Manton on the Antichrist doctrine

“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth [will let],until he be taken out of the way.” (2 Thessalonians 2:5-7) [Manton uses the KJV Bible, so I also have quoted from the KJV–CD]

Heretic Thomas Manton [1]preaches on the above text.

“Observe, then, that the doctrine of Antichrist is a profitable doctrine, and a point very necessary to be preached and known. 1. It is a point very necessary to admonish and warn the faithful, that they be not circumvented with these delusions, and be found in the opposite state to Christ Jesus, and the interests of his kingdom. God hath blown his trumpet: Rev. xviii. 4, ‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues;’ God calleth his people out of spiritual Babylon; it is dangerous and unsafe being there. If we would escape Babylon’s punishments we must escape her sins, not live in that communion and society where there are such temptations to idolatry and other detestable enormities. It is disputable whether the errors of Popery be damnable, or there be any possibility of salvation in that religion. Some deny all possibility; others, abating from the rigour of that opinion, assert a very great difficulty: 1 Cor. iii. [15], ‘ Saved as by fire;’ if so much Christianity left as to save them, it is with much ado. But the question is not about our benefit, but our duty; not whether possibly we may be saved? but what is the way the Lord will have us to walk in? And if there were possibility or probability of salvation in the way, in the general, yet there is very little or none for them that live in a known sin, and especially in a sin of such a dangerous nature as abetting an opposite faction to Christ, such as is that of Antichrist.” (Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, pp. 46-47; underlining mine–CD [SOURCE])

Given the fact that God says “Come out” and not dally with or attempt to “Reform,” it is strange that Manton says that “It is disputable whether the errors of Popery be damnable.”  Disputable to whom?  Manton adds: “… or there be any possibility of salvation in that religion.”  I think Paul said something about the “possibility of salvation” while remaining in damnable falsehood in Galatians 1:8-9.  Manton mentions certain tolerant religionists who “assert a very great difficulty” and proceed to twist and adulterate 1 Corinthians 3:15’s “yet so as by fire.”

“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-15; underlining mine–CD)

Those abating from that “less rigorous opinion” reveal their belief that the Roman Catholic Whore Church has laid a foundation with the true Christ of Scripture.  Perhaps the mass, purgatory, indulgences, etc. are the wood, hay, and stubble to those undiscerning ones who are unable to judge righteous judgment.  And then Manton gives this wicked concession and compromise:

“But the question is not about our benefit, but our duty; not whether possibly we may be saved? but what is the way the Lord will have us to walk in? And if there were possibility or probability of salvation in the way, in the general, yet there is very little or none for them that live in a known sin, and especially in a sin of such a dangerous nature as abetting an opposite faction to Christ, such as is that of Antichrist.” (Thomas Manton, The Complete Works of Thomas Manton, pp. 46-47; underlining mine–CD [SOURCE])

Such a dangerous nature, says Manton.  How dangerous is dangerous, really?  To Manton, aligning oneself with Antichrist and “abetting an opposite faction to Christ” is possible or probable “in the general,” yet there is “very little or [no hope of salvation] for them that live in a known sin.”  In brief, Thomas Manton completely emptied Revelation 18:4 of any force or meaning.  Manton took his metaphorical pen knife and removed that Scripture from his Bible (also 2 Corinthians 6:17).

[1] Some information about Thomas Manton (this is not a blanket-endorsement of the websites; the links provided are only for historical-theological information):

https://www.monergism.com/topics/puritans/thomas-manton-1620-1677

http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_standards/index.html

http://www.meetthepuritans.com/blog/thomas-manton-neglected-puritan

Related articles

Outside the Camp

John Gill on Philippians 3:13

Gordon H. Clark on 1 Corinthians 3:11-15

Thomas Manton on common love and mercy

Advertisements