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little feafon, and deceiving the nations during that period, and after that of his being caft into the lake of fire; is he, then, to deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth? What nations are they? or what earth will he find to deceive them in? Muft it be the new earth? that cannot be, because there will be no more curfe there. Where are we to find Gog and Magog? Indeed, one ingenious Writer generates them out of the mud and flime of the burnt world. If he had faid, out of the Smoke and afhes of the burnt world, it would have founded better, and would just have anfwered his purpofe as well. Others have been a little bolder, and more merciful, having made the burning of the world to preceed. the Millennium, they have brought forth the Damned out of Hell, or their Purgatory, and placed them in a state of probation, and fo given them another chance for it, and from thence have brought forth their Gog and Magog, who are to furround the camp of the Saints t. But this hypothefis feems as abfurd as the former;. there is not the mallest proof given to either of these schemes in the Word of God; and the placing
Burnet's Theory of the Earth-Vol. II. Fage 313.
placing the Millennium at the time, and order, which the twentieth Chapter of Revelation has appointed it, will fet afide the need of fuch uncouth conjectures.
6. WE may depend upon it, the Day of Judg ment will immediately follow, or be clofely connected with, the burning of the world; and Satan, and the beast, and the falfe Prophet, and Gog and Magog, will be fecure enough from giving the Saints any more trouble; for they will all be caft into the lake of fire.
7. In the following Sermons, I have not only guarded the great effentials of Religion, but have Jo incorporated them with what is faid, that they are become, even a neceffary part thereof; fo that let my fcheme of the Millennium be all a miftake, Javing truth, may fuftain no lofs thereby. It is true, by that means, the fubject is confiderably lengthened, which might have been deli vered in much less compass; but I hope that will be easily pardoned by candid readers.
8. PERHAPS my bringing in fome fketches of Natural History will need an apology to fome readers, who are well acquainted with things of that nature, as well as fome fmall parts of Geography. It may be necessary to obferve, thefe Difcourfes
will fall into the hands of many who have had no opportunity of reading, or knowing, any thing of that kind, and yet it is obvious to every one, that the nature of the fubject requires fome little knowledge of that fort, especially in the fpreading of the Gospel, and the change which must take place in the creation. For the fake of fuch, I judged it neceffary to introduce a few hints of that fort.
9. I HAVE been very sparing in quotations from the original Scriptures, being very unwil ling to prefent my readers with ufelefs, dry criticifms, or to offend their eyes with the uncouth figures of Greek and Hebrew characters, feeing they fwell the book with what is generally tedious, and to little purpose. When any thing of that kind occurs, I infert it at the foot of the page, fo that it need not interrupt the reading. For the most part, our tranflation is a very good one, and gives the fenfe of the original very clearly, and the altering any thing for the fake of altering, often favours of vanity and Jelf conceit. In polemical writings, there is often much racking and torturing of words, in order to make them Speak what the Writer has a mind to make them; but that feldom fits eafy, it has too much
of the inquifition in it to fit eafy on the mind of an impartial reader.
10 I CANNOT pretend to account for every thing in the following Sermons, any more than I can account for the wind, or the nature and operation of fire. I know there are fuch things as air and fire; but their qualities, their effence, and caufes, I believe will puzzel the wifeft of mortals. I could ask more questions concerning the frame and texture of a fly, yea, a grain of fand, or a blade of grafs, than the keenest philofopher would be capable of anfwering. I have drawn the following Sermons purely from the oracles of God; and, as far as I can fee, the doctrines advanced, are the pure refult of thofe fcriptures refered unto.
11. BUT, after all, I am confcious there are many things which will crave the indulgence of the candid reader, especially in point of ftile and accuracy : and my reader need not be furprized at that, when he knows that this attempt is the fruit of innumerable fmall fcraps and fragments of time, as they could be obtained from many other avocations. he need not be furprized, when he knows that the writer has had to travel, more or lefs, almost every day; and alfo to preach often
once or twice, fome times thrice a day, and that is not the fixth part of his work; often having to hear the little differences and mifunderstandings which are but too frequently happening, and trying to reconcile the contending parties; the keepup a neceffary difcipline, and excluding improper perfons; the vifiting the fick, and an/wering a variety of calls in different departments; the writing of letters upon different occafions, with numbers of things which cannot be particularized: I fay, let any one attend to this, and he will be Sparing in cenfures upon little inadvertencies.Often have I been obliged to lay down the pen very abruptly, yea before a fentence could be finished, the hour being arrived necessary to take horfe in order to preach at the appointed time; or fome fudden call has made it necessary to lay by my work at a moment's notice.
12. If any one, who has more leifure and better abilities, will fet the glorious doctrine of the Millennium in a clearer, and yet more fcriptural light, he will do a good and acceptable work unto mankind, and fhall have my hearty prayers, though my own work fhould be thrown into obliviThe truths of God are a great deep, and are not eafily fearched out, nor are they feen in