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Earthquake (Apoc. xi. 13); the ro dendelor of the City is to fall; in that Earthquake 7000 names of men are to be slain :--and soon after the seventh angel is to sound the great trumpet, for the restoration of the Jews, and for pouring out of the seven vials or last plagues upon the Beast's kingdom, in order to its utter ruin and destruction for ever?.? In agreement with this statement, Mr. Bicheno supposes, that the conclusion of the 1260 years and the symbolic earthquake in the Tenth Part of the city are contemporaneous ; and consequently, since the symbolic earthquake, or French revolution, predicted by St. John in ch. xi. did actually take place in the year 1789, that the 1260 years terminated at that memorable epoch. It cannot be denied, that it is a circumstance in favor of this method of calculating them, that the period specified corresponds with the idea, which learned men had previously formed of the 1260 years. Many have supposed, that this is the period during which antichristian tyranny over the persons and the consciences of men was destined especially to prevail, and to remain almost unchecked. It was not immediately upon the expiration of these years, that its overthrow was to be accomplished. But as it was exerted to a considerable extent, antecedently to the commencement of that period, so likewise for some time subsequent to it, this antichristian system of oppression was to subsist, but without its wonted firmness, its pristine stability, and that servility of acquiescence, with which its measures had been heretofore submitted to throughout the countries of Europe. At the conclusion of this period it was to receive some mighty shock. And do not the events of the French revolution, and the effects it has already produced, admirably correspond with these pre-conceived notions ? Have not the interests of the papacy and of ecclesiastical tyranny, as well as of civil despotism, in consequence of that revolution, received such a fatal wound as will never be healed ?
But if the year 1789, the æra of the French revolution, be thought to be an epoch singularly suitable for the conclusion of the 1260 years: the next enquiry is, whether on the year, and about the time, when that period commenced, means were adopted to promote, confirm, and extend the tyranny of princes and of priests over the faith and consciences of men. I now transcribe a part of what Mr. Bicheno has urged to prove, that in the year 529 this did actually happen ; and the reader with a glance of his eye will perceive, that there elapsed from the year 529 to 1789 exactly 1260 years. In the year 529, “the Justinian Code was first published", by which those powers, privileges, and immunities were secured to the clergy; that union perfected between things civil and ecclesiastical, and those laws imposed on the church, which have proved so injurious to Christianity, and so calamitous to mankind. And which code, through the zeal of the clergy, has been re. ceived, more or less, as the foundation of the jurisprudence of almost every state in Christendom; and that not only in things civil, but ecclesiastical. It was also in the year 529, that 'a new order of monks, which in a manner absorbed all the others established in the West, was instituted by Benedict of Nursia.--This and other monastic orders (sinks of ignorance, indolence, and vice!) were the fountains, from whence issued all sorts of abominations, and the rivers which carried superstition, oppression, and violence to all parts of the earth". Of the corrupt opinions and antichristian practices, which prevailed at this period, ample memorials may be found in Mosheim ; who observes with respect to the Benedictines, that they labored most ardently to swell the arrogance, by enlarging the power and authority, of the Roman pontiff?.' How highly favorable the founding of the Benedictine order was to the aggrandisement of the priesthood and pontificate, some idea may be formed from an observation of the lofty language and the exulting tone, with which Baronius has spoken of it in his account of the year 529. On the code of Justinian, and on the conduct of the emperor who promulgated it, I shall not harrass the attention of the reader by the multiplication of extracts. One passage, however, and that a sufficiently long one, shall on this subject be cited from a writer of the last century, who was accurately acquainted with ecclesiastical history. It is from an apocalyptical work of Dr. Cressener, and from a chapter wherein he is professedly treating on the first date of the rise of the Beast, that the passage is taken. Antecedently to the quotation of it, it may be proper to inform the reader, that Justinian was raised to the imperial throne in the year 527. In the beginning of his reign, says Dr. Cressener, Justinian publishes an edict concerning his faith, wherein he threatens all who should dissent from it, that they should have no manner of indulgence ; and that, upon the discovery of them, they should suffer the law as professed heretics, which was to be banished the Roman territories, and which was never executed upon the generality of dissenters before. And here does his faith appear to be made the rule and measure of orthodoxy to the whole empire, upon a' penalty which had terror enough in it. This faith he sends to pope John for his concurrence with him in it; and tells him, “ that he did it to conform all to the church of Rome; that it was always his desire to preserve the unity of the apostolic see ;'-and for that purpose
10 The following are the words of cardinal Baronius, in his account of the year 529, hoc eodem anno idem Justinianus Imperator, quem dederat colligendum emendandumque codicem suo nomine Justinianeum appellatum, absolutum confirmavit, vulgavitque.
11 Signs of the Times, p. 61.
to bring all the Eastern churches under his subjection, and to unite them to the see of his Holi. ness.” Pope John's answer to him does repeat the same
12 Eccl, Hist. vol. I. p. 448. It was also in the year 529, that the prelates who met in the second council of Vasio endeavored to augment the authority of the Holy See, commanding that the name of the Roman Pon, tiff should be recited in their respective churches,
thing out of his letter, with great thanks to him, as, that he did preserve the faith of the Roman church, and did bring all else under the subjection of it, and did draw them into the unity of it. Therein also does Justinian expressly call the church of Rome the Head of all Churches, and desires a rule of faith for the bishops of the East. The pope on the other side confirms the emperor's faith to be the only true faith, and that which the Roman church did always hold.—All this intercourse betwixt the pope and the emperor is inserted into the code of the Imperial law, as the standard and rule for all to conform to, under the penalty to be judged to be heretics.—Though the emperor's faith should be accounted orthodox, yet the inducing such a new penalty, which should force it upon the consciences of all men, as so necessary to salvation, that a man could not possibly be a member of the catholic church without the profession of it, was certainly unwarrantable, and the first beginning of that tyrannising power in the Roman church, which made the whole world to conform to all its arbitráry decrees, and to worship it with a blind obedience to all its most unreasonable commands.' · Among the extravagant commands of Justinian one was, that all such should be anathematised, who did not damn all those whom they called heretics: which certainly was one of the highest acts of tyranny over the consciences of the universal church, and which of all their injunctions was the most difficult to subscribe unto'3.'
But probably there may be some persons, who may think, that the commencement of the 1260 years had better be dated from the year 547 than from the year 529 ; partly because Justinian's tyrannic proceedings in his management of councils, in his persecution of heretics, and in his endeavors to bring about a uniformity of faith throughout the Roman empire, cannot be supposed to have been carried nearly to their full extent earlier than that year'4 ;
13 Dem. of the Prot. Appl. of the Apoc. p. 306.
14 See Cressener, ut supra p. 307-312. Justinian, says the Jesuit Petavins, innumerabilibus edictis Catholicæ fidei et ecclesiasticæ disciplinæ
and partly because they may be of opinion with Dr. Cres. sener and other writers, that in this calculation 18 years are to be deducted from the 1260", since 1260 apocalyptic years, each consisting only of 360 days, amount to no more than 1242 solar or Julian years'.
Some quotations shall now be added, which may serve to illustrate the opinion, that St. John by no means meant to intimate, that the conclusion of the 1260 years would be the epoch of the complete overthrow of civil or of spiritual tyranny. During the 1260 years, says bp. Newton, * the holy city, the true church of Christ, was to be trodden under foot, which is the lowest state of subjection; the two
witnesses were not only to prophecy, but to prophecy in sackcloth, that is in mourning and affliction; the woman,
the church, was to abide in the wilderness, that is in a forlorn and desolate condition ; and power was given to the Beast moineer"?, not merely to continue, as it is translated, but to practise, and prosper, and to do according to his will 8.-It doth not therefore follow, that the Beast is to
consuluit. Rationarium Temporum, p. i. l. vii.c.v. This celebrated emperor was an unfeeling bigot. “The reign of Justinian,” says Mr. Gibbon,' was an uniform, yet various scene of persecution; and he appears to have surpassed his indolent predecessors, both in the contrivance of his laws and the rigor of their execution.' To the Samaritans of Palestine he offered only the alternative of baptism or rebellion. It has been computed that 100,000 Roman subjects were extirpated in the Samaritan war, which converted the once-fruitful province into a desolate and smoaking wilder.
But, in the creed of Justinian, the guilt of murder could not be applied to the slaughter of unbelievers ; and he piously labored to establish with fire and sword the unity of the Christian faith.' Decl. and Fall of the Rom. Emp. vol. VIII. p. 320, 323, 324.' On Mr. Gibbon's inaccurate use of the word pious (as it is an inaccuracy of which he is fond) I might here expatiate, were this a work adapted for such a discussion.
1789 16 See Cressener ut supra, p. 238, 239 ; and Fleming's Discourse on the Rise and Fall of the Papacy, p. 24-26.
17 XIII. 5. 18 See the word explained in the same way by Vitringa.