It Varies Its Colors According To The Soil On Which It Treads

Chameleon color


There is no sin in an attractive exhibition of the truth, nor is it wrong to enlist the tastes in favour of the Redeemer’s kingdom, for the Apostle to the Gentiles was himself “made all things to all men.”  So soon, however, as the truth itself is modified in order to suit the prejudices or inclinations of those to whom it is addressed, the accommodation from that moment becomes sinful in its character.  Now it is impossible to study the records of Romanism without perceiving that it is perpetually guilty of this sinful modification.  Thus in different countries it assumes different external aspects.  In catechisms for the Irish, for example, it omits the second commandment, while in those for England it generally inserts it, adapting itself in each case to what it considers that the people’s mind can bear.  In China the Jesuist missionaries actually went so far as to omit from their teaching the great fact of the crucifixion, because they considered that a truth so humbling would be unwelcome to that proud and self-sufficient people.  The foundation of Christianity was removed in order to accommodate it to the pride of the natural heart.

Thousands of other instances might be adduced to show the pliability of the system.  It is like the camelion, and varies its colour according to the soil on which it treads.  It will even preach justification by faith in those parishes where the people have learned the value of that blessed truth; while, at the very same moment, in the decrees of the Council of Trent, it levels its anathemas against those who venture to maintain it.  In Protestant countries it will be foremost in its denunciations of idolatry, while in others, where the people are prepared to bear them, it will fill its churches with its idols.  In all cases, it accommodates itself to the existing bias of the mind addressed.


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