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dient or profitable in itself, we do not remember any remarks which have struck us as requiring comment. We have to complain of desultoriness and want of method in this part of the work; but this fault is compensated by many detached passages, which, if they do not display any very extraordinary powers of mind, as connected with theology, are yet often striking in themselves, and are almost always expressed with elegance. There is, indeed, an ease and fluency in Mr. Sumner's style, which whenever it does not spread into diffuseness, are singularly attractive; and must always ensure to him a high place among the popular writers of his own day, Whe ther he will continue to occupy the same place in the days of our children, depends, perhaps, upon himself: but we do not think the work before us, to be one which will then be considered as a manual. It has many merits even as a whole: very great merit in parts: but neither in parts nor as a whole, are its pretensions great, if regarded as a work upon the evidences. Its merit at all events is not of a high and difficult kind; since with whatever advantage it may be studied by those who believe beforehand in all the facts and all the truths which are here explained and confirmed, we doubt whether it would make any serious impression upon the mind of an acute unbeliever. Mr. Sumner often argues with much acuteness; but we doubt whether he can be considered in the comprehensive sense of the word, a good reasoner. Neither would he have been thought a good systematic divine in the days when there were giants in the world; but olos vuv Botos How he is a very considerable writer.
ART. II. The Crisis; or, an Attempt to shew from Prophecy, illustrated by the Signs of the Times, the Prospects and the Duties of the Church of Christ at the present period. With an Inquiry into the probable Destiny of England during the predicted Desolations of the Papal Kingdoms. By the Rev. Edward Cooper, Rector of Hamstall Ridware, &c. Cadell. 1825. pp. 253.
We have always been disposed to regard Mr. Cooper as one of the most useful and judicious writers of that school to which he belongs; for though his writings are tinged with the peculiar phraseology of his party, yet there is a vein of practical good sense mingled with his piety, which generally keeps him from becoming fanciful or enthusiastic. His sermons, if not distinguished by much depth of thought or originality of manner, are very useful and respectable dis
courses on the most important topics of faith and morality, and, as such, they have obtained a very wide circulation amongst the clergy and laity of our church; and, though we could here and there wish an expression altered, yet we have no hesitation in saying, that, taken as a whole, they are fully deserving of the esteem and popularity which they possess.
With such feelings of respect and gratitude to this author, it was really with no little alarm and disappointment that we took up the big and bowwow title of his present publication. We had vainly hoped that we had outlived the time when the din of wars and rumours of wars could raise every author on the tiptoe of expectation, and when "the Crisis," "the Alarm," or "the Tocsin," were the ordinary sounds which ushered in every pamphlet. We had vainly hoped, that Mr. Faber no longer expected to meet with the name of Buonaparte in the Revelations, and that Messrs. Brothers and Bickers had ceased to alarm the timorous by foretelling the end of the world; but we have been premature, it seems, in our expectations, and here comes Mr. Cooper with his "Crisis" and his "Prophetical Chart," by which every event from the period B. C. 603, down to the Millennium, may be accurately known and calculated.
We have long beheld in sober sadness this restless irritability for accommodating passing events to the predictions of Inspiration. We have seen the endless conjectures of mortals piled upon the obscurities of prophecy, till even the evidences of Christianity seemed to suffer in public estimation. In former days, such researches might occasionally employ the learning of a Mede, or the genius of Sir Isaac Newton, but now every scribbler who writes in "the Christian Observer," or the "Evangelical Magazine," has some new interpretation to propose; and scarcely has the folly of one been demonstrated, ere another comes forward with a fresh host of absurdities. Though this spectacle may present the appearance of " many who shall run to and fro," yet we cannot think it completes the prophecy," that knowledge shall be increased."
Whilst the French Revolution, with all its train of wonderful events, was going forward, there was some apology for this restless expectation of marvels and mysteries. The human mind was incessantly racked by strange intelligence, and still stranger forebodings; but we think it betokens a very weak and puerile taste to continue harping on a string which is no longer in unison with the public feelings; to be predicting scenes of carnage and desolation when every one is desirous of peace, and is looking for prolonged prosperity;
and all this on no better nor stronger grounds, than that Mr. Faber and some writers in the Christian Observer, are pleased to suppose we are standing on the verge of the period which is introductory to the Millenium.
As conscientious believers in Christianity, we enter our decided protest against this spurious and apocryphal kind of theology; a theology which we are persuaded has already done infinite harm to the evidences of our religion amongst many sound and considerate persons. Supposing even there was far greater probability in such interpretations than we can bring ourselves to admit, yet we should deprecate this continually bringing them before the public mind, as tending to draw off our attention from what is useful and practical to that which is chiefly speculative and theoretical; but in the way that they are now usually advanced, they appear to us fraught with the most dangerous consequences to the cause of sound faith, and of Christian morality. The events are generally spoken of as certain and indisputable. Thus Mr. Cooper:
"What, then, is the conclusion which these testimonies warrant us to draw? According to Christ, the 1260 years are expired; and, consequently, the period during which the distress of nations with perplexity' was to occur, is arrived. According to St. John, the vial of preparation is pouring out; and, therefore, the great earthquake' may be anticipated as fast approaching. According to Daniel, the king' having come to his end, Michael has stood up; and, consequently, the time of trouble, such as never was,' is at hand.” P. 96.
And this is the usual language in which these things are described; language which appears to us far too strong and authoritative for any but an inspired interpreter to use,
For our parts, though we cannot expect to live to the year 1867, when, according to Mr. Cooper's Chart," the saints of the Most High shall possess the kingdom, and when the sanctuary shall be cleansed;" yet we must confess, that we feel some little anxiety for our children who may be living at that period, lest their faith should be shaken if none of these wonderful things then come to pass. We do not think that any man has a right to trifle with the word of God, as if it were a book of riddles, for the purpose of guess and conjecture, much less to propose his conjectures as matters little short of truth and certainty; and, least of all, to praise or to blame his contemporaries, as they may seem to help forward or withstand his expectations. And we are sorry to say, that in all these respects Mr. Cooper seems to us to have exceeded his just limits; and, as the charge is grave,
we think ourselves in duty bound to substantiate it by proper evidence.
The first object of the Crisis' is to shew that the person described by the prophet Daniel, chap. xi. 36-45, was Napoleon Buonaparte. We extract the passage, with Mr. Cooper's comment :—
"The 30th verse having introduced the Roman empire into the prophecy,
"The 31st predicts the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus.
"The 32d and 33d foretell the Pagan persecutions of the primitive Christians.
"The 34th alludes to the conversion of the empire under Constantine. "The 35th introduces the papal persecution of the saints and witnesses, continued during the period of 1,260 years, to the time of the end, because it is yet for a time appointed." In the next verse "the king," who, with the circumstances connected with him, is a principal subject of this essay, appears upon the scene of action," the king who shall do according to his will,' and whose extraordinary character and proceedings are thus detailed by the angel:
36. And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods; and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished; for that that is deter37. mined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for 38. he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold and silver, and with precious stones, 39. and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge, and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and 40. divide the land for gain. And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the 41. countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, 42. and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. He shall
stretch forth his hand also upon the countries; and the land of 43. Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Lybians and the Ethiopians shall be at his 44. steps. But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him therefore he shall go forth with great fury to 45. destroy, and utterly to make away many. And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Such is the prophetic description of this extraordinary person; a, description which, in the opinion of the writer of this essay, formed after much and long deliberation on the subject, was intended to predict Napoleon Buonaparte, the late Emperor of the French. The grounds on which this opinion is formed he will now proceed to state; and aware of the very important results to which this interpretation of the prophecy, if it should prove to be correct, will lead, he will arrange his proofs, for the greater convenience of considering them, under four separate heads, corresponding to the following particulars in the description of the predicted king; viz.
I. The Time of his Appearance.
II. His Character.
III. His Exploits.
IV. His End."
The leap from Constantine, in the 34th verse, to Buoniàparte, in the 36th, is the boldest leap upon record. The interpretation which ensues is equally courageous; and, for proofs of its accuracy, we refer the reader to Mr. Cooper's volume. That, "after much and long deliberation," Mr. Cooper, or any other person, should discover Buonaparte in the prophecy of Daniel, is a matter of no slight astonishment. But all Mr. Cooper's friends assure him," that he has made out a strong case," p. x.; and "most of them recommended the publication of it." His friends, we doubt not, are very sincere; but we venture to ask, are they very judicious?
As to the time of Buonaparte's appearance, unless it can be shewn that the period of 1260 years expired in 1792, the whole of the argument falls to the ground. Mr. Cooper contents himself with telling us, " that, according to his views, the 1260 years expired in 1792," and refers us, for the proof, to Cuninghame's Dissertation on the Seals and Trumpets. On this most unsatisfactory foundation, he rears a corresponding superstructure.
The proof which Mr. C. adduces of the identity of Buonaparte's character to that of " the king" mentioned by Daniel, is extremely slight. As to his "wilfulness and impiety," they are features common to most who run a career of conquest and ambition; his allusions to "fate and destiny, whilst addressing the Greeks (p. 32), are such as would be used by any artful impostor who was speaking to Mahometans. It was wittily said of him, that he was " an honorary member of all religions;" but this "renegade hypocrisy," though strongly characteristic of the individual, is by no means sufficient to point him out, as "the king who regarded not any god, but magnified himself above all."
Nor "is he proved to be" the king "from his exploits.' His expedition to Egypt is the only part of his career