A Curious Instance of Papal Infallibility

Charles Spurgeon:

Errors of the Roman Catholic Church, or, Centuries of oppression, persecution and ruin (1899) (14799662113)HARDLY can we remember so singular an incident as that which Dr. Wright records in the interesting pamphlet which now lies before us. If we had hitherto believed in the infallibility of the Pope of Rome, the fact here recorded would have delivered us from the delusion, and we trust the making of it known may have a like effect upon those who are now the victims of that fiction.
 It seems that a certain M. Henri Lasserre found great benefit for his sore eyes from his faith in the water of the Lourdes Grotto, and invocations of the Blessed Virgin. Abundant facts prove that faith in anything has a curative effect. Whether it is a doll dressed in satin, as at Larghetto, or a doctor with a wide reputation, or a quack medicine, or an old woman, or a broom-stick; if you have confidence that you will be cured, it goes a long way towards curing you. That, however, is not the point. M. Lasserre was grateful for his cure, and, moved by that gratitude, wrote a book, entitled, “Notre Dame de Lourdes.” It was the making of the place. His pen caused Our Lady of Lourdes to be much sought after; for his writing was charmingly attractive, and secured a host of readers.
 On a happy day, M. Lasserre discovered the Four Gospels, and was greatly impressed by them. He thought that the fourfold story of Jesus was the very book that France wanted; and he thought most wisely. He devoutly set to work to translate the original into the French of the day; making, not exactly a literal translation, but one which would command a reading from the ordinary Frenchman. Not in chapters and verses, but like an ordinary book, the gospel narrative flowed on in a charming manner. The version was as faithful as Henri Lasserre could make it; it would not quite satisfy an evangelical believer, but it was a wonderful performance for a Roman Catholic. For a preface, it bore in its forefront a lamentation over the neglect of the gospels by Catholics. He exclaims, “The gospel—the most illustrious book in the world—is become an unknown book.” Strange that such a book, with such a preface, should be dedicated to “Notre Dame de Lourdes.” But there was something stranger. The book appeared with the imprimatur of the Archbishop of Paris, and the approval and benediction of the Pope!! Note this—

“The Holy Father has received, in regular course, the French translation of the Holy Gospels which you have undertaken and accomplished, to the delight and with the approval of the Archepiscopal authority. His Holiness commissions me to express to you his approval of the object with which you have been inspired in the execution and publication of that work, so full of interest,” &c.

 Miracles will never cease; the Pope had sanctioned a preface extolling the reading of the Scriptures, and had also given his countenance to a popular translation of a portion of the New Testament.
 The Gospels, thus recommended, obtained a ready sale; edition followed edition, till the twenty-fifth appeared. Probably one hundred thousand copies were sold, at four francs each. Not as cheap tracts, but as valuable books which are sure to be preserved, had the Gospels entered many French families, under the sanction of the Pope.
 Suddenly “the Sacred Congregation” discovered that an error had been committed, and a decree was issued from the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, with the approval of “OUR MOST HOLY LORD, POPE LEO XIII.,” condemning the translation of Henri Lasserre, to be placed upon the index of forbidden books. An infallible benediction was removed to make room for an equally infallible malediction in the space of twelve months and fifteen days. The book has been withdrawn from circulation; but no hand can gather up all the copies, or destroy the good which must have come of their perusal. As for M. Henri Lasserre, he deserves our sympathy, and he should be the object of the prayers of all who rejoice in gospel light, that on him the fulness of truth and grace may dawn.
 This very wonderful story is set forth at length, with all the documents, by our friend, Dr. William Wright, of the Bible society; and those who invest a shilling in the purchase of his pamphlet, which is published by Nisbet, will do well to keep the document. Hereafter, it will be produced full many a time as the clearest possible demonstration that the Pope is not infallible—proof which must tell upon even a Catholic mind. We hear that the pamphlet is to be sown broadcast over Italy, and it will be good seed.
 The stopping of the sale of the Gospels may turn out to be for the furtherance of the truth. Let our readers think of it and rejoice—it is true that a Milan newspaper is daily issuing the Gospels in numbers. It will be a charming novel for the Italians. Hundreds of thousands will read the story of our Lord’s life and death, and the Lord will make it to them as a voice from heaven. Courage, brethren! God is confounding his enemies, winning wanderers, and visiting his people!



Source: http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/ppi1888.php

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The Forbidden Book. To give the Bible to the lay people is to throw pearls be-fore swine. Cardinal Hosious, Cursed be those cunning and nefarious societies whichcall themselves Bible Societies, and which give the Bible to the inexperienced youth. Pius IX. Were God to order me through the voices of my superiors to put to death, father, mother, children, brothers and sisters,I would do it with an eye as tearless, and a heart as calm, as if I were seated at the banquet of the Paschal Lamb.—Affirmation of a Jesuit. (33) CHAPTER VI. ENOCH MATHER MARVIN, LATE BISHOP OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH SOUTH. PRACTICAL RESULTS OF I\IE DOCTRINE OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION. And their word will eat as doth a canker.—(2 Tim. ii. 17. As most of you are already aware, I have, this evening,to deal with the practical results of the doctrine of Tran-substantiation. In doing so, I will, in the beginning, make this disclaimer: I do not charge that every individual who holds this doctrine realizes, in his own cha… [rest missing from source file]

Until the World’s End

William Tyndale“Christ is with us until the world’s end. Let his little flock be bold therefore. For if God be on our side, what matter maketh it who be against us, be they bishops, cardinals, popes, or whatsoever names they will?”

~ William Tyndale

Source: http://calvinisticquotes.blogspot.ca/2013/05/christ-is-with-us-until-worlds-end.html

No Other Than The Church of Rome


Christopher Wordsworth, D.D.:

“Look again at the prophecy. These kings, we read, give their power and strength to the Beast. They reign, as kings, at the same time with the Beast. As kings–that is, they are called kings–but the Beast is the real Sovereign of their subjects. And what is the fact? The European Kingdoms, which arose at the dissolution of the Roman Empire, surrendered themselves to the dominion of the Church of Rome, and were, for many centuries, subject to the Papacy. The Woman, who sat upon the Beast, had her hand upon the Horns, and held them firmly in her grasp. She still treats them as her subjects. The Papal Coins proclaim this. “Omnes Reges servient ei.” “Gens et Regnum, quod tibi non servierit, peribit.” Such are her claims; and at the Coronation of every Pontiff she thus accosts him: “Know thyself to be the Father of Kings and Princes, Ruler of the World.” These are the words which he assumes to himself, when the papal Tiara is placed on his brow. Thus in the claim of the Church of Rome to exercise sway over the Kings of the earth, and in that amplitude of dominion and plenitude of felicity, to which she has appealed for so many generations as a proof that she is favoured by Heaven, we recognize another proof that the Babylon of the Apocalypse, the Woman on the Beast, to whom Kings were to give their power and strength, is no other than the Church of Rome.”

~“Is not the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Book of Revelation?” An Essay by Christopher Wordsworth, D.D., Sometime Bishop of Lincoln at http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=union_2b

The Ritualist Priest and the Ass




A RITUALIST PRIEST meeting an ass, thus accosted her—” How durst thou presume to wear the sign. of the holy rood, seeing that thou art an unbaptized and unregenerate ass?”
 The meek-spirited beast replied—”Brother! God placed the cross on my back but I know not who placed it on thine.”
 Moral.—Self-imposed crosses occasion arrogancy.


The Interpretation Was Prior To The Reformation

Christopher Wordsworth, D.D. on the pre-Protestant identification of the woman on the beast as papal Rome rather than pagan Rome:

Paderborner Dom Dreifaltigkeitskapelle Liborius“The truth also is, that Bossuet misrepresents the interpretation which identifies the Church of Rome with Babylon. He calls it “a Protestant interpretation”; by which he means that it is a modern interpretation, contemporary with, or subsequent to, the Reformation in the sixteenth century.

But this is an oversight. For no sooner did the Church of Rome begin to put forth her present claims, and enforce her modern creed, than it was proclaimed by many witnesses, that by so doing she was identifying herself with the Babylon of the Apocalypse.

Dating from Pope Gregory the First, who made a prophetic protest against the title of Universal Bishop at the close of the sixth century, we can trace a succession of such witnesses to this day. In that series we may enumerate the celebrated Peter of Blois, the Waldenses, and Joachim of Calabria, Ubertinus de Casali, Peter Olivi, Marsilius of Padua, and the illustrious names of Dante and Petrarch.

The interpretation, which identifies the Church of Rome with the Apocalyptic Babylon, does not date from the Reformation; the truth is, that it was prior to the Reformation, and did much to produce the Reformation.

In the seventh and following centuries, the Church of Rome was united with the City of Rome, by the junction of the temporal and spiritual Powers in the Person of the Roman Pontiff; and when the Church of Rome began to put forth her new dogmas, and to enforce them as necessary to salvation, then it was publicly affirmed by many, (although she burnt some who affirmed it), that she was fulfilling the Apocalyptic prophecies concerning Babylon. And though the destruction of heathen Rome by the Goths in the fifth century was a most striking event, yet not a single witness of any antiquity can be cited in favor of the Exposition of Bossuet and his co-religionists, who see a fulfillment of the predictions of the Apocalypse, concerning the destruction of Babylon, in the fall of heathen Rome by the sword of Alaric.

Indeed, that exposition is a modern one; it is an afterthought; and has been devised by Bossuet and others to meet the other, which they call the Protestant, interpretation. The identification of the Apocalyptic Babylon with ancient Heathen Rome, as its adequate antitype, is an invention of modern Papal Rome.”

~“Is not the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Book of Revelation?” An Essay by Christopher Wordsworth, D.D., Sometime Bishop of Lincoln at http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=union_2a


The Church of England the Bulwark of Our Liberties (?)


WE have been very courteously admonished in the “Standard” Newspaper for taking any part in the agitation for disestablishing and disendowing the Irish church, and for expressing the hope that the like justice might, ere long, be measured out to the Establishment in England. We are thankful for the advice, but can assure our friend that it does not strike us as valuable. Our friend evidently thinks that if we and other Dissenters were better advised we should rally round the present Establishment, since its existence has been and is the great security for religious liberty; and if it were removed the Romanists would soon be in the ascendant, and persecution would follow. To this our reply is ready—we do not believe that the church of England is any more the protector of our liberties than are the Beef-eaters at the Tower, or the cream-colored horses in the royal stable. There is no sort of connection between the two by way of promotion, but very much in the way of hindrance. Historically, it will hardly be contended that Episcopacy, which hanged and imprisoned our forefathers in Elizabeth’s day, was then the bulwark of Dissenting liberty; nor can it be pretended that, under James I. and Charles I., it guarded sacredly the freedom of consciences. Clipped ears, slit noses, and branded cheeks were not very convincing proofs that an established church was tender and tolerant, and careful to give freedom to Dissenters. Nonconformists would hardly have dealt out such severe measures to Episcopacy in the time of Cromwell, if they had found it to be their shield and bulwark. Did the Act of Uniformity tenderly respect the liberty of Dissenters, or the Five Mile Act, and other such edicts? Were Claverhouse, and other butchers, the advocates and promoters of liberty? Does Scotland owe her liberty to Episcopacy or to the Covenanters? Was the act of Catholic emancipation the work of bishops and deans? The fact is that the existence of a sect, fondled by the state and supported by its wealth, in proportion as it dignifies the favored church, is an insult to the honor of all other, and a shackle to their freedom. It is an idle tale that the Episcopal sect guards our liberties as a body; in its midst are many noble and liberal men, who are always on the people’s side, but the bulk of its adherents incline in an opposite direction, and, as a church, it is almost always obstructive and disinclined to reform. Dissenters do not owe it, in political matters, the turn of a brass farthing, and have long enough been duped by the pretension that it is their friend and guardian.
 At the present moment we also fail to discover how the Establishment is the fortress under whose guns we dwell in safety. Our notion is, that, under God, our liberties are in the hands of the people of the United Kingdom, and that they know too well the value of them to let them slip. The sons of the Ironsides are not yet departed from among us, and we who could not use the carnal weapon have yet our free press, our unfettered pulpit, and our open Bibles, and feel safe enough while these are our munitions of war. While the freely chosen representatives of the people are our rulers, and a limited monarchy our form of government, we do not see how it can be said that our freedom rests with an Establishment which has no power to legislate for itself, much less for the nation. As well might the mistletoe pretend that its parasitical verdure is the true security of the oak, or the fox that its existence is the guarantee of the fertility of the land. We are at a loss to conceive where our friends see the connection. Is it in the fact that the bishops sit in the House of Lords, and always vote for every measure of a broad and liberal character? Or is it that the payment of tithes makes every man a lover of the constitution which enforces them? There may possibly be some recondite connection between a state-church and liberty, but we cannot see it. We are asked to go to Spain and Rome, but we prefer traveling to America, and there, without a state-church, we find a freedom certainly not less unlimited than our own. What can be done across the ocean can be done here. Americans can maintain their freedom without a state-church, and Englishmen are not less liberty-loving and not less able to take care of themselves. If, indeed, the state-church be such a bulwark of the constitution, why deprive the colonies of the blessing? Why act upon a wrong policy abroad, and save up all the good things for home? The case does not bear half a moment’s investigation.
 But the Catholics will be in the ascendant as soon as the church is disestablished. WHY? In the name of reason, why? Will they become the majority of the nation and of the House of Commons? Are we to believe that the Episcopal body is only pretendedly Protestant, and will go over to the Catholics as soon as their state pay is stopped? Then the nation will be the better for being rid of such mercenary defenders of her Protestantism. But, on the other hand, if the Protestant section of the church remains firm, what difference will be made? How will the numerical power of Protestantism be affected? Does the spiritual efficiency of the church in keeping back Popery depend upon tithes? Would not the Evangelical clergy pray and preach if they were disestablished? We are puzzled to know what is the foundation upon which the assertion rests as to this supposed hindrance of Catholic dominancy. We have no doubt Popery would like to mount the throne, and we could not trust its priests for an instant with power, but all the influence which now really operates to restrain their pretensions would remain still, and would gain immeasurably by the change. The church of England has in it a horde of Papists, and is doing Rome’s work daily, and yet it is set up before us as the bulwark against Rome: disestablish the church, and it would purify itself at once. The true church will prevail against the gates of hell without the state’s patronage. The issue is with God, and he needs no injustice to be perpetrated that his cause may be maintained. If the worst came to the worst, and the people of God were called to suffer, by God’s grace they could do it triumphantly, and would rather do so than be found guilty of forgetting that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Take away a state-church, and we are ready to bear the blame of all the consequences necessarily arising out of it; but we are not ready to aid and abet so glaring an act of oppression as compelling the many among the people of Ireland to support a religion in which scarcely one in ten of them believes.

Source: http://www.spurgeon.org/s_and_t/tract31.php

Except Thou Begin At The Bishops

Henry Wardlaw“The preaching of God’s word is hateful and contrary unto them. Why? For it is impossible to preach Christ, except thou preach against antichrist; that is to say, them which with their false doctrine and violence of sword enforce to quench the true doctrine of Christ. And as thou canst heal no disease, except thou begin at the root; even so canst thou preach against no mischief, except thou begin at the bishops.”

~ William Tyndale

Source: http://calvinisticquotes.blogspot.ca/2013/07/the-preaching-of-gods-word-is-hateful.html

The Figure of the Roman City


“Names are employed by us as signs. Thus Samaria is a sign of Idolatry, Egypt is a symbol of Malediction, and in like manner, in the writings of our own St. John, Babylon is a figure of the Roman City, mighty, proud of its sway, and fiercely persecuting the Saints.”

~“Is not the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Book of Revelation?” An Essay by Christopher Wordsworth, D.D., Sometime Bishop of Lincoln at http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=union_1

The Pope Is The Man Of Sin

Here is a series from Covenanter Reformation showing that the Pope of Rome IS the Man of Sin described in 2 Thessalonians 2.

Antichrist1Part 1 discusses how Antichrist and the Man of Sin are identical: https://covenanterreformation.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/the-pope-the-man-of-sin-part-1/

Part 2 discusses how the Pope fulfills the description in 2 Thessalonians 2: https://covenanterreformation.wordpress.com/2015/04/20/the-pope-the-man-of-sin-part-2/

Part 3 discusses who the “restrainer” is and how Antichrist was to appear after the fall of the Roman Empire: https://covenanterreformation.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/the-pope-the-man-of-sin-part-3/

Here is just one quote from this series showing that historicism is the long-standing interpretation of the believing church:

Cyril of Jerusalem (313 – 386): “But this aforesaid Antichrist is to come when the times of the Roman Empire shall have been fulfilled, and the end of the world is drawing near. There shall rise up together ten kings of the Romans, reigning in different parts perhaps, but all about the same time; and after those an eleventh, the Antichrist, who by his magical craft shall seize upon the Roman power; and of the kings who reigned before him, ‘three he shall humble,’ and the remaining seven he shall keep in subjection to himself.” Catechetical Lectures, section 15, on II Thessalonians 2:4, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. VII


Wordsworth on Why the Revelation 17 Woman is Rome

Walls of Rome 6th centuryFrom “Is not the Church of Rome the Babylon of the Book of Revelation?” An Essay by Christopher Wordsworth, D.D., Sometime Bishop of Lincoln:

“3. Thirdly, we read in the Apocalypse: Here is the mind, or meaning, which hath wisdom (Rev.xvii.9); the Seven heads of the Beast are Seven Mountains, on which the Woman sitteth.

In St. John’s age there was One City, a Great City, built on Seven Hills,–Rome. The name of each of its Seven Hills is well known: in St. John’s time Rome was usually called “the Seven-hilled City.” She was celebrated as such in an annual national Festival. And there is scarcely a Roman Poet of any note who has not spoken of Rome as a City seated on Seven Mountains. Virgil, Horace, Tibullus, Propertius, Ovid, Silius Italicus, Statius, Martial, Claudian, Prudentius — in short, the unanimous Voice of Roman Poetry during more than five hundred years, beginning with the age of St. John, proclaimed Rome as “the Seven-hilled City.”

Nor is this all. The Apocalypse is illustrated, in this respect, from another source, equally obvious to the world–Coins.

On the Imperial Medals of that age, which are still preserved, we see Rome displayed as a Woman sitting on Seven Hills, as she is represented in the Apocalypse.”

Source and read more: http://www.ianpaisley.org/article.asp?ArtKey=union_1