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Prophetic Expositions, vol. 2

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    THE EFFECT OF THE BARBAHIAN CONQUESTS ON THE IMPERIAL POWER

    “Therefore shall he be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.” The barbarians who conquered Rome, the Goths, Huns and Vandals, embraced the Arian faith, and became bitter enemies of the Catholic church, and waged several severe persecutions against the Roman church. The Roman emperors, both of the east and west, were, for the most part, staunch friends of the Catholic church, and some of them most violent partisans in the religious disputes of the age. And it was for the purpose of exterminating heresy, especially the Arian heresy, which the Goths and Vandals had embraced and maintained, that the emperor Justinian gave his entire power as head of the church to the pope, and constituted him the true and effective corrector of heretics; and also subjected and united to him all the priests of the whole east; submitting to him for decision, all questions belonging to the state of the church. The Bible, the holy covenant, was, in their estimation, the grand source of error, and the right of each Christian to read and interpret the word of God for himself, must be denied and restricted. Hence, the decision of all questions must be submitted to the pope and the Catholic church. The Roman church forsook God’s word and turned to the decisions of general councils and popes, as infallible guides in all matters of faith and practice.PREX2 76.2

    That the church of Rome has, by the Council of Trent, prohibited the free translation and circulation of the Scriptures, will be clear from the following extract from the fourth rule of the Congregation of the Index, (a committee of the council,) appointed by the Council of Trent to decide as to prohibited books:—PREX2 77.1

    “Seeing it is manifest by experience, that if the Holy Scriptures be permitted to be read everywhere indiscriminately (‘sine discrimine’) in the vulgar tongue, more harm than good would result thence, through the rashness of men; let it therefore be at the pleasure of the bishop or inquisitor, with the advice of the parish priest or confessor, to permit the reading of Bibles translated by Catholic authors, to those who, in their opinion, may receive not harm, but an increase of faith and piety. This license let them have in writing. But whosoever shall presume, without such license, to read or possess them, he cannot receive forgiveness of his sins until such Bibles be returned to the ordinary.”PREX2 77.2

    The Vandal war of 533 and the Ostrogothic war of 536-8, were commenced and consummated by the imperial power to put down heresy and exalt Catholicism, and finally to establish the supremacy of the Roman Catholic church. The emperors had indignation against freedom of opinion in the church and on religious questions, and had intelligence with the church of Rome,-which forsook the holy covenant, and became the apostacy or “falling away” “the man of sin,”—for the purpose of putting down the barbarous Arians. The final result of the establishment of popery by the Greek emperor, was the overthrow of the Goths and Vandals, and the termination of the Arian controversy.PREX2 77.3

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