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by Dr. John Thomas
He set himself up as the arbiter of faith, and the corrector of heretics; and though pretending to believe, yet refusing to be immersed till within three days of his death, that he might commit all the sins he would be likely to do before he was baptized for remission of sins -- yet he is belauded by ecclesiastics as a great and pious Christian!
What Constantine began, his successors on the Dragon throne, Julian excepted, perfected.
For the Bishop of Old Rome, they conceived an especial veneration and regard; seeing that he was more of a hypocrite, and as much of a serpent as themselves.
They energized him with all power, and set him up as the supreme pontiff of the world.
This God upon earth, whom the pagan predecessors knew not, they "honoured with gold, with silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things".
A humble bishop of an obscure society in Rome, they acknowledged as a god, and increased with glory; so that "by the energy of Satan with all power," the dominion founded by the man-child of the apostasy was matured; and at length possessed by the Roman bishop as the full-grown Man of Sin.
The presence of the Man of Sin in Rome for upwards of twelve centuries past may be determined by Paul's description of him.
If we find an order of men there answering to the character recorded against them, we may know that the Man of Sin has been revealed.
He describes him as one "who opposes and exalts himself above every one called a god, or an object of veneration; so that he sits in the temple of the god as a god, exhibiting himself that he is a god".
This in few words is highly descriptive of the Popes.
"God" in the passage signifies a ruler of whatever kind; for "god" in the scriptures is applied to angels, magistrates, and the whole nation of Israel; as "I said, ye are gods; but ye shall die as one of the princes"; and "worship him, ye gods"; the former being addressed to Israel; the latter, to the angels concerning Jesus.
The "temple of the god" is St.
Peter's at Rome.
Now, the history of the papacy shows the applicability of the description to the Popes, and to them exclusively.
They have systematically opposed and exalted themselves above every ruler, whether emperors or kings, and above all bishops and priests; so that they have sat in St.
Peter's as gods, exhibiting themselves thus, because they claim to be gods upon earth.
The incarnate devilism of these blasphemers of God's name, and of His people, and murderers of His saints, cannot be surpassed by any power that could possibly arise.
They are essentially sin corporealized in human shape; and therefore most emphatically the order of the Man of Sin; as "the Holy, Apostolic, and Roman Catholic Church" is the "Mother of Harlots, and of all the abominations of the earth".
Paul styles this dynastic order 'o anomos , the Lawless One; and because of its destiny, "the Son of Perdition".
In the Apocalypse, it is represented by an Eighth Head of the Beast, which divides "the habitable" with the Dragon.
Of this head, the Spirit saith, "It goeth to perdition".
It is a head, which exercised both civil and pontifical dominion over the west; and when resolved into other symbols its conjoint dominion is represented by a Twohorned Beast; and an image of the sixth head of the Sevenheaded Beast; the former symbolizing the Austrian power; and the latter, his ally, the Lawless One.
These are both doomed to perdition together.