Handbook for Bible Students


“I” Entries

Idolatry, Nature of.—Idolatry is not, as some have supposed, the natural outcome of the pious ignorance of men in a state of barbarism, nor are its different forms the varied inventions of different nations and peoples separated from each other. All are similar in nature and origin, and emanated from the most highly civilized nation of antiquity. For although there is good reason for believing that idolatry first originated in antediluvian times, and brought upon the world the judgment of the deluge, yet it arose again, after that event, with the Chaldeans of ancient Babylon, whose mighty works and wisdom were famed throughout antiquity. “Babylon,” says the prophet, “hath been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord to make all the earth drunken. The nations have drunken thereof; therefore are the nations mad.” HBS 247.1

Although the gods and goddesses of the heathen were so numerous, yet “all,” says Faber, “as we are repeatedly informed by the ancient mythological writers, are ultimately one and the same person.” Strictly speaking, they are resolved into one or other of a Trinity, composed of a Father, Mother, and Son, the various attributes of whom were personified and worshiped under different titles, and known under different names in different nations.—“The True Christ and the False Christ,” J. Garnier, Vol. II, pp. 4, 5. London: George Allen, 1900. HBS 247.2

Moreover, although it was taught that they were one and the same god, yet, as even the prince of the demons is neither omniscient nor omnipresent, it was necessary that he should be represented at the innumerable temples and shrines, and in the multitude of idols all over the world, by a host of subordinate spirits, the demons over whom he was prince, who personated the various gods.—Id., pp. 20, 21. HBS 247.3

It will be noticed that the worship of the pagan gods was always carried on through their idols or images, and that these idols being the characteristic and apparently an inseparable feature of that worship, it had the appearance of being the worship of idols, and is spoken of as “idolatry.” The reason of this has already been alluded to. The demon gods were neither omniscient nor omnipresent, and to have invoked their aid at all times and in all places would therefore have been useless. Hence the necessity for some local habitation for them, such as an image, temple, grove, or sacred symbol, which when consecrated by the priestly adept who had already established communication with them, might become the special abode of some one spirit, who would thus be ever at hand to influence and delude those who sought his aid.—Id., pp. 22, 23. HBS 247.4

Idolatry (Gr. [Greek word] [eidololatria]) etymologically denotes divine worship given to an image, but its significance has been extended to all divine worship given to any one or anything but the true God.—The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, art.Idolatry,p. 636. HBS 247.5

Idolatry, Unspiritual Rites of.—The pagan rites were regarded as a service done to the Deity, as acts of homage which satisfied his demands and appeased his anger, while they were rites also which were supposed to purify the souls, and obtain pardon for the sins of the worshipers. But there was nothing spiritual in them, nothing which could call forth a single spiritual thought, or produce the slightest moral change, save the blinding and satisfaction of the conscience of the sinner. Holy water purified him; the sacrifice of the round cake atoned for his sins; charms, relics, and holy signs preserved him from danger; righteousness consisted of ritual acts and ordinances, penances and self-mortifications; auguries and oracles revealed the will of the gods, whom he worshiped through their images; while the priesthood stood in the place of God to him, both as mediators between the gods and men, and as the sole channel through which all spiritual effects were to be obtained. HBS 247.6

Thus the mind and affections, and entire dependence of the pagan, were confined to that which was earthly, material, and created, and this, as the apostle implies, is the whole spirit and principle of idolatry. It is “worshiping and serving the creature rather than the Creator,” seeking spirit from matter, life from that which is without life, and placing the dependence due to God on men and created things; by which it both satisfied and deadened the conscience, and shut out from the mind all thoughts of spiritual things and true righteousness.—“The True Christ and the False Christ,” J. Garnier, Vol. II, pp. 37, 38. London: George Allen, 1900. HBS 248.1

Idolatry, Babylonian.—The pronounced idolatry prevalent in Babylon under the later kings, which Scripture sets forth in such strong terms (Jeremiah 50:2, 38; 51:17, 47, 52; Daniel 5:4), scarcely requires the confirmation which is lent to it by the inscriptions and by profane writers. Idolatrous systems had possession of all Western Asia at the time, and the Babylonian idolatry was not of a much grosser type than the Assyrian, the Syrian, or the Phonician. But it is perhaps worthy of remark that the particular phase of the religion which the great Hebrew prophets set forth, is exactly that found by the remains to have characterized the later empire. In the works of these writers three Babylonian gods only are particularized by name,-Bel, Nebo, Merodach,-and in the monuments of the period these three deities are exactly those which obtain the most frequent mention and hold the most prominent place. The kings of the later empire, with a single exception, had names which placed them under the protection of one or other of these three; and their inscriptions show that to these three they paid, at any rate, especial honor. Merodach holds the first place in the memorials of their reigns left by Nebuchadnezzar and Neriglissar; Bel and Nebo bear off the palm in the inscriptions of Nabonidus. While “the great gods” obtain occasional but scanty notice, as “the holy gods” do in the book of Daniel (Daniel 4:8, 9); Bel, Nebo, and Merodach alone occur frequently, alone seem to be viewed, not as local, but as great national deities, alone engage the thoughts and receive the adoration of the nation.—“Egypt and Babylon,” George Rawlinson, M. A., pp. 103, 104. New York: John B. Alden, 1885. HBS 248.2

Idolatry, Phonician Dagon.—According to the general idea, the Phonician Dagon was a fish god, having the form described by Berosus, and represented so often in the Assyrian sculptures-“a form resembling that of a fish, but with a human head growing below the fish’s, and with human feet growing alongside of the fish’s tail and coming out from it.” Fish are common emblems upon the Phonician coins; and the word “Dagon” is possibly derived from dag, “a fish,” so that the temptation to identify the deity with the striking form revealed to us by the Ninevite sculptures is no doubt considerable. It ought, however, to be borne in mind that there is nothing in the Scriptural description of the Philistine Dagon to suggest the idea that the image which fell on its face before the ark of the covenant had in any respect the form of a fish. Nor do the Assyrian monuments connect the name of Dagon, which they certainly contain, with the fish deity whose image they present. That deity is Nin or Ninus. Altogether, therefore, it must be pronounced exceedingly doubtful whether the popular idea has any truth at all in it; or whether we ought not to revert to the view put forward by Philo, that the Phonician Dagon was a “corn god,” and presided over agriculture.—“The Religions of the Ancient World,” George Rawlinson, M. A., p. 108. New York: Hurst & Co. HBS 248.3

Idolatry, History of, Among the Jews.—Idolatry, strictly speaking, denotes the worship of deity in a visible form, whether the images to which homage is paid are symbolical representations of the true God or of the false divinities which have been made the objects of worship in his stead. HBS 249.1

History of Idolatry Among the Jews.-The first undoubted allusion to idolatry or idolatrous customs in the Bible is in the account of Rachel’s stealing her father’s teraphim. Genesis 31:19. During their long residence in Egypt the Israelites defiled themselves with the idols of the land, and it was long before the taint was removed. Joshua 24:14; Ezekiel 20:7. In the wilderness they clamored for some visible shape in which they might worship the God who had brought them out of Egypt (Exodus 32), until Aaron made the calf, the embodiment of Apis, and emblem of the productive power of nature. During the lives of Joshua and the elders who outlived him they kept true to their allegiance; but the generation following, who knew not Jehovah nor the works he had done for Israel, swerved from the plain path of their fathers, and were caught in the toils of the foreigner. Judges 2. From this time forth their history becomes little more than a chronicle of the inevitable sequence of offense and punishment. Judges 2:12, 14. By turns each conquering nation strove to establish the worship of its national god. HBS 249.2

In later times the practice of secret idolatry was carried to greater lengths. Images were set up on the corn floors, in the wine vats, and behind the doors of private houses (Isaiah 57:8; Hosea 9:1, 2); and to check this tendency the statute in Deuteronomy 27:15 was originally promulgated. Under Samuel’s administration idolatry was publicly renounced (1 Samuel 7:3-6); but in the reign of Solomon all this was forgotten, even Solomon’s own heart being turned after other gods. 1 Kings 11:14. Rehoboam perpetuated the worst features of Solomon’s idolatry. 1 Kings 14:22-24.... The successors of Jeroboam followed in his steps, till Ahab. The conquest of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser was for them the last scene of the drama of abominations which had been enacted uninterruptedly for upwards of 250 years. Under Hezekiah a great reform was inaugurated, that was not confined to Judah and Benjamin, but spread throughout Ephraim and Manasseh (2 Chronicles 31:1), and to all external appearance idolatry was extirpated. HBS 249.3

But the reform extended little below the surface. Isaiah 29:13. With the death of Josiah ended the last effort to revive among the people a purer ritual, if not a purer faith. The lamp of David, which had long shed but a struggling ray, flickered for a while and then went out in the darkness of Babylonian captivity. Though the conquests of Alexander caused Greek influence to be felt, yet after the captivity a better condition of things prevailed, and the Jews never again fell into idolatry.—“A Dictionary of the Bible,” William Smith, LL. D., pp. 262, 263. Teacher’s edition. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, copyright 1884. HBS 249.4

Idolatry, Roman, The Two Madonnas.—The Madonna of Rome, then, is Just the Madonna of Babylon. The “Queen of Heaven” in the one system is the same as the “Queen of Heaven” in the other. The goddess worshiped in Babylon and Egypt as the tabernacle or habitation of God, is identical with her who, under the name of Mary, is called by Rome “The house consecrated to God,” “the awful dwelling place,” “the mansion of God,” the “tabernacle of the Holy Ghost,” the “temple of the Trinity.”-“The Two Babylons,” Rev. Alexander Hislop, p. 83, 7th edition. London: S. W. Partridge & Co. HBS 250.1

Idolatry, Transfer of, from Babylon to Rome.—In common with all the earth, Rome at a very early prehistoric period, had drunk deep of Babylon’s “golden cup.” But above and beyond all other nations, it had had a connection with the idolatry of Babylon that put it in a position peculiar and alone. Long before the days of Romulus, a representative of the Babylonian Messiah, called by his name, had fixed his temple as a god, and his palace as a king, on one of these very heights which came to be included within the walls of that city which Remus and his brother were destined to found. On the Capitoline hill, so famed in after-days as the great high place of Roman worship, Saturnia, or the city of Saturn, the great Chaldean god, had in the days of dim and distant antiquity been erected. Some revolution had then taken place, the graven images of Babylon had been abolished, the erecting of any idol had been sternly prohibited, and when the twin founders of the now world-renowned city reared its humble walls, the city and the palace of their Babylonian predecessor had long lain in ruins. The ruined state of this sacred city, even in the remote age of Evander, is alluded to by Virgil. Referring to the time when Aneas is said to have visited that ancient Italian king, thus he speaks: HBS 250.2

“Then saw two heaps of ruins; once they stood Two stately towns on either side the flood; Saturnia and Janicula’s remains; And either place the founder’s name retains.” HBS 250.3

The deadly wound, however, thus given to the Chaldean system, was destined to be healed. A colony of Etruscans, earnestly attached to the Chaldean idolatry, had migrated, some say from Asia Minor, others from Greece, and settled in the immediate neighborhood of Rome. They were ultimately incorporated in the Roman state, but long before this political union took place they exercised the most powerful influence on the religion of the Romans. From the very first their skill in augury, soothsaying, and all science, real or pretended, that the augurs or soothsayers monopolized, made the Romans look up to them with respect. It is admitted on all hands that the Romans derived their knowledge of augury, which occupied so prominent a place in every public transaction in which they engaged, chiefly from the Tuscans, that is, the people of Etruria, and at first none but natives of that country were permitted to exercise the office of a Haruspex, which had respect to all the rites essentially involved in sacrifice. Wars and disputes arose between Rome and the Etruscans; but still the highest of the noble youths of Rome were sent to Etruria to be instructed in the sacred science which flourished there. The consequence was, that under the influence of men whose minds were molded by those who clung to the ancient idol worship, the Romans were brought back again to much of that idolatry which they had formerly repudiated and cast off. Though Numa, therefore, in setting up his religious system, so far deferred to the prevailing feeling of his day and forbade image worship, yet in consequence of the alliance subsisting between Rome and Etruria in sacred things, matters were put in train for the ultimate subversion of that prohibition. The college of pontiffs, of which he laid the foundation, in process of time came to be substantially an Etruscan college, and the sovereign pontiff that presided over that college, and that controlled all the public and private religious rites of the Roman people in all essential respects, became in spirit and in practice an Etruscan pontiff. HBS 250.4

Still the sovereign pontiff of Rome, even after the Etruscan idolatry was absorbed into the Roman system, was only an offshoot from the grand original Babylonian system. He was a devoted worshiper of the Babylonian god; but he was not the legitimate representative of that god. The true legitimate Babylonian pontiff had his seat beyond the bounds of the Roman Empire. That seat, after the death of Belshazzar, and the expulsion of the Chaldean priesthood from Babylon by the Medo-Persian kings, was at Pergamos, where afterward was one of the seven churches of Asia. There, in consequence, for many centuries was “Satan’s seat.” Revelation 2:13. There, under favor of the deified kings of Pergamos, was his favorite abode, there was the worship of Asculapius, under the form of the serpent, celebrated with frantic orgies and excesses, that elsewhere were kept under some measure of restraint. At first, the Roman Pontiff had no immediate connection with Pergamos and the hierarchy there; yet, in course of time, the pontificate of Rome and the pontificate of Pergamos came to be identified. Pergamos itself became part and parcel of the Roman Empire, when Attalus III, the last of its kings, at his death, left by will all his dominions to the Roman people, b. c. 133. HBS 251.1

For some time after the kingdom of Pergamos was merged in the Roman dominions, there was no one who could set himself openly and advisedly to lay claim to all the dignity inherent in the old title of the kings of Pergamos. The original powers even of the Roman pontiffs seem to have been by that time abridged, but when Julius Casar, who had previously been elected Pontifex Maximus, became also, as emperor, the supreme civil ruler of the Romans, then, as head of the Roman state and head of the Roman religion, all the powers and functions of the true legitimate Babylonian pontiff were supremely vested in him, and he found himself in a position to assert these powers. Then he seems to have laid claim to the divine dignity of Attalus, as well as the kingdom that Attalus had bequeathed to the Romans, as centering in himself; for his well-known watchword, “Venus Genetrix,” which meant that Venus was the mother of the Julian race, appears to have been intended to make him “the son” of the great goddess, even as the “bull-horned” Attalus had been regarded. Then, on certain occasions, in the exercise of his high pontifical office, he appeared of course in all the pomp of the Babylonian costume, as Belshazzar himself might have done, in robes of scarlet, with the crosier of Nimrod in his hand, wearing the miter of Dagon, and bearing the keys of Janus and Cybele. HBS 251.2

Thus did matters continue, as already stated, even under so-called Christian emperors; who, as a salve to their consciences, appointed a heathen as their substitute in the performance of the more directly idolatrous functions of the pontificate (that substitute, however, acting in their name and by their authority), until the reign of Gratian, who, as shown by Gibbon, was the first that refused to be arrayed in the idolatrous pontifical attire or to act as Pontifex. HBS 251.3

Now, from all this it is evident that when paganism in the Roman Empire was abolished, when the office of Pontifex Maximus was suppressed, and all the dignitaries of paganism were cast down from their seats of influence and of power, which they had still been allowed in some measure to retain, this was not merely the casting down of the fiery dragon of Rome, but the casting down of the fiery dragon of Babylon. It was just the enacting over again, in a symbolical sense, upon the true and sole legitimate successor of Nimrod, what had taken place upon himself, when the greatness of his downfall gave rise to the exclamation, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!”-“The Two Babylons,” Rev. Alexander Hislop, pp. 239-242, 7th edition. London: S. W. Partridge & Co. HBS 251.4

Idolatry Transferred from Babylon to Rome.—On the overthrow of Babylon by the Persians, who nourished a traditional hatred for its idolatry, the Chaldean priesthood fled to Pergamos in Asia Minor, and made it the headquarters of their religion. Hence Christ in his charge to the church in that city speaks of it as being “where Satan’s seat is.” The last pontiff king of Pergamos was Attalus III, who at his death bequeathed his dominions and authority to the Roman people, 133 b. c., and from that time the two lines of Pontifex Maximus were merged in the Roman one.... HBS 252.1

But just as pagan Rome was the true offspring and successor of Babylon, so is papal Rome the true offspring and successor of pagan Rome. When paganism was nominally abolished in the Roman Empire, the head of the pagan hierarchy was also suppressed. Some of the Christian emperors did indeed accept the title of Pontifex Maximus, while others, refusing it themselves, appointed a pagan priest, until the reign of Gratian, who, refusing to do either, abolished the office 376 a. d. Two years afterward, however, fearing that religion might become disorganized, he offered the title and office to Damasus, Bishop of Rome.... This bishop, less scrupulous than the emperor, accepted the office, and from that time until now the title has been held by the popes of Rome, from whom, and through whom, the whole hierarchy of Western Christendom have received their ordination. So also the honors and powers attached to the title, the dominion of the civilized world, previously wielded by the pontiff emperors of pagan Rome, passed to the pontiffs and hierarchy of papal Rome, who for centuries imposed their will upon kings, and held the nations in thraldom.... HBS 252.2

Hence we see that there was good reason for entitling the seven-hilled city of papal Rome “Babylon Roma” or “Babylon the Great.” Moreover, although the actual city of Rome is the center and seat of that vast organization which for centuries “ruled over the kings of the earth,” and over “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues,” yet “the great city” includes all, in every place, who can claim to be its citizens, all who are subject to its laws and ordinances, who bow to its authority, or are morally identified with it. Just as the citizens of pagan Rome included multitudes who had never seen Rome but who claimed to be its citizens, bowed to its laws and authority, and were entitled to its privileges.—“The True Christ and the False Christ,” J. Garnier, Vol. II, pp. 94-96. London: George Allen, 1900. HBS 252.3

Idolatry, Modern.—The image worshipers in Christianity allege that the whole worship is merely representative and symbolical, exhibiting to them an invisible Deity in visible types and images; so that every image has reference to its prototype, and no virtue is inherent in the image or in its material substance. So said all the enlightened among the heathen, and yet the Christian apologists convicted them of idolatry, notwithstanding all the refinements of their relative worship. [p. 220] ... HBS 252.4

But it is said, as an apology for this semipagan system, that “images are laymen’s books,” and that the gospel is read by the unlearned in these visible types and representations of its history and founders. If this be so, the whole system must pass away before the progress of education; and had the work of instruction been earlier and more successful, must have been obsolete long since. Yet we cannot but remember that the same apology was advanced in behalf of the idol worship of heathenism. “Images of this kind,” as the heathen advocate alleges in St. Athanasius, “are like literary elements ([Greek words] [hosper grammata]) to men; which when they meet with, they are able to realize the conception of God” [Greek words] [ginoskein peri tes tou theou katalepseos]). Would that the Church of Rome had gone no further even than this in its imitation, and in a certain sense revival, of the idolatry of the Gentile world! HBS 252.5

But here another stage is given us by St. Athanasius, who shows that images were regarded by the heathens as means of “discovering to them the divine will, that they might acquire the knowledge of sacred things through angelic apparitions.” No one who is even superficially acquainted with the image worship of the modern Church of Rome, with its wonder-working shrines and votive offerings and oracles, can fail to confess how faithfully she has reproduced this worst feature of heathen idolatry, and how fatally she clings to those idols from which once she turned in order to serve the living God.—“Romanism: A Doctrinal and Historical Examination of the Creed of Pope Pius IV,” Rev. Robert Charles Jenkins, M. A., pp. 220-222. London: The Religious Tract Society. HBS 253.1

Idolatry, Veneration of Images Enjoined.—The holy synod enjoins on all bishops and others who sustain the office and charge of teaching that ... they especially instruct the faithful diligently concerning the intercession and invocation of saints; the honor (paid) to relics; and the legitimate use of images.... Moreover, that the images of Christ, of the virgin mother of God, and of the other saints, are to be had and to be retained particularly in temples, and that due honor and veneration are to be given them; not that any divinity or virtue is believed to be in them, on account of which they are to be worshiped; or that anything is to be asked of them; or that trust is to be reposed in images, as was of old done by the Gentiles who placed their hope in idols; but because the honor which is shown them is referred to the prototypes which those images represent; in such wise that by the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover the head, and prostrate ourselves, we adore Christ; and we venerate the saints whose similitude they bear; as, by the decrees of councils, and especially the second Synod of Nicaa, has been defined against the opponents of images.—“Dogmatic Canons and Decrees,” pp. 167-169. New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1912. HBS 253.2

Idolatry, A Plain Parallel.—Romanism is the same perversion of Christianity that paganism was of patriarchal truth, and its false Christ is morally identical with the false Christ of paganism.—“The True Christ and the False Christ,” J. Garnier, Vol. II, p. 104. London: George Allen, 1900. HBS 253.3

Idolatry, Rome Guilty of.—On four counts at least Rome can be proved guilty of idolatry without any difficulty: HBS 253.4

She worships graven and molten images, and to justify the idolatry frequently omits the second commandment in her catechisms, and divides the tenth into two, in order to make up the number. HBS 253.5

She worships dead men and women, and angels. HBS 253.6

She worships relics, especially pieces of the cross, to which she gives the highest kind of worship, called latria. HBS 253.7

She worships a piece of bread in the mass, in that sacrament which the Church of England, in her Thirty-ninth Article, designates as “a blasphemous fable,“ HBS 253.8

On these four counts, then, without going further, we maintain that Rome is guilty of idolatry.—“Rome: Pagan and Papal,” Mourant Brock, M. A., p. 33. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1883. HBS 254.1

Idolatry, Protest of the Reformers Against.—The protest of the Reformers was directed, not only against the worship of the Virgin and saints, but against the priestly assumptions of the clergy and the principle of sacramental efficacy, and it was the protest against the latter which evoked the chief fury of their persecutors. Their protest, in short, was against the principle of Catholicism, which is idolatry, or the substitution of. material and created things for Christ. For whether it is the mediation of the Virgin and saints, or a trust in the guidance of the priesthood and in the spiritual efficacy of the sacraments administered by them, or a belief in the virtue of holy water, holy oil, images, crucifixes, relics, and other material symbols and ritual acts, they one and all combine to take the place of Christ to the sinner, and keep him from going to Him for life. HBS 254.2

Instead of these things, the Reformers asserted that salvation was dependent on Christ alone, and that the sinner, instead of assuming himself to be a Christian in virtue of the rite of baptism, could only become so by a true, living, and constant faith in Christ; and that the Word of God and the Spirit of God, and not the priesthood, were the only guide to the truth.—“The True Christ and the False Christ,” J. Garnier, Vol. II, p. 140. London: George Allen, 1900. HBS 254.3

Idolatry, of the Church of Rome.—The awful idolatry of the Church of Rome, as it respects the worship of the Virgin Mary, needs no other proof than what is afforded by a book entitled, “The Glories of Mary,” written in Italian, by Alphonsus de Liguori, and translated into English and published with the formal approval of Cardinal Wiseman. I will give a few quotations from the edition of 1852. HBS 254.4

Of Mary it is said, that “she opens the abyss of the mercy of God to whomsoever she wills, when she wills, and as she wills” (p. 16), and “that the Son is under great obligation to her for having given him his humanity” (p. 17). “We say that Mary is the mediatress of grace.” “Whatever graces we receive, they come to us through her intercession.” “There is certainly nothing contrary to faith in this, but the reverse; it is quite in accordance with the sentiments of the church, which in its public and approved prayers teaches us continually to have recourse to this divine mother, and to invoke her as the ‘health of the weak, the refuge of sinners, the help of Christians, and as our life and hope’” (pp. 124, 125). “Shall we scruple to ask her to save us, when ‘the way of salvation is open to none otherwise than through Mary’?” (p. 135). HBS 254.5

Of the prayers to be addressed to her, the following may serve as a specimen: “I am thine; save me. Accept me, O Mary, for thine own, and as thine take charge of my salvation” (pp. 20, 21). “Thou hast all power to change hearts, take thou mine and change it” (p. 42). “Behold, O Mother of my God, my only hope, Mary, behold at thy feet a miserable sinner, who asks thee for mercy. Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole church and by all the faithful the refuge of sinners. Thou art consequently my refuge, thou hast to save me. ... I present thee, O my Mother, the sufferings of Jesus” (p. 58). “Thou art the Queen of heaven, the Mistress of the universe” (p. 77).—“Fulfilled Prophecy,” Rev. W. Goode, D. D., F. S. A., p. 197, 2nd edition. London: James Nisbet & Co., 1891. HBS 254.6

Idolatry, The Douai Version of Exodus 20:5.—It is worth remarking that Roman Catholics, who translate the passage in Exodus 20:5, HBS 254.7

“Thou shalt not adore them,” sometimes complain that the Authorized Version, “Thou shalt not bow down to them,” is a misleading rendering, and goes too far. As a fact, the Hebrew verb shachah, here found, strictly means to bow or prostrate one’s self, and only secondarily comes to mean worship or adoration, and is translated bowed down in the Douai Version of Genesis 42:6, speaking of Joseph’s brethren’s obeisance toward him.—“Plain Reasons Against Joining the Church of Rome,” Richard Frederick Littledale, LL. D., D. C. L., p. 39, note. HBS 255.1

Idolatry, Roman Catholic View of, and Defense of Adoration of Images.—Idolatry ... denotes divine worship given ... to any one or anything but the true God.... HBS 255.2

An essential difference exists between idolatry and the veneration of images practised in the Catholic Church, viz., that while the idolater credits the image he reverences with divinity or divine powers, the Catholic knows “that in images there is no divinity or virtue on account of which they are to be worshiped, that no petitions can be addressed to them, and that no trust is to be placed in them, ... that the honor which is given to them is referred to the objects (prototypa) which they represent, so that through the images which we kiss, and before which we uncover our heads and kneel, we adore Christ and venerate the saints whose likenesses they are.” (Conc. Trid., Sess. XXV, “de invocatione Sanctorum”). HBS 255.3

Considered in itself, idolatry is the greatest of mortal sins. For it is ... a rebellious setting up of a creature on the throne that belongs to Him alone. Even the simulation of idolatry, in order to escape death during persecution, is a mortal sin, because of the pernicious falsehood it involves and the scandal it causes.—The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII, art.Idolatry,” p. 636. HBS 255.4

Idolatry, The Gigantic Sin.—I hold that no reader of the Bible can be unaware of the fact that the gigantic sin which looms out in gloomiest form throughout the sacred pages is that of idolatry or apostasy from the true worship of the Almighty. There are only two kinds of worship, true and false. The true worship is to be found in the Bible, and there alone; false worship is to be found in all systems of so-called religion not founded on God’s Word, and even in infidelity itself. The heart-infidel-if there be such a person-is a false worshiper and an idolater of self. He is his own god; and a false god he is. Apostasy, then, and idolatry-for they are in many cases inseparable from each other-are the great objects of prophetic denunciation and apostolic warning.—“Rome, Antichrist, and the Papacy,” Edward Harper, p. 15. London: Protestant Printing and Publishing Company. HBS 255.5

Images, Excluded from Churches in First Centuries.—The use of images was originally foreign to the worship and excluded from the churches of the Christians; and so in general, it continued to be in this period.—“General History of the Christian Religion and Church,” Dr. August Neander, Vol. I, p. 397, Torry’s translation. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1847. HBS 255.6

Images, Worship of, Introduced in the Fourth Century.—The early Christian Fathers believed that painting and sculpture were forbidden by the Scriptures, and that they were therefore wicked arts; and, though the second Council of Nicea asserted that the use of images had always been adopted by the church, there are abundant facts to prove that the actual worship of them was not indulged in until the fourth century, when, on the occasion of its occurrence in Spain, it was condemned by the Council of Illiberis. During the fifth century the practice of introducing images into churches increased, and in the sixth it had become prevalent. The common people, who had never been able to comprehend doctrinal mysteries, found their religious wants satisfied in turning to these effigies. With singular obtuseness, they believed that the saint is present in his image, though hundreds of the same kind were in existence, each having an equal and exclusive right to the spiritual presence. The doctrine of invocation of departed saints, which assumed prominence in the fifth century, was greatly strengthened by these graphic forms. Pagan idolatry had reappeared.—“History of the Intellectual Development of Europe,John William Draper, M. D., LL. D., Vol. I, p. 414. New York: Harper & Brothers, copyright 1876. HBS 255.7

Images, Worship of.—Next, let us take the worship of images and pictures. Here it must first be said (a) that the Roman Church in terms denies that any such act as can be strictly called worship is done to pictures and images, even by the most ignorant, since no one believes that these representations can see, hear, or help of themselves; (b) that there is no question as to the lawfulness of making some such images and representations, if not intended to receive homage, as even the Jews had the brazen serpent, and the figures of the cherubim in the holy of holies, where, however, only one man ever saw them, and that only once a year; and the early Christians set up pictures of our Lord in the catacombs, still to be seen there. But, on the other hand, there is a very suspicious fact which meets us at the outset of the inquiry as to the actual Roman practice, as distinguished from any finespun theories in books, namely, that many Roman catechisms omit the second commandment, while no Roman catechism teaches that there is either danger or sin in any making or using of images for religious honor, short of actual paganism. The point is ... whether in practice one Roman Catholic in a million ever knows that image worship can be abused or sinful without virtual apostasy from Christianity. The Shorter Lutheran Catechism cuts down the first and second commandments just in the same way as many Roman ones do; but, then, on the one hand, Lutherans have free access to the Bible in their own language, and, on the other, nothing of the nature of image worship has ever been practised among them. HBS 256.1

Intelligent and shrewd heathens, when arguing in favor of idols, say exactly what Roman Catholic controversialists do in defense of their practice, namely, that they do not believe in any sentient power as residing in the mere stone, wood, or metal, of which their idols are made, but regard them as representing visibly certain attributes of Deity, to bring them home to the minds of worshipers; and that homage addressed to these idols on that ground is acceptable to the unseen spiritual Powers, who will listen to and answer prayers so made indirectly to themselves.—“Plain Reasons Against Joining the Church of Rome,” Richard Frederick Littledale, LL. D., D. C. L., pp. 37-39. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1905. HBS 256.2

Immaculate Conception, The Dogma Defined.—Since we have never ceased in humility and fasting to offer up our prayers and those of the church to God the Father through his Son, that he might deign to direct and confirm our mind by the power of the Holy Ghost, after imploring the protection of the whole celestial court, and after invoking on our knees the Holy Ghost the Paraclete, under his inspiration we pronounce, declare, and define, unto the glory of the holy and indivisible Trinity, the honor and ornament of the Holy Virgin, the mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the increase of the Christian religion by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ and the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and in our own authority, that the doctrine which holds the Blessed Virgin Mary to have been, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Saviour of mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was revealed by God, and is, therefore, to be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful. Therefore, if some should presume to think in their hearts otherwise than we have defined (which God forbid), they shall know and thoroughly understand that they are by their own judgment condemned, have made shipwreck concerning the faith, and fallen away from the unity of the church; and, moreover, that they by this very act subject themselves to the penalties ordained by law, if by word, or writing, or any other external means, they dare to signify what they think in their hearts.—Extract from the BullIneffabilis Deus,” of Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1854, promulgating the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary; cited inDogmatic Canons and Decrees,” pp. 183, 184. New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1912. HBS 256.3

Immaculate Conception, Its Significance.—Who can believe that, it being in the power of God the Son to prepare a spotless holy temple wherein to dwell incarnate for nine months, he preferred to have one which had been first profaned by the stain of original sin? HBS 257.1

Who can imagine that God, who could become incarnate by preparing for himself a mother immaculate in her conception, should have preferred a mother who had first been stained by sin and once in the power and slavery of Satan? HBS 257.2

To admit such suppositions is shocking to Christian minds.... It being in the power of God to preserve Mary unstained from original sin, there is every reason to believe that he did it. God is able; therefore he did it.—“Catholic Belief,” Joseph Faa di Bruno, D. D. (R. C.). p. 218, New York: Benziger Brothers, 1884. HBS 257.3

God the Son, by assuming this perfect human nature, which he took from the Blessed Virgin, was born in the flesh.—Id., p. 208. HBS 257.4

Note.—The Scripture plainly teaches that Jesus was made “in the likeness of sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:14), and thus became united with man in his fallen condition. This doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary separates Jesus from the human family in its present state, by giving him a “perfect human nature,” free from the stain of original sin, and thus prepares the way for the introduction of that human mediation which is one of the prominent features of the Roman Catholic system. The very essence of Christianity being the experience, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” it thus appears that the dogma of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary strikes at the very heart of Christianity.—Eds. HBS 257.5

Immaculate Conception, Explained by a Roman Catholic.—Mary was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect in her soul. Simultaneously with the exclusion of sin, the state of original sanctity, innocence, and justice, as opposed to original sin, was conferred upon her, by which gift every stain and fault, all depraved emotions, passions, and debilities were excluded. But she was not made exempt from the temporal penalties of Adam-from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death. HBS 257.6

The person of Mary, in consequence of her origin from Adam, should have been subject to sin, but, being the new Eve who was to be the mother of the new Adam, she was, by the eternal counsel of God and by the merits of Christ, withdrawn from the general law of original sin. HBS 257.7

Her redemption was the very masterpiece of Christ’s redeeming wisdom.—“Immaculate Conception,” William Bernard Ullathorne, p. 89; quoted in Truth (R. C.), December, 1914. HBS 258.1

Immaculate Conception, A Modern Dogma.—The doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary is a modern dogma of the Roman Catholic Church which declares the mother of Jesus absolutely free from all implication in the fall of Adam and its consequences. Like most doctrines, it was the result of a long development, and embodies in its history the story of a struggle between the Thomist and Scotist parties in the church which was not ended till 1854. At the Council of Trent the Franciscans demanded the explicit exception of Mary in the dogmatic decree on the universality of original sin, and found valuable support from the learned Jesuits Lainez and Salmeron. The Dominicans entered a lively protest, and when the perplexed legates asked for instructions from Rome, they were ordered to try to satisfy both factions. In this spirit was drawn up the decree on original sin published June 17, 1546. HBS 258.2

For a time the more sober-minded, even among the Jesuits, held to the decree. Bellarmine declared the object of the festival to be simply the conception, not the immaculate conception, of Mary. Petavius, while personally believing in the immaculate conception, denied that it was of faith. Even when, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Spanish Franciscans, aided by the Jesuits, stirred up fresh excitement over the question, and Philip III and Henry IV sent embassies to Rome, the apostolic see preserved its diplomatic attitude. In 1617 Paul V forbade both parties to engage in public disputes on this question, and Gregory XV extended this prohibition even to private discussion, answering to the king of Spain that the eternal wisdom had not yet revealed the heart of the mystery to men. HBS 258.3

But the tendency in Rome favored the Scotist view more and more. Alexander VII called the view very ancient and pious, while still declining to pronounce the opposite view heretical. Clement IX gave an octave to the feast of the conception of the Virgin Mary; Clement XI raised the festival in 1708 to the rank of a holy day of obligation for the whole church. Under Gregory XVI a strong inclination toward dogmatic definition showed itself. Several French bishops and one German received permission in 1844 to insert the term “immaculate” in the mass of the festival. Pius IX had a special, almost romantic, devotion to the Virgin, to whose protection he attributed his preservation on the occasion of his flight from the Vatican in 1848. While still an exile, he asked the bishops, in his encyclical of Feb. 2, 1849, to say how far a dogmatic definition would agree with their wishes and those of their people. A number of voices were raised in warning, and only three fourths of the bishops agreed with the Pope’s desire; but the influence of the Jesuits was too powerful to be resisted. Perrone had already published (1847) an extended treatise to prove that the question was ripe for decision. In 1850 Pius named a commission to investigate the question, in which Perrone and his fellow Jesuit, Passaglia, were the most influential members. It reached no result until 1853, when it reported that no evidence from Scripture was needed for a dogmatic declaration, but that tradition alone sufficed, and that even this need not be shown in an unbroken line up to the time of the apostles. HBS 258.4

Since these views were in harmony with the inclination of the Pope, he called together in the autumn of 1854 a number of prelates (fifty-four cardinals and about one hundred forty bishops), who, in a preliminary meeting, greeted the papal decision with loud applause. On December 8 the Pope solemnly took his seat in St. Peter’s; the dean of the Sacred College came before him, and in. the name of the whole church begged him to pronounce a final decision on the question which had so long been discussed.... HBS 258.5

The dogma was not sanctioned by an ecumenical council; but since the Vatican Council of 1870 declared the Pope infallible, independent of a council, the decree of 1854 must be received as an infallible utterance, and cannot be changed.—The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. V, art.Immaculate Conception,” pp. 455, 456. HBS 259.1

Immaculate Conception, Growth of Doctrine of.—In the course of the twelfth century, the dogma of the immaculate conception of Mary gained great authority, in the first instance in France. But when the canons of Lyons instituted (a. d. 1140) a special festival in honor of that doctrine, by which a new Lady Day was added to those already in existence, Bernard of Clairvaux, clearly perceiving that thus the specific difference between our Saviour and the rest of mankind was endangered, strongly opposed both the new doctrine and the festival. Albert the Great, Bonaventura, Thomas Aquinas, and with him the order of the Dominicans in general, were also zealous in opposition. On the other hand, the Franciscan monk Duns Scotus endeavored to refute their objections, and to demonstrate, by subtle reasoning, that the greatness of the Redeemer, so far from being lessened, was augmented by supposing that he himself was the cause of this sinlessness in the nature of Mary; yet even Scotus only maintained that the immaculate conception was the more probable among the different possibilities. The church hesitated for a long time without coming to a decision. Pope Sixtus IV at last got out of the difficulty by confirming the festival of the immaculate conception, while he declared that the doctrine itself should not be called heretical, and allowed those who differed to retain their own views. Of course the controversy did not come to an end, especially as the tendency of the age was, on the whole, favorable to the dogma.—“A History of Christian Doctrines,” Dr. K. R. Hagenbach, Vol. II, p. 261. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1880. HBS 259.2

Immaculate Conception, Some Objections to the Doctrine of.—(1) The doctrine contradicts the express Biblical teaching of “Christ alone without sin,” and the teaching of antiquity for eleven centuries. (2) It supposes the creation of one sui generis, neither strictly human nor divine. (3) It interferes with the reality of the incarnation, since by this doctrine Christ did not partake of that human nature which he came to redeem. (4) It takes away from Christ’s glory in the miracle of the incarnation by conferring a portion of it upon Mary. (5) It is the climax of a monstrous doctrine which ought to have been nipped in the bud-a doctrine which attributes to Mary a more perfect love and sympathy toward sinners than to Christ, with a more accessible and powerful mediation than that of the Son of God, and indirectly aims at exalting Mary to an equality with the incarnate Son of the Highest.—“Modern Romanism Examined,” Rev. H. W. Dearden, M. A., pp. 240, 241. London: James Nisbet & Co., 1899. HBS 259.3

Indulgences, Origin of.—Under the head of “Discipline” we should not pass over a custom, under pretense of which the modern theory of indulgence has been introduced. Such as were convicted of notorious crimes were compelled to make confession of them publicly before the whole congregation, to implore pardon, and to undergo whatever punishment should be imposed on them. The church inflicted some punishment on them. This was done as well for example, as also to prevent reproach to the Christian religion among infidels, These punishments were not supposed to be satisfactions to God by redeeming temporal punishments. Such an idea cannot be traced in any of the writers of the age who mention this practice. We refer to the period a. d. 160. At the latter end of the third century, when several lapsed through fear of persecution, the punishment and period of probation were more severe and lengthened before they were readmitted. Sometimes the period was protracted for years together. Hence arose the custom of prescribing times or periods-five, ten, or more years of penance. HBS 259.4

But, lest the penitent should die, lose heart and courage, or despair, the bishops took upon themselves, under certain circumstances, to mitigate the period of punishment. This act was termed a relaxation or remission. It was long after this period that the term indulgence was substituted; but still, when introduced, it was quite in another sense to its modern use. It signified only a discharge or a mitigation of ecclesiastical censures and penalties inflicted by the church, and not a forgiveness of the penalty due to God’s justice for the sin of the penitent which had been forgiven, which is the modern theory. But the transition from one to the other can well be comprehended, when we have craft and avarice on the one side, and superstition and ignorance on the other.—“The Novelties of Romanism,Charles Hastings Collete, pp. 115, 116. London: William Penny, 1860. HBS 260.1

Indulgences, Doctrine of, Developed by Schoolmen.—The development of this doctrine in explicit form was the work of the great Schoolmen. notably Alexander of Hales, Albertus Magnus, and St. Thomas.—The Catholic Encyclopedia, art.Indulgences,” sec. onThe Treasury of the Church,” Vol. VII, p. 784. HBS 260.2

Indulgences, Basis of.—Originally an indulgence was only a remission of certain kinds of penance which were exchanged for a fine. In the crusades the custom arose of a general or plenary indulgence (indulgentia plenaria), with which was connected the remission of all penance, provided the crusade was undertaken in their stead. Yet the church did not always mean by an indulgence, the remission of sins in the strict sense. The Schoolmen tried to prove that the church was authorized to give such indulgences on certain grounds. At the same time they developed the doctrine of the treasury of merits which the church had to dispense, and employed it for establishing the theory of indulgences. At the foundation of this dogma was the Christian idea of fellowship in all goodness, which was brought about by the Spirit of Christ. But this idea was applied sensuously, and there was connected with it the erroneous distinction between the standpoint of perfection and that of fulfilling the law. It was supposed that the saints had suffered more than was necessary for the satisfaction which they had to render to the divine justice for their own sins. Thus the representation was formed of the Thesaurus meritorum or supererogationis [treasury of merits or supererogation]. Robert Pulleyn, who first of all propounded it, only mentions the treasury of Christ’s merits, and adds that the merits of the Fathers were made acceptable to God through Christ. It was further concluded that the church, as the steward of this treasure of the merits of Christ and of the saints, could appropriate a portion to any one on good grounds, in substitution of the punishments of the church which he would otherwise have to suffer.—“Lectures on the History of Christian Dogmas,” Dr. Augustus Neander, Vol. II, p. 594, translated by J. E. Ryland, M. A. London: George Bell & Sons, 1882. HBS 260.3

Indulgences Defined.—What is an indulgence? HBS 261.1

It is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sins, remitted as to their guilt, by the power of the keys, without the sacrament, by the application of the satisfactions which are contained in the treasury of the church. HBS 261.2

What is understood by the treasury of the church? HBS 261.3

It is the collection (cumulus) of the spiritual goods remaining in the divine possession, the distribution of which is intrusted to the church. HBS 261.4

From whence is this treasury collected? HBS 261.5

In the first place it is collected from the superabundant satisfactions of Christ, next from the superfluous satisfactions of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of the other saints. HBS 261.6

This treasury is the foundation or matter of indulgences, and is that infinite treasury made up in part from the satisfactions of Christ; moreover it is never to be exhausted; and it daily receives the superabundant satisfactions of pious men.—Dens’ “Theologia,” Tom. VI, Tractatus de Indulgentiis; De Indulgentiarum Natura (DensTheology [R. C.], Vol. VI, Treatise on Indulgences; On the Nature of Indulgences). HBS 261.7

Indulgences, Based upon Good Works.—A plenary indulgence is a receipt in full for the penalties inflicted in purgatory for sins forgiven but not satisfied for by works worthy of repentance.... In dealing with sinners, he [God] distinguishes between the principal and the interest, or sins and the temporal pains incurred by them. He forgives the principal in the confessional; but the accrued interest must be met by good works or indulgences earned by the good works of others and imputable to us in the communion of saints.—The Western Watchman (R. C.), St. Louis, Mo., July 3, 1913. HBS 261.8

Indulgences, The Meaning of, Explained.—5. What means does the church offer us to cancel the temporal punishment due still to sin? HBS 261.9

The means that the church offers us to cancel the temporal punishment due still to sin is to grant us indulgences. HBS 261.10

6. What is an indulgence? HBS 261.11

An indulgence is the remission of temporal punishment due still to sin, after the guilt of sin (the offense of God) has been forgiven in the sacrament of penance.... HBS 261.12

10. Is it not true, then, that the church, by granting indulgences, frees us from the obligation of doing penance? HBS 261.13

No, the church does not free us from the obligation of doing penance; for the greater our spirit of penance and love for God are, the more certain we are of gaining indulgences. The church wishes to assist us in our efforts to expiate in this life all temporal punishments, in order thus to effect what in ancient times she endeavored to attain by rigorous penitential canons.... HBS 261.14

12. Who has the power to grant indulgences? HBS 261.15

(1) The Pope has the power to grant plenary and partial indulgences; for, as successor of St. Peter, he has received from Christ the keys of the kingdom of heaven; that is, he has power to remove such obstacles as hinder our entrance into heaven. Temporal punishment is an obstacle to our entrance into heaven. Therefore, the Pope has power to remit temporal punishment. HBS 261.16

“Whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matthew 16:19; 18:18. HBS 261.17

(2) The bishops also have power to grant partial indulgences.... HBS 261.18

14. How does the church remit the temporal punishment due to our sins? HBS 261.19

The church remits temporal punishment due to sin by making to divine justice compensation for us from the inexhaustible treasure of the merits of Christ and his saints.... HBS 261.20

16. Can indulgences be applied to the souls in purgatory? HBS 262.1

Indulgences can be applied to the souls in purgatory, when the Pope has declared that they can be so applied. HBS 262.2

17. What awaits us in the next life, if we neglect to make due sat isfaction to divine justice? HBS 262.3

If, in this world, we neglect to make due satisfaction to divine jus tice, greater suffering, without any merit, will await us in purgatory.—“Familiar Explanation of Catholic Doctrine,” Rev. M. Müller (R. C.), pp. 390-392. New York: Benziger Brothers. HBS 262.4

Indulgences, The Treasury of Merit.—Upon the altar of the cross, Christ shed of his blood not merely a drop, though this would have sufficed, by reason of the union with the Word, to redeem the whole human race, but a copious torrent, ... thereby laying up an infinite treasure for mankind.... This treasure he neither wrapped up in a napkin, nor hid in a field, but intrusted to blessed Peter, the key bearer, and his successors, that they might, for just and reasonable causes, distribute it to the faithful in full or in partial remission of the temporal punishment due to sin.—Extravagantes Communes, lib. v. tit. ix, cap. ii (The Common Extravagants [R. C.], book 5, title 9, chap. 2). HBS 262.5

Indulgences, Decree Concerning.—The sacred, holy synod teaches and enjoins that the use of indulgences for the Christian people, most salutary and approved of by the authority of sacred councils, is to be retained in the church; and it condemns with anathema those who either assert that they are useless, or who deny that there is in the church the power of granting them.... It ordains generally by this decree that all evil gains for the obtaining thereof-whence a most prolific cause of abuses among the Christian people has been derived-be wholly abolished.—Decree Concerning Indulgences, published in the twenty-fifth session of the Council of Trent, inDogmatic Canons and Decrees,” pp. 173, 174. New York: The Devin-Adair Company, 1912. HBS 262.6

Indulgences, Boniface VIII on.—We, by the mercy of Almighty God, etc., relying on his merits and authority and in the fulness of our apostolic power, will and do grant to all who, in the present year 1300, beginning with the feast of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ just past and in every following hundredth year, reverently come to the basilicas themselves, truly repenting and after confession, or who shall truly repent and confess in this present year and in every succeeding hundredth year, not only full and greater, but indeed most full pardon for all their sins, provided that those who desire to be partakers in this indulgence granted by us visit the aforesaid basilicas, if they are Romans, at least on thirty consecutive or non-consecutive days, and at least once each day, but if they are strangers or foreigners, on fifteen days in like manner.—Extract from the Bull of Boniface VIII (R. C.), published in 1300;Extravagantes Communes,” lib. v, tit. ix, cap. i (The Common Extravagants, book 5, title 9, chap. 1). HBS 262.7

Indulgences, Tetzel’s Estimate of.—In the fulfilment of his [Tetzel’s] present commission, his habit was to travel from town to town, in pomp and with a retinue as one of the nobles of the land. Into each town, as he approached it, the message was sent, “The grace of God is at your gates.” Forthwith the town council and the clergy, the monks and nuns from the convents, the schools and trades, hastened to form into procession; and with standards and wax lights in hand, and ringing of the church bells, advanced to meet it; there being as much show of honor paid to it, it is said, as if it had been God himself. On returning, the course of the procession was to the principal church in the town. The papal bull was borne on a rich velvet cushion or cloth of gold; a red cross elevated near it by the commissary; and the chanting of prayers and hymns, and fuming of incense, kept up as its accompaniment. Arrived at the church, it was received with the sound of the organ. Then, the red cross and papal arms having been placed by the great altar, the commissary mounted the pulpit. And this is related as the style of his addresses to the assembled people: HBS 262.8

“Now is the heaven opened. Now is grace and salvation offered. Christ, acting no more himself as God, has resigned all his power to the Pope. Hence the present dispensation of mercy. Happy are your eyes that see the things that ye see. By virtue of the letters bearing the papal seal that I offer you, not only is the guilt of past sins remitted, but that of sins that you may wish to commit in future. None is so great, but that pardon is insured to the purchaser. And not the sins of the living only, but of the dead in purgatory. As soon as the money sounds in the receiving box, the soul of the purchaser’s relative flies from purgatory to heaven. Now is the accepted time, now the day of salvation. Who so insensate, who so hard-hearted, as not to profit by it? Soon I shall remove the cross, shut the gate of heaven, extinguish the bright sunbeams of grace that shine before you. How shall they escape that neglect so great salvation?”-“Hora Apocalyptica,” Rev. E. B. Elliott, A. M., Vol. II, pp. 66, 67, 3rd edition. London: Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley, 1847. HBS 263.1

Indulgences, Tetzel’s Claims Concerning.—Tetzel conducted himself, on his commercial journeys, like a high prelate. He drove into the cities in superb style, amidst the pealing of bells. The papal indulgence bull was carried before him on a velvet cushion. Solemn processions, bearing crosses and banners, went to meet him and escorted him into the church. Then a red cross, upon which were the pontifical arms, was set up, and this Tetzel affirmed to be as efficacious as the cross of Christ himself. One of his train even tried to make the multitude believe that he saw the blood of Christ flowing gently down over it (the red color of the cross, if steadily gazed upon by the credulous, might easily engender such an optical illusion). Indulgences were offered upon every condition-even for future sins. The little couplet of which the indulgence vendors made use is well known: “When in the chest the coin doth ring, the soul direct to heaven doth spring” [“Wenn nur das Geld im Kasten ringt, die Seele gleich den Himmel springt”].—“History of the Reformation,” Dr. K. R. Hagenbach, Vol. I, pp. 95, 96. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1878. HBS 263.2

Indulgences, A Sample of.—The following is a copy of one of Tetzel’s indulgences, as translated by Dr. Robertson: HBS 263.3

“May our Lord Jesus Christ have mercy upon thee, and absolve thee, by the merits of his most holy passion! And I by his authority, that of his blessed apostles, Peter and Paul, and of the most holy see, granted and committed to me in these parts, do absolve thee, first, from all ecclesiastical censures, in whatever manner they have been incurred; and then from all thy sins, transgressions, and excesses, how enormous soever they may be, even from such as are reserved for the cognizance of the apostolic see. And as far as the keys of the church extend, I remit to you all punishment which you deserve in purgatory on their account; and I restore you to the holy sacraments of the church, to the unity of the faithful, and to that innocence and purity which you possessed at baptism: so that, if you should die now, the gates of punishment shall be shut, and the gates of the paradise of delights shall be opened. And if you shall not die at present, this grace shall remain in full force when you are on the point of death. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”-“Hora Apocalyptica,” Rev. E. B. Elliott, A. M., Vol. II, p. 69, 3rd edition. London: Seeley, Burnside, and Seeley, 1847. HBS 263.4

Indulgences, “Taxes of the Apostolic Chancery.”—It is not only in the rituals or penitentials we have quoted that the nomenclature of the commutations of penalties and that of the taxes imposed upon penitents by the popes, bishops, and monks, is to be found. There existed such in every diocese in the Middle Ages; but they varied according to the period and the spirit in which they were composed. If a greater number of them have not reached our own time, it is because they were kept secret in the hands of a limited number of confessors without it being lawful to communicate them to the laity. Accordingly, we find that Pope Nicholas, on being consulted thereon in 1366, replied: “It is not meet that laymen should be acquainted with these things, for they have no right to judge the acts of the priesthood.” HBS 264.1

The custom of obtaining absolution for sins having been gradually introduced into the Latin Church, the popes took almost exclusive possession of this lucrative branch of revenue. Leo X then ordered lists and catalogues of sins to be drawn up at Rome, designating the sum that was to be paid to obtain absolution for them. Therein we find also permissions and dispensations which concern either the laity or the ecclesiastics, and for the obtaining of which payment was to be made, as is also the custom in the present day in several cases. This ecclesiastical budget is entitled: “Taxes of the Apostolic Chancery,” and “Taxes of the Holy Apostolic Penitentiary.” This monstrous abuse, as pernicious to morality as to religion, was, for several centuries, set working on a large scale, and procured considerable revenues to the court of Rome. To satisfy the reader’s curiosity, we give here an extract of a few of the articles which are found in this work: HBS 264.2

For a town to be entitled to coin money, 500 drachms (gros). HBS 264.3

Remission given to a rich man for the wealth which he has absconded with, 50d. HBS 264.4

For a poor man, 20d. HBS 264.5

For a layman not to be bound to observe fasts commanded by the church, and to eat cheese, 20d. HBS 264.6

For permission given to counts to eat meat and eggs on forbidden days, on account of their health, 12nd.... HBS 264.7

For exempting a layman from a vow thoughtlessly made, 12nd.... HBS 264.8

For enabling a king and queen to procure indulgences, as if they had been to Rome, 200d. HBS 264.9

For permission to have mass celebrated in a forbidden place, 10d. HBS 264.10

For absolution at the point of death, for one person, 14d.... HBS 264.11

For the absolution of any one practising usury in secret, 7d. HBS 264.12

For the absolution of any one who has been intimate with a woman in a church, and has done any other harm, 6d..... HBS 264.13

For the absolution of him who has connu charnellement any female of his kindred, 5d. HBS 264.14

For the absolution of him who has violated a virgin, 6d.... HBS 264.15

For the absolution of perjury, 6d. HBS 264.16

For the absolution of any one who has revealed the confession of another person, 7d.... HBS 264.17

For permission to eat meat, butter, eggs, and whatever is made of milk, during Lent or other fast days, 7d. HBS 264.18

For the absolution of him who has killed his father, mother, brother, sister; wife, or any other of his lay relations, 5 or 6d.... HBS 265.1

For the absolution of a husband who, beating his wife, causes abortion, 6d. HBS 265.2

For a woman who takes any beverage or employs any other means to cause her child to perish, 5d.... HBS 265.3

For an absolution for spoilers, incendiaries, thieves, and homicidal laymen, 8d. HBS 265.4

It would be supererogatory to give further extracts from a book which contains more than eight hundred cases subject to the apostolic tax.—“History of Auricular Confession,” Count C. P. de Lasteyrie, (2 vol. ed.) Vol. II, pp. 131-135. London: Richard Bentley, 1848. HBS 265.5

Indulgences, Some of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses Against.— HBS 265.6

5. The Pope has neither the will nor the power to remit any penalties, except those which he has imposed by his own authority, or by that of the canons.... HBS 265.7

27. They preach man, who say that the soul flies out of purgatory as soon as the money thrown into the chest rattles. HBS 265.8

28. It is certain that, when the money rattles in the chest, avarice and gain may be increased, but the suffrage of the church depends on the will of God alone.... HBS 265.9

32. Those who believe that, through letters of pardon, they are made sure of their own salvation, will be eternally damned along with their teachers.... HBS 265.10

35. They preach no Christian doctrine, who teach that contrition is not necessary for those who buy souls out of purgatory or buy confessional licenses.... HBS 265.11

39. It is a most difficult thing, even for the most learned theologians, to exalt at the same time in the eyes of the people the ample effect of pardons and the necessity of true contrition.... HBS 265.12

43. Christians should be taught that he who gives to a poor man, or lends to a needy man, does better than if he bought pardons.... HBS 265.13

50. Christians should be taught that, if the Pope were acquainted with the exactions of the preachers of pardons, he would prefer that the basilica of St. Peter should be burnt to ashes, than that it should be built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.... HBS 265.14

52. Vain is the hope of salvation through letters of pardon, even if a commissary-nay, the Pope himself-were to pledge his own soul for them.... HBS 265.15

56. The treasures of the church, whence the Pope grants indulgences, are neither sufficiently named nor known among the people of Christ.... HBS 265.16

66. The treasures of indulgences are nets, wherewith they now fish for the riches of men.—“Luther’s Primary Works,” Wace and Buchheim, pp. 414-419. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1896. HBS 265.17

Indulgences, Uncertainty of, for Souls in Purgatory.—There is this difference between indulgences gained for the living and the dead, that in the former case their effect is produced by way of absolution, and in the latter by way of suffrage. The church exercises direct authority over the faithful on earth; and when she absolves them from censures, from sin, or from the debt of punishment, the effect is infallible, provided the person so absolved be in proper dispositions. We are certain, therefore, in this case, that the fruit of the indulgence will be applied where there is no obstacle, because Christ has promised the church that “whatever she [sic] shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.” Matthew 16:19. It is an article of faith that the souls in purgatory are helped by our prayers; but the church does not exer cise the same authority over the faithful departed that she does over those upon earth. She cannot, therefore, directly release the suffering souls by absolving them from their debt of punishment; but she offers to God a satisfaction equal to that debt, and she begs him to accept it in their behalf. The indulgences thus gained will certainly not be lost, and should God not see fit to accept them in behalf of the particular souls for whom they are offered, he will not fail to allow them to serve for the benefit of others.—“A Manual of Instructions in Christian Doctrine,” edited by the late Provost Wenham, revised by the Rev. W. J. B. Richards, D. D., and the Rt. Rev. James Carr, V. G. (R. C.), 15th edition, pp. 359, 360. London: W. J. Cahill, 1901. HBS 265.18

Infallibility, Blasphemous in Character.—If the claims which are put forth by the bishops of Rome to infallibility and universal supremacy are not just,-we are compelled very reluctantly to say it,-then there is no alternative, they are nothing short of blasphemy. For they are claims to participation in the attributes of God himself. And if he does not authorize these claims, they are usurpations of his divine prerogatives. They therefore who abet those claims are fighting against him. They are defying him, who “is a jealous God, and will not give his honor to another,” and who is “a consuming fire.” May they therefore take heed in time, lest they incur his malediction!-“St. Hippolytus and the Church of Rome,” Chr. Wordsworth, D. D., p. 300. London: Rivingtons, 1880. HBS 266.1

Infallibility, Events Connected with Proclamation of.—It is also a remarkable coincidence, that the promulgation of the dogma of the personal infallibility of the Papacy by the present Pope, in the council which commenced its sessions on the festival of the Immaculate Conception, was followed on the next day after that promulgation (July 19, 1870) by the declaration of war on the part of France against Prussia; which has led to the sudden humiliation of France, the protectress of Rome, and to the withdrawal of the French troops from Rome, and to the opening of the gates of Rome to the forces of Victor Emmanuel. HBS 266.2

It is also worthy of notice that in the same year, 1870, on the very next day after the anniversary of the festival of the Immaculate Conception on which (in 1854) the novel dogma of the immaculate conception was promulgated, and on which (in 1869) the Vatican Council met, which has decreed the Pope’s infallibility,-a public document and manifesto was laid before the Italian Parliament, in which the government of the king of Italy announced a royal decree, accepting the city and provinces of Rome, transferred to the king by a plebiscito of the Roman people themselves, and in which it is declared that the Pope’s temporal power is extinct, and that Rome is no longer to be the metropolis of the Roman Papacy, but is henceforth to become, in lieu of Florence, the capital of the kingdom of Italy. HBS 266.3

These coincidences were undesigned; the principal actors in them thought nothing of the Apocalypse. HBS 266.4

But they who have that divine book in their hands, and who remember Christ’s command to “discern the signs of the times,” and who consider the blessing which is promised to those who read and meditate upon the Apocalypse, will mark these facts, and will observe these coincidences, and will inquire with reverence, whether the prophecies of the book of Revelation are not now receiving their accomplishment in Italy and at Rome.—“Union with Rome,” Chr. Wordsworth, D. D., pp. 98, 99. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1909. HBS 266.5

Infallibility, Significance of.—The sinlessness of the Virgin Mary and the personal infallibility of the Pope are the characteristic dogmas of modern Romanism, the two test dogmas which must decide the ultimate fate of this system. Both were enacted under the same Pope, and both faithfully reflect his character. Both have the advantage of logical consistency from certain premises, and seem to be the very perfection of the Romish form of piety and the Romish principle of authority. Both rest on pious fiction and fraud; both present a refined idolatry by clothing a pure, humble woman and a mortal, sinful man with divine attributes. The dogma of the immaculate conception, which exempts the Virgin Mary from sin and guilt, perverts Christianism into Marianism; the dogma of infallibility, which exempts the Bishop of Rome from error, resolves Catholicism into papalism, or the church into the pope. The worship of a woman is virtually substituted for the worship of Christ, and a man-god in Rome for the God-man in heaven. This is a severe judgment, but a closer examination will sus tain it. HBS 267.1

The dogma of the immaculate conception, being confined to the sphere of devotion, passed into the modern Roman creed without serious difficulty; but the dogma of papal infallibility, which involves a question of absolute power, forms an epoch in the history of Romanism, and created the greatest commotion and a new secession. It is in its very nature the most fundamental and most comprehensive of all dogmas. It contains the whole system in a nutshell. It constitutes a new rule of faith. It is the article of the standing or falling church. It is the direct antipode of the Protestant principle of the absolute supremacy and infallibility of the Holy Scriptures. It establishes a perpetual divine oracle in the Vatican. Every Catholic may hereafter say, I believe-not because Christ, or the Bible, or the church, but-because the infallible Pope has so declared and commanded. HBS 267.2

Admitting this dogma, we admit not only the whole body of doctrines contained in the Tridentine standards, but all the official papal bulls, including the medieval monstrosities of the Syllabus (1864), the condemnation of Jansenism, the bull Unam Sanctam of Boniface VIII (1302), which, under pain of damnation, claims for the Pope the double sword, the secular as well as the spiritual, over the whole Christian world, and the power to depose princes and to absolve subjects from their oath of allegiance. The past is irreversibly settled, and in all future controversies on faith and morals we must look to the same unerring tribunal in the Vatican. Even ecumenical councils are superseded hereafter, and would be a mere waste of time and strength. HBS 267.3

On the other hand, if the dogma is false, it involves a blasphemous assumption, and makes the nearest approach to the fulfilment of St. Paul’s prophecy of the man of sin, who “as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself off that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4).—“Rome and the Newest Fashions in Religion,” Hon. William E. Gladstone, pp. 83, 84. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1875. HBS 267.4

Infallibility, Dr. Döllinger on.—The root of the whole ultramontane habit of mind is the personal infallibility of the Pope, and accordingly the Jesuits declare it to be the wish of true Catholics that this dogma should be defined at the forthcoming council. If this desire is accomplished, a new principle of immeasurable importance, both retrospective and prospective, will be established-a principle which, when once irrevocably fixed, will extend its dominion over men’s minds more and more, till it has coerced them into subjection to every papal pronouncement in matters of religion, morals, politics, and social science. For it will be idle to talk any more of the Pope’s encroaching on a foreign domain; he, and he alone, as being infallible, will have the right of determining the limits of his teaching and action at his own good pleasure, and every such determination will bear the stamp of infallibility. [pp. 45, 46] ... HBS 267.5

Papal infallibility, once defined as a dogma, will give the impulse to a theological, ecclesiastical, and even political revolution, the nature of which very few-and least of all those who are urging it on-have clearly realized, and no hand of man will be able to stay its course. In Rome itself the saying will be verified, “Thou wilt shudder thyself at thy likeness to God.” HBS 268.1

In the next place, the newly coined article of faith will inevitably take root as the foundation and corner-stone of the whole Roman Catholic edifice. The whole activity of theologians will be concentrated on the one point of ascertaining whether or not a papal decision can be quoted for any given doctrine, and in laboring to discover, and amass proof for it from history and literature. Every other authority will pale beside the living oracle on the Tiber, which speaks with plenary inspiration, and can always be appealed to. HBS 268.2

What use in tedious investigations of Scripture, what use in wasting time on the difficult study of tradition, which requires so many kinds of preliminary knowledge, when a single utterance of the infallible Pope may shatter at a breath the labors of half a lifetime, and a telegraphic message to Rome will get an answer in a few hours or a few days, which becomes an axiom and article of faith? [pp. 47, 48] ... HBS 268.3

To prove the dogma of papal infallibility from church history, nothing less is required than a complete falsification of it. The declarations of popes which contradict the doctrines of the church, or contradict each other (as the same pope sometimes contradicts himself), will have to be twisted into agreement, so as to show that their heterodox or mutually destructive enunciations are at bottom sound doctrine, or, when a little has been subtracted from one dictum and added to the other, are not really contradictory, and mean the same thing.—“The Pope and the Council,” Janus (Dr. J. J. Ign. von Döllinger) (R. C.), pp. 45-50. London: Rivingtons, 1869. HBS 268.4

Even the boldest champions of papal absolutism, men like Agostino Trionfo [Augustinus de Ancona] and Alvaro Pelayo, assumed that the popes could err, and that their decisions were no certain criterion.... So, too, Cardinal Jacob Fournier, afterward pope, thought that papal decisions were by no means final, but might be overruled by another pope, and that John XXII had done well in annulling the offensive and doctrinally erroneous decision of Nicolas III on the poverty of Christ, and the distinction of use and possession.... And Innocent IV allowed that a papal command containing anything heretical, or threatening destruction to the whole church system, was not to be obeyed, and that a pope might err in matters of faith.—Id., pp. 272, 273. HBS 268.5

Note.—The standing of J. J. Ign. von Döllinger as a historian and a theologian will not be disputed by any one who is fairly well versed in the history of the Roman Church. It is well known that he persistently refused to subscribe to the dogma of infallibility, and that he was on this account excommunicated (April 18, 1871) by the church to which he had rendered such signal service. Using the pseudonym “Janus,” Dr. Döllinger wrote a book, “Der Pabst und der Konzil” (The Pope and the Council), in which he discussed the question of papal infallibility from the standpoint of both a theologian and a historian, and presented the most telling arguments against it. This book created a great stir in the council, and of course was speedily placed upon the papal Index.—Eds. HBS 268.6

Infallibility, Döllinger’s Rejection of.—As Christian, as theologian, as historian, as citizen, I cannot accept this doctrine. I cannot do so as a Christian, because it is incompatible with the spirit of the gospel, and with the lucid sayings of Christ and the apostles; it simply wishes to establish the kingdom of this world, which Christ declined to do, and to possess the sovereignty over the congregations, which Peter refused for every one else, as well as for himself. I cannot do so as a theologian, because the whole genuine tradition of the church stands irreconcilably opposed to it. I cannot do so as a historian, because, as such, I know that the persistent endeavors to realize this theory of a universal sovereignty has cost Europe streams of blood, distracted and ruined whole countries, shaken to its foundations the beautiful organic edifice of the constitution of the older church, and begotten, nursed, and maintained the worst abuses in the church. Finally, I must reject it as a citizen, because, with its claims on the submission of states and monarchs and the whole political order of things to the papal power, and by the exceptional position claimed by it for the clergy, it lays the foundation for an endless and fatal discord between the state and the church, between the clergy and the laity.—“Declarations and Letters on the Vatican Decrees,” Dr. J. J. Ign. von Döllinger (R. C.), p. 103. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1891. HBS 268.7

Infallibility, Excerpt from Archbishop Kenrick’s Famous Speech Against.—I say that the infallibility of the Pope is not a doctrine of faith. HBS 269.1

1. It is not contained in the symbols of the faith; it is not presented as an article of faith in the catechisms; and it is not found as such in any document of public worship. Therefore the church has not hitherto taught it as a thing to be believed of faith; as, if it were a doctrine of faith, it ought to have delivered and taught it. HBS 269.2

2. Not only has not the church taught it in any public instrument, but it has suffered it to be impugned, not everywhere, but, with the possible exception of Italy, almost everywhere in the world, and that for a long time.—“An Inside View of the Vatican Council,” Speech of Archbishop Kenrick, p. 139. New York: American Tract Society. HBS 269.3

Note.—Among “the most illustrious and learned prelates and scholars of the Roman communion” who strenuously opposed the doctrine of the dogma of infallibility, were the Archbishop of Paris, the Bishop of Orleans, the Bishop of Rottenburg (Charles Joseph Hefele, the author of the celebrated “History of Church Councils”), the Archbishop of St. Louis, and J. J. Ign. von Döllinger, the well-known historian and theologian. Peter Richard Kenrick, Archbishop of St. Louis, prepared a speech to be delivered in the Vatican Council, but as he was prevented from delivering this speech by the sudden and unexpected closing of the debate, it was printed and circulated among the bishops at the council. The original of this famous speech is found in “Documenta ad Illustrandum Concilium Vaticanum,“ part 1, pp. 189-226. A translation of it is found in “The Vatican Council,” issued by the American Tract Society, New York, pp. 95-166.—Eds. HBS 269.4

Infallibility, The Testimony of History Concerning.—As to concrete examples of the fallibility of the Pope, even when speaking ex cathedra, scholars, Roman Catholic as well as Protestant, have supplied us with enough to convince any one whose mind is not closed against conviction. HBS 269.5

Two popes of the third century, Zephyrinus and Callistus, were guilty of heresy in relation to the person of our Lord, according to the testimony of Hippolytus, saint and martyr. HBS 269.6

Pope Liberius (a. d. 358) subscribed an Arian creed and condemned Athanasius, the great champion of the divinity of Christ. HBS 269.7

Pope Zosimus gave the stamp of orthodoxy to the Pelagian heresy, but afterward, under pressure from St. Augustine, reversed his decision. HBS 269.8

Pope Vigilius (538-555), having been repudiated by the fifth ecumenical council, made his submission to the council and confessed that he had been the tool of Satan. HBS 269.9

Pope Honorius I (625-638) taught ex cathedrâ the Monothelite heresy, and was excommunicated as a heretic by an ecumenical council-universally acknowledged both in the East and in the West-which assembled in Constantinople in 680. Their anathema was repeated by the seventh and eighth ecumenical councils. And finally the succeeding popes for three hundred years pronounced “an eternal anathema” on Pope Honorius, thus recognizing both the justice of his condemnation and also the principle that a general council may condemn a pope for heresy. HBS 270.1

All attempts to escape the iron grasp of the facts of history in this crucial instance of the breakdown of the theory of papal infallibility have failed conspicuously.—“Romanism in the Light of History,” Randolph H. McKim, D. D., pp. 133, 134. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1914. HBS 270.2

Alvaro Pelayo, who, next to Augustine of Ancona [Augustinus Triumphus], furthered the aggrandizement of the papal power, with the greatest zeal, beyond all previous bounds, and almost beyond all limits whatever, in his great work on the condition of the church, makes mention of the judgment which came upon Anastasius, in order to prove his dictum that a heretical pope must receive a far heavier sentence than any other. Occam, also, makes use of the “heretical” Anastasius as an instance to prove, what was his main point, that the church erred by his recognition. The Council of Basle in like manner, with a view to establishing the necessary supremacy of an ecumenical council over the Pope, did not fail to appeal to the fact that popes who did not obey the church were treated by her as heathens and publicans, as one reads of Liberius and Anastasius. HBS 270.3

“The Pope,” says Domenicus dei Domenici, Bishop of Torcello, somewhat later, in a letter addressed to Pope Calixtus III (1455-58), “the Pope by himself alone is not an infallible rule of faith, for some popes have erred in faith, as, for example, Liberius and Anastasius II, and the latter was in consequence punished by God.” After him the Belgian John le Maire, also, says (about 1515) Liberius and Anastasius are the two popes of ancient times, who, subsequent to the Donation of Constantine, obtained an infamous reputation in the church as heretics.—“Fables Respecting the Popes of the Middle Ages,” J. J. Ign. von Döllinger (R. C.), pp. 219, 220. London: Rivingtons, 1871. HBS 270.4

Infallibility, Silence Concerning, for Many Centuries.—Some explanation is imperatively needed of the strange phenomenon, that an opinion according to which Christ has made the Pope of the day the one vehicle of his inspirations, the pillar and exclusive organ of divine truth, without whom the church is like a body without a soul, deprived of the power of vision, and unable to determine any point of faith-that such an opinion, which is for the future to be a sort of dogmatic Atlas carrying the whole edifice of faith and morals on its shoulders, should have first been certainly ascertained in the year of grace 1869, but is from henceforth to be placed as a primary article of faith at the head of every catechism. HBS 270.5

For thirteen centuries an incomprehensible silence on this fundamental article reigned throughout the whole church and her literature. None of the ancient confessions of faith, no catechism, none of the patristic writings composed for the instruction of the people, contain a syllable about the Pope, still less any hint that all certainty of faith and doctrine depends on him. For the first thousand years of church history not a question of doctrine was finally decided by the Pope. The Roman bishops took no part in the commotions which the numerous Gnostic sects, the Montanists and Chiliasts, produced in the early church, nor can a single dogmatic decree issued by one of them be found during the first four centuries, nor a trace of the existence of any. Even the controversy about Christ kindled by Paul of Samosata, which occupied the whole Eastern Church for a long time and necessitated the assembling of several councils, was terminated without the Pope taking any part in it. So again in the chain of controversies and discussions connected with the names of Theodotus, Artemon, Noetus, Sabellius, Beryllus, and Lucian of Antioch, which troubled the whole church, and extended over nearly one hundred fifty years, there is no proof that the Roman bishops acted beyond the limits of their own local church, or accomplished any dogmatic result. The only exception is the dogmatic treatise of the Roman bishop Dionysius, following a synod held at Rome in 262, denouncing and rejecting Sabellianism and the opposite method of expression of Dionysius of Alexandria. This document, if any authority had been ascribed to it, was well fitted in itself to cut short, or rather strangle at its birth, the long Arian disturbance; but it was not known out of Alexandria, and exercised no influence whatever on the later course of the controversy. It is only known from the fragments quoted afterward by Athanasius. HBS 270.6

In three controversies during this early period the Roman Church took an active part,-the question about Easter, about heretical baptism, and about the penitential discipline. In all three the popes were unable to carry out their own will and view and practice, and the other churches maintained their different usage without its leading to any permanent division. Pope Victor’s attempt to compel the churches of Asia Minor to adopt the Roman usage, by excluding them from his communion, proved a failure.—“The Pope and the Council,” Janus (J. J. Ign. von Döllinger) (R. C.,), pp. 63-66. London: Rivingtons, 1869. HBS 271.1

Infallibility, Opposition to, in the Sixteenth Century.—Out of Italy, the hypothesis of infallibility had but few adherents even in the sixteenth century, till the Jesuits began to exercise a powerful influence. In Spain, the subjection of a pope to a council, in accordance with the decrees of Constance and Basle, had been maintained, as late as the fifteenth century, by the most distinguished theologian of his country, Alfonso Madrigal, named Tostado. The Spanish bishop, Andrew Escobar, went further in the same direction. It was the Inquisition which first brought the doctrine of the Roman Jesuits into universal prevalence there, by making all contradiction impossible. HBS 271.2

In Germany, before the Jesuits had gained the control of the universities and courts, the theologians, who were contending against Protestantism, stood entirely on the side of the councils. They saw with what terrible weapons the adoption of papal infallibility armed Protestantism against the Catholic Church, and how it robbed her of her prerogative of dogmatic immutability. Cochlaus, Witzel, and Bishop Nausea of Vienna rejected it. “It would be too perilous,” says the latter, “to make our faith dependent on the judgment of a single individual; the whole earth is greater than the city.”-Id., pp. 379, 380. HBS 271.3

Infallibility, Contradicted by Actions of Various Popes.—Innocent VIII had already, in 1486, acknowledged the orthodoxy of the Paris University, at a time when the theologians Almain and Johannes Major declared in its name that it branded as heresy the doctrine of the superiority of the Pope to a council, and this was universally taught in France and Germany. The Cardinal of Lorraine made a similar statement at the Council of Trent, without its provoking any contradiction. HBS 271.4

Adrian VI was elected Pope, although it was notorious that, as professor, of theology at Louvain, he had maintained in his principal work that several popes had been heretical, and that it was certainly possible for a Pope to establish a heresy by his decisions or decretals. The phenomenon of a Pope so wholly destitute of any consciousness of infallibility that as Pope he had his work denying it reprinted in Rome, was not without its effect. Men could still venture in Italy to defend the authority and decrees of the two councils, and reject the papal system as untenable on historical and canonical grounds. This was proved by the work of Bishop Ugoni of Famagusta, which received the commendation and assent of Paul III, in spite of his contradicting Torquemada, and maintaining the judicial authority of councils over popes. And again, it is clear from the whole contents of the famous and outspoken memorial on the state of the church in Rome and Italy, drawn up by the Cardinals Caraffa, Pole, Sadolet, and Contarini, with the assistance of Fregoso, Giberto, Aleandro, Badia, and Cortese, that they had very distinctly realized the ecclesiastical errors, mistakes, and false principles of the popes, and were by no means addicted to the hypothesis of papal infallibility. When they describe the misery brought upon the whole church through the blindness of the popes, its desolation, nay downfall, caused by the false doctrines of papal omnipotence and absolutism, they were certainly far from supposing that Christ has bestowed on every pope the privilege of strengthening his brethren by his dogmatic infallibility, while he is weakening and dismembering the whole church by his perverse ordinances.—“The Pope and the Council,” Janus (Dr. J. J. Ign. von Döllinger) (R. C.), pp. 375-377. London: Rivingtons, 1869. HBS 272.1

Infallibility, Condemnation of Pope Honorius Recorded in the Early Roman Breviaries.—The condemnation of Pope Honorius for heresy is recorded in the Roman Breviaries until the sixteenth century, at which period the name Honorius suddenly disappears. The theory of papal infallibility was at that time being rapidly developed. A fact opposed it. The evidence for the fact is suppressed. “I have before me,” writes Pere Gratry, “a Roman Breviary of 1520, printed at Turin, in which, on the feast of St. Leo, June 28, I find the condemnation of Honorius: In which synod were condemned Sergius, Cyrus, Honorius, Pyrrhus, Paul, and Peter, ... who asserted and proclaimed one will and operation in our Lord Jesus Christ. HBS 272.2

“I open the Roman Breviary of today,” he continues, “and there I find in the instruction of St. Leo (June 28): In this council were condemned Cyrus, Sergius, and Pyrrhus, who preached only one will and operation in Christ. The trifling incident of a Pope condemned for heresy by an ecumenical council is simply omitted by the revisers of the Breviary in the sixteenth century. Father Garnier, in his edition of the Liber Diurnus, says, with a gentle irony, that they omitted it for the sake of brevity.—“Pope Honorius,” Willis; cited inRoman Catholic Claims,” Charles Gore, D. D., D. C. L., LL. D., p. 111, footnote. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1909. HBS 272.3

Infallibility, The Case of Vigilius.—Pope Vigilius [538-555] was less happy in the dispute about the “Three Chapters”-the writings of Theodore, Theodoret, and Ibas, which were held to be Nestorian,-which he first pronounced orthodox in 546, then condemned the next year; and thus again reversed this sentence in deference to the Western bishops, and then came into conflict with the fifth General Council, which excommunicated him. Finally, he submitted to the judgment of the council, declaring that he had unfortunately been a tool in the hands of Satan, who labors for the destruction of the church, and had thus been divided from his colleagues, but God had now enlightened him. Thus he thrice contradicted himself: first he anathematized those who condemned the Three Chapters as erroneous; then he anathematized those who held them to be orthodox, as he had just before himself held them to be; soon after he condemned the condemnation of the Three Chapters; and lastly, the emperor and council triumphed again over the fickle Pope.—“The Pope and the Council,” Janus (Dr. J. J. Ign. von Döllinger) (R. C.), pp. 72, 73. London: Rivingtons, 1869. HBS 272.4

Infallibility, The Heresy of Liberius.—Liberius purchased his return from exile from the emperor by condemning Athanasius, and subscribing an Arian creed. “Anathema to thee, Liberius!” was then the cry of zealous Catholic bishops like Hilary of Poitiers. This apostasy of Liberius sufficed, through the whole of the Middle Ages, for a proof that popes could fall into heresy as well as other people.—Id., p. 68. HBS 273.1

Infallibility, Newman’s Celebrated Letter on.—As to myself personally, please God, I do not expect any trial at all; but I cannot help suffering with the many souls who are suffering, and I look with anxiety at the prospect of having to defend decisions which may not be difficult to my own private judgment, but may be most difficult to maintain logically in the face of historical facts. HBS 273.2

What have we done to be treated as the faithful never were treated before? When has a definition de fide been a luxury of devotion and not a stern, painful necessity? Why should an aggressive, insolent faction [evidently meaning the Jesuits-Eds.] be allowed to “make the heart of the just sad, whom the Lord hath not made sorrowful”? Why cannot we be let alone when we have pursued peace and thought no evil? [p. 356] ... HBS 273.3

Then, again, think of the store of pontifical scandals in the history of eighteen centuries, which have partly been poured forth and partly are still to come. What Murphy inflicted upon us in one way, M. Veuillot is indirectly bringing on us in another. And then again, the blight which is falling upon the multitude of Anglican ritualists, etc., who themselves, perhaps-at least their leaders-may never become Catholics, but who are leavening the various English denominations and parties (far beyond their own range) with principles and sentiments tending toward their ultimate absorption into the Catholic Church. HBS 273.4

With these thoughts ever before me, I am continually asking myself whether I ought not to make my feelings public; but all I do is to pray those early doctors of the church, whose intercession would decide the matter (Augustine, Ambrose, and Jerome, Athanasius, Chrysostom, and Basil), to avert this great calamity. HBS 273.5

If it is God’s will that the Pope’s infallibility be defined, then is it God’s will to throw back “the times and moments” of that triumph which he has destined for his kingdom, and I shall feel I have but to bow my head to his adorable, inscrutable providence.—Extract from a Letter from John Henry Newman to Bishop Ullathorne;Letters from Rome,” Quirinus (Lord Acton) (R. C.), pp. 356-358. London: Rivingtons, 1870. HBS 273.6

Note.—Among the most noted converts from the Church of England to the Roman Catholic Church was John Henry Newman, who was made cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879. This letter was written by him when it appeared likely that the Vatican Council would adopt the decree of infallibility.—Eds. HBS 273.7

Infallibility, View of, Before 1870.—Thus, the visible church, from the point of view here taken, is the Son of God himself, everlastingly manifesting himself among men in a human form, perpetually renovated, and eternally young-the permanent incarnation of the same, as in Holy Writ, even the faithful are called “the body of Christ.” Hence it is evident that the church, though composed of men, is yet not purely human. Nay, as in Christ the divinity and the humanity are to be clearly distinguished, though both are bound in unity; so is he in undivided entireness perpetuated in the church. The church, his permanent manifestation, is at once divine and human-she is the union of both. He it is who, concealed under earthly and human forms, works in the church; and this is wherefore she has a divine and a human part in an undivided mode, so that the divine cannot be separated from the human, nor the human from the divine. Hence these two parts change their predicates. If the divine-the living Christ and his Spirit-constitute undoubtedly that which is infallible, and eternally inerrable in the church; so also the human is infallible and inerrable in the same way, because the divine without the human has no existence for us; yet the human is not inerrable in itself, but only as the organ and as the manifestation of the divine. Hence we are enabled to conceive how so great, important, and mysterious a charge could have been intrusted to men.—“Symbolism,” John Adam Moehler, D. D. (R. C.), p. 259. London: Thomas Baker, 1906. HBS 273.8

Note.—This book was first printed in 1832.—Eds. HBS 274.1

Infallibility, and the Catechism Before 1870.—Question.-Must not Catholics believe the Pope in himself to be infallible? HBS 274.2

Answer.-This is a Protestant invention; it is no article of the Catholic faith; no decision of his can oblige, under pain of heresy, unless it be received and enforced by the teaching body, that is, by the bishops of the church.—“A Doctrinal Catechism,” Rev. Stephen Keenan (previous to 1870). New York: Edward Dunigan & Brother, 1851. HBS 274.3

Do we believe that, as a consequence of this primacy, the Pope is infallible and may decide as Christ himself, as the non-Catholics allege? HBS 274.4

No. The Pope possesses in controversies of faith only a judicial decision, which can only become an article of faith when the church gives its concurrence.—“Catechism of the Catholic Religion,” Krautheimer, p. 87. HBS 274.5

Note.—As remarked by Dr. Döllinger (“The Pope and the Council,” p. 76), “Up to the time of the Isidorian Decretals [about 850 a. d.] no serious attempt was made anywhere to introduce the Neo-Roman theory of infallibility.” Even thereafter, and until the Vatican Council (1870), papal infallibility was not generally taught in Catholic catechisms, as is witnessed by the two questions and answers given under this heading.—Eds. HBS 274.6

Infallibility, Unlimited Power of.—It is the whole fulness of power over the collective church, as well as over every individual, claimed by the popes since Gregory VII, and expressed in the numerous bulls since Unam Sanctam, which is henceforth to be believed by every Catholic, and acknowledged in public life. This power is boundless and incalculable; it can interfere everywhere, as Innocent III says, where sin is, can punish everybody, brooks no appeal, and is absolute arbitrariness; for the Pope, as Boniface VIII expressed it, carries every privilege in the shrine of his breast. As he has become infallible, he can, at any moment, with the one little word orbi (thereby addressing the whole church), make every statute, every doctrine, and every postulate, an infallible and irrevocable article of faith. As opposed to him, there exists no right, no personal or corporative freedom, or, as the canonists say, “the tribunals of God and the Pope are one and the same.”-“Declarations and Letters on the Vatican Decrees,” Dr. J. J. Ign. von Döllinger (R. C.), p. 102. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1891. HBS 274.7

Infallibility and the Infallible Book.—In one of the popular controversial works upon which Roman Catholics greatly rely (“The Faith of Our Fathers,” by Cardinal Gibbons), the following argument is employed, and the poor Protestant is shown that his “infallible Bible” is of no use whatever without an infallible interpreter. I will place in parallel columns the cardinal’s argument turned against his own doctrine: HBS 275.1

The Cardinal to the ProtestantThe Protestant to the Roman Catholic
“Let us see, sir, whether an infallible Bible is sufficient for you. Either you are infallibly certain that your interpretation of that Bible is correct, or you are not.“Let us see, my friend, whether an infallible pope is sufficient for you. Either you are infallibly certain that your interpretation of the meaning and extent of the dogma of infallibility is correct, or you are not.
“If you are infallibly certain, then you assert for yourself, and, of course, for every reader of the Scripture, a personal infallibility which you deny to the Pope, and which we claim only for him. You make every man his own pope.“If you are infallibly certain, then you assert for yourself, and, of course, for every Roman Catholic, a personal infallibility. You make every Roman Catholic his own pope.
“If you are not infallibly certain that you understand the true meaning of the whole Bible,-and this is a privilege you do not claim,-then, I ask, of what use to you is the objective infallibility of the Bible, without an infallible interpreter?”-Page 155.“If you are not infallibly certain that you understand the scope and meaning of the dogma of nfallibility,-and how can you make such a claim, when the great scholars and princes of the church differ about it so widely?-then, I ask, of what use to you is the dogma of infallibility without an infallible interpreter of its scope and intent?”

The logical dilemma is a dangerous bull, for he will sometimes turn and gore his own master!-“Romanism in the Light of History,” Randolph H. McKim, D. D., pp. 139, 140. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1914. HBS 275.2

Infallibility, Based upon Fictions and Forgeries.—In a memorial, which has now been printed, a considerable number of Italian bishops demanded that the papal infallibility should be raised to an article of faith, because it had been taught by two men, both of whom were Italians and the pride of their nation, viz., those two bright shining lights of the church, Thomas Aquinas and Alphonse of Liguori. Now, it was well known, and had already been noticed by Gratry as well as by myself, that Aquinas had been deluded by a long series of invented evidences, as he, indeed, in proof of his doctrine, only appeals to such forgeries, and never to the genuine passages of the Fathers or councils. And as far as Liguori is concerned, one glance at his writings is sufficient to show an experienced theologian that he handled forged passages in a much worse way than Aquinas. HBS 275.3

My reference to the fraud of which Thomas had been a victim, had caused a great sensation in Rome; the author of a paper that was at that time written in Rome, and directed against me, says that round about him it was received with cries of disapproval. It would accordingly have been unavoidably necessary to subject the matter to examination. This examination, it is true, had it been comprehensive and thorough, would have led very far; it would have produced the result that the theory of papal infallibility had been introduced into the church only by a long chain of purposeful fictions and forgeries, and had then been propagated and confirmed by violence, by suppression of the old doctrine, and by the manifold ways and means that are at the disposal of a sovereign.—“Declarations and Letters on the Vatican Decrees,” Dr. J. J. Ign. von Döllinger (R. C.), pp. 94-96. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1891. HBS 275.4

Infallibility, A Monstrosity.—The Allgemeine Augsburger Zeitung of August 15 [1870] delivered this judgment: “The monstrosity has taken place. The paramount party in the church has committed the crime of declaring to be a heresy the oldest principle of the Catholic faith, that revealed truth is made known only by the continuous consent of all churches, and, on the other hand, has declared as a dogma by the mouth of the unhappy Pius IX the crazy opinion of mere human origin that the Pope by himself is infallible.”-“Handbook to the Controversy with Rome,” Karl von Hase, Vol. I, pp. 311, 312. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1909. HBS 276.1

Infallibility, Difficulties of.—At this moment Roman theologians are at hopeless variance on three questions raised by this decree: HBS 276.2

1. When does the Pope speak ex cathedrâ? HBS 276.3

2. How is the fact to be known publicly? HBS 276.4

3. What is “that infallibility,” in kind or degree, mentioned? HBS 276.5

And some of the difficulties which encompass the subject may be gathered from the subjoined extract from a pastoral of the hyperultramontane Cardinal Dechamps of Mechlin, dated Dec. 8, 1879, and intended to minimize the force of Leo XIII’s disapproval of his policy: HBS 276.6

“Infallibility is not what is alleged by the editors of certain papers, the members of certain parliaments, the professors of certain universities, and sometimes also by lawyers and soldiers. No; for the Pope is not infallible when he expresses only his own ideas, but he is infallible when, as head of the church, he defines truths contained in the depository of revelation, the Scriptures and tradition. The Pope is not infallible when he judges purely personal questions; but he is so when he judges doctrinal questions affecting faith or morals; that is to say, revealed truth or revealed law, the Pope being infallible only when he rests on the testimony of God or revelation. The Pope is not infallible when he treats as a private doctor questions even of doctrine, but when he judges by virtue of his apostolic authority that a doctrine affecting revealed truth and revealed law ought to be held by the universal church.”-“Plain Reasons Against Joining the Church of Rome,” Richard Frederick Littledale, LL. D., D. C. L., pp. 186, 187. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1905. HBS 276.7

Infallibility, Effect of.—One can scarcely open any book that attempts to deal with controversy by such a Roman Catholic as, for instance, Cardinal Manning, without being forced to observe how his faith in the infallibility of the present church makes him impenetrable to all arguments. Suppose, for example, the question in dispute is the Pope’s personal infallibility, and that you object to him the case of Honorius: he replies, At most you could make out that it is doubtful whether Honorius was orthodox; but it is certain that a pope, could not be a heretic. Well, you reply, at least the case of Honorius shows that the church of the time supposed that a pope could be a heretic. Not so, he answers, for the church now holds that a pope speaking ex cathedrâ cannot err, and the church could not have taught differently at any other time. HBS 276.8

Thus, as long as any one really believes in the infallibility of his church, he is proof against any argument you can ply him with. Conversely, when faith in this principle is shaken, belief in some other Roman Catholic doctrine is sure also to be disturbed; for there are some of these doctrines in respect of which nothing but a very strong belief that the Roman Church cannot decide wrongly will prevent a candid inquirer from coming to the conclusion that she has decided wrongly. This simplification, then, of the controversy realizes for us the wish of the Roman tyrant that all his enemies had but one neck. If we can but strike one blow, the whole battle is won.—“The Infallibility of the Church,” George Salmon, D. D., p. 18. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1914. HBS 277.1

Interdict.—An interdict is a censure, or prohibition, excluding the faithful from participation in certain holy things (D’Annibale, “Summula,” I, n. 369). These holy things are all those pertaining to Christian worship, and are divided into three classes: (1) The divine offices, in other words, the liturgy, and in general all acts performed by clerics as such, and having reference to worship; (2) the sacraments, excepting private administrations of those that are of necessity; (3) ecclesiastical burial, including all funeral services. This prohibition varies in degree, according to the different kinds of interdicts to be enumerated: HBS 277.2

First, interdicts are either local or personal; the former affect territories or sacred buildings directly, and persons indirectly; the latter directly affect persons. Canonical authors add a third kind, the mixed interdict, which affects directly and immediately both persons and places; if, for instance, the interdict is issued against a town and its inhabitants, the latter are subject to it, even when they are outside of the town (arg. cap. xvi, “De sent. excomm.” in VI°). Local interdicts, like personal interdicts, may be general or particular. A general local interdict is one affecting a whole territory, district, town, etc., and this was the ordinary interdict of the Middle Ages; a particular local interdict is one affecting, for example, a particular church. A general personal interdict is one falling on a given body or group of people as a class, e. g., on a chapter, the clergy or people of a town, of a community; a particular personal interdict is one affecting certain individuals as such, for instance, a given bishop, a given cleric. Finally, the interdict is total if the prohibition extends to all the sacred things mentioned above; otherwise it is called partial.—The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, art.Interdict,” p. 73. HBS 277.3

Interdict, Defined.—Interdict: The prohibition of public worship and of the administration of the sacraments (interdictum officiorum divinorum), as an ecclesiastical penalty. An interdictum locale applies to a definite place or district; an interdictum personale, to definite persons. The former is the more frequent, especially the interdictum generate, which the medieval popes pronounced against whole countries in their conflicts with secular rulers.—The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. VI, art.Interdict,” p. 21. HBS 277.4

Interdict, Effect of.—The Pope by a stroke of the pen could prevent a whole nation, so it was believed, from approaching God, because he could prohibit priests from performing the usual sacramental acts which alone brought Him near. An interdict meant spiritual death to the district on which it fell, and on the medieval theory it was more deadly to the spiritual life than the worst of plagues, the black death itself, was to the body. An interdict made the plainest intellect see, understand, and shudder at the awful and mysterious powers which a mediatorial priesthood was said to possess.—“A History of the Reformation,” Thomas M. Lindsay, M. A., D. D., p. 440. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1906. HBS 277.5

The interdict was directed against a city, province, or kingdom. Throughout the region under this ban the churches were closed; no bell could be rung, no marriage celebrated, no burial ceremony performed. The sacraments of baptism and extreme unction alone could be administered.—“Mediaval and Modern History,” Philip Van Ness Myers, p. 117. Boston: Ginn & Co., revised, copyright 1919. HBS 278.1

Isaiah and His Prophecies.—The uniform tradition of the Jews is, that the sacred books were finally collected and arranged by Ezra under the guidance of divine inspiration, and that among them a prominent place, and for the most part the first place, has been always held by a book bearing the name of Isaiah. HBS 278.2

The name Isaiah is a compound word denoting the salvation of Jehovah, to which some imagine that the prophet himself alludes in chapter 8:18. The abbreviated form [Hebrew word] is never applied in Scripture to the prophet, though the rabbins employ it in titles and inscriptions. Both forms of the name are applied in the Old Testament to other persons, in all which cases the English version employs a different orthography, viz. Jeshaiah or Jesaiah. In the New Testament our version writes the name Esaias, after the example of the Vulgate, varying slightly from the Greek [Greek word transliterated as follows] [Hsaias] used both in the Septuagint and the New Testament. To the name of the pr ophet we find several times added that of his father Amoz. Of his domestic circumstances we know merely that his wife and two of his sons are mentioned by himself (ch. 7:3; 8:3, 4) to which some add a third, as we shall see below. HBS 278.3

The only historical account of this prophet is contained in the book which bears his name, and in the parallel passages of Second Kings, which exhibit unequivocal signs of being from the hand of the same writer. The first sentence of Isaiah’s own book assigns as the period of his ministry the four successive reigns of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, one of the most eventful periods in the history of Judah. The two first reigns here mentioned were exceedingly prosperous, although a change for the worse appears to have commenced before the death of Jotham, and continued through the reign of Ahaz, bringing the state to the very verge of ruin, from which it was not restored to a prosperous condition until long after the accession of Hezekiah. During this period the kingdom of the ten tribes, which had flourished greatly under Jeroboam II, for many years contemporary with Uzziah, passed through the hands of a succession of usurpers, and was at length overthrown by the Assyrians, in the sixth year of Hezekiah’s reign over Judah. HBS 278.4

Among the neighboring powers, with whom Israel was more or less engaged in conflict during these four reigns, the most important were Damascene Syria, Moab, Edom, and the Philistines, who although resident within the allotted bounds of Judah, still endeavored to maintain their position as an independent and a hostile nation. But the foreign powers which chiefly influenced the condition of Southwestern Asia during this period, were the two great empires of Assyria in the east and Egypt in the southwest. By a rapid succession of important conquests, the former had suddenly acquired a magnitude and strength which it had not possessed for ages, if at all. Egypt had been subdued, at least in part, by Ethiopia; but this very event, by combining the forces of two great nations, had given unexampled strength to the Ethiopian dynasty in Upper Egypt. The mutual jealousy and emulation between this state and Assyria, naturally tended to make Palestine, which lay between them, a theater of war, at least at intervals, for many years. It also led the kings of Israel and Judah to take part in the contentions of these two great powers, and to secure themselves by uniting, sometimes with Egypt against Assyria, sometimes with Assyria against Egypt. It was this inconstant policy that hastened the destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes, and exposed that of Judah to imminent peril. Against this policy the prophets, and especially Isaiah, were commissioned to remonstrate, not only as unworthy in itself, but as implying a distrust of God’s protection, and indifference to the fundamental law of the theocracy. The Babylonian monarchy began to gather strength before the end of this period, but was less conspicuous, because not yet permanently independent of Assyria. HBS 278.5

The two most remarkable conjunctures in the history of Judah during Isaiah’s ministry are the invasion of the combined force of Syria and Israel in the reign of Ahaz, followed by the destruction of the kingdom of the ten tribes, and the Assyrian invasion in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah, ending in the miraculous destruction of Sennacherib’s army and his own ignominious flight. The historical interest of this important period is further heightened by the fact that two of the most noted eras in chronology fall within it, to wit, the era of Nabonassar, and that computed from the building of Rome. HBS 279.1

The length of Isaiah’s public ministry is doubtful. The aggregate duration of the four reigns mentioned in the title is above one hundred and twelve years; but it is not said that he prophesied throughout the whole reign either of Uzziah or Hezekiah. Some, it is true, have inferred that his ministry was coextensive with the whole reign of Uzziah, because he is said to have written the history of that prince (2 Chronicles 26:22), which he surely might have done without being strictly his contemporary, just as he may have written that of Hezekiah to a certain date (2 Chronicles 32:32), and yet have died before him. Neither of these incidental statements can be understood as throwing any light upon the question of chronology. Most writers, both among the Jews and Christians, understood the first verse of the sixth chapter as determining the year of King Uzziah’s death to be the first of Isaiah’s public ministry. [pp. 7-10] ... HBS 279.2

If we reckon from the last year of Uzziah to the fourteenth of Hezekiah, the last in which we find any certain historical traces of Isaiah. we obtain as the minimum of his prophetic ministry a period of forty-seven years, and this, supposing that he entered on it even at the age of thirty, would leave him at his death less than eighty years old. And even if it be assumed that he survived Hezekiah, and continued some years under his successor, the length of his life will after all be far less than that of Jehoiada, the high priest, who died in the reign of Joash at the age of 130 years. 2 Chronicles 24:15. HBS 279.3

The Jews have a positive tradition that he did die in the reign or Manasseh, and as victim of the bloody persecutions by which that king is said to have filled Jerusalem with innocent blood from one end to the other. 2 Kings 21:16. This tradition is received as true by several of the Fathers, who suppose it to be clearly alluded to in Hebrews 11:37. [pp. 10, 11]-“Isaiah Translated and Explained,” Joseph Addison Alexander, Vol. I, pp. 7-11. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1887. HBS 279.4

Isidorian Decretals.—False Decretals, or the Decretals of the Pseudo-Isidore, is a name given to certain apocryphal papal letters contained in a collection of canon laws composed about the middle of the ninth century by an author who uses the pseudonym of Isidore Mercator, in the opening preface to the collection.... HBS 279.5

Nowadays every one agrees that these so-called papal letters are forgeries. These documents, to the number of about one hundred, appeared suddenly in the ninth century and are nowhere mentioned before that time. The most ancient MSS. of them that we have are from the ninth century, and their method of composition, of which we shall treat later, shows that they were made up of passages and quotations of which we know the sources; and we are thus in a position to prove that the Pseudo-Isidore makes use of documents written long after the times of the popes to whom he attributes them. Thus it happens that popes of the first three centuries are made to quote documents that did not appear until the fourth or fifth century; and later popes up to Gregory I (590-604) are found employing documents dating from the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries, and the early part of the ninth. Then again there are endless anachronisms. The Middle Ages were deceived by this huge forgery, but during the Renaissance men of learning and the canonists generally began to recognize the fraud.—The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. V, art.False Decretals,” p. 773. HBS 279.6

Isidorian Decretals, Time of.—The era of the false decretals has not been precisely fixed; they have seldom been supposed, however, to have appeared much before 800. But there is a genuine collection of canons published by Adrian I in 785, which contains nearly the same principles, and many of which are copied by Isidore, as well as Charlemagne in his Capitularies.... Fleury (Hist. Ecclés., t. ix. p. 500) seems to consider the decretals as older than this collection of Adrian; but I have not observed the same opinion in any other writer.—“History of Europe During the Middle Ages,” Henry Hallam, Vol. II, p. 98, note, revised edition. New York and London: The Colonial Press, 1900. HBS 280.1

Isidorian Decretals, Time and Contents of.—About the middle of the ninth century appeared gradually an Isidorian collection, enlarged with many false decretals, whose object generally tended to counteract the oppression and the disorder of the clergy as well as ecclesiastical irregularities generally, which were the consequences of political divisions and disturbances under the successors of Charlemagne. [pp. 324, 325] ... They must have been written between 829 and 845 in eastern France; and were first published, in a pretended Isidorian collection which Archbishop Riculf (786-814) is said to have brought from Spain, at Mainz, in the time of Archbishop Autcarius (826-847). They were soon circulated in various collections, appealed to without suspicion in public transactions, and used by the popes, from Nicolaus P, immediately after he had become acquainted with them (864), without any opposition being made to their authenticity, and continued in undiminished reputation till the Reformation led to the detection of the cheat. On these false decretals were founded the pretensions of the popes to universal sway in the church; while the pretended donatio Constantini M. [donation of Constantine], a fiction of an earlier time, but soon adopted into them, was the first step from which the Papacy endeavored to elevate itself even above the state.—“A Compendium of Ecclesiastical History,” Dr. John C. L. Gieseler, Vol. II, pp. 324, 325, 330-336. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1848. HBS 280.2

Isidorian Decretals, Contents of.—The compilation contains in Part I, besides a few other pieces, the fifty so-called Apostolic Canons received by the church (vid. I. 234, II. 11) and fifty-nine alleged, but all spurious, letters of the Roman bishops, from Clemens down to Melchiades (d. 314), in chronological order; in Part II there follow, after a few other pieces (of which the Donatio Constantini ad Sylvestrum [Donation of Constantine to Sylvester] is the most important) the canons of many councils, beginning with that of Nicaa, essentially following the Hispana (falsification is only perceptible in one passage); Part III gives the decretal letters of the Roman bishops from Sylvester to Gregory II (d. 731), of which thirty-five are spurious. The author has therefore admitted a number of already existing anonymous pieces, and the epistle of Clement to James (from the Clementine Homilies), the Donatio Constantini and the Constitutio Sylvestri, but has invented the most of the spurious papal letters, for doing which Rufinus, Cassiodorus, and the Liber Pontificalis must have supplied him with the historical substratum, and older ecclesiastical authors, acts of councils, etc., with the material.—“History of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages,” Dr. Wilhelm Moeller, p. 161, 2nd edition, translated by Andrew Rutherfurd, B. D. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1910. HBS 280.3

Isidorian Decretals, Importance of.—The theory of the papal monarchy over the church was not the result merely of grasping ambition and intrigue on the part of individual popes; it corresponded rather to the deep-seated belief of Western Christendom. This desire to unite Christendom under the Pope gave meaning and significance to the forged decretals bearing the name of Isidore, which formed the legal basis of the papal monarchy. This forgery did not come from Rome, but from the land of the Western Franks. It set forth a collection of pretended decrees of early councils and letters of early popes, which exalted the power of the bishops, and at the same time subjected them to the supervision of the Pope. The Pope was set forth as universal bishop of the church, whose confirmation was needed for the decrees of any council. The importance of the forgery lay in the fact that it represented the ideal of the future as a fact of the past, and displayed the papal primacy as an original institution of the church of Christ. HBS 281.1

The Papacy did not originate this forgery; but it made haste to use it. Pope Nicholas I claimed and exercised the powers of supreme ecclesiastical authority, and was happy in being able to exercise them in the cause of moral right.—“A History of the Papacy,” M. Creighton, D. D., Vol. I, pp. 13, 14. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899. HBS 281.2

Isidorian Decretals, Purpose of.—To bring men to listen to, and receive, this new system of ecclesiastical law, which was so very different from the ancient system, there was need of ancient documents and records, with which it might be enforced and defended against the assaults of opposers. Hence the Roman pontiffs procured the forgery, by their trusty friends, of conventions, acts of councils, epistles, and other documents; by which they might make it appear that from the earliest ages of the church, the Roman pontiffs possessed the same authority and power which they now claimed. Among these fraudulent supports of the Romish power, the so-called Decretal Epistles of the pontiffs of the first centuries, hold perhaps the first rank. They were produced by the ingenuity of an obscure man, who falsely assumed the name of Isidore, a Spanish bishop. Some vestiges of these fabricated epistles appeared in the preceding century; but they were first published and appealed to in support of the claims of the Roman pontiffs, in this [ninth] century.—“Institutes of Ecclesiastical History,” Mosheim, book 3, cent. 9, part 2, chap. 2, sec. 8 (Vol. II, pp. 199, 200). London: Longman & Co., 1841. HBS 281.3

Isidorian Decretals, Object of.—In the middle of that century-about 845-arose the huge fabrication of the Isidorian Decretals, which had results far beyond what its author contemplated, and gradually, but surely, changed the whole constitution and government of the church. It would be difficult to find in all history a second instance of so successful, and yet so clumsy a forgery. For three centuries past it has been exposed, yet the principles it introduced and brought into practice have taken such deep root in the soil of the church, and have so grown into her life, that the exposure of the fraud has produced no result in shaking the dominant system. HBS 281.4

About a hundred pretended decrees of the earliest popes, together with certain spurious writings of other church dignitaries and acts of synods, were then fabricated in the west of Gaul, and eagerly seized upon by Pope Nicolas I at Rome, to be used as genuine documents in support of the new claims put forward by himself and his successors. The immediate object of the compiler of this forgery was to protect bishops against their metropolitans and other authorities, so as to secure absolute impunity, and the exclusion of all influence of the secular power. This end was to be gained through such an immense extension of the papal power, that, as these principles gradually penetrated the church, and were followed out into their consequences, she necessarily assumed the form of an absolute monarchy subjected to the arbitrary power of a single individual, and the foundation of the edifice of papal infallibility was already laid-first, by the principle that the decrees of every council require papal confirmation; secondly, by the assertion that the fulness of power, even in matters of faith, resides in the Pope alone, who is bishop of the universal church, while the other bishops are his servants.—“The Pope and the Council,” Janus (Dr. J. J. Ign. von Döllinger) (R. C.), pp. 94-96. London: Rivingtons, 1869. HBS 282.1

Isidorian Decretals, Use of, by Nicolas I.—When, in the mid die of the ninth century, the Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals were first brought from beyond the Alps to Rome, they were almost immediately cited by Nicholas I in reply to an appeal of Hincmar of Rheims, in order to justify and extend the then advancing claims of the Roman chair. We must then either suppose that this Pope was really incapable of detecting a forgery, which no Roman Catholic writer would now think of defending, or else we must imagine that, in order to advance an immediate ecclesiastical object, he could condescend to quote a document which he knew to have been recently forged, as if it had been of ancient and undoubted authority. The former supposition is undoubtedly most welcome to the common sense of Christian charity; but it is of course fatal to any belief in the personal infallibility of Pope Nicholas I.—“The Divinity of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” H. P. Liddon, M. A., “Bampton Lectures,” 1866, pp. 470, 471. London: Rivingtons, 1869. HBS 282.2

Isidorian Decretals, One of the Pillars.—The Vatican and Lateran were an arsenal and manufacture, which, according to the occasion, have produced or concealed a various collection of false or genuine, of corrupt or suspicious, acts, as they tended to promote the interest of the Roman Church. Before the end of the eighth century, some apostolic scribe, perhaps the notorious Isidore, composed the decretals, and the Donation of Constantine, the two magic pillars of the spiritual and temporal monarchy of the popes.—“The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” Edward Gibbon, chap. 49, par. 16 (Vol. V, pp. 33, 34). New York: Harper & Brothers. HBS 282.3

Isidorian Decretals, Influence of.—No document has ever had a more remarkable history, or a more lasting influence on the relations of society, than that in which this feeling found expression, and which is known in modern times by the name of the False or Pseudo-Isidorian Decretals. A collection of decretal letters made by Isidore of Seville had long been in great repute in the West, based on the earlier collection made by Dionysius Exiguus in the sixth century, containing the apostolic canons, the canons of the most important councils of the fourth and fifth centuries, and the decretal letters of the popes from the time of Siricius to that of Anastasius II. HBS 282.4

Suddenly there appeared at Mainz, in the time of Archbishop Autcar, a collection purporting to be that of Isidore, brought, it was said, from Spain by Archbishop Riculf, but containing a series of documents hitherto unknown-fifty-nine letters and decrees of the twenty oldest bishops of Rome from Clement to Melchiades, the Donation of Constantine, thirty-nine new decrees of popes and councils between the time of Sylvester and Gregory II, and the acts of several unauthentic councils. The chief points to which the spurious decrees were directed were, the exaltation of the episcopal dignity, the security of the clergy against the attacks of laymen, the limitation of the power of metropolitans, reducing them to be mere instruments of the Pope, and a consequent enlargement of the privileges of the see of Rome.—“The See of Rome in the Middle Ages,” Rev. Oswald J. Reichel, B. C. L., M. A., pp. 89, 90. London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1870. HBS 283.1

Isles, Meaning of, in the Scriptures.—In the prophetical books of the Old Testament, and even in some of the historical ones (Genesis 10:5; Esther 10:1), the expression translated “the isles” or “the islands” designates primarily the shores and isles of European Greece-the “maritime tracts” which invited the colonist and the conqueror to brave the terrors of the deep, and journey westward from Asia in search of “fresh woods and pastures new.”-“Egypt and Babylon,” George Rawlinson, M. A., p. 213. New York: John B. Alden, 1885. HBS 283.2

Israel, Camp of.—The tents are arranged in four divisions, three tribes constituting a division, and occupying one side of the square under a common standard. The tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon are on the east side, in front of the sanctuary, under the standard of Judah; Reuben, Simeon, and Gad are on the south, under the standard of Reuben; Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin are in the rear of the tabernacle, under the standard of Ephraim; Dan, Asher, and Naphtali are on the north, under the standard of Dan. These standards were flags of different colors, each flag corresponding in color, as Jewish writers allege, with the stone in the pectoral of the high priest on which the name of the tribe represented by that flag is engraven. HBS 283.3

Each division is subdivided into three tribal camps, the standard-bearing tribe occupying the center, with an associate tribe on either wing. HBS 283.4

Within the hollow square formed by these four grand divisions of the Hebrews, and at a distance of three thousand feet from the innermost tents, is the tabernacle of Jehovah, surrounded by the dwellings of its appointed attendants.—“History and Significance of the Sacred Tabernacle of the Hebrews,” Edward E. Atwater, pp. 53, 54. New York: Dodd and Mead, 1875. HBS 283.5

Israel, Date of Captivity of.—The siege [of Samaria] commenced in Shalmaneser’s fourth year, b. c. 724, and was protracted to his sixth, either by the efforts of the Egyptians, or by the stubborn resistance of the inhabitants. At last, in b. c. 722, the town surrendered, or was taken by storm; but before this consummation had been reached, Shalmaneser’s reign would seem to have come to an end in consequence of a successful revolution.—“The Five Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World,” George Rawlinson, M. A., Vol. II, p. 137. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co. HBS 283.6

Israel, Mention of, in an Inscription.—In the fifth year of King Merneptah, who ruled from 1225-1215 b. c., and who is thought to be the Pharaoh of the exodus, he inscribed on a pillar an account of his wars and victories. The inscription concludes with the following poetic strophe: 15 HBS 284.1

“The kings are overthrown, saying, ‘Salaam!’ Not one holds up his head among the nine bows. 16 Wasted is Tehenu, 17 Kheta 19 is pacified, Plundered is the Canaan with every evil, Carried off is Askelon, Seized upon is Gezer, Yenoam is made as a thing not existing. Israel is desolated, his seed is not; Palestine has become a widow for Egypt. All lands are united, they are pacified; Every one that is turbulent is bou nd by King Merneptah, who gives life like Râ every day.” HBS 284.2

This inscription contains the only mention of Israel in a document of this age outside the Bible. It is, for that reason, of great importance. It should be noted that Israel is mentioned along with peoples and places in Palestine and Phonicia. The Israel here referred to was not, accordingly, in Egypt. Israel, on the other hand, may not have been more than a nomadic people. The Egyptians used a certain “determinative” in connection with the names of settled peoples. That sign is here used with Tehenu, Kheta, Askelon, Gezer, and Yenoam, but not with Israel. HBS 284.3

As Merneptah has been supposed by many to be the Pharaoh in whose reign the exodus occurred, the mention of Israel here has somewhat puzzled scholars, and different explanations of the fact have arisen. At least one scholar holds that the exodus occurred in Merneptah’s third year, and that he afterward attacked the Hebrews. Others have supposed that not all the Hebrews had been in Egypt, but only the Joseph tribes. Still others have thought that the Leah tribes had made their exodus during the eighteenth dynasty, and that it was these with whom Merneptah fought, while the Rachel tribes made their exodus under the nineteenth dynasty. Opinions vary according to the critical views of different writers. All scholars would welcome more information on these problems.—“Archaology and the Bible,” George A. Barton, Ph. D., LL. D., pp. 311, 312. Philadelphia: American Sunday-School Union, copyright 1916. HBS 284.4

Israel, Represented in the Tabernacle.—Israel stood doubly represented by the high priest in the presence of God. On the brilliant stones that rested on his shoulders, their names were engraved according to their birth. HBS 284.5

On the onyx on the left shoulderOn the onyx on the right shoulder

The stones on the breastplate, however, were arranged in four rows of three; and the names were engraved on them according to the tribes. HBS 285.1

the first row
the second row
the third row
the fourth row

As the Hebrew language is written from right to left, the stones, with their inscribed names, would probably be arranged as here set forth. This is the order of the tribes, as they were arranged in their camp and in the march.—“The Tabernacle, the Priesthood, and the Offerings,” Henry W. Soltau, pp. 206, 207. London: Morgan and Scott. HBS 285.2