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of the Roman pontiffs had no other motive but to extend power

of the Roman see ; and, to effect their purpose, they not unfrequently resorted to force. Christian princes also, in league with Rome, compelled conquered tribes to acknowledge the dominion of the pope. The Pomeranians, Finlanders, Sclavonians and Livonians, received baptism at the point of the spear.

But that which contributed more than any thing else to increase and strengthen the papal power, was the reigning spirit of Monachism. The Christian world was deluged with Monks. Like the frogs of Egypt, they came up over all the land and entered into every dwelling. All these attached themselves to the Roman see. The popes of Rome were careful to patronize them, that they might make them tools of their ambition. Every project of the popes, whether right or wrong, was applauded by them, and whoever called the decisions of Rome in question, was denounced by them as enemies to God. Such a power there was no resisting.

These and other causes operated with a continually increasing force, through several successive centuries, to the enlargement of the dominion of the man of sin.

Early in the eighth century, the Roman church became idolatrous.

God, an infinitely pure spirit, has justly required man to worship him in spirit and in truth, and has solemnly forbidden him to make any image or likeness of Him, or to worship and bow down before any picture or statue representing Him or any other object. But, as we have seen in the history of idolatry, men soon changed the incorruptible God, into an image made like to corruptible man, worshipped the host of heaven, and unenlightened by divine truth, have been, in this way, the deluded votaries of Satan to the present period. The Gospel waged an exterminating war against idolatry in every form ; and we have seen it gaining the most astonishing victories throughout the vast Roman empire. It was the mightiest conquest that was ever achieved ; and ought to be seriously contemplated by the Christian community, until they are roused by the view to go forth in their strength and subdue the world to Christ. But the spirit of the Gospel had now nearly departed from the earth. Amid the gross ignorance and superstition of the age, men were fast losing sight of the great object of spiritual worship. The world was preparing for a false fire of devotion. Satan knew his time. He cast in his seed. Men were not to be made to renounce Christianity and go back to the old idolatry. But the arts of sculpture and painting were to be introduced to aid in

the worship of Christ, the Apostles and canonized saints ; but really to drive the eternal Spirit and divine Saviour from the minds and hearts of men.

From small beginnings, proceed the mightiest results. In Constantinople was an image of Christ on the cross. The Emperor Leo, seeing that it was an object of idolatry, sent an officer, in the year 730, to pull it down. Some women there, remonstrated against it, horrid sacrilege. The officer, disregarding their pleas, mounted a ladder and cut the face to pieces by three blows of a hatchet; when the women threw down his ladder and murdered the officer. Leo put the murderers to death; but to this day they are honored as martyrs in the Greek church.

In Rome, a passion for idolatry had already commenced ; and no sooner was this act of Leo's known there, than the whole city was thrown into confusion. The Emperor's statues were thrown down and trodden under foot. Gregory II. was then in the papal chair, who, for the zeal he showed in estabYishing image worship, and for exalting himself in the place of God, has, by many, been called the first Pope of Rome. He excommunicated Leo, and made an effort to have a new Emperor elected. The Italian provinces, which were subject to the Grecian empire, revolted and massacred or banished the imperial officers. A civil war ensued. The Emperor issued orders to have all paintings and statues destroyed ; and the adherents of Rome were as active in multiplying and giving them reverence. Thus the Christian world was thrown into the most violent contentions, which resulted in horrid crimes and assassisations. Those who worshipped images, were called Iconoduli or Iconolatre, while those who opposed this worship, as gross idolatry, were called Ic. -nomachi and Iconoclaste.

But there was not virtue and piety enough to insure a long and effectual resistance. Image worship grew exceedingly popular in the eastern churches, and it only needed the sanction of an Emperor to make it universal. Three Emperors had violently opposed it; but Irene, the widow of the last, openly favored it in the year 784. In the year 787, was held the second council of Nice, which confirmed the idolatrouş worship, and rendered it equally prevalent in the East and in the West. Some indeed had the boldness to oppose it. A council of 300 bishops was held at Frankfort, which condemned the council of Nice, and the worship of images. Many of the British churches execrated the same. Charlemagne, the ruling potentate of Europe, barely tolerated so great a de: parture from the purity and simplicity of the Gospel. But the


CHAP. 8.


poison was deep. It had infected all orders of men. Rome was idolatrous ; -was ANTICHRIST,

Many plead, in vindication of image worship, as others do of Pagan idolatry, that the votaries are sincere worshippers of God and only employ these intervening paintings, statues or idols to help their devotions. But on the most favourable supposition, it is all a direct violation of the second commandment, and it will generally be found that there is an idea of sanctity connected with the painting, wood or stone. It is unquestionably true that the worship of images in the papal church, was used as a direct and full substitute for faith in the atoning blood of the divine Saviour. This Scriptural way of salvation was entirely set aside, and he who would pay his daily devotions to some image or statue of Christ or a canonized saint was viewed as an heir of life. *

Victorious in this contest, Rome entered with great violence into a contention with the Eastern churches, about the procession of the Holy Ghost ; choosing to say that the Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, while the othe contended that the Spirit proceeds from the Father, by or through the Son. About the same time, a new empire arose in the West to which the Roman bishop adhered ; an irreparable breach was effected between the Greek and Latin churches. In the year 755, the


became a temporal prince, the little horn.” For countenancing the dethronement of Childeric III. king of France, and crowning Pepin, Pepin gave to the Roman see the exarchate of Ravenna, Pentapolis, and twentyone cities and castles. Charlemagne, his son and successor, aimed at the empire of the West. He accomplished his purpose, went to Rome and was crowned ; and, in return for servia ces, ceded to the papal see, several cities and provinces, and gave it a subordinate jurisdiction over Rome and the annexed territory-enabling it to become the seat of wealth and magnifi


But the temporal power of the Roman pontiff, was never to be compared with its spiritual. For a long time, bishops and councils endeavoured to maintain some authority and influence, but they were ultimately all trodden in the dust. The Man of sin came, as Paul said he would, “after the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” He arrogated to himself god-like titles and attributes, King of kings, Universal Father, Master of the world ; set himself above ali laws human and divine ; by taxes and massacres, he oppressed and wore out the saints ; he changed "times and laws," appointing innumerable fasts and feasts, new modes of worship and new articles of faith, and supporting himself by the most infamous frauds and barefaced pretensions, to miracles. The most powerful monarchs were powerless before him. Emperors led his horse and held his stirrup. Kings were stripped by him of their honour and power, and whole realms were deprived of every religious privilege.

* It is a striking fact, that in the catechism of the Roman church, the second commandment is omitted; and to make tbe ten, the teolh is divided into two.

For refusing to surrender to him the right of investiture, the right ever claimed by the princes of Europe, of conferring the most important places in the churches and monasteries upon whom they pleased, by the ceremony of presenting the ring and erozier; Hildebrand, Gregory VII. a pope haughty and arrow gant in the extreme, drove Henry, emperor of Germany from his throne, and compelled him in the winter of 1077, to cross the Alps, and stand three days in the open air at the entrance of the pontiff's | alace, with his feet bare, his head uncovered, and no other garment but a coarse woollen cloth thrown around his naked body, and implore forgiveness and a restoration to his dominions.

For sanctioning as was supposed the violent death of Thomas a Becket,* archbishop of Canterbury, a man who had acquired by his pretended sanctity,' a most amazing power, Henry II. king of England, was compelled by pope Alexander, to walk barefoot over three miles of flinty road, with only a coarse cloth over his shoulders, to the shrine of the murdered saint, where eighty monks, four bishops, abbots and other clergy, who were present, whipped his bare back with a knotted cord, compelled him to drink water mingled with Becket's blood, and to give forty pounds a year for tapers to burn perpetually before the martyr's tomb.

For opposing him in the appointment of an archbishop of Canterbury, pope Innocent III. in the commencement of the thirteenth century, excommunicated John, king of England

* This murdered bypocrite was canonized as a saint. His brains were sent to Rome A jubilee was appointed for every fifty years, when plenary indulgence was granted to all pilgrims who came to his tomb. 100,000 persons visited it at once. The most astonishing miracles were there said to be performed ages after, and a prayer was introduced into the service of bis day for salvation through the merits and blood of St. Thomas a Becket. Such was the deplorable superstition of the age !!

CHAP. 9.



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forbidding all persons to eat, drink, or couverse with him, or do him service; absolving all his subjects from their allegiance ; ordering the other monarchs of Europe to kill him, and laid the whole kingdom under an interdict, so that every religious privilege was taken away; every church was shut; no bell was heard; no taper lighted; no divine service performed; no sacrament administered; no priest was present, and no funeral solemnity was allowed in the burial of the dead ; and no place of interment was permitted, but the highways.

Thus did the popes take to themselves supreme dominion. The whole world they claimed as their property, which they gave to whomsoever they pleased. The inhabitants of heathen countries they treated as wild beaste; parcelling out them and their lands at their pleasure. To the king of Portugal, the pope granted all the countries East of Cape Non in Africa, and to the Spaniards all to the West of it ; shewing himself as God. “ The nations gave their power unto the beast, and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"


Measures adopted by the Roman Pontiffs to secure their Do

minion. They fill all important stations. Increase their Revenues. Send out Legates. Forbid Marriage to the Clergy. Hold over Men the Rod of Excommunication. Establish the Inquisition. Strengthen Superstition. Canonize Sain's. Establish transubstantiation, purgatory, auricular confession. Worship in an unknown Tongue. Make the Pope infallible. Institute the Crusades and Miliiary Onders.

The measures adopted by the Roman pontiffs to secure their dominion, were of a character with the unscriptural and odious tyranny which they exercised.

They assumed to themselves the power of filling all the important places in the Church; of deposing and creating the bishops, abbots, and canons, at their pleasure ; so that in time there were scarce any in office to oppose them ; for such men were selected for these stations as would be tools of their ambition.

They reserved to themselves the revenues of the richest benefices; and, if any kings or nobles or bishops had incurred

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