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To the Emperor of China ; and all royal princes, and officers of the various departments of government throughout all Asia, Borneo, and the Eastern Continent.
To all the Kings, Queens, and Chiefs of the Sandwich, and South-Sea Islands of the Pacific Ocean.
To all the Jews; remnants of both houses of ancient Israel ; descendants of the Patriarch Abraham; and children of God's covenant of promise, wherever they may be found scattered among the nations, or outcast to the ends of the earth.
To all Evangelical Ministers of the Gospel of Jesus CHRIST, Missionaries, and orthodox Bible Christians on the earth.
And, finally, to all the people of the present generation, who may read or hear; and to all succeeding generations to whom these presents may come, while the ordinances of time keep their station; while the earth rolls in her orbit, and men have souls to be saved or lost, the Author dedicates his little book; with humble prayer that it may be accompanied with a divine blessing to mankind, and that God may be glorified by its promulgation.
TO THE CHRISTIAN PUBLIC OF ALL EVANGELICAL
DENOMINATIONS, AND, ALSO, TO ALL LOVERS OF MORALITY, AND GOOD GOVERNMENT.
BELOVED BRETHREN, AND FRIENDS,
You are hereby presented with an appeal for the aid of your influence on the decision of the following questions, namely: "Shall the positive, unrepealed law of God, for the punishment of murderers with death, be sustained by the laws of our AMERICAN REPUBLIC? Or, shall the penalty of death for murder, be repealed, and abolished by human legislation ?!!”
The following lectures on “ The Signs of the Times,” are designed to show reasons why the first question should be sustained on Bible principles ; and the last rejected, as involving an act of HIGH TREASON against the government of Almighty God!! And, also, to show that the present popular efforts to abolish CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, are to be regarded as incipient steps for the abolition of the BIBLE, and its RELIGION from the earth, by the prevalence of Infidel principles, in alliance with all the Antichristian influences now existing on earth.
The Bible doctrines of Divine Sovereignty; man's rebellious fall into a state of total depravity; the vicarious atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ; salvation by the grace of the Gospel, in accordance, with all the claims of mercy and justice; and a state of endless rewards and punishments after death; comprise the summary of the doctrines advocated in the following Lectures. The author feels pleasure in assuring all Denominations of Evangelical Christians, that his little book is not designed to condemn, refute, denounce, nor to reconcile non-essential discrepances, which may be found to exist among the hopeful subjects of Divine grace; but, to sound the alarm of warning, to beware of the devices of the Old Serpent, whose present wrathful movements on the earth, in view of the shortness of his time, are to fill the world with converts to infidelity, or to his
TO THE CHRISTIAN PUBLIC.
counterfeit, Christless religion, based on a perversion of God's TRUTH, for the purpose of rooting out Bible religion from the earth.
A prominent design of the Lectures is to exhibit Infidelity both in the church and out of it, under various masks of deception, as well as in the open field of opposition to God's eternal truth, that the divine alarm of “ Woe to the inhabiters of the earth, and of the sea,” may be duly regarded as addressed to generations of mankind, of which the present is included.
Opposition to the Bible and its religion, is evidently rising into popular influence. WATCHMEN on the walls of Zion, are called, in Providence, to sound the alarm trumpet. A fearful enemy is approaching. All Antichristian powers and allies are virtually combined; rising into popularity; and are bold in aspiring after the power of legislating into oblivion the laws and religion of the Almighty. The anticipated abolition of Capital Punishment for murder, by human legislation, is evidently designed as an open declaration of war with HEAVEN upon the high seas, by the combined powers of Infidelity, which in the result, shall sink the Bible, its religion, and all its moral restraints on the sensualities of mankind, into the bottom of the bottomless ocean of oblivion and forgetfulness !!!
Under such conviction, the author of the following Lectures, in the advanced age of seventy-two years, and, of course, near the boundaries of the eternal world, has fearlessly seized the TIGER of ATHEISTICAL INFIDELITY by the throat, and his earnest cry to Evangelical Christians of every denomination is, “ HELP! MEN OF IsRAEL, HELP !!" Help, by your fervent prayers. Help, by your holy walk with God. Help, by training up your children and youth in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. Help, by your influence to preserve the unrepealed laws of God from human legislation into oblivion. And Help, by your rush to the Battle-field on the Lord's side, in accordance with the “ certain sound” of the trumpet as it proceeds from the “ WORD OF THE LORD” on the top of the walls of Mount Zion.
The following course of Lectures originated in an attempt to write a communication for the columns of a newspaper, on the very questionable human authority for commuting the sentence of death, legally awarded to a murderer, in Saratoga county, State of New York. A consideration of the popular excitement in favor of the abolition of Capital Punishment, soon swelled into a Treatise on the subject of opposition to the death penalty of God's Law.
An attempt has thus been made to investigate the subject from its original source, in alliance with the combined powers of Antichrist, through the meanderings of its progress, to its results on the religion and morals of the present generation, and the prospects of its influence on generations yet to come. The whole plan in mind, was designed to illustrate the “ Signs of the Times,” past, present, and to come, comprising
A Book for every body;
Some things which men have no right to do.
By Facts that have been,
Facts that are now in existence,
time can bring them forward. TIME commenced with the six days' work or creation. And, according to Bible chronology, time will end, when the scenes of its existence shall have been dissolved into eternity, which had no beginning, and will have no end. Hence, the whole duration of Time, comprises all Times, past, present, and future, to the end of the world.
Times past since the creation, have been meted out to the generations of mankind in a progression of periods, each of which, from the greatest, down to the fractional part of a minute, was once the present Time. And as fast as the infallible wheels of Time moved forward, each period of Time's existence, from the least to the greatest, exchanged future Time for the past, by a flight over the ever-varying present Times, swift as the lightning's dart, carrying with it the history of all the recorded events for the information of all succeeding generations of men while time shall last.
The events of Times past, which have been deemed worthy to be re
corded, from the greatest to the least; whether good or evil; from the rise, glory, and subversion of kingdoms, to the smallest incidents that appear on the historic pages of divine inspiration; or mere human records of the existence, character, lives, exploits, traditions, ingress and exit of men; have been coming to pass during all the periods of time included in past epochs and generations, to the present moment, furnishing history for the information of all succeeding generations, as Signs of Times that are past.
Hence, the SIGNS OF ALL TIMES PAST, are found only in authentic history of recorded events that have existed in the world, from its creation to the present time.
The Signs of the present Time, as it passes, ever on the wing, are events existing at the present Time, of whatsoever nature they may be.
The only infallible Signs of future Times, are the predictions of God's word. He who created all things, who sustains the universe in existence, and who perfectly knows all the events of time, even the end from the beginning, has inspired holy men to foretell the certain existence of future times and events, which would come to pass by their ingress into existence.
Many events have been thus foretold which have come to pass in fulfilment of divine predictions. Other events foretold are daily coming to pass, and becoming matter for the historic pages of record,
as prophecies fulfilled or fulfilling. And others are yet far away in future time, being only emblematically (or, in plain language,) foretold by the infallible signs of God's Truth, showing that they will come to pass in God's Time, by his almighty power and agency, or by his foreordained instrumentalities, or by his infinitely wise and holy permission of evil events, by evil instrumentalities, for the wicked purposes of his enemies, which He had foreordained to overrule for his own glory, and the best interest of all who love and worship him. Hence, all the signs of future events are seen only by the eye of faith in the infallible revelation of the Divine will in the prophetic writings recorded in the Holy Bible.
Such is the nature of the “ Signs of the Times,” Past, Present, and Future, which will be the subjects of the following Series of Lectures.
The unbelieving Jews desired Christ to show them a sign from heaven. He complied, by showing them, convincingly, that they were familiar with acknowledged signs of fair and foul weather. But he pronounced them hypocrites, because they were unobservant of the signs of the times, which portended the overthrow of their national polity, and the total destruction of their beautiful temple.
Similar is the condition of millions of mankind in relation to signs of eternal moment. They are familiar with signs of the ebb and flow of their worldly prosperity or adversity; but of the signs of the Times past, of the recorded history of their impenitent, ungodly lives; the signs of the present daily Facts, that they neither repent, nor pray, nor read God's Truth, nor worship him, nor seek his mercy, and the signs of the awful Future predicted Times of their certain death-of the hopeless state of all impenitent sinners, who die in their sins; and the awful doom that awaits them after the death of the body. Alas! such foretold signs of falling under the hopeless wrath of God, are not discerned, nor desired to be known by them, even while they are on the brink of the grave and a hopeless eternity.