A Candid Examination II

John Henry Hopkins. A Candid Examination of the question of whether the pope of Rome is the great antichrist of Scripture. New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1868. Battle and Bagby gift.

The Antichrist in America

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of anti-christ, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

The First Epistle of John 4:1-3

Popery! II

William Hogan. Popery! as it was and as it is. Also, auricular confession, and popish nunneries. Hartford: S. Andrus, 1854.

Scholarly works that demonstrated the identity of the Antichrist were quite common in nineteenth-century America. More often than not, these scholarly works simply rehearsed the sensational accusations found in popular literature. In this regard, the illustration shown here from William Hogan's Popery! is typical. Although its theme is obviously borrowed from works such as The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, Popery! purported to be an educated appraisal of "popish nunneries." 

Much of the same hysteria went into John Dowling's oft-reprinted History of Romanism. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, American Catholics were numerous enough to mount defenses against such attacks, such as John Henry Hopkins' Candid Examination. New interpretations of the Book of Revelation also continued to emerge from the changing political climate in Europe. Still confident in democracy, preachers such as Samuel Baldwin and Michael Baxter could look to Louis Napoleon as a new choice for the Antichrist, or even to the French Revolution itself.

At right: John Dowling. The History of Romanism from the earliest corruptions of Christianity to the present time. With full chronological table, analytical and alphabetical indexes and glossary. Illustrated by numerous accurate and highly finished engravings of its ceremonies, superstitions, persecutions, and historical incidents. New York: E. Walker, 1846.

At right: Samuel Baldwin. Armageddon. Or, The Overthrow of Romanism and Monarchy, the existence of the United States foretold in the Bible, revised edition. Cincinnati: Applegate, 1854.

At right: Michael Paget Baxter. Louis Napoleon, the destined monarch of the world, foreshown in prophecy to confirm a seven years' covenant with the Jews about seven years before the Millennium, and to become completely supreme over England and most of America, and all Christendom. Philadelphia: J.S. Claxton, 1866.

At right: Prophetic Conjectures referring to the French Revolution and other recent and shortly expected events. Baltimore: Sherwood & Co., 1848.