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earlier you begin to devote yourselves to his service, the abler you will be to perform it acceptably, the greater will be your honour here, and your glory hereafter; though you must not expect to merit aught at his hands, by way of merit for what you can do, yet certain it is, that Jesus Christ will reward every one according to his works; and we are bidden to look to the recompense of reward, in that sense after Moses's example;* and it is no small commendation and honour to be an old disciple of Christ.

“ 5th. Know this, that as you must worship God, so it must be in his own ways, with true worship and in a right manner; that is, according to the rules of the gospel, and not according to the inventions or traditions of men. Consider that idolatry and superstition are both abominable to God. Now idolatry is the worshipping of idols, images, pictures, or any creatures or representations, as the heathens do, or crucifixes and consecrated bread, as the papists do. Either to worship these as God, or to worship God by and under them, as the children of Israel did the golden calf, or to worship God in a false manner -- is idolatry ; and no idolaters must enter into heaven. Superstition is to make addi

* Heb. ii.

+ Idolatry, elêwlolatpiea, eloos, image, Natpevelv, to serve, of which protestant writers justly regard the papists as guilty. The worship of images was legitimatised by the council of Nice, A.D. 787; and though modern popish polemics, Drs. Milner, Lingard, Delahogue, and Mr. Butler, pretend to dispute its authority, yet Bellarmine, a more competent judge, remarks, “Si ergo illum est Concilium generale legitimum, certè hoc est.In the same page, in his Treatise on Images, he further states ; “ Quod Synodus Nicæna decreveret, imagines adorandas cultu LATRIÆ" (which was the highest worship), “certissimum est.lib. ii. p. 806. The council of Trent, indeed, in its twenty-fifth session, explained,

not that any divinity or virtue is believed to be in them, for which they should be worshipped ; because the honour that is paid to them is referred to the original which they represent.” To explain away the idolatry of the service, other popish writers have introduced a refinement, distinguishing subordinate from supreme worship; the latter degree of worship is to be paid to God alone, but the former, Tlumtuky pookuvmois, may be rendered to images. The shallow sophistry of the distinction is, however, obvious; and image-worship deserves no milder name than idolatry, and papal practices in this instance must rank in the same class


with pagan.

tions of ordinances or ceremonies to God's worship, more than he hath appointed, though they have ever so fair pretences for them.* Take heed, my children, of these things. It is not enough to say, that such things are not forbidden in scripture; but you must see whether they are commanded there, or else obey them not.

“6. Entertain not in your hearts any of the popish doctrines, of having more mediators than one, namely, the Lord Jesus; of praying to the Virgin Mary, or any other saints or angels, for saints and angels, though in heaven, yet they are creatures, and prayer is a divine worship, due to none but God the Father, Son, and Spirit: also avoid their doctrine of

“Religentem esse oportet ; religiosum nefas.” Aulus Gellius, lib. iv. c. 9. A Christian's notions of superstition, will not, however, coincide with those of the ancient heathen. It is not an error of degree but of kind : a substitution of the vain inventions of men for the ordinances of God. In this light the nonconformists regarded the rites and ceremonies prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer, to which the Act of Uniformity required the subscription of their unfeigned assent and consent. The jus divinum prelatists of the present day, may treat their scruples as needless, fastidious, and uncalled-for; but to do them justice we ought to place ourselves in the same circumstances. “Suppose,” says the biographer of Baxter, " that the rulers of the church of England were now to determine, ‘That on or before the 24th of August (in such a year) the present occupants of livings, curacies, &c. shall subscribe a declaration, engaging themselves to baptise no child without the employment of salt, oil, and spittle, as part of the ordinance of baptism; to administer the Lord's supper to those only who should previously bow to the sacred chalice, and submit to a bread wafer being put upon their tongues.' What would the serious clergy of the church think of such a demand? Would they submit to it as a just exercise of ecclesiastical authority? Would they not to a man abandon their livings, rather than allow their consciences to be lorded over and defiled?Orme's Life, i. 289.

+ Melancthon in his Consilia, drawn up in opposition to the famous Interim of the emperor Charles, remarks: “It is certain that the invocation of saints, and flying to images, is one of the greatest abuses and idolatries of these later ages. Prayer to an invisible and absent being, attributes to that being the power of knowing the heart, a power exclusively divine. Therefore, prayers to saints are idolatrous.” Consil. 2. 26. 31, 32, 33. 38. Zwingle also in a similar manner observes : “He who first placed the statue of a holy man in a temple, had certainly no other intention than to offer him as an object of imitation to the faithful: but men did not stop there. The saints were soon surrounded with a pomp which impressed the imagination of the people; they were transformed into divinities, and honoured as the pagans honoured their gods. Their names are given to temples and altars, and chapels are consecrated to them in woods, in fields, and upon mountains. How many men in the hour of trouble, or at the approach of danger, instead of


meriting by works of obedience, for there is some sin that pollutes our best duties, and we can deserve nothing at God's hand but wrath : all the good we receive comes of his free grace.* Their doctrine also of purgatory is abominable; for there is no middle place for souls to go to - there is only heaven and hell ut also their doctrine, that the pope can forgive șins, is a lie, for he is a wicked man himself, and must go to hell unless God forgive him : also their turning the breads

invoking the Omnipotent, call upon men who have been dead for ages, whose virtues have certainly placed them in the mansions of the blessed, but who can neither hear nor succour us!” Hess. 171-173.

* We cannot but admire the clear and scriptural views which this good man entertained of the gospel plan of salvation. Such were the sentiments of the reformers, as Melancthon beautifully expresses them: “All our virtues in this life are weak and imperfect, and much evil and corruption remains in our hearts. We must needs, therefore, fly to the Mediator, lay hold on him, and seek grace and mercy through him. We are filled with horror at the view of the greatness of our own sins and miseries; and, therefore, are compelled, when we would find peace of mind, to fly to the one only Propitiator, whom God in infinite wisdom and mercy bath proposed to us, and then, as the apostle testifies, 'being justified by faith we have peace with God.'Consil. 2. 39, 40.

+ The doctrine of purgatory seems to have been too delicate a subject for the fathers at the council of Trent, to enter upon its discussion. It was, therefore, summarily dismissed, as having been previously settled when the sacrifice of the mass was declared to be propitiatory, in the twenty-second session ; “not only for the sins of the living, but also for those who are deceased in Christ, and are not yet fully purged :" “ quare non solum pro fidelium vivorum peccatis, pænis, &c. sed pro defunctis in Christo, nondum ad plenum purgatis, rite juxta Apostolorum traditionem." Sess. 22. It was politic surely upon such a point to prefer apostolic tradition to scripture.

Paschasius Radbert, a monk, and afterwards abbot of Corbey in Picardy, according to catholic writers, was the first who explained the genuine sense of the Romish church upon this point. He held, that after the consecration of the bread and wine in the Lord's supper, nothing remained of these symbols but the outward form or figure, under which the body and blood of Christ were really and locally present; and, that this body so present was the identical body that had been born of the Virgin Mary, had suffered on the cross, and had been raised from the dead. The council of Trent declares, that “the whole substance of the bread is changed into the substance of Christ's body, and the whole substance of the wine into the substance of his blood :" totius substantiæ panis in substantiam corporis Christi, D. N.; et totius substantiæ vini in substantiam sanguinis ejus.” Sess. 13. The anathema of the church is inflicted upon them who deny, that the body and blood, together with the soul and divinity of Christ, are actually (“vere realiter, et substantialiter”) present in the eucharist.

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into the very body of Jesus Christ by a priest's words — this is a falsehood and notorious idolatry. Many other erroneous and damnable doctrines they own, which I cannot enlarge upon ;


you must receive no doctrine, but such as is rightly built upon the holy scriptures. My children, pray to God to give you the knowledge of the truth, and to keep you from error ; for it is a very dangerous time you are like to live in.*

7th. Do not entertain any hard thoughts of God, or of his ways, because his people are persecuted for them; for Jesus Christ himself was persecuted to death by wicked men, for preaching the truth and doing good, and the holy apostles and prophets were cruelly used for serving God in his own way. The wicked ones of the world are the seed of the serpent; and they will always hate the people of God, torment and seek to destroy them; and God suffers them to do so, not for want of love to his people, but to purge their sins by chastisement, to try their graces, and fit them for heaven, till the wicked have filled up the measure of their iniquities, and many other holy reasons: therefore, if you should come to live very poor, for the gospel's sake, be contented with it, and bless God for every mercy you receive, and know this, that poor ones are heirs of glory as well as rich ones. I

“Lastly, I charge you to be dutiful and obedient to all your superiors: to your grandfather and both grandmothers, and all other relations and friends that are over you, but in an especial manner to your mother, to whose care and government God hath wholly committed you in my absence ; who, as I am sure, dearly loves you, so she will command and direct you to her utmost ability in all ways, for your good of soul and body. Consider, she is left alone to bear all the burden of bringing you up; and is, as it were, a widow; her time is

• This letter was written a few months after James U. ascended the throne, and a few days previous to Baxter's iniquitous trial.

+ Heb. xi.
# James, ii. 5.

filled up with many cares, and, therefore, do not grieve her by any rebellious or disobedient ways; but be willing to learn of her and be ruled by her, that she may have some comfort in seeing your obedient carriage ; and it will rejoice me to hear it. Avoid bad company of wicked children; abhor swearing, lying, and playing on the sabbath-day, and all other wicked courses; so shall you grow in favour with God and man. Love one another. You that are eldest, help to teach the younger; and you that are younger, do not scorn the teachings of the elder. These things I charge and command you with the authority and love of a father. Now commending you to God, and what I have written to his blessing upon your hearts, through Jesus Christ, with my dear love to your mother, my duty to your grandfather and grandmothers, and love to all other friends, being indifferent in health, I rest your very loving father.

“ ISAAC WATTS. “London, the 21st of May, 1685.”

This affecting epistle abundantly discovers the writer's attachment to the great principles of protestantism ; and at once refutes the calumny which has been propagated, that the nonconformists were passive spectators when its interests were in jeopardy. Amid the sufferings in which he was involved, personal considerations were lost sight of by Mr. Watts, in the danger to which he saw his country exposed; and in the minds of his children he sedulously sought to instil similar sentiments. The times presented alarming indications, that the ecclesiastical subjection of the nation to the see of Rome, was contemplated by an influential party; the emissaries of the vatican were actively intriguing about the court for the accomplishment of this object; and the well-known indifference of Charles to all religion, and the avowed adherence of James to popery, had long seemed to render the scheme feasible. The spirit of the papal system

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