19.—A God of Guardians, or, the Latin Prophet of the West
“To a god of guardians in his estate he shall do honour”. The original is eloah mahuzzim, “a god of guardians”: and styled in the same connection, eloah naikhār, “a strange god”—a god appearing from among the Jewish sect of the Nazarenes, and therefore a foreign god. Eloah is a passive participial noun, and applied to Christ in the phrase māshiach eloah limmenu, “the Anointed One cursed for us”; that is, by the Law, which says: “Cursed is every one that hangeth upon a tree”. The connection in which eloah is found determines whether it should be taken in a good or in a bad sense. In the passage before us it is used in any other than in a good sense. The god is therefore an accursed one of guardians, who is honoured in the realm of the Little Horn of the Goat. From this it will be seen that Christ and Antichrist are both denominated “eloah”, but on different grounds; Christ, because he became a curse for his people by hanging on a tree as an expiation for their sins; and Antichrist, he that sets himself up in Christ’s place, and finally against him, because of his blasphemy against the Mightiest of all.
Mahuzzim is the plural of mahōz, a fortress. It is used tropically in Psalm 60:7: “Ephraim is the fortress of my head”, i.e., my helmet; and in Prov. 10:29, “a fortress to the upright is the way of God”, i.e., God’s truth. Protectors, defenders, guardians are as fortresses to those who trust in them; hence the phrase, “Yahweh is my fortress”, i.e., He is my guardian, etc.
But those who glory in the Eyes and Mouth of the Little Horn of the West, or in the God of Guardians, whom the Little Horn of the Goat delights to honour (for the Eyes, Mouth, and god are one and the same power), seek for refuge in other fortresses than Yahweh. Chrysostom, in his homily on the martyrs of Egypt, says: “The bodies of those saints fortify the city more effectually for us than impregnable walls of adamant; and like towering rocks placed around on every side, repel not only the assaults of enemies that are visible, but the insidious stratagems also of invisible demons, and counteract and defeat every artifice of the devil as a strong man overturns the toys of children”. The Greeks and Latins made the most of these wonderful martyrs. Believing in ghosts, or disembodied human spirits, they proclaimed the translation of their shades to heaven to act as mediators and intercessors with the Virgin and her Son; but kept their bones and dust in church-shrines to protect, defend, or guard them from all enemies, demons, and other evils to which the flesh is subject. Speaking of these times of intense superstition, Gibbon says: “The Christians of the seventh century had insensibly relapsed into a semblance of paganism; their public and private vows were addressed to the relics and images that disgraced the temples of the east; the throne of the Almighty was darkened by a cloud of martyrs, saints, and angels, the objects of popular veneration; and the Collyridian heretics, who flourished in the fruitful soil of Arabia, invested the Virgin Mary with the name and honours of a goddess”. It was to punish the East for these abominations, that the four prepared angels confining upon the Euphrates—the Seljuks, Zinghis Khan’s Moguls, Tamerlane’s hosts, and the Ottoman Turks—were loosed until they should come to be bounded by the Danube, which defines the political geography appointed to exist between themselves and “the Rest of the Men (the Holy Roman Empire) which were not killed”—whose sovereignty was not overthrown—“by these plagues”, inflicted by the four messenger, or angel, powers, “yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demonials (the imaginary ghosts of martyrs and saints) and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood; which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication (the especial vice of the priests who are forbidden to marry), nor of their thefts” (Rev. 9:14, 15, 20, 21).
The bodies and ghosts of Romish saints and martyrs erected into guardian demons by “the church”, were a cheap fortification for a city, temple, or country, requiring no rations; and if “the eloquent Chrysostom” be credited, a more impregnable defence than a whole host of embodied warriors armed to the very teeth! What chance, then has the unlucky Turk who has no other mahuzzim than the Dardanelles and fortresses of like construction? Fortunately for him, St. Patrick of Ireland, St. George of England, St. Andrew of Scotland, and St. Denis of France, it may be supposed were on his side in the Crimean war; but how these orthodox guardians could become impregnable fortresses for “the common hereditary foe and tyrannical bloodhound, the Turk”, as Czar Johann styled him in 1557, is not very easy to conceive, seeing that his battle-cry is “Down with the Giaours”, which must be particularly offensive to their brethren, the cloud of guardian demons on the other side.
The chief or prince of the ecclesiastical element of the Kingdom of Babylon is god, or chief pontiff of these guardians. He is in the Little Horn of the Goat’s estate, which is coëxtensive with the territory of that dominion, when he stands up against the Sar of Israel. Justinian, whom I have indicated as the fittest representative of the civil element of the Power that has yet appeared in Constantinople in its dealings with the god, delighted to honour him. In a celebrated letter written by him to the Bishop of Rome, dated March, 533, and which thenceforth became part and parcel of the civil law, he is recognized, or “acknowledged”, as the legal head of all the churches of the eastern and western provinces of the empire. “We suffer not”, says the imperial writer, “anything that belongs to the state of the churches to be done without submitting it to your holiness, who art head of all the churches”. In this way “the king who does according to his will”, acknowledged this “strange god” as of supreme spiritual authority over all “the Bazaars of the Guardians”, which became his.
“To a god whom his predecessors knew not, to a strange god, shall he do honour.” Previous to the reign of Constantine this “god of guardians” was unacknowledged by the emperors and constituted authorities of the Little Horn Power. They are therefore said not to have known him. There was then no Bishop of Rome, though there was a principal bishop of the Anti-Novatian or Catholic Church, called Christian, in Rome. Constantine made this chief of a corrupt majority chief magistrate of Rome for life, or Lord Mayor, in 313. His jurisdiction was confined to the city. But in 378, the emperor, who resided in Constantinople, extended his spiritual authority over all the churches of Italy and Gaul. His supremacy, however, was not limited to these. It continued to grow, until, in a hundred and fifty-five years after, Justinian could say to him, “thou art head of all the churches”, that is, of the Kingdom of Babylon. But while this was the fact, the Roman Bishop bore no title that indicated it. He shared with the bishops of Alexandria, Jerusalem, Antioch, and Constantinople, the honorary title of Patriarch, or Chief Father. These patriarchs had all equal power, and differed only in respect of rank and precedency; the Bishop of Rome being considered the first in rank, and this out of respect to the city in which he presided. A bishop of the name of Leo was the first that claimed jurisdiction over other churches on the ground of his being the successor of St. Peter; and when it was decreed at the Council of Chalcedon that the See of Constantinople should be second to that of Rome with respect to rank, assigning as a reason for it the pre-eminence of the city, this Patriarch was quite dissastisfied because his pre-eminence was not founded on something more stable than the dignity of the city, and wished to have it rest on the authority of Peter as the founder of the See. From this time this foundation for the pre-eminence of the See of Rome was urged with the greatest confidence; and though the ground on which it is assumed has slender claims to credibility, it does not appear to have been much disputed.
But the increasing pride, ambition, and vanity of the rising god were not long content to bear a title common to others whom he regarded as his inferiors in every respect. He desired a title expressive of the universality of his acknowledged headship over ecclesiastical affairs in the Kingdom of Babylon. But the Patriarch of Constantinople, scarcely less arrogant and ambitious than himself, in a council held at that city in 588, assumed the title of Universal Bishop, which was confirmed to him by the council. This aroused the indignation of the contemporary bishop of Rome, with whom it was a principle to endure no ecclesiastical superior in the Little Horn dominion. He styled it, “an execrable, profane, and diabolical procedure”. In 590, Gregory I., usually termed “the Great” by ecclesiastics, was the representative of the strange-god power. He wrote a letter to Maurice, who occupied the Dragon-throne, in which he styles the title “a Blasphemous Name by which all honour is taken from all other priests, while it is foolishly arrogated by one”. He says, it was offered to the Bishops of Rome by the Council of Chalcedon, but refused; “why”, then says he, “should we refuse this title when it was offered, and another assume it without any offer at all?” He calls upon Maurice to humble and chastise the presumptuous patriarch, who, by taking upon himself the title would elevate himself above the emperor. The letter, however, does not appear to have produced any effect; for the pompous title continued to be borne by the patriarchs of Constantinople.
One of these whose name was Cynacus in a letter to Gregory subscribed himself “Universal Bishop”. Gregory was greatly displeased, and in consequence treated the bearers of it uncourteously. These complained to the emperor, who wrote to Gregory, and advised him to be more friendly in future, and not to insist so far on punctilios of style as to create a scandal about a title, and to fall out about a few syllables. Gregory replied to this, “that the innovation in the style did not consist much in the quantity and alphabet; but the bulk of the iniquity was weighty enough to sink and destroy all. And therefore I am bold to say”, says he, “that whoever adopts or affects the title of universal bishop has the pride and character of Antichrist, and is in some manner his forerunner in this haughty quality of elevating himself above the rest of his order. And indeed both the one and the other seem to split upon the same rock; for, as pride makes Antichrist strain his pretension up to Godhead, so whoever is ambitious to be called the only or Universal Prelate, arrogates to himself a distinguished superiority, and rises, as it were, upon the ruins of the rest”.
Which of the two should bear the title of Universal Bishop and transmit it to his successors, the Patriarch of Constantinople or the Patriarch of Rome, was the great politico-ecclesiastical question of the day. Had the dynasty of Maurice continued to occupy the Dragonthrone of the Little Horn, it is probable that the Bishop of Rome would have been excluded from the Babylonian Godship. But it was ordained otherwise. Phocas, a centurion, headed a rebellion of the troops against the emperor, whom he murdered with all his family, and then settled himself on the throne. This was A.D. 602. Gregory joyfully saluted the fortune of the assassin, celebrated the deliverance of the people, and the fall of Maurice, whom he styled, the oppressor. In 604 Gregory died, and was succeeded by Boniface III., who without scruple adopted the proud title in dispute. He had importunately begged it of Phocas, with the privilege also of transmitting it to all his successors. The profligate emperor, to gratify the inordinate ambition of this court sycophant, deprived the patriarch of Constantinople of the title he had hitherto borne, and conferred it upon Boniface, A.D. 607, at the same time declaring the Church of Rome to be the head of all other churches. He was very liberal to the bazaars of the guardians pertaining to the god, commonly called “churches”, and allowed the Pantheon, a temple dedicated to All the Gods by his predecessors, to be turned into a bazaar or church devoted to All the Saints. Phocas was a diminutive, ill-favoured monster in crime, and therefore the better qualified for a patron of the Roman bishop, who hailed him as the pious avenger of the church. One year after the promulgation of the decree, a pillar with a gilt statue on the top of it, was erected in Rome to the honour of Phocas, with the following inscription—Pro innumerabilibus Pietatis ejus beneficiis, et pro quiete procurata, ac conservata libertate. Thus was memorialized the fulfilment of the sure word of prophecy, saying, “To a god of guardians in his estate, even to a god whom his predecessors knew not, a strange god, shall he acknowledge and exalt with riches”. He strained up his pretensions to godhead, and as a god was recognized by the secular element of the Little Horn.