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I know that much of what I have to say will be unpleasant to many, but to none more so than myself. I shall speak kindly; my only desire is to do good to all; and if I am obliged to point out the unscriptural character of the principles and practice of many, my feeling in doing so is one of love towards them : let such not be angry with the instrument, who is but a man like themselves. Oh! that the understandings of all may be opened, that they may understand the Scriptures. I would also desire to caution all against indulging in a boasting or vain-glorious spirit. It is not enough that we avoid censoriousness : it is obligatory upon all not to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think; let each esteem the other better than himself. The sealing of the servants of God in their foreheads, described in the 7th chap. of the Revelation, admonishes us in this respect : there was an equal number of each tribe sealed, plainly indicating that in all denominations will be found true saints; and further teaching us, that the faithful are more equally distributed among the various sections of Christ's church than men are sometimes disposed to admit. The very fact that it is so should lead all who truly love the Lord to follow those things which make for peace among the churches, rather than those things which tend to the building up of one section, which is not unfrequently, although perhaps unintentionally, done, to the injury of other sections, not less precious in the eye of the Redeemer.
May God, the God of all grace, guide and influence me wholly in this work by His Holy Spirit ; that men may see in it the Hand of God; and may the Blessed Redeemer, who has all power in heaven and in earth, make a people willing in the day of His power, and prepare them for beholding the glory which He is to take to Himself in these last days, by the overthrow of error, and the establishment of truth ; and may He accompany this book when written, by the mighty power of His Holy Spirit, carrying conviction to every man, and “ turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers, lest He come and smite the earth with a curse."
All Christians entertain the belief, that the triumphs of the cross are yet to become universal ; wherever the race of mankind is found, will also be witnessed the effect and power of redeeming love. The present aspect of the world, viewed apart from the Scriptures, is calculated to discourage such an expectation. Not one-fourth of its inhabitants are nominally Christians, and of the portion called Christian, by far the largest number are connected with a communion whose spirit and practice are antichristian. This is a field of inquiry requiring for its successful prosecution the exercise of a living faith. With man, such a work as the conversion of even one soul, is impossible; with God, the conversion of the whole world is of as easy accomplishment as the conversion of a single sinner, for all things are alike possible with God; so that, when the fulness of the time comes, even the self-same day, God can and will fulfil all He hath promised. Since there is no measure by which we can exceed the range of God's ability, our simple duty is to become acquainted with His Will. Many may be disposed, in imitation of Nicodemus, to ask, “How can these things be ?” The more proper course is to inquire, “ Has God said it? Will He not do it? What saith the Scriptures ?"
This world has been the abode of men for nearly six thousand years; it is upheld and governed by the Great Jehovah, in whose presence the seraphim stand with veiled faces, crying one to another, and saying, “ Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts : the whole earth is full of his glory;" a God, whose love passeth all knowledge ; whose wisdom and whose goodness are infinite. The natural world proclaims the wisdom and the goodness of Jehovah ; the moral world bears testimony to His wondrous mercy and love; without much labour, if men are but willing to set about the inquiry, they will find innumerable traces of the Almighty and good God at every stage of the world's history. But there is one event which transcends all others, because of the resplendent glory with which it illustrates the character of God : the mission and the death of His well-beloved Son in the room of guilty sinners, gives glory to God in the highest, while it promotes peace on earth, goodwill to man; and if all this be so, will any venture to affirm, that this world has yet been restored to that perfection, happiness, and glory which its very existence, and for so long a period, warrants the expectation it will yet reach? The very perfection of God's character, above all, the wondrous spectacle witnessed on Calvary eighteen hundred years ago, teaches, in most emphatic language, that a glory awaits this world, which, in its reality, will far outstrip the sublimest imaginations of the purest christian mind.
The Scriptures overflow with predictions and promises of the latter day glory of Christ's kingdom upon earth. They would, if transcribed from the sacred page, make a volume of themselves. It is thus written, “ Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy pos
session.” (Psalm ii. 8.) “ He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him : and his enemies shall lick the dust. The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts; yea, all kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him.” (Psalm lxxii. 8-11.) “Look unto me
) and be ye saved all the ends of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” (Isaiah xlv. 22, 23.) And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” (Isaiah lx. 3.) “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.” (Isaiah lxii. 1.) “ Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer thrashing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Daniel ii. 34, 35, and 44.) “ And the kingdom and dominion,