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themselves with the general mass of the people, and worming themselves into every nook and privacy of society. The children of this world—they are wise in their generation. Cold as gunpowder to the touch, they yet possess a vast portion of latent caloric, and are ready by every friction to fire and blow up communities : although they will not now find the intensity of moral darkness aiding them as in former days yet as an integral limb-as the very wisdom of the Beast, their existence ought to exact decision of prin ciple in opposing the whole system of iniquity, especially from those who are as the lights of the world
There is great danger of a specious charity and liberality of sentiment prevailing in present times : resting satisfied with what our predecessors have accomplished in the cause of truth is more generally practised than is always apprehended. We are too ready to sit down, seeking our own ease, and indulging the hope that all which our fathers did in renouncing the Romish communion, and publishing to the world their reasons for such a course of conduct, is sufficient; and that the line of demarcation is so obviously and distinctly traced, that we see no reason for reviving a controversy with that church: particularly since many of her abominations against which the reformers and their immediate successors so strongly and justly inveighed, have now disappeared, and the spirit of toleration is better understood and practised among the Papists than in the days of the reformation.
However this reasoning might suit the convenience of such as live in purified Christian countries, and satisfy such as please to bask in the quiet sunshine of personal enjoyment, it would have a most injurious influence were it to operate in popish and heathen countries. The church of Rome did make the experiment, and attempted to disciple heathen nations to her creed. She has left the dark vestiges of her bloody course in these countries, she has left too the symptoms of a perfect failure. To strengthen her centre, like her earthly prototype in its decline, she has withdrawn her distant agents and emissaries. In the mean time a new impetus has been received by the Protestant church. Her servants have gone forth under other auspices; guided by nobler principles, they have adopted other but bolder plans : success begins to dawn upon them, and some portion of this success has been obtained among the subjects of the Pope.
On the one hand, jealousy has been created, and with a malicious and wishful look does the Romish church regard the fields she has possessed, and the captives she had led. On the other hand, the different principles of the reformed church demand of her servants, that they be jealous for the glory of the Lord their God, that they wash away the stigma which has fallen upon his cause by popish assumption, and that they show to the world what are the statutes and ordinances of their king. In the reception of Roman Catholic converts, an opportunity is afforded. The way of principle of Scripture should be followed. A question has gone forth very generally among Missionaries. It appears of great moment. What is the course now to be pursued? Whilst some have proposed one way, and some have adopted another, the writers of this paper would submit whether re-baptism is not the only legal and scriptural mode. As by baptizing them, we openly and decidedly avow the important truth of our principles, that the church of Rome is like that Amalek of old, with which we should consider ourselves solemnly bound not to live a moment in peace, because our God has determined and threatened to blot out her name from under heaven. “ The church of Rome (says Flavel) is like nettles, handle them slightly and they sting you severely-hold them firmly and they cannot injure.”
All Protestants believe that the church of Rome is antichristian, that she is exclusively defined by the “ mystery of iniquity," perfected, and that “wicked one,” to be revealed, “ whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.” (2 Thess. ii. 7–10.) And spoken of as the “woman arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls : having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication, and upon whose forehead a name is written, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth, who is drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.” (Rev. xvii. 4–6.) That system, according to the Scripture representation, is incurably corrupt, and inevitable destruction is its portion. The writers of this paper do not enter into the arcanum of controversy respecting the moral and spiritual condition of individuals in that community. It is not to sit in judgment on man, but to consider the system received and maintained by that church which is openly and decidedly condemned in the word of God. All who fear Jehovah are commanded to separate themselves from her, lest they should partake in her sins, and be involved in her plagues. (Rev. xviii. 4—6.) It would be a mere waste of time to enter formally into the debate with Protestants, in order to convince them of the propriety and necessity of leaving the Romish church. It has been attempted to be proved, that the character of the Romish hierarchy is changed, and therefore separation from her communion is less necessary. But however plausible and well calculated to set the mind at rest such reasoning may be, it is to be feared that this security, from dangerous innovation, and a return to that long and black night of moral darkness which matured that mass of superstition, is not well founded. It is readily acceded that we are not able to trace the footsteps of that church during the recent triumphs of popery by the blood of the saints, but does this difference in the history of Antichrist arise from a reformation of Spirit, or circumstances adventitious ? The latter we apprehend
is the case. The rapid spread of Deism and appearance of Atheism in France, after the night of persecution and horror in that country, the progress of knowledge and French philosophy over Europe, the suppression of the Jesuits, and the great and unprecedented political agitations throughout Europe, in which the church of Rome was particularly involved, have certainly given a check to the audacious spirit of Popery, and for a season gave a moderation to its language, but no real reform has been effected--no cure! The tiger has only been in chains. Now, when she begins to breathe, and finds by the return of peace that all is not lost, she cherishes the same determined hostility to pure and undefiled religion. She assumes the same tone of infallibility. She thunders from her high throne, in which she sits as queen, the same damnatory fulminations against readers and circulators of the Holy Scriptures, and she seeks to excite, in the breast of her clergy and kings, who have given their power and kingdom to the beast, the same active malignity, and opposition to every thing good and holy, which characterized them before and after the reformation.
In 1762, the Jesuits were put down, not by any violent act of confederated princes against that infamous order, but by the authority of Clement XIV. It is well known that he employed four years in discussing the subject, and then deliberately acquiesced in the suppression of this society, which had, by the