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tion under heaven, unto thy Lord and Saviour ? * Are they not all strangers to him, and he to them ? for thee, he had chosen thee out of many nations to espouse thee to himself; so that thou mayest say with Israel, (Isa. Ixiii. 19,) “We are thine; but as for them, thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.” “ But to thee, (to use the words of Ezekiel, ch. xvi. v, 8, &c.) he swore an oath, and entered into a covenant with thee, and thou becamest his, and wert called, and wilt still be called by his name. Thee he washed with water, yea, thoroughly washed thee from the pollution of thy birth, and anointed thee with oil. Thou wast decked with gold and silver, and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil, and wast exceeding beautiful, and didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty ; for it was perfect through the comeliness which the Lord thy God hath put upon thee. But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications upon every one that passed by. And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon. Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of thy Lord's gold, and of thy Lord's silver, which he had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them ; and tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them; and thou hast set the Lord's oil and his incense before them, &c.”

Judge now between the Lord and his people, ye that have wives ! give sentence ye husbands ! whether of the two in question hath most dishonoured our Lord and Saviour; which of the two is most likely to fret him, and kindle the coals of fury and jealousy. Those who never were in covenant with him, nor yet are called by his name ; or whether his spouse, his darling and beloved one, to whom he was betrothed and married. Judge according to the manner of wedlock, and the notorious precedent of Israel. He that is a father (we say) is best able to understand the love of a father, and, therefore, God's love to his children. For the like reason, he that is an husband is sensible of the jealousy of an husband ; and so of the case of Christ, with his unfaithful and treacherous spouse, the CHRISTIAN JEZEBEL.

* Jerom in Ez. xliii. dicit. ego hoc arbitror quod non polluat nomen Domini, nisi ille qui visus est nomini ejus credere : et quomodo tollit membra Christi, et facit membra meretricis, qui prius Christo cre. didit; sic ille polluit nomen Domini qui prius nominis ejus fidem susceperit.

The decision and sum of all this is, that the whoredom of the Church of God is a spiritual adultery; and, therefore, between the idolatry of Christians and that of infidels and Paynims is as much difference, in God's esteem, as is between adultery and simple fornication. The one, as equal to murder, was in the law punished with death ; the other with a much lighter punishment. Whence in Ezekiel (in whose words I have been so long) ch. xvi. ver. 38, God saith to Jerusalem, for their idolatry, that he would judge her as women that break wedlock, and shed blood, are judged; he would give her blood in fury and jealousy. And this was the resolution of God himself against Israel, (Amos, iii. 1, 2.) "Hear this word that the Lord hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, saying, you only have I known of all the fainilies of the earth; therefore, will I punish you for all your iniquities.” And the same will be the judgment of the Christian Jezebel, (howsoever Pagans and Infidels speed) when GREAT BABYLON shall come in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

This I would have well considered and weighed by those whom the Mahometan blasphemy hath so dazzled, that they can hardly believe that so hated and execrable a name as that of Babylon should belong unto any other, unless th yet to come some other like barbarous

tyrant and seducer after them. The cause of which error is, that men have fancied another Antichrist than the Holy Ghost meant of; and placed their eyes far wide of the ground of God's hatred, and of the nature of that mystery of abomination. But Israel's apostasy, God's jealousy, and their unparalleled punishment on account of it, such as no nation in the world, how idolatrous soever, endured besides themselves, are in this case the only Pole-star to direct us.

But even this mistake, which is and hath been of the mystery of iniquity, is itself a kind of mystery, or not without one: for ANTICHRIST is a counter-Christ, and therefore his coming to be a counter-resemblance of the coming of Christ.

CHRIST was both to come, and accordingly looked for in the last times, that is, in the time of the fourth kingdom of Daniel : so ANTICHRIST and his mystery of impiety was to be,* in the latter times of those last times, that is, (as I shall better show hereafter) in the last times or last scene (as I may so speak) of the fourth kingdom of Daniel.

When CHRIST came, the sceptre was to depart from Judah, and that commonwealth to be dissolved : so when ANTICHRIST was to come, the Roman empire was to fall, and he that hindered was to be taken out of the way. 2 Thess. ii. 7.

The Jews expected CHRIST to come when he did come, and yet knew him not when he was come; because they had fancied the manner and quality of his coming like some temporal monarch, with armed power to subdue the earth before him : so the Christians, God's second Israel, looked the coming of ANTICHRIST should be at that time when he came indeed, and yet they knew him not when he was come; because they had fancied his coming as of some barbarous tyrant, who should with armed power not only persecute and destroy the Church of

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Christ, but almost the world; that is, they looked for such an ANTICHRIST as the Jews looked for a CHRIST.

Wherefore, as CHRIST came unto his own, and his own received him not; so ANTICHRIST came upon those who were not his own, and yet they eschewed him not : but yet as some Jews (though few) kview CHRIST when he came, and received him; so did some Christians (though but few) keep themselves from the pollution of ANTICHRIST.

Lastly, as the Jews ere long shall acknowledge and run unto him, whom they pierced as not knowing him : so hath the Christian Church, for a great part, discovered that Son of Perdition, whom a long time they had ignorantly worshipped, because they knew himn not. O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

But for our part, seeing our case is so like unto that of the Jews, let their lamentable and woeful error, in mistaking their Messiah by wrongly fancying him, be a warning and caveat unto us, that we likewise upon like conceits and prejudice, mistake and misdeem not THE MAN OF SIN.

CHAP. X.

THE SECOND PARTICULAR IN THE DESCRIPTION OF THE GREAT

APOSTASY, VIZ. THE PERSONS APOSTATIZING EXPRESSED BY TINEE, SOME.—THE GREAT APOSTASY WAS TO BE A GENERAL ONE.—THE WORD [TINEE, SOME] DOTH NOT ALWAYS IMPLY A FEW, OR A SMALL NUMBER, PROVED BY SEVERAL PASSAGES IN SCRIPTURE.-THE TRUE CHURCH OF CHRIST WAS NEVER WHOLLY EXTINGUISHED.-WHEREIN WE AND THE PAPISTS DIFFER ABOUT THE CHURCH's VISIBILITY.IN WHAT RESPECTS OUR CHURCH WAS VISIBLE, AND IN WHAT IT WAS INVISIBLE UNDER THE APOSTASY AND REIGN OF ANTICHRIST.THIS IS FURTHER CLEARED BY THE PARALLEL STATE OF THE ISRAELITISH CHURCH UNDER THE APOSTASY OF ISRAEL.

Now I come unto the second point expressed in this description of the great APOSTASY, namely, the

persons revolters. They should not be all, but *SOME.t “Some shall Apostatize.” Some, that is, not (as we in our English do often use it) a few; but some, that is, not all. Yet some, that is, so many, as that the whole visible Church should be said thereof to be apostatized ; so many as should like a cloud overspread the face of the Christian firmament, in such sort as the stars and lights therein should not be easily discerned. For the great defection so much prophesied of was to be a solemn and general one; such a one as wherein the chiefest of the Churches, " honoured as a mother in Israel,” should become a “ Babylonish whore, a mother of harlots and of the abominations of the earth,” (Rev. xvii.) such a one as whereby the “outmost court of the Temple of God should not only be prophaned, but trodden down by Gentilism.” Revel. xi. Such a one as the world is said “ to wonder after the beas and to worship him ;” and such a one as should no only make “ war with the

* ΤΙΝΕΣ. .

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