« PreviousContinue »
which I read on that subject, left me in doubt and perplexity. But at last I obtained an insight, which to me appears fully satisfactory. My eye was attracted by the true key to this Divine treasure-A prophetical chropology, or calculation of the different denominations of time in this book, not yet noticed by the writers on this subject. By this key the whole number of predictions arrange themselves into a long chain, shewing the beginning, connexion and length of every link, and the extent of the whole system. My joy was truly great, when by the help of this key, I compared the prophecies with history ;-conviction broke in on the mind like a torrent-doubt and hesitation disappeared. The light, which has discovered itself to me; the conviction which it afforded my
mind, of the credibility of the gospel; the confident rest in our glorious and ever blessed Redeemer, with which I was comforted; may, under the Divine auspices of an all ruling Providence, also convince and comfort others. These are my motives, my object and apology for publishing this small
I do it with unaffected diffidence, when I consider the high importance of my subject, and my own fallibility.
I rejoice at this opportunity to make you a public tender of the gratitude of my heart, for the many favors which you have bestowed on me, during an uninterrupted friendship of twenty-four years. Be assured, sir, I should suspect my own heart, if among pupils, which you so successfully prepared for the gospel ministry in the Evangelic Lutheran Church in this country, there was one, who actually entertained more respect for your character, and a higher esteem for your inestimable labours in the Lord. It will continue to be a large part of my earthly happiness, to enjoy your friendship, your counsel, your confidence and comfort, during the shadowy path of my life through the valley of this world; as I often ask myself in cases of difficulty, how you would probably act in the same situation, and still look up to you as an example, worthy the imitation of all your brethren,
of publishing this treatise under your name and protection; which I hope may not be displeasing to you. It is not that I think any name of renown will screen the faults that may be found in it; but in order that it may find unprejudiced minds, and may not be condemned without a reading-especially in those parts, which might be branded with the terrible imputation of novelty. I have the honour to be,
Rev'd Sir, Your attentive fellow servant, in the kingdom and patience of Jesus.
J. GEORGE SCHMUCKER.
THE christian world has arrived at a very portentous period, full of great and alarming events. Most persons of reflection will allow, from the interesting and awful scenes carried on in the most civilized countries, that the end of the present form of civil and ecclesiastical economy is near at hand. 1 Pet. iv. 7.-1 Cor. x. 11.Every century has been characterized by a peculiar spirit of its own, modelling every thing, more or less, in a new mould, and often making inroads, even into the sanctuary of the Lord. But the spirit of the present time stands distinguished from all former periods, by a character of peculiar innovation in church and state. No doubt these singular events, so unparralleled in the page of history, are, according to certain prophecies both in the Old and New Testament, yet only the prognostics of a scene of things still more extraordinary, and resolved upon in the councils of the Most High.
Behold the spirit of the nineteenth century! It rose up like a lion, in the midst of a grazing flock-displeased with every thing, which did not bear its own image. When it first appeared towards the close of the last century, boasting of reason, philosophy and a discovery of the fatal consequences of superstition, it obtained many votaries; but when it assumed the garb of the rights of man, it was hailed by millions. Its triumph seemed more certain every day, until it was perceived by the wise and considerate, that its final aim was, to establish infidelity, and make the world a general plunder and a wreck. And alas! Their anticipation of ensuing horror proved too true, Every enclos ure was broken down the stately
edifices of former centuries demolished; all christendom shivered at its approach, as in the presence of a being from the other world. The rulers of the earth began to lose the balance of government, against the internal weight of state ; their kingdoms were threatened with destruction, like decayed castles at the approach of a storm. Battles were fought, cities and kingdoms won or lost, kings degraded or restored ; and all the splendid ranks and orders of men, that supported them, extinguished or established. Whole countries were turned into a slaughter house, where theunburied bones of thousands yet lie bleaching, and whiten those fields, so lately smoking with human gore. Millions of souls have rushed from the field of battle, in a few years, into the world of spirits; angels bemoan their untimely end with compassion, and would fain comfort the widow and the fatherless.
These awful scenes touch every trembling fibre of sensibility--the heart sickens in contemplating the misery of millions, and the subterraneous waves of this vast ocean of nations, are not yet commanded to rest. The prime cause of all this evil was infidelity, the partizans of which marshalled themselves in the order of the Illuminati. This numerous society first formed and propagated itself in the secret lodges, and under the garb of freemasonry, since the middle of the last century; but soon assumed the names of almost every other society, to carry on its diabolical designs, and extend its banners into all the countries of Europe and America. The dark plans of this order are not even yet fully developed. That murderous revolution in France, was the first fruit of their exertions; whose leaders apostatized from christianity; and unblushingly, in the most public manner, avowed Atheism; whilst the inferior adherents exhibited scenes of contempt and aversion to the very name of Christ. The lurking places of these monsters of unrighteousness, are not yet deserted ; they stilt go on, to poison the sources of education, and to persuade