« 이전계속 »
BIBLE SOCIETY IN FRANCE.
Paris, Oct. 8, 1844. ABOUT a year ago one of our oldest Colporteurs met a female, far advanced in years, in a certain town, to whom he offered a copy of the Scriptures. Although she was well off, her husband being the wealthiest butcher in the place, she had had no opportunity of cultivating her mind; her parents, like many others belonging to the class of tradesmen, being wholly occupied in getting money, to the total neglect of the means of her education. In fact, she could not read. This she candidly owned to the Colporteur on his pressing her to purchase a New Testament. - There can be no doubt,' said she, “that if your book contains all that you say it does, it must be an excellent book; but what am I to do, for I have never had time to learn to read ?" " What course do you pursue, then," asked the Colporteur, “when your foreman brings you a letter?'' " What? why I refer to my husband, or, if he is not in the way, to my mother, for they are both more clever than myself, and they read it for me.” “ Well, then, let me make a comparison. Sup. pose that I am the foreman, and that God has told me to convey a letter to you which it is your duty to read, and the important tidings in which it is necessary to believe, in order to be saved.” « Saved! saved !” said the other; “what do you mean? who is it that has come to tell you what is going forward below? No, no, my friend, when we are once dead we are dead, and happily there is an end of
The Colporteur's reply was serious, deep, and solemn, and it soon began to alarm the poor infidel. Among the rest he told her, “ You are advanced in age; your health does not appear to be strong; and therefore be prepared; for who can ensure you another year in this world ? who can say that your soul shall not ere long be required of you?" The female shuddered on hearing this, and declared she considered him as a prophet of bad news. She agreed, however, to purchase a New Testament, though without engaging to make any use of it. Our friend then took his leave.
A year after, the Colporteur visited the same place, in September last, having entirely forgotten the circumstances above detailed. As usual, he went from house to house, offering the New Testament to all the inmates. On coming to a butcher's shop, he halted, and making known his purpose, a young female, seated in the counting-house, arose, and running towards him, exclaimed,
6 She is dead, as you predicted !” Dead !" cried the Colporteur, in astonishment, “who is dead? and what did I predict?” “What! do you not recollect? I am speaking of my old aunt." And then she reminded the Colporteur of the conversation that had taken place between him and her relative. “ True, very true,” cried the Colporteur ; “ I now remember it well; but I have seen so many different people since, and had so many conversations of the same tenour, that the meeting with your aunt wholly escaped my memory
But tell me,” he continued, “in what state of mind did your relative quit this life?" Ah, sir,” replied the other, “there is something astonishing, marvellous, connected with her decease. Only fancy: after your departure, my aunt related to us the particulars of your visit, ridiculing your object, and what she called your prophecy; and, amidst burst of laughter, exhibited the book which you had sold her. Three months afterward she was suddenly taken very seriously ill. One day during her sickness she called me to her, and, with much emotion, addressed me thus : •You see the uneasy state of mind in which I am.
The conversation of the Bible-vender is constantly recurring to me: if his words be true; if after death our souls—my own soul-oh, I am terrified at the thought! You must go and get me the book, and read me something out of it. I accordingly did so; and from that time my aunt, as well as myself, took such an interest in the perusal that we continued it daily, and frequently more than once in the course of the day. And oh, what a wonderful change did it produce in the mind of my aunt! Often would she say to me, · The Bible-vender was in the right: it is indeed the book of books ; that which opens to us heaven, and which teaches us to know and love Him who has so much loved us. O Jesus,' she would repeatedly exclaim, • Thou art my Saviour; enable me to believe with my whole heart, and to love thee as my Redeemer.' My aunt,” she proceeded, “ suffered much during her illness, nevertheless she never uttered the smallest complaint; and when those around her expressed their grief at her extreme sufferings, she would say, “Do not pity me, for I now see that all is for my good, since I believe that Jesus endured in his body far more than I, miserable sinner, now suffer; and what he endured was for my salvation. In this strain she continued to speak to the last.”
The Colporteur was deeply moved by what he heard, saying within himself, How important is my calling ; for doubtless more than one copy that I have circulated has produced similar effects, without my knowing it! Then turning towards the young female with whom he had been conversing, and in order to ascertain the nature of those impressions which the above occurrence could not fail to have made upon her mind, he asked permission to see the New Testament which her deceased relative had so highly prized; and on her producing it, he begged that she would let him have it, in remembrance of her aunt. 6. No! no !" cried the young woman; “I would rather give you this house, and all that it contains—in short, all that I possess in the world—than part with this inestimable treasure. It has comforted, strengthened, and given peace, and the assurance of eternal life to my dear aunt, and from it I hope to derive the same blessing.” The husband of the deceased soon after entering the apartment, the nature of the Colporteur's proposal was communicated to him, but he at once declared that the book should never go out of the house, and that he himself hoped that, in his last moments, it would prove a source of joy and consolation to him also.
Such was the effect produced by one of those New Testaments which your Society causes to be so abundantly distributed, and for which the Lord is pleased to open so wide and extensive a door in France. Oh, what an encouragement, or rather what a glory, for your Society to be such an instrument in the hands of the Almighty for the blessing and salvation of immortal souls! As I said at the commencement of this letter, if you had but one single fact like that above to record, all that you have hitherto done, all that you are now doing, yea, all that you may hereafter do, for disseminating the word of God in this country, ought to be highly approved and vigorously seconded by all who can for themselves estimate the infinite value of the blood of Christ, aware that the price of a single soul is of infinitely greater worth than the whole world.
"But," it is said, “Papists admit the Bible.” True; but they admit also many other things which we look for in vain in the Scriptures, and which are in palpable contradiction to the sacred book. Therefore, they virtually reject the Bible. The words of Pope Pius IV, and the word of God, are in direct opposition; cordingly it is not acknowledged as the only rule of faith, for the Papists know too well that the Bible and their new creed are at variance with each other. Papacy overthrows the foundation of faith; not, it is true, in express terms, but not the less really, by loading it with superstitions which endanger it, and expose its security. Is not the great doctrine of justification by faith alone annihilated by the views of Papists respecting the personal merits of men? Does not the all-sufficiency of Christ's atonement disap. pear by the side of the sacrifice of the mass ? Does not the satis. faction for sin by the great expiation of Jesus fail by reason of the doctrine of purgatory? In fine, what becomes of the mediation of our Saviour, by the side of prayers addressed to saints, angels, and to the Virgin Mary?
There is not a single article of the Romish doctrine that is not contradicted by the Holy Scriptures; as it is easy for ony one to satisfy himself by referring to the texts we are about to name.
The indifference they manifest toward the Bible is contrary to the Scriptures: John v. 39; 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17, and many other passages.
The invocation of saints is contrary to the Scriptures: Matt. xi. 27, 28; John vi. 37; xiv. 13; xvi. 23, 24; Acts iv. 12; x. 25, 26; xiv. 13–15; Rom. viii. 27; Eph. iii. 12; Col. ii. 18; 1 Tim. ii. 5; 1 John ii. 1, 2.
The worship of images is contrary to the Bible: Lev. xxvi. 1; Deut. iv. 15, 16; v. 7, 8; x. 20; Josh. xl. 18-20; Micah v. 14; Matt iv. 10; Rev. xix. 10.
Communion with one element is contrary to to the Scriptures: Matt. xxvi. 26–28; Luke xxii. 19, 20; 1 Cor. xi. 26-28.
Purgatory is inconsistent with the Scriptures: Gal. iii. 13; Heb. i. 3; ix. 14; x. 10; Rom. v. 1, 2, 10, 11; Rev. xiv. 13.
Transubstantiation is contrary to the word of God: Luke xxii. 17-20; 1 Pet. iii. 18; 1 Cor. xi. 26.
Indulgences are at war with the Scriptures: Heb. xx. 10—21; ix. 24–28; vi 25.
Prayers in a language not understood are contrary to the Bible: 1 Cor. xiv. 2.
Auricular confession at the feet of a priest is contrary to the word of truth: Is. lv. 7; Acts ii. 38; iii. 19; xvi. 31; Rom. X. 19.
But that our readers may be, if possible, still more convinced that Papists hold doctrines subversive of evangelical faith, we will place before them in parallel lines some of the dogmas of the Romish church, and the declarations of the Holy Scriptures in relation to them:
According to the Romanists, But the Bible declares Jesus Papacy is the foundation rock Christ is the only true foundaof the church.
tion. (Matt. xvi. 18; 1 Cor.
iii. 11.) They maintain that the Scrip
But the Bible assures us they tures are not sufficient to teach are all-sufficient. (2 Tim. iii. the way of salvation.
According to the Papists, the But the Scriptures declare that Virgin Mary was exempt from all men are sinners, without exoriginal sin.
ception. (Rom. v. 12, 18.) They maintain that the body But the Bible declares that of Jesus Christ is present in the his body was in all respects like sacrament of the eucharist. ours, sin alone excepted. (Heb.
iv. 15.) According to papists the But the Scriptures declare, in priests can recover souls from the most positive manner, that purgatory
Christ is the only Redeemer.
(Acts iv. 12.) Papists teach that the flames Protestants believe on the of purgatory, as well as our own authority of the Bible, that the satisfactions, can drive away the blood of Christ can alone wash uncleanness of sin.
away the sins of men. (1 Pet.
i. 18-23.) According to the Romish But the Bible affirms, many church, man is formally justi- times and oft, that it is by faith, fied by works.
and faith alone, that we are
justified. (Rom. iii. 28.) Papists prescribe certain pen- Protestants believe that Jesus ances by which they expect the Christ was wounded for our pardon of their sins.
transgressions, and that it is by the stripes and bruises he received that we are healed. (Is.
liii. 5.) Papists teach that some sins Protestants, on the authority are venial, and others are mor- of the Scriptures, believe that tal; and that a little holy water, every sin merits eternal death. and certain ceremonies, are suf- (Gal. ii. 10; Rom. vi. 23,) ficient to efface the former.
Papists affirm that the sacri. Protestants found their hope fice is daily repeated in the cele- of safety upon a single sacrifice bration of each mass.
once offered by our Lord Jesus
Christ. (Heb. vii. 27, 28.) The Church of Rome teaches Protestants think that a prothat we may dispense with all mise or oath is a sacred thing: faith toward heretics, and that and an indissoluble obligation is the most solemn engagements imposed the conscience. ought to be violated for the good (Eph. iv. 25; Zech. viii. 17.) of the church.
Thus if we compare the doctrines of Papists with the Holy Scriptures, it is impossible not to be struck with the diametrical opposition that exists between them. There is one argument which the uneducated Protestant can employ, and the wisest Papists cannot refute it. The process is very simple, and the success is in. fallible. It is an undeniable truth, that all who become Papists, begin to contemn the Bible, and place more confidence in the word of a priest than in the word of God.