TWO INTERESTING EXCERPTS
from "Fifty Years in the Church of Rome"
NUMBER 1- from chapter 1- The priest
attempts to remove the Bible from young Chiniquy's home.
"But of a sudden his countenance changed as if a dark cloud had come over his mind, and he stopped talking. My parents had kept themselves on a respectful reserve with the priest. They seemed to have no other mind than to listen to him. The silence which followed was exceedingly unpleasant for all the parties. It looked like the heavy hour which precedes a storm. At length the priest, addressing my faith, said, "Mr. Chiniquy, is it true that you and your child read the Bible?"
"Yes, sir," was the quick reply, "my little boy and I read the Bible, and what is still better, he has learned by heart a great number of its most interesting chapters. If you will allow it, Mr. Curate, he will give you some of them."
"I did not come for that purpose," abruptly replied the priest; "but do you not know that you are forbidden by the holy Council of Trent to read the Bible in French."
"It makes very little difference to me whether I read the Bible in French, Greek, or Latin," answered my father, "for I understand these languages equally well."
"But are you ignorant of the fact that you cannot allow your child to read the Bible?" replied the priest.
"My wife directs her own child in the reading of the Bible, and I cannot see that we commit any sin by continuing to do in future what we have done till now in that matter."
"Mr. Chiniquy," rejoined the priest, "you have gone through a whole course of theology; you know the duties of a curate; you know it is my painful duty to come here, get the Bible from you and burn it."
My grandfather was a fearless Spanish sailor (our original name was Etchiniquia), and there was too much Spanish blood and pride in my father to hear such a sentence with patience in his own house. Quick as lightning he was on his feet. I pressed myself, trembling, near my mother, who trembled also.
At first I feared lest some very unfortunate and violent scene should occur; for my father's anger in that moment was really terrible.
But there was another thing which affected me. I feared lest the priest should lay his hands on my dear Bible, which was just before him on the table; for it was mine, as it had been given me the last year as a Christmas gift.
Fortunately, my father had subdued himself after the first moment of his anger. He was pacing the room with a double-quick step; his lips were pale and trembling, and he was muttering between his teeth words which were unintelligible to any one of us.
The priest was closely watching all my father's movements; his hands were convulsively pressing his heavy cane, and his face was giving the sure evidence of a too well-grounded terror. It was clear that the ambassador of Rome did not find himself infallibly sure of his position on the ground he had so foolishly chosen to take; since his last words he had remained as silent as a tomb.
At last, after having paced the room for a considerable time, my father suddenly stopped before the priest, and said, "Sir, is that all you have to say here."
"Yes, sir," said the trembling priest.
"Well, sir," added my father, "you know the door by which you entered my house: please take the same door and go away quickly."
The priest went out immediately. I felt an inexpressible joy when I saw that my Bible was safe. I ran to my father's neck, kissed and thanked him for his victory. And to pay him, in my childish way, I jumped upon the large table and recited, in my best style, the fight between David and Goliath. Of course, in my mind, my father was David and the priest of Rome was the giant whom the little stone from the brook had stricken down.
Thou knowest, O God, that it is to that Bible, read on my mother's knees, I owe, by thy infinite mercy, the knowledge of the truth to-day; that Bible had sent, to my young heart and intelligence, rays of light which all the sophisms and dark errors of Rome could never completely extinguish.
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NUMBER 2- from chapter 65- Chiniquy leads his vast congregation out of Rome.
"When they had filled the large building, I told them: "Our Saviour, the day before His death, said to His disciples: 'I will be a scandal* to you, this night.' I must tell you the same thing. I will be, today, I fear, the cause of a great scandal to every one of you. But, as the scandal which Christ gave to His disciples has saved the world, I hope that, by the great mercy of God, the scandal I will give you will save you. I was your pastor till yesterday! But I have no more that honour today, for I have broken the ties by which I was bound as a slave at the feet of the bishops and of the Pope."
This sentence was scarcely finished, when a universal cry of surprise and sadness filled the church: "Oh! what does that mean!" exclaimed the congregation.
"My dear countrymen," I added, "I have not come to tell you to follow me! I did not die to save your immortal souls; I have not shed my blood to buy you a place in heaven; but Christ has done it. Then follow Christ and Him alone! Now, I must tell you why I have broken the ignominious and unbearable yoke of men, to follow Christ. You remember that, on the 21st of March last, you signed, with me, an act of submission to the authority of the Bishop of the Church of Rome, with the conditional clause that we would obey him only in matters which were according to the teachings of the Word of God as found in the Gospel of Christ. In that act of submission we did not want to be slaves of any man, but the servants of God, the followers of the Gospel. It was our hope then, that our church would accept such a submission. And your joy was great when you heard that Grand Vicar Dunn was here on the 28th of March to tell you that Bishop Smith had accepted the submission. But that acceptation was revoked. Yesterday, I was told, in the presence of God, by the same bishop, that he ought not to have accepted an act of submission from any priest or people based on the Gospel of Christ! Yes! yesterday Bishop Smith rejected, with the utmost contempt, the act of submission we had given him, and which he had accepted only two weeks ago, because 'the Word of God' was mentioned in it! When I respectfully requested him to tell me the nature of the new act of submission he wanted from us, he ordered me to take away from it 'the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ, and the Bible,' if we wanted to be accepted as good Catholics! WE had thought, till then, that the sacred Word of God and Holy Gospel of Christ were the fundamental and precious stones of the Church of Rome. We loved her on that account, we wanted to remain in her bosom, even when we were forced to fight as honest men, against that tyrant, O'Regan. Believing that the Church of Rome was the child of the Word of God, that it was the most precious fruit of the Divine tree planted on the earth, under the name of the Gospel, we would have given the last drop of our blood to defend her!
"But, yesterday, I have learned from the very lips of a Bishop of Rome, that we were a band of simpletons in believing those things. I have learned that the Church of Rome has nothing to do with the Word of God, except to throw it overboard, to trample it under their feet, and to forbid us even to name it even in the solemn act of submission we have given. I have been told that we could no longer be Roman Catholics, if we persisted in putting the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ as the foundation of our religion, our faith and our submission. When I was told by the bishop that I had either to renounce the Word of God as the base of my submission, or the title of the priest of Rome, I did not hesitate. Nothing could induce me to give up the Gospel of Christ; and so I gave up the title and position of priest in the Roman Catholic Church. I would rather suffer a thousand deaths than renounce the Gospel of Christ. I am no longer a priest of Rome; but I am more than ever a disciple of Christ, a follower of the Gospel. That Gospel is for me, what it was for Paul, 'The power of God unto salvation' (Rom. i. 16). It is the bread of my soul. In it we can satisfy our thirst with the waters of eternal life! No! no!! I could not buy the honour of being any longer a slave to the bishops and popes of Rome, by giving up the Gospel of Christ!
"When I requested the bishop to give me the precise form of submission he wanted from us, he answered: "Give me an act of submission, without any condition, and promise that you will do anything I bid you.' I replied:
"'This is not an act of submission, it is an act of adoration! I will never give it to you!'
"'If so,' said he, 'you can no longer be a Roman Catholic priest.'
"I raised my hands to heaven, and with a loud and cheerful voice, I said: 'My God Almighty be for ever blessed!'"
I then told them something of my desolation, when alone, in my room; of the granite mountain which had been rolled over my shoulders, of my tears, and of my despair. I told them also how my bleeding, dying, crucified Saviour had brought me the forgiveness of my sins; how He had given me eternal salvation, as a gift, and how rich, happy, and strong I felt in that gift. I then spoke to them about their own souls.
My address lasted more than two hours, and God blessed it in a marvelous way. Its effects were profound and lasting, but it is too long to be described here. In substance, I said: "I respect you too much to impose myself upon your honest consciences, or to dictate what you ought to do on this most solemn occasion. I feel that the hour has come for me to make a great sacrifice; I must leave you! but, no! I will not go away before you tell me to do so. You will yourselves break the ties so dear which have united us. Please, pay attention to these, my parting words: If you think it is better for you to follow the Pope than to follow Christ; that it is better to trust in the works of your hands, and in your own merits, than in the blood of the Lamb, shed on the cross, to be saved; if you think it is better for you to follow the traditions of men than the Gospel; and if you believe that it is better for you to have a priest of Rome, who will keep you tied as slaves to the feet of the bishops, and who will preach to you the ordinances of men, rather than have me preach to you nothing but the pure Word of God, as we find it in the Gospel of Christ, tell it to me by rising up, and I will go!" But, to my great surprise, nobody moved. The chapel was filled with sobs; tears were flowing from every eye; but not one moved to tell me to leave them! I was puzzled. For though I had hoped that many, enlightened by the copies of the New Testament that I had given them, tired of the tyranny of the bishops, and disgusted with the superstitions of Rome, would be glad to break the yoke with me, to follow Christ, I was afraid that the greatest number would not dare to break their allegiance to the church, and publicly give up her authority. After a few minutes of silence, during which I mixed my tears and my sobs with those of my people, I told them: "Why do you not at once rise up and tell me to go? You see that I can no longer remain your pastor after renouncing the tyranny of the bishops and the traditions of men to follow the Gospel of Christ as my only rule. Why do you not bravely tell me to go away?"
But this new appeal was still without any answer I was filled with astonishment. However, it was evident to me that a great and mysterious change was wrought in that multitude. Their countenances, their manners, were completely changed. They were speaking to me with their eyes filled with tears, and their manly faces beaming with joy. Their sobs, in some way, told me that they were filled with new light; that they were full of new strength, and ready to make the most heroic sacrifices, and break their fetters to follow Christ, and Him alone. There was something in those brave, honest and happy faces which was telling me more effectually than the most eloquent speech: "We believe in the gift, we want to be rich, happy, free, and saved in the gift: we do not want anything else: remain among us and teach us to love both the gift and the giver!"
A thought suddenly flashed across my mind, and with an inexpressible sentiment of hope and joy, I told them: "My dear countrymen! The Mighty God, who gave me His saving light, yesterday, can grant you the same favour today. He can, as well, save a thousand souls as one. I see, in your noble and Christian faces, that you do not want any more to be slaves of men. You want to be the free children of God, intelligent followers of the Gospel! The light is shining, and you like it. The gift of God has been given to you! With me, you will break the fetters of a captivity, worse than that of Egypt, to follow the Gospel of Christ, and take possession of the Promised Land: let all those who think it is better to follow Jesus Christ than the Pope, better to follow the Word of God than the traditions of men; let all those of you who want me to remain here and preach to you nothing but the Word of God, as we find it in the Gospel of Christ, tell it to me, by rising up. I am your man! Rise up!"
Without a single exception, that multitude arose! More than a thousand of my countrymen had, for ever, broken their fetters. They had crossed the Red Sea and exchanged the servitude of Egypt for the blessings of the Promised Land!
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BONUS- A THIRD EXCERPT
NUMBER 3- from chapter 59- The effect of Rome's bloody laws in Europe; and as effecting America's Civil War and President Lincoln.
In the allocution of September, 1851, Pope Pius IX. said:
"That he had taken that principle for basis: That the Catholic religion, with all its votes, ought to be exclusively dominant in such sort that every other worship shall be banished and interdicted!
"You ask if the Pope were lord of this land and you were in a minority, what he would do to you? That, we say, would entirely depend on circumstances. If it would benefit the cause of Catholicism, he would tolerate you; if expedient, he would imprison, banish you, probably he might even hang you. But be assured of one thing, he would never tolerate you for the sake of your glorious principles of civil and religious liberty."[Rambler, one of the most prominent Catholic papers of England, September, 1851.]
Lord Acton, one of the Roman Catholic peers of England, reproaching her bloody and anti-social laws to his own church, wrote: "Pope Gregory VII. decided it was no murder to kill excommunicated persons. This rule was incorporated in the canon law. During the revision of the code, which took place in the 16th century, and which produced a whole volume of corrections, the passage was allowed to stand. It appears in every reprint of the Corpus Juris. It has been for 700 years, and continues to be, part of the ecclesiastical law. Far from being a dead letter, it obtained a new application in the days of the Inquisition; and one of the later Popes has declared that the murder of a Protestant is so good a deed that it atones, and more than atones, for the murder of a Catholic." In the last council of the Vatican, has the Church of Rome expressed any regret for having promulgated and executed such bloody laws? No! On the contrary, she has anathematized all those who think or say that she was wrong when she deluged the world with the blood of the millions she ordered to be slaughtered to quench her thirst for blood; she positively said that she had the right to punish those heretics by tortures and death.
Those bloody and anti-social laws, were written on the banners of the Roman Catholics, when slaughtering 100,000 Waldenses in the mountains of Piedmont, and more that 50,000 defenseless men, women and children in the city of Bezieres. It is under the inspiration of those diabolical laws of Rome, that 75,000 Protestants were massacred, the night and following week of St. Bartholomew.
It was to obey those bloody laws that Louis XIV. revoked the Edict of Nantes, caused the death of half a million of men, women and children, who perished in all the highways of France, and caused twice that number to die in the land of exile, where they had found a refuge.
Those anti-social laws, today, are written on her banners with the blood of ten millions of martyrs. It is under those bloody banners that 6,000 Roman Catholic priests, Jesuits and bishops, in the United States, are marching to the conquest of this Republic, backed by their seven millions of blind and obedient slaves.
Those laws, which are still the ruling laws of Rome, were the main cause of the last rebellion of the Southern States.
Yes! without Romanism, the last awful civil war would have been impossible. Jeff Davis would never have dared to attack the North, had he not had assurance from the Pope, that the Jesuits, the bishops, the priests and the whole people of the Church of Rome, under the name and mask of Democracy, would help him.
These diabolical and anti-social laws of Rome caused a Roman Catholic (Beauregard) to be the man chosen to fire the first gun at Fort Sumter, against the flag of Liberty, on the 12th of April, 1861. Those antichristian and anti-social laws caused the Pope of Rome to be the only crowned prince in the whole world, so depraved as to publicly shake hands with Jeff Davis, and proclaim him President of a legitimate government.
These are the laws which led the assassins of Abraham Lincoln to the house of a rabid Roman Catholic woman, Mary Surratt, which was not only the rendezvous of the priests of Washington, but the very dwelling-house of some of them.
That woman, gifted by God to be an angel of peace and mercy on earth, was changed by those laws into a bloodthirsty tigress; for she had smelt the blood which everywhere comes from the robe, the hands, and the lips of the priest of Rome.
Those bloody and infernal laws of Rome nerved the arm of the Roman Catholic, Booth, when he slaughtered one of the noblest men God has ever given to the world.
Those bloody and anti-social laws of Rome, after having covered Europe with ruins, tears, and blood for ten centuries, have crossed the oceans to continue their work of slavery and desolation, blood, and tears, ignorance and demoralization, on this continent. Under the mask and name of Democracy they have raised the standard of rebellion of the South against the North, and caused more than half a million of the most heroic sons of America to fall on the fields of carnage.
In a very near future, if God does not miraculously prevent it, those laws of dark deeds and blood will cause the prosperity, the rights, the education, and the liberties of this too confident nation to be buried under a mountain of smoking and bloody ruins. On the top of that mountain, Rome will raise her throne and plant her victorious banners.
Then she will sing her Te Deums and shout her shouts of joy, as she did when she heard the lamentations and cries of desolation of the millions of martyrs burning in the five thousand auto-da-fes she had raised in all the capitals and great cities of Europe.
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