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and ecclefiaftical laws had enacted against tranfgreffors, but audaciously ufurped the authority which belongs to God alone, and impiously pretended to abolish even the punishments which are referved in a future ftate for the workers of iniquity; a step this, which the Bishops with all their avarice and prefumption had never once ventured to take ", He opened his mouth in blafphemy against God. "God alone hath power to forgive fins," is the declaration of our Lord.
"When a new Pope is inaugurated, he is clothed with the pontifical robes, and crowned, and placed upon the altar of the church of St. Peter at Rome, and the Cardinals come and kifs his feet, which ceremony is called adoration. They first elect, and then they worship him; as in the medals of Martin V. where two are represented crowning the Pope, and two kneeling before him with this infcription, Quem creant, adorant-whom they create, they adore." Can any one be a spectator of this impious ceremony, and not be struck by appearance of the Man of Sin who exalt
a Mofheim, vol. i. p. 595. See likewise p. 596, and 723.
• Newton, vol. iii. p. 240.
eth himself, and as God fitteth in the temple of God, fhewing himself that he is God??
Among the Catholics, Cardinal Orfi fays, there is no one who dares deny, or can deny, that Jesus Christ has inftituted a monarchy, or form of monarchical government in his church, and that the fupreme head of this monarchy is the Roman Pontiff 9." This is declared with great folemnity from the portico of St. Peter's Church, in the presence of a numerous affembly at the coronation of a Pope; when a Cardinal Deacon having taken the mitre from his head, another places on it the triple crown, and fays, "Receive this Tiara adorned with three crowns; and know that thou art Father of Princes and Kings, Governor of the Globe of the Earth, Vicegerent of our Saviour Jefus Chrift."
With fuch pretenfions to more than mortal honours, agrees the language of Gregory II. addreffed in his Epiftle to the Emperor Leo, in the eighth century, which will show how Soon the fovereign Pontiff began to exalt bimfelf, even when affecting a style of humi
lity" Are you ignorant that the Popes are the bond of union, the mediators of peace, between the Eaft and the Weft? The eyes of the nations are fixed on our humility; and they revere as a God upon earth, the Apostle St. Peter, whofe image you threaten to deftroy. The remote and interior kingdoms of the West present their homage to Christ and bis Vicegerent" Similar were the prefumptuous, or rather blafphemous appellations either claimed or approved by his fucceffors. Innocent III. afferted that the Popes held on earth the place not of mere men, but of the true God. Martin V. in the inftructions which he gave to the ambaffadors whom he fent to Conftantinople, ftyled himself the Most Holy, and the Most Blessed, who has the celestial empire, who is Lord upon Earth, Succeffor of St. Peter, the Chrift of the Lord, the Master of the Universe, the Father of Kings, and the light of the world. An Archbishop thus addreffed Leo X. "All power is given unto you, and he who faid all, excepted nothing." This Pope fuffered himself to be styled Divine Majefty. Paul V. allowed himself to be called Vice-God, and received the prophetic language of Jeremiah
Gibbon, vol. v. p. 107.
and Daniel as applicable to himself. Thus the authority with which for many centuries the Popes claimed the difpofal of the dominion of the earth, the obedience which they required to their decrees, and the exalted and impious titles which they affumed or authorized, demonftrate the full establishment of the predicted univerfal empire. Modern like antient Rome kept the world in fubjection to its laws it devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the refidue with its feet.
But where, it may be asked, are any traces to be found in the Prophecies, of those peculiar institutions and practices which have diftinguished the Church of Rome so very remarkably from all others-the Celibacy of her clergy-the inflitution of her Fafts—and the Spirit of Perfecution, that has fo often drawn the fword against the more pure profeffors of the Gospel?
Now the Spirit Speaketh exprefsly, that in the latter times fome fhall depart from the faith,
FORBIDDING TO MARRY, AND COMMANDING TO ABSTAIN FROM MEATS, which God hath
created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
Had the great Apoftle of the Gentiles beheld, in the ages that fucceeded his own, the fects of Encratites and Apoftolici", who obferved the most rigid abftinence, and condemned marriage as an unholy ftate-Had he feen the numerous monks, who, forming the different claffes of Canobiles, and Anachorets, devoted themselves to a reclufe life, and gradually overflowed like a torrent, first the Greek, and afterwards the Latin Church -And if he had lived to fee all Europe covered with religious houses, and those houses peopled with nuns and friars of all denominations, who, in common with the Popish laity, preferved during Lent, and at other times, the injunctions of the fovereign Pontiff, to abftain from flesh-The great Apostle might have drawn a more full picture; but he could not have given a more ftriking sketch by a few masterly strokes, than he has done ".
t 1 Tim. iv. 1, 3. Mofheim, vol. i. p. 619. * Gibbon, vol. iii. p. 523. y Mofheim, vol. ii. p. 9. 2 The Prophecy concerning the establishment of the monaftic orders, ftrikes with the greater force, when we recollect that thofe orders were the great fupports of the Papal authority.'