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over the faith and consciences of men. “The same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.”
We look to history, and this is what plainly appears:
We see, as described in the prophecy, a time when ten contemporaneous kingdoms filled the territory of the original Western Empire. Just there we see an ecclesiastical kingly power rise to religious supremacy - the Roman Papacy. We see, through its influence, three of the ten kingdoms overthrown, "plucked up by the roots”- three Arian or heretical kingdoms. And as we watch the history, we find this power making "war with the saints” and prevailing against them through long ages.
A Roman Catholic writer describes it in a paragraph:
“Long ages ago, when Rome through the neglect of the Western emperors was left to the mercy of the barbarous hordes, the Romans turned to one figure for aid and protection, and asked him to rule them; and thus, in this simple manner, the best title of all to kingly right, commenced the temporal sovereignty of the popes. And meekly stepping to the throne of Cæsar, the vicar of Christ took up the scepter to which the emperors and kings of Europe were to bow in reverence through so many ages.”— Rev. James P. Conroy, in American Catholic Quarterly Review, April, 1911.
Yet again we look at the picture presented in prophecy. Then we turn to history; and precisely where and when the prophet saw the "little horn” coming up, we see the Roman Papacy rising to supremacy. We see this ecclesiastical power wielding a kingly scepter among the kingdoms of divided Rome, exalting itself above them, with a look "more stout than his fellows." We hear it speaking great words. and we see it carrying on warfare against the saints.
Clearly, there was no other power in history, rising at that time and in that place, which suggests the slightest correspondence to the prophecy. In every detail the Roman Papacy does correspond to it.
The prophetic outline has brought us to the rise of the great apostasy, so fully dealt with in the New Testament prophecy; but there are further specifications in this prophecy of the seventh of Daniel which demand brief study.
RAISING THE SIEGE OF ROME,
The crushing defeat of the Goths by the armies of Justinian, who placed Vigilius in the papa! chair under the military protection of his famous general, Belisarius.
COMPRESSED into forty-four words, the age-long story of the workings of the Roman Papacy is thus told by the angel who interpreted Daniel's vision of the little horn:
“He shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” Dan. 7:25.
The spirit of this apostasy was abroad in apostolic days. "The mystery of iniquity doth already work,” said the apostle Paul. 2 Thess. 2:7. And this power is to continue to work until the end, when it will be destroyed by the brightness of Christ's coming. Verse 8.
A Prophetic Period But according to the word of the angel to Daniel, there was to be a period during which, in a special sense, the Papacy was to hold supremacy over the saints and the times and the laws of the Most High.
"They shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” In the Scriptures the word “time, ” used in this manner, means a year: “at the end of times, even years.” Dan. 11:13, margin. Therefore a time (one year) and times (two years) and the dividing of time (half a year) means three years and a half. The same period is mentioned twice in the twelfth chapter of Revelation, once (verse 14) as "a time, and times, and half a time," and again (verse 6) as "a thousand two hundred and threescore days."
THE 1260 YEARS
A.D. 1793 1798
But in the symbolic representations of time in prophecy, a day stands for a year (see Eze. 4: 5, 6, and other scriptures). Thus the prophecy foretold a long period of 1260 years during which papal supremacy would continue.
Now we may ask, When was this supremacy to begin? what would mark the rise of the Papacy to acknowledged supremacy? and what events mark the ending of the 1260 years?
A Pivotal Point in History The answer of history to the voice of prophecy is clear.
The sixth century was a pivotal period in the history of the world. The bishops of Rome had been asserting the claims of that seat (or "see") above all others. Justinian was emperor of the East. Of Justinian and his time Bury says:
“He may be likened to a colossal Janus bestriding the way of passage between the ancient and medieval worlds. . . . His military achievements decided the course of the history of Italy, and affected the development of Western Europe; . . . and his ecclesiastical authority-influenced the distant future of Christendom.”—“History of the Later Roman Empire," Vol. I, pp. 351-353.
Of this turning point in the world's history, Finlay says:
“The changes of centuries passed in rapid succession before the eyes of one generation.”—“Greece under the Romans," p. 231.
Just here we find the Papacy lifted definitely into acknowledged supremacy. Imperial Rome had already left its ancient
seat to the Papacy, the imperial throne being no longer maintained at Rome. The Bishop of Rome was left the chief figure in the ancient seat of the Cæsars. The prophecy of Rev. 13:2 had said of the relation of the old imperial power to the Papacy, “The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” The seat was given, and now imperial Rome was to give to papal Rome the definite recognition of its supreme power and “great authority.”
Papal Supremacy Officially Recognized In A. D.533 the emperor Justinian promulgated a letter, having the force of an imperial decree, recognizing the absolute headship of the Bishop of Rome over the churches. It declared:
“We have been sedulous to subject and unite all the priests of the Orient throughout its whole extent to the see of Your Holiness. . . For we do not suffer that anything which is mooted, however clear and unquestionable, pertaining to the state of the churches, should fail to be made known to Your Holiness, as being the head of all the churches. For, as we have said before, we are zealous for the increase of the honor and authority of your see in all respects." - Cod. Justin., lib. 1, title 1, Baronii “Annales Ecclesiastici," Tom. VII, an. 533, sec. 12 (Translation as given in “The Petrine Claims,” by R. F. Littledale, p. 293).
From this decree (for such it really was) the Roman authorities date the official recognition of the supremacy of the Papacy. Some have taken a later decree by Emperor Phocas (A. D. 606) as a starting point. But Dr. Croly says:
“The highest authorities among the civilians and annalists of Rome spurn the idea that Phocas was the founder of the supremacy of Rome; they ascend to Justinian as the only legitimate source, and rightly date the title from the memorable year 533."-"The Apocalypse of St. John," pp. 172, 173.
The Sword of Empire Cleaves the Way The "great authority" had been recognized. But at this time heretical Arian powers compassed the papal seat about. The Arian Vandals were persecuting Catholics in Africa, Corsica, and Sardinia, and an Arian Gothic king ruled Italy from Ravenna, his capital. The imperial arms, however,