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    GRECIA

    “After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” Daniel 7:6. See page 88. into which the Grecian Empire was divided after the death of Alexander. Bear in mind that the Grecian Empire was not divided into four other empires, but that there were four heads to the one empire, just as there were four heads to the leopard. Rollin gives the history of all the kings of the four divisions, under the head of “Alexander’s Successors.”PROLI 88.7

    “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots; and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.” Daniel 7:7, 8.PROLI 89.1

    Since the four beasts represented the four universal empires of earth (Daniel 7:17, 18), it follows that the fourth beast represents the fourth kingdom, or Rome, of whose iron monarchy we have already read.PROLI 89.2

    But Daniel was not completely satisfied with the first answer given by the angel. From his connection with Nebuchadnezzar’s dream he must have known the main features of these four kingdoms; but there were some particulars upon which he desired more light. “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.” Daniel 7:19, 20.PROLI 89.3

    The answer to this request was given as follows:—PROLI 89.4

    “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, ...and the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise; and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” Daniel 7:23, 24.PROLI 89.5

    The fourth beast was the fourth kingdom, — Rome, — and the ten horns, it is plainly stated, “are ten kings that shall arise,” that is, ten parts into which the Roman Empire should be divided. This division is mentioned in Daniel 2:41. It was effected by the incursions of the barbarous tribes which dismembered the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, the history of which is so graphically described by Gibbon.PROLI 89.6

    After the division of the Roman Empire was completed, which was in A.D. 476, another power was to arise, and in its rise was to pluck up three of the first kingdoms by the roots. There is so general an agreement by all commentators in regard to this “little horn” which had “eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things” (Daniel 7:8), that we risk nothing in saying at once that it represents the papacy. The characteristics given in Daniel 7:8, 20, 21, 25, are met in the papacy, and in no other power. It uprooted three kingdoms to make room for itself; and as if to show the fulfillment of the prophecy, the pope’s tiara is a triple crown. Such a crown is worn by no other ruler. The three kingdoms that were plucked up will be named a little further on.PROLI 89.7

    “And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws.” Daniel 7:25.PROLI 90.1

    If we find that these three specifications apply to the papacy, then it will be useless to look further for an application for the little horn. We will consider them in detail.PROLI 90.2

    1. “He shall speak great words against the Most High.” It is a notorious fact that the pope is styled the “Vicar of the Son of God,” indicating that he fills the office of Christ. Paul, speaking of the papacy, which he calls the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4), says that he “exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped.” This is a parallel to Daniel 7:25. It is fulfilled in the pope’s claim to have power to grant indulgences, a thing which God himself has never promised to do. Further, it is fulfilled in the papal dogma of infallibility. This dogma was ratified by the council of 1870, and the following is a portion of the decree:—PROLI 90.3

    “And since by the divine right of apostolic primacy the Roman pontiff is placed over the universal church, we further teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all causes, the decision of which belongs to the church, recourse may be had to his tribunal, and that none may re-open the judgment of the apostolic see, than whose authority there is no greater, nor can any lawfully review its judgment.” — The Vatican Decrees, by Dr. Philip Schaff.PROLI 90.4

    Although this dogma was ratified in 1870, it has been held for centuries, as is shown by the following monstrous assertion in one of the Roman decretals:—PROLI 90.5

    “If the pope should become neglectful of his own salvation, and of that of other men, and so lost to all good that he draw down with himself innumerable people by heaps into hell, and plunge them with himself into eternal torments, yet no mortal man may presume to reprehend him, forasmuch as he is judge of all, and to be judged of no one.” — Quoted by Wylie, History of Protestantism, book 5, chap. 10.PROLI 90.6

    Monsignor Capel, who was private chaplain to Pope Pius IX., in a pamphlet entitled, “The Pope; the Vicar of Christ; the Head of the Church,” gives a list of titles and appellations that have been given the pope in various church documents, and from this list we select the following:—PROLI 91.1

    “Most Divine Head of all Heads.”PROLI 91.2

    “Holy Father of Fathers, Pontiff Supreme over all Prelates.” “The Chief Pastor; Pastor of Pastors.” “Christ by Unction.” “Melchizedek in Order.” “High Priest, Supreme Bishop.” “Key-Bearer of the Kingdom of Heaven.” “Supreme Chief; Most powerful Word.” “Vicar of Christ.” “Sovereign Bishop of Bishops.” “Ruler of the House of the Lord.” “Apostolic Lord and Father of Fathers.” “Chief Pastor and Teacher and Physician of Souls.”PROLI 91.3

    “Rock, against which the proud Gates of Hell prevail not.” “Infallible Pope.” “Head of all the Holy Priests of God.” “Chief of the Universal Church.” “Bishop of Bishops, that is, Sovereign Pontiff.”PROLI 91.4

    These titles, and many others equally blasphemous, including “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah,” the pope receives as his own by right. In our own enlightened age, this title has been given to Pope Leo XIII., by his servile flatterers, in whose eyes “His Holiness” is a divine being. No other power on earth has ever so opposed and exalted itself against all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that the pope sitteth in the temple of God, “setting himself forth as God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4, revised version.PROLI 91.5

    2. “And shall wear out the saints of the Most High.” When we come to this particular, the evidence is overwhelming. Both time and language would fail to do justice to the matter. Prominent among papal atrocities is the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day. On the 24th of August, 1572, was begun in Paris one of the most horrible, cold-blooded massacres that history records, — that of the Huguenots. The king himself, Charles IX., took part in it, shooting down many of those who were attempting to escape the fury of his soldiers. The number slain throughout France on this occasion is placed by the best authorities at seventy thousand. To show Rome’s connection with the massacre, we quote the following from Wylie:—PROLI 91.6

    “At Rome, when the news arrived, the joy was boundless. The messenger who carried the dispatch was rewarded like one who brings tidings of some great victory, and the triumph that followed was such as old Pagan Rome might have been proud to celebrate.... Through the streets of the Eternal City swept, in the full blaze of pontifical pomp, Gregory and his attendant train of cardinals, bishops, and monks, to the Church of St. Mark, there to offer up prayers and thanksgivings to the God of Heaven for his great blessing to the see of Rome and the Roman Catholic Church.... On the following day the pontiff went in procession to the Church of Minerva, where, after mass, a jubilee was published to all Christendom, ‘that they might thank God for the slaughter of the enemies of the church, lately executed in France.” — History of Protestantism, book 17, chap. 16, paragraph 15.PROLI 92.1

    But the saints were to be worn out. This implies more than outright slaughter. We quote one paragraph from the account of the imprisonment of the Waldenses, when, at the command of Louis XIV., who was the obedient servant of the pope, they had been driven from their valleys:—PROLI 92.2

    “We know not if ever before an entire nation were in prison at once. Yet now it was so. All of the Waldensian race that remained from the sword of their executioners were immured in the dungeons of Piedmont! ...And how were they treated in prison? As the African slave was treated on the ‘middle passage.’ They had a sufficiency of neither food nor clothing. The bread dealt out to them was fetid. They had putrid water to drink. They were exposed to the sun by day and to the cold at night. They were compelled to sleep on the bare pavement, or on straw so full of vermin that the stone floor was preferable. Disease broke out in these horrible abodes, and the mortality was fearful. ‘When they entered these dungeons,’ says Henri Arnaud, ‘they counted fourteen thousand healthy mountaineers, but when, at the intercession of the Swiss deputies, their prisons were opened, three thousand skeletons only crawled out.” — Id. book 16, chap. 13, paragraph 18.PROLI 92.3

    In the above instance, we see how an entire nation was literally worn out, yet we have scarcely more than hinted at the atrocities visited upon the innocent Waldenses. How many millions of martyrs have been put to death in the name of Christianity, by that most unchristian and antichristian power, the papacy, will never be known until the dead, small and great, stand before God. In this way, perhaps, more than by its wonderful pretensions and blasphemous titles, has the papacy spoken great words against the Most High; because, since it professes to be Christian, it has caused the enemies of Christ to revile the Christian religion, which they ignorantly supposed to be responsible for so many outrages. The papacy has done more to make infidels, than all other causes combined.PROLI 92.4

    3. “And think to change times and laws.” The papacy has not hesitated to lay impious hands even upon the laws of God, and has remodeled the ten commandments to suit herself. To allow for her image worship, she has expunged the main portion of the second commandment, adding the remainder to the first, and has divided the tenth in order to make the number good. She also openly boasts of having changed the fourth commandment, as the following will show:—PROLI 93.1

    The first question of chapter 23 of “The Catholic Christian Instructed” is this:—PROLI 93.2

    “What are the days which the church commands to be kept holy?”PROLI 93.3

    And the answer is:—PROLI 93.4

    “1st, The Sundays, or the Lord’s day, which we observe by apostolical tradition, instead of the Sabbath,” etc. Again the question is asked:—PROLI 93.5

    “What warrant have you for keeping the Sunday, preferable to the ancient Sabbath, which was the Saturday?PROLI 93.6

    Answer — We have for it the authority of the Catholic Church, and apostolical tradition.”PROLI 93.7

    It may be said that there is no undue assumption of authority here, since “apostolical tradition” is given as the reason for the church’s celebration of Sunday instead of the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. But the Catholic Church does not claim that it has any warrant from the Bible for its practice. The next question is:—PROLI 93.8

    “Does the Scripture anywhere command the Sunday to be kept for the Sabbath?”PROLI 93.9

    In answer to this, reference is made to three passages of Scripture, in which the first day of the week is mentioned, and then the answer continues:—PROLI 93.10

    “But neither one nor the other tells us that this first day of the week was to be henceforward the day of worship, and the Christian Sabbath, so that truly, the best authority we have for this is the testimony and ordinance of the church. And therefore those who pretend to be so religious observers of the Sunday, whilst they take no notice of other festivals ordained by the same church authority, show that they act by humor, and not by reason and religion; since Sundays and holy-days all stand upon the same foundation, viz., the ordinance of the church.”PROLI 93.11

    Without stopping to discuss whether or not the Bible authorizes the change from the Sabbath of the commandment to the first day of the week, it is sufficient to note that the Catholic Church claims that it has made the change by its own authority, thus arrogating to itself the power to undo the decrees of God. That it does expressly set itself above the Bible, is further shown by the following from “A Sure Way to Find Out the True Religion:”—PROLI 93.12

    “Lastly, the keeping holy the Sunday is a thing absolutely necessary to salvation; and yet this is nowhere put down in the Bible; on the contrary, the Bible says, ‘Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy’ (Exodus 20:8), which is Saturday, and not Sunday; therefore, the Bible does not contain all things necessary to salvation, and, consequently, cannot be a sufficient rule of faith.” — Pp. 95, 96.PROLI 94.1

    But the Bible is a sure and sufficient guide in all things. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17. “Every word of God is pure; he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.” Proverbs 30:5, 6. Whatever varies in the slightest degree from the Scripture standard, must be wrong. He who adds to its words will be found to be a liar. Now, since the papacy does add to the words of the Lord, and boasts of its power to do so, it follows that it is one with that system of religion of which Paul says that its votaries “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator.” Romans 1:25. It puts a man in the place of God, and boasts of its power to change the words of God, and to command the consciences of men, contrary to the decrees of God; and thus it exalts itself above God. What greater words could be spoken against the Most High?PROLI 94.2

    Since the Bible alone is the true standard of faith and morals, it is very evident that when any power sets itself above the Bible, corruption must follow. The history of the Roman Catholic Church shows that this is absolutely true. The power that sets itself above God necessarily sets itself against God; but as God is the embodiment of all goodness, that which is opposed to him must be the embodiment of all wickedness. Therefore, according to the prophetic declaration of the assumptions of the papacy, we should expect to see in it the very depths of iniquity. A very few quotations will be given concerning the apostasy which resulted in the full development of “that Wicked,” “the man of sin.” Dr. Wylie, in his “History of Protestantism,” says:—PROLI 94.3

    “The moment inspired men cease to address us, and that their disciples and scholars take their place — men of apostolic spirit and doctrine, no doubt, but without the direct knowledge of their predecessors — we become sensible of a change; an eclipse has passed upon the exceeding glory of the gospel. As we pass from Paul to Clement, and from Clement to the Fathers that succeeded him, we find the gospel becoming less of grace and more of merit. The light wanes as we travel down the patristic road, and remove ourselves farther from the apostolic dawn. It continues for some time at least to be the same gospel, but its glory is shorn, its mighty force is abated; and we are reminded of the change that seems to pass upon the sun, when after contemplating him in a tropical hemisphere, we see him in a northern sky, where his slanting beams, forcing their way through mists and vapors, are robbed of half their splendor. Seen through the fogs of the patristic age, the gospel scarcely looks the same which had burst upon the world without a cloud but a few centuries before.” — Book 1, chap. 2, paragraph 11.PROLI 94.4

    The Doctor was more charitable than the facts will warrant, in saying that the Fathers were no doubt men of apostolic spirit and doctrine. They were at best but half heathen, whatever their intentions may have been, for they drank from the muddy pool of heathen philosophy instead of at the pure fountain of divine revelation; and their great effort was to assimilate Christianity and pagan philosophy. In this they succeeded but too well. Again we quote from Wylie:—PROLI 95.1

    “The gates of the sanctuary once forced, the stream of corruption continued to flow with ever-deepening volume. The declensions in doctrine and worship already introduced had changed the brightness of the church’s morning into twilight; the descent of the Northern nations, which, beginning in the fifth, continued through several successive centuries, converted that twilight into night. The new tribes had changed their country, but not their superstitions; and, unhappily, there was neither zeal nor vigor in the Christianity of the age to effect their instruction and their genuine conversion. The Bible had been withdrawn; in the pulpit fable had usurped the place of truth; holy lives, whose silent eloquence might have won upon the barbarians, were rarely exemplified; and thus, instead of the church dissipating the superstitions that now encompassed her like a cloud, these superstitions all but quenched her own light. She opened her gates to receive the new peoples as they were. She sprinkled them with the baptismal water; she inscribed their names in her registers; she taught them in their invocations to repeat the titles of the Trinity; but the doctrines of the gospel, which alone can enlighten the understanding, purify the heart, and enrich the life with virtue, she was little careful to inculcate upon them. She folded them within her pale, but they were scarcely more Christian than before, while she was greatly less so.” — Id., book 1, chap. 2, paragraph 8.PROLI 95.2

    Thus was the church becoming paganized, and not long did it take to complete the transformation. Wylie continues:—PROLI 95.3

    “Apostasy is like the descent of heavy bodies, it proceeds with ever-accelerating velocity. First, lamps were lighted at the tombs of the martyrs; next, the Lord’s Supper was celebrated at their graves; next, prayers were offered for them and to them; next, paintings and images began to disfigure the walls, and corpses to pollute the floors of the churches. Baptism, which apostles required water only to dispense, could not be celebrated without white robes and chrism, milk, honey, and salt. Then came a crowd of church officers whose names and numbers are in striking contrast to the few and simple orders of men who were employed in the first propagation of Christianity.” — Id., paragraph 9.PROLI 95.4

    That the church should be corrupted was the inevitable result of the methods employed to make converts. Says the historian:—PROLI 96.1

    “As the lower ranks of society are governed by imitation, the conversion of those who possessed any eminence of birth, of power, or of riches, was soon followed by dependent multitudes. The salvation of the common people was purchased at an easy rate, if it be true that, in one year, twelve thousand men were baptized at Rome, besides a proportionable number of women and children, and that a white garment, with twenty pieces of gold, had been promised by the emperor to every convert.” — Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 20, paragraph 18.PROLI 96.2

    There is no reason to disbelieve this statement, for it is related upon good authority that Gregory Thaumaturgus (Gregory the miracle worker), bishop of Neo-Caesarea, on the anniversaries of the martyrs (and they were numerous) allowed his flock to give a loose rein to pleasure, to indulge in conviviality, and to do all the things that the worshipers of idols were accustomed to do in their temples, on their festival days, hoping thereby to gain the heathen, and thinking that in process of time they would, as “Christians,” voluntarily leave off such customs. (See Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History, book 1, cent. 2, part 2, chap. 4, sec. 2, note 3.) This was not an isolated case, for Mosheim says that “the Christian bishops purposely multiplied sacred [?] rites for the sake of rendering the Jews and the pagans more friendly to them.” Thus was pure Christianity crowded into obscurity, and that which took its name was in reality paganism with all of its corruption. Speaking of the barbarians who conquered Rome, Wylie says:—PROLI 96.3

    “These rude warriors, who had overturned the throne of the Caesars, bowed down before the chair of the popes. The evangelization of these tribes was a task of easy accomplishment. The ‘Catholic faith,’ which they began to exchange for their paganism or Arianism, consisted chiefly in their being able to recite the names of the objects of their worship, which they were left to adore with much the same rites as they had practiced in their native forests. They did not much concern themselves with the study of Christian doctrine, or the practice of Christian virtue. The age furnished but few manuals of the one, and still fewer models of the other.” — History of Protestantism, book 1, chap. 3, paragraph 9.PROLI 96.4

    How could there be any models of virtue, when the truly virtuous were slaughtered, and the only virtue recognized was adherence to the dogmas of Rome? Henry Charles Lea, in his “History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages,” graphically portrays the condition of the papacy. On this point he says, among other things:—PROLI 96.5

    “Uniformity of faith had been enforced by the Inquisition and its methods, and so long as faith was preserved, crime and sin were comparatively unimportant except as a source of revenue to those who sold absolution. As Theodoric Vrie tersely puts it, hell and purgatory would be emptied if enough money could be found. The artificial standard thus created is seen in a revelation of the Virgin to St. Birgitta, that a pope who was free from heresy, no matter how polluted by sin and vice, is not so wicked but that he has the absolute power to bind and loose souls. There are many wicked popes plunged in hell, but all their lawful acts on earth are accepted and confirmed by God, and all priests who are not heretics administer true sacraments, no matter how depraved they may be. Correctness of belief was thus the sole essential; virtue was a wholly subordinate consideration. How completely under such a system religion and morals came to be dissociated is seen in the remarks of Pius II. quoted above, that the Franciscans were excellent theologians, but cared nothing about virtue.PROLI 97.1

    “This, in fact, was the direct result of the system of persecution embodied in the Inquisition. Heretics who were admitted to be patterns of virtue were ruthlessly exterminated in the name of Christ, while in the same holy name the orthodox could purchase absolution for the vilest of crimes for a few coins. When the only unpardonable offense was persistence in some trifling error of belief, such as the poverty of Christ; when men had before them the example of their spiritual guides as leaders in vice and debauchery and contempt of sacred things, all the sanctions of morality were destroyed, and the confusion between right and wrong became hopeless. The world has probably never seen a society more vile than that of Europe in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.” — Vol. 3, pp. 641, 642.PROLI 97.2

    The custom of selling absolution, which was devised for the purpose of filling up the depleted papal treasury, is one of the worst things that the papacy has ever done against God and his worship. It set at naught the atonement, counting the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and fastened the world far more securely than it had ever before been in “the bond of iniquity,” which must hold those who think that the gift of God can be purchased with money.PROLI 97.3

    Perhaps some may think that the papacy has improved, since we no longer see crimes so openly committed under its sheltering wing. They think that its wickedness was due to the ignorance of the age, and that “advancing civilization” has made such wickedness impossible. Such should remember that “Rome never changes.” The only reason why crimes are not so openly committed under its protection is because it has not now the power to protect them. As evidence that the seeming improvement in the character of the papacy is due to lack of power and not to the spread of education, we quote the following:—PROLI 97.4

    “In Italy the revival of letters, while elevating the intellectual faculties, had been accompanied with deeper degradation in both the moral and spiritual condition of society. Without removing superstition it had rendered skepticism fashionable, and it had weakened the sanctions of religion without supplying another basis for morality. The world has probably never seen a more defiant disregard of all law, human and divine, than that displayed by both the church and the laity during the pontificates of Sixtus IV. and Innocent VIII. and Alexander VI. [1471 - 1503.] Increase of culture and of wealth seemed only to afford new attractions and enlarged opportunities for luxury and vice, and from the highest to the lowest there was indulgence of unbridled appetites, with a cynical disregard even of hypocrisy.” — Id., p. 209.PROLI 97.5

    The principles of the papacy are the same to-day that they were five hundred years ago. Give it the same power that it once had, for an equal length of time, and the same state of things would exist. For the low state of morals in the Middle Ages was not due to the ignorance of those times, but the ignorance that existed was due to the depravity, and both were the direct result of the papal policy. The papal system is as corrupt to-day as it ever was, and it cannot be reformed. It is sin itself, “the man of sin,” and for it there can be nothing but perdition. The earth will be freed from its curse only when it is destroyed by the brightness of the coming of the Lord.PROLI 98.1

    But the prophecy continues: “And they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” The “they” of course refers to the “saints of the Most High” and the “times and laws,” which are mentioned in the same verse. The “time and times and the dividing of time,” then, indicates the period of papal supremacy, and of the unlimited reign of lawlessness.PROLI 98.2

    In the first place we may notice that in the Douay Bible, as well as in the revised version, “time and times and the dividing of time,” is rendered, “time, and times, and half a time.” We have no need to conjecture what this means, for the Bible is its own interpreter. In Revelation 12:14 we find the same period of time mentioned: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” Now in verse 6 of the same chapter the same event is brought to view in these words: “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” From these two verses we learn that “a time, and times, and half a time” is only another expression for twelve hundred and sixty days. Then the little horn of Daniel 7 was to have supremacy for twelve hundred and sixty days.PROLI 98.3

    But the question now arises, “Is it possible that only twelve hundred and sixty days, three years and a half, cover the whole time which the prophecy allows to the papacy?” We answer, No; and the explanation is simple. The prophecy is symbolic; four mighty empires are represented by short-lived beasts; the Roman Catholic power is represented by a little horn of one of these beasts. It is obvious, then, that the prophecy would not be consistent if it should express the duration of those powers in literal years. The time would be out of proportion to the nature of the symbol representing the power. Therefore it is evident that the time must also be symbolic. We inquire, then, What is the standard of time when used in symbolic prophecy? In Ezekiel 4:4-6 we read the answer:—PROLI 98.4

    “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it; according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days; I have appointed thee each day for a year.”PROLI 99.1

    Since all prophecy of Scripture proceeds from the same source, and is not of private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20, 21), the interpretation given to a symbol in one prophecy must be the interpretation of the same symbol in every prophecy; therefore the “time, and times, and half a time,” or twelve hundred and sixty days, indicate just twelve hundred and sixty years.PROLI 99.2

    The next question to be settled is, When does this period of time begin and end? There are several dates given by various authors to mark the rise of papal supremacy, but 538 A.D. seems to be the one that has the only just claim to consideration. The prophet, in describing the rise of the little horn, says, “He shall subdue three kings.” Daniel 7:24. This is in explanation of the fact that three horns were to be plucked up before it. Of course the only powers that would be rooted up to make room for the Catholic power would be those who were opposed to it. Now long before 538 A.D., paganism, as a State religion in the Roman Empire, was dead. Since the time of Constantine, Rome had been nominally Christian. The barbarous tribes by which the empire was divided into the ten parts, also embraced the Christianity of the empire. Says D’Aubigne:—PROLI 99.3

    “Already the forests of the North had poured forth the most effectual promoters of the papal power. The barbarians who had invaded the West and settled themselves therein, — but recently converted to Christianity, — ignorant of the spiritual character of the church, and feeling the want of an external pomp of religion, prostrated themselves in a half savage and half heathen state of mind at the feet of the chief priest of Rome.” — History of the Reformation, book 1, chap. 1, paragraph 31.PROLI 99.4

    But not all of these tribes were favorable to the pretensions of the bishops of Rome. Some of them, especially the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths, were professedly followers of Arius. The contest between the Catholics and Arians was bitter and unrelenting, and so long as these powers held Italy and the adjacent country, the pope could not assert papal authority. In the year 493 A.D., the power of the Heruli was annihilated by the death of Odoacer. From that time it is impossible to trace them in history. In 534 the Vandals were conquered by Belisarius, the general of Justinian; and in 538 A.D., Rome, which until that time had been in possession of the Arian Ostrogoths, was occupied by the Roman army, and the Catholic religion was established. These conquests are described in detail in the thirty-ninth and forty-first chapters of Gibbon.PROLI 100.1

    When the last of these Arian powers was overthrown (A.D. 538), there was nothing to hinder the bishop of Rome from occupying the proud position for which he had so long been striving. Speaking of the way in which the Roman bishop gradually usurped power over other churches, D’Aubigne says:—PROLI 100.2

    “To silence the cries of the churches, Rome found new allies. Princes, who in those troublesome times often saw their thrones tottering, offered their adherence to the church, in exchange for her support. They yielded to her spiritual authority, on condition of her paying them with secular dominion. They left her to deal at will with the souls of men, provided only she would deliver them from their enemies. The power of the hierarchy in the ascending scale, and of the imperial power which was declining, leaned thus one toward the other — and so accelerated their twofold destiny.PROLI 100.3

    “Rome could not lose by this. An edict of Theodosius II. and of Valentinian III. proclaimed the bishop of Rome ‘ruler of the whole church.’ Justinian issued a similar decree. These decrees did not contain all that the popes pretended to see in them. But in those times of ignorance it was easy for them to gain reception for that interpretation which was most favorable to themselves.” — Id., paragraphs 29,30.PROLI 100.4

    To show plainly the object of these wars against the Arian powers, and what was gained by them, we make two brief quotations from Gibbon. After having rehearsed the defeat of the Vandals and the capture of Carthage by the Romans, the historian speaks as follows concerning Justinian:—PROLI 100.5

    “He received the messengers of victory at the time when he was preparing to publish the pandects of the Roman law; and the devout or jealous emperor celebrated the divine goodness, and confessed, in silence, the merit of his successful general. Impatient to abolish the temporal and spiritual tyranny of the Vandals, he proceeded, without delay, to the full establishment of the Catholic Church. Her jurisdiction, wealth, and immunities, perhaps the most essential part of episcopal religion, were restored and amplified with a liberal hand; the Arian worship was suppressed, the Donatist meetings were proscribed; and the synod of Carthage, by the voice of two hundred and seventeen bishops, applauded the just measure of pious retaliation.” — Decline and Fall, chap. 41, paragraph 11.PROLI 100.6

    The victory of Belisarius over the Ostrogoths (A.D. 538) is thus described:—PROLI 101.1

    “The Goths consented to retreat in the presence of a victorious enemy; to delay till the next spring the operations of offensive war; to summon their scattered forces; to relinquish their distant possessions, and to trust even Rome itself to the faith of its inhabitants. Leuderis, an aged warrior, was left in the capital with four thousand soldiers; a feeble garrison, which might have seconded the zeal, though it was incapable of opposing the wishes, of the Romans. But a momentary enthusiasm of religion and patriotism was kindled in their minds. They furiously exclaimed that the apostolic throne should no longer be profaned by the triumph or toleration of Arianism; that the tombs of the Caesars should no longer be trampled by the savages of the North; and, without reflecting that Italy must sink into a province of Constantinople, they fondly hailed the restoration of a Roman emperor as a new era of freedom and prosperity. The deputies of the pope and clergy, of the Senate and people, invited the lieutenant of Justinian to accept their voluntary allegiance, and to enter the city, whose gates would be thrown open for his reception.... The first days, which coincided with the old Saturnalia, were devoted to mutual congratulation and the public joy, and the Catholics prepared to celebrate, without a rival, the approaching festival of the nativity of Christ.” — Id., paragraphs 22, 23.PROLI 101.2

    These quotations show most conclusively that in A.D. 538 the bishop of Rome did become literally “the pope,” i.e., the father, or head and ruler, of the churches. The last opposing horn had then been plucked up, and the papacy was free to enter upon that career of ecclesiastical tyranny for which it had long been preparing; and the “mystery of iniquity” which had been working so long was given full liberty.PROLI 101.3

    But 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:—PROLI 101.4

    “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.”PROLI 101.5

    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.PROLI 102.1

    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:—PROLI 102.2

    “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.PROLI 102.3

    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 wasPROLI 102.4

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