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
"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?"
"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
"'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.
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
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.,
"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.
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
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:
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
"Like two sacred rivers flowing from Paradise, the Bible and
divine tradition contain the Word of God, the precious germs of
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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.
"Sedet super universam,"
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
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.
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
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