Flirting With Popery
Here is Cowper’s warning to those evangelicals who flirt with the Roman Harlot. The Lie is the Papacy (II Thess. 2:11).
Hast thou admitted with a blind, fond trust
The Lie that burned thy father’s bones to dust;
That first adjudged them heretics, then sent
Their souls to heaven, and cursed them as they went;
The Lie that scripture strips of its disguise,
And execrates above all other Lies;
The Lie that claps a lock on Mercy’s plan,
And gives the key to you infirm old man,
Who, once ensconced in Apostolic chair,
Is defied, and sits omniscient there;
The Lie that knows no kindred, owns no friend
But him that makes its progress his chief end,
That having spilt much blood, makes that a boast,
And canonises him that sheds the most?
Away with charity that soothes a Lie,
And thrusts the truth with scorn and anger by!
Shame on the candour, and the gracious smile,
Bestowed on them that light the martyr’s pile,
While insolent distain, in frowns expressed,
Attends the tenets that endured the test!
Grant them the rights of men, and while they cease
To vex the peace of others, grant them peace;
But trusting bigots whose false zeal has made
Treachery their duty, thou art self-betrayed!
— WILLIAM COWPER