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THE design of the following treatise, is to detail, on the authority of Scripture, the remarkable events which take place in the church, and in the world, as far as it is connected with the church, from the present period to the last judgment.
No doubt the attempt will appear to some fruitless. But they who revere the authority of the Scriptures, should recollect, "that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy;" that the completion of prophecy is the great argument for the truth of Christianity in the latter days, by which the prejudices of the Jews, and the enmity of the Gentiles, shall be finally o vercome. It is reasonable, therefore, to infer, that the view given in the prophecies, of the events which shall take place in the latter days, is clearer than that gi ven of any other period; and that as the time of their completion draws near, we
may expect that God will be pleased to remove, in some measure, the obscurity which veiled them, in order to prepare the minds of men for the argument arising from their completion. Whether the author has succeeded, in drawing aside the veil in any degree, time only can determine with absolute certainty. In the mean time, let the reader carefully examine, and then judge. "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and "shame unto him.”l
Perhaps the attempt will appear to others unprofitable, even though it should be in some measure successful; because the argument from prophecy is founded on the coincidence of the dispensations of Providence with the representations of prophecy, which can only be seen after their completion. It will be readily allowed that a detail of events previous to their accomplishment, cannot be the ground of the general argument arising from prophecy; but the previous detail effectually removes an objection, repeatedly urged. by
(1) Prov. xviii. 13.
by infidels, against the argument. “If (say they) so much is to be seen in the "prophecies after their accomplishment, "why do we not see any thing at all be"fore it?" I answer: Examine the following treatise, and you will find a great many events minutely described before their accomplishment.
There are some persons well affected to religion, who allow themselves to think that the progress of infidelity and vice shall overwhelm the interests of righteousness and truth; while others entertain false notions of the kingdom of Christ, though they expect that it shall finally prevail. If the detail given in the following treatise has a tendency to remove the fears of the one, and to rectify the opinions of the other, the attempt of the author is not altogether unprofitable.
There are several passages in the prophecies, which, by consent of all, are so obscure, that no commentator has hitherto attempted to illustrate their literal meaning. If the interpretation offered in the following pages shall throw light on those dark