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life, sickness and pains, and disease, admonish us that there is a probability that death is very near us. As our disease gains the mastery over us, and hope of life vanishes, we know that the time has come when we must shortly die; and soon we are informed that we have not a day or hour to live, and then we close our eyes, and all earthly scenes fade forever from our mortal sight.
The “analogy" therefore to be found in the event of death would teach us, that while the end of time is far in the future, we should only be enabled to know that it is a certain event which will one day, we know not how soon, overtake the world : but as the event draws nigh, evidence would be exhibited which would convince us of the probability of its being near; then would be seen the signs by which we might know that it was nigh even at the doors ; and then we might realize that time had nearly reached its fartherest limit.
Thus " from the analogy to be found in other great events under the government of God, and especially the event of death” we argue that “ the wise shall understand ;" and that the righteous will not be "in darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief." We also argue, that all who are thus overtaken, will be in the condition of those who would not heed the warning of Noah and Lot-who despised, and wondered, and perished.
" That is not for us to fore-know the time when this dispensation will end, or Christ's glorious reign on earth will begin," he argues,
II. " From the fact that such knowledge, on the part of man, does not seem desirable.” p. 269.
He admits “ that this consideration, like the last, could not stand against any clear declaration of the Bible ;" but gives weight to it, where “the Bible does not explicitly determine beyond all suspense or doubt."
This argument will therefore be set aside, if we can show that there is explicit evidence from the Bible thai that day will not overtake the truly righteous as a thief. This we shall hope to do. For the present, we shall only endeavor to show that without such express declaration, it can be no argument.
If it is sound reasoning to argue that the event will not be fore-known, because such knowledge would be
the event itself will never take place, because it is undesirable; and the same reasoning might be extended to any event. To a person under sentence of death, the knowledge of that fact would not seem desirable; but that would not prevent his receiving such knowledge.
Again, if we could argue that it such knowledge were undesirable, it would not be fore-known, we might also argue, on the same principle, that if it were desirable it would be fore-known. That this event will be fore-known to any who do not desire it, we do not believe; but we do believe that all who do desire to arrive at a knowledge of the truth, will be led in the way of all truth.
That it is right to endeavor to obtain a knowls edge of the events which are a subject of prophecy, and will soon take place, we have abundance of evidence. God has at sundry times and in divers manners revealed to man a knowledge of future events : if all such knowledge was wrong, it would not have been thus revealed ; and yet “ the things which are revealed, are unto us and our children forever.” God has assured us that he will be inquired of.” And the apostle says that the “prophets inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you; searching what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into"-1 Pet. i. 10–12. Daniel had so earnest a desire to be instructo ed in the things of the future, that he hesitated not to fast “ three whole weeks;" and his request was granted. He also, with his three friends, desired “mercies of the God of heaven concerning the secret” of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, and “the God that revealeth secrets," gratified that heathen monarch with the knowledge of the thoughts of his heart as to "what should come to pass hereafter.” Daniel also tbanked and praised the God of heaven, that he had made known to him the king's matter, But had Daniel taken the position that such knowledge was undesirable, is it probable that he would have been thus enlightened ?
We are assured that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reprouf, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Tim.iii.16,17. If all scripture is profitable for any purpose, it must be understood; and any portion of scripture of which we can have no knowledge cannot be profite able to us. It is therefore desirable that we should have a knowledge of all that God has revealed in his word.
The Apocalypse is called “ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants thivgs which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the word of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein : for the time is at hand.”
This Revelation, according to the opinion of the whole Protestant church, has reference to events which will not all be fulfilled till the end of time: yet “ he that readeth and they that hear the words of this prophecy,” are pronounced blessed ; and surely our Savior would not bless that which is unde. sirable to be known. This Prophecy not only commences, but it also closes with a blessing upon
those that keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book. This blessing cannot be obtained without a knowledge of these sayings; this knowledge therefore cannot be undesirable.
He argues, p. 269, that if the event in question were “ the universal spread of holiness," the knowl. edge of the time would not be desirable, from the tact that if such krowledge should reveal to us that the event was far in the future, it would be neither a“ pleasure or profit;" and that if near, although the prospect might“ be to us delightful,” yet " we are only a small part of all who have lived, and we cannot pronounce that knowledge on the whole desirable, which must have deferred their hope, merely because it would hasten ours." This argument is based upon the supposition that if it is revealed in the scriptures," it has been discoverable there, in all its remoteness, for many centuries.” But does it follow that every thing now revealed was equally discoverable in the time of Daniel? If so, the prophets who searched diligently what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, would not have been told “that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you." And when Daniel inquired “O my Lord what shall be the end of these things ?” had it been discoverable then, he would not have been told that the words were “ closed up and sealed vill the time of the end ;" and yet ihat was " sealed up,” which at “the time of the end,” “the wise shall understand." This knowledge therefore might be revealed to us, and