[2]
"THE EVIL DAY"

Brethren, it is an evil day, an evil day for our nation, an evil day for our Province, an evil day for our people and an evil day for the church. As we go to press the Pope, encouraged by both the Queen and the Prime Minister, is to come to Scotland, England and Wales.

The day the Pope lands on the soil of the United Kingdom will be the signal of a terrible curse upon our nation. It is a fact of history that the Pope's blessing always brings God Almighty's curse.

For example Rev. Arthur T. Pierson writing in the Christian Irishman, an official organ of the Irish Presbyterian Church, some years ago listed nine examples of this terrible and awful curse. (The Irish Presbyterian Church has departed so far today from its Protestantism that when the Pope visited the Irish Republic recently, the Clerk of the General Assembly welcomed him).

1. The Pope blessed the French traitor General Boulanger. In less than two weeks he committed suicide.

2. After being blessed by the Pope, Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, was murdered.

3. The famous ship 'The Palace' delayed its departure from Montevideo to Buenos Aires until it received the Pope's blessing. It sunk to the bottom two days later.

In more recent times the Pope blessed the armies of Hitler and Mussolini and the world knows the end of the two fascist dictators.

The involvement of the Royal House of Windsor in the Pope's visit bodes ill for the throne of England and is in direct violation of the Act of Settlement. Our nation is going to have a very sad reaping as the direct result of the Pope's visit, for the curse causeless does not come.

The whole nation has been conditioned by the blight of ecumenism and Rome sees our nation now ripe for the plucking.

After his visit the Pope is going immediately to Argentina to boast the cause of the Fascist dictators who are, in furtherance of their aggression, killing our servicemen on the Falkland Islands.

Such is the treachery of the Roman Antichrist. With the first martyred Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury we say, "I reject the Pope as Christ's enemy and Antichrist". [3]

"THE CURSE OF BOOZE"
A Sermon Preached by Dr. Paisley at Martyrs Memorial Church

Proverbs chapter 23, vs. 32: "At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder".

We are faced in our day and generation with a battle against accursed booze that no other generation and no other era in our history has been faced with. Of course the Public House has always been with us, but the Public House has been popularized by Lounge Bar drinking, drinking in which the whole family becomes involved, and evolving from Lounge Bar drinking has come the curse, the greater curse of Club drinking, and, of course, our liquor shops are closed on the Lord's Day. (Long may that continue. There is a battle on to have them opened). But substituting for the liquor shops and the public houses are the Clubs, and the Clubs have become a menace to society - an accursed thing, a cancer in the body polluting and that is going to destroy not only this generation but a coming generation. Here in Ulster for years we boasted of our sobriety, of our temperance and of our sturdy loyalty to principles that became those who professed the Protestant religion. But tonight Ulster has sunk into the deep pit, the dark pit of persistent drinking. The statistics are absolutely staggering, and should alarm every Christian, should alarm every parent and should alarm every person that has an interest in the future wellbeing of our Province, and the future prosperity of the coming generation.

In Northern Ireland (and I have a copy which I got as a member of the House of the report issued by the Department of Finance, Stormont, for the year '80-'81) in 1977 there were 437 licensed clubs. Today there are 537. A hundred new clubs have been opened.

22,489,850 pounds spent in the clubs, the 537 clubs of Northern Ireland, on intoxicating liquor. And we are in the midst of the worst recession that we have ever had. There is more unemployment. There is more poverty. There are more people having to make sacrifices today than ever they made before, and instead of the liquor business going down it is going up, and in one year they have jumped by over three million pounds. That should alarm every right thinking person.

Let us look at some of these clubs and see what they spend. The Albert Foundry Welfare & Recreation Association at the West Circular Road spent 117,423 on liquor during the year. The Ballyhackamore Working Men's Institute & Club, 1 Sandown Road, spent 104,889 on liquor.

I have looked at the Roman Catholic clubs (and the Roman Catholic population tell us they are in poverty. They tell us there is more unemployment among them than ever before, but the greatest amount of money spent in this city is spent in Roman Catholic clubs). Ballymurphy [4] Working Men's Club, Whiterock Road, 145,395. The Belfast Nightworkers' Social Club (they certainly drink at night by the look of this bill) 67-69 Ann Street, 93,950 on liquor.

The Castlereagh Working Men's Social Club, 93 Castlereagh Street, 59,007.

Here is one - the Christian Brothers Past Pupil's Union, 41,363 on liquor.

Crumlin Star Social & Recreational Club, 307,114 on liquor. Crusaders Social Club - 191,160. The Dockers' Social Club - 194,714.

Here is one that should shake up everybody in East Belfast, the East Belfast Constitutional Club, 353-359 Newtownards Road, 504,879 on liquor. One of the darkest unemployment spots in Northern Ireland, East Belfast, but that is what they spend on liquor.

The First East Belfast Liverpool Supporters' Club - 164,992. The Glasgow Rangers Supporters' Association, 40 Castlereagh Place, 109,990.

Harland & Wolff Employees' Social & Recreation Club - 88,551. Harland & Wolff Staff Sports & Recreational Association - 103,628. Harland & Wolff Welders' Social & Football Club - l94,150.

I could go on! The figures are staggering! These statistics tell a sad and sorry tale. Could I say, behind these statistics there is a story of pain, there is a story of tears, there is a story of heartaches, a story of broken homes, a story of broken marriages, a story of broken families, a story of broken bodies and a story of broken souls.

Evangeline Booth, the daughter of the founder of the Salvation Army, said, "Intoxicating liquor, it drained more blood, hung more crepe, sold more homes, snapped more wedding rings, defiled more innocents, blinded more eyes, twisted more limbs, dethroned more reasons, wrecked more manhood, dishonoured more womanhood, broke more hearts, drove more to suicide than any other scourge that ever swept across this world".

Here we are in this great city with all its evangelical background, with all its Gospel preaching, with all its Bibles and evangelism, and the tide of alcoholic liquor is taking this generation down to Hell, and polluting and poisoning and corrupting the coming generation, and the temperance battle of a past generation has got to be re-fought today in this city.

I will never forget in all my ministry a very tragic experience I had when I first came preaching on this Road.

A young mother came to the Church services with a bright-eyed, curly-headed little boy and a wonderful little girl. I made friends with both the little boy and the little girl. That woman carried a heavy cross - an almost unbearable cross. Her husband, who had been a very fine and wonderful husband and father, took to the booze through the position he had gained in his work (and allied with booze are a whole series of other sins - we have been reading about them in the Book of Proverbs) and that man went from bad to worse. Drink turned a good husband and a good [5] father into a devil in the home.

Many a time that woman shewed me the bruises upon her arms, the kickings she endured upon her legs, the beatings that the little boy and the little girl endured, because drink and sins associated with drink had turned that father and husband into a devil.

As a result of his evil living he took ill, he got a serious and dreadful disease. He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, he was isolated. I went to see him in the isolation ward. I will never forget that visit. I stood at the end of the bed and he said, "I don't want you to read the Bible here. I don't want you to pray here". He said, "I'm getting better, and immediately I get out of this hospital I'm going to enjoy myself and have another great binge and another great fling. I have had a wonderful time". "Well", I said to him, "I have come to do business, and whether you will hear or not I will read the Scriptures", and under his protest I read the Scriptures and then I offered a prayer, and he said to me, "Go, don't dare to come back again, I don't want to see you. I will soon be out anyway", and I warned him, I said, "Friend, you don't know that. You don't know what a day will bring forth". I walked down the corridor with a sad and broken heart, and I got to the door of the Royal Victoria Hospital and one of the nursing staff caught up with me and said, "You better come back". I said, "Why?" She said, "We would like to talk to you". I stepped into one of the little offices in the front of the old Reception area, and she said to me, "Mr. So and So has just died". I said, "I just left him". She said, "We know that, but just after you left, death came suddenly and tragically to him".

I was in the home on the day of that man's funeral, and I will never forget, (and this is the incident that burns in my soul and will burn in my soul forever), the little boy and the little girl, they were together in one of the side rooms, and they were having a tremendous time - a really good carry on. They were laughing and jumping and clapping their hands, and we went to the door and the little boy said to his sister, "Isn't it great, that bad man that beat mammy and us, he will never be back again", and they clapped their hands, and the little girl said, "Is it true, he will never be back?", and the little boy said, "Yes, he will never be back", and those two youngsters cheered and clapped, and their Dad's body in the coffin upstairs.

I want to tell you something. That man was no more wicked than any other man. When he was a sober man he was a loving husband, a kind husband and a good husband. When he was sober he was a good father and a loving father and a kind father, and for the start of that marriage there was perfect happiness, and when the children were born there was absolute joy, and then that man fell to this accursed thing called liquor, and liquor turned a good husband and, a good father into a devil, and he lost his love and was overcome by lust. He lost his interest in his family and in his wife, and went down the dark road to a dark Hell.

'A Bar to Heaven and a door to Hell,
Who ever named it named it well'. [6]

I will never forget that incident!

After 35 years I have some little experience of what drink does to men, and does to women, and does to families and does to homes.

I want to summons two witnesses to this pulpit tonight, to give evidence of this accursed thing called booze. First of all I would open the pulpit door and invite a prophet of God into the pulpit. He stands here to give his evidence. He says, "I am the great grandson of Enoch the prophet - the man who walked with God, and he who was not for God took him. My grandfather was Methuselah, he lived longer than any other man on earth. Why? Because his name was a name of warning, meaning 'After he is dead it shall be sent'. My father Lamech did not understand the meaning of his father's name, but one day as I walked in the woods God spoke to me and told me what the meaning was. 'Your grandfather is dead', God said, 'something is going to now happen, a deluge - a flood of waters is going to destroy this polluted, corrupted earth, and you have to make an ark, and you have to save your family, and to save the fowls of the air and the beasts of the field and the creeping things. I'm bringing them all into this great ark of refuge that shall outride the storm of my judgment'. I hastened home, I told my three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, what God said, and immediately we started to build this great ark. We worked for 120 years and the ark was finished, and the beasts of the field came, and the fowls of the air came, and the creeping things came and we all went into the ark, but with all my preaching not a man or woman of that generation would come in with us, just myself, my wife, my three sons and their wives, and when we were in that ark for some days, the great door of that ark closed of its own accord and God shut us in. Then the storm broke and the thunders howled and the lightnings struck, and the heavens poured out torrents of water, and the seas broke their boundaries and the oceans were held back no longer, and soon the ark that I and my sons had made was being tossed on the waters of the mighty deluge. But when the deluge was over and the ark rested on the Mount Ararat I came out of the ark, and we started to re-cultivate the land and I built a vineyard, and after I had built the vineyard I remembered how in the old corrupt antedeluvian area how they pressed the juice of the grape into the bottle, and how they allowed it to ferment, and I decided I would make drink. I, Noah, the man who walked with God, the man whom the flood could not drown, devised a plot that has drowned millions of souls, and I took of the bottle and I drank, and I the prophet of God became a drunkard, and not only so but in my tent a shameful deed was done upon my body by my second son, and I became not only a drunkard but I became a person whose body was polluted with the corruption of the age from which I had escaped. That is what drink did for me

Surely that testimony of a prophet of God should be enough warning to every child of God to spurn this evil Hell-soaked business and have nothing whatsoever to do with it. [7]

Let me bring another witness to this pulpit tonight. Let us open the pulpit door and this time we invite, not a prophet of God into the pulpit but a prince of the royal house of David - a young man of beauty, a young man of strength, a young man of power, and he says, "I am the son of David the king. I dwelt in Jerusalem with my father the man that wrote the Psalms, the man after God's own heart, but my companions introduced me to the bottle, and I touched that wine that was red to look upon. I took of that forbidden drink to the sons of the king of the royal house, and as a result my mind was perverted. As a result my whole being was perverted, and in my perversion I set my eyes upon my half sister, Tamar, and through drink and a drunken companion Jonadab, I destroyed the purity of my half sister, I made her a byword in the king's house, I put a stain on the name of my father David, a stain as dark as the midnight of Hell. Drink drove me to that dastardly deed. I knew that my half sister, Tamar's brother Absalom was angry and he designed to kill me. But after two years a great feast was held, and all the king's sons and myself were invited to the feast. I had drunk so much that I had forgotten the hatred of Absalom my half brother. I had forgotten the deed of shame that I had committed, so I went to the feast and I sat there, and I started to drink and my heart became merry with the drink, and when I was drunken Absalom took his knife and stuck it into my heart, and I died and I went to Hell because of liquor". Such is the evidence of Ammon, David's son.

In the face of such evidence could I raise a voice of warning. Young person, touch not, taste not, handle not. The first drink makes the drunkard, and 30% of all people that take liquor become alcoholics - 30% of them. The person that doesn't touch liquor, his average life is 65 years. A moderate drinker's average life is 51 years. A drunkard's average life is 45 years - cut off in the midst of his days!

Friend, tonight, let me tell you, refuse, for in refusing you will save your lives and perhaps the lives of others. Of course there is only one way to victory and that is to have the Saviour in your soul. There are men that were drunkards in this meeting, I know them well. Oh, they signed the pledge many a time. They declared they would never drink again but they did, but one day they met the Saviour, and from that day praise God they found deliverance. The chain was snapped, the fetters broken, the prison bars were smashed, and their soul was set free.

I would appeal to every man, every woman, every boy and every girl to come to Jesus Christ. The only safety in this world is to be in the keeping of the Blessed Son of God, under His Blood, protected by His wings, and linked to His glorious Person, and, praise God, tonight that can happen in your heart right now if you come to Jesus Christ.

AMEN AND AMEN!

[8]
SCRIPTURAL PRESBYTERIANISM by Dr. Henry Cooke

Much has, of late, been said and written about the "essential principles of Presbyterianism," the "constitutional principles of Presbyterianism," and the "unalienable rights of Presbyteries, and of the Presbyterian people." But, in the greater part of what has been said or written, there has been such vagueness and indistinctness in the application of terms, that the true meaning of the speakers and writers remains generally a secret to all, except themselves. This circumstance alone demands a brief, and plain, and scriptural exposition of the nature of genuine "Presbyterianism." But there is another reason demanding such an exposition. In this country, at the present day, the speakers and writers about "Presbyterian principles," have generally been persons favouring, or advocating the cause of Unitarianism. And such has been the boldness with which they have asserted and appealed to "Presbyterianism" as their profession, and its principles as their support, that it becomes necessary to guard the unwary against the specious imposition; to prevent "Presbyterianism" from being identified with "Unitarianism"; or from being supposed in any degree favourable to its principles of propagation.

Immediately from the Greek of the New Testament is derived the word "Presbyter," which signifies "Elder". From "Presbyter" we form the words "Presbyterian," and "Presbyterianism." So that the distinctive title of our church, in modern times, is directly derived from the primitive phraseology of the apostles. Presbyterianism, as a form of church government, stands distinguished from "Independency" upon the one hand, and "Prelacy" upon the other. But it does not, as some have thoughtlessly affirmed, stand opposed to "Episcopacy," i.e. government by bishops; or reject the title "Episcopalian," as descriptive of its constitution. The Presbyterian church is an Episcopalian church, for every Minister is the Bishop of his own congregation. Presbyterianism teaches that Bishop and Presbyter (whence Episcopacy and Presbyterianism), are, in the New Testament, only two different names for the same person and the same office, without inferiority in the one, or superiority in the other.

The parity of her Ministers is therefore the primary principle of Presbyterianism. This principle may be deduced from various portions of Scripture. But as we mean not to argue, but merely to make a statement, we confine ourselves to one authority, Acts xx, 17. "And from Miletus (Paul) sent to Ephesus, and called the Elders (in Greek, Presbyters) of the church; and when they were come to him, he said unto them, (28) Take heed, therefore, unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers (in the Greek, Bishops), to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Here nothing can be more manifest than the identity of Presbyters and Bishops. They are called Presbyters or Elders, in reference to their age and qualifications; they are called [9] overseers, or Bishops, with reference to their duty, the overseeing, or episcopacy, of the flock committed to their care. This passage seems to us fully to demonstrate the apostolical origin of Presbyterianism. The persons called from Ephesus were Presbyters, and all these were Bishops. Accordingly, all the Ministers of the Presbyterian churches are equal in point of rank, and office, and authority, and all are Bishops, or overseers, of their respective congregations. Presbyterianism is, indeed, the episcopacy of the New Testament.

By the second general principle, Presbyterianism is distinguished from Independency. The Independents form a numerous body in England, a considerable body in Scotland, and have a few churches in Ireland. According to their views of church government, every particular church, assembling in one place, is complete in itself; and is totally independent of the authority, power, and interference of any sister church whatsoever. But, according to Presbyterians, the sister churches of a country or province, form but one aggregate church, and should, in their general meetings, exercise a common episcopacy over one another in the Lord; and, by their respective delegates, meet in church courts, for the consideration and exercise of a common discipline.

This view of church fellowship is founded, like the former, upon various portions of the divine word; but is chiefly extracted from a consideration of the xv chapter of the Acts of the Apostles. The 2nd verse of that chapter gives us an example of delegates being sent from one church to another. The 6th verse presents us with a meeting of the church rulers, the apostles and elders. For while the Epistle, verse 23, runs in the name of the apostles, elders, and brethren, wt discover, from chapter xvi, verse 4, that the resolutions were passed only by "the apostles and elders, (Presbyters) that were at Jerusalem." Here, also, Presbyterians conceive they discover a union of churches in one common council, for the settlement of questions and exercise of discipline; and, taking this account as their example and authority, the common concerns of many churches are, in their estimation, to be superintended by a common and united authority. For let it be observed, that in chapter xiv, verse 26, we find Paul and Barnabas at Antioch, which was situated at a considerable distance from Jerusalem; yet the church at Antioch does not proceed to settle the question in dispute, but refers the cause to a common and united council of the churches assembled at Jerusalem.

The third general principle of Presbyterianism asserts the right of the people to elect their own Ministers, and of the Ministers to examine the qualifications of persons so elected, and, if satisfied of their fitness, to ordain them in their office.

There are in the New Testament two distinct examples of election. One of these we find, Acts vi 1,2,3,5; but this election being rather to a civil office, relating to the temporalities of the church, may, therefore, be considered inapplicable to the case of election to the ministry. We have, however, another example, Acts i, 15, 21, 22, 23, 26 - and here the election is to the apostleship, the most distinguished office in the ministry of Christ; yet this election, like the former, is not by the authority of any one individual, or even the united authority of the eleven apostles; but, as plainly appears from the narrative, by the common choice of all the [10] assembled brethren.

That the examination and decision respecting the qualifications of candidates, as well as their ordination to office, are lodged with the Ministers of the Gospel, is apparent from 1 Tim. iii. 10, and iv. 14. By the former it is required that candidates be carefully proved before their admission to the sacred offices of Bishop or Deacon; and, by the second, the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery, or council of the Elders, is described as the mode in which Timothy was appointed to the office of the ministry.

By a fourth general principle, Presbyterianism recognizes the order and rights of ruling Elders. The Jewish synagogue, upon which, it is generally supposed, the early Christian churches were modelled, possessed an order of men, corresponding, in rights and duties, with the ruling Elders of Presbyterians. The works of some of the primitive writers of the Christian church seem distinctly to recognize them as existing in their days. But the authority on which Presbyterians generally rely, is derived from 1 Tim. v. 17, where all Elders are said to rule, but some likewise to labour in word and doctrine. Whence we conclude, that there are two kinds of Elders in the church - one who both rules and teaches, i.e. in our language, the Minister; and one who only rules, i.e. the Elder. Another proof is deduced from Rom. xii. 7, 8, in which the apostle, in exhorting the various officers of the church to discharge their several duties with fidelity, adds, in reference to the ruling Elder, "He that ruleth, let him do it with diligence." To ruling Elders Paul seems also to refer, 1 Cor. xii. 28, under the general description of "helps and governments." The ruling Elders of the Presbyterian church should be helps to the Ministers in governing the church. And, as the church is called the "House of God," the government of a household or family is the true model of their common duties. Does a father provide for his family their meat in due season? So it is the duty of Ministers, with their helpers, the ruling Elders, to see that the people be supplied with the bread of life. Does a father provide for the education of his family? So should Ministers and ruling Elders mutually labour for the education of the people. Does a father sympathise with the afflicted members of his family? So the Presbyterian Minister and the ruling Elders are to visit the sick and the sorrowful. Does a father feel it his duty to chastise the disobedient? So the Minister and the ruling Elders are to exhort, rebuke, or cut off from the church the unruly and the profane. Does a father receive with joy the penitent and returning prodigal? So are the rulers of the church to restore the penitent in the charitable spirit of meekness.

Taking this scriptural view of the duties of the ruling Elder, the importance of his office must be obvious. And when Ministers do employ their Elders as "helps" in the government of the church, and where Elders are capable, and willing to rule with diligence," and to "help" in the cause of the Lord, there never has been, and there never can be, a more efficient moral machinery.

Having thus submitted, and, we trust, from Scripture established, the four general principles of Presbyterianism, we will now proceed to some obvious and practical conclusions.

1. The first observation deducible from our principles amounts to this, Presbyterianism is not a system of religious doctrine, but a mere form or [11] plan of church government. In this respect it is exactly similar to both Prelacy and Independency. Prelacy is not a system of doctrines. Independency is not a system of doctrines. They are both mere forms of church government.

2. We observe that the outward form of government is not necessarily, in any church, indicative of what doctrines are contained within it. The highest outward form of Prelacy contains within it the doctrines of Popery. Prelacy, again, is found to contain the various superstitions of the Greek churches. While Prelacy, the same in outward form, is found to contain, in other churches, the purest doctrines of the glorious Reformation.

Independency, in like manner, so far as it is a mere scheme of church government, is found to contain, under the same outward form, the most discordant materials. In one case it contains the most decided Calvinism. In another, it may be found internally Arminian. While, in a third, it may be found to contain within it the very lowest principles of Socinianism.

We are not to be surprised, therefore, if Presbyterianism, like other outward forms of church government, should occasionally be found to vary in its doctrinal contents. At one time it may contain Trinitarianism; at another, Arianism; at a third, Socinianism. But in all this it merely suffers in common with every possible form of church government; and teaches us never to be content with the mere outward architecture of the tabernacle or the temple, but to press through the now opened veil towards the ark, and the testimony, and the mercy-seat, and the God who is worshipped within. What are to us the boards and the drapery of the outward tabernacle, and the pillars and the doors of the outward temple, if the mercy-seat be removed, and the glory departed from the inner sanctuary? We worship not the temple, but the God of the temple. Yet the very dust of that temple is dear to the children of God; and, to the eye of faith, their God never appears so glorious as when, in his mercy and power, he builds and repairs his Zion. Psal. cii. 14, 16.

3. The consideration of the scriptural principles of Presbyterianism, will serve to correct an erroneous opinion respecting the "constitutional principles" and "inalienable rights of Presbyteries." That Presbyterians should occasionally mistake the principles of their own church, is a matter common to them with the members of other churches. The mistake, in the present instance, originates from want of distinguishing between "Presbytery," and "a Presbytery." Every Presbyterian holds Presbytery to be of divine right; and, as he has been accustomed, in ordinary language, to consider a few Ministers and Elders of a district as forming a Presbytery, he readily transfers the divine right of the general system to the usual routine duties of a particular assembly; and, should the general church interfere with one of her particular courts, he pronounces the rights of that court to be invaded, and Presbyterian principles destroyed. [12]

FOLLOWING IN THE FAITH AND FOOTSTEPS OF THE
FOUNDERS OF PRESBYTERIANISM IN ULSTER

When Dr. Henry Cooke was fighting his great battle against the Unitarians in that section of Irish Presbyterianism organised under the General Synod of Ulster, he with other like-minded orthodox Presbyterian brethren commenced a monthly magazine which was called "The Orthodox Presbyterian". The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster Is waging a similar battle today against the same apostasy, militantly denouncing Heterodoxy and defending Orthodoxy. The following article is adapted from the first Issue of The Orthodox Presbyterian which was published 153 years ago in October 1829.

Dr. Henry Cooke's battle resulted In the ejection of the non-Subscribers (those who would not conscribe the Westminster Confession of Faith) and Unitarians from the Synod of Ulster.

THEIR DOCTRINAL PRINCIPLES

The sentiments of those individuals who have been made the instruments of extending the boundaries of the church of Christ, and planting the standard of the cross in dark and uncivilized regions, have been, at all times, objects of considerable interest to their descendants. Great anxiety is felt to know how these venerable men thought and spoke, and reasoned on the subjects that have afterwards agitated the churches which they founded; though it has too often happened, as a natural consequence of the veneration which was justly entertained for their persons, that their opinions, when known, became the objects of a superstitious regard, and were too frequently converted into an infallible rule of faith. Such was the case with the early fathers of the church, during the dark ages of Popery. Their writings were indeed most diligently collected, and most minutely explored; but the authority of their sentiments was exalted above that of the Bible, and considered as sufficient in itself to decide every controverted point. While Protestants, however, entertain the highest veneration for the characters of the men who in times, either of Pagan darkness and idolatry, or Roman Catholic error and superstition, were the means of extending or of purifying the church; and while they also feel the deepest interest in ascertaining the views of Scripture-truth held by these Fathers and Reformers, they do not prosecute this inquiry for the purpose of idolizing their opinions, or of thereby regulating their own faith. The Bible being their only rule of faith and practice, the sentiments of the most eminent men in the world would not avail against its authoritative declarations. Though they, "or an angel [13] from heaven preach any other gospel" than that already revealed in the Scriptures, it must at once be rejected. But this principle does not prevent Protestants from inquiring into the doctrinal views of their more remote predecessors, as a matter of historical research. It neither supersedes the necessity, nor diminishes the interest of such an inquiry, which has at all times been considered as a legitimate branch of ecclesiastical history, and been pursued at the cost of much time, labour, and expense.

THE WORTH OF THIS TEXT

Particular circumstances, moreover, may occur in the history of the church, which might render such an inquiry peculiarly interesting and important. Should two parties, for instance, arise within the same communion, who, though differing widely in doctrinal sentiments, severally claim to be the genuine followers of those men who had originally formed and constituted their religious society; it then becomes indispensably necessary to ascertain what the sentiments of such men were, on the points that may be controverted: not, however, with the view of determining by which party the truth, abstractedly considered, may be held, for that is to be decided only by an appeal to the Word of God; but in order to ascertain by which party the doctrinal opinions of the founders of their church - be they in themselves right or wrong - are really entertained.

The most eminent of those Ministers who introduced the Presbyterian name and discipline into this country, in the first period of our church's history, were Edward Brice of Braidisland, R. Cunningham of Holywood, John Ridge of Antrim, George Dunbar of Larne, Josiah Welsh of Templepatrick, John Livingston of Killinchy, Mr. Hubbard of Carrickfergus, Robert Blair of Bangor, James Hamilton of Ballywalter, Andrew Stuart of Donegore, Henry Colwart of Oldstone, Robert Hamilton, Samuel Row, and John McClelland. These men, during their abode in Ulster, were associated together in the closest bonds of religious fellowship. Nothing could exceed the mutual harmony in which they lived and acted, except it were the zeal with which they laboured for the propagation of the truth. They were men much in prayer and in meditation on God's word and works. They preached every day of the week when their bodily strength permitted. They established a strict discipline by sessions in all their parishes: and observed days of fasting and thanksgiving both jointly as Ministers, and in their respective congregations. They held frequent meetings for prayer and conference; especially a monthly one of Ministers and people at Antrim, when two or three days were generally spent in exercises of devotion-measures which the history of the church shows to be as indicative of orthodox principles in those who engage in them, as the profession of the soundest creed in words could be. Though they could not, in conscience, submit to the rites and ceremonies of the Episcopal church, they heartily approved [14] of her confession, which had been drawn up by Archbishop Usher, and adopted by the convocation in 1615, and which was strictly Calvinistic.

FAITHFULNESS

When this confession was by the artifice and authority of Strafford, in 1634, exchanged for the thirty-nine articles of the English church, they did not object to it; conceiving the new confession to be of the same tenor in point of doctrine as the former, though they loudly complained of the canons which were at the same time introduced. And when they were obliged by the bishops to lay down their ministry and abandon the kingdom, this severity was distinctly stated to be owing, solely to their refusing to comply with the rites and government of the church, and not to the slightest discrepancy between their doctrinal sentiments and those of the established confession. Such of these Ministers as lived to reach Scotland, immediately joined the Presbyterian church there; and rendered her most important assistance, in her successful struggles to cast off the yoke of prelacy, and return to the principles that were avowed and propagated by Knox. Several of them soon rose to be among her most influential members; and to be distinguished for their zeal and ability in vindicating the Gospel from the doctrines of Arminianism, which, under the influence of the Scottish Prelates, had made their way into that kingdom. And nearly all of them were members of that church when the Solemn League and Covenant was drawn up and subscribed, and the Westminster Confession of Faith received and adopted, without a dissenting voice. These Ministers were Robert Blair, who was at first Minister at Ayr, and was afterwards removed to St. Andrews; James Hamilton settled first at Dumfries, and shortly after at Edinburgh; George Dunbar at Calder; Henry Colwart at Paisley; John Livingston, first at Stranraer, and afterwards at Anerum; John McClelland at Kirkudbright; Samuel Row at Dumfermline; and Robert Hamilton at Ballantrae. Hubbard, Brice, Welsh, and Stuart had died in Ireland before the persecution began; and Cunningham and Ridge died at Irvine shortly after they reached Scotland.

NO DOUBT ABOUT THEIR STAND

This brief review of the characters and history of the Fathers of our church, in the first or earliest period of her history, is decisive as to their doctrinal principles. Though we have little but their actions to appeal to, yet even by these fruits may we assuredly know that they were strictly orthodox in their opinions. When did Arians, even supposing that there were any in the church at this period, ever act like these venerated men? We know, indeed, that they have signed Calvinistic creeds, and have obtruded themselves into many churches under a false profession. But [16] when did they frame such confessions, or recommend them to others? When were they ever known to carry the Gospel into dark and uncivilized regions, where it had been previously unknown - to act as laborious, prayerful, devoted missionaries? When has it been their practice to hold social meetings for prayer, and the performance of devotional exercises, for their mutual encouragement and support in the work of the ministry? We answer, as a sect or body of professing Christians, never! It would be foreign, however, to the design of this paper, to contrast any further the conduct of acknowledged Arians with that of the founders of the Presbyterian church, for the purpose of illustrating their contrariety in point of doctrine. We have referred to this mode of proof, merely because of the paucity of records that remain relative to this branch of the personal history of our early fathers in the ministry. The only individuals among them who have left any written memorials of their lives or sentiments, are Blair and Livingston; and even in these memoirs, in consequence, as we have already stated, of the Arian heresy being altogether unknown among the Irish or Scottish clergy, we do not meet with any explicit testimonies against its dangerous errors. But the language - the sentiments - the incidents noticed, and the proceedings recorded - with the tone of thinking and speaking on religious subjects, by which their pages are pervaded, can leave no reader in a moment's doubt as to their having been the staunch and uniform upholders of that system of faith to which the term Orthodox is usually applied. With a few extracts from their writings, in corroboration of these remarks, we shall conclude the present paper.

JOHN LIVINGSTON

First, of Livingston. He thus relates the early determination of his mind to enter on the ministry of the Gospel:

"I do not remember the time or means particularly whereby the Lord at first wrought upon my heart. When I was but very young, I would sometimes pray with some feeling, and read the word with delight, but thereafter did often intermit any such exercise; I would have some challenges, and begin, and again intermit. I had no inclination to the ministry till a year or more after I had passed my degrees in the college, and that, upon this occasion, I had a bent desire to give myself to the knowledge and practice of medicine; I was very earnest to go to France for that purpose, and propounded it to my father, that I might obtain his consent, but he refused the same. About the same time, my father having before purchased some land, the rights whereof were taken in my name, propounded that I should go and dwell on that land, and marry. But finding that that course would divert me from a// study of learning, I refused that offer. Now, being in these straits, I resolved that I would spend a day alone before God,- and knowing of a secret cave, I went thither, and after many to's and fro's, and much confusion, and fear about [17] the state of my soul, I thought it was made out to be that I behoved to preach Christ Jesus; which if I did not, I should have no assurance of salvation. Upon this, I laid aside a// thoughts of France, and medicine, and land, and betook me to the study of divinity." - Life, p. 5, 6.

In reference to the second period of his life, when he was as yet only a Probationer, he observes:-

"Those books whereby I profited most were the sermons of Mr. Robert Rollock, Mr. Robert Bruce, Mr. J. Welsh, and Mr. David Dickson, whom I thought of all I had read breathed most of the spirit of God, were best affected, and most clear, plain, and powerful. Several of Mr. Robert Rollock's sermons are in print. I got in loan a large book of sermons of Mr. Welsh's, in which are almost nothing but unfolding of the inward exercise of a Christian. Mr. Robert Bruce I several times heard, and in my opinion never man spake with greater power since the Apostles' days. There are five or six of his sermons printed: and Mr. David Dickson I often heard, and borrowed several of his written sermons." - Life, p. 12.

It need not be added, that more zealous upholders of Calvinism are not to be found than these eminent Ministers, to whose sermons Livingston thus affixes the unqualified mark of his approbation.

THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY

When in Ireland, he thus narrates the ordinary proceedings of himself and his brethren in the ministry:-

"Not only had we public worship free of any inventions of men, but we had also a tolerable discipline; for after I had been some while among them, by the advice of heads of families, some ablest for that charge were chosen elders, to oversee the manners of the rest, and some deacons, to gather and distribute the collections. We met every week, and such as fell into notorious public scandals, we desired to come before us. We needed not to have the communion oftener than twice a year in each parish, for there were nine or ten parishes within the bounds of twenty miles, or little more, wherein there were godly and able Ministers that kept a society together, and every one of these had the communion twice a year at different times, and had two or three of the neighbouring Ministers to help thereat, and most part of the religious people used to resort to the communions of the rest of the parishes. Most of all the Ministers used ordinarily to meet the first Friday of every month at Antrim, where was a great and good congregation, and that day was spent in fasting, and prayer, and public preaching. Commonly two preached every forenoon, and two in the afternoon. We used to come together the Thursday's night before, and stayed the Friday's night after, and consulted about such things as concerned the carrying on of the work of God: and these meetings, among ourselves, were sometimes as profitable as either Presbyteries or Synods."

On his banishment from Scotland, at the Restoration, he wrote a [18] farewell letter to his parishioners, in which, after giving them many important counsels, he adds:-

"I recommend to you, above all books, except the blessed Word of God, the Confession of Faith and Larger Catechism."

This eminent servant of God, after numerous trials and vicissitudes, died at Rotterdam, in Holland, in 1672. He died as he had lived, an Orthodox Presbyterian; for on his death-bed he made this solemn declaration:-

"I die in the faith that the truths of God, which he hath helped the church of Scotland to own, shall be owned by him as truths, so long as sun and moon endure."

ROBERT BLAIR

The only other Minister of this period, of whom any printed records remain, is Blair. He has written "Memoirs of his Life", in which the most decided intimations of his religious principles are given. When a regent or professor in the College of Glasgow, he thus describes how he was led to receive and live upon Christ, as "God manifest in the flesh":-

"Then began I in earnest to study his person, his natures, and his offices; how he is made to us of God, not only wisdom as the great promised prophet, righteousness as our justifier and absolver, but also sanctification as our king, to reign in us, and work that which is well pleasing in his sight. Then looked I with pleasure upon his human nature, wherein he is sib (related) to us. Comfortable was the report that 'unto us a child is born and a son given' Isa. ix. 6, 'who shall be the peace when the Assyrian shall come into our land, and when he shall tread in our palaces'. Mic. v. 5, 'and who being made like one of us, partaking of flesh and blood with the children, both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified, are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren'. Heb. ii. 11. And the consideration of his human nature, wherein he 'is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, issued in strong consolation; for upon this ground we are exhorted to 'come boldly into the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need'. And so our Saviour was made fit to be a sacrifice to satisfy for sin, and a more familiar (friend) to whom we might have recourse for sanctification to help us against all temptations as our need requireth, seeing, 'for this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil'. 1 John, iii. 8. Now, as the consideration of his human nature proves thus comfortable in order to our sanctification, so also his divine nature; for the child that is born to us, the Son that is given to us, his name is'the mighty God, the everlasting Father'. " - Life, p. 25. [19]

BANGOR

When settled in Ireland, he gives nearly the same account as Livingston does, of his diligence in the work of the ministry, and the progress of practical religion among the people:-

"My charge was very great, consisting of about six miles in length, and containing about 1200 persons come to age, besides children, who stood greatly in need of instruction. This being the case, I preached twice every week, beside the Lord's Day, on all which occasions I found little difficulty, either as to matter or method. But finding still that this fell short of reaching the design of a gospel-ministry, and that the most part continued vastly ignorant, I saw the necessity of trying a more plain and familiar way of instructing them: and, therefore, besides my public preaching, I spent as much time every week as my bodily strength could hold out with, in exhorting and catechising them." - Life, p. 52-3.

We meet with another incidental but decided proof of his religious principles, in reference to a most important article of the Christian Faith, in the following account which he gives of his intercourse with the celebrated Usher, Archbishop of Armagh - a narrative which, however brief, cannot fail to interest every Orthodox Presbyterian:-

"In March, 1627, my noble patron, Lord Claneboye, having had a great esteem of Primate Usher, would have me to accompany him to a meeting of the nobility and gentry of Ulster with the Primate. Accordingly I went, and had a kind invitation to be at his table while I was in town. But having once met with the English Liturgy there, I left my excuse with my patron, that I expected another thing than formal liturgies in the family of so learned and pious a man. The Primate excused himself, by reason of the great confluence that was there; and had the good nature to encourage me to come to Drogheda, where his ordinary residence was, and where he would be more at leisure to be better acquainted with me. I complied with the Primate's invitation, and found him very affable and ready to impart his mind. He desired to know what was my judgment concerning the nature of justifying and saving faith. I told him in general that I held the accepting of Jesus Christ, as he is freely offered in the Gospel, to be saving faith. With this he was well satisfied; and by a large discourse confirmed and further cleared the same, by the similitude of a marriage, where it is not the sending or receiving of gifts, but the accepting the person, that constitutes the marriage. From this he passed on to try my mind concerning ceremonies; wherein we were not so far from agreeing as I feared. For when I had freely opened my grievances, he admitted that all these things ought to have been removed, - but the constitutional laws of the place and time would not permit that to be done. He added that he was afraid our strong disaffection to these would mar our ministry, and that he had himself been importuned to stretch forth his hand against us; and that, though he would not for the world do that, he feared instruments might be found who would do it, and he added that it would [20] break his heart if our successful ministry in the North were interrupted. Our conference ending, he dismissed me very kindly, though I gave him no high titles; and when trouble came upon us, he proved our very good friend." - Life, p. 64.


BLAIR'S TESTIMONY

The only other evidence of the religious opinions of Blair, to which we have space for referring in this paper, is afforded by the following notice of a conference he had with one of the Judges of Assize, before whom, when on the Northern circuit, he had the opportunity of preaching at Downpatrick:-

"After sermon on the Lord's Day, one of the Judges, wanting to confer with me, sent for me to his lodgings; where, after professing his satisfaction with what I had delivered, especially in my last sermon, 'for therein', said he, 'you opened a point which I never heard before, viz. the covenant of redemption made with Christ the Mediator, as head of the elect', he entreated me to go over the heads of that sermon with him; and, opening his Bible, he read over and considered the proofs cited; and was so well satisfied, that he protested if his calling did not tie him to Dublin, he would gladly come to the North, and settle under such a ministry." - Life, p. 69, 70.

UNITY

From these extracts it is easy to perceive what were the religious principles of Livingston and Blair; and when we know these, we know the principles of their brethren. So close and intimate was the union that subsisted between the fathers of our church, that the sentiments of one were the sentiments of all. They were steadfast believers in the deity of Christ, and the efficacy of his atonement; and their views of saving faith, of the covenant of redemption, and the doctrines of grace, were in exact accordance with those laid down in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Such were the religious principles on which the foundation of the Presbyterian church in Ireland was laid by these wise master-builders Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone. It was the owning and inculcating of these principles that gave our church, in those days, all her power and glory. In proportion as she abided in them, did her cause prosper in the land. When she declined bearing testimony to their truth, her prosperity was impaired and interrupted. Indifference, formality, and error with its attendant evils, discord and disunion, prevailed.

[21-27 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

[27]
IS MYSTICAL BABYLON OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION THE CHURCH OF ROME?
By Bishop Charles Wordsworth

Has not the Church of Rome fulfilled the Apocalypse in the eyes of men, and does she not proclaim her own identity with the Woman in the Apocalypse, even by the outward garb of scarlet, gold, precious stones, and pearls, in which she invests her Pontiff at his election, and in which she then displays him to the world?

And has not she fulfilled the Apocalypse, and proclaimed her own identity with the Woman whose name is Mystery, the Mother of Abominations, by commencing every Pontificate with making the Pontiff her own idol, by lifting him up on the hands of her Cardinals, and by placing him on God's Altar, and by kneeling before him as he sits upon that Altar, and by kissing his feet? Does she not make herself the Mother of Idolatry, by paying such adoration as this in the person of her [28] Cardinals, and by receiving it in the person of her Pope? And, by her long practice of this particular form of abomination, has she not identified herself with the Apocalyptic power, whose name is Mystery, and also with the "Mystery of Iniquity," described by the Apostle St. Paul as enthroned in the Temple and Sanctuary of God. And by placing her Pontiff to be adored, like the Most High, in God's presence on God's Altar in a Christian Church, as Antiochus Epiphanes placed an idol to be adored on God's Altar in the Temple at Jerusalem, has she not identified him with Lucifer, the King of Babylon, whose pride and fall are portrayed by Isaiah, and with the Abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, and by our Blessed Lord Himself?

THE PROPHECY OF ZECHARIAH

Zechariah, whose spirit appears to have been imbibed, as his language is adopted, by St. John, beholds, in one of his Visions, an Epha, or Measure, and a Woman seated in it.

An Angel points to the Woman, and says, "This is Lawlessness," 'ANOMIA. Such is the word in the Septuagint.

Thus speaking, he presses her down in the Epha, and places a mass of lead on her mouth.

Then two women appear, who have the Spirit in their wings, and they take up the Woman in the Epha, and carry her away.

The Prophet asks whither they are taking her. The angel replies, to Babylon.

What, now, is the meaning of this Vision?

It is spiritual.

The Epha is a measure, the symbol of equity. With this measure, well filled and running over, the Woman ought to have dealt out the spiritual food, the bread of life, to God's people; but she is not Equity, but "Lawlessness," and the Epha is not full, but empty: she has neglected her duty, and she is punished by the instrument with which she has sinned, the Epha; it is empty, and she is placed in it, and her mouth is stopped with lead. That is, the faithless Church is silenced, and is removed from her place, and made desolate - carried to Babylon; or, as the Septuagint expresses it, a house is built for her in the land of Babylon.

Observe, the Woman is called Lawlessness.

This word, "Lawlessness," is a prophetical word, which connects the predictions of Zechariah and St. Paul, in the same manner as the words "Abomination" and "Mystery" connect those of Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John.

THE TEACHING OF PAUL

Our Lord, in the same prophecy as that in which He speaks of the setting up of the Abomination of desolation, speaks also of the overflowing of Lawlessness. [29]

And St. Paul, in the prophecy before mentioned, calls the power, which claims adoration, by the same name. He entitles it the Mystery of Lawlessness. And he designates its head, the Lawless one. Thus the Apostle adopts the language of Zechariah, as made ready for him in the Greek Version. He identifies the Mystery of Lawlessness with the Woman described as Lawlessness by that Prophet.

And now turn to St. John: he also adopts the Prophet's imagery and language. The Woman whose name is Lawlessness, as described by Zechariah, is carried in the Epha to Babylon, and placed there. And the Woman in the Apocalypse is Babylon.

Another question then arises here; has not the Church of Rome, by suppressing God's Word, instead of dispensing it, identified herself with the Woman in the empty Epha, the woman whose mouth is stopped with lead, whose name is Lawlessness, and whose house is Babylon; and has she not thus, also, identified Herself, in another respect, with the mystery of Lawlessness, as portrayed by St. Paul, and with Babylon, as described by St. John, which will be cast into the sea like a millstone, never to rise again?

ZECHARIAH'S IDOL

The same Prophet, Zechariah, uses a remarkable expression in another place, Woe to the IDOL Shepherd! that is, to the Pastor, who is adored in the place of God. Woe to the idol Shepherd, that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

Such is the voice from heaven to the idol Shepherd: and such is the woe denounced on him who boasts himself to be the UNIVERSAL SHEPHERD, and sits as an IDOL on the Altar in the Temple of God, and is worshipped in the place of God.

Either the claims of the Church of Rome are just; or they are not.

ONE

If they are, she is infallible, and indefectible. She is the Mother and Mistress of all Christian Churches. Her Pontiff is the Universal Pastor; the Centre of Unity; the Father of the Faithful; the Supreme Head, and Spiritual Judge of Christendom. And it is the duty of all to obey him.

Now, we hold in our hand the Apocalypse of St. John, the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the Voice of the Spirit to the Churches, the prophetic history of the Church from the Apostolic age to the Day of Doom.

In it the Holy Spirit places us at Rome: He points to its seven hills: He shows us the City of Rome enthroned upon them: He retains us there while He reveals to us its future history, even to its total extinction, which He describes. [30]

TWO

If, now, Christ had instituted a spiritual supremacy, and fixed an Infallible Authority anywhere, it may reasonably be supposed that the Holy Spirit, in revealing the future history of the Church in the Apocalypse, and in providing guidance and comfort for her under all her trials which He predicts, would not have failed to notice such Supremacy and such Authority, in that book.

THREE

If Christ had settled that Pre-eminence at Rome, the Holy Spirit, when speaking specially and copiously of Rome, and tracing her history, even to the day when she will be burnt with fire, and her smoke ascend to heaven, would not have omitted to mention it.

FOUR

If the Holy Spirit's awful description of the doom and desolation of the Harlot applies to the City of Rome, either Heathen or Infidel: and if the Church of Rome is what she herself affirms - the true Spouse of Christ, the Mother of all Churches - assuredly the Holy Spirit would have taken great care that no reasonable man should ever be able to confound the Church of Rome with Babylon, and to impute to the Christian Church of Rome what He intended for the Heathen or Infidel City of Rome.

Now what is the fact? Read the Apocalypse.

1. Not a word does the Holy Spirit there say of the existence of any Supreme Visible Head of the Church.

2. Although (as Romanists allow) He there speaks largely of Rome, and although (as they allow also) He is writing a prophetic History of the Church of Christ, yet not a word does He say of the Church of Rome being the centre of Unity -the Arbitress of Faith - the Mother and Mistress of Churches. Not a word does He there speak in her praise. Indeed her advocates say that He does not mention her at all!

How unaccountable is all this, if, as they affirm, Christ has instituted such a Supremacy, and if (as they affirm also) He has placed it at Rome!

THE OTHER ALTERNATIVE

But now take the other alternative. Let the claims of the Church of Rome be unfounded; then there is no medium, they are nothing short of blasphemy; for they are claims to Infallibility, Indefectibility, and Universal Dominion, which are Attributes of God alone.

And now again we open the Apocalypse. What do we find there?

We see there a City portrayed - a great City - the great City, the Queen [31] of the Earth when St. John wrote, the City on Seven Hills - the City of Rome.

At Rome, then, we are placed by St. John. We stand there by his side. This city is represented as a Woman, it is called the Harlot. It is contrasted with the Woman in the Wilderness, the future Bride in Heaven; that is, with the faithful Church, now sojourning here, and to be glorified hereafter.

The Harlot persecutes, with the power of the Dragon; the Bride is persecuted by the Dragon: the Harlot is arrayed in scarlet, the Bride in white: the Harlot sinks to hell, the Bride ascends to heaven. The Bride is the faithful Church; the Harlot, contrasted with her, is a faithless Church.

The City, then, which is called a Harlot, is a faithless Church; and that City is Rome.

This Harlot City is represented as seated upon many waters, which are Peoples, and Nations, and Tongues. Kings give their power to her; and commit fornication with her. She vaunts that she is a Queen for ever. Thus she is displayed as claiming a double supremacy.

LOOK AT ROME

Now, look at Rome. She, she alone of all the Cities that are, or ever have been, asserts universal supremacy, spiritual and temporal. She wields two swords. She wears two diadems. And she has claimed this double power for more than a thousand years. "Ruler of the World" - "Universal Pastor" - these are the titles of her Pontiff. She boasts that she is the Catholic Church; that she is alone, and none beside her on the earth: she affirms, that her light will never be dim, her Candlestick never be removed. And yet she teaches strange doctrines. She has broken her plighted troth, and forgotten the love of her espousals. She has been untrue to God. She has put on scarlet robe and gaudy jewels and bold look of a harlot, and gone after other gods. She canonizes men, and then worships them. She has endeavoured to make the Apostles untrue to their Lord, and the Blessed Mother of Christ into more than a rival of her Divine son. She prays to Angels, and so would make them instruments of dishonour to the Triune God, before Whose glorious Majesty they veil their faces. She deifies the creature, and so defies the Creator.

THE HARLOT CITY

St. John, when he calls us to see the Harlot-city, the seven-hilled City, fixes her name on her forehead - Mystery - to be seen and read by all. And he says, Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy. [32]

Her title is MYSTERY, a secret spell, bearing a semblance of sanctity: a solemn rite, which promises bliss to those who are initiated in it: a prodigy inspiring wonder and awe into the mind of St. John: an intricate enigma, requiring for its solution the aid of the Spirit of God.

Heathen Rome slaying the Saints was no Mystery. Rome, if she becomes infidel and persecutes the Truth, will be no Mystery. But a Christian Church, calling herself the Mother of Christendom, and yet drunken with the blood of saints -this is indeed a Mystery. A Christian Church boasting herself the Bride, and being the Harlot; styling herself Sion, and being Babylon - this is indeed a Mystery. A Mystery indeed it is, that, when she says to all, "Come unto me," the voice from heaven should cry, "Come out of her, My People." A Mystery indeed it is, that she who boasts of sanctity, should become the habitation of devils: that she who claims to be Infallible, should be said to corrupt the earth: that a self-named Mother of Churches, should be called by the Spirit the Mother of Abominations: that she who boasts to be Indefectible, should in one day be destroyed, and that Apostles ' should rejoice at her fall: that she who holds, as she says, in her hands the Keys of Heaven, should be cast into the lake of fire by Him Who has the Keys of hell. All this, in truth, is a great, an awful, Mystery.

Nearly eighteen centuries have now passed away, since the Holy Spirit declared, by the mouth of St. John, that this Mystery would be revealed in that City which was then the Queen of the Earth, the City on Seven Hills - the CITY of ROME.

WE ARE BEGINNING TO SEE

The Mystery was then dark, dark as midnight. Man's eye could not pierce the gloom. The fulfilment of the prophecy seemed improbable - almost impossible. The Saints of old could not scrutinize it. The Fathers could not penetrate it. Who would believe it now, that had not seen the event? Age after age rolled away. The mists which hung over it became less thick. The clouds began to break. Some features of the dark Mystery began to appear, dimly at first, then more clearly, like mountains at daybreak. Then the form of the Mystery became more and more distinct. The Seven Hills, and the Woman sitting upon them, became more visible. Her voice was heard. Strange sounds of blasphemy were muttered by her. Then they became louder and louder. And the golden chalice in her hand, her scarlet attire, her pearls and jewels, glittered in the sun. Kings and nations were seen prostrate at her feet, and drinking her cup. Saints were slain by her power. And now the prophecy became clear, clear as noon-day; and we tremble with awe at the sight, while the eye reads the inscription emblazoned in large letters, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT," written by the hand of St. John, guided by the Spirit of God, on the forehead of the CHURCH OF ROME.