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the soul in anguish, and the troubled spirit crieth to Thee: Hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for Thou art a merciful God, and have pity on us, for we have sinned before Thee. Remember not the iniquities of our fathers, but think upon Thy hand, and upon Thy name at this time. And behold we are at this day in our captivity, whereby Thou hast scattered us to be a reproach, and a curse, according to all the iniquities of our fathers, who departed from Thee, O Lord our God.” 1

Look down, O God of hosts, look down from heaven, and see and visit Thy vineyard. And perfect the same which Thy right hand hath planted. O Lord God of hosts, "convert us and show us Thy face, and we shall be saved.” ? “Convert us, O God our Saviour, and turn off Thy anger from us. Turn, O God, and bring us to life, and Thy people shall rejoice in Thee. Show us, O Lord, Thy mercy, and grant us Thy salva. tion." 3

“Incline, O God, Thy ear and hear; open Thy eyes and see our desolation, and the city upon which Thy name is called; for it is not for our justifications that we present our prayers before Thy face, but for the multitude of Thy tender mercies. O Lord, hear; O Lord, be appeased : hearken and do; delay not for thy own sake, O my God: because Thy name is invocated upon Thy city, and upon Thy people.” 4

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer : give ear, O God of Jacob. Behold, O God, our protector, and look on the face of Thy Christ.” 5 “O Lord God, who didst glorify Thy Son Jesus, whom our fathers delivered up, and denied before

1 Baruch iii. 1, 2, 5, 8.

2 Psalm lxxix. 3 Ib. lxxxiv. 5, 7, 8.

4 Dan. ix. 18, 19, 5 Psalm lxxxiii. 9, 10.

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THE END OF THE WORLD.

Pilate, when he judged He should be released; deal not with us according to our deserts, but rather according to the multitude of Thy mercies, deliver us.

Withdraw, O Lord, the veil from the hearts of Thy people, and grant that by acknowledging the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they may be brought out of darkness into thy marvellous light.”

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PART II.

ON THE STATE OF THE WORLD AT THE TIME OF

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. Our Divine Saviour, speaking to His disciples of the time which shall immediately precede His second coming, said to them: “Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not from the beginning of the world to this time, nor ever shall be.”1 “In those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the Creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.” 2 This had been predicted long before by the prophet Daniel, in the following words: “A time shall come, such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time.” 3 Such will be the frightful state of the world at that time, that the very elect will be in danger of being ruined: “If those days were not shortened,” says our Lord,“no flesh should be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened.” 4

CHAPTER I.

AT THE TIME OF THE COMING OF CHRIST, THE WORLD WILL BE IN A

FRIGHTFUL STATE OF RELIGIOUS AND MORAL DEGENERACY.

The doctrine of Scripture and tradition declares that the day of the Lord will come as a snare | Matt. xxiv. 21.

2 Mark xiii. 19. 3 Dan. xii. 1.

4 Matt. xxiv. 22.

upon mankind, in the midst of a period eminently characterized by wickedness, and profligacy and violence, and lawlessness and infidelity.

The Apostle St. Paul thus writes to Timothy: “ In the last days shall come on dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than God; having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of truth. ... Now, as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith."

And again : # There shall be a time when men will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears : and will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables.” 2 St. Peter perfectly agrees with St. Paul in his description of the same period : "Behold,” says he, “this second epistle I write to you, my dearly beloved, in which I stir up by way of admonition your sincere mind, that you may be mindful of those words which I told you before from the holy prophets, and of your Apostles, of the precepts of the Lord and Saviour. Knowing this first, that in the last days there shall come deceitful scoffers, walking after their own lusts. Saying, Where is His promise or His coming ? for since the time that the fathers slept, all things continue as they were from the beginning of Creation.” 3 1 2 Tim. ïï. 1, 8.

Ib. iv. 3, 4, 3 2 Pet. iii, 1–4.

St. Jude speaks still to the same purpose. He thus describes the character of these wicked men, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy at His coming. “These men defile the flesh, and despise dominion, and blaspheme majesty. When Michael the archangel, disputing with the devil, contended about the body of Moses, he durst not bring against him the judgment of railing speech, but said: The Lord command thee. But these men blaspheme whatever things they know not, and what things soever they naturally know, like dumb beasts, in these they are corrupted. Woe unto them, for they have gone in the way of Cain, and after the error of Balaam, they have for reward poured out themselves, and have perished in the contradiction of Core. These are spots in their banquets, feasting together without fear, feeding themselves, clouds without water, which are carried about by winds; trees of the autumn, unfruitful, twice dead, plucked up by the roots ; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own confusion; wandering stars, to whom the storm of darkness is reserved for ever. Now of these, Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying: Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to reprove all the ungodly, for all the works of their ungodliness, whereby they have done ungodly, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against God. These are murmurers, full of complaints, walking according to their own desires ; and their mouth speaketh proud things, admiring persons for gain's sake. But you, my dearly beloved, be mindful of the words which have been spoken before by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, who told you

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