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present Crisis. While, on the one hand, not only the Chronological Series of Events, compared with the Predictions of Scripture, but also the State of the World, and the Signs of the Times corresponding with the Intimations of Prophecy, concur in proving that the present Crisis is the Interval which precedes the approaching time of unprecedented trouble ; on the other hand, the literal and circumstantial accomplishment of this remarkable prophecy of Daniel, furnishes a direct and independent confirmation of the same conclusion; and strengthening by its collateral evidence the preceding testimonies, affords sufficient ground, to every reasonable and considerate mind, for believing that the time is now come, when judgment may be expected more immediately to begin at the House of God; when those predicted days of vengeance are at hand, in which the Lord shall sift the nations with the sieve of vanity;" in which He shall “cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lightening down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.”
Such are the views and convictions, which being deeply impressed on the writer's mind, he is anxious, so far as he may be able, to com
* Isaiah, *xx. 28. 30.
municate to the minds of others; because he believes them to be highly seasonable, and best suited for awakening and disposing them to the active discharge of those duties, to which at the present time they are loudly called. And, therefore, in closing this part of his subject, he would make one further observation. If the arguments by which he has endeavoured to support his interpretation of Daniel, xi. 36-45., be, in the judgment of his readers, unsatisfactory and inconclusive; still he would request them to remember, that no supposed failure in his establishment of this proof, can invalidate the force of those general conclusions, which the previous discussions have confirmed, and which rest on independent and exclusive grounds. Let all the additional testimony which the writer would attach to the fulfilment of this prophecy in the person and career of Napoleon, be set aside : yet evidence sufficient will still remain to show that the Crisis is now arrived, when that distinguished passage of Scripture, to which reference has been so frequently made in the preceding pages, assumes a peculiar and paramount importance. 66 Behold, I come as thief: blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments; lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
END OF THE FIRST PART.
PART THE SECOND.
Christ's ADMONITION TO HIS CHURCH IN
The passage of Scripture, with which the preceding Chapter was closed, is one of the most interesting and momentous, on which, at the present time, our attention can be fixed : because it is the very passage in which Christ, at this important Crisis, is addressing himself to His Church, and admonishing his people of their danger, duty, and interest.
The striking manner, in which this admonition is introduced, has been already noticed. The Narrative of the Vision, as represented to St. John, is suddenly interrupted by an awakening voice, which we perceive from internal evidence to be the voice of Christ himself; who having uttered the admonition in question, the narrative proceeds, and the vision is instantly resumed. So that the admonition is precisely what it was before stated to be, a parenthetical admonition'; and is the more awakening and impressive, from the very circumstance of its being thus unexpectedly introduced. “He then that has ears to hear, let him hear," what Christ now saith unto His Church: “Behold, I come as a thief: blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments; lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
To give prominency to this most important passage, and to excite attention to the seasonable instruction contained in it, has been the ultimate design of the writer in this essay; and he should feel that he had conducted his attempted exposition of prophecy in a very defective and unprofitable manner; if, after having endeavoured to point out to the people of God the Crisis in which they are now placed, he should omit distinctly to set before them, the great practical purposes, in respect to which alone the knowledge of their situation can be of any real advantage to them.
In order more clearly to understand these admonitory words of Christ as addressed at the present Crisis to His Church, we may consider them as intended to rouse the attention of his people to three things; namely, to the near and sudden approach of the predicted time of unprecedented trouble ; – to their immediate duty in the full anticipation of this event; to the encouragement with which, in this emergency, He excites them to the discharge of it.
“ Behold, I come as a thief.” The very word with which this admonition is introduced, is of an awakening tendency, and is calculated to stir up the people of God to the consideration of those aweful Signs of the Times, which the concurrent testimony of Prophecy and of Providence place before their sight. “Behold : lift up your eyes. Regard with attention those indications, which announce the near approach of that time of trouble, such as never was, of which the Prophets have spoken, Behold, I come!”