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THE most careless reader of the Prophetical parts of the Old and New Testament can scarcely fail to notice, that there are several strong intimations, and many direct and clear predictions concerning a Power, a Person, or a succession of Perfons, that were to arise in the world, and either deceitfully arrogate to themselves the place and office of Christ, or exercise a direct enmity and opposition to Him and his Religion.-Such is the “ ANTICHRIST,” or “ the many ANTICHRISTS," fpoken of in the New Testamenta. The characters and properties of these Powers
* It may perhaps be necessary to apprize the unlearned Reader, that the term Antichrift ('Arrixeisos) is an epithet · generally meaning any power or persons acting in any respect in opposition to Christ or his doctrines. Its par
or Persons, the dignity which they were to assume, the means by which they were to recommend themselves to the world, the arts which they were to practise, and the persecution they were to carry on, to oppress the true Christians, and obtain adherents to their errors, are all clearly represented in yarious passages of Scripture.
Prophecies respecting AntiCHRIST.
In order to throw as much light as possible upon this subject, I shall collect the principal of these Prophecies into one point of view, before I venture to offer any observations upon them, excepting only the Prophecies of Daniel, These,' as they will be stated particularly in the course of this Chapter, I shall omit here, to avoid a length of repetition ;
ticular meaning is to be collected from those passages of Scripture, in which it occurs. « It may either signify one who assumes the place and office of Christ, or one who maintains a direct enmity and opposition to him." See Hurd's Introduction to the Study of the Prophecies, yol, ii. p. 19,
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observing only that Daniel expressly mentions a Power which was to arise from the laf of the four great empires of the world, but was to be divers from it...
· St. Paul, guided by the fame fpirit of Prophecy, directs the attention of the early Christian converts to a similar subject.
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coma ing of our Lord Jefus Christ, and by our. gathering together unto him, that ye be not Soon Maken in mind, orbe troubled, neither by Spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. , Let na man deceive you by any means: for that day fall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition ; who opposeth and" exalteth himself above all that is called God, ar that is, worshipped; so that be as God fitteth in the temple of God, Shewing himself that he is God, Remember ye not that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth, that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity đoth already work: only he who now letteth, will let until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the.
Lord Mall confume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming : even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved".
The Apostle resumes the fame subject in his first Epistle to Timothy, and forewarns him of some great Apostasy, that was at fome future time to happen ; and he characterizes this great event by such peculiar and striking circumstances, as may lead us, who live in these later ages, at once to discover the particular persons to whom the description is applicable.
..Now the Spirit Speaketh expressly, that in the latter times fome shall depart from the faith, giving beed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils ; Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron ; fora bidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God bath created to be res
ceived with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come: for men Mall be lovers of their own felves, covetous, boasters, proud, blafphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unboly, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Yannes and Jambres withstood Mofes, fo do these also refift the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they mall proceed no further; for their folly fall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
For the time will come, when they will not endure found do&trine; but after their own luf Shall they heap to themselves, teachers, having