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by the prophet Ezekiel, who borrows the latter of them from the tenth chapter of Genesis. We read in that chapter, that after the flood the sons of Japheth were “Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras." Magog is supposed to be the ancestor of the nations in the north, the Tartars or Scythians. Whatever then Gog means, which is not known, here is a prophecy that the northern nations should be stirred up against the Church, and be one of the instruments of its suffering. And it is to be observed, that twice since that prophecy was delivered, the northern nations have invaded the Church, and both times they have brought with them, or rather (as the text in the Revelation expresses it) they have been deceived into an Antichristian delusion,-been deceived into it, not invented it. The first irruption was that of the Goths and Vandals in the early times of the Church, and they were deceived into and fought for the Arian heresy. The next was that of the Turks, and they in like manner were deceived into and fought for Mahometanism. Here then history since, as in other instances, is in part a comment upon the prophecy. Now, I do not mean that as to the present time, we see how this is to be accomplished in its fulness, after the pattern of the Shadows which have gone before. But thus much we see-we see that in matter of fact the nations of the North are gathering strength, and beginning to frown over the seat of the Roman Empire as they never have done since the time when the Turks came down. Here then we have a sign of Antichrist's appearance-I do not say of his instant coming, or his certain coming, for it may after all be but a type or shadow; still, so far as it goes, it is a preparation, a warning, a call to sober thought-just as a cloud in the sky (to use our Lord's instance) warns us about the weather. It is no sure proof of what is to be, but we think it prudent to keep our eye

upon it.

This is what I have to say about the last persecution and its signs. And surely it is profitable to think about it, though we be quite mistaken in the detail. For instance, after all it may not be a persecution of blood and death, but of craft and sub

tilty only—not of miracles, but of natural wonders and powers of human skill, human acquirements in the hands of the devil. Satan may adopt the more alarming weapons of deceit—he may hide himself-he may attempt to seduce us in little things, and so to move the Church, not all at once, but by little and little from her true position. I do believe he has done much in this way in the course of the last few centuries. I believe he has moved every part of the Church, this way or that way, but some way or other from the truth as it is in Jesus, from the old faith on which it was built “ before the division of the east and west 1.” It is his policy split us up and divide us, to dislodge us gradually from off our rock of strength. And

And if there is to be a persecution, perhaps it will be then; then, perhaps, when we are all of us in all parts of Christendom so divided, and so reduced, so full of schism, so close upon heresy. When we have cast ourselves upon the world and depend for protection upon it, and have given up our independence and our strength, then he may burst upon us in fury as far as God allows him. Then suddenly the Roman Empire may break up, and Antichrist

appear as a persecutor, and the barbarous nations around break in. But all these things are in God's hand and God's knowledge, and there let us leave them.

This alone I will say, in conclusion, as I have already said several times, that such meditations as these may be turned to good account. What a curb upon our self-willed, selfish hearts, to believe that a persecution is in store for the Church, whether or not it comes in our days! Surely with this thought before us we cannot bear to give ourselves up to thoughts of ease and comfort, of making money, settling well, or rising in the world. Surely with this thought before us, we cannot but feel that we are, what all Christians really are in the best estate (nay rather would wish to be had they their will, if they be Christians in heart) pilgrims, watchers waiting for the morning, waiting for the light, eagerly straining our eyes for the first dawn of day-looking out for our Saviour's coming, His glorious advent, when He will end the reign of sin and wickedness, accomplish the number of His elect, and perfect those who at present struggle with infirmity, yet in their hearts love and obey Him.

i Vide Bishop Kenn's will.

May He perform all this in His own good time, according to His infinite mercies! May He give us strength according to our days, and peace at the last.

NOTE.

The following passage from Bishop Horsley's Letters, published in the British Magazine for 1834, is very remarkable, considering it was written nearly forty years since. It is here quoted as bearing on the subject of the foregoing Sermons.

“The Church of God on earth will be greatly reduced, as we may well imagine, in its apparent numbers, in the times of Antichrist, by the open desertion of the powers of the world. This desertion will begin in a professed indifference to any particular form of Christianity, under the pretence of universal toleration; which toleration will proceed from no true spirit of charity and forbearance, but from a design to undermine Christianity, by multiplying and encouraging sectaries. The pretended toleration will go far beyond a just toleration, even as it regards the different sects of Christians. For governments will pretend an indifference to all, and will give a protection in preference to none. All establishments will be laid aside. From the toleration of the most pestilent heresies, they will proceed to the toleration of Mahometanism, Atheism, and at last to a positive persecution of the truth of Christianity. In these times the Temple of God will be reduced almost to the Holy Place, that is to the small number of real Christians who worship the FATHER in spirit and in truth, and regulate their doctrine and their worship, and their whole conduct, strictly by the word of God. The merely nominal Christians will all desert the profession of the truth, when the powers of the world desert it. And this tragical event I take to be typified by the order to St. John to measure the Temple and the Altar, and leave the outer court (national Churches) to be trodden under foot by the Gentiles. The property of the clergy will be pillaged, the public worship insulted and vilified by these deserters of the faith they once professed, who are not called apostates because they never were in earnest in their profession. Their profession was nothing more than a compliance with fashion and public authority. In principle they were always, what they now appear to be, Gentiles. When this general desertion of the faith takes place, then will commence the sackcloth ministry of the witnesses .... There will be nothing of splendour in the external appearance

of these Churches; they will have no support from governments, no honours, no emoluments, no immunities, no authority, but that which no earthly power can take away, which they derived from Him, who commissioned them to be His witnesses.” B. M. vol. v. p. 520.

There are reasons, not necessary here to mention, for adding, that these Sermons were written several years since.

OXFORD,
The Feast of St. Peter.

1838.

[THIRD EDITION.)

These Tracts are continued in Numbers, and sold at the price of 2d. for each sheet, or 7s. for 50 copies.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. G. F. & J. RIVINGTON,
ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD, AND WATERLOO PLACE.

1842.

GILBERT & RIVINGTON, Printers, St. Jolin's Square, London.

The following Works, all in single volumes, or pamphlets, and recently published, will be found more or less to uphold or elucidate the general doctrines inculcated in these Tracts :

Bp. Taylor on Repentance, by Hale.—Rivingtons.
Bp. Taylor's Golden Grove.—Parker, Oxford.

Vincentii Lirinensis Commonitorium, with translation.-Parker, Oxford.

Pusey on Cathedrals and Clerical Education.— Roake & Varty.
Hook's University Sermons.Talboys, Oxford.
Pusey on Baptism (published separately).—Rivinglons.
Newman's Sermons, 6 vols.-Rivingtons.
Newman on Romanism, &c.-Rivingtons.
The Christian Year.Parker, Oxford.
Lyra Apostolica.Rivingtons.
Perceval on the Roman Schism.-Leslie.
Bishop Jebb's Pastoral Instructions.Duncan.
Dodsworth's Lectures on the Church.—Burns.
Newman on Suffragan Bishops.-Rivingtons.
Keble's Sermon on Tradition.-Rivingtons.
Memoir of Ambrose Bonwick.-Parker, Oxford.
Hymns for Children on the Lord's Prayer.-Rivingtons.
Law's first and second Letters to Hoadly-Rivingtons.
Bp. Andrews' Devotions. Latin and Greek.-Pickering.
Hook's Family Prayers.-Rivingtons.
Herbert's Poems and Country Pastor.
Evans's Scripture Biography.-Rivingtons.
Le Bas' Life of Archbishop Laud.-Rivingtons.
Jones (of Nayland) on the Church.
Bp. Bethell on Baptismal Regeneration.-Rivingtons.

Bp. Beveridge's Sermons on the Ministry and Ordinances.---Parker, Oxford.

Bp. Jolly on the Eucharist.
Fulford's Sermons on the Ministry, &c.--Rivingtons.

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