“Who is this antichrist? Is he the Emperor Domitian, the Gnostics, Nicolaitans, Nazareans, Cerinthians, Romish pontiffs, etc., etc.!
Any person, thing, doctrine, system of religion, polity, etc., which is opposed to Christ, and to the spirit and spread of His gospel, is antichrist. We need not look for this imaginary being in any of the above exclusively.
Even Protestantism may have its antichrist as well as Popery. Every man who opposes the spirit of the gospel, and every teacher and writer who endeavors to lower the gospel standard to the spirit and taste of the world, is a genuine antichrist, no matter where or among whom he is found. The heresies which sprang up in the days of St. John were the antichrist of that time. As there has been a succession of oppositions to Christianity in its spirit and spread through every age since its promulgation in the world, so there has been a succession of antichrists. We may bring this matter much lower–every enemy of Christ, every one who opposes His reign in the world, in others, or in himself, is an antichrist, and consequently every wicked man is an antichrist. But the name has been generally applied to whatever person or thing systematically opposes Christ and His religion.”