“Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end: take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord’s.”- Jer 5:10
There was a church anciently in Rome, a holy and pious church of God, whose members worshipped and bowed down before the God of Israel. But a certain wily monarch called Constantine, who believed that should he turn Christian he should thus secure the empire more firmly to himself, and put down sundry other commanders who were helped by the priests in order to gain his own ends and promote his own honor, pretends to see a vision in the skies, and professes to become a Christian, makes himself the head of the church, and leader of the faithful. The church fell into his arms, and then state and church became allied. What was the consequence of the church of Rome becoming allied with the state? Why she has become a corrupt mass of impurity, such a disgrace to the world that the sooner the last vestige of her shall be swept away the better. This was because she built up bulwarks that are not the Lord’s, and God has said to her enemies, “Go ye up upon her walls.” Yea, her apostacy is now so great, that doubtless, the Judge of all the earth shall make a “full end” of her, and the prophecy of the Apocalypse shall be fulfilled, “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning and famine, and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” There are true Protestant churches standing now that have made unholy alliances with governments. Christ testified, “My kingdom is not of this world,” and yet they have crouched at the feet of kings and monarchs. They have obtained state endowments and grants; and so they have become high, and mighty, and honorable, and they laugh at those pure churches who will not buckle and commit fornication with the kings of the earth, but who stand out for the royal supremacy of the Saviour, and look only to Christ as the head of the Church. They apply to us the epithets of “schismatics,” “dissenters,” and such-like, but I believe that God shall yet say of every state-church, whether it be the Church of England, Ireland, Scotland or of anywhere else, “Go ye up upon her walls, and destroy; but make not a full end;” for there are thousands of pious men in her midst, “take away her battlements; for they are not the Lord’s.” Even now we see a stir throughout the world to take away these battlements. The holy and pious men in the Church of England have multiplied amazingly during the last few years. It is pleasing to see the great improvement in the Establishment. I think no class of Christians have made more speedy advancers in reformation than they have. They have a stirring in their midst, and are saying, “Why should we be under the government any longer?” There are many clergymen who have said, “We have no wish whatever for this union: we would be glad to come away from all state control.” I wonder they do not do it, and follow their convictions. They are saying, “take away her battlements, they are not the Lord’s,” and if they do not take them away themselves, we are advancing by slow degrees, and, by the aid of heaven we will take away their battlements for them one of these fine days, and they will wake and find that church-rates and tithes have ceased; that they must stand or fall themselves; that God’s church is strong enough to stand herself without government. It will be a happy day for the Church of England-God bless her! I love her-when those battlements are taken down, when the last stone of state patronage is thrown down; when the unneeded help of kings and princes shall be refused. Then she will come out a glorious church-like a sheep from the washing. She will be the honor of our land, and we who now stand aloof from her will be far more likely to fall into her bosom, for her articles are the very marrow of truth, and many of her sons are the excellent of the earth. Oh, angel, soon blow thy trumpet of war, and give the command! “Go ye up upon her walls, make not a full end.” She is one of my churches; “take away her battlements; they are not the Lord’s.” He has nothing to do with such a battlement; He hates it altogether-state alliance is obnoxious to the God of Israel; and when kings shall become real nursing fathers, they will in another mode afford the gold of Sheba, and the free-will offering of their piety.