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XII.

their prophets, though they were then ful- Sep won filling before their eyes, and even upon themselves.

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But the case, perhaps, is different; and we have no concern, in the prophecies concerning Papal Rome.

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What'! Have we no concern in those

prophecies (supposing, "I mean, that they are prophecies, at all, and, that there is reason for applying them to the church of Papal Rome) WĖ, who have but just been delivered from the 'more than Egyptian bondage, which they predict; and are, therefore, bound by every tye of interest, of gratitude, and of charity, to assert to ourselves, and to communicate to others, as far as we are able, the blessings of that' liberty, wherewithi Christ has made us freex Have we no concern in the several üses, mentioned in this discourse and in

y others, which I have many o which I have not mentioned; it being well known,' that all inspired scripture (of which prophecy is so eminent a part) is profitable for "doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness y ?

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. * ν Έγελάτο ΔΣ τα θεία, και τας των στροφαλών θεσμες λίστες αγγελικής λογοποιίας, έχλεύαζον bus , **

Fl. Joseph. B, J. 1. iv. 6.

x Gal. v. 1.

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y 2 Tim. iii, 16.

SERMON
XII.

Or, supposing that we had no direct concern in these prophecies, and supposing, farther, that the divine authority of them was even problematical ; still it may deserve to be considered, I mean, by men the most libertine, who have not yet convinced themselves, by an exact and critical inquiry, of their utter falshood and insignificancy; I say, it merits tħe reflexion of all such, That the contempt of the prophecies, under these circumstances, has a natural 'tendency to corrupt the temper and harden the heart. And is there no room to qüestion, whether this conduct, plainly an immoral conduct, be adviseable or safe?

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Let us then, on a principle of self-love, if not of piety, keep the sayings of this book, concerning THE MAN OF SIN. pearances, the appointed time for the full completion of them may not be very remote. And

. it becomes our prudence to take heed that we be not found in the number of those, to whom that awful question is proposed--How is it, that ye do not discern the signs of this time?

Nay, there are prophecies, which, in that case, may concern us more nearly, than we think. St. Paul applied one of these, to the unbelieving Jews; of whose mockery, and of

XII,

whose fate, ye have heared what their own his- SERMON torian witnesseth: And, if we equal their obdurate spirit, that prophecy may clearly be applied, and no man can say, that it was not intended to be applied, to ourselves.

Beware therefore (to sum up all in the tremendous words of the Apostle 3) Beware, lest that come upon you, which is spoken by the Prophets : BEHOLD, YE DESPISERS, AND WONDER AND PERISH; FOR I WORK A WORK IN YOUR DAYS, A WORK, WHICH YE SHALL IN NO WISE UNDERSTAND, THOUGH A MAN DECLARE JT UNTO YOU.

7Acts xü. 40, 41.

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A P P E N D I X.

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