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good Providence continue to be our Defence and Protection! But for Earthquakes, they have been more common in many Parts of Europe and America within these few Years, than they have been for some Ages before.
ANOTHER Sign is the Persecutions which the faithful Witnesses of the Truth of God shall suffer from the Opposition of those that have corrupted the Truth by the Workings of the Antichristian Spirit, v. 9. Then shall they deliver you (the Teachers and Affertors of Apoftolical Truth) up to be af, flicted, and shall kill you, and you shall be hated of all Men for my Name's sake. And V. 106 many shall be offended, and shall betray one" añother and bate one another. Upon which
Words I shall mention to other Comment * Cat. 15. than that of St. Cyril of Jerusalem
" thou hearest that Bishops contend against
Bishops, and Priests against Priests, and People against People, even to Blood, be not disturbed at it; for it was foretold tħát it should come to pass, (And again)
Amongst the Apostles themselves there c
was Treachery, and doeft thou wonder that there is Variance amongst Bishops?
ANOTHER Sign is, v. 11. Many False Prophets shall arise, and shall deceive many. This Sign in particular has been visibly fulfilled in the fight of all Men, by one of the most notorious and remarkable Instances of Delufion that ever was acted in any period of the Church, a Delusion masked under so
It a Mixture of noble Primitive and Evanlical Truths, and such Appearances of ery and dis-interested Zeal for God, that it eiv’d many well-meaning pious Souls, who lowed them in the Simplicity of their Parts. These may, I think, in the most pper Sense be called False Prophets, though ey taught and published many great and ble Truths. Prophets, I think they may called, in the common Acceptation of the ord, for Persons that speak by the DiAion and Aflistance of some supernatural, gent. For this I am perswaded was their afe, neither can I be induced to think that e whole was a Sham and Contrivance of me cunning Leaders amongst them who ere at the Bottom of the whole Design, to rve some By-ends of their own; and I beve it appears by this Time, that there Ive been fundry Things done amongst em, that greatly exceed the Powers of ature. Secondly, They are False Prophets,
having not justify'd their Mission by that ecisive Miracle to which they made their + See, The ft and most folemn Appeal. And Lastly, New Preiey may be called False, as speaking in and tenders to y a * false Spirit, and making those very
examin'd, ruths they uttered subservient to the pro- and their voting of Error and Falsehood, as might Pretences e shown at large, and which I fear will be shewn to be ut too fadly evident by the lameritable Ef- groundless eets which it has and will have according to by N. he different Impressions which it has made Špinckes, pon the Minds and Principles of different M. A. Persons. I cannot pass by this Sign, with- Printed for P
gifficher's skirit of Catherin
out taking Notice of St.Cyril's Comment : on it, p. 209. as being but too apposite our Case upon another Consideration, M. False Prophets (or Teachers) shall arise and.
“ Men (says he) are fallen froz. “ the true Faith, fome confounding thu “ Persons of the Ever-blessed Trinity
, a the Patripasians and Sabellians, others Ex
king the Blessed Jesus to be a meer Cri. † So do ture, as the t Arians : And formerly Her
ticks were detected and made manifeft,t. nians of
now the Church is full of private lurki. our Time. “ Hereticks. Men are fallen from the Trui
and have itching Ears, if you preach ti
them pleasing Doctrines, and propheti “ smooth things, they run after you, an.
hear you with Greediness. But tell ther"
of Repentance, Mortification, and the “ Love of God, they all forsake you. Me
are fällen off from good Works, and ha! rather seem good than be so. This is t. falling away, (viz. that is mention' 2 The). 2. 3.) and the Enemy (viz. Ani chrift) cannot be far of.
The next Sign is v. 12. That because of i: abundance of iniquity, the love of many fall win cold. Upon this faith St. Cyril, Ibid. “ Ca?
any here present fay, that he does in all Respects love his Neighbour with Since rity? Are not our Words very often fricadiy, our Countenances smiling and our Eyes chearful, whilst the Hear contrives Deceit, and he chat speak
Peace, has War in his Heart? (A lirek after)..“ The Want of brotherly Love wii
make Way for Antichrift. The Devil makes Divisions and Strife amongst Men, that the Enemy (viz. Antichrift) may be more easily let in. The fame Account given by Laétantius of the Times preling the Reign of Antichrift, pag. 646. There shall be fo little Righteousness in the World, and such Abundance of Covetousness, Impiety and Luft, that the few good Men that shall be left shall become a Prey to the Wicked. They shall live in Plenty, whilst the Righteous shall labour under Contempt and Poverty ; Right shall be oppressed, the Laws shall lose their Force, there shall be neither Sincerity, nor Peace, nor common Civility, nor Truth among Men. he same Account is given by Methodius Parensis, * And alas ! who is there at this day at may not take up Feremiah's Lamenta- * P. 396.
Orthodox. on, chap. 9. and wish in the Bitterness of
Edit.Balit, is Soul for a Lodging of way-faring Men, in the lent retirement of a wilderness, that he might ave his people and go from them. For they be all dulterers (loving the World, and the Riches nd Pleasures of it more than God) Jam.4.4. In Assembly of treacherous men, they bend their ingues like bowes for lies, but they are not valiant or the truth upon the Earth. Take
every ne of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brober; for 'every brother will utterly supplant, and very neighbour will walk with slanders, and they vill deceive every one his neigbour, and will not peak the truth; they have taught their tongue to peak lies, and weary themselves to commit ini
quity; their tongue is as an arrow shot out, it Speakerb deceit ; one speaker b peaceably to his Neighbour with his mcutb, but in beart be Layerb wait, v. 2, 3, 4, 8.
But you will say, if these be the infallible Tokens, whereby we are to judge of the near approach of that Time; How comes it to pass that so many Holy and Good Men have been mistaken in their Judgments about it? Since so many of the Ancient Fathers, who have written about these Matters, have taken Pains to apply them all to their own Times, and to perswade themselves and others, that the Day of the Lord was at hand ? To this I anTwer, That the Illustrious Ideas which the Ancients had receiv’d from the Holy Scriptures as then understood, and from the Traditions of their Venerable Predecessors in the Faith, concerning the Glorious Kingdom of the Messiah, and the. Reftitution of Nature (which will be the Consequences of the Great AMiction) were so transporting and ravishing, that their inflamed Affections could not chuse but outrun, or at least lay a strong Byass upon their Judgments, and make them often believe, that what they wish'd to be so near at hand, could not be far off. So even the Disciples themselves, as soon as ever our Lord was Risen from the Dead, could not chuse but think that the Kingdom should immediately be restor’d to Israel, Act. 1. 6. But if we, upon whom the Ends of the World are come, have not the same long