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of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." And it is prophesied that this man of sin should set himself up in the temple or visible church of God, pretending to be vested with divine power, as head of the church, ver. 4. And all this is exactly come to pass in the church of Rome. Again it is intimated that the rise .of Antichrist should be gradual, ver. 7. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way." This also came to pass. Again, it is prophesied of this mighty enemy of the Christian church, that he should be a great prince or monarch of the Roman empire: so he is represented in Daniel as a horn of the fourth beast, or fourth monarchy, as the angel himself explains it, Daniel, 7. This also came to pass. Yea, it is prophesied that the seat of this pretended vicar of God, and head of the church, should be the city of Rome itself. It is said expressly that the spiritual whore, or false church, should have her seat on seven mountains or hills. Rev. 17:9. “ The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.” And ver. 18. “The woman which thou sawest, is that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth ;" which it is certain was at that time the city of Rome. This prophecy also has come to pass.
Further, it was prophesied that this Antichrist should reign over peoples, and multitudes, and tions, and tongues, Rev. 17 : 15; and that all the world should wonder after the beast, Rev. 13 : 3. This also was verified in the church of Rome. It was foretold that this Antichrist should be remarkable for the sin of pride, pretending to great things, and assuming very much to himself. 2 Thess. 2: 4. “ That he should exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped." Rev. 13 : 5. "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies.” In Dan. 7: 8, 20, the little horn is said to have a mouth speaking very great things, and his look to be more stout than his fellows. This also was verified in the Pope and the church of Rome. It was also prophesied, that Antichrist should be an exceedingly cruel persecutor, Dan. 7:21. The same horn “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” Rev. 13 : 7. “ And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." Rev. 7: 6. “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Je. sus.”
This also came to pass in the church of Rome. It was foretold that Antichrist should excel in craft and policy. Dan. 7:8. "In this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man.” And ver. 20. “ Even of that horn that had eyes.” This also marks the church of Rome. It was foretold that the kings of Christendom should be subject to Antichrist. Rev. 17 : 12, 13. “ And the ten horns which thou sa west, are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but received power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” This also came to pass with respect to the Romish church. It was foretold that he should perform pretended miracles and lying wonders. 2 Thess. 2 : 9. “Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying won. ders.” Rev. 13:13, 14. “ And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven
on the earth, in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.”. This also designates the church of Rome. It was foretold that he should forbid to marry, and to abstain from meats. 1 Tim. 4: 3. "Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving." This also is exactly fulfilled in the church of Rome. It was foretold that he should be very rich, and arrive at a great degree of earthly splendor and glory. Rev. 17 : 4. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand." And 18: 7, 12, 13, 16. What can more expressly describe the church of Rome? It was foretold that he should forbid any to buy or sell, but those that had his mark. Rev. 13 : 17. “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” This also is fulfilled in the church of Rome. foretold that he should sell the souls of men, Rev. 18 : 13, where, in enumerating the articles of his merchandise, the souls of men are specifically mentioned as one. Is not this also exactly fulfilled in the same church? It was foretold that Antichrist would not suffer the bodies of God's people to be buried. Rev. 11:8, 9. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, and they shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” How literally has this come to pass
with respect to the church of Rome! I might mention many other things which were foretold of Antichrist, and
show that they were fulfilled most exactly in the Pope and the church of Rome. How strong an argument is this, that the Scriptures are the word of God!
II. From what has been said, we may learn what the spirit of true Christians is : a spirit of suffering. Seeing God has so ordered it in his providence, that his church should for so long a time be in a suffering state, yea, often in a state of extreme suffering, we may conclude that the spirit of the true church is a suffering spirit, otherwise God never would have ordered for it so much suffering; for doubtless God accommodates the state and circumstances of the church to the spirit that he has given her. No wonder therefore thąt Christ so much inculcated apon his disciples that they must deny themselves, and take up their cross, if they would follow him.
And what spirit has the church shown and exercised under her sufferings ? She has actually, under those terrible persecutions through which she has passed, rather chosen to undergo those dreadful torments, and to sell all for the pearl of great price; to suffer all that her bitterest enemies could inflict, than to renounce Christ and his religion. affords a great number of remarkable instances, sets in view a great cloud of witnesses. This abundantly confirms the necessity of possessing a spirit to sell all for Christ, to renounce our own ease, our own worldly profil, our honor, and our all, for him, and for the Gospel.
Let us inquire whether we have such a spirit. How does it prove upon trial ? Does it prove in fact that we are willing to deny ourselves, and renounce our own worldly interests, and pass through the trials to which we are called in providence ? Alas,
how small are our trials, compared with those of many of our fellow Christians in former ages! [ would on this occasion apply Jer. 12: 5. • If thou hast run with the footmen and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses ?'' If you have not been able to endure the light trials to which you have been called, how would you be able to endure the far greater trials to which the church has been called in former ages ? Every true Christian has the spirit of a martyr, and would suffer as a martyr, if he were called to it in providence.
III. Hence we learn what great reason we have assuredly to expect the fulfillment of what yet remains to be fulfilled of things foretold in Scripture. The Scriptures foretell many great things yet to be fulfilled before the end of the world: but what great difficulties seem to be in the way! We seem at present to be very far from such a state as is foretold in the Scriptures; but yet we have abundant reason to expect that these things, however seemingly difficult, will be accomplished in their season. the faithfulness of God to his promises hitherto; how true he has been to his church, and how he has remembered his mercy from generation to generation.
We may say concerning what God has done hitherto for his church, as Joshua to the children of Israel, 23:14. “Not one thing hath failed of all that the Lord our God hath spoken concerning his church;" but all things are hitherto come to pass agreeable to the divine prediction. This should strengthen our faith in those promises, and encourage us, and stir us up to earnest prayer to God for the accomplishment of the great and glorious things which yet remain to be fulfilled.