Go to edited text; glossed text; manuscript transcriptions: CCCC 201, Hatton 113, Junius 121, Bodleian 343

De Anticristo

Beloved people, understand very well so that you may correctly and carefully hold that which is most needful for you to hold, that is, correct Christianity. For each of those who do too much that is contrary to it or who do not teach it to others, each of those is named Antichrist. Antichrist is in Latin "contrary to Christ", that is in English, God's adversary. He is God's adversary who abandons God's laws and teaching and through the devil's teaching makes ill use of that which belongs to his Christianity, and then, being himself in sin, too severely befouls or leads other people into sin. And although it may be that many people will never see Antichrist himself with their eyes, still too many of his limbs may now be seen far and wide and may be known by their evil, just as is read in the gospel: "False Christs will arise, etc." Widely it will happen that false liars will arise and be plausibly deceitful, and they will mar many people and bring them into heresy. And such great affliction will occur in many ways throughout the world, as the book says, through the devil's son, who will do such evil as never happened before in the world; for the greatest evil will come to people when Antichrist himself comes, who never before was in the world. And it seems to us that that time is very near at hand, for this world is from day to day always the longer the worse. Now there is great need for all of God's preachers to warn God's people constantly about the terror that is coming to mankind, lest they be caught unawares and be too quickly deceived by the devil. But let each priest act in his own diocese so that the people hear it often and constantly, lest through want of instruction God's people are lost. And although it may happen that none of us who are now alive will live then, still we have need now earnestly to warn our sacred flocks how they may then most warily withstand the devil Antichrist himself, when he spreads his deceitful madness most widely. And let us also now warn very earnestly against his false teachings and pray to almighty God that he protect us against that arch-criminal. May God protect us against the terror, and make room for us in the eternal joy that is prepared for those who work his will. There is eternal bliss and always will be, world without end, amen.