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Such is Matthew Henry's opinion of the tyranny of Popery. Popery is indeed a spiritual. tyranny. The Pope having determined that the sun did, or ought to, move round the earth, Galileo was imprisoned for maintaining the true, but opposite, system. The learned authors of the Jesuits' edition of Newton were obliged to usher their volumes into the world with the cowardly declaration of the falsity of the very theory which they had established. Leo X. prohibited every work translated from the Greek or Hebrew. And why so ? lest the Sacred Scriptures should fall into the hands of the great mass of the people. So ignorant had Popery made the clergy that we read of one churchman who complained that a new language called Greek had been discovered, which threatened the most serious calamities to the church ! Pure Popery and real liberty cannot breathe in the same atmosphere. Kings, as well as subjects, have groaned under the tyranny of the Papacy. Henry IV., of Germany, the proudest sovereign in Europe, was suffered by the Pope to remain three dreary days, from dawn till sunset, with bare head and feet in the open air, a suppliant at the gate of the fortress of Canossa, where Gregory was residing. Innocent III. boasted that the Pope was as much superior to a King, as the Sun is to the Moon! And accordingly he excommunicated the whole world ! King Dandalus was tied by the neck with a chain to the table of Clement VI. and compelled to gnaw bones like a dog. Frederic I. was constrained to hold the Pope's stirrup. Nay, he was trodden under foot by Pope Alexander III. Henry II., of England, submitted to be scourged at the tomb of Becket. John was compelled to accept his crown from Pandulph, the Pope's legate.
But the tyranny of Papacy is seen in nothing more than in its denial of the Holy Scriptures for the unrestrained use of all men. We need only refer to the fourth rule of the Council of Trent, which relates to prohibited books : and to the circular of the Pope in May 1824, relative to the Bible Society. To deny to the poorest of God's creatures the bread of life is the acmè of cruelty. It is in vain that the Pope calls himself the Father of the Christian world. " What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone ? ” (Matt. vii. 9.) The Pope is that man. When his sons ask for
bread,” even the Bread of Life, the Word of God, he gives them "a stone,” the stone of “ traditions and commandments of men."
And the Papacy is in the present day, as much as ever, a tyrannical empire. It is indeed alleged, that Roman Catholics only wish to bring into practical operation the great principle of individual duty and social right—that every human being should worship God according to the sincere dictates of conscientious belief. We are told that the Catholics of Ireland have even grounded their petitions for emancipation on this great principle of freedom of conscience. We are reminded that this is an universal principle, not confined to one sect or persuasion, but extended to every existing and to every possible mode of Christian belief. Much is to be heard in the present day in praise of freedom of conscience. But alas ! how much freedom of conscience is to be found in Dens? THEOLOGY ? Dens tells a different tale. He proclaims aloud that the Papacy allows no freedom of conscience; that it is as much as ever a tyrannical empire. The question is put in plain terms, ' Are Heretics rightly punished with Death ?' And the answer is equally plain. It is in the AFFIRMATIVE.
If, however, the Papacy were not idolatrous as well as tyrannical, it could not be the Beast.
For a Beast denotes in Scripture an idolatrous tyrannical empire. But the idolatry of the Papacy appears in three respects.
First : It encourages the worship of Images. This is a direct violation of an express command in Scripture, “not to make to ourselves a graven image, nor bow down to it, nor worship it.” This commandment, therefore, is commonly omitted in Catechisms of the Romish Church.
The command of God is, “ Thou shalt not make to thyself a graven image.” The command of the Council of Trent is, · Images of Christ, of the Virgin Mother of God, and of other saints are to be had in churches.' 'Imagines Christi, Deiparæ Virginis et aliorum sanctorum in templis habendæ.'
The command of God is, " Thou shalt not bow down to them.” The command of the Council is, to · Kiss them, and uncover the head, and fall down before them '—' quas osculamur, et coram quibus caput aperimus et procumbimus.'
The command of God is, “ Thou shalt not worship them.” The command of the Romish Church it, · Thou shalt worship them with Dulia.' It is in vain that Papists draw a distinction between Latria and Dulia. The command of God is, “Thou shalt not worship them.” This command is absolute. It forbids Dulia as well as Latria. And if the making an image, kissing it, uncovering the head and prostrating one's self before it, be not worshipping it, what is ? The highest degree of external worship is the act of falling down before the object of worship. Thus St. John fell down to worship before the feet of the angel. And the angel said unto him, See thou do it not. (Rev. xxii. 8.) The command of the angel was,
Worship God.” Accordingly we are exhorted in the ninety-fifth Psalm to “ Worship and fall down, and kneel before the Lord our Maker.” But members of the Romish church are taught to fall down, and kneel before Images; and are therefore taught to worship them.
A foot of St. Peter's statue at Rome is nearly worn away by the perpetual kisses of the devotees, who are taught to salute it whenever they pass. And as to the worship which is paid to the picture of St. Dominic of Surriano, the language of the Roman Catholic writer Aringhus is most express.
• The worship of this picture is become so famous through all Christendom that multitudes (to the number of 100,000 and upwards) resort annually to pay their devotions to it.' In the Romish books of office, a prayer is ordered by the rubric to be addressed to the sacred and mira
culous picture of St. Veronica : 'Conduct us, O thou blessed figure, to our proper home, where we may behold the pure face of Christ.'. For further information on this subject the reader is referred to Letter VII. of 'Popery in Alliance with Heathenism.'
In order to produce. something from Scripture. which might seem to favour this worship of images, the Rhemish New Testament translates Heb. xi. 21, thus ; " and worshipped the top of his rod,” leaving out the preposition “upon.” Our translation retains the preposition. “ And worshipped leaning upon the top of his staff.” The passage to which St. Paul refers is the thirty-first verse of the forty-seventh chapter of Genesis. “And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head." This might be rendered, Israel bowed himself upon the top of his staff.” This shows that our translation of Heb. xi. 21, is correct. By bowing himself, St. Paul understood 'worshipping.' But what do we find about Jacob's “ worshipping the top of his rod ?”. The Papists worship images ; and therefore they would make Jacob worship images too. They suppose that there was an image of the Virgin upon the top of his rod! “By faith Jacob worshipped” the Virgin! But the Papists
. “ have forgotten the covenant of the Lord their God; they have corrupted themselves, they have made them graven images.” They have forgotten that “ the Lord their God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God : ” and that he has said, “ I am the LORD : that is my name : and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Deut. iv. 23,