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which cities our Lord speaks in terms of censure, saying: “Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! woe unto thee, Chorazin!"
Antichrist will also have magicians, sorcerers, diviners and enchanters, who, the Devil so inspiring them, will nurture him and educate him in all iniquities and falsehood, and in the foul
and evil spirits shall be his guides, associates, and sole companions. Then shall they come to Jerusalem, and all Christians whom he shall not be enabled to convert to his own ways, he will slay with various torments, and will prepare to make his abode in the holy Temple. The Temple also which was destroyed, and which Solomon dedicated to God, he shall restore to its former state, and shall circumcise himself, and shall lyingly assert that he is the son of Almighty God. Kings and princes also will he first make converts of, and then through them, of other persons; while he will travel over the places where our Lord Christ walked, and will first lay waste what the Lord so rendered glorious. Then, throughout the whole world will he send forth his messengers and his preachers. And his preaching and power shall extend from sea to sea, from east to west, from north to south. Many signs therefore will he give, great and unheard-of miracles; he will cause fire to come in a dreadful manner from heaven, trees to blossom in a moment and then to wither away, the sea to be aroused and suddenly to be tranquillized, the natural forms of things to be changed into various shapes; the courses and tides of rivers to be changed, the air to be agitated with winds and commotions, besides innumerable other things of wondrous nature. The dead shall even be raised in the sight of men, so that, if possible, even the elect may be led into error. For when they shall behold signs so great and of such a nature, even those who are perfect and the elect of God, shall be in doubt, whether or not this is Christ, who, according to the Scriptures, was to come at the end of the world.
But he shall cause persecution in every clime against the Christians and all the elect; and shall upraise himself against the faithful in three ways; that is to say, by terror, by gifts, and by miracles. To those who believe in him he will give abundance of gold and of silver; those whom he shall not be able to corrupt with bribes he will conquer by terror: those whom he shall not be able to conquer by terror, he will attempt to lead astray by signs and miracles; and those upon whom by signs and miracles he can make no effect, he will
torment, and, in the sight of all, destroy by a cruel death. Then shall there be tribulation, such as has not been upon the earth from the time when nations began to be, until that time; then shall those who are in the field flee to the mountains, and he who shall be above shall not come down into his house, to take anything away
therefrom. Then shall every faithful Christian who shall be found, either deny God, or die by the sword, or by the fire of the furnace, or by serpents, or by beasts, or by some other kind of torment, if he shall persist in the faith. This terrible and fearful tribulation shall continue throughout the whole world three years and a half. Then shall the days be shortened on account of the elect; for if the Lord should not shorten the days, all flesh would not be saved.
The time also when Antichrist shall come, as well as when the day of judgment shall begin to appear, the Apostle Paul points out in his Epistle to the Thessalonians, where he says, We beseech you by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ ;) and he reveals in the passage where he says, “Except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." We know also that after the kingdom of the Greeks, as also after the kingdom of the Persians, each of which, at its own season, gained great glory, and flourished amid great power, at length, after other kingdoms as well, the kingdom of the Romans began, and that it was more mighty than all the former kingdoms, and held all the kingdoms of the earth in subjection to it, and all nations and peoples were tributary to the Romans. Hence it is that the Apostle Paul says that Antichrist will not come into the world, “ Except there be first a falling away;" that is, unless all the kingdoms of the world should first revolt from the Roman empire to whom they were before subject. This time, however, has not come as yet; for although we see the Roman empire in a great measure destroyed, still, so long as the kings of the Franks hold dominion, who are bound to uphold the empire of Rome, the dignity of Rome will not entirely perish, for by its kings will it be upheld.
Some, indeed, of our learned men assert that one of the kings of the Franks will hold the Roman empire afresh, and in all its integrity, who will exist at a very late period of time; and he himself will be the greatest and the last of all the kings, and 99 2 Thess. ii. 1.
1 2 Thess. ii. 3.
after he shall have happily ruled over his own kingdom, shall come at last to Jerusalem, and shall lay down his sceptre and his crown on the Mount of Olives. This will be the end of the empire of the Romans, and of the Christians, and immediately, according to the words of Saint Paul the Apostle quoted above, they say that Antichrist will come, and then will be revealed Antichrist, the man of sin, who, though he shall be but a man, shall still be the source of all sinfulness and the son of perdition, which means the son of the Devil, not, indeed, by nature, but by reason of imitation ; for in everything will he fulfil the wishes of the Devil; because the fulness of the diabolical power, and of the whole of his evil disposition, shall corporeally find an abode in him, in whom will be all the treasures of wickedness and iniquity stored away, and who shall strive against Christ, that is to say, shall be opposed to Him, and all his members. “ And he is exalted,” meaning that he is elated with pride; “above everything that is called God," which means
above all the gods of the Gentiles;" Hercules, to wit, and Apollo, Jupiter, and Mercury; above all those whom the pagans suppose to be divinities Antichrist shall be raised; for he will make himself greater and more powerful than them all. And not only above these will he be raised, but above everything that is worshipped ; above the Holy Trinity even, which alone ought to be worshipped and adored by all creatures he shall so raise himself, that he shall sit in the Temple of the Lord, and show himself as though he were a God. For, as we have said above, being born in the city of Babylon, he shall come to Jerusalem, and shall circumcise himself, and shall
say to the Jews, “I am the Christ who was promised to you again and again, who have come for your salvation, to the end that I may gather together and defend you who are dispersed.”
Then will all the Jews resort to him, thinking that they are receiving God, whereas they will be receiving the Devil. But even in the Temple of God shall Antichrist sit, that is to say, in the Holy Church, making martyrs of all the Christians; and he shall be exalted and shall be magnified, because in him shall be the Devil, the source of all wickedness, who is also king over all the sons of vanity. But in order that Antichrist may not come suddenly and unexpectedly, and at the same moment deceive the whole of mankind with his errors, and so bring them to ruin before his rising, two great prophets shall be
sent into the world, Enoch and Elias, who, against the attacks of Antichrist, shall fortify the faithful of God with Divine arms, and shall provide them, and shall strengthen and prepare the elect for battle; and they shall teach and preach for three years and a half. The sons also of Israel, such as shall at that season be found, these two great prophets and teachers, shall turn to the grace of the faith, and on the side of the elect shall render them insuperable by the force of a whirlwind of such mighty power. Then shall be fulfilled that which the Scrip
Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.”2
After they shall have fulfilled the time of their preaching three years and a half, then shall the persecution by Antichrist begin to rage, and against them the first thing of all shall Antichrist take up arms, and shall slay them, as we read in the book of Revelation; “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them.”3 Then, after these two shall have been slain, he shall persecute the rest of the faithful, that so he may make them either glorious martyrs or apostates, and then shall those who believe in him receive the impression of his mark on their foreheads.
But as we have spoken thus at large about his rise, let us now say what end he is to have. Now, this Antichrist, the son of the Devil, and the most vile contriver of all wickedness, shall, for three years and a half, as already mentioned, harass the whole world with great persecutions, and shall with various punishments torment all the people of God; and after he shall have slain Elias and Enoch, and shall have crowned the rest with martyrdom, who remain in the faith, at last shall come upon him the judgment of God, as Saint Paul writes, saying, “Whom the Lord Jesus shall consume with the spirit of His mouth ;" * or else the Lord shall kill him there with the power of his command, or Michael, the Archangel, shall slay him with the might of the Lord; for he shall be slain by the might of some angel or Archangel. They say also that Antichrist shall be slain on a mountain in Babylon, upon his throne, in that place opposite to which the Lord ascended into heaven. But you should know that after Antichrist shall have been slain, the day of judgment will not come immediately, the Lord will not come immediately to judge us ; but, as we understand from 2 Rom. ix. 27.
3 Rev. xi. 7.
4 2 Thess. ii. 8.
the book of Daniel, the Lord will give a day to the elect, that they may perform penance, because they have been led astray by Antichrist. But after they shall have duly performed this penance, there is no one who knows how long a space of time shall intervene before the Lord shall come to judge mankind ; but it remains subject to the determination of God at what hour God shall judge the world, inasmuch as before the world began He pre-ordained that it should be judged.
John the Apostle and Evangelist, one of virgin purity and the chosen of the Lord, and more beloved than the rest, asked the Lord as to the end of the world, and the Lord made answer, “ The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, and from the trees blood shall drop; the stones shall send forth voices, the people shall be aroused, and Antichrist, that is, the Devil, shall reign, and shall work miracles and great signs in the people; no one shall be able to escape from him. He shall be born of a woman who is a harlot of the tribe of Dan in Israel. All those who believe in him he shall mark with his mark on the forehead, and no one shall be able to blot out the work of his hands. He shall be brought up in Chorazin, and shall afterwards dwell in the city of Bethsaida ; and in a few days both all those whom he shall kill, as also those who shall die under his power of famine and thirst, shall be the elect of God; he will raise the false ones who are dead, he will turn back rivers in their course, he will pluck up trees by the roots, and will turn the branches to the earth, and their roots upwards, and by his diabolical arts make them blossom. Many he will lead astray. On the day on which he shall be born, all who dwell in the four quarters of the world will know that he has been born; the Scripture bearing witness thereto, which
says, “ In every house the carcase of one dead man shall be a sign."7
Then in his time shall the father slay the son, and the son the father, and the brother the brother, and the faithful shall be found wanting in all things. Women shall be menstruous, and shall not hide themselves from men; the churches shall be destroyed, the priests shall mourn, no memorials will be preserved
5 It need hardly be said that this answer, given to Saint John, only existed in the author's imagination, or was conveyed in some monkish legend. Jt is probably based on Rev. vi. 12.
6 This seems to be the meaning of "suscitabit falsos mortuos," 7 Probably alluding to the words of Gen. xii. 30.