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room enough for a detailed account of the prophecies, other reasons restrain me from entering immediately on a task, not less easy perhaps, than amusing. For 'Inter: preters, I think, have generally been too much in haft to apply the prophecies, be: fore they had sufficiently prepared the way for their application : So that, leaving many doubts unresolved, which men of thought and inquiry are apt to entertain on this subject, or not laying before them all the reasons and inducements, which should engage their attention to it, their clearest expositions are not received, and possibly nog considered.
With regard, then, to the prophecies, concerning Antichrist, though the chief obstructions in our way seem fairly removed, and it be now evident that there are certain grounds, on which the most abftrufe of them may be reasonably interpreted, yet, because the application of them is a work of time and industry, many persons, beføre they undertake it, may desire to know,
What GENERAL ARGUMENTS there are, which may affure them, beforehand, that their labour will not be misemployed, and that Papal Rome is, in fact, concerned in che tenour of these prophecies: And, when this demand has been made, they may further with to be informed, To what ENDS OR USES this whole inquiry serves; of importance enough, I mean, to encourage and reward their vigorous prosecution of
These defires and expectations are appa. rently not unreasonable: And to satisfy them, in the best manner I can, will be the scope and purpose of the two following Lectures.
Prophetic CHARACTERS of Antichrist.
LUKE xii. 56. -How is it, that ye do not discern this time?
in which the prophecies, respecting
, Antichrist, may be interpreted; I imagine that now, at length, ye are disposed to ask, On what GENERAL GROUNDS we affirm, that the Church of Rome is actually concerned in them.
To resolve this question, it will be sufficient to fet before you, in few words, some of the more obvious notes, or charakters, by which Antichrist is marked out in the prophecies : such, and so many of them, as
may convince you, that they are fairly applicable to the Church of Rome; and that, taken together, they cannot well admit any other application.
Of these prophetic characters,
1. The FIRST, I shall mention, is, Thai dve are to look for Antichrist within the proper limits of the Roman empire.
On this head, there is no controversy among those who acknowledge the authority of the prophet Daniel, and can be none : For that prophet, in his famous vision of the four kingdoms, says expressly, that, among the ten kingdoms into which the fourth, or Roman, shall be divided, ANOTHER fball arise [a]; that is, as all interpreters agree, the kingdom of Antichrift. So that this power, whatever it be, must have its birth and seat within the compafs
[a] Dan. vii. 7, 8.-I saw in the night vifions, and behold, a fourth beast-had ten borns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn-Compare with ver. 24.-The ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings (or kingdoms) that fhall-arife: and another shall arise after them.
of the ten kingdoms, that is, of the Roman empire, when, in fome future time from the giving of Daniel's prophecy, it should be so' divided.
But, to fix the ftation of the antichristian power more precisely, it is to be observed, that, as the four kingdoms of Daniel, considered in succession to 'each other, form a prophetic chronology [b]; fo in another view, they form a prophetic geography [c], being considered, in the eye of prophecy, as coexistent, as still alive, and subsisting together, when the dominion of all, but the last, was taken away [d].
In consequence of this idea, which Daniel gives us of his four kingdoms, so much only is to be reckoned into the description of each kingdom, as is peculiar to each ; the remainder being part of some other kingdom, still supposed to be in being, to
 Mede, p. 712.
[d] Dan. vii. 11, 12. Concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.