Popery, the Antichrist of Scripture
ITS CHARACTER AS DEVELOPED, AND ITS DOOM AS DENOUNCED,IN PROPHETIC SCRIPTURE.
by the Rev. James Henderson, D.D.
Minister of St. Enoch’s Church, Glasgow.
IT is known to every student of the Bible that ANTICHRIST holds a prominent place in its prophetic page. The name, it is true, does not often occur in Scripture. But there is expressly foretold the coming and the character of an antichristian power, which, as counter-working the great design for which Christ the Son of God was manifested in the flesh, this name most aptly describes, and to which, from the earliest times of the Christian Church, it has been by common consent appropriated. His portrait is drawn in full length. Being drawn by the pencil of the Spirit of truth, it is doubtless also exact, to the life. Yet being drawn by him, as a Spirit of prophecy, who is wont, for wisest reasons, to veil his revelations of the future under dark and mystic symbols, a certain obscurity lies over it, leaving it but too possible, as the event has shown, that, through rashness or prejudice, men may misconceive the likeness, and consequently err in their endeavours to discover or identify the original. But though obscure, and liable to be mistaken, it may not be inferred that the prophetic description is hopelessly inscrutable. Prophecy, given by inspiration of God, must surely have been meant to enlighten, not to perplex or mislead us. In fact, it is spoken, like parables, in language so far dark, that men who love not the truth may not discover it; yet not so impenetrably dark, but that the humble, truth-loving, and prayerful inquirer, shall succeed in finding it. The prophecies concerning Antichrist are of this description; and there are many circumstances connected with them which, to the candid inquirer into their meaning and application, promise a safe guidance and a sure result. The delineations which the Spirit of prophecy has made of his character and history, are numerous and ample. If some of them are obscured by the veil of symbols, others are so plain, that they who run may read. And while his every feature is strongly marked, and his entire character is unique and unexampled, we have not now to cast about for the impersonation in the dark and hidden future, but, by notes of time contained in the prophetic volume, are directed to look for him as already revealed; as already having long been fulfilling his disastrous course, and hastening on to his doom.
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