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reasoning in no other way. What Sz. Joka says is this: “ Little children, it is the last time: acd, as

ye have heard that the Antichrist bail come, cren

now are there many antichrists; wbereby we krok " that it is the last time." From these words, \ir. Whitaker strapzely concludes, that:be last time, in the sense in which the Apostle here uses it, denotes that the ubcle period of tbe 1260 days; and, since tbose 1260 Days are undoubted y the permitted bour of tbe Roman little born or tbe Patacy, that tbe Ps. pacy must necessarily be the Antichrist. St. John however assures us, that tbe last time had already commenced, and that at the moment in which he was then writing he was living under tbe last time. Hence, if Mr. Whitaker's argument prove any thing, it will prove that tbe 1 260 days must be computed from the age of St. John, and that the venerable apostle and the Roman little born were contemporaries! But, in truth, Mr. Whitaker has totally mistaken the import of the phrase ibe last time as here used by St. John. As I have clsewhere very fully shewn*, whenever this phrase is used by the evangelical writers declaratively and not prophetically, it denotes the ubole period of the christian dispensation to the commencement of the Millennium, or as what Mr. Mede styles the kingdom of the stone as contradistinguished from tbe kingdom of the mountain. All that the Apostle therefore teaches his disciples is, that, since the delusive spirit of the Antichrist was already working, they might be sure they were living in the last time,

• See my Dissert. Chap. 3.

and

and need not look for any further dispensation*. As yet however, although there were many individual antichrists in the world, the great Antichrist him. self, whose special badge should be a denial of the Fatber and the Son, was not manifested. This spirit indeed was already working in the children of disobedience, but he himself was not as yet revealedt: nor does the Apostle give us the slightest intimation, that his appearance would be connected either with the taking away of that which prevented the developement of the papal man of sin, or with the commencement of the 1260 years.

* I apprehend that he insisted so strongly upon the circum. stance of their living in the last time, in order to convince them that they were not to look for any kingdom of the Messiah answering to the gross notions of the Jews, which the disci. ples themselves found it so difficult to shake off.

« The last ir time has already commenced; dream not of any yet further " last time." See Doddridge in loc. who rightly supposes the last time spoken of by St. John to mean the period of the Christian dispensation, not, as Mr. Whitaker fancies, the period of the 1260 years.

« Et nunc

+ The Jesuit Cornelius à Lapide seems to me to explain properly enough the latter part of 1 John, iv. 3.

jam in mundo est. Non in persona, sed in spiritu, puta in " suis præcursoribus." (Comment, in loc.) I interpret much in the same manner 2 John, 7. The deceivers, who confessed not that Jesus Christ was come in the flesh, were, considered collectively, the deceiver and the Antichrist in its infancy as it were, before the period of what Bp. Horsley aptly calls his adoles.

In short, wherever St. John mentions the Antichrist, he studiously and almost anxiously tells us that his badge is a denial of the Messiahship of Jesus Christ,

cence.

But

CONTENT S.

CHAP. I.

A full reply to the objections and misrepresentations of

the Rev. E. W. Whitaker.

CHAP. II.

Some remarks on certain parts of the author's own

Dissertation.

CHAP. III.

A view of the present posture of affairs as connected with

prophecy,

CHAPTER I.

A full reply to the objections and misrepresentations

of the Rev. E. W. Whitaker.

WHEN first I saw Mr. Whitaker's pamphlet advertised, as containing certain strictures on my Dissertation on the 1260 years, I felt the highest degree of satisfaction; because I am persuaded, that nothing is more favourable to the cause of truth than fair and liberal controversy. I accordingly prepared myself either to defend my positions, if I had reason still to think them tenable; or openly to give them up, if I found, in consequence of perusing the pamphlet, that they were untenable. Provided only the truth can be attained, it is a matter of the very least.consequence whether the person who is the instrument of attaining it be Mr. Whitaker, myself, or any other person,

. have never yet thought it a disgrace either to be mistaken, or to acknowledge myself mistaken. An obstinate perseverance in error alone deserves reprehension: a candid confession of it will always be accounted praise-worthy by the thinking part of mankind. With a hearty desire to discover the

truth

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313 315*ered me permis docqués in pare sort of troberij lore which he protesses * yet I neverbelass recice that he bas 30wered me. So oce :as courted d..CLISOD zore than evse.i, asd no oce deprecates it less.

The result of Vir. Wataker's strictures te supposes to be this: that, like the instantaneous operation of a mazician's wand, they cause the whole of my extensive structure to fail to the ground in undistinguished ruin; and that my Work must henceforth be numbered amongst those ephemeral theories, which, unlike his ora sober bonerer little novel interpretation, flush numerously like ignes fatui in our present loaded hemisphere, and serve only to envelope the whole subject in confusion.

* Mr. Whitaker says, that he is obliged to me for the very favourable manges in which I have, in several places, expressed myself .. his Commentary; and be acknowledges, that, where I have differed from him, he has cot the least reason to complain of the terms in which my opinion is given. I wish that it was in my power to return this compliment with any degree of truth.

+ Whitaker's Letter to Dr. Ogilvie, p. 59, 67, 81.

What

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