Thursday, November 4, 2010

Against Popery, by Thomas Watson, pt. 4

12ly. Another Error in the Popish Religion is, They deny Jesus Christ suffered the pains of Hell in his Soul. Indeed, to give them their due, they do aggravate the pains of Christ’s Body, but they deny he felt the Pains and Torments of Hell in his Soul. This Opinion doth much lessen the Sufferings of Christ for us, the same doth lessen the Love of Christ to us. But it is clear, Christ felt the pains of hell in his soul.

But when we say, Christ suffered the Pains of Hell in his Soul, we do not mean that he felt horror of conscience, as the damned do; but we mean he felt that that was equivalent to it, he felt the burden and pain of God’s wrath. Christ Jesus suffered equivalently the pains of Hell, that so he might free us really from the Torments of Hell.

13ly, And lastly, another Error is this, The Pope (say they) hath a power to absolve men from their Oaths. Of what sad consequence, and how dangerous this may be to Protestant States, I leave themselves to judge. It hath been often determined by learned Casuists, that an Oath once taken (the matter of it being lawful) persons cannot be absolved from it. But no more of this matter.

I’ll now wind up all in a word or two of application, and it shall be in the words of my text. Wherefore, my beloved, flee from Idolatry, flee from Popery; take heed of that Religion that brings forth so many Monsters. And besides these thirteen Errors, consider briefly these six or seven Particulars:

1. The Popish Religion is an impure, filthy Religion, they allow of Stews and Brothel-houses for money: nay some of the Popes themselves have been guilty of Sodomy and Simony.

2. It is a Superstitious Religion; that appears in their Christening of Bells, in their using of Salt, Spittle, and Cross in Baptism: Indeed Paul gloried and rejoiced in the Cross of Christ. Paul had the Power of the Cross in his heart, not the Sign of the Cross in his forehead. It is an unspeakable indignity and dishonour to Jesus Christ, to use that in his Worship that he never instituted.

3. Popery is upheld by Deceit and Lying: How have they belied both Calvin and Luther. They say of Luther, that when he died, the Devils were seen to dance about him, and that he died with much horror and despair, when as he went serenely and sweetly out of the world, his last words being those of our blessed Saviour’s, Father, into thy hands I commit my Spirit.

4. The Popish Religion is an out-side carnal Religion, it consists in external things, as Whipping, Fasting, Chringing: There’s nothing of Life and Spirit in their Worship, it’s but a skeleton and carcass; there is nothing of Soul and Spirit in it.

5. The Popish Religion is an unedifying religion, it doth not build men up in their most holy Faith, it doth not carry on the work of Sanctification; there is more of Pomp than purity in it.

6. It is a cruel Religion, it is maintained and propagated by Blood and Cruelty. The Pope will have St. Paul’s Sword, as well as St. Peter’s Keys; and what he cannot maintain by dint and force of Argument, that will he endeavour to maintain by force of Arms. In a word, the Romish Church is a Purple Whore, dyed with the Blood of Saints and Martyrs.

7. And lastly, the Romish religion is a self-contradicting religion. One of their Canons saith, a man (in some cases) may take the Sacrament at the hand of an Heretick: another Canon saith, he may not. A learned and judicious Writer observes above an hundred Contradictions in their Religion. Therefore again I press the words of my Text, Wherefore, my beloved, nay, let me say, my dearly beloved, flee from Idolatry.

To shut up all let me exhort you to these two or three things:

First, Hold fast the Doctrine of the true Orthodox Protestant Religion: the very filings of this gold is precious. Keep all the Articles of the Christian Faith; if you let one fundamental article of your Faith go, you hazard your Salvation. When Samson pulled down but one Pillar, immediately the whole Fabrick tumbled: so, if you destroy one Pillar, if you let go one Fundamental of Truth, you endanger all.

Secondly, Hold forth the profession of the Protestant Religion, I say: do not only hold fast the Doctrine of the Protestant Religion: but hold forth the Profession of the Protestant Religion: Be not ashamed to wear Christ’s Colours. Christians remember this one thing, those Persons that are ashamed of Christ, are a very shame unto Christ. The Religion I exhort you to flee from, is a novelty: that which I press you to stand to, is a verity; it is consonant to Scripture; it is built on the foundation {} of the Prophets an Apostles, and hath been sealed to by the blood of many Saints and Martyrs.

Thirdly, and lastly, do not only hold fast, and hold forth, but also adorn the Protestant Religion: this is holy Paul’s Exhortation to Titus, Titus 2.10, Adorn the Doctrine of God our Saviour. Adorn Religion with a holy Conversation. There is nothing hardens Papists so much as the looseness of Protestants. Therefore adorn your holy Religion with a holy Conversation: Do as Christ did, tread in his steps; make your Saviour your Pattern. Let me assure you, I can hardly think they do truly believe in Christ, that do not really conform unto Christ. The Primitive Christians Sanctity, did much-what propagate Christianity. And this is that I beseech you carry home with you: Hold fast and hold forth the Protestant Religion and adorn it with a Holy and Bible-Conversation; and when you do not hear me Preaching to you, yet let me beseech you hear this good Word speaking in you, Wherefore my dearly beloved, flee from Idolatry.

Consider what hath been said, and the Lord make it advantageous to all your Souls.

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