Зображення сторінки


which are made by christians of the observation of thinking 'men all denominations for the univer- that popery, not withstanding its sal diffusion of religious know. being raised by recent events to ledge, it is, indeed, gratifying to somewhat of its former greatness, reflect on the powerful influence is still dissatisfied. It must be a which the Russian church, and persecuting enemy of true religion, the Russian people may exert on

or nothing. There is not a papal the progress of divine truth among nation in being, of any account, the nations. Their capabilities in but what has in it the seeds of this view are extremely great, discontent and future wars. The nearly surrounded as they are by preponderaiing powers of Europe many numerous tribes, who are will have to say, WE WOULD sitting in darkness, and in the HAVE HEALED BABYLON, BUT land of the shadow of death, and IS NOT HEALED! their zealous co-operation in the

GAIUS. cause of revealed truth, may be regarded as one of those events, which, under the guidance of a Divine agency, bear the closest RELIGIOUS IMPOSTURE. relation to the propagation of the gospel, and the immortal interests They shall proceed no further, of the human race.” p. 431. for their folly shall be manifest

. From what is said of the inha- unto all men, as theirs also was. bitants of the world, that " when 2 Tim. iii. y. ' God's judgments are abroad in It is a lamentable consideration the earth, they will learn righteous- that persons should be found ness,” we are not to suppose that wearing the “ferm of godliness,' this effect will be produced by whilst they deny the power the events of providence only: thereof;" using a profession of the word of God, and the spirit the holy religion of Jesus' as a of God will accompany them, cloak to cover their deformity, and co-operate with them. Such and to hide their depravity. That appears to be the actual state the mask should be employed by of things already in some degree, those whose avowed intention is to and such we may expect will be support an assumed character, is their progress.

quite natural; and, any, who are These remarks may be thought willing to pay for such amuseto afford but little prospect of ments, cannot complain of being continued peace, but rather give deceived. But that the religion us to expect a succession of judg- of Jesus should be employed for ments. I wish all success to every the


of deceitful transform attempt at peace; but, so long as mation could never have happen: popery remains in the earth, I be- ed, bad not the heart been" deep, lieve there will be no continued to devise delusive arts; and men peace for it. "Is it peace, Jehu ? in general sufficiently credulous to What peace, so long as the whore- pay for such deceptions. doms of thy mother Jezebel, and That persons of this descrip. her witchcrafts are so many ?” tion have often been found among Prophecy apart, it cannot escape professed christians, it would be

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


vain to deny. Even primitive saying, “ Evil men and seducers
christianity, with all its outward wax worse and worse, deceiving
simplicity, and notwithstanding and being deceived."
all the persecutions to which its This account of religious im-
professors were exposed, could posture, founded on facts, which
not preserve the churches from came under the apostle's own
such intruders. The apostle Paul notice; and corroborated by an
in writing to Timothy, speaks of instance from scripture history ;
some of this sort who were so may be taken as infallibly descrip-
base that “they crept into houses; tive of the whole class of Impos-
led away silly women laden with tors, which, in succeeding ages,
sins, led away with divers lusts." have infested the church of Christ;
To carry on their deceptions the practising the grossest deceptions
more speciously, they were, (he upon the credulous and unwary,
says, “ever learning, but never for the purpose of gratifying a
able to come to the knowledge of “ corrupt mind;" thus making
the truth.” He furnishes a speci- awful progress; but “waxing
men of what“ sort" these persons rse and worse, deceiving and
were, by instancing the case of being deceived." We learn from
“Jannes and Jambres," who it,
withstood Moses, by attempting I. That persons who use
to imitate his miracles. “ So do ligion for corrupt purposes, by de-
these also, (says he,) resist the ceiving others, most awfully deceive
truth;” not, be it observed, by themselves.
speaking against it; but by aping To carry on deception in re-
the character and professing the ligion, affords a proof of a de-
sentiments, of the faithful servants praved mind. It is one of the
of Christ; though at the same blackest marks of a wicked man;
time, they were under the influ- to “ devise mischief upon his bed,
ence of “ corrupt minds,” and that he may practise it, when it is
were “ reprobate concerning the in the power of his hand to do it."
faith;" e. mere counterfeits in. Is it at all surprising, that "the

righteous Lord, who loveth righThe apostle further admits that teousness," and whose “ face is such deceivers may go a certain against them that do evil,” should length in practising their imitations suffer such hypocrites in heart to with success ; as did the Egyp- be“ filled with their own ways ?” tian Magicians. The three first “ Because they received not the miracles performed by Moses, love of the truth, that they might they contrived to make the peo- be saved; he gave them up: to ple believe were wrought also strong delusions, that they might by them; but in attempting to believe a lie."-Ifmen are given up

proceed further,” they were un.. to “ their own hearts lusts,” they able to perform their purpose: will“ walk in their own counsels.". “their folly was made manifest to Nor is it impossible that from all men :” they were obliged to ac- their persevering in the pertinaci. knowledge, “This is the finger of ous avowal of a " lie,”--to be the God.” As an inference from these truth; especially if by so doing facts, the Apostle concludes by their pride be Aattered, and their

[ocr errors]

circumstances bettered, they at nisters of righteousness?" Adlength believe their own lie to be mitting this, we can easily acfounded in truth : at the same count for their having been high" time“ deceiving anrl being de- heady”. _“fierce"—" despisceived.” Iu reference also to ers of those that are good :"those expectations, founded upon lovers of pleasure, more than lovers deceptive representations; whilst of God." the propagators of falsehood are It is really amazing with what “ deceiving,” the credulous and eagerness deceptive baits are swalunwary are “ deceived.” What lowed by some, whose character is said of idol worship is applica- for a better understanding had ble to this case, “they that make been generally acknowledged. them are like unto them; so is But there are numerous instances, every one that trusteth in them."

that when it is given out by any. II. That there is a point, be- that they are “ some great one, yond which, imitators of the works there are a great many persons of God, shall not be suffered to who will believe their assertions proceed.

to be true, though there be not It is highly probable that the the least evidence of facts to renEgyptian Magicians, to whom the der them probable. apostle referred, used deceptive The late case of that poor, arts to impose upon their deluded weak, deluded woman, Joannu followers. Legerdemain tricks Southcott, who, doubtless, was have been in all countries carried both deceiving and deceived,” furto a great pitch of perfection ; nishes abundant proof of the ige but even admitting that they ex- norance and credulity of a large ercised more than human power, portion of society in this country. we are safe in attributing it to That such base, and bare-faced satanic influence. Speaking of imposture should have been, atsuch persons, the Apostle says, tempted so long continued, and “ For such are false apostles, de- with so much success, at the ceitful workers, transforming them- commencement of the 19th censelves into the Apostles of Christ. tury—and in England, the land of And no marvel; for Satan himself light, and of Bibles! will appear is transformed into an angel of almost incredible to future genelight. Therefore it is no great rations. For such an illiterate thing, if his ministers also be silly woman to pretend to a spirit transformed as the ministers of of inspiration-to predict future righteousness ; whose end shall be events—to undertake the work of according to their works.” sealing the servants of God!

Is there not ground for suspi- It should seem that this woman cion that those, of late years, whose was so deluded by the adulation ministry has been remarkable for of her numerous disciples, that "striving about the law,” while they she proceeded from stage to stage theoretically, if not practically, of deception, till she reached that deny its obligations upon the be- point, when to support her preliever ; are not “ ministers of tensions, the established order of righteousness :” but men of cor- nature must have been subverted, rupt minds,“ transformed as mi- and divine. predictions falsified.

all men.

Beyond this she could proceed no century, a class of enthusiastic further, and her folly, and that of impostors appeared, known by her credulous “believers,” has, the name of the “ French Proby her death, and subsequent phets," who excited great attenevents, been made manifest unto tion, and imposed upon the de

Juded multitude. Even persons The numerous impositions of rank and learning joined their upon many religious people in standard, and pretended, while in England, during the last thirty their fits, to utter predictions. At years, afford a very humiliating last they'proceeded so far, as to lesson to those who speak of our: give out that Mr. Emms, one of superior national knowledge and their followers, would, on a para religion! What multitudes listen- ticular day, rise from the dead. ed to the pretensions of " Poor Having atterupted, however, the Help,”+ the prophecies of “Rich-, work of God, they proceeded no ard Brothers;" to the miracles further, “ their folly was made performed by “ Animal Magne- manifest untó all men.” The tism," and the “ Metallic Trac- " corrupt minds of some of their tors !” What will be the next leaders were discovered. wonder it is impossible to con- John Lacy, Esq. a member of jecture ; but it is probable, some- Mr. Calamy’s congregation at thing equally ridiculous and con- Westminster, without giving the temptible.

least notice, got up one morning, At the beginning of the last lest lis lady in bed, quitted his

[ocr errors]

6 Her pre

* This view of the character of Joanna Southcott, is abundantly confirmed by the following statement, by one of her Medical Attendants. dictions were loud and frequent-full of comfort and happiness to her own subjects-dreadful denunciations of woe to the rebellious creatures, that did not acknowledge her sovereignty, and trust in her prescience; but of their fulfilment I never heard. And her life was very differently ordered from thosc, who aforetime had the name, character, and office of Prophets. They fasted often,-watched incessantly--and prayed continually—they lived coarsely, and were more coarsely clad: they upon all occasions, but when otherwise com- , manded by Him, whose servants they were, avoided publicity, and studiously shunned the busy haunts of men: but Joanna, on the contrary, upon all occasions sought publicity ; to this end, when one method failed, another was resorted to. I never could learn, that she either watched, fasted or prayed. On the contrary, she passed much of her time in bed-in downy indolence- ate much and often--and prayed-never. · She loved to lodge delicately, and feast luxuriously"

[ocr errors]

+ The name of this man was Samuel Best. About the year 1784, he was a pauper in Shoreditch Workhouse ; and employed himself in making representations of God in straw work!! Being remarkable for a strong memory, and an extensive knowledge of the contents of the Bible; he would look at the palm of a person's hand, and refer him to a passage of scripture, descriptive of his character and future destiny! To this“ Prophet,” it is said, thousands of persons in London resorted— preachers of various denominations, churchmen, dissenters, methodists, and quakers; ladies and gentleinen in their own carriages; ás also tradesmen, mechanics, and servants in hackuey coaches, or on foot, some of them repeated, and many of thein highly extolled, Poor HELP. See a Pamphlet, entitled, Imposture Detected," or Thoughts on a Pretended Prophet, and on the prevalence of his Impositions, By John Martin, 1787.


house and children, and taking a CHRIST THE ADVOCATE. few necessaries with him, went to live among the prophets. There By an advocate, is understood he took to himself for wife one one who, in the absence of his Betty Gray, who had been a client, is employed to plead his snuffer of candles at a play-house, cause, and to defend him against but never passed for a person

in- the charges of his accuser, in the spired. This transaction, in one presence of his judge: to this of his inspirations, which Mr. ihere is an allusion in that expresCalamy saw, he called a quitting sion of the Apostle, “ye are come Hagar, and betaking himself to to God the Judge of all--and to Sarah, and declared, he did it by Jesus the Mediator of the new order of the Spirit. The govern- covenant.” The first of these ment of Queen Aune manifested observations suggests consideraboth weakness and intolerance, tiuns truly alarining to a guilty by punishing these persons “ for creature, who, trom a conviction wicked and counterfeit prophe- of his own turpitude, is ready to cies, and causing them to be print- say,“ How shall I come before ed and published, to terrify the the Lord :” he perceives the unQueen's people.” At length, the sullied purity of the divine chaQueen's ministers followed wiser racter, the holy law which he has counsels, and " let them alone,” violated, and the majesty that when the consequence was, that vindicates its honours, with terror in a little time they sunk into con- and despair; but the humble betempt, and their party dwindled liever, comes not only to God to nothing. Sir Richard Bulk- the Judge of all, but also to Jesus ley, who was very short and crook- the Mediator of the new coveed, expected under the new dis- nant: in Jesus he finds an Advopensation, to be made strait and cate of supreme ability-" Who handsome; but to his great dis- is able to save them to the utterappointment and mortification he most that come unto God by died before the miracle was him, seeing he ever liveth to make wrought.*

intercession for them.” From this story, it should ap- The Advocacy of Christ is conpear, that there is no new thing nected with his meritorious obeunder the sun. “ The farce has dience and his expiatory death : been nearly re-acted by Joanna it is indeed so important a part of Southcott and her believers. We his mediation, that his exertions congratulate our countrymen, for our happiness would have however, on the superior wisdom been incomplete without it. The of our Governors, at this period, jewish high priest was required who.“ refrained and let them not only to offer an atonement for alone,” till the deception was de- the sins of the people, but likewise Tected, and “their folly has been to appear in the most holy place, manifest unto all men.”

with the names of the tribes of IOTA. Israel on his breast, and to add

* See Wilson's Hist, of Diss. Chur: Vol. IV. p. 77-79.

« НазадПродовжити »