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Satan is to be bound 1 at this Time of the Saints reigning) in the bottomless Pit, that be may deceive the Nations no more, until the thousand Tears ar* ended: And if so, then I desire any Person to tell me, if they can, when it was that Satan was bound for so long a time, as not to deceive any of the Nations? Has not the Deceits of Satan been exceeding great, both in the Rife ot Mahomet ism and Popery? Did not the Mystery of Iniquity work under various Disguises, in all these forementioned times > Surely it did; though indeed it must be granted, that after the Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus Christ, when the Spirit of God came down in such a wonderful Manner upon the Apostles, that there was many thousands of Souls (both among Jews and Gentiles) converted unto the Lord ;and a greatGlory upon the primitive Church.
set this was not the time of the thousand Years eign, nor of Satan's being bound) for that Glory which was upon the primitive Saints, was so far from continuing so long a time, as that it began to decay in the first Century, or scon after the Death of the Apostles. Neither was the Church then free from persecutions and Troubles from her Enemies; nor yet from Differences and Divisions among themselves. Now if Satan was bound and shut up in his Prison at this time; from whence then did Troubles and Persecutions come? From whence did Differences and Divisions arise amongst the Saints? Is it possible that these things should be so, when Satan is confined, and stiut up from deceiving of any of the Nations •, and when the Saints all of them shall sit and Reign with Christ upon their Thrones in his Kingdom? Sure this
cannot. 'Then may we conclude, that the thousand Years Reign yet remains to be fulfilled. Besides that Text in ABs v. verse 3. is no less than a Demonstration to prove that Satan never yet was bound in that Sense as these Words do declare he (hall •, because you read in that Place, what the Apostle Peter said unto Ananias; why bath Satan pled thine Heart to lie to the holy Ghost, Sec. Is not this a plain Instance that Satan was not bound, no, not in the time of the Apostles > For if he had, how could he have filled Ananias s Heart with such Deceit, as to Lie to the Holy Ghost? And therefore Satan was not then bound in the bottomless Pit \ who did rage at that time as much as ever. Yea that wonderful Glory, which was upen the Church of God in the primitive Day, did but augment and increase the Enmity of Satan into a greater Rage-, the dismal Effects of which, did loon appear, not only after the Death, but whilst the Apostles were living.
. Again secondly, neither did these thousand Years begin at the time, or in the Reign of Constantine the Great; for what though the Heathen Empire did now profess the Christian Faith, and the Church began to tfnjoy Teace and Rest on e- , very fide-, yet this was lo far from Satan's being bound, and shut up in his Prison, and the Saints reigning a thousand Years, as. that this did but make way for Antichrist to-arise, and get up into his Seat or Saddle of his Antichi istian Government (as before noted) when there was a Voice heard in the Air, saying, this Day is Poison poured into the Churches. What a Cloud of Errors and /"ntichristian Heresies did soon after arise out of the ; V - . • Smojce
Smoke of the bottomless Pit, which filed the Air, and darkned the Sun? Yea what a Crowd of Arminianisin and Socinian Errors did then begin to thrust it self into the Church, and spread it self all Over the Christian World? Besides what dreadful Abomination was acted in the Eastern Parts of it, by that grand Impostor Mahomet, when he broached that damnable Alcoran, as if it had been a Divine Oracle dropt from Heaven; through which he deceived many thousands and millions of People. Again, how did the Beast of Romi at the fame time deceive the western Part of the World, in his Pretence to Infallibility? As if he had Power to give and to dispense of L'aws as he pleaseth -, and so usurp'd God's Prerogative, by ruling over the Consciences of M$n: And if they did not obey his Tyrannical, or Antichristian Usurpation, what Cruelty did he act against the faithful Servants of God? Witness the Book of Martyrs, with other undoubted" Histpry 5 the true Church being forced to Jlee into the Wilderness, where the Lord had pre~ pared a Place for her Safety. Now I would appeal unto all considerate and unbiass'd Persons, whether these things could stand consistent with the time oftheSaints reigning,arid Satan's being bound for a thousand Years ? Sure I am, that it is as easy to reconcile Light and Darkness together, as to reconcile this dismal time of Antichrist reigning, unto the time of Satan's binding-, this was indeed ihi time of Antichrist 1 and rot the Saints reigning.
Thirdly, Neither did the time of Satan's being bound begin (as some would have it) in Iutfier's Day; though it must be granted, that Luther was an eminent Instrument in the Lord's Hand, for to begin so great a work of Reformation in the Church cjQod; and the Light of the glorious Gospel, did then begin to break out of Popish Darkness; whereby the Antichristian Beast had such a Blow given him, as that his Greatness and Grandeur hath been in a declining Consumption ever since. Yet then was not Satan • bound •, as will appear from the great Division and Differences that there was among the Saints * Luther and Calvin, both eminent for God, yet they could not agree together. Again, what»a strong Opposition was still continued between Luther and the Church of Rome all his Days? Which could not have been, if Satan had been bound; for the Antichristian Church could hot have stood, but must have fell immediately upr.n the Spot. And then, do but consider what dreadful and dismal Wars, which did soon break out in Germany, quickly after Luther's Death; together with the Troubles, Broils', Sufferings, Asfit&ions avd Persecutions, that the Church of Christ hath been in since •, and it will easily convince us, that this could not be the time of Satan's binding <wd the Saints nig7iing.
Befides^ll this we cannot but must take Notice of that dreadful abounding of all manner of Sin and Wickedness, which dotb, and hath under all these 'forercentioned times, so much increased; and surely this carries no less than a Demonstration it self to prove, that Satan was not, neither is yet bound: For if these dismal Days that are,-and have been ever since Christ's time, be the Effects of Satan's being bound, what dreadful and horrible tines, must we expeB it to be then, when he stall be let loose. Therefore in this, I dare be bold to «
lenge all the World to prove (if they can) either from Scripture or History, when there was such a time of Satan's being bound, so as not to deceive any of the Nations? And when it was that the Church of God did enjoy Rest, Peace, and Prosperity, without Molestation for a thousand Years? Sure I am that this cannot be proved; then thethousand Years Reign of the Saints in which Satan, shall be bound is yet to come.
But to return, and cast him into the Bottomless Tit. How long > 'till the thousand Tears stall be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little Season. Here we may observe, that Satan is to be so bound, as that he. shall not be suffered for to deceive one Soul any more, until the thousand Years are ended. Then indeed he shall be let loose again \ but how long a time shall Sa*an have after this? A little Season. His time after this will be very shorts much like a Malefactor, that is let out of Prison in order to his Tryal j and therefore what Satan is now to do, he mjist do it quickly, because his time will be but a little Season. Had it been expressed, that he should be loosed for a Season, we colud not have expected that it would have been long for when the Word Season is mentioned by it self, without either Days, Weeks, Mpnth, or Years joined with it, I do apprehend but 2 short time to be signified, much more then must that time be short, when the Word Little is added •, and aster that he must be loosed a little Season. Wherefore his letting loose must be in order to the Judgments . with the rest of the Dead, who are at the same time to be raised, that they may be judged. What tbPUgh he begins his old Trade, in going about"