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end will fall near the year 2000 after Christ; and at the end of the 6oooth year of the world, when, according to a very early tradition of Jews and Christians, and even of Heathens, great changes and revolutions are expected both in the natural and in the moral world; and there remaineth, according to the words of the Apoftle, a fabbatism, or holy rest to the people of God.”
Thus was the Antichristian power of the Church of Rome described by Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John, at a time when no such power existed, as it was to be in future and distant ages, in the rise, progress, and establishment of its temporal and spiritual dominion. They pointed out, in a manner strictly correspondent with the whole series of the history of that Church, its departure from the true faith, its errors, ceremonies, pretended miracles and canonizations of martyrs, the greatness of its authority, and the boundless extent of its dominion : they even marked with more appropriate circumstances, its spirit of intolerance and persecution, its monastic establishments, the celibacy of its clergy, its impious assumption of a divine
grant pardons and absolutions for sin; the departure of the Protestants from its communion, its gradual decline, and its final destruction.
“ If in the days of St. Paul and St. John, there were any footsteps of such a sort of Power as this in the world; or if there ever had been any such power in the world; or if there was then' any appearance or probability, that there ever could be
any such kind of power in the world ; much less in the TEMPLE or Church of God; and if there be not now [or very lately was] such a Power actually and conSpicuously exercised in the Christian world; and if any picture of this Power, drawn, after the event, can now describe it more plainly and exactly, than it was originally described in the words of THESE PROPHECIES; THEN, BUT NOT TILL THEN, may it with some degree of plausibleness be suggested by an Atheist or a Deist, that these Prophecies are nothing more than enthufiastic imaginations P.
P Clarke's Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion, vol. ii. p. 720.
TIIE RISE, PROGRESS, ESTABLISHMENT,
AND DECLINE OF THE MAHOMETAN
POWER OF ANTICHRIST.
We have already seen that the Prophets Daniel and St. John clearly revealed the rise and establishment of a Power in the East, at a certain period of time, which was to be a scourge “ to the people of God” for their manifold offences; and which is to be considered as one of the forms of Antichrist.-We now proceed to prove, from the authority of the most eminent and learned Commentators, Mede, Vitringa, Daubuz, Sir Isaac and Bishop Newton, More, Whiston, Lowman, and many others, and from the testimony of Historical facts, that these Prophecies are strictly applicable to Mahomet and his followers—that they have been accomplished by them as far as time will admit of their accomplishment, and are at the present hour fulfilling before our eyes.
a See Introductory Chapter, vol. i. p. 298 F 2
In the ninth chapter of the Revelation, which the Reader will recollect was quoted at length in vol. i. p. 298—301. St. John has prefigured under suitable emblems, the origin, the characteristic manners, , of war, and the destructive ravages of the pretended Prophet of Arabia and his followers--the Arabians, Saracens, and Turksupon the idolatrous and corrupt Christians. This formidable power commenced about the year
of Christ 606, which is considered by most of the early Commentators, as the year when the Papal Antichrist was firft established b.
• It is fomewhat remarkable that these powers not only arose, but were fully established nearly together. In the year 758 the Pupe received the exarchate of Ravenna, and soon after became sovereign of Rome. In 762, the Saracen Caliph, Almansor, built Bagdad as the sapital of his extensive empire. It is certain that they
By the permission of Divine providence, whose designs are frequently represented in Scripture, and more particularly in the Apocalypse, as being accomplished by celestial agents ;
an angel descended and opened the cave of the abyss, for so the words of the original Greek ought to be translated. This figurative representation properly expresses a commission from heaven to allow Satan to infeft the world with some new and
“The word standing in the original for cave, is more particularly expressive of those caverns, which, on account of the springs they contain, emit a vapour, and were by Pagan superstition often considered as the seats of oracles and sources of inspiration. And does not this emblem moft strikingly de. scribe the rise of a pretended revelation? Or, when fuch, answering in all points to the prediction, was propagated at the period to which this Prophecy relates, does not the literal circumstance of its rise from a cave, both fix the application, and demonstrate the truth of the Prophecy? And
have declined together, and the popular opinion in Rome and Constantinople concerning their fall is fingularly fimilar,