« EelmineJätka »
how lamentably they differ from the decisions of the word of God; and he has, moreover, strengthened his own opinions by those of the Church of England, and of many pious writers, whose sentiments and language he has interwoven with his own. If right principles be the foundation of a holy life, and if the affections of the heart be influenced by the decisions of the judgment; the design of the Author cannot be unimportant or unnecessary at the present moment, when a spurious liberality would induce us to believe that bigots alone regard opinions and modes of faith, in opposition to that infallible testimony which declares, that
WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PLEASE
The Second Portion of this volume, which the Author commends, without comment, to the Reader's attention, will, with the History of the Church and Court of Rome, now in the Press, complete what may be termed a full, as well as accurate, view of the Papal System ; such as, the Author believes, cannot be elsewhere found within the same limits.
Melancholy, indeed, is the reality of that religion, which, even in description, excites our alternate regret and abhorrence; which kindles feelings of indignation at its daring triumphs over reason and common sense, whilst it awakens the deepest commiseration and sorrow that so many immortal souls, the subjects of its tyranny, should thus be led captive by Satan at his will. Surely of such a monstrous system of fraud,
ignorance, impiety, and imposition, no man, in the exercise of unprejudiced reason, can doubt the origin; this is not a religion which ever came down from heaven; it emanates, manifestly and solely, from the “FATHER OF LIES.” Its deluded votaries, in this transcript of their faith and discipline, must surely perceive that, amidst all their parade, pomp, and willworship, they are, at last, to be classed among those of whom it is said, “Ye worship ye know not what.” In these pages, the apologists of Papists may learn whether Popery is an evil; whether it has undergone any change in its spirit, since the days of Cranmer and Luther; whether it has yielded to the better knowledge of a more enlightened age; whether, casting off the mental shackles of ignorance and superstition, it has gone forth in the freshness and beauty of an emancipated mind; whether, in fact, awakening from its long night of darkness, it has, at length, addressed itself to the great and mighty purpose of rousing a slumbering world, long dead in trespasses and sins, to the “LIFE OF RIGHTEousNEss;" directing its hope and faith from every refuge of lies, to repose themselves entirely and exclusively, on the FREE GRACE of GoD, as displayed and exercised towards a guilty, apostate, and condemned race, in the person and atonement of the Lord JESUS CHRIST. Alas! however reluctantly the confession be made, the interests of truth demand the acknowledgement, that, in none of these things, has the Pope, or his Church, manifested the spirit of
Christ; in nothing have they shown that “old things have passed away.” The heart of the truly pious will not only mourn over such details, but will ardently desire, and cordially assist, in hastening forward that glorious aera, when the darkness of ignorance shall be superseded by the light of TRUTH; and the Glorious Gospel of THE BLEssed GoD shall for ever chase away the mists of error and superstition. Some apology, the Author feels to be due to the public for the imperfection of the present Volume, whose progress through the press has been attended by many unforseen and distressing circumstances; insomuch, that its publication would have been suspended, or, even altogether abandoned, had not every necessary arrangement been previously made, and the printing been actually commenced, before their occurrence. To the peculiar nature of these circumstances, it is not necessary further to allude, than to state, in order to bespeak the Reader's indulgence, that, whatever is painful in bodily affliction, mental disquietude, domestic calamity, and disappointed hopes, has frequently and unitedly compelled him to lay down his pen, in the almost utter hopelessness of ever resuming it. Some of these sufferings have been mercifully alleviated, or removed ; but there are sorrows which no time can heal,—griefs, which nothing but Omnipotence can solace,—and woes, which nothing but the grave can terminate. Beyond the limits of this world, however, the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, points to unfading joys, satisfying delights, and unalloyed pleasures, —to regions of bliss, where neither sin nor sorrow dwells, where no tear flows, and no anxiety is felt, L where the heart is never bowed down by care, nor the affections wounded by disappointment, where the consciousness of guilt inflicts no pang, excites no apprehension, and extorts no tear, where the happy family experienoes no bereavement, and separated friends are for ever united,—where the wearied spirit, no longer burdened by sin, and oppressed by sorrow, weeps no more. Supported, in some measure, by such consoling prospects, the Author has persevered in his undertaking, amidst many discouraging, and, apparently, adverse circumstances. Such as it is, together with its kindred publications,” the labor of many a painful hour, and the subject of many an anxious prayer, he now commends it to the candor of his Readers, and to the blessing of that God, whose glory it is principally designed to further.
* The History of the Church of Rome, in Two Volumes, 8vo., now far advanced at the press, but the publication of which unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances will retard, for a few weeks beyond the period at first announced; and the History of the Reformation in England and Germany, in One Volume, 8vo.. also in the Press.