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well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark
R. THEOBALD, 26, PATERNOSTER ROW.
TO THE READER.
The following pages lay no claim to originality in the strict sense of that word. The Author has read with attention much that has been written on prophetic subjects by others; and he has never hesitated to avail himself of any sentiment which has commended itself to him as in accordance with the word of God. How much he is indebted thus to some who have preceded him, it would be impossible for himself to determine. Some subjects discussed in this volume, he is not aware of having seen similarly treated in any previous work ; but as to these, as well as all else that the volume contains, he would have it understood, that he has given expression to nothing (unless presented as a mere suggestion) which has not been judged by him, on comparison with the alone test of truth, to be the doctrine of God's blessed book. The reader is intreated rigidly to subject all that these pages contain to the same test.
The order of these papers might perhaps have been improved, had the whole been prepared prior to the publication of any.
As it is, the subject has unfolded itself as the work has advanced ; each paper being written as well as published monthly.
It is from no desire to avoid the responsibility of the work, that it is published anonymously. The name of the writer is of no consequence, if that which is written be but prayerfully tested by the scriptures of truth, and received or rejected accordingly.
God grant, in his infinite mercy, that these pages may be used of Him to awaken attention to prophetic subjects, and to aid inquirers, in the examination of his word with reference thereto. And may both readers and writer be found, (if still on earth when the Master comes,) with girded loins and burning lamps, and they themselves, " like unto men that wait for their lord."
Nov. 18, 1854,
No. 1.] Plain Papers on Prophetic [Jan. 1853.
and other Subjects.
WHAT IS THE HOPE OF THE CHRISTIAN? WHAT IS THE HOPE OF THE CHURCH ?
It can scarcely be necessary for me to explain to my readers, that the above inquiries relate to the Object of hope-what is the Object of hope to the christian? and what to the church ? Neither can it be requisite to explain at any length, that the Object of hope inquired after, is not any which may actually, as matter of fact, be pursued by christians, or by the church, but, What is the object of hope set before us in scripture ? What are we there taught to hope for, whether regarded as individual christians, or as forming a part of the church of God? Momentous inquiry! Next to the question of a man's salvation, there cannot be one of greater importance than that on which we are now entering.
Man was not made for the present, and the present was never intended to satisfy man. Whatever might have been man's destiny had he remained unfallen, we are all aware that his fall was foreseen, and that the One for whom, as well as by whom all things were made, was not the first man who was of the earth, earthy, but the second man, the Lord from heaven.” It is in association with his glory, hereafter to be revealed, that we find the true destiny of our race; that for which man was created, and for which the heavens and the earth were formed. When "all things in heaven and in earth are gathered together in one, even in Christ,” then, and not till then, will the first and second great ends of creation and of redemption,-full glory to God, and full blessing to the creature,-be consummated.
It is not in the present scene of confusion and of darkness, of mystery and of evil, that the glory of God is accomplished and manifested to perfection. Neither is it in man's hurried transit from the cradle to