~ Pope Boniface VIII (ca. 1235–1303), in Unam Sanctam
from Spurgeon’s sermon, “A JEALOUS GOD”
With what indignation must the Lord look down upon that apostate harlot, called the Romish Church, when, in all her sanctuaries, there are pictures and images, relics and statues, and poor beguiled beings are even taught to bow before a piece of bread.
I have seen thousands adore the wafer, hundreds bow before the image of the Virgin, scores at prayer before a crucifix, and companies of men and women adoring a
rotten bone or a rusty nail, because said to be the relic of a saint.
Let us, above all, never have any complicity with this communion of devils, this gathering together of the sons of Belial: and since our God is a jealous God, let us not provoke him by any affinity, gentleness, fellowship, or unity with this Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the earth.
Renounce, my brethren, every ceremony which has not Scripture for its warrant, and every doctrine which is not established by the plain testimony of the Word of God.
“Questions about Arminius’ doctrine arose as early as 1590… By 1596, after studying Romans chapter 9, he concluded that… God has willed to accept those who seek acceptance with Him by faith. This was a clever move. He appeared to be defending justification by faith all the while redefining the doctrine of election and the definition of faith… Confessional pastors and theologians in the Netherlands and elsewhere began to sound the alarm. Dialogues were conducted and Arminius said the right things… Despite swirling doubts, the regents of the University of Leiden appointed Arminius to professor of theology. Almost immediately, Arminius was controversial. He was reported to teach that God elects those whom he foreknows would believe. He also raised questions about the Reformed doctrine of the covenant of works. In public, however, Arminius went out of his way to agree with his orthodox colleagues.”
Read the complete quote and more: http://heidelblog.net/2014/04/the-canons-of-dordt/
Dr. John H. Rice, with the intuition of a great mind, warned Presbyterians against a renewed prevalence of popery in our Protestant land. This was when it was so insignificant among us as to be almost unnoticed.
Many were surprised at his prophecy, and not a few mocked; but time has fulfilled it. Our leaders from 1830 to 1860 understood well the causes of this danger. They were diligent to inform and prepare the minds of their people against it. Hence General Assemblies and Synods appointed annual sermons upon popery, and our teachers did their best to arouse the minds of the people.
Now, all this has mainly passed away, and we are relaxing our resistance against the dreaded foe just in proportion as he grows more formidable. It has become the fashion to condemn controversy and to affect the widest charity for this and all other foes of Christ and of souls. High Presbyterian authority even is quoted as saying, that henceforth our concern with Romanism should be chiefly irenical! The figures presented by the census of 1890 are construed in opposite ways. This gives the papists more than fourteen millions of adherents in the United States, where ninety years ago there were but a few thousands. Such Protestant journals as think it their interest to play sycophants to public opinion try to persuade us that these figures are very consoling; because, if Rome had kept all the natural increase of her immigrations the numbers would have been larger. But Rome points to them with insolent triumph as prognostics of an assured victory over Protestantism on this continent. Which will prove correct?
For Presbyterians of all others to discount the perpetual danger from Romanism is thoroughly thoughtless and rash. We believe that the Christianity left by the apostles to the primitive church was essentially what we now call Presbyterian and Protestant. Prelacy and popery speedily began to work in the bosom of that community and steadily wrought its corruption and almost its total extirpation. Why should not the same cause tend to work the same result again? Are we truer or wiser Presbyterians than those trained by the apostles? Have the enemies of truth become less skillful and dangerous by gaining the experience of centuries? The popish system of ritual and doctrine was a gradual growth, which, modifying true Christianity, first perverted and then extinguished it. its destructive power has resulted from this: that it has not been the invention of any one cunning and hostile mind, but a gradual growth, modified by hundreds or thousands of its cultivators, who were the most acute, learned, selfish, and anti-Christian spirits of their generations, perpetually retouched and adapted to every weakness and every attribute of depraved human nature, until it became the most skillful and pernicious system of error which the world has ever known. As it has adjusted itself to every superstition, every sense of guilt, every foible and craving of the depraved human heart, so it has travestied with consummate skill every active principle of the Gospel. It is doubtless the ne plus ultra of religious delusion, the final and highest result of perverted human faculty guided by the sagacity of the great enemy.
This system has nearly conquered Christendom once. He who does not see that it is capable of conquering it again is blind to the simplest laws of thought. One may ask, Does it not retain sundry of the cardinal doctrines of the Gospel, monotheism, the trinity, the hypostatic union, Christs sacrifice, the sacraments, the resurrection, the judgment, immortality? Yes; in form it retains them, and this because of its supreme cunning. It retains them while so wresting and enervating as to rob them mainly of their sanctifying power, because it designs to spread its snares for all sorts of minds of every grade of opinion. The grand architect was too cunning to make it, like his earlier essays, mere atheism, or mere fetishism, or mere polytheism, or mere pagan idolatry; for in these forms the trap only ensnared the coarser and more ignorant natures. He has now perfected it and baited it for all types of humanity, the most refined as well as the most imbruted.
I. Romanism now enjoys in our country certain important advantages, which I may style legitimate, in this sense, that our decadent, half-corrupted Protestantism bestows these advantages upon our enemy, so that Rome, in employing them, only uses what we ourselves give her. In other words, there are plain points upon which Rome claims a favorable comparison as against Protestantism; and her claim is correct, in that the latter is blindly and criminally betraying her own interests and duties.
~ William Tyndale
(J.C. Ryle, “Idolatry!“)
“My dearly beloved, flee from idolatry!” 1 Corinthians 10:14
I know how painful these things sound to many ears. To me it is no pleasure to dwell on the shortcomings of any who profess and call themselves Christians. I can say truly that I have said what I have said with pain and sorrow.
I believe that many a poor Catholic at this day is worshiping with an idolatrous worship, simply because he knows no better. He has no Bible to instruct him. He has no faithful minister to teach him. I remember all this; and I say that the Catholic eminently deserves our sympathy and compassion.
But all this must not prevent my saying that the Church of Rome is an idolatrous Church. I would not be faithful if I said less.
My own conscience would rebuke me if I did not warn men plainly that the Church of Rome is an idolatrous Church, and that if they will join her, they are “joining themselves to idols!”
That heart can hardly be right with God, which can think of the millions who are sunk in heathenism, or honor the false prophet Mahomet, or daily offer up prayers to the Virgin Mary — and not cry, “O my God, what shall the end of these things be? How long, O Lord, how long?”
Christ rightly known, Christ truly believed, and Christ heartily loved — is the true preservative against ritualism, Romanism and every form of idolatry!
Pope Nicholas I to the Catholic King of Bulgaria:
“I glorify you for having maintained your authority by putting to death those wandering sheep who refuse to enter the fold, and you not only have not sinned by showing a holy rigor, but I even congratulate you upon having opened the kingdom of heaven to the people submitted to your rule. A king need not fear to command massacres, when these will retain his subjects in obedience, or cause them to submit to the faith of Christ, and God will reward him in this world, and in eternal life, for these murders.”
(Source: A Complete History of the Popes of Rome, from Saint Peter, the First Bishop to Pius the Ninth, the Present Pope: Including the History of Saints Martyrs, Fathers of the Church, Religious Orders, Cardinals, Inquisitions, Schisms and the Great Reformers (Google eBook), by Louis Marie DeCormenin, James L. Gihon, 1857, p. 244.)