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justice against God, always understood in the first two or three Chapters of this very Apostle's Epistle to the Romans, where it is notoriously meant of the RomanIdolatry,orUnjust Worship, whereby the Glory of theCreator is in any Degree given to a Creature : as likewise in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians, as may appear from that famous Text, Ch. vi. 14. And here also in this to the Thellalonians, as it seems in his very Revelation concerning Antichrist, Chap. ii. 12. where it must be observed that the 'Adxia, or False Worship, of the Corrupt Christians, is plainIy supposed Introductory to that of the Antichristians : and therefore not the Same. So that the modern Notion of Antichrift is inconsistent with the Account of his Rise given us by St. Paul: And the false Worship of the Corrupt Church, which is Spiritual Whoredom , must needs be distinguished from that Worship which is to be introduced by Antichrist, being no less than a Total A postacy from Christianity,
V. A Fifth Reason for the Distinction aforesaid betwixt Babylon and Antichrift, is, because Antichrist, according to the general Opinion of the Ancient Ecclesiastical Writers, shall express his utmost Hatred of Idolatry, and of every Appearance thereof. Thus Hippolytus says Antichrist shall not suffer Idols St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Antichrist shall abhor Idols; St. Ephrem, he shall proclaim him
elf an Enemy to Injustice, ['Adixia, Idolatry] abhorring Idols; St. Chrysostom, He shall diffolve and destroy ndiya's Ts Ouds, all the Gods,
by by utterly rooting out all manner of Idolatry; and so in like manner others of the Antient Fathers when they speak of Antichrist. And this Opinion antiently so universally received, that Antichrist was to shew hiinself an Hater of Idols, they did ground not merely upon the Silence of Scripture as to the Charge of Polytheism, or even of so much as eating the things offered to Idols, and communicating in the Idols Temples, or bowing before an Image ; but upon the express mention of his Opposition to all that is called God, with the Atheistical Exaltation of himself to receive more than humane Honours in the Temple of the true God, and his sending or leading his Tributary Kings with their Armies to extirpate the Idolatrous City and Kingdom, as before hath been shewn. Antichrist therefore is not the same with Babylon : but on the contrary he shall be her profess’d Enemy, running into a quite contrary Extream, and despising all that she holdeth Sacred, or that is worshipped, : that so he may set up himself upon the Ruine thereof. Whence it appears that the spiritual Adultery of the Church of Rome, if Rome be Babylon, and the Idolatrous Mixtures that may be found in her Worship, cannot properly be called an Antichristian Worship, nocwithstanding it may be the most proper and effectual Means to introduce it, The which is further confirm'd by the following Argument; which shall be the last that I will here mention.
VI. BECAUSE Antichrist by this Declaration againft Idolatry, as aforesaid, shall affume to himself the Name of Divine Majesty, and be worshipped as God with proper and Divine Honour. This Idolatrous Worship of Antichrist, as a God by Commiffion, or Appointment, is confirmed by St. John, in that he says they worshipped the Beat [i. e. Antichrift] Saying, Who is like unto the Beast? which Words contain a Periphrafis of the True God, of whom the Holy Scripture useth to speak in such Terms as these. For this fee Pfal. XXXV. 10. lxxi. 19. lxxxix. 8. cxiii. 5. and Mic, vii. 18. To which the Original of the Surname of the Maccabees, from the Inscription on the Banner of Judas that was first so called, is generally referr’d by the Learned. As also in a blasphemous Allusion to the name of the Lord of Hosts, or the Lord mighty in Battel, and to the aforesaid Military Inscription of Judas Maccabeus, it is likely enough that the Worshippers of Antichrist may cry out, who is able to make War with Him? Nor would it be hard from hence to derive the true Signification of the Word Maozzim in Daniel, comparing it with an Expression of St. Paul in Phil. iii. 19. But howsoever that may be, it doth not seem as if Antichrist would exalt himself, by favouring any thing that máy look like Idolatry; but rather on the contrary as if he would honour no other God but himself and would erect his Empire chiefly upon the Principles of Mr. Hobs's Leviathan,by assuming to himself all Religious Power whatsoever. For
the Elements of Antichristianism are no where more plainly and fully laid down than by this unhappy Writer in that Book. And in, deed I cannot but be of the Opinion, from the Manner of the Performance of this celebrated Piece of his, that he may well deserve for it to be accounted one of the Prophets and Forerunners of Antichrift: and that when this grand Leviathan shall arise in the World, whose Arm is his God; and shall establish his Kingdom, by lifting up the Banner of Maozzim, in Opposition to that of the Cross of Christ, and make his Name and Image to be adored by most of the Inhabitants of the Earth; he will be so far from seeming to favour Superstition and Idolatry, that under the Pretence of driving them out of the World, he will labour to banish all Sense of Religion, and especially to expose the whole Chriftian Revelation to the utmost Scorn and Contempt. There cannot, I think,be a more certain Characteristick of Antichrist than this : and the Advances that have been made within ourMemory,and daily are making, by the Apostles of Satan, for bringing about this End, are so Notorious to all; as no more need be said to justifie the Design of a Treatise which is to promote a fairExamination of the various Phænomena and Signs which now every where appear, and to awaken all Sober-Thinkers carefully to watch against the Evils of the Last Times and especially against that Antichristian Leaven which is working powerfully in theChildren of Disobedience and Infidelity at this Day,
who are employed to prepare the Way of Antichrist the Great, and to fill up the Mystery of Iniquity.
I cannot better conclude than with the Words of a Great Prince, under the afflicting Hand of God, which were written about Twenty Years since, to one of the principal Lords of his Court.
Be not insensible of the Plagues with which God is afflicting the greatest Part of Europe : WAR,FAMINE, PESTILENCE, lay all things Wafte; and these Chastisements give us to understand, that there is 2 juft Judge Above, who governeth the
World, and whom we ought to fear. And what this penitent King then said to that Great Lord his Friend, having pretty se
. verely chid him for his Indifference in Religion, and his frequenting of Balls, Opera's, and other Diversions and Amusements, may now be said to every one that shall read these Sheets, or reflect on the Face of these Times, Be not you the Lal that shall pzofit by these wholesom warnings of Heaven.