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self up by ordinances and authority of his own, as the object of adoration and worship to the subjects of his catholic empire, and proposes no other alternative than his idolatry, or death to all.*
8,)" We do affirm, declare,
sitting on a resplendent throne, he uttered with a loud voice"Ecce hic duo gladii !—Behold, here are the TWO SWORDS!" -Krantzius, lib. viii. ch. vi. The same pope made this truly apocalyptic decree, (Rev. xiii. determine, and pronounce that, under pain of salvation, every creature must be subject to the pope of Rome!" The premises from which he draws this conclusion in favor of his divine supremacy, and the power of the two swords, may be seen in that part of the canon law called "the EXTRAVAGANTS."-Tit. de majoritate et obedientia, &c.
• There is some difficulty in this part of the prophecy, and much difference of opinion, in the arrangement of the characters of the first and second beasts, and the image of the beast; but yet without the smallest doubt that by the whole together is meant the system of popery, considered in different respects.
The apostacy, or general corruption of religion in doctrine and worship, gives rise to the first beast, or persecuting empire of Rome, after the conversion to christianity. From this ROOT there grows up imperium in imperio, a church hierarchy of a similar description, idolatrous and persecuting. And as the devil (or DRAGON) had reigned on the roman throne, and in the temples of the gods in old Rome, so now he still reigns in modern Rome, covertly in both respects, by transferring his power and cruelty to THE FIRST BEAST, as this does likewise,
This confederacy and religious league between the HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE, and CHURCH HIERARCHY, and THE PAPACY, seems also to correspond to the singular description which Daniel (chap. ii.) gives of the roman empire, in the latter period of its decline and fall. He there compares it to the lower extremities, or the "feet and ten toes” of A GREAT IMAGE, which had represented four successive empires, of which the last is the roman, beginning at the LEGS of solid iron, and ending with the FEET and TOES, of a weak and ill cohering mixture of the yet remaining fragments of iron with miry clay.
The notes of character which distinguish the SECOND BEAST, and HIS IMAGE or representative, which exercises all his powers,
to the SECOND BEAST, or church hierarchy.-And lastly, the image of the church, or the man of sin, called the false prophet, (Rev. xx. 10,) is the final result of this confederacy against Christ and his witnesses, and thus the whole mystery of iniquity is perfected.
* Obad. vii.
are the same as those of Daniel's little horn,† and St Paul's man of sin. Blasphemous
words and actions, false miracles to deceive the world, and establish a universal spiritual empire upon the credulity and superstition of mankind; and where the arts of deception fail, cruelty and persecution are called in to his aid in the impious war. To these indications to be met with in all the prophets, as has been already shewn, St John here adds two additional ones of his own; A NUMBER, so curiously adjusted, that the numerical letters of which it is made up, shall form a name for the beast and his image, or the apostacy and man of sin, which cannot be applied to any other and A MARK, the badge of his party, and a universal token of his idolatry and apostacy from Christ, the reception of which is, of course, a law of his religion that cannot be dispensed with. "He causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive A MARK in
† Dan, vii. 7, 8, 23, 24, &c. viii. 23, &c. xi. 36, &c.
2 Thess. ii. 4; 1 Tim. iv. 3; Isai. xiv. 13,
their right band, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or
* "The MARK OF THE BEAST in the forehead and right hand," says Newton, " is an allusion to a custom amongst the ancients, so to mark their slaves. And they who were particularly devoted to the worship of any one god more than any the 30,000 others in general request, had some HIEROGLYPHIC of the god impressed upon their bodies."
But this MARK OF THE BEAST is here evidently, I think, designed by the spirit of prophecy, to denote some striking peculiarity in the idolatry of the papalians, by which these nominal christians should be distinguished from the real worshippers of Christ.-And it is doubtless an IDOLATROUS MARK, the reception of it being threatened with the utmost severity of God's judgments. (Rev. xiv. 10.)
The abuse of the sign of the cross in the superstition of popery, exactly such a MARK, for THE CROSS is AN IDOL of principal rank in the kingdom of THE BEAST, and is worshipped with worship of the highest kind, and which is peculiar to God himself. "Est de fide catholica credere crucem Christi, aliasque, in omni materia adorandas esse cultu Latriæ. "-Severitius Chronolog. Lugdunens. pt. 3." It is an article of the catholic faith, that the cross of Christ, and other crosses, of whatsoever materials made, are to be adored with the worship Latreia," And the same is their common doctrine,imus cum sententia communiori, et in scholis magis trita, crucem colendam esse Latreia, id est cultu divino."—Johannes "We do assert, Turrecremata, & Gretzer, lib. i. ch. 46. according to the most received and approved doctrine of the
the number of his name.
Here is wisdom.
Let him that hath understanding count the
schools, that the cross is to be worshipped with Latreia, or divine worship." And he even adds," the same honor is to be paid to the image of the cross, or even to the sign of the cross, as is due to the real cross.
The arguments brought by Bellarmine to justify the practice of crossing themselves, are unworthy the learning and talents of that great prelate. Jacob blessing his sons with hands crossing each other, (Exod. xii. 7,)" cancellatis manibus," being so directed by the spirit of God, that the younger might receive the right hand blessing: and God's commanding the prophet to set a mark upon the men that had not sinned with the rest, but "wept for the abominations" &c. (Ezek. ix. 4.) What is all this, to a silly papist crossing himself to keep the devil off, —to make him lucky in his business, to preserve him from sin,-guard him from danger, &c.-which they do a hundred times a day, and that on the forehead and right hand, &c. And to interpret Gal. vi. 14, "God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of Christ,"-to be meant of a material cross, or the sign or mark of it, which is evidently intended of the death of Christ as effecting our redemption, is a perversion of scripture worthy of popery. Hist. of Popery, vol. i. p. 205.
In the Hore beatæ Virginis, according to the use of the church of Sarum, is this devout prayer to the cross," Deliver me, N. thy servant, from all devilish deceits, and the worst thoughts that abide in me." And in the BREVIAR. ROM, in dominica passion in the service for Passion Sunday is this hymn :