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THE

INTRODUCTION.

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Dan. 12. 1. And there shall be a time of Trouble, such as never was since there was a Nation, even to that same time.

Or, as it is expressed by St. Matth. 24. 21. For then shall be great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the World to this time, no nor ever shall be.

Or, by St. Mark 13. 19. For in those Days shall be Af

fli&tion, such as was not from the beginning of the Creation which God created, unto this time, neither shall be..

mam HIS PROPHECY thus

differently expressed, con

tains a Solemn DenunciaT tion of the dreadful Judg

ments that shall come upon the World in the last Times,

which will display themselves in two sorts of Evils.

1. NATURAL.

2. SUPERNATURAL. 1. By the Natural Evils I understand principally, The Sword, the Pestilence, and the Famine,

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2. By

2. By the Supernatural, The Affiliations which the Church of God, and the whole World, shall undergo in the Reign of Antichrist, who is the Consummation of the Curse.

The Reafons why l'imagine these Natural Evils to be the Sword, Peftilence, and Famine, are these :

1. BECAUSE these (with that of the noifom Beasts) are call’a God's Sore Fudgments; or as it is in the Original, his (Emphatically) Evil Judgments, Ezek. 14:21. and y tho' indeed, in this and one or two other Places, we find the noisom Beasts, and fometimes the Earthquakes join'd with them; yet generally speaking, these Three are in most of the Prophets put together, as the Sum or Completion of all the Natural Evils that can befal a People.

2. BECAUSE they correspond to, and are the Natural Fruits and Productions of the Three great Divisions of Sin, mention'd by St. John, 1 Ep. 2. 16. 1. The Luft of, the Flese; 2. The Luft- of the Eye ; 3. And the Pride of Life; which he calls all that is in the World; meaning, that all other Instances of Sin, may (generally speaking') be reduc'd to there Three Heads.

THE Sx shall ravage up and down in the World, in different places and Degrees, accordingly as Persons, Places, or Nations, may be more or less ripe for Vengeance; and are not only intended as a Punishment for the Sufferers, but as Warnings for those that shall escape them, that greater Evils are at hand: For fo faith our Blessed Lord,

Matth.

Matth. 24. 7, 8. Mark 13.9. Nation shall rise against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom: And there shall be Famines, and Pestilences, and Earthquakes in divers Places; and immediate. ly subjoins, All these are the beginnings of Sorrows. Where the Original Word which Ildy. we translate Sorrows, fignifies particularly the Pains of a travailing Woman, and seems to be moft emphatically used in this place, to represent to us, that these shall be, as it were, the Throws and Pangs of the Kingdom of Darkness, or Hellis Principle, la bouring to bring forth Antichrist, who is to be the Head and Completion of the Apoftacy, the Top-Fruit of the Mystery of Iniquity, in whom shall dwell the Fullness of Diabolical Deceit and Wickedness, in opposition to our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom dwelt the Fulnefs of Grace and Truth; yea, of the Godhead bodily.

BEFORE I proceed to a distinct Conside- The preces ration of the several Parts, I shall premise ding Conssa one Thing; That seeing there are in Scri- derations pture many terrible Denunciations of

great Judgments, which have not yet been fulfilled, at least in their utmost Extent and Meaning; it is natural to imagine, thať

3 they do ultimately respect those latter Times, according to what our Blessed Lord tells us of them, Luke 21. 22. That these are the Days of Vengeance, that all Things that are written might be fulfilled : i. e. These are the Last and Great Days of Vengeance, in which shall be ultimately fulfilled all those heavy Denunciations of Judgment, which God by the Mouth of his Holy Prophets,

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ever

confirm'de

:

ever since the World began, has threatned to the Enemies of his Church, which is now, beginning to lift up her Head, and triumph over the Oppositions of all her

Enemies. The times of her refreshing are ** about; to commence'; she shall pass securely

through this Deluge of Affliction, and shall come forth glorioully. This hath been represented to us, as it were, in miniature, by divers leffer Manifestations of the Divine Justice and Mercy: Thus the Apostle St. Peter tells us 2 Ep. Chap. 2. That the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrab was, as it were, a little Sketch and Representation of this last dreadful Scene: The Deftruction of the City and Temple of Jerusalem is likewise describ'd in such a Manner, and with such Characters, as plainly shows it to he typical of that more dreadful Defruction, that fhall come upon the Apoface World in the latter Days : Thus the

Crimes and Punishments charg'd upon Baith bylon, Tjre, Edom, &c. in the prophetical

Books, tho' they were in some measure verify'd according to the Letter in the Type; Ser it is clear to any that are acquainted with History, that they were very far from being entirely fulfill’d, but are rather Types and Figures of the Antichristian World, as standing in some eminent Property or Character, whence we see they are transcrib’d ley che Divine Author of the Revelations, Ch. 17. 18. and apply'd to the Mystical Ba

bylon, or Apoitate Christendom. 'So, lastly, Gics to go yer further, the * Ancient Prophecy 39. Di Eweb did, 10 doubt, in its most obvious

and

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- and immediate Design, point at the State

and Inhabitants of the old World, before the Flood in which he liv'd, warning them of the fad Degeneracy of Mankind, and the terrible Punishments that would ensue apon it: Yet the Apostle St. Jude, v. 14. expresly fays, that Enoch prophecy'd of the

Antichristian Members of the Churchi 3 which were in his Days, but more partii

cularly of those that were to come in the last Periods of the Church, v. 17, 18. ALE which Instances do help to confirm this Hypothesis, that all those great and signal Punishments, denounc'd by the Holy Prophets against a People of Nation; those

particularly which seem to run in General * and Universal Terms, did ulcimately and

finally refer to this last terrible Catastrophe, when Vengeance shall be poured out to the full, corresponding to the full Meafure of Iniquity : For the Judgments never take place, till the Sins of a Nation are filled up. So God did not bring the Flood upon the old World, till the Earth was filled with Violence, as he himself complains, Gen. 6. So also God tells Abraham, Gen. 15. 16. that

he could not yet possess the Land, which E he had promised to him and his Seed, beI cause their Sins were not yet full. So then in

the latter Days, when the Measure of the Iniquities of Mankind shall be filled up, their Judgments and Punishments shall be so likewise : This Last and Great Defola tion being the Forerunner and Introduction to the blessed Millennial Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, was what the Prophets

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and

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