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From Eden to Eden

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    It has been shown that a day, in prophecy, is counted for a year; and that the time and times and half a time of Daniel 7:25 are 1260 years. These were the years marked for the supremacy of the little horn, the papacy, during which it had power to wear out the saints of the Most High. The same time is marked in Revelation 12, as the period during which the dragon persecuted the woman, the Christian church, who fled into the wilderness. But the dragon may be said to do much of his work by proxy, for he gave his power and seat to the seven-headed and ten-horned beast, who also persecuted the saints, and prevailed forty and two months. Here are forty-two multiplied by thirty—the number of days in a month—making the same number of 1260 days, or years. This beast, which has all the main features of all the beasts of Daniel 7, receiving the dominion which they successively held, is identical with the little horn of that chapter. That rose up among the kingdoms that were founded on the ruins of the Roman Empire, and so did this beast. Their locality is the same; the extent of their dominion the same; their work of blasphemy and persecution the same; the period of their supremacy the same.FEE 147.1

    Revelation 13:3. “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed.”FEE 147.2

    In the prophecy of Revelation 1:10, we must be careful to guard against an error into which many fall in the interpretation of prophecy,—we must not imbibe the idea that events are always recorded in the order of their fulfillment. Notice the case of the two-horned beast in verses 11-17 of this chapter. 1. In verse 4, the climax is reached—speaking like a dragon—at once, before the history is given. But in tracing its history, we shall find that it is fulfilled near the close of the prophecy. 2. In regard to the wonders, verses 13, 14, the climax, fire coming down from Heaven, is the first thing mentioned; after that the general facts are given. 3. In verses 15-17, another climax is recorded at the very beginning of the account of its persecutions; the decree to put the saints to death is mentioned before that concerning buying and selling, while in the fulfillment it must come after. This order is very common in the prophecies.FEE 147.3

    And so in verses 1-10. Verse 2 mentions the beast receiving power from the dragon; verse 3 mentions its receiving a deadly wound, and the healing of the wound. And then follows its general history, including its triumphant work of 1260 years. Now, in point of fact, or in the fulfillment, verse 3 stands closely related to verse 10. It must be evident to everyone who carefully examines this prophecy, that the receiving and the healing of the deadly wound have their fulfillment near the close of its existence. Verse 4—“They worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast,” etc.—naturally follows verse 2, where the dragon is said to give him that power. This was fulfilled when the dragon gave his power to the beast, at least fulfilled in part. Religious reverence was paid to the emperors—called Christian emperors—who built up the papacy. This work was begun by Constantine, who received the same adulations from the bishops that the popes received in the full tide of their prosperity. And that the Roman emperors were actually worshiped, we learn from different authors. Thus, Sir Isaac Newton said, in regard to the crowning of Charlemagne:—FEE 148.1

    “The pope crowned him, and anointed him with holy oil, and worshiped him on his knees, after the manner of adoring the old Roman emperors.” On the Prophecies, Part 1, p. 82.FEE 148.2

    Cormenin also, in his “History of the Popes,” says:—FEE 148.3

    “Then Leo prostrated himself before the new sovereign, and adored him, according to the usage of the ancient Cæsars, recognizing him as his legitimate sovereign, and the defender of the faith.” P. 309.FEE 148.4

    The order above noticed, of reaching the climax and then going back to the general history, has often been overlooked in studying this chapter, for which reason some have greatly erred in giving expositions of this prophecy. In “Thoughts on the Revelation,” p. 538, edition 1885, this order is noticed as follows:—FEE 149.1

    “This wounding is the same as going into captivity, Revelation 13:10. It was inflicted when the pope was taken prisoner by Berthier, the French general, and the papal government was for a time abolished.”FEE 149.2

    In the exposition of this chapter it is very important that we have the dates for the giving of the power, and of giving the deadly wound, correctly fixed. These two events mark the beginning and ending of the period of 1260 years. Some have affirmed, and apparently with great confidence, that it is not possible to fix these dates with certainty; that those taken are chosen arbitrarily and without sufficient reason. But if the facts are carefully considered there will be no room for doubt that the correct dates are a. d. 538 and 1798; within these is a period of 1260 years.FEE 149.3

    It has already been noticed that Justinian’s letter to the pope, dated a. d. 533, could have no effect while the Arians ruled in Italy. The Roman pontiff could not be “the effectual corrector of heretics” in the sense in which that expression was always construed, while he himself was the subject of an Arian or heretical king. Justinian’s letter was written to John II. Less than ten years before that time John I. was sent as an ambassador by the king of Italy, to mediate in behalf of the heretics in the East. And the same power ruled over Rome when the famous letter of Justinian was written. Thus plainly is it seen that if the same power had continued to rule over Italy and over the pope, the letter of Justinian would have remained but an empty sound. The Ostrogoths were driven from Rome by Belisarius in 538. At that time the order of the emperor could first take effect, the pope then being free from Arian rule. Let it be remembered that the very object of Justinian in sending Belisarius on this expedition against the Arians in Africa and Italy, was to destroy heresy and to establish the orthodox faith and the Catholic Church.FEE 149.4

    It has been noticed that we cannot look to 606, where some writers have gone, for the time of the establishing of the papacy. They who adopted that date looked to the year 1866 for some great event in connection with the papacy, as the 1260 years would end there, counting from a. d. 606. But the great event did not appear, for the good reason that they had adopted a wrong starting-point. Counting from the time of the subduing of the Ostrogoths in 538, which was the plucking up of the third horn referred to in Daniel 7:8, did any event occur just 1260 years from that time which marks the fulfillment of the prophecy?—There did. In that year Pope Pius VI. was taken prisoner, his chair was forcibly vacated, and he was taken to France, where he died in exile.FEE 150.1

    But here comes an objection, which may seem to have some force in the estimation of those who offer it, namely, that Pius VI. was not the only pope who was forcibly ejected from his chair,—not the only one who died in exile or in prison. Why, then, select his case as the one in which this prophecy was fulfilled?FEE 150.2

    It is always allowable to look to both ends of a prophetic period in order to locate it by the events. Thus, various dates have been assigned for the beginning of the twenty-three hundred days of Daniel 8:14. But the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 are the first part of those days, and we locate those weeks to a certainty by their termination. They are located by the cross of Messiah the Prince. So of the twelve hundred and sixty years. We find no certain time for their beginning but a. d. 538, when Justinian took the fourth and last step in the establishing of the papacy. From that point, twelve hundred and sixty years end in 1798—the only place where an event is found that completely fulfilled the prophecy.FEE 150.3

    Now in regard to the objection. The cases of John I. and John XXIII. have been presented as examples, and we will examine them, and see if they are in anywise parallel to that of Pius VI. in 1798.FEE 150.4

    When John I. was sent by the Arian king to Constantinople, to endeavor to induce the Emperor Justin to revoke his decree for the persecution of their Arians in the East, he was instructed by Theodoric on two points: 1. To have the persecution stopped, and the churches restored to the Arians which had been forcibly taken from them. 2. To have permission granted to those who had been compelled to renounce Arianism, to return to the faith of their choice. At first the pope refused to go if the second point was insisted on, saying that the emperor would never permit any to renounce the orthodox faith and return to Arianism. Evidently the pope did not wish that any such permission should be granted. The king ordered that he should be put on a ship and conveyed away; but the pope submitted, and went to the court of Justin. He went under a threat from the king, in case he did not succeed in his mission. But he did not procure the last-mentioned privilege, and the king did not believe that he asked for it. And some affirm (and why should we doubt it?) that the pope entered into a conspiracy with the emperor to overthrow the government of Theodoric. For one of these reasons, and perhaps for both, the king seized the pope on his return, and shut him up in prison, from which he was released only by death.FEE 151.1

    But here notice, that while Theodoric did this to protect the Arians, he gave the same protection to the Catholics in his dominions. He never did anything to lessen the dignity of the papacy, as a system. He preserved order at the election of the popes; in the case of a contest of claims, he appointed a commission to decide which was the legally elected pope. Not a single right or privilege that was ever claimed for that see was invaded by Theodoric. Had the popes ruled as leniently over their opponents as Theodoric did towards the papacy, they would have been much more worthy of the praise they exacted.FEE 151.2

    After the death of Pope John I., Theodoric interfered in the election, because the irregularities and strifes at the elections of popes endangered the peace of the city and the country. As a compromise between the quarreling factions, he designated Felix, the third of that name, to be the successor of John. Both Bower and Cormenin record that the king paid high respect to this pope, granting certain judicial privileges, of which Bower says:—FEE 151.3

    “This privilege the king granted to the Roman clergy only in honor of the apostolic see, as he declared in his edict.” Vol. 1, under Felix III.FEE 152.1

    And thus we find that Theodoric, who imprisoned Pope John I., so far from trying to inflict any injury upon the papacy, actually helped to build it up. He conferred privileges and dignity upon that see not before possessed by it.FEE 152.2

    Turn to the case of John XXIII. At the time of the Council of Constance, convened in 1414, there were three claimants to the papal chair, who respectively took the titles of John XXIII., Gregory XII., and Benedict XIII. As each had his adherents, the peace of the church was, for the time, destroyed, and the pontificate was greatly scandalized. The first-named was recognized by the council as pope, so that what was done in the cases of the others does not call for notice. But, as each had received the obedience of influential parties, it was necessary that their claims should be destroyed.FEE 152.3

    The council having acknowledged John as pope, proceeded to depose him for his crimes. This was proof that the popes were never acknowledged to be above the judgment of a council. The sentence of deposition was pronounced against him May 29, 1415. Long they endeavored to induce Benedict to resign his claims, but in vain. The act of deposition was passed against him, July 26, 1417. The see was then declared vacant. But as John was recognized as the pope, and as there cannot legally be two popes at the same time, the see was actually vacant from the day of his deposition, May 29, 1415.FEE 152.4

    Martin V. was elected November 8; 1417, after an actual vacancy of two years, five months, and ten days, but of only three months and thirteen days from the time that the vacancy was declared.FEE 152.5

    In this case the pope was deposed; and the interval from the deposition to the election of a successor was a little longer than that between the deposition of Pius VI. and the election of Pius VII. What, then, is there so special about the deposition of Pius VI., and the interval from 1798 and 1800?FEE 152.6

    We have been thus particular in the case of John XXIII., as well as of John I., because they have been presented as instances of the forcible vacation of the papal chair, and of equal importance with the ejection of Pius VI. Now we will notice the bearing on the standing of the papacy of the deposition of John XXIII:—FEE 153.1

    1. John was deposed for his crimes. Had he been a pious, or even an ordinarily moral man, there is no probability that he would have been deposed after having been acknowledged as the rightful claimant to the chair. And it is by no means certain that he would have been deposed, notwithstanding the enormity of his crimes, had it not been necessary to establish the right of succession, there being three claimants to the see. The council deposed John on minor charges, which were of a scandalous character, because the numerous major charges were altogether too scandalous for public consideration. And these charges were attended with abundance of proofs. Yet, according to papal ethics, while he legally occupied the chair of St. Peter, he was infallible.FEE 153.2

    2. It must not be forgotten that it was a duly convened Catholic council that deposed him—the same council that condemned and burned the writings of Wickliffe; the same that burned both Huss and Jerome of Prague. This of itself is a sufficient proof that it was a truly Catholic council. The deposing of John XXIII. was, therefore, a matter and action of the church itself.FEE 153.3

    So far from this council making any attack upon the papacy, it removed a great trouble and reproach from the papal chair, confirmed doctrines, condemned both writings and men for heresy, healed a dangerous schism, elected another pope, thus leaving the papacy stronger than it was before.FEE 153.4

    Now let us see what was done in 1798, and note the effect and bearing of these events.FEE 153.5

    Pius VI. was wicked enough to have been deposed by the church itself, as was John XXIII. But had wickedness alone been considered a sufficient cause for the church to depose a pope, the chair would have been often vacated. Pius was not deposed as a criminal, except as one against the peace and welfare of the people. The reasons for his being deposed were of a political nature.FEE 153.6

    Croly, who wrote some excellent things on this subject, fell into the mistake of beginning the 1260 years with the date of the letter of Justinian to Pope John II., a. d. 533. It has been shown that that letter would forever have remained a dead letter if the Arians had not been driven from Rome. And it is a fact that nothing occurred 1260 years from a. d. 533 to mark the termination of that period. Mr. Croly’s comments on that termination are as follows:—FEE 154.1

    “A. D. 1793. The Bible had passed out of the hands of the people, in all the dominions of popery from the time of the supremacy. The doctrines had perished, and left their place to human reveries. The converts were martyred. At length the full triumph of the old spirit of corruption and persecution terribly arrived. In the year 1793, twelve hundred and sixty years from the letter of Justinian declaring the pope ‘universal bishop,’ the gospel was, by a solemn act of the legislature and the people, abolished in France. The indignities offered to the actual copies of the Bible were unimportant after this; their life is in their doctrines, and the extinction of their doctrines is the extinction of the Bible. By the decree of the French Government declaring that the nation acknowledged no God, the Old and New Testaments were slain throughout the limits of republican France.” The Apocalypse, by Croly, pp. 176, 177, second edition, London, 1828.FEE 154.2

    But not a sentence in the above, nor in the remarks following, in the comments of Mr. Croly, furnishes any justification of his view of the ending of that period. It was the gospel—not the papacy—that was abolished in France in 1793. And Mr. Croly himself has furnished full and sufficient evidence in disproof of that position, and in proof that 1798 is the correct date for the ending of the 1260 years. Thus again he speaks:—FEE 154.3

    “The death of Christianity was local and limited; no nation of Europe joined in the desperate guilt of the French republic.” Ib., p. 427.FEE 154.4

    Mark, it was the death of Christianity, not of the papacy, of which he speaks. Of course it affected the welfare of the papal church, for it was an onslaught against all religion. But it was confined to France, as Croly says. But immediately following these words, he further says:—FEE 154.5

    “And within three years and a half, the predicted time, it was called up from the grave to a liberty which it had never before enjoyed; the church in France was proclaimed free.” Ib.FEE 155.1

    Thus Christianity was restored; the church was free; all religions were tolerated; and here really began an era of triumph for the truth of God. But notice what Mr. Croly next says:—FEE 155.2

    “Simultaneous with this restoration, the Popedom received a wound, the sure precursor of its ruin.” Ib.FEE 155.3

    It was not in connection with the abolition of the gospel, and the death of Christianity, that the papacy received its wound, but “simultaneous with its restoration.” Thus plainly it is seen that 1793 cannot be the terminating point of the 1260 years.FEE 155.4

    But what follows? or when was the wound given to the papacy? Of the events of 1798, Mr. Croly testifies thus:—FEE 155.5

    “On the 9th of February, the French corps commanded by Berthier encamped in front of the Porta del Popolo. On the next day the castle of St. Angelo surrendered; the city gates were seized; and the pope and the cardinals, excepting three, were made prisoners.FEE 155.6

    “On the 15th, Berthier made his triumphant entry, delivered a harangue at the foot of the capital, invoking the ‘shades of Cato, Pompey, Brutus, Cicero, and Hortensius, to receive the homage of free Frenchmen, on the soil of liberty,’ proclaimed Rome a republic, and, declaring a suspension of every office of the old government, planted the tree of liberty.FEE 155.7

    “Ten days after, the pope was sent away under an escort of French cavalry, and was finally carried into France, where he died in captivity.” Ib., p. 429.FEE 155.8

    What better testimony could be given? Berthier proclaimed Rome a republic, declaring a suspension of every office of the old government. Here, then, the old government ceased. The pope and his cardinals were prisoners, and not a single office of that government was filled,—not a single function of that government was left in operation. This was not merely a deposition of the pope; it was an abolition of the papal system. How different this from the cases of John II. and John XXIII., or of any other time or event from the rise of the papacy to that time.FEE 155.9

    The testimony of Ranke is not less explicit and forcible:—FEE 156.1

    “For a moment the revolutionary government seemed to recollect themselves—a compact was struck even without these concessions—but it was only for a moment. From contemplating an entire separation from the pope, they proceeded to entertain the idea of annihilating him. The directory found the regimen of the priests in Italy incompatible with its own. On the first occasion that offered, that of a casual commotion among the people, Rome was invaded and the Vatican occupied. Pius VI. besought his enemies to allow him to die likewise there, being where he had lived, he being already over eighty years of age. He was told in reply that he could die anywhere; the room he usually occupied was plundered before his eyes; even his smallest necessaries were taken from him; the ring he wore was taken from his finger; and at last he was removed to France, where he departed this life in August, 1799.” History of the Papacy, Vol. 2, pp. 310, 311.FEE 156.2

    The death of Pius VI. took place one year and five months after his imprisonment. And here another objection may be noticed. It has been urged that the absence of the pope does not affect the standing of the papacy, inasmuch as the power of the succession, and therefore virtually the power of the popedom, rests in the cardinals. But this statement as an objection does not hold in this case. The government itself was abolished, and the cardinals were among the prisoners. As already shown, every office of the old government was suspended. The outlook of those times is thus given by Ranke:—FEE 156.3

    “In fact it might seem as if the papal government had come to its final close. Those tendencies of ecclesiastical opposition which we have seen commence and rise into vigor, had now prospered to such a point as to venture to entertain the idea of aiming at such a result.”FEE 156.4

    By the facts which have been here presented, the papacy is clearly identified as the subject of this prophecy in Revelation 13:1-10. The church receiving by gift the great power and authority of the empire; the persecution of which it should be guilty; the time during which the saints of the Most High were given into its hand; and the infliction of a deadly wound just at the end of the specified period,—all prove the identity of this beast. No other power ever wore out the saints of the Most
    [Graphic Of PIUS VI. TAKEN PRISONER.] High as the papacy has done; no other power ever held dominion long enough to fulfill this part of the prophecy. But another point follows which greatly strengthens the proof:—
    FEE 156.5

    “And his deadly wound was healed.” Revelation 13:3.FEE 157.1

    It has been noticed that the great strength of the papacy was in its spiritual authority. The popes never presumed to dictate to the nations, or to bring kings to bow at their feet, by reason of the vastness of their civil power, for such they never possessed. Their civil power was never great. Solely by virtue of the primacy in the church, or of a pretended gift to St. Peter, and as being vicars of the Son of God and sovereigns in his kingdom, they assumed to exercise their great authority. And this spiritual authority was as extensive as the bounds of the hierarchy, which was co-extensive with the empire. This was the extent of the power conferred by the primacy, and the declaration of Justinian that the pope was the head of all the churches. The extent of their power is also indicated by this beast possessing the main features of all the beasts of Daniel 7. Now, counting from the days of Nebuchadnezzar to this present year of grace, what great power, what dominion or government, was abolished or destroyed, and again restored? Every power or kingdom that was destroyed was succeeded by another, which remained until it in turn was overthrown. This is true of every power except one, that is, the papacy. No greater, no more arbitrary, no more relentless power ever existed, than the papal. No power or government was ever more completely prostrated or abolished than was the papal in 1798. And it seems quite superfluous to ask if it was restored. Everybody knows that it was.FEE 157.2

    But the question is raised, Has it been so restored as to fulfill the prophecy? Verse 14 says it had a deadly wound by a sword, and did live. Its wound was unto death; and it must be brought from death if it did live after the wound was inflicted. But was the bringing it to life the healing of the wound? or does the healing remain to be accomplished?FEE 157.3

    This question is not difficult to settle. If the deadly wound was given in 1798, and surely that cannot be denied, for then the papal government was entirely abolished, then whenever it is restored to the position that it occupied before and up to 1798, its deadly wound must be healed. Until the year 1798 the power of the popes was twofold, spiritual and civil. They held supreme authority over the church, and kingly authority over a small territory. The popes were “sovereign pontiffs,” which has reference to their “spiritual supremacy,” which is the only supremacy they ever held. Their prestige, their influence over the nations and over kings, greatly differed at different times. The haughty, overbearing conduct of Pope Symmachus toward the Emperor Anastasius was before the popes claimed any independent civil authority even in Rome. The influence of many popes before the times of Pepin and Charlemagne was greater than that which Pius VI. ever possessed. Yet Pius VI. did possess both spiritual and civil power. He ruled a king over the papal States, and he was supreme in the church; but since the Reformation the influence of the popes had been waning. If the wound was given in 1798, in the pontificate of Pius VI., then all that was necessary to the healing of the wound was to place his successor, Pius VII., at the restoration of the papacy and the papal government, in the same position that Pius VI. occupied when the wound was given. This proposition is so evident that it cannot require any argument to impress it upon the mind. Restoring the papacy to just that position that it occupied when the wound was given must be the healing of the wound. Then the question arises, Was the papal government re-established? and was all the power restored to Pius VII. that was taken away from Pius VI.?FEE 157.4

    Very strange combinations are often formed among nations for the accomplishment of their purposes. The action of the French directory was looked upon with jealous eyes by the powers of Europe. And this brought help to the prostrate papacy from an unexpected quarter. Thus again Ranke speaks:—FEE 158.1

    “The chief result of the hostility which the pope experienced at the hands of the revolutionary government was, that the rest of Europe, whatever even may have been its sentiments otherwise [that is, though these nations were Protestants], took him under its protection. The death of Pius VI. happened at the very time in which the coalition once more was triumphant, and thus it became possible for the cardinals to meet at St. George’s at Venice, and proceed to the election of a pope, Pius VII., March 13, 1800.” Vol. 2, p.311.FEE 158.2

    The cardinals have no power to act except in conclave, and they could not elect a successor to Pius VI. until they had permission to meet. 11 It will be noticed that during the halcyon days of the papacy she dictated terms in matters of religion, and often of State, but at the partial restoration of 1800 she asked permission of earthly powers. The temporal power was restored, but the spiritual supremacy was gone. Rome was no longer acknowledged as “head over all the churches.” The coalition above referred to rendered it possible for them to meet, as Ranke says: “This election in Venice was two years and one month after the papal government was abolished.” Ranke further says: “It is true that the revolutionary power triumphed soon after, and won for itself a decided preponderance, even in Italy.” But the appearing of Napoleon on the field, ambitious to concentrate the power of Europe, changed the scene. He found it politic to avail himself of every possible force, and therefore opened negotiations with the pope, for the re-establishment of the government of the church. Of the motives for the action of the several powers Ranke says:—FEE 159.1

    “The constituent assembly had endeavored to cast off its connection with the pope; the directory had wished to annihilate him; Bonaparte’s idea was to preserve him, but at the same time to keep him in a state of subjection, and to make him the mere instrument of his omnipotence.” P. 314.FEE 159.2

    But whatever the motive, the restoration of the papacy was accomplished. McClintock & Strong’s Cyclopedia, of Pius VI., says:—FEE 159.3

    “A concordat concluded with Napoleon Bonaparte in 1801, restored to the pope his ecclesiastical and temporal power.”FEE 159.4

    Napoleon made constant efforts to turn the pope’s influence and power to his own advantage. But the pope was well aware of his designs, and resisted him to the utmost. A work entitled “Lives of the Popes,” first published by the London Religious Tract Society, well states the circumstances, and the decision of the pope:—FEE 159.5

    “Pliable as he had shown himself in merely spiritual matters, Pius VII. began to grow resolute when his temporal possessions were touched. Napoleon required that a league should be formed between France and the papacy, in the war which he was then waging with England. Pius saw in this demand, not only a disgraceful submission to France, but certain and absolute ruin to his power, whichever should be the victor.” Carlton & Porter, New York, 1856, p. 546.FEE 160.1

    All this proves that his temporal possessions were restored to the pope, and he very foolishly esteemed them his most precious treasures. But Napoleon would not suffer refusal. Dr. George Weber, in his “Church History,” says:—FEE 160.2

    “When the pope refused to lay an embargo upon the English ships in the ports of the States of the Church, and to enter into an offensive and defensive alliance with France, Napoleon inflicted upon him a succession of injuries, and united some portions of the ecclesiastical States to the kingdom of Italy.” P. 542.FEE 160.3

    And as long as he held the power he continued to embarrass the pope, and finally despoiled him of all his territory. Thus the New American Encyclopedia, Art. Papal States, says:—FEE 160.4

    “In May, 1809, Napoleon declared the remainder of the Roman States annexed to the French Empire; and soon afterward the pope was carried prisoner to France, and did not return to his capital until after the emperor’s abdication, 1814. The Congress of Vienne restored to him all the territories of the church, and he devoted the rest of his life to reforming the administration, after so many years of disorder.”FEE 160.5

    But note this fact, that while Napoleon harassed the pope, despoiled him of his possessions, and carried him away a prisoner, he did not by any means abolish the papal government. He had restored the church in the French Empire, and his actions against the pope were the result of personal ill-will toward him because he would not become the pliant tool he wished, to make him. Among the many changes and misfortunes of the papacy, we find in one place alone, the abolition of the papal government, both in its temporal and spiritual features, and that was in 1798, when Rome was declared a republic, and “every office of the old government was suspended.” Though Napoleon for a time took from the pope his temporal possessions, they were all restored to him by the Congress of Vienne; and he continued to hold them in part until 1870, when they were united to the new kingdom of Italy, erected by Victor Immanuel.FEE 160.6

    And now, to show that the declaration is correct, that the papacy does not depend upon the possession of civil authority, and that its life and strength is in its spiritual authority, we may cite the present position of the papacy, 1889. While some predicted that with the taking away of the temporal power, in 1870, the papacy would decline and lose all its prestige and influence, the facts have all turned in the other direction. An influential London paper in 1887 said that with the loss of his temporal power, there had been a steady advance of his spiritual power and influence among all nations. With the loss of his territory and kingship, all jealousy toward him as a king was effectually removed, sympathy for the pope was created, and Leo XIII., who has shown himself a most skillful diplomatist, has, in the words of a recent writer, “achieved successes that may well have flattered his pride, showing, as they have, that he has imparted a new luster to the holy see.” These words spring from the events that have occurred, and show how far have failed all predictions that the papacy is speedily declining.FEE 161.1

    Whether the pope has lost prestige with the loss of his civil power, may well be judged by the results of the late jubilee of Leo XIII. It is impossible to give any extended notice of it, but a few words from the Catholic Times, of January 6, 1888, will give an idea of the direction in which things are tending. The Times denominated the jubilee as a “festival of Christendom” (while in fact its extent was not bounded by Christendom), in which all nations sought to do honor to the “skillful statesmanship, the incomparable diplomatic ability,” of Leo XIII. The Times says:—FEE 161.2

    “Within the Vatican are treasured letters and gifts from all the sovereigns of the world except the king of Italy. The queen of this country [England], the emperor of Germany, the emperor of Austria, the queen regent of Spain, the president of the United States, the president of France, the king of Belgium; the king of Greece, the emperor of Brazil, the sultan of Turkey, the mikado of Japan, and the shah of Persia, have, amongst others, sent to the holy father their tributes of esteem and their hearty congratulations. These and the other innumerable testimonies of good-will and affection received by Leo XIII., must, while bringing joy to the heart of his holiness, prove of immense advantage to the church. They must awaken throughout Christendom a due sense of the power of the papacy and the unity of the church.”FEE 161.3

    As a comment on Revelation 13:2, 3, in regard to giving the power of the empire to the beast, we have found that the last step in the full establishing of the Catholic Church was taken by Justinian in subjecting to the pope all the churches of the East, and extending the civil powers of the Roman see. The act of Justinian became effective to accomplish its purpose in a. d. 538; and the deadly wound was given in 1798, by the entire overthrow of the papacy under the pontificate of Pius VI. Although the civil power was again taken away in 1870, the papacy was not interfered with, the freedom of the pope had not been infringed upon, notwithstanding reports circulated for the purpose of exciting sympathy. The Italian government protects him and will protect him in the exercise of the functions of his office as head of the Catholic Church throughout the world. The present pope, Leo XIII., has brought the empires of Prussia and Great Britain under obligation to him for services rendered, that they thought that no other power could render. And this is but the beginning of the honor that will be accorded to him, in the midst of the troubles that are coming upon the nations. All the world still wonder after the beast, and their wonder is destined to increase, for all will worship him whose names are not found written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 13:8.FEE 162.1

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