Part 5 out of 5
"Dispensatrix of Divine Grace."
How history repeats itself! How hard paganism is to kill! The ancient
Egyptians worshipped the "Queen of Heaven." Jeremiah, as far back as
587 B.C., prophesied desolation to Judah for having "burned incense
to the Queen of Heaven," and poured out "drink offerings" unto her,
and "made cakes to worship her."--Jer. xliv. 17-19.
Of the _wise_ men (Matthew ii.) we read: "And when they were come
into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, His mother, and
fell down and worshipped _Him_."
The South American version of Matthew 11:28, as may be seen carved on
a stone of the Jesuit Church in Cuzco, is: "Come to MARY, all you who
are laden with works, and weary beneath the weight of your sins, and
_she_ will alleviate you," A literal translation of one of the
prayers offered to her reads: "Yes, beloved Mother! of thee I
supplicate all that is necessary for the salvation of my soul. Of
whom should I ask this grace but of Thee? To whom should a loving son
go but to his beloved Mother? To whom the weak sheep cry but to its
divine shepherdess? Whom seek the sick, but the celestial doctor?
Whom invoke those in affliction but the mother of consolation? Hear
me then, Holy Queen!"
The statues of the "Queen of Heaven" are often of great magnificence,
the dress of one which I know having cost $2,000. In the poor Indian
churches a bag of maize leaves, tied near the top to make a neck, and
above that an Indian physiognomy, painted with some vegetable dye,
serves the same purpose. The Bishop of La Serena, in Chili, has
received as much as $40,000 a year for keeping up the revered image
in that church, and these images _are worshipped_. Bequests are often
left to them, and a popular one will receive many legacies annually.
To be just, I must mention that in the arms of this "Mother of God"
there is, almost invariably, the child Jesus, but I must also state
that to tens of thousands this baby never grew to manhood, but went
up to heaven in His mother's arms. What a caricature of Christianity!
Paul said: "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and
your faith is also vain." "Make Jesus a perpetual child, and
Mariolatry becomes lower than Chinese ancestral worship." If He, as a
child, was translated to heaven, then He never died and rose again.
Mary is, to them, the Saviour. The child Jesus happened to be her
son, and, as she was the great divine one, He, through her, partook
of divinity. _La Cruz_, a weekly paper, published in Tucuman,
Argentina, in its issue of September 3rd, 1899, had the following
THE BIRTH OF MARY.
"Chroniclers say that such was the fury that possessed the devils in
hell, at the moment of the birth of the Most Blessed Virgin, that
they nearly broke loose.
"There was sounded in heaven the first cannon shot in salutation of
such a happy event. Lucifer gave such a jump that he got his horns
caught in the moon, and there, it is said, he remained hanging all
the day, like the insignificant fellow he is, to the great amusement
of the blessed ones above, who laughed to see such an uncommon sight.
"The other devils, who could not jump so high, remained below
screaming and kicking!, and tearing their apology for beards, when
not otherwise occupied in scratching and biting and burning the
unfortunate condemned ones.
"And all this because... it had been foretold that... a woman, yes, a
woman, should one day bruise their heads... and, according to all
appearances, this was the woman... and that she was that bright and
morning star that announces the appearance of the Sun.
"Why should we not therefore rejoice, as the angels in heaven
rejoiced, over that moat happy event--the birth of Mary."
From this it is clear that in Tucuman, at any rate--and this, by the
way, is an important city, of at least 75,000 inhabitants--they
believe that Mary, not Christ, came to bruise the serpent's head. The
Roman Catholic translation of Gen. 3:15 is: "_She_ shall bruise the
serpent's head." Thus, the reader sees, at the very commencement of
God's Word, and in the very first promise of a Saviour for fallen
men, the eyes of seeking souls are turned by Romanists from the
Creator to the creature.
How these words are understood by Romanists is plainly seen by the
pictures of Mary trampling on the serpent, which are found everywhere
in Romish lands.
Under pictures of the Virgin, circulated everywhere, are the words:
"We have seen the star and are come to adore her." The prayers of
adoration run, "To the holiest birth of Mary, that in death it may
bring about our birth to eternal glory. Ave Maria!" "To the anguish
of Mary, that we may be made predestined children of her sorrows. Ave
The veneration with which the Virgin Mary is regarded, and the power
with which she is invested, are thus told by many a priest: "Once God
was so angry with the world that He determined to destroy it, and was
about to execute His design when Mary said to Him: 'Give me back
first the milk with which I fed you, and then you can do so!' In this
way she averted the impending destruction."
"Millions in Brazil look upon the Virgin Mary as their Saviour. A
book widely circulated throughout northern Brazil says that Mary,
when still a mere child, went bodily to heaven and begged God to send
Christ, through her, into the world. Further on it says that Mary
went again to heaven to plead for sinners; and at the close Mary's
will is given, disposing of the whole world, and God the Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit--the Trinity--act as the three witnesses to the will.
How many good Christians at home think Brazil is a Christian
country?" [Footnote: W. C. Porter.]
If the Bible were in circulation throughout South America, the
populace would be enabled to see that Christ is not the remorseless
Judge but the loving Saviour, and that it was He who purchased
redemption for us. Mary, according to Luke 1:47, was herself in need
of a Saviour, and her only recorded command was to do as He, the
Christ, enjoined (See John 2:5). Not only Protestants, but not even
Roman Catholics born in Protestant countries, can understand what
Romanism is in South America.
Christ said: "Search the Scriptures." Rome has done her best to
destroy the sacred volume. Papal bulls, said to have been _dictated
by the Holy Ghost_, have been issued by several Popes. Rome sometimes
burned the martyrs with a Bible hanging around their necks. Romanists
showed their hatred against Wycliffe, the first translator of the New
Testament into English, by unearthing his crumbling remains and
burning them to ashes. I have often seen the same spirit shown in
A colporteur, writing of Scripture circulation in the Argentine,
says: "Many of the people are trying to get us ejected from the city.
One, to whom a Bible was offered, became so infuriated that he said:
'If it were not such a public place? I would drown you in the
river.'" A missionary writes: "A young fellow called out after me, 'I
renounce you, Satan,' but as that is not my name, I did not turn
back. During the meeting on Sunday evening, the priest came riding up
to the window, and shouted that he would soon put a stop to us.
Today he has had a number of bills printed, warning his parishioners
to have nothing to do with us. To-night one of the bills was pasted on
the door. Br. Arena took it off, and no sooner had he the door shut
than two shots were fired, but they did no more harm than to pierce
the door--thank God! I have been informed that a number of young men
will either beat or shoot me, and that as I am the only one left they
are going to make me leave, too, by foul or by fair means. The
following is a translation of the priest's warning:
"To the faithful of Candelaria. Beware.
This parish has been invaded by one of the
wicked sects of Protestantism, and, having the
sacred duty of warning my parishioners, I give
them to understand that should any one of
them attend, even from mere curiosity, to hear
the false and pernicious propaganda, or accept
tracts or books that come from the propagators
of Protestantism, he will be excommunicated
from the true and only Church of Jesus Christ,
Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman, wherein resides
the infallible authority. Beware, then, oh, ye
faithful, and listen to your parish priest, who
advises you of the danger of your souls."
Yet with all this darkness and error, the majority are well
contented, and quite willing to obey "warnings" like this and the
following, published in _Los Principios_, of Cordoba:
"It has come to our knowledge that there are
amongst us various Protestant ministers, that
distribute with profusion leaflets containing their
erroneous doctrines and calumnies against the
Catholic Church. Some of these leaflets and booklets
have fallen into our hands, and in them we
have found confirmation of what we say above.
In one of these leaflets, for example, they treat
as idolatry the worship that we Catholics tribute
to the Mother of God. They treat as superstition
the veneration they have in Rome for the holy
staircase by which our Lord Jesus Christ went
up to the judgment hall of Pilate. They combat
the worship of images, relics, and things of that
"Catholics ought to know that it is not lawful
for them to read these leaflets, nor the Sacred
Bible distributed by the Protestants, because it
has been falsified by them, accommodating its
texts to their errors. The Church has prohibited
its children many times these pernicious readings.
Let us reject, according to the counsel
of St. Paul, these ravenous wolves that come in
sheep's clothing, for they come to kill and to
destroy souls, thrusting them into the ways of
error, being separated from the true Church of
Jesus Christ, from which Luther, Calvin,
Zuinglio, Henry VIII, and others separated
themselves, of whom Cobbell, the Protestant
historian, himself has said: 'Never has the
world seem gathered into one century so many
perverse men as Luther, Zuiniglio, Calvin,' etc."
One acquainted with Spanish-American Romanism will smile at the
reference in the above article to the Bible having been falsified by
us. If the text of any version extant is compared with those which
are painted on the walls of the church in Celaya, there surely will
be found a great discrepancy. The following are translations:
"MARY, my mother, in thee I hope; save me from those that persecute
me."--Psalm vii. 1.
"Be thou exalted, O MARY, above the heavens, and thy glory above all
the earth."--Psalm lvii. 5.
'I will sing to MARY while I live."--Psalm civ. 33.
"Serve MARY with love, and rejoice in her with trembling."--Psalm ii.
"Offer sacrifices of righteousness and trust in MARY."--Psalm iv. 5.
"Let everything that hath breath praise OUR LADY," etc., etc.
Protestant Christians pay almost all the entire cost of circulating
Roman Catholic translations of the Scriptures over the world. In the
versions of De Saci (French), Martini (Italian), Scio (Spanish),
Pereira (Portuguese), and Wuyka (Polish), we find in Matthew 3: 2,
and thirty-four other places, instead of "repent ye" the words, "do
penance," while in Matthew 3: 8, and some twenty other places, the
word that should be translated "repentance," is rendered _penance._
In the following light way "penance" can be done, while "repentance"
is not thought of.
For sins against the Church the priest will often condemn the culprit
to wear a hideous garment for hours, or days, according to the
gravity of the offence, but this punishment can be worn by proxy.
There are always those who, for a consideration, will don the badge
What is called "Holy Week" gives proofs of the shallowness of Rome's
piety. Priests and people alike can weep, fast and faint, because
their God is suffering and dying; all traffic can stop because, they
say, "God has died"; but as soon as the death of Judas is announced,
at noon on Saturday, the noise of guns, pistols, squibs, etc., takes
the place of the death-like quiet that had reigned. After an hour or
two silence again prevails till Sunday morning, when all restraint is
removed, and people seem to make up for lost time. Drinking and
kindred evils run riot, and it is no uncommon thing on the Sunday
night to see the people drinking and dancing by the light of the
candles they were burning to their favorite virgin or saint.
In the large city of Lima, for centuries a very stronghold of image
worship, the interest in the Church has of late years been waning.
Perhaps one reason for this is the changing nature of the native
population of the city, for the deaths there exceed the births.
Seeing this falling away from the Church, the priests announced that
they had decided to send for the _Sacred Heart of the Virgin_, and
trusted that the presence of this holy relic would promote the more
faithful attendance of the flock. The _heart_ arrived and was with
great solemnity hung from the roof of the cathedral as the incentive
to piety. Thousands flocked into the sacred building with reverent
awe. The women gazed upon the heart with tearful eyes, and as they
thought of Mary's sufferings and goodness they were emulated to
deeper acts of love and piety. One day the wind blew very strongly
through the open doorway, and the _Sacred Heart_ began to sway to and
fro. Getting more and more momentum with every oscillation, the heart
finally struck against a sharp cornice, when lo--_all the sawdust
fell out_ of the canvas bag they had worshipped as the heart of flesh
of their goddess. How they reconciled the existence of the heart of
the Virgin with their belief that she ascended to heaven in a bodily
form I do not pretend to imagine. It may be remarked that this is
surely Romanism corrupted. Nay, it is rather Romanism developed.
"Andacilli is a hamlet, at which there is an image of the Virgin.
Every year pilgrims resort thither, and a great feast to the Virgin
is celebrated, the most important day being December 26th. During the
last few years there has been a falling off in the number of
pilgrims, especially those of the better class, but this last year
the clerical authorities have left no stone unturned in order to get
together more people than ever. Six bishops were advertised to come,
and they were to crown the Virgin with a crown which cost thousands
of dollars. These proceedings rouse an incredible enthusiasm in the
people." [Footnote: "Regions Beyond."]
Sometimes Mary's image is baptized in the river, while men and women
line the bank, ready to leap into the _holy water_ when she is lifted
out. Afterwards the water in which she was immersed is sold as a cure
for bodily ills. Sometimes the earth from under the building where
she is kept is also sold for the same purpose.
Imagine a church like that in Tucuru! "It consists of a palm-leaf
hut, with a bare floor and no furniture whatever. Round the sides
stand twelve life-size figures, made of canvas and stuffed with husks
of corn, which some one of the Indian worshippers has painted with
the features and dress of his own race. When I went in two women lay
prostrate on the floor, and one of them screamed in agonizing tones,
'My Lords, send the rod of your power to heal him!'--evidently
praying to these apostles on behalf of some sick relative. Here, once
a year, a priest celebrates mass, and when he last came he stuck a
paper over the entrance, which read: _Hoec est Domus Del et Porta
Coeli_ (' This is the House of God and the Gate of Heaven.') In San
Jose we have the four walls of a new church, consecrated to the
'Virgin,' where, recently, a raffle was held on behalf of the
projected edifice. As we enter, the first thing seen is an
inscription, professing to be a message to each visitor from the
Virgin, which says, 'My son, behold me without a temple. Come, help
in building it, and I shall reward thee with Eternal Life."
[Footnote: Report of the British and Foreign Bible Society.]
Christ said: "I give unto My sheep eternal life"; but the record of
that saying is jealously kept from them.
When the early colonists left Spain for the New World, they took with
them the Creed of Pius IV. That creed expressly states that the Bible
is not for the people. "Whoever will be saved must _renounce_ it. It
is a forbidden book."
"In 1850, when the Christian world was first being roused to the
darkness of South America, and philanthropic men were desirous of
sending Bibles there, Pope Pius IX. wrote an Encyclical letter in
which he spoke of Bible study as 'poisonous reading,' and urged all
his venerable brethren with vigilance and solicitude to put a stop to
it. Thus has South America been denied the revelation of God. The
priest has, because of this ignorance, been able to 'lord it over
God's heritage.'" [Footnote: Guiness's "Romanism and the
With an open Bible, Spanish America would have progressed as North
America has done. Without the enlightening influences of that Word,
behold the darkness! Could anything be more eloquent than the
prosperity of the land of the Pilgrim Fathers in proclaiming the
value of the open Bible?
Mr. Hudson Taylor, of the China Inland Mission, speaking on a recent
occasion, said: "I always pray for South America. It is a most needy
part of the world, and wants your prayers as well as mine. The
workers there have great difficulties to contend with, and of the
same sort as we have in China, from Roman Catholicism--the most God-
dishonoring system in the world. The heathen need your prayers, but
the Roman Catholic needs them ten times more. He is ten times as much
in the dark as the heathen themselves are."
The _Missionary Review of the World_ describes South America as
"Earth's darkest land." Do you not think, O reader, the words are
most truly applied?
"There are in South America eight hundred missionaries, men and
women, from Great Britain, the Continent of Europe, Canada and the
United States. In Canada and the United States there is on an average
one Protestant minister for every 514 persons. In South America each
missionary has a constituency of about fifty thousand, indicating a
need in proportion of population one hundred times as great as in the
Protestant countries of North America." [Footnote: Bishop Neely's
Yet, One called Jesus, whom we say we love, said: "Go ye into all the
world and preach the Gospel to every creature."