« PrécédentContinuer »
and passive, and what the Popes would have them to be. They are admirably described in Scripture as "IMAGES made to the Beast."
That famous "IMAGE," the Council of Trent, we shall consider hereafter. The Pope gained great authority by these Councils for they were Synods of Bishops called by him at opportune seasons, consisting of his votaries or slaves. None dared therein to whisper anything to the prejudice of his authority. He carried whatever he proposed without check or contradiction. Who dared to question anything done by such a number of pastors, styling themselves the representatives of Christendom.' (Dr. Barrow on the Pope's Supremacy).
Many of all sorts,' says Dr. Barrow, 'in all times did comply with Popes, or did not obstruct them, suffering them without great obstacle to raise their power: good men out of charitable simplicity, meekness, modesty and humility, love of peace and averseness from contention: bad men, having little heart to resist, and no heart to stand for public good.'The Popes' not only surpassing the provincial Bishops in wealth and respect, but having power in court, Who dared to pull a feather with them, or to withstand their encroachments? What wise man would not rather bear much, than contest upon such disadvantages, and without probable grounds of success?'
And how much more will this remark of Dr. Barrow hold, when the Popes not only had power in Court,' but had a Court of their own! In the year 755 the Pope was for the first time invested
with the prerogatives of a temporal prince; the choice of magistrates, the exercise of justice, the imposition of taxes, and the wealth of the palace of Ravenna.' (Gibbon). He then for the first time had 'a Court' of his own. From that time to the time of Innocent, the Monarchy of St. Peter waxed stronger and stronger, till at last Innocent the Third broke off the last link of the imperial power. He rejected at the same time its ancient emblem ; and whilst he absolved the prefect from all dependence of oaths or service on the German Emperors, he removed the sword from his hand, and substituted a peaceful banner in its place.' (Hist. of Church, p. 340).
'They worshipped' the Pope who then reigned calm and victorious throughout Europe.' (Milner.) And if any were disposed to resist his authority, the question would immediately present itself, Who dares to pull a feather with him? Who dares to withstand his encroachments? Who will not rather bear much than contest upon such disadvantages, and without probable grounds of success ? ? So accurately was the Scripture fulfilled," And they worshipped the Beast saying, Who is like unto the Beast? able to make war with him ?"
THE POPE HAS A MOUTH SPEAKING GREAT THINGS AND
AND THERE WAS GIVEN UNTO HIM A MOUTH SPEAKING GREAT THINGS AND BLASPHEMIES." Verse 5.
If the reader would wish to see all the "great things," which the Popes have spoken, we refer him to the Magnum Bullarium,' which is a register of the bulls which they have issued. The Magnum Bullarium' will throw light on the prophecies both of Daniel and St. John. Daniel describes the Pope as a "little horn." This little horn has "a mouth speaking great things." (Dan. vii. 8.) It has "a mouth speaking VERY great things." (Dan. vii. 20.) It has a mouth which speaks great words against the Most High." (Dan. vii. 25.) Daniel speaks of the Pope also in the eleventh chapter where he says, "The King shall do according to his will, and he shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god." (verse 36.) To understand this we must remember that Princes are sometimes called Gods in Scripture. Thus in
the eighty-second Psalm, "God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. I have said, Ye are gods; but ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes." Daniel therefore declares that the Pope should "exalt himself and magnify himself above every Prince." St. Paul declares the same. He describes the Pope as "exalting himself above all that is called god, or that is worshipped." (2 Thess. ii. 4.) A god denotes a prince: σεβασμα denotes imperial power. St. Paul therefore describes the Pope as "exalting himself and magnifying himself above all kingly and all imperial power." St. John also declares of the Beast, which is the Papacy or the Pope, that it has "a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies.”
And whose "mouth" has been like that of the Popes? Who have spoken such " great things" as they? Their words have been so "great" and lofty, that "the world has wondered" at hearing them.
Gregory II. called himself a God upon earth.' Gregory VII. deposed Henry IV. in the name of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, that so all men might know, that he not only had the power to bind and loose in heaven, but could also upon earth, take away and bestow empires, kingdoms, and whatsoever else mortals can possess ; and that they might henceforth fear to slight the commands of Holy Church.' He then proceeded 'to absolve the subjects of the emperor from their oaths of allegiance, and to dispose of the empire with absolute authority as a fief of St. Peter.'
This was the Pontiff who declared the kingdom of France tributary to the see of Rome; who commissioned his legates to demand the annual payment of the tribute by virtue of the true obedience due to that see by every Frenchman; who reminded the king of France that both his kingdom and soul were under the dominion of St. Peter, who had the power both to bind and to loose both in heaven and earth; who pronounced the kingdom of Saxony to be held on feudal tenure from the apostolic chair and in subjection to it; who pretended that the kingdom of Spain had been the property of the Holy See from the first ages of Christianity; who acquainted William the Norman with the news, that England, which he had conquered, he held as a fief of Rome and tributary to it! (Hist. of Church, p. 283.)
Innocent III. excommunicated the whole world! He was indeed "the wonder of the world and the changer of the age!" He declared
that it was not
fit that any man should be invested with authority,
who did not serve and obey the Holy See.
At another time he proclaimed, that he would not endure the least contempt of himself, or of God, whose place he held on earth.' In his rescript to the Emperor of Constantinople, he maintained that the pontifical power is as far superior to the regal as the Sun is to the Moon.'
Boniface VIII. pretended to the disposal of the crown of Hungary, and gave it to a grandson of Charles le Boiteux; and when some of the nobles (in 1302) ventured to support a rival prince, he