Page images
PDF
EPUB

from historians, particularly Cassio- that the papal head took its first rise dorus, who was chief minister of state from that remarkable year 606, when to two of those kings.

Phocas did, in a manner, devolve the Whence it doth plainly appear that government of the West upon him, this kingdom of the Ostro-Goths was by giving him the title of universal the seventh head that was to con- bishop. From which period, if we tinue a short time ; and that, there- date the 1260 years, they lead us fore, it follows:-1. That the change down, as I already said, to the year wrought by Constantine the Great, 1866, which is 1848 according to both as to the seat and religion of the prophetical calculation. Or, if a bare empire, could not be looked upon as title of this sort be not thought suffia new head, seeing the old govern- cient to constitute the Pope head of ment in all other respects was con- the Beast, we may reckon this two tinued. And 2. Neither can any years later, viz. from the year 608, person justly suppose that the form when Boniface the Fourth did pubof the government was altered when licly authorise idolatry, by dedicating the empire was divided into the East the Pantheon to the worship of the and West, seeing in all other respects Virgin Mary and all the Saints. also the imperial authority and rule Now it is very remarkable that in was preserved. Therefore, 3. It fol- the year 666, Pope Vitalian did first lows also that the papal government ordain that all public worship should was not regnant until the destruction be in Latin ; and therefore, however of this Gothish kingdom in Italy, for the notion of Irenæus has been of there could not be two supreme heads late ridiculed, who observed that the of Rome at the same time.

characteristical number of the beast, Therefore, ii. We may conclude viz. 666, answered to the number of a that the last head of the beast, which man's name, from whence he conis the papal, did arise either imme- cluded that he was to be a Roman, I diately upon the extirpation of the cannot but think there is something Gothish kingdom, or some time after ; remarkable in this ; not so much bebut it could not rise to its power im- cause of the antiquity of the notion, mediately after, seeing Justinian did, as upon the account of the reason he by the conquest of Italy, revive the suggests to us for this, when he says imperial government again there, that though he grants that other which by that means was healed after names may be so rendered, yet he the deadly wound which the Heruli fixed upon this because the Latin and the Goths had given it. Though, monarchy was the last of all, and I confess, Justinian's conquests of therefore the beast must relate to this Italy laid a foundation for the Pope's or none. Wherein I suppose he alrise, and paved the way for his ad- ludes to Daniel's account of the four vancement, both by the penal and monarchies, (chap. ii. 7.) And, insanguinary laws which he made deed, the little horn that arose out against all those who dissented from of the head of the fourth beast, the Romish church, and by the con- (chapter vii. 8) seems not unfitly fusions that followed upon Narsus, to represent, not only Antiochus his bringing in the Lombards. For, Epiphanes, but the Papal Antichrist, during the struggles of them and the whose type he may therefore be supExarchat, the Pope played his game posed to be. For, as he supplanted so, that the Emperor Phocas found three kings, in allusion to which that it his interest to engage him to his little horn is said to have plucked up party, by giving him the title of su- | three horns before it by the roots : so preme and universal bishop.

did the papal government rise also Therefore we may justly reckon upon the ruins of the Exarchat, the

Lombards, and the authority of the St. Paul. Now, if we make this the emperors in Italy.

era of the Papal kingdom, the 1260 I believe this account of Anti- years will not run out before the year christ's rise will not be very accept-2018, according to the computation able to some, whose zeal for the of Julian years; but, reducing these Pope's downfall has made them enter- | to prophetical ones, the expiration of tain hope of living to see that remark- the Papal kingdom ends exactly in able time, which has made them in- the year 2000, according to our vulgar vent plausible schemes to prove that reckoning. And if what I suggested this great enemy was seated in his above be true, that Antichrist shall regal dignity long before the year not be finally destroyed imtil the 606. But if a man will trace truth coming of Christ, then may this calimpartially, he will have reason to culation be looked upon to be very think that the rise of this adversary considerable. For it has been a very could not be before that time. Nay, ancient opinion, that the world would I must tell you, that I do not reckon last only six thousand years; that, the full rise of the Pope to the head- | according to the old traditional proship of the empire till a later date phecy of the house of Elias, the world stilī. For though the Pope took the should stand as many millenaries as ti:le of universal bishop at that time, it was made in days; and that, thereyet he was afterwards, for a long fore, as there were two thousand time, subject, in temporal concerns, years from the creation to Abrato the emperors. And, therefore, I ham, without a written directory of cannot reckon him to have been, in a religion--and two thousand from proper and full sense, head of Rome, thence to Christ, under the old until he was so in a secular, as well economy of the law — so there as ecclesiastical sense. And this was would be two thousand years more not until the days of Pepin, by whose under the Messiah. So that after consent he was made a secular prince, the militant state of the Christian and a great part of Italy given to church is run out, in the year 2000, him as Peter's patrimony. So that it is to enter upon that glorious sabas Boniface the third (and his suc- batical millenary, when the saints cessors), by assuming the title of shall reign on the earth, in a peaceuniversal bishop, was the forerunner able manner, for a thousand years of Antichrist, as Gregory the Great more : after the expiration of which, prophesied he would be, who should Satan shall be let loose to play a new be known in the world by that proud game, and men shall begin to apostitle ; so likewise we may conclude tatize almost universally from the that Antichrist was indeed come, truth, gathering themselves together when Pope Paul the first became a under the character of Gog and Matemporal prince also. Phocas, there- gog, from the four corners or parts of fore, did only proclaim the Pope to the world, until they have reduced the be the last head of Rome in the church to a small compass. But apocalyptical sense; but it was Pepin when they have brought the saints to who gave him the solemn investiture, the last extremity, Christ himself will and seated him on his throne, which appear in his glory, and destroy his Charlemagne did afterwards confirm enemies with fire from heaven (Rev. to him.

xx. 9)—which denotes the great conNow, as near as I can trace the flagration (2 Pet. iii. 10, &c.) which time of this donation of Pepin, it was is followed with the resurrection, and in or about the year 758, about the Christ's calling men before him into time that Pope Paul the first began judgment. to build the church of St. Peter and I cannot forbear to take notice of ne thing here, that the year 758 was is not an innate principle of their he year 666 from the persecution of faith-that it was only a deed of the Domitian, when John was in Patmos, dark ages, and will never be revived ind wrote this book (as Tertullian, again in these enlightened times. This [renæus, Origen, Eusebius, Jerome, manouvre has imposed on many perind all the ancients excepting Epiph- sons who have too great a faith in the inius, tell us) which, though some goodness of human nature. It is, say was A.c. 95, was most probably therefore, our intention to show that n or about the year 92, the persecu- Romanism is ever the same that in ion of Domitian having begun two the present and past ages, while its years before. So that here we have forms have been varied to suit the another characteristic mark of the times, it has ever, as now, endeavournumber of the beast.

ed to accomplish, by any means, the And now, I hope I have said enough temporal and spiritual sabjugation of of the future part of time, as to the man. general idea which, I think, the Reve- In investigating the claims of Rolation gives of it. But I must proceed man Catholicism, we shall compare one step further with you, and con- them with the testimony of the Scripsider under what revolution of time tures, the decretals of the General we are at present, that we may thence | Councils, the writings of the Fathers, see what we are to expect, and how and two other indispensable witnesses we are to act. So that here I find | -Reason and Common-sense. While myself insensibly taken off from any showing the effects of Roman Cathofurther direct prosecution of the ques- licism, we shall let History herself give tion proposed by way of answer evidence, as the Catholic Church has thereunto.

already had a complete organic exist(To be continued.)

ence of 1242 years, it has had ample LECTURES ON ROMAN

time to carry its principles into ac

tion; and show its influence over every CATHOLICISM.

species of government, whether desINTRODUCTION.

potic, republican, or monarchical. It It is our intention, in a series of has been co-existent with three great lectures, to pourtray the principles of literary epochs, and antagonistic to Romanism to investigate the nature each. If it can be proved that these and propriety of its claims—and ex- three epochs were the result of inhibit its effects on the government, creased intellectual and moral power, morals, and literature of the countries, then Roman Catholicism must be inwhich are, or have been, under its jurious to the political and moral influence.

progress of mankind. That it has In pourtraying the principles of been thus injurious we shall endeaRomanism, we shall endeavour to vour to prove. preserve the most rigid accuracy-we We shall investigate its influence shall exhibit those principles as avow- over morals. We shall show that ed by Catholic writers themselves, for the sake of either money or politiinasmuch as every one will allow that cal power it has palliated the vilest they are the best authorities for their crimes, and pandered to, and attemptown tenets; and we shall use themed to justify, the basest passions of for another and more powerful rea- human nature ; and that every nason, to wit :-It is a common practice tion under its influence passes through of Catholics, in the present age, to three mental and moral changes, the disavow some of their worst princi- first change being Fanaticism, the ples : for instance, many of these second Indifference, and the third Catholics now declare that persecution Atheism.

With regard to its influence over and suffered--one who has exhausted genius, we shall show, that with the all the pleasures which life can give, exception of artistic genius, which and retired from the world to the Roman Catholicism indirectly uses as cloister from weariness of spirit. It is a most valuable servant, it has been men of this class who, more frequently the most bitter persecutor of distin- than any other, have the capacity and guished minds; and that no nation, inclination to form vast designs-deunder Roman Catholic influence, has signs which hold in the balance the a literature of its own.

welfare or the ruin of mighty nations. We shall now explain our motives These are the means by which they for undertaking this task. The pre- deprive life of its weariness, and in sent age will witness a formidable the attendant excitement forget, for development of Roman Catholicism, a time, the burden which memory inasmuch as the reigning Pope has lays upon their souls. excited great sympathy by taking a And there is another powerful moprominent part in the present Euro- tive for the extension of Roman Capean movement. We confess that tholicism. This accursed system has we cannot indulge in this sympathy. produced its full fruit in Italy. The Time has more than once disclosed people are now idle and ignorantthe phenomenon of a Pope heading a the nobles dissolute and depraved, great continental movement; and and they already manifest symptoms though those movements would, in of a desire to wrest the sceptre of their ultimate results, have proved temporal power from the hands of detrimental to the supremacy of the the Pope, so that he will have no Roman church, they only brought the disinclination to change his subjects Pope increased temporal power. Nor for others who combine a profession was this at all surprising, for, while of Roman Catholicism with a larger the other powers never had any pre share of morality. cise and determinate plan, nor per- The present Pope belongs to that ceived the ultimate tendency of their exceedingly rare species, an honest own exertions, the Pope had his own Italian ; therefore, if he be deposed, plan exactly marked out, and conse- he will have the appearance of being quently led the ruling powers in that a sufferer “ for righteousness sake." direction. Thus, it will be seen, we But never let it be forgotten that the have good reasons for our distrust; experience of one thousand years has and moreover if the Pope had no ul- shown that an honest statesman canterior designs, he is not so ill versed not be an honest Pope. How can a in state policy as to be unaware of man serve Christ and Anti-Christ ? the fact, that in a revolutionary epoch, Our motive, then, for exhibiting he, as a temporal ruler over part of the nature, the claims, and the effects Italy, must either head that movement of Roman Catholicism, is to show, or be crushed by it. So that even in that the virtues of the man cannot this last case his present career is modify the evils of the system he reponly a struggle for self-preservation. resents; and to warn the disciples of

The present Pope is, in our judg Christ that they must not relax in ment, every way equal to Hildebrand their opposition and their distaste to or Sextus the Fifth. Educated in the such an injurious and fatal system, college, the court, the camp, and the nor in any measure be deceived by cloister, he has ascended the Papal a momentary appearance of benevothrone in possession of a vast and va- lence and liberality. ried experience. He is not a dreamy

J. G. L. enthusiast, but a man of action and June, 1848. contemplation-one who has thought!

J. F. ON PROP I E CY

tion with the context, it is clear that CONSIDERED.

it has a reference only to the Jews in

Jerusalem and Judea, and received DEAR BROTHER-I am glad you its accomplishment when the Roman have opened the pages of the “Har armies demolished Jerusalem, and binger” to the admission of articles swept the inhabitants off the land. on Prophecy. To the biblical student 2. I think it is equally clear that it presents a wide field for investiga- the quotation from Zeph. iii. 8 does tion, in which he may range at large, not support the theory of “the general and explore the great purposes of the destruction of the wicked, &c. at the Divine mind. And what subject is coming of the Lord ;” but is to be there to which the student can bend understood as referring to the same the energies of his mind more calcu- event as that predicted by Ezekiel, lated to please, interest, and instruct, chap. xxxviii-ix. and Ezek. chap. xiv. than by endeavouring to unravel the viz. the signal deliverance of the mysteries of Providence, and to un- restored of Israel, and the destruction derstand the great purposes of Jehovah of the armies of Gog. in the moral government of the world, 3. Isa. xxiv. 1 to 6 is a most as they stand developed in the pro- manifest misapplication. Hardly phetic writings.

any thing can be clearer than that But perhaps there is no subject, it has a reference only to the desolathe investigation of which requires tions of the land of Israel, and is now greater care and a nicer discrimina- in course of fulfilment. The only tion, in order to insure anything like difficulty appears to arise from the accuracy, than the subject of Pro- term “ earth,” which ought to be phecy. On this subject, perhaps, rendered land, as, indeed, it is in beyond that of any other, it will not various parts of the chapter. do to jump to hasty conclusions, nor 4. Isa. xxxiv. 1 to 4. Let this to make dogmatic assertions. Much quotation be read in connection with harm has been done by a course of the remaining part of the chapter, and reckless interpretation, and probably what can be clearer then, that it is a many have been deterred from enter prediction concerning Edom and the ing upon the field of investigation by Edomites ? So signal were the judgthe failures of such. Now, I appre- ments of the Lord to be upon this hend that your correspondent, J. F. people and land, that the nations has followed too closely in the path were invited to hear and hearken of the generality of the Millenarian thereto; and there, verse 16, they interpreters, to steer clear f the are called upon to examine and see shoals and quicksands upon which that none of those things have failed. they have so often foundered. I 5. If J. F. can discover in Isa. li.

My principal object in writing at 6 the proof of his proposition, that present is to make a few remarks “there will be a time previous to the upon J. F.'s article in the June num- | new heavens and the new earth, ber, and to throw a few obstacles in while the old ones are being destroyed, the way of his theory_not that I that there will be neither men, beasts, wish, contrary to his inclination, to nor birds to be seen,” he must be draw him into controversy, but simply possessed of much keener optics than to afford him an opportunity to fortify I am blessed with. Read the passage his position if he can, or otherwise to in its connection from verse 1, and be more careful in quoting.

see if it has not a reference to God's 1. The quotation from the prophet, purpose to bless Israel, and to punish Zeph. i. 17-18, is evidently a misap- those nations who oppressed them. plication ; for, when read in connec- '(See verse 21 to end.) And is it not

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »