His watchman are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): For some extraordinary reason a peculiar flabbiness—intellectual and moral—seems to have entered into many people, evangelicals included.
JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): We see now so few good preachers, and there are knaves, good for nothing, and more wretched than the monks in popedom, who are as ready to preach Mohammed’s Koran as Christ’s gospel, as long as they can hold on to their livings.
JOHN NEWTON (1725-1807): Slumbering watchmen, and dumb dogs that cannot bark. The New Testament teaches us to expect that such persons, under the name of ministers, will be found in the visible Church of Christ; men of corrupt minds, destitute of the truth, who serve not the Lord Jesus, but their own belly: men who are of the world, and speak of the world; therefore the world heareth and favoureth them, I John 4:5.
JOHN CALVIN: A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent, without giving a sound.
HUGH LATIMER (1483-1555): [spoken to strengthen his fellow martyr before they were burned at the stake] Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle, by God’s grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.
J. C. RYLE (1816-1900): Now-a-days [thousands of Protestants] have a most inadequate notion of our debt to our martyred Reformers. They have no distinct conception of the state of darkness and superstition in which our fathers lived, and of the light and liberty which the Reformation brought in. And the consequence is that they see no great harm in the Romanizing movement of the present day, and have very indistinct ideas of the real nature and work of Popery. It is high time that a better state of things should begin. Of one thing I am thoroughly convinced: a vast amount of the prevailing apathy about the Romanizing movement of the day may be traced up to gross ignorance, both of the true nature of Popery and of the Protestant Reformation.
J. DAVIES (circa 1805): Popery is a lamb when inferior, a fox in equality, and a wolf when superior.
JOHN CALVIN: Popery is nothing else than a monster formed out of the innumerable deceptions of Satan, and that what they call the Church is more confused than Babylon.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: I would not hesitate to assert that this system, known as Roman Catholicism, is the devil’s greatest masterpiece!
C. H. MACKINTOSH (1820-1896): Satan’s masterpiece is the amalgamation of things apparently Christian with things decidedly unholy.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): The idea was to ‘Christianize’ heathenism. They virtually said to idolaters, “Now, good people, you may keep on with your worship, and yet you can be Christians at the same time. This image of the Queen of heaven at your door need not be moved. Light the lamp still; only call the image ‘our Lady,’ and ‘the Blessed Virgin.’ Here is another image; don’t pull it down, but change its name from Jupiter to Peter.” Thus with a mere change of names they perpetuated idolatry: they set up their altars in the groves, and upon every high hill, and the people were converted without knowing it to a baser heathenism than their own. They wanted priests, and, lo, there they were, robed like those who served at the altars of Jove. The people saw the same altars and sniffed the same incense, kept the same holy days and observed the same carnivals as aforetime, and called everything by Christian names. Hence came what is now called the Roman Catholic religion, which is simply fearing God and serving other gods, II Kings 17:33,41. Every village has its own peculiar saint, and often its own particular image of the Virgin, with miracles and wonders to sanctify the shrine.
THOMAS ADAM (1701-1784): There is something odd happens in the mixing of Paganism with Christianity. The appearance of Christianity remains, and the substance evaporates; the appearance of Paganism vanishes, but the substance remains.
E. J. POOLE-CONNOR (1872-1962): We are not surprised, then, when we see so much delusion in spiritual things, when we remember that, however much sorrow and terror it may mean to the deluded, to the deluders it means both pence and power; nor are we surprised that Satan has seized upon these facts in human nature, and by their means raised the most stupendous system for the religious befoolment of mankind the world has ever seen―the Roman Catholic Church.
HUDSON TAYLOR (1832-1905): Roman Catholicism!—the most God-dishonouring system in the world! The heathen need your prayers, but the Roman Catholic needs them ten times more. He is ten times as much in the dark as the heathen themselves are!
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES: “Ah but,” you say, “has not the Roman Catholic Church changed? You are simply looking back, you are speaking as if you lived in the sixteenth century…” My answer is quite simple. The proudest boast of the Roman Catholic church is this, that she never changes―No, there is no change in the Church of Rome. And if there is one great world church it will be because the Church of Rome has absorbed all the rest and swallowed them in their ignorance!
CHARLES CHINIQUY (1809-1899): It is that ignorance which paralyzes the arm of the Church of Christ, and makes the glorious word “Protestant” senseless, almost a dead and ridiculous word. For who does really protest against Rome today? Where are those who sound the trumpet of alarm?
C. H. SPURGEON: Sometimes it is night over the whole church at once; and I fear we have very much of that night now―seasons when we do not hear the clear preaching of the word; when the doctrines are withheld…And such a season is that when the whole church is dark. Of course each Christian participates in it. He goes about and weeps, and cries, “O God, how long shall poor Zion be depressed? How long shall her shepherds be dumb dogs that cannot bark? Shall her watchmen be always blind? Shall the trumpet sound no more?”
WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): Better to have a dog that will, by his barking, tell us a thief is in our yard, then one that will sit still and let us be robbed before we have any notice of our danger.
JOHN FLAVEL (1630-1691): Abhor popery, for it is a bloody religion.
C. H. SPURGEON: You Protestants who are today flinging away your liberties as dirt-cheap will one day rue the day in which you allowed the old chains to be fitted upon your wrists. Popery fettered and slew our sires, and yet we are making it the national religion!
THOMAS SUTTON (circa 1850’s): Bless your heart! I have been a minister nearly forty years―but you are the sauciest dog that ever barked in a pulpit.