The 17. chapter.
THeir doct•ine who teach the Bishop of Rome to be A••i∣christ *Page 288him selfe is confuted by the auctoritie of Gods worde, and by the consent of auncient fathers. VVhy Antichrist is permitted to come.
AFter he hath shewed his opinion, what maner a one * Antechrist shalbe, & alleaged •••• cause of his cōming out of S. Paul 2. Thes. 2. because men haue not receaued the loue of the truth, that they might be saued, God shal sende thē the working of error, yt they may beleue lying, &c. he stormeth out of measure against the Protestants, for that they can find no place to setle Antichrist in, but in the see of Rome, so beautified & dignified by Christ, and all the primitiue Church: But seeing Antichrist is appoynted to sit in the temple of God, which is a higher place then S. Peters chayer, it is no meruayle if Satan haue thrust him into that see, which of olde tyme was accompted the toppe and castell of all religion.
But let vs see his reasons taken out of Gods word, by which it is proued, that the Pope can not be Antichrist him selfe. The first is, because in S. Paule he is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 &c. the man of sinne which signifieth one sin∣gular man, and not a number of men in succession, and this is affirmed to be the Greeke article in this worde man, by Cyrillus in Ioan. lib. 1. cap. 4. But how frendly Cy∣rillus was deceaued, you shall see, by some examples, e∣uen out of the new Testament. In S. Mathew cap. 12. 35. you haue 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, and an euill man out of the euil treasure of his heart bringeth &c. where no one singular man is ment.
In S. Mark cap. 2. verse. 27. The Sabboth was made 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for man & not man for the Sabboth. In S. Luke cap. 4. verse. 4. Not with breade onely 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a man shall liue, but by euery woorde of God. S. Paule. 2. Tim. 3. ver. 17. That the man of God 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 may be perfect and prepared to euery good woorke. These places and an hundreth more which might bee brought, doe proue, howe vaine the Page 289 argument is thatis taken of the nature of the Greke ar∣ticle. Nether is Hierom or any of the auncient writers to be heard without authoritie of the Scripture, which supposed that Antichrist should be one man. Although none of them directly affirmeth that he should be one man, as Christ was. Hierom in Dani. cap. 7. sayth we must not thinke that Antichrist should be a Deuill, but one of the kind of men in whom Satan should dwell. This proueth not that he should be a singular man, no more then the fourth beast, which signifieth the Romāe Empire, out of which he should rise, should be one singular Emperour. No more doth it proue that because Antiochus was a fi∣gure of him, he must be but one man. And as litle that Ambrose in 2. The. 2, sayth, Satan shall appeare in homine, in a man, which may signify the kind of men and not one singular person. Likewise Augustine calling Antichrist the Prince, and last Antichrist, meaneth no one person for the words Prince and last, may agree to a whole suc∣cession of men in one state, as well as the wordes king and beaste, to a whole succession of Emperours in Da∣niel. To conclude, there is not one whome he nameth, that denyeth Antichrist to be a whole succession of mē, in one state of deuilish gouernment. And Irenaeus thin∣keth it probable of the Romane kingdom, lib. 5.
The second argument is, that Antichrist is called the aduersary, & therefore is the greatest enemy of Christ, denying Iesus Christ to be God and man, or to be our Media∣tour. I aunswer, the Pope doth so, denying the office of Christ, although with the deuills, he confesse in wordes, Iesus to be the holy one of God, and to be Christ the sonne of God. Marke 1. 24. Luke. 4. 41. his diuinitie the Pope denieth, by denying his onely power in sauing, his wisedom in his word to be onely sufficient, his goodnes in the vertue of his death to take away both payne and guylt of sinne, which he arrogateth to him selfe by his blasphemous pardons. Christes humanitie he denyeth by his transsubstantiation, his mediation, in which he is principally Christ, he denyeth by so many meanes of Page 290 saluation as he maketh, beside Christ videlicet mans merits, ceremonies inuented by man, pardons, a newe sacrifice of the Masse, &c.
The third argumēt is, that Antichrist shall not come, before the Romane Empire be cleane taken away. For that which Saint Paule sayth, ye knowe what withholdeth, &c. Although it be not necessary to expound this of the Romane Empire, yet following the olde writers that so vnderstood it, I say the Romane Empire was remoued before Antichrist the Pope was throughly enstalled. For beside that the see of the Empire was remoued from Rome, the gouernment it selfe was in a manner cleane remoued, the title of the Romane Emperour onely re∣mayning, at last an other Empire by the Pope was ere∣cted in Germanye, whereof litle beside a name remay∣neth at this day, the Pope clayming authoritie of both the swordes, and he that is the Emperour in title, if he haue no landes of his owne inheritance, scarse equall with a Duke by dominion of his Empire.
The fourth argument is, that the deedes & doctrine of Antichrist against Christ, must be open and without all dissimulation, because Saint Paule maketh a diffe∣rence betwene the mysterye of iniquitie, and the open shewing of Antichrist. I aunswer, they are open to all faithfull Christians, although they be hidde from such as be deceiued by Antichrist. Here M. Sander aunswe∣reth to that which he supposeth might be obiected, that some gloses of ye canon law, call the Pope God, or make him equall with Christ, yea they call him God aboue all Gods: but he thinketh to auoyd it by saying, they call him not God by nature, but by office vnder Christ, where they say he is equall with Christ. This bla•phemy will not so easily be excused. Nether is it to be thought that any man will euer cal him selfe God by nature. But to omitte these flattering gloses of the canon lawe, doth not the Pope exalt him self aboue all that is called God and worshipped as God. When he commaundeth to ab∣stayne from meates and mariage, whereof God hath Page 291 created the one and instituted the other, as good and holy, for greater goodnes and holines then God crea∣ted or instituted in them. Doth he not exalt him selfe a∣boue God the redeemer, when he affirmeth his redēp∣tion to be, ether onely from sinnes committed before baptisme, •or onely from the guilt of sin whereas his po∣pish pardons can absolue from both. Doth he not extoll him selfe aboue God the holy Ghost, when he taketh vpon him to sanctifie the creatures of the world, other∣wise then God hath sanctified them to apply the merits of Christ, otherwise then Gods holy spirite worketh ap∣plication by faith, &c.
The 5. argument is, that Antichrist should be recey∣ued moste speciallye of the Iewes, of which hee brin∣geth the opinion of diuerse olde writers, but because the Scripture sayth no such thinge, but contrary that he shall sit in the Church of God. We deny the antecedent or proposition of this argument. But M. S. alledgeth the saying of Christ Ioan. 5 I came in my fathers name, and ye haue not receyued me, if another come in his owne name ye wil receyue him. This other man sayth M. S. is Antichrist, and so expounded by the auncient fathers. I aunswer they haue no ground of this exposition. For Theudas the E∣gyptian, Cocabas, and such like, deceyued the Iewes in their owne name, yet none of them was this Antichrist.
The 6. argument is, that Antichrist according to the prophecy of Daniel cap. 7. & the interpretation of Hie∣rom, shal subdue 3. kings, the kings of Egypt, Africa, and Ethiopia, which seeing the Pope hath not done, he is not Antichrist, I aunswer, Nether Hierom nor any Ec∣clesiastical writer, whom he followeth, hath any directi∣tion out of the Scripture, for this interpretation, where∣fore it is more like, that the Emperour is the litle horne which first diminishing as it were a thirde parte of the strength of the fourth beast, at length began vtterly to oppresse & destroy it, I meane ye cōmon welth of Rome.
The 7. reason is, Antichrist shal preuaile in his raigne but 3. yeares & an halfe, Dan 7. which time the Apocal•se callethPage 292 42. monethes. I aunswer, this tyme must not be limited by measure of man, but as God hath appoynted it. Daniell nameth no yeres, but a tyme, tymes, & halfe a tyme. And Hierom in his accompt of 1293 daies differeth from S. Iohn Apoc. 12. 6. who setteth them downe 1260. dayes.
The 8. reason is, that Helias shall come at the tyme of An∣tichrist, as Hippolitus, Augustine, Hierom & Theodoret teach, who is not yet come, although the Pope haue long florished. I aunswer, The Scripture speaketh of no comming of He∣lias, but of Christes two witnesses, which haue neuer fai∣led in the greatest heate of the popish tyranny. Apoc. 11.
The 9. reason is, that Antichrist shall be of the try be of Dan, by the ••inion of Irenaeus, Hippolitus, Theodoretus, and Gregory, whereas the Popes are of no such •ribe.
The 10. argument is, that Antichrist shall not come be∣fore the later ende of the world as August ne and Theodore∣tus iudged. but Gregory seeing the ambition of Iohn of Constantinople affirmed, that the tyme of the reuela∣tion of Antichrist was euen at hand, and that the same Iohn was the forerunner of Antichrist, and Antichrist should shortly be reucaled, & an army of Priests should waite vpon him. Nowe seeing he, whosoeuer tooke that which Iohn refused, by Gregories iudgement should be Antichrist, and it is certayne, that Pope Boniface the 3. soone after the death of Gregory and his successors, v∣surped not onely that, but more also, it is certayne by Gregoryes prophecye, that the Pope is Antichrist. Who being within the 600. yeares, aunswereth to M. Sanders Page 293 fonde chalenge. And although none within that com∣passe had pointed out the see of Rome, yet the fulfilling of the prophecye in the later tymes, did sufficiently de∣clare who it should be. And most of the auncient writers name Rome to be the see of Antichrist. Although they could not foresee that the Bishoprike of that see should degenerate into the tyrannye of Antichrist. M. Sander aunswereth, that Tertullian and Hierom, call Rome Ba∣bylon, because of the confusion of tongues of di•ersenations, that haūted thether in tyme of the Emperours. And the Rome was full of Id •any, and did perse•ute the Sainctes and name∣ly more t••n 30 Bishops of Rome. The reason of tongnes is very absurd, and not giuen by any of those writers. As for Idolatrie and persecuting of Sainctes, although it might be sayd in tyme of Irenaeus, and Tertullian, yet could it not be sayd in the dayes of Hierom, Augustine, Ambrose, Primasius, and a number that liued in time of the Christian Emperours. And whereas Hierom ad Al∣gasiam, expoundeth the name of blasphemye written in the foreheade of the purple harlet to be Rome euerla∣sting, it agreeth very well vnto the see of the Popedom, which they boast to be eternall, although the Empire of Rome shall be cleane taken away. For M. Sander him selfe liketh well the title giuen by Martianus and Valen∣tinianus to Leo, whome they call Bishop of the euerla∣sting citie of Rome. cap. 16.
But whereas Rome is the citie builded vpon seuen hills, spoken of in the Apocalypse cap 17. M. Sander coū∣teth it a childi•he argument, to proue the see of Anti∣christ to be there, for that the citie is nowe gone from the hills, and standeth in the playne of Campus Martius, and the Pope sitteth on the other side of the riuer, vpon the hill Vatican harde by Saint Peters Churche, by whome he hol∣deth his chayre, not at all deriuing his power from the seuen hills, &c. But if the Pope sitte now in an other Rome, then Peter the Apostle satte, howe will Maister Sander perswade vs, that he fitteth in the chayre of Peter. For that Rome where Peter satte, was buylded vpon seuen Page 294 Hilles, and not gone downe into the plaine of Campus Martins, nor ouer the Riuer. Beside this it is plaine, that although the people haue remoued their habitations from the hilles, yet the Pope hath not, for on them be still to this day his Churches, Monasteryes, & courtes. For on the Mounte Caelius be the monastery of Sainte Gregory, the church of Iohn and Paule, the Hospitall of our Sauiour, the rounde Church, the great Minster of Laterane, in which are sayde, to be the heades of the Aposiles Peter and Paule, and the goodlyest buil∣dings in the worlde, where the Byshops of Rome dwel∣led vntill the time of Nicolas the seconde, which was almost eleuen hundreth yeeres after Christe.
The Mount Auentinus, hath three Monastetyes, of Sabina Bonifacius, and Alexius.
The Mount Exquilinus, hath the Church of Saincte Peter himselfe surnamed Ad vincula.
The Mounte Viminalis hath the Church of S. Lau∣rence in Palisperna, and S. Potentiana.
The Mount Tarpeius or Capitoline, hath an house of Fryers Minors called Ara Coeli. And there did Boni∣face the ninth builde a fayre house of Bricke for kee∣ping of Courtes.
The Mount Palatinus, is a place called the great Pal∣lace, and hath an olde Church of S. Nicolas and of S. Andrewe.
The Mounte Quirinalis is not altogither voide of habitation, to which appertaineth the Churche of S. Maria de populo.
The citie with 7. hils is stil the see of Antichrist, descri∣bed by S. Iohn at such time as those 7, hills were most of alinhabited & garnished with sumptuous buildings. But M. S. to darken the prophesie saith, Those 7. hilles be the fulnes of pride in secular princes, to whome the Protestantes commit the supreme gouernment of the church. I will not speake of this contumely that hee bloweth out against christian Princes, neither wil I' stād to proue that 7. hills in that place are taken literally, which is an easy matter Page 295 because 7. hilles are the exposition of 7. heads of ye beast, but how wil M. S or all the Papists in the world deny the citie of Rome to be that Babylon and see of Antichrist, When the Angel in the last verse of the chapter sayth, And the woman which thou sawest is that great citie which hath dominiō ouer the Kings of the earth: which if any man say was any other Citie then Rome, all lear∣ning and learned men wil cry out against him. The see beeing found, it is easy to finde the person by S. Paules description, and this note especially that excludeth the heathen tyrants, he shal sit in the temple of God, which when when we see to be fulfilled in the Pope, although none of the eldest fathers could see it, because it was performed after their death, we nothing doubt to say & affirme stil, that the Pope is that man of sinne & Sonne of perdttion, the aduersary that lifteth vp himselfe a∣boue all that is called God, and shalbe destroyed by the spirit of the Lords mouth, & by the glory of his cōming.