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i. e. by magical incantations and that Satan should be permitted to devilish miracles.
exercise such power on the earth ; But this point is more fully estab- but the testimony of the Scriptures lished by the testimony of Rev. XIII. must be conclusive against all such where we read concerning the beast thoughts in every Christian's mind. with seven heads and ten horns, That he has heretofore exercised whom we have identified with Anti. such influence we learn from the christ, that the dragon (who is “that recorded miracles of the Egyptian old serpent, called the devil and Magicians, the afflictions of Job, the Satan," chap. xii. 9,) gave him his temptation of David, 4 the warnings
q power, (duvapiv) and his seat, and against witchcraft and magic and great authority. And of that other false prophets in Deuteronomy and beast who is called the false pro- elsewhere, the deceiving of Ahab, phet, we read in verses 13, 14, that the temptation and apostacy of Ju. “ he doeth great wonders, so that he das, and the many cases of demoni. maketh fire to come down from hea- acal possession in the days of our ven to the earth in the sight of men; Lord and his apostles. But the and deceiveth them that dwell on probability of his future agency is the earth by means of those miracles strengthened by Rev. XII. 12, which which he had power to do in the can hardly be interpreted as yet sight of the beast. And these pre- fulfilled. And this is still further vail over all but the elect.”p Chapter confirmed by the sixth and last divixvi. 13, 14 reveals the same agen- sion of our subject, which teaches us cy: “ I saw three unclean spirits that there will belike frogs come out of the mouth of VI. A Judicial blindness. (vv. 11, the dragon, and of the beast, and of 12.) “God shall send them strong the false prophet; for they are the delusion, that they should believe a spirits of devils working miracles, lie, (or the lie, To Yevdet, the false &c. ;” and through their operation pretensions of the man of sin,) that is brought to pass that awful com- they all might be damned who bebination of the powers of earth and lieved not the truth, but had pleasure hell against the Lord and against in unrighteousness." The apostle his anointed, to which we have had confirms this prediction by similar such frequent occasion to refer. assertions in other epistles. In 1 Now, can any doctrine be more Tim. IV. 2, he speaks, not only of strongly confirmed than that which seducing spirits, but of false teachis taught in 2nd Thess. II. 9, 10, ers, who have their consciences by the Scriptures which have been seared as with a hot iron. In his adduced ? Let it be carefully ex- second epistle chap. 111. 13, “Evil amined in connexion with them, and men and seducers shall wax worse let its awful words sum up their and worse, deceiving, and being deconcurrent testimony.--"His com- ceived :” and chap. iv. 3, he urges ing is after the working of Satan, ministerial diligence on his son Tiwith all power, and signs, and lying mothy by the consideration, that wonders, and with all deceivableness the time will come when they will of unrighteousness in them that not endure sound doctrine, but after perish, because they received not their own lusts shall heap to themthe love of the truth that they might selves teachers, having itching ears; be saved.”
and they shall turn away their ears It may appear strange to some from the truth, and shall be turned
0 2 Tim III. ; Exod. VII. p v. 8, 15, 16. 91 Chron, xxi, 1,
unto fables.” The apostles Peter My object in the undertaking has and Jude describe certain fearful been simply to search the Scriptures characters, both among teachers and for an infallible exposition of its followers, corresponding very closely meaning, and to interpret it by an with those apostates of whom the impartial comparison of its several apostle Paul forewarned the churches parts with those other Scriptures by his preaching and epistles.r which seem more or less clearly to
In Isaiah xxx. 28 we read of a refer to the same subjects. With
sifting of the nations, with the what success this has been attended, sieve of vanity; and a bridle in the as far as my readers are concerned, jaws of the people, causing them to I must leave them to decide :
On which the following note Feci quod potni-potui quod Christe dedisti. is in D’oyly and Mant's Bible : For myself I have the satisfaction “ The fan (Kimchi observes) with of having attained to a settled conwhich God shall winnow the nations viction with regard to the principal will be the fan of emptiness and subject of enquiry" Is popery the perdition; for nothing useful shall apostacy and the Pope the man of remain behind, but all shall come to sin ?" The conclusions to which I nothing and perish. In like manner have been led by the foregoing statea bridle is designed to guide the ments of Scripture, I would now horse in the right way; but the bridle, humbly offer to the reader. And I which God will here put into the do earnestly pray that He who has jaws of the people, shall not direct promised to guide us into all truth, them aright, but shall, in his judg- and to shew us things to come, may ment on their stubbornness, make bestow his blessing abundantly both them err and lead them into destruc- on the writer and the reader, that tion.” So in chap. Lx. 2 it is de. the truth, and that alone, may be clared “that darknes shall cover the embraced by them. earth and gross darkness the people, It
then from the foregowhen the Lord shall arise upon ing Scriptures Zion, and his glory shall be seen 1. That a general apostacy, afupon her.” This blinding and hard- fecting all Christendom, will take ening of men's hearts we find fre- place towards the close of the prequently mentioned in the Scriptures, sent dispensation, shortly before the as the judgment of God upon their coming of the Lord, of whose near obstinacy or unbelief. See amongst approach it will be the sign. By many other instances the case of this apostacy the Gentiles will conPharaoh, Exod. iv. 21 ; Sihon Deut. summate the measure of their iniqui11. 30; the Canaanites, Josh. xi. 20; ties, and bring upon themselves the Amaziah, 2 Chron. xxv. 20; and predicted judgments. generally it is written in Rom. ix, 2. That “Antichrist,” called also 18 “ whom he will he hardeneth.” “the Man of Sin,” and “the Wicked Now the Lord gives up to Satan's one"-has yet to be revealed. All power those whom he thus hardens. other forms of evil have been only 1 Kings XXII. 23 ; John XIII. 2, 27. as it were the types and precursors
of this last worst form of the mys. I will now bring to a close my tery of iniquity. He will then be attempt to illustrate this deeply in- endued with Satanic power and teresting portion of God's word. wickedness to a degree far surpass
r Acts xx, 29, 30,
ing all his predecessors. He will of sin in 2 Thess. of the king assume divine honours, not in virtue in Dan. vur, and xi, and of the of a delegated authority, or as the Assyrian, are those of an individual, representative of the Invisible, but and cannot well be otherwise infor himself; and will claim worship terpreted than of a single person. as God in his temple. By the mira- The horns of the Ram and of the cles and wonders which are per- He Goat in Dan. viii, denote indiformed by himself or in his name, viduals ; and consistency would reby " the false prophet,” and by the quire that the little horn arising Satanic influence with which he from one of the four notable horns shall be attended, he will succeed in which succeeded the great horn of deceiving the whole professing Chris- the goat, should also be understood tian world, at least, except the elect, to mean an individual. The same and these he persecutes even to the rule should hold, I think, in the 7th death. It appears also that he will chapter with respect to the eleven be a bitter persecutor of the Jews, kings. with whose future destiny he seems From these considerations we intimately connected. The temple must conclude it to be an erroneous where he sits as God appears to be view of the Scriptures which would the temple at Jerusalem, where he confine the application of the foreabolishes the daily sacrifice and going prophecies to the Pope and places the abomination of desola- the Romish apostacy. I would say tion ; and the place where he falls that the church of Rome is not " is the holy land, the mountains of apostacy,” nor the Pope “ THE AntiIsrael.
christ.” The church of Rome has 3. It seems probable that he will erred grievously and fatally, by obbe first manifested somewhere in the scuring the truth committed to the northern part of the dominions pos- keeping of the universal church and sessed by Alexander the Great; and substituting in its stead commandfrom the expressions in the 37th ments of men, both antiscriptural verse of Dan. xi. it would appear and superstitious. But though by that he will be of Jewish origin : thus acting, she may have become these things however I do not press an apostate church and have foras conclusions. There may be a feited her part in the church cathoquestion too whether the Antichristlic; and though the pretensions of be an individual, or a body of men an- the Pope are blasphemous and antiimated by the same spirit of wick- christian, these charges will not edness, and whether the term false prove the church to be the apostacy prophet be only a name to charac- which the Holy Ghost contemplated, terize a number of persons deserving nor the Pope the man of sin. St. that appellation. Our Lord warns John in 1st Epl. chap. 11. speaks of us in Matt. xxiv. that there shall many antichrists who had then apbe false Christs and false prophets, peared, and of the Antichrist who who shall succeed in deceiving all had not appeared, but was expected.* but the elect. Nevertheless, the The Romish miracles, whether actions and pretensions of the man real or pretended, do not answer
* Some writers on prophecy seem to consider that the very essence of Protestantism consists in denouncing the church of Rome as the apostacy, and the Pope as the man of sin. I do not think that Protestantism will lose one iota of the truth which it asserts, by ceasing to make such an application of the Scriptures. This remark applies especially to the church of England, which at the Reformation simply renounced the
the description given of those by soon these things may be manifestwhich the man of sin establishes his ed? The fatal snare is spreading. pretensions : for who was ever con- Indifference to the truth, which is verted to the Romish doctrines by the real meaning of the much vauntthem ? What effect have they ed liberalism in religion and politics, wrought beyond their own credu is preparing the way for the sedu. lous followers? Yet so mighty is cer; and we may be even now on the effect to be produced by the the verge of the fulfilment of all the Antichristian miracles, that the elect prophecies. Ye who look for the only, and they hardly, escape. And Lord, be not dismayed: when ye does the acknowledged fact that see these things come to pass, then pious and godly men have lived and look up and lift up your heads, died in the communion of the church knowing that your redemption drawof Rome correspond with the lan- eth nigh. Amen!
W. guage of the Scriptures concerning the followers of Antichrist? It is We have not interrupted the arguwritten God shall send then strong ment of our Correspondent by apdelusion, &c. that they all might be pending notes : but though we have damned, &c.” “All that dwell on deemed it expedient to give inser
* the earth (except the elect) shall tion to his communication, on acworship the beast.” “ And if any count of the general importance of man worship the beast, &c. the same the subject, and the ability with shall drink of the wine of the wrath which he treats certain particulars of God.” Rev. xiv. 9, 10.
of it, we equally think it a duty not The argument need not be carried to let it pass without two or three farther. The conclusions we have concluding remarks upon drawn above forbid the application In his attempt to shew that all against which we contend. Another the notices in Scripture of an Anapostacy more extensive and more tichristian power relate to one and fatal, another Antichrist more sub- the same power or person only, he tle and more powerful, are to be overlooks, as we think some imexpected. Oh! who can tell how portant circumstances in the pro
usurped authority of the Pope and the corruptions of faith and practice which had been introduced under that authority, while she retained the apostolic doctrine and discipline which she had received long before the emissaries of Rome set foot on these shores.
That the reformers might have thus applied the prophetic description of Antichrist to the church of Rome and her bishop, is not to be wondered at, if we consider the striking resemblance which she bears to them in many of her superstitious practices and arrogant pretensions. They had no conception of a more fatal perversion of Christianity than that from which they had been delivered. They saw a fearful development of the mystery of iniquity, and denounced it as that which they saw in the Scriptures. We should do well to follow them in hatred to the system which they reprobated, while we are on our guard against a still more formidable adversary which is ready to be revealed.
But by this is manifested the wonderful structure of the prophetic word, which is in itself an evidence of its divine inspiration—that it adapts itself to every successive manifestation of the mystery of iniquity, and affords to the Church, as it suffers under each, the consolation and support which is suited to its present necessity; while it is reserved for the full development of that mystery to give complete fulfilment to all its predictions ; when it will be seen that the language in which they were couched was not too strong, nor the characteristic features at all redundant or difficult to trace in the reality.
phecies which describe these powers. and false prophet of Rev. xix. are
1st. He infers that the Little taken captive and cast alive into the Horn of Dan. vii. and Dan. viii. lake of fire, &c. must be the same. The similarity 4th. A most important consideraof the description of these little horns tion likewise is, that the Antichrist in some of their particulars, and the of Dan. vii. evidently appears when difference in other respects, is an the empire of the fourth beast, or argument to our minds that they Roman empire, is divided into ten are not the same. For it seems to kingdoms. But we have not only us unaccountable that immediately seen that empire long since broken after the description of the rise of up and divided ; but it has since the little horn in the one chapter, passed away ; for who can tell us there should follow another vision, where it now is ? the burden of which is likewise Finally, the argument of W. at the history of the rise of a little p. 207, col. 2nd, that they cannot horn. But what appears conclusive be different,-because, if two Antito us is, that the horn of chap. christian powers were to exist at the VII. arises out of the fourth beast, same time, their independent and cr Roman empire ; whereas the horn exclusive pretensions would set them of chap. viii, arises out of one of disputing among themselves, instead the four horns which proceeded of directing their forces against from the broken horn of the Goat, Christ and his church,-is quite conand this corresponds with the third trary to manifest historical facts. beast, or leopard, of Dan. VIII. The world has long seen two rival
2ndly. Our Correspondent con- powers, viz. Mahomet and the Pope, ceives that the circumstance of the both equally blasphemous and arrolittle horn of chap. vii. plucking up gant in their pretensions, and exertthree of the ten horns before him, ing their power against Christ. We thereby making himself the eighth have likewise seen Herod, Pontius horn, is analogous to the eighth king Pilate, and Caiphas, (who appear of Rev. XVII.
There is however from the Psalms, together with Juthis important difference : that the das, to have been types of the Antiten horns in Dan. vii. are evidently christian powers,) quarreling among existing contemporaneously with each themselves, yet uniting against other; and so afterwards the eight.
Christ. And we see in our own But the eight kings of Rev. XVII. times papists and radicals most corexist successively;
for 'five are dially hating each other in secret, fallen, and one is, and the other is and yet combining together, and not yet come,” &c.
directing their united energies a3rdly. A due consideration of the gainst the church. ends of the various Antichristian These circumstances lead us there. powers will lead to the conclusion, fore to hesitate before we can rethat they are not all the same. To ceive the theory of our Correspondgive only one instance. The beast ent as a whole ; however we may of Dan. vii. is slain, and then his think particular parts of it to be worbody or dead carcase is given to the thy of serious consideration. burning flame ; whereas the beast