Like The Growth Of A Little Horn

Cows grazing below the Marian Tower - geograph.org.uk - 1760060

REV. EDWARD HOARE, M.A.:

And here we must just remark, that Popery did not at any time appear ready made on the world’s platform.  It was not like Mahometanism, which was constructed by one man, and brought out complete after a certain retirement from the world; but it was like the growth of a little horn, commencing with soft and unnoticed buddings, until, as time advanced, it acquired length and strength, and hardness.  In fact, the process has been very much that which we see in dissolving views; you look at one time at a given picture, and at the very time that you moat admire it, certain lines become fainter, and others stronger, so that after a while you discover that the whole landscape is completely changed.  You have had your attention fixed throughout, but the change has been so gradual, the fading and brightening of the different parts so imperceptible, that though you now see the lofty tower where a few moments back the cattle were grazing in the meadow, you are at a loss to decide when the change commenced, or what were the distinct steps of its accomplishment.  Just so it has been with Popery.  Men began by looking at Christianity; they beheld its beauty and admired it; but as they looked, a faintness gradually crept over its outline; its finest touches began insensibly to disappear; the lines of a new picture by degrees took their place, till at length the whole scene became changed, and instead of Christianity we found Popery; instead of Christ we saw Antichrist exalted in his room.

Source:  POPERY THE ACCOMMODATION OF CHRISTIANITY TO THE NATURAL HEART at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/42280/42280-h/42280-h.htm, p. 3-4

Image: Rose and Trev Clough

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