A SERMON OF ANTICHRIST, Preached at Christ-Church, DUBLIN, Novemb. 12. 1676.

By the Right Reverend Father in God, HENRY, Lord Bishop of MEATH.

The Second Edition Revised and corrected by his own hand.

Reprinted at LONDON for Nathaniel Ponder at the Peacock in the Poultry. 1679.

Imprimatur,

Jan. 13. 1676.

Ja. Armachanus.

March 4. 1679.

H. London.

To His Excellency ARTHUR Earl of ESSEX, Viscount Malden, Baron Capel of Hadham, Lord Lieutenant General, and General Go­vernour of His Majesties Kingdom of Ireland, Lord Lieutenant of the County of Hartford, and one of the Lords of His Majesties most Honourable Privy Coun­cil of both Kingdoms.

Most Honourable,

How much Ireland (happy in your Government) is above all other Nations in Europe, influenced by the power of Rome, is to Your Excellency well known, as to the world, and by themselves also acknowledged, and gloried in.

But unhappy is it in being thereby, and by Romish Emissaries (of malevolent and factious principles promoting other interesses) carried on fatally, to the disturbance of the peace of the Kingdom. Of this we have had Memorials of former Ages, some of them fresh and bleeding; nor are we even now without jealousies of what may yet be, were there opportunity for it.

This is not to be ascribed to the stars, or clime, or nature of the people, who have had of old the character, justly, of a people peace­able, harmless, affable to strangers, and in themselves, and to all, pious [Page] and good. So was it, while the Religion professed by their Forefa­thers was according to the primitive faith of purer times of the Church (although not then without some soil.) And thus find we it even now in those of the Nation who are of reformed and purer principles.

But being in after times corrupted in Doctrine and Discipline, and that the now Religion of the Irish is quite another thing from that of their forefathers (of whom yet they boast themselves Children, both as to faith and blood) we now find the Change great, as in Religion, so in disposition and manners:

On which we collect, that the grounds of our peace from those, must not be Extirpation, but Reformation, by removing those their false Teachers, who mis-inform and mis-lead the Nation; and our withal instructing the people in the waies of peace and truth.

As to the latter I have observed, no people more desirous than are these to hear and to be instructed, nor any better, being so educated.

In which I cannot but mention and recommend as a president to o­thers, the zeal of a pious and learned Prelate, the present Archbishop of Cashel, who has set himself on that work industriously by instruct­ing the Irish in their own language; and hath already gathered the comfortable fruits of his godly labours, drawing in and retaining ma­ny of the Nation firm in the faith, the number also of such encreasing.

The means for that in former times, and in some of our own me­mories, was the translating and Printing our English Lyturgy, and the New Testament into the Irish tongue, that testifying our care of their salvation, and giving them thereby to understand in their own language the truth we profess and teach, contrary to the mis-informa­tion of others concerning us.

And to this purpose that learned Prelate Doctor Bedell late Bis­hop of Kilmore (happy in his Zeal and labours that way) to that of the New Testament and Common-Prayer before translated and Printed in the Irish tongue, did add the Translation into Irish of the Old Testament also, with David's Psalms in meter. This I have in my hands in the manuscript, and wish it were for such a publick good, printed and published.

[Page]In the mean time, to give some stop, if it might be, to the Current of Popery, I conceived in might be convenient and necessary that it be known and declared to this mis-lead people, as to others, who that is whom they so follow, that he is that very Antichrist, by whom they may be carried away by that deluge of Apostacy into perdition, wherby these may by grace be brought to consider their waies.

This is that which is in the following Treasise intended, and is, I hope to some evidenced, which appearing, other points and erroneous Doctrines of Popery will fall, depending on that the principal.

Of this in my late preaching it, I had the honour of your Excellen­cies being then an hearer; and being prevailed with after for publish­ing it, I thought it fittest for your Lordships Patronage, in whose hands is the Government of that people for whom this is particularly design­ed. it was a confident presumption in him, who under the letters I. S. (it may be, far from his name) did offer to your Patronage an in­vective against that Church of which you are, The Church of England your Mother, as not being the Church of Christ, nor any part of it; which had its full confutation by a learned piece, Doctor Andrew Sall, I hope the contrary may find better acceptance from your Excellency, this shewing that the Church of Rome, of which J. S. shews himself to be, is ANTICHRISTIAN, and communion there to be unto some dangerous, and damnable to others.

It is in this my Comfort, which was St. Paul's speaking before King Agrippa) that I speak to one who knoweth these things. And from whom I am perswaded (none of these things are hidden, Acts 26.3.26.) For your Excellency is not a favourer only of Learn­ing, but you your self also learned eminently, and particularly versed in Church-Antiquities, on which most of that here spoken, is depend­ing.

Which your affection to Learning appears in your large collection of Books, with which that your rich and compleat Library in England is stored. The same of which hath crossed the Seas hither, as elsewhere a­broad There may the learned find knowledge in variety, beside what con­cerns Records both of England and Ireland, such as are not other­where, [Page] where, unto which recourse may be had as to a VATICAN.

And as to Ireland, considering the few years of your Government over us, I dare confidently aver, that none, so as your Lordship, know­eth so much of the Kingdom, People, Manners, and several Interesses there, and understands better the Measures, for governing answerably; and such a person so knowing, this Kingdom requires.

In your Excellency shines the Heroick Vertue and Courage of that renowned Martyr for King and Country, your illustrious Father; and that well tempered with your own personal Affability taking with, and obliging all; yet to each with a becoming distance of state and place, so as none to presume on more than just favour in Judgment, Ju­stice being to all, and any without difference dispensed.

‘Tros Tyriusve tibi nullo discrimine habetur.’

This is now testified in the present Connaght Court of Claymes under your Government the Irish in that Province, having therein their help, as had before the other parts of the Kingdom their distri­bution of Lands in former Courts of like nature. In which those of Connaght having been post-poned, they were given over as re­mediless, until by his gracious Majesties continual care of his People they were thus considered, and that by your Lordships procurement and management.

God multiply his blessings on you in your Person, and in your Excellent Lady, and Noble Progeny; and make us happy in the continuance of your prosperous Government, generally desired; which are the prayers of

(My LORD) Your Excellencies Most devoted Servant, HEN. MIDENSIS.

THE EPISTLE TO THE READER.

THat between the first and second coming of Christ the Church being settled and propagated by the Apostles and their Successors, there should arise a certain per­son notoriously wicked, an adversary to Christ, and a cruel persecutor of the Church, whom the Scripture 1 John 2. and 4. calls Antichrist, is by Scripture and Apostolical Tradition among Catholicks most certain, and not to be doubted, Say the Romanists Guil. Estius Tom. 4. in l. 4. dist. 47. sect. 6.

And whereas the Apostles speak of a Mystery of iniquity even then in those very times, working (2 Thes. 2.7.) and that many Antichrists were then in the world (2 John v. 7.) and that there was one other not-yet-come, but in his time to be revealed (2 Thessal. 2.5. 1 John 2.18.)

These together give us to understand Antichrist considered in his several Ages, and gradual appearings (for Rome was not built in a day.)

The knowledge of which Gradual Comming of Antichrist leads us to the better understanding him as to his Person and Appearing: Herein therefore consider,

1. The Preparations to Antichrists Comming.

2. His after-appearing in the world.

1. The Preparations to his Comming, or his being conceived, and but yet an Embrio in the womb's, may be those first times, when that ini­quity did work but in a Mystery that is not yet so openly, as after, and [Page] Antichrist not himself yet appearing, but by others his forerunners: cal­led Antichrists: and from their number many Antichrists; and from their chief called also, the Spirit of Antichrist who was to come, (John. 2.7.)

This period of time may be extended to the first 600 years of the Church, of which although the first 300 be acknowledged the purer, yet do the later 300, and the whole 600, pass generally under the name of pure, compared with the following.

In which 600 years it is granted, that many Errours did creep in­to the Church; For while the husband men slept, or were less vigilant, the enemy sowed Tares among the Wheat, both growing together, as our Lord had forwarned, (Matth. 13.24, to 31.) yet is it not­withstanding confidently averred, that within those 600 years there was not one in the whole world might be properly called a Papist, saith our most learned (after Primate) Usher Jac. Usher [...] Christ. Eccles. suc [...]es. c. 1 p. 18. For as the Title of Pope was not yet appropriated by and to the Bishops of Rome, nor the name Papist from them derived to their followers; so those Errours before stolen in, and crept into the Church, were not then received, nor passed for Truths; some of them being taken notice of, were opposed both in the Eastern and Western Churches, particularly in France, Germany, and even in our own Britain also Id. c. 2.

And long after were those erroneous Doctrines of Popery no other among the learned of that side, than Points disputable pro and con, which were after in the Council of Trent, and some others before determined as de fide, to be thenceforth no more questionable.

This was not to be expected within those first 600 years of the Church when was wanting an Universal Bishop and Pope, by whose power a Council might be ordered to adopt those growing Errours for Truths, which after followed. For at the end of that sixth Century, and in the en­tring on the seventh in the year 607. we then begin to hear of Anti­christs appearing in the world. But,

  • 1. In Infancy.
  • 2. After in full age, growth, and strength.

1. Antichrists Infant age, is what next followeth, and may be sta­ted in the year 607, Boniface 3. who by favour of Phocas the Emperor obtained and assumed the title of Universal Bishop or Pope, which had been ambitiously sought after by John Patriarch of Constanti­nople, [Page] as what he thought was belonging to the chief seat of the Em­pire Constantinople, which his so invading that proud title was, by Gre­gory the great Bishop of Rome, declared a sign of Antichrist's being then at hand, & that whosoever assumed that title was Antichrist or a forerunner of Antichrist: not dreaming how near that by him so spoken was to himself. For while he was eyeing another person, and place this was soon after found in his own See of Rome, and, there, in his very next successor but one, Boniface. 3. he Arrogating that high name of Universal Bishop, not content with Primacy without Suprema­cy: not satisfied with being first among the five Patriarchs, but to be above them also, and they subjected to him, and his rule, so he to be over all Bishops, and the Church throughout the whole World sub­jected to him as chief.

And here see, how near the Pope's two so contrary Titles came in, and began almost together, that of Servus Servorum Dei by Gregory; and Universal Bishop by Boniface his successor.

That also Antichrist had scarcely begun to shew himself in this Western part of the World at Rome, as now in Boniface when near upon that time Mahomet the false Prophet began to appear in the East, both to the bane of the Church: the famous Churches in the East suppressed by the one; and those in the West corrupted by the other.

2. Yet was this but Antichrist's infancy; we have yet to see him in his full growth of strength and stature under following Popes, especially in Gregoy 7th. before called Hildebrand, who inlarged the Papal power above all spiritual and temporal, not only Bishops, but even Emperours also being, brought under him.

As to the time of Gregory the 7ths Papacy, which was about a thousand years from the destruction of Jerusalem and Temple, by the Romans: In which time of the destruction of Jerusalem was that Fulness of Christ's Kingdom, and its coming in power; That is, the Gospel preached to other Nations, and Jerusalem trodden down of the Gentiles, (Luke 21.24.) Thereby also were the Temple, Jewish service, worship and sacrifices taken out of the way, which, for a time, were hindrances to the course of the Gospel.

In this Christ's Kingdom of the Gospel so come there was to be also a binding up of Satan for a thousand years after, so as the Devil should be restrained, not in that time, to seduce the world so freely, and so gene­rally [Page] as before, Rev. 20.1, 2, 3.) after which thousand years, Satan was to be again at liberty, for mischief, which loosing of Satan was the period of Antichrists being also at liberty, he coming with the work­ing of Satan (2 Thes. 2.9. Satan and Antichrist working by and for each other) Which thousand years were then compleated in the Papacy of Gregory the 7th. mentioned.

And it may be observed in this, what is also found in other great Prophecies, that about the time of their fulfilling mens minds have been then stirred up as by instinct to enquire after that which was to be about that time expected.

So was it about the time of the 70 years captivity, which when at hand, Daniel is then more than before inquisitive and looking after it's accomplishing: Dan. 9.23)

So also when the fulness of time came for Christs coming into the world (Gal. 4.4.) how were men then more especially awakened for look­ing after any waiting in Jerusalem for the salvation of Israel, (Luke 2.25.38.) so as when any eminent person appeared that might carry any likelyhood for it; as Iohn B. he was sent unto, solemnely to satisfy whether he were the Christ (Joh. 1.19, 20:) so when the thousand years for Satans loosing, and Antichrists consequently appearing, were expired, the expectations of some were then greater, they ear­nestly enquiring whether Antichrist was yet come? or when? As to the letter (saith Rioh [...]rdus Victorinus) these thousand years are alrea­dy expired, yet when Antichrist shall come, and Satan be loosed, we know not Rich. Victor. in Apocal. [...]. 6. c. 7.

Which mens not knowing Antichrist when come; and present, and seen, and (by the time for his coming elapsed) concluded as come. In that we see but what was, as to Christ himself. For the time for his com­ing being fulfilled and he present in the world, and seen and speaking dayly with them, yet was not known (Joh. 1.10, 11.) but still expect­ed. So was it as to Christ's Kingdom also; he himself being interrogated, when the Kingdom of God should come, he answered that the King­dom of God is within you, that is among you; that which they saw not, was even then present, and with them, (Luk. 17.20, 21.) meaning his Kingdom of the Gospel: so were enquiries after Antichrists comings when he was already come, yet not observed.

But although some were then so to seek, as to Antichrist, not knowing [Page] or seeing him when present and to be seen, yet was it not so with all; he being understood of others otherwise, so as even to be pointed at, and de­clared as to his place and person.

Particularly, as to Gregory the 7th. or Hildebrand, of whom Ebe­rardus in Aventinus thus speaketh. Hildebrand one hundred and se­venty years since, was the first, who under colour of Religion laid the foundation of Antichrists Empire. Those Babylonian Priests would reign alone, an equal they cannot endure, they cease not to trample all under foot; they sit in the Temple of God, and are exalted above all that is worshiped; he who stiles himself Servant of Ser­vants, is Lord of Lords, as if he were God. He frames to himself an Empire changing Laws; he establisheth his own, he corrupts, robs, spoils, defrauds, kills, that man of perdition whom they are wont to call Antichrist, in whose forehead that name of contumely is writ­ten, I am God, I cannot erre; he sitteth in the Temple of God ru­ling all and every-where; many say that Gregory is Antichrist Avent. Annal. Boiorum. l. 7. c. 47. Bin. conc. gen. par. 2. p. 438.

Also in the Papacy of Paschalis 2. a. 1105. Fuentius Archbishop of Florence declared publickly that Antichrist was even then come, and that he did sit openly in the Church, pointing at the Pope; at which the Pope was so nearly touched, that in a Council at Florence of 340 Bishops, silence in that was imposed on that Archbishop.

This is that Pope Paschal, who contended with the Emperor Henry 5th. for wresting from him that priviledge concerning Investiture of Bi­shops, which the Emperors for 300 years had possessed as their right, but the Pope finding himself over powered by the Emperor, who was then with an Army in Italy, he did withdraw that his challenge, leaving the Emperor in possession of that priviledge as before. And at a solemn Mass administring the holy Supper, the Pope said, my Lord the Emperor, This body of our Lord born of the Virgin Mary, and which suffered on the Cross, as the holy Apostolick Church professeth, I give in confirmation of this sincere accord between us (& breaking the Host, keeping part for himself, and giving the other part to the Emperor, he added) as this body of our Lord is divided, so let him be divided from the Kingdom of Christ our Lord, who shall attempt the vio­lating this covenant between us, to which Anathema, so pronounced, all said Amen: Notwithstanding which, the Emperor being returned to Germany, that very Pope dissolved all in that done, and called that pri­viledge [Page] which he so confirmed to the Emperour praevilegium, not privi­legium (Sigebertus aliique apud Magdebur. Cent. 12. c. 8.

Baronius also thus mentioneth (a. 1170.) Alexander 3. and his Legates Letter to the Pope his Master Baron. Annal. T [...]m. 12. a. 1170. Sect. 9. Be pleased most holy Fa­ther, to hear patiently what we say, for my soul is in bitterness; both your devoted Son the most Christian King of France, and the whole Gallican Church are troubled at the scandals, which in the daies of your Apostolat are given by the See Apostolick, insomuch as our own say, that there Satan is let loose to the destruction of the Church, and that Christ is again crucified, and a manifest Sacri­legious person discharged.

Also Joachimus Abbas, a. 1190. saith, that Antichrist is now born in the City of Rome, and is advanced into the See Apostolick Roger Hoveden. Annal. Ricar. 1. p. 388.

It were endless in this to run through the several ages before and until Luther, God having then in those former times discovered Antichrist to some here and there; but more plainly and more generally on the preaching of the Gospel in the Reformation, on which followed that so general a departure as we see at this day from that Babylon, as by that voice from Heaven, Come out of her my people, (Rev. 18.4.)

Considering which clear evidence, and light of this great and so im­portant truth, so generally diffused throughout the Christian Hemisphere, which all may see that will see; it is greatly to be wondred at to find notwithstanding at home, some excelling in knowledge and learning to grope in this, in midst of light, as in darkness, we having the general consent of Reformed Churches abroad.

Having also within our selves the concurring Judgment of famous Bishops and learned men, among whom are our Whitegift, Abbot, Jewel, Andrews, Morton, Davenant, Bilson, Hall, Prideaux, Fulke, Reynolds, Whitaker, and our Judicious Hooker above many. And in Ireland also had we our Usher, Downham, and Bedell, (not to mention others) and the suffrage also of twelve Bishops together deliver­ed by Bishop Downham, desired in the name of the rest to declare their Judgments in it in his Sermon in Christ-Church Dublin, on the 22d. of April, 1627. This was subscribed Nov. 20. 1626. by Ja. Armachanus, Malcolm Casselen. Anth. Midensis, Ro. Dunensis, Rich. Corke, Cloyne and Rose, Thomas Kilmore and Ardmagh, Mich. Water­ford and Lismore, Tho. Fernes and Laughlin, Geo. Derensis, Andr. [Page] Aladensis, Tho. Dromor. Fra. Lymerick.

These are here named for their lasting honours; besides whom are o­thers of former times, and of the present also, not mentioned.

Add our English Book of Homilies approved and published by au­thority, in which is sufficient to shew the Doctrine of the Church of En­gland to the same purpose.

But what needs more than that Excellent Paraphrase on Rev. 20. by the most Learned among Kings, King James of ever blessed memory, proving and concluding the Pope Antichrist, &c. in that his learned Pen and excellent Work, leaving a lasting monument to the World of his being defender of the Faith; A glorious Title descending to him, and to this Royal Family for ever.

By which Learned work of that Great Prince, that Roman beast felt it self so wounded, that their greatest Champion Bellarmine (but under a disguise) was inforced to run in and help; but with so bad success, that thereby occasion was given to Learned men to clear up that Truth, as we find at this day, above contradiction, other than cavilling.

And yet strange it is notwithstanding to see (as was said) some of excel­lent parts in knowledge and learning among our selves now sticking here, some being in that led by a reverend esteem of some others of another Judgment, but so few as to be numbred, and not to weigh in the ballance. Of these, some labour to stave off Antichrist from Rome, for avoyding what they suppose inconvenient, our deriving our Church and Holy Orders from an Antichristian state, which needed not to trouble them.

But some out of a peaceable inclination, designing the reconci­ling Rome and us in one, or at least not so far to offend that party, as if Rome were to be complemented and obliged thereby to favour our cause or persons the more, were we in their power.

Whereas by such our connivance and silence, not speaking out what is truth, that Rome is Babylon, the Pope Antichrist; and that commu­nion there is dangerous to some, and to others damnable, and by our tender forbearance in this, Popery and that Church doth pass for Ca­tholick, Antient, Holy, and the very way to Salvation. Whereby not few have been seduced and drawn away from the Truth professed, as o­thers may be, who hear of nothing to the contrary; thereby are also those of that communion fastened there, they being confirmed by this our silence.

On which consideration, and that this strikes at the root of Popery; I have been led to this subject.

[Page] Which as first was intended but for that Honourable Auditory and place only where it was preached, but by multiplied importunities of many, and being awakened by an imperfect Copy, taken while it was in speaking, which I understood to have been dispersed, and I know not how far, and might be (I feared) to the prejudice of the Truth, and to the advantage of adversaries, I therefore consented to the revising and publishing thereof for avoiding those inconveniencies, declaring this, and none other, to be what I own.

In which as now set forth, are some things more than were delivered in Preaching, yet what was intended, had time permitted; something also is added for further inlargement, which might better pass (I con­ceived) in writing than in speaking.

And although that called a Sermon be swoln hereby above its ordi­nary bulk, it is notwithstanding still short of what may be necessary for the clear opening of this great Point; yet do I stop there notwithstanding at present, supposing there may be an opportunity after offered for defence of that delivered by that opposition, which is not to be doubted this may find from the adverse Party.

Whatever this is, all is submitted to the judicious Reader; desiring Gods blessing it to all, particularly to those, who yet hear not that voice from Heaven, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not par­takers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her Plagues, (Rev. 18.4)

A SERMON of Antichrist Preached at Christ-Church, Dublin, Novemb. 12. 1676.

2 Thess. 2.3. to 13.

V. 3. There shall come a falling away first, and that man of sin shall be revealed, the Son of Perdition.

v. 4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

v. 5. Remember ye not that while I was yet with you, I told you these things.

v. 6. And now ye know what witholdeth, that he might be revea­led in his time.

v. 7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work, only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

v. 8. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

v. 9. Even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signes and lying wonders.

v. 10. And with all deceivablenes of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the Truth that they might be saved.

v. 11. And for this cause, God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lye.

v. 12. That they all might be damned, who believed not the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

THE words read exceed much the now ordinary bounds of a Text, yet being all of a piece, nothing could be well omitted.

The words are a Prophecy of evil times to the Church, and to the World, by one here termed A man of Sin, (v. 3) and who that man of Sin is, is now the enquiry; and well worthy our enquiry, the import of the matter, and its concern gene­rally considered.

[Page 2]The discovery of this man of Sin, will appear in the descrip­tion here given of him, both in his

Rise and Fall His Fall, v. 8. His Rise before, v. 3. These make up the parts of my Text.

His Rise is here under four considerations, by which brought together, this M [...]n of Sin will be discovered who he is.

1. Here is the character, condition and quality, what kind of person he is, a Man of Sin, v. 3.

2. He is also considered as to the place, where he is to be found, Sitting in the Temple of God.

3. Here is also the time when he is to appear in grandeur, when he that did then lett or hinder should be removed, then shall that wicked be revealed.

4. His actions in the world, when he should be revealed, and by which he should be known above others, he opposing and exalt­ing himself above all that is called God, &c. v. 4.

He to whom all these agree, and in whom all meet together, is that Man of Sin, this Son of perdition whom we now seek after.

I.

His condition and quality is herein to be first considered; that he is a Man of Sin.

A Man of Sin is a Scripture-form of speaking for one above others sinful. The word sinner, sometimes imports the greater sort of sin­ners; and where the word sinners is first found in Scripture (Gen. [...] 3. [...] 3.) it is said of Monsters of sin, those of Sodom who were sin­ners before the Lord exceedingly. And surely a Man of Sin, intends something more than a sinner. Beza renders it merum sce­lus, meer or very wickedness. A Man of Sin (saith Grotius) sig­nifieth some person notably and above all others wicked.

And accordingly is this Man of Sin here one above others sinful, both in life and profession. Therefore called spiritually Sodom, (Rev. 11.8.) and as to Faith and Doctrine; An Apostate (and what is in that kind worse?) falling away (v. 3.) departing from the Faith (1 Tim. 4.1.) denying the Lord that bought them, and bringing in damnable Heresies (2 Pet. 2.1.) and Doctrines of Devils, forbidding to marry, and commanding [Page 3] to abstain from meats, &c. (1 Tim. 4.1, 2, 3.) we know who do so. Of these Apostate Professors are those also of whom St. John speaketh who deny that Jesus is the Christ; adding, he is an Antichrist that denyeth the Father and the Son, whosoever denyeth the Son hath not the Father (1. John 2.22, 23.) And every spirit that confesseth not, that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already, is it in the world (1. John 4.3. Not that Antichrist, or every Antichrist, denyeth Christ come in the flesh; Some did so; nor do all hereticks speak the same thing, but whosoever shall say that Christ is not come in the flesh is an Antichrist.

In all is to be observed,

1. That all false doctrines and heresies, whether against the doctrine and truth of Christ, of which the Apostle S. Paul speaks (1. Tim. 4.) or against Christ's person or Natures, of whom St. John speaks; both these are against Christ, and such as so teach and believe, are therefore (because against Christ) Antichrist, so as every deceiver is an Antichrist (2 John v. 7.) I Judg saith St. Hierom) all chief hereticks to be An­tichrist, under the name of Christ teaching contrary to Christ. S. Hier. in Mat. 24.

2. Hereby we find that there are many Antichrists (1 John 2.18) and of those many that some were then, in the Apostles▪ dayes, in the world. (1. John 4.3.) Apostates from the faith before professed; They went from us, but were not of us saith the Apostle (1. John 2.18, 19.

3. Observe, that among those many Antichrists there is one chief Antichrist, see both in 1. John 2.18. little children, it is the last time, as ye have heard, that Antichrist shall come; even now are there many Antichrists.

In this we find those two sorts of Antichrists distinguished. 1. In number: Antichrists plurally, And many Antichrists; the other but Antichrist singly: one among many. 2. These two also are distinguished in time, Of those many some already come, and then in the World; but that one Antichrist then not yet come, yet expected (2 Thess. 2.) the revealed in his time (v. 7.8.) 3. see that one and chief Antichrist a­bove the rest pointed at Emphatically, by an Article which is in the Greek, not expressed in our English [...] that Article [...] or that Antichrist (saith Grotius) points at some one Antichrist among those many more noted. And with like Emphasis is this man of sin, in the Text expressed by that man of sin, The Son of perdition [Page 4] (v. 3.) That wicked (v. 8.) and even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan (v. 9.)

4. Observe that great Antichrist in S. John, and this man of Sin in S. Paul to be intended of the same Person; none can doubt but that St. Paul doth speak these things of Antichrist saith S. Augustine. S. Aug in 2 Thes. 2.7 de civit. dei 1.20. c. 19. where and else where we find the same person under several names, under diverse considerations, so called Sodom and Egypt (Rev. 11.8. the great whore (Rev 17.1.) Babylon v. 5. and here that man of sin (5) and by St. John, Antichrist. In which variety of names, some one is at present to be principally used, for avoiding confusion; in which I shall choose that of Antichrist, as being a word both Scriptural, and Ecclesiastical, frequently occurring in the Fathers, and Ecclesiastical writers, ancient and modern.

5. Observe that man of Sin or Antichrist, although singularly, and Emphatically, and as it were, personally pointed at, is not not­withstanding to be understood as terminated in any one individual person whatsoever; but as those many Antichrists make up that wicked society of Apostate Hereticks, of what kind soever; so is this great Anti­christ A chief of this great Apostacy, but as one in succession, though diverse in persons, so it is said of the Pope and Papacy Aug. tri­umph. de po­te­state, Ecc. q. 3. Art. 7. That as to the place and office of the Papacy 'all Popes from first to last, are but as one Pope, so when they say, the Pope is head of the Church, that is not intended of any one Pope alone, but of any and all in that succession.

Thus of Antichrist, as here considered in his person, condition and quality. A man of Sin, one in profession and faith, also in life and manners sinful exceedingly; and how that is, will appear after in particulars.

II.

We have next to see this man of sin, as to his place, where he should appear, and is to be expected; sitting in the Temple of God.

Which words The Temple of God, some appropriate to Jerusalem, and the Temple there, so understood properly (saith Grotius) in both Testaments Grot. de Anti­christ It seems also to make for this; what is instanced of Cajus one of the Roman Emperours, who caused his Image or statue to be placed in the Temple at Jerusalem to be worshipped: which agrees (say some) with the Text literally, This man of sin, sitting in the temple of God &c.

[Page 5]But this man of sin, or Antichrist, is intended of an Apostate Chri­stian fallen away (v. 3.) such as was not Caius, a Pagan, and never other­wise, therefore not he this Antichrist.

2. Nor is Antichrist one individual person, but a chief in succession; heading an Antichristian State and Faction, therefore not Caius nor Simon Magus, or any other such whosoever; which will after appear more fully.

3. The Temple of God in the Text is interpreted the Christian Church, by the Fathers St. Augustin, Chrysostom, Hierome, Hilary, Theophylact, Theodoret, and others; also by Thomas Aquinas and others of the Schoolmen.

4. Notwithstanding what is confidently averred by some, that in both Testaments, the Temple of God is intended of that Temple in Jeru­salem, the contrary appears; and that the Christian Church is also in that pointed at in both Testaments. So in Zech. 6.12, 13. Behold the man whose name is the Branch (meant of Christ, Zech. 3.8. Isa. 14, 1. Jer. 3, 8.33.15.) he shall grow out of his place, and he shall build the Temple of the Lord, even he shall build the Temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne. In which is not intended the Temple of Jerusalem, as if built by Christ, whose de­struction he declared; those dayes also of its destruction being the time of the Lord's coming to Judge that People, and then setting up his Temple of the Christian Church, where he would be worshipped in spirit and in truth; not any longer in Types and Sacrifices, as in Jerusalem (John 4.20.21.23.) And the Christian Gospel-Church taken as Ca­tholique, and of both Nations, is called the houshold of God, built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an Holy Temple in the Lord, in whom they are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. (Ephes. 2.19, 20, 21.22.)

And as by the Temple, so by Jerusalem also is the Gospel-Church of Jew and Gentile signified, and that also, as the Church is Militant and Triumphant; Jerusalem which is above being mother of us all, (Gal. 4.25, 26, 27.

In which it is to be observed that the state of the Christian Church is set forth in the Revelations by 2 Visions of 2 Women.

[Page 6] One, the Holy Christian Church, represented in a Woman cloathed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of 12 starrs, she travailing with Child (shewing her numerous Issue) who was before barren (Isa. 54.1.) she also, and hers prosecuted and persecuted by the dragon, but preserved (Rev. 12.1, 2, 3.6.13, 14, 15, 16, 17.)

But the other woman, signifying the Church Antichristian, persecuting the true Professors, and drunk with the blood of the Saints, and with the blood of the Martyrs of Jesus (Rev. 17.1, 2, 4, 5, 6.)

Observe also that these 2 women (or the Church under these 2 states and conditions) are also represented by 2 Cities, the great City Babylon and Jerusalem: that City named Babylon (Rev. 17.5, 18.) being for that Antichristian state: but the other City Jerusalem (Rev. 20. & 21, & 22.) for the Church of God, the new Jerusalem and Temple; no won­der then if by Jerusalem and the Temple the Christian Church be signi­fied.

5. And, that Jerusalem and the Temple there, could not be the place where that man of sin or Antichrist was to sit, appears, in that Babylon, the city contrary to Jerusalem, is declared Antichrist's seat: Also, that the description given to that City (the seat of Antichrist) no way suits with Jerusalem, see for that (Rev. 17.6, 7, 8, 18.) where, by Babylon, the Romanists (we need go no further) intend Rome, and for that the Rhemists earnestly contend in their Annotations on 1 Pet. 5.13. The Church that is at Babylon saluteth you (saith St. Peter) which is their Scripture-proof for St. Peters being at Rome. Also Cardinal Baronius speaking of the name Babylon in the Revelation, Certissimum est, &c. it is most certain (saith he) that by the name Babylon, the City Rome is signified; An­nal. a. 45. and Cardinal Bellarmine, by Babylons description, agreeing to Rome, concludes out of Turtullian, Notissimum est, &c. (saith he) It is most evident and acknowledged, that Rome is built on seven hills, nor was there any other city, which in the dayes of St. John, had do­minion or reigned over the Kings of the earth, but Rome onely: De Rom. Pont. l. 3. c. 13. & l. 2. c. 2. Rome (saith he) and no other city; not Constantinople, which although after styled Rome, or new Rome, being also seated on hills, yet did not that then in St. Johns dayes reign over the Kings of the Earth. And as to Jerusalem, nothing of all that could be said of it, neither that it was [Page 7] so situated on seven hills, nor then reigning over the Kings of the earth, Jerusalem being then with her children in Bondage (Gal. 4.25.) and that to the Romans; and by the Romans soon after destroyed.

And if Rome be the City for that malignant state, then must the Temple of God be understood to be there, and Rome to be the place for Antichrist's sitting. But it is objected, how the Church of Rome should be then called the Temple of God where Antichrist sitteth.

Res. So was Jerusalem also once the Faithful City. And even when at worst, after their crucifying the Lord, it was then called the Holy City (Math. 27.53.) having that name from what before it was. So was Rome once famous over the World for its faith (Rom. 1.8.) and the Church there was the Temple of God. And it was an honour to the Church of Rome, that it held out longer than some other Churches, and opposed the Heresies rising and prevailing in the Eastern Churches; yet as those famous Churches of Asia, fell from their Pu­rity (particular Churches may fail) so did Rome it self after, and that once faithful city became an Harlot (Rev 17.5.) as was said of Je­rusalem, and their silver was become dross, and their wine mixt with wa­ter (Isa. 1.21, 22.) once Pure, now Mixt and Corrupt with Errors, and they even Apostate from that Faith professed by their Forefathers; yet from what once was, and from what is yet there left of Good (though mixed and corrupt) that Church is called by the Apostle here The Temple of God and there Antichrist sitting.

The summe of all is, that Babylon, which is acknowledged to be Rome, and the Temple of God there, or the Church of Rome Apostate from the Faith formerly professed, is the place where Antichrist is to be expected and found, which was the 2d circumstance here considerable for Antichrist's discovery: his place: sitting in the Temple of God.

III. The Next is that of time, when he should appear.

Little difference is between the Romanists and us, as to the place; but the question is of the time, for as the Jewes speak of Christ yet to come, so do they of Rome concerning Antichrist, and that he is ex­pected about the end of the World and at Rome, when Rome shall turn Apostate, but we Assert that Antichrist is already come; and that long [Page 8] since; and that he is even now in the World acting as is said of him: which is to be now examined.

The time for Antichrist's appearing is thus in the text expressed (v. 5, 6, 7, 8.) Remember ye not, saith the Apostle, That when I was yet with you I told you these things? and now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time, for the mystery of Iniquity doth work already, onely he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way, and then shall the wicked be revealed.

Unto this is to be added that in Rev. 17. (both places joyned, making up this whole matter) For in Rev. 17. we read of a woman sitting on a beast with 7 heads (that woman being that great City Rome, and those 7 heads interpreted both 7 hills, on which that city is seated, And also 7 Governments called 7 Kings; Kingly or supreme.

Of which 7 Governments of Rome, it is said that 5 are fallen, and one is, and the other not yet come; and that when he cometh, he must con­tinue a short space, and that the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, which is added (v. 8.) even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition v. 10.11.

For opening both which Texts together,

1. It is granted, that Rome is that great City seated on seven hills and ruling over the Kings of the earth.

2. That these seven heads or governments, are Romes seven Govern­ments also.

3. Of those seven Governments of Rome, it is said that five are fal­len: so in St. Johns time were those first five fallen, that is, 1. Kings, 2. Consuls, 3. Dictators, 4. Decemvirs, 5. Tribuni militum (those vested with Consular and Supreme power) which five are so by Livy di­stinctly mentioned; What (saith he) the Romans did, first under their Kings, after under their Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, and Consular Tribunes, whether as to wars abroad, or suppressing troubles at home, I have (said he) set forth in five books. (Tit. Liv. lib. 6.) All which their first five chief Governments were fallen away, and not then in St. John's time of writing, in Being.

4. Where it is said, that one is; In that is Romes sixth form of Govern­ment, next following those five before fallen, this sixth being that of Caesars, or Emperours, which is, or then was, when this was written, the [Page 9] Roman Emperours then, and hundreds of years after, reigning in the world, and over the Kings of the earth.

5. That there was another yet to follow, being Romes seventh form of Government, not then yet come, when that was written, but expected: concerning which I shall shew,

1. What kind of Government this is, and how distinct or differing from the former.

2. That for introducing this seventh form of Government, the last foregoing, the sixth, was to be removed; and was removed accor­dingly.

3. That on the removing of the sixth, this seventh succeded.

2. What kind of Government this seventh is, and how distinct and dif­fering from the former: As to Romes former six Governments, they were all civil and military. This seventh is principally Hierarchical or Pontifi­cal. Such a kind of Government was that Priestly and Macchabaean, among the Jews after the captivity, which continued until near the time of Christ's coming; about which time it was by Herod sup­pressed.

And that Antichrist's dominion in Rome should be such, is imply­ed in his sitting (that is in-chief) in the Temple of God, the Temple of God denoting as the place, so the person also as to his condition and qua­lity, that he should be Clerical. He shall attain Ecclesiastical dignities, and in the Temple of God shall he sit, holding there the seat or chair of Emi­nency, saith Radulphus Flaviacensis de Antichristo (Levit. c. 1.) apud Magdeburg. (Cent. 10. c. 4.) Also Pope Gregory the great styles Anti­christ, Sacerdotem Ʋniversalem, the Ʋniversal Priest, for whom (saith he) an Army of Priests is prepared, 6. Ep. 28. shewing his Army and Arms spira­tual, other than before.

Of which Romes Pontificality, it is said (Rev, 17.8, 11.) that it was and is not, and yet is, and that being an eighth, it should yet be of the se­venth, that is,

1. That this Ponticality was, as is said, that which is now in Rome, is what was also there before under former Governments.

For as to matters referring to Religion, the Romans had of old, in­stituted by Numa Pompilius, their Pontifices or Under-priests; and over them a chief Priest called (Pontifex Maximus) which lower Priests were [Page 10] exempt from civil jurisdiction, and only ordered by him who was Pontifex Maximus, he himself not being accountable to any. Dio­nys. Hali­car­nass. ant. Ro. 12. God-win's Rom. An­tiq. l. 2. sect. 2. c. 15.

2. Of this Roman Pontificality which was of old under the first five Governments; It is said also, that it is not: (Rev. 17.8.) i. e. then un­der the sixth Government, that of Caesars (which was that in Being when that was declared to St. John) then was it said that this is not, or then it was not; for the Roman Emperour conceiving the Priviledges of the Pontifex Maximus overgreat, and not safe in any hand but his own, it being independent: therefore he assumed and annexed it to the Imperial Crown; so as it became one of the Imperial Titles, to be Pontifex Maximus, thus continuing untill it was by Gratian a Christian Em­peror altogether abolished; so as that office of Pontifex Maximus which was under the 6. Government was changed from what it was at first by Numa Pompilius, Swallowed up in the person of the Emperour, and after quite abolished, therefore that which was, now is not, or then was not, when that was by St. John written.

3. Yet is it added (Rev. 17.8.) that what was, and is not, and Yet is, there the present is for the future, as is usual in speaking of things to be, It is, i. e. it shall be again, or as now to us, it may be said that it is: being in the Romish Pontificate restored; not as before; be­fore it was an honorable office among the first 5. Governments; they were supream, under which this was, although independent. Nor is it now as it was after under the 6th Government, that of Caesars: it having been then annexed to the Imperial Crown; but now in the Ro­mish Pontificate, this that was, and after was not, now is, being restored and created supream, where we find even the very Title of Pontifex Maxi­mus retain'd, and the priviledges also, which the Pontifices, or under­priests, had of old, now again to them reserved; they being, as much as may be, exempted from civil power, and only accountable to him the now Pontifex maximus, and he himself to none other.

4. It followeth to see, how this becomes an eighth head in that Go­vernment, yet but of the seventh (Rev. 17.11.) That is so by the Pope's advancing his spiritual dominion and title above all Powers, the Empe­rour not excepted, and being in his spiritual capacity the seventh, he be­comes now in that exalted Power an eighth, the Priesthood the seventh, being in his exalted Power raised to an eighth head, yet of the seventh, [Page 11] being in his exalted Power raised to an eighth head, yet of the seventh notwithstanding; as to nature and kind this is the seventh, but an eighth, also in degree and power.

But to the introducing this seventh head in the Government of Rome, was the last foregoing (the sixth that of Caesars) to give place, and to be first taken out of the way, This is next to be considered, see it so in the text (v. 5, 6, 7, 8.) which now come in.

This required wary expressions, not thereby to raise persecutions to the Christians from the Emperor; that being a crime Laesae Ma­jestatis. This the Jews objected to Christ. John the 18. 12, 15. and to his Apostles. (Acts. 17.7.25.8.) Therefore we find the Apostle here very circumspect in declaring himself in it, not speaking all, but referring to what he had before told them in the ear, Remember ye not what I told you of these things when I was yet with you? (2. Thess: 2.5.) and being now to write of the same thing, how darkly is that done? not nameing Emperour or any thing that way, only when he that now letteth shall be taken out of the way, which indeed was the Emperour, by whom that former office of Pontifex Maximus was taken out of the way, and the Emperour also being likely to oppose any other over topping power in that kind; Therefore in order to Romes 7th. head or Government was the sixth to be removed, and that it was so ac­cordingly we find it.

1. In Constantine the Great, (the first Christian Emperour) his changing the seat of the Empire, which was Rome Anciently, and re­moving to Constantinople; thereby leaving the City of Rome, as it were vacant.

2. When by succeding Emperours the Roman Empire was divi­ded, and the Roman Eagle before under one head, having after 2 heads: and spred into Eastern and Western Empires, and that al­so the seat of the Western Empire was other where than at Rome, there­by was that place left to the Bishops of Rome in a yet farther degree than before.

3. But yet more, when ann. 475. the Western Empire had quite ex­pired, and indeed in Augustulus (as it began in Augustus) the Em­pire having bin invaded by the Goths and other Barbarous Na­tions, by whom also Rome it self was taken, and possessed about 50 [Page 12] years, the Pope himself being also expelled and put to seek, for a time, another habitation, Hereby was the Western Empire determined, and so continued 325 years.

This was the 2. head proposed, the first removeing him that did let, for makeing way for him that was to succeed.

III. It follows to shew the others succeeding accordingly, and that gradually comeing on according to the steps of the former's receding.

1. For on Constantines leaving Rome, and makeing Constantinople the seat of his Empire thereby (Sede vacante) the. Bishop of Rome en­tered on the possession of the City of Rome; (the Romanists add): by donation from Constantine, with addition of other large Territories, held in Fee, and in Demeasn for ever. This I pass; it not being my work at present to examine it. In this state things stood about 300 years, Romes Goverment being in that time by its Bishops, yet subjected to the Emperor, by which they were kept within their bounds, for Rome being but one of the 5 Patriarchs, although chief among them, was not yet above them.

2. So continued it untill the Empire determined in Augustulus, an. 475. after which An. 607. Boniface. 3. obtained from Phocas Empe­ror of the East, that not the Patriarch of Constantinople (who contended for being Chief) but the Bishop of Rome should be universal Bishop. This Gregory. 1. Bishop of Rome had before condemned in John Patriarch of Constantinople, and by his but attempting it, concluded him, or any so doing, to be Antichrist or his forerunner, and that Antichrist himself was not farr off. And now was the Title of Pope appropriated to the Bi­shop of Rome, which was before communicated to other Patriarchs, and Bishops also indifferently.

And hitherto reached Romes Episcopal and Patriarchal Government, of which it was said that it should continue a short space, Rev. 7.10. which was about 300 years, that being but short compared with what followed from Boniface 3. when the Title began to swell to its greatness, they being thenceforth Vniversal Bishops, and Popes above all.

3. But after Boniface 3. Pope Leo. 3. an, 800. made a farther Essay [Page 13] of his power, in deposing the Lawful King of France, and advancing Pipin his Subject to be King, and after created Charlemaine Emperor; both as Champions for the Church, to Expell the Barbarians. who had in­vaded Italy, out of whose hands Rome was recovered, and restored to the Pope, with addition of other large Territories.

4. But all this while, the Popes power, was in some things restrain­ed by those Emperours of their own making, who reserved to them­selves the choosing and placeing of Bishops, and the approbation even of the very Popes also.

In this, Gregory 7th. contended with Henry the 4th. Emperour, whom he Excommunicated and Deposed, stirring up against him his subject Rodulphus, naming him Emperour, and giving the Crown, with PETRA DEDIT PETRO, PETRUS DIADEMA RODULPHO.

Of the troubles, bloud, and destruction to Germany in that, I speak not, onely that to this Gregory 7. is by Popish writers that glory given, that he was Imperii Pontificii fundator; others his Predecessors attempted the reaching at the temporal power, but was not till now attained.

And after, the Emperour Henry 5th. coming to Rome to be Crow­ned by Pope Paschalis 2d. the Pope would not consent to his Coro­nation, he first did give over all Right of Election of Popes, and of Investitures of Bishops by Staffe and Ring; In which although that Pope failed then of his end, yet was that after attained.

5. And although, In all this the Pope had gained the point of tem­poral sovereignty, and the gaining also out of temporal hands into the Popes power, the Investitures of Bishops, by which he was in that kind absolute, yet could not that satisfie, while the Pope was over-topped by a General Council, By which he had been oft threatned, awed and some­times deposed.

The removing this therefore, was to be next attempted, and was at length also by Pope Leo 1Oth. compassed, so far as the Popes Coun­cil at Lateran could do towards it; of which Bellarmine thus Trium­phantly; The last Lateran Council under Leo 10. expresly and professedly teacheth that the Pope is above all Councils, and reproveth a contrary de­cree in the Council of Basil, (citeing the words of the Council, to which he adds) To this nothing can be answered, unless it be that this was no [Page 14] General Council, or that it was not received by the Church, or that this was not their decree de fide. Belarm. de concil. l. 2 c. 17.

6. But one thing yet remained (shewing, as the Popes power, so his being in that, very Antichrist) which is the confirming those Romish erroneus positions which had been long creeeping into the Church, as Tares mixed with the Wheat: and had long passed loose, and un­determined, being onely disputable, controverted, and oft oppo­sed.

These were after, in the Councils of Constance, Lateran, and of Trent, concluded and decreed for Doctrines, and Articles of Faith; and an Additional Creed of 12 Articles of them composed, which were by Pius 4th. his Bull imposed to be subscribed or sworn unto.

In all see,

1. The Removal of Romes 6th. Head or Government, that of Empe­rors.

2. See also the introduceing and growing up of the 7th. from its infan­cy to its full growth; The Church of Rome being before, but as others, a Branch onely of the Catholick Church, now it self passing for The Catho­lique Church, and she the root out of which all other Churches derive and spring, others on this depending, and by that influenced: so doth that Church now boast of her self, of which the Apostle St. Paul in his Epistle to that Church had forwarned them, (Rom. 11.18, 19, 20.) Boast not against the Branches, but if thou boast thou bearest not the root, but the root thee; Thou wilt say, the branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in; well, because of Vnbelief they were broken off, and thou stand­est by Faith, be not high-minded but fear, For if God spared not the natu­ral branches, take heed that he also spare not thee.

In which is the Apostles prophecy concerning that Church.

But before this be shut up, one doubt is to be removed, of the Empire being not yet taken out of the way, which we now see in Be­ing.

Res. 1. Of that Empire which was in the Apostles dayes, is that by the Apostle intended, that it should be first taken out of the way, the standing of that being an hinderance to the Succeeding Government. But that Empire was long since extinguished.

[Page 15]2. The present Empire is of another kind, being of the Popes own erection, for restoring, promoting and preserving his greatness; His hand being in that thoughout.

So Bellarmine writing of the Translation of the Roman Empire in 3 bookes, he makes the summe of his first book, The Roman Empire be­ing by authority of the Pope, translated from the Graecians to the French. And the summe of his 2d. book, The Roman Empire passing from the family of Charles the Great, and the French, unto the family of Otho, and the Saxons, by Authority of the Bishop of Rome. The Title also of his 3d. book is, The 7 Electors of the Empire to have been instituted by Pope Gregory 5th. See the Popes hand in all; he also even now approv­ing and Crowning the Emperour elected.

And therein we find that fulfilled which was prophesied of this Se­cond Beast (the Papacy) Its setting up an Image of the former beast which had a wound by a Sword, that it should live, speak and be worshipped (Rev. 13. 12, 14, 15.) For that first beast (the Emperour) having in Augustu­lus, the last Emperour of that race, received that i's deadly wound; It, was by the 2d. beast that succeeded (the Pope) again restored, and an I­mage of the former, made by him an Empire, set up; to which he gave life, so as to speak, and be worshipped, that is, honoured and followed.

But 3dly. observe, that this is but an Image: so is the now Roman Em­peror, compared with what was.

The now Roman Emperor is but an Image of the Ancient Empire, (saith Salmeron) and the Majestie of the People of Rome, by which the World was of Old Governed, is now taken away from the Earth, and the Emperour is now but an empty Title, and is but a shadow onely; So E­berhardus in Aventinus A­vent. Annal l. 7. The Emperour of Rome is now but a bare Title without Substance. Ibid l. 5. Neither indeed is that his Title, he is not now Styled Emperour of Rome, but What is, Is onely of Germany; Rome being left for the Pope.

I shall, before I conclude this, add a little touching the greatness of this 7th. Head, or Government of Rome, the Papacy, And that it falls not short of the Greatness of the former Emperours of Rome, according to the Estimate made of both by the Romanists.

For whereas Justus Lipsius his book of the greatness of the Roman Empire, meaning that of old, is styled Admiranda: Thomas Stapleton, [Page 16] (professor at Lovaine) Tho. Sta­ple­ton: t. 2. intitles his book of the Papal greatness, Vere Admiranda; shewing that for extent, strength and power over Princes, the greatness of the Papal Empire, is far surpassing; for no marvail (saith he) if the Roman Emperor armed with 30 or 40 Legions, had many Kings at Command; but that the Pope a person unarmed should give Laws to the World, and even to Kings, advancing and deposing them at plea­sure, this is indeed marvailous. He instanceth in Leo 3d. his giving the Empire to Charles the Great.

Leo 1. called the Great, Bishop of Rome, speaks thus of the greatness of Rome then, compared with what was before under the Caesars, and its former Governments.

Thou art (saith he of Rome) a Royal and Priestly City; By the seat of St. Peter and Paul in thee, thou art become the head of the world; thy Rule is more by Religion than by Earthly Dominion. For although thou didst formerly Extend thine Empire by many Victories by Sea, and Land, yet is that less which was by warlike prowess subdued, than what is by Chri­stian peace subjected to thee. (Leo. Serm. 1. in natali Apostolorum Petri & Pauli:)

And Prosper (1 de ingratis)
Sedes Roma Petri, quae pastoralis honoris,
Facta caput mundo, quicquid non possidet armis,
Religione tenet—

In all:

1. We see the Papacy, Romes Pontifical head raised above it self, and from a 7th. raised even to an 8th. head.

2. See the 7th. head immediately succeeding the next preceeding (the Emperor) to be the Pope.

3. That this 7th. head so next succeeding, to be that Man of Sin, that Wicked (So saith the Text, v. 8.) that he who letteth or hindereth being taken out of the way, then shall that wicked be revealed (2 Thess. 2.7, 8.).

On which thus St.Chrysostom: when the Empire of Rome is dissolved or removed, Antichrist shall invade that vacant place, and snatch at the Empire both of God and Man (Chrysostom in 2. Thess. 2. Hom. 4.)

[Page 17]4. If the Emperor be removed, and that long since, and that man of sin was next following; Therefore must Antichrist be already come, and that long since, and is now in the World.

5. Therefore who would not conclude the Pope next succeeding the Em­peror to be that man of sin, and Antichrist?

Which will appear yet further in the next circumstance.

IV.

Antichrists actings in the world when appearing, by which he might be known among and above others: of that we read here (in v. 4.9.) He opposing and exalting himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. So that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God, shewing him­self that he is God, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signes, and lying wonders.

These with others mentioned are signs given for Antichrists dis­covery; when in the world, which are to be considered particularly.

1. Antichrist sitting in the Temple of God.

2. Exalting himself above all called God.

3. Shewing himself that he is God.

4. Concerning after the working of Satan.

5. Shewing himself to be Antichrist, an opposer.

6. And in all to be that man of sin, that wicked, that son of perdition. Some may think the Pope not concerned in these; but what if he be? what if these taken together are all to be found in him; and in him alone, and in none other? then surely will appear, This man of sin, this Antichrist who he is.

I. As to Antichrist sitting in the Temple of God: of that I have spo­ken; his sitting there speaks him as chief there, which being by the Pope challenged, and asserted by his, as his propriety, of that needs no more to be spoken, the Popes so acting; and he alone, and no o­ther in the world beside him.

II. As to his exalting himself above all called God.

And who are they that are called Gods? This is in Scripture said of Princes and Magistrates, I have said that ye are Gods, but ye shall dye like men (Psal. 82.6, 7.) they are but called Gods, not so indeed, for they dy like men, and that I have said ye are Gods, shewes their Title [Page 16] [...] [Page 17] [...] [Page 18] to that their high name of Gods, that it is, from God, who saith it so of them, that is, from his word; he calleth them Gods to whom the word of God came (John 10. 34, 35, 36.) that is, by God commissioned and ordained (Romans 13.12.) standing in his place, and so, to be subjected to, according to their degrees in Government, whe­ther to the King as supream, or unto Governours under him (1 Pet. 2.13, 14) and from this subjection are none exempted; let every soul be subject &c. The Apostles were not exempted, nor is the Pope: This God Commands; yet see in this, The Pope exalting himself above all called Gods, even Em­perors as vassals to him, causing them to hold his Stirrup, and Kiss his feet; Celestine 3. crowned the Emperor, Hen: 3. with his toe; Popes also setting their feet on the necks of Emperors, as did Pope Adrian 4. and Alexander. 3. Also disposiing crowns, and deposing, and advancing at pleasure; which by Aventinus is said of the Popes from Gregory 7th. to his time A­vent. annal. Boy­or l. 5. p. 447. Hildebrand who is Gregory 7th, first founded the Papal Em­pire, which his successors for 450 years carryed on, notwithstanding the oppositions of the world, and Emperors resisting, so as high and low were brought under and subjected to their yoke; According to their will they cast down from heaven to hell, and exalt from hell to Heaven again.

And what in this they practise they avow as due and proper to them, and to them alone; of which therefore I need say no more. In the Pope therefore, and in him alone, and in none other is this sign of Antichrist found, that he exalteth himself above all called Gods.

III. It followeth, His sitting in the Temple of God, shewing himself that he is God: Tu es alter Deus in terra, Thou art another God upon earth. was the speech of Christophorus Marcellus in the very Council of Lateran to Pope Julius 2. the Pope himself being present, (Con­cil. Lateran. Sess. 4.)

And in the Gloss on the Canon Law he is called our Lord God the Pope Ex­tra. Joh. 22. de­verb. signif. cap. cum [...]ter. And whereas the word God, (so said of the Pope) was by some thought too much, and in some Editions omitted, we find the censure of the Gloss by Pope Pius 5; and the Gloss of the Canon Law revised by Cardinals and learned men deputed for it by Pope Gregory 13. in both, the word God before omitted, to have been restored and put in again, and that by the Popes allowance: now it being what was, our Lord God the Pope.

[Page 19]Nor can it be otherwise intended, but that the Pope should be so esteemed, while they stick not to ascribe to him Attributes proper to God, as Omnipotence and Infiniteness. The Pope (say they) may do what­soever God doth; nor can it be known what the Pope can do, for the power of the Pope is infinite, and what is infinite is not known; Anto­nin. p. 3. t. cap. 22.5. §. 6. and what the Pope doth is reputed as done of God, for what the Pope doth, he doth as God, not as man. De­cius in cap. Can. de con­stit. n 16. Which the Popes Omnipotence is by them averred by Scripture; all Power in Heaven and Earth is given me; which was said by Christ of himself. (Mat. 28.8.) and that is said of the Pope also; that Power of Christ being challenged by the Pope his Vicar; nor that as to Heaven, and earth only, but (beside their Purgatory) even to Hell also; so as his power seems to extend so far as to deliver from Hell (whence is no redemption) and to forbid and command, when they please, and whom they think fit to be kept from thence, Bulla Cle. 6. Nolumus— We declare it our pleasure, that the Punishment of Hell be not inflicted on such as are signed by the cross (those imployed by the Pope on his busi­ness.)

And as Omnipotence and Infiniteness, Gods attributes, are attributed to the Pope; so is Adoration also, which God challengeth as proper to him self onely. I am the Lord, that is my Name, and my Glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven Images: God speaking of his Worship (Is. 42.8.) He only is to be served, or worshipped (Math. 4.10.) but to the Pope are Religious adorations given in a most solemn man­ner, while the new elected Pope is placed on an Altar: and there seated in his Chair, with his Crown, and in his Pontificalibus, adored by all present Cardinals, Ambassadours of Princes, and all of all degrees de­scending from their places, and with prostrations worshipping him Lib. cerem 1. §. 1. fol. 16. And is not this a sitting in the Temple of God, as God, shewing himself that he is God?

IV Further, a mark and sign of that wicked one is, that his coming and Acting, is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders; and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that Perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved; for this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a Lye. 2. Thess. 2.9, 10, 11.

This (say some) shews Antichrist to be a Conjurer and Compactor [Page 20] with the devil, and such (saith they) was Simon Magus, and he Anti­christ. But such we knew were Popes also, as (to mention no more) Sylvester. 2. Benedictor 9th. Gregory. 7. which I pass at present.

Neither insist I on those wonders by these acted, whether seeming real by Satans working with them or for them; or that they be lying wonders, whether feigned, or imposed as true; or lying, serving for confirming lyes and untrue doctrines of men; nor speak I of those ridiculous fables, with which their Legends of Saints are stuffed, such as may be wondred how learned and prudent men should give credit to them (if they do.) And if they do; it must be surely from Gods giving them over, Judicially to believe a lye; they not receiving the love of the truth (so is the Text:) The seat of the beast on which the An­gel poured out his vial, and his Kingdom is full of darkness (Rev. 16.10.)

But I look on this here rather as a sign, and mark of Antichrist by which he should act, and be known in the World, his Antichristian Church boasting of wonders, making miracles a sign of the true Church, and upbraiding us with our want (they say) of Miracles.

To which we say. 1, That for the first introducing of truth, miracles might be necessary, but that truth being once received, such miracles were after unnecessary; such were in the first planting of the Gospel, done by Christ and his Apostles, which we challenge as ours. But that truth then delivered to the saints being received and believed, what now need we more, or any renewed miracles? For, miracles and wonders, as tongues, &c. are for unbelievers, not for them that believe, (1. Cor. 14.22. and it shews a novelty in those Popish Doctrines, that need fresh confirma­tions, and shewes them unbelievers that seek such. But in this is a pro­per mark of that Antichristian Church, that and no other sort of professors or People in the world, but Rome only and the Pope, adhereing so to miracles.

V. But to proceed, Another mark of this man of Sin, by which he is known, is, that he opposeth himself; that is, to Christ; therefore cal­led Antichrist.

Obj. But how, can that be said of the Pope; he being for Christ, and his Vicar: for him, and not against him?

Resp: But the word Antichrist may signifie both pro and con, for and against; and both here applicable.

[Page 21]1. For Christ; [...] sometimes signifies for, or in the place and room of another; so Archelaus reigned [...] in the room of his father Herod (Mat. 2.22.) So pretends the Pope to be for Christ, in his place and stead, his Vicar on earth.

This is agreable to what we read of Antichrist, what kind of adver­sary he is: not such as is the Turk, an open and declared enemie to Christ and Christians; but such an one as sits in the Temple of God; profess­ing to be for Christ, yet to him an underhand enemy; so saith Anselm: they seem or pretend themselves servants of Christ, and of his Family, when in truth they are the Ministers of Antichrist (in 2 Thess. 2.2. they there­fore who contend earnestly for the Turks being Antichrist, must be greatly mistaken.

2. And yet while this Antichrist pretends himself Thus for Christ, and for being his Vicar, see him even then opposing, he that opposeth, is his description 2 Thess. 2.4. under the name of Christ acting for Anti­christ, as was said of Gregory, 7. who was pointed at as Antichrist. As hath been shewed out of Aventinus.

And to shew the Pope to be this Antichrist opposing Christ and con­trary to him, see him contradicting and countermanding Christ's Will and Commands: I instance only at present in those Christ's two ordinances, his Word and Sacraments.

1. His word. We are by Christ our Lord commanded to search the Scrip­tures, for in them we have eternal Life (John 5.39.) unto which ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light shining in a dark place; saith S. Peter. (2. Pet. 1.19) and we find Timothy commended by St. Paul, that from a child he had known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make wise to salvation, they being profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for cor­rection, for instruction, in righteousness, that the Man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2. Tim. 3.15, 16, 17.)

Hear now the Pope in this; search the Scripture (saith Christ) do not search them, saith the Pope; It is well done that you do it, saith St. Pet. It is not well done saith the Pope. They are profitable, saith St. Paul, they are dangerous saith the Pope. They are a light shining in a dark place, saith St. Pet. they are dark saith the Pope. St. Paul commends Timothy for being from a child acquainted with the Scriptures, they are not for Children, saith the Pope, And much more of that kind; see him in [Page 22] this Antichrist opposing Christ his Word and Commands, contradicting and countermanding, And whom in this we should obey, God or man, Judge ye.Acts 4.19.

2. As to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, our Lord gave the bread broken, a sign of his body broken, and after that the cup; the wine poured out being his bloud in his death shed for us, commanding so to do till his coming again: and as to the Cup particularly (foreseeing what would be after by opposers to the contrary) our Lord added in that ministration, Drink ye all of this (Math. 26.27.) it being said, that accordingly, they did all drink of it, (Mark 14.23.) which, all to drink; and all drinking, is in the wine expressed; and implyed onely in the bread. Which Institution and command of Christ our Lord in that, being his will and testament left to his Church, is to be as his last will, observed to the last, and ought not to be changed in the least, no, although it had been but mans Testament onely (Gal. 3.5.) yet see Christ in that by Antichrist opposed, Take the Bread, and also the Cup (saith Christ) not so saith the Pope, the Cup may be spared; for Christs bloud is in his Body by concomitancy; and taking his Body, ye have by con­sequence his Bloud: But here it is understood that his Body is given broken, and his Bloud shed, both setting forth the Lords death, and not otherwise; which countermand to Christs command in that, is with a non obstante; licet —. Although that Christ and the primitive Church did administer the Sacrament in both Kinds; notwithstanding, is this custom of but one Kind to be held for a law unreproveable. (so is it ordered in the Council of Constance. Sess. 13.) and the Council of Trent after; This Synod being taught by the Holy Ghost; and the custom and Judg­ment of his Church doth declare and teach that the Laiety and Clergie not celebrating, are not obliged to take the Sacrament of the Eucharist under both Kinds, notwithstanding that Christ did institute this Sacrament under both Kinds, and so gave it to his Apostles (Concil. Trident. sess. 21. c. 1.)

And is not the Pope in this an Antichrist? to Christ an opposer? he that opposeth? Text v. 4.

VI. Rightly therefore is this that man of Sin, that wicked here in­tended, which is his next mark here: and how agreeing to the Pope, notwithstanding his Holiness, remains now to be shewed.

[Page 23]1. And that the Pope is that Man of Sin, and wicked exceedingly, even above others, appeareth in his mouth of Blasphemy; though looking like a Lamb, or like Christ the Lamb, yet speaking as a Dragon, Rev. 13.11. or as that Dragon the Devil; what else is that his shewing him­self as God, exalting himself above all called God, &c. before mentioned? what other is his Antichristian Commanding and opposing contrary to Christs will and Commands?

2. And as speaking like a Dragon, so acting also like him in all cruelty, drunk with the bloud of Saints and Martyrs of Jesus; particularly of the Waldenses, Albigenses, and others, long before Luthers opposing Popish Errours, and with their lives witnessing for the truth against Popery. There are extant accounts of above one hundred thousand of them (that number is by some doubled) suffering by the Tyranny and cruelty of Pope Innocent. 3.

Vergerius also, well acquainted with the method and actings of the Inquisition, speaks of one hundred and fifty thousand in less than 30 years so suffering.

And from the first rising of the Jesuites, to the year 1580, about 30 years, are about fourscore and ten thousand Protestants said to have been destroyed.

In France alone, in the Massacre of Paris and elsewhere, an. 1532. The French Kings Letters to the Pope, glorieth of 70 thousand (he said) Hereticks slain in few days; but to the lasting shame of Popish cruelty and persidy to Generations.

And can the bloudy butcheries of poor Protestants by the cruel Irish in Ireland be in this forgotten, when about one hundred thousand perish­ed anno 1641? yet to that Impudence is that now risen, as to disavow any such Rebellion of the Irish, or such their murders of the innocent Protestants in Ireland; but daring to averr on the contrary, that they them­selves were the sufferers, and that by the English and Protestants: Of which, if there shall be opportunity offered by an answer to this sub­ject, which is expected, this shall be then verified to the World.

And if the Invasion, anno. 1588. or the horrid Gunpowder-Treason, Nov. 5. 1605. had taken effect, more of their cruelty would have ap­peared.

[Page 24]Such is that Antichristian cruelty; and that yet worse, in its being grounded on their very Doctrine, Religion, and Faith; they being taught, that they ought so to do: thereby thinking that they do God service (John 16.2.) and that to themselves also, in so acting Meritori­ously.

Which Bloud-thirsty cruelty against the Worshippers of Christ, sticks as a distinguishing mark of this Romish and Babylonian Antichrist, in being drunk with the bloud of the Saints, and Martyrs of Jesus. Which is pe­culiar to those alone, not to be found in any other party of the Chri­stian World beside. In that is this a man of sin above others, and wicked exceedingly.

3. Add that the being a man of sin, is as it were fixed to the very Pa­pacy it self, so as even its very Office, incapacitates to Goodness. They cannot do good if they would, in reforming what they are convinced is evil.

Adrian 6. Convinced of the Corruptions objected by the Germans to the Court of Rome, and resolving to reform, at least in part, and in some; and declaring himself for it, was by Franciscus Soderinus, Cardinal of Preneste, called Cardinal of Volaterra, diverted from at­tempting any thing in that kind, but directed rather to the ways of his Predecessors, with Fire and Sword to prosecute those, who object­ed those Errours to the Court. His Oration to the Pope to that pur­pose is extant.

On which, Pope Adrian discoursing after, privately, with William Excourt, whom he after created Cardinal; and Theodorick Hesius, his familiar and trusty Friend, said, That the condition of Popes was misera­ble, seeing it was plain that they could not do good, though they desired and endeavoured to do it. Pia­tro. Suav. Polon Histo. Tr. p. 24.

Which agrees with what Onuphrius writes of Pope Marcellus 2. who on something a like debate with his Cardinals, and they dissenting from what the Pope proposed for good, he striking the Table with his hand, said, I see not how those can be saved, who are in this high place in which I am.

Platina also writes of Pope Celestinus 5. that he deposed himself, and gave up the Papacy, Vt salvus esse possit, that he might be saved; which was said to have been cunningly suggested to him, as by a voice from [Page 25] Heaven by the Artifice of Benedictus Cajetanus, who thereby made way for succeeding him as Pope, by the name of Bonifacius 8. Plat. in Vit. Celest. 5. & Bonifac. 8. Also Pius V. Cùm essem Reli­giosus spera­bam benè de sa­lute animae meae; Car­dina­lis factus exti­mui; nunc Ponti­fex crea­tus pe­nè de­spero. Con­cil. e Le­gist. com. in Num. 11.11

4. And lastly, As to Holiness, which is the Popes Title, let no man think of finding Holiness among them; For if they prove but indifferent good, or not so evil as other mortals use to be, they are accounted most ho­ly, saith Papirius Massonus (De Episc. Urbis l. 6. in Julio 3.)

To which add what Sir Edwin Sands observes of a Proverb in Italy, (and proverbs founded on observation, have a strange tendency to truth) That of the Italians, the Romans are the worst Christians; of the Romans the worst are made Priests, of the Priests the worst chosen Cardinals, and of Cardinals the worst commonly elected Popes. (Spec. Europae.

In which we see him, as Antichrist, so a man of sin also.

The summe of all is,

I. That what that great City Babylon of the Chaldeans was, as to oppression and cruelty, to Gods people of old (Jer. 51.34, 35.) That should be to the Christian Church, another great City called also in a Mystery Babylon the mother of the Abominations of the Earth, drunk with the Bloud of the Saints and Martyrs of Jesus. (Rev. 17.5, 6.)

II. That this great City Babylon, described a woman sitting on 7 moun­tains, and reigning over the Kings of the Earth (Rev. 17.9, 18.) is ac­knowledged to be Rome. They therefore who send us to Jerusalem, or Constantinople for the place, put us out of the way in that enquiry.

III. That in Rome, should sit one, by whom (after the Faith there settled) the inhabitants of the earth should be seduced, and drawn into dam­nable Heresies: and that he the authour of those miseries and mischief [...] to the Church, should be a man of sin commonly called Antichrist. This the Romanists themselves acknowledge.

IV. That in so doing, this Antichrist should sit in the Temple of God, as being of the Church, and over the Church in chief, pretending for Christ, he the while acting against Christ. A seeming friend, but secret enemy; a secret, not an open, declared and professed enemy to Christ and his followers. Therefore cannot this be the Turk, or any such.

V. That this Antichrist, sitting in the Temple of God, should be in the capacity of a seventh head of the Government of Rome, next succeeding [Page 26] the sixth head or Government there, (that of Caesars) This brings it home to the Papacy, That and none other being the 7th. and that also long since on the Emperours removal setled. Vain therefore are alle­gations for any others being this Antichrist, not being of Rome, nor there so qualified.

VI. That the Pope sitteth in the Temple of God, as God, shewing himself there as God, and exalted above all that is called God, and wor­shipped.

VII. Here is to be added what is (in Rev. 17.3, 4.) said of that wo­man, that great City, and Babylon: That she did sit on a scarlet colour­ed Beast: and that she (the woman) was arrayed in purple and scarlet co­lour, and decked with Gold. In which she is described as to her very Habit; the proper attire both of Popes and Cardinals.

VIII. Nor is to be omitted; what is (Rev. 17.5.) said in a way of further description of that woman; that upon her forehead was a name written, Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots, and Abo­minations of the Earth. Concerning which is observed, that as the High Priest under the Law, had in the Front his Miter engraven, HOLI­NESS TO THE LORD (Exod. 29.36, 37.) So the summus Ponti­fex, the Pope, had also in his Tiara, that name, Mystery. Which having been observed and objected by King James of blessed memory, in that his Excellent Work on the Revelation, Lessius, his Antagonist, denies it not, but labours to put it off slidingly: nor could it be de­nied, there being many Eye-witnesses to averre it Down. de Antichr. l. 1. c. 7. which his name of mystery, well agrees with that mystery of ini­quity, by which his evil and secret workings are described, (2 Thess. 2.7.) one (not unlikely) referring to the other. But from God it is (sure­ly) providentially, that that word mystery should so be seen in the whores forehead, shewing who she is; notwithstanding that they who contrived it, might have had other ends in it; as that the Popes Triple Crown, pointed to that mystery of his Triple power and dominion in Heaven, and in Earth, and in Purgatory.

So as in the Papacy concur all these Scripture-marks of Antichrist, And although some may be applicable otherwise, yet are the princi­pal proper to the Pope alone; and taken altogether, not meeting in any other but in the Pope only. Therefore on the whole, who would [Page 27] not conclude the Popes being Antichrist; the man of sin; and son of Perdition.

II. By which last, His being said to be a Son of perdition, I am brought from Antichrists Rise, to the last consideration here con­cerning him, Antichrists down fall, which follows on the other ne­cessarily; for if he be a man of sin, he must be a son of perdition.

Of this his fall it is here said,that the Lord shall consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his come­ing (v. 8.) that they all might be damned who believe not the truth. (v. 12.) where is distruction

  • 1. To him.
  • 2. and to his

1. To himself
  • 1. His being consumed
  • 2. Destroyed

1. That he consumed by the breath of the Lords mouth; The breath of the Lords mouth is the preaching of the Gospel which is the word of God so Generally interpreted; And to be consumed implyes a lingring wear­ing away, and by degrees wasting, and decaying; not a violent and suddain destruction, such as was Simon-Magus his down-fall, said to have been on St. Peters breath or prayers against him.

Of this Consumption of the Papal power and greatness by the preaching of the word and Gospel in the world, we have apparent evi­dence. I shall give it as by Bellarmine expressed, he by that waining in the Papacy, arguing, against the Popes being Antichrist, Antichrists great­ness and prevailings in the World, being much spoken of, whereas his fall and declining state, is also described as si his greatness. Bellar­mines words are these:

Since that time when ye (Protestants) say the Pope began to be Anti­christ, the Papal Empire was so far from increasing, that thenceforth it every day more and more declined, And (as you would have it) Antichrist reigning, the Roman See hath by little and little decayed, it having lost al­most all Africa, a great part of Asia: all Greece and even in our very days a great part of Germany, Sweden, Gothland, Norwey, and all Denmark, A good part of England, France, Helvetia, Poland, Bohemia, and part of Hungary are fallen away. (Bellarm: de Rom: Pontif. l. 3. c. 21.) This way by Bellarmine written an. 1577, as appears in the Preface to [Page 28] that work, so as that decay in the Papal Empire was then within the space of 60 years, accounting from the year 1517, the time of Luthers Preaching (of which he speaks) declaring the Pope to be Anti­christ: What then may be the consumption and decay there at this time, being 150 years since?

2. But that Consumption of this son of Perdition, shall end also in de­struction, utter and irrecoverable: whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.

See this Rev. 17, where the ten horns of that scarlet coloured beast, on which that woman Rome sitteth, are expounded, ten Kings which had not then received their Kingdom, but were to receive power as Kings one hour with the Beast (v. 12.) These were states of the Western Em­pire, which on the decay of the Empire did setup for themselves, all with one mind giving their power and strength unto the beast, and making war with the Lamb, who shall overcome them (v. 14) But those ten horns shall hate the whore, and make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with Fire (v. 16.) For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his Will, and to agree and give their Kingdom unto the Beast, till the word of God should be fulfilled (v. 17.)

Which fall of Antichrist in several degrees is declared by several Angels in that imployed.

1. An Angel preaching the everlasting Gospel (Rev. 14.6.) the be­ginning of Antichrists fall, and gradual consumption.

2. Another Angel declaring the downfall of that Antichristian state. (Rev. 14.8.)

3. An Angel forbidding the worshipping the beast or his image, and receiving his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, denouncing judgments on such (Rev. 14.9, 10, 11.)

4. An Angel calling out of Babylon, and to separate from her, not to partake of her sins and plagues, (Rev. 18.4, 6.)

5. And another Angel giving a sign of irrecoverable destruction, by casting as it were a milstone into the Sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great City Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all, (Rev. 18.21.)

Thus of Babylon, Rome, and Antichrist's fall, as to it self considered.

II. See that also as to their Adherents, in which our charitable [Page 29] thoughts of them have been by wrong measures mistaken to some dis­advantage: that which we say in that, is:

1. That there was a time when Antichristianism was a mystery, not understood, Antichrist not being yet so declared as after.

2. And that after Antichrist was pointed at in the Church of Rome, yet while erroneous doctrines there were but disputable, not imposed, as after in the Council of Trent, to be de fide, with an Ana­thema to such as thought of them otherwise, and to such as did not understand the reach and depth of those evils; and where the light of the Gospel is shut out, as in some places, and the knowledge of that denied, and persecuted. For these, is our charity grounded, to say well of them, as of those of Thyatira, who had not known the depths of Sa­tan, as they speak (Rev 2.24.) and those of Pergamus, dwelling even where Satan's seat is; yet (saith our Lord) thou hast held fast my name, and hast not denied my Faith, even in those dayes wherein Antipas my faithful Martyr was slain among them where Satan dwelleth (v. 12.) To be among Hereticks, and not to believe Hereticks, or not being led by them, is St. Augustine's distinction in that case; such ignorance may excuse.

But as to ignorance affected, having Light, and means of know­ledge, and when called on to come out of Babylon, its ruine being de­clared, and communion there declared perillous; To such we say, that their continuing so in that state, is hazardous and full of danger: Nor can such rely on ignorance, it not in that case excusing. For in this is condemnation, where light is come; and men love darkness rather than light (John 3.19.) and where the leaders of the People cause to err, they that are led of them are destroyed (Is. 9.16.) and the blind by them so led; both fall into the Ditch. (Math. 15.14.)

4. But as to those who are knowing and who defend and plead for Baal, seducing, and being seduced, and so continuing, the state of such is declared damnable; that they all may be damned, saith the Text who believe not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness (v. 12.) and to such belongs that evil by the Angel declared, if any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his Mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the Wine of the wrath of God, which is pou­red out without mixture into the Cup of his indignation, and he shall be [Page 30] tormented &c. Rev. 14.9, 11. let such consider their State seriously and seasonably.

And now to conclude with a word to our selves, that as we are to bless God for calling us out of that Sate of evil, so to be confirmed in the truth, and not to fall back, whatever the Temptation be, good, or evil, saving life, or loosing it; and that we desire the Lords grace in that for help and support.

All which I shall shut up in the words of the Apostle, next after my Text (v. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.) We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren, beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and be­liefe of the truth whereunto he hath called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ: Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or by our Epistle: Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God even our Father, who hath loved us, and given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through Grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work: Amen.

FINIS.

These Books are lately Printed for, and published by Nathaniel Ponder at the Peacock in the Poultry.

[...], Or the Causes, Wayes and means of understanding the mind of God; as revealed in his Word, with assurance therein. And a declaration of the perspicuity of the Scriptures, with the External means of the Interpretation thereof: by Dr.John Owen D. D.

The Church of Rome no safe Guide, or Reasons to prove that no Rational man who takes due Care of his own Eternal Salvation, can give himself up unto the Conduct of the Church in matters of Religion.

[...]; Or a Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of the person of Christ, God and Man; With the Infinite Wisdom, Love and Power of God in his Contrivance and Constituti­on on thereof; as also of the Grounds and Reasons of his Incarnation, the Nature of his Ministry in heaven, the present state of the Church above thereon and the Use of his person in Religion: with an account and vindication of the Honour, Worship, Faith, Love and Obedi­ence due unto him, in and from the Church.

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