John N. Andrews (1829-1883)

John N. Andrews (1829-1883)

First SDA Missionary J. N. Andrews was the first SDA missionary sent to countries outside...

Joseph Bates (1792- 1872)

Joseph Bates (1792- 1872)

Joseph Bates was the oldest of the three founders of the Seventh- day Adventist...

Rachel Oakes Preston (1809- 1868)

Rachel Oakes Preston (1809- 1868)

Rachel (Harris) Oakes Preston was a Seventh- day Baptist who persuaded a group of...

Uriah Smith (1832- 1903)

Uriah Smith (1832- 1903)

Uriah Smith was born to Rebekah Spalding and Samuel Smith in1832. He showed a...

William Miller (1782-1849)

William Miller (1782-1849)

American farmer and Baptist preacher who announced the imminent coming of Christ and founded...

John Norton Loughborough (1832-1924)

John Norton Loughborough (1832-1924…

Pioneer evangelist and administrator. He first heard the present truth preached by J. N. Andrews...

Stephen Nelson Haskell (1833-1922)

Stephen Nelson Haskell (1833-1922)

Evangelist, administrator. He began preaching for the non-Sabbatarian Adventists in New England in 1853, and...

Hiram Edson (1802-1882)

Hiram Edson (1802-1882)

Hiram Edson was the instrument whom God used to reveal to the early Sabbath-keeping Adventists...

John Byington (Oct. 8, 1798 - Jan. 7, 1887)

John Byington (Oct. 8, 1798 - Jan. …

John Byington was a Methodist circuit rider before he became a Seventh-day Adventist preacher. He...

Thomas M. Preble (1810–1907)

Thomas M. Preble (1810–1907)

Author, scholar, Free Will Baptist minister of New Hampshire, and Millerite preacher. He was born...

Owen Russell Loomis Crosier (1820-1913)

Owen Russell Loomis Crosier (1820-1…

Millerite preacher and editor, of Canandaigua, New York, first writer on what was to become...

Joseph Harvey Waggoner (1820–1889)

Joseph Harvey Waggoner (1820–1889)

Evangelist, editor, author. He attended school for only six months, but was indefatigable in private...

George Storrs (1796–1879)

George Storrs (1796–1879)

Millerite preacher and writer, chief proponent of conditional immortality. Born in New Hampshire, he was...

Alonzo T. Jones (1850–1923)

Alonzo T. Jones (1850–1923)

Minister, editor, author. He was born in Ohio. At the age of 20...

Charles Fitch (1805–1844)

Charles Fitch (1805–1844)

Congregational minister, later Presbyterian minister, Millerite leader, the designer of the “1843 chart.”...

Ellen Gould White (1827–1915)

Ellen Gould White (1827–1915)

Cofounder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, writer, lecturer, and counselor to...

Ellet J. Waggoner (1855-1916)

Ellet J. Waggoner (1855-1916)

In 1884 E. J. Waggoner became assistant editor of the Signs of the Times, under...

William Warren Prescott (1855-1944)

William Warren Prescott (1855-1944)

W. W. Prescott was an educator and administrator. His parents were Millerites in...

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Chapter VII - The Struggle for World Dominion

Chapter VII

The Struggle for World Dominion

Verse 1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.

This is the same Belshazzar mentioned in Daniel 5. Chronologically, this chapter precedes the fifth chapter; but chronology is here disregarded in order that the historical part of the book may stand by itself.

Verse 2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel Relates His Own Vision.--All Scripture language is to be taken literally, unless there exists some good reason for regarding it as figurative. All that is figurative is to be interpreted by that which is literal. That the language here used is symbolic is evident from verse 17, which reads, " These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth." That kingdoms are intended, and not merely individual kings, is clear from the words, "But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom." In explaining verse 23, the angel said, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth." these beasts are therefore symbols of four great kingdoms. The circumstances under which they arose, as represented in the prophecy, are also stated in symbolic language. The symbols introduced are the four winds, the sea, four great beasts, ten horns, and another horn which had eyes and a mouth and which rose up in war against God and His people. We have now to inquire what they denote.

In symbolic language winds represent strife, political commotion, and war, as we read from the prophet Jeremiah:"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth." Jeremiah 25: 32, 33. The prophet speaks of a controversy which the Lord is to have with all nations. The strife and commotion which produces all this destruction is called "a great whirlwind."

That winds denote strife and war is evident in the vision itself. As the result of the blowing of the winds, kingdoms arise and fall through political strife.

Seas, or waters, when used as Bible symbol, represent peoples, and nations, and tongues. Said the angel to the prophet John, "The waters which thou sawest . . . are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Revelation 17: 15.

The definition of the symbol of the four beasts is given to Daniel before the close of the vision: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth." Verse 17. With this explanation of the symbols, the field of the vision is definitely opened before us.

Since these beasts denote four kings, or kingdoms, we inquire, Where shall we begin and what four empires are represented? These beasts arise consecutively, for they are enumerated from the first to the fourth. The last one is in existence when all earthly scenes are brought to an end by the final judgment. From the time of Daniel to the end of this world's history, there were to be but four universal kingdoms, as we learned from Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the great image in Daniel 2, interpreted by the prophet sixty-five years before. Daniel was still living under the kingdom denoted by the head of gold.

The first beast of this vision must therefore denote the same kingdom as the head of gold of the great image, namely, Babylon. The other beasts no doubt represent the succeeding kingdoms portrayed by that image. But if this vision covers essentially the same period of history as the image of Daniel 2, the query may arise, Why is it given? Why was not that first vision sufficient? We answer, The history of world empires is passed over again and again in order that additional characteristics may be brought out, and additional facts and features may be presented. It is thus that we have "line upon line" according to the Scriptures. In chapter 2, only the political aspects of world dominion are portrayed. Here earthly governments are introduced in their relationship to God's truth and God's people. Their true character is shown by symbols of wild and ravenous beasts.

Verse 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

The Lion.--In the vision of Daniel 7, the first beast seen by the prophet was a lion. For the use of the lion as a symbol, read Jeremiah 4: 7; 50: 17, 43, 44. The lion as first seen in the vision before us had eagle's wings. The symbolic use of wings is impressively described in Habakkuk 1: 6-8, where it is said that the Chaldeans should "fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat."

From these symbols we may easily deduce that Babylon was a kingdom of great strength, and that under Nebuchadnezzar its conquests were extended with great rapidity. But there came a time when the wings were plucked. It no longer rushed upon tis prey like an eagle. The boldness and spirit of the lion were gone. A man's heart--weak, timorous, and faint--took the place of a lion's strength. Such was the case with the nation during the closing years of its history, when it had become enfeebled and effeminate through wealth and luxury.

Verse 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

The Bear.--As in the image of Daniel 2, so in this series of symbols a marked deterioration is noticed as we descend from one kingdom to another. The silver of the breast and arms is inferior to the gold of the head. The bear is inferior to the lion. Medo-Persia fell short of Babylon in wealth, magnificence, and brilliance. The bear raised itself up on one side. The kingdom was composed of two nationalities, the Medes and the Persians. The same fact is represented by the two horns of the ram in Daniel 8. Of these horns it is said that the higher horn came up last, and of the bear that it raised itself up on one side. This was fulfilled by the Persian division of the kingdom, for although it came up last, it attained the higher eminence, becoming a dominant influence in the nation. (See comments on Daniel 8: 3.) The three ribs doubtless signify the three provinces of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which were especially oppressed by Medo-Persia. The command, "Arise, devour much flesh," would naturally refer to the stimulus given to the Medes and Persians by the overthrow of these provinces. The character of the power is well represented by a bear. The Medes and Persians were cruel and rapacious, robbers and spoilers of the people. This Medo-Persian kingdom continued from the overthrow of Babylon by Cyrus to the battle of Arbela in 331 B.C., a period of 207 years.

Verse 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

The Leopard.--The third kingdom, Grecia, is here represented by the symbol of a leopard. If wings upon the lion signified rapidity of conquest, they would signify the same here. The leopard itself is a swift-footed beast, but this was not sufficient to represent the career of the nation here symbolized. It must have wings in addition. Two wings, the number the lion had, were not sufficient; the leopard must have four. This would denote unprecedented celerity of movement, which we find to be a historical fact in the Grecian kingdom. The conquests of Grecia under Alexander had no parallel in ancient times for suddenness and rapidity. His military achievements are summarized by W. W. Tarn:

"He was a master in the combination of various arms; he taught the world the advantages of campaigning in winter, the value of pressing pursuit to the utmost, and the principle of 'march divided, fight united.' He marched usually in two division, one conducting the impediments and his own [division] traveling light; his speed of movement was extraordinary. It is said that he attributed his military success to 'never putting anything off.' . . . The enormous distances traversed in unknown country imply a very high degree of organizing ability; in ten years he had only two serious breakdowns.... Had a lesser man attempted what he achieved, and failed, we should have heard enough of the hopeless military difficulties of the undertaking." [1]

"The beast had also four heads" The Grecian Empire maintained its unity but little longer than the lifetime of Alexander. After his brilliant career ended in a fever induced by a drunken debauch, the empire was divided among his four leading generals. Cassander had Macedonia and Greece in the west; Lysimachus had Thrace and the parts of Asia on the Hellespont and the Bosphorus in the north; Ptolemy received Egypt, Lydia, Arabia, Palestine, and Coele-Syria in the south; and Seleucus had Syria and all the rest of Alexander's dominions in the east. By the year 301 B.C., with the death of Antigonus, the division of the kingdom of Alexander into four parts was completed by his general. [2] These division were denoted by the four heads of the leopard.

Thus accurately were the words of the prophet fulfilled. As Alexander left no available successor, why did not the huge empire break up into countless petty fragments? Why into just four parts, and no more?--For reasons that the prophecy foresaw and foretold. The leopard had four heads, the rough goat four horns, the kingdom was to have four divisions; and thus it was. (See more fully in comments on Daniel 8.)

Verse 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

A Dreadful Beast.--Inspiration finds no beast in nature to symbolize the power here illustrated. No addition of hoofs, heads, horns, wings, scales, teeth, or nails to any beast found in nature will answer. This power is diverse from all the others, and the symbol is wholly different from anything found in the animal kingdom.

The foundation for a volume is laid in verse 7, but for lack of space we are compelled to treat it briefly here. This beast corresponds to the fourth division of the great image--the legs of iron. In the comment on Daniel 2: 40 are given some reasons for believing this power to be Rome. The same reasons are applicable to the present prophecy. How accurately Rome answered to the iron portion of the image! How accurately it answers to the beast before us! In the dread and terror which it inspired, and in its great strength, it answered admirably to the prophetic description. The world had never seen its equal. It devoured as with iron teeth, and broke in pieces all that stood in its way. It ground the nations into the dust beneath its brazen feet. It had ten horns, which are explained in verse 24 to be ten kings, or kingdoms, which should arise out of this empire. As already noticed in comments on Daniel 2, Rome was divided into ten kingdoms. These divisions have ever since been spoken of as the ten kingdoms of the Roman Empire.

Verse 8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel considered the horns. A strange movement appeared among them. Another horn, at first little, but afterward more stout than its fellows, thrust itself up. It was not content quietly to find a place of its own, and fill it; it must thrust aside some of the others, and usurp their places. Three kingdoms were thus plucked up.

A Little Horn Among the Ten.--This little horn, as we shall have occasion to notice more fully hereafter, was the papacy. The three horns plucked up by the roots represented the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals. The reason for their removal was their opposition to the teachings and claims of the papal hierarchy.

"In this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things"--fit emblems of the shrewdness, penetration, and arrogant claims of an apostate religious organization.

Verse 9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. 10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

A Judgement Scene.--A sublimer description of a more awe-inspiring scene is not to be found in the word of God. Not the grand and lofty imagery alone could arrest our attention; the nature of the scene itself demands most serious consideration. The judgement is here brought to view. Whenever the judgement is mentioned, it ought to take an irresistible hold upon every mind, for all have a deep concern in its eternal issues.

By an unfortunate translation in verse 9, a wrong idea is almost sure to be conveyed. The phrase "cast down" is from a Chaldee word {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, remi, which may properly be rendered "hurled by violence," as is plainly the case where it is used to describe the casting of the three Hebrews into the fiery furnace, and of casting Daniel into the den of lions. But another equally correct translation is "to set or place in order," as in the placing of the judgement seats mentioned here, as also a like setting or placing in Revelation 4: 2, in which the Greek bears out the same meaning. The Revised Version in Daniel 7: 9 reads properly, "thrones were places," as Gesenius defines the root remah, with reference to Daniel 7: 9 as an example.

The "Ancient of days," God the Father, presides at the judgement. Mark the description of His person. Those who believe in the impersonality of God are obliged to admit that He is here described as a personal being, but they console themselves by saying that it is the only description of the kind in the Bible. We do not admit this latter assertion; but granting that it were true, is not one description of this kind as fatal to their as though it were repeated a score of times? The thousand thousands who minister unto Him, and the ten thousand times ten thousand who stand before Him, are not sinners arraigned before the judgement seat, but heavenly intelligences who wait before Him, attendant on His will. John saw the same heavenly attendants before the throne of God, and he describes the majestic scene in these words: "I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne, and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." Revelation 5: 11. A fuller understanding of these verses involves an understanding of the sanctuary services.

The closing up of the ministration of Christ, our great High Priest, in the heavenly sanctuary, is the work of judgement here introduced. It is an investigative judgement. The books are opened, and the cases of all come up for examination before that great tribunal, that it may be decided beforehand who are to receive eternal life when the Lord shall come to confer it upon His people. It will appear from the testimony of Daniel 8: 14 that this solemn work is even now going on in the sanctuary above.

Verse 11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

End of the Fourth Beast.--There are those who believe in a thousand years' reign of righteousness over all the world before the coming of Christ. There are others who believe in probation after the Lord comes, during which the immortal righteous still proclaim the gospel to mortal sinners, and lead them into the way of salvation. Neither of these theories can be substantiated from the Bible, as we shall see.

The fourth terrible beast continues without change of character, and the little horn continues to utter its blasphemies, holding its millions of votaries in the bonds of blind superstition, until the beast is given to the burning flame. This is not its conversion, but its destruction. (See 2 Thessalonians 2: 8.)

The life of the fourth beast is not prolonged after its dominion is gone, as were the lives of the preceding beasts. Their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season. The territory and subjects of the Babylonian kingdom still existed, though made subject to the Persians. So with the Persian kingdom in respect to Greece, and Greece in respect to Rome. But what succeeds the fourth kingdom? No government or state in which mortals have any part, follows it. Its career ends in the lake of fire, and it has no existence beyond. The lion was merged with the bear, the bear into the leopard, the leopard into the fourth beast. But the fourth beast is not merged into another beast. It is to be cast into the lake of fire.

Verse 13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before Him. 14 And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve Him: His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

The Son of Man Receives His Kingdom.--The scene here described is not the second coming of Christ to this earth, for the Ancient of days is not on this earth, and the coming here spoken of is to the Ancient of days. There, in the presence of the Father, dominion, and glory, and a kingdom are given to the Son of man. Christ receives His kingdom before His return to this earth. (See Luke 19: 10-12.) Therefore, this is a scene which takes place in heaven, and is closely connected with that brought to view in verses 9 and 10. Christ receives His kingdom at the close of His priestly work in the sanctuary. The people and nations that shall serve Him are the redeemed (Revelation 21: 24), not the wicked nations of the earth, for these are destroyed at the second advent of Christ by the brightness of His coming. (Psalm 2: 9; 2 Thessalonians 2: 8.) Out of all nations, tribes, and kindreds of the earth will come those who server God with joy and gladness. They shall inherit the kingdom of our Lord.

Verse 15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

Vision Interpreted to Daniel.--We should be no less concerned than was Daniel to understand the truth of these things. We have the assurance that when we inquire with sincerity of heart, we shall find the Lord as ready now as in the days of the prophet to lead to a correct understanding of these important truths. The beasts and the kingdoms which they represent, have already been explained. We have followed the prophet through the course of events, even to the destruction of the fourth beast, the final overthrow of all earthly governments. Then the scene changes, for we read, "The saints... shall take the kingdom." Verse 18. The saints! despised, reproached, persecuted, cast out; looked upon as the least likely of all men ever to realize their hopes--these shall take the kingdom, and possess it forever. The usurpation and misrule of the wicked shall come to an end. The inheritance forfeited because of sin shall be redeemed. Peace and righteousness shall reign eternally over all the fair expanse of the earth made new.

Verse 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 and of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows.

Truth of the Fourth Beast.--Of the first three beasts in this vision, Daniel had a clear understanding. But he was astonished at the fourth beast, because of its unnatural and dreadful character. It was of this beast and its ten horns, more particularly of the little horn which came up last, "whose look was more stout than his fellows," that he desired further information. The lion is a production of nature, but it must have the addition of two wings to represent the kingdom of Babylon. The bear we also find in nature, but as a symbol of Medo-Persia an unnatural ferocity must be denoted by the three ribs in its mouth. So the leopard is a beast of nature, yet fitly to represent Grecia, four wings and three more heads must be added. But nature furnishes no symbol which can fitly illustrate the fourth kingdom. The vision therefore introduces a beast the likeness of which was never before seen, a beast dreadful and terrible, with nails of brass, and teeth of iron, so cruel, rapacious, and fierce that from mere love of oppression it devoured, and broke in pieces, and trampled its victims beneath its feet.

Astounding as all this was to the prophet, there was something still more remarkable that gripped his attention. A little horn came up, and true to the nature of the beast from which it sprang, thrust aside three of its fellows. Lo, the horn had eyes, not the uncultivated eyes of a brute, but the keen, shrewd, intelligent eyes of a man. Stranger yet, it had a mouth, and with that mouth it uttered proud sayings, and put forth preposterous and arrogant claims. No wonder the prophet made special inquiry respecting this monster, so unearthly in its instincts, so fiendish in its works and ways. In the following verses some specifications are given respecting the little horn, which enable the student of prophecy to make an application of this symbol without danger of mistake.

Verse 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Little Horn to Make War With the Saints.--The amazing wrath of this little horn against the saints particularly attracted the attention of Daniel. The rise of the ten horns, or the division of Rome into ten kingdoms, between A.D. 351 and 476, has already been noticed in comments on Daniel 2: 41.

As these horns denote kingdoms, the little horn must denote a kingdom also, yet not of the same nature, because it was diverse from the others. They were political kingdoms. Now we have but to inquire if, since A.D. 476, any kingdom has risen among the ten division of the Roman Empire which was diverse from them all; and if so, what one? The answer is, Yes, the spiritual kingdom of the papacy. It answers to the symbol in every particular, as we shall see as we proceed.

Daniel beheld this power making war upon the saints. Has such a war been waged by the papacy? Millions of martyrs answer, Yes. Witness the cruel persecutions of the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and Protestants in general, by the papal power.

In verse 22 three consecutive events seem to be brought to view. Looking onward from the time when the little horn was in the height of its power to the full end of the long contest between the saints and Satan with all his agents, Daniel notes three prominent events that stand as mileposts along the way:

The coming of the Ancient of days, that is, the position which Jehovah takes in the opening of the judgement scene described in verses 9, 10.

The judgement that is given to the saints, that is, the time when the saints sit with Christ in judgment a thousand years, following the first resurrection (Revelation 20: 1-4), apportioning to the wicked the punishment due for their sins. The martyrs will then sit in judgment upon the great persecuting power, which, in the days of their trial, hunted them like the beasts of the desert, and poured out their blood like water.

The time that the saints possess the kingdom, that is, the time of their entrance upon the possession of the new earth. Then the last vestige of the curse of sin, and of sinners, root and branch, will have been wiped away, and the territory so long misruled by the wicked powers of earth, the enemies of God's people, will be given to the righteous, to be possessed by them forever and ever. (1 Corinthians 6: 2, 3; Matthew 25: 34.)

Verse 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.

Rise and Work of the Little Horn.--Perhaps enough has already been said respecting the fourth beast (Rome) and the ten horns, or ten kingdoms, which arose out of this power. The little horn now more particularly demands attention. As stated in comments on verse 8, we find the fulfillment of the prophecy concerning this horn in the rise and work of the papacy. It is a matter of both interest and importance, therefore, to inquire into the causes which resulted in the development of this arrogant power.

The first pastors, or bishops, of Rome enjoyed a respect proportionate to the rank of the city in which they resided. For the first few centuries of the Christian Era, Rome was the largest, richest, and most powerful city in the world. It was the seat of empire, the capital of the nations. "All the inhabitants of the earth belong to here," said Julian; and Claudian declared her to be the "fountain of laws." "If Rome is the queen of cities, why should not her pastor be the king of bishops?" was the reasoning these Roman pastors put forth. "Why should not the Roman Church be the mother of Christendom? Why should not all nations be her children, and her authority their sovereign law? It was easy," says D'Aubigne, from whom we quote these words, "for the ambitious heart of man to reason thus. Ambitious Rome did so." [3]

The bishops in the different parts of the Roman Empire felt a pleasure in yielding to the bishop of Rome some of that honor which that city received from the nations of the earth. There was originally no dependence implied in the honor thus paid. "But," continues D'Aubigne, "usurped power increases like an avalanche. Admonitions, at first simply fraternal, soon became absolute commands in the mouth of the pontiff. . . . The Western bishops favored this encroachment of the Roman pastors, either from jealousy of the Eastern bishops, or because they preferred submitting to the supremacy of a pope rather than to the dominion of a temporal power." [4] Such were the influences clustering around the bishop of Rome, and thus was everything tending toward his speedy elevation to the spiritual dominance of Christendom.

Challenge of Arianism.--But the fourth century was destined to witness an obstacle thrown across the path of this ambitious dream. The prophecy had declared that the power represented by the little horn would "subdue three kings." In the rise and development of Arianism early in the fourth century and the challenge it presented to papal supremacy, we find the causes leading to the plucking up of three of the kingdoms of Western Rome by the papal power.

Arius, parish priest of the ancient and influential church of Alexandria, promulgated his doctrine to the world, occasioning so fierce a controversy in the Christian church that a general council was called at Nicaea, by the emperor Constantine in A.D. 325, to consider and rule upon its teaching. Arius maintained "that the Son was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that He was the first and noblest of those beings whom the Father had created out of nothing, the instrument by whose subordinate operation the Almighty Father formed the universe, and therefore inferior to the Father, both in nature and dignity." This opinion was condemned by the council, which decreed that Christ was of one and the same substance with the Father. Hereupon Arius was banished to Illyria, and his followers were compelled to give their assent to the creed composed on that occasion. [5]

The controversy itself, however, was not to be disposed of in this summary manner. For ages it continued to agitate the Christian world, the Arians everywhere becoming the bitter enemies of the pope and of the Roman Catholic Church. It was evident that the spread of Arianism would check the onward march of Catholicism, and that the possession of Italy and it renowned capital by a people of the Arian persuasion would be fatal to the supremacy of a Catholic bishop. The prophecy, however, had declared that this horn symbolizing the papacy would rise to supreme power, and that in reaching this position it would subdue three kings.

Little Horn Overthrows Tree Arian Powers.--Some difference of opinion has existed in regard to the particular powers which were overthrown by the papacy in its rise to power. In this connection the remarks of Albert Barnes seem pertinent: "In the confusion that existed on the breaking up of the Roman Empire, and the imperfect accounts of the transactions which occurred in the rise of the papal power, it would not be wonderful if it should be difficult to find events distinctly recorded that would be in all respects an accurate and absolute fulfillment of the vision. Yet it is possible to make out the fulfillment of this with a good degree of certainty in the history of the papacy." [6]

Joseph Mede supposes the three kingdoms plucked up to have been the Greeks, the Lombards, and the Franks; and Sir Issac Newton supposes they were the exarchate of Ravenna, the Lombards, and the senate and dukedom of Rome. Thomas Newton [7] states serious objections to both these suppositions. The Franks could not have been one of these kingdoms, for they were never plucked up. The Lombards could not have been one, for they were never made subject to the popes. Says Albert Barnes further, "I do not find, indeed, that the kingdom of the Lombards was, as is commonly stated among the number of the temporal sovereignties that became subject to the authority of the popes." [8] The senate and dukedom of Rome could not have been one, for as they never constituted one of the ten kingdoms, three of which were to be plucked up before the little horn.

But we apprehend the chief difficulty in the application made by these eminent commentators lay in the fact that they supposed that the prophecy respecting the exaltation of the papacy had not been fulfilled, and could not have been until the pope became a temporal prince. Therefore they sought to find an accomplishment of the prophecy in the events which led to the pope's temporal sovereignty. But evidently the prophecy of verses 24, 25, refers, not to his civil power, but to his power to domineer over the minds and consciences of men. The papacy reached this position, A.D. 538, as will hereafter appear.

The word "before" used in verses 8 and 20 represents the Chaldee {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, qadam, with the root meaning "front." Combined with min, meaning "from," as it is in these two verses, Davidson translates it "from the presence of," and Gesenius says it is equivalent to the Hebrew {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, lipna, meaning "in the presence of." It therefore has here the meaning "before" in the sense of "place," as it does in the same phrase in verse 10, where it is properly translated in the Authorized Version "from before Him." We have, then, in verse 8 the picture of the little horn pressing in among the ten and forcibly plucking up three horns from before it. In verse 20, it is declared that the three horns "fell" from before it, as if overcome by it. In verse 24, we read that another king, representing the little horn, "shall subdue three kings [horns]," evidently by acts of force. While the word qadam is also used in the sense of time, as in the word "before" in verse 7, there can scarcely be a doubt that it is used in the sense of place in the three verses cited above. With this interpretation Edward Elliott clearly agrees. (See page 128.)

The position is here confidently taken that the three powers, or horns, plucked up by the roots were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; and this position rests upon reliable historical data. Odoacer, the leader of the Heruli, was the first of the barbarians who reigned over the Romans. He took the throne of Italy, A.D. 476. Of his religious belief Gibbon says: "Like the rest of the barbarians he had been instructed in the Arian heresy; but he revered the monastic and episcopal characters; and the silence of the Catholics attests the toleration which they enjoyed." [9]

The same author says: "The Ostrogoths, the Burgundians, the Suevi, and the Vandals, who had listened to the eloquence of the Latin clergy, preferred the more intelligible lessons of their domestic teachers; and Arianism was adopted as the national faith of the warlike converts who were seated on the ruins of the Western Empire. This irreconcilable difference of religion was a perpetual source of jealousy and hatred; and the reproach of barbarian was embittered by the more odious epithet of heretic. The heroes of the north, who had submitted with some reluctance to believe that all their ancestors were in hell, were astonished and exasperated to learn that they themselves had only changed the mode of their eternal condemnation." [10]

The Arian doctrine had a marked influence on the church at that time, as will be observed in the following paragraphs: "The whole of the vast Gothic population which descended on the Roman Empire, so far as it was Christian at all, held to the faith of the Alexandrian heretic. Our first Teutonic version of the Scriptures was by an Arian missionary, Ulfilas. The first conqueror of Rome, Alaric, the first conqueror of Africa, Genseric, were Arians. Theodoric the Great, king of Italy, and hero of the 'Nibelungenlied,' was an Arian. The vacant place in his massive tomb at Ravenna is a witness of the vengeance which the Orthodox took on his memory, when on their triumph they tore down the porphyry vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes." [11]

Ranke states: "But she [the church] fell, as was inevitable, into many embarrassments, and found herself in an entirely altered condition. A pagan people took possession of Britain; Arian kings seized the greater part of the remaining West; while the Lombards, long attached to Arianism, and as neighbors most dangerous and hostile, established a powerful sovereignty before the very gates of Rome. The Roman bishops, meanwhile, beset on all sides, exerted themselves, with all the prudence and pertinacity which have remained their peculiar attributes, to regain the mastery--at least in their patriarchal diocese." [12]

Machiavelli says: "Nearly all the wars which the northern barbarians carried on in Italy, it may be here remarked, were occasioned by the pontiffs; and the hordes with which the country was inundated, were generally called in by them." [13]

The relation which these Arian kings sustained to the pope is shown in the following testimony from Mosheim in his church history:

"On the other hand, it is certain, from a variety of the most authentic records, that both the emperors and the nations in general were far from being disposed to bear with patience the yoke of servitude which the see of Rome was arrogantly imposing upon the Christian church. The Gothic princes set bounds to the power of the bishop of Rome in Italy, permitted none to be raised to the pontificate without their approbation, and reserved to themselves the right of judging concerning the legality of every new election." [14]

An instance in proof of this statement occurs in the history of Odoacer, the first Arian king above mentioned. [15] When, on the death of Pope Simplicius, A.D. 483, the clergy and people had assembled for the election of a new pope, suddenly Basilius, lieutenant of King Odoacer, appeared in the assembly, expressed his surprise that any such work as appointing a successor to the deceased pope should be undertaken without him, in the name of the king declared all that had been done null and void, and ordered the election to be begun anew.

Meanwhile, Zeno, the emperor of the East, and friend of the pope, was anxious to drive Odoacer out of Italy, a movement which he soon had the satisfaction of seeing accomplished without trouble to himself. Theodoric had come to the throne of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Moesia and Pannonia. Being on friendly terms with Zeno, he wrote him, stating that it was impossible for him to restrain his Goths within the impoverished province of Pannonia, and asking his permission to lead them to some more favorable region which they might conquer and posses. Zeno gave him permission to march against Odoacer and take possession of Italy. Accordingly, after a five years' war, the Herulian kingdom in Italy was overthrown, Odoacer was treacherously slain, and Theodoric established his Ostrogoths in the Italian peninsula. As already stated, he was an Arian, and the law of Odoacer subjecting the election of the pope to the approval of the king, was still retained.

The following incident will show how completely the papacy was in subjection to his power. The Catholics in the East having begun a persecution against the Arians, A.D. 523, Theodoric summoned Pope John into his presence and thus addressed him: " 'If the emperor [Justin, the predecessor of Justinian] therefore does not think fit to revoke the edict which he has lately issued against those of my persuasion [that is, the Arians], it is my firm resolution to issue the like edict against those of his [that is, the Catholics]; and to see it everywhere executed with the same rigor. Those who do not profess the faith of Nice, are heretics to him, and those who do are heretics to me. Whatever can excuse or justify his severity to the former, will excuse and justify mine to the latter. But the emperor,' continued the king, 'has none about him who dare freely and openly speak what they think, or to whom he would hearken if they did. But the great veneration which he professes for your See , leaves no room to doubt but he would hearken to you. I will therefore have you to repair forthwith to Constantinople, and there to remonstrate, both in my name and your own, against the violent measures in which that court has so rashly engaged. It is in your power to divert the emperor from them; and till you have, nay, till the Catholics [this name Theodoric applies to the Arians] are restored to the free exercise of their religion, and to all the churches from which they have been driven, you must not think of returning to Italy.' " [16]

The pope who was thus peremptorily ordered by the Arian emperor not to set foot again upon Italian soil until he had carried out the will of the king, certainly could not hope for much advancement toward any kind of supremacy until that power was taken out of the way.

The feelings of the papal party toward Theodoric may be accurately estimated, according to a quotation already given, by the vengeance which they took on his memory. They tore from his tomb the vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes. These feelings are put into language by Baronius, who inveighs "against Theodoric as a cruel barbarian, as a barbarous tyrant, as an impious Arian." [17]

While the Catholics were thus feeling the restraining power of an Arian king in Italy, they were suffering a violent persecution from the Arian Vandals in Africa. [18] Elliot says: " The Vandal kings were not only Arians, but persecutors of the Catholics; in Sardinia and Corsica under the Roman Episcopate, we may presume, as well as in Africa." [19]

Such was the position of affairs, when, A.D. 533, Justinian entered upon his Vandal and Gothic wars. Wishing to obtain the influence of the pope and the Catholic party, he issued that memorable decree which was to constitute the pope of all the churches, and from the carrying out of which A.D. 538, the period of papal supremacy is to be dated. And whoever will read the history of the African campaign, 533-534, and the Italian campaign, 534-538, will notice that the Catholics everywhere hailed as deliverers the army of Belisarius, the general of Justinian.

But no decree of this nature could be carried into effect until the Arian horns which stood in its way were overthrown. A turn came, however, in the tide of affairs, for in the military campaign in Africa and Italy the victorious legions of Belisarius dealt a crushing blow to Arianism, so much so that its final supporters were vanquished.

Procopius relates that the African war was undertaken by Justinian for the relief of the Christians (Catholics) in that quarter, and that when he expressed his intention in this respect, the prefect of the palace came very near dissuading him from his purpose. But a dream appeared to him in which he was bidden "not to shrink from the execution of his design; for by assisting the Christians he would overthrow the power of the Vandals." [20]

Mosheim declares: "It is true, the Greeks who had received the decrees of the Council of Nice [that is, from the Catholics], persecuted and oppressed the Arians wherever their influence and authority could reach; but the Nicenians, in their turn, were not less rigorously treated by their adversaries [the Arians], particularly in Africa and Italy, where they felt, in a very severe manner, the weight of the Arian power, and the bitterness of their resentment. the triumphs of Arianism were, however, transitory; and its prosperous days were entirely eclipsed when the Vandals were driven out of Africa, and the Goths out of Italy, by the arms of Justinian." [21]

Elliot summarizes: "I might cite three that were eradicated from before the pope out of the list first given, viz., the Heruli under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths." [22]

From the historical testimony above cited, we think it clearly established that the three horns plucked up were the powers named: the Heruli, A.D. 493, the Vandals, in 534, and the Ostrogoths finally in 553, though effective opposition by the latter to the decree of Justinian ceased when they were driven from Rome by Belisarius in 538, [23] as stated on page 127.

Little Horn to "Speak Great Words Against the Most High."--This prophecy, too, has been unhappily fulfilled in the history of the pontiffs. They have sought, or at least have permitted to be applied to them, titles which would be hyperbolical and blasphemous if applied to an angel of God.

Lucius Ferraris, in his Prompta Bibliotheca which the Catholic Encylopedia refers to as "a veritable encyclopedia of religious knowledge" and "a precious mine of information," declares, in its article on the pope, that "the pope is of so great dignity and so exalted that he is not a mere man, but as it were God, and the vicar of God. . . . The pope is of such lofty and supreme dignity that, properly speaking, he has not been established in any rank of dignity, but rather has been placed upon the very summit of all ranks of dignities. . . . The pope is called most holy because he is rightfully presumed to be such...

"The pope alone is deservedly called by the name 'most holy,' because he alone is the vicar of Christ, who is the fountain and source and fullness of all holiness. . . . 'He is likewise the divine monarch and supreme emperor, and king of kings.' . . . Hence the pope is crowned with a triple crown, as king of heaven and of earth and of the lower regions. . . . Moreover the superiority and the power of the Roman Pontiff by no means pertain only to heavenly things, to earthly things, and to things under the earth, but are even over angels, than whom he is greater. . . . So that if it were possible that the angels might err in the faith, or might think contrary to the faith, they could be judged and excommunicated by the pope. . . . For he is of so great dignity and power that he forms one and the same tribunal with Christ. . . .

"The pope is as it were God on earth, sole sovereign of the faithful of Christ, chief king of kings, having plenitude of power, to whom has been intrusted by the omnipotent God direction not only of the earthly but also of the heavenly kingdom. . . . The pope is of so great authority and power that he can modify, explain, or interpret even divine laws." [24]

Christopher Marcellus, at the fourth session of the fifth Lateran Council in an oration to the Pope, exclaimed: "Thou are the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the director, thou art the husbandman; finally, thou art another God on earth." [25]

Again, Adam Clarke says on verse 25: " 'He shall speak as if he were God.' So St. Jerome quotes from Symmachus. To none can this apply so well or so fully as to the popes of Rome. They have assumed infallibility, which belongs only to God. They profess to forgive sins, which belongs only to God. They profess to open and shut heaven, which belongs only to God. They profess to be higher than all the kings of the earth, which belongs only to God. And they go beyond God in pretending to loose whole nations from their oath of allegiance to their kings, when such kings do not please them. And they go against God when they give indulgences for sin. This is the worst of all blasphemies." [26]

Little Horn to "Wear Out the Saints of the Most High."--It requires but little historical investigation to prove that Rome, both in the times of antiquity and during the Dark Ages, carried forward a work of destruction against the church of God. Abundant evidences can be given showing that prior to and following the great work of Reformation, wars, crusades, massacres, inquisitions, and persecutions of all kinds were the methods adopted to compel all to submit to the Roman yoke.

The story of medieval persecution is a frightful one, and we dread to dwell upon its detail. Yet for a proper understanding of this passage it is necessary that we recall some of the happenings of these unhappy times. Albert Barnes, in his comment on this passage, remarks:

"Can anyone doubt that this is true of the papacy? The Inquisition, the 'persecutions of the Waldenses;' the ravages of the Duke of Alva; the fires of Smithfield; the tortures at Goa--indeed, the whole history of the papacy may be appealed to in proof that his is applicable to that power. If anything could have 'worn out the saints of the Most High'--could have cut them off from the earth of that evangelical religion would have become extinct, it would have been the persecutions of the papal power. In the year 1208, a crusade was proclaimed by Pope Innocent III against the Waldenses and Albigenses, in which a million of men perished. From the beginning of the order of the Jesuits, in the year 1540, to 1580, nine hundred thousand were destroyed. One hundred and fifty thousand perished by the Inquisition in thirty years. In the Low Countries fifty thousand persons were hanged, beheaded, burned, and buried alive, for the crime of heresy, within the space of thirty-eight years from the edict of Charles V against the Protestants, to the peace of Chateau Cambreses in 1559. Eighteen thousand suffered by the hand of the executioner in the space of five years and a half during the administration of the Duke of Alva. Indeed, the slightest acquaintance with the history of the papacy will convince any one that what is here said of 'making war with the saints' (verse 21), and 'wearing out the saints of the Most High' (verse 25), is strictly applicable to that power, and will accurately describe its history." [27]

These facts are confirmed by the testimony of W. E. H. Lecky. He declares:

"That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a complete knowledge of history. The memorials, indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty that it is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no powers of imagination can adequately realize their sufferings. . . . These atrocities were not perpetrated in the brief paroxysms of a reign of terror, or by the hands of obscure sectaries, but were inflicted by a triumphant church, with every circumstance of solemnity and deliberation." [28]

It makes no difference that in numerous instances the victims were turned over to the civil authorities. It was the church that made the decision upon the question of heresy, and it then passed the offenders over to the secular court. But in those days the secular power was but the tool in the hands of the church. It was under its control and did its bidding. When the church delivered its prisoners to the executioners to be destroyed, with fiendish mockery it made use of the following formula: "And we do leave and deliver thee to the secular arm, and to the power of the secular court; but at the same time do most earnestly beseech that court so to moderate its sentence as not to touch thy blood, or to put thy life in any danger." [29] Then, as intended, the unfortunate victims of popish hate were immediately executed.

The testimony of Lepicier is to the point in this connection: "The civil power can only punish the crime of unbelief in the manner and to the extent that the crime is judicially made known to it by ecclesiastical persons, skilled in the doctrine of the faith. But the church taking cognizance by herself of the crime of unbelief, can by herself decree the sentence of death, yet not execute it; but she hands over the execution of it to the secular arm." [30]

The false claims of some Catholics that their church has never killed dissenters, have been flatly denied by one of their own standard writers, Cardinal Bellarmine, who was born in Tuscany in 1542, and who, after his death in 1621, came very near being placed in the calendar of saints on account of his great services in behalf of the church. This man, on one occasion, under the spur of controversy, betrayed himself into an admission of the real facts in the case. Luther having said that the church (meaning the true church) never burned heretics, Bellarmine, understanding it of the Roman Catholic Church, made answer: "This argument proves not the sentiment, but the ignorance or impudence of Luther; for as almost an infinite number were either burned or otherwise put to death, Luther either did no know it, and was therefore ignorant; or if he knew it, he is convicted of impudence and falsehood--for that heretics were often burned by the church, may be proved by adducing a few from many examples." [31]

Alfred Baudrillart, rector of the Catholic Institute of Paris, when referring to the attitude of the church toward heresy, remarks:

"When confronted by heresy, she does not content herself with persuasion; arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture. She creates tribunals like those of the Inquisition, she calls the laws of state to her aid, if necessary she encourages a crusade, or a religious war, and all her 'horror of blood' practically culminates into urging the secular power to shed it, which proceeding is almost more odious--for it is less frank--than shedding it herself.

"Especially did she act thus in the sixteenth century with regard to Protestants. Not content to reform morally, to teach by example, to convert people by eloquent and holy missionaries, she lit in Italy, in the Low Countries, and above all in Spain, the funeral piles of the Inquisition. In France under Francis I and Henri II, in England under Mary Tudor, she tortured the heretics, while both in France and Germany, during the second half of the sixteenth, and first half of the seventeenth centuries, if she did not actually begin, at any rate she encouraged and actively aided the religious wars." [32]

In a letter of Pope Martin V (A.D. 1417-1431), are the following instructions to the King of Poland:

" 'Know that the interest of the Holy See, and those of your crown make it a duty to exterminate the Hussites. Remember that these impious persons dare proclaim principles of equality, they maintain that all Christians are brethren, and that God has not given to privileged men the right of ruling nations; they hold that Christ came on earth to abolish slavery; they call the people to liberty, that is, to the annihilation of kings and priests! Whilst there is still time, then, turn your forces against Bohemia; burn, massacre, make deserts everywhere, for nothing could be more agreeable to God, or more useful to the cause of kings, than the extermination of the Hussites.' " [33]

All this was in harmony with the teaching of the church. Heresy was not to be tolerated, but to be destroyed.

Pagan Rome persecuted the Christian church relentlessly. It is estimated that three million Christians perished in the first three centuries of the Christian Era. Yet it is said that the primitive Christians prayed for the continuance of imperial Rome, for the knew that when this form of government should cease, another far worse persecuting power would arise, which would literally "wear out the saints of the Most High," as this prophecy declares. Pagan Rome could slay the infants, but spare the mothers; but papal Rome slew both mothers and infants together. No age, no sex, no condition in life, was exempt from her relentless rage.

Little Horn to "Think to Change Times and Laws."--What laws and whose? Not the laws of other earthly governments; for it was nothing marvelous or strange for one power to change the laws of another, whenever it could bring such power under its dominion. Not human laws of any kind; for the little horn had power to change these so far as its jurisdiction extended; but the times and laws in question were such as this power should only think to change, but not be able to change. They are the laws of the same Being to whom the saints belong who are worn out by this power, namely, the laws of the Most High. And has the papacy attempted this?--Yes, even this.

It has added the second commandment of the Decalogue to the first, making them one, and divided the tenth into two, making the ninth forbid the coveting of a neighbor's wife, and the tenth that of a neighbor's property--thus making up the full number ten. While the full wording of the second commandment is retained in the Roman Catholic Bible and in the Roman Catechism authorized by the Council of Trent, painstaking explanation is made that in the case of images and likenesses of any kind except that of God Himself, their making and use are not forbidden by the commandment when employed only to venerate the virtues of the saints and not to worship them as gods, which latter is expressly forbidden in the commandment. The same principle is applied also to ashes, bones, and other relics of saints, and to representations of angels.

As to the fourth commandment, numbered as the third in their arrangement, the catechism of highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church retains the commandment entire, and urges punctilious observance of the Sabbath in the personal life and in public worship as a sacred privilege and duty. Nevertheless the position is taken that the particular day on which the Sabbath is to be observed, was connected with the ceremonial ordinances of the Jews, and was with them done away in Christ. Reasons are then given why the Sabbath should be observed on the first day of the week commonly called Sunday.

In support of the foregoing brief statement on the changing of "times and laws" by the papacy, we draw evidence from the catechism of highest authority in the Roman Catholic Church, cited hereafter. According to The Catholic Encyclopedia, "the authority of this catechism is higher than that of any other, but is, or course not on a level with that of the canons and decrees of a council." [34]

Before making quotations, it should be first stated that in the polity of the Roman Catholic Church, the canons and decrees of an ecumenical church council are both official and supreme. Outstanding among such ecumenical church councils is the Council of Trent, held at Trent, Italy, from 1545 to 1563. Since that council, called to counteract the spreading influence of the Protestant Reformation, dealt so widely with the doctrines and usages of the church, it officially decreed the following: "The holy synod commands all bishops. . . [to explain the sacraments] according to the form to be prescribed by the holy synod for all the sacraments in a catechism, which bishops will take care to have faithfully translated into the vulgar tongue, and expounded to the people by the parish priests." [35]

In pursuance of this command, a catechism was composed in Latin for the Roman Catholic Church by St. Charles Borromeo and other theologians, in 1566, and published in Rome by the Vatican Congregation for Propagation of the Faith, under the title Catechismus Romanus ex decreto Sacrosancti Concilii Tridentini, jussu S. Pii V Pontificis Maximi editus, in other words, Roman Catechism according to the decree of the Sacred Council of Trent, published by order of St. Pius V, Pontifex Maximus.

This book was translated into English by "Very Rev. J. Donovan, D. D. . . . Domestic Prelate to His Holiness Gregory XVI," etc., and published in Dublin with a preface dated June 10, 1829. The title of this book reads, Catechism According to the Decree of the Council of Trent, edited by the command of our Most Illustrious Lord Pius the Fifth.

From the fifth edition of this Roman Catechism published in Rome in 1796, we quote the following from Donovan's English Translation, in regard to the fourth (Catholic third) commandment:

"It pleased the church of God, that the religious celebration of the Sabbath day should be transferred to the Lord's day [meaning Sunday]; for as on that day light first shone on the world; so by the resurrection of our Redeemer on that day, who opened to us the gate to life eternal, our life was recalled out of darkness into light; whence also the Apostles would have it named 'the Lord's day.' We also observe in the Sacred Scriptures that this day was held sacred because on that day the creations of the world commenced, and the Holy Ghost was given to the apostles." [36]

Here is the declaration of the papacy that the Roman Catholic Church changed the time for observing the Sabbath from the seventh day according to the decalogue to the first day of the week, which it here erroneously calls "the Lord's day." (See comment on Revelation 1: 10.) It will be observed that the apostles are here charged with making the change from seventh day to the first, but without any proof whatsoever from the Scriptures, because there is no such proof. All the reasons for the change given in this declaration, are purely of human and ecclesiastical invention.

The foregoing testimony is sufficient to show how the papacy has thought to change times and laws. How later Roman Catholic catechisms for instruction of "the faithful" come out boldly in declaring that the church changed the day, and even taunt Protestants with acceptance and observance of the change, will be found in our comment on the mark of the beast in Revelation 13, pages 608-612.

Before leaving this matter of the change of the Sabbath, it will be enlightening to observe other reasons given by the papacy for the change than the false one that it was made by the apostles. In the same Roman Catechism referred to above, is an attempt to explain how the Sabbath commandment differs from the others in the decalogue:

"That difference, then, appears certain, that the other precepts of the decalogue belong to the natural law, and are perpetual and unalterable, whence is it that, although the law of Moses has been abrogated, yet the Christian people observe all the commandments which are contained in the two tables, not because Moses so commanded, but because they agree with the law of nature, by the force of which men are impelled to their observance; whereas this commandment, touching the sanctification of the Sabbath, if considered as to the time appointed [for its observance], is not fixed and unalterable, but susceptible of change, nor does it belong to the moral but ceremonial law, neither is it a principle of the natural law, for we are [not] taught or formed by nature to give external worship to God on that rather than on any other day; but from the time the people of Israel were liberated from the bondage of Pharaoh, they observed the Sabbath day. . . .

"But the time when the observance of the Sabbath was to be removed, is that same time when the other Hebrew rites and ceremonies were to be abrogated, namely, at the death of Christ; for as those ceremonies are, as it were, images that shadowed forth the light and truth (Hebrews x, 1), it was, therefore, necessary that they should be removed at the coming of the light and truth, which is Jesus Christ." [37]

The reader needs only to be reminded that the ten-commandment law was written with God's finger on tables of stone, while the ceremonial laws were written by Moses in a book. More than this, the decalogue was written by Moses in a book. More than this, the decalogue was written before the ceremonial laws were given to Moses. Shall we charge God with mixing in one ceremonial command with the nine of the moral law, and leave it to a presumptuous ecclesiastical body to make the correction? The reason also for the observance of the seventh-day Sabbath, as given in the commandment itself, is that the Creator Himself rested on that day, and set it apart as a memorial of His work of creation, but with no intimation whatever of its being "a shadow of things to come" in Christ, to whom all ceremonial ordinances pointed forward.

One more quotation from the Roman Catechism is worth noticing:

"The Apostles, therefore, resolved to consecrate the first day of the seven to divine worship, which they called 'the Lord's day;' for St. John, in his Apocalypse, makes mention of 'the Lord's day' (Apocalypse i,10); and the Apostle orders collections to made on the first day of the week' (1 Corinthians xvi,2), which is, as St. Chrysostom interprets, the Lord's day; to give us to understand, that even the Lord's day was kept holy in the church." [38]

In addition to falsely charging the apostles with changing the day of the Sabbath, it is here represented that the business reckoning of one's accounts on the first day of the week is a reason for its observance as the Sabbath contrary to God's unchangeable law.

This quotation also reveals the fact that the practices and interpretations of the Fathers, such as "St. Chrysostom," here mentioned, are relied on rather than the Scriptures themselves for proof that the Sabbath of God's law was changed to Sunday.

One more observation is appropriate here, especially for Protestant clergy and laymen to consider. In this Roman Catechism, composed by order of Pope Pius V about the middle of the sixteenth century, is contained virtually every argument used by Protestants in our day to support the change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week. Note these:

They assume without proof that the seventh-day Sabbath was part of the ceremonial law (though embodied in the very heart of the moral law written by the finger of God), and therefore done away in Christ.

They boldly claim that the apostles ordained that the first day of the week be observed in place of the seventh, citing John's use of the term "Lord's day" in Revelation 1: 10, despite the fact that the only day God ever set apart as holy and claimed as His own by resting on it Himself was the seventh day of the fourth commandment.

They claim that the Sabbath law of rest "agrees with the law of nature" requiring cessation of labor and a period for meditation and worship, but assert that the time of its observance is "susceptible of change," since, according to their argument, it does not "belong to the moral but ceremonial law," and was therefore changed by the apostles, by the Fathers, and by the church to the first day of the week.

The arguments they use for such change are that light first shone on the world on the first day of the week, the resurrection of Christ took place on that day, the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles on the same day of the week, Paul admonished Christians to reckon their business accounts and lay aside a portion for the Lord on the first day of the week--all of human invention and without Scriptural authority as reasons for such a change. The only reasons given by the Creator and Lord of the Sabbath, are that He created the world in six days, rested on the seventh, and set apart that day for holy use on the same permanent and unalterable basis as He created all other things on the other days of creation week.

Protestants may not be aware that in defense of the Sunday sabbath they are using the Roman Catholic arguments contained in the Catechism of the Council of Trent published in the sixteenth century, but every one of them mentioned above is found in that work. Our appeal to every Protestant is to break away fully from the papacy, and hold to the Bible and the Bible only in his belief and practice.

"A Time and Times and the Dividing of Time."--The pronoun "they" in the sentence containing this phrase embraces the saints, the times, and the laws just mentioned. How long a time were they to be given into the hands of this power. A time, as we have seen from Daniel 4: 23, is one year; two times, the least that could be denoted by the plural, two years, and the dividing of time, or half a time, half a year. The word "dividing" in the phrase "dividing of time" is translated from the Chaldee word {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, pelage, which Gesenius defines as "a half," and refers to Daniel 7: 25 as an example. The Septuagint translates it "half." We thus have three years and a half for the continuance of this power. The Chaldee word for "time" in the text before us, is {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, iddan, which Gesenius defines thus: "Time. Spec. in prophetic language for a year. Daniel 7: 25, {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT} for a year, also two years and half a year; i.e., for three years and a half; comp. Jos. B.J.I.I.I."

We must now consider that we are in the midst of symbolic prophecy; hence in this measurement the time is not literal, but symbolic. The inquiry then arises, How long a period is denoted by the three years and a half of prophetic time? The principle given us in the Bible is, that when a day is used in symbolic prophecy, it stands for a year. (Ezekiel 4: 6; Numbers 14: 34.) Under the Hebrew word for day, {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT}, yom, Gesenius has this remark on its plural: "Sometimes {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT} [yamim] marks a definite space of time; viz., a year; as also Syr. and Chald. {HEBREW CHARACTERS IN PRINTED TEXT} [iddan] denotes both time and year; and as in English several words signifying time, weight, measure, are likewise used to denote certain specified times, weights, and measures."

Bible students have recognized this principle through the ages. The following quotation reveal the agreement of various authorities on this point. Joachim, abbot of Calabria, one of the great ecclesiastical figures of the twelfth century, applied the year-day principle to the 1260-year period. "The woman, clothed with the sun, who signifies the church, remained hidden in the wilderness from the face of the serpent, a day without doubt being accepted for a year and a thousand two hundred and sixty days for the same number of years." [39]

"Three times and an half; that is, for 1260 solar years, reckoning a time for a calendar year of 360 days, and a day for a solar year. After which 'the judgment is to sit, and they shall take away his dominion,' not at once, but by degrees, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." [40]

The Bible year, which must be used as the basis of reckoning, contained three hundred and sixty days. (See comments on Revelation 11: 3.) Three years and a half contained twelve hundred and sixty days. As each day stands for a year, we have twelve hundred and sixty years for the continuation of the supremacy of this horn. Did the papacy posses dominion that length of time? The answer again is, Yes. The edict of the emperor Justinian, dated A.D. 533, made the bishop of Rome the head of all the churches. But this edict could not go into effect until the Arian Ostrogoths, the last of the three horns that were plucked up to make room for the papacy, were driven from Rome; and this was not accomplished, as already shown, until A.D. 538. (See p. 127.) The edict would have been of no effect had this latter event not been accomplished; hence from this latter year we are to reckon, as this was the earliest point where the saints were in reality in the hands of this power. From this point did the papacy hold supremacy for twelve hundred and sixty years? Exactly. For 538 + 1260 = 1798; and in the year 1798, Berthier, with a French army, entered Rome, proclaimed a republic, took the pope prisoner, and inflicted a deadly wound upon the papacy. Though it has never since enjoyed all the privileges and immunities which it possessed before, we are seeing a gradual restoration of its former strength.

The Judgment Shall Sit.--After describing the terrible career of the little horn, and stating that the saints should be given into his hand for 1260 years, bringing us down to 1798, verse 26 declares: "But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." In verse 10 of the same chapter we have substantially the same expression regarding the judgment: "The judgment was set." It would seem consistent to suppose that the same judgment is referred to in both instances. But the sublime scene described in verse 10 is the opening of the investigative judgment in the sanctuary in heaven, as will appear in remarks on Daniel 8: 14 and 9: 25-27. The opening of this judgment scene is located by the prophecy at the close of the great prophetic period of 2300 years, which terminated in 1844. (See comments on Daniel 9: 25-27.)

Four years after this, in 1848, the great revolution which shook so many thrones in Europe, also drove the pope from his dominions. His restoration shortly after was through the forces of foreign bayonets, by which alone he was upheld until his final loss of temporal power in 1870. The overthrow of the papacy in 1798 marked the conclusion of the prophetic period of 1260 years, and constituted the "deadly wound," prophesied in Revelation 13: 3 to come upon this power; but this deadly wound was to be "healed."

Deadly Wound to Be Healed.--In 1800 another pope was elected, his palace and his temporal dominion over the Papal States were restored, and, as George Croly, noted British commentator, says, every prerogative except that of a systematic persecutor was again his, for the "deadly wound" was beginning to be healed.

How could that "deadly wound" be healed, and the specifications of Daniel 7: 26, "They shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end," be realized? How are we to explain this apparent paradox? Whatever the exegetical difficulties may be, the fact remains that in the history of the papacy these two specifications are being seen.

In 1844 the judgment began its work in the heavenly sanctuary. (Verse 10.) In verse 11 we are told that because of "the great words which the horn spake. . .the beast was slain." December 8, 1854, the dogma of the Immaculate conception was decreed by the pope. In 1870 the armies of Victor Emmanuel took away the temporal power of the pope, the very year that the Twentieth Ecumenical Council decreed the infallibility of the pope when speaking ex cathedra, that is, when as shepherd and teacher of all Christians he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals. But despite the increasing honors heaped upon the office of the bishop of Rome by the clergy, the pope's temporal power was wholly taken away. Thereafter the popes shut themselves up as prisoners in the Vatican at Rome until the signing of the concordat with Italy, in 1929, which restored "his dominion" over the Vatican City, a small section of the city of Rome.

Verse 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

After beholding the dark and desolate picture of papal oppression of the church, the prophet is permitted once more to turn his eyes upon the glorious period of the saints' rest, when they shall have the kingdom, free from all oppressive powers, in everlasting possession. How could the children of God keep heart in this present evil world, amid the misrule and oppression of the governments of earth, and the abominations that are done in the land, if they could not look forward to the kingdom of God and the return of their Lord, with full assurance that the promises concerning them both shall certainly be fulfilled, and that speedily?

[1] The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VI, pp. 425, 426. By permission of the Macmillan Company, publishers in the United States.

[2] Ibid., pp. 461-504.

[3] Jean Henri Merle d'Aubigne, History of the Reformation of the Sixteenth Century, Vol. I, p. 8.

[4] Ibid., p. 9.

[5] See John L. Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, p. 412; Arthur P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, pp. 239, 240.

[6] Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, p. 324, comment on Daniel 7: 25.

[7] Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. I, pp. 275, 276.

[8] Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, p. 327, comment on Daniel 7: 25.

[9] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III, chap. 36, pp. 515, 516.

[10] Ibid., chap. 37, p. 547.

[11] Arthur P. Stanley, Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, p. 151.

[12] Leopold Ranke, History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 9.

[13] Niccolo Machiavelli, History of Florence, p. 14.

[14] John L. Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, p. 113, 114.

[15] See Archibald Bower, The History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 257.

[16] Ibid., Vol. I, p. 325.

[17] Ibid., p. 328.

[18] Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III, chap. 37, pp. 548-552.

[19] Edward B. Elliott, Horae, Apocalypticae, Vol. III, p. 139, Note 3.

[20] Theodoret and Evagrius, A History of the Church, p. 399.

[21] John L. Mosheim, An Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I, p. 142, 143.

[22] Edward B. Elliott, Horae, Apocalypticae, Vol. III, p. 139, Note 1.

[23] See Student's Gibbon, pp. 309-319.

[24] Translated from Lucius Ferraris, Prompta Bibliotheca, art. "Papa," II, Vol. VI, pp. 26-29.

[25] P. Joannis Harduin, Acta Conciliorum, Vol. IX, p. 1651.

[26] Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol. IV, p. 596, note on Daniel 7: 25.

[27] Albert Barnes, Notes on Daniel, p. 328, comment on Daniel 7: 25.

[28] William E. H. Lecky, History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationalism in Europe, Vol. II, pp. 35, 37.

[29] Michael Geddes, "A View of the Court of Inquisition in Portugal," Miscellaneous Tracts, Vol. I, p. 408. See also Philip Limborch, The History of the Inquisition, Vol. II, p. 289.

[30] Alexius M. Lepicier, The Stability and Progress of Dogma, p. 195.

[31] John Dowling, The History of Romanism, p. 547.

[32] Alfred Baudrillart, The Catholic Church, the Renaissance, and Protestantism, pp. 182, 183.

[33] L. M. de Cormenin, The Public and Private History of the Popes of Rome, Vol. II, pp. 116, 117.

[34] Catholic Encyclopedia, art. "Doctrine, Christian," Vol. V, p. 79.

[35] J. Donovan, quoting from "council of Trent, Sess. xxiv, c. vii, on Reformation," Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. 4.

[36] Catechism of the Council of Trent, p. 347.

[37] Ibid., pp. 342, 343.

[38] Ibid., pp. 343, 344.

[39] Joachim of Floris, Concordantia, book 2, chap. 16, p. 12b.

[40] Sir Issac Newton, Observations Upon the Prophecies of Daniel, pp. 127, 128.


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