Again, suppose for a moment that the Blessed Savior has been
less wise than human governments, and that He had not provided for the
understanding of His Constitution, and of His Law of the Church of God. If He
had not, my dear people, it would never have stood as it has stood for the last
eighteen hundred and fifty four years. He has then established a Supreme Court,
a Supreme Judge in the Church of the Living God.
It is admitted on all sides, by Protestants and Catholics alike
acknowledged, that Christ has established a Church; and, strange to say, all our
Protestant friends acknowledge, too, that He has established but one Church, but
one Church. for, whenever Christ speaks of His Church, it is always in the
singular. Bible readers, remember that; my Protestant friends, pay attention. He
says: Hear the Church, not "hear the churches" I have built My Church upon a
rock", not My churches.
Whenever He speaks, whether in figures or parables of His
Church, He always conveys to the mind a oneness, a union, a unity.
He speaks of His Church as a sheepfold, in which there is but
one shepherd that is the head of all, and the sheep are made to follow his
voice; "other sheep I have who are not of this fold." One fold, you see. He
speaks of His Church as of a kingdom, in which there is but one king to rule
all; speaks of His Church as a family in which there is but one father at the
head; speaks of His Church as a tree, and all the branches of that tree are
connected to the trunk, and the trunk with the roots; and Christ is the root,
and the trunk is Peter and the Popes, and the large branches are the bishops,
and the smaller branches the priests, and the fruit upon the tree are the
faithful throughout the world; and the branch, says He, that is cut off from
that tree shall wither away, produce no fruit, and is only fit to be cast into
the fire, that is, damnation.
This is plain speaking, my dear people; but there is no use in
covering the Truth. I want to speak the Truth to you, as the Apostles preached
it in their time; no salvation out of the Church of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Now, which is that Church? There are now three hundred and
fifty different Protestant churches in existence, and almost ever year one or
two more are added; and besides this number there is the Roman Catholic Church.
Now, which of all these varied churches is the one Church of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? All claim to be the Church of Jesus.
But, my dear beloved people, it is evident no church can be
the Church of Jesus except the one that was established by Jesus. And when did
Jesus establish His Church? When? When He was here upon earth. And how long ago
is it that Christ was on earth? You know our Christian era dates from Him. He
was born many centuries ago. That is an historical fact admitted by all. He
lived on earth thirty-three years. That was about nineteen centuries before our
time. That is the time Christ established His Church on earth. Any Church, then,
that has not existed thus long, is not the Church of Jesus Christ, but is the
institution or invention of some man or other; not of God, not of Christ, but of
Now, where is the Church, and which is the Church that has
existed thus long? All history informs you that it is the Catholic Church; She,
and She only among all Christian denominations on the face of the earth, has
existed so long. All history, I say, bears testimony to this; not only Catholic
history, but Pagan history, Jewish history, and Protestant history, indirectly.
The history, then, of all nations, of all people, bears
testimony that the Catholic Church is the oldest, the first; is the one
established by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If there be any Protestant preacher who can prove that the
Catholic Church has come into existence since that time let him come to see me,
and I will give him a thousand dollars. My dear preachers, here is the chance of
making money; a thousand dollars for you.
Not only all history, but all the monuments of antiquity bear
testimony to this, and all nations of the earth proclaim it. Call on one of your
preachers and ask him which was the first church, the first Christian Church.
Was it Presbyterian, the Episcopalian, the Church of England, the Methodist, the
Universalist or the Unitarian? And they will answer you it was the Catholic
But, my dear friend, if you admit that the Catholic Church is
the first and oldest, the Church established by Christ, why are you not a
Catholic? To this they answer that the Catholic Church has become corrupted; has
fallen into error, and that, therefore, it was necessary to establish a new
church. A new church, a new religion.
And to this we answer: that if the Catholic Church had been
once the True Church, then She is True yet, and shall be the True Church of God
to the end of time, or Jesus Christ has deceived us.
Hear me, Jesus, here what I say! I say that if the Catholic
Church now, in the nineteenth century, is not the True Church of God as she was
1854 years ago, then I say, Jesus, Thou has deceived us, and Thou art an
impostor! And if I do not speak the truth, Jesus, strike me dead in this pulpit,
let me fall dead in this pulpit, for I do not want to be a preacher of a false
I will prove what I have said. If the Catholic Church has been
once the True Church of God, as is admitted by all, then She is the True Church
yet, and shall be the True Church of God until the end of time, for Christ has
promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church. He says
that He has built it upon a rock, and that the gates of hell shall never prevail
Now, my dear people, if the Catholic Church has fallen into
error, then the gates of hell have prevailed against her; and if the gates of
hell have prevailed against her, the Christ has not kept His promise, then He
has deceived us, and if He has deceived us, the He is an impostor! If He be an
impostor, then He is not God, and if He be not God, then all Christianity is a
cheat and in imposition.
Again, in St. Matthew, 28th chapter and verses nineteen and
twenty, our Divine Savior says to His Apostles: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you." "Lo," says He, "I, Jesus, the Son of the Living God, I, the Infinite
Wisdom, the Eternal Truth, am with you all days, even until the end of the
Christ, then, solemnly swears that He shall be with His Church
all days to the end of time, to the consummation of the world. But Christ cannot
remain with the Church that teaches error, or falsehood, or corruption. If,
therefore, the Catholic Church has fallen into error and corruption, as our
Protestant friends say She has, then Christ must have abandoned Her; if so, He
has broken His oath; if He has broken His oath He is a perjurer, and there is no
Christianity at all. Again, our Divine Savior (St. John, 14th chapter), has
promised that He would send to His Church the Spirit of truth, to abide with Her
forever. If, then, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of Truth, teaches the Church all
Truth, and teaches her all Truth forever, then there never has been, and never
can be, one single error in the Church of God, for where there is all Truth,
there is no error whatsoever.
Christ has solemnly promised that He will send to the Church
the Spirit of Truth, who shall teach all Truth forever; therefore, there has
never been a single error in the Church of God, or Christ has failed in His
promise if there has.
Again, Christ commands us to hear and believe the teachings of
the Church in all things; at all times and in all places. He does not say hear
the Church for a thousand years or for fifteen hundred years, but hear the
Church, without any limitation, without any reservation, or any restriction of
time whatever. That is, at all times; in all things until the end of time, and
he that does not hear the Church let him be unto thee, says Christ, as a heathen
and as a publican. Therefore, Christ says that those who refuse to hear the
Church must be looked upon as heathens; and what is a heathen? One that does not
worship the True God; and a publican is a public sinner. This is strong
language. Could Christ command me to believe the Church if the Church could have
lead me astray could lead me into error? If the teaching of the Church be
corrupt, could He, the God of Truth, command me without any restriction or
limitation to hear and believe the teachings of the Church which He established?
Again: Our Divine Savior commands me to hear and believe the
teachings of the Church in the same manner as if He Himself were to speak to us.
"He that heareth you," says He, in His charge to the Apostles, "heareth Me, and
he that despiseth you despiseth Me." So then, when I believe what the Church
teaches I believe what God teaches.
If I refuse what the Church teaches I refuse what God teaches.
So that Christ has made the Church the organ by which He speaks to man, and
tells us positively that we must believe the teaching of the Church as if He
Himself were to speak to us.
Therefore, says St. Paul, in his Epistle to Timothy, "the
Church is the ground", that is, the strong foundation "and pillar of the Truth."
Take the ground or foundation of this edifice away, and it crumbles down; so
with regard to these pillars upon which the roof rests; take them away and the
roof will fall in; so St. Paul says, "The Church is the ground and the pillar of
Truth," and the moment you take away the authority of the Church of God you
induce all kinds of errors and blasphemous doctrines. Do we not see it?
In the sixteenth century Protestantism did away with the
authority of the Church and constituted every man his own judge of the Bible,
and what was the consequence? Religion upon religion, church upon church, sprang
into existence, and has never stopped springing up new churches to this day.
When I gave my mission in Flint, Michigan, I invited, as I have done here, my
Protestant friends to come and see me. A good and intelligent man came to me and
"I will avail myself of this opportunity to converse with
"What Church do you belong to, my friend," said I.
"To the Church of the Twelve Apostles," said he.
"Ha! ha!" said I, "I belong to that Church, too. But, tell me,
my friend, where was your Church started?"
"In Terre Haute, Indiana," says he.
"Who started the Church, and who were the Twelve Apostles, my
friend?" said I.
"They were twelve farmers," said he; "we all belonged to the
same Church, the Presbyterian, but we quarreled with our preacher, separated
from him, and started a Church of our own."
"And that," said I, "is the Twelve Apostles you belonged to,
twelve farmers of Indiana! The Church came into existence about thirty years
A few years ago, When I was in Terre Haute, I asked to be
shown the Church of the Twelve Apostles. I was taken to a window and it was
pointed out to me, "but it is not in existence any more," said my informant, "it
is used as a wagon maker's shop now."
Again, St. Paul, in his Epistles to the Galatians, says:
"Though we Apostles, or even an angel of light were to come and preach to you a
different Gospel from what we have preached, let him be anathema." That is the
language of St. Paul, because, my dearly beloved people, religion must come from
God, not from man. No man has a right to establish a religion; no man has a
right to dictate to his fellow man what he shall believe and what he shall do to
save his soul. Religion must come from God, and any religion that is not
established by God is a false religion, and a human institution, and not an
institution of God; and therefore did St. Paul say in his Epistles to the
Galatians, "Though we Apostles, or even an angel of light were to come and
preach to you a different Gospel from what we have preached, let him be
You see, then, my dearly beloved people, from the text of the
Scripture I have quoted that, if the Catholic Church has once been the True
Church, then She is yet the True Church.
You have also seen from what I have said that the Catholic
Church is the institution of God, and not of man, and this is a fact, a fact of
history, and no fact of history is so well supported, so well proved, as that
the Catholic Church is the first, the Church established by Jesus Christ.
So, in like manner, it is an historical fact that all the
Protestant churches are the institutions of man, every one of them. And I will
give you their dates, and the names of their founders or instituters.
In the year 1520, 368 years ago, the first Protestant came
into the world. Before that one there was not a Protestant in the world, not one
on the face of the whole earth; and that one, as all history tells us, was
Martin Luther, who was a Catholic Priest, who fell away from the Church through
pride, and married a nun. He was excommunicated from the Church, cut off,
banished, and made a new religion of his own.
Before Martin Luther there was not a Protestant in the world;
he was the first to raise the standard of rebellion and revolt against the
Church of God. He said to his disciples that they should take the Bible for
their guide, and they did so. But they soon quarreled with him, Zwingli, and a
number of others, and every one of them started a new religion of his own.
After the disciples of Martin Luther came John Calvin, who in
Geneva established the Presbyterian religion, and hence, almost all of those
religions go by the name of their founder.
I ask the Protestant, "Why are you a Lutheran, my friend?"
"Well, says he, "because I believe in the doctrine of Martin
Hence, not of Christ, but of man, Martin Luther. And what kind
of man was he? A man who had broken the solemn oath he had made at the altar of
God, at his ordination, ever to lead a pure, single, and virginal life. He broke
that solemn oath, and married a Sister Catherine, who had also taken the same
oath of chastity and virtue. And this was the first founder of Protestantism in
the world. The very name by which they are known tells you they came from Martin
So. The Presbyterians are sometimes called Calvinists because
they come from, or profess to believe in, John Calvin.
After them came Henry VIII. He was a Catholic, and defended
the Catholic religion; he wrote a book against Martin Luther in defense of the
Catholic doctrine. That book I have myself seen in the library of the Vatican at
Rome a few years ago. Henry VIII defended the religion, and for doing so was
titled by the Pope "Defender of the Faith." It came down with his successors,
and Queen Victoria inherits it today. He was married to Catherine of Aragon; but
there was at his court a maid of honor to the Queen, named Ann Boleyn, who was a
beautiful woman, and captivating in appearance. Henry was determined to have
her. But he was a married man. He put in a petition to the Pope to be allowed to
marry her; and a foolish petition it was, for the Pope had no power to grant the
prayer of it. The Pope and all the bishops of the world cannot go against the
will of God. Christ says: "If a man putteth away his wife and marrieth another,
he committeth adultery, and he that marrieth her who is put away committeth
As the Pope would not grant the prayer of Henry's petition he
took Ann Boleyn anyhow, and was excommunicated from the Church.
After awhile there was another maid of honor prettier than the
first, more beautiful and charming in the eyes of Henry, and he said he must
have her, too. He took the third wife, and a fourth, fifth and sixth followed.
Now this is the founder of the Anglican Church, the Church of England; and,
therefore, it is that it goes by the name of the Church of England.
Our Episcopalian friends are making great efforts nowadays to
call themselves Catholic, but they shall never come to it. They own that the
name Catholic is a glorious one, and they would like to possess it. The Apostles
said: "I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church"; they never said,
in the Anglican Church. The Anglicans deny their religion, for they say they
believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church. Ask them if they are
Catholics, and they say, "Yes, but not Roman Catholics; we are English
Catholics." What is the meaning of the word Catholic? It comes from the Greek
word Catholicus; universal, spread all over the earth, and everywhere the same.
Now, first of all, the Anglican Church is not spread all over the earth; it only
exists in a few countries, and chiefly only where the English language is
spoken. Secondly, they are not the same all over the earth, for there are now
four different Anglican churches; the Low Church, the High Church, the Ritualist
Church and the Puseyite Church. Catholicus means more than this, not only spread
all over the earth and everywhere the same, but it means, moreover, at all times
the same, from Christ up to the present day. Now, then, they have not been in
existence from the time of Christ. There never was an Episcopalian Church or an
Anglican Church before Henry VIII. The Catholic Church had already existed
fifteen hundred years before the Episcopal came into the world.
After Episcopalianism different other churches sprang up. Next
came the Methodist, about one hundred and fifty years ago. It was started by
John Wesley, who was at first a member of the Episcopalian Church; subsequently
he joined the Moravian Brethren, but not liking them, he maid a religion of his
own, the Methodist Church.
After John Wesley several others sprang up; and finally came
the Campbellites, about sixty years ago. This Church was established by
Alexander Campbell, a Scotchman.
Well, now, my dear beloved people, you may think that the act
of the "twelve apostles" of Indiana was a ridiculous one, but they had as much
right to establish a church as had Henry VIII, or Martin Luther, or John Calvin.
They had no right at all, and neither had Henry VIII, or the rest of them any
Christ had established His Church and given His solemn oath
that His Church should stand to the end of time: He promised that He had built
it upon a rock, and that the gates of hell should never prevail against it;
hence, my dear people, all those different denominations of religion are the
invention of man; and I ask you can a man save the soul of his fellow man by any
institution he can make? Must not religion come from God?
And, therefore, my dearly beloved separated brethren, think
over it seriously. You have a soul to be saved, and that soul must be saved or
damned; either one or the other, it will dwell with God in heaven or with the
devil in hell; therefore, seriously meditate upon it.
When I gave my Mission in Brooklyn several Protestants became
Catholics. Among them there was a very highly educated and intelligent
Virginian. He was a Presbyterian. After he had listened to my lecture he went to
see his minister, and he asked him to be kind enough to explain a text of the
Bible. The minister gave him the meaning. "Well, now," said the gentleman, "are
you positive and sure that is the meaning of the text, for several other
Protestants explain it differently?" "Why, my dear young man," says the
preacher, "we never can be certain of our faith." "Well, then," says the young
man, "good-bye to you: If I cannot be sure of my faith in the Protestant church,
I will go where I can." And he became a Catholic.
We are sure of our Faith in the Catholic Church, and if our
Faith is not true, Christ has deceived us. I would, therefore, beg you, my
separated brethren, to procure for yourselves Catholic Books. You have read a
great deal against the Catholic Church, now read something in favor of it. You
can never pass an impartial sentence if you do not hear both sides of the
What would you think of a judge before whom a policeman would
bring a poor offender, and who on the charge of the policeman, without hearing
the prisoner, would order him to be hung? "Give me a hearing," says the poor
man, "and I will prove my innocence. I am not guilty," says he. The policeman
says he is guilty. "Well, hang him anyhow," says the judge. What would you say
of that judge? Criminal judge! Unfair man; you are guilty of the blood of the
innocent! Would not you say that? Of course you would.
Well now, my dearly beloved Protestant friends, that is what
you have been doing all along; you have been hearing one side of the question
and condemning us Catholics as a superstitious lot of people, going and telling
their sins to the priest; and what, after all, is the priest more than any other
man? My dear friends, have you examined the other side of the question?
No, you do not think it worth your while; but this is the way
the Jews dealt with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; and this is the way the
Pagans and Jews dealt with the Apostles, the ministers of the Church, and with
the primitive Christians.
Allow me to tell you, my friends, that you have been treating
us precisely in the same way the Jews and Pagans treated Jesus Christ and His
Apostles. I have said this evening hard things, but if St. Paul were here
tonight, in this pulpit, he would have said harder things still. I have said
them, however, not through a spirit of unkindness, but through a spirit of love,
and a spirit of charity, in the hope of opening your eyes that your souls my be
saved. It is love for your salvation, my dearly beloved Protestant brethren, for
which I would gladly give my heart's blood; my love for your salvation that has
made me preach to you as I have done.
"Well," say my Protestant friends, "if a man thinks he is
right would he not be right?" Let us suppose now a man in Ottawa, who wants to
go to Chicago, but takes a car for New York; the conductor asks for his ticket;
and he at once says: "You are in the wrong car; your ticket is for Chicago, but
you are going to New York." "Well, what of that?" Says the passenger. "I mean
well." "Your meaning will not go well with you in the end," says the conductor,
"for you will come out at New York instead of Chicago."
You say you mean well, my dear friends; your meaning will not
take you to heaven; you must do well also. "He that doeth the will of My
Father," says Jesus, "he alone shall be saved." There are millions in hell who
You must do well, and be sure you are doing well, to be saved.
I thank my separated brethren for their kindness in coming to these
controversial lectures. I hope I have said nothing to offend them. Of course, it
would be nonsense for me not to preach Catholic Doctrines.
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