Imágenes de páginas

be naturally much more tempted to be unfaithful, from fear of causing any one pain, than to be unnecessarily severe in his language; and he is quite sure, it will be more painful to him to utter many things, which faithfulness to God, and faithfulness to souls compel him to utter, than it will be to any who hear them. What can be more distressing than to meet a man, virtuous, amiable, adorned with every outward quality to make one love and admire him,—and then to find that he is an unbeliever! How delightful, if one could think, that all such were journeying by different roads to the same heavenly home! One is almost tempted to envy an Unitarian the luxury of his doctrine of sincerity; but God's word forbids it, and we dare neither indulge ourselves with unscriptural hopes, nor cruelly flatter others, by saying “Peace, peace, when there is no peace."


"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."-REV. xvi. 13-15.

No intelligent student of prophecy can doubt, that we are just approaching the last crisis of the present dispensation. There are many differences of opinion, more or less important, with regard to the particular events, which may be expected shortly to take place; but all who know anything of prophecy are agreed, that these are the last days, and that a fearful tempest of physical and moral evil is ready to burst upon us, preparatory to the new millennial kingdom, which will quickly follow. In the book of Revelation especially we can distinctly trace the main outlines of the history both of the church and of the world from the time of the apostles to the present hour; our position being evidently under the sixth vial, the very period, when the great outbreak of evil mentioned in our text takes place. Time will not permit us to enter into a critical examination of the figurative terms made use of; suffice it to say, the three spirits are, 1st, Infidelity; 2ndly, Social and Political disorganization; 3rdly, Popery These are represented as issuing forth, under the direction of the Prince of darkness, to lash the world into a phrenzy of guilt and folly, to prepare the materials for one last convulsive struggle-a struggle which will be brought to a close in a way little expected, and by one little thought of: for it is when the storm is at its loudest, and the darkness at its thickest, that the Sun of Righteousness'

will burst through the clouds; it is at the hour of Satan's highest triumph, and the Church's deepest distress, when the three spirits have accomplished their work, and are raising the shout of victory, that He appears, who announces his advent in the few, but emphatic words "Behold, I come as a thief." And then what a change! It is a tempting subject to dwell on, but we must forbear; a few years at the most of watchful patience, and we shall know it, no longer by faith, but by sight. Already do we see the gathering hosts assembling themselves together for the battle of the great day of God Almighty. The three spirits are all actively at work around us; it is difficult to say, which most actively. If we turn to Popery, we see her rousing herself from her slumber, filling our land with Jesuit missionaries, disguised and undisguised, corrupting our church, undermining our glorious constitution, and seducing many a deluded victim within the fated walls of Babylon. If we turn to social and political affairs, do we not see exactly what St. Paul described eighteen hundred years ago, when he said, "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." Do we not also see, aye and feel, what Jesus mentioned as the signs of his coming, "Distress of nations with perplexity, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth" And if we turn to Infidelity, do we not see it in all its varied forms, marching onward with rapid strides, not only on the continent, but even in the very fortress of true religion, England itself? Universal scepticism seems the spirit of the age: every body is asking like Pilate, "What is truth?" Even those who have not gone the full length of rejecting the truth, seem in doubt about it, some about one part some about another, and some about all. This is just as Jesus said it should be,"When the Son of man cometh shall he find faith on the earth?" No-" Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived."

It would be impossible for us even to glance at the various denominations of Infidelity which the present age teems with. Suffice it to say, the fatal ingredient in them all, the single principle, on which they are all agreed, is rejecting the only way of salvation which God has offered

to perishing sinners-the atoning blood of a crucified Saviour. Any system which does this, whatever else it may believe or not believe, is to all intents and purposes Infidelity. God has offered us pardon and salvation in one particular way: the man who accepts that offer is a believer and is saved; the man who refuses it, whether from indifference, from love of sin, or from fancying that God will accept him in some other way, is an unbeliever and is lost. Our Lord's own words are, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned." It is true the nearer that error approaches truth, the less it shocks the mind, and therefore the more dangerous it is. The Unitarian refuses Christ as his Saviour, no less than the Deist; but then he adopts a system which professes to be the gospel of Christ, and in some points bears so close a resemblance to it, that the unwary and unstable are the more easily entangled. Deism or Atheism is palpable poison presented to you openly Unitarianism is poison mixed up in your food; so that while you think you are taking the wholesome nourishment that God has provided for you, you are really receiving what will kill the soul. A vast difference indeed is there between the man who mixes it, and the man who is deceived into swallowing it; but in either case death must follow, for God has said it, and he cannot, will not change.


When speaking however of Unitarianism as a system, it must not be supposed that all who hold that name, are alike in their faith: it is their boast that they have no creeds, that they do not check the spirit of free inquiry, that every one must think for himself; nay, one of their ablest champions, Mr. Martineau, tells us flatly, that we must not expect to find Unitarianism the same for any length of time together; that Unitarians themselves must not pretend that they have got the truth, for that truth is ever advancing, and fresh light being gained; so that the Unitarians of the next generation may be as much in advance of the Unitarians of this generation, as they are now in advance of Trinitarians, You shall hear his own words "But independently of these actual differences, can it be expected, that our present forms of opinion will con. tinue uniform and permanent? Is it consistent with experience to suppose that a church, however wise, and however confident its members, is to be exempt from the laws of intellectual and social change?" What a confession that Unitarianism is a human system! The truth of God is not touched by intellectual and social changes:Jesus Christ the same, to-day, and for ever.'



« AnteriorContinuar »