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and such of the prelates, so that we shall never be quiet till we have no more bishops.”
Upon this Mr. Selden arose, and gravely informed the house what grievous elamours there were on account of high misdemeanors against such and such aldermen; * and therefore (says he,) by parity of reason, it is my humble opinion, that we should have no more aldermen."
REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS,
A Connected and Chronological View of the Prophecies relating to the Christian Church; in twelve Sermons, preached in Lincoln's-Inn Chapel, from the Year 1803 to 1804. By ROBERT Nares, A. M.
Concladed from Vol. IX. p. 461.).
THE ninth Sermon is on Galat. iv. 4. “ But when the T fulness of time was come, God sent forth his Son." Of this discourse we have the following analysis:
“ Pause of four hundred years without prophecy · after Malachi..--Jesus appeared at once both as a prophet and worker of miracles. Other probable reasons for this interval.---Reasons for their continuance till then.---Revival of prophecy imme. diately before Christ's birth.
“ How remote all this from imposture: while there were no Feal prophets, no pretended ones arose ---The Jews, rather incredulous than the contrary, at that period:
* With respect to the fulness of the time, we may here suppose it.---Several points in which it was full, briefly touched.
“ Splendour of Christ's advent.---Visions of Zechariah, &c.
" John the Baptist the last prophet under the old covenant.---Our Saviour himself a prophet.---He fulfilled ancient prophecy in a new sense...-Brief view of his prophecies.---Pause here :-and recapitulation."
For the cessation of prophecy among the Jews till the advent of the Messiah, these reasons are assigned :
" When their kingdom was first settled, with the express api probation of God, under his faithful servant David, the promise of the Messiah was fixed to his family, and became a constant subject of prophetic vision to that inspired monarch ; insomuck
that, in all his Psalms, whatever be their primary intention, there may be understood a secret, if not a manifest reference to that glorious personage, and his everlasting kingdom. The same happened in some degree to his son and successor Solomon. But, when he fell into idolatry; and, still more, when the kingdom, after him, was divided, and the separated kingdom of Israel had been formed into a regular establishment of idolatrous worship, two great uses of prophecy, among others, became particularly conspicuous: 1. The one to warn both Israel and Judah of the impending punishments, which must ensue if they continued their idolatrous practices. 2. The other, to preserve and keep alive their faith in that Great Deliverer who was hereafter to appear. Various other collateral purposes, both to the Jews, and to other nations, were effected, froin time to time, by means of prophecy; but these were the great lines, continued through every part of the dispensation, and perpetually recalled to notice.
" At length the vengeance so long threatened, fell upon the whole nation ; and seventy years of captivity in a foreign country, while their city, their territory, and their temple, were trodden down, and lay in desolation, proved beyond all controversy, one part of the above proposition, i e.“ That God would punish for idolatry, in the way that he had then denounced ; namely, by rejection and national shame.” But in the deep misery of this. infiction, there was a danger, that the contrary movement of despair'might succeed to the infatuated obstinacy of the people : or it might have happened, that, when they were removed for nearly two generations, from their own language, and all the local recollections of their country; placed in the midst of idolaters, and in a state of slavery under them, they might totally have forgotten their God, their duties, and their hopes, and have become an undistinguishable part of the people among whom they lived. To prevent these evils, their prophets were continued through the captivity, during which period some of the most illustrious of those heavenly messengers were commissioned to instruct, to comfort, and to warn them. When they returned from captivity, while their second temple was building, and their re-established nation was gradually acquiring solidity and strength, the line of prophets was continued for about a century.
“ The promises of the Messiah had now been confirmed, and fully opened ; and their last prophet, Malachi, concluded his book with what appears, as before noticed, to be a farewell eharge. For he told them, “ that the Sun of Righteousness should arise with healing in his wings; that they ought, in the mean time, to adhere to the law of Moses, and the statutes given to Israel in Horeb; and that before THE GREAT DAY of the Lord, that is, THE COMING OF THE MESSIANI, Elias should be sent, to prepare his way, lest the whole ļaud should fall unII ?
der der the curse of unbelief." This is the substance of the concluding verses of Malachi, and contaịns a kind of general warning respecting the Messiah, and the interval which was to precede his manifestation.
“ The chief purposes of prophecy, with respect to the Jews, were now completed. The people were weaned from idolatry, into which they never afterwards relapsed ; the laws of Moses, and the service of the temple, were re-established, and were not likely to be again neglected; the promise of the Messiah was made as clear as words could make it; and no new punishment remained to be denounced. The intervening period was to be a period of expectation, resting on former promises, and the written records of scripture : till it should come into the world, who was to fulfil all promises, and realize all authorized hopes. Providence does nothing in vain. While prophecy could render service, it was continued; when it could do no more than was alrcady done---no more than would be equally effected by its préservation in writing, it ceased; and revived no more till the approach of him, who had been its first and greatest object."
The revival of the prophetic voice, angelic visions, and effusions of the Holy Spirit, at the adyent of the Messialı, is stated and considered with considerable force and ingenuity : and the prophetic character of our Saviour himself is also sketched in a very masterly manner.
The tenth Sermon, on "the propliecies relating to times subsequent to the Messiah,” has for its text, Hosea xii.
10. “ I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets."
We have here “ View of the modes of prophecy.---Retrospect of the preceding lectures.---Second diivison of the subject.--Ten periods of prophecy subsequent to our Saviour.---Rejection of the Jews and call of the Gentiles.---Our Saviour could not have foreseen these things by any human segacity.
" 2. The rapid diffusion of the gospel.
" 3. Persecution of the apostles, and the first conrerts to Christianity.---The more ways prophecy is viewed, the more demonstrative the evidence.”
In this second division of the subject, which occupies the remainder of these lectures, the learned author considers ten periods as having reference to the fate of Christianity, from the departure of our Saviour into heaven, to the final close of things. These periods are as follow : .“ 1. The rejection of the Jews and call of the Gentiles.
2. The preaching of the gospel throughout the world.
« 4. The
• 4. The destruction of Jerusalem.
When the confined limits of the lectures is considered, and the vast importance of some of these topics be duly weighed, the reader, perhaps, will regret with us that the majority of the discourses had not been devoted 10 the discussion of them, instead of being taken up with subjects which are more generally understood by having been often treated. · So much matter, and that of such interesting magnitude, has rarely, we believe, been crowded into the short compass of three discourses, each of which is of moderate length. But it would be unjust to make this reflection, without at the same time acknowleging the skill and ingenuity of the preacher in placing his subjects in so luminous a point of view.
The eleventh Sermon is on Matt. xxiv. 35. “ Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.”
Though these words, as the author admits, are particularly applicable to the prophecy of the fall of Jerusalem, yet besides a consideration of that event, which surely would have been sufficient for a discourse of itself, we have the following:
" Prophecies relating to the fate of Rome...-The kingdom of the Messiah to arise in their time.---Daniel's vision of the four beasts, and other visions.---Conversion of Rome.--The Apocalypse characterized.---The sixth seal.
" Prophecies respecting Mahomet and the Saracens.--Under the fifth trumpet.---Foretold by Daniel as the King of the South."
From this lecture we shall select the account of the rise of Mahomet and the Saracenic power as an instance of the happy method which Mr. Nares possesses of connecting brevity with clearness. ." This was too remarkable a circumstance," he observes, “to be passed over by the prophetic spirit. It is depicted in the Rcvelation, at the sounding of the fifth trumpet; and it is pointed out also as the first woe which fell upon the Christian world, after its triumph over external opposition. It is described as a
smoke arising from the bottomless pit, out of which smoke proceed locusts, having power to sting as scorpions. The warlike disposition of these enemies of Christianity is marked by the following images : “ And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle, and their faces were as the faces of men.” The false prophet himself seems to be depicted as “ a star which
fell n h eaven," having " the key of the bottomless pit :" and what can more aptly represent a false and delusiye doctrine, than a smoke which darkens the air, and obscures the sun itself? If we consider the truth of the gospel as represented by the light of the sun, in too many.countries was this light violently obscured by the prevalence of this Tartarean smoke! Yet every thing conspires to mark that this interruption was not peaceably introduced ; but by the sword, and the force of arms." The Saracenic Jocusts had “breast-plates, as it were breast-plates of iron ; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots, of many horses running to battle :” and “ they had a king over them," who for the distinguished iniquity of his undertakings, is termed " the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is ABADDON, but in the Greek tongue hath his name APOLLyon.".
“ The prophet Daniel, to whom under the first covenant, were indulged the remotest prospects of futurity, seems to have delineated the same power, under the name of “ the King of the South.” He is said to have come against the King of the North, " like a whirlwind; with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships." He is described as over-running many countries, among which is particularly mentioned, “ the glorious land," doubtless the land of Palestine, with Edom, Moab, Ammon, Egypt, Libya, and Æthiopia ; all countries in which the Mohammedan power has since conspicuously prevailed. Concerning his downfall also, or end, some things are noticed by that prophet, but ihese are evidently at this time unfulfilled. His end is not yet come.”
Sermon the twelfth on the “ four last periods of prophecy," has for its text the appropriate passage, Rev, xix. 10,-“ Worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy."
The contents of this discourse are,
« Prophecies relating to Antichrist.---The same illustrated.--The time for his appearance, after the fall of the Roman empire.
The place, Rome.---Similarity between Daniel and St. John, on these subjects.---The ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was divided.---The man of sin.---The beast with seven heads and ten horns.---Power of Antichrist described.---Protestants ought not to relinquish this interpretation of the prophecy.