If you find the truth, will you believe it?

If any man desires to do God's will, he will have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from myself and on my own accord.  John 7:17 

The Deity


These are the pages that were in the original copy of Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith and edited out by the publishers by 1944.  They are pages 162 – 177.

My thoughts are that in 1941 the denomination behind the publisher of this work had taken a stance in favor of the Trinitarian view of the Godhead and had discarded the original author’s views and that denomination’s historical views of Arianism (Two in the Godhead) and had gone back into Babylon.  When one considers the historical significance of Daniel 7:8, 20, and 24, I believe Uriah Smith, the original author, had the correct understanding and furnishes sufficient evidence from the Scriptures and from the past to sustain his view.  We must know the significance of what these three verses of Daniel chapter seven are revealing.   

"The first Pastors or bishops of Rome enjoyed a respect proportionate to the rank of the city in which they resided; and for the first few centuries of the Christian era, Rome was the largest, richest, and most powerful city in the world.  It was the seat of the Empire, the capital of the nations.  “All the inhabitants of the earth belong to her,” said Julian; and Claudian declared her to be “the fountains of laws”. “If Rome is the queen of cities, why should not her pastor be the king of bishops?” was the reasoning these Roman pastors adopted.  “Why should not the Roman Church be the mother of Christendom?  Why should not all nations be her children, and her authority their sovereign law?  It was easy.” Says D’Aubigne, from whom we quote these words (“History of the Reformation,” Vol. I, chapter 1), “for the ambitious heart of man to reason thus.  Ambitious Rome did so.”

"The bishops in the different parts of the Roman empire felt a pleasure in yielding to the bishop of Rome some portion of that honor which Rome, as the queen city, received from the nations of the earth.  There was originally no dependence implied in the honor thus paid.  “But,” continues D’Aubigne, “usurped power increases like an avalanche.  Admonitions, at first simply fraternal, soon became absolute commands in the mouth of the pontiff.  The Western bishops favored this encroachment of the Roman pastors, either from jealousy of the Eastern bishops, or because they preferred submitting to the supremacy of a pope rather than to the dominion of a temporal power.”

"Such were the influences clustering around the bishop of Rome, and thus was everything tending toward his speedy elevation to the supreme spiritual throne of Christendom.  But the fourth century was destined to witness an obstacle thrown across the path of this ambitious dream.  Arius, parish priest of the ancient and influential church of Alexandria, sprung his doctrine upon the world, occasioning so fierce a controversy in the Christian church that a general council was called at Nicea, by the emperor Constantine, A.D. 325, to consider and adjust it.  Arius maintained “that the son was totally and essentially distinct from the Father; that he was the first and noblest of those beings whom the Father had created out of nothing, the instrument by whose subordinate operation the Almighty Father formed the universe, and therefore inferior to the Father both in nature and dignity.”  This opinion was condemned by the council, which decreed that Christ was of one and the same substance with the Father.  Hereupon Arius was banished Illyria, and his followers were compelled to give their assent to the creed composed on that occasion.  (Mosheim, cent. 4, part 2, chap. 4; Stanley, History of the Eastern Church, p. 239.)

"The controversy itself, however, was not to be disposed of in this summary manner, but continued for ages to agitate the Christian world, the Arians everywhere becoming the bitter enemies of the pope and of the Roman Catholic Church.  From these facts it is evident that the spread of Arianism would check the influence of the Catholics; and the possession of Rome and Italy by a people of the Arian persuasion, would be fatal to the supremacy of a Catholic bishop.  But the prophecy had declared that this horn would rise to supreme power, and that in reaching this position it would subdue three kings.

"Some difference of opinion has existed in regard to the particular powers which were overthrown in the interest of the papacy, in reference to which the following remark by Albert Barnes seems very pertinent:  “In the confusion that existed on the breaking up of the Roman empire, and the imperfect accounts of the transactions which occurred in the rise of the papal power, it would not be wonderful if it should be difficult to find events distinctly recorded that would be in all respects possible to make out the fulfillment of this with a good degree of certainty in the history of the papacy.” –Notes on Daniel 7.

"Mr. Mede supposes the three kingdoms plucked up to have been the Greeks, the Lombards, and the Franks; and Sir Isaac Newton supposes they were the Exarchate of Ravenna, the Lombards, and the Senate and Dukedom of Rome.  Bishop Newton (Dissertation on the Prophecies, pp. 217, 218) states some serious objections to both these schemes.  The Franks could not have been one of these kingdoms; for they were never plucked up before the papacy.  The Lombards could not have been one; for they were never made subject to the popes. Says Barnes, “I do not find, indeed, that the kingdom of the Lombards was, as is commonly stated, among the number of the temporal sovereignties that became subject to the authority of the popes.”  And the Senate and Dukedom of Rome could not have been one; for they, as such, never constituted one of the ten kingdoms, three of which were to be plucked up before the little horn.

"But we apprehend that the chief difficulty in the application made by these eminent commentators, lay in the fact that they supposed that the prophecy respecting the exaltation of the papacy had not been fulfilled, and could not have been, till the pope became a temporal prince; and hence they sought to find an accomplishment of the prophecy in the events which led to the pope’s temporal sovereignty.  Whereas, evidently, the prophecy of Daniel 7:24, 25 refers, not to his civil power, but to his power to domineer over the minds and consciences of men; and the pope reached this position, as will hereafter appear, in A.D. 538; and the plucking up of the three horns took place before this, and to make way for this very exaltation to spiritual dominion.  The insuperable difficulty in the way of all attempts to apply the prophecy to the Lombards and the other powers named above is that they come altogether too late in point of time; for the prophecy deals with the arrogant efforts of the Roman pontiff to gain power, not with his endeavors to oppress and humble the nations after he had secured the supremacy.

"The position is here confidently taken that the three powers, or horns, plucked up before the papacy, were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; and this position rests upon the following statements of historians.

"Odoacer, the leader of the Heruli, was the first of the barbarians who reigned over the Romans.  He took the throne of Italy, according to Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. III, pp. 510, 515), in A. D. 476.  Of his religious belief Gibbon (p. 516) says:  “Like the rest of the barbarians, he had been instructed in the Arian heresy; but he revered the monastic and episcopal characters, and the silence of the Catholics attests the toleration which they enjoyed.”

"Again he says (p. 547): “The Ostrogoths, the Burgundians, the Suevi, and the Vandals, who had listened to the eloquence of the Latin clergy, preferred the more intelligible lessons of their domestic teachers; and Arianism was adopted as the national faith of the warlike converts who were seated on the ruins of the Western empire.  This irreconcilable difference of religion was a perpetual source of jealousy and hatred; and the reproach of barbarian was embittered by the more odious epithet of heretic.  The heroes of the North, who had submitted, with some reluctance, to believe that all their ancestors were in hell, were astonished and exasperated to learn that they themselves had only changed the mode of their eternal condemnation.”

"The reader is requested to consider carefully a few more historical statements which throw some light on the situation at this time.  Stanley (History of the Eastern Church, p. 151) says:  “The whole of the vast Gothic population which descended on the Roman Empire, so far as it was Christian at all, held to the faith of the Alexandrian heretic.  Our first Teutonic version of the Scriptures was by an Arian missionary, Ulfilas. The first conqueror of Rome, Alaric, and the first conqueror of Africa, Genseric, were Arians.  Theodoric, the great king of Italy, and hero of the ‘Nibelungen Lied,’ was an Arian.  The vacant place in his massive tomb at Ravenna is a witness of the vengeance which the Orthodox took on his memory, when, in their triumph, they tore down the porphyry vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes.”

"Ranke, in The History of the Popes (London, edition of 1871), Vol. I. p. 9, says:  “But she [the church] fell, as was inevitable, into many embarrassments, and found herself in an entirely altered condition.  A pagan people took possession of Britain; Arian kings seized the greater part of the remaining West; while the Lombards, long attached to Arianism, and as neighbors most dangerous and hostile, established a powerful sovereignty before the very gates of Rome.  The Roman bishops, meanwhile, beset on all sides, exerted themselves with all the prudence and pertinacity which have remained their peculiar attributes, to regain the mastery, at least in the patriarchal diocese.”

"Machiavelli, in his History of Florence, p. 14, says:  “Nearly all the wars which the northern barbarians carried on in Italy, it may be here remarked, were occasioned by the pontiffs; and the hordes with which the country was inundated, were generally called in by them.”

"These extracts give us a general view of the state of affairs at this time, and show us that though the hands of the Roman pontiffs might not be visibly manifest in the movements upon the political board, they constituted the power working assiduously behind the scenes to secure their own purposes.  The relation which these Arian kings sustained to the pope, from which we can see the necessity of their being overthrown to make way for papal supremacy, is shown in the following testimony from Mosheim, given in History of the Church, cent. 6, part 2, chap. 2, sec.  2:--

“On the other hand, it is certain, from a variety of the most authentic  records, that both the emperors and the nations in general were far from being disposed to bear with patience the yoke of servitude which the popes were imposing upon the Christian church.  The Gothic princes set bounds to the power of these arrogant prelates in Italy, permitted none to be raised to the pontificate without their approbation, and reserved to themselves the right of judging of the legality of every new election.”

"An instance in proof of this statement occurs in the history of Odoacer, the first Arian king above mentioned, as related by Bower in his History of the Popes, Vol. I, p. 271.  When, on the death of Pope Simplicius, A.D. 483, the clergy and people had assembled for the election of a new pope, suddenly Basilius, praefectus praetorio and lieutenant of King Odoacer, appeared in the assembly, expressed his surprise that any such work as appointing a successor to the deceased pope should be undertaken without him, in the name of the king declared all that had been done null and void, and ordered the election to be begun anew.  Certainly the horn which exercised such a restrictive power over the papal pontiff must be taken away before the pope could reach the predicted supremacy.

"Meanwhile, Zeno, emperor of the East, and friend of the pope, was anxious to drive Odoacer out of Italy (Machiavelli, p. 6), a movement which he soon had the satisfaction of seeing accomplished without trouble to himself, in the following manner.  Theodoric had come to the throne of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Moesia and Pannonia.  Being on friendly terms with Zeno, he wrote him, stating that it was impossible for him to restrain his Goths within the impoverished province of Pannonia, and asking his permission to lead them to some more favorable region, which they might conquer and possess.  Zeno gave him permission to march against Odoacer, and take possession of Italy.  Accordingly, after a three years’ war, the Herulian kingdom in Italy was overthrown, Odoacer was treacherously slain, and Theodoric established his Ostrogoths in the Italian peninsula.  As already stated, he was an Arian, and the law of Odoacer subjecting the election of the pope to the approval of the king, was still retained.

"The following incident will show how completely the papacy was in subjection to his power.  The Catholics in the East, having commenced a persecution against the Arians in 523, Theodoric summoned Pope John into his presence, and thus addressed him:  “If the emperor [Justin, the predecessor of Justinian] does not think fit to revoke the edict which he has lately issued against those of my persuasion [that is, the Arians], it is my firm resolution to issue the like edict against those of his [that is, the Catholics] and to see it everywhere executed with the same rigor.  Those who do not profess the faith of Nicea are heretics to him, and those who do are heretics to me.  Whatever can excuse or justify his severity to the former, will excuse and justify mine to the latter.  But the emperor,” continued the king, “has none about him who dare freely and openly speak what they think, or to whom he would hearken if they did.   But the great veneration which he professes for your See, leaves no room to doubt but he would hearken to you.  I will therefore have you to repair forthwith to Constantinople, and there to remonstrate, both in my name and your own, against the violent measures in which that court has so rashly engaged.  It is in your power to divert the emperor from them; and till you have, nay, till the Catholics [this name Theodoric applies to the Arians] are restored to the free exercise of their religion, and to all the churches from which they have been driven, you must not think of returning to Italy.” – Bower’s History of the Popes, Vol. I. p. 325.

"The pope who was thus peremptorily ordered not to set his foot again upon Italian soil until he had carried out the will of the king, certainly could not hope for much advancement toward any kind of supremacy till that power was taken out of the way.  Baronius, according to Bower, will have it that the pope sacrificed himself on this occasion, and advised the emperor not by any means to comply with the demand the king had sent him.  But Mr. Bower thinks this inconsistent, since he could not, he says, “sacrifice himself without sacrificing, at the same time, the far greater part of the innocent Catholics in the West, who were either subject to King Theodoric, or to other Arian princes in alliance with him.”  It is certain that the pope and the other ambassadors were treated with severity on their return, which Bower explains on this wise:  “Others arraign them all of high treason and truly the chief men of Rome were suspected at this very time of carrying on a treasonable correspondence with the court of Constantinople, and machinating the ruin of the Gothic empire in Italy.”  -- Id, p. 326.

"The feelings of the papal party toward Theodoric may be accurately estimated, according to a quotation already give, by the vengeance which they took on his memory, when they tore from his massive tomb in Ravenna the porphyry vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes.  But these feelings are put into language by Baronius, who inveighs “against Theordoric as a cruel barbarian, as a barbarous tyrant, as an impious Arian.”  But “having exaggerated with all his eloquence, and bewailed the deplorable condition of the Roman Church reduced by that heretic to a state of slavery, he comforts himself in the end, and dries up his tears, with the pious thought that the author of such a calamity dies soon after, and was eternally damned!” – Baronius’s Annals. A.D. 526, p. 116; Bower, Vol. III, p. 328.

"While the Catholics were thus feeling the restraining power of an Arian king in Italy, they were suffering a violent persecution by the Arian Vandals in Africa  (Gibbon, chap. 37, sec. 2.)  Elliott, in his Horae Apocalypticae, Vol. III, p 152, note 3, says:  “The Vandal kings were not only Arians, but persecutors of the Catholics; in Sardinia and Corsica, under the Roman Episcopate, we may presume, as well as in Africa.”

"Such was the position of affairs, when, in 533, Justinian entered upon his Vandal and Gothic wars.  Wishing to secure the influence of the pope and the Catholic party, he issued that memorable decree which was to constitute the pope the head of all the churches, and from the carrying out of which, in 538, the period of papal supremacy is to be dated.  And whoever will read the history of the African campaign, 533-534, and the Italian campaign, 534-538, will notice that the Catholics everywhere hailed as deliverers the army of Belisarius, the general of Justinian. 

"The testimony of D’Aubigne (Reformation, book 1, chap. 1), also throws light upon the undercurrents which gave shape to outward movements in these eventful times.  He says:  “Princes whom these stormy times often shook upon their thrones, offered their protection if Rome would in its turn support them.  They conceded to her the spiritual authority, provided she would make a return in secular power.  They were lavish of the souls of men, in the hope that she would aid them against their enemies.  The power of the hierarchy, which was ascending, and the imperial power, which as declining, leaned thus one upon the other, and by this alliance accelerated their twofold destiny.  Rome could not lose by it.  An edict of Theodosius II and of Valerian III proclaimed the Roman bishop ‘rector of the whole church.’  But no decree of this nature could be carried into effect until the Arian horns which stood in his way were plucked up.  The Vandals fell before the victorious arms of Belisarius in 534; and the Goths, retiring, left him in undisputed possession of Rome in 538.  (Gibbon’s Rome, chap.  41.)

"Procopius relates that the African war was undertaken by Justinian for the relief of the Christians (Catholics) in that quarter; and that when he expressed his intention in this respect, the prefect of the palace came very near dissuading him from his purpose; but a dream appeared to him in which he was bidden “not to shrink from the execution of his design; for by assisting the Christians he would overthrow the power of the Vandals.” – Evagrius’s Ecclesiastical History, Book 4, chap. 16.

"Listen again to Mosheim:  “It is true that the Greeks who had received the decrees of the Council of Nicea [that is, the Catholics], persecuted and oppressed the Arians wherever their influence and authority could reach; but the Nicenians, in their turn, were not less rigorously treated by their adversaries [the Arians,], particularly in Africa and Italy, where they felt, in a very severe manner, the weight of the Arian power, and the bitterness of hostile resentment.  The triumphs of Arianism were, however, transitory, and its prosperous days were entirely eclipsed when the Vandals were driven out of Africa, and the Goths out of Italy, by the arms of Justinian.”  -- Mosheim’s Church history, cent. 6, part 2, chap. 5, sec. 3.

"Elliott, in his Horae Apocalypticae, makes two enumerations of the ten kingdoms which rose out of the Roman Empire, varying the second list from the first according to the changes which had taken place at the later period to which the second list applies.  His first list differs from that mentioned in remarks on chap. 2:42, only in that he put the Alemanni in place of the Huns, and the Bavarians in place of the Lombards, a variation which can be easily accounted for.  But out of this list he names the three that were plucked up before the papacy, in these words:  “I might cite three that were eradicated from before the pope out of the list first given; namely, the Heruli under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths.”Vol. III p. 152, note 1.

"Although he prefers the second list, in which he puts the Lombards instead of the Heruli, the foregoing is good testimony that if we make the enumeration of the ten kingdoms while the Heruli were a ruling power, they were one of the horns which were plucked up."  Daniel and Revelation by Uriah Smith. Original version pp. 162-177