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Justin Martyr, who florished before the middle of the second century, (6) considers the man of fin, or as he elsewhere calleth him the man of blasphemy, as altogether the same with the little hurn in Daniel; and affirms that he, who shall speak blafphemous words against the most High, is now at the doors. Irenæus, who lived in the fame century, hathi written (7) a whole chapter of the fraud, and pride, and tyrannical reign of Antichrist, as they are defcribed by Daniel and St. Paul in his second Epistle to the Thessalonians. Tertullian, who became famous at the latter end of the same century, expounding those words only he who now letteth will lett, until he be taken out of the way, (8) fays • Who can this be but the · Ronian Itate, the division of which into ten kingdoms 1. will bring on Antichrist, and then the wicked one shall
be revealed.' And in his Apology he (9) afligns it as a particular reason why the Christians prayed for the Roman empire, because they knew that the greatest calamity hanging over the world was retarded by the continuance of it.
Origen the most learned father and ableft writer of the third century, (1) recites this passage at large as spoken of him who is called Antichrist. To the fame purpose he likewise alleges the words of Daniel as truly divine and prophetic. Daniel and St. Paul, according to him, both prophesied of the fame person.
Lactantius, wlio florished in the beginning of the fourth century, describes Antichrist in the fame manner, and almost in the same terms as St. Paul; and (2) con
fo Laclmophelier Dan
(6) Dial. cum Tryph. p. 250. velabitur iniquus. De Resurrect. Car. Edit. Paris. p. 201. Edit. Thirlbii. nis. Cap. 24. p. 340. Edit. Rigaltii. nas Te Bracomuce nuo tohumpa abs Toy Paris. 1675.
stosov MedOvtos hacerv no'Eni Jupacis (9) Eft et aha major neceffitas nobis Ortos. coque qui impie et temerarie orandi pro imperatoribus, etiam pro maledicta in Altiffimum prolocuturus omni ftatu imperii, rebusque Romanis, elt, jam pro foribus allittente. Vide qui vim maximam universo orbi im. eriar. p. 336. Edit. Paris. p. 371. minentem-Romani imperii commeatu Edit. Thirlbii.
fcimus retardari. Apol. Cap. 32. (7) Adversus Hærefes Lib. 5. p. 27. Ibid. Cap. 25. Antichristi fraus, superbia, (1) Contra Celsum Lib. 6. p. 668. et tyrannicum regnum, prout a Da. Opera Tom. I. Edit. Benedict. niele et Paulo defcripta funt. p. 437. (2) Hic eft autem, qui appellatur Edit. Grabe.
Antichristus ? fed fe ipfe Chriftum (8) Quis, nifi Romanus ftatus ? mentietur, et contra verum dimicabit. cujus abscessio in decem reges dispersa Lactant. Lib. 7. Cap. 19. ...os · Antichristum fuperducet, ét tunc re
cludes - This is he, who is called Antichrist, but shall
feign himself to be Christ, and shall fight against the "truth.' A shorter and fuller character of the vicar of Christ could not be drawn even by a protestant. Cyril of Jerusalem in the same century alleges this passage of St. Paul together with other prophecies concerning Antichrist, and (3) says that “This the predicted Antichrist "will come, when the times of the Roman empire fall • be fulfilled, and the confummation of the world shall s approach. Ten kings of the Romans shall arise together, in different places indeed, but they thall reign at the same time. Among these the eleventh is Anti
christ, who by magical and wicked artifice shall feise "the Roman power.'. Ambrose archbishop of Milan in the same century, or Hilary the deacon, or the author (whoever he was) of the comment upon St. Paul's epistles, which passeth under the name of St. Ambrose, proposes much the same interpretation and (4) atfirms that after the failing or decay of the Roman empire, Antie christ shall appear.
Jerome, Austin, and Chryfoftome florished in the lata ter end of the fourth, or the beginning of the fifth cena tury, i St. Jerome in his explanation of this paffage (5) says, ' that Antichrist shall fit in the temple of God,
(3) Epxetas de ó a contenuevo Artı bror. in locum. ; . Xesco TC, ÓTcy winewowow oi xangor (5) Et in templo Dei, vel Jerosolyons Pouasw Bao velas, xas onmolade mis (ut quidam putant) vel in eccle. 201Toy Ta ong T8 kodud OUITENglas. ha (ut verius arbitramur) sederit, dexa vev ope Foucowe Eyhportai, Baos oftendens fe tanquam ipse fit Chriftus 26. ev dia pogous MEVLOWS TOTO15, xuta et filius Dei : Nis, inquit, fuerit Rae de Tov autov Baolev8o1 raigovo peta manum imperium ante desolatum, et δε τατος ενδέκατος ο Αντιχρισος, εκ της
Antichristus præcesserit, Christus non Hayoung maxOTEXNias Tony Pwpaïrnvegno veniet.-Et nunc quid detineat, fitis, Olav å prataç. Veniet autem hic præ- ut reveletur in fuo tempore ; hoc eft, dictus Antichriftus, cum impleta fue- quæ causa fit, ut Antichristus in præ. rint tempora imperii Romani, et mun. sentiarum non veniat, optime noftis. di consummatio appropinquabit. De- Nec vult apertè dicere Romanum ima cem fimul reges Romanorum excita- periuin destruendum, quod ipfi qui buntur, in diversis quidem locis, eodeni imperant, æternum putant.--Si enim tamen tempore regnantes. Poft iftos apertè audacterque dixiffet, non veniet autem undecimus Antichristus, per Antichriftus, nifi prius Romanum de magicum maleficium Romanorum po- leatur imperium, justa causa per secu, teltatem rapiens. Catch. 15. Cap. s. tionis in orientem tunc ecclesiam con. P. 211. Edit. Milles. Oxon. 1703. furgere videbatur. Algafiz Queft. 11.
(4) Poft defectum regni Romani Col. 209. Prior Pars. Tom. 4. Edit. appariturum Antichristum, &c, Am. Benedict.
• either either at Jerusalem (as some imagin) or in the church " (as we more truly judge) showing himself that he is
Christ and the Son of God; and unless the Roman • empire be first defolated, and Antichrist precede, ? Christ shall not come And now ye 'know what with
holdeth that he might be revealed in his time, that is, ye know very well, what is the reason, why Antichuift
doth not come at present. He is not willing to fay • openly, that the Roman empire should be deltroyed, which they who command think to be eternal. --For if he had said openly and boldly, that Antichrift Thall
not come, unless the Roman empire be first deftroyed, < it might probably have proved the occasion of a per
fecution against the church.' Jerome was himself a witness to the barbarous nations beginning to tear in pieces the Roman empire, and upon this occafion (6) exclaims He who hindered is taken out of the way,
and we do not consider that Antichrist approaches,
whom the Lord Jesus Thall consume with the spirit of • his mouth.' St. Auftin having cited this passage (7) affirms, that “No one questions that the apostle spoke • these things concerning Antichrift: and the day of
judgment (for this he calleth the day of the Lord)
Thould not come, unless Antichrist come first. —And • now ye know what withholdeth. --Some think this was • spoken of the Roman empire; and therefore the apostle ' was not willing to write it openly, left he should incur • a præmunire, and be falsely accused of withing ill to • the Roman empire, which was hoped to be eternal." St. Chryfoftome, in one of his homilies upon this passage, speaking of what hindered the revelation of Antichrist, (8) afferts that when the Roman empire shall be taken
(6) Qui tenebat, de medio fit, et dam putant hoc de imperio dictum non intelligimus Antichriftum appro- fuisse Romano; et propterea Paulum pinquare, quem Dominus Jesus Chril. apostolum non id apertè fcribere vos, tus interficiet fpiritu oris fui.' Ad luifle, ne calumniain videlicet incurAgeruchiain de Monogamia Col. 748. reret, quòd Romano imperio male opSecund. Pars. Tom. 4.
taverit, cùm fperaretur æternum. De. · (7) Nulli dubium ett, eum de An-, Civitat. Dei. Lib. 20. Cap. 19. Col.; tichristo ifta dixiffe ; diemque judicii 4-51. Tom. 7. Edit. Benedict. Ante (hunc enim appellat diem Domini) werp. non esse venturum, nisi ille prior vene- (8) apxin ý Poucixan oravaçon ex fees sit-Et nunc quid detineat scitis-Qui- og, tola Exeiros nĞEDo Xab eixolws. śws yog
out of the way, then he shall come; and it is very
likely: for as long as the dread of this empire shall re"main, no one fhall quickly be substituted; but when
this shall be diffolved, he shall feise on the vacant em• pire, and Thall endevor to assume the power both of . God and men.' And who hath feized on the vacant empire in Rome, and affumed the power both of God and man let the world judge.
In this manner these ancient and venerable fathers exe pound this passage; and in all probability they had learned by tradition from the apostle, or from the church of the Theffalonians, that what retarded the revelation of Antichrist was the Roman empire, but when the Roman empire should be broken in pieces, and be no longer able to withhold him, then he should appear in the Christian church, and domineer principally in the church of Rome. Even in the opinion of a bishop of Rome, Gregory the great, who fat in the chair at the end of the sixth century, whosoever affected the title of universal bishop, he was Antichrist, or the forerunner of Antichrift. 'I speak • it confidently, fays (9) he, that whosoever calleth himy self universal bithop, or desireth fo to be called, in " the pride of his heart he doth forerun Antichrift.' When John, then bishop of Constantinople, firft usurped this title, Gregory made answer, . By this pride of his,
what thing else is signified, but that the time of Anti' christ is now at hand ?' Again he says upon the same occafion, “The king of pride (that is Antichrist) ap
proacheth ; and what is wicked to be spoken, an army of priests is prepared. When the papal doctrins and the
av ó TAUTNS an ang apxins pole, sdeuz quis se universalem facerdotem vocat, Taxews inolaynOETAI. Ten de auta yel vocari defiderat, -in elatione sua ratanuon, emiOnoETOI Tn avagxoa, rat Antichriftum præcurrit. Lib. 6. Epift. Thy Twy avqwmw, xam TNU T8 FEB ETV. 30. Ex hac ejus fuperbia quid aliud, zelenor aptadas aexnu. quando Ro- nis propinqua jam esse Antichrifti manorum imperium de medio fuerit tempora designatur. Lib. 4. Epift. fublatum, tunc ille veniet. Et merito, 34. Rex fuperbiæ prope eft; et, quod Quamdiu enim fuerit metus hujus im- dici nefas eft, facerdotum eft præpaperii, nemo cito subjicietur. Quando ratus exercitus. Lib. 4. Ibid. See autem hoc fuerit eversum, vacans in- Jewel's Detence of the Apology. Part vadet imperium, horvinumque et Dei 4. Cap. 16. p. 413. Barrow's Treaimperium aggredietur sapere. In lo- tise of the Pope's Supremacy, Suppor. cum p. 530. Tom. 11. Edit. Benedict. 5. p. 123. Edit. 1683. ." (9) Ergo fidenter dico, quod quif
papal authority prevailed over all, it was natural to think and expect that the true notion of Antichrist would be ftifled, and that the doctors of the church would endevor to give another turn and interpretation to this passage. That night of ignorance was so thick and dark, that there was hardly here and there a single star to be seen in the whole hemisphere. But no sooner was there any glinimering or dawning of a reformation, than the true notion of Antichrist, which had been so long suppressed, broke out again. ' As early as the year 1120 a treatise was published concerning Antichrift, wherein (1) the faithful are admonished, that the great. Antichrift was " long ago come, in 'vain was he ftill expected, he was
now by the permission God: advanced in years :' and the author, having defcribed the corrupt state of the church at that time, says afterwards, " This state of men
(not a single man) is Antichrift, the whore of Babylon,
the fourth beast of Daniel, (to wit in his last state as it s is faid) that man of fin and son of perdition, who is exalted above erery God, fo that he fitteth in the temple of God, that is, the church, showing himself that he is God; who is now come with all kind of seduction
and lies in those who perish.' The Waldenefes and Albigenses. propagated the same opinions in the fame century. That the pope was Antichrist was indeed the general doctrin of the first reformers every where. Here in England it was (2) advanced by Wickliff, and was learnedly established by that great and able champion of the Reformation, Bishop Jewel, in his Apology and Defense, and more largely in his Exposition upon the two Epistles of St. Paul to the Thessalonians. This doctrin
in Enal cloctrin of te pope wacan
(1) Anno Domini 1120-emissus « super omnem Deum, ita ut in temest tractatus de Antichristo,.-In hoc “plo Dei, id eft, ecclefia, fedeat, libro admonentur fideles « Antichrif- “ oitendens fe tanquaty fit Deus; qui «* tum illum magnum jamdudum ve- " jam venit in omni genere feduc
'nisse, frustra adhuc exspectari, efle " tionis et mendacii in iis qui pere. « jam Dei permissione ætate proyec- " unt," Mede's Works B. 3. De 66 tuin: Hunc hominum "ftatum numeris Danielis, p. 721, 722. 66 (non fingularem hominem) effe · (2) Dialogorum libri 4, quorum " Antichriftum, meretricem Babylo- quartus Romanæ ecclefiae sacramenta, $c nicam, quartam bettiam Danielis, Antichrifti regnum, &c. perftringit, “ nempe in ftatu ejus noviffimo, ut Cave Hift. Litt. Vol. 2: Appendix * di&tum eft) hominem illum peccati, P. 63; : os et filium perditionis, qui extollitur