priests. On the score of this lying accusation, the zealous pontiff, cut to the heart by sạch profaneness, determined to extirpate them with fire and sword. Accordingly, he proclaimed a solemn crusade against them, and sent preachers into all the regions of the West, injoining both sovereign princes and other Christian people, that, for the remission of their sins, they should forthwith sign themselves, with the cross, and under that holy symbol should extirpate the pest which had invaded the Church *. The secular beast, faithful to the commands of his colleague, immediately assumed this badge; and ere long, throughout France alone, there were slain of the Reformed, according to Vitringa, ten hundred thousand men.

The childish superstition, to which the sign of the cross has been prostituted, is scarcely less notorious. On this the Rubric of the Roman Missal will be the best commentary. In consecrating the baptismal water, the priest is directed to divide it,

* “ Papa Innocentius, his auditis” (namely, the false accusations preferred against the Ilaldlenses), “ non mediocriter “ condoluit. Qui, missis prædicatoribus ad omnes regiones “ occidentis, principibus aliisque populis Christianis, in suo“ rum remissionem peccatorum injunxit, ut se cruce signarent “ ad hanc pestem extirpandum” (Watt, Paris. Hist. Mag. Angl. p. 241. cited by Mr. Sharpe.). This same badge of the cross will probably be again assumed in the last holy war, undertaken by the beast and the false prophet, seemingly against the converted Jews and some powerful protestunt maritime ration (Rev. xix. 19, 20.). Of this war more will be said here: after.


[ocr errors]

in the form of a cross, with his extended hand, which he is immediately to wipe with a cloth. Afterwards he is again to touch the water with his hand: next he is to make three crosses upon the font: and then he is to divide the water with his hand, pouring it out, cross-wise, to the four parts of the world. Having duly gone through this process, muttering all the while in such a manner as not to be heard by the bye-standers, he is to change his voice, and recite a short prayer in the tone of reading. The prayer being ended, he breathes three times upon the water in the form of a cross; and then, resuming the low muttering tone of his former incantation, he drops a little wax into the water. Thrice he drops this wax into the water, and thrice he take it out; blowing, at its last immersion, three times upon the water in the cruciform figure of the Greek letter y Psi. Lastly, he mixes oil and cream with the water, moving his hand to and fro in the shape of a cross; and the consecrated commixtio, as it is termed, is thought to be then duly prepared for the administration of the sacrament of baptism. Nor is the cross used in this absurdly superstitious manner throughout the initiatory rite of Christianity alone. Holy eggs and holy candles, holy salt and holy water, go through a somewhat similar ceremony; and are marked, in a similar manner, with the sign of the cross. Nay, even when not immediately engaged in performing the rites of his multifarious adoration, let à Papist be assailed either by natural or



[ocr errors]

supernatural terrors, and he will forthwith almost mechanically commence the operation of crossing himself in various parts of his body

Such is the wonderful accuracy of the whole prophecy respecting both the name and the mark of the beast-Though the ancient Romans called themselves Latins, yet they were better known by the appellation of Romans. When the Empire was divided, both the eastern and the western members of it still denominated themselves Romans; but, for the sake of distinction, its western branch was henceforth styled the Latin empire, and its eastern branch the Greek empire. The revived beast however,

" that was, and is not, and yet is," is in a special manner, under his last head, the Latin empire : and it is the peculiar name of this identical revived beast, which the prophet tells us) comprehends the number 666. Now the pecutliar name of that beast is Latinus : and Latinus exactly contains the number 666.-As for the mark of the beast, which I conceive to be the cross, this mark, no less than the name Latinus, is pecu

[ocr errors]

* Missal. Roman. edit. Plantin. p. 273-285. cited by Mro Sharpe. Mrs. Bowdler thinks, that the name of blasphemy, which St. John behield written upon the heads of the beast, is the mark in question. According to this interpretation, none are per-' mitted to buy or sell except those who are implicated in the predieted blasphemy of apostasy with which the man of sin has tainted the Latin empire (Practical Observ. on the Rev. p. 35.) If the name of blasphemy be at all alluded to in Rev. xiii. 16, 17, 18, I should think with Mr. Wrangham, that it is rather the name of the beast than his mark. VOL. II. Аа


liar to the beast that is, or the papal Roman empire, as contradistitiguisued from the beast that was, or the pagan Romun empire. The ancient Román beast despised the cross : but the revived Roman of Latin beast made it his peculiar badge not only in religious but civil matters, introducing it into his standards, blazoning it in the arınorial bearings of many of his great men *, and dig playing it upon the crowns of all his ten horns ; insomuch that the crescent is not more the mark of Turkcy, or the dragon of China, than the much abused symbol of the cross is of the papal Latin empire--The name then of the beast is Latinus ; the number of his name is 666; and his mark, * the cross.

(3.) With his description of the name of the revived beast the prophet interweaves an intimation of the extreme jealousy with which the ecclesiastical beast should regard every opposition to his au thority. All, who refused to bear the name of Latins or Romans, and to receive the mark of the cross, as badges of their cominunion with him, and

* “ That, which made this ordinary so considerable, and som “ frequently used in heraldry, was the ancient expeditions into “ the Holy land, and the holy war: for the pilgrims, after • their pilgrimage, took the cross for their cognizance, and the “ ensign of that war was the cross ; and therefore these expe« ditions were called Croissades. In these wars, the Scots s carried St. Andrew's cross ; the French, à cross argent ; the “ English, a cross or ; the Germans, sable; the Italians, azure; 14 the Spaniards, gulcs." Guillim's Heraldry, p. 51.

ag a.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as an acknowledgment of his supremacy, should be allowed neither' to buy nor to sell.

No one can be ignorant of the tremendous interdicts and excommunications of the Pope. St. John however does more than merely speak of them in general terms; he points out the precise mode of their operation. Bp. Newton has collected a variety of instances in which the predicted tyranny of the ecclesiastical beast has received even a literal accomplishment “ If any,” says he; “ dissent from the stated and authorized forms of

the Latin church, they are condemned and ex“ communicated as heretics; and, in consequence " of that, they are no longer suffered to buy or “ selli: they are interdicted from traffic and com

merce, and all the benefits of civil society. So Roger Hovedení relates of William the Con

queror, that he was so dutiful to the Pope, that “ he would not permit any one in his power to buy “ or sell any thing whom he found disobedient to “ the apostolic see.

So the canon of the council " of Lateran under Pope Alexander the third, " made against the Waldenses and Albigenses, in

joins upon pain of anathema, that no man presunne to entertain or cherish them in his house or

land, or exercise traffic with them. The synod «. of Tours in France under the same Popë orders, “ under the like intermination, that no man should

presume to receive or assist them, no not. so ? much as to hold any communion with them iné buying or selling; that, being deprived of the

A & 2

" comfort

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ElőzőTovább »