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would be hereafter, when by that means Antichrift fhould deceive them.) And St. Luke, Chap. 11. v. 29. fays, our Lord was fo far from gratifying them, that he affured, them no fign fhould be given them but the fign of Jonas the Prophet, which we know was in the Depths below. And the Holy Spirit foreseeing that this Opinion would again prevail in the World, tells us by way of Caution, that that Deceiver Antichrift fhould be able to bring down Fire from Hea ven; i. e. the heights above, that fo when he fhall fhew that Sign, it may be fo far from deceiving us into an Opinion of his being the Meffiah, that it fhall be to us a fure Token that he is the Antichrift.

World at

not the sent Firs

S20. Now what a State muft we imagine The State the World to be in, when God fhall fuffer of the them to be governed by fuch a Ruler as that time. this, when the Powers of Darkness fhall be thus let loose, and the Devil himself shall reign corporally, himself ruling in chief, and fending forth on all fides innumerable Perfons impregnated with his own Diabolical Spirit, Blafphemers of God and Haters of good Men, mighty in the Powers of 17:3 Darkness, to be as his Deputies and ViceRoys to rule and domineer in diftant Provinces and Countries. I tremble to read the difmal and terrible Account that both the Holy Scriptures and Ancient Writers give of thofe Times; this will moft certainly be that Time of Trouble, fuch as never was fince God made Man upon Earth, nor ever shall be afterwards: For the very M 2 Foun


Foundations of the Natural, Moral, and
Political World fhall be deftroy'd and caf
down. His Conqueft of the Kings an
Nations of the Eastern and Western Empire
we have already confidered; befides which,
the Prophet Daniel affures us, that be ha
Stretch forth his Hand upon other Countries; that
he fhall have Power over the Treasures of Gol
and Silver, and over all the precious Things
Egypt; and the Lybians and Ethiopians fhall
at his fteps. His horrible Contempt of Go
and Prophanation of Religon we ha
feen, fetting himself in the Temple of
God, and not fuffering the daily Sacrifice
nor any Chriftian Solemnities to be ob
ferved. As to the Natural World, we know
that the Devil is emphatically ftiled Ta
Prince of the Power of the Air, Eph. 2. 1. and
as fuch has, no doubt, by the Permiffior
of God, a Power of raifing Disorders and
Commotions there; and especially at this
time, when by the Divine Nemefis th
whole vifible Sphere of Nature will b
abandoned and delivered over to the over-
flowings of the Curfe. Antichrift there
fore, and his Magical Attendants and Fol
lowers, fhall make ftrange Confufions and
Alterations in external Nature; terrible
Earthquakes, Storms, Thunders, Light
nings, &c. and, according to their exa
Knowledge of the active and paffive Qua
lities of Nature, may according to fome
fecret Rules of their diabolical Art, f
temper them, as to raise poisonous malig
nant Ferments in the Air, Earth, or Wa


ter, fo as to fpread peftilential Influences all round, to ravage not only a Town, but a Country or a Kingdom. Such dark Magicians there are already fome in the World; but (God be praifed) we are not yet abandoned to their Fury. The Meafure of our Iniquities is not as yet quite full; but that we are not very far off from that fatal Period, we have but too much Reason to fear. Whilft the Powers of Darkness are thus afflicting the Church, (i. e. thofe Chriftians who have not fo far wrought out their Salvation, as to be out of the reach of the Enemy, as it is plain fome fhall be ;)the Vengeance of God shall by his Inftruments, the two Witneffes, vex and torment the Antichriftian Company. These two Witneffes (of whom more hereafter) being endued with Power to devour their Enemies, with Fire proceeding out of their Mouths. Thefe have alfo Power to fhut Heaven that it rain not in the Days of their Prophecy, Rev. 11. 5, 6. that is, for three Years and an half: Even as it was done by Elijah in the Days of that wicked Prince Abab, which were no doubt a Type of thefe Times. Compare 1 Kings 17. 1. with James 5. 17. So that from hence muft proceed great Famine and want of Provifions; to which the following Quotations do frequently allude. Hear the difmal Account St. Hippolytus gives of thofe Days. Hear, faith he, ye that love God, what Affliction there fhall be in thofe Days. That Evil One (viz. Antichrift) fhall gather together Evil Spi

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frits in Human Shapes, and fhall mock and infult over the Jews who have made ' him their King, and fhall fet Devils to be Princes over them. And when the Famine fhall be fore upon them, the Heavens being fhut up, then (fays he) he fhall fend forth his Meffengers, both Men and Evil Spirits, faying, There is a great King rifen upon the Earth, come ye and worship him, and behold his Power, he shall $ give you Bread to eat, and Wine to drink, with great Riches and Honours. Again, Then (fays he) fhall he fend forth Le$ gions of Evil Spirits into the Mountains, and Dens, and Caves of the Earth, to fearch out them that have hid themselves from him, and fhall bring them to worship him; and those that obey him, he fhall Seal with his Mark; but those that refufe, fhall he punish with unheard-of Torments. Then they that have received his Mark, and cannot find either Bread or Water, fhall come to him, and with a forrowful Voice fhall fay, Give us Meat and Drink, we languifh for Hunger and Thirft, command the Heavens to give us Rain, and drive away from us the ravenous Beafts. Then fhall he mock them and fay, The Heavens refufe to give us Rain, the Earth will not bring forth Fruit, Whence fhall I fupply you? When they hear this Anfwer, then fhall they lament and bewail their Mifery, and f with Sighs and Tears fhall call upon that f merciful God that fhall deliver them out

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of his Hands, and by an invisible Power protect thofe that call upon him worhily. So great fhall be the Trouble of hat Time, that in the Morning they hall wifh for Evening; and as foon as he Darkness of the Night fhall cover them, they fhall be fo terrified with Earthquakes, Storms and Tempests, that hey fhall long for Morning. The whole Earth fhall bewail a Life fo full of Miferies. The Sea fhall mourn, the Earth fhall mourn; the Sun in the Firmament of Heaven, the Beafts of the Earth, the Fowls of Heaven, the very Mountains and Hills fhall mourn for the Miferies of Mankind, because all have forfaken their God. The Churches fhall mourn with great Lamentation, for there fhall be neither Offering nor Holy Worship in those Days: Churches fhall be as Stables; nor fhall the precious Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Chrift be celebrated in thofe Days: There fhall be no Prayers, no finging of Pfalms, nor fhall the Scriptures be read. (A little after) Without fhall be Fear, within Trembling; both at Home and Abroad dreadful Scenes of Horror, Hunger and Thirft, Lamentation and Sighing. The fine Faces fhall languifh, Palenefs fhall cover the beautiful Countenances.


Charms of Women fhall vanifh. And in many other Inftances does he defcribe the Horrors of that time. So alfo Lactantius *

Then fhall the Cities be utterly * Lib. 7. ruin'd p. 650.

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