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    July 29, 1886

    “Establishment of the Vandals in Africa. (Concluded.)” The Signs of the Times 12, 29, p. 452.

    (Concluded).

    “BY the skill of Boniface, and perhaps by the ignorance of the Vandals, the siege of Hippo was protracted above fourteen months [A.D. 431]; the sea was continually open; and when the adjacent country had been exhausted by irregular rapine, the besiegers themselves were compelled by famine to relinquish their enterprise. The importance and danger of Africa were deeply felt by the regent of the West. Placidia implored the assistance of her eastern ally; and the Italian fleet and army were re-enforced by Asper, who sailed from Constantinople with a powerful armament. As soon as the force of the two empires was united under the command of Boniface, he boldly marched against the Vandals; and the loss of a second battle irretrievably decided the fate of Africa. He embarked with the precipitation of despair; and the people of Hippo were permitted, with their families and effects, to occupy the vacant place of the soldiers, the greatest part of whom were either slain or made prisoners by the Vandals. The count, whose fatal credulity had wounded the vitals of the republic, might enter the palace of Ravenna with some anxiety, which was soon removed by the smiles of Placidia. Boniface accepted with gratitude the rank of patrician, and the dignity of master-general of the Roman armies; but he must have blushed at the sight of those medals, in which he was represented with the name and attributes of victory.SITI July 29, 1886, page 452.1

    “The discovery of his fraud, the displeasure of the empress, and the distinguished favor of his rival, exasperated the haughty and perfidious soul of Etius. He hastily returned from Gaul to Italy, with a retinue, or rather with an army, of barbarian followers; and such was the weakness of the government, that the two generals decided their private quarrel in a bloody battle. Boniface was successful; but he received in the conflict a mortal wound from the spear of his adversary, of which he expired [A.D. 433] within a few days, in such Christian and charitable sentiments, that he exhorted his wife, a rich heiress of Spain, to accept Etius for her second husband. But Etius could not derive any immediate advantage from the generosity of his dying enemy; he was proclaimed a rebel by the justice of Placidia; and though he attempted to defend some strong fortresses, erected on his patrimonial estate, the Imperial power soon compelled him to retire into Pannonia, to the tents of his faithful Huns. The republic was deprived, by their mutual discord, of the service of her two most illustrious champions.SITI July 29, 1886, page 452.2

    “It might naturally be expected, after the retreat of Boniface, that the Vandals would achieve, without resistance or delay, the conquest of Africa. Eight years [A.D. 431-439] however, elapsed, from the evacuation of Hippo to the reduction of Carthage. In the midst of that interval, the ambitious Genseric, in the full tide of apparent prosperity, negotiated a treaty of peace, by which he gave his son Hunneric for a hostage; and consented to leave the Western emperor in the undisturbed possession of the three Mauritanias. This moderation, which cannot be imputed to the justice, must be ascribed to the policy, of the conqueror. His throne was encompassed with domestic enemies, who accused the baseness of his birth, and asserted the legitimate claims of his nephews, the sons of Gonderic. Those nephews, indeed, he sacrificed to his safety; and their mother, the widow of the deceased king, was precipitated, by his order, into the river Ampsaga. But the public discontent burst forth in dangerous and frequent conspiracies; and the warlike tyrant is supposed to have shed more Vandal blood by the hand of the executioner, than in the field of battle.SITI July 29, 1886, page 452.3

    “The convulsions of Africa, which had favored his attack, opposed the firm establishment of his power; and the various seditions of the Moors and Germans, the Donatists and Catholics, continually disturbed, or threatened, the unsettled reign of the conqueror. As he advanced towards Carthage, he was forced to withdraw his troops from the Western provinces; the sea-coast was exposed to the naval enterprises of the Romans of Spain and Italy; and, in the heart of Numidia, the strong inland city of Corta still persisted in obstinate independence. These difficulties were gradually subdued by the spirit, the perseverance, and the cruelty of Genseric; who alternately applied the arts of peace and war to the establishment of his African kingdom. He subscribed a solemn treaty, with the hope of deriving some advantage from the term of its continuance, and the moment of its violation. The vigilance of his enemies was relaxed by the protestations of friendship, which concealed his hostile approach; and Carthage was at length surprised [A.D. 439, Oct. 9] by the Vandals, five hundred and eighty-five years after the destruction of the city and republic by the younger Scipio.SITI July 29, 1886, page 452.4

    “A new city had arisen from its ruins, with the title of a colony; and though Carthage might yield to the royal prerogatives of Constantinople, and perhaps to the trade of Alexandria, or the splendor of Antioch, she still maintained the second rank in the West; as the Rome (if we may use the style of contemporaries) of the African world. That wealthy and opulent metropolis displayed, in a dependent condition, the image of a flourishing republic. Carthage contained the manufactures, the arms, and the treasures of the six provinces. A regular subordination of civil honors gradually ascended from the procurators of the streets and quarters of the city, to the tribunal of the supreme magistrate, who, with the title of proconsul, represented the state and dignity of a consul of ancient Rome. Schools and gymnasia were instituted for the education of the African youth; and the liberal arts and manners, grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy, were publicly taught in the Greek and Latin languages. The buildings of Carthage were uniform and magnificent; a shady grove was planted in the midst of the capital; the new port, a secure and capacious harbor, was subservient to the commercial industry of citizens and strangers; and the splendid games of the circus and theater were exhibited almost in the presence of the barbarians.SITI July 29, 1886, page 452.5

    “The reputation of the Carthaginians was not equal to that of their country, and the reproach of Punic faith still adhered to their subtle and faithless character. The habits of trade, and the abuse of luxury, had corrupted their manners; but their impious contempt of monks, and the shameless practice of unnatural lusts, are the two abominations which excite the pious vehemence of Salvian, the preacher of the age. The king of the Vandals severely reformed the vices of a voluptuous people; and the ancient, noble, ingenuous freedom of Carthage (these expressions of Victor are not without energy) was reduced by Genseric into a state of ignominious servitude. After he had permitted his licentious troops to satiate their rage and avarice, he instituted a more regular system of rapine and oppression. An edict was promulgated, which enjoined all persons, without fraud or delay, to deliver their gold, silver, jewels, and valuable furniture or apparel, to the royal officers; and the attempt to secrete any part of their patrimony was inexorably punished with death and torture, as an act of treason against the state. The lands of the proconsular province, which formed the immediate district of Carthage, were accurately measured, and divided among the barbarians; and the conqueror reserved for his peculiar domain the fertile territory of Byzacium, and the adjacent parts of Numidia and Getulia.”—Dec. and Fall, chap. 33, par. 11-14.SITI July 29, 1886, page 452.6

    Thus the kingdom of the Vandals was permanently fixed in Africa, where it remained as long as it was a kingdom at all, and as long as the Vandals were a nation.SITI July 29, 1886, page 452.7

    J.

    “Restoration of the Papacy” The Signs of the Times 12, 29, pp. 455, 456.

    IN Daniel 7:21, 22, we read: “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.” These are the closing words of Daniel’s inquiry of the angel about the truth of the fourth beast, and of the horns which were in his head, and of the other one before whom three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots, and they apply to that one of which he said he had a mouth which spoke great things, and whose look was more stout than his fellows.SITI July 29, 1886, page 455.1

    The specifications that are given in regard to this power are such that they absolutely fix to the Papacy the application of the prophecy. It is established after the development of the ten kingdoms, and upon the ruin of three of them; it speaks great words against the Most High; it wears out the saints of the Most High; thinks “to change the times and the law” of the Most High; and this dominion and power were to be held for “a time and times, and half a time,“—1260 years,—when the dominion should be taken away. But though the dominion was to be taken away “to consume and to destroy it unto the end,” it appears that the power of persecution,—of making war upon the saints,—is only checked, or suspended, for a season, because, says the prophet, “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.”SITI July 29, 1886, page 455.2

    Now, according to Revelation 20:4; 1 Corinthians 6:3, and 4:5, judgment is not given to the saints in this life, but in the life to come. Revelation 20:4 says: “I saw thrones, and they [the “much people in Heaven,” chap. 19:1-8] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3 says: “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” 1 Corinthians 4:5 says: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God.” From these texts it is plain that the judgment that is given to the saints is a judgment both of the world and of angels (the evil angels); that it does not pertain to this life; that it is with Christ in Heaven, where they reign with him a thousand years; and that it is given to the saints at the coming of the Lord. This is made emphatic by the closing words of Daniel, quoted above: War was made with the saints till judgment was given them and till “the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”SITI July 29, 1886, page 455.3

    As the Papacy has not for some time made, and is not now making, war upon the saints, and as the word of God declares that he does make war upon them at the time when they possess the kingdom, which is at the coming of the Lord, therefore it seems clear according to the prophecy that there is to be a revival of the persecuting power of the Papacy. This view is confirmed by the parallel scripture in Revelation 13. There it is said of this same power: “I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed.” Verse 3. And in verse 10 it is said of him: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity.” In 1798 A.D., at the end of the 1260 years of its supremacy, the Papacy was abolished, and the Pope, Pius VI., carried into captivity, where he died the next year. There was given the deadly wound. In 1800 the dead wound was healed by the restoration of the Papacy in Pope Pius VII., but with its power greatly reduced; for then began the taking away of his dominion, which never ceased till the last vestige of it was swallowed up by Victor Emanuel in 1870.SITI July 29, 1886, page 455.4

    As the light of the Reformation and its principles of liberty, civil and religious, gained in power among the nations, the persecuting power of the Papacy faded away. In the closing years of the sixteenth century, and the beginning of the seventeenth, the persecuting power of the Papacy was at its height, and was almost resistless. “That England, Germany, and the Scandinavian kingdoms escaped the doom of Italy and Spain is one of the marvels of history.” In the latter part of the seventeenth century, the average yearly number of victims gradually diminished; but as the numbers were enormous, the yearly average could gradually diminish for a great many years before the dreadful work finally ceased. Napoleon crushed the Inquisition, and destroyed its prisons wherever he came across them, but they were afterward renewed. It was after the middle of the nineteenth century before persecution entirely ceased; and it was not till the occupation of Rome, in 1870, drove the Papacy and the Inquisition into the Vatican, that men felt secure.SITI July 29, 1886, page 455.5

    Yet it is after the captivity, after the healing of the deadly wound, after the taking away of his dominion, that the Scripture says, “All that dwelt upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:8. And it is just at the time when this power went into captivity, 1798, that the prophet sees another power arising, of which he says: “He exerciseth all the power of the first beast in his sight. And he maketh the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first beast whose death-stroke was healed.” Thus there was seen a power arising which will exercise the power of the Papacy, in behalf of the Papacy, and which will compel people to obey the Papacy. This, power is called “the image to the beast.” Verse 11. He causes the people to worship (obey) himself and the Papacy; in fact, the worship of himself will be the worship of the Papacy. And in the exercise of this power, he declares that no man may buy or sell save he who honors the Papacy, and even goes so far as to cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Verse 15.SITI July 29, 1886, page 455.6

    That this is immediately preceding the coming of the Lord, is plain from Revelation 14:9-15. There it is said: “If any man worship the beast and his image.... the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixtures into the cup of his indignation.” And immediately following this warning, it is said: “I looked, and behold a while cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” Jesus himself said, “The harvest is the end of the world.” These scriptures show that just before the end of the world all will be compelled, under pains and penalties, to honor and obey the papal power. And this corresponds exactly with Daniel’s word that the “little horn” “made war with the saints” “till the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” In view of these prophecies, we deem it certain that there will be a restoration of the Papacy to honor and power among the nations.SITI July 29, 1886, page 455.7

    This we have believed for several years, and certain events which have occurred lately have greatly strengthened this belief. One of these, shown last week, if the voluntary humiliation of Prince Bismarck, and by him of Germany, before the Pope, and the way in which it is viewed, not only by the Papacy, but by others. In addressing him as “Sire,” Bismarck certainly did recognize in the Pope the dignity of a sovereign. This is nothing else than the court address of a sovereign. This piece of diplomacy, followed so soon by the revision of the May Laws, really by the Pope himself, is but the practical demonstration of the truth of Bismarck’s declaration that “In so far as I am concerned, I shall always seize—and with the greatest eagerness—every occasion offered me in the fulfillment of my duty toward my master and my country to manifest toward your Holiness my deep gratitude and my most humble devotion.” And we believe that it is but one step, which will be followed by other nations toward the restoration of the Papacy. Indeed, it has been followed already by our own nation.SITI July 29, 1886, page 456.1

    Mention has been made in these columns of the action of our Government in furnishing the Catholic committee a revenue cutter, flying the papal flag, at the reception of the papal messengers as they bore the papal trappings to Cardinal Gibbons. The request that was sent to the secretary of the Treasury was that the “usual courtesies” should be shown by the Government. In the term “usual courtesies” there was nothing else meant than the usual courtesies which one nation, or one sovereign, shows in the ambassadors of another. And, as before remarked, when our Government extended the usual courtesies to these messengers of the Pope, it did just what Germany has done—acknowledged the sovereignty of the Pope, and placed him on an equality with other sovereigns. This, too, in the plainest way; for mark, these messengers were not from the Pope to this Government; then there might have been some excuse for extending the usual courtesies; but they were simply messengers from the Pope to a private citizen of this country, and at this a Government vessel must be sent off, with the papal flag in the place of honor, and with orders to show “the usual courtesies”!SITI July 29, 1886, page 456.2

    Nor is this all. In Italy itself there is a movement looking to a “reconciliation between the Vatican and the Italian Kingdom.” The example of Germany is appealed to. The champion of the movement, Signor Achill Fazzari, declares that reconciliation with the Papacy “is the only means to make Italy great, and win respect.” He has reason for the declaration too. It was only a short time ago that Bismarck said it was not worth while negotiating with the Italians, for they were “only a race of singers and dancers.” Yet he negotiates with the Pope, thus holding the Papacy above the Italian Kingdom. Now Signor Fazzari argues that if the Italian Kingdom can only come to an understanding with the Pope, and obtain his good offices, then Bismarck will recognize the Italians, and will be willing to negotiate with them as well as with the Papacy. Thus he argues the absolute “necessity of an understanding with the Papacy,” not only on behalf of Italy in itself, but in “its relations to other nations.” He declares that “two hundred members” of the late Italian Parliament “would have lent their aid to an understanding with the Vatican if only some had led the way.”SITI July 29, 1886, page 456.3

    Next week, if the Lord will, we shall pursue this study further. This is an important subject and we ask our readers to give it careful attention. There is that in it which concerns every one.SITI July 29, 1886, page 456.4

    J.

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