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ready to overturn heaven and earth to banish the SAVIOUR out of the world he created by his power, redeemed by his blood, and governs by his wisdom, are but tools in his hand, to bring forward bis designs; to purge the Gospel of its contracted impurities; to manifest to mankind the truth of the prophetic Scriptures; to punish the kingdoms for their abominations; to rouse them from their long sleep of guilty security; to remove all the rubbish of superstition and human ordinances out of the way; and to bring in the reign of universal righteousness, when contending nations shall learn war 10 more. Much is to be done, and they are suitable instruments, admirably adapted to answer these purposes of Divine ProVIDENCE. They are made with this view. A virtuous nation would not be fit for the business. In the mean time, there is great reason to appprehend, there will be no small degree of human misery throughout the several countries professing Christianity, before these halcy.on days come forward.
It is a melancholy circumstance, that before the present French war broke out, there were fought, in little more than a century, a hundred bloody battles by land, besides what were fought by sea, between the severai Christian governments of Europe. This state of things is awful. It is the pouring out the vials of God's wrath upon the churches. The time, however, is fast approaching, when these miseries shall have an end. The Beast shall be destroyed, and his dominion taken away. The several kingdoms which have supported him shall be overturned. False, superstitious, and idolatrous doctrines, rites, and ceremonies, shall all be swept off, and the pure, simple, unadulterated Gospel of Jesus shall spring up. The present bloody war is of God. The French are God's rod, to scourge
Red withi uncommom wrath, to blast the man,"
Who gains his fortune from the blood of souls ? [*] England will have great reason to exult in the accomplishmeut of that long-wished-for event, namely, the total abolition of this most abominable traffic. Those faithful men, who industriously and perseveringly promoted it, should be hailed amongst the greatest benefactors of mankind, and posterity shall eternally bless their memory. The greatest statesnien of ancient or modern times, the most celebrated heroes, the most enlightened literati, historians, poets, and phile sophers, environed with all the splendour of their various works and atchievements, shall be eclipsed and almost vanish when put into competition with these illustrious patriets and philanhropists.- EDITOR.
the nations of Europe for their unchristian abominations, They are God's besom, and intended to sweep the Christian church of its filth, and nonsense, and superstition, and idolatry. It is true, they have no such intention. They mean no good to the Gospel. But when the Lord" has accomplished his whole work upon the corrupt Christian nations and churches, then he will lay them aside, cause the indignation to cease, and pure undefiled religion shall spring up. This can never be, till the rubbish is removed. The superstitions of Popery must first be done away. One generation, or perhaps two or three, must first be swept off, and in the course of a few centuries, those, who shall then live, will see inore peaceable, more happy, and more glorious days. But it will be long 'ere the nonsensical superstitious doctrines and practices of Antichrist can be rooted out of the several popish countries. And it is exceedingly probable, that Infidelity must first become almost general among the several orders of the people, before pure, genuine, purged Christianity can prevail. We Protestants who live in England, and have never been abroad, can have no proper idea of the poor, low, silly, superstitious state, in which the minds of the common people are kept, by the mummery and art of the Priests, in all the catholic countries [*]. In Naples, which contains only about 300,000 inhabitants, there are 300 churches, 120 convents of men, and 40 of women. The mother-church is dedicated to St. JANUARIUS, and when any calamitous events arise, this St. JANUARIUS is applied to, his image is carried about in procession, and thousands of prayers are offered up to this supposed Patron, for deliverance*. Processions of a similar kind are extremely common at Rome, and all over Italy, and, indeed, all through the catholic world. At Madrid, the capital of Spain, the Virgin Mary, it seems, is the most favourite Protectress. Abundance of ceremonies are here con-, tinually carrying on in honour of the mother of our Lord. In
[*] The late treacherous occupation of Portugal by the modern Carthaginians, however lamentable in its immediate consequences, will, as in other cases, ultimately benefit mankind: as their work appears to be the destruction of Papul tyranny; or, as they call it, * the melting down of superstition.”. Spain will probably share a similar fate very speedily. What will become of unhappy Ireland?
EDITOR. * See a droll account of this pretended Saint in Moore's View of Society and Munners in Italy, vol. ii. p. 274–291.
all Madrid not a single street or house is to be found, which is not decorated with a portrait or bust of the Virgin. Incredible is the annual consumption of flowers made use of in Spain for crowning the Virgin's image; incredible the number of hands, which are continually employed from morning till night in dressing her caps, turning her petticoats, and embroidering her ruffles. Every Spaniard regards the Virgin in the light of his friend, his confidante, his mistress, whose whole attention is directed to himself, and who is perpetually watching over his happiness. Hence the name of Mary hangs incessantly upon
his lips, mixes in all his compliments, and forms a part of all his wishes. In speaking, in writing, his appeal is always to the Virgin, who is the guarantee of all his promises, the witness of all his transactions. It is in the name of the holy, blessed Virgin, that the ladies intrigue with their gallants, write billet-doux, send their portraits, and appoint nocturnal assignations,
The funeral pomp and parade which characterize the Spaniards at their burials of the dead, is inexpressibly great. Upwards of a hundred carriages, five or six hundred priests, and monks, with at least 2000 flambeaus, form the ordinary appendage of a common funeral*.
These things are deplorable, and shew the very low, degraded, and superstitious state of that nation.
The use of the Inquisition, however, in that pope-priestridden country, is still more shocking than all their other superstitions put together.
What a curse have the Priests of Christendom been to Christendom! How many precious souls have been led into the pit of destruction by an ungodly, superstitious, and idolatrous priesthood! I was almost going to say, that we Parsons have been the means of damning more souls, than ever we were a mean of saving! From our profession it is, that iniquity diffuses itself through every land! God forgive us! we have been too bad! instead of being a blessing, and spreading health and salvation through the nations, as is the undoubted design of the Gospel of Christ, and the Christian ministry, we have been playing into each others hands, have
* Vide Monthly Magazine for Feb. 1798.
erected a huge fabric of worldly dominion for ourselves [*], and have brought down, and are at this moment bringing down, the Divine judgments upon every country, where we have erected our standard. We Protestants will be ready enough to allow, that this hath been the case in the Catholic states: but it is also true, if I mistake not, of the Protestant Bishops and Clergy. We will not sacrifice one inch of the secular dominion we bave, through the weakness and folly of men, obtained; no not to save the kingdom from destruction! The secular and superstitious condact of the Heathen Priest hood brought ruin upon the Pagan nations; the secular and superstitious conduct of the Jewish Priests brought ruin upon the Jewish nation; the secular and superstitious conduct of the Catholic Priests hath brought ruin upon the Catholic nations; and the same kind of secular and superstitious conduct of our Protestant Bishops and Clergy will involve us in similar destruction. Nothing can prevent this but the ecclesiastical reform so frequently mentioned and alluded to in these papers! What reason is there to be given, why a wicked, careless, lukewarm, and secular Protestant Priesthood should not be punished as well as those of other denominations? As our light and privileges are the greater; we may justly expect our punishment will be the more severe. If there be a GOD in heaven who regards the actions of men, and who respects the completion of his own predictions, we may be assured the day of darkness is coming, unless prevented by a change m our conduct. See Jeremiah xviii. 1-10.
Surely at the present dread period, we, of all people, ought to take the alarm, and use every endeavour to remove whatever may subject us to divine judgments. My daily prayer is, for the safety, welfare, and prosperity of my King and Country. But when I look around me, I cannot help being exceedingly affected at the present melancholy state of most of the neighbouring nations. The sun, moon, and stars, are all darkened; and the powers of heaven are shaken. Is not the sun set and perished in France and Poland? Are not Holland, Flanders, Switzerland, Genera, Genoa, Sardinia, Savoy, Treves, Cologne, Venire, Rome, the italian dominions
[*] It is painfu! to contenipiaie inat til bishops should be discovering an active disposition to increase the extent of their worldly dominion.-EDITOR.
of the House of Austria, and the little sea-girt empire of the Knights of Malta, are not all these revolutionized and fallen? Do not the Kings of Prussia, Naples, Spain, and Portugal, and even the Emperor himself, at this moment tremble on their thrones? And doth not the same power, which hath accomplished, is accomplishing, and will accomplish similar changes in all the continental states, denounce the most complete destruction to the British empire? What then can save us from the threatened calamity? Nothing under heaven, but a national reformation, by which we may engage the divine protection. Hitherto the LORD hath wonderfully helped us; and I pray God effectually to help us in time to come: but this we have no solid reason to expect, for any great number of years, unless the rubbish of human ordinances shall be removed out of Christ's kingdom, the church, and a very general moral and religious change take place among us. Oh! that I could sound an alarm into the heart of our excellent King, and into the hearts of our Princes, Nobles, Bishops, Clergy, Gentry, Tradesmen; and into the hearts also of all the inferior orders of society! It is reform, or ruin! The 1260 prophetical years are expiring! Reduce the REDEEMER'S religion to its primitive purity and simplicity, or he will come in judgment, and plead his own rights*. Let any man, any Bishop, any Clergyman, say and prove that these things are not so, and I will openly retract all that is here advanced. The Popish constitution is overturned in Rome this very year; and 1260 years from this time the Roman Pontiff began his secular dominion in that proud and idolatrous metropolis of the Christian world, through the expulsion of the Goths by BelisariUS the Roman general+ - All flesh is as grass, and
* The propagators of Infidelity in France, before the Revolution, raised among themselves and spent no less a sum annually than 900,000 pounds sterling, in purchasing, printing, and dispersing books to corrupt the minds of the people, and prepare them for desperate
And similar means are at this monient carrying forward in this country, in no small degree, to accomplish the same purposes. While we Parsons are asleep, crying peace and safety, the enemy is sowing his tares!
+ I mention the Goths and BELISARIUS again in this place, because I wish to draw the Reader's attention to this remarkable ace complishment of Scripture prophecy.