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tribe : for as Dan was born not of Rachel or Lea, the free wives, but of the handmaid Bala, so the Antichrist Mahomet did not spring from true Jews or Christians, who only were dedicated and consecrated to God by the holiness of true religion ; but from the impure Arabs and Agarenes.
“ 5. Augustine, Jerome, Ephrem, Hippolitus, and others affirm that the Jews would receive the Antichrist as their King and Messiah. At the beginning, the Jews in crowds flocked to Mahomet and received him for Christ and their liberator with great joy into their houses and strongholds, writes Paul the Deacon: they also voluntarily paid him tribute and state taxes, and gave all their aid and influence to the Mahometans, to the injury of the Christians of that period, as ancient and modern histories tell and describe in. contestably.
“ 6. But the Antichrist, says the apostle, will exalt himself above all that is called God, or is worshipped, so that he will place his throne and dwelling in the temple of God. Mahomet, it is objected, never called himself in the Choran God, but always man, the Prophet, and Messenger of God; nor did he ever besiege Jerusalem to attack it: nor was he reckoned as God in its temple. It is answered that Mahomet expressly declared that his profane Choran, which was a compilation made up, as a detestable and monstrous chaos, of the opinions of Gentile and Jewish philosophers, and of those of Arians, Sabellians, and Manicheans, came direct from heaven, and that he preferred himself to the patriarchs, to Moses, even to Christ, the true God our Lord. He threatened eternal punishment to those who
despised the Choran. He declared that he had received it from heaven. In his conference with the Jews, he asserted that Christians could never obtain salvation by Christ unless through his good offices and intercession. He boldly pro: mised his followers the remission of their sins and a manifold paradise. He is even in our day worshipped in Mecca as their redeemer by all his superstitious lovers.
He sits now, alas, in the temple of God, since he occupies, by his abandoned sect, the noble churches of Africa, Syria, Arabia, Armenia, Persia, Asia, Thrace, Achaia, Macedonia, &c., robbed and despoiled of the faith and worship of Christ. And hence, the altars being overthrown, he disturbs and hinders the true and Christian sacrifice.
“7. The deceits, rage, blasphemies, and wars of Antichrist are described by Daniel under the figure of a little horn growing up amongst the ten horns of the fourth beast and throwing down three of the former horns, having the eyes of a man, a mouth speaking great things, and to which it was given to make war against the saints, and to overcome them for a time. Who does not see in Mahomet and his warlike sect the fulfilment of these things?
“8. The Roman empire was miserably broken and divided into ten or more kingdoms, as Africa, Egypt, Syria, Asia, Greece, Germany, Italy, Gaul, England, and Spain, when the little horn, i. e. Mahomet, the son of earth, and in the beginning the most vile and abject vapour, the feeder of camels and asses, who knew neither how to read or write, sprung up and preached amongst the Azoara, 12, 13, 27, 41, 44, 71. 2 Ib. 2, 36.
Ib. 2 and 5.
Arabs that Chosroen, the emperor of the Persians, and his family, would be justly destroyed for their worship of idols; that the Christian religion was infected with many errors, that it was made up of sects opposite to each other, and that it would shortly be overthrown; he declared that he was the interpreter of the divine will and the only author and maintainer of true religion given by God to men. He easily seduced the Arabs, fond of novelty, and when he had raised troops, he conducted the business by force; he compelled by threats and arms those whom his arts did not avail to reduce under his yoke. Afterwards, having raised an army of Saracens and Arabians, who had deserted the Romans for want of pay, and of others who had remained at home, he savagely traversed Egypt, Phænicia, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and laid waste all as far as the Euphrates, the Romans fighting in vain against them. Thence they broke in upon the whole of Persia, which before they had obeyed, and they did not desist from wasting and ravaging it till they had established there the Saracenic law and government. They attacked the churches of the Christians on all sides, and injured and destroyed them as much as they could : they obtruded for reception a doctrine opprobrious to the Son of God and opposed to the prophets and apostles, and they endeavoured with all their might to uproot the name of Christ. Hence they slew the Christian lambs in great numbers, as Paul the Deacon, Sophronius, Vincent Bellovacensis, and Zonaras* state."
I L. Hist. Simonet lib. i. ep. 4. 2 Ep. ad Sergium, in Syn, sexta Const. Act. ii. 3 Lib. xxiii.
4 Vol. iii. ann.
On the duration of the kingdom of the Antichrist in its relation
to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. There is one great date in prophecy concerning the duration of the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place, to which the duration of the Mahometan apostasy, as far as it regards the Holy City, seems to correspond. This date, although repeated in different formulas, is in all substantially the same. We read first, of “time, times, and half a time.' “He shall speak words against the High One,” said the angel to Daniel, of the Antichrist, “and shall crush the saints of the Most High and they shall be delivered into his hand until a time, and times, and half a time." These words, according to the explanation given by St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Theodoret, and other fathers of the Church, signify one year, two years, and half a year; that is, three years and a half. We find the same date in another formula of forty-two months, corresponding exactly to three years and a half. “The Holy City," said the angel to St. John, “they (the Gentiles] shall tread under foot two and forty months.”? We find it again called one thousand two hundred and ninety days. “From the time when the continual sacrifice shall be taken away,' said the angel to Daniel, “and the abomination unto desolation shall be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days."
The Catholic interpreters, who are of opinion that the Antichrist has not yet appeared, explain ! Dan. vii. 25.
? Apoc, xi. 2. 3 Dan, xii. 11.
these passages in a strictly literal sense, and teach that they signify three literal years and a half ; hence they hold that the Antichrist is to reign only for the brief period of three literal years and a half, and that his empire and dominion are not to outlive their founder's natural life, but to perish with him after that exceedingly short duration. This opinion, although apparently consonant with the words of Holy Writ, is open to serious difficulties; for it is not likely that all the wonderful and awful descriptions of the Antichrist, as given in Scripture, can be fulfilled in the short period of three literal years and a half.
The heretics, who disturbed the peace of the Church in the primitive ages, are pronounced by the fathers to be so many types and precursors of the Antichrist. “But if the real Antichrist,” as Mr. Phillipps justly remarks, " is to last for only three years and a half, many of his types would be infinitely worse than the great antitype himself. For instance, Arius, whose heresy desolated the Church for centuries, must have done much more mischief to the Church and to the souls of men, than any such ephemeral Antichrist could do. And what shall we say of the three centuries of Pagan Roman persecution of the early Church on this theory? Assuredly, no persecutor for three literal years and a half could ever rival the accumulated amount of the ten great persecutions enacted all over the earth by the Pagan Roman emperors. Or, what ought we to think of the still greater mischief perpetrated by Mahometanism during the last twelve centuries on such a theory as this?” The venerable Father Bartholomew Holtzhau| Mahometanism in its Relation to Prophecy, chap. iii.