This little Work,










Digital Edition Foreword 2021

Though it is one hundred and seventy-five years since this book was released, there has been no real reform in the Church of Rome, as revealed by the current Royal Commission investigating the sexual abuse of children perpetrated by the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia. It has uncovered a tragic number of badly damaged victims, callous cover-ups and mere transfers of the perpetrators to new locations.  In this work, Hislop exposes many of the corruptions and lying wonders of the papacy.


Corrected, updated and Reset by

Central Highlands Congregation of God

4th July, 2021


Published by

Central Highlands Christian Publications

PO Box 236 Creswick Vic 3363  Australia








The one grand question of the day is now manifestly Popery.  The Prime Minister of Great Britain has declared his intention to endow the Romish priesthood of Ireland as soon as he finds it convenient; and it is but too plain that the heads of the different political parties are quite ready to give him their support in carrying his design into effect.  The friends of Protestant truth may therefore be looking forward to a conflict on this subject at no distant day.

To prepare the country for the coming struggle, it is essential that the public mind be thoroughly enlightened as to the nature of the system which it is now proposed to endow.  Much has been already written on the subject of Popery, and ably and well.  But a succinct and yet comprehensive view of the leading features of Romanism, as delineated by the unerring pencil of inspiration, and reflected not only in the history of the past, but above all in the events of the present day, is, at this moment, a desideratum.  The following pages are intended as a contribution, in some measure, to supply this desideratum.

Most of the work now presented to the reader was written before the recent elevation of Pius IX. to the chair of St Peter.  But notwithstanding the praises that have been heaped on the new Pontiff from all quarters, as if he were destined to cleanse the Augean stable, the author has seen nothing in all the much-lauded sayings or doings of his Holiness that required him to change or to modify a single statement as to the Antichristian principles or practices of Rome.  Pius has indeed departed, in some respects, from the beaten track of his predecessors; but the changes which he has either made or announced, are changes merely of administration, not of principle—changes that may make some little difference in the secular management of the Roman States but do not at all affect either the doctrine or discipline of the Romish Church.  His Holiness has relaxed on the subject of railroads; but he has relaxed nothing on the far more vital subject of liberty of conscience.  One of the latest acts of his that have transpired is his “condemning and proscribing into the Index Expurgatorius” four new works, two of which are translations of the Gospels, one into French, the other into Italian.  Those, therefore, who expect any real reformation from Rome are looking for grapes from thorns, and figs from thistles.  Popery may change its phase, but never changes its nature.  It is always the Mystery of Iniquity; and not less so, because his Holiness has the art to dazzle the eyes of the world by seeming concessions, and splendid acts of clemency, which are both fitted and intended to bind his subjects the more firmly in the bonds of spiritual despotism.

Individual cardinals may feel, or affect to feel, antipathy to some of his measures; but there can be no doubt that his policy has the approval of the “Sacred College,” in which it is known that the rankest principles of Jesuitism have long been predominant.  The very fact that so young (his Holiness being only 51) when UNANIMOUSLY elected by the Holy Fathers, and that in the brief space of two days, demonstrates the entire agreement of the cardinals in all essential points with their own, at the same time a strong indication of their intimation he must be possessed of more than ordinary abilities for gaining their full approbation and acceptance of the papacy.


Oct 5, 1846.



Table of Contents


The Apostacy


The Adversary of Christ


The Rival Christ.


The Mystery of Iniquity.


The Lawless One


Satan’s Energy, The Man of Sin’s Signs and Lying Wonders.


Conclusion. Active Deceptions Accompanying the Apostacy.


Updates on the Papacy

Fátima, World War III and the Zig-Zagging Sun

Papal Policies

Vatican 2


Note A.

Note B.

Note C.

Note D.

Note E.

Note F.

Note G.

Note H.

Note I.




The Apostacy


2 Thessalonians 2:3.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.”


If there were no other prophecy in the New Testament than that which is contained in this Epistle it would be sufficient of itself to prove the Divine origin of Christianity.  The description which it gives of the principles and practices of the Church of Rome, as developed in its whole history, is so clear, so graphic, and minute, that it is impossible to account for the coincidence on any other supposition than that the writer was inspired.  A comparison of the prediction with its fulfilment is eminently fitted, under the Divine blessing, to confirm the faith of the Christian, to confound the scepticism of the infidel, and even to open the eyes of Romanists themselves.

The occasion which called forth the prophecy may be found on the face of the Epistle.  A persuasion, arising either from a misunderstanding of certain expressions of Paul’s in his former Epistle, or from the circulation of forged Epistles in Paul’s name, had laid hold of the minds of many among the Thessalonians, that the Day of the Lord was at hand, and that the world was about to come to an end.  The effect of this was that some were unduly alarmed, while others, under pretence, perhaps, of superior regard for the things of eternity, neglected their worldly business, and gave themselves up to idleness.  To remedy both evils, the Apostle informs them that many events were to take place, and great and disastrous changes to happen to the visible church, before the great Day of the Lord should come.  “Let no man deceive you by any means,” said he; “for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,” or more literally, “except the APOSTACY1 come first.”
The falling away, the apostacy, of which the Apostle here speaks, was to be no slight, no isolated departure from the faith.  It was to be a wide-spread and general defection.  Our Lord himself had foretold such an apostacy, when iniquity would abound, when the love of the many would wax cold, when false Christs and false prophets would arise, and error would appear in such subtle and plausible shapes “as to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect.” The partizans of the Papacy, indeed, in their pride, claim for their church an entire exemption from any such danger.  Whatever church may err, whatever church may fall away, the Church of Rome say they cannot.  Because Christ said to Peter, “I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not,”—and again, “You are Peter; and on this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,2—they leap to the conclusion that Rome is infallible, that Rome is incapable of apostacy.  Thus they fondly delude themselves.  But certain it is that Paul attached no such meaning to the language of Christ as they do.  He regarded not the Roman church as beyond the danger of fatal defection.  Listen to his own words, as addressed to that very church:


Do not boast against the branches.  But if you boast, is it not that you are supported by the root, rather than the root is supported by you?  And you will undoubtedly say, “The branches were cut off so I could be grafted in their place.”  This is fine, but they were cut off because of their unbelief, and you stand by faith.  Do not be lifted up in your mind, but fear.  For if God did not show pity on the natural branches, He surely will not show pity on you either.  Therefore, behold the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you abide in Him in His goodness.  Otherwise you also will be cut off.” (Rom 11:18-22-CHCoG)


The Spirit by which Paul was inspired saw the lurking pride and high-mindedness of the Roman church, while yet in its infancy, and gave it solemn warning of its danger.  But the warning was in vain.  It did fall away, and that speedily.  Chrysostom, at the end of the fourth century, comparing its former state with what it then was, lamented its declension from the position which it occupied when “the apostles of Christ suffered martyrdom in it, and left their whole doctrine to it.”  “It was a happy church then,” said he; “but now, O Rome, how much are you changed from the old Rome!  You which have been the chief in all the world are now the chief in all wickedness.”

Such is the testimony of Chrysostom as to the early declension of the Church of Rome; but the Apostle will himself best explain what he means by “the apostacy.”  In the First Epistle to Timothy he has given us some of its leading characteristics; and these at once identify it as a Roman apostacy.  “The Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart (in the original, apostatize3) from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (more literally ‘doctrines concerning demons’4), speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God has created to be received with thanksgiving.” (1 Tim 4:1-3)  Here we have four distinct and unequivocal marks of the Papal church.


1.  “The doctrines concerning demons.”  It has been shown in the most satisfactory manner by Mede, Tillotson, and Newton, that the doctrines here referred to are none other than those tenets of the Romish system which inculcate the worship of departed saints, and which occupy so conspicuous a place in the creed of that church.  Popery has been called “baptised Paganism;” and the way in which the demons of the heathen have been adopted by Rome, under Christian names, amply justifies the title.  The saints of the Romish calendar have in all respects succeeded to the place and divine honours of the demons of heathenism.  To an English ear, indeed, the name demon always conveys an unfavourable idea.  It was not so among the ancients.  Now, what were the demons of Pagan antiquity?  Plato will tell us:—“When good men die,” says that philosopher,—and he only echoes the sentiment of Hesiod before him,5—“when good men die, they attain to great honour and dignity, and become demons i.e. deified men.6  Thus Hercules and Bacchus, and Castor and Pollux, and a crowd of other departed heroes, were, for their real, or fancied merits, enrolled among the minor deities of Greece and Rome.  Indeed,women were deified as well as men.  To these male and female ‘divinities’ altars were reared, temples consecrated, sacrifice and incense offered, and all manner of divine honours duly paid.  And just so is it with the departed saints in the Church of Rome.  The canonization of the saints is neither more nor less than the apotheosis of the illustrious departed of heathenism.  St Peter and St Thomas, and St Augustine, and Mary, with her train of virgins, have only usurped the honours of the deified men and women of classical antiquity.  Indeed, as if the more clearly to identify Popery with this mark of the apostacy, the Church of Rome has actually so far forgotten herself as to bestow the very name which signifies a demon, or deified person, upon her saints.  Divus in Latin, is identical with demon in Greek; and this of all others is the name which Rome has bestowed upon her most illustrious saints.  Of this anyone may satisfy himself, who looks into the works of the Latin fathers published by the Church of Rome, and compares the titles bestowed upon these fathers with those bestowed by the Pagans upon their deified emperors.

Thus the ancient Romans spoke of their departed emperors as Divus Julius, Divus Augustus, &c. (the deified Julius, the deified Augustus, &c.); and in precisely the same manner do the Papists speak of their saints as Divus Cyprianus, Divus Augustinus, (the deified Cyprian, the deified Augustine).

Now, while the saints of the Romish Church thus bear the same name, and receive the same divine honours as the heathen demons, they are believed by their infatuated worshippers to perform the same offices as their ancient prototypes did.  “Every demon,” says Plato, “is a middle being between God and mortal man.  All the commerce and intercourse between God and man is carried on by the mediation of demons.  Demons are reporters and carriers from men to the gods, and again from the gods to men, of the supplications and sacrifices of the one, and of the injunctions and rewards of sacrifices, from the other.”7  Such was the office of the Pagan demons; the office of the saints in the Romish calendar is exactly the same.  They are mediators between heaven and earth.  To them especially prayers are addressed, and through their intercession, all benefits are obtained.  Although the word of God expressly declares that there is only “one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus;(1 Tim 2:5) Papists have added other mediators without number, who have usurped the place of God’s only begotten Son.  Thus is Pagan idolatry unblushingly engrafted by Rome upon the Christian Church.  The Papists, indeed, try to shift from themselves the odium of the charge of idolatry, by subtle distinctions about supreme and relative worship, about the kind of worship due to God, and that due to their canonized mediators.  But in order to prove that their church has in this respect utterly apostatized from the faith of the gospel, we have no need to puzzle ourselves with their superfine and quibbling distinctions; we have not the least occasion to inquire whether the worship they bestow upon the saints, is Dulia or Latria.  Whatever it be, it is manifest that they give the same honour to these saints as the heathen did to their demons.  This is a fact which is substantially admitted by themselves, and by those who are recognized as authorities among them.  Thus, for instance, speaks Theodoret, one of the fathers, who had a great hand in bringing this idolatry into the church:—“The martyrs have blotted out of the minds of men,” says he, addressing the Pagans, “the memory of those who were called gods.  For our Lord has brought his dead into the place of your gods, whom he has utterly abolished, and has given their honours to the martyrs; for instead of the festivals of Jupiter and Bacchus, are now celebrated the festivals of Peter, and Paul, and Thomas, and the other martyrs.”8  The inscriptions on many of the Roman Catholic churches testify the very same thing.  For instance, at Rome, on the spot where there anciently stood a temple to Mars, there is now erected a church to St Martina, with an inscription, which is thus rendered in English, by Dr Conyers Middleton, in his famous “Letter from Rome.”


“Mars hence expelled, Martina martyred maid

Claims the same worship, as to him was paid.”


“Whatever worship,” adds Dr Middleton, “was paid by the ancients to their heroes, or inferior deities, the Romans now pay to their saints and martyrs, as their own inscriptions do plainly declare; which, like those of St Martina and the Pantheon, generally signify, that the honours which of old had been impiously given in that place to the false god, are now piously and rightly transferred to the Christian saint; or, as one of their celebrated poets expresses himself, in regard to St George:—


‘As Mars our fathers once adored, so now

To thee, O George, we humbly prostrate bow.”9


Thus, then, with regard to saint-worship in general, the Church of Rome has, beyond all question, this brand of the apostacy prophesied by Paul, that it worships human mediators, just as the heathen worshipped their demons.  But there is one of these mediators that stands preeminent above all the rest, and receives a blasphemous homage, about the character of which there cannot possibly be a doubt; and that is the Virgin Mary.  In the breviary, she is styled the “Queen of Heaven,” and “mistress of all the creatures.”  Churches are dedicated to her, with inscriptions which put her on a level with the Godhead; and language is addressed to her which cannot, without the grossest impiety, be addressed to any created being.  At Ariccia, a recent traveller says, “The worship of Diana, once the tutelary goddess of this place, is now superseded by that of the Virgin.  Over the door of the church dedicated to her is that inscription in Latin, so shocking to the eye of a Protestant: “Sacred to Maria, equal to God the Father.”  This inscription is also seen on one of the churches in the Corso at Rome and in many others in Italy.”10
That this is not meaningless language is plain from the way in which she is celebrated in the most favourite works of devotion in the Romish Church:—“Come unto Mary,” says St Bonaventure, blasphemously parodying the most touching passages in the Bible; “Come unto Mary, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and she shall refresh your souls.  Come unto her in your temptations, and the serenity of her countenance shall establish you.  O lady, in thee do I put my trust, deliver my soul from mine enemies.  O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good.  O give thanks unto his Mother, for her mercy endureth for ever.”11  And as if it were not blasphemy enough to put a creature in the same rank as the Creator, they even take a higher flight, and exalt the Virgin above Christ himself:  “More present relief,” says St Anselm, “is sometimes found by commemorating the name of Mary, than by calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”12  “Often,” says St Bernardine, “those whom the justice of the Son might condemn, the mercy of the mother delivers;” and therefore he exhorts the sinner to “appeal from the court of God’s justice to the court of his mother’s mercy.”13  “Oh! Empress, and our most kind lady,” says St Bonaventure, “by the authority of a mother, command your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, that he would vouchsafe to lift up our minds from the love of earthly things unto heavenly desires.”14
Such are extracts from the most favourite devotional writers in the Church of Rome, and the language of the pontiff who died only the other day is not a whit less blasphemous.  In his Encyclical Letter, published on the 15th August 1832, addressed to “all patriarchs, primates, archbishops, and bishops,” after denouncing “liberty of conscience” as a “most pestilential error,” and “that worst and never sufficiently to be execrated and detested liberty of the press,” and calling upon all to whom he wrote “faithfully to discharge their duty” for the suppression of heresy, Pope Gregory XVI thus concludes: “But that all may have a successful issue, let us raise our eyes to the most blessed Virgin, who ALONE destroys heresies, who is our GREATEST hope; yea, the ENTIRE GROUND of our hope!”15  Thus Christ Jesus is entirely stripped of his inalienable dignity as Mediator; that one who, though washed and sanctified, was yet conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity, might be placed on the mediatorial throne in his stead.  It was the condemnation of the heathen that they “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.” (Rom 1:25)  The church that countenances the ascription of such honours as the above to any mere human being is implicated in the very same guilt.  It is impossible, then, to resist the conclusion that in the Church of Rome is to be found that apostacy which was to be characterized by giving heed to seducing spirits and ’ doctrines concerning demons,” or the ‘deified’ spirits of the departed.  The next mark is equally characteristic:


2.  “Speaking lies in hypocrisy.” Popery is one system of lying and imposture from beginning to end.  It sprung from the father of lies, and in every period of its history it has had recourse to his favourite artifices.  The relics which are exhibited in its churches testify that it is bolstered up by fraud and falsehood.  Many different churches in different parts of the world are in possession of the very same relics.  In Flanders, Spain, and France, there are eight arms of Matthew the Evangelist; besides the holy coat at Trèves, there are twenty-two other holy coats, all claimed to be equally genuine, all equally holy; and as for the wood of the true cross, it is so abundant that, as has been said, it would suffice to build a frigate of 74 guns, or supply a town with fuel for a winter.  Nor is it only in the darker parts of Europe that such impostures are practised.  The Archbishop of Paris has recently brought to light a fund of most precious relics, some of which he has publicly called on the people of his diocese to come and adore.  In the bill, announcing the discovery to the inhabitants of the French capital, a copy of which I have myself seen, the following are among the articles enumerated: A bit of our Saviour’s crown of thorns, some of the nails with which he was fastened to the cross, the iron lance that pierced his side, the sponge that contained the vinegar given him to drink, the reed put into his hand for a sceptre, a piece of the real sepulchre, and the towel with which he wiped the apostles’ feet!!16  These and many more are announced by this high authority to the Papists of France as veritable and genuine relics.  What man of common sense does not see that this necessarily implies lying and imposture of the rankest kind?  But “pious frauds” have ever been regarded as a legitimate means of advancing the interests and building up the power of the Romish Church.  Papists in the present day are found to deny the charge, but in vain.  The truth of it is indelibly stamped on the pages of authentic history.  In Scotland such unholy means of propagating Popery were clearly brought to light in the reign of James VI.17  The immediate occasion of the swearing of the National Covenant was the interception of letters from Rome, granting a dispensation to the Scottish Roman Catholics to make a profession of Protestantism for a time, provided they preserved an inward attachment to the faith, and embraced every opportunity of advancing it in secret.  In England a precisely similar discovery had been made a few years before.  In 1568, one Thomas Heth, who passed himself off for a poor Protestant minister, had been allowed to preach on trial in the Cathedral of Rochester.  At the end of the service, a letter which had dropped from his pocket while preaching, was found in the bottom of the pulpit by the sexton, and carried to the dean.  This letter, which was addressed to Heth, under a fictitious name, by a noted Jesuit at Madrid, revealed him at once, in his true character, as a Popish priest.  Immediately a search being made in his lodgings, in one of his boots were found his beads, a license from the society of the Jesuits, and a bull of Pope Pius V., giving him authority to preach whatever doctrine might be deemed most suitable for sowing disunion among the English Protestants.18
Now, does anyone suppose that the Church of Rome has abandoned all such procedure in modem times?  The course pursued by Mr Newman gives every reason to conclude the reverse.  There are the strongest grounds for believing that that ringleader of the Tractarians was from the first a bona fide Jesuit in concert with the Vatican.  It is well known that when the Tracts were first commenced, while they displayed a most unequivocal Romeward tendency, they at the same time contained many things condemnatory of Rome.  Was this because the writers were convinced that Rome was deserving of the censure bestowed on her?  No, in no way.  Why then did they speak with such severity of a church which they latterly took every opportunity of lauding to the skies?  Let Mr Newman himself answer.  “SUCH VIEWS WERE NECESSARY FOR OUR POSITION.”19  It was necessary, at the outset, by all means, to blind the public as to the ultimate tendency of Tractarian principles.  At the time when Mr Newman made this avowal that precaution was necessary no longer.  Protestant prejudices had been broken down.  The horror of Popery was worn off; and it was needless any longer to wear a mask.  But from his own statement it is plain that he must have been a Papist at first, as much as when he actually seceded to Rome.  Whatever may have been the reason that led him at last to leave the Church of England, conscience it could not be.  A man who could lay down the doctrine as to lying, which he has done, can have little pretension to a conscience.  “The Christian,” says Mr Newman, quoting Clement of Alexandria with high approbation, “the Christian both thinks and speaks the truth, except when consideration is necessary; and then, as a physician for the good of his patients, he will be false, or utter a falsehood, as the sophists say.  Nothing, however, but his neighbour’s good will lead him to do this.  He gives himself up for the church.”20  That is, in other words, there are no falsehoods which he may not legitimately tell whenever the good of the church may seem to require it.  Mr Newman is now an avowed Papist; and his conduct is one more proof that the Church of Rome is that apostate church, which, according to Paul, was to be distinguished by its members speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron. (1 Tim 4:1-4)
But is Mr Newman singular in this respect in the present day?  How, then, are we to account for the gross inconsistency between the practice and profession of O’Connell, the champion of Irish Catholicity?  When the tide ran strong against all religious endowments, he professed most loudly to coincide with the popular feeling.  What, for instance, could be stronger than the following in his letter to Mr Buchan of Kelloe:—“I say it with all the solemnity, though without the formality of an oath—I say it in the presence of that God before whom you and I shall shortly stand, you would not be more disposed to resist the exaltation of my church to temporal wealth and power, than I should be, and am.”  And yet a few weeks had not passed away before that same man was found in his place in Parliament, battling for an endowment, and an exclusive endowment to the Popish priests in the proposed workhouses in Ireland; and ever since, he has been straining every nerve to get one endowment after another bestowed on that corrupt church of which he is a member.  If this was not speaking lies in hypocrisy, what is?  What else also was the conduct of Dr Murray, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, when he, a few years ago, to serve a purpose, made such professions of liberality towards his Protestant countrymen?  At the very time that he was publicly addressing the Protestants as “beloved fellow-Christians,” he was privately engaged in promoting the circulation among his clergy, of the atrocious work of Peter Dens, in which all Protestants are consigned as heretics, to merciless destruction here, and everlasting perdition hereafter.  That work, which was dedicated to him by Coyne, the publisher, in 1832, as having been “UNDERTAKEN WITH HIS APPROBATION,”21 which was recommended by him, along with the other prelates of the Irish Roman Catholic church, as a text-book for the clergy, lays it down in express terms, that liberty of conscience or religion “is certainly false and condemned,—that it is not to be tried or approved, but to be extirpated, unless there may be some prudential reasons which may induce us to tolerate it,”22that all baptized persons, to whatever denomination they may belong, “can be compelled, by corporeal punishment, to return to the Catholic faith,”23—and that if all other means fail, “they should be put to death.”24   Yet these same heretics did Dr Murray address as “beloved fellow-Christians”!
There is no other church in the world in which lying is so systematically practised as in the Church of Rome.  And no wonder that the practice is so common, when we learn the authorised doctrine of that church with regard to oaths.  “A vow or oath,” says Dens, “is taken away or relaxed by the superiors of the Church, IN THE PLACE OF GOD, and so the obligation thence arising spontaneously ceases, by the removal of the matter”!25  When men claim this power to dispense with the solemn obligation of an oath, and to give warrant whenever they please for the commission of perjury, the respect for truth must be at the lowest possible ebb.  Pope Clement VI., in 1347, granted to John and Joan, king and queen of France, and their successors forever, a perpetual indulgence to “break such oaths by them taken, or by them to be taken, as they could not profitably keep.”26  The terms of this dispensation show the wickedness of the system in all its grossness; but the power which, according to Dens, is at this day possessed by every bishop, of “taking away or relaxing oaths,” whenever “any reasonable cause,” such as “the utility of the Church,” demands it, is in reality not less atrocious.  What corruption, what wickedness must be the consequence of such a system!  But how clearly from all this is it to be seen, that in the Church of Rome are to be found the prophesied promoters of the apostacy “who speak lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron”!

The third mark of the Apostacy is:


3.  “Forbidding to marry;” and where is that to be found, if not in the Church of Rome?  Although God in paradise before the fall said, “It is not good that man should be alone,” (Gen 2:18)—although Christ honoured the marriage of Cana in Galilee with his presence, (John 2:1-11)—although the Holy Spirit declares that “marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled,” (Heb 13:4) the Papal church looks down upon matrimony as a state unfit for the holiness of her priesthood, and prohibits all her clergy from ever contracting it.  How rigorously this prohibition is enforced, we may learn from an unsuspicious witness, the late Bishop Hay of Edinburgh.  In his “Sincere Christian Instructed,” we find the following question and answer:—“Q.  Does the Church oblige all those in sacred orders to live single and chaste?  Ans.  This she requires from them in the strictest manner, so as to decree the severest penalties against those among them who violate this law; having sometimes ordered them to be deposed, sometimes excommunicated, sometimes to be imprisoned in monasteries, to spend their whole lives in penance.”  The Papists try to evade this mark of the apostacy, as applying to their Church, by telling us that the Spirit of God, in this passage, had reference to certain ancient heretics, who sprang up very early in the Christian church.  But how can this possibly help the Church of Rome when she is found actually to have adopted the practice of these heretics?  She “forbids to marry,” just as these heretics did and much more stringently too.  And the ground on which celibacy is enforced is most dishonouring to God; for what is the principle on which it is so strictly enjoined on the clergy?  The same Bishop Hay will answer.  “Because,” says he, “a life of purity and chastity is more excellent, more perfect, and more acceptable to God, than the married state.” Here it is necessarily implied that the “married state” is not a life of “purity and chastity;” thereby directly contradicting God who instituted it, Christ who countenanced it, and the Holy Spirit, who has pronounced it “honourable in all men.”  What is this, but either to declare, with the ancient heretics, that “marriage is an invention of the devil,” or that the God of holiness has sanctioned an impure and unchaste institution?  This same principle runs through all the writings of the Roman Catholics on the subject.  Indeed, not a few of them plainly and positively lay down the principle that concubinage in a priest is much more innocent than marriage.  Cardinal Campeggio, Coster, Albertus Pighius, and many others of their most distinguished writers have taught that “the priest who keeps a harlot lives much more chastely and holily than he who has a lawful wife.”27  The very same doctrine is even introduced into their notes on their Bibles.  In the Rhemish Testament, for instance, the following note is to be found:—“We say also concerning others lawfully made priests, and such as otherwise have made vow of chastity: They cannot marry at all, and therefore there is no comparison in them, betwixt marriage and fornication, or burning.  For their marriage is but pretended, and is the worst sort of incontinency or burning.28  And we shall see, in a subsequent part of this treatise, that the practice of the Church of Rome has been in exact accordance with this doctrine, and that her priests, while abhorring marriage, have been distinguished for licentiousness.29  Bishop Hay knew this perfectly well; and yet with the hardihood so characteristic of his church, he could pen the following:—“Seeing, therefore, that the office of the priesthood requires the most angelic purity, and the most sublime sanctity in those who are admitted to it, therefore, the church has judged it proper to oblige all who enter into that office, to embrace the more perfect state of chastity.”  Truly it is plain, that those who “forbid to marry speak lies in hypocrisy.”
It is certain that our Lord required no such “sublime sanctity,” no such “angelic purity,” in the first ministers of Christianity.  Peter was a married man; Philip, the evangelist, had four daughters; and Paul took it for granted that bishops or presbyters would in general be married.  “A bishop,” says he, “must be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not given to riot or unruly.” (Titus 1:5-7)  The passage in the epistle to the Corinthians in which the same apostle speaks of single life, has no bearing whatever on the question of clerical celibacy.  It was not to the clergy, but to the Corinthians in general that he wrote; and it was not a general rule that he laid down; but an advice as to how Christians ought to act in the then afflictive circumstances of the Christian church.  “I suppose,” said he, “that this is good for the present distress.” (1 Cor 7:25-28)  Many, indeed, very early perverted his language to a purpose very different from his meaning; and an undue importance was attached to celibacy and virginity; but many generations passed away before any stringent laws were made on the subject.  We learn from Eusebius, that the example of the apostles was regarded by the general church in the fourth century as the most decisive argument against the heretics, who repudiated matrimony.  “Clemens,” says Eusebius, approvingly, “recited the apostles who lived in wedlock, against those who reject marriage, saying, ‘What!  Do they condemn the apostles?  For Peter and Philip employed their industry in the bringing up of their children.’”30

Jerome admits that married men were, in his time, more frequently elected bishops than those who were single; and Socrates mentions it as a remarkable custom, which he had found to prevail in Thessaly, but nowhere else, that presbyters who still continued to live with their wives after receiving ordination were deposed from the ministry.  “The author and ringleader of that custom in Thessaly,” says he, “was Theodorus, a presbyter of Triva, a city of that country, the writer of those wanton and amorous books which he made in the prime of his flourishing youth, and entitled, Æthiopica.”  It is instructive to know that he who first introduced the absolute prohibition of the marriage of the clergy was one whose own character was so indifferent in his youth.  It is easy and natural, from the extreme of licentiousness on the one hand, to pass to the extreme of rigid, self-righteous austerity on the other.  Such was the beginning of enforced clerical celibacy.  It is well ascertained, however, that the clergy in general were married, at least till the beginning of the seventh century; and it was not till the pontificate of Gregory VII., the famous Hildebrand, in the eleventh, that chaste and holy matrimony was utterly banished from the priesthood even of the Church of Rome.  And now Rome stands alone among the churches of Christendom, for the rigour with which celibacy is enforced on her priests.  In her, then, undeniably do we find this other mark of the apostacy, “forbidding to marry.”

The last mark:


4.  “Commanding to abstain from meats,” is equally descriptive of Popery.  During the apostolic age itself, there were not a few at Rome, as we learn from the epistle to the Roman Church, who looked upon it as unlawful to eat meat.  “One believes that he may eat all things; another who is weak eats herbs.”  (Rom 14:2)  So long as those who scrupled on this subject, regulated only their own conduct by their own light, sought merely to maintain a conscience void of offence, and did not presume to infringe on the liberty of their fellow-Christians, there might be inconvenience, but there was no serious or fatal error.  Both parties might live together in peace and mutual charity, and both might be accepted by God.  The injunction to both was, “Do not let him that eats despise him that does not eat; and do not let him who does not eat not judge him that eats; for God has received him.” (Rom 14:3)  Had this rule been faithfully observed, all would have gone well.  But many to whom the apostle wrote were not content with the admonitions of heavenly wisdom.  They were not willing to receive the gospel in its simplicity.  They were bent on establishing their own righteousness.  They hoped by austerities to recommend themselves to God’s favour; and they laboured with all their might to bring the church again into bondage to “the rudiments of the world.”  This spirit was manifested in many different parts of the Christian church; and wherever it appeared, the Christians were enjoined to resist it; to “let no man judge them in respect of meat or drink,” (Col 2:16) but “to stand fast in the liberty in which Christ had made them free.” (Gal 5:1)  In the epistle to the Colossians, Paul denounces, as led astray “by philosophy and vain deceit,” and as teaching “commandments and doctrines of men,” those who, under a “show of wisdom in self-imposed worship, and humility and neglecting of the body,” (Col 2:8, 22-23) endeavoured to infringe upon the liberty of the Christians in this matter.  For a while the self-righteous teachers who insisted on the religious duty of abstinence from meats, were classed with decided heretics.  In course of time, however, the little leaven leavened the general lump; and for centuries past the Church of Rome has adopted and systematized the pestilent heresy, which the Spirit of God so clearly denounced.  The Church of Rome “commands” all her votaries “to abstain from meats,” from flesh, butter, and the like, on Fridays, Saturdays, ember weeks, vigils, and the whole of Lent.  The moral commandments of God are not half so strictly enforced or observed in that corrupt Church, as this commandment of men.  A dispensation indeed may be purchased; but without that, it is sacrilege in these cases to eat meat.  Popery teaches that to steal small sums,31 to lie in matters that do not “greatly dishonour God, or “notably prejudice our neighbour,” are only venial sins,32 but that it is a mortal sin to eat meat on Fridays or Holy Saturday.3334  Men are thus encouraged in sin, and at the same time bound in abject bondage to the priests.  How galling is this bondage, is attested from his own experience, by Blanco White, himself formerly a Popish priest in Spain.  “It is Friday,” says he, describing the life of a Spanish Papist: “it is Friday, a day of penance: he has made but one meal and that on fish; had he tasted meat, he feels assured, that he should have subjected himself to the pains of hell.” Thus does the Church of Rome “command to abstain from meats.”


Join this then to the other marks which we have already considered, and it must be manifest that in Rome we find that apostacy which was to be characterized by the worship of “demons,” or the canonized spirits of the departed, by “speaking lies in hypocrisy, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.”




The Adversary of Christ

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

And that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition, who opposes, (or more properly, “the Adversary.)35


This apostacy was to have a recognised head.  When the apostacy was fairly developed, then was the Man of Sin to be revealed; then was the Son of Perdition, and the Adversary, to appear.  Who is this Man of Sin, this Son of Perdition, this Adversary?  He can be none other than the Pope, not meaning, of course, this or that particular Pope, but the entire succession of Popes, regarded as one, just as the several sovereigns of the four great empires of Daniel, though consisting of many successive individuals, are spoken of as only “four kings.” (Dan 7:17)  And the title of “Man of Sin” is most descriptive, whether we regard the general character of the Popes, or the relation in which they have stood to that corrupt system of lies and priestcraft of which they have formed the corner-stone.  The Popes have, in their own lives, been the embodiment of wickedness.  So notorious has been their depravity, that even Genebrard and Cardinal Baronius, the advocates of the Papacy, have been obliged to confess that for about 150 years at least, the several heads of the church were “monsters of wickedness,” and might more justly be called “apostates than apostles.”36  Some have had more regard to appearances than others; but in all cases, their power, their influence, their energy, have all been exerted in fostering irreligion and iniquity.  The Pope is, in the true and proper sense, the antichrist, the adversary of God and godliness.  It is vain for Papists, and their partisans among professing Protestants, to say, that “the Adversary,” here foretold by Paul, or the antichrist of John, must be an open and avowed infidel, making war upon everything that has the appearance of religion, and therefore not to be identified with the Pope, who makes large professions of religion.  It is plain, from the way in which the Antichrist is spoken of by John, that he attached no such idea to that character.  “Little children,” says he, referring to the approaching desolation of Jerusalem, “it is the last hour;37 and as you have heard that the antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18)  There is here an obvious allusion to the signs which our Lord had given, by which his disciples might know that the desolation of Jerusalem was nigh.  “Take heed,” said the Lord Jesus, “that no man deceive you; for many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.” “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; in so much, that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Mat 24:5)  The “many antichrists” then, of whom the beloved disciple speaks as having already appeared, instead of being avowed enemies of Christ, on the contrary, assumed his position, and laid claim to the honours which were due to him alone.  Of course, when THE Antichrist should appear, he would appear in the same character; not as the professed enemy of Christ, but as “coming in his name.”38  Such is John’s Antichrist.  The Man of Sin, the Adversary, in the passage before us is exactly of the same description.  He is an enemy indeed, but an enemy in disguise.  The name of Judas Iscariot, “the Son of Perdition,” bestowed upon him, points him out as a disciple, but a traitorous one; and the position which we shall find him occupying “in the temple of God” cuts up by the roots the idea of an avowedly atheistic or infidel antichrist.39  Now the Pope answers exactly to the character of the Adversary,—the enemy of God, in whatever light we view that system which he controls and governs.  The grand cardinal principles of Christianity have been beautifully and comprehensively summed up by Merle D’Aubigné, under the three heads—the Word of God alone—the Grace of Christ alone—the Work of the Holy Spirit alone.  To each and all of these, the Pope is diametrically “opposed.”


1.  He “opposes” the Word of God.  In all ages he has done what he could to keep the Bible out of the hands of the people.  For centuries he kept it locked up in Latin, a language which the laity could not understand.  The Reformation has made it impossible for him to keep all translations of the Bible out of the hands of his vassals as effectually as before; but his enmity against the circulation of the Scriptures has been only the more clearly developed thereby.  Witness the Bible-burning by his priests in Ireland, in Madeira, and in every place where he has the power.  Witness the bull of Pope Pius VII. issued in 1816, in which the Bible Society is denounced as “this pestilence,” “this defilement of the faith so imminently dangerous to souls.”  But perhaps this enmity was excited only by the false and corrupt translations of the heretics?  No.  Bibles printed in Italy, even from Popish versions, but without note or comment, are equally prohibited under the severest penalties.  And even as to Bibles, well fortified with notes, their general circulation is absolutely forbidden.  In accordance with the regulations of the Council of Trent, the fourth rule of the Congregation of the Index prohibits the reading of the Bible in any case without an express licence from the bishop with the advice of the priest or confessor; and provides that “if anyone shall have the presumption to read or possess it, without written permission, he shall not receive absolution, until he shall have first delivered up such Bible to the ordinary.”40  This rule is binding at this hour.41
In the Encyclical letter of Pope Gregory XVI., published in 1844, that Pontiff, after referring to this and many other prohibitory enactments of the church on the subject expressly ratifies them in the following terms: “Moreover we confirm and renew the decrees recited above, delivered in former times by apostolic authority, against the publication, distribution, reading, and possession of books of the Holy Scriptures translated into the vulgar tongue.”  His “Holiness” treats the opinion of the Jansenists as to “the holy books being useful at all times, and for all the faithful” as an “exploded” heresy; and calls upon the bishops to take care that the reading of them be permitted to “none” but “such as it might be deemed necessary to confirm in faith and piety.”42  To the vast mass of the people this amounts to neither more nor less than an absolute prohibition.  In making such prohibitions the Pope and his prelates sometimes affect great respect and reverence for the Word of God.  When Archbishops Troy and Murray, for instance, and the Popish clergy of Dublin, found, in 1820, that “the Scriptures, with or without note or comment, were unfit to be used as a school-book,” their champion43 in the Kildare Place Society defended them on the ground that it was intolerable that so holy a book should be “thumbed by every child in the school!”  When it suits his purpose, Antichrist can speak with great veneration of the Bible.  But the general language of the Pope’s most famous doctors runs in a very different style.  In the Council of Trent the prelates spoke of the Bible as “dead ink,” an inanimate dumb thing, and the “black gospel.”  When they speak honestly, the traditions of men are far preferred before it.  “Tradition,” says Cardinal Baronius, “is the foundation of the Scriptures, and excels them in this, that the Scriptures cannot subsist unless they be strengthened by tradition; but tradition has strength enough without the Scriptures.”44  This shows no respect for the Scriptures; but Linden speaks of them with positive contempt:  “Traditions,” says he, “are the most certain foundations of faith, the most sure ground of the Scriptures, the impenetrable buckler of Ajax, the suppressor of all heresies.  On the other side the Scripture is a nose-of-wax, a dead and killing letter without life, a mere shell without a kernel, a leaden rule, a wood of thieves, a shop of heretics.”45  What infidel could speak more blasphemously of the word of God; that word which all true Christians find in their experience to be “more to be desired than gold, yea, than much fine gold, sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:10)
Nor did those fathers speak of the Bible so, to whom the Papists are so fond of appealing.  “Hear me,” says Chrysostom, “you men of the world.  Get you the BIBLE, that most wholesome remedy for the soul; if you will nothing else, yet at the least get the New Testament, St Paul’s Epistles, the Gospels, and the Acts, that they may be your constant and earnest teachers.”46  These men apprehended no danger from its wide and profuse circulation.  “Here we are taught,” says Jerome, (expounding the words of the apostle, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly”-Col 3:16)—“here we are taught that the lay-people ought to have the word of God, not only sufficiently, but also with abundance, that they may teach and counsel one another.”  And the necessity of tradition they not only did not admit, but directly repudiated:  “If this be not written,” says Tertullian, rejecting the error of Hermogenes about the eternity of matter, “let Hermogenes fear the woe which belongs to them who add or detract,”47  “As we do not deny that which is written,” says Jerome to Helvidius, “so we refuse those things which are not written.  Everything that we assert we must show from the Holy Scripture.”  “I require the voice of the shepherd,” says Augustine; “read this matter out of the prophets; read it to me out of the psalms; read it to me out of the law; read it me out of the gospel; read it out of the apostles.”48  If there ever could have been any plea for the authority of tradition, it must have been in the early ages of the church; but so long as any true light remained in the church, the only appeal was “to the law and to the testimony.” (Isaiah 8:20)
Why does the Pope, in opposition to those fathers of whom he boasts, show so much enmity to the Bible, and labour so hard to suppress it?  The reason is not far to seek.  The Bible is against him as much as he is against the Bible; and some of the authorities of Rome have even had the simplicity to confess so much.  “Many points of doctrine,” says Andradius, “would reel and totter if they were not supported by the help of tradition.”  And said Pope Paul V., “The Scripture is a book, which if any man will keep close to, he will quite ruin the Catholic faith.”49  The “Catholic faith” must at all hazards be upheld, and therefore the word of God must be made void by his traditions.  He takes away the key of knowledge from the people.  He neither enters in himself; and them that would enter in he hinders.50 (Mat 23:13)  But does this not prove that he is the “Adversary?”


2.  The Pope “opposes” the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  There is nothing more clearly revealed in the Word of God than that all our hopes of acceptance and salvation are founded entirely on the mercy and grace of God, and that mercy and grace come to us solely through the finished work of Immanuel, the Lord our Righteousness.  The whole doctrine of the papacy is directly subversive of this grand article of a standing church.  The grace of the Gospel and the doctrine of Rome are mutually destructive of each other.  This the Popish priests know well.  This has even been admitted by some of them in the most affecting circumstances.  Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchesterthe murderer of Latimer and Ridleyon his death-bed gave a striking proof of his strong sense of this.  In his last illness, with which he was smitten on the very day that these martyrs were burned, he was affected with great horror of conscience, and with dreadful forebodings in the prospect of death.  In his distress he often exclaimed, “Erravi cum Petro; sed non flevi cum Petro.”  “I have erred with Peter, but I have not wept like him.”51  Dr Davy, bishop of Chichester, seeing Gardiner’s dreadful state, and feeling that the juggleries of Popery could afford no support at such an hour, endeavoured to comfort him with the offers of free justification through the blood of Christ, as contained in the Scripture.  How did the dying man receive his friendly counsels?  Convinced, but not changed, he showed the natural enmity of the heart of man against the doctrines of grace.  “What, my Lord,” cried Gardiner, “will you open that gap now?  Then farewell all together.  To me, and such others in my case, indeed you may speak it; but open this window to the people, and then farewell all together.52  And the testimony of Gardiner is true.  Let only this doctrine of justification by faith alone have free course among the people, and then farewell to the superstitions of Rome altogether.  It was through this that Luther gave such a deadly wound to the papacy.  Without this, all the enthusiasm of John Ronge will come to nothing.
In two essential respects does Rome pour contempt on the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  On the one hand, it teaches that man has no such need of the grace of Christ as the Bible declares; and on the others it vilifies and degrades that perfect righteousness of his, in virtue of which the grace of God is extended.  Popery completely neutralises the need of Christ’s grace by its doctrine of human merits.  Indeed, it does not in so many words deny the grace of Christ; but by flattering the pride of man, by representing him as in part at least his own saviour, and as able to deserve salvation at God’s hands, it makes that grace an empty name.  “If anyone shall say,” decrees the Council of Trent, “that a justified person does not truly merit . . . . eternal life, let him be accursed.”53  He that believes himself truly to merit eternal life can have no conception of being indebted to grace.  He must have something in himself whereof to glory; his own works must be the ground and foundation of his hopes.  This is to say that such a one trusts in Christ as well as his own works.  Christ must be all to us, or he will become nothing.  The Galatians tried to join Christ and the works of the law together in the matter of justification.  But what did the apostle say to them?  “If you are justified by the law, you are fallen from grace.” (Gal 5:4)  The divine plan of God altogether excludes the works of the law for justification.  “To him that works not but believes on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Rom 4:6)  “Therefore,” says Paul in Rom 3:28, “we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”  Such is God’s way of justifying a sinner, that the most wicked may be encouraged to come to Him, that “boasting may be excluded,” that all idea of human merits may be rooted out, that “no flesh may glory in his presence.” (1 Cor 1:29)


[CHCoG – It is absolutely true that we cannot rely on doing the works of God’s Law for justification.  However, once we have been justified by repentance and accepting the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins, when we receive the Holy Spirit, we also have God’s Law placed in our minds and hearts: “I will put My Instructions in their minds and write them upon their hearts.” (Heb 8:10).  As new creations, sin’s power over us is broken and we are now able, and expected, to observe our Lord’s Law: “Here is the patience of the saints; those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jeshua.” (Rev 14:12)  “Awake your hearts to righteousness, and do not sin.” (1 Cor 15:34)  This was understood in Hislop’s time, but today the Gospel has too often been corrupted into a carte blanche to continue sinning without penalty.  This topic is explained in detail in Free to Obey God.]


The Pope’s way of justification is the very reverse.  “If any man,” say his prelates at Trent, “shall affirm that justifying faith is nothing else than dependence on the mercy of God for remission of sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is by faith alone that we are justified, let him he accursed.”54
The doctrine of free salvation is too humbling a doctrine for those who want to establish their own righteousness, and who wish to merit eternal life.  The whole doctrine of popery, on the other hand, is fitted to minister to the pride and self-sufficiency of the natural mind, and that in the grossest manner.  It not merely represents man as able to merit for himself, and to “make some atonement to God by his own voluntary sufferings” for his own sins; but it goes the blasphemous length of maintaining that men who are “conceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity,” (Psalm 51:5) and in “whose flesh dwells no good thing,” (Rom 7:18) may do much more than the law requires, and thus by works of supererogation, work out a righteousness available not only for themselves, but also for the salvation of others.  “In this respect,” says the catechism of the Council of Trent, “is the supreme goodness of God worthy of the highest praises and thanksgivings, that he has granted this unto human infirmity, that one man may be able to satisfy for another.55 If this were indeed the case, where, we ask, had been the need that the Son of the Highest should leave the bosom of the Father, and submit to the accursed death of the cross?  If one sinner can in any sense satisfy divine justice for his fellow-sinner, then verily “Christ has died in vain.” (Gal 2:21)  But there is not a trace of any such doctrine in the Bible; but much expressly to the contrary.  The holiest of God’s saints have always had to confess with David, “If you, Lord, should mark iniquity, who, Lord, should stand?”  “When you have done all,” said our Lord Jesus, say “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what it was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10) He that inculcates such this papal doctrine propagates “another gospel, which is not another . . . but pervert the Gospel of Christ.(Gal 1:6-7), and delude the souls of men.  But what then?  The interests of the papacy are advanced, and that is enough to justify their iniquity.  The superabundant merits of the saints form “a sort of bank,” says De la Hogue,56 out of which pardons and indulgences may be dispensed to those of the faithful whose merits are deficient.  The Pope holds the keys of “the celestial treasury;” and through belief in this illusion, the see of St Peter is aggrandized.  Is this an exploded delusion of the dark ages?  No.  In the present day, the doctrine has been openly and boldly proclaimed.  In 1824, Pope Leo XII. issued a bull for the observance of a jubilee in which peculiar privileges were offered to the faithful who would make a pilgrimage to Rome.  Listen to the blasphemous language in which the sovereign pontiff announced to his children throughout Christendom, his kind intentions in regard to them.  “We have resolved,” said he, “in virtue of the authority given to us by Heaven, to fully unlock that sacred treasure composed of the merits, sufferings, and virtues of Christ our Lord, and of his virgin-mother, and of all saints, which the Author of human salvation has entrusted to our dispensation.”57
Such are the unblushing pretensions of the Papacy at this day; and thus are the souls who trust in them deceived to their eternal ruin.  The gospel of the grace of God makes sin appear to be as it is indeed, exceeding sinful, and it sinks the unpardoned sinner in the dust before God.  The doctrine of Rome makes sin appear a mere trifle for which man himself can atone, and puffs up wretched sinners with insufferable pride.  Witness the epitaph which Boccaccio, whose life was mostly spent in pandering to the basest passions of his licentious mind, after atoning for his sins by the penances of his old age, ordered to be inscribed on his tombstone:—“Under this pile lie the ashes and bones of John Boccaccio.  His soul sits before the throne of God, adorned with the merits of his life.”58  Witness the following inscription engraved on a monument erected only in 1819 in one of the Popish chapels in Cork:—“I H. S.  Sacred to the memory of the benevolent Edward Molloy, the friend of humanity and father of the poor.  He employed the wealth of this world only to secure the riches of the next, and leaving a balance of merit on the book of life, he made heaven debtor to mercy.”59  What can be more blasphemous?  But such is the genuine fruit of the doctrine inculcated by the Pope and the Council of Trent: that sinful man can “truly merit eternal life.”

But while the Popish doctrine of justification is thus fitted to lull men asleep in their sins, it is equally derogatory to the righteousness of Christ.  If those who believe in Jesus need in any respect to satisfy divine justice for themselves, if they need the merit of any saint or any creature whatever to gain pardon and acceptance with Jehovah God, the redemption of Christ must have been incomplete; his righteousness cannot be a perfect righteousness, his atonement has not “magnified the law and made it honourable.” (Isa 42:21)  Thus is the glorious work of Christ degraded, that the merits of men may be exalted.

And the sacrifice of the mass, which Popery has invented, casts additional contempt on the atoning sacrifice of Jesus, the Great High Priest.  It is expressly declared by Paul that the perfection of Christ’s sacrifice, in contrast to the sacrifices under the law, was manifested by this, that it was “once” and only “once” offered; and that after that offering, “once for all,” there was need of “no more offering for sin.” (Heb 10:18)  “Every priest,” says Paul, referring to the Jewish worship, “stands daily ministering and offering the same sacrifices repeatedly, which can never take away sin; but this Man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sin, forever sat down on the right hand of God, from that time waiting until his enemies are made his footstool.  For by ONE OFFERING he has forever perfected them that are sanctified.” (Heb 10:11-14)  Now the doctrine of the mass is diametrically opposed to the inspired Apostle.  In the Creed of Pope Pius IV., which every popish priest is sworn to maintain, it is thus declared: “I profess likewise, that in the mass, there is offered to God a true, proper, and propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living and the dead.”60  Thus, by the pretended repetition of that sacrifice, which was offered “once for all,” does Popery directly impugn the efficacy of our Lord’s finished work and perfect atonement.
This is enough to show how utterly opposed is popery to the gospel.  But add to all this, that in the Pope’s church, no spiritual benefit whatever can be had without the payment of money, and it will be seen still more clearly how directly he opposes the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  “Ho!  Everyone who thirsts,” says the Saviour, “come to the waters, and you who have no money, come, buy and eat.  Yes, buy wine and milk without money and without price.(Isa 55:1)  No, says the Pope, no grace, no mercy, no pardon, no spiritual privilege, except for those who can pay for them.  He has directly reversed the saying of our Lord: “How hard it is for they that are rich enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 19:23) According to the doctrine and practice of Rome, it is “How hard it is for the poor enter into the kingdom.”  He that can give or bequeath money to buy enough masses for his soul cannot fail to enter into heaven’s bliss; but as for the poor and the destitute, who have nothing to give, woe to them: there are no merits of the saints, no masses for them; they must suffer for themselves for ages in purgatory fire.61  In what a light does this represent the Pope and his clergy!  They believe, or profess to believe, that souls are agonizing in that place of torment; they assert they possess the full power to deliver them from that state of woe, and introduce them into all the glory and happiness of heaven; and yet, unless they are specially paid for it, they will not breathe a prayer, they will not offer a mass, they will not lift their little finger for their relief.  Thus do they make merchandise of men’s souls.  The astonishing thing is that the people should submit to their extortions; that they can be led to believe that the “gift of God can be purchased with money.” (Acts 8:20)  Now, can there be any doubt that he who maintains and upholds such a system is “the Adversary” of God and everything that is good?


3.  The Pope “opposes” the work of the Holy Spirit. Christianity teaches that all that is good in man comes solely and entirely from the working of the Holy Spirit.  It tells us that so deep and desperate is the corruption of the natural heart, that except a man be born again, except he be “created in Christ Jesus unto good works,” (Eph 2:10) except he be “renewed in the very spirit of his mind,” (Eph 4:23) he can never enter into the kingdom of God. This new birth, this new creation, comes only from the Spirit of God.  “That which is born of the flesh is flesh: that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)  The true Christian is both “born of the Spirit” and “led by the Spirit” (Rom 8:14) and kept by the Spirit through faith unto eternal life.  It is the Spirit of God alone that “works in you both to will and to do his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13) It is the Spirit that enables him to hold fellowship with God in his worship; and without that Spirit “he can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Now to all this Popery is utterly opposed.  The Jansenists of France at one time attempted to introduce the true doctrine of God’s Word on this vital subject into the Church of Rome.  They taught that the grace of the Spirit of Christ is, “the efficacious principle of every kind of good, is necessary to every good work; that without it, not only nothing is done, but likewise nothing can be done.”62  How did the occupant of St Peter’s chair treat their efforts?  He fulminated against them the famous bull Unigenitus; he denounced them as little better than heretics, and condemned the proposition, with many others equally scriptural, as “false, captious, shocking, offensive to pious ears, scandalous, pernicious, blasphemous,” &c.63 The Pope cannot endure the truth of God’s Word on this subject.  He knows that it would subvert the whole of their system of superstition by which he deludes men’s souls.  If Papists knew that without the blessing of God’s free and sovereign Spirit, no pope could confer any spiritual benefit on them, they would not prize as they do those privileges which they imagine the priests of Rome are capable of conferring.  They are taught to trust in their priests as having full powers both to make them Christians and to keep them so.  The sacraments are represented as having a magical efficacy in their hands, and operating upon those who receive them exactly like a charm.  “A sacrament,” says Bishop Hay, “is an outward sensible action, or sacred sign, ordained by Jesus Christ, as a sure and certain means of bringing grace into our souls.”  Although God has expressly reserved in his own hands the power either to give or withhold his blessing from his own ordinances, according to his sovereign pleasure—although Christ has declared that it is the Spirit that quickens—that the flesh, or any outward ordinance, of itself profits nothing,—the poor deluded Papists are taught to believe that the sacraments, if duly administered by Romish priests, have a power in themselves to “confer grace” upon those who receive them.  “If anyone shall say,” says the Council of Trent, “that by the sacraments grace is not conferred ex opere operato, (i.e. by the mere celebration and reception of them), let him be anathema.”64  In virtue of this doctrine, every child, without exception, that has received the sacrament of baptism, is taught to regard himself as indubitably “a child of God—a disciple of Jesus Christ—the temple of God, who dwells in him by his grace.”65  Although it be ever so manifest by their lives that hundreds of such baptized ones are still the children of the devil, it would be heresy to question their regeneration—to hint, that, like Nicodemus, they still need “to be born again.” (John 3:3-12)  The lie is that the divine life has beyond question been commenced in their souls, and all that they need for the maintenance and perfection of that life, is only to avail themselves of the other sacraments of the church, to confess their sins duly to the priest, to receive extreme unction at last, and without doubt they shall be finally saved.
What absurdity can be greater, more unscriptural, or more irrational than this theory of necessary sacramental regeneration?  Take an individual instance as an illustration of its character.  In the time of Louis, the son of Charlemagne, the Norwegian sea-kings sadly infested the coast of France.  The garrisons and flotillas established by the father no longer giving protection from their depredations, the son tried to secure himself and his people by a more effectual plan.  He set to work to make them Christians; he prevailed on some of them to be baptised; and, by way of inducement, presented each of them with a suit of white in which he might appear at the font, and which thereafter became his own.  One Easter, it happened that the number of these converts was unusually great.  The white robes provided for them were exhausted; and, in the extremity, some linen belonging to the clergy was hastily made up for the purpose.  This moved the choler of one of these northern barbarians when he was offered an inferior robe.  He protested, “that he had already come twenty times to be baptized,—that he had always received the best white robes; but as they now put him off with a garment only fit for a herdsman, he disclaimed their Christianity!”66  Now this man was duly and canonically baptized: this man had therefore become a new creature; and such was his Christianity.  Papists, when hard pressed with such a case, have their salvos and distinctions.  They tell us of an “obstacle’ in the state of the man’s own mind, which might prevent the “supernatural virtue” of the sacrament from taking effect; whereas, say they, no such “obstacle” can be found in the case of infants, who have no actual sin to resist the sacramental grace of baptism.
But this is obviously a mere subterfuge.  The whole of their devotions and religious services are pervaded and vitiated by the same principle.  If “the work be done,” if the task be performed, if the beads be duly counted, if the prescribed prayers be said, if the crossing of themselves, the sprinkling with holy water, the genuflections, the beating of their breasts, be gone through, they are led to believe that all is right,—that the state of the heart is a matter of no moment.  Popish priests may attempt to elude the charge; but the fact that the most essential parts of their public service are conducted in Latin, in a language which not one in a hundred of their people can understand, proves to demonstrate that the maxim on which they proceed is still, as of old, that “ignorance is the mother of devotion,” and that “bodily service” is everything.67  Thus the grand end for which religious services were appointed, viz. that man might have fellowship with his Maker, is clearly subverted.  Although reason as well as Scripture declares that God is a Spirit, and that they who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth, (John 4:23-24) the devotees of Rome are encouraged to believe the very reverse.  Therefore, instead of their religion bringing them nearer to God, it is the very means of keeping them at a distance from Him, and deluding them into their everlasting ruin.
While popery is thus subversive of all spiritual religion, it is of necessity equally ruinous to the morality of its votaries.  Individual Roman Catholics may be found distinguished for the purity and blamelessness of their lives; but this is not in consequence of, but in spite of their religion.  The belief instilled into them that the mere reception of sacraments confers grace and makes them Christians has the most pernicious effects on the lives and character of the victims of that communion.  They are led to entertain views of Christian character that are essentially different from those laid down in the Bible, and so become hardened in sin.  In point of fact, it is manifest from the whole history of popery that immorality and wickedness of the most flagrant kind do not in the least invalidate the ‘Christian character’ of its adherents, provided they are submissive to the church.  It is well known that Charles II., who lived a life of debauchery to the last, was hailed as an honour to the Church of Rome, when, without giving the least evidence of genuine repentance, he avowed his attachment to popery on his death-bed.  Louis XIV. of France was not the less regarded by that Church, as “the Most Christian King,” because of his well-known profligacy.  The banditti in Italy itself have their confessors; and the public harlots of Rome are admitted to all the privileges of the church.  Indeed, to such a pitch of wickedness has popery advanced that in the “holy city,” communion with the church has even been required as a qualification before a woman could be allowed to practise as a harlot.  “It is known,” says a writer of the 17th century, quoted by Macgavin, “that the pope authorizes and protects public stews, in order to draw a considerable revenue from them; but it is not universally known that to advance the reputation of that crime, which, indeed, is not accounted any by the Court of Rome, the popes will not suffer any women to prostitute themselves, unless they be Christians; and, therefore, by order of his holiness, Jewish, Pagan, and Mahometan women who have a mind to set up that trade at Rome must first be baptised.”68  How truly has the Spirit of God characterized the apostate church as “Babylon the great, the Mother of harlots, and abominations of the earth!” (Rev 17:5)
Such is the wickedness naturally flowing from the popish doctrine of sacramental efficacy; but the way in which that sacramental efficacy is communicated to the elements, shows still more the daring impiety of the system.  It has been already stated, that these have a power in themselves to confer grace, if duly celebrated.  Now, the due celebration of the sacraments depends essentially on “the intention” of the priest.  “Without intention in the priest, there is no real sacrament.  If the priest intends to bless, the people are blessed!  If the priest does not intend to bless, they are not blessed!”69  Such is the doctrine of Rome, first formally established in the Council of Florence, and confirmed by those which have followed.  The object of it is plainly to vest all spiritual power in the hands of the priests, to make the people crouch at their feet, and to seek by all means to propitiate their favour.  Thus the clergy are everything; and God’s Holy Spirit, whose prerogative it is alone to bless the ordinances of God, is contemned and degraded.

Now, when we see that the pope thus directly and systematically sets himself in opposition to the Word of God, the grace of Christ, and the work of the Holy Spirit, is it possible any longer to doubt that he is indeed the Man of Sin, the adversary of God and godliness.




The Rival Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:4.

“And exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he, as God, sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”


We have seen the irreligion, the unholiness of that system of superstition of which the Pope is the head, and its utter contrariety to the doctrine of Christ.  We come now more particularly to consider the arrogant assumptions and blasphemous pretensions of the Papacy, so clearly depicted in the sure word of prophecy, so many hundred years before it was possible that they could be actually realized.  It is here prophesied, that the Man of Sin would “exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.”

The expression is remarkable.  It openly indicates that in the apostate church there would be other objects of worship besides the true God, and we have seen that in the apostate Church of Rome there are “gods many, and lords many” (1 Cor 8:5) that receive the adorations of their blinded devotees.  It implies, moreover, that above both the true God, and all these false objects of worship, the Man of Sin would exalt himself.  And this is literally the case with the Pope.


1.  He exalts himself above the true God.  He substitutes his own will and traditions for the word and will of God, and requires all to obey them on pain of damnation.  Thus is the authority of a mortal man raised above the authority of Jehovah, the Most High God.  Nor does he do this only in an indirect way, by claiming for himself the sole and supreme power to declare the will of God.  We shall see by and by that he sets himself above the Highest by asserting the right to dispense with the acknowledged law of God, to abrogate and annul it.70


2.  He exalts himself above all that is called God.  Whenever creatures are joined as objects of worship with the Creator, the latter is invariably found to occupy an inferior place in the esteem of the worshippers, to the former.  We have seen, for instance, that the Virgin Mary ranks much higher in the Church of Rome than God himself.  Yet above both the Virgin and all other objects of idolatry the Pope is exalted.  A Papist is encouraged to “appeal from the court of God’s justice, to the court of his Mother’s mercy;” but no appeal is permitted from the judgement of the Pope.  His sentence is supreme, his award is final, and cannot be reversed.  And accordingly Stephen, Archbishop of Patraca, declared, with the approbation of the fifth Lateran Council, that the Pope possessed “power above all powers, both in heaven and in earth.”71

Now, when such are the pretensions of the Papacy, it need be no matter of surprise that it should be prophesied of the Man of Sin, that he, “as God, should sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”  The Pope exhibits himself to the church as “God upon earth.” It is this especially that constitutes him “the Antichrist.”  The Antipopes that appeared from time to time in the Papal church were not professed enemies of the Papacy, but rival Popes.  And just so the Antichrist is “the Rival Christ” usurping his throne, and claiming his honours.

Sitting in the “central chair of unity,” the Pope lays claim to the incommunicable prerogatives of God, and even calls himself by God’s names.  In these various ways does he usurp the essential prerogatives of the Most High:


A. He takes to himself the dignity of Universal Bishop, and Head, and Husband of the church.  Now Christ is, and only He can be, the Head of the church.  His headship over the church is founded on his atonement.  He loved the church, and gave himself for it; and so he became its Husband and its Head.  It was because the blood he shed was the “blood of God,” that he purchased it to himself—that he acquired the right to rule and govern it.  None but he, who is God manifest in the flesh, can exercise the headship over the church.

Till the days of Boniface III., who sought and received the title of Universal Bishop or Head of the Church from the Emperor Phocas in 607 AD, the assumption of such a name was accounted, even by the bishops of Rome, as a mark of Antichrist.  The testimony of Gregory the Great, only a few years before that event, is very remarkable, and seems to have been ordered by Divine Providence, both to be a standing rebuke to the pride of the Papacy, and to mark the time when the Man of Sin was fully revealed.  This testimony has been often quoted; but it is too important and appropriate to be omitted here.  John, Bishop of Constantinople, had assumed the title; and Gregory, offended, wrote to the Emperor Mauritius to denounce its assumption.  “I say it boldly,” said he, “whoever either calls himself Universal Bishop, or desires so to be called in the pride of his heart, is the forerunner of Antichrist. . . .  Peter was not called Universal Apostle, and yet my fellow-priest John seeks to be called Universal Bishop.  O tempora, O mores!  Europe is exposed a prey to the barbarians, and yet the priests, who should lay themselves in the dust, and weeping roll themselves in ashes, are, in a spirit of vanity, seeking, and boasting themselves in their newfound and profane titles.”72  It was only about ten years after this, in 607 AD, that this “newfound and profane title” was transferred from the Bishop of Constantinople to the Bishop of Rome and ever since it has been borne by the Pope.  Thus, even on the authority of Pope Gregory, the Pope for the last twelve hundred years has borne the brand of Antichrist.
3.  The Pope assumes to be “head over all things to the church,” which is the equally incommunicable prerogative of God’s eternal Son.  This is a power the pope has asserted again and again; and what is more, to a large extent, so for as the world is concerned, he has exercised it.  In virtue of it he ruled the nations of Christendom for centuries with a rod of iron.  How lofty, for instance, are the pretensions of Pope Gregory VII.:  “The Roman Pontiff,” says he, “by right is universal.  In him alone is the power of making laws.  Let all kings kiss the feet of the Pope.  His name alone should be heard in all the churches.  It is the only name in this world.  It is his right to depose kings.  His sentence is to be repealed by no one.  It is to be repealed by himself alone.”73  Thus also, at a later period, wrote Boniface VIII. to Philip the Fair:— “Boniface, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, to Philip king of France.  Fear God, and keep his commandments.  We would have you to know that you are subject to us, both in things spiritual and temporal, and we declare all those to be heretics who believe the contrary. . . . .  God has established us over kings and kingdoms, to pluck up, to overthrow, to scatter, to build, and to plant, in his name, and by his doctrine.  Do not allow yourself to be persuaded that you have not a superior, and that you are not subject to the head of the ecclesiastical hierarchy.  He that thinks thus is a fool; he that obstinately maintains it, is an infidel.”
Similar pretensions have again and again been advanced by the different Popes; and there were few, in the palmy days of the Papacy, who dared to resist them.  Philip the Fair, indeed, did so successfully; and with impunity, in reply to the Pope’s insolence, addressed him, as “His Foolishness,” instead of “his Holiness.”  But for the most part the greatest princes had to humble themselves before them.  Henry IV. of Germany, being excommunicated and deposed by Hildebrand, had to stand shivering at the gate of the fortress of Canossa for three days in the depth of winter, with bare feet, with head exposed, with only a wretched piece of coarse woollen cloth thrown around him to cover his nakedness, humbly entreating an audience with the haughty pontiff.  At the coronation of the Emperor Henry VI., when that monarch stooped to kiss the foot of Pope Celestine, who crowned him, the sovereign pontiff kicked the crown off his head, to show that he had power to take it away, as well as power to bestow it.  The humiliation which John, king of England, had to stoop to is well known, when he had to resign his crown into the hands of the Pope’s legate, and humbly to receive it again as a gift from the Holy See; but more potent and high spirited princes have been obliged to submit to as great degradation.  In the Royal Hall of the Vatican is to be seen at this day, the picture in which the heroic Frederick Barbarossa is represented on his knees and elbows before Pope Alexander III., in the public square of Venice.  The Pope’s foot is on his shoulder; his sceptre is thrown away, and under the picture are these words,—” Fredericus supplex adorat, fidem et obedientiam pollicitus:”  “Frederick suppliantly adores, promising fidelity and obedience.”74
These were the times when Popery had the opportunity fully to develop itself; when princes thought it necessary to wait as menials at the Pope’s table; when the kings of England and of France counted it an honour to hold the Pope’s stirrups, and to lead his horse by the bridle, one walking at each side of its head; a “sight,” says the Contemporary Chronicler, “pleasing to God, to angels, and to men.”!75
Such scenes are not enacted at present.  The Pope does not find it expedient to obtrude his claim to temporal power over kings and princes.  But he has never yet repudiated it; and he never will.76  Indeed, he cannot, without subverting the whole system of superstition and priestcraft of which he is the head; for his power to dethrone kings is as essential a doctrine of popery as transubstantiation, or the worship of the Virgin Mary.  It is expressly sanctioned by those canons and councils which every Roman Catholic priest is SWORN to uphold.  The fourth council of the Lateran, in its third canon, enacted formal regulations for the dethronement of refractory kings.  The offending sovereign, according to these regulations, “is first to be excommunicated by the metropolitan and suffragans; and if he should afterward persist in his contumacy for a year, the Roman pontiff, the vicegerent of God, is empowered to degrade him, to absolve his vassals from their fealty, and transfer his dominions to any Catholic who may be able to seize upon them.”77  The same doctrine was taught and exemplified by the general councils of Lyons and Trent, and five other general councils, whose decisions are universally admitted to be binding in the Romish Church.  Yet when the Irish bishops are reminded of this doctrine of their church, they refer us to “their solemn oath” given to the British government, as a proof that they do not hold it.  They calculate on the general ignorance that prevails as to the history of their church, and for the most part, their appeal is too successful.  But they must not thus be allowed to escape.  We ask them how that oath is to be reconciled with the one which they swore to the Pope at consecration?  Then, every one of them, in conformity with the bull of Pope Pius IV., swore the following:—“I receive and profess ALL that the sacred canons and general councils have delivered, defined and declared; and I shall endeavour, to the utmost of my power, to cause the same to be held, taught, and preached, to those under my care.  This I promise, vow, and swear, so help me God, and these holy Gospels.”78  By this they are sworn “to hold, teach, and preach” to their own flocks that very doctrine on the deposition of heretical princes, sanctioned by the general councils, which, in their oath to the British Government, they have solemnly disowned.  Both oaths cannot possibly be taken in good faith.  Which has the superior claim on their alliance, we need be at no loss to determine.
The marked favour shown by the Pontiff, whose ashes are scarcely cold in the grave, for the work of Bellarmine on the Papacy, is of itself demonstrative that high notions of king-deposing power are the reverse of being peculiar to the dark ages.  Gregory XVI. publicly designated Bellarmine as “that most excellent defender of the Pontifical prerogatives.”  Now, what says Bellarmine on this subject?  “It is not repugnant to the Gospel,” says he, “if in any manner it might be, that the same should be high priest of the whole world, and also emperor of the whole world.” This of course is the summit of his wishes; but, in the meantime, he must be content with less.  As it is, however, his doctrine is sufficiently high.  “The Pope,” says the Cardinal, “possesses the power of disposing of the temporal affairs of all Christians in order to their spiritual good”  And again,—“The Pope can change kingdoms, and take them away from one and give them to another, as the highest spiritual prince, if that be necessary for the salvation of souls,”  Indeed, for the promotion of the same object—the spiritual welfare of the ‘true flock’—heretical princes and their people are to be devoted to destruction.  Here are his own words:—“If, indeed, it can be done, they are undoubtedly to be extirpated.  But if they cannot, either because they are not sufficiently known, and there is danger, lest the innocent suffer with the guilty; or they are stronger than we and there is danger, if we attack them in war, that more of us would fall than of them, then we are to be quiet,”79

Now, be it remembered that this is the doctrine published at Rome, with papal sanction, no further back than 1842.  It is manifest then, that the pretensions of Rome to temporal power are at this day as arrogant as ever they were, and that she only wants a favourable opportunity to carry them into effect.  The fact is, however, though men may for a purpose disavow the Pope’s temporal dominion, it is essentially involved in the all but universally admitted doctrine as to his supremacy.  He is not only supreme in all matters spiritual, but he claims the sole and exclusive right to determine what matters are spiritual, and what are not.  In this way he may make anything spiritual that he pleases, and when opportunity shall serve, draw the whole affairs of the world under his absolute control.

4.  The Pope lays claim to that infallibility which is proper to God alone.  “It is a sin,” say the Decretals, “as great as sacrilege, to reason [question] of any of the Pope’s doings.”80  His doctors assert his infallibility in the strongest terms.  “We can believe nothing,” says Lewis Capsensis, “unless we believe with divine faith that the Pope is the successor of Peter, and infallible.”  The assembled cardinals, prelates, and clergy of France, in 1625, declared that “his Holiness was above the reach of calumny, and that his faith was above the reach of error.”  Harding, the Jesuit, in his Confutation of Jewell’s Apology, asserts that “as shepherd of the universal church, in public judgement, in deliberation and definitive sentence, he never errs, nor ever erred, nor ever can err.”81  Some Romanists have disputed his infallibility; but the overwhelming weight of authority has been all on the opposite side.  The latest Pope who has pronounced on the subject, has asserted it in the most unqualified manner.  “The Pope,” say Gregory XVI., “is a true monarch; wherefore he ought to be provided with the means necessary for the exercise of his monarchical authority.  But the means most necessary to that end must be that which would take away every pretext from his subjects to refuse submission to his decisions and his laws.  Now his infallibility alone could have that efficacy; therefore, the Pope is infallible.”82  Whatever may be thought of this logic, nothing can be more clear or explicit than his Holiness’s statement.  The infallibility being thus established, he requires, in consequence, implicit and unreasoning faith and obedience.  “The Pope,” says he, “is supreme head; as such he judges absolutely, and demands the submission of the mind—that is to say, a firm faith in his decisions.”83  There can be no doubt then, that papal infallibility is the doctrine of Rome at present, as much as ever it was in the days of Hildebrand.  And indeed, to say the truth, those who profess to be Papists, and yet hesitate about the pope’s infallibility, are of all men the most inconsistent; for, as has been well remarked, “if the Pope be head of the church, then if he is not infallible, without all question he ought to be so.”84

[CHCoG- Hislop would have been both appalled and gratified had he lived to see the corruption of Vatican I.  Hasler, in How the Pope Became Infallible, used Rome’s own secret achieves to document how Pope Pius IX ruthlessly manipulated Catholic media and essentially imprisoned the Vatican I delegates.  Only those whom he was unable to force to vote in favour of declaring popes to be infallible were eventually permitted to leave.  This ensured the success of the vote, and on July 18, 1870, the popes became formally infallible.  Though the Vatican claimed that the vote was unanimously in favour, in reality only 535 of the original 1084 members of the Council voted.

The absurdity of this charade was shown to the world only two months later, when the pope lost the very last of his temporal territories on earth to the new Italian Kingdom, and the pope became a virtual prisoner in the Vatican.  A plebiscite the following October revealed that the pope’s previous citizensnearly all Catholicsalmost unanimously rejected him as ruler over them.]

5.  The Pope claims power to pardon sin.  This, too, is peculiar to God; for “who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 5:21)  Yet not content with declaring pardon to the penitent, he asserts the power to bestow forgiveness on whomsoever he pleases.85  He pretends to have the key of David, which opens and no man shuts, and shuts and no man opens, that he can send people to heaven or to hell, according to what seems good in his sight.  It was their belief in this power that made the princes of Palermo prostrate themselves at the feet of Martin IV. and address him in the same words as are addressed to Christ himself at the altar: “You that take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us!  You that take away the sins of the world, grant us your peace!” (Compare 1 John 3:5)  Thus by assuming the essential prerogatives of God, does “he sit in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
6.  But this is not all.  He actually assumes the titles of God.  He has allowed himself again and again to be addressed, without rebuke, by the names of the Most High.  “We rejoice,” says Angelo Politian to Pope Alexander VI. on his election, “to see you raised above all human things, and exalted even to Divinity itself.”86  On the triumphal arch erected to greet his entry into Rome, the following was inscribed: “Rome was great under Cæsar, now its greatness has risen to the highest pitch under Alexander; and no wonder: the former was a man, the latter a God.”87  In the dedication of a work to Leo X., published in 1514, Aurelius Serenus speaks of it as a notable event, that an Indian elephant, meeting that pontiff in the street, had “felt and suppliantly adored his divinity!”88  “Take care,” said Marcellus in the Great Lateran Council to Julius II., speaking in name of the assembled fathers, “take care that we do not  lose that salvation, that life and health which you have given us, for you are shepherd, you are physician, you are governor, you are husbandman, you finally are Mother God upon earth.”89

Now if there were nothing to condemn the Pope but this, that he has allowed such blasphemous names to be bestowed upon him, this of itself would stamp him with guilt of the deepest dye.  It was for permitting the multitude to bestow similar appellations upon him, for allowing them to say, “It is the voice of a god, and not of a man,” (Acts 12:22-23) that Herod was smitten by the angel and eaten up by worms.

But in point of fact, the Popes themselves have claimed such titles as their due.  About 725 AD, Gregory II., writing to the Greek emperor, maintained that “all the churches of the west held Peter as God upon earth.”90  “It is evident,” said Pope Nicholas I., about 865 AD, “that the pontiff, whom it is certain that pious prince Constantine called God, cannot be at all bound or loosed by the secular power; and it is manifest that God cannot he judged by men.”91  Pope Martin V., about 1425, in his instructions to his nuncio at Constantinople, commanded himself to be announced under the following blasphemous titles: “The Most Holy and Most Blessed, possessor of the Heavenly empire, who is Lord on earth, and successor of St Peter, the Christ or Anointed of the Lord, the Lord of the Universe, the Father of kings, the Light of the World, the Sovereign Pontiff, Pope Martin.”92  “Christ,” says Boniface VIII, “took Peter into the PARTNERSHIP OF THE UNDIVIDED TRINITY.”93
In the gloss on the canon law, approved and passed by Gregory XIII., the Pope is expressly styled “the Lord our God;”94 and in the decretal issued by authority of John XXII., the following occurs: “To believe that our Lord God the Pope might not decree as he has decreed, it was a matter of heresy.”95  Surely he that thus speaks must be the Antichrist, must be the little horn that was “to speak marvellous things against the God of gods.” (Dan 11:36)  Our ears are shocked by such words; but so familiar are the Pope’s immediate subjects with them, that, according to Dr Keith, his common style in Italy at this hour is—“Our Lord God the Pope”!!!
7.  Such are some of the blasphemies of the Papacy.  But this does not exhaust what is contained in the passage of the prophecy under consideration.  To complete the picture it is necessary that we contemplate the ADORATION of his ‘holiness.’  Let any man, even an infidel, enter the church of St Peter’s at Rome, on the enthronement of a new Pope, and compare what he sees there with this prophecy, and then try if it be possible to resist the conviction, both that the Pope is the Man of Sin, and that the book which contains such a prediction must be indeed divine.  The cardinals have met in secret conclave; for days bribery and corruption have been rife; every artifice has been put in practice by the partizans of the different candidates; but at last the suffrages have been taken, the scrutiny has been made, the election is declared, and Te Deum has been sung.  His ‘holiness’ now appears in pomp in St Peter’s.  Let the reader imagine himself present on such an occasion.  Behold the newly elected Pope, seated in state on the high altar, glittering with jewels, and resplendent with scarlet and gold.  On that altar lies the wafer god—on that altar stands the crucifix, which all Roman Catholics “worship.”  Above both is this king of pride “exalted.”  It is not enough that he actually resists the truth and cause of God; but here he is openly exhibited to the world as “exalted above all,” that on earth, even by Papists themselves, he is called God and is worshipped.”  Clouds of incense ascend before him, and adorations are paid to him by the assembled multitude.  The cardinals take the lead in the idolatrous rites.  “Venité adorermis” (“Come, let us worship him,”) they blasphemously exclaim in the words of the 95th Psalm; and all knees are bent in humble adoration.  “How often,” says Professor Gaussen of Geneva, describing such a scene which he himself had witnessed, “how often, as I viewed him in the midst of his pomp, have I heard this oracle of the Holy Spirit resound within my inmost soul, ‘He shall sit as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.’”96





The Mystery of Iniquity.

2 Thessalonians 2:5-7.

“Do you not remember that when I was with you I told you these things?  And now you know what controls this, and that he will be revealed in his time.  For the Mystery of Iniquity has already begun to work; surely that which alone restrains now will be taken from the midst.” [CHCoG Trans]


The apostacy, and the Man of Sin who was to organise and preside over that apostacy, were not now brought before the minds of the Christians at Thessalonica for the first time.  Paul had, ere now, in his preaching, distinctly informed them of the blight that was to come over the Christian church.  “Do you not remember,” says he, “that when I was with you I told you these things?”  He counted it not enough, as the phrase goes, “to preach the Gospel” to them.  He declared to them the whole counsel of God.  He put them on their guard against the heresies that were to spring up in the church; and, for this purpose, gave them an outline of its future history.  In every healthy period of the church, prophecy has always occupied an important place in the attention of God’s faithful ministers.  If Paul told the Thessalonians of these things, hundreds of years before the Man of Sin was to be revealed, how much more necessary it is, now that he is revealed, that the attention of Christians should be called to them.  Yet for a long period, till recently, the prophetic Scriptures, and especially those referring to the apostacy, had fallen into neglect.  It had even passed into a maxim, that “the study of unfulfilled prophecy either finds a man mad or makes him so.”  How derogatory to the Word of God in which these prophecies are recorded!  How utterly opposed to the express declarations of the Scriptures themselves!  “Blessed,” says the Spirit of God, at the beginning of the book of Revelation, “blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things that are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Rev 1:3)  In every prophecy, however much it may stretch into the future, there is always something that has a bearing upon the present spiritual welfare of the church.  Had the believers at Thessalonica only remembered what Paul had told them in his preaching about the revelation of the Man of Sin, they would have been more fortified against the seductions of false teachers, they would not have been needlessly excited and disturbed about the immediate coming of the Lord to judgement.  And had professing Christians of the present day been better acquainted with the prophetic descriptions of the character and dominance of apostate Rome, there would not be half the danger that there now is, of seeing it regain its ascendancy over the nations that threw off its yoke at the Reformation.  “The sure word of prophecy” is especially intended to shine amid the darkness which God foresaw would come in the latter days upon the world.  In it, as in a chart; are accurately laid down all the rocks and quicksands, through the midst of which God’s people have to steer their course.  By taking heed to its predictions, by comparing them with the aspect of the times, they are not only preserved from the spiritual dangers which prove fatal to others, but their faith is even strengthened by witnessing the spread of prophesied antichristian error.  Thus, while the ungodly around them are walking in darkness, prophecy is not only a light unto their feet and a lamp unto their path; but a growing light—a light, as Goldsmith says of Hope,


“Which, still as darker grows the night.

Emits the brighter ray.”


At the time that Paul wrote, the seeds were already sown and germinating, that were afterwards to produce such an abundant harvest of corruption.  “The Mystery of Iniquity does already work.”  To the same effect is the testimony of John, “You have heard that antichrist shall come; and even now there are many antichrists.” (1 John 2:18)  So early did the devil sow his tares; so early did self-righteousness, worldliness, and ambition begin to show themselves; so early did men like Diotrephes love to have the pre-eminence in the Christian church.  But there was an obstacle to the full development of the Mystery of Iniquity, and the revelation of antichrist, as the church and the world then stood.  What that obstacle was, the apostle had informed the Thessalonians when he had spoken to them on the subject, by word of mouth.  At present he thinks it not fit to enter on it more particularly than by referring them to his former instructions about it.  “And now you know what controls this, and that he will be revealed in his time.

Now that we know who is the Man of Sin, where he is to be found, and what was to be the grand object of his ambition, we need be at no loss as to what was the obstacle that hindered his full development, and withheld him from rising to the summit of his power.  It was to be in Rome, on the throne of the Cæsars, that the Man of Sin was to sit, and as Head of the Church, to lord it over the prostrate nations of Europe.  But when the apostle wrote, Caesar occupied the throne himself; and so long as the imperial power continued to flourish, the selfish designs of ambitious and worldly churchmen were kept within bounds.  For centuries, even amid persecution, the presumptions of the Roman bishops were steadily rising; but it was not till after the irruption of the Goths, the dismemberment of the Roman empire, and the evacuation of Rome itself by the representatives of the imperial power, that the Man of Sin began to stand forth before the world, in his decidedly antichristian character.  It was to the imperial power, then, beyond doubt, that Paul here referred, as withholding the revelation of the Man of Sin, and was destined to do so, “until it should be taken out of the way.”

There were obvious reasons why the Spirit of God did not speak more explicitly on this subject, lest the pagan emperors, sufficiently disposed to persecute Christianity at any rate, should be provoked by a prediction of the downfall of their empire, to ravage the Christian church without mercy.  But there was enough revealed, though under mystical symbols, in other parts of the Word of God, in Daniel especially, and the book of Revelation, to lead the people of God to form right conclusions on this subject.  And it is interesting to know that the most distinguished writers among the early Christians, whom the Papists themselves pretend to regard as authorities, took the very same view on this point, before the Man of Sin was revealed, that Protestant commentators have almost universally done since his revelation.  “As long as the empire shall be able to make itself feared,” says Chrysostom, “no man shall readily submit himself to antichrist; but after the empire shall be dissolved, antichrist shall invade the vacant throne of the empire, and shall labour to concentrate in himself the power both of God and of man.”97  Precisely similar are the statements of Tertullian, Ambrose, and Augustine, all of whom used to pray for the continuance of the Roman empire in its strength, that the reign of antichrist might be retarded.
When, therefore, the Popish translators of the Rhemish Testament, in a strain of affected humility, boast that “Jesus has now made all the Roman emperors and princes of the world to know him, and has given the seat of the Cæsars to his poor servants, Peter and his successors,”98 they thereby bear their testimony, according to the view of these fathers, to the fact that “surely that which alone restrains now will be taken from the midst;” that the “Mystery of Iniquity’ has had ample room to perfect itself; and that the “Man of Sin” must long ago have been “revealed.”

In the Church of Rome, beyond question, the “Mystery of Iniquity” is to be found; and how wonderfully descriptive of Popery, and its mode of working, is the name by which the Spirit of God has here characterised it.  Popery is one grand system of consecrated wickedness.  Under a semblance of holiness, and humility, and charity, and self-denial, a structure of priestcraft, and crime, and superstition has been reared, which is unparalleled in the history of the world.  While accommodating itself to the corruption of human nature, it makes use of the leading truths of the Gospel only to gild the rottenness of its own moral pollution.  It works the will of Satan in the name of Him who came into the world to destroy the works of the devil.  Under fair shows and plausible professions, it knows how to introduce the most pestilential errors; and it is this that makes it so dangerous to people who have only a superficial knowledge of the truth, who have only a form of godliness, but are destitute of the power of it. (2 Tim 3:1-6)  It artfully makes the very fragments of truth which such people have floating in their minds, the means of blinding and misleading them.  This might be illustrated in innumerable ways; but a few instances may suffice.

1.  The doctrine of the Church, its unity, and its privileges, are cunningly perverted by the Man of Sin for his own purposes.  The Church unquestionably occupies a very important position in the Word of God.  Christ loved it, loved it wholly, and gave his life for it.  The Church is his bride, it is his body; and every member of it is as dear to him as the apple of his eye.  Glorious things are spoken of the Church, the city of the living God; but it is to the spiritual church, the church composed of renewed and sanctified souls, of people united by faith in the living Head, that all these things are appropriated.  The church visible, and the church spiritual, have become quite distinct.  Many are admitted into the former, who have neither part nor lot in the latter.  Now Popery confounds the distinctions between these two, and mere professors are willing enough to have it so.  Those things which are true alone of the spiritual church, it applies indiscriminately to the members of the outward church.  It is quite true, when properly understood, that the people of God’s holy Church are “all righteous,” and shall certainly be saved; and that none else shall be so.  Rome leads her devotees to believe, that all within the outward pale of the church who submit to her authority, are without doubt God’s true and holy people; and that, consequently, their immortal interests are safe.  Thus, by the name of the Church the people are deluded; and the power of the priesthood is maintained.  The people are lulled into a false and fatal security, while the clergy are made the arbiters of their everlasting destiny.  For to the latter it belongs to admit them to the privileges of the Church, or to exclude them from its communion; and on them, therefore, it depends, whether a man’s soul shall be lost or saved.  Thus, through the perversion of an important truth, are the foundations laid for spiritual despotism.

2.  The very abasement of a sinner, conscious of guilt and unworthiness, is made a stepping-stone to the introduction of idolatry in the hands of Antichrist.  Humility is certainly a Christian grace, and a Christian can never feel sufficiently humble.  In the worship of God especially, it becomes him deeply to feel his own unworthiness; and to have a sense of his sinfulness imprinted on his inmost soul.  Can such a one as he, then, so unholy, so unworthy, dare to lift his eyes directly to Christ, the Holy One and the Just, who is so infinitely exalted?  No; surely it would be better to apply to one of the glorified saints or angels, in the presence of God, who, as creatures, are not so immensely above him, who will present his supplications to God’s Son, and thus gain for him an attention and acceptance, which he could not expect for himself.   Thus does Popery deceive those who listen to its serpent tongue.  The pretence looks fair; but it is a mystery of iniquity.  What does the word of God say?  It characterises this worshipping of saints or angels in this way: “Neither let any one, delighting in false humility of mind, lead you to condemnation, subjugating you to the worship of representatives.” (Col 2:18) This is a ‘humility’ which God does not require, which he does not approve, which he utterly condemns—a humility which will beguile those who practise it, taking away the reward which is promised to the true believer.  The language of Christ to all, to the very chief of sinners, is not, “Go to this saint—apply to that angel,” but—“Come unto ME.” (Mat 11:28, John 7:37)  And when HE gives so kind, so free, so gracious, so universal an invitation, to doubt his willingness to receive the most unworthy, and to have recourse to other intercessors, is a poor reflection on his sincerity, a disparagement of his mercy and goodness.  It supposes that there will be more love, more mercy, more compassion in a creature than in Him, who, though in the form of God, did not strive to be equal with God, but humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, that sinners, that rebels, might be saved. (Php 2:5-8)  Instead, therefore, of manifesting humility, such supplications to saints [or Mary] betoken the highest presumption, and spring from the Father of lies.  And the result of such “false humility” has been worthy of its origin.  It has flooded the church that encouraged it with the rankest idolatry.  It has utterly led away those in the Church of Rome from the worship of the one living and true God, and into the worship of those who by nature are not gods. (Gal 4:8)  “I am sure I do not exaggerate,” says the author of “Rome in the Nineteenth Century,” when I say that throughout Italy, Spain, Portugal, and every country where the Roman Catholic is the exclusive religion of the people, for one knee bent to God, thousands are bowed before the shrines of the Virgin and the saints.”99  Thus has this “false humility” debased the minds of the people, thus has it paved the way for the enthronement of the Virgin above the true God, and the exaltation of the Pope “above all that is called God and is worshipped.”
3.  The pious feelings of devout but half-enlightened minds have, in like manner, been abused to the corruption of Christianity.  When the priests first began to depreciate preaching, and to cry up the superior importance of making the house of God more and more a “house of prayer,” how few were there who could have imagined what such fair professions would end in!  It looked so much like piety, it had so much the air of godliness, to labour to promote devotional feeling among the people, that it would have seemed almost uncharitable to hint, indeed even to suspect, that any snake lurked in the grass.  Yet here was the Mystery of Iniquity at work.  So long as the word of God was duly read, and expounded in the pulpit, the enlightenment thus diffused was unfavourable to the ambitious aims of the clergy, and retarded the spiritual despotism they wished to erect.  Hence the zeal among many for public prayers; hence the cry for additional devotional services; that preaching might first be thrust into a corner, and then gradually abandoned.100  The object was at last gained.  Then were all the arts of the Man of Sin called into demand to perpetuate his power, and to keep the people in contented ignorance.  And to an astonishing degree has he succeeded.  Rome has grafted onto the worship of God all the attractions of the theatre.  She has contrived gorgeous and splendid ceremonials which gratify the taste, and fascinate the senses, soothe the conscience, lull asleep in sin, and flatter with the hope of heaven, those who still live in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity.  While the natural feelings are moved, the imagination pleased, and the mind excited, people who have little to no spiritual feeling or true devotion to Jehovah God are rapt up to the third heavens in their own conceit, and led to fancy themselves uncommonly devout.  Thus does Babylon “intoxicate the nations with the wine of her fornication.”  The ingredients in her wine-cup are skilfully mingled; and music, sculpture, painting and architecture, all exquisite in their kind, form part of the intoxicating draught which the Grand Sorceress puts into the hands of her votaries.  Everything in her worship is formed for effect; everything tends to keep her worshippers in blind and willing subjection.  All that is imposing in spectacle, and enchanting in melody, is combined in the services of Rome.  The very spirit of the world is enshrined in their Holy of holies; and while the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life are pampered and gratified, the poor deluded Papists believe themselves ripening for heaven.  To those who wish to serve God and the world at the same time, there is no religion so easy, so palatable, so pleasing, as the religion of Antichrist.
4.  How fair, how plausible at first sight might have seemed the pretexts for clerical celibacy.  “He that is unmarried cares for the things of the Lord, that he may be holy both in body and in spirit, that he may please the Lord.” So says the apostle Paul in 1 Cor 7:32.  Then what should hinder anyone from binding himself with a vow to continue this way?  What should hinder the clergy, above all, who ought to be specially devoted to the Lord, from being “forbidden to marry?”  Much.  “All cannot receive this saying,” said he, who knew what is in man, “but those to whom it is given.” (Mat 19:11)  It was self-righteousness that first introduced celibacy of the clergy; the self-interest of the Papacy established it for pertuity; and its results have been most deplorable.  “It seems fair,” says Bishop Jewell, “and a matter of great holiness.  But there is a mystery in it; the mystery of iniquity.  It is a gulf, it is a sea, it is a world, it is a hell of iniquity, and the vilest villany that ever crept into the church of God.”101  This is strong language, but not stronger than the nature of the case amply warrants.  It was no love for holiness, no real desire for the spiritual welfare of men; but a base and wicked design to bind the world in abject slavery to the see of Rome that induced Pope after Pope to labour so earnestly for the enforcement of clerical celibacy, until Hildebrand ultimately carried this point.  While the clergy were allowed to marry, they had other interests than those of the papacy: their affection for their families divided their allegiance with Rome, and identified them more with the people than was expedient for the grasping ambition of the mitred king.  To cut them off from all the endearments of social life, to isolate them entirely from the people, was perceived to be the only way to bind them indissolubly to the chair of St Peter, to infuse the true esprit du corps into the whole body of the clergy, and to make the aggrandizement and glory of the church the grand aim and object of their lives.  This, and this only, was what Hildebrand cared for; and so the Papacy might be glorified.  It mattered not to him that God’s ordinance was outraged, that affectionate hearts were broken, that the dearest ties were rent asunder, that the sluices were set wide open for deluging Europe with a flood of debauchery.
Some indeed in the present day have attempted to whitewash this policy of Gregory VII., and no less a champion than M. Guizot has appeared on his behalf.  According to him, Hildebrand was actuated by the most praiseworthy designs, and a real regard for the welfare of society.  “We have been accustomed,” says he, “to consider Gregory VII. as a man who wished to render everything immutable; as an enemy to intellectual development and social progress; as a man whose desire was to to retain the world in a stationary or retrograde condition.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  Gregory VII. was a despotic reformer, like Charlemagne and Peter the Great.  He effected nearly as much for the ecclesiastical order as Charlemagne in France and Peter the Great in Russia accomplished for civil existence.  His aim was to reform the church, and through the church to reform civil society; to introduce into the world a greater degree of morality, justice, and order”102  Such is M. Guizot’s opinion of the character and policy of Gregory VII.  M. Guizot professes to be a Protestant.  Had he read THE book with which Protestants ought to be familiar, he would have seen that those who “forbid to marry,” are characterized as “speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron.” (1 Tim 4:1-3)  If what ecclesiastical history says is true, Gregory VII. was no exception to this statement.  But how can any man of common sense speak of the absolute prohibition of marriage to the clergy as a “reform,” as a means of improving the church, and through the church, of promoting the welfare of society?  How could it possibly tend “to introduce into the world a greater degree of morality, justice, and order,” by making marriage, which is “honourable in all, and the bed undefiled(Heb 13:4) a sin of at least equal guilt with fornication or adultery?
This of itself necessarily tended to obliterate the distinctions between right and wrong; to pervert the dictates of conscience, to introduce a fictitious morality, and to sap the very foundations of society.  And who does not see that when a thing, in itself innocent, is arbitrarily classed with heinous crimes, the guilt and turpitude of these crimes is necessarily brought down?  Conscience, in spite of the pope’s prohibitions, can never look upon marriage in any man as a very serious fault.  When, therefore, marriage and adultery are placed on the same level, the natural depravity of man easily leads him to think of the latter with but little abhorrence.  What then could be expected from men unalterably committed to a state of life for which nature did not fit them, from men exposed to continual temptation in the confessionals, and with such perverted ideas of religion, but that which has actually ensued?  It would have been a miracle had it been otherwise.  The ‘celibacy’ of the clergy has made the “Holy Apostolic Church” of Rome, literally as well as spiritually, the Mother of Abominations.” Popes and cardinals, priests and prelates, are shown by the authentic records of history to have wallowed in the most gross and brutal licentiousness.  At the Reformation, both in Scotland and England, the monasteries, in many instances, were proved before Parliamentary commissioners to be no better than so many brothels, and scenes for the perpetration of such wickedness as brought down fire and brimstone from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah.  The secular clergy vied with the monks in profligacy.  If anyone should suspect that these statements are coloured by party feeling as coming from Protestants, then we appeal to Roman Catholics themselves.  What was the argument employed by the Roman senate to dissuade the Pope, when meditating the suppression of the licensed brothels at Rome, from carrying his design into effect?  Thuanus, the Roman Catholic historian, informs us that they petitioned for their continuance, on the ground that thus the clergy might be prevented from violating their wives and daughters.103  The testimony of certain Roman Catholic divines of Germany, who presented a remonstrance against the enforcement of celibacy to the Pope in 1564, accompanied by a letter from the Emperor is to the very same effect: “Among fifty Catholic priests,” they say, “hardly one will be found who is not a notorious fornicator;” and they considered it “a great absurdity not to admit married clerks, and to tolerate fomicators.”104  Would these men calumniate their order?  Would they calumniate them to the Pope?  Assuredly not.  The profligacy of the clergy had become notorious, and at the time of the Reformation, all Germany, Popish as well as Protestant, cried out against it.  In the diet of Nuremberg, which sat in 1522, a remonstrance was drawn up in name of the cities, states, and princes who composed it entitled “Centum Gravamina105 in which the corruptions of the church were loudly complained of and redress urgently demanded from the Pope.  What a picture of the moral state of the clergy do we find in the following passages of that celebrated document:—“The officials” says the diet, uttering the unanimous voice of all Germany, “the officials, possessed of a detestable avarice, not only do not prohibit usury, but permit and uphold it.  Indeed, for an annual tribute levied on monks and priests, they permit them publicly to keep concubines and harlots, by whom they have children. . . .  Most of the bishops not only allow the clergy to keep concubines, on paying a tax for them; but even if there are some honest and well-principled priests who wish to live virtuously, they too are compelled to pay, under pretext that the bishop has need of money.  After that, they may either live chastely, or keep concubines, as they may have a mind.” (Articles 75 and 91.) “The only good thing that remained,” says Jurieu, commenting on this passage, “was that they were not compelled to keep a concubine.”106  But to what a state of degradation and moral pollution must the clergy have sunk, when the states of Germany felt constrained thus to expose their turpitude!  And what led to all this?  The pretence to “angelic sanctity,” on the part of those who forbade to marry.  Verily it is a Mystery of Iniquity.

5.  The practice of auricular confession, that fountain of wickedness, that grand pillar of spiritual despotism, grew up also from apparently the most natural and harmless beginnings.  Men deeply concerned about their salvation will often feel themselves in doubt and darkness as to their state.  To whom could they more naturally look for help in their spiritual perplexities than to their pastors, to those who are over them in the Lord, and who watch for their souls as those that must give account?  In an earnest period of the church there will always be many such, seeking guidance and direction.

But how can spiritual counsel be appropriate, unless the person seeking it unburden himself to his counsellor?  There is an obvious necessity in the nature of the case for some measure of confidential communication.  If pure religion prevails among the people, if zeal for the salvation of souls supremely inspires the clergy, such spiritual communing between pastor and people will be not only harmless, but blessed.  The people will seek only instruction from the minister; the minister will desire nothing more than to be the helper of his people’s joy.  But if superstition is spreading, if the clergy is more anxious to bind the people to themselves than to lead them to Christ, such intercourse will assuredly end in mischief.  And in the Church of Rome it did so.  A corrupt and ambitious priesthood saw the advantage it gave them to have the people unfolding to them the secret thoughts of their hearts.  Little by little, the importance of such confessions was magnified.  The practice grew into a positive duty, and at last it was enjoined as indispensable to salvation.  The clergy were no longer the helpers of their people’s faith, but arbiters of their state, empowered authoritatively to adjudge them to happiness or woe.  For the due discharge of their functions, to enable them to pronounce absolution on just and proper grounds, the most searching examination of course was necessary.107  Now the mischief of this is obvious and manifold.

It is of the most degrading and corrupting tendency on those who are subjected to it and is fitted to obliterate from their minds every trace of virtuous feeling that has survived the ruins of the fall.  Through means of the questions of the Confessional, ingenuous youth become acquainted, and are rendered familiar with, vices of the most abominable kind, which they may never otherwise have heard of.  From this polluting influence in the Church of Rome there is no escape.  Indeed, if a young female, under such a scrutiny, show symptoms of embarrassment or modesty, the confessor is required to take pains that her “bashfulness and modesty be overcome.”  Is this an injunction of the dark ages?  Is this a practice recommended only in Italy or Spain?  No.  It is in force at this day, at our own doors, in the popish parishes of Ireland.  The injunction I have quoted is taken from Bailly, one of the text-books of Maynooth.  And if, after all efforts on the part of the confessor, the fair penitent still cannot be prevailed on to give a distinct answer to the most abominable questions, she is pronounced “unworthy of absolution,” that is, she is left in a state exposing her to the pains of hell!  What church but that of Antichrist could make the modesty of a virtuous mind—that fence which God himself has set around morality—a crime deserving of damnation!

While the Confessional is thus polluting to those who are subjected to its interrogations, it is not less so to the priests who question them.  What has been already said may sufficiently prove this; but there are yet “greater abominations than these.”  Will it be believed that the unmarried Roman Catholic priests of Ireland are instructed in their class-books to interrogate married women as to the whole intercourse that takes place between them and their husbands?  Yet such is the fact, as any one may see by reference to the fourth volume of Bailly’s Moral Theology, p. 483, or the instructions in regard to the Confessional contained in the sixth volume of Dens.108  What but the most depraved and brutalized imagination could have dictated such a system?  What but contamination can be the result to those who have the working of it?  “When the priest,” says the Rev. James Godkin, himself formerly a Roman Catholic, “commences his duties, a new scene opens.  He is excited by the novelty, the piquant curiosity, and the powerful interest that encircles the Confessional.  The secrets which are there whispered into his ear in loneliness and silence become the subject of his daily lucubrations, and his nocturnal visions.  There is incessantly passing through his mind a stream of impurity which is retained fetid and foul in the reservoir of memory, alas! too tenacious of evil”109
With such influences for evil continually operating, with such facilities for poisoning the moral principle of women ever at command, could anyone, even apart from all experience, ever imagine that unmarried priests could generally come unscathed from the ordeal to which they are exposed?  If he did, the history of all Roman Catholic countries ought to convince him to the contrary.  Auricular confession and clerical celibacy together have demoralized every country wherever they have prevailed.  “A large amount,” says an able writer, “of seduction, fornication, and adultery, has come from the Confessional.  By means of going to the priest in private to confess their sins, many females have been led to vice and unchastity, and been utterly undone.  Instead of being improved from sinful to holy, they have been made immoral, abandoned, lewd, and lost.  Their confessor has been their corrupter, and instead of taking away their sins, has robbed them of their virtue, cheated them of their chastity, and made them twofold more children of hell than they were before.  I quote the following from Howitt’s History of Priestcraft, chapter xiv.—“Father Anthony Joseph has for eight years past been continually plunged in the abominable practice of sinning with women at the time they come to confess, and even in the place where he confessed them, after which he gave them absolution, and administered the sacrament to them!  He told them that these actions need not give them any concern, since all their fathers, the bishops, and the Pope himself, observed the same practice.’”110  Knowing the general licentiousness of the clergy, knowing the power of seduction which the confessional puts into their hands, do we need to wonder that the senate of Rome petitioned for the continuance of the licensed brothels, that thus, perchance, the purity of their homes, and the comfort of their firesides, might be safe from violation?  But what a wretched, what a deplorable, what an accursed system, to bear the abused name of Christ!  Who would not cry, with a full heart, “How long, Lord, holy and true, do you not judge them that corrupt the earth?” (Rev 6:10)  Who would not pray for the day when Babylon the Great shall be brought low,—when it shall be cast like a millstone into the sea, and shall rise no more at all?

Such is the effect of auricular confession upon morals.  But in the hands of wicked priests, all bound by the strongest ties to the Papacy, what an engine for ecclesiastical tyranny!  The “little horn” of Daniel, which every Protestant commentator of note agrees in identifying with the Man of Sin, is represented as “having eyes like the eyes of a man.”  In the Confessional, we see the astonishing significance of the prophetic emblem.  From the seven hills of the “eternal city,” the Pope sees nearly all, and knows nearly all, that goes on throughout the earth.  Every priest is one of his spies, whose grand business it is to watch, to search out, and report to head-quarters, everything that affects the interests of the Papacy, everything that may either damage its cause or promote its aggrandisement.  By means of the revelations of the Confessional, the secrets, the tempers, the weaknesses, the wickedness, of all the Roman Catholic courts of Europe are accurately known at Rome.  Yes, the see of St Peter’s is better informed of the feelings and designs of professedly Protestant sovereigns than many who are nearer home.  For where is there a Protestant court at this day, in which there is not some one or other of the confidential servants who is an adherent of the Man of Sin?  From these the confessor, in the discharge of his recognised duty, can extract all that it concerns his church to know; and thus Protestant or Roman Catholic princes shall not utter a whisper in their bed-chamber, but the echo of it shall be heard at Rome.  By the means of auricular confession, the Pope is in reality the universal Overseer of ‘Christendom.’  By these means “coming events cast their shadows before” in the Vatican, long before they elsewhere appear above the horizon.  By these means he knows how to set one sovereign against another, so as to break the power of those who oppose him; by these, he knows when to speak, and when to be silent; when it will most further his ends to promote rebellion in Ireland, and when, as he did about a year ago, to issue his mandate to his vassals in that country “to obey the powers that be.”

In every respect, then, the Confessional is the most cunningly devised instrument that hell itself could invent, at once for debauching the minds both of clergy and people, and binding them all in the most abject bondage to the throne of Antichrist.

6.  Prayer for the dead, that fertile source of superstition among the people, and of wealth to the priests, is maintained by plausible appeals to the most kindly and benevolent feelings of our nature.  If you hear, say the priests, that a friend is just dead, of whose fitness for heaven you have anxious fears, what is the first prompting of your heart with regard to him?  Is it not to wish that his soul may be safe?  And if to wish, why not to pray?  May not this instinctive feeling of nature be the voice of God within you, calling you to supplication in his behalf?  And can it be right, indeed, is it not cruel, to check the feelings of humanity in regard to one who is dear to you, but of whose preparation for blessedness you have no assurance?  Supposing prayer should do no good, what harm could it do?  Thus does popery insinuate itself in angel guise; and thus are unstable souls beguiled into the meshes of Romanism at this day.  The proposition in this form seems not so very formidable; but once you give way in this matter to the blind impulse of feeling, you have commenced your descent on that inclined plane which will speedily land you in all the absurdities of purgatory.  The whole tenor of God’s Word implies that at death men enter an unchangeable state, such that “he who is holy then is holy still, and that he who is filthy then is filthy still.” (Rev 22:11)  To suppose that those who depart this life unfit for heaven, can be rendered fit through our prayers, masses and indulgences is subversive of the whole Gospel.  If we can only believe that sinners dying in unpardoned sin can somehow get their sin pardoned after death, it is easy to take the next step, and to believe that the pardon comes after passing through penal suffering or purgatorial fire.  Grant the existence of purgatory, and the efficacy of prayers for the dead, and you have granted to the priests all that they need for drawing to themselves the wealth of the world.  What would a rich man with a burdened conscience, on his dying bed, not give, if he was persuaded that, by leaving that money, which he can no longer keep, for prayers and masses for his soul, he should save himself from torment, or mitigate and shorten his anguish after death?  What sacrifices would affectionate relatives not make for the repose of their departed friends if they really believed that priestly prayers and masses would deliver them from misery”

This doctrine of purgatory is the very climax, the capstone of the grand fabric of the Mystery of Iniquity.  While it flourished, wealth unbounded flowed into the coffers of Rome.  In one church of that city, the church of St Paul’s, such was the concourse of strangers during the dark ages, that according to Gibbon, two priests stood night and day, with rakes in their hands, to collect without counting, the heaps of gold that were poured on the altar.111  Goods, and money, and houses, and lands, were bequeathed to the church for this purpose; and had not the statute of Mortmain interfered, the whole property of England would have been swallowed up by the rapacious clergy.  It is one of the ominous signs of the present day, that the statute which even Popish monarchs found it absolutely necessary for the safety of the state to enact, in order that bounds might be set to the rapacity of the church, is now being relaxed or repealed by Protestant legislators, and that for the express purpose of allowing facilities for the aggrandizement of the Church of Rome.  How true is the maxim of Coleridge, that “experience is like a lantern on the stern, that shines only on the waves behind us!”  If it was only of their wealth that men were cheated by this figment of purgatory, the evil is comparatively slight.  But the ruin which it works to men’s souls is infinitely more momentous.  It checks repentance, it emboldens men in sin, it encourages them to lead an ungodly life, in the vain hope of atoning for it after death.  No wonder, then, that all popish countries are overrun with immorality.
But from how apparently small a seed, in this, as in the other cases already specified, did so great a harvest of evil spring.  It was this that made the Mystery of Iniquity so successful in deceiving the world.  Had the hideous system appeared at once in all its deformity, “full formed, with warning rattle, and hissing tongue,” men would have been on their guard, they would have been frightened, they would have been roused to exertion to check its progress.  But coming as it did with so much that was plausible, with so little to alarm any but those who were spiritually enlightened, few gave themselves any concern as to its progress, and it was allowed to take its course.  Thus the Alpine snowball, which rolls down the mountain’s side, is at first trifling, and fitted to inspire but little alarm; but, as it passes from steep to steep, accumulating as it goes, it appals the spectator, mocks opposition, and at last overwhelms in ruin towns and villages.112
Popery has not forgotten the way in which it gained its early triumphs.  It still works with “all the deceptions of iniquity in those who are perishing.” (2Th 2:10)  Whenever it is necessary, it can disguise, it can suppress, it can soften down its revolting principles.  It can suit itself to all times and circumstances.  Without abandoning even one of its essential doctrines, it can profess liberality with liberals, and shout for reform with reformers.  While stigmatizing the principle of private judgement as one of the “rude errors of the reformation,” it can talk of the rights of conscience, and gain credit as an advocate of civil and religious liberty.113  While acting on the maxim that ignorance is the mother of devotion, it can manage to get itself extolled as the ardent friend of universal education.  All that is “lovely, and fair, and of good report,” it will counterfeit, that it may deceive the nations, that it may bring them to worship at its shrine; that it may have the power to trample all knowledge, all virtue, all freedom in the dust.  One reason that so many in the present day allow themselves to be imposed upon by it, is because they have forgotten the name by which the Spirit of God has described it.  They forget that it is “The Mystery of Iniquity.”  Without keeping this grand truth constantly before us, we shall never be able to understand its plans, its policy, its professions.  With this clue in our hand, we may be guided safely through many a labyrinth.





The Lawless One

2 Thessalonians 2:8.

And then the Iniquity will be revealed, which our Lord Jeshua will consume with a breath from His mouth and He will destroy him with the revelation of His coming.


The name “Iniquity,” by which the Man of Sin is here characterised from the Aramaic, signifies in the Greek manuscript, the Lawless One,114 and is wonderfully descriptive of the pretensions of the papacy.  The pope claims an exemption from all law, natural and revealed, human and divine; and in this respect popery is even worse than heathenism itself.  “The Gentiles, who had not” the revealed law of God, felt bound by their own consciences, to do much that was “contained in the law.” (Rom 2:14)  But popery uproots at once the law of nature and the law of the Bible, and substitutes the mere will of the pope in its stead.  While every soul is bound to obey the pope, the pope is bound by no law, either of God or of man.  This the popes and their parasites have asserted again and again.  Pope Innocent III., for instance, declared that “he could dispense above the law of God, and of injustice could make justice.”115  “If the pope,” said Boniface VIII.,  “regardless of his own salvation, and of the salvation of his brethren, should be found unprofitable, and carry with him innumerable people in troops to the devil, no mortal is to presume to reprove his faults, for he being judge of all, is to be judged by none.”116  Cardinal Bellarmine, one of the highest authorities in the Papal Church, does not hesitate to say, “that the Pope does whatever he wishes, even things unlawful, and is more than God.”  And again, “Though the Pope should err in enjoining vices and prohibiting virtues, yet would the Church be bound to believe the vices to be virtues, if it would avoid sinning against its own conscience.”117  These are no random or inconsiderate expressions.  They are the necessary assertion of the power which the Pope is well known to exercise.  It is unquestionable that the Pope has directly annulled some of the acknowledged laws of God.  He has had the daring presumption to lay his hand on the decalogue, and to erase from it the second commandment.  Even in catechisms published within the British Islands, the second commandment is altogether expunged.  In Dr James Butler’s, for instance, the two first commandments are literally given thus: “Q. Say the ten commandments of God?  A. 1.  I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before me.  2.  You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.”118
He has treated the fourth commandment in an equally sacrilegious manner.  He has abrogated the holy rest of the Sabbath, and appointed other sacred times of his own.  In the catechisms published by authority in Italy, “Remember to keep the feasts,” is substituted for the solemn injunction of the Lord, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” thus identifying himself with the little horn, that ‘thinks to change times and laws.”119

[CHCoG – There is yet more to this: Not only has the papacy changed Jehovah’s seventh-day Sabbath rest to Sunday, the first day of week, they have replaced all of God’s Feasts, listed in Leviticus chapter 23, with Christmas, Easter, the Assumption, etc, etc.

In contrast to the essentially meaningless papal ‘appointed times’, God’s reveal his entire Plan of Salvation, beginning with the sacrifice of His Son Jesus in the Passover, the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the soon-coming Great Tribulation followed by the Millennium of Peace, and concluding with the Great White Throne Judgement and the creation of the New Heavens and Earth in the Last Great Day.  You can learn more about these things in The Sabbath in Scripture, Rome’s Challenge: Why Do Protestants Keep Sunday?, and God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah.]

The pope claims power to forbid what God permits, and to permit what God forbids:  “If anyone shall say,” says the Council of Trent, “that those degrees only of consanguinity and affinity which are expressed in Scripture can hinder marriage from being contracted, or render it void when it has been contracted, or that the Church has not the power of dispensing in some of those degrees, and determining that others shall hinder or destroy, let him be accursed.”120  Who but the Lawless One could assert such a doctrine?  And not only does the Man of Sin give his sanction to incestuous marriages to those who can afford to pay for them, but the ground on which such base transactions are defended stamps him with additional infamy.  “A dispensation,” says Dens, “is granted for certain reasonable causes which are styled sine causa (without cause), namely, when a noble person, or one of honourable family asks a dispensation without stating the particular ground, and then a greater pecuniary tax is imposed, to be converted to pious uses.  St Thomas observes that this implies no respect of persons; because the public safety depends more on the powerful than on the common people; and it specially concerns the Church to have the more powerful not opposed to her, but favourable and under obligations to her.”121

It has been often represented as a calumny against the Church of Rome to say that it maintains the principle that the “end sanctifies the means,” but here, amid much hypocritical casuistry, the doctrine is broadly laid down.  The grand end to be aimed at is the interest of “the Church;” the means for the attainment of that end is the “favour” of the great and the “powerful;” and that favour is to be secured by granting authority, without asking questions, and without the least knowledge of the circumstances, for the contracting of marriages, however impure, however incestuous.  It was, doubtless, on this principle that Pope Clement VII. offered Henry VIII. a dispensation to have two wives at the same time.  The pretext about “converting the money to pious uses,” and the attempt to elude the charge of having “respect to persons,” are too glaring to impose upon any man of common discernment.  On the principle here laid down, there is no villany that may not be sanctioned; not one of the eternal laws of God that may not be trampled on.

Now, it is vain to say that this is a mere private opinion of Dens, and that the papacy is not answerable for it.  The principle here propounded is not half so grossly asserted as it is by the society of the Jesuits, which, after its suppression in the last century, has in the beginning of this, been solemnly re-established by Papal authority, as the ablest bulwark of the faith of Rome.122  The most distinguished advocates of Jesuitism, as shown by the celebrated Pascal, subvert all law, human and Divine, in their writings.  Their whole system is framed for the purpose of exalting the papacy on the ruins alike of morality and true religion.  Provided the authority of Rome is submitted to, it is directly taught that the love of God, and the love of man, may equally be dispensed with.  Incredible as it might seem, the fact is undeniable.
In proof of the first statement, that the love of God, which is the sum of all moral law, is completely set aside, let the reader only peruse the following passages from Pascal: “When, asks Escobar, is a person obliged to cherish a real affection for God?  Suarez says,  It is sufficient to love him a little previous to the moment of death.  Vasquez, that it is enough to love him in the very moment of dying; osters, at baptism; some, at the seasons of contrition; others, upon festivals.  Hurtado de Mendoza states that we are under an obligation to love God once in a year, and that we are kindly treated in not being obliged to do it more frequently.  But Father Conink believes that we are under an obligation to do so once in three or four years; and Filiutius says it is probable that we are not rigorously obliged to it every five years.  When then?  This question he refers to a wise man’s own judgement.”123  This of itself is bad enough; but Suarez goes on to argue at great length, that “we are not so much commanded to love God, as not to hate him.”  Incredibly, this exemption from loving God is represented as the great benefit or advantage which Christians have above the Jews, in consequence of the incarnation and death of the Son of God.  Well does Pascal indignantly exclaim, “What!  Will the blood of Jesus Christ procure us an exemption from loving him?  Before the incarnation, mankind was obliged to love God; but since God so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son, shall the world, thus mercifully redeemed by him, be discharged from loving him?  Strange divinity of our times!  To dare to take off the curse which Paul pronounces against those who love not the Lord Jesus! . . .  This is the Mystery of Iniquity complete!  Open your eyes at last, my good father, and if the former errors of your casuists are not discernible enough to strike you, may these last withdraw you by their glaring impieties.”124
But the love of man is as thoroughly made void, as is the love of God.  Hear what the ‘holy fathers’ say of the feelings which children may entertain towards their parents.  “For what concerns love,” Dicastillus says, “that it is not altogether certain that a child can lawfully desire the death of his father, or rejoice in it, because of the inheritance that may come to him thereby; but he believes that he sins not mortally in rejoicing, not in his death, considered as an evil to his father but as a lawful means appointed by God, for him to obtain the succession; not because some evil befell the father, but some good to the son.”125  Tambourin takes up and discusses the same question, and at once boldly determines it in the affirmative.  “If you desire,’‘ says he, “the death of your father upon some condition, the answer is easy, that you lawfully may.  For if one should say in himself if my father should die, I should enjoy his estate, in this case he would not rejoice in his father’s death, but in his inheritance.”126
After this way of treating the first commandment with promise, we need not be surprised that all the other commandments of the second tablet are allowed to be unscrupulously trampled on whenever occasion may require.  And when such a lawful occasion may occur, no one need be at a loss to determine.  “A person,” says Basil Pontius, quoted and approved by Father Bauny, in his treatise on penance, “may seek an occasion to sin directly and by itself primo et per se,  when either our own temporal or spiritual good, or that of our neighbour demands it.”127  The insertion of the “good of our neighbour” is here of course nothing more than a blind.  How do they carry out their doctrine?  Listen to the principle which they lay down for the regulation of those to whom is committed the administration of justice.  “A judge,” they say, “owes justice to all, and therefore he cannot sell it; but he does not owe injustice; and therefore he may sell that.128  The Jesuits have always been particularly accommodating to great men, and men in authority; but they set no bounds to the privileges of the clergy.  There are no principles of morality which they may not warrantably despise when the interests of their order are concerned.  “Upon what occasions,” asks one of their Catechisms, “may a monk quit his habit, without incurring excommunication?” and the answer is given, “Among many others, if he quit it for any disgraceful reason, as to turn pickpocket, to frequent houses of illfame, &c.”129  Lying is constantly inculcated as a most legitimate means of self-defence against scandalous charges.  “It is certain,” says Caramuel, “it is a probable opinion, (i.e. an opinion on which one may safely act) that it is no mortal sin to bring a false accusation for the purpose of preserving one’s honour, for it is maintained by upwards of twenty grave doctors, Gaspar, Hurtado, Dicastillus, &c.  Hence, if it be not probable, there is scarcely anyone that is so, in the whole system of divinity.”130  Indeed, not merely lying, but murder itself, may be had recourse to for this purpose: “A priest, or a monk,” says Father Lamy, “is allowed to kill a calumniator who threatens to publish scandalous crimes of their society, or of themselves, if there exist no other means of prevention.”131  Will any one say that these maxims are exploded?  They have been inculcated in recent times, and have brought forth their appropriate fruit, as the following case from the Foreign Quarterly Review will show: —


“In 1813, the very year before Jesuitism was formally restored, Francis Salis Riembauer, priest of Priel, in the neighbourhood of Munich, was tried, condemned, and executed for the murder of his servant maid, Anna Maria Eichstadter, who was with child to him.  Before his execution, he made public confession of the motive that induced him to commit the bloody deed.  The young woman having threatened to publish his sin, ‘I thought’ said he, “of the doctrine of Father Benedict Stattler, in his Ethica Christiana, which holds it lawful to take away the life of another when there exists no other way of preserving our reputation; for reputation is more valuable than life itself; and we may defend it against an attack, as we should defend ourselves against a murderer.’  “Of one or both of us,’ reasoned Riembauer, “the hour is come,’ and tranquillized by the doctrine of the Jesuit, he re-entered the room, seized his victim, and completed his crime with barbarity, the details of which we willingly pass over.  ‘While she lay on the ground,’ said he, ‘I administered to her spiritual consolation, till her feet began to quiver, and her last breath departed.  I know no more of this sad story, but my deep grief and silent lamentation; and that I often since applied masses for her soul.’  “How completely,” adds the Reviewer, “does this last expression reveal the idea which this wretch had of the rites of religion, when he talks of applying a mass or two, as an apothecary would, of applying an ointment or a plaster.”132


Such is Jesuitism.  Such was it in the days of Pascal; such is it in the present day.  About the middle of the last century, when public attention was strongly called to the subject, and the immorality of the system exposed, the Jesuits fell under a storm of popular indignation.  They were driven in succession from Portugal, from France, from Spain, from Naples, and from all the Roman Catholic nations of Europe.  The pope himself was compelled to suppress the society, and 326 different publications of their writers were, by order of the parliament of Paris, in 1762, burnt by the hands of the common executioner.  “Of these works, all approved by three Jesuit divines,” according to the Archbishop of Malines, “17 encourage immodesty; 28 perjury; 33 theft; 36 murder; 68 regicide; 14 simony, &c.”  And yet, without the slightest change of the system, have the promoters of all this immorality been re-established by the pope, as the grand defenders of the papacy.  Indeed, as if this of itself were not enough to show the favour in which Jesuitism is held at Rome, Alphonso Liguori, whose life and energies were spent in upholding those principles from which all these abominations necessarily spring, after being canonized by Pius VII., has recently been canonized a second time, with all pomp and splendour, by the Pope.133  Thus has the Pope identified himself, and the church of which he is the head, with the wickedness of Jesuitism.  It is undeniable now that Jesuitism is Popery, and that Popery is Jesuitism.  There was once a strong party in the French church that contended for the Gallican liberties, and for much that was good and true, in opposition to the Jesuits; but now ultramontanism is nearly as rampant there as in Italy itself.  The French bishops, we are told by Michelet, even glory in being disciples of Loyola.  “We are Jesuits,” say they, “all Jesuits.”134  Now, Jesuitism being thus fostered and cherished by the Pope, it is impossible to doubt that he is “that Lawless One,” who was to set himself above all authority, and trample on all law, both human and divine.135
The people of God who would see such a system established, and the Man of Sin fully revealed, were not to be left in any doubt as to his fate.  If they had merely seen him sitting in the temple of God, showing himself that he was God, setting up kings, putting them down at his pleasure, and governing the world at his nod, without any intimation of his doom, they might have been in danger of sinking into despondency at the thought of his mighty power.  But the Lord no sooner announces his rise, than he pronounces his sentence.  He is the “Son of Perdition,” destined to destruction, “whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and destroy (or abolish136) with the brightness of his coming.” (2 Thes 2:8)  From the expression “consume137 with the spirit of his mouth,” some have taken up the notion that popery would perish by a gradual consumption, that light and knowledge would more and more spread throughout Christendom, that the Man of Sin himself would be converted, and that the whole system of Papal superstition would gently and easily melt away.



“Leviathan is not so tamed.”


The Bible leads us to anticipate a very different doom for apostate Rome.  The angel whom John saw announcing its end took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying,  “Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.” (Rev 18:21)  It is not by the progress of knowledge, it is not by the Holy Spirit, that the “Lawless One” is to be consumed.  It is by Jehovah God’s desolating judgements that he is to be brought low.  In all the parallel texts where the same form of expression is used as that employed here, it is not reformation, but judgement that is referred to.  Thus, for instance, Eliphaz speaks of the destruction of the wicked: “By the blast of God they perish; and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.” (Job 4:9)  Isaiah, speaking of the reign of the Messiah, and perhaps referring to this very event, says: “With righteousness he shall judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.  He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” (Isa 11:4).

And in the Apocalypse we are told; “Out of his mouth goes a sharp two-edged sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” (Rev 19:15)  It is not conversion, then, but destruction that awaits apostate Rome; and therefore the voice from heaven, before her end, cries, “Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you partake not of her plagues.” (Rev 18:4)  Yes; though her excellency mount up to the heavens, and her head reach unto the clouds, “she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is Lord Jehovah who judges her.”


“Rome shall perish, write that word.

In the blood that she has spilt,

Perish hopeless and abhorred.

Deep in ruin as in guilt.”


The question here arises.  Will this judgement be inflicted by Christ in person, or through his ordinary providence?  This is a question which I will not venture positively to determine.  When I look at the first verse of Second Thessalonians chapter two, and find Paul saying, “I beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to him,” which without doubt refers to his personal coming, I am inclined to think that he must refer to the same event here, when he says that the Man of Sin is “to be destroyed by the brightness of Christ’s coming.”  But when I observe, on the other hand, that in the very verse that follows the present, he uses the very same term to designate the coming of Antichrist, which unquestionably is not a local or personal coming, but the prevalence of a system, I am led to pause before departing from the common interpretation; and the rather, because the doctrine of Christ’s personal reign is encumbered with difficulties which I feel myself unable to remove.  Without, therefore, speaking dogmatically, I would incline to the opinion, that while fearful judgements will be inflicted upon the head and members of the Roman church, “the brightness of Christ’s coming” or in other words the clear shining of gospel lights that shall at the same time be vouchsafed, will “abolish” every trace of the anti-christian system, and usher in the time when “the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea,” (Hab 2:14) when “men shall be blessed in Christ, when all nations shall call him blessed.” (Psalm 72:17)


[CHCoG – There are two points here where we do not agree with Hislop.  First, he has throughout this book clearly shown that antichrist is the papacy, which most specifically is the pope.  He also shows that the antichrist is the Man of Sin and the Son of Perdition, and he is never called the System of Sin or System of Perdition.  Indeed, the pope has set up a system to implement his plans.  But that massive systemRoman Catholicismis merely his tool.  The Bible states that there are many antichrists, (2 John 2:18) and the Roman Church tells us that so far there have been 266 popes.  With the exception of Peter, who was NEVER a pope, and a few antipopes, they were all antichrists, and each one was filled with the same demonic spirit when they became pope, and pursued the same pattern of iniquity. (Rev 16:13-14)  THE Antichrist will be the final pope, who will be more powerful and corrupt than any of his predecessors, and through his “Mother Church” will also be the ‘woman’ who rides on the beast of Revelation 17.

Second, we believe that Jesus (Jeshua in the Aramaic) will personally return, leading his resurrected saints to conquer the earth and set up his kingdom upon it.  He will rule the earth from Jerusalem throughout the Millennium, as shown in Acts 1:9-11, 1 Thes 4:14-18, Rev 20:1-9 & Psalm 37:9-11.  Our Holy Day Service Transcript series explain this in more detail.]




Satan’s Energy, The Man of Sin’s Signs and Lying Wonders.

2 Thessalonians 2:9.

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all POWER, AND SIGNS, AND LYING WONDERS.


We have here a distinct intimation, both of the real author of the apostacy, and of one of the grand engines he would make use of in promoting it.

1.  The Devil is expressly declared to be the author of Popery.  “The coming of the Man of Sin,” says Paul, “is after the working of Satan.”  It was not mere human wisdom that was to be concerned in planning—not mere human agency employed in carrying out the system of antichrist.  The system was to be concocted in hell, and the archfiend was to organize and direct its movements.  Ambitious and wicked churchmen have been Satan’s tools; but from the beginning he has himself been actively engaged in the management of the whole machinery of the Mystery of Iniquity.  Indeed, it is here intimated that his chief strength would be put forth in the Apostacy.  “The working of Satan,” in the Greek, is “the energy or mighty power of Satan;” and Popery may most justly be characterized, as it has been by Cecil, as “Satan’s masterpiece.” As the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation,” so Popery is emphatically “the power of Satan unto perdition.” In leading captive the heathen, who had the mere light of reason to guide them, the enemy of souls had a comparatively easy task to perform; but after God’s Son from on high had visited mankind—after new life and immortality had been brought to light by the gospel—after the Word of God had been preached to all nations—to envelope these nations again in darkness, and worse than Pagan darkness, was a much more arduous undertaking.  This was the object to which Satan addressed himself; and this, in the unsearchable wisdom of God, was he permitted to accomplish.

At the Reformation, indeed, his wonted skill seemed to desert him.  He committed blunder after blunder; and his throne seemed to totter to its knees.  But the defeat which Satan at that time sustained, has only been the means of showing more clearly the mighty resources which are at the command of his malignity.  The deadly wound inflicted on his antichristian kingdom has been almost healed; and the Papacy is revitalised with even more of the ancient “energy of Satan.”  The spread of science, the invention of printing, the march of minds, the open Bible itself, and the thousand advantages which have raised the present age intellectually above all preceding ages, have not secured anyone, including the nations of Protestant Europe, against the seductions of Rome.  Human wisdom has been trusted in; and human wisdom, as might have been expected, has been found no match for the subtlety of the old serpent, sharpened, as that subtlety is, by the experience of six thousand years.  Philosophers are amazed at the return of obsolete and exploded superstitions; and politicians, who thought to outwit the Man of Sin, find themselves duped and helpless in his hands.  The rapidity with which Popery spreads, amid all the illumination of the nineteenth century, surpasses anything ever known before.


“The growth of the Popish system,” observes an able writer, “at first was a work of ages; but in the present case, it grows more in a year than it did then in half a century.  It would seem as if the old sorceress had reserved this unparalleled effort of skill to the last.  That she should have bewitched and enslaved the comparatively barbarous tribes of Europe in the fifth and sixth centuries, or that she should have swayed a sceptre of absolute sovereignty over the dark ages, was nothing so extraordinary.  But to reconquer England, that has scoffed at the pretensions of Rome for three hundred years, to lead captive a kingdom so renowned throughout the world for its wealth and power, its intelligence and science, is an achievement that may well waken astonishment.  The conquests of her youth were paltry, when compared with the triumphs of her old age.  She has ‘painted her face, and attired her head, and looked out at her window;’ but none of the dignitaries, either in church or state, seem in the least inclined to repeat Jehu’s cry, ‘Throw her down.’”138


Thus does Rome triumph in England, the ancient home of the Reformation—the land so signally blessed by Heaven in times past for its adherence to Protestantism; and the wisest statesmen of the day, as the world counts wisdom, instead of resisting her encroachments are fain to crouch at her feet.  But how strikingly does this illustrate the Word of God!  How clearly does it prove that antichrist is upheld by “the mighty power of Satan!”  It was the knowledge of the Satanic influence pervading the system of Rome that made our ancestors dread it so much—that made John Knox, for instance, declare that he would rather hear of an army of 20,000 men landed on his native shores, than that one mass should be again celebrated in Scotland.  The Reformers knew well the enemy they had to contend with.  They knew that as the mystery of godliness is “God manifest in the flesh,” so the Mystery of Iniquity is the Devil with all his hellish craft embodied in the Papacy.

2.  False Miracles.  One of the means by which Satan was to introduce apostacy into the Christian church was false miracles.  Antichrist was to “come with signs and lying wonders;” and the Church of Rome has always made use of these, as among the approved weapons of her warfare.  In the very earliest ages of the church, as false doctrine spread, false miracles spread along with it.  The monks and hermits who were set up as paragons of superhuman virtue, tried to raise their own credit, and the credit of that system of will-worship and asceticism which they introduced, by laying claim to superhuman powers.  And in exact proportion as men departed from the faith, and the light of the gospel was obscured, did the pretensions to miraculous powers increase.  This anyone may be convinced of, who reads consecutively the ecclesiastical histories of Eusebius, Socrates, and Evagrius.  Eusebius, who details the history of the first three centuries, with the exception of the apostolic miracles, which are admitted on all hands to be divine, says comparatively little of the supernatural pretensions of the Christians.  Not that false miracles were then unknown; but they were not yet so deeply woven into the ecclesiastical system as to require to be much obtruded onto the reader.  In the narrative of Socrates, which includes the next 150 years, they become more and more frequent; and in the History of Evagrius, who brings us down to the end of the sixth century, when saint-worship was thoroughly established, and the Man of Sin was just about to be revealed, we can hardly open a page that is not full of such “lying wonders.”  Throughout the dark ages that followed, the wonder-working powers of antichrist had full scope for their development.  Many of the miracles, indeed, in the lives of the Romish saints, are mere fabrications and fictions; and never had any other foundation than the invention of the writer.  “The Golden Legend,” says Ludovicus Vives, himself a Papist, “was written by a man of an iron face and a leaden heart, and is full of most shameless lies.”139  Rome has so managed matters that she may always have abundance of this sort of miracles.  While it is indispensable to canonization that the working of miracles be alleged, no saint can be canonized, except in rare cases where money is all-powerful, till he has been dead for at least fifty years.  The holy fathers pretend to go through the form of a scrutiny into the evidence of these miracles, in circumstances in which that scrutiny must be a mere mockery.  How unlike the miraculous interventions of the apostles, which were openly asserted in the midst of those who could personally have disputed them—if to dispute them had been possible!  The Romish miracles are examined only after all who knew anything about the matter are dead and gone.  Yet even with all this in his favour, the Man of Sin has been convicted of stamping with his infallible authority, miracles that never had any shadow of foundation.  In the case of St Ignatius Loyola this is most evident.  The first who undertook to write the life of the father and founder of Jesuitism was his disciple Ribadeneira, who, while he states that he had been an eyewitness and admirer of his holy life from his youth, so far from asserting that Ignatius wrought miracles, expresses his astonishment that so holy a man had NOT the power of working miracles.  This was when Loyola had been dead only fifteen years, and when the idea of laying a foundation for the canonization of the patron saint of hypocrisy and immorality had not entered his mind.  Time, however, rolls along: the glory of the order requires that its founder should be canonized; and now, at the distance of fifty-five years from Loyola’s death, and forty years from the publication of the first edition of his life, this same Ribadeneira puts forth an abridgement, in which, for the first time, he declares that Ignatius had the power of working miracles!  Such a statement, in such circumstances, evidently bears on its face the marks of fabrication.  Thousands of the stories of miracles to be found in the lives of the Romish saints had unquestionably no higher origin.  They were not, properly speaking, “lying wonders,” but simply “lies.”
But popery, nevertheless, has had false miracles in abundance, which imposed even upon those who witnessed them.  Its priests, monopolizing for centuries all the knowledge that was, and keeping the people in abject ignorance, have successfully deluded them into the belief of their supernatural powers.  This they have done in two ways: either by dexterously contriving matters, so as to make it appear that what happened in the natural course of God’s providence was done in direct answer to their prayers or by juggling tricks and downright impostures.  In the first case, suppose an epidemic prevails in a city; they watch the progress of the scourge; they acquaint themselves accurately with its ravages; they make it a point to ascertain the moment it has reached its height.  Immediately, the aids of superstition are invoked: the Virgin or some favourite saint is publicly supplicated to arrest the pestilence: the disease subsides, and the saint and his ministers are rewarded and blessed for their seasonable interference.  Such, without doubt, was the way in which “the miraculous image” of the Virgin arrested the progress of the cholera at Ancona.140  Such is the approved method by which a conflagration is checked in Roman Catholic countries, and power and wealth secured to the priests.  Of such a mode of extinguishing a fire as practised at Granada while he was there, Inglis gives the following lively description in his Tour in Spain.  “The noise,” says he, “still continued, and the fire not being speedily got under control by human efforts, stronger measures were resorted to.  The sound of bells and trumpets was exchanged for the song of monks.  I heard the monotonous hum from several quarters; lights in long lines were seen approaching; and soon one procession, and then another headed by a silver Virgin, or a wooden saint, crossed the Plaza; and all the while the streets were paraded by single friars, each tinkling a little bell and crying aloud, “Holy Mary!  Blessed Virgin, save this city!”  This proved effectual, for the fire was subdued before morning.  I need scarcely add, that before the procession issued from the convent, a hint had been received that the fire would speedily be got under control—and who can be surprised that the brethren of St Francis and St Dominick should seize so excellent an opportunity of publishing a miracle?”141

This is one way in which Rome has deluded the people.  But it is by the other, by her juggleries and impostures, that she has especially earned for herself the character given her in the Apocalypse, of deceiving the nations “by her sorceries.”  Individuals in her pay have been trained to counterfeit disease, that she might have the merit of instantaneously healing them.  Of this kind was the last miracle publicly attempted by the supporters of the Papacy in Scotland.  To prop up their tottering cause, public notice was given that on a certain day they would put the truth of their religion to the test, by curing a young man who had been born blind, at the chapel of our Lady of Loretto, near Musselburgh.  The appointed day came; a crowd collected to witness the miracle; and there too was produced the young man, apparently stone blind, accompanied by a procession of monks.  The Virgin was solemnly invoked, and immediately, to the astonishment of the spectators, the blind youth recovered his sight.  There was one among the crowd, however, who suspected some deception.  Colville of Cleish, who ardently supported the Reformation, found means, after the ceremonial of the day was over, to bring the young man to his house, locked him up in his room, and drew from him the whole secret.  The lad confessed that then a boy, he had learnt the trick of turning up the whites of his eyes, and keeping them in that position, so as to appear blind; that the monks, becoming aware of this, had first sent him out to act the part of a blind beggar, and then when the public were familiarised with his appearance in that capacity, had brought him forward to exhibit in him a proof of their wonder-working powers.  “To confirm his narrative,’” says M’Crie, the lad “played his payvie before Colville, by flipping up the lids of his eyes and casting up the white, to perfection.  Upon this Colville exposed the whole story, and made the young man repeat it at the cross of Edinburgh, to the confusion of the whole fraternity of monks and friars; who would, no doubt, have wreaked their vengeance upon their former tool, and made him blind enough, had not Cleish stood beside him with his drawn sword, placed him when he had done on his own horse, and carried him off to Fife.”

The impostures which were practised on the benighted people during the dark ages would hardly be credible, if we had not indubitable evidence of the facts.  “In those days,” says Bishop Jewell, “idols could go on foot, roods could speak, bells could ring alone, images could come down and light their own candles; dead stocks could sweat and bestir themselves; they could turn their eyes, they could move their hands, they could open their mouths, they could set bones and knit sinews; they could heal the sick, and raise the dead.  These miracles were contrivances and subtleties, and indeed no miracles.  The tongues by which they spoke, the strings and wires by which they moved their faces and their hands, and all the rest of their treachery, have been disclosed.”142  Nor have these impostures been brought to light only by Protestants.  The feuds subsisting between the different orders in the Romish Church have helped not a little to unveil the nakedness of the whole system, and expose the lying wonders of the Man of Sin.  About the year 1509, an acrimonious controversy was carried on in the city of Berne in Switzerland, between the Franciscans and Dominicans, about the immaculate conception of the Virgin.  The warfare was waged for some time with doubtful success; but at length to the astonishment of the faithful, it seemed fairly determined by the Virgin herself.  One day, on some solemn occasion, when the worshippers were assembled in crowds in the chapel of the Dominicans, a prodigy appeared.  All eyes are arrested by seeing the image of the Virgin in tears.  While they gaze, their wonder is raised to the highest pitch.  The image of the infant Jesus is heard to speak: “Mother, why do you weep?” “How can I but weep,*’ replies the Virgin, “when men attribute that honour to me which belongs to you alone?”  The Virgin herself thus repudiates the idea of her immaculate conception; and the Dominicans triumph.  Their triumphing, however, is only for a moment.  Their adversaries, the Franciscans, are not to be so foiled.  Knowing what they would do in a like case themselves, they suspect some cheat.  They have their wits about them, and by means of a deserter from the Franciscan convent, the whole trick is disclosed.  It is discovered that there was a communication between the images and an adjoining cell by means of a tube, and that a friar stationed in that cell, and speaking through the tube, had been the author of the miracle that so astonished the multitude.  Bishop Burnett informs us, in his book of travels, that at the time when he visited Berne, the hole through which the friar spoke was still to be seen.143

In recent times, when light has abounded, the Roman Catholic priests have been rather more cagey about their miracles; but they have never failed to have recourse to them whenever they thought they might safely do so.  Even the Jansenists, notwithstanding their superior morality and decided leaning to evangelism, seem, in this respect, to have been deeply infected with the poison of Antichrist, and to have thought it quite legitimate to meet fraud with counter-fraud.  The miracle wrought by the “Holy Thorn” on Marguerite Perier, the niece of the illustrious Pascal, was beyond doubt of the same nature as the other lying wonders of Romanism; and it seems certain that that which gave the death-blow to Jansenism in France was not so much the power of hostile princes, and the bulls of anathematising popes as the exposure made by its adversaries, the Jesuits, of the frauds practised by its adherents, who resorted for miraculous cures to the tomb of the Abbé Paris.

The pretensions to miraculous powers on the part of Roman Catholics of late years have been decidedly on the increase.  The miracles of Maria Mörl and Domenica Lazzari that gained so much eclat in Austria and which were so confidently vouched by Lord Shrewsbury, have been recently repeated in Ireland under the patronage of Father Foley, a priest in Youghal.  But what was hailed in Papal Austria as a signal proof of the miraculous interference of heaven, when subjected to the keen scrutiny of Irish Protestants, has been so thoroughly proved to be an arrant cheat that the leading Romanists themselves have been compelled to disavow those who were concerned in it.  Yet in spite of all the exposures that have been made of the “pious frauds” of the Romish Church, she asserts at this moment as strongly as ever she did in her palmiest days, her possession of miraculous powers.  The following extract from Mumford’s Catholic Scripturist, recommended by Bishop Murdoch of Glasgow, only in 1841, as a “work of undoubted orthodoxy,” may show how absurd is the idea now adopted by many, that popery is changed and reformed:—“Let no man think that miracles now cease.  All England knows that our kings, by touching with certain ceremonies, cured the king’s evil; and all France knows their kings do so to this day.  The first for St Edward’s sake; the other for St Lewis’s. . . .  Believe to find no true belief where there are no true miracles.”  Miracles then, on the authority of this “work of undoubted orthodoxy,” are still, according to Rome, the marks of the true church.  What kind of miracles those were which were wrought for the sake of St Edward and St Lewis, no intelligent reader need be told.  But here we have Rome, out of her own mouth, convicted of bearing the mark of the Man of Sin, “whose coming was to be after the working of Satan, with power, and signs, and lying wonders.”





Conclusion.  Active Deceptions Accompanying the Apostacy.

2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.

And with all the deceptions of iniquity in those who are perishing, for they did not receive the love of the truth, that they would have life.  Because of this God sent them ACTIVE DECEPTIONS, that they will believe lies.  They will be judged: all those who did not believe the truth but chose iniquity.”



The subtlety of Satan is great; the means which he employs for deceiving the nations and bringing them under bondage to Antichrist are well fitted to accomplish that end; but there is another element to be considered in accounting for the spread of popery that has yet come before us.  It is the result of judicial decisions and delusions. The chief reason that anti-christian error ravaged the church at first is not to be found in the weakness of men’s minds, nor in the mere natural depravity of the human heart, nor the cunning devices of Satan; but in the fact of their ingratitude and misapplication of privilege.  “God had given them up to a reprobate mind.”  The Gospel is God’s best and chiefest gift to the world. It demands the affections of the heart; it is worthy of them.  If, therefore, when it is proclaimed to a people, they do not surrender their hearts to it, it is at their peril.  Now the great multitude of  professors in the Christian church soon began to hold the truth in unrighteousness.  They wished, at one and the same time, to serve God and mammon.  They made the doctrines of Christianity matters of barren speculation.  While the truth entered their heads and played about their imaginations, they did not allow it to influence their lives and conduct.  And thus they became the prey of Antichrist; “they did not receive the love of the truth, that they would have life.  Because of this God sent them active deceptions, that they will believe lies”  Without bearing this in mind, it will hardly be possible to account for the firm hold which popery maintains on its votaries.  It makes larger draughts on their credulity than any other form of idolatry, than even Paganism itself ever did.  What, for instance, can be compared with the outrageous and irrational dogma of transubstantiation?  “I have taken some pains,” said Sheffield, duke of Buckingham, when pressed by the popish priests of James VII. to turn papist, “I have taken some pains to believe in God, who made the world, and all men in it; but I shall not be easily persuaded that man is quits [equal], and makes God again.”  But this is substantially what every papist believes.  He believes that his priest, by the pronunciation of four Latin words, converts a piece of bread into the body and blood, along with the soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ.144  And this he believes in defiance of the plainest evidence of his senses to the contrary.  His senses of sight, and touch, and taste, and smell all combine to assure him that the bread remains bread exactly as it was before; but, nevertheless, on the bare word of his priest, he believes that after consecration, not a particle of bread is left, but that the Lord of glory himself is literally present before him, under the form and appearance of the wafer!  A belief such as this can spring from nothing but the most monstrous delusion.

The circumstances, too, in which many nominal Protestants in recent times have allowed themselves either to be carried over to popery, or to give their strength to the beast, forcibly illustrate the language of the prediction.  With regard to the former, what, for instance could be a more gross delusion, than that which was exhibited in the case of Antony Ulric, the late duke of Brunswick?  This prince had lived the most of his life in the profession of Protestantism.  In his old age he became papist, and published his reasons for doing so.  There were no fewer than fifty; but the last, and that which weighed with him above all, was this, that all “the Catholics to whom he spoke on the subject of his conversion, assured him, that if he was damned for embracing the Catholic faith, they were ready to answer for him at the day of judgment and take his damnation upon themselves:”  “An assurance,” adds the duke, “I could never extort from the ministers of any sect, in case I should live and die in their religion; whence I inferred that the Roman Catholic faith was built upon a better foundation than any of those sects that have divided from it!!”  Could anyone draw such an inference, could any one stake his salvation upon such a hazard as one who was “given up to active deception to believe a lie”?

The way in which Mr Pitt persuaded himself that it was right and fit for a Protestant government to endow the popish college of Maynooth bears equally palpable marks of judicial infatuation.  The opponents of that measure maintained, on the testimony, not only of history, but of God’s infallible Word, that the emissaries of Rome taught immoral and antisocial doctrines and in particular, were distinguished for “speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their consciences seared with a hot iron.”  Mr Pitt was bent upon carrying his point.  How was this argument to be disposed of?  Did he listen to the dictates of Scripture?  Did he carefully enquire whether these things were so”  No; he treated the Scriptural argument with contempt; and although one of the main charges against Rome was that it trampled upon truth whenever its interests were thereby to be promoted, he applied to sundry professors of divinity in the universities of that very apostate Church, such as Louvain, Alcala, &c, to resolve the question, whether it was true that they held it lawful to break faith with heretics or not.  The government of Great Britain were at that time guilty of the very crime of which the king of Israel was guilty, when, despising the oracle of God, he sent to inquire of the god of Ekron, and drew down upon himself the prophetic denunciation of Elijah: “Thus says Jehovah: ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of the LORD of the Flies, the god of Ekron?  Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.” (2 Kings 1:6)

To me it seems that at that very period, the constitution of this once Protestant country, which had long before been enfeebled by the policy of irreligious statesmen, received an uncurable wound.  Having set at nought the wisdom of God, it was a righteous thing in Him, whom our rulers had contemned, to turn their wisdom into foolishness, and to give them up to a gross and palpable delusion.  And what infatuation could be greater than to receive as decisive of the question, the testimony of men whose own veracity was impeached by the very enquiry that was put to them?  “May we heretics implicitly rely on the word of a papist?” said Mr Pitt to the popish professors.  “Yes, most assuredly,” replied the grave and reverend seigniors.145  Mr Pitt and his government were satisfied, and that course of policy was openly and avowedly entered upon, that has left very few traces of Protestantism in the British constitution.
And do not the circumstances in which the recent favours were heaped on the priests of Rome demonstrate that the same judicial infatuation still operates on men in power in full force?  What is there in the present doings of that apostate church to give the slightest colour to the plea that the persecuting spirit of popery is changed?  Is it the eight months’ imprisonment of Dr Kalley in the dungeon of Funchal for speaking to the Portuguese on religion in his own house,146 the sentence of death pronounced on Maria Joaquina for holding it unlawful to worship the Virgin; the condemnation of Ensign Maclachlan to six months imprisonment in Malta, for accidentally dropping a few walnut shells out of his window into the street while the host was passing; the renewed cruelty and oppression practised on the unoffending Waldenses, or the devastation carried by fire and sword over the lovely isles of the South Sea for their adherence to God’s word and to Protestantism?
All these things have taken place within the last few years, and they are known to the whole world.  Providence seems to have so ordered it that the real character of popery should be more unequivocally developed at this moment than it has been for more than a century past.  And yet at this very time the leading statesmen of the age are firmly persuaded that the only way to promote the peace and prosperity of Protestant Britain is to give power and compensation to that blood-thirsty church.  Indeed, though Popery is at present revealed in all its nakedness, multitudes brought up in the bosom of a church long regarded as the bulwark of Protestantism seem to be rushing as fast as they can into the embraces of the Mother of Harlots.  Amid all the boasted science of the age, Protestants are lighting wax candles at noonday, bowing down before wooden crosses, “turning to the east when reading prayers, and to the south when reading lessons;”147 and not a few are going over bodily to Rome.  How is this to be accounted for?  How comes it that Popery spreads with such unprecedented rapidity at the present day?  The language of the prediction before us furnishes the answer.  There had been a revival of evangelical religion.  Under the ministry of such men as Romaine and Berridge, and Newton and Scott, the gospel was powerfully and faithfully preached and pressed on the consciences and hearts of men.  But while the name of Evangelism became fashionable, its paramount claims were practically set at nought by the vast majority of those who professed it.  The consequence was what the Spirit of God had denounced: “Because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved,, for this cause God has sent them strong delusion that they should believe a lie.”

There are many who think, when they hear of the revival of popery in the south, and of the probability of its spread throughout the land, that there is no fear for them: that they are too rational, too enlightened to be in any danger of being carried away by its gross superstitions.  But it is very possible that such may find themselves mistaken.  If they trust only in their own wisdom, they are leaning on a broken reed.  Many of those in England who are now mad upon their idols, were, only ten or fifteen years ago, as little likely, to all appearance, to become the slaves of superstition, as those who now flatter themselves on their imaginary security, and would have laughed to scorn any who at that time should have told them that they would ever turn into, what by this time they have actually become: decieved Romanists.  Dr Pusey himself began his career as a Rationalist.

But it is not amiss for those who think themselves so wise in matters of religion to examine and see if they be indeed as rational as they suppose themselves to be.  If they deal truthfully with their own souls, it may be found that most of those who look upon themselves as so completely beyond the reach of popish delusion, have only a name that they live, while they are dead, and have a form of godliness while they are destitute of the power of it. (Rev 3:1, 2 Tim 3:5)  If this is so, what claims can they have to the character of Christian men?

They give to the living God such a service as could reasonably be offered only to a dead idol.  Though he is a spirit, and requires that those who worship him to worship him in spirit and in truth, their spirits are not at all engaged in his service. (John 4:23-24)  In the closet, in the family, in the sanctuary, they draw near to him with their mouth and honour him with their lips, while their hearts are far from him. (Isa 29:13)  Their religion is mere ceremony, “They worship they know not what.” (John 4:22) They pour their prayers to vacancy; to the empty air, or to the blue sky; and when the routine is gone through they are satisfied.  Is this rational?  Does it show their love of God?

They admit that it is in God they live and move and have their being, that his favour is life, that his frown is death, that he can in a moment dash them in pieces as a potter’s vessel; and yet, they fear to offend anyone rather than him; they dread the displeasure of a man that shall die, and of the son of man that shall be made as grass, and forget the Lord Jehovah their Maker.  Is this consistent with reason?

They profess to believe that the only begotten Son of the Highest left his eternal throne, was born in a stable and laid in a manger; was despised and rejected by men; was tempted by devils, and expired on the accursed tree, according to the plans of his Father’s salvation, that they might escape the second death in the Lake of Fire and inherit eternal life; and yet they feel no constraining love to him, no devotion, no gratitude; indeed, they hardly ever think of him.  Is this worthy of an intelligent creature?

They know that they are strangers and pilgrims here,that this present world is not their home,—that they must soon go the way of all the earth; and yet, while careful about the interests of this short and precarious life, they make no provision for the life to come.  They know that it is not only appointed unto mankind to die once, but after this is the judgement: and yet they live as if their souls were destined to go down to the dust and perish, and as if it were certain that they would never be called to give an account of the deeds they did in the body.

Now, what pretensions to sense or reason can those have who live thus?  They are guilty of the most blind and infatuated conduct.  And such are the great mass of nominal Protestants.  What wonder, then, if at any time they shall be entangled in the meshes of popery?  They only pass from one form of delusion to another; and it is but a slight step that they need to take.  And when the time comes that shall try them that dwell on all the earth, assuredly it will not be mere intellectual light that shall hinder them from being carried away by the absurdities of Rome.  “All that dwell on the earth shall worship the beast, whose names were not written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, slain from the foundation of the world.” (Rev 13:8)

And what is to be the consequence of this judicial blindness?  It is destruction.  This is unequivocally declared:  The apostle Paul says it is, “with all the deceptions of iniquity in those who are perishing, for they did not receive the love of the truth, that they would have life.”  Those who think lightly of popery, and accept it as a form of Christianity should remember this.  If the Biblical Gospel is true, the religion of Rome is a God-dishonouring, soul-ruining system.  Whatever God may do with individuals who never had an opportunity of knowing better, he will, beyond doubt, execute his wrath upon those who have had the truth of God offered to them, and have wilfully cast it away, that they might receive the devil’s lie.

In the long dreary ages of darkness, when Popery lorded it over the world, there were, there is every reason to believe, not a few hidden ones, even in the Roman pale, who, along with much error, nevertheless had such a glimmering of the saving truth as kept their souls in vital union with Jesus Christ.


“It is with false doctrine,” says good old Hugh Latimer, “like as it is with fire.  The nature of the fire is to burn and consume; so the nature of false doctrine is to condemn, to bring to everlasting ruin.  But yet for all that, there have been many things in the fire that have not been burned; for instance the three men that were cast by Nebuchadnezzar into the burning fiery furnace.  Though the fire, of its own nature, would have consumed them, yet through the power of God, the strength of the fire was vanquished, the men were preserved, and not a hair of their heads perished.  Even so it is with popery, with its false doctrine: the nature of it is to consume, to bring to everlasting sorrow; yet let us hope that our forefathers were not damned, for God had many ways to preserve them from perishing.”148


Doubtless there is consolation in the thought here presented; but those saved in such circumstances will only be saved by a miracle.  There is nothing in this to warrant anyone to look upon it as a light thing, to leave the Gospel of the grace of God now purely preached, and to embrace the superstition and idolatry of Rome in its stead.  Those who in such circumstances draw back from a profession of the Biblical faith, have too much reason to fear that they draw back unto perdition: “It had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment.” (2 Peter 2:21)

It is this view of the matter that makes it so sad to see the tide setting in so strongly in the direction of Rome.  It is this that ought to make every man jealous over himself and those he loves with a godly jealousy.  It is this that ought to arouse the people of God to do what they can to prevent the pestilence from spreading, and to labour, and wrestle, and pray, that those who are dear to them may be preserved from the delusions that are coming thick and fast upon the world.  Prophecy indicates that the greatest exertions that can now be made will not avail to prevent the restoration of the Papal dominion in these realms.  But the faithfulness of those who do exert themselves, will not, on that account, be in vain.  Their zeal will be blessed for the salvation of many souls; and, at all events, when the vials of God’s wrath are poured out upon Babylon, having kept themselves pure from her sins, they will not be “partakers of her plagues.”





Updates on the Papacy

This chapter has been added by CHCoG to give some updates on what the papacy has been doing for the last 175 years.  It is sobering reading.


As we noted above on page 46, the Pope became formally infallible in 1870, only to lose all of his territorial holdings two months later and become a virtual prisoner in the Vatican.

But there was more blasphemy to follow.  On November 1, 1950, pope Pius XII declared it was dogma to believe in Mary’s Bodily Assumption to heaven in his Munificentissimus Deus.  This means that Catholics must believe that Mary was taken to heaven entirely, in body, soul and spirit.  Despite a complete lack of anything in Scripture to support this, and much to deny it, the ‘infallible’ pope declared it so.  In 1954, pope Pius XII expanded on this theme, formally crowning the now-ascended Mary as the “Queen of Heaven” in his encyclical Ad Caeli Reginam.

Indeed, the worship of Mary has only become more extreme over time.  We here list three of the most well-known apparitions of Mary since Hislop wrote this book:  In 1858, ‘Mary’ appeared to a 14 year-old called Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France and ‘told’ her of her ‘immaculate conception” and the location of a nearby spring with waters capable of ‘miraculous’ healing.  In 1879, an apparition of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and John was seen at Knock, Ireland, though no message was given.  Though Jesus was supposedly seen too, the papacy classifies this as a Marian apparition and calls it “Our Lady of Knock.”  In 1917, three children in Fátima, Portugal reported seeing a series of apparitions.  ‘Mary’ revealed three secrets to them: 1: Hell is real and Catholics can save people from it by their personal sacrifices and acts of reparation (all traditional papal lies), 2: predictions of future upheavals (given late in World War One), to be resolved by the consecration of Russia to Roman Catholicism (requiring the prior destruction of Bolshevik communism) and communions on the first Saturday of each month, leading to triumph through the “Immaculate Heart of Mary,” and 3: a vision of the future persecution of the Roman Catholic Church.  This was capped off by the “Miracle of the Sun”, seen by 70,000 people.  They reported that the Sun appeared to dance in three circles, make a zig-zag dart towards the Earth, and emit multicolored light and radiant colors.  Oddly, this miracle of the sun was NOT witnessed by anyone else on earth that day.  Every pope since then has declared their belief in “Our Lady of Fátima.”  These events have, of course, increased the devotion of many Catholics to Mary, and, of course, to the pope.

The Papal Index Librorum Prohibitorum “Index of Prohibited Books” was established by pope Paul IV in 1557, and has itself been abolished by pope Paul VI in 1966.  However, this is really only window-dressing to make the Papacy appear to support freedom.  The reality is much worse.  Instead of a list of prohibited authors and books, which needed constant updating, the papacy now tells Catholics to only read religious works which have been officially approved by the Catholic hierarchy.  This is actually more restrictive than the Index ever was, but is less obvious than a long list of prohibitions.

In 1908 the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition formally ceased to exist, though it was only the name that ceased to exist.  It was simply sanitised by renaming as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.  In 1965, it was time to change faces again, and it is now the “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  When founded by Paul III in 1542, its official purpose was to “spread sound Catholic doctrine and defend those points of Christian tradition which seem in danger because of new and unacceptable doctrines.”  And that is still the official purpose of the CDF.  One would hardly guess that it was really a diabolic machine for interrogating and torturing everyone who questioned Catholic doctrine and practices.  And though the papacy is currently unable to get away with openly torturing and murdering ‘heretics’, there can be no doubt that they have been keeping up to date with the latest developments in interrogation, torture and brainwashing techniques.

The papacy, itself a totalitarian hierarchy, has always found it easiest to control totalitarian nations with an ignorant population, and therefore works to support leaders who want to suppress their citizens.  This is why the papacy helped Hitler, Franco and Mussolini come to power.  Mussolini was especially grateful for the help he received from Pius XI, and in 1929 they signed the Lateran Treaty, which established Vatican City as a new country belonging to the papacy.  This allowed the popes to again send ambassadors to foreign countries, and begin rebuilding their political power.  They also signed a concordat, in which they pledged to support each other.

As part of the papacy’s program of controlling the world, it wanted to dismember Yugoslavia, which was predominately Orthodox, so it could create a separate nation of Croatia, which was mostly Roman Catholic.  This would give the papacy a base in the Balkans they could expand from.  Creating Croatia was largely achieved by funding and assisting the Croatian Ustashi.  Initially the Ustashi were a terrorist group, operating both in Yugoslavia and throughout Europe, with numerous assassinations during the 1930s. As Avro Manhattan details in Vatican’s Holocaust, once the Nazis helped ‘liberate’ Croatia, the Catholic clergy and monks in Croatia united with Ustashi to make Croatia a fully Catholic state by murdering the Orthodox Serbian clergy and forcibly converting the Serbs into Catholics.  Those who refused, if they were very lucky, managed to escape the country.  The rest were tortured, mutilated, burnt alive, shot or sent to concentration camps to be ‘processed.’  It is estimated that more 850,000 Serbs were murdered.  Many Catholic clergy were active participants in these crimes.  These crimes only stopped when the Allies took control of Croatia at the end of the Second World War.  The papacy then gave these war criminals shelter in their monasteries and convents, issued them with false identity papers and relocated them to Latin America, Australia, and the USA, along with other fascist war criminals, including many involved in the German concentration camps.  The papacy allowed Catholic Germans to work in their camps, doing nothing to stop the German slaughter of Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses, though in this case the clergy were not directly involved.  Dave Hunt, in his “A Woman Rides the Beast149 provides more detail on these events and the ‘ratlines.’  The truly terrifying point is that Croatia, even in the mid-20th century, shows how Rome functions when it has full control.  This was only a trial run for how it will behave during the Great Tribulation, except then it will be done on the back of a world-wide dictatorship assisted with modern high-tech surveillance.


Roman Catholic Growth

Roman Catholicism membership has grown with the world’s total population growth over the last century.  In 1910, there were 291 million, and in 2010 there were almost 1,100 million Catholics, or 16% of the global population, and 50% of all ‘Christians.’  But their distribution has changed radically, as the pie-chart and bar-graph from the Pew Research Center show.  The pie-chart indicates that the pope now has far more followers in Latin America than in Europe.  Their bar-graph reveals how the percentage of Catholics in each region has changed over that time.  There has been a drastic decline in the Catholic percentage of the traditionally Catholic European and Latin American populations, while it has grown in North America, Asia-Pacific and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.  This is reflected in the fact that the current pope Francis is from South America.  The changes indicates that where the claws of the papacy are well-known, they are losing influence.  But the bottom line is that Roman Catholicism is now a truly multi-national organisation, and remains a powerful opponent to Biblical Christianity.




As the USA became the world’s largest and most active Protestant/Christian nation, it also became the papacy’s greatest threat.  As they did not have the numbers to defeat non-Catholics at the polls, the papacy set out on more devious routes to bring the US under control.  Charles Chiniquy, a Roman Catholic priest for twenty-five years, exposes several of their plots in his “Fifty Years in the Church of Rome.”  One plot he was directly part of: the bishop of Chicago commissioned him to set up a huge colony of French, Belgian and French-Canadians in Illinois.  The intention was for them to eventually breed up and control the grain belt of the US, and thus be able to control the USA through that.  However, that was only a secondary plan: the overall plan was to flood the US cities with Catholic immigrants, and thus establish control that way.  Incidentally, most of the increase in Catholics in North America today is still by immigration, as the papacy has heavily infiltrated the Immigration department and treats Catholic applications preferentially.  (This is also the case in Canada and Australia, where similar procedures are being pursued.)

The infiltration happened most rapidly in the southern States, and when the papacy thought they had sufficient numbers, helped initiate the Civil War.  As part of that plan, they also masterminded the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and attempted assassinations of Seward and Johnson.  All this is briefly discussed in General Harris’ “Rome’s Responsibility for the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  Harris also comments on how, by 1897, the papists had control of most of the newspapers and magazines in the US, and sufficient numbers to intimidate the two main political parties from passing any laws to curb papal influence within the government.  The papacy’s influence has only continued to grow since then.  Perhaps now you can begin to understand why elements with the US government cooperated with the papacy to smuggle Catholic war criminals out of Europe after the second World War. Avro Manhattan also reveals the political plans and plots of the Vatican during and after WW2 in Catholic Power Today, which covers most of the world.

The obsession of the papacy at that time was to destroy communism, which would clear the way for them to set up their catholic kingdoms.  This they were also attempting to do in Vietnam, where communist supported guerilla forces were trying to oust the French Catholic oppressors from their country.  In Vietnam, Why Did We Go?,150 Manhattan explains how the Americans, who by the early 1950’s were in league with the anti-communist Pius XII,151 were drawn into the Vietnam war as the French were defeated and abandoned the country.  The ‘democratic USA’ propped up a Roman Catholic puppet government in South Vietnam and denied the people the election that Geneva had promised them to decide their own future.  When the Roman Catholic John Kennedy became President, he submitted to the Pope’s wishes and committed the USA to an all-out war in Vietnam.  South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand were also drawn into the senseless conflict, aiding the inept and corrupt Catholic government that persecuted both Buddhists and Protestants.152  In all, about 3.5 million people were killed, 2 million of them civilians.  Perhaps by now you are seeing that the papacy, which looked next to dead in 1870, is now very much alive, very cunning, and able to create enormous problems for everyone, even for Catholics.


Fátima, World War III and the Zig-Zagging Sun

Many people today are not aware that Pius XII attempted, vigorously, but thankfully unsuccessfully, to initiate a nuclear WW3 during the early 1950s.  To promote the idea, he even dragged the Fátima version of the virgin Mary into it, as explained by Avro Manhattan in Vietnam: Why Did We Go?:


“Mr. F. Matthews, the arch-Catholic Secretary of the U.S. Navy, delivered a speech in Boston on August 25, 1950 . . . and called upon the U.S. to launch an attack upon Soviet Russia in order to make the American people “the first aggressors for peace.”

Pius XII not only was cognizant of the Boston “preventive atomic war” speech delivered by the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus but he came out in the open to magnify its message in one of the most astounding performances ever staged by any modern pope. That is, he mobilized the Catholic world to support Catholic Matthews’ preventive atomic conflict . . . to further his own long-range political schemes. How did he do it? By staging the greatest fake miracle of the century.

Pope Pius XII was visited at the Vatican by none other than the Virgin Mary herself, in person and with no little commotion. It happened in October of that same year, 1950. Pope Pius XII kept the celestial visitation to himself for a short while. Then . . . he set in motion his religious machinery with the specific intent of coming to the help of Mr. Matthews’ “preventive war” policy.

Once he had made sure that Mr. Matthews’ war seeds had sunk well into the minds of political and military leaders, he gave himself the task of implanting them with equal effectiveness in the minds of the Catholic millions, not via politics or propaganda, but directly via religion. To that end, after the Virgin had visited him at the Vatican he ordered that her coming celebrations at Fátima, Portugal, should be the most spectacular ever staged. . . In October, 1951, a monster pilgrimage of well over one million people was convened before the shrine.

And so it came to pass that one October day, after the one million throng had sung the Ave Maria, recited the Rosary, and re-sang the Litanies, Cardinal Tedeschini faced the massive crowd, and in a voice filled with emotion, solemnly disclosed to the astounded pilgrims that “another person has seen this same miracle. . . He saw it outside Fátima,” the cardinal went on to say. “Yes, he saw it years later. He saw it at Rome. . . our Pontiff, Pius XII. . .  On the afternoon of October 30th, 1950, at 4 p.m.,” said the cardinal, “the Holy Father turned his gaze from the Vatican gardens to the sun, and there . . . was renewed for his eyes the prodigy of the Valley of Fátima.” And what was the prodigy?

“Pope Pius XII was able to witness the life of the sun (author’s reminder: a huge burning sphere 866,000 miles in diameter) . . . under the hand of Mary. The sun was agitated, all convulsed, transformed into a picture of life . . . in a spectacle of celestial movements . . . in transmission of mute but eloquent messages to the Vicar of Christ.”153

The Catholic press and hierarchies exulted. Catholic theologians, including Jesuits, gave thanks to the Virgin for the privilege. . . The one million pilgrims, at the cardinal’s disclosure, became delirious. So did countless millions of Catholics throughout the world. If the Virgin Mary had appeared to the pope, obviously then her promises about Bolshevik Russia being converted to the Catholic Church were about to come true. And how could they be fulfilled if not via the “preventive war” preached by Catholic leaders in the U.S.?”


The military machines of Western Europe and the United States, mostly Catholic controlled, had vigorously rearmed, and were ready to go.  However, in the end, the political leaders of those countries refused to start a world war which would undoubtedly have a death toll in the hundreds of millions.  The pope had over-reached himself this time, and is still waiting to start World War III.


Papal Policies

This quotation from chapter one of Avro Manhattan’s Catholic Power Today explains the current policies of the papacy:


“The ancient Catholic fabric disintegrated into shreds: in the Western Hemisphere, with the loss of the Spanish Empire of Central and South America; in Europe with the crashing of the ancient clerico-dynastic Establishment.

Since then, having reassembled her forces, the Catholic Church has cleverly modified her basic grand strategy, the better to confront the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with the successful adoption of three interdependent principles, summarized as follows:

1.  Supporting any military, economic, or political force interested in the retention of the status quo, so as to crush her contemporary paramount religious or ideological opponent.

2.  Mobilizing all her religious, diplomatic, and political might to counter-attack against such an opponent, in the event of failure to crush it.

3.  Forming an alliance with it, characterized by her joining it and, in special circumstances, leading it or even jumping ahead of it, should it hallmark the age with the application of its tenets—the aims of her seeming surrender being to slow down, capture, and paralyze the enemy, in order, by insuring ultimate control from within, to stop its advance and insure her own final advancement.

The nineteenth century gave some brilliant demonstrations of the successful application of such strategies.  During its first decade the Catholic Church inspired, blessed, and supported the dynastic, military, and political right-wing forces of Europe to destroy the dangerous ideology of Liberalism; then, upon the collapse of the right-wing forces, she attacked the Liberal heresy with all the religious, diplomatic, and political weapons of her armory.

Liberalism and all that it stood for were anathemized.  The Syllabus of Modern Errors, issued in 1864 by Pope Pius IX, solemnly condemned freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom of the press, democracy, and the like.  Catholics were forbidden to sympathize with, join, or support any political party or government advocating or inspired by such anti- Christian [meaning anti-papal] Liberal monstrosities under pain of sin, excommunication, and damnation.  When her military and political allies finally tumbled altogether and the very Papal States, including Rome, were wrenched from the Holy See, the Pope tried to give Liberalism a last mortal blow.

The First Vatican Council was summoned.  A dogma, meant to strike at the very essence of the Liberal ideology, with its advocacy of reason, free inquiry, and liberty was proclaimed.  The Catholic Church put herself above all human reason, and declared her head infallible.

Notwithstanding that, Liberalism was soon to transform the whole of Europe into a political reality which nothing could stop or, even less, destroy.

Having realized this, the Catholic Church then made a sudden somersault: She set in motion the third stage of her grand master plan, and joined the irresistible Liberal tide.

The super-reactionary Pius IX, writer of the Syllabus of Modern Errors, the inspirer of Infallibility, and the excommunicator of the Liberal revolution and all it stood for, was succeeded by a new Pope: Leo XIII.

Leo not only came to terms with the triumphant ideology: He supported it within the Church herself. Indeed, he jumped ahead of it by making the Catholic Church the spearhead of embryonic Socialism.  And soon the Catholic and non-Catholic masses were given a magnificent social Magna Carta: Leo’s epoch-making encyclical, Rerum Novarum.

The world applauded.  The Catholic Church had become the inspirer of all progressive forces.  Long live the Catholic Church, the latest and greatest grand champion of human liberty!

Result?  Within a few decades the Catholic Church was heading a super-conservative Europe, that same Europe which, formed by reactionary Principalities, Kingdoms and Empires, was eventually to plunge mankind into World War I.  Following its collapse as a result of the first global conflict, the Catholic Church found herself face-to-face with an even more dangerous ideology than the one she had fought in the previous century: Bolshevism.

Once more, her master strategy was set in motion.  The first phase, like that of the second decade of the preceding century, was characterized by her inspiring and supporting all secular reactionary forces who were as afraid of the Red scourge as she was herself.  Instead of the dynasties, landed classes, and super-conservatism characteristic of the nineteenth century, she now supported capitalism, super-nationalism, and their direct offspring, Fascism—the characteristic reactionary forces of the early twentieth century.

These reactionary forces, after having successfully destroyed Bolshevism at home, ignited World War II and launched their military might against Soviet Russia, but Bolshevism emerged from the holocaust ideologically and territorially stronger than before.  The Catholic Church promptly joined a new, vigorous, anti-Red crusader, the United States of America.  Thereupon while American atomic citadels were being erected around Soviet Russia, the Church accelerated a parallel encirclement via the methodical coordination of all the religious, political, and ideological weapons at her disposal.

The second phase of her grand strategy was thus set in motion.  The result was that, while the United States embarked upon a colossal rearmament program, prompted and imitated by Soviet Russia, the Catholic Church joined the new anti-Red crusade, armed with a resurrected and belligerent political Catholicism.  Within a few years, Christian Democracy (as the latter was renamed) became the paramount political force of Europe, which it soon dominated with undisputed authority.

But if the Catholic Church had successfully prevented Communism from seizing power, she had not (as with Liberalism in the previous century) managed to destroy its ideology.  Witness Italy, which, although dominated by successive Catholic governments, harbored the largest Communist Party in the West outside Russia.  Christian Democracy, which had prevented Communism from capturing political power, had failed to uproot it from the heart of the masses.

The Vatican, therefore, came openly to the fore.  Catholics who supported Communism were excommunicated.  Millions were forced to vote as the Vatican dictated, to keep anticommunist (i. e., Catholic) governments in power.

To strengthen its campaign, the Vatican channelled religious emotionalism to its anti-Red crusade.  The sinister cult of Fatima, based upon the destruction and the ultimate conversion of Red Russia, supplanted Lourdes, until then the main religious shrine of Catholicism.

Finally, Pope Pius XII (like Pope Pius IX in the previous century) promulgated another dogma: the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven (1950), followed soon by the launching of more concrete bodies outside our terrestrial globe: i. e., the first artificial satellites by Soviet Russia and the U. S. A.  (1957).  The Space Age had been inaugurated.

But Communism had become a global presence, with two Red monster super-Powers, Soviet Russia and Communist China.  In addition, the world at large was subtly but irresistibly inching towards an undisguised form of Leftism.

While Europe, and even the United States, had embarked upon a degree of socialization, the Catholic Church herself had been infected with the Red bacilli.  The Workers/Priests movement was ruthlessly suppressed.  Cardinals suspected of sympathy with it were promptly exiled.

Simultaneously Asia and Africa had become decolonized.  Self- determination, freedom of the individual, of nations, of races, and of religious beliefs became the hallmark of the mid-twentieth century.

As the sixties approached with World Communism an established colossal presence in Eastern Europe, Russia, and China, democratic theory and practice the accepted basis of world democracy, and the drifting of most Christian churches towards Christian Unity, the policy of the Catholic Church was becoming dangerously outdated.

And so it came to pass that upon the disappearance of the most reactionary of her contemporary architects, Pope Pius XII (1958), she embarked with startling suddenness on the third phase of her grand strategy.

As in the previous century, when the super-conservative Pius IX was succeeded by the liberal Leo XIII, so now Pius XII, the supporter of Fascism, an originator of the cold war, the launcher of anathemas against anything Bolshevik, was succeeded by Pope John XXIII, the “Red Pope,” the advocate of understanding with Communism, with Protestantism, and even with the non-Christian religions.

In 1962 the Second Vatican Council was convened, to forge an image of the Catholic Church more in tune with the times.  Liturgical modifications, ecclesiastical reforms, novel interpretations of dogmas, and a new approach to seemingly intractable problems became the key to her miraculous resurgence.  In the ideological field, her policy turned into one of cooperation with the Red foe; and in the religious area, she advocated Ecumenism, reunion, dialogues, and unity.

The Catholic Church had initiated the deployment of the third phase of her master strategy, with boldness, energy, and the will to succeed.  Once more, having lost a titanic battle against the main ideological forces of the century, she has suddenly jumped ahead of them in a brilliant endeavor to capture them from within.  Her strategy was to slow down their impetus and steer them in her own direction, with the view of employing the very forces she wished to destroy for the final promotion of her own policy.

As in the previous century, the world applauded.  The Catholic Church had become progressive at last.  Long live the Catholic Church, the latest and most energetic champion of human liberties!

Result?  Friends and foes who only a while before had looked upon her with suspicious hostility, now rallied to her side, to carry out her grand master plan.

But verily, the Catholic Church has not changed.  It is the world in which she is operating that has.  And, since she is the one and only true Church, now, perhaps even more than in antiquity, she is as irreformable as ever.

Indeed, the more so tomorrow.  She has determined to catholicize a planet, stultified by the purposelessness of the mounting spiritual poverty of the contemporary teeming multitudes of little pygmies, busy glorifying themselves in their puniness.”


Vatican 2

Manhattan’s quote clearly indicates what Vatican 2 really did: face-changes and procedural updates.  But none of the papacy anathemas were repealed, and there was no admission of their guilt in slaughtering millions of Bible-believing ‘heretics’ through the centuries.  All they have done is move to Stage 3 of their plan: Control from within, until they have brought everything into submission, and then they can again rule openly.  The Vatican 2 changes are also discussed in part 4 of The Catholic Chronicles by Keith Green.

As Dave Hunt details in A Woman Rides the Beast, the Papacy is aiming not merely at bringing the Protestants and Orthodox back under its control, but ALL people, regardless of their religion.  This is why the popes of the last half century have actively participated in both ecumenical and interfaith conventions, and have spoken words of reconciliation to the leaders of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc, etc.  As Rome moves deeper into the worship of the Queen of Heaven, and further from the teachings of the Bible, she becomes more acceptable to other faiths.154  In this, they are using the feminist movement to their advantage, even though they actually treat women as little more than machines for breeding more Catholics.

As for the current apparent agreeableness of the papacy, recall these scriptures:


“Beware of false prophets, who come among you clothed as lambs, but within they are ravenous wolves.  But you will know them by their fruits.  Do men pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? . . Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘My Lord, My Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, ‘My Lord, My Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name?  And we have cast out demons in Your name, and we have performed many miracles in Your name.’  And then I will declare to them, ‘I have not known you from the beginning of time; remove yourselves far from Me, you workers of iniquity!’    Mat 7:15 to 23


The Bible tells us that the papacy will succeed in these endeavours for a time, leading to the Great Tribulation.  The Bible also makes it clear that this will begin with the open persecution of Bible-believing Christians, who “keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jeshua (Jesus).”  Rev 14:12.


Let us always remember the last three blessings in the Bible:


Blessed and holy are they who have their part in the first resurrection, and the second death has no authority over them, for they will be priests of God and of the Messiah, and they will reign with Him for one thousand years.    Rev 20:6

“Behold, I am coming soon!  Blessings to the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.”   Rev 22:7

Blessed are those doing His commandments; they will have access to the trees of life, and they shall enter the city through the gates.   Rev 22:14





Note A.

Papists will have it that Peter was the rock on which the church was to be built.  Neither the language employed in the text, nor the nature of the case, admit of this interpretation.  Our Lord, in the original, carefully distinguishes between Peter and the rock, using one word to denote the Apostle, and another to denote the foundation of His church.  You are a stone (πέτρος); and on this rock (πέτρα), will I build my church.” (Mat 16:18)  The two words used here are different, and the ideas are essentially different.  A rock is one thing, and a stone is quite another.  A rock is large, fixed and stable; a stone is small and moveable.  The character of Peter, even as recorded in the very chapter where this saying occurs, shows that however fit he was as “a living stone,” for forming a part in that great spiritual temple which Christ came into the world to establish, he was very far indeed from being firm and stable like a rock; for scarcely had he witnessed the good confession which our Lord commended, when he was again moved away from his steadfastness, and drew down upon himself the rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan, for you are an offence onto me;” (Mat 16:23)  What, then, was the rock on which the church was to be built?  Beyond doubt, it was the Lord Jesus himself, whom Peter had just identified as “the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  The term rock is consistently applied in Scripture to God:  “That rock” says Paul, “was Christ” (1 Cor 10:4) “He is the rock,” says Moses, “His work is perfect.” (Deu 32:4)  Jehovah is my rock,” says David. (Psalm 18:2)  Nor is this a modern interpretation, devised by Protestants in opposition to Rome.  The ancient fathers Cyprian, Cyril, Jerome, and Augustine held the same opinion.  “It was not said to Peter,” says Augustine,  “you are the rock, but you are Peter.  The rock was Christ, whom Peter confessed.”—Aug, Retract. i. 21.



Note B.

The quotations given in the text, showing the blasphemous homage paid by Roman Catholics to the Virgin, are truly revolting to every pious mind.  It is a lamentable fact, however, that the British public is rapidly getting reconciled to such idolatrous sentiments; and that which would have utterly shocked our fathers, even of the last generation, is now not only endured, but applauded by thousands who call themselves Protestants.  In proof of this, I need only refer to the crowds that recently flocked night after night to the London theatres to hear Rossini’s Stabat Mater; and to the rapturous eulogies bestowed by professedly Protestant journals on that “hymn of adoration to the Virgin.”  That the reader may see how fallen is the Protestantism of England, I give three stanzas from the English version of the hymn in question: —


Holy Mother, so ordain

And work in me, that every pain

He suffered pierce my heart.

In all his pangs, who deigned to die

For me, O let me ever try

With thee to bear my part.


Virgin, above all virgins blest,

O turn not thou from my request.

Let me thy grief sustain.

Grant me my Saviour’s death to bear,

With thee his holy passion share.

And treasure all his pain.


All that he suffered let me feel.

May love for him my soul with zeal

To bear his cross inspire.

Thus kindly, with love’s holy power,

Do THOU, at that last dreadful hour.

Screen me from God’s just ire.


The hymn from which the above is taken is stated, on good authority, to be a favourite at present in the higher circles of fashion.  That this should be the case is an ill omen for our country.



Note C.

There are certain cases in which the popish priests are enjoined to lie, and deliberately to add perjury to lying, as the following extract from Dens will show: —



Q.  What is the seal of Sacramental Confession?

A.  It is the obligation or duty of concealing those things which are learned from Sacramental Confession.

Q.  Can a case be given in which it is lawful to break the Sacramental Seal?

A.  It cannot, although the life or safety of man depended thereon, or even the destruction of the commonwealth. . . .

Q. What answer, then, ought a confessor to give when questioned concerning a truth which he knows from Sacramental Confession only?

A. He ought to answer that he does not know it, and if it be necessary, CONFIRM THE SAME BY AN OATH.

Objection.  It is in no case lawful to tell a lie, but that confessor would be guilty of a lie because he knows the truth, therefore, &c.

Answer.  I deny the minor, because such a confessor is interrogated as a man, and considered as a man; but now he does not know that truth as a man, though he knows it as God!! —Dens, vol. vi. p. 118.



Note D.

The idea of an infidel Antichrist has been somewhat encouraged by the rendering of our authorised version: “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, and is worshipped.”  As the words here stand, the “opposition” of the Man of Sin may seem to be directed against all religion, false and true alike.  But this would make the prophecy inconsistent with itself, and would altogether remove the “mystery” from that system of “iniquity,” of which he is the head, so there is not the least necessity in the original for such a translation.  ο áντικειμενος, rendered in the common version as “who opposeth,” though strictly speaking is a participle, occurs in the New Testament repeatedly as a noun.  In this sense, it is found in the following passages.  1 Cor. 16:9.  “For a great door and effectual is opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (áντικειμενοι πολλοι).  Philippians 1:28.  “And in nothing terrified by your adversaries,” (πο των áντικειμενων), 1 Tim. 5:14.  “I will therefore, that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give no occasion to the adversary (τ áντικειμεν) to speak reproachfully.”  It was in this sense that almost all the early translators rendered it in the passage before us.  Of the six English versions in Bagster’s Hexapla, including the Rhemish, all except the authorised version render it by the noun “adversary.”  Erasmus, Luther, and Diodati, translate it in the very same way.  Now, taking it in this way, the whole verse will run thus:—“And that Man of Sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition, the Adversary, even exalting himself above all that is called God,” &c.



Note E.

Cardinal Baronius, in his Annals of the Church, is evidently exceedingly puzzled what to say about the letters of Pope Gregory on the subject of the ‘universal bishop.”  The nature of his work will not allow him altogether to pass them without notice; but he takes care to make no allusion to the passage in which Gregory declares that “whoever either calls himself universal priest, or desires so to be called, is the forerunner of Antichrist.”  The passages, however, which he does quote give him sufficient trouble; and his attempts to explain them way are of the most futile description.  All the strong language which Gregory uses on the subject, he resolves in a mere excess of humility: “Non egit,” says he, “ipså summå, quà pollebat, apostolicá auctoritate, sed Christiani humilitate, se deprimens, ut jacenterm erigeret, ae deoraum humilians, ut lapsum in profundum, sursum sublevaret, qui se tollendo ceciderat.”  “He did not act in this instance with that supreme apostolic authority with which he was invested, but with Christian humility he lowered himself, that by so doing he might raise up him who through ambition had so grievously fallen.” It would be a strange kind of “Christian humility” indeed, which would lead anyone to denounce that title which belonged to him by divine right, and which he and his predecessors had always borne, as Baronius maintains was the case with the title of universal bishop, as “a new and profane title,” as a  “perverse name,” which he who coveted after it showed that “he was inspired by the spirit of him who fell by proudly aspiring to an equality with God!”  Gregory the Great was not remarkable for his humility at any rate; and those who would gain for him the character of humility in this way can only do so at the expense of his veracity.  He expressly declares that “none of his predecessors ever consented to use this ungodly name,” and that the name of universal bishop “had been offered to them in the council of Chalcedon, but had been peremptorily refused.”  Baronius, indeed, brings one or two expressions of different Popes which might seem to contradict this; but on examination, it will be found that he has recourse to a mere verbal quibble.  Pope Leo, for instance, long before Gregory’s time, had subscribed himself as “bishop of the universal church.”  “Leo, Romæ et universalis Catholicaeque ecclesiae, Episcopus.”  But “universal bishop” is one thing, and “bishop of the Catholic and universal church” is another.  Pope Leo by this title claimed no authority over the universal church, but simply showed thereby that he belonged to it, in opposition to the ‘heretics’ who had separated from it.  The other expression which Baronius quotes is used in exactly the same sense.



Note F.

It need hardly be said that papal infallibility is alike unscriptural and unfounded.  Not only that, one pope has again and again directly contradicted another pope in matters of faith, and that, too, when speaking ex cathedra.  Their attempts to determine what is Scripture have presented their pretensions in this respect in the most ridiculous points of view.  If Papal infallibility was necessary in any case, it was surely most necessary to give a correct and authentic copy of the Scriptures; but here they have failed most egregiously.  “Of all literary blunders,” says D’Israeli, in his Curiosities of Literature, “none equalled that of the Vulgate by Sixtus V.155 His Holiness carefully superintended every sheet as it passed through the press; and to the amazement of the world, the work remained without a rival,—it swarmed with errata!  A multitude of scraps were printed to paste over the erroneous passages, in order to give the true text.  The book makes a whimsical appearance with these patches, and the heretics exulted in this demonstration of papal infallibility!  The copies were called in, and violent attempts made to suppress it; a few, however, still remain for the raptures of the Biblical collectors.  Not long ago, the Bible of Sixtus V. fetched above sixty guineas,—not too much for a mere book of blunders!” This Bible of Pope Sixtus had a bull prefixed to the first volume, in which the editorial Pontiff, “of his certain knowledge, and fullness of apostolical power,” decreed that “this was to be held as the only authentic edition of the Vulgate,” forbidding in all time coming the publication of any edition that should vary in any respect from his, under the penalty of incurring “the wrath of Almighty God, and his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul.”  This was a sufficiently formidable anathema; nevertheless Pope Clement VIII., who was not less infallible than his predecessor, only two years afterwards, published a new edition, differing from that of Sixtus in no fewer than 2000 passages!



Note G.

Puseyism, on the subject of the Confessional, has evidently studied deeply in the school of the Mystery of Iniquity.  In proof of this statement, let the reader peruse the following note to a sermon preached, 7th April 1844, by the Rev. P. Cheyne, before Bishop Skinner and the clergy of the diocese of Aberdeen, and published at their request:—


“What man is fit to be judge in his own case?  Who is competent to guide himself through all the doubts and snares which beset his way?  Again, looking to the case of the clergy, how can they be called ‘spiritual guides,’ for what do they know about the real state of the souls committed to their charge?  In what way can they guide those of whose difficulties and trials, sins and weaknesses, they are totally ignorant?  If there is one circumstance in our position as priests more intensely painful than another, it is this:—that we have the cure of souls, without the possibility of discharging it effectually; for nothing can be effectual, but that which will enable us to deal with individuals one by one.  I must therefore express my deep conviction, founded upon reflection, observation, and experience, that nothing but the revival of confession, under its sacramental sanctity, can enable the church to act as the true mother and guide of God’s children.”—Sermon of the Rev. P. Cheyne, p. 26.



Note H.

The extent to which the Confessional has been employed for purposes of licentiousness, and the hopelessness of every attempt to remedy the evil, may be judged of from the following extract from “Edgar’s Variations of Popery,” page 528.


“The measureless intemperance of the Spanish clergy appears in the history of sacerdotal and monkish SOLICITATION in that kingdom.  This became so prevalent as to demand pontifical interposition.  Its notoriety challenged the interference of Pius, Clement, Gregory, Alexander, and Benedict, who issued their bulls against this kind of seduction.  The publication of the Papal enactments showed the extent of the evil.  The execution of the Roman mandates was consigned to the inquisitors, who summoned the attendance at the holy office of all that could inform against the guilty.  The terror of the inquisition commanded obedience.  Maids and matrons, of the nobility and peasantry, of every rank and situation, crowded to the inquisition.  Modesty and shame induced many to go veiled.  The alarm awakened jealousy in the mind of many husbands.  The fair informers in Seville alone, were, according to Gonsalvus and Llorente, so numerous that all the inquisitors and twenty notaries were insufficient in thirty days to take their depositions.  Thirty additional days had three separate times to be appointed for the reception of information.  But the multitude of criminals, the jealousy of husbands, and the odium which the discovery threw on auricular confession and the popish priesthood, caused the sacred tribunal to quash the prosecution, and to consign the depositions to oblivion.”


The work from which the above is taken, is a work of great value, and immense learning and research.  In one instance, however, that has come under my notice, the author, by trusting too implicitly to Romish quotations from the Fathers, has allowed himself to be led astray.  He speaks as if Theodorus, or Heliodorus of Tricca, who first introduced the obligation of single life into the church, had composed his piece, called “Ethiopics,” with the view of inculcating asceticism, and proscribing the marriage of the clergy; and he gives Socrates and Nicephorus as his leading authorities for the assertion.  Now, it may be true that the popish author Mendoza, to whom he also refers, may represent the matter in this light to veil the early licentiousness of Heliodorus; but there is nothing in either of the two ancients to warrant the statement.  Socrates (as the reader may have seen, page 32,) expressly calls the work an “amorous work,” and Nicephorus says, that “Heliodorus was ordered in synod to burn those amatory books or to resign his office.”



Note I.

It is worthy of remark that the University of Louvain, which in answer to the inquiries of Mr Pitt, indignantly disclaimed intolerant and anti-social doctrines, had fourteen years before adopted the theology of Denswith all its immoral and persecuting principlesas a standard for the guidance of its students.  And Dens himself was ALIVE, and one of its members at the very time that Mr Pitt’s questions were proposed, and so indignantly answered!!

See an able tract of Rev. J. G. Lorimer, entitled “The Theology of Peter Dens, with all its immoral and persecuting principles, proved to be the textbook of the present Roman Catholic priesthood of Ireland.







Some Other Resources Available from


The Holy Bible - CHCoG Version - This translation from the original Hebrew and Aramaic is accurate and readable, giving you a clear understanding of how the New and Old Covenants are interlocked and God’s message to you.

Everlasting Life is God’s Gift - Does the Bible teach that you have everlasting life?  If not, how can you receive God’s gift of immortality as His child?

Fifty Years in the Church of Rome - Charles Chiniquy’s classic exposure of the corruptions of the Roman church, and how he found God’s Gift of Salvation.

Papal Idolatry: Transubstantiation and Mariology - Chiniquy’s indepth exposé of how the Roman Church worships their wafers and Mary instead of Christ.

Books of Moses - Fact or Fiction Series - Are the miracles recorded in Genesis and Exodus our true history?  Do the facts support Special Creation or the Big Bang & Evolution scenarios?  What about the Flood, Babel and the Exodus?

Spirit, Soul and Body - What does the Bible teach about the nature of human beings?  Do we have a soul?  What is our spirit?  What happens when we die?

Eastern Meditation and Jeshua the Messiah - Recounts the experiences of a CHCoG member who became a Christian while practising Eastern Meditation.

The Ten Commandments - What are God’s Ten Commandments? How do they guide us in our relationships with God, our family and our neighbours?  Shows how obedience to Jehovah’s Instructions would result in true civilization.

What is God’s Name? - How can we know what God’s Name is and how to Pronounce it?  Does the Bible teach us to use God’s Name?

The Sabbath in Scripture - Has God’s Seventh-day Sabbath been ‘done away with’?  What does the Sabbath mean, and does God want us to keep it?

Rome’s Challenge: Why do Protestants Keep Sunday? - This Roman Catholic article proves there is no scriptural basis for changing the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday, and shows that the Roman Catholic church made the change.

Sex, God and Families - Article exposing the dangers of sexual immorality and outlining the benefits of following God’s sexual principles.

The Catholic Chronicles - Keith Green explores the meanings of the Roman Catholic Mass, transubstantiation, their concept of forgiveness of sin and salvation and whatif anythingVatican II changed.

God’s Calendar and the Sign of Jonah - Shows how God’s Calendar reveals that Jeshua truly kept the Sign of Jonah, His ultimate proof that He is the Messiah.

Free to Obey GodGod’s Son Jeshua sets us free!  But what does he set us free from, and how does He expect us to live our new life?

Jeshua the Messiah: Is He the Son of God or Part of a Trinity? - Explores the relationships between Jehovah God, Jeshua the Messiah, the Holy Spirit and us.


Calculated Biblical Calendar - Calculates dates of Annual Holy Days, Crucifixion, Flood, Creation: allows you to test the new moon visibility locally.

Radiocarbon Dating - Calculates the effects that changes in the geomagnetic field and radiocarbon/carbon ratios, etc, on radioactive dating.





1 η ἀποστασία

2 See Note A.

3 αποστησονται

4 διδασκαλιαις δαιμονιων  If any one think this an unnatural construction, let him consult Heb. 6:2, where he will find βαπτισμων διδαχης used in the same sense.

5 Hesiod’s Works and Days, lib. i. 120.

6 Plat. Cratylus, p. 398, tom. i.

7 Plat. Sympo. pp. 202, 203, tom. iii. apud Newton.

8 Theodoret. Serm. 8.  De Martyribus, pp. 606, 607.

9 Letter from Rome, p. 177.

10 Narrative of Three Years Residence in Italy, 1828 ed, pp. 50,51.

11 M’Culloch, Pop. Cond., pp. 337, 338.

12 Usher’s Answer to a Jesuit, p. 495.

13 Bernardinus in Mariali apud Jewell on Thessalonians, p. 209.

14 Usher’s Answer, p. 486.  See Note B.

15 Protestant Magazine, No. 50, p. 43, 1843.

16 When the fact above mentioned was stated by that excellent man, the Rev. F. Monod, in Edinburgh last year, Bishop Gillies attacked M.  Monod, and attempted to explain away the adoration; but for a whole year he never ventured to look at the Reply from that gentleman, which his letter called forth.  He has at last issued a pamphlet on the subject; but it leaves the matter exactly as he found it.

17 M’Crie’s Life of Melville, vol. i. p. 262.

18 The Protestant, vol. iii. p. 287.

19 Dublin Christian Examiner, No. 7, January 1844.

20 Newman’s “Arians of the Fourth Century,” p. 72, apud Christian’s Monthly Magazine, No. II.

21 “Ejus cum approbatione susceptam.”  See this whole subject ably discussed in Church of Scotland Magazine, vol. ii., p. 316.

22 Dens’ Theology, vol. ii. p. 83.

23 Dens’ Theology, vol. ii. p. 80.

24 Ibid. p. 89.

25 Ibid. p. 272.

26 Dacheri. Spicileg. tom. iv. p. 275.  Also see Note C.

27 Jewell’s Apology, Part 4th.

28 Rhemish Testament.  Note on 1 Cor. vii. 9, ed. 1582.

29 [CHCoG – One reason the papacy banned marriage to their priests was to ensure that their property would be inherited by the church when they died, rather than going to their wives and children.]

30 Euseb. Hist. Eccles., lib. iii. cap. 27.

31 Bailly’s Moral Theology, vol ii: p. 282.

32 Dr Doyle’s Catechism.

33 Butler’s Catechism, p. 68.

34 By a late dispensation of the Pope, the obligation of fasting on Saturdays is taken away in Britain.  This grace is, no doubt, intended to smooth the way for the reconversion of this country. [CHCoG – Today most Catholics in the West ignore the Friday bans on eating meatapart from fishexcept during Lent, but it is still part of their Canon Law, and therefore still a mortal sin which Catholic doctrine says will condemn them to hellfire for eternity, even though their priests no longer bother to warn them.]

35 ο áντíκειμενος

36 Geneb. iv. p. 552. Baron. Ann. 912.  Paris, 1744.

37 εσχατη ωρα

38 The early Christians understood this well.  Lactantius, for instance, speaking of Antichrist, says, “He shall feign himself to be Christ, and shall fight against the truth.” Lib. vii. sect. 19, p. 499, Lugd. Bat. 1652.

39 See Note D.

40 De Libris Prohibitis, Concil. Trid, p. 231, Lipsiæ, 1842.

41 [CHCoG- Today Canon 825 governs Catholic Bible translations:  “Books of the sacred scriptures cannot be published unless the Apostolic See or the conference of bishops has approved them. For the publication of their translations into the vernacular, it is also required that they be approved by the same authority and provided with necessary and sufficient annotations. With the permission of the Conference of Bishops, Catholic members of the Christian faithful in collaboration with separated brothers and sisters can prepare and publish translations of the sacred scriptures provided with appropriate annotations.” - So Catholics can only read ‘authorised’ Bibles which provide them with twisted interpretations of God’s Words.]

42 There are few indeed whom Popish priests would hope to “confirm in the faith” by the reacting of the Bible.  Almost all the priests we ever heard of seem to be exactly of the mind of Richard du Mans, who at Trent gave it as his opinion that the reading of the Scriptures ought not to be encouraged, “as the Lutherans only gained those that read them,”  In this country the laws of Trent are not so strictly enforced on this subject as elsewhere; but this is merely from motives of expediency, not because the priests in this country disapprove them.  Every Popish priest is SWORN to uphold ALL the decrees and decisions of Trent, which are of unquestionable authority throughout the whole Roman Catholic church.

43 Mr O’Connell.

44 Baron. Ann. tom. i. sect. 11, p. 454, Col. Agrip. 1609.

45 Lind. Panopl. lib. i. chap. 22.

46 Chrys. Opera. Homil. ix. tom. xi. p. 391.  Paris, 1734.

47 Tertull. Contra Herm. cap. 22, tom. 2: p. 308.  Wirceburg, 1781.

48 Augustini Opera. tom. iv. lib. i. c. 35.

49 Zouch’s Walton’s Lives.  Life of Donne, vol. i. p. 138.

50 It was a striking and characteristic proof of the enmity of Rome against God’s word, that when Clement Marot’s version of the Psalms was beginning to be commonly sung in the court of Francis I., the Cardinal of Lorraine caused the impure and licentious odes of Horace to be translated into French verse, in order that they might supplant it!!

51 Wrangham’s British Plutarch.

52 Life of Ridley.

53 Sess. vi. De Justifica. Canon xxxii: p. 88.  Lipaise, 1842

54 Sess. vi, can. xii: p. 36.

55 Catechism, part ii: c. 5, p. 257.

56 De Penitentia, p. 334.  Dub. 1825.

57 Glasgow Lectures.

58 Men of Modern Times.  Article Boccaccio.

59 Protestant, vol. ii. p. 3.

60 Bulla Pii IV. apud canon. et decret. sacrosanct. concil. Triden. p. 226.  Lipsiae, 1842.

61 In the “Tax Tables of the Apostolic Chancery,” published by Papal authority, in which a regular price is fixed for the pardon of all sorts of sins, however atrocious, the following intimation occurs:—“Note diligently that these graces are not granted to the poor, because they have not wherewithal that they may be comforted,”—Cobbin’s Book of Popery, p. 43.

62 Quesnell, Abrege de la Morale de l’Evangile, Joan xv. v. 5, Paris, 1693.

63 Bulla Clem. XI. ap. can. et Decret. Concil. Trid. p. 291.

64* Sess. vii., Can. 8, de Sacram. p. 43.

65 Catechism of W. E. Andrews, recommended by Dr Milner.

66 Britons and Saxons, p. 73.

67 [CHCoG – Though Latin is still the official language of the Papal rituals, as a concession to ongoing criticism by non-Catholics, they now allow the local languages to be used.]

68 Protestant, vol. I. p. 45.

69 Rogers’ Antipopery, sec. xvii: p. 237.

70 See Chapter V.  The Lawless One.

71 Labb. Concil., tom. xiv. p. 269.  Lutet. 1672.

72 Gregorii Opera, lib. iv. Ep. 32.  See Note E.

73 Labbé. Concil.  Diet. Pap., tom. x. p. 110.

74 Gaussen’s Geneva and Rome, p. 11.

75 Sir W. Scott’s Tales of a Grandfather.  France

76 [CHCoG – Nor have they to this day.]

77 Labbé, tom. xi. pars i. p. 148.

78 Bull. Pii IV., ap. Canon. Con. Trid. p. 227.

79 Bellarm. Controvers., tom. i.

80 Grat. Decret. Distinct. 40.

81 Jewell’s Defence of the Apology.

82 The Triumph of the Holy See, by Mauro Capellari (Gregory XVI.), vol. i., p. 145.  Louvain, 1834.

83 Ibid.

84 Roger’s Antipopery.  See Note F.

85 Canones Concil. Triden. sess. xiv. cap. 6, p. 77.

86 Bruce’s Free Thoughts, p, 32.

87 Roscoe’s Leo X., vol. ii.

88 Roscoe’s Leo X., vol. ii. [This reference is faulty.]

89 Labb. tom. xiv. p. 109.

90 Labb., tom. vii, p. 22.

91 Decret. Par. Distinct. 96, cap. 7.

92 Acta Concil. Senen., Paris, 1612.

93 Sext. Decret. lib. i. tit. 6.

94 Bull. Gregory XIII., Rome. 1, Jul. 1580.

95 Eztrav. Johan. xxii.

96 Gaussen’s Geneva and Rome, p. 14.

97Chrysost. Opera, Tem. xi. p. 530.  Paris, 1734.

98 Rhemish Testament.  Note on Acts XXV. 19.

99 Eaton, Rome in the Nineteenth Century, Vol. 1, p. 15  London, 1852

100 Puseyism in this, as in many other respects, shows a striking family likeness to Rome.  The Tracts for the Times call preaching “an instrument, which Scripture has never much recommended.”

101 Jewell, British Reformers, p. 228.

102 Lectures on Civilisation, Lect. vi.

103 Thuan. Histor. lib. xxxix. p. 779.  Frankfort, 1625.

104 Soave Polano, lib. viii. p. 805.  A Lond., 1609.

105 The Hundred Grievances.

106 Jurieu.  Histoire du Calvin. et du Pap. Tom. i .  Rotterdam 1683.  The evidence of the unbounded licentiousness of the priests of Rome, from Roman Catholic sources, would fill a volume.  Some of them have even gloried in their shame.  “Friends” said Cardinal Hugo, addressing the citizens of Lyons, at the breaking up of the general council held in that city, “we have effected a work of great utility and charity here.  When we came to Lyons we found three or four brothels in it, and we have left at our departure, only one.  But this extends, without interruption, from the eastern to the western gate of the city.” Matthew Paris, 794.

107 See Note G.

108 Dens’ Theology, pp, 124, 285, 286.

109 Guide from the Church of Rome to the Church of Christ.

110 RogersAntipopery.  Michelet, in his “Priests, Women, and Families,” shows the deplorable working of the confessional in France at this day.  See Note H.

111 Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, vol. xii p. 311.

112 See Edgar’s Variations.

113 See Letter of O’Connell to Editor of Christian Instructor, Nov. 1835.  [CHCoG – And this deceptive behaviour still continues today, as the papacy attempts to bring all religions under its control.]

114 ο ἄνομος

115 Gr. Decret. ix. c. 8.

116 Bon. Mart. ap. Decret. Distinct. 40. cap. 6.

117 Bellarm. De Pontifice, lib. iv., cap. v., published at Rome by authority, in 1842.

118 Butler, p. 37.  1843.  [CHCoG – And in these two commandments, they have removed God’s Name, which is Jehovah, and replaced it with Lord.  Since Hislop’s time, the popes have formally banned the use of God’s true name, as their corruptions grow worse and worse.  See What is God’s Name at for details.]

119 The popes claim they can dispense with the solemn obligation of an oath, we have already seen in chap. I.  [CHCoG - Even the Words spoken directly by God are not safe from their manipulation.]

120 Sess. xxiv. can. 2.

121 Dens. vol. viii. p. 295.

122 [CHCoG – And despite numerous scandals linked to the Jesuits since Hislop’s time, they remain firmly embedded in virtually all nations of the world.]

123 Les Provinciales, Let. x. pp. 172-3.  Paris, 1829.

124 Les Provinciales, Let. x. p. 176.

125 Jesuits’ Morals, p. 298.

126 Ibid. p. 299.

127 Les Provinciales, Let. v. p. 66.

128 Les Provinciales, Let. viii. p. 130.  These are Pascal’s own words, but the quotations he makes amply justify his language.

129 Let. vi. p. 78.

130 Let. vii.

131 Ibid. p. 112.

132 Foreign Quarterly Review.  German Trials, 1831.

133 Gaussen’s Geneva and Rome, p. 14.

134 Michelet’s Priests, Women, and Families, p. 1.

135 Those who would wish to see further proof that the pope is indeed the “Lawless One,” may consult Dr Cunningham’s admirable edition of Stillingfleet, under the head “Dispensations.”

136 καταργήσει

137 αναλωσει does not property signify “to waste away,” but simply “to destroy.

138 Dr Bates of Glasgow.  Introduction to Macleod on the Revelation.

139 Lud. Viv. De causs, corrupt. art. tom. i. lib. 2. p. 371.  Basil, 1555.

140 Referred to in Free Assembly, 1846, by Rev. Andrew Gray of Perth.

141 Tour in Spain in 1830, vol. ii.

142 Jewell, British Reformers, p. 246.

143Bishop Hurd’s Rites and Ceremonies, p. 131.

144 “He that created me,” says Cardinal Biel, “gave me, if it be lawful to tell, power to create himself.”  Biel Lect. IV.

145 See Note I.

146 While this is passing through the press, Dr Kalley, and some hundreds of his converts have been obliged to flee from Madeira, to save their lives from the fury of a popish rabble evidently connived at by the authorities.

147 According to the Bishop of London’s advice, in his famous charge.

148 Latimer’s Sermon on the Christian Walk, abridged.

149 Available from the Internet Archive.

150 Manhattan’s books are available at the Internet Archive.

151 Senator McCarthy was also a rabid anti-communist Roman Catholic, and did enormous damage to the USA.  Sadly, it appears that ‘loyal’ Catholics are a much bigger problem than the American communists ever were.

152 Eventually Diem’s violent fanaticism became too much for the US, and President Kennedy tried to rein him in, which led to Diem’s assassination.  Twenty days later, Kennedy was also assassinated, and some investigators think they may be connected.

153 [CHCoG – What a marvellous fulfilment of 2 Thes 2:9 and Rev 13:13. And how odd that only the pope alone saw the sun dance, zig-zag and dart towards the earth, as happened at Fátima.]

154 More recent departures include a ban on using Jehovah, the God of the Bible’s Name, and denial of a week-long Creation about six thousand years ago.  Now the pope endorses billions of years and theistic evolution.   Jettisoning these distinctive Biblical truths aligns Catholicism much better with other religions and secular beliefs.

155 The Vulgate is the authorised standard of God’s word among Roman Catholics.