Page images

3. But, notwithstanding his lamb-like appear. ance, the beast spake as a dragon---The church of Rome, like a true child of that old serpent the devil, forcibly established and supported idolatry; claimed a proud superiority over all temporal dominion; advanced her interests with all the vily cunning of the serpent; anathematized and persécuted to death the faithful servants of Christ; and esteemed every lie and every imposture, which ad- . vanced her authority, a laudable and even pious fraud. That no fuith is to be kept with heretics, is a well known maxim of this genuine offspring of the father of lies: that kings excommunicated by the Pope, may be deposed and murdered by their subjects, is another of her maxims: and that the end sanctifies the means, that it is lawful to do evil that good may come, has been the avowed principle of the Jesuits *. Her dracontine cruelty and ferocity need no proofs. Where pagan Rome hath slain her thousands, papal Rone hath slain her ten thou


* collegium solum, et non alii Christiani, sint corpus Ecclesiæ." Act. et Monument. A. D. 1414. P. 589, 590, 591. cited by Potter, Interp. num. 666. Cap. xix. p. 121,

* The maxims of the Jesuits are these, “ That actions in“ trinsically evil, and directly contrary to the divine laws, " may be innocently performed by those who have so much

power over their own minds, as to join, even ideally, a good “ end to this wicked action, or (to speak in the style of the “ Jesuits) who are capable of directing their intention aright" (Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. Cent. 17. Sect. 2, p. 1. cited by Whitaker.). Thus it appears, that the Jesuits were the prototypes of Weishaupt's diabolical sect of Illuminati.


X 4

sands. “ The fourth council of Lateran,” says Bp: Burnet,“ decreed, that all hereticks should be de“ livered to the secular power to be extirpated-If

a man had but spoken a light word against any "' of the constitutions of the church, he was seized

on by the bishop's officers; and, if any taught “ their children the Lord's prayer, the ten com

mandments, and the Apostles' creed, in the vulgar tongue *, that was criminal enough to bring them

to the stake, as it did six men and a woman at “ Coventry in the Passion week 15197." Here it may be observed, that, while the first or secular beast is represented as making war with the saints and overcoming them, it is no where said that the second or ecclesiastial beast should do more than cause them to be killed. The above-cited decree of the council of Lateran shews how exact the prophecy has been in this particular. The little horn hath always worn out the saints by causing them to be killed, or by delivering them over to the secular arm I, not by literally slaying them it

• In direct opposition to this abominable system of keeping the people in profound ignorance, the church of England specially charges all sponsors to provide, that the child, for whom they have been sureties," may learn the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the ten Commandments, in the vulgar tongue, “ and aļl other things which a Christian ought to know and “ believe to his soul's health.” Office of Baptism.

+ Hist. of Reformation cited by Whitaker. p. 419,

1 On this occasion, the Inquisitors, with a disgusting affectation of lamb-like meekness, are wont to beseech the civil magistrates to shew mercy to those unfortunate victims whom they themselves have given up to be consigned to the flames.


self. “Who can make any computation, or even " frame any conception, of the numbers of pious “ Christians, who have fallen a sacrifice to the “ bigotry and cruelty of Rome? Mede hath ob

served from good authorities, that in the war “ with the Waldenses and Albigenses there perished “ of these poor creatures in France alone a million. " From the first institution of the Jesuits to the

year 1480, that is in little more than thirty

years, 900,000 orthodox Christians were slain. " In the Netherlands alone, the Duke of Alva

boasted, that within a few years he had dis

patched to the amount of 36,000 souls, and “ those all by the hand of the common executionen - In the space of scarce thirty years, the Inqui“ sition destroyed, by various kinds of tortures, ! 150,000 Christians. Sanders himself confesses, “ that an innumerable multitude of Lollards and “ Sacramentarians were burnt throughout all Eu.

rope; who yet, he says, were not put to death

by the Pope and Bishops, but by the civil magistrates : which perfectly agrees with this pro

phecy; for of the secular beast * it is said, that " he should make war with the saints and over"come them t."

* It is not unworthy of notice that Bp. Newton here speaks of the first beast as being, what he really is, the secular Roman empire, as contradistinguished from the second beast or the Roman church. + Bp. Newton's Dissert. on Rev. xiii.

4. He ererciseth all the power of the first beast before him-Cardinals, Prelates, and Monks, were long the prime ministers of the European sovereigns : and the names of Wolsey, Ximenes, Richlieu, and Mazarine, are banded down to posterity as the most intriguirig and ambitious of statesmen. The second beast indeed is properly an ecclesias “ ticat person, but he intermixeth himself much in “ civil affairs. He is the prime minister, adviser, Hi and mover of the first beast *. He holdeth

imperium in imperio, an empire within an empire; " claimeth a temporal authority, as well as a spiri" tual; hath not only the principal direction of the " temporal powers, but often engageth them in his

service, and enforceth his canons and decrees " with the sword of the civil magistrate f.”

5. He causeth the earth and all that dwell therein to worship the first beast whose deadly wound was healedThe nature of this worship of the secular beast I have already considered. It will be suffrcient therefore at present to observe, that, since it is impossible for Daniel's fourth beast or the Roman empire to be literally worshipped, the adoration here spoken of must mean a devotion to those principles by which the empire was equally made a beast both under its pagan and its papal emperors, both under its sirth head and its last. Those principles consisted in the worship of images, and in the persecution of the saints : and it was the second beast, who by his influence caused the whole Roman earth once more to adopt them under Popery, as it had heretofore adopted them under Paganism; it was the second beast, who made an image for the first, and caused all men to fall down and worship it *

* Here again the Bishop speaks of the first beast as being the secular empire. Thus does his original opinion force itself, as it were, upon him, notwithstanding all that he had subse quently said respecting the identity of the papal little horn and the first beast. # Bp. Newton's Dissert, on Rev. xiii.

made 6. He

* The interpretation of the worship paid to the first or secular beast, proposed by Bp. Newton, is to my mind very unsatism factory.“ As the first beast concurs to maintain the authority tos of the second, so he in return confirms and maintains the " sovereignty and dominion of the first beast over his subjects; « and causeth the earth, and them who dwell therein, to wor*6 ship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He

supports tyranny, as he is by tyranny supported. He in" slaves the consciences, as the first beast subjugates the bodies " of men” (Dissert. on Rev. xiii.). Hence it appears, that the Bishop conceives the worship, which was paid to the secular beast at the instigation of the ecclesiastical beast, to be merely civil worship so far increased as to become passive obedience Now, bad as tyranny in the state may be, the vhole criminality of it must be aseribed to the governors; not sure to the governed, to those who patiently submit themselves like the primitive Christians to every ordinance of man however tyrannical for the Lord's sake, lest by resisting they should receive damnation. Were nothing more then meant by worshipping the beast than an unresisting submission to civil tyranny, or (as Mr. Whiston, cited by the Bishop, styles it “a blind obedience;" the worshippers of the beast would never have been censured by the prophet for yielding such submis

« PreviousContinue »