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LUTHER exclaims, “ Is not this to sit in the temple of God, to profess himself to be ruler in the whole Church? What is the temple of God? Is it stones and wood? Did not Paul say, the temple of God is holy, which temple are ye? To sit, what is it but to reign, to teach, and to judge? Who from the beginning of the Church has dared to call himself master of the whole Church, but the Pope alone? None of the Saints, none of the Heretics, hath ever uttered so horrible a word of pride. Paul speaks of himself as a teacher of the Gentiles, in faith and truth, but not the teacher of the Church."*
In another place, he says that when Daniel saw the terrible wild beast, which had ten horns, (which, by the consent of all, is the Roman Empire,) he also beheld another small horn come up in the middle of them. This is the Papal power which rose up in the middle of the Roman Empire.” (Luther Oper. tom. ii. fol. 386.) Melancthon also, in his Disputation on Marriage, says on 1st Tim. iv. 1-3. 6 But since it is most certain that the Pontiffs and the Monks have forbidden marriage, it is most manifest, and without any doubt true, that the Roman Pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is the very Antichrist." Likewise in 2 Thess. ii. Paul clearly says, that the man of sin shall rule in the church, exalting himself against the worship of God, &c. But it is manifest that the Popes rule in the church, and under title of the Church, (in Ecclesia et titulo Ecclesiæ dominari Pontifices) in defending idols. Wherefore I affirm that no heresy hath ever arisen, nor indeed shall be, with which these descriptions of Paul can more truly or certainly accord and agree, than to this Papal kingdom.”
* “ Sedere autémquid est, nisi regnare, docere et judi. care? Quis autem unquam ab initio Ecclesiæ, sese ausus est magistrum totius Ecclesiæ appellare, nisi solus Papa ? Nullus sanctorum, nullus hæreticorum tam horrendam su. perbiæ vocem unquam sonuit. Paulus se Magistrum Gentium in fide et veritate jactat, sed non Magistrum Eccle. siæ.” Luther Oper. tom. ii. fol. 385.
“ The prophet Daniel also attributes these two things to Antichrist, viz. that he shall place an idol in the temple and honour it with gold and silver; and that he shall not honour women. That both these things belong to the Roman Pontiff, who does not clearly see? The idols are clearly the impious mass, the worship of saints, and the statues which are exhibited in gold and silver, that they may be worshipped.” (Melanc. Oper. tom. iv. fol. 537. Wittemberg, 1563.)
Calvin, in his Institutes, bears a similar testimony, “We appear (says he) to some too reproachful and abusive, when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist; but they who thus think, do not understand that they accuse Paul of extravagance, after whom we speak, yea, out of whose mouth we speak; and let no one object that we rashly twist the words of Paul to the Roman Pontiff, which are otherwise applicable. . I shall briefly show that they cannot be otherwise understood than of the Papacy. Paul writes, that Antichrist shall sit in the temple of God.” Hence we infer, that he shall be such as heither to abolish the name of Christ, or of the Church, but shall rather abuse the disguise of Christ, (sed potius Christi prætextu abutatur,) and conceal himself under the title of the Church as a visor.”—“ Since, then, it is apparent that the Roman Pontiff has transferred to himself that which properly belongs to God alone, and to Christ, it is not to be doubted that he is the leader and standard bearer of the impious and abominable kingdom." (Lib. iv. Cap. 7, and 25.)
The English Reformers were no less unanimous as to the character of the Papacy. Cranmer, when about to be committed to the flames, thus testified:“As for the Pope, I refuse him as Christ's enemy, and the Antichrist, with all his false doctrine.” (Richmond's Fathers of the English Church, vol. iii. p. 48.) Latimer, when examined by the commissioners on his trial, said, “I confess
there is a Catholic Church, to the determination of which I stand, but not the Church which you call Catholic, which sooner might be called diabolic.” (Richmond's Fathers of the English Church, vol. ii. p. 411.) In his second conference with Ridley, he says: “Yea, what fellowship hath Christ with Antichrist? Therefore it is not lawful to bear the yoke with Papists.—Come forth from among them, and separate yourselves from them, saith the Lord.” (Richmond's Fathers of the English Church, vol. iv. p. 103.) Ridley, in his farewell letter before he suffered, thus expresses himself. 6 The See of Rome is the seat of Satan, and the Bishop of the same that maintaineth the abominations thereof is - Antichrist himself indeed. And for the same causes, this See, at this day, is the same that St. John calls, in his Revelation, Babylon, or the Whore of Babylon, and spiritually Sodom and Egypt, the mother of fornications and abominations upon earth.” (Richmond's Fathers of the English Church, vol. iv. p. 56.) Jewel, likewise, throughout his commentary on 2 Thess. charges upon the Papacy all that St. Paul writes of the MAN OF SIN and Son of PER
John Knox, the great leader of the Scottish Reformation, at a public disputation between a Popish Priest and John Rough, thus replied to an argument of the Romanist on the supreme authority of the Church. “Before that we are convinced of that, we must define the Church by the right tokens given us in God's word of the true Church; we must discern the immaculate spouse of Christ from the mother of confusion, spiritual Babylon; lest that imprudently we embrace a harlot instead of the chaste spouse; yea, to speak it in plain words, lest we submit ourselves to Satan, thinking that we submit ourselves to Jesus Christ; for as for your Roman Church as it is now corrupted, and the authority thereof wherein stands the hope of your victory, I no more doubt that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head thereof, called the Pope, to be that MAN OF Sin, of whom the Apostle speaketh, than that I doubt that Jesus Christ suffered by the procurement of the visible Church at Jerusalem."*
“ The first opinion,” says Bellarmine, (Bellarm. De Pont. Rom. v. i.) "is, that the Sovereign Pontiff hath most full power over the whole world, both in Ecclesiastical and Civil affairs; so teach Aug. Triumphus, Alverus Pelagius, Panormitanus, Hostiensis Sylvester, and many others.”+ 6 The middle
* See a periodical work called the John Knox, publish. ed in Glasgow, March, 1824, also McOrie's Life of Knox,
+ Quoted by Dr. Isaac Barrow, in his Treatise of the Pope's Supremacy, p. 3.