THE TENTH QVESTION, CONCERNING Antichrist, and whether the Pope be that great aduer∣sarie vnto Christ.
THis question is deuided into many partes. First, whether Antichrist shall bee some one singular man. Secondly, of the time of his comming and continuing. Thirdly, of his name. Fourthly, of what nation or kinred hee shall come. Fiftly, where his place and seate shall bee. Sixtly, of his Doctrine and manners. Seauenthly, of his miracles. Eightly, of his Kingdome and warres. Ninthly, whether the Pope bee the very Antichrist. This then is a most famous question, and worthie throughly to bee discussed, euery poynte therefore must be handled in order.
THey hold that Antichrist, whose comming is foretolde in the Scripture, shall [error 56] be one particular man, not a whole bodie, tyrannie, or Kingdome, as the truth is, Bellarm. cap. 2. lib. 3.
1 They vrge the words of our Sauiour, Iohn 5.43. I come in my Fathers name, and ye receiue me not, if another come in his owne name, him will ye re∣ceiue. Here Christ, say they, speaketh of another that shall come, namely An∣tichrist, for here one is opposed to one, namely, Antichrist to Christ, not a Kingdome to a Kingdome, or sect vnto sect, but one person to another. Bel∣larmine cap. 2. lib. 3.
Ans. First, here is not so much an opposition of persons, as there is of doc∣trine, as to preach in the name of God, and to preach in the name of men: and though Christ be the chiefe doctor and teacher, that came in the name of his Father, yet all true preachers beside, doe come in the same name: for so our Saui∣our saith of his Apostles, He that receiueth you, receiueth me, and he that recei∣ueth me, receiueth him that sent me Matth. 10.40. Therefore, he that receiueth the Apostles, receciueth God: they also then doe come in the name of Christ: and so Christ and all the faithfull make but one, Iohn 17.21.
2 Neither doth Christ here speake of one speciall enemie, but of all false prophets, for it is not vnusuall in the Scripture, in the singular number to ex∣presse a multitude being of the same kinde, as Iohn 10.11.12. There is a compa∣rison betweene Christ the true shepheard, and the hireling: where, by the name of hireling, all false shepheards and spirituall theeues are vnderstood, and so is it in this place: therefore they cannot conclude out of this place, that Antichrist shall be but one man.
Page 1562 An other proofe is out of 1. Iohn 2.18. the Antichrist shal come, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Greeke article, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, expresseth some singular notable person. Bellarmine ibid.
Ans. It is false. The Greeke article doth not alwaies in scripture assigne some particular person: as Matth. 4.4. Man shall not liue by bread onely: the Greeke text hath 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the man, and yet is it vnderstood not of any one man, but of all in generall, so 2. Tim. 2.17. The man of God, that is, euery faithfull minister, or good Christian, yet is it expressed with the article. Fulk. Annota. 2. Thess. 2. sect. 8.
3 Apocal. 13.18. It is the number of a man: the proper name of Antichrist is set downe, Ergo, but one man. Bellar. ibid. Rhemens. 2. Thes. 2. sect. 8.
Ans. The name here mystically described, which shal conteine 666. in num∣ber, for so the Greek letters 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉▪ doe signifie being nūbred, doth not expresse any particular name of one man, but rather of the whole societie and bodie of Antichrist: for it is said to be the number of the beast. Now by the beast is vn∣derstoode the Romane Empire, the name whereof is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Latinus, which let∣ters doe arise in computation to the whole number of, 666. And this name Ire∣naeus thinketh to agree best to this place. Further, seeing the Rhemists themselues by the best do vnderstand the vniuersal companie of the wicked, Reuel. 13. ve. 1. And this is the name or number of the beast: it must be vnderstood, by their own confession, of a companie and congregation, and not of one singular person.
THat Antichrist, which is interpreted an aduersary, or against Christ, shal not be one man (as the Papists imagine, that the Popes might be disburdened and discharged of this name, who are many) but that it is a whole body, com∣panie and sinagogue, and a succession of heretikes, we doe thus proue it.
*1 The mysterie of iniquitie wrought in Paules time, then was there a way in preparing for Antichrist. 2. Thes. 2. But it is vnpossible for one man to conti∣nue from Paules time to the end of the worlde, Ergo, Antichrist is not one man but a succession of heretikes.
Bellarmine answereth: if the mysterie of iniquitie began in Paules time, that is, the kingdome of Antichrist; and you will needes make Rome the seate of Anti∣christ: belike S. Paul and S. Peter were the Antichrists, for there were no Bishops of Rome beside at that time. Ans. First, that Antichrist begā then to work euen in Rome it cānot be denied, seeing the Papists confesse, that Simon Magus first broched his heresie there, and that Peter calleth Rome Babylon. It is not neces∣sarie, that the mysterie of iniquity should so soone creepe into the very chaire of the Pastors and Bishops: that should come to passe in the full reuelation of An∣tichrist: It is sufficient that it wrought closely amongst the false apostles: where∣fore the Iesuits obiection concerning Peter and Paule, is ridiculous. Fulk. Anno. 2. Thes. 2. sect. 9.
2 S. Paul saith, that there must come a departing or apostasie & generall fal∣ling Page 157 from the faith: for that an apostacie signifieth a relinquishing of the faith, not a departure from the Romane Empire. Now this generall falling away from the faith cannot be accomplished in one man, but it sheweth a whole bodie or companie, whereof Antichrist is the head, one man of sinne succeeding another by succession: and this apostacie cannot be wrought at one time, but it shall come to passe in seuerall ages: for how is it possible, that at once such a generall apostacie should be? Ergo, Antichrist shall not be one particular man, Argum. Caluini. Neither can the Iesuite thus shift off the argument, to say, that this gene∣rall apostacie is but a preparation to the kingdome of Antichrist, not that he shall then bee presently come: for S▪ Paul ioyneth both these together: There must come a departing first, that the man of sinne be disclosed, vers. 3. So that this very apostacie and departing shall be a disclosing and manifest declaration of Antichrist.
3 Iohn 3.7. The Apostle sayth: Many deceiuers are come into the world, which confesse not that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh: the same is the decei∣uer and the Antichrist: Marke then, one deceiuer is many deceiuers: one Anti∣christ many Antichrists, 1. Iohn 2.18. Ergo, Antichrist shall not be one man, but many, Argument. Ful. annot. 2. Thess. 2. sect. 8.
4 Augustine sheweth, how that in his time this place of S. Paul was not ex∣pounded of any one man, but of a whole bodie: Nonnulli non ipsum principent, sed vniuersum quodammodo corpus eius,*simul cum suo principe hoc loco intelligi Antichristum volunt: Some (saith he) doe take Antichrist not for the head alone, but for the whole bodie and multitude together with their prince. And their coniecture is this: because these words, vers. 7. He which withholdeth, are vn∣derstood of the Empire & Emperours of Rome, which were many: so the man of sinne, which is described as in the person of one, may fitly be vnderstood of a succession of many.
THE SECOND PART, WHETHER ANTICHIST be yet come, and how long he shall continue.
THe Romish Iesuites doe hold that Antichrist is not yet come, neither can they tell when he shal come: But this they say boldly, that Henoch and Elias, [error 57] who liue all this while in Paradise, shall come immediatly before Antichrist, and that Antichrist, when he is come, shall raigne but three yeeres and an halfe, and then shall the world end, Bellarm. cap. 4. lib. 3. de pontif. Rhemist. 11. Apocal. sect. 2.4.
1 The Romane Empire must vtterly be destroyed & layd wast before Anti∣christ come: as S. Paul sayth, That which withholdeth must first be taken away, 2. Thess. 2.7. that is, the Romane Empire. But the Empire yet remayneth: for the Emperour is knowne by name, and there are also prince electors of the Em∣pire: Ergo, Antichrist is not yet come, Bellarm. cap. 5.
Page 158Answere: It is true that the Romane Empire, while it retayned and kept the ancient dignitie, maiestie and power thereof, was an hinderance and let to the tyrannie of Antichrist, but when it began to decay, then Antichrist set in his foote. First, it was not necessarie therefore that the Empire should vtterly be ex∣tinguished, but so much onely taken away, namely the ancient honour and im∣periall maiestie therof, as hindered Antichrist, and so we finde, that the Romane Empire was more then halfe decayed, when Antichrist crept into Rome. Se∣condly, the imperiall power must in some sort be restored by Antichrist: for the Pope vsurped the same authoritie which the Emperours had, yea greater: for the whore is described sitting vpon the beast, Apocal. 17. which is the Empire: and therefore it is sayd, vers. 8. The beast that was, and is not, and yet is: for the ancient Empire both is, and is not: It is, because the power thereof is translated to the Pope: it is not, that is, not in that kingly manner, as it was in times past. Apocal. 13.12. The beast that rose out of the earth with two hornes like a lamb, did all that the first beast could doe before him: that is, the power of the Em∣pire was in the Pope. Thirdly, Apocal. 13.15. It is sayd, that the image of the beast remayned, & that the other beast gaue a spirit vnto the image of the beast: So is it at this day, the name and image of the Empire remayneth, but the maie∣stie and power is gone: And who giueth life to the image but the Pope? he con∣firmeth and ratifieth the election of the Emperour. Wherefore, this rather is an argument that Antichrist is alreadie come, because nothing but the image of the beast remayneth.
2 Antichrist shall raigne three yeeres and an halfe: but if hee were alreadie come, he must needes haue raigned diuers hundred yeeres alreadie, Bellarmin. cap. 8.
They proue this raigne of Antichrist for this short season, out of those places of Daniel 7.25. A time, times, and halfe a time: and Apocal. 12.14. Also it is de∣scribed by dayes 1260. dayes, and by moneths 11.2. two and fourtie moneths: which all come to one reckoning, and make three yeeres and an halfe.
Answere: First, the time is also set downe by the name of three dayes and an halfe, Apocal. 11.11. How then is it likely, that 1260. dayes and three dayes and an halfe, should signifie the same time? Secondly, with much better sense are these times applied by our learned and painfull countreyman Master Fox, to the great persecution vnder the Emperours, which continued 294. yeeres, which time is mystically signified by 42. moneths, taking euery moneth for a sabboth of yeeres. And the rest of the numbers agree hereunto: for 1260. dayes make three yeeres and an halfe, that is, moneths 42: and three daies and an halfe make houres 42.* So taking euery houre in the dayes, and euery moneth in the yeeres for a sabboth of yeeres, there ariseth 294. yeeres, which was the iust time of the persecution from the death of Iohn Baptist, vnto the end of Licinius the tyrant & persecutor. This account, I say, better agreeth with the truth of historie, then their imagined computation. Thirdly, if it should be taken, as they expound it, for so short a time, then very little of the prophecie in the Apocalyps is yet fulfil∣led, Page 159 which we doubt not but is most accomplished, as it may appeare in compa∣ring the visions reuealed in that booke together. And agayne, there is no pro∣phecie beside this of 42. moneths, which can bee applyed to the great persecu∣tion in the Primitiue Church: wherefore it is not like that the Lord would leaue his Church, without some comfort, in forewarning them of those great troubles which immediatly ensued. But if these prophecies, which are wrested by the Papists, did no• foretell of those persecutions, then are they vtterly forgotten in that booke: which is not like, it being the greatest triall that euer the Church had.
4 We say then, that wee are not curiouslie to search into times and seasons, which the Lord hath not reuealed: Onely this wee learne, that the time of affli∣ction being set downe by dayes and monethes, the faithfull should hereby bee comforted, knowing that the time of their trouble is limitted of God, and is but short in respect of the kingdome of Christ.
2 The Lord sayth, Math. 24. that those daies shall be shortned, lest no flesh should be saued. But how can the time bee short, if it should last some hun∣dreds, or a thousand of yeeres? Bellarmin. cap. 8. Rhemist. annot. Matth. 24. sect. 6.
Answere: First, that place vers. 22. is properly vnderstood of the calamitie of the Iewes, which if it had continued any longer, the nation of the Iewes had bin vtterly destroyed. Secondly, yet notwithstanding the raigne of Antichrist is short in respect of the eternall kingdome of Christ: yea the whole time from his ascension vntill his comming agayne, is counted but short, Apocal. 22.20. I come quickly: and S. Peter sayth, That a thousand yeeres before God is as one day, and one day as a thousand yeeres, 2. Pet. 3.
3 Christ preached but three yeeres and an halfe, therefore Antichrist shalbe suffered to preach no longer.
Answere: First, yet Christ was thirtie yeeres old when he began to preach, and shewed himselfe before, though not so openly, as when he was twelue yeere old he disputed with the Doctors in the temple: he was also acknowledged for the Messiah in his natiuitie. If Antichrist then must in this respect be correspon∣dent to Christ, he must also be knowne to be thirtie yeeres vpon earth, before he be fully manifested. Secondly, though Christ himselfe preached no longer, yet he sent his Apostles, who preached many yeeres after: we doe not therefore op∣pose the person of Antichrist, whom we denye to be a singular man, to Christ, but the kingdome of the one to the other. Now by their owne reason, it follow∣eth, that because the kingdome of Christ endured many yeeres, and yet doth, that therefore Antichrists kingdome must likewise.
Other demonstrations the Iesuite hath to prooue that Antichrist is not yet come: as because the Gospell is not yet preached to all the world, cap. 4. Bellar. Helias and Henoch are not yet come, who are certainly looked for, cap. 6. There shall bee a most grieuous and terrible persecution vnder Antichrist, which is not yet past, cap. 7. But these arguments shall bee answered in another Page 160 place towards the end of this worke, when we come to speake of the appearing of Christ to iudgement.
THat Antichrist shall raigne but three yeeres and an halfe, we take it for a meere fable, and a very popish dreame: whereas on the contrarie side, wee are able to shewe, both that Antichrist is alreadie come, and hath tyrannized in the world these many yeeres.
1 We will make it plaine by demonstration, that Antichrist hath been in the world many yeeres agoe, by the propheticall places of scripture. First, it is sayd, the number of Antichrist is 666. Apocal. 13.18. So, anno. 606. or there∣about, Boniface the 3. obtayned of Phocas the Emperour to be called vniuersall Bishop. Thus sayth Illyricus, Chytraeus. Also beginning at the yeere of the Lord 97. at which time Iohn wrote the Apocalyps, and counting 666. yeeres, we shal come to the time of Pipinus, whom the Pope made King of France, and he a∣gayne much enlarged the iurisdiction and authoritie of the Pope. And yet more euidently, about the yeere of the Lord 666. the Latine seruice was com∣manded to be vsed in all countreys subiect to the See of Rome, by Pope Vitalia∣nus: and about the same time, Constantius the Emperour remoued the ancient monuments of the Empire to Constantinople, and left the citie to the Popes plea∣sure, Fulk. annot. in 13. Reuel. sect. 10.
Another prophecie we haue, Reuel. 20.3. that after one 1000. yeeres Sathan must be let loose. Euen so, a thousand yeeres after Christ, Pope Siluester a great coniurer, hauing made a compact with the Diuell, obtayned the Papacie, and not long after him came in Gregorie the 7. a great Sorcerer also and Necroman∣cer, sic Lutherus.
But because it is not to be thought, that Sathan was bound during that great and long persecution vnder the Romane Emperours, wee must begin the ac∣count of the 1000. yeeres, from the end of the persecution, which continued 294. yeeres: vnto that adde a thousand, so haue we the yeere of our Lord 1294. About which yeere Boniface the 8. made the sixt booke of the Decretals, confir∣med the orders of Friers, and gaue them great freedomes: with this number a∣greeth Daniel his 1290. dayes, Dan. 12.1•. Also somewhat before this time, anno 1260. the orders of Dominicke and Franciscane Friers began first to be set vp by Honorius the 3. and Gregorie the 9. and so haue we the 1260. daies, which are set downe, Apocal. 12. plura apud Fox. pag. 398.
2 If Antichrist should raigne but three yeeres and an halfe, as our aduersa∣ries teach, and then immediatly that time being expired, the world should end: then it is possible to assigne the time of our Lord Christ his comming to iudge∣ment, so soone as Antichrist is reuealed. But the Gospell sayth, that of that day and houre knoweth no man, no not the Angels in heauen, Math. 24.36. yet these good fellowes take vpon them to be wiser then the Angels: for they dare Page 161 set downe the very day of Christs comming: which shall be, as Bellarmine pre∣sumptuously imagineth, iust 45. dayes after the destruction of Antichrist. And to this purpose he abuseth that place of Dan. 12.11. where mention is made of 1290. dayes, that is, as he fondly interpreteth, three yeeres and an halfe, the iust time of Antichrists raigne: But blessed is he that commeth (sayth the Prophet) to 1335. dayes: that is, sayth Bellarmine, to 45. dayes after the destruction of Antichrist, and then Christ commeth, cap. 9. What intolerable boldnes and presumption is this, contrarie to the saying of Christ, to attempt to declare the very houre of his comming?
Agayne: the prophecie of Daniel had no such meaning: for he onely spea∣keth of the afflictions of the Church, before the comming of Christ, as Iohn pro∣phecieth of the troubles that came after. Daniel therfore in that place receiueth instructions concerning the cruell persecution of the Iewes vnder Antiochus E∣piphanes, the beginning, and the end thereof: There are three times reuealed vnto him.
The first is of a time, two times, and halfe a time, or rather the deuiding of time, or as Tremellius more agreeable to the Hebrew, a part or parcel of times:* so long should the temple be defiled, and the abomination set vp in the temple, that is, three yeeres and certayne dayes: And so it came to passe, for this deso∣lation began in the temple the 145. yeere of the raigne of the Greekes, the fif∣teene day of the moneth Casleu. 1. Macchab. 1.57. when Antiochus caused the daylie sacrifice to cease, and incense to bee burnt to Idols: And iust three yeeres and ten dayes after, which is to bee reckoned for the odde parcell of times, Ann. 148. the 25. day of Casleu, they began to offer sacrifice in the temple according to the lawe, 1. Macchab. 4.52.
The second time reuealed, is of a 1290. dayes, Dan. 12.11. which maketh three yeeres, seuen moneths and odde dayes: which is the time, counting from the desolation, when as the sacrifices should be restored, and confirmed by the Kings graunt, and Letters Patents: which accordingly came to passe, ann. 148. the fifteenth of the moneth Xanthicus, which was the last moneth but one, as it is recorded, 2. Macchab. 11.33.
The third time is described by dayes, 1335. Dan. 12.12. Blessed is hee that should liue to see that time: namely, when the Church of the Iewes should ful∣lie bee deliuered by the death of Antiochus, which was in the beginning of the next yeere, which was 149. 1. Macchab. 6.16. Thus wee see these times were fully accomplished vnder the tyrannie of Antiochus: wherefore these prophe∣cies being once fulfilled, they cannot bee drawne to signifie any other time, but by way of similitude and comparison.
Neither is that any thing worth, which the Iesuite obiecteth out of S. Paul, 2. Thess. 2.8. Then shall the wicked man bee reuealed, whom Christ shall con∣sume with the spirit of his mouth: As though presently after the reuelation of Antichrist Christ should come. And therefore Antichrist must not be expected Page 162 or looked for before the end of the world: for the whole time from the first com∣ming of Christ to his second, is in the scripture called nouissima hora, the last times, 1. Ioh. 2.18. And therefore Antichrist, at what time soeuer he is reuealed after the ascension of Christ, he commeth in the last times: whose vtter ruine and destruction shall be reserued for the glorious appearing of Christ, as the A∣postle there speaketh.
3 Whereas the scripture sayth, that Sathan must bee bound for a thousand yeeres, and after let loose agayne, Apocal. 20.2: And it is playne that the thou∣sand yeeres since Christ are expired more then fiue hundred yeeres agoe: It followeth hereupon that Antichrist is alreadie come: for he must bee reuealed with the loosing of Sathan. Our aduersaries haue nothing to answere but this, that by this 1000. yeeres, a certayne time is not ment, but the whole space du∣ring the time of the newe Testament, till the comming of Antichrist, Rhemist. Reuel. 20. sect. 1. To whom wee answere, that by the same reason, neither shall their 42. moneths shewe any certayne time, but the whole space so long as An∣tichrist shall raigne: and this number of moneths, as of dayes, weekes, houres, the scripture euery where taketh mystically in prophecies: but when thousands, or hundred yeeres are mentioned, they are alwaies taken literally: as Isay. 7.8. it is prophecied, that Ephraim, that is, Israel, should vtterly cease to bee a people within 65. yeeres, which euen so came to passe, counting from the fourth yeere of the raigne of Ahaz King of Iuda, to the 25. yeere of Manasses, when the rem∣nant of Israel was carried away.
THE THIRD PART CONCERNING THE NAME, character and signe of Antichrist.
THey stoutly affirme, that Antichrist shall be one particular man, consequent∣ly [error 58] they also hold, that he shall haue a certayne name, as Christ is called Iesus, so Antichrist must also haue a proper name: but what that name shall be, no man can tell, vntill hee come: but it shall consist of certayne letters, that in number make sixe hundred sixtie sixe, Bellarm. cap. 10. Rhemist. annot. Apocal. 13. sect. 10.
1 Apocal. 13.18. Count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666. Hereupon they conclude, that Antichrist shall haue a certayne name, which conteyneth that number, Bellarm. ibid.
Answere: First, it is the number of the beast, and yet of a man: Ergo, it cannot bee the name of any one man: for by the beast, the Iesuites themselues vnder∣stand a companie or multitude, Rhemist. Apocal. 13. sect. 1. Wherefore it must be such a name as agreeth to a companie or succession of men, and such is the name Latinus, as afterward we will shewe. Secondly, it must bee a name by number, Page 163 shewing the time, not an idle number signifying nothing; the time of his com∣ming is set downe to be 666: But the name of their Antichrist cannot shew any such time, seeing there are yeeres more then twise 666. gone alreadie, and yet they say, their Antichrist is not yet come.
2 Antichrist shall haue a name, as Christ had, but it is not necessarie to bee knowne, otherwise then Christ his name was:* which was descri∣bed by Sibil by the number of 888. as Antichrists is by 666. yet was not his name, Iesus, perfectly knowne before his com∣ming, neither is it necessarie that Antichrists should before that time. Iesus, in Greeke letters thus, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, maketh as you see 888. Bellarm. cap. 10.
Answere: First, you must proue Antichrist to be one singular man as Christ was, and then striue for his name. Secondly, you doe euill to match Sibils pro∣phecie, and Iohns reuelation together, as though her coniecture of the name of Christ, by the number 888. were of like authoritie with Iohns prophecie, of 666. Thirdly, it is false, that the name, Iesus, was onely by Sibil signified by these numbers: for Augustine alleadgeth certayne verses of Sibil, which began with the letters of Christs name in order one after another: so that the first letters of the verses shewed this title or name: 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉: Iesus Christus filius Dei saluator: And the Latine verses translated out of the Greeke, doe almost keepe the same order of letters, August. cont. Iudaeos pagan. cap. 16. We see then that Sibil foretold the very name, Iesus Christ, and did not onely decipher it by numbers. Why might not Antichrists name as well be shewed?
WE affirme by warrant of scripture, that as it is a meere fable, that Anti∣christ shall bee one singular man; so of the like truth is it, that hee shall be knowne by some notorious name: neither can any such thing bee gathered, Apocal. 13.18.
1 If there should come such a notorious wicked person into the world, who only should deserue to be called Antichrist, it is not vnlike, but that the spirit of God, speaking of his name, both could & would also haue expressed it: As Iosias was described by name, 1. King. 13.20 and Cyrus, Isai. 188.8.131.52. long before either of them came into the world: And why, I pray you, might not this pro∣pheticall Euangelist, haue named Antichrist, as well as Sibilla foretold the name of our Sauiour Iesus Christ?
Agayne, Christs names were prophecied of and knowne before: One name of his is to bee called a Nazarite, so the people call him, Math. 2•.11. a pro∣phet of Nazareth. This name the Prophet hath, Isay. 11.1. he calleth him, Net∣ser, in Hebrew it signifieth a branch. Another name of his, is King of Israel, Iohn 12.23. prophecied of by Zachar. 9.9. Also he was called the sonne of Da∣uid, Math. 21.9. And Isay sayth, he shall spring out of the roote of Iesse. 11.1.
Page 164Further, hee was knowne by the name Messiah, or Christ, before he came, Ioh. 4. the woman of Samaria said, I know well that Messiah shal come, which is called Christ, vers. 25. This name was reuealed to Daniel, 9.25. he is called Mes∣siah, the prince.
But will our aduersaries say, his name Iesus was not knowne before his com∣ming? yes, euen that name also hath some euidence out of the Prophets: for Ie∣sus or Iesua, is all one, and signifieth a Sauiour: of the which name we reade Za∣char. 3. where mention is made of Ieshua the high Priest, who was a type of our Sauiour Christ, and bare his name, for vers. 5. a Diademe is set vpon his head: which must needes bee vnderstood of Iesus Christ, our high Priest. Agayne, he is called Hosanna, Iohn 12.13. which signifieth the same that Iesus, and both are deriued from the same roote: translated, Saue vs. Which name we finde in the 118. Psal. vers. 25.
Lastly, if the name Iesus Christ were reuealed to Sibilla a heathen prophe∣tisse, how can it be, that the Prophets of God were ignorant of it? Therefore by their owne argument, seeing Christs names were knowne before his comming, why should not Antichrists in like manner, if he should be some one singular notorious man?
2 We can bring foorth a name, which in all respects agreeth with that de∣scription, Apocal. 13.18. which is a name both of a man and of the beast, that is, of a companie, or succession of men, which sheweth the time of Antichrists birth, namely, the yeere 666. which also doth fitly agree with the manners and properties of Antichrist: and that is the name Latinus, which in Greeke letters 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, sheweth in account, the number 666. and so doth the name of Rome in Hebrew — 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, romiijth. And, ecclesia Italica,* in Greeke let∣ters doe make the same number.
We see then, that all things do well agree to this name: first, that is signifieth the whole Latin Church or Empire, & so is the name of the beast. Secondly, it sheweth the time 666. about which yeere Pope Vitalianus composed the Latin Seruice, and enioyned all Nations to vse no other. Thirdly, it properly a∣greeth with the Antichristian practise of Rome; which is called the Latine Church. And contrarie to S. Paules rule they haue brought an vn∣knowne tongue which edifieth not, into the seruice of God: yea they preferre it before the Greeke and Hebrew, making the Latine translation of the scrip∣tures onely authenticall, as it was concluded in their Tridentine chapter. And they doe so much extoll their Latine text, as the setter forth of the Complutense edition is not ashamed in his preface to write, that he hath placed the Latine text betweene the Hebrew and the Greeke, as Christ betweene the two theeues, Fulk. Apocal. 13. sect. 10. What Church then in the whole world but theirs, can be called the Latine Church? Fourthly, it also maketh much for vs, that we haue a consent of names, for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, & in Hebrew Romiijth, doe all make the same number, and doe note the Latine, Romane, or Italian Church.
Page 165But they obiect: First that Latinus maketh not that number with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. but La∣teinus with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. A great matter: wherein they shew their ignorance, as though the Greeke dipthong, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. be not vsually expressed by a single 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. in Latine, as we say, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Antiocheia in Greeke, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, Alexandreia, with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. dipthong: in Latine, Antiochia, Alexandria, with single 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. for the cities of Antioch, and A∣lexandria: this therefore is a small quarell. But mark I pray, what a poore shift this is: If this smal letter 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. be but admitted, the Pope is made Antichrist: so we haue found out Antichrist, sauing one small letter.
2. Why, there are many names beside, that make that number, as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and others: nay the Rhemists say, that Luthers name, in the Hebrue, and Bellarmine, that Dauid Chytraeus his name, doe expresse that number of 666. But what of all this? there is none of these names, vnto the which the three pro∣perties aforesayd doe agree, as they doe vnto Latinus, as to betoken the whole body of Antichrist, to shew the time of his birth, and describe the qualities of his Kingdome, as the word Latinus doth, yet this we doe not say, that this is the very name which is meant in that place, and that the Prophesie can haue no other meaning: But to shew how ridiculous their interpretation is, and how much nearer ours commeth to the truth.
OF THE CHARACTER OR SIGNE and badge of Antichrist.
THey do hold that Antichrist shall haue a certaine outward marke or chara∣cter, which he shall cause to be printed in the right hands, and foreheads [error 59] of all both small and great, that doe belong to his kingdome, Apocal. 13.16. But this marke is not yet knowen, no more then his name is: Onely this they are sure of, that the Pope hath not Antichrists character, but rather the chara∣cter of Christ, the signe of the Crosse which he causeth to be signed in the fore∣heads, Bellarmin. cap. 11.
1. Antichrist must in all respects be contrarie to Christ: for as he seeth his image and crucifix adored, so shall he set vp his owne image to be worshipped: and therefore as Christians now doe beare in their foreheads the signe of the Crosse which is Christs marke, so hee shall inuent an other marke contrary to Christs: and he will make his name and the letters thereof sacred, as now the name of Iesus is worshipped among Christians, Rhemist. Apocal. 13. sect. 7.
Answere: First, where haue you learned, that roodes and images are to be adored and worshipped? or doth not the word of God teach the plaine contra∣rie Psal. 115.8.9? O Israel trust in the Lord: but they that worship images are like vnto them: he therefore that trusteth in an image cannot trust in God. A∣gaine, where learne you to make an Idoll of the letters or sillables of Christs name, to cause men to carry it in their caps, and bow their knee vnto it? think Page 166 you that Saint Paul, when he sayth, that all thinges doe bowe the knee to the name of Iesus, yea of things in heauen, Philip. 2. that he meant, that euen the Angels doe stoup and make obeysance, when they see the name of Iesus writ∣ten in a glasse window? Or who taught you that the signe of the Crosse is to be borne vpon mens foreheades, and that with crossing of the forehead, we are preserued from daunger? Saynt Paul, you knowe, hath no such meaning, when he sayth, He bare in his bodie the markes of the Lorde Iesus, which were nothing else, but the signes and tokens of his persecutions, as whip∣pings, stoning, and such like in his flesh: Galath. 6.17. Neither, when he saith, He reioyced in nothing but the Crosse of Christ, whereby he was crucifi∣ed to the worlde, verse 14. hath he any relation to the Crosse in the forehead: for it were a myracle, that a man by crossing his forehead, should straight wayes crucifie and mortifie his affections: Nor yet did our Sauiour speake of this marke, where he saith, that they which will followe him, must take vp his crosse, Mark. 8.34. for in that place, by taking vp of the Crosse, he meaneth, nothing else but the forsaking and denying of our selues. So it is playne, that in the scripture you finde not this superstitious signe of the crosse in your foreheads.
2. Where you say, that you doe honour the character of Christ, as his name, and the signe of the Crosse: You doe euen so honour Christ, as the souldiers did, that gaue him a reede for a scepter, and thornes for a Crowne, and bowed themselues in mockage: So you do leaue Christ certaine badges and signes of his kingdome; but indeed you spoyle him of it, and of his Priest∣hood too, making other mediatours beside him, and other sacrifices propitiato∣rie beside his. What doe you else now, in bowing the knee to the name and sil∣lables of Iesus, and spoyling him of his honur, but with the souldiers in moc∣kage to bow vnto Christ? And I pray you, how doe you honour the name of Christ, when you make a iest of the name of Christian? for in Italie it is a worde of reproch, taken for an idiote or foole.
3. We answere, that the signe whereby Christians are marked, are not ex∣ternal, but internall: we are sealed by the spirite of God, Ephes. 4.30. The out∣ward signes are none other, but the two sacraments of Baptisme and the Lords supper: by the right administration wherof the congregations of the faythful are knowen. But of this, more shall be spoken in the Antithesis, or Antidotum, in the declaration of our opinion.
BY the character or marke of Antichrist, we doe not vnderstand any visible signe or badge to be printed in the right hand or the forehead, as the Iesuite imagineth: as though he should brand all his subiects in the hand or forehead: But heereby is meant and signified chiefely the societie and communion, whereby they shalbe ioyned to Antichrist, by giuing vnto him their fidelitie, Page 167 oth, and obedience, agreeing together in the same corruption of fayth, and doctrine. This is Antichrists badge or cognisance. Fulk. Apocalip. 13. sect. 7. There are also outward markes of their coniuncton with Antichrist: as the sha∣uing of Priests, and greazing them with oyle: such are the receiuing of holie bread, the wearing of beades, the annoynting with chrisome: But the proper note and character, is the oth and profession of fealtie and obedience.
1. Antichrist say they, shall bring in another contrary character, to dis∣grace the signe and character of Christ, namely the crosse in the foreheads:* But Christ hath appoynted no such visible character, neither are true Christians knowen by any such: therefore also the character of Antichrist is no such thing.
1. The people of the Iewes had no such outward badge, who were more charged with outward obseruations, then Christians are: Circumcision was the onely signe of the couenant to them, Genes. 17.11. which was one of their chiefe sacraments, in place whereof Baptisme is enioyned vs: Ergo, much lesse are we to be knowen by any other outward badge.
2. This place Apocal. 13. is taken out of Ezech. 9. where the Angel is com∣maunded to set a marke vpon the foreheads of them that mourne: but that was no visible externall marke, for it was shewed the Prophet in vision: Ergo, nei∣ther is it to be taken so in this place.
3. We grant, the sacraments are badges and markes of our profession: which markes the Pope, the onely Antichrist hath defaced, by bringing in fiue other sacraments, and cleane changing, polluting and altering, the right sacra∣ments which Christ instituted: for they haue brought into baptisme, chrisme, salt, oyle, spittle, and such trash: into the Eucharist, adoration, transsubstantiatiō, sacrifice, with such like: so that herein he sheweth himselfe Antichrist, and hath altered the true markes of Religion.
2. It appeareth by the effect what is the Character of Antichrist:* The text saith, It was not lawfull for any to buy or sell, but he that had the marke or the name of the beast: No more was it lawfull for any to haue trafficke amongst the papists but hee that acknowledged the Popes crosse keyes, or made himselfe a member of the Romish Italian Church: Nay they say, he is not of the Church, that acknowledgeth not the Pope to be head of Christes Church, Fulk. Apo∣cal. 13. sect. 7.
The Iesuite obiecteth: First, this oth of fidelitie and coniunction cannot be that character: for it must be in the right hand or forehead. Answere, Wee haue already declared, that it is too childish to take these wordes literally, as though all Antichrists subiects should carie brandes in their foreheads or hands. Secondly, saith he, many do both buy & sell amongst them, that haue not made profession of their fealtie to Rome, as the Iewes, Bellarm. cap. 11. Answer: Yea no maruaile, for Antichrist is an enemie onely to Christ: al other people he can brook well enough beside good Christians: tell me I pray you, whether our merchants be admitted to traffick safely in Spaine, if their religion be knowen: Page 168 The seruants of God amongst you, can neither enioy, houses, lands, libertie or life: which yoke also was layd a long time vpon this land, till it pleased God to haue mercie on vs: for the which his name be blessed.
3. Againe, many yeares agoe, euen in Augustines and Ambrose his time, all Churches were ioyned to Rome, before Antichrist was yet reuealed. Ergo. This is not the Character of Antichrist. Bellarmin. ibid.
Answere: First, they were ioyned then in common consent of religion, not as subiects by compulsion, but voluntarie, because at that time Rome in the chiefest poynts of Religion was in the right fayth. 2. But of late dayes in the Councel of Constance not yet 2. hundred yeares agoe, it was made an article of faith, to beleeue, that the Pope was the head of the Vniuersal Church: yea a∣bout the yeare 600. the title of Vniuersal Bishop first began to be appropri∣ate to Rome: whereby was insinuated, that all Churches in the world should be vnder the obedience thereof.
Lastly, we haue the testimonie of one of their Popes themselues, who saith plainly,* that hee is the forerunner of Antichrist, which would bee called Vniuersall Bishop. lib. 4. epistol. 32. See then by his testimony, the title of Vni∣uersality, and exacting of obedience of other Churches, is the character & marke of Antichrist.
THE FOVRTH PART, CONCERNING the generation and original of Antichrist.
[error 60] THey doe reiect those olde fancies concerning Antichrist, as that hee should be borne of a Virgin by helpe of the diuel, that hee should haue the diuell to his father: that he should be a diuell incarnate: or that hee should bee Nero, raysed from the dead. Refusing these fables, they haue found out one as foolish: Our Rhemists holde, that Antichrist shalbe borne of the tribe of Dan. Bellarm. dare not say so, but he thinketh that he shall come of the Iewes stock, and be circumcised, and be taken of the Iewes for their Messiah. cap. 12.
1. That he shall come of the tribe of Dan: thus they would prooue it, Genes. 49.17. Dan shalbe a serpent by the way biting the horse heeles: Ierem. 8.16. The neying of his horses is heard from Dan. And Apocal. 7. where 12. thousand of euery tribe are reckoned, onely Dan is left out, because (belike) An∣tichrist should come of that tribe. Rhemist. 2. Thess. 2. sect. 8.
Answere: Bellarmine confuteth all these reasons: the first hee saith with Hierome to be vnderstood of Sampson, who came of the tribe of Dan: the second place is of Nabuchadnezzers comming to destroy Ierusalem, as Hierome also expoundeth it: to the third he sayth, that Ephraim is left out as well as Dan: yea and so is Manass•h too: because the tribe of Ioseph is named for his two sonnes: but Dan is left out because Leui is reckoned in his place. Wee may see now, Page 169 how well they agree, when one Iesuite confuteth another. Bellarmin. cap. 12.
2. Bellarmine standeth much vpon that place, Iohn 5.43. If an other come in his name, him will ye receiue: But sayth he, the Iewes will receiue none, but of their owne kinred, and whom they looke for to be their Messiah. Ergo. Antichrist must come of the Iewes. ibd.
Answere: This place we haue shewed before, part 1. of this question, to be vnderstood of false prophets amongst the Iewes, such as mention is made of Act. 5. as Theudas and Iudas, and not of any one false prophet: so Iohn 10. where Christ compareth himselfe, which is the true shepheard, with the hire∣ling, he vnderstandeth all hirelings, though he speake in the singular number.
THat it is a very fable and cousoning deuice of heretikes, to make men be∣leeue that Antichrist shall come of the tribe of Dan, or of the stock of the Iewes, thus we shew it.
1. It is out of doubt, that the nation of the Iewes shall bee conuerted vnto God, and mercy shalbe shewed againe to the remnant of Israel, Rom. 11.25. confessed also by the papists: But if one come, which shall reedifie the tem∣ple, and restore the sacrifices and circumcision, such an one, as the Iewes shall take for their Messiah: who seeth not, that by this meanes the Iewes will bee more hardned, hauing now their owne hearts desire, their temple; Messiah, cir∣cumcision: and their conuersion would be greatly hindred, nay quite and clean ouerthrowen?
2. If Antichrist should come of the Iewes, it is like that his seate should bee at Ierusalem, and that the temple shall be built agayne by him: but that cannot be, for the temple, as Daniel prophesieth, shall lie desolate euen vnto the ende, Dani. 9.27. Ergo. he shall not come of the Iewes. More of this in the next parte.
THE FIFT PART CONCERNING THE seate and place of Antichrist.
BEllarmine holdeth opinion, that Antichrist shall haue his imperiall seate at Ierusalem, and reedifie and build againe the temple, yea for a while com∣maund [error 61] circumcision to be vsed and obserued, Bellarm. cap. 13. lib. 3. de pontif. Rhemist, 2. Thessa. 2. sect. 11.
1. Apocal. 11.8. the Citie of Antichrist is called the great Citie where our Lord was crucified. But Christ was crucified at Ierusalem. Ergo.
Answere: First, it cannot be so vnderstood, for ver. 2. Ierusalem is called the holy Citie. ver. 8. This great Citie is called Sodome and Aegypt: how can the same Citie be capable of such contrary names? How can that be called an holy Citie, where the abomination of desolation shall be and the seate of Antichrist?
Page 170Secondly, Augustine in Apocal. homil. 8. vnderstandeth by the great Citie and the streetes thereof, the middest of the Church: And by the great citie verie fitly is vnderstood the large iurisdiction of the Pope, who sayth, hee is head of the great citie and Catholike Church: Whose seate we see is at Rome, by authoritie of which citie Christ was put to death: and by Antichrist the Pope, Christ also is persecuted in his members. Fulk. annotat. Apocalyps. 11. sect. 2.
2. Apocalips. 17.16. the tenne hornes, that is, tenne kings, amongst whom the Romane Empire shall bee deuided, shall hate the scarlet whore, that is, Rome, and burne it with fire: how then shall it bee the seate of Antichrist? Bellarm.
Answere: The text is plaine, that the same kingdomes, that before had gi∣uen their power to the beast, and were subiect to the whore of Babilon, shall after make her desolate, and eate her flesh: which thing we see in part to be accomplished already, that many princes haue redeemed their necks from Antichrist his yoke, Fulk. Apocal. 17. sect. 3. It is not necessary therefore to bee done all at one time, but one after another.
3. 2. Thessal. 2. he shall sit in the temple of God: but at that time the Iewes onely had a temple, the Christians yet had none, and the Apostle speaking of the Church of God, did of purpose refrayne this name, lest the Church of Christians should be thought like the Iewes Synagogue. Bellarm.
Answere: First, the Iewish temple shall not be built againe, as Daniel pro∣phesieth, 9.27. and how can it be built in so short a space, seeing Antichrist, as they say, must raigne but three yeeres and an halfe? and to what purpose, seeing he will abolish all sacrifices? Secondly, though it should be built againe, nay if it were standing now, for the exercise of Iewish sacrifices, it could not be cal∣led the temple of God. Thirdly, by the temple therefore is meant the visible Church, that which sometime was a true visible one, as the Church of Rome, and after should be so taken, reputed and challenged, as it is at this day by the papists: Neyther haue the papists hereby any aduantage, as though the Pope sate in the very true Church: for it is not the true Church indeede, but so repu∣ted and taken by them. Fourthly, though there were no materiall temples of the Christians in Pauls time, what of that? hee speaketh not here of any such materiall temple, but of the Church of God, neither doth Saint Paul in this sense refuse to vse the name of temple, as 1. Corinthian. 3. vers. 16. and 6. vers. 19. and in other places.
THat Rome is the seate and place of Antichrist, beside that the Rhemists confesse so much that Antichrist shall raigne there, annot. Apocal. 17. sect. 4. We prooue it thus.
Page 1711. Antichrist is called the great whore of Babilon, Apocal. 17.5. But Babi∣lon is Rome, Ergo, Rome is the seat of Antichrist.
Obiect: It was Babilon, while it was gouerned and ruled by heathen Em∣perors, but the Church was not then called Babilon, Bellarm. Answere: First, Ergo by your owne confession, Rome shall be the seat of Antichrist, seeing by Saint Iohn it was called Babilon. Secondly, it was not onely called Babilon in the time of the heathen, but euen of Christian Emperors: Augustine saith, it is Occidentalis Babïlon, the Babilon in the west partes,*& prioris filia Ba∣bilonis, and daughter to the first Babilon. Thirdly, Saint Iohn doth not onely prophesie of the crueltie of the terrene state, but of the false prophet Antichrist, you should also vsurpe an ecclesiasticall gouernment there.
Obiect. Secondly, they obiect that by the damnation of the great whore, is vnderstoode the finall destruction of all the company of the reprobate, Rhemist. Apocal. 17.1. Answere, the damnation vniuersally of the wicked is de∣scribed cap. 20. and therefore this place must be vnderstoode of Antichrist, and his adherents: And very fitly doth the name of whore agree to that See, for once a whore indeede was Pope there, called Iohn the eighth. Which so wringeth the Papists, that they haue no other shifte but impudently to de∣nie it.
2. Wee haue another argument out of the same chapter, vers. 9. the se∣uen heades are seuen mountaines, on which the woman sitteth: But there is no citie in the world notoriously knowen to stand vpon seuen hils but Rome: Ergo, it is the seate of Antichrist.
Obiect. The text is, they are also seuen kings, so the seuen heades or seuen hils signifie seuen kings: for there shall bee so many chiefe Empires which shall persecute the Church, there are fiue part: Aegypt, Canaan, Ba∣bilon, the Persians, Grecians, the sixt, the Romanes, which in parte standeth yet, the seuenth shall be Antichrist, Rhemist. Apocalip. 17. sect. 7.
Answere: First, the seuen heads are expounded to be both seuen hils and se∣uen kings: the scripture vseth not to expound one harde and obscure thing by an harder and more obscure, as to say, seuen heads are seuen mountains, that is, seuen kinges: for wee were neerer the sense before: and the terme of heads doth more fitly resemble kinges, then mountaines. Secondly, the seuen kinges are more fitly taken for seuen principall gouernours of the Ro∣manes, as Kings, Tribunes, Consuls, Decemviri, Dictators, Emperours, Popes: for by these seuen orders hath the common wealth beene gouerned first and last. Fulk. ibid.
Obiect. Rome is not now built vpon seuen hilles, it standeth in the playne in Campo Martio, Sander. ibid.
Answere: First, you haue then no right to Peters Chayre, for when hee sate at Rome, the Citie stoode vppon seuen hils. Secondly, though the Pope nowe hath remooued his pallace to the Vaticane, on the other Page 172 side of the riuer, yet he did sit for many yeares in Laterane, vntill the time of Pope Nicholas the second, who was almost 1100. yeeres after Christ. Thirdly, though the Pope hath remooued his pallace vpon pleasure beyond the riuer: yet his See is not remoued: for vpon euery one of those hils there are Monaste∣ries, and chapples, and such like monuments to be seene to this day. In mount Caelius there is the Monasterie of Gregorie the first, the Cathedral Church of Laterane. In mount Auentine, the Monasteries of Sabi•e and Boniface. In the mount Exquilinus the Minster of S. Maria maior, the ruines of Saint Cyriacus Church, which is yet a title of a Cardinal. The mount Viminalis hath the Church of Saint Laurence. The mount Capitoline hath an house of friers, called Ara coeli. The mount Palatine the Church of Saint Nicholas. The mount Quirina∣lis hath S. Maria de populo. Wherefore though the Popes person be remooued a little aside, yet the popish religion is exercised, and reliques of superstition are to be found in euery one of those hils. Wherefore we nothing doubt to con∣clude, but that Rome is that Citie vpon 7. hils, and so the principal seate of Antichrist.
THE SIXT PART CONCERNING THE doctrine of Antichrist.
[error 62] THeir opinion is, that Antichrist shalbe an open and manifest aduersarie to Christ, and that he shall abolish all worship of God, and all religion. Rhe∣mist. annot. 2. Thess. 2. sect. 10. Bellarmine draweth all the doctrine of Antichrist, to these foure heads. First, he shall denie Iesus to be Christ, and abolish the sa∣craments instituted by Christ. Secondly, he shal make himselfe Christ. Thirdly, he shall make himselfe God, and be adored as God. Fourthly, he shall abolish al other worship, both true and false, yea the worship of Idols. Wherefore, sayth he, the Pope cannot be Antichrist, that doth none of these things, cap. 14. of these now in their order.
*1. Antichrist shall vtterly denie Christ. 1. Iohn 2.22. & 4.3. Euerie spirite that confesseth not, that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of God, this is the spirite of Antichrist. Ergo, Antichrist shall altogether denie Christ.
Answere: First the Rhemists say that this is not a marke for all times, to know an heretike by, but it was onely for those times, to confesse Christ to bee come in the flesh: this is a surer note now, say they, that whoso confesseth not Christ to be really present, and to be sacrificed in the masse, is not of God. Rhe∣mist. annot. 1. Iohn 4. sect. 2.* Where I will not stand to note the presumption of these papists, that will correct and amend the Apostles rule, to know here∣tikes by, which serueth for all times, and so Augustine taketh it. But here first I oppose our Rhemists iudgement against Bellarmine: for they denie that this place serueth to describe Antichrist, belonging onely to the Apostles times: Bellarmine saith, it doth most properly decipher Antichrist.
Page 1732. The great Antichrist shall denie Christ no otherwise then other An∣tichrists and heretikes did in the Apostles time: for they are all Antichrists 1. Iohn 2.18. and he giueth one rule to know them all by, vers. 22. But the An∣tichrists then denyed not Christ apertly, but couertly, Ergo, so shall the great Antichrist.
The first is true, that the olde heretikes did not plainly denie Christ to bee come in the flesh: but some denied his humanitie, some his diuinitie, some his person. Augustine sayth, Arriani hoc negant, licet verbis fateātur, the Arrians deny that Christ is come in the flesh, though they confesse it in word: for he that doth not confesse that Christ is equall vnto God, denieth Christ in the flesh: and so of other heretikes. The second also is as true: that Antichrist, who is no other but the Pope, shall also cunningly and couertly denie Christ, for he that denieth the offices of Christ, denieth Christ: As Augustine sayth of Peters deniall, Quic∣quid eius negauit, ipsum negauit. Tract. in Iohann. 66. whatsoeuer hee denyed of or belonging to Christ, he denied Christ. So the Pope denieth Christ to bee our Prophet, King, and Priest: His propheticall office he defaceth, and in effect denieth, in disgracing the scriptures, saying, they are imperfect, and conteine not all matters necessary to saluation, that their authoritie bindeth vs not without his allowance: His Kingly office, in making himselfe Christs Vicar and Vicegerent vpon earth, in making new lawes, sacraments, ordi∣nances beside Christs, as necessarie to saluation as the rules of the Gospell: His priesthoode, in setting vp a new propitiatorie sacrifice in the abominable Masse, beside the onely sacrifice of attonement vpon the Crosse, in making other mediators and intercessors beside Christ: and such like, whereof wee shall haue occasion to entreat afterward more at large. Ergo, the Pope in denying the offices of Christ, denieth Christ, and so is Antichrist.
2. Hee shall make himselfe Christ and Messiah,* which the Iesuite would prooue out of Iohn 5. ver. 43. If another come in his name, him will yee re∣ceiue: But the Pope commeth not in his owne name, but in the name of Christ, hee calleth himselfe Christs Vicar. Ergo hee can not bee Antichrist, Bellarm.
Answere: First, It is not necessarie that Antichrist should openly pro∣fesse himselfe to be Christ, in name, but he shall doe it, opere, indeede, and that closely and couertly: for those whom Christ calleth, pseudochristos, false Christs, Matth. 24.23. Iohn calleth Antichristos, Antichrists, 1. Iohn. 2.18. False prophets therefore are false Christs, & Antichrists: yet all those false pro∣phets and heretikes did not in name and outward profession make themselues Christs.
2. The Pope of Rome in effect maketh himselfe Christ: for who but Christ is the head of the Church? who but Christ is superiour to the Angels, and to commaund them? who but Christ can make sacraments and articles of fayth? But all this the Pope taketh vpon himselfe to doe: yea the Iesu∣ite is not ashamed to say, that he hath the same office which Christ had be∣ing Page 174 vpon earth, lib. 5. de pontif. cap. 4. And whereas they say, the Pope com∣meth in the name of Christ: it shall as much profite him (it being not in trueth▪ but in colour onely and shew) as it shall profite the false prophets to say in the day of the Lorde, Haue not wee in thy name prophecied, and cast out diuels? Matth. 7.22.23. to whome Christ shall make answere, Ve∣rily I know you not.
3. Antichrist shall openly name himselfe God, and commaund men to worship him as God,* 2. Thessal. 2.4. But this doth not the Pope: Ergo, hee is not Antichrist, Bellarm.
Answere: First, If Antichrist should be such an one, you might haue found amongst the Emperors of Rome diuers Antichrists: for such an one Caligula was, that commaunded temples to be erected in his name, and his images to be set vp to be worshipped, yea in the temple at Ierusalem.
2. Saint Pauls wordes will not beare any such sence: he shall sitte, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as God: and your vulgar Latine hath ostendens se, tanquam sit Deus, shewing himselfe as though he were God, that is, in deede and effect, not in open pro∣fession: for hee should sit and be worshipped in the temple as God: howe then can it bee called the temple of God, being thus a temple of most grosse Idolatrie?
3. The Pope in effect maketh himselfe a god vpon earth: for he can dis∣pence against the law of nature, the law of GOD, agaynst both new and olde testament: as we haue shewed before, quest. 9. of this Controuersie▪ yea Bellarmine sayth, he may by his Apostolike authoritie dispence with the pre∣cepts of the Apostles cap. 14. He is able to change the nature of things, and of nothing to make thinges to bee, of wrong to make iustice, &c. Pope Nicholaus distinct. 96. yea it is sayd of the Pope, that hee is neither GOD nor man,* but a middle thing betweene both: Pope Boniface. I pray you then what is he? he is no Angel, for he is aboue them, and commaundeth them: Papa Angelis praecipit,* the Pope commaundeth Angels. He must then either be a God or a diuell, by your owne confession, choose which you will: Nay they doe make him a playne God: Es alter Deus in terris, an other God vp∣on earth: and they salute him by these names, Dominus deus noster Papa, our Lord god the Pope. Thus it is proued, that the Pope, both by his deedes as also by his titles, doth make himselfe god vpon earth.
4. Antichrist say they, shall take away all worship yea of Idols, and shall commaund nothing to be worshipped but himselfe,* 2. Thessal. 2.4. the worde is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, numina, all things that are worshipped. But so doth not the Pope, for he prayeth to Saints, adoreth the bodie of Christ on the altar. Ergo. Bellarm. cap. 14. Rhemist. 2. Thess. 2. sect. 10.
Answere: First, the text prooueth not, that hee shall take away, all Idols, or thinges worshipped, but shall exalt himselfe agaynst them, and make smal account of them. The place also of Daniel is playne,
11.37. Hee shall not regarde the God of his fathers, nor care for any God, but shall magnifie Page 175 himselfe aboue all: And in his place shall he honour the God Mauzzim, and the God which his fathers knew not, shall hee honour, with golde and siluer.
Secondly, yet he shal magnifie himself aboue all such Gods, Images, Roodes, shrines and the like▪ yea aboue his owne breaden God: so doth the Pope: for he rideth vpon mens shoulders, when his breaden God is caried vpon an hackney: he exalteth his throne aboue the altar, the Crosse is caried on the right hand of Emperours swordes and scepters, but is layd vnder his feete: In the yeare of Iubile, he beateth vpon the gates of Paradise with a golden ham∣mer: Fulk. annot. 2. Thesse. 2.10. so then howsoeuer like an hypocrite he seeme to adore his breaden God, yet indeede dooth hee magnifie himselfe aboue it.
Bellarmine hath no other shiftes to foyst off our arguments, but these: hee sayth, this Mauzzim, is like enough to be the diuell himselfe, whom Antichrist shall worship: but he careth neither for siluer or golde: or else it is himselfe. And how I pray you can a man worship himselfe? or else, saith hee, it is some strong castle where he shall lay his siluer and golde: or else you know not what, Bellarmin. 14.
2 That Antichrist shall not abolish Idoles of siluer and golde, but rather commaund the people to worship them, as the Pope now doth, it is playne, Apocalyps. 9.20.
The Rhemists obiect, that hee speaketh here agaynst the heathen Idols, which is here called the worship of diuels. Answere: First, in this place Iohn speaketh of the ende of the worlde, in the opening of the seuenth seale: and the Idols of the heathē were abolished long agoe: Neither is there any knowen nation in the worlde that hath worshipped Idols of golde, siluer, brasse, stone, or wood, but the papists, for these many yeares. Secondly, all worshippers of Images, doe worship diuels: for Idolatrie is a seruice inuented by the diuell, Fulk. annot. Apoc. 9. sect. 4.
THat Antichrist shall not in outward shew be an open enemie to Christ, but secretly and closely, and vnder pretence of religion take away all religi∣on: thus we make it playne.
1 These places alleadged before doe prooue it: Iohn. 1.2.18. the An∣tichrist, and the Antichristes, shall bee enimies all alike, but the Anti∣chrstes in Saint Iohns time, were couert enemies. Ergo, so shall the great An∣tichrist.
Page 1762. Saint Paul calleth it the mystery of iniquitie, 2. Thess. 2.7. and he shal come in all deceiueablenesse of vnrighteousnesse, vers. 10. and God shall send them strong delusion, to beleeue lies, vers. 11. All this prooueth that Antichrist shal worke closely, cunningly, mystically, by deceiuing, by delusion, not by open enimitie, and prophanenes, or by violence and tyrannie onely, as the papists imagine.
3 Antichrist shall be the greatest enemie to Christ, and his kingdome, that euer was in the worlde. But hee is a greater enemie that pretendeth friendship, and yet is a foe, that vnder the name of Christ persecuteth the Chri∣stian fayth, then he that openly destroyeth it, making no shewe of Religion: as Dauid complayneth, Psalm. 41.9.
4. Lastly, Augustine sayth as much, that Antichrist shall come with de∣ceiueable doctrine, and shew of righteousnes. Quid expa•escimus in Anti∣christo, nisi quia nomen suum honoraturus est, & Domini contempturus▪ Quid aliud facit,*qui dicit, ego iustifico? Quid aliud est dei ignorare iustitiam, & suam velle constituere, quam dicere, ego iustifico, ego sanctifico? What other thing doe wee feare in Antichrist, but that hee shall honour his owne name, and contemne Christs? What else doth he, which sayth, I doe iustifie, I make holie? What is this but to destroy the righteousnesse of God, and to bring in his owne?
Marke nowe I pray you, if all this bee not true of the Pope of Rome: for hee taketh vpon him to iustifie, to sanctifie, to dispense with mens sins for an hundred, yea a thousand yeeres: to ridde soules out of Purgatorie: nay to commaund Angels to carrie their soules to heauen, that die in their Pilgrimage to Rome, as Pope Clement the sixt did: what is this▪ else but to saie,*Ego iustifico, sanctifico, I iustifie, I sanctifie? and who I pray you, doth so, if Augustine may be iudge, but Antichrist? but thus the Pope doth. Ergo he is Antichrist.
THE SEVENTH PART CONCERNING the miracles of Antichrist.
ANtichrist, they say, shall be a Magitian, and worke straunge signes and [error 63] wonders by the power of the diuell: and these three miracles by name Page 177 shall bee wrought by him: Hee shall cause fire to come from heauen, and make the Image of the beast to speake; and thirdly, hee shall faine himselfe dead and rise agayne, Bellarm. cap. 15.
1. He shall by the helpe of the diuell cause fire to come downe from hea∣uen, as it is Apocal. 13.13.
Answere: First, it is a great question whether the diuell haue any such power to bring downe fire from heauen: for the Iesuite himselfe remem∣breth the storie 1. King. 18. How Baal his priests would haue fetched down fire from heauen, but they could not: onely Elias did it: and he that will doe the like, must haue Elias his spirite, as Christ sayth, Luke 9.55.
2. It is very grosse to vnderstand this literally: for the whole chapter is mysticall, of the Beast with seuen heads, of another beast with two hornes, and all the rest. But three waies Antichrist may fitly bee sayde to bring fire from heauen: First, by fire the holy Ghost may be vnderstoode, as Matth. 3. and Act. 2. The spirite appeared in fierie tongues: so Antichrist and his mini∣sters make men beleeue, that they doe conferre the holy Ghost, as in conse∣cration, in absolution of sinners, and such like. Secondly, the Popes thunder∣bolts of excommunication, are resembled to fier, whereby he hath made the whole world afrayde in times past, as though he could cause the heauens to fall vpon men: yea, to make the matter more likely, the Pope vseth burning Tapers in excommunicating men, which with violence are throwen downe as though GOD himselfe did rayne fire from heauen vpon them. And this is the terri∣ble manner of their excommunication: there are three candles burning set vp:* and then they begin to accurse them, whom they excommunicate, bodie and soule to the diuell: and let vs, say they, quench their soules in hell fire, if they be dead, as this candle is put out (and with that they put out one of the can∣dles) If they be aliue, let vs pray, that their eyes may be put out, as this candle is, and so the second candle goeth out, and that all their sences may fayle them, as this candle looseth his light, and so the third candle goeth out. Be∣holde, here is the fire which the Pope and his popelings doe bring from heauen. Sic Bullinger. serm▪ 60. in Apocalips. Thirdly, the Dragon is sayd, Apocalips. 12.4. with his tayle to drawe many starres from heauen: that is, many excel∣lent men, as starres in giftes and knowledge, shall bee deceiued by the Pope, and be wonne vnto him: yea the Pope himselfe is a Starre fallen from heauen to the earth, from heauenly doctrine to earthly tradition, Apocalips. 9.1. thus Antichrist also may be sayd to fetch fire from heauen.
2. The second miracle, hee shall cause the Image of the beast to speake, which the Iesuite vnderstandeth literally, that is, grossely.
Answere: First, Bellarmine and our Iesuites doe not here agree: for Bellar∣mine sayth, that these two miracles shall be wrought by Antichrist himselfe, to fetch fire from heauen: and to cause the Image to speake: But the Rhe∣mists saye, this other beast, is another false Prophet, inferiour to Antichrist, which shall also worke wonders, such an one as Caluine, say they: where Page 178 they shew their malice, more then learning, for Caluine, they know, tooke not vpon him to worke myracles, annot. Apocal. 13. sect. 3.
2 This causing the image to speake hath a better meaning: The image of the beast is the shadow of the olde stately Empire of Rome, which was e∣rected by the Pope: for the west partes wanted an Emperour the space of three hundred yeeres from Augustulus time till Pope Leo the third, who made Charles the great king of France,* Emperour: And at this day is there nothing in the Empire, but onely a name, title and image: for neither hath the Empe∣rour the Imperiall authoritie, which is in the Pope, nor the Imperiall king∣domes, vnlesse he haue them of his owne. And the Pope onely maketh this I∣mage to speake, for vnlesse he doe confirme the election of the king of the Ro∣manes, he is not thought worthy the name of Emperour. Bullinger. ibid.
3 And yet we denie not, but that they both haue and may make images speake either by the helpe of the diuell, as Dunstane caused a roode to speake, or by iugling, as the Roode of grace by gimmals was made to roule the eyes, mooue the lippes and such like, in king Henries dayes.
3 The third myracle that Antichrist shall work, is to fayne himselfe dead, and to rise againe, Apocalyps. 13.3.
Answere: There can bee no such thing gathered out of the text: First, the wordes will not beare it: the text is, that one of the heads was wounded to death, and the wound was healed: which cannot be so meant, as though hee fayned himselfe dead: but he receiued a wound indeede.
2 The sence is mysticall, as thorough the whole chapter: First, it is sayd, that the seuenth head was wounded to death: but reuiued agayne: that is, the seuenth gouernement of the Romanes in the Popedome: for the papacie had many times deadly blowes, and yet was healed agayne: especially when there were three Popes together, at Rome, in France, and the third in Spaine: but this wound was cunningly healed vp in Pope Martin the fift, in the Coun∣cell of Constance, the other three beeing deposed. Sic Bullinger Serm. 59. Secondly, it is said vers. 14. that the beast whose image remained, had the wound of a sworde, and yet liued: which is vnderstoode of the Romane Em∣pire, reuiued and quickned by the Pope.
IT is true that Antichrist shall worke signes and wonders by the power of Sathan, 2. Thessal. 2. but lying signes, both because they shall bee done to confirme lyes, neither shall they bee such as the Prophets wrought, but many of them but cunning and cousening sleights of iuglers. And for such wonders wee neede not to search farre, the Popish Church is full of them▪ Where else then should wee looke for Antichrist?
1 There haue beene of the Popes themselues▪ Sorcerers and Coniurers, Page 179 such an one Antichrist shall bee, sayth Bellarmine. Siluester the second came vp to the papacie by the helpe of the diuell, as wee haue before she∣wed. Gregorie the seuenth was condemned in the Councell of Brixia for a Coniurer: And Benno a Cardinall in those dayes thus writeth of him: that on a time hee sending two of his seruants for a certaine Sathanicall booke, charging them not to looke into it: they notwithstanding looked into it, and presently a great multitude of diuelish spirites were round about them: who were instant vpon them to knowe why they were called for: the ser∣uants beeing at the first astonished, yet comming to themselues, enioyned them to plucke downe certayne high walles neere to Rome: and so they came to their master, Fox. page 176. What other Antichrist now neede wee looke for? If hee must bee a Coniurer, wee may heere make our choyce.
2 Wee are not ignorant, what lyes and fables are reported by the pa∣pists of the myraculous actes of their popish Saints, of the which wee haue spoken before: As howe Dunstane appeared to a cripple, that came to his Tombe to bee helped of his lamenesse: How Plegildus a priest sawe and handled the shape of a childe vpon the alta•, which after hee had kissed re∣turned agayne to the likenesse of bread. How a certaine Iewes boy tolde his father that hee saw a childe broken in peeces vpon the altar and distri∣buted among the Christians: and the boy for that,* was cast into a furnace of fire, and was preserued from the fire by the Virgin Marie, which appea∣red to him, and spred her garment ouer him. Many such either lyes and fables, or workes of diuels the popish Church hath many: What neede wee therefore doubt, but that it is the Antichristian Church?
3 Augustine sayth, Saint Paul calleth them lying wonders, either be∣cause Antichrist shall deceiue men per phantasmata, with iugling sleights, or because, ad mendacia per trahet credituros,* by his wonders he shall make them beleeue lies. But in which sense they are so called, it shall appeare when Antichrist is come sayth hee: and indeede it is now apparant; for our aduer∣saries haue plenty of both kindes, both myracles wrought indeede by the diuell, and many prety iugling feates beside.
THE EIGHTH PARTE OF THE QVE∣stion, concerning the warres, and king∣dome of Antichrist.
BEllarmine sayth, that Antichrist shall make great battayles agaynst the [error 64] Saynts, and shall conquere the whole worlde: first by crafte he shall as∣pire to the kingdome of the Iewes: secondly he shall fight with three kings of Page 180Lybia, Aegypt, Aethiopia. Thirdly, with a great armie he shall persecute the Christians throughout the world, and this shall be the battaile of Gog and Ma∣gog, Bellarm. cap. 16.
1 That he shall craftily aspire to the kingdome, he proueth it out of Daniel, 11.21. where it is prophecied of one that he shall obtayne the kingdome by flatteries.
Ans. This prophecie of Daniel, as likewise the whole chapter, was historically accomplished in Antiochus Epiphanes, who defrauded Seleucus his brothers sonne of the kingdome, and circumuented his elder brother Demetrius: so that it being once fulfilled, it cannot be wrested to any other sense: of Antichrist it cannot be ment; for here is a succession of Kings described, vers. 19. One is sayd to be ouerthrowne, that is, Seleucus, but not in battaile, for he was poysoned, vers. 18. There another is sayd to bee ouerthrowne and to be no more found, that is, Antiochus magnus. But Antichrist cannot succeede any in the kingdome of the Iewes: for he shall be their first King, as the Papists imagine.
2 He shall (sayth Bellarmine) ouercome three kings, of Lybia, Aegypt, Ae∣thiopia, Dan. 11.43. and this horne shall remoue three other hornes, Dan. 7.8.
Ans. This also must needes be vnderstood of Antiochus Epiphanes: and they are two prophecies. First, he is called a little horne, because he was not heire to the kingdome: he remoueth three other hornes: for by his meanes Ptolemaeus Philopater was cast out of the kingdome in his fathers time Antiochus the great: his brother Seleucus poysoned, his sonne Demetrius disinherited, Tremell. Dan. 7.20. The second prophecie was also accomplished by Antiochus, who ouer∣came Aegypt, and the countreys adioyning.
Of Antichrist it cannot bee vnderstood: for the first prophecie speaketh of a beast with ten hornes, which must be vnderstood of one kingdome & monarch, and by the ten hornes ten Kings are signified: for so was Antiochus Epiphanes the tenth from Seleucus: here then is a succession of Kings: but Antichrist shall not succeede any.
3 The Iesuite saith, that Antichrist with a great armie shall vexe the whole world, and that shalbe the battaile of Gog and Magog prophecied of Ezech. 38.39. & Apocal. 20.
Ans. The prophecie of Ezechiel was fulfilled in the time of the Macchabees, when as Gog and Magog, that is Antiochus, with the helpe of the Syrians and Scythians and other countreys, molested the people of God: for vers. 23. chap. 39. the Prophet speaketh of the captiuitie of Israel, from the which they should at that time bee deliuered. And agayne, the Lord would not leaue his Church, which at that time endured great afflictions at the hands of the heathen, com∣fortlesse: but if these prophecies of Ezechiel and Daniel concerne them not, then small had been their comfort. Lastly, the Iewes may with as good reason vnderstand the prophecies concerning Christ, of their Messiah, whom they yet looke for, as you may these prophecies concerning the enemies of the Church, of your Antichrist.
Page 181The other prophecie also is fulfilled, Apocal. 20.8. how Gog and Magog from the foure corners of the earth, shall compasse the tents of the Saints: for by Gog and Magog, is vnderstood the whole multitude of the enemies of the Church both within and without, as Turkes, Papists, Infidels, which all haue agreed to∣gether at times and in their turnes, though enemies amongst themselues, to af∣flict the people of God, Fulk. annot. in hunc locum.
And if you will needes also haue the other two prophecies fulfilled a∣gayne, being once before accomplished: they agree fitly to the Turkish Em∣pire: for Mahomet by craft and subtiltie aspired to a kingdome, and in short time he ouerranne Aegypt and Lybia, with other parts of Africa.
WE denye that there shall come any such Antichrist: or that it is possible for him to wage battaile with the whole earth. We graunt that the Anti∣christ of Rome hath warred with the Church, poysoning it with corrupt doc∣trine, and persecuting the same by fire and sword: which his rage is well slaked now, God be praised, in many places, and his tyrannie ouerpast: miserable were the state of the Church if it should endure such a brunt agayne.
1 It is impossible that Antichrist in so short a time as three yeeres and an halfe, should conquer all nations, and be Monarch of the whole world, burne & sacke Rome, and driue out the Pope, as the Papists graunt themselues, Bellarm. lib. 4. cap. 3. de pontifice. A man cannot in that space traua•le through the whole world, much lesse conquer it.
And seeing Antichrist shall begin at Ierusalem, make his habitation there, and haue an end there: (for (say they) he shall be slayne in Mount Oliuet, Gloss. sup. Apocal:) It is not like that in his owne person he should conquer the world: neither can it be thought that he shall do it by his deputies, for then they should be the Antichrists and not he. See what a Labyrinth you are fallen into, out of the which you cannot wind yourselues.
2 Antichrist is not described in scripture as a warriour, or warlike man sit∣ting harnessed in his tent, but like an hypocrite aduācing himself in the temple; not comming with engins of warre, but deluding and deceiuing with false mi∣racles, and lying signes, 2. Thessal. 2. Not with Harolds of armes openly procla∣ming warre: but he shall worke in a mysterie, Apocal. 17.5. Wherefore it is but a popish dreame and fancie, that Antichrist shall be such a mightie warriour: yet we denye not but that diuers of the Popes haue been warriours, but that was beyond the commission of Peters crosse keyes.
3 Lastly, they haue no ground of this their opinion out of scripture: for nei∣ther Ezechiel nor Daniel maketh for them, prophecying of the state of the Church before Christ: nor yet the Apocalypse, the prophecie of Gog and Magog being accomplished in the greatest part alreadie: Wherefore away with these mistie clowdes of your brainsicke inuentions: they shall not bee able to abide the lightsome sun-beames of the truth.
THE NINTH AND LAST PART OF THIS question, whether the Pope be Antichrist.
THis question pincheth our aduersaries very sore, that wee should touch their [error 65] head so neere, as to make him Antichrist. For this being once knowne, wee neede not labour much about other matters: for Antichrist with all his doctrine must not be heard, but abhorred of the Church.
They therefore, craftily foreseeing this, doe take great paynes to deliuer the Pope out of this danger, and haue found out many starting holes, but all to smal purpose: yea their forefathers seeing the matter so playne, and almost put out of doubt,* gaue straight charge in the late Councel of Laterane to all preachers, that none should dare once to speake of the comming of Antichrist. This ar∣gueth a guiltie conscience. But yet they face out the matter, and say, the Pope cannot be Antichrist: their arguments are none other then those we haue heard, being eight in number.
1 Antichrist shall be one singular man: the Popes haue been many, part. 1. of this question. Secondly, he shall raigne but three yeeres and an halfe: but the Pope hath continued many hundred yeeres, part. 2. Thirdly, he shalbe knowne by his name: the Popes haue sundrie names, part. 3. Fourthly, he must come of the stocke of the Iewes: but there was neuer yet any Iewe Pope, part. 4. Fiftly, his seate must be at Ierusalem: the Popes is at Rome, part. 5. Sixtly, he shall ma∣nifestly denie Christ: so doth not the Pope, say they, part. 6. Seuenthly, he shall doe strange miracles, as bring downe fire from heauen, cause Images to speak, part. 7. Eightly, He shall wage great battailes, and conquer all the world, part. 8. Which cannot agree to the Pope: Ergo, he is not Antichrist.
Answere: To these eight arguments, we haue before answered seuerally: shewing, how fabulous, ridiculous, and impossible our aduersaries assertions are, without ground of scripture, shewe of reason, or colour of argument. Wherefore we will not trouble the reader with needlesse repetitions, desiring him to haue recourse to that which hath been alreadie sayd.
THat the Pope of Rome is very Antichrist, and that all the qualities and pro∣perties which the scripture describeth Antichrist by, doe fitly agree vnto his person: and that we are not therefore to expect or looke for any other Anti∣christ. Thus by testimonie of scripture, and sufficient reasons deduced out of the same, we trust it shall appeare to all men.
Page 1831 The first place of scripture is Daniel 11. where many notes and markes are declared proper to Antichrist, yet especiallie set foorth to describe An∣tiochus Epiphanes, who might be very well a type and figure of Antichrist who was then to come.
1 vers. 36. It is sayd, He shall doe what him listeth. This is most true of the Pope: his will must stande for reason, Distinct. 96. cap. satis. If the Pope should drawe infinite soules to hell, no man is to say vnto him, Sir, why doe you so, Distinct. 40? Heere Bellarmine hath but this poore shift, to say, that it is meant onely of publike iudgement, that no man is by authoritie to call the Pope to account: but yet a brotherly admonition may bee v∣sed. But who seeth not that the words are generall: Nemo debet ei dicere, No man ought to say vnto him: neither Iudge, nor other?
2 Hee shall magnifie himselfe agaynst GOD, and speake blasphemous things agaynst GOD: hath not the Pope done so? Of him it is sayd, that GOD and the Pope haue but one Consistorie: I am able to doe almost all that GOD can doe, Fox. pag. 785. articl. 192. I am aboue all and in all: Ho∣stiens. Nay, that Dominion and Lordship which Christ had in earth, but ha∣bitu, in habite, the Pope hath actu, in act and in deede. Agayne, as we reade, the earth is the Lordes, and the fulnesse thereof, and as Christ sayth, all power is giuen mee in heauen, and in earth: so is it to bee affirmed, that the Vicar of Christ hath power on things celestiall, terrestriall, infer∣nall, apud Fox. pag. 791. col. 1. Now let the discreet reader iudge, whether this fellowe doe not magnifie himselfe, and speake blasphemously agaynst God.
3 Hee shall prosper till the wrath bee accomplished: So hath the Pope had but too good successe: hee hath subdued Emperours, and made them his seruants, trode vpon their neckes, made them serue at his table, crowned them with his feete, made them hold his stirrup, and leade his horse by the bridle. But wee doe hope that his date is out, and that hee shall prosper no lon∣ger.
4 vers. 37. He shall not care for the God of his fathers: No more doth the Pope: for he hath inuented and erected a newe breaden god, which he worship∣peth, hangeth vp in Churches, carrieth about in procession, being but a peece of bread. This breaden god a might, his forefathers neuer knew.
5 Hee shall not care for the desires of women: So hee prohibiteth law∣full marriage, permitteth adulteries, and the vnnaturall lust of Sodomites. Bellarmine first denyeth the text, which is faithfully translated according to the Hebrew. Secondly, he sayth, the place is meant literally and properly of Antio∣chus, who was giuen to the pleasures of women.
Answere: First, if it be meant literallie of Antiochus, then can it not be meant literallie of your Antichrist: If Antiochus be but a type of Antichrist, then can you not necessarilie conclude out of this place: for types prooue Page 184 not, vnlesse they be diuine, that is, appoynted of God to be types, which you can not shewe for this place: see then, the best arguments that you haue for your Antichrist, out of the prophecies of Daniel and Ezechiel, are proued nothing worth. Secondly, as Antiochus was giuen to vnlawfull desires of women, so is the Pope: yet might he be an enemie to chast and holy marriage, and so is the Pope. And by the way let it bee noted, that the Iesuite picketh quarrels with scripture, and maketh it false: for the text sayth, He, that is, Antiochus, shall not care for the desires of women. Yes (sayth the Iesuite) he shall be giuen to the pleasures of women, cleane contrarie to the text, Bellarm. cap. 21.
6 vers. 38. He shall honor his god Mauzzim, that is, a god of power and ri∣ches, with gold, siluer, precious stones: Both of these are most true of the popish religion: for their god hath brought them great riches, lands, treasure, posses∣sion: by their idolatrous Masses, they haue greatly enriched themselues, where∣in their breaden god playeth the chiefe part: and therefore they doe worship him agayne with gold, siluer, precious stones: what rich Corporals, and Altar∣clothes, Copes, Vestiments of veluet, silke, wrought with gold, are seene in their Churches? what gilding of Roodes, and Roodlofts, garnishing of Idols, what rich Crucifixes of siluer, of gold, beset with pearle and precious stones?
This description therefore of Daniel, as you see, doth in euery respect agree with the conditions and properties of Antichrist of Rome, Argument. Illyrici.
Secondly, Saint Paules description in euery poynt also is verified in the Pope. First: He shall exalt himselfe aboue God, and all that is called God, 2. Thess. 2.4. So the Pope challengeth the full authoritie of Christ, as wee haue shewed be∣fore, and exalteth himselfe aboue Emperours, which are called gods vpon earth: yea they haue taken the iust proportion of inequalitie betweene the Pope and Emperour: for the Pope is 47. degrees aboue the Emperour: as the Sunne is 47. degrees bigger then the Moone, Innocent 3. in decretalib.
2 He shall sit in the temple, that is, in the Church: so the Pope nameth him∣selfe head of the Church, and hath the keyes, as he braggeth, both of heauen and hell. Therefore the Turke cannot bee that Antichrist, because he is out of the Church: and so in truth is the Pope, but yet he challengeth to him and his the name of the Church.
3 The mysterie wrought in Paules time, and afterward encreased: so not long after the Apostles time, the Bishops of Rome began to lift vp their heads aboue other Churches, as Zozimus falsified the Councel of Nice, and sent to the 6. Councel of Carthage, to haue it there confirmed, that it might be lawfull to send vp appeales to Rome.
4 Antichrist shall come with lying signes: So hath the Pope done, as expe∣rience proueth, and we haue shewed before.
5 vers. 11. God shall send strong delusions, that they shall beleeue lyes. And in time of Poperie, men indeede were so strongly deluded, that the father perse∣cuted the sonne, the sonnes set fire to their father, yea the husband was made a witnesse agaynst the wife, the wife agaynst her husband, and seruants accused Page 185 their masters. These things are so well knowne in stories, that I neede not come to particulars.
6 Antichrist is called a wicked man, and a man of sinne, vers. 3.8. And where shall you finde more wicked men, then among the Popes? Siluester the 2. gaue his soule to the diuell to obtayne the Papacie, Fox. pag. 167. Benno reporteth of Hildebrand, that he poysoned sixe Popes to come to the Popedome. Pope Ste∣phen and Sergius, tooke vp the bodie of Formosus, and mangled it, cutting off his head and fingers, and so cast it into Tibris, Fox. pag. 120. We haue heard be∣fore, what a holy Father Pope Iohn the 13. was, he lay with his owne sister, and with his fathers Concubines, playing at dice, called for the diuell, was slayne in adulterie. And was it not, I pray you, a common prouerbe in England? He that goeth to Rome once, seeth a wicked man; he that goeth twise, learneth to know him; he that goeth the third time, bringeth him home with him, Fox. pag. 841. argument. Illyrici.
The third place we doe take out of the Apocalyps, chap. 9. where is a playne storie set downe of the Pope.
1 vers. 1. He is a starre fallen from heauen: he is departed from the ancient faith of Rome to superstition and idolatrie.
2 He hath the key of the bottomlesse pit: who giueth the crosse keyes in his armes but the Pope? who sayth hee may euacuate all Purgatorie at once, if hee will, but he? Who sayth, he may, Pleno iure currus animarum plenos secum ad tartara detrudere, by full right, carrie downe to hell with him charriots Ioden with soules? cap. si Papa. distinct. 42. Is not this the Pope? who then more fitly may be sayd to haue the key of the bottomlesse pit.
3 There arise out of the bottomlesse pit a great flocke of Locusts, that is, the innumerable sort of begging Friers: for they are in euery respect described: First, compared to Locusts for their number, vers. 3. There were an 100. diuers sorts of Friers, Fox. pag. 260. Secondly, they had power giuen them for fiue mo∣neths: that is, as Walter Brute expoundeth it, taking a moneth for thirtie dayes, & a day for a yeere, as it is prophetically taken: an 150. yeeres, for so long it was from the beginning of the Friers vnder Innocent the 3. anno 1212. to the time of Armachanus, who preached, disputed, and wrote agaynst the Friers, about anno 1360. Fox. pag. 414. Thirdly, they shall sting like Scorpions, not slay all at once, but venome and poyson the conscience with the sting of their pestilent doctrine. Fourthly, other parts also of the description agree, as vers. 7. They are as horses prepared to battaile, that is, stoute & ambitious, their haire as the haire of women, that is, they shall be effeminate, and giuen to the lusts of the flesh: their teeth as the teeth of Lions: they by valiant begging shall deuoure the por∣tions of the poore: as it was well proued in King Henry the 8. dayes, in the Sup∣plication of beggars, that the summe of the Friers almes came to a great summe in the yeere: for the fiue orders of Friers had a penie a quarter for euery one of euery housholder throughout England, that is, for them all twentie pence by the yeere▪ suppose, that there be but ten housholds in euery towne, and let there Page 186 be twentie thousand parishes and townes in England; it will not want much of twentie thousand pound. Thus had they Lions teeth, that is, consuming and deuouring. Lastly, they haue a King, vers. 11. whose name is Abaddon, a de∣stroyer: for the Pope their chiefe prince and patron, hath by his Antichristian doctrine layd wast the Church of God, Argument. Chytraei.
The fourth place of scripture wee will take out of the 17. of the Apocalyps▪ there the seate of Antichrist is described. First, vers. 5. It is called Babylon, the ci∣tie which raigneth ouer the Kings of the earth, vers. 18. This can be no other but Rome, which then had the Empire of the whole world. Secondly, It is the citie built vpon seuen hils or mountaynes, vers. 9. that is no other but Rome. Thirdly, the whore, which is Antichrist, shall sit vpon the beast with seuen heads and ten hornes, that is, shall succeede in the Empire, and haue the authoritie thereof: so hath the Pope. Fourthly, the ten hornes, that is, the Kings of the earth, shal giue their authoritie to the beast: but afterward shall deuoure her flesh: Euen so the Kings of the earth by their sword maintayned the authoritie of the Pope. But now being taught by the Gospell, they are made the Lords free men, and begin to subdue their neckes from his yoke.
The fift place is 1. Iohn 2.22. Who is a lyar, but he that denyeth that Iesus is Christ? the same is Antichrist that denyeth the father and the sonne.
Euen so the Pope of Rome, though not openly and apertly, yet closely and subtilly is an enemie vnto the whole trinitie: He exalteth himselfe aboue God the father; because he taketh vpon him to dispense not onely agaynst the lawe of nature, but agaynst the lawe of God, the morall law, and agaynst the precepts both of the old and new testament: but a lawe cannot be dispensed withall, but by the same authoritie or greater.
Agaynst Iesus Christ he exalteth himselfe, and all his offices, he denyeth him to be the onely Prophet, saying, the scriptures are vnperfect, and that their tradi∣tions are also necessarie to saluation. Agayne, he maketh other bookes scripture, then those which are Canonicall. His kingly office he doth arrogate to himselfe, in making lawes to binde the conscience, in ordayning other Sacraments, in granting Indulgences and Pardons, & saying that he is the head of the Church. His Priesthood he is an enemie vnto, constituting another priesthood after the order of Melchisedech, then that of our Sauiour Christ which begun vpon the Crosse, and remayneth still in his person, being incommunicable to any other creature: yet they make euery sacrificing Priest to bee of the order of Melchi∣sedech.
He impugneth the office of the holy spirit, counting that prophane which the holy Ghost hath sanctified, as marriage and meates: arrogateth in all things the spirit of truth not to erre: applieth the merites of Christs passion after his owne pleasure, by Pardons, Indulgences, by ceremonies and Sacraments of his owne inuention, Fulk. 2. Thess. 2. sect. 10. Ergo, we conclude out of S. Iohn, that seeing he denieth Iesus to be Christ, he is Antichrist.
Sixtly, S. Paul sayth, that Antichrist shalbe an aduersarie, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. 2. Thess. 2.4 Page 187 An aduersarie in doctrine, teaching cleane contrarie to the Gospell of Christ: so doth the Pope.
1 The scripture sayth, wee ought to put our trust onely in God, and not in man, Ierem. 17.7. and to call vpon God onely in the day of trouble, Psal. 50.15. and to worship him in spirit and truth, Iohn 4.24. The Papists say cleane contra∣rie, that we must call vpon Saints, and beleeue they can helpe vs, and they teach vs to fall downe before Images, which are stockes and stones.
2 The Gospell teacheth, that wee are freely saued by Iesus Christ, without workes, which neither merite remission of sinnes, nor eternall life, for eternall life is the free gift of God, Rom. 6.23. And our sinnes are forgiuen vs freely, be∣cause they are not imputed, Rom. 4.6. They affirme cleane contrarie, that by our merites we may deserue heauen: and that vita aeterna, is merces bonorum operum, that eternall life is the reward of good workes. But S. Paul sayth, it is a free gift, Bellarm. cap. 23.
3 The Gospell teacheth vs, that we should growe vp to an assurance of our election, 2. Pet. 1:10. and with boldnes to call vpon the name of God, Heb. 4.10. The Papists say, we should be kept alwaies in doubt, and it is presumption to be assured of the fauour of God.
4 The Gospell saith, that not onely externall acts, but euen secret thoughts are sinne, yea the very cōcupiscence of the flesh to be sinne, Genes. 6.5. Rom. 7.7. They denie that concupiscence and euill thoughts are sinne, vnlesse the be vo∣luntarie, and haue the consent of the will, ibid.
5 The Gospell teacheth, that it is impossible for any man to keepe and per∣forme the lawe of God, Rom. 8.7. Luk. 17.10. They doubt not to say, that a man by grace may fulfill the lawe, and by fulfilling of it deserue heauen.
6 Christ instituted the Sacrament in both kinds, and Paul. 1. Cor. 11. giuing a direction concerning the Sacrament, not onely to the Pastors and Ministers, but to the whole Church of Corinth, doth rehearse the institution in both kinds. But the Papists doe minister but in one kind to the people.
7 The Gospell saith, that the Church is builded vpon Christ, and he is the onely foundation thereof, 1. Cor. 3.11. The Papists hold that Peter first, and now the Pope, whom they make his successor, is the foundation of the Church, Ar∣gument. Chytraei. And thus we see, the Pope in his doctrine is a plaine aduersarie to Christ, and therefore Antichrist.
The seuenth argument, Apocalyps 17.1. Antichrist is called the great whore: And here we are to note the singular prouidence of God, who suffereth not one iot of his word to fall to the ground: for euen soverily, Anno 853. next after Leo the 4. there was a right whore elected Pope called Iohn, or if you will, Ioane the 8. who fate in the Papacie two yeeres, sixe moneths; and on a time being with child, fell in labour in the midst of a solemne procession. Whereupō there was a certayn Image of a woman with a child set vp in the same place where the Pope was deliuered: And euer since the Popes, when they goe to Laterane, doe shun that streete, being yet the neerer way, abhorring that fact and the memorie ther∣of. Page 188 There was also long after a chayre of Porphyrie stone kept in Laterane, with an hole in the midst, wherein the newe elected Pope was wont to sit to haue his humanitie tried, Iuell. pag. 428. Defens. Apol.
Obiect. 1. Harding, and since him Bellarmine obiect, that there was neuer any such Pope, because she is not registred in the Popes Calendar. Ans. No, they left her out for shame, as Marianus Scotus writeth. Agayne, Bishops names haue vpon sundrie occasions been left out: as Chrysostomes name was striken out vpon displeasure out of the table of the Bishops of Constantinople: So Pope Cyriacus is not reckoned in the Calendar of the Popes, and yet he was one of them.
Obiect. 2. Whereas it is said, that this Pope Ioane was first student at Athens, and afterward professed at Rome, Harding denieth, that at Athens then there was any place for students, but all was barbarous, and so sayth Bellarm. neither that at Rome there was any open profession of letters at that time. Ans. First, anno 680. the Bishop of Athens was at a Councel at Constantinople, called Syno∣dus sexta, anno 742. at the second Councel of Nice, there were many Bishops of Greece present: and Pope Ioane followed, anno 853. and how should Athens afterward become barbarous, being inhabited all this while by Christians? for it was not taken of the Turkes before anno 1440. Secondly, and me thinkes it is a discredite for Rome, that there should be there vnder the Popes nose no profes∣sion of learning, and that there should be there no Vniuersitie of Students, where the vniuersall Bishop sate. But Theodoricus Niemus, sometime the Popes Se∣cretarie, sayth, she read a Lecture two yeeres at Rome.
Obiect. 3. It is not like that God would suffer S. Peters chayre to be polluted by a woman, Harding. Ans. You presume to much of Gods prouidence, hauing no such promise. Why might not a woman as well creepe into S. Peters chayre at Rome, as one did into S. Andrewes of Constantinople? as Bellarmine confesseth, what priuiledge hath one more then the other.
Obiect. 4. As for the chayre (saith Harding) it is a fable: but Bellarmine more modestly graunteth there is a chayre of Porphyrie, but to another purpose, to shewe the Popes humilitie, not to trie his humanitie. Agayne, Harding sayth it is a lye, that the Popes refrayne to goe that way. But Bellarmine, that knoweth Rome better then he, denieth not that the Pope so doth, but not for any such hei∣nous fact there committed, but because it is a strait way, and is not fit for his trayne. And as for the Image, Harding saith, it representeth no such thing, but is rather like one of the great ragged stones at Stonage. Bellarmine denieth not, but there is such an Image, but it seemeth not to bee a picture of a woman, but rather of some heathen priest going to sacrifice. We see how handsomely they agree in their answers: And no maruaile, for if one lyer is many times contrary to himselfe, how should two lyars agree? But these men go only by coniectures: we haue their owne writers against them: for Theodoricus Niemus saith there is such an Image that resembleth such a thing, and that the Popes will not goe that way in procession to this day vpon that occasion. And as for the chayre of Page 189 marble to that vse, to search the Pope, Sabellicus reporteth it, Aenead. 9. lib. 1.
In this one example we may see the boldnes of our aduersaries, which are not ashamed to denye so famous a storie, being reported by Sabellicus, Leonicus Chalcondyla, Marianus Scotus, that liued about the yeere 1028. Sigebertus Gim∣blacens. anno 1100. beside thirteene Historiographers, as they are quoted by Bishop Iewel, and of them all not one a Lutherane.* It is almost as foule a shame for them to denye so manifest and playne a thing, as it is a great blot to their suc∣cession, that a whore sate sometimes in the Papall chayre. Thus then by eui∣dent demonstration it appeareth, that the Pope is the whore of Babylon, and so consequently very Antichrist.
Lastly, in the eight place, their owne witnesses shall speake: Bernard sayth, Bestia de Apocalypsi, cui datum est os, loquens blasphemias, Petri Cathedram occu∣pat. The Beast in the Apocalypse,* to the which a mouth was giuen speaking blas∣phemies, doth occupie Peters chayre. Ioachim. Abbas sayth, Antichristus iam pridem natus est Romae: Antichrist a good while since was borne at Rome. The Bishops in the Councel at Reynspurge say thus: Hildebrandus Papa, sub specie religionis, iecit fundamenta Antichristi: Hildebrand vnder colour of holines, hath layd a foundation for Antichrist. Nay, long before any of these, Gregorie the 1. first of all the Gregories, and the best of all the Popes that haue followed him, thus prophecied of his successors: Ego fidenter dico,*quòd quisquis se vniuersalem sacerdotem vocat, vel vocari desiderat, in elatione sua Antichristum praecurrit: I speake it confidently, that whosoeuer calleth himselfe, vniuersall Priest, or de∣sireth so to bee called in the pride of his heart, is the forerunner of Antichrist. But the Popes of Rome are now called vniuersall Bishops or Priests: Ergo, they are either Antichrists, or the forerunners of Antichrist. But it is not like that Antichrist should haue so many forerunners, and so many yeeres, almost a thousand since Boniface the 3. was first called vniuersall Bishop: Ergo, Anti∣christ is alreadie come, and hath been a good while: and where els should he be, but there where his forerunners were, namely, at Rome? Now therefore seeing wee haue so many witnesses, the scripture, reason, experience, authorities to prooue the Pope Antichrist: who will either bee so simple, as seeing so good grounds, not to beleeue it, or so scrupulous, hauing such certayne euidence, to doubt thereof? And thus at the length, by Gods gracious assistance, wee haue finished and brought this great question concerning Antichrist, to an end, as al∣so the whole controuersie as touching the Bishop or Pope of Rome.