[XI. The Protestant Idea of Antichrist]

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So much on the calumny itself; but it may be objected that the mere fact that the Continental Churches should be called, and called so extensively, by such fearful or such shocking names, is a proof that they in some degree merit it. Even a heathen said, "Cæsar's wife must not be suspected;" and, in like manner, there {151} is at first sight surely a slur cast on the sanctity of a communion which has, in matter of fact, been designated by titles which are almost too odious to mention. Honour is almost part of chastity; and shall the immaculate Bride of the Lamb be called sorceress, harlot, mother of abominations, habitation of devils, and her chief ruler be considered the man of sin, the enemy of God, and the son of perdition? The Church of Rome is thus circumstanced, therefore she is not the true Church.

We consider this to be an argument eminently successful with the imagination, and yet a few sentences of Scripture and facts of history will serve, if we mistake not, to destroy its force.—For, first of all, our Saviour was called a deceiver, a man gluttonous and a wine-bibber, a blasphemer, a Samaritan, a demoniac. He was crucified, and that between thieves; has "the offence of the cross" ceased? are we better than He?

But further, it is a very impressive and touching fact, that He Himself has told us that His Church should have to bear the same reproach with Him:—"If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of the household?"

Antichrist, then, is almost foretold to be the title which His representatives and servants should bear. The imputation of it may almost be called one of the Notes of the Church. We say deliberately, that "Antichrist," "Babylon," "Mother of Harlots," "Beast," these titles given to the Church by the world, are as much a note of her being Christ's Church as her real inward sanctity is. Rome must not monopolize these titles; Rome has them not alone; we share them with Rome; it is our privilege to share them; Anglo-Catholics inherit them from the Roman family, from their common Lord and Saviour. Rome must not appropriate them; the early {152} Church had them. We take it as a clear mark that we are the Church, and Rome the Church, and both the same Church, because in these titles we are joint-heirs of the Church of St Cornelius and St. Augustine. Heretics have generally taken high ground, considered themselves saints, called the Church by foul and frightful names; it is their very wont to speak, not against the Son of Man, for He is away, but against those who represent Him during His absence. The Montanists called Catholics "the natural men," the Novatians called them "the Apostates," the Donatists called them "traitors" and "sinners," called St. Peter's chair the seat of pestilence, washed the very pavement which Catholics had trodden, and maintained that the whole Church had perished except the fragment in connexion with themselves; the Luciferians called the Church "the devil's harlot," and "the synagogue of Satan." This is a sample of the language which has ever been applied to the fold of Christ by those who are cast out of it. Dr. Todd has shown us that the Albigenses, gross Manichees as they were, disbelievers in the Incarnation, deriders of Baptism, and enemies of all external religion, still conceived themselves in a position to call the Roman Church "the mother of fornications, and the basilica of the devil, and the synagogue of Satan, and the den of thieves, and the Apocalyptic harlot;" while the Waldenses called it "the Church of the malignants," and "Babylon." There is then nothing to surprise us in the language which Protestants have used, whether against us or against the Roman Catholics; they do but know and take their own place, and act conformably to their function in the history of Christianity.

We are tempted to add one remarkable illustration in point, in addition to the above furnished to us by Dr. {153} Todd, from a treatise now in course of publication, which from circumstances has attracted some attention. A work indeed of such talent and such range as "Ancient Christianity" of course deserves attention on its own ground from persons interested in its subject,—that is, will deserve it when it is completed. At present it is only in an inchoate state, and if we attempted at this moment to master the author's argument, we might find on his finishing it in subsequent numbers, that it as little resembled our conceptions of it, as any complete copy of a work resembles its first rough draught. We have in consequence felt it right to be patient, and to wait and see where he ends, a resolution in which we are confirmed by finding it adopted by others beside ourselves, and persons too not agreeing with us in theological views. The particular point for which we now refer to him, is his avowal, as Dr. Todd quotes him, that the state of the Church of the fourth century is the fulfilment of the prophecy in 1 Tim. iv., concerning "the apostasy of some from the faith," in "forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats." Dr. Todd's remarks on this passage, which form the subject of his sixth lecture, are very valuable. He observes, (after Mede so far,) that the prophecy is a continuation of the train of thought begun at the conclusion of the foregoing chapter. The Apostle had said, "great is the mystery of godliness," and, after describing it, he adds, "but the Spirit speaketh expressly that some shall apostatize from the faith," this faith once for all delivered,—"the great mystery of godliness." If this be so, it will follow that the falling away or apostasy to come is a denial of the Incarnation; a conclusion which is singularly confirmed by St. John's words, "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in {154} the flesh is not of God, and this is that spirit of Antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it shall come, and even now already is it in the world;" or, as St. Paul speaks, "the mystery of iniquity doth already work;"—a pointed contrast being intended by the Apostle between the mystery of truth and the mystery of error. St. Peter confirms this view by prophesying, as the great evil which lies before the Church, "false teachers" who shall "privily bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them." Then as to the two specified points which mark the Apostasy,—of forbidding marriage and meats,—every one who can read his Greek Testament must know quite well, that the word rendered "meats" has as little to do with flesh specially, (which is what the Roman Church or the Nicene Church has in view when it enjoins fasting,) as the word sweetmeat in English has. "It denotes food," says Dr. Todd, whether animal or vegetable; in short, whatsoever is employed for the aliment and sustenance of man."—P. 309. But, independently of this, it is very wonderful how any one can see in this passage a condemnation of fasting, who professes to hold, with the English Church, its religious use, or can make it a peculiar badge either of the Roman or of the Primitive. Well may Mr. Maitland say,—as Dr. Todd quotes him,—

"I feel quite at a loss how to express my astonishment, that any expositor should have been hardy enough to carry on the interpretation, by applying this part of the prophecy to the fasts of the Church of Rome. Strange indeed it will be, if the predicted mark of apostasy should turn out to be a practice commanded in the word of God, recognized as a religious duty by every Christian communion, and placed first and foremost in her list of 'good works' by the purest Protestant Church in the world. (See the Homily 'Of Good Works, and first of Fasting.') To say that this, which the Church of England enjoins on her members as a 'good {155} work,' whose commendation is both in the law and in the Gospel," changes its character so far as to become a badge of apostasy, when excessively or superstitiously performed, is a shift which it would not be worth while to answer, if the reply were not so close at hand. Has the Church of Rome ever commanded such excessive abstinence as had been practised by voluntary superstition long before that Church was distinguished as the apostasy, or, in fact, distinguished at all from the rest of the Catholic Church? And has the Greek Church never been excessive or superstitious on this point?"—P. 341.

On the other hand, it is a very observable fact that such an unnatural or rather murderous abstinence, as is spoken of in this text of the Apostle, did exist among the Albigenses. Our author says,—

"The most remarkable instance, perhaps, of voluntary suicide recommended, under the name of religion, by a sect pretending to Christianity was the endura or fasting to death, practised among the Albigenses of Thoulouse, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. It seems that these heretics recommended the endura to such persons as were received into the communion of their sect during their last illness, or what was supposed to be so; and that these unhappy dupes of a miserable superstition were taught to believe, that by submitting to be thus starved to death, their everlasting happiness was secured. Abundant proofs of the existence of this cruel and monstrous practice among these heretics, will be found in the Book of Sentences of the Inquisition … The well-known superstitions of the natives of India exhibit numerous instances of self-immolation performed from a religious motive, and widely spread, nay popular, for centuries, among an intelligent, and not in other respects an uncivilised, people."—Pp. 309, 310.

In like manner, the Manichees and Gnostics commanded abstinence from certain kinds of food, not for a moral end, but on the ground of their being unlawful or unfit for use, or, contrariwise to St. Paul, as if not "every creature of God was good." Dr. Todd also quotes St. Augustine, who says of the Tatianists, that "they condemn marriage, and hold it all one with fornication {156} and other impurity; and do not receive into their number man or woman living in a married state. Nor do they eat flesh, but abominate it altogether."—P. 31. As to this other characteristic of the Apostasy, that it shall forbid marriage, Dr. Todd observes, in behalf of the Church of Rome, what will apply still more strongly to the Nicene Church, that the words in the inspired text

"imply, in their natural and obvious signification, an absolute prohibition of marriage, on some such principles as those which led to the prohibition of it in the ancient Gnostic and Manichæan sects; or else, perhaps, on the licentious principles which are not without their advocates in our own times … Without attempting, therefore, in the least to defend or to excuse this part of the discipline and doctrine of the Roman Church,—for I believe it indefensible,—I trust I may be permitted to express my doubts, whether the injunction or recommendation to celibacy to certain classes of persons in that communion, can in fairness and candour be represented as equivalent to a general prohibition of the holy ordinance of matrimony, or a denial of its divine institution. I am persuaded that the prophecy before us is intended to predict a much more fatal error than that of Romanism; an error more destructive to morality and to society; an error, which, if we are to seek for its antitype in modern times, would seem to be represented rather by what we have seen was always the result of infidel domination, both in our own country,—during the temporary overthrow of our religion and monarchy,—and in still later times, in France, where the marriage contract was capable of being legally dissolved at any time by the mutual consent of the parties; and that infidel opinions of a similar tendency are not without their victims in our own nation, at the present day, none need be told who are acquainted with what is now commonly maintained on this subject by the enemies of our faith and institutions. We have not indeed, as yet, seen men go to the length of prohibiting the ordinance of the Church, or the public recognition of the civil contract; but we have seen in our own times a legal sanction given to a mode of entering upon this contract, wherein neither the blessing of the Almighty is besought, nor the Church admitted as a witness. How far this may be considered as a step to a more anti-Christian state of things, it would ill become me to predict; at present it can only be {157} appealed to as one amongst many still more unequivocal indications of the tendency of a certain class of opinions, now widely spread amongst us, and an earnest of what may fairly be expected from a national recognition of infidelity, and an overthrow of the Christian Church.

"But the subject is one upon which it would be manifestly impossible to enter here; and I shall therefore only say that I believe the prophecy to have foretold an infidel prohibition of the ordinance of marriage, rather than a superstitious preference for a life of celibacy, and that a state of things is hereafter to be revealed, far, far exceeding in impiety and immorality any example of superstition, hypocrisy, or mistaken devotion that has ever been tolerated in the darkest period or region of the Church."—Pp. 333-339.

But now to return to the imputation upon Ancient Christianity cast by the author to whom we have referred in connexion with this text, an imputation which, in the case of writers of his cast of opinions, we do really consider, as we have said, to be one of the Notes of the Church in every age.—Dr. Todd thus records and comments on it:—

"This writer abandons as untenable the interpretation which supposes this prophecy to have been fulfilled in the Roman Church, on the ground that, in the sense in which the Apostle's words have been applied to that communion, they are equally applicable to the Church Catholic, Eastern and Western, of the Nicene age. He says, "but here again we are met by that Protestant habit of thinking, which has, in so many instances, impelled the anxious opponents of the Papacy to attribute specifically to the Romish Church what in truth belongs to it only in common with the Eastern and with the Nicene Church ... Protestant commentators, in referring to this prediction, have been wont to call it a striking prediction of Popery. But why Popery? as well say of Spanish Catholicism, or of Irish Catholicism ... In our eagerness … to attach this brand to Papacy we have too much forgotten that Rome only inherited and shared the more ancient Apostasy." … The author of Ancient Christianity ... not only admits, but broadly asserts, ... that the Nicene Church was apostate ... 'Popery will live and triumph so long as those corruptions continue {158} to be called Popish, which, in fact, were much more ancient. In the present instance, I appeal to serious and candid minds, competently informed in Church history, and ask, whether the brand of Apostasy be not herein fixed by the Apostolic hand upon ... the Nicene Church?'"—Todd, pp. 516-518.


Here then we have ancient and modern dissentients from the Primitive Church, Donatists, Luciferians, and the author of "Ancient Christianity," not satisfied with dissenting, but accusing her of apostasy. One should not wish the English Church to be other than a partner in a cross which Athanasius and Augustine have borne in their day and down to these times. And now let us see whether, for well-nigh three centuries, the Reformed Anglo-Catholic communion has not also in fact borne it. The writings of Puritan and other authors will afford us abundant materials on this subject, of which the following may serve as a specimen, which are extracted from the works which first come to hand.

For instance, these dissentients from us are in the habit of calling our Church Babylon, and Antichrist, especially on the ground of our Church's union with the State; a more outrageous reason cannot well be conceived, of course; but we must beg our readers to bear with what is monstrous for the sake of the various lessons, which the survey brings with it. "The kingdom of Christ," says the celebrated Robert Browne, founder of the Brownists, as quoted by Mr. Hanbury, in his late elaborate collection of "Historical Memorials relating to the Independents,"—"The kingdom of Christ is His office of government, whereby He useth the obedience of His people to keep His laws and commandments to their salvation and welfare. The kingdom of Antichrist {159} is his government confirmed by the civil magistrate, whereby he abuseth the obedience of his people to keep his evil laws and customs to their own damnation."—P. 21. Barrowe, taking "a little view of the ecclesiastical government and ordinances of" the Church of England, says, "Great hath been their craft and manifold their devices to cover their anti-Christian practices, and to uphold this their ruinous and tyrannous kingdom. I had need express my meaning to be of their false ecclesiastical regiment, the Kingdom of the Beast; lest they be my interpreters, and draw me with danger and treason."—P. 45. Again, to take a recent instance—"What I denounce as anti-Christian," says the late Mr. Walker, of Dublin, "is not this or that corruption in the Establishment, nor is it the religious establishment of England and Ireland, etc., etc. It is the generic thing of a religious establishment, under the name of Christian, under whatever modifications and specific differences, the thing per se cannot but be anti-Christian; and when such a thing is put forward as Christianity, Christians are called to discern in it the man of sin usurping the prerogative of God."—Works, vol. 1., p. 341. Again, he says that "One of the distinguishing characters of the Christian religion is, that it cannot possibly be made a political establishment—cannot be made a national institution." "When the Church of Christ," he continues, "espoused as a pure virgin unto Him, becomes a common harlot, committing fornication with the kings of the earth, she ceases to be the Church of Christ."—Ibid., p. 339. Again, "Multitudes in anti-Christian Europe burn with zeal for the false Christ, whom they have set up in their union of Church and State, while they scorn and detest the only true Christ, the Christ of God, and manifest this by their {160} contemptuous rejection of the word that testifies of Him."—vol. ii., p. 93. And to the same purport is the following avowal of Wesley's, as it occurs in a pamphlet from which we shall further quote below: "From the time that Church and State, the kingdom of Christ and of the world, were so strangely and unnaturally blended together, Christianity and heathenism were so thoroughly incorporated with each other that they will hardly ever be divided till Christ comes to reign on the earth. So that instead of fancying that the glory of the New Jesusalem covered the earth at that period, we have the terrible proof that it was then, and has ever since been, covered with the smoke of the bottomless pit."

Another ground taken against us is the circumstance of our considering the Church as an hierarchy, a religious, spiritual, or divine, and not a human society. For instance, Bishop Hall, in his answer to Robinson, tells us that the latter had cast "upon her honourable name blasphemous imputations of apostasy, anti-Christianism, whoredom, and rebellion;" and Robinson thus defends himself: "The mystery of iniquity did advance itself by degrees, and, as the rise was, so must the fall be. That man of sin and lawless man must languish and die away of a consumption ... You have renounced many false doctrines in Popery, and in their places embraced the truth. But what if this truth be taught under the same hateful prelacy, in the same devised office of the ministry, and confused communion of the profane multitude? If Antichrist held not many truths, wherewith should he countenance so many forgeries? Or how mould his work to a 'mystery of iniquity' which in Rome is more gross and palpable, but in England is spun with a finer thread, and so more hardly to be discovered? I desire to know of you whether the office of archbishops, bishops, {161} and the rest of that rank, were not parts of that accursed hierarchy in Queen Mary's days, and members of 'the man of sin'? All the Reformed Churches in the world renounce the prelacy of England as part of that pseudo-clergy and anti-Christian hierarchy derived from Rome."—Pp. 186-193. And Burton speaks in like manner of the bishops of his day: "Beware of all those factors for Antichrist, whose practice is to divide kings from their subjects and subjects from their kings, that so, between both, they may fairly erect Antichrist's throne again ... Herein have we cause to comfort ourselves and to bless the name of our God, who hath raised up faithful ministers of His word, who chose rather to lose all they had than to submit to the commands of usurping anti-Christian mushrooms."—P. 555. And no less a man than Milton says, "Mark, readers, the crafty scope of these prelates; they endeavour to impress deeply into weak and superstitious fancies the awful notion of a 'Mother;' that thereby they might cheat them into a blind and implicit obedience to whatsoever they shall decree or think fit. And if we come to ask a reason of aught from our 'Dear Mother,' she is invisible, under the lock and key of the Prelates, her spiritual adulterers. They only are the internuncios, or the go-betweens of this time-devised mummery. Whatsoever they say, she says must be a deadly sin of disobedience not to believe. So that we, who by God's special grace have shaken off the servitude of a great male tyrant, our pretended father, the Pope, should now, if we be not betimes aware of these wily teachers, sink under the slavery of a female notion; the cloudy conception of a demi-island 'Mother;' and, while we think to be obedient sons, shall make ourselves rather the bastards, or the centaurs, of their spiritual fornications."—Hanb., p. 187. {162} How precisely the fanatic spirit of the Donatist Circumcellionists!

The Apostolical succession and priesthood is another ground on which these modern heretics call us Antichrist. "Our prelates," says Burton, "have no other claim for their hierarchy than the Popes have and do make; which all our divines, since the Reformation, till but yesterday, have disclaimed, and our prelates cannot otherwise but by making themselves the very limbs of the Pope, and so our Church a member of that synagogue of Rome."—P. 553. In like manner, Mr. Walker: "It is now many years since I have renounced with abhorrence the title of 'Reverend,' and the whole clerical character connected with it. That character, under whatever name or modification, is one of the ungodly fictions of the man of sin, and one of the main pillars of Antichrist's kingdom."—Vol. ii., p. 354. Again: "Stare not, when I assert that the distinction between clergy and laity is essentially anti-Christian, and indeed one of the main pillars supporting the edifice of the man of sin ... The blasphemous titles assumed by the Pope of Rome go little beyond the profane arrogance of our English bishops in styling themselves 'Successors of the Apostles in the government of the Church ... From the prime ministers of Antichrist all the inferior orders of clergy received their ordination, their appointment, and their sacred function ... 'This do in remembrance of Me,' saith the Lord. 'No, no!' say the clergy, 'presume not to do it, unless ye have among you one of the clerical caste, to consecrate the elements, and administer them to you.'"—Vol. ii., p. 520.

Another ground taken by these writers is that of our rites and liturgical services. "Your temples," says Robinson, "especially your Cathedrals and Mother {163} Churches, stand still in their proud majesty, possessed by archbishops and lord bishops, like the Flamens and Arch-flamens amongst the Gentiles, from whom they were derived, and furnished with all manner of pompous and superstitious monuments, as carved and painted images, massing copes and surplices, chanting and organ music, and many other glorious ornaments of the Romish harlot, by which her majesty is commended to and admired by the vulgar; so far are you in these respects from being gone, or fled, yea or crept either, out of Babylon."—P. 197. "If a man," says the same writer, "should set the Church of England before his eyes, as it differeth but from the Reformed Churches, it would be no very beautiful bird; yea, what could it in that colour afford but Egyptian bondage, Babylonish confusion, carnal pomp, and a company of Jewish, Heathenish and Popish ceremonies?"—P. 205. "Shall we think that the services of Antichrist," says Bastwick, "only taken out of the language of the Beast and put into English, and in French, or any other tongue, is acceptable unto God? And, that our services, the whole Prayer-book, is taken out of the Mass-book and other Popish pamphlets, I myself, being in Italy, compared them together. And for our Litany, if I do not forget myself, it is translated, word for word, out of the Litany to our Lady, as they call it: Lady being turned into Lord, as in the Lady's Psalter, Lord and God are turned into Lady."—P. 575. "These blasphemous wretches," says Barrowe, "not to darken only, but to reproach the truth yet further, proceed and give out 'that the heavenly order and ordinances which Christ hath appointed in His Testament,' the government of His Church, which they call discipline, 'are but accidental, and no essential work of the Established Church.' ... {164} Thus is Antichrist extolled, and openeth his mouth against God and all His ordinances."—P. 45. And in like manner, Mr. Walker, in answer to Archbishop Whately's Tract on the Sabbath, "The Church,' he (the Archbishop) tells us, 'has full power to sanctify any day that may be thought most fitting.' Power to sanctify! the assumption of the man of sin can scarcely be carried higher than this. Here he appears indeed as God sitting in the Temple of God."—Works, vol. ii., p. 144.

Again, the mixture of good and bad men in our Church, and her injunctions to unity, are made a fresh proof of her kindred with Antichrist. "For your graces," says Robinson, "we despise them not, nor any good thing amongst you; no more than you do such graces and good things as are to be found in the Church of Rome, from which you separate notwithstanding. We have, by God's mercy, the pure and right use of the good gifts and graces of God in Christ's ordinance, which you want. Neither the Lord's people nor the holy vessels could make Babylon Sion; though both one and the other were captive for a time."—P. 201. Robinson, in a passage above cited, observes, that we have still the prelacy, the ministry, and the "confused communion of the profane mu1titude," which are badges of Antichrist. And Mr. Walker observes to a friend, "You quote Eph. iv. 3 as warranting your tender apprehensions, lest you should disturb the tranquillity of that ungodly confederacy in which you are engaged, by the introduction of Scriptural truth. The 'unity of the Spirit' indeed! let me freely tell you, that I view the unity of the Spirit which you are endeavouring thus to keep, as no other than the unity of the Spirit of Antichrist."—P. 374.

Much might be said in addition on the subject of faith {165} and works, baptism, and other doctrines, by way of showing how fully our Church is practically involved in the charge of Antichristianism by those who adopt Luther's view of the "articulus stantis vel cadentis ecclesiæ." "Dissenters," says a clever pamphlet from one of themselves, "whether justly or not, believe that baptismal regeneration, the exclusive validity of the Orders conferred by bishops, the consequent exclusive right of the clergy 'to be quite sure that they have the body of Christ, to give to the people,' the conversion of the Christian ministry into a priesthood, with the inevitable association of some mysterious nature connected with their services ... they believe that that from which they naturally spring, really is contained and taught in the offices and canons of the Church; and if not, they know that the things themselves are extensively assumed and circulated as if they were there; and that, even when denied in the pulpit, the belief of them is fostered by the fact, that the uniform phraseology of the Book of Common Prayer is, apparently at least, founded upon them. They consider that pernicious and perilous errors lurk in the language and are supported by the use of the Confirmation Service and the form of Absolution, both public and private; and they think that very much that is awfully deceptive is engendered or aggravated by the manner in which the Lord's Supper is dispensed to the dying, and the Burial Service read over the dead." [Note 1]


Our object in making the foregoing selections has been mainly this, to show that the charge on the part of its enemies of being Antichrist, or verging on Antichrist, is one of those notes or characteristics which go {166} to ascertain the true Church; next, that in consequence, much as there is to condemn in the Roman communion, yet, if that communion is not proved on other grounds to be the Babylon of prophecy, the mere fact that it is so called, however startling at first sight, affords no presumption that it is so; and lastly, and what most concerns members of our own body, that we should be cautious of calling Rome by the name of Babylon, inasmuch as we are certain of being so called ourselves if ours is the true Church [Note 2], and that, in matter of fact, we have ever been so called,—more so, since we became separate from Rome, than before,—and that down to this day. If any of us think to gain for ourselves some relief from the odious imputation, by casting it boldly upon Rome, he quite mistakes both our position and the feelings of our opponents. They will take what we give, and use it against ourselves. Let us be quite sure of the truth of the sacred and heathen proverbs in this case, one of which says, that stones cast into the air fall back upon the caster's head; and the other, that curses, like young chickens, always come home to roost. Newton tells us in one place, that "The seeds of popery, sown even in the Apostles' day, were idolatry, strife, and division, adulterating God's word, making 'a gain of godliness, and teaching for filthy lucre's sake,'" (Oh, Dr. Newton!) "a vain observance of festivals, a vain distinction of meats, a neglecting of the body, and traditions and commandments of men." How ill would the "plurima pietas," which suggested such an enumeration to this mild logician, have fared in the rude unmannerly hands of Henry Ainsworth, who, in his "Arrow against Idolatry," {167} reckons among its relics existing among us, our "Diocesan, Provincial, and National Churches," our "Liturgies" and "organs," our holy days with their eves, our hierarchy, our "Churches, baptized bells, hallowed fonts, and holy churchyards," or, as he appropriately calls them, "high places," our "lands, livings, tithes, offerings, garments, signs, gestures, ceremonies, courts, canons, customs, and many more abominations wherewith have been enriched the merchants of the whore and all that sail with ships in her sea." These and others, (he proceeds to say,) are "very Gilluhim, the loathsome idols and excrements of the Queen of Sodom and the filthiness of her fornication" with which "she defileth the consciences of men." [Note 3] We desiderate in Newton's Treatise an answer to these railings; and we think no English divine does us a service who so vaguely delineates Antichrist that at a little distance his picture looks not very unlike ourselves. He should be precise enough not to include England while he includes Rome; and this task, whatever be the grievous errors of Rome, we hold to be impossible. All the great and broad principles on which she may be considered Babylon, may be retorted on us. Does the essence of Antichrist lie in interposing media between the soul and its God? we interpose baptism;—In imposing a creed? we have articles for the clergy and creeds for all men;—In paying reverence to things of time and place? we honour the consecrated elements, take off our hats in churches, and observe days and seasons;—In forms and ceremonies? we have a service book;—In ministers of religion? we have bishops, priests, and deacons;—In claiming an imperium in imperio? such was the convocation, such are elective chapters;—In the high state of prelacy? our bishops {168} have palaces, and sit among princes;—In supporting religion by temporal sanctions? we are established;—In the mixture of good and bad? we are national;—In discipline of the body? we fast. England does not differ then from Rome in principles, but in questions of fact, of degree, of practice; and whereas Antichrist differs from Christ, as darkness from light, if one of the two Churches is Antichrist, the other must be also.

Nay, let not even the Kirk be too sure that she has succeeded in ridding herself of the same frightful imputation. So far as she still retains upon her the shadow of a Church, so far does she, in the eyes of those who have cast off all churchmanship, bear tokens of the enemy of truth. A Church, as such, as Mr. Walker confesses in his own case, is what Protestants really mean by Antichrist. We have a strange paper before us, which has been widely circulated, and is written by a late Fellow of a College in the University of Oxford, which, after deciding that the first Beast is the Papacy, the seven horns the seven sacraments, war with the beast the Protestant league, the mouth speaking great things, the Council of Trent, goes on to say, that the second Beast is the Queen's supremacy, the two horns like a lamb, are the two Universities, Oxford and Cambridge, the image to the first Beast, the book of Common Prayer, the name of the second Beast the supreme head of the Church, and ends by warning the Kirk that the Queen's High Commissioner in the General Assembly "sits there, as in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God," (that is, supreme head of the Church in its ecclesiastical capacity,) and by asking "If the Church of England be an idolatrous Church, as was universally held by all Presbyterians in the reign of the Stewarts, identifying as they did, Prelacy with Popery throughout, upon what {169} principle does the Evangelical portion in particular of the Church of Scotland now seek a closer union with the Church of England, when the latter Church has notoriously become more superstitious than ever, with her crosses, and candlesticks, and altars, and faldstools, and though last, not least, with her priestly robes and royal dalmatics?" Let it be observed that this writer, as well as Ainsworth and the rest, accuses us of idolatry, the one point in which we might seem at first sight specifically to differ from Rome; but it is a remarkable circumstance that, real as this difference is, as we should contend, Idolatry is not mentioned in Scripture as a mark of Antichrist; just the reverse. "Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers," says the prophecy, "nor regard any god, for he shall magnify himself above all; but in his estate he shall honour the god of forces." "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called god or that is worshipped." "He opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven."


Enough has been said to show the deficiency of theological principle, on which the attack upon Rome has commonly been conducted among us. Writers of our Church who call her Babylon, ought to have laid down definitely what they considered the essence of Antichrist, and have shown that our own was clear of it. They ought, before attacking the foundations of Rome, to have shown that we ourselves had not built upon them. Instead of this, in their eagerness to strike a blow at Rome, they have done no little to overturn all visible, all established religion in the world, and to involve the Primitive Church, our own, the Kirk—nay, all sects and {170} denominations whatever,—in one common ruin. And now we will make a suggestion towards remedying their deficiency, that is, towards analysing the principle on which alone Rome can logically be called the seat of Antichrist: whether such principle, when stated, will be satisfactory to ourselves, and available in our warfare with our Roman Catholic brethren, is another matter.

Now, whatever has been said above to make it probable that the calumny of being Antichrist is in fact one of the Notes of the true Church, yet nothing has been suggested to account for the phenomenon that the Church, or what is like the Church, should be exposed to so strange an imputation. It is satisfactory indeed to be told that, if we are called Beelzebub, we are but fulfilling our Master's pattern; but still the question remains how men come to call us so? We conceive upon the following principle.

We observe then that the essence of the doctrine that there is "One only Catholic and Apostolic Church" lies in this;—that there is on earth a representative of our absent Lord, or a something divinely interposed between the soul and God, or a visible body with invisible privileges. All its subordinate characteristics flow from this description. Does it impose a creed, or impose rites and ceremonies, or change ordinances, or remit and retain sins, or rebuke and punish, or accept offerings, or send out ministers, or invest its ministers with authority, or accept of reverence or devotion in their persons?—all this is because it is Christ's visible presence. It stands for Christ. Can it convey the power of the Spirit? does grace attend its acts? can it touch, or bathe, or seal, or lay on hands? can it use material things for spiritual purposes? are its temples holy?—all this comes of its being (so far) what Christ {171} was on earth. Is it a ruler, prophet, priest, intercessor, teacher?—it has titles such as these in its measure, as being the representative and instrument of the Almighty Lord who is unseen. Does it claim a palace and a throne, an altar and a doctor's chair, the gold, frankincense and myrrh of the rich and wise, an universal empire and a never-ending succession?—all this is so, because it is what Christ is. All the offices, names, honours, powers which it claims depend upon the determination of the simple question—Has Christ, or has He not, left a representative behind Him?

Now if He has, then all is easy and intelligible; this is what churchmen maintain; they welcome the news; and they recognize in the Church's acts but the fulfilment of the high trust committed to her. But let us suppose for a moment the other side of the alternative to be true;—supposing Christ has left no representative behind Him. Well, then, here is an Association which professes to take His place without warrant. It comes forward instead of Christ and for Him; it speaks for Him, it developes His words; it suspends His appointments, it grants dispensations in matters of positive duty; it professes to minister grace, it absolves from sin;—and all this of its own authority. Is it not forthwith, according to the very force of the word, "Antichrist"? He who speaks for Christ must either be His true ambassador or Antichrist; and nothing but Antichrist can he be, if appointed ambassador there is none. Let his acts be the same in both cases, according as he has authority or not, so is he most holy or most guilty. It is not the acts that make the difference, it is the authority for those acts. The very same acts are Christ's acts or Antichrist's, according to the doer: they are Christ's, if Christ does them; they are Antichrist's, if Christ does {172} them not. There is no medium between a Vice-Christ and Antichrist.

It is no accident then or strange occurrence that the Church should have been called Antichrist. She must be called so in consistency by those who separate from her. Such an imputation is the necessary result of disbelief in her commission. Her acts are known in all the world; there is no mistaking them. Difference of opinion about them will be shown not in disputing against what is mere matter of history and public notoriety, but in viewing them in a different light, and referring it to a distinct origin. Convince the Presbyterian or Wesleyan that the Church has spiritual powers, and he will find no great difficulty in her general conduct: she does not act up to her commission. If the Church be from Christ, even her least acceptable words or deeds ex cathedrâ may be taken on faith: if she be not, even her best are presumptuous, and call for a protest. She is an honoured servant in one case; an usurper and tyrant in another. There is on the whole then but one issue in the controversy about the Church, and that a very plain and simple one. Its children and its enemies both understand that the Church professes to act for God, but the one party says rightfully, the other wrongfully. This then is the point on which the controversy turns, and before which all other questions sink in importance. All may easily be arranged when this one question is settled. Neglect it, and we shall be arguing without understanding where we are; master this one principle, and you may change your whole position in a day: the Church will be henceforth faithful for arrogant, diligent for officious, charitable for political, firm for violent, holy for blasphemous, Christ for Antichrist. If we believe she has a commission, we {173} shall be Catholics, and call her holy: if we make our inward light, or our reason, or our feelings, our guide, and set up Antichrist within us, then, with Gnostics, Montanists, Novatians, Manichees, Donatists, Paulicians, Albigenses, Calvinists, and Brownists, we shall, in mere self-defence and mere consistency, call her Babylon, Sodom, sorceress, harlot, Jezebel, Beelzebub, and Antichrist. A sacerdotal order is historically the essence of the Church; if not divinely appointed, it is doctrinally the essence of Antichrist.

And thus we answer a gibe, we believe of Baxter's, which at first sight is not without its force. He said that "If the Pope was not Antichrist, he had bad luck to be so like him." Not "bad luck;" but sheer necessity. Since Antichrist simulates Christ, and bishops are images of Christ, Antichrist is like a bishop, and a bishop is like Antichrist. And what is the Pope but a bishop? his peculiarity lying, not in his assuming to be omnibus numeris a bishop, but in his disfranchising all bishops but himself; not in his titles nor in his professed gifts, which are episcopal, but in his denying these to other bishops, and absorbing the episcopate into himself.

The only question then is this, "Has Christ, or has He not, appointed a body representative of Him on earth during His absence?" If He has, the Pope is not Antichrist;—if He has not, every bishop in England, Bishop Newton, Bishop Warburton, Bishop Hurd, is Antichrist; every priest is Antichrist, Mr. McNeile, Dr. Jortin, and Dr. Faussett inclusive. We hold most firmly that He has, or of course we could not belong to the Church of England; this, however, is not the place to prove it in extenso. We have done all that falls within the scope of Dr. Todd's lectures, if we have shown that {174} members of the English Church are not quite the persons to venture to speak of "that woman Jezebel," meaning thereby the Holy Church Catholic, sojourning in Rome; however, before concluding, we may be allowed to make one or two suggestions in behalf of our side of the main principle itself, which is in dispute, viz., that Christ has left behind Him a representative society.


Now, that He has condescended so to do, is so clearly declared in the sacred volume, especially when its announcements are viewed in the light of historical facts, that we could almost say that the argument did but require to be fairly brought out, in order to the conviction of any serious and unbiassed mind. Not even the proof of our Lord's divinity is plainer than that of the Church's commission. Not even the promises to David or to Solomon more evidently belong to Christ, than those to Israel, or Jerusalem, or Sion, belong to the Church. Not even Daniel's prophecies are more exact to the letter, than those which invest the Church with powers which Protestants consider Babylonish. Nay, holy Daniel himself is in no small measure employed on this very subject. He it is who announces a fifth kingdom, like "a stone cut out without hands," which "broke in pieces and consumed" all former kingdoms, but was itself to "stand for ever," and to become "a great mountain," and to "fill the whole earth." He it is also who prophesies, that "the Saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever." He "saw in the night visions, and behold one like to the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and there was given Him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all {175} people, nations, and languages should serve Him." Such too is Isaiah's prophecy, "Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the law from Jerusalem, and He shall judge among the nations and rebuke many people." Now Christ Himself was to depart from the earth: He could not then in His own person be intended in these great prophecies; if He acted, it must be by delegacy. Let us then for a moment suppose that the Church has been really His vicar and representative. Supposing her so to be, He has as truly and literally judged among the nations, and rebuked many people, reigned in righteousness, promoted peace, taught the nations, repressed the wicked, as the sovereign of England keeps the peace, administers justice, punishes offences, and performs other regal offices by his courts of law, magistrates, army, police, and other functionaries. All works indeed in which man has part are marked with imperfection; divine promises and counsels are but fulfilled on the whole and in due measure in this sinful world. It is easy to point out ten thousand instances in which the functionaries of the Church have failed of their duty to their Lord and Master, when, according to His own announcement, the "wicked servant" has said "in his heart, my Lord delayeth His coming," and has begun "to beat the man-servants and the maidens, and to eat and drink, and be drunken;" still it is impossible surely to read the history of the Church, up to the last four or five hundred years, with an unprejudiced mind, without perceiving that whatever were the faults of her servants, and the corruptions of her children, she has on the whole been the one element of civilization, light, moral improvement, peace, and purity in the world. In the darkest times, with exceptions too brief or local to bear insisting {176} on, she has been far the superior, in those respects in which she was designed to be superior, of those earthly powers among whom she has moved. In the darkest times, and when the conduct of her organs was least defensible, and her professed aims and principles most extreme, she will be found, when contrasted with other powers, to be fighting the cause of truth and right against sin,—to be a witness for God, or defending the poor, or purifying or reforming her own servants and ministers, or promoting peace, and maintaining the holy faith committed to her. This she was till she quarrelled with herself, and divided into parts; what she has been since, what she is now, a future age must decide; we can only trust in faith that she is what she ever has been, and was promised ever to be,—one amid her divisions, and holy amid her corruptions.

But returning to the thought of former and happier times, what, we ask, are her acts as then displayed, so lordly and high, so maternal, so loving yet so firm, so calm yet so keen, so gentle yet so vigorous, so full of the serpent's wisdom yet of the dove's innocence; what is all this but a literal accomplishment of the sure word of prophecy concerning the reign of Christ upon earth? The writings of the Fathers, as they have come down to us, form an historical comment upon the inspired pages of Isaiah, supplying numberless instances of the execution of that high mission, whereby the spiritual Israel was set forth in the world, as the elect of God, created as an instrument of righteousness to set forth his Maker's glory, to teach truth and righteousness, "to relieve the oppressed, to judge the fatherless, to plead for the widow," to feed the hungry, to shield the imperilled, to raise the fallen, to repress the tyrannical, to reconcile enemies, and largely to dispense benefits to {177} and fro. Even what is visibly exhibited in the page of history is an abundant and a most wonderful accomplishment of the prophetic word. We find, for instance, St. Ambrose journeying across the Alps in the winter to protect Justina from the usurper Maximus; we read of the bishops throughout France interceding with the latter for members of their flock or for others, who had taken part against him; while Flavian, Bishop of Antioch, on that city having grievously insulted the emperor, betakes himself in his old age to Constantinople, presents himself before his offended sovereign, and gains his pardon. St. Basil founds an hospital for lepers in his diocese in Cappadocia, and his example is followed throughout the neighbouring country. He writes to Valerian to offer his mediation between Valerian and certain Cæsareans; to Elias, the imperial collector, to gain longer time for his people's contribution; to Callisthenes, to persuade him to deal mildly with certain slaves; to the Count of the private purse, for a diminution of the tribute of iron exacted of the people of Taurus, and of mares exacted of another place; to two parties going to law, offering himself as arbitrator, in order to save them expense; to a civil officer, to save the country people from the oaths usual on paying taxes; to Duke Andronicus, to soften his feelings towards Domitian; to a commissioner of taxes, to relieve the hospitals from imposts; and to Modestus, to relieve Helladius from a civil employment.

"Certain Circumcellianists and Donatist clergy," says St. Austin to Apringius, "have confessed horrible enormities of theirs against my brethren and priests, that they waylaid and murdered one, carried off from his home another, pulled out his eye, cut off his finger, and mutilated him. Finding that they would fall under your axe, I write in haste to your nobility, by way of deprecating, for the mercy {178} of Christ, any strict retaliation. Though the law's punishment cannot lie in the very same acts in which the offenders showed their fury, yet I fear lest they, at least the murderers, should meet with sentence at your hands. That they may not, a Christian petitions the judge, a bishop admonishes the Christian. You bear not the sword in vain; but it is one thing when a province is the party injured, another when the Church. Fear with us the rigorous judgment of God our Father, and be a pattern of the clemency of your mother. For when you act, the Church acts, for whom you act, whose son you are in acting. They with the sword of guilt drew blood of Christians; you from their blood hold back even the sword of justice for Christ's sake. They robbed the Church's minister of his time for living; do you prolong to her enemies their time for repenting."

Or, to take another department of their high duties, St. Ambrose suspends the Emperor Theodosius from communion for a passionate massacre of the inhabitants of Thessalonica; St. Athanasius excommunicated a military chief of Libya, for immoral conduct, forbidding him throughout Christendom fire, water, and shelter at the hands of the faithful; St. Basil interdicts a certain refractory person from the Church services; and Synesius abandons to the divine anger Andronicus, president of Libya, a cruel tyrant, who had invented instruments of torture to extort money from the people.

Or, let us view a third aspect of the episcopal character.

"I lived," said Theodoret when accused of heresy, "in a monastery up to the time of my episcopate, and received that charge against my will. Five-and-twenty years have I lived bishop, nor have ever been appealed against by any, nor any have I accused. Not an obol, not a cloke have I received from any. Not one loaf or one egg has domestic of mine ever received. Except the rags that cover me, nought have I endured to take. Public porticos have I erected out of my ecclesiastical revenue. Two bridges have I built of largest size; I have taken the charge of public baths. Finding the city wanting in supply from the river that runs near it, I made the aqueduct, and have filled with water this deficient city. {179} To change the subject, eight villages of Marcionites and their neighbourhoods I have led with their good will into the truth; another full of Eunomians, another of Arians, I have brought to the light of divine knowledge. By God's grace not one tare of heresy remains among us. And all this not without peril; often have I shed my blood, often have I been stoned by them, and brought even to the very gates of hell. But I am become a fool in glorying, yet I speak of necessity, not of will. This the thrice-blessed Paul was forced to do once, to stop the mouth of accusers."

These are but specimens of a varied and widely extended phenomenon which rose up, like a plant out of the ground, from the very beginnings of the Gospel, wherever and whenever, and just so far as the iron hand of persecution relaxed its hold upon the infant religion. Shall we say it is a usurpation of His power from whom all authority comes? or a delegated exercise of it? Is there a kingdom of Christ upon earth or not? This is the simple question, on which all turns. And that there is, would be probable enough, merely considering it is said in Scripture that Christ shall reign, though He is gone away; that there shall be a kingdom, while the Church has in fact fulfilled the objects proposed by it. But the case is far stronger than this; a power short of Christ is expressly addressed in the Prophets, and dominion promised it; a viceroy and vicar is named by them as ruling for Him. "Arise, shine, for thy light is come," says the inspired oracle, "and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light and kings to the brightness of thy rising. The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and all nations shall flow into it." "A king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment, and a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in {180} a weary land. The liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand." "Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers." "The spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, henceforth and for ever." "Ye shall be named the priests of the Lord; men shall call you the ministers of our God. Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall you boast yourselves. I will make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; for thou shalt call thy walls Salvation and thy gates Praise." "Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands: thy walls are continually before me." "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn."


One more remark shall we make, and that shall be the last. What is the real place of the Church of the middle ages in the divine scheme need not be discussed here. If we have been defending it, this has been from no love, let our readers be assured, of the Roman party among us at this day. That party, as exhibited by its acts, is a low-minded, double-dealing, worldly-minded set, and the less we have to do with it the better. Nothing but a clear command from above could make a member of our Church recognise it in any way. We are not speaking against the Church of Rome: it is a {181} sister Church; we are not speaking against individual members of it; far from it: it is our delight to think that God has many saints among them, it ought to be our prayer that among us may be as great saints as have been among them. But what we protest against and shrink from is, that secular and political spirit which in this day has developed itself among them into a party, and at least in this country is that party's motive-principle and characteristic manifestation. We have no sympathy at all with men who are afraid to own the doctrines of their religion, who try to hoodwink the incautious and ignorant, who ungenerously cast off their and our ancestors, the Church's great champions in former times, who take part in political intrigue, who play the sycophant to great men, who flatter the base passions of the multitude, who join with those who are further from them to attack those who are nearer to them, who imitate the low ways of the popular religion, who have music parties in their chapels, and festivals aboard steamers, and harangue at public meetings. Such was not Borromeo, such was not Pascal; such was not Beckett, Innocent, Anselm, Bernard, Hildebrand, or the first Gregory; such were not the men of holy and humble heart, whom Rome commemorates in her services. With such we wish to be "better strangers," the longer we live; and not a word of what we have said, or are about to say, against the notion of Rome being apostate, is spoken for the sake of the like of them. Dismissing them then with this protest, we proceed to our proposed remark.

We take it then for granted, as being beyond doubt, that one main reason why Protestants are suspicious both of the Fathers of the early Church, and of the more orthodox of our writers, is the dread that the doctrine and {182} system which these divines teach is denounced in prophecy as the element of Antichrist, and savours of the predicted apostasy. When pressed with arguments from Scripture or reason, they cannot perhaps answer them, but they see, as they consider, the end to which the Catholic system tends. They judge that the teaching recommended to them is of Antichrist, because it has before now resulted in Popery; and, under the impression that Popery is Antichrist, they say to themselves that somewhere or other there must be a fallacy in the reasoning, for that the fruit is the proof of the tree. Their dread of what is really Apostolical doctrine mainly, nay often solely, rests upon a religious apprehension that the prophecies have denounced it. To persons in this state of mind we propose the following question: If we must go by prophecy, which set of prophecies is more exactly fulfilled in the Church of the middle ages, those of Isaiah which speak of the evangelical kingdom, or those of St. Paul and St. John which speak of the anti-Christian corruption? If the history of Christian Rome corresponds to the denouncements of the Apocalypse, does it not more closely and literally correspond to the promises of Isaiah? If there is a chance of our taking part with Antichrist, taking into account the Apocalypse, is there not a greater chance of our "speaking against the Holy Ghost," considering the book of Isaiah?

To take a broad view of the subject, two traits of Antichrist, we suppose, will be particularly fixed upon as attaching to the see of Rome, pride and luxury, the one seen in its extravagant temporal power, the other in its splendour. For instance, St. Paul speaks of Antichrist as "exalting himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped," sitting "as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Again, the beast {183} is said to have seven heads and ten crowned horns; and the dragon gives him power. And Babylon is called "that great city," and she has power over other cities, and over kings, because she is said to have "made all nations drink of the wine of" her "wrath," and "the kings of the earth had committed fornication with her." And the Beast "opened his mouth in blasphemy," and the woman was on a scarlet-coloured beast "full of names of blasphemy." All this, it is urged, is fulfilled in the Medieval Church's proclaiming herself (as the early Church did before her) to be Christ's vicar, in her assumption of power over kings, and her claim to define and maintain the faith, and to confer spiritual gifts. Now, as to the mode in which her functionaries did this, their motives, their characters, their individual knowledge of the faith, with all this we are not here concerned; but as to the ultimate facts in which the action of the whole system resulted, surely they far more literally correspond to the inspired prophecy of Isaiah than to that of St. John. "The sons of the strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister to thee. The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The sons of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet." "Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet." "Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel. Behold I will make thee a new thrashing instrument having teeth; and thou shalt thrash the mountains, and beat them small, and make the hills as chaff. Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall {184} scatter them." Surely if the correspondence, whatever it is, of the prophecies of Antichrist with the history of the Medieval Church should frighten us from that Church, much more should that of the prophecies concerning Christ's kingdom with her history draw us to her.

The other point commonly insisted on is the Medieval Church's wealth and splendour, the rich embellishment of her temples, the jewelled dress of her ministers, the offerings, shrines, pageants, and processions, which were part of her religious service. All these are supposed to be denoted by "the purple and scarlet colour, and gold, and precious stones, and pearls," with which the sorceress in the Apocalypse is arrayed; where mention is also made of the merchandize of gold and silver, precious stones, and of pearls and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner of vessels of ivory, and precious wood, and brass, and iron, and marble, and cinnamon, and odours, and ointment, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men, and the voice of harpers and musicians, and of pipers and trumpeters." All such magnificence would of course, in itself, as little prove that the Church is Antichrist, as that any king's court is Antichrist, where it is also found. But, whatever cogency be assigned to the correspondence, still let a candid mind decide whether it can be made to tell more strongly against the Church, than the following account of the evangelical kingdom tells in her behalf. "I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and thy foundations with sapphires, and I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of precious stones." "The multitude {185} of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah: all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood, brass, and for stones, iron." Passages such as these, at least show that precious stones are no peculiar mark of Antichrist; which is sufficiently clear even from a later chapter of the Apocalypse, in which jasper, sapphires, and other jewels are mentioned among the treasures of the New Jerusalem.

On this ground then we would rest the matter with all serious students of Scripture. If they listen to the deep mysteries of St. John, they are inconsistent surely in being deaf to the uplifted voice of Isaiah; and in saying this, we must not be supposed to be conceding that the words of St. John in the Apocalypse, or of St. Paul in his Epistles, have met yet with their due solution in the Church's history. How wide they fall short of it, has been shown in one instance from St. Paul, in the course of our remarks; and in Dr. Todd's volume the reader will find similar instances, in the case of the other passages, whether in that Apostle or in Daniel, which relate to Antichrist, but which cannot by any sober mind be applied to the ecclesiastical events or persons of the past ages of Christianity.

October, 1840.

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1. What? And who says it?—P. 64.
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2. [It is undeniable that the Anglican Church has retained large portions of the Catholic doctrine and ritual; so far forth as it has done so, of course it will be called anti-Christian by those who call Rome pure Antichrist.]
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3. Hanbury's Memorials, p. 238.
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Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
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