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AN EXPOSITION OF THE APOCALYPSE
Section 2 Subsection 32
32. The Utterances of the "Speaking Image"
And it was given to it to give spirit to the Image of the Beast, that the Image of the Beast might both speak, and cause as many as would not worship the Image of the Beast, that they should be put to death" - Verse 15.
To have power to speak, and to cause to put to death; or to decree and to enforce its decrees, was the result of spirit, pneuma, being imparted to the Image. A monarch, or pontiff king, who made laws and issued decrees, but could not enforce them, or cause them to be executed, would be an image without spirit That which is necessary to a monarchy for the execution of its laws and ordinances is its spirit or power; and when a king can no longer cause his will to be respected; when he decrees and threatens, and his utterances are laughed at or despised, he is a vox etpraetera nihl, a mere voice, his spirit has departed; and he ceases to be a power in the world of powers, which respect nothing which cannot itself be respected.
Such is the present condition of what remains of the Sixth, or Imperial Head of the Beast. It can order all Heretics to be roasted and exterminated, who defiantly refuse to abandon their heresy, and to worship or honor and obey it. But in none of its "catholic provinces" can its episcopal officials execute its commands. Neither they, nor the secular authorities, dare venture upon the experiment; because, like the rulers of old, " they fear the people. "All it dare attempt now is the canonization of murderers, who used to roast Jews, burn heretics, and try to exterminate protestants. This has been ostentatiously done in Rome by Pius IX. and his bishops in 1867. Their transformation of these bloodhounds of the Papacy into Romish Saint-Protectors, or Mahuzzim, demonstrates what the Image of the Beast would do even now, if its spirit or power to do or practise, had not departed; and shows that the mind of the Romish Hierarchy is to-day as hateful, stagnant and unclean as ever. But happily for mankind in the fairest countries of the earth, they can only typify their disposition towards robbery and murder by canonizing thieves and sanguinary wretches of a former age. By thus gnashing their teeth at the living, they give expression to their "heart-rending griefs" that they can no longer " cause as many as will not worship the Image of the Beast to be put to death."
But in the days of Innocent III., the great things and blasphemies spoken of by the Image, or Iconic Lion-Mouth, were something more than sound and fury signifying nothing harmful. They were terrific roarings that made all the beasts of the Roman wilderness to tremble. Lucius III. and Innocent III., by formal decrees, required heretics to be seized, condemned, and delivered by the bishops to the civil magistrates, to be capitally punished, and enjoined the princes and magistrates to execute on them the sentences denounced by the canon and civil laws. "Supported," says the Iconic Mouth, "by the presence and energy of our beloved son Frederick, the illustrious Emperor of the Romans, by the council of our brethren, other patriarchs, archbishops also, and numerous princes, who have assembled from different parts of the world, we rise by this decree against all heretics, and by apostolical authority condemn every sect, by whatever name it is designated
"In the first place, therefore, we subject the Cathari, the Paterini, the Poor Men of Lyons, the Passagini, and the Arnaldists (Witnesses clothed in sackcloth - ch. 11:3), to a perpetual anathema; and as some claim authority to preach ("buy and sell" without money or price, the Divine mission of the Saints - ch 13:7), although the apostle saith, 'How can they preach except they be sent?' all who venture to preach, either publicly or privately, without authority from the Apostolic See, or the bishop of the place, and all who dare to think and teach otherwise in respect to the sacrament of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, or baptism, or the remission of sins, or matrimony, or the other sacraments of the church than the Holy Roman Church preaches and practices; and generally, all whom the Roman Church, or individual bishops in their dioceses, or the clergy themselves, when the seat is vacant, with the concurrence, if necessary, of the neighboring bishops, shall judge to be heretics, shall be bound with the same bond of perpetual anathema. All their harborers, and defenders, and all who yield them any patronage or favor, we consign to the same sentence.
"And as it sometimes happens that the severity of ecclesiastical discipline is condemned by those who do not understand its virtue, we ordain that clergymen who are clearly convicted of the aforesaid errors, shall be divested of the prerogatives of their order, deprived of their benefices, and delivered to the secular power to be appropriately punished, unless, immediately on the detection of their error, they voluntarily return to the Catholic faith, and consent publicly, at the will of the bishop of the diocese, to abjure their heresy, and make a proper satisfaction. But a layman, who is infected with that pest, unless abjuring the heresy and making satisfaction, he instantly flies to the orthodox faith, is to be left to the will of the secular power to suffer a vengeance in correspondence with his crime. They, moreover, who shall be found marked by the mere suspicion of the church, unless they demonstrate their innocence in a manner suited to the nature of the suspicion, and to their rank, shall be subjected to the same sentence. But they who, after having abjured their error, or cleared themselves in a trial by their bishop, shall be convicted of relapsing to the heresy they have abjured, we order to be left to the severest sentence without further hearing, and their goods appropriated to the churches which they served, according to the canons.
"We add, moreover, by the advice of the bishops, and the suggestion of the emperor and his princes, that each archbishop and bishop shall himself, or by his archdeacon, or other honest and suitable persons, once or twice a year, go through the parish in which it is reported that Heretics reside, and compel three or more men there of good reputation, or the whole population if it seem expedient, to swear that should any one know persons who are heretics, or any who hold secret assemblies, or differ in life or manners from the usage of the faithful, he will endeavor to point them out to the bishop or archdeacon. And the bishop or archdeacon shall call the accused before him, and unless they clear themselves to his satisfaction, or should they, after having cleared themselves, relapse to their former heresy, they are to be punished according to his judgment
"If from a superstitious objection to oaths, any of them should refuse to swear, they are on that account to be adjudged heretics, and smitten with the punishment which has been mentioned.
"We enact, moreover, that counts, barons, prefects, and consuls of cities and other places, at the admonition of the archbishops and bishops, promise under oath, that whenever they shall be required by them, they will boldly and efficiently aid the church against heretics and their accomplices, and study in good faith, according to their duty and power, to execute in the cases of which we have spoken, the ecclesiastical in the same manner as the imperial laws. And should they refuse to observe their oath, they shall be divested of their offices which they enjoy and become ineligible to others. They shall, moreover, be excommunicated, and their lands put under an interdict of the church. A city that excites resistance to these decrees, or neglects at the admonition of the bishop to punish those who resist, shall be deprived of the commerce of other cities, and divested of its episcopal rank.
"All favorers also of heretics, as condemned to perpetual infamy, we order to be debarred from the office of advocates, from giving testimony, and from all civil employments."
Similar canons were enacted A.D. 1215, by the fourth Lateran council under Innocent III., the most famous general council of the middle ages, at which over 1000 bishops and abbots attended, and ambassadors also from most of the kingdoms, in which the Lion Mouth decrees, that should a civil lord, on being required and admonished by the church, neglect to clear his territory of this heretical nuisance, let them be bound by the metropolitan and other bishops of the province with the bond of excommunication; and should he refuse to make satisfaction within a year, let it be signified to the supreme pontiff, that he may declare his vassals to be freed from allegiance to him, expose his land to be seized by Catholics, who, exterminating the Heretics, may possess it without opposition, and preserve it in the purity of the faith
"Catholics who assume the sign of the cross ('the Mark of the Beast') shall gird themselves to the extermination of the Heretics, shall enjoy the indulgence, and be fortified by the sacred privilege, which are conceded to those who go to the relief of the Holy Land."
These enactments were incorporated in the decretals of Gregory IX., and became the law of the Image-State. Thus the Latin Hierarchy decreed the ruin and sanguinary extermination of all who dissented from its superstition, and refused to pay it the honor and obedience it required.
In the epoch of the full manifestation of this ferocious power the Two Witnesses, styled in the above decrees "heretics," had become by their influence and doctrine very formidable antagonists to the pope and his derby. At the beginning of the thirteenth century, the provinces of Languedoc, Province, Catalonia, and all the surrounding countries, comprising the whole of the South of France, with the Pyrenees and a part of Spain, were peopled with an industrious and intelligent race of men, addicted to commerce and the arts, but generally fostering religious views exceedingly hostile to "the great things and blasphemies" of the Leo-Dragonic Mouth of the Image, or Imperio-Babylonish Hierarchy of Rome. They were styled Albigenses from the province of Albi, in the south of France, in which they flourished in considerable numbers. In the whole of this southern district, they not only dissented, but bore a lively testimony against Romish superstition and idolatry, and the vicious lives of the clergy. The author of the Belgian Chronicle, from Caesarius, A.D. 1208, says: "The error of the Albigenses prevailed to that degree, that it had infected as much as a thousand cities; and if it had not been repressed by the swords of the faithful, I think that it would have corrupted the whole of Europe."
David Hume, though regarding them as enthusiasts, bears witness to their moral excellence. "Pope Innocent III.," says he, "published a crusade against the Albigenses, a species of enthusiasts in the south of France, whom he denominated Heretics, because like all other enthusiasts, they neglected the rites of the church, and opposed the power and influence of the clergy. And these sectaries, though the most innocent and inoffensive of mankind, were exterminated with all the circumstances of extreme violence and barbarity."
Ebrard of Bethune, who wrote A.D. 1212, says, "they call themselves Vallenses, because they 'abide in the Valley of Tears,"' alluding to their situation as witnessing in sackcloth, in the Valleys of Piedmont. Their opinions are thus recited from an old manuscript by the Centuriators of Magdeburg:
"In articles of faith, the authority of the holy scripture is the highest, and for that reason it is the rule of judging: so that whatsoever agreeth not with the word of God, is deservedly to be rejected and avoided.
"The decrees of fathers and councils are so far to be approved, as they agree with the word of God.
"The reading and knowledge of the holy scriptures is free and necessary for all men, the laity as well as the clergy; yea, and the writings of the apostles and prophets are to be read rather than the comments of men.
"The sacraments of the Church of Christ are two, baptism and the supper of the Lord.
"The receiving in both kinds for priests and people was instituted by Christ.
"Masses are impious; and it is insanity to say masses for the dead.
"Purgatory is an invention of men; for they who believe, come into eternal life; and they who believe not, into eternal condemnation -(credentes enim, invitam ~ternam venire - come, not go, as generally translated - Author).
"The invocating and worshipping of dead saints is idolatry.
"The Church of Rome is the Babylonian Harlot.
"We must not obey the Pope and the Bishops; because they are the wolves of the Church of Christ.
"The pope hath not the primacy over all the churches of Christ, neither hath he the power of both swords.
"That is the Ecciesia of Christ which heareth the sincere word of Christ, and useth the sacraments instituted by him, in what place soever it exist.
"Vows of celibacy are inventions of men, and occasions of sodomy.
"So many orders are so many characters of the Beast.
"Monkery is a stinking carcass.
"So many superstitious dedications of temples, commemorations of the dead, benedictions of animals, pilgrimages, so many forced fastings, so many superfluous festivals, those perpetual bellowings of unlearned men, and the observations of the other ceremonies, manifestly hindering the teaching and learning of the word, are diabolical inventions.
"The marriage of priests is lawful and necessary."
The following testimonies concerning the holders of the foregoing truths, the Romanists will allow to be unexceptionable. They are the testimonies of Reinerius and Thuanus. Reinerius flourished about A.D. 1254; and his testimony is the more remarkable as he was a Dominican, and Inquisitor-General. "Among all the sects," says he, "which still are or have been, there is not any more pernicious to the Church than that of the Leonists. And this for three reasons. The first is because it is older; for some say that it hath endured from the time of Pope Sylvester; others from the time of the apostles (doubtless, 'the Saints' of ch. 13:7). The second reason, because it is more general; for there is scarce any country wherein the sect is not. The third, because when all other sects beget horror in the hearers by the outrageousness of their blasphemies against God ('the Earth that helps the Woman' in her hostility to Rome) this of the Leonists hath a great show of piety; because they live justly before men, and believe all things rightly concerning God, and all the articles which are contained in the creed; only they blaspheme the church of Rome and the clergy, whom the multitude of the laity is easy to believe."
The candid and impartial historian, Thuanus, says, "Peter Waldo, a wealthy citizen of Lyons, about the year of Christ, 1170, gave name to the Waldenses. He, leaving his house and goods, devoted himself wholly to the profession of the gospel, and took care to have the writings of the prophets and apostles translated into the vulgar tongue. When now in a little time he had many followers about him, he sent them forth as his disciples into all parts to propagate the gospel. Their fixed opinions were said to be these: that the Church of Rome, because she hath renounced the true faith of Christ, is the Babylonian Harlot (Babylonicam meretricem esse) and that Barren Tree which Christ himself hath cursed, and commanded to be rooted up; therefore we must by no means obey the pope, and the bishops who cherish his errors; that the monastic life is the sink of the church, and a hellish institution; its vows are vain, and subservient only to the filthy love of boys: the orders of the presbytery are the marks of the great beast which is commemorated in the Apocalypse; the fire of purgatory, the sacrifice of the mass, the feast of the dedications of temples, the worship of saints, and propitiations for the dead, are inventions of Satan. To these, the principal and certain heads of their doctrine others are affixed concerning marriage, the resurrection, the state of the soul after death, and concerning meats."
From these testimonies it will be easy for the reader to discern the issue formed in the thirteenth century between the Lamb-Horned Beast and his Image, of the one part, and the Two Witnesses and the Saints of the Holy City, of the other. The spread of "Heresy" so alarmed the Ecclesiastical Power, that it determined to "cause all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark" in token of their subjection, or be exterminated by fire and sword. Hence these decrees already cited. To carry these into effect, the first crusade was proclaimed of papal idolators against what they called Heretics, and the murderous Inquisition was first erected, the one to subdue their bodies, the other to enslave their minds. "It is enough to make the blood run cold," says one, whose episcopal succession from the apostles had come to him through those mendacious and sanguinary thieves and robbers, the popes, "to read of the horrid murders and devastation of this time, how many of these poor innocent Christians were sacrificed to the blind fury and malice of their enemies. It is computed, that in France alone were slain a million. The consequences of these atrocious barbarities are thus narrated by Thuanus, himself a Romanist. "Against the Waldenses," saith he, "when exquisite punishment availed little, and the evil was exasperated by the remedy which had been unseasonably applied, and their number increased daily, at length complete armies were raised; and a war of no less weight (ch. 11:7, and 13:7) than what our people had before waged against the Saracens, was decreed against them: the event of which was, that they were rather slain, put to flight, spoiled everywhere of their goods and dignities, and dispersed here and there, than that, convinced of their error, they repented. So that they who at first had defended themselves by arms (ch. 11:5,6) at last overcome by arms (ch. 11:7) fled into Province and the neighboring Alps of the French territory, and found a shelter for their life and doctrine in those places. Part withdrew into Calabria, and continued there a long while, even to the pontificate of Pius IV. Part passed into Germany, and fixed their abode among the Bohemians, and in Poland and Livonia. Others turning to the west, obtained refuge in Britain." In short, for the details are too copious to be narrated here, the Iconic Man-Power at length succeeded in its work of carnage and death. It overcame and put to death all opposition to its authority. By the cooperation of the imperial and regal horns of Egyptian and Sodomite Europe, styled "the secular arm," it trampled the saints of the Holy City under its impious and lawless feet; and prostrated the two sackcloth witnessing prophets in political death. But their anastasis in 1789-'92, when, exactly 1,260 years from Justinian's decree imparting spiritual supremacy to the pope, they again stood upon their feet (estesan epi tous podas auton) was the death knell of the terrific Image throughout the world. Since that reign of terror the ICONIC MAN became incurably sick. The facies Hippocratica pervades his senile and idiotic countenance; and like his brother of Constantinople is tottering on the verge of an abyss; into which when he falls, he will receive a measure, heaped up and shaken down, even "double" at the hands of his innocent and unoffending victims, such as in the day of his power, he meted out to them (ch. 13:10; 17:14; 18:6,20; 15:2). "Here is the patience of the Saints" this is what all true and genuine saints believe and are waiting for; and such are they who keep the commandments of the Deity, and the faith of Jesus (ch. 13:10; 14:12).