(Revised) Copyright, 1943
159 -- NECESSARY BECAUSE THE CHURCH
HAD FALLEN -- The Roman
church was sadly in need of a reformation, but she refused
to surrender the elements that corrupted her, and slew
those who tried to save her. There were two papal ordinances
which especially contributed toward the terrible and widespread
depravity of her priesthood: (1) enforced celibacy
(forbidding priests to marry), and (2) exemption
of the clergy from the domain of civil law, so that government
officials could not punish them for any crime. H. C. Lea
says of the Roman Catholic clergyman: "No
matter what crimes he might commit, secular justice could
not take cognizance of them, and secular officials could
not arrest him. He was amenable only to the tribunals
of his own order, which were debarred from inflicting
punishments involving the effusion of blood, and from
whose decisions an appeal to the supreme jurisdiction
of distant Rome conferred too often virtual immunity."
-- " History of, the Inquisition of the Middle
Ages," Vol. I, p. 2. New York: 1888.
author makes a further statement concerning a "complaint
laid before the pope by the imperial Diet held at Nurnberg
early in 1522. . . . The Diet, in recounting the evils
arising from the ecclesiastical jurisdiction which allowed
clerical offenders to enjoy virtual immunity, adduced,
among other grievances, the license afforded to those
who, debarred by the canons from marriage, abandoned themselves
night and day to attempts upon the virtue of the wives
and daughters of the laity, sometimes gaining their ends
by flattery and presents, and sometimes taking advantage
of the opportunities offered by the confessional. It was
not uncommon, indeed, for women to be openly carried off
by their priests, while their husbands and fathers were
threatened with vengeance if they should attempt
160 -- to recover them. As regards the sale to ecclesiastics
of licenses to indulge in habitual lust, the Diet declared
it to be a regular and settled matter, reduced to the
form of an annual tax, which in most dioceses was exacted
of all the clergy without exception', so that when those
who perchance lived chastely demurred at the payment,
they were told that the bishop must have the money, and
that after it was handed over they might take their choice
whether to keep concubines or not." -- "An
Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy in the Christian
Church," pp. 431, 432, and Note 1. Boston: Houghton
Mifflin and Co., Riverside Press, 1884.
the reader remember that those "complaints were made
by the highest authority in the empire." -- Id.
Philip Limborch records the same fact, and adds: "Erasmus
says: ' There is a certain German bishop, who declared
publicly at a feast, that in one year he had brought to
him 11,000 priests that openly kept women': for they pay
annually a certain sum to the bishop. This was one of
the hundred grievances that the German nation proposed
to the Pope's nuncio at the convention at Nuremberg, in
the years 1522 and 1523. Grievance 91." -- "History
of the Inquisition," p. 84.
C. Lea says: "The extent to which the evil sometimes
grew may be guessed from a case mentioned by Erasmus,
in which a theologian of Louvian refused absolution to
a pastor who confessed to having maintained illicit relations
with no less than two hundred nuns confided to his spiritual
charge." -- "An Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal
Celibacy," pp. 567, 568.
the pope had ample machinery in the Inquisition for correcting
his sinning priests, yet he was very lenient with them,
except for "heresy." In fact, heinous depravity
seemed to have been worse where the Inquisition reigned
supreme. H. C. Lea continues: " It is rather curious
that in Spain, the only kingdom where heresy was not allowed
to get a foothold, the trouble seems to have been greatest
and to have first called for special remedial measures.
" -- Id., p. 568.
161 -- Of the "remedial" laws enacted in
1255, 1274, and 1302, Lea says: " However well meant
these efforts were, they proved as useless as all previous
ones; for in 1322 the council of Valladolid, under the
presidency of the papal legate, [enacted still more laws].
The acts of this council, moreover, are interesting as
presenting the first authentic evidence of a custom which
subsequently prevailed to some extent elsewhere, by which
parishioners were wont to compel their priests to take
a female consort for the purpose of protecting the virtue
of their families from his assaults." -- Id.,
p. 310. "The same state of affairs continued
until the sixteenth century was well advanced. "
-- Id., p. 312.
have already seen ecclesiastical authority for the assertion
that in the Spanish Peninsula the children sprung from
such illicit connections rivaled in numbers the offspring
of the laity." -- Ibid, p. 336.
conditions seem almost unbelievable. But, when in 1900
W. H. Taft was sent to the Philippines to establish civil
government with a public school system there, he reported,
finding in those islands conditions similar to those described
above. See Senate Document No. 190, 56th Congress, 2nd
Session: " Message from the President of the United
States, 1901 A. D."
some Protestants of today had known the conditions existing
at the time of the Reformation they would not have judged
Dr. Martin Luther so critically for his harsh statements.
That the Reformation was the inevitable result of the
fallen condition of the Catholic Church, was acknowledged
by the speakers at the Council of Trent. H. C. Lea says:
"Even in the Council of Trent itself, the Bishop
of St. Mark, in opening its proceedings with a speech,
January 6th, 1546, drew a fearful picture of the corruption
of the world, which had reached a degree that posterity
might possibly equal but not exceed. This he assured the
assemblied fathers was attributable solely to the wickedness
of the pastors, who drew their flocks with them into the
abyss of sin. The Lutheran heresy had been
162 -- provoked by their own guilt, and its suppression
was only to be hoped for by their own reformation. At
a later session, the Bavarian orator, August Baumgartner,
told the assembled fathers that the progress of the Reformation
was attributable to the scandalous lives of the clergy,
whose excesses he could not describe without offending
the chaste ears of his auditory. He even asserted that
out of a hundred priests there were not more than three
or four who were not either married or concubinarians
-- a statement repeated in a consultation on the subject
of ecclesiastical reform drawn up in 1562 by order of
the Emperor Ferdinand, with the addition that the clergy
would rather see the whole structure of the church destroyed
than submit to even the most moderate measure of reform."
-- " An Historical Sketch of Sacerdotal Celibacy,"
pp. 518, 519.
OF INDULGENCES" AROUSED PROTEST
subject of indulgences is of great importance at this
time, for the strenuous protest of Romanists against any
discussion of this subject has changed both our schoolbooks
and our encyclopedias. We therefore invite the reader
to a careful investigation of this subject. The grossest
doctrines that ever disgraced the church of Rome, usually
began as apparently innocent injunctions, which developed
for centuries into the final monstrosity. This was the
case with "indulgence." It began simply as a
release from some ecclesiastical punishment.
authorities today teach that there are two kinds
of punishments for sin, one eternal and the
other temporal. Dr. M. J. Scott, S. J., says: "The
forgiveness of sin is . . . the remission of the eternal
chastisement. . . .
the guilt and eternal punishment have been remitted there
remains the temporal chastisement . . . . which must be
suffered either here or . . . hereafter . . . by the suffering
of Purgatory." -- " Things Catholics Are
Asked About," p. 145. New York: P. J. Kenedy
and Sons. 1927.
debt in purgatory may be settled in this life by pen-
163 -- ances, masses, or by indulgences. On the cost
of having masses celebrated see "Fifty Years
in the Church of Rome " by Charles Chiniquy,
chap. XXV. Catholic authors admonish a Catholic to
settle his account with the church in this life, for when
he dies "his family might have hundreds of Masses
offered up for his soul," before it affects him in
purgatory. -- " Things Catholics Are Asked
About," p. 147. As some Catholics may be
unwilling to pay such sums for their deceased relatives,
Dr. J. T. Roche warns them: "The last will and testament
of a Catholic in which there is no provision made for
Masses gives evidence of an oversight which is truly deplorable.
Children and heirs-at-law are the same the world over.
In many instances they are dissatisfied with the bequests
made to them individually. Their disappointinent precludes
the possibility of having Masses said for the dead testator.
Some of them too are so selfish and grasping that they
cannot think of parting with even a small portion of their
inheritance to comply with what is clearly a duty."
-- " Masses for the Dead," pp. 23,
24. (This booklet bears the sanction of the Catholic Church
and its censor). TOP
POPE'S SPIRITUAL BANK -- The Roman Catholic
Church teaches that a person can by his good works and
penances, pay off his own debt, and have some to spare.
These extra good works form a Spiritual Bank from which
the pope can draw for the benefit of those who lack, as
the following quotations show. Dr. M. J. Scott says: "A
sinner has it in his own power to merit forgiveness
and mercy while he lives." -- " Things Catholics
Are Asked About," p.148.
J. Procter writes: "Some holy ones of God more than
satisfy the debt of temporal punishment which they owe
to the Eternal Father. . . . All these 'satisfactions,'
these merits, these uncalled-for penaiims, are not lost,
nor are they useless and in vain. They form a spiritual
treasure-house, a 'bank' we have called it, upon
164 -- which the Church can draw for the benefit of
her needy children. " -- "Indulgences"
(Roman Catholic), p. 9. London: Catholic Truth Society.
Law says: "To the Roman Pontiff is committed by Christ
the entire spiritual treasury of the Church, wherefore
only the Pope and those to whom he has given participation
in the power by law, have the ordinary power to grant
indulgences." (Canon 912)." -- "The
New Canon Law," Rev. S. Woywod, 0. F. M., pp.
143, 144. New York: 1918.
Catholic Encyclopedia testifies:
"According to Catholic doctrine, therefore, the source
of indulgences is constituted by the merits of Christ
and the saints. This treasury is left to the keeping,
not of the individual Christian, but of the Church.
treasure He . . . entrusted to Blessed Peter, the key-bearer,
and his successors." -- Vol. VII, pp, 785, 784.
a plenary indulgence is meant the remission of the entire
temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation
is required in purgatory. A partial indulgence commutes
only a certain portion of the penalty.
indulgence is valid both in the tribunal of the Church
and in the tribunal of God."-Id., p. 783.
the church, therefore, by an indulgence, remits this penalty,
her action, according to the declaration of Christ, is
ratified in heaven." -- Id., p. 785.
as in many other matters, the love of money was the chief
root of the evil; indulgences were employed by mercenary
ecclesiastics as a means of pecuniary gain." --
Id., p. 787.
shall now enter into a careful examination of the two
questions: (1) whether Catholic authorities, before
the Protestant Reformation., had begun to represent indulgences
as actual remissions of sin; and (2) if these indulgences
could be purchased for money. Professor William.E. Lunt
says of the period following 1095 A. D.: "The commercialization
of indulgences began with those issued in connection with
the Crusades," -- " Papal Revenues in
165 -- the Middle Ages," Vol. I, p. 115.
Columbia University Press, 1934. TOP
IX (1389-1404) issued several bulls of plenary indulgence
to aid the building of the dome of the cathedral at Milan.
In the course of the fifteenth century plenary indulgences
for similar purposes became common. . . . One third or
one half was the share most commonly taken by the pope,
occasionally it amounted to two thirds." --Id.,
general Summons of Pope Innocent Ill to a Crusade A. D.
1215 [requested all civil rulers] for the remission of
their sins [to furnish soldiers. To all who joined in
the Crusade, and also to those who could not go themselves,
but who paid the expense of sending a substitute, the
pope declared:] ' We grant full pardon of their sins.'
[To those who went at their own expense, he promised not
only] full pardon of their sins, [but he says:] ' We promise
them an increase of eternal salvation.' " -- "Bullarium
Romanum, editio Taurinensis," Vol. III, p. 300;
copied in "Select Historical Documents of the
Middle Ages," E. F. Henderson, pp. 337, 339,
343. London: 1892.
papal permission to secure an indulgence by paying for
a substitute in one's place, to fight in the Crusades,
soon developed into a system of paying for indulgences.
Another means of enormous income to the Holy See was started
by Pope Boniface VIII, by inaugurating the "Jubilees"
with their indulgences. We read of these: "Jubilees.
-- On the 22nd of February of the present Year 1300, he
issued a Bull, granting a full Remission of all Sins to
such as should in the present Year, beginning and ending
at Christmas, or in every other Hundreth Year, visit the
Basilica of the two Apostles St. Peter and St.
Paul [on fifteen different days.] -- Bower's "History
of the Popes," Vol. VI, year 1300, p. 474.
Thurston, S. J., in his book: " The Roman Jubilee,"
bearing the sanction of the Catholic Church, and of its
" censor," says: "And the same year, since
a solemn remission of all sins, to
166 -- wit, both of guilt and, of penalty (solemnis
remissio omnium peccatorum, videlicet culparum et ponarum),
was granted by Pope Boniface to all who visited Rome,
many -- both Christians and Tartars -- came to Rome for
the aforesaid indulgence." Id., p. 12.
London and Edinburgh: 1925, abridged edition.
the Jubilee of 1450 we read: "Large sums of money
were brought as offerings by the pilgrims, and we learn
that money was scarce at this time, because 'it all flowed
into Rome for the Jubilee.' . . . Early in the following
year the Pope . . . despatched legates to certain foreign
countries, to extend the Jubilee indulgence to the faithful
who were unable to visit Rome. The conditions usually
enjoined were a visit, or series of visits, to the cathedral
of the Diocese, and an alms to be offered there for a
special intention. " -- Id., p. 27.
one of these Jubilees, we are told, there were millions
in Rome, and the plague that had broken out carried off
innumerable victims. Graves were to be seen all along
the roads. H. C. Lea declares: "The pilgrim who went
to Rome to secure pardon came back much worse than he
started." And any one who joined the " crusades
" against the Turks or the "heretics" to
gain a "plenary indulgence," if he came back
alive, "was tolerably sure to return a lawless bandit."
-- " The Inquisition of the Middle Ages,"
Vol. I, pp. 42, 43. TOP
Alexander VI ordered a Jubilee in 1500, but great as the
crowds were who sought the papal indulgence at Rome, there
remained a still greater number in the British Isles,
"who were prevented from seeking Rome "; and
so the pope issued another "Bull dated 9 December
1500," proclaiming a Jubliee in 1501 for Britain.
Professor William E. Lunt quotes the following from Polydore
Vergil's "Historiae Anglicae":
"A Chronicler's Account of the Sale of Jubilee
Indulgences in England. -- It was not gratuitous liberality,
for Alexander . . . had decreed what was the price of
his grace for providing for the salvation of men."
-- "Records of Civilization Sources and Studies,"
No. XIX, "Papal Revenues In the Middle Ages,"
Vol. II, P. 477.
167 -- Professor Lunt informs us that this Papal Bull
is found in the "British Museum, Cottonian MS, Cleop.
E. III, fol. 157V, " " as entitled by Gairdner,
Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Reigns of
Richard III and Henry VII, II, 93-100," from
which we quote the following: "The Article of the
Bull of the holy Jubilee of full remission and great joy
granted to the realm of England, Wales, Ireland, and Garnesey,
. . . by granting of great indulgence and remission of
sins and trespasses."
who "at any time after the publication hereof to
the last evensong of the Octaves of Easter next coming,
truly confessed and contrite, visit such churches as shall
be assigned . . . and there put into the chest for the
intent ordained such sum or gratuity of money, gold or
silver, as is limited and taxed here following in the
last end of this paper, to be spent for the defense of
our faith, shall have the same indulgence, pardon, and
grace, with remission of all their sins, which they should
have had if they had gone personally to Rome in the year
of grace." -- Id., pp. 478, 479.
follows the "Tax List": "Tax that every
man shall put into the chest that will receive this great
grace of their jubilee.
every man and woman, . . . having lands, tenements, or
rents, amounting to the yearly value of (British Pounds)
2,000 or above, must pay, or cause to be paid . . . .
and effectually, without fraud or deceit, put into the
chest . . . lawful money current in that country where
they be. (British Pounds) 3, 6s. and 8d.*
every man and woman having tenements and rents to the
yearly value of (British Pounds) 1,000 or above,
to the sum of (British Pounds) 2,000 exclusive,
must pay for themselves and their wives and children 40s."
-- Id., pp. 481, 482.
sliding scale goes down to the payment of 12d. TOP
The Pope . . . granted full authority and power to the
venerable father in God, Jasper Powe, his orator and commissary,
to absolve [any one who] hath committed simony, . . .
-- (British Pound) I is $4.80, IS. 24 cents.
and Id. is 2 cents.
168 -- with all those that occupy evil gotten goods,
all usurers, and all such that wrongfully and unlawfully
occupyeth or witholdeth other men's goods, that they may
lawfully keep and occupy the same goods, first making
composition for the same with said commissary of some
certain sum of money to be spent in the foresaid holy
use." -- Id., pp. 482, 483.
Thomas E. Watson, U. S. Senator from Georgia, writes:
"Claude d'Espence was Rector of the University of
Paris in the sixteenth century. He published a 'Commentary
on the Epistle to Titus.' He was [a] devoted Roman Catholic
and his standing was high in his church. . . . Here is
what he wrote and published about the ' Tariff on Sins':
"'Provided money can be extorted, everything prohibited
is permitted. There is almost nothing forbidden that is
not dispensed with for money. . . . They give permission
to priests to have concubines. . . . There is a printed
book which has been publicly sold for a considerable time,
entitled, ' The Taxes of the Apostolical Chancery,'
from which one may learn more enormities and crimes than
from all the books of the Summists. And of these crimes,
there are some which persons may have liberty to commit
for money, while absolution from all of them, after they
have been committed, may be bought.'
the British Museum are two small volumes which contain
the Pope's Chancery Taxes , and his Penitential Taxes.
These books-in manuscript bound in vellum -- were taken
from the archives of Rome, upon the death of Innocent
XII. The Prothonotary, Amyon, was the abstractor. One
of the booklets bears date, ' 6 February, 1514': the other
'10 March, 1520.' The inscription is 'Mandatum Leonis,
Papoe X.,' -- which, freely rendered, means that the
compilation of these Taxes was ordered by Pope Leo X."*
-- "The Watsonian," October, 1928,
Vol. II, No. IX, pp. 275, 276.
-- Of these "Tax Tables" forty-seven editions
were issued, eighteen at Rome itself. They itemize all
classes of sins: " simony, " " perjury,"
" murder, " " rape, " etc., stating
the exact amount of "tax" for "absolution"
of each class of crime. See "Spiritual Venality
of Rome," Rev. Joseph Mendham, M. A., "
Traffic in Pardons, " George Hodson, and "
Philosophical Dictionary," Voltaire, Vol. II,
pp. 474 - 478. See also "The Pope and the Council,"
Dollinger, pp. 351-353. TOP
169 -- POPE COULD EMPTY PURGATORY
-- Henry Charles Lea says: "An enthusiastic
Franciscan taught at Tournay, in 1482, that the pope at
will could empty purgatory. . . . The same year . . .
the church of Saintes, having procured a bull of indulgence
from Sixtus IV, announced publicly that, no matter how
long a period of punishment had been assigned by divine
justice to a soul, it would fly from purgatory to heaven
as soon as three sols were paid in its behalf to be expended
in repairing the church. . . . The doctrine . . . was
pronounced to be unquestionable Catholic truth by the
Dominican Silvestro Mozzolino, in his refutation of Luther's
Theses, dedicated to Leo X. (F. Silvest. Prieriatis Dialogus,
No. 27.) As Silvestro was made general of his order and
master of the sacred palace, it is evident that no exceptions
to his teaching were taken at Rome. Those who doubt that
the abuses of the system were the proximate cause of the
Reformation can consult Van Espen, Jur. Eccles. Universi
P. II, tit. vii, cap. 3, No. 9 - 12." -- "History
of the Inquisition in the Middle Ages," Vol.
I, p.. 43, note.
Roman Catholic writers claim that the "taxes"
charged in those "Tax Tables" were simply registration
fees for the absolutions or pardons granted. If this were
true, why are they called "taxes," and why should
the registration fee for one man be fifty times as much
as for another that had com mitted the same sin? Or why
should registration fees vary so greatly for the different
Coxe, F. R. S., F. A. S., speaking of the time of Luther,
says: "The sale of indulgences gave rise to the schism
of a great part of Europe from the church of Rome.
in the early ages, were merely a diminution of ecclesiastical
penances, at the recommendation of confessors or persons
of peculiar sanctity. This license soon degenerated into
an abuse, and being made by the popes a pretext for obtaining
money, was held forth as an exemption from the pains of
purgatory, and afterwards as a plenary pardon for the
170 -- all sins whatsoever; and this unchristian doctrine*
was justified on the principle no less absurd than impious
a view to replenish the exhausted treasury of the church,
Leo X had recourse to the sale of indulgences, an expedient
which had been first invented by Urban II, and continued
by his successors; Julius II had bestowed indulgences
on all who contributed towards building the church of
St. Peter, at Rome, and Leo founded his grant on the same
pretence. But . . . this scandalous traffic had been warmly
opposed in Germany. . . . These indulgences were held
forth as pardons for the most enormous crimes; they were
publicly put up for sale, and even forced upon the people,
and Tetzel and his coadjutors indulged themselves in drunkenness,
and every other species of licentiousness, in which they
squandered their share of the profits, and not unfrequently
produced indulgences as stakes at the gaming table."
-- " History of the House of Austria,"
Vol. I, pp. 384-386. TOP
Coxe continues in a footnote: "We subjoin the form
of absolution used by Tetzel: "'May our Lord Jesus
Christ have mercy upon thee, and absolve thee by the merits
of his most holy passion. And I, by his authority, by
that of his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, and of the
most holy pope, granted and committed to me in these parts,
do absolve thee, first, from all ecclesiastical censures,
in whatever manner they have been incurred; and then from
all thy sins, transgressions, and excesses, how enormous
soever they may be, even from such as are reserved for
the cognizance of the Holy See; and as far as the keys
of the holy church extend, I remit to thee all punishment
which thou deservest in purgatory on their account; and
I restore thee to the holy sacraments of the church, to
the unity of the faithful, and to that innocence and purity
which thou possessest at baptism; so that when thou diest,
the gates of punishment shall be shut, and the gates of
the paradise of delight shall be opened; and if thou shalt
not die at present, this grace shall remain in full force
when thou art at the point of death. In the name of the
Father, and of the Son,
-- The doctrine of the " treasury " containing
the surplus of good works.
171 -- and of the Holy Ghost,' -- Seckend. Comment
Lib. 1, p. 14." - Id., p. 385.
author has several photographic reproductions of these
"Indulgences." The "Congregation of the
Propaganda" at Rome, 1883, published a book called
"Il Tesoro dele Sacre Indulgence," which
attempts to justify the sale of indulgences by monks at
the time of Martin Luther. (Chap. III.)
William Robertson gives the same facts in the "History
of the Reign of the Emperor Charles the Fifth,"
Vol. 1, pp. 460-463, as have been quoted from Dr. Coxe.
In a footnote Dr. Robertson adds the following of Tetzel's
arguments: "' The souls confined in purgatory, for
whose redemption indulgences are purchased, as soon as
the money tinkles in the chest, instantly escape from
that place of torment and ascend into heaven. . . . For
twelve pence you may redeem the soul of your father out
of purgatory; and are you so ungrateful that you will
not rescue your parent from torment?" -- Id.,
THE TABLES ON TETZEL -- John Dowling, D. D.,
relates: "A gentleman of Saxony had heard Tetzel
at Leipsic, and was much shocked by his impostures. He
went to the monk, and inquired if he was authorized to
pardon sins in intention, or such as the applicant
intended to commit? 'Assuredly,' answered Tetzel; 'I have
full power from the Pope to do so.' 'Well,' returned the
gentleman, 'I want to take some slight revenge on one
of my enemies, without attempting his life. I will pay
you ten crowns, if you will give me a letter of indulgence
that shall bear me harmless.' Tetzel made some scruples;
they struck their bargain for thirty crowns. Shortly after,
the monk set out from Leipsic. The gentleman, attended
by his servants, laid wait for him in a wood between Juterboch
and Treblin, -- fell upon him, gave him a beating, and
carried off the rich chest of indulgence-money the inquisitor
had with him. Tetzel clamored against this act of violence,
and brought an action before the judges. But the gentleman
showed the letter
172 -- signed by Tetzel himself, which exempted him
beforehand from all responsibility. Duke George who had
at first been much irritated at this action, upon seeing
this writing, ordered that the accused should be acquitted."
-- " History of Romanism," p. 445.
New York: 1870.
people finally began to feel that, if the pope could empty
purgatory at will, he must be very hard-hearted to leave
so many millions in the flames just because the people
did not buy sufficient indulgences to free them! Was not
the pope more concerned about the souls of his spiritual
children in purgatory, than about the building of a magnificent
church at Rome? Should not the shepherd be more concerned
about his sheep than about their wool? People had begun
to break the shackles and think for themselves. A storm
was brewing, only waiting for some one to take the lead.
God's hour strikes, He always has His instruments ready
for action. On the 31st of October, 1517, Dr. Martin Luther
stepped up to the beautiful Castle Church at Wittenberg,
and nailed on its door the ninety-five theses he had written
against the sale of indulgences. In two weeks "these
propositions were circulated over all Germany. . . . In
a month they had made the tour of Europe." --
" History of Protestantism," J. A. Wylie,
Vol. I, chap. X, p. 267. Thus the Reformation began,
and it continued till a large part of Europe broke away
from the Roman Church; and only by the work of Jesuits
were some of these countries brought back to the Roman
shall now leave it with the reader to decide, whether
or not sufficient proof has been given of the corrupt
condition of the medieval church to justify a Reformation.
When the Church refused to be reformed, turned against
the Reformers, and bitterly opposed all attempts to place
the Bible in the hands of the common people, then the
time had come to separate from her communion, and establish
churches where the people would be fed with the word of
God, and where there was liberty to obey it.
173 -- The Reformers of the
sixteenth century had done much to bring people back to
the primitive Christianity of apostolic times. While they
did not live long enough to see their work fully carried
through, they had laid a deep and broad foundation for
their children to build upon; namely, faith in "the
Bible, and the Bible only." They expected their followers
to carry their work through to a triumphant conclusion.
But after the death of the Reformers, the Jesuits nearly
wrecked the work of the Reformation, and some of the Protestant
countries formed state churches to protect themselves
from utter annihilation.
popes and the Jesuits worked incessantly in conjunction
with the bishops and the heads of the larger Catholic
states to force the smaller Protestant countries back
under the papal rule. This compelled Protestant princes
to make common cause and stand together to save the day,
as was the case in the Thirty Years' War.
the worst storm had blown over, the Protestant churches
found themselves under the protection and control of the
state. They were no longer free to accept more light,
and to progress along the way they originally had started.
The state now dictated what they should believe and teach,
who should be taken into church fellowship, and who should
be their leaders. Their growth was stunted, their spiritual
life stifled. Instead of progressing along the line of
reform, they retrograded and gave up several of the points
of truth held by the Reformers. This was especially true
during the period of Rationalism in Europe. But God's
work must go on to completion. No human consideration
can stop it, and the time has now come for the work of
the Reformation to be finished.
is a remarkable and fascinating study to see how God
174 -- offered one religious denomination after another
the privilege of carrying the Reformation to a finish,
and how they, one by one, rejected God's plan.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND -- God is no respecter of
persons; He will use everyone who allows himself to be
used by Him. In the seventeenth century He brought the
Church of England face to face with the troublesome Sabbath
question, but they declined the opportunity of becoming
His chosen instrument to complete the Reformation on this
and other important points, and many books were written
in England to justify this refusal.
Upon the publication of the 'Book of Sports' in
1618, a violent controversy arose among English divines
on two points: first, whether the Sabbath of the
fourth commandment was in force among Christians; and,
secondly, whether, and on what ground, the first
day of the week was entitled to be distinguished and observed
as 'the Sabbath. ' -- "Haydn's Dictionary of Dates,
art. "Sabbatarians," p. 602. New York: Harper
of the church found themselves divided into three camps:
One party claimed that Sunday is the "Christian Sabbath
" and, from the fourth commandment, urged its observance
in a Puritanical manner. Another party claimed that there
is no Bible proof for the change of the Sabbath from the
seventh day of the week to the first, but that Sunday
is merely a church ordinance, the same as Christmas and
Easter, and that we should obey the ordinances of the
church, but without Puritanical rigor. A third, small
minority, through this discussion, began to see that the
only Sabbath in the New Testament is the one Christ and
His apostles kept, and they began to teach and to write
in favor of the seventh day (Saturday). Thus the Church
of England had its call, and was forced to make its decision.
BAPTIST -- The English divines who began the
observance of the seventh-day Sabbath in London during
the seventeenth century,
175 -- also practiced immersion as baptism, and they
are now reckoned as a branch of the Baptists. After some
of them had emigrated to the United States, they felt
a special call from God during the first half of the nineteenth
century to bring the Sabbath truth to their Christian
brethren. It seemed as though the time had come for a
Sabbath reform; for not only Baptists, but God-fearing
men in different denominations, were simultaneously impressed
with the importance of the Bible Sabbath, and that, seemingly,
independent of one another. Dr. Edward T. Hiscox, author
of the "Baptist Manual," says: "There
was and is a commandment to keep holy the Sabbath day,
but that Sabbath day was not Sunday. It will be said,
however, and with some show of triumph, that the Sabbath
was transferred from the seventh to the first day of the
week, with all its duties, privileges, and sanctions.
Earnestly desiring information on this subject, which
I have studied for many years, I ask, Where can the record
of such a transaction be found? Not in the New Testament,
absolutely not. There is no Scriptural evidence of the
change of the Sabbath institution from the seventh to
the first day of the week."
series of articles appeared in the organ of the Swedish
Baptist church, Evangelistep (The
Evangelist), Stockholm, May 30 to August
15, 1863. The articles, which appeared as editorials,
took a bold stand against the abolition of the Sabbath
commandment, and proved the binding claims of the Sabbath,
from its institution, and from the teaching of Christ
and His apostles. In regard to the abolition of the Sabbath
the editor says:
In opposition to this doctrine we will now endeavor to
show that the sanctification of the Sabbath has its foundation
and its origin in a law which God at creation itself established
for the whole world, and as a consequence thereof is binding
on all men in all ages." -- May 30, 1863, p. 169.
Thus we find that the Sabbath commandment is placed side
by side with the other eternally binding commands, which
God has given as a rule and guide for the whole human
176 -- Therefore, he who will maintain that the Sabbath
commandment is only a ceremonial command, and so binding
only for a certain time, can with equal right explain
all the other of the ten commandments as ceremonial commands,
with which we have nothing to do in the new covenant.
" -- Id., July 31, 1863, p. 235.
agitation was not without its effect. Pastor M. A. Sommer
began observing the seventh day, and wrote in his church
paper, Indovet Kristendom, No. 5, 1875,
an impressive article about the true Sabbath. In a letter
to Elder John G. Matteson, he says:
the Baptists here in Denmark there is great agitation
regarding the Sabbath commandment. . . . However, I am
probably the only preacher in Denmark, who stands so near
to the Adventists, and who for many years has proclaimed
Christ's second coming."-" Advent Tidende,"
May, 1875, p. 154. TOP
Confession of Faith," which the Danish Baptists received
from Hamburg in 1852, contained the following:
12. Concerning the Law. -- Here is emphasized the
absolute and eternal validity of the Jewish law, especially
the ten commandments. And by this is inculcated
the sanctification of the Sabbath (Sunday).' What the
brethren, who wrote the Confession of faith had in mind,
was the violation of the Lord's day, and they did not
realize that they shot over the mark. But when the Adventists
came, they took advantage precisely of this article; it
was namely an easy matter for them to point out, that
' the Sabbath day' was Saturday, and not Sunday.
This brought the leading brethren to a real investigation
of this matter, and when they met at the Conference in
1878 it had become clear to them . . . that we Christians
have nothing to do with the Jewish law, and that we should
keep Sunday as a day of rest, because the first Christians
did so, and not because of the Sabbath commandment."
-- " History of the Danish Baptists,"
S. Hansen and P. Olsen, pp. 162, 163. Copenhagen: 1896.
their new "Handbook" by W. J. Anderson
(1903) there is no mention of the Ten Commandments, nor
of the moral law. Thus they had made their decision.
177 -- On the other hand the American "Baptist
Church Manual," by J. Newton Brown, 1853, and
the "Star Book" by Dr. Edward Hiscox,
both of whom wrote as representatives of Sundaykeeping
denominations, have the following statement concerning
the moral law, or the Ten Commandments:
believe the Scriptures teach that the Law of God is the
eternal and unchangeable rule of His moral government;
that it is holy, just, and good; and that the inability
which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill
its precepts, arises entirely from their sinful nature;
to deliver them from which, and to restore them through
a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy law, is
one great end of the gospel, and of the means of grace
connected with the establishment of the visible church."
-- "Manual," p. 15, and "Star
Book," p. 18. Philadelphia: American Baptist
Pub. Soc., 1880.
we see that God, who is no respecter of persons, offered
to the different denominations the honor and privilege
of finishing the work so nobly begun by the great Protestant
Reformers, that of digging up the precious truths of God's
Word, which the Papacy had buried beneath it's traditions
for so many centuries. Daniel 8: 12; 7:25. This effort
of God to bring His people back to the whole truth of
His Word, will be seen more clearly in the next two chapters.
REFORM IN SCANDINAVIA
178 -- There were many Sabbath-keepers
in Norway even in the,days of Catholicism. The Sabbath
seems to have been brought to the Scandinavian countries
partly by the Waldenses, and partly as a direct work of
the Spirit of God. But Rome was no more favorable towards
the Sabbath there than in other parts of the world. When
the Inquisition of the twelfth century scattered the Waldenses,
they were forced to flee to more obscure places and to
countries lying on the outskirts of civilization, and
as the persecution continued, they gradually drifted into
Scandinavia. Then, too, in the " Catechism
" that was used during the fourteenth century, the
Sabbath commandment read thus: "Thou shalt not forget
to keep the seventh day."* We are told by
Swedish historians that the Sabbath-keeping public claimed
that angels had appeared to them, instructing them to
keep the Sabbath on Saturday. Of the church council held
at Bergen, Norway, August 22, 1435, we read:
first matter concerned a superstitious keeping holy of
Saturday. It had come to the ear of the archbishop that
people in different places of the kingdom, 'partly from
the weakness of nature, partly by the deceptions and promptings
of the devil,' had ventured to adopt and keep holydays,
which neither God nor the holy Church had ordained or
sanctioned, but on the contrary is against the commands
of both, 'namely the keeping holy of Saturday, which Jews
and heathen used to keep, but not Christians.' It is strictly
forbidden -- it is stated-in the Church-Law, for any one
to keep or to adopt holydays, outside of those which the
pope, archbishop, or bishops appoint." -- "
The History of the Norwegian Church under Catholicism,"
R. Keyser, Vol. II, p. 488. Oslo: 1858.
-- This is quoted from " Documents and Studies
Concerning the History of the Lutheran Catechism in the
Nordish Churches," p. 89. Christiania, 1893.
179 -- At another church conference, held at Oslo,
the next year, the same archbishop commanded:
is forbidden under the same penalty to keep Saturday holy
by refraining from labor." -- Id., p. 491.
another old publication from nearly the same period we
find this accusation against the priests:
the priests have caused the people to keep Saturdays as
Sundays." -- "Theological Periodicals
for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Norway,"
Vol. I, p. 184. Oslo: P. T. Mallings, 1871. TOP
continued to keep the Bible Sabbath in Norway, in spite
of persecution, for we read of new laws made against them
Christoffer Whitefeldt, [governor] over Bergenhus, Stavanger,
and Vaardoem, greet all you peasants kindly and with good
wishes, who live in the district of Bergen. Dear friends:
Mr. Gieble Pederson, superintendent of the district of
Bergen, related to me that some of you have kept Saturday
holy, especially at Arendal in Sogen, contrary to the
ordinance given you last year by Peter Ottesen, my brother,
and Niels Bernsen, who had charge of the palace by my
authority, in my absence, in which you have done very
wrong, and would receive great damage if I would punish
you. But, however, because of the solicitation of Mr.
Gieble, the superintendent, I will still forbear with
you. But now it has been determined at the public Parliament
for these two districts, Bergen and Stavanger, that whoever
is found keeping Saturday holy shall be fined ten mark
in money. So now ye know what ye have to go by.
the next place you are rebellious and disobedient in the
Holydays you keep, and are not willing to be satisfied
with those which the priest announces which are contained
in the ordinance. We now command you in the name of His
Majesty, the King, that you solemnly obey the ordinance
of His Grace. And whoever disobeys, he shall by my sheriff
be punished for his rebellion as a rebellious and disobedient
citizen, and be fined ten mark." -- " History
of King Christian the Third," Niels Krag and
180 -- S. Stephanius, Vol. II, "Statutes
and Ordinances," 379. Copenhagen: 1778.
IN SWEDEN AND FINLAND --
Sabbath-keepers were also scattered over Sweden and
land. Bishop L. A. Anjou says that there was a peaceful
but continued movement on foot in these two countries
for the keeping of the severith-day Sabbath, "one
that required the sanctification of Saturday as Sabbath
day. The first known origin of this goes back to the middle
of the preceding century, when King Gustav I, in the year
1554, wrote a letter of warning to Finland against those
who alleged that they through visions and dreams had come
to the conviction that famine, etc., were God's punishments
because people did not keep Saturday holy. In the beginning
of the Seventeenth century the same faith was found in
Sweden, and even there it was founded on alleged revelations.
It was zealously opposed in 1602 by Charles IX."
-- "Swedish Church History from the Meeting
at Upsala, Year 1593," p. 353. Stockholm: 1866.
from any movements opposed to the church, we must consider
those who kept Saturday holy, and on this day abstained
from labor, but otherwise did not separate themselves
from the church. We do not find that those who held this
view . . . observed any other Jewish habits or customs.
. . . Had this movement been connected with anything that
could be considered apostasy from Christianity, then without
doubt the accusations against it would have been stronger
and the laws more stringent. TOP
of older influences, the inculcation of Sabbath-keeping
could easily bring up the question of keeping Saturday
holy, by questioning whether the Sabbath law had any validity
if it was not applied to the Sabbath day previously appointed
in the Old Testament. . . . The customary reading of the
Bible, and the appeal to the law of God . . . could attract
the attention to the commandment which required Saturday
to be kept holy." -- Id., p. 355.
181 --" This keeping of Saturday holy
did not stand alone, at least in most cases, but was part
of the Pietism [pious worship] of that age, and was connected
with sermons on repentance and warnings against prevailing
sins and vices." -- Id., p. 355.
Norlin, another important Swedish Church historian, says
of these Sabbath-keepers: " We can trace these opinions
over almost the whole extent of Sweden of that day --
from Finland and northern Sweden, Dalarne, Westmanland,
Nerike, down to West-Gotland and Smaland.
In the district of Upsala the farmers kept Saturday in
the place of Sunday. . . . At several places they presssed
their requests so vehemently upon the priests, that they
yielded to their wishes to the extent of beginning to
hold services on Saturday. At the time of Gustaf Adolphus
we see this peculiar faith arising at different places
in the country.
the year 1625 . . .in West-Gotland, Smaland, and Nerike,
revelations and visions of angels were related in which
the necessity of keeping Saturday holy was strictly commanded,
and in which warnings were given against the sins that
were secretly preacticed. This religious tendancy became
so pronounced in these countries, that not only large
numbers of the common people began to keep Saturday as
the rest day, but even many priests did the same, which
gave ocassion for no small schism." -- "History
of the Swedish Chruch," Vol. I, part 2, chap.
3, p. 256.
the enemy of souls could not endure this revival of primitive
Christianity, and Sabbath-keeping in Sweden and Finland
was finally suppressed. But when the work of the Holy
Spirit was suppressed in these Scandinavian churches,
the same dire fruit of spiritual declension was seen,
as formerly in the apostolic church. Whenever the warning
voices are hushed up, spiritual darkness sets in. Dr.
Scharling, Lutheran Professor of Theology, says:
Luther's great work of Reformation was still far from
having been accomplished, it was followed by a continual
182 -- sion, a deeper sinking of the religious consciousness,
until it at last reached its zero point in Ritualism .
. . . Little by little the Evangelical church becomes
chilled . . . . and it takes on an unpleasant similarity
to the Romish church." -- " Menneskehad
og Kristendom," Vol. 2, p. 248. TOP
church in a lukewarm condition does not usually concern
itself with spiritual reforms. But in the early part of
the nineteenth century, when the great spiritual revival
passed over almost every country, and affected nearly
all denominations, Sabbath reform came to the front again,
and deeply impressed the honest in heart. We find leading
men in different denominations reaching out to find Bible
proof for the change of the Sabbath, and when this could
not be found, they either accepted the Bible Sabbath,
or gave up their former faith in the immutability of the
LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA -- Pastor
A. C. Preus, in an article in Kirkelig Maanedstidende
[Monthly Church Tidings], of August, 1855,
endeavored to quiet an agitation on the Sabbdth question
that had arisen in Wisconsin, by claiming that the Sabbath
commandment simply required the keeping of one day in
seven. He wrote:
is a moral law, founded on a moral necessity, that a rest
day must be appointed; . . . but it is ceremony, resting
on outward occasion of circumstances, whether one day
or another is established.
know that ' the law is a lamp and the commandment a light,'
and woe be to us if we would 'abolish' even one of the
least commandments and ' teach men so.' But the law, the
unchangeable moral law, which proceeds from the nature'of
God, says nothing about which day. The third [fourth]
commandment simply reads thus: 'Remember that thou keep
holy the rest day,' it does not say the seventh day!"*
-- Kirkelig Maanedstidende, August, 1855, pp. 94-97.
-- The Catholic Church dropped the second commandment
out of their catechism, and the Lutherans followed the
same numbering, making the Sabbath command the third.
In the Lutheran catechism it reads as Pastor Preus here
quotes it, and not as given in Exodus 20:1-17.
183 -- A few Lutheran ministers saw in this article
a direct blow against the sanctity of Sunday, others took
exception to the claim that the Sabbath commandment is
binding on us. The struggle that ensued is spoken of in
their book on "The Jubilee of the Norwegian Synod,
1853-1903," in the following statement:
struggle which began against the sects outside of the
Lutheran Church thus soon became a controversy with those
who had false ideas within the Lutheran Church itself,
a controversy which was kept up till well towards the
eighties, when it gradually died away, because other points
of dispute arrested the attention." -- "
Festskrift," p. 239. Decorah, Iowa: 1993.
this long controversy much was written in their official
organ, Kirkelig Maanedstidende [Monthly
Church Tidings], in Emigranten, and in
their Synodical Reports, especially from 1863 to
1866, and discussions continued in their " Synods."
The one side held to the "Explanation of Luther's
Catechism " (Oslo, 1905), which says that the ceremonial
law was abolished at the cross, but that "the moral
law, which is contained in the Ten Commandments. . . .
is still in force. . . . because, it is founded on God's
holy and righteous nature, and hence is iminutable as
God Himself." -- Pp. 5, 6. TOP
other party said:
the words in the 3rd [4th] commandment regarding the seventh
day on which God rested are binding on us, and then we
must and shall keep Saturday, or, if these words are not
in force for us, then we have nothing to do with any definite
day, or any day whatever. . . . We notice that the 3rd
[4th] commandment does not speak of one day in seven',
or a seventh day, but only and solely of the seventh day,
that is Saturday. As long as they will acknowledge this,
which every honest Christian with common sound judgment
certainly must, and they also acknowledge that the New
Testament nowhere institutes or commands any other day,
or says that one day in seven shall be taken in its place,
then it also must be acknowledged that there is no word
in Scripture to sustain the assertion that one day in
seven is a moral command." -- "Record of
the First Extraordinary
184 -- Synod of the Norwegian-Evangelical-Lutheran
Church in America," held at Holden, Minnesota,
reported in Kirkelig Mannedstidende [Monthly
Church Tidings], Aug. 1, 1862, p. 232.
say, that the commandment regarding outward rest (Exodus
20: 10, 11) [refers to one day in seven] is only arbitrary
misrepresentation and falsification of God's word, for
it does not say 'every seventh,' but ' the seventh day,
on which God rested,' and that, every one knows, was Saturday.
If therefore this commandment concerning outward rest
for man and beast is in force as a moral command for us
Christians, then we must rest on Saturday, as that is
the only day on which such rest was commanded. "
-- Id., April 1, 1862, p. 99.
called attention to the fact that the fourth commandment
enjoins observance of the definite seventh day (Saturday)
they then referred to Romans 14 and Colossians 2 as proof
that the Sabbath was abolished. But those who held that
the moral law is still in force, answered:
regard to the places, Romans 14 and Colossians 2, these
refer . . . to the appointed days of the Old Testament,
which the contents in the whole chapter show. . . . By
'Sabbaths' is not to be understood the weekly Sabbath,
which, before Moses, yea already at Creation, was instituted
[Genesis 2], but [they refer] to other feasts, which have
been types of Christ, and ceased at Christ's coming."
-- Id., September, 1863, pp. 271, 272.
other side answered:
no doubt, had sacred memories, but so had the day of Christ's
death and the day of His ascension, without Friday and
Thursday thereby becoming appointed days for weekly meetings,
and even if Sunday had the most glorious memories, there
would not be in that the least obligation to keep it.
. . . After all, examples prove nothing, they only illustrate
what has already been proved. And here it actually is
incumbent on those who would make Sunday-keeping a divine
ordinance to show us a defiinite command of God for it.
" -- Id., September, 1863, pp. 261, 262.
former, in their review, quoted Matthew 5: 17-19 and James
2:10, 11, and declared:
185 -- " If it is so dangerous to offend on one
commandment, what must it be then to wholly throw away
one commandment? . . . God has distinctly commanded that
every tittle in His law is to be kept. And how it will
fare with those who take away from, or add anything to,
God's word we can read in Revelation. [The writer then
referred to the fate of the priests of Baal in 1 Kings
18.]" -- Id., April, 1866, p. 103.
recognize that this was an argument in which two groups
of Sunday-keepers were engaged, and in which each in his
own way was trying to present reasons for the observance
of the first day of the week. But in fact, the truths
brought to light by this close study of the question prove
that the fourth commandment enjoins the careful observance,
not of one day in seven, but of the seventh day of the
week in particular, that the Sabbath was instituted at
creation, that while the ceremonial feasts, which were
types of Christ, ceased at the cross, the seventh-day
Sabbath did not pass away at that time, that there is
no definite command in Scripture for Sunday observance,
and that those who attempt to remove a jot or a tittle
from the holy law of God by substituting the first day
of the week for the seventh day fall under the curse of
Revelation 22: 19.
NORWAY -- The controversy in America had its
counterpart in Norway and Denmark. At the " Ecclesiastical
Association in Christiania [Oslo] " February 8-10,
1854, and at the "Theological Association of the
Deans of Drammen," held August 15, 1854, the Sabbath
question was the great subject for discussion. At first
some seemed to think only of the proper observance of
Sunday, but the question soon arose, how the sacredness
of the Sabbath could be transferred from the seventh to
the first day of the week. Pastor Kaurin thought it could,
but Pastor W. A. Wexels declared that this could not be
done, for " God Himself cannot transfer the reason
for sanctifying the seventh day (God's rest at creation)
to another day. Besides this we have no certainty of any
transference of the day." -- " Theologisk
Tidsskrift for den
186 -- Norske Kirke," Vol. VI, pp. 629,630.
Oslo: P. T. Mallings, 1855. Some of the speakers felt
that the only way to get around this troublesome question
was to teach that the Sabbath commandment was abolished,
but "Dean Lange found it incomprehensible that any
one who knew the sermon on the mount [Matthew 5] could
urge the abolition of the Sabbath commandment." --
Id., p. 533. And Wexels pointed out that the Sabbath
commandment forms such an integral part of the moral law
that what was said against one command affected the whole
law. But he felt that as Christ had "finished"
His work on the cross Friday evening, and rested on the
Sabbath, "the Christians have [thus an appeal] on
Saturday to live in . . . the memory of the Lord's
own rest after His work on earth was finished, and
of the Sabbath rest. . . . lf these sacred Sabbath-memories,
considered as the common property of the church, should
seek an expression in a united outward service on Saturday,
it would be entirely becoming. " -- Id.,
pp. 608, 609. TOP
these long debates one cannot but see a carefully worded
attempt to return to the only Bible Sabbath, but who had
the courage of a staunch reformer, daring to stand out
alone on Bible truths?
Fr. Schiorn, of Oslo, says: " lt has been claimed,
that the relation of Jesus to the Sabbath commandment
was one of protest against the continued validity of this
command in the New Testament. On the whole it may be safely
considered that the effort to remove the Decalogue as
the unchangeable rule of divine authority can be traced
principally to the fact that they want to blot out the
Sabbath commandment. They can, of course, see, that it
is impossible to take this one commandment out of the
series of commandments as long as they acknowledge the
other nine binding and obligatory. The Ten Commandments
form such a definite circumscribed unity that they must
stand or fall together. So they would sooner let all fall
than to let the third [fourth] commandment remain standing."
-- "Relation of the New Testament to the Old
Testament Legislation," p. 11. 0slo: 1894.
187 -- "It is clear also that this commandment
belongs to the divine law for the church. It has always
been a mystery to me, why many have such a living interest
in getting this commandment blotted from the Decalogue.
That the enemies of Christianity want the Sabbath day,
or its divine validity, removed, that I can naturally
understand. But why living Christians, zealous workers
in the church, want it removed, that I cannot understand."
-- Id., p. 12.
Has Jesus anywhere expressed Himself against the Sabbath
commandment or the continuance of its validity? Has He
ever violated it, or advised His disciples to violate
it? Never! He has combated the misuse of the Sabbath commandment
by the Pharisees in the same way that He combated their
misuse of prayer, fasting, tithing, almsgiving, etc.,
that is, all selfrighteous piety by works, all spiritless
use of the Sabbath, but never the Sabbath commandment
itself. . . . He says (Mark 2: 27): ' The Sabbath was
made for man.' . . . God gave man -- not only the Jews
-- the Sabbath . . . and He has protected this His gift
by a definite command, which has its continued validity
for the new covenant people as well as for the people
of the old covenant, because their need and circumstances
are essentially the same.
it is said that the third [fourth] commandment does not
obligate the church, because Jesus has not imposed on
us any Sabbath commandment, then this is to me very strange
and incomprehensible talk. The commandment was already
given in the law, which Jesus would not abolish, but fulfill.
It was therefore a piece of superfluity for Jesus to give
a Sabbath command. He, as Lord of the Sabbath, has caused
His church to retain it, for which His church owes Him
the very greatest thanks." -- Id., pp.
the other hand Pastor L. Dahle declared: "The third
[fourth] commandment is abolished for us Christians, and
has no more as a command any binding claim.
It is a false imagination, if any one thinks he obeys
the third [fourth] commandment in the law of Moses by
188 -- holy the first day (Sunday) instead of the
seventh; for the commandment does not at all speak of
one day in seven, but of the seventh day of the week.
If therefore the commandment continued to be in force,
then without doubt, were the Jews and the Adventists right,
when they say that if we will obey God's command, we must
keep Saturday holy. There cannot be the least doubt about
this. Every attempt to explain away this fact will and
must fail. TOP
is therefore only an imagination that we keep holy our
Sunday according to the requirements of the third [fourth]
it is an established fact, that if the third [fourth]
commandment is still in force, then we must acknowledge
the Adventists to be right, and begin to keep Saturday
holy. If we are unwilling to do this, we must prove from
the word of God that the Sabbath commandment is abolished
in the New Testament and is no more binding on us Christians."
-- " TheAdventists, Sabbath, and Sunday,"
pp. 23, 24. Stavanger: 1903.
K. A. Dachsel says, significantly: "For this reason
many godly Christians have solemnly upbraided the Christian
church for keeping Sunday instead of Saturday: it [the
church] can have no right to change God's commandment,
and if in the catechism the whole commandment had been
embodied verbatim from Exodus 20: 8-11, as has been done
in the Heidelberg Catechism, then we should still keep
Saturday holy, and not Sunday." -- " Edifying
Instruction in the Catechism," p. 24. Bergen:
we see how the truth was forced upon the minds of leading
churchmen by this prolonged discussion, and all were given
the opportunity to make their choice. But, as is always
the case, no one wishes to step out alone, they wait for
all to step out in a body, a thing which has never occurred
during the whole history of the world. God's work is an
individual matter, not a mass movement.
the discussion carried on in Denmark, Bishop Skat Rordam
and Dr. Fr. Nielson took the same stand as Pastor L.
189 -- Dahle in Norway, and "The Norwegian Synod"
in America, that the Sabbath commandment was abolished,
but that the church keeps Sunday as a proper church regulation.
(See Bishop Rordam's remarks on p. 108.)
the other side stood Dean C. 0. C. E. Krogh; Pastors John
Clausen, Wilh. Beck, I. Vahl, P. Krag, A. G. Fich, and
I. S. D. Branth, who declared that we have not nine, but
ten commandments. "And the Ten Commandments are God's
commandments for all men in all ages. It is that law which
Christ would not destroy, but fulfill, and the Sabbath
commandment is a part of it," declared Dean I. Vahl.
Pastor P. Krag said: "When Paul in the letter to
the Colossians speaks about the law being abolished by
Christ, he refers to the middle wall that separated Jews
and Gentiles, the law of Moses. The Ten Commandments,
in which Moses had no part, were given by God's own voice,
and this God wrote with His own hand as an evidence that
they should be in force for all times." -- "
Report of the Second Church Meeting in Copenhagen,"
Sept. 13-15, 1887, P. Taaning, pp. 68, 69. Copenhagen:
reports of these discussions are very interesting and
illuminating, but our limited space does not permit us
to quote further. This, however, is sufficient to show
how God led one by one of the leading denominations to
investigate the Sabbath truth, and offered them the grand
privilege of carrying the Reformation to completion. If
they had accepted the Sabbath truth, He would have led
them on step by step till they had reached the divine
standard of the apostolic faith. Many of the truths of
God's word, which the Roman church, during the Dark Ages,
had buried beneath the rubbish of human tradition, still
lay untouched, as costly jewels beneath the sand of centuries.
These must be dug up, so that the " remnant "
church could stand forth in its apostolic purity, possessing
the complete "faith which was once delivered to the
saints"; for those who shall meet the Lord in peace,
when He comes in glory, must "keep the commandments
of God, and the faith of Jesus." Jude 3; Revelation
12: 17; 14: 12. TOP
190 -- WHILE the advent message
was just beginning in America, there was a most remarkable
movement going on in the heart of China. A heathen Chinese,
without any acquaintance with Christianity, had, in 1837,
a series ot remarkable visions, in which he was shown
the principal points in the Christian religion. In his
visions Hung-sui-tshuen was first taken to a river, where
the celestial visitors said to him: "Why hast thou
kept company with yonder people and defiled thyself?"
He was then washed clean, his heart was taken out, and
a new heart was given him. (How could a heathen be given
a better idea of conversion and baptism?) He was then
brought in before "a man, venerable in years,"
"sitting in an imposing attitude upon the highest
place," whom he called "Our Heavenly Father."
He also "met with a man of middle age," whom
he called "our Celestial Elder Brother."
Sui-tshuen's whole person became gradually changed, both
in character and appearance. He was careful in his conduct,
friendly and open in his demeanor."
Sui-tshuen, in his visions, was brought in before Our
Heavenly Father " he was shown the sinfulness of
idolatry. God "began to shed tears, and said, 'All
human beings in the whole world are produced and sustained
by Me; they eat My food and wear My clothing,"' but
they have no "'heart to remember and venerate Me"';
"'they take of My gifts and therewith worship demons."'
"And thereupon he led Sui-tshuen out, told him to
look down from above, and said, 'Behold the people upon
the earth! Hundredfold is the perverseness of their souls.'
Sui-tshuen looked, and saw such a degree of depravity
and vice that his eyes could not endure the sight, nor
his mouth express their deeds." He was then told
to go and rescue his brethern and sisters from the deamons,
and was given "a seal, by
191 -- which he would overcome the evil spirits,"
and our "Elder Brother " " instructed him
how to act, " and " accompanied him upon his
wanderings." When "he woke from his trance"
he started on his God-given work.
this Hung had received from a stranger on the street nine
small books, which he had not read. Now he started to
read them, and was joined by his cousin Le. The books
contained some chapters from the Bible which presented
the same picture of God and Christianity that he had seen
in his visions. "Sui-tshuen felt as if awakening
from a long dream. He rejoiced in reality to have found
a way to heaven, and a sure hope of everlasting life."
He and Le then baptized each other. They prayed to God,
and decided to obey His commands, and then felt their
hearts overflowing with joy. "They thereupon cast
away their idols and removed the table of Confucius."
Through their earnestness and joy in the new-found salvation,
many were soon won, and in answer to prayer the power
of God was manifested among them in healing the sick.
They had also the "gift of prophecy" among them.
this time, Hung prohibited the use of opium, and even
tobacco, and all intoxicating drinks, and the Sabbath
was religiously observed." -- " The Ti-Ping
Revolution," by Lin-Le, an officer among them,
Vol. I, pp. 36-48, 84. London: 1866.
seventh day is most religiously and strictly observed.
The Taiping Sabbath is kept upon our Saturday." The
Sabbath is ushered in with prayer, and "two other
services are held.
service opens with the Doxology: "We praise thee,
0 God, our Heavenly Father;We praise thee, Jesus, the
Saviour of the world; We praise the Holy Spirit."
-- Id., p. 319.
the Manchu government made war on the followers of Hung,
they organized their own government, and millions of Chinese
gladly flocked to their standard, because of the kindness
and strict justice of their government. During the wars,
their soldiers were not allowed to drink the water nor
eat the food of
192 -- the conquered without paying for them, and
no crime was committed by them, under death penalty. The
Taipings printed the Bible and spread it among their people,
and the Ten Commandments were strictly followed.
1862 there were 85,000 converted Sabbath-keeping Christians
among them, besides more than 45,000,000 others who gladly
yielded themselves under their government, but were not
accepted as church members. Their territory covered 90,000
square miles in the heart of China, and liquor, tobacco,
opium, and idols were totally banished from its whole
extent. Had the Christian nations kept out of the struggle,
China today might have been a Sabbath-keeping Christian
country. But two influences conspired against the Taipings,
or God-worshipers, as they were called: 1. English opium-traders
became alarmed about the probable destruction of opium
and the loss of the millions they earned annually in the
opium trade in China. 2. The Taipings did not understand
the difference between the images of saints, used by the
French Jesuits in their worship and the idols used by
the heathen Manchus, so the Taipings opposed them indiscriminately,
which aroused the ire of the Jesuits, and finally Christian
countries assisted in completely destroying the Taipings.
Lin-Le, heart-sickened at the thought of this "cruel
sacrifice of the greatest Christian movement this world
has ever witnessed," exclaims: "What excuse
can missionaries give for their surprising negligence
of . . . the 70,000,000, and upwards, of those who might
have become Christians under the Taiping authority during
1861-1862."-- Id., pp. 310, 312.
terrible massacre of the Taipings was so heart-rending
that we must not describe it here, but will refer the
reader to the description of it given by H. L. Hastings,
in his book: "Signs of the Times," pages
149-151. We can see in this another evidence of the vigilant
spirit that eagerly watches and determinedly opposes every
effort to wrest souls out of his grasp, or to bring the
true knowledge of God to mankind. (Revelation 12: 17.)
193 -- The Bible speaks
of two mysteries: "the mystery of godliness,"
and "the mystery of iniquity." 1 Timothy 3:16;
2 Thessalonians 2:7. Seeing that these two mysteries are
fundamental principles of two opposing powers, each claiming
the sole sovereignty over the souls of men, and requiring
man's unconditional surrender and obedience, the study
of these two mysteries becomes both important and interesting.
MYSTERY OF GODLINESS -- Ever since the fall,
man's nature has been inclined toward evil; and while
he still has the power of choice, he cannot in his own
strength break with sin, change his nature, or live a
godly life. The Bible declares: "Can the Ethiopian
change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye
also do good, that are accustomed to do evil." Jeremiah
13: 23. Yea, "he shall be holden with the cords of
his sins." Proverbs 5: 22. The Apostle Paul realized
this when in his struggle against the evil of his nature
he cried out: " The good that I would I do not: but
the evil which I would not, that I do. . . . 0 wretched
man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this
death? " Romans 7: 19, 24.
is only one who can deliver man from sin, and He is abundantly
able and always willing to do it. "Thou shalt call
His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their
sins," and His gospel is "the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth." Matthew 1:
21; Romans 1: 16. Here is abundant power available to
all who will believe and accept it, so that there is no
excuse for continuing in known sin. And sin brings us
no happiness, for it always carries with it a trail of
woe. God's Father-heart of infinite love has been wrung
with anguish for the sufferings of man, and He has settled
it that sin with its
194 -- terrible consequences shall never be permitted
to enter His eternal kingdom; therefore our only hope
of entering heaven is to part company with evil.
as man cannot in his own strength rid himself of sin,
his only hope is to let Christ take charge of his life.
When Christ dwells in our hearts by His Holy Spirit, He
changes our aspirations, our likes, and our dislikes.
Sinful habits, which we in vain have tried to break, fall
off as the leaves of autumn, and we receive the power
of His love to conquer sin and live a happy Christian
life. (John 15: 5; Romans 8: 10-13.) And while Christ
would gladly do this work for, everyone, for He wants
"all men to be saved," yet He will not use force
to accomplish it, but is patiently standing at the door
of every heart asking permission to come in and supply
the needed power to conquer sin. (1 Timothy 2: 3, 4; Revelation
3: 20.) Sad to say, most people refuse Him admittance.
" But as many as received Him, to them gave He power
to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on
His name." John 1: 12. TOP
then, is the secret of victory in Christian life: "the
mystery of godliness," "which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory." 1 Timothy 3: 16; Colossians 1:
27. Then we are not left alone in our struggles, for He
works in us "mightily" (v. 29), but He always
wants our co-operation: "Work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in
you both to will and to do of His good pleasure."
Philippians 2: 12, 13. By this co-operation of the human
and the divine such marvelous changes are wrought in human
lives and such Christlike character is developed that
angels marvel at it, and even worldlings are forced to
recognize in the change from sin to godliness a mysterious
power with which they are unacquainted.
life of Jesus on earth was a living demonstration of this
mystery. He combined in His own person both the human
and the divine natures. " And without controversy
great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in
the flesh." 1 Timothy 3: 16.
195 -- THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY --
It is evident that the "mystery of iniquity"
is a counterfeit of the "mystery of godliness,"
or in other words, some human substitution for the divine
plan of salvation, in which man would take the place of
Christ, and human efforts would be substituted for the
divine presence in the soul. And this is exactly what
the Apostle Paul declared it to be, when he foretold that
there would "come a falling away" of the apostolic
church, and that in this fallen church there would arise
"that man of sin, who opposeth and exalteth himself
above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so
that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself
that he is God. . . . For the mystery of iniquity doth
already work." 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-7. Speaking to
the church he further says: " Ye are the temple of
God." 1 Corinthians 3: 16, 17. This prophecy plainly
shows that after the "falling away" of the early
church some "man" would attempt to take Christ's
place in the church, which is God's temple, or dwelling
fulfillment of this prophecy is so clearly seen in the
history of the Papacy that God's people have always recognized
it whenever they have been spiritually awake. Every wellread
person knows that the early Christian church fell away
from its apostolic purity and corrupted its doctrines
by adopting heathen customs, baptizing them with Christian
names, so that the church entirely changed its face within
four hundred years after the apostles' death. The "
mysteries of Mithras " were substituted for the "mystery
of godliness"; "the sacrifice of the mass"
took the place of the sacrifice made on the cross; righteousness
gained by self-torture and human efforts took the place
of Christ's righteousness received by simple faith in
Jesus as a personal Saviour; receiving a sacramental Christ
by eating the wafer took the place of an indwelling Christ
received by faith in God's promises; a multitude of human
mediators were substituted for Christ, the "one mediator
between God and man." 1 Timothy 2: 5. We shall enter
more fully, into the details of this in the following
NOTE: Further Reading on this subject: "The Two
Babylons ", A. Hislop. TOP
196 -- DEFINING
THE NAME, ANTICHRIST -- The
name "antichrist" is found in only three chapters,
of the Bible, and in every instance it was emphatically
stated that he was already in the world. We read: "
Ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are
there many antichrists. . . . Who is a liar but he that
denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that
denieth the Father and the Son." 1 John 2: 18, 22.
"This is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have
heard that it should come; and even now already is it
in the world." 1 John 4: 3. "For many deceivers
are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus
Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an
antichrist." 2 John 7. How can anyone, in the light
of these plain texts, say that the antichrist here spoken
of is not yet come, when the very texts declare that he
is here already?
texts also reveal the fact that the apostle did not believe
antichrist to be only one individual, but rather an antichristian
tendency in the church: an organization dominated by "the
spirit of antichrist, " having a man at its head,
so that when he died another would take his place, and
the antichristian system would continue. Thus there would
be "many antichrists," as the apostle says,
but only one system; and this system had already
made such progress before the apostle died, that it was
about to capture the church. It's leader would not accept
the Apostle John, one leader "forbiddeth them that
would, and casteth them out of the church. " 3 John
9, 10. This accounts for the warnings in John's epistles
against these"many antichrists." 1 John 2: 18.
Apostle Paul, during his last journey among the churches,
gathered " the elders, " or bishops, and warned
them against the coming apostasy of the church, which
was to be brought about
197 -- by its leaders. He says: " For I know
this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter
in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own
selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things,
to draw away disciples after them." Acts 20:
29, 30. Later the apostle reminded the believers, that
the day of Christ's return was not then at hand: "For
that day shall not come, except there come a falling
away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son
of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above
all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that
he as God sitteth in the temple of God [the church, 1
Corinthians 3: 10, 16], showing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told
you these things? . . . For the mystery of iniquity doth
already work." 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-7.
These prophecies point out clearly that the "elders"
(later called bishops) would "draw away" the
people from the truth of the Bible, to follow men, and
that this "falling away," which had "already"
begun in Paul's day, would develop, until a "man"
would exalt himself to take the place of Christ in the
church. Every thoughtful student of prophecy can see that
this points unmistakably to the Papacy, and it accords
exactly with the significance of the name antichrist."
James Strong says that "antichrist" comes from
two Greek words, antee and khristos, and
gives the following definition of antee: "Opposite,
i.e. instead or because of, . . . for, in the room of.
Often used in composition to denote . . . substitution.
" -- Exhaustive Concordance, Greek Dictionary,
entries Nos. 500, 473. Thomas Sheldon Green says:
"Anti, prep, over against; hence, in correspondence
to; in place of . . ." -- Greek-English Lexicon,
p. 14. Boston: 1896. The meaning, therefore, of "antichrist,"
as it is used in the New Testament, is a rival
to Christ, or one who attempts to take the place of Christ
as His "vicar." This significance of the prefix
"anti" is also seen in the word " anti-pope.
" (For further information on this point see "The
Papacy Is Antichrist," by J. A. Wylie, pp. 2-18.
Edinburgh: George M'Gibbon.) We shall now see that this
198 -- the position which Catholics claim for the
pope, that he holds the place of Christ on earth. Rev.
T. L. Kinkead says: " Our Holy Father the Pope, the
Bishop of Rome, is the vicar of Christ on earth and the
visible head of the Church." TOP
Vicar' -- that is, one who holds another's place and acts
in his name." -- " Explanation of the
Baltimore Catechism," p. 130. Benziger Brothers.
(Sanctioned by Cardinal Gibbons, five archbishops, nineteen
bishops, and other dignitaries.)
William Humphrey, S. J., says: " A vicar is put in
the place of him whom he represents. He is invested with
his power, he is furnished with his authority. . . . He
personates his principal. . . . The master, by his appointment
of a vicar, binds himself to ratify his vicar's acts,
and to recognize them as his own." -- " The
Vicar of Christ," p. 4. New York: Benziger Brothers,
Morell, D. D., and Prof. John Carey, LL.D., says: "
Vicarius, a, um. adj. That is in stead, or place of another;
that supplies another's room; a deputy. . . . One who
performs the office, or duty, of another; a deputy, a
substitute." -- An Abridgement of Ainsworth's
Latin Dictionary, Designed for the Use of Schools,
p. 604. London: 1826.
the force of this similarity between the antichrist of
prophecy and the pope of Rome dawned upon the mind of
Cardinal Newman, he declared: "The gibe,'If the Pope
is not Antichrist, he has had bad luck to be so like him,'
is really another argument in favour of the claims of
the Pope; since Antichrist simulates Christ, and the Pope
is an image of Christ, Antichrist must have some similarity
to the Pope, if the latter be the true Vicar of Christ."
-- Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 561, art.
it is claimed that the pope is the vicar of Christ on
earth. But Christ left an altogether different Vicar,
or Representative, in His place; namely, the Holy Spirit.
(John 14: 15-18; 16:7.) Of this Representative Christ
says: "He shall teach you all things." "He
will guide you into all truth." John 14 - 26; 16:
13. (Compare 1 John 2: 20, 27.) The Holy Spirit,
199 -- being the author of the Bible (2 Peter 1: 21),
certainly should be the proper interpreter of it. To this
the Roman church answers: "Nor can it be said that
being a divinely inspired book, its prime Author, the
Holy Spirit, will guide the reader to the right meaning.
Church which made the Bible, likewise interprets the Bible."
-- " Things Catholics Are Asked About,"
Martin J. Scott, S. J., Litt. D., pp. 119, 120. N. Y.:
Kenedy, 1927. TOP
Leo XIII says: "But the supreme teacher in the Church
is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires,
together with a perfect accord in the one faith, complete
submission and obedience of will to the Church and to
the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself." -- "
The Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII,"
p. 193. New York: Benziger Bros., 1903. He further
says: "We hold upon this earth the. place of God
Almighty. -- Id., p. 304. TOP
have now seen from authentic Catholic sources, that the
pope arrogates to himself the "place of God Almighty,"
the office of Christ on earth, and the prerogative of
the Holy Spirit, as sole teacher of the faithful, and
the interpreter of the Holy Scriptures. What more is needed
to fulfill the prediction of 2 Thessalonians 2: 3, 4,
and the prophecies of the Antichrist?
AGREED ON ANTICHRIST -- Up to the close of
the Reformation God's people were generally agreed that
the Papacy was the Antichrist foretold in prophecy. The
Waldenses taught it. (See page 122.) About 1384 A. D.
John Wycliffe wrote a book against the papal system entitled:
"Of Antecrist and His Meynee." In fact,
the English Reformers, -- Tyndale, Cranmer, Latimer, and
Ridley, -- all agreed in pointing to the Papacy as the
Antichrist. John Huss of Bohemia, in his "De Anatomia
Antichristi," did the same. Turning to Germany
we find Dr. Martin Luther strong in his convictions on
this subject. He says: " The Pope is . . . the true
Antichrist, of whom it is written,
200 -- that he sitteth in the temple of God, among
the people where Christ is worshiped. . . .
Papists want to divert this passage from themselves, and
they say that Christ and Paul speak about the temple at
Jerusalem, and that Antichrist shall sit there and rule;
that will not, do. . . . It cannot be understood otherwise
than of the new spiritual temple, which he says we are.
shall the Pope sit and be honored, not above God, but
above all that is called God. . . . So also we see it
before our eyes, that many princes and the world regard
his law higher and more than the commandments of God.
. . . Cannot this rightly be termed exalting and honoring
Antichrist above God? " -- " Luther's
Church Postil, " " Gospels," 25th Sunday
after Trinity, par. 24, 25, Part 2, pp. 734, 735. Stavanger,
further declares: "Therefore, let whosoever will
doubt, God's word and the proper divine worship convinces
me sufficiently that the Pope is the Antichrist, and the
ecclesiastical orders are his disciples, which deceive
the whole world. " -- Id., Part 1, p. 379.
hope that the last day is at the door. Things could not
become worse than the Roman see makes it. It suppresses
the commandmenfs of God, it exalts its own commandments
above God's. If this is not Antichrist, then some one
else must tell what it is." -- " Luther's
Reformatory Works," p. 280. Copenhagen: 1883.
Pope is the real Antichrist. " -- Id.,
p. 278. TOP
Charles H. H. Wright, in speaking of the Bible prophecy
of "antichrist," says: "In all ages of
the Church, from the days of Gregory the Great down to
the present, men have pointed to the Papacy as the fulfillment
of the prophecy. That interpretation is set forth in the
Homilies of the Church of England and by all the Reformed
Churches. The interpretation, however, has been ignored
or rejected by critics, for reasons which need not be
specified. It can, however, stand all the tests of criticism."
201 -- "Daniel and His Prophecies,"
p. 168. London: 1906. (See also Catholic Encyclopedia,
Vol. I, p. 561, art. "Antichrist.")
UNDERMINE THE TRUTH -- The Rev. Joseph Tanner,
B. A., says: "So great hold did the conviction that
the Papacy was the Antichrist gain upon the minds of men,
that Rome at last saw she must bestir herself, and try,
by putting forth other systems of interpretation, to counteract
the identification of the Papacy with the Antichrist.
towards the close of the century of the Reformation, two
of her most learned doctors set themselves to the task,
each endeavouring by different means to accomplish the
same end; namely, that of diverting men's minds from perceiving
the fulfilment of the prophecies of the Antichrist in
the papal system. The Jesuit Alcasar devoted himself to
bring into prominence the Preterist method of interpretation.
. . . that the prophecies of Antichrist were fulfilled
before the Popes ever ruled at Rome, and therefore could
not apply to the Papacy. On the other hand the Jesuit
Ribera tried to set aside the application of these prophecies
to the papal power by bringing out the Futurist system,
which asserts that these prophecies refer properly not
to the career of the Papacy, but to that of some future
supernatural individual, who is yet to appear, and to
continue in power for three and a half years. Thus, as
Alford says, the Jesuit Ribera, about A. D. 1580, may
be regarded as the Founder of the Futurist system in modern
It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and
advocate the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants
as they are for the most part, are thus really playing
into the hands of Rome, and helping to screen the Papacy
from detection as the Antichrist. It has been well said
that 'Futurism tends to obliterate the brand put by the
Holy Spirit upon popery.' More especially is this to be
deplored at a time when the papal Antichrist seems to
make an expiring effort to regain his former hold on men's
minds. Now once again, as at the Reformation, it
202 -- is especially necessary that his true character
should be recognized, by all who would be faithful to
' the testimony of Jesus."' -- "Daniel
and the Revelation," pp. 16, 17. London: Hodder
and Stoughton, 1898. TOP
undermine the work of the Reformers, these Jesuits, Alcasar
and Ribera, gathered a mass of material from the writings
of the Church Fathers concerning Antichrist. This gave
their, works the appearance of scientific research, which
appealed to many Protestant leaders. (An example of this
can be seen in Encyclopaedia Biblica, art. "Antichrist.")
But statements from the Church Fathers which speak of
the coming of Antichrist as an event then in the
future, could be no proof for Ribera's "futurist"
theory, for the reign of the papal Antichrist was then
still in the future. The 1260 years of papal persecution,
called the Dark Ages, had not yet begun when these Fathers
wrote. The theories of Ribera and Alcasar were diametrically
opposed to each other, and yet both were taught as Catholic
truths, taken from the Church Fathers. From this we see
how untrustworthy are these sources. Dr. Adam Clarke is
evidently right when he says of the Fathers: "We
may safely state, that there is not a truth in
the most orthodox creed, that cannot be proven by their
authority; nor a heresy that has disgraced the
Romish Church that may not challenge them as its abetters.
In points of doctrine, their authority is, with
me, nothing. The Word of God alone contains my creed.
" -- Commentary on Proverbs 8.
PROPHECY OF ANTICHRIST IS PLAIN -- The prophecies
of the Bible regarding Antichrist are so plain that even
Roman Catholics cannot evade them all. The seventh chapter
of Daniel foretells the rise of four world empires, which
the Douay Bible explains to be "the Chaldean, Persian,
Grecian, and Roman empires." The Roman Empire was
broken up into ten smaller kingdoms between the years
351 and 476 A. D. And among them there should grow up
another power, symbolized by a "little horn."
Of this the Douay Bible says: "Another
203 -- little horn. This is commonly understood
of Antichrist." Daniel 7: 7, 8. The Papacy is the
only power that came up just at that time, and which fits
all the specifications of the symbol.
have seen on page 195 how clearly the Papacy is pointed
out in 2 Thessalonians 2: 3-7. This prophecy states that
the apostolic church would be gradually "falling
away" until a "man" would exalt himself
to take the place of God in the church. This "mystery
of iniquity" was already at work in Paul's day, but
something was holding it back. (Vs. 6, 7.) As long as
the Roman Empire was heathen, and persecuted the Christians,
there was no incentive to join the church for worldly
gain; but during the time of Constantine the church became
popular, and the worldly ambitious struggled for the highest
ecclesiastical offices, because of the great honor and
emolument connected with them; and when finally the Roman
State was abolished, the bishop of Rome seated himself
upon the throne of the Caesars. It was therefore heathen
Rome that had to "be taken out of the way,"
before the papal Antichrist could come into power. Speaking
of this point the Catholic Encyclopedia says: "The
impediment is the Roman Empire; the main event impeded
is the 'man of sin."' -- Vol. I, p. 560, art.
Douay Bible says: "The Roman Empire, . . . was first
to be destroyed, before the coming of Antichrist. "
-- Note on 2 Thessalonians 2: 3.
POINTS MADE CLEAR -- There were two arguments
used against the position taken by the Reformers which
have puzzled many:
It was claimed that the Apostle John used two distinctions:
" an Antichrist " to designate the false
teachers of his day, and "the Antichrist,"
referring to some superhuman monster of Jewish extraction
that would appear just before Christ's second coming.
But on this point Dr. C. H. H. Wright truthfully remarks:
" St. John, the only New Testament writer who employs
the term, makes no distinction whatever between 'an Anti-
204 -- christ' and 'the Antichrist.' That distinction
was in the main an invention of the learned Jesuit interpreters."
-- " Daniel and His Prophecies," p. 165.
The second objection was that while "the Antichrist"
would deny the incarnation, for he would deny that "Christ
is come in the flesh " (2 John 7), the pope does
not deny this, therefore he cannot be the Antichrist.
This argument has seemed so logical and conclusive that
Protestants, to a large extent, have given up the Protestant
doctrine that the Papacy is antichrist, and have ceased
to protest. This argument, however, is based on
a misunderstanding, caused by overlooking one word in
the text. Antichrist was not to deny that Christ had come
in flesh, but was to deny that He had "come in the
flesh," in "the same" kind of flesh,
as the human race He came to save. (See 1 John 4: 3; 2
John 7, and Hebrews 2: 14, 17.) On this vital difference
hinges the real "truth of the gospel." Did Christ
come all the way down to make contact with the
fallen race, or only part way, so that we must have saints,
popes, and priests intercede for us with a Christ who
is removed too far from fallen humanity and its needs
to make direct contact with the individual sinner?
Right here lies the great divide that parts Protestantism
from Roman Catholicism. In order to understand this point
clearly, let us briefly consider the gospel of Christ.
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST VERSUS THE GOSPEL OF ROME -- Through
sin man has separated himself from God, and his fallen
nature is opposed to the divine will; therefore he cannot
by his own effort live a godly life, nor can he change
his own heart. (Isaiah 59: 1; Romans 8: 7; Jeremiah 13:
23; John 15: 5.) Only through Christ, our Mediator, can
man be rescued from sin, and again be brought into connection
with the source of purity and power.
in order to become such a connecting link Christ had to
partake both of the divinity of God and of the humanity
of man, so that He with His divine arm could encircle
God, and with His
205 -- human arm embrace man, thus connecting both
in His own person. In this union of the human with the
divine lies the "mystery " of the gospel, the
secret of power to lift man from his degradation. "
Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest
in the flesh." 1 Timothy 3: 16. The "mystery,"
or secret of power to live a godly life in human
flesh, was manifest in the life of Jesus Christ while
on earth. (And "Christ in you" is the secret
of power to conquer sin. Colossians 1: 27.) TOP
mark! It was fallen man that was to be rescued from sin.
And to make contact with him Christ had to condescend
to take our nature upon Himself (not some higher
kind of flesh). " Forasmuch then as the children
are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise
took part of the same. . . . Wherefore in all
things it behooved Him to be made like unto His brethren."
Hebrews 2: 14, 17. This text is so worded that it cannot
be misunderstood. Christ "took part of the same"
flesh and blood as ours; He came in " the
" flesh. To deny this is the mark of Anti-Christ.
(I John 4: 3; 2 John 7.) To bridge the gulf that sin has
made, Christ must be one with the Father in divinity,
and one with man in humanity, and thus connect again earth
revealed this truth to the Patriarch Jacob that lonely
night at Bethel. When he feared that his sins had cut
him off from heaven, God showed him that mystic Ladder,
connecting earth with heaven, which Christ explained to
be "the Son of man." (Genesis 28:12; John 1:
51.) Modernism has tried to cut off the upper part of
this ladder by denying Christ's divinity; while the Roman
Catholic Church cuts off the lower rounds by teaching
that the Virgin Mary was born without sin, and that therefore
Christ did not take upon Himself our kind of flesh and
blood, but holy flesh, so far above us that He does not
make contact with our humanity. For this reason the poor
sinner cannot come to Him directly, they say, but must
come through Mary, saints, popes, and priests, who will
mediate for him. This has opened the floodgate for all
the idolatry of the Catholic
206 -- Church. Here is this "dogma" presented
in authentic Catholic works: "'We define that the
Blessed Virgin Mary in th first moment of her conception
was preserved free from every taint of original sin.'
the rest of the children of Adam, the soul of Mary was
never subject to sin." -- "Faith of Our
Fathers," Cardinal Gibbons, pp. 203, 204. Baltimore:
Sainted Doctor Alphonsus de Liguori says: "The merits
of Jesus, shall be dispensed through the hands and by
the intercession of Mary." -- " Glories
of Mary," p. 180, New Revised Edition. New York:
P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1888.
has chosen to bestow no grace upon us but by the hands
of Mary." -- Id., p. 180.
asks and wishes to obtain graces without the intercession
of Mary, attempts to fly without wings. " -- Id.,
is all the hope of our salvation. "-- Id.,
art the only advocate of sinners."-Id., p. 129.
those who are saved, are saved solely by means of this
divine mother; . . . the salvation of all depends upon
preaching Mary."-Id., pp. 19, 20.
ask many things of God and do not obtain them; we ask
them from Mary and obtain them."-Id., p. 150. Much
more could be cited.
Protestant may ask if the merits of Christ's sacrifice
on the cross are not sufficient, so that we can receive
grace directly from Him. To this the Catholic Church answers:
merits and virtue of the sacrifice of the cross are infinite;
but that virtue and these merits must be applied, and
this can only be done by certain means."-" Doctrinal
Catechism," S. Keenan, p. 129. New York: Kenedy and
priest has the power of the keys, or the power of delivering
sinners from hell, of making them worthy of paradise,
and of changing them from the slaves of Satan into the
children of God. And God himself is obliged to abide by
the judgment of His priests. 'The Sovereign Master of
the universe only
207 -- follows the servant by confirming in heaven
all that the latter decides upon earth."' -- "
Dignity and Duties of the Priest," St. Alphonsus
de Liguori, pp. 27, 28. New York: Benziger Brothers,
now have before us the only means of salvation in the
Roman Catholic gospel, as presented by men of unquestionable
authority among them. This throws light on the reason
why the Catholic priest has such a hold on his people.
They dare not oppose him, because he represents their
only means of contact with heaven. Cut off from the church,
they feel they are lost; for they do not know of a Christ
who has come all the way down to the lost sinner's side,
to whom they can come personally and receive forgiveness
through grace alone. The divine ladder has been cut off,
and Mary, saints, and priests have been substituted. But
the Bible knows of only "one Mediator," Jesus
Christ. (1 Timothy 2: 5; Psalm 49: 7, 8.) TOP
we have not yet gone to the depth of this substitute "mystery."
Let us now take the next step. Having removed the living
Christ from contact with the sinner, they had to substitute
something else to satisfy the longing of the human heart
for the indwelling presence of Christ. And that substitute
is the "Sacrifice of the Mass." The Roman church
teaches that the priest in the mass changes the little
wafer into the real Christ, which they then fall down
and worship, after which they eat Him, believing that
they become partakers of Christ and receive the forgiveness
of sin. Thus they have substituted a man-made Christ for
a living Christ. Liguori says: " If the person of
the Redeemer had not yet been in the world, the priest,
by pronouncing the words of consecration, would produce
this great person of a Man-God. '0 wonderful dignity of
the priests,' cries out St. Augustine; 'in their hands,
as in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, the Son of God becomes
incarnate.' Hence priests are called the parents of Jesus
Christ. . . .
Thus the priest may, in a certain manner, be called the
creator of his Creator. 'He that created me without me
is Himself created by me!" -- " Dignity
and Duties of the Priest," pp. 32,33.
208 -- "In obedience to the words of his priests
-- Hoc est Corpus Meum -- God himself descends
on the altar, . . . he comes wherever they call him, and
as often as they call him, and places himself in their
hands. . . . They may, if they wish, shut him up in the
tabernacle; . . . they may, if they choose, eat his flesh,
and give him for the food of others." -- Id.,
pp. ;16, 27.
priest and people worship the Christ thus created: "Elevating
a particle of the Blessed Sacrament, and turning towards
the people, he [the priest] says: 'Behold the Lamb of
God, behold Him who taketh away the sins of the world.'
then says three times: Lord, I am not worthy that Thou
shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and
my soul shall be healed. . . .
pure and holy Sacrament. Who livest and reignest forever
and ever. Amen." -- "The Key of Heaven,"
Right Rev. J. Milner, D. D., approved by Cardinal Gibbons,
pp. 126, 127. Baltimore: J. Murphy and Co., 1898.
the following quotation the Catholic Church explains why
she believes this worship of the wafer (host) is not,
idolatry: "Now turn for a moment to the Catholic
altar. The holy Sacrifice of the Mass is being offered
up. The bell has given the signal that the most solemn
and awful moment of consecration is at hand. As yet there
is only bread in the hand of the priest, and wine in the
chalice before him. To worship these lifeless elements
would be the grossest idolatry. But suddenly, amid the
silence of the breathless multitude, the priest utters
the divine life-giving words of consecration; and that
which was bread and wine, is bread and wine no longer,
but the true Body and Blood of our Lord Himself. It is
that same Body that was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
that died for us upon the cross, that was raised again
to life, and that even now sits at the right hand of God
the Father. . . .
in this mystery the power of the creation appears as much
as in the mystery of the incarnation." -- "
The Holy Mass: The Sacrifice for the Living and the
Dead," M. Muller, pp. 174, 175. New York - 1876.
209 -- Pastor Charles Chiniquy, a former Catholic
priest, says: "No words can give any idea of the
pleasure I used to feel when alone, prostrated before
the Christ I had made at the morning mass, I poured out
my heart at His feet. . . . I may say with truth, that
the happiest hours I ever had, during the long years of
darkness into which the Church of Rome had plunged me,
were the hours I passed in adoring the Christ whom I had
made with my own lips. . . .
"In fact, the Roman Catholics have no other Saviour
to whom they can betake themselves than the one made by
the consecration of the wafer. He is the only Saviour
who is not angry with them, and who does not require the
mediation of virgins and saints to appease His wrath."
-- " Fifty Years in the Church of Rome,"
chapter 17, pars. 29, 31.
the thirty-sixth chapter of his book Pastor Chiniquy tells
how he was led to question seriously this worship of Rome's
wafer-god, the "host." "In the spring of
1840 . . . Father Daule [an old, blind priest, was residing
with him at Beauport, Quebec.] One morning when the old
priest was at the altar, saying his mass, [and had just
changed the wafer into the real Christ, and was reaching
for it, it was gone. He called to Chiniquy] with a shriek
of distress: ' The Good God has disappeared from the altar.
He is lost!' [Chiniquy, remembering how often rats had
tried to get the wafer while he himself had officiated
there, knew what had happened, and in his consternation
replied:] 'Some rats have dragged and eaten the Good God!'
The sorrow of the old priest knew no bounds, but Chiniquy
declared:] 'If I were God Almighty, and a miserable rat
would come to eat me, I would surely strike him dead."
-- Id., chapter 36, pars. 7, 13, 24.
Catholics deny that the Papacy is Antichrist, for, say
they, Antichrist is to come in the last.days. To this
we answer: It is true that both Paul and John speak of
the activity of Antichrist at the time of Christ's second
coming, -but they also speak of its already having begun
in their day. (1 John
210 -- 2: 18; 2 Thessalonians 2: 7.) There is a beautiful
harmony in this when we look at it in the light of Revelation
13: 3, 5, 10 and 17: 8, where it is stated that this power
will continue forty-two prophetic months, or twelve hundred
sixty literal years, after which it is "wounded to
death" and lies dormant for a time, till its deadly
wound is healed, and all the world will again follow it
in wonder and admiration, and finally it will be destroyed
at Christ's second coming. So the Antichrist of the last
days is simply the Papacy restored to power. See "
Romanism and the Reformation," by H. Grattan
Guinness, F. R. G. S., and "The Papacy,"
by Dr. J. A. Wylie.
Romanists themselves shame you in their clearsighted comprehension
of the issues of this question. Cardinal Manning says,
' The, Catholic Church is either the masterpiece of
Satan or the kingdom of the Son of God.' Cardinal
Newman says, 'A sacerdotal order is historically
the essence of the Church of Rome; if not divinely
appointed, it is doctrinally the essence of antichrist.'
In both these statements the issue is clear, and it is
the same. Rome herself admits, openly admits, that if
she is, not the very kingdom of Christ, she is that of
antichrist. Rome declares she is one or the
other. She herself propounds and urges this solemn
alternative. You shrink from it, do you? I accept it.
Conscience constrains me. History compels me. The past,
the awful past, rises before me. I see THE GREAT APOSTASY,
I see the desolation of Christendom, I see the smoking
ruins, I see the reign of monsters; I see those vice-gods,
that Gregory VII, that Innocent III, that Boniface VIII,
that Alexander VI, that Gregory XIII, that Pius IX; I
see their long succession, I hear their insufferable blasphemies,
I see their abominable lives; I see them worshiped by
blinded generations, bestowing hollow benedictions, bartering
lying indulgences, creating a paganized Christianity;
I see their liveried slaves, their shaven priests, their
celibate confessors; I see the infamous confessional,
the ruined women, the murdered innocents; I hear the lying
absolutions, the dying groans; I hear the cries of the
victims; I hear the anathemas, the curses, the thunders
of the interdicts; I see the
211 -- racks, the dungeons, the stakes; I see that
inhuman Inquisition, those fires of Smithfield, those
butcheries of St. Bartholomew, that Spanish Armada, those
unspeakable dragonnades, that endless train of wars, that
dreadful multitude of massacres. I see it all, and
in the name of the ruin it has wrought in the Church and
in the world, in the name of the truth it has denied,
the temple it has defiled, the God it has blasphemed,
the souls it has destroyed; in the name of the millions
it has deluded, the millions it has slaughtered, the millions
it has damned; with holy confessors, with noble reformers,
with innumerable martyrs, with the saints of ages, I
denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and
soul and essence of antichrist." -- "
Romanism and the Reformation," H. Grattan
Guinness, pp. 158,159. London: 1891. TOP
TIME OF THE END
212 - The book of prophecy was to be closed up and
sealed till "the time of the end." "But
thou, 0 Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book,
even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro,
and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4. The
question was then asked: "How long shall it be?"
And the answer was given: "It shall be for a time,
times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished
to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things
shall be finished." V. 6, 7.
have seen (pp. 52-60) that the "time, times, and
an half," during which the papacy should scatter
God's true followers, began in 538 A. D., and ended in
1798 A. D. And as "the time of the end" begins
when this period "shall be finished." it is
plain that " the time of the end " began in
1798 A. D. And at that time "many shall run
to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel
12: 4. And it is remarkable how knowledge has been increased
since 1798, not only in the prophecies, but also in general,
as we shall presently see. But we must answer one question
first. Some ask why God wanted to give important prophecies,
and then keep them sealed up for so many centuries. There
is a reason.
prophecies give solemn warnings against the papal power.
If these prophecies had been fully understood during the
Dark Ages, when the Roman Catholic Church burned all books
she thought were damaging to her, those prophecies would
have suffered the same fate. Therefore God spoke in symbolic
language, and placed the keys to those symbols where they
would not be found till the Papacy lost its power, when
God would impress the minds of His people where to find
the keys. No one who locks his house will leave the key
in the door, but he puts it where only members of his
family know where to find it. Just
213 -- so the Lord did with His prophecies. (The keys
to prophetic symbols are given on page 34.)
these prophecies were to be opened at "the time of
the end," their message would have to go quickly
to earth's remotest bounds. (Revelation 14: 6, 7; Romans
9: 28.) And as this could never have been accomplished
without the modern printing press, and the more speedy
means of travel and communication, the Lord set in motion
those spurs in the human breast that led to new discoveries.
During the 1260 years of papal supremacy, people did not
dare to think freely, or independently of the lines of
education established by the Church. (See p. 127.) Galileo's
trial by the Inquisition in 1623 will serve as an example
of how advancement in science and invention was opposed
by the church of Rome. But when in 1798 the Papacy lost
its power, its downfall broke the shackles, and unloosed
the world's genius, so that invention followed invention
in quick succession. TOP
1. --- Gas for lighting purposes - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - -- - 1798
2. --- Cast-iron plows - - - - - - - - - - - --
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -- - - - - - - - - - 1800 3. --- Steel pens
for writing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - -
4. --- First locomotive - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1804
5. --- First steamboat - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - -- 1808
6. --- Steam printing press - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - 1811
7. --- Passenger cars for trains - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - -- - 1825 8. --- Kerosene for
lighting purposes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - 1825
9. --- Matches - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -- 1829
10. - Mowing machine, reaper - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -- 1833
11. - First electric motor - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 1834
12. - Telegraph - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -- - - - - - - - - - - 1837 First message: "What
hath God wrought!" - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- 1844 13.
-- Photography - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - -- 1839
14. -- Submarine telegraph cable - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -- 1851
15. -- Typewriter - - - - - -- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -1868
16. -- Telephone - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - -- 1876
17. -- Phonograph - - - - - - - - - - -- - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - -1877
214 -- TOP
-- Electric railway - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - 1879
19. -- Linotype - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - -- 1885
20. -- Automobile - - - - - -- - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 1893
21. -- Wireless telegraphy - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - 1895 22. -- Aeroplane, first
successful flight - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- 1903
23. -- Radio broadcasting - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - -- - - - - - - 1921
24. -- Television - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - 1926
25. -- Pushbutton elevator - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - 1934
26. -- Airplane bombsight - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - 1940
had decreed that in the day of God's preparation for finishing
His work on earth, "knowledge shall be increased";
and when His hour struck for the giving of His last warning
message, nothing could stop it. We read: " The chariots
shall be with flaming torches in the day of His
preparation. . . . The chariots shall rage
in the streets, they shall justle one against another
in the broad ways: they shall seem like torches,
they shall run like the lightnings." Nahum 2: 3,
could any one give a better description of modern railroads
and automobiles? Even the coming of the Zeppelin and the
airplane is foretold in the Bible: " Who are these
that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?"
Isaiah 60: 8. The simile is striking, for doves and airplanes
both need landing places. This prophecy speaks of a time
when "darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness
the people," while God's glorious light is shining
upon His faithful servants. (Verses 1, 2.) This was never
more true than now. The book of prophecy, that had been
closed for centuries, is now opened to God's people. (Daniel
12: 4, 10; Revelation 5: 1-9; 10: 1, 2, 8-11; 22: 6, 7,
16.) Light is now shining from the throne of God upon
them, while evolution, infidelity, spiritism, and
Roman Catholic superstitions are enveloping the world
in the grossest of spiritual darkness, and crime is at
its high tide. Thinking people are everywhere scanning
the horizon to detect some prophetic message from heaven
that will cast light on the present chaos.
T. Ellis, in an article entitled, "Why Don't the
215 -- Churches Settle Things? " which appeared
in the Saturday Evening Post, of February
12, 1921, points out this fact in a striking manner. He
never before was a greater interest in religion in America
than today-or a smaller interest in the churches. This
is the paradox of our times. . . .
since the war began, the country has been listening for
a clear trumpet note from some prophet of the living God.
In vain." He then speaks of "the church's reproach
of having failed in her prophetic function." After
relating the concern of two business men on this point
he says: "That incident brings me squarely up against
one of the most uncomfortable, perplexing and tragic situations
in connection with this entire theme of the strange spiritual
stirrings of the race today. Many clergymen seem scarcely
aware of what is going forward beneath the surface of
life. Many experts upon religion, who are the ministers
of the gospel, have seemingly failed to hear ' the sound
of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees.' Otherwise
we should find them gathering with agony of soul in protracted
sessions of prayer. . . .
minds could easily persuade themselves that there is a
present visitation of blindness upon the teachers of religion."
L. Moody says: "If God did not mean to have us study
the prophecies, He would not have put them into the Bible.
. . . About one third of the Bible is prophetical. . .
return of the Lord to this earth is taught in the New
Testament as clearly as any other doctrine in it. . .
. Whoever neglects this has only a mutilated gospel. .
. . Yet I was in the church fifteen or sixteen years before
I ever heard a sermon on it. . . . I can see a reason
for this; the Devil does not want us to see this truth,
for nothing would wake up the church so much. The moment
a man realizes that Jesus Christ is coming back again
to receive His followers to Himself, this world loses
its hold upon him." -- " The Second Coming
of Christ," pp. 17, 18.
MESSAGE FOR OUR TIMES
216 -- God knows the future, and He has a set "time
there for every purpose and for every work." (Acts
15: 18; Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 17.) He has also pledged Himself
to "do nothing" that vitally concerns this world
"but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the
prophets" beforehand (John 15: 14, 15; Psalm 25:
14; Amos 3: 7), and then He holds His servants responsible
for warning the world (Ezekiel 33: 1-8). They are watchmen
on the walls of Zion, who should be able to read the signs
on God's prophetic clock, so they can tell the time and
give the warning at the hour of crisis (Isaiah 21: 11,
12; 2 Peter 1: 19; Romans 13: 11; Matthew 16: 2, 3); and
when God's hour strikes, He has His agencies in readiness
to carry His message to the world.
the world was destroyed by the Flood, Noah warned the
people for one hundred twenty years (Genesis 6: 3-13,
22; 2 Peter 2: 5); before the destruction of Sodom, Lot
gave the warning message to that wicked city (Genesis
19: 12-14); and before Christ's first coming, John the
Baptist heralded the coming of the Messiah (Luke 1: 13-17).
Then why should not so important an event as Christ's
second coming be given proper notice, and a warning message
be sent to prepare the world for its final destruction?
is true that the world in general has never received favorably
any of God's warning messages in former ages, and Christ
declares that His final warning will not be heeded any
more than His warnings sent through Noah and Lot. (Luke
17: 26-30.) Yet the message must be given though there
are but few who receive it. Here is Christ's message for
our days: "I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify
unto you these things in the churches." Revelation
22:16. "Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that
keepeth the sayings of the prophecy
217 -- of this book." V. 7. Here we see that
the message to be given just before Christ's second coming
is found in the "book" of Revelation. This is
specifically given in chapter 14, verses 6-14. Here is
presented "the everlasting gospel," connected
with the warning that "the hour of His judgment is
come," and an appeal for a return to the loyal worship
of the Creator, combined with a warning against the worship
of the "beast and his image," and against taking
"his mark." Those who receive this message are
characterized by the fact that they "keep the commandments
of God, and the faith of Jesus." Revelation 14: 6-13.
The very next scene is the Son of man coming on the cloud
to reap the harvest of the earth, and "the harvest
is the end of the world." Verses 14-16 and Matthew
13: 39. TOP
people who give this message to the world must therefore
know what is meant by "the beast," "his
image," and "his mark." This we find clearly
presented in Revelation 13. Let us study this chapter.
BEAST WITH TEN HORNS -- John "saw a beast
rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns,
and upon his horns ten crowns." Revelation 13: 1.
The fact that it had "ten horns," the same as
the fourth beast of Daniel 7: 7, 23, 24, identifies it
as a Roman power (see pages 34, 35). The next question
to settle will be whether this is Rome in its pagan
or its papal state. The ten horns represent the
ten European kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was
divided between A. D. 351 and 476. On this beast the horns
are crowned (Revelation 13: 1), showing that the empire
had been divided, and the rulers of those ten kingdoms
were already crowned. (Compare Revelation 12: 3.) But
the Roman Empire became Christianized (Catholic) long
before it was divided. The beast of Revelation 13: 1-10
therefore represents papal Rome.
dragon with ten horns (Revelation 12: 3), which represents
pagan Rome, gave to the beast "his power, and his
seat, and great authority." Revelation 13:
2. The "seat" of the
218 -- Roman Empire was the city of Rome. How was
this given to the Papacy? Francis P. C. Hays (Roman Catholic)
says: "When the Roman Empire became Christian, and
the peace of the Church was guaranteed, the Emperor left
Rome to the Pope, to be the seat of the authority of the
Vicar of Christ, who should reign there independent of
all human authority, to the consummation of ages, to the
end of time." -- " Papal Rights and Privileges,"
pp. 13, 14. London: R. Washbourne, 1889.
C. Flick, Ph. D., Litt. D., says: "The removal of
the capital of the empire from Rome to Constantinople
in 330, left the Western Church practically free from
imperial power, to develop its own form of organization.
The Bishop of Rome, in the seat of the Caesars, was now
the greatest man in the West, and was soon forced to become
the political as well as the spiritual head." --
" The Rise of the Mediaeval Church,"
meekly stepping to the throne of Caesar, the vicar of
Christ took up the scepter to which the emperors and kings
of Europe were to bow in reverence through so many ages."Rev.
James P. Conroy, in "American Catholic Quarterly
Review," April, 1911.
let us consider the other marks used by the Holy Spirit
to point out this power. It cannot be a local government,
confined to a certain country, for " all that dwell
upon the earth shall worship him." Revelation 13:
8. And it must be a religious, rather than a civil, power;
for it concerns itself with the "worship" of
the people. V. 4, 8. "There was given unto him a
mouth speaking great things," and he was "to
make war with the saints, and to overcome them "
(Revelation 13: 5, 7), just as the "little horn"
of Daniel 7: 8, 21, 25. (See pp. 34-48.) All this could
apply to no other power than the Papacy.
NUMBER 666 -- The Scripture gives us still
another earmark of this power. We read: "Here is
wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number
of the beast: for it is the number of a man;
219 -- and his number is Six hundred threescore and
six." "The number of his name." Revelation
13:17, 18. The note below the eighteenth verse in the
Douay, or Catholic, Bible says: "Six hundred sixty-six.
The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number."
AUTHORITIES -- In
our examination of this subject we shall first consult
Roman Catholic authorities to ascertain what sacred title
they apply to the pope to denote his official position
and authority. Any one at all familiar with authentic
Catholic authors knows that their paramount and constant
claim for the pope is that Christ appointed St. Peter
to be His vicar, or representative on earth, and that
each succeeding pope is the lawful successor of St. Peter,
and is therefore the "Vicar of the Son of God"
on earth. This official title in Latin (the official
language of the Catholic Church) is " Vicarius
Filii Dei." We find this title used officially
in Roman Catholic canon law, from medieval times down
to the present. In the earliest collection of canon law
Beatus Petrus in terris Vicarius Filii Dei videtur esse
constitutus." -- "Decretum Gratiani,"
prima pars, dist. xcvi. Translated into English this
would read: " Blessed Peter is seen to have been
constituted vicar of the Son of God on the earth. "
-- "Decretum of Gratian," part 1, div.
96, column 472, first published at Bologna about 1148,
and reprinted in 1555. Translation by Christopher B. Coleman,
Ph. D., in " The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on
the Donation of Constantine," p. 13. New Haven:
Yale University Press, 1922.
Catholic Encyclopedia says of Gratian: "He
is the true founder of the science of canon law."
-- Vol. VI, art. " Gratian," p. 730.
same Catholic authority says: "The 'Decretum' of
Gratian was considered in the middle of the twelfth century
as a corpus juris canonici, i.e. a code of the
ecclesiastical law then in force." -- Id.,
Vol. IV, art. "Decretals," p. 671.
220 -- It further states: "It must be admitted
that the work of Gratian was as near perfection as was
then possible. For that reason it was adopted at Bologna,
and soon elsewhere, as the textbook for the study of canon
law. . . . While lecturing on Gratian's work, the canonists
labored to complete and elaborate the master's teaching.
" -- Id., Vol. IX, art. "Law, Canon,"
pars. " D " and " E, " p. 62.
popes added their own decrees to the collection of Gratian,
as the following quotation will show: "Thus by degrees
the Corpus Juris Canonici took shape. This became
the official code of canon law for Western Europe during
the Middle Ages, and was composed of six books, namely,
the Decretum of Gratian (about 1150), the Decretals
of Gregory IX (1234), the Sextus of Boniface VIII
(1298), the Clementines of Clement V (1313), the
Extravagantes of John XXII (about 1316), and the
Extravagantes Communes, which contained laws made
by succeeding popes." -- " The Papacy,"
Rev. C. Lattey, S. J., page 143. Cambridge, England: 1924.
the Council of Trent, Pope Pius V had this "Canon
V appointed (1566) a commission, to prepare a new edition
of the 'Corpus Juris Canonici.' This commission devoted
itself especially to the correction of the text of the
'Decree' of Gratian and of its gloss. Gregory XIII ('Cum
pro munere,' 1 July, 1580; 'Emendationem,' 2 June, 1582)
decreed that no change was to be made in the revised text.
This edition of the 'Corpus' appeared at Rome in 1582,
in oedibus populi Romani, and serves as examplar
for all subsequent editions." -- Catholic Encyclopedia,
Vol. IV, art. "Corpus Juris Canonici," pp. 392,
393. It was reprinted verbatim in 1613 and 1622. TOP
is the standard text of canon law for the whole Roman
Catholic Church. Pope Gregory XIII wrote July 1, 1580,
in his preface to this corrected edition: "We have
demanded care in rejecting, correcting, and expurgating.
. . . The Decree itself, without the glossae, exists now
entirely freed from faults and corrected, as much the
221 -- one without the glossae as the entire one with
the glossae . . . all recognized and approved . . . this
body of canonical law firmly grounded and incorrupted
according to this model printed at Rome by Catholic typographers.
. . . We wishing to proceed opportunely, so that this
canonical law thus expurgated, may come restored to all
the faithful . . . kept perpetually integrid and
incorruptible, motu proprio, and from our certain knowledge,
and from the plenitude of the apostolic power to all and
singly in the dominion of our sacred Roman Church. "
-- Preface to Corpus Juris Canonici, Gregorii
XIII, Pontif. Max. Auctoritate; in editions of 1582, 1613,
1622, and 1879.
this corrected "Corpus," or canon law, "published
in 1582 . . . by order of Gregory XIII," and established
by his authority, we read: "The text of this edition,
revised by the Correctores Romani, a pontifical
commission established for the revision of the text of
the 'Corpus Juris,' has the force of law." --
Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, art. "Decretals,
Papal," p. 672, par. 3.
that this revised edition of canon law "has the force
of law." In this canon law, which Pope Gregory XIII
had corrected by "the plenitude of the apostolic
power," so that it is "entirely freed from
faults," we find the same statement: " Beatus
Petrus in terris vicarius Filii Dei esse videtur constitutus."
-- " Corpus Juris Canonici, Gregorii XIII,
Pontif. Max. Auctoritate," Distinctio 96, Column
286, Canon Constantinus 14, Magdeburg, 1747.
custom has even given to several apocryphal canons of
the 'Decree' of Gratian the force of law. " --
Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, art. "Corpus
Juris Cononici," p. 393.
"Corpus Juris Canonici Emendatum et Notis Illustratum
Gregorii XIII. Pont. Max.," "Lvgdvn, MDCXXII,"
or "the Canon Law of Pope Gregory XIII, of 1622,"
with the Pope's own " Preface," in which he
assures us of its being without flaw, we find the same:
" Beatus Petrus in terris Vicari its Filii Dei
esse videtur constitutus. " -- Column 295.
cannot see how any consistent Catholic can deny the
222 -- authenticity of this title without denying
the infallibility of the pope. What more authority can
they desire? TOP
going further let us apply the rule laid down in
the Catholic Bible for counting the number of his
name. It says: "The numeral letters of hisname
shall make up this number." -- Note under
Revelation 13:18. In Bible times they did not
use figures. We can still see on dials of old clocks,
in numbers given above chapters in the Bible, and
in dates inscribed on cornerstones, certain numerical
values given to some of theletters. In Latin, I
stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50, C for
100, D for 500, and M for 1,000. Originally we had
no U, but V was use for U, and Vis often used for
U today on public buildings, such as "Pvblic
Library,"and our W is still written as a double
V, not as a double U.
next Catholic authority we shall quote is F. Lucii Ferraris,
who wrote "a veritable encyclo-
pedia" in Latin, of which several editions have been
printed by the papal church at Rome. The American Catholic
Encyclopedia says of Ferraris's great work that it
" will ever remain a precious mine of information.
" -- Vol. VI, p. 48. From this unquestionable
Catholic authority we shall first quote its Latin statement,
and then give the English translation: " Ut sicut
Beatus Petrus in terris vicarius Filii Dei fuit constitutus,
ita et Pontifices eius successores in terris principatus
potestatem amplius, quam terrenoe imperialis nostroe serenitatis
mansuetudo habere videtur." ("As the blessed
Peter was constituted Vicar of the Son of God on earth
so it is seen that the Pontiffs, his successors, hold
from us and our empire the power of a supremacy on the
earth greater than the clemency of our earthly imperial
serenity." -- " Prompta Bibliotheca canonica
juridica moralis theologica" etc., Vol. VI, art.
"Papa," p. 43. Printed by the Press of the Propaganda,
Rome: 1890. TOP
223 -- Henry Edward Cardinal Manning of England, an
extensive Roman Catholic writer, of high esteem in his
church, applies the same title to the pope, only using
it in its English translation. He says of the popes: "The
temporal power in the hands of St. Gregory I was fatherly
and patriarchal rule over nations not as yet reduced to
civil order. In the hands of St. Leo III it became, a
power of creating empires. In the hands of St. Gregory
VII it was a scourge to chasten them. In the hands of
Alexander III it was a dynasty, ruling supremely, in the
name of God, over the powers of the world. . . . So that
I may say there never was a time when the temporal power
of the Vicar of the Son of God, though assailed as we
see it, was more firmly rooted throughout the whole unity
of the Catholic Church.
It was a dignified obedience to bow to the Vicar of the
Son of God, and to remit the arbitration of their griefs
to one whom all wills consented to obey." -- "
The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ,"
pp. 231, 232, second edition. London: Burns and Lambert,
same year, this book was translated and published in Italian,
with the sanction of the church attached to it. The title
"Vicar of the Son of God" appears on pages 234
and 235 of that edition.
Labbe, "a distinguished Jesuit writer on historical,
geographical, and philological questions" (Catholic
Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, pp. 718, 719), in his historical
work "Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam editionem
exacta," Vol. I, page 1534 (Paris: 1671), uses
"Vicarius Filii Dei" as the official title of
down to our own times, we shall call to the witness stand
a modern advocate of the Roman Catholic cause. Our
Sunday Visitor, of Huntington, Ind., in its issue
of April 18, 1915, gives clear testimony in this case.
We quote it in full: "What are the letters supposed
to be in the Pope's crown, and what do they signify, if
The letters inscribed in the Pope's mitre are these: Vicarius
224 -- Filii Dei, which is the Latin for Vicar
of the Son of God. Catholics hold that the Church which
is a visible society must have a visible head. Christ,
before His ascension into heaven, appointed St. Peter
to act as His representative. Upon the death of Peter
the man who succeeded to the office of Peter as Bishop
of Rome, was recognized as the head of the Church. Hence
to the Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church, was given
the title ' Vicar of Christ.'
of the Papacy denounce this title as a malicious assumption.
But the Bible informs us that Christ did not only give
His Church authority to teach, but also to rule. Laying
claim to the authority to rule in Christ's spiritual kingdom,
in Christ's stead, is not a whit more malicious than laying
claim to the authority to teach in Christ's name. And
this every Christian minister does." -- "Our
Sunday Visitor," April 18, 1915, thirteenth question
under "Bureau of Information, " p. 3. TOP
when Roman Catholic authorities discovered that Protestants
were making use of the foregoing statements to identify
the Papacy with the antichristian power of Revelation
13:18, they attempted to repudiate the contents of their
former article. But that article was not written by some
contributor to their paper; it appeared in the "
Bureau of Information," for which the editorial
staff was responsible. And on page two of that paper
appeared sanctions for the editor from Pope Pius
X, dated May 17, 1914; from the Apostolic Delegate, John
Bonzano, dated April 27, 1913; and from J. H. Alerding,
Bishop of Fort Wayne, Ind., dated March 29, 1912. If statements
made under such high authorities are not trustworthy,
we would respectfully ask if their present denials are
any more so?
one versed in Catholic teaching and practice, there is
nothing uncommon in such denials, where the interest of
the Church is at stake. Cardinal Baudrillart's quotation
on pages 64 and 245 of this book shows that some Catholic
authors "ask permission from the Church to ignore
or even deny " some historical facts, which they
" dare not " face; and we read in "History
of the Jesuits," by Andrew Steinmetz, Vol. 1,
225 -- that their accredited histories in common use,
'with permission of authority,' [are] veiling the subject
with painful dexterity." -- London: 1848.
shall here refer to one other similar denial. In the Roman
Catholic paper, Shepherd qf the Valley, there appeared
an article by the editor, in which he stated: "If
Catholics ever attain, which they surely will, though
at a distant day, the immense numerical majority in the
United States, religious liberty, as at present understood,
will be at an end." A Protestant lecturer, who made
use of this quotation, was bitterly arraigned in a double-column
front-page article in the Catholic Standard and
Times for his false statements regarding Catholics;
for, it pointed out, if he had finished the quotation
with the words which followed, "so say our enemies,"
it would have reversed its meaning. The incident would
have passed off at the expense of the Protestant lecturer,
had not the Western Watchman of July 24,
1913, continued the quotation still further, declaring:
"The whole quotation should read: 'If Catholics ever
attain, which they surely will, though at a distant day,
the immense numerical majority in the United States, religious
liberty, as at present understood, will be at an end.
So say our enemies; so say we." -- Quoted in "Protestant
Magazine," October, 1913, P. 474.
those who tried to deny their former statements should
leave out the words, " so say we," is
very evident. But what can we think of those who publicly
deny facts to screen their church from unfavorable
public opinions, unless they act from the motive that
"the end justifies the means," and that "
heretics " have no moral right to facts which they
would misuse. (See also pages 64 and 65 of this book.)
shall therefore continue to believe that the editors of
Our Sunday Visitor, in its issue of April
18, 1915, page three, were perfectly honest and well informed
on the subject, and that the later denials are of the
same class as those mentioned above.
226 -- Our Sunday Visitor in the aforementioned
quotation makes use of Vicarius Filii Dei and "Vicar
of Christ" as synonymous terms, and Cardinal Manning
does the same in his book, "Temporal Power of
the Pope." It cannot, therefore, be maintained,
as some do, that Vicarius Christi is the only mode
of spelling used as the title of the pope, although the
shorter rendering is used more often for brevity's sake.
In fact Vicarius Christi is composite in its origin,
Vicarius being Latin, while Christi is Latinized
from the Greek. It would hardly seem probable that learned
Romanists would adopt such a composite title to the exclusion
of the pure, dignified, Latin title, Vicarius Filii
Dei, which has been in use among them for centuries.
late, Catholic apologists have argued that the "name
of the beast" in Revelation 13: 17, is a personal
name of a single individual, such as Nero, and not the
official title of a series of men, as that of the popes
would be. But this would be entirely out of harmony with
the context, for how could one man make war with
God's people, and overcome them in every country, so that
he would have power "over all kindreds, and tongues,
and nations"? Revelation 13:7. Then, too, that power
was to continue forty and two months (v. 5), which those
apologists claim to be literal. But how could one man
accomplish such a world task in forty-two literal months?
forty-two months are twelve hundred and sixty prophetic
days (Revelation 11: 2, 3), and in prophecy a day stands
for a year (Ezekiel 4: 6). (Even Catholics acknowledge
that a day in prophecy stands for a year. See note under
Daniel 9: 24-27 in the Douay Bible. Father Reaves says:
"The prophet's weeks are, by all interpreters of
the Holy Scriptures, understood to include years for days."
-- "Bible History," p. 345.) The
forty-two months, or twelve hundred and §ixty days,
of Revelation 13: 5 are therefore twelve hundred and sixty
years, during which this power was to continue. But would
not that period be quite a long time for one man to live?
This attempt made by Roman apologists to screen the Papacy
from being detected as the antichristian power of Revelation
13 appears too shallow to
227 -- be seriously asserted by men who have made
a thorough study of Bible prophecy.
OF EYE-WITNESSES -- That the title, Vicarius
Filii Dei, has been employed elsewhere than in Roman
Catholic canon law is also asserted by Rev. B. Hoffman:
Whom It May Concern:
is to certify that I was born in Bavaria in 1828, was
educated in Munich, and was reared a Roman Catholic. In
1844 and 1845 I was a student for the priesthood in the
Jesuit College in Rome.
During the Easter service of 1845, Pope Gregory XVI wore
a triple crown upon which was the inscription, in jewels,
Vicarius Filii Dei. We were told that there were
one hundred diamonds in the word Dei; the other
words were of some other kind of precious stones of a
darker color. There was one word upon each crown, and
not all on the same line. I was present at the service,
and saw the crown distinctly, and noted it carefully.
1850 1 was converted to God and to Protestantism. Two
years later I entered the Evangelical Church ministry,
but later in life I united with the Presbyterian Church,
of which I am now a retired pastor, having been in the
ministry for fifty years.
have made the above statement at the request of Elder
D. E. Scoles, as he states that some deny that the pope
ever wore this tiara. But I know that he did, for I saw
it upon his head."
yours in Christian service,
City, Mo., Oct. 29, 1906."
and Herald," Dec. 20, 1906.
author of this book has photostats of the papal passport
held by Rev. B. Hoffman, and of a signed letter from him
stating the same facts as are given in the above statement.
His testimony is confirmed by that of M. De Latti and
228 -- Statement of M. De Latti to D. E.
Scoles. -- " M. De Latti . . . had previously
been a Catholic priest, and had spent four years in Rome.
He visited me when I was pastor in St. Paul, Minn. . .
. He stated that he had often seen it [the crown with
this inscription] in the museum of the Vatican, and gave
a detailed and accurate description of the whole crown.
. . .
Latti . . . said the first word of the sentence was on
the first crown of the triple arrangement, the second
word on the second part of the crown, while the word Dei
was on the lower division of the triple crown. He also
explained that the first two words were in dark-colored
jewels, while the Dei was composed of diamonds
entirely." -- D. E. Scoles, in "Review
and Herald," Dec. 20, 1906.
of Thomas Whitmore. -- " ' Some time ago, an
Engish officer happening to be at Rome, observed on the
front of the mitre which the pope wore at one of the solemnities,
this 'inscription: " Vicarius Filii Dei."
It instantly struck him -- perhaps this is "the number
of the beast." He set to work: and when he had selected
all the numerals, and added them up, he found, to his
great astonishment, that the whole amounted to precisely
six hundred and sixty-six. What stress is to be laid on
this I cannot say.
- - - - - - 5
- - - - -1
- - - - - 500
- - - - - - -1
- - - -50
- - - - - - -1
- - - - -100
- - - - -1
- - - - - - -1
- - - - -1
- - - - - - 5
- - - -112
- - -53
- - - -501
- - - - - - -112
- - - - - - - -53
- -- - -666
it will be seen, that by taking from the title ' Vicarivs
Filii Dei' [Vicar of the Son of God], the letters which
are commonly used as numerals, they make up the number
229 -- beast." -- " A Commentary on
the Revelation of St. John the Divine," p. 231.
of Dr. H. Grattan Guinness. -- " An English officer
of high rank, who in the year 1799, by a special favor,
was given the opportunity, while in Rome, to get a close
view of the Pope's jewels and precious things, discovered
thereby, that the papal tiara bore this inscription: '
Vicarivs Filii Dei.' TOP
you take out the Latin letters, which have numeral value,
and which still are used to represent numbers, and which
are: V, I, C, L, and D, these letters form the number
given below. In these Latin words there are. two V's,
which letter denotes 5, six I's denoting 1, one C, which
denotes 100, one L, which denotes 50, and one D, which
denotes 500, thus: V,V = 10; I, I, I, I, I, I =
6; C = 100; L = 50; and D = 500,
the sum 666." -- "Babylon and the
Beast," p. 141; quoted in " Kyrkans Strid
och Slutliga Seger," Professor S. F. Svensson,
pp. 126, 128. Stockholm: 1908.
PROTESTANT WITNESSES -- Robert Fleming,
V. D. M., wrote a book entitled "Apocalyptical
Key. An Extraordinary Discourse on the Rise and Fall of
the Papacy." It was published in London, 1701,
1703, and 1929. In the 1929 edition, p. 48, we read that
an "explication may be found in the title which the
Roman pontiff has assumed, and which is inscribed over
the door of the Vatican, 'Vicarius Filii Dei' (Vicar of
the Son of God). In Roman computation this contains the
number 666, as will be seen below.
- - - - - - 5
- - - - 0
- - - - 500
- - - - - - -1
- - - - -1
- - - - - - 0
- - - - -100
- - - -50
- - - - - - -1
- - - - - -0
- - - - -1
- - - - - - 0
- - - - -1
- - - - - - -1
- - - - - - 5
- - - - - - 0
230 -- TESTIMONY OF R. C.
SHIMEALL -- "It is to be observed as a
singular circumstance, that the title, vicarivs filii
dei (Vicar of the Son of God), which the Popes of
Rome have assumed to themselves, and caused to be inscribed
over the door of the Vatican, exactly makes the number
of 666, when deciphered according to the numeral signification
of its constituent letters, thus:
- - - - - Vicar - - - - - - - - - - - of the Son - - -
- - - -of God
V - - - - -5
I - - - - - -1
C - - --100
A - - - - -0
R - - - - - 0
I - - - - - -1
V - - - - - 5
S - - - - - 0
F - - - - - 0
I - - - - - -1
L - - - - 50
I - - - - - -1
I - - - - - -1
D - - - -500
E - - - - - 0
I - - - - - -1
- - 666"
Bible Chronology, Historic and Prophetic, Critically Examined
and Demonstrated," R. C. Shimeall, p. 180. New
York: A. S. Barnes and Co., 1867.
to the above is a footnote, giving the author's reply
to a correspondent:
to a Querist. . . .
231 -- "Sir, -- In answer to your observation
and queries, permit me to say -- the things I have asserted
are stubborn, clear facts, not mere suppositions or fancies.
inscription in question, was actually written over the
door of the Vatican at Rome, in express Latin words and
characters, as inserted'in this publication, viz., VICARIVS
FILII DEI; and those Latin words and characters contain
Latin numerals to the amount of 666, exactly corresponding
with the number of the beast.
respect to the supposition you have conjured up, that
the Pope might be called Vicarius Christus, or
Vicarius Christus Filii Dei (a sort of gibberish
that is neither Latin, German. nor English), it is a matter
I have nothing to do with. Mr. D. may adopt these or any
other fancies to amuse himself, and to screen the head
of his holiness, but when he has done all, this question
will still remain to be answered: Have those inscriptions
ever appeared over the door of the Vatican at Rome? TOP
to Mr. D's attempting to obscure the number of the beast
666, contained in the numerals of the words VICARIVS FILII
DEI, by objecting to a V; however the Pope or his emissaries,
may be obliged to him for his kind exertions on their
behalf, yet I presume neither of them will condescend
to appear his humble fool in Latin, for the sake of sheltering
themselves under his ignorance of the Latin alphabet and
the ancient inscriptions." -- Id., p. 180.
S. T. Bloomfield gives us the following rule for finding
the number: It means the number which is made up by reducing
the numeral power of each of the letters of which the
name is composed, and bringing it to a sum total."
-- " Greek Testament with English Notes,"
Note on Rev. 13: 17, Vol. II, p. 175.
Hanson Cox, D. D. -- "Can they [Protestants]
accord to the present dominant Gregory, the pompous titles
which he Claims -- VICARIUS FILII DEI, Vestra Sanctitas,
Servus Servorus Domini, with other profane and
blasphemous appellations with-
232 -- out end?" -- Introduction to Bower's
"History of the Popes," Vol. I, p. x.
fact that some may have seen a crown at the Vatican which
did not have the above inscription does not disprove the
statements of the men who saw the crown that has the inscription;
for according to a copyrighted news report from Milan,
Italy, dated December 11, 1922, and published in the Des
Moines (Iowa) Register, December 12, 1922,
the pope has five crowns, the last one made being decked
with two thousand precious stones. The important part
is not that the inscription Vicarius Filii Dei
is on the pope's tiara, but that it is the official title
of the popes, that it designates their official position,
and is given to them at their coronation, just as the
head of the United States government is called "President,"
without it therefore being necessary for him to wear that
title on his hat.
H. S. Weaver, of Baltimore,, Md., wrote to James Cardinal
Gibbons, of the same city, under date of January 18, 1904,
inquiring: - "Does the inscription, ' Vicarius Filii
Dei,' appear on the crown or mitre of the pope, or has
it at any time in the past appeared on the crowns or mitres
of any of the popes?"
" H. S. Weaver."
this letter the Cardinal answered through his secretary,
Md., Jan. 26, 1904. "Mr. H. S. Weaver.
reply to yours of 18th inst., I beg to say that I can
not say with certainty that the words, ' Vicarius Filii
Dei,' are on the pope's tiara. But the words are used
by the cardinal who imposes the tiara at the coronation
of a pope.
" Wm. T. Russell, Secretary."
New Catholic Dictionary says:
233 -- "Tiara, papal crown.... It is placed on
his head at his Coronation by the second cardinal-deacon,
with the words: 'Receive the tiara adorned with three
crowns and know that thou art Father of princes and kings,
Ruler of the world, Vicar of our Saviour Jesus Christ."'
-- The New Catholic Dictionary, art. "Tiara,"
have already seen that Catholics have several free translations
into English of the Latin title, "Vicarius Filii
Dei. Some try to find in the Greek word Lateinos,
or the Latin Empire of the Papacy, a fulfillment of Revelation
13: 18 (see "Bishop Newton on the Prophecies,"
pp. 548-550), but there is no need of going to the Greek.
For while it is true that the apostleg used mostly the
Aramaic and the Greek, Latin was the official language
of Rome, the world empire at that time. The Romans everywhere
used Latin, all their laws were written in that language,
and Latin has remained the official language of the Papacy
to this day. The apostle was prophesying of a strictly
Latin power, whose language was in use in his day, and
it is quite common for Bible writers to borrow foreign
words and phrases belonging to the subjects of which they
are speaking. (John 19: 20; Revelation 9: 11; 16: 16.)
too, the power represented by Revelation 13: 1-10, 17,
18, must not only have the name indicated, but must also
fulfill all the other specifications in this prophecy,
and the Papacy does this. M. James Durham, Professor of
Divinity in Glasgow (1658), says:
that hath all the characters of Antichrist's doctrine,
and hath a name which, in the numeral letters, makes up
666, he is Antichrist. But to the Pope both these do agree."
-- "A Commentary Upon the Book of Revelation,"
Rev. 13:18, p. 491. Glasgow: 1680.
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- Facts of Faith