A timely testimony from 130 years ago

Mary Ann Chaplin (1844-1922) a Strict Baptist lady, a member of ‘Ebenezer Chapel’, in Chelmsford, where I have preached in the past, was a strong Protestant. She was of Huguenot descent, one of eleven children.

The Lord began His work of grace in her heart early in life, and she was baptized at the age of fourteen. She wrote her first published piece of poetry when only eleven. She continued to write all her life, and herein is a sample of her gracious, wise and timely words, copied from one of her publications: “CHIMES FOR THE TIMES”, published in 1891.

M J Tryon, a Strict Baptist pastor in Stamford, in his preface to the second edition of “CHIMES FOR THE TIMES”, sent forth in 1907, said this: “Mrs Chaplin writes out of the abundance of her heart; believing deeply ‘Chimes’ ring forth no uncertain sound; thus they delight and cheer the heart of her fellow-pilgrims, who, though not possessing her gift of expression, can and do appreciate her grace and her gifts.”

Her reference, in the third verse, to the  ‘Throne’ and its ‘kowtowing’ to popery in Queen Victoria’s day, is even more relevant today!

Surely, “the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.”


A Protestant Sigh

It came upon the Spanish fleet
Three hundred years ago,
As tangible a blessing as
A despot could bestow;
It took the form of cannonade,
Of thumbscrew, whip, and priest,
By which the Bible reading ones
Identified the Beast;
But this was England’s safety then,
And this was England’s hope, —
God’s curse has ever rested on
The blessing of the Pope.

Thumbscrew, and cannonade, and whip,
With all the flower of Spain,
Came cursing on to England, and
Went cursing back again;
They “raised the wind” by fraud or force,
Her liberties to smother,
But God — in answer to her cries—
In justice raised another.
Billow and fire and sturdy aim,
And English tact had scope,
When Heaven’s thunder laughed to scorn
The blessing of the Pope.

To-day the curse is in his heart,
The while with lips he blesses;
Infidel, Godless England, sees
No harm in his caresses;
The maudlin men of' “modern thought”
Can grip no standard truth;
And Jesuits in the English Church
Have Romanised our youth;
The very Throne has bent itself
To Leo’s trampling feet;
Can God do otherwise than let
Such sin with sorrow meet ?

We beckon on this blessing Pope!!
Who holds Victoria vile;
And fain would give her “moonlight” fare
As in the Sister Isle;
“No faith with Heretics” is still
The Papal undertone,
And Englishmen are fools who think
That Rome is kinder grown ;
“Kill, kill,” she says; let Manning’s words
Our sad attention win,
For life and liberty go out
When Leo’s power comes in.

He has learned wisdom (of a sort)
From signalised defeat;
So those who shrived the “moonlight” hordes
Are ordered to repeat —
How the “good Father” has a wish,
For English law to reign,
Lest boycotting and murder spoil
The plan of their campaign!
And though all history pours its light
On the deceptive wile,
Our fascinated Senators
Bow gratefully and smile.

Ah, here is England's danger now,
In spite of every hope, —
God’s curse has ever rested on
The blessing of the Pope;
The old Armada fought with Him,
But crumbled at His touch;
And England, if she bends to Rome,
Deserves His wrath as much.
Oh, for a prayer of th’ olden time,
One strong, low, gushing cry;
For error's crescent sweeps our sea,
And who can pass it by?

The battle is the Lord’s, my friends,
The battle is the Lord’s;
We are with Him whatever meed
The earthly state accords;
His grace, His truth, His promise, stand
As in the olden days,
He can afford to wait, though we
With indignation blaze;
But for our children, for ourselves,
For England’s common sense,
God drive conviction’s fire-ships through
This squadron of pretence!