« ÖncekiDevam »
workings of their “Institute," as commenced by the preliminary step in a vigorous career of persecution, of which Mr. Stowell was the selected victim. Look, too, within; see the rapid spread of Puseyism, daily lengthening its cords and strengthening its stakes within the sanctuary; the defacing of our churches by pictures and other fooleries, even more wicked than they are vain. Nay, the Christian Knowledge Society is wofully thrown off its guard, threatening us with an edition of the Bible, to be so defaced by Popish embellishments as to carry the poison among every class of society. The prints are of a most exceptionable character; and we know how much stress is laid by the teachers of that iniquitous system on pictorial representations as being a broad step towards image worship. Look where we will, a leaning to Popish practices meets us; and they well know how to turn to the best account every inch of ground thus surrendered.'
It cannot, I fear, be denied that the tide of Papal innovation continues to flow in on us with no sign of turning If we wait for its ebbing before we commence operations against it, we are likely to wait until every foot of ground is submerged beneath the flood. There is an evident gathering together of all its forces, an onward movement indicating vast depth of design, as though a master mind were at work, wielding instruments perhaps themselves unconscious of the uses to which they are put, like a skilful general on the eve of a battle, the plan of which he has conceived in his own thought, who concentrates the various troops by manoeuvres of which they know not the ulterior object.'
'It is even so: we are assured that a last vigorous
struggle shall be made by the Romish Antichrist previous to the final destruction to which he is doomed ; and great is their danger whom he finds regardless of the cautionary injunction to watch and to keep their garments with especial care because of the Lord's speedy coming. We shall see a much greater advancement of the bad cause, no doubt; more extensive power will be grasped ; he will practise more freely and prosper more triumphantly, and trouble the church of Christ to a far greater extent. This we must expect, but because we expect it, are we therefore to acquiesce in the evil? No; our bounden duty is to contend, and to contend earnestly against whatever opposes itself to the faith once delivered to the saints, We read of a standard to be lifted up against the enemy when he thus comes in; but that standard is not a fag of truce; we read of a greeting to be sent into the hostile camp, but that greeting is a summons to God's people to come out thence, and forsake the sins, that they may escape the impending plagues of Rome. I cannot in my Bible find a single passage whereon to found a plea, I will not say for compromise, but even for a moment of quiescent repose while the enemy occupies a post within our lines. At every point I would meet him; at every point I would resist him; and especially would I bear in mind that the construction wbich we may put on the prophetic word ought never to have the effect of weakening our hands in the battle, howsoever it may prepare us to meet a further trial of our patience and faithi'
'I remember, uncle, in 1829, some good people argued in favor of non-resistance against the Popish Bill on the ground of these predictions. They said,
If God has deemed to the apostacy a further advancement among us, of what avail is our opposition. Can any thing come to pass that he has not commanded ?'
• It is a pity that good people are not always wise people. The same argument would justify our noninterference no less in a case of individual than of national suicide. With the Lord alone rests the power of life and death ; why, therefore, if I see a man pointing the muzzle, of a pistol at his own or his neighbour's head, should I interfere to baffle his aim? Humanity starts back from such a line of argument; and religion, which teaches the doctrine, repudiates the inference. Let us not therefore delude ourselves in a matter of such moment to the church and country. They who, through faith, turned to ght the armies of the aliens, held a different view of personal, national and spiritual obligations.'
Well, uncle, we have arrived nearly at the close of a year most remarkable for the change that it has wrought in the world's aspect. Hitherto hath the Lord helped us; and so long as he leaves among us an actively protesting people we have a fair token that he will help us still. At this moment I believe the main strength of the cause lies among the operative classes, who are banding themselves on Protestant principles; they are a plain-seeing and a plaindealing race of men, forming a link of mighty value and importance between two classes not easily brought into juxta position ; and they are so mingled with the lump that most requires leavening as to work with the greatest efficacy there. I should say to any among the higher ranks in life who desire to help the good cause, but do not know how, Turn
tention to this very numerous class ; acquaint yourself with the plan of those associations already in operation, and devote your efforts either to supporting them or to forming somewhat of the same kind in your own neighbourhood. Whosoever has a mind to the work will find enough to do; and perhaps we may see the Lord blessing our bumble efforts beyond what we have either asked or thought.—“Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.” »
We solicit the attention of our friends to the ‘ Protestant Almanack, published by Mr. Crisp of Liverpool. It is a decided improvement on that of last year, containing, besides original embellishments, a great deal of information, and much spirit-stirring matter. The broad sheet is well worthy of being framed, as a most appropriate ornament to a Protestant study.