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of angels." (Col. ii. 18.)
"Ask what I shall do
"ask what I shall
for thee," said Elijah unto Elisha, do for thee, before I be taken from thee." (2 Kings ii. 9.) We do not find Elijah commanding Elisha to pray to him, after he was taken up into heaven. Nor do we find Elisha praying to Elijah after his ascension, Holy Elijah, pray for me!" Such absurdity as this was reserved for these latter times. The Spirit spoke expressly by St. Paul" that in the latter times some should depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and DOCTRINES OF DEMONS OR dePARTED SPIRITS.' (1 Tim. iv. i.) If Romanists would only be content "with the sayings of this Book," instead of following human authority and human inventions, we should hear nothing of the absurd and blasphemous worship of angels, saints, and images. But they have fulfilled the prophecies of St. Paul and St. John: the world in worshipping the Papacy" worships the Dragon who gave the" Papacy its "power." The rise of the Papacy was owing to its promotion of IDOLATRY. The Iconoclasts, or breakers of images, were pronounced heretics. 'The Italians swore to live and to die in defence of the Pope and the holy images.' (Gibbon, vol. ix. p. 140.) And so bent was the Papacy on favouring image-worship, that the advice of an abbot, who was present at the second Nicene Council, to a monk, who consulted him, was- Rather than abstain from adoring Christ and his mother in their holy images, it would be better for you to enter every brothel, and visit every prostitute in the city.' (Idem, p. 167.)
The cause of the Pope,' and the cause of the holy images,' was one and the same. 'The Italians' in swearing to live and to die in defence of' the one, 'swore to live and to die in defence of the other. In worshipping the one, they worshipped the other also.
The introduction of image-worship into the Christian church was the master-piece of Satan. Never did the enemy of God and man so triumph as then. He could not prevent the overthrow of Paganism : he therefore Paganized Christianity.
Paganism must die. But in the very article of death, with one convulsive struggle, she threw a garment of hellish poison over her heavenly destroyer. The virulence of this poison was most deadly. The fair face of Christianity was darkened and distorted, A mortal paleness settled on her cheek. Her features, once so lovely, assumed the lividness and the fixedness of death. Her eye lost all its lustre. Upon her forehead her name was written, " ICHABOD: the glory is departed." She had " a name to live," but was really "dead."
Satan has indeed transformed himself into an angel of light; but he is Satan still. Paganism has put on the exterior of Christianity; but she is Paganism still. The wife of Jeroboam disguised herself, and instead of offering the prophet jewels or gold, as became her rank, offered him loaves and cracknels and honey; but she was the wife of Jeroboam still. And accordingly the prophet said unto her, "Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam: why feignest thou thyself to be another?” (1 Kings xiv. 6.)
Paganism has forced its way into the Holy of Holies. The abominable thing which God hateth is seen standing where it ought not ;" and the spiritual service of Christianity is debased with all the mummeries of heathenism.
"The carnal professors of Christianity who were most numerous, were not content to part with their Pagan rites. Wherefore, to compromise the matter, they turned their Pagan rites into Christian solemnities, and so christened their demon festivals under the name of some Christian martyr and saint. And that which made this design more plausible was this -some groundless hopes by such symbolizing with the Pagans to gain them over to embrace the Christian religion; which vain attempt was so far blasted by God, as that it proved but a door to let in Antichrist and all his idol-worship into the Church of Rome.' (Gales' Court of the Gentiles.)
The people we may excuse and compassionate : but we blush when we discover the most distinguished writers of the fourth century-Athanasius, Eusebius the historian, Gregory Nazianzen, Chrysostom, Jerome and Augustine, engaged in shameful conspiracy against their religion, while they exaggerate the merit of the martyrs, assert or insinuate their immediate sanctification, and claim for them a sort of reverence, which could not easily be distinguished from worship. In this age, and from this cause, arose the stupid veneration for bones and relics: it was inculcated and believed that prayer was never so surely efficacious as when offered at the tomb of some saint or holy per
son; the number of such tombs was then multiplied. At all of them, miracles, and prophecies, and prodigies, and visions, were exhibited or recorded; and the spirit of the gospel was forgotten in the practice of forbidden ceremonies, and the belief of impious fables. Here then we discover the root of several of the abuses of Papacy; they were concessions made during this critical period to the genius of Paganism, in order to delude its votaries into more speedy apostacy and to accelerate the dissolution of the one religion into the other.' (Mr. Waddington's Hist. of Church, p. 115.)
'One concession paved the way for another, so that before the end of the sixth century the use of images was very generally permitted throughout the Christian world. In no respect was the malice of Paganism so lastingly pernicious as when it fastened upon Christianity the badge of its own character by the communication of idolatrous worship.' (Idem, p. 213.)
The triumph of the Dragon was then complete. The command of St. John was forgotten, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." And the Christian church, which at first abominated idolatry, now encouraged and defended it. The genius of Paganism was at first abhorred,-then concessions were made to it,-and, lastly, it was worshipped :in the words of scripture, "they worshipped the Dragon which gave power unto the Beast."
THEY WORSHIP THE POPE, SAYING, WHO IS LIKE UNTO THE POPE? WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE WAR WITH HIM?
AND THEY WORSHIPPED THE BEAST, SAYING, WHO IS LIKE UNTO THE BEAST? WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE WAR WITH HIM."-Verse 4.
ONE sentence from Milner's History of the Church, shews the fulfilment of the passage before us. 'The influence of the Bishop of Rome grew prodigious : the Emperors of Germany trembled under the rod; and some of the bravest and wisest of the English princes were found unequal to a contest with the hierarchy' (vol. iii. p. 78, Edit. 1834.) Kings and Emperors' worshipped' the Pope, and trembled under his rod.' Kings and Emperors were found unequal to a contest with the hierarchy' of Rome; they gave the contest up in despair, saying, who is like unto the' Pope? Who is able to make war
The Pontificate of Innocent III. is one continued comment on the words of scripture, And they wor