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discovered and distinguished from all other blasphemies, sects and heresies of what age or time soever.

Which that I may not seem to ground only upon the exposition of my text, which, whatsoever the probability thereof be, may yet be thought alone too weak to support the weight of so main a conclusion, 1 desire you to take these arguments for a full confirmation thereof. Some of them have already been intimated, but now all are mustered up together.

I. That Babylon is intituled, in the Revelation of St. John, not “ the liar of Babylon,” nor the “tyrant of Babylon," nor the “ heretic of Babylon,” nor the “murderess of Babylon,"but the “WHOŘE OF BABYLON," yea, that “great whore," and the “mother of fornications and abominations of the earth.” Doth not God (think we) give the name as he accounts the nature ? Or is there any one will deny that this Babylon is that “mystery of iniquity” which our Apostle so calleth, as being in opposition to the great* “mystery of true worship and religion ?" If any should, t “mystery Babylon" in her forehead would help to reclaim him. And what whore is that with whom “the kings, and nations, and kingdoms of the earth coinmit fornications ?” Can it be any other but a “spiritual whore ?" Without question, therefore, St. John means no other thing here than what he foretold in the eleventh chapter. That the “second and outmost court of the temple, (which is the second state of the Christian Church,) together with the holy city, should be trodden down and overtrampled by the Gentiles forty-two months.” That is, overwhelmed with the idolatry of the Gentiles, which is, Doctrines of Demons, as long as power shall be given to the beast to make war with the saints, as long as the witnesses must wear sackcloth, and the woman which escaped the fury of the Ethnical Dragon be fed in the wilderness. 2. St. Paul tells us, that the great apostasy should enter * Μυτηριον ευσεβειας.

* Μυσηριον Βαβυλων. | 2 Thess, ii.

by “strong delusions,” by “signs," and "lying wonders.” Consider, then, what corruptions of the Christian faith were thus ushered in. To begin with the beginning and first corruption of that kind. “ Invocation of saints,” with the “ adoration of their shrines and reliques,” how were these advanced in the Church ?

Was it not by miraculous cures of the sick, healing of the lame, restoring of the blind-yea, raising of the dead (as seemed) by the touch and air sometimes of the shrines and reliques of souls deceased ? Was it not still confirmed by strange apparitions and other means wonderful to hear, for discovery of bones and reliques unknown and forgotten-yea, of men whose names they had never heard of before ?—and, which I shall shew better hereafter, no such experience for three hundred years together observed in the Church, until the fatal and fixed time began to enter. “The worshipping of images,” (the second for time, of the Church's fornications,) was not this also allured, and at length fully ratified by like signs and miracles shewed upon those who approached them in their devotions ? Read the legend, and see what store there is of “strong delusions,” and “ lying wonders.” That which, for time, came in last, but deserves a place among the foremost, I mean the “idolatry of the mass, and " adoration of the breaden God," search and see if it also be not thus attended.

If all this be true, then would I know what doctrine of theirs besides was installed with these solemnities. There is but one only left for exception, and that is purgatory; but what if all the delusions of purgatory, with all the apparitions of purgatorian ghosts, were but an indirect device of Satan, aiming partly to advance the mass into an idol, by the miraculous efficacy (as the ghosts forsooth report) of the oblation thereof for them; partly to instal the “son of perdition ( a demon' I yet spake not of and yet a 'demon') to sit as God in the temple and throne of Christ, with the keys of hell and death,” to deliver them ? What stronger presumption

can there be of this than the event, and that the error of purgatory had so long been working before the Devil seemed to know how to make this use of it, which at length he spied out, and plied lustily with signs and wonders ? If all this be true, then it follows still that it is “spiritual fornication,” which the Holy Ghost in Scripture intended, and the event hath marked out for the soul of anti-Christian abomination and impiety; but of the matter of“ miracles,” and “lying wonders,” more in the second part of my text, which is the proper place thereof.”

3. And, lastly, the great apostasy is a thing proper to *"the latter times,” (which I will shew, when I come at it, to be the last times of the fourth kingdom of Daniel, Dan. 7, 25, & alibi.) But amongst all other corruptions, only the spiritual fornication of the Church and Spouse of Christ will be found proper to these times.





you will allege for her behalf who seems all this while to be charged, that Antichrist and the Man of Sin is set forth in Scripture as the most hateful and execrable thing that can be in the eyes of God Almighty ; but how can such a thing be said, and comparatively to be,

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where the true God, with Christ his Son, God and man, are in any sort acknowledged and worshipped ?

Lord ! that the whole train of Scripture, in the prophets especially, and the example of the Church of Israel, should not cure this web, and take this film from the eyes of men! Doth not the Lord say of Israel, that he had chosen them to be a special people to himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth ? (Deut. vii. 6.) You only have I known (saith he) of all the families of earth-(Amos, iii. 2.) And is not Christ the Lord of Christians, and is not the Church bis spouse ? *“ This is a great mystery.” Ephes. v. 32. No marvel, then, where this mystery is not considered, if the mystery of iniquity be not understood.

Alas, poor Church of Israel ! thy case, it seems, should have been a very hard one, for what nation in the world ever suffered so much rebuke, so many plagues, so much wrath as thou hast done ? Yet couldst thou say for thyself, thou never forsookest the true God altogether, but wast still called by his name; only thou wouldst fain worship him in calves and images, as other nations, thy neighbours, did their Gods; thou wouldst needs follow the fashion, and this was thine error. Thou never meantest to cast off thy Jehovah altogether, but still wouldst have him to be thy God, and thyself to be his people ; yet thou tookest this liberty, to have other Gods besides the Lord thy God, viz. thy Baaliins and demongods of other nations about thee; and yet hopedst that Jehovah the God of heaven, thy only sovereign God, would not be offended thereat, since thou retainedst him still in chief place and honour with thee.

Why was thy God, then, so unkind and cruel unto thee, to call thee whore, and prostitute whore, so often? all his prophets continually baiting thee with that so foul and odious a name of abominable harlot ? Why did he scatter thee, and even cart thee naked among the nations,

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before his jealousy would be satisfied ? For it seems he is far more indulgent to his second wife, the Church of the Gentiles : for she worships her God in images and crucifixes, yea calls a piece of bread her Lord and her God; and yet saith, he is no whit jealous of her, but well pleased. She, though espoused to Christ Jesus, the Son of the living God, as her sole mediator and intercessor in the presence of God his Father, yet thinks she may fall down to Saints and Angels, yea to as many images of them as ever the Jews had of their Baalims, or the Gentiles of their demons. And yet forsooth, because she makes her Lord the chiefest still in the honour of her affection, and uses the rest of her lovers no farther than she may still yield the first and chief place to him, she verily supposes he is no whit offended with her: whereas Israel should have been called a whore a thousand times over for as little as this; yea and like enough to have been carted too, and her nose slit, (Ezek. xxiii. 25,) long before this time.

Nay, but she wipes her mouth, and asks why her Lord should be angry; for she calls him still her Lord, and acknowledges and professeth him still to be her husband. If he hath a mind to be angry with any, let him go to the Turks, Tartars, and other Mahometans, or to the Pagans, who will not acknowledge him at all to be their Lord, though he hath offered himself, and perhaps wooed some of them ; but they would none of him, but have married themselves to other husbands. Here, if he will be jealons, is matter for his jealousy.

But, thou CHRIST-APOSTATICAL STRUMPET, knowest thou not the first commandment of thy Christian decalogue to be, thou shalt have no other Christs but me? What doest thou, then,with so many Christlings ? Knowest thou not that an husband is more grieved and dishonoured by his wife's adultery, than if any other woman whatsoever, yea suppose his kinswomen and daughters, should play the harlots ?

What are Turks, Tartars, or any other unbelieving na

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