The Serpent around the Capitol of Washington

Rome is an old fighter. In the battle now raging for the utter overthrow of the public school system in the United States, Rome is managing her forces and planting her blows in accordance with well-defined plans ; which, having won victories elsewhere, she believes are sure to produce the same results in her present desperate encounter. Thousands in pulpits and in pews, in shops and on farms, think resistance worse than folly. This class are either betraying the youth of America, or are silent while others are doing the infamous work. It is time to call a halt. For more than fifty years, because of this false security which has held the church in the arms of a delusive slumber, and through the cowardice or ambition of party leaders, this nation, with all its unparalleled opportunities and responsibilities has been drifting toward a surrender of the children to the control of the priests of Rome. Rome’s opposition is open and defiant. It has assumed four distinct phases:

1. In 1840, Archbishop Hughes gave this order:”Take the children out of the public schools, as you would take them out of devouring fire ;”that was to get them away from Bible influence. First, denounce the schools because the Bible is read ; then banish the Bible and denounce them as godless is the programme of Rome.

2, The Bible having been removed as a text-book, Rome fought general education, and became the open and avowed champion of illiteracy.

3. In 1884, the Plenary Council ordered the building of parochial schools. The decree was mandatory ; save in cases where a sufficient cause can be shown, satisfactory to the bishop. Neglect of this requirement subjected the offender to the usual penalties of disobedience. This was the beginning of the trouble with Edward McGlynn. Educated in the public schools, he believes in them and fought for them.

4. The children of Roman Catholics have been taken out of the schools, and now they claim the right of giving direction as to how the children of Protestants shall be educated. The inquiry has been raised, If the schools are so bad that Roman Catholic children cannot attend them, are they not too bad for Roman Catholic teachers to teach in them? If Romanists insist on educating their children, ought they not to stop all interference on their part with the educating of children not belonging to them?

Vicar-General Brady, of St. Louis, declares:”We are doing all that we can to prevent our children from going to the public schools. We must educate our own children. They are educated in the public schools merely as animals would be educated. Their souls are not attended to.”

In Monseigneur Segur’s”Plain Talk About Protestantism,”there is this language (p. 98): “The freedom of thinking is simply nonsense. We are no more free to think without rule, than we are to act without one.”Page 105:”We have to believe only what the Pope and the Bishops teach. We have to reject only that which the Pope and the Bishops condemn and reject. Should a point of doctrine appear doubtful, we have only to address ourselves to the Pope and the Bishops to know what to believe. Only from that tribunal, forever living and forever guided by God, emanate true judgment on religious belief, and particularly on the true sense of Scripture.”

The Roman Church, claiming to understand the secrets of God and to have the keys of heaven and hell, and blasphemously presuming that it can control the destinies of men to save eternally or damn forever in a life to come undertakes to bestow for money the joys of the former, and inflict the pains of the latter, on those who refuse credulity and cash. To make this trade prosperous, ignorance is a necessity.”It uses money, mendacity and pretended miracles, to capture and enslave the ignorant. It assails everything tending to enlighten the masses, on whose ignorance it feeds. Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico and Lower Canada sufficiently illustrate its terrible work. Human vitality and intelligence have probably been brought to a lower point in Spain than in any other civilized nation on the globe, and the Roman Church is largely, if not solely, responsible for this national degradation and ruin. It seeks to do is most successfully preparing to do is doing slowly for the United States what it has done for Spain. Our free-school system destroyed, political integrity destroyed and parties corrupted, the goal is not far away.”


The trouble in Ireland today is, that England is dealing with a people who believe that all is right which is done to advance the power of the Church. Hence, there, as here, jurymen utterly ignore the value of their oath where the interests of the Church require it. For this reason alone, the right of”trial by jury”is threatened.


in some way or other, every precept of the Decalogue. If men who are Romanists are truthful, honest and upright, it is because they are better than the religion they profess compels them to be.

Rome teaches that the Sabbath may be set aside after hearing mass. Merchandizing and the selling of goods at auction is permitted on the Sabbath. He who performs any servile work on the Lord’s Day or on a festival day, let him do penance three days on bread and water. If any one breaks fasts prescribed by the Church, let him do penance on bread and water twenty days. Three days on bread and water for disobeying their God ; twenty days for disobeying their Church! Absolution is given for stealing small amounts to pay for masses, though the law is, that masses shall be given without pay. The command:”Thou shalt have no other gods before me,”is blotted out of the Bible by papal hands. Children trained in these schools can lie, steal, break the Sabbath, and commit sins of any kind, and obtain absolution from a man no better than the guilty party.


The oath of allegiance, by which the thousands of Romanists have obtained the rights of the ballot, citizenship and office, which, if regarded as obligatory, would bind every one of them to support the principles of Republican Government, is valueless ; because, whenever Roman officials shall see fit to require this oath to be disregarded, every good Romanist, to a man, is bound by his allegiance to the Pope, which he believes more binding than his allegiance to the Government, to disregard it. As proof, we quote from”Abridged Course of Religious Instruction for the Use of Colleges and Schools,”by the Rev. Father F. X. Schouppe, of the Society of Jesus, with the imprimateur of H. E. Cardinal Manning, London Burns and Gates, 1880, p. 203:”The Church can dispense from a promissory oath. This power belongs to the Pope and bishops, who exercise it either themselves or by their delegates.”

Page 278:”The civil laws (of Christendom) are binding in conscience so long as they are conformable to the rights of the Catholic Church.”

This gives a warrant to the false swearing which floods our cities with voters who have passed from their landing in this free country to the courts where they take a false oath, to the polls, where, with another false oath, they swear in their vote, and to the confessional, where their oath is held to be a justifiable,”dispensable”lie for the benefit of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, whenever it shall chance so to regard it, or order him so to regard it. He also is taught,”that the Sacrifice of the Mass remits sins and the punishment due them” (p. 210).”The power to remit sin is judicial. The priests are made judges of the sin and the disposition of the sinner. Their absolution is just as efficacious as would be that of Jesus Christ.”

Educate the youth in this way, and”repeating”at the polls becomes an act of grace, and honest elections become an impossibility. As has been said:”A ship-load of foreign Romanists lands in New York ; indulgence in the lump is by the Cardinal or Archbishop granted, to swear that they have resided here long enough to become citizens ; they go before the court, become naturalized, get their final papers, and at once go to the polls and help elect the Cardinal’s candidate for Mayor. Thus perjured citizens capture polling places and carry elections in the interest of Romanism.”{Romanism, by A. J. Grover, p. 18} It does not stop here.

Dissimulation is lawful, according to Liguori, as is gambling.”Laymen, or even the clergy, do not sin if they play cards principally for the sake of recreation, or for a moderate sum of money. Hence, gambling among priests is extensively practised.


“It is lawful to administer the sacraments to drunkards, if they are in danger of death, and had previously expressed a desire of receiving them.”Hence, the murderer executed in the Tombs October 18th, 1883, cried for whiskey at the last, though he had partaken of the Eucharist. Priests are known to drink to excess. One, in a country town, rode home drunk almost every Sabbath evening after performing vespers in the chapel. All knew it, and it was tolerated because the guilty debauchee was a priest. It was Liguori who said:”Among the priests who live in the world, it is rare, very rare, to find one that is good.”

Alexander Campbell, in his discussion with Archbishop Purcell, read from Liguori the permission for priests to keep nieces, or concubines. Archbishop Purcell denied that Liguori ever taught anything so abominable, and that all who say so are guilty of a flagrant violation of the commandment which says,”Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” The book was brought in, and another read therefrom these words:”A bishop, however poor he may be, cannot appropriate to himself pecuniary fines without the license of the Apostolical See ; but he ought to apply to pious uses that which the Council of Trent has laid upon non-resident clergymen , or upon those clergymen who keep concubines.”Marriage is a mortal sin. Adultery is pardoned.


“What answer ought a confessor to give when questioned concerning a truth which he knows from sacramental confession only?”

“He ought to answer that he does not know it, and, if it be necessary, to confirm the same with an oath.

“Is it lawful, then, to tell a lie?”

“He is questioned as a man, and answers as a man. As a man he does not know the truth, though he knows it as God.”

*What if a confessor were directly asked whether he knows it through sacramental confession ?”

“He may reply, ‘I know nothing’.”

Is such a religion good enough for the youth of America? It is the true position that the nation has no right to give children into the hands of Roman Catholics ; and that prisoners in our penal institutions ought to be taught and helped by men who believe and teach the Word of God?


Jerry McCauley, the river thief, and a most desperate character, went to Sing Sing as a member of the Roman Catholic communion, in full and in good standing, as are the majority of our prisoners in all our penal institutions. It was because Jerry Mc Cauley heard the Gospel and found a Bible in his room that he was converted, came out of the Church of Rome, and became a benefactor to hundreds of thousands.


If the Court of Special Sessions can commit to a Roman Catholic institution children between seven and fourteen years of age, as idle, truant, vicious, or homeless, then the State can put its neck into the yoke Rome has been framing for many years, with the consent of a silent Christianity and a crafty political sentiment. The law says,


The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this State for all mankind.

The Constitution of these United States, in providing for religious liberty, expressly declares that no restraint should be exercised:”that Congress should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”but recognizing the principle introduced to the notice of mankind by Roger Williams, who repudiated toleration, because the right to tolerate implied the right to persecute ; who would not accept as a favor from man what had been given to him as a right by God ; who held that, when God made the eye he conferred the right to look, and when he made the Bible he conferred the right to read it, or have it read.

Gambetta, in France, saw this peril, and warned the State against giving over children to the control of priests to be educated and guided by them.”I am,”said the great French statesman,”for the separation of the schools from the churches. I consider this not only a question of political, but of social order. Let not Catholics, with their claims to exclusiveness, have anything to do with the propagation of necessary knowledge, which it is the State’s duty to see imparted to every citizen.”

Gambetta knew Romanism as we in this free land do not know it. Let us hear, and heed his manly advice.

The parochial school, notwithstanding the disposition of the American people to try and conciliate their Roman Catholic fellow-citizens, is a fact. The decree has gone forth from the Provincial Council, sanctioned by the Pope, that such schools shall be built in every parish. Compromise is a failure. Not only does Rome seek to take her children out of our public schools ; but, under one pretense or another, she seeks to fill these public schools with Roman Catholic teachers. Let us have done with this. Put the Bible back where it belongs. Let it become a text-book for the children of America. Teach them to be good readers of the Scriptures. Said Sir William Jones, who was familiar with Greek, Roman and Oriental literature:”The Bible, independently of its Divine origin, contains more sublimity, purer morality, more impartial history and finer strains of eloquence than can be collected from any other book, in whatever language it may have been written.”John Jay, in an admirable address on”Rome, the Bible and the Republic,”quotes the distinguished Robert Hall as saying:”Wherever the Scriptures are generally read, the standard of morals is raised,”and adds: The indebtedness of this country to the Bible, and its recognition by our Government in other days, are things not to be forgotten ; and it is well to keep permanently before our people this distinguishing feature of our history.”The great body of the original settlers on our newly discovered continent were men whose ancestors had fought for civil and religious freedom on the various battle-fields of the old world. They loved liberty, and loved God ‘s Word. Is it not true that their love of liberty sprung from the influence of the truth upon their hearts? Follow the Bible around the world, and in its trail you find liberty, progress and enlightenment. The Bible ought to be made a textbook in every institution helped by the State, because of what the Bible does for the State.”There never was found,”said Lord Bacon,”in any age of the world, either religion or law that did so highly exalt the public good as the Bible.”If Romanists do not like it, let them dislike it. What they love, hurts liberty. What they hate, helps it. It is our duty to make our schools so good that no ambitious child of the State can afford to be educated elsewhere. I make my appeal to you, not as religionists, but as citizens, Do more than refuse to divide the School Fund. Do this: from this time on, provide for children between seven and fourteen years of age who may be idle, truant, vicious or homeless, better places in which to educate them than the protectories or convents under Romish control. They are children of the State. Give them religious instruction, by giving them access to the Word of God. It is our bounden duty to teach them Christian morality, essential to their education as good citizens. In the words of Ulysses S. Grant:

“Let us labor to add all needful guarantees for the most perfect security of free thought, free speech, and free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men, irrespective of nationality, color or religion. Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar in money, no matter how raised, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that either the State, or nation, or both combined, shall support institutions of learning, sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education.”


is little known. It is hidden. It works in darkness. Such is the courage and faith of the American people that they consent to the existence of Roman Catholics, and to carry out their purposes and plans as they do the existence of Methodists or Baptists, or any religious denomination. They act as if it were ungenerous and unfair to uncover the wiles of Jesuitism, and disclose the perils which threaten the nation because of the doings of Romanism. In Canada, the actions of this desperate foe can be studied in detail. The programme with which the people of the United States is confronted has been carried out. There, Rome is dominant. The harvest of Rome has ripened, and Rome is consolidated.


Under the sanction of the law. They are sustained by taxation, as are Protestant schools ; and there are many ways in which Roman Catholics are permitted to place Protestants at a disadvantage:

1. Five Roman Catholics can petition for a separate school. The petition being granted, all Roman Catholics within a radius of three miles every way can be compelled to support it. No matter if they prefer the public school, the law compels them to support the Roman Catholic school. All known to be Roman Catholics, and all believed to be Roman Catholics, are taxed, and deliverance from the same can only be obtained by a process of law, which is irritating, if not dangerous.

2. All Protestant teachers are compelled to go through a public examination, and must measure up to a certain grade, or fail in obtaining a school. In Roman Catholic schools, the Christian Brothers and Nuns can be appointed without examination. Today, the teachers of parochial schools are not examined in the United States, and the schools are not inspected ; the youth are surrendered to Rome.

3. For the Protestant schools, books are selected by the Board of Public Education. In Roman Catholic schools, they select their own, and may fill them with treason, with superstition and paganism, and there is none to say them Nay.

4. In the public schools the Bible is read ; not in Roman Catholic schools.

5. The public schools are inspected; not the Roman Catholic.

6. In the election of trustees for public schools, a secret ballot is used. In Roman Catholic school districts, the trustees are elected by their signing their names, and voting Aye or Nay. This is the fight now going on. The laity want the secret ballot, that they may get rid of priestly control. The open ballot is kept, to preserve the control of the priests.

As a result, Roman Catholic children are growing up in ignorance. It is proven in Canada, as in Ireland, or Spain, or Mexico, that Rome hates education.

Doctor Maguire, a Roman Catholic professor of the University of Dublin, and one of the senators of the Royal University of Ireland, has written a pamphlet on


in which he declares”that a large and logical section of the Roman Catholic Church is conscientiously opposed to the spread of education.”He quotes the Dublin Review (vol. xx., p. 192, second series), in which it is contended, that the absence of higher education is a powerful preservative against apostasy,”and tells a story of the Archbishop of Tuam, who closed a school, and when one of the villagers asked how he was to send his children to school, replied:”What do they want with a school? Let them learn their Catechism.”

Cardinal Cullen, in 1870, before the Educational Convention, said:”It is admitted that the Scotch and the Irish are of the same origin, and shows that since the Scotch embraced the Reformed religion they have outrun even the English ; while, wherever the Irish embraced Romanism, they have retrograded.”What a contrast between exclusively Roman Catholic Con-naught and Protestant Ulster!

Education is the basis of national liberty and prosperity. In elementary instruction, Protestant States are incomparably more advanced than Roman Catholic, and representative governments are the natural outgrowth of Protestant populations ; while despotic governments are the congenial governments of Roman Catholic populations.

DeLavelieye declares, that”the control of education by the Roman priesthood leads inevitably to illiteracy, with its tendency to degradation, pauper ism and crime.”

The Roman Catholic Review for April, 1871, said: * We do not indeed prize as highly as some of our countrymen appear to do, the ability to read, write and cipher. Some men are born to be leaders, and the rest are born to be led. The best ordered and administered State is that in which the few are well educated and lead, and the many trained to obedience.” Said a priest:”I would as soon administer the sacraments to a dog, as to a Catholic who sent his children to a public school.”


It ought to be fought ; not for the sake of Protestants alone, but because of the imperiled interests of the children of Roman Catholics. Illiteracy imperils, here and everywhere.

In Canada, one-sixth of the population furnishes more than five-sixths of the crime. Occasional disclosures reveal this peril. When the bill was introduced into the Legislature of New York, pretending to secure freedom of worship, it was proven to have been proposed by a Jesuit, and was introduced by Senator Gibbs ;”because,”as he said in a letter to the New York Evening Post, Oct. 27, 1875,”of certain pledges made by the leading Republicans to the Irish Catholic voters for their support of James G. Elaine.”If in America, with our centuries of training in the principles of Republican government, with our hereditary devotion to the elementary principles of civil and religious freedom, such bargains can be made, and Irish votes can be sold in blocks for the betrayal of the principles of the Constitution, is not time to ask if Popery be not in the way?

The American people are generous to a fault. They have treated Romanists as if they were brothers. They have been slow to believe they were tolerating an enemy. They are waking up. They are seeing the peril threatening liberty. They are getting on their armor, and they will fight the good fight of faith ; and, though a little slow in starting, they will get there all the same ; and will yet have the honor of digging as deep a grave for Romanism as they have furnished for human slavery. They are becoming weary of such sentiments as, that”Too much education would make the poor discontented with their lot, and unsuit them for following the plow, using the spade, hammering iron, or building walls.”It is American to believe in education for the people ; and to thank God that the path opens to the highest positions from the door of a hovel as well as from the door of a palace. In our public schools, the rich and poor are equals. As Macaulay said:

During the last three centuries, to stunt the growth of the human mind has been her chief object. Throughout Christendom, whatever advance has been made in knowledge, in freedom, in wealth, and in the arts of life, has been in inverse proportion to her power. The loveliest and most fertile provinces of Europe have, under her rule, been sunk in poverty, in political servitude, and in intellectual torpor ; while Protestant countries, once proverbial for sterility and barbarism, have been turned by skill and industry into gardens, and can boast of a long list of heroes, statesmen, philosophers and poets.”


Rome will soon have her children housed in the parochial school buildings. Then will come the refusal to pay taxes. Property will be levied and held up for sale. Who will buy it? They who do so, will run the peril of losing their lives. The scenes of Ireland will be re-enacted in the United States. Then will come the end. The American people will make short work of Romanism, when once they understand its motives, its animus and purpose.


Resist this devil of Romanism and it will flee. Put the Bible back where it belongs ; and make it a reading-book for the youth of America. Adopt the Prussian system, or devise a better, and see to it that the children of the State are given religious instruction ; so that they shall know the chief doctrines of the Bible, the life and teachings of our Lord, the history of the Christian religion in connection with contemporary civil history. Let there be no sectarianism taught, and no antagonism engendered, and then shall our schools become the bulwark and defense of liberty.

Continue to chapter 16

Contents of Washington in the Lap of Rome



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