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1. Babylon shall fall, the Kingdom of Anti- Part 2, chrift shall cease.
2. The Church. shall be reunited in the same opinion; schisms and divisions shallbe at an end.
3. The Idolatrous and Infidel Nations , efpecially the Turks, who are at this day scandalized at the divisions , manners, and the false Doctrines of the Christians , shall submit themselves, at least the greatest part of them, being prevailed upon by the purity of Doctrine and holiness of manners.
4. Lastly, The Jews overcome by lo unanimous a consent, and , it may be, by some glorious apparition of our Lord, shall be converted, and strongly labour to convert the rest of the Nations, far distant and separated from us. Then shall be the Dedication, the consummation of the Church. And blessed is he that shall wait, and come to the 1335 days; i. e. to seventy five years after the fall of the Popish Empire. For he shall see the reign of 4. Christ in all its Glory.
C H A P. 11 .
end of the World. There are many times
Hus much is enough to destroy that Chimera,
Part 2. for three natural years and a balf. 'Tis necessary
only to answer a difficulty that may be raifed from hence, that the reign of Antichrist is called the last times, which seems to mean the end of the World. And without doubt, this is that, which gave occafion to the ancient Writers to suppose, that the end of this Empire was not to be above forty five days before the day of judgement. But to fall into this errour, a man must be little used to the style of the Scripture. One thousand two hundred and fixty years, 'tis said ; can't be called the last times, the period is too long. 'Tis necesfary the reign of Antichrist should be nearer the end of the World and the day of judgement, than
so. But what will those Gentlemen say, that make Sty Bohing this objection; what will they say of Saint John, time the who speaking of Antichrift, and precisely of that lat times, tradition according to which he was to come in
the last times, faith, Little children , it is the last time, and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists, wbereby we know that it is the last time, 'Tis above fixteen hun. dred years ago, that Saint John said so, and then from that time he counted the last times. With much more reafon may we reckon those ages that came not till four or five hundred years after, for
the last times. The last Neither must we imagine , that the last times hanteriores agnify a short space. We must well distinguish are not the the last day, from the laff time. When the Holy 106,6.54. Spirit speaks of the last day, he always means
short time. He that eateth my flesb, faith our Lord, I will raise up again at the last day. But the last time, and especially the last times in the plural number, always signifieth a long period. See the proofs of both thele things.
First, that the last times signify not the end of Part 2. the World. The last time in the singular number The lak sometimes doth. St. Peter saith, that we are kept by not always the power of God through faith into falvation, rea- ligoify the dy to be revealed in the last time. But it doth not 1 Pet. z.s. always so signify, as appears by that passage of St. John, which we quoted a little before, 'tis the last time. As for that in the plural number, the last times, and the last days, we find, they always signify a time far enough off from the end of the World. Saint Paul in the second verse of the Epi- 1 Ephef. Ia stle to the Hebrews faith, that God hath Roken to us in these last days by his Son. The Apostle Saint Peter faith, that Jesus Christ was fore-ordained be. fore the foundation of the World, but was manifest in these last times for us., The same Apostle tells 2 Pet. 3. us, in the last days shall come fcoffers, walking after 3• ** iheir own insts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming ? 'Twas the very time in which Saint Peter spoke and wrote. For 'tis spoken as of perfons that were in being already. And it appears by the second Chapter of the Epistle to the Thef- . salonians, that there was an opinion spread abroad, that the end of the World was at hand, which made prophane ones fay; where is the promise of his coming, which they tell us is nigh? The Prophet Ioel faith, in the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. St. Peter applies this Oracle to that which happend on the day of Pentecoft, and in the ages of the Primitive Church. St. Paul 2 Tim. 3o kig faith to Timorby, Know this, that in the last days perillous times shall come, for men shall be lovers of their own felves,&tc. These last days began a little after St. Paul; For the Church was not løng, be fore the corrupted her manners. These very same Texts prove alto the os ber thing we have laid down,
Part 2. which is, that the last times do not Gignify a short
duration. For the manifestation of Jesus Christ made in the last times, and God speaking to us in the last days by his Son, and the last days wherein the propháne shall bear sway, all this I say, lignifieth the time that passeth from 1. Christ to the end of the world.
To understand why the Period that passeph divided in- from Jesus Christ to this prefent time, is called parts in rc. the last time, we must observe, that in the Scrithe Church. pture the times are divided either with reference
to the Church, or with reference to the World. With reference to the Church, there are three times; A time when the Church was without the Law, and without the Gopel; this is the first time that pafled from Adam to Moses; A time wherein the Church had the Law of Aloses, that was the time from the departure out of Egypt to I. Chrift, that's the second time;' Lastly, A time wherein the Church enjoys the light of lejus Christ; that's
ours, and that's the third time. Hierines With reference to the l'orld the time is di
vided into four great Monarchies, that must prethe world cede the lait reign of I. Christ. The first was the are divided Monarchy of the Allyrians, which had its feat
firit at Niniveh, and afterwards at Babylon; The second is that of the Persians ;. the third that of the Greeks ; and the fourth that of the Romans, whose reign must be prolongd till the Kingdom be given to J. Christ and his Saints.
Now whether we refer it to the first division, Siace Jesus Chriftwe or the second; 'tis still true, that we are in the last are in the times; that 1. Christ came in the last times, and that
the Empire of Antichrift must be in the last times. 7. Christ came in the third and last time, with reference to the times of the Church, seeing he came
since the Law of Moses ceased to be in its vigor. Part2. And Antichrist also hath his reign in the third and last period of the Church. Jesus Christ also came in the last times with respect to the World, for he came in the time of the fourth Monarchy. Antichrist with much more reason may be assigned to the last times of the fourth Monarchy, because he himself is but a continuation of that fourth Monarchy.
But to be so much the more fully perswaded, that 'tis a very proper expression, it must be observ'd, that the fourth Monarchy figur’d by the fourth bealt, was to have two great periods, one of fix heads, the other of a seventh head, having ten horns. The Period of the fix first heads is the Roman Empire under Kings, Confuls , Deceravirs, 7 ribunes of the people, perpetual Dictators and Emperors. And this first Period contains about 12 or 1300 years. The period of the little horn, or the sevenih beast with ten horns, is that of Antichrist and the ten Kings, which must also be between 12 and 1 300 years. Antichrist therefore is come in the last time of the last time, i.e. in the left period of the fourth and last worldly Monarchy. And consequently the Holy Spirit might with very great reason call his reign the last times. And thence it can by no means be concluded, that this Kingdom muft last but a few
before the end of the World.
Having said all that I had to say, to destroy this false imagination, that the Empire of Antichrist must last but ihree years and a half, I might justly reassume, and urge all those Arguments I tormerly mentioned, to prove that the idea of Antichrist, which the Papisis frame to themselves, is false, and that the popish Roman see is the true Antichrift: