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tion. We answer it unhesitatingly in the affirmative; but, to support that affirmative, we must refer to facts which it has been convenient for all parties to pass over. We cannot excuse our own friends wholly from the fear of casting aside those Latin Fathers who will always prove to Protestants a false support.
We have already shewn the direct succession of the Pope of Rome from the Pontiff of Babylon, the Pontifex Maximus of the empire, the High Priest of Isis, and the Hiereus of Pergamos; so that thus he succeeded in concentrating in himself the chieftaincy of all the forms of goddess worship then known, except those of Cybele and the greater mysteries.* We have now to witness the acknowledgment of his claims by the entire Christian world, except Britain and Persia, and the final steps by which, after the death of Augustine, the open profession of Christ was wholly suppressed on one hand, whilst on the other, the secret Egyptian brotherhoods, and occult organisations of Isis worshippers, were crushed by Gothic conquest, or alienated from direct support of the Romish Church by national disputes. This great schism occurred at the Council of Chalcedon, when Pope Leo the Great, to secure Gothic swords, was compelled to sacrifice the support of Egyptian sorcerers.
In A.D. 441, Saint Leo the Great became pontiff, a man of deep craft, reckless cruelty, and insatiable ambition.
The new Pope had three objects in view ; —the first, to aggrandise the Church; the second, to ingratiate himself with the Italians; the third, to win over the Goths, and make them executioners of the Church, instead of soldiers of the emperor.
The emperors again had two objects in view ;—the one, by means of the priesthood, to keep the populace quiet; the other, to retain tranquil possession of Egypt, their granary, storehouse, and treasure room, from whence they drew the taxes to pay their troops, but which was always in a state of chronic revolt at being taxed without returns. Their Gothic mercenaries required good wine, free quarters, handsome wives, and large pay or perquisites, and were by no means disinclined to appropriate to themselves the large ill-cultivated estates and numerous slaves of the non-resident Greek and Italian dignitaries, whom they naturally despised.
The Egyptian monks, proud of their occult knowledge, and powerful from organisation, wanted to rule the world with a rod of iron, and to revel in rapine, whilst affecting raggedness. Temperate by nature, they made a merit of their abstinence from excesses which they disliked, amply compensating themselves by indulgence in the sins they loved. At a given signal, not unwelcome, from Saint Cyril
* We call attention to this : Romanism and Jesuitism are distinct but allied bodies, differing as much in their own views, as the Russians and the Turks, who, in 1799, conquered Rome.
, Patriarch of Alexandria, a man canonised by Rome, they had calmly divided amongst themselves, by force, the entire wealth of the vast Hebrew population of Alexandria, sacking their houses, driving men, women, and children, out naked and helpless to starve or perish shelterless on the sands of the desert or the sea-shore. Resolved to terrify all opposers, these men, sworn not to look upon a woman, had seized Hypatia, the fairest maiden in Alexandria, the destined bride of the prefect, who had dared to check their excesses, and, stripping her of all raiment in the public streets, whilst gloating over her beauty, had deliberately scraped her yet living flesh from her bones with sharp shells and flints from the sea-beach. Such were these men of God, to whose decisions the Tractarians now expect Britons to bow; such the great divines who rejected the future reign of Christ, who excommunicated Nestorius,* and who set up the throne of the Queen of Heaven! The emperors
were therefore compelled to break the power of these people, and to make Constantinople, instead of Alexandria, the seat of supreme rule. The metropolitan patriarch was chosen by the sovereign, the Egyptian by the monks, and was therefore virtual King of Egypt, and independent of imperial control. To alter this was the more necessary,
that Gothic troops being unable to bear the heat of Egypt, it had been garrisoned by Welsh soldiers up to the days of Gratian, and the supply of Welsh recruits had ceased since the war of Maximus, and the declaration of British independence. But this could only be done by a general council, and by the Pope of Rome's consent. It was doubtful if the imperial troops, no longer British, would act against the priesthood on behalf of the emperor, although they would, if he were supported by a majority of the Church, act against heretics, on being allowed absolution for any plunder they might retain.
Leo had his price. He has since met his reward. He became the emperor's ally, that he might render the people his slaves.
* These holy men, who thought it no sin to torture defenceless maidens in their beauty, yet excluded brave men, who, in defence of their country, might have slain a Gothic invader, from the privileges of their Church, unless, indeed, they chose to pay for readmission. Can we wonder that the empire fell, when cruelty was rewarded, and patriotism made a crime ? Yet there are men who would take the opinion of the Fathers even upon this, and talk of them as the ambassadors of Christ. If, indeed, they were his ambassadors, they were ambassadors of the same class with the Duke of Bedford in 1762, and with Archbishop Sharpe in 1660.
His first demand was, " that all heretics, and all favourers or tolerators of heresy, should be put to death.” In 445, an imperial rescript of Valentinian commanded the German troops quartered in Gaul to force all bishops to pay the same obedience to the Pope as had always been rendered to the Supreme Pontiff. Nor was Leo slow in exercising this authority. His causing a minister, whose sole alleged crime was holding a conventicle, to be dragged naked, before trial, over sharp flints, till his torn flesh cankered, and he died, shews that gentleness formed no part of his nature; yet his prescience warned him that the moment the patriarch of the imperial city became the second ruler in the world, he would seek to be the first. Still, however, danger pressed; Britain and Bretagne defied, and Gaul scarcely submitted to the Pontiff. He would risk a Greek schism to perpetuate his supremacy in the west. Imperial troops forced obedience. The Patriarch of Alexandria was the sacrifice! It was not difficult, when all were heretics, to prove Dioscorus, the new patriarch, heretical. A fierce champion against Nestorius, it was now alleged that he had in the controversy spoken language not previously approved at Rome.
Between the old Roman and the Egyptian creeds there existed one point of difference. The Egyptian, on whom Isis had imposed the mysteries as a conqueror, held that the female principle of divinity had become incarnate in her, a mortal virgin, and that her son, therefore, derived his divine nature from his mother. The Chaldæan, on the other hand, amongst whom that Virgin Queen had been born, knew and treated her as a mortal woman, who had become a goddess by her marriage with the Supreme, and assumption into the Trinity, and whose glorified body was the tabernacle of the Divine Spirit.
According to the one, the Deity had taken flesh in the virgin; according to the other, the mortal flesh had been taken into the Godhead. Amongst the initiated these differences prevailed: the people knew nothing of the points of difference, and believed as they were taught. Between the worship of Isis Horus and Osiris, and that of Rome, there existed no difference but in words. Both had renounced the worship of Serapis the Greek or foreign god of the Macedonian conquerors, whose institutions perished under the strokes of St Cyril.
Now, during the struggle with Nestorius, the Egyptian party had been supported by the Roman, and, in order to force out all that clung to the truth, Cyril, with aid of the Pontiff, had required, and Rome had made it a test of orthodoxy, that " the Eternal was born in time,” that “ the Impassible suffered," that “ the Immortal died,” that “ Life died.” Such were the terms of communion which the Church of Rome imposed at Ephesus, and such the conditions to which the true Christian Church refused consent, and had, therefore, been cast out. Surely the Roman Church had then ceased to be, in any sense, a part of Christ's Church.
Now, however, it became necessary to modify, without departing from, these expressions. The Pontiff summoned a General Council. The Greeks and Romans had strained even their own belief to aid Cyril. None of Cyril's expressions were to be modified; but some further explanations given by Eutyches, head of the Egyptian monks, might be pronounced heretical. The emperor surrendered to the Pope that lictor's rod which was now destined so heavily to scourge kings, whilst under the emperors it had been applied only to slaves.
The residuary Church of Antioch, dead as the Church of England would be, if none but Tomlines, and Moores, and Sparkes remained in it, yet retained nationality enough to be galvanised into action against the Egyptians. Pope Leo skilfully flattered it. He summoned its aid not merely as Roman Pontiff, whose authority was limited to the west, but as successor of St Peter, the first Bishop of Antioch. The Greek Patriarch's claim was also conceded. He was to rank next the Pontiff as second person in the world. The Council was opened not now by the emperor, but by the legates of the pontiff king. Dioscorus was their victim.
“We have here an order," said they, “from the most Holy and Apostolic Pope of the city of Rome, which is the head of all the churches, by which his apostleship has been pleased to command, that Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria, shall not be allowed to sit in this Council." The order was obeyed. Dioscorus was deprived of his rights unheard. He was charged with having called a council of his own authority, without leave of the Pontiff, but only of the emperor. Sentence was pronounced : "Leo, the Archbishop of the great and ancient Rome, by us, the present Synod and authority of St Peter, on whom the Catholic Church is founded, divests Dioscorus of his episcopal dignity, and declares him incapable of exercising any sacred office or episcopal function." Apostates were received back into Christ's Church by this formula :-" The Apostolic See forgives, and most Holy Archbishop Leo receives, them to his communion.” When closed, the Council declared the Pope Head of the Church, and themselves its members; and the new Patriarch of Constantinople, in reporting to him the proceedings of the Council, declared them “of no validity until confirmed by him."*
Will any one, after this, deny that, under Pope Leo, the pontificate attained its highest point of development or power, when he sees the Imperial Commissioners, by authority of their masters, sanction and support this? or that it has ever been more potent, unhuman, or encroaching, than during the period from St Damasus to the Council of Chalcedon? Can any one question that a man, thus daring to set himself in the place of Christ, as the head of the Church, in presence of its assembled representatives, exhibited one of the characteristics of Antichrist? Or that, when surpassing even the sinfulness of Damasus, he imposed celibacy upon those already married men who had accepted lay offices in the Church, on condition of retaining their wives, he displayed a second ?—that when afterwards he extended and urged the carrying out that abstinence from animal food, which, pleasurable to the Eastern fakeer, is dangerous to the mental soundness of an European gentleman, he displayed a third? A fourth great type, the denial that Christ has come in the flesh, has yet to be exhibited; but if, as seems probable, the Egyptian theory prevail over the Chaldæan view, and the incarnate Godhead of the Virgin be adopted by the Romish Church, as the article of its faith by which it will stand or fall—an incarnation involved in the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception—then it is clear that the denial of our Lord being very man will be complete, and that the Jesuit doctrine will finally have triumphed over the pretended approximation to Scripture, hitherto believed by the Pontiff of Rome,f and the great obstacle to the reception of a fresh Avatar of the Supreme upon earth have been removed.
We may just add, that it was now the Chaldæan practice of extreme unction, borrowed from the mysteries, was made universal, and officially declared a sacrament.
* We need not waste time on the condemnation of Eutyches, the infuriated monk, by the Council. His fault was merely disclosing too much; and as none of the decisions of the previous Councils were modified, nor the curses against the orthodox repealed, it is clear that the strife was one merely political and personal between Eutyches and Leo. If Eutyches would have reported to Rome through Constantinople, instead of solely to the mob-chosen Patriarch of Alexandria, he might have continued, at his discretion, to blaspheme. His crime was his nationality.
The epithet Theotokos, “ Mother of God," was the usual appellation of Cybele, the Babylonian goddess. Thus Babylon and Rome are identified, since the primal article of the Romish faith is the centre-point of that Babylonian creed from which alone it was drawn, since it has no support either in nature or revelation.