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Part 2. Forts, and Governours , spread throughout the
Earth; but it shall be the principal seat, whence
whereby the whole World shall be governed.
we takerbal number in its natural signification, and
After this Reign of a thowland years, there is a
words. Chap 20,
V.7. And when the thousand years are expired,
V.8. And shall go out to deceive the Nations,
V.9. And they went up on the breadth of the Earth, and compassed the Camp of the Saints about, and the beloved City: and fire came down from God
Önt of Heaven,and devoured them. výhat shal I fee but one sense can be given to this: that you happin at may comprehend it, you must know, that we are thouland not to take those promises of the conversion of all plained.
Nations, and of all men in përticular, in such a strict and rigid sense, as to admit of no exception. I have already told you, that the Church shallthen as far exceed the World, and the Good the wicked, as now the World and the Men of the World do the Good. Therefore there shall then be some remaining people not converted. They shallbe supprest and kept under during the thousand years, and shall not moleft either the Peace or Purity of the Church. But at the end of this period, their num
bers thall be increast, and become very considera- Part 2. ble. And before the end of the World, a cruel perrecution against the Church shall arise from them; and because the number of threè and half is fatal for perfecutions, 'tis not unlikely that this shall also
last three years and half before the end of the : W orld. During three natural years and half, the Sanctuary was shut up , and prophaned by An
riochus. For three years and half, Iesus Chrift: - preacht in an afflicted state : for three prophetical
gears and half, the two witnesses prophecied clothed in fackcloth : for three prophetical days and half, i.e. three natural years and half, these two witnesses should remain dead in the streets of the City. . . . .
So to me it seems probable ; that the last Pere fecution, after the thousand years of Rest, shall last three years and half , and then may come the Antichrist of St. Irenæus ; whom I will so far honour, as to believe that he had learnt the My: stery of this last Perfecution from fome Apoftolical Persons, which he confounded with the reign of the Apocaliptical Beast, for 1200 days. Neither is it improbable, but that the Ring-leader of this iaft Perfecution may be a lew : for there is no mean to be found among that People, they are all either very Good or very Bad. They who shall live when the lews shall be converted, shall be able to Divine something of it. For if they then see a remnantof obstinate lews, cantonize themselves in some corner ofthe World, and resist the general stream of Conversion, there will be some ground to believe, that this shall be the first bud of that Great Rebellion, which the Providence of God reserves for the end of the World. And so it may be there shall arise a lew,
Part 2. as St. Irenaus said, pretending to be the Messiah,
who shall persecute the Church, and reign for three years and half before the end of the World, and be destroyed within a few days before the laft Iudgement :. This shall be the Diminutive of the great Antichrif , which should not be confounded with the Man of fin., of whom Saint Panl speaks, nor with the Beast, in Revel. 13. nor with the Woman, chap. 17. nor with Babylon, chap. 18. The Fathers who lived near the Apostles time; it may be heard some discourse of this, and that probably gave occasion to the mistake. This is the most that can be faid with any pretence of reason; to excuse St. Ireneus, and those of the Ancients who followed him, in the descrie prion of Antichrift. Gog and Magog are names borrowed from Ezekiel, which in my opinion do not signify the same People in both places. Here it denotes in general the Enemies of the Church. Nevertheless, I know nothing concerning it with any great certainty.
CH AP. XX V.
ries, against the Reign of a thousand years.
sputation, I come now to answer the Reasons of the Anti-millinaries. But most of them are so weak,that they hardly deserve to be considered; but that the mention of 'em will serve as a further proof; to confirm the truth of our seventh Period. For’tis a very good Argument for any opinion, to be sup
E ported on the one hand by powerfull and weighty Part 2 : Reasons; and to be oppofed on the other by weak
and flender ones. Those Gentlemen have the pluErality of voices on their fide, and are doubtless
men of worth and learning. 'Tis nevertheless À true, that they have suffered themselves to be:
born down with the stream; without much mindeing it... : :
1. Fitf, they say, that the Scripture speaking of First oba Chrift's second coming, never speaks of any other chaineno -1 than that, when he shall appear in the Clouds of to come,
Heaven, attended with Angels and Archangels to 2 of obise mankind,and judge the quick and dead. Wherea jugdment, as we suppose a kind of a clandestine coming of Christ, to settle à Kingdom upon Earth, which the Scripture knows nothing of: for it speaks of no fu- .. . ture Kingdom of Christ, that is yet to be, save that
which he shall have in Heaven, after the distribué i tion of Eternal Rewards and Punishments: I dnes
fwer. :). These men suppose by this Arguments
ment; but there is no such Kingdom; neither shall - there ever be any; on the contrary, St. Paul doth
exprelly tell us, thät he shallthen cease to reign,
Part 2. is a first coming of Christ, and it may be a firft Refura
rečtion. 3. Lastly, who can be certain, that this coming of Christ, to establish his Kingdom upon Eartb, Thall not be in that manner, with the voice of an Arch-angel,and in great magnificence and Glory? Who can prove, that at that first coming of Christ he shall not raise fome of tbe dead, as St. Tobri
seems exprefly to have fore-cold? all the little rea.* 7. Tons pretended from Conveniency and Inconve. : "niency, which are here alledged, will have much
ado to relistthe evidence of fo expressa Text ; and
of that, Matth. 19. Verily, I say untoyau, that in the - Regeneration, when the Son of man shall be fat on the
Tyrone of bis Glory , hou shall also fit on twelve
Thrones, judging the twelve Tribes of Ifrael., 2.06ject. -2. The next thingalledged, is that the Heavens Christ is to are to contain Jesus Christ till the reftitution of all Heaven,till things. The restitution ofall things, that they say
of is the End of the World ; and so Jefus Christ must be the world.
confined to Heaven till the end ofthe world : and consequently, shall not come to settle a Kingdom upon Earth for a thousand years. If this were true, that Christ must stay in Heaven till the end of the
World, might he not deftroy his Enemies, give ., Peace to his Churcb, and govern it in Peace by his
Prophets and Servants, without coming in Person from Heaven? Moreover, in case our Lord should for a short space coine down from Heaven, to esta. blisha Kingdom for a thousand years, and to give his seal to the Converfion ofall Nations , by some glorious Apparition y returning backto Heaven im mediately after ; might it not be said, notwithftana ding this, that the Heavens shall contain him till the end of Time:?: Sofmall an interruption of his abode in Heaven could not hinder, but that the. heavens may ftillbe reckon'd the place of his abode.
the end of that the hit it noch