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Justin Martyr, who florished before the middle of the second century, (6) considers the man of fin, or as he elsewhere calleth him the man of blasphemy, as altogether the same with the little horn in Daniel; and affirms that he, who thail speak blafphemous words against the most High, is now at the doors. Irenæus, who lived in the fame century, hath written (7) a whole chapter of the fraud, and pride, and tyrannical reign of Antichrist, as they are defcribed by Daniel and St. Paul in his second Epiftle to the Theffalouians. Tertullian, who became famous at the latter end of the fame century, expounding those words only he who now letteth will lett, until he be taken out of the way, (8) fays Who can this be but the • Ronian state, the division of which into ten kingdoms ' will bring on Antichrift, and then the wicked one shall be revealed.' And in his
And in his Apology he (9) afligns it as a particular reason why the Christians prayed for the Roman empire, because they knew that the greatest calamity hanging over the world was retarded by the continuance of it.
Origen the most learned father and ablest writer of the third century, (1) recites this passage at large as spoken of him who is called Antichrift. To the same purpose he likewise alleges the words of Daniel as truly divine and prophetic. Daniel and St. Paul, according to him, both prophesied of the fame perfon.
Lactantius, wlio florished in the beginning of the fourth century, defcribes Antichrist in the same manner, and almost in the fame terms as St. Paul; and (2) con
(6) Dial. cum Tryph. p. 250. velabitur iniquus. De Resurrect. Car. Edité Paris. p. 201. Edit. Thirlbii. nis. Cap. 24. p. 340. Edit. Rigaltii. και τα βλασφημα και τολμηρα εις τον
Paris. 1675. υψισον μελλοντος λαλείν ηδη επι θυραις (9) Eft et aba major neceffitas nobis Ortoçeoque qui impie et temerarie orandi pro imperatoribus, etiam pro malediéta in Altiffimum prolocuturus omni ftatu imperii, rebusque Romanis, elt, jam pro foribus allittente. Vide qui vim maximam universo orbi imeriar. p. 336. Edit. Paris. p. 371. minentem--Romani imperii commeatu Edit. Thirlbii.
fcimus retardari. Apol. Cap. 32. (7) Advertus Hærefes Lib. 5. p. 27. Ibid. Cap. 25. Antichristi fraus, superbia, (1) Contra Celsum Lib. 6. p. 668. et tyrannicum regnum, prout a Da. Opera Tom. I. Edit. Benediét. niele et Paulo descripta funt. p. 437.
(2) Hic eft autem, qui appellatur Edit. Grabe.
Antichriftus ? fed fe ipfe Christum (8) Quis,. nisi Romanus ftatus ? mentietur, et contra verum dimicabit. cujus abicesfio in decem reges disperla Lactant. Lib.7. Cap. 19. Antichristum fuperducet, ét tunc re
cludes This is he, who is called Antichrist, but Mall
feign himself to be Christ, and fhall fight againft the • truth.' A shorter and fuller character of the vicar of Christ could not be drawn even by a protestant. Cyril of Jerusalem in the same century alleges this passage of St. Paul together with other prophecies concerning Antichrist, and (3) says that “This the predicted Antichrist " will come, when the times of the Roman empire thall ' be fulfilled, and the consummation of the world fhall approach. Ten kings of the Romans Thall arise to
gether, in different places indeed, but they thall reign • at the fame time. Among these the eleventh is Anti
christ, who by magical and wicked artifice shall feise • the Roman power. Ambrose archbishop of Milan in the fame century, or Hilary the deacon, or the author (whoever he was) of the comment upon St. Paul's epistles, which passeth under the name of St. Ambrose, proposes much the same interpretation and (4) atlirms that after the failing or decay of the Roman empire, Antichrist shall appear.
Jerome, Austin, and Chryfoftome florished in the lat. ter end of the fourth, or the beginning of the fifth century, St. Jerome in his explanation of this paffage (5) says, " that Antichrist shall fit in the temple of God,
(3) EPXETAI agorigauer Artoe brof. in locum. χρισ©- ετώ, όταν πληρωθώσιν οι καιρου (5) Et in templo Dei, vel Jerofolyτης Ρομαιων βασιλείας, και πλησιαζει mis (ut quidam putant) νεl in eccle201TrovTa ong T8 roouis OuiteAssas. fia (ut verius arbitramur) sederit, δεκα
μεν ομε Γομαιων εγείρονται, βασι- oftendens fe tanquam ipfe fit Chriftus λεις. εν διαφοροις μεν ισως τοπους, κατα et filius Dei : Nili, inquit, fuerit Roδε τον αυτον βασιλεύεσι καιρον. μετα manum imperium ante desolatum, et de 78T85 évdexatos o Artiggisos, ex ins Antichriftus præcefferit, Christus non Marixas xaxoteqysaç thu Pwpaïrnyezeveniet.--Et nunc quid detineat, siitis, Olav ápragas. Veniet autem hic præ- út reveletur in fuo tempore ; hoc eft, dictus Antichriftus, cum impleta fue- que causa fit, ut Antichristus in prærint tempora imperii Romani, et mun- fentiarum non veniat, optime noftis. di consummatio appropinquabit. De- Nec vult apertè dicere Romanum imcem fimul reges Romanorum excita- perium destruendum, quod ipfi qui buntur, in diversis quidem locis, eodeni imperant, æternum putant.--Si enim tamen tempore regnantes. Poft istos apertè audacterque dixisset, non veniet autem undecimus Antichriftus, per Antichriftus, nifi prius Romanum de. magicum maleficium Romanorum po. leatur imperium, justa causa persecu. teftatem rapiens. Catch. 15. Cap. s. tionis in orientem tunc ecclefiam conp. 211. Edit. Milles. Oxon. 1703. furgere videbatur. Algasiæ Queft. 11.
(4) Polt defectum regni Romani" Col. 209. Prior Pars. Tom. 4. Edit. appariturum Antichriftum, &s, Am. Benedict.
' either at Jerusalem (as some imagin) or in the church?
(as we more truly judge) thowing himself that he is . Christ and the Son of God; and unless the Roman
empire be first defolated, and Antichrist precede, * Christ shall not come-And now ye know what with
holileth that he might be revealed in his time, that is, ye ' know very well, what is the reason, why Antichrift * doth not come at present. He is not willing to say
openly, that the Roman empire should be deltroyed, which they who command think to be eternal.- For if he had said openly and boldly, that Antichrist thall not come, unless the Roman empire be first deftroyed, it might probably have proved the occasion of a per
fecution against the church.' Jerome was himself a witness to the barbarous nations beginning to tear in pieces the Roman empire, and upon this occafion (6) exclaims He who hindered is taken out of the way,
and we do not consider that Antichrist approaches, ? whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the spirit of • his mouth.' St. Auftin having cited this paffage (7) affirms, that "No one questions that the apostle spoke • these things concerning Antichrift: and the day of judgment (for this he calleth the day of the Lord) 1hould not come, unless Antichrist come first. —And. now ye know what withholdeth.--Some think this was spoken of the Roman empire; and therefore the apostle was not willing to write it openly, left he should incur
a præmunire, and be falsely accused of' withing ill to the Roman empire, which was hoped to be eternal." St. Chryfoftome, in one of his homilies upon this paffage, speaking of what hindered the revelation of Antichrist, (8) afferts that when the Roman empire shall be taken
(6) Qui tenebat, de medio fit, et dam putant hoc de imperio di&tum non intelligimus Antichriftum appro- fuisse Romano; et propterea Paulum: pinquare, quem Dominus Jesus Chril. apoftolum non id apertè fcribere vo- , tus interficiet fpiritu oris fui.' Ad luisle, ne calumniain yidelicet incurAgeruchiain de Monogamia Col. 748. reret, quòd Romano imperio male opSecund. Pars. Tom. 4.
taverit, cùm fperaretur æternum. De (7) Nulli dubium ett, eum de An- Civitat. Dei. Lib. 20. Cap. 19. Col.; tichristo ista dixiffe ; diemque judicii 4.51. Tom. 7. Edit. Benedict. Ant. (hunc enim appellat diem Domini) werp. non esse venturum, nisi ille prior vene- () η αρχη ή Ρομαϊκη όταν αρθη εκ με sit-Et nunc quid detineat scitis Quie oe, Fola Exelvos nĞES. xao sirolws¿ws yog
out of the way, then he shall come; and it is very likely: for as long as the dread of this empire shall remain, no one fhall quickly be substituted; but when "this shall be diffolved, he fhall feise on the vacant em
pire, and Thall endevor to assume the power both of . God and men.' And who hath feized on the vacant empire in Rome, and affumed the power both of God and man let the world judge.
In this manner these ancient and venerable fathers expound this paffage; and in all probability they had learned by tradition from the apostle, or from the church of the Theffalonians, that what retarded the revelation of Antichrist was the Roman empire, but when the Roman empire should be broken in pieces, and be no longer able to withhold him, then he thould appear in the Christian church, and domineer principally in the church of Rome. Even in the opinion of a bithop of Rome, Gregory the great, who fat in the chair at the end of the fixth century, whofoever affected the title of univerfal bishop, he was Antichrist
, or the forerunner of Antichrift. 'I speak it confidently, fays (9) he, that whosoever calleth him
felf universal bishop, or defireth fo to be called, in 'the pride of his heart he doth forerun Antichrist.' When John, then bishop of Constantinople, first usurped this title, Gregory made answer, . By this pride of his, ' what thing else is fignified, but that the time of Anti· christ is now at hand?' Again he fays upon the fame occafion, The king of pride (that is Antichrist) ap
proacheth ; and what is wicked to be spoken, an army • of priests is prepared. When the papal doctrins and the 1 avó TaUTNS as ons apxins po6G, sdesz quis fe universalem facerdotem vocat, ταχεως υπoλαγησεται, όταν δε αυτη vel vocari deliderat, -in elatione sua καταλυθη, επιθησεται τη αναρχία και
Antichriftum præcurrit. Lib. 6. Epift. την των ανθρωπων, και την τε θεα επι- 30. Ex hac ejus fuperbia quid aliud, xéignon agruous agxnu. quando Ro- nisi propinqua jam efle Aņtichrifti manorum imperium de medio fuerit tempora designatur. Lib. 4. Epift. sublatum, tunc ille veniet. Et merito, 34. Rex superbiæ prope eft; et, quod Quamdiu enim fuerit metus hujus im- dici nefas eft, facerdotum eft præpaperii, nemo cito fubjicietur. Quando ratus exercitus. Lib. 4. Ibid. See autem hoc fuerit eversum, vacans in- Jewel's Detenie of the Apology. Part vadet imperium, horninu mque et Dei 4. Cap. 16. p. 413. Barrow's Treaimperium aggredietur sapere. In lo tise of the Pope's Supremacy, Suppos. cum p. 530. Tom. 11. Edit. Benedict. so p. 123. Edit. 1683. (9) Ergo fidenter dico, quod quifI 39
papal authority prevailed over all, it was natural to think and expect, that the true notion of Antichrift would be stifled, and that the doctors of the church would endevor to give another turn and interpretation to this paffage. That night of ignorance was so thick and dark, that there was hardly here and there a single star to be seen in the whole hemisphere. But no fooner was there any glimmering or dawning of a reformation, than the true notion of Antichrist, which had been so long fuppressed, broke out again. As early as the year 1120 a treatise was published concerning Antichrist
, wherein (1) the faithful are admonished, that the great Antichrift was " long ago come, in vain was he still expected, he was
now by the permission God: advanced in years :' and the author, having described the corrupt state of the church at that time, says afterwards, This state of men
(not a single man) is Antichrift, the whore of Babylon,
the fourth beast of Daniel, (to wit in his last state as it * is faid) that man of sin and son of perdition, who is
exalted above erery God, fo that he fitteth in the tem4ple of God, that is, the church, showing himself that
he is God; who is now come with all kind of seduction "and lies in those who perish.' The Waldenefes and Albigenses propagated the same opinions in the fame century. That the pope was Antichrist was indeed the general doctrin of the first reformers every where. Here in England it was (2) advanced by Wickliff, and was learnedly established by that great and able champion of the Reformation, Bishop Jewel, in his Apology and Defense, and more largely in his Exposition upon the two Epistles of St. Paul to the Theffalonians, This doctrin
(1) Anno Domini 1120-emissus super
omnem Deum, ita ut in temest tractatus de Antichristo, - In hoc “ plo Dei, id est, ecclesia, fedeat, libro admonentur fideles “ Antichrif- “ oitendens fe tanquam fit Deus; qui « tum illum •magnum jamdudum ve- “ jam venit in omni genere feduc“ nisse, frustra adhuc exspectari, esse « tionis et mendacii in iis qui pere. « jam Dei permissione ætate provec- " unt." Mede's Works B. 3. De
Hunc hominum ftatum numeris Danielis, p. 721, 722. “ (non fingularem hominem) effe (2) Dialogorum libri 4, quorum * Antichristum, meretricem Babylo- quartus Romanæ ecclesiæ facramenta, s nicam, quartam beftiam Danielis, Antichrifti regnum, &c. perftringit, “ nempe in ftatu ejus noviffimo, ut Cave Hift. Litt. Vol. 2: Appendix ^c dictum est) hominem ¡Hum peccati, p. 63, er et filium perditionis, qui extollịtur,