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Chapter 18

Two Systems Face Each Other


As the originator of Spiritism has set himself to undermine the Word of God, to thwart the beneficent purpose of God, and to make the world believe that Jesus Christ is nothing to us, so far as our future eternal inheritance is concerned, it may be well here to place the outstanding features of the two systems facing each other, that our choice may be mad e in the broad light of open day.

The Bible gives us the comforting assurance of a blessed and substantial hope, based upon the unfailing word of Him in whom we live and move and have our being; and we find in it no uncertainty, no ambiguity, no contradiction. "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." 2 Tim. 1:12.

Spiritism conveys to us no such certain hope. Its mutterings and chirpings leave us in a cloud of mysticism and fog. Note the following examples:

"Why should some communicators be clear, correct, and rational, and others be confused, lying, and incoherent? "--"Are the Dead Alive?" page 339.

"Dr. Hyslop . . . once asked [the spirits] for information regarding an old neighbor named Samuel Cooper. The information given by the 'communicator' (Dr. Hyslop's father [or the spirit calling itself such]) was entirely wrong; but was afterward found to be right concerning a Dr. Joseph Cooper. . . . On one occasion [says Dr. Hyslop] I had asked what my uncle had died with, and it was two years before I received the correct answer. But the immediate answer involved the statement first that Robert had gotten his foot injured on the railroad, and then it was afterward ascribed to Frank, both Robert and Frank being names of my brothers. With reference to them, however , the statements were false. My brother Frank had had an injured leg, but it was not caused in any connection with a railway. My brother Robert never had any such injury. But my uncle, about whom I had asked the question, had had his leg cut off, or nearly cut off, at the ankle, by a railway car, and died from the effects of the operation a few hours later."--"Are the Dead Alive?" p. 337.

"If I have made you believe that there is there, among a great deal of rubbish, a little very much worth while, I shall have achieved my purpose."-- Id., p. 340.

"We ride in darkness at the haven's mouth."-- Myers, "The Drift of Psychical Research," in National Review, Vol. XXIV, p. 190.

"Where did you die, and where was your body buried? The reply was, 'Durham.' . . . The spirit was asked to name the State herself. 'Pennsylvania' was rapped out. The wife of our friend died in Buffalo, N. Y., and her body was there interred."--"Modern Mysteries," p. 46.

Says Mr. Frederick C. Spurr :

"Spiritualism is hostile to the Christian idea of sin, and more hostile to Christ as the sole Redeemer of mankind. . . . Why should there be an apparent 'conspiracy,' as Colonel Forster calls it, on 'the other side' to make little of Jesus Christ and His redemptive work? Why is it that the 'prayers' offered by 'controls' nearly always omit the Holy Name? And what is the meaning of the inhibition placed upon me in earlier sittings --' not to introduce the name of Jesus' ? All this, I repeat, is supremely suspicious. In Jesus we have whom we know. His Spirit has been at work in the lives of men during the centuries. And we are now asked to repudiate our spiritual history in the name of wandering ghosts, many of whom have, according to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, and in my own experience of them, proved themselves to be unconscionable liars."--Australian Christian World, Feb. 20, 1920.

The Bible speaks plainly of angels and of the mission of angels, but Spiritism knows little of them. In a work previously quoted from occurs this:

"'There are no angels here [lower sphere?] that we know of. We do not know anything about angels.' In another spirit communication it was stated that the angels were at first babes that died far too early to know anything of temptation and sin."--"The Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism," p. 142.

The Bible gives no warrant for such a belief. If the angels were once human babes, whence came the "sons of God" who shouted for joy "when the morning stars sang together" at the creation of our world? Job 38: 7. Whence came, then, the cherubim who with flaming swords guarded the gates of Eden lost, that disobedient humanity should not invade its sacred precincts? There were no human babes at that time; but God had His angels, and they had their office work.

The Word of God gives us a faith and hope and trust built on the solid rock. There is a glad and satisfying certainty there which the pale fogs of Spiritism can never obscure. We shall not leave the fireside of our Father's home to wander in the dreary fens of spiritistic doubts and uncertainties, and to mingle with gibbering ghosts and chirping wizards that repudiate the Man of Calvary and try to delude us into thinking we are gods.

The Word of God teaches us plainly of two classes who stand forth in the time of final awards,-- the righteous and the wicked: those who have accepted God's plan, worked in harmony with it, and been sealed to everlasting life; and those who have rejected His plan, followed their own course, and been appointed to the "second death," from which there will be no awaking. (See Matt. 25: 41, 46; Rev. 22: 11, 12, 14; Mal. 4: 1-3; Rev. 20: 9-15.)

That is God's plan to insure a clean and righteous universe. But Spiritism refuses to accept it. Says Prof. Alfred Russel Wallace:

"During, the last sixty years evidence has been accumulating in every part of the world which affords demonstration that the so-called dead have never really died at all, but have passed into a new and higher stage of existence. . . . Whatever germs of good are in them are ultimately developed through the kind ministrations of spirit helpers, and thenceforth progress toward a higher and happier state depends mainly on themselves."--"Are the Dead Alive?" p. 221.

According to this, whatever help one receives comes not from our Elder Brother and Redeemer, but from spirits who have been longer in the land of shades than those who are needing help. And concerning this point the well-known psychic medium, Mrs. Adderson Miller, in answer to the question, "Will all wicked and all good be finally saved, or progress to the higher spheres?" replied: "Yes; there is no death. We are immortal."-- From an interview granted E. S. Butz in Adelaide, South Australia, May 27, 1909.

The script automatically written by Rev. G. Vale Owen teaches most positively that the wicked, even out of hell itself, are finally re formed and saved. (See "Life Beyond the Veil," book 3, pp. 188-191, 216.)

In the same book we are assured that even Judas Iscariot enters into eternal life; for we read:

"His [Christ's] first captive was the one who pleaded with Him upon the tree, and another was he who for thirty pieces gave his Lord to die. . . . The betrayer had not found that kingdom until he had passed through the gate into the darkness without and beheld the King in the budding beauty of His native comeliness."--"The Life Beyond the Veil," pp. 166, 167.

Thus Spiritism, with all its uncertainties and contradictions, is positive in its denial of the truth of Scripture concerning the mortality of man and the destiny of the wicked.

We find that the Bible teaches the value and importance of life; but Spiritism on many an occasion has encouraged men and women to throw away their lives, to break God's law by self-murder, and thus come under His just condemnation.

The Bible is filled with most encouraging admonitions, most helpful instruction, most uplifting sentiments, and always holds before our eyes the ultimate goal of the perfection there is in Christ Jesus, and the hope of final association with the One whose sacrifice purchased our redemption. But the communications that have "come through" from shadow land are incoherent, contradictory, valueless; they hold before us no goal for a consecrated life, deal in senseless mental meanderings, and agree only in that they oppose and contradict the verities of God's Word and God's purpose for man here and hereafter.

God's Word teaches us that he that controls his own spirit is greater "than he that taketh a city." Prov. 16: 32. But Spiritism admits that it cannot control itself. In Sir Oliver Lodge's report of certain sťances occurs the following:

"He [Raymond] has been trying to come to you at home, but there has been some horrible mix-ups; not really horrible, but a muddle. He really got through to you, but other conditions get through there, and mixes him up. . . .

"'How can we improve it?' [asked the sitter.]

"He does not understand it sufficiently himself yet. Other spirits get in, not bad spirits, but ones that like to feel they are helping. The peculiar manifestations are not him, and it only confuses him terribly. Part of it was him, but when the table was careering about, it was not him at all. He started it, but something comes along stronger than himself, and he loses the control."--"Raymond," pp. 182, 183.

"Occasionally the table got rather rampageous and had to be quieted down. Sometimes, indeed, both the table and things like flower-pots got broken. After these more violent occasions, Raymond volunteered the explanation, through mediums in London, that he couldn't always control it, and that there was a certain amount of skylarking, not on our side, which he tried to prevent."-- Id., p. 217.

"After this table and another one had got broken during the more exuberant period of these domestic sittings, before the power had got under control, a stronger and heavier round table with four legs was obtained, and employed only for this purpose."-- Id., p. 222.

Such demonstrations do not speak to us of really spiritual things nor of helpful things. They speak of demon possession, such as was manifest in the time when our Saviour was on earth, and is openly manifest even today in such countries as China and Korea. To make a religion of it is the last step in mockery of the true things of God.

The Word of God teaches us to trust in God and worship Him alone. It teaches also that our Saviour is a personal Saviour -- a person Himself. Spiritism teaches us that "the whole cosmos of matter is the body of Christ" (" Life Beyond the Veil," book 3, p. 130), and that we can obtain protection by perpetuating that heathen superstition, making "the sign of the cross."-- Id., p. 66. If the earth is the body of Christ, everything that springs out of it must be a part of His body; and there we have the excuse for pantheism -- the worship of all that is. While Spiritism tells us that the earth is the body of Christ, the Word of God tells us that it is God's footstool. Isa. 66: 1; Matt. 5: 35.

While the Bible rings true in all its parts, we find Spiritism self-contradictory, and thus self-destructive. On one page the Vale Owen script teaches us that Christ Himself is the whole cosmos and that the earth is Christ; and on the preceding page (p. 129), it solemnly informs us that "the Creator of all, working through the Christ, produced, after ages of continuous urge, the cosmos." Thus do we have God working through Christ to produce Christ; or Christ the active agent in His own creation, struggling through ages of continuous urge to develop Himself into being. Surely this is the capsheaf in absurdity of contradiction.

While some Spiritists assert that Spiritism is a religion, and the only true religion, others deny. Camille Flammarion declares that "the thing dubbed 'Spiritualism' is a science and not a religion."--"Are the Dead Alive?" pp. 57, 58. The truth of the matter is that it is neither a science nor a religion, but a caricature of both, perpetrated by a cunning deceiver who keeps his own identity hidden behind the convenient cloak of invisibility.

The Bible gives as one proof of its divine inspiration, the revelation within its pages of future events.

"Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them." Isa. 42: 9.

But of Spiritism, which is set forth to take the place of Christianity, this cannot be said.

"Now as to future events we cannot tell you what will happen, but, judging by circumstances that are around you at present, we should say that success shall attend your efforts."--"The Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism," pp. 157, 158.

Spiritism's prophecies are guesses only, and have proved very costly to some who have placed reliance in them. The financial disaster that befell Mr. W. T. Stead has already been cited. It has been frequently stated concerning the late czar of Russia that during the Russo-Japanese War he spent most of his time consulting his medium, and that he directed Russia's course in that war according to that medium's instructions. The result is known to the world.

"They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever." Ps. 121: 1.

They that trust to the leadings of Spiritism are trusting to blind leadership; they are leaning upon a broken and treacherous reed, that can but pierce the hand that trusts to its support.

The Bible teaches us in most explicit language that. sin is a very real and a very dangerous thing. Says the inspired apostle James: "When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." James 1:15. That refers to the second death, from which there is no resurrection; for the righteous as well as the wicked die the first death. To redeem man from destruction -- the consequence of sin -- the Son of God expired on the cross. So they called His name Jesus, Saviour. Sin is therefore a reality -- a horrible thing in the sight of a just and righteous God. The whole purpose of the gospel is to get sin out of the universe.

Spiritism teaches that there is no sin. In this it travels as the boon companion of Christian Science, which dwells much upon the nonexistence of sin; and both contradict the fundamental truth of the gospel. Says Andrew Jackson Davis, who called himself "the Poughkeepsie [New York] Seer and Clairvoyant:"

"Sin indeed, in the common acceptation of the term, does not really exist; but what is called sin is merely a misdirection of man's physical or spiritual powers which generates unhappy consequences. . . . The innate divineness of the spirit of man prohibits the possibility of spiritual wickedness, or unrighteousness."--"The Principles of Nature, Her Divine Revelations, and a Voice to Mankind," quoted in "Modern Mysteries," pp. 28, 29.

Such false teaching nullifies the gospel, and makes the Bible a falsehood in sixty-six sections. If there is no sin, there is no need of a Saviour, and Christ becomes an impostor; while the entire Bible record of God's purpose and of our need becomes, through this iniquitous teaching, a fabric of fancy, fable, and folly. There can be no compromise. Either Spiritism is false, deceptive, and deadly, or all that we have learned of God through the Word of God is a heartless forgery, uttered against the Author of our being. But the Word of God has repeatedly demonstrated its own truth, and in doing so has demonstrated the unreliability and falsity of whatever contradicts it.

In the divine Word, Jesus the Saviour is set forth as "the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world." 1 John 2: 2. Again:

"All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." Rom. 3: 23-26.

Many other scriptures might be given which testify to the same all-important fact, that redemption is in Christ Jesus alone, and that outside of Him there is no salvation. The life which He laid down for us when He hung between earth and sky on Calvary, was a propitiation indeed, a redemption price, a sacrifice which made the eternal reward and everlasting life sure to those who accept it.

But Spiritism has set itself directly across that path to the eternal city. A spirit control who calls himself "Imperator" points out there was no atonement, but at-one-ment, i. e., 'reconciliation.' "--"The Proofs of the Truths of Spiritualism," p. 45.

Any person can make an at-one-ment when he brings two persons together who have been estranged, and helps them to settle their differences, and be friends again. There is more than this involved in the atonement. The broken law demanded the life of the transgressor. Jesus volunteered His life to satisfy the claims of the law for all who would accept Him, and through the love and condescension manifested in that act, to win back the disobedient race to loyalty and obedience again.

As the Son of man, He was smitten for the race of mankind. As Son of God and mouthpiece for the Most High in giving that law, He could make that offer, and He alone could. If Spiritism succeeds in convincing us that nothing of the kind was done, then our sinful lives, with no cloak to hide them from the searching gaze of the eternal Judge, will wither and sear and perish in the glance of His all-seeing eye when the day of final awards shall come.

There are millions making this sad and terrible choice today. It is the fallen Lucifer's one object now to induce human beings, for whom Christ died, to trample Heaven's offer under their feet, and go down with him to eternal ruin. The dogmas of Spiritism are his most seductive allurement for the making of that fearful and fatal choice. He leaves no stone unturned to bring it about, even aping Bible miracles, adopting the language of the sanctuary, and donning the habiliments of an angel of light.

God has always set before man the aim of a purposeful and righteous life, and has taught us explicitly His abhorrence of sin, and His purpose to purge it from His universe. "Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy." Lev. 19: 2. The Bible contains a multitude of such admonitions to holiness.

But in the shadow land of Spiritism (if the communications from the spirits be given full credit) it seems to make little difference how one has lived. All attain to eternal life (the spirits say), and progress upward toward the heights by their own efforts, even out of the nether regions. Spirit helpers assist them to develop "whatever germs of good" they may possess. (See "Are the Dead Alive?" p. 221.)

One of the greatest mediums of the age, Eusapia Palladino, who was chosen by Spiritism to reveal its mysteries and truths to humanity, is admitted to have been turned out of her first place of employment for her ignorance and laziness, and that "in temperament she is often peevish, sometimes malicious -- sometimes exhibiting a certain pride and dignity."-- Id., pp. 73, 74.

Through such an instrumentality we are asked to believe that there is to come to us the revelation of a religion that is to dispense with Christianity, a religion without a Redeemer, a religion that needs not holiness as a key to the enjoyment of its Paradise. So are we to expect that a holy God sends to us His new revelation through an instrumentality that is ignorant, lazy, peevish, malicious, and frequently perpetrating fraud and deception! Not so has Jehovah given us His revelations in the past. The keynote of acceptance with Him is holiness, obedience, the forsaking of sin. Our great Exemplar was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, the embodiment of holiness, "without which no man shall see the Lord." Heb. 12:14.

Spiritism itself is often nonplused by the wicked perversity of its leading exponents. One Spiritist author asks in querulous astonishment:

"Why should she [Eusapia Palladino] attempt to do these things fraudulently when she has apparently proved again and again her ability to do them genuinely? Why, indeed? "--"Are the Dead Alive?" p. 90.

It is very apparent that the spirits are nothing averse to the practice of deceit and fraud on the part of their human understudies. If they were not parties to it, they would not use the human instruments that practise it. Says Mr. J. N. Maskelyne, who was thoroughly familiar with all phases of mediumship:

"There does not exist, and there never has existed, a professional medium of any note who has not been convicted of trickery or fraud."--Id., p. 15

"The net result of the investigations conducted by the Society for Psychical Research [says another writer] was to produce the conviction that no results obtained through professional mediums were to be trusted, so long as the conditions rendered fraud possible; and further, that practically all professional mediums are frauds."-- Quoted in "Are the Dead Alive?" p. 15.

So Mr. Fremont Rider concludes:

"In short, the history of mediumship is one continuous disheartening record of fraud."--Ibid.

We have found that Spiritism was truly conceived in iniquity and brought forth in sin, and that it has been propagated through trickery, deceit, and fraud. It has shown itself, by many infallible demonstrations, to be an unholy vessel dedicated to an unholy use. It has set itself, through means foul and unfair, to uproot faith in the unfailing Word of God, and to establish in its place messages and mutterings that come to us through the unsanctified lips of persons demon-possessed. It has, through its teachings, convinced myriads of judgment-bound souls that Jesus Christ, in so far as He represents Himself to be their Saviour, is an impostor; that the blood shed on Calvary makes no atonement for the sins of any soul; and thus does the author of Spiritism press another crown of thorns upon Jesus' sinless brow. Whatever God has taught us as an essential of salvation, Spiritism has sought to blow away on the breath of falsehood.

Spiritism stands before the world today as Satan's masterpiece of deception, fortifying its declarations with the voices of demons who claim to be the spirits of our dead. The chief aim of the spiritistic propaganda is to destroy faith in the true God, in Jesus Christ as the real and only Saviour of man, and in the Bible as the inspired revelation of the divine will and purpose. Every energy of its originator's being and every tenet of its creed is directed to that end.

To make that end more certain, Satan, the originator of Spiritism, has another campaign in full blast today. That is the campaign of the "higher criticism." It is industriously plowing the field and sowing the seed for the reaping of doubt and infidelity and the harvest of soul ruin that must follow its acceptance. These two agencies work hand in hand, though at first they might seem to have no connection. Each prepares the field' for the other in that both destroy faith in the Bible as God's infallible Word. When that has been accomplished for any individual, the way has been opened for the acceptance of any unbiblical doctrine that may appeal to the human intellect. As they both attack the same great Book of truth, it is a safe conclusion that the same mind conceived them both. And running through the basic principles of both, we find the same subtle insinuations against Jesus Christ as the one and only Saviour of men. Both hold to the immortality of the soul, that doctrine without which Spiritism could not exist.

The "higher critic "endeavors to present us a gospel without a Saviour (so does Spiritism); to give us a Christ in human flesh alone (so does Spiritism) ; to give us a Bible bereft of the living breath of Inspiration (so does Spiritism) ; to show us a heaven to be reached by our own unaided efforts (so does Spiritism); to prove to us that there is no real atonement in the sacrifice made on Calvary (so does Spiritism). Thus we see that both systems have the same aim,-- to belittle the Christ of God; to discount and disparage the Bible that reveals Him; and to oppose and thwart the fundamental principle of the gospel,-- salvation through Christ alone. Their chief attack is upon the Bible, and all the rest follows as a matter of course.

While the "higher critics" do not agree among themselves as to what is the proper attitude to assume toward the gospel, they are quite agreed in this, that they must not accept the Bible for all that Christians have held it to be through the generations of the past. One has tersely put it thus: "The 'higher critics,' it is clear, can unsettle many things, but they can settle nothing."

The Bible, however, must be overthrown; and they are set to accomplish that, even though they overturn their own edifice in the process.

In Roman Catholicism also we have a system that refuses to recognize the Bible as the one great revelation of the divine will. Tradition, which in our Saviour's day "made the commandment of God of none effect" (Matt. 15: 6), is exalted by the Roman Church to a position above the Bible. From a Roman Catholic work issued under the authority of Cardinal McCloskey of New York, I take the following two striking paragraphs:

"Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible and divine tradition contain the Word of God, the precious germs of revealed truths.

"Though these two divine streams are in themselves, on account of their divine origin, of equal sacredness, and are both full of revealed truths, still, of the two, tradition is to us more clear and safe. Tradition, without Holy Scripture, Old or New, sufficed for many years, and could still suffice. But Holy Scripture has never sufficed by itself." -- "Catholic Belief," by the Very Rev. Joseph Faŗ di Bruno, D. D., American edition, Benziger Brothers, New York, pp. 45, 46.

In an authorized Catholic catechism are found these two questions and answers:

"17. Is it enough to believe that only which is contained in the Holy Scripture?

"No; we must also believe tradition.

"20. Is it true that the Bible alone is the only rule of faith?

"No; for not the Bible alone, but the Bible and tradition, both infallibly interpreted by the church, are the right rule of faith."--" A Catechism of the Christian Doctrine for the Use of Catholic Schools," J. H. Slinger, O. P., "Permission Superiorum," printed by the New York Catholic Protectory, West Chester, N. Y., U. S. A., pp. 26, 27.

Concerning these marvelous assumptions, Holy Writ itself declares, in an admonition to Timothy:

"From a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Tim. 3: 15-17.

Here are two witnesses, both testifying concerning the Holy Scriptures. The one says the Holy Scriptures are not sufficient, but must have tradition to !make them sufficient. The other declares that the Holy Scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus; that they are given by God Himself to meet every human need, even to make us perfect and thoroughly furnish us to the accomplishment of "all good works." There is a very plain contradiction here. Both cannot be true. Whom shall we choose -- man or God, the Bible or its disparager? The Bible reveals one God, one Saviour, one faith, one hope, one baptism. By its divine precepts the saints of God have lived; in it they have believed; and assured by its unfailing promises, they rest in hope.

Not satisfied with placing the Bible below tradition, and declaring Holy Scripture less safe than tradition, and less efficient, the Roman Church has set itself determinedly to oppose the circulation and the reading of the Bible; and in pursuit of this end has laid the reading of the Scriptures under interdict, and through its priests has destroyed, by fire, thousands of copies of the Sacred Volume, and many individuals who persisted in reading it.

The inspiration to this sacrilege has come from the head of that church. Said Pope Pius VII:

"We have been truly shocked at this most crafty device [the establishment and work of Bible societies], by which the very foundations of religion are undermined. . . . We have deliberated upon the measures proper to be adopted by our pontifical authority, in order to remedy and abolish this pestilence, as far as possible, this defilement of the faith, so imminently dangerous to souls. It is evident from experience that the Holy Scriptures, when circulated in the vulgar tongue, have through the temerity of men, produced more harm than benefit. Warn the people intrusted to your care, that they fall not into the snares prepared for their everlasting ruin. Several of our predecessors have made laws to turn aside this scourge."-- Warning Against Bible Societies, issued from Rome, June 29, 1816, by Pope Pius VII, to the Archbishop of Gnezn, Primate of Poland.

How strange that a pope should be "shocked" by the circulation of the Word of God among the common people, and by the establishment of societies to see that it is systematically and thoroughly done! Marvel of marvels that the Bible, which is the literary fount of religion, should, by its circulation, undermine the foundations of religion! Wonder of wonders that this treasure house of the precepts of righteousness should, by its circulation among the people, prove to be a pestilence and a defilement of the faith! But such is Rome's estimate of the Book that comes to us inspired by God and freighted with the love of Christ and the blessed promises of His grace.

Cardinal Wiseman has given his testimony upon this matter in these words:

"We must deny to Protestantism any right to use the Bible, much more to interpret it." "We answer, therefore, boldly, that we give not the Word of God indiscriminately to all." "Though the Scriptures may be here [in Great Britain, with notes] permitted, we do not urge them on our people; we do not encourage them to read them; we do not spread them to the utmost among them. Certainly not."--"The Catholic Doctrine on the Use of the Bible," Cardinal Wiseman, pp. 11, 20, 26.

That great standard work on Roman Catholic affairs, the Catholic Encyclopedia, contains this very explicit statement as to that church's attitude toward the circulation of the Bible:

"The attitude of the church toward the Bible societies is one of unmistakable opposition. Believing herself to be the divinely appointed custodian and interpreter of Holy Writ, she cannot, without turning traitor to herself, approve the distribution of Scripture 'without note or comment. The fundamental fallacy of private interpretation of the Scriptures is presupposed by the Bible societies. It is the impelling motive of their work. But it would be likewise the violation of one of the first principles of the Catholic faith, . . . the insufficiency of the Scriptures alone to convey to the general reader a sure knowledge of faith and morals. . . . It may be well to give the most striking words on the subject from Leo XII and Pius IX. To quote from the former (loc. cit.):

"'You are aware, venerable brothers, that a certain Bible Society is impudently spreading throughout the world, which, despising the traditions of the holy Fathers and the decree of the Council of Trent, is endeavoring to translate, or rather to pervert the Scriptures into the vernacular of all nations. . . . It is to be feared that by false interpretation, the gospel of Christ will become the gospel of men, or still worse, the gospel of the devil.'

"The Pope then urges the bishops to admonish their flocks that owing to human temerity, more harm than good may come from indiscriminate Bible reading.

"Pope Pius IX says (loc. cit.): 'These crafty Bible societies, which renew the ancient guile of heretics, cease not to thrust their Bibles upon all men, even the unlearned,-- their Bibles, which have been translated against the laws of the church. . . . Thus the divine traditions, the teaching of the Fathers, and the authority of the Catholic Church are rejected.' "-- The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. II, art. "Bible Societies," page 545.

Strange, is it not? that the pope should fear such dire consequences, when even Catholics are forced to admit that in lands where the Bible is unchained and most freely read, there crime and immorality are least, and where the Bible is most securely bound and most seldom seen, there crime and immorality flourish and increase! Father Elliott, in the Catholic World (September, 1890), made this honest confession:

"The horrible truth is, that in many cities, big and little, we have something like a monopoly of selling liquor, and in not a few something equivalent to a monopoly of getting drunk. I hate to acknowledge it, yet from Catholic domiciles -- miscalled homes -- in those cities and towns three fourths of the public paupers creep annually to the alms-house, and more than half the criminals snatched away by police to prison, are, by baptism and training, members of our church. Can any one deny this, or can any one deny that the identity of nominal Catholics and pauperism existing in our chief centers of population is owing to the drunkenness of Roman Catholics? For twenty years the clergy of this parish have had a hard and uneven fight to keep saloons from the very church doors, because the neighborhood of the Roman Catholic Church is a good stand for the saloon business; and this equally so in nearly every city in America. Who has not burned with shame to run the gauntlet of the saloons lining the way to the Roman Catholic cemetery?"

In a paper read at the Catholic Congress, Columbian Exposition, Chicago, U. S. A., in 1893, Miss M. T. Elder, of New Orleans, made the following statements:

"Why is it that the greatest men of our nation are non-Catholic? It is because the vast majority of these great men are from sturdy rural stock, and the rural stock of the United States is solidly, stanchly Protestant. . . . The great men of this nation have been, are, and will continue to be, Protestant. I speak not of wealth, but of brain, of energy, of action, of heart. The great philanthropists, the great orators, the great writers, thinkers, leaders, scientists, inventors, teachers of our land, have been Protestants. . . . When I see how largely Catholicity is represented in our hoodlum element, I feel in no 'spread-eagle' mood. When I see how few Catholics are engaged honestly in tilling the honest soil, and how many Catholics are engaged in the liquor traffic, I cannot talk buncombe to anybody."-- Quoted in "Facing the Twentieth Century," pp. 508, 509.

When individual Catholics have to make such embarrassing admissions as to the failure of their system of religion, one would suppose that they would begin to inquire as to the cause. They would find it more than merely in the name Protestant and the fact that so large a proportion of Protestants get their living from the soil. They would find it in the fact that Protestantism encourages the reading and the study of the Bible. In that Word, God speaks to the soul of man. He who denies himself that divine instruction and that source of inspiration, cannot expect to win in the race for all that is highest and best and most worth while.

William Tyndale (1484-1536), eminent Reformer and translator of the Bible, in speaking of the attitude of the priests toward the Holy Book, uses these piercing words:

"Scourge of states, devastators of kingdoms, the priests take away not only the Holy Scripture, but also prosperity and peace." "The priests, when they had slain Christ, set poleaxes to keep Him in His sepulcher, that He should not rise again; even so have our priests buried the Testament of God, and all their study is to keep it down, that it rise not again."-- Tyndale, "Doctrinal Tracts," pp. 191, 251.

We have seen, thus, how a triumvirate of opposition has been created in this world to ruin the influence of the Bible and thwart the vital purpose of the gospel as revealed therein. It may be objected that the last-named organization is not set to do all this . Let us see. Spiritism presents Jesus as a great teacher only, whose sacrifice can save no one. The "higher criticism" assumes practically the same position. Roman Catholicism presents Him as one who can be reached only through priests, saints, and the virgin Mary, who receives her requests as commands. It represents Him as giving to her His place as the only refuge for sinners, the only way of salvation, so that He who came to this earth as the Redeemer of man is to be put as far away from man as the human imagination can place Him.

In a work entitled, "The Glories of Mary," by St. Alphonso M. Liguori, Mary is made all that the Lord Christ claimed that He came to earth to be for man. A few extracts only will be given from that work, in which this claim is repeatedly made:

"The devout Blosius, addressing the Virgin, says: 'O lady, to thee are intrusted the keys and treasures of heaven.' "--Page 338.

"Open to us, O Mary, the gates of heaven, since thou hast the keys; nay, thou thyself art, as the holy church calls thee, 'the gate of heaven.'"--Ibid.

"Says St. Thomas, as mariners are directed to the port by the polestar, so Christians are guided to paradise by Mary."-- Ibid.

"This Mary herself declares: 'By me kings reign.' "-- Page 340.

In a word, Mary,' says Richard of St. Lawrence, 'is mistress of paradise; for there she commands as she pleases, and introduces whom she pleases.' "-- Ibid.

"He who serves Mary, and for whom Mary intercedes, is as secure of heaven as if he were in that blessed kingdom."--Page 341.

"On the other hand, he says that they who do not serve Mary shall not be saved."-- Ibid.

"Eternal praise to the infinite goodness of our God who has decreed to appoint Mary our advocate in heaven, that, as mother of the Judge, and as mother of mercy, she may by her intercession efficaciously and successfully negotiate the great business of our eternal salvation."-- Ibid.

"Since God wishes to dispense all His graces through the prayers of Mary, when these are wanting, there is no hope of mercy."--Page 353.

"St. Peter Chrysologus says that Mary alone, having lodged in her womb the Son of God, demands in return peace for the world, salvation for the lost, and life for the dead."-- Page 359.

"Let us always have recourse to this great mother of mercy, and let us confidently hope to be saved through intercession; for, according to Bernadine da Busto, she is our salvation, our life, our hope, counsel, refuge, succor."-- Page 360.

"At the mention of thy [Mary's] name, every knee should bend, in heaven, on earth, and in hell."-- Page 364.

"St. Bernardine of Sienna says . . . that he has no doubt but God granted all the mercies and all the pardons received by sinners in the old law in consideration of this blessed Virgin."-- Page 135.

It can readily be seen from the quotations given that Mary is credited by the Roman Church with what are really the attributes of Deity. As mother of Jesus, her requests are received by Him as commands. She is declared to be the queen of heaven, and is placed on an equality with God the Father in the giving of Jesus as a sacrifice for sin. At the Nicaene Council held in 325 to condemn the heresy of Anus, who denied the true deity of Christ, there was a strong tendency to put the creature, Mary, on a level with her Creator.

"The Melchite section held that there were three persons in the Trinity -- the Father, the virgin Mary, and Messiah, their Son."--" Nimrod," 3, p. 329, quoted in Quarterly Journal of Prophecy, July, 1852, p. 244.

She, in the program of Romanism, usurps the prerogatives of Jesus as the way and guide to heaven and the refuge of sinners who seek for divine grace. Through the position given her by the Roman Church, Mary is made the real ruler of heaven, and thus of the universe.

Notes

"Sedet super universam,"[1] is the only appellation which expresses the position to which the virgin Mary has been elevated by such doctors and saints of the Roman Church as have expressed Catholic belief in the foregoing extracts. In that program, the Lord Jesus Christ seems to be fading out of sight, and the human mother is exalted to the highest place in the universe. The Saviour, who came to give His life as a ransom for repentant sinners, and to be the one Mediator between God and mankind, is mercilessly pushed one side, and a mediator whom the gospel never knew and the Bible never declared or recognized, is thrust into His place.

We see thus a triumvirate of conspiracy against the Bible and the Christ of the Bible. Romanism, Spiritism, and apostate Protestantism (represented in the "higher criticism ") form that triumvirate. The prince of this world, through that triumvirate of disloyalty, has determined to destroy from the earth every vestige of faith in Christ as the real Saviour of the world, in the Bible as the mouthpiece of God and the only revelation of God's will, and in the gospel it reveals as the only method of salvation. Will he succeed?

Our Saviour foresaw the struggle that was to come, and asked the question, "When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8. The form of the question indicates the violence of the struggle the enemy of souls

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would make to destroy faith. Nevertheless, we shall not lose hope; for our Redeemer, looking through and beyond that struggle, saw a small company whose fealty had not faltered, and He said of them, "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Rev. 14: 12.

Satan's campaign of treason against High Heaven will not triumph, though supported by the mightiest organizations the minds of men have ever conceived. There is indeed something to be overcome; but "be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out." "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne." Rev. 2:10; 3:12,21.

Notes

[1] "Sedet super usversam" (she is placed over all, meaning, she rules all there is to be ruled), is the Inscription on the reverse side of a medal struck by Pope Leo XII in 1735. On that medal appears the figure of a woman with a cup in one hand and a cross in the other, and with sun rays streaming from her head. This figure is intended, no doubt, to represent the church.


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