IT is positively stated that the pope has determined to make an appeal to the Anglican Church, and will summon the Catholic bishops of Nottingham, Salford and Southwick to Rome to consult with him in regard to a plan of reunion between the English and Roman churches.
REFERENCE was made in these columns last week to a very remarkable and significant movement recently inaugurated in Bay City, Mich. The Detroit Free Press of January 21 gives some additional particulars, as follows:—
A second informal meeting of the clergymen of Bay City and West Bay City was held in the parlors of the First Presbyterian Church this morning at 10 o’clock. There were nine ministers and six priests present. Since the meeting last Monday an effort has been made to get more of the Protestant ministers out, but the success in that respect was not encouraging. It is expected, however, before the next meeting more of them will wheel into line and work with those who are already in the movement. It is a matter of surprise that certain prominent clergymen have not attended the meetings. Everything was harmonious this morning. An earnest desire was expressed that all clergymen in both cities attend the next meeting to be held in the vestry of Trinity Church Saturday morning at 10 o’clock. At this meeting some definite arrangements looking to a realization of the objects which gave rise to the Christian unity movement will be settled upon.
The “object” is stated to be not “church union,” but “Christian unity.” That is not organic union but union of influence; not a union upon truth but a union of error. But the word of the Lord is, “Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. And he shall be for a sanctuary.”
The priests and the popular preachers are alarmed because their influence is waning. They have lost the power of the gospel, and instead of seeking by humble repentance to recover this, they confederate themselves together that they may by united action secure for themselves the power of the State; thus not the Lord but the State is their sanctuary. Truly, “Babylon is fallen”!
NOW that the House Committee on Indian Affairs has recommended that the Government discontinue the policy of appropriating money for sectarian schools, we will be able to test the power of the papacy in American politics.
THE Roman Catholic Church bitterly opposes the present attempt to cut off Government appropriations for the Indian schools. Even the pope is watching the struggle with intense interest. Bishop Keane relates that the pope received the news of the last failure to dislodge the Catholics from the United States treasury with great satisfaction.
WE are informed that warrants will soon be issued upon the twenty indictments found against Seventh-day Adventists at Graysville, Tenn., for Sunday work, and that probably the cases will be called for trial at the March term of the Circuit Court of Rhea County. It has been suggested however that these cases can be compromised by the Adventists paying a part of the costs. But as Adventists, like Baptists of old, choose to suffer imprisonment rather than compromise the principle at stake, we may expect to see the State authorities surrender, or enter upon the work of imprisoning a whole church of peaceable, industrious Christians.
THE papal encyclical of January 6th, briefly commented upon on the first page of this paper, is the most remarkable production of the kind in modern times. It shows more clearly than anything else could, the real purpose of Rome concerning the United States and the world. It is specially significant in view of previous utterances. In 1885, in an encyclical addressed especially to the Roman Catholics of the United States, Leo XIII. said:—
All Catholics must make themselves felt as active elements in daily political life in the countries where they live. They must penetrate, wherever possible, in the administration of civil affairs; must constantly exert the utmost vigilance and energy to prevent the usages of liberty from going beyond the limits of God’s fixed laws. [The laws of the Roman Catholic Church.] All Catholics should do all in their power to cause the constitutions of States and legislation to be modeled in the principles of the true church.
In his latest encyclical the pope tells plainly what “the principles of the true church” are as concerns the relations of Church and State. The two encyclicals in effect command American Catholics to do all in their power to bring about in the United States such a union of Church and State as will give the Roman Catholic Church “the favor of the laws and the patronage of the public authority.” But after all the gravest danger that threatens our free institutions is from Protestants who have proved recreant to their principles, and who, by invoking in behalf of the Church the influence and power of the State, have mightily strengthened the hands of the papacy in its assaults upon American principles.
THE Evangelist (Presbyterian), in commenting on the pope’s encyclical, says that “it needs but a superficial comparison of the Roman Catholic Church in America with that in European States to show that the spirit of that church in this country is essentially different from the traditional spirit as exemplified in France, or Austria, or Italy, or Ireland.” The Evangelist is quite right; only a superficial, a very superficial, comparison, would show this difference. The Roman Catholic Church is a unit the world over; what she is in France, Austria, Italy, Ireland, or ever in Spain, she is in spirit and purpose in America.