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From Here to Forever

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    Compromises and Concessions

    Protestants have patronized popery; they have made compromises and concessions which papists themselves are surprised to see. Men are closing their eyes to the real character of Romanism. The people need to resist the advances of this dangerous foe to civil and religious liberty.HF 346.2

    While Romanism is based upon deception, it is not coarse and clumsy. The religious service of the Roman Church is a most impressive ceremonial. Its gorgeous display and solemn rites fascinate the people and silence the voice of reason and conscience. The eye is charmed. Magnificent churches, imposing processions, golden altars, jeweled shrines, choice paintings, and exquisite sculpture appeal to the love of beauty. The music is unsurpassed. The rich notes of the deep-toned organ blending with the melody of many voices as it swells through the lofty domes and pillared aisles of her grand cathedrals, impress the mind with awe and reverence.HF 346.3

    This outward splendor and ceremony mock the longings of the sin-sick soul. The religion of Christ needs no such attractions. The light shining from the cross appears so pure and lovely that no external decorations can enhance its true worth.HF 346.4

    High conceptions of art, delicate refinement of taste, are often employed by Satan to lead men to forget the necessities of the soul and to live for this world alone.HF 347.1

    The pomp and ceremony of Catholic worship has a seductive, bewitching power by which many are deceived. They come to look upon the Roman Church as the gate of heaven. None but those who plant their feet firmly on the foundation of truth, whose hearts are renewed by the Spirit of God, are proof against her influence. The form of godliness without the power is what the multitudes desire.HF 347.2

    The church's claim to the right to pardon leads the Romanist to feel at liberty to sin, and the ordinance of confession tends also to give license to evil. He who kneels before fallen man and opens in confession the secret imaginations of his heart is degrading his soul. In unfolding the sins of his life to a priest—an erring mortal—his standard of character is lowered, and he is defiled in consequence. His thought of God is degraded to the likeness of fallen humanity, for the priest stands as a representative of God. This degrading confession of man to man is the secret spring from which has flowed much of the evil that is defiling the world. Yet to him who loves self-indulgence, it is more pleasing to confess to a fellow mortal than to open the soul to God. It is more palatable to human nature to do penance than to renounce sin; it is easier to mortify the flesh by sackcloth than to crucify fleshly lusts.HF 347.3

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