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divided, part of that empire itself,—a continuation of that empire in the view of prophecy, however we decide the historical question. And as the horns, or kingdoms still exist, as a matter of fact, consequently we have not yet seen the end of the Roman empire. “That which withholdeth" still exists, though in its ten horns; till it is removed, Antichrist will not come. And out of them he will arise, as the same Prophet informs us : "I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn .. and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.”

2. Now, in the next place, what is told us about Antichrist by the sacred writers ? This first of all, as bas been already noticed, that he embodies a certain spirit, which existed even in the days of the Apostles. "The mystery of iniquity doth already work." Even now there are many Antichrists "." And what that spirit is, St. John declares in a subsequent chapter. “Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God; and this is that spirit of the Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world ?." Here we see what its doctrine is to be ; but on that I shall not here enlarge. I am speaking of its working which had begun in the days of the Apostles, and has doubtless continued ever since. Doubtless this malignant principle has been at work since from time to time, though kept under by him that “withholdeth.” Nay, for what we know, at this very time there is a fierce struggle, the spirit of Antichrist attempting to rise, and the political power in those countries which are prophetically Roman, firm and vigorous in repressing it. What that spirit is, it would be beside my purpose here to attempt to ascertain, any more than to enlarge upon its doctrine ; though certainly there is at this very time, as in the days of our fathers, a fierce and lawless principle every where at work,-a spirit of rebellion against God and man, which the powers of government in each country can barely keep under with their greatest efforts. Whether this which we witness be that spirit of Antichrist, which is one day to be let loose', this ambitious spirit, the parent of all heresy, schism, sedition, revolution, and war,—whether this be so or not, certainly the present framework of society and government, as far as it is the representative of Roman power, would seem to be that which withholdeth, and Antichrist is that which will rise when this restraint fails.

1 1 John ii. 18.

2 Ib. iv. 3.

3. It has been more or less implied in the foregoing remarks, that Antichrist is one man, an individual, not a power or a kingdom. Such surely is the impression left on the mind by the Scripture notices concerning him, after taking fully into account the figurative character of prophetical language ; and such was the universal belief of the early Church. Consider these passages together, which describe him, and see whether we must not so conclude. First, the text and following verses : “ That day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who is the adversary and rival of all that is called God or worshipped ; so that he sitteth as God in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. ...... Then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the LORD shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming ...... whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders.” Next, the following passages in the prophet Daniel : Another shall rise after them, and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times, and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” Again : "In his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom; but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. . . . . . And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries; but the people that do know their God shall be strong,

i Vide Dodsworth's Second Advent: Appendix.

and do exploits. ..... And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished...... Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces, and a God whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things!." Let it be observed, that Daniel elsewhere describes other kings, and that the event has shown them to be individuals, as is generally confessed. And in like manner St. John :

“ There was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His Name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them; and power was given him over all kindreds and tongues and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world ?."

Further, that by Antichrist is meant some one person, is made probable by the anticipations, which have already occurred in history, of its fulfilment in this way. Individuals have arisen actually answering in a great measure to the above descriptions ; and this circumstance creates a probability, that the absolute and entire fulfilment which is to come will be in an individual also. The most remarkable of these shadows of the coming evil appeared before the time of the Apostles, between them and the age

of Daniel, viz. the heathen king Antiochus, of whom we read in the books of Maccabees. This instance is the more to the purpose, because he is actually described, (as we suppose) by Daniel, in another part of his prophecy, in terms which seem also to belong to Antichrist, and as belonging, imply that Antiochus was what he seems to be, a type of that more fearful enemy of

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1 Dan. vii. xi.

2 Rev. xiii.


the Church. This Antiochus was the savage persecutor of the Jews, in their latter times, as Antichrist will be of the Christians. A few passages from the Maccabees will show you what he

St. Paul in the text speaks of an apostasy, and of Antichrist as following upon it ; thus is the future typified in the Jewish history. “ In those days went there out of Israel wicked men, who persuaded many, saying, Let us go and make a covenant with the heathen that are round about us : for since we departed from them, we have had much sorrow. So this device pleased them well. Then certain of the people were so forward herein, that they went to the king, who gave them licence to do after the ordinances of the heathen ; whereupon they built a place of exercise at Jerusalem, according to the custom of the heathen; and made themselves uncircumcised, and forsook the holy covenant, and joined themselves to the heathen, and were sold to do mischief.” After this introduction the Enemy of truth appears. “After that Antiochus had smitten Egypt, he returned again, ... and went up against Israel and Jerusalem with a great multitude, and entered proudly into the sanctuary, and took away the golden altar, and the candlestick of light and all the vessels thereof, and the table of the shewbread, and the pouring vessels, and the vials, and the censers of gold, and the veil, and the crowns, and the golden ornaments that were before the temple, all which he pulled off. And when he had taken all away, he went into his own land, having made a great massacre, and spoken very proudly." After this, he set fire to Jerusalem, "and pulled down the houses and walls thereof on every side.... Then built they the city of David with a great and strong wall, ..... and they put therein a sinful nation, wicked men, and fortified themselves therein.” Next, “King Antiochus wrote to his whole kingdom, that all should be one people, and every one should leave his laws : so all the heathen agreed according to the commandment of the king. Yea, many also of the Israelites consented to his religion, and sacrificed unto idols, and profaned the sabbath." After this he forced these impieties upon the Israelites. All were to be put to death who would not "profane the sabbath and festival days, and pollute the sanctuary and holy people: and set up

altars, and groves, and chapels of idols, and sacrifice swine's flesh and unclean beasts," and " leave their children uncircumcised.” At length he set up an idol, or in the words of the history, " the Abomination of Desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side. ... And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire." It is added, “Howbeit many

in Israel were fully resolved and confirmed in themselves not to eat any unclean thing, wherefore they chose rather to die .... and there was very great wrath upon Israel "." Here we have presented to us some of the lineaments of Antichrist, who will be such, and worse than such, as Antiochus.

The history of the apostate emperor Julian, who lived between 300 and 400 years after Christ, furnishes another approximation to the predicted Antichrist, and an additional reason for thinking he will be one person, not a kingdom, power, or the like.

So again docs the false prophet Mahomet, who propagated his imposture about 600 years after Christ came.

And there have been events in our childhood, and in the generation before us, which seem to give still additional probability to the notion, that Antichrist is one, not many men acting together.

What I have said upon this subject may be summed up as follows:--that the coming of Christ will be immediately preceded by a very awful and unparalleled outbreak of evil, called in the text an apostasy, a falling away, in the midst of which a certain terrible man of sin and child of perdition, the special and singular enemy of Christ, or Antichrist, will appear ; that this will be when revolutions prevail, and the present framework of society breaks to pieces ; that at present the Spirit which he will embody and represent, is kept under by “the powers that be," but that on their dissolution, he will rise out of the bosom of them, and knit them together again in his own evil way, under his own rule, to the exclusion of the Church.

4. It would be out of place to say more than this at present.

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11 Mac. i.

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