A Message For
GOD knows the future, and He has
a set time there for every purpose and for every work." (Acts
15:18; Ecclesiastes 3:1, 17.) He has also pledged Himself to "do
nothing" that vitally concerns this world" but He revealeth
His secret unto His servants the prophets" beforehand (John 15:14,
15; Psalm 25:14; Amos 3:7), and then He holds His servants responsible
for warning the world (Ezekiel 33:1-8). They are watchmen on the walls
of Zion, who should be able to read the signs on God's prophetic clock,
so they can tell the time and give the warning at the hour of crisis
(Isaiah 21:11, 12; 2 Peter 1:19; Romans 13:11; Matthew 16:2, 3); and
when God's hour strikes, He has His agencies in readiness to carry His
message to the world.
Before the world was destroyed by
the Flood, Noah warned the people for one hundred twenty years (Genesis
6:3-13, 22; 2 Peter 2:5); before the destruction of Sodom, Lot gave the
warning message to that wicked city (Genesis 19:12-14); and before
Christ's first coming, John the Baptist heralded the coming of the
Messiah (Luke 1:13-17). Then why should not so important an event as
Christ's second coming be given proper notice, and a warning message be
sent to prepare the world for its final destruction?
It is true that the world in
general has never received favorably any of God's warning messages in
former ages, and Christ declares that His final warning will not be
heeded any more than His warnings sent through Noah and Lot. (Luke
17:26-30.) Yet the message must be given though there are but few who
receive it. Here is Christ's message for our days:
"I Jesus have sent Mine
angel to testify unto you these things in the churches."
Revelation 22:16. "Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that
keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." V. 7. Here we
see that the message to be given just before Christ's second coming is
found in the "book" of Revelation. This is specifically
given in chapter 14, verses 6-14.
Here is presented "the
everlasting gospel," connected with the warning that "the hour
of His judgment is come," and an appeal for a return to the loyal
worship of the Creator, combined with a warning against the worship of
the "beast and his image," and against taking "his
mark." Those who receive this message are characterized by the fact
that they "keep the commandments of God, and the faith of
Jesus." Revelation 14:6-13. The very next scene is the Son of man
coming on the cloud to reap the harvest of the earth, and "the
harvest is the end of the world." Verses 14-16 and Matthew 13:39.
The people who give this message
to the world must therefore know what is meant by "the beast,"
"his image," and "his mark." This we find clearly
presented in Revelation 13. Let us study this chapter.
The Beast With Ten Horns
John "saw a beast rise up
out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten
crowns." Revelation 13:1. The fact that it had "ten
horns," the same as the fourth beast of Daniel 7:7, 23, 24,
identifies it as a Roman power (see pages 34, 35). The next question to
settle will be whether this is Rome in its pagan or its papal state. The
ten horns represent the ten European kingdoms into which the Roman
Empire was divided between A. D. 351 and 476. On this beast the horns
are crowned (Revelation 13:1), showing that the empire had been divided,
and the rulers of those ten kingdoms were already crowned. (Compare
But the Roman Empire became
Christianized (Catholic) long before it was divided. The beast of
Revelation 13:1-10 therefore represents papal Rome. The dragon with ten
horns (Revelation 12:3), which represents pagan Rome, gave to the beast
"his power, and his seat, and great authority." Revelation
13:2. The "seat" of the Roman Empire was the city of Rome. How
was this given to the Papacy? Francis P. C. Hays (Roman Catholic) says:
"When the Roman Empire
became Christian, and the peace of the Church was guaranteed, the
Emperor left Rome to the Pope, to be the seat of the authority of the
Vicar of Christ, who should reign there independent of all human
authority, to the consummation of ages, to the end of
time"–"Papal Rights and Privileges," pp. 13, 14.
London:R. Washbourne, 1889.
Alexander C. Flick, Ph.D., Litt.
"The removal of the capital
of the empire from Rome to Constantinople in 330, left the Western
Church practically free from imperial power, to develop its own form
of organization. The Bishop of Rome, in the seat of the Caesars, was
now the greatest man in the West, and was soon forced to become the
political as well as the spiritual head"–"The Rise of the
Mediaeval Church," p. 168.
"And meekly stepping to the
throne of Caesar, 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.
But let us consider the other
marks used by the Holy Spirit to point out this power. It cannot be a
local government, confined to a certain country, for "all that
dwell upon the earth shall worship him." Revelation 13:8. And it
must be a religious, rather than a civil, power; for it concerns itself
with the "worship" of the people. V. 4, 8. "There was
given unto him a mouth speaking great things," and he was "to
make war with the saints, and to overcome them" (Revelation 13:5,
7), just as the "little horn" of Daniel 7:8, 21, 25. (See pp.
34-48.) All this could apply to no other power than the Papacy.
The Number 666
The Scripture gives us still
another earmark of this power. We read: "Here is wisdom. Let him
that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the
number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
"The number of his name." Revelation 13:17, 18. The note below
the eighteenth verse in the Douay, or Catholic, Bible says: "Six
hundred sixtysix. The numeral letters of his name shall make up this
In our examination of this
subject we shall first consult Roman Catholic authorities to ascertain
what sacred title they apply to the pope to denote his official position
and authority. Any one at all familiar with authentic Catholic authors
knows that their paramount and constant claim for the pope is that
Christ appointed St. Peter to be His vicar, or representative on earth,
and that each succeeding pope is the lawful successor of St. Peter, and
is therefore the "Vicar of the Son of God" on earth. This
official title in Latin (the official language of the Catholic Church)
is "Vicarius Filii Del."
We find this title used
officially in Roman Catholic canon law, from medieval times down to the
present. In the earliest collection of canon law we read:
"Beatus Petrus in tetris
Vicarius Filii Dei videtur esse constitutus"– "Decretum
Gratiani," prima pars, dist. xcvi. Translated into English this
would read: "Blessed Peter is seen to have been constituted vicar
of the Son of God on the earth."–''Decretum of Gratian,"
part 1, div. 96, column 472, .first published at Bologna about 1148,
and reprinted in 1555. Translation by Christopher B. Coleman, Ph.D.,
in "The Treatise of Lorenzo Valla on the Donation of
Constantine," p. 13. New Haven:Yale University Press, 1922.
The Catholic Encyclopedia says of
"He is the true founder of
the science of canon law"–Vol. VI, art. "Gratian," p.
The same Catholic authority
"The 'Decretum' of Gratian
was considered in the middle of the twelfth century as a corpus juris
canonici, i.e. a code of the ecclesiastical law then in
force."–Id., Vol. IV, art. "Decretals," p. 67I.
It further states:
"It must be admitted that
the work of Gratian was as near perfection as was then possible. For
that reason it was adopted at Bologna, and soon elsewhere, as the
textbook for the study of canon law .... While lecturing on Gratian's
work, the canonists labored to complete and elaborate the master's
teaching."–Id., Vol. IX, art. "Law, Canon," pars.
"D" and "E," p. 62.
Different popes added their own
decrees to the collection of Gratian, as the following quotation will
"Thus by degrees the Corpus
Juris Canonici took shape. This became the official code of canon law
for Western Europe during the Middle Ages, and was composed of six
books, namely, the Decretum of Gratian (about 1150), the Decretals of
Gregory IX (1234), the Sextus of Boniface VIII (1298), the Clementines
of Clement V (1313), the Extravagantes of John XXII (about 1316), and
the Extravagantes Communes, which contained laws made by succeeding
popes."–"The Papacy," Rev. C. Lattey, S. J., page
143. Cambridge, England:1924.
After the Council of Trent, Pope
Pius V had this "Canon Law" revised. "Pius V appointed
(1566) a commission to prepare a new edition of the 'Corpus Juris
Canonici.' This commission devoted itself especially to the correction
of the text of the ' Decree' of Gratian and of its gloss. Gregory XIII
(' Cum pro munere,' 1 July, 1580; 'Emendationem,' 2 June, 1582) decreed
that no change was to be made in the revised text. This edition of the
'Corpus' appeared at Rome in 1582, in aedibus populi Romani, and serves
as examplar for all subsequent editions."–Catholic Encyclopedia,
Vol. IV, art. "Corpus Juris Cononici," pp. 392, 393. It was
reprinted verbatim in 1613 and 1622. This is the standard text of canon
law for the whole Roman Catholic Church. Pope Gregory XIII wrote July 1,
1580, in his preface to this corrected edition:
"We have demanded care in
rejecting, correcting, and expurgating .... The Decree itself, without
the glossse, exists now entirely freed from faults and corrected, . .
. as much the one without the glossse as the entire one with the
glossse . . . all recognized and approved . . . this body of canonical
law firmly grounded and incorrupted according to this model printed at
Rome by Catholic typographers .... We wishing to proceed opportunely,
so that this canonical law thus expurgated, may come restored to all
the faithful . . . kept perpetually integrid and incorruptible, motu
proprio, and from our certain knowledge, and from the plenitude of the
apostolic power to all and singly in the dominion of our sacred Roman
Church."–Preface to Corpus Juris Canonici, Gregorii XIII,
Pontif. Max. Auctoritate; in editions of 1582, 1613, 1622, and 1879.
Of this corrected
"Corpus," or canon law, "published in 1582 . . . by order
of .Gregory XIII," and established by his authority, we read:
"The text of this edition,
revised by the Correctores Romani, a pontifical commission established
for the revision of the text of the 'Corpus Juris,' has the force of
law."–Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, art. "Decretals,
Papal," p. 672, par. 3.
Notice that this revised edition
of canon law "has the force of law." In this canon law, which
Pope Gregory XIII had corrected by "the plenitude of the apostolic
power," so that it is "entirely freed from faults," we
find the same statement: "Beatus Petrus in tetris vicarius FiIii
Del esse videtur constitutus."–"Corpus Juris Canonici,
Gregorii XIII, Ponif. Max. Auctoritate," Distinctio 96, Column 286,
Canon Constantinus 14, Magdeburg, 1747.
"Moreover, custom has even
given to several apocryphal canons of the 'Decree' of Gratian the
force of law"–Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. IV, art. "Corpus
Juris Cononici," p. 393.
In "Corpus Juris Canonici
Emendatum et Notis Illustratum Gregorii XIII. Pont. Max.," "Lvgdvn,
MDCXXII," or "the Canon Law of Pope Gregory XIII, of
1622," with the Pope's own "Preface," in which he assures
us of its being without flaw, we find the same: "Beatus Petrus in
terris Vicarius Filii Del esse videtur constitutus"–Column 295.
We cannot see how any consistent
Catholic can deny the authenticity of this title without denying the
infallibility of the pope. What more authority can they desire?
Before going further let us apply
the rule laid down in the Catholic
Bible for counting the number of his name. It says:
"The numeral letters of his
name shall make up this number."–Note under a Revelation 13:18.
In Bible times they did not use figures. We can still see on dials of
old clocks, in numbers given above chapters in the Bible, and in dates
inscribed on cornerstones, certain nutactical values given to some of
the letters. In Latin, I stands for 1, V for 5, X for 10, L for 50, C
for 100, D for 500, and M for 1,000. Originally we had no U, but V was
used for U, and V is often used for U today on public buildings, such
as "Public Library," and our W is still written as a double
V, not as a double U. The next Catholic authority we shall quote is F.
Lucii Ferraris, who wrote "a veritable encyclopedia" in
Latin, of which several editions have been printed by the papal church
at Rome. The American Catholic Encyclopedia says of Ferraris's great
work that it "will ever remain a precious mine of
information"–Vol. VI, p. 48.
From this unquestionable Catholic
authority we shall first quote its Latin statement, and then give the
"Ut sicu! Beatus Petrus in
tetris vicarius Filii Dei fuit constitutus, ita et Pontifices eius
successores in tetris principatus potestatem amplius, quam terrenae
imperialis nostrae serenitatis mansuetudo habere videtur."
("As the blessed Peter was constituted Vicar of the Son of God on
earth, so it is seen that the Pontiffs, his successors, hold from us
and our empire the power of a supremacy on the earth greater than the
clemency of our earthly imperial serenity.")–"Prompta
Bibliotheca canonica juridica moralis theologica" etc., Vol. VI,
art. "Papa," p. 43. Printed by the Press of the Propaganda,
Henry Edward Cardinal Manning of
England, an extensive Roman Catholic writer, of high esteem in his
church, applies the same title to the pope, only using it in its English
translation. He says of the popes:
"The temporal power in the
hands of St. Gregory I was a fatherly and patriarchal rule over
nations not as yet reduced to civil order. In the hands of St. Leo III
it became a power of creating empires. In the hands of St. Gregory VII
it was a scourge to chasten them. In the hands of Alexander III it was
a dynasty, ruling supremely, in the name of God, over the powers of
the world .... So that I may say there never was a time when the
temporal power of the Vicar of the Son of God, though assailed as we
see it, was more firmly rooted throughout the whole unity of the
Catholic Church. "It was a dignified obedience to bow to the
Vicar of the Son of God, and to remit the arbitration of their griefs
to one whom all wills consented to obey"–"The Temporal
Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ," pp. 231,232, second edition.
London:Burns and Lambert, 1362.
The same year, this book was
translated and published in Italian, with the sanction of the church
attached to it. The title "Vicar of the Son of God" appears on
pages 234 and 235 of that edition.
Philippe Labbe, "a
distinguished Jesuit writer on historical, geographical, and
philological questions" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VIII, pp. 718,
719), in his historical work "Sacrosancta concilia ad regiam
editionem exacta," Vol. I, page 1534 (Paris:1671), uses "Vicarius
Filii Dei" as the official title of the pope.
Coming down to our own times, we
shall call to the witness stand a modern advocate of the Roman Catholic
cause. Our Sunday Visitor, of Huntington, Ind., in its issue of April
18, 1915, gives clear testimony in this case. We quote it in full:
"What are the letters
supposed to be in the Pope's crown, and what do they signify, if
"The letters inscribed in
the Pope's mitre are these: Vicarius Filii Dei, which is the Latin for
Vicar of the Son of God. Catholics hold that the Church which is a
visible society must have a visible head. Christ, before His ascension
into heaven, appointed St. Peter to act as His representative. Upon
the death of Peter the man who succeeded to the or, ce of Peter as
Bishop of Rome, was recognized as the head of the Church. Hence to the
Bishop of Rome, as head of the Church, was given the title 'Vicar of
"Enemies of the Papacy
denounce this title as a malicious assumption. But the Bible informs
us that Christ did not only give His Church authority to teach, but
also to rule. Laying claim to the authority to rifle in Christ's
spiritual kingdom, in Christ's stead, is not a whit more malicious
than laying claim to the authority to teach in Christ's name. And this
every Christian minister does."–"Our Sunday Visitor,"
April 18, 1915, thirteenth question under "Bureau of
Information," p. 3.
Later, when Roman Catholic
authorities discovered that Protestants were making use of the foregoing
statements to identify the Papacy with the antichristian power of
Revelation 13:18, they attempted to repudiate the contents of their
former article. But that article was not written by some contributor to
their paper; it appeared in the "Bureau of Information," for
which the editorial staff was responsible. And on page two of that paper
appeared sanctions for the editor from Pope Pius X, dated May 17, 1914;
from the Apostolic Delegate, John Bonzano, dated April 27, 1913; and
from J. H. Alerding, Bishop of Fort Wayne, Ind., dated March 29, 1912.
If statements made under such high authorities are not trustworthy, we
would respectfully ask if their present denials are any more so?
To one versed in Catholic
teaching and practice, there is nothing uncommon in such denials, where
the interest of the Church is at stake. Cardinal Baudrillart's quotation
on pages 64 and 245 of this book shows that some Catholic authors
"ask permission from the Church to ignore or even deny" some
historical facts, which they "dare not" face; and we read in
"History of the Jesuits," by Andrew Steinmetz, Vol. 1, p. 13,
that their accredited histories in common use, 'with permission of
authority,' [are] veiling the subject with painful
We shall here refer to one other similar denial. In the Roman
Catholic paper, Shepherd of the Valley, there appeared an article by the
editor, in which he stated:
"If Catholics ever attain, which they surely will, though at a
distant day, the immense numerical majority in the United States,
religious liberty, as at present understood, will be at an
A Protestant lecturer, who made use of this quotation, was bitterly
arraigned in a doublecolumn front-page article in the Catholic Standard
and Times for his false statements regarding Catholics; for, it pointed
out, if he had finished the quotation with the words which followed,
"so say our enemies," it would have reversed its meaning. The
incident would have passed off at the expense of the Protestant
lecturer, had not the Western Watchman of July 24, 1913, continued the
quotation still further, declaring:
"The whole quotation should
read: 'If Catholics ever attain, which they surely will, though at a
distant day, the immense numerical majority in the United States,
religious liberty, as at present understood, will be at an end. 191
So say our enemies; so say we.'
"–Quoted in "Protestant Magazine," October, 1913, p.
Why those who tried to deny their
former statements should leave out the words, "so say we," is
very evident. But what can we think of those who publicly deny facts to
screen their church from unfavorable public opinions, unless they act
from the motive that "the end justifies the means," and that
"heretics" have no moral right to facts which they would
also the last two paragraphs of Christ and the
Sabbath and the first two paragraphs of The
New Testament Day of Rest)
We shall therefore continue to
believe that the editors of Our Sunday Visitor, in its issue of April
18, 1915, page three, were perfectly honest and well informed on the
subject, and that the later denials are of the same class as those
Our Sunday Visitor in the
aforementioned quotation makes use of Vicarius Filii Dei and "Vicar
of Christ" as synonymous terms, and Cardinal Manning does the same
in his book, "Temporal Power of the Pope." It cannot,
therefore, be maintained, as some do, that Vicarius Christi is the only
mode of spelling used as the title of the pope, although the shorter
rendering is used more often for brevity's sake. In fact Vicarius
Christi is composite in its origin, Vicarius being Latin, while Christi
is Latinized from the Greek. It would hardly seem probable that learned
Romanists would adopt such a composite title to the exclusion of the
pure, dignified, Latin title, Vicarius Filii Del, which has been in use
among them for centuries.
Of late, Catholic apologists have
argued that the "name of the beast" in Revelation 13' 17, 18
is a personal name of a single individual, such as Nero, and not the
official title of a series of men; as that of the popes would be. But
this would be entirely out of harmony with the context, for how could
one man make war with God's people, and overcome them in every country,
so that he would have power "over all kindreds, and tongues,, and
nations"? Revelation 13:7. Then, too, that power was to continue
forty and two months (v. 5), which those apologists claim to be literal.
But how could one man accomplish such a world task in forty-two literal
These forty-two months are twelve
hundred and sixty prophetic days (Revelation 11:2, 3), and in prophecy a
day stands for a year (Ezekiel 4:6). (Even Catholics acknowledge that a
day in prophecy stands for a year. See note under Daniel 9:24-27 in the
Douay Bible. Father Reaves says: "The prophet's weeks are, by all
interpreters of the Holy Scriptures, understood to include years for
days"–"Bible History," p. 345.) The forty-two months,
or twelve hundred and sixty days, of Revelation 13:5 are therefore
twelve hundred and sixty years, during which, this power was to
continue. But would not that period be quite a long time for one man to
live? This attempt made by Roman apologists to screen the Papacy from
being detected as the antichristian power of Revelation 13 appears too
shallow to be seriously asserted by men who have made a thorough study
of Bible prophecy.
Testimony Of Eye-Witnesses
That the title, Vicarius Filii
Dei, has been employed elsewhere than in Roman Catholic canon law is
also asserted by Rev. B. Hoffman:
"To Whom It May
"This is to certify that I
was born in Bavaria in 1828, was educated in Munich, and was reared a
Roman Catholic. In 1844 and 1845 I was a student for the priesthood in
the Jesuit College in Rome.
"During the Easter service of 1845, Pope Gregory XVI wore a
triple crown upon which was the inscription, in jewels, Vicarius Filii
Dei. We were told that there were one hundred diamonds in the word
Dei; the other words were of some other kind of precious stones of a
darker color. There was one word upon each crown, and not all on the
same line. I was present at the service, and saw the crown distinctly,
and noted it carefully.
"In 1850 I was converted to
God and to Protestantism. Two years later I entered the Evangelical
Church ministry, but later in life I united with the Presbyterian
Church, of which I am now a retired pastor, having been in the
ministry for fifty years.
"I have made the above
statement at the request of Elder D. E. Scoles, as he states that some
deny that the pope ever wore this tiara. But I know that he did, for I
saw it upon his head."
"Sincerely yours in
Christian service, (Signed) "B. Hoffman.
"Webb City, Mo., Oct. 29,
–"Review and Herald,"
Dec. 20, 1906.
The author of this book has
photostats of the papal passport held by Rev. B. Hoffman, and of a
signed letter from him stating the same facts as are given in the above
statement. His testimony is confirmed by that of M. De Latti and others.
Statement of M. De Latti to D. E. Scoles–"M. De Latti · . . had
previously been a Catholic priest, and had spent four years in Rome. He
visited me when I was pastor in St. Paul, Minn... : He stated that he
had often seen it [the crown with this inscription] in the museum of the
Vatican, and gave a detailed and accurate description of the whole crown
"De Latti . . . said the
first word of the sentence was on the first crown of the triple
arrangement, the second word on the second part of the crown, while
the word Dei was on the lower division of the triple crown. He also
explained that the first two words were in dark-colored jewels, while
the Del was composed of diamonds entirely"–D. E. Scoles, in
"Review and Herald," Dec. 20, 1906.
Statement of Thomas Whitmore–
"Some time ago, an English
officer happening to be at Rome, observed on the front of the mitre
which the pope wore at one of the solemnities, this inscription:
"Vicarivs Filii Dei." It instantly struck him–perhaps this
is "the number of the beast." He set to work and when he had
selected all the numerals, and added them up, he found, to his great
astonishment, that the whole amounted to precisely six hundred and
sixty-six. What stress is to be laid on this I cannot say.
Vicarivs Filii Dei
V ........... 5 I ............1
I............. 1 L.........50
C.........100 I ............1 501
I............. 1 I ........... 1
V ........ 5 53 112
"Thus it will be seen, that
by taking from the title 'Vicarivs Filii Del' [Vicar of the Son of
God], the letters which are commonly used as numerals, they make up
the number of the beast"–"A Commentary on the Revelation
of St. John the Divine," p. 231. Boston:1856.
Testimony of Dr. H. Grattan
" An English officer of high
rank, who in the year 1799, by a special favor, was given the
opportunity, while in Rome, to get a close view of the Pope's jewels
and precious things, discovered thereby, that the papal tiara bore
this inscription: 'Vicarivs Filii Dei.'
"When you take out the Latin
letters, which have numeral value, and which still are used to
represent numbers, and which are: V, I, C, L, and D, these letters
form the number given below. In these Latin words there are two V's,
which letter denotes 5, six I's denoting 1, one C, which denotes 100,
one L, which denotes 50, and one D, which denotes 500, thus: V,V= 10;
I,I,I,I,I,I = 6; C = 100; L = 50; and D = 500, the sum 666."
–" Babylon and the Beast," p. 141; quoted in "Kyrkans
Strid och Slutliga Seger," Professor S. F. Svensson, pp. 126,
Other Protestant Witnesses
Robert Fleming, V. D. M., wrote a
book entitled "Apocalyptical Key. An Extraordinary Discourse on the
Rise and Fall of the Papacy." It was published in London, 1701,
1703, and 1929. In the 1929 edition, p. 48, we read that an
"explication may be found in the title which the Roman pontiff has
assumed, and which is inscribed over the door of the Vatican, 'Vicarius
Filii Del' (Vicar of the Son of God). In Roman computation this contains
the number 666, as will be seen below.
V......... 5 F ............0
I .......... 1 I .............1 E
C..... 100 L .......... 50 I
A......... 0 I .............1
R......... 0 I .............1 In
I .......... 1
S ......... 0
TESTIMONY OF R. C. SHIMEALL
"It is to be observed as a
singular circumstance, that the title, vicarius filii dei (Vicar of
the Son of God), which the Popes of Rome have assumed to themselves,
and caused to be inscribed over the door of the Vatican, exactly makes
the number of 666, when deciphered according to the numeral
signification of its constituent letters, thus:
||of the Son
|V I C A R I V S
||F I L I I
||D E I
||added together thus:
I ................................................................ 1
–Our Bible Chronology,
Historic and Prophetic, Critically Examined and Demonstrated, R. C.
Shimeall, p. 180. New York: A. S. Barnes and Co., 1867.
Appended to the above is a
footnote, giving the author's reply to a correspondent:
"Answer to a Querist ....
"Sir,–In answer to your observation and queries, permit me to
say–the things I have asserted are stubborn, clear facts, not mere
suppositions or fancies. "The inscription in question, was
actually written over the door of the Vatican at Rome, in express
Latin words and characters, as inserted in this publication, viz.,
VICARIVS FILII DEI; and those Latin words and characters contain Latin
numerals to the amount of 666, exactly corresponding with the number
of the beast.
"With respect to the
supposition you have conjured up, that the Pope might be called
Vicarius Christus, or Vicarius Christus Filii Dei (a sort of gibberish
that is neither Latin, German. nor English), it is a matter I have
nothing to do with. Mr. D. may adopt these or any other fancies to
amuse himself, and to screen the head of his holiness, but when he has
done all, this question will still remain to be answered: Have those
inscriptions ever appeared over the door of the Vatican at Rome?
"As to Mr. D's attempting to
obscure the number of the beast 666, contained in the numerals of the
words VICARIVS FILII DEI, by objecting to a V; however the Pope or his
emissaries may be obliged to him for his kind exertions on their
behalf, yet I presume neither of them will condescend to appear his
humble fool in Latin, for the sake of sheltering themselves under his
ignorance of the Latin alphabet and the ancient
inscriptions."–Id., p. 180.
Dr. S. T. Bloomfield gives us the
following rule for finding the number:
"It means the number which
is made up by reducing the numeral power of each of the letters of
which the name is composed, and bringing it to a sum
total"–"Greek Testament with English Notes," Note on
Rev. 13:17, Vol. II, p. 175.
Samuel Hanson Cox, D. D–
"Can they [Protestants]
accord to the present dominant Gregory, the pompous titles which he
claims–VICARIUS FILII DEI, Vestra Sanctitas, Servus Servorus Domini,
with other profane and blasphemous appellations without
end?"–Introduction to Bower's "History of the Popes,"
Vol. I, p. x. Philadelphia:1847.
The fact that some may have seen
a crown at the Vatican which did not have the above inscription does not
disprove the statements of the men who saw the crown that has the
inscription; for according to a copyrighted news report from Milan,
Italy, dated December 11, 1922, and published in the Des Moines (Iowa)
Register, December 12, 1922, the pope has five crowns, the last one made
being decked with two thousand precious stones. The important part is
not that the inscription Vicarius Filii Dei is on the pope's tiara, but
that it is the official title of the popes, that it designates their
official position, and is given to them at their coronation, just as the
head of the United States government is called "President,"
without it therefore being necessary for him to wear that title on his
Mr. H. S. Weaver, of Baltimore,
Md., wrote to James Cardinal Gibbons, of the same city, under date of
January 18, 1904, inquiring:
"Does the inscription, 'Vicarius
Filii Del,' appear on the crown or mitre of the pope, or has it at any
time in the past appeared on the crowns or mitres of any of the
"Yours sincerely, (Signed) "H. S. Weaver."
To this the Cardinal answered
through his secretary:
"Baltimore, Md., Jan. 26,
"Mr. H. S. Weaver.
"In reply to yours of 18th inst., I beg to say that I can not say
with certainty that the words, ' Vicarius Filii Del,' are on the
pope's tiara. But the words are used by the cardinal who imposes the
tiara at the coronation of a pope.
(Signed) "Wm. T. Russut,
–"Bible Footlights," pp. 210, 211, edition of 1907.
The New Catholic Dictionary says:
"Tiara, papal crown .... It
is placed on his head at his Coronation by the second cardinal-deacon,
with the words: 'Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know
that thou art Father of princes and kings, Ruler of the world, Vicar
of our Saviour Jesus Christ"–The New Catholic Dictionary, art.
"Tiara," p. 955.
We have already seen that
Catholics have several free translations into English of the Latin
title, "Vicarius Filii Dei." Some try to find in the Greek
word Lateinos, or the Latin Empire of the Papacy, a fulfillment of
Revelation 13:18 (see "Bishop Newton on the Prophecies," pp.
548-550), but there is no need of going to the Greek. For while it is
true that the apostles used mostly the Aramaic and the Greek, Latin was
the official language of Rome, the world empire at that time. The Romans
everywhere used Latin, all their laws were written in that language, and
Latin has remained the official language of the Papacy to this day. The
apostle was prophesying of a strictly Latin power, whose language was in
use in his day, and it is quite common for Bible writers to borrow
foreign words and phrases belonging to the subjects of which they are
speaking. (John 19:20; Revelation 9:11; 16:16.)
Then, too, the power represented
by Revelation 13:1-10, 17, 18, must not only have the name indicated,
but must also fulfill all the other specifications in this prophecy, and
the Papacy does this. M. James Durham, Professor of Divinity in Glasgow
"He that hath all the
characters of Antichrist's doctrine, and hath a name which, in the
numeral letters, makes up 666, he is Antichrist But to the Pope both
these do agree"–"A Commentary Upon the Book of
Revelation," Rev. 13:18, p. 491. Glasgow:1680.