Proving the Pope is Antichrist, (4) Conditions of Antichrist and his Opposition unto Christ, by Geor
Now if to those former notes of place and time, we shall add the rest, and find them all properly to fit the Popes of Rome, then may it not be doubted, but that the Pope is Antichrist. In the next place therefore let us consider his condition and qualities, in respect whereof he is called the Man of Sin. For first Antichrist in respect of his opposition to Christ, he is an adversary, in respect of his pride and ambition, lifted up above all that is called God &c. From these two notes therefore we may argue thus; He that is such an adversary as the Scriptures describe opposed unto Christ in emulation of like honour, he is Antichrist: The Pope is such an adversary as the scriptures describe opposed unto Christ in emulation of like honour: Therefore the Pope is Antichrist.
The truth of the proposition is testified by the Apostle, implied in the name anti christos which signifies hostem & aemulum Christi (enemy and rival Christ), and confessed by the adversaries. The assumption Bellarmine would disprove by this slender argument; because the Pope forsooth professes himself the servant of Christ. For even as he professes himself to be Christ’s servant, so he terms himself; the servant of servants, (serum servorum) when as in truth he would be esteemed Lord of Lords. But this is so far from disproving the assumption, as that the Pope could not be such an adversary as is described in the Scriptures, and consequently not Antichrist, unless he professed himself to be the servant of Christ. Let us therefore consider what manner of enemy Antichrist is according to the Scriptures. First, he is an apostate or revolter: Second a disguised enemy or hypocrite; that is, one that is fallen indeed from God and his truth as it were a star from heaven, yet retains the name and profession of Christ; under which name and profession he oppugns Christ and his truth: Even as a rebellious subject, when he presumes without commission to levy a power of men against his Sovereign, that he may deceive the rest of the subjects, abuses the name and authority of his prince to colour his rebellious practises. And that this is the property of Antichrist, Hilary has well observed: It is the property of Antichrist’s name, to be contrary to Christ. This is now practised under the opinion of counterfeit piety: this, under a show of preaching the Gospel, is preached, that our Lord Jesus Christ may be denied whiles he is thought to be preached. Augustine saith, we have found many Antichrists which confess Christ with their mouth.
The Pope as an Apostate is Antichrist
First I say he is an apostate, yea the head of that Apostasy or falling away from the truth, mentioned in 2. Thess 2, insomuch as some of the learned as Chrysostom, Augustine, Theodoret, Theophylact, Oecumenius by that Apostasy understand Antichrist himself. Yea Bellarmine himself affirms that by Apostasy in that place Antichrist himself may be most fitly understood. But the Papists, which falsely hold that the visible Church of Christ cannot err, and much less fall away, expound this Apostasy or defection, to be a revolt or falling away from the Roman Empire. Neither do we deny but that also there has been a defection from the Roman Empire: but yet we deny that it is understood in this place. Ambrose saith, then shall desolation draw near because many falling by error shall revolt from the true religion. He calleth him a revolter, saith Augustine, namely from the Lord God.
Cyril, Now is the Apostasy, for men are revolted from the true faith. Chrysostom and Oecumenius, the Apostasy he calls Antichrist himself, because he shall cause many to revolt from Christ. Or else he calls apostasy, the departure from God and the thing itself. The same has Theophylact in effect. And likewise Theodoret on this place. The defection (saith he) he calleth Antichrist himself giving him a name from the thing itself. For his endeavour is to withdraw men from the truth, and to cause them to revolt. Primasius by Apostasy understands the forsaking of the truth, and Lyra, the departure from the Catholic faith. But to omit human testimonies, the Holy Ghost who is the best expounder of himself, shows what kind of defection he speaks of for afterwards in the same chapter he notes this Apostasy to be of those, who because they have not loved nor believed the truth that they might be saved (but have taken pleasure in unrighteousness) are therefore given over by the just judgement of God to believe the lies of Antichrist to their damnation. But more plainly the same Apostle speaking of that Apostasy which in these later times was to accompany the revelation of Antichrist: he saith 1. Tim. 4. 1. 2, The spirit speaketh evidently that in the latter times some shall make an Apostasy from the faith, attending to erroneous spirits and doctrines of devils, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared.
Now the Papists are as ready to object this Apostasy to us, as we to them. How then shall we discern whether we or they have made this revolt? The Apostle in the same place sets down two of those doctrines of devils, as certain notes whereby those which make this Apostasy may be discerned. Forbidding (saith he) to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving. 1 Tim 4. 3. The former whereof Jerome also has noted to be a mark of Antichrist. Nota est Antichristi prohibere nuptias. But these notes agree not unto us, who neither forbid marriage, nor command abstinence from any meats for religion sake. As for the Papists (especially since the times of Gregory VII, they forbid marriage to some men at all times, and certain meats to all men at sometimes and that for religion sake: esteeming of marriage in their clergy worse then adultery or sodomy; and eating of flesh in Lent, or other forbidden times, as a mortal sin. And as touching the falling away of the Church; certain it is, that although neither the invisible church in general, nor any one sound member thereof can fall away from faith either totally or finally: yet not only the members of visible churches, but also the churches themselves consisting of hypocrites, as of the greater part, may fall away. As the Church of England which was in King Edwards days, revolted in Queen Mary’s time, from Christ to Antichrist. So has the Church of Rome (which once was famous for her faith) as may appear not only by those notes set down by the Apostle 1 Tim. 4. 3. and some others which hereafter shall be noted: but also in those innumerable particulars both in doctrine and manners wherein they have revolted from the purity of the primitive Church. And of this catholic Apostasy the Pope is head.
The Pope as a Disgusied Enemy of Christ and Hypocrite is Antichrist
Secondly, Antichrist is not an open and outward, but a covert and disguised enemy, oppugning Christ and His Church not by open violence, but with all deceiveableness of unrighteousness. For he is not so foolish as to profess himself to be Antichrist. Neither could that be which the Apostle testifies (as Radulphus Flaviacensis saith) that Antichrist should attain unto ecclesiastical honours, and in the temple of God that is the society of the faithful, should take the chair of honour, unless having first pretended a kind of conformity with the faithful he should deceive those of whom he is to be ordained. Therefore Antichristianism is called the Mystery of Iniquity: whereupon the glose saith, The impiety of Antichrist is mystical, that is, cloaked under the name of godliness. And, as in the Pope’s miter was wont, so also in the whore of Babylon’s forehead is written a mystery. And Antichrist himself is deciphered as an hypocrite, sitting in the temple of God, professing himself and his followers to be the only true church of God, using the two Testaments, pretending himself, as Jerome saith, to be the prince of the covenant, And consequently head of the Church: deceiving unsound Christians with a glorious profession of religion (signified by the golden cup) and with a show of counterfeit holiness (otherwise he could never so effectually deceive many Christians, as that the elect should be in any danger to be seduced) speaking lies in hypocrisy, oppugning Christ and his truth under the outward show and profession of Christian religion, having two horns like the lamb, counterfeiting in some things the humility and meekeness of Christ, and yet challenging that double power both spiritual and temporal which belongs to Christ the lamb, as our Chief Priest and King: and not only that, but speaking also like the dragon. Which is to be understood partly of his blasphemous speeches which he does utter, partly of the doctrines of devils which he does teach, partly of those hellish curses which he thunders against the true professors of the faith, partly of those great promises, which like the prince of the world he makes to those that will adore him. These things need no application for those to whom the disguising and more then pharisaical hypocrisy of the Pope and Papists is known. For must not his holiness be called sanctissimus, most holy, when he is most wicked? does not he call himself servus servorum, the servant of servants, when in truth he maketh himself the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords? And as Faber has observed, the Pope in word saith that he is the servant of servants, but in deed he permitteth himself to be adored, which the Angel in Revelation refused. From which fact of the Pope, as if it were a rule of justice, Antoninus concludes, that there is no less honour due to the Pope than to the Angels. Whereupon (saith he) he receiveth from the faithful adorations, prostration or falling down before him, and the kisses of his feet; which the Angel permitted not to be done unto him by John the Evangelist.
Neither was Bernard’s complaint either unjust or untrue, Alas Lord God, that they be first in thy persecution, which seem to love the primacy in thy Church, and to bear rule. And elsewhere, A silliy contagion (saith he) spreadeth itself nowadays through the whole body of the Church &c. All are lovers, and all enemies, all friends, and all adversaries; all domestical or of the household, and none peaceable: all neighbours, and yet all seek their own: they are ministers of Christ, and they serve Antichrist. And such was the complaint of diverse Bishops in their Epistle to Pope Nicolas recorded in Auentine: Thou bearest the person of a Bishop (say they) but thou playest the tyrant: under the habit or attire of a pastor, we feel a wolf: the lying title calleth thee Father, thou in thy deeds boastest thyself to be another Jupiter. When as thou art the servaunt of servants, thou strivest to be the Lord of Lords &c. He counterfeits the Lamb, in calling himself the vicar of Christ, and exercising the very same office which Christ himself had whiles he was upon the earth. And because, by horn, in the Scriptures often is meant power: he may be said to have two horns like the Lamb, whiles he challengeth that two-fold power which is peculiar to Christ the Lamb as our King and Priest, and usurps both the swords, I mean both spiritual and temporal. He speaks like the Dragon, in teaching those doctrines of devils, mentioned 1. Tim. 4. 3. (forbidding to mary and commanding abstinence from meats) in belching forth most horrible blasphemies (whereof we will remember some in the next chapter:) in his devilish curses against the Saints, and Satanical promises of the world and kingdoms thereof to them that will adore him. Ecce in potestate nostra est imperium, vt demus illud cut volumus saith Adrian the Pope, Behold the Empire is in our power, that we may give it to whom we will. And where as Jerome writing of those words, 1. Tim. 4. They speak in hypocrisy (saith he) who, being not continent, would seem to be so chaste, as that they condemn marriage, and so abstemious as that they judge those who use the creature sparingly; whereas themselves are given over to belly cheer, what could have been spoken more fitly to shew forth the hypocrisy of the Pope and Papists. For do not they, whiles they condemn and contemn marriage, under the shew of vowed chastity practise all uncleanness; and whiles they condemn all moderate eating of flesh, do not they under a colour of fasting, feast and feed themselves with the choisest dainties? Do not many of them under the pretence of voluntary poverty gather infinite riches?
And do not all their religion stand in Opere operate, in the bare performance of the outward work, that is to say, in hypocrisy? Neither are we to omit an hypocritical policy which of late they have used. For when as they could not prevail with their sophistry, that is to say, with their books of controversies: they hoped to prevail among the simple with their hypocrisy, that is to say, with their books of devotion. Wherein there is a notable shew of counterfeit devotion, zeal and holiness, to blur the eyes of the simple and unstayed. But it were to be wished, that as they are, so they were esteemed to be no better than baits of Antichrist, serving to allure men under show of devotion, unto idolatry and apostasy from God: especially if we consider that the principal of these books were set forth by Parsons and other Jesuits, who are plainly discovered even by some of their own side, to be mere Machiavellians and wicked Atheists.
The Pope Opposed to Jesus Christ
Thus you see what manner of adversary Antichrist is. Now we must shew in particular wherein he is opposed to Jesus Christ. He is opposed unto him as he is Christ, and as he is Jesus: as he is Christ, that is, as he was anointed of God to be our Prophet, our King, and our Priest; in which respect especially he is called Antichrist. He is also opposed unto him as he is Jesus, that is to say, as he is our Saviour. So that Antichrist opposes himself both to the offices of Christ signified in the name Christ, and also to the benefits signified in the name Jesus. Now these things also most fitly agree to the Pope: who opposes himself to Christ in all these respects, not indeed aperto marte as an open and professed enemy, (for so it becomes not Antichrist, who was to be an hypocrite sitting in the Church of God &c.) but covertly and cunningly. For we must remember that Antichristianism is the Mystery of Iniquity, wherein Christ was in word and show to be professed, but indeed and truth, denied. First, them to Christ our Prophet he is opposed, partly as he oppugns the prophecy of Christ, and partly as himself is a false prophet. He oppugns the prophecy of Christ; First, in denying Christ to be our only prophet (whose voice in the canonical Scriptures concerning matters necessarily to be believed unto salvation, we ought only to hear) whiles he and his followers do teach that the scriptures are not perfect, and that besides the Apocryphal writings (which they have matched with the canonical) their own traditions also are necessary, and of equal authority with the Scriptures. Secondly by withholding from the people the Scriptures (which contain the whole doctrine of Christ our prophet) in a strange language, and also by reading and preaching unto them their own fancies and inventions, out of the legends and lives of saints, and festivals &c. instead of the sincere truth of God. And by these two practises, the Pope, whiles he leaves to Christ the name and title of being our prophet, he takes the thing to himself. Again he is opposed to Christ our prophet as himself is the false prophet spoken of in Revelation, teaching Antichristian errors and doctrines of devils. For so many errors, as are taught and held by the Pope and Church of Rome, are so many oppositions betwixt him and Christ our prophet. Of the errors of the Romish church there be many centuries or hundreds, and diverse of them fundamental. In respect whereof we may truly say that the catholic Apostasy (for so I call the Romish religion) is the common sewer of many gross heresies.
But it will be said, that howsoever the Pope holds diverse errors, yet he teaches not those, which the Holy Ghost has noted as the peculiar doctrines of Antichrist. Whereof the author of the Wardword reckons up three, and Bellarmine has a fourth: But neither of them durst mention those two doctrines of devils which Paul assigns to that Apostasy, whereof Antichrist is the head, The first doctrine of Anti∣christ (say they) is, to deny Jesus to be Christ. Which they would prove out of 1. John. 2. 22. & 4. 3. and 2. John. 7. But the Pope (say they) does not deny Jesus to be Christ. To the prosyllogism or proof of the proposition I answer, that these places of the Apostle John do not speak properly of the grand Antichrist, who is the head of the Antichristian body, but of certain petite Antichrists, or heretics of those times, which denied either of the natures of Christ, (for he speaks of such as were then already come into the world:) and therefore from thence it cannot be proved that the great Antichrist shall directly and expressly deny Jesus to be Christ. Notwithstanding, seeing they are called Antichrists not only because they belong to the Antichristian body as inferior members thereof, but also as it may be thought, because they did after a sort deny Christ as the great Antichrist also should do, although not after the same manner: I do therefore thus far grant the proposition itself, that Antichrist was in some sort to deny Christ. For John speaks not of the manner how he does deny Christ. Neither are we to think that Antichrist will deny him after every manner, but in such sort as shall be most consonant to the whole mystery of iniquity, and suitable to the rest of his lying and deceit. That is to say, in outward shew and semblance to profess Christ (as those Antichrists did, of whom John speaks) but indeed and in truth to deny him. To come therefore to the assumption: let us consider whether the Pope and Church of Rome do not in some sort deny Christ, Christ may be denied, either in deeds or words. Quisquis autem factis negat Christum, is Antichrist us est, And whosoever in deeds (saith Augustine) denieth Christ, he is Anti∣christ. Let us therefore mark (saith he) who it is that denieth, & let us not attend to his tongue but to his works. I regard not what he speaketh, but how he liveth. Works do speak, and do we require words? He is the more lying Antichrist, who with his mouth professeth Jesus to be Christ, and by deeds denyeth him. According to the Lawyers rule, it is more to testify a matter by deeds then by words. And Tullie saith, that where the things themselves bear witness, words are needless. And as Antichrist was thus to deny Christ, both as he is the Man of Sin, and an adversary oppugning Christ and his Church: So does the Pope, howsoever in word he professes Christ. For even the devils themselves have in word confessed Christ, whom notwithstanding by their deeds they deny. If therefore the Pope be a man of sin (which we shall prove soon) and an adversary opposed unto Christ, (which now we have in hand to prove) then it cannot be denied but that indeed he denies Christ.
Secondly, Christ may be de denied in word and doctrine, and that either indirectly and by consequent, or else directly and expressly. He that denies Christ by consequent, howsoever openly he does confess him, does indeed deny him; as those which deny either of his natures, or any of his offices. For such is the necessary coherence of truth within itself, as nothing can by necessary consequence be deducted from it, which is not also true. And therefore it is impossible that the consequent should be false, the antecedent being true. Whereupon it follows, that whosoever denies the consequent, does indeed deny the antecedent. Jesus is Immanuel, and consequently God and Man. He is Christ, and consequently anointed of God to be our King, our Priest, and our Prophet. He therefore that denies any of these, denies Jesus to be Christ. And further, is Christ truly God? then is he also Jehovah, one that is of and from himself, namely as he is God: then is he also the Lord and creator of al things, governing all things with his presence and providence. Is he truly man? then has he a true body consisting of three dimensions, length, breadth, thickness, circumscribed, visible, contained in one place at once, as being but one body not discontinued. Is he the true Messias and mediator betwixt God and man? then is he the only mediator, for there is but one. Wherefore whosoever saith, that Christ is not God of himself, he denies him to be God: or prefers any creature before him either in heaven or in earth, he denies him to be the Lord and maker of all; or assigns a vicar unto him to supply his absence on earth, denies his omnipresence. Again, whosoever saith that Christ his body does not consist of three dimensions, that it is not circumscribed, that it is not visible, that it is not contained in one place as all other bodies, yea as all other finite natures are; he denies Jesus to be truly man, and consequently denies him to be Christ. Lastly whosoever adjoins other mediators unto Christ and in some respects prefer others above him, deny him to be the only mediator; and therefore deny him to be the true mediator, for there is but one, and consequently deny Jesus to be Christ. And thus as the Antichrists whereof John speaks (according to Bellarmine his own exposition) did, and as the grand Antichrist (according to our confession) does deny Christ, not only in deed, but also in word and doctrine, although not openly and expressly yet indirectly, and by consequent: So does the Pope and Church of Rome, deny Jesus to be Christ. For, what a God and Lord, what a creator and governor of all things the Pope and Papists make our Saviour Christ, you may easily conceive; First, when they deny him to be God of himself, and consequently Jehovah. For whosoever is Jehovah, he is of, and from himself. True indeed it is, that Christ is filius a patre, sed Deus a se, quate nus est Deus: that is, Son of and from his Father, but God of and from himself, namely as he is God. And if he were not of and from himself, he were not God. And although in the concrete we may and must say with the Council of Nice, that Christ is God of God, that is, Christ who is God, is from the Father who is God (the word God being taken personally) because the person of the son who is Deus genitus God begotten is from the person of the Father who is Deus gignens God begetting: yet it is not likewise true in the abstract. For howsoever the Godhead is communicated from the Father to the Son by eternal generation, and from the Father and the Son to the Holy Ghost by eternal procession, yet the deity of the Son and so of the Holy Ghost, being the self same infinite eternal and indivisible essence of the Father, is from, and of, and by, and for itself. And who knows not that such is the simplicity of the divine nature as that God is the godhead, and the godhead is God, and consequently that Christ as he is God is the Godhead, which is of and from itself. And therefore to conclude, Christ is God of God, in respect of his person, and he is also God of himself in respect of his essence which is of itself: he is God of God, the name God being used personally and relatively (for he is God the Son, of God the Father: and God begotten, of God begetting) and he is God of himself, the name God being taken essentially and absolutely, namely as he together with the Father and the Holy Ghost is one and the same eternal Jehovah and only true God. In which respect if the Papists deny Christ to be God of himself, as they do when they accuse this our doctrine of heresy, and deny him so to be (God of himself) as we affirm, they do also deny him to be God. Secondly, when as not only in heaven they set above him his mother whom they call the Queen of Heaven, desiring her to command him, and to show herself to be a mother (as though Christ were as they paint him a baby under his mother’s government) for so they say, Jube natue, & jure matris impera, & againe monstra te esse matre &c. but also on earth, when every shaveling priest can by breathing out a few words out of his unclean mouth, create his maker (for so they teach, Sacerdos est creator creatoris sui, that is, the priest is maker of his maker. And again, Qui creauit vos, dedit vobis creare se, He which made you, gave you power to make Him,) and when he has so done, offer him up to his Father. Wherein every priest among them, being the sacrificer, is after a sort preferred above Christ, who is the sacrifice. Thirdly, when as they appoint unto Christ a vicar to supply his absence, unto whom they assign all power which is in heaven and earth, yea infinite power, which they say is translated from Christ unto him, what do they else but make Christ a titular king, and with the Epicures an idle God, who has as it were resigned all his right and authority to the Pope. What a man they make our Saviour Christ who knows not, when they hold, and with fire and fagot persecute those that will not hold the same, that his body is multipresent, that is, present in many or rather infinite places at once, and that discontinued: for they say that it being in heaven is also present really and corporally upon the earth, wheresoever their Mass is celebrated or their host reserved, howsoever it is not in the space betwixt heaven and earth, nor in those places where the host is not which is to assign many or rather innumerable bodies to our Saviour Christ. And further that his very body, which they say is really present in the Mass, is void of quantity and quality, not circumscribed, not visible, nor any way sensible, and consequently, no body. The which in effect is as much as to deny that Christ is come in the flesh, which is the doctrine of that Antichrist whereof John speaks. And here by the way note the absurdity of Papists, who circumscribe the deity of the Father whiles they resemble the same by pictures or images, and deny the humanity of the Son to be circumscribed: and consequently against all reason make the Deity finite, and the humanity infinite. The office of Christ is his mediation. Now what a mediator they make him you may easily judge, when they join infinite others with him. For the Apostle saith, that there is but one mediator betwixt God and man, and this one alone our Saviour Christ is, or else he is none at all.
Again, Christ may be denied directly and expressly: and that may be done either secretly and in private, or else openly and in public profession. After the latter sort Antichrist was not to deny our Saviour Christ: because he was to be an hypocrite and a disguised enemy as has been proved. Neither was it necessary that he should deny Christ expressly and directly, and yet this also may be proved of diverse Popes. Who howsoever they professed publicly that Jesus is Christ (which is all that our adversaries allege in this case, and yet that all is nothing, for the devils themselves have publicly professed Jesus to be Christ) yet privately and among their favourites they have denied Christ, and not that only, but have shewed themselves also to have been mere atheists, and devils incarnate. For to omit John XXII, who denied the immortality of the soul, and of some is called the XXIII, of others XXIV were not Alexander VI and Sixtus the IV, Julius II and Paulus III besides divers others, very atheists? were not more then twenty of them known necromancers and sorcerers? not to speak of them which were not known, which renouncing Christ our Saviour, betook themselves to the devil. As namely Sylvester II, Benedict IX, Gregory V & Gregory VII, who also in a rage cast the Eucharist, that is according to their opinion the very body of Christ into the fire, because it did not answer to his questions when as he consulted therewith. And what may we think of Clement VII? who, when he was at death's door, said he should now be certified of three things whereof he had doubted all his life, viz. whether there be a God, whether the soul be immortal, and whether there be a life after this life. Or of Julius III who being forbidden by the physicians the use of pork, commanded his pork to be set before him, Al dispette di Dio, In despite of God? As for Pope Leo X he did plainly enough deny Christ when as more then once he called the Gospel, the fable of Christ, For when he had received an incredible sum of money for indulgences, he said to Bembus, O quantum nobis profuit illa de Christo fabula! O how much that fable of Christ hath profited us! And another time when Bembus alleged for his comfort a testimony out of the Gospel, he answered: Quid mihi narras fabulamilla de Christo? What doest thou tell me of that fable of Christ? If therefore this be a property of Antichrist to deny Christ, then it cannot be avoided but that according to our adversaries own grounds, the Pope who so many ways denies Christ, is Antichrist. And so much of his opposition to the prophecy of Christ. For of the other three doctrines which the Papists assign to Antichrist, we are to intreat when we come to answer the objections of the Papists.
To the Priesthood of Christ our only priest and mediator, who according to the Scriptures with the oblation of himself once made has perfectly redeemed us, are opposed. 1. Their priesthood, whereby Christ is daily offered and his sacrifice repeated in their abominable sacrifice of the Mass propitiatory as they say both for the quick and the dead: 2. Their own satisfactions as prices of sin opposed to the satisfaction of Christ: 3. Their adjoining unto Christ other intercessors and mediators, by whose not only intercession they hope to be heard, but also merits, hope to be saved. Of Gregory they say thus in their prayers,
Hic nos saluet à peccatis,
vt in coelo cum beatis
Let him save us from our sins,
that in heaven we may rest with the blessed.
Of Thomas Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury, because he died in the Pope’s quarrel, which like a rebel he maintained against his sovereign King Henry II, they say full devoutly,
Tu per Thomae sanguinem, quem pro te impendit,
Fac nos Christe scandere quò Thomas ascendit.
By the blood of Thomas, which he for thee did spend,
make us Christ to come whither Thomas did ascend.
Of Peter and Paul, concede vt ambo meritis aeternita∣tis gloriam consequamur. That is, Grant that by the meries of them both we may obtaine eternal glory.
To Mary the blessed virgin whom they idolatrously call our Lady and the Queen of Heaven, they pray thus, O vnica spes miserorum, libera nosab omni malo, O thou that art the only hope of them that are in misery, deliver us from all evil. And elsewhere they call her, Desperatorum spem vnicam, peccatorum salvatricem, The only hope of them which are in despair, and the Saviour of sinners. Again, Mediatrix Dei & hominum, salus & spes in the sperantium, O thou the mediatrix betwixt God and men, the salvation and hope of them that hope in thee. And somewhere it is said:
O regina poli, mater gratissima proli
Spere me noli, me commendo tibi soli.
Oh Queen of heaven, mother most dear to thy son,
do not thou despise me, unto thee alone I commend me.
Cum nulla spes sit altera
nisi tu virgo puerpera
patris parens & filia
cui me reconcilia.
Seeing there is no other hope,
besides thee O virgin mother,
the mother and daughter of thy father,
to whom I pray thee reconcile me.
And to conclude (for innumerable such speeches might be produced,) they say:
O foelix puerpera
nostra pians scelera
iure matris impera
O happy mother which doest purge away our sins,
by thy motherly authority command our redeemer.
So that sometimes they do join unto our Saviour Christ other mediators not only of intercession, but also of redemption, (which indeed is presupposed in the former) sometimes also they exclude our Saviour Christ, when as they say that Mary purges away the sins of all the faithful, and that she and no other is the only hope of them that are in misery and despair. And not to speak of their blasphemous psalter, wherein they turn that which is spoken in the Psalms either of God or Christ, to the Virgin Mary: some of them say, that whereas the kingdom of Christ consists in two things, justice and mercy; Christ reserves justice unto himself, and mercy he has given up to his mother. And therefore one saith, A foro iustitiae Dei appellundum est ad forum misericordiae matris eius. From the court of Gods' justice, we must appeal to the court of his mothers mercy.
As touching the kingdom of Christ, what doth not the Pope oppugne in it? The realm and kingdom of Christ is his Church which he rules by his Spirit inwardly, and outwardly by his Word, which is both his sceptre and his law, and also by such officers and ministers as he has ordained both in the Church and common wealth. The Church and people of God this son of perdition seeks to destroy. First by killing the bodies of the true servants of Christ that refuse his mark, in respect whereof he may most worthily be called Apollyon or Abaddon that is, a destroyer, and his church the whore of Babylon, which is drunk with the blood of Saints and of the Martyrs of Jesus, as shall be shown in the second book and seventh chapter. And as he kills the bodies of those that will not receive his mark, so he murders the souls of them that submit themselves unto him, poisoning them with his damnable errors and making them drunk with the wine of his fornications, after which they shall drink of the cup of God’s wrath. Now in making havoc of men's souls he takes such liberty unto him, as that if he should draw with him innumerable souls into hell, yet no man may say unto him Domine cur ita facis? Sir, why do you so? And in the Canon, Si papa dist. 40. it is said, If the Pope do carry with him innumerable peoples by troops into hell, no man in this world may presume to reprove his fault, because he is to judge all, and to be judged of none, unless he be found to err from the faith, which the Pope as he is Pope cannot do. Hereunto Bellarmine answers that the words of this Canon be not the words of any Pope, but of Boniface the Archbishop of Mentz. Yea, but say I, the Pope has so approved this speech being delivered by another, as that he has canonized it, and appointed it for one of the canons of his law. Which is more than if it had been spoken by himself. But Bellarmine replies; If this sentence of Boniface be not true, why do you object it: if it be true, why do you not receive it? I answer, because it being not only false, but blasphemous also and Antichristian, is notwithstanding by the Pope authorized for a Canon in his law. Moreover, one of the chief works of God’s spirit the spirit of adoption, which is special faith, apprehending the righteousness of Christ to our justification, he labours to extinguish in the hearts of men, calling it presumption: acknowledging no other faith but such as is common to the devils (which consist only of knowledge and assent), and yet not requiring that in the lay people whom under the name of implicit faith, he nuzzles in palpable ignorance, and leads them being blind, as Elizeus did the Aramites, even whether it pleases him. The pure wheat of God’s word he suppresses and keeps from the people in an unknown tongue, and seeds them with the mast of their legends and festivals and lies (I should have said lives) of Saints. The laws of Christ he partly dispenses with, and partly abrogates, making them of none effect by his own constitutions and traditions. In the Church, instead of the offices and functions ordained by Christ, he has created a new priesthood, erected an hierarchy, consecrated orders and religions of his own. In the commonwealth he absolves the people from their obedience to their princes if they shall displease him. And it is a principle among them, that it is lawful for him to depose Emperors and Kings, and to absolve their sworn subjects from fidelity and allegiance towards them.
And thus you see how the Pope opposes himself to the prophecy, priesthood and kingdom of Christ. Whereunto I might add how he is opposed to these offices of Christ, not only in these respects already mentioned, but as an emulous (rival) as an antiprophet, an antipriest, and a counter king seeking in his Antichristian pride to match our Saviour Christ in all those offices: but hereof I shall have occasion to speak in the next chapter. Now to the benefits of Christ he is opposite, as he is an enemy to the grace of God: as he takes away Christian liberty, and takes upon him to make new laws, to bind the conscience: as he abridges the merits of Christ, and ascribes the of salvation not only to our own works prescribed of God, but also to such as have been in superstition, will worship, and idolatry, devised by themselves: as he teaches men to seek salvation elsewhere than in Christ. All which oppositions of the Pope to Christ, whosoever shall duly consider, he will not seek further for Antichrist.