A PRESS dispatch speaking of the pope’s encyclical says:—
The pope tells the American Catholics that it is their duty to cherish the Constitution of their country, and says that it does not interfere in any way with their duties to their church.
We do not so read the encyclical. On the contrary, the pope distinctly tells “American Catholics that it is their duty to cherish” the principles of Romanism, and that, “it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the church; or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced.” This is the very opposite to telling “American Catholics that it is their duty to cherish the Constitution of their country.”
TWENTY Seventh-day Adventists are under indictment in a single county in Tennessee for Sunday work, the cases to be tried in March. In all such cases in Tennessee where the accused have been convicted, they have refused to pay their fines and have gone to jail. Now the legislature of that State has before it a bill to establish a whipping-post for the punishment of minor offenses. A Tennessee paper remarks: “While such a law smacks of barbarism, yet we think it would be a good thing. For a small offense take the culprit and give him a severe chastisement, which will teach him to go and sin no more, and will also rid the country of expenses caused by his incarceration.”
We do not say nor do we think that there is any connection between the facts stated and the proposed legislation; but with such a law upon the statute books, how long will it be ere Tennessee will be whipping Seventh-day Adventists for exercising their God-given right to work six days after having kept the seventh day “according to the commandment”?
From page-proofs of the Arkansas Reporter kindly forwarded us, we learn that Arkansas has revived its persecution of Seventh-day Adventist, notwithstanding seventh-day observers are exempted by the statute from the penalties of the Sunday law of the State. The victim this time is J. W. Huddleston of Ft. Smith, who was arraigned before the Justice of the Peace, January 30, and fined one dollar and costs (amounting to $17.00) for hauling wood on the previous Sunday. The case has been appealed. The Justice is a Roman Catholic, and was under the influence of liquor when he rendered the decision. However, these latter facts are cited as mitigating circumstances; but when we say this we wish thereby to emphasize the fact that this same terrible sin against God, and crime against man, is committed, in other States, by professed Protestant Christians while sober, and soberly defended, with few noble exceptions, by the denominational press of the country.
IN an article in the Catholic World for February, Priest Elliott, referring to the work of the Salvation Army, says:—
If a bishop and one or two able priests would start street preaching, assisted it might be by men or women of the laity, the results would be marvelous. Some of us little dream that there is a distinct class of street people, grown in later years into many thousands in every great centre of population. They live on the street as much as the climate allows, they read their penny papers on the streets, they are taught by their petty leaders on the streets—the street is a roomier place, a freer place, and just as clean a place as where they are supposed to live, but where they only sleep. When the Catholic Church takes to the streets with its representatives high and low, it will reach these street people. They are not all bad, many of them are fairly good Catholics, and these would secure a respectful hearing—but that is certain anyway. And meantime our highly educated and zealous priesthood would simply revolutionize for good the street life which at present is often a menace to public order, and is addressed on religious topics by men and women who play soldier and beat bass drums.
This suggestion shows how thoroughly alive the Roman Catholic Church is becoming to the possibilities that are before her in this country. Rome has entered upon an active propaganda in the United States. Hitherto it has been her policy to work quietly, to make proselytes simply of those who were thrown directly in her way; but now it is proposed that she go out in the streets and openly invite to her communion the rich and the poor. No longer content to grow simply by immigration and by the natural increase of the Catholic population, she proposes to compete with Protestantism for the floating masses that have no church relations; or who, if they have, as a rule, know nothing of the power of a living faith, and so can be beguiled by the arts of Rome.
IN the Catholic World for February, Priest Elliott, in describing his “Mission to Non-Catholics,” has this to say of his “Question Box“:—
The questions were not numerous and far from interesting, at best to the lecturers. One old gentleman insisted night after night on our explaining the prophecies about the scarlet woman, the Babylon on seven hills, the abomination of desolation, and the man of sin. We informed him and the audience that he was behind the times, as contemporary Protestant commentators did not generally affirm the Catholic Church to be the fulfillment of these prophecies.
The old gentleman might as well have saved himself the trouble of pressing his question. Roman Catholic priests will not discuss that subject. But it does not settle the matter to say that “contemporary Protestant commentators do not generally affirm the Catholic Church to be the fulfillment of those prophecies.” The question is not what weak-kneed, so-called Protestants of to-day affirm, but what did genuine Protestant commentators of past generations prove by the most indisputable evidences?
THE Catholic Mirror has made a wonderful discovery, namely, that Luther is responsible for the prevalence of suicide in this the nineteenth century; it says:—
It is a lamentable fact that suicide is but too common, and is said by statisticians to be steadily increasing. Without Christian faith it is, indeed, true that life in certain conditions would be insupportable; among heathen nations it is as we know of little value. There appears to be also, as was recently pointed out by a writer, a growing debility of nerve among people of the present generation and a physical incapacity to endure misfortune or suffering which did not formerly exist…. The feeling of despair really began with Luther’s reformation and the extent to which it has deepened and increased since can be readily traced.
This is indeed remarkable; the preaching of justification by faith instead of by works induces such a feeling of despair that men hasten to take their own lives. Profound thought!