5-The Blood of the Saints
Excerpts from FACTS OF FAITH, Christian Edwardson
“The Cathohc Church is a respecter of conscience and of liberty .... She has, and she loudly proclaims that she has, a ‘horror of blood.’ Nevertheless when confronted by heresy she does not content herself with persuasion; arguments of an intellectual and moral order appear to her insufficient, and she has recourse to force, to corporal punishment, to torture. She creates tribunals like those of the Inquisition, she calls the laws of the State to her aid, if necessary she encourages a crusade, or a religious war and all her ‘horror of blood’ practically culminates into urging the secular power to shed it, which proceeding is almost more odious-for it is less frank-than shedding it herself. Especially did she act thus in the sixteenth century with regard to Protestants. Not content to reform morally, to preach by example, to convert people by eloquent and holy missionaries, she lit in Italy, in the Low Countries, and above all in Spain the funeral piles of the Inquisition. In France under Francis I and Henry II, in England under Mary Tudor, she tortured the heretics, whilst both in France and Germany during the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century if she did not actually begin, at any rate she encouraged and actively aided, the religious wars. No one will deny that we have here a great scandal to our contemporaries .... “Indeed, even among our friends and our brothers we find those who dare not look this problem in the face. They ask permission from the Church to ignore or even deny all those acts and institutions in the past which have made orthodoxy compulsory.’’
- ’’ The Catholic Church, the Renaissance, and Protestantism,’’ pp. 182-134. London: 1908. This book bears the sanction of the Roman Catholic authorities, and of their “censor.”
Pope Gregory IX (1227-1241) made the following decree for the destruction of all heretics, which is binding on civil rulers:
“Temporal princes shall be reminded and exhorted, and if needs be, compelled by spiritual censures, to discharge every one of their functions: and that, as they desire to be reckoned and held faithful, so, for the defence of the faith, let them publicly make oath that they will endeavor, bona fide with all their might, to extirpate from their territories all heretics marked by the Church; so that when anyone is about to assume any authority, whether spiritual or temporal, he shall be held bound to confirm his title by this oath. And if a temporal prince, being required and admonished by the Church, shall neglect to purge his kingdom from this heretical pravity, the metropolitan and other provincial bishops shall bind him in fetters of excommunication; and if he obstinately refuse to make satisfaction this shall be notified within a year to the Supreme Pontiff, that then he may declare his subjects absolved from their
allegiance, and leave their lands to be occupied by Catholics, who, the heretics being exterminated, may possess them unchallenged, and preserve them in the purity of the faith”
-”Decretalium Gregorii Papae Noni Conpilatio,” Liber V, Titulus VII, Capitulum
XIII, (A Collection of the Decretals of Gregory IX, Book 5, Title 7, Chapter 13), dated April 20, 1619.
The sainted Catholic doctor, Thomas Aquinas, says:
“If counterfeiters of money or other criminals are justly delivered over to death forthwith by the secular authorities, much more can heretics, after they are convicted of heresy, be not only forthwith excommunicated, but as surely put to death.”
-’’ Summa Theologica,” 2a, 2ac, qu. xi, art. iii.
Dr. J. Dowling says:
“From the birth of Popery in 606, to the present time, it is estimated by careful and credible historians, that more than fifty millions of the human family, have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy by popish persecutors, an average of more than forty thousand religious murders for every year of the existence of Popery”
-”History of Romanism,” pp. 54I, 542. New York: 1871.
W. E. H. Lecky says:
“That the Church of Rome has shed more innocent blood than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind, will be questioned by no Protestant who has a competent knowledge of history. The memorials, indeed, of many of her persecutions are now so scanty, that it is impossible to form a complete conception of the multitude of her victims, and it is quite certain that no power of imagination can adequately realize their sufferings.’’
-’’ History of the Rise and Influence of the Spirit of Rationolism in Europe,” Vol. II, p. 32. London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1910.
John Lothrop Motley, speaking of papal persecution in the Netherlands, says:
“Upon February 16, 1568, a sentence of the Holy Office [the Inquisition] condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as heretics .... A proclamation of the king, dated ten days later, confirmed this decree of the Inquisition, and ordered it to be carried into instant execution .... This is probably the most concise death warrant that was ever framed. Three millions of people, men, women, and children, were sentenced to the scaffold in three lines”
- ” The Rise of the Dutch Republic,” (2-vol. ed.) Vol. I, p. 626. New York.
Many Roman Catholic authors today have tried to prove that their church does not sanction persecution, but facts of history are too plain to be denied. Eternity alone will reveal what God’s dear children suffered during the Dark Ages. Accordingly as the Papacy attained to power, the common people became more oppressed, until “the noon of the Papacy was the
midnight of the world”-
”History of Protestantism,” J. A. Wylie, LL.D., Vol. I, p. 16. London.
The following excerpts are from ROMANISM AND THE REFORMATION by H. Grattan Guiness.
As I shall have to recur to this subject when treating of St. John’s foreview of Romanism, I will add nothing further on this point. I have said enough to show, that this sixth mark of the little horn attaches most distinctly to the Papacy, and indicates it alone among all the powers that have ever held sway on the Roman earth. It has martyred by millions the saints of God,
the best and holiest of men. Its persecuting edicts range over the entire period of its existence; the present pope has endorsed them by his approval of the syllabus of Pius IX., and he threw over them the mantle of infallibility. ( page 46 )
In the sunny south of France, in Provence and Catalonia, lived the Albigenses. They were a civilized and highly educated people. Among these people there sprang up an extensive revival of true religion, and one of its natural effects was a bold testimony against the abominations of apostate Rome. Here is Sismondi’s History of the Albigenses. On page 7 he says of them and of the Vaudois: “All agreed in regarding the Church of Rome as having absolutely perverted Christianity, and in maintaining that it was she who was designated in the Apocalypse by the name of the whore of Babylon.” Rome could not endure this testimony; she drew her deadly sword and waged war against those who bore it. In the year 1208 the Albigenses were murderously persecuted. Innocent III (what a mockery his name!) employed the crusaders in this dreadful work. The war of extermination was denominated sacred. The pope’s soldiers prosecuted it with pious ardor; men, women, and children were all precipitated into the flames; whole cities were burned. In Beziers every soul was massacred; seven thousand dead bodies were counted in a single church, where the people had taken refuge; the whole country was laid waste; an entire people was slaughtered, and the eloquent witness of these early reformers was reduced to the silence of the sepulcher. ( page 122 )
This folio volume is a faithful history of the Waldenses, written 217 years ago, by the Waldensian pastor Leger. It contains his portrait. I have often looked at it with interest. The countenance is scarred with suffering, but full of spiritual light. Leger tells with simple clearness the story of the Waldenses from the earliest times, quoting from ancient and authentic documents. He gives in full their confession of faith, and narrates the history of their martyrdoms, including the dreadful massacre in the vale of Lucerna, in 1655, of which he himself was an eye witness. This book was written only fourteen years after that massacre. It contains numerous depositions concerning it, rendered on oath, and long lists of the names of those who were its victims. It gives also plates depicting the dreadful ways in which they were slaughtered. These plates represent men, women, and children being dismembered, disemboweled, ripped up, run through with swords, impaled on stakes, torn limb from limb, flung from precipices, roasted in flames. They are almost too horrible to look at. And this was only one of a long series of massacres of the Waldenses extending through 600 painful years. ( pages 123& 124 )
Even the Romanists themselves shame you in their clear-sighted comprehension of the issues of this question. Cardinal Manning says, “The Catholic Church is either the masterpiece of Satan or the kingdom of the Son of God.” Cardinal Newman says, “A sacerdotal order is historically the essence of the Church of Rome; if not divinely appointed, it is doctrinally the essence of antichrist.” In both these statements, the issue is clear, and it is the same. Rome herself admits, openly admits, that if she is not the very kingdom of Christ, she is that of antichrist. Rome declares she is one or the other. She herself propounds and urges this solemn alternative. You shrink from it, do you? I accept it. Conscience constrains me. History compels me. The past, the awful past rises before me. I see THE GREAT APOSTASY, I see the desolation of Christendom, I see the smoking rains, I see the reign of monsters; I see those vice-gods, that Gregory VII, that Innocent III, that Boniface VIII, that Alexander VI, that Gregory XIII, that Pius IX; I see their long succession, I hear their insufferable blasphemies, I see their abominable lives; I see them worshipped by blinded generations, bestowing hollow benedictions, bartering lying indulgences, creating a paganized Christianity; I see their liveried slaves, their shaven priests, their celibate confessors; I see the infamous confessional, the mined women, the murdered innocents; I hear the lying absolutions, the dying groans; I hear the cries of the victims; I hear the anathemas, the curses, the thunders of the interdicts; I see the racks, the dungeons, the stakes; I see that inhuman Inquisition, those fires of Smithfield, those butcheries of St. Bartholomew, that Spanish armada, those unspeakable dragonnades, that endless train of wars, that dreadful multitude of massacres. I see it all, and in the name of the ruin it has wrought in the Church and in the world, in the name of the truth it has denied, the temple it has defiled, the God it has blasphemed, the souls it has destroyed; in the name of the millions it has deluded, the millions it has slaughtered, the millions it has damned; with holy confessors, with noble reformers, with innumerable martyrs, with the saints of ages, I denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and soul and essence of antichrist. ( page 146 )
On the other hand, post-Reformation times have been times of Papal reaction and revolution. In the first place, the Protestant Reformation was encountered by a tremendous Papal reaction, the rising wave of life and liberty was met by a counterwave of resistance. Hardly was the ship of a Protestant Church set free and launched upon the deep than there arose a mighty tempest. The resurrection of the slain “witnesses” of Christ in the person of the reformers was answered by a resurrection of all the powers of the pit. The awakening of men’s souls brought war, ecclesiastical and civil, a war of anathemas and a war of extermination. Swords flashed forth, flames were kindled; Rome rose in its anger and its might, and did wondrously. She thundered excommunications, she slaughtered millions; not without an awful struggle would the prince of darkness give up his kingdom. No! Look to it, ye brave reformers; ye will need the armory of heaven and its help, for the hosts of hell are roused against you. Ye may conquer, but it shall be through strife and anguish, and seas of blood. ( pages 147&148 )
Excerpts from Christ and Antichrist, Samuel J. Cassels
Mede has calculated from good authorities,
“that in the war with the Albigenses and Waldenses there perished of these people, in France alone, 1,000,000. From the first institution of the Jesuits to the year 1580, a little more than thirty years, 900,000 orthodox Christians were slain. In the Netherlands alone, the Duke of Alva boasted, that within a few years he had dispatched to the amount of 36,000 souls, and those all by the hand of the common executioner. In the space of scarce thirty years, the Inquisition destroyed by various kinds of torture, 150,009 Christians.” Gibbon states it as a fact, though a melancholy one, that Papal Rome has shed immensely more Christian blood, than Pagan Rome had ever done. He gives but one illustration; that, however, a fearful one. “In the Netherlands alone,” says he, “more than 100,000 of the subjects of Charles V., are said to have suffered by the hands of the executioner.”
( Rome, chapter 16. )
Nor let it be said, that much of this bloodshed is to be ascribed to European princes’ and magistrates. With equal justice might the Jew affirm, that Jesus of Nazareth was condemned by Pilate, and executed by Roman soldiers. God, however, has charged the blood of his Son upon the Jews, by whose malignity and devisings Christ was crucified. Much more then, are the torrents of blood shed in Europe to be ascribed to the Papacy, to the Catholic church. These princes and magistrates were Catholic subjects, and they only executed the mind and will of the church. They were instigated by priests, yea, by the Pope himself. They were often complained of as being too tardy and too merciful; yea, some of them were involved in ruin, along with their heretical subjects, for their forbearance. Those of them too, who were most ferocious, who effected most brutally the work of ruin, received from Catholic dignitaries, and even from the Pope, the greatest amount of commendation. Thus Monfort, Catharine de Medicis, Charles IX., (whose remorse before death caused the blood to ooze from the pores of his body!) Louis XIV., etc., were congratulated by the Gregories, and innocents of their times, as faithful and zealous sons of the church, and as worthy the peculiar favor of heaven. This alliance, however, or rather identity, between the Papacy and policy of Europe in persecuting the saints, is matter of express and repeated prophecies. “These have one mind,” says John, “and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.” Again, ”For God has put it into their hearts, to fulfill his will, and to agree and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.”
Revelation 17. ( Christ and Antichrist, Samuel J. Cassels )
A GENERAL HISTORY OF THE
by David Benedict (Pages 28-30)
SOME ACCOUNT OF THE PERSECUTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN
CARRIED ON BY THE CHURCH OF ROME.
This church, among other enormities, is covered with the blood of saints, which is crying for vengeance on its polluted head. The murders and cruelties of which this bloody community has been guilty, can be but briefly touched upon here; but it is supposed, if I mistake not, that three million lives have been sacrificed to the persecuting rage of the papal power. Among these, upwards of a million were of the people called Waldenses or Albigenses. On the fatal night of St. Bartholomews, August 24, 1572, about seventy thousand persons were murdered in Paris, in the most barbarous manner, by the influence of the pope, and by the instrumentality of the bloodthirsty Charles IX. Within thirty years, there were murdered in France 59 princes, 148 counts, 234 barons, 147,518 gentlemen, and 760,000 persons of inferior rank in life, but whose blood equally called for justice. Three hundred thousand of these were murdered in a few years, by that furious catholic, Charles IX. The massacre of St. Bartholomews happened in the following manner; a match was concluded between Henry, (afterwards Henry IV) the young king of Navarre, a protestant, and the French King’s sister. The heads of the protestants were invited to celebrate the nuptials at Paris, with the infernal view of butchering them all, if possible, in one night. This horrid scene is thus described by the author of the Trial of Antichrist: “Exactly at midnight on the eve of St. Bartholomews, (so called) 1572, the alarm bell was rung in the Palais Royale, as the signal of death. About five hundred protestant barons, knights and gentlemen, who had come from all parts to honor the wedding, were, among the rest, barbarously butchered in their beds. The gentlemen, officers of the chamber, governors, tutors, and household servants of the king of Navarre, and prince of Conde, were driven out of the chambers where they slept in the Louvre, and being in the court, were massacred in the king’s presence. The slaughter was now general throughout the city, and as Thuanus writes, “that the very channels ran down with blood into the river.” This was, however, magnified as a glorious action, and the king, who was one of the most active murderers, boasted that he had put 70,000 heretics to death. I might quote the words of a French author, who wrote the history of France, from the reign of Henry II. to Henry IV. and say, “How strange and horrible a thing it was, in a great town, to see at least 60,000 men with pistols, pikes, cutlasses, poniards, knives, and other bloody instruments, run, swearing and blaspheming the sacred Majesty of God, through the streets and into houses, where most cruelly they massacred all, whomsoever they met, without regard of estate, condition, sex, or age. The streets paved with bodies cut and hewed to pieces; the gates and entries of houses, palaces, and public places, dyed with blood. Shouting and hallooings of the murderers, mixed with continual noise of pistols and calivers discharged; the pitiful eries and shrieks of those that were murdering. Slain bodies cast out of the windows upon the stones, and drawn through the dirt. Strange noise of whistling, breaking of doors and windows with bills and stones. The spoiling and sacking of houses. Carts, some carrying away the spoils, and others the dead bodies, which were thrown into the river Seine, all now red with blood, which ran out of the town and from the king’s palace.” While the horrid scene was transacting, many priests ran about the city, with crucifixes in one hand and daggers in the other, to encourage the slaughter.”
(Trial of Antichrist, p. 134-5.)
In the short reign of the ever to be execrated popish Mary, queen of England, there were burnt in that kingdom, one archbishop, four bishops, twenty-one preachers, eight gentlemen, eighty-four artificers, a hundred husbandmen and laborers, twenty-six wives, twenty widows, nine unmarried women, two boys and two infants. Forty thousand perished in the Irish massacre, in 1641. In a very short time, there were hanged, burned, buried alive, and beheaded, 50,000 persons in the Netherlands. The single order of Jesuits alone are computed, in the space of thirty or forty years, to have put to death 900,000 christians, who deserted from popery. And the Inquisition, the bloody instrument of papal vengeance, in the space of about thirty years, destroyed, by various torture, 150,000.
(Trial of Antichrist throughout.)
No doubt, the above research doesn’t even scratch the surface of information pertaining to the blood of the saints in the annals of history at the hands of the Church of Rome. There is no question then, that this third identifying mark was strikingly fulfilled by the history of the Church of Rome. The writer contends that he has proven beyond doubt, that the Church of Rome is Babylon the great, and the Mother of harlots which the scriptures we are examining speak of. She is that city which will reign above all the others of this earth, and above a world in rebellion against God. Let us now examine the second angel’s message in light of these established facts.