The Kingship of Christ and The Conversion of the Jewish Nation
by Rev. Denis Fahey, C.C.Sp.
The Coming of Antichrist
In Chapter VII we saw that there was a connection between that apostasy of the non-Jewish nations and the conversion of the Jewish nation. In Chapter VIII, we have seen something of the grandiose plans of the Jewish nation for an anti-supernatural organisation of the world, that is, for a design which is the very opposite of humble submission to the divine plan for Order proclaimed by Christ the King. In this Chapter I propose to say something about the Man of Sin, whose coming is mentioned by St. Paul, in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, immediately after having spoken of the apostasy or revolt of the nations. False teachers had spread confusion in the Church of Thessalonica by affirming that the end of the world was at hand. St. Paul wrote this Epistle to restore calm by the assurance that two events are to take place before the end of the world, namely, the apostasy or revolt of the nations and the appearance of Antichrist. A little work, written by Father Augustine Lémann and entitled L’Antéchrist, makes my task an easy one.
THE SOVEREIGN PONTIFFS AND APOSTASY
Father Lémann mentions several warnings given by the Vicars of Christ concerning the revolt of human reason against the divine plan for Order. In the secret consistory of December 30, 1889, Pope Leo XIII said: “We desire the preservation of the Catholic Faith in its integrity, for that integrity is endangered when governments assign to the State the rô1e of claiming for human reason measureless and limitless sovereignty. In plain language, this is nothing else than the rejection of all that God has revealed and complete separation from the Church.” Pope Leo again spoke of apostasy in a Protestation addressed to his Secretary of State, Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, October 8, 1895: “The ultimate aim of the occupation of Rome was not attained, at least completely, by the conquest of political unity. We are speaking now, not of the intentions of all those who co-operated therein, but of the plans of the sectaries who were the prime movers in the affair. No: that act of violence . . . was intended by the Freemasons to be simply a step towards the accomplishment of a deeper, darker design . . . In order to attack the spiritual power of the Holy See, a beginning was made by overthrowing its earthly rampart . . . Is all this the triumph of Italy? Is it not rather the advent of apostasy?”
Twice in the course of the year 1901, the Venerable Pontiff repeated the same warnings, first in the letter addressed to the superiors of religious orders and congregations, on June 29, and then in the consistorial Allocution of August 15. In he Letter of June 29, he said:“It is only too true that in the designs of the [Masonic] Sect, the disorganisation and extinction of the Religious Orders constitute a clever manoeuvre destined to prepare the way for the apostasy of the Catholic nations.” A fifth time, Pope Leo returned to the subject in his Allocution to the Sacred College of December 23, 1902, in which he insisted that “what is aimed at and what is intended is the overthrow of Christian institutions and the reconstruction of States on the basis of pagan naturalism.”
The warnings of Blessed Pius X are just as solemn as those of Leo XIII. In his first Encyclical, he addresses the Hierarchy of the world as follows: “Who can be unaware of the grave and deep-seated malady which, at the present time far more than in the past, is undermining human society, and which growing daily worse . . . is dragging it to ruin? You know this malady, Venerable Brethren: it is the rejection of God and apostasy . . . In our times, it is only too true that ‘the Gentiles have raged and the peoples devised vain things,’ against their Creator. The cry of the enemies of God has become almost common: ‘Depart from us.’ . . . Whosoever weighs these things has certainly reason to fear that such perversion of minds may herald the evils announced for the end of time and, as it were, be the beginning of those calamities, and that the son of perdition of whom the Apostle speaks may have already made his appearance here below. So great are the fury and hatred with which religion is everywhere assailed, that it seems to be a determined effort to destroy every vestige of the relation between God and man. On the other hand,—and this is, according to the same Apostle, the special characteristic of Antichrist—with frightful presumption man is attempting to usurp the place of his Creator and is lifting himself above all that is called God. Thus, powerless to extinguish completely in himself the notion of God, he is attempting to shake off the yoke of His Majesty and is dedicating the visible world to himself as a temple, in which he has the pretension to receive the adoration of his fellow men. ‘So that he sitteth in the temple of God showing himself as if he were God.’ (II Thess., II, 4).”
Both Pontiffs, namely, Leo XIII, and Blessed Pius X, with apostolic clear-sightedness and firmness, insist upon the steady advance of apostasy. And the apostasy they speak of is that prophesied by St. Paul. “For neither in the language of the Apostle nor in that of the Sovereign Pontiffs,” writes Fr. Augustine Lémann, “is it a question of an apostasy, that is, of a partial and limited falling away, but of the apostasy, according to the forceful Greek expression with the definite article, that is to say, of the falling away of the nations and of a great number of Catholics from Jesus Christ and the Church . . .
“Do the words of Pope Pius X mean that Antichrist has already made his appearance in the world? That cannot be affirmed with any degree of certitude. These words must in all probability be interpreted in accordance with the following texts of St. John: ‘As you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are become many Antichrists.’‘And every spirit that dissolveth Jesus is not of God; and this is Antichrist of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the worlds.’ ‘For many seducers are gone out into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh: this is a seducer and an Antichrist.’ Just as in the past, the true Christ, our divine Lord Jesus had forerunners or precursors, who were types and prophetical figures of Him: Abel, Isaac, Joseph, David, Jonas, etc. so, by the permission of God, Antichrist has his types and figures: Antiochus, Epiphanius, Nero, Diocletian, Galerius, Julian the Apostate, Mahomet, etc. To the names of those forerunners from the past, others could be added from the present. But what is especially sad and deplorable is that human social organisation, having become hostile [to our divine Lord and the supernatural life], and unwilling to recognise either His royal dignity or the existence of that life, is transforming itself, as Pope Pius X has remarked, into a veritable Antichrist. ‘So great are the fury and hatred with which religion is everywhere assailed,’ writes Pope Pius X,‘that it seems to be a determined effort to destroy every vestige of the relation between God and man. On the other hand,—and this is, according to the same Apostle, the special characteristic of Antichrist—with frightful presumption man is attempting to usurp the place of his creator and is lifting himself above all that is called God. Thus, powerless to extinguish completely in himself the notion of God, he is attempting to shake off the yoke of His majesty and is dedicating the visible world to himself as a temple, in which he has the pretension to receive the adoration of his fellow men. ‘So that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God.’
“In past ages, only evil men or impious sects were figures of Antichrist. In our day, it is man in general, the human race in revolt against God, which ranges itself along with the Antichrists of old, preparing the way for the outstanding Antichrist, Antichrist properly so called. This Antichrist properly so called is clearly foretold. If, in the texts cited above, St. John speaks only of wicked men who, animated with the spirit of Antichrist, can be considered as his fore-runners and deserve to be called by his name, he allows it to be understood, as does Pius X, that, towards the end of the world, somebody will appear who will be the furious adversary of our Lord, as the word Antichrist indicates.”
ANTICHRIST IN SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION
Let us now see what can be known about Antichrist from Scripture and Tradition.
Three portraits of Antichrist are to be found in the Bible. The first is the “little horn that grows” in Daniel VII:“After this I beheld in the vision of the night, and lo, a fourth beast, terrible and wonderful and exceeding strong. It had great iron teeth eating and breaking in pieces, . . . it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold another little horn sprung out of the midst of them; and three of the first horns were plucked up at the presence thereof: and behold eyes like the eyes of a man were in this horn, and a mouth speaking great things . . . My spirit trembled, I, Daniel, was affrighted at these things, and the visions of my head troubled me. I went near to one of them that stood by, and asked the truth of him concerning all these things . . . and after this I would diligently learn concerning . . . the ten horns that he had on his head; and concerning the other that came up before which three horns fell: and of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and was greater than the rest. I beheld, and lo, that horn made war against the saints, and prevailed over them . . . And thus he said . . . the ten horns of the same kingdom shall be ten kings: and another shall rise up after them, and he shall be mightier than the former, and he shall bring down three kings. And he shall speak words against the High One, and shall crush the saints of the Most High: and he shall think himself able to change times and laws, and they shall be delivered into his hand until a time and times, and half a time. And judgment shall sit, that his power may be taken away, and be broken in pieces, and perish even to the end.” (Daniel, VII, 7, 8, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26). “In this little horn that grows, the Fathers, notably Saint Irenæus, Theodoret, Lactantius, St. Jerome, the modern Commentators, Maldonatus, Cornelius à Lapide, Calmet, etc., and many contemporary exegetes, have rightly seen a figure of Antichrist. The horn is the symbol of strength and power. It is the great offensive and defensive arm of certain animals. Before the Assyrian discoveries it was rather difficult to explain why Daniel had chosen this symbol to represent Antichrist. To-day it seems quite natural. In Chaldæa where the prophet was then living, the statues of the Babylonian gods and kings had horns on their tiaras.”
The second portrait is that of the Beast in the Apocalypse. “And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten diadems, and upon his heads names of blasphemy. And the beast, which I saw, was like a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his own strength, and great power . . . And all the earth was in admiration after the beast. And they adored the dragon, which gave power to the beast: and they adored the beast, saying: Who is like to the beast? and who shall be able to fight with him? And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things, and blasphemies: and power was given to him to do two and forty months. And he opened his mouth unto blasphemies against God, and to blaspheme His name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. And power was given him over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation. And all that dwell upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb, which was slain from the beginning of the world.”
“That the Beast is the figure of Antichrist has been the common opinion of Catholic commentators from ancient times to the present day. The use of the expression, ‘the Beast,’ shows that in the being in question, the bestial character will dominate instead of human feelings and sentiments. The coat of a leopard, the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion indicate also that he will combine cunning, ferocity and strength.”
The third portrait of Antichrist is that of the man of sin in the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians. ‘Unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the on of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God . . . And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that they all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity.”
“There is no doubt,” writes St. Augustine, “that the Apostle is here speaking of Antichrist.”
“From these three portraits,” continues Father Lémann, “it is possible to deduce a number of conclusions with regard to the person, the reign, the persecution and the end of Antichrist. These conclusions can be classified under four headings as follows:A. Things that are certain.
B. Things that are probable.
C. Things that are undecided.
D. Things that have not a solid foundation.”
Space will permit of only a brief outline of what is contained under A, B, and C.
A. Things concerning Antichrist that are certain.
I. Antichrist will be a trial for the good (Apoc., XIII, 7), and a chastisement for the impious and the apostates (II Thess., II, 9-11).
II. Antichrist will be a man, a human person.
“Antichrist is not a myth or a fiction, as Renan, in his silly fashion, tried to show. Neither must he be confused with a sect, a collection of impious men, an atheistic environment, or a period of persecution, as certain pious persons have imagined. Antichrist will be a human person, appearing in an epoch of atheism and of wicked sectaries.”
III. Antichrist will not be Satan in human form, but a man and only a man.
IV. Antichrist will have great powers of seduction, owing to certain personal qualities.
“Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish.” (II. Thess., II, 9, 10).
V. The beginnings of Antichrist’s career will be lowly and obscure.
VI. Antichrist will increase in power and make conquests.
VII. The rule of Antichrist will be world-wide.
“With the help which will be furnished him by the anti-Christian societies, this enemy of our Lord Jesus Christ will be able to form a gigantic empire in a short time.”
VIII. Antichrist will wage a terrible war against God and the Church.
Father Lémann indicates some of the measures which, to judge by the experience of past persecutions, Antichrist will enforce more thoroughly and more cruelly than ever before. Two of them are: Proscription of Christian teaching and obligatory teaching of error. We can see them already in force in the countries behind the Iron Curtain. Father Lémann adds that “the schools without God or rather against God are a preparation for the second measure.” In that he is perfectly correct, for the Declaration of the Rights of Man of the French Revolution, in the name of which these schools function in France, signified repudiation of membership of Christ, and was thus a declaration of war on the divine plan for order.
IX. Antichrist will claim to be God and will demand exclusive adoration.
X. By means of diabolical prodigies, Antichrist will seek to prove that he is God.
“Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders.” (II. Thess., II, 9).
“The question is often asked,” writes St. Augustine, “whether these expressions ‘signs and lying wonders’ are to be understood in the sense that the prodigies wrought by Antichrist will be only apparent, not real; or as signifying that the really extraordinary feats performed by him will draw on to error and falsehood those who accept them as proofs of a divine mission? The great Doctor replies: “This will be known later.”
“This hesitation has given rise to two currents of opinion. Some think that the prodigies wrought by Antichrist will be real prodigies and that they will lead to the acceptance of falsehood, that is, to belief in the divinity of Antichrist. Others hold that all the miracles of Antichrist will be false and unreal and that they will be accepted as true thanks to the action of the demon on the senses of his followers.”
XI. The domination and persecution of Antichrist will be merely temporary. The man of sin will be destroyed (Dan., VII, 26; Apoc., XIX, 20; II Thess., II, 8).
B. Things concerning Antichrist that are probable.
The Jews will acclaim Antichrist as the Messias and will help to set up his kingdom.
“I am come in the name of my Father, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. (St. John, V, 43).
“It is upon this reproach addressed by our Lord Jesus Christ to the Jews, his contemporaries and adversaries, that this belief is based, and it can be said that it is the common opinion of the Fathers of the Church, for example, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, St. Gregory the Great, St. Ephraim, St. John Chrysostom, etc., etc., . . . When we see the enormous financial power of the Jews increasing daily, when we consider their intrigues, their successful occupancy of the chief places in the principal states, their mutual understanding from one end of the world to the other, then in presence of such a preponderance, we have no difficulty in realising that they will be able to contribute to the establishment of the formidable empire of Antichrist. The joyous welcome the Jews will give to Antichrist and the aid they will furnish him are therefore probable. They are not certain. Why? Because most of the texts of the Fathers refer to the words of St. John, V, 43, addressed by our Divine Lord to the Jews, and in connexion with this text, St. Thomas remarks that, after the true Christ, a great number of false Messiahs had appeared and had been welcomed by the Jews. Accordingly, this text considered by itself might be held to refer, not to Antichrist, but to anyone of these false Christs. Nevertheless, adds St. Thomas, this text can be held to refer to Antichrist with probability, because of the authority of the holy Fathers who have so understood it.”
Unfortunately, Father Lémann is quoting from an opusculum attributed to St. Thomas, which, according to Père Mandonnet, O.P., is not authentic. The erudite Dominican historian definitely places it amongst the apocryphal writings attributed to the holy Doctor. On the same page, however, Father Lémann refers to Suarez, De Antichristo, which contains the same doctrine in practically identical terms. “This text probably refers to Antichrist,” writes the learned Jesuit theologian, “on account of the authority of the Saints whom I have quoted. Nevertheless, taken by itself its doctrine is not compelling, because, since the time of Christ, several on their own authority have pretended to be the Messiah and have been welcomed by the Jews, as is evident from Josephus (De Bello Judaico, Lib. 2, c. 6) . . . And we read in Acts VIII, that Simon the Magician pretended to be the Messiah and that many Jews believed in him. The words of Christ can be applied not to one alone but to all those false Messiahs . . . The former explanation, however, as I have said, is the better, for there is one whom the Jews expect and one whom they will all welcome. The others who pretended to be the Messiah were not received by all the Jews, but only by a certain few.”
The Persecution of Antichrist will last three years and a half.
“And they [the Saints] shall be delivered into his hand until a time, and times, and half a time” (Dan., VII, 25). “And power was given him to do two and forty months.” (Apoc., XIII, 5).
“It has been pointed out previously (Eleventh Point that is certain), that the power and the persecution of Antichrist will be only temporary. That is certain. Is it possible to determine their exact duration? One can give only a probable, not a certain, answer, according to the two texts quoted.”
C. Things that are undecided.
These are points that are not based upon the unanimous consent of the Fathers or upon precise texts of Holy Writ.
First Undecided Point.
The Nationality of Antichrist.
“According to several Fathers of the Church, followed by certain exegetes, Antichrist will be a member of the Jewish race and even of the tribe of Dan. ‘Here, however,’ remarks Bossuet, ‘it is a question not of dogma or of authority, but of conjecture.’ And it must be added that these conjectures do not rest on any solid foundation.” Father Lémann then takes the different arguments advanced in favour of the Jewish nationality of Antichrist and replies to them. To the objection, taken from Malvanda, De Antichristo, that it is probable that the Jews will receive Antichrist as the Messias and that they would not do this if he were not of the Jewish race, Father Lémann replies: “Down the centuries, the Jews have welcomed all the enemies of Jesus Christ and His Church and have constituted themselves their auxiliaries. In the Great Sanhedrin, held at Paris in 1807, they applied the Biblical titles, exclusively reserved to the Messias, to Napoleon, though Napoleon was not of Jewish blood. They even welcomed the principles of the French Revolution as the Messias: ‘The Messias came for us on Feb. 28, 1790, with the Declaration of the Rights of Man’” He sums up as follows: “The Jewish nationality of Antichrist remains an undecided question. It is neither certain, nor probable. It is merely possible, nothing more.”
Second Undecided Point.
The Name of Antichrist.
“St. John has indicated it, but in an extremely mysterious manner, by giving merely the number of this name: “That no man might buy or sell, but he that hath the character, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name . . . He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man; and the number of him is six hundred and sixty-six“ (Apoc., XIII, 17, 18).
“Amongst the people; of antiquity, and particularly amongst the Hebrews, the Greeks and the Latins, the letters of the alphabet were used as numbers. Each letter had its numerical value. That gave rise to the following procedure: By adding together the numerical value of the letters used in a passage, a number was obtained, and with the letters which were represented by this total, a name was elaborated. As the number of the Beast was 666, the figures of this number were changed into letters and thus form the mysterious name of Antichrist. This was tried in Greek, in Hebrew and in Latin, but it was sheer waste of time. The results obtained were so different that no precise definitive conclusion could be drawn.”
Third Undecided Point.
The Seat of Antichrist’s Empire.
“Here again there are two opinions. The first is that of St. Irenæus who writes as follows: “At the time of his reign, Antichrist will transfer the seat of his empire to the earthly Jerusalem.”, St. Hippolytus, Sulpicius Severus, Aretas, Rabanus, St. Robert Bellarmine, Lessius, Cornelius à Lapide and others, including Suarez, are of the same opinion. Here are the words of the last-named theologian: ‘From what we have said about Antichrist being a Jew by race and finding his chief support among the Jews, it follows immediately that he will restore the city of their ancestors and its temple, in which they have always taken a special pride.’ . . . Besides, if Antichrist were to act otherwise, how could he get himself accepted as the Messias by the Jews who dream of earthly glory for Jerusalem and imagine that that city will become the capital of the future Messianic kingdom. This last argument seems to become stronger in our times thanks to the rise and growth of Zionism . . . The second opinion designates the Rome of the Popes as the metropolis of Antichrist’s kingdom.”
Fourth Undecided Point.
The Temple in which Antichrist will present himself for adoration.
“Who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.” (II. Thess., II, 4).
“What temple will be the scene of this abomination?
“One opinion maintains that it will be the temple of Jerusalem, which will be restored by Antichrist either in whole or in part. This opinion is held by St. Irenæus, St. Hippolytus, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. John Damascene, and a certain number of exegetes, ancient and modern. According to them the word temple must be taken in its strict, literal meaning. For, they argue, in the time of St. Paul, the author of the Epistles to the Thessalonians, the Temple of Jerusalem was the Temple. The name was sufficient indication of the building that was meant, as is clear from St. Luke (Acts, III and V), and other texts. At that epoch, Christian temples did not yet exist, and the Temple of Jerusalem alone was called the Temple of God. Accordingly, ‘it is more probable,’writes Suarez, ‘that it is of it that St. Paul speaks.”
“Opposed to this view there is another, which affirms that it is not definitely proved that St. Paul, when speaking of the Temple of God, had in view the Temple of Jerusalem. St. Jerome, in his explanation of the Apostle’s words writes: ‘He will enthrone himself in the Temple of God, that is to say, either in Jerusalem as some think, or in the Church, which seems to me most likely.’ St. John Chrysostom also says: ‘Not in the Temple of Jerusalem, but in the Temple of the Church.’ Theodoretus explains clearly what is meant: ‘What the Apostle calls the Temple of God are the churches in which this impious wretch will occupy the first rank, the first place, striving to get himself accepted as God.’ . . . This is also the opinion of St. Hilary, Cajetan, Estius and others. In presence of the division of opinion in his day, St. Augustine held that the question was undecided.”
THE DATE OF THE COMING OF ANTICHRIST
“Nobody can indicate it, as Scripture and Tradition are both silent on the point. God alone knows the year and the hour, and it is His secret . . .In Chapters XXIV-XXV of St. Matthew, our Lord announces clearly the end of the world and outlines the signs that will precede it, but He does not fix a date. Following the example of his Master, St. Paul, in the Second Chapter of the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, announces clearly the coming of Antichrist, but he does not assign a date for that event. He merely indicates the sign that will precede it, namely, the Apostasy of the Nations: ‘Unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.”
DECREE OF THE FIFTH LATERAN COUNCIL
The Church, guided by the Holy Ghost and always prudent, has added nothing to the brief remarks of the Apostle . . . What is more, in order to prevent the recurrence of indiscretions which had taken place, she has forbidden under pain of excommunication to assign a date for the coming of Antichrist or for the General Judgment. This decree was drawn up in 1516, at the Fifth Lateran Council, under Pope Leo X, and it runs as follows: ‘We command all those who exercise the function of preaching or will do so in the future, not to presume, either in their sermons or in their affirmations, to fix a date for future evils, whether for the coming of Antichrist or for the Day of Judgment, seeing that the Truth has said: It is not for you to know the times or the moments, which the Father hath put in his own power. Those, therefore, who have had the audacity to make such statements in the past have lied, and it is well known that, on their account, the authority of those who preach wisely has greatly suffered.’”
1. L’Antéchrist was published in 1905 by the Librarie Catholique Emmannel Vitte of Lyons and Paris.
2. Psalm II, 1.
3. Job, XXI, 14.
4. II Thess., II, 3.
5. Encyclical Letter, E Supremi Apostolatus Cathedra, Oct. 4, 1903. The translation has been made from the original text as published by the Bonne Presse, Paris.
6. I St. John, II, 18.
7. I St. John, IV, 3.
8. II St. John, I. 7.
9. Encyclical Letter, E Supremi Apostolatus Cathedra. Oct. 4, 1903.
10. L’Antéchrist, by Father Augustine Lémann, pp. 11-15.
11. L’Antéchrist, by Father A. Lémann, pp. 18, 19.
12. Apocalypse, XIII, 1-8.
13. L’Antéchrist, by Father A. Lémann, p. 20.
14. II Ep. to the Thessalonians, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11.
15. The City of God, Bk. XX, n. 19.
16. L’Antéchrist, p. 22.
17. Renan, L’Antéchrist, (Paris, 1873, pp. 478, 479).
18. L’Antéchrist, by Father Lémann, p. 24.
19. Suarez, De Antichristo, Sect. 1, n. 4 and 5.
20. “I considered the horns, and behold another little horn sprung out of the midst of them.” (Dan., VII, 8).
“The horn is called small, because it will grow little by little, and because it will arrive at domination, not by hereditary right, but by fraud.” (Cornelius à Lapide, in Ep. ad Thess., II, 11).
21. L’Antéchrist, by Father Lémann, p. 30. Father Lémann quotes a remarkable page from the great Spanish writer, Donoso Cortès, Oeuvres, t. II, pp. 229-230.
22. L’Antéchrist, pp. 32-34.
23. “He will come, when he comes, with all Satan’s influence to aid him: there will be no lack of power, of counterfeit signs and wonders.” (The New Testament, by Mgr. R. A. Knox).
24. De Civitate Dei, Lib. XX, n. 20.
25. Suarez, De Antichristo, sect. IV, n. 10. Suarez exposes the two opinions in excellent fashion.
26. Corn. à Lap., II Thess., II, 9. Bern. a Piconio, II Ep. ad Thess., c. II, 9.
27. Father Lémann quotes from the writings of the above-mentioned Fathers and others. The text of St. Jerome will suffice for all. “The Lord speaking of Antichrist says to the Jews: ‘I am come in the name of my Father and you receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive’ . . . The Jews, after having despised the truth in the Person of Jesus Christ, will welcome falsehood by acclaiming Antichrist” (Epist. 151, ad Algariam, quæst. II).
28. L’Antéchrist, pp. 44.47.
29. Des Écrits authentiques de St. Thomas d’Aquin, pp. 110, 155.
30. De Antichristo, Disp. 54, Sect. 1, n. 7. In a note on page 47 of L’Antéchrist, Father Lémann enumerates 25 false messiahs, who received a partial welcome from the members of the Jewish nation. In their joint work, La Question du Messis (pp. 22-24), the two Fathers Lémann enumerate with a greater wealth of detail the twenty-five false Messiahs, and conclude with the words: “Not merely once, not merely ten times, but twenty five times, our ancestors were led astray by this mirage. Because they failed to recognise the true Messiah, they were drawn to seek Him where He was not.”
31. L’Antéchrist, p. 48. “The supreme power and reign of Antichrist will last three years and a half. I speak of his supreme power and rule . . . How long he will take to prepare and establish his rule is not clear to me . . . It does not seem very likely that he will accomplish all these things in the short space of three years and a half. That alone is certain that at the most he will remain on his throne three years and a half.” (Suarez, De Antichristo, Sect. II, n. 3).
32. Apocalypse, Preface, n. 13.
33. L’Antéchrist, by Father Lémann, p. 49.
34. Minutes of the Great Sanhedrin.
35. Archives Israélites, 1847, p. 801.
36. L’Antéchrist, by Father Lémann, p. 49.
37. L’ Antéchrist, pp. 58-61.
38. Irenæus, Adv. hæreses, lib. V, c. 25.
39. Suarez, De Antichristo, sect. V, n. 7.
40. L’Antéchrist. pp. 58-61.
41. “This is the rebel who is to lift up his head above every divine name, above all that men hold in reverence, till at last he enthrones himself in God’s temple, and proclaims himself as God.” (The New Testament, by Mgr. R. A. Knox).
42. Suarez, De Antichristo, Sect. V, n. 5.
43. St. Jerome, Ad Algariam, quæst. II.
44. In II ad Thessal., II.
45. In II ad Thessal., II.
46. St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei, Lib. XX, n. 19.
47. II ad Thess., II, 3. “The Apostasy must come first; the champion of wickedness must appear first, destined to inherit perdition.” (The New Testament, Mgr. R. A. Knox). The Apostasy and Antichrist are to come before “the day of the Lord,” spoken of just previously.
48. Cf. Acts, 1, 7.
49. Father Lémann quotes the original text in a footnote.