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as the apostle advises, covet earnestly the best gifts : and the gift of assurance, yea, of fullest assurance, among the rest.

The stronger you are in faith, the more glory will you give to God, both in lip and life. Lord, increase our faith! Amen.

S P E E C H,




" Whether the world is to be destroyed, and what are

the approaching syntptoms of its dissolution ?"

Mr. PRESIDENT, When this question was debated at a former meeting, an ingenious gentleman then present observed, very truly, that the decision of it in this assembly, depends entirely on the principles of the respective speakers. Every person here, either believes revelation, or not. Those who, unhappily, reject that divine light, cannot possibly come to any degree of certainty, as to the enquiry, now depending: to them, there is a wide field left open, of conjecture ad infinitum : they may, to their lives end, blunder on in the dark; and debate how the world is to be destroyed, whether by water, an universal earthquake, &c. or even whether it will ever be destroyed at all. But to them who believe the scripture, the point is quite plain and clear. The Bible cuts short the matter at once, and leaves no room for doubt. We are there positively told, that the terraqueous globe will be destroyed, and destroyed by fire. “ The earth, and all the works that are therein, shall be burnt up :” and again, “ the heavens and the earth, which now are, are kept in store, and reserved unto fire:” meaning the globe on which we live, and the atmosphere that surrounds it equally every way. These, the same inestimable book in


forms us, will not be so destroyed, as to be either annihilated, or rendered unfit for subsequent habitation : but so destroyed, as to rise (like the fabled phenix) from its ashes, and become eventually such as it was at its first creation, before moral evil entered, and ever natural evil took place. As to the manner in which this great event is to be effected, revelation, so far as I can perceive, has not discovered. Whether it will be by God's omnipotently counteracting the centrifugal power of the earth, by which it is at present kept at a due distance from the sun; or by the fall of one or more of the heavenly bodies, which may kindle the earth in their passage; or by the approximation of a comet; or, which seems most probable to me, by the bursting forth of the subterraneous fire, which is justly believed to be imprisoned within the cavities of the earth, near the centre, and which is supposed to act in concert with the sun-beams in temperating the coldness of the air, and occasioning the fruitfulness of the earth ; but which probably continues, insensibly, to increase with time, and will at the destined season, burst the womb in which it is confined, and render the whole earth and sea one undistinguished mass of fluid fire.

I come now to the other branch of the question, respecting the approaching symptoms, which will precede this general dissolution. As to those recorded in the xxivth of St. Matthew, and in the xxist of St. Luke, the signs, prelusive to the destruction of Jerusalem, are so blended and interwoven with those that shall introduce Christ's second coming; and it requires so large an induction of historical particulars, as well as so much caution and critical exactness to assign each circumstance to its respective period of accomplishment; that I shall not (as a very worthy gentleman has ventured to do) repeat any of the symptoms predicted in those two chapters; but confine myself to one or two plain and


express signals, mentioned in other parts of holy writ. 1. The utter abolition and destruction of both the eastern and western antichrist, will prepare the way for Christ's appearance, and the world's dissolution. This yet remains to be effected; but will most surely be brought about, in God's appointed time. And the people of God, who shall be alive at that period, may, when they see the total extermination of Mahometanism and Popery, lift up their heads with joy, knowing that the Judge is at the door, and that their redemption draweth nigh. 2. The calling in of the Jews, when a nation shall be born in a day, and they shall unanimously believe in him whom their fathers have pierced; will be another event, preparatory to the consummation of all things. So will, 3. the universal conversion of the whole Gentile world ; when Christ will take all the heathen as the right of his inheritance.





Whether unnecessary cruelty to the Brute creation,

is not criminal ?"

Mr. PRESIDENT, Tue humane tendency of the question reflects great honour on the benevolence of the gentleman who proposed it; and the manner in which it has been discussed, since I came into the room, does equal credit to the gentlemen who have spoke to it. However, I must own my dissent, in some particulars, from the worthy gentleman who gave his sentiments last : and, as he thought proper to make very free with the gentleman who spoke before him, I hope he will excuse me, if I make modestly free with him. And though the observation, I intend to animadvert upon, was rather a deviation from the question ; yet I shall follow him in the deviation, for a while: and the more willingly, as it may conduce, indirectly, to throw some light on the subject now under debate.

That gentleman asserted, peremptorily and absolutely, that “ All things whatever, in and upon the terraqueous globe, were created purely and solely for the service of man.” Such an opinion may serve to gratify our vanity and sooth our pride : but, how far it is founded on reality, will appear from examining into matter of fact.

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