[1]
ROME CLAIMS TO HAVE THE WHOLE TRUTH: Papist Rebuke for the Ape-ists of Dundalk.

Those in Irish Protestantism who ape the Papacy and who met in Conference at Dundalk in the early summer of 1974 are in for a sore setback and rebuke from the Roman hierarchy in Ireland.

A report by John Cooney in the Irish Times of 14th February, revealed the content of a draft document on ecumenism drawn up by four bishops and various priests for consideration by the hierarchy.

Cooney discloses that the hierarchy will continue to stand firm in support of the principle of denominational education and the implementation of a strict interpretation of Vatican regulations on mixed marriage - despite the present public debate about the need for integrated education and for a more flexible system of inter-church marriage.

This will be the general stand of the hierarchy when it considers a draft of a new directory on Ecumenism which was discussed at a private meeting yesterday in Maynooth by four bishops and various priests who form the Episcopal Commission on Ecumenism. [2]

The fact that the draft has been subsequently agreed means that Protestant hopes for a break-through on mixed marriage from the church leaders' "summit" at Ballymascanlon, Dundalk, Co. Louth, are unlikely to be fulfilled.

PROTESTANTS REBUFFED

A source of friction for Protestant church members will be the draft directory's section on mixed marriage which, after reinforcing the instruction of the 1970 Vatican motu proprio, states that dialogue between the churches on the subject must continue "in an endeavour to eliminate irritants that are negotiable."

But the draft immediately dashes Protestant hopes by adding: "The foundations of problems lie, however, in the fact that the churches are not one." According to the draft, the problems of mixed marriage will "remain for the foreseeable future."

The draft stresses the Roman Catholic partner's promise to be faithful to his or her faith, and to do all in his or her power to bring up the child in that faith.

The Vatican regulations requires that members of another faith be made aware of this requirement. They are not required to make any promises on this matter.

Central to the hopes of those favouring a more liberal interpretation of mixed marriage regulation has been the phrase that the Roman Catholic partner would promise to do all in his power. The phrase "all in his power," has been put forward as qualifying the absoluteness of the promise. "All in one's power" means taking account of the other partner's conscience, it is argued.

PROTESTANT CONSCIENCE NOT RESPECTED

The document, however, dismissed such an interpretation. While claiming to respect the conscientious position of the Protestant partner it does not recognise the rights in conscience of the partner.

It defends its position by saying that "subterfuge can only do eventual harm to ecumenical progress, and indeed increase the difficulties of the mixed marriage itself."


On the more positive side, the document marks an advance on the hierarchy's 1970 statement on mixed marriage by encouraging the pastoral care of mixed marriages by priests and ministers working together.

NO INTEGRATION

On education, the draft says that wherever possible there should be interdenominational sporting, cultural, and [3] social activities. Through regular meetings and outings, pupils should be taught to cross the religious, political and cultural barriers which would keep them apart, it adds.

"In this way, separation through different schools will not entail division in heart or mind, will not be a factor creating or maintaining hostility, ignorance or fear.

"On the contrary, while continuing to afford children the priceless benefit of a sure and firm basis in the religious beliefs and traditions which will give meaning and purpose to their lives, denominational schools will make a growing contribution to the ecumenical movement and the fostering of true respect and love between Roman Catholics and other Christians.

ROME ONLY TRUE CHURCH

Though the draft directory recognises that other Christian churches have "many elements of sanctification and truth," it stresses that the Roman Catholic Church is "the all-embracing means of salvation."

It warns that it would be an incorrect understanding of the principles of ecumenism if Roman Catholics, with the aim of drawing closer to other Christians were to abandon or neglect any part of the true and integral tradition of Roman Catholic life and worship.

The document also says that Roman Catholics should not be lightly persuaded to underestimate the "beneficial effects" on social and community life of the Roman Catholic witness to certain fundamental human and Christian values.

Dr. Philbin the Roman Catholic Bishop of Down was one of the authors of the draft document.

The Roman Catholic international weekly The Tablet comments that "'the hopes of those who took part in the inter-Church discussions at Dundalk are almost sure to be dashed." - The Tablet, 22-2-1975.

The "Protestant" ecumenics have allowed themselves to be made fools of by the "ONE TRUE CHURCH." The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster the only Protestant Church in Ireland to protest the talks has once again been fully vindicated. Rome remains the same and incapable of Reformation. The Protestants who flirt with her will not change her but she will change them. The criticism of the Free Presbyterian Church protest by the Irish Baptist magazine and the defence of the Dundalk talks by the Orange Standard can now be seen in proper prospective. Those who stand for truth will always in the end be fully vindicated. [4]

TWO GREAT BIOGRAPHIES, Reviewed by IAN PAISLEY

The Autobiography of Wiliam Jay, Edited by George Redford and John Angell James. Published by The Banner of Truth Trust - 586 pages.

Matthew Henry, famous Expositor of the Bible, once said, "The names of the ancient Fathers should be very precious with us and the remains of their lives and labours; the first Reformers in our own land and other lands; the good old puritans. Those ministers and Christians who have been eminent in our own country. We should not despise the way of our Fathers but be ashamed to think how short we come of them. We must regard their testimony; and so far as it agrees with the Word of God, put a great value upon it. We must follow them as far as they followed Christ."

But how can we know the testimony of our past puritanical Fathers if we have not studied it? And how can we walk in their ways except those ways are made known to us. Yes, and how can we follow them if we have not heard their voice and beheld their beckoning hand?

This is where their biographies are invaluable. In them we can hear the voice of our Fathers, see their bold and uncompromising testimony for Christ, and behold their hand beckoning us to follow in their steps.

The whole Christian Church is indebted to The Banner of Truth for two of its latest publications, The biographies of Jay and Thornwell. It is with the first of these we now have to do.

William Jay, known as Billy Jay to his contemporaries, was for over 60 years pastor of the Congregational Church worshipping in Argyle Chapel, Bath, Somersetshire. He was born at Tilsbury, Wiltshire, May 8th, 1769, and died at Bath on December 27th, 1853. He was educated by Cornelius Winter at The Dissenting Academy at Marlborough. He began to preach at 16 years of age. He pastored a small church at Christian Malford, near Chippenham. He removed to Hope Chapel, Chuton, in 1789, and was ordained pastor at Bath, on January 30th, 1791.

The chapel at Bath had to be enlarged twice to accommodate his congregations. Jay attracted hearers of all classes. John Forster pronounced him, "Prince of Preachers". The great Sheridan declared him to be, "the most manly orator he had ever heard."

Spurgeon said, "Matthew Henry is Jay writing, Jay is Matthew Henry preaching. What more could I say in commendation either of the preacher or the author!"

This book is largely autobiographical. Its first section consists of letters Jay wrote to his family setting out the story of the triumph of Grace in his life. The second section consists of a series of interesting illuminating and instructive character sketches of his leading contemporaries, including John Newton, John Ryland, William Wilberforce, M.P., Mrs. Hanna More, Richard Hill, Richard Cecil, [5] Robert Hall and John Wesley. These sketches are unique, giving a vivid insight into the lives and ministry of these famous Christian stalwarts.

The third section, largely by the editors, supplements the autobiography.

I have read the book with both delight and profit. Jay was a pulpit master and had the skill of being able to capture and hold the mind and memory. Many years ago when I was a boy preacher my revered father gave me a volume of Jay's sermons. A sermon which I read then remains with me to this day. The text was: "I saw no temple therein" and one of Jay's points was "There is no party temple in Heaven." That sermon, read over 30 years ago, still sticks in my mind. What greater testimony could be paid to such a preacher and such preaching. Get the book and read. It will be a wise investment and pay good dividends even in this inflationary age!

THE LIFE AND LETTERS OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL, by B. M. Palmer. Published by the Banner of Truth Trust - 610 pages

James Henley Thornwell was one of a galaxy of American Theologians, Hodge, Dabney, etc. His life covers that most interesting period of U.S. history, the period leading up to the Civil War and the Civil War itself.

This book unfolds the birth and growth of a great man of God, one of the South's greatest sons. It gives an insight into the conflicts within American Presbyterianism and the subsequent division of the Church With the formation of the Southern Presbyterian body. The controversy between the theological giants of the South and the great men of the Princeton School is also highlighted.

Thornwell's two visits to Europe make interesting reading, especially his short stay in Bellast and his conversation with Dr. Gibson concerning the '59 Revival. The question of slavery is also seen in the book through the eyes of contemporary witnesses.

I could not leave down this publication until I had finished reading it. When I read the last page I experienced a tinge of regret. I wrote on the fly leaf the following, which sums up my appraisal.

John Henley Thornwell, the colour of the Southern States with the fire of George Whitefield and the devotion of David Brainard. A veritable Colossus of a man, great in the family, great in the pulpit, great in the presbytery, great in the State, but greatest in WORSHIP OF HIS GOD. I look forward to the publication of Thornwell's Works later on this year. [6]

The Drift of the Times: Sound the Alarm
By CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON (1834-1892)

FRIENDS will have noticed with interest the repeated debates in the London Baptist Association, as to whether there should be "A credal basis" and what that basis should be, if it were decided to have one. There seems to be a current opinion that I have been at the bottom of all this controversy, and if I have not appeared in it, I have, at least pulled the wires: But this is not true. I have taken a deep interest in the struggles of the orthodox brethren; but I have never advised those struggles, nor entertained the slightest hope of their success. My course has been of another kind. As soon as I saw, or thought I saw, that error had become firmly established, I did not deliberate, but quitted the body at once. Since then my counsel has been, "Come ye out from among them." If I have rejoiced in the loyalty to Christ's truth which has been shown in other courses of action, yet I have felt that no protest could be equal to that of distinct separation from known evil.

I may, however, venture to express the Association the arrogant bribe of personal return if a creed should be adopted; but on the contrary, I told the deputation from the Union that I should not return until I had seen how matters went, and I declined to mix up my own personal action with the consideration of a question of vital importance to the community. I never sought from the Association the consideration of "A credal basis", but on the contrary, when offered that my resignation might stand over till such a consideration had taken place, I assured the brethren that what I had done was final, and did not depend upon their action in the matter of a creed. The attempt, therefore, to obtain a basis of union in the Association, whatever may be thought of it, should be viewed as a matter altogether apart from me, for so indeed it has been.

I may, however, venture to express the opinion that the evangelical brethren in the Association have acted with much kindness, and have shown a strong desire to abide in union with others, if such union could be compassed without the sacrifice of truth. They as good as said: We think there are some few great truths which are essential to the reception of the Christian religion, and we do not think we should be right to associate with those who repudiate those truths. Will you not agree that these truths should be stated, aid that it should be known that persons who fail to accept these vital truths cannot join the Association? The points mentioned were certainly elementary enough, and we did not wonder that one of the brethren exclaimed "May God help those who do, not believe these things. Where must they be?" Indeed, little objection was taken to the statements Which were tabulated, but the objection was to a belief in these things [7] being made indispensable to membership. It was as though it had been said, "Yes, we believe in the Godhead of the Lord Jesus; but we would not keep a man out of our fellowship because he thought our Lord was a mere man. We believe in the atonement; but if another man rejects it, he must not, therefore, be excluded from our number." Here was the point at issue, one party would gladly fellowship with every person who had been baptized, and the other party desired that at the least the elements of the faith, should be believed, and the first principles of the Gospel should be professed by those who were admitted into the fellowship of the Association. Since neither party could yield the point in dispute, what remained for them but to separate with as little friction as possible?

To this hour, I must confess that I do not understand the action of either side in this dispute, if viewed in the white light of logic. Why should they wish to be together? Those who wish for the illimitable fellowship of men of every shade of belief or doubt would be all the freer for the absence of those stubborn evangelicals who have cost them so many battles. The brethren, on the other hand, who have a doctrinal faith, and prize, it, must have learned by this time that whatever terms may be patched up, there is no spiritual oneness between themselves and the new religionists. They must also have felt that the very endeavour to make a contact which will tacitly be understood in two senses is far from being an ennobling and purifying exercise to either party.

The brethren in the middle are the source of this clinging together of discordant elements. These who are for peace at any price, who persuade themselves that there is very little wrong, who care chiefly to maintain existing institutions, these are the good people who induce the weary combatants to repeat the futile attempt at a coalition, which, in the nature of things, must break down. If both sides could be unfaithful to conscience, or if the glorious Gospel could be thrust altogether out of the question, there might be a league of amity established; but as neither of these things can be, there would seem, to be no reason for persevering in the attempt to maintain a confederacy for which there is no justification. In fact, and from which there can be no worthy result, seeing it does not embody a living truth. A desire for unity is commendable. Blessed are they who can promote it and preserve it. But there are other matters to be considered as well as unity, and sometimes these may even demand the first place. When union becomes a moral impossibility, it may also drop out of calculation in arranging plans and methods of working. If it is clear as the sun at noonday that no real union can exist it is idle to strive after the impossible, and it is wise to go about other and more practical business.

SEPARATION IS A DUTY

Numbers of good brethren in different ways remain in fellowship with those who are undermining the Gospel, and they talk of their conduct as though it were a loving course which the Lord will approve of in the day of His appearing. We cannot understand them. The bounden duty of a true believer towards men who profess to be Christians, and, yet deny the Word of the Lord, and reject the fundamentals of the Gospel, is to "come out from among them". To stay in a community which fellowships all beliefs in. the hope of setting matters right is as though [8] Abraham had stayed at Ur, or at Haran, in the hope of converting the household out of which he was called.

Complicity with error will take from the best of men the power to enter any successful protest against it. If any body of believers had errorists among them, but were resolute to deal with them in the name of the Lord, all might come right; but confederacies founded upon, the principle that all may enter, whatever views they hold, are based upon disloyalty to the truth of God. If truth is optional, error is justifiable.

There are now two parties in the religious world, and a great mixed multitude who from various causes decline to be ranked with either of them. In this army of intermediates are many who have no right to be there; but we spare them. The day will, however, come when they will have to reckon with their consciences. When the light is taken out of its place, they may have to mourn that they were not willing to trim the lamp, nor even to notice that the flame grows dim.

Our present sorrowful protest is not a matter of this man or that, this error or that; but of principle. There is something essential to a true faith - truth which is to be believed; or else everything is left to each man's taste. We believe in the first of these opinions, and hence we cannot dream of religious association with those who might on the second theory be acceptable. Those who are of our mind should, at all cost, act upon it. The Lord give them decision, and wean them from all policy and trimming!

The party everywhere apparent has a faith fashioned: for the present century - perhaps we ought rather to say, for the present month. The sixteenth century Gospel it derides, and that, indeed, of every period except the present most enlightened era. It will have no creed because it can have none; it is continually on the move; it is not what it was yesterday, and it will not be tomorrow what it is today. Its shout is for "Liberty", its delight is invention, its element is change. On the other hand, there still survive, amid the blaze of nineteenth century light a few whom these superior persons call "fossils"; that is to say, there are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who consider that the true Gospel is no new gospel, but is the same yesterday, today, and forever. These do not believe in "advanced views", but judge that the view of truth which saved a soul in the second century will save a soul now, and that a form of teaching which was unknown till the last few years is of very dubious value, and is, in all probability, "another gospel, which is not another".

It is extremely difficult for these two parties to abide in union. The old fable of the collier (coal miner) who went home to dwell with the fuller (cloth processor) has nothing to do with it. The fuller would by degrees know the habits of his coaly companion, and might thus save the white linen from his touch; but in this case there are no fixed quantities on the collier's side, and nothing like permanency even in, the black of his coal. How can his friend deal with him, since he changes with the moon. If, after long balancing of words, the two parties could construct a basis of agreement, it would, in the nature of things last only for a season, since the position of the advancing party would put the whole settlement out of order in a few weeks. The adjustment of difficulties would be a task forever beginning, and never coming to an end. If we agree, after a sort, today, a new settlement will be needed [9] tomorrow. If I am to stay where I am, and you are to go travelling on, it is certain that we cannot long lodge in the same room. Why should we attempt it?

Nor is it merely doctrinal belief. There is an essential difference in spirit between the old believer and the man of new and advancing views. This is painfully perceived by the Christian man before very long. Even if he be fortunate enough to escape the sneers of the cultured, and the jests of the philosophical, he will find his deepest convictions questioned, and his brightest beliefs misrepresented by those who dub themselves "thoughtful men". When a text from the Word has been peculiarly precious to his heart, he will hear its authenticity impugned, the translation disputed, or its Gospel reference denied. He will not travel far on the dark continent of modern thought before he will find the efficacy of prayer debated, the operation of divine Providence questioned, and the special love of God denied. He will find himself to be a stranger in a strange land when he begins to speak of his experience, and of the ways of God to men. In all probability if he be faithful to his old faith, he will be an alien to his mother's children, and find that his soul is among lions. To what end, therefore, are these strainings after a hollow unity, when the spirit of fellowship is altogether gone?

The world is large enough, why not let us go our separate ways? Loud is the cry of our opponents for liberty; let them, have it by all means. But let us have our liberty also. There is a right of association which we do not forego, and this involves a right of disassociation, which we retain with equal tenacity. Those who are so exceedingly liberal, large-hearted, and broad minded be so good as to allow us to forego the charms of their society without coming under the full violence of their wrath.

At any rate, cost what it may, to separate ourselves from those who separate themselves from the truth of God is not alone a liberty, but our duty. I have raised, my protest in the only complete way coming forth, and shall be content to abide alone until the day when the Lord shall judge the secrets of all hearts; but it will not seem to me a strange thing if others are found faithful, and if others judge that for them also there is no path but that which is painfully apart from the beaten track. [10]

Questions They Ask Us . . . By ALEX O. DUNLAP

QUESTION:

Who are the Nicolaitanes of Revelation 2:6-15 ?

ANSWER:

We ought to know, because God tells us he hates their deeds and doctrine:

1) Rev. 2:6 - "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes WHICH I ALSO HATE."

2) Rev. 2:15 - "So that thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, WHICH THING I HATE."

3) The word "NICOLAITANE" is a Greek word. "Nikao" means "to conquer." "Laos" (Laity) means common, ordinary people.

4) The "doctrine of the Nicolaitanes" is the doctrine, set up whereby the clergy become a special priest-class in a special position, exalting itself above the ordinary religious follower. "Pope Paul"; "Cardinal Spellman"; " Father Daley"; "His Eminence", etc.

5) It makes no difference whether this special priest-class is Jewish, Mormon, Satan, Roman Catholic, Buddhist or other It is heretical, unchristian, unbiblical, pagan.

6) In the Word of God, the New Testament, every true Christian, every saved, born again, converted person, is in the Body of Christ. Every Christian is called of God, anointed, ordained as a witness to Jesus Christ. Acts 1:8; Lk. 24:44-48; Acts 8:4; Jn. 15:16; Prov. 11:30; Mt. 4:19; 1 Cor. 11:1; Acts. 8:35; Rom. 16:3, 6, 12, 1, 2; Jn. 4:29; Acts. 18:24-26; Mt. 26:13; Lk. 110:42; Acts 9:36-42, 16:13-15; 21:8,9; 1 Cor. 12:13.

7) God is no respecter of persons - Ro. 2:11. The only difference between a "pastor" (also known as a "presbyter", "undershepherd", "elder", "bishop") and any other truly converted person, is that the congregation, church, assembly (all words denoting a group of believers who meet regularly together in a community for worship and other Biblical activities) calls this one, sets him apart, to serve full-time, studying the Word of God, preaching the Word, guiding, overseeing the ministry, visiting the sick, burying, comforting, teaching, restoring, counselling, keeping up with current heresies, warning, reproving, correcting, etc. "Deacons" are called to work with him, help him, meet the requirements of governments in matters of corporations, trustees, financial, housekeeping, building maintenance and improvements, other matters delegated according to their talents by the pastor and/or congregation.

8) The word "Nicolaitanes" doesn't just mean to "rule" spiritually. It means "to conquer". You are not supposed to conquer the common people, and get the upper hand, and "lord it over them" I Pet. 5:1-4. You are supposed to lead them, guide them, and direct them. Not squash them. Not make them fearful of you because of your "position". Not take unto yourself some supposed ability to forgive sins, or withhold forgiveness of sins; or grant indulgences; or impose penalties and penances; or command to abstain from foods or marriage; or to set aside certain days for fasting, on pain of sin; or to divide, sins into categories of Venial, Mortal, Grave, etc., with its side [11] effects of Purgatory, scapulars, sacraments and sacramentals. This is "Nicolaitanism", which is part of Baalism. And to identify it today specifically, it is ROMAN CATHOLICISM. And God says He hates both its DEEDS AND ITS DOCTRINE. Any Christian therefore who opposes exposure of Romanism and sincere efforts to convert its adherents to the true Christ of the Bible is out of the will of God in this respect, and is in the dangerous position of opposing God and finding fault with Him! He commends those who hate their deeds and doctrine and reproves those who compromise. Many supposedly evangelical organisations and pastors and evangelists are guilty of this very thing today!

9) The original Scofield Reference Edition of the Bible has this note under Rev. 2:6 - "From NIKAO, "to conquer," and LAOS, "the people," or "laity". There is no ancient authority for a sect of the NICOLAITANES. If the word is symbolic, it refers to the earliest form of the notion of a priestly order, or "clergy", which later divided an equal brotherhood (Mt. 23:8), into "priests" and "laity". What in Ephesus was "deeds" (2:6) had become in Pergamos a "doctrine "(2:15)." The preceding Scofield note on P. 1332 says, "Thyatria is the Papacy, developed out of the Pergamos state: Balaamism (worldliness) Nicolaitanims (priestly assumption) having conquered. As Jezebel brought idolatry into Israel, so Romanism weds Christian doctrine to pagan ceremonies. Sardis is the Protestant Reformation, whose works were not "fulfilled". Philadelphia is whatever bears clear testimony to the Word and the Name in the time of self-satisfied profession reproduced by Laodicea". - So, let's be good "Philadelphians," bold and no compromise!

"Joint Catechism" could be major publishing event

I have just had news, however, about an even more exciting and possibly epoch making publishing event. This will occur in England in April with the Publication by Search Press Ltd., of a book entitled "The Common Catechism - A Christian Book of Faith."

I have managed to get some preliminary information about it. This appears to justify the claim that it will be the first joint statement of "Protestant-Roman Catholic" belief to have appeared since the Reformation - indeed, perhaps, ever.

I notice that the Right Rev. Hugh Montefiore, Anglican Bishop of Kingston, says of The Common Catechism that it marks the start of a whole new era in ecumenism. Here is a book which Roman Catholics and Protestants have jointly written, an ideal book for priests and ministers to study together, to help existing inter-Church friendships to grow and to blossom into flower." - Church Times, 21-2-1975. [12]

The Roman Catholic Church and Ireland

Eight hundred years ago the English Normans were invited over to Ireland to sort out some Irish domestic difficulties about some- unsaintly and unscholarly behaviour of a king called, Dormot MacMrurough. Ever since the English have been bogged down politically and militarily in Irish affairs with the result that a great deal of bitterness and resentment has been engendered between the two races. Henry II only conquered a small part of the island but his conquest was greatly extended under the Roman Catholic Henry VIII and the Protestant Queen Elizabeth.

English and Scottish families were encouraged to cross the Irish Sea and found plantations of settlers who were regarded as foreigners by the native population. This caused frequent rebellions and counter measures which prevented the integration of the two peoples ethnically, politically, or religiously. A great climax was reached in the Easter rebellion in 1916 which enabled the large part of Ireland to break away from the rest of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

There could hardly have been much idea of maintaining "a Protestant Ascendancy" when there were few Protestants in parliament since the reign of Queen Victoria. The facts tell a different story.

The Ombudsman, Sir Edmund Compton, reported to Parliament, "My first years of office in Northern Ireland have not produced a single instance of culpable action in the organs of central Government." In one Constituency alone - Londonderry - was there found to be gerrymandering and immediate steps were taken to rectify it to the satisfaction of everyone.

Judge Scarman's Tribunal rejected utterly the allegations that the police were a partisan force co-operating with Protestant mobs. On the contrary the Tribunal was satisfied that the police were only concerned to preserve order on the streets using no more force than was necessary to preserve life and limb and to suppress rioting.

The religious factor has been in the Irish stew from the beginning, Pope Adrian IV by his Bull, Laudabiliter, gave Ireland to Henry II of England, on the basis of the Forged Isodorian Decretals. The Popes claim the British Islands as their property even though these documents have been proved false by Roman Catholic scholars. The Papal Bull Laudabiliter urged King Henry to invade Ireland in order to extirpate the roots of vice and to, plant Christianity where it had not been known before.

The Pope did not think much of the work of St. Patrick by alleging that there was no Christianity in Ireland before 1170 although St. Patrick was in Ireland in 432! And it must hurt the pride of every Irishman to think that he is one of the roots of vice! King Henry VIII, Defender of the Roman Catholic Faith, sought to solve the problem of his co-religionists by [13] settling English families in Ireland. Protestant Queen Elizabeth continued these settlements.

The English became Protestant and the Irish Remained Roman Catholic at the time of the Reformation which brought the religious factor into Irish politics and life. Hatred of the English heretics was fostered by the Church of Rome in accordance with her written constitution and she is directly responsible for the many plots, rebellions and massacres which stain the pages of Irish history. The involvement of the Church of Rome is evident even in these so-called ecumenical days. Her facade is to condemn local atrocities like the Birmingham bombings - where she could not very well do otherwise, as even her own people are horrified - while at the same time encouraging patriotism for Ireland and hatred for England. Thinking men now know that the aim of Romanism is to destroy the last bastion of Protestantism in Ulster no matter what it costs in men's lives.

Britain was shocked into swift reaction by the cowardly and murderous attacks on the innocent citizens of Birmingham about the time of the funeral of James McDade, an IRA bomber who blew himself up in the course of his foul activity. This upsurge of public opinion is reported to have caused the Roman Catholic Hierarchy to think seriously about excommunicating the IRA.

As Parliament debated bringing back the death penalty for acts of terrorism so the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church considered its ecclesiastical equivalent of the bell, book and candle ritual which is their final answer to the public sinner. This is a simple and logical step. Pope Innocent III excommunicated King John and placed England under an interdict.

We remember the priest in Isolotto, near Florence, who was excommunicated recently for holding a silent protest meeting in the cathedral. It was simple for the Bishop of Birmingham to refuse a funeral service to IRA McDade. British public opnion was not satisfied with the severe denunciation of terrorist activities which was read in all the Roman Catholic places of worship on the following Sunday.

'The Canon Law of the Church of Rome enjoins excommunication on public sinners. Why then is it not applied? The answer is that Rome is afraid that an interdict would not work with her people. The Pope supposedly has the power of binding and loosing but he cannot exercise it because of public relations. His people would not stand for it. There is not enough belief in the Infallible Papal power amongst the Irish and the English Catholics for the pretended successor of Peter to exercise his powers of excommunication and Interdict against his troublesome, followers. The tail is wagging the dog! The Irish Roman Catholics have followed the traditional preachings of their church blindly but they can no longer be relied to do so now.

The English Roman Catholics are still sensitive about their position in a country where the roots of the Reformation lie deep in the hearts of British men. Besides, many are descended from Irish immigrants and are torn between their dual loyalties. An English priest has just announced that while many Irish Roman Catholics did not condone violence they are in sympathy with the aims of the IRA.

The dilemma which Rome's policy has created for herself is that her soft policy towards remorseless gunmen may be [14] interpreted as connivance. If she holds a funeral service for a dead terrorist the public will interpret it as sympathy for his misdeeds, but if she does not she may lose her adherents in his Organisation.

"Any policy by the Roman Catholic Church towards the IRA in England has to be carried out against a background of profound public ignorance of the niceties of Catholic doctrine," writes Clifford Longley, the "Times" Religious correspondent. Exactly. This is one ignorance we are glad of because such casuistry is made necessary by the knowledge of God's Word. Casuistry is mainly equivocal and specious reasoning about religion and morality.

Longley concluded: "If further atrocities occur, pressure on the English bishops will grow. If they do not in the end choose to take down their copies of the rite of excommunication from their bookshelves, they may still have to look for some equally emphatic alternative." (The Reformer.)

The Pentland Rising - PART III: THE MARCH OF THE REBELS

"Stay, passenger, take notice what thou reads,
At Edinburgh lie our bodies, here our heads;
Our right hands stood at Lanark, these we want,
Because with them we signed the Covenant."

Epitaph on a Tombstone at Hamilton.

ON Friday the 16th, Bailie Irvine of Dumfries came to the Council at Edinburgh, and gave information concerning this "horrid rebellion". In the absence of Rothes, Sharpe presided - much to the wrath of some members; and as he imagined his own safety endangered, his measures were most energetic. Dalzell was ordered away to the West, guards round the city were doubled, the officers and soldiers were forced to take the oath of allegiance, and all lodgers were commanded to give in their names. Sharpe, surrounded with all these guards and precautions, trembled - trembled as he trembled when the avengers of blood drew him, from his chariot on Magus Muir - for he knew how he had sold his trust, how he had betrayed his charge, and he felt that against him must their chieftest hatred be directed, against him their direst thunderbolts be forged. But even in his fear the apostate Presbyterian was unrelenting, unpityingly harsh; he published in his manifesto no promise of pardon, no inducement to submission. He said, "If you submit not you must die," but never added, "If you submit you may live!" (1)

Meantime the insurgents proceeded on their way. At Carsphairn they were deserted by Captain Gray, who, doubtless in a fit of oblivion, neglected to leave [15] behind him the coffer containing Sir James's money. Who he was is a mystery, unsolved by any historian; his papers were evidently forgeries - that, and his final flight, appear to indicate that he was an agent of the Royalists, for either the King or the Duke of York was heard to say, "That, if he might have his wish, he would have them all turn rebels and go to arms." (2)

Upon the 18th day of the month they left Carsphairn and marched onwards.

Turner was always lodged by his captors at a good inn, frequently at the best of which their halting-place could boast. Here many visits were paid to him by the ministers and officers of the insurgent force. In his description of these interviews he displays a vein; of satiric severity, admitting any kindness that was done to him with some qualifying souvenir of former harshness, and gloating over any injury, mistake, or folly, which it was his chance to suffer or to hear. He appears, notwithstanding all this, to have been on pretty good terms with his cruel "phanaticks", as the following extract sufficiently proves:

"Most of the foot were lodged about the church or churchyard, and order given to ring bells next morning for a sermon to be preached by Mr. Welch. Maxwell of Morith, and Major M'Cullough invited me to heare 'that Phanatick sermon' (for soe they merrilie called it). They said that preaching might prove an effectual meane to turne me, which they heartilie wished. I answered to them that I was under guards, and that if they intended to heare that sermon, it was probable I might likewise, for it was not like my guards wold goe to church and leave me alone at my lodgeings. Bot to what they said of my conversion, I said it wold be hard to turne a Turner. Bot because I founde them in a merrie humour, I said, if I did not come to heare Mr. Welch preach, then they might fine me in fortie shillings Scots, which was double the suome of what I had exacted from the phanatics." (3)


This took place at Ochiltree, on the 22nd day of the month. The following is recounted by this personage with malicious glee, and certainly, if authentic, it is a sad proof of how chaff is mixed with wheat, and how ignorant, almost impious, persons were engaged in this movement; nevertheless we give it, for we wish to present with impartiality all the alleged facts to the reader:

"Towards the evening Mr. Robinsone and Mr. Crukshank gaue me a visite; I called for some ale purposelie to heare one of them blesse it. It fell Mr. Robinsone to seeke the blessing, who said one of the most bombastick graces that ever I heard in my life. He summoned God Almightie very imperiouslie to be their secondarie (for that was his language). 'And if, said he, 'thou wilt not be our Secondarie, we will not fight for thee at all, for it is not our cause bot thy cause; and if thou wilt not fight for our cause and thy oune cause, then we are not obliged to fight for it. They say,' said he, 'that Dukes, Earles, and! Lords are coming with the King's General against us, bot they shall be nothing bot a threshing to us.' This grace did more fullie satisfie me of the folly and injustice of their cause, then the ale did quench my thirst." (4)

Frequently the rebels made a halt near some roadside alehouse, or in some convenient park, where Colonel Wallace, who had now taken the command, would review the horse and foot, during which time Turner was sent either into the alehouse or round the shoulder of the hill, to prevent him from seeing the disorders which were likely to arise. He was [16] between Douglas and Lanark, permitted last, on the 25th day of the month, to behold their evolutions. "I found their horse did consist of four hundreth and fortie, and the foot of five hundreth and upwards . . . . The horsemen were armed for most part with suord and piston, some onlie with suord. The foot with musket, pike, sithi (scythe), forke, and suord; and some with; suords great and long." He admired much the proficiency of their cavalry, and marvelled how they had attained to it in so short a time. (5)

At Douglas, which they had just left on the morning of this great wapinshaw, they were charged - awful picture of depravity! - with the theft of a silver spoon and a night gown. Could it be expected that while the whole country swarmed with robbers of every description, such a rare opportunity for plunder should be lost by rogues - that among a thousand men, even, though fighting, for religion, there should not be one Achan in the camp? At Lanark a declaration was drawn, up and signed by the chief rebels. In it occurs the following

"The just sense whereof" - the sufferings of the country - "made us choose, rather to betake ourselves to the fields for self - defence, than to stay at home, burdened, daily with the calamities of others, and tortured with the fears of our own approaching misery." (6)

The whole body, too, swore the Covenant, to which ceremony the epitaph at the head of this chapter seems to refer.

A report that Dalzell was approaching drove them from Lanark to Bathgate, where, on the evening of Monday the 26th, the wearied army stopped. But at twelve o'clock the cry, which served them for a trumpet, of "Horse! Horse!" and "Mount the prisoner!" resounded through the night-shrouded, town, and called the peasants from their well-earned rest to toil onwards in their march.

The wind howled fiercely over the moorland; a close, thick, wetting rain descended. Chilled to the bone, worn, out with long fatigue, sinking to the knees in mire, onward they marched to destruction. One by one the weary peasants fell off from their ranks to sleep, and die in the rain-soaked moor, or to seek some house by the wayside wherein to hide till daybreak. One by one at first, then in gradually increasing numbers, at every shelter that was seen, whole troops left the waning squadrons, and rushed to hide themselves from the ferocity of the tempest. To right and left nought could be descried but the broad expanse of the moor, and the figures of their fellow-rebels seen dimly through the murky night, plodding onwards through the sinking moss. Those who kept together a miserable few - often halted to, rest themselves, and to allow their lagging comrades to overtake them. Then onward they went again, still hoping for assistance, reinforcement, and supplies; onward again, through the wind, and the rain, and the darkness - onward to their defeat at Pentland, and their scaffold at Edinburgh. It was calculated that they lost one half of their army on that disastrous night-march.

1 Wodrow, pp. 19, 20.

2 "A Hind Let Loose," p. 123.

3 Turner, p. 163.

4 Turner, p. 198.

5 Ibid, p. 167.

6 Wodrow, p. 29.