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many of the principal searchers into the foretellings and foreshadowings, relating to the Gospel times,—(which things the Angels desire to look into: 1 Pet. i. 3-5-12)—is briefly indicated in the arrangement of the texts. The few texts which are not written out, nor yet have a summary given in other words of their import, but are merely referred to by their chapter and verse, are not essential to the subject; they are added as being thought to throw light on the meaning of the passage given in full; or it may be only as suggestions for further sinkings of thought into the yet unfathomed treasury of Revelation concerning the mercies and glories of The Coming Reign of Christ.
This collection of Scriptures, it should be understood, is not calculated nor intended to be a substitute for the few valuable and learned expositions of the Prophecies ; and of the doctrines which will be specially points of assault in the final contest between Truth and Falsehood; between Christ and His word, and Anti-christ and his denials and pretensions : it is but hoped that it may help towards a more familiar knowledge of what is taught in The Book of God, for the preservation and consolation of those Christians who are but now awakening to the importance of this knowledge, in a time when events may be hurrying us of the present generation upon the very days of the literal and personal Usurper of The Kingdom of the world. Being in some degree classified, the passages given may be useful to unfamiliar readers. Their intention is to help, if possible, in discerning the Signs of the Times, not to uphold any arbitrary theory; for which reason the classification is very general. One consideration is to be borne in mind, that many Prophecies of The Scripture have a mystical and partial fulfilment, to be followed by a literal and full accomplishment, literal both as to time and to event; and that, in accordance with this plan, the works of Antichrist have
been, in a subtle and incomplete manner, already performed by forerunners, or types, and by Anti-christian systems : but at the appointed Hour, he will come, a man, a real person ; and that he is to be an all but universal ruler is made apparent by the “nations, kindreds, and tongues” who serve him. The Character and Work which should reveal The Word Incarnate, were indicated, or were marked in strong lines, from the Promise in Eden at the hour of Man's Fall, on through the Patriarchal Age, and in the Levitical types, and finally in the glowing God-breathed words of the Prophets : and as The Christ in His life and deeds gathered up the threads of Prophecy, so will the Personal Antichrist take up the unfinished realisation of his foretold characteristics, and will develop them in himself, until every word has its counterpart in existing fact and history. Therefore the means of recognising him, when he shall appear, are the same which enabled the devout to recognise Christ at His First Advent, and which have shown to us the Anti-christian systems ; namely, the diligent searching (Acts xvii. 11) of the Sacred Records under the enlightening guidance and restraint of The Holy Spirit Who gave forth those Scriptures, which testify of Jesus Christ and of the words and actions of opposition to be looked for in the fully developed Antichrist.
It has been thought, too, that with the foretellings of The Scriptures on a subject of such vital moment to the Church, and to every individual who has heard The Name of Christ, there should be added some passages exhibiting the True Faith in those points especially which will be assailed by the Usurper and Destroyer and by his agents,-as the Atonement, and the Resurrection of the body ;sound words of doctrine which were Written to confirm the faith, and build up the steadfastness and joy of the believer in Jesus ;—to add in fact the exhorting and comforting which are blended with these
foretellings to enable the Christian to obey The Saviour's command, which is also His benediction,—“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid !” in view of the approaching “perplexity and “distress," and the “abounding of iniquity which shall cause the love of many to become cold," and extinguish faith, according to the word of The Lord,“ When The Son of Man Cometh shall He find faith on the earth ?” Luke xviii. 8.
Many promises to the Jews of safety and freedom in their Land, never to be disturbed,-made before the Roman occupation,--are in " the Prophets ; ” and point to a Time subsequent to these present “ times of the Gentiles,”—that is, to “ the Times of Refreshing from The Presence of The Lord,” and of “the Restitution of all things,”the “ Jubile: "-such promises were in part fulfilled on the return from the seventy years' captivity in Babylon, but not wholly and not permanently, because The Head-Stone (Gen. xlix. 24; Ps. cxviii. 22-24; Zech. iv. 7 ; iii. 9, &c.) was wanting, The True Inheritor of all the Promises, in whom they are “ Yea" and " in Him Amen (2 Cor. i. 20); and when He had taken His Visible Form, the Jewish Church refused to be built up into Him,- The True Apex of the Pyramidal body as well as its Foundation (Matt. xxi. 42; Eph. ii. 20 (1 Cor. iii. 11; Isa. xxviii. 16)-22). For His Return now the Promises wait, that in Him they may be fulfilled. A spiritual fulfilment is given in this present Age, to those who have “the Earnest of The Spirit,” who are called with a Heavenly Calling, not of one Nation but out of all nations, The Church of the First-born which is the inheritor of the New Earth in the Everlasting Age. Yet, in a material sense also,-in their Land,—these gifts of abundance of peace and prosperity were promised to Abraham's seed; and we look for every word to be accomplished manifestly on the redeemed earth, in the Millennial Period, when the Chosen Nation shall receive and
obey The Spirit "shed forth,” acknowledging The Redeemer of Whom He testifies. Then will Israel experience the Earnest of a perfected Earthly glory, in like manner as The Church now tastes the Earnest of the Heavenly Glory; glories to be combined and manifested in perfection when the Heavenly Jerusalem descends upon the New Earth.
Some of the texts show the manner of The Lord's dealing, even when not distinctly marked out as belonging specially to the last times : the sins which characterise the latter days are not new in kind, and have already been Judged: and those former Judgments are historic teachings which forewarn us of the character of Judgments to come. When a criminal city or land is doomed to eat the fruit of its deeds, its fatal sins are re-committed, through the withdrawal of the despised restraining-Grace : so the latent persecuting spirit of the Jews found occasion for fruit-bearing in the Appearance of The Christ, under circumstances disappointing to those prejudices which their neglect of faithful and sincere study of their Sacred Oracles had fostered in their minds; and continued occasion was found in the presence among them of His apparently weak and forsaken followers; that it might be seen that Judgment came upon that generation justly for all the righteous blood shed in the nation's and church's career. Thus may we expect it to be when“ Babylon," or the unbelieving World-power leagued with the Apostate church, is near its end. The corrupt tree brings forth again and again its evil fruit. And although the Witnessing of God's last "Two Witnesses” will be against the consummating Sin of the Jews and the world, the killing of The Prince of Life when He was cast out of His own Vine-yard by its unfaithful husbandmen; and again in each heart's rebellion ; by which they have a trodden under foot The Son of God, counted the Blood of The Covenant wherewith they were sanctified a common thing, and have done despite unto The Spirit of Grace" (Heb. x. 29); yet this crowning act of rebellion is but the gradually ripened fruit of the pride and selfishness of the fallen spirit of man when it refuses to be healed. It needs but that circumstances shall afford occasion for sin, and the world beholds again the sad spectacle of an exhibition of all the capabilities of the corrupt tree of knowledge when it is unsanctified by the grace of faith which produces love and obedience. The Jews sinned ignorantly, but their ignorance was reckoned culpable since they had a Fount of knowledge, which, however they had “fouled with their feet” and perverted, exalting themselves and dishonouring God, and “making His word of none effect by their traditions.” And the Gentiles sinned in ignorance ; but had they also obeyed even the light that had been given in lesser measure, they would not have been murderers, ready to subject to their cruel violence a Man against Whom no crime could be proved.
And now as the time of Judgment approaches, which will begin at the House of God, circumstances will put to the test of what material each man's building is; and the fruits, too, of unregenerate hearts will be ripened by a great “heat” of summer (Jer. xvii. 8; Matt. xxiv. 32, 33); a Time of Tribulation, of “the Tribulation, the Great one,” separating the corn from the chaff, as its derivation sig-nifies,—“ tribulum” —a Roman threshing instrument. A man must be “born from above,” and receive a “new heart ; " for “ the heart is deceitful above all things,” and the old nature has not the vital power which can withstand the wily advances and the violent force of the great Deception and Temptation and Destruction of the latter days.
And because the old sins bud, and blossom, and come to perfection, at the End, in the corrupt tree, so are the Judgments, which have