TerryHomePage:The Testimony of the reformers
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The following writings of our English reformers and others consist of those works which were either publicly acknowledged and sanctioned or otherwise penned to give a general view of their sentiments on the most important doctrines of the gospel. “These works contain the testimony of the faithful witnesses for Christ, against the corruptions of Popery; and amidst the struggling efforts of that Anti-Christian church, to recover its lost influence in our day, and its often fatally seductive temptations, the tracts of the present volume will hold up a clear mirror to show the reader what true Protestantism is, and what that apostacy was and is, from which we have most scripturally separated.” (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, p. 86). (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, p. 86).
Testimonies of English Reformers and others against Popery as Antichrist
The Church of England
THE ARTICLES of the Church are almost one series of testimonies against Papal doctrines. In THE HOMILIES, sanctioned by these Articles, the following testimonies appear respecting the Pope as antichrist, Babylon, and the Man of Sin. In the Homily of Obedience, Part iii. ' The Bishop of Rome teaches, that they that are under him are free from all burdens and charges of the commonwealth, and obedience towards their prince; most clearly against Christ's doctrine and St. Peter's. HE OUGHT THEREFORE RATHER TO BE CALLED ANTICHRIST, and the successor of the scribes and pharisees, than Christ's vicar, or St. Peter's successor; SEEING THAT, not only on this point, but also in other weighty matters of Christian religion, in matters of remission and forgiveness of sins, and of salvation, HE TEACHETH SO DIRECTLY AGAINST BOTH St. PETER, AND AGAINST OUR SAVIOUR CHRIST.' In the Homily against Peril of Idolatry, Part iii., speaking of the worship of images, and the miracles of the Papists, the Homily says— ' The scriptures have for a warning hereof shewed, that THE KINGDOM OF ANTICHRIST shall be mighty in miracles and wonders to the strong illusion of all the reprobates.' And again, ' Such sumptuous decking of images with gold, silver, and precious stones, be a token of Antichrist's kingdom, who, as the prophet foreshows, shall worship God with such gorgeous things.' Sermon against Wilful Rebellion, Part v.— 'After this ambition, [to be head of all the church, and lord of all kingdoms,] the Bishop of Rome became at ONCE THE SPOILER AND DESTROYER both OF THE CHURCH, which is the kingdom of our Saviour Christ, and of the Christian empire, and all Christian kingdoms, as an universal tyrant over all.' ' In king John's time, the Bishop of Rome, understanding the brute blindness, ignorance of God's word, and superstition of Englishmen, and how much they were inclined to worship THE BABYLONIAN BEAST OF ROME, and to fear all his threatenings and causeless cursings, he abused them thus, and by their rebellion brought this noble realm of England under his most cruel tyranny.' (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, pp. 43,44)
The Church of Scotland
CONFESSION OF FAITH :— ' There is no other Head of the Church than the Lord Jesus Christ, nor can the Pope of Rome be in any sense the Head thereof ; but is that antichrist, that man of sin and son of perdition, that exalteth himself in the church against Christ, and all that is called God.' Ch. xxv. s. 6. (Ibid, p. 44)
The Church of Ireland
ARTICLES OF THE IRISH CHURCH :— ' 80. The Bishop of Rome is so far from being the supreme Head of the Universal Church of Christ, that his works and doctrine do plainly discover him to be that Man of Sin foretold in the Holy Scriptures, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and abolish with the brightness of his coming.' (Ibid, p. 44)
The Government of Britain
Declaration against Popery, made by the King, in the presence of the Houses of Parliament. ' I do solemnly and sincerely, in the presence of God, testify and declare, that I do believe, that in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, there is not any transubstantiation of the elements of bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, or after the consecration thereof by any person whatsoever. And that the invocation and adoration of the Virgin Mary, or any other saint, and the sacrifice of the Mass, as they are now used in the Church of Rome, are superstitious and Idolatrous. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words read unto me as they are commonly understood by English protestants, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the Pope, or any other person or authority whatsoever; or without any hope of any such dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever; or without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although the Pope, or any other person or persons, or power whatsoever, shall dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.' The various clauses of this declaration are very instructive, as manifesting the shifts and sophistries by which Papists, with all deceivableness (deceitfulness) of unrighteousness have sought to evade the simple, plain truth and corrupt the honesty of an upright mind. (Ibid, p. 44)
Private or Individual Testimony
In his Trialogus manuscritp—
- "It is supposed, and with much probability, that the Roman pontiff is the great Antichrist," (Tracts and treatises of John de Wycliffe, 1845 p. 124)
- "We suppose that Antichrist, the head of all these evil men, is the pope of Rome." (Ibid, p. 90)
In his book on the Sacrament—
After showing that Christ 'made a sacrifice and oblation of his own body upon the cross, which was a full redemption and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world,'—he adds,
- 'But the Romish Antichrist, to deface this great benefit of Christ, has taught that his sacrifice upon the cross is not sufficient hereunto, without another sacrifice devised by him, and made by the priest; or else without indulgences, beads, pardons, pilgrimages, and such other pelfray, to supply Christ's imperfection.
- ' O heinous blasphemy and most detestable injury against Christ ! O wicked abominations in the temple of God ! O pride intolerable of Antichrist, and most manifest token of the son of perdition, extolling himself above God, and with Lucifer exalting his seat and power above the throne of God ! For he that taketh upon him to supply that thing which he pretend to be imperfect in Christ must needs make himself above Christ, and so very Antichrist.'
At the stake—
- ' As for the Pope, I refuse him as Christ's enemy and the Antichrist, with all his false doctrine.' (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, pp. 44,45)
In prison, before his martyrdom—
- ' What fellowship hath Christ with Antichrist ? Therefore it is not lawful to bear the yoke with the Papists. Come forth from among them, and separate yourselves from them, saith the Lord.' (Ibid, p. 45)
In his farewell letter, before he suffered—
- ' The see of Rome is the seat of Satan, and the bishop of the same, that maintaineth the abominations thereof, is Antichrist himself indeed. And for the same causes, this see at this day is the same which St. John calls, in his Revelation, Babylon, or the whore of Babylon, and spiritually, Sodom and Egypt, the mother of fornications and abominations upon earth.' (Ibid, p. 45)
Again, in his Lamentation for the Change of Religion, he says—
- ' What city is there in the whole world that, when John wrote, ruled over the kings of the earth 1 or what city can be read of, in any time, that, of the city itself, challenged the empire over the kings of the earth, but only the city of Rome, and that since the usurpation of that see, has grown to her full strength ? (Ibid, p. 45)
In a letter to Lady Vane—
- ' The usurped authority of the supremacy of the bishop of Rome is undoubtedly that great Antichrist, of whom the apostles do so much admonish us.'
In his Sermon on the Lord's Supper—
- ' It is a plain sign of Antichrist to deny the substance of bread and wine to be in the Lord's Supper after consecration; for in so doing, and in granting transubstantiation, the property of the human nature of Christ is denied ; for it is not of the human nature, but of the divine nature, to be in many places at once. Now grant transubstantiation, and then Christ's natural body must needs be in many places, which is nothing else but to confound the two natures in Christ, or to deny Christ's human nature, which is the self same thing, St. John says, to deny Christ to be come in the flesh.' (Ibid, p. 45)
On 2 Thess, ii. 4.—
- ' Thus the apostle speaks of Antichrist, he is the man of sin and the son of perdition.' He then, in a long series of particulars, applies the description given in this prediction to the Pope, dwelling especially on his pretences of belonging to Christ, and serving Christ.' (Ibid, p. 45)
In his Declaration of Christ—
- ' The very properties of Antichrist, I mean of Christ's great and principal enemy, are so openly known to all men that are not blinded with the smoke of Rome, that they know him to be the Beast that John describes in the Apocalypse, as well as the logicians know that' man is distinguished from other animals by the faculty of laughter.
Bishop Hooper has many cautions and solemn warnings against a peculiar temptation in Mary's reign, for those, in principles Protestants, to conform to Popery in practice, and attend the mass. He compares it to a wife's adultery. He says, ' Beware of foolish and deceitful collusion to think a man may serve God in spirit secretly to his conscience, although outwardly, with his body and bodily presence, he cleave, for civil order, to such rites and ceremonies as now be used contrary to God and his word. Be assured that whatsoever he be that giveth this counsel, shall be before God able to do you no more profit than the fig leaves did unto Adam.'
Bishop Hooper also frequently gives the name of Antichrist to Popery, speaking of ' the synagogue of Antichrist,' ' Antichrist's tyranny,' and * Antichrist and his damnable religion,' ' the Pope the capital enemy of Christ and his religion.' (Ibid, pp. 45,46)
Annexed to a work, called ' The Revelation of Antichrist, an antithesis contrasting the acts of Christ and the Pope, in seventy- seven Particulars. (Ibid, p. 46)
- 'The Jews look for Christ, and he is come fifteen hundred years ago, and they not aware: we also have looked for antichrist, and he has reigned as long, and we not aware: and that because either of us looked carnally for him, and not in the place where we ought to have sought. The Jews had found Christ verily, if they had sought him in the law and the prophets, whither Christ sendeth them to seek. John v. We also had spied out antichrist long ago, if we had looked into the doctrine of Christ and his apostles, where, because the beast sees himself now to be sought for, he roars.' (Ibid, p. 46)
- ' Paul, (2 Thess. ii.) speaking purposely of antichrist says expressly, that he shall sit in the temple of God, which is the church of Christ. Now the pope sits in the midst of the temple of God, and boasts himself to be God, challenging unto himself such authority as is proper only unto God, and usurping such honour as is peculiar unto God. Therefore not in heathen emperors, nor in Mahomedans, is the prophecy accomplished.' (Ibid, p. 46)
In his Explanatory notes upon the New Testament—
- "The whole succession of popes from Gregory VII. are undoubtedly Antichrist. Yet this hinders not, but that the last pope in this succession will be more eminently the Antichrist, The man of sin, adding to that of his predecessors, a peculiar degree of wickedness from the bottomless pit." (Explanatory notes upon the New Testament, John Wesley, Vol. II, 1813, p. 431)
In The History of The Reformation of Religion in Scotland—
- "That the pope is the head of the [church] of the antichrist." (The History of the Reformation of Religion in Scotland, John Knox, 1841, p. 5)
- "I no more doubt but that it is the synagogue of Satan, and the head thereof, called the pope, to be that man of sin, of whom the apostle speaks," (Ibid, p. 65)
Testimony before the reformation
From the Testimony of Reinerius Saccho, in 1254- asserted ' that the Romish church is not the church of Jesus Christ, but a church of malignants and that it apostatized under Sylvester—and that the Church of Rome is the harlot in the apocalypse.' (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, p. 46)
Testimony of foreign Reformers
Whosoever is seriously affected with piety will fly most swiftly from that Babylon, and will dread even hearing the name of the papacy. For so great is its impiety and abomination, that no one can reckon it up in words, nor can it be seen but with spiritual eyes.
- ' The vicar is in the place of an absent chief,—what is such a vicar but Antichrist.'
- ' I know and am certain that the papacy is the kingdom of Babylon.' (Ibid, p. 47)
On 2 Thess. ii. (answering the papal application of it to the Protestants,) says—
- ' Let our doctrine be examined, and it will appear that they are false. We preach Jesus Christ and him crucified, and that he is the only Reconciler and the only succour of man, but the Papists preach the Pope, the Antichrist, whom here Paul so accurately describes.' (Ibid, p. 47)
- ' Since it is most certain that the pontiffs and monks have forbidden marriage, it is most manifest, and without any doubt true, that the Roman pontiff, with his whole order and kingdom, is the very Antichrist.' (Ibid, p. 47)
- The Papists have imagined an Antichrist who would harass the church for three years and a half. But all the notes by which the Spirit of God designates Antichrist clearly appear in the pope; but that three years Antichrist keeps the foolish Papists engaged, lest seeing they should see. (Ibid, p. 47)
In his Institutes—
- "We appear (says he) to some too reproachful and abusive, when we call the Roman Pontiff Antichrist; but they who thus think, do not understand that they accuse Paul of extravagance, after whom we speak, yea out of whose mouth we speak; and let no one object that we rashly twist the words of Paul to the Roman Pontiff, which are otherwise applicable. I shall briefly show that they cannot be otherwise understood than of the Papacy." (The Church of Rome The Apostacy, W. Cunninghame, 1841, p. 188)
—' God is jealous and suffers not that his servants should draw in the yoke with Antichrist. He has no part with Belial and with darkness. Now we learn that through fear of persecution, you so dissemble your faith and conceal it, as to communicate with the unbelievers, and to partake in the abominations of the masses, in which you are aware that the death and passion of Christ are blasphemed.' (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, p. 47)
- “The clear testimony which the Reformers gave against popery, as being Babylon, is NOT NOW SUSTAINED with equal firmness and clearness. The statement that the pope was antichrist and the man of sin, was powerfully instrumental in bringing about, and establishing the Reformation. It was the main reason given for actual separation from the church of Rome, founded on the express direction of God himself. (Rev. xviii. 4.) The testimony of the reformers on this point was uniform. It was with this sentiment they went to the stake, and offered their bodies to the burning flames of martyrdom.” (Ibid, pp. 43, 44).
- “No computation can reach the numbers who have been put to death in different ways on account of their maintaining the profession of the gospel and opposing the corruptions of the church of Rome. A million of poor Waldenses perished in France ; 900,000 orthodox Christians were slain in less than 30 years after the institution of the order of the Jesuits. The duke of Alva boasted of having put 36,000 to death in the Netherlands by the hands of the common executioner during the space of a few years. The Inquisition destroyed by various tortures 150,000 within 30 years. These are a few specimens and but a few of those which history has recorded, but the total amount will never be known till the earth shall disclose her blood and no more cover her slain.” (Ibid, Mr. Scott's short summary of the cruelties of the church of Rome, pp. 24, 25).
American preacher and theologian Jonathan Edwards is perhaps best known for his role in the Great Awakenings of the mid 1700's. Commenting on the Roman Catholic church in his History of Redemption, Jonathan Edwards stated, “So that antichrist has proved the greatest and most cruel enemy the church of Christ ever had, agreeable to the description given of the church of Rome, [Rev. xvii. 6.] And I saw the woman - drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.'” “Thus did the devil, and his great minister antichrist, rage with violence and cruelty against the church of Christ! And thus did the whore of Babylon make herself drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus!” (History of Redemption, Jonathan Edwards, 1793, pp. 452, 460)
- “The pope (not indeed in his individual, but in his official character, and in the succession of popes) is THE MAN OF SIN, and the son of perdition, foretold by St. Paul in his epistle to the Thessalonians, as the apostacy to precede the coming of Christ. He opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he as God, sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Apostacy specially refers to idolatry, and the worship paid to the virgin Mary and the saints, as is evident by their missals, is idolatry ; as are the making of images of Christ and the saints, and worshipping them. There is no scriptural reason to think that the man of sin is to be one individual, as in scripture a single person often represents a large body in their collective character. In the scriptures civil rulers or magistrates are frequently called "gods." Deut. x. 17; Exod. xxii. 28 ; Psalm Ixxxii. 1,6; John x. 34 ; and nothing can be more clear from all past history than the pope's opposing and exalting himself above all such. The pope began his Bull against Henry the VIII. ' The pope being God's vicar on earth, and according to Jeremiah's prophecy, set over nations and kingdoms to root out and destroy, and having the supreme power over all the kings of the whole world.' The title, ' His holiness the pope,' and ' the supreme pontiff,' his setting aside the commands of God, his conferring absolution, his omission of the second commandment in commonly circulated catechisms, and his assuming to preside in and over the visible church, remarkably accomplish the prediction of St. Paul.” (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, pp. 20, 21).
- “It was this view of popery which led our reformers to a decided separation from the church of Rome. As God commanded the Jews to come out of Babylon of old, (Isa. xlviii. 20; Jer. 1.8; li. 6 ; Zech. ii. 7) so he explicitly commands those in modern Babylon by a voice from heaven to separate from her. And I heard another voice from heaven saying, Come out of her my people that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. The same God who has forbidden all unnecessary divisions, and who marks heresy and schism with special displeasure, bids his people, under the most awful threatenings, to depart from Rome.” (Ibid, p. 24).
With the translation of the Holy scriptures into the common languages of the people, there were mass exoduses from the church of Rome, as the souls of many were set free from a thousand years of darkness into the glorious liberty of the true gospel of Christ. Something was now needed to turn the tide of defections from ‘holy mother church.’ Enter the Counter-Reformation and the Jesuits. The church of Rome employed the cunning skills of the Jesuits, men like Ignatius Loyola, Francisco Ribera and Robert Bellarmine to undermine Protestant Christianity. In the late 1500's Francisco Ribera and Robert Bellarmine published commentaries on the Revelation as a counter-interpretation to the prevailing view among Protestants which identified the Papacy with the Antichrist. Ribera applied all of Revelation but the earliest chapters to the end time rather than to the history of the Church. Ribera's and Bellarmine's writings claimed that Paul, Daniel, and John had nothing whatsoever to say about the Papal power, but a future Antichrist, one sinister man who comes on the scene just before the return of Jesus Christ. The idea of a future one-man Antichrist, however, was not entirely new, but had already begun to take root in the early days of church apostasy shortly after the death of the apostle Paul and coinciding with the corrupting of the scriptures, when certain Ante-Nicene Church Fathers such as Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria, and others, began to turn away their ears from the truth and were influenced by fables, teaching Biblical truths mixed with Apocryphal errors. “For I know this,” said Paul, “that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29,30).
- For three centuries the Jesuit propaganda of a future Antichrist remained largely inside the realm of Catholicism, but the plan of the Jesuits was that these theological tenets be adopted by Protestants. Known as Futurism, it was not until the 1800s that this Jesuit propaganda began to spread to England and to America. In 1826 Dr. Samuel Roffey Maitland of the Church of England published a widely-read book attacking the Reformation and supporting Ribera’s idea of a future one-man Antichrist. Soon after Dr. Maitland came James H. Todd, a professor of Hebrew at the University of Dublin who published anti-Protestant books; John Henry Newman, a member of the Church of England and a leader of the famous Oxford Movement whose goals included weaning Protestants back to ‘holy mother church’ (in 1850, Newman wrote his “Letter on Anglican Difficulties,” revealing that one of the goals in the Oxford Movement was to finally absorb “the various English denominations and parties” back into the Church of Rome. After publishing a pamphlet endorsing Todd’s futurism about a one-man Antichrist, Newman soon became a full Roman Catholic, and later even a highly honored Cardinal); Edward Irving, the Scottish Presbyterian minister and acknowledged forerunner of both the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements who began to teach a newly hatched theory of a pre-tribulation “secret rapture”; John Nelson Darby, known as the Father of Modern Dispensationalism who also became a strong promoter of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture followed by a one-man Antichrist. Between 1859 and 1874 Darby visited America six times preaching in all of its major cities planting the seeds of Futurism in American.
In 1909, Cyrus Ingerson Scofield published the first edition of his famous Scofield Reference Bible in which he injected large doses of Darby, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera Futurism in his footnotes. What continued to fuel the growth of Futurism in 20th-century American Protestantism was the Moody Bible Institute and the Dallas Theological Seminary which strongly supported the teachings of John Nelson Darby. Dallas Theological Seminary graduate Hal Lindsey released a book in the 1970's called The Late Great Planet Earth which brought Futurism to the masses of American Christianity. In the 1990s, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins created Left Behind, a sequence of novels in which they took the future one-man Antichrist idea of Hal Lindsey, Scofield, Darby, Irving, Newman, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and Ribera, and turned it into “The most successful Christian-fiction series ever” (Publishers Weekly). But it was the television ministries of Jack Van Impe, Peter and Paul Lalonde, and Pastor John Hagee, who worked together to produce LEFT BEHIND: The Movie. Thus we see how the floodgates of Futurism have been opened, unleashing a massive tidal-wave of false prophecy which is now sweeping over America.
Christians in the early church understood the prophecies of the prophet Daniel and of the apostles Paul and John, and recognized the four “beasts” of Daniel chapter seven as Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. The Reformation Protestants also understood these prophecies and identified Daniel's “little horn”, Paul's “man of sin” and John's “beast” of Revelation as the papal power that “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;” (Dan. 7; II Thess. 2; Rev. 13 & 17). These are the true Christians that had to flee from their homes and from their lands into the wilderness to escape the heavy hand of persecution that prevailed against them for centuries. This is the true church that fled “into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished” on the milk and meat of the word of God, the Lord sustaining them and using them to preserve his pure words as they copied and recopied the sacred scriptures and passed them down from one generation to the next (Rev. 12:13,14).
From the Reformation period to the weakening of the temporal power of the papacy, from the First Great Awakening in America on into the twentieth century, the vast majority of Protestant ministers of the Gospel recognized the papacy as Antichrist. In a sermon delivered before the American Board of Missions at New York on October 12, 1827, Presbyterian minister Lyman Beecher said,
- “Popery is a system where science and ignorance, refinement and barbarism, wisdom and stupidity, taste and animalism, mistaken zeal and malignant enmity, may sanctimoniously pour out their virulence against the Gospel, and cry Hosanna, while they go forth to shed the blood and to wear out the patience of the saints. And though by revolutions it has been shaken, and compelled by motives of policy to cease a little from blood, not a principle of this system has been abandoned. All the wiles of ages past are put in requisition now to heal the fatal wounds which the beast has received, and to render the system still more powerful and terrific. The leaven is in secret and in open operation in this country ; and the quick action of the beast to the touch of the spear shows that he is neither dead nor asleep. And, considering the civilization, and wealth, and science, which the system comprehends, it is from popery, no doubt, that the Gospel is destined to experience the last and most determined resistance,— popery, as sustained by and sustaining despotic governments.” (Beecher's Works., Vol. II., Lyman Beecher, D.D., 1852, pp. 418, 419)
In 1846 the Rev. Samuel J. Cassels of Norfolk, Virginia wrote a book in which he stated “that the ‘little horn’ of Daniel, the ‘man of sin’ of Paul, and ‘the beast’ of John, all symbolize the papal power” (Christ and Antichrist, S. J. Cassels, 1846, p. 14). Many judicious and excellent ministers of various Christian denominations in America recommended Cassels' book, including Robert Boyte C. Howell, Pastor of the First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn.; Edward Wadsworth, Pastor of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Norfolk, Va.; James R. Gilland, Pastor of Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church, Chester District, South Carolina.; David Caldwell, Rector of St. Paul's Church, Norfolk, Va.; Upton Beall, Rector of Christ Church, Norfolk, Va.; James B. Taylor, Corresponding Secretary of Foreign Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention, Richmond, Va.; Joseph C. Stiles, Pastor of the United Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Va.; Samuel L. Graham, D.D. Professor of Oriental Literature, Union Theological Seminary, Va.; James J. Hamner, Pastor of the Fifth Presbyterian Church, Baltimore; Henry V. D. Johns, Rector of Christ Church, Baltimore; G. W. Musgrave, Pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church, Baltimore; H. A. Boardman, Pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia; B. Gildersleeve, Editor of the Watchman and Observer, Richmond, Va. (Christ and Antichrist, 1846, Recommendations pp. 2,3,4).
In 1866 renowned Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon referred to the papal power as “the insidious monster” and “the detestable Antichrist” and “the harlot of Babylon” (The Sword and The Trowel, C. H. Spurgeon, 1866, p. 3 , p. 497). In 1887 historian Henry Grattan Guinness quoting Martin Luther wrote, “Elsewhere again he says, that when Daniel ‘saw the terrible wild beast which had ten horns, which by the consent of all is the Roman empire, he also beheld another small horn come up in the middle of them. This is the Papal power, which rose up in the middle of the Roman empire.’” (Romanism and the Reformation, Henry Grattan Guinness, 1887, pp. 231, 232).
The 1904 edition of Webster's Universal Dictionary, commenting on the Roman Catholic Jesuit society, stated: “The power of the organization lies largely in its close scrutiny into affairs, its secret methods.... For the means it has sometimes employed to accomplish its purposes in statecraft it has been condemned as unscrupulous in intrigue and deceptive in purpose, tending to the subversion of legitimate government.” (Webster's Universal Dictionary, 1904, p. 907). On page 547 of History of the Christian Church it is stated that “One of the principal means which the Jesuits employed against the Reformation was the school.... Their tact in handling youth gave them a religious influence over the developing minds under their care which was almost sure to result in loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church.... Especially did they strive to win the sons of the noble families, because among them were the seats of political influence. In every possible way it was undertaken to outdo the Protestant schools and universities in the educational field.... The same method in another form led them to seek everywhere positions as fathers confessor, especially among the nobility and the wealthy classes, thereby not only molding religious opinion, but gaining great political influence.” (History of the Christian Church, John Fletcher Hurst, George Park Fisher, 1900, p. 547).
From very early on in the Protestant Reformation the Roman Catholic church, with the help of the Jesuits, went to work to undermine the Protestant scriptures and the faith of the people. In 1582 the church of Rome published the Rheims New Testament Bible in English, not to help Catholics, but rather to hurt Protestant Christians. Their scheme was “to ‘educate’ the Protestant scholars to believe that their Reformation Text was unreliable and that their Authorized Version was ‘not scholarly.’ Once thus programmed, the egotistical scholars would spontaneously attack their own Bible and believe that they were helping God.” (An Understandable History of the Bible, S. Gipp, pp.98,99). How sad and troubling it is to see the seeds of these anti-Protestant schemes come to fruition in modern-day America.
There has been a great Decay Of Protestant Principles among us. The precious doctrine of salvation by grace through faith has been extensively lost. The simplicity with which the Reformers kept to this point in their lengthened and suffering conflict was very remarkable. They had the whole of Papal doctrine, in its varied forms of error, to meet; and everywhere they met it with the glorious truths of the gospel of the grace of God.... There has been a great departure from this spirit of the Reformation; and though there have been partial revivals, the general state of the Protestant church, like that of the Jewish, and of the early Christian churches, is that of decay from the first faith and love of the gospel. (The Testimony of The Reformers, E. Bickersteth, 1836, pp. 25,26). May we who call ourselves Christians today have a true humble and contrite heart, repent of our sins and call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, turn from our errors and return to our first love, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them, though it may cost us our very lives as it did our Protestant forefathers who died for the testimony of Jesus Christ, and they loved not their lives unto the death! (Psa. 51:17; Micah 6:8; Isa. 57:15; Eph. 5:11; Rev. 12:11) (See Scriptures Reveal Antichrist, and Testimony of The Reformers)