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night of papistical usurpation and delusion. Truth had long forsaken this land, and our fathers had been under a grievous yoke, imposed upon them by popish pretensions and fraud; when God, in His mercy, vouchsafed to break upon the gloom, and to bless the country with reformation, liberty, and the privilege of scriptural light. The Articles served as a touchstone to the opinions and faith of professing Christians, and as a watch-light also, warning against the rocks where so many have made shipwreck of faith. They are established upon the written Word, and they derive the whole of their doctrinal testimony from that unerring standard ; so that they furnish men with a succinct view of truth in all its leading branches, and are well calculated to provide the understanding with Bible arguments, not only against the errors of popery, in particular, but against all heresy. The author has endeavoured to show the perfect agreement of the Articles with the Word of God, and has placed the references in the form of answers to such questions as naturally arise out of the previous arrangement of the subject, that thus the memory may be assisted and the proof texts found with ease.
If it is enquired, on what groud the Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles is supposed to be particularly desirable in the present day !--it is answered, Because the present day is one of peculiar peril. Popery is making its dying struggle, and has demonstrated that it will not expire tamely and quietly, without an expression of resistance. The professing church is grown wanton by long-continued prosperity and peace, and gives evidence that it is preparing the way for its own correction. The spiritual church is in too many instances infected with a spirit of lukewarmness, of worldliness, and of what perhaps is more dangerous than all, with a spurious charity, a weed of the wilderness, which it fancies to be the flower of Eden. Men are disposed, from these causes, to wax indolent, and to remain unalarmed; and until the enemy shall have entered into the very precincts of the sanctuary, it seems that the eyes, and the hearts of men are resolutely closed. Is it not time, therefore, to sound an alarm ? Is it not the day in which the exhortation is peculiarly applicable; “Son of man, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their sin ?” And can this be more suitably done, than by calling the attention to those fundamental truths, that PROTESTANTS are PLEDGED to hold and maintain, and that every real believer should lodge within his heart? These are questions of vital importance. They are interests which address themselves to the King, to the Parliament, to Bishops, and to Pastors, and to Subjects of the realm. Each, and all, are alike interested in the resistance of every encroachment, that would break down the barrier placed against error, and designed to maintain truth : and, whatever may be the minor differences that exist amongst Protestants, this is a day in which they must be laid aside,--when the great and fundamental doctrines and liberties of Christianity are threatened. God calls us to decision! It is not a controversy between man and man; it is a controversy between Christ and His adversaries. There can be no neutrality; nor will the Lord accept the half-service, nor Satan be content with such subjects. Now, then, let men fall into the ranks of that Leader, whose cause they mean to uphold; and let it be seen, who is on the Lord's side, and who for the foe. Genuine charity asks, yea demands, the decision; and if we have zeal for God, mercy for others, or love for our own souls, we shall not long hesitate : the banner of the cross is unfurled, and we shall hasten to the standard, and enlist for the Christ of God.
May an abundant measure of the Spirit from heaven rest upon the Church, and rouse her to her duty and privilege ! And may members of the Establishment know, what they profess to believe, and stand firm in that “ faith which was once delivered to the saints."