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7. The next pre-millenial advent “sign” is, the advance of human science, and the practical rejection of the presiding wisdom of Revelation. Take the following passages as the predicted basis of this Sign. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves—boasters, proud, blasphemers — heady, high minded.” – “He is antichrist that denieth that Jesus is the Christ”—“Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come" in the flesh is not of God.”” “Let no man deceeive you — for the day of Christ shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” I Now, what do these passages collectively teach us? What, but this?—That through the self-complaisancy and pride of the human mind and heart, the infinite wisdom of God will find a Rival in a DEIFICATIon of creature intellect / Does this sentiment startle you? It startles us also. Yes, – and we have here thrown ourselves into a vast field, with scarcely a moment's time to survey it. We can only now affirm in general terms as a matter of fact, that “the sufficiency of science is the idol before which men of all ranks” are at this moment prostrating themselves | In the Pantheistic-Neology of Germany — in the Rationalism and Transcendentalism of America— and in the almost total absence of recognition of an overruling Providence in the commercial, legislative, and we had almost said, (and to a great extent we do say it.) ecclesiastical systems of all nations, “the wisdom of God is (even now) rejected, and the authority of Christ-is held to be a ceremony and a name !” Herein therefore behold the “three unclean" master principles “like frogs,” issuing from the mouth of the apocalyptic “dragon; ” (Rev. xvi. 13;) in the form, 1st., of Anarchy and Despotism; 2nd, of atheistic and infidel Science; and 3rd, of Papal, or superstitious theology: all of which, at this very moment constitute so to speak the life blood, the main-spring of action, throughout both the Old and the New world! This “Sigm of the times” indicates the speedy placing, in his seat, of the Personal “Man of Sin, the son of perdition,” after whom the whole infidel Antichristian world is to wander, and whom they are to worship.' Heaven save us from his power 8. Nearly allied to this “sign,” are the events pourtrayed in the symbolic import of the sun, and the moon, and the stars, &c., named above. In many nations, yea, in our own, there are “signs in the sun, and moon, and stars,” the prophetic symbols of their civil and ecclesiastical authorities. – “The powers of the heavens are shaken.” Monarchs tremble on their thrones, or seek for repose at the sacrifice of their crowns and sceptres. There is, literally, the “distress of nations,” the “perplexity,” the agitation, and disquiet, and alarm, set forth by the “roaring waves of the sea.” May it not be said of all nations, that for the last 20 years, they have been merging more and more into the despicable character of “a mammon worshipping people 2" Yea, they have fallen down before the idols of their own handsmaking, “political wisdom, national wealth, and commercial prosperity.” And, when those who have by patient examination, and prayer, and watchfulness, observed the movements of Providence in these ominous precursors of national overthrow, and have dared to raise the voice of admonition and alarm, they have been denounced as “setters forth of strange things ' " The national confidence reposed in the omnipotence of our triune idol, for instance, evinced itself in deriding these as madmen. But, when the pestilence, as in '32, spread disorder and confusion throughout our borders in its fearful midnight and noonday ravages, what terror and dismay were depicted in every countenance 3 But to come nearer home still, let us advert to the alarm and consternation which every where prevailed during the entire period of our Congressional Session of 1833. Whether the causes which led to this general commotion were imaginary or real, it matters not; neither does it at this time concern us. The fact is indisputable." And what was the consequence? Every where the cry was heard, what meaneth this? Whence its origin What its end ? Our political wisdom, our national wealth, and our commercial prosperity, the “staff and stay of our right hand, the Almighty,” as it were, “shook in a day, and it bent like a reed shaken with the wind.” And I ask what advances have since been made toward the removal of those evils 7 Have they not rather accumulated to an alarming extent? Then also, between neighbor and neighbor, townsman and townsman, brother and brother, confidence was then, and is still destroyed. As then, so now, many covered with dismay, confusion, and blank astonishment, and who think themselves rich in the morning, go to bed in poverty. The fear and dread of these last times rankles within almosteverybreast, preying upon their hearts like avulture. Yea, “men’s hearts
1. 2 Tim. iii., 1–4. 2. 1 John iv. 3.
* On the subject of the last developement of the anti-Christian power, the Rev. Mr. Bickersteth observes,—“It may be gathered, I think, that there is a growing form of Antichrist, from the change of the Apostle's expressions: a change which should lead us to tremble at the idea of in any way denying a future coming of our Lord in the flesh. The remarkable variation in the 1st and 2nd Epistle of John, (not noticed in our translation,) respecting Christ's coming in the flesh, seems to mark two stages of Antichrist. In the 1st Epistle (iv. 3,) it is, every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus is come, (xn,v6ora, already come,) is not of God, and this is that spirit of Antichrist, &c. In the 2nd Epistle, v. 7, it is, Many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come (spxoptvov is coming,) in the flesh; this is the deceiver and the Antichrist.—Denying the coming Savior is one mark of the Antichrist.” Indeed, the “very title of Christ is spxopewos, the coming one.” Practical Guide, pp. 110 and 57.
For a similar use of the term, see Matt. xi., 3; xxi., 9; xxiii., 39; Luke vii., 19; Heb. x., 37.
fail them because of fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” And if they would but for a moment turn their attention to an unprejudiced view of the present real state and character of their own and of other nations, they would see in the political, ecclesiastical, and moral instability of all, evidence crowding upon evidence, that the present “signs of the times” admonish us of the speedy fulfilment of all that has been either written or spoken by Christ and the prophets concerning us ! Once more, then, I ask, why is it that so many thrones are tottering 2 That republics, founded it was supposed, on the most invulnerable principles, are shaken to their very centre? That the most splendid fortunes are overthrown That the most ancient and revered names are dishonored ? That the most permanent establishments are laid prostrate 2 That credit between men is so frequently suspended ? That the financial bulwarks of different nations are subverted ? That divisions, and heresies, and schisms are every where devouring by piece-meal the precious vitals of religious truth and order? And, that the evisting civil and ecclesiastical powers are reeling to and fro like a drunken man? Yea, our national idol, DEMocracy, which has been wafted on eagles' pinions to the remotest nations of the earth, and which has furnished themes alike for the poet and the orator of almost every clime—winning, in its resistless course, the “golden opinions” of subjects both of the monarch and the despot—begins now to discover its inheritance of elements of a nature the