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"If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."— IsaiaH viii. 20.
THE PHARISEES OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
The Pharisees of old were notorious for their censoriousness of other poople, for their superstition and their carnal notions of God, and the things connected with his worship. We have Pharisees in this day; the race is not yet extinct. There is a sect amongst us, wflo are emphatically the Pharisees of the 19M century. As the Pharisees of old found fault with the disciples of our Lord, because "ley did not fast enough, or wash their hands enough, or observe outward forms and ceremonies with sufficient rigidity, the Pharisees of the 19th century do the same. They appear to dwell as much, and as strongly in leir writings, on the duty of the outward mortification of the body, as they do slightly, or not at all, on the far more important duty of mortifying the inward desires of the carnal mind, the risings of self-righteousness, and spiritual pride.
The Pharisees of the 19th century also mutate their predecessors in their childish superstition and reverence for outward wings. They appear to believe that candlesticks, marble floors, stone altars, symbolical ciphers, and peculiar apparel, confer pace and impart spiritual strength to the christian worshipper. What, for instance, caa be more absurdly ridiculous, or painfully
superstitious, than the following ? —Extract from the British Critic, No. 64, p. 463.
"We repeat, then, that we would rather see, on entering a church, nothing but the altar and its ornaments; the ministring priests and deacons, the pulpit, and whatever else is necessary; the naked floor, and the worshippers or hearers thereupon. There is a power and a teaching in that sacred floor, which is lost if it be hidden. It teaches deep humility, unyielding constancy, unwearied patience, changeless perpetuity. The worshipper should throw himself upon it, Tlarpov eV ovSei, as if it were the floor beneath the footstool of His Heavenly Father, by contact with which he every time derived new strength and succour. There is a virtue, by the same rule that there is a naturalness, in falling down on the very ground—the very lowest place that can be got at—when in the act of confession and supplication. Hence it is, that galleries are absurd and impossible as places of devotion; they seem contrary to humility. We have heard a clergyman, who in theory had very little respect for ritual and typical religion, say, that he really could not pray in a gallery. And therefore, if means allowed, that sacred floor wherein such power is found, ought to be made all bright and beauteous, as all things heavenly are."
It is marvellous how educated men in this
so-called enlightened age, can pen such consummate folly. But Tractarianism, like Popery, seems to require of its votaries the renunciation of their senses; and hence, nothing is too absurdly superstitious for the Pharisees of the 19th century.
PROTECTION OF POLYNESIA.
Tahiti and the neighbouring isles, commonly called the South Sea Islands, are spots rendered interesting and even dear to the Christian, the Philanthropist, and the Briton. In these islands, Christianity has gained a pure and noble triumph, one of the very greatest or most admirable of all her triumphs from the apostolic age to our own. Among these islanders lately sunk in universal ignorance, groveling idolatry, savage cruelty, disgusting sensuality, and deep misery,—there civilization and the arts of peace, following in the path of Christianity, have taken root, have grown up, and have borne fruit that has gladdened the very heart of Philanthropy. The great moral and mental change upon these islanders, has been wrought through the instrumentality of British Protestant Missionaries, men who, leaving the comforts of home, went to strange isles and barbarous tribes, to promote the eternal and temporal good of the islanders, having the book of God for their guide, the grace of God for their support, and love to God and man for their prompting principle. Christian, Philanthropist, Briton,—pray, and speak, and act for Polynesia! Of the glorious example there given of Christian influence and Missionary utility, Dr. Chalmers declared, "If philosophy had ever achieved such a triumph.... it would have been an event blown by the trumpet of fame throughout the world, and of which we should never have heard the last."
Alas! a cloud and a storm appear now to hover over these interesting and improving islands. I allude to what I am sorry to be compelled to term the unchristian, illiberal, and cruel conduet of the French naval force at Tahiti and elsewhere. According to the accounts, the French carried their point at Tahiti, through fraud and force—accompanied by sensuality.—The French admiral complained to the Tahitian queen of injuries that he could not prove! demanded damages that she could not pay!! and formally declared that if she did not either pay the damages, or sign away the real sovereignty to France, within twenty-four hours, (she then hourly expecting her confinement,—) he would open his fire, and destroy the whole
place! 11 How the affair reminds one of the fable of the Wolf and the Lamb!
We have to remember, however, that France was not alone in this act of wilful aggression on a powerless state, but was probably incited by the wily, sectarian, and bigotedly proselytyzing spirit of Rome. The proceeding was Romish as well as French; Rome being the head, and France the hand; Rome designing, and France effecting; Rome being the prime mover, and France the willing agent. The lamentable condition of Tahiti, exemplifies the hatred of Popery to pure Protestantism. There has been, not fair and generous rivalry, but a dishonorable effort to promote the dominion of the "Man of Sin," an effort made with fraud and force, and tending! to persecution.
If Great Britain did really undertake the protectorate of the isles, (as many affirm, and as I incline to think,) she is clearly bound by national honour and international law, to interfere, to protect their political independence, their commercial freedom, and their religious liberty, and to hinder Rome and France from domineering and tyrannizing over them.
But even if Great Britain did not undertake (either formally or virtually) to be their protector, and therefore even if she were not bound by national faith and international justice, to protect and defend them, she still ought to remonstrate with or to appeal to France, on the ground of international equity, and as acting on behalf of Christianity, civilization, and political good; or for the sake of "Peace, Liberty, Knowledge, Holiness, and Happiness." And as it appears that intervention availed to preserve the Sandwich Islands from papal and French domination, truly the decided interference of Great Britain would avail to save Tahiti and the other isles from the same twofold evil,
If England should decline the exclusive protectorate of these interesting islands, she could protect them in conjunction with other powers. Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Prussia would surely join her in the good work. America, the eldest daughter of England, America would probably join. So probably would Russia. So perhaps might Austria, Spain, and Portugal. So possibly might even France, if her good sense and good feeling were duly appealed to. God grant that France may, in the spirit of equity, generosity, and political virtue,— God grant that France may join England and other friendly powers, in this work great, good, and glorious!
The ground of this international union, the principle of the joint protection of Polynesia, should be that of international equity, or the equal right of all the powers to commercial and other intercourse with the protected isles. No power should have any exclusive advantage, the powers collectively guaranteeing to the isles, religious liberty, commercial freedom, and political independence. What a happy result ] "'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished!"
A few words on the political importance of Polynesia. Note three things. 1st . Soil and productions. The extent of soil of any one island, is indeed small; but that of all the islands altogether, is very considerable. The productions are coral, cotton, silk, fruits, corn, coffee, sugar, cattle, fish, oil, drugs, gum, minerals, rice, spices, &c. 2nd. Geographical position. This is favourable to commerce with South America, North America, China, the rest of eastern Asia, the Asian isles, New Holland, New Zealand, and so on. The grand communication across the isthmus of Panama, will add to the importance of the geographical position. 3rd. Long line of coast and Harbours. This advantage would render the islands a nursery for seamen.
I am, Sir, &c.
JOHN ROGERS, (Author of 'antx-popehy.') London, April 3, 1843.
ON THE AGENCY EMPLOYED TO OVERTHROW THE TRUTH.
By Mr. R. H. BINDEN.
(Continued from p. 28.)
As we have before shown, there was not any class in society secure against their destructive influence, so it is now. They will seek, and do seek, offices in the state, as ministers, judges, members of parliament; and men become candidates for any office of power in the country, by taking any oath that may be required of them: however strong and binding it may be to others, it cannot bind them, if the interests of Popery require it; and they scruple not at the means they employ, for the end will (say they) fully justify them. The Church is not secure against their inroads; their agency is already seen at work in the University of Oxford, and from thence throughout the empire, for the disunity of the Church, and the separation of its members, to its entire destruction, and the building of the synagogue of Satan upon its ruins.
Not only England, but other nations throughout the world, arc beginning to feel the effect of their operations. They can shout the cry of Liberty—become Repealers—Chartists—Socialists—or Republicans, so that the cause of Popery be advanced thereby. They so disguise themselves, that even the bosom friend of a family may be one of these agents of Satan, who lie in wait to deceive; the minister of a Protestant church or chapel may be a Jesuit, but "by their fruits ye shall know them ;" the adviser of the monarch may be a Jesuit; the highest judge on the judicial bench may be a Jesuit. No oath of our framing can bind them; they have before, and will again, give them to the winds; they regard them not unless approved of by the Pope and their general. All that is dear to us, as Protestant Christians, is open to the Jesuits. "Our strength is only in the Lord our God, who made heaven and earth." To him let us pray—From such secret and malignant foes, "good Lord, deliver us."
The progress of Popery throughout the world,—the various commotions in this country and in the colonies of this empire, —the disaffected state of mind observable in the Irish population,—and the various and recent conflicts between the papal and secular power in those countries, — are traceable to the workings of this order, and clearly indicate that all the religious privileges and the liberties of every nation on the face of the globe, are in imminent peril.
"Semper eadem" ever marks the career of Popery; she is not changed, and cannot change. Her object, though she may change her plan of attack, is still the same; nothing short of the subjugation of the whole world, will satisfy her ambition and lust of power, to the domination of her despotic rule, again to entangle the nations with the iron yoke of Popish bondage.
The peculiar dogmas of the execrable order of Jesuits will in some measure set forth their object, and the means they will take to accomplish their end. They hold, that it is lawful for a judge to decide for his private friend or favourite system; even by revoking his former judgment, so as to serve his friend, or advance a cause in which he may feel interested.
Again,—" That it is not sin for a man to steal any thing from another, if what he stole would have been given him had he asked for it, although the taking of it is contrary to the will of the owner:" therefore, they conclude, "no restitution is necessary." On the sin of homicide they declare, "that if any individual believes that a desire to commit homicide is no sin, then there is no actual sin in the desire." This is truly awful: the order of men that can receive and act upon this dogma, and the system that sanctions it, cannot and ought not for one moment to be tolerated by a Christian people.count of this discreditable outrage done to God's most Holy Word, and gratuitous insult to the feelings of our Protestant brethren in America:—
Of the rebellion of the priesthood, they affirm, "that the revolting of a cleric against a king is Not high treason, because the clerics are not the subjects of the sovereign, but of the church ;" and it must be remembered, that all the priesthood have sworn most solemnly to bow with implicit obedience to the Pope, as their spiritual and temporal head.
Bellarmine, a distinguished cardinal of very high repute in this system, in writing on the power of the Pope, declares that the spiritual power (or Pope) may remove any temporal obstacle to the exercise of his spiritual authority; and change kingdoms and give them to another, if he thinks it necessary for the salvation of souls," that is, the good of the church. "And," he continues, "Christians cannot be suffered to Tolerate an infidel or heretical king—it is for the Sovereign Pontiff to decide on the deposition of a king; and if the Christians of old did
not depose Nero, Diocletian, Julian the Apostate, and Valens the Arian, it was because they had not the Power." We do well to tremble for our country, sovereign, and liberties, when an order of men are let loose upon the quiet and unsuspecting people of this country, holding such doctrines as these, for the attainment of such an object. Are they merely obsolete opinions of a few of the doctors and writers of Rome 1 or are these doctrines held in abhorrence by this system at the present time ?—certainly not. She claims infallibility; therefore, if she once held them right, and put them into practice, she will most assuredly not scruple to do the same at the fitting opportunity. Her claims are still the same; her objects, her means, her end unchanged. Every occurrence, and every day's experience, proves the danger to be approaching nearer and nearer to our beloved sovereign, country, and religion. The approaching storm from the west is now indicated by the "man's hand" rising from the troubled waters, which will not cease until it has risen to its full growth, and hath filled up the cup of its abominations even to overflowing, and so prepared for its final overthrow.
"Some five or six bibles, as we" (the Cincinnati Catholic Telegraph) "have heard, were burned in Canada by the advice, it is said, of a Canadian priest. Others think it took place in New York, somewhere near the boundary line. Wherever it occurred, it was certainly wrong, but for this reason only, that it offended the prejudices of the Protestant community. No doubt Catholics had been grievously insulted by having those spurious and mutilated editions of the Scriptures forced upon their families; but still they should not have committed them publicly to the flames. Those impudent people, who frequent Catholic houses to insult the inmates, by offering them their false copies of the Word of God, ought to be hereafter warned by parents and guardians of youth to desist; and if they persevere, then let their bocks and tracts be thrown after them into the streets."
So then, according to these Popish writers, it is right to burn the bible; only it should not be done publicly, for fear of offending the prejudices of Protestants I The idea of calling the Protestant version of the bible spurious, is absurd. The Church of Rome has never yet given her children an authorized version of the Scriptures; and the versions generally known as Roman Catholic versions, are most of them mutilated and perverted in the most shameless way, for the express purpose of bolstering up the peculiar dogmas of the Papacy. The Papists call the Protestant version "mutilated," because it has not in it the apocryphal stories of Bel and the Dragon and Susannah and the Elders. Is this any reason why it should be bumed? Rather the reverse. Supposing the apocryphal books all inspired — which they evidently are not, seeing that they contradict themselves, and recommend the awful crime of suicide—what then ?—would it be right to burn a Bible which did not possess those books? Certainly not . Shall we burn all the New Testaments in circulation because they have not the Old Testament bound up with them? The idea is absurd. But the apocryphal books are not the word of God, and the Papists sin against •he Holy Ghost in printing them with the Bible.
In the foregoing extract, it appears that Roman Catholics consider it an insult to be offered a Bible. Is this the reason why the Church of Rome has never yet presented her followers with a Bible 1 It would be an
insult to them. Of course it would. They are far wiser than Protestants, and know what tells for or against their system. We Could not have a better test to try churches by, than their treatment and appreciation of God's word. Let a Protestant go to a Popish priest and ask him for the best book to guide him to the true church—what will he give him ?—the Bible? Not he—he would not give it him for the world. He would give him some of the jesuitical writings of Popish doctors, who studied all their lives how to make the worse appear the better cause. But just let a poor Papist go to a Protestant minister of Christ and ask him for the best book to guide him to the true church, and what will he immediately, without the least hesitation, give him? Not subtle works of man's writing, but the blessed book of books —the Bible. The Protestant churches are not afraid of being tried by the touchstone of the inspired volume, but Rome is. What is the reason 1 Simply because the Church of Rome is throughout opposed to the clear tenor of Scripture; while the Bible, and the Bible alone, is the religion of Protestants.
A Scottish nobleman, of the Roman Catholic persuasion, lived a very retired life, and left his affairs very much in the hands of others. One of his tenantry, whom we will call Donald, rented a farm, upon which his forefathers had lived for above two hundred years. The lease which he held was on the point of expiring, and the steward refused to allow Donald a renewal, wishing to put the farm into the hands of a friend of his own. Poor Donald tried every argument in his power with the steward, but in vain; at length he bent his steps to the castle, determined to make his case known to his lordship. Here again he was repulsed; the porter had received orders from the steward and refused him admittance.
Donald turned away almost in despair, and resolved upon a bold measure as his only chance of success. He climbed the garden wall in an unfrequented part, and entered the house by a private door. It so happened that no person was in this portion of the building, and Donald wandered on, fearing to meet a repulse, but determined to persevere. At length he approached the private apartments of the nobleman; he heard a voice, and drawing near, found that it was his lordship's, and that he was engaged in prayer. Retiring to a short distance, he waited till the prayer was concluded, and could not but hear his lordship