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Monday, September 25, 2017
Date Posted:

Gregory to Boniface
Rome On Orthodox Bloc
Put limbo into limbo
Paul VI and Aldo Moro
Break-Up Of Britain
Breach Wall of Secrecy
Crusade Is Faltering
Rome Dominating Europe
Father Christmas Bones
The Tainted Saint
Canonising John Paul
Rome Reaps What Sows
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The ‘Hell of Nuns’
Padre Pio Shrine
Unlikely Nun Supremo
Rome's Secret Weapon
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Irish Brigade In Italy
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Where Rome Is Wrong 3
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Where Rome Is Wrong 1
Athanasius ... Genius?
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1st Pillar of Popery 1
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Advance of Romanism: 1
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An Exposure of Popery
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Who Intercedes? - 5
Who Intercedes? - 4
Who Intercedes? - 3
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Jesuit Oath Exposed
Imagery - II
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Antichrist to Light
Saint Worship
Scarlet Woman
Indulgences - Tetzel
Christ and Pope
Relics of Rome
Refuge of Lies
Papal Infallibility
Rome's Immorality
Rome Unchanging
True Papal Church
The Mass

The Chamber of Imagery in the Church of Rome
[Part I of 2 parts]

The outward signs of false religion may be the same as the outward signs of the true.
Thomas E. Peck

[Thomas E. Peck (1822-1893) was one of the leaders of the Southern Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. He was in the same school as J.H. Thornwell and R.L. Dabney. He became 'the beloved Instructor' at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. He was an expositor of truth and an exegete of Scripture and was probably without a rival in his day. His resolute fidelity to Scripture was the secret of his Samson-like strength. His tongue was one of fire, and the men he instructed for the Gospel ministry partook of the sacred flame. His analysis of Popery and his Scriptural exposure of the same were masterly. Would that the fundamental Presbyterians of our day learned the lessons which he most ably taught. Peck's messages against the Roman Antichrist are as vital and timely now as they were when first delivered. His works have recently been republished in three volumes by the Banner of Truth Trust. (I have Anglicised the American spelling. – A. N.)]

One of the most striking features in the aspect of affairs in this country at present is the pervading curiosity of our people in reference to the doctrines of the Church of Rome; and the jealousy, almost universal, in regard to her designs and movements. The sagacious instincts of liberty, coupled with God's blessing upon the faithful and frequent warnings of some eminent patriots, endowed with a larger share of forecast than the mass of their generation, have detected dangers ahead, and the whole nation has been aroused and put in a posture of vigilance and defence. The social and political tendencies of Romanism; its ferocious opposition to civil and religious freedom, in principle, always and everywhere, in practice, whenever and wherever it has not been restrained by policy or power; its audacious interference with the law of marriage, as ordained of God, and as lying at the very foundation of all earthly and temporal relations; its universal and shameless disregard of personal and public morality; its implacable hostility to the best and highest interests of man, for the life that now is – all these aspects of this proud empire have been, of late years, so amply exposed, that thousands of Americans are now awake and watchful, who, not long ago, wore sleeping in the profoundest security, and crying, in their dreams, "peace! peace!"

But these are not the only, or oven the most important, aspects of this "mystery of iniquity". We ought to know it, not only as a tyranny or as an immorality, but also, and mainly, as a heresy – a heresy fundamental and fatal – fundamental in its denial and corruption of the gospel; fatal to the eternal happiness of mankind. All the dreadful names of infamy which may be justly heaped upon Rome are names of honour compared with that of ANTI-CHRIST – ANTI, in both senses of the preposition, against and in the place of; against, because in the place of CHRIST. It is the mystery of iniquity, because it sets itself against, and in the stead of, the mystery of godliness, " God manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." And unless we take this view of it, and learn to hate it in this view, there is no security against our falling, as a people, under the same dominion which has crushed the life and energy out of nearly all the nations of Christendom, and shut still faster and more hopelessly against them those gates of heaven which its keys were never able to open.


It is never to be forgotten that popery is a judicial infliction upon mankind on account of their unbelief. The advent of the man of sin is thus described by the pen of inspiration : "Whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all (deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." So long, therefore, as men refuse "to receive the love of the truth," they are in danger of falling under this blighting curse of a righteous Judge.

For when we in our viciousness grow hard,
Oh! misery on't, the wise gods seal our eyes,
In our own filth drop our clear judgements, make us
Adore our errors, laugh at us, while we strut
To our confusion.


No man is safe who is ignorant of the righteousness of God. The necessity of believing something, which is the fundamental and indestructible condition of intellectual activity, may at any time drive a man who has trifled with the majesty of truth and the principles of evidence into a communion which professes infallibly to decide all religious questions, and to relieve from all doubt in regard to a subject upon which all serious doubt must be agony. We are not at all surprised that men of the very first order of mind, and of the highest attainments in all the walks of merely human thought, should throw themselves into the arms of Rome. When Cicero wrote his Treatise on Pagan Theology, history informed him of but three speculative atheists. Since the light of Christianity has dawned upon the world they may be counted by hundreds. In heathendom, every man has a religion and observes some form of worship. In Christendom, there are tens of thousands who have none. Infidelity and superstition, all forms of unbelief, of disbelief, and of misbelief, grow from the same root, the carnal mind, which is enmity against God; they are the unclean birds of night which haunt the darkened shrine, the fallen columns and ruined walls of the human soul, which was created to be the temple of holiness and truth. "This is the condemnation," said he who knew what was in man, "that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved."

The darkness of popery has special charms for that class of unbelievers who, from the force of education or the natural effects of disappointment and misfortune, have been led to reflect upon their moral condition, and to listen to the voice of conscience. They long for a darkness in which the colours of truth and falsehood, of right and wrong, shall alike be lost; in which they may get rid, at once and forever, of the intolerable misery of thought and the harassing sense of responsibility; in which they may float smoothly along upon the current of impulse, appetite, and passion, with a comfortable persuasion that it can convey them to nothing worse than an ocean of purgatorial fire. "That is an affair of the priest," said the Belgic count, stained with a brother's blood, when urged to prepare for death. He had surrendered his private judgement, and consequently his responsibility. Alas! for the wretchedness of poor human nature, seeking to escape its doom by a voluntary surrender of all that made it the image and glory of God, and degrading itself to the level of the brutes that perish! This is the intellectual death which thousands have found, which thousands more have sought, but have not found, though they have dug for it as for hid treasures.


That which invests popery with this tremendous power to entrap and destroy, to blind and kill men, to buy and sell and make merchandise of their souls, is suggested in the title of this article. It is the chamber of imagery in the very temple of the Lord. It professes to hold the great principles of the gospel, but really denies them and tramples them under foot. Its real doctrines are the images of the true; its worship a counterfeit of the true worship of God. It becomes all things to all men in the largest sense: to the heathen as heathen, to the Christian as Christian, if by any means it may destroy some. The gilded crosses upon their temples reflect the earliest rays of the morning, and the last rays of the setting sun linger upon them; but the meaning of the symbol is, "Christ crucified afresh, and put to open shame", within the gloomy walls below. It professes to represent, by its external unity, the one only true church and body of Christ, out of whose pale there is no salvation; it is really the unity of a vast and complicated machine, in which immortal men are mercilessly ground to powder. It professes to be the pillar and ground of the truth; it is really the strongest prop and bulwark of Satan's kingdom on earth. It professes to be the church founded upon the rock; it is really the gates of hell.

It has been often observed that the majority of men look only at the outward signs of things. "The outward signs of a dull man and a wise man are the same, and so are the outward signs of a frivolous man and a witty man." And, in like manner, the outward signs of false religion may be the same as the outward signs of the true. The image and superscription of the spurious coin are accurately copied from the true. The misery is, that in the matter of religion men will not go to the trouble of weighing the coin in the scales of eternal truth; they are satisfied with the beauty of the stamp, and, as they find very little use for religion in the trade and business of life, the mistake is seldom discovered until they and their fancied wealth are together condemned and rejected in another world. The case is even stronger. than this. As it is by the outward signs they regulate their judgement, the more ostentatiously the signs are paraded by any form of religion, the fairer chance it has of being accepted as the true. Crosses, surplices, gowns, altars and what not, pass for religion, while the modest graces of the Spirit, faith, love, temperance, mercy and the rest, having no pomp and circumstance to recommend them, are overlooked and despised. It ought to make a man blush for his race, that bold, impudent and constant assertion of extraordinary and exclusive pretensions is, to so great an extent, successful in securing a passive acquiescence in such pretensions. We way remember, however, that the Pharisees, with their long robes, long faces and long prayers, boasting that they were the temple, and the only temple, of the Lord, were pronounced by him who read their hearts to be a generation of vipers that could not escape the damnation of hell. And yet they were adored by the multitude, who are ever ready to sell the truth and never ready to buy it.

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