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lent, and whose form was terrible, and whose solidity and firmness were signified by gold, silver, brass and iron, became like the chaff of the summer threshing floor, before the all-conquering power of that Stone which was cut out of the mountain without hands; and while those became shaken and removed, this subduing Stone, though a “rock of offence,” to the kings of the earth, and a stumbling provocation to priestcraft, became an extended mountain, and filled the whole earth.”
These representations, varied in vision, were signified to the same Prophet by the entire abolition of the four great monarchies, the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian and the Roman, and the setting up of the kingdom and dominion of the Saviour, to which all nations shall yield perpetual obedience, according to what is record ed in his 7th chapter.
The Prophet Isaiah, in his 9th chapter, gives to the people that walked in darkness, and that dwelt in the shadow of death, a great light; breaks the yoke of oppression, and says, “Every battle of the warrior is with confused noise and garments rolled in blood ; but this shall be with a burning and fuel of fire. For unto us a cond is born : unto us a Son is given ; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and justice, from henceforth even for ever. The zoal of the Lord of hosts shall perform this.”
In love to the human race, and in compassion for the miseries of mankind, “The Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world," from those inhuman oppressions and tormenting deceptions, which were practiced on the weak and defenceless, by the collusion of kingcraft and priestcraft, the elements of which compose the earth and the heav
ens which are to be shaken, as things which are contrived and made by the wisdom and power of this world, which are foolishness and weakness with God.
The shaking of nations, the convulsions of king. doms, the confusion and divisions which characterized doctrines and the ministers of religion, at that eventful period when the kingdom of the Redeemer was set up in the world, together with the glory of the gospel day, may be regarded as the fulfilment of the words of the Prophet, which we have chosen to lead our reflections on this occasion.
After the Babylonian captivity, the Jews were permitted to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple which Nebuchadnezzar destroyed, and to restore the true worship ; and it was for the encouragement of this good work, that this prophecy was delivered. The desire of all nations which was promised, and the glory which was to fill that house, were the Messiah and the doctrine of his grace.
The falling away of the Christian Church, the corruptions of its doctrines by the inventions of an ignorant, superstitious priesthood, sanctioned by the authority of Synods and Councils, having introduced the man of sin into the Temple of God, who has for ages been worshipped as God, the glory which Jesus manifested departed, and the darkness of papal errors and abominations have succeeded.
But the reign of the beast may be said to have come to an end ; the true testimony is received, and God is now carrying on the work of shaking earth and heaven, removing those things which are shaken, as things which men have made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. The desire of all nations is advancing to enter the Christian Sanctuary, and God is about to fill the same with glory.
Having seen the true application of our subject, and also how it is accommodated to our own times
we shall next proceed to an examination and an illusíration of such particulars as may be deemed proper on the present very important and joyful occasion. And,
1st. Let us enquire concerning those things which may be shaken ; show that these are things which men have made ; and contemplate their removal.
Though it is not deemed proper on this occasion, to dwell much on the iniquitous schemes and oppressive rule of despotic governments, by which the great mass of mankind has been kept in slavery, yet as such government is, without question, one of those things which may, and must be shaken and finally removed, that the permanent rights of man, which are established in the law of our common nature, may remain, we may safely calculate on the final and entire demolition of all such power and authority, so that wherever law and government shall exist, the people at large shall contenplate them as their dearest rights, their safe desence, and not as their oppressors. Past events and our country's experience have furnished sufficient proof that the whole creed of monarchical doctrine is the wicked offspring of that wisdom which an inspired Apostle calls earthly, sensual, devilish ; and recent events in the political world have shown that the example which has been furnished by these United States, has had the effect already to shake the throne of despotism in other sections of the earth. Nor shall all the powers of earth combined, be able to withstand the majesty of truth and the light of reason until their glorious march shall have franchised the world.
Our labours may more particularly be directed to examine the elements which compose the erroneous creeds of Antichrist, and show that they are things which men have made, things that may be shaken and removed. But here we find ourselves presented with a mass of rubbish, whose incoherence produces confusion, in comparison with
which, the confusion of languages at Babel might seem like harmony.
A God of infinite wisdom, power and goodness, is supposed to have ordained from all eternity, the everlasting happiness of a few of the human race, and the eternal misery of all the rest. Then in order to hide such abominable partiality and cru. elty, the just and good Creator is represented as furnishing a tempter, whose business was to se. duce our first parents, in the garden, and lead them to the commission of one criine, which should justly condemn them and the whole human race to the pains of hell for ever. And in order that the original scheme of everlasting condemnation might find ample defence in the conduct of men, Almighty God gave them a sinful, depraved nature, and charged the account to Adam's transgression.
Here let us pause : Let us examine these elements of doctrine. Who invented the notion that our Creator ordained, from all eternity, some to everlasting life, and others to endless condemnation and death? Is this proposition found in any part of divine Revelation ? When God made promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, which promise certainly constituted the patriarchal faith, and is the divine monument which exhibits the wisdom, power and goodness of our heavenly Father, and is the foundation on which the New Testament builds the New-Jerusalem, the City of the living God, the promise was, that in them and in their seed, which is Christ, all the nations and all the families of the earth should be blessed. My christian friends, can any thing be more certain, than that the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob never decreed that any portion of the human family should be for ever unblessed, for ever miserable? When the Lord was about to destroy Sodom, he said, "Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do ; seeing Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?" If
votions. It was not to make the Lord kind to his people that they were directed to feast, with joy and gladness, before him; but it was because he had already blessed them, and because this feast itself was one of the greatest blessings they enjoyed. Thus it is with the christian congregation; we worship God in spirit and in truth, not expecting thereby to induce our bountiful Father in -heaven to bestow on us his favours, but because we already enjoy them, and because the solemn exercises of devotion constitute our most exquisite pleasures. Nor do we, when guided by the spirit of truth, vainly offer to the Lord our devotions, expecting thereby to pacify his wrath and disarm his vengeance, which a disordered imagination supposes are burning against us; but realizing the true doctrine of the divine name, we offer our grateful devotions to him, who is gracious and merciful, who forgives our iniquities, transgression and sin, through the mediation of him who hath loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
Our heavenly Father requires nothing of us, but for our own comfort and edification; and as it could not be well pleasing to one of us, who is a father, to see his children approach his table with horror, with dread, with fear and trembling, and eat and drink for no other purpose than to appease his wrath, so it cannot be consistent with the divine spirit, for us to adhere to those sentiments which induce devotions corresponding with such horrible fears.
The entertaining exercises of that religion which is well pleasing to God, are represented in the scriptures by several emblems which are worthy of our careful notice. Looking forward to the day of the Messiah's grace, the prophet Isaiah, resented the sentiments of divine truth as follows; “And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast." It is evident that the gospel dispensation was in the prophet's mind,