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like manner abandoned and debauched S ER M.
The Character of oppreffive Power in Religion.
[ Preached on the 5th of November.]
DAN. vii. 23.
Which shall be diverfe from all Kingdoms, and fhall devour the Whole Earth, and fhall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Y Defign in This Place, is notS ER M. M to enter into a particular In- XV. terpretation of the Prophetick Language; much less to propofe any uncertain Conjectures, concerning the Times and the Seafons which the Almighty has put in his own Power
SER M. to confider only a general Character, which XV. runs through a long Series of Prophecy both in the Old Teftament and in the New, of a certain great Power, formidable and lasting, of large Extent and of long Duration, and in its Nature and Kind, different from all Other Powers and Kingdoms in the World. The Character is fuch, as shows plainly one principal End and Defign of the Prophecy to be This; to give men repeated Warnings to take great Heed, that they neither fall (if poffible) under the tyrannical Oppreffion of this dreadful Power, nor Themfelves have any Share in exercifing it over Others.
THE Character or Defcription given by the Prophet, of this fingular and extraordinary Power, is in the following words. He fhall make War with the Saints, and prevail against them: And ke Shall Speak great Words against the most High, and fhall wear out the Saints of the moft High, and think to change Times and Laws; And they shall be given into his ch. xi 36, band for a long Seafon, even till the Judgment fhall fit. He shall exalt kim
ch.vii. 21. ver, 25.
felf, and magnify himself above every God, SER M. and fhall Speak marvellous things against the God of Gods: --- Neither fhall be regard the God of his Fathers,- -for he fhall magnify himself above All; — and fhall divide the Land for Gain.
FROM this defcription given by the Prophet Daniel, is plainly taken the character St Paul fets forth, of a Man of Sin 2Thefs. ii. to be revealed, the Son of Perdition: Who oppofeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped: So that He, as God, fitteth in the Temple of God, fhewing himself that he is God: Whofe Coming is after the working of Satan, with all Power, and Signs, and Lying Wonders, and with all Deceivableness of Unrighteousness: Teaching men to give 1 Tim. iv. beed to feducing Spirits, and doctrines of * Devils: Forbidding to marry, and νίων, Souls commanding to abftain from Meats, which departed, God hath created to be received with Thanksgiving, of them which believe, and know the Truth.
THE fame character is likewife evidently intended by St John, when he prophecies of a wild Beaft, or Tyrannical