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" Lombards, not as subjects, but as equals and com“s panions; which said custom continuing, and the popes
entring into alliance fometimes with the Lombards,
and sometimes with the Greeks, contracted great re" putation to their dignity. But the destruction of the “ eastern empire following so close under the reign of " the emperor Heracleus, -the pope lost the conve" nience of the emperor's protection in time of adver“ sity, and the power of the Lombards increasing too “ fait on the other side, he thought it but necessary to " address himself to the king of France for assistance. “ Gregory the third being created pope, and Aistolfus
king of the Lombards, Aistolfus contrary to league
and agreement feised upon Ravenna, and made war " upon the pope. Gregory not daring (for the reasons
abovefaid) to depend upon the weakneis of the em“ pire, or the fidelity of the Lombards, (whom he had “ already found false) applied himself to Pepin--for re" lief against the Lombards. Pepin returned answer, " that he would be ready to assist him, but he desired “ first to have the honor to see him, and pay his per“ fonal respects. Upon which invitation pope Gregory " went into France, passing thorough the Lombards “ quarters without any interruption, fo great reverence " they hare to religion in those days. Being arrived and “ honorably received in France, he was after some time “ dismissed with an army into Italy; which having be“ sieged Pavia, and reduced the Lombards to distress, “ Aistolfus was constrained to certain terms of agrees ment with the French, which were obtained by the
intercession of the pope.-Among the rest of the ar" ticles of that treaty it was agreed, that Aistolfus
should restore all the lands he had usurped from the
church. But when the French army was returned “ into France, Aistolfus forgot his engagement, which
put the pope upon a second application to king Pepin, " who supplied him again, sent a new army into Italy,
overcaine the Lombards, and poflefled himself of Ra
venna, and (contrary to the desire of the Grecian em" peror) gave it to the pope, with all the lands under " that exarchate.-In the interim Aistolfus died, and
“ Defiderio a Lombard, and duke of Tuscany, taking “ up arms to succeed him, begged assistance of the “ pope, with promise of perpetual amity for the future.
-At firft Desiderio was very punctual,--delivered up " the towns as he took them to the pope, according " to his engagement to king Pepin ; nor was there any “ exarch fent afterwards from Constantinople to Ra“ venna, but all was arbitrary, and managed according " to the pleasure of the pope. Not long after Pepin “ died, and Charles his son fucceeded in the govern“ ment, who was called the great from the greatness of “ his exploits. About the same time Theodore the “ first was advanced to the papacy, and falling out with " Desiderio was besieged by him in Rome. In his “ exigence the pope had recourse to the king of France, " (as his predeceffor had done before him) and Charles “ not only supplied him with an army, but marching " over the Alps at the head of it himself, he besieged “ Desiderio in Pavia, took him and his son in it, fent " them both prisoners into France, and went in person " to Rome to visit the pope, where he adjudged and “ determined, that his Holiness being God's vicar, could “ not be subject to the judgment of men. For which the “ pope and people together declared him emperor, and “ Rome began again to have an emperor of the west : " and whereas formerly the popes were confirmed by the “ emperors, the emperor now in his election was to be “ beholden to the pope; by which means the power and “ dignity of the empire declined, and the church began “ to advance, and by these steps to usurp upon the " autļority of temporal princes.”
In this manner the emperor of Rome, or he who letteth, was taken out of the way, and the bishop of Rome was advanced in his stead. In the same proportion as the power of the empire decreased, the authority of the church increased, the latter at the expense and ruin of the former; till at length the pope grew up above all, and ó avquos the wicked one was fully manifested and re· realed, or the lawless one as he may be called; for the pope (2) is declared again and again not to be bound
(2) See Bishop Jewel's Apology and Defense, p. 313, 314, 430, &c.
by any law of God or man. His coming is after the energy of Satan, with all power, and pgns, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness : and doth it require any particular proof, or is it not too generally known, that the pretensions of the pope, and the corruptions of the church of Rome are all supported and authorized by feigned visions and miracles, by pious frauds and impostures of every kind? Bellarmin reckons (3) the glory of miracles as the eleventh note of the catholic church, but the apostle assigns them as a distinguishing mark and character of the man of fin. The church of Rome pretends to miracles, Mohammed difclaims them; and this is one very good reason, why the 'man of fin is the Pope rather than the Turk. There hath been printed at London, forlately as in the year 1756, a book intitled The miraculous power of the church of Christ asserted through each succesive century from the apostles down to the present time : and from thence the author draweth the conclusion, that the catholic church is the true church of Christ. They must certainly not receive the love of the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness, who can believe such fabulous and ridiculous legends, who hold it a mortal fin but to doubt of any article of their religion, who deny the free exercise of private judgment, who take away the free use of the holy fcriptures, and so shut up the kingdom of heaven against men neither going in themselves, neither suffering ther, who were entring, to go in. If they will still maintain their miracles to be true, yet they are no proof of the true church, but rather of the contrary. They are the miracles here predicted, and if they were really wrought, were wrought in favor of falsehood: and indeed it is a proper retaliation, that God in his judgments should send men strong deluson that they should be lieve a lie, who received not the love of the truth that they might be füved; a proper retaliation, that he should fuffer some real miracles to be wrought, to deceive those, who have counterfeited so many miracles to deceive others.
(3) Undecima nota eft gloria miraculorum. Bellar. de Notis ecclefiæ. Lib. 4. Cap. 14.
But But how much foever the man of fin may be exalted, and how long foever he may reign, yet at last the Lord Mall consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and shall de stroy him with the brightness of his coming. This is partly taken from the prophet Isaiah, (XI. 4.) and with the breath of his lips shall he say the wicked one : where the Jews, as Lightfoot (4) obferves, “put an emphasis 6c upon that word in the prophet the wicked one, as it " appeareth by the Chaldee paraphrast, who hath ut“tered it He Mall destroy the wicked Roman.” If the two clauses, as it was said before, relate to two different events, the meaning manifestly is, that the Lord Jesus fall gradually consume him with the free preaching of his gospel, and shall utterly destroy him at his second coming in the glory of his Father. The former began to take effect at the Reformation, and the latter will be accomplished in God's appointed time. The man of sin is now upon the decline, and he will be totally abolished, when Christ shall come in judgment. The kingdom of falsehood and fin shall end, and the reign of truth and virtue shall succeed. Great is the truth, and will at last prevail.
The man of fin then is the same arbitrary and wicked power that is described by Daniel under the characters of the little horn and the mighty king. In St. Paul he is revealed, when the Roman empire is taken out of the way; and in Daniel the Roman empire is first broken into several kingdoms, and he cometh up among them In St. Paul he opposeth; and in Daniel he doeth according to his will, and weareth out the saints of the most High In St. Paul he exalteth himself above all that is called Ğod or that is worshipped, showing himself that he is God; and in Daniel he exalteth himself and magnifieth himself above. every God, and speaketh marvellous things against the God of Gods. In St. Paul he is the lawless one; and in Daniel he changeth times and laws. In St. Paul his coming is with all deceivableness of unrighteousness; and in Daniel he practiseth and prospereth, and through his policy causeth craft” to prosper in his hand. According to st.
(4) Lightfoot's Works, Vol, s. p. 296.
Paul the Lord shall consume him with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy him with the brightness of his coming; and according to Daniel a fiery stream shall issue and come forth from the judge, and his body jhall be given to the burning, flame, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. The characters and circuinstances are so much the same, that they must belong to one and the same perfon.
The tyrannical power thus described by Daniel and St. Paul, and afterwards by St. John, is both by ancients and moderus generally denominated Antichrist : and the name is proper and expressive enough, as it may fignify (5) both the enemy of Christ, and the vicar of Christ : and no one is more the enemy of Christ than he who arrogates his name and power, as no one more directly opposes the king than he who assumes his title and authority. The name began to prevail in St. John's time. For he addresseth himself to the Christians as having heard of the coming of Antichrift, and calleth the here ius of his time by the same common name: (1 Ep. II. 18, 22.) As ye have heard that the Antichrift Jhall come, even now are there many Antichrists: Il'ho is a lier but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ ? he is the Antichrist that denieth the Father and the Son. As St. Paul hath faid, The mystery of iniquity din already work: so St. John speaketh of the spirit of Antichrist as then in the world; (IV. 3.) This is that Spirit of Antichrift, whereof you have heard that it should come, and even now already is it in the world. Afterwards (2 Ep. 7, 8.) he ftileth him emphatically the deceiver and the Antichi jt, and warneth the Christians to look to themjelves. The fathers too speak of Antichrist and of the man of fin as one and the same perfon; and give much the saine interpretation that hath here been given of the whole paffage : only it is not to be supposed, that they who wrote before the events, could be fo very exact in the application of each particular, as those who have the advantage of writing after the events, and of comparing the prophecy and completion together.
(5) Arti fignifies pro. vice, loco, verso ; and doriCaorlev; is prorex, as well as contra, e regione, ez ado avOUTUtos procon, ul. VOL. II.