« 前へ次へ »
tices the great reformers did not call the attention of all, Missionfollow out their principles, no one aries especially, to consider what should exculpate the deficiency! is here, as briefly as possible,
Is there not as much reason for submitted. re-baptizing the Papists as there The state of ecclesiastical affairs would be for re-baptizing one, throughout the world exhibits feawho had received baptism in a tures which have been very unSocinian, or any other antichristian common to the church of Christ. church, but had now renounced The reviving influence and units heresy? The Socinians deny changing character of the Church the divinity of Christ, and conse- of Rome, her extended and unquently his work as a full-atoning ceasing exertions, and the variety Mediator. The papists refuse to of means she can employ, are calhim the kingly office and his priest- culated to arrest the attention of hood in their Scriptural meaning, the philanthropist. The re-estaconsequently they rebel against blishment of the Jesuits is a loud his divine authority, and deny the call for increased vigilance. They fulness of his mediatorial work. may well be denominated a band This is proved by their admission of consecrated swindlers. They of other mediators as necessary, hold the consciences and the ear and their views of the saving na- of many great ones of the earth. ture of human performances. They are mingling themselves with
Are not the extremely degraded the general mass of the people, and and depraved state of Roman Ca- worming themselves into every tholics in all, but especially in nook and privacy of society. The heathen countries, and the odious children of this world—they are stigma brought upon the Christian wise in their generation. Cold as name by their being recognized as gunpowder to the touch, they yet a part of the Christian church, possess a vast portion of latent sufficient arguments that the line caloric, and are ready by every of separation should be clearly friction to fire and blow up commuand publicly defined to themselves nities : although they will not now and the heathen around ? how can find the intensity of moral dark. Missionaries otherwise so distinctly ness aiding thein as in former days; exhibit to pagans the decided con- yet as an integral limb-as the very trariety and insuperable hostility wisdom of the beast, their existof christian doctrine to idolatry, ence ought to exact decision of since they would appear to hold principle in opposing the whole communion with those whom the system of iniquity, especially from heathen know to be worshippers those who are as the light of the of idols? And how can they world. otherwise convince the Catholic There is great danger of a spethat they really consider him in cious charity and liberality of senmost fatal errors ?
timent prevailing in present times; Various causes have contributed resting satisfied with what our pre- . to render this subject of very de- . decessors have accomplished in · cided importance at the present the cause of truth; is more generally juncture. And some of them are practised than is always appreof that peculiar nature which hended. We are too ready to sit speaks loudly to all who profess down seeking our own ease, and to admire and adopt the principles indulging the hope that all which of the Reformation. It is on the our fathers did in renouncing the broad but well defined character Romish communion, and publishof Protestantism that those who ing to the world their reasons for make this appeal have ventured to such a course of conduct, is suffi
cient; and that the line of demar- and ordinances of their king. In cation is so obviously and dis- the reception of Roman Catholic tinctly traced that we see no reason converts an opportunity is afforded. for reviving a controversy with that The way of principle of Scripchurch; particularly since many ture, should be followed. A quesof her abominations, against which tion has gone forth very generally the reformers and their immediate among Missionaries, and it appears successors so strongly and justly of great moment - What is the inveighed, have now disappeared, course now to be pursued ? Whilst and the spirit of toleration is better some have proposed one way, and understood and practised among some have adopted another, the the Papists than in the days of writer of this paper would submit the Reformation.
whether re-baptism is not the only However this reasoning might legal and Scriptural mode. As suit the convenience of such as by baptizing them we openly and live in purified Christian countries, decidedly avow the important and satisfy such as please to bask truth of our principles, that the in the quiet sunshine of personalen- Church of Rome is like that joyment, it would have a most inju- Amalek of old with which we rious influence were it to operate in should consider ourselves solemnly popish and heathen countries. The bound not to live a moment in Church of Rome did make the peace, because our God has deterexperiment, and attempted to dis- mined and threatened to blot out ciple heathen nations to her creed. her name from under heaven. She has left the dark vestiges of “ The Church of Rome, (says her bloody course in these coun. Flavel,) is like nettles-handle tries, she has left too the symptoms them slightly and they sting you of a perfect failure. To strengthen severely-hold them firmly and her centre, like her earthly pro- they cannot injure.” totype in its decline, she has with All Protestants believe that the drawn her distant agents and emis- Church of Rome is Antichristian, saries. In the mean time a new that she is exclusively defined by impetus has been received by the the “ mystery of iniquity," per.. Protestant church. Her servants fected, and that " wicked one,” have gone forth under other aus- to be revealed, “whom the Lord pices; guided by nobler principles, shall consume with the spirit of his they have adopted other but bolder mouth, and shall destroy with the plans; success begins to dawn brightness of his coming,” (2 Thess. upon them, and some portion of ii. 7-10.) and spoken of as the this success has been obtained “woman arrayed in purple and among the subjects of the Pope. scarlet colour, and decked with
On the one hand jealousy has gold, and precious stones, and been created, and with a malicious pearls; having a golden cup in and wishful look does the Romish her hand, full of abominations and church 'regard the fields she has filthiness of her fornication, and possessed and the captives she upon whose forehead a name is had led. On the other hand the written, Mystery, , Babylon the different principles of the reformed Great, the Mother of Harlots and church demand of her servants, Abominations of the Earth, who that they be jealous for the glory is drunken with the blood of the of the Lord their God, that they saints, and with the blood of the wash away the stigma which has martyrs of Jesus." (Rev. xvii. fallen upon his cause by popish 4-6.) That system, according to assumption, and that they show to the Scripture representation, is inthe world what are the statutes curably corrupt and inevitable de, struction is its portion. The writer gave a moderation to its lanof this paper, does not enter into guage, but no real reform has the arcanum of controversy respect- been effected-no cure ! - The ing the moral and spiritual condi tiger has only been in chains. tion of individuals in that com- Now, when she begins to breathe, munity. It is not to sit in judg- and finds by the return of peace ment on man, but to consider the that all is not lost, she cherishes system received and maintained by the same determined hostility to that church, which is openly and pure and undefiled religion. She decidedly condemned in the word assumes the same tone of infalliof God. All who fear Jehovah are bility. She thunders from her commanded to separate themselves high throne, in which she sits as from her, lest they should partake queen, the same damnatory fulmiin her sins and be involved in her nations against readers and cirplagues. (Rev. xviii. 4-6.) It culators of the Holy Scriptures, would be a mere waste of time to and she seeks to excite in the breast enter formally into the debate with of her clergy and kings, who have Protestants, in order to convince given their power and kingdom to them of the propriety and necessity the beast, the same active malignity of leaving the Romish church. It and opposition to every thing good has been attempted to be proved and holy, which characterized them that the character of the Romish before and after the Reformation. Hierarchy is changed, and there- In 1762, the Jesuits were put fore separation from her commu-' down, not by any violent act of nion is less necessary. But how- confederated princes against that ever plausible and well calculated infamous order, but by the authoto set the mind at rest such reason- rity of Clement XIV. It is well ing may be, it is to be feared that known that he employed four this security from dangerous inno- years in discussing the subject, vation, and a return to that long and then deliberately acquiesced and black night of moral darkness in the suppression of this society, which matured that mass of super- which had, by the enormities of stition, is not well founded. It is its members, wearied out the very readily acceded that we are not patience of Europe. Why should able to trace the footsteps of that the order be now revived ? Is it church during the recent triumphs not a proof that the spirit of popery of popery by the blood of the is always the same. saints ; but does this difference in Let this be the motto of Prothe history of Antichrist arise from testants, “ no peace with the herea reformation of Spirit, or circum- sies of Rome." In renouncing her stances adventitious ? The latter, authority and communion because we apprehend, is the case. The she is antichristian, in lifting up rapid spread of deism and appear- our standard against her as the ance of atheism in France, after enemy of God's heritage, we should the night of persecution and horror decidedly deny the right of her in that country, the progress of clergy to administer the ordinances knowledge and French philosophy of Christ's church. Without right over Europe, the suppression of or authority, all ordinances cease to the Jesuits, and the great and un- be valid. The right and authority precedented political agitations to administer ordinances and disThroughout Europe, in which the ciple nations is immediately derived Church of Rome was particularly from Christ. “And Jesus came involved, have certainly given a and spake unto them, saying, All check to the audacious spirit power is given unto me in heaven of popery, and for a season and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing that the Church of Rome could them in the name of the Father, not err; that she was the mistress and of the Son, and of the Holy gf man's faith ; and not to believe Ghost; teaching them to observe as she believed, was a heresy all things whatsoever I have com- worthy of the flames. And as to manded you; and, lo, I am with the prelates, they had all servile you always, even unto the end of obedience to the will of the Popes, the world. Amen.” (Matt. xxviii. besides that ignorance, that neg18–20.) Corruptions existing in ligence, that love of the things of churches do not, we conceive, de- the world, and those other vices in · prive their Bishops of the power which they are plunged.” Luther delegated to administer the ordi- says, “ popery is a mere rhapsody nances of Christ. Great abuses of blasphemies. The Pope (sav existed in the Church of Corinth. their own canons) and his are not Errors crept into the Churches of bound to be subject and obedient Galatia, Pergamos, and Thyatira. to the commands of God. If the (See 1 Cor. i. 11; iv. 1, 2; xi. 18. Pope be so negligent of his own 22; Gal. i. 6,7; Rev. ii. 14 salvation, so negligent and remiss 20 and 23.) No intimation is given in office that he should draw innuthat these elders ceased to have merable multitudes to hell after the right to administer the ordi- him, to be there ever tormented ; nances. They are called upon to yet may no mortal man reprove reform. But it would be a hopeless him of any fault in so doing. The attempt to reform the Romish Pope hath power to commute and Church. The popes and prelates dissolve vows made to God, and and the whole priesthood decidedly then if any man defer to pay his oppose all reformation ; for an ac- vows according to God's comknowledgment of existing abuses mands he is not held guilty. The is conceding that the church and Pope hath not his authority from its head are fallible. The history the Scriptures, but the Scriptures of what passed in the first quarrels from the Pope." But why should of Luther with the Church of we multiply instances. The Church Rome, concerning indulgences, of Rome is not only corrupt; but confirm the assertion that every corruption itself. Its destruction attempt to reform that church is is the only remedy for such an · utterly hopeless. When the re- evil. “ The beast which thou formers were roused to examine sayest,” &c. (Rev. xvii. 8.) and form their judgment of the What right then, we ask, have real state of religion in the Romish the clergy in that church to admiChurch, they found that there nister the ordinances of Christ's were not only corruptions and appointment. Where is their auabuses, but that false . worship, thority? By whom given ? Not errors, and superstitions of the by Christ, but by the man of sin. incredible kind had actually de- The name of the Father, and of luged it, and swept away the very the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, vestiges of a Christian churcb; and which they use in the admission that its grossness and abuses were of infants and converts to their daily on the increase. “More- church, when they apply spittle, over, (says the venerable Claude,) oil, salt and water to the body, is there was not any hope of remedy, no proof that the ordinance is either on the part of the Pope, or valid. It is not the name, but the on the part of the prelates. For authority of Christ, the Great Head the Court of Rome, with all its of the Church, which makes ordiassociates, had loudly declared nances valid and scriptural. The against a reformation, maintaining vagabond Jews adjured the evil
spirit by Jesus, but what was the expectation is delusive, and it result ? (See Acts, xix. 15, 16.) must end in vanity. Whatever
Let us renounce the authority of men achieve, though great and the Pope, and avow that bis clergy splendid, and calculated for a are acting opposite to the mind few short years to attract attention, and the will of Christ; and that is destined at last to fall before the we do not acknowledge the vali. dilapidating hand of time. Great dity of any act which they offi- Babylon, the glory of the eastern, cially perform as servants of and proud Rome, the wonder of Christ, because they are the ser- the western world, are sunk into vants of Antichrist.
the gulf of oblivion. A few vesJanuary 4, 1826.
tiges only remain to sharpen the regrets and admonish the ambition
of succeeding generations. The MORTALITY AND IMMORTALITY. world passeth away, and the “ Were but one immortal, how would other fashion of it perishes: so that man envy,
cannot obtain in any of the works How would worlds adore.”
material, physical, or intellectual, THERE is something irresistibly which he may commit to posterity, humiliating in the universal empire that desired immortality which is of death. How like a dream does his constant and proudest aim; and it make this life feel, even while while neither the works of art, nor the reality of life's enjoyments is mysteries of science can offer present to every sense. So potent satisfaction to the unlimited amis its spell, that like a mighty en- bition of the human heart, so chantress, it bids all human glory neither can sense or reason prodepart, and turns to nothingness, mise the wished-for gratification. and a negation, all the bright scenes That nature with which, in geand living agencies of this mighty neral, the idea of pleasure is most earth. “. There is hope of a tree, strictly associated, is frail as a if it be cut down, that it will sprout flower of the field, and at its again, but man dieth and wasteth highest glory, like the blossoms of away,man giveth up the ghost, and spring, is nearest its fall. One where is he ?” The very thought generation passeth away, and anothat this fearful reality awaits every ther generation cometh, and we all living thing, and the absolute do fade as a leaf. Our fathers, where certainty that all these objects are they? and the prophets do which now appear, will soon be they live for ever ? Human life as though they had never been, is but a tale soon told ; its gayest seems to cast the dreariness of and brightest scenes but an amuse. winter over all the vernal creation ment which is speedily to termiof hope, and to spread the dark- nate, and from which the busy acness of a starless midnight over tors, and interested spectators are the proudest monuments of human soon to be hurried away; what greatness, and the fairest produc- question then to mortal man can tions of human genius. It en be so important as that which rewraps and covers all up with one lates to the condition of his mind vast funeral pall, and turns life it- when it has done with time, and self, with all its businesses, into a to the duration and character of mere ceremony of entombment. that state to which this life is but We may amuse ourselves with the vestibule and the prelude. That dreams of perpetuity, and may there is in man a mysterious somehope to live, at least, by our deeds, thing above that which time can and to build up a name which wear and death consume, and the shall defy forgetfulness. But the grave imprison, who can doubt, New Series, No. 19.