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Matth. 24. 21. not to mention many other
12. AT his first Appearance in the His first World he shall (as we obferved before) Appearfeem to be very Religious, Wife, Tempe- ance in the World and rate and Peaceable, fo fays Cyrill *,by these Conquest of counterfeit Virtues, joined with the great the Ten Powers of Magical Knowledge, he fhall Kings. (fays he) deceive the World, especially the Jews, (who according to the line of Time, s. fhall then begin to expect their Meffiah and Redeemer) into an Opinion that he is the very Chrift. Upon which (fays Hippolytus aforecited,) they fhall offer to make him their King, which he fhall craftily refufe, but they fhall force him to accept it. Here then we find him invested in the Royalty and Majefty of a Kingdom, to whom by degrees fhall be gathered from all parts those whofe Iniquities are full, and who are qualified for a nearer converse with him, by partaking of his Magical Power, which he, in imitation of our Bleffed Lord's fhedding forth his Spirit upon his Difciples) fhall probably impart to fome felect Followers, as the First Fruits, to be as Head Powers and Rulers of his Magical Army defcribed by Joel, Nahum, &c. as I fhall prove, of which they fhall all be in a lefs degree Partakers. Now it is probable that the firft Act of Power that he shall perform, fhall be revenging upon Rome,(which is BaK 4
bylon, fay the Reformed Commentators) the Ancient Ruines of Jerufalem, at the Inftigation of the Jews his Followers. This is the P. 439. Opinion of Irenæus. * and Hippolytus, 1.23:449.56..and to this both of them apply the Parable of the Unjuft Judge that feared not God, neither regarded man, to whom the Widow, that is, the Earthly Jerusalem applied her felf, entreating him to avenge her of her Adverfary, meaning Rome, which he accordingly did. The Manner, in which he shall punish her, is thought to be that he shall invade the ten Kings, into whofe Hands the broken and divided Power of the Roman Empire fhall be delivered. These had not received a Kingdom at the writing this Prophecy. Rev. 17. 12. but Shall receive Power as Kings one bour, (or in the fame hour or time) with the Beast. We are not therefore to imagine that by the Roman Empire is to be understood the Empire as it was then, or as it is now, but as it fhall be at that time when the Beaft or Antichrift fhall arife, plainly also intimated to be the laft Kings by being calledToes, Dan. 2. 41. Three of thefe Kings Antichrift fhall fet upon and overcome, and they fhall fubmit to him, Dan. 7. 24. And the reft being afrighted fhall give up their Kingdoms and Authority to him. Whence St. John fays of them all, that they have one mind, and give their Strength and Power to the Beaft. Rev. 17. 13. Becaufe the firft three fubmitted by Force, the other seven through Fear: Thefe he fhall make his Executioners
cutioners to punifh the Romans by making them Slayes and Vaffals, and destroying their Polity, and bringing them into fo fevere a Condition, as may be understood by making her defolate and naked, and eating her Flesh and burning her with Fire. *Which Expreffion of burning her with Fire † Vid. Ibid may perhaps have a particular regard to the Manner of befieging her, viz. by bombarding her. Rev. 17. 16. Which is not to be understood of the utter Deftruction of the City, for that is to continue till the pouring forth of the last Vial, when it will perish in the great Earthquake that precedes or accompanies the Deftruction of Antichrift; and so far even the Roman Catholick Writers agree, that Antichrift shall deftroy Rome, though none of them fay he fhall doe it in Perfon. Which when he has done, it is not improbable that he fhall receive Divine Homage and Worship, perhaps in the very Cathedral of St. Peter. Even as Mahomet II. when he had taken Conftantinople and entred it in Triumph, placed himself blafphemously upon the Altar of St. Sophia, to receive a fort of Divine Worfhip from his military Slaves. And this will feem more likely when we fhall confider what Effects fuch a Conqueft will have upon the Minds of his Followers, who fhall fee him Triumphant in that City where once Religion flourished gloriously, and in which at this time, there is more of the Pomp and external Grandeur of the (fo called) Chriftian Church to be feen than
where else, they muft needs look upon any this to be no lefs than a vanquishing of Christianity and triumphing over its Holy Author, and by confequence to be a firm Proof of his own Divinity.
of the Ea- S13. WHILST thefe Things are tranfactGern Beaf ing in the Weft, St. John fees another Beaft Prophet. arifing out of the Eaft, expreffed by the Earth, in oppofition to the Sea, which is the Weft. This is his falfe Prophet. Irenaus Lib. 5. p. calls him his Armiger (or momsns, as the Word is preferv'd by Andreas Cæfarienfis †) and I cannot but think that this is the fame that is mentioned by Lactantius, p. 652. as arifing in the Power of the Evil Spirit out of Syria, diftinct from Antichrift whom he mentions, p. 650. as coming out of the far2. Dial. theft parts of the North. Sulpitius Severus ↓ alfo counts two Antichrifts, one arising in the Eaft, and the other in the Weft, though it must be confeffed in an order which is the Reverse of ours, fuppofing that Nero fhall rife again in the Weft, and Anti*De Pro- chrift in the East. And Profper afferts the miss. p.65. fame, underftanding the 40th and 41ft Chapters of Job concerning Behemoth and Leviathan, one arifing out of the Earth and the other out of the Deep or Sea, of these two. This Eastern Antichrift, or falfe Prophet fhall be to the Western, as the Moon to the Sun, his reflex Image or Light, whom in his own Region he fhall preach up as the Meffiah, that shall shortly come and take Poffeffion of his Kingdom, So it is obfervable in Hiftory, that Maho
+ Serm. 13 in Apoc. p. 57.
* Vid. Hel
met arose in the East very near that notable