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their future state on earth between the present day and the introduction of the millennium. According to his scheme, we are much further advanced toward that happy period, than according to theirs. This trait of itself is enough to enlist all our good wishes in its favor. We do not design to point out, much less to examine, the points of difference alluded to. Most probably all writers on the prophecies are in some error, though we cannot doubt, that a real progress has lately been made, and is now making, in the discovery of that truth, which was designedly concealed, till Providence should make it known to mankind by the course of events.
Under the sixth vial, if the scheme here developed be correct, the strength, wealth, and safety of the spiritual Babylon, i. e. of the Romish Church, were to come to an end; and the nations under her influence were to be prepared by every species of deceit and of secret mischief, particularly by the systematic propagation of infidelity, for the day of God's signal vengeance. This vial may, therefore, be supposed to have been poured out during the century preceding the year 1792; but especially during the latter part of that period. Whoever admits the accuracy of this statement, must of course admit, that continental Europe has been experiencing, for the last twenty years, the plagues of the seventh vial. If so, we may look forward with eager confidence to that day, which already seems to dawn upon the world. Though not prepared to adopt the scheme of Dr. Dwight in all its parts, the perusal of these ser
mons with a view of the present state of the world, and the recollection of what has taken place within the compass of our memory, have impressed us with the full belief of these most consoling propositions; that the Church of Christ has seen the time of her greatest depression; that the interests of religion are rising in the world, and will continue to rise without intermission, till the truth shall be universally believed and obeyed; and that the enemies of God and his cause are rapidly hastening to the ruin which has been long predicted.
In stating the reasons why he thinks the present period includ ed under the two last vials, Dr. D. gives a most vivid and eloquent description of the origin and progress of modern infidelity, from which we extract the two following paragraphs as a specimen:
"About the year 1728, the great æra of Infidelity, Voltaire formed a set design to destroy the Christian religion. For this purpose he engag
ed, at several succeeding periods, a number of men distinguished for power, talents, reputation and influence; all deadly enemies to the Gos. pel; Atheists; men of profligate principles, and profligate lives This de50 years; and was se conded by his sign he pursued with unabated zeal associates with an ardor and industry, scarcely inferior to his own. consequence of their united labors, and of the labors of others, from time to time combined with them, they ul
timately spread the design through. out a great part of Europe, and embarked in it individuals, at little distances, over almost the whole of that continent. Their adherents inserte ed themselves into every place, of. fice, and employment, in which their agency might become efficacious, and which furnished an opportunity of spreading their corruptions. They
were found in every literary institution from the Abecedarian school to the Academy of sciences; and in every civil office, from that of the bailiff to that of the Monarch. They swarmed in the palace; they haunted the church. Wherever mischief could be done, they were found: and, wherever they were found, mis chief was extensively done. Of books they controlled the publication, the sale, and the character. An immense number they formed; an immense number they forged; prefixed to them the names of reputable writers, and sent them into the world, to be sold for a song; and, when that could not be done, to be given away. Within a period, shorter than could be imagined, they pos. Bessed themselves, to a great extent, of a control, nearly absolute, of the literary, religious, and political state of Europe.
"With these advantages in their hands, it will easily be believed, that they left no instrument unemployed, and no measure untried, to accom. plish their own malignant purposes. With a diligence, courage, constancy, activity, and perseverance, which might rival the efforts of demons themselves, they penetrated into every corner of human society. Scarcely a man, woman, or child was left unassailed, wherever there was
a single hope, that the attack might be successful. Books were written, and published, in innumerable multitudes, in which infidelity was brought down to the level of peasants, and even of children; and poured with immense assiduity into the Others of a cottage, and the school. superior kind, crept into the shop, and the farm house; and others of a still higher class, found their way to the drawing room, the university, and the palace. The business of all men, who were of any importance, and the education of the children of
all such men, was, as far as possible, engrossed, or at least influenced, by these banditti of the moral world; and the hearts of those, who had no importance, but in their numbers, and physical strength. A sensual, profligate nobility, and princes, if possible still more sensual and profligate,
easily yielded themselves, and their children, into the hands of these minions of corruption. Too ignorant, too enervated, or too indolent, to under. stand, or even to inquire that they might understand, the tendency of all these efforts, they marched qui. etly on to the gulf of ruin, which was already opened to receive them. With these was combined a priesthood, which, in all its dignified ranks, was still more putrid; and which eagerly yielded up the surplice and the lawn, the desk and the altar, to destroy that Bible, which they had vowed to defend, as well as to preach, and to renew the crucifixion of that Redeemer, whom they had sworn to worship. By these agents, and these efforts, the plague was spread with rapidity, and to an extent, which astonished heaven and earth: and life went out, not in solitary cases, but by an universal ex tinction."
The second part of this discourse opens with a summary view of the miseries, which Infidelity has brought upon those European nations where the Romish Church had established and preserved her dominion. The preacher then illustrates the connexion of these remarkable events with the prophecies of the sixth and seventh vials, under the following divisions.
1. The infidels in question sprang up in every place pointed out by the prophecy.
2. They were spirits of de
3. They have wrought miracles, i. e. have done things of a marvellous nature.
4. They have gone forth to the kings of the earth, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
5. During this period all the sources of the wealth, strength, and safety and safety of the Romish Church, have been dried up;
especially by being diverted into other channels.
6. As this great work is in substance done, the vials, if to be poured out hereafter, will have no object on which to spend their force.' pp. 29-38.
A brief, though comprehensive, sketch is then given of the wonderful and unexampled exertions, which have been made by Christians, during this very period of vengeance, in building up and extending the Church; and of the gracious visitations which the Church has experienced, during the same period, in the numerous revivals of religion. pp. 39-45. The discourse closes with assigning the reasons why we should fear, at this time of the tremendous wrath and indignation of God. Among these reasons we find a melancholy catalogue of nation al sins. No person, who is extensively acquainted with this country, will, however, see cause to believe the catalogue more melancholy than facts will
The latter of these discourses was designed to state and explain the reasons why we should hope. For this purpose, an examination of the prophecies in the 17th, 18th, and 19th, chapters of the Revelation, is presented to the reader. In these chapters a more particular and detailed account is given of the same Divine judgments, which are more briefly sketched out in the 16th. Of the Woman so fully described, in the chapters referred to, the following is a comprehensive view:
"The Woman, here presented to us, is an idolatrous church; distin
guished by wealth and splendor; pompous in the ritual of its worship; exercising great cruelty towards the real followers of Christ; having its principal seat in the city Rome; sustained by a persecuting power, which was either the seventh, or eighth, form of Roman government, (according to different modes of construing this subject;) and destroyed immediately before the Millennium." Ser. Aug. p. 11.
Few, we apprehend, will be disposed to question that the Woman is the Romish Church; but that the Beast is the Romish Hierarchy, as Dr. D. maintains, will not be so readily acceded to. Many persons believe, that this beast is the great infidel confederacy of the last days; others that it is the imperial dynasty of France; others that it is the Romish Church; others that it partakes of the properties of infidelity and popery. Every scheme, which we have seen, is either built too much on assumptions, so far as respects this beast; or, though supported by plausible arguments, is still liable to serious objections. seems to be admitted on all sides, that the seat of the beast is within the limits of the ancient Roman empire, and also within the limits of countries which have at some time been within the pale of the Romish Church; that the seven vials are poured out upon the nations, which have been subjected to the papal authority, and have been criminal as partakers of the great apostasy; and that the effusion of the last of these vials will bring to their final ruin the apostate church and all her coadju
After dwelling with some particularity on this part of the
Apocalypse, Dr. D. proceeds to discuss the Millennium. In this division of the discourse, every pious reader will find much, if we judge aright, to comfort his heart and cheer him amid the gloomy scenes which at present cloud his view. The observations on this very interesting subject are classed under the following heads:
"1. The Millennium is distinctly, but not extensively predicted by the prophets of the New Testament; and extensively by the prophets of the Old Testament."
"2. The account given of the Millennium in the Apocalypse, is, like the rest of that book, symbolical."
"3. The Millennium will not make its full appearance at once; but will advance by successive, though rapid steps."
"4. The Millennium will in its nature be a period singularly and universally happy."
"5. The duration of the Millennium is left uncertain in the Scriptures."
We deem all these positions undoubtedly correct, except the last; and very probably that is correct also; but we think it admits of more question than the others. The reasoning through out is forcible and deeply impressive. The arguments under the third head, adduced to prove the gradual advent of the mil lennium are peculiarly convincing. Bishop Horsley observes, in a sermon not yet republished in this country "that this is the constant style of prophecy, that when a long train of distant events are predicted, rising naturally in succession one out of another, and all tending to one
great end, the whole time of these events is never set out in parcels, by assigning the distant epoch of each; but the whole is usually described as an instant -as what it is in the sight of God; and the whole train of events is exhibited in one scene, without any marks of succession."
The latter part of this discourse is taken up in answering these two inquiries: "What is our immediate duty? And, What reasons have we to hope that God will regard us with mercy, and smile upon our endeavors?" This will be to many readers the most interesting part of these sermons. We have not room for an abstract, but cannot deny ourselves the pleasure of quoting the two last paragraphs, which, it will be seen, are on the subject of evangelizing the world:
"This work, my Friends and Breth. ren, is the greatest, and best, that was ever done. It was the work of the Reformers: it was the work of the Apostles. To accomplish it the Holy Ghost came down from Heav en: and to procure its accomplishment Christ hung upon the cross. It is no other, than to plant trees of righteousness throughout the world: the vast desert of man; and to kiadle the flame of piety on the altars of a thousand nations. It is to take by the hand, the miserable votaries of sin and falsehood, the unnumbered heirs of perdition, and lead them into the path, which terminates in endless glory. It is to make that strait and narrow path a broad and beaten highway, in which way furing men, though fools, shall not err.
to sow the seed of immortal life over
It is to
change the solitary travellers, now and then found in it heretofore, into a crowd, a stream, a vast tide, of pilgrims moving onward to eternal life. It is to fill Heaven with inhab
itants; and to multiply sons, and priests, and Kings, to Gon our Father, and our LORD Jesus Christ. It is to plant thrones on the plains of immortality; and seat upon them glorious beings innumerable, who shall live, and reign, for ever and ever.
"On this work can we doubt whether a blessing will descend? All Heaven will look down upon it with transport. The doors of that happy world will burst open; and its immortal day break through, to illumine the path, to cherish the hearts, and to brighten the hopes, of the happy laborers. Angels will pursue their ministry with new vig or, and new joy. The Spirit of Truth will every where breathe upon the dry bones the breath of life, and warm the soul with his quickening power. Christ will come down, to behold the fruits of his dying love, and to rejoice in the trophies of the Cross, the gems of his crown of glory, mui. tiplied without number, and without
end. The Father of all mercies will smile with infinite complacency up. od this best work of his hands, this new and divine creation; and with his own voice will pronounce it very good." pp. 59, 60.
We conclude by saying, that it would be a powerful mean of exciting zeal in the best of causes, if a cheap copy of these discourses were in the possession of every Christian; and that the events of the last Russian campaign, and the present military preparations of Europe, appear more like the pouring out of the seventh vial, than any thing which the world has yet seen; and thus tend to confirm what the author wrote nearly a year ago.
MEETING OF THE MASSACHUSETTS MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
The Massachusetts Missionary Society held its fourteenth annual meeting in Boston, on the 25th, and 26th days of May last. The meeting was opened by singing an appropriate psalm, after which prayer was offered by the President. The Society then attended to the following
REPORT OF THE TRUSTEES.
THE return of this anniversary brings along with it many and grateful impressive recollections. Many and precious have been our opportunities of meeting for the most interesting purposes; of taking sweet counsel together, and going to the house of God in company;-of mutually kindling and enlivening the holy flame of Christian love; and of uniting our hearts and hands in measures for promoting the kingdom of our Lord and the salvation of those for whom he died. Many have been the smiles of God upon our deliberations and endeavors; and great our obligations to Him for the privilege granted us, from year to year, of doing something, by our
combined exertions, for the advancement of his cause and the glory of his name, May these obligations be duly felt by us all; and with one heart may we pay our devout acknowledgments, and implore the continuance of the Divine favor.
For the service of this Society, in our last missionary year, the Board of Trustees made the following appointments: viz. Messrs. John F.Schermerhorn and Samuel J. Mills, to be employed two months at New Orleans, and three months in the Western and Southern states of the Union at their discretion; Rev. Joseph Badger, for three months in the frontiers of our country bordering on the western lakes; the Rev. Amos Pettengill, for eight months in the destitute region west of lake Champlain; the Rev. Publius V. Booge, for three months in the northwestern parts of Vermont; the Rev. Jotham Sewall, for the whole year, a part of the year in the District of Maine, and the remainder in the state of Rhode Island; Mr. Silas Warren, for two months, in the District of Maine; the Rev. John Lawton for three months in the county of Somerset, (Maine;) the Rev. John Sawyer, for three months in Garland and its Vicinity, in the county of Hancock (Maine;) the Rev.