« PreviousContinue »
demns heathens, is plainly the moral law. And therefore to expect salvation by obedience to the moral law is absurd; for "by the" moral "law is the knowledge of sin." The moral law is emphatically "the ministration of condemnation.”.
Secondly, if we pride ourselves on observing the moral law, our boasting is greater than that of the man who prides himself on observing the ceremonial law; our boasting is greater than his in the proportion in which the moral is superior to the ceremonial law. "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of" ceremonial" works? nay." Of moral works? still less. It is excluded and it is excluded only" by the law of faith." (Rom. iii. 27.) "Therefore," since boasting must be excluded, and since it is excluded only by the law of faith, "we conclude" with the Apostle, "that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
The Church of England maintains this doctrine in opposition to the Church of Rome, and asserts that it is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort. Luther maintained this doctrine to be the criterion of a standing or a falling church. We must renounce all dependence upon our own good works, even our very best, in the matter of justification. Good works are so far from being the cause of our justification, that they are the effects of it, and are to the Christian, what fruit is to a tree. But the tree must be first planted, before it can bring forth fruit. In like manner a Christian is first justified, and united to Christ, by a living faith, and then by vir
tue of his union with Christ is enabled to bring forth fruit.
The words of the Apostle addressed to the Romish Church are applicable to every church and to every individual: THOU STANDEST BY FAITH. Had the Church of Rome attended to these words, we should not have had to record her doom.
The downfall of the Papacy and the unchurching of the Church of Rome will synchronize with the conversion of the Jews and their return to their own land. Then will be fulfilled the prophecy of Ezekiel : "I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my jndgments and do them, and ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your. fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God." (xxxvi. 24-28.)
THE SLAYING OF THE TWO WITNESSES. THE TWO WITNESSES SHEWN TO BE THE SCRIPTURES OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT
I AND POWER WAS GIVEN UNTO HIM TO CONTINUE
́(PRACTISE) FORTY AND TWO MONTHS."-Verse 5.
ONE of the last "practisings" of the Pope will be to destroy "the two Witnesses" who have borne their uniform PROTEST against Popery "forty and two months," or 1260 years, "clothed in sackcloth," We believe these two Witnesses to be the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament. They are represented as TWO PROTESTANTS, whose office it is to bear one continuous, uninterrupted, unflinching testimony against Popery. So that, if there had been no other Protestants in the world, God would have raised up two faithful monitors to warn mankind of the awful delusions of the great Antichrist.
In the eleventh chapter of Revelation we have a description of the character and office of these two Protestants. "And I will give power unto my two
Witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." In the year 727, when the Pope became "the eighth " head of Rome, and "the Dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority," the Scriptures were seen prophesying "in sackcloth." Gregory II. went in the very teeth of the second commandment, when he openly patronized the worship of images, and forbade their removal from the churches. When Innocent III. enforced the celibacy of the clergy with the sword, he went in the very teeth of St. Paul, for the precept of that Apostle is, A Bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife." "Let the Deacons be the husbands of one wife.
When Gregory VII. decreed that the services of the Church should be everywhere in Latin, he went in the very teeth of the same Apostle, who declares that, "in the Church he had rather speak five words with his understanding, that by his voice he might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue." Nor let it be supposed that only a few Pontiffs are found in opposition to Scripture. Every Pope goes in the very teeth of divine inspiration, when he upholds the system which enforces the continuance of Image-worship, the Celibacy of the clergy, and a Latin ritual throughout Christendom. It is in vain that Scripture and common sense raise their voice against these things; the system still continues: "the Witnesses prophesy in sackcloth."
Again the Scriptures in the Original tongues are superseded by the Latin Vulgate, which is declared
authentic in public lectures, disputations, sermons, and expositions, and none shall dare to refuse it. No deviation from this Vulgate is allowed; though by the way it deviates from itself, there being about 2000 different readings, being the Sextine and Clementine editions, so that every Roman Catholic comes under the Anathema either of Pope Sixtus V. or Pope Clement VIII. Not only is every Roman Catholic anathematized in one way or the other, but another serious evil arises from the Vulgate being declared alone authentic. Its translations, when erroneous, must be received under pain of anathema. For instance: the Vulgate declares that Matrimony is a great Sacrament;' whereas the Greek word is 'Mystery." This Vulgate supersedes not only the original Hebrew, but the Septuagint, which is quoted
in the New Testament. Thus Hebrew and Greek
must give way to Latin: and no wonder: since the Name of the Beast is Roman +. or (Latin +.) The Scriptures in the original tongues are slighted and in disgrace: the Witnesses prophesy in Sackcloth."
Again the Books called Apocrypha were never received by the Jews into the Canon of Holy Writ; yet the Romish Church fully admits them into the Canonical Books of the Old Testament. And as to Traditions, they are put on a footing with Scripture and are to be received pari reverentiá!
Thus Apocryphal Writings and Traditions are set side by side with Scripture. We can only compare this with placing Christ between two thieves! The Witnesses do indeed prophesy clothed in Sackcloth.