” When Protestantism shall stretch her hand across the gulf to grasp the hand of the Roman power, when she shall reach over the abyss to clasp hands with spiritualism, when, under the influence of this threefold union, our country shall repudiate every principle of its Constitution as a Protestant and republican government, and shall make provision for the propagation of papal falsehoods and delusions, then we may know that the time has come for the marvelous working of Satan and that the end is near.” (Testimonies for the Church, volume 5 p. 451)
Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed!
The defenders of the papacy declare that the church has been maligned, and the Protestant world are inclined to accept the statement. Many urge that it is unjust to judge the church of today by the abominations and absurdities that marked her reign during the centuries of ignorance and darkness. They excuse her horrible cruelty as the result of the barbarism of the times and plead that the influence of modern civilization has changed her sentiments.
Have these persons forgotten the claim of infallibility put forth for eight hundred years by this haughty power? So far from being relinquished, this claim was affirmed in the nineteenth century with greater positiveness than ever before. As Rome asserts that the “church never erred; nor will it, according to the Scriptures, ever err ” (John L. von Mosheim, Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, book 3, century II, part 2, chapter 2, section 9, note 17), how can she renounce the principles which governed her course in past ages?
The papal church will never relinquish her claim to infallibility. All that she has done in her persecution of those who reject her dogmas she holds to be right; and would she not repeat the same acts, should the opportunity be presented? Let the restraints now imposed by secular governments be removed and Rome be reinstated in her former power, and there would speedily be a revival of her tyranny and persecution. (The Great Controversy, “Liberty of Conscience Threatened” pp. 563 & 564)
“Nothing else than the kingdom of Babylon and of very Antichrist. For who is the man of sin and the son of perdition, but he who by his teaching and his ordinances increases the sin and perdition of souls in the church; while he yet sits in the church as if he were God? All these conditions have now for many ages been fulfilled by the papal tyranny.” (Martin Luther, First Principles, pp. 196-197)
“He (the antichrist) will be revealed and come to naught before the last day, so that every man shall comprehend and recognize that the pope is the real, true antichrist and not the vicar of Christ … Therefore those who consider the pope and his bishops as Christian shepherds and bishops are deeply in error, but even more are those who believe the the Turk (ISLAM) is the antichrist. Because the Turk (ISLAM) rules outside of the church and does not sit in the holy place, nor does he seek to bear the name of Christ, but is an open antagonist of Christ and His church. This does not need to be revealed, but it is clear and evident because he persecutes Christians openly and not as the pope does, secretly under the form of Godliness.” (Nicolaus Von Amsdorf, Furnemliche und gewisse Zeichen, sig.A2r.,v.)
“And we ask you, brethren, in regard to the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto him, that ye be not quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled, neither through spirit, neither through word, neither through letters as through us, as that the day of Christ hath arrived; let not any one deceive you in any manner, because — if the falling away may not come first, and the man of sin be revealed — the son of the destruction, who is opposing and is raising himself up above all called God or worshipped, so that he in the sanctuary of God as God hath sat down, shewing himself off that he is God — [the day doth not come]. Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, these things I said to you? and now, what is keeping down ye have known, for his being revealed in his own time, for the secret of the lawlessness doth already work, only he who is keeping down now [will hinder] — till he may be out of the way, and then shall be revealed the Lawless One, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the manifestation of his presence, [him,] whose presence is according to the working of the Adversary, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and in all deceitfulness of the unrighteousness in those perishing, because the love of the truth they did not receive for their being saved, and because of this shall God send to them a working of delusion, for their believing the lie, that they may be judged — all who did not believe the truth, but were well pleased in the unrighteousness.
“And we — we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, that God did choose you from the beginning to salvation, in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, to which He did call you through our good news, to the acquiring of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ; so, then, brethren, stand ye fast, and hold the deliverances that ye were taught, whether through word, whether through our letter; and may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and our God and Father, who did love us, and did give comfort age-during, and good hope in grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work.” (2nd Thessalonians 2, YLT)
“Though it be admitted that Rome was once the mother of all Churches, yet from the time when it began to be the seat of Antichrist it has ceased to be what it was before. Some persons think us too severe and censorious when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist. But those who are of this opinion do not consider that they bring the same charge of presumption against Paul himself, after whom we speak and whose language we adopt .. I shall briefly show that (Paul’s words in II Thess. 2) are not capable of any other interpretation than that which applies them to the Papacy.” (Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol.3, p.149)
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