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    March 15, 1889

    “The Papacy” Bible Echo and Signs of the Times 4, 6.

    E. J. Waggoner

    Since the supremacy of the Papacy was to continue twelve hundred and sixty years, it is evident that it must have been checked in the year 1798 A.D. Let us see if at that time anything happened to justify this conclusion. From “Chambers’ Cyclopedia,” article “Pius,” we quote:-BEST March 15, 1889, page 89.1

    “At length the [French] Directory ordered the invasion of Rome; Berthier entered the city, February 10, 1798, and took possession of the castle of St. Angelo. Pius [VI.] was called on to renounce his temporal sovereignty, and on his refusal, was seized, February 20, and carried away to Siena, and afterwards to the celebrated Certosa, or Carthusian monastery, of Florence. On the threatened advance of the Austro-Russian army in the following year, he was transferred to Grenoble, and finally to Valence on the Rhone, where, worn out by age and by the rigor of confinement, he died in August, 1799, in the eighty-second year of his age and the twenty-fourth of his pontificate.”BEST March 15, 1889, page 89.2

    Thus we see that from 538 to 1798 A.D. there were twelve hundred and sixty years of unbroken power, plainly fulfilling the prophecy. At that time the power of the Papacy was broken; indeed, it might well have been thought to be utterly destroyed. In March 1800, however, another Pope was chosen, and the Papacy has continued ever since, but with diminished power. Immediately after the enunciation of the dogma of Papal infallibility, July 21, 1870, Victor Emmanuel took advantage of the withdrawal of the French soldiers from Rome, to make that city the capital of his kingdom. Accordingly he entered it on September 20 of the same year, and that day marked the close of the temporal dominion of the Pope of Rome, who ever since has sulked in the Vatican, where, in order more effectually to work upon the sympathies of the people, he professes to be a prisoner. From his retreat, like Bunyan’s aged Pope in his cave, he growls out at those who despise his pretensions, “You will never mend till more of you be burnt;” for his one ambition is the restoration of the Papacy to its former power.BEST March 15, 1889, page 89.3

    Whether this dream will ever be fully realized is not indicated in the prophecy under consideration; yet that, before the end, the power of the Papacy will increase far beyond what it is at the present, is plainly set forth in these words: “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Daniel 7:21, 22.BEST March 15, 1889, page 89.4

    For several years it seemed as though every vestige of the power of the Papacy was irrecoverably gone; but “the Scripture cannot be broken,” and now, although it has no territorial dominion, there is no kingdom on earth that approaches it in power. The Pope rules not only the vast host of Catholics in every land under the sun, nearly all of whom hold their allegiance to him above that which they owe to their civil rulers, but he rules nations. Not alone is his influence supreme in Catholic countries, but governments professedly Protestant look to him for help in difficult places. Germany, which so long opposed him, is now virtually subject to his dictation; England has invited him to help her settle her troubles with Ireland; the Czar of Russia has made overtures to him, as he needs his help in dealing with nihilism. When the papal delegates came to America to bring to Cardinal Gibbons the insignia of his office, a government vessel was sent out to meet them, and, on its return with them on board, the papal flag floated from the mast-head, in the place of the stars and stripes. On the occasion of the jubilee of Pope Leo XIII., Sweden and Italy were the only nations that did not send him presents and congratulations.BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.1

    The Christian Union (January 26, 1888) said that the presentation to Pope Leo XIII. of a copy of the Constitution of the United States, by the President, was “a sensible way of discharging what was, under the circumstances, almost a matter of national obligation.” And it gave, as a reason for this extraordinary statement, the still more extraordinary statement that “the Pope is a temporal prince, and the amenities which are paid to temporal princes are due him.” It further said: “It is not impossible that the time may come when the old antagonism of the Catholic and the Protestant may appear insignificant in view of the deeper antagonisms which shall make them essentially one.... Stranger things have happened in history than such a change of attitude as would be involved in the following of the Roman Catholic and the Protestant.BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.2

    About the same time the Rev. Dr. Henry M. Field, editor of the New York Evangelist (Presbyterian), said through his paper:-BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.3

    “The late President Hitchcock [of Union Theological seminary] often said to us when we discussed the dangers to society from socialists and communists, that we might yet come to look upon the Roman Catholic Church as the most conservative power in the country, if, by its influence over the Irish, it should keep them from running into the excesses by which so many of the French and Germans were carried away.... Here is a tremendous power exercised over millions of our countrymen, and it is the height of folly and fanaticism to alienate it from us by standing always in an attitude of antagonism.”BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.4

    Other Protestant divines say that Catholicism is the only power that can stay the tide of socialism and anarchy, and openly counsel an alliance between Catholicism and Protestantism. In the Christian at Work (April 12 and 19, 1888) Prof. Charles A. Briggs, of Union Theological Seminary, New York, had an article entitled, “Is Rome an Ally or an Enemy, or Both?” in which he noted a few points of difference in matters which he considered non-essentials, but said: “In all matters of worship we are in essential concord with Roman Catholics, and we ought not to hesitate to make an alliance with them so far as possible to maintain the sanctity of the Sabbath as a day of worship,” etc. And again:-BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.5

    “It is true that there is a great deal of immorality in the Roman Catholic Church in some countries, and we think it may be shown that as a rule Protestantism is productive of better morals than Romanism; but this, after all, is a question of more or less, and, to say the least, Protestantism has little to boast of. On all these questions it is of the highest importance that the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches should make an alliance.”BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.6

    As showing the progress toward this alliance, it is necessary only to state that during “Holy Week” of 1888, union services of the Catholic and all the Protestant churches were held in various cities in the United States. Various Protestant journals speak of the Pope as “Holy Father,” with him “a long reign and Godspeed in liberalizing policy,” and in many ways show their willingness to allow him whatever he may claim.BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.7

    One more item, and it is a most significant one, must suffice on this point. In “Protestant” Germany, in the city of Cassel, where the majority of churches are Lutheran, a Rev. Thummel was indicted sometime in the year 1888, for attacking the Papacy and calling the Pope antichrist. In moving for nine months’ imprisonment for Mr. Thummel, the prosecuting attorney said:-BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.8

    “The defendant refers (or appeals) to Dr. M. Luther. First, it must be considered that Luther lived three hundred years ago, and that meanwhile the customs, the tone, and tastes, etc., have changed. If Luther lived to-day, and should say and write the same things that he did then, he would undoubtedly, by reason of section 496 of the Penal Code, be condemned.”BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.9

    History is making rapidly, and the student of prophecy will not have long to wait to see what shall be the end of all these things. Of one thing he may be certain, that “the triumphing of the wicked is short,” and when the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth shall say, “I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow,” then shall her plagues come upon her in one day,-death and mourning, and famine, and “she shall be utterly burned with fire.” The more rapidly the power and influence of the Papacy revives, the sooner will the Lord consume “that Wicked” with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy it with the brightness of is coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8); and then “the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27.BEST March 15, 1889, page 90.10

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