By CHRISTIAN EDWARDSON
(Revised) Copyright, 1943
p 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
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.
This 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
p 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
Let the reader
remember that those "complaints
were made by the highest authority in the empire." -- Ibid.
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,"
H. 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.
While 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.
p 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.
"We 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.
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."
If 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
p 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.
INDULGENCES" AROUSED PROTEST
The 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.
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. . . .
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.
The debt in purgatory
may be settled in this life by pen-
p 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,"
Rev. J. Procter
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
p 164 -- which
the Church can draw for the benefit of her needy children. " --
"Indulgences" (Roman Catholic), p. 9. London: Catholic
Canon 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.
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.
He . . . entrusted to Blessed Peter, the key-bearer, and his successors."
-- Vol. VII, pp, 785, 784.
"By 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.
is valid both in the tribunal of the Church and in the tribunal of God."-Id.,
"When the church,
therefore, by an indulgence, remits this penalty, her action, according
to the declaration of Christ, is ratified in heaven." -- Id.,
"Here, 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.
We 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.:
commercialization of indulgences began with those issued in connection
with the Crusades," -- " Papal Revenues in
p 165 --
Ages," Vol. I, p. 115. Columbia University Press, 1934. TOP
(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., p. 114.
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.
This 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.
S. J., in his book: " The Roman Jubilee," bearing
the sanction of the Catholic Church, and of its " censor,"
the same year, since a solemn remission of all sins, to
p 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.
Of 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.
During 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
sure to return a lawless bandit." -- " The Inquisition
of the Middle Ages," Vol. I, pp. 42, 43. TOP
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":
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.
p 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
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."
"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.
Then follows the
"Tax List": "Tax
that every man shall put into the chest that will receive this great
grace of their jubilee.
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.*
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.
This 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.
p 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.
Hon. 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':
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.'
"In 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
p 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.
Some 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 sins?
William 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.
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 commission
p 170 -- all
sins whatsoever; and this unchristian doctrine* was justified
on the principle no less absurd than impious and immoral.
"With 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.
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,
doctrine of the " treasury " containing the surplus of good
p 171 -- and
of the Holy Ghost,' -- Seckend. Comment Lib. 1, p. 14."
- Id., p. 385.
The 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.)
Dr. 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
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., p. 462.
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
p 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.
Some 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.
When 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 fold.
We 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.
p 173 --
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.
The 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.
After 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.
It is a remarkable
and fascinating study to see how God
p 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
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 Brothers, 1883.
Leaders 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. TOP
BAPTIST -- The English divines who began the observance of
the seventh-day Sabbath in London during the seventeenth century,
p 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."
A 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
" 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.
" 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
p 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.
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:
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
of Faith," which the Danish Baptists received from Hamburg in 1852,
contained the following:
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.
In 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.
p 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:
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.
Thus 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
p 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:
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:
* -- This
is quoted from " Documents and Studies Concerning the History
of the Lutheran Catechism in the Nordish Churches," p. 89.
p 179 -- At
another church conference, held at Oslo, the next year, the same archbishop
"It is forbidden
under the same penalty to keep Saturday holy by refraining from labor."
-- Id., p. 491.
In another old
publication from nearly the same period we find this accusation against
"Also 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 in 1544:
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.
"In 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
p 180 --
Vol. II, "Statutes and Ordinances," 379. Copenhagen: 1778.
SWEDEN AND FINLAND -- Sabbath-keepers were also scattered
over Sweden and Fin-
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
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."
-- Ibid., p. 355.
p 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.
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
" 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.
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.
But 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:
great work of Reformation was still far from having been accomplished,
it was followed by a continual retrogres-
p 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
A 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 Ten Commandments.
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:
"It 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.
"We 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. Inmansville, Wis.
* -- 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.
p 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:
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.
During 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
The other party
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
p 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.
"To 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.
Having 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:
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.
The other side
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.
The former, in
their review, quoted Matthew 5: 17-19 and James 2:10, 11, and declared:
p 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.
We 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
p 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
During 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?
Dean 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.
p 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
"When 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. 14, 15.
On 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 keeping
p 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
"It is therefore
only an imagination that we keep holy our Sunday according to the requirements
of the third [fourth] commandment.
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.
Pastor 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: 1887.
Thus 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.
In the discussion
carried on in Denmark, Bishop Skat Rordam and Dr. Fr. Nielson took the
same stand as Pastor L.
p 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.)
On 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: 1887.
The 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
p 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
whole person became gradually changed, both in character and appearance.
He was careful in his conduct, friendly and open in his demeanor."
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
p 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.
Before 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. TOP
"At 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.
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.
Each 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.
When 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
p 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.
In 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.
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.)
p 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.
There 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
-- terrible consequences shall never be permitted to enter
His eternal kingdom; therefore our only hope of entering heaven is to
part company with evil.
But 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
Here, 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.
The 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.
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 place.
The 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
p 196 --
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?
These 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
The 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
p 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.
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."
Dr. 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 is exactly
p 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.)
Rev. 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
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.
When 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. "Antichrist."
Thus 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,
p 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.
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
Pope Leo XIII says:
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
He further says: "We
hold upon this earth the. place of God Almighty. -- Id.,
p. 304. TOP
We have now seen
from authentic Catholic sources, that the pope arrogates to himself
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,
p 200 --
that he sitteth
in the temple of God, among the people where Christ is worshiped. .
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.
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,
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.
"I 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.
"The Pope is
the real Antichrist. " -- Id., p. 278. TOP
Dr. Charles H.
H. Wright, in speaking of the Bible prophecy of "antichrist,"
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." --
p 201 --
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:
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 times.
" 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
p 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
To 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:
p 203 --
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.
We 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
"The impediment is the Roman Empire; the main event impeded is
the 'man of sin."' -- Vol. I, p. 560, art. "Antichrist."
The 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:
(1) 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-
p 204 --
christ' and 'the
Antichrist.' That distinction was in the main an invention of the learned
Jesuit interpreters." -- " Daniel and His Prophecies,"
p. 165. London: 1906.
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. TOP
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
But 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
p 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
But 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 with heaven.
God 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
p 206 --
Church. Here is this "dogma" presented in authentic Catholic
define that the Blessed Virgin Mary in th first moment of her conception
was preserved free from every taint of original sin.'
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: 1885. TOP
The 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.
"God has chosen
to bestow no grace upon us but by the hands of Mary." -- Id.,
and wishes to obtain graces without the intercession of Mary, attempts
to fly without wings. " -- Id., p. 189.
"Mary is all
the hope of our salvation. "-- Id., p. 195.
"Thou art the
only advocate of sinners."-Id., p. 129.
who are saved, are saved solely by means of this divine mother; . .
. the salvation of all depends upon preaching Mary."-Id., pp. 19,
"We 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.
A 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
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 Sons, 1846.
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
p 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,
We 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
But 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.
p 208 --
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.
Then 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.'
"And 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. . . .
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.
In 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. . . .
"Now 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. TOP
p 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. . . .
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.
In 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.
But 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
p 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
by H. Grattan Guinness, F. R. G. S., and "The Papacy,"
by Dr. J. A. Wylie.
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
p 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
p 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.
We 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.
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
p 213 -- so
the Lord did with His prophecies. (The keys to prophetic symbols are
given on page 34.)
When 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 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - 1803
4. --- First locomotive - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. --- First steamboat - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- 1808
6. --- Steam printing press - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1811
7. --- Passenger cars for trains - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - 1825
8. --- Kerosene for lighting purposes - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - 1825
9. --- Matches - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
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
p 214 -- TOP
18. -- 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 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
25. -- Pushbutton elevator - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1934
26. -- Airplane bombsight - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 1940
Prophecy 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, 4.
How 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.
William T. Ellis,
in an article entitled, "Why Don't the
p 215 --
Churches Settle Things? " which appeared in the Saturday
Evening Post, of February 12, 1921, points out this fact in
a striking manner. He says:
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.
. . .
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. . . .
could easily persuade themselves that there is a present visitation
upon the teachers of religion." TOP
D. L. Moody says:
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.
. . .
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
p 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.
Before 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?
It 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
p 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."
14-16 and Matthew 13: 39. TOP
The 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.
The 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
p 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.
Alexander 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," p. 168.
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.
But 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;
p 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." TOP
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 we read:
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
Encyclopedia says of Gratian:
"He is the true founder of the science of canon law." --
Vol. VI, art. " Gratian," p. 730.
The 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 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.
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.
After the Council
of Trent, Pope Pius V had this "Canon Law" revised.
"Pius 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
This 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
p 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.
Of 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.
Notice 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,
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.
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.
We cannot see how
any consistent Catholic can deny the
p 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
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.
The next Catholic
authority we shall quote is F. Lucii Ferraris, who wrote "a veritable
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,
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.
p 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
" 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, 1862.
The 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.
"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 the pope.
Coming 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 anything?
" The letters
inscribed in the Pope's mitre are these: Vicarius
p 224 --
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.'
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
Later, 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?
To 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, p. 13,
p 225 -- that
their accredited histories in common use, 'with permission of authority,'
[are] veiling the subject with painful dexterity." -- London:
We 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.
Why 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
We 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.
p 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.
Of 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?
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
p 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:
To Whom It May
"This 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
"In 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.
"I 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."
in Christian service,
Mo., Oct. 29, 1906."
and Herald," Dec. 20, 1906.
The 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 others. TOP
p 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.
. . .
De 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.
|V - - - - - - 5
||I - - - - -1
||D - - - - - 500
|I - - - - - - -1
||L - - - -50
||I - - - - - - -1
|C - - - - -100
||I - - - - -1
|I - - - - - - -1
||I - - - - -1
|V - - - - - - 5
|total - - - -112
||total - - -53
||total - - - -501
|| - - - - - - -112
|| - - - - - - - -53
|| - -- - -666
Thus 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 of the
p 229 -- beast."
-- " A Commentary on the Revelation of St. John the Divine,"
p. 231. Boston: 1856.
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.'
"When 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:
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.
|V - - - - - - 5
||F - - - - 0
||D - - - - 500
|I - - - - - - -1
||I - - - - -1
||E - - - - - - 0
|C - - - - -100
||L - - - -50
||I - - - - - - -1
|A - - - - - -0
||I - - - - -1
|R - - - - - - 0
||I - - - - -1
|I - - - - - - -1
|V - - - - - - 5
|S - - - - - - 0
||In all 666
p 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
Added together thus:
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"
Chronology, Historic and Prophetic, Critically Examined and Demonstrated,"
R. C. Shimeall, p. 180. New York: A. S. Barnes and Co., 1867.
Appended to the
above is a footnote, giving the author's reply to a correspondent:
a Querist. . . .
p 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
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.
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
"As 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.
Dr. 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
p 232 -- out
end?" -- Introduction to Bower's "History of the Popes,"
Vol. I, p. x. Philadelphia: 1847.
The 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
Mr. 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."
To this letter
the Cardinal answered through his secretary, as follows:
Md., Jan. 26, 1904. "Mr. H. S. Weaver.
" Dear Sir:
"In 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."
The New Catholic
p 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," P. 9,55.
We 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
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.)
Then, 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:
"He 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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5 (Part 4 of 4) - Facts