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except we bring forth Fruits meet for Repen
It being greatly to be feared that the Ax is even already laid to the Root of the Tree, as it was beretofore to that of the Babylonian Empire in the Case of Nebucadnezzar, by the Signs which bave appeared in Cbristendom for Some Years paft.
Since if Wars, Famines and Pestilences; if Commotions, Hurricanes and Earthquakes in divers Places; if a fiery Zelotick Spirit delighting to set all in Flames ; if Apoftates and False Prophets gone out into the World to deceive many ; if Wandring Stars, and Angels of the Churches not keeping their first Estate, or Principality; if a general Falling Away from the Maxims of Christ, and the Original Constitution of his Kingdom on Earth; if Persecutions for the sake of Truth and a Good Conscience ; if the Love and making of Lyes, arrived even to the utmost Perfection ; if the Strong Delusions of Satan and his Instruments at this Time, and particularly the Artifices of the Antichristian Sect, lately risen among us, who would alone be thought to Think Freely ; lastly, if the abounding of Iniquity, the failing of Faith, the despising of Dominions, the speaking Evil of Dignities, the walk. ing in the way of Cain, the running greedily for Reward into any Error or Wickedness whatsoever, the bringing of all things (even the most Sacred) to the Test of Ridicule, and the scoffing at the Promise of Christ's Coming ;
any Signs (as conjointly consider'd) of the near Approach of That Day, or of Some Grand Revolution in the World, such as bath not yet been, we cannot be mistaken, I think, in preparing against the worst, and in pursuing the Ways that make for our PEACE.
Dan. 12. 1. And there shall be a time of Trouble,"
such as never was since there was a Nation, even to that same time,
Or, as it is expressed by St. Matth. 24. 21. For then shall be great Tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the World to this time, no nor ever shall be.
Or, by St. Mark 13. 19. For in those Days shall be Af
fli&tion, such as was not from the beginning of the Creation which God created, unto this time, neither shall be.
HIS PROPHECY thus differently expressed, con
tains a Solemn DenunciaT
tion of the dreadful Judgments that shall come upon the World in the last Times,
which will display them, selves in two forts of Evils.
2. SUPERNATURAL. 1. By the Natural Evils I understand principally, The Sword, the Pestilence, and the Famine.
2. By 2. By the Supernatural, The Amictions which the Church of God, and the whole World, shall undergo in the Reign of Antichrist, who is the Consummation of the Curse.
The Reasons why I imagine these Natural Evils to be the Sword, Pestilence, and Famine, are these :
1. BECAUSE these (with that of the noifom Beasts) are call’d God's Sore Judgments; or as it is in the Original, his (Emphatically) Evil Judgments, Ezek. 14. 21. and tho' indeed, in this and one or two other Places, we find the noisom Beasts, and sometimes the Earthquakes join'd with them; yet generally speaking, these Three are in most of the Prophets put together, as the Sum or Completion of all the Natural Evils that can befal a People.
2. BECAUSE they correspond to, and are the Natural Fruits and Productions of the Three great Divisions of Sin, mention'd by St. John, 1 Ep. 2. 16. 1. The Luft of the Flesh; 2. The Luft of the Eye ; 3. And the Pride of Life; which he calls all that is in the World; meaning, that all other Instances of Sin, may (generally speaking) be reduc'd to these Three Heads.
TH'E SE shall ravage up and down in the World, in different places and Degrees, accordingly as Persons, Places, or Nations, may be more or less ripe for Vengeance; and are not only intended as a Punishment for the Sufferers, but as Warnings for those thar fhall escape them, that greater Evils are at hand; For fo faith our Blessed Lord,
Matth. 24. 7, 8. Mark 13.9. Nation shall rise against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom: And there shall be Famines, and Pestilences, and Earthquakes in divers Places; and immediately subjoins, All these are the beginnings of SorWhere the Original Word
which *"Sady. we translate Sorrows, fignifies particularly the Pains of a travailing Woman, and seems to be most emphatically used in this place, to represent to us, that these shall be, as it were, the Throws and Pangs of the Kingdom of Darkness, or Hellish Principle, labouring to bring forth Antichrist, who is to be the Head and Completion of the A postacy, the Top-Fruit of the Mystery of Iniquity, in whom shall dwell the Fullness of Diabolical Deceit and Wickedness, in opposition to our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom dwelt the Fulness of Grace and Truth; yea, of the Godhead bodily.
BEFORE I proceed to a distinct Conside- The preceration of the several Parts, I shall premise ding Consia one Thing ; That seeing there are in Scri- derations pture many terrible Denunciations of confirm’d.
great Judgments, which have not yet been fulfilled, at least in their utmost Extent and Meaning; it is natural to imagine, that they do ultimately respect those latter Times, according to what our Blessed Lord tells us of them, Luke 21. 22. That these are the Days of Vengeance, that all Things that are written might be fulfilled : i.e. These are the Last and Great Days of Vengeance, in which shall be ultimately fulfilled all those heavy Denunciations of Judgment, which God by the Mouth of his Holy Prophets,
ever since the World began, has threatned to the Enemies of his Church, which is now beginning to lift up her Head, and triumph over the Oppositions of all her Enemies. The times of her refreshing are about to commence; she shall pass securely through this Deluge of Afiction, and shall come forth gloriously. This hath been represented to us, as it were, in miniature, by divers lefser Manifestations of the Divine Justice and Mercy: Thus the Apostle St. Peter tells us, 2 Ep. Chap. 2. That the Deftrution of Sodom and Gomorrab was, as it were, a little Sketch and Representation of this last dreadful Scene: The Destruction of the City and Temple of Jerusalem is likewise defcrib'd in such a Manner, and with such Characters, as plainly shows it to be typical of that more dreadful Destruction, that shall come upon the Apostate World in the latter Days : Thus the Crimes and Punishments charg'd upon Babylon, Tyre, Edom, &c. in the prophetical Books, tho' they were in some measure verify'd according to the Letter in the Type; yet it is clear to any that are acquainted with History, that they were very far from being entirely fulfill'd, but are rather Types and Figures of the Antichristian World, as standing in fome eminent Property or Character, whence we see they are transcrib'd by the Divine Author of the Revelations, Ch. 17. 18. and apply'd to the Mystical Ba
bylon, or Apoftate Christendom. So, lastly, Gtabe's
to go yet further, the * Ancient Prophecy Spicil. Vol. of Enoch did, no doubt, in its most obvious .