December 23, 1897
THE mission of the church is not to decide what is right. God has already decided that by his Word.
THERE are quite a number of people in the world besides Leo XIII who believe that they can, upon demand, speak with infallibility.
THOSE people who think the government would be made better by professing Christianity, should remember that the very worst hypocrites do that.
IF only the grace of God can enable even a good man to do right, what is there short of the grace of God that can make a bad man do right?
THE name of God put in the Constitution can no more make that a Christian document than can a crucifix make a Christian of him who wears it.
THE devil doesn’t care how religious a thing is, so long as it embodies what is wrong and unjust. The most wicked of all evil deeds have been done under a form of piety.
IF all the ministers in the land should take hold of politics, to “elevate them,” this would not at all change the nature of politics. Politics are what they are to-day because it is the nature of politics to become corrupt.
IF the clergy were all in agreement upon the subject of religion, to which they have so long devoted their attention, we could with more assurance accept their dictum on the subject of politics, to which they are comparative strangers.
THE idea that the state can properly teach morals is the idea that a man can teach himself morals; since the voice of the state is only the voice of the men composing it; and this is only the old pagan idea that a man can be his own saviour.