AT THE APPEARING OF CHRIST.
unto the spirit of grace?" This "sorer punishment" awaits all saints, who, like the majority in Sardis, lived in name, while they were dead in fact—"twice dead, and plucked up by the roots " (Jude 12).
But some will inquire, What about Catholics and Protestants of all "Names and Denominations" of piety in "Christendom" so-called? To what class do these belong? Under what times do these of our day and generation live? These, with the followers of Mohammed for a torment, are the all nations of modern times, upon which has been entailed "a strong delusion that they should believe the lie," invented for them by a remote ancestry that apostatized from the truth. The Deity sent this "strong delusion" upon their unfaithful ancestors as a punishment for not receiving the truth in the love of it: and, foreseeing that their posterity would "have pleasure in unrighteousness," He permitted the "strong delusion" to inebriate the peoples of Daniel's fourth beast dominion; and to reign over them, until he should send Jesus Christ to dispel it with the spirit of his mouth, and the brightness, or manifestation, of his presence (2 Thess. ii. 8–12). These nations, like all the heathen at the birth of Christ, are all under times of helpless ignorance; being so strongly deluded that their minds are impervious to the testimony of Scripture and reason, which are the only instrumentality extant for the enlightenment and salvation of sinners. If one show them the truth, the Deity does not now endorse the teaching by a manifestation of power. Hence, every thing is resolved into opinion; and as one man's opinion is said to be as good as another's, the idea of certainty is ignored. The case of our modern world is helpless, hopeless, and incurable, by anything short of the presence of Christ. The times of this event are predetermined and revealed. Until then, "times of ignorance" obtain, and the nations are "suffered to walk in their own ways." These denominational ways are apocalyptically labelled, "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots, and Abominations of the Earth." These are the ecclesiastical ways of death, making, in the aggregate, "the unmeasured Court which is without the Temple, given to the Gentiles " (Rev. xi. 2). In none of "the names" of the Gentiles is there any life, nor anything to make men accountable. Clergy and people are all unenlightened sinners, by whatever "name" they may be called. They are "condemned already"; and however popular and honoured by the world, being without understanding of the truth, they are like the beasts which perish (Ps. xlix. 20).
But have they not got the Scriptures; are not these sufficient to make them accountable? It is true they have them; and so had