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will tell us they are the mere reproductions of the past, and as the world has recovered from many a convulsion in former times, it will recover from these. This is prophecy on the secular plane, but it is not the prophecy of sacred writ. We must take into connection with these phenomena, in order to find their place, many correlative signs and events: the exhaustion of the great prophetic epochs; the“ gospel preached as a witness to every nation, after which the end shall be;” the decadence of the Moslem ; the cumulative wasting judgments on the Papacy; the undoubted appearance and action of "the three unclean spirits ; the scoffs of sceptics, and other destructive features of this age, and the widespread conviction in the minds of the best read, the most pious, and least impetuous divines of all denominations, that we are amid the shadows of the world's evening twilight; the irreligious attacks on Scripture by science, falsely so called; the intense excitement in colleges, schools, Church, courts, and parliaments; and the new and more sweeping controversies that threaten to convulse our House of Commons in its approaching new and hitherto untried character.
There is no prospect of peace till the return of the Prince of Peace. He only will say “Peace,” and there will be a great calm.
“I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, until he come whose right it is, and I will give it to him.”
Every institution is placed in the crucible. Everything now-a-days must be revised, recast, or reformed.
At last the world has made the discovery that everything has gone wrong. It insists on new articles, new creeds, new forms and ceremonies, new liturgies, new parliaments. All this is the world's testimony to its own degeneracy, and indirectly its admission, that some great purifying power must pass over the earth and through the hearts of mankind before there can be that transformation which humanity yearns to feel, and increasing numbers hope will one day come down from heaven.
The evils that are felt in society at large are not like heaps of faggots and stones lying loosely on the surface, but deeply-rooted as the trees of ancient forests.
No mechanical alterations will renovate the world. No change of climate will heal the sufferer. No philosophy can reach the root of evil. Nothing short of a descent of celestial power, more stupendous than even that of Pentecost, will right the earth, regenerate the Church, inaugurate the millennium, and heal sick society. A moral and divine revolution is needed.
6. The old
To wait the close of all.” It looks at times as if the judgment-day of nations had already come. Every post from every quarter of the globe brings news of kingdoms shattered and tossed and torn, of credit paralyzed, of capital de
stroyed, of insurrections, wars, and conflicts. The restraints of law, the sanctions of precedent, the authority of rulers, are resisted or despised; ancient fences are removed; national responsibility to Him who is King of nations is obsolete; and all this not by a slow process of decadence, but by unexpected and sudden strokes. Unexpected revolutions of empire, baffling the calculations of the shrewdest politicians, derange their plans, and disturb their peace. Great questions press for solution. Heavy clouds darken the sky. The French Exhibition was scarcely the inauguration of universal peace, while the Emperor predicted peace and increased his powerful army to an extent that startled the most loyal of his subjects.
But there will be no peace till the prophecy is fulfilled : “He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people, and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruninghooks ; neither shall they lift up sword against nations; neither shall they learn war any more."
“Questions," as the new phrase is, spring up like weeds in succession. There is the “Eastern Question,” “the Roman Question,” “the Irish Question,” “ the Trades' Union Question,” “ the Education Question," and "the Fenian Question;" each inviting a solution, and all menacing the age.
What were once received as axioms are now re-opened as problems, and neither statesmanship nor genius nor experience seems able to solve them. One collision provokes another; a random spark lights up a con
flagration, and out of the most trivial incidents the most passionate controversies crop up.
The whole social atmosphere seems charged with electricity, which, to use the words of the Apocalypse, breaks forth in “ thunders and lightnings and voices.'
The very people that repel the explanation of students of prophecy accept the description as true. There is no solution of these phenomena but one, and the thoughtful minds that adduce it may be denounced as fanatics by the ignorant dilettanti, who scoff at themes they refuse to study; but the scoffers will discover their folly and their error when it is too late to recall the ridicule which they have clothed with their verbiage.
Without discussing or attempting to discuss political questions, one cannot shut one's eyes to the silent but tremendous revolution accomplished in the structure of the government of this country by the measure passed through the House of Commons, July, 1867.
The Pall Mall Gazette very justly states the probable effects of this measure, as well as the elements in which it had its birth :-“The long, long fight to keep the democratic crowd out of the representation of the country has proved a hopeless game. The course of events has been too strong for us all. With all the excesses of the trade unions, from whom the new class of voters will be largely supplied, daily revealing themselves in darker and darker colours, the House has passed a measure which not one tenth, or
perhaps not one single man, of its members heartily approves. The passing of this bill is to a large extent the result of that general break-up of opinion which is strewing the life of to-day with the philosophical, theological, and social wrecks of the past. The past, people say to themselves, was very well in its day, and we have no quarrel with it; but whatever be the future that is before us, it must be something different from that in which our fathers believed, and for which they often battled. We know little enough of the religion, the political state, and the private life which is to grow up out of the decay of this débris of bygone centuries, but it is bootless to sit mourning over our dead hopes, and the sooner we can make up our minds to bury them out of sight the better for us all.”
Students of prophecy have no disappointed hopes. They looked for this disintegration of our religious and civil state, and were denounced by literary writers for expecting any issue of the sort. They still regard these changes as the beginnings of yet greater changes, having no hope of a millennium which shall not be preceded by yet more overwhelming convulsions in the world at large.
The débris amid which we find ourselves is not the débris of evil out of which we may look for good, but of much that was reverend, Christian, and holy, out of which for the present we expect evil-cumulative evil.
The only rainbow or fragment of a rainbow in the