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30. But Jesus called them, and saith unto them, Ye cor. know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles erercise lordshift over them ; and their Mark v. Grea rowes exercise authority whom them. But so 42, 43. shall it not be among you: šut whosoever will be great among you, shall be your sgr. 3, axe ves] deacon:" and " whosoever will be the chiefest shall be servant of all. 31. How diametrically opposite appears the whole course of the Catholic order —The bishops lording it over the presbyters, the presbyters over inferior officers—and the lower class of rulers setting themselves up as great ones over the common people ; and priests and people tyranizing with relentless cruelty over reputed he retics, whose lives of virtue exposed them alone, as a common prey to the avaricious and beastly power of Antichrist. 32. This is the Church which has been represented as the bless od mother of saints, and of GREAT sa INTs, and even of CoNs ran PINE THE GREA or, under whose reign that great building, which had been erecting ever since the fall, arose to so great a height! This is that great hierarchy, and these the effects of that Catholic gospel, for which even President Edwards see Hicould affirm, that no other cause could be devised but Koo. the power of God. Doubtless that proverb is true. ... There is a way that seemeth right unto a man ; but the 12. end thereof are the ways of death. 33. Under the influence of a false education, and a deep rooted prejudice in favour of the chain of orthodoxy, the most sensible modern writers have laboured to prove that to be the work of God, which was evidently the work of wicked and aspiring men. 34. And lest the soundness of modern christianity should be called in question, the Protestant friesthood have universally laboured to establish the credit and authority of the Catholic church, in every age. But they have manifested the greatest degree of partiality, in charging the whole guilt of apostacy upon the Bishop of Rome, while they themselves claim a relation to that very sink of corruption, out of which he arose to the papal dignity. 35. Although these modern doctors would seem to content themselves with a less degree of power than the bishop of Rome attained, and support their
* union only with such of the fathers as preceded him; – yet, in claiming and supporting this relation, they
show that if they had the same opportunity, they
into many ways of confusion, persecution and death.
38. Under all their pomp and vain glory, their compound of civil and ecclesiastical tyranny, their confu. sed and contradictory jargon, which they called orthodory, it is plain that a subtle priesthood were aspiring to the entire headship over both church and state. 39. In the fifth century, Mosheim says, “The vices * of the clergy were carried to the most enormous * lengths. The writers of this century are unanimous “in their accounts of the luxury, arrogance, avarice, ‘ and voluptuousness of the sacerdotal orders.” And further observes that, “These opprobrious stains, in * the characters of the clergy, would never have been * endured, had not the greatest part of mankind been * sunk in superstition and ignorance.” 40. What was there, then, to prevent these bases: of all deceivers from setting up a false god, a false christ, false teachers, false saints, and the like 2 The superstitious and ignorant multitude were at their con. troul ; the civil authority was on their side ; the heretics were rooted out from among them, and were either banished, or voluntarily retreated to mountains or deserts, where they might enjoy the free exerciss of piety and uninterrupted peace, remote from this Babylonish mixture of confusion. 41. Nothing in fact remained to prevent this synagogue of satan from establishing any religion or government which they could agree upon among them
selves. The only difficulty they had to surmount, was,
Ecel. History, vol. ii. p. 29.
ibid. p. 26.
ibid. p. 27.
* i. e.
Fecl. His, tory, vol. ii p. 73.
in a council assembled at Constantinofile, A. D. 448,
‘ali, in wealth and power—daily added new degrees
‘ of influence and authority to the Roman see, ren‘dered it every where respected, and thus im/herces‘fibly cstablished its su/iremacy.”
THE precise period in which Mntichrist began his char. reign, has been a matter of great search ; and *- : there are but few subjects on which the learned are more divided. What has rendered this point so extremely difficult to ascertain, was the great length of time that was taken up in laying the foundations of his kingdom, and the gradual manner in which his dominion arose to its greatest height. 2. Although the intimate connexion and resemblance between the preparatory work, and actual reign of Antichrist, has rendered the precise beginning of his reign a matter of such various conjecture; it has notwithstanding been agreed to by all, that there was such a period, and that the beginning of his dominion would finally be ascertained by the end, and confirmed by corroborating circumstances. 3. It is further agreed, that the reign of Antichrist began with the Pastal hierarchy, or supremacy of the bishop of Rome ; but it is evident, that they must be greatly mistaken, who fix the date of this hierarchy at the period when the bishop of Rome had gained the entire ascendancy, and exercised all the power of a temporal monarch, on the supposed grant of Saint Peter and Constantine the Great. Y