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THE RETROSPECT.

NO. VI.

It was not our intention to have enlarged on the important interpretation, offered to our readers consideration in the previous two numbers of the “ Retrospect," as to the identity of the infidel Antichrist, but to take our flight to a loftier and more congenial region : and, after attempting to trace the Church's career through the perilous times of Antichrist, then to contemplate the glorious mission of the risen saints during the same period of time. But it has been suggested to us, that the advancement of what may possibly appear to the majority of our readers as such a novel and startling solution of the enigma of the eighth head of the beast, demands every argument which can be produced in confirmation of such an extraordinary exposition of the mystery.

We adopt the suggestion with more readiness, because the internal evidence of the prophecyim

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itself indicates that those whose names are written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, do not wonder when they “behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is;” and we cannot conceive any cause that can possibly exist, and thus divide the whole world into two such opposite classes, if it be not an expectation created in the true Church of the sudden re-appearance of this wondrous being from bottomless pit.

It may, perhaps, be quite as important to guard the Church against the diabolical snares which are preparing for her feet, as to fortify her faith and excite her hopes in the anticipation of those perilous times, by the presentation of the glorious destiny which awaits her faithful witness through the infidel persecutions, if those who are left on the earth will not worship the beast, neither his image, nor receive his mark in their foreheads or in their hands.

The consciousness of a danger is the first necessary preliminary to deliverance-just as an obstinate denial of its existence is the sure precursor to destruction; and we suspect this truism will receive ample illustration when that beast shall come up out of the bottomless pit, and all men are given over to believe the lie who would not receive the love of the truth.

The true key to unlock the mystery of the personal infidel Antichrist will be found to consist (as the term itself indicates) in an antagonistic resemblance to, and mimicing of, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The papal and the infidel Antichrist should ever be kept in our interpretations distinct from each other, inasmuch as they develop separate mysteries of iniquity; and the disappearance from the stage of the prophecy of the former when the latter raises his head, is not because the principle of evil which animated this Antichrist has become extinct by the revelation of another, but because it is absorbed into and assists with all its energies its more fearful successor, and thus by the exhibition of a distinctness in the persons ; whilst, at the same time, unity of purpose and object is preserved in the counterfeit, a closer mimicry of the separate persons in the Godhead is presented to the world.

It is for this reason that the papal Antichrist preserves his separate identity as the false prophet during the entire career of the infidel Antichrist; for, in all the prophecies which treat of the final confederacy of evil, this distinctness of his

persons is easily discoverable: and it is because of the perfect oneness of their object that their persons have been so often blended, and in almost all

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