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Gal. i. 11,
66 When ye 1 Thes.ji.
pel of salvation and eternal life ; and to administer CHAP the same to others which he himself had received, not as of man's wisdom, but as a medium of revelation.
47. Hence he says to the Galatians, “ I certify, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me, 12. is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
48. And in the same sense the Galatians received him, not as man, but as an angel, even as Christ Je- chap. iv. sus. And to the Thessalonians he
says, · received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye 13, 14. received it not as the qvord of men, but (as it is in truth) the word of God.-For ye became followers of the churches of God, which in Judea are in Christ Jesus.”
49. Thus the gospel of salvation, in its Spirit and power, was conveyed from the living witnesses and members of Christ's body, to those who had it not ; and among those who received faith, the younger copied the example of the elder; and by the one undivided Spirit which they received, they became one in Christ, as Christ and God are one.
50. It was the Word of God, even the mystery, which had been hid from ages, and from generations, -27, and that was made manifost unto the saints—which is ii. 3, 3. Christ in you, saith the apostle, the hope of glory. 6, 7. The inystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. And this treasure was committed to earthen vessels.
51. Then where else could that wisdom or knowl. edge be found but in that mystery ? and where could that mystery be found but in those earthen vessels to whom it was cominitted? There is no salvation in any other, but in Christ Jesus, as it is written, “ For Acair. there is no other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved.”
52. And as Christ Jesus was revealed, and made manifest for salvation, in his saints only, and unto them was committed all power to remit and retain sin, and all that pertained to eternal life and godliness; therefore, without the boundary of the church, true salva
2 Cor. iv,
CHAP. tion was never found, nor separate from it, could one
soul ever find deliverance from the reigning power
53. And hence are the words of St. Peter verified; 2 Peri3. “ According as his divine power hath given unto us
all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through
the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and 1 John v. virtue.” And hence also those of St. John : « We
know that we are of God, and that the whole world
The Rise of Antichrist predicted.
T is certain that neither Christ nor the apostles ex
pected the continuance of that order and power, in which the Primitive Church stood ; but on every occasion, spake of the work in which they were engaged, as not only subject to be corrupted, but plainly foretold that it would be supplanted, by a false spirit and power, which would prevail against the truth, and overcome it for a certain limited time.
2. And in this, the spirit of prophecy which was in them, agreed with the predictions of the prophets, who had spoken of the sufferings of Christ, and of a beastly dominion that was to arise, and make war against the saints of the Most High, and overcome and triumph over them for a season, before the ultimate glory of Christ's kingdom should be fully established.
3. The prophet Daniel gives a very plain and stri31–45. king representation of this, in opening Nebuchad
nezzar's vision of the image, which represenied four
4. The same was also shown by the vision of four. CHAP. great beasts, the last of which was dreadful and terrible, and prefigured an oppressive power that was to Dan, vó. devour the whole earth, and tread it down, and break it in pieces. 5. To Daniel also was pointed out the cutting off
chap. i. of the Messiah-the taking away of the daily sacri- and so fice the setting up of the abomination, which would make the truth desolate; and the period of time it would stand. And most of the prophets have spoken pü. of the same things, particularly Ezekiel.
6. Christ in his instructions to his disciples, is very pointed, in showing them, not only that his work of that duy would be supp: nted, but by whom, and in what manner it would be eifected.
7. He forewarns them of the coming of false christs, [i. e. anti-christs,) and false prophets, who are would shew signs and wonders, and, if it were possi. Markii ble, deceive the very elect--that many (not a few) Luke auto would come in his name, saying I am Christ, and would deceive many.
8. He also forewarns them that Jerusalem [literally and spiritually] would be compassed about with armies, and finally taken, and the aboinination of desolation spoken of, set up in that very city which the saints had possessed, and from which they should fee as from the deepest sink of corruption.
9. And St. Paul, in his epistle to the Thessalonians, concerning the day of Christ's second coming, says, “ That day shall not come, except there come first a 2 Thes. falling away."-And to Timothy, the apostle wrote Tinir. of the Spirit's speaking expressly, that in the la:ter i. times some would depart, (or stand off] from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.
10. St. John also, in the latter days of his time, represents the true Churchi, in his book of Revelation, Rev.in. as already swiftly on the deciie, as may be seen by his solemn warnings to the seven churches of Asia.
11. He likewise describes the growing power of corruption and oppression, under the figure of two wild be:sts, the first as coming up out of the sea, and the second out of the earth, which exercised all the Rev. power of the first, to show the continuance of the safe beastly power in another form.
12. And lastly, he represents this whole compound
of monstrous wickedness, under the figure of a scarRer.xvii. let coloured beast, whose power was universal, car.
rying a Mother of Harlots, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication and lived deliciously,
13. It is clearly manifest from all that is recorded in Church History, that such an apostacy did take place, as entirely excluded the Spirit and power of Christ from what was called his Church, and that a false spirit and power prevailed in that church, for many ages, after the days of the apostles,
14. But it may be asked whether this church really descended froin the Primitive Church of Christ, and had still a measure of the same spirit ?-or whether it originated wholly from another source ?-or whether God had a people in that church which he owned as the church of Christ, distinct from the main body of professors ?-or whether there were a pure church preserved on the earth, rested with the apostolic power, altogether distinct from that corrupt body? These are questions which have furnished matter of great debate, and many researches ; but could never be decided by all the powers of argument.
15. For the prophecies, being mostly sealed up See Asts. under the figurative language of the inspired writers, 2 Pet.ä. were liable to any app:ication which the ingenuity of chap. ä. the learned might contrive; they were therefore not
intended to be understood, any faster than they were 18. i 3; actually fuifilled, that the truth of things might be es. Jute 4,18 tablished by an appeal to matters of fact. As said the Dailesi angel to the prophet Daniel, “ Go thy way Daniel ;
for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."
16. Therefore, as the time of the end is actually come in which those predictions have had their time and accomplishment, it will be proper and necessary to discover the true source and influence of that false power called Antichrist, by which the nations and king. doms of the earth were deceived for ages, and brought into bondage the most wicked and oppressive, and by
which the cause of true virtue was trodden under foot, Luke ü.
and became unknown that now, the thoughts of ma. ny hearts may be revealed,
CHRIST'S SECOND APPEARING.
THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF
The IVork of Antichrist, by false Teachers.
THE word ANTICHRIST, was first used by the CHAP. it, took its rise in their day. This singular name is compounded of these two Greek words, arti and 281505,* which signify against Christ; so that the * Anti term Antichrist, includes whatever is against Christ; Christos. but was originally intended to apply, more particularly, to such as under a pretence of acting in the name of Christ, acted with a spirit directly against the Spirit of Christ.
2. Therefore this term, as used by the apostles, had no reference to the superstitious Jews, nor idolatrous Pagans, who made no profession of faith in Christ; but was generally confined to such as through a pretence of faith in Christ and obedience to the gospel, claimed an interest in the affairs of the Church, and thereby took occasion to pervert and corrupt it. And as there were many of this description, who rose up in the days of the apostles, St. John expressly says, Even nor are there many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
3. As if he had said, There are already many in the world, who profess Christ, but do not possess him ; who own him in words, but deny him in works; who talk about the spirit, but walk afier the flesh,
1 John is. 18.