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the wrath to come; and when they have done this, I would tender to them the right hand of fellowship. I quarrel not with others' creeds, but, as I understand, this is my Bible's creed, and I believe the time has arrived in which God is saying to his Church, " Awake, awake !” “ O captive daughter of Zion,” “shake thyself from the dust,” lay aside thy prejudice, and adorn thyself with love; and in which real Christians must merge their common differences and make head against what I conceive to be the chief foes of our common Christianity, viz. war and slavery, persecution, and civil and ecclesiastical despotism. In this appeal to the public, then, I advocate not the cause of sect or party—and could wish that the names that distinguish them were buried in one conimon grave, or covered with a veil of charity-but I advocate the cause of Christianity, alike sacred to all: the cause of peace, and truth, and righteousness; that which not only involves the happiness of Britons and the countless millions over whom Britain holdsher sway, but the happiness of the whole human race, and of countless millions yet unborn. And as my chief object is to show that the things against which I write are Antichristian, I must first explain what I mean by the term. Holding these views, far be it from me to ascribe an Antichristian spirit to any particular denomination. Alas, alas! Whilst we have been indulging in mutual recriminations, and trying to cast out the mote in our brother's eye, saying, Lo, Antichrist is here, or lo, he is there, we have not first cast out the beam that was in our own eye; for, had we looked more diligently into our own hearts, we should have found much, far too much, of the spirit of Antichrist there. I do not, therefore, in particular, ascribe it to Romanism, or Church of Englandism, or Congregationalism, or Methodism, or Presbyterianism, or Quakerism, or any form of Protestantism, into which the opinions of mankind have been divided ; neither do I ascribe it to Calvinism or Arminianism, but that system wherein it may be found, whether professedly Christian or not, that has drank deepest of the cup of the Great Whore, the Mystic Babylon--which has imbibed most of the spirit of Antichrist; for, I believe, she who is also described in Scripture as the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth has been the cause of all the blood-shedding persecution, war, and slavery, upon the earth; and these are the natural attendants of civil and ecclesiastical despotism; therefore I shall attempt to prove that all who uphold such things are clearly under the dominion of the Great Whore; and whilst I come with no new revelation, but only to bear witness to that which is already revealed, according to the light and understanding given me, I will describe my ideas of her who thus “ sitteth as a queen upon many waters," and with whom all the emperors, kings, princes, popes, judges, chiefs, and rulers of the earth, ecclesiastical or civil, whether professedly Christian or otherwise, have committed fornication, and are now committing it; for she hath held dominion over every kindred, nation, tongue, and tribe of people that ever drew breath upon the earth. I am fully prepared to admit that mystical whoredom, strictly speaking, is idolatry, or the worshipping of idols; but the Scriptures, particularly Ezekiel xiv. clearly show that this extends to the heart, and therefore may be committed although no block of wood or stone be acutally

set up

Now the prevailing whoredom of the present day is, that · Beland · Nebo’ are set up in men's hearts; professors of religion bow down to secular power, and cleave to it for support, in order to attain their ends, instead of simply trusting in the Living God. And, I believe, most commentators are agreed, that the spiritual whoredom of Scripture is supposed to be the impure blending of secular and ecclesiastical authority, or lust of dominion, of professedly spiritual persons; and, then, they have endeavoured to attach this definition 66 Great Whore" to some particular form of government, in which these have been blended. For instance, the government of Rome has been named. Now, whilst I agree that every system thus formed is indeed a harlot, and that whoredom scripturally is idolatry, or apostacy from God, and therefore will apply to any corruption of true religion; and that the Romish system, having so eminently mingled Christianity with its own inventions, therefore the title of whore or harlot may with great reason be applied to it, yet I believe that she is not the Mother of Harlots, but one amongst many of the daughters of the Great Whore; and also that every system of religion, whether it be in possession of a correct creed or not, that has either allied itself to the civil power, for the purpose of promoting its own views, or in any way sought to suppress what it may choose to call error, heresy, or blasphemy by force, or, in other words, put down false creeds by external power, is a harlot also. This spirit has been strikingly exemplified by the church in connexion with the state in our own country, with reference to certain prosecutions for blasphemy which have recently taken place. We find the established clergy of the diocese recommending the civil power to prosecute; and we find the magistrates prosecuting certain individuals for the publication of their opinions, and imposing upon them fines and imprisonment. Now, whilst I freely admit, that there is at once something so atrocious against the majesty of heaven in the conduct of those individuals who have been thus prosecuted, that every right-minded Christian would at first be ready to exclaim, “ Let it be put down by the strong arm of the law” (overlooking the principle that a right end should not be obtained by wrong means), yet I believe the individuals that instigated those proceedings have (though perhaps unconsciously) not only done a great injury to the cause of true religion, but have also struck a blow at the liberties of their country. For, not only are such proceedings, in my opinion, contrary to sound policy, but are manifestly inconsistent with the pure spirit of Christianity. Having stated this opinion, I will endeavour to


it. 1 find, indeed, from the Bible, that Christians shall suffer persecution; but nowhere from Matthew to Revelations ean I find that they are to turn persecutors; and the Apostle, in writing of such characters as have lately been prosecuted, says, that “ evil men and seducers shall wax

worse and worse," and exhorts “ from such to turn away,” “ to have no fellowship with them, but rather to reprove them;" but nowhere can I find it even implied that we are to persecute them ; but, on the contrary, we are 6 Meekly to instruct them if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.”

Now our Missionaries, I believe, of all denominations, go and declare this doctrine to poor deluded heathen idolaters and blasphemers. But, alas ! we do not act upon it at home. Do they not all go forth and preach the gospel where blasphemy and idolatry of the grossest kind are established by law? And if they are persecuted, as they have been, for instance, in the island of Madagascar, do they not tell them it is wrong to persecute for opinion? Would they dare to tell them, wé only have a commission from heaven to persecute; it is not, indeed, expedient at present so to do, but when we get the majority on our side we will begin, Would not such conduct tend at once to confirm the heathen in their idolatry, and make them blaspheme the more ? And would they not at once, and with just reason, conclude that such missionaries were deceivers and the religion they taught a lie? And will not the same rule hold good with reference to our own beloved country? Did the Apostles, I ask, act upon such a principle? being persecuted did they threaten or hold out any such intimation? And if the apostle Paul (who was permitted while a prisoner to remain in his own hired house full two years at Rome, teaching the things that concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him) had just reason to complain when they afterwards did forbid and persecute, how could he with any degree of consistency, upon the supposition that the majority of that city, including the civil power, had then become converted to the faith, turn round, eat his own words and recommend to persecute the minority? Now, as I understand the truth, if indeed I have been taught it as it is in Jesus, it is at all times consistent with itself,—cannot, as some modern teachers would tell us, look one way and run another. I therefore conclude that the apostle in such a case would have allowed the minority the same liberty he had previously claimed for himself. I confess I am ready to weep over those of my countrymen who can hold a contrary opinion, and to exclaim with the prophet, “ How is the gold become dim, and the fine gold changed.”

Such a course not only does violence to the better feelings of the heart, not only seems contrary to sound policy, and appears inconsistent with the pure spirit of the gospel, but also, to me, it seems alike repulsive to sound reason and to common sense.

Whilst I would by no means seek to palliate the conduct of such individuals, for no man abhors their tenets more than I do, yet I will show how easy it is to found a charge of blasphemy; for instance, some believe in the real presence in the eucharist and some not-some in the divinity of Christ and some not—some exalt the God of the Bible, and some the God of nature—some the God of reason, and some no God at all, but chance. Now whilst the more moderate of mankind, who have imbibed either of the aforesaid opinions, might feel disposed to accuse those who are directly opposed to them as guilty only of error or heresy, yet every party, particularly the dominant one, is sure to have some who are sticklers or zealots amongst them, and it is easy for such, in order to stop their opponents, to call such difference of opinion blasphemy, therefore if blasphemy is to be put down by coercive means, each in his turn, as the other gains ascendancy, may expect to be persecuted, as it is the natural consequence of coercion to beget retaliation. The new commandment given by our Lord, and enforced by his own precept and example, went far to abrogate the rigor of the Jewish laws given by Moses, and one would have supposed the fatal error the Jews made when they crucified the Lord of Glory and stoned the protomartyr Stephen for alleged blasphemy, would have taught mankind a lesson, that they should for ever lay aside coercive interference in these matters. Should we not then rather mourn over and

poor deluded victims of such infatuation, and instead of persecuting them, endeavour to restore them by gentleness, meekness, compassion, and forbearance, by bowels and mercies, by the example and love of Christ, who declares that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men, with but one exception? And I cannot find that even the unpardonable sin was to be taken cognizance of by human law; and I fear those who would attempt so to do, will be making an infringement on the prerogative of God. Would it not then be better to endeavour to reclaim such individuals by the means I have recommended ? Is not this the most likely way to bring them to a better state of mind ? And will not the opposite of this tend to confirm them in their delusions? Is it not to be feared that those who would recommend them to be persecuted are actuated by something different to the meek

pity the

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