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in the “ Pater noster,”-the “ Our Father” of God's children by the score, most impiously sets up the grossest idols of wood, stone, delf, pasteboard, and every material that can be wrought into form, in a building avowedly consecrated to His worship, putting upon him an insult so fraught with mockery, that to gloze over in a small measure its horrible character they are forced to add the audacious outrage of erasing from the table of the law what God's own finger deigned there to write! Is there a son or a daughter who, if à party of people assembled thus to insult their loving earthly father, would voluntarily mix themselves with the assemblage and look complacently on, and then return to the parent's bosom to tell him how they had been entertained ? I think not.
Jesus, our adored Redeemer, is called King. In the prophetic strain of the seer, again in the earliest days of his incarnation, again over the cross where he expiated our sins with his lifeblood, and again, when trampling all enemies under his feet, he shall take to him his giant power and reign, that name is peculiarly His. On his vesture and on his thigh it is written, “King OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Yea, he is the “King eternal, immortal, invisible,” yea, “the mighty God.” As such we own him; as such we worship before him: as such we look to Him, that he shall ere long make all the kingdoms of the world his own. This is our Lord, our Christ, our Redeemer, to whom, we cry be power and glory and dominion for ever and ever. A door stands open in our path; an assemblage of people is gathered within, they say they are worshipping our King Jesus. One man holds between his finger and thumb a lump of dough, a piece of senseless matter that first sprung from the rottenness of a manured field, ground by the miller, kneaded by the baker, and lastly, ornamented with a stamp from the figured mould: this wretched morsel of worthless trumpery he tells the prostrate crowd is Jesus. “The body, blood, soul, and divinity," as their blasphemous decree has it, of Jesus Christ: the very identical body, whole and entire, that was born of the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pilate, and has ascended to the right hand of the Father in heaven. Do you, who call yourself a subject of the King Messiah, flee with horror from such an aggravation of diabolical treason as one can hardly imagine even Satan himself could have devised? Oh, no: you look on, you don't kneel to the fearful caricature, but you shew all decent and decorous respect to the exhibitors, and carefully refrain from letting their wretched dupes see that you are shocked. Verily the rabble multitude who in ignorance wagged their heads at the crucified King, did not so wrong and grieve him as you do by this wilful connivance at a blasphemous farce.
The Holy Ghost is called “ the Spirit of Truth,” who " shall
lady, wholer Pilate, who you, whore from Seine even don't kncorous
guide you into all truth;" and what says he in reference to this subject? He tells you, speaking by holy men of old, how hateful to God is every species of idolatry; and then having by the mouth of one Apostle foreshewn in a vivid description the coming of “that wicked” the “man of sin, the son of perdition,” and drawn such a picture of him as resembles nothing but the Papacy, and is of it a perfect portrait, adding the unequivocal traits of " forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from merits," he exhorts you by another Apostle not to be partakers of her sins, that ye receive not of her plagues. He distinctly tells you that the power in whose temple you are not afraid to be found, is ANTICHRIST: he assures you that those worshippers on whom you complacently look are under “strong delusion that they should believe a lie, that they all might be damned who believe not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness.” These are fearful words; but they are the words of the Holy Ghost. And if you believe Him to be “the Spirit of truth," and that his office is to “guide you into all truth," do you not tremble to behold Him set forth, in defiance of his own awful prohibition, in a bodily form, and so worshipped promiscuously with a multitude of other senseless idols, by those who vaunt it as a fundamental doctrine of their creed, that the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.
There you see daubed the picture of a decrepid old man among clouds: who is it? God the Father. Yonder the priest elevates a thin cake of dough, and the people fall down before it, and call it God the Son. The resemblance of a bird is set forth hovering amid fictitious rays, and your miserable fellow creatures tell you it is God the Holy Ghost. The first and the last they indeed acknowledge to be only representations, but they bow down to them, they offer honours to them which we are commanded by the Holy Ghost to yield to the invisible Godhead alone; and they moreover give the lie most emphatically to the Spirit of Truth, by maintaining that the very natural body of Jesus Christ is visibly and substantially there present; and in every other place throughout the world where at the same moment the same exhibition is made; whereas the Holy Ghost positively declares that body is in heaven, there to remain until his second coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory: moreover it is utterly impossible that the same material body should be in two, not to say in ten thousand different places at one and the same time, so that if we believe what the Spirit of Truth has declared concerning Christ's present abode, we must disbelieve his testimony to the reality of Christ's natural flesh, and adopt the heresy that denies the incarnation
In such a frightful maze of impiety do the frequenters of the Mass-house involve themselves; yet how many do we find who, for POETRY.
the sake of enjoying a spectacle of noble architecture, or listening to the sounds of sweet music, will deliberately present themselves before the Lord as partakers in these sins, knowing them to be blasphemous sins, who would not for all the sculpture, all the painting, all the music in the world take their station among gamblers, drunkards, and obscene profligates, in the place of their accustomed orgies. Is an offence against the truth, the majesty, the holiness of God so much less flagitious in the sight of his people than an outrage on public morality or private decency? If the proprietors of a gin-palace were to engage the aid of the choral band, as they have already done that of the sculptor and painter, to render their abominable den attractive, would you go, would you permit your wife and daughters to go, and by their presence sanction the poor miserable victims who frequent it in their career of self-destruction? “The last of the eye" is a snare against which the Holy Spirit has warned us; for well did He who knoweth all things from the beginning, foresee the use that Satan would make of that particular vice, to promote his ends in deadening the souls of God's children to the horrors of Popery, by accustoming their eyes to its outward embellishments.
This is no light matter: the present increase of Mass-houses in the land is more than half owing to the countenance given by nominal Protestants to the work : and we may be assured that if we yield ourselves wantonly to the cravings of an unholy curiosity with regard to what is there to be seen and heard, God, whom we so greatly offend, will send us too ere long the “ strong delusion” to believe the “ lie” that is there taught. If the time thus perverted to a presumptuous tempting of the Lord our God, were employed in attempts to circulate the doctrine of salvation among the poor ignorant worshippers, whose deadly delusion is strengthened by seeing Protestants present at their rites, how blessed a result might we not expect!
the Lord out time thus
BURNING OF JOHN ROGERS,
(For the Protestant Magazine.)
" When death or danger hover'd near; “ Christ's soldier knows not how to yield,
“ Love has no fellowship with fear.
Vol. II.- February 1840.
" And ye who counsel flight beware
“ Of Popery's unholy arts;
“ For stern encounter nerve your hearts !" *
He shrunk not from his Master's woe,
Left all he cherish'd most below.t
To kindle many a heart that faints ;
In Heaven - The Murderer of the Saints.'
Oh! faithful Hooper! shepherd true and good,
Thy sacred vow full nobly didst thou keep ;
Thy truth to Him who set thee o'er his sheep.
So mild—so patient was its child-like grace;
Nor fear nor mercy in her bloody race. !
Gazing in death on that beloved spot ;3
The words thou spak'st thyself hast not forgot.
Its lingering agony has o'er thee shed ; ||
To fall asleep as child upon its bed.
* He said he deemed it the duty of himself and his brethren to stand like true soldiers by the Captain of their salvation, and not traitorously run out of his tents or out of the plain field from him in the most jeopardy of the battle. He chose to abide the worst; and in his last sermon at Paul's Cross, he exhorted the people to remain in such trúe doctrine as had been taught in King Edward's days, and to beware of all pestilent popery, idolatry, and superstition.-Southey's Book of the Church. 4th edit. p. 321.
+ His wife met him with her ten children, one hanging on the breast, as he went to Smithfield. That sight did not abate the cheerfulness of his courage. A pardon was offered him at the stake if he would recant: he steadily refused it; and, washing his hands in the flames as they flayed about him, took his death with so calm and resolute a patience, that many who were present blessed God for the support which had been vouchsafed him, and derived strength from his example.
Southey's Book of the Church, 329–30. § Gloucester Cathedral, where he was wont to preach.
|| His martyrdom was more severe than any during the Marian persecution.Southey, 331-2.
(For the Protestant Magazine.)
'Twas in a foreign land, beneath a dome all fretted o'er
Oh! think since England's Church wip'd off all Popish fictions vile,
In hidden places of our land our martyr'd fathers sleep,
AWAKE THOU THAT SLEEPEST,
(For the Protestant Magazine.)
Dwell no more at ease secure ;
Spreads around her treach'rous lure
To enslave our happy isle ;
Simple spirits to beguilé.
* Revelations, vi. 9, 10.
Revelations, xiv. 19, 20.
+ Revelations, xviii. 4.