1 of 4)
By CHRISTIAN EDWARDSON
(Revised) Copyright, 1943
years of caring for districts of churches and isolated believers,
besides raising up new churches by evangelistic effort, the author
of this work became greatly impressed with the need of educating
the people in the fundamental doctrines of the Holy Scriptures.
He has found very few who could give from the word of God an intelligent
reason for even its most prominent and important truths. This
spiritual poverty any minister will discover by personal investigation.
When we add
to this condition the fact that during the past twenty years new
errors have been stealthily introduced among Christians generally
-- errors which undermine the very foundations of Bible truth
and Christianity -- it becomes evident that even professing Christians
are unprepared for the crises they will be obliged to meet in
the near future.
years many ministers and Bible students have urged that the author
prepare the manuscript for this book, embodying numerous new quotations
and references to works of great value. Limitations of space have
permitted inclusion of only the choicest and most important selections
from authentic historical and doctrinal works. PUBLISHERS.
p 9 -- Could
it be thought possible that an all-wise Creator would bring so
many millions of people into existence, as the inhabitants of
this earth, and give them no information as to why they are here,
or what His will is concerning them? No, that would be unreasonable.
Just as surely as there is a judgment day coming, on which we
all shall be called to account our conduct, so surely He must
have given us an infallible rule of life. But what is this "infallible
rule"? The Roman Catholics say it is "The Church, with its traditions."
But the Church has changed so greatly since its origin that if
the apostles could arise from the dead they would not recognize
it as the church they established. As for "tradition," it is like
a story that grows and changes as it travels. No government would
be satisfied with oral laws. In so important a matter as our eternal
happiness we need a rule that is more stable and unchangeable,
and this we have in God's infallible word, the Bible.
INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE -- The Bible is not the product
of man's thought and planning. For the prophecy came not in old
time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were
moved by the Holy Ghost." 2 Peter 1: 21. (Compare Isaiah 55: 8,
9; 2 Corinthians 3: 5.)
"The Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake," and David himself
declares: "The Spirit of the Lord spake by me. " Acts 1: 16; 2
Samuel 23: 2. Of Jeremiah we read: " Then the Lord put forth His hand,
and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have
put My words in thy mouth." Jeremiah 1: 9. Thus the whole
Bible is God's word, spoken through human instrumentality, for
"God hath spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets
since the world began" (Acts 3: 21), and His hand guided them
while they wrote. "All this,"
p 10 --
said David, "the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand
upon me." 1I Chronicles 28:19. And so, the prophets, after writing
of Christ's coming, were "searching" their own writings to find
out "what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was
in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings
of Christ, and the glory that should follow." 1 Peter 1: 11.
We have now
presented the testimony of the Bible itself to the fact that "all
Scripture is given by inspiration of God." 2 Timothy 3: 16. No
consistent person can, therefore, receive one portion of it while
he rejects another. Jesus says: "The Scripture cannot be broken."
John 10: 35. He, the author of the Scriptures, displayed such
implicit confidence in them, that even the devil did not dare
to question their authority, when Christ faced him with the words:
"It is written." Matthew 4: 4, 7, 10. Yes, "devils also believe,
and tremble" (James 2: 19), for they know the Bible is true, while
critics today doubt and ridicule (Jude 10). What has caused such
terrible unbelief among men? We shall now briefly review the causes
and the history of modern "Higher Criticism."
VERSUS THE BIBLE -- After the Church had fallen from
its apostolic purity of life and doctrine, it found that, where
the Bible was read by the common people, they lost faith in the
Church and opposed her worship as a species of idolatry. This
was particularly true of the Waldenses, who had retained the Bible
in their native language hundreds of years before the Reformation,
and had copied and spread its pages over Catholic Christendom,
wherever their missionaries traveled. It was natural, therefore,
that the Roman church, instead of supplying the common people
with the Scriptures in their native tongue, should oppose this.
Cardinal Merry del Val says that on account of the activity of
the Waldenses, and later of the Protestants, in spreading the
Scriptures in the native language of the people, "the Pontiffs
and the Councils were obliged on more than one occasion to control
p 11 --
sometimes even forbid the use of the Bible in the vernacular."
He also says:
"Those who would put the Scriptures indiscriminately into the
hands of the people are the believers always in private interpretation
-- a fallacy both absurd in itself and pregnant with disastrous
consequences. These counterfeit champions of the inspired book
hold the Bible to be the sole source of Divine Revelation and
cover with abuse and trite sarcasm the Catholic and Roman Church."-"
Index of Prohibited Books, revised and published
by order of His Holiness Pope Pius XI," "Foreword" by Cardinal
Merry del Val, pp. x, xi. Vatican Polyglot Press, 1930.
words from such an authentic source need no comment. Ever since
the first " Index of Prohibited Books " was issued by Pope Paul
IV, in 1599, the Bible has had a prominent place in these lists
of forbidden books. And, before the invention of printing, it
was comparatively easy for the Roman church to control what the
people should, or should not, read; but shortly before the Reformation
started, the Lord prepared the way for its rapid progress by the
discovery of the art of printing. The name of Laurence Coster,
of Holland, is often mentioned in connection with the story of
the first production in Europe, in 1423, of movable type. In 1450
to 1455 John Gutenberg printed the Latin Bible at Mentz (Mainz),
Germany. He endeavored for a time to keep his invention a secret,
but Samuel Smiles relates: "In
the meanwhile, the printing establishments of Gutenberg and Schoeffer
were for a time broken up by the sack and plunder of Mentz by
the Archbishop Adolphus in 1462, when, their workmen becoming
dispersed, and being no longer bound to secrecy, they shortly
after carried with them the invention of the new art into nearly
every country in Europe." -- " The Huguenots," p. 7.
London: John Murray, 1868.
so few books to print, and there being a ready sale for Bibles,
the printers risked all hazards from the opposition of the Church,
and printed Bibles in Latin, Italian, Bohemian, Dutch, French,
Spanish, and German. While these were so ex-
p 12 --
pensive that only the wealthy could afford to buy them, and their
language was not adapted to the minds of the common people, yet
they "seriously alarmed the Church; and in 1486 the Archbishop
of Mentz placed the printers of that city, which had been the
cradle of the printing-press, under strict censorship. Twenty-five
years later, Pope Alexander VI issued a bull prohibiting the printers
of Cologne, Mentz, Treves, and Magdeburg, from publishing any
books without the express license of their archbishops. Although
these measures were directed against the printing of religious
works generally, they were more particularly directed against
the publication of the Scriptures in the vulgar tongue." -- Ibid.,
REFORMATION AND THE BIBLE -- The time had now come
for the light to shine, and God's word could no longer be kept
from the people. Prophecy states that in spite of captivity, fire,
and sword, "they shall be holpen with a little help." Daniel
11: 33, 34. But the people had been kept in darkness so long that
they could not endure the glaring light of all the Bible truths
at once. They had to come gradually, and the hour had struck for
the Reformation to begin.
for the Reformation, the Lord had worked in marvelous ways to
provide protection for the Reformers. The night before Martin
Luther nailed his ninety-five theses on the door of the castle
church at Wittenberg, the Elector Frederick of Saxony had a remarkable
dream. In relating it to Duke John the next morning he said: "'
I must tell you a dream which I had last night.... For I dreamed
it thrice, and each time with new circumstances. . . . I fell
asleep. . . . I then awoke. . . . I prayed . . . God to guide
me, my counsels, and my people according to truth. I again fell
asleep, and then dreamed that Almighty God sent me a monk. . .
. All the saints accompanied him by order of God, in order to
bear testimony before me, and to declare that he did not come
to contrive any plot. . . . They asked me to have the goodness
graciously to permit him to write something on the
p 13 --
door of the church of the Castle
of Wittenberg. This I granted through my chancellor. Thereupon
the monk went to the and began to write in such large characters
that I could the writing at Schweinitz. The pen which he used
was so large that its end reached as far as Rome, where it pierced
the ears of a lion that was crouching there, and caused the triple
crown upon the head of the Pope to shake. All the cardinals and
princes, running hastily up, tried to prevent it from falling.
. . .I awoke, . . . it was only a dream. [Again he fell asleep.]
"' Then I dreamed
that all the princes of the Empire, and we among them, hastened
to Rome, and strove, one after another, to break the pen; but
the more we tried the stiffer it became, sounding as if it had been made
of iron. We at length desisted. . . .Suddenly I heard a loud noise
-- a large number of other pens had sprung out of the long pen
of the monk. I awoke a third time: it was daylight.' . . .
"So passed the
morning of the 31st October, 1517, in the royal castle of Schweinitz.
. . . The elector has hardly made an end of telling his dream
when the monk comes with the hammer to interpret it." -- "History
of Protestantism," J. A. Wylie, -- L. L..D., Vol. I, pp. 263-266.
One can hardly
wonder that the Elector of Saxony became Luther's protector during
his long struggle with the Papacy. The greatest work that was
accomplished by these "pens" of the Reformation was the translation
of the Bible into the language of the common people. True, there
had been some attempts made before this time to produce the Scriptures
in the vernacular, but without much success, as the language was
almost unintelligible to the common people, and the price prohibitive.
Luther had spent much time in the homes and company of the people
that he might acquire their language, he, with his co-workers,
translated the Bible into a language that, while it was dignified
and beautiful, was so natural and easy to be understood by the
ordinary mind that it made the Bible at once "the people's book."
The New Testament was translated
p 14 --
1521, and fifty-eight editions of it were printed between 1522
and 1533: seventeen editions at Wittenberg, thirteen at Augsburg,
twelve at Basel, one at Erfurt, one at Grimma, one at Leipzig,
and thirteen at Strassburg. The Old Testament was first printed
in four parts, 1523 to 1533, and finally the entire Bible was
published in one volume in 1534.
In 1522, Jacques
Lefevre translated the New Testament into French, and Collin,
at Meaux, printed it in 1524. In 1525, William Tyndale translated
the New Testament into English. All these New Testaments were
translated from the original Greek, and not from the imperfect
Latin Vulgate, used by the papal church.
were kept busy printing the Scriptures, while colporteurs and
booksellers sold them to the eager public. The effect was tremendous.
honest intellect was at once struck with the strange discrepancy
between the teaching of the Sacred Volume and that of the church
of Rome." -- " Historical Studies, " Eugene Lawrence,
p. 255. New York: Harper Brothers., 1876. TOP
In the Book
of God there were found no purgatory, no infallible pope, no masses
for the dead, no sale of indulgences, no relics working miracles,
no prayers for the dead, no worship of
the Virgin Mary or of saints! But there the people found a loving
Saviour with open arms welcoming the poorest and vilest of sinners
to come and receive forgiveness full and free. Love filled their
hearts and broke the shackles of sin and superstition. Profanity,
coarse jests, drunkenness, vice, and disorder disappeared. The
blessed Book was read by young and old, and became the talk in
home and shop, while the Church with its Latin mass lost its attraction.
FIGHT -- Rome was awake to the inevitable result of
allowing the common people to read the Bible, and the Vicar of
Croydon declared in a speech at St. Paul's Cross, London: "We
must destroy the printing press, or it will destroy us." -- "
The Printing Press and the Gospel," by E. R. Palmer, p. 24.
The papal machinery was therefore set in motion for the destruction
of the Bible.
" There now
began a remarkable contest between the Romish Church and the Bible
-- between the printers and the popes. . . .
"To the Bible
the popes at once declared a deathless hostility. To read the
Scriptures was in their eyes the grossest of crimes. . . . The
Inquisition was invested with new terrors, and was forced upon
France and Holland by papal armies. The Jesuits were everywhere
distinguished by their hatred for the Bible. In the Netherlands
they led the persecutions of Alva and Philip II; they rejoiced
with a dreadful joy when Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent, the fairest
cities of the workingmen, were reduced to pauperism and ruin by
the Spanish arms; for the Bible had perished with its defenders.
. . .
" To burn Bibles
was the favorite employment of zealous Catholics. Wherever they
were found the heretical volumes were destroyed by active Inquisitors,
and thousands of Bibles and Testaments perished in every part
of France." -- " Historical Studies," Eugene Lawrence,
In Spain, not
only were the common people forbidden to read the Bible, but also
university professors were forbidden by the " Supreme Council
" of the Inquisition to possess their valuable Bible manuscripts.
in consequence, decreed that those theologians in the university
who had studied the original languages, should be obliged, as
well as other persons, to give up their Hebrew and Greek Bibles
to the comrnissaries of the holy office, on pain of and excommunication."
-- " History of the Inquisition of Spain," D. J. A.
Llorente, Secretary of the Inquisition, p. 105. London, 1827.
" In 1490, Torquemada
[the Inquisitor-General] caused many Hebrew Bibles and more than
six thousand volumes to be burnt in an Auto da fe at Salamanca.
" -- " Literary Policy of the Church of Rome," Joseph
Mendham, M. A., p. 97. London, 1830.
How many thousands
of invaluable manuscripts thus perished in the flames of the Inquisition,
eternity alone will reveal. TOP
p 16 --
It is exceedingly difficult for a Protestant in our days to
fathom the extent of this fear of and enmity against the Bible,
manifested by the Roman church. With her it was actually a life
or death struggle! A person must read the history of the Inquisition,
and examine the Roman Indexes of Forbidden Books, to understand
her viewpoint. Inquisitor General Perez del Prado gave expression
to her feelings and her bitter lament when he declared in horror
"'that some individuals had carried
their audacity to the execrable extremity of demanding permission
to read the Holy Scriptures in the vulgar tongue, without fearing
to encounter mortal poison therein."' -- " History of the
Inquisition of Spain," D. Juan Antonio Llorente, p. 111.
piles were lit all over Europe. Samuel Smiles says of France:
" Bibles and
New Testaments were seized wherever found, and burnt; but more
Bibles and Testaments seemed to rise, as if by magic, from their
ashes. The printers who were convicted of printing Bibles were
next seized and burnt. The Bourgeois de Paris [a Roman
Catholic paper] gives a detailed account of the human sacrifices
offered up to ignorance and intolerance in that city during the
six months ending June, 1534, from which it appears that twenty
men and one woman were burnt alive. . . .In the beginning of the
following year, the Sorbonne obtained from the king an ordinance,
which was promulgated on the 26th of February, 1535, for the suppression
of printing! " -- " The Huguenots," Samuel Smiles, pp.
20, 21, and first footnote.
continued to be made by Rome to check the progress of printing.
In 1599  Pope Paul IV issued the first Index Expurgatorius,
containing a list of the books expressly prohibited by the Church.
It included all Bibles printed in modern languages, of which forty-eight
editions were enumerated; while sixty-one printers were put under
a general ban." - Ibid., p. 23.
"Paul IV, in
1559, put it [Sully's name] in the first papal Index Expurgatorium."
-- " History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages,"
Henry Charles Lea, Vol. III, p. 587.
p 17 --
"The first Roman 'Index
of Prohibited Books' (Index librorum prohibitorum), published
in 1559 under Paul IV, was very severe and was therefore mitigated
under that pontiff by decree of the Holy Office of 14 June of
the same year. -- "Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII,
p. 722, art. "Index."
raged more or less all over Europe:
" In 1545, the massacre of the Vaudois of Province was perpetrated";
the 24th of August, 1572, the St. Bartholomew Massacre commenced,
and continued until between 70,000 and 100,000 innocent and unsuspecting
persons were murdered in cold blood for being Protestants. The
massacre was secretly planned by the leaders of the Roman church.
70,000 were slain, though other writers estimate the victims at
100,000." -- "The Huguenots," Samuel Smiles, pp. 71,
Medicis wrote in triumph to Alva, to Philip II, and to the Pope.
. . . Rome was thrown into a delirium of joy at the news. The
cannon were fired at St. Angelo; Gregory XIII and his cardinals
went in procession from sanctuary to sanctuary to give God thanks
for the massacre. The subject was ordered to be painted, and a
medal was struck, with the Pope's image on one side, and the destroying
angel on the other immolating the Huguenots. " -- Ibid.,
LINES OF ATTACK -- Finally, however, the papal church
discovered that her opposition to the Bible only betrayed the
sad fact that, instead of being the divinely instituted church
of the Bible, she and the Scriptures were deadly enemies, and
that her open fight was furnishing the world with the clearest
evidences to justify the Reformation. Her relentless persecution
was making martyrs, but not loyal Catholics. She must halt her
course and forge new weapons against Protestantism, if she ever
hoped to win the battle. But what were these weapons to be? These
we shall consider in the next two chapters. TOP
FORGING NEW WEAPONS
p 18 --
The Roman church had discovered that the root of her troubles
lay in the reading of the Bible by the laity, and had opposed
it with all the power at her command. But she finally realized
that her open war on the Scriptures had aroused suspicion that
her life and doctrines were out of harmony with God's word, and
could not endure the light of an open Bible.
To allay such
feelings she must make it appear that she was not opposed to the
Scriptures, but only to the "erroneous Protestant Bible." But
how could such an impression be made, when that Bible was a faithful
translation of the Hebrew and Greek texts, in which the Scriptures
were originally written? Then, too, the Protestants had, at that
time, some of the most able Hebrew and Greek scholars in all Christendom.
had brought the Reformers in contact with some of the best sources
of Bible manuscripts: (1) When the Turks captured Constantinople
in 1453, many of the Greek scholars fled to the West, bringing
with them their valuable manuscripts from the East where Christianity
originated, and then Greek and Hebrew learning revived in the
West.* (2) With this influx from the East came also the
Syrian Bible, used by the early church at Antioch in Syria (Acts
11: 26), which was translated directly from the Hebrew and Greek
manuscripts long before the Massoretic (O.T.) text, and is the
oldest known Bible manuscript (unless it should be the one lately
discovered by Chester Beatty)# (3) During their severe
persecutions the Waldenses came into contact with the Reformers
at Geneva, and thus their
* -- See " History of the English
Bible," by W. F. Moulton, PP. 34-36.
# -- Copies
of the Syriac Bible were later found among the Syrian Christians
at Malabar, South India with all the earmarks of the old Syrian
manuscripts. See "The Old Documents and the New Bible,
" by J. P. Smyth, pp. 166, 167; "Indian Church History,"
by Thomas Yates, p. 167; "Christian Researches in Asia,"
by Claudius Buchannan, pp. 80, 143.
p 19 --
Bible, which had been preserved in its apostolic purity, was
brought to the Reformers.*
direct from the original languages in which the Holy Scriptures
were written, and comparisons with ancient sources, by en of high
scholarly ability and sterling integrity, gave the Protestants
a perfectly reliable Bible.* In spite of these plain facts, the
Catholic authorities had to do something to turn the minds of
their people away from the Protestant Bible, so widely distributed.
They therefore advanced the claim that Jerome's Latin Vulgate
translation was more correct than any copy we now have of the
original Hebrew and Greek texts. We shall now examine this claim.
LATIN VULGATE BIBLE -- At the Council of Trent (1545-1563),
in the fourth session, the second Decree, in 1546, they decided
that the Latin Vulgate should be the standard Bible for the Roman
church. But then they discovered a curious fact, that during the
1050 years from the time Jerome brought out his Latin Vulgate
Bible in 405 A. D. , until John Gutenberg printed it in 1455,
it had been copied so many times, mostly by monks, and so many
errors had crept in, that no one knew just what was the actual
rendering of the original Vulgate. The learned Roman Catholic
professor, Dr. Johann Jahn says of it: "The
universal admission of this version throughout the vast extent
of the Latin church multiplied the copies of it, in the transcription
of which it became corrupted with many errors. . . . Cardinal
Nicholas, about the middle of the twelfth century, found 'tot
exemplaria quot codices' (as many copies as
* -- An illustration
of how some learned Roman Catholics have estimated the Protestant
Greek New Testament can be seen when we read of the Catholic
legislation on forbidden books. A commentator says:
seminaries the textbook prescribed in Greek was very often some
portion of the original text of the New Testament, and Protestant
editions were selected, as they contained a more ample vocabulary,
and, perhaps, better grammatical annotations than Catholic editions.
Such an act would appear quite pardonable and excusable, as
the text was entire and pure. . . . But according to the present
rule . . . bishops have no power to select such works."-"A
Commentary on the Present Index Legislation," Rev. T. Hurley,
D. D., p. 70. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1908.
feelings against Protestant books, such permits could not have
been given, unless the superiority of the book demanded it.
p 20 -- manuscripts)." -- "Introduction
to the Old Testament,"
Sec. 62, 63. (Quoted in
"History of Romanism," Dr. John Dowling, ed. of 1871, p.
Encyclopedia says of the Latin Vulgate: "From
an early day the text of the Vulgate began to suffer corruptions,
mostly through the copyists who introduced familiar readings of the Old Latin
or inserted the marginal glosses of MSS. which they were transcribing."
-- Vol. XV, p. 370, art. Versions," " The Vulgate."
of Trent having made Jerome's Latin "Vulgate the standard text,"*
it must now determine which of the hundreds of copies (all differing)
was the correct "Vulgate." A commission was therefore appointed
to gather materials so as to "restore St. Jerome's text," but
its members were "not to amend it by any new translations of their
own from the original Hebrew and Greek ."#) They "were merely
to collect manuscripts and prepare the evidence for and against
certain readings in the text, after which the Pope himself, by
reason not of his scholarship, but of his gift
of infallibility, decided straight off which were the genuine
words!" -- " The Old Documents and the New Bible," J.
Paterson Smyth, B.D., LL.D., pp. 174, 175. London and New York:
V undertook this work of revision, and to make sure of its being
correct, he read the proofs himself. This edition was printed at Rome in 1590,
accompanied by a bull forbidding the least alteration in this
infallible text. "But alas! . . . The book was full of mistakes.
The scholarship of Sixtus was by no means great, and his infallibility
somehow failed to make up for this defect."-- Ibid., p. 175. TOP
Encyclopedia comments: "But
Sixtus V, though unskilled in this branch of criticism, had introduced
alterations of his own, all for the worse. . . . His immediate
successors at once proceeded to remove the blunders and call in
the defective impression." -- Vol. II, p. 412.
See Cardinal Gasquet's article in the Forum for August,
1926, p. 203.
"History of the Council of Trent," T. A. Buckley, Part
II, chap. 16, p. 127.
p 21 --All
available copies of the Bible of Pope Sixtus were called in and
burnt as, were the heretics. Pope Clement VIII, in 1592, ordered
a better edition to be made, accompanying it with a similar bull.
Dr. James, keeper of the Bodleian Library at Oxford, where one
of Pope Sixtus's Bibles remained, compared it with that of Pope
Clement, and found two thousand glaring variations in them. He
published his findings in a book called: "Bellum Papale, i.e.
the Papal War." ("History of Romanism," Dr. J. Dowling,
p. 487. New York: 1871.)
James, in the following statement, gives valuable information
on the Vulgate Bible: "Isidorus
Clarius hath noted eight thousand places erroneous in the vulgar
bible, the divines of Louvaine, and Joannes Benedictus have observed
above twice as many differences, from the original Hebrew and
Greek fountains. If Paulus V., the now pope,
will take the pains to reform these also; in my judgment, he shall
do a work very acceptable unto the whole Christian world, both
Protestant and papist." -- "A Treatise of the Corruptions
of Scripture, Councils, and Fathers," p. 208. London: 1843.
Encyclopedia says of the latest revision of the Vulgate by
is now the officially recognized version of the Latin Rite and
contains the only authorized text of the Vulgate. That it has
numerous defects has never been denied." -- Vol. XV, p.370.
That the Roman
church is not satisfied with the present Vulgate text is seen
by the fact that in 1907 Pope Pius X, according to the Forum,
commissioned H. E. Francis Aidan Cardinal Gasquet, with his Benedictine
Order, to reproduce the true Latin text of St. Jerome by a new
revision. Cardinal Gasquet says of the former attempt made by
Pope Clement VIII, in 1592: "The
commission labored for some forty years, and strange to say, many
of the changes proposed by them were never inserted in the final
revision. From the notes of this commission it may be safely said
that had they been accepted we should
p 22 --
had a much better critical text than we now possess." -- "Forum,"
August, 1926, p.203. TOP
Encyclopedia points out a fact often overlooked by scholars
today, that "the Hebrew
text used by St. Jerome was comparatively late, being practically
that of the Masoretes. For this reason his version, for textual
criticism, has less value than the Peshito and the Septuagint.
As a translation it holds a place between these two." -- Vol.
XV, p. 370.
E. S. Buchanan,
M. A., B. Sc., says of Jerome's translation: "Jerome,
to the great loss of posterity, did not dig deep into the history
of the text. He did not revise on the Latin and Greek texts of
the second century; but solely on the Greek text of the fourth
century, and that was a text too late and too limited in range
and attestation on which to base an enduring fabric. . . .
He was not bidden
to search for the earliest MSS. He was not bidden to bring together
the versions of the East and the West. He was not bidden to make
inquiry for the lost autographs with a view to the reconstruction
of the Apostolic text. He was only bidden to prepare a suitable
text for ecclesiastical usage. And this he has done; but it is
painful to think of all he left undone, that with his position
of vantage he might have done." -- "The Records Unrolled,"
p. 20. London: John Ouseley, Ltd.
considerations we see, that, even if the original text of Jerome's
translation could be reconstructed, it would not be of as much
textual value as is sometimes supposed. We are not depreciating
the Catholic Bible. We wish Catholics would read it more than
they do. All we are here aiming at is this: When leading Catholic
authorities admit that their Bible is of so little value as a
"Standard Text," then why do they so relentlessly oppose
the circulation of the authorized Protestant Bible, which is translated
from the best original sources? Henry Guppy, M. A., D.
Ph. et Litt., Librarian of the John Rylands Library, England,
Church of Rome has always bitterly opposed any attempt to circulate
the Bible in the language of the people, and license to read the
Scriptures, even when
p 23 -- truly and catholicly translated,
was but sparingly granted.
"In spite, however,
of the denunciations uttered by the Roman Catholic priests against
what they were pleased to term the incorrect and untruthful translations
which were in circulation, the Bible continued to be read by increasing
numbers of people. Indeed, the attempts to suppress it created
a prejudice against the Roman Catholic Church; and, as time wore
on, it was felt by many Catholics that something more must be
done than a mere denunciation of the corrupt translations in the
direction of providing a new version which the Roman Church could
warrant to be authentic and genuine." -- "A Brief Sketch
of History of the Translation of the Bible," p. 54. London:
University Press, 1926. TOP
After the Jesuits
had been expelled from England in 1579, they settled at Rheims,
France, where they translated the New Testament from the Latin
Vulgate into English. This was printed in 1582. Later they moved
to Douay, where they printed the Old Testament in 1609. We have
seen that the learned Catholic doctors, Johann Jahn and Isidor
Clarius, acknowledged that there were 8,000 errors in the Vulgate
Bible, and as a stream cannot be expected to rise higher than
its fountain, we must conclude that the errors are carried over
into the Douay Version. We shall take the space to mention only
two of them:
1. -- The
Douay Bible uses the word "adore" where the Protestant Bible has
"worship." (Compare Matthew 4: 10 in both Bibles.) While the Protestant
Bible says that Jacob " worshiped, leaning upon the top of his
staff," the Douay Version says that he "adored the top of his
rod." Hebrews 11: 21. "The Approved Holy Catholic Bible," with
"Annotations by the Rev. Dr. Challoner," and approved by Pius
V1, says: "Jacob . . . worshiped the top,of his rod." Thus Catholics
have proof for worshiping relics.
Our Protestant Bible more correctly translates 2 Timothy 3: 16
to read, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God," but the
Douay Version reads: "All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable."
As can be readily seen, this latter rendering gives
p 24 --no
assurance that the Bible is inspired, but simply makes the superfluous
statement that what is inspired is profitable. And so it is left
with the church to say what is inspired.*
In full view
of all the foregoing facts, how can Roman Catholic authors shut
their eyes to it all, and brazenly declare that their church alone
has the true and correct Bible? They say: "She
alone possesses the true Bible and the whole Bible, and the copies
of the Scriptures existing outside of her pale, are partly incorrect
and partly defective.
was the celebrated Vulgate, the official text in the Catholic
Church, the value of which all scholars admit to be simply inestimable.
. . . The Council of Trent in 1546 issued a decree, stamping it
as the only recognized and authoritative Version allowed to Catholics.
. . . It was revised under Pope Sixtus V in 1590, and again under
Pope Clement VIII in 1593, who is responsible for the present
standard text. It is from the Vulgate that our English Douai Version
comes." -- "Where 'We Got the Bible," Right Rev. Henry
G. Graham, pp. 7, 16, 17. London: Eighth Impression, 1936. TOP
Do these men
actually believe that Protestants have no access to the facts
of history, but are dependent on such misstatements! Or are they
vainly hoping that the public will have no opportunity to read
the Protestant side of the story?
part of it all is the fact that the Catholic Church, after proclaiming
so loudly since 1546 that the Latin Vulgate is "the only recognized
and authoritative version," and crying out against the Protestant
Bibles (translated from the original Hebrew and Greek text) as
" heretical," is herself at last driven, by facts long known within
her own circle, to translate the Bible "from the original text,"
Hebrew and Greek. What a complete somersault! This late Catholic
version is called "The Westminster Version" (printed by
Longmans, Green and Co., London). But, as the work is intrusted
mostly to the Jesuits, we can expect very little change from their
former Douay Version, except that it will be more carefully
* -- The new
Catholic version Of 1941 renders it: "All Scripture is inspired
p 25 --
to conform to the Roman viewpoint (judging from the portions that
have already been published). For instance, the correct note under
Revelation 13: 18 is entirely changed, but Revelation 22: 14 reads
the same as in the Douay Version: "Blessed are they that wash
their robes." In our Authorized Protestant Version (King James')
it reads: "Blessed are they that do His commandments."
Revelation 22: 14, P. P. Bliss, musician assisting D. L. Moody,
wrote the hymn:
words our Saviour hath spoken, Words of life unfailing and true:
Careless one, prayerless one, hear and remember, Jesus says,
'Blessed are they that do.' Blessed are they that do His commandments,
Blessed, blessed, blessed are they."
Later Mr. Bliss
went to Rome, where he learned that "Blessed are they that wash
their robes," "must be the correct" rendering. And "during
his last week in Rome," he told his brother-in-law that he was
sorry he had written that hymn. He declared: "
I see so clearly its contradiction of the gospel that I have no
liberty in singing it." Then he wrote the hymn: "Free
from the law, oh, happy condition." -- " Memories
of Philip P. Bliss," D. W. Whittle, pp. 131, 132. New York:
A. S. Barnes and Co., 1877. It is deplorable that this good
Christian man should get such impressions at Rome. But, sad to
say, P. P. Bliss is not the only beloved Protestant that has been
in touch with Rome, and lost his desire and liberty to
teach the good old truths of the Protestant Bible.TOP
the Roman Catholic translation of Revelation 22: 14, because the
Vatican possesses one of the three oldest Bible manuscripts (Codex
Vaticanus). But that manuscript ends with Hebrews 9: 14, so that
it could not give Catholics the proper rendering of Revelation
* -- For
further light on this point see "A Brief Sketch of the History
of the Translation of the Bible, " H. Guppy, p. 7, and
"The Records Unrolled" by H. S. Buchanan, p. so.
UNDERMINES THE PROTESTANT FOUNDATIONS
p 26 --
The second, and more effective, weapon Rome used against the Reformation
was "higher criticism," in an effort to undermine the very
foundation of Protestantism.
appeal of the Roman Catholic Church lies in its claim to " apostolic
succession," that is, that its popes descended in direct line
from the apostles. Protestants, originating in the sixteenth century,
have no such appeal. Their strong argument lies in their exact
conformity with the Bible in faith and morals. "The Bible, and
the Bible only" is their battle cry. The Bible reveals man's utter
inability to attain justification by his own works, and offers
it as a "free gift," obtained by faith in the merits of Jesus
Christ alone. The Bible presents good works only as the natural
fruit of genuine faith. On this foundation was Protestantism
built. Before going further we shall let Catholics and Protestants
state their foundations.
FOUNDATION -- "Like
two sacred rivers flowing from paradise, the Bible and divine
Tradition contain the Word of God, the precious gems of revealed
truths. Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on
account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both
full of revealed truths, still, of the two, Tradition is to us
more clear and safe." -- "Catholic Belief,"
Joseph Faa di Bruno, D.D., p. 33. New York: Benziger Brothers.,
Divine revelation is contained in the written books and the unwritten
traditions (Vatican Council, I, II), the Bible and Divine tradition
must be the rule of our faith; since, however, these are only
silent witnesses, . . . we must look for some proximate rule which
shall be animate or living. . . .
p 27 --
The Bible could not be left to interpret itself." Therefore
Catholics declare the "Church to be its acknowledged interpreter."
And under the heading:
"The Catholic Doctrine Touching
the Church as the Rule of Faith, " we
read: " Now the teaching Church is the Apostolic body continuing
to the end of time." But
of the teachers of this body, they say: " Unless they be
united with the Vicar of Christ [the Pope], it is futile to appeal
to the episcopate in general as the rule of faith." They
then sum up their rule of faith thus: "'Hence we must stand
rather by the decisions which the pope judicially pronounces than
by the opinions of men, however learned they may be in Holy Scripture.'"
-- "Catholic Encyclopedia," Vol. V, pp. 766-768,
art. " Faith, Rule of."
The teaching Church, with the pope at its head, is therefore the
Catholic "rule of faith."TOP
Thus we see
that the Roman Catholic Church places tradition above the Bible
as more safe, and substitutes the pope for the Holy Spirit as
the guide. Christ promised His followers: "Howbeit when He,
the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth."
"He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance."
John 16: 13; 14: 26. That these promises are not confined to the
leaders of the church, is made plain by John, who applies them
to all Christians: "But the anointing which ye have received of
Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach
you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, . .
. ye shall abide in Him." 1 John 2:27. In answer to these Scriptures
the Catholic writers say: "
Nor can it be said that being a divinely inspired book, its prime
Author, the Holy Ghost, will guide the reader to the right meaning."
-- " Things Catholics Are Asked About," M. J. Scott,
S. J., p.
119. New York: 1927.
FOUNDATION -- Protestants have announced as their rule
of faith: "The Bible, and the Bible only," with the Holy Spirit
as its sole interpreter. William Chillingworth, M. A.,
Bible, I say, the Bible only, is the religion of Prot-
p 28 --
estants! . . . I
for my part, after a long and (as I verily believe and hope) impartial
search of 'the true way to eternal happiness,' do profess plainly
that I cannot find any rest for the sole of my foot but upon this
rock only. I see plainly and with my own eyes, that there are
popes against popes, councils against councils, some fathers against
others, the same fathers against themselves, a consent of fathers
of one age against a consent of fathers of another age, the church
of one age against the church of another age. . . . In a word,
there is no sufficient certainty but of Scripture only for
any considering man to build upon." "The
Religion of Protestants," William Chillingworth, M. A., p.
I say, the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants!' Nor is
it of any account in the estimation of the genuine Protestant,
how early a doctrine originated, if it is not found in
the Bible. . . .
"He who receives
a single doctrine upon the mere authority of tradition, let him
be called by what name he will, by so doing, steps down from the
Protestant rock, passes over the line which separates Protestantism
from Popery, and can give no valid reason why he should not receive
all the earlier doctrines and ceremonies of Romanism, upon the
same authority." -- " History of Romanism," John Dowling,
D. D., pp. 67,68. New York: 1871. TOP
faith in the Bible as God's infallible word carried the Reformers
above all opposition, and swept over Europe with an irresistible
force which threatened to engulf the old, decaying structure of
the Roman church. This unabated force could be broken only
by robbing Protestants of their implicit faith in the Bible. They
would then lose their power as surely as did Samson, when he was
shorn of his locks. (Judges 16: 19, 20.)
PROTESTANT FOUNDATIONS -- Richard
Simon, a Roman Catholic priest, called the "Father of Higher Criticism,"
in 1678 wrote "A Critical History of the Old Testament"
in three books, laying down the rules for a
p 29 --
exact translation. He advanced the new theory that only the ordinances
and commands of the books of Moses were written by him, while
the historical parts were the product of various other writers.
Simon's declared purpose was to show that the Protestants had
no assured principle for their religion. (See edition of 1782.)
"This work led to a very extended controversy and the first edition
was suppressed."* So vigorous was the opposition of the learned,
that his theory lay dormant for seventy-five years. The Catholic
Encyclopedia says: " A
French priest, Richard Simon (1638-1712), was the first who subjected
the general questions concerning the Bible to a treatment which
was at once comprehensive in scope and scientific in method. Simon
is the forerunner of modern Biblical criticism. . . . A reaction
against the rigid view of the Bible [was one of] the factors which
produced Simon's first great work, the 'Histoire critique du
Vieux Testament' ['Critical History of the Old Testament']
which was published in 1678. . . . It entitles him to be called
the father of Biblical criticism." -- Vol. IV, p.
Jean Astruc, a French Catholic physician of considerable
note, published a little book, 'Conjectures sur les memoires
originaux dont il parait que Moyse s'est servi pour composer le
livre de la Genese (Conjectures on the original records
from which it appears that Moses composed the book of Genesis).'"
-- Ibid., same page. (See also New Schaff-Herzog
Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I, p. 336, art,
His book is
rightly named, for in it he conjectured that the book of
Genesis must have been written by two different authors, because
the Creator is there called " God " (" Elohim ") in some places,
and "Lord" ("Jehovah") in other places. Such a line of reasoning
would be as inconsistent as to claim that Paul's Epistle to the
Philippians, for instance, must have been written by two different
apostles, because our Saviour is there called "Jesus"in some
places, and "Christ" in others. But what about the places where
He is called "Jesus Christ"? And so in Gene-
Catalogue of R. D. Dickinson,
1935, No. 462, p. 10, book No. 167.
p 30 --
sis. Who wrote the five passages where He is called "Lord
God" ("Jehovah Elohim ")? In 1792, Dr. Alexander Geddes, a Roman
Catholic priest of Scottish origin, carried this "fragmentary
hypothesis" still further. Absurd as this theory was, the Protestants
fell into the trap set for them, and Germany, the seat of the
Reformation, became the seat of this destructive "higher criticism."
Today this inconsistent criticism of the Bible has invaded the
seminaries, colleges, and universities of practically all Protestant
denominations, and few ministers are free from its blighting influence.
Edwin Cone Bissell, Professor in McCormick Theological Seminary,
Chicago, carried out this "fragmentary" theory in his book, "Genesis
Printed in Colors, Showing the Original Sources from Which It
Is Supposed to Have Been Compiled" (Hartford, 1892), displaying
the seven colors of the rainbow in shorter or longer fragments,
each representing a different author or editor.TOP
spent two years investigating American colleges from Maine to
California, and wrote his astounding findings in the Cosmopolitan
Magazine, May to August, 1909. Here are a few expressions
culled from his report: "In
hundreds of classrooms it is being taught daily that the Decalogue
is no more sacred than a syllabus; that the home as an institution
is doomed; that there are no absolute evils; that immorality is
simply an act in contravention of society's accepted standards;
. . . and that the daring who defy the code [the moral
law] do not offend any Deity, but simply arouse the venom of
the majority -- the majority that has not yet grasped the
new idea; . . . and that the highest ethical life consists at
all times in the breaking of rules which have grown too narrow
for the actual case. . . .
can be and are holier alliances without the marriage bond than
within it. . . . Anything tolerated by the world in general is
right. . . . The notion, . . . that there is anything fundamentally
correct implies the existence of a standard outside and above
usage, and no such standard exists." -- pp. 665, 666, 674,675,
p 31 --
Can anyone wonder at what Dr. Charles Jefferson declares?
He says: A
theological student at the end of the first year of his seminary
course is the most demoralized individual to be found on this
earth. His early conception of the Bible has been torn down all
the way to the cellar, and he is obliged to build up a new conception
from the foundations." -- " Things Fundamental,"
pp. 120, 121.
In regard to
the inevitable result of teaching the rising generation such revolutionary
ideas, and of undermining completely their moral standards, and
their belief in God, the editor of the Cosmopolitan Magazine says
in a note to Mr. Bolce's articles: "These
are some of the revolutionary and sensational teachings submitted
with academic warrant to the minds of hundreds of thousands of
students in the United States. It is time that the public realized
what is being taught to the youth of this country.
' The social
question of to-day,' said Disraeli, 'is only a zephyr which rustles
the leaves, but will soon become a hurricane.' It is a dull ear
that cannot hear the mutterings of the coming storm." --
" Cosmopolitan Magazine, " May, 1909, p. 665.
The Bible declares:
"They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind. "
" There is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing
adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood." Hosea
8:7; 4:1, 2. (Compare 2 Timothy 3:1-5.) Yes, the saying is true,
that "whatsoever a man
soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7. TOP
Register for June 18, 1891, page 389, commenting favorably
on the work of higher criticism, says: "Thomas
Paine, though stigmatized and set aside as an infidel, finds reincarnation
in the modern scientific Biblical critic. . . . He lived too far
in advance of his age. The spirit of modern scientific criticism
had not yet come. . . . And now it is interesting to find that,
in a different spirit and with different tools, and bound by certain
traditions, . . . the professors in our orthodox seminaries are
doing again the work which Paine did. "
p 32 --
As long as these men domineered over the Old Testament, most
of the Christian teachers remained silent. But the work did not
stop there. The Lutheran Pastor Storjohan of Oslo, Norway, says
of Wellhausen: "After
they have permitted him to domineer over the Old Testament for
more than twenty-five years, it is not more than reasonable, and
a just punishment, that he in his presumption has now undertaken
his war on the Gospels." -- " Bibelen paa Pinebaenk [The
Bible on the Inquisitorial Rack]," p. 7. Christiania, 1907.
let us briefly point out the road which higher criticism
had to travel, after it had taken the first step: When critics
had denied the historicity of the books of Moses (the Pentateuch),
they discovered that the Psalms referred to them as acknowledged
history. (Psalms 33: 6, 9; 29: 10; 77: 20; 103: 7; 105: 6-45;
106: 7-33.) To be consistent, the Psalms had to be rejected. They
also found that the books of Joshua, Samuel, Kings, Chronicles,
and Nehemiah, and the prophets acknowledged the Pentateuch as
the inspired work of Moses (Joshua 23: 6; 1 Kings 2: 3; 2 Chronicles
35: 6; Nehemiah 8: 1, 8; Daniel 9: 11, 13; Malachi 4: 4), so these
books had to be rejected.
But then they
found that the New Testament repeatedly referred to the Old Testament
as inspired authority (about eight hundred twenty-four times),
and to their consternation they discovered that Jesus declared
the first five books in the Bible were written by Moses (Mark
12: 26; Luke 24: 25, 44, 45), and that He asked: "If ye believe
not his [Moses'] writings, how shall ye believe My words?" John
5:46, 47. The critics had declared that the account of the Flood
was only a myth, which no intelligent person could believe. But
Jesus said: "Noe entered into the ark," and "the Flood came, and
took them all away." Matthew 24:38,39. He even believed the truthfulness
of the account of Jonah's being in the great fish for three days,
and of his preaching in Nineveh afterwards. (Matthew 12: 40, 41.)
There was, therefore, no way of reconciling Jesus to higher criticism,
so they rejected Him as the divine Son of God.
p 33 --
For if Jesus did not know that those Old Testament stories
were only myths, He was deceived. If He knew this, and yet taught
them, He was a deceiver. In either case He could not be divine,
they reasoned: "
If in the dawning of the fortieth century, it shall be found that
the law and the prophets are obsolete, the Gospels and Epistles
discarded, Moses forgotten, and Paul and his writings set aside
to make room for the inerrant productions of [higher critics],
. . . if it shall then appear that the hunted prophets who wandered
in sheepskins and goatskins, and were destitute, afflicted, and
tormented, 'of whom the world was not worthy,' have gone down
before the onslaught of the learned and well-salaried professors
of modern universities; if it shall appear that the word of the
Lord which they uttered at the loss of all things and at the peril
of life itself has paled its ineffectual fires before the rising
radiance of oracular higher criticism; if it shall then be learned
that God hath chosen the rich in this world, poor in faith and
heirs of the kingdom -- who can tell how welcome this information
may prove to those who suppose that gain is godIiness, and that
it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than
for a poor man to enter the kingdom of heaven?" -- '' The
Anti-Infidel Library," H. L. Hastings, "More Bricks From the
Babel of the Higher Critics," pp. 172, 173. Boston: Scriptural
Tract Repository, 1895.
properly ask how Romanists dared to start higher criticism. Would
not this menace be equally dangerous to their church? Absolutely
not! The Roman church rests on an entirely different foundation.
The Church, and not the Bible, is her authority. She flourishes
best where the Bible is least circulated, as history amply shows.
But Protestantism that rejects the inspiration of the Bible, has
abandoned its foundation, and stands helpless. It is like a ship
that has lost its mooring, thrown away its chart and compass,
and is drifting toward -- Rome. TOP
Prophetic History of the World
p 34 --The
prophecies of the Bible are not difficult to understand, if we
follow the rules laid down in Scripture for interpreting prophecy.
These rules are few in number, and they are not complicated. When
used in connection with prophetic symbols, "sea," or "waters,"
stand for "multitudes" of people (Revelation 17: 15; Isaiah 8:
7; 17: 12; Jeremiah 6: 23); wind " stands for " war " (Jeremiah
4: 12, 13; 25: 31, 32); "beasts" stand for "kingdoms" (Daniel
7:23); and "days" for "years" (Ezekiel 4: 6).
Daniel saw in vision four winds of war, which strove upon
the great sea of people, and four great beasts,
or kingdoms, came up one after the other. " The first was like
a lion, and had eagle's wings." Daniel 7: 2 - 4. In Jeremiah 49:
19, 22, 28, a lion is used to symbolize the kingdom of Babylon
(606-538 B. C.). The second beast was like a bear (Daniel 7: 5),
and denoted Medo-Persia, the next world empire (538-331 B. C.).
The "three ribs in the mouth of it" were the three chief countries
which it conquered, Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt.
He next saw
a leopard having four heads and four wings (v. 6), symbolizing
the Grecian Empire (331-168,B. C.). A leopard is very alert, and
adding to this symbol four wings would indicate that Grecia would
make rapid conquest, which was true. Alexander the Great marched
his army 5,100 miles in eight years and conquered the then known
civilized world. The four heads on the leopard denote the four
divisions into which that empire was split up after the death
" The fourth
beast," the angel explained, "shall be the fourth kingdom upon
earth." (v. 23.) The fourth empire from Babylon was Rome (168
B. C. to 476 A. D.). The angel also informs us that "the ten horns
out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise." (v. 24.)
The Roman Empire was split up into just ten
p 35 --
between the years 351 and 476 A. D. The following are their ancient
and modern names: 1.
Alemanni -- Germany. 2. Franks -- France. 3.
Anglo-Saxons -- England. 4.Burgundians -- Switzerland.
5. Visigoths -- Spain. 6 -- Suevi -- Portugal.
7. Lombards -- Italy. 8. Heruli 9.Vandals.
10. Ostrogoths. TOP
is so plain, and the explanation so natural and easy
to understand, that all commentators, both Protestant and Catholic,
fully agree on it. (See Sir Isaac Newton's "Observations upon
the Prophecies," pp. 157-159; Bishop Thomas Newton, "Dissertations
on the Prophecies," pp. 201-221; Joseph Tanner on "Daniel
and the Revelation," pp. 165-174; Martin Luther's "Introduction,"
pp. 32, 33, Frederikshald, 1853.)
or Catholic, version of the Bible has the following notes on Daniel
7: 3, 7, 8. "Four great beasts. Viz., the Chaldean, Persian,
Grecian, and Roman empires." "Ten horns. That is, ten kingdoms,
(as Apoc. 17. 12,) among which the empires of the fourth beast
shall be parcelled." "Another little horn. This
is commonly understood of Antichrist."
In regard to
these ten kingdoms, Sir Isaac Newton says: " Whatever
was their number afterwards, they are still called the Ten Kings
from their first number." -- " Daniel and the Apocalypse,"
p. 187; first printed, 1733; reprinted, London: 1922.
LITTLE HORN -- I considered the horns, and, behold,
there came up among them another little horn." Daniel 7:
8. Let us now consider all the characteristics this prophecy gives
to the little horn, and we shall be forced by weight of evidence
to settle on just one power as the
fulfillment of these predictions.
It was to come up " among " the ten European kingdoms into which
the Roman Empire was split. (v. 8.) (2. ) It " shall rise"
to power "after them." (v. 24.) (3. ) "And he shall
be diverse from the first" ten kingdoms; that is, different
from ordinary, secular
kingdoms. (v. 24.) Any one acquainted with history knows that
the Papacy is the only power that answers to
p 36 --
these specifications. It rose "among" the kingdoms of Western
Rome, "after" they were established in A. D. 476, and it differed
from a purely civil power. But the angel gives still another mark
of identity to the little horn. (4. ) Before it "there
were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots."
(v. 8.) That is, in coming up it pushed out before it three of
the former horns by the roots. Thus three kingdoms were
to be plucked up to give place for the Papacy. This prediction
found its exact fulfillment in the destruction of the three Arian
kingdoms: the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths,
as we now shall see. Rev. E. B. Elliott, M.A., says: "
I might cite three that were eradicated from before the
Pope out of the list first given; viz., the Heruli
under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths.
" -- " Horoe Apocalypticoe, " Vol. III, p. 168, Note
1. London: 1862.
In former days
crowns of conquered kings were placed on the head of the conqueror.
(2 Samuel 12: 30.) It is symbolically fitting, therefore, that
the pope wears a triple crown. Bishop
Thomas Newton, speaking of the power that destroyed the three
horns, says: "And the
pope hath in a manner pointed himself out for the person by wearing
the triple crown." -- "Dissertations on the Prophecies,"
p. 220. London.
A brief statement
of the political and religious conditions in the Roman world is
necessary here in order that the reader may better grasp the real
situation in which these three Arian kingdoms found themselves.
After Constantine had removed the seat of the empire from Rome
to Constantinople, the Roman people were (at intervals) ruled
from that Eastern capital, until the pope had grown to power in
Rome. While the Papacy was gradually gaining control over the
people of the West, the Eastern emperors were courting the good
will of the popes in order to hold their Western subjects. TOP
From the time
of Constantine to that of Justinian there was a deadly struggle
between the two largest factions of the Church, the Catholics
and the Arians. Often there was terrible strife, and even bloodshed.
"The streets of Alexandria and of Con-
p 37 --
were deluged with blood by the partisans of rival bishops." --
" History of Christianity," H. H. Milman, Book III,
5, par. 2, p. 410. New York: 2-vol. ed., 1881.
Most of the barbarian nations into which the Roman Empire was
now split had accepted the Catholic faith. But the Heruli, the
Vandals, and the Ostrogoths were Arians.
While the emperors
courted the help of the popes for political reasons, the popes
sought the assistance of the emperors to destroy the Arians. Theodosius,
the Emperor of the East, had al ready (380-395 A. D.) given "fifteen
stern edicts against heresy, one on the average for every year
of his reign. . . . So began the campaign which ended in the virtual
extinction of Arianism in the Roman world." -- " Italy and
her Invaders," Thomas Hodgkin, Vol. I, pp. 368, 369. Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 8 - vol. ed. of 1899.
In A. D. 380,
the Emperor Theodosius issued an edict which said:
" We order those who follow this law to assume the name of Catholic
Christians: we pronounce all others to be mad and foolish, and
we order that they bear the ignominious name of heretics. . .
. These are to be visited . . . by the stroke of our own
authority." -- " Italy and her Invaders," T. Hodgkin,
Vol. I, p. 183. Two-vol. Ed. of 1880.
the reign and legislation of Theodosius mark out the lines of
future relationship between Pope and Emperor." Ibid.,
continually between the pope of Rome and the emperor of Constantinople,
and in 381 A. D. Theodosius arranged for a general council of
the clergy at Constantinople, which finally established the Catholic
doctrine. "To him also,
at least as much as to Constantine, must be attributed the permanent
alliance between the Church and the State." -- Ibid.,
pp. I82, 183.
HERULI -- The Heruli under Odoacer had established
themselves in Italy, 476 A. D.; and while this Arian king ruled
all his subjects
p 38 --
impartially, he endeavored to shield his people from the persecution
inaugurated by the combined efforts of the pope and the emperor.
Pasquale Villari, writing of the period between 468 and 483 A.
D., says: "At
that time the Pope was morally, and even more than morally speaking,
the most powerful personage in Italy. If Odovacar [Odoacer], as
an Arian, had openly opposed him, Simplicius [the Pope] could
have easily roused the whole country against him, and made it
impossible for him to maintain his position in Italy." .
. . " The Barbarian Invasion of Italy," Vol. I,
pp. 145, 146. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902. TOP
And just such
an opportunity soon presented itself: "
Pope Simplicius died on the 2nd of March, 483, whereupon Odovacar
made a false move, of which he felt the consequences before long.
Undoubtedly it was very important for him to control the choice
of a new Pontiff. He sought not only to prevent the riots which
had often caused bloodshed in the streets of Rome on similar occasions,
but also desired a Pope well disposed to himself. Thus when the
preliminary assembly failed to agree in the choice of a candidate,
the Pretorian Prefect, Cecina Basilius, suddenly intervened in
Odovacar's name, and declared that no election would be valid
without the King's voice. . . .A decree was likewise issued prohibiting
the alienation of Church property and threatening anathema on
all who failed to respect it. After this the Assembly was summoned
to sanction the decree and decide the election, which resulted
in favor of Felix II (483-492), the candidate recommended by Odovacar."
-- Ibid., p. 146.
"His interference in the Papal election has cast
into the Roman Church the seed of a deep and threatening distrust
towards him." -- Ibid., p. 147.
never forgive such an affront, and through its faithful ally,
the emperor, another barbarian nation, the Ostrogoths were called
in to destroy the hated Heruli. Niccolo Machiavelli relates how
the popes used such a method. He says: "
Nearly all the wars which the northern barbarians carried
p 39-- on
in Italy, it may be here remarked, were occasioned by the pontiffs;
and the hordes, with which the country was inundated, were generally
called in by them. The same mode of proceeding still continued,
and kept Italy weak and unsettled." -- " History of Florence,"
p. 13. Washington and London: Universal Classics Library, 1901.
that Theodoric at the head of the Ostrogothic hordes entered Italy
in the autumn of 488, backed by the authority of the emperor and
the Church. Because the discord that had now broken out between
Odovacar and the pope had weakened the former and consequently
made him less formidable, after two disastrous battles he retreated
toward the city of Rome for safety from the Ostrogoths, but "the
gates of Rome were shut in his face, and the inhabitants of Italy
began to show him marked hostility; partly on account of his recent
conflict with the Church, partly for the increased deeds of spoliation.
. . . The Church had taken advantage of all these causes of discontent
in order to excite the populace against him; and before long it
was openly said that the clergy had organized a general conspiracy
against him somewhat, it would seem, in the style of the Sicilian
Vespers." -- " The Barbarian Invasion of Italy," 2 - vol.
ed. of 1880. Vol. I, pp. 153-156.
Cardinal Newman, D. D., says: "Odoacer
was sinking before Theodoric, and the Pope was changing one Arian
master for another." -- " An Essay on the Development of
Christian Doctrine," Part II, p. 320. London: I878.
"On the 5th of March, 493, Theodoric entered Ravenna in triumph,
all the clergy coming forth to meet him, chanting Psalms, and
with the Archbishop at the head of the procession." -- " The
Barbarian Invasion of Italy," Vol. 1, p. 158.
later Odoacer was murdered in cold blood.
out that this coming of the archbishop to meet the Ostrogoths
was staged so as to
" impress vividly on the minds both of Italians and Ostrogoths
that Theodoric came as the friend of the Catholic Church." --
" Italy and Her Invaders,"
p 40 --
Ed., Vol. III, book 4, pp. 234, 235.
further states that the Roman clergy were privy to a terrible
secret plot of murdering the followers of Odovacar all over Italy.
(Ibid., Pp. 225, 226.)
disappeared from history. Thus the first of the three horns of
Daniel 7: 8 was "plucked up by the roots," and history leaves
no room for doubt but that the Papacy through its allies engineered
this act because of its opposition to Arianism.
EMPEROR JUSTINIAN -- Before passing to the next power
destroyed by the Papacy we shall briefly state the condition of
the Roman Empire at this time. Justinian had finally ascended
the throne of Constantinople as the Emperor of the East, 527 A.
D. He was a shrewd politician, and in his effort to extend his
rule over the whole of the Roman Empire he realized his need of
securing the co-operation of the highly organized Catholic Church,
for it was directed by a single head (the pope), and worked as
a unit all over the empire, while the Arian nations stood separately,
without any central organization, and hence they were weak. Then
too, the Arians were very wealthy, and if Justinian could conquer
them in the name of "the true Church," he could confiscate their
property and thus secure means to carry on his many wars. We read:
(527) already meditated . . . the conquest of Italy and Africa."
-- " Decline and Fall," Edward Gibbon, chap. 39, par.
felt that the support of the Pope was necessary in his reconquering
of the West. " -- "History of Medieval Europe," L. Thorndike,
pH D., p. 133. Cambridge, Mass.: 1918.
spared nothing in his efforts to conciliate the Roman Church,
and we find inserted with evident satisfaction in Justinian's
Code pontifical letters, which praised his efforts to maintain
'the peace of the church and the unity of religion.'"
Medieval History," Bury, Gwatkin, and Whitney, Vol. II, p.
44. New York: 1913.TOP
p 41 --
Procopius, the historian who followed Justinian's armies,
his zeal to gather all men into one Christian doctrine, he recklessly
killed all who dissented, and this too he did in the name of piety.
For he did not call it homicide, when those who perished happened
to be of a belief that was different from his own." -- " Secret
History of the Court of Justinian," pp. 138, 139. Chicago:
P. Covici, 1927.
"Now the churches
of these so-called heretics, especially those belonging to the
Arian dissenters, were almost incredibly wealthy " -- Id.,
sent everywhere to force whomever they chanced upon to renounce
the faith of their fathers. . . . Thus many perished at the hands
of the persecuting faction; . . . but most of them by far quitted
the land of their fathers, and fled the country . . . and thenceforth
the whole Roman Empire was a scene of massacre and flight." --
Id., p. 122.
Dom John Chapman
(Roman Catholic) says of Justinian: "He
felt himself to be the Vicegerent of the Almighty to rule the
world and bring it all to the service of Christ. His wars were
holy wars. In later centuries a Byzantine battle began like a
church ceremony. Even in the sixth century every enterprise was
consecrated by religion.
"He was well
aware that judicious persecution is a great help towards conversion!
. . .He strengthened the existing laws against pagans, Jews, and
heretics. . . . Many were burnt at Constantinople after the Emperor
had made vain attempts to convert them. John of Ephesus . . .
was employed in this apostolate. He boasts that in 546 he gained
70,000 pagans in Asia Minor, including nobles and rhetoricians
and physicians, and many in Constantinople. Tortures discovered
these men, and scourgings and imprisonment induced them to accept
instruction and baptism. A Patricius, named Phocus, hearing that
he had been denounced, took poison. The Emperor ordered that he
should be buried as an ass is buried. The pious Emperor paid all
the expenses of this Christian mission, and gave to each of
p 42 --
70,000 Asiatics the white garments for their baptism and a piece
were given three months grace. All magistrates and soldiers had
to swear that they were Catholics." -- "Studies in the Early
Papacy," Dom John Chapman, p. 222. London: Sheed and Ward,
1928. New York: Benziger Brothers. TOP
VANDALS -- "Justinian's
cherished aim was the reconquest of Italy by the Empire; but in
order to succeed in this it was necessary to secure his rear by
overthrowing the Vandals and resuming possession of Africa." --
" The Barbarian Invasion of Italy," P. Villari, Vol. 1,
A pretext for
breaking his oath of peace with the Arian Vandals soon presented
itself. The Vandal government had oppressed the Roman Catholics
just as the emperor, under the influence of the Papacy, had oppressed
the Arians. But when Hilderic came to the Vandal throne he, through
the influence of his Catholic wife, had restored the Roman clergy
to their ancient privileges, and this had so displeased the Vandal
leaders that Gelimer, a zealous Arian, had dethroned and imprisoned
him, and reigned in his place.
" A strong appeal was thus made to the piety [?] of the Emperor
to deliver the true Catholic Church of the West out of the hands
of the barbarian heretics." -- " Medieval and Modern History,"
P. V. N. Myers, p. 62. Boston: 1897.
wavered for a time, fearing to attack these warlike Vandals, but
a Catholic bishop assured him of victory, claiming
"he had seen a vision, in which God commanded that the war should
be immediately undertaken. 'It is the will of Heaven, 0 Emperor!'
exclaimed the bishop." -- Id., p. 63.
which with Rome and her allies has always been a justifiable weapon,
was here used in the service of the church by her dutiful son.
Justinian sent an army of 200,000 trained men under the leadership
of Belisarius to conquer the Vandals, without declaring war, and
unbeknown to Gelimer, their king. Villari says:
p 43 --
landed on the African coast at nine days' march from Carthage
[the Vandal capital]. He did not assume the attitude of a conqueror,
but came, he said, as the deliverer of the Catholics and Romans,
the clergy and lay proprietors, who were all equally oppressed
by those foreign barbarians, the heretic Vandals." -- " The
Barbarian Invasion of Italy," Vol. 1, p. 198.
Belisarius won the enthusiastic support of a large part of the
population. To undermine the zeal of the Vandal leaders for their
king he sent the "leading men of the Vandals" a letter from Justinian,
stating that he intended only to dethrone the usurping king, who
was tyrannizing over them, and to give them back their liberty.
The letter reads: "'It
is not our purpose to go to war with the Vandals, nor are we
breaking our treaty with Gaiseric. We are only attempting to overthrow
your tyrant, who making light of Gaiseric's testament keeps your
king a prisoner. . . . Therefore join us in freeing
yourselves from a tyranny so wicked, that you may enjoy peace
and liberty. We give you pledge in the name of God that we will
give you these blessings.' . . . The overseer of the public post
deserted and delivered all the horses to Belisarius." -- "
History of the Later Roman Empire," J. B. Bury, Vol.
II, p. 130. London: The Macmillan Co., 1925.
never intended to keep his solemn oath to grant them liberty,
and the people soon found Rome the severest of tyrants. TOP
"In 533 the
Byzantine general, Belisarius (q.v.) landed in Africa. The Vandals
were several times defeated, and Carthage entered on Sept. 15,
533. . . . In the next year Africa, Sardinia, and Corsica were
restored to the Roman Empire. As a nation, the Vandals soon ceased
to exist. " -- Nelson's Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, art. " Vandals,"
pp. 380, 381. New
intolerance accompanied the imperial restoration in
the West. In Africa, as in Italy, Arians were spoiled for the
benefit of Catholics, their churches were destroyed or ruined,
and their lands confiscated." -- " Cambridge Medieval History,"
Bury, Gwatkin, and Whitney, Vol. II, p. 44. New York: 1913.
p 44 --
"The Arian heresy
was proscribed, and the race of these remarkable conquerors was
in a short time exterminated. . . . There are few instances in
history of a nation disappearing so rapidly and so completely
as the Vandals of Africa." -- " A History of Greece Under
the Romans," George Finlay, p. 234. London and New York: J.
M. Dent, ed., 1856.
by the arms of Belisarius, returned at once under the dominion
of the empire and of Catholicism. . . . One imperial edict was
sufficient(A. D. 533) to restore all the churches to the Catholic
worship."-" Latin Christianity," H. H. Milman, Book
3, chap. 4, p. 455. New York: Crowell & Co., 1881. Thus
the second horn of Daniel 7: 8 was "plucked up by the roots."
Here we have
one sample out of many in history as to what kind of religious
liberty Rome grants wherever she obtains the power.
OSTROGOTHS -- Theodoric, king of the Ostrogothic nation
of Italy, maintained complete religious liberty for all classes
and creeds. He wrote to Justin, Emperor of the East, who was persecuting
the Arians: "'To pretend
to a domination over the conscience, is to usurp the prerogative
of God; by the nature of things the power of sovereigns is confined
to political government; they have no right of punishment but
over those who disturb the public peace; the most dangerous heresy
is that of a sovereign who separates himself from part of his
subjects, because they believe not according to his belief."'
-- " History of Latin Christianity," H. H. Milman, Vol.
I, Book III, chap. 3, p. 439. New York: 1860.
The wars of
the migrating barbarians on the one side, and the persecutions
of heathen, Jews, and Arians by the Catholic Church on the other,
had kept Italy in constant turmoil. Agricultural pursuits were
neglected, people crowded into the cities, and want and starvation
faced the population. But Theodoric's wise and firm rule, and
the strict religious liberty he established
p 45-- in
Italy, brought peace, prosperity, and happiness to all classes.
J. G. Sheppard, D. D., says: "'Theodoric
deserves the highest praise; for, during the thirty-eight years
he reigned in Italy, he brought the country to such a state of
greatness, that her previous sufferings were no longer recognizable.'
. . . What then prevented this man, with so great a genius for
government, and so splendid an opportunity for its exercise, from
organizing a Germanic empire, equal in extent and power to that
which obeyed the sceptre of the old Roman Caesars? Or why did
he fail, when Charlemagne, with a greater complication of interests
to deal with, for a time at least, succeeded? TOP
causes were mainly these; causes . . . very similar, at all times,
in their operation. In the first place, Theodoric was an Arian,
and there was a power antagonistic to Arianism growing
up already on the banks of the Tiber, stronger than the statesmen's
policy or the soldier's sword -- the spiritual power of the church
of Rome. . . . Such a power was necessarily altogether incompatible
with the existence of an Arian empire. And it proved mightier
than its rival." -- "Fall of Rome," John G. Sheppard,
D. D., pp. 301, 302. London: 1861.
In order to
give the reader a better understanding of the means used by the
Papacy to destroy these Arian kingdoms, we shall quote from Thomas
Hodgkin a few brief statements. He states that Theodoric, the
Ostrogothic king, endeavored to have "a
close league for mutual defence formed between the four great
Arian and Teutonic monarchies, the Visigothic, the Burgundian,
the Ostrogothic, and the Vandal." But
"diplomatists were wanting
[who could act] as their skillful and eloquent representatives,
traveling like Epiphanius from court to court, and bringing
the barbarian sovereigns to understand each other, to sink their
petty grievances, and to work together harmoniously for one common
end. Precisely these men were the Catholic prelates of the Mediterranean
lands to whom it was all-important that no such Arian league should
be formed. . . . All over the Roman world there was a serried
array of Catholic bishops
p 46 --
taking their orders from a single centre, Rome, feeling the interest
of each one to be the interests of all, in lively and constant
intercourse with one another, quick to discover, quick to disclose
the slightest weak place in the organization of the new heretical
kingdoms. Of all this there was not the slightest trace on the
other side. The Arian bishops . . . stood apart from one another
in stupid and ignorant isolation." -- "Italy and Her Invaders,"
Thomas Hodgkin, (8-vol. Ed.) Vol. III, Book 4, pp. 381-383. Oxford:
This same principle
was clearly stated by the Catholic bishop Avitus, when the Arian
king Gundobad appealed to him not to allow the Catholic king Clovis
to overrun his country. Avitus answered:
" If Gundobad would reconcile himself to the Church, the Church
would guarantee his safety from the attacks of Clovis." --
Id., p. 384.
liberty, with its attendant blessings to the country, which Theodoric
had inaugurated, did not satisfy the Catholic bishops; for Rome
does not want, religious liberty for other churches, but sole
domination for herself.
toleration which Theodoric had the glory of introducing into the
Christian world, was painful and offensive to the orthodox zeal
of the Italian." -- " Decline and Fall," Edward Gibbon,
chap. 39, par. 17. TOP
. . . being an Arian, could not long remain on harmonious terms
with a Pope and [an] Emperor of the Orthodox creed, [who were]
necessarily bound to combine against him sooner or later." --
" The Barbarian Invasion of Italy," P. Villari, Vol. I,
p. 178. London: 1913; New York: Scribner, 1902.
This was only
natural. The fundamental principles of the church of Rome are
such that she can never concede to any other denomination the
equal right to exist and to carry on its worship. Urged on by
the pope and his bishops, Emperor Justin had enacted severe laws
against Arians (524 A. D.), and Justinian began his reign in 527
by making laws still more severe.
the King of Italy, at first maintained something
p 47 --
of his usual calm moderation; he declined all retaliation, to
which he had been incessantly urged, on the orthodox of the West."
-- " Latin Christianity," H. H. Milman, D. D.,
Vol. I, Book III, chap. 3, p. 440.
But the concerted
efforts of pope and emperor, by fire, sword, and exile, to exterminate
last "awakened the just
resentment of Theodoric, who claimed for his distressed brethren
of the East the same indulgence which he had so long granted to
the Catholics of his dominions. . . . And a mandate was prepared
in Italy, to prohibit, after a stated day, the exercise of the
Catholic worship. By the bigotry of his subjects and enemies,
the most tolerant of princes was driven to the brink of persecution."
-- "Decline and Fall," chap. 39, par. 17.
Theodoric's prolonged toleration had reconciled no one to him,
and his ultimate severity exasperated his Roman Subjects. A dumb
agitation held sway in the West, and the coming of the Emperor's
soldiers was eagerly awaited and desired." -- "Cambridge
Medieval History," Bury, Gwatkin, and Whitney,Vol. II, p.
10. Chicago: The Macmillan Company, 1913.
the chief men of Rome were suspected, at this very time, of carrying
on a treasonable correspondence with the Court of Constantinople,
and machinating the ruin of the Gothic empire
in Italy." -- " History of the Popes," A. Bower, Vol.
II, p. 421. Dublin: 1749. TOP
In the summer
of 535 Belisarius started with 7,500 men besides his own guards
to conquer Italy and destroy the Arian heretics. This he could
do only by the assistance of the Roman Catholics.
great shrewdness he had quickly won their good will, by announcing
that he came to deliver them from the barbarian yoke, and from
the Arian persecution, and also for the purpose of restoring Rome
to her ancient grandeur." -- " The Barbarian Invasion
of Italy," P. Villari, Vol. 1, p. 201.
was now the king of the Ostrogoths, and Rome was continuing its
usual policy. Professor J. B. Bury says: "In
the meantime Belisarius had left Naples and was march-
p 48 --
northward. The Romans, warned by the experiences of Naples, and
urged by the Pope, who bad no scruples in breaking his oath with
Witigis, sent a messenger inviting him to come. He . . . entered
Rome on December 9, A. D. 536." -- "History of the Later
Roman Empire," Vol. II, pp. 179, 180.
" Such, then,
was the Pope Silverius . . . who, having sworn a solemn oath of
fealty to Witigis, now, near the end of 536, sent messengers to
Belisarius to offer the peaceful surrender of the city of Rome."
-- "Italy and Her Invaders," T. Hodgkin (8-vol. Ed.),
Vol. IV, Book 5, p. 93. 1885.
" Rome betrayed.
The Catholics, on the first approach of the emperor's army, boldly
raised the cry that the apostolic throne (!) should no longer
be profaned by the triumph or toleration of Arianism, nor the
tombs of the Caesars trampled by the savages of the North; and
deputies of the pope and clergy, and of what is called the senate
and people, waited upon the approaching army to whom they threw
open the gates of the city; and
the Catholics were rewarded for their treason by the apparent
respect of Belisarius for the pope." -- " History of the
Christian Church," N. Summerbell, page 340, third edition.
besieged the city of Rome from March, 537, to March, 538, when
he raised the siege, after losing the flower of his army, and
retired to Ravenna, his capital. T. Hodgkin says: "With
heavy hearts the barbarians must have thought, as they turned
them northwards, upon the many graves of gallant men which they
were leaving on that fatal plain. Some of them must have suspected
the melancholy truth that they had dug one grave, deeper and wider
than all, the grave of the Gothic monarchy in Italy." -- "
Italy and Her Invaders," (8-vol. Ed.) Vol. IV, p. 285.
was thus given to the Ostrogoths in 538 A. D., and their attempts
to re-establish themselves after this were but the last flicker
of a lamp being extinguished. Belisarius followed them this same
year to their " last
stronghold of power. Ravenna was soon entered by the troops of
the empire, and with it fell the
p 49 --
kingdom of the Ostrogoths." -- " Fall of Rome," J. G.
,b(j)pard, p. 306. London: 1892.
a singular phenomenon -- the annihilation and disappearance of
a great and powerful people from the world's history." -- Id.,
But let all
remember, that "the
success of Justinian's invasion was
due to the clergy; in the ruin they brought upon their country,
and the relentless tyranny they drew upon themselves, they had
their reward." -- " History of the Intellectual Development
of Europe, " J. W. Draper, M. D., LL. D., Vol. I, p. 355.
New York: Harper Brothers., 1889.
The last of
the three Arian "horns" of Daniel 7: 8 had passed away,
and with it passed also the liberty of the common people.
Dr. N. Summerbell
truthfully says: "The
Dark Ages, introduced by the persecution of an enlightened Church
in the sanguinary wars of Justinian to exalt the Catholics, continued
up to the fourteenth century. It was a long, dark night, when
ignorance, bigotry, and cruelty reigned, and truth, purity, and
justice were crushed out. " -- "History of the Christian Church,"
LOMBARDS -- It has been claimed by some that the Lombard
nation was one of the three horns of Daniel 7: 8, which were rooted
up by the Papacy. We shall therefore investigate this claim carefully
before leaving this subject. It is true that the Lombards, who
settled in Italy, 568 A. D., were at first Arians, but they soon
became converted to the Roman Catholic faith (615 A. D.). Professor
J. B. Bury says: "In the
century which intervened between the death of Gregory I [604 A.
D.] and the accession of Gregory II  the Lombards
had been transformed from Arian heretics into devout Catholics,
so that the religious difficulty which parted Roman from Lombard
had disappeared." -- " The Cambridge Medieval
p 50 --
History," Vol. II, p. 694. New York: The Macmillan
That the Lombards
were not subdued on account of any opposition to the papal church
is also witnessed by the following quotation: "Slowly
however the light of faith made way among them and the Church
won their respect and obedience. This meant protection for the
conquered. " -- "The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol.
IX, art. "Lombards," p. 338.
the Lombards were subdued by Pepin (755 A. D.), and later by Charlemagne
(774), yet they were not destroyed. The Lombard kingdom in Italy
had long been divided into smaller "duchies," and Charlemagne
allowed several of these to continue, while they nominally recognized
him as emperor (such an arrangement became common for centuries
in Italy). TOP
having now been two hundred and thirty-two years in the country,
were strangers only in name; and Charles, wishing to reorganize
the states of Italy, consented that they should occupy the places
in which they had been brought up, and call the province after
their own name, Lombardy. . . .
"In the meantime,
the Emperor Charles died and was succeeded by Lewis, . . . [and]
at the time of his grandchildren, the house of France lost the
empire, which then came to the Germans. [During these changes]
the Lombards [were] gathering strength." -- " The History
of Florence," N. Machiavelli, pp. 15, 16. Washington and London:
Universal Classics Library, 1901.
In 1167 A.
D., the different Lombard cities were organized into separate
republics, and combined into the famous Lombard League. Being
devoted to the pope they fought the excommunicated German emperor,
Frederick Barbarossa, who would subjugate them, and who
"endeavored to, force upon the church an anti-pope in the place
of Alexander Ill." Finally in 1176 A. D., the combined
armies of the Lombard
p 51 --
League met the emperor's forces in a decisive battle
on the plains of Legnano.
''The imperial army was so utterly overthrown and dispersed, that
for some time the fate of the emperor was uncertain. Three days
after the battle he appeared in Pavia, alone, and in . . . disguise.
. . . For twenty-one years Frederick had been struggling against
the independence of Lombardy. With seven armies he had swept their
doomed territory, inflicting atrocities the recital of which sickens
humanity. The fatal battle of Legnano left him for a time powerless,
and he was compelled to assent to a truce for six years. At the
expiration of this truce, in the year 1183, by the peace of Constance,
the comparative independence of Lombardy was secured; a general
supremacy of dignity rather than of power being conceded to the
emperor. " -- " Italy From the Earliest Period to the
Present Day, " John S. C. Abbott, pp. 438, 439. New York:
Not only had
the kingdom of Lombardy maintained its independence, but "
the generous resistance of the Lombards, during a war of thirty
years, had conquered from the emperors political liberty for all
the towns in the kingdom of Italy." -- "A History of the
Italian Republics," J. C. S. de Sismondi, p. 61. New York:
If space permitted,
we could trace the kingdom of Lombardy for nearly two centuries
more, but this will suffice to prove that the Lombards were not
destroyed by Charlemagne, when subdued by him in 774, neither
could they be one of the three powers plucked up by the roots
to give place for the Papacy. (Daniel 7:8) A people plucked up
by the roots in 774 would hardly fight so heroically for four
hundred years afterwards to maintain their independence till mighty
emperors had to yield. But even if the Lombards had been destroyed
by Charlemagne in 774, they could not be reckoned as one of the
three nations plucked up to give place to the Papacy; for, if
we reckon the 1260 years of papal supremacy from 774, they would
end in 2034 A. D., which would entirely
dislocate the prophetic reckoning, as we shall see in the next
TIME, AND TIMES, AND HALF A TIME"
p 52 --The little horn of Daniel 7: 8, 25, was to reign for "a time and times
and the dividing of time." This same " time, and times, and half
a time " is also mentioned in Revelation 12: 14, and in the sixth
verse it is said to be " a thousand two hundred and threescore
days." In prophecy a day always stands for a year. (Ezekiel 4:
6.) This prophetic period is therefore 1260 literal years. We
shall now show that these 1260 years began in 538 A. D., and invite
the reader to notice the four great changes that took place that
We have already seen that the little horn symbolized the Papacy,
and that three Arian kingdoms, which stood in its way, were plucked
up by the roots, and that the last of these received its deathblow
in 538 A. D. through the efforts of Justinian, the faithful son
of the church of Rome.
2. -- History
states that the work of Justin and Justinian in elevating the
Papacy to power brought on a new era, introducing the Middle Ages:
the religious and political tendencies of the Empire now took
so different a direction as to positively constitute the dawn
of a new era. . . . Thus at last Rome had triumphed, after fighting
so long with unflinching vigour and without yielding a single
point." -- " The Barbarian Invasion of Italy," P. Villari,
Vol. I, pp. 177, 178.
of Justinian is more remarkable as a portion of the history of
mankind, than as a chapter in the annals of the Roman Empire or
of the Greek nation. The changes of centuries pass in rapid succession
before the eyes of one generation. . . .
" With the
conquest of Rome by Belisarius, the history of the ancient city
may be considered as terminating; and with his defence against
Witigis [A. D. 538], commences the history of the
p 53 --
-- " Greece Under the Romans," George Finlay, pp. 198,
Dent edition, revised by author, 1877. TOP
Even the Papacy itself changed, so there was a new order of
popes after 538 A. D. History relates: "
Down to the sixth century all popes are declared saints in the
Vigillius (537-555) is the first of a series of popes who no longer
bear this title, which is henceforth sparingly conferred. From
this time on the popes, more and more enveloped in worldly events,
no longer belong solely to the church; they are men of the state,
and then rulers of the state." -- "
Medieval Europe," Belmont and Monod (revised by George Burton
Adams), p. 120. New York: H. Holt & Co., 1902.
In the foregoing
quotation the date of Vigillius should be 538 instead of 537 for
the following reason: "Vigillius
having been thus ordained in the year 537, . . . and
the death of Silverius having been certainly not earlier than
20 June, A. D. 538, it is evident that for at least seven months
his position was that of an unlawful anti-pope, his predecessor
never having been canonically deposed." -- " Dictionary
of Christian Biography",
Drs. Smith and Wace, Vol. IV, art. " Vigillius," p. 1144. London:
For this reason
A. Bower says: "
From the death of Silverius the Roman Catholic writers date the
Episcopacy of Vigillius, reckoning him thenceforth among the
lawful popes." -- " History of the Popes," Vol. II,
p. 488, under
the year " 538." Dublin: 1751.
[Silverius'] death happened on the 20th of June 538.". --
Id., p. 488.
Schaff says: "
Vigillius, a pliant creature of Theodora, ascended the papal chair
under the military protection of Belisarius (538-555)." --
of the Christian Church,"
(7-vol. Ed.), Vol. III, p. 327. New York: Scribner's, 1893.
See also "General
History of the Catholic Church," M. l'Abbe J. E. Darras, Vol.
II, pp. 146, 147
(New York: 1866),
and " The Official
"List of Roman Pontiffs" on
p 54 --
4. Dr. Summerbell gives still another reason why we should
date the beginning of the papal supremacy from 538. He says:
. . .enriched himself with the property of all 'heretics' -- that
is non-Catholics, and gave all their churches to the Catholics;
published edicts in 538 compelling all to join the Catholic Church
in ninety days or leave the empire, and confiscated all their
goods." -- " History of the Christian Church," pp. 310,
311. Cincinnati: 1873. The
same is stated by Samuel Chandler in "History of
Persecution," pp. 142, 143; and
by Edward Gibbon, in " Decline and Fall," chap.
47, par. 24.
STATE RELIGION -- Thus we see that Roman Catholicism
was made the state religion in 538, and all other religions were
forbidden. What gave special significance to these edicts of Justinian
was the fact that he had already in 533 declared the bishop of
Rome to be the head of the universal church, and had subjected
all the priests even of the East under the See of Rome. This fact
he wrote to Pope John II on March 15, 533, in the following language:
honor to the Apostolic See, . . . We hasten to bring to the knowledge
of Your Holiness everything relating to the condition of the Church,
as we have always had great desire to preserve the unity of your
Apostolic See, and the condition of the Holy Churches of God,
as they exist at the present time, that they may remain without
disturbance or opposition. Therefore, We have exerted Ourselves
to unite all the priests of the East and subject them to the See
of Your Holiness. . . . For we do not suffer anything which has
reference to the state of the Church, even though what causes
the difficulty may be clear and free from doubt, to be discussed
without being brought to the notice of Your Holiness, because
you are the head of all Holy Churches, for we shall exert Ourselves
in every way (as has already been stated), to increase the honor
and authority of your see. . . .
we request your paternal affection, that you, by your letters,
inform Us and the Most Holy Bishop of this Fair
p 55 --
City, and your brother
the Patriarch, who himself has written by the same messengers
to Your Holiness, eager in all things to follow the Apostolic
See of your Blessedness, in order that you may make
it clear to Us that Your Holiness acknowledges all the matters
which have been set forth above." -- " The Civil Law of
Justinian," translated by S. P. Scott, A. M. (in 17 volumes),
Book 12, pp. 11-13.TOP
To this letter
Pope John II answered: "
John, Bishop of the City of Rome, to his most Illustrious and
Merciful Son Justinian.
the conspicuous reasons for praising your wisdom and gentleness,
Most Christian of Emperors, and one which radiates light as a
star, is the fact that through love of the Faith, and actuated
by zeal for charity, you, learned in ecclesiastical discipline,
have preserved reverence for the See of Rome, and have subjected
all things to his authority and have given it unity . . .
See is indeed the head of all Churches, as the rules of the Fathers
and the decrees of Emperors assert and the words of your most
reverent piety testify. . . .
have received with all due respect the evidences of your serenity,
through Hypatius and Demetrius, most holy men, my brothers and
fellow bishops, from whose statements we have learned that you
have promulgated an Edict addressed to your faithful people, and
dictated by your love of the faith, for the purpose of overthrowing
the designs of heretics, which is in accordance with the evangelical
tenets, and which we have confirmed by our authority with the
consent of our brethren and fellow bishops, for the reason that
it is in conformity with the apostolic doctrine. . . .
it is opportune to cry out with a prophetic voice, 'Heaven will
rejoice with You, and pour out its blessing upon You, and the
mountains will rejoice, and the hills be glad with exceeding joy.'
. . .
favor of Our Lord . . . remain forever with you, Most Pious Son,
Amen. . . .
p 56 --
at Rome, on the eighth of the Kalends of April, during the Consulate
of Emperor Justinian, Consul for the fourth time."-- Id.,
Both of these
letters appear in the "Code of Justinian," as well as the
following law: "Concerning
the Precedence of Patriarchs:
accordance with the provisions of those Councils, we order that
the Most Holy Pope of Ancient Rome shall hold the first rank of
all the Pontiffs, but the Most Blessed Archbishop of Constantinople,
or New Rome, shall occupy the second place after the Holy Apostolic
See of Ancient Rome, which shall take precedence over all other
sees." -- Id., Vol. XVII, p. 125. ("Constitutions
of Justinian," Vol. XVII, 9th Collection, Title 14, chapter
of March 25, 533, Justinian, writing to Epiphanius, Patriarch
of Constantinople, stating that he had written the above letter
to the pope, "repeats
his decision, that all affairs touching the Church shall be referred
to the Pope, 'Head of all bishops, and the true and effective
corrector of heretics.'" -- "The Apocalypse of St.
John," George Croly, A. M., p. 170, second edition. London:
which was addressed to the Pope, and another to the Patriarch
of Constantinople, were inserted in the volume of the civil law;
thus the sentiments contained in them obtained the sanction of
the supreme legislative authority of the empire. . . .
of the Pope to the imperial epistle was also published with the
other documents; and it is equally important, inasmuch as it shows
that he understood the reference that had been made to him, as
being a formal recognition of the supremacy of the see of Rome."
-- " A Dissertation on the Seals and Trumpets of the
Apocalypse," William Cuninghame, pp. 185,186. London: 1843;
cited in "Source Book," pp. 383, 384, ed. of 1922.
of the Roman see as the highest ecclesiastical authority (cf.
Novelloe, cxxxi) remained the cornerstone of his [Justinian's]
policy in relation to the West." -- "New
p 57 --
Vol. VI, art. "Justinian," p. 286.
Thus we see that the way had been prepared in 533, in anticipation
of the three final acts which were to occur in 538, when the Arian
powers were destroyed, Catholicism made the state religion, and
the Papacy placed under the protection of the state, which gave
rise to the long struggle between church and state as to which
should be supreme.
OF THE 1260 YEARS -- Having now seen that the 1260
years of papal supremacy began in 538 A. D., it is an easy matter
to find their close. Adding the 1260 years to 538 brings us to
the year 1798. And if we have given the right application to this
prophecy, history must record an event in 1798 that would appear
like a death stroke to the Papacy. Turning to history we
find just such an event recorded:
Swedish newspaper, Stockholms Posttidning, for March 29,
1798, has the following news item:
"Rome, the 21st of Feb. , Pope Pius VI, has occupied the
papal chair for all of twenty-eight years, but the 15th inst.
his government in the Papal States was abolished, and five days
later, guarded by one hundred French soldiers, he was taken away
from his palace and his capital. . . .
. . . property was sold by the French, and among it were seven
hundred head of cattle, one hundred fifty horses, and eight hundred
cords of wood. . . .
Pius! He must have felt very sad as he left Rome to go into captivity.
When he departed his tear-filled eyes were turned heavenward."
Rev. E. B.
Elliott, A. M., says of these events: "
In the years 1796, 1797, French dominion being established by
Bonaparte's victories in Northern Italy, . . .the French
armies [urged] their march onward to the Papal Capital. . . .
aged Pope himself, now left mere nominal master of some few remaining
shreds of the Patrimony of Peter, experienced soon after in
person the bitterness of the prevailing anti-papal spirit.
. . .
p 58 --
pretence of an insult to the French Ambassador there, a French
corps d'armee under Berthier, having in February, 1798, crossed
the Apennines from Ancona, and entered Rome, the tricolour flag
was displayed from the Capitol, amidst the shouts of the populace,
the Pope's temporal reign declared at an end, and the Roman Republic
proclaimed, in strict alliance fraternization with the French.
Then, in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, the ante-hall to which
has a fresco painted , by Papal order commemorative of the Protestant
massacre on St. Bartholomew's-day, (might not the scene have served
as a memento of God's retributive justice?) there, while seated
on his throne, and receiving the gratulations of his cardinals
on the anniversary of his election to the Popedom, he was arrested
by the French military, the ring of his marriage with the Church
Catholic torn from his finger, his palace rifled, and himself
carried prisoner into France, only to die there in exile
shortly after." -- " Horoe Apocalypticoe," Rev. E. B.
Elliott, A. M., Vol. III, pp. 400, 401. London: 1862.
Arthur R. Pennington,
M. A., F. R. Hist. Soc., says of this event: "One
day the Pope was sitting on his throne in a chapel of the Vatican,
surrounded by his cardinals who had assembled for the purpose
of offering him their congratulations on his elevation to his
high dignity. On a sudden, the shouts of an angry multitude penetrated
to the conclave, intermingled with the strokes of axes and hammers
on the doors. Very soon a band of soldiers burst into the hall,
who tore away from his finger his pontifical ring, and hurried
him off, a prisoner, through a hall, the walls of which were adorned
with a fresco, representing the armed satellites of the Papacy,
on St. Bartholomew's-day, as bathing their swords in the blood
of unoffending women and helpless children. Thus it might seem
as if he were to be reminded that the same God who visits the
iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
fourth generation, had made him the victim of His retributive
justice for a deed of atrocity which had long been crying aloud
to Him for ven-
p 59 --
-- "Epochs of the Papacy," pp. 449, 450. London: 1881.
Rickaby, an English Jesuit, writes: "When,
in 1797, Pope Pius VI fell grievously ill, Napoleon gave orders
that in the event of his death no successor should be elected
to his office, and that the Papacy should be discontinued.
Pope recovered. The peace was soon broken; Berthier entered Rome
on the 10th February, 1798, and proclaimed a republic. The aged
Pontiff refused to violate his oath by recognizing it, and was
hurried from prison to prison in France. . . . No wonder that
half Europe thought Napoleon's veto would be obeyed, and that
with the Pope the Papacy was dead." -- " The Modern Papacy,"
p. 1. London: Catholic Truth Society.
Trevor, Canon of York, writes of this eventful year: "The
object of the French Directory was the destruction of the pontifical
government, as the irreconcilable enemy of the republic. . . .
The aged pope was summoned to surrender the temporal government;
on his refusal, he was dragged from the altar. . . . His rings
were torn from his fingers, and finally, after declaring the temporal
power abolished, the victors carried
the pope prisoner into Tuscany, whence he never returned
" The Papal
States, converted into the Roman Republic, were declared
to be in perpetual alliance with France, but the French general
was the real master of Rome. . . . The territorial possessions
of the clergy and monks were declared national property, and their
former owners cast into prison. The Papacy was extinct:
not a vestige of its existence remained; and among all the Roman
Catholic powers not a finger was stirred in its defence. The Eternal
City had no longer prince or pontiff; its bishop was a dying captive
in foreign lands; and the decree was already announced that no
successor would be allowed in his place." -- "Rome:
From the Fall of the Western Empire," pp. 439, 440. London:
English secular writer, John Adolphus, says of 1798:
p 60 --
downfall of the papal government, by whatever means effected,
excited perhaps less sympathy than that of any other in Europe:
the errors, the oppressions, the tyranny of Rome over the whole
Christian world, were remembered with bitterness; many rejoiced,
through religious antipathy, in the overthrow of a church which
they considered as idolatrous, though attended with the immediate
triumph of infidelity; and many saw in these events the accomplishment
of prophecies, and the exhibition of signs promised in the
most mystical parts of the Holy Scriptures." -- "History
of France from 1790-1802," Vol. II, p. 379. London: 1803.
clock had set the year 1798 as the end of the papal supremacy,
and when that hour struck, the mighty ruler on the Tiber, before
whose anathemas the kings and emperors of Europe had so long trembled,
went "into captivity" (Revelation 13: 10), and his government
in the Papal States was abolished. Thus the historical events
fit exactly into the mold of prophecy, and establish the fact
that " we have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye
do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark
place, until the day dawn." 2 Peter 1: 19. But prophecy foretells
that this "deadly wound" would be healed, and that the world once
more, for a brief moment, would follow the papal power. (Revelation
13: 3.) In the following
chapter we shall consider the other specifications of this remarkable
OTHER MARKS OF IDENTITY
p 61 --
"HE SHALL SPEAK GREAT WORDS" -- The
little horn was to "speak great words against the Most High."
Daniel 7: 25. We shall now quote a few extracts from authentic
Roman Catholic sources showing the fulfillment of this prophetic
utterance: Pope Leo XIII in his "Great Encyclical Letters
" says: " We hold upon
this earth the place of God Almighty." -- P. 304.
In this encyclical the pope has capitalized all pronouns referring
to himself and to God.
In a large,
authentic work by F. Lucii Ferraris, called "Prompta Bibliotheca
Canonica Juridica Moralis Theologica, " printed at Rome, 1890,
and sanctioned by the Catholic Encyclopedia (Vol. VI, p.
48), we find the following statements regarding the power of the
pope: " The Pope
is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man,
but as it were God, and the vicar of God. . . .
the Pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and
of earth and of the lower regions. . . .
that if it were possible that the angels might err in the faith,
or might think contrary to the faith, they could be judged and
excommunicated by the Pope. . . .
Pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful
of Christ, chief king of kings, having plenitude of power, to
whom has been entrusted by the omnipotent God direction not only
of the earthly but also of the heavenly kingdom." -- Quoted
in " Source Book," (Revised Edition) pp. 409, 410. Washington,
D. C.: 1927.
Encyclopedia says of the pope: "The
sentences which he gives are to be forthwith ratified in heaven."
-- Vol. XII, art. "Pope," p. 265.
p 62 --
Pope Leo XIII says: "But
the supreme teacher in the Church is the Roman Pontiff. Union
of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord
in the one faith, complete submission and obedience of will to
the Church and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself." --
" The Great Encyclical Letters," p. 193.
We leave it
with the reader to decide whether or not these are "great words."
St. Alphonsus de Liguori, a sainted doctor of the Roman church,
claims the same power for the Roman priests. He says: "The
priest has the power of the keys, or the power of delivering sinners
from hell, of making them worthy of paradise, and of changing
them from the slaves of Satan into the children of God. And God
himself is obliged to abide by the judgment of his priests. .
. . The Sovereign Master of the universe only follows the servant
by confirming in heaven all that the latter decides upon earth."
-- " Dignity and Duties of the Priest," pp. 27, 28.
New York: Benziger Brothers., Printers to the Holy Apostolic See,
III has written: 'Indeed, it is not too much to say that in view
of the sublimity of their offices the priests are so many gods."'
-- Id., p. 36.
truly be called "great words"!
PERSECUTING POWER -- The little horn was also to "wear
out the saints of the Most High." Daniel 7: 25. That is, it was
to persecute them till they were literally worn out. Has the Papacy
fulfilled this part of the prophecy? In order to do Roman Catholics
no injustice, we shall quote from unquestioned authorities among
them. And, since they persecute people for "heresy," we must first
let them define what they mean by "heresy." In the New Catholic
Dictionary, published by the Universal Knowledge Foundation,
a Roman Catholic institution, New York, 1929, we read: "Heresy
(Gr., hairesis, choice), deciding for oneself what one
shall believe and practise. " -- Art. "Heresy," p. 440.
p 63 --
According to this definition any one who will not blindly
submit to papal authority, but will read the Bible, deciding
for himself what he shall believe, is a "heretic." What official
stand has the Catholic Church taken in regard to such heretics?
This we find stated in the Catholic Encyclopedia in the
following words: "In
the Bull 'Ad exstirpanda' (1252) Innocent IV says: 'When those
adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to civil power by
the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podesta
or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall,
within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them.'
. . . Nor could any doubt remain as to what civil regulations
were meant, for the passages which ordered the burning of impenitent
heretics were inserted in the papal decretals from the imperial
constitutions 'Commissis nobis' and 'Inconsutibilem tunicam.'
The aforesaid Bull 'Ad exstirpanda' remained thenceforth a fundamental
document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by several
popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicolas IV
(1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others. The civil authorities,
therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication
to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics
to the stake. It is to be noted that excommunication itself was
no trifle, for, if the person excommunicated did not free himself
from excommunication within a year, he was held by the legislation
of that period to be a heretic, and incurred all the penalties
that affected heresy. " -- Vol. VIII,p.34.*
was printed in 1910, and bears the sanction of the Catholic authorities,
and of their "censor," so that here is up-to-date authority showing
that the Roman church sanctions persecution. The Roman church
here acknowledges, that, when she was in power, she forced the
civil government to burn those whom she termed heretics, and the
government officials who failed to execute her laws, became
* -- See
also "Dictionary of the Inquisition," in " Illustrations
of Popery," J. P. Challender, pp. 377-386, New York, 1838;
and "History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages," Vol.
I. pp. 337 338, New York, 1888.
p 64 --
heretics by that neglect, and suffered the punishment of heretics.
Professor Alfred Baudrillart, a Roman Catholic scholar in France,
who is now a Catholic Cardinal, says: "The
Catholic Church is a respecter of conscience and of liberty. .
. . She has, and she loudly proclaims that she has, a 'horror
of blood.' Nevertheless when confronted by heresy she does not
content herself with persuasion; arguments of an intellectual
and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse
to force, to corporal punishment, to torture. She creates tribunals
like those of the Inquisition, she calls the laws of the State
to her aid, if necessary she encourages a crusade, or a religious
war and all her 'horror of blood' practically culminates into
urging the secular power to shed it, which proceeding is almost
more odious -- for it is less frank -- than shedding it herself.
Especially did she act thus in the sixteenth century with regard
to Protestants. Not content to reform morally, to preach by example,
to convert people by eloquent and holy missionaries, she lit in
Italy, in the Low Countries, and above all in Spain the funeral
piles of the Inquisition. In France under Francis I and Henry
II, in England under Mary Tudor, she tortured the heretics, whilst
both in France and Germany during the second half of the sixteenth
and the first half of the seventeenth century if she did not actually
begin, at any rate she encouraged and actively aided, the religious
wars. No one will deny that we have here a great scandal to our
contemporaries. . . .
even among our friends and our brothers we find those who dare
not look this problem in the face. They ask permission from the
Church to ignore or even deny all those acts and institutions
in the past which have made orthodoxy compulsory. " * -- "The
Catholic Church, the Renaissance, and Protestantism," pp.
182-184. London: 1908. This
book bears the sanction of the Roman Catholic authorities, and
of their "censor."
easily account for their devotion to the Holy See,
* -- This
explains why some Catholic authors deny that their church ever
p 65 --
in spite of its
historical abominations, which, however, very few of them are
aware of -- their accredited histories in common use, 'with permission
of authority,' veiling the subject with painful dexterity." --
" History of the Jesuits," Vol. 1, p. 13. London: 1848.
Dr. C. H. Lea
says: "In view of the
unvarying policy of the Church during the three centuries under
consideration, and for a century and a half later, there is a
typical instance of the manner in which history is written to
order, in the quiet assertion of the latest Catholic historian
of the Inquisition that 'the Church took no part in the corporal
punishment of heretics."' -- " History of the Inquisition
of the Middle Ages," Vol. 1, p. 540. New York: Harper and
IX (1227-1241) made the following decree for the destruction of
all heretics, which is binding on civil rulers: "Temporal
princes shall be reminded and exhorted, and if needs be, compelled
by spiritual censures, to discharge every one of their functions:
and that, as they desire to be reckoned and held faithful, so,
for the defence of the faith, let them publicly make oath that
they will endeavor, bona fide with all their might, to
extirpate from their territories all heretics marked by the Church;
so that when anyone is about to assume any authority, whether
spiritual or temporal, he shall be held bound to confirm his title
by this oath. And if a temporal prince, being required and admonished
by the Church, shall neglect to purge his kingdom from this heretical
pravity, the metropolitan and other provincial bishops shall bind
him in fetters of excommunication; and if he obstinately refuse
to make satisfaction this shall be notified within a year to the
Supreme Pontiff, that then he may declare his subjects absolved
from their allegiance, and Ieave their lands to be occupied by
Catholics, who, the heretics being exterminated, may possess them
unchallenged, and preserve them in the purity of the faith." --
"Decretalium Gregorii Papae Noni Conpilatio," Liber V,
Titulus VII, Capitulum XIII,
p 66 --
Collection of the Decretals of Gregory IX, Book 5, Title 7, Chapter
13), dated April 20, 1619.
Catholic doctor, Thomas Aquinas, says: "If
counterfeiters of money or other criminals are justly delivered
over to death forthwith by the secular authorities, much
more can heretics, after they are convicted of heresy, be not
only forthwith excommunicated, but as surely put to death." --
"Summa Theologica," 2a, 2ae, qu. XI, art. iii. TOP
principle is sanctioned by modern Catholic priests, we can see
from the following statement:
"The church has persecuted. Only a tyro in church history will
deny that. . . . Protestants were persecuted in France and Spain
with the full approval of the church authorities. We have always
defended the persecution of the Huguenots, and the Spanish Inquisition."
-- " Western Watchman," official organ of Father Phelan.
St. Louis, Mo.: Dec. 24, 1908.
We have now
seen from the " decretals " of popes, from sainted doctors of
the Roman church, and from authentic Catholic books, that they
sanction and defend persecution, and history amply bears out the
fact. Dr. J. Dowling says: "From
the birth of Popery in 606, to the present time, it is estimated
by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty millions
of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy
by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand
religious murders for every year of the existence of Popery."
-- " History of Romanism," pp. 541, 542. New York: 1871.
W. E. H. Lecky
says: "That the Church
of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution
that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no
Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history. The memorials,
indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty, that it
is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of
her victims, and it is quite certain that no power of imagination
can adequately realize their sufferings." -- " History
of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Ration-
p 67 --
in Europe," Vol. II, p. 32. London: Longmans, Green,
and Co., 1910.
Motley, speaking of papal persecution in the Netherlands, says:
February 16, 1568, a sentence of the Holy Office [the Inquisition]
condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to
death as heretics. . . . A proclamation of the king, dated
ten days later, confirmed this decree of the Inquisition, and
ordered it to be carried into instant execution. . . . This is
probably the most concise death warrant that was ever framed.
Three millions of people, men, women, and children, were sentenced
to the scaffold in three lines." -- " The Rise of the Dutch
Republic," (2-vol. Ed.) Vol. I, p. 626. New York.
Catholic authors today have tried to prove that their church does
not sanction persecution, but facts of history are too plain to
be denied. Eternity alone will reveal what God's dear children
suffered during the Dark Ages. Accordingly as the Papacy attained
to power, the common people became more oppressed, until "the
noon of the Papacy 'was the midnight of the world." -- "
History of Protestantism," J. A. Wylie, LL.D., Vol. I, p.
TO CHANGE TIMES AND LAWS" -- But
Daniel 7: 25 has still another prediction concerning the "little
horn"; namely, that it should "think to change times and laws,"
or as the Revised Version has it: "times and the law."
James Moffatt's translation reads: "He shall plan to alter the
sacred seasons and the law." Now, as the two preceding statements
in this verse depict what the Papacy should do against the Most
High, we must conclude that it is also the "times and the law"
of the Most High which the Papacy should attempt to change. This
could not refer to the ceremonial laws of the Jews, which were
abolished at the cross (Ephesians 2: 15; Hebrews 9: 9,10),
but to the Ten Commandments, which are binding in the Christian
era, to which dispensation this prophecy applies. (Matthew 5:
17-19; 19: 16-19; Luke 16: 17; Romans 3: 31; 7: 7,
p 68 --
12, 14; James 2: 10, 11.) From the prophecy of Daniel 7: 25
it is therefore evident that the Papacy would attempt to make
some changes in the moral law.
After the worship
of images had crept into the church during the fourth to the sixth
centuries, its leaders finally removed the second commandment
from their doctrinal books, because it forbids us to bow down
to images (Exodus 20: 4, 5), and they divided the tenth,
so as to retain ten in number. Thus the Catholic Church has two
commandments against coveting, while Paul six times speaks of
it as only one " commandment. " (Romans 7: 7-13.) Then,
too, the Lord has purposely reversed the order of the supposed
ninth and tenth commandments in Deuteronomy 5: 21 to what they
are in Exodus 20: 17, so that the Catholics, following Deuteronomy
5: 21, have "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife " as their
ninth commandment, while the Lutherans, following Exodus 20: 17,
have it as part of their tenth commandment, and their ninth command
is: " Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house." Thus we see
how people get themselves into trouble when they attempt to change
the law of God.
was also to change times. But the only commandment of the
ten that has to do with time is the fourth, which commands
us to keep holy the seventh day, on which God rested at creation.
(Exodus 20: 10, 11; Genesis 2: 1-3.) It is a remarkable fact that
Christ, His apostles, and their followers kept the seventh day
in common with the Jews (Mark 6: 2, 3; Luke 4: 16, 31; 23: 52-56;
Acts 13: 42, 44; 16: 12, 13; 17: 2; 18: 1-4), and that the New
Testament is entirely silent in regard to any change of the Sabbath
from the seventh to the first day of the week. This would be natural
enough if the original Sabbath, which they were then keeping,
should continue. But if a new day was to take its place in the
Christian church, its Founder would certainly have given explicit
directions for its observance. Yet not a word was spoken by Christ
or His apostles, either before or after His resurrection, as to
such a change.
It is another
remarkable fact that Sunday, is never called by any sacred title
in the New Testament, but always referred to as
p 69 --
a weekday, never as a holy day. It is classed as one of
the weekdays, being called "the first day of the week."
And yet we
find the Christian world generally keeping it. Who made this change,
when it is not recorded in the Bible? When, how, and why was it
made? Who dared to lay hands on Jehovah's law, and change His
Holy Sabbath, without any warrant of Scripture?
denominations disclaim any part in this crime. But the Roman Catholic
Church boasts of having made this change, and even points to it
as an evidence of its authority to act in Christ's stead
upon earth. We shall therefore ask her two pointed questions:
1. -- When did you change the Sabbath? 2. -- Why
did you do it? Here are her answers:
proposition needs little proof. The Catholic Church for over one
thousand years before the existence of a Protestant, by virtue
of her Divine mission changed the day from Saturday to Sunday."
-- "The Christian Sabbath," p. 29. Baltimore, Md.: "Catholic
Mirror," Sept. 23, 1893. TOP
-- Which is the Sabbath day? Ans.-Saturday is the Sabbath
-- Why do we observe Sunday instead of Saturday? "Ans.-We
observe Sunday instead of Saturday because the Catholic
Church, in the council of Laodicea (A. D. 336), transferred the
solemnity from Saturday to Sunday. . . .
" The Church
substituted Sunday for Saturday by the plenitude
of that divine power which Jesus Christ bestowed upon her." --
"The Convert's Catechism of Christian Doctrine," Rev. Peter
Geiermann, C. SS. R., p. 50. St. Louis, Mo.: 1934.
(This work received the "apostolic blessing" of Pope Pius X, Jan.
. . . took the pagan Sunday and made it the Christian Sunday.
. . . And thus the pagan Sunday, dedicated ho Balder, became the
Christian Sunday, sacred to Jesus." -- " Catholic World,"
(New York), March, 1894, p. 809.
We shall enter
into this subject more thoroughly in the following chapters.
CHRIST AND THE SABBATH
p 70 --
Those who oppose the Bible Sabbath center their attack on three
points, claiming (1) that the Sabbath was not instituted
at creation, and hence is not an original law for the whole human
family; (2) that the Sabbath commandment is not a moral
command as the other nine, but was a part of the Jewish ceremonial
law; (3) that Christ or the apostles abolished the Sabbath,
and gradually substituted the first day of the week in its place.
We shall now test these propositions one by one.
SABBATH AN EDENIC INSTITUTION -- God the Father has
always worked through His Son, both in creation and in redemption.
(Genesis 1: 26; Hebrews 1: 1, 2, 8-10; John 3: 16.) Therefore
it was Christ who created the world in six days and rested on
the seventh day. "All things were made by Him; and without Him
was not any thing made that was made. . . . He was in the world,
and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not." John
1: 3, 10. (Compare Colossians 1: 14 -18.) It is a great comfort
to a poor, weak sinner to know that our Saviour is "the Mighty
God" (Isaiah 9: 6) who spoke the worlds into existence (Psalm
33: 6, 9), and who is "upholding all things by the word of His
power" (Hebrews 1: 3). His word has creative power, and if we
receive it by faith, it will change our hearts and lives, and
give us victory over sin. (John 1: 12; Genesis 1: 3; 2 Corinthians
4: 5, 6; Matthew 5: 16; Isaiah 60: 1.)
As the crowning
act on the sixth day, the Lord made man in His own image, and
then He "rested on the seventh day" from a "finished" work. (Genesis
1: 27, 31; 2:1-3.) Thus the seventh day stood as a memorial and
reminder of a finished work in Christ. And when man lost
the image of God through sin,
p 71 --
Christ came to restore in man that divine image by a new creation
(Colossians 3: 10; Ephesians 4: 24; 2: 10; 2 Corinthians 5: 17.)
On the cross He cried out: "It is finished." John 19:30. (See
Hebrews 10: 14.) This was on Friday evening, and He rested on
the Sabbath day from the work of redemption, just as He had originally
rested on it from the work of creation. (Luke 23: 52 -56.) Thus
the seventh-day Sabbath is Christ's memorial of redemption as
well as of the creation. (Ezekiel 20: 12,; Hebrews 13: 8. See
"The Great Controversy," p. 769.) And both events were
for the whole human race, and not for the Jews only.
"The Sabbath was made for man." Mark 2:27. And therefore
it was made when man was created. "So God created man in His own
image . . . . And the evening and the morning were the sixth day
. . . . And He rested on the seventh day. . . . And God blessed
the seventh day, and sanctified it." Genesis
1: 27, 31; 2: 2, 3. This was two thousand years before Abraham
(the first Jew) was born, therefore the Sabbath could not be Jewish.
But, as Christ says, it was "made for man," and the
term " man" is not confined to any one race, but embraces
We are not
alone in believing that the Sabbath was instituted at creation,
as the following quotations from leading men in different denominations
Cook, M. A., Canon of Exeter, says:
F. C. Cook,
M. A., Canon of Exeter, says: "'
And God blessed the seventh day.' The natural interpretation of
these words is that the blessing of the Sabbath was immediately
consequent on the first creation of man, for whom the Sabbath
was made (Mark 2:27). It has been urged from the silence concerning
its observance by the patriarchs, that no Sabbatic ordinance was
really given until the promulgation of the law, and that this
passage in Genesis is not historical but anticipatory. There are
several objections, which seem fatal to this
theory." -- "The Holy Bible, with an Explanatory and Critical
Commentary by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church ",
Vol. I, p. 37. New York: 1875.
D. D., in his Five-Hundred-Dollar
p 72 --
Prize Essay, meets this objection to the historicity of Genesis
in the following forceful way: "
Palcy . . . says: 'The words [of Genesis 2: 1-3] do not assert
that God then blessed and sanctified the seventh day.'
. . . But such an interpretation really amounts to an interpolation.
It alters the passage. . . . Once admit such a mode of dealing
with Scripture, or of dealing with any other book, and we may
bid farewell to certainty regarding any author's meaning. . .
. No history could stand if subjected to such treatment. The plainest
and most unvarnished statements might be so twisted and distorted
as to bear a meaning the exact contrary to that intended by its
author. . . .
"It is not
only said God 'rested,' but He 'blessed,' the day and 'sanctified'
it. . . . If all this do [sic.] Not amount to the institution
of a weekly Sabbath for man in all time coming. . . . we fail
to see what intelligible meaning or purpose is to be extracted
from the narrative." -- " Our Rest Day,"
pp. 10-15, New edition. Edinburgh: 1888. TOP
Luther says on this text: "God
blessed the Sabbath and sanctified it to Himself. It is moreover
to be remarked that God did this to no other creature. God did
not sanctify to Himself the heaven nor the earth nor any other
creature. But God did sanctify to Himself the seventh day. This
was especially designed of God, to cause us to understand that
the 'seventh day' is to be especially devoted to divine worship.
. . .
therefore from this passage, that if Adam had stood in his innocence
and had not fallen he would yet have observed the 'seventh day'
as sanctified, holy and sacred. . . . Nay,
even after the fall he held the 'seventh day' sacred; that is,
he taught on that day his own family. This is testified by the
offerings made by his two sons, Cain and Abel. The Sabbath therefore
has, from the beginning of the world, been set apart for the worship
of God. . . . For all these things are implied and signified in
the expression 'sanctified.'
therefore man lost the knowledge of God by sin,
p 73 --
yet God willed that
this command concerning the sanctifying of the Sabbath should
remain. He willed that on the seventh day both the word should
be preached, and also those other parts of His worship performed
which He Himself instituted." -- "Commentary on Genesis,"
Vol. 1, pp. 138-140, translation by Professor J. N. Lenker, D.
D., Minneapolis: 1904; and also " Copious Explanation of Genesis,"
Vol. I, pp. 62, 63. Christiania: 1863.
words from a distinguished Hebrew scholar are worthy of note here:
To finish a work, in Hebrew conception, is to cease from it, to
have done with it. On the seventh day. The seventh day
is distinguished from all the preceding days by being itself the
subject of the narrative. In the absence of any work on this day,
the Eternal is occupied with the day itself, and does four things
in reference to it. First, He ceased from His work which
He had made. Secondly, He rested. . . . Thirdly,
He blessed the seventh day. . . . In the fourth place,
He hallowed it or set it apart to a holy rest. . . .
record is a sufficient proof that the original institution was
never forgotten by man. . . .
traces of the keeping of the Sabbath are found in the record of
the Deluge, when the sacred writer has occasion to notice short
intervals of time. The measurement of time by weeks then appears
(Genesis 8: 10, 12). The same division of time again comes up
in the history of Jacob (Genesis 29: 27, 28). This unit of measure
is traceable to nothing but the institution of the seventh-day
rest." -- "A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book
of Genesis with a New Translation," J. G. Murphy, D. D., T.
C. D. (Professor of Hebrew, Belfast), pp. 70, 71. Andover: 1866.
Dr. J. P. Lange
says: "The expression,
He hallowed it, must be for man, for all men who were to be on
"If we had
no other passage than this of Genesis 2: 3 there would be no difficulty
in deducing from it a precept for the universal observance of
a Sabbath, or the seventh day, to be devoted to God, as holy time,
by all of that race for whom the
p 74 --
earth and its nature
were especially prepared. The first man must have known it. The
words 'He hallowed it,' can have no meaning otherwise. They would
be a blank unless in reference to some who were required to keep
it holy." -- " Commentary on the Holy Scriptures,"
John Peter Lange, D. D., Vol. I, pp. 196, 197. New York: 1884.
Dr. M. W. Jacobus,
Professor George Bush, and C. 0. Rosenius, and others forcefully
emphasize the same facts. The preceding statements taken from
leading men in different denominations need no comment. They state
the plain facts of the Bible narrative in their most natural setting.
thing in this connection is the fact that the heathen nations
for centuries after the days of Noah retained the seventh-day
Sabbath. The learned Dr. John Kitto says:
"We find from
time immemorial the knowledge of a week of seven days among all
nations -- Egyptians, Arabians, Indians -- in a word, all the
nations of the East, have in all ages made use of this week of
seven days, for which it is difficult to account without admitting
that this knowledge was derived from the common ancestors of the
human race. " -- " Encyclopedia of Biblical Literature,
" Vol. II, art. "Sabbath," p. 655.
H. Sayce declares: "
The Sabbath-rest was a Babylonian, as well as a Hebrew, institution.
Its origin went back to pre-Semitic days. . . . In the cuneiform
tablets the Sabattu is described as 'a day of rest for
the soul,' . . . it was derived by the Assyrian scribes from two
Sumerian or pre-Semitic words, sa and bat, which
meant respectively 'heart' and 'ceasing.' . . . The rest enjoined
on the Sabbath was thus as complete as it was among the Jews."
-- "Higher Criticism and the Monuments," pp. 74, 75.
servitude in Egypt, the majority of the Jews evidently worked
on the Sabbath, just as the rank and file of the Jews do today,
but the knowledge of it was retained then as now, and it was kept
holy by a faithful few. Besides other evidences, we see
this from the fact that, thirty days after they left
p 75 --
and more than two weeks before the law was given on Sinai,
God tested the people on Sabbath-keeping (Exodus 16: 4,
27, 28), which He certainly could not have done, if the Sabbath
had not been known among them till the law was given on Sinai.
Then, too, God speaks of it as a familiar institution. (Compare
Exodus 16: 28 with Genesis 26: 5 and 2: 3.) The fourth commandment
itself points back to creation and commands us to "remember
the Sabbath day" on which He rested at the close of creation week.
(Exodus 20: 8, 11.) No human logic can therefore explain away
the historical facts that the Sabbath
was set apart for man at creation.
MORAL OR TYPICAL? -- Some claim that the Sabbath commandment
does not enforce the observance of the seventh day of the week,
but only the seventh part of our time, the particular day being
left to our choice. But nothing could be more contradictory to
the plain wording of the commandment. If God's commands and promises
are to be so construed as to mean the very opposite of what they
state, then we may bid farewell to all certainty and comfort derived
from the Scriptures. God commands us to keep, not a seventh,
but the seventh, day, on which He rested, the day He blessed
and sanctified. (Exodus 20: 10, 11.) The Sabbath rests on a historical
event that cannot be changed to another day, any more than our
birthday can be changed.
In regard to
the claim that the Sabbath commandment is not moral as the other
nine, but ceremonial, it needs only to be said that there is no
statement to that effect in the whole Bible, and it would involve
its advocates in the most serious difficulty. All through the
Bible a clear distinction is maintained between the two laws,
the moral and the ceremonial. God spoke the Ten Commandments to
the people directly, "and He added no more
" (Deuteronomy 5: 22); He engraved them on two tables of stone
(Exodus 32:16; Deuteronomy 9: 10); and had them laid "in the ark
" (Deuteronomy 10: 5; 1 Kings -8: 9). But ceremonial law of ordinances
was spoken to the people by
p 76 --
Moses, was written by him "in a book," and laid beside
the ark. (Exodus 21: 1; 24: 3, 4, 7; Deuteronomy 31: 24-26.*)
Now we respectfully ask: Would any one claim that God did not
understand the difference between moral and ceremonial laws, and
hence wrote a ceremonial command into the very bosom of His moral
law, the Decalogue? Such an accusation of God would be preposterous,
and yet, this is what the above claim necessarily implies! We
must therefore conclude that all the Ten Commandments are
moral, which practically all the leading religious denominations
teach in their confessions of faith.
CHRIST CHANGE THE SABBATH? -- Christ came to lift people
out of the degradation of sin, not to leave them in sin. He received
the name "JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins."
Matthew 1: 21. And sin is the transgression of the law." I John
3: 4. The law here referred to is the moral law of the Ten Commandments.
(Romans 7: 7, 12; James 2: 10, 11.) Christ firmly refuted the
idea that He was to abolish any part of God's law. He says: "Think
not that I am come to destroy the law. . . . For verily I say
unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall
in no wise pass from the law." Matthew 5: 17, 18. Christ was to
"magnify the law, and make it honorable." Isaiah 42: 21. And this
He did, for He freed it from all the traditions and additions
of men. (Matthew 15: 3, 6, 9, 13.) The Pharisees had burdened
down the Sabbath with hundreds of man-made regulations. All these
Jesus swept away, and restored it to its original purpose, that
it should be a blessing, a sacred "delight" to God's people. (Isaiah
58: 13.) But He never made any change in the day. He kept it Himself,
and taught His followers to do the same. (Luke 4: 16, 31; Matthew
24: 20; 12: 11, 12.) TOP
HATRED OF THE SABBATH -- The Lord gave His Sabbath
to man as a weekly reminder of Christ's sanctifying and keeping
power, because man needed this
The English and American Revised Versions, the Jewish, Danish,
Norwegian, and Swedish versions render Deuteronomy 31: 26, "by
the side of the ark." Others render it " at the side
of the ark," and " beside the ark."
p 77 --
reminder. (Ezekiel 20: 12.) But Satan has always,tried to
blot out all memory of the true God from the earth, and to draw
man's allegiance and worship to himself through idolatry. (I Corinthians
10: 20.) He has therefore made relentless efforts to pull down
God's Sabbatic flag, and to trample it in the mire. We have seen
that for a long time after the descendants of Noah had dispersed
over the earth they retained the knowledge of the Sabbath. This
was true even after they went into idolatry. Egypt was the first
among the heathen nations to attempt to suppress the seventh-day
Sabbath, and influenced other nations to regard the first day
as the weekly holiday of their sun-god. Truels Lund gives us the
following information on this important and interesting subject
of the week in Egypt, in his extensive work: "According
to the Assyrian-Babylonian conception, the particular stress lay
necessarily upon the number seven. . . . The whole week pointed
prominently towards the seventh day, the feast day, the rest day,
in this day it collected, in this it also consummated. 'Sabbath'
is derived from both 'rest' and 'seven.' With the Egyptians it
was the reverse. . . . For them on the contrary the sun-god was
the beginning and origin of all things. The day of the Sun, Sunday,
therefore, became necessarily for them the feast day. . . . The
holiday was transferred from the last to the first day of the
week." -- "Daglige Liv i Norden," Vol.
XIII, pp. 54, 55.
" The seven
planetary names of the days were at the close of the second century
A. D., prevailing everywhere in the Roman Empire .. . . This astrology
originated in Egypt, where Alexandria now so loudly proclaimed
it to all. . . . 'The day of the Sun'
was the Lord's day, the chiefest and first of the week. The evil
and fatal Saturn's day was the last of the week, on which none
could celebrate a feast. . . .
through the Roman legionaries, the seven planetary days pressed
farther north to Gaul, Britain, and Germany.
Everywhere . . . people yielded respectfully to the astrology
in its popular form: the doctrine concerning the
p 78 --
with its fortune, the Moon-day with its alternative play, and
the filthy, unlucky Saturday. . . . As a concentrated troop the
planetary appellations and names of heathen deities stood on guard,
when later Christianity reached Europe, and attempted to displace
them. . . .
"For the Christians
the lot was cast by the reception of the . . . day of the sun.
Not till they themselves had later gained power were they awakened
to doubt. . . . And the heathen names of the days seemed at variance
with Christian faith." -- Id., pp. 91, 92, 110.
Anglican rector, T. H. Morer, says of Sunday: "It
is not to be denied but we borrow the name of this day from the
ancient Greeks and Romans, and we allow that the old Egyptians
worshiped the sun, and as a standing memorial of their
veneration, dedicated this day to him. And we find by the influence
of their example, other nations, and among them the Jews
themselves, doing him homage." -- "Six Dialogues on the
Lord's Day," p. 22. London: 1701.
Thus we see
how Satan, through heathenism, tried to stigmatize the Sabbath
of Jehovah and to elevate Sunday as a joyful day. The Egyptians
worshiped their sun-god under the name of Osiris, and the Apis
bull (the golden calf made at Horeb) was a representation of him.
This worship was conducted by turning to the rising sun. (Ezekiel
8: 16.) Therefore the Lord ordered the tabernacle always
to be pitched with the front toward the east, so that the
people, worshiping before it, had turn to their backs upon sun
worship. (Numbers 3: 23. See also Exodus 26: 22; 36: 27, 32 in
American Revised Version, and Jeremiah 32: 33.) Talbot W. Chambers,
D. D., says that sun worship was "the
oldest, the most widespread, and the most enduring of all forms
of idolatry known to man."
of this form of idolatry is something remarkable. It seems to
have prevailed everywhere. The chief object of worship among the
Syrians was Baal-the sun. . . . In Egypt the sun was the kernel
of the state religion." -- " The Old Testament Student,"
pp. 193, 194. January, 1886.
p 79 --
In Babylon the sun-god was called Bel, in Phoenicia
and Palestine, Baal, and Sunday was
"the wild solar holiday of all pagan times. " -- " North
British Review," Vol. XVIII, p. 409.
Rev. W. H.
Poole says: "The
first and principal idol was the sun -- the glorious luminary
of the day. . . . Baal was the great sun-god of all the East.
With our Israelitish ancestors the sun-god came west. His day
is our Sunday. Every time you name our Sabbath-day Sunday you
are reminded of our great, great, great grandfathers' principal
deity." -- "Anglo-Israel in Nine Lectures,"
pp. 389,390. Detroit, Mich.: 1889.
Britannica says of the worship of Baal: "As
the sun-god he is conceived as the male principle of life and
reproduction in nature, and thus in some forms of his worship
is the patron of the grossest sensuality, and even of systematic
prostitution. An example of this is found in the worship of Baal-Peor
(Numbers 26). " -- Vol. III, (New American ed., Werner Co.),
art. "Baal," p. 175.
worship was the greatest of all abominations to God (Ezekiel 8:
13-16), and the warnings to Israel have great significance to
us today: "I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein
she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings
and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat Me,
saith the Lord." Hosea 2: 13. (See also I Corinthians 10: 11.)
When we remember
that it was Christ who took Israel out of Egypt (Hebrews 11: 26,
27; 1 Corinthians 10: 4), and who labored so earnestly to turn
them away from sun worship and Sunday-keeping, and that it was
Satan who always led them into this idolatry, we ask with all
candor: Could any one suppose that Christ, in the New Testament,
has exchanged places with Satan, so that He is now leading people
to keep Sunday while the devil is leading them to keep the Sabbath
of Jehovah? Every thoughtful person must say with the Apostle
Paul: "God forbid." Romans 3:31.
- Facts of Faith