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the sabbath-day-there being no evening service-I sat down in a congregation of about two hundred females, and twenty-three males, mostly elderly men of a former generation, with scarcely a youth or boy or workingman among them. A meagre liturgy or printed form of prayer, a sermon, which as far as religion was concerned, might have figured the evening before at a meeting of some geological society, as an ingenious essay on Mosaic chronology, a couple of psalm-tunes on the organ, and a waltz to go out with, were the church service. In the village churches along the Protestant side of the lake of Geneva; spots especially intended, the traveller would say, to elevate the mind of inan to his Creator, by the glories of the surrounding scenery ;-the rattling of the billiard-balls, the rumbling of the skittle-trough, the shout, the laugh the distant shots of the rifle clubs, are heard above the psalm, the sermon, and the barren forms of stateprescribed prayer, during the one brief service on Sundays, delivered to very scanty congregations, in fact to a few females and a dozen or two old men, in very populous parishes, supplied with able and zealous ministers.
'If you were better acquainted,' says Dr. Rosenkranz, professor of philosophy at the university of Königsberg, a man whose every word bears the stamp of sincerity and earnestness, “if you were better acquainted with German Protestantism, you would know
that religion may dwindle down to the minimum of outward appearance, and yet be glowing with holy enthusiasm in the feeling of man. Behold one, who during many years has entered no church, has partaken of no sacrament, has permitted no “ Lord Jesus” to pass over his lips, who seems to have forgotten everything which is called religion, who perhaps has not even, what used to be the characteristic of a Protestánt, a Bible in his house, But, it is asked, will you venture to predicate of such a man irreligion ? Are you acquainted with the secrets of his soul ?'
The answer is simple, “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his :” “With the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” “By their fruits ye shall know them.” But oh what a most humbling and affecting picture is here brought before us of Christianity on the Continent.
It is however another instance of the loving-kindness of God, that in the midst of this dark scene at Geneva, there is one of the most blessed revivals of religion that this
age has witnessed, and from the theological school of Geneva and its Evangelical Society, there is a fresh springing up and flowing forth to all lands, a new gush of the living waters of divine truth, showing us however barren the desert may be, under the grace of Christ, the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water. Let evangelical truths be again proclaimed from the fulness of a believing heart, and God will be sure to give testimony to the word of his grace.*
The state of Christian Churches in America is even worse than that of the British Churches, as has been sufficiently demonstrated in the · Essays on the Church.'
It is clear then, humbling and affecting as it is, that the Gentile Churches have so fallen away from the faith of Christ, as to an awful extent to be concluded in unbelief. (Rom. xi. 32.) And this stATE OF GENERAL UNBELIEF is the predicted close of the present Gentile dispensation, as well as of the Jewish. God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy
Connected with this extended and general apostacy of Christian kingdoms, there is, blessed be God, in the Christian as there was in the Jewish Church, an election serving God, and waiting for his Son from heaven. And this election also is increasing in numbers and in devotedness, in wide-spread usefulness and blessedness, just as it was in the Jewish Church in the times of the Apostles. The pillar of the cloud was all darkness to the Egyptians, but gave light to the Israelites. Looking at the army of the true Israel, all is full of light and safety. Who can but rejoice at awakening exer
* The same blessed revival is also marking the French Protestant Church. Let the reader rejoice his own heart by joining the Foreign Aid Society, and thus seeing the delightful quarterly papers and reports which it now circulates.
tions on every side to spread the Gospel at home and abroad? Who can but rejoice at the vigorous stand made against infidelity, Popery, and lawlessness? Who can but rejoice that we have a queen and a prince over our country, that favour the Protestant faith, and amidst the peculiar temptations of their station, are in their family and neighbourhood patterns of domestic happiness and regard to the welfare of those around them? Who can but rejoice at the growing yearnings after Christian union, and the efforts making to promote it ?
But I must return to the more painful subject.
As distinct from the true Church of Christ existing in each nation, and amidst all the zealous exertions of that Church, a neglected, a rejected Gospel is the alarming feature of professedly Christian nations. The guilt of Christendom, also, is vastly greater than that of the Jewish nation or of the heathen world at large, who have never heard the Gospel, (Matt. xi. 20—24.) for it is a sin persevered in against the greatest and fullest light of divine love, shown forth in the glorious truth of God's gift of his only, and co-equal Son, to die for our Redemption.
This refusing to continue in the goodness of God leads to the cutting off of the Gentiles (Rom. xi. 22.) as well as the Jews. We see every thing preparing for the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Rev. xvi. 14: xvii. 14: xix. 19.
For the dangers which have now been mentioned ISSUE in these all-important events, which have been set before us in the first part of this work.
THE GREAT TRIBULATION is one of the first of those events. Every diligent student of prophetic truth expects this clearly predicted event. I need not say that Mr. Scott, the Commentator, fully anticipated such a period ; see his Remarks on Dan, xii. 1; Rev. xi. and xiv. It is indeed very clear from the whole of Scripture testimony, that before the object of all our hopes can be realised, a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time, Dan. xii., Rev. xvi. 18, must prepare way.
Even political men have announced this from the common sagacity and foresight of what is coming. In Dec. 1826, the late Mr. Canning testified in the House of Commons, “I fear the next war which shall be kindled in Europe will be a war not so much of armies as of opinions. The consequence of letting loose the passions, at present chained and confined, would be to produce a scene of desolation which no man can contemplate without horror. I dread the recurrence of hostilities in any part of Europe, and would bear much and forbear long, rather than let slip the furies of war, not knowing whom they may reach or how far these ravages may extend.'*
* The Russian nation appears, both from Prophecy and Providence, to have a leading part assigned to it in these last tribula