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Other :v testimonies occur in the history of SERMON this age. But I must not omit that of our famous historian, Matthew Paris ; who hath taken care to inform us, that his contemporary, Robert Grostête, Bishop of Lincoln, the most considerable of all the English bishops, and equally renowned for his affection to civil and religious liberty, was so much in earnest in fixing this charge on the see of Rome, that, as it had been the common theme of his medita

De Eccl. succ. & stat. c. 6 and 8. THANUS, 1, vi. s. 16. vol. i. p. 221. Ed. Buckley.

v See, especially, the famous speech of Everhard, bishop of Saltzbourg, at the assembly of Ratisbonne, in the time of Gregory the IXth ; inserted at large in Aventinus, Ann. Poior, 1. vii. p. 684. The following extracts from it will be thought curious. Hildebrandus ante annos centum atque septuaginta primus specie religionis Antichristi imperii fundamenta jecit. p. 684.

Flamines illi Babylonice (meaning the Bishops of Rome] soli regnare cupiunt, ferre parem non possunt, non desistent donec omnia pedibus suis conculcaverint, atque in templo Dei sedeant, extollanturque supra omne id, quod colitur. Ib.

Nova consilia sub pectore volutat, ut proprium sibi constituat imperium, leges commutat, suas sancit; contaminat, diripit, spoliat, fraudat, occidit, perditus homo ille (quem Antichristum vocure solent) in cujus fronte contumeliæ nomen scriptum est,“ Deus sum, errare non possum," in templo Dei sedet, longè latéque dominatur. Ib.

Reges decem pariter existunt Decem Cornua Cornuque parvulum-Quid hâc prophetià apertius ? p. 685.

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tions during life, so it occupied his dying moments; the Pope, and Antichrist, being, as he tells us, among the last words of this zealous prelate W.

7. The XIVth century affords many authorities in point; among which the immortal names of Dante * and Petrarch ý are commonly

W Matth. Paris, ad ann. 1253. p. 674. ed. Watts, 1640. x Purgat. 32.

y Epistolarum sine titulo Liber. Ep. xvi. p. 130. Basil. 1581.- Many strokes in this epistle are, to the last degree, severe and caustic. Addressing himself to Rome, “ Illa equidem ipsa es, says he, quam in spiritu sacer vidit Evangelista.-- Populi et gentes et linguæ, aquæ sunt super quas meretrix sedes ; recognosce habitum. Mulier circumdata purpurâ, et coccino, et inaurata auro, et lapide pretioso, et margaritis, habens poculum aureum in manu suâ, plenum abominatione et immunditiâ fornicationis ejus. — Audi reliqua. Et vidi (inquit) mulierem ebriam de sanguine sanctorum, et de sanguine martyrum Jesu. Quid siles?” — And so goes on to apply the prophecies of the Revelation to the church of Rome, in terms that furnish out a good comment on the famous verse in one of his poems

Gia Roma, hor Babyloniu false è ria

Numberless passages in the writings of Petrarch speak of Rome, under the name of Babylon. But an equal stress is not to be laid on all of these. It should be remembered, that the Popes, in Petrarch's time, resided at Avignon ; greatly to the disparagement of themselves, as he thought,


cited. But the example of our Wicklif, who SERMON adorned that age, is most to our purpose, and may excuse the mention of any other. This extraordinary man saw far into all the abuses of his time : but he had nothing more at heart, than to expose the Antichristianism of the Roman Pontif,

8. Still, as the times grew more enlightened, the controversy concerning Antichrist became more general and important. The writings of

and especially of Rome; of which this singular man was little less than idolatrous. The situation of the place, surrounded by waters, and his splenetic concern for the exiled Church (for under this idea, he painted to himself the Pope's migration to the banks of Avignon) brought to his mind the condition of the Jewish church in the Babylonian captivity. And this parallel was all, perhaps, that he meant to insinuate in most of those passages. But, when he applies the prophecies to Rome, as to the Apocalyptic Babylon (as he clearly does in the epistle under consideration) his meaning is not equivocal: and we do him but justice to give him an honourable place among the Testes VERITATIS,

2 See the catalogue of his works in Cave's Hist. Lit. vol. ii. App. p. 63; in which is the following book of Dialogues. Dialogorum libri quatuor; quorum - quartus Romanæ Ecclesiæ sacramenta, ejus pestiferam vocationem, AntiCARISTI REGNUM, fratrum fraudulentam originem atque eorum hypocrisim, variaque nostro ævo scitu dignissima, perstringit.


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SERMON Wicklif had great effects both at home, and

abroad; and, with other causes, contributed very much to the cultivation of free enquiry, and to the improvement of all useful knowledge, in the XVth century. The church of Rome was pushed vigorously on all sides; and, in her turn, omitted no means of self-defence. That the worst were not scrupled, may be seen by what passed in England at that time, as well as by the sanguinary and faithless proceedings at the council of Constance. Lord Cobham, and the two Bohemian martyrs, were committed to the flames, for nothing so much, as for asserting the impious doctrine, " That the Pope was Antichrist.'

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9. We now enter on the XVIth century; distinguished in the annals of mankind by that great event, The Reformation of long oppressed and much adulterated religion. The Christian world had slumbered in its chains, for full ten ages. But Liberty came at last —

Libertas, quæ sera tamen respexit INERTEM.

This important work was begun, and prosecuted, on the common principle, That the bishop of Rome was Antichrist: and the

great separation from the church of Rome, was every



where justified on the idea, That Rome was the Babylon of the Revelation ; and that Christians were bound by an express command in those prophecies, to come out of her communion.

Leo X. was thunder-struck with this cry, which resounded on all sides; and, in the last Lateran council, gave it in charge to all preachers, that none of them should presume to call the Pope, Antichrist, or to treat this obnoxious subject in their discourses to the people a. But his edict came too late. The notion had taken deep root in the minds of men; and the name of Antichrist, as applied to the Pope, was current in all quarters.

10. From this time to the present, the charge of Antichristianism against the church of Rome is to be regarded, not as the language of private men, or particular synods ; but as the common voice of the whole Protestant world: so that it will be needless to bring down the history of it any lower


a Mandantes omnibus, &c. - tempus quoque prafirum futurorum malorum, vel ANTICHRISTI ADVENTUM - pradicare, rel asserere, nequaquam præsumant. Bin. Conc. Lateran. v. sub Leone X. Sess. xi. p. 632.

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