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    December 31, 1897

    “After the Creed was Made: How the Papacy Ruled and Ruined. Germ of the Papacy—Reformation Principles” The Present Truth 13, 52, pp. 821-823.


    EVER since that Christmas day, A.D. 800, Leo and all his successors have spent their lives, and exercised their boundless ambition, in making felt to the uttermost this blasphemous claim; and for ages, nations groaned and people perished, under the frightful exercise of this infernal power.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 821.1


    Under it the famous and the infamous Hildebrand punished Henry IV., Emperor of Germany, in the no less famous and infamous transaction of Canossa. By it Urban and his successors unto Innocent III., like terrible Muezzin, called millions from Europe to dreadful slaughter in the Crusades; and through it, by the instrumentality of the “Holy” Inquisition, Innocent III. and his successors unto Gregory XVI., poured out their demoniacal wrath upon the innocent Albigenses, the devoted Waldenses, and the millions of other Christians who by sword, by captivity, by dungeon, by rack, by torture, and by flame, yielded their lives rather than submit to this horrible despotism over the bodies and souls, the actions and the thoughts, of men, choosing rather to die the free men of Christ, than to live the slaves of that filthy strumpet who has “deluged Europe and Asia with blood” (Gibbon) and which the holy seer of Patmos saw “drunken with the blood of the saints, and the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” Revelation 17:1-6.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 821.2

    And even the Inquisition in its practical workings, is but the logic of the theocratical theory upon which the Papacy is founded, the theory that men must govern for the Lord, and “protect” religion by forcing it upon others. It is the theory at the foundation of every Sunday law, and all connection of religion and the State.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 821.3


    God is the moral governor. His government is moral only, whose code is the moral law. His government and his law have to do with the thoughts, the intents, and the secrets of men’s hearts. This must be ever the government of God, and nothing short of it can be the government of God. The papacy then being the head of what pretends to be a government of God, and ruling there in the place of God, her government must rule in the realm of morals, and must take cognizance of the counsels of the heart.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 821.4

    But being composed of men, how can she discover what are the thoughts of men’s hearts whether they be good or evil, that she may pronounce judgment upon them? By long and careful experiment, and by intense ingenuity, means were discovered by which the most secret thoughts of men’s hearts might be wrung from them, and that was by the confessional first, and especially for those who submit to her authority; and by the thumbscrew, the rack, and her other horrible tortures second, and for those who would not submit—in one word it was by the Inquisition that it was accomplished.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 821.5

    There remained but one thing more to make the enormity complete, and that was not only to sanction but to deify the whole deceitful, licentious, and bloody record, with the assertion of infallibility. As all the world knows, this too has been done. And even this is but the logic of the theocratical theory upon which the foundation of the papacy was laid in the days of Constantine.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 821.6


    FOR, the Papacy being professedly the government of God, he who sits at the head of it, sits there as the representative of God. He represents the divine authority; and when he speaks or acts officially, his speech or act is that of God. But to make a man thus the representative of God, is only to clothe human passions with divine power and authority. And being human, he is bound always to act unlike God; and being clothed with irresponsible power, he will often act like the devil. Consequently, in order to make all his actions consistent with his profession, he is compelled to cover them all with the Divine attributes, and make everything that he does in his official capacity the act of God. This is precisely the logic and the profession of papal infallibility. It is not claimed that all the pope speaks is infallible; it is only what he speaks officially—what he speaks ex cathedra, that is, from the throne.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.1

    Under this theory, he sits upon that throne as the head of the government of God, and he sits there as God indeed. For the same pope that published this dogma of infallibility, published a book of his speeches, in the preface to which, in the official and approved edition, he is declared to be “The living Christ,” “The voice of God;” “He is nature that protests; he is God that condemns.” Thus, in the Papacy there is fulfilled to the letter, in completest meaning, the prophecy—2 Thessalonians 2:1-9—of “the falling away” and the revealing of “that man of sin,” “the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.2

    Therefore, sitting in the place of God, ruling from that place as God, that which he speaks from the throne is the word of God, and must be infallible. This is the inevitable logic of the false theocratical theory. And if it be denied that the theory is false, there is logically no escape from accepting the whole Papal system. The theory contains within it the germ of THE ENTIRE PAPACY.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.3


    THEN came the Reformation, protesting against the papal system, and asserting again the rights of the individual conscience, declaring for a separation between Church and State, and that to Cesar is to be rendered only that which is Cesar’s, while men are left free to render to God, according to the dictates of their own conscience, that which is God’s.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.4

    To Luther more than to any other one, there fell the blessed task of opening up the contest with the Papacy, and of announcing the principles of the Reformation. It is not without cause that Luther stands at the head of all men in the great Reformation and in the history of Protestantism: for he alone of all the leaders in the Reformation times held himself and his cause aloof from the powers of this world, and declined all connection of the State with the work of the Gospel, even to support it. At a time when the Papacy was urging the emperor and princes to destroy him, Luther wrote to the court of the Elector Frederick, who was his friend:—PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.5

    If the Gospel was of a nature to be propagated or maintained by the power of the world, God would not have intrusted it to fishermen. To defend the gospel appertains not to the princes and pontiffs of this world. They have enough to do to shelter themselves from the judgments of the Lord and his Anointed. If I speak, I do it in order that they may obtain the knowledge of the divine word, and be saved by it.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.6

    During his absence, fanatical spirits had arisen, and extreme and somewhat violent steps had been taken, and amongst the first words which he spoke upon his arrival in Wittemberg were these:—PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.7

    It is by the word that we must fight; by the word overturn and destroy what has been established by violence. I am unwilling to employ force against the superstitious or the unbelieving. Let him who believes approach; let him who believes not stand aloof. None ought to be constrained. Liberty is of the essence of faith.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 822.8

    In 1524 the Swabian peasants revolted, and in January, 1525, Luther addressed to them the following words:—PTUK December 31, 1897, page 823.1

    The pope and the emperor have united against me; but the more the pope and the emperor have stormed, the greater the progress which the gospel has made... Why so? Because I have never drawn the sword, nor called for vengeance; because I have not had recourse either to tumult or revolt. I have committed all to God, and awaited his strong hand. It is neither with the sword nor the musket that Christians fight, but with suffering and the cross. Christ, their captain, did not handle the sword; he hung upon the tree.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 823.2

    In his later years, having refused to walk in the advancing light, and so having less of the Word of God and therefore less faith, even Luther swerved from the genuine Christian and Reformation principle, denied any right of toleration to the Zwinglians, and advocated the banishment of “false teachers” and the utter rooting out of the Jews from “Christian” lands.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 823.3

    At Luther’s death many Protestants set themselves to maintain the doctrines stated by him, and so they became Lutherans rather than Reformers, and the power of the Reformation was weakened. But in those early Reformation times the secret of Luther’s power as a reformer was in his preaching of the Word as the power of God unto salvation, giving to the world anew those principles of Gospel liberty originally announced by Him who was the Author and Finisher of the faith—JESUS CHRIST, THE AUTHOR OF RELIGIOUS LIBERTY.PTUK December 31, 1897, page 823.4

    A. T. JONES.

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