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Justification by works, and the necessity of personal
suffering for sin, doctrines of the church of Rome--
The strong and general excitement that prevailed during the year 1850, on the subject of Popish aggression, will not be easily forgotten. The public mind was awake to the startling policy of Rome, and the public voice uplifted against the usurpation of her newly appointed bishops. Such a season could not pass without calling forth some energetic movement on the part of those who had wisdom to know what, in so important a crisis, it was best for the Israel of God to do. The Committee of the Religious Tract Society were enabled, through the liberality of Thomas Thompson, Esq., of Poundisford Park, to offer “a prize of twenty guineas for the best work on the errors of Romanism, with a view to arrest the attention and instruct and fortify the minds of Sunday school teachers and scholars.” It was further indicated
that “the work must be written in a plain, simple, and attractive style ; and must clearly show the opposition of Romanist doctrine to Scriptural truth. It should describe what Popery has been, what are its present pretensions, and what its ultimate design : also its injurious influence on the civil and religious liberties of nations—its inroads on human happiness ; and point out, that wherever it prevails, children are, for the most part, left to grow up in ignorance and superstition ; that it prevents the free circulation of the Bible, and is a friend to persecution."
The writing and examination of the Essays to which this proposal gave rise necessarily occupied a considerable interval of time; and during that interval, the excitement above adverted to well nigh subsided. The current of public feeling was turned into another channel of exclusively absorbing interest; and the panic of 1850 was greatly lost sight of through the Exhibition of 1851. Parliamentary pro