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THE BANEFUL INFLUENCE OF POPERY. The influence of Popery is evil, always and everywhere. See the testimony of the most eminent men of our time.
Lord Macaulay says—“Throughout Christendom. whatever advance has been made in knowledge, in wealth, and in the arts of life, has been made in spite of her, the Papacy, and has everywhere been in inverse proportion to her power. The loveliest provinces in Europe have, under her rule, been sunk in poverty, in political servitude, and in intellectual torpor; while Protestant countries, once proverbial for sterility and barbarism, have been turned by skill and industry into gardens, and can boast of a long list of heroes, statesmen, philosophers, and poets."
The opinion of Bishop Burnet—“ Learn to view Popery in a true light, as a conspiracy to exalt the power of the clergy, by offering to the world another method of being saved besides that presented by the Gospel. Popery is a mass of impostures, supported by men who manage them with great advantage, and impose them with inexpressible severity on those who dare call anything in question that they dictate to them.”
Milton's opinion—"Popery is a double thing to deal with, and claims a two-fold power-ecclesiastical and political—both usurped, and one supporting the other."
Canon Melville says—“Make peace if you will with Popery; receive it into your senate, in your chamber; plant it in your
; hearts ; but be
certain -as certain as there is a heaven above you, and a God over you—that the Popery thus honoured and embraced is the very Popery that was loathed and degraded by the holiest of your fathers, the same which lorded it over kings, assumed the prerogative of Deity, crushed human liberty, and slew the saints of God.”
JESUITS. WE leave our readers to surmise if, and how far, the following letter may be justly applied at the present time. It was written by a Jesuit agent of the name of Fagan, to the Sacred and Holy Society of Jesus, at Paris, dated May 13th, 1642 :
“ REV. SIRS,—We doubt not but to make a great progress in what we have undertaken. We have put the mobile out of conceit with Canterbury, the head of their heretical Episcopacy, and doubt not in time to perfect our designs through factions between themselves. It must not be totally arms that can conquer heresy, as you have advised, but separation, which has prevailed much of late.
We be encouraging the Independents
purposely to balance the sects, lest they grow too ponderous, high, and lofty; and, as we shall find them also, we shalí encourage the Anabaptists, knowing all these are a distraction in a heretical monarchy.
We entreat you to signify to the Convent that we want wise, learned, and subtle scholars to come and assist these new sects, that they may be still at variance. . The old cub, Canterbury, suspects not the Church Catholic in the least, but is irveterate against the Puritan sort, and they against him.
We seem very civil to him, and cherish him against the Puritans, whilst we visit him, so that he dreams not how the net is spread to catch him.”
[We leave our readers to reflect how far the above is literally true to-day.--ED.]
LORD QUEENSBERRY AND THE HOUSE OF LORDS. THE Marquis of Queensberry, speaking at the opening of a branch of the Secular Union at Stockport, said that he had been excluded from the House of Lords for his opinions. This
representation of his own case had led to its being said that he was an atheist, and denied the existence of God; whereas, on the contrary, he being an agnostic, had never expressed an opinion as to the being of a God, believing the problem too abstruse to be solved by man in his present state.
Well may it be asked in Holy Writ, “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world ?” (1 Cor. i. 20.) The above fact is one of many now frequently passing under our notice, which prove that the world by wisdom knows not God, and that even the learned and the great, untaught by the Spirit of God, professing to be wise, manifest themselves to be fools when they attempt to speak of matters which concern the souls of men. Here is a nobleman professing not to know whether there be a God, and believing it impossible for man in his present state to solve the question. Believers know that man, by searching, cannot find out God, but they also know that
He manifests Himself to His saints as He does not to the world. They are brought by His teaching to know Him in His Word, feel His power, grace, love, and presence in their hearts, and by faith to commune with Him at the throne of grace, so as to be assured of His existence and His friendship, for " he that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself” (1 John v. 10). Happy are they who, receiving the remission of sin through faith in Jesus, can say, "I know whom I have believed” (2 Tim. i. 12). They are not like the poor wretches who, after having disowned and denied God and His truth, are in no better a position at the best than one who confessed, when he was dying, that he was about to take a leap in the dark. This is the best that agnostics like the Marquis of Queensberry can hope for or promise to their disciples. May the Lord preserve our children from the teachings of all such men, whose wisdom “is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. iii. 19). Against such a know-nothing system we hope to wield our pen, and warn our readers, the young especially ; and we trust that we shall have the prayers and help of all who love the Lord and wish well to their fellow-creatures.
Reader, remember that an “agnostic” is a know-nothing as to God and the future—a polite phase, this, of the soul-destroying infidelity which is spreading so rapidly in our midst. Let us seek to spread “the truth as it is in Jesus.”
WHAT THE BISHOP OF MEATH SAW IN MADRID.
Norwich, October 12th, 1882. SIR,—The following extract from Light and Truth, contributed by the Bishop of Meath, in the early part of the present year (during a visit to Spain and Portugal), will, I think, prove interesting to your readers, as an example of the kind of teaching still prevalent in dark, benighted Spain, and what we might expect to see in this country also, if ever we are again brought into bondage by the apostate “Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth ;' and which seems not impossible, if we go on at the rate we are now travelling, but which may God forbid !
I am, sir, yours faithfully,
E. HARWARD SMITH. “ On leaving the church, Pastor Fliedner brought me to the door of a Roman chapel, in an adjoining street, and pointed to a notice that was nailed upon it in a prominent position, so as to catch the eye of every passer-by. On examining it, I found engraved upon it the outline of the sole of a shoe, and an address to the faithful, stating that this outline was the exact measure of the sole of the blessed Virgin Mary's slippers; that it had been declared to be so by Pope Alexander XXII., and that his witness had been subsequently confirmed by another Pontiff. It was further announced in the notice that all who should kiss the engraving and repeat an Ave Maria, would thereby secure for themselves or for their friends an indulgence from Purgatory of three hundred years! What an example of the teaching which these poor people receive!”
THOUGH now thy
heart be full of fear, Jesus will bring His mercy near.
LETTERS FOR THE YOUNG.–No. XXXII. MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND, —Yesterday, as I sat in chapel, a thought of you came across my mind, and I felt determined to write to you again, for since I read your last two letters to me, I have been encouraged to hope there is something good in
you towards the Lord God of Israel. Oh, dear friend, salvation is a wonderful thing indeed-yea, salvation is a glorious blessing. Salvation from the solemn consequences of sin and guilt, into which we are all brought through the fall of our first parent Adam, is a greater mercy than mortal tongues will ever be able to express or heart conceive. Oh, how far from God is the human heart gone! It reads in the Psalms, “ The Lord looked down from heaven, to see if there were any that did seek after God; and, behold, they were all gone out of the way; there were none that did good, no, not one. They were all corrupt and become abominable.
All men, in the state in which they are born, are vile and hateful in the sight of God, and all their “righteousness is as filthy rags," and "they go astray from the womb, telling lies." Oh, how exposed to the wrath of God and eternal damnation is the unrenewed sinner! Well may the great Redeemer say as He did to Nicodemus, “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;" and, again, “Except ye be converted, and become as a little child, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Oh, the solemn thought of being shut out! You have many times helped us to sing this hymn
“When Thou, my righteous Judge, shalt come
Shall I amongst them stand ?
Be found at Thy right hand ?
Though vilest of them all ;
This, my dear young friend, is the language of the soul seeking salvation. He is brought to feel it is a bitter thing to sin against God; and that to die without God, without being “born again," will leave him without hope in that solemn hour.
The weight of eternal things was laid upon my mind in a solemn manner when about nineteen years of age, at which time I
was greatly bent upon the pleasures of sin, especially song singing, and it was a trial indeed to forsake it; and, after I felt the guilt of it, I many times became ensnared, which so troubled my mind that often I have sought out a lonely spot, where no human eye could see me or ear hear
my prayer to the God of mercy and goodness, that He would indeed have mercy ur a poor guilty sinner like me, and deliver me from the power of sin, and save my soul with an everlasting salvation, and give me grace to walk in His ways and serve Him in righteousness and true holiness. At that age I was sorely tried and tempted by the great arch-enemy of souls, “who goeth about
a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." I have crept into hovels and barns, stone pits and gravel pits, under walls and hedges, into woods and plantations, and into remote corners of the fields, to call upon the great God who made heaven and earth, that He would have mercy upon and deliver me from the power of a tempting devil, and hold me back from the fulfilment and desires of my own wicked heart.
Oh, dear friend, how true it is, - The heart of man is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked,” ever prone to sin and folly! But the fear of God being put into the heart, will ultimately preserve the soul, through the blood and righteousness of the glorious Redeemer Christ Jesus, from the damning power of
It is written, “By humility and the fear of God are riches, and honour, and life.” What can we want beside ? The Scriptures are filled with many great and precious promises to the man who truly fears the Lord.
My dear friend, matter still flows fast, but time and space will not allow of my penning more this time. Your dear father appeared pretty well on Sunday. Our anniversary was on the 15th. Mr. D. Keevil preached. We sang our old favourite, “ The Resolve." Yours to serve in the fear of God, Milton, October 23rd, 1876.
It is a vain tempting of God to cast ourselves upon an immediate provision, with neglect of common means.—Bishop Hall.
FEARFULLY and wonderfully am I made, and designed for nobler ends anil uses than for a few days to eat, and drink, and sleep, and talk, and die. My soul is of more value than ten thousand worlds : “What shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?”-Flavel.
ERRATA.-In the Sower for December, 1882, page 347, fourth line from bottom, instead of " at Lewes,” read, near Lewes ; page 348, line twenty-two from top instead of “ September," read October.