« PreviousContinue »
, have been confeft to be found in the Papacy. or believe nevertheless, that you will find that Truth be better cleared and made more manifest , than to hitherto it hath been. This Controverfie about u Antichrift hath languisht for an hundred years, it a hath been unhappily abandon'd, on a politick ne account, and inobedience to Popish Princes. "Tis a em wicked Complaisance, for which'we are punisht, rain and which hath coft us very dear : for if we had yu perpetually exposed this Great and important
Truth before the Eyes of the Protestants'; that the sa Papacy is Antichriftianism, they would not have e fallen into that degeneracy and apoftacy', which m we see at present. How could they have resolved
withinthemselves to submit to Antichrist and returni to his Party ! But 'tis so long since they heard it so called, that they have forgot it. They thought it
was only a transport of zeal in the firh Reformers, Ole hk from which we were now come off. There was some the thing in that neglect and forgetfullness,which seems
to discover the finger of God: He would that this h horrible catastrophe 1hould happen, and to that on end permitted that this important Truth should be the neglected, and those controversies only which
were but accessory should be minded ; and that TU
this should be pasi’t over, that the Papacy is the 1. Antichristian Empire: they who for want of giving Mo
heed to that Truth are fallen, ought now to think of it, and tremble to consider, that they have
voluntarily plungʻd themselves again into that Bu é bylon , out of which God had so wonderfully
delivered them. In my opinion, this is so fundamentala Truth, that without it aman cannot be a true Christian: to confound the Kingdom of 7. Chrift with that of Antichrist is an unsufferable Fault: in come Ages for certain God hath permitted that
Ignorance; but we are not now in those times: wė must now, declare for one party, and stand our ground. There is no Communion between Christ and Belial, between the Prince of light, and that Destroyer, who is truly an Angelof Darkress ; that Controversy was so much ftified and laid afleep, that our Adversaries believed it dead, and thought that we had renounc't that Principle , and the ground of all our Reformation ; for I cannot believe the Reformation to have been on a good foundation, but on this account. Some Protestants (the reproach and shame not only of the Reformation but of the Christian name) have contributed to efface these Ideas from the minds of men, by turning to another sense what the H. Ghost faith of the Antichristian Empire , making such Commentaries of the scripture, as overthrow the design and meaning of it, forging Histories at pleasure, by that means to find the accomplishment of S. lohn's Prophecies in the first ages of the Church. At present therfore we must revive that Truth, which we had almoft suffered to dye. This is the Time when we must indeavour to open the Eyes of the Princes and People of the Earth ; for behold now is the Time when they ought to eat the flesh of the Beast, and burn it with fire, strip naked the whore , and tear off her ornaments, and make a full end of Babylon. Within à little while these great Things must come to pass; 'tis high time then to awaken, men in order to it. This is what I attempt in the first part of this work, wherein I discover, after another manner than hath been done hitherto, the true Characters of that Antichristian Empire. In which I must acknowledg my great obligations to my foremena tioned Author, Joseph Mede; for no man hathtaken pains upon that subject with somuch fuccefsaş he.
You will see the admirable Type of Antichrif in the famous Antiochris, carried farther than ever it hath been, and the explication of the three years and half, or 1260 days , much clearer than ever hitherto it hath been made. But I must here advertise, that to comprehend the full force of my Arguments, to prove the Papacy to be the Antichristian Empire, to the reading of this work, you must add that of my Lawful Prejudices against Pope. ry; for in that book you will find the proof of allthe Characters of the Antichristian Empire inlarged. I mean not only those Chapters , wherein the explication of fome passages in the Prophecies concerning Antichrift, I apply them to the Pope and his Empire, I speak principally of those Chapters where I describe the Corruption, Covetousness, Pride, Idolatry , Paganism, the fabulousand lying Spirit of Popery, all characters of Antichriftianism, as in this work is shown. I defire all those who have any care of their falvation to Read those two pieces y and I'dare be confident that all those who have not a seared Conscience will be sensibly affected with what they shall there find , and conceive a just Horror for that Religion, which hath held the Trurb under so long and cruel a Captivity. That I may render my Lawfull Prejudices the more usefull to my design, which is to make the Papacy appear to be the true Antichristianism, I am resolved, according to the advice that hath been given me , to abridge it ; but instead of making a pure and simple abridgment, I shall, in contracting it , change the Prejudices into so many Characters of Antichristianism: and show, that there is no one of those Prejudices but is a character of the Antichristian Empire. If any thing retards
this delign, it will be my delire to see whether Mr.
Arhand will make good the promise of F. Simoni and reply to that Book. So that when I Abridge that Book, I may at the same time refute the Sophisms Mr. Arnard is preparing. This first part regards the Timepast.
The second part contains the explication of Things Future, or rather of those which we believe are yet to come, there are many things therin which will certainly be surprizing to you, as they were to me; and if you read with any favourable opinion, what I say upon the 11th, 141h, and 16th. Chapters of the Apocalyps, I cannot believe you will have much different Thoughts from mine. I will not call them Conjectures, let them be such to others, I consent; but as to me, there is something more; for I think I have discovered which are the two parts of the Fall of Babylon , wherof one is called the Harveft; the other the Vintage. I believe that I have found the seven viols of the 16th. Chap. to be already poured out, which were supposed to be yet to come, which to me is an argument, that the Reign of Antichrist is near itsend. I know not whether others have discovered any thing of this before me; I pretend not to have peruled all the Modern Commentators on the Apocalyps; on the Contrary I have read very few of them, having experienc't, that the diversity of Ideas that remain in the mind, serve but to obscure the Truth, and cause one to lose it. Some I consulted before I made this second Edi&tion; but I found nothing capable to make mealter my sentiments, or that could furnish me with any new light. Dr. Moore is one of the latestCommentators on the Apocalypse , and one of the most esteemed. I found, that he follows Mede in every thing , fave in the explication of the Harvest and the Vintage, of the 14th. Chap.
the feven viols of the 16 and the death of the two Witnesses of the 11th: Chap. that is, that he had followed him in those places, wherin he had succeeded well: 'tis in effect impossible to differ from him in those places. But in those places where Mr. Mede was not Happy ; Dr. Moore is no more so than he. If any other hath discovered these Truths, he will oblige me that shall let me know it. I shall be rejoyc’t to understand, that any other hath made the same discoveries : this will confirm me in the perswasion which I have , that I have found that which I inquired after.
After having proved in this second part, that the
end of the Reign of AntichriX is at hand, I treat of - that which is to follow after that Fall, viz. the
famous Reign of Christ upon Earth, which hath been so often contradicted since the Beginning of the Christian Church! I have inlarged a little upon st; as being one of the most consolatory Truths which is in the whole Scripture; I cannot but aseribe to a secret providence of God, that Blindness,wbich moft Chrifians have been under hitherto concerning it, for certain reasons, God would not that they should see that Reign of Christ in the Prophecies, tho it be there as clearly described as the Coming of the Meffiah, which yet the Jews will not see to be there, you will therin find one Chapter for which the lews are indebted to me for I re-establish them in their Rights, and in their Hopes, farther than Chriftians have as yet done. Among the proofs of the Reign of a thousand years , you will find an explication of the Type of the work of Creation, which will not be unpleasant to those
who love Mysteries. I have nothing to say in vinį dication of this book. It muft run the common bilque; it must be left to the Judgment of the pub