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perso cilvon in Englani
pected occurrences transpired to render it proper for the
In Austria, the Emperor Joseph published the fol-
This indicates a great transition in affairs connected with religious freedom. The same governments that had oppressed, persecuted, and harassed the Church, now extended around her the arm of their protection, and granted toleration and immunity to Protestant sects. As the heart of Cyrus was inclined to protect and favor the Jews, so at this time the hearts of kings and emperors were favorably disposed toward the Church, being touched by the finger of God. As the Church had been in the wilderness from the period of 519, when Justin published his edicts of oppression, the time had now arrived for the days of affliction to be shortened. Such legislative enactments were not
* Brook's His. of Relig. Lib. vol. ii. p. 371.
merely local and temporary, but general and permanent. The spirit of religious toleration was not restricted to a particular government, but had an allpervading influence on the cabinets of Europe. The Emperor of Austria continued to prosecute his reforms.*
* In 1781, this same Emperor, to carry into effect more fully these principles of reform introduced hy his mother just before her death, published the following edict of toleration : “By this edict he granted to all members of the Protestant and Greek Churches, under the denomination of Acatholici or Non-Catholics, the FREE EXERCISE OF THEIR RELIGION. He declared all ChrisTIANS OF EVERY DENOMINATION equally citizens, and capable of holding all charges and offices in every department of State ; he permitted every community consisting of three thousand souls, resident in any town, to build a church, provided they could establish a permanent fund for support of a preacher and the relief of the poor ; and he ordered a new translation of the Bible to be made in the German tongue. On the Jews he also conferred many liberal privileges, and granted to them the right of exercising all arts and trades, following agriculture, freely pursuing their studies at the schools and in the universities. These innovations introduced with such precipitation by the FIRST sovereign of Europe, whose ancestors had evinced so warm an attachment to the Cath, olic faith, alarmed the See of Rome, and occasioned the inemorable journey of Pius VI. to Vienna.”
" After an intimate, but ineffectual correspondence, the Pope, who was vain of his eloquence, hoped, by his personal interference, to arrest the progress of these dangerous reforms. The unbending spirit of Joseph did not brook this interference, and he declared that the presence of the Pope would not change his resolutions. Pius, however, persisted, and notwithstanding his advanced age, weak state of health, and the severity of the season, commenced his journey on the 27th of February, 1783. * * * * The pontiff, however, obtained only some marks of distinction ; his exhortations and remonstrances were received with coldness
v. 23. “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not.”
and reserve, and he was so narrowly watched, that the back door of his apartments was blocked up to prevent him from receiving private visitors without the knowledge of the emperor. Even his presence at Vienna did not for a moment suspend the progress of the ecclesiastical reform ; the Archbishop of Goritz, who had distingu, hed himself by his opposition to the imperial edicts, was sent in disgrace to his diocese, and several convents in Lombardy were suppressed. Pius, chagrined at the inflexibility of the emperor, and mortified by an unmeaning ceremonial and an affected display of veneration for the holy Church, while it was robbed of its richest possessions and deprived of ils most valuable privileges, quitted Vienna at the expiration of a month, equally disgusted and humiliated, after having exhibited himself a disappointed supplicant at the foot of that throne which had been so often shaken by the thunders of the Vatican.” (Coxe's House of Austria, v. 3, pp. 491-3.)
“ All sovereigns, however, did not partake of the infatuation of Louis the Sixteenth and the prince of the Asturias. The Emperor, Joseph the Second, was, on the contrary, outraged by the licentiousness of the pontificial family, and in his indignation announced his determination to break off all intercourse with the court of Rome, and to drive ultra-montanism out of his kingdom. The sentiments which urged this monarch into the progressive path were not entirely disinterested, and his real end was to substitute his own absolute authority for the pontificial infallibility of the papacy. He commenced by permitting his subjects in Germany and Italy to speak and write as they pleased about religious mat ters; he prohibited the publication of bulls, briefs, decretals, or other acts emanating from the court of Rome, throughout his dominions; he submitted the monastic orders to the jurisdiction of the ordinaries, and prohibited them from all correspondence with foreign superiors; he suspended the reception of novices in the convents : he secularized a large number of religious and monks ; declared the colleges of the missions, and the seminarios freed from the immediate dependence on the Holy See ; disposed
It was at this time (1780) that Ann Lee, the founder of Shakerism, commenced her career in the State of New York, the very jet of which doctrine is, Christ came here, or in the person of Ann Lee. This corresponds with 1 Tim. iv: 1, and onward. Since that time, we have had a multitude of teachers that have fulfilled this declaration, by saying the coming of Christ
of bishoprics, benefices, and abbeys ; submitted the bishops to an oath of fidelity, restrained the franchises of holy places, and regu. lated the external discipline of the Churches. He was then očcu. pied with proceedings against the refractory ; he deprived of his revenues the cardinal Miguzzi, the archbishop of Vienna, the avowed enemy of all reform; he drove from their sees, their cures, or their colleges, the bishops, priests, and Jesuits who had persecuted the abbot Ploner, the governor of the seminary of Brixen, in Moravia, under the pretence of Jansenism. He suppressed, and erased from the missals, the constitution Unigenitus,' and the bull 'In Cæna Domini ;' and, finally, he abolished the odious tribunals of the inquisition, and prohibited his subjects from going to Rome for dispensations.”
" These reforms excited to the utmost the anger of his holiness, and determined him to address representations to Joseph the Second, through Monsignor Garampi, his nuncio at Vienna. But the emperor was but little moved by them, and charged Prince Kaunitz, his minister, to inform the court of Rome that he must not be reprimanded as to his proceedings in his own provinces, inasmuch as he did not touch the doctrines of Catholocism, and that the angry notes of the pope would produce no other result than a rupture with the Holy See, and the appointment of a patriarch in Austria."
“ This threat was a thunderbolt to Pius the Sixth ; it humbled his pride, and induced a determination which surprised all Europe. His holiness thought that no other means of bringing back Joseph were left, but to go to him personally, and without delay he addressed a brief to him to apprize him of his determination." (De Cormenin's History of the Popes, vol. 2, p. 403.)
the second time was fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem, in the person of Emanuel Swedenborg, at the conversion of a soul, at death, or the spread of the gospel over all the earth. v. 24.
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders ; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very
elect." This has been remarked upon
before. v. 25. Behold I have told
before. v. 26. “Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not furth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not."
Wherefore if they shall say” Who shall say ? Not the false Christs particularly; for this is the message of the false prophets. While the faithful servants are saying, His coming shall be as the lightning, false teachers are affirming, “He is in the desert,” or “in the secret chamber."
v. 27. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
His coming is to be LITERAL, VISIBLE, and PERSONAL, or, as declared in Acts, This same Jesus.”
v. 28. “For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”*
v. 29. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers
of the heavens shall be shaken."
* See exposition of vs. 40, 41.