The truth is, that when people so freely call Rome Babylon and the Pope Antichrist, they know not what they are saying and whither they are going. They think to make exceptions; they think to confine their imputation of corruption and apostasy within bounds; they think, on the one hand, to except Bernard or Fenelon, and to keep clear of their own Church on the other. On the latter point something more presently; here we do but observe in answer to that wish to make exceptions, which the objection, as we have stated it, involves, that it is directly in opposition to the plain letter of Scripture. If the bishop of Rome be "the man of sin, the son of perdition, the lawless one," what are those who receive and submit to him? Hear the Apostle's description of them: "They received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved; and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believed not in the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." But it may be said that if Papists have the love of the truth, they are not involved in the ruin of Antichrist;—rather surely we ought to say, since Papists may have the love of the truth, therefore the Pope is not Antichrist. Followers of Antichrist are in the above text described as utterly lost; which Papists, it seems, need not be. However, let us suppose this text of doubtful cogency; what will be said of the following?—"He opened his mouth to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven; and power was given him over all kindreds and tongues and nations, and all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life." Now who could be said to worship the Pope, if Borromeo and Fenelon did not; Fenelon who implicitly resigned his private judgment to him; Borromeo, a Pope's nephew, who was especially employed by him in the composition of the Catechism of Trent? However, it may be said, captiously as we think, that, though all whose names are not written do worship him, still (if so be) some whose namesare written may worship him also. Must then the screw be driven tighter still?—then listen. "If any man worship the beast, and his image, andreceive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand," (and we are told shortly before that "he caused all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads,") the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, and they have no rest day nor night who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name."

We entreat indulgence of serious minds for quoting such very awful words in a composition of this kind; but it is most necessary to bring before all thinking men the real state of the case, and respectfully and anxiously to warn them what they are doing, when they so confidently and solemnly pronounce Christian Rome to be Babylon. Do they know what they say? do they really  resign themselves in faith, as they profess to do, to the sovereign word of God as they interpret it? Do they in faith make over the millions upon millions now and in former times who have been in subjection to the Roman See to utter and hopeless perdition? Do they in very truth look upon them as the direct and open enemies of God, and children of Satan? Then surely they ought to show this much more in acts, in the fruits of such faith, than even the most zealous of them have adopted; then is mere exclusion of Romanists from political power a very poor and miserable way of separating themselves from the kingdom of Satan. If even heresy stops the channels of sacramental grace, if there are degrees of moral corruption which bid fair to destroy the being of a Church and annul even the most canonical Succession, if we are to shun and abhor those in whom the prince of this world works, what ought to be our acts and our feelings towards the embodied idea of rebellion and pride, towards him who is pure evil, who is to berevealed as the son of perdition, and who is destined from the beginning for divine wasting and destruction? How any thoughtful person can hold, though we know there are very thoughtful persons who do, that any one can be in communion with Antichrist without partaking of his plagues, or that to receive Orders from him is not an act of communion with him in those who receive those Orders, or that they who transmitted to us our Orders from Rome could give the Orders without the plagues;—or again, how men can conceive that the English Church can recognize the Orders of a Roman priest on his coming over to it, and yet hold that he gained them from Babylon,—or how men, thinking that the Pope is the Beast of the Apocalypse, can endure the sight of any of {149} his servants, can join in distributing the Bible with them, or can sit with them in the same Council or Parliament, or can do business with them, buy and sell, trade and traffic, or can gaze upon and admire the architecture of churches built by Antichrist, or make much of his pictures,—or how they can read any book of his servants, Pascal's "Thoughts" or Kempis's "Imitation of Christ,"—or works of theology, as those of the Benedictines, Tillemont, or Fleury,—or even school books, Delphin classics, or Gradus ad Parnassum,—or how they can go abroad into Roman Catholic countries without necessity, prying into their churches and gazing on their processions;—all this is to us inexplicable. "What fellowship," as the Apostle asks, "hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial, or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the Temple of God with idols?" Or in the words of another Apostle, to which Dr. Todd refers, p. 321, "doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig-tree bear olive-berries? either a vine figs?" What then is there in Antichrist that we can admire or take interest in?

This surely is a principle which comes home to us, and approves itself both to our feelings and judgments. If Englishmen, as is certain, do not start with abhorrence from the members of the Church of Rome, surely this is a clear proof that they do not really account Rome to be Babylon, though they may seem to affirm it. We are surely fighting with a shadow; there is no difficulty here; those who denounce Rome and its bishops do not mean what they say. They do not mean to say that this Pope and that Pope are utterly and hopelessly lost beyond the power of repentance: they do not mean that to hold communion with him is to be involved in his plagues. They may say so in their closets; they do not say so, in proportion as they come into contact with those whom they denounce. They keep their ground, as far as their insular position has hold upon them; but they do give way, just so far as they cease to be islanders. This then, after all, is what thoughtful persons mean when they call Rome the seat of Antichrist,—nothing more than that it has the spirit of Antichrist in it; not that it is bodily God's enemy, but that it has in it Satanical principles. And then perhaps in process of time they go on to the further doctrine, that these same bad principles are also, though not of course in the same degree, in Protestant countries and Protestant systems of doctrine. But all this is to give up the point in dispute, for either the Popes come up to the full stature of Antichrist, or we must look for Antichrist elsewhere. This is what Dr. Todd has remarked in his Discourses:—

"The advocates of the opinion," he says, "that the corruptions of popery have been foretold in these prophecies, are reduced to this dilemma; they must either evade and soften down the obvious declarations of Scripture by misrepresenting the real characters of the prediction; or else they must deny the possibility of salvation in the Church of Rome,—they must be prepared to assert that every one who has lived and died in that communion is utterly and irretrievably perished for ever."

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