Do you pray against Antichrist?

spurgeon004“It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up this church on suspicion, and it would certainly not be let loose again, for it so exactly answers the description.”

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18 thoughts on “Do you pray against Antichrist?

  1. The quote above from Spurgeon identifying “the popery in the Church of Rome” as the Antichrist is widely repeated, but, based on my research thus far, never with any documentation concerning which of his sermons or writings is being cited.

    It is sometimes included with this following:

    “Popery is contrary to Christ’s Gospel, and is the Antichrist, and we ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood and for Christ, because it wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Saviour, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Ghost, and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the vicar of Christ on earth; if we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors: we shall love their souls though we loath and detest their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened, because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray.”

    One source that may have the documentation for the quotes above is Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome: The Ecumenical Movement (Gerrards Cross, Bucks, England: Dorchester House Publications, 1993; Evangelical Press, 2004). If someone can verify that one way or the other it would save me a trip to the library!

    I have been unable to locate the source for these quotes despite extensive searching, including all of the following, none of which contained it despite speaking to the same basic issue.

    “Spurgeon often identified the Pope as the antichrist. It was regular theme in “The Sword and the Trowel” (eg. Jan 1866, Aug 1868) as well as in The Treasury of David (Psalms 10, 108 and 137, for example). But Spurgeon (as always) saved his most colorful language for his sermons. In this example, he was upset at the Anglican Church for looking too much like Rome:

    “The Protestantism of England is the pay-master of the Pope. I am ashamed that sons of the Reformers… should bow themselves before the beast, and give so much as a single farthing to the shrine of the devil’s firstborn son. Take heed to yourselves, ye Protestants, lest ye be partakers of her plagues; touch her not, lest ye be defiled. Give a drachm to her, or a grain of incense to her censors, ye shall be partakers of her adulteries and partakers of her plagues. Every time you pass the house of Popery let a curse light upon her head: Thus saith the Lord:—‘Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities” (Sermon 250, “War, War, War”).”

    Source: Jesse Johnson, “A friendly reminder: the Pope is (probably) the antichrist” (13 MAR 2013), on the Cripplegate at http://thecripplegate.com/a-friendly-reminder-the-pope-is-probably-the-antichrist/ [accessed 2 AUG 2014]. Johnson’s link for this sermon by Spurgeon is to The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0250.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014]. It was preached 1 MAY 1859 at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens, from the text, “Fight the Lord’s battles.” (1 Sam. 18:17), and was published in The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 5 (1859), pp. 201ff.

    In another statement in this sermon Spurgeon specifically identifies the Pope as anti-Christ:

    “We must speak very hardly and sternly against error, and against sin; but against men we have not a word to say, though it were the Pope himself: I have no enmity in my heart against him as a man, but as anti-Christ.”

    The links to the articles in the two issues of Sword and Trowel Johnson referenced are:

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “Simon the Pedlar”, Sword and Trowel (JAN 1866), on The Spurgeon Archive at
    http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/stp1866.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Inquisition”, Sword and Trowel (AUG 1868), on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/inq.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Here is a quote from Spurgeon on Psalm 108:9 (one of those Johnson referred to) :

    “We think too much of God’s foes and talk of them with too much respect. Who is this pope of Rome? His Holiness? Call him not so, but call him His Blasphemy! His Profanity! His Impudence! What are he and his cardinals, and his legates, but the image and incarnation of Antichrist, to be in due time cast with the beast and the false prophet into the lake of fire?”

    Source: “The Treasury of David”, on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps108.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Also of interest concerning Spurgeon on this subject:

    “At this tender age of 15 he wrote a 17 chapter, 290 page work entitled, Anti-Christ and Her Brood; Or Popery Unmasked, which won an honorable mention in an essay contest in Nottingham.”

    Source: Dennis Michael Swanson, “Charles H. Spurgeon and Eschatology: Did He Have a Discernible Millennial Position?” (1996), on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/eschat.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014]. Swanson cites the following as his source for this fact: Lewis A. Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1993), pg. 103. [Note: Swanson may have gotten the copyright date for Drummond’s work wrong. I have only seen 1992 copyrights, and these are cited as the 3rd ed. Swanson also cites 1993 as the copyright date in his article, “The Millennial Position of Spurgeon”, The Masters Seminary Journal 7:2 (Fall 1996), pg. 184, note 1. However, in his review of Drummond’s biography Swanson has the date as 1992. See “Book Reviews”, The Masters Seminary Journal 4:2 (Fall 1993), pg. 229.]

    Information on this early work by Spurgeon, Anti-Christ and Her Brood; Or Popery Unmasked, is included in his autobiography. Providence Baptist Ministries has posted this along with a sample chapter (Ch. III) at http://www.pbministries.org/Theology/Spurgeon/Spurgeon-Biography/chapter8.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Swanson also cites Drummond (ibid., pp. 103-104) as documentation for Spurgeon’s identification of the pope as Antichrist later in his paper (ibid., note 328):

    “The Westminster Confession, Chapter 25, Section VI, declares the pope to the Antichrist, and with this Spurgeon was in complete agreement.”

    Finally, in other sermons Spurgeon preached:

    “I AM no Prophet, nor the son of a Prophet. Neither do I profess to be able to explain all the prophecies in this blessed Book. I believe that many of them will only be explained as the events occur which they foretell. Yet there are some things which are plain even to the most superficial reader. It is plain, for instance, that it is certainly foretold that the power of antichrist shall be utterly and eternally destroyed and that Babylon, that is to say, the Papal system, with
    all its abominations, shall be cast like a millstone into the flood to rise no more forever.”

    C. H. Spurgeon, “The Harvest And The Vintage” (Rev. 14:14-20), Sermon #2910, preached 17 SEP 1876, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U. K.; in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 50 (1904), pp. 553ff.; online as a PDF file on Spurgeon Gems at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols49-51/chs2910.pdf [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    “Stand in a Popish country and see them altogether given to their idols, and worshipping crosses and relics, and you will soon cry, “Come Lord Jesus. Let antichrist be hurled like a millstone into the flood, never to rise again.””

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Double Come” (Rev. 22:17), Sermon #1608, preached 10 JUL 1881, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U. K.; in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 27 (), pg. 292; online as a PDF file at Spurgeon Gems at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1608.pdf [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria,

    John T. “Jack” Jeffery
    Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
    Greentown, PA

    2 AUG 2014

  2. There’s also this quote with a source:

    ‘Then the world changed its tactics; it became nominally Christian, and Antichrist came forth in all its blasphemous glory. The Pope of Rome put on the triple crown and called himself the Vicar of Christ; then came in the abomination of the worship of saints, angels, images and pictures; then came in the mass, and I know not what of detestable error. And what did the world say? “Popery forever!” Down went every knee and every head bowed before the sovereign representative of Peter at Rome! The Church of Rome was equal in sin to Barabbas.’

    -Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume 10: 1864 Barabbas Preferred To Jesus

  3. I found the source for this quote:

    “It is the duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it is not the Popery in the Church of Rome and in the Church of England, there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. If there were to be issued a hue and cry for Antichrist, we should certainly take up those two churches on suspicion, and they certainly would not be let loose again, for they so exactly answer the description. Popery anywhere, whether it be Anglican or Romish, is contrary to Christ’s Gospel, and is the Antichrist, and we ought to pray against it. It should be the daily prayer of every Believer that Antichrist might be hurled like a millstone into the flood and sink to rise no more. If we can pray against error for Christ because it wounds Christ, because it robs Christ of His Glory, because it puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His Atonement, and lifts a piece of bread into the place of the Savior, and a few drops of water into the place of the Holy Spirit, and puts a mere fallible man like ourselves up as the Vicar of Christ on earth; if we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors; we shall love their souls though we loathe and detest their dogmas, and so the breath of our prayers will be sweetened, because we turn our faces towards Christ when we pray. We are to pray for Him.”

    – PRAY FOR JESUS
    NO. 717
    DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, OCTOBER 21, 1866,
    BY C. H. SPURGEON,
    AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON.

  4. Jason Giles: I am in your debt, and consider myself “schooled” by your mastery of the internet search! Thank you very much! Now if the masses who continue to repeat this quote would only accompany it with the appropriate documentation…

    • I’ve repeated it myself without the source, and I feel foolish for never having looked it up, especially since it looks like it’s been changed by stripping out any mention of the Church of England or “Anglican Popery”. Spurgeon’s eschatology is hard to nail down, and I’ve spent the morning trying to learn more about what he thought.

      • “Anglican Popery” is a good one…just don’t let Father Robert see that post. 😉

        The issue is, as always, justification. After reading some Charles Dickens and a book dedicated to his theology, taking time to digest it…his Anglicanism was fairly typical of the day. It is against this fuzzy Anglican theology Spurgeon is railing against and he should. He was dealing with High Anglicanism and Unitarian Anglicanism, of which I would say Dickens would fit nicely.

        Did you know it was an Anglican (Anglo-Catholic seeking to reunite with Rome) that republished the futurist work by Ribera…the Jesuit? Sometime around 1820. (source: Robert Caringola, The Present Reign of Jesus Christ) Just think, John Nelson Darby formulated his opinion on biblical prophecy shortly after the republication of Ribera’s work…getting off topic…

        Peace,

        jm

  5. I have prepared a bibliography of all of the works cited above, including the two most recent additions by Jason Giles, with full documentation and URLs linking where any are available online.

    Bibliography of sources cited:

    1. Works by other authors referencing Spurgeon’s views on the Pope as Antichrist:

    Michael de Semlyen, All Roads Lead to Rome: The Ecumenical Movement (Gerrards Cross, Bucks, England: Dorchester House Publications, 1993; Evangelical Press, 2004).

    Lewis A. Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1992).

    Jesse Johnson, “A friendly reminder: the Pope is (probably) the antichrist” (13 MAR 2013), on the Cripplegate at http://thecripplegate.com/a-friendly-reminder-the-pope-is-probably-the-antichrist/ [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Dennis Michael Swanson, “Book Reviews: Lewis A. Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1992. 895 pp. $22.00 (paper),” in The Masters Seminary Journal 4:2 (Fall 1993), pp. 229-231; PDF on The Master’s Seminary at http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/reviews8.pdf [accessed 5 AUG 2014].

    Dennis Michael Swanson, “Charles H. Spurgeon and Eschatology: Did He Have a Discernible Millennial Position?” (1996), on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/eschat.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Dennis Michael Swanson, “The Millennial Position of Spurgeon”, The Masters Seminary Journal 7:2 (Fall 1996), pp. 183-212; PDF on The Master’s Seminary at http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj7g.pdf [accessed 5 AUG 2014].

    2. Works by Spurgeon other than his sermons presenting his views on the Pope as Antichrist:

    Charles H. Spurgeon, Anti-Christ and Her Brood; Or Popery Unmasked.

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “Autobiography”, on Providence Baptist Ministries at http://www.pbministries.org/Theology/Spurgeon/Spurgeon-Biography/chapter8.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps108.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014], s.v. Psalm 108:9.

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “Simon the Pedlar”, Sword and Trowel (JAN 1866), on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/stp1866.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Inquisition”, Sword and Trowel (AUG 1868), on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/inq.htm [accessed 2 AUG 2014].


    3. Sermons by Spurgeon (delivery date order) presenting his views on the Pope as Antichrist:

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “War! War! War!” (1 Sam. 18:17), Sermon #250, preached 1 MAY 1859 at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Gardens, in The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 5 (1859), pp. 201ff.; on The Spurgeon Archive at http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0250.htm [accessed 5 AUG 2014]; PDF file on Spurgeon Gems at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols4-6/chs250.pdf [accessed 5 AUG 2014].

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “Barabbas Preferred To Jesus” (Jn. 18:40), Sermon #595, preached 16 OCT 1864 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U. K.; in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 10 (1864), pp. 585ff.; PDF file on Spurgeon Gems at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols10-12/chs595.pdf [accessed 5 AUG 2014].

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “Pray for Jesus” (Ps. 72:15), Sermon #717, preached 21 OCT 1866 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U. K.; in the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 12 (1866), pp. 589ff.; PDF file on Spurgeon Gems at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols10-12/chs717.pdf [accessed 5 AUG 2014].

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Harvest And The Vintage” (Rev. 14:14-20), Sermon #2910, preached 17 SEP 1876, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U. K.; in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 50 (1904), pp. 553ff.; online as a PDF file on Spurgeon Gems at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols49-51/chs2910.pdf [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Double Come” (Rev. 22:17), Sermon #1608, preached 10 JUL 1881, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, U. K.; in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 27 (1881), pp. 389ff.; online as a PDF file at Spurgeon Gems at http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1608.pdf [accessed 2 AUG 2014].

    • I just learned about Spurgeon’s “Anti-Christ and Her Brood; Or Popery Unmasked” yesterday, and being a hefty 290 page ‘essay’, I thought it was amazing that he had written it at age 16 (some sites say 15), about a month before he was converted! I looked everywhere online for it, but there are only one or two chapters online, and it was apparently never published in full. There’s a single hard bound copy somewhere in the world (the library at “Westwood”).

      • I came up dry like you did in my online searching for other than those chapters. This needs to get scanned in by somebody somewhere for its historical value alone, to say nothing of its content! I agree with you that it is quite amazing to consider a teenager producing such a document. Perhaps it is even more amazing today, but CHS was no doubt a prodigy even in his own era.

      • Apparently what is perhaps the only know copy of this work by Spurgeon is in the collections archived by the library at Spurgeon College. See a photo of the first page of the manuscript of (“article”?) “Antichrist and her Brood; or, Popery Unmasked” on Spurgeon College’s Spurgeon Heritage Room at
        http://familybiblelearning.com/ukchristianhistory/pages/heritageroom.html [accessed 6 ATG 2014].

        Due to uncertainty concerning this I sent the following two emails out since one or both of these institutions may steer us in the right direction.

        1. To: library@spurgeons.ac.uk (Spurgeon College)

        To whom it may concern: It has come to my knowledge that you may be in possession of the manuscript of Charles H. Spurgeon’s early work titled, “Antichrist and her Brood; or, Popery Unmasked”. It is my understanding that: 1) this manuscript may be included in the CH Spurgeon Archive and Heritage Room collections at your facility, 2) this is the original and the only copy in existence, and, 3) it has never been otherwise published. Please advise if I am incorrect on any of these points.

        Perhaps you can answer a couple of questions for me.
        1. Has this document ever been scanned or otherwise converted to digital or photographic format for outside access and research purposes?
        2. If so, is it available on the internet, and, if so, where?

        If it is true that the only manuscript of this work is in the archives at your facility, and has not yet been scanned, I would encourage you to do so if this is at all feasible.

        2. To: circ@mbts.edu (Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)

        To whom it may concern: Is a manuscript of Charles H. Spurgeon’s early work titled, “Antichrist and her Brood; or, Popery Unmasked” included in the Spurgeon Library Collection (SLC) maintained at your facility?

        Perhaps you can answer a couple of questions for me.
        1. Has this document ever been scanned or otherwise converted to digital or photographic format for outside access and research purposes?
        2. If so, is it available on the internet, and if so, where?

        If it is true that a manuscript of this work is in the archives at your facility, and has not yet been scanned, I would encourage you to do so if this is at all feasible.

  6. First response is in from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s library:

    On 08/06/14, Library Circulation wrote:

    Dear Pastor Jeffery,
    We do not have the manuscript you described below unfortunately. I am familiar with it from its description in Spurgeon’s autobiography and was curious myself as to what happened to it. Have you contacted the Library of the Spurgeon College in London?

    On 08/06/14, John T. Jeffery wrote:

    Thank you for your reply! Yes, I sent a similar email to the Spurgeon College Library at the same time as I did to you.
    Since they have a photo of the front page of the manuscript posted on their web site I suspect that they have it in their collection.
    I will let you know what I hear from them.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    John T. “Jack” Jeffery
    Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
    Greentown, PA

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