CAN WASHINGTON BE TAKEN OUT OF THE LAP OF ROME.
This may jet come to be the question of the hour. If done, it must be accomplished through the combined efforts of the people of the United States. The North and the South, the East and the West, must come up alike to the help of the Lord against the mighty. The need of it is apparent. It is the boast of the Frenchman, that as goes Paris, so goes France. As went Rome, so went Italy. And so it may yet be said, As goes Washington, so will go the great Republic.
Remember, France made Paris bend her neck to the people. Italy thundered at the gates of Rome ; took away the States of the Church from His Holiness the Pope ; tossed overboard, with contempt and ease, the ruler who was said to preserve the equipoise of Europe ; sent him a prisoner to the Vatican ; and went on with the work of making Italy free, as if the tap- root of Papal Rule had not been the growth of centuries. Washington, the centre of political influence and activity, is in the lap of Rome, with the consent of the people. Let there be a protest. Unroof the monster, Jesuitism. Uncover the pollution, the scandal of the confessional. Unlock and throw open the doors of the convents and nunneries, the assignation houses, kept for a so-called celibate priesthood. Expose the conduct of those who have made prostitution flourish at Rome and in all the great cities in which they have control, and Washington will shake off the incubus. The nation will declare for purity, for justice, for emancipation from the shackles of blind and besotted Romanism, and from the thraldom of the black-robed throng, who insult their sick, half-starve their orphans, for whose support they are paid by the State, and maltreat their poor ; because in the heart of Rome love is exchanged for selfish greed. Not always will statesmen bow and cringe to obtain the Roman Catholic vote, which is only powerful because it is always on sale, going to the highest bidder, without regard to principle. It will yet appear that fifty millions of people, blessed with liberty, and in the presence of wonderful opportunity, cannot afford to creep under the black wing of Papal despotism, that vampire that sucked the life-blood out of Spain, out of Mexico, and out of any country where it has been permitted to do its hellish work undisturbed. Christianity is the product of witnessing for the truth. The Papacy is the monument of withholding testimony for God. Error is the servant of the “Prince of the power of the air.” Truth is the helpmeet of God. Witnessing for the truth is to result in the overthrow of every form of error. There are reasons for this faith. Let us enumerate a few of them:
1. God is for the truth. When we say that, the argument assures the people of victory so soon as they are made ready to stand with and for God. By grace, by Providence, by the help of God s true children, in uncounted and in unexpected ways, aid will be brought to those who put on the whole armor of God and stand ready to fight the good fight of faith. The achievements wrought by truth, and for the truth, in other days and on other fields, attest the truth that God works for those who work for him.
DARK DAYS THERE HAVE BEEN.
Here is an illustration. Death, the fire, and the inquisitorial torture of Romish hate, had achieved an apparent victory. The night was dark, because the witnesses were still.
In 1514 the Council met in Rome. Into the Market Place strode a servant of the Church of Rome, and in pride asked, Is there one who protests?” He waited. He listened. The Waldensians were dead in France. In England the Lollards were exterminated. In Italy truth had been slain in the street. ” Not one protests!” It was a terrible charge brought by Rome against Rome. Thousands and tens of thousands passed from the Cross to the stake. They were burned, tortured, hurled over rocks. Rome reveled in barbarity.
“The rack, the fagot, or the hated creed
Were the tender mercies of tyrant Rome;
While, fearless amidst Christ s fold fierce wolves did roam,
And stainless sheep upon her altars bleed.”
In May 1514, the testimony ceased. Three years and a half pass. It is a prophetic period. Look! Up the stair-way climbs Martin Luther on his knees. Hark! A voice sounds down to him. He is tired, sick, hopeless, despondent, a type of all Romanists. ” The just shall live by faith,” passes through the gateway of the conscience to the chamber of the soul. It startles him. It unlocks night. It uncovers the crucified Christ. Clouds depart. He is born again. He is in a new world. He confesses it. He becomes a witness. God helps his own. Everything is made ready for the work. The banner is unfurled. Redeemed men take it and bear it on. The friends of error are powerless, in presence of the testimony of living and brave witnesses.
Think how Zwingle, Luther, Melancthon, William, Prince of Orange, told the truth! They carried their testimony into towns, into churches, and into homes. They told what God did for them. As justification by faith placed them on vantage ground, they called to men in night and gloom to come to the light, and held up to them the reeking cross, which broke the power of the man of sin ” and gave deliverance to captive souls.
TRUTH DISINTEGRATES ROMANISM.
Romanism was born, and found its place of being and its capacity of growth, because of the surrender of the individual conscience to the keeping of a machine.
Every effort put forth by the individual in behalf of the truth is a subtraction from the power which upholds the Papacy, and an addition to the power which is to people the world with hope, and make the desert to bud and blossom as the rose. Hence every movement in favor of individual thinking favors Christianity and opposes Romanism. Every scintillation of truth in behalf of freedom, every word spoken for God and the right, clears the way for humanity, and widens the area of the kingdom of God. There is nothing in Romanism calculated to charm or please the thinking and unfettered intellect. It stultifies reason where it can ; it banishes God’s word as best it may ; that word which is the foundation of the World s jurisprudence, the fountain-source of liberty, and the pillar of flame and cloud, by whose aid the nation has made its march out of the wilderness of trial into the Canaan of possession. Romanism fetters the mind, enslaves the limb, and is the servant of injustice, the parent and source of despotism, and the foe of all that ennobles and exalts humanity. This is coming to be known and felt. Romanists are feeling it quite as much as others. Christ is leading on.
“He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat ;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat ;
O be swift my soul to answer Him! be jubilant my feet!
Our God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies, Christ was born, across the sea,—
With a glory in his bosom that transfuses you and me.
As he die dto make men holy, let us die to make men
While God is marching on.”
Somebody will catch this inspiration, and become the trumpeter of a great truth. Some one will appear, not only as the scourge of impositions, and the ponderous hammer that shall smite upon the brazen idolatry of the age, but as the upbuilder of holy principles in accordance with the teachings of the Word of God.
It is essential that a dear conception be obtained of the work to be done.
A free Church in a free State was once the battle-cry of the Republic. Rome is organizing an aggressive warfare upon the separation of Church and State. It was the hope of promoting a union of Church and State that made the Red-Robed Cardinal desire the company of a son of a Presbyterian minister, occupying the position of President, in laying the corner stone of the Jesuit college. It is to be proclaimed that the religion of Jesus Christ is to be divorced from the State. This is not because Republicans honor religion less. They believe that the Church of Christ is a divine institution, which has to do with finding out the truth, holding the truth, and spreading the truth.
They believe also in the State ; claim that it is also a divine institution, and has sacred duties, such as guaranteeing to every man safety, and making his person, his property, and his right to think and be. The State must be safety, justice, righteousness. There must be a free Church in a free State, the State subject to justice only, the Church subject to Christ only.
True Americans must see that the very antipodes of the idea just stated is the Romish idea. Rome claims that the Church shall be all, and the State a non-entity, and that the Roman Catholic religion shall be permitted to exclude all other forms of faith. The Pope declares, that it is an error to be reprobated and proscribed, that the Church shall be separate from the State. Americans are to take note of this, and be made ready to antagonize it.
Rome claims that it is ” an error to be reprobated, proscribed, and condemned, to say that, in the case of conflicting laws between the two powers, the civil law ought to prevail, and that the church has not the power of availing herself of force, or any direct or indirect temporal power.” These propositions so clear, so startling bear date Dec. 4th, 1864, of “Errors Condemned,” and were reaffirmed by the late Plenary Council of Baltimore. Truly has it been said: ” There is enough dynamite in these propositions to blow up our entire modern civilization, destroy liberty of conscience, and bring utter ruin upon the purity of the church and the integrity of the State.”
Americans know that in the United States, at the present time, there is a union of Church and State to an extent little dreamed of.
In New Jersey, the State Reform School has been Romanized. The unsectarian teaching, in piety and morals, has been destroyed. The moral and religious training of the Catholic boys is handed over completely to the Romish Church. The same is true of the City of New York, where children arrested are given over to institutions under the control of the religion professed by their parents. As a result, there are 3,000 Roman Catholic youth in the New York Protectory, more lost to Protestantism than if they were born and reared in Rome.
The State thus gives a guarantee to the Roman Catholic Church, that no child of Romish parents shall be permitted to come in contact with the free thought of our American life and with the religion of our Lord Jesus Christ. This is not liberty of conscience ; this is coercion of conscience. The American people will see this ; and seeing it, they will correct the legislation that makes it live and thrive under the shadow of the broad ^Egis of our Republic.
Again: Rome seeks to take the children of the State out of the control of the civil power. This is the exact language of the Syllabus: That * the entire direction of public schools in which the youth of Christian States are educated, may and must appertain to the civil power, is an error to be reprobated and proscribed. Issue must here be joined. ”
We want in our land no fractional parts of Americans we want whole men, who are rooted in American ideas. The Baltimore Plenary Council decided, that all Catholic children shall be educated in parochial schools. This education will give us mutilated men and women. The American people must be made to see this, and they will resist the encroachment.
“I wonder,” said Dr. Dollinger of Germany, the Old Catholic, who fought the conferring of the decree of Infallibility upon Pio Nono, ” I wonder if they understand in America what an infallible Pope means? that it means a hand stretched over into the United States, and laid upon every Roman Catholic citizen, and imposing upon him the obligation to set himself up in opposition to the ordinances of your Government whenever the Pope shall pronounce his judgments against these ordinances on moral or religious ground?” Yes, Dr. Dollinger, a great many understand it, and are getting ready to deliver Roman Catholics from their thraldom.
Roman Catholics are getting more money for the support of Romish schools than is given to all the Evangelical churches combined. The New York Independent affirms, that Protestant schools find more difficulty in getting what they ask for than the Romish schools. It affirms that Government interferes less with Romish schools than with Protestant. It affirms that, in the schools wholly supported by the Government, they are rapidly passing into the control of the Roman Catholics, even where all are Protestants, as among the Indians.
A Roman Catholic was kept at the head of the postal service until it was very largely Romanized, with Roman Catholics for postmasters wherever they could be pushed in ; and then he was transferred to the Interior Department to Romanize that ; while the head of the army, a Roman Catholic, gave a Roman Catholic sutler control of every army post, and the nation donates, even against fundamental law, a lot of land at every military post, on which to build a Roman Catholic chapel.
The American people only need to be made acquainted with these facts, and they will antagonize them.
Our fathers clamored for a separation of Church and State. Let their children go on with the work. It has been well said: “If we work to serve the twentieth century, we must save the nineteenth.” We must reconstruct our geography, and permit the Tiber to flow into the Potomac, and not compel the Potomac to flow into the Tiber.
Create a literature that shall point out the vices and corruptions of Romanism.
Popery must be antagonized ; Christ must be championed. This, politicians will come to see. They will insist upon a separation of Church and State ; upon maintaining a public school system, in which all the children of the State shall be educated. The Bible shall be unbound. This made way for Luther, so that when he came they breathed an air which had long been most patiently impregnated with the very essence of innovation. The word of God in the hands of the people is the accusing spirit of the Papacy. In the days of Wicliff, ” the noise of its wings” were faintly heard in England.
Then, men of position, indignant at the impoverishment and disgrace of their country, antagonized the power of Eome. Afterwards men fought it, because of the perversion and abuse of their religious institutions. Hence, when the conflict under Luther began, the leader of it could number potentates among his allies and partizans, till, at last, he may be said to have had
“A kingdom for a stage, princes for actors,
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene.”
Not so at the present time. Our great men seem to be our greatest cowards. In pulpits, in pressrooms, and on platforms, it is fashionable to be servile. What kings did in Europe who held the stirrup for His Holiness to mount, that presidents and politicians in free America seem ready to do. It is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings to Rome. The Church of Rome is being pandered to by men who will ere long wake up to their shame. What mean these “Roman Catholic Notes” that meet the approval of Roman Catholic officials, except as an indication that the Roman Catholic vote is a thing that may be bargained for. How humiliating the fact! Seven millions of men and women in free America for sale to the highest bidder! For that vote, politicians betray God, turn their backs upon liberty, surrender the dearest rights of freemen to the keeping of their bitterest foe. A distinguished statesman goes to Rome ; enters the American College, so-called, in fact, a college built by Americans to change American youth into Italian priests ; there he referred to the Church of Rome as “that Church which is so widely spread and so profoundly respected.” Where is it “respected” by any one? Had he said, feared, by all in America, and by himself more than all, he had told the truth.
To stand up against Rome at this hour requires high courage. Thousands have it. Millions will yet possess it.
2. God is against Romanism. Prophecy declares it. History brings proof in support of the proposition ; and from no nation so truly as from the story of the life of the Republic of the United States. Romanism is disintegrating, wherever the truth concerning it is told. It resembles an ice-glacier loosened from its Northern home. The current bears it southward. The gulf-stream of liberty catches it and dissolves it. Superstition is being scattered broadcast by the brightness of the Sun of Righteousness.
The overthrow of the Papacy is simply the unfulfilled prophecy of that Being who described its coming and its doom. The same Eye that saw the rise and decline of Mohammedanism, the same Being who gave the command, ” Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates,” (Rev. 9:14), before the Islam horsemen swept forth in their career of conquest ; and that commanded the sixth angel to pour out his vial upon the great river Euphrates when the water was dried up (Rev. 16: 12), and the way was prepared for the kings who are from the rising of the sun, so that Turkey is destroyed, and is a captive enslaved, the sport and plaything of Continental powers ; that foretold the settlement of America when he pointed to the ships of Tarshish on their way to the land of broad rivers, described the character and the occupation of the ” beast ” of prophecy, and portrayed the ” woman” clothed in purple and scarlet and holding in her hand the cup of her fornications and upon her head the writing: Mystery! Babylon the great! The Mother of Harlots and of the abominations of the earth” This the people begin to see. Sound the battle-cry.
THE WORK IS ONLY BEGUN.
The possibility of bearing witness for Christ is within reach of all. It is possible to carry truth within the citadel of the enemy, through the agency of the help employed in our houses and in our places of business.
Never do I think of the millions about us, who want something better than these nummeries to satisfy the cravings of their immortal souls, but I rejoice that the Gospel, as we know it, is the power of God and the wisdom of God, suited to their every need. Tell them of it. There is no mistaking what it will do for them. It will save their souls, and give them a joy and peace they seek elsewhere in vain.
The Holy Spirit works for those who work for God. There are links in the chain of God s providence which enter into the chain that is mighty to the pulling down of the stronghold of error. Children of God, be true. Things of deep interest are pending. Let soul touch soul. Let truth combat error ; and the people of the Lord, beautiful as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, shall be terrible as an army with banners!
The Lord Jehovah reigneth. Let the people rejoice. For from God we obtain the assurance that witnessing for the truth shall result in the taking of Washington out of the lap of Rome, making her the glory of the Nation, and the Light-house of the World ; so that the millions now shrouded in darkness shall awake to the touch of the new-born radiance, and leaving their idols behind, shall walk forth into the new day heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, to an inheritance incorruptible, and un defiled, and that fadeth not away.
AMEN AND AMEN.