Of Antichrist

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Author: John Bunyan

Fourth Cause

Fourthly, Antichrist must be destroyed, for the horrid outrage, and villainous murders that she hath committed upon the bodies of the saints. For there is none, as to these things, for cruelty, to be compared with the church of Antichrist, and her followers: For upon whom hath not her cruelty been shewed; have they never so little stood in her way, though never so innocently and honestly by so doing, stood to the truth and verity of God? Yea, the promoting of her own superstition, idolatry, and blasphemous rites and ceremonies, have been so pursued by her, that she has waded through a sea of innocent blood for the accomplishment thereof.

The poor church of God is a sensible bleeding witness of this, and so has been for hundreds of years together; witness the chronicles of all nations where she hath had to do; yea, and the sackcloth and ashes, and tears, and widows, and fatherless children, and their cries, of all which the holy word of God is a sufficient confirmation; ’And in her,’ when God shall come to make inquisition for blood,

’will be found the blood of prophets and of saints,

and of all that were slain upon the earth’ (Revelation 18:24).

And yet has she such a whore’s forehead, such a blindness in her judgment, and such an hard and obdurate heart, that it is not possible she should ever repent. Murders have been so natural to her, and in them her hand has been so exercised, that it is now become a custom, a trade, a pastime to her, to be either in the act, or laying some foundation for murders: Witness those plots, designs conspiracies, and frequent attempts that are, one or other of them, continually on foot in the world for the commission of murders.

Nay, the text last mentioned seems to import, that blood is so natural to her, that she sticketh not at any condition, sex, age, or degree, so she may imbrue her hands in blood. In her was found the blood of saints and prophets, and of all other carnal, natural, ignorant, graceless men that have been slain upon the earth. It is she that sets kings and kingdoms at variance: It is she that sets parents and children at variance, by her abuse of the word of our Lord and Christ. And besides, is it not easy, if we do but consider those bloody massacres that have been committed by her hand, both in France, Ireland, Piedmont, and in several places besides, without wronging of her, to conclude, that the blood of thousands, that have not known their right hand from their left in religion, hath been shed, to quench, if it might have been, her insatiate thirst after blood. Therefore, for these things shall she be judged, as women that shed blood are judged; because she is an adulteress, and blood is in her hands (Ezekiel 23:45). She hath been as a beast of prey: Nay, worse; for they do but kill and tear for the hunger of themselves, and of their whelps: but she, to satisfy her wanton and beastly lusts.

’They have cast lots for my people; [saith God] and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink’ (Joel 3:3):

and therefore must Antichrist be destroyed. Forbearance is no payment, God’s patience is not a sign that he forgetteth to take vengeance; but rather, that he waiteth till his own are come out of her, and until her iniquity is filled up: For then he will execute the judgment written, and will remember, as has been said, the Babylonians, and all their ways. 17

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Chicago: John Bunyan, "Fourth Cause," Of Antichrist, ed. George Offor in Of Antichrist, the Works of John Bunyan (London: Blackie and Son, 1856), Original Sources, accessed August 7, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4LNFVEHQRTGLBUA.

MLA: Bunyan, John. "Fourth Cause." Of Antichrist, edited by George Offor, in Of Antichrist, the Works of John Bunyan, London, Blackie and Son, 1856, Original Sources. 7 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4LNFVEHQRTGLBUA.

Harvard: Bunyan, J, 'Fourth Cause' in Of Antichrist, ed. . cited in 1856, Of Antichrist, the Works of John Bunyan, Blackie and Son, London. Original Sources, retrieved 7 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4LNFVEHQRTGLBUA.