Plain Words to Ritualists on their way to Rome.

No. 1.
The Cambridge Chamber of Darkness.
C. Stanley.

“And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall. And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here. He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do. Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord’s house which was toward the north; and behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” (Ezek. 8:5-16.) Thus did the ancients of Israel do in the dark. And thus speaks the word of God of their wicked abominations, both of the image of jealousy, and of their pictures portrayed on the wall.

I would now ask you to go with me, not to Jerusalem, but to Cambridge, one of the great seats of learning in England.

One word of explanation. I had been with a friend to visit a sick person. The mother of this invalid had a room in the court or yard, which she desired to let to my friend. He asked me to look at it with him.

Now I want you to go in with me, and I will help you to look at it for yourself. At least I will describe exactly what I saw. We will follow the owner of this room. It is dark: she takes a candle in her hand up the dark passage. She has the keys: but before we go in, I must tell you, so as to prepare you a little, that this room in the dark passage is let at present to some members of the University; and the owner is very wishful for them to give it up.

After some difficulty the door in the wall is opened. We have only one candle. Dear me, how dim and strange this place looks! What can that be opposite the entrance? Why look, it is actually a large image of a dead Christ lying down! And that? an image of a woman, leaning or weeping over the awful-looking dead body of Christ! And that? what can that large triangle of wood be, with candles stuck on it, burnt nearly down to the sockets? I should have been puzzled if I had not seen this same purgatorial triangle in the temples of idolatry on the continent. There you may see a distressed widow or orphan come and buy a candle, place it on the triangle, and then kneel before some image in prayer for a supposed soul in Purgatory whilst the candle burns. And this is done by millions in what is called Christendom!

Do you see that penitential chair before the awful image? Just look at those sticks fastened to the back of the chair, to support, I suppose, the hands uplifted in idol worship! and did you ever see such horrid-looking cloaks, black and ugly? Well, you would almost think, the order of Beelzebub must worship here. Hush! some of the most gentlemanly members of the University meet here. You notice that large cross behind the prostrate body? And these articles, what are they? Incense vessels, and other utensils of idolatry.

Now step through this hole in the wall, and see other abominations. A strange feeling creeps over you. The light is very dim. You see that image of an angel, meekly asking you to dip your finger in the holy water; no, by the way, it is all dried up. Now look round. Yes, that is the image of the Virgin Mary queen of heaven; and the little child. And there the altar with its great flaring cross; there the desk; here lie vestments and books. We will examine those books shortly. But this place looks so dismal; where are the windows? Oh, this is like the old worship of Tammuz! The dark chambers of idolatry. Now look, those windows are carefully boarded up. Not a ray of God’s light must enter this chamber of spiritual abominations. What! not a chink between the boards? The members of the Confraternity have carefully, most carefully, papered over those boards; and where the light of day should be, there stands their altar. Oh England! England! these be the men, preparing to be thy parish antichrists!

The books! I said above, we will examine these books. As surely as God has bid me sound this alarm, those books will come into my hands, though humanly speaking, it seems impossible, as they are only sold to the Confraternity. But one of them came into my hands a few days ago — I will tell you how.

Last Lord’s day evening I felt as it were compelled to preach from two words “The night.” The verse reads, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Rom. 13:12.) Truly God moves in a mysterious way. There was a stranger in the audience from a distance, a member of this very Confraternity; but I knew it not. I was led to inquire why the Holy Spirit speaks of the period of Christianity as “the night.” And I was directed in the scriptures in a remarkable way.

In Paul’s farewell address, he distinctly foretold that after his departing grievous wolves should enter in amongst them; and even as to themselves things should come to a bad state. But he does not give the slightest hint of any succession of men to whom he could commend the believers. He commends “them to God, and the word of his grace.” (See Acts 20:28-31.)

Nay, in the very earliest epistles, the night was advancing. He tells the Thessalonians, that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work” and goes on until the days of the wicked one who “shall be destroyed by the brightness of the coming” of Christ. (2 Thess. 2:5-11.)

The apostle John said, “Even now are there many antichrists.” (1 John 2:18.) And read the description that Jude gives of the “certain men that had crept in unawares.” Is it not remarkable that during those days of apostasy, if God had intended to give a succession of priests, He should not, in at least one instance, have directed the believer to them? Peter devotes a whole chapter to these false teachers, but not a syllable about trusting his successors. (2 Peter 2.)

Paul shows them to be false apostles, ministers of Satan. (2 Cor. 11:13-15.) And the Spirit describes expressly the Roman Catholic marks of the latter times; denouncing them as the doctrines of devils. “Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.” (1 Tim. 4:1-3.)

And then, what a description of the condition of these very last days in 2 Timothy 3! And yet not one word either to trust the priest, or the church; no, God Himself and His holy word. “The night;” what a night this has been! but the morning breaketh.

There are two very striking numbers, often used in scripture: Four and Seven.

The Lord has used each of these to divide the night. “Watch ye therefore; for ye know not when the Master of the house cometh; at even or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning.” (Mark 13:34.)

1. The even. We see the church, as an outward testimony, fails even before the end of apostolic times. God had His own, and knew them; but the church, as a light in the world, failed immediately as all had done before it.

2. The midnight darkness of the papal ages.

3. The awakening of the Reformation.

4. The morning. The present moment; so near the coming of our blessed Lord.

Now if you turn to Revelation 2, 3, the Lord divides “the night” (the prophetic history of Christendom and His judgment of it) into seven successive periods, the last four running on together to the end.

1. Ephesus. Decline of first love.

2. Smyrna. Persecution, and the introduction of Ritualism, and a priesthood; the blasphemy of saying they are Jews; that is, those who take the place of being so-called priests, &c., and are not.

3. Pergamos. Satan’s old seat of Baal worship, amalgamation of that world-worship with the professing church. It gets darker.

4. Thyatira. Dark long years of Jezebel — Rome.

5. Sardis. Results of the Reformation. Few names.

6. Philadelphia. Near the morning, souls gathered outside, to the person of Christ, and Ritualism again to contend with; those who take the place of so-called priests, and are not.

7. Laodicea. The sad final state and rejection of Christendom. After the close of this judgment of the seven stages of “the night.” The church is no more seen on earth, but in heaven until she comes with the Lord. (Chap. 19.)

Such is a brief outline of the scriptures that were brought before us on Lord’s day evening last.

On the Monday morning this stranger called upon me and owned the Lord had used the word in power to her soul. She wished to know however, if any one had informed me about her case. I assured her that I knew not a word. She then told me that she was a member of the Holy Confraternity; and that her eyes had been completely opened; and she felt she must give it all up utterly. She then took her little book out of her pocket, and gave it to me — a copy of one of the books used in the Cambridge chamber of darkness — the one from which I had taken extracts.

Before we look at this book, I would relate that this lady informed me that there are thousands of members of this Confraternity throughout England. She named Ritualistic clergymen of this neighbourhood, as members.

The book is called “The Manual of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ. Sixth ed.” The chief professed object of this Confraternity is “The honour due to the person of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood.” (Page 7.) Its form of government is very similar to, if not the same as, the order of the Jesuits — a Superior General, and a council, also Superiors of various wards, in short, a most perfect organisation. The Superior General must be a bishop or a priest. The greatest care is to be observed in admitting a member. Each is to be fully instructed, name and full address kept, &c.

The candidate is admitted kneeling, and the priest standing. Then follow prayers, on the idolatrous principle that the bread and the wine are turned into God. A medal of membership is given.

Nothing in Rome can possibly exceed the idolatry of the prayers that follow. “O God, who dost wonderfully refresh Thy Church by Thy precious Body and Blood;” and again, “O my beloved Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I firmly believe, because Thou hast said, ‘This is my Body; this is my Blood,’ that in this blessed sacrament Thou art truly present; Thy Divinity and Thy humanity, with all the treasures of Thy merits and Thy grace; that Thou art Thyself mystically offered for us in this Holy Oblation.” Again, “I ADORE Thee, O Lord my God, whom I now behold veiled beneath these earthly forms; prostrate I adore Thy Majesty.” “Jesus, our wonderful God, who vouchsafest to be present upon the altar when the priest pronounces the words of consecration; have mercy upon us.” Prayer after prayer of this kind follows. In fact, every prayer an act of devotion and adoration is to “our Lord present in the Holy Eucharist.” The Eucharist is regarded as the victim offered on the altar: “O sacred victim, offered in satisfaction for the sins of the world.” It is spoken of as the “pure offering,” “the awful sacrifice,” and “the victim consumed on the altar.”

The lady referred to above informed me that this book was commonly used by all the members of this Confraternity in the churches of England during what they call “celebration.” Here then is a vast confederation of idolaters. Thousands and thousands are worshipping the bread and wine as God, in the Church of England; and are either Romanists at heart, or fast becoming so. The process is simple but sure. They are told every fresh step is getting a little higher; but every step is a little nearer Rome. Thus the impression becomes universal, that Rome is right and they are wrong; and all is wrong but Rome. It is high time, however, to examine all this by the word of God; not by the fathers of even the second and third century. For as we have seen, “the night” of darkness had set in even by the close of apostolic times, so that what is called church history is the history of that darkness and wickedness, that began long before the close of the first century of this era.

Let us have a little inquiry then, with the thousands of these priest-associates. And to make the matter as simple as possible, let us introduce an inquirer into the doctrines and membership of this Confraternity; who, mark, must be a bishop, priest, deacon, brother or sister of a religious community, or communicant of the English Church. (Page 10.) And further we will suppose this inquirer to be an exercised soul, who believes the word of God. Let these priests answer these questions and scriptures in the presence of God if they can.

Inquirer. I have read in God’s word, that I am not to make any graven images, or to bow down to them; and in the prophets, I am told that the worship of idols is an abomination. If I join the Confraternity, shall I have to disregard all these scriptures? Ritualism tells me to bow down to the queen of heaven, or to an image of a dead Christ, or the cross, or to consecrated bread; but is not this to disregard what God says?

I have read these precious words of Jesus: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24.) As a lost sinner, I have been brought to Jesus in the confession of my sins to Him; and He has spoken to my soul in these words. And oh, the joy it has given to my soul, to know that I have, even now, everlasting life; and to think (to say nothing of purgatory), that I shall not come into judgment! Dead with Jesus, risen with Him, I shall not come into judgment, but I am passed from death unto life. Oh, the deep joy this gives! It so fills my heart with love to Jesus: shall I have to give up these precious words of Jesus, and joy, and light and everlasting life, all mine now? Does not Ritualism forbid me to enjoy such certainty from those words of Jesus? Must we not humbly pray that “we may all at length attain by a holy and peaceful death to the joy, and light of everlasting life?” (Page 40.)

I have read, and through grace believed, that the Lord Jesus, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; and also “by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb. 10.) And I read distinctly that this is in direct contrast with the other order of continued and repeated sacrifices, that never can take away sins. These are the very words; “And every priest standeth daily ministering, and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” Now this is a most serious question, and I do trust you will give me a clear answer. Am I still to receive with joy the testimony of God’s inspired word to the everlasting efficacy of this one offering of Christ; that all believers who are sanctified by this offering are for ever perfected; and that there need be, there can be, no repetition of this offering; that Jesus sat down at the right hand of God in proof that this infinite work is accomplished?

This may be thought to be the most dreadful heresy to believe what God the Holy Ghost says about this “perfected for ever,” by the one offering of Christ once — never to be repeated. If this be true, where is the use of the priest-associate? Where the use of your offering the awful sacrifice of the altar, standing continually offering those sacrifices, that never can take away sins? Must we reject what Christ has done, and what God says about it? And must we most humbly, and devoutly, believe in your continued, and ever repeated offering of the victim on the altar that never can take away sins? Why, if Jesus Christ be the eternal Son, and if His blood cleanseth from all sin, and thus perfects the conscience for ever, what need can there be for purgatory? for holy water? for all the intercessors including even the blessed Mary as queen of heaven? But do not the inspired scriptures plainly declare this everlasting efficacy of the one offering of Christ? And does not God say, “And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more.” Oh, may I not believe God, and so enter into rest? Rest of soul to the weary is so sweet. Now does not the scripture say all this?

I cannot doubt that God says all this; am I not to read what God says? Or am I to get a little higher, and a little higher, that is, a little nearer holy church, whose priests a little while a ago would have incited and commanded the civil power to drag to the stake the Christian who dared to read and believe what God says in His word? If I turn from the word of God to your teaching, I see in the “Manual” that, so far from the believer being for ever perfected by the one offering of Christ, even after death he needs your intercessions for his soul. (See page 77.)

Remember you board up the windows, and, papering them over, carefully exclude God’s light. There in the darkness, you place your altar, with your victim, and there you stand, offering your offerings which can never take away sins. One ray of gospel light would expose the darkness and idolatry. Do you think you could bow and swing and adore the bread and wine, and offer it a “sacrifice for sins,” if you believed God that the one offering of the body of Christ (once offered) for ever perfects? Impossible! Right well do you know, or ought to know, that, in the beginning when Christians believed God, there was no need of so-called priests or altar, or offering the victim. They met as disciples together to break bread in remembrance of His death, rejoicing the eternal redemption they had through the blood of Christ. All that is quite different from what you do. They worshipped in the light; if I join you, must I worship in the dark?

I scarcely thought I should have to give up so much of Christianity, to become a holy confederate. I read in God’s word of having boldness to enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus. I also read, how before Jesus died the one sacrifice for sins, “that the Holy Ghost this signified that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest.” (Heb. 9:8.) That is, the Jew was shut out of the presence of God: the veil shut him out. When Jesus died, the veil was rent from top to bottom. And the blood of Jesus gives the Christian boldness to enter.

The beautiful parable of the prodigal just illustrates what I mean. It shows man once a miserable sinner, needing mercy, coming in repentance and confession straight to the Father. Curious, there is no priest here! Then the Father’s joy in receiving and clothing him, and we find him where the Jew could never come, in the Father’s presence. And oh, the joy of that Father! In short, the proper place of the Jew, before the death of Jesus, was to stand afar off, crying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The proper place of the Christian now that Jesus has died, and risen again, is in the full joy of the Father’s presence: “Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his own Son, in whom we have redemption through his blood even the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:12.) There is a great difference, is there not? The Jew, miserable, crying for mercy. The Christian happy, so happy! rejoicing, and giving thanks. The one afar off, the other inside; the one crying for forgiveness; the other giving thanks for sins forgiven. If I join the Confraternity, shall I take the place of the miserable Jew; or that of the happy Christian? Oh, must I give up all this blessed certainty? Think of it! meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. Which am I to be, Jew or Christian?

If I join the Confraternity, what am I to do with the scriptures, and with what God says? If I, turn again to this “Manual,” there it is as plain as plain can be, that I must give up all this bright Christianity. I must know nothing of the joy of sins forgiven, or meetness for heaven, or having redemption. I must take the place of a miserable Jew. (See pages 18, 29, 41-60.) But surely this is enough to convince anyone that the proper place of a member of the Holy Confraternity is to stand Jew-like, at a distance, crying for mercy. In your vain repetitions, do you not use everything in heaven and on earth to move God to have mercy upon you? Only, I observe, your God is the bread and wine, as you say, “O sacred victim, consumed on the altar by us and for us, Have mercy upon us?” You seem to know nothing of the risen person of Christ, at the right hand of God, having finished the work of our redemption. The only God you know is bread and wine, made God by you in consecration. Nothing could be farther from your religion, than the place the prodigal enjoyed in the Father’s presence. How could he repeat page after page, asking for mercy, when the Father had received him with joy? Far better does it suit the unbelieving heart to keep crying for mercy — to say with the Jew before Christ died, “Forgive us our sins,” than to say with the believer now; “God hath for Christ’s sake forgiven our sins.”

Excuse me a little: I had no idea that I should have to give up so much, in reality to sink so low, in order to belong to “high church.” I have a few more questions. You often quote those words of the Lord Jesus, as though they referred to the sacrament, “Whoso eateth My flesh, and drinketh My blood, hath eternal life.” Now Jesus explains these words. He says, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you they are spirit and they are life.” (John 6:54-63.) This explanation makes the meaning of the Lord very clear. It was not enough to receive Him as the bread from heaven, the living Messiah, but the word of God as to the shedding of His blood also, must be received. The actual accomplished work of His death must be received in the soul, through the spirit. Now where this is done, that soul has eternal life. May I ask, do you believe the Lord that His words are spirit and they are life, and those who thus receive Him have eternal life? as He says, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. Do you believe Him? Do you know that you have eternal life?

It is plain from your teaching in the “Manual” that you do not believe that these words are to be thus understood spiritually, but literally. That in your ever repeated sacrifices of the altar, you literally eat His flesh, and drink His blood; yea, you eat your God, body, soul, and divinity. Do you not teach this over and over again in “the Manual?” Jesus says, Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life. Now, suppose that you do believe that this eating is literal, and that it refers to the sacrament, then in your way even, do you believe that all who take holy communion have eternal life?

Further, do you not teach in the “Manual,” by your prayers at least, that you must pass through a holy death to get everlasting life? This is the idea of holy church. The, or rather your, sacrifices on your altars can never take away sins or give eternal life. Do they not really hide the true and only sacrifice of the Lord Jesus? When it suits your purpose, you can quote isolated scripture. This one serves you well, “This is my body, which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me,” and “This cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:19, 20.) Is this enough to warrant you in taking a loaf or wafer, or wine, and trying to believe that it is, or any of them, Jesus Christ, very God?

You say, mark those words, “This is my body.” Let me understand what you mean. Suppose I am passing through a conservatory, and a number of people are bowing in prayer and adoration to a vine. The head gardener declares it is Jesus Christ, body, soul, humanity, and divinity. He declares that these people are the Holy Confraternity of the blessed body and blood of Christ in this vine; nay more, that he and other head gardeners have power to turn vines into God. And they have a secret society to worship this vine. And suppose they used the very prayers of “the Manual” addressed to this vine as God. I ask the head gardener for his authority for this worship. And he replies, mark those words, “I am the true vine.” (John 15.) I must inquire and examine. Tell me, would not all this, Manual and all, be simply blasphemy against God? And I want you to show me why “it is my body” means Himself literally, body soul, and divinity, any more than “I am the vine” means literally that a vine may thus be worshipped.

Or take another illustration. I am passing, say through a lunatic asylum. I am shown into a room. The poor lunatics are bowing and swinging, dressed in the most odd old clothes. They have a little manual. Beautiful words of adoration and page after page of prayers, cries for mercy. But what are they praying to? Just see. An old door that the head lunatic has brought in and reared up against that wall. He declares it is God. Sternly does he rebuke all who neglect to worship the old deal door. He maintains that he and other head lunatics have power to turn old doors continually into God. I ask the poor lunatic for his authority. He says, Mark those words, “I am the door.” Another company of countrymen might worship an old shepherd, for Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd.” Where is the difference in each of these cases? The priest in the dark hole of Cambridge takes a loaf; the gardener a vine, the lunatic a door, the countryman a shepherd. Now is there the least thought in God’s holy word that any one of these should be blasphemously worshipped? Is there a trace that the apostles worshipped the bread and wine as God? Did Paul do so, or so understand it? “This do in remembrance of Me;” he understood and states by inspiration, to be simply this: “For as often as ye [the assembly, not so-called priests] eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death until He come.” Evidently this is what the scriptures teach, and what all Christians understood and did then. Is it not still bread when eaten in remembrance of Jesus and showing forth His death?

Do you take no notice of the scriptures, or what the early Church did? The church then was as different as possible from high church now. Since then, you priests have had it very much your own way. Why, there was no separate priest then; and no altar; and no flowers (it would be like Cain bringing them with his fruits); and no gorgeous temples then; and no worship of the Virgin as queen of heaven; and no Ritualism then; except as your early friends tried to bring it in. Only think that Paul condemned the first attempt to bring in the feasts of the church, as going back to beggarly elements. What a church should we have in England, if we had only the, church as God set it up in the beginning! There would be nothing but the worship of God in spirit and in truth.

Take up the New Testament and search it through; you would soon see it would never do to compare the Anglican church, as you want to have it, with the church you have in the word of God. You would find no priest over a parish, no such thought as children made members of Christ by baptism, no altar, no repeated sacrifices.

Really this perplexes me. If it will not do to go to the scriptures or to the church as set up of God, then where has the religion of holy mother church come from? Take a few particulars; for instance, the feasts of the church — this holy day and that holy day. I certainly do remember that our blessed Lord did not institute one holy day, except as His resurrection marked out the Lord’s day, the first day of the week. Neither did the apostles observe a single holy day or festival of the church. Some did cling to Judaism with its beggarly shadows; but nowhere does the Holy Ghost in the Epistles teach the observing of days, and months, and times, and years. Nay, he severely condemns the attempt of the Galatian deceivers to introduce them. (Gal. 4:9, 10.) Then whence did you get them? Was it not partly from Judaism, but chiefly from paganism? The pagans sacrificed to demons. (1 Cor. 11.) Now the doctrine of Balaam was to mingle the old pagan worship with the worship of Christians. Swarms of pagans were nominally called Christians, and pagan festivals were altered to festivals of the church, and pagan temples were called churches: and pagan idols, consecrated to demons, were called by Christian names. Now nothing could have answered better to corrupt the church than this. Just take one. The twenty-fifth of December was about the worst pagan feast. Well, it was afterwards called Christmas; and the drunkenness and wickedness of that old festival continue to this day, only in the name of Christ. Take again this trick — for such it was. Millions of pagans worshipped the queen of heaven and her little child; but especially the queen, under different names. Her name was altered from Diana, &c., to Mary; and millions continue to bow down to her image to this day. How dreadful — all this from paganism! And all this is the very cream of high church — I mean highest church!

May I now ask, where do you get the authority for the separated order of priests? The Old Testament gives the history and appointment of an earthly priesthood. It failed, like all else, even in the very first priests; some offered strange fire, and were destroyed. And even Aaron made the golden calf. Thus it began; and it ended in chief priests and high priests putting to death the Son of God. Did God set it up again in the church? There is no such thought in scripture as to have a separated order of priesthood in the church; nay, God is dead against it, and gives a severe description of it in Jude; actually saying, “These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” No, you have not a single text for it. That which is quoted in Hebrews 5:4, clearly refers to the old Jewish priesthood.

The fact is the scripture speaks of the whole redeemed church of God, as being worshipping priests. (1 Pet. 2:9.) And so they must be, if the blood of Jesus gives them boldness to enter the holiest, the conscience for ever being perfected by the one offering of Christ. Do you not in “the Manual” do your utmost to neutralize all this, by setting aside the infinite value of that one sacrifice on the cross? and this you do by crying up your own sacrifices that never can take away sins.

Certainly Christ gave gifts to His church; as evangelists, teachers, and pastors, to minister His truth. But the idea of an order of priests to offer up sacrifices for the sins of the people; this is utterly repugnant to the New Testament, and destroys the very foundation of Christianity — the one only Infinite sacrifice of Christ. No, you must not go to scripture for your order, but again to paganism, and by returning as much as you can also to Judaism. And just as paganism became fused with the church, your order became established.

Nothing is more certain in history; nay, if you want proof, you only need travel in India, or any pagan land. From the earliest days everywhere paganism has its order of priesthood. Why, take the pope himself, the holy head of all Christian priests of the West. Is there such a thought in the New Testament as a pope? Not the faintest, nor shadow of a promise of one. Surely you know that the Roman emperors were the very ancient pagan pontiffs; and when one of these was converted to Christianity, he thought it wrong to retain this pontifex of paganism, but the bishop of Rome actually took his pagan title, and retains it to this day. Well, do you know, that paganism, not scripture, is the undoubted source of the pope’s titles? Nay, in Thibet and China, you will see most of what you call high church, practised still in paganism, only honestly, without christian names. There you will find your monks and nuns practising far greater austerities than you do. Yes, you must go to paganism, not to scripture, for the origin of your religion.

Very highly you may think of the doctrines of forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, ancient Gnostic doctrines of paganism. But the scripture actually speaks of these very doctrines of demons. (1 Tim. 4:1-4.) I was going to say, and well they may. Did not these doctrines corrupt not only the priesthood, but the very world? I have read history these last forty years, but I have read of nothing producing more universal depravity than the “forbidding to marry.” Look back to those days of vaunted holy mother church — just before the trumpet demand for the Reformation; and after then too. The priests forbade to marry, but had power to compel every person to confess: and if any person crossed their will, they had only to point him or her out to a Dominican, and there is a rap at his door at midnight; he or she is hurried off to that awful prison, the holy inquisition, from which there is no voice or return. Oh, these chambers of torment and dungeons of untold horrors! This dreadful priestly power over the bodies and souls of men and women! Scripture then must be right, these are the doctrines of demons. Is it then a little higher, or a little lower down? Is it not to the depths of Satan?

But I forget tradition. The tradition of the church is what you stand by. But if the tradition of men flatly contradicts the word of God, which will you take? I will give you an illustration, and I must say this is a point of vital importance to me. Suppose I am in great distress and need, deeply in debt beyond all power ever to redeem myself; in a word, I am ruined. A very kind friend undertakes my whole responsibilities. I have a creditor to whom I owe a great sum. This kind friend pays the whole for me, as my friend and substitute. The creditor settles the whole account, discharges me from it, on Her Majesty’s stamp. But the priest of the place comes to me, and says, Yea, hath the creditor discharged your account? Tradition gives him a very bad word; do not trust him: do not believe him, nor his receipt. You will see after all that man will have you up for your debt, and he will cast you into prison. I reply, But he is an upright righteous tradesman, and he cannot first give me a receipt, and then afterwards have me summoned for that debt; it would not be righteous to my substitute, who paid the debt. Of course, if I had not the receipt, I might well doubt. What I mean is this: As a sinner, I am totally ruined. The law can only curse me; it cannot redeem me, and I cannot redeem myself. God sent His beloved Son for this very purpose. That Holy One became my substitute. He was wounded for my transgressions, bruised for my sins; He was delivered for my iniquities. The wrath deserved by me He bore to the utmost. In fact, He just stood in my place. He was condemned for me; and He was raised from among the dead for my justification. Believing this, God, against whom I had sinned, is my justifier. He raised up Christ for this very purpose. See Christ, who once bore my sins, now at God’s right hand; and all this accounted to me on the principle of faith; all my sins atoned for, and Christ raised from among the dead is my receipt, my full and everlasting discharge — everlastingly discharged because Christ, my representative, is above. As He is, so am I. “Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” And the best of all is, “It is God that justifieth.” He says also, “and their sins and iniquities I will remember no more ever.” (Heb. 10.) Jesus says, I shall not come into judgment having passed from death unto life. (John 5:24.)

Now tradition, like the Jews of old, entirely denies the righteousness of God, and sets me working out a righteousness of my own; yes, by works of law. All depends on this one point — the righteousness of God. The word of God assures me that it is the righteousness of God that is revealed in the gospel; as to my very justification. Tradition leads me to doubt that God is my justifier: that after all He will be unfaithful to Christ who bore my sins; and that He will after all have me up in judgment for them: and I shall never know until then whether I shall be justified or condemned. Nay, this very “Manual,” after all your sacrifices, leaves a poor soul in uncertainty after death, and needing your prayers. Christ hath glorified God in this very matter: and God hath straightway glorified Him as my representative. And God hath made me, as a believer, accepted in the beloved one; but then, if God is unrighteous, all is lost. I must be judged after all. What is the creditor’s receipt worth, if he is unrighteous to my friend who paid the debt, and after all arrests me, and casts me into prison? And what is God’s justification worth, if after all He is not righteous? If He is not perfectly glorified by the death of the cross? And therefore His very righteousness is not my everlasting justification! I know tradition brands this faith in God as dreadful heresy.

Or take another illustration. The emperor declares peace is made — made on a righteous basis — peace is proclaimed. Tradition says, Ah, poor soldier, do not believe the emperor; keep on fighting and struggling. That emperor is an unrighteous man. He says one thing and means another. Now Jesus has made peace by His own blood: peace is made for me as a sinner on a righteous basis; and God proclaims peace to me. I believe Him; and I have peace with God — the very same peace that my dear Lord has in the unclouded presence of God for ever. But tradition says as it were, No, you must not believe God: He is not to be trusted; He says one thing, but means to do another. He says He justifies you from all things (Acts 13:38), but He means to judge you for all your sins; and such a terrible Judge will you find Him, that you will need, if ever you get safe through that judgment, all the saints in the calendar to help you. Now when tradition is not in harmony with, but in flat contradiction to, the word of God, which shall I take?

I think I hear many a priest with a deep sigh, speaking low to himself, “Righteousness of God! I never thought of it in that way. Oh, that that everlasting peace were mine!” Ah, for me there are prayers, fastings, masses, floggings, agony of death, and perhaps millions of years of torments in purgatory, before I can enter into everlasting life and enjoy peace with God. How different the Christianity of the Holy Scriptures! A dying thief believe in his heart, confessed Jesus the Lord with his lips, and that day was with Him in paradise. Think of those three sentences of Jesus to the woman of the city who was a sinner. “Thy sins are forgiven thee.” “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” But tell me: Is it not shocking to doubt the righteousness of God? Did He not give His beloved Son to die for my sins? “Who was delivered for our offences.” Did He not thus become my Substitute, “The Just for the unjust?” Now was not God glorified by that death on the cross? Did He fail? No! was He not raised again for our justification? (Rom. 4:24, 26.) Did ever creditor give such a discharge as this? And mark, it is God who gives this discharge; God who raised Christ my Substitute from the dead, for the very purpose of being my living everlasting discharge from all sins. By the blood of Jesus I am thus justified from my sins. The resurrection of Jesus is God’s assurance of that justification to my soul; believing God, righteousness is thus reckoned unto me. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 5:1.) Thus the righteousness of God is unto all, and upon all that believe. And not only are believers thus justified from their sins, but also justified from sin, the root of all sins, by being dead with Christ, and risen in Him. (Rom. 5:12-19; 6:7; Col. 2:12, 13.) And “it is God that justifieth.” Is He just in doing it? Is He false, or is He true? Is He faithful to the claims of Christ once offered on the cross? There can he no question; for God hath raised Jesus from the dead. Then there can be no question that “By him all that believed are justified from all things.” (Acts 13:38.)

I must confess the word of God seems clear enough. You may point to the holy popes' councils, fathers, bishops, and holy saints that teach us humbly to doubt. I see the choice. Let God be true, and every man a liar.

The post has just arrived. I must close these questions of the inquirer for the present. Here is a book-parcel by post. My heart beats quickly as I open it. Here they are. I began to write this paper, assured they would come; and had written up to this point. And there they lie before me, the very books used in the dark hole of Cambridge. Not copies, but the identical books used in that dark chamber of idolatry, for the preparation of the parish priests of the church of England. This may seem strange to some. Often however our God is thus pleased, first to bid His feeble instrument do a certain thing for Him, then afterwards give confirmation to the work of dependent faith. Every line above was written, feeling the absolute need of these very books, and in faith that those very books would come into my hands; and here they are.

“The Manual of the Holy Confraternity” I have already noticed. This book reveals the fact of a vast confederacy in the church of England, determined to supplant Christianity by a system of mixed idolatry, the highest worship and adoration to a God of their own making, of bread or wine. Every form of prayer, praise, and loving adoration, that should be offered to the true God and the Lord Jesus Christ, is given to this idol, utterly contrary to scripture. So that whilst it is located in the English church, it is no longer limited to an attack on that church, but must be regarded as a vast attack on our common Christianity.

We will now open this second book, “The Garden of the Soul.”

This is a well-known Roman Catholic book, and therefore does not call for particular notice. A Roman Catholic prayer-book is thus found to be used by the Holy Confraternity. For those who may know nothing of it, a few words are needed. First, we have an engraving of the blessed mother of Jesus, as the queen of heaven in glory, surrounded with twelve stars, borrowed no doubt from the symbol of Israel in Revelation 12. Then follows a summary of the faith and practice of the Roman Catholic church, open, candid, and clear — much of which is common to all Christians.

But tradition is put on an equal footing with the scriptures. (Chap. 19.) These traditions, on examination, frequently contradict themselves; and are always contrary to scripture. For instance; it is said, “Extreme unction, which wipes away the remains of sins” (chap. 19.); but purgatory flatly contradicts this. Both as flatly contradict scripture, that the one offering for ever perfects — perfected for ever. And again, “the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7.) And again, “Unto him that loveth us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” (Rev. 1:5.)

Take another tradition. We must believe that Jesus Christ will come from heaven at the last day to judge us all; that all the dead, both good and bad, shall rise from their graves at the sound of the last trumpet, and shall be judged by Him, &c. (Chap. 20:13.) This is in flat contradiction to the tradition respecting vast numbers of saints now in glory, so holy that they can intercede for us poor sinners here on earth. These two traditions flatly contradict each other. What! have all the departed saints to be raised and judged? and is their eternal state still uncertain after being so long in glory? Have they yet to be judged? The Lord Jesus in holy scripture, when speaking on this very subject assures all believers that they shall not come into judgment. (John 5:24.) Nay, scripture is most explicit in direct contradiction to the tradition of a general judgment; that “as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin unto salvation.” (Heb. 9:27.) Search the scriptures, and you will not find one single text to support the tradition of a general judgment. When speaking on quite another blessed subject — the personal rewards of the children of God — then indeed, in that sense, it is most blessed to know we shall all stand before the judgment seat, or Beema, of Christ. Oh, how many then, who have been cursed and burned by man, will receive the martyr’s crown of glory! But when Jesus comes to take His redeemed, there can be no question of sin to them, otherwise Christ would have died in vain. He comes as Saviour. (Phil. 3:20.) “When we shall see him, we shall be like him.” (1 John 3:2.) Will He judge those who are like Himself? No: He says, “The glory that thou hast given me, I have given them.” Brighter than light is the hope of His coming. The sons of darkness have turned it to midnight gloom, and dread of judgment. All true, sad, and everlasting, to the rejecters of God’s great salvation.

But to return, from page 20: we have a vast number of what may be called christian laws, precepts, and duties: many most excellent, others utterly unscriptural; but all on false ground — build on a false foundation. “Every Christian in order to attain life everlasting, must” do all the things that follow. Therefore the principle on which all is built is, Do this and live. Thus, as a legal system, the bondage of all these rules must become greater than that from which the death of Christ delivered the believing Jews. If therefore the law entered that the offence might abound (Rom. 5:20), the effect of all this mistaken and unscriptural system must be to provoke the transgression of these rules. If the tree be bad, the fruit must be bad also. A mistake in the first line of a schoolboy’s sum must produce mistakes all through, and at the end. The Lord Jesus says, “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6.) The Holy Ghost saith, “He that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God: That ye may know that ye have eternal life.” (1 John 5:10.)

Thus, as to foundation truth, no two books could be more opposed than the word of God, and the “Garden of the Soul.” The one is God declaring that eternal life is a gift, and that he that believeth hath it, and that from this new life flows out the fruit of a holy life. The other says, No, you must keep this most elaborate law, “in order to everlasting life.” Thus the whole system denies the record of God, and makes Him a liar. I cannot both have everlasting life, and at the same time be keeping all these laws in order to get it. Thus whilst the word of God gives divine certainty, the “Garden of the Soul” leaves us in darkness and uncertainty; yes, even for ages after death.

One cannot wonder then at all the confusion and contradiction of scripture that follows. There is no holy boldness to enter the holiest; no assurance of sins forgiven: but a sense of distance from God, and consequent gloomy misery, beseeching the blessed Mary, apostles, and a host of saints, to pray to God for them. I do not like to copy these dismal prayers of unbelief. The greater part of this book is prayer to the queen of heaven. Then follows the mass, with full instructions and candid explanations. It is regarded as a sacrifice — “A most powerful means to move God to show mercy to us in the forgiveness of our sins.” (Page 39.) They believe the bread to be truly God, and as such worship it. Still no relief. There is confession, kneeling to the priest, and praying to him, “Pray, father, give me your blessing for I have sinned.” There is confession to God, to Mary, Michael, apostles, &c., and repeated prayers to all these. Nay, it would be difficult to invent any book more contrary to the scripture than this “Garden.” There are prayers for the departed faithful; prayers for the miserable souls in purgatory: “Have mercy on the souls of the faithful departed.” No one, except he saw and read, could conceive it possible for the human mind to sink into such depths of unbelief. There are also prayers for the pope, prayers for England, page after page. And then the “Garden” ends with the Ordinary of the Mass in English.

We now turn to the larger book used in the chamber of darkness at Cambridge.

'The Day office of the Church according to the calendar of the Church of England.'

The preface very ably explains how the Roman Breviary has been translated, and adapted to the church of England. All is Romanism: there are services for almost every hour and day in the year; lauds, prime, terce, sext, nones, and vespers; feasts of my Lord, and feasts of my Lady, feasts of the angels, and feasts of the saints. Sometimes you pray for them, then again you beg they will pray for you. What would the apostle Paul say to such a book for the observance of hours and days, and months and years? This is what he did say: “How turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.” (Gal. 4:9.)

Now what is the real root of all this bondage; this perfect labyrinth of observances? Can it be anything else but unbelief, and the rejection of the record of God? The believer with his eye fixed on the risen Christ at God’s right hand can say, “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.” (Eph. 1:7.) His sins are forgiven for Christ’s sake. In direct opposition to all this the priest says, “God Almighty have mercy upon thee, and forgive thee thy sins.” And again, “The merit of the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the prayers of our Holy Mother, the Church, whatsoever good thou hast done, or by God’s grace shall do, be unto thee remission of thy sins.”

Such is the unbelief of the chambers of Cambridge. Christianity and these sons of darkness, are as far apart as the poles. It would be impossible in a small tract to follow the vain repetitions and gross unscriptural statements of this book. I cannot but think that every sincere Romanist must be ashamed of these men. If they believe Romanism to be right, why do they not honestly avow themselves?

But I must let you see further what these books contain. No words can sufficiently describe the dreadful idolatry of this Day Office of the Church, used by these so-called priests of the Church of England. Could Christ be more deeply dishonoured than by the following collect? (Page 117 for Dec. 6.) “O God, who by numberless miracles hast honoured Blessed Nicolas, Thy Bishop: grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and intercession we may be delivered from the flames of hell, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen?” Can any man utter this prayer without entirely rejecting the testimony of God to the sacrifice of the cross of Christ and to His intercession? Or again, on the same page, is not the supreme worship to the blessed Virgin Mary exactly like the old worship of Diana or Tammuz? Is it not perfectly dreadful?

“What mortal tongue may dare to raise,

O Mother of our God, thy praise?

Ye angels come, and lift your song:

To you the office should belong.”

Can any creature, however blessed, be raised to is place of supreme worship? Was she the eternal mother of God? or the creature mother of the humanity of our adorable Lord? As to His humanity, she was the mother of the Lord. But does the word of God ever present her either as an object of highest worship, or as an intercessor of the saints? These priests who shut out the light say, “With delight let us celebrate the conception of Blessed Mary; so may she intercede for us to Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Page 178.)

And do not suppose that Ritualists limit their idolatry to Blessed Mary. This book is full of curious antiphons. Take one to Lucy (on Dec. 13), than which nothing could be more contrary to scripture: “In thy patience thou hast possessed thy soul, O Lucy, spouse of Christ; thou hast hated the things which are in the world, and thou shinest among angels; thou hast overcome the enemy with thine own blood.” “O virgin Lucy, why dost thou seek of me, what thou thyself canst continually give to thy mother?” I might _give a vast number of quotations of prayers to various saints, as “That we who know that we are guilty of our iniquities, may be delivered there from by the prayers of thy Blessed Martyr Vincent.” (Page 182.) Yes, in this book the atoning death of Jesus is simply robbed of all its glory. There is evidently the design of a master spirit, through the whole, to set aside the person and death of Christ, as the sole salvation of God to lost sinners.

Just as the types of the Old Testament set forth every aspect of that precious Holy One, so this book finds a saint to deny every aspect of the cross of Christ. Is it not through the death and resurrection of Christ that the believer passes to eternal glory? Ritualism has a Richard for this. (April 3.) “O God, who hast made thy church to shine by the deeds and glorious miracles of Blessed Richard, Thy confessor and bishop: grant, that we Thy servants, through his intercession, may attain to the blessedness of eternal glory.” (Page 194.)

I ask, Can men who use these abominable prayers, have any honest pretensions to acknowledge the authority of the word of God? I might multiply extracts of a similar character. We have seen in the word of God that the Father runs to meet the penitent sinner. Thus Jesus reveals the Father; and thus He speaks to the weeping sinner: “Woman, thy sins are forgiven thee . . . thy faith hath saved thee . . . go in peace.” (Luke 7; 15.) With Ritualism, the mother of God, angelic choirs, patriarchal sires, prophets, saints, the Baptist, and all apostles. “Strive to win from God remission of our sin.” (Page 231.) “And with their suffrages the clergy join.”

In many part of this Day Office there is either the most gross ignorance, or designed confusion of scripture with superstition. Take this collect: “O God, who didst give the law of Moses on the top of Mount Sinai, and by Thy holy angels didst wonderfully convey the body of Blessed Katharine, Thy virgin and martyr, to the same place; grant we beseech Thee, that for her sake, and at her intercessions, we may be enabled to reach that mount, which is Christ.” (Page 236.) Can this be anything but wilful perversion? Is Mount Sinai Christ? The very symbol of bondage, and the curse to all under it. (Gal. 3:10; 4:24, 25.) We are thus taught by High Church to pray to God that St. Katharine may by her intercessions lead us to the place of the curse. Can human folly go beyond this? It is written, “Their folly shall he manifest unto all.” (2 Tim. 3:9.)

Many of my readers no doubt will be in happy ignorance that Ritualism would lead us thus to address all the apostles:

“We praise you all with hearts sincere,

As suppliants now we worship here;

To your prevailing word 'twas given

To close and open the doors of heaven!”

How blessed is prayer in the word of God! The apostle Paul says, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man: that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” (Eph. 3:14-19.) Compare this with the following written instructions found in the Office of the Church.

“In censing the altar there are twenty-five swings.

Directions for Officiant.

“Bow to the crucifix. Salute same with three double swings. Turn toward Epistle side, salute back of altar slab, three swings one swing lower corner of Epistle side, one swing upper corner; proceed towards centre of altar, salute forepart three swings. Repeat on Gospel side, and return toward Epistle corner, salute forepart of altar six swings. Salute, three swings.” This may be a very fine imitation of pagan worship, but what has it to do with Christianity? Is it not the very opposite of New Testament prayer, and worship in spirit and in truth?

It would swell this tract far beyond my present intention to notice, “Extreme unction; communion of the sick with the reserved Eucharist;” or the priest carrying God in a little box to the dying; confession; prayers before mass, and prayers after mass; all of which are in this Office of the Church. Call it no longer Ritualism. It is a vast Romish conspiracy of more than two thousand six hundred clergymen in the Church of England. “The union consists of more than sixteen thousand five hundred, of whom two thousand six hundred are clergymen.”* We now know by these books that it is Romanism. If the Garden of the Soul, and the Roman Breviary be not full-blown Romanism, what is? Let us then go to the fountain-head and examine the authoritative teaching of Rome. This I hope to do candidly in tracts to follow — comparing with scripture the Council of Trent. If you, my reader, are in this dark Confraternity, may the Lord use this paper to the full deliverance of your soul!

{*See list of most of their names and addresses in a pamphlet published at the office of “The Rock,” London: “The Ritualistic Conspiracy.”}

Thus is England, after all the fiery sufferings of her martyrs, returning to her vomit. This Holy Confraternity, or dark confederacy, is taking possession of her parishes. Ministers of Christ must be displaced by the priests of the hole in the wall. Nay, Christ must be displaced by the priest, shall I not say, by an antichrist? In how many things does this man in black and broad brim, take the place of Christ, and is against Christ!

I will notice a few. A sinner is burthened with his sins, weary and heavy laden. Jesus who died for his sins says, “come unto me, and I will give you rest.” And “He that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” Mark the presumption of this antichrist. “The priest, wearing a surplice, and a violet stole, shall be seated in the confessional seat (which ought always to be in the church); the penitent kneeling at his side shall ask his blessing.” (Litany 4.) Nay, his very name, and office is strictly antichristian. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, Christ is shown to be the long foretold priest, after the order of Melchisedec, an order one and exclusively in contrast with the many priests of the Aaronic order. As the fulfilment of all Aaronic priesthood, He is gone into heaven, and soon He is to come out, in the full display of His Melchisedec priesthood, King of righteousness, and King of peace. But the first order, the Aaronic, is taken away, with all its many priests, and many sacrifices, which could never take away sins. God hath established the second — the one only and exclusive sacrifice and priesthood of Christ. In Christ then we have one sacrifice, one High Priest. With those who say they are Jews (separated priests) and are not many sacrifices, many priests. The one for ever perfects; the other never perfects. The one is eternal redemption, and gives the purged worshipper boldness to enter the holiest; the other is the system of many priests and many sacrifices, and leaves man shut out of the presence of God: “The Holy Ghost this signifying that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest.” (Heb. 9:8.) For believers now, except in the sense that all Christians are priests (Rev. 1:6), Christ is the one exclusive priest. This must be so, for every high priest must have gifts and sacrifices, to offer. He is ordained for that very purpose. (Heb. 8:3, 4.) But the one sacrifice of Christ is of infinite value; so that if He were on earth He could not be a priest, seeing the apostle said, There are priests that offer gifts according to the law, He could not go back to that which was imperfect, He was not of that order, “who needeth daily as those high priests to offer up sacrifice . . . for this he did once when he offered up himself.” (Heb. 7:27.) “Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others. For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world.” (Heb. 9:25.)

He could not add to that which is infinite. He does not even stand as a priest in heaven. This would imply the work of sacrifice was not finished once. No, “we have such an high priest who has sat down on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens.” “This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God.” Is not all this most clearly taught in Hebrews 7, 8, 9, 10?

But now the many priests must deny all this. The many priests must have many sacrifices. But if Christ could not possibly add to His own once offered sacrifice, what shall we say of the pretensions of these men, who practically say, if Christ could not, we can? And if He could have no more that He could offer, we have. We can turn bread or wine into Christ, and offering Him again and again, we can set aside the one offering, and the one high priest who sat down in heaven; we can establish the order of many priests, and many offerings on earth. I ask every christian reader, is not this dreadful? Is not every sacrifice the pretended priest offers on the altar, a distinct denial that the sacrifice of Christ is infinite, and that it perfects in perpetuity the believer sanctified by it?

Do not say that I have written strongly; every word is warranted by these books before me. They are full of idolatry. The worship of the queen of heaven; the god made of bread, and carried in a little gold or silver box, and offered to God as a sacrifice for sins; prayers for the faithful dead; the priest taking the place of Christ; the grace of God obscured, yea, practically denied.

Many will say, what are we to do? Here we are in a country parish. We know that Christ gave gifts to His church, evangelists, pastors, teachers, and we see in the scriptures how these were used to edification by the Holy Ghost in the church. (Eph. 4; 1 Cor. 12, 14.) But here is the priest, who says, as it were, Christ has no right to give or use anyone but me. Well it is just this; and there is no middle place betwixt. Christ or Antichrist.

Oh, precious words; oh, blessed refuge in these days of darkness. Jesus says, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst.” Which is best, to gather with two or three to the Lord Jesus (it may be in your own house), searching the scriptures, and trusting the Lord.

Oh, my fellow Christians, it is not only the Church of England that is attacked by this Confraternity; it is the most precious truth as it is in Christ. Awake, thou that sleepest, search the scriptures; and test everything by the word of God. If an army invaded this country, would it not be aroused? Here is a secret army of priests, invading our most sacred and eternal interests, and few raise the voice of warning and alarm. To whom can you turn but to God and His word? C. S.