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THE SECOND ADVENT
LORD JESUS CHRIST
REV. HUGH M'NEILE, D.D.
CANON OF CHESTER
PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION.
N committing these Sermons to the press again, after the lapse of thirty years, the Author is more and more confirmed in his convictions, that the revealed truth of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is the grand desideratum in the present conflicts of the true Church of God in this land.
Members, and prominent members, of our National Church have departed more and more from "the simplicity of Christ" as rescued from the traditions of men by our Reformers, and expressed in the natural grammatical meaning of our Thirtynine Articles. This departure has been on both sides, and to extremes.
On the one side, to the meretricious arts and contrivances and ornamentations of "the strange woman," who is content to remain without her absent Husband; and on the other side, to the philosophic pride which is "willingly ignorant" of what the Lord Jesus is, and did, at His first coming; and asks, with scoffing scorn, "Where is the promise of His coming" again?
The controversies engendered and embittered by these departures, and now so rife, like all the other strivings of the potsherds of the earth, shall be suddenly cut in upon, and put an end to, by the glorious appearing of THE KING.
Nothing but this can do it; and nothing but the believing expectation of this can at once stimulate the energies of the Christian to persevering duty, and moderate his expectations as to present results. The quickening call to him is, "Occupy till I come." Occupy! No sloth, no despondency. And the sobering predictions which guard him against vain hopes and bitter disappointments in the meantime, are, "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived;" and, "As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man," (Luke xvii. 27-30.)
THERE still exists a prejudice against the views
of unfulfilled prophecy, which are advocated in these Sermons. It is supposed that they are curiously speculative rather than experimentally practical; and that all those persons who entertain them, must of necessity belong to the visionary school of modern fanaticism, rather than to the "good old way" of sound and sober theology.
It must indeed be confessed, that several distressing causes have conspired to give too much apparent ground for this opinion. But it ought in fairness to be remembered, that accurate and candid discrimination, is an indispensable ingredient in every intelligent and honest inquiry. It is the part of the disingenuous to mingle truth and falsehood together in one mixture. It is the danger of the unwary, either to receive or reject the whole mixture without discrimination. In either case, our great enemy triumphs. If the whole mixture be rejected, one of his objects is gained in the suppression of truth. If the whole