The One True Church...
By Fr. Arnold
The One True Church, by Fr. Arnold Damen
About this Article and its Author:
Father Arnold Damen was born in
the province of North Brabant, Holland, on March 20, 1815. He was admitted to
the Society of Jesus, November 21, 1837, and was one of the band of young
novices brought over to this country by Father DeSmet, renowned Jesuit
missionary to the American Indians. In his illustrious career, which spanned
some fifty years of apostolic work before his death on January 1, 1890, Father
Damen and his companions conducted missions in nearly every principal city of
the United States. He is said to have been more widely known in this country,
and at one time to have exercised personally a greater influence than any bishop
or priest in the Catholic Church.
Little wonder, for by his majestic presence and force of eloquence, Father
Damen as a missionary rose to a success that surpassed anything ever before ---
or since --- known in America. The fiery apostolic zeal of this beloved and
pious priest can only scarcely be measured by the twelve thousand conversions to
Catholicism for which he was responsible, often receiving as many as sixty or
seventy souls into the Church in one day. For it must be noted, too, that in the
midst of all this remarkable labor, he also managed to found and to organize the
great Jesuit institutions of Chicago.
What explains the inspiring achievement of Father Damen? As one writer
expressed it, "He cared nothing for applause or criticism. He was working to
save souls." In other words, his noble accomplishments were the fruits of
immense charity. That is, charity in the truest sense: He loved God and his
fellow man so much that he would spare no energy or effort that was necessary to
wrest a soul from the spiritual error and darkness which would bring about its
eternal loss. And to this saintly Jesuit, such was the certain fate always and
everywhere present outside the one true Church.
Father Damen preached in an age quite recent to our own, when Catholics not
only still universally believed but lived by the infallibly declared, immutably
constant dogma of the Faith, "Outside the Church there is no salvation." This
was, in fact, his whole creed and teaching, by which he effectively converted so
We are pleased to reprint Father Damen's compelling sermon, "The One True
Church," unedited, exactly as it was first published shortly after his death in
1890. In so doing, we have two purposes: One is to recall to our fellow
Catholics of whatever rank or dignity within the Church that the unequivocal
belief in the doctrine on salvation is not only essential to the recovery of the
Faith from the grave errors which now corrupt it, but it is the inseparable mark
of the true Church Militant. The second and all important purpose, of course, is
to encourage Catholics to place this imperative message in the hands of
non-Catholics. By so doing, all of you who help in such apostolic labors will be
continuing the blessed work of the venerable priest, Arnold Damen.
Nihil Obstat: T.L. Kinkead, Censor Deputatus. Imprimatur: Michael Augustine,
Archbishop of New York. "The Only Church That Christ Established Is The Catholic
Church." "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that
believeth not shall be condemned." -- Mark XVI, 16.
MY DEARLY BELOVED CHRISTIANS:
From these words of our
Divine Saviour, it has already been proved to you, that faith is necessary for
salvation, and without faith there is no salvation; without faith there is
eternal damnation. Read your own Protestant Bible, 16th verse of St. Mark, and
you will find it stronger there than in the Catholic Bible. Now, then, what kind
of faith must a man have to be saved? Will any faith do? Why, if any faith will
do, the devil himself will be saved, for the Bible says that devils believe and
tremble. It is, therefore, not a matter of indifference what religion a man
professes; he must profess the right and true religion, and without that there
is no hope of salvation, for it stands to reason, my dear people, that if God
reveals a thing or teaches a thing, He wants to be believed. Not to believe is
to insult God. Doubting His word, or believing even with doubt and hesitation,
is an insult to God, because it is doubting His Sacred Word. We must, therefore,
believe without doubting, without hesitating.
I have said, out of the
Catholic Church there is no divine faith --- can be no divine faith out of that
Church. Some of the Protestant friends will be shocked at this, to hear me say
that out of the Catholic Church there is no divine faith, and that without faith
there is no salvation, but damnation. I will prove all I have said. I have said
that out of the Catholic Church there can be no divine faith. What is divine
faith? When we believe a thing upon the authority of God, and believe it without
doubt, without hesitating.
Now, all our separated brethren outside of the
Catholic Church take the private interpretation of the Bible for their guide;
but the private interpretation of the Bible can never give them divine faith.
Let me, for instance, suppose for a moment, here is a Presbyterian; he reads his
Bible; from the reading of his Bible he comes to the conclusion that Jesus
Christ is God. Now, you know this is the most essential of all Christian
doctrines --- the foundation of all Christianity. From the reading of his Bible
he comes to the conclusion that Jesus Christ is God; and he is a sensible man,
and intelligent man, and not a presumptuous man.
And he says: "Here is my
Unitarian neighbor, who is just as reasonable and intelligent as I am, as
honest, as learned and as prayerful as I am, and, from the reading of the Bible,
he comes to the conclusion that Christ is not God at all. "Now," says he, "to
the best of my opinion and judgment, I am right, and my Unitarian neighbor is
wrong; but, after all," says he, "I may be mistaken! Perhaps I have not the
right meaning of the text, and if I am wrong, perhaps he is right, after all;
but, to the best of my opinion and judgment, I am right and he is wrong." On
what does he believe? On what authority? On his own opinion and judgment. And
what is that? A human opinion --- human testimony, and, therefore, a human
faith. He cannot say positively, "I am sure, positively sure, as sure as there
is a God in heaven, that this is the meaning of the text." Therefore, he has no
other authority but his own opinion and judgment, and what his preacher tells
him. But the preacher is a smart man. There are many smart Unitarian preachers
also, but that proves nothing; it is only human authority, and nothing else, and
therefore, only human faith. What is human faith? Believing a thing upon the
testimony of man. Divine faith is believing a thing on the testimony of God.
The Catholic has divine faith, and why? Because the Catholic
says: "I believe in such and such a thing." Why? "Because the Church teaches me
so." And why do you believe the Church? "Because God has commanded me to believe
the teaching of the Church; and God has threatened me with damnation if I do not
believe the Church, and we are taught by St. Peter, in his epistle, that there
is no private prophecy or interpretation of the Scriptures, for the unlearned
and unstable wrest the very Scriptures, the Bible, to their own damnation." That
is strong language, my dear people, but that is the language of St. Peter, the
head of the Apostles.
The unlearned and unstable wrest the Bible to their
own damnation! And yet, after all, the Bible is the book of God, the language of
inspiration; at least, when we have a true Bible, as we Catholics have, and you
Protestants have not. But, my dearly beloved Protestant friends, do not be
offended at me for saying that. Your own most learned preachers and bishops tell
you that, and some have written whole volumes in order to prove that the English
translation, which you have, is a very faulty and false translation. Now,
therefore, I say that the true Bible is as the Catholics have it, the Latin
Vulgate; and the most learned among the Protestants themselves have agreed that
the Latin Vulgate Bible, which the Catholic Church always makes use of, is the
best in existence; and, therefore, it is, as you may have perceived, that when I
preach I give the text in Latin, because the Latin text of the Vulgate is the
Now, they may say that Catholics acknowledge the Word of God;
that it is the language of inspiration; and that, therefore, we are sure that we
have the Word of God; but, my dear people, the very best thing may be abused,
the very best thing; and, therefore, our Divine Saviour has given us a living
teacher, that is to give us the true meaning of the Bible. And He has provided a
teacher with infallibility; and this was absolutely necessary, for without this
--- without infallibility we could never be sure of our faith.
There must be
an infallibility; and we see that in every well-ordered government, in every
government --- in England, in the United States, and in every country, empire
and republic, there is a Constitution and a supreme law. But you are not at
liberty to explain that Constitution and supreme law as you think proper, for
then there would be no more law if every man were allowed to explain the law and
Constitution as he should think proper. Therefore, in all governments there is a
supreme judge and supreme court, and to the supreme judge is referred all
different understandings of the law and the Constitution. By the decisions of
the supreme judge all have to abide, and if they did not abide by that decision
why, my dear people, there would be no law any more, but anarchy, disorder and
Again, suppose for a moment that the Blessed Saviour 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 with 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 that 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, me 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 Saviour Jesus Christ.
Now, which is that Church? There are now three hundred and fifty
different Protestant churches in existence, and almost every year one or two
more are added; and besides this number there is the Catholic Church. Now, which
of all these varied churches is the one Church of our Lord and Saviour 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 upon 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
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 man.
Now, where is the Church, and which is the
Church that has existed thus long? All history inform you that 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 Saviour 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 a 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 the
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 the
Presbyterian, the Episcopalian, the Church of England, the Methodist, the
Universalist or the Unitarian? And they will answer you it was the Catholic
Church. But, my dear friend, if you admit that the Catholic Church is the first
and the oldest --- the Church established by Christ --- why are you not a
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, hear 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 imposter! And if I do
not speak the truth, Jesus, strike me dead in the pulpit --- let me fall dead in
the pulpit, for I do not want to be a preacher of a false religion!
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, then Christ has not kept His promise, then He
has deceived us, and if He has deceived us, then He is an imposter! If He be an
imposter, then He is not God, and if He be not God, then all Christianity is a
cheat and an imposition.
Again, in St. Matthew, 28th chapter and verses XIX
and XX., our Divine Saviour 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 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 world." 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 Saviour (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
promises 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 led 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 has established?
Again: Our Divine Saviour commands me to hear and believe
the teaching 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 the 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 said: "I will avail myself of this opportunity to converse with you." "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 you Church started?" "In Terre Haute, Indiana," said
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 ago." 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 wagonmaker's shop now."
Again, St. Paul, in his Epistles to the
Galatians, says: "Though we Apostles, or even an angel from heaven were to come
an 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, 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 from heaven
were to come and preach to you a new Gospel, a new religion, let them be
You see then, my dearly beloved people, from the text of the
Scripture I have quoted that, if the Catholic Church has been once 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 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 institutors. 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; Zuinglius,
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 in believe in the doctrine of good Martin
Luther." 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 is the first founder of Protestantism in
the world. The very name by which they are known tells you they came from Martin
Luther. 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 to-day.
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 in 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 adultery also." As the Pope would not grant the
prayer of Henry's petition he took Ann Boleyn anyhow, and was excommunicated
from the Church. After a while there was another maid of honor, prettier than
the first, more beautiful an 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 are they Catholics, and they
say, "Yes, but not Roman Catholics; we are English Catholics." What is the
meaning of the word Catholic? I 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
"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.
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 made 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 right
Christ had established His Church and given His solemn oath that
His Church should stand to the end of time; promised that He had built it upon
rock, and that the gates of hell should never prevail against it --- hence, me
dear people, all those different denominations of religion are the invention of
man; and I ask you can 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 yourselves Catholic books. You have read a great
deal against the Catholic Church, now read something in favor of it.
never pass an impartial sentence if you do not hear both sides of the question.
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, poor ignorant people, idolatrous people, non-sensical 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 Saviour Jesus Christ; and this is the way the Pagans and
Jews dealt with the Apostles, the ministers of the Church, and with the
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
may 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 not he 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; you 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 meant well. 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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