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IDENTITY BETWEEN POPERY AND PAGANISM.
"AND THE DRAGON GAVE HIM HIS POWER AND HIS SEAT."Verse 2.
"THE BEAST THAT WAS, AND IS NOT, AND YET IS."-Chap. xvii. 8.
THE identity which subsists between the miracles of Popery and the miracles of Paganism is remarkable. The Pagan images used to speak, weep, sweat, and bleed and Popish images do the same. The image of Fortune in Heathen Rome is said to have spoken twice in favour of some one who had dedicated a temple to her. In like manner an image of the Virgin at Rome reprimanded Pope Gregory the Great for passing her too carelessly and a crucifix in St. Paul's Church made a speech to St. Bridget! Apollo's statue on the approach of a public calamity wept for three days and nights! In like manner an image of our Lord wept so copiously, before the sacking of Rome by the barbarians, that several pious monks were employed in wiping its face with cotton! The
idols in Juno's temple sweat drops of blood. In like manner one of the churches in Rome is built in honour of an image which bled abundantly from a blow given to it by a blasphemer! The reader may see more to the same purpose in Letter IX. of Popery in Alliance with Heathenism,' a work which every intelligent Protestant would do well to have by him.
The identity which subsists between the idols of Popery and the idols of Paganism is remarkable. In many instances the very same statues are worshipped only the name is altered. In the Church of St. Agnes is the antique statue of a young Bacchus : this has been baptized or consecrated anew, and with a little change of drapery is now worshipped under the title of that female saint. The history of St. Peter's statue in the cathedral at Rome is rather curious. There were formerly two statues of Jupiter Capitolinus, one of stone and the other of bronze. When Christianity succeeded to Heathenism, they put St. Peter's head on the body of the stone statue and gave him a pair of new hands, in one of which they placed a key instead of the thunder-bolt: they then melted the bronze of the other statue of Jupiter, and recast it, after the fashion of the stone one, as altered and so, as Horace says, Mutato nomine, de te fabula narratur.' In plain English-the worship went on quite as well to the modern apostle, as it had done to the ancient thunderer. In either case the true God was neglected and forgotten; and an image was set up in his place, "which had eyes and
saw not, which had ears and heard not, neither was there any breath in its nostrils."
The ancient Pantheon is still in existence. Its deities are indeed changed: but the number of images is as great as ever. The inscription over the portico informs us that, having been impiously dedicated of old by Agrippa to Jupiter and all the gods; it was piously consecrated by Pope Boniface the Fourth to the blessed Virgin and all the saints.' (See Letter vi. of Popery in alliance with Heathenism.)
Popery and Paganism have many things in common, though in the profession of Christianity they differ. And the same may be said of the Papal and Pagan Roman empires. These are both represented by Daniel, as forming one and the same empire; even his fourth Beast. And St. John, though he distinguishes them, yet makes them one and the same : For the Beast is "the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is." That excellent little work' Popery in Alliance with Heathenism' is one continued comment on the paradox of the angel," the Beast that was, AND IS NOT, AND YET IS." When the Beast first appeared, five of its heads had fallen. In what sense, then, did these five heads belong to it at all? Plainly, in this sense alone,-that the Pagan Roman empire, to which they belonged, and the Beast were one and the same. Both are tyrannical, idolatrous empires. Both have Rome, the city on seven hills, for their "seat." Both have "power and great authority." Both are "dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly." Both have "a mouth speaking great things
and blasphemies.' clothed in scarlet.
Both speak in Latin. Both are
and burn lights in their temples. Both worship images, and demons or departed spirits. Both believe in a purgatory, and encourage processions and pilgrimages. Both perform miracles and "signs and lying wonders." Both have priests and propitiatory sacrifices. The Papists have the mass, which is said to be a propitiatory sacrifice for the living and the dead! Both have as their presiding ruler a PONTIFEX MAXIMUS. Pope Gregory XIII. was not content with this title, but styled himself PONTIFEX MAXIMUS
Popery is indeed a paradox. It is heathenism Christianized. It is Christianity heathenized. The Beast" was, and is not, and yet is." In one sense, the Pagan Roman empire exists no longer; for the Papacy professes Christianity. But, in another sense, it" yet is;" for much, very much, is left, which is purely Pagan. The Pagan and the Papal Roman empires were seen by Daniel as one Beast. In the Pilgrim's Progress are represented two giants-Pope and Pagan. Now I saw in my dream, that at the end of the valley lay blood, bones, ashes, and mangled bodies of men, even of pilgrims, that had gone this way formerly and while I was musing what should be the reason, I espied a little before me a cave where two giants, Pope and Pagan, dwelt in old time by whose power and tyranny the men, whose bones, blood, ashes, &c. lay there, were cruelly put to death. But by this place Christian went without
danger, whereat I somewhat wondered: but I have learned since, that Pagan has been dead many a day; and as for the other, though he be yet alive, he is by reason of age and also of the many shrewd brushes that he met with in his younger days, grown so crazy and stiff in his joints that he can do little more than sit in his cave's mouth, grinning at pilgrims as they go by, and biting his nails because he cannot come at them.' Both these giants dwelt in the same cave. Both by their power and tyranny put pilgrims to death.' PAGAN, it is true, has been dead many a day' but he may be called THE GIANT THAT WAS, AND IS NOT, AND YET IS: for he survives in his brother POPE.
Let the Church of Rome boast of her antiquity, as much as she please! It is a striking remark of Mr. Poynder, that, in vaunting of her antiquity, she proves rather too much for her purpose. She is indeed of very ancient origin: for she is older than Christianity itself, and as old as Paganism, her twin sister!' The Papacy is indeed very old. It is "the Beast that was, and is not, and yet is."