this account I remain unconvinced by Mr. Cooper's arguments. Yet, as the whole of this passage of prophecy remains still involved in much darkness, I shall willingly keep my mind open to conviction, and ready to receive new light upon it either from Mr. Cooper or any other quarter. *

On another point, I am also reluctantly compelled to dissent from Mr. Cooper, viz. in his views respecting the probable destinies of England. Gladly, indeed, should I subscribe to his conclu

* I do not expect the meaning of this passage of Daniel to be fully unravelled till the fall of the Ottoman empire.


sions upon this point, connected, as it is, with all our fondest desires and hopes, but, when I look around me and examine the Scriptures, more me. lancholy presages get possession of my mind. .

It remains for me now to offer some concluding observations on the present appearances in the world, in regard to the approaching events of the last times. I shall begin these remarks, by a reference to what were my expectations in the second edition of my work on the Apocalypse.

Having seen reason to conclude that we had then arrived at the pause in the convulsions of the sixth seal and seventh trumpet, indicated by the holding of the four winds in Rev. vii., I reasoned as follows, as to the times which were immediately before us :

Now, if these conclusions be just, it follows, "as a necessary consequence from them, that a

corresponding pause must take place in the effects s of some, at least, of the vials. The elements of s discord and disorder, which have hitherto pro“ duced such fearful consequences, must, for a “time, suffer unwilling coercion. A period of

tranquillity must ensue, in which, however, shall “ be discernible, on the one hand, the mingled “ effects of lassitude and extreme exhaustion, and, on the other, the feverish agitation of revolu

tionary principles, still working, but prevented “from breaking out into action.”

Having placed this passage before the reader, I

ask him whether it does not exhibit a most striking view of the state of Europe from the peace of 1815 to the present moment? In that period, we have seen abortive and unsuccessful attempts to establish the principles of revolution in no less than four of the European kingdoms—Naples, Spain, Portugal, and Piedmont. We have seen our own country, at one time, agitated by the spirit of radicalism, and, at another, by the spirit of combination among our working mechanics, which threatened the very foundations of society. We have seen, on the Continent of Europe, a confederacy of the most potent military states of the world armed, not for the purpose of war, as is usual among princes, but for the novel purpose of maintaining peace and keeping down the spirit of change. Every measure of the external policy of our own government, has had for its object, in like manner, the preservation of peace. Thus, even on the last prorogation of parliament, the speech of the royal commissioners contains the following sentiments :-"His

Majesty further commands us to repeat to you, “that his Majesty's earnest endeavours have con“tinued to be unremittingly exerted to prevent the

breaking out of hostilities amongst nations, and “ to put an end to those which still unhappily exist, as well in America as in Europe.”

But though our own government, like those of the continental nations, is thus enamoured of peace, and anxious to retain her embraces, yet there appears an entire inattention to, and ignorance of, those great principles of national righteousness, consisting in the fear of God, repentance for national sins, and acknowledgment of the hand of the Almighty in the affairs of nations, * which are the only sure foundations of peace. Political men have, as to public affairs, become practical Atheists; and hence it is that the spirit of fatuity is discernible in our councils. Is he, for instance, a true statesman who measures national prosperity by the consumption of excisable commodities, by the number of the gallons of ardent spirits swallowed by a population wallowing in the very filth of sin ? and yet such estimates have frequently been made in parliament by our leading public men! O! they make the true Christian tremble and quake for the things that are coming on our guilty country.

When we connect the above stupendous and combined efforts of the sovereigns of Europe to preserve peace, with a particular passage of the prophet Jeremiah, referred to in a former passage, they present to our minds thoughts of a deeply affecting nature. In that passage, chap. xxv. 28., the nations are represented as exceedingly unwilling to take the cup of blood; or, in other words, anxious to continue at peace, as if wearied with wars. But the prophet is addressed in these unspeakably awful words: “Then shalt thou say unto “them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Ye shall cer

* Where are the days of national humiliation and fasting of the late reign?

tainly drink. For, lo, I begin to bring evil on “ the city which is called by my name, and should

ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be un“punished : for I will call for a sword upon all “ the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord.”

However well concocted, therefore, may be those schemes of human policy which have for their object the preservation of the present system of things and

peace of Europe, when the time appointed for it by the Lord shall arrive, they shall be as chaff before the fire, or the hurricane. That this time cannot be distant, is the concurrent voice of all the interpreters of prophecy; and I am of opinion with Mr. Cooper, in his Crisis, and Mr. Irving, that those three unclean spirits, like frogs, mentioned in Rev. xvi. 14., have long since gone forth. These spirits are-THE SPIRIT OF ATHEISM, OR INFIDELITY AND ANARCHY, from the mouth of the Dragon; THE SPIRIT OF DESPOTISM, from the mouth of the Beast; THE SPIRIT OF POPERY, from the mouth of the false Prophet. These principles are now at work through the whole of the Roman earth, preparing for the terrific struggle which is approaching; and were I to endeavour to describe what is now going on, and what is coming, how could I do it better than by referring the reader to various eloquent and powerful passages in Mr. Irving's work on this subject ? for I can assure this able preacher of righteousness, that though I have,

[ocr errors]


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »