Page:Studies in the Scriptures - Series I - The Plan of the Ages (1909).djvu/29

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ers, puffed up with pride, assumed titles and offices, and began to lord it over God's heritage. Then by degrees there came into existence a special class called " the clergy," who regarded themselves, and were regarded by others, as the proper guides to faith and practice, aside from the Word of God. Thus in time the great system of Papacy was de- veloped by an undue respect for the teachings of fallible men and a neglect of the Word of the infallible God.

Serious indeed have been the evil results brought about by this neglect of truth. As all know, both the church and the civilized world were almost wholly enslaved by that sys- tem, and led to worship the traditions and creeds of men. From this slavery a bold and blessed strike for liberty and the Bible was made, in what is known as The Reformation* God raised up bold champions for his Word, among whom were Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon, WydifFe, Knox and others. These called attention to the fact that Papacy had laid aside the Bible and substituted the decrees and dogmas of the church, and pointed out a few of its erroneous teach- ings and practices, showing that they were built upon tra- dition, contrary to truth, and opposed to God's Word. These reformers and their adherents were called Protestants, because they protested against Papacy, and claimed the Word of God as the only correct rule of faith and practice. Many faithful souls in the days of the Reformation walked in the light, so far as it was then shining. But since their day Protestants have made little progress, because, iastead of walking in the light, they have halted around their favor- ite leaders, willing to see as much as they saw but nothing more. They set boundaries to their progress in the way of truth, hedging in, with the little truth they had, a great deal of error brought along from the " mother " church. For the creeds thus formulated many years ago, the majori- ty of Christians have a superstitious reverence, supposing

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