Extracts From Correspondence 2

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Plenty of error is abroad, I doubt not, and that of all sorts, doing all kinds of mischief. May our hearts be pained when we think of it. But it is not for all of us at least to meddle with it in the way of exposure. To separate “the good into vessels,” the precious from the unclean mass, and nourish it with divine provisions may be a happier business.
I think we may learn that all forms of error will have something of full-grown representatives in these last days. The infidel leaven will (2 Peter 3:33Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, (2 Peter 3:3) and so forth); the loose, the morally relaxed condition of evangelical profession will (2 Peter 2 and Jude); religiousness, which leaves the soul exposed to the “deceivableness of unrighteousness” (2 Thess. 2). These, and others, will be in full strength, in the last days that the judgment of God may meet them, as has been the way of divine judgments, in their day of full-blown fruits. In a general way I would put brethren in Christ in mind of all this, that they may keep themselves pure. But it is endless to follow the mind of man, as it is in this day of its peculiar activity, filling the scene with its fruit.
Ranke’s history of the Popes of the 16th and 17th centuries is a remarkable witness (though perhaps not fully so intended to be by its author) of the present movement. We are witnessing a second regeneration of Catholicism, as Ranke says the close of the 16th century did. And this revival is destined, I judge, to set the woman on the beast, till the beast and his kings dethrone her to perfect their own form of apostacy, which the just Lord who judgeth righteously will visit in His day.
Great principles such as these are to be put before the saints that their minds may be delivered from the perverted expectations of this generation. But this is to be done rather incidentally, more for the sake of the kingdom that lies beyond all this, than with the intent of acquainting the mind with these evils and apostate reprobate things themselves. A rejected Jesus is to be presented to the affections of the saints, and the coming glory is to be shown as that which suits Him as such a rejected One.