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AT A MEETING OF THE SOCIETY, NOV. 1, 1810,
ABIEL HOLMES, Secretary.
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS; TO WIT:
BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the nineteenth day of November, A.D. 1810. and in the thirty fifth Year of the Independence of the United States of America, SAMUEL H WALLEY, TREASURER OF THE SOCIETY FOR PROPAGATING THE Gospel AMONG THE INDIANS AND OTHERS IN NORTH AMERICA, and on their behalf, of the said District, has deposited in this Office the Title of a Book, the Right whereof he claims as Proprietor in the Words following, to wit: Signs of the Times. A Sermon, preached before the Society for propagat. ing the Gospel among the Indians and others in North America, at their unniversary, Nov. 1, 1810. By JEDIDIẢH MORSE, D.D. Pastor of the Congregational Church in Charlestown.
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, intitled, “An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during the tinies therein mentioned;" and also to an Act intitled, “An Act supplementary to an Act, intitled, An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the Copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the Benefits thereof to the Arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical and other Prints.”
WM. S. SHAW,
BUT THOU, OH DANIEL, SHUT UP THE WORDS AND SEAL THE
BOOK, EVEN TO THE TIME OF THE END; MANY SHALL RUN
TO AND FRO, AND KNOWLEDGE SHALL BE INCREASED. MANY SHALL BE PURIFIED AND MADE WHITE, AND TRIED;
BUT THE WICKED SHALL DO WICKEDLY; AND NONE OF THE
WICKED SHALL UNDERSTAND; BUT THE WISE SHALL UN
OUR blessed Lord once addressed the Pharisees and Sadducees, in a way of keen reproof for their criminal inattention to events which were mani. festly fulfilling most important prophecies, in the following language; “When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather; for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to-day; for the
sky is red and lowering. Oh ye hypocrites, ye can 2; discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern
the signs of the times?” Daniel's seventy weeks* 6 were then nearly completed. The sceptre was de
parting from Judah; Elias had already come in the person of John Baptist, as the forerunner of the Messiah; the numerous prophecies relating to his
Dan. ix. 24.
character, doctrine, and miracles, were visibly fulfilling, and a general expectation of his coming prevail. ed over the world. Had these Pharisees and Sadducees taken due pains to acquaint themselves with these prophecies, and with the singular events, which were accomplishing them; had they been as attentive to these "signs of the times," as to the signs of the weather, they might easily have perceived that these were the times of their expected Messiah, and that their nation was shortly to be given up to awful punishments for rejecting him.
"That, which hath been, is now; and that, which is to be, hath already been.”* “Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”+ Are there not many of the present generation of men, who resemble these ancient Pharisees and Sadducees? They can “discern the face of the sky;” they are wise to prognosticate the course of events with respect to political and commercial affairs; but they "discern not the signs of the times;” they are criminally ignorant of the Scripture prophecies, which relate to the present period, and inattentive to events, which are remarkably fulfilling them.
But this, however, should not surprise us; since the prophet has given us warning, that at this period “the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand."
The verses of the text may with propriety be read in connexion. The intervening passage is a digression, and may be included in a parenthesis. The import of the verses thus connected, is this; that “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased;” and that the effect of this increase of knowledge, in conjunction with other causes, will be, that “many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.”
The person, who addressed Daniel in this prophecy, and directed him to "shut up the words, and seal the book to the time of the end,” was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. In the tenth chapter of this prophecy,* a more particular account of this personage is given. “Then I lifted up mine eyes and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz; his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in color to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.” Any one, who will take the pains to compare this description with that, which St. John, in the Revelation, t gives of Jesus Christ, must be convinced, that the personage here described, who is the same, that addresses the prophet in the text, can be no other, than the Son of God. This might be farther confirmed by a comparison of Daniel xii.