Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

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Friday, 2 December 2016

No Pope Here! Why? #2 The Act of Settlement

Any proposed visit by the Pope is to be opposed on constitutional grounds. The Act of Settlement underpins the British Constitution and safeguards the British throne from ever being influenced by Roman Catholicism again.

The Act of Settlement was passed in 1701. It came into being at the end of the reign of King William III, when his successor to the throne, Anne, had lost her only surviving child. It was felt expedient by Parliament, at that time, to bring into law a requirement that only Protestants, in communion with the Church of England, should be allowed on the throne.

One of the consequences of the Act of Settlement was to bring the house of Hanover into the line of accession in front of fifty-seven other people under the normal rules of inheritance. This eventually led to George I coming to the throne in 1714. In effect it brought to an end the Stuart dynasty and ruled out a Roman Catholic from ever the monarch.

Rome, Romanism and successive Popes have railed against the Act of Settlement. The wording of the specific clause is interesting to note. Clause 9 of the Act of Settlement reads: Whereas it has been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom to be governed by a Popish Prince or by any King or Queen marrying a Papist.

This clause was not included out of spite, or prejudice, or from a sectarian standpoint. Our Protestant forefathers had learned by bitter experience that freedom and liberty are in danger when Romanism is in the ascendency. It is even worse when they are in power. The opening words of the clause emphasis this: : Whereas it has been found by experience… It is essential that we understand the underlying motivation in this Constitutional settlement. The title of the document gives us the key to understanding the matter. It is an Act: declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and settling the Succession of the Crown. The Act of Settlement is there to protect the liberties and freedoms of the citizen. This is the reason for the prohibition.

The Pope claims authority over this jurisdiction. The Pope claims to be the representative of Christ on earth, to act in His place and with His authority. This claims extended to claiming authority over all kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers. 

The Popes first claimed to be ‘the vicar of Cæsar’. Imperial Rome moved the Emperor’s seat of government from Rome to Constantinople. The Pope stepped in and claimed to take his place in Rome. In the 5th century Popes claimed to be ‘the vicar of prince of the apostles’. In the 8th century they went still further and styled themselves the ‘vicar of Christ’; and that on the basis of a document that was a forgery. 

This title was one of the three which formed what was known as the ‘The Triple Tiara’. It consisted of three crowns symbolising the triple power of the Pope: 
Father of kings [temporal power], 
Governor of the world [universal jurisdiction] & 
Vicar of Christ [universal pastor]. 

It is interesting that recent popes have not been crowned in this fashion. At the end of the second session of the Second Vatican Council in 1963, Pope Paul VI descended the steps of the papal throne in St. Peter's Basilica and laid the tiara on the altar. He was supposedly renouncing his claims. Since then, none of his successors has worn a tiara. However Rome still claims that the Pope is the vicar of Christ.

There is still a desire to bring the British crown back under the rule of the Pope. This is unfinished business on Rome's part. For this reason also we should oppose a papal visit. 

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