Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Some Ob

*pon the preceding

ons,

[ocr errors]

the Mark of the

does also St. Augustin, Lib, 20. Cap. 8. St.Ferom in the 11th and 12th Chapters of Daniel, 'St.Cyril, Lib. 11. in Gen. St. Gregory, Lib. 14. Morál. and Lib. 32. Cap. 12.

I 21. Upon the aforegoing Quotations servations I cannot but observe, I. That Hippolytus

asserts, that the Means whereby the Church Quotati- (or Christans of that time, which are not

and counted worthy to escape) shall be deceiconcerning ved by Antichrift, will be by his offering

them Food in that great Famine. Which

same thing is attested by Anaftafius Sinaita Beaft.

( Contempla in Hexaemer. Tom. I. Bib. Patr. P: 327.) in these Words: God said to the

Serpent, He shall bruise thy Head, and thou shalt bruise bis Heel; i. e. The extreme Parts of the Body of Christ, which is his Church; so that the Heel shall be the Presence of Antichrist in the laft Times; and the evil Serpent waits for that Time, when he may again supplant the Church by offering them Food, when there shall

be a great Famine. So that they who have not Faith to believe that Man doth not live by. Bread alone, but by every Word that proceedeth out of the Mouth of God, shall not have Patience to expect God's Accomplishment of his Promises, that God will at last be Jealous for his Land, and pity his People, and fend them Corn, and Wine, and Oil, to satisfie then therewith, Joel 2. 18,19. They, I say, that will not for this wait upon God, shall trangress the Law of their God, and pollute the Holy One, for handfuls of Barley and pieces of

Bread,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Bread, Ezek, 13. 19. II. That those who thus Apoftatize and go over to the Enemy, shall be sealed with the Mark of the Beaft; concerning which the Holy Scriptures and Fathers speak exprefly, only with this difference, that as the Scripture attributes this Sealing to the Eastern Beast, or False Prophet, Rev. 13. 16. The Fathers attribute it to Antichrift himself; understanding, I suppose, the False Prophet, as being in the Spirit of Antichrift, to be as the Instrument by which he Seals them (even as we are sealed by the Spirit of God to the Day of Redemption, Eph. 4. 30.) That the Impression of this Seal, and the Number of the Beast, are both one, is generally supposed by Ancient Writers (as may be seen at large) who therefore use them promiscuously. But what that Seal, Mark, or Number is, or wherein it consists, is hard to determine. Most of the Ancients supposed that it was to be a Name composed of the Numeral Letters which compofe 666. Of which sort many are reckoned up by Hippolytus, Irenæus and others, to the Number of Sixteen or Seventeen, many of which are most violently drawn in, and there is indeed so great a Latitude in that way of Interpretation, that some of the later Writers of the Church of Rome have made Luther and Calvin bear the Name of the Beast: And when Monsieur Jurieu, Minister of the French Church at Rotterdam, upon the Authority of Irenæus, had afferted that Axleiro was it, his Ad

versaries

[ocr errors]

ز

versaries found that Rotterdam was comprized in the same Number, and asserted that to be the Name of the Beast. In short, by this way we may make any thing out of any thing; for which very Reason Hippolytus, p. 39. 'owns he does not understand it. A very probable Hypothesis was that of the Learned Dr. Potter, who afferted that the counting of it consists in extracting the Root of it, which is 25, that being the only Number, which by being multiplied into it self, makes the Square Number 666, when the Fraction (which is 41 in this Operation) is added to it, which is what is meant by the Square Root of a Number. And this, as for many other Reasons reckoned up by that excellent Writer, so especially for this, that the Number 25 has always been esteemed by Sacred and Prophane Writers, who had never thought of Antichrist or his Kingdom, to be mysteriously Evil; and toʻbe an Hieroglyphical Character of fome unhappy, desperate, deplorable, and apoftate State of the Church, because it is an oddly uneven Number, which is unevenly meafured by an odd Number, so uneven indeed, that no square perfect Number cari arife out of it, but what is inade up of fractional Additions. Whereas, on the contrary, the Number 12, the Root of the Pure Church, is an even Number making 144000; it's Square perfectly and entirely,' to Thew the Perfection, Entireness, and Agreeableness

of

of its Foundation and Structure. And this way of counting or calculating this Number (a venerable Piece of the Ancient Oriental Learning ) is certainly much more agreeable to the Sublime Stile of this Mysterious Book, than the forming technical Words out of numeral Letters, which is a piece of Wisdom not so profound as that which I believe is referred to, Rev, 13. 18. But the most probable Opinion is, that as the Number Seven is the Number of Rest and Perfection, as may be largely seen in Holy Scriptures; so the Number Six fignifies Labour, Affliction and Perfecution Şix being the Days of Labour preceding the Seventh Day of Reft and Refreshment. So we have seen, Ezek. 9. there were Six Persons appointed to execute Vengeance upon the Apostate Church, whereas the Business of the Seventh was to set the Mark of Deliverance upon those that were to be preserved from Destruction. So as we before observed, the Usurpation of Athaliah lasted Six Years, when in the Seventh Year Jehoiada the Priest made a Covenant with the Rulers of the Army, and destroy'd that wicked Woman, and Feboash was establish'd on his Throne. Many other Instances might be produced to strengthen this Observation, but these shall suffice : This Number then thrice repeated, may express the most desperate and deplorable State of the Church,

.

[ocr errors]

23. think

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of the Two $ 22, WHILST Antichrist shall be thus Witnesses. domineering and lording it over the Earth,

God hath promised to fend forth his Two Witnesses, who shall prophecy and bear their Testimony against him, and not only that, but torment him and his Followers for the space of 1260 Days, or 42 Months, the whole space of the Antichriftian Kingdom, Rev. 11. That by these Two Witneffes are meant Enoch and Elias, who never saw Death, but were translated_alive, was a common Opinion of the Fathers ;' Of Hippolytus in these Words, As John the

Baptist was the Forerunner of our Bleffed

Lord's First Coming, so shall Enocb and * Lib. de 'Elias be of his Second. Tertullian *, Enoch Anima, and Elias were translated and never faw Cap. sc.

Death, but are reserved to the time of the End, that they may destroy Anti

christ by their Blood. St. Cyprian, in his + P. 36. Tract. de Montib. Sion & Sinat;

Enocb was opusc. Edit. translated alive to a certain Place known

to God, and shall come from thence to oppose and confound Antichrift. Ephrem Syrus, Serm. de Antichrifto ; " The merciful

God shall send Enoch and Elias, who shall preach to the People, and warn them not to believe Antichrist, boldly crying out and saying, This is Antichrist the Deceiver, the Son of Perdition ; 0 ye Men, let none of you believe him, or hearken to this Tyrant fighting against God: Be not afraid of him, for he shall

foon be destroyed, and his Power broken. St. Ambrose upon that Passage, 1 Cor. 4.9. I

[ocr errors]

Oxon.

[ocr errors]

1

« ElőzőTovább »