The One True Church...
By Fr. Arnold Damen S.J.
The One True Church, by Fr. Arnold Damen S.J.(1815-1890)
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
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
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 many.
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 best extant.
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
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 confusion.
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
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 earth.
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
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 against it.
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
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
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
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
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
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 Puseyite Church.
"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.
After 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 whatsoever.
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.
You can 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 primitive Christians.
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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