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    To the studious youth in Academies, principally in that of Glasgow; next, to those in New England; moreover, to those of the non-conformists in England, forced within private walls, COTTON MATHER wisheth the fear of the Lord, and from thence salvation in the Lord.MWV3 117.2

    O ye souls, too much longing after and cleaving to the earth, and savoring only earthly things, awake at last, awake ye, and being roused by now the seventh trumpet of God, arise to the work of God and the day; and attend to the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Hear these things, all nations; all ye inhabitants of the globe, hearken; for the Lord God has spoken to every people; he calls the whole earth.MWV3 117.3

    Verily our God shall come, and shall not keep silence; a fire shall consume before him, and there shall be a very stormy tempest round about him. The Ruler of the world, returning to us, will send forerunners, who shall show his approach and the speediness of his coming. And before the very great and very greatly to be dreaded day of the Lord come, he will send Elias, or men endued with his spirit and power, who with a loud voice shall show themselves sons of thunder concerning the Lord hastening to us.MWV3 118.1

    It behoveth any servant of God, who would be named a vigilant, and not a drowsy servant, to perform this office of Elias. And were the power granted to any Elias, of uttering through a mighty trumpet a voice that might be heard throughout all the regions of the whole globe, he would surely with this alarm summon us from our lethargy.MWV3 118.2

    The second advent of the Lord Christ, which must be expected for the destruction of Antichrist, and perdition of that fourth empire, which he will abolish at his own illustrious coming, is next and immediately to be expected.MWV3 118.3

    But it is not to be wondered at, if there be very few who would believe such a preacher; and if a complaint should accompany the clangor and labor of the trumpeters - Lord, who believeth our report?MWV3 118.4

    For when the Lord shall come, he will find the world almost void of true and lively faith, (especially of faith in his coming;) and when he shall descend with his heavenly banners and angels, what else will he find, almost, but the whole church as it were a dead carcass, miserably putrefied with the spirit and manners and endearments of this world?MWV3 118.5

    We are now in midnight darkness, wherein the church sleeping is to be roused at each ear with that outcry, than which nothing is more seasonable, “The Bridegroom cometh!” But that clamor, the Bridegroom cometh, repeated even a thousand times for the waking of but one soul among ten thousand, will effect hardly anything. The cry is made scarcely otherwise than as in the ears of the dead, after the most vehement repetitions of the same thing.MWV3 119.1

    When I should wish to stir up my brethren, who are in a deep sleep, with these messages and admonitions, to shake off this soft and indeed lethargic and deadly slumber, I know that I shall appear to my friends a vain dreamer, a sort of Lot, and that they will treat me as one in jest or sport, and as a man in the falling sickness, seized with I know not what enthusiasm; and that sleep may hold them in still more pleasing fetters, they will make use of, as it were, sleepy medicines, a diversity of commentaries on certain prophecies, as not yet fulfilled.MWV3 119.2

    But this word of God is in my mind like burning fire shut up in my bones: nor can I any longer forbear, but must again and again denounce this doom to the earth, sufficiently prepared for the fire, and a sorceress condemned to the flames.MWV3 119.3

    Yea, though some Nero should command me to be burned in the flames, I will not cease to preach and foretel, with an earnest voice, the dissolution, renewal, and purification of the world by fire.MWV3 119.4

    Speedily, with flaming fire; but who knows how soon? The Son of God, about to descend, will inflict vengeance on them who know not God, and obey not his gospel; but he will manifest his kingdom of the saints in the earth, which is to be possessed by our second and heavenly Adam; and this, we confess, is ascertained to us by promise, but in another state, as being after the resurrection.MWV3 120.1

    They indulge themselves in a vain dream, not to say insane, who think, pray, and hope, contrary to the whole sacred Scripture and sound reason, that the promised happiness of the church on earth will be before the Lord Jesus shall appear in his kingdom.MWV3 120.2

    Without doubt the kingdoms of the world will not become the kingdoms of God and his Christ, before the pre-ordained time of the dead, in which the reward shall be given to the servants of God, and to those that fear his name.MWV3 120.3

    The rest of the saints, and the promised sabbath, and the kingdom of God, in which his will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, and those great things of which God hath spoken by the mouths of his prophets, all prophesying as with one voice; all shall be confirmed by their fulfilment in the new earth, not in our defiled and accursed earth.MWV3 120.4

    Rightly, indeed, did those most renowned Fathers in the Nicene council declare, that our earth is no other than the earth of the dying, but that the new earth (with our sweet Psalmist) is the land of the living; adding these words, most worthy of such a council, and of being inscribed on marble for everlasting remembrance: “God foreknew that man would sin; therefore, we expect new heavens and a new earth, according to the sacred books, when the advent and kingdom of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ shall appear to us; and then the exalted saints shall receive the kingdom.”MWV3 120.5

    This was the opinion of the primitive church; this her piety and the ancient faith.MWV3 121.1

    O Justin! to thee I appeal as a witness: in this faith all the orthodox unanimously consented in the primitive church.MWV3 121.2

    And, I pray, in what earth is their crown to be conferred, who have conquered the enemies of Christ and of themselves? In what earth, I pray, shall the conquerors, who share his triumph, enjoy the goodness of the Lord?MWV3 121.3

    But O, ye sinners in Zion! let horror come upon you. O, ye hypocrites! let trembling seize you. Who of you shall be able, or who shall dare, to dwell in the burnings of that fire, in which God, the Judge and the Avenger, will purge indeed this our earth, and introduce that new earth?MWV3 121.4

    In that day, how terrible! how dreadful! (according to the divine oracles, which are both more durable than the pillars of Seth, and never to be called in question,) the heavens shall pass away with a noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth, and the works that are done on it, shall be burnt up. O, how terrible will be that great day of the Lord, of which not only predictions in the books inspired by God do everywhere sound and resound, but the rumor also hath penetrated to the Pagans and troubled the Stoics themselves; that there should be a time, when the sea, the earth, and the palace of heaven, seized by the flames, should burn, and the globe’s prodigious mass be in strong convulsions! Nay, the terrors of that day have already had a kind of small shadow, and no more than truly a very minute representation in the most threatening eruptions of Vesuvius, and cities of Sicily swallowed up and sunk into Gehenna.MWV3 121.5

    Very many indeed own, that when the Roman beast, which now deceives and enslaves the nations, shall be slain, the body of that beast is to be delivered to the burning of fire, and therewith to be destroyed; and the daughter of a priest, who profaned herself by whoring, shall perish by burning alive. But they augur that this fire will be altogether metaphorical, and rave of painted fires only - a wonder if not feigned also. A most vain surmise this! What! and even the second coming of the Lord will become, by-and-by, metaphorical also, and must be resolved and vanish away into I know not what mystical dispensations! Away with such dotings of drivellers!MWV3 122.1

    Noah of old, the preacher of righteousness, warned the wicked of his age of that deluge, concerning which, with what great commiseration could the venerable patriarch answer the unbelieving scorners! “Miserable men! know that not any metaphorical waters shall overwhelm you! At length, and presently, ye shall feel literal waters - fatal to you. Yet a little while, and your groans shall be heard from the waters that must be literally understood and inflicted.” Nor will it be otherwise in these our last days. Good God, for what times hast thou reserved us!MWV3 122.2

    Scoffers they are, who think that all things are forever to continue as they were from the beginning of the creation, and fancy that they can lurk under their metaphors, and hide themselves in the obscurities of figures from the sight of Him who sitteth on the throne.MWV3 123.1

    There are very many good men, to be numbered, not indeed with scoffers, but yet with sleepers, and such as lull others to sleep, who, by improper and excessive allegorizing, darken and injure the truth. And I could wish most humbly to advise, or request, and solicit these dear beloved brethren in Christ, that, being taught by second thoughts, they would persist no further in bringing with their charms the spirit of slumber on those sitting weary on the grass. Would that some Nepos indeed might arise, to confute these allegorists, before the event does it for them!MWV3 123.2

    But the event will perform this! Yea, a deluge of fire will do it. That day of the Lord is near and hastening apace: a day of fury, a day of anguish, a day of devastation, and the greatest devastation too; a day of the sounding of the trumpet. All this earth will be consumed in the fire of his zeal: for he is about to make a speedy conclusion with all the inhabitants of this earth.MWV3 123.3

    All things being now accomplished that were to precede the destruction of Antichrist, and the thousand two hundred and sixty days being finished that were to be allowed that adversary, the end is at hand; lo! it is near: that period is nearly present; yea, and the age is already begun in which the most importunate prophet will perceive the Redeemer granting his request, and shall arrive in his turn at those things for which blessed is he that waiteth. That term of days is almost present, and not to be deferred. The delay of the end is neither to be sought, nor wished for, any longer in the prayers of the church. No: but come, Lord Jesus, come quickly! Why delayeth thy chariot its return? Why linger the drivings of the chariots?MWV3 123.4

    Although forewarned by these prophecies, and others of the like kind, in the divine code of both Testaments, truly we are little forearmed, but rather buried in a profound sleep; and therefore that day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. But where are those wakeful servants of God, whom it will not surprise, while they securely sing, “The Lord delayeth his coming?”MWV3 124.1

    When the Son of God, who is also the Son of man, shall be seen as a sign in heaven, with what agonies and outcries will the earth, that is to be desolated by flames, be filled, as, thunderstruck, it shall behold Jesus, from whom a river of fire shall go forth, riding on clouds, and sitting on the throne, and thousands of thousands of angels, even myriads of myriads, ministering unto him, and assisting! Then shall he send his angels, that they may rescue the elect, assembled from all parts of the earth, from these flames, so greatly to be dreaded. In a most corrupt state of the world, where now all flesh hath corrupted his way, they shall be found both obedient to Christ, and walking humbly with their God, and laying up for themselves treasures in the heavens, and sealed for redemption. That nation of the righteous shall possess the new earth, which will become a renovated Paradise, and there, the fires being at last extinguished, righteousness shall dwell; and they, being freed from sin, the author of death, and changed into immortality, shall enjoy the Paradise regained.MWV3 124.2

    Art thou a minister of the word? Attend thereto. Thy hearers are to be persuaded by thee; and O! thou thrice and four times blessed man, if thou shalt persuade them, so that, being drawn into serious and sincere piety, they may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, when that day, which shall burn as an oven, shall like a snare invade all the dwellers on the face of the earth, and they shall stand, exulting, in the presence of the incarnate and enthroned God. No business art thou charged with but this. This is the labor, this the work, in which thou must ever sweat.MWV3 125.1

    Art thou a Christian? Be on thy guard, by prayer and watchings, not of the eyes indeed, but by the faith of a foreseeing mind, (such as once flourished in the primitive church,) and by the moderate and temperate appetite and sober use of worldly things, lest the sudden and unexpected coming of the Lord unseasonably surprise thee.MWV3 125.2

    Yes, O beloved! prepare; and in the exercise of hope, haste unto the coming of the Lord: and, seeing that ye look for such things, study that ye may be found of him without spot and blameless.MWV3 125.3

    The church is shortly to be gathered.MWV3 125.4

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