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Havi

AVING gone through all the dreadful and glorious things which are to take place until the new heaven and earth shall be created, and the new Jerusalem come down, when Christ shall deliver up the kindom, and have his throne and kingdom in the new Jerusalem forever. I now proced,

III.... To consider the duty enjoined on all by the apostles in the text, mentioned in page 14, of this work, viz.... To take Deed to the prophecies until the day dawn and the day star arife.

In this proposition are two things ;

1. The duty enjoined, which is to take heed to the word of prophecy, as a light Joining in a dark place, until the day dawn and the day star arife.

2. Doing this, is doing well.

1. We will consider the duty enjoined, which is constantly to take heed to the

fure word of prophecy, as to a light shining in a dark place.

In the verses before this, the apostle had given his brethren the reason why he and the other apostles, had given such dire&ions to the brethren concerning the manner in which they ought to conduct as pilgrims on the earth, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables when we 'made known to you

and com. ing of our Lord Jesus Christ; but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, and this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.”

the power

Notwithstanding the apostles heard the voice of God te Christ in the mount, and were eye witnesses of the glory which Chriz had, yet, he considered that his brethren had something more sure than that, which was the proes phecies, which went before, testifying of that very glory which the apostles saw, and which the saints then enjoyass ed.

What the apostles preached, was not a plan, or fable, which they had devised, and impofed on their brethren and the world ; the prophets hundreds and thousands of ! years before had spoken of these things which they preached concerning falvation. The prophecy is consid; ered the sure word, and a light shining to us in this world, which without it would be a dark place.

The nature of the prophecies ; those which have been ! fulfilled, and fuch as are fulfiling at the present day! prove that all the prophecies are true. There are several things which have prevented people from attending to the duty enjoined in the text, some of which I will mertion.

1. Many people though they consider the prophecies. true, yet do not consider that they mean as they say, in they suppose there is a spiritual meaning, (as it is term ed) or that the scriptures mean something more than is expressed ; if this be the case how can the prophecies be a light shining in a dark place ?

This plan was invented by ORIGEN, who lived in Al exandria in Egypt, about fifteen hundred years ago He faid that those who understood the scriptures as they read, could not be saved; in this way the scriptures, havent been laid aside for other books, and the prophecies of i great and glorious things to come, are considered, as re.. fering to the experience of believers, or to what a party spirit is in love with.

In this way the 2 beauty, excellence, and glory of the prophecies is laid afide.

In order to take heed to the prophecies as a light, we must consider that they m in as they say ; and that no

지 prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation, l' The plain fense of the prophecies is ceretainly the beat. .'

1

If we do not consider them in this way, the vision of all will be as a sealed book instead of a light. In this way the prophecies are confidered by many in the present day, according to what is said in Isa. xxix. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, “Stay yourselves and wonder, cry ye out, and cry they are drunken, but not with wine ; they ftagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the fpirit of deep Beep, and hath closed your eyes, the prophets and your rulers, the feers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is fealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, read this, I pray thee; and he saith I cannot ; for it is sealed:

And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, faying, read this, I pray thee ; and he faith I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord faid, forasmuch as this people draw near to me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept. of men; therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a mare velous work among this people; even a marvelous work, and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid. Woe to them that dig deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark ! and they say, who feeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter's clay:

Had the prophet Ifaiah lived in this day, and lived in New England, he could not have given a more exact defcription of priests, rulers, and people, in this country than is given in these verses.

1. He describes the prophets, rulers, and seers, as in a state of drunkenness, and stupidity ; this is the case with those who are called ministers in this country beyond. what ever it was since New England was settled.

In former years they were active, in stiring up the government to make laws to hang the Quakers, ur banith the baptists, enforce uniformity, make platforms, or put those in execution already made ; but how differs. ent is it now? At the present day, there is now and then a folitary pamphlet upon {prinkling babes, sometimes ap ordination, or election fermon, but in general, a deep fleep appears among the rulers of the people.

2. Besides all this, the scriptures of the prophets,or the prophecies are become to the learned and unlearned as a leal ed book. The prophecies, a light in a dark place, which we are commanded to take heed unto, is thought to contain things which we ought not to fearch after in the view of people in general. When thele learned men are asked the meaning of the prophecies ; they have at once a plea for their ignorance, it is a sealed book,” (is their reply) which learned men do not know the meaning of. These men talk much about revealed religion, but ask them the meaning of revelation, and at once they call revelation something that is hidden from mortals. When the un. learned are asked the meaning of the prophecies, their reply is, “ I am not learned, I cannot tell you what it means, ," thus between the learned and unlearned, the enquirer learns, that the learned, as they are wrongly called) are as ignorant of the prophecies, as the unlearned.

3. The consequences of all this is that the scriptures, (a fealed book to them) is laid aside, and the fear,or our duty to God is taught by the precepts of men, because mens' precepts can be understood. The consequence of all this is, we have articles upon articles, platforms, upon platforms ;-creeds upon creeds ;-covenants upon covenants ;--catechisms upon catechisms ;-bodies and systems of divinity, upon bodies and systems ;-allociations upon association ; missionary plans, upon missionary plans-instead of the word of God line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.

AN chete things are facts.

4. Notwithstanding all this, the Lord will proceed, to do a marvelous work and a wonder ;she will cause the ** wisdom of the wise to perish, and the understanding of the

prudent to be hid. All this is taking place in the prefent day, and particularly in New England.

How little are the doctrins and commandments of men regarded now, to what they were a few years ago. How are the human forms of men tumbling to peices, in different parts of our country.

How little are those men referenced, who have the impudence to file them. felves the reverend ! &c.—How is their wisdom perishing! How is their understanding hidden! like stars hid. den by the greater light of the fun. They are conftantly leaving the assemblies of the people, especially, where the most of the light of the fcriptures is received. They seek to hide their counsels from the Lord, and their works are in the dark. As soon as the light of ihe scrip, tures come, they are afraid, left their works will be dif. covered. The light is to them as the terrors of death.

What a wonderful and marvelous thing is done in this country, within a few years ! How are men freed from the precepts of men,those shakles of soul and body. Almost every

state in the union is free from tyranny, under the name of religion.

How marvelous is the conduct of the legislature of Vermont. No longer ago than O&ober 1807,the general afsembly repealed all laws refpe&ting religion in the state ; so that no man is obliged to pay a tax to the cler. gy. This has set the clergy on float, while their cry is, religion is coming to nothing-A religion which human law upholds.

5. The Lord tells those who conduct in this manner that they are turning things upside down, and that it is not good. By laying aside the true meaning of the fcriptures ; they have turned another side to the people from what is meant. The consequence of all this is, people are become so expert, that each one can prove: from the fcriptures what he wishes to believe. People in general from this notion, have learnt enough, to make out that the scriptures abound in contradictions ; because each one willes to fupport his plan from the scriptures, and as they are taught that the scriptures do not mean as they fay, each one makes a meaning to please himself, but this is not taking heed to the sure word of prophecy, as unto a light Shining in a dark place,

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