« НазадПродовжити »
poor young females were bound hand and foot, and carried off as criminals. And the sums of money otherwise robbed from the Poles, by order of the king of Prussia, were incalculable. These violent proceedings against the Poles, are said to have reduced them in a few years, from fourteen, to nine millions of inhabitants. Thus the Polish river and fountain of the Papal see had a full share of the third vial.
Thus I have noted some instances of judgments on Papal nations, in which I apprehend the events of the third vial to have been accomplished. These events constituted a new period of judgments. And they were long and dreadful. They had not been equalled by any preceding events in those nations. And though their commencement marked a new era, from that of the preceding wars in Italy; yet they were but an extending abroad of the same kind of judgments; as is purported in the third vial, as related to the secoud.
The violent dismemberment of Poland was the first capital violation of the modern political system of Europe, or of the law of nations. And the astonishing indifference with which it was beheld, in the courts of Europe, forcibly indicated their fatigues in war, and their imbecility to support their own national principles. All which implies the terribleness of the judg. ments of war, which they had experienced. Oher instances of judgments collateral with, and subsequent to, those noted, might be mentioned. But enough has been said. I apprehend it may be found, that the terrors and severity of those judgments on the Papal narions, were in a sriking proportion to the malignity of their Papal wickedness; and that in them the third vial was accomplished.
THE FOURTH VIAL.
And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun;
and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and
blasphemed the name of God, who had power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory. (Rev.xvi, 8, 9.)
“The sun, (says Sir Isaac Newton) is put in sacred prophecy for the whole species and race of kings, in the kingdoms of the world politic.” No one doubts but the sun is a prophetic emblem of civil authority. The darkening of the sun is an emblem of the weakening or confounding of civil authority. And the sun's scorching men with fire in this vial, must be designed to represent the producing of some effects, by the civil authorities of Christendom, fatally injurious to the interests of the Papal see. And history furnishes events which fully accord with this representation.
Through the dark ages, how fully did the Papal harlot reign over the kings of the earth? Such was the in. Auence which the Pope held over the kings of Christendom, that he must be at the head of all their affairs, alliances, and pacifications. Nothing was binding without his sancion. And he gloried that he could depose kings at pleasure. He could dispense with the obli. gations of the most solemn treaties; could absoive subjects from their oaths of allegiance to their kings; and claimed power to settle, and unhinge the affairs of nations at his nod. “The canonists asserted, that there was no sovereign power, but in the Pope. And that the Popes have repeatedly maintained, that all regal authority was derived from them. Boniface the eighth, wrote to Philip the Fair, We will have thee know, that thou art subject to us, both in temporals, and in spirituals.” Bishop Newton, on Rev. xiii, informs, that the Pope was "the head of the state, as well as of the church; the king of kings; as well as bishop of bish. ops.” One bishop in the council of Lateran, styled the Pope, "the prince of the world.” Another orator styled him, "king of kings, and monarch of the world.” Another prelate said of him, that he had all power above all powers, both of heaven and earth. Pope Innocent boasted of the church, as his spouse, who brings to him her dowry of absolute power, in spiritu- . als, and in temporals:- That she brings him his mitre, as priest; and his crown, as king; and constitutes him his vicar, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords.
But did this Papal supremacy continue, after the events, which have been contemplated, as fulfilling the former vials? How far otherwise was the fact! All the Protestant powers cast off the Papal yoke by civil authority. England, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, a great part of the princes of Germany, and other places, established the Protestant cause by law; and stood ready, with all their civil power and arms, to support it. Even in France, Henry IV, by his edict of Nantz interposed the authority of his crown to give free toleration to the Protestants. Truly the Pope and the men of the Papal Beast felt a most distressing scorching upon their cause, from the sun of civil authority, even those very authorities which had before shone with kind influence upon them. The Protestant powers took the most direct steps, and did as much as they were able to do, to scorch, dry up, and annihi. late, the Papal interest. And in those kingdoms and states, which yet professed the Papal religion, even their civil governments lost much of their genial influence in favor of the Pope's supremacy, and the dignity of his clergy. They gradually lost that superstitious vener. ation for the Papal see; which for many centuries had been uniformly maintained. The Papal kings at first trembled at the idea of any rupture with the Pope. When they, by his perfidy, were forced to carry on war against him, it was with extreme reluctance and hesi. tation. And they would seize the first opportunity of making peace with him, though much to their own disadvantage. But as the events of the preceding vials progressed, this superstition abated. The Protestant powers despised and renounced the Romish Pontiff; and even the Catholic princes became well able to treat his holiness, especially in their secular concerns, with much neglect.' The sun of civil authority in Europe became too hot for ihe creatures of his order, which had been hatched and fostered in the dark. When
it came to shine in upon them, it dried and burnt
Guthrie remarks, (Geog. p. 565,) "I shall not here enter into a detail of the ignorance of the laity, and the other causes, that operated to the aggrandizement of the Papacy, previous to the reformation. Ever since that era, the state of Europe has been such, that the Popes have had, more than once, great weight in its public affairs; chiefly through the weakness and bigotry of temporal princes; who seem now to be recoving from their religious delusion. The Papal power is evidently now at a low ebb. The Pope himself is treated by the Roinan catholic princes, with very little more ceremony, than is due to him as bishop of Rome, and possessed of a temporal principality. This humil. iation, it is reasonable to believe, will terminate in a total separation from the holy see of all its foreign emoluments; which even since the commencement of the 18th century, were immense.
This drying up of the sources of the Papal wealth and power is a natural and necessary consequence of that scorching, from the political sun in Europe, denounced in the fourth vial. And the time, in which the noted author, in the above quotation, mentions the severe effects against the Papal influence, resulting from the recovery of civil princes from their religious delu. sions; exactly accords with the effects of the fourth vial, according to the scheme of the vials in this chapter.
The revenues of the Pope, in his highest prosperity, were vast; not less than eight millions of dollars annually. (See Morse's Gaz. under “Pope's Dominions.”) But this vast source of wealth was scorched and dried up, under the rays of the political sun of Europe, to a very great degree.
The failure of the Pope's revenues indeed commenced before the effusion of the fourth vial. As soon as Henry VIII, king of England, had renounced the Papal supremacy, considerable sums were saved to that nation, of which it had been annually drained, for dispensations, indulgences, pilgrimages, annates, first
fruits, and other taxes, which a covetous, intriguing Papal court had found means to levy upon the credulity of mankind.
But it was under the fourth vial, that this evil on the Papal see became extreme and fatal. Then it was, that this infamous traffic and source of power, not only wholly failed in protestant nations, but chiefly failed also in catholic natioris. The sun of civil authority, after light arose, powerfully burnt and dried up those streams of Papal wealth, and reduced the Roni. ish see to poverty and meanness; like a scorched part of the earth, dried and burnt under the vertical rays of the sun.
A striking instance of the judgments of this vial on the Papal power, we find in the subversion of the or. der of the Jesuits, in the great kingdoms of Europe. To see the force of this remark, let us take a view of that order. They were called the Janissaries. They were indeed the life.guard of the Romish hierarchy. The Jesuits were instituted in 1540, by Ignatius Loy. ola, a Spaniard; 23 years after the commencement of the reformation. And we find in them a masterpiece of Satan's policy, to support the then sinking Papal cause. The fertile imagination of Loyola suggested to him such an institution; and he obtained the sanction of the Pope for the establishment of it. The Jesuits came under a vow of monastic obedience, and of undertaking, in behalf of the Papal interest, in any ser. vice directed by their general, without any reward from the Papal sec. Loyola was commissioned their first general. They were trained for, and admitted to this order with amazing art. Their constitution and laws were revised and perfected by Laynez and Aquaviva; two most able and subtile generals, who succeeded Loyola. Their object was to gain a decided influence in the courts of Europe; and so to manage the civil affairs in the nations, as to support the Papal see. The other orders of monks were devoted to mortification and seclusion from the world. But the Jesuits were designed for activity in all things, which might tend to the support of Popery. They studied human