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    December 19, 1878

    “Historical Notes on the Prophecies. (Concluded)” The Signs of the Times 4, 48, pp. 378, 379.

    HENRY, with abject submission, now resolved to seek the forgiveness of the pope in Rome. In midwinter, accompanied by his wife, his infant son, and one faithful attendant; having scarcely sufficient money to pay the expenses of his travel, he set out to cross the Alps and throw himself at Gregory’s feet. Never was there a more miserable journey. The winter was unusually severe, and great quantities of snow filled up the Alpine passes. The slippery surface was not hard enough to bear the weight of the travelers, and even the most experienced mountaineers trembled at the dangers of the passage. Yet the imperial party pressed on; the king must reach Italy, or his crown was lost forever. When, after much toil and suffering, they reached the summit of the pass, the danger was increased. A vast precipice of ice spread before them so slippery and smooth that he who entered upon it could scarcely avoid being hurled into the depths below. Yet there was no leisure for hesitation. The queen and her infant son wrapped in the skins of oxen and drawn down as if in a sled; the king, creeping on his hands and knees, clung to the shoulders of the guides, and thus, half sliding, and sometimes rolling down the steeper declivities, they reached the plain unharmed.SITI December 19, 1878, page 378.1

    “Gregory, meanwhile, doubtful at first of Henry’s real design, had taken refuge in the Castle of Canossa, the mountain stronghold of his unchanging friend and ally, the great Countess Matilda. * * * * *SITI December 19, 1878, page 378.2

    “To Canossa came Henry, the fallen emperor, seeking permission to cast himself at his enemy’s feet. On a bitter winter morning, when the ground was covered deep with snow, he approached the castle gate, and was admitted within the first of the three wails that sheltered Gregory and Matilda. Clothed in a thin white linen dress, the garb of a penitent, his feet bare, his bead uncovered, the king awaited all day, in the outer coutt the opening of the gate which should admit him to the presence of Gregory. But the relentless pope let him shiver in the cold. A second and a third day Henry stood as a suppliant before the castle gate, and, hungry, chilled, disheartened, besought admission, but in vain. The spectators who witnessed his humiliation were touched with compassion, and every heart but that of Gregory softened toward the penitent king. At length Henry was admitted to the presence of the compassionate Matilda, fell on his knees before her, and besought her merciful interference. Gregory yielded to her prayers, and the pope and his rightful lord, whom he had subjugated, met at a remarkable interview. Tall, majestic in figure, his feet bare, and still clad in penitential garb, the haughty Henry bowed in terror and contrition before the small and feeble gray-haired old man who had made kings the servants of the church.SITI December 19, 1878, page 378.3

    “Henry subscribed to every condition the pope interposed; obedience to ecclesiastical law, perfect submission to the pope, even the abandonment of his kingdom should such be Gregory’s will. On these terms he was absolved, and with downcast eyes and broken spirit returned to meet the almost contemptuous glances of his German or Lombard chiefs. * * * * * * * * * * * *SITI December 19, 1878, page 378.4

    “No sooner had Henry left Canossa thau [sic.] he seemed suddenly to recover from that strange moral and mental prostration into which his adversary’s spiritual arts had thrown him. He was once more a king, He inveighed in bitter terms against the harshness and pride of Gregory; his Lombard chiefs gathered around him and stimulated him to vengeance, while Matilda hurried the pope back again, fearful for his life, to the impregnable walls of Canossa.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 378.5

    Hildebrand, just, before his death, “gave a general absolution to the human race, excepting only Henry and his rival pope. He died May 25, 1085, having bequeathed to his successors the principle that the Bishop of Rome was the supreme power of the earth.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 378.6

    “The idea was never lost to his successors, ... but its full development is chiefly to be traced in the character of Innocent llI. of all the bishops of Rome, Innocent approached nearest to the completion of Gregory’s grand idea. He was the true universal bishop, deposing kings, trampling upon nations, crushing out heresy with fire and sword, relentless to his enemies, terrible to his friends—the incarnation of spiritual despotism and pride. In the year 1198, at the age of thirty-seven, in the full strength of manhood, Innocent ascended the papal throne.... Yet his ruthless policy filled Europe with bloodshed and woe. He interfered in the affairs of Germany, and for ten years, with but short intervals of truce, happy land was rent with civil discord. He deposed his enemy the Emperor Otho, and placed Frederic II., half infidel, half Saracen, the last of the Hahenstaufens, on the German throne, tie ruled over Rome and Italy with an iron hand. But it was in France and England that the despotic power of the church was felt in its utmost rigor, and both these mighty kingdoms were reduced to abject submission to the will of the astute Italian.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 378.7

    And now we may turn our attention with curious interest to a contest between Innocent III. and Philip Augustus of France, no less remarkable than that between Hildebrand and Henry. He continues:—SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.1

    “France, in the year 1200, was ruled by the firm hand of the licentious, self-willed, but vigorous Philip Augustus. Philip, after the death of his first wife, Isabella of Hainault, had resolved upon a second marriage. He had heard of the rare beauty, the long bright hair, the gentle manners of Ingelburga, sister go the king of Denmark, and he sent to demand her hand. The Dane consented, the fair princess set sail for France, unconscious of the long succession of sorrows that awaited her in that southern land. The nuptials were celebrated, the queen was crowned; but from that moment Philip shrunk from his bride with shuddering horror. No one could tell the cause, nor did the king ever reveal it. Some said that he was under the influence of a demon, some, that he was bewitched. Yet certain it is that he turned pale and shuddered at the very sight of the gentle and beautiful Ingelburga, that he berated her with intense vigor, and that he sacrificed the peace of his kingdom, the welcome of his people, and very nearly his crown itself, rather than acknowledge as his wife one who was to him all gentleness and love. At all hazards he resolved to obtain a divorce, and the obsequious clergy of France soon satisfied his wishes in this respect, upon the pretense that the ill-assorted pair were within the degree of consanguinity limited by the church. The marriage was declared dissolved. When the news of her humiliation was brought to the unhappy stranger-queen, she cried out, in her broken language, ‘Wicked, wicked nuisance! Rome, Rome!’ Philip, having thus relieved himself forever, as he no doubt disposed, of his Danish wife, began to look around for her successor. Three noble ladies of France, however, refused his offers, distrustful of his fickle affections; a fourth, countess daughter of the Duke of Meran, was more courageous, and was rewarded by a not unusual constancy. To the fair Agnes, Philip gave his heart, his hand, his kingdom. His love for her rose almost to madness. Further he bore the anathemas of the church, the hatred of his people, the murmurs of his faces, the triumph of his foes.... Miserable, however, was the fate of the rival queen. Ingelburga, in her distress, had appealed to Rome; her brother, the king of Denmark, pressed her claim upon the pope; hence Philip, enraged at her obstinacy, treated her with singular cruelty. She was caged from convent to convent, from castle castle, to induce her to abandon her appeal; her prayers and her entreaties were ... ved with cold neglect, and she who was supposed to be queen of France was the most despised woman in the land.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.2

    She was now at last to find a champion in a protector. Innocent, soon after his ... ion, resolved to interfere in the affair, to build up the grandeur of his see upon misfortunes of two unhappy wives and insolent king.... The pope sent a legate to France with a command to Philip to put the beautiful Agnes, and receive back ... ted Dane. If he did not comply with the orders of his spiritual father within thirty days, France was to be laid under an interdict and the sin of the sovereign was to be laid upon his unoffending people. Philip, ...d rather than intimidated, treated Innocent’s message with contempt; the thirty days expired, and the fatal sentence was pronounced. For the first time in the annals of France it ventured to inflict a spiritual censure upon a whole nation; for the effect of interdict was to close the gates of heaven to mankind. All over gay and prosperous France rested a sudden gloom. The churches were closed, and the worshipers driven from their doors; the rites of religion ceased; no marriages were celebrated in the church- ... the bodies of the dead were refused ...n consecrated ground, and flung out ...h in the corrupted air; baptism and holy unction were the only services allowed, and the voice of prayer and praise ceased throughout the land; and the French with the government found themselves condemned by venal woe for the sin of Philip and fair ...f Meran.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.3

    This punishment seemed no doubt irrational and extravagant even to the clouded intellect of that half-savage age; but it was no less effectual. Philip sought to prevent the enforcement of the interdict by punishing the clergy who obeyed it; and he swore he would lose half his kingdom rather than part with Agnes. But Innocent enforced the obedience of the priests. France grew mutinous under its spiritual sufferings, and the king was forced to submit. ‘I will turn Mohammedan,’ he cried, in his rage. ‘Happy Saladin, who has no pope above him.’ Agnes, too, wrote a touching letter to the pope, in which she said she cared not for the crown it was on the husband that she had set her love. ‘Part me not from him.’ But Innocent never relented. Agnes was torn from her husband and her love, and was confined in a lonely castle in Normandy, where she was seen at times wandering upon the battlements with wild gesture and disheveled hair, her face wan and pale, her eyes streaming with tears; and then was seen no more. Nor was Ingelburga more happy. She was conducted, indeed, by a train of Italian priests to the arms of her loathing husband, and, whether witch or woman, Philip was forced to receive her publicly as his wife. France rejoiced, for the interdict was removed; a clang of bells announced the return of spiritual peace; the curtains were withdrawn from crucifixes and images; the church doors flew open; and a glad throng of worshipers poured into the holy buildings, from which for seven months they had been rigidly excluded. Yet the change brought little joy to the queen of France.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.4

    “The pope now turned his spiritual arms against England, and soon reduced that powerful and independent kingdom, the condition of a vassal of the Roman see. John, the wickedest and the basest of English kings, now sat on the throne. His life had been stained by almost every form of licentiousness and crime; he had murdered his nephew, Arthur, and usurped his crown; he had shrunk from no enormity, and his subjects looked upon him with horror and disgust; Philip had torn from him all his continental possessions, and his cowardice had been as conspicuous, as his vices. Yet John had ever remained the favorite son the church, and Innocent would still have continued his ally and his friend had not a sudden quarrel made them, for the moment, the bitterest of foes. It would be impossible for us to review the full particulars of this memorable affair. It is sufficient to say that Innocent claimed the right of controlling the election of the archbishops of Canterbury, and that John resisted his pretension. The pope employed the instrument which had been so effectual against France; in 1208 England was laid under an interdict, and for four years beheld its churches closed, its dead cast out into unconsecrated ground, and its whole religious life crushed beneath a fatal malediction. Yet John resisted the clerical assailant with more pertinacity than Philip, and even endured the final penalty of excommunication, and it was not until Innocent had bestowed England upon Philip, and that king had prepared a considerable army to invade his new dominions, that John’s courage shrunk. Full of hatred for the pope and for religion, it, is said that he had resolved to become a Mohammedan, and sent ambassadors to the caliph of Spain and Africa offering to embrace the faith of the Koran in return for material aid; and it is further related that the cultivated Mohammedans rejected with contempt the advances of the Christian renegade. So low, indeed, was sunk the moral dignity of Christianity under the papal rule, so oppressive was that power, that of the three great potentates of Christendom at this period, Frederic II. was suspected of preferring the Koran to the Bible, and both Philip Augustus and John are believed to have entertained the desire of adopting the tenets of the Arabian impostor; and all three were no doubt objects of polished scorn to the cultivated Arabs of Bagdad and Cordova.” Historical Studies, article, Bishops of Rome.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.5

    We could give more of these sketches but they are too long to quote, and it is impossible to abridge them. However these, will serve to show how perfectly the prophecy is fulfilled in that power. And he never could have succeeded in exalting himself to that place where he ruled with such absolute sway, and sunk all Europe to such a fearful depth of superstitious dread, had it not been that “be cast down the truth [the word of God, the Bible] to the ground.” Daniel 8:12; John 17:17. For as “the entrance of God’s word giveth light,” Psalm 119:130, so the taking of it away caused this horror of great darkness that enveloped Europe for ages. It was during these long weary years that, as we learn from the same work, “no layman was permitted to possess a Bible.” “He who read his Bible was to be burned. To read or study the Scriptures was the deadliest of crimes.” Id. Art. Loyola and the Jesuits. “For many centuries the Scriptures had been hidden in a dead language, guarded by the anathemas of the priests from the public eye, and so costly in manuscript form as to be accessible only to the wealthy. A Bible cost as much as a landed estate; the greatest universities, the richest monasteries, could scarcely purchase a single copy.” Id. Art. The Huguenots.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.6

    At last Luther arose, seized a Bible, and through the powerful aid of the printing press he flooded Europe with its glorious rays. The entrance of thy words, O Lord, did give light, and by this light the kings, the nations, saw the horrible monster, the well-favored harlot, that had “deluged Europe and Asia with blood,” and turned with fury against her “to make her desolate and naked, to eat her flesh and burn her with fire.” Revelation 17:16, 17. The judgment sat, they took away his dominion to consume and destroy it unto the end, Daniel 7:26, and here we give his and her lament through one of his cardinals (Manning): “What do you see at present? The vicar of Christ has gloriously ruled the church for thirty years, during which time he has been the prey of all the anti-Christian and anti-social revolutions of the period, and even now is morally a prisoner in his palace. He has been despoiled of all his temporalities. He has no army, no lands, no lands, no territory.” These words I clipped from the Catholic Sentinel of Portland, Oregon, in the month of October or November, 1877.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.7

    The following is from the Christian Union: “Hardly had the Ecumenical Council [of 1870] separated when the whole structure of his [Pius IX.] temporal power crumbled into dust beneath his feet. Other losses followed fast. In France his most catholic majesty, Louis Napoleon, was overthrown by heretics. In Italy the church property was sold by the crown. The monasteries were closed by law. The brotherhoods were dispersed. In Austria, that faithful son of the church, Francis Joseph, formed an alliance with the excommunicated Victor Emanuel and the heretic Wilhelm against the Ultramontanes, with the pope at their head. In Germany not only is the crown arrayed against the crozier, but the holy church itself is rent in twain.” Revelation 17:6: “And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.8

    “The Roman bishops have deluged Europe and Asia with blood.” Dec. and Fall, Chap. 45, Sec. 22.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.9

    Daniel 7:21, and Revelation 13:6: “I beheld and the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them.” “And he shall wear out the saints of the Most High.” Daniel 7:25.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.10

    “The popes had succeeded in subjecting kings and emperors; they now employed them, in crushing the people. Innocent III. excited Philip of France to a fierce crusade against the Albigenses of the south; amidst a general massacre of men, women, and children, the gentle sect sunk, never to appear again. Dominic invented, or enlarged, the Inquisition; and soon in every land the spectacle of blazing heretics and tortured saints delighted the eyes of the Romish clergy. Over the rebellious kings the popes had held the menace of interdict, excommunication, or deposition; to the people they offered only submission or death. The Inquisition was their remedy for the apostatic heresies of Germany, England, Spain—a simple cure for dissent or reform. It seemed effectual. The Albigenses were extirpated. In the cities of Italy the Waldenses ceased to be known. Lollardism concealed itself in England; the Scriptural Christians of every land who refused to worship images or adore the virgin disappeared from sight; the supremacy of Rome was assured over all Western EuropeSITI December 19, 1878, page 379.11

    “Yet one blot remained on the fair fame of the seemingly united christendom. Within the limits of Italy itself a people existed to whom the mass was still a vain idolatry, the real presence a papal fable; who had resisted with vigor every innovation, and whose simple rites and ancient faith were older than the papacy itself ... But in the fifteenth century the popes and the inquisitors turned their malignant eyes upon the simple Piedmontese, and prepared to exterminate with fire and sword the Alpine church.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.12

    “And now began a war of four centuries, the most remarkable in the annals of Europe. On the one side stood the people of the valleys—poor, humble, few. Driven to resistance by their pitiless foes, they took up arms with reluctance; they fought only for safety; they wept over the fallen. For four centuries a crusade almost incessant went on against the secluded valleys. Often the papal legions, led by the inquisitors, swept over the gentle landscape of Lucerna, and drove the people from the blazing villages to hide in caves on the mountains, and almost browse with the chamois on the wild herbage of the wintry rocks. Yet the unflinching people still refused to give up their faith.... The Psalms of David, chanted in the plaintive melodies of the Vaudois (Waldenses), echoed far above the scenes of rapine and carnage of the desolate valleys; the apostolic church lived indestructible, the coronal of some heaven-piercing Alp.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.13

    “They clung to their mountains, their moral purity, and their faith. Generation after generation, fiercely tried, hardly tempted, never wavered in their resolve. The war of four centuries for liberty of conscience, for freedom to worship God, was accepted by the youthful Vaudois as their noblest inheritance.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.14

    “Pope Innocent VIII., a man of rare benevolence, according to the Romish writers, and a devoted lover of Christian union, resolved (1487) to adorn his reign by a complete extinction of the Vaudois heresy. He issued a call summoning all faithful kings, princes, rulers, to a crusade against the children of the valleys.... Still the perpetual persecution went on.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.15

    In September, 1560, Pope Plus IV. sat on the papal throne and, “Innumerable martyrdoms now filled the valleys with perpetual horror. It is impossible to describe, it is almost inhuman to remember, the atrocities of the papal persecutors. Neither sex nor age, innocence, beauty nor youth, softened their impassive hearts.... The papal troops entered the valleys, roused by the priests and Jesuits to an unparalleled madness. Such cruelties, such crime, have never before or since been perpetrated upon the earth; the French revolution offers but a faint comparison; the tortures of Diocletian or Decius may approach their reality. The gentle, intelligent, and cultivated Vaudois fell into the power of a band of demons. Their chief rage was directed against women and children. The babe was torn from the mother’s breast and cast into the blazing fires; the mother was impaled, and left to die in unpitied agony. Often husband, and wife were bound together and burned in the same pyre; often accomplished matrons, educated in refinement and ease, were hacked to pieces by papal soldiers, and their headless trunks left unburied in the snow. A general search was made for Vaudois. Every cave was entered, every crag visited, where there was no danger of resistance; every forest was carefully explored. When any were found, whether young or old, they were chased from their hiding-places over the snowy hills, and thrown from steep crags into the deep ravines below. No cliff but had its martyr; no hill on which had not blazed the persecutor’s fire. In Leger’s history, printed in 1669, are preserved rude but vigorous engravings of the malignant tortures inflicted by the papal soldiers upon his countrymen. There, in the Alpine solitudes, amidst the snow-clad summits of the wintry hills, are seen the dying matron; the tortured child; the persecutor chasing his victims over the icy fields; the virgin snows covered with the blood of fated innocence; the terrified people climbing higher and higher up the tallest Alps, glad to dwell with the eagle and the chamois, above the rage of persecuting man. “The pope applauded; the Duke of Savoy rejoiced in the massacres of the valleys. The Jesuits chanted their thanksgiving in the ruined villages. The Capuchins restored their convent. The church of Rome ruled over the blood-stained waste. * * * * * * *SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.16

    “There was now no more hope for the Vaudois. From 1655 to 1685, they suffered all the ignominies and all the cruelties that could be inflicted by the malevolent priests.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.17

    “At last in 1685 came that fatal period so long anticipated with triumph by the Jesuits of Turin, when the voice of Christian prayer and praise was no longer heard in the valleys. The wonderful people had survived for six centuries the enmity of the papacy; but now the Alpine church seemed blotted from existence.... A dreadful punishment now fell upon them. The papal soldiers swept through the valleys, made prisoners of nearly the whole population, and carried them away to the dungeons of Turin. Fourteen thousand persons were shut up in close confinement. The consequences were such as might have touched the hearts el Diocletian and Decius, but to the Jesuits and to Rome they were only a source of insane joy.... Diseases raged among them; a pestilence came and of the fourteen thousand saints, the followers of Christ, only three thousand came, emaciated and pale, from their noisome dungeons. Eleven thousand had died to satisfy the malice of Rome.SITI December 19, 1878, page 379.18

    “In the fearful winter of 1686-87, when the Rhone was frozen to its bed and the AlpsSITI December 19, 1878, page 379.19

    (Concluded on page 382.)

    (Continued from page 379.)

    were encrusted with ice, the papists drove the surviving remnant of the prisoners over the precipitous passes of Mount Cenis. The aged, the sick, women, children, the wounded and the faint, climbed with unsteady steps the chili waste of snows, and toiled onward toward Protestant Genoa. Many had scarcely clothes to cover them; all were feeble with starvation. The road was marked by the bodies of those that died by the way. The survivors staggered down the Swiss side of the mountains, palid with hunger and cold; some perished as they approached the border of the friendly territory, others lingered awhile and expired in the homes of the Swiss. But the people of Genoa, as they beheld the melancholy procession approaching their city, rushed out in generous enthusiasm to receive the exiles in their arms. As the exiles entered the town they sung the Psalm of persecuted Israel ‘O God, why hast thou cast us off?’ in a grave sad voice, and breathed out a melancholy wail over ruin of their apostatic church.SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.1

    “There was now peace in the silent valleys; villages without inhabitants, homes without a family, churches no longer filled with the eloquence of supplication. And thus in 1689, seemed forever dissipated that hallowed race, that assembly of the faithful, over whose career in history had ever hung spotless halo of ideal purity.—SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.2

    Historical Studies, Art. “The Vaudiois.”

    The story of the Albigenses and the Huguenots would be but a repetition of the horrors of this. The same writer says in a note: “The narrative of the persecution is too dreadful to be repeated, too horrible to be remembered. And when Sir Samuel Morland was sent by Cromwell to the court of Turin to remonstrate against these enormities, he told them that “The angels were horrified, that men were amazed, and the earth blushed at the fearful spectacle.” Surely he has “worn out the saints of the Most High.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.3

    Ezekiel 30:12. Of Egypt it is said, “And I will make the river dry and sell the land into the hand of the wicked; I will make the land waste and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers; I the Lord have spoken it.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.4

    Gibbon: “A more unjust and absurd constitution cannot be devised, than that which condemns the natives of a country to perpetual servitude, under the arbitrary dominion of strangers and slaves. Yet such has been the state of Egypt above five hundred years.” Dic. And Fall, Chap. 59, Sec. 20, and note 5, he says from Volney, “And Egypt groans under the avarice and insolence of the strangers.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.5

    Ezekiel 30:13: “Thus saith the Lord God I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph.” To see the force of this prophecy it must be remembered that, “in Egypt, it was less difficult to find a god than a man.” Dec. and Fall, Chap. 37, Sec. 3. And they have ceased.SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.6

    Ezekiel 30:13 “And there shall be no more a prince in the land of Egypt.” In the year 350 B. C. Nectauebus, a native Egyptian ruled Egypt on the Egyptian throne. Ochus, king of Persia, in this same year made war against him, and he being unable to keep his forces about him, fled into Ethiopia, and from that day to this there has not been a native of Egypt upon the throne.SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.7

    Gibbon.—“Egypt is accessible only on the side of Asia, whose revolutions in almost every period of history it has humbly obeyed.” Dec. and Fall, Chap. 1, Sec. 36. Witness the following synopsis. Here fell into the hands of the Persians. Alexander conquered Persia, the Egyptians welcomed him as their ruler, and voluntarily submitted themselves to him. Upon the death of Alexander and the division of his domin-ions, Ptolemy, one of his generals, received Egypt as a part of his share; and it remained with his descendants 294 years, until it fell into the hands of the Romans, B. C. 30, by whom it was held 700 years to A. D. 670. Then it was taken, and held by the Saracens to 1250; then by the Mamelukes to 1517 and by the Turks from that year to this. And by this “perpetual servitude,” when much of the time the rulers were “succeeded not by their sons but their servants.” Dec. and Fall, Chap. 59, Sec 20. Egypt has been driven to the perfect fulfillment of Ezekiel 29:15. It is “the basest of the kingdoms.”SITI December 19, 1878, page 382.8

    A. T. JONES.

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