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UNDER WHICH BANNER-
CHRIST'S OR ANTICHRIST'S ?
“Thou hast given a BANNER to them that fear Thee,
Psalm lx. 4.
MADGWICK, HOULSTON & CO., LTD.,
7, PATERNOSTER BUILDINGS, E.C.
I RINTED BY W. H. AND L. COLLINGRIDGE, 148 AND 149, ALDI RSGATE STREET, E.C.
THE present times are pregnant with warning to
every loyal student of the Holy Scriptures. Beneath the plans of politicians, and the strife of parties, there is a manifest unfolding of the predicted purposes of God.
Romanism and Secularism, in their respective spheres, are increasing in vigour and effrontery, and practically monopolise the field of controversy on subjects connected with the Christian faith. The one claims to be the only defender and director of “religious teaching": the other boldly asserts itself as the only legitimate champion of “religious liberty.” But although advancing ostensibly in opposition to each other, these two forces are, in the overruling providence of God, operating towards a common end.
In our own land, and amongst our own people in the four corners of the earth, there is a marked revival of that spirit which seeks to exalt the authority of “the Church” above the authority of the State, and to subjupersons
and consciences of men to the bondage of ecclesiastical power. Discredited in its native home, and to a large extent in other continental kingdoms, Popery has for nearly a century sought to re-establish itself in the British dominions; and so remarkable and rapid have been its successes in this direction-owing chiefly to the spread of lawlessness in the Established Church—that we find it already preparing to attack the last bulwark of our national liberty, and, by the overthrow of the Act of Settlement, to bring the throne of England once more under the papal yoke,
The recent report of the Ritual Commission affords indisputable evidence of the extent to which the English Church has become leavened with Romish doctrine and Romish practice; and from the nature of the recommendations made by the Commissioners, it is clearly hopeless to expect any return to Reformation principles. A shrewd observer of events (Dr. John Bennett), who has now passed to his rest, wrote on this subject thirty years ago: “The moment Evangelicalism refuses to claim for itself to be the only revealed Truth of God, that moment its power is gone. Samson-like, it is shorn of its strength. Truth which is not exclusive is salt which has lost its savour.' The words were prophetic, and to-day their fulfilment is before our eyes. True Evangelicalism, as a living force in the counsels of the National Church, has ceased to exist. When its adherents were content to become a mere party, or a particular“ school of thought," they wrote its death-warrant; and although the evangelical spirit still survives in individual thought and action, its power in a representative sense is gone.
Coincident with the growth of Romanism, has been the development of free thought and scientific scepticism concerning the things of God. While Popery thrives on ignorance and superstition, Secularism prosperz through the progress of intellectual knowledge and research. The
pagan theory of evolution, now so widely accepted in defiance of revealed Truth, is largely responsible for the systematic doubt which characterizes much of the religious profession of the present day. It is greatly to be deplored in this connection, that many evangelical teachers, while rejecting the
views of the “higher criticism,” seek to reconcile the assumptions of science with the statements of the Word of God, and, by a fantastic interpretation of the Mosaic narrative, to explain the process of creation in accordance with the suggestions of human intelligence and human philosophy.
But the conclusions of metaphysical science, so far as they affect the absolute accuracy of the Bible as an historic record, are ipso facto false; for if the Scriptures were untrue in any single particular, they could possess no real virtue as a revelation from God. The doctrine of Moses is as explicit as the doctrine of Christ, and the two must stand or fall together. “If ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?” We have to choose between natural reason on the one hand, and supernatural revelation on the other hand; we cannot honestly bow to both. It is only when we deny, or ignore, the miraculous intervention of God in the genesis and subsequent ruin of the earth, that we are confronted with the necessity of interpreting the account of the creation otherwise than in the plain and obvious sense in which it has been received and understood, by believing Jews and Gentiles alike, since the foundation of the world.
The educational controversy has furnished some striking examples of the confusion of thought that prevails, in the minds of many public men, with regard to subjects