Imagini ale paginilor



Be it remembERED, That on the twenty *SEAL. fourth day of August, in the forty-sixth year * of the Independence of the United States of America, A. D. 1821, THE REV. J. GEORGE SCHMUCKER, of the said District hath deposited in this office the Title of a Book, the right whereof he claims, as Author, in the words following, to wit;

The Prophetic History of the Christian Religion explained; or a brief exposition of the Revelation of St. John; according to a new discovery of Prophetical time, by which the whole Chain of prophecies is arranged, and their certain completion proved from History down to the present period-with summary views of those not yet accomplished. By the Rev. J. George Schmucker, Pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, York town, Pennsylaania. Vol. 1. Tempora distingue et concordat Domini Verbum.

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intituled, "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the Times therein mentioned." And also to the Act, entitled, "An Act supplementary to An Act, entitled, "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by secur ing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Anthors and Proprietors of such Copies during the Times therein mentioned," and extending the Benefits thereof to the Arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical and other Prints."

D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania:

589.5 5356 fr




Milton sung, "Paradise Regain'd," in feeble notes. The concurring voice of successive generations has pronounced it to be as far beneath the former mind of Milton, as "Paradise Lost" transcends the ordinary powers of men. To account for this, it may be alleged, the lapse of several years of descase and misfortune had paralysed the energies of his gigantic soul, that to sucli a pitch had his mind been strung in the production of "Paradise Lost," that when unbent, it lost its elasticity, and would not bear being again wound up to its former pitch. But the prin cipal cause of this inferiority seems to me to be, not so much the embellishments in the splendid decorations, the strength, or variety, or ease of diction; as in the groundwork of the poem. His genius was confined within too narrow limits. That great and marvellous work, the redemption of the world by the son of God, may be viewed in two distinct lights, either as he effected it during the time of his humiliation, by the subversion of Satan & the reconciliation between God and man; or as he subsequently to his ascension, follows up his victory, by disseizing Satan, and expelling him from the hearts of one nation after another, till he shall have driven him from the earth, till he shall have "put down all rule and all authority and all power," & he whose right it is to reign, shall reign the king of nations as he now does the king of saints. The latter of these views, as it lies in the vast and boundless and unknown regions of futurity, might in the mind of Milton have assumed some of that true sublimity, which it shall wear when viewed by the future observer; after that which

is now enveloped in prophetic darkness, shall be viewed as facts in the annals of time. Thus might "Paradise Regained" have an equitable counterpart to the inimitable poem that preceeded it. The narrative of the work of redemption, given by the evangelists, is confined to the first view; but the outlines of the latter are contained in the Apocalypse. The revelation of St. John embraces the prophetic history of the spiritual warfare of the Son of God against the powers of darkness, waged during ma ny centuries for the possession of the kingdoms of this world, and the salvation of the fallen race of Adam. To detail these as far as accomplished, in plain simple narras tive, is the business of the expositor of the Apocalypse.

In this warfare Satan is considered a being of tremendous power and transcendent abilities, against whom even the archangel Michael dared not to bring a railing accusation, Jude v. 9; whose wiles, stratagems and diabolical machinations are without end. His greatness must be obvious from his having once been in heaven a ruling angel of great abilities, which he has only perverted and not lost, by his fall; and which he has now improved in this perverted state, by an experience of nearly six thousand years. Such is the enemy, who has engaged the world in his cause, to resist the king of glory by armed and open rebellion. Hitherto we have seen little of this arch-enemy in the preceeding part of the book of Revelation; but from this time, he appears upon the the atre of action, in all the features of his terrible visage; as he persecutes the woman, causes the third wo by the beast from the sea, acts in unison with Antichrist and the false prophet, and at last is bound a thousand years.

To oppose him the Lord Jesus appears single in his own proper authority, with a handful of disciples and fol◄ lowers, his Church. Such mighty powers as these, would induce us to anticipate engagements, which involve systems of worlds in their issue. In this warfare, every object is ac

complished by wisdom and consummate skill;-the freedom of the human will is an inviolable sanctuary to both powers, which none attempts to invade. The plans and achieve ments of these two powers, are inimitable on earth-they are worthy of their heroes. But Satan and his host might have foreseen their final doom, when in his attack on his enemies, they beheld the Lord employing even the pow ers of nature and of grace, to accomplish his marvellous designs, On many occasions they doubtless employed their forces from the invisible world, as we are induced to believe from many expressions in this prophecy, And what grand scenes these must have been to those myriads of immortal spectators, is impossible for us to imagine.

But according to the plan here developed both heaven and hell advance by most regular moveinents. The Lord never surprises his enemy by unfair means or hostile stratagems. Satan has time to marshal all his forces, and chooses his own ground, he is suffered to employ his deep stratagems, within the limits assigned by the eternal father; that he may stand abashed and confounded on the day of his total defeat, and confess forever his inferiority and the justice of his final doom, Nothing can be more remarkable than are these matchless plans of warfare, if fully understood: they are formed with such superior knowledge and art on the side of the enemy; and on the side of the Lord with infinite wisdom, and provident circumspection. This is peculiarly obvious in the overthrow of Paganism, the establishment of Mahomedism and of Popery, and in the final destruction of Antichrist. But, to form an adequate judgment of these divine schemes, and of the superior manner in which they are executed, it is necessary to pay a particular regard to their methodical order, to the times and seasons, in which these adverse powers marshal their forces, or make the attack. Ac cording to the prophetic chronology of the Revelation, this wonderful plan of warfare is comprised in four campaigns,

each of which comprehends centuries in its accomplish ment. The attack is made by degrees and the enemy silenced and routed at every point; until he at last resigns the realm to the Lord and Saviour of the world. In each of these campaigns, the Lord has a new object in view, and adops a series of measures, essentially different from those that precede it. This divine plan of hostility against Satan and the powers of darkness, for the possession of the world, commences in the Revelation :

I. By opening the seals ;-the six first of which develope a series of measures and judgnients againsts Paganism in the Roman empire, by which the Lord effected its total overthrow, and procured a permanent residence for his Church on earth, whence his banners could be extended to other countries.

II. It is continued by the consecutive sounds of six trumpets, under the seventh seal; which proclaim a new series of judgments against the corruptions of Christianity by various means, in doctrine, worship and practice. The objects of these judgments were, to purge the Church of Christ of false doctrine and Heathen abominations, to accomplish the designs of heaven concerning the Holy land, and to propogate the Gospel among the invading nations. It is carried on

III. By the blast of the seventh trumpet ;-Comprising a new series of joyful and, by which a breach is made into the kingdoms of this world; so that the rulers of the earth, having forfited their rights and titles to their realms, by their hostile conduct towards the Church, will finally have to resign them to the Lord Jesus. This trumpet proclaims the commencement of a new and tremendous Conflict, between christ in his Church, and Satan acting alternately by the beast from the sea, by the beast from the earth, and by the great whore, all which are at last subdued by the wrath of God, poured out in seven vials upon his enemies, in order to make room for

« ÎnapoiContinuă »