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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
Section 2 Subsection 31
The Image of the Beast Historically Identified
The reader will remember what has already been stated concerning the relative position of the ecclesiastical and secular powers of the Lamb-Horned Dominion, as established by Otho the First, A.D. 962. It may, however, be as well to remark again in this place, that, when Otho fixed the imperial crown in the name and nation of Germany, he established the two following maxims of public jurisprudence;
By the first maxim the election of the emperor by the secular electors of the empire made him the lord of the pope; who had no more power to withhold the crown and titles from the emperor elect, than the archbishop of Canterbury, whose function it is to crown the king of England, could withhold the crown and titles from the inheritor of the British throne. In the time of Otho, the Archbishop and Patriarch of Rome was to the Germano-Roman emperor, what the archbishop of Canterbury is to the king of England, namely, at once both chief sub-ect, and chief bishop, of the respective beasts, or dominions. The bishop of Rome was elected by the college of cardinals, with the ratifying approval of the Roman people; but he could not be legally consecrated until the emperor had graciously signified his approbation and consent. This being the ecclesiastical and civil constitution of the Lamb-Horned Beast, it is plainly to be perceived, that there was nothing in the body politic answerable to the Image of the Beast that lives.
The years preceding the time of Hildebrand were a period of long and disgraceful servitude for the so-called "Apostolic See." In reference to this Gibbon says, "the Roman Pontiffs of the ninth and tenth centuries, were insulted, imprisoned, and murdered, by their tyrants; and such was their indigence after the loss and usurpation of the ecclesiastical patrimonies, that they could neither support the state of a prince, nor exercise the charity of a priest." In the course of this long series of scandal, there were two sister-prostitutes named Marozia and Theodora, whose influence was founded on their wealth and beauty, and their political and amorous intrigues. Their influence was sovereign, and the most devoted of their paramours were rewarded with the Roman Mitre, to which the Tiara had not yet been added. The bastard son, the grandson, and the great grandson of Marozia "a rare genealogy" of papal holiness, were seated in the chair of St. Peter, and it was at the age of nineteen that her grandson, John XII, became the Head of the Latin Church. Drunkenness, murder, discords, and gaming dishonored his profession, and disgraced the man. His simony was undisguised; and his blasphemous invocation of Jupiter and Venus, the consummation of his impiety. He lived in public adultery with the matrons of Rome; the Lateran palace was turned into a school of prostitution; and his rapes of virgins and widows deterred the female pilgrims from visiting the alleged tomb of St. Peter, lest, in so doing, they should be violated by his pretended successor. Charges were at length urged against him in a Roman synod in the presence of Otho the Great, who degraded him A.D. 967; an evident proof that the Image of the Beast was still a power in the undeveloped future, and had the design of Otho the third been carried into effect, A.D. 998, of abandoning the ruder countries of the North, to erect his throne in Italy, and to revive the institutions of the Roman monarchy, the Image of the Beast would have appeared in the likeness of the secular imperiality of Augustulus, A. D. 479; instead of in the likeness of that of the Lamb-Horned dominion, founded by Charlemagne and Otho the First.
But though the utmost licentiousness reigned in "the Eternal City," where six popes were deposed, two murdered, and one mutilated, the temporal power of the clergy generally was cherished and exalted by the superstition or policy of the Saxon dynasty, which blindly depended on their moderation, and fidelity to the imperial crown. The bishoprics of Germany were made equal in extent and privilege, superior in wealth and population, to the most ample states of the military order. This was an important stride towards the troublesome development of the wonder-working deceiver. As long as the emperors retained the prerogative of bestowing on every vacancy these ecclesiastical and secular benefices, their cause was maintained by the gratitude or ambition of their friends and favorites. The personal and local conflicts of the popes in the tenth century, left them no leisure, if they had possessed the capacity, to perfect the great system of temporal supremacy which was to deprive the emperors of their prerogatives pertaining to the ecclesiastical affairs of the empire. In this age, they looked rather to a vile profit from the sale of episcopal confirmations, or of exemptions to monasteries.
The vices of the popes and their clergy were less dangerous to the secular imperialism of the Beast, than their virtues, whatever they might be. All writers concur in stigmatizing the dissoluteness and indecency that prevailed among the clergy. The bishops were obtruded upon their sees, as the supreme pontiffs were upon that of Rome, by force or corruption. A child of five years old was made archbishop of Rheims; and the see of Narbonne was purchased for another at the age of ten. By this relaxation of morals the Lamb-Horned Hierarchy began to lose its hold upon the prejudices of mankind. This favored the success of "Heresy" so-called; and the increase of secular authority and power in the nomination and investiture of spiritual fiefs. This power was exercised with the grossest rapacity. If the ancient canons against simony had been en-forced, the church would almost have been cleared of its ministers. Affairs continued to wax worse and worse in the eleventh century, until reform was indispensable to avert the impending ruin of the dominion.
The German emperors of the House of Saxony conferred bishoprics in general by direct nomination; while the popes were nominated for suffrage by the seven cardinal-bishops of the Roman province, and their election by the college confirmed by the emperor. But in A.D. 1047, an explicit right of nomination was conceded to Henry III, as the only means of rescuing the Roman church from the disgrace and deprav-ty into which it had fallen. He appointed two or three popes of a very superior character to the illegitimate progeny of Marozia. This high imperial prerogative, however, was precluded from the possibility of its exercise, by the infancy of his son and successor, Henry IV, and by the factions of that minority. Pope Nicolas II, published a decree in A.D. 1059, which restored the right of nomination and election to the Cardinals of Rome; but leaving the confirmation of the pope elect to Henry, "now king and hereafter to become emperor," and to such of his successors as should personally obtain that privilege. This decree is the foundation of that celebrated mode of election in a conclave of cardinals, which has ever since determined the Headship of the Speaking Image of the Beast. It was intended, not only to exclude the franchise of the citizens of Rome, who by their rabble-violence had forfeited their primitive right, but as far as possible to prepare the way for an absolute emancipation of the papacy from the control of the secular imperial chief of the Beast of the Earth; reserving only a precarious and personal concession to the emperors, instead of their ancient legal prerogative of confirmation.
"The real author of this decree," says Hallam, "and of all other vigorous measures adopted by the popes of that age, whether for the assertion of their independence, or the restoration of discipline, was Hildebrand, archdeacon of the church of Rome, by far the most conspicuous person of the eleventh century. Acquiring by his extraordinary qualities an unbounded ascendancy over the Italian clergy, they regarded him as their chosen leader, and the hope of their common cause. He had been empowered singly to nominate a pope on the part of the Romans, after the death of Leo IX, and compelled Henry III. to acquiesce in his choice of Victor II. No man could proceed more fearlessly towards his object than Hildebrand, nor with less attention to conscientious impediments. Though the decree of Nicolas II, his own work, had expressly reserved the right of confirmation of the young king of Germany (Henry IV), yet, on the death of this pope, Hildebrand procured the election and consecration of Alexander II without waiting for any authority. During this pontificate he was considered as something greater than the pope, who acted entirely by his counsels. On Alexander's decease, Hildebrand, long since the real head of the church, was raised with enthusiasm to its chief dignity, and assumed the name of Gregory VII.
His plans, however, not being sufficiently mature to throw off
the secular yoke of the Beast altogether, though he acted
as pope from the day of his election, he declined to receive
consecration until he had obtained the consent of the king
of Germany. But this moderation was not of long continuance.
The situation of Germany speedily afforded scope for the ambitious
display of the wonder-working deceiving power. Henry IV.,
through a very bad education, was arbitrary and dissolute;
the Saxons were engaged in a desperate rebellion, and secret
disaffection had spread among the princes to an extent of
which the pope was much better aware than the king. He began
the contest between the Church and the Empire, the Mitre and
the Crown, the Lamb-Horned Eyes of the Dragon-Horn, or in
plain terms, between the spiritual and temporal orders of
the Holy Germano-Roman dominion, by excommunicating some of
Henry's ministers on pretense of simony, and made it a ground
of remonstrance that they were not instantly dismissed. His
next step was to publish a new decree against lay investitures.
The abolition of these was a favorite object of Gregory, and
formed an essential part of his general scheme for emancipating
the spiritual, and subjugating the temporal power. The ring
and crosier, it was asserted by the papal advocates, were
the emblems of that power which no monarch could bestow; but
even if a less offensive symbol were adopted in investitures,
the dignity of the Romish Hierarchy was lowered, and its "purity" (!)
contaminated, when its highest ministers were compelled to
solicit the patronage or the approbation of laymen.
But interest in the question of investitures was suspended by other more extraordinary and important dissensions between the Church and the Empire. The pope, after tampering some time with the disaffected party in Germany, summoned Henry IV. to appear at Rome, and vindicate himself from the charges alleged by his subjects. Such an outrage naturally exasperated a young and passionate monarch. Assembling a number of bishops and other vassals at Worms, he procured a sentence that Gregory should no longer be obeyed as lawful pope. But the time was passed for those high prerogatives of former emperors. After A.D. 1073, the relations of dependence between Church and State were now about to be reversed; in other words, the time had come to erect the Romish Hierarchy, under its chief bishop, into a supreme independent imperial monarchy, after the model of the secular, but superior to it: or as it is Apocalyptically expressed, "to have an Image made of the beast that lives."
Gregory had no sooner received accounts of the proceedings at Worms, than he not only excommunicated Henry, but sentenced him to the loss of the kingdoms of Germany and Italy, releasing his subjects from their allegiance, and forbidding them to obey him as sovereign. This was another act initiatory of what might have seemed to be a romantic project of making himself the lord of "Christendom," by not only dissolving the jurisdiction which kings and emperors had hitherto exercised over the various orders of the clergy, but also by subjecting to the papal authority all temporal princes, and rendering their dominions tributary to the See of Rome. This Gregory VII. undertook with great audacity. He proposed to "cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive the mark" of supreme papal authority, in which he and his successors, "through the wonders which" their party "had power to work in the presence of the beast," were successful. Solomon, king of Hungary, dethroned by his brother Geysa, had fled to the emperor of Germany for protection, and renewed the homage of Hungary to the Secular Imperiality of the Lamb-Horned Beast. Gregory, who favored Geysa, exclaimed against this act of submission; and said in a letter to Solomon, "You ought to know that the kingdom of Hungary belongs to the Roman Church; and learn that you will incur the indignation of the Holy See (the Eyes of the Little Horn) if you do not acknowledge that you hold your dominions of the pope, and not of the emperor!"
This presumptuous declaration, and the neglect it met with, brought the quarrel between the Secular Horn, or empire, and the Lamb-Horned Eyes, or church, to a crisis. In his circular letters he repeatedly asserts, that "bishops are superior to kings, and made to judge them," expressions alike artful and presumptuous, and calculated for bringing in all the churchmen of the world to his standard. Gregory's purpose is said to have been to engage in the bonds of fidelity and allegiance to the so-called Vicar of Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords, all the monarchs of the earth, and to establish at Rome an annual assembly of bishops, by whom the contests that might arise between kingdoms and sovereign states were to be decided; the rights and pretences of princes to be examined; and the fate of nations and empires to be determined.
The haughty pontiff knew well what consequences would follow the flaming thunderbolts of the heaven. The German bishops came over to his party forthwith, and drew along with them many of the nobles; the brand of civil war still lay smouldering, and a bull properly directed was sufficient to set it in a blaze: and those very princes and bishops who had assisted in deposing Gregory, gave up their emperor to be tried by the pope, whom they solicited to come to Augsburg for that purpose.
Henry suddenly finding himself almost insulated in the midst of his dominions, had recourse, through panic, to a miserable expedient. He crossed the Alps at Tyrol, accompanied only by a few domestics, with the avowed determination of submitting and seeking absolution of Gregory, his tyrannical oppressor, who was then at Canossa, on the Apennines, a fortress belonging to his faithful adherent the Countess Matilda. It was in the unusually severe winter of A. D. 1077. At the gates of this place he presented himself as a humble penitent. He alone was admitted into the outer court of the castle, where, being stripped of his robes, and wrapped in a woolen shirt and with naked feet and fasting, he was obliged to remain for three days in the month of January, while Gregory, shut up with his devout and affectionate Matilda, refused to admit him to his presence to kiss his feet. Matilda's attachment to Gregory and hatred of the Germans were so great, that she made over all her estates to the Image of the Beast in process of creation: "and this donation," says the historian, "is the true cause of all the wars which since that period have raged between the emperors and the popes. She possessed, in her own right, a great part of Tuscany, Mantua, Parma, Reggio, Placentia, Ferrara, Modena, Verona, and almost the whole of what is now called the Patrimony of St. Peter, from Viterbo to Orvieto; together with part of Umbria, Spoleto, and the March of Ancona."
On the fourth day the emperor was permitted to throw himself at the feet of the pope, who condescended to grant him absolution, after he had sworn obedience to the pontiff in all things, and promised to appear at Augsburg on a certain day to learn the pope's decision whether or not he should be restored to his kingdom, until which time he also promised not to assume the imperial insignia.
Thus while Henry got nothing but disgrace, his abject humiliation elated Gregory with great exultation, who now regarded himself, and not altogether without reason, as the lord and master of all the crowned heads of "the Earth" and "the Sea," called "Christendom;" so that, in several of his letters, he said, it was his duty "to pull down the pride of kings."
This extraordinary accommodation exceedingly disgusted the provinces of Italy. Their indignation at Gregory's arrogance, happily for Henry, overbalanced their detestation of his meanness. All Lombardy took up arms against the pope, while the pope was raising all Germany against the emperor. The Germans chose Rodolph, duke of Swabia, who was crowned at Mentz. Gregory affected to be displeased that he was crowned without his order; and declared he would acknowledge as emperor and king of Germany him of the two rivals who should be most submissive to the Holy See. But as Henry would not submit, he sent a golden crown to Rodolph with the inscription upon it,
Petra dedit Petro, Petrus, diadema Rodolpho;
importing that it was given by virtue of the right to confer crowns from the apostle Peter! The donation was accompanied by an anathema against Henry prophetic of the aspirations of the rising Image-power. The anathema concludes with an apostrophe to St. Peter and St. Paul, saying, "Make all men sensible, that, as you can bind and loose every thing in heaven, you can also upon earth take from, or give to, every one according to his deserts, empires, kingdoms, principalities let the kings and princes of the age then instantly feel your power, that they may not dare to despise the orders of your church; let your justice be so speedily executed upon Henry, that nobody may doubt but that he falls by your means and not by chance."
But Gregory's success in his immediate designs was not answerable to his intrepidity. Henry both subdued the German rebellion and carried on the war with so much vigor in Italy, that he was crowned in Rome by the archbishop of Ravenna, whom he had caused to be elected pope by the name of Clement III., instead of Gregory, who had taken refuge in the castle of St. Angelo, whence he defied, and again excommunicated the conqueror. In the meanwhile the castle was besieged, but the emperor being called off into Lombardy, Roger Guiscard, his Norman ally, effected his release and gave him asylum at Salerno, where he soon after died. His mantle, however, descended upon his successors, especially Urban II., and Paschal II., who strenuously persevered in the great contest for Ecclesiastical Independence, or the full development of the Image of the Beast.
Henry V. steadily refused to part with the right of investiture and the secular or lay constituent of the Lamb-Horned Dragon was still committed in open hostility with the Papal Hierarchy of "the Earth" for fifteen years of his reign. But Henry V. being stronger in the support of his German vassals than his father, Henry IV. had been, none of the popes with whom he was engaged had the boldness to repeat the measures of Gregory VII. At length, A.D. 1122, each party grown weary of this ruinous contention, a Concordat, or treaty of agreement, was arranged between the emperor and the pope, Calixtus II., which put an end by compromise to the question of ecclesiastical investitures. By this compact the emperor resigned for ever to the rising Image-Power the investiture of the bishops of the dominion by the ring and crosier, and recognized the liberty of elections. But in return, it was agreed that elections should be made in his presence, or that of his officers; and that the new bishop should receive his temporalities from the emperor by the sceptre. By this concordat the imperial order preserved its feudal sovereignty over the estates of the Episcopal Hierarchy, which possessed nearly half the lands in Europe, in defiance of the language which had recently been held by the pontificals. In the terms of this compromise the success of the emperor and the pope seemed pretty equally balanced; but from subsequent effects it is apparent to which party the intrinsic advantages of victory belonged: the events which followed, or "the wonders it was given him to work, in the presence of the beast," after the settlement of this great and sanguinary controversy about investitures, evinced beyond all dispute, that the See of Rome had conquered; or in other words, that the creation of the Image, or likeness to the Constantinian Sixth Head of the Beast, revived in the dominion founded by Charlemagne, was completed in the establishment of the absolute monarchy of papal Rome. Gregory VII, is universally regarded as the founder of this unlimited imperiality. "He may be called," says Hallam, "the common enemy of all sovereigns, whose dignity as well as independence mortified his infatuated pride." He conveniently exhibited St. Peter as a great feudal suzerain, or legitimate lord of all the countries and kingdoms of the earth. The gross and universal superstition of the Latin world admitted that the fullness of Christ's lordship in heaven and earth had been by Christ himself transferred to Peter, and therefore to the incarnate demons, the popes, who blasphemously style themselves the Vicars of Christ, and successors of that apostle. Admitting this monstrous and illogical falsehood, it was not difficult for such "dwellers upon the earth" to assent to the ambitious claims of the Roman Pontiff. The liberties of the national churches of the diademed horns of the Beast of the Sea, were as completely destroyed by papal arrogance, as those of the churches of the Lamb-Horned dominion, whose emperors had sustained the principal brunt of the war. By a papal constitution inspired by Hildebrand, no bishop in the Latin church was permitted to "buy and sell," or exercise his functions, until he had received the confirmation of the Roman See; "a provision," says Hallam, "of vast importance, through which, beyond perhaps any other means, Rome has sustained, and still sustains, her temporal influence, as well as her ecclesiastical supremacy." The National Churches now found themselves subject to an undisguised and irresistible despotism, whose favorite policy it became to harass all prelates with citations to Rome. Gregory VII. obliged the metropolitans to attend in person for the pallium, or holy lambskin, in which the wolves of that Episcopal order are officially clothed; and bishops were summoned even from England and the northern kingdoms to receive the commands of their spiritual monarch, the Papal Mouth of the Dragon-Image.
From the time of Gregory VII., no pontiff of the Image-monarchy thought of awaiting the confirmation of the emperor of Germany, as in earlier ages, before he was installed in "the throne of St. Peter." On the contrary, it was claimed that the emperor himself was to be confirmed by the pope. When Frederick Barb arossa came to receive the imperial crown at Rome, he omitted to hold the stirrup of Adrian IV., who, in his turn, refused to give him the usual kiss of peace; nor was the contest ended but by the emperor's acquiescence, who was content to follow the precedents of his predecessors. This same Adrian in a letter reminded Frederick that he had conferred upon him the imperial crown, and was willing to bestow, if possible, greater benefits. This letter excited a great ferment among the German princes, in a congress of whom it was delivered. "From whom, then," one of the papal legates, or ambassadors, rashly inquired, "does the emperor hold his crown, except from the pope?" This so irritated a prince of Wittelsbach, that he was with difficulty prevented from cleaving the priest's head with his saber. It was Adrian IV. who bestowed the kingdom of Ireland upon Henry II., King of England; and in the grant declared that all islands were the exclusive property of St. Peter, which was only an indirect assertion, that they all belonged to the Image of the Beast, of which the popes are the absolute, omnipotent, and oracular chiefs.
But the epoch when the arrogant and usurping spirit of the Papal Image of the Beast was most strikingly displayed was the pontificate of Innocent III. In each of the three leading objects pursued by Rome, namely, independent sovereignty, supremacy over the Latin church, and control over the princes of the earth, it was the fortune of this pontiff to conquer. This is the testimony of history. He completed the iconic, or image, fabric, founded by Gregory VII., and promoted steadily by his successors. He realized that fond hope of so many of his predecessors, a dominion over Rome and the central parts of Italy the territory of the Image of the Beast; given to the Roman See by the countess Matilda, and yielded after long dispute by the emperor Otho IV. on his coronation at Rome by Innocent III., who bore the keys from A. D. 1198 to A.D. 1216. "This," says Hallam, "is the proper era of that temporal sovereignty which the Bishops of Rome possess over their own city, though still prevented by various causes, for nearly three centuries, from becoming unquestioned and unlimited."
The maxims of Gregory VII. were now matured by more than a hundred years, and the right of trampling upon the necks of kings had been received, at least among ecclesiastics, as an inherent attribute of the Image of the Beast; or the system of power based upon forgery, murder, and wonderful deceit, commonly styled THE PAPACY. "As the sun and the moon are placed in the firmament," said Innocent III. ,"the greater as the light of the day, and the lesser of the night; thus are there two powers in the church; the pontifical, which as having the charge of souls, is the greater; and the royal, which is the less, and to which the bodies of men only are intrusted." Intoxicated with these ideas which he succeeded in establishing, he deemed no quarrels of princes beyond the sphere of his jurisdiction. His foremost gratification was the display of unbounded power. His letters, especially to ecclesiastics, are full of unprovoked rudeness. As impetuous as Gregory VII., he is unwilling to owe anything to favor; he seems to anticipate denial, heats himself into anger as he proceeds, and where he commences with solicitation, seldom concludes without a menace. With such a temper and with such advantages, he was formidable beyond all his predecessors, and well qualified for the time "to speak" as the official incumbent of the Image-Mouth which "spake as a dragon;" and caused on every side the lightning of the Roman Heaven to thunder over the heads of princes. He claimed the right to confirm the election of the emperors of the Lamb-Horned dominion; and in a decretal epistle, declares the pope's authority to examine, confirm, anoint, crown, and consecrate the emperor elect, provided he shall be worthy; or to reject him if rendered unfit by great crimes, such as sacrilege, heresy, perjury, or persecution of the Roman church; in default of election, to supply the vacancy; or, in the event of equal suffrages, to bestow the empire upon any person at his discretion.
"The noonday of Papal dominion," says Hallam, "extends from the pontificate of Innocent III., inclusively to that of Boniface VIII., or, in other words, through the thirteenth century. Rome inspired during this age all the terror of her ancient name. She was once more the mistress of the world, and kings were her vassals." Such was the Image of the Imperial Head of the Ten-Horned Beast healed of its death-plague by Charlemagne, created by "the false Prophet," or Roman Hierarchial constituent of the healed head, "that wrought the wonders in the presence of the Beast of the Earth, with which he deceived them who received the mark of the beast, and them who worshipped his image" (Apoc. 19:20). This Image-Monarchy is styled "the Kingdom of the Beast" inch. 16:10; and was obnoxious to the vial-wrath of the fifth angel, by which it was filled with darkness. The judgments of this vial and those who have thus far transpired under the sixth, had reduced the image to very limited territorial and temporal dimensions. They are so inconsiderable that the Image may be said to be in the article of death; for beyond the very narrow limits of the little territory yet remaining to the pope, the papal government, however loud and fiercely it may roar, can no longer "cause as many as will not worship the image of the beast to be put to death;" nor can it cause all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark upon their right hand, or upon their foreheads; nor can it prevent men buying and selling any sort of spiritual or temporal merchandize they please. This is the condition of the Image in the latter half of the nineteenth century, which may be styled the dying hour of the life imparted to it by the wonder-working Pseudoprophet of the Lamb-Horned Beast. But while the Temporal Image is at death's door, there is considerable vitality in the Pseudoprophet, or Roman Hierarchy, itself. This has been evinced in the concourse of bishops at Rome under pretense of celebrating the martyrdom of Peter in that city of fraud and abomination; or, as it is termed by the Spirit in ch. 18:2, "the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and cage of every unclean and hateful bird." Of this Pseudoprophetic power, Pius IX, is officially, in 1867, the distressed and wailing mouth. How different his utterances from those of Gregory VII and Innocent III! When they roared princes and nations trembled; when he tries to roar, his roar becomes a wail of "heart-rending griefs," and they laugh, having no longer any fear of papal interdicts and curses; and continue their "machinations the most implacable" for the subversion of the authority of what he styles "the Apostolic See." But the Pseudoprophet Hierarchy, with all the vitality that lingers in its constitution, will never be able to galvanize the old shattered image into its ancient vigor. If it continue to exist in dilapidation, it is only tolerated until "the Hour of Judgment" be fully come to execute the sentence written concerning the Beast and its wonder-working deceiver that created the Image, saying, "These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone" (ch. 19:20; 20:10).
Thus, in conclusion of this section, we have seen that after a conflict of more than four hundred years from Charlemagne to Innocent III., the ecclesiastics of all the hierarchies of Europe were united in one vast organization with the Bishop of Rome as their supreme legislative and judicial head, and a single ecclesiastical government established over the whole Roman church after the model of that of the Woman's Man-Child of Sin, developed in the person and power of Constantine the Great. This development of the Man-Child into the fullness of the age and stature of THE MAN or Image of the Beast, is denominated by Romanists themselves a monarchy. "All catholic doctors agree in this," says Bellarmine, "that the ecclesiastical government committed to men by God is a monarchy." "If the monarchical is the best form of govern-ment," says another, "as we have shown, and it is certain that the church of God instituted by Christ its head, who is supremely wise, ought to be governed in the best manner, who can deny that its rule ought to be monarchial?"
Accordingly, the canonists, or skilled interpreters and practitioners of ecclesiastical law, are accustomed to style the Bishop of Rome a king. "The pope," say they, "may be called a king. He is the Prince of princes, and Lord of lords. He is, as it were, a God on earth. He is above right, superior to law, superior to the canons. He can do all things against right and without right. He is greater than all the saints except Peter. Some say he is greater than an apostle, and not bound by the commands either of Peter or Paul. His sentence prevails against the judgment of the whole world. His sole will is instead of reason in the bestowment of ecclesiastical offices. He does not commit simony in selling benefices. He may deprive any one of his office without any cause. He is able to free from obligation in matters of positive right, without any cause, and they who are so released are safe in respect to God. He can take away a possession from one church and give it to another, even without a cause; and no one can say unto him, Why doest thou so? He is not bound by treaties. The Pope and Christ make one consistory. He can make justice of injustice. He can change the substance of things, and make a thing out of nothing. He can change squares into circles" - Febronji de Statu Ecci. libi. c. ix. p. 527.
Such was the ICONIC MAN in the noonday of his existence, the number of whose name is 666. Is not this the Antichrist? Could any power arise in the world more deserving of the name? Is not this Image-power, Anomos, THE LAWLESS ONE, whose coming Paul predicted would be "after the working of the Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish?" It can be no other than "the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called god, or Sebasma, an object of veneration; so that he in the temple of the god sits as a god, publicly exhibiting himself that he is a god." And yet in view of all the record extant concerning this ICONIC MA~ OF SIN, there are protesters who affirm that the papal dynasty is not the Antichrist, and that his revelation is still in the future! Can blindness be more complete than that which cannot see the Lawless One in him whose worshippers declare to be superior to law and above right? If the Antichrist have not been in full manifestation before the world for the past six hundred years, there need be no apprehension of his future advent. But, as we have seen elsewhere, Antichrist and vicar of Christ, or Vice-Christ, are synonymous expressions; so that in this vainglorious title of the papal power it stands confessed as Antichrist, the Image Man of Sin, for the worship or reprobation of mankind.