Imágenes de páginas

erstition; uselices, and planctions, and sts in relics,

beast; and which, notwithstanding any schism between them, and that monster, may still retain the same spirit, feel the same interests, and though not directly, yet efficienily yield themselves to support his cause. Babylon the great, and the great city, always signify in this book the whole Antichristian Empire; and hence it is that the langnage of the Old Testament prophets, whether they speak of ancient Babylon, of Ninevth, of Egypt, of Elom, or of Tyre; whether of inland or maritime people, com, merce, or othurwise, becomes appropriate when applied to this Babylon the great, without being obliged to resort to strained and wimsical interpretations. For instance: The commerce in this chapter is the real and literal commerce of the several maritime and trading countries of Europe, which make part of the beast's empire, and not merely the traff of pricats in relics, beids, and crucifixe, in holy water, vnctions, and pictures, in çlispensations, indulgences, and pardons, and such like trumpery of superstition; by which the cunning impose upon the weak. It is that real comerce by which the pride and luxury, and other vices of Europe are fed, and wbich leads to many frauds, and crimes, and destructive wars, which is here repre. sented as failing; and to the commercial and maritime countries we must look for the accomplishment of this part of the prophicy ; for if we fix our eyes on Rome exclusively, the destruca tion may come before we at all suspect its direction.

The 19th chapter appears to contain a picture of the closing scene of the war of Armageddon. You are not unacquainted wish my ideas relative to the former part of the 20th chapter, where the judges appear who are to give the body of the beast to the burning flame;' - when, and not till then, the papacy

will be utterly destroyed. The symbols employed in both these es chapters, have been, I think, but ill understood by most of our 5* interpreters, -- being meant to represent persons and matters

extremely clifferent from what is generally supposcd. At least this is the ilca I have formed; but the providence of God appears to be fast interpreting these obscure predictions; and if we do not suffer our minds to be perverted by old opinions and prejudices, but candidly and carefully attend and examine, as new occurrences reflect additional light, we may hope soon, not only to know by tradition whose pictures of futurity these are, but be certain of the hand that drew them, and of what they were meant to be delineations.

That, whatever may come upon the earth,' we and cars may be prepared to aci worthy of our Christian calling, and so waich, that we'may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and stand before the Son of Miin, is the fervent prayer of, Dear Sir, your Friend and Brother,

J. Bichieno


Pels vols, i history of 99 yeurs before, the year which the city and

" Mr. Enitor, Some of your numerous readers may be gratified with the information, that a work has lately been published at Paris, which totally overthrows the ridiculous pretensions of the Chinese to an antiquity * incompatible with the chronology of scripture. The title of the work is, Voyages à Peking, &c. by M. de Guignes, French Resident in China, 8vo, 3 vols. 1808, In the first volume there is a summary view of the ancient history of China, not ascending to an earlier period than the reign of Yao, 2357 years before Christ; nor continuing to a later than the 48th year of Pingvang, the year 722 before Christ.

I stop,' says the author, at the epochai which the history assumes something more of an appearance of authenticity and truth.' The previous part of the history has probably been fabricated at a period long posterior to the reign of Pingvang. $ It is entirely destitute of facts, extremely uncertain, and, pro. perly speaking, would be nothing at all without the moral dis. courses' (pretended dialogues on some common-place topic of morality, between the prince whose reign is related, and some mandario or doctor) with which it is filled up. It evidently demonstrates, that, while several great powers were in existence, and indeed several kingdoms had already passed away in other parts of the globe, the empire of China, according to the statement of its own historians, was very inconsiderable; that it was only composed of certain hordes, not very numerous, living in the midst of barbarians, and often migrating from one region to another, according to their convenience. In short, that this empire, far from existing (as Voltaire and others have boldly pretended) 3000 years before Christ, was not united into any thing like a permanent form till the year 529 before Christ. In attacking this antiquity, acceded by certain writers to the Chinese, I do not attempt,' adds M. de Guignes, to establish a new hypothesis; it is not I who speak; I only relate the disa courses inserted in the Chou-king +, from which I derive conse. quences that support my own opinion. .

To this may be added the observations of the learned Presi. dent Goguet. (Origin of Laws, vol. 3.)

What dependence can be placed upon the certainty of Chinese chronology for the early times, when we see these people unanimously avow, that one of their greatest monarchs, interested in the destruction of the ancient traditions, and of those who preserved them, caused all the books which did not treat of agricul. ,

* Some of them claim 96 or 97 millions of years!

† A Chinese history, translated and published in 1770, by the father of M. de Guigues.

ture, or of medicine, or of divination, to be burnt; an: applied himself for many years to destroy whatever could recal the know. ledge of the times anterior to his reign! About 10 years after his death, they wanted to re-establish the historical documents ; for that purpose they gathered together, say they, the hearsays of old men. They discovered, it is added, some fragments of books which had escaped the general conflagration. They joined these various scraps together as they could, and vainly en. deavoured to compose of them a regular history. It was not, however, till more than 150 years after the destruction of all the monuments, that is to say, the year 37 before Christ, that a, complete body of the ancient history appeared. The author himseif, who composed il (S (-M-tsiene) ba i the. Candour to own, un t he had not found in posible to ascend with certainty 800 beyond he time in which he wioie. --Such is the ananimoa, contis o of ihe Chines: * I leave io be julgru, after such a fact, the certainty of their ancieni bistry. Accordingly, we find, in treating of s, insurin utabied thrulnes and contradica tions. It is desiitute of fact, circumstances, and (lelalls.'

I will only add, Mr. Elicor, that ihese cons derations com, pletely rd the Mosaic History of any su picion, which the Chinese pretensions might cast upon it; that ihry concur with every other evi lence from bistory:- probability to shew that the durasion of the moral system of our glube, cannot have beeth Longer than ii is represented by the ollest of all authentic locus, ments, those contained in ihe sacred volume; anıl, that per, sons like Voltaire, whom we are accustomed to blame for their unreasonable scepticism, have an equal claim to be despised for their absurd credulity.


:* This story,' says an able writer, " is probably nothing but a sable, in. vented when they began to plame thenselves with a hign ant quiiy, as an apology for their loial pant ut annals to support such a preteasion.'


Well, my dear Sir, “ strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life,” saich the Lord ; and I am enabled to set my seal that this is true. How far I may be mistaken in the way, and make difficulties to myself where God makes none, I know not ; but this I know, that I am at umės so hard, put to it, that I make a full stop; and, for a moment feel a wish in my heart to be either sately through, cr safely back again. No outward difficulties cause these, mabelieving tears; they arise not from opposition, nor from the fierceness and wrath of an angry

persecnting world. I have not, at present, much of these to fight with; and when I have, though no man feels them more sensibly than I do, yet, indeed and in truth, I find them profitable. I enjoy many a sweet moment when I am under their pressure, and see much of the power and faithfulness of a promise keeping God, when I occupy my business in these deep waters : neither am I dej·cted with the view which God has given me (and a clear view he has given me) of my unworthiness, igno. rance, helplessness, 'blindness, and sinfulness, and of the total blindness of my nature. It is not, I say, a sight or feeling of these things that makes my chariot-wheels drag heavily in the way to the kingdom ; these, indeed, are lumbling, and leave me not a word to say in my own behalf; I stand before God, in myseif, poor, and naked, and wretched, and miserable ; but this makes mercy the sweeter. The more we know of our ruin, and of the mystery of iniquity that is in us, the greater value shall we necessarily set on our Saviour and his salvation. I am, in Christ, superior to all that is in me; there is more in him to deliver me, than there can be in myself to condemn me. But here the matter lies, Sir, when I look at the word of God, and see there unto what I am called ; when I see my privilege as a child of God, and what arises from such an endearing relation; when I see that I am called to a fellowship with the Father and the Son; to a peace with God which passcth all understanding; to a love, that casteth out fear; to a life of faith in the Son of God; yea, to joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have received the atonement,' when I see that I am called to be a temple of God, through his Spirit dwelling in me; to be a worshipper in his spiritual house; an inhabitant of the spiritual Zion, that city of the living God; a subject of his spiritual kingdom; to a hope full of immortality; to be an heir of God himself, and a joint heir with his beloved Son ; when I consider these things, Sir, I can hardly believe for joy and wonder. I look at myself, and smile to see such an insignificant wretch so exalted : I look on things around, the world and all its vanities, and can count them all but dross and dung in comparison of the excellency of the knowledge of God." in Christ Jesus the Lord.

* But, O! Sir, this is not always the case; nay, it is very often otherwise. This is my battle, this is my struggle, this is the

reason of my complaint. Now you see what I am, and what I -, am fighting for: now you see the very cause of my heart-aches,

my fears and distresses, my palpitations, &c. It is not steel, water, burk, nor the cordials of the apothecary, but the precious Baim of Gilead, and that great Physician there, that can alone give case and quiet to my troubled breast. I want always to live like a man who is sensible that all the blessings of the everlasting covenant are his own. I would walk and talk, and feel my

castethith God Melilowship

hope, and fears, and joys, like a creature that knows and believes that all things are his, for he is Christ's, and Christ is God's: but my weakness ! my weaknses ! - Woe unto me! my eye and my heart are soon caught and turned aside unto vanity! My corruptions and sins, the guilt of which the blood of the Son of God has done away, are yet as thorns in my side, and pricks in my eyes ; nay, the very blessings of God are a snare unto me, and frequently steal away my heart from him. My house is a $nare, my family is a snare, my garden is a snare, and my situation is a snare; my very dress is a snare; - and such is my weakness, that my dear friend is a snare also. My comfort is in fellowship with God; his favour is better than life itself; and if I suffer any blessing to come between him and me, it loses its


THE GALLEY-SLAVE LIBERATED, A German Prince, travelling through France, visited the arsenal at Toulon, where the gallies are kept. The com.' mandant, as a compliment to his rank, sạid, he was welcome to set any one galley-slave at liberty whom he should chuse to select. The Prince, willing to make the best use of this privilege, spoke to many of them in succession, enquiring why they were condemned to the gallies. Injustice, oppression, false accusation, were the only causes they could assign: they were all innocent and ill-treated. At last he came to one, who, when asked the same question, answered to this effect : _ My Lord, I have no reason to complain. I have been a very wicked desperate wretch: I have often deserved to be broken alive upon the wheel. I account it a great mercy that I am here.” The prince fixed his eyes upon him, gave him a gentle blow upon his head, and said, "You wicked wretch, it is a pity you should be placed among so many honest men. By your own confession, you are bad enough to corrupt them all ; but you shall not stay with them another day.” Then turning to the officer, he said, “ This is the man, Sir, whom I wish to be released."

Was not this a wise decision ? Must not all who hear the story allow, that the man who was so sensible of his guilt, and so submissive to his punishment, was, in all probability, the most worthy of pardon, and the most likely not to abuse it? Though the ways of God and his thoughts are higher than ours, yet, upon some occasions, and when their concerns are not in ques. tion, men, by their judgments, shew that they can forın no just objections to his. — Letters and Conversational Remarks by Mr. Newton, p. 47.

the way me occasient judgments and

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