CENTER-SHOTS AT ROME
WHY PREACH AGAINST ROME?
Please give special attention to the first statement I shall make, and bear it in mind throughout this series of lectures. I believe there have always been good people in the Roman Catholic Church, and that there are multitudes of good people in that church to-day — people who have lived, and are living, up to their light. And all such, from my viewpoint, are the Lord's children. I recall an old lady who was once a neighbor of ours. She was a devout Catholic. Nevertheless, hers was a life of sacrifice for others. And although we were Protestants and I was a Protestant minister, when trouble assailed our home she was the most helpful of all our friends. Some years ago she passed into the great beyond, and I'm confident she went to heaven without having to
[pg. 16] take in the sights of purgatory. [Laughter.]
But while I believe there are Christian Catholics, I further believe — and shall prove — that they are the most deplorably hoodwinked people on the earth. [Applause].
Therefore, I am not here to speak against Roman Catholics, but against Roman Catholicism — the widest spread, most arrogant, and diabolical system of evil that touches the lives of nations.
And now, for a few moments, I shall preface the succeeding lectures of the series — each of which will be carefully and accurately loaded with rifle-balls, scooped out of the red-hot molds of history, the testimony of reputable ex-Catholics, and information on the surface of current events throughout the world — information so patent that the man in the greatest haste may read as he runs.
Next Sunday evening the subject will be "Popedom" — the most palpable fraud of human history. If you are acquainted with the history of Romanism, it will
[pg. 17] not be difficult for you to anticipate the substance of this discourse. If you are not, you will go away utterly astounded at the fallacy of Papal infallibility.
The third lecture will be on "The Priesthood" — an eye-opener to all who have not familiarized themselves with the subject.
The fourth will deal with the "Auricular Confession: — an iniquity that, as I shall prove, ought to be prohibited by law.
Fifth, "Rome's Bloody Hands" — and I shall substantiate the circular announcement that no man-eating tiger ever thirsted for human blood as has the Roman Catholic Church.
Sixth, "Romanism and American Institutions." If you are at all informed as to Rome's present attitude and movements in our country, the subject itself should set your nerves a-tingle and enlist your patriotism in the great fight that is on.
And the last will be "The Protestantism of Our Day and Its Relations to Roman Catholicism," or "The Remedy."
[pg. 18] Whether the text I read awhile ago be interpreted as a specific arraignment of the Catholic Church or given a more general interpretation, the striking similarity between the scarlet woman it describes and Romanism affords a recognizable picture of this iniquitous system.
There are people in every community, with more sentiment than information and foresight, who lift up hands of horror and exclaim" "Sh! Don't say anything against Roman Catholicism! We don't believe in preaching against other people's religion!"
Now, let us shake this namby-pamby proposition and see what falls out of it.
In the first place, Roman Catholicism is not a religion. It is to-day what it has been for more than thirteen centuries — a combination of Judaism and paganism with a little Christian sentiment mixed in. To be more exact, it is a gigantic political institution, and its ceremonies and benevolences are only screens that shield its hypocrisy from the public. It is the filthiest pit into which the world
[pg. 19] has ever looked, the blackest and most nauseating veil ever wrapped about the heads of nations, the most dangerous foe humanity has. If hell has headquarters on earth, I'll prove to you, before these lectures are finished, that the devil's chief throne is in the city of Rome. [Applause.]
In the second place, while many wishy-washy Protestants are very gracious and tender toward Romanism, Romanism has no more use for Protestantism than a rattlesnake has for a stone on its head.
Now and then, a prominent priest, bishop, or cardinal administers Protestantism a soothing pellet in the form of a blessing upon the spirit of Christian union that is abroad in the world. But Protestantism and Romanism can no more unite than can powder and fire. [Applause.] A current illustration informs us that Romanism is a lion and Protestantism is a lamb. Romanism is perfectly willing for the lamb and the lion to lie down together. But Romanism wants the lamb to lie down in the
[pg. 20] lion [Laughter.] This, like all bald headed, gray-whiskered illustrations [laughter], is out of date, and I would like to change it a little. Protestantism is no longer a lamb — it is a sheep, with a temper and horns. [Applause.]
Rome is exerting herself to prohibit the passage of anticatholic literature through the mails. At this very hour she is trying to get a bill through Congress that would, should it become law, shield her abominations from the keen public eye. And she is constantly endeavoring to silence public discussion concerning her institutions and her attitude toward the affairs of the world. In other words, she is pushed into a corner and crying "Persecution!" If it were not so serious, it would be laughable. The idea of this blood-stained, history-cursed church, with the reeking scalps of more than fifty million victims swinging from her girdle, appealing to public sympathy and saying, "Come and help me, I'm being persecuted!" is ridiculous in the extreme. [Applause.] Returning to the illustration, the lion has forgotten
[pg. 21] that he can roar, and is whining like a cat. [Applause.] Why? The sheep is getting busy. [Applause.] And the sheep will continue the exercise of its prerogative until the lion, no longer able to crouch on the fence and mew, will be butted over out of the field and into purgatory. [Applause.]
Does Romanism preach against Protestantism? Be not deceived by a pretended friendliness for Protestantism upon the part of Romanism when, now and then, a priest or bishop condescends to sit on a popular platform with Protestants or indorses a limelight movement led by Protestants. Rome always has an ax to grind, nor does she hesitate to go out of her way and greet Protestants with a cordial smile when then are turning a good grindstone.
In Stephen Keenan's "Controversial Catechism," which is used in the Roman churches and taught in the parochial schools, it is stated, again and again, that no Protestant will be saved.
In Deharbe's "Catechism," and numerous other current Catholic works,
[pg. 22] daily taught adults and children, the same position is dogmatically and offensively maintained.
In "Plain Talk about Protestantism of To-day," Segur says: "Protestantism is not a religion, but a rebellion, a cancer, and the arch-enemy of souls."
In Baddelley's book we read the soothing statement that "the Protestant church, instead of leading them to heaven, infallibly leads them to hell": while the infallible throne of Romanism, which, according to Catholic teaching, can neither err, nor change, emphatically declares, through Pius IX., that "the apostolic Roman Church is the one Ark of Salvation; that he who has not entered it will perish in the deluge; and that the Catholic religion, with all of its votes, ought to be exclusively dominant in such sort that every other worship should be banished and interdicted."
Read any of the Catholic doctrinal books or periodicals, and you will discover that Romanism is constantly preaching against Protestantism in most unmistakable and insulting terms.
[pg. 23] Throughout America, the Roman Church constantly and persistently teaches that no marriage is legal unless it is performed by a Catholic priest. To make it perfectly clear, while some of you are charitable enough to say, "Let the Catholic Church alone — it is doing good work," Romanism declares from the housetops that you married people are living in iniquity, and it brands your children with the hot iron of disgrace.
Ladies and gentlemen, from the beginning of the Reformation until now, Romanism has been what it always intends to be — the one open and above-board, avowed, never-sleeping, cursing, raving, hard-handed, no quarter-giving, insulting enemy of Protestantism. And if for no other reasons, our religion — baptized in the righteous blood of millions — and our marriage alter — the tenderest and fairest flower among our American institutions — should open wide the mouth of every non-Catholic in the country and direct his voice, long and loud, and like the clear tones of a trumpet, against the Vatican. [Applause.]
[pg. 24] But there are other reasons!
Romanism is the greatest of all obstacles in the path of Foreign Missions. Jesus said: "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel unto every creature." Every Protestant communion of any standing is represented on the foreign field, and, there, our missionaries are united — all are exalting Christ, and him only. But the Catholic Church is a menace to the foreign fields as well as the home lands. From every country come the same black report. In the Philippine Islands and all other fields, Romanism, while pretending to teach the Christian religion, is pushing its own selfish aims and hindering the gospel message.
In the Congo Free State, Belgium's fiendish king tortured and maimed and slew multitudes of heathen men and women and children for gain; and the Catholic missionaries did all they could to keep the lid down, that the world might not look upon the terror and hear the groans of a downtrodden people who were compelled to spend their days
[pg. 25] in a living hell. And when the old, rum soaked, licentious, avaricious, murderous king died, hopes were entertained and expressed for the repose of his soul. The repose of his soul? If I thought Leopold was in heaven, my ticket would be bought for the next station. [Applause.]
Also, as the fruit of Roman teaching in Africa, Stephen J. Corey, in his book, states that, during his recent tour of Africa, he and his party were thrice assailed in one single day by native Catholics.
But back to America. Romanism, which has never had a religious or moral conscious anywhere, has not the semblance of a political conscience in our country.
In the majority of the Southern cities, and a few Northern cities, the Pope is a Democrat, but elsewhere he is a Republican. Be it remembered that the Catholic Church is one system, of which the Pope is the universally recognized head. He is, therefore, a multiplex being, and every loyal Catholic in the world is the Pope in reality and
[pg. 26] action. He is the heart of Romanism.
I've lived in two Democratic ring-ridden cities — Columbus and one other. [Applause.] And in each the Catholics are Democrats. I've lived in a Republican ring-ruled city, also and there the Catholics are Republicans. In all these cities I've witnessed reform campaigns, but the reform ticket have not had the Catholic support.
When the political tricksters celebrate an election victory with a blowout, and make the night hideous with "Hail! Hail! The Gang's all here!" Rome always sings soprano. [Laughter.]
Go where you may, and you will find Romanism with its arms around rum, vice, and rotten politics. [Applause.]
Rome secures representation on temperance platforms. Yet her priests are intemperate, as I shall prove in the third lecture; some of her church papers carry liquor advertisements, and her sons keep saloons. The rum traffic will eventually go out of business. But before the sunlight of that glad day bursts in splendor upon all the mountains, hills, and plains
[pg. 27] of America, Rome's political backbone will have to be broken. [Applause.]
To sum it up: Roman Catholicism should be preached against because it is a fraud religiously, and a vampire politically; because it is opposed to a free press, free speech, and especially the free school; because, as history and current events prove, it never elevates, but always degrades the countries and communities it dominates; because it is the open and eternal foe of the Bible in the hands of the people; because it is Satan's right hand on earth to-day, with which he blights the lives of men, women, and children by the million, and seeks to ultimately snatch the Sun of righteousness from His noonday throne and wrap this old world in utter and hopeless darkness. [Applause.]
But the truth is marching on. Protestantism is awakening from its sleep. Preachers are beginning to raise their voices against this mighty evil. Lecturers are shooting at it from the platform. Independent papers, that enlighten and stir the public conscience, are sing-
[pg. 28] ing like swift arrows as they speed across the land and sea. And the printing press is binding paper by the ton into books and pamphlets that, finding their way into unnumbered homes, are opening the eyes of the people and preparing them for the most strenuous conflict of history. The time is not far distant when every Protestant minister in America will have to preach against Romanism or lose his job. [Applause.]
I hear the distant rumble of thunder — it is the steady voice of God approaching. I see a flash of lightning against the sky-line — it is a gleam from the countenance of the oncoming, conquering King. The heavens will, erelong, be covered with a whirling blackness, the righteous indignation of a long-outraged and thoroughly aroused public — it will be the wrath of the Almighty. Truth will flash, back and forth, like forked lightning, and, assembling itself into one mighty dart, it will descend from the swirling blackness, strike the "scarlet woman," and bury her so completely in the depths of purgatory that all the
[pg. 29] prayers of priests, prelates, and popes ever uttered, written, or thought will never pry her out. And she shall be wrapped in a flame so great and so fierce that, although all the holy water ever manufactured be dashed upon it, it will never be quenched. [Applause.]
Return to the INDEX
Continue on to 2. Popedom.