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These Discourses were delivered by the Author to his Congregation some time ago. The two-fold object which he had in view in preaching them, is stated in the Introduction; and if they shall now be made, in any degree, the means of accomplishing that object in a wider sphere, the design of their publication will be realized.
REV. XVIII. 21-24.
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers and musicians, and of pipers and trumpeters, shall be found no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee: And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
In discoursing to you, at this time, from these words, there are two objects which I have particularly in view :
I. I wish to have my hearers deeply convinced of the real character of Popery. This, it is obvious to every person of discernment, is greatly lost sight of by multitudes of Protestants in present times. We have long dwelt amid the light and the blissful privileges of the Reformation, and have never beheld, in its unveiled deformity, the system beneath which, for hundreds of years, our forefathers groaned. In consequence of
this, utter ignorance of the real character of Popery widely prevails; whilst, in recent discussions that have taken place on this subject, infidel men, ignorant and reckless, in order to promote their favourite designs, have declaimed about the Catholic faith, as merely one of the various forms of Christianity that exist, equally harmless, and equally entitled as the others to the benevolent opinion of mankind.
It is, unquestionably, the duty of the ministers of religion, as they value the interests of the immortal souls that are under their care, to furnish their people with an antidote to these false and pernicious sentiments-to exhibit before them, in its native deformity, the God-dishonouring, and soul-ruining character of the Antichristian faith-and thus to warn them against giving it their countenance, and enable them, with meekness, to give to every one that asketh a reason of the hope that is in them.
The system of the Papal Church is full of dishonour towards God, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and full of peril to the temporal and spiritual welfare of mankind: and, surely, that servant of the Lord Jesus does ill discharge his obligations to his divine Master, who, when this enemy threatens to " come in like a flood," is not careful to "lift up," in his place, a standard against him!" "Son of man," says our Lord to each of his servants, "I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore, hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me."