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been the expression) must, in all reason, be. interpreted of the Christian church, andi could not, in the prophetic language, be interpreted otherwise.
When, therefore, Antichrist is said to fit in the temple of God, it is the same thing as if it had been said of him, That be fitteth, or ruleth, in the church of Christ. Now, substitute these words the church of Christ in the room of those: other words.-tbe temple of God; and see, if St. Paul, supposing his purpose had been: to express a spiritual power: in oppofition tor a civil.; fee, I say, if St. Paul could have conveyed that purpose more plainly.
Still, we have another, and, if possible, a more deciGive teftimony in the Revelations. For, among the different views, which St.. John gives : us of Antichrist, in so many: distinct visions, one is fet before us in the following manner - And I bebeld another i beast coming up out of the earth, and be bad,
illa; fed oportet effe rem spiritualem, in quâ attributa, antiquæ Hierosolymæ myfticè demonstrentur. VITRINGA, Apocalypt. Exp. & Illuftr. p, 762.
two borns like a lamb, and be spake as a Dragon [s]. Now, if we had known nothing more of these symbols, than what the obvious qualities of the animals themselves suggested to us, we could only have in. ferred, that this ruling power (for that is the idea conveyed by the term, Beast) would put on the appearance of a gentle and pacific administration : I say, the appearance; for what its real character was to be, is clearly enough expressed in what follows, that this lamb-like beast spake as a Dragon. But, when we further reflect, that borns, in the prophetic style, are the emblems of power, and that a Lamb is the peculiar, the appropriated symbol of Christ, the lamb of God, wbich taketh away the fin of the world [t], and is conftantly fo employed throughout this whole prophecy of the Revelations, we must, of necessity, conclude that a beast with the borns of a lamb can only be a state, or person, pretending to such powers, as Christ exercised, and
[:] Rev. xiii, 15.
[:) Jahn i. 29.
his Religion authoriseth; that is, powers, not of this world, but purely fpiritual.
The other symbol of a Dragon, confirms this conclusion. For a Dragon, in the prophecies, 'is the known symbol of the old Roman Government, in its pagan, perfecuting state. When, therefore, it is said that the beast Spake as a Dragon, the meaning is, That Antichrist should assume the highest tone of civil authority in promoting his tyrannous purposes, though he cloked his fierce pretensions under the meek femblance of a spiritual character. Taken together, these two fymbols speak as plainly, as fymbolic terms can speak, That Antichrist was to be a religious person, acting in the spirit of a secular tyrant. So exactly is he characterised by the poet Mantuan, addressing himself to one of the Popes
Enfe potens gemino, cujus veftigia adorant
On the whole, I leave it to be considered, whether, when the prophecies proVOL. II.
nounce of Antichrist, that he should be, a power diverse from all others that he Should fit in the temple of God and that he should have the horns of a lamb~I leave it, I say, to your consideration, whether it be not plain that this extraordinary power, a Roman power, and residing at Rome, was to be a Christian and Ecclefiaftical, and not a Pagan and Civil power.
IV. Another obvious character of Antichrift, or rather, complication of characters, is that triple brand, impressed upon him, of a tyrannical, intolerant, and idolatrous, power.
The prophets hold him up to us, as reigning, or exercising an oppressive and fupereminent dominion, over the kings of the earth, that is, of the western empire [u]; as making war with the lamb, and the saints who receive not bis mark in their forebeads [w], that is, persecuting good and conscientious Christians, who refuse to
[x] Dan. vii. 8. 20. Rer. xvii. 1. 16, 17.
wear the badge of Antichrift, and to serve under him; and, as another Babylon, the mother of barlots and abominations of the earth [x], that is, as polluted himself with the groffest idolatry, and as corrupting the nations with the fame prophane worship.
But these marks, it will be said, have been found upon so many powers, which have appeared in the world, that they cannot be given as the distinctive marks of one, that is, of the Papal Power: Nay, the Bilaop of Meaux goes further, and attempts to fhew, by a very refined argument, that the very terms of wboredom and fornications in which the last of these marks, I mean, #DOLATRY, is set forth by the prophet in the book of Revelations, make it impossible for us to apply that mark to Rome Chriftian.
Let us see, then, first, what force there is in the criticism of this learned Prelate.
That wboredom, or fornication, in the language of scripture, means idolatry, is agreed on all hands, and cannot be dif, [*] Rev. xvii. 5.1