THE city of Montreal, Canada, is under the control of the Roman Catholic Church. Here, the church, though influenced to some extent by the presence of Protestants in the city, has matters somewhat to her liking. Of course, she cannot punish heretics with civil pains and penalties as of old, since an appeal to the higher courts of the Dominican which are under English influence have been fined for refusing to remove the hat at the passing of a Catholic procession, and for crossing a street occupied by a church parade.
While the church is limited in the use of one of her two potent weapons—the civil law—she uses the other, the ecclesiastical boycott, for all it is worth. And it is worth millions.
It is quite generally understood that the Roman Catholic Church does make merchandise of the souls of men in collecting millions upon millions of dollars annually from her deluded votaries for the hastening of the souls of men through the terrible flames of purgatory. While this trading in the souls of men brings in this enormous revenue, the church does not let the body escape untaxed, as appears from an investigation of her burial laws now in force in Montreal.
In order to appreciate the situation there it must be borne in mind that the church teaches that the bodies of Roman Catholics must be buried in ground consecrated by the church, from which are excluded the contaminating bones of heretics. To be buried outside of this consecrated ground is regarded by the faithful as the greatest of calamities. With this idea in mind, the reader will understand how it is possible for the Roman Catholic Church to impose on the people in the manner indicated by the following facts:—
The church authorities in charge of the Catholic cemetery of Montreal, like the authorities of non-Catholic burial grounds, sell burial plots. But here the likeness ends. Not satisfied with the revenue collected by chasing the soul through purgatory, so long as there are living friends to pay for the chasing, the church now starts in pursuit of the body and levies on it as long as there are living friends to pay the tax, after which the bones are chased out of the cemetery and dumped with others in a nameless grave. Notwithstanding relatives have paid from four to twenty dollars for a resting place for the body of the deceased, still, at the end of every five years, they are taxed an amount equal to the first cost of the plot; and if for any reason the relatives fail to raise the amount, they must bear the shame and endure the sorrow of having the body of a loving father or mother, the remains of a companion sister or brother, or the sacred dust of an angel-faced child, distinterred and mingled with the bones of hundreds of other “evicted tenants” in a potter’s field,—a nameless grave. A wanderer in a foreign land, on returning home and paying a visit to a mother’s grave, would find the marble slab gone, and in its place another, marking the grave of a stranger.
But, says the non-Catholic, let the Catholic bury his relatives where the mercenary hand of Rome will not disturb their dust. But the church has taught them that this is to exchange a life in paradise for the pains of hell. There is no escape from this tyranny, but separation from the “holy mother church,” which means to the Catholic the loss of everything.
Thus it is seen that the church corrals the souls of men in purgatory and taxes them until the day of judgment, and in like manner corrals their bodies in “consecrated” ground and taxes them until exhumed by the sexton’s pick, or “the trump of God.” Verily, the Roman Catholic Church, at least in Montreal, literally fulfills the description of Revelation 18, and makes merchandise of the “slaves, [Greek, bodies] and souls of men.”
Oh, that the deluded victims of the papacy would flee this tyranny and refuse longer to permit “the church” to make merchandise of both body and soul! Let them trust in Him who said, “I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25), and who has promised that even the unconsecrated sea shall give up her dead. “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, … and they were judged [not according to their burial place, but] according to their works.” Revelation 20:13.