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lick; a Risque so much the greater, in that treating of Prophccies, no man thinks himself obliged to subscribe to the thoughts of those who interpret them. I may well expect to be ill treated by others, the learned and the wise, as they pretend to be, who mock at all Prophecies, and all those who go about to interpret them ; these men are upon the borders of Impiety, if they are not already plunged into it. 'Tis not for their sakes that I write; I despise them, at least their Judgment ; but I pray God for their falvațion: 'tis for the comfort of the Good and upright that this work was undertaken; God grant it may contribute to it ; if I am deceived I Ihall have but my common Lot with many others; nevertheless, I deserve some thanks for my good Intentions. Let meadd one word, that this is not
book to be read Cursorily over, and that but once , I consent that it be read the first Time as a Romance, but let such a one return to it, and lay aside his Prejudices by little and little, and at length accustom himself to those Idea's that at first seemed strange. This advice I give chiefly to Roman Catholicks , assoon as they perceive by the title of a Book; that the design is to perswade them that their Religion is Antichristianism, they fall into a rage, and their Passion blinds them. But yet for once let them take the pains to read it as a Romance, and afterwards let them think that the matter deserves at least to be examin'd, because no less than their Eternal Salvation is concerned in it: I have no design to anger them ; I desire their Salvation, 'Tis the only end I propose, God is my witness.
A Supplement to the Advice to all Christians.
This is what I have advertised the publick in the first Edi&tion ; in this second I find my self obliged to remove twa fcandals, which I have learnt have been taken on the account of this book. First, there are some who believe the hopes I give of a Re-establishment, within a few years, may do much Hurt, because all those who are thus perswaded, will suffer themselves to sleep secure in the mean time in the Communion of the Roman Church, faying, if it be thus, we may expe&t a while, and bear our Captivity as well as we can, we shall ere long see the end of it. During which expectation they will still go to mass, and joyn in the superftitions of the Church of Rome. To this I have two things to say; First , that God's ends and way's are different from ours ; at this rare God should never have promised to deliver his Church, that Men might not grow secure in the Expectation of it. God hath almoft always hid Events from us, and would not that at all times the Prophecies should be understood , left the knowledg and understanding of them should prejudice their accom. plishment ; left men should oppose it, and stand upon their guard in that respect. But who knows whether God ought not at lait to make the Prophecies be understood, that they may the more easily be fulfilled? who knows, whether fominy of the Romish Communion,who are already disgusted with their Religion , may not open their Eyes by the Įight which we set before them, and resolve to become instruments in the hand of God, for the accomplishment of this great work ? 'tis certain that oftentimes Prophecies, Counterfeit, or Real,
have inspired those for whom they were made, with the design to effect the things that were promised them : after all, when God discovers any truths of this nature, he hath his reasons for doing fo, and we ought not to resist it , upon pretence of some ill Consequences that would follow. leo remy, during the siege of Terufalem , declared to all the world, that the Chaldeans would take the City ; should he have forborn to speak that Truth, which God had revealed to him, because of someill Consequences ? ?Tis evident, that nothing was more properto lessen the courage of the Inhabitants, and to promote the taking of the City of lerusalem, than such a discourse of the Prophet.
The other thing which I have to say on this forte scandal , is this, that such who take occasion from this Book to continue in the Roman superstition, waiting for deliverance, have no need of this book to cherish the disposition they are in to remain there. They are people who only search for Pretences, to flatter themselves in the condition they are in, and can never want them either here or there, from this thing or another. But in truth, nothing can be more ridiculons than to take occasion from hence, to continue in the Roman Church. In three or foạr years or more there will be a great change in the Papacy, we must than remain there, waiting till that Change happen; 'cis to the same effect as if I should say, I am in an house that is on Fire, and that is ready to Fall, I have good assurance that in three or four years it will be rebuilt ; therfore. expecting that, I must suffer my self to be burned in it, or to perisk under its ruines. I am near a filthy And poisoned, water, in a little time fome one will come and cleanse the fountain, and render it whole fome ; in the mean tim ng mat, let us drink
of it. A man must be besides himself, that should argue after this rate; no less muft hebe, that shall reason as these cowards and Apoftates do. Within fome years the Reformation shall revive , waiting for that, I will continue in a wicked Religion , wherin I cannot be saved; I will pertake in is Idolatry , and bafely suppress the truth of God within my breast. A fin of a quarter of an hour is enough to destroy a man Eternally ; and shall it be thought, that the Idolatry and most shamefull Hypocrisy of two or three years are venial crimes? To betray a mans Conscience and the Truth, by one single act, deserves Hell ; and they flatter themselves, that God will Indulge them in a treason continued in for several years: they who reason after this manner have they any revelation from God, that they shall live three or four years longer, or that they shall have the leasure to repent? and what will become of them if they dye in that treasonable state? so far is the Hope that I give from being capable to make them continue where they are, that nothing can be more effectual to make them quit it. Their Polesions and profit is that which retains them; could they be perswaded that in a few years they should recover them again, it would not be la difficult to forsake them now. . .
The other scandal which I know hath been taken, is concerning the Reign of a thousand years.; many Divines in this country have greatly murmured at it, even so far as to threaten to complain of me. I am sorry it is so ; for I should be glad not . to displease my Brethren. In the mean time, I patiently expect what they will do in it ; and by waiting, I shall know whether our Conducters intend to make new Articles of faith, and whether Cocreanisme be become an intolerable Heresy. M.
Cocceiuss! Corcesus, upon the rith Chap of the Apocalypse, proves this Reign of Christ upon earth, by the same passages and the same arguments as I do, Except that he refers not to this the thousand years of the Dragon being bound, in the 20th. Chap. Since my arrival in these Provinces, I have fallen in with nothing of that famous Divine but in this article. If I should have agreed with him in some others, I should not be a Ihamed of it, and I know not
what trouble any one can give me for one only · article of agreement with many Able Divines, who
are Good men, and very orthodox. But I would fain know what it is in this opinion that so niuch offends these Gentlemen. Is it any thing contrary to any Doctrine of faith, and which doth directly or indirectly strike at the foundation? It is worth while to know, that such as can produce a little of their own, and labour usefully for the glory of God, if they hate the Spirit of Licentiousness, are not like to become flaves to certain prevailing opinions , only on this account, bocause they are prevailing. I fhall conclude by advertising the Reader, that he will find this second Edition to be inlarged throughout the whole book, cspecially as to what is Prophetical in the Apocalypse, which was not explained in the first Edition. It was believed, that by showing a compleat system of all the Events foretold in that book, we should give the more light to each of the several Visions, for we shall find that every thing is well followed, and that the order of the Prophecies is the same with that of the Events, or for the most part is fo.