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tinue forever ; and so it hath hitherto proved, though now it be so many ages since, and though the church has passed through so many dangers. The same is promised, Isa. liv. 17.« No weapon that is formed against thee, shall prosper ; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment, thou shalt condemn.” And again, Isa. xlix. 14, 15, 16. “ But Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb ? Yea, they may forget, but yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands, thy walls are continually before me.” The same is promised again, in Isa. lix. 21, and Isa. xliii. 1, 2, and Zech. xii. 2, 3. So Christ promises the same, when he says, “ On this rock will I build my church, and the gates of bell shall not prevail against it." Now if this be not from God, and the scriptures be not the word of God, and the church of Christ, built on the foundation of this word be not of God, how could the persons who foretold this, know it ? For if the church were not of God, it was a very unlikely thing ever to come to pass. For they foretold the great opposition, and the great dangers, and also foretold that other kingdoms should come to nought, and that the church should often be almost swallowed up, as it were easy to show, and yet foretold that the church should remain. Now how could they foresee so unlikely a thing but by divine inspiration ?
 The other remarkable instance which I shall mention of the fulfilment of scripture prophecy, is in fulfilling what is foretold concerning Antichrist, a certain great opposer of Christ and his kingdom. And the way that this Antichrist should arise, is foretold, viz. not among the Heathen or those nations that never professed Christianity ; but that he should arise by the apostacy and falling away of the Christian church into a corrupt state : 2. Thess. ii. 3. 6. For that day shall not come, except there, come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."....And it is prophesied, that this Antichrist, or man of sin, should be one, that should set himself up in the temple or visible church of God
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. xvij. 9. 6 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 kings 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 forementioned place in Thessalonians, “ That he should exalt himself above all that is called God,” or that is worshipped. So Rev. xiü. 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
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 : Revelations xiii. 7. “ And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them.” Revelations xvii. 6. " And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus." This also came to pass in the church of Rome...... It was foretold, that Antichrist should ex. cel in craft and policy : Dan. vii. 8. “ In this horn 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 þorns which thou savest, 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. “ Whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.” 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
and to abstain from meats : 1 Tim. iv. 3. “ Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created 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 with respect to the church of Rome...... It was foretold, that he should forbid any to buy or sell, but those that had his mark : Rev. xiii. 17. “ And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” This also is fulfilled in the church of Rome. ....... It was foretold, that he should sell the souls of men, Rev. xviii. 13, where, in enumerating the articles of his merchandise, the souls of men are mentioned as one. This also is exactly fulfilled in the same church...... It was foretold, that Antichrist would not suffer the bodies of God's people to be put into graves : Rev. xi. 8, 9. " And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city....and they....shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” This also has literally come to pass with respect to the church of Rome.....I might mention many other things which were foretold of Antichrist, or that great enemy of the church so often' spoken of in scripture, and show that they were fulfilled most exactly in the Pope and the church of Rome,
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 suffer. ing, 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 shown 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. Hów 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 provi. dence ? 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 premises 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