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Chapter XIV.

But when we questioned him concerning the end of the world, he said to us that Nero and Antichrist have first to come; that Nero will rule in the Western portion of the world, after having subdued ten kings; and that a persecution will be carried on by him, with the view of compelling men to worship the idols of the Gentiles. He also said that Antichrist, on the other hand, would first seize upon the empire of the East, having his seat and the capital of his kingdom at Jerusalem; while both the city and the temple would be restored by him. He added that his persecution would have for its object to compel men to deny Christ as God, while he maintained rather that he himself was Christ, and ordered all men to be circumcised, according to the law. He further said that Nero was to be destroyed by Antichrist, and that the whole world, and all nations, were to be reduced under the power of Antichrist, until that impious one should be overthrown by the coming of Christ. He told us, too, that there was no doubt but that Antichrist, having been conceived by an evil spirit, was already born, and had, by this time, reached the years of boyhood, while he would assume power as soon as he reached the proper age. Now, this is the eighth year since we heard these words from his lips: you may conjecture, then, how nearly about to happen are those things which are feared in the future.”

As our friend the Gaul was emphatically speaking thus, and had not yet finished what he intended to relate, a boy of the family entered with the announcement that the presbyter Refrigerius was standing at the door. We began to doubt whether it would be better to hear the Gaul further, or to go and welcome that man whom we so greatly loved, and who had come 46to pay his respects to us, when our friend the Gaul remarked: “Even although this most holy priest had not arrived, this talk of ours would have had to be cut short, for the approach of night was itself urging us to finish the discourse which has been so far continued. But inasmuch as all things bearing upon the excellences of Martin have by no means yet been mentioned, let what you have heard suffice for to-day: to-morrow we shall proceed to what remains.” This promise of our Gallic friend being equally acceptable to us all, we rose up.

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