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Perilous Times.

Perilous Times.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOHN OWEN, D.D.


" This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." — 2 Tm. iii. 1 .
BY JOHN OWEN, D.D.


" This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." — 2 Tm. iii. 1 .

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 02, 2013
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PERILOUS TIMES.
BY JOH OWE, D.D.
" This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come." — 2 Tm. iii. 1 .You know, my way and manner upon these occasions is to speak as plainly and familiarly as I can unto what is of our present con-cernment; and so I design to do at this time, if it shall please Godto help under infirmities.The words contain a warning of imminent dangers. And there arefour things in them : — First, The manner of the warning : " This knowalso." Secondly, The evil itself that they are warned of: " Periloustimes." Thirdly, The w^ay of their introduction : " They shall come."Fourthly, The time and season of it : " They shall come in the lastdays:"— First. The manner of the wanimg : " This know also ; " — " ThouTimothy, unto the other instructions which I have given thee howto behave thyself in the house of God, whereby thou mayest be setforth as a pattern unto all gospel ministers in future ages, I mustalso add this, * This know also.' It belongs to thy duty and office toknow and consider the impending judgments that are coming uponchurches."And so, as a justification of my present design, if God enable meunto it, I shall here premise, that it is the duty of the ministers of the gospel to foresee and take notice of the dangers Avhich the churchesare falling into. And the Lord help us, and all other ministers, tobe awakened unto this part of our duty ! You know how God sets iiforth (Ezck. xxxiii.) in the parable of the watchman, to warn men of approaching dangers. And truly God hath given us this law : — If we'e- * This sermon was preached ovember 3, 1676, being a day set apart for solemn'asting and prayer.PERILOUS TIMES. 321warn the churches of their approaching dangers, we discharge ourduty; if we do not, their blood will be required at our hands. TheSpirit of God foresaw negligence apt to grow upon us in this matter ;
 
and therefore the Scripture only proposeth duty on the one hand,and on the other requires the people's blood at the hands of thewatchmen, if they perform not their duty. So speaks the prophetIsaiah, chap. xxi. 8, " He cried, A lion : My lord, I stand continuallyupon the watch-tower." A hon is an emblem of approaching judg-ment. "The lion hath roared; who can but tremble?" saith theprophet Amos. It is the duty of ministers of the gospel to givewarning of impending dangers.Again ; the apostle, in speaking unto Timothy, speaks unto us also,to us all, " This know ye also." It is the gi-eat concern of all pro-fessors and believers, of all churches, to have their hearts very muchfixed upon present and approaching dangers. We have inquired solong about signs, tokens, and evidences of deliverance, and I knownot what, that we have almost lost the benefit of all our trials, afflic-tions, and persecutions. The duty of all behevers is, to be intent uponpresent and imminent dangers. " O Lord," say the disciples, Matt,xxiv., " what shall be the sign of thy coming?" They were fixedupon his coming. Our Saviour answers, " I will tell you : 1. Thereshall be an abounding of errors and false teachers : many shall say,* Lo, here is Christ,' and, * Lo, there is Christ.' 2. There shall be anapostasy from holiness : ' Iniquity shall abound, and the love of manyshall wax cold.' 3. There shall be great distress of nations : ' ationshall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.' 4. Thereshall be great persecutions : ' And they shall persecute you, and bringyou before rulers; and you shall be hated of all men for my name'ssake.' 5. There shall be great tokens of God's wrath from heaven :' Signs in the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars.' " The Lord Christwould acquaint behevers how they should look for his coming ; hetells them of all the dangers. Be intent upon these things. I knowyou are apt to overlook them; but these are the things that you ai-eto be intent upon.ot to be sensible of a present perilous season, is that securitywhich the Scripture so condemns; and I will leave it with you, inshort, under these three things: — 1. It is that frame of heart which,of all others, God doth most detest and abhor. othing is morehateful to God than a secure frame in perilous days. 2. I will notfear to say this, and go with it, as to my sense, to the day of judg-ment: A secure person, in perilous seasons, is assuredly under thepower of some predominant lust, whether it appears or not. 3. Thissecure, senseless frame is the certain presage of approaching ruinThis know, brethren, pray know this, I beg of you, for yours and myVOL. IX. 21
 
322 PERILOUS TIMES.own soul, that you will be sensible of, and affected with, the perils of the season whereinto we are cast. What they are, if God help me,and give me a little strength, I shall show you by-and-by.Secondly. There is the evil and danger itself thus forewarned of;and that is, xa/f 0/ yakintoi, — hard times, perilous times, times of greatdifficulty, like those of public plagues, when death lies at every door;times that I am sure we shall not all escape, let it fall where it will.I will say no more of it now, because it is that which I shall princi-pally speak to afterward.Thirdly. The manner of their introduction, Icffr^ffoira/, — " shallcome." We have no word in ovx language that will express the force of svhrrjfii. The Latins express it by " immineo, incido," — the comingdown of a fowl unto his prey. ow, our translators have given itthe greatest force they could. They do not say, " Perilous times willcome," as though they prognosticated future events; but, " Periloustimes shall come." Here is a hand of God in this business; theyshall so come, be so instant in their coming, that nothing shall keepthem out ; they shall instantly press themselves La, and prevail. Ourgreat wisdom, then, will be, to eye the displeasure of God in perilousseasons; since there is a judicial hand of God in them, and we see inoiurselves reason enough why they should come. But when shall theycome?Fourthly. They " shall come in the last days," — h iayaraig ti/jLipais.The words " latter" or " last days" are taken three ways in Scrip-ture; — sometimes for the times of the gospel, in opposition to theJudaical church-state; as in Heb. i 2, " Hath in these last daysspoken unto us by his Son;" — and elsewhere it may be taken (thoughI remember not the place) for days towards the consummation of allthings and the end of the world ; — and it is taken often for the latterdays of churches; 1 Tim. iv. 1, " The Spirit speaketh expressly, thatin the latter times some shall depart from the faith." And so theapostle John, 1 Epist. ii. 18, " Little children, it is the last time: andas ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there manyantichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." And that isthe season here intended. But yet you may take it in what senseyou will : the last days, the days of the gospel; the last days, towardsthe consummation of all things and the end of the world; the lastdays, following the days of the profession of churches, those calledReformed Churches, or our own churches, in the ways wherein wewalk ; and the last days with many of us, with respect to our hves.In whatever sense the words are taken, it is time for us to look what

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