And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said; Go, take the little book which has been opened, in the hand of the Angel which stands upon the sea and upon the land. And I went unto the Angel, and said to Him, Give me the little book! And He said unto me, Take, and eat it up: and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the Angel’s hand, and ate it up: and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: but when I had eaten it, my belly was bitter. And He saith unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and languages, and kings.
And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: [and the Angel stood,] saying: Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those that worship therein. But the court that is without the temple, cast out, and measure it not, for it has been given to the Gentiles. (Rev. 10:8-11:2)
What have we here but a prefiguration of the two next great steps of advance in the Reformation: first, the special commissioning by Christ of faithful spiritually prepared ministers of the Reformation, to preach his gospel in various countries and languages; next, the constitution and definition of evangelical and reformed churches, to the exclusion, as heathen like and apostate, of the Church of Rome? Let us consider the two separately.
The points to be noted in this passage are the Spirit’s direction to St. John to take the little book from the Angel:— the Angel giving it to him, together with the charge to eat, and prove both its sweetness and its bitterness:— then, after St. John so eating and proving it, the Angel solemnly commissioning him to the resumption of the work of ambassador and gospel preacher: “Thou must prophesy again, before many peoples, and nations, and languages, and kings.”
I have paraphrased the word prophesy in the last clause of the quotation, as signifying the fulfillment of the work of Christ’s ambassador and gospel preacher. And it may perhaps be well, considering the restricted signification of predicting future events that is now in common parlance almost alone attached to it, and the exposition also by many modern commentators, as if, “Thou must prophesy again,” meant, “Thou must predict again,” or, “begin a new series of predictions,”— to show the reader that this both accords with the original and more proper sense of the word, as used in Scripture, and is moreover that which the context itself determines to be the sense here intended.
The Septuagint rendering (Προφητευω) of the Hebrew, to bring forth, show, announce: and to the first meaning affixed by Gesenius is “to speak as God’s ambassador,” whatever the subject. Thus it included not the prediction of future events only: but the general predication of God’s mind and will, the explanation of his mysteries, the pleading of his cause: and, in this, the exhorting, instructing, reproving, warning, and expostulating with, a rebellious people. The particular and restricted meaning of predicting future events came to be attached to the word simply as being one of the frequent functions of the prophetic office: just in the same way as that of other of the prophetic functions was attached to it, though less frequently, also.— So much as to the Hebrew original, and its Greek Septuagint version, in the Old Testament. Nor is the use of the word (προφητευω) in the New Testament much different. For example, in Matt. 7:22 the question, “Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?” means evidently, “Have we not preached as thy ambassadors?” Similarly in, Matt. 10:41, “Whoso receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward,” we cannot doubt but that each faithful ambassador of Christ, and preacher of his Gospel, is intended: whether endowed with the predictive faculty, or not.— To which let me add that the term was specially applied in the Apostolic times to the function of expounding the written Scriptures, and exhorting from them, in the Christian churches: a function then assisted by a more plenary inspiration of God’s Spirit: yet, otherwise, very much the prototype of the same prophetic function, as subsequently fulfilled in the Church by every faithful gospel minister.
Thus from the general Scripture use of the word it appears that it is, in the present instance, open to us to construe it in the sense of preaching the Gospel as Christ’s ambassador, just as much as in that of predicting future events. From which if we turn to consider the Apocalyptic context, it will be evident, I think, that the former can alone be the true meaning. For, first, this is the undoubted sense of the word as used by the Angel in his account of the Witnesses, just but a verse or two after that we were considering: “I will give power to my two Witnesses, and they shall prophesy 1260 days in sackcloth.” Who would construe it there to signify, “They shall enunciate predictions for 1260 days?”— Further, it is this sense which alone agrees with the symbolic act noted as preparation to John’s receiving the commission, “Thou must prophesy again;”— I mean his receiving and eating the little Book in the Angel’s hand. For the little Book is evidently the substance and manual of that which he was to prophesy. And as, in the precisely parallel case of Ezekiel the book given to be eaten by him was not the mere predictive part of God’s message entrusted to his charge, but the whole of it, and moreover not to be prophesied by him simply by committal to writing, but to be declared and preached by him, as God’s ambassador, to the Jewish people viva voce, “I have made thee a watchman to this people,” so we may infer the same respecting both the subject matter and the mode, here intended, of St. Johns prophesying.— Nor must we omit to mark the consistency of the interpretation thus given, with the antecedent part of the vision. For, whereas the message entrusted to Ezekiel, and to the other ancient prophets, was the same substantially that we find in the several prophetic Books bearing their names, it is, we know, the Gospel of the New Testament which is emphatically enjoined as the subject matter of their preaching, on each and every one of the ambassadors of the Lord Jesus. And this was long since our inference respecting the opened little hook in the Angel’s hand (an inference drawn from the circumstance of its opening being represented as the accompaniment and instrumental cause of the light of the Reformation), that it must have been either the holy Bible in miniature form, or else some miniature Part of the Bible: such a Part as contained in it that which is the substance and essence of all Bible doctrine, the record of the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ:— and hence probably Christ’s gospel ministers chief manual, the Little Bible, the New Testament.
This premised, and with the remembrance further of St. John’s symbolic character on the Apocalyptic scene, as representative of Christ’s faithful ministers of the time figured,— more especially, in this present Act of the Apocalyptic Drama, of him that was the head, guide, and master spirit of the ministers of the Reformation, Martin Luther— the thing pre-signified in the passage heading the present Section will appear to be this:— that, at the time following on Luther’s recognition of Antichrist’s voice in the Papal Thunders, and recognition too of that Antichrist’s fated and approaching doom, both he and other reformers with him, impelled by the same heavenly influence as before, and prepared by the experimental digestion of the Gospel in their own hearts, would be re-commissioned as from Christ Himself (there being apparently some particular reason for noting this divine origin of their re-commissioning), to go forth as his gospel preachers and witnesses, specially against the Papacy:— the word again implying some notable previous suspension or interruption of this preaching work (somewhat perhaps as in the case of St. John himself, when by Domitian’s Decree banished from the ministerial work to Patmos):— the concluding words of the sentence further indicating that this gospel preaching would thenceforth come before many different kings and people, and also in many different languages.— All this, I say, seems to be implied: nor will the historical fulfillment here fail to appear on investigation, as simply and completely as in all before.
Before proceeding however to show this, in the sequel of the history of Luther and the Reformation, let us mark, in passing glance, a few prominent facts respecting the varying practice and regulation of the function of gospel preaching, as they strike an observer in the progressive history of public worship, from age to age in the Christian Church.
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Such were the terms of our Lord Jesus Christ’s original and never-to-be-forgotten commission to his Apostles. The instrument he would make use of from the first, for the promulgation of his gospel, was the living voice of men declaring and preaching it,— the “viva favella d’uomo.” And the terms of the promise added, “Lo I am with you always, even to the end of the world,” while they assured to the disciples first addressed the needful help of his presence, showed moreover that the charge and the promise included not the disciples then present only, but their successors also in the Christian ministry, even to the consummation.— So the Apostles themselves proceeded at once to fulfill the charge. And who knows not the wonderful success which, as might have been anticipated from Christ’s promised presence and help, attended them in it? The weapon of warfare assigned them, however despicable in the eyes of men, proved mighty with multitudes, to the pulling down of strongholds, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believed.”
Now it is to be observed that it was not in addresses to the heathen only, but in the congregations of the Church also, as it was gradually formed and extended, that this important function of proclaiming Christ’s gospel, and all Scripture as bearing on it, was to be fulfilled. For that same word which had been, in the first instance, the instrument of their conversion to Christianity, was also still profitable, we may say essential, for reproof, for doctrine, for correction, and instruction in the way of righteousness. Moreover it is to be observed that the public reading of the Scriptures was included in this function, as well as the preaching according to the divinely approved practice of the Jewish synagogue. All this appears from the Apostolic precepts and ordinances. The reading of the inspired epistles in their congregational worship is enjoined by the Apostle Paul himself on the early Churches. The official ministration in them of those that were called prophets (one to which I have already once alluded), exhibits to us the commencement of the practice of expounding and exhorting from the written Scriptures. Further, the charge to Timothy, “Preach the word! Do the work of an Evangelist! Make full proof of thy ministry!” appears both from Timothy’s appointed office as a Bishop, and also from the prophetic warning added, “For the time will come when they [evidently professed Christians] will not endure sound doctrine, but will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears,” to have had reference, principally at least, to ministrations in the Christian Church.— Thus much, I say, we may infer from Scripture as to the Apostolic times and practice. And, both as regards the reading and the preaching, the ecclesiastical records of the three next centuries represent these acts as still a constant part of the common Christian Sunday worship.
Let us review yet a few centuries further, in the history of Christendom. By the close of the 4th century, we know, Christianity had subverted heathenism on the Roman earth. A century or two later, the Goths, that invaded as heathens or Arians, had settled down into orthodox Christianity. Thus the world was, in outward profession, identified with the Church. Within the precincts of the old Roman Empire it was in the Church alone that the work of the Evangelist, the preaching of the gospel word, had henceforth to be performed.— And what then the performance?— We find from the rituals that both the reading and preaching did continue formally to be integral parts of the church service. But, as regards the reading,— besides the diminution of Scripture lessons in the public worship, arising in part probably out of the monastic multiplication of services, accordantly with the now recognized seven canonical hours of prayer (the most of which services were attended by priests and monks only), and apportionment to them of much that was before read to the congregation, besides this, I say, legends of saints had now begun to be read at times, instead of Scripture:— the Psalms, the chief Scripture lessons remaining, were chanted by priests, instead of being read to the people: and moreover in the West, as language underwent its mutations, through the inter-mixture and settlement of the invading Gothic hordes, the Latin in which they were chanted, was rapidly becoming an unknown tongue.— Then as to the preaching (which is our more immediate subject) it had both become rare, and, where performed, was of anything but the primitive evangelic character. To the former result (its rarity) two causes had contributed, of early origin. First, the narrow view of its obligation, as if incumbent on the Bishops only: which (though the faculty was accorded in practice to certain of the city Presbyters and Deacons) operated necessarily to deprive the mass of the rural population of the preaching of the word of God: next, that early exaggerated and unsound estimate of the inherent efficacy of the sacraments, long since spoken of, which led both clergy and people to consider that, where the sacraments were administered, all was done that was essential of the duties of the priesthood.
The second result, I mean the general Evangelical character of preaching, where continued, followed necessarily from the darkening superstitions introduced ere the end of the fourth century. After which period, and amidst the political convulsions of the two centuries succeeding, the continued and increasing darkness of superstition having that of the grossest intellectual ignorance super added to it, an incompetence characterized the clergy, such that thenceforth, even if Prince or Council more zealous than others might wish to enforce the right fulfillment of the clerical duties, the preaching of the Gospel was scarce enjoined on Priests, or even Bishops: as if a performance out of the question. The reading of certain Homilies, translated by the Bishop, or by some one more learned from the earlier Fathers (that which in other times had been but an alternative), was now enjoined in lieu of sermons, as quite the best thing to hope for. And even these were, after a while, for the most part omitted in the West: Rome itself, much the first, setting the example.— Besides all which, there were now restrictions, canonically imposed, on the free preaching of the Gospel, that would necessarily impede its revival. First, as already intimated, the rule existed that no Presbyter might preach, unless expressly authorized by the Bishop. Again, AD. 691, it had been made a Canon of the Trullan Council (a Council supplemental to the 6th General Council, celebrated shortly before at Constantinople), that in their preachings, especially on all controverted points, the Bishops should take care to broach no opinion diverse from what was received as orthodox, or from the “divine tradition of the Fathers’’ It is evident that either rule was capable of application, such as to oppress the preaching of Christ’s Gospel; wheresoever the orthodoxy in vogue might be a system corrupt and erroneous, and the tradition of the Fathers regarded as accordant with it. In fact they passed with this use for evil, and not for good, and that for a permanency, into the whole Western Church.
So were the dark Middle Ages entered on: and, as they advanced, the neglect of this primary duty of the Christian ministry continued through the length and breadth of Christendom. Here and there we read of attempts at its revival: for example in England by the Archbishop Egbert, Bede’s contemporary, by King Alfred, and by Archbishop Aelfric.— But the attempts were but as momentarily as partially successful. About the middle of these dark ages the doctrine of transubstantiation gained authorization, confirmed the Clergy more than ever in their neglect of the work of the evangelist. As the general undue exaltation of the sacraments in the fourth century led to its depreciation, how much more the dogma of the Priest having power, in the one of those two sacraments, to offer up at his pleasure, and for his congregation, the all atoning sacrifice of the Lamb of God! Their salvation thereby ensured, if he pleased it, what the need of preaching the gospel to them?— Hence from the lips of the parochial clergy, the sound of the Gospel was a sound in those middle ages all but obsolete. What Archbishop Peckham said of the state of England in his time, was applicable generally to the state of Christendom: that the duty of instructing the people had been so neglected by the clergy, as to reduce no small portion of them to the state described by the prophet: “when the children ask bread, and there is none to break it unto them: and the poor and destitute cry for water, and their tongue is parched up.’’— On the rise of the mendicant Friars, they gained credit, as observed in a former chapter, by professedly reviving the practice. But it was in fact no revival of gospel preaching. Their preaching was for the most part little more than a setting forth of the lying legends of saints, insomuch that legends and fables came to be words of identical meaning: or perhaps declamatory orations, in the style and with the false dogmas of the schools.— A few exceptions indeed there were (in the Church, I mean, not here referring to direct separatists): and one especially glorious, about a century after Bishop Peckham, I mean that of Wicliff.
“Regarding,” says Le Bas, “the neglect of the office of preaching as the foulest treason to Christ,” he both himself set the example of indefatigable preaching of the Gospel, in style plain and popular to the people, and moreover sent forth his poor priests as preaching missionaries:— having previously translated the Bible into English, for the better preparation of both preachers and people. And, as Wycliffe in England, so too Huss in Bohemia. But both the Wicliff preaching ministers, and the Hussites, were soon excommunicated as heretics, and nearly suppressed by the errors of the sword. In the Church, things returned much into their former course.— Thus this most important function of the Christian ministry continued to be neglected almost universally. Living addresses to the heart and conscience, fresh from the living fountain of truth, and which set forth God’s grace and love through a dying, risen, and interceding Savior, continued all but unknown in the established church worship, even up to the close of the 15th century, and was also at that time all but suppressed in sects without: Ie. at the epoch of Luther’s first preaching: or of the commencement of the Reformation.
And now we have to show the fulfillment of the Apocalyptic symbolization contained in the passage that heads the present Section; “The Angel said, Thou must prophesy again before many nations, &c.: in other words, “Thou must resume, on the scale of the nations, the function and work of gospel preaching.” As stated at the beginning of this chapter, the symbolization will be found to have marked most exactly the next important epoch, and the next great step of progress, notable in the Reformation.
But had not Luther already at an earlier epoch of the Reformation begun to fulfill this sacred function of the ministry: even from the very time of his first discovery of Christ the Savior, and right understanding of his gospel? No doubt he had. And it will be quite to our purpose to pause a moment, ere proceeding further, on the fact: and to mark how, even while yet attached to the Romish Church, he did this in accordance, as he judged, with his ordination ritual and vows.
For so it was that though, on ordination to the Priesthood the paten and the chalice having been delivered into his hands by the ordaining Bishop, he was therewith only empowered and enjoined to sacrifice (Ie. in private masses and the sacramental rite) for the living and the dead— a ceremonial awfully blasphemous, as Luther himself soon learned to view it, and which, arising out of the reception throughout Western Europe of the doctrine of transubstantiation had been adopted to mark what was thenceforth considered as the consecrated priest grand office, to the supercession of all inferior and obsolete offices, such as that of preaching God’s word,— yet at his previous ordination as Deacon there had been observed a ritual, and a charge been given him, of comparatively early institution, not founded on man’s falsehood, but on Christ’s own appointment: which, according to the rite’s proper and plain significance, pointed out this gospel preaching as his duty. For, the Book of the Gospels being then placed in his hand by the Bishop, he was thus charged: “Take authority to read the Gospel in the Church of God; and words were added respecting his duty, as that not only of “assisting the priests in ministrations at the altar,” but also of “declaring the Gospel and other Scriptures of the New Testament, and of preaching the word of God.” Thus, mere form as the rite was now regarded, and lost as had become all its spirit,— the deacon’s duty in practice being confined to reading the Gospel in an unknown tongue, and in the priest’s case thought to be superseded by the higher function of sacrificing for the living and dead, so that the rite remained but like a shadowy silent memorial of the custom of a bygone age,— yet Luther, taught as he was by the Spirit, even before his discovery of the anti-christian character of the Papacy, felt, as others felt not, the reality and the responsibility of the charge. And his subsequent ordination as Priest not having invalidated the obligation, and the order of his Vicar-general having confirmed it, and, the more he was quickened from above, the deeper having become his sense of the obligation laid on him (for he looked through the ordaining Bishop to Him in whose name he considered the Bishop to have acted, even the Lord Jesus), he had thus from his earliest ordination to the priesthood, and while as yet but partially enlightened, recognized the duty, and given himself to the fulfillment of the function of Evangelist.
So then (as before noted) the Church of Wittenberg heard the strange sound of a revived preaching of the gospel. And thus at the same time both by his preaching and his lectures in the University, by the public circulation of evangelic writings, and by the influence as well of his personal intercourse as of that which he had officially to exercise in a Visitation, as the Vicar-general’s substitute, of the Augustinian convents in Electoral Saxony,— in all these ways, I say, he was already unconsciously, but most effectively, preparing not a few others of the monks and clergy, to be evangelical preachers in the new and better church that was soon to be established. Still as time proceeded, and his mind began gradually to open to the true character of the Papacy, this his desire could not but increase. “Would that we could multiply living books, Ie. preachers,” was in 1520 the expression of his most cherished desire. And when at length the truth broke fully on him, and in Rome’s seven thunders he recognized the voice of Antichrist, the feeling rooted itself the deeper. Of the restrictions that we have noted he perceived at once the anti-christian tendency, and set them aside. Remonstrances from his Bishop on this point he heeded not. To the Pope himself he wrote in his final letter, “There must be no fettering of Scripture with rules of interpretation” (referring doubtless to the decrees already noted of the Trullan and Lateran Councils, and the Romish use made of them): “the word of God must be left free.” Even up to the Diet of Worms both himself and his brother reformers acted on this feeling: and thus, in their limited spheres, began to re-attach to the Christian minister’s office that function of gospel-preaching, or prophesying, which had within the Church been so long intermittent, and in sects without it been apparently put down. Would the attempt so begun succeed, or prove abortive?
Now mark the crisis! It followed (just accordantly with the position of the vision before us) forthwith after Luther’s recognition and rejection of the Papal oracle, as but the voice of the foredoomed Antichrist, and his persistence in rejection of it at Worms before the Emperor. For thereupon the supreme secular and ecclesiastical powers had issued condemnatory decrees against both him and his fellow laborers: and so, virtually, against the gospel ministry itself. By the ecclesiastical decrees they were excommunicated from the Church, and virtually degraded from the ministerial office: by the secular they were, on pain of confiscation, imprisonment, and even death, interdicted from the preaching of the Gospel. And as for Luther himself, he was proscribed as one out of the protection of the law: insomuch that confinement in a lonesome castle in the Wartburg forest seemed to his friend the Elector of Saxony the only alternative, whereby to hide him a while from the storm, and to save his life. Such was the crisis. And so then, and there, was the time for his reflecting in solemn solitude and insulation, on things past, present, and future: on what had been done in other days, and on what it now needed that he should do, for the cause and church of the Lord Jesus. It was somewhat like St. John himself, when in exile for the testimony of Jesus: and Luther indeed recognized and marked the resemblance, by calling the
castle his Patmos.
And what then did he do? Did he bow to the storm, and abandon the work just begun? Let us but follow out the Apocalyptic figurations, as further enacted by St. John on the visionary dramatic scene: and we shall find that what he then and there heard, felt, and did, depicted in just the best and truest manner the next acting of Luther in this crisis of the living drama; and therewith the further progress of the Reformation.
First, “the voice said, Go, take the Little Book out of the Angel’s hand.” The chief occupation to which Luther was directed from above, during this his year of exile, was the taking in hand the New Testament, with a view to its translation into the vernacular German. To this he was impelled, not only by his own love of the Book, but by the conviction of its being that which would prove his most powerful help towards the diffusion of the gospel, alike among ministers and people in Germany, and the overthrow of the Papal superstition. And truly it was a work in which his very soul felt complacency. He expresses his annoyance when forced by any temporary press of controversial writing to desist from it. Already long since he had fed upon, and experimentally digested, its sacred contents. And now, in their more particular and accurate consideration, he again digested it, and again tasted its sweetness: just like other translators of kindred spirit, both before, contemporary with, and after him. However bitter the consequences of preaching it (and bitter indeed afterwards he found them, above all from the continued perversity of most that heard it), the case was now with him just as with St. John himself: when, having received the Little Book from the Angel, he ate it, and found it in his mouth sweet as honey. Then “the Angel said. Thou must prophesy again.” It was with a view, I said, to Christian Ministers like himself digesting and preaching the Gospel, as well as to the people generally reading it, that Luther in fact urged on his translation of the New Testament. For full well did he recognize that gospel preaching was still instrumentally the power of God unto salvation:— that to its long neglect and interruption through the dark ages was very principally owing the establishment of the great anti-christian apostasy in Christendom:— that by its renewal, and an effective revival in this way of the long all but extinct work of witnessing or prophesying for Christ, (mark the words, Prophesy again), the power of the apostasy was to be partially and primarily broken, according to Daniel’s and St. Paul’s predictions:— and that on them, the ordained ministers of Christ, who had been enlightened to seek a Reformation, the obligation specially lay of accomplishing it. Could the Popes official annulment of their ministerial orders either cancel those orders, or alter the obligation consequent?
What! The act of Antichrist cancel a commission which, traced upwards to its course, not he, but Christ himself had communicated? Strong as was Luther’s sense of the necessity of a proper commission to the ministerial office, and of the duty of ecclesiastical order, such a conclusion was impossible. Nor again, notwithstanding all his deference to “the powers that were,” could the Emperor’s interdict, any more than the Pope’s, move him on that point: convinced as he was that God’s word might not be bound by any earthly potentate.— Hence, after the issuing of the Decree of Worms, and when himself confined in Patmos, he recognized the voice of duty, and stimulated Melancthon and his coadjutors at Wittenberg to the continued exercise of evangelical preaching just as if there had been no Papal revocation of their orders, or Imperial interdict against their preaching:— in other words, he urged upon the reforming ministers, at this momentous crisis of their insulation from the Romish Church and Empire, the fulfillment of what the Angel’s injunction prefigured in vision, “Thou must prophesy again.”
As respected himself indeed personally, both regard to the Elector’s kindly mandate, and the fear of rushing uncalled by God into danger, made him awhile resist the desire that burnt like fire in his bones. Yet so soon as the doubtless divinely intended objects of his seclusion had been accomplished,— so soon as he had completed that most important work of the German translation of the New Testament, which was in God’s providence to be one of the mightiest assistance towards the progress of the prophesying again, and of the Reformation,— and when a crisis had arisen, in part through the bitter persecution of fellow laborers in Germany for preaching what were called Lutheran or evangelic doctrines, in part through official hindrances to the progress of the Gospel in the Saxon Electorate itself and in part too through the rise of a fanatic sect called Anabaptists, who, styling themselves apostles and prophets, as if inspired from heaven, were but Satan’s counterfeits, raised up by him in order to bring discredit on the true ministers of apostolic spirit,— insomuch altogether that the fulfillment of the Angel’s injunction by his reforming brethren seemed, humanly speaking, to depend on Luther’s returning to his post at Wittenberg (and so indeed Melancthon urged the point), then, as under direction of that same voice from heaven, and with a view to heading them in the fulfillment of this their ministerial, may I not say apostolic commission,— he took the decisive step of returning to Wittenberg: albeit without the Elector’s permission, and at the imminent risk, proscribed as it was, of his own life. And on the road he wrote thus to the Elector, explaining his motives: “Inevitable reasons compel me to the step: the divine will is plain, and leaves me no choice: the Gospel is oppressed, and begins to labor Adding, with allusion not so much to the significant rite of his former ordination as Deacon, as to the higher commissioning from above, and obligations consequent, that resulted from Christ’s own opening of the Gospel to his soul: “It is not from men that I have received the Gospel, but from heaven, from the Lord Jesus Christ and henceforth I wish to reckon myself simply his servant, and to take the title of Evangelist. So the Rubicon was crossed, the decision made: and the evangelic ministers, with Christ’s commission on their banner, constituted themselves a body independent of, as well as separated from, the ruling Antichrist at Rome.
It is scarce my present business to observe how, on Luther’s returning to his post at Wittenberg, and in the re-exercise of his prophesying as Evangelist, under this clear commission from above, the Covenant Angel shed upon him his blessing, and fulfilled the implied promise in his words of re-commissioning: how the effect of his preaching, counsel, and authority, was such as soon to restore order at Wittenberg, to put down the tumultuous outbreaks of the populace, quell the fanaticism of Carolstadt, and refute the false prophets and prophesying, by appeal conjointly to the written word, and the inward experience of the true prophet: or how, at the same time, his intrepidity and example animated the evangelic ministers who had been depressed under persecution: and the publication of his German New Testament aided, above every other instrumentality, in the diffusion and confirmation of the Gospel. Suffice it thus briefly to suggest how the gospel cause, delivered both from the opprobrium and the difficulties that threatened to oppress it, became thus free to advance, agreeably with the next clause in the Apocalyptic prediction, Thou must prophesy again before many nations and kings, &c.; as God might open the door to its progress.
And precisely what we next read of in history is, how the door was thus opened, and that also, in many different countries. It was in March, 1522, that Luther returned, and resumed his work of prophesying at Wittenberg. And within the next two or three years we are told of its successful preaching (before princes as well as people) not in Germany only, but in Sweden, Denmark, Pomerania, Brandenburg, and Livonia;— in France, Belgium, Spain, and Italy also, though not so successfully:— and further, last mentioned but not least, in England. We also read of translations of the Bible being made simultaneously by evangelic ministers into most of the vernacular tongues, after Luther’s prototype, the first being that into Swedish under direction of Andreas the king’s Chancellor, and his Secretary Olaus Petri, and how these ministers generally approved themselves men that, like Luther, had tasted of the good word of grace, witness the example, not to be forgotten by us, of Bilney in England. The prediction seemed fulfilling, “The Lord gave the word, great was the company of the preachers: and, yet more particularly and exactly, that clause of the Apocalyptic prophecy that prefigured it, Thou must prophesy again before many people, and nations, and languages, and kings.
Still there remained on this head yet another point for decision essentially connected with the continuance of this renewed evangelic preaching: and by far too important either for the Reformers to overlook in acting the Apocalyptic Interpreter in expounding.
It is obvious that in the first instance the fulfillment of the charge, Thou must prophesy again, embraced those only who, already ordained in the Romish Church, had been by the Papal and Imperial decrees interdicted from preaching, and degraded from Holy Orders: in regard of whom we have seen Luther’s decisive judgment and course of acting, and that of the other Reformers associated with him.— But what of the future? Cut off from the ecclesiastical Hierarchy, and without any Bishop, at least in the Saxon Electorate uniting with them, whence was to come the subsequent ordination of their ministers, whereby to furnish the supply necessary for the continuance of the preaching of the Gospel? The more regular apostolic constitution of Christian churches, as defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus, and moreover for ten centuries the almost constant, and afterwards constant practice in the Church visible, had affixed to the episcopal order alone the function of ordaining deacons and presbyters. Was then the future supply to remain unprovided? Was the Reformation to be left, like that begun more early by the Bohemians, to dry up for want of Pastors?
Could it be Christ’s will that the very separation from Antichrist should involve as its consequence Antichrist’s triumph?—Surely not.—In fact the case might seem to be one provided for in the original Scripture record of the first times of Christianity: not merely by the absence in it of any direct Apostolic prohibition of other than episcopal ordination, but by the Apostolic constitution of some of the Churches, (of Corinth, for example,) with but the two clerical orders, Presbyters and Deacons, not the three. Thus satisfied that both the spirit of Scripture countenanced the proceeding contemplated, and, though not the usual rule, yet the exception, of apostolic practice, Luther decided to arrange for the future, independently altogether of the Romish hierarchy. He announced his judgment in a Treatise against the false Ecclesiastical Orders of Pope and Bishops:— not against true Bishops, he said, but against them that oppressed the truth:— and in which, renouncing the titles of Priest and Doctor, given him originally by the Papal authorities, he styled himself simply The Preacher. This was in 1523: about which time, I believe, a change of ministerial vestments, such as my Plate illustrates, marked the fact to the eye of the public.— A year or two after, the function of ordination was formally taken by the Reformed Churches into their own hands. In the German Churches it was vested in Superintendent Presbyters, chosen among themselves as a substitute for Bishops, and likewise at first in the Swiss Churches, though afterwards simply in the Presbytery. On the other hand, in the cases of Denmark, Sweden, and England it was through God’s favoring Providence so ordered that the direct episcopal succession passed into the Reformed Church, and the more regular medium of ordination was continued: all, however, in Christian harmony and fellowship with their continental sister churches of the Reformation.— Thus was a provision made for the permanent fulfillment of still the same Apocalyptic commission, “Thou must prophesy again.”— Of course, on account of the departure in some cases from direct Episcopal ordination, and on account of the ordaining Bishops in the other cases being excommunicated and degraded by Rome, the cry was raised by their enemies against ministers so ordained, as if in reality non-ordained and non-commissioned. But behold, in the wonderful figuration before us, God’s own divinely pronounced sentence in the matter. Supposing that the sense I have attached to the passage before us is the right one (and, I think, considering the context in which it occurs, it will be hard indeed to disprove it), we have, in the fact of St. Johns being made representative of the faithful ministers of the Reformation, at this particular stage in the Apocalyptic drama, a direct intimation of their being all in the line of Apostolic succession: and in the Angels words, “Thou must prophesy again,” of their being all commissioned by Him who commissioned the apostles that is, the Covenant Angel, the Lord Jesus.
There is yet one other point that I must notice, ere concluding, I mean the change in the ritual of Priests ordination introduced by the Reformers. The imaginary function of sacrificing being renounced as blasphemous, and that of preaching the Gospel (in conjunction with the right administration of the sacraments) considered as the grand function of the Christian ministry, a corresponding change was made universally in the verbal formula: and, instead of the words, “Receive thou authority to sacrifice for the living and the dead,” authority was given, and a solemn charge added, to preach the Gospel. Moreover in some of the reformed churches, and more especially in the Anglican, there was a change in the symbol, as well as the words. Not merely was the delivery to the candidate of the chalice and the paten abolished (in which abolition all agreed), but instead thereof, in accordance very much with that old form of Deacon ordination already spoken of, there was substituted, in the churches I allude to, the delivery into his hands of what I conceive to have been the Little Bible (βιβλιαριδιον) of the Apocalyptic figuration, the New Testament: or perhaps of the whole Bible now through the art of printing (and the fact was practically most important) made a small book. We find it directed in the English Formula that the candidate for the Deacon Order shall, on his ordination, have the New Testament given into his hands by the ordaining Bishop, and the candidate for the Priest Order, the Bible: the accompanying words of commission being in the one case, “Take thou authority to read the Gospel in the Church of God, and to preach the same, if licensed by the Bishop:” in the other, “Take thou authority to preach the word:” with an additional authorization for administering the Sacraments. Yet again, in the consecration of Bishops, it was judged fit that the same significant symbol should not be omitted. The Archbishop delivers the Bible in this case into the hand of him who has been consecrated: with the injunction, “Take heed to the doctrine and exhortation! Think on the things contained in this Book!”— Thus, in each of the three cases, considering that the ordaining or consecrating Bishop acts in the ceremony as Christ’s deputy, we have a kind of perpetuation in our English ritual of the Apocalyptic figurative form of the commissioning of the ministers of the Reformation. Nor indeed in England only. For it past thence too into her colonies of the far sea, (specially that mighty one in North America,) which, from the very time of his planting his right foot on the sea, his left on the land, the Lord began to give her, as if in preparation for his vindication to Himself of the usurped dominions of Antichrist.
Surely the fact is remarkable.— Nor, I think, will it be either uninteresting or profitless even now to the ministers ordained in our Church, on each such solemn occasion to remember this prototype of their ordination, pre-enacted in the visions of Patmos. Besides the strength and comfort thence derivable (especially in seasons of tasting the bitterness of the ministerial work) from the view that it suggests of the Covenant Angel as having Himself commissioned them, it will also serve to remind them of his intention that they should make the gospel thenceforth the grand subject both of their personal study and their public preaching: and further that, in the latter, they should witness for Him against all superstition, sin, and error:— especially, wherever and whenever Romish error may again raise the head, so against those of the apostate anti-christian Church of Rome.
§ 2. The Ecclesiastical Constitution and Establishment of the Reformed Churches, and Separation from the Church of Rome.
And there was given unto me a reed like unto a rod [the Angel] saying Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and those that worship therein: and the court which is without the temple cast out, and measure it not; for it has been given to the Gentiles. (Rev. 11:1, 2)
The chapter division being made here between this and the preceding chapter seems to me peculiarly unfortunate. For the connection between what concludes the one, and what begins the other, appears to be as close as it well could be: seeing that the Angel who before addressed St. John still continues here to address him: and the new injunction that he gives, “Rise and measure the temple,” is but, as we shall see, a sequel to his previous injunction, “Thou must prophesy again.” Yet this arbitrary division, this artificial break, has exercised, I am persuaded, no little influence on many modern commentators: and, in concurrence with the misapprehension respecting the little book, as if it were a part of the seven sealed Apocalyptic Book, and that respecting the prophesying, as if it meant the enunciation of that supposed new Part of the Apocalyptic predictions, has led them into the error of construing the whole vision of the 10th chapter, as if it were an interruption to the previous continuity of prefiguration of things future, and a mere parenthesis of introduction to quite a new subject, beginning in chapter 11.— I mention this because, where a mistake of importance has been frequent and general, it can scarce fail of being instructive to an inquirer to mark its various causes and its origin.
“And the Angel said, Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar (or altar-court) and them that worship therein.”— In my introductory chapter on the Apocalyptic scenery it was observed that the Temple (the same that continued ever present before St. John, with its triple divisions, as the standing foreground of the scenery) was, agreeably with the Apostle’s own application of the figure, to be regarded as symbolic of the Christian Church Universal: the Holy of Holies and its blessed company representing that part of it, and their beatified state and worship, that might have been already gathered into Paradise:— the remainder of the temple, and those worshiping therein, the Church on earth and its worship. It was further observed respecting this its remainder, including the Holy Place and the altar court, that the Holy Place, being that which was concealed with its candlestick and incense altar from general view in the Jewish Temple, and that wherewith in the Apocalyptic Temple the great High Priest (the same that walks in the midst of the golden candlesticks) alone appeared conversant, might be regarded as figuring the Church in respect of its secret spiritual worship and character, unseen by men, but marked by Jesus: on the other hand the altar court and they that worshiped in it, for the worshipers court is viewed Apocalyptically as an appendage and part of the altar court, as figuring the Church in respect of its visible and public worship.— Already some illustrations of this the symbolic signification of the altar court have occurred to our notice. Thus, under the fifth Seal, the figuration of souls beneath the altar, slain for the testimony of Jesus, was found to correspond in history with a state of the Church in which, from the virulence of persecution, no public act of Christian devotion and worship was visible in the Roman world, but that of the saints offering themselves in martyrdom, for the name, and as it were on the altar, of Christ. Again, in the temple scene as depicted before the first sounding of the Trumpets, and the then presentation of incense by the saints to their Angel Priest beside the great altar, in contradistinction to others who, having forsaken the altar, presented it not,— we traced allusion to a state of the professing Church in Christendom, in which but few comparatively remained true to Christ’s pure faith and worship: the majority having substituted for the atoning and justifying virtue of his sacrifice other methods of justification, and for his mediatorship and intercession other mediators.
And now that the symbolic temple is again introduced into notice, with the new feature super added of its outer court, or court of the Gentiles, the explanation continues obvious on the same principle. The altar court, with them that worshiped in it, is still used as the symbol of that part of the Church visible, which (like Israel when faithful to the Mosaic Law) adhered to the true and divinely instituted worship which the altar indicated. On the other hand the outer, or Gentile court, is the symbolic scene of the adscititious members from out of heathenism: those who, having called themselves Christians, and been thus formally enrolled into the body of the New Testament Israel, and admitted to free communion with the altar court, had yet ere long (like the heathenized Jews of old under Ahaz or Manasseh) forsaken the Christian altar worship: and who were now at length solemnly denounced by the Angel, and the order for their exclusion given accordingly to St. John, as having manifestly, though not professedly, apostatized to heathenism. Thus much on the temple scene, and the emblematic meaning of those two different parts of it, the altar court and court of the Gentiles. To which let me add (in order to a connection of the present with the past), that it would be scarce possible, as I conceive, for St. John not to have viewed the heathenized professors of the outer court here condemnatorily alluded to, as of the same line of apostasy with that of the unfaithful ones described in sundry earlier and not-to-be-forgotten prefigurative notices:— the line namely of those who, having in the first instance, albeit under the name and profession of Christ’s Israel, been hinted at as satisfying themselves with another life giver, and another sealing, than that by the divine life giving Angel from the East, and, at the time of the first Trumpet sounding, as withholding their incense from the Angel priest, and forsaking the great altar of sacrifice,— had afterwards, just before the blast of the sixth Trumpet, been allusively figured as rejecting each offered opportunity of reconciliation with Christ, at the four horns of the golden altar,— and again, after the slaying of their third part under that same Trumpet, as still adhering to their previously long cherished heathen like idolatry, demon worship, and other cognate sins, all subsequently denounced, let me add, by the revealing angel, as the damning sins of the seven hilled Babylon,— the same, in fine, against whose usurping Head there had been just recently depicted in symbol the intervention and wrathful cry of the Covenant Angel: and from whose seven hilled metropolis, in hostile answer, there had sounded forth the seven anti-christian thunders.
This premised, the meaning of the predictive clause before us,— Rise and measure the temple of God, and the altar court, and those that worship in it: but the court that is without the temple cast out, and measure it not, for it has been given to the Gentiles,— will, I think, readily approve itself to the reader. It must surely signify that they whom St. John at this particular epoch represented,— that is, Luther and his reforming minister brothers, Would, as the sequel to their resumption of prophesying, or gospel preaching, 1. Be directed as from heaven to some new definition and constitution, Ie. in other words, to some reformation of the Church: for the measuring, coupled with the casting out, implied a certain reconstitution, as well as definition, of what was measured: 2. That they would define, as those who alone could rightly be considered to belong to Christ’s Church, such as in public profession and worship recognized that cardinal point of the Christian faith which the Jewish altar and altar ritual worship symbolized: Justification by the alone efficacy of Christ’s propitiatory sacrifice, and through Christ’s alone mediatorship: 3. that they would exclude therewith, or excommunicate, the Romish Church and worshipers (for such, alike with Jews and Christians of St. John’s time, and also in the Christian Church ever afterwards, was the ecclesiastical force of the verb εχβαλλω), as apostate and heathen;— 4. That, notwithstanding its excommunication, this system of heathenish rather than Christian worship would continue to appear for a time attached as an appendage to the Church visible: God’s predetermined time of endurance of it (of which more hereafter) not having yet expired.
But how was all this that seemed symbolized to be accomplished? For to do it on a scale of magnitude and notoriety before the world, such as to answer to the Apocalyptic symbolization,— I say on this scale to cast out from what might thenceforth alone be rightly viewed as Christ’s visible Church, that, and those, that had for ages professed and been considered to constitute it, saying, The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we, and on this scale also to exhibit openly and publicly before the world a reformed and purified Christian church and worship,— how was all this to be accomplished, in what was still, in respect of all its governing powers and authorities, Papal Christendom? The prophetic answer to this question is given us in what is said of the instrument put into St. Johns hands, for the purpose of the new measuring of the mystic temple on the Apocalyptic scene: And there was given unto me a reed like unto a rod: the Angel saying, Rise, and measure the temple, &c.— A point this which will call for our very careful consideration.
And here, first let me observe, with regard to the giver of the measuring reed to the apostle, that this can scarcely have been the Angel in communication with him. For, in order to have presented the reed to John, he must first have held it himself in hand. But, though a very detailed description is given us in Rev. 10 of the Angel’s appearance, including a reference to his hand, among other things, and to an opened book which he held in it yet not a hint is given of his having held anything else, such as a measuring reed! I therefore incline to regard it as presented from some other quarter; a detached hand, it may be, communicating it to St. John, so as in one and another of Ezekiel and Daniel’s visions:— at the same time that the indefiniteness of the verbal form of expression (εδοθη, it was given me), causes a marked indefinite indication as to the giver: perhaps to show that it was given in God’s Providence: just as in the case of the crown given to the rider of the white horse, and great sword to the rider of the black, as well as in other similar examples of giving in the Apocalyptic visions.— So as regards the thing given, since the primary point specified, that it was a calamus, or measuring reed, is clear, it is only the likeness of this measuring reed (to a ‘ραβδος) that requires investigation. Now the likeness to a thing, in any prophetic symbol, indicates of course its having somewhat of the character of that which it is resembled to. So in the case of the scorpion like tails of the Apocalyptic locusts, the lion like heads of the horses from the Euphrates, and serpent like heads at the end of the horse tails: so, again, in respect of the golden head of the quadripartite statue in Daniel, and its legs of iron: and, yet once more (to take the case of a nearer parallel), in that of the angel’s golden measuring reed, wherewith to measure the New Jerusalem.— But then in which of the two chief scriptural senses of the greek (ραβδος) are we to suppose the measuring reed given to St. John to have resembled it? In that of a walking staff, or that of a rod as the ensign of official authority?  Surely on this point there need be no hesitation. For what force, or sense, could there be in the reed’s resemblance to a mans walking staff? There can be no reasonable doubt, I conceive, as to the like fashion of the reed in the vision: viz. That, whether by reason of its carving and ornamental form, or otherwise, it bore resemblance to a rod of princely or high magisterial authority: in token, of course, of the giving of that authority to St. John. And certainly the extraordinary nature of the thing now commanded to be done, viz. The re-formation of the church, might seem to require the extraordinary intervention of some adequately high princely authority. In order to a clearer conclusion, and with Scriptural light, on the subject, it will be well to look to two very similar transactions in the history of the ancient Israelite Church, records in the Bible: and indeed they are so similar to that which was here symbolized, that the symbol of the latter can scarcely, in my opinion, but have been borrowed from the former. I allude to the reformations under Hezekiah and Josiah. In those cases the heathen abominations, which had been introduced by Ahaz and Manasseh into the temple and altar court, were solemnly cast out: and, together with the purification of the temple, there was a reparation also of what had been injured in it, and re-constitution and re-celebration of its ancient altar worship. And by whom, and how, the accomplishment of this great work? Of course the priesthood had to act in it. But there was also an acting authoritatively in it by the earthly reigning princes (themselves the anointed of God for his service, as much as the high priest), whether Hezekiah or Josiah. Otherwise even the high priest authority would have been insufficient for the thing, without a revolution: much less a common priest authority, in case of the high priest siding heart and soul with the intruded heathenism. It was by the kings mandate and authority that the Jewish priests, in either case, carried out the work of purification and reformation in the Jewish temple. They bore in their hands, as it were, the badge of princely authority, as their earthly authorization in the business. Their highest call indeed was from above: but the royal authorization, under God’s directing Providence, gave the means.— Agreeably with these precedents I conceive the giving him the reed like to a rod to denote the royal authorization of those whom St. John here impersonated, viz. Luther and his brother reformers, in the work of the Scriptural re-formation of the Church enjoined on them from heaven. And was the symbolization fulfilled in fact? Strange indeed must have been the change in the state of things if it were so. Yet so, we know, in very truth it was.
Proceed we then next to trace this its fulfillment in history.— It has been already noted that down to the time of Luther leaving his Patmos in March 1522, to resume, despite of the Papal and Imperial interdicts, his ministerial functions of preaching, the established religion in Saxony, as well as everywhere else, was still the Romish Papal religion. So much was this the case, that when the reforming ministers at Wittenberg, conjointly with certain commissioners of inquiry appointed by the Elector Frederic, began to take steps for the abolition of some of the more prominent superstitions of the Papacy, the Elector declared that they had exceeded their orders, and might embroil him with the Romish prelates and the Emperor.
Nor indeed did Luther as yet wish much more from the civil power, than the freedom of evangelic preaching. His idea was that through this simple preaching of the gospel, unenforced by any further act of the civil power, the Papacy, which was to be broken without hand, would fall into ruins. Hence, with reference to the state of things at the end of 1522, the following is the historian’s observation: “Thus in Divine Providence the foundations of the Reformation had been laid in Germany by the preaching and exposition of God’s word: with no more aid from the civil power, than that of a connivance firm indeed and unalterable, but ever bearing the marks of hesitation and indecision.” The measuring reed with semblance to rod of official authority (ραβδος), had not yet been given to the Reformers: to empower them for the regular constitution of a reformed Church.
Now mark what follows. “But the difficulties of providing for the instruction and edification of the Lutheran churches began now to be more and more apparent. It was not possible that public worship, and the administration of the sacraments, could be conducted decently and in order, without some plan of ecclesiastical discipline. The great personal authority of Luther seemed to be the only cement of union among those who loved the gospel… Hence what feuds and divisions might arise! And there was no opportunity of forming a general synod of pastors and elders, who might regulate the external state of religion.” It is of the state of things in the year 1523 that Milner is here speaking.— In the Providence of God many of the old canons of Wittenberg having died about this time, the revenues of their canonries fell in: and so the execution of one part of Luther’s plan was facilitated: I mean that of forming out of them a common treasury, as he called it (or sustenance fund), for the support of ministers, as well as of schools and hospitals. Still the authority was not given: the plan remained unexecuted. At length, after another year or little more, the Elector Frederic, thoroughly convinced that the Reformation was accordant with God’s mind and will, determined on taking bolder steps, and giving his authority for the ecclesiastical organization of the Reformed Churches. But he was now sinking under age and infirmities, and died before it was done.— “No sooner however,” says Milner, “did the Elector John (Frederic’s brother) find himself in possession of the sovereign authority, than,” assuming to himself that supremacy in ecclesiastical matters, which according to the Reformers, alike in Germany, Switzerland, and afterwards England and Scotland, was the natural right of every lawful sovereign, “he exercised it with resolution and activity by forming new ecclesiastical constitutions, modeled on the principles of the great Reformer.” So, through his instrumentality, the Apocalyptic prefiguration had begun to be fulfilled, There was given me a measuring reed like unto a rod: and the reforming Fathers rose up in their strength to make the measurement.— The account follows in history of the execution of this most important commission assigned them, of measuring, or ecclesiastically defining and constituting, the Evangelic Church, the mystic temple:— of the authorization and introduction throughout the Saxon churches of new formula of public worship, drawn on evangelic principles by Luther and Melancthon,— of the removal from churches, and church worship, the Romish images and superstitions — of the appropriation of the ecclesiastical revenues of the Electorate to the support of the reformed parochial clergy and schools,— and of the ordination, independently altogether of the Romish hierarchy (that same to which I alluded at the close of the former Section), of a fresh supply of ministers of the Gospel. All this was effected in the autumn of 1525. And, somewhat later: In the years 1527, 1528, a general visitation of the Electorate, by Luther and other of the reforming Fathers, was made on the Prince’s order: to see to the execution of the new system, and complete what might be wanting to the ecclesiastical establishment throughout Saxony of a separate evangelic Church In all of which regulations the example of Saxony was followed pari passu by the other reforming States already noticed, in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and afterwards England and Scotland the measuring reed like a rod being given by the civil authorities for this purpose to the reforming ministers: without which the probability is that the reformed Churches would have soon fallen into misrule and anarchy. And what we are here called on by the Apocalyptic prefiguration further and specially to notice is this:— that the principle acted on in them all was precisely the same as that laid down by the Angel in vision for the symbolic measurement of the Apocalyptic temple: To make salvation through Christ’s meritorious death and mediator-ship (that which the altar of the old Jewish temple typified), the prominent characteristic of the worship of the newly reformed Church: and to exclude those who (having forsaken the altar) had made to themselves another method of salvation, and given themselves up to heathen superstitions and idolatries: in other words, the worshiping professors in the apostate pseudo-church of Rome.— Charged by the Papists as schismatics, the principle was solemnly avowed by the Reformers, and justified before the world. At the first Diet of Augsburg, A.D. 1525, just while this reformation of the Church was in progress, an Apology was delivered in by the Elector, written by Melancthon: and in which the following points were insisted on — 1. That every minister of God’s word is bound by Christ’s express precept to preach the leading doctrine of the gospel, justification by faith in Christ crucified and not by the merit of human performances: whereas men had by the Romish doctrines been drawn from the cross of Christ, to trust in their own works, and in superstitious vanities: 2. That it became the Princes (those over whom the Pope and the Bishops had exercised hitherto a usurped authority, but to whom the authority in these matters rightfully belonged), simply to consider whether the new doctrines, as they were called, were or were not true: and, if true, to protect and promote them: 3. That the Roman Pope, Cardinals, and Clergy did not constitute the Church of Christ, though there existed among them some that were real members of that Church, and opposed the reigning errors: the true Church consisting of the faithful, and none else, who had the word of God, and by it were sanctified and cleansed: while, on the other hand, what St. Paul had predicted of Antichrists coming, and sitting in the temple of God, had had its fulfillment in the Papacy. Which being so, and God having forbidden under the heaviest penalty every species of idolatry and false worship, of which class were the sacrifice of the mass, masses for the dead, invocations of saints, and such like,— things notoriously taught in the Church of Rome,— that they, the Reformers, were not guilty of schism, either because they had convicted Antichrist of his errors, or made alterations in their church worship and regulations, whereby the Romish superstitions were cast out. Such was the manifesto of the Reformers, if I may so call it, in the first Diet of Augsburg.
In the second and more important Diet, held there in 1530, after the completion of the reformation of the Church in the countries already particularized, the same principles were asserted in the celebrated Confessions of Faith then presented to the Diet and the Emperor, and which may be regarded as standards of the Churches;— the Lutheran Confession of Augsburg,— the Tetrapolitan,— and the Swiss. Differing as these Confessions might do in matters unessential and comparatively unimportant, whether of doctrine or discipline (and the same may be said of the English Confession, or Articles of Faith, drawn up a few years after), yet on the three points inculcated in the Apocalyptic vision upon him that represented them, the Reformers were altogether agreed: In charging the preaching of the gospel on their ministers, and declaring their fulfillment of that function essential to the right constitution of a Christian Church; in setting forth justification by faith in a crucified, risen, and mediating Savior, as the only true method of salvation; and in separating themselves from the Romish Church as a body excommunicate from Christ’s true visible Church, and apostate. Wonderful and blessed consummation! Wonderful, considering both the long establishment of Papal Rome’s empire, and the universality of adherence to it, even till then, of all the powers of Western Christendom: blessed, considering both the true gospel principles on which it was brought about, and the continued proclamation of those principles that was secured by it.— Has it not been said by some that the religion of Protestantism is a mere negation? How different the Apocalyptic prefiguration of it, just expounded! A figuration of it as markedly including, as excluding: and only so excluding what was essentially anti-christian, as was a necessary prerequisite in order to the inclusion of whatever was Scriptural, Christian, and true!
Such was the ecclesiastical constitution and establishment of the Reformed Evangelic Churches; and with it concludes the second grand epoch of what, in exact accordance with the Apocalyptic emblem before us, has been called the reformation, or new constitution, of the Church.— It only remains, ere concluding this chapter, to remind the reader of what had passed at that memorable epoch, shortly preceding, of the Papal Antichrist’s triumph at Rome and in the Lateran, which has been described at length in a preceding chapter: and to suggest for his observation how already, on each point in which the Usurper then triumphed before Christendom, he had been signally met, and counteracted before Christendom, by Him whose place he had usurped in the Church. The Bible was now everywhere translated and printed; respecting which (as well as respecting all other that might be deemed dangerous books) he had commanded that, except with Papal sanction, it should not be printed, The gospel was preached by hundreds, free from the glosses of the Papal Fathers: against the which preaching he had issued his solemn interdict. And, as regarded Antichrist, not only was he everywhere written and preached about, but himself the Pope denounced as Antichrist: and the day of judgment too held forth to man’s view, as a day certain, and fixed, and quickly coming, which would terminate the Papal reign and power. Finally, as he had then solemnly excommunicated from the Church all that might dare to withhold allegiance from the Papacy and Rome, so was he now, together with his retainers and the whole Papal religious system, excommunicated by the Reformers, and cast out from the true professing Church of Christ.— The wretched Leo, the hero, or rather god, of that epoch of Rome’s triumph, lived not to see the great ecclesiastical separation that we describe accomplished. For he died sadly and prematurely, just after Luther’s return from his Patmos. But he lived long enough to hear his excommunication Bull against Luther met with stern defiance by that champion of Christ’s truth and gospel:– “As they curse and excommunicate me for the holy verity of God, so do I curse and excommunicate them: let Christ judge between us, whose excommunication, his or mine, shall stand approved before Him;” – and to see the failure of every means set in action to stop the progress of the Reformation. It remained for his successors in the Papal See to behold the completion of this great Revolution, first (as just described) ecclesiastically:– then (as will be described in a subsequent chapter) politically:– the whole being a pledge of that total and more signal overthrow which still awaits the usurping Popedom: then when He that shall come will come: and by the brightness of His coming, at once, totally, and for ever, annihilate the kingdom and power of the Man of Sin.
βιβλαριδιον. So Griesbach, Scholz, Hahn, Heinrichs. Tregelles prefers βιβλιον: though in verse 2 he reads βιβλιαριδιον like the rest.
Και λεγει μοι. So Griesbach’s text, Scholz, Hahu, and Heinrichs, as also the tcxtus receptus. Tregelles prefers the reading, Και λεγουσι μοι rendering it, ” And it was said unto me.” I cannot but prefer the former.—Compare Ezekiel’s case, Ezek. iii. 1. Who there bids him prophesy, but the same Divine person who bade him eat the roll ?
The division of chapters here ought surely not to have been made. The conference, begun in the xth between St. John and the Angel, is continued in the xith.
I have placed the words, ” And the angel stood,” Και ό αγγελος ειστηκει, of the received text, in brackets: as being a reading rejected by the critical texts, alike of Griesbach, Scholz, Hahn, Heinrichs, Tregelles. In case of rejecting them I conceive the easiest mode of construing will be by regarding the clause, ” And there was given me a reed like unto a rod,” as in a manner parenthetic: the angel being the nominative to λεγων and construed absolutely. So that the sense will not be affected by the difference of reading.—But on this I shall have to remark again, when coming to the discussion of the clause, at the beginning of the second Section of this Chapter.
There is no other variation of reading between the received and the critical texts of the least consequence, except those that have been noted.
See the completed quotation at the head of the Chapter above.
επι λαοις . Before is Schleusner’s version of tlie preposition. Elsewhere it sometimes means among, which would here be to the same effect. So Acts xxviii. 14;ΙΙαρεκληθημεν επ´ αυτοις επιμειναι ημερας έπτα
On the verbal derivative noun Gesenius very appropriately cites Exod. vii. 1, by way thy brother shall be thy prophet: ” προφητης Sept.—a passage well explained by another preceding it, Exod. iv. 16: ” He (Aaron) shall be thy spokesman to the people: and he shall be thy mouth: and thou shalt be to him as Elohim.” Illustrative passages, like that of Ezra vi. 14, will readily occur to the reader; ” They prospered through the prophesying of Haggai; ” i. e. through the time of Haggai bearing the prophetic commission.
So in Ezek. xxxvii. 4 of preaching to people: ” Again He said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! “—In verse 9 it is used to designate the invocation of the life-breathing Spirit on the Jewish people: ” He said unto me. Prophesy unto the wind, Son of man, and say, Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” Similar to which is the use of the word in the account of Baal’s prophets in 1 Kings xviii. 29: ” And when the mid-day was passed, and they prophesied (i. e. called on Baal) until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.”—Yet again in 1 Chron. xxv. 1, we read of David separating persons ” to the service of the sons of Asaph,…who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals: ” (where the Heb. as well as English is the same word as before, though the Sept. Greek different;) i. e. lead the devotions of the people in holy Psalmsody.
It must be remembered that all preaching of Christ’s Gospel necessarily involves the enunciation of God’s predictions as to the great issues of futurity.—In Matt. Xxvi. 68 it is used to signify the enunciation, as by supernatural intelligence, of the secrets of the time then present: ” Prophesy unto us, who it is that smote thee.”
1 Cor. xiv. 3: ” But he that prophesier speak unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.” Compare, in the same epistle, chap. xiii. 2: ” Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge: ” also Rom. xii. 6: “Or whether (they have the gift of) prophecy, let the prophecy be according to the proportion (or analogy) of the faith: ” and Acts xv. 32: “Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.” See also 1 Cor. xi. 4.
To this sense of the word there is an according testimony from the earliest times downwards. So, as an example from the Fathers, Augustine: (Qusest. in Exod. iv. 16:) ” Propheta Dei nihil aliud est nisi enunciator verborum Dei hominibus.” So patristic expositors of the Apocalypse: as Primasius and Ambrose Ansbert. See p. 153 Note 3 infra. So middle-age Romish expositors, as Thomas Aquinas. So again the Apocalyptic expositors of the Reformation very generally. See my Sketch of Apocalyptic Interpretation, Vol. iv. To use the words of the Helvetic Confession:” Prophetce praescii futurorum vates erant: sed et Scripturas interprctubauiur: quales etiam hodie inveniuntur.” In Bishop Taylor’s “Liberty of prophesying,” the same sense attaches to the word.
xi. 3. In fact in this passage the witnessing for Christ, and the prophesying as his prophets, seem used almost as convertible terms. And so elsewhere also. For example in xix. 10; “I am thy fellow-servant, and [the fellow-servant] of thy brethren that keep up the witness for Jesus: for the witnessing for Jesus is the spirit of the prophesying:”το πνευμα της προφητειας.
In illustration of this parallelism it may be well to cite the passage from Ezekiel. The circumstances of his commission are thus described: Ezek. ii. 3, 7, 10, iii. 3, &c. ” He said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel and thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear…But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee! (Be not thou rebellious, like that rebellious house!) Open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee I And when I looked, behold a hand was sent unto me: and lo! a roll of a book was therein: and he spread it before me….And he said unto me. Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat: and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.” After which it follows in iii. 10: ” Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears! ” and in verse 14: ” So the Spirit lifted me up, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit.” One chief cause, of which bitterness maybe well illustrated by the frequent use of a verbal derived from a root signifying bitter, alike in the Hebrew and Greek SS, to signify the rebelliousness of those whom the prophets had to preach to: e. g. Ezek. iii. 9, 26, 27, “that rebellious house: ” Greek οικος παραπικραινων To which let me add two other and not dissimilar cases.—1st, that of Jeremiah. Of him we thus read, Jer. xv. 16: ” Thy words were found, and I did eat them: and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart: for I am called by thy name, Lord God of Hosts! ” i. e. called thy prophet. After which follows: ” I sat alone because of thy hand, for thou hast tilled me with indignation.” He too had, in the delivery of God’s word, to taste the bitterness as well as the sweetness. —2ndly, the ease of the prophet κατ εξοχην: whose preparation for the prophetic work assigned Him is thus described by Himself; “My meat is to do the will of my Heavenly Father, and to accomplish his work.” John iv. 34.
This seems inferable from its being said ” The same voice which I heard from heaven,” (viz. that which said to him, ” Seal up what the seven thunders have uttered ,and write them not!”) “said to me again, Go, take the Book,” &c.
So Primasius and Ambrose Ansbert. Primasius comments thus on the verse. ” Sicut solet Scriptura divina do genere ad speciem sermoncm saepe deflectere, sed etiam couscqucnter utraque complecti, sin et nunc ad Johannem quidem intentio certa dirigitur, quern adhuc oportebat, de exilic liberatum, non tantiim banc revelationem in notitiam ecclesiae Christi deferre, sed etiam evangelium in populos, in nationes, in linguas, ct regcs multos altius pradicare. Veruntamen omni quoque ecclesm banc vocem null is ambigit convenire, quae nunquam debet a praedicatione desistere.” B. P. M. x. 313 Ambrosius Ansbertus, who had evidently Primasius before him, enlarges on the same idea of this double reference to the type and antitype, to St. John and the ministers of the Church in after times. “Johannes itaque pajne omnia (imo omnia quae prasmissa sunt) non specialiter ex sua, sed gcneralitcr ex electorum protulit persona. Nunc autem ilia qua; in hoc versu narrantur et suae, et aliorum personis congruere docet…Ad Johannis speciem intentio certa dirigitur, quia dicitur, ‘ Oportet te iterum prophetare populis, et gentibus, et Unguis, et regibus multis:’ quern adhuc oportebat ab insula Patmos Ephesum reductum non solum banc Apocalypsim, quam manu sua inibi scripserat, ad notitiam sanctorum deferre, veriim etiani evangeliuni populis et gentibus et Unguis et regibus multis altius quam alii prffidicare. In pra3dicta siquidem Patmo insula, a Domitiano exilio deportatus, banc vidit Apocalypsim: et ciim provecta; jam esset ffitatis, putaretque se celerius ad Christum fe mundo migrare, interfecto impio Csesare, et post cuncta ejus jussa divino judicio cassata, ab exilio reductus praifatam Apocalypsim ecclesiaj tradidit legendam. Ebione autem, Valentino, ac Cerintho adversiis Christum oblatrantibus, episcoporum precibus flexus, Evangelium etiam scripsit. Et ideo tot populis et gentibus et regibus et Unguis prophetavit, quia ejus Evangelium ad eorum notitiam pervenit. Verum etiam, ut prajmisimus, ea quae Hit specialiter ascribuutui- Sanctis pradicatoribus generaliter deputantur. Ad quorum personam recte nunc dicitur, ‘ Oportet te iterum prophetare,’ &c.: quia uimirum toto tempore vitse praesentis, aliis ad Christum migrautibus, electorum eeclesia in subsequeutibus suis pra;dicatoribus iterum non desinit prophetare. Frojjhiiare autem intelligere debemus pradicare: quia et Paulus dicit, ‘ Prophetie duo vel tres dicant, et caeteri dijudicent.’ ” B. P. M. xiii. 519. In the general application to church -rainistei’s it will be observed, 1st, that both Primasius and Ambrosius Ansbertus interpret prophetare as tantamount to pradicare: although somewhat inconsistently in St. John’ s personal case they explain the word, not as we might expect, of his resuming his preaching labours, but of his publishing the Apocalypse and the Gospel that bears his name, on his return from Patmos: 2ndly, that in their general application of the passage they explain the word again of the rising up of a continually-renewed succession of gospel-preachers in the Church, as elder ones in the ministry might die off.—In which latter view they quit the parallelism between St. John’s personal particular case, and that of the Christian Church and ministry at the time prefigured. For, did the parallelism hold, it seems plain that we ought to suppose the gospel-preachers of the time prefigured to be under some similar authoritative suspension and interruption, in regard of the exercise of their ministerial and preaching functions, as St. John in Patmos. I have given the above extracts at length, as being perhaps about the best specimens I could select of the application made by early patristic expositors of that great exegetic principle, of which I have made so much use, of St. John’s representative character on the Apocalyptic scene. Foxe (p. 107) is very clear and strong on the word again.
Dante.—A similar phrase παρα ζωσης φωνης is used by Papias in reference to knowledge gained from the conversation of living Christians, in contrast with that derived from the Christian books. Euseb. H. E. iii. 39.
συντελειας του αιωνος the end of the age. Matt, xxviii. 20.
See the narrative, Luke iv. 17, &c., of Christ’s attendance on a Sabbath at the synagogue of Nazareth: and there having the book of the Prophet Isaiah given him, from which to preach and exhort. Compare also Acts xiii. 15, xv. 21.
Col. iv. 16; ” “When this epistle has been read among you, cause that it be read also in the Church of the Laodiceans: and that ye likewise read the epistle (transmitted) from Laodicea.” 1 Thess. v. 27: “1 adjure you by the Lord, that this epistle be read to all the holy brethren.”
From the passage, “But if all prophesy,” i.e. successively, “and there come in one that believeth not,…he is convinced of all, he is judged of all,” (1 Cor. Xiv. 24,) it appears that heathens might then attend, and hear the Scripture exposition.
2 Tim. iv. 2, 3, 5.
So Justin Martyr, Apolog. i. 67: Τη του ήλιου λεγομενη ήμερα παντων κατα πολεις η αγρος μενοντων επι το αυτο συνελευσις γινεται και τα απυμνηνευματα των αποστοστολων η τα συγγραμματα των προφητων αναγινωσκεται μεχοις εγχωρει ειτα παυσαμενου του αναγινωσκοντος ό προετως δια λυγου την νουθεσιαν της των καλων τουτων μιμησεως ποιται επειτα ανισταμεθα παντες και ευχας πεμπομεν &c. See also Tertullian, Apolog. c. 39. From a passage in his De Pnescr. Her. 36,—•” Legem et Prophetas ciim Evangelicis et Apostolicis Uteris miscet (sc. Ecclesia), et indepotat fidem,”—it appears that the range of the reading then embraced all Scripture: and all as pointing out the Christian faith, i. 6. Christ. So much as to the second century.—Let it be observed that Sunday was the only fixt day of public worship, up to the close, or near the close, of the 2nd centm-y. Bingh. Xiii. 9. 1. For the two next centuries I refer to the Apostolical Constitutions, Chrysostom, and Augustine. The first says, όταν αναγινωσκουενον μ το γελιον…παρακαλειτωσαν οί πρεσβυτεροι τον λαον ό καθεις αυτων αλλαμη απαντες και τελευταιος παντων ό επισκοπος Augustine speaks of an anthem preceding the Liturgy, then scripture-reading, (first the Prophets, then the Epistles,) then a Psalm, then the Gospel, then the Bishop’s Sermon. AH the Books of the Old and New Testaments were read in the fourth, as in the second, century. See Bingham, xiv. 3. 2, (citing the Apost. Const, ibid, and Cyril, &c.,) or Riddle’s Antiq. 394, 405. In this early Christian worship the heathen attended up to the reading of the Scripture and the preaching, as well as Christians; just as in St. Paul’s time; (see Note 4 p. 156;) — then, they and the catechumens having been dismissed, the prayers, Lord’s supper, and agape followed. See Palmer’s English Ritual, i. 13, &c. This on the Sunday service.
 See Palmer’s English Kit. i. 202—206, ii. 46—48. In the passage last referred to, Mr. P. notes the discontinuance in the Western Churches of the Old Testament Lessons:—a change arising probably out of the cause noted in the text above. In the former passage he observes how judiciously the Nocturns, Matins, and Prime were at the Reformation, under Edward the Sixth, abridged and compressed into the English Morning Sunday Service, the Vespers and Compline into its Evening. In fact there was in this a reversion to primitive antiquity: which had but two Sunday Services, the early Morning and the Afternoon or Evening. So too Humphry on the Common Prayer, pp. 15, 16. See also Bingham xiii. 9. 8, xiv. 3. 12: who says that after the introduction of the canonical hours, not till the 4th or 5th century, the longer lessons were assigned to the antelucan service, the shorter to the other canonical hours.—On the introduction of which canonical hours it may be useful to turn to the account of Jerome in Gilly’s Vigilantius, p. 253.
Hence called legenda, or writings to be read, in place of the original legenda from Sacred Scripture. Their introduction into the Church Service was as early as the 5th century. Bingham xiv. 3. 14.
“Des le sixieme siecle la langue Latinc etoit tombee dans un etat de corruption peutetre irreparalile …. II s’ etoit etabli une transmutation des voyelles, presque toujours employees les unes a la place des autres.” So Eaynouard, Poesies des Troubadours, i. 16.
The Psalter used in the Gallican Church before the close of the 6th century was Jerome’s Latin translation: although called indeed the Gallican Psalter, from its being first authoritatively received by that Church. Bingham ib. 17.
Bingham ii. 3. 4.—Thus Prudentius, speaking of the pulpit, speaks as if the Bishop alone preached from it: Hymn, de Hippol. (B. P. M. v. 1034:) Fronte sub adversa gradibus sublime tribunal ToUitur, antistes pricdicat unde Deum. In the Thcodosian Code there is an Edict of Gratian, Valentinian, and Theodosius, A.D. 384, ” De munere seu officio Episcoporum in pricdicando verbo Dei,” speaking of a bishop’s neglect of preaching as sacrilege: but still showing that it was regarded distinctively as a bishop’s, not (generally at least) a presbyter’s office. Bingham xiv. 4. 2.
Even in Chrysostom’s time, and by Chrysostom, this was confessed. Bingham, xiv. 4. 9.—A Canon of the Council of Vaison, held A.D. 529, strikingly illustrates the evil and its cause, while seeking to remove them. ” Hoc etiam pro edificatione omnium ecdosiaruni, et pro utilitate totius populi nobis placuit, ut non solum in civitatibus, sed etiam in omnibus parochiis, verbum facicndi daremus presbyteris potestatem.” Hard. ii. 1105.
How different St. Paul’s feeling! ” Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel! ” &c. &R. 1 Cor. i. 17.
Sec the characteristic specimen of a sermon of Chrysostom on St. Paul’s greatness and character, given by Le Bas in the Introduction to his Life of Wycliffe, p. 11. See too Mosheim, iv. 2. 4. 3, 4: and partially with regard even to sermons of bishops in the previous century, iii. 2. 4. 2: also my Vol. i. pp. 330—341.
In the Life of Casarius, Bishop of Aries for nearly the first half of the sixth century, Cyprian (previously Deacon under Casarius) notices his zealous performance of preaching every Sabbath day, and on the festivals: and how, when infirm, “vices suas presbyteris et diaconis committebat, a quibus sermones, aut a so aut ab aliis patribus compositas, recitari jubebat. Et ne sacerdotes alii a pradicandi munere forte se excusarent, longe positis in Francia, in Gallia, in Italia, &c., transmisit per sacerdotes quod in ecclesiis suis pra;dicari facerent: sc. dictatas a se Homilias sive Condones.” Martene iii. 24.—Compare the Canons of the Council of Vaison, a Council alluded to in a Note just preceding, and which was held under his presidency. Hard ibid.
In Gaul, Alcuin and others composed Homilies by command of Charlemagne, for this purpose: whence the collection was called the Homilarium of Charlemagne. See Mosheim viii. 2. 3. 5: who says the effect was only to increase the sloth, and perpetuate the indolence, of the clergy.—Again in the 2nd Council of Rheims, A.D. 874, and 3rd of Tour’s, 887, a provision of Homilies from the Fathers, translated into the vulgar tongue, was enjoined on the bishops for their own use, if needed. Palmer ii 64: Martene, ibid.
Palmer ii. 61.
Sozomen notes even in the .5th century, that no Sermons to the people were delivered either by bishop, or any other minister, in the Church at Rome. Sozom. Vii. 1 9. (See Valesius’ Note ad loc.) He remarks on it as then a singular omission. So also Cassiodore. Leo I revived the practice of preaching: but, after a while, the neglect was renewed for ages.—Bingham xiv. 4. 3.
Bingham ii. 3. 4.
“Oportet eos qui praesunt ecclesiis iu omnibus quidem diebus, prsecipue Dominicis, omneni cleruin et populum docere pietatis et rectse religionis eloquia: ex divina Scriptura coUigentes intelligentias et judicia veritatis, et nou transgredieutes jam positos terminos, vel divinoruni Patnmi traditionem. Sed et si ad Scripturam portiueus controversia aliqua excitata fuerit, ne illam aliter interpretentur quam quomodo ecclesisB luminaria et doctores suis scriptis exposuerint.” Canon xix. Martene iii. 24. — The ” ii qiii pra?sunt ecclesiis ‘ ‘ are the Bishops: specified as if those to whom the duty of preaching belonged alone, and who could alone be supposed able to perform it. The clerus or clergy are mentioned, it will be seen, as those that were to be taught, not to teach.
For example, we meet the owner, in a Royal Ordinance of the 14th century, against Wycliffe preachers, charging them with preaching ” without license of the Ordinary:” and, as the proper penalty, delivering them over to the Sheriff to imprison. Le Bas, p. 264, from Foxe.—And so too in the case of Huss. See Foxe’s Martyrs, iii. 408, &c.—The latter also meets us again in the 13th and following centuries, and as abused to the same purport, e. g. in Canons of the 4th and 5th Lateran Councils: which latter has been already noticed, pp. 83, 84, supra. How different the use of this direction of the Trullan Canon in the English Reformed Church under Edward the Sixth.
In Egbert’s Pontifical Book we find the following order; ” Ut omnibus festis, et diebus Dominicis, unusquisque sacerdos evangelium Christi praedicet populo.” Martene ibid.
On Alfred’s accession, A.D. 872, it has been said that not a single Priest was to be found south of the Thames, who knew Latin enough to understand the daily services which he muttered. Le Bas, 56. His efforts at instructing and evangelizing both tlie priesthood and the people are noted in every history of England.Aelfric in 957 issued an order for the priests in each parish to explain the Gospel, Creed, and Lord’s Prayer to the people. He also composed Homilies for their use. See the notice of him in Palmer ii. 64, and Gilly’s Romauut Version of St. John, Preface p. xiii.
Aelfric in 957 issued an order for the priests in each parish to explain the Gospel, Creed, and Lord’s Prayer to the people. He also composed Homilies for their use. See the notice of him in Palmer ii. 64, and Gilly’s Romauut Version of St. John, Preface p. xiii.
Having been for some two or three centuries previous preached on and promulgated, it was at length in the year 1215 authoritatively adopted and enforced by Pope Innocent III, and the fourth Lateran Council. See pp. 11, 59 supra. Ere the close of the third century the Lord’s Supper had been called a bloodless sacrifice: and mysterious expressions used of Christ’s presence in it, (see my Vol. i. p. 405,) though not till now in the sense of transubstantiation. To use Mr. Milman’s words; “The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper imperceptibly acquired the solemnity and the appellation of a sacrifice. The mysterious identification of the Redeemer with the consecrated elements was first felt by the mind: till, at a later period, a material and corporeal transmutation began to be asserted. That which the earlier Fathers in the boldest figure called a bloodless sacrifice, became an actual oblation of the Body and Blood of Christ.” Hist, of Christianity, iii. 427.
Le Bas Wicliff’, i. 85. Mr. Le Bas adds:—” To remedy this crying scandal, the Archbishop commanded that each parochial clergyman should preach to his people, either himself or by a substitute, once at least in every quarter of a year: and .should expound to them in a popular manner, and without any fantastic texture of subtitle, the fourteen Articles of Faith, ten Commandments, twofold precept of love to God and our neighbor, the seven works of charity, seven capital sins, with their progeny, the seven principal virtues, and the seven sacraments of grace. And, lest the clergy should convert their own ignorance into a dispensation from the order, he added a variety of instructions for the proper discharge of the duty enjoined.”
Supra. The Canon of the 4th Lateran Council, ” De Predicatoribus instituendis,” will be found in Hard. vii. 27.
Originally legends, or legends, meant sacred Scripture pieces to be read in service: as stated p. 157 Note – supra.—Compare 2 Tim. iv. 4; “And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and be turned to fables.”
Le Bas, 211.—See, I pray, the absurd specimen given by Hottinger, from a book of Sermons composed by the Theological Faculty of Vienna, A.D. 1430: ap. Bingham, xiv. 4, 18.—Melancthon, in his Apology, speaks of Aristotle’s Ethics being sometimes read to the people, instead of the Gospel, shortly before the Reformation.
Ibid. 210.—There still remain, says Mr. Le Bas, above 300 of his Postils, or expository discourses on Scripture.
See my Chapter viii. infra, on the death of Christ’s prophesying Witnesses
Let me cite, with reference to the beginning of the 14th century, the testimony of the famous Gerson, Huss’s condemner and survivor. In his 4th Letter on Theological Reform he writes thus to P. D’Ailly. “I speak from experience. In our cathedral churches, and almost everywhere, there are absurd rites celebrated, which are the remains of the sacrilegious ceremonies of Pagans and idolaters…The word of God, which is indeed the great balm for all spiritual malady, and the preaching of which is the principal duty of Prelates, is given up as useless, and beneath their grandeur.” Quoted by Bonnechose, in his “Reformers before the Reformation;”
Martene (ii. 23) refers the origin of the ceremony to the tenth century: quoting Hugh Victorin, Peter Lombard, &c., in illustration.— The former, writing De Sacramentis, ii. 3. 12, says: ” Accipunt calicem cCira vino, et patenam cum hostia, de manu episcopi, quatenus his instrumentis potestatem se accepisse agnoscant placabiles Deo hostias ott’erendi.”
“At the moment when the officiating Bishop (Jerome of Brandenburgh) conferred on him the power of celebrating the mass, he put the cup into his hand, and addressed him with the solemn words, Accipe potestatem sacrificandi pro vivis et inortuis…At a later period these words made Luther shudder. ‘ That the earth did not swallow us both up, he said, ‘ was an instance of the patience and long-suffering of God.” ” Merle D’Aub. i. 171.
Comparatively early: because, though not adopted at any rate for the four first centuries, as appears from the fact of its being unnoticed in the Form of Liaconal Ordination given in the so-called Apostolical Constitutions of the 2nd or 3rd centuries, (see B. viii. 16. Ed. Coteler.) nor in that of the Council of Carthage, of A.D. 398, mentioned in the next Note, and moreover not generally adopted in the continental churches of Western Christendom till the tenth century in their ritual of ordination, yet it appears that in Egbert’s English Pontifical, bearing date in the 9th century, the giving of the Book of the Gospels to the Beacon is mentioned as then and there the established custom: whence, as Martene observes, it past to the continental churches. The form still continues in the Church of Rome: see Catech. of C. of Trent, ii. 7. 21: also on the ordination of the chief Deacon, or Presbyter, in the churches of the Syrian Maronites and Sirian Nestorians. See Martene, ii. 21, 22, 3-5: 103, 110. Also my Note 2 infra.
The traditio instrumenti was always meant to signify the function ordained to. Thus in a Council of Carthage held A.D. 398, (Hard. i. 979,) we find described the ceremonies of ordination to the several inferior sacred orders then recognized: viz. Of the Psalmistae or Singers, the Ostiarii or door-keepers, the Readers, the Exorcists, the Acolytes, or Lighters of wax-lights in service, and the Sub deacons. And the following are the rites prescribed:—that, on the ordaining of the Boor-keeper, the key of the Church be delivered into his hands by the Bishop: on that of the Reader, the Codex or Book out of which he was to read: on that of the Exorcist, the Book of Exorcisms: on that of Acolyth, the Wax-candle sconce: on that of the Sub deacon, (whose business it was to carry the sacred vessels to the officiating Priest,) the Chalice and the Paten, but each empty. The last rite was thus distinguished from the subsequent ritual of Priest’s ordination; (i. e. after the 12th century:) according to which the chalice delivered to the priestly candidate was to have wine in it, and the paten to have the hostia, or transubstantiation bread. The same traditio instrumenti to the candidates, on ordination to these inferior clerical orders, is also noted in Martene, ii. 18, 19, 75. —Riddle (Christian Antiq. p. 275) says that the ceremony of delivering the sacred vessels, &c., to the parties ordained, was not established as a whole till the 7th century; though several particulars of it may be traced to an earlier date. On the same principle, on any cleric’s condemnation for heresy, he was first degraded from his sacred function by the taking away of his badge of. office. So in the case of Santre, condemned by Archbishop Arundel, his degradation from Holy Orders was signified by the taking from him successively of all these instrumenta officii. As priest he was deprived of the paten and chalice, as well as priestly casual: as deacon of the New Testament and stole; as sub deacon of the alb and maniple: as acolyte of the candlestick, taper, and urceole; as exorcist of the book of exorcisms: as lector of the lectionary: as sexton of the keys of the church. And then his clerical tonsure was erased: and he was given up as a layman to the secular court. Southey’s Book of the Church, ch. xi. p. 211. Compare Harduin vi. i. 884.
From the above case of Sautre, the Book then given in the English diaconal ordination would seem to have been the New Testament. Elsewhere it was almost universally the Book of the Gospels, as that chiefly to be read by him. So Sozomen, in the fifth century, Hist. Ece. vii. 19;Ταυτην δε την ίεραν βιβλον (scil.) των ευαγγελιων αναγινωσκει ενθαδε (sc. in the Alexandrian Church) μονος ό αρχιδιακονος παρα αλλοις ό διακονος εν πολλαις δε εκκλησιαις μονοι εν δε επισημοις ημεραις επισκοποι.—In Peter Siculus account of the origin of the Paulikians in the 7th century, it is mentioned that the conversion of Constantine, founder of the Sect, arose from the perusal of two books given him by a Deacon whom he had entertained, returning from captivity in Syria: the one the Book of the Gospels, the other the Book of St. Paul’s Epistles, p. 30. (Ed. Gieseler, 1846.)
“Accipe potcstatem legendi Evangelium in ecclesia Dei!” there being added the words (an addition grafted on the doctrine of purgatory, and which Luther would little respect) “tarn pro vivis quam pro defunctis, in nomine Domini.” I take this from an ancient ritual of Mayence, in a manuscript of the xivth century, given by Martene, ii. 79: Mayence being the Archbishoprick to which Erfuirt and Wittenberg were subject.—In the yet older British Pontifical of Egbert, (lb. ii. 35,) the words of commission were, ” Accipe istud volumen Evangelii, et lege, et intellige, et aliis trade, et tu opere adimple.” So also in that of the Monastery of Bee. lb. 64.
In the Mayeuce ritual, the ordaining Bishop is directed thus to declare the duties of their office, to the candidates for Deacon’s orders gathered round him. ” Diacouum oportet sacerdotibus assistere, et ministrare ad altare, et in aliis sacramentis ecclesia;, atque Evangelium aliamque Scripturam Novi Testamenti pronuntiare, et praedicare verbum Dei.” lb. 79.—The summary of the Deacon’s duty, given in the Sermo, similarly comprehends that of preaching. ” In Novo Testamento ab apostolis ordinati, (sc. Diaconi,) divini verbi praecones…constituuntur.” This Sermo, or Address to the candidates, is from a Pontifical of the Church of Rouen. lb. 18.
Was it not also a silent protest against the Church that had so set aside the reading and preaching to the people, as enjoined by it, of the pure word of God?
See p. 98 supra.
“In nomine Domini,” occurs frequently, as words used by the Bishop in the rituals of ordination. See the citation in my Note above.—I need not remind the reader how early the Bishop was looked on in the Church, in respect of his official functions, as Christ’s representative. And justly so, when the Bishop ruled and acted according to Scripture. But Ignatius *(If what the Syriac copy wants of the Ignatiau Letters is nevertheless still to be ascribed to Ignatius.) and Cyprian little anticipated the subsequent abuse of this title of honour, by application to the Episcopal office, when most unscripturally exercised.
This was as early as the year 1516. M. Merle observes on it (i. 212) ; “that before the world had heard of Luther’s opinions, they were discussed in the convents, especially those of the Augustines ; and that more than one convent thus became a nursery of the Reformation : so that as soon as the great blow was struck at the Papacy, men of boldness and piety issued from their obscurity ; and quitted the retirement of the monastic life, for the active career of ministers of God’s word.”
Si vivos libros, hoc est concionatores, possemus multiplicare.” Merle ii. 114. Compare the similar expressions of Dante and Papias, p. 155 supra.
“Leges interpretandi verbi Dei non patior, ctim oporteat verbum Dei esse non alligatum.” Merle D’Aub. ii. 127.
See Merle or Milner.
Wartburg Castle is about a mile from Eisenach in Thuringia. Its site marks the boundary’s of the inroads of the Romans under Drusus, who could penetrate no further into the Hercynian forest. The castle itself was erected about A.D. 1070 by Count Ludwig, in the Byzantine style of architecture: and was for some time the residence of the land graves of Thuringia. Early in the 13th century Count Herman made it famous as the focus of German poetry, tournaments, and troubadours. In 1817 it was the meeting-place of a number of German students, on occasion of the tercentenary of the Reformation.
From Apr. 26, 1521 to Mar. 3, 1522.
It has been noted already that though there were various German versions of the Bible before Luther’s, printed at Nuremberg in 1477, 1483, 1490, and at Augsburg in 1518, yet they were not permitted to be read: nor indeed were readable, on account alike of the badness of the translation, and badness of the printing. So Seckeudorf, i. 204. See the Note, pp. 91, 92 supra.
In his answer to Latomus, he says: ” I grudge the time spent in reading and answering this worthless publication: particularly as I was employed in translating the Epistles and Gospels into our own language.” Again; ” You can scarce believe with what reluctance I have allowed my attention to be diverted (by it) from the quiet study of the Scriptures in this Patmos.” Milner 766, 768.
For the Scripture use of tlie figure elsewhere see p. 152 Note 1 supra. It is a figure used also by other authors. So, for example, Clemens Alexandrinus: Της ´Ελληνικης φιλοσοφιας καθαπερ των καρυων ου το παν εδωδιμον. Strom.
Before him, as by P. Valdes and Wicliff: —with him, as by Melancthon, who soon joined Luther in the translation of the Bible: — after him, as in the case of Henry Martyn’s, for example, while occupied in his Hindoostance and Persian translations. ” What,” said he, ” do I not owe the Lord for permitting me to take a part in the translation of his word! Never did I see such wonders, wisdom, and love in the blessed book, as since I was obliged to study every expression.” Life p. 271.—And let me instance too Martyn’s predecessor, Br. Buchanan. While detailing to a friend, just a little before his death, the laborious plan pursued by him of a five times repeated revision of the Syriac Testament, during its reprinting, he said with emotion even to tears: ” At first I was disposed to shrink from the task as irksome: and apprehended that I should find even the Scriptures pall by the frequency of this critical examination. But, so far from it, every fresh perusal seemed to throw fresh light on the word of God, and to convey additional joy and consolation to my mind.” Pearson’s Memoirs, ii. 364.
“If I should write of the heavy burden of a godly Preacher, which he must carry and endure, as I know by my own experience, I should scare every man from the office of preaching.” Luther’s Table Talk, i. 419. So also pp. 405, 406, &c. Compare again Note 1 p. 152 supra.
Compare what was afterwards retrospectively figured by the divine revealing Angel concerning the history, death, and resurrection of his two representative witnesses, whose mission it had been to prophesy in sackcloth, Apoc. xi. 3, 7—11.
He who undertakes anything,” Luther said, “without a divine call to it, seeks his own glory. For myself, I was constrained to become octor.” Merle D’Aub. i. 195. Again, in his letter to Melancthon, on the subject of the pretended prophets, Stork and others ; ” God never sent any prophet, who was not either called by proper persons, or authorized by special miracles.” Milner 780. So too in his Table Talk, i. 406.
Milner 770, 771.
See Milner 777, 783.—The Elector’s objection against Luther’s returning, arose chiefly doubtless out of regard to Luther’s own safety: but also in part from the fear of his being himself embroiled with the Emperor, in case of Luther’s public reappearance
That this was one chief guiding motive, appears from what he wrote soon after to Langus, Pastor of Erfurt: ” I must not come to you: it behoveth me not to tempt God by seeking dangers elsewhere: ” (Milner 789:) compared with the quotation from his Letter to the Elector given p. 171 Note 3. At the same time, reluctance to compromise the Elector no doubt had some weight with him. He writes in the same Letter to the Elector (Milner 783): ” I am well aware that my conduct is capable of being represented as causing a multitude of dangers and difficulties to your person, your government, and your subjects.”
To Justus Jonas he wrote: ” Beseech the Lord that I may be delivered from wicked and unfaithful men, and that a door may be opened to me for the praise of the merciful gospel of his Son.” And to Melancthon: ” I would much rather burn on live coals, than live here alone, half alive and useless.” Milner 765, 769.—So Jer. XX. 9: ” The Lord’s word was made a reproach to me…Then I said, I will not…speak any more in his name. But his word was in my heart as a burning fire, shut up in my bones: and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.”
The Elector, although the protector of the Reformers against the execution of the Decree of Worms, yet prohibited them from preaching or disputing publicly on questions which might offend the adherents of that which was still, even there, the established religion.
I may observe that the necessity was not unlike that which, as Ambrosius Ansbertus hints in his parallelism, arose out of the spread at Ephesus of the Cerinthian and Ebionite heresies, for the return of St. John, after his year of exile in Patraos. See the quotation, p. 154 supra.
So in his Letter to the Elector: “I have reason every hour to expect a violent death, from the Imperial edicts and the Papal thunders:”—and so also, to the same effect, in his letter to Gerbelius, written soon after his return: ” I am now encompassed with no guards but those of heaven. I live in the midst of enemies, who have a legal power of killing me every hour.” lb. 783, 788.
Milner pp. 783, 784.
So he said elsewhere of his heavenly commission: ” Christ spake unto me as He spake to St. Paul: where he saith, ‘Arise and preach, and I will be with thee.'” — Table Talk i. 407.
“Ce n’est pas des hommes que_;V tiens VEvangile, mais du ciel, de notre Seigneur Jesus Christ: et j’aurais bien pu, conime je veux faire dorenavant, ni’appeller son serriteur, et prendre le titre d’Evangeliste.” Michelot i. 113. And Milner 783.
Milner gives an interesting abstract of his first sermon. ” Once more,” he began, ” I am allowed to sound the gospel in your ears: once more you may derive benefit from my exhortation. By and by death will come, and then we can do one another no good.” Then followed an admirable abstract of the Christian doctrine of salvation, p. 785.
Dr. SchurfF, who had been sent by the Elector to confer with Luther on his return, in his report to his master praised Luther as ” an Apostle and Evangelist of Christ. He said that all ranks and orders, learned and unlearned, were delighted witli liis return ; and that he was now daily in the most admirable manner teaching true doctrine, and restoring order everywhere.” lb. 782.
See Milner 797, 808—820.
Having when in much distress of mind , procured Erasmus Latin Testaments, which he had heard praised for it’s Latinity and till when he knew not what the New Testament meant he tells us,in his Letter to Bishop Tonstal that he opened on a text which at once gave comfort and healing to his wonderful soul; This is a faithful saying and worthy of all men to be received that Christ came into this World to save sinners Then he says the scriptures became to him sweeter than honey on the honey comb . And he adds presently: As soon as by the grace of God I began to taste the sweets of that heavenly lesson, which no man can teach but God alone I begged of the lord to increase my faith and at last desired nothing more than that I being so conforted of Him, might be strengthened by his spirit to teach sinners his ways;.
Psalm Ixviii. II.
The Bishop Thurzo, of Breslau in Silesia, who died August, 1520, and his successor James of Salza of the same See, are the only two Bishops noted thus far as favoring the Reformation. Milner 815.
I thus express myself, because especially of the well-known allowance, both in the Eastern and Western Churches,—and that for some centuries,— of ordination by Chorepiscopi: a class whose ecclesiastical rank and character may perhaps be not unfitly resembled to that of Archdeacons in our Church: certainly, as it seems to me, to them much more than to Bishops proper. As their case has been overlooked, so far as I know, in the late controversial publications on the subject of ministerial ordination, and what has been called Apostolical succession, it may perhaps be useful to subjoin a little fuller notice of them. Originally, as Mosheim observes in his History of the Church in its first Century, they were Suffragans or Beptities, appointed by the Bishop of a City, to instruct the societies gathered into the Christian Church in the rural districts adjacent. Hence their title Chorepiscopi, rural Bishops; the word Bishops then, it must be remembered, including simple Presbyters.— Now the inferiority of their ecclesiastical rank to that of Bishops proper, as soon afterwards defined, appears thus. First, it is expressed by the not unfrequent comparison of the latter to the apostles, of the former to the seventy elders. *(So in the Council of Neocaesarea, (A.D. 314,) Can. 14; οί δε χωρεπισκοποι εισιν εις τυπον έβδομηκοντα. Harduin i. 286.) For, I conceive, the seventy elders cannot be regarded of the same rank or order as the Apostles: and so neither the Chorepiscopi of the same as Bishops. —Further, both the manner of appointment of the Chorepiscopi to their office, and the mode also in which they exercised their office, marked their inferiority. The appointment of the Chorepiscopi was made singly and alone by each city Bishop: (so we learn from the Council of Antioch: †(Held A.D. 341: Can. 10. Hard. i. 598.) whereas consecration by three Bishops was in the Nicene Council (one recognized by that of Antioch) declared necessary to the canonical constitution of a proper Bishop.‡(Can. 4: Hard. i. 323.) Again, whereas in dependency of action characterized the Bishop, insomuch that Bingham declares the very essence of the episcopal order involved in it, (ii. 1. 1, ii. 3. 2, &c.) it was laid down by the Council of Antioch, among others, that the Chorepiscopi might not ordain presbyters and deacons without the consent of the city Bishop, on pain of degradation: and, as we learn from Basil’s own practice, they were obliged frequently to consult him even on the fulfillment of lesser functions. §(Ep. 181, referred to in Bingham ii. 14. 6.).—On all these accounts it seems clear to me that the Chorcpiscopus was of an inferior order to the Bishop proper. Bingham contradicts himself, as will appear even from what has been said above, in his attempt to make them out to be of the episcopal order. As for his chief proof, drawn from a passage in Athanasius distinguishing the Chorcpiscopus from a Presbyter, II(Ep. 181, referred to in Bingham ii. 14. 6. (‖ ” There needs no fuller proof that the Chorepiscopi were properly Bishops, than this,—that Athanasius…puts a manifest distinction betwixt Presbyters and Chorepiscopi. For he says that…he Churches of Mareotis…never had either Bishop or Chorcpiscopus among them, but only Presbyters, fixed each in their respective villages.” Bingham ii. 14. 4.—If we said of a certain district that it had never had either Bishop or Archdeacon residing there, but only the Parochial Clergy, would it prove the Archdeacon to be a Bishop?) the proof is valueless: because there were then not three clerical orders simply, as in our Reformed Churches, but nine; of which the four higher were Presbyter, Archiprebyter); Chorcpiscopus, and Bishop: and consequently the distinguishing them from presbyters would not establish their equality with Bishops.*(Martene ii. 1 105.) And, in fact, in the only ancient ritual (so far as I can find) in which the Chorepiscopi rite of ordination is given (that of -the Syrian Maronites) it is followed by the rite of Episcopal ordination: and in the latter the newly-elected Bishop is stated to have been raised by imposition of hands from the order of Chorcpiscopus, as from a separate and inferior one. †(” Offerimus Sanctitati tua;, Metropolita noster, hunc qui…impositionem manus divinaj accepit ex ordine Chorepiscopi.” Martene ii. 106) The conclusion I come to is much the same as BeUarmine’ s, among others, and that of the school men and canonists. Mosheim too expresses a similar opinion. ” Quod quidem genus,” he says of the Chorepiscopi, “medium veluti inter episcopos et presbyteros interjectum erat: inferius episcopis, superiors presbyters.” ‡(i. 2. 2. 13.) Such was their inferiority of order to the Bishop. Yet they ordained, and their ordinations were held legitimate.—In evidence of this, for the earlier centuries the reader need only consult Bingham. For the later centuries, he may consult Martene De Rit. ii. 12. The latter in illustration cites (besides the earlier Council of Antioch) that of ‘Meaux, held in the year 845: also Isidore, Pope Zachary, famous in the time of Pepin, Pope Nicholas I: &c. &c. I quote the extract of the Epistle of the last mentioned Pope (whose Episcopate lasted from A.D. 858 to 867) given by Martene. It was in reply to the query of Rodulph, Archbishop of Bourges, on the subject of Chorepiscopal oi’dination. “A Chorcpiscopus asseris multas esse in regionibus vestris ordinationes presbyterorum et diaconorum effectas: quos quidam episcoporum deponunt, quidam vero deuuo consecrant. Nos vero dicimus nee innocentes oportere percelli, nee uUas debere fieri ordinationes vel iteratas consecrationes. Ad formani enim septuaginta Chorepiscopi facti sunt, quos quis dubitet episcoporum habuisse officia.” Martene endeavours to explain away the general force of this by a citation from the Acts of the Cenomanensian Bishops of the time of Charlemagne, to the effect that no Chorcpiscopus might make the chrism, dedicate churches, &c., much less ordain, titles ordained by three Bishops: ” qui omnia sumrais sacerdotibus, et non chorepiscopis debentur;” adding that they considered this to have been the doctrine of the Holy Fathers before them. But where do we find any such limitation in the early Fathers before, any more than in the expressions of Pope Nicholas himself after, them?—No doubt there were anciently certain cases of ετισκοποι σχολαζοντες Bishops regularly ordained, but, it might be, driven from their own sees: and who, in another Bishop’s diocese, were only permitted to act as Chorepiscopi: §(Bingham ii. 14. 3.) e.g. the case of the Novatian and the Meletian Bishops, &c., as noticed in the Council of Nice: ||(Mosheim iv. 2. 3. 18.) very much like that of our Colonial Bishops, after return to England. But these were but a few among the many. The rule for Chorepiscopal ordination was that laid down (see p. 174) by the Council of Antioch. Indeed, if regularly consecrated as Bishops, the Chorepiscopi, according to the ecclesiastical law then generally received, would have been of the order not of the Seventy, but of the Twelve. See too, on this subject of the Chorepiscopi, the fact of their often ordaining, and the general jealousy felt against them in consequence by Prelates of higher rank, Harduin i. 768, iii. 339, iv. 1314. In the two former of which references the letters given as those of Pope Damasus of about the date A.D. 380, and John III, of about A.D. 560, are probably spurious: yet may be regarded as evidences to the point stated by me of date earlier than that of the Canon of the Council of Paris, held A.D. 829, given in the third reference.—Both Agobard, Archbishop of Lyons in the 9th century, and Gottschale, of whom I shall have to speak in my Chapter on the Witnesses, were Chorepiscopi.
“Where no preachers are” all will go to the ground. . In this sort the Pope overcame the Bohemians . . and brought them again to his bay, when they had no ministers . , Then the Popish Bishops forced those that were new-ordained by oath to hold in, and subject themselves under their command.” “But we,” adds Luther, “by God’s grace, hold the jurisdiction to ordain in our Churches, &c.” Table Talk i. 417.
The only notice, I believe, in the New Testament of the ecclesiastical officers in the church of Corinth is in 1 Cor. xvi. 15: “Ye know the house of Stephan as, that it is the first-fruits of Achaia, and they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints: (εις διακονιαν ταις άγιοις) that ye submit yourself to such: &c.” Besides which in Clement’s Epistle to the Corinthians, (ch. 42,) written probably very soon after Domitian’s persecution, there is mention only of Bishops and Deacons, i. e. Presbyters and Deacons, (for οί πρεσβυτεροι το παλαιον εκαλουντο επισκοποι, says Chrysostom, Horn. i. in Phil. i. 1,) as officers in the then Corinthian church. See my Vol. i. p. 295, Foot Note.
See Mosheim, Cent, xvi, Part ii, chap. 1. 4 and 2. 12.
The well-known xxiiird Article of the Church of England, ” Of ministering in the Congregation,” was notoriously so worded as to allow of the recognition of Ordinations in the Lutheran -and Reformed Churches. ” It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching, or ministering the sacraments in the congregation, before he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called to this work, by men who hare public authority given to them in the congregation to call and send ministers into the Lord’s Vineyard.”—It is well known that the practice of the Reformed Church of England, through the reign of Edward VI, and the greater part of that of Elizabeth, was entirely conformable to the spirit of this Article. Ministers of the continental Reformed Churches (as Bueer) were admitted to English livings, and into the Universities: and their ordination declared valid also by Act of Parliament, 13th Elizabeth. See Lathbury’s English Episcopacy, pp. 19, 63; from Strype’s Annals.*(See too on this point Goode’s Doctrine of the Church of England on Non-Episcopal ordinations, published subsequently to the 4th Ed. of my Horse Apoc.) In Bishop Brunet’s Comment on the 23rd Article, he specifically notices the case of Bishops failing in a particular Christian community, or kingdom,—so as was the case in the Saxon Electorate at the Reformation: and Princes, from political caution or jealousies, objecting to theii’ subjects going into other kingdoms for ordination.
In this I allude chiefly to Rome, and its attacks on the orders of all the Reformed Churches as invalid.—It is to be lamented that some too in the Church of England should, of late years, have impugned the validity of the orders of the Lutheran and Reformed Churches, because Presbyterian. Besides being contrary to the spirit of the Church of England, as judged of by its Articles, and by tlie doctrine and practice of its venerable founders, is it not suicidal? For who among this class of ministers in the English Church could, on their own principles rigidly carried out, (however positively some have asserted it,) prove his own ordination to be valid? — The consecration of each Bishop, in order to validity, requires, we saw, three Bishops: his previous admission to Priest’s and Deacon’s Orders, at least one more. Thus we may say the validity of but one Episcopal ordination involves that of four more; that of these four, it might be, of 16, and of these 16, if the number of Bishops in the community allowed scope enough, and the ordaining Bishops in each line, traced backward, were distinct and unintermingled, that of 64. Allowing twenty years to each Bishop’s episcopate on an average, we should be carried back in a century five; steps; and therefore so as to involve the validity, still on the same suppositions, of 256.—Of course the number is in practice greatly and constantly lessened by the circumstance of the ordaining Bishops being in many ordinations the same. Still enough remains true of the case supposed to show that the validity of the consecrations of the whole preceding Episcopal body, however large, limited in the same country or rather communion, would within a century or two be involved, in order to assure the validity of that one Bishop’s consecration now. And since, before the Reformation, (dl Western Europe was thus connected together, and foreigners continually filled the English Sees,*(See England’s grievances, exhibited in the Council of Lyons, A.D. 1245: ” That in the benefices of England one Italian succeedeth another: ” &c. Hard, vii. 400.) it follows that we need the validity of the ordinations of all the Bishops of Western Europe in the 13th and earlier centuries, in order (on the principles of such persons as I speak of) to establish our own. Thus we come necessarily not only to the consideration of the many possible contingencies of failure, of which Chillingworth speaks so strongly, but to the direct question, among others, of the validity of Chorepiscopal ordinations: which, as explained in a former Note, seem to have been by no means properly Episcopal, and were yet frequent, and practiced for ages. The stream of episcopal succession, by which each English minister’s ordination is traced back to its Apostolic origin, must almost necessarily include some out of the wide-spread numbers of Chorepiscopal-ordained presbyters: (e. g. those by Agobard of Lyons:) bishops destitute of the necessary prerequisite, according to our objectors, of true previous priestly orders. I say the necessary prerequisite; for ordinations per solium were uncanouical and illegal. (Martene ii. 8.) See on this subject a very interesting and illustrative extract given by Seckendorf, Book iii. pp. 499, 500, from a Sermon by George Prince of Anhalt: who takes up the offensive as well as defensive argument against the Romanists, on the subject of true ministerial ordination, somewhat as I have. Many priests, says he, of the Romish Church have not been ordained by true bishops, charged with a certain fixt diocese, but by mere suffragans, wearing only the masque of bishops: “a larvatis et nomine saltern tenus Episcopis, quos titulares et suffraganeos vocant.”—Besides which in the Romish Church the doctrine of intention, solemnly laid down in the Council of Trent, after that of Florence, throws all into uncertainty. ” Si quis dixeritin ministris, dum sacramenta conficiunt et confei’unt, non requiri intentionem saltern faciendi quod facit ecclesia, anathema sit.” Council of Trent, Sess. vii. Can. xi. See the whole argument drawn out more fully in my Letter to Rev. W. Gresley in the Appendix to my Warburton Lectures. Let me add Hooker’s well-known passage on the subject. ” There may be sometimes very just and sufficient reason to allow ordination made without a Bishop. . Where the Church must needs have some ordained, and neither hath, nor can have possibly, a Bishop to ordain,—in case of such necessity the ordinary institution of God hath given oftentimes, and may give place. And therefore we are not simply, and without exception, to urge a lineal descent of power from the Apostles, by continual succession of Bishops, in every effectual Ordination.” Eccl. Pol. vii. 14, ad fin.—To the same effect writes Bishop Stillingfleet in his Eirenicum, ch. viii. 3
The contrast is thus drawn by Luther in his Table Talk, ii. 22. ” In the Popedom they invest priests, not for the office of preaching and teaching God’s word, but only to celebrate mass…For, when a Bishop ordaineth one, he saith, Take to thee power to celebrate mass, and to offer for the living and the dead! But we ordain priests, according to the command of Christ and St. Paul, to preach the pure gospel and God’s word.” In the Swedish Church it was decreed that none should be ordained who did not approve themselves both able and willing to preach the gospel. Milner 813.85.
The symbol is used in some of the Lutheran Churches, (I am told,) in others not.
The circumstance of the New Testament, or the Bible, being thus used in the Ordinations of the Churches of the Reformation, is another example of the Apocalyptic habit of borrowing figures from habits established at the time prefigured. It is observable that many manuscripts read βιβλιον, in some of the verses where the word referred to occurs, instead of βιβλιαριδιον. Generally however there is a decided preponderance of evidence in favour of the latter reading, as appears from the critical editions. See Note 1 p. 148.
There appears from the ancient rituals to have been anciently a form in the rite of Episcopal ordination, somewhat similar in some churches: viz. that of two bishops holding over the head of the bishop elect, to be consecrated, the book of the Gospels. So the Canon 2 of the 4th Council of Carthage, held (as before noted p. 164) AD. 398. Hard. i. 979. The circumstance of the Bishop being theii distinctively the Preacher, will sufficiently account for this distinction.
When those that are in the office of teaching have not joy or comfort from thence, namely that they have not regard to Him that called and sent them, then is it with such an irksome work. Truly I would not take the wealth of the whole world, that I should now begin the work against the Pope, which thus far I have wrought, by reason of the exceeding heavy care and anguish wherewith I have been burthened. But when I look on Him that called me thereunto, I would not for the world’s wealth but that I had begun it.” Luther’s Table Talk, ii. 353.
Και εδοθη μοι καλ αρος όμοιος ρ´αβδψ λεγων Such is the reading found in the earliest existing Greek Codex that contains the verse; viz. the Codex numbered A Alexandrinus in Tregelles list. Of the two other most ancient Greek Codices of the Apocalypse, called by him B and C, the latter unfortunately does not contain the passage there being a lacuna in it from Apoc. x. 10 to xi. 3: but B reads nearly as our translators, και ις ηκει όαγγελος (Wordsworth.) Of later Codices too there IS one good one, written on vellum in the year 1087, (Codex Harleianus 5537,) which contains the reading of the received text, Και όαγγελος ειστηκει λεγων. Of translations the Latin Vulgate does not recognise this addition; its rendering being “Et dictum est mihi: but it appears in the Armenian Translation, of the date A. D. 410 and in the Syriac, dating m the 6th century.-Thus the addition is by no means without support Since however the balance of authority is against it, I therefore conclude to read the text without it.
With the reading και εδοθη μ. κ. ό. ρ´.λεγων the question of grammatical construction immediately occurs. And, unless we make the καλαμος , or reed that was given the evangelist, to be the spokesman, an idea which seems to me to be as preposterous as it does to Vitnnga and M. Stuart,*(Vitringa. “Cui rei to λεγων respondebit .’ An calamo: ut scnsus sit cala mum qui Prophetic datus est mandatum illi injunxisse? Certe id ineptum et absurdum fuerit sentire.” — M. Stuart, ii. 216. ” The interpretation which makes καλαμος itself the speaker, is not worth notice, except as a fact which exhibits the possibility of any and every extravagance in interpretation.”)” though, to my amazement, adopted of late by Dr. “Wordsworth, *(Comment, on Apoc. p. 241. “The reed speaks; it is inspired. The Spirit is in it. It is the word of God.”) the λεγων must be taken I presume as a nominative absolute: (a grammatical peculiarity not very uncommon:) and, as the angel was the speaker before, so he must naturally be considered the speaker now. I have accordingly here inserted the words the angel, though only in Italics. As questions of some importance are supposed to be affected by the explanation given, and the nominative supplied, I think it well to add the views of some of the best critical expositors on the passage. 1. Vitringa (p. 594) infers the nominative to the λεγων from the accompanying act of the giving of the measuring reed to St. John: as if it had been written, Και εδωκε μοι καλ όυ ρ´ λεγων and the giver of the reed he supposes to be the angel of the preceding context, ” maguus ille et inlustris Angelus.” He refers for illustration to Ezek. xl. 3, 4, speaking of an angel that had a measuring reed in hand. 2. Eichhorn says that, though we reject Και ό αγγελος ειστηκει. from the text, we must supply it in the interpretation. ” Quae verba, si genuina non sunt dicenda, interponenda tamen in interpretando sunt.” ii. 53. 3. Heinrkhs, like Eichhorn, says; “Ante λεγων supplendum erit ejusmodi quid, quale invenitur in textu recepto:” and, just previously; ” Cap. xi. continua serie pergit, prioribusque jungitur; quia idem angelus loquitur qui coelitus descenderat, c. x.” 4. M. Stuart. ” λεγων,—but who is the speaker? The Vulgate [vulgar?’] text has supplied the agent by inserting Και ό αγγελος ειστηκει. But this clause is justly rejected, as wanting sufficient support from MSS.f It is moreover evidently against the tenor of the sequel: for v. 3 (μαρτυσιν μου) shows that God, or Christ, must have been the speaker in this case …. Evidently the speaker in this verse is the person who gave John the measuring rod. But, as the passive voice εδοθη is here used, the agent in this case is not designated. This must be supplied therefor Atom the context: and ver. 3 enables us to supply the proper nominative.” How strange that Professor Stuart should not have recognized the Angel of the Covenant in the rainbow-crowned angel of Apoc. x .! Had he done so, he would have seen that instead of v. 3 of ch. xi. showing that it was a different speaker from the one in ch. x., (see his p. 312,) it shows him to have’ been the same person.—So with Vitringa, Eichhorn, Heinrichs, (the two latter of whom are expositors of M. Stuart’s own German school of Apocalyptic interpretation,) we may safely conclude that Apoc. xi. is a mere continuation of Apoc. x.: (the omission of the και ό αγγελος ειστηκει making no difference on this head:) and the speaker in either case one and the same. A point this the more to be observed, as some persons have very strangely supposed that the omission of the και ό αγγελος ειστηκει from the text involves the necessary disruption of the narratives in chapters x. and xi. While fullly agreeing however with these interpreters as to the angel of Apoc. x. being the nominative to λεψων and the speaker, I prefer to infer this nominative, not from the εδοθη but from the immediately preceding sentence and narrative: the clause ” And there was given me a reed like to a rod,” being in a manner parenthetic: and the λεγων with αγγελος rendered as a nominative absolute. For it seems to me doubtful whether the angel was the giver of the reed, as will be observed afterwards. —On the use of the nominative absolute in Greek, see Matthiae’s Grammar, (Blom. Ed. 1832,) p. 976. One example from Sophocles may suffice:λογοι δ´ εν αλληλοισιν ερρ’οθουν κακοι φυλαξ ελεγχων φυλακα.—On the interruption of parentheses compare Matt. ix. 6:ινα δε ειδητε ότι εξουσιαν εχει ό υίος του ανθρωπου επι της γης αφειναι αμαρτιας τοτε λεγει τψ παραλυτικψ εγερθεις αρον του την κλινην And again Luke xix. 24—-26.
See the observations at pp. 45—48 supra.—In a Paper in the Investigator, signed T. C. C. Vol. iii. p. 14-5, the continuity of these two chapters, the xth and xith, is strongly insisted on. This is the earliest notice of it that I remember to have seen: and, as it happened, was inserted nearly about the same time as a Paper of my own on the Witnesses, (beginning p. 185 of the same Volume of the Investigator,) towards the conclusion of which, p. 195, the same view was expressed incidentally.
The preposition in, “them that worship in it,” if applied to the nearest noun, θυσιαστηριον, may suggest the propriety of translating the word θυσιαστηριον.alter court So it is used by Ignatius, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, c. 5, and on that to the Trallians, c. 7: where ” without the altar,” means ” without the altar-court.” See Vol. i. pp. 15, 16. Compare Apoc. xiv. 18, xvi. 7.
I observe that Mede ad loc. takes the same view. “θυσιαστηριον non altare tantum holocausti, quod ibi situm, sed spatium etiam circumjectum, id est totum altaris et sacriticii locum designat; ut ex verbis ei proxime cohyerentibus colligitur, και προσκυνουντας εν αυτψ id est εν τω θυσιασττηριψ.” And so too Vitringa ibid.
Frequently the altar-court of the priests, and the court of the worshippers, or of Israel, are spoken of as distinct and separate: but here the iuclusion of the latter in the former is implied in the words of the text, ” Measure the altar, or altar-court, and them that worship in it.” Nor is this inconsistent with the Jewish view of the matter. Vitringa, p. 595, quotes Grotius, showing that the altar-court and court of Israel were not so separated as to be deemed by the Jews two, but one. The symbolization of worshippers, as well as worship, by the Jewish Temple, is natural and frequent. So by St. Paul, in passages referred to in my Introductory Chapter, Vol. i. p. 101. So by the early Fathers. So again by subsequent ecclesiastical writers, and indeed in the acts of Councils and Papal Bulls continually. In the Apocalypse, however, we see the worshippers are specified, as well as the local scene of worship: thus making the intent of the symbol more distinct.
See Vol. I.
From Solomon’s prayer on the dedication of the Temple, 1 Kings viii. 41, that the Gentiles might worship God there, we may infer that a Court for the Gentiles was then built. And thus when two Courts are mentioned afterwards, as in 2 Kings xxi. 5, xxiii. 12, &c., we may consider the same two intended as here. Compare too Jer. xxxvi. 10, where the higher court is mentioned.
The reader will observe that I suppose Christ’s Church visible, and its worship, to be thus designated: not the Church of his true spiritual believers, distinctively. This must be always borne in mind.
So too in the times of the second temple desecration under Antiochus Epiphanes: on which see Fairbairn on Prophecy, p. 339.
Compare 1 Cor. v. 12, where τους εξω , “them that are without” is said of the heathen: also Mark iv. 11, where our Lord, using the figure, says, “to them that are without in parables.” Tichonius, in his Homily 8 ad loc, explains the symbol very similarly. ” Ipsi atrium sunt qui videntur in ecclesid esse, et oris sunt: sive hceretici, sive tnale viventes eatholici.” Andreas, less correctly in my opinion, while explaining the inner altar-court and temple as the Church, makes the outer court to figure avowed Jews and heathens. Ημεις δε νουιζομεν ναον θεου ζωντος την εκκλησαιν προσαγορευεσθαι εν ή θυσιας λογικας τψ θεψ προσφερωμεν αυλην δε εξωτεραν την των απιστων εθνων και Ιουδαιων συναγωγην ώς αναξιαν ύπ αγγελου μετρηθηναι δια την ασεβειαν αυτων Εγων δε θευς τους οντας αυτου.
Apoc. vii. 2, 3, viii. 3, ix. 13, 20, &c. See Vol. i. pp. 286, 330—33″, 484—486: ii. p. 8, &c.
Apoc. xviii. 9, 23, 24.
That is, in Roman Christendom. To the justice of this designation of the apostatized Christian Church and its worship as heathen, as Gibbon, we saw, testified in reference to the earlier times of the apostasy, (see Vol. i. pp. 331, 332) so, too, Robertson in reference to its continuance down to the later times of which we are now speaking. ” To the pure and simple worship of the primitive Christians there succeeded a species of splendid idolatry, nearly resembling those Pagan originals whence it had been copied.” Hist, of Scotland, Book ii. ” The contrariety of such observances,” he adds, ” to the spirit of Christianity was almost the first thing in the Romish system which awakened the indignation of the Reformers, who applied to these the denunciations in the Old Testament against idolatry”.
This this was sometimes implied in the measuring, even where there was not the accompaniment of the casting out, will appear from Jerem. xxxi. 38, 39: ” The measuring line shall yet go forth…upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath:” a passage preceded by the words, “The city shall be built to the Lord, from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.” So also Ezek. xl. 3, 5, &c.: ” Behold a man…with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed: ” on which follows the account of the rebuilding of the temple and city, in vision. The same in Zech. ii. 1, &c. “I looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem to see what is the breadth and what is the length thereof. And an angel said, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, &c.”—In 2 Sam. viii. 2, we have an example of measurement, to mark out what was to be cast out, as well as what to be preserved: ” He measured them with a line:—with two lines, &c., to destroy, and with one to preserve alive.” So too Lam. ii. 8. In the present case, however, the casting out is a prominent point in the prefiguration. The which fact implied necessarily a certain reparation and reconstitution of the cleansed temple: just as in the case of the Jewish reformations under Hezekiah and Josiah, of which moi-e presently.
“The court without the temple cast out! “εκβαλε εξω It is to be observed that this court, though without the ναος, was yet within the ίερον, and so might be Cast out. The phrase is used of Jewish ecclesiastical excommunication, John ix. 22, 34, xii. 42, xvi. 2; in Matt. xxi. 12, of Christ’s casting the money-changers, &c., out of the temple:—also of Christian ecclesiastical excommunication, 3 John 10; where it is said of Diotrephes, εκ της εκκλησιας εκβαλλει ” He casteth certain out of the church.” Compare too Gal. iv. 30. The phrase, as well as symbolic form, designative of excommunication continued afterwards. So in the Greek Councils: Εευηρον τον Μανιχαιον εξω βαλε said of the excommunication of certain heretics in the 5th century. (Hard. ii. 1333.) In Martene ii. p. 322, again, among sundry solemn forms of excommunication, used in the Romish Church, I find the expression occurs, ” et d liminibus sanctm matris ecclesice sequestramus: ” or, as another formula has it, “d liminibus sanctm Dei ecclesice segregamus, et d eaetu Christianortim ejicinms.” And the following is described as the action expressive of the same, in the Concilium Lemovicense, held A.D. 1031: viz. that, when any one was to be excommunicated, the Bishop should go publicly to the door of the church, and shut him out; “ostium pro eo claudat.” Hard. vi. 1. 884.—So again in the Council of Nismes, A.D. 1284: where it is directed that the secular officers be called on to expel each excommunicated person out of the churches: and elsewhere. lb., vii. 907, 932.
Jer. vii. 4.
Apoc. X. 5, 8, 10.
Yet Prof. M. Stuart, without any authorization in the sacred text, makes the angel the previous holder of it, and giver to St. John. Comment, ii. 216.
Ezek. ii. 9; Dan. x. 10; also Dan. v. 5.
Apoc. vi. 2, 4. The word in either case is εδοθη.
καλαμος The reed is mentioned as an instrument used for measurement, as well as the measuring line, in the passage from Ezekiel, quoted p. 187, Note ‘-. And the context determines it, I conceive, to have that literal meaning here.—They who have seen the fields of reeds near Rome, of a height and character quite different from those common in England, will better understand the Apocalyptic symbol. The reed in fact is still used to measure with in Italy. *(A second literal meaning is somewhat curiously attached to the word καλαμος by the early Commentator Frimasius, viz. that of a pen: (being the same as its use in 3 John 13:) “Evangelium quippe antudinis officio scribitur.” (B. P. M. x. 313.) And it is also curious that the view is not unsuitable to the history we are considering: seeing that it was by the Reformer’s pen that the ritual and laws of the Evangelic Church were drawn up: as also the Articles and Confessions of Faith, whereby the Orthodox Church was defined, and the Romish cast out.—I am reminded by it of the relation in Junckner’s Vita Lutheri, p. 28, and repeated fully in Merle d’Aubione’s History, Vol. i. p. 258, of the Elector Frederic’s dream on the night before that” memorable All Saints’ Bay, A.D. 1517, on which Luther posted up his Theses against Indulgences: a dream in which a monk appeared to him to write something on the walls of the great church of Wittenberg, with open so long that it reached to Rome: and which made the Pope of Rome himself, who vainly tried to break it, tremble. The following Epitaph on Luther by the celebrated Beza, is to the same point: (Middleton’s Biograph. Evan. i. 229)
ραβδος the original for the word rod, is used ten times elsewhere, I believe, in the New Testament. In four of these it means a walking-staff: viz. in those passages of the three Evangelists which narrate Christ’s charge to his apostles not to take scrip or staff; and perhaps also in Heb. xi. 21, where Jacob is said to have ” worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.” In four of the other five it is used for a rod, or sceptre, of magistracy and power. So in the Apocalypse itself, ii. 27, ” He shall rule them with an iron rod, or sceptre:” the opposite to the golden sceptre of mercy: also Apoc. xii. 5, xix. 15: and Heb. i. 8. In 1 Cor. iv. 21, it has a somewhat cognate sense; ” Shall I come to you with a rod?”—In Acts xvi. 35, 38, ραβδουχος means a rod-bearer, in the sense of a magistrate’s rod-bearer: the ραβδος being the rod, or ensign of magistracy, with the στρατηγοι, or ruling magistrates at Philippi.*(The chief ruling civil magistrates in the Greek towns, under the Roman empire, were called στρατηγοι, as well as αρχοντες (the former being the proper equivalentto the Latin prcctores, ) at the colony of Philippi, and elsewhere. This title, as that of a civil magistrate, is illustrated by medals. See Eckhel iv. 195—198. A medal of Sardis is there referred to among others by him, in which the self-same words αρχων and στατηγος, which are alike used in Acts xvi. to designate the chief magistrates of Philippi, are also conjoined together;Επι Ετρ Ηρακλειδου Αρχ.) In the Old Testament, passing over the notices of Moses and Aaron’s shepherd rods used in performing the miracles in Egypt, we read in Numb. xvii. 2, 3, that each prince or chief of a tribe was commanded to bring a rod, ραβδος, (Heb. Niatt^^ as an ensign of headship of his tribe. This, I believe, was the earliest direct appropriation of the thing as an ensign of official rule and authority. It was on this occasion that Aaron’s name was inscribed by Moses on the rod of Levi: the same that afterwards budded. In Esther iv. 11, v. 2, the word is used of the Persian king’s golden rod or sceptre;πλην ώ εαν εκτεινγ τηνχρυσην” sceptrum aureum,” says Schleusner: (a later form for the usual.) Compare too Isa. xiv. 5: “The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, and sceptre of the rulers:” where the two Hebrew words are interchanged. And the same in Ezek. Xix. 11: ” The vine had rods for the sceptres of rulers.”
Yet, strange to say, it is thus that Heinrichs and M. Stuart explain it. ” Ομοιος ραβδψ innuere YidetuT magnitMlinem arundinis, qnx baeidum sen scipionem referebat.” So Heinrichs. And Stuart: ” like to it in regard to size, and therefore convenient for handling”!!
It is almost needless to add that the rod, or sceptre, continued in Christendom, even down to the times of the Reformation, to be a known badge, as before, of royalty. Says Chrysostom on Ps. ex.; Η ρ´αβδος βασιλειας συμβολον εσι.And so too Cyril Alex. cited by Suicer in verb. In reference to a later age, Martene de Rit. ii. 220, speaking of its presentation in the inauguration of the emperor, calls it virga, as well as sceptrum. And his description of it as “virga ad mensuram unius cubiti vel amplius,” with an ivory handle, may suggest the manner in which a similarly ornamented form might, in the Apocalyptic symbol, exhibit to the eye the measuring reed’s likeness to a princely rod of office. As ecclesiastical power advanced, aραβδος of a certain kind, the hamlm or virga pastorali was given to Bishops and Abbots, (after the example perhaps of Aaron,) in sign of rule, on their consecration. When first this occurred I know not. In the Council of Carthage held A.D. 398, the same that I have already referred to at p. 164, as giving the ceremonials then observed at the ordination of both higher and lower clerical orders, no mention is made of the presentation of a ραβδος to the bishop elect. In Socrates, H. E. vi. 4, Serapion’s charge to John Chrysostom when Archbishop of C. P., about A.D. 400, to drive out his whole Clergy μια ραβδψ, the expression is, I suppose, simply figurative. And so perhaps that to which allusion was made in the Council of Constantinople, held A.D. 536 Την παρα του θεισαν δοθεισαν ύμν εξουσιαν επ αυτοις κινησαντες καθαρισατε την του θεου εκκλησιαν των λυκων επαφεντες αυτοις ου την ποιμαντικην αλλα την παιδευτικην ύμων ραβον Hard. ii. 1209. About that same time, however, the biographer of Ciesarius, liishop of Aries, speaks of a baculus pastoralis being carried before him when he went out in his episcopal visitations. And in a Note on the 2nd Council of Soissons, held A.D. 853, Sirmondus states that the staff was then given to a bishop at consecration. Martene ii. 28. The Pontifical of Egbert, Archbishop of York in the 9th century, seems the earliest Pontifical in which the presentation of the baculus is mentioned. It was given with the words, ” Accipe baculum pastoralis officii: et sis in corrigendis vitiis saeviens, in ira judicium sine ira tenens; cum iratus fueris misericordia? Reminiscens.” And much the same in later ordinals. So Martene ii. 32, 41, 73. Accordingly, p. 318, on the degradation of a Bishop, this baculus, or virga pastoralis, is described as broken over his head. But that the Apocalyptic symbol signified princely, rather than episcopal or priesthj authority, appears hence:—1st, because St. John, being the representative on the scene of the true apostolic succession, and as such already addrest, and charged with spiritual duties, and consequently with spiritual authority, “in Apoc. x., had no need of any new symbol to mark the conference of the latter: 2ndly, because it was implied in what was said of the seven thunders that the chief ecclesiastical power existing at the time prefigured would be directly antagonistic to those whom John represented: 3rdly, because the episcopal baculus, being crooked at the end, (see Ducange in verb.) was evidently unfit for use in measuring: besides that the parallel cases of Hezekiah’s and Josiah’s part in the reformations of the ancient Jewish Church (as detailed in the text above) seem clearly to be the historic originals on which the Apocalyptic figuration is grounded.
In the common case of regulating a particular church, or of casting out and excommunicating heretics, the exercise of the usual ecclesiastical ραβδος of regit men might perhaps have sufficed. But the thing figured as what was to be done by St. John in the Apocalyptic vision was of far wider range, and altogether extraordinary: involving fundamental changes in constitutional as well as Church law.
See generally for the history 2 lungs xvi. 14, xxi. 4—7, xxiii. 4—6; 2 Chron. xxix. 16, &c., xxxiii. 4—7, xxxiv. 3—10.
In the Jewish altar-court God’s altar of sacrifice seems still to have remained, during the apostasies of Ahaz and Manasseh: but heathen altars and abominations to have been also intruded into it. Such, I conceive, may perhaps have been the appearance of the Apocalyptic altar-court in vision, before the casting out of the heathen outer-court. And this intrusion might be supposed to have begun from soon after the time figured in the incense-vision of Apoc. viii. 3: the consummation of the idolatrous intrusion by the men of Roman Christendom being expressly intimated in Anoc. ix. 20.—Or, possibly, the heathen abominations may have appeared confined to the outer-court: in which case however the communication between that outer and the inner court must have been so open, that they had appeared, previous to John’s excommunication of the outer court, to be alike parts of the same temple.
Milner, 775—778, 781.
Haweis, in his Continuation of Milner, p. 991, observes: “Luther had given the civil magistrate the supreme power in ecclesiastical regulations, and Zwinglius therein concurred with him.” As regards ‘the reformers in England and Scotland, see p. 196, Note 3.
Milner 894; Mosheim xvi. Part ii. 1. 4. See too Seckendorf, Lib. i., Sect. 53, &c.
εγειραι, Rise or wake up! The expression implies vigorous and decisive action after inertness, and success after depression. So Numb, xxiii. 24: Is. li. 9, &c. — A very parallel example to that before us occurs in Nehemiah ii. 17, 18. ” Ye see the distress we are in: how Jerusalem lieth waste…come, and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach! Then I told them of the hand of my God, which was good upon me: as also the king’s words that he had spoken unto me. And they said. Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.”—Milner, p. 894, observes on the occasion; “John was convinced that to temporize much longer with a corrupt and unprincipled hierarchy might prove fatal to the good cause. An appeal had been made to the tribunal of reason: and reason had decided already in a manner which had astonished all Europe. This astonishment was therefore to be roused to action.”
“This,” says Mosheim, (viz. Evangelical^ ” was the title assumed by that Church, (the Lutheran,) in consequence of the original design of its founders which was to restore to its native luster the gospel of Christ, that had so long been covered with the darkness of superstition: in other words, to place in its proper and true light that important doctrine, which represents salvation as attainable by the merits of Christ alone.” (xvi. 2. 1. 1.)—It was indeed in the spirit of the Little Book, or New Testament of the Gospel of Christ, that every step was taken in the Reformation. The Church was after wards called Lutheran. But this was quite contrary to Luther’s own wish. In his Warning against Sedition and Tumult he exhorts all men not so much as to mention his name, or call themselves Lutherans, but Christians. “The doctrine,” he says, “is not mine, nor was I crucified for any one. Paul and Peter forbade the people to call themselves after their names. Why should I, who am so soon to be food for worms, desire the children of Christ to be called by mine?..No! Let us be called Christians, because we possess the doctrine of Christianity.” He adds: ” The Papists have very properly another name, because they are not content with Christ’s name, and Christ’s doctrine. They choose to be called Papists.” Milner 787.
Junckner, p. 64, notices the first Lutheran ordination as made in this year. The date of this important step is not given either by Milner or Mosheim.
Milner, p. 937.
Ibid.- pp. 808—814.—The same too may be said of Switzerland. See Mosheim, xvi. 2. 2. 3, &c.
So the Article xxxvii. of our Anglican Church: where however the doctrine is carefully expressed and guarded. ” The King’s Majesty hath the chief power in this realm of England, and other his dominions, unto whom the chief government of all estates of this realm, whether they be ecclesiastical or civil, in all causes doth appertain: and is not, nor ought to be, subject to any foreign jurisdiction. ” When we attribute to the King’s Majesty the chief government,..we give not to our princes the ministering either of God’s word or the sacraments but that only prerogative which we see to have been given to all godly princes in Holy Scripture by God himself: that is that they should rule all states and degrees committed to their charge by God, whether they be ecclesiastical or temporal. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.” In 1560, in the Scottish Confession drawn up mainly by Knox, ratified by Parliament, and adopted by the General Assembly, we read: ” To kings, rulers, and magistrates chiefly and most principally appertains the conservation and purgation of religion: so that not only are they appointed for civil policy, but also for maintenance of the true religion, and for suppression of all idolatry and superstition whatsoever.” *(This is cited in a sermon just recently published (Edinb. 1860) of Dr. Hanna, the well-known Free Church minister, the biographer and son-in-law of Dr. Chalmers: who adds that on this point Knox would now (by Free Churchmen) he condemned as Erastian. H. A. 5th Ed.) Says Dr. Arnold:—”Our fathers at the Reformation were unconsciously led by God’s Providence to the declaration of the great principle of the King’s supremacy: i. e. an assertion of the supremacy of the Church, or Christian society, over the Clergy: and a denial of that which I hold to be one of the most mischievous falsehoods ever broached, viz. that the government of the Christian Church is vested by divine right in the Clergy, or close corporation of bishops and presbyters. Life ii. 189.
So Schlegel, Philosophy of History ii. 214; “It was by . . the influence Luther thereby acquired, [viz. by asserting the king’s authority,] as well as by the sanction of the civil power, that the Reformation was promoted and consolidated. Without this, Protestantism would have sunk into the lawless anarchy which marked the proceedings of the Hussite.
See Milner, p. 916, whose words I chiefly use in what follows.
“The Angel said, Thou must prophesy again.”
That which the alter-worship signified.
Drawn away from the altar- Court to the Court without the Temple.
The ραβδος, or?rod of civil authority.
A reed was given me like a rod, saying, Rise and measure, &c.”
The mystic temple, the sanctuarium Dei. Luther, says Mosheim, when separated from Rome still regarded himself as in the Catholic Church, xvi. 1. 2. 14.—In his famous answer to Pope Leo’s Bull in 1520 he had said, ” Such a universal Church (as the Romish) Augustine would have called a Synagogue of Satan.” Foxe v. 674.
Mark here the correspondence of St. Paul’s symbolic figure and St. John’s, by inspiration of the same Holy Spirit.
The Lutheran was drawn up by Melanethon: the Tetrapolitan, adopted by Strasburg and three other cities, by Bucer: the Swiss by Zuingle, who was slain in battle for the faith ere the close of the year 1530. The last was brief; and expanded after wards into what is called the Helvetic Confession of 1566, drawn up chiefly by Bullinger. The Helvetic Confession states thus the difference of the ministry of the Church reformed, and that of the excommunicated Church of Rome: a subject prominent in this and the preceding Chapter. ” Diversissima inter se sunt saccrdotium et ministerium. Illud commune est Christianis omnibus…hoc non item. Nee a medio sustulimus ecclesiae ministerium, quando repudiavimtis ex ecclesiA Christi saccrdotium Papisticum.” Chap, xviii. p. 69, in the Sylloge Confessionum. (Oxon.) Would that the title, as well as office, of priest, had been abandoned by our English Reformers to the heathens and the Romanists: and the New Testament term presbyter (as an abbreviation of which term our Church alone uses the word priest in its offices) been adopted instead.
Of course I mean only comparatively.
Including the Homilies, as being united to the Articles by the authorization of them in Art. xxxv.
See generally the Sylloge Confessionum, published at Oxford
Mosheim too (Cent. xvi. Sect. iii. P. ii. ch. 1) marks this as the second great epoch of the Reformation. For he speaks of three eras as chiefly notable in it: the first that of Luther and the other Reformers’ excommunication by Pope Leo, A.D. 1520: the second, that of the Reformed Church appearing regularly formed, on the presentation of its Confession at the Diet of Augsburg, A.D. 1530; the third, when the Protestant body was recognized as legitimate in the Empire, and independent of the Roman Pontiff, by the treaty of Passau, A.D. 1552. And let me here observe that in the Apocalypse three eras are also prominently noted of it, which do not vary materially from those of Mosheim. The chief difference is this:—that in Mosheim the concluding result is mentioned alone in each case, as constituting the epoch: in the Apocalypse the prior principles that led to such results are grouped with it. Thus it’s first era embraces Luther’s previous discovery of Christ; as well as his rejection of the Papal Antichrist, after Rome’s damnatory Bull, or seven Thunders: its second, the renewal of gospel-preaching by the excommunicated Evangelic Ministers, as well as regular constitution of the Reformed Churches, completed by the Confession given in at Augsburg: its third, (prefigured in the ascension of the Witnesses,) the political elevation of the Protestants, begun in the Confederacy of Smalcald, completed in the Treaty of Passau.—I think no one versed in the History can fail of being struck with the admirable distinctness and completeness of this Apocalyptic arrangement. To myself its superiority to Mosheim’ s appears most manifest.
Supra, and the chapter of which those pages form the conclusion
The sufficiency of this Decree of the Lateran Council, as applicable to the printing of Bibles, was noted in the Council of Trent. See Fra Paolo’s History, p. 151. English Edition, 1676.
We may contrast too the ” Rise up,” in this prefiguration of the Reformer’s excommunication of Rome, with the ” Rise up Peter and Paul, and all the assembly of the Saints, &c.,” with which Leo’s famous Bidl of Excommimicatiou had commenced against Luther and the other Reformers. See Foxe, v. 659, 660. Also the terms of the Apocalyptic with those of the Papal Excommunication. “Veniant super illos omnes maledictiones quibus Deus illos maledixit qui dixerunt Domino Deo, Recede a nobis, scientiam viarum tuarum nolumus: et qui dixerunt, Htereditate possideamus sanctuarium Dei.” Martene ii. 321.
He died December 1, 1521. The event was very sudden, and reported by some to have been by poison.
Such is the conclusion of his answer. So again: ” If ye reform not, I and all that worship Christ do account your seat, possest and opprest by Satan himself, to be the damned seat of Antichrist; which we…will not be subject to, nor corporate with, but do detest and abhor the same.” ” Rome has cut herself off from the Universal Church.” See Luther’s whole answer to the Pope in Foxe, Vol. v. pp. 663,674.