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CHAPTER XII. The New Heavens and the New Earth
The Signs of the Times
A BRIEF ENQUIRY.
The following pages contain the substance of a series of Discourses upon the general character of unfulfilled Prophecy, delivered in Richmond Church during the season of Advent; a period in which the Church of England directs the special attention of its members to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The substance of those Discourses is now published in this altered form, as more attractive to the general reader.
Deeply persuaded that the subject is not limited in its importance to the welfare of a particular congregation, it is my earnest wish to awaken, as far as I may be able, the attention of my fellow-Christians at large, to its solemn and practical consideration.
It has not been my plan to attempt either a detailed examination of the universal language of Prophecy in its varied emblems, or of the peculiar structure and import of the Apocalypse; my object has rather been to explain the subjects connected with the second advent of Christ, as they lie scattered over the surface of the Scriptures, in language plain, literal, and popular. I address the following pages rather to the Christian than to the critic—to the pious rather than to the learned.
I am encouraged in this work by the consideration, that if the external dispensations of God be progressive, the light which can illustrate them may be progressive also. The light which revealed the day of Christ to Isaiah, emitted a feebler ray than that which enabled the saints at the era of the Redeemer's birth “to wait for redemption in Jerusalem.” And hence the same eager scrutiny into the time and circumstances of the second coming of Christ, in these advanced days of