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France, and the terrible wars which have originated in the revolution of that country.
These wars threaten the most disastrous consequences to the best interests of men: and, in all human probability, will terminate in throwing the Latin earth, the old Roman Empire, back again into greater moral darkness and misery than ever. That such an event will happen, and have a lamentable effect upon the rest of mankind, I am constrained to apprehend. Then the witnesses will be slain, and “ be unburied “ in the street of the great city, which is
spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, for * three days and a half “.” The state of society will be awful beyond conception : far more corrupted and miserable than at any time since the flood. Its duration, however, will be short: and then,
5. The last period will commence, in which the prayers and the wishes of believers will be consummated.
This is commonly called the Millennium, and is described in the most elevated strains by the prophets. Then the new heavens and the new earth will be created, in which dwell
eth righteousness. Christ“ shall come down “ like rain upon the mown grass; as the “ showers that water the earth. In his days “ shall the righteous flourish; and abundance
peace so long as the moon endureth. He - shall have dominion also from sea to sea,and “ from the river unto the ends of the earth. “ His name shall endure for ever : his name « shall be continued as long as the sun ; and
men shall be blessed in him: all nations 65 shall call him blessed.” Wars will cease, and rumours of wars be no longer heard. Our world, cursed by reason of sin, and so long the theatre of misery, will become like unto the paradise of God, the abode of happiñess and joy".
Such, Christian friends, is the prospect before us; a prospect which is warranted by the review of God's providential dispensations in past ages, and ensured to us by the word of his grace. The improvements made in one period, have constituted the foundation of still greater improvements in a subsequent period. Though society deteriorated towards the close of each period,
Ps. Ixxii. 6-8. 17. y This subject is illustrated in a subsequent discourse.
yet the materials for improvement which had been accumulated in that period, were formerly preserved through the medium of writing; and in future will be preserved by the art of printing, if any retrocession such as is anticipated should occur. period the sphere of knowledge, divine and human, has not merely been enlarged, but the addition has been applied to the melioration of the state of mankind in their various relations.
Everlasting thanks to God! the Light which arose in the east has shined to the west, and is still shining, extending his beams far and wide. From his last eclipse he will burst forth with infinite beauty and majesty, to transport and bless our guilty world.
To contemplate such an event in prospective, is not only pleasing but profitable. In a day like this, when the eye
is pained by scenes of desolation, and the heart agonized by tales of real misery, it is delightful to think that a day is coming
• A very interesting and eloquent speculation upon the future improvement of mankind, will be found in Stewart's Philos. of the Hum. Mind, vol. 1. chap. iv. sect. 8, p. 264277. 2d edit. Lond.
when the only contest will be who shall be most virtuous, and do the most good. Then there will be no triumphs but over sin, and no conquests, save of human passions and appetites”. In these triumphs not a heart will feel sad. From these conquests no sorrow will ever spring. To be warriors in such a cause, how honourable! to achieve such victories, how godlike!
And why can not we in our place strive to obtain such a good report among our companions? He who is the Light of the world shines upon our path and in our hearts, Christians.
a The following eloquent passages, extracted from the close of Condorcet's Outlines, are more peculiarly descriptive of the seelings of a believer looking in faith for the establishment of the kingdom of Christ upon earth, than of the philosopher : “ How admirably calculated is this “ view of the human race, emancipated from its chains, “ released alike from the dominion of chance, as well as " from that of the enemies of its progress, and advancing “ with a firm and indeviate step in the paths of truth, to “ cousole the philosopher lamenting the errors, the fagrant " acts of injustice, the crimes with which the earth is still
poiluted! ----He unites himself in imagination with man restored to his rights, delivered from oppression, and proceeding with rapid strides in the path of happiness; he
forgets his own misfortunes while his thoughts are thus em"ployed; he lives no longer in adversity, calumny, and ma" lice, but becomes the associate of these wiser and more “ fortunate beings whose enviable copdition be so earnestly "contributed to produce."
He has guided us through the past year, and must guide us through this, and following years, even unto death, or we perish.
May He arise in your hearts, brethren, on this first day of the new year; enlighten the darkness of your understanding as you journey onward; keep you from falling into the snares of your spiritual enemies; guide you unto the end, in the way of peace; cheer you in the hour of your dissolution ; irradiate the tomb in which your flesh shall rest in hope; and, on the morning of the resurrection, rise to your enraptured view in the eternal world, pouring the health of immortal youth through all your frame, and shedding around you the glories and blessings of heaven. AMEN.