IT is a fact which Roman Catholic apologists would gladly have hidden from the light, that the pitiable condition of Spain to-day, as revealed in her impotent struggles to maintain her place in the family of nations, is due more than to anything else to the Roman Catholic religion.
For centuries the government of Spain has been in the closest alliance with the papacy. The papal religion has been the religion of all the Spanish people. No person not a Catholic could secure any office under the government, or hold any position of influence among the people. The State is Catholic, the army and navy are Catholic, the people of all classes are Catholic, and all this has been so for centuries. The papal religion has had a free field; it has been without one rival. These are facts which not even the most ardent Catholic can deny.
What, then, has the papal religion done for Spain? Has it done anything for them? Has it had no effect upon the people and upon the State through all the years of their faithful adherence to it?
If not, what force has it, and of what use has it been to its adherents? But no intelligent person can seriously assert that it has not had an effect, and a most powerful effect, upon the people who have so faithfully practiced  it. In the very nature of things, such an assertion could not be true. It is impossible that a person should make any principles a part of his daily practice and experience, and the basis of his daily thought and hopes and aspirations, as is done in the practice of religion, without being profoundly affected by them. It cannot be otherwise than that these principles should be absorbed into his very being until they become a part of it, and mold his character into conformity with them. This is a law of nature, as immutable as the law of gravitation.
The Word of God declares, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” This declaration is true if God himself is true: and as certainly as it is true, and as certainly as it must be that the character is molded to the principles embodied in the thoughts and practices of the life, so certainly must it be that the principles of the papal religion, faithfully practiced through centuries by the Spanish people, have affected them, have molded their character, and have more than anything else made the Spanish nation what it is to-day.
This is the plain truth. It is asserted by the laws of nature and by observation; by reason and by revelation. And papal spokesmen cannot deny nor evade it.
And therefore the decadence and fall of Spain constitute incontestable proof of the worse than worthlessness of the papal religion. No papal apologist will ever be able to say, because it cannot be said, why that religion, it if is worth anything, has brought the Spanish nation where it is to-day.
A religion which will not mold the character is worthless, and therefore it must be admitted that the papal religion, if not impotent, does mold the character, and has molded the character of the Spanish people. They have been faithful to that religion, both in the church and the state; and therefore it has done all it can do for them, and what that is may be seen in the utter humiliation of Spain to-day.
The same story is told, only less fully, by the other faithful Catholic nations. Austria is to-day a decaying and crumbling empire; and France—what prosperous nation envies her? Crushed to the ground with paralyzing swiftness in 1870, she has ever since showed signs of weakness rather than of strength. And the republics of Spanish America are emerging into the light of civil and intellectual freedom only as they as shaking off the long nightmare of priestly domination.
Who that is not wilfully blind can fail to recognize these facts? And why will people be blind to truths so palpable, and fail to be admonished by them to be vigilantly on their guard against the encroachments of Rome?
PROPER legislation restrains man only in that which is criminal.
THE best way to honor the flag is to live out the principles for which it stands.