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WORK OF REDEMPTION. (PERIOD III. pretending to be vested with the power of God himself, as head of the church, as in the same chapter, verse' :4. And all this is exactly come to pass in the church of Rome. Again, it is intimated, that the rise of Antichrist should be gradual, as there, verse 7. “ For the mystery of iniquity doth already work ; only he who now letteth, will let, until he be taken out of the way." This also came to pass.....Again, it is prophesied of such a great and mighty enemy of the Christian church, that he should be a great prince or monarch of the Roman empire : So he is represented as an horn of the fourth beast in Daniel, or fourth kingdom or monarchy upon earth, as the angel himself explains it, as you may see of the little horn in the 7th chapter of Daniel. This also came to pass..... Yea, it is prophesied, that the seat of this great prince, or pretended vicar of God, and head of his church, should be in the city of Rome itself. In the 17th chapter of Revelation, it is said expressly, that the spiritual whore, or false church, should have her seat on seven mountains or hills ; Rev. xvii. 9. 66 The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth :" And in the last verse of the chapter, it is said expressly, “ The woman which thou sawest, is that great city which reigneth over the king's of the earth ;" which it is certain was at that time the city of Rome. This prophecy has also come to pass in the church of Rome.
Further, it was prophesied, that this Antichrist should reign over peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues, Rev. xvii. 15 ; and that all the world should wonder after the beast, Rev. xiii. 3. This also came to pass in the church of Rome. It was foretold that this Antichrist should be eminent and remarkable for the sin of pride, pretending to great things, and assuming very much to himself : So in the forementione place in Thessalonians, 6 That he should exalt himself above all that is called God," or that is worshipped. So Rev. xiii. 5. “ And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies." Dan. vii. 20, the little horn is said to have a mouth speaking very great things, and his look to be more stout than his fellows. This also came to pass in
PART II.] WORK OF REDEMPTION.
325 the Pope, and the church of Rome......
It was also prophesied, that Antichrist should be an exceeding cruel persecutor, Dan. vii. 21. The same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them : , Revelationis xiii. 7. « And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." Revelations xvii. 6. “And I satv the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” This also caine to pass in the church of Rome...... It was foretold, that Antichrist should excel in craft and policy : Dan. vii. 8. “ In this hoin were eyes like the eyes of a man." And verse 20. “Even of that horn that had eyes. This also came to pass in the church of Rome...... It was foretold, that the kings of Christendom should be subject to Antichrist : Rev. xvii. 12, 13. “ And the ten horns which thou sawest, are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power'as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast." This also came to pass with respect to the Romish.church. ...It. was foretold, that he should perform pretended miracles and lying wonders ; 2 Thess. ii. 9. 6 Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders." Rev. xiii. 13, 14. " And he doth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth, in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth, by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast.”. This also came to pass in the church of Rome. Fire's coming down from heaven, seems to have reference to their excommunications, which were dreaded like fire from heaven.......It was foretold, that he should forbid to marry, and
to abstain from meats : 1 Tim. iv. 3. “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath crea ated to be received with thanksgiving.". This also is exactly fulfilled in the church of Rome...... It was foretold, that he should be very rich, and arrive at a great degree of earthly splendor and glory : Rev. xvii. 4. “ And the woman was arrayed in purple, and scarlet color, and decked with gold and precious stones, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand.”
And so chap. xviii. 7.-12, 13. 16.' This also is come to pass
great enemy of the church so often spoken of in scrip-
How strong an argument is this, that the scriptures are the word of God?
2. But I come now to a second inference ; which is this : From what has been said, we may learn what the spirit of true Christians is, viz. a spirit of suffering. Seeing God has so ordered it in his providence, that his church should for so long a time, for the greater part of so many ages, be in a suffering state, yea, and often in a state of such extreme suffering, we may conclude, that the spirit of the true church is a suffering spirit, otherwise God never would have ordered so much suffering for the church ; for doubtless God accommodates the state and circumstances of the church to the spirit that he has given them. We see by what has been said, how many and great sufferings the Christian church for the most part has been under for these 1700 years : No wonder therefore that Christ so much inculcated upon his disciples, that it was necessary, that if any would be his disciples, “they must deny themselves, and take up their cross and follow him,"
And we may argue, that the spirit of the true church of Christ is a suffering spirit, by the spirit the church has shower and exercised under her sufferings. She has actually, under those terrible persecutions through which she has passed, rather chosen to undergo those dreadful torments, and to sell all for the pearl of great price, to suffer all that her bitterest enemies could inflict, than to renounce Christ and his religion. History furnishes us with a great number of remarkable instances, sets in view a great cloud of witnesses. This abundantly confirms the necessity of being of a spirit to sell all for Christ, to renounce our own ease, our own worldly profit, and honor, and our all, for him, and for the gospel.
Let us inquire, whether we are of such a spirit. How does it prove upon trial? Does it prove in fact that we are willing to deny ourselves, and renounce our own worldly interest, and to pass through the trials to which we are called in providence ? Alas, how small are our trials, compared with those of many of our fellow Christians in former ages! And I would on this occasion apply that in Jer. xii. 5. “ If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses ?" If you have not been able to endure the light trials to which you have been called in this age, and in this land; how would you be able to endure the far greater trials to which the church has been called in former ages
? Every true Christian has the spirit of a martyr, and would suffer as a martyr, if he were called to it in providence,
3. Hence we learn what great reason we have, assuredly to expect the fulfillment of what yet remains to be fulfilled of things foretold in scripture. The scriptures foretel many great things yet to be fulfilled before the end of the world. But there seem to be great difficulties in the way. We seem at present to be very far from such a state as is foretold in the scriptures ; but we have abundant reason to expect, that these things, however seemingly difficult, will yet be accomplished in their season. We see the faithfulness of God to his promises hitherto. How true has God been to his church, and remembered his mercy from generation to generation ! We may say concerning what God has done hitherto for his
church, as Joshua said to the children of Israel, Josh. xxiif.
It has already been shown how the success of Christ's redemption was carried on through various periods down to the present time.
4thly. I come now to show how the success of Christ's redemption will be carried on from the present time, till Antichrist is fallen, and Satan's visible kingdom on earth is destroyed...... And with respect to this space of time, we have nothing to guide us but the prophecies of scripture. Through most of the time from the fall of man to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, we had scripture history to guide us; and from thence to the present time we had prophecy, together with the accomplishment of it in providence, as related in human histories. But henceforward we have only prophecy to guide us. And here I would pass by those things that are only conjectural, or that are surmised by some from those prophecies which are doubtful in their interpretation, and shall insist only on those things which are more clear and evident.
We know not what particular events are to come to pass before that glorious work of God's Spirit begins, by which Satan's kingdom is to be overthrown. By the consent of most divines, there are but few things, if any at all, that are foretold to be accomplished before the beginning of that glorious work of God. Some think the slaying of the witnesses, Rev. xi. 7, 8, is not yet accomplished. So divines differ with respect to the pouring out of the seven vials, of which we have an account, Rev. xvi. how many are already poured out, or how many remain to be poured out ; though a late expositor, whom I have liefore inentioned to you, seems to make it