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beaft. That we might be at no lofs to distinguish it on its appearance, it is intimated that it should not be so much a civil as an apostate ecclesiastical power : It is a harlot, opposed to the bride the Lamb's wife :--that it should greatly abound in wealth, and worldly grandeur : The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls :—that its dominion should not be confined to its own immediate territories : Power was given it over all kingdoms and tongues and nations :that its authority should not be derived from its own conquests, but from the voluntary consent of a number of independent kingdoms to come under its yoke : The kings of the earth have one mind, and fall give their power and strength unto the beast :-that it should be distinguished by its blafphemies, idolatries, and persecuting spirit : Upon ker were the names of blasphemy. They should make an image of the beast, and as many as would not worsisip the image of the beast were to be killed. And the woman was drunk with the blood of the faints :~that its persecutions Thould extend to such a length as for no man to be allowed the cominon rights of men, unless he became subject to it : No inan might luy or sell; fave be that had the mark, or the name of the beaft, or the number of his name :--that its power should continúe for a time, times, and half a time, forty and two months, or one thousand two hundred and fixty days.; during which long period God's witnetles should prophesy in fackcloth, be driven as into
a wilderness, and, as it were, flain, and their bodies lie unburied :-finally, that they who gave it an existence should be the instruments of taking it away : The 'kings, or powers, of the earth Mall hate the
wbore, and burn her flesh with fire.* Whether all, or any part of this be falsehood, let history and obfervation determine.
It has often been observed that the prophecies of the Meffiah were fo numerous and explicit, that at the time of his appearance there was a general expectation of it, not only in Judea, but in all the neighbouring nations : and is not the same thing obfervable at this time of the fall of antichrist, the conversion of the Jews, and the general spread of the gospel ?
Once more, The sacred writers have predicted the opposition which Christianity should meet with, and described the characters from whom it should proceed. In the last days, fay they, perilous times will cerne, for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blafphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affeétion, truce-breakers, false accufers, incontinent, fierce, defpisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Again, There shall be mockers in the last time, who fhall walk after their own ungodly lufts ; filthy dreamers, who defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own phame; wandering stars, to whom is rea served the blackness of darkness for ever.t Let Mr. Paine, and other infidels consider well the above picture, and ak their own consciences, Is this a falsehood?
Bishop Newton in his Differtations has clearly cvinced the fulfilment of several of these and other fcripture prophecies; and has shewn that some of them are fulfilling at this day. To those Differtations I refer the reader. Enough has been said to enable us to determine which production it is that deferves to be called “a book of falsehoods,” the prophecies of Scripture, or the Age of Rrafon.
* Rev. xi, viü. and xvii. Chapters.
2 Tim. jii. 1-4. Jude.
The harmony of Scripture with truth, evinced from
its agreement with the dictates of an enlightened conscience, and the result of the closest observation.
F a brazen mirror were found on some remote uninhabited island, it might be a doubtful matter how it came thither ; but if it properly reflected objects, there could be no doubt of its being a real mirror.
The Bible was written with the profeffed design of being profitable for reproof; nor was there ever a book fo adapted to the purpose, or so effectual in its operation in disclosing the inward workings of the human mind. Thousands can bear witness from ex, perience that it is quick and powerful, fparper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing afunder of foul and spirit, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Its entrance into the mind giveth light; and light which discovers the works of darkness. Far from flattering the vices of mankind, it charges without ceremony every son of Adam with poffeffing the heart of an apoftate. This charge it brings home to the conscience, not only by its pure precepts, and awful threatenings, but oftentimes by the very invitations and promises
of mercy; which, while they cheer the heart with lively hope, carry conviction by their import to the
In reading other books you may admire the ingenuity of the writer ; but here your attention is turned inward. Read it but seriously, and your heart will answer to its descriptions. It will touch the secret springs of sensibility, and if you have any ingenuousness of mind towards God, the tears of grief, mingled with those of hope and gratitude, will, ere you are aware, trickle from your eyes.
Whatever particular vices you may have been addicted to, here you will discover your likeness ; and that not as by a comic representation on the theatre, which, where it reclaims one person by shaming him out of his follies, corrupts a thoufand ; but in a way that will bring conviction to
Come see a man that told me all things that ever I did, is not this the Chrift? Such was the reason. ing of the woman of Samaria ; and who could have reasoned better? That which makes manifeft must be light. But this reasoning is applicable to other things as well as the Messiahship of Jesus. No man can forbear faging of that book, that doctrine, or that preaching which tells him all things that ever he did, Is not this the truth? The satisfaction afforded by such evidence approaches near to intuitive certainty : It is having the witness in ourselves.
Should it be objected that though this may fatisfy our own minds, yet it can afford no evidence to others- I answer, It is true that they who shun the light cannot be supposed to poffefs that evi, dence of its being what it is, as those who have
come to it that their deeds may be made manifeft: yet even they, if at all acquainted with the Bible, must be aware that the likeneffes which it draws are in a considerable degree their own. It is not to serious Christians only that the gospel is a mirror. Many who never look into that perfect law of liberty from choice and delight, so as to be blefsed in their work, but only glance at it in a tranfient and occasional way, yet perceive so much of their own character in it, as to be convinced that it is right, and that they are wrong. The secret conviction of thousands who hear the word, and do it not, resembles that of Pharaoh, The Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. The impressions of such people, it is true, are frequently short in their duration : like a man who feeth his natural face in a glass, they go away, and straightway forget what manner of persons they are : but the aversion which they discover to a serious resumption of the subject, places it beyond all reafonable doubt, that, let their hearts be as they may, the Scriptures have commended themselves to their consciences. They have felt the point of this two-edged sword, and are not disposed to renew the encounter. That this is the case not only with nominal Christians, but with great numbers of profeffed deists, is manifeft from the acknowledgments of such men as The Earl of Rochester, and many
others who have relented on the near approach of death. This is often a time in which conscience muft and will be heard ; and, too often for the liking of surviving acquaintances, it proclaims to the world, that the grand source of their hatred to the Bible has been that for which Abab