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VIEW FROM THE TOWER
OUR October 1. issue pointed out that according to the prophecy of the Apostle James the recent election would fail to relieve the “reapers.” The results have corroborated the prophecy. Earnest and honest men were on both sides of the contention, and the tremendous efforts against silver carried the day. The majority saw that, while the “fraud” was easy to introduce, it would be difficult to expel; that at least one year of great financial depression must result, before legislation could be secured which would restore silver to its former relationship and equal privileges with gold; and having greater confidence in Shylock’s assertions than in their own judgment, they chose the immediate better and ignored the future and thus helped fulfill prophecy.
The managers of the successful party declare that now bimetallism will be established by international agreement, and that thus agriculturalists will be relieved. But taking the divine Word for our guide, we do not expect relief for the “reapers” in any form. Rather, their burden will increase, and their cry, already begun, will grow louder, and eventually place many of those formerly law abiding amongst the lawless.
There is every indication that the next year or two may be quite prosperous, because of the shortage of merchandise incident to the past three years of depression; but eventually prices for labor and for goods will gravitate toward still lower levels, barring wars, famines, etc.
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Notwithstanding the outward harmony maintained by the Church of Rome, she has her own internal disorders in every quarter. In Italy her conflict is with the Government; in Russia it is with the Greek Church; in Great Britain it is with the Church of England; in France it is with the Masons; and in this land of liberty it is with freedom’s institutions and progressive ideas, especially with free schools.
In the French republic the papal influence until lately has always been with the monarchical parties (as a threat this is now being reversed); in Italy it is thrown against monarchical parties, and the people of Italy who, to the number of about probably five million voters, have for years, at the command of the Pope, refrained from voting are now to use their votes to embarrass the Government and in favor of republican institutions. In the United States, for some years back, the Papal policy has been extremely liberal (for it); Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Ireland and Bishop Keane have been leaders in an attempt to form a liberal, American-Papal policy. For a time they succeeded. The Council of Baltimore permitted Roman Catholics in the United States to read the Bible, Protestants were no longer to be treated as heretics, whose end was a hopeless eternity in hell and anguish, but as “separated brethren,” many of whom were honest and, like Romanists, would go to Purgatory, but being without beads or prayers to Mary or masses, holy candles and the like, they would be obliged to stay longer in Purgatory than would faithful Romanists; but the under-surface intrigue of the Jesuitical party has finally triumphed, and the whole policy of the Papacy is to be made more conservative. The infallible Pope is not left to himself, but is assisted by advisers and counselors, whose mouthpiece he
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really is; and Protestants will no longer be permitted to go to “Purgatory,” but will be sent directly and forever to “Hell.”
This change of policy is noticeable in the Encyclical dealing with the Anglican question—no special desire being manifested to conciliate the Church of England, but rather the reverse. More recently Bishop Keane has been removed from the Chancellorship or Presidency of the Washington City (Roman Catholic) College. And now it is reported that Archbishop Ireland is in disfavor at Rome and will suffer degradation in some manner. Probably Cardinal Gibbons, who has been very cautious, may be permitted to continue for some time, if he continues tongue-tied.
Without much doubt fear lies at the bottom of this policy. The Italian prelates hold control of the Papacy, and intend to hold it. They no doubt realize that the Anglo-Saxon race is the more brilliant and would out-shine them and eventually capture the control of their system; hence they do not desire union with the Church of England, lest it should turn out that Papacy had joined the Church of England and not the Anglicans joined the Church of Rome. And the Pope has been obliged to yield to their pressure, which is manifesting itself here in the United States also, and has already declared against any further cooperation with Protestants in any future Parliaments of Religion.
This change of policy on the part of Rome should not be understood to signify antagonism and hostilities between Romanists and Protestants: it does, however, corroborate the Scriptural testimony to which we have frequently called attention,—that the two will never unite in one system; that the coming Protestant federation will be distinct from Catholicism and that, while treating each other with respect and in many matters cooperating, the two parties will really be in opposition as the two sides of the great “scroll” (Rev. 6:14; Isa. 34:4) down to the time of their mutual and sudden collapse.
The situation as respects the United States is well set forth in the following extracts from prominent journals:—
The Western Watchman (Roman Catholic, St. Louis) says:—
“Tell the truth. Rome removed Bishop Keane. Cardinal Satolli advised the measure. The Germans had nothing to do with it. Rome did not want the young priests of America to be taught Pelagianism. The advocates of the doctrine that any form of Protestantism is better than no religion at all, claim Cardinals Manning and Newman for their contention. Neither
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of the English cardinals was regarded as a theologian in Rome, and at the time of their death neither enjoyed the slightest influence in Rome. Pelagianism must be stamped out. Man is in the supernatural order and whether pagan or Christian is obliged to tend to his supernatural end. Grace is an aid to that end. The church is a guide to that end. Protestantism is a siren. It sings to the seafarer and allures him to the breakers. Protestantism is the enemy of God; of God’s truth; of God’s church. It is not better than nothing, because good for nothing.”
The Christian Standard (Disciples, Cincinnati) says:
“The virtual deposition of Bishop Keane from the Catholic University at Washington, D.C., is taken to mean that the ultramontane policy is to prevail in Roman Catholic affairs in this country, rather than the liberal policy voiced by Archbishop Ireland. No doubt there is a genuine fear in the highest circles of papal authority that the so-called liberal policy advanced by certain ecclesiastics of this country means rather the making of Americans out of Catholics, than of Catholics out of Americans.”
The Mid-Continent (Presbyterian, St. Louis) says:
“With all its outward show of smoothness the Roman Catholic machinery suffers many a jolt. The vigorous protest over the removal of Bishop Keane, the late executive head of the Catholic University at Washington, is a jar that threatens to work much confusion. … It brings to a point of issue the opposing American factions; those who believe that in America Romanism must adapt itself somewhat to environment, that it must be ‘liberalized;’ and those who stand for the Romanism of Spain and Italy on this side the sea. Keane, with Gibbons and Ireland, stand for this progressive movement. Corrigan of New York, Wigger and Schroeder stand for ultra-conservatism. The removal of Keane, with all its crafty explanations, is, of course, the ban of Rome placed upon that progressiveness.”
The Western Christian Advocate (Methodist, Cincinnati) says:—
“The removal of Bishop Keane from the rectorship of the Catholic University at Washington might ordinarily pass for an unimportant piece of Catholic domestic economy, not to be noticed by the outside world. But his removal because of his adherence to the liberal elements of Catholicism, represented by Archbishop Ireland, and as a result of the plottings of the clerical or Jesuitical section, at once make it a matter of momentous significance.”
A Washington correspondent of the Boston Transcript gives the following as the “true inwardness” of the present situation:—
“There are two distinct classes in the Catholic Church. One class is made up of the Orders—the Jesuits, Augustinians, Paulists, Dominicans and others. The other class is made up of the general rank and file of the clergy, who have attached themselves to no particular Order. Each order attends to some particular line of work, the Jesuits to teaching, other Orders to missionary work, others to charity, etc. Gradually the Orders have drawn away from the clergy who are outside of the Orders. The two classes may be illustrated by the Catholic University and the Georgetown University, both leading Catholic institutions here in Washington. The Catholic University is conducted by the secular clergy, that is, by those outside of the
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Orders; while Georgetown University is conducted by the Jesuits, or those attached to the Orders.
“From the arrival of Satolli this latent antagonism between the Orders and the ‘seculars’ began to develop. The seculars had in their ranks such conspicuous men as Archbishop Ireland and Bishop Keane. Moreover, the seculars had become identified with a progressive and advanced policy which sought to send Catholic children to public schools instead of parochial schools. On the other hand, the Orders, conspicuously the Jesuits, represented the old adherence to Catholic colleges, Catholic schools, and to the religious training which they regarded as more essential than the intellectual training of a child. Naturally, therefore, there was much comment when Satolli took up his residence at the Catholic University, where he was the guest of Bishop Keane. It was regarded among ecclesiastics as settling that the Pope’s representative had cast his influence with the seculars and against the Orders. It was a proud day for Archbishop Ireland and the many others who, with him, had been urging the advanced and liberal policy. But this satisfaction changed unexpectedly when Satolli took his leave of Bishop Keane and established permanent quarters for the papal legation in the remote Eastern section of Washington, within a Jesuit parish. It was the parish of St. Aloysius, with Father Gillespie at its head. He is a scholarly Jesuit, and his adherence to the doctrine of parochial education is shown by Gonzaga College, which he is expanding to the dimensions of a great seat of learning. Thus Satolli was suddenly transferred from the seculars to the Orders. From that time, Satolli made most of his public appearances at the Jesuit church, and the Jesuits were his most intimate and most constant associates.”
This correspondent, noting the appointment of Mgr. Martinelli (Italian) as successor to Mgr. Satolli as papal Ablegate in the United States, continues:—
“Martinelli is of the Augustinians, an Order marked for its austerities. His choice, therefore, is even more conspicuous as a recognition of the Orders than would have been the choice of a Jesuit. The head of an Order is placed in a position over seculars as well as Orders. There is no doubt, however, that the judicial temperament of Martinelli will save him from an undue preference to the Orders. At the same time the Orders are entrenched, while Archbishop Ireland and the other seculars see their power waning.”
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The New York Tribune of Nov. 5, says editorially:
“For more than a quarter of a century the Catholics in Italy have been debarred by order of the Church from taking any part in Parliamentary elections. To what extent these commands of the Vatican have been obeyed may be gathered from the fact that in a country of practically universal suffrage, where the adult male population numbers according to the latest census considerably over 10,000,000, not more than 1,600,000 have ever yet cast their votes at the polls at any general election. …
“The Pope, having found no disposition on the part of the present Italian dynasty to come to an understanding either with regard to the temporalities of the Papacy, or upon any other subject, has wisely decided to throw in his lot with the republic, as being the form of the Government of the future. With that prescience which sometimes comes to men on the border of the grave, he apparently foresees that the days of the monarchical system not alone in Italy, but in all other parts of the world, are drawing to a close, and accordingly he is maneuvering the sails of the church so as to adapt them to the wind of democracy. That is why he has just astounded the Catholic world by appointing as Nuncio to Paris a prelate entirely devoid of diplomatic experience, whose only recommendation is that he is an ardent Republican; that is why he professes such unbounded admiration for America and American institutions, and that also is the reason why the Catholic electors, now for the first time sent to the polls, are openly recommended by the Vatican to disassociate themselves from the cause of the monarchy and to prepare to accept another form of government—that is to say, a republic. …
“Should one of these days the ruined, starving and overtaxed population rise up in its despair to overthrow a dynasty that has transformed Italy from the fairest and gladdest country in Europe into the saddest, it will be found that the Papacy will have weathered this as so many previous storms, and that with all sail set to the democratic wind it is riding safely on the stormy waves of the revolution.”
To our understanding the present Italian government is the seventh head of the “beast” (Rev. 17:9-11) which has continued “a short space,” represented in the present monarch and his father Victor Immanuel. According to this prophecy Rome will never have another head—the eighth condition will be the beast without a head,—either a republic or anarchy. If a republic, we shall shortly expect anarchy, “perdition.”
All the signs of our time corroborate prophecy and bid us lift up our heads and rejoice that our redemption draweth nigh.
— November 15, 1896 —