First and foremost, this iniquity is covered by an external profession of faith. With regard to which, the Apostle says: For they confess in words that they have known God, but they deny him by their deeds.
It is covered, in the second place, by the long duration of time, by scholars, by religious orders, men, virgins and widows, and also by a numerous people, of whom it is said in the Apocalypse: And to him power was given over every tribe and tongue, and nations, and all who dwell on the earth will worship it.
Thirdly, by the spiritual authority of the apostles, against whom the Apostle says: We can do nothing against the truth, and no power is given to us for destruction.
Fourthly, by many miracles done here and there, which the Apostle says in this way: His coming is according to the work of Satan, accompanied by all kinds of miracles, false signs and wonders, and all the deceptions of iniquity.
Fifthly, outward holiness, prayers, fasts, vigils, and alms; against which the Apostle says: Having the appearance of piety, but denying its strength.
Sixth, by some words of Christ, and by the writings of the elders and by the councils, which they follow, as much as they do not condemn their bad life and their pleasures.
In the seventh place, by the administration of the sacraments, by which they vomit the universality of all errors.
Eighth, by remonstrances and verbal preaching against vices, as they say and do not.
In the ninth place, some of them live in a pretense of virtue, and others truly lead a virtuous life. For those chosen of God, having good will and good conduct, retained there as in Babylon, are like gold with which the wicked Antichrist covers his vanity, not allowing true worship to God alone neither hope in Christ alone, nor attachment to true religion.
These things and many others serve as cloaks and garments to the Antichrist, by means of which he covers his deceitful malice, so that he may not be reproved entirely as a pagan, and in whose shadow he may walk dishonestly as a whore.