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Monday, September 25, 2017
Date Posted:
3/19/1998

Contents
Pre-Reformation
Reformation
Introduction
Latimer and Ridley
William Hunter
Cranmer - Hooper
Rose Allen
Events Today


The Trend Of Events Today


Faithful Unto Death - Chapter 4
Rev W St Clair Taylor
Adapted By Professor Arthur Noble

There are some people today who believe that such persecutions and even such circumstances which led up to these persecutions will never again be witnessed in our beloved land.

Therefore, in order to impress upon my older readers the modern trend, I am including here a statement taken from the Book God's Unsettled Controversy by the Rev. Murdoch Campbell, M.A.:

"The greatest event in the history of these isles was our emancipation from the idolatries and other dangers of the system of Romanism.

The most splendid blessing, on the other hand, that ever reached our shores was that of the Reformation. "The most splendid blessing, on the other hand, that ever reached our shores was that of the Reformation. What was England before that time? A great nation and race admittedly, but still shackled and oppressed by the ignorance and corruptions of Papal mediaevalism. The Reformation was not only a liberating power, but also a supreme intellectual and spiritual tonic which aroused this people as out of a sleep. The heroisms, the incomparable literature, the growing political power and territorial expansion, and above all, the wonderful spiritual revelation as expressed in the Puritan movement were all the direct results of the Reformation. The deepest significance of that happy time and event in our history was that it marked a turning away from national idolatry to the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the words of J. R. Green, the English became the people of a book, and that Book was the Bible. The English Church of the Reformation, though retaining a flowery ritual, was (and legally is) doctrinally Protestant. Its subordinate standards are truly Protestant and anti-Roman.

"It was not in fact until the advent of men like Keble (1833), Pusey and Newman, that Protestantism in the English Church was first insiduously attacked.

"Ambiguous 'tracts' and sermons, which professed concern at the religious state of the country, and which largely retained evangelical phraseology, were scattered throughout the country by these and other men. The real tendency of the movement was not properly detected until Newman quietly drifted into the Roman Church. The unhappy wind was then seen to be blowing from the Vatican.

...it has allowed Romanisers to play fast and loose with the legal position of the Church recognised in law as Protestant, and prohibited by law from introducing... Ever since, the English Church has been going deeper and deeper into the darkness. Lacking in disciplinary strength and courage, it has allowed Romanisers to play fast and loose with the legal position of the Church recognised in law as Protestant, and prohibited by law from introducing; any papal practices subversive of its identity and doctrinal standing. More than once, to the great shame of its archbishops and bishops, the legislative body in Parliament has opposed this tendency with no uncertain voice, and, on one occasion at least with strong emotional zeal. I refer to the scenes in the House of Commons after the rejection of the pro-Roman revised Prayer Book in 1929.

"Still the English prelates have continued to allow corrupting and Papal practices in the worship of the Church. That has gone on to such an extent that in a typical Anglo-Catholic congregation no ordinary person could appreciate the difference between the service and that held in a Roman chapel. The evangelical element in the English Church has done well to oppose the deadly introduction of idolatry, as well as the treachery of the Bishops. The degrading process, however, has gone so far that nothing short of a pure spiritual revival and a second Reformation can save the Church from spiritual destruction.

Apostasy from God, His word, and pure scriptural religion cannot fail to bring God's anger upon a nation. "Deliberate national apostasy is a serious crime. Apostasy from God, His word, and pure scriptural religion cannot fail to bring God's anger upon a nation. God's attitude to this does not change, just as His mind as to how He should be worshipped does not change. This backward movement to mediaevalism is strange when one considers the deplorable state of things from which we were delivered. Let any person, for example, read such booklets as Sir Charles Oman's The Necessity for the Reformation and Dr. Hay Fleming's The Church from which the Reformation delivered Scotland, and he may see the greatness of our salvation.

These are the unanswerable proofs of men who cannot be contradicted by historical evidence that at that time we were, as a nation, 'without God and without hope in the world'. How can this backward tendency to degenerate worship, on the part of otherwise educated and cultured men, be explained? All we can say is that Churchmen who move in that direction have never felt the power of evangelical religion in their own lives, nor could they have seen the 'excelling spiritual glory' of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And when men are blind they go astray.

What is the meaning of Anglo-Catholicism. It is the effort to get this country back to Rome. "What is the meaning of Anglo-Catholicism. It is the effort to get this country back to Rome. It aims at the destruction of our Protestant Sion and the rebuilding, under the terms 'Mass', 'Real Presence', 'Priest', 'altar', 'transubstantiation' a system of worship which has no sanction from God's word. This is the fundamental issue at stake. Mr. Rosslyn Mitchell, in his great oration in the House of Commons when speaking against the revised prayer book, made this clear. Those, he said, who had founded this Church as a Protestant Reformed Church said that the priests should not wear certain garments because of their association with certain things.

Today, under the new system, the priest, officiating at the Communion, was to wear, if he cared, the chasuble, the alb and the maniple, which had a wonderful symbolism. Was that not an approach toward transubstantiation? Moreover, they were not to have bread that might crumble, but the wafer. Why did they wear these garments? Because something was going to happen. Why did they take a wafer? Because something was going to happen. Why did they consecrate it? In order that something might happen. Why did they put it away in a little tabernacle? Because something had happened. What had happened? What did the priests understand to have happened when they placed the wafer in a special little tabernacle for the faithful to see? They understood by the mystery [...] that God Himself, through him, as the instrument had [...] created the Body [of God] again. That was transubstantiation, and that was the principle which divided the Reformed Protestant Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

This is that awful doctrine which our fathers rejected in horror, as shocking to our minds, and so utterly contrary to God's Word. "This is that awful doctrine which our fathers rejected in horror, as shocking to our minds, and so utterly contrary to God's Word. Who can read the account of the Lord's Supper, as instituted by our Master in the upper room, and then observe the dreadful and blasphemous caricature of it as practised by Romanists and perverted Anglicans, and not see that between the two there is a great gulf fixed. In the one you have a simple act of commemoration and fellowship, and in the other a mystical mass of meaningless idolatry."

The Nemesis which overtakes a people "once enlightened", and "who had tasted of the powers of the world to come", is more terrible than that which overtakes men for breaking of ordinary physical and moral laws. It is "nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned" (Heb. 6:4-8). The rejection of Christ and His gospel by the Jews was followed by terrible chastisements which terminated in Jerusalem being "encompassed about with armies" followed, as we have seen, by a tribulation which is not yet over.

Our national sin possesses an aggravation equally great. Upon this land arose the Sun of Righteousness, with healing in His wings. Our fathers welcomed and rejoiced in that light. They beheld the glory of the Lord in the power of a pure Gospel faithfully preached - and Anglo-Catholics seek to bring us back to what the prophets call "the grave" of spiritual darkness and death. Anglo-Catholicism is a carnal, almost physical, religion (i.e., "bodily exercise") mystified by the presence of oppressive and ornate ritualism. It is something which has degenerated from the spiritual to the sensual, It appeared first in the Church in the form of spiritual impotence and judicial blindness. Then the breath having left the body, spiritual subjects and works gave place to a political atmosphere in which, as conscious of its death it began to concern itself with social questions.

Then came the time when Churches began to fall, altars were destroyed, and idols, like other things, were broken into pieces. In that hour the Church had no message, no explanations, to give the people. We were told of how we were fighting "evil things" but not told what evil brought the evil things upon us. We saw the effect, but where was the cause? Yet God was visibly and loudly reproving us as a nation for apostasy. The judgment came, and one of the reasons for it was that we had broken a supreme command: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and shewing mercy to thousands of them that love Me and keep My Commandments."

Anglo-Catholicism is essentially the repudiation of this command. It springs from Rome, the mother of idolatry.

See what happens. In one of our cities on the day after a severe air raid two depressed looking figures could be seen delving amid the ruins of a destroyed Church. The Press gave us photographs of the Nazi devilry which caused such scenes of woe. These poor men, who appeared to be priests, were anxiously looking for something which they deemed very valuable - not likely the Bible, but a crucifix, the altar, and the tabernacle in which God in His real presence resided in the form of a wafer; but they could not be found. The tabernacle was broken, the wafer was annihilated by some action. Who broke the wafer which had been so well baked lest it should crumble? Who destroyed the tabernacle? This is the dreadful question which the Anglo-Catholic should answer. Of course the devil destroyed it all. If that is so, however, he has power over that which Romanism and Anglo-Catholicism conceive to be God, and evil is supreme in the world; but that Church building, says one, was not destroyed primarily by an evil force, but by God Himself in the permissive acts of His mysterious Providence. If that be so, does He then allow the destruction of that which is supposed to be Himself? These awful questions are being asked to show the grotesque and blasphemous implications of idolatry in transubstantiation and the Mass. It is against the wicked absurdities of idolatry that the fortieth chapter in Isaiah was written - that sublime and awesome description of the Eternal which none should read but in the spirit of holy fear.

The Christian believer whose God and loving Saviour is in heaven, and in his heart by faith, recoils in horror from these awful questions and their awful implications. They serve to show, however, the nature of this cursed thing. Were these bombs not necessary to shock and disillusion even the idolater himself? Did they not even for him repress the anger of the God Who says in His Word that those who serve graven images are to be confounded"?

The present hour calls loudly to all the Protestant Churches to repent and return. "And they shall go into the holes of the rocks [. . .]." Has the hour not arrived when "a man shall cast his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which they made, each one for himself, to worship; to the moles and to the bats, to go into the clefts of the rocks [...] for f ear of the Lord, and for the glory of His Majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth [...]? " (Isa. 2:19-20). "Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God is 'the wholly other,' 'an unknown God' to all idolaters? "Do they not now see Him in the glory of His wrath against the work of their hand? If the Church is to meet the unparalleled difficulties of the post-war era it must be charged with the live dynamic of the evangelism of Luther, Whitefield, Wesley, Spurgeon and Chalmers. Of similar men and power England and Europe have need. The present hour calls loudly to all the Protestant Churches to repent and return. All have their Achan which must be destroyed before the Lord will go with us. The call is to get back to the two great realities which it is the function of the Church to proclaim, Sin and Salvation. Sin in us; salvation in Christ, through His atonement and intercession on high.
Remember, therefore; from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works... Meantime, God says: "Remember, therefore; from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place-, except thou repent."

Thus we see the trend of events today. Our religious and civil liberties are again in danger, we must give ourselves to prayer, to work and to watch, so that "when the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall raise up a standard against him."

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