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beloved, I now write unto you ; in both which I fir up your pure minds by way of rememom brance; that ye may be mindful of the words which were Spoken before by the boly Prophets, and of the commandment of us the Apostles of the Lord and Saviour. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days fcoffers, walking after their own lufts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming ? for fince the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water, and in the water; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.' But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the ' Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not pack concerning his promise, as some men count Nackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any' Jhould perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the wbich the heavens U 2
shall pafs away with a great noise, and the eles ments shall meltwith fervent heat, the earth allo and the works that are therein Mall be burnt up. Seeing then that all these things shall be diffolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godlines; looking for and bafting into the coming of the day of God; wherein the heavens being on fire jhall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent beat. Neverthelefs we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein. dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent, that ye may be found of bim in peace, without spot and blameless. And account that the long suffering of our Lord is Salvation ; even as our beloved brother Paul ‘also, according to the wisdom given unto him, buth written unto you; as also in all his Epistles, Speaking in them of these things; in which are fome thing's hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other. Scriptures, unto their own *deftruétion. Ye" therefore beloved, seeing ye knore these things before, beware left ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both nazer and ever.. Amen. ,
For there are certain men crept in unta wares, -who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jefus Chrift. Likewise, also these filthy dreamers defile the Hefy, despise dominion, and Speak, evil of dignities. These are murmurers, complainers, walk, ing after their own lufts; and their mouth Speaketh great swelling words; having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember :ye the words which were Spoken before of the Apostles of our Lord Fesus Christ; how that they told you there should.be- mockers in the last time, zba: Should walk after their own ungodly, lufts.. . These be they wko separate themselves, fenfual; having not the spiritk'; ; i en polvos soie
Proposed APPLICATION of the above Pro
From all these descriptions taken together, it clearly appears that A Power, sometimes represented as the little horn, the man of fin, the Antichrift, the beast, the harlot, the ftar fallen from heaven, the false Prophet, the dragon, or as the operation of false teachers, was to be expected to arise in the Christian world, to persecute, oppress, and delude the Disciples of Christ, corrupt the doctrines of the primitive church, enact new laws, and establish its dominion over the minds of mankind.
Such are the names, the characteristics, and the qualities of this power of Antichrift, which I consider to be THE POWER OF THE DRAGON himself-explained by the angel, to be that old serpent which is the Devil or Satan' the old enemy of mankind, beginning and ending his rebellious war with deceit and lies. --Cast from his throne of Pagan Rome when Christianity was establilhed in the seat of empire, and the trium
phant church enjoyed a short repose, he returned fecretly to the contest, and disturbed its peace by herefies and consequent animosities, corrupted it through the medium of prosperity, and reduced it, excepting only a very small part, to a ftate requiring correction and punishment, for having yielded to temptations which obedience to the laws of its divine Master would have enabled it to refift. -Then was the Dragon again permitted to exalt himself to the throne of this world— But in the same manner as the cap tivity of the Jews was previously limited to the term of 70 years, to prove it the punishment allotted by God, and not the conquest of the heathen over his people; fo the 'reign of the Dragon or Antichrist was previously limited m to 1260 years, to prove that the sufferings of the church are by the appointment of God, and not the triumph of the Dragon over the church of Christ. -- Babylon was destroyed at the expiration of the 70 years; and when the 1260 years shall be expired, “ the Dragon shall be bound and cast into the bottomless pit.".
See Daniel vii. 25. Rev. xi. 3. Pyle on the Reve. lations, p. 80.
* Rev. xx. 2.