Guinness Quote on the Antichrist, by H. Grattan Guiness

H. Grattan Guinness

An excerpt from the book "Romanism And The Reformation From The Standpoint Of Prophecy," by Henry Grattan Guinness (1835-1910), which all “Protestants” would do well to consider. This book is available as a free pdf under the Resource Tab.

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“Is this the position [Ed.: i.e., that all the Reformers were wrong in identifying Papal Rome as Babylon and the Papacy as the antichrist] you [Ed.: a Protestant] adopt? Is this the conclusion you [Ed.: a Protestant] defend? …You, a Protestant, and this after all that has been written upon the subject, and all the blaze of light which history and experience have poured upon it? If it is, look to it that you be not found fighting against the truth, warring against the Word of God, resisting the testimony of the prophetic Spirit; hindering the work of the Reformation, promoting the progress of the apostasy, opposing Christ, and helping antichrist.

“Even the Romanists [Ed.: i.e., Roman Catholics] themselves shame you [Ed.: a Protestant] in their clear-sighted comprehension of the issues of this question. Cardinal Manning says, ‘The Catholic Church is either the masterpiece of Satan or the kingdom of the Son of God.’ [Ed.: John Henry] Cardinal Newman says, ‘A sacerdotal order [Ed.: i.e., a system of priests allegedly ruling the laity by divine authority] is historically the essence of the Church of Rome; if not divinely appointed, it is doctrinally the essence of antichrist.’ In both these statements, the issue is clear, and it is the same. [Ed.: Papal] Rome herself admits, openly admits, that if she is not the very kingdom of Christ, she is that of antichrist. Rome declares she is one or the other. She herself propounds and urges this solemn alternative. You [Ed.: a Protestant] shrink from it, do you? I accept it. Conscience constrains me. History compels me. The past, the awful past rises before me. I see THE GREAT APOSTASY [Ed.: emphasis in the original], I see the desolation of Christendom, I see the smoking ruins, I see the reign of monsters; I see those vice-gods, that Gregory VII, that Innocent III [Ed.: who ordered the extermination of the Albigensian Christians in southern France in the early 13th century], that Boniface VIII, that Alexander VI [Ed.: who ordered the execution of the godly Dominican friar Girolamo Savonarola in 1498], that Gregory XIII, that Pius IX [Ed.: who supported the Confederacy during the American Civil War, and who condemned in his Syllabus of Errors of 1864 many of the freedoms that we Americans cherish]; I see their long succession [Ed.: of popes], I hear their insufferable blasphemies [Ed.: e.g., calling themselves the Vicars of Christ, allowing themselves to be called Holy Father, etc.], I see their abominable lives; I see them worshipped by blinded generations, bestowing hollow benedictions, bartering lying indulgences, creating a paganized Christianity; I see their liveried slaves, their shaven [Ed.: i.e., probably meaning “tonsured”] priests, their celibate confessors; I see the infamous confessional, the mined women, the murdered innocents; I hear the lying absolutions [Ed.: by the priests when they allegedly forgive sins], the dying groans; I hear the cries of the victims [Ed.: of the Inquisition, the crusades, “holy” wars, etc.]; I hear the anathemas, the curses, the thunders of the interdicts; I see the racks, the dungeons, the stakes; I see that inhuman Inquisition, those fires of Smithfield [Ed: a 6-acre area in London, England where many Protestants were burned alive from 1555 to 1558 on the orders of Roman Catholic Queen Mary I of England, a.k.a. “Bloody Mary”], those butcheries of St. Bartholomew [Ed.: i.e., the massacre of thousands of Protestants in France in 1572], that Spanish Armada [Ed.: that was sent in 1588 by Roman Catholic King Philip II of Spain against England in order to bring England back under the authority of the pope of Rome], those unspeakable dragonnades, that endless train of wars, that dreadful multitude of massacres. I see it all, and in the name of the ruin it has wrought in the Church and in the world, in the name of the truth it has denied, the temple it has defiled, the God it has blasphemed, the souls it has destroyed; in the name of the millions it has deluded, the millions it has slaughtered, the millions it has damned… I denounce it as the masterpiece of Satan, as the body and soul and essence of antichrist…”

“… All through its history idolatry has been the most marked characteristic of the Papal system. Romanism is simply the old Roman paganism revived under Christian names. Romanism and paganism bear to each other the most exact and extraordinary resemblance.

“Had paganism its temples and altars, its pictures and images? So has Popery. Had paganism its use of holy water and its burning of incense? So has Popery. Had paganism its tonsured [Ed.: i.e., clipped or shaven-headed] priests, presided over by a Pontifex Maximus, or sovereign pontiff? So has Popery; and it stamps this very name, which is purely heathen in origin, upon the coins, medals, and documents of the arrogant priest [Ed: i.e., the pope] by whom it is governed. Had paganism its claim of sacerdotal infallibility? So has Popery. Had paganism its adoration of a visible representative of Deity carried in state on men’s shoulders? So has Popery. Had paganism its ceremony of kissing the feet of the sovereign pontiff? So has Popery. Had paganism its college of pontiffs? So has Popery, in the College of Cardinals. Had paganism its religious orders? So has Popery. Had paganism its stately robes, its crowns and crosiers [Ed.: bishops’ pastoral staffs] of office? So has Popery. Had paganism its adoration of idols, its worship of the queen of heaven, its votive [Ed.: devoted] offerings? So has Popery. Had paganism its rural shrines and processions? So has Popery. Had paganism its pretended miracles, its speaking images, and weeping images, and bleeding images? So has Popery. Had paganism its canonization of saints, as in the deification of the dead Caesars? So has Popery. Had paganism its idolatrous calendar and numerous festivals? So has Popery. Had paganism its enforced [Ed.: i.e., mandatory] celibacy, its mystic signs, its worship of relics? So has Popery. Had paganism its cruel persecution of those who opposed idolatry? So has Popery. Was paganism satanically inspired? So is Popery. God overthrew paganism; Satan revived it under Christian names; but God shall yet destroy it, and sweep its hateful presence from the earth.”

“… None but God could have delineated beforehand the Papal power [Ed.: in prophecy]. Its very unnaturalness forbids the possibility of its being the fruit of human imagination. That a power claiming to act for God, to be ‘as God’, and enthroned in the temple of God or of the Christian Church, should yet be His [Ed.: i.e., Jesus Christ’s] most determined enemy, the opposer of His truth, the destroyer of His saints, the great agent of Satan in the earth; that it should, by fraud and corruption and false pretences, rule the world for ages from the very same seven-hilled central city [Ed.: i.e., Rome, Italy] whence it had already been ruled for other ages by military force; and that Roman rule should, in its Christian stage, shed more saintly blood than in its pagan stage – all this could never have been anticipated by man, but only foretold by God.”i

i. Henry Grattan Guinness, Romanism And The Reformation From The Standpoint Of Prophecy, (1888), p. 258-260, 322-324