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SERMON Whom do ye account him to be? Surely, if destitute of charity, and puffed up with the
, pride of science only, He is ANTICHRIST, sitting in the temple of God, and shewing himself that he is Godo.”
4. In the former part of the XIth century, Berengarius, a man of principal note in those days, and distinguished by his free writings concerning the Eucharist, went so far as to call the church of Rome, the seat of Satan (which is but another apocalyptic name of Antichrist); and to know from what source he derived this language, we need only reflect, that, in the catalogue of his works, we find a treatise written by him expressly on the book of Revelations P.
Quid hunc, reverendi patres, in sublimi solio residentem, veste purpurea et aureâ radiantem; quid hunc, in. quam, esse censetis? Nimirum, si charitate destituitur, solåque scientiâ inflatur et extollitur, AntiCHRISTUS est, in templo Dei sedens, et se ostendens tanquam sit Deus. Usser. de Christian. Eccl. successione & statu, c. ii.
36. Lond. 1613. - ILLYRICI Cat. T'est. Ver. p. 1558. Officin. Jacob. Stoër et Jacob. Chouël. - This Arnulph, Bishop of Orleans, was esteemed, in his day, the wisest and most eloquent of all the Gallican prelates. Arnulphus - de quo sic initio ejus synodi scriptum est - Inter omnes Galliarum episcopos sapientia et eloquentia clarissimus habebatur. Ib.
p “ Ecclesiam vanitatis, & SEDEM SATANÆ vocabat."
As this century advanced, the papal power SERMON rose to its height. And all the characters of Antichrist glared so strongly in the person of Hildebrand, who took the name of Gregory VIIth, that the Romish historian, Joannes Aventinus, speaks of it as a point, in which the generality of fair, candid, and ingenuous writers, were agreed, That Then began the empire of Antichrist 9.
5. Pascal II, who had been brought up at the feet of Hildebrand, and sate upon the papal throne in the beginning of the XIIth century, was treated with as little ceremony, as his master had been ; particularly, by Fluentius, Bishop of Florence, and by the whole church of Liege"
St. Bernard, too, the most eminent person of that age, was so struck with the marks of
Usser. de Christian. Eccl. succes. & statu, c.7. s. xxiv. P 196.-- In Apocalypsin scripsisse testatur Bostonius Buriensis. Cave, H. L. vol. č. p. 131. O.ron. 1743.
9 Plerique omnes boni, aperti, justi, ingenui, simplices, tum imperium Antichristi cæpisse, quod ea quæ Christus servator noster tot annos ante nobis cantavit, evenisse eo tempore cernebant, memoriæ literarum prodidêre. AŅNAL. BOIORUM, L. v. p. 591. Ingolstad. 1554.
Cave, H. L. vol. ii. p. 2.38. Conc. Flor. 1104. Usser. De Christ. Eccl. succ, & stat. c. v, s. v. p. 109.
SERMON Antichristianism in the church of Rome (to
which, however, in other respects, he was enough devoted) that he employed all the thunder of his rhetoric (in which faculty he excelled) against its corruptions; exclaiming, that the ministers of Christ were become the servants of Antichrist; and that the beast of the Apocalypse had seated himself in the chair of St. Peters.
s MinistrI CHRISTI SUNT, ET SERVIUNT ANTICHRISTO [Serm. sup. Cantic. xxxii.] - It is true, by Antichrist, he seems not to mean the Pope, but, in general, an evil principle, which then domineered in the church. Yet he refers us to the famous passage in tlie first Epistle to the Thessalonians, ch. ii. And he tells us in his 56th epistle, that he had heard one Norbert, a man of exemplary piety, say, That Antichrist would be revealed in that age. Hence it seems probable, that some one person or power was in his eye. After all, he says, that Norbert's reasons did not satisfy him. Yet, in another epistle, he asserts expressly
Bestia illa de Apocalypsi, cui datum est os loquens blasphemias, et bellum gerere cum sanctis, Petri CATHEDRAM OCCUPAT, tanquam leo paratus ad prædam. Ep. CXXV: which was, in other words, to call the Pope, Antichrist. It is evident that St. Bernard applied the pros: phecies in the Revelation to the successor of St. Peter.I mention these things so particularly, to shew, what his sentiments on this head really were ; which have been misrepresented by hasty writers, who transcribe from each other, without examining, themselves, the authorities, they quote.
But this charge was now so general, and SERMON sounded so high, that it reached the ears of others, besides prelates, and churchmen. Historians relate, that it made an impression on our military king, Richard I. ; who, being at Messina in Sicily, in his way to the Holy Land, and hearing much of the learned Abbot Joachim of Calabria, (a man, famous in those times for his warm invectives against the Roman hierarchy;) had the curiosity to take a lecture from him on this subject. His text was, Antichrist, and the Apocalypse ; which he explained in so pointed and forcible a manner, as was much to the satisfaction, we are told, of his royal auditor t.
6. The first appearance of the people, called Waldenses or Albigenses, was in this age ;
t Cave, H. L. v. ii. p. 273. Rog. De Hoveden, AnNAL. Pars Post. p. 681. Ed. Franc. 1601.-In this age [XIIth], was composed a very remarkable tract on the subject of Antichrist, which may be seen in Mede's Works, p.721.- Mr. Mede supposes, and seeins indeed to have proved, that the true doctrine of Antichrist was, and was intended to be, a mystery, or secret, till the 12th century. Whence it follows that the testimonies, hitherto alledged, are only passionate or declamatory exaggerations, or to be esteemed, as he says, pro parabolicè et vár' ciznosy dictis, declamatorum more. Works, p. 722. I admit the truth of the observation: but hold, that the
Sermon but, in the next, the XIIIth century, they
prevailed to that degree, that Crusades and Inquisitions were thought little enough to be employed against them. We may know what the guilt of this people was, when we understand from their books, and from the testimony of the great historian, Thuanus, that a leading principle of their heresy was, To treat the Pope as Antichrist ; and the church of Rome, as Babylon ; on the authority of the prophecies contained in the Revelation u.
use of the deduction, here made, is not in the least affected by it. For my purpose in giving this catalogue of wit. nesses to the doctrine of Antichrist, was not to justify that doctrine, in the true, that is, Protestant sense of it (for then, not only the preceding testimonies, but even some of the following, would have been omitted) but merely to shew that the general, at least, and confused idea of some such doctrine did, in fact, subsist in the ancient Christian church. That what idea they had of this doctrine was founded on the prophecies, is clear from the terms in which they express themselves. And, though the doctrine itself was very imperfectly conceived, and inconsequentially apa plied by them, still their language shews that they had some notion of a corrupt spiritual power, which was, in their sense of the prophets, to domineer in the church of Rome: whence I draw this conclusion (for the sake of which, this whole deduction is made), That the present application of the prophecies concerning Antichrist to papal Rome, is not wholly new and unauthorized; as the prejudice, I am here combating, supposeth it to be.
u VITRINGA in Apoc. p. 747. Amst. 1719. USSER.