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Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Date Posted:
8/18/2004


Are We To Lose Our Protestant Heritage Forever?


Chapter 8

We have a great, grand and glorious heritage ‑ the heritage of Bible Protestantism. Its greatness can be seen in what it has delivered us from, the tyranny of priestcraft and the chains of popery.  Its grandeur is manifested in what we have been delivered to, the liberty of the gospel and the freedom of the firstborn sons of God.  Its glory is displayed in the fact that all its blessings, privileges and benefits become ours by grace, free grace alone.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8, 9.

We are now going to survey this heritage, looking upon it as a rich estate, a great dominion, a bounteous principality, or as a vast kingdom to which we have become heirs.  As we traverse its length and breadth and like the Israelite spies of old, study its richness and partake of its bounty, may the fact that it is ours, ours by God’s free gift, ours by birth, ours to appropriate, ours to enjoy, yes and ours to preserve, captivate our hearts and minds.  May our sin never be that of Esau, to barter our heritage for a morsel of meat, and then find no place for repentance though we seek it earnestly with tears.

TRUE PROTESTANTISM - BIBLE CHRISTIANITY

At the outset, let it be said with great plainness and straightforwardness of speech that true Protestantism is Bible Christianity, the Christianity of the Bible.  Protestantism is Christianity, the Christianity of Christ.  Protestantism is Christianity, the Christianity of the Apostles.  Protestantism is Christianity, the Christianity of the Early Church.  Protestantism is nothing less and nothing more than that Holy Religion revealed supernaturally to mankind in the pages of the Inspired Word and centered and circumscribed in the glorious adorable Person of the Incarnate Word, our Lord Jesus Christ.

How easily many professed evangelicals have swallowed the sugar-coated pill of Rome’s propaganda and adopting a superior manner with arrogant airs, assure the world, “We are just Christians, we are not Protestants.”  Poor fools, they know not what they say nor whereof they affirm.  They are the joy of the pope and the sorrow of heaven.  The root meaning of the word Protestant is “a witness for”, and any who claim to be Christians and yet affirm that they are not witnesses for Christ only indict their own souls.  Away with such talk, “I am a Christian but not a Protestant.”  It is an outgrowth of conditioning by Romish propaganda.  As a Christian I must be a Protestant and if I am not a Protestant, that is, a witness for Christ, then let it be said, I cannot be a Christian.  As it is impossible to be a Christian antichristian, so it is impossible to be a Christian and not a Protestant.

As for those who claim to be Protestants but freely confess they are not born again Christians you also are in grave error.  You have a form of godliness but by such a confession you deny the power thereof.  You cannot be a real true and faithful Protestant until you are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who alone can make effectual protest in this world against the powers of sin and popery.  You must come to the cross and there receive eternal pardon from the Great High Priest before you can be numbered in the ranks of the true protesters.  Hosts of professed Protestants, unregenerate and uncleansed, are as nothing to the power of the Roman antichrist.  Gideon’s band of real Spirit-indwelt protesters are a terror to the papacy.  It was of such that Cromwell’s Ironsides were recruited.  No wonder as they celebrated victory after victory they could say of their fallen, stricken and fleeing enemies, “God made them as stubble to our swords.”  May God enlist recruits like these this night in this place for His great crusade against the papal Man of Sin!

The fact that such words as these are necessary by way of introduction, is a sad indication of the alarming state into which our glorious heritage has come.  Lifeless churches without a protest against the papacy have bred a race like the reprobates who polluted the Temple and service of God in the days of Nehemiah.  Half their speech is that of popery and the other half the language of a defunct Protestantism.  No wonder Nehemiah contended with such and cursed them, and smote them, yes, and plucked off their hair. (The boneless, nerveless, spineless preachers of today wouldn’t approve his methods, I’m sure).  I would call your attention to this portion of Holy Writ as it has an important message for our own day. “In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language, but according to the language of each people.  I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.  Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things: yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.  Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives?  And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite; and therefore I chased him from me.  Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites.  Thus cleansed I them from all strangers and appointed the wards of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business; And for the wood offering, at times appointed, and for the first fruits, Remember me, O my God, for good.” Nehemiah 13:23‑31.

Turning now to the heart of our subject, I want to speak upon the foundation, the emancipation, the elevation, the preservation and appropriation of our Protestant heritage.

I.  ITS FOUNDATION

The charter foundation of our Protestant Heritage is the Bible, the impregnable, imperishable Word of the living God.  There is a period in European history which has been rightly named the Dark Ages.  That period was noted for ignorance of the Book of God.  Ignorance of God’s law inevitably brings darkness.  The nation which is ignorant of God’s law will be a dark nation.  The church which is ignorant of God’s law will be a dark church.  The soul that is ignorant of God’s law will be a dark soul.  Hence, ignorance of God’s Word brought in the Dark Ages. 

The entrance of God’s Word giveth light, hence knowledge of the Book ushered in the Great Reformation.  The darkness of popery which shrouded Europe for centuries had to give place to the inextinguishable light of God’s eternal truth.  The black midnight fled before the bright noonday of the Son of Righteousness who arose upon the nations with healing in His wings. OPPOSITION TO GOD’S WORD SATANIC

Opposition to God’s Word has its base origin in hell.  Its genius is that of Satan.  In Eden’s Garden the serpent first mocked the Word of God, and having unsettled the faith of Eve, then blatantly contradicted it.  From the dawn of history Satan has employed his diabolical arts towards the same objective.  Failing to seize Jehovah’s throne in heaven he ever seeks to overthrow Jehovah’s law on earth.  He is the implacable enemy of the Word of God.

It is surely not difficult to trace the lineage of the papacy and to know from whence this system has come.  What system has more of an anti-­Bible history than the papacy?  As I study her exploits to destroy the Word of God and murderously trample out all who would distribute it, I recognise what seed she is of.  She is the seed of the serpent, the offspring of Belial, and the progeny of hell.  Her eye gleams with the serpent’s light.  Her clothes reek of the brimstone of the pit. Her words and opinions label her the parrot of Beelzebub. Unhesitatingly I recognise her as of her father the devil, and the works of her father she will do.

Ignorance of the Word of God and hatred of its teachings are her distinguishable characteristics.  The light of God’s Word at the Reformation dispelled the black midnight of Popery and millions of souls thus escaped from the dungeons of papal priestcraft.  In order to regain her vice‑like grip on Europe, Rome launched her great counter­-reformation. The main object of this was to undermine the belief of the Reformed churches in the very Bible upon which they had been so successfully and gloriously founded.

THE MASTER PLAN OF THE PAPACY

In order to do this, Rome planted her emissaries in the schools where the leaders and teachers of these denominations were trained.  Germany, the cradle of Protestantism, was especially concentrated upon.  With the blight of rationalism and a system which viewed the Bible as myth and fable, soon Rome had the streams which ran down to the grass roots of Protestantism poisoned at their source. Jesuit‑taught professors soon became the acknowledged leaders of the Reformed churches and the ministers they trained were no better than camouflaged infidels.  The blight soon told in the various congregations and so Protestantism, robbed of its anchor, compass and chart, became a hopeless wreck, the plaything of the papacy.

Then started the many pilgrimages back to Rome until today the leaders of the now apostate reformed churches are tripping over one another to slabber on the Pope’s slippers.  The World Council of Churches has become the vestibule to the Vatican.

C. H. Dodd, the director of the New English Bible translation of the New Testament is a typical example of one of these Jesuit-poisoned characters and his making out of our Lord  to be a liar is a notorious example of his infidelity.  No wonder the New English Bible makes Peter to be “the rock” on which the Church was built.  Even the ‘Brethren’ are not immune from this Jesuitry.  Professor F. F. Bruce, notable ‘Brethren’ leader, calls the blasphemer Dodd a gracious christian and defends the perversion of God’s Word which he directed.  How Rome rejoices that her counter‑reformation has accomplished so much.

PILLARS OF OUR REFORMED FAITH

Let us not be ignorant of Rome’s devices.  She fears the Word of God hence her determined efforts to destroy its circulation and discredit its eternal truths.  Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure.  All the pressures of Popery and all the power of hell cannot shake the three main pillars of our Reformed and Protestant faith.

GOD’S WORD

Rome has burned this Book but it has stood the test of fire.  Like the three Hebrew children there is not even the smell of fire upon it.  It is God’s unburnable Book. Rome has overwhelmed this Book in a flood of false doctrine, but it has stood the flood test.  It could not be drowned.  It rose above the billows of apostasy and heresy, God’s unsubmersible Word.  Rome has buried this Book in a heap of legend and babylonionism but it refused to be buried and rose triumphant from what Rome thought was a Saduces’s grave.  It has stood the grave test.  It Is God’s unconcealable Law.  No potency can distintegrate this Rock.  It is God’s impregnable, imperishable Word.  Read it; believe it; obey it; treasure it.

GOD’S SON

The fact of the person of God’s Son abideth forever.  No one can explain away Jesus Christ. The only logical answer to the secret of His power over the lives of men and the destinies of the nations is that He is “God manifest in the flesh”.  All He claimed to be He has more than gloriously vindicated.  The antichrists of Rome stagger to their graves, polluted carcases of an accursed race, but the Christ of God remains eternally the same.  He liveth and reigneth for evermore!  Hallelujah!  To Him alone we look as the Head of the Church and at His pierced feet alone we bow in willing allegiance and homage. “My Lord and my God” is our testimony like Thomas, to His person and deity.

GOD’S SALVATION

Even in this sin cursed age God is saving men.  Drunkards, thieves, vagabonds, criminals,  harlots and sinners of the deepest dye, are being gloriously and eternally saved.  Rome cannot save a soul. Her confessionals are in reality sin boxes leading on to greater villianies between Confessors and Penitents.  Rome is the great Perverter, the Gospel is the great Converter.  The glory and divinity of the Gospel is manifested in its life giving power.  The fruits of Rome are the apples of Sodom; the fruits of the Gospel are the grapes of the Holy Land. The Gospel can stand up to the results test.

The Bible, which is the Word of God and which unveils the Lord Jesus Christ and the Way of Salvation, is the great foundation of our Protestant heritage.

II. ITS EMANCIPATION

For centuries the craft of Satan kept the nations from this heritage.  Through Popery the devil had shut up the way to our inheritance.  Priestcraft, superstition, pagan and papalism with all their attendant vices of murder, theft, immorality, lust and incest, blocked the way to the land of gospel liberty.  The bondage of souls under the iron heel of the Roman Man of Sin is almost indescribable.  There is no night as dark as papal midnight.  No dungeon so loathsome as that of the Woman of Babylon.  No chains so fettering, as the chains of the Antichrist of the Seven Hills.  No slavery so degrading as the slavery of the Mother of Harlots.

THE BONDAGE OF POPERY

Rome sunk the world into the pit of the most grovelling superstitions ever practised in the world.  In England before the Reformation such relics as the girdle of Mary Magdalene, the smock of the Virgin Mary, St James’s hand, a bone of Salome, an angel with one wing, the parings of St. Edmund’s toenails, the milk of the Virgin, were the objects of the people’s worship.  The priests taught the people to give divine honour to these filthy relics.

And remember, the Papacy has not changed a whit.  In Rome to this day she brazenly exhibits the following lying showpieces: the heads of St Peter and St Paul encased in silver busts and set with jewels; a lock of Mary’s hair a phial of her tears and a piece of her green petticoat; a robe of Jesus Christ sprinkled with His blood, some drops of His blood in a bottle, some of the water which flowed out of the wound in His side, some of the sponge, a large piece of the cross, all the nails used in the crucifixion; a piece of the stone of the sepulchre on which the angel sat; the identical porphyry pillar on which the cock perched when he crowed, after Peter denied Christ; the rods of Moses and Aaron, and two pieces of the wood of the real ark of the covenant.

Not only did Rome fill our land with filthy relics but she furnished it with innumerable lying impostures. One example will suffice.  At the Abbey of Hales in Gloucestershire, a vial was displayed to those who offered alms.  The vial contained blood which it was claimed was the very blood of Christ.  This notable vial was examined by the Royal Commissioners in Henry VIII’s time, and was found to contain the blood of a duck, renewed every week.

Yes, and in this very city in the Mass House at Clonard, Rome exhibits and venerates the supposedly bleeding bone of one Gerard, a bogus saint.  She is still the same in her lying impostures. IGNORANT AND FILTHY PRIESTS

The ignorance and immorality of her priests festered as an awful cancer on the body politic in pre‑Reformation days.  These filthy and ignorant scoundrels were determined to shut up the way to the land of liberty, the heritage of the true gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The religious houses which Henry VIII dissolved were sinks of the vilest iniquities. The practices of their inmates, so‑called “holy men” and “holy women” were of the lowest forms of harlotry and sodomy.  A perusal of the reports of Henry’s Commissioners demonstrates howtrue is the Holy Spirit’s Indictment of Rome, Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and the Abominations of the Earth. Rev. 17:5.  No wonder the indictment is printed in capitals in our Bibles.

The Ignorance of these immoral priests was notorious.  Godly Bishop Hooper, the martyr, investigated the clergy of his rich diocese of Gloucester after his appointment in 1551.  He discovered that out of 311 clergy, 168 were unable to repeat the Ten Commandments, 31 of the 168 could not say in what part of the Scriptures they were found; 40 could not tell where the Lord’s Prayer was found in the Bible and 31 of the 40 did not know who was its author.  These ignorant priests were the pope’s army to keep the people from the Promised Land.

LUTHER THE JOSHUA OF THE REFORMATION

Just as God raised up Joshua to conquer Canaan, God raised up Martin Luther, the Joshua of the Reformation, to lead the nations of Europe into the glorious heritage of gospel peace and pardon.  Before Luther’s ram’s horn, the Jericho walls of Rome crumbled into ruin.

Leo X, the elegant pagan Pope commissioned a Dominican monk, John Tetzel, to go to Germany to collect money which he wanted for paintings and works of art in the great Church of St Peter’s in Rome. He was given the right to sell indulgences.  Naturally the deluded people bought his wares.  He made sin easy.  He sold the right to murder your enemy for about £3.50 in our money, to rob a church for about £4.50, while the murder of father, mother, sister or brother, cost only about £2.  Those who purchased these sin dockets of the Pope naturally liked value for their money so crime abounded wherever the pardon‑seller went.

Luther’s righteous soul was enraged by this travesty of the gospel.  Having drunk at the crystal river of God’s pardoning grace and experienced justification by faith alone he determined to expose both the pardon‑seller and his master. Tetzel used a large drum to collect his money and exclaimed zealously, “As soon as the money clinks in the bottom the buyer is pardoned and free from sin.”  Luther declared, “By the grace of God, I’ll beat a hole in Tetzel’s drum.”  Thank God he did beat such a hole in popery that all the popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, monks, friars and nuns have never been able to patch it up again.

LUTHER’S MESSAGE

Through Luther our great heritage was emancipated. His statements concerning gospel pardon and grace cleared the way for our entering into glorious possession. “But how may we obtain remission of sins?”, he asks. “Paul answereth, that the man which is called Jesus, the Son of God, hath given Himself for them.  These are excellent and comfortable words, and are the promises of the old law, that our sins are taken away by none other means than by the Son of God delivered unto death.  With such gunshot and such artillery must the papacy be destroyed, and all the religions of the heathen, all works, all merits and superstitious ceremonies.”

Luther’s message had for its centre the all‑sufficient, all‑final, all­-atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross.  “Stand back, let Him alone be seen today, mighty to save to the uttermost all who come.  Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world. Look unto Him, sinner, and be saved. Contemplate Him, holy brethren and grow like Him. Not church, nor priest, nor ritual; not Bible, nor baptism, nor supper; nothing but Christ, the lovely, almighty saving Son of God, thou art the Saviour of the sinner, the sanctifier of the saint, the satisfaction of the saved forever!”  It was this message which opened the way to our great Protestant heritage and emancipated it from the clutches of the son of perdition.

III.  ITS ELEVATION

The elevation of any estate is important.  The view adds to its value.  Our Protestant heritage has excellent views and choice elevation.  One of the main causes of the decay of Protestantism is the lack of clear vision.  How true is the scripture precept “where there is no vision the people perish”.  Protestantism today is like Samson.  It has played the fool with modernism and ritualism and when drugged to stupor with these satanic poisons, the Delilah Rome has robbed it of its great strength, put out its eyes and led it captive to grind in the mills of papal tyranny.  Alas, the keen edge of Protestantism has become blunted and dull.  On every hand we hear the following expressions which are the joy of hell.  “It’s time religious controversy was over”. “One religion is as good as another”.  “After all, Roman Catholics are sincere”.  “Hasn’t Rome changed?” “The Church of Rome is a Christian Church, for she believes in Christ!”.  These expressions are an index to the awful blindness of our day and generation.  They tell of the overwhelming success of Rome’s insidious and constant propaganda.

THE SHARP LESSONS OF HISTORY

Need I recall the sharp lessons of history?  What was it that dragged our nation down until she was the least of the nations in Europe?  Black popery!  What was it that tried to stifle our hard won liberties and crush our throne and make us the slaves of Spain?  Black popery!  What was it by lying, fraud and deceit set again a papist on the throne in the person of James II?  Black popery!  Yes, and what is it that at this moment is reducing Britain to a third‑rate nation?  Black popery!

Clear views of the Papal Conspiracy lead to liberty and prosperity.  Faulty and hazy views lead to servitude and ruin.  The Reformers had no doubts about the diabolical origin of the Pope and his Kingdom.  They saw his system in Revelation chapter seventeen and they feared not to call him the Man of Sin.

Consider this list of names and remember they were all militant Protestants knowing and believing that Rome and no one else was the Scarlet Woman, the Mother of Harlots, Mystery Babylon the Great. 

  • Wycliffe
  • Huss
  • Jerome of Prague
  • Luther
  • Calvin
  • Tyndale 
  • Cranmer
  • Jewel
  • Ridley         
  • Latimer
  • Tillinghast
  • Bullinger     
  • Knox
  • Sir I Newton
  • Foxe                    
  • Milton
  • Dr Goodwin
  • Richard Baxter
  • Bishop
  • Newton
  • Bunyan
  • Fleming
  • Wesley
  • Matthew Henry
  • Jonathan Edwards
  • Dr Keith
  • Dr Hales
  • Dr Chalmers
  • Bickersteth
  • Gaussen (Swiss)
  • Dr Wylie
  • E. B. Elliott M.A.
  • Dr Cumming
  • Dean Goode
  • Canon Garrett
  • Bishop J C Ryle
  • Principal R. S. Candlish DD
  • A. Barnes, U.S.A.
  • Bishop Wordsworth
  • Prof T R Birks MA
  • Rev. A. Hislop, DD
  • A. J Gordon, DD
  • Finney
  • Moody
  • R Hudson Taylor
  • H G Guinness DD
  • Canon Grindlestone
  • Sir J W Dawson LLD
  • FRS Spurgeon
  • Jos Tanner MA
  • F B Meyer DD      
  • E. Cachemaille MA
  • Rev H Brooke MA
  • Rev J Goforth
  • Dr C A Salmond
  • Dr A  Robertson
  • Rev Webb
  • Rev. Dinsdale Young
  • Rev F S Webster
  • Rev C H Lancaster
  • Rev A C Dixon DD
  • Rev Dr Hamilton
  • Rev E H Horne MA
  • Dean Wace DD
  • Dean E. H. Walker MA
  • Bishop H. Moule
  • J. Stuart Holden DD

Men like these with clear views about popery were the men who turned their nations to the Lord. Oh, that we may tread where these great saints have trod!

THE REFORMERS’ CRUSADE AGAINST THE PAPACY

It is an indisputable fact that where Rome is there is darkness, the darkness of hell. It was a clear knowledge and view of this that nerved the Reformers for their holy and successful crusade against the Papacy. Their language is unequivocal. Lord Cobham, the early English Martyr described the Pope as “The open adversary of God and an abomination standing in the holy place”. Knox declared “That the Pope is the head of the Kirk of Antichrist” and that the church of Rome is “the synagogue of Satan”:

Ridley stated “The See of Rome is the seat of Satan and the bishop of the same is antichrist himself indeed”.

Latimer maintained that Rome “sooner might be called diabolic than Catholic”.

“Calvin protested of the Pope, “I deny him to be the Vicar of Christ who In furiously persecuting the Gospel demonstrates by his conduct that he Is Antichrist”.

Tyndale wrote, “the Bishop of  Rome and his sects be the right Antichrists and deny both the Father and the Son; for they deny the witness that the Father bore unto His Son and deprive the Son of all the power and glory which the Father gave Him”.

Cranmer spake thus of the Pope, “I refuse him as Christ’s enemy and Antichrist with all his false doctrines”:

The Westminster Assembly of Divines declared, “There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ, nor can the Pope of Rome In any sense be head thereof, but is that Antichrist, that Man of Sin and Son of Perdition, that exalteth himself in the Church against Christ and all that is called God”.

BISHOP RYLE’S WARNING

It was no wonder that the first Bishop of Liverpool, John Charles Ryle, issued the following warning: “Once let Popery get her foot again on the neck of England, and there will be an end of her national greatness.  God will forsake us, and we shall sink to the level of Portugal and Spain.  With Bible‑reading discouraged ‑ with private inducement forbidden ‑ with the way of Christ’s cross narrowed or blocked up ‑ with priestcraft reestablished ‑ with auricular confession set up in every parish ‑ with monasteries and nunneries dotted over the land ‑ with women everywhere kneeling like serfs and slaves at the feet of clergymen ‑ with men casting off all faith, and becoming sceptics ‑ with schools and colleges made seminaries of Jesuitism ‑ with free thought denounced and anathematized ‑ with all these things the distinctive manliness and independence of the British character will gradually dwindle, wither, pine away, and be destroyed and England will be ruined. And all these things, I firmly believe, will come, unless the old feeling about the value of Protestantism can be revived.”

THE SAFEGUARD IN OUR CONSTITUTION

Our forefathers with clear views on the Papacy wrote this safeguard into the great Acts of Rights and Settlement: “Every person that shall hold communion with the See or Church of Rome shall be excluded and forever incapable to possess the Crown and Government of this Realm and Dominions.”

Yet today this safeguard which cost the blood of the Reformers, Confessors and Martyrs, is being shamefully flouted.  Woe to the Royal House of Britain for flirting with the Roman Harlot!

Woe to the Government of this United Kingdom for parleying with popery!  May God Almighty awaken us to see popery as it is in the eyes of God.

To me, a Bible‑instructed Protestant, Rome may paint her face and attire her hair like Jezebel of old, but I still recognise the murderous wrinkles on the brow of the old scarlet‑robed hag. She may clothe herself in her finest attire but underneath the gorgeous robes I see the leprous garments of her whoredoms.

Rome may extend her gloved hand (well may it be gloved, for upon it is “that damned spot” the innocent blood from which she shall never be cleansed) but I will never take it.

Rome may whisper her tones of “Peace, Peace”, but the poison of asps is under her lying tongue and war is in her polluted heart.

Rome may deceive the nerveless, spineless, jellyfish apostates, but she will not deceive God’s elect.

I recognise her.  To her and to all those World Council of Churches spokesmen, who present her to their deceived dupes as the Great Mother, the Queen of Nations, we reply as we look upon her debased and repulsive figure, “Why feignest thou thyself, thou wife of Beelzebub?”

The dog will return to its vomit.  The washed sow will return to its wallowing in the mire, but by God’s grace we will never return to Popery.  We see her in the glass of Gods precious word and we reject her forever.

Carnal weapons and carnal methods can never defeat the great system of antichristianity. Behind the facade of popery is the genius and power of the Dragon.  The Dragon has given to the Beast his seat and power and great authority.  When we enter the arena against papalism we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world and against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Spiritual forces can only be dislodged and dispelled by spiritual forces.  Carnality is impotent in such warfare.

The Lord Jesus said of the believers, “Ye are the salt of the earth”.  Salt is the great preservative.  If it has lost its savour how can the matter salted be preserved?  How salty are we Christians?  That is the vital question.  Alas, many truly born‑again Protestants can scarcely preserve themselves from the appalling sins of our day let alone act as a preservative on society around them.

Our Protestant heritage must be preserved.  Not by political alliances and parties. These too have proved to be but broken reeds.  It must be preserved by the power of God in the lives of His own people.  The people of God are not today spiritually mature and militant as their forefathers.  Their great weakness lies in their undeveloped and stunted spiritual state.  They are giants in a crowd but dwarfs when taken alone.  They are almost totally ignorant of the personal and private duties of Christianity.  They need the props of public gatherings and much public activity or they would topple.  This ought not to be.

THE NEGLECTED DUTIES OF CHRISTIANITY

Three most important duties of personal religion must be emphasised.

First, PRIVATE PRAYER.  Herein lieth the great strength of Christianity.  Men who have talked to God and prevailed will talk to men and triumph.  Without private prayer the soul must remain barren and unfruitful.  The flame of secret prayer kindles the fires of public blessings.  Your Father which seeth in secret shall reward you openly.  Only one thing will preserve our heritage, and that is prevailing supplication at the throne of grace.  Prayerlessness is powerlessness.  Oh, for a band of earnest supplicants who will not give God peace day or night until He makes our Zion the joy of the whole earth.

Secondly, BIBLE READINGIf we build not on this foundation we are sure to fail.  The Reformation sped and popery fled as the individual read the living Word.  This sword smote the papal monster in the vitals.  This Light dispelled the night of priestcraft.  This hammer smashed the bulwarks of popery.  This fire burned up the lying impostures of the Man of Sin.  Do we want to preserve our heritage?  The remedy is in our hands.  Let us all diligently, in private, read this Book and hide its precious words in our hearts as its words are the great preservatives from sin.

Thirdly, MEDITATION.  This is practically a lost art among God’s people.  They live in such a bustle that they never let the inspired word of God really grip them.  To ponder the Holy Message is as necessary to spiritual growth as digestion is to natural growth.  When the great deep truths get into a man’s soul then the man matures and becomes mighty in God’s service.  If we bury not the good seed in the depths of our bosoms, how dare we expect a harvest.  These are our duties, and this is the only way to preserve our heritage.  If we really value it we will with great earnestness set our hearts to their zealous discharge.

V.  ITS APPROPRIATION

Perhaps you have been brought up in nominal Protestantism or perhaps you have been under the scourge of Romanism from your birth.  Because of this you have only viewed this great Protestant Heritage from afar.  You are, alas, an entire stranger to its privileges, blessings, graces and possessions.  There is absolutely no need for you to remain in this sad state.  The goodly land of gospel grace lies before you and the road to gospel liberty you can start upon right now.  All the powers of darkness, all the grip of sin, all the voices of your worldly companions and all the sinful leanings of your flesh will combine to keep you from starting for this glorious Canaan.

THE WAY TO LIBERTY

Allow not Satan to deceive you any longer.  Permit not sin to chain you forever.  Heed not the siren calls of your deluded companions.  Suffer not the lust of the flesh to destroy you forever.  You reply that the forces that hold you are too strong for you. Granted.  But there is a mighty deliverer at hand, ready, at a call from you, to take up the struggle on your behalf and bring you gloriously through to blessed victory.  His name is Emmanuel, God with us, the Victor of Calvary, the Champion of the Ages, and the great Emancipator.  Call upon Him now for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

A COSTLY TRANSACTION

Think not because at a call you can be saved that this great heritage is valueless.  Nay, rather, it is the most costly estate the Exchequer of Heaven ever purchased.  In fact the Eternal Coffers were exhausted in order to purchase for you this glorious inheritance.  Its purchase price was the life’s blood of God’s dear son.  Wonder of Heaven!  Mystery of Ages!  Contemplation of Angels!  Wisdom of Deity!  that God should give Himself for sinful man’s redemption.

Behold the spectacle of woe.  God in Christ upon the Cross reconciling the world unto Himself.  I charge you to count the crimson drops from the precious head of the Redeemer, punctured with the thorns of that cruel crown.  I implore you to view the bleeding hands and feet of our blessed Emmanuel.  I beseech you to stand and gaze at the tremendous price paid at Golgotha for your freedom and enrichment.  Learn the value of this great inheritance at the place called Calvary.

APPROPRIATE IT NOW

Oh, that like Pilgrim, you might come to this place somewhat ascending.  Oh, that you might view your Saviour in death for your sins.  Oh, that your burden might be loosed from your back and buried out of sight for ever in the tomb of Jesus.  Oh, that with regenerated heart you might sing:

Blessed Cross, Blessed Sepulchre,
But blessed rather be the Man, that there was put to shame for me.

A young minster entered a crowded bus with his Bible under his arm, and at once there began some sneering remarks from some rough fellows.  Finally one said, “Say, Mister, how far is it to heaven?”  With quiet dignity the minister replied, “It’s only a step; will you take it now?”  This reply, together with the young minister’s mastery over his temper under such provoking circumstances, was later the means of bringing that young man to the Lord.

Take the vital step now, and press into the Kingdom of God.

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