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mankind, and gives him hopes and joys of universal concern, does him good; it enlarges, expands, and purifies his benevolence; and is an advance from the calculations of individual interest, towards the disinterested love of the Almighty. It is thus that self-love is refined into social, and the most grovelling principle of man becomes akin to the noblest attribute of God.
The motive to benevolent exertion thus gained is only inferior to that which arises from a future state of recompence. “ If, indeed, there were no reasonable expectation of a future state of existence, it would, nevertheless, be pleasant and deserving of sincere gratitude, to live, though but for a short period, in this beautiful and improving world; to behold the continually ameliorating state of things; to contribute our part, however humble, to the general improvement ; to be as it were links in the golden chain of order and perfection; to leave the world in a better condition than we found it ; and to enjoy by anticipation its future glorious and happy state." (Belsham.) Yes, were this the whole of revelation, we should prize the record, and bless its author; we should say, Go on, ye friends of mankind, nor despair of success; the good for which ye labour shall not pass away from the earth, but be followed by a rich harvest of happiness ; ye may descend into the grave, but no grave shall cover the blessings ye have earned for mankind; of heaven are the bright hopes and generous zeal by which you are animated, and heaven will secure their full gratification. But this is not the whole; it is only the preparation for scenes more glorious still.
We commenced these Lectures by noticing the analogy between the history of nature and that of revelation, in both which we see an original glory apparently defaced by evil, but that evil overruled to more abundant good : it is fitting to conclude them by observing, that both are parts of one great plan, conducted on the same principle, and extending to universal being. God is love_his dominion is boundless-his agency is that of omnipotent: benevolence. Whatever be the aberrations of their course, from him his creatures sprung, and to him shall they ultimately be re-united, that he “ may be all in all.” For us, beyond the grave, there is a better world. Earth must always have its imperfections and sufferings; and its happiest inhabitants will have cause to turn to that, the eye of wistful expectation. Our fairest fancy of millenial glories fades and is eclipsed in comparison with the state where there shall be no death-where we shall form one holy and blessed community with the good of all ages and nations; and the gates will only close on that which would defile, em. bitter, or destroy. Then shall we pass on through successive æras of blessedness, each glowing with
higher splendour, to that consummation of overwhelming glory, too dazzling to be steadily contemplated, when shall be achieved the final triumph of almighty love-when redeemed and ransomed multitudes, the remaining victims of evil, shall be emancipated from its last retreats; and, the darkest mind illumined, the foulest bosom purified, not one vicious impulse shall be felt, and not one tear shall fall, through the illimitable regions of the universe of God; but from all crea
tures in all worlds, shall arise the swelling song of · praise to Him, the Father, the giver of felicity eternal as his own throne, and boundless as his love!
NOTE (*)- Page 6.
We must compute the time," observes Bishop Newton, “ according to the nature and genius of the prophetic language. A time, then, and times, and half a time, are three years and a half; and the ancient Jewish year, consisting of twelve months, and each month of thirty days, a time, and times, and half a time, or three years and a half, are reckoned in the Revelation, (xi. 2, 3, xii. 6, 14,) as equivalent to forty and two months, or 1260 days; and a day in the style of the prophets is a year ;--so long Antichrist, or the little horn, will continue ; bat from what point of time the commencement of these 1260 years is to be dated, is not so easy to determine. It should seem that they are to be computed from the full establishment of the power of the Pope."
This prediction does appear to be justly referred to the Papal power exclusively; but those in the New Testament demand a much wider application, to render them at all consistent. It was not the object of these Lectures to offer a minute and critical interpretation of the prophecies in question, but to take some general views of the apostacy, which might be interesting and