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further declared that the Pope, together with the Primates, Bishops, &c. can make vice virtue, and virtue vice, according to their pleasure.' (See Popery in alliance with Heathenism, p. 61.)
May it not well be said, that the Second Beast
causeth the earth, and them which dwell therein, to worship the First Beast, whose deadly wound was healed?"
THE JESUITS DO GREAT WONDERS, THAT THEY MAY CAUSE FIRE TO COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN ON THE EARTH IN THE SIGHT OF MEN.
AND HE DOETH GREAT WONDERS, SO THAT HE
THE "fire" which is here spoken of, is the "fire" of excommunication, which the Jesuits have often invoked upon their enemies.
We need only refer to the sixth confession, drawn up by Jesuits in Hungary, and quoted at the close of the preceding chapter, to show the aptness of the metaphor, employed by St. John. Who has not heard of the thunders of the Vatican ?' This is a proverbial expression for the anathemas of the Pope. In the maledictory code of Rome, the degrees of cursing are three, which we may style, as the degrees of comparison in general, the positive-the comparative-and the superlative. The positive degree is the minor excommunication. The comparative is the
major. The superlative is the anathema. This last is the favourite mode of cursing: the council of Trent is full of it.
The principal ceremonies adopted in the Romish forms of cursing, are casting to the ground, or quenching in water, lighted torches, and pronouncing a string of curses, including the 109th Psalm. The very ceremony of casting lighted torches to the ground,' is described in the words: "he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men."
The horrible nature of a Romish malediction is well exhibited in the following picture: et ex uno disce omnes.
'At the end an awful pause ensued, the bells tolled, the crosses were inverted, and the assistant priests, twelve in number, stood round him, holding torches, which were presently, with dreadful execrations, to be extinguished. He then pronounced the impious form of excommunication. The execrations were concluded by dashing down the torches and extinguishing them, as the prelate, in the words of this execrable ceremony, pronounced an authoritative wish, that the souls of those whom he had delivered to perdition, might in like manner be quenched in hell. There is reason to believe that no heathen priests ever abused this power,' that of excommunication, 'so prodigiously as the Roman clergy; nor, even if the ceremonies were borrowed, as is not improbable, from heathen superstition, could they originally have been so revolting, so horrible, as when a Christian minister
called upon the Redeemer of mankind to fulfil execrations which the Devil himself might seem to have inspired. In the forms of malediction appointed for this blasphemous service, a curse was pronounced against the obnoxious persons in soul and body, and in all their limbs and joints and members, every part being specified with a bitterness which seemed to delight in dwelling on the sufferings that it imprecated. They were cursed with pleonastic specification, at home and abroad, in their goings out and their comings in, in towns and in castles, in fields and in meadows, in streets and in public ways, by land and by water, sleeping and waking, standing and sitting and lying, eating and drinking, in their food and in their excrements, speaking or holding their peace, by day and by night, and every hour, in all places and at all times, everywhere and always. God was invoked, in this accursed service, to afflict them with hunger and thirst, with poverty and want, with cold and with fever, with scabs and ulcers and itch, with blindness and madness, .... to eject them from their homes, and consume their substance, . . . . to make their wives widows, and their children orphans and beggars; all things belonging to them were cursed, the dog which guarded them, and the cock which wakened them. None was to compassionate their sufferings, nor to relieve or visit them in sickness. Prayers and benedictions, instead of availing them, were to operate as further curses.
'Finally, their dead bodies were to be cast aside for dogs and wolves, and their souls to be eternally tor
mented with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, Judas and Pilate, Ananias and Sapphira, Nero and Decius, and Herod, and Julian, and Simon Magus, in fire everlasting.' (The Book of the Church, vol. i. pp. 195-8.) The Jesuits have not been a whit behind their fellow-catholics in cursing. In imprecating anathemas upon Jansenists and Protestants, they have indeed "made fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men."
The end of all their pretended miracles is-to give emphasis to their imprecations, and impress upon the spectators an idea of their power to put those imprecations into effect. "He doeth great wonders, iva kai Tρ mo, that he may cause fire to come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men."