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out taking Notice of St.Cyril's Comment up-
“Men (says he) are fallen from
king the Blessed Jesus to be a meer Crea+ So do ture, as the t Arians : And formerly Herethe Soci. ticks were detected and made manifeft,but nians of
now the Church is full of private lurking our Time. “ Hereticks. Men are fallen from the Truth,
and have itching Ears, if you preach to
hear you with Greediness. But tell them
The next Sign is v. 12. That because of the
any here present say, that he does in all
Peace, has War in his Heart ? (A little
" make Way for Antichrist. The Devil “ makes Divisions and Strife amongst Men, “ that the Enemy (viz. Antichrist) may “ be more easily let in. The same Account is given by Lactantius of the Times preceding the Reign of Antichrist, pag. 646.
There shall be so little Righteousness in " the World, and such Abundance of Co
verousness, Impiety and Luft, that “ the few good Men that shall be left
shall become a Prey to the Wicked. They shall live in Plenty, whilst the Righteous shall labour under Contempt and Poverty ; Right shall be oppressed, the Laws shall lose their Force, there shall be neither Sincerity, nor Peace, nor
common Civility, nor Truth amongMen. The same Account is given by Methodius Patarensis, * And alas! who is there at this day that may not take up Feremiah's Lamentation, chap. 9. and wish in the Bitterness of Orthodox.
Edit.Bafil: his Soul for a Lodging of way-faring Men, in the silent retirement of a wilderness; that he might leave his people and go from them. For they be all
Adulterers (loving the World, and the Riches and Pleasures of it more than God) Jam.4.4. An Assembly of treacherous men, they bend their tongues like bowes for lies, but they are not valiant for the truth upon the Earth. Take
ye one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brom ther, for every brother will utterly Supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders, and they will deceive every one his neigbour, and will not Speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit ini
quity ; their tongue is as an arrow Shot out, it fpeaketh deceit i one speaketh peaceably to his Neighbour with his mouth, but in heart be l'ayeth wait, v. 2, 3, 4,. 8.
But you will say, if there be the infallible Tokens, whereby we are to judge of the near approach of that Time; How comes it to pass that fo many Holy and Good Men have been mistaken in their Judgments about it? Since so many of the Ancient Fathers, who have written about these Matters, have taken Pains to apply them all to their own Times, and to perswade themselves and others, that the Day of the Lord was at hand? To this I anfwer, That the Illustrious Ideas which the Ancients had receiv'd from the Holy Scriptures as then understood, and from the Traditions of their Venerable Predeceffors, in the Faith, concerning the Glorious Kingdom of the Messiah, and the Reftitution of Nature (which will be the Consequences of the Great Affliction ) were so transporting and ravifhing, that their inflamed Affections could not chuse but outrun, or at least lay a strong Byass upon their Judgments, and make them often believe, that what they wish'd to be so near at hand, could not be far off. So even the Disciples themselves, as soon as ever our Lord was Risen from the Dead, could not chuse but think that the Kingdom should immediately be restor'd to Israel, A&. 1. 6. But if we, upon whom the Ends of the World are come, have not the same longing Expectation that they had, to see the return of our Dear Redeemer, to see his Church triumphant, and all his Enemies put under his Feet ; yet let us however be driven by the Terrors of the Lord, and not put far from us the Evil Day, considering that whatever Reasons our Fore-fathers had for judging the Consummation to be at hand, ought more closely to affect us, who
, at this distance of time are so much nearer to it than they. So then if we do in good earnest watch for that Day, in Abstraction from the Darkness of this World, and standing in the Spirit of Light and Truth, we shall as Children of the Light and of the Day see when Evil cometh, so that that Day shall not overtake us as a Thief, 1 Theff. s. 4,5. So says Hippolytus, S5o. But let us, having the Mystery of God in our Hearts, faith
fully attend to those Things that have “ been spoken by the Holy Prophets, that
we knowing them before-hand, may not be deceived; for in the Fulness of Times He, concerning whom these Things are
spoken (viz. Antichrist) shall surely be “ made manifeft. Whilft on the other hand they that neither love nor believe the Truth, but take pleasure in Unrighteousness, upon them God shall“ send † the Energy (or Strength ) + 'Erépferof Error (viz. Antichrist) that they shall an anda believe a Lie to their Condemnation, 2 Theff.
I, I2. But whether we regard it or not, whether we be provided or not, that Day will furelycome, the Times are ripening apace ;
God bath begun to shake the Heavens and the Earth; An Alarm is founded to the Ends of the Earth ; The Day does already dawn upon the tops of the Mountains. And the Spirit of Love and Peace is descending in plentiful Showers, like the latter Rain upon the Earth, to unite, strengthen, and prepare for himself, a peculiar People to be the First-Fruits of the Kingdom of the Lamb. Even so, Lord Jefus, come quickly! Turn Thee, o Thou Beloved of our Souls, and come swiftly as a Roe, or a young Hart over the Mountains of (Bether) Division (even the Divifions and Distractions of the Christian Church) till the Day (even Thy Day) break forth, and the Shadows of Darkness be perfectly dissipared. O! That Thou would ft rend the Heavens, that Thou would'st come down, that the Mountains might flow down, and melt at thy Presence! Lord pity the Stones of Zion! It is Time that Thou have Mercy upon her, yea the Time is come.' Thine Holy Cities are a Wilderness, Zion is a Wilderness, Jerusalem a Desolation. Our Holy and Beautiful House where our Fathers praised Thee is burnt up with (the) Fire (of Contention and uncharitable Zeal). We see not our Tokens, there is not one Prophet more, there is none amongst us that knoweth how long. Wilt thou refrain thy self for these Things? O God! Where is thy Zeal and thy Strength, the Sounding of thy Bowels, and of thy Mercies towards us; are they re