Imágenes de páginas

and exclusive divine communications - The deity permitted, at that time, the existence of idolatry, as he still permits it, in many nations of the earth:-but St. Paul says, he looks at its existence now, in a very different light, from that, in which he viewed it formerly.—When “liberty was proclaimed to the captive, and " the opening the prison to them that were “bound," then also was sentence of “condein“nation and the vengeance of God pronounced “against the oppressor and the enemies of “ truth :"-othen, also, were men in every place cominanded to shake off and renounce their former errors, to turn from idols, and to worship God.- If Pharaoh, with all his host, suffered in the red sea, when endeavouring to prevent the Hebrew people from worshipping their God, in the place appointed thein, and whilst he was ignorant of the will of heaven concerning idol. atry, can any inan expect to escape the wrath of God, who knows his commands, and threatnings against this sin, and yet practises it him. self, and has pleasure in them that do the 6 same?'—Sins committed in ignorance, and sins committed in knowledge, are universally allowed to be of a very different die.—Every one capable of reading the gospel, knows that God alone is to be the object of the christians worship.-Who, then, are the greatest enemies of pure Christianity — Not beathens who never heard of it- not ignorant idolaters, who set their faces against it, when first proposed to them, ani re!use to admit it anongst thein, be. canse they do not understand it's nature and desiyo ;-but men, who have apostatized from the religion of Christ, and fallen back into the habit of breaking the second commandment, and by their example and power, compel millions of others to do the same — Is not such an apostacy, and the false worship beloaging to it, more batetul in the sight of God, tha's any of the idolatry of ol·l, which wils the effect of ignorance and barbarism?-If the scriptures are "searched,” their tenour and instructions upon this question, will be very evident;-and, as the more I observe the moral government of God, and those events which could not take place unless he was constantly attending to it, so, the more I am convinced the sacred writings contain his will and divine coinmunications, and that every word of inspiration will be exactly fồlfilled ; and also that soine signal calamity will befall, the great idolatrous apostacy of Rome and corrupt Christianity, sufficiently striking to bring the learned man of the world, out of his field of fanciful speculation concerning spiritual matters, and sufficiently obvious to make the superficial reader of the bible, and the common observer exclaim, this is certainly the 'execution of the righteous sentence of God, 'against the man of Sin, and his corrupt prac

tices, and abuse of his knowledge—this mes'senger of woe and destruction, is certainly • the destroying angel of God



If the bible is allowed by all who are ac. quainted with it, to contain the purest system of morals that was ever seen, and the only revelation that was made to man, a reference ought to be made to this high authority for inforination, in all controverted religious points, and in all cases connected with spiritual affairs-A decision formed, after proper consideration, upon the principles laid down in that wonderful book, can never be wrong.–Ought. not, then, the question, respecting the admiss. ion of Roman Catholics into situations, where they must necessarily have a greater intercourse with Protestants, than they at present have, and where the affairs and interests of the protestant church may occasionally call for their attention, to which they cannot be considered friendly, to be settled by a reference to the manner, in which Christ treated persons, whose religious opinions he condemned, and who in consequence conspired agairst, and put hiin to death · He shewed the greatest affection and regard for persons of all descriptions, who, witnessing the mighty works that he did, believed him to come from God; but, it will no where be found in his history, that he chose people for his disciples, or associated with them as particular friends, whose religious opinions, he was sent by his almighty father, to over

turu and destroy.-If his ineekness and humi. lity, are worthy our admiration and imitation, so are also his courage and inflexible determination to condemn error, and propagate the truth, though such conduct led him to the cross.-Had he temporised-had he been indif. ferent whether his countrymen adopted his perfect system of religion, or continued in that which they received from their fathers had he

associated with the great inen of his nation, and is winked at their ei roi's,"—then, if a faction of his enemies had seized him, and carried him before the Roman governor', when that corrupt judge said, “I find no fault in himn," there would have been found some of his friends, who would have raised their voices, and said, 'nei

ther do we find any fault in him. But, because, he insisted on purity in the inward parts, and proscribed false worsbip, in whomsoever it was found, when the day of adversity and severe trial arrived, he stood completely alone, an immoveable rock of truth, an illustrious ex. ample of opposition to every species of religious error ;-teaching his followers, never to give way to men, who hold doctrine repugnant to the word and commandments of God, but to oppose their pretensions, even at the hazard of persecution, or death in the most fearful forms.


Will Christians, who talk most loudly

against the want of candour and liberality iif the opposers of Catholic claims, venture to cordemn this language of Christ, when addressing the great men of his nation, who set biin and his doctrine at naught?-If gentleness and ina dulgence would have produced a better effect, he would never have made use of severity and rebuke.-His wisdom dictated the right mode of treating his countrymen, who, rooted in prejudice and error, scorned his lessons of instruction and knowledge, and rejected his glad tidings of life and immortality.-If the doctrine of Christ alone opens the gate into his kingdom, and if the church of Rome is not built upon that doctrine, what kind of conduct, and what sort of language, are the members of the church of Christ to make use of towards the Roman Catholics ?-Are they to speak of the religion of Rome as if it was equal in excellence to the religion of their divine master ;-are they to shew the same favours to the members of it, that they shew to those who know the truth and walk ir. it?-As Christ did not behave in such a inanner, to the corrupters of his heavenly father's religion,--are we to make allowance for, and shew indulgence to their errors-are we to observe a profonud silence concerning their false worship?-Christ did not act in this manner towards his countrymen, who preferred tradition, to the commandments of God, and external appearances, to internal wortb.-Are we to shrink back with fear, and meanly and

« AnteriorContinuar »