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The stirring events which have been occurring throughout almost the whole of Christendom during the last year, have naturally turned the minds of many thoughtful persons to the subject of Prophecy. Amidst the uncertainties which must necessarily attend any attempt to interpret unfulfilled prophecy, one thing is certain, that Christians ought always to be watching for the fulfilment of that great prediction of our Lord, that He will come again to judge the world in righteousness. “Take ye heed, watch and pray,
ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work,
and commanded the porter to watch. Watch
ye therefore, for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning, lest coming suddenly He find you sleeping. AND WHAT I SAY UNTO YOU, I SAY UNTO ALL, Watch."*
To watch then for our Lord's coming is a plain Christian duty; and this duty seems necessarily to involve another, namely, that we should keep our attention alive to any occurrences in the Christian world, which may be premonitory signs of His coming. For both our Lord and His Apostles repeatedly declare that such signs will precede His coming, and that they will be signs of this remarkable character, that while His faithful disciples who are waiting for Him, will discern them, they will not be recognised by a slumbering world.t It would seem then at once most unwise and most inexcusable, if Christians do not at least inquire into the signs of these times—if they do not compare passing events with the testimony of prophecy, and try to discover whether there be any resemblance between them. The following Sermons are an humble attempt to assist such an inquiry. The writer, as he has repeatedly said in the Sermons, has no intention of dogmatizing. His wish has been to draw attention to the subject, to excite inquiry and examination, and to convey to the minds of others what has impressed his own, namely, that there is such a measure of correspondence between the words of our Lord's great prophecy on the Mount of Olives, and the events now occurring in Christendom, connected with other characteristics of the time, as will leave us inexcusable, if with such signs around us, “He should come suddenly, and find us sleeping.”
* S. Mark xiii. 33–37.
t S. Matt. xxiv. 42–51; xxv. 1-13. S. Luke xvii. 20—37 ; xxi. 34-38. 1 Thess. v. 1-9. 2 S. Pet. iii. 3-13.
May we never forget the words which close our Bible, or the prayer which accompanies them, “He Which testifieth these things, saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, LORD JESUS. The grace