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being the maritime power in question. We live in times, which might produce seriousness even in the most unthinking; and I am willing to hope, that there actually has been of late years a considerable increase of genuine religion among us. Our situation peculiarly fits us to be the ark, as it were, of God's Church. We must beware of making him our enemy, and then we need not fear what man can do unto us. But, however matters may terminate, your Lordship will have the satisfaction of reflecting, that you have not been silent; that you have raised

your voice, as a watchman of our Israel ; and that, in the solemnity of what

you have conceived might be a last address, you have borne your testimony against any relapse into a superstition, from which our pious forefathers separated themselves, and which is destined to fall in the course of God's righteous judgments, ere the glorious kingdom of the mountain shall commence.

I have the honour to be

Your LORDSHIP's most obliged

and dutiful humble Servant,


Feb. 25, 1808.

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THE plan, which I have pursued in the following work, is the same as that which I adopted in my Dissertation on the 1260 years. It was finished in the spring of the year 1806: and, instead of altering the text, such events as have since oc- \ curred, that appeared worthy of our observation, I have animadverted upon in the notes.

The longer I have considered the subject, the more I am confirmed in my former opinions. The passing train of events, the long period of time during which the abominations of Popery have been suffered to prevail from whatever precise era the appointed three times and a half ought to be computed, the very spirit of the age itself, all serve to shew, that we cannot be very far removed from what Daniel calls the time of the end. At least, whatever may be thought of the other particulars,

this last, I mean the spirit of the age, seems to me sufficiently decisive. “ When the Son of man

cometh,” said our Lord, “ shall he find faith on “ the earth ?” The present age has been boastfully termed the age of reason : and, when we consider the sense in which it has been so termed, we can scarcely avoid esteeming the appellation synonymous with the age of unbelief. Individual unbelief indeed has existed in all ages of the Church: but never was there an age, in which infidelity has been so widely and so systematically diffused; never was there an age, to which the emphatic question of Christ so closely applied, as the present. Nor am I at all singular in my opinion. The question of our Lord, as it has been well observed by a late eminent divine, certainly “ gives us reason to expect, “ that, at the coming of the Son of man, faith “ shall scarcely be found on earth. It is obvious “ therefore to conclude, that, in proportion as the “ faith decays, the coming of Christ is drawing

The scoffers of the last days may insolently deinand of us, as it was foretold they

should, where is the promise of his coming ? “ and object, that there is no sign of it, for that ss all things continue as they were. But this can"not now be said with truth. All things do not “ continue as they were.

There hath been a mar9

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"vellous change of late in the affairs of this world 5 and in the state of religion, with which all serious men are alarmed, justly apprehending that

some still greater event is to follow. The signs " of the times, to those who can read them, are


Some have supposed, that the 1260 years are already expired, and that their expiration took place about the commencement of the French revolution. As yet I have seen no sufficient reasons to induce me to assent to this opinion. According to the most natural interpretation of Dan. xii. 6, 7, the interpretation adopted by Mr. Mede and other eminent expositors, the interpretation which best harmonizes with parallel prophecies, the Jews will begin to be restored so soon as the three times and a half shall have expired. But the Jews have not begun to be restored. Therefore we scarcely seem warranted in supposing that the three times and a half have expired. However this may be, I have little doubt that the wonderful shaking of nations during these last eighteen years is preparatory to the return and conversion of God's chosen people, and to the final overthrow of his congregated enemies.

* Jones's Works, Vol. vi. p. 358,


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