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Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Date Posted:

Gregory to Boniface
Rome On Orthodox Bloc
Put limbo into limbo
Paul VI and Aldo Moro
Break-Up Of Britain
Breach Wall of Secrecy
Crusade Is Faltering
Rome Dominating Europe
Father Christmas Bones
The Tainted Saint
Canonising John Paul
Rome Reaps What Sows
The ‘Hell of Nuns’ 2
The ‘Hell of Nuns’
Padre Pio Shrine
Unlikely Nun Supremo
Rome's Secret Weapon
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Irish Brigade In Italy
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Why Pope Benedict XVI?
Where Rome Is Wrong 3
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Where Rome Is Wrong 1
Athanasius ... Genius?
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1st Pillar of Popery 1
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What is the Individual
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Advance of Romanism: 1
Confess: Modern Sodom
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Purgatory Pickpocket
An Exposure of Popery
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Who Intercedes? - 6
Who Intercedes? - 5
Who Intercedes? - 4
Who Intercedes? - 3
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Who Intercedes?
Monasteries + Convents
Holy Orders
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Imagery - II
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Scarlet Woman
Indulgences - Tetzel
Christ and Pope
Relics of Rome
Refuge of Lies
Papal Infallibility
Rome's Immorality
Rome Unchanging
True Papal Church
The Mass

Monasteries And Convents

Written in the year 1886

As no means are being left untried once more to stud England with monasteries, it may be proper to glance at these institutions, and to inquire into their claims to the praise and confidence, or even toleration of society. On this subject we need not argue from principles to the consequence which may probably flow from them; history has supplied innumerable facts for the instruction of mankind. The thing is not now for the first time being introduced by way of experiment; that has long since been made over half the world, and everywhere with the same results. Monasteries and nunneries are based upon the erroneous principle-that in order to eminent holiness; a man must leave the world and withdraw into solitude, and there cultivate piety and walk with God.

To the simple and the sentimental there is a captivating plausibility about the idea which forms a snare into which multitudes have fallen. But it was not thus that the Son of God lived, nor thus that He commanded his Apostles to spend their days on earth after his departure. His people, He tells them, are the "salt of the earth;" but that salt may operate it must be brought into contact with the object; He tells them, they are the "lights of the world;" but if lights are to be of any use to mankind, they must not be placed in pits, or under bushels, in dens or caves of the earth. They might as well be put out at once for any practical purpose that can flow from them. Celibacy and solitude are follies of a kind very closely allied to sin. They are, in fact, a violation of principles laid deep in human nature, and of the express commands of the Word of God.

The principle of monasticism is a thing which admits of no rational defence, and if tested by its universal and uniform effects, it must be visited by the united and emphatic condemnation of the human race. To speak plainly, the proper definition of nunneries, of the ancient type, is dens of debauchery, caverns of crime-which carried the palm against all competition! They have been the haunts of hypocrisy, plague spots of society, schools preparatory for perdition! It is the policy of Rome to press her claims to any particular virtue, with vehemence proportioned to her consciousness of defect in that particular. In support of this, we shall produce a fact or two:

In the summer of 1835, a nunnery was opened in Edinburgh-the first there since the glorious Reformation-and on that occasion, Bishop Murdoch said, in the course of his sermon, "Scotland was once happy in her nunneries, monasteries, and convents, from whence issued a sweet odour of virtue, that attracted multitudes around to the faithful service of the world's Creator." It certainly required no common measure of brass to utter such language in the capital of Scotland. Either the Bishop had not read the History of Scotland, or he must have presumed that it was unknown to his auditors. The history of these institutions in Scotland, is one uniform stream of enormity; a chronicle of crimes at which even now, the virtuous reader turns pale! They had worked the utter ruin of virtue in Scotland, and filled society with an element of rottenness! The land was one huge moral charnel-house; the Reformation came just in time to save it from entire destruction!

The spread of these Institutions once more in England ought to be viewed with the deepest grief; and if they be allowed to exist at all, it should be under circumstances of supervision by the authorities, who may regulate, and, if needful, suppress them, and thus obviate the evils with which, in every land, they have hitherto abounded. The liberalism of our day is not without its dangers in this respect; it views all systems of professed Christianity as very much alike, and with the same indifference, if not contempt; and if the Protestant spirit of the British people prevent not, it will, before many years pass away, once more endow the Popish religion both in England and in Ireland, and at the same time extend it to the Colonies.

The bulk of the statesmen of the present day do not understand Popery and from this, their ignorance, arises their fearlessness, but it requires little sagacity to foretell the consequences of a courage that proceeds from blindness. Did they know it better, they would dread it more. The rise of monasticism is not to be viewed as a light matter; it very materially contributes to the coherence of the Papal system, and to nutriment it-a fact which explains the solicitude of the Popish clergy in England; to promote the reestablishment of these institutions. Composed, as such establishments are, they cannot fail to prove centres of influence wherever they are introduced. A prior, a sub-prior, a procurator, a prefect, and sub-prefect, a sacristan, and other officers, with a strong body of "brethren," form no inconsiderable citadel in a Protestant country.

Such monastic barracks become still more formidable, when it is remembered that they are all leagued indissolubly with the Pope of Rome; the general of every order of monks in the British Empire, residing at Rome, and receiving orders directly from the Pope and Propaganda. They are permitted to carry on whatever correspondence they please with Rome, with perfect secrecy; the British Government cares nothing about it; having no fears, it is heedless of safeguards. It is not so with the other chief Governments of Europe. Even the most thoroughly Papal States have been compelled to take the utmost precautions to protect themselves against the aggressive bearing of the Pope of Rome.

It is not so in England where the face of the country may be covered with monasteries and nunneries which the priests may manage as they think proper, holding with Rome whatever intercourse may conduce to the furtherance of their mysterious and mischievous projects. If the system, as far as this land is concerned do not prosper, the blame must lie with the priests themselves, and not with the British Government. We cannot breathe for our country a more patriotic wish than that the attempt to re-establish monasticism may not generally succeed; for if it do it will prove here again what it did in former times, and what it is now proving in every country where it exists-the ruin of morality and a heavy curse to society!

But already the progress is very great. No man that is conversant with the history of Popery in the world, can be unconcerned at the spread of these religious houses, in and around the metropolis, and throughout the provinces of England. Even since the Reformation, in countries where it is somewhat checked by the element of Protestantism, it is still a terrible evil; but it is only in countries where it is still pure and undiluted, as in Spain, that it is seen in its true character, in its frightful deformity.

In the days of our grandfathers, Rome, for example, comprised a population of 138568 with 40 bishops, 2686 priests, 3559 monks, 1814 nuns, with 393 servants-total, 8492 persons living out of the fruits of other people's industry! Thus 6285 clergy, secular and regular, were as one to every 22 persons in the population, exclusive of nuns! This, we conceive, it will be granted, is a tolerably fair supply of spiritual apparatus. Now the question is, its effects, moral and physical, on the population; and here we are not left in the dark, for history testifies that in both respects, the result was most deplorable.

The author of "Letters on Clerical Celibacy," on the authority of Ballaeus states that 6000 heads belonging to infants, the fruits of illicit intercourse, were found in a fishpond; this terrible statement has been the subject of some controversy. The result at which the late Mr. M`Gavin, the celebrated author of "The Protestant," arrived, was to the effect of its being, although scarcely credible, by no means impossible, since ten years in a marshy place, not influenced by the weather, comprising 600 a year, would make up the number. (Acta Rom. Pont.," 46. 11 The Protestant;, Vol. iv. 195) Be this as it may, that infanticide prevailed to an extent the most awful, is a matter of indubitable certainty. In our own day, with a population of 131256, Rome had 1013 children exposed in a single year, which was nearly three every night, upon an average-a number which, supposing they had been thrown dead into a marsh, instead of being brought to the Foundling Hospital, would have made up the total number aforesaid in less than ten years.

So late as the 25th of last January, a gentleman writes to a London journal of great repute, as follows:—"In your paper of the 17th you have inserted a letter from ` C. F.,' relative to a strange occurrence, in 1829, at Charenton-sur-Marne. May I be allowed to state that your correspondent has made a mistake as to the locality? It should have been at Charenton-sur-Seine, near Paris. I was engaged on the works of Messrs. Manby and Wilson, under Mr. Holroyd, the engineer of the works, when time after time large numbers of infant skeletons were discovered in all parts of the premises, which, I believe, had been, a convent of a very strict order of nuns. At first we did not take much notice of the circumstance; but when the attention of Mr. Holroyd and Mr. Armstrong was called to the singular affair, we were directed to count the remains; and from that day we counted, and placed to one side, no less than 387 entire skeletons of infants. We took no account of parts of skeletons, which if they had been all put together, would have far outnumbered the entire ones which were counted. I speak far within bounds when I say that there were found not fewer than the remains of 800 children, and there was not a single bone of an adult person among them. The mayor came to the premises, and had the bones placed in boxes and privately buried in the cemetery, and orders were given to hush up the affair."

When the hidden things of darkness come to be revealed, and not till then, the iniquities of Popery will be displayed in all the length and breadth, height and depth of their enormity, to the wonder of angels, and the horror of the spirits of just men made perfect!

On this subject the famous Echert and Augustodinus are unexceptionable witnesses of what was passing before their own eyes. The former of these says, "I have inspected the churches of the clergy and have found in them great and endless enormities. I have seen the cloisters of nuns, which I cannot call by any more tender name, than the snare of the devil, and lo! an alien has laid waste all; the lillies of chastity are burned up, and woeful destruction is everywhere conspicuous throughout the whole world of souls."

The latter says, "Look at the nunneries, and you will see in them a chamber already for the beast! There the nuns, from a tender age, learn lewdness, and associate very many companions with themselves, to heap up greater damnation; or else endeavour to keep out of sight, that they may be able yet more to let loose the reins of licentiousness. They are worse than common prostitutes, and like an insatiable whirlpool, can never be satisfied with the filth of their uncleanness! They snare the souls of young men, and rejoice if they ensnare many; and she expects the palm of victory who surpasses the rest in crimes." This is a text for Dr. Manning the next time he taunts the hierarchy of England on the subject of the doings of his Church for the poor, and of his own intended performances, through the rising monasteries and nunneries on behalf of the poor of the Metropolis.

We cannot leave this dreadful subject without adding the testimony of Wolfius, to the following effect:—"The nuns only remain for me to carry my description according to promise, from the head down to the feet, without omitting any order. But of these, modesty forbids me to say more, lest we should make a long and disgusting discourse, not concerning virgins dedicated to God, but rather of houses of ill-fame, of the acts of lasciviousness of harlots, of defilements and incest! For what else, I ask you, are the nunneries in the present day but execrable brothels of Venus, rather than sanctuaries of God, and houses of resort for lascivious and filthy gallants to satiate their lusts? So that now for a nun to take the veil, is to expose herself to public prostitution."

Let the people of England ponder these facts. We recoil from the statement, and, perhaps, it may wound the feelings of many a pure heart whose eye may fall upon it. But the truth must be spoken. These are not times to permit the sacrifice of that to false delicacy. It must be spoken and we will speak it, impugn it "whoso listeth."

In France, at the close of the last century, there were 18 Archbishops, 109 Bishops, 16 heads of religious houses, 556 Abbayes of Nuns, 1356 of Monks, 700 Convents of Cordeliers, 1240 Priors, 15200 chapels, about 34441 parishes, 14077 convents of all orders, 122600 Monks, 82000 Nuns; the total of Monks and Nuns 204600, with revenues amounting to £26000000. Here, too, is a fair supply; if ever Popery was in a position to make a full experiment upon a great people, it was in this case, since nearly the half of the whole land in France was in possession of the Church. The question then, to be put is, what was the effect of this prodigious array of spiritual force? Was the land a Goshen of piety, a paradise of innocence? Much otherwise! It is the unanimous testimony of all truthful history, that society was corrupt at its very core? But not to lose ourselves in generals, we shall cite the great historian of Europe, Mr Sheriff Allison, who declares that "the dissoluton of manners was enormous. Twenty millions of the public debt at the time of the Revolution, had been incurred for expenses too ignominious to bear the light, or ever to be named, in the public accounts." No marvel that a revolution arose; or that Voltaire denounced the Christianity, so called, which he saw around him.

But what was the effect of this all-pervading flood of Popery on the condition of the people? According to an excellent authority, Mr. Arthur Young, "labour was 76 per cent. cheaper in France than in England," a tolerably fair index to the physical influence of Popery and Protestantism respectively. Mr. Young, indeed, says,—"It reminded him of the miseries of Ireland." In this, as in everything else, the same causes never fail to produce the same effects. We might proceed to Spain and other countries, where we should find a state of things precisely similar; ignorance, idleness, poverty, misery, immorality prevailed in enact proportion to the prevalence of Popery.

But after the manifestoes of Bishop Murdoch and Cardinal Wiseman, it may be well to look at home, and enquire into the effects of Romanism at the present time. Cardinal Wiseman boasted of the wonders it has performed for the poor, and of the

great things that he had to do for Southwark. Now let us look at facts-facts obtained from the highest authority. The Parliamentary report on the poor, for the year 1830, states that 60000 persons in one year passed through the fever hospitals of Dublin a city not much larger than Glasgow. In the latter city-thoroughly Protestant, until polluted by Irish Papal emigration, by no means healthily situated, nor remarkable, but the contrary, for its sanitary regulations-so many patients did not pass through the Glasgow infirmary, for all sorts of maladies united, from the year 1794 to the year 1834, as did in Dublin for fever alone, arising from filth and squalor among the Popish populace for a single year!

But what of crime? The following may suffice for an illustration:—"In 1833, Lord Althorp stated to the Commons, that there were 4805 crimes by parties bound by oath in one province, and 163 of these murders. Sir Hussey Vivian's Returns in 1832 gave in all Ireland, from the military stations 1037; from Protestant Ulster, the largest of four provinces, 14! Returns from public prisons in 1819, 1820 in 1819 in the Adult Female Penitentiary, 56 -Roman Catholics 53; Protestants, 3. In the Penitentiary for Young Criminals, 105- Roman Catholics 96; Protestants 9. In 1819, convict ship, ` Benevolence,' from Cove of Cork to New South Wales, with 153 convicts-146 Roman Catholics; Protestants, 4. In March 1820, ` Hudlaw,' Captain Cragie, convict-Roman Catholics, 147; Protestants, 3. The proportion is nearly as four to one." We do not overlook the difference of the relative numbers of the two classes in the country.

Is it true respecting religious systems, as of trees and men, "by their fruits we shall know them?" To what conclusion, then, shall we come with respect to Popery, as in actual operation before our eyes? Let it not be said that Irish crime is the result of Irish poverty, until it has been first proved that Irish poverty is not the result of Irish Popery. But we invite the objector to the Continent, and challenge him to an investigation of the statistics of crime there. What is the testimony of the President of the Tribune of Mayence? It is, that the number of malefactors in Popish and Protestant countries, is in the proportion of four, if not six, to one! At Augsburg, with a mixed population, the convicted malefactors were as five Catholics to one Protestant, taking the population, of course, at thousand per thousand. What said our own immortal Howard, the philanthropist, respecting the comparative state of crime in Protestant and Popish countries in his day? He had tested that in Italy the prisons were always crowded, as also at Venice and Naples, while in Berne, the Protestant Canton, they were always empty, and that at Lausanne, he found no prisoner, and only three individuals in a state of arrest, at Schaffhausen. These are facts which we commend to the advocates of Popery as the chief source of morality and order.

As to social comfort, the same principle is found everywhere to prevail. In a lecture of the Rev. Thomas Gibson, delivered at Glasgow, which we select as a period when Popery in Ireland had not been weakened by emigration or other causes, we have a comparative view of Scotland and Ireland: "Scotland, a poor soil, 2333000 inhabitants; Ireland, a rich soil, with eight millions of people.

Cotton factories. Scotland 159 Ireland 28
Wool ditto Scotland 90 Ireland 36
Silk ditto Scotland 6 Ireland 1
Flax ditto Scotland 170 Ireland 35
(Flax is a staple article of Ireland.)

"The post office of Scotland yielded a gross produce of £205276; Ireland, £240471; but observe that the net produce of Scotland was £135806, of Ireland, £130497. The cities and towns bore a like proportion. To what is this owing? To irreligion and turbulence."

Mr. Gibson himself testifies to what ho found in travelling over the Continent; and says he had no difficulty in a moment, in ascertaining as he passed from country to country, whether he was among Papists or Protestants. The fact appeared on the very face of society. He further observed, that civilization and social comfort rose and fell exactly in the degree in which Popery was intense, or more relaxed. The conclusion, at which he arrived, was that everywhere " Popery, slavery, poverty, squalor, and filth, kept pace with one another. The riot, folly, and excess, licentiousness of the carnival, the multitude of processions, idle shows, and runs for months together after them, and false miracles, was destructive to morality, order, and prosperity. The whole is a vast scheme to elevate the supreme dominion of a host of priests, at the expense of the universal slavery, poverty, and degradation of mankind."

Reader! Such is a glimpse at the system, and we now appeal to you whether you can look upon it as a system that deserves to be viewed with favour by the friends of mankind? Can it be congruous with that religion which was heralded by angels, as fraught with " peace on earth, and goodwill to men?" Can it be justly looked upon as anything other than one of the worst elements of that mighty conspiracy against the human race, known as Popery? Had Popery nothing else evil in it but this conventual system, should not that alone suffice to call forth a unanimous shout of execration from the whole human family, followed by endeavours, intense and resolute, at its utter extirpation? It will subsequently appear, that Popish convents are fearfully on the increase throughout Great Britain.

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