Page images

thing among the Eastern Gods, to which he could with any probability affix the Name Maozzim. Deum Maozzimem prætermifimus, ut planè ignotum aliter ac locus ille unicus S. Historice indicat. De Dijs Syr. Synt. 11. c. 17. It is no improbable Conjecture that it is the Devil himself, represented by the Dragon, the Author and Giver of all that Diabolical Power which is exercised by both the Beast and False Prophet, Rev. 13. 2. In the mean time (says a Learned Man) I am inclined to believe that his Name may have in it fome Magical meaning, and that it may ultimately refer to the Forces and Powers of Nature, as awakened by those that are skilled in the natural and ceremonial Parts of that secret Art, and as particularly applied to the Principle of Darkness and Wrath, and alienated from that of Light and Love. Besides this, Daniel observes that he shall be a Man of great Craft and Cunning, that he shall understand dark Sentences, all the Difficulties of Arts and Sciences, which will be an accomplishment very necessary for the great Business he undertakes.But the great and remarkable Observation that all of them make is, that he shall be wonderfully skill'd in the dark Magick, and thereby do strange Wonders to deceive and delude Mankind. Thus our Blessed Saviour, Mat. 24. 24. says that the false Christs and false Prophets (and no doubt chiefly the last false Christ and false Prophet) shall fhew great Signs and Wonders, infomuch that if it were possible they should deceive


[ocr errors]

the very Eleet, much more shall the Prince and Ruler of them, Antichrist himself. St. Paul,2 Thell. 2.9, 10.says, that his coming Mall be after the working of Satan,with all Power, and Signs, and Lying Wonders, &c. St. John, Rev. 13. 13, 14. is so particular as to tell us what sort of Wonders he shall perform, viz. that he shall make Fire come down from Heaven on Earth in the light of Men; i. e. the Earth-bread Beast or False Prophet by his Power. Besides his healing the deadly Wound, and making the Image of the Beast speak and deliver Oracles, as we have mention'd before. These are the most remarkable Personal Qualities attributed to him in Scripture. The last of these, viz. his doing Wonderful and Miraculous Works is largely attested by the Holy Fathers. The Sybilline Oracles, Lib. 3. speak largely to this purpose, that Antichrist shall remove Mountains, stop the Courses of the Sun and Moon, raise the Dead, &c. St. Hippolytus, p. 36. Edit. Morell, says, ' He saall

remove Mountains in the sight of Men, ' he shall pass thro' the Sea dry-shod, he

shall call down Fire from Heaven, he shall change Day into Night and Night into Day, and alter the Course of the Sun at his Pleasure. (And elsewhere) He shall make his attendant dark Spirits ap

pear like Glorious Angels of Light; he • shall bring with him innumerable Legions

of Spirits, and in the fight of all Men shall * seem to be taken up into Heaven, with the Sound of Trumpets and Shoutings of_his




[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Followers, he shall fly to and fro in the Air, and descend again upon Earth with great Glory &c. Ephrem Syrus in his

Discourse de Antichristo * gives a particular * Edit, Co-Description of his removing Mountains, lox. 16oz.

adding that he shall seem to remove an. Island out of the Sea to the dry Land, that he shall gather together an innumerable Company of Serpents, and ravenous Birds, that he shall walk upon the Sea as upon dry Land, dc. To these might be added the Testimonies of Lactantius and others, which I omit as being nothing else but Repetitions of the same Things. One Thing I cannot pass by upon this Head without a particular Remark, which is that St. John mentions particularly, the Miracle of bringing down Fire from Heaven, which was no doubt for some particular Reason. It is to be noted then that all sorts of Miraculous Operations were comprehended under these two Denominations, viz. Signs in the beights above, and signs in the depths below, Ifa. 7. II. Now it was (and no doubt still is) the Opinion of the Jewys, that to work Signs in the heights above was a true proof of Divine Power and Authority, therefore they desired of our Blessed Lord to fhew them a sign from Heaven, or the heights above, Mat. 16. 1. as a Proof of his Divinity. Ac which Request of theirs, St. Mark 8. 12. fays, our Lord sighed deeply in Spirit, no doubt bewailing the hardness of their Hearts (and probably considering within himself how fåtal to them that Perswafion of theirs

P. 228.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

would be hereafter, when by that means
Antichrist should deceive them.) And St.
Luke,Chap. 11. v. 29. says, our Lord was so
far from gratifying them, that he assured
them no sign should be given them but the sign of
Fonas the Prophet, which we know was in
the Depths below. And the Holy Spirit
foreseeing that this Opinion would again
prevail in the World, tells us by way of
Caution, that that Deceiver Antichrist
should be able to bring down Fire from Hedo
ven ; i. e. the heights above, that so when
he shall shew that Sign, it may be so far
from deceiving us into an Opinion of his
being the Messiah, that it shall be to us a
sure Token that he is the Antichrist.

$20. Now what a State must we imagine The state
the World to be in, when God shall fuffer of the
them to be governed by such a Ruler as that time.
this, when the Powers of Darkness shall be
thus let loose, and the Devil himself shall
reign corporally, himself ruling in chief,
and sending forth on all fides innumerable
Perfons impregnated with his own Diabo-
lical Spirit, Blafphemers of God and Haters
of good Men, mighty in the Powers of
Darkness, to be as his" Deputies and Vice-
Roys to rule and domineer in distant Pro:
vinces and Countries. I tremble to read
the dismal and terrible Account that both
the Holy Scriptures and Ancient Writers
give of those Times; this will most cer-
tainly be that Time of Trouble, such as
never was fince God made Man upon Earth,
nor ever shall be afterwards: For the very


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Foundations of the Natural, Moral, and Political World fhall be destroy'd and cast down. His Conquest of the Kings and Nations of the Eastern and Western Empire we have already confidered; besides which, the Prophet Daniel assures us, that be small stretch forth his Hand upon other Countries ; that be shall have Power over the Treasures of Gold and Silver, and over all the precious Things of Egypt ; and the Lybians and Ethiopians shall be at his steps. His horrible Contempt of God and Prophanation of Religon we have feen, setting himself in the Temple of God, and not suffering the daily Sacrifice, nor any Christian Solemnities to be observed. As to the Natural World, we know : that the Devil is emphatically stiled The Prince of the Power of the Air, Eph. 2. 1. and as such has, no doubt, by the Permilion of God, a Power of raising Diforders and Commotions there.; and especially at this time, when by the Divine Nemesis this whole visible Sphere of Nature will be abandoned and delivered over to the overflowings of the Curse. Antichrist therefore, and his Magical Attendants and Followers, fhall make strange Confusions and Alterations in external Nature; terrible Earthquakes, Storins, Thunders, Lightnings, bc. and, according to their exact Knowledge of the active and passive Qualities of Nature, may according to some secret Rules of their diabolical Art, so temper them, as to raise poisonous malignant Ferments in the Air, Earth, or Wa


« PreviousContinue »