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perfecution is in all its Circumstances, let us consider it in its success, and with respect to those on whom it hath succeeded. I'look upon that general Defertion, an whole Kingdom in a manner changing its Religion in four moneths time, as a thing that cannot be paralleid. 'Tis true, the Roman Empire hath been seen to become Arrian in a very littie while, by the perfecution of the Emperors. But Arrianism was a speculative Herely, and the Arrians cheated the People by equivocalConfessions of Faith, which rakenin good sense, might now be subscribed unto. And for other things, their Worship, Pragers,Ceremopies, Altars,Bishops, Government,'twas all alike;and fo the passage from one to another was very easy, But here is the greatest difference imaginable , in worship, the object of adoration, the manner of it, in Ceremonies , Government, and Discipline. The Reformed Religion and the Roman differ as Day and Night; so that there must have been a prodigious Current , for the passage from one to another in so little time. 'Tis a frightfull and surprizing thing to see Peoplemake less difficulty to change their God, than good Subjects would do to change their Prince; in case an Enemy break into any Country,he would not find People so ready to abjure cheir former Oath of Fidelity. Tistrue, this kind of perfecution, which is made use of against the reformed , seems to me more cruel and more likely to overcome their constancy, then Massacres, and Fires, Wheels, and Gibbets. When a man can see to the end of his sufferings, though that end be death, he may be able to stand hjs ground: but when he is given over to an hundred Executioners, who are commissioned to torment him by turns, without giving him the least repose, I confess, this is the ready way to despair. If they did nothing morcthan hinderaman from Icep,

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it were sufficient to make him distracted, and to makehim do whatever they would have him. 'Tiş certain then, that several of those who have yielded, would more willingly have suffer'd death for their Religion, and have earnestly and seriously desired it. But what is very {trange, is that the greatest part have not tarried for these Persecutors. At the very approach of the Dragoons they cowardly complied, and a small number of True Believets remain'd vis etims, exposed to the Rage of an Army of an hundred thousand men, which were let loose upon the Kingdom.

This, I say again, is without Example in any Hic Atsry.S. Cyprian in his Treatise de Lapfis,seems to say that some such thing happened in the persecution of Decius; but he himself in his Epilles makes it evident, that the Apostacy was not so general : forhe remitsthose who had fallen tobe judged at the return of Peace, in the Assemblies of the Faithful who perfevered; so that the number of those that persevered must have been considerable. In our time it would be difficult out ofevery Flock to make up an Affembly of such as persevere to judge the rest."Tis therefore an Event, wherein we must admire the depth of Divine Providence. 'Tis a speaking Prodigy, which tells us, we are now in those last days, when Chrift should come, and not find true Piety, or true Faith upon Earth. This is a Touch-stone for all Proteftants ; their Brethren of France were not more wicked than others; Wherefore we may believe, that the same thing would happen in any other place, on fuppofition of the fame Circumstances; and consequently, that Chriftian courage and true Faith are at this day very rare, and few Instances to be found. Lastly, this Affair tells us, that God would melt the Heart of that people, and suffer

c it, when

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he then aganism ivas reach of his Kingdoms

them to link and be swallowed up , that he may
Thortly raise to himself another, a new People.
These are the Characters of this persecution, which
makes me regard it as very singular and extraordina.
ry in its kind, and consequently as a presage,that God
willshortly finish the eltablishment of his Kingdom,
and the Ruin of that of Antichrist. If we only con-
fider, how this persecution hath been more effectual
than any the Church ever suffer'd, it were enough to 1
make us judge, that the Devil now imploys his ui- !
most force and power, as apprehending'tis the last

Time, and that the ruin of his Kingdom is at hand.
When Paganism was ready to fall under Constantine,
he then excited the shar rsecution under the

Emperor Dioclesian. .. These are the different Reflexions that conspired

to possess me, that the coming of our Lord was near, to destroy the wicked one by the Breath of bis Mouth. I had a strong inclination to be certain and assured of the truth of these Thoughts, which could no otherwise be done but by finding in the Apocalypse, the accomplishment of those Circumstances, which were to precede and accompany the fall of the Babylonish Empire. With this design I betook my selfto read over the Apocalipse, not the several Commentators on that Book, but the Book it felf, only with the Exposition of loseph Mede, whom I formerly look’t upon as a man in

spired for the Interpretation of the Prophecies. His ..Key of the Apocalypse, and annexed commentary,

did heretofore charm me. I could find nothing like
it in all the other Expositors. I added that of his
Chronicles, and his Book called The Apostacy of the
latter Times , which is a large Commentary on
i Tim. Chap. 4. v.1,2,3,4. And the Spirit faith ex-
preply, tbåt in the last times there shall be fone who

shall

shall depart from the Faith. Besides several excellent and curious things, (a part whereof you will find in this Treatise) I met with in that Author the thing which I so eagerly sought for, viz. the true Epocha of the 1260 years, during which Time the Antichristian Empire should lait; he makes them to begin about the year of our Lord 450. or 455. by dateing them froin thence, they must end about the year 1710, or 1915. which agrees very well with my conjecture. But Iofeph Mede, who fer me right at first in the beginning of the true path, forfook me in the middleof the way; and when the circumftances and preliminaries of the fall of Babylon were to be adjusted according to this Calculation, which are so exactly described in the Apocalyple, I found no affistance at all from him; on the contrary, he led me out of the way, wherin he himself had put nie; and to make me wander and go astray: According to the Epocha which he himself had mark't, for the beginning of the 1260 years for

the reign of Antichrist , I Ihould see the end of it in .25 or 30 years, but according to Mr. Mede there must be many Ages to accomplish all things which are to be fulfilled before the period of the Kinga dom of Antichrift..

In the with 14th, & 16th, Chapters,we havean account of the Circumstances and degrees of the Fall of that Empire; the Eleventh Chapter speaks of the death of the two Witnesses for three days and half, of their Resurrection, and of the fall of the tenth part of the City, &c. In the 14 , Chap. where the Fall of Babylon is divided into two Acts , one is called the Vintage, the other the Harvest. In the 16th. Chap. where the seven Periods of the declena: fion and Fall of the Antichriftian Empire, are set: forth by foven viols and seven Plagues; of all this

Joseph

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Joseph Mede understood nothing; yea, supposing, as he doth , that of those seven Plagues not above two or three were come to pass in his Time, he remits us far enough off for the accomplishment of the five others. The Periods described by every Viol are each of them more than one Age: so that we fhould have four or five hundred years yet to come , before the end of the Kingdom of Antichrift, Ifevery one of the four viols, that remain to be poured out, were but of fifty years, we should have yet two hundred years longer to wait.

I confess, that after having read those places of the Apocalypse, and reviewed them twenty times, I understood nothing more therin ; I was only inore and more confirmed that no man had rightly understood them. In the midst of these distractions I yet begun my work, without knowing well where I went. But I can say, that God so opened mine eyes in the way, that gave me unexpressible consolation ; for after having consulted the Eternal Truth above an hundred times, with a deep Humility, and very great Attention, at length I received an answer at least I believe so , and think it very plain ; that all that must precede the last Fall of the Antichristian Empire, is fully acó complisht. I have no right to require the same assufance from others, neither do I requireit. But that which I demand at least, is a little of that attention, which I imployed in the meditation of those divine Oracles, and then I am perswaded ; that if you are not as fully convinc'd as I am, you will yet see reason enough not to condemnmeof rashness.

In the first part of this work, you will find nothing new for the substance of it; for’tisa long time that Rome hath been called Babylon , and that the Characters of the Antichriftian Empire

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