Forgery In Christianity
A Documented Record of the Foundations of the Christian Religion
by Joseph Wheless


“Destruction to the Triumphant Beast!”  Giordano Bruno.

“Ecrasez l’Infame!” - Voltaire.

Even MORE INDUCIVE than its own sweet reasonableness and persuasive truth, as accredited by the records and vouchers we have examined, were several very effective forcible aids to the propagation of the new Faith in the hearts and minds—and upon the bodies—of the Pagan populations. The strange phenomenon of the persistence of Christianity into the XXth Century can be understood only by consideration of the means employed for, and the medium of un-culture permitting, the propagation of this forged faith through the centuries of the Dark Ages of Faith, with its medieval “hangover” into the present scientific era.



The Jewish forgers of the near-sacred Books of Enoch, Esdras, etc., had pilfered from the Sacred Books and System of Zoroaster of Persia, their superstitions of angels and devils and hell-fire, and had invented the infernal doctrines of Original Sin and eternal damnation therefor,—all which counterfeit passed to and became current among the religious zealots of the debased Judaism then in vogue. Attributing their “revelation” or invention to Jesus Christ himself, the second-century forging Fathers of the new Faith bodily plagiarized these ready-made Pagan-Jewish superstitions, and by the potent “Sign of the Cross” metamorphosed them into holy “revelations” and inspired truths, the which to doubt was to be damned.

 The fanatic Hebrew religion and its derivative Christianity are the only religions ever known on earth based on and maintained by systematic persecution and murder. God-given laws of murder for disbelief were decreed at Sinai. A holy monopoly of priests was founded, and the divine ukase ordained: “They shall keep their priesthood, and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death.” (Num. iii, 10.) Murder was God-decreed: “The man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest. ... even that man shall die.” (Deut. xvii, 12.) Again the Jealous God decrees: ”He that sacrificeth to any other god—[thus admitting the other gods]—save unto Yahweh alone, he shall be utterly destroyed.” (Ex. xxii, 20; Deut. xvii, 2-5.) The ne plus ultra of inspired atrocity of Divine legislation is this infamy devised by priests and attributed to their mythic God: ”If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go serve other [more civilized] gods, ... Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shalt thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him: thine hand shall be the first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die”! (Deut. xiii, 6, 8-10; xvii, 2-7.) Old Elijah murdered by his God’s help two {238} companies of soldiers and their captains by calling down fire from heaven, and 450 priests of Baal and 400 priests of the phallic Asherahs, to prove by these 850 murders “if I be a man of the gods.” (2 Kings, i, 12.) His old side-partner Elisha stood by and watched God-sent bears which he had invoked tear and eat forty small children who ill-manneredly thumbed their noses at his old bald pate; and throughout the blessed Old Testament of God some hundreds of thousands of people were murdered by God outright and by his holy priestly agents, simply for differences of opinion or of conduct with respect—or disrespect—to the holy Hebrew God and religion. Only, fortunately, probably little of it is true.

The Son of the Hebrew God came in course of time to Jewry ostensibly to make amends for some of his Father’s damning vengeances. He came “to fulfill the law”; not only that, he overdid it and added to it sundry fiery climaxes of cursing and damnation, religious bigotry and intolerance unique to the “Gospel of Love” and of redemptive salvation. For sanctions ad terrorem of the new preachments of Christ who “came to bring not peace but the sword,” Jesus himself kindled the fires of Hell and decreed eternal damnation for unbelief: “He that believeth not shall be damned”; “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire”; “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”; “He that believeth not the Son, the wrath of God abideth on him”! These genial persuasions to belief in the priests were added to by Paul the Persecutor; harking back to his God’s Law of Sinai: “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy; ... Of how much sorer punishment ... shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God?”—”The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth forever and ever: and they shall have no rest day or night” from “the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God”! All this is for the happy Hereafter; but the pious deviltry begins by Hell-on-earth, as the gentle Jesus himself prescribed: “Those mine enemies, which would not that I reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke, xix, 27.) The whole body of Apostles appealed for Divine permit, that “we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them” (Luke ix, 54), who sought to imitate their pious devil-enchantments. Peter, Prince of Apostles, takes up the bloody cue: Every soul which will not hear that prophet shall be destroyed” (Acts, iii, 23); and Bigot Paul enjoins persecution, boycott and murder for the dissentient: “For there are many unruly and vain talkers ... whose mouths must be stopped” (Titus, i, 10, 11): and “He that troubleth you ... I would they were even cut off” (Gal. v, 10, 12), The Church Persecutrix is thus amply warranted of its holy task of “preserving the purity of the Faith” by fire and sword. Right quickly it began to “deal damnation‘ round the land on all they deemed the foe” of the Faith and its priests. The rule of death to heretics was proclaimed by the “Prince” and executed by sword and stake by his holy “Successors” so long as they were let: “There shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in heresies, ... and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter, ii, 1); and his arch-coadjutor Paul continued to go up and down the land “breathing out threatenings and slaughter” against all who despised his holy preachments. {239}

 As we shall hear confessed: “Toleration came in only when Faith went out; lenient measures were resorted to only where power to apply more severe measures was wanting”! (CE. vii, 262.) The infernal fact that Intolerance is the “natural accompaniment” of Religion, and that obsessed religionists are no different from a man-burning mob of lynchers, is thus again confessed: “A kind of iron law would seem to dispose mankind to religious intolerance. (p. 35.) ... When Christianity became the religion of the Empire, and still more when the peoples of Northern Europe became Christian nations, the close alliance of Church and State. ... heresy, in consequence, was a crime which secular rulers were bound in duty to punish. ... The heretic, in a word, was simply an outlaw whose offense, in the popular mind, deserved and sometimes received a punishment as summary as that which is often dealt out in our day by an infuriated populace to the [supposed] authors of justly detested crimes. That such intolerance was not peculiar to Catholicism, but was the NATURAL ACCOMPANIMENT OF DEEP RELIGIOUS CONVICTION in those, also, who abandoned the Church, is evident from the measures taken by some of the Reformers—[ex-children of True Church, who were there schooled and drilled in the infamies]—against those who differed from them in matters of belief. ... Moreover, ... the spirit of intolerance prevalent in many of the American colonies during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries may be cited in proof thereof.” (CE. viii, 35, 36.) The only way to kill the pernicious flower of Faith is to uproot and destroy the noxious weed with truth!


Such as this, repeated ad infinitum for terror, coupled with the threats of the quick “Second Coming,” when the Unbelievers should receive reward “unto the resurrection of damnation” (John v, 29), effectively seared the Gospel of fear and trembling into the superstitious Pagan dupes of Christianity.

Hear for a moment the zealous Father Tertullian throw the fear of Hell into the trembling Pagan patrons of the theater and the circus. As quoted by Gibbon from the De Spectaculis (Ch. 30), they are introduced with some pertinent words descriptive of the spirit of bigoted Christianity: “These rigid sentiments, which had been unknown to the ancient world, appear to have infused a spirit of bitterness into a system of love and harmony. The ties of blood and friendship were frequently torn asunder by the difference of religious faith; and the Christians, who, in this world, found themselves oppressed by the power of the Pagans, were sometimes seduced by resentment and spiritual pride to delight in the prospect of their future triumph.‘ You are fond of spectacles, exclaims the stern Tertullian;‘ expect the greatest of all spectacles, the last and eternal judgment of the universe. How shall I admire, how laugh, how rejoice, how exult, when I behold so many proud monarchs, and fancied gods, groaning in the lowest abyss of darkness; so many magistrates, who persecuted the name of the Lord, liquefying in fiercer fires than they ever kindled against Christians; so many sage philosophers blushing in red-hot flames with their deluded scholars; so many celebrated poets trembling before the tribunal, not of Minos, but of Christ; so many tragedians, more tuneful in the expression of their own sufferings; {240} so many dangers—.’ But the humanity of the reader will permit me to draw a veil over the rest of this infernal description, which the zealous African pursues in a long variety of affected and unfeeling witticisms.” (Gibbon, Ch. xv, p. 146-7.)


The damnable doctrine of Infant Damnation was one of the most terrifying and effective impostures of the Church to drive helpless victims into the fold of Christ. Infamous enough was the earlier doctrine of exclusive salvation, that the unbaptized adult, the individual outside Church was the heir to eternal damnation. But soon the terror was extended to the just-born infant, to even the fetus in its womb. St. Augustine affirmed this atrocity with all his vehemence; all the Fathers without exception dinned it eternally,—as yet today. A treatise of the greatest authority, De Fide, long attributed to Augustine, but now known to be the work of Bishop St. Fulgentius (CE. vi, 317) thus states the horrid doctrine: “Be assured, and doubt not, that not only men who have attained the use of their reason, but also little children who have begun to live in their mothers’ womb and have there died, or who, having been just born, have passed away from the world without the sacrament of holy baptism, administered in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, must be punished by the eternal torture of undying fire; for although they have committed no sin by their own will, they have nevertheless drawn with them the condemnation of original sin, by their carnal conception and nativity.” (sec. 70.) Lecky, who quotes the passage, thus comment the effects as witnessed in practice throughout the Middle Ages: “Nothing indeed can be more curious, nothing more deeply pathetic, than the record of the many ways by which the terror-stricken mothers attempted to evade the awful sentence of their Church. Sometimes the baptismal water was sprinkled upon the womb; sometimes the still-born child was baptized, in hopes that the Almighty would antedate the ceremony; sometimes the mother invoked the Holy Spirit to purify by His immediate power the infant that was to be born; sometimes she received the Host or obtained absolution, and applied them to the benefit of her child. For the doctrine of the Church had wrung the mother’s heart with an agony that was too poignant for even that submissive age to bear.” (Rationalism in Europe, i, 362-364.) And all this on account of an apple eaten four thousand years before they were born; willed by the Deity who had foreordained their birth and premature death, before His Holy Church could come at the Baptismal fees!


With the miraculous “conversion of Constantine”—to at least the practical advantages of Christianity as providing numerous partisans to his ambitious cause and great numbers of recruits to his armies, the Church of Christ emerged from obscurity and catacombs; by dint of servile flatteries, bold impostures, and shameless forgeries, of which we have seen examples, it quickly insinuated itself into imperial favor and popular regard, and soon dominated the superstitious court and populace. This was a signal triumph for Faith, which now became popular and the means to preferment; the truth of the Christ did now more rapidly spread and {241} abound. That such considerations, much more of this material world worldly than of the other-world of the spiritual, best further the cause of Christ and are its most powerful propaganda, is thus delicately confessed: “ When a Government, for instance, reserves its favors and functions for the adherents of the State religion, the army of civil servants becomes a more powerful body of missionaries than the ordained ministers”! (CE. vii, 259.) Thus began that fullest League with Death and Covenant with Hell between State and Church, persistent yet to this day!


But until the Christian priests poisoned his mind with their arrogant pretensions, Constantine was truly liberal in his policy of “religious indifferentism” or toleration. His broad-minded and states-man-like grasp of the principles of liberty of belief in any and all forms of religious superstition, or in none at all, rose to heights never since attained until Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, reflected in Art. VI and Amendment I of the Federal Constitution. Constantine’s Edict of Milan, of 313, was the first charter of religious freedom and toleration, securing equality and liberty of worship to the Christians,—and very quickly repudiated by them as against all others; it is preserved and thus quoted by Lactantius.

"Not many days after the victory, Licinius ... on the ides of June (13th), while he and Constantine were consuls for the third time, he commanded the following edict for the restoration of the Church, directed to the president of the province, to be promulgated—

"When we, Constantine and Licinius, emperors, had an interview at Milan, and conferred together with respect to the good and security of the commonweal, it seemed to us that, amongst those things that are profitable to mankind in general, the reverence paid to the Divinity merited our first and chief attention, and that it was proper that the Christians and all others should have liberty to follow that mode of religion which to each of them appeared best; so that God, who is seated in heaven, might be benign and propitious to us, and to everyone under our government. And therefore we judged it a salutary measure, and one highly consonant to right reason, that no man should be denied leave of attaching himself to the rites of the Christians, or to whatever other religion his mind directed him, that thus the supreme Divinity, to whose worship we freely devote ourselves, might continue to devote His favor and beneficence to us. ... For it befits the well-ordered State and the tranquillity of our times that each individual be allowed, according to his own choice, to worship the Divinity; and we mean not to derogate aught from the honor due to any religion or its votaries.”

(Lact., Of the Manner in Which the Persecuters Died, ch. xlviii; ANF. VII, 320; Eusebius, HE. viii, 17.)


But no sooner had the priests of the new Superstition foisted themselves securely into power, and by their threats of hell-fire dominated the superstitious minds of the ex-Pagan Constantine and his sons and successors, than the old decrees of persecution under which the Christians had themselves suffered, were revamped and with fiendish ferocity turned by them into engines of fearful torture and destruction of Pagans, Jews, and “heretic” Christians alike; and religious intolerance became the corner-stone of the Church Persecutrix. In the famous Code of Theodosius, about 384, it was at priestly instigation enacted:

"We desire that all the people under our clemency should live by that religion which divine Peter the apostle is said to have given the Romans. ... We desire that heretics and schismatists be subjected to various fines. ... We decree also that we shall cease making sacrifices to the gods. And if anyone has committed such a crime, let him be stricken with the avenging sword.”
Cod. Theod. xvi, 1, 2; v, 1; x, 4.)
What a shaming Christian contrast to the Pagan Edict of Milan, granting religious liberty and tolerance to all! In these laws of the now “Christian” empire priestly intolerance is made the law of the land; the accursed words “Inquisition of the Faith” and “Inquisitors” first appear in this Christian Code. “Theodosius I was called the Great because he was the first Emperor to act against heathenism, and also because he contributed to the victory over the Arians.” (CE. iii, 101.)

Even the “Infidel” Moslem, in his crude Koran, teaches a doctrine of tolerance to shame the Bible and the Christians: “Those who follow the Jewish religion, the Christians, the Sabeans, and whatever others believe in God and practice doing good, all these shall receive their recompense from the Lord. ... Virtue does not consist in turning the face towards the East nor towards the West to pray, but in being tolerant.” (Quran, ix, 59, 76;—from Spanish text.) 


Holy Fraud and Forgery having achieved their initial triumph for the Faith, the “Truth of Christ” must now be maintained and enforced upon humanity by a millennial series of bloody brutal Clerical Laws of pains and penalties, confiscations, civil disabilities, torture, and death by rack, fire and sword, which constitute the foulest chapter of the Book of human history—the History of the Church!

When the Christians were weak and powerless and subjected to occasional persecutions as “enemies of the human race,” they were vocal and insistent advocates of liberty of conscience and freedom to worship whatever God one chose; the Christian “Apologies” to the Emperors abound in eloquent pleas for religious tolerance; and this was granted to them and to all by the Edict of Milan and other imperial Decrees. But when by the favor of Constantine they got into the saddle of the State, they at once grasped the sword and  began to murder and despoil all who would not pretend to believe as the Catholic priest commanded them to believe. When today the Church screams “Persecution!” and “Bigotry!” at every criticism and every attempt to restrict it in some of its presumptuous usurpations, let it recall a few of the laws of intolerance, plunder and death which it procured and enforced from the moment it got the prostituted power, so long as that power lasted.

Beginning with Constantine, and under succeeding “Christian” emperors, there is a series of scores of laws which the Christians procured to be enacted for the suppression and persecution to death of Pagans, heretics and Jews. These laws and edicts are to be found in the Codes of Theodosius and of Justinian, the two famous codifications of Roman Law. To exhibit the progressive and persistent system of proscription to which all but themselves were persecutingly subjected by the “Orthodox” Christians, I shall simply quote the titles of some of these laws, with indication of the names of the Emperors issuing them, the dates and number of the laws, and the Code or other source in which it is preserved. 


The earliest laws of Constantine were those granting religious toleration, as the Edict of Milan already quoted, and laws for the redress of injuries done to Christians; such as release of prisoners and those in servitude, and the restoration of property; chapter 36 declares that “The Church is the heir of those who leave no kindred; and free gifts to it are confirmed”; chapter 41: “Those who have purchased property belonging to the Church or received it as a gift, are to restore it.” (Eusebius, Vita Constantine, N&PNF. Bk. II, chs. xxiv-xliii.)

“Edict to the People of the Provinces Concerning the Error of Polytheism.” (Ib. chs. xlviii-xlix.)

“Granting Money to the Churches.” (Ib. Bk. x, ch. vi.)

 “Catholic Clergy exempt from Certain Civic Duties.” (Code Theod. xvi, 2, 1; 313.) “The Catholic Church freed from Tribute.” (Id. xi, 1, 1; 815.) “Clergymen freed from Financial Burdens.” (Id. xvi, 2, 2; 319.) “The Church allowed to Receive Bequests.” (Id. xvi, 2, 4; 321.)

 “Bishop’s Powers as Judges and Witnesses”: “Whatever may be settled by a sentence of bishops shall ever be held as sacred and venerable ... All testimony given, even by a single bishop, shall be accepted without hesitation, by every judge, neither shall the testimony of any other witness be heard, when the testimony of a bishop is brought forward by either party”! (Const. Sirm. i; 333.)

“The Day of the Sun a Time of Rest.” “All judges, and city folk and all craftsmen shall rest on the venerated day of the Sun.” (Cod. Just. iii, 12, 2; 321.)

 “As it has seemed most unworthy that the Day of the Sun, famous by its venerable character, ... Therefore on the festive day.” (Cod. Theod. ii, 8, 1; 321.) {244}

A number of laws follow in favor of the Pagans, and while prohibiting “private divination and soothsaying,” and “Malevolent Magic Prohibited, but Beneficial Magic Encouraged”; also exempting Pagan Flamens, priests and magistrates from sundry restrictions and disabilities. No law of Constantine seems to be preserved which prescribes active persecution; he seems to have sought to hold an even balance of toleration to Pagans and Christians. But that he did enact such laws seems to be proved by recital in the first of the laws of his sons, Constantius and Constans, who were Arian heretics.


“Sacrifice Prohibited.”: “Let superstition cease and the folly of sacrifices be abolished. Whoever has dared in the face of the law of the divine prince, our father [Constantine] ... to make sacrifices, shall have appropriate penalty, and immediate sentence dealt to him.” (Cod. Theod. xvi, 10, 2; 341.)

“All Temples Closed and Sacrifices Forbidden.” “but if any one commit any offense of this sort, let him fall by the avenging sword,” and his property forfeited; judges neglecting to “mete out penalties for these offenses, they shall be similarly punished.” (Cod. Theod. xvi, 10, 4; 846.)

“Sacrificing and Idolatry Punishable by Death.” “We order that all found guilty of attending sacrifices or of worshipping idols shall suffer capital punishment.” (Id. xvi, 10, 6; 356.)


“Wills of Apostate Christians to be Set Aside”: “The right of making a will shall be taken from Christians who become pagans; and if such persons make wills, they shall be set aside without regard to circumstances.” (Cod. Theod. xvi, 7, 1; 381: cf. Cod. Justin. i, 7, 2; 382.)

“The Right to Bequeath or Inherit Property Denied Apostates”: “We deny to Christians and the faithful who have adopted pagan rites and religion all power of making a will in favor of any person whatsoever, in order that they may be without the Roman law [outlaws]; ... even of enjoying a will with the power of acquiring an inheritance.” (Cod. Theod. xvi, 7, 2; 383.) “The Right of Making a Will Denied Christians Who enter Temples.” (Id. xvi, 7, 3; 383.)


“Testamentary Disqualification for Christian Apostates,” and Outlawry as Witnesses.—”Those who betray the sacred faith and profane holy baptism are shut off from association of all and from giving testimony. ... They may not exercise the right of making a will, nor enter upon any inheritance; they may not be made anyone’s heir.” (Id. xvi, 7, 4; 391.)

“Sacrificing and Visiting Shrines Prohibited.” (Id. xvi, 10, 10; 391.)—”Sacrifices Forbidden and Temples Closed.” (Id. xvi, 10, 11; 391.) {245}

“PAGANISM OUTLAWED.”—“IF any one dares [to sacrifice, etc.], let any man be free to accuse him and let him receive, as one guilty of lese majeste, ... for it is sufficiently a crime.” (Id. xvi, 10. 12; 392.)


“Pagan Holidays Abolished.” (Cod. Theod. ii, 8, 22; 895.)

 “Privileges of Pagan Priests Abolished.” (Id. xvi, 10, 14; 396.)

 “Rural Temples to be Destroyed.” (Id. xvi. 10, 16; 399.)

 “Temples to be Appropriated by the Churches.” (Id. xvi, 5, 43; 408.)

 “Temples to be Appropriated by the Churches. Temple Buildings and their Revenues to be Confiscated and idols and Shrines to be Destroyed.” (Id. xvi, 5, 43; xvi, 10, 19; 407.)

 “Only Catholics to Serve as Palace Guards.” (Cod. Theod. xvi. 5, 42; 408.)

 “Laws Against the Pagans to be Enforced”: “The Donatists and other vain heretics and those others who cannot be converted to the worship of the Catholic communion, Jews and Gentiles who are vulgarly known as pagans; ... Let all judges understand, and not fail to carry out all decrees against such persons.” (Id. xvi,. 5, 46; 409.)

 “Pagans Barred from Civil and Military Offices.” (Id. xvi, 10, 21; 416.) “Existing Laws against Pagans to be Enforced.” (Id. xvi, 10, 22; 423.)

 “Pagans Who Sacrifice Shall Lose their Property and be Exiled” (Id. xvi, 10, 23; 423.)

 “Pagan Superstition to be Rooted Out”: “We are extirpating all heresies and all falsehoods, all schisms and all superstitions of the pagans and all errors that are inimicable to the Catholic religion. ... And since all attempt at supplication is denied forever, they will be punished with the severity befitting crimes.” (Id. xvi, 5, 63; 423.)

 “Pagans Barred from Pleading a Case or Serving as Soldiers”: “... and every sect unfriendly with the Catholics should be driven out of every city in order that they may not be sullied by the contagious presence of criminals. We deny to Jews or pagans the right of pleading a case in court or of serving as soldiers.” (Const. Sirm. No. 6; 425.)


“Baptized Persons who follow Pagan Practices to Suffer Death. Provisions for the Conversion of the Unbaptized. Pagans Forbidden to Give Instruction.” - (Cod. Just. i, 11, 9; 472.)

“Pagan Rites Forbidden and Bequests for Pagan Cults Prohibited.” - (Cod. Just. 1, 11, 10; no date given.)

“Pagans Barred from Office and their Real Property Confiscated.” “The Emperors Justin and Justinian. ... It is our intention to restore the existing laws which affect the rest of the {246} heretics of whatever name they are, (and we label as heretic whoever is not a member of the Catholic Church and of our orthodox and holy faith); likewise the pagans who attempt to introduce the worship of many gods, and the Jews and the Samaritans. ... We forbid any of the above-mentioned persons to aspire to any dignity or to acquire civil or military office or to attain to any rank.”

(Id. i, 5, 12; 527.)

Thus was Pagan Superstition proscribed and destroyed by Christian law and sword; and the identical Pagan Superstitions under the veneer of the name of Christian established and enthroned. The subject is thoroughly examined by Prof. Maude A. Huttmann, in The Establishment of Christianity Through the Proscription of Paganism; (Columbia University Press, 1914).


A graphic sketch of the origin, the universal scope, and the crushing effect of the early imperial laws, supplemented and expanded by those of medieval and more modern times, is given by CE., related with all the sinister and cynical insolence, sophistry and hypocrisy of intolerant bigotry. To its Christ it imputes the horrid justification of the sword and the infernal principles of butchery whereby the Church Murderess has “made a hell of earth to merit heaven.” This recital is not alone of ancient sacred history; CE. admits: “These primitive views on heresy have been faithfully transmitted and acted on by the Church in subsequent ages; there is no break in the tradition from St. Peter to Pius X.” (vii, 259.) The principles are yet alive and cherished, their practical application has only for the time being “fallen into abeyance,” only, for the reason that in these modern times “the power to apply more severe measures is wanting.” he admitted ecclesiastical record of repression and murder in its forged and fraudulent faith:

Constantine had taken upon himself the office of lay bishop (episcopus externus) and put the secular arm at the service of the Church, the laws against heretics became more and more rigorous. Under the purely ecclesiastical discipline no temporal punishment could be inflicted on the obstinate heretic, except the damage which might arise to his personal dignity through being deprived of all intercourse with his former brethren. But under the Christian emperors rigorous measures were enforced against the goods and persons of heretics. From the time of Constantine to Theodosius and Valentinian III (313-424) various penal laws were enacted against heretics as being guilty of crime against the State. In both the Theodosian and Justinian codes they were styled infamous persons; all intercourse was forbidden to be held with them; they were deprived of all offices of profit and dignity in the civil administration, while all burdensome offices, both of the camp and of the curia, were imposed upon them; they were disqualified from disposing of their own estates by will, or of accepting estates bequeathed to them by others; they were denied the right of giving or receiving donations, of contracting, buying, and selling; pecuniary fines were imposed upon them; they were often proscribed and banished, and in many cases scourged before being sent into {247} exile. In some particularly aggravated cases sentence of death was pronounced upon heretics, though seldom executed in the time of the Christian emperors of Rome. Theodosius is said to be the first who pronounced heresy a capital crime; this law was passed in 382 against [several named sects of heretics]. Heretical teachers were forbidden to propagate their doctrines, publicly or privately; to hold public disputations; to ordain bishops, presbyters, or other clergy; to hold religious meetings; to build conventicles or to avail themselves of money bequeathed to them for that purpose. Slaves were allowed to inform against their heretical masters and to purchase their freedom by coming over to the Church. The children of heretical parents were denied their patrimony and inheritance unless they returned to the Catholic Church. The books of heretics were ordered to be burned.

 (Vide Codex Theodosianus, lib. XVI, tit. 5, “De Hereticism”)

“This legislation remained in force and with even greater severity in the Kingdoms formed by the victorious barbarian invaders on the ruins of the Roman Empire in the West. The burning of heretics was first decreed in the eleventh century. The Synod of Verona (1184) imposed on bishops the duty to search out heretics in their dioceses and hand them over to the secular power. Other Synods, and the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) under Pope Innocent III, repeated and enforced this decree, especially the Synod of Toulouse (1229), which established inquisitors in every parish (one priest and two laymen). Everyone was bound to denounce heretics, the names of the witnesses were kept secret; after 1243, when Innocent III sanctioned the laws of Emperor Frederick, II and of Louis IX against heretics, torture was applied in trials; the guilty persons were delivered up to the civil authorities and actually burnt at the stake.

“Paul III (1542) established, and Sixtus V organized, the Roman Congregation of the Inquisition, or Holy Office, a regular court of justice [!] dealing with heresy and heretics. (See Roman Congregations.) The Congregation of the Index, instituted by St. Pius V, has for its province the care of faith and morals in literature; it proceeds against, printed matter very much as the Holy Office proceeds against persons (see Index of Prohibited Books). The present pope, Pius X (1909), has decreed the establishment in every diocese of a board of censors and of a vigilance committee whose functions are to find out and report on writings and persons tainted with the heresy of Modernism (Encycl.‘ Pascendi,’ 8 Sept. 1907).—[At another place the pious clerical reason for this flagrant attempt against the mind and its liberty of inquiry is thus with unctuous priestly speciousness stated: “for it is notorious that clever sophistry coated with seductive language may render even gross errors of faith palatable to a guileless and innocent heart”! (CE. xiv, 766).]—The present-day legislation against heresy has lost nothing of its ancient severity; but the penalties on heretics are now only of the spiritual order; all the punishments which require the intervention of the secular arm have fallen into abeyance. ...
“The Church’s legislation on heresy and heretics is often reproached with cruelty and intolerance. Intolerant it is; in fact its raison d’etre is intolerance of doctrines subversive of the {248} Faith. Cruelty only comes when the punishment exceeds the requirements of the case. ... It suffices to remark that the inquisitors only pronounced on the guilt of the accused and then handed him over to the secular power to be dealt with according to the laws framed by emperors and kings—[at the instigation of the Church!].
“Toleration came in only when faith went out; lenient measures were resorted to ONLY WHERE POWER TO APPLY MORE SEVERE MEASURES WAS WANTING. ... Christ says:‘ Do not think that I am come to send peace upon earth,: I came not to send peace, but a sword.’ The history of heresy verifies this prediction”!

 (CE. vii, 256-262, passim.)

The Church Persecutrix, under this forged Christ-Lie, has shed oceans more of blood than of its boasted “light” upon religion-cursed Christendom. The only “light” it has diffused has been from the flames of “heretic” cities, and the lurid fires of myriads of Autos-da-Fe, kindled by hypocrite priests, burning in agony the bodies of countless heroic men and women who scorned to prostitute their minds to the sinister lies of priestcraft, and who have dared defy with their lives the blighting “rule and ruin” dominion of the power-lusting Church.

With a shudder of undying loathing for the cruel cynical Hypocrite, we may admire the sweet charity of tender mercy displayed by the Holy Church of the Christ, exampled in the sanctimonious Formula of Judgment whereby its Holy Inquisition handed over the racked and broken errant Child of Faith to the prostituted Secular Arm for the final Act of Murder—the blessed Auto-da-Fe, with a prayer for the hated heretics: “Ut quam clementissime et sine sanguinis effusionem puniretur—should be punished as mildly as possible and without the shedding of blood”! The while Their Holinesses kept a standing Decree of Indulgences from the pangs of Purgatory for all the hoodlum Faithful who would please and glorify God by attending the sacred ceremonials of Burning, and especially to those who would aid God and the priests by fetching fagots for the consecrated fires, and throw water on the wood so that the priest-set flames would be slower in their purifying work and allow the writhing “Obstinate” longer time to make Peace with God and Holy Church by meet Repentance; in which event, the “reconciled” Child of Faith would be dragged from the flames only partly cremated, and returned to prison cell there to agonize out the remainder of his life in rapt contemplation of the beauties and sweetness of the blessed Christian Religion, crooning “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”

The foregoing loathsome boasted record of the Church, sinister and infamous as it is, may be complemented by the following cynical and sophistical recital of the mental and moral debauch of ignorance imposed by the Church, concluding with the formal admission that “the theocratic State was called upon [by its prostituted mistress the Church] to avenge with the pyre” defiance of the lying fraudulent pretensions of the Church: {249}

”During the Middle Ages the Church guarded the purity and genuineness of her Apostolic doctrine through the institution of the ecclesiastical (and State) Inquisition. ... Following the example of the Apostles, the Church today watches zealously over the purity and integrity of her doctrine, since on this rests her whole system of faith and morals, the whole edifice of Catholic thought, ideals, and life. For this purpose the Church instituted the Index of Prohibited Books, which is intended to deter Catholics from the unauthorized reading of books dangerous to faith or morals, for it is notorious that clever sophistry coated with seductive language may render even gross errors of faith palatable to a guileless and innocent heart. (p. 766.) ... Now, formal heresy was likewise strongly condemned by the Catholic Middle Ages; and so the argument ran: Apostasy and heresy are, as criminal offenses against God, far more serious crimes than high treason, murder, or adultery. ... But, according to Romans xiii, 11, seq., the secular authorities have the right to punish, especially grave crimes, with death; consequently, heretics may be not only excommunicated, but also justly (juste) put to death’ (St. Thomas, II-II, Q; xi, a, 3). ... The earliest example of the execution of a heretic was the beheading of the ring leader of the Priscillianists by the usurper Maximum at Trier (385). Even St. Augustine, towards the end of his life, favored State reprisals against the Donatists. ... Influenced by the Roman code, which was rescued from oblivion, Frederick II introduced the penalty of burning for heretics by imperial law of 1224. The popes, especially Gregory IX, favored the execution of this imperial law, in which they saw an effective means for the preservation of the Faith. ... Unfortunately, neither the secular nor the ecclesiastical authorities drew the slightest distinction between dangerous and harmless heretics, seeing forthwith in every (formal) heresy a‘ contumelia Creatoris,’ which the theocratic State was called upon to avenge with the pyre.”

 (CE. xiv, 766, 768.)


“Hypocrites! Ye compass land and sea to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves!” Jesus. (Matt. xxiii, 15.)
The barbarous penal forms of the Middle Ages are to be credited, not to the Church, but to the State”! (CE. xiv, 768.) It is a monstrous hypocritical perversion of truth to pretend, as the Church ever does, that these inhuman and devastating legal enactments and deeds of fire and blood, which ad horrendum we have just read in faint outline from secular and ecclesiastical history, and which brought several “Most Christian” nations to utter ruin, moral and economic, were the voluntary and spontaneous expressions of the social policy of Secular rulers, enacted and wrought against their subjects in order to preserve the peace and safety of the State and to regulate the civil and political conduct of their peoples. The Church, by fraud and fear, brought the secular rulers under her ignominious domination, and forced them by her threats, as we have seen proved and admitted, to make and enforce these infernal enactments and destructions. “ This is the stale pretense {250} of the Clergy in all countries, after they have solicited the government to make penal laws against those they call heretics, or schismatics, and prompted the magistrates to a vigorous execution, then to lay all the odium on the civil power; for whom they have no excuse to allege, but that such men suffered, not for religion, but for disobedience to the laws.” (Somers Tracts, vol. xii, p. 534; cited by Buckle, Hist. of Civilization in England, i, p. 246.)

 But the Church waited not for the secular rulers to obey her murderous behests to “avenge with the pyre” the crime of disbelieving and deriding the Faith, nor did she lose time while watching the execution of her commands of murder by the secular arm. The Church was then itself a secular ruler over vast territories, the stolen “Patrimony of Peter” or States of the Church; and for those territories their Royal-Holinesses set the example of murder and burning of their own heretics. His Holiness Pope Gregory IX (1227-41) was, we are told” “very severe towards heretics, who in those times were universally looked upon as traitors and punished accordingly. ... When in 1224 Frederick II ordered that heretics in Lombard should be burnt at the stake, Gregory IX, then Papal Legate, approved and published the imperial law. In 1231 the Pope enacted a law for Rome that heretics condemned by an ecclesiastical court should be delivered to the secular power to receive their‘ due punishment.’ This‘ due punishment’ was death by fire for the obstinate and imprisonment for life for the penitent. In pursuance of this law a number were arrested in Rome, burnt at the stake, and imprisoned.” (CE. vi, 797.) And it was in Rome, by law and command of His Royal-Holiness Clement VIII, that the defier of‘ the “Triumphant Beast,” Giordano Bruno, was burned alive in Rome in 1600.

The hypocritical lie is repeated—and in the same breath belied. “ Officially it was not the Church that sentenced unrepenting heretics to death, more particularly to the stake ... Gregory IX ... admitted the opinion, then prevalent among legists, that heresy should be punished with death, seeing that it was confessedly no less serious an offense than high treason. ... [The succeeding popes went from opinions to acts.] In the Bull‘ Ad Extirpanda’ (1252) Innocent IV says:‘ When those adjudged guilty of heresy have been given up to the civil power by the bishop or his representative, or the Inquisition, the podesta or chief magistrate of the city shall take them at once, and shall within five days at the most, execute the laws made against them.’ Moreover, he directs that this Bull and the corresponding regulations of Frederick II [for burning heretics] be entered in every city among the municipal statutes under pain of excommunication, which was also visited on those who failed to execute both the papal and the imperial decrees. ... The passages [of the imperial decrees] which ordered the burning of impenitent heretics were inserted in the papal decretals. ... The aforesaid Bull‘ Ad Extirpanda’ remained thenceforth a fundamental document of the Inquisition, renewed or reinforced by several popes, Alexander IV (1254-61), Clement IV (1265-68), Nicholas IV (1288-92), Boniface VIII (1294-1303), and others. The civil authorities, therefore, were enjoined by the popes, under pain of excommunication to execute the legal sentences that condemned impenitent heretics to the stake. It is to be noted that excommunication itself was no trifle, for, if the person {251} excommunicated did not free himself from excommunication within a year, he was held by the (papal) legislation of that period to be a heretic, and incurred all the penalties that affected heresy.” (CE. viii, 34.)

Here it may be remarked, that prescription or statute of limitations runs not against the murderer. Thus Holy Church, who has murdered and procured the murder of millions, can never escape the just verdict and fatal sentence for her crimes before the bar of Civilization. Impotent now, senile, but venomous still in intention, she reeks yet with the blood of her slain; their ghosts, like Banquo’s, will never down. They cry yet to Humanity: Ecrasez l’Infame!

We have just read from CE. the confession that “the theocratic State was called upon to avenge with the pyre” all forms of heresy—or hate for the Church—as a “contumelia Creatoris.” Again it says—again contradicting its false pretense that the State is alone to be “credited” with these pious infamies: “After the Christianized Roman Empire had developed into a theocratic (religious) State, it was compelled—[by whom but by the Church with its terrorizing threats to the superstitious rulers]—to stamp crimes against faith (apostasy, heresy, schism) as offenses against the State. (cf. Cod. Justin., 1, 5, de Haer.: ‘Quod in religionem divinam committitur, in omnium fertur injuriam.’) Catholic and citizen of the State became identical terms. Consequently crimes against faith were high treason, and as such were punishable with death.” (CE. xiv, p. 768.) A truer statement of the direful consequences of this enforced prostitution of the “secular arm” of the State to the criminal purposes of the Church in coercing its false and accursed religion upon humanity, cannot be made than this confession, in specious and unctuous words: “The role of heresy in history is that of evil generally. Its roots are in corrupted human nature. It has come over the Church as predicted by her Divine Founder; it has rent asunder the bonds of charity in families, provinces, states, and nations; the sword has been drawn and pyres erected both for its defense and its repression; misery and ruin have followed in its track”! (CE. vii, 261.) The confessed accursed record of Christianity!

The utter dependence of the Church for the beginnings and for the persistence of its bloody dominance, upon the extorted favors and support of the prostituted “Secular Arm” of the State to do its dirty work of subjection, is confessed and illustrated by two instances, one with respect to the overthrow of Paganism, the other accounting for the ultimate suppression of the early heretical sects. Of the former, it is “credited” to the Emperor Gratian: “In the same year, 375, he abolished all the privileges of the pagan pontiffs and the grants for the support of the pagan worship. Deprived of the assistance of the State, paganism rapidly lost influence. ... He made apostasy a crime punishable by the State.” (CE. vi, 729.) With a clerical slur at the “fanciful speculations of the Eastern sects so dear to the Eastern mind,” oblivious of the equally fanciful “Oriental speculations” which are the only source of the holy dogmas of Western Christianism, it is cynically {252}

 [NB: Something omitted from here - RW]

recorded: “but, lacking the support of the temporal power, they sank—[just as “orthodox” Christianity would have sunk to “situm fidei”—holding the sword. (CE. vii, 259.)

As elsewhere suggested, it is pertinent to remark, that history would quickly repeat itself in this highly-to-be-desired respect, with the withdrawal of “the support of the temporal power,” through the immense and illegal support yet given to the Beggar Church through deadhead tax exemption on its thousands of millions of dollars of ill-gotten, idle and hoarded properties.

St. Augustine seems to have originated the application of the words ‘Compel them to enter in,’ to religious persecution. Religious liberty he emphatically cursed: ‘Quid est enim pejor, mors animae quam libertas erroris?—For which is worse, the death of the soul than the liberty of error?’ (Epistle clxvi.) Boniface III decreed excommunication of any magistrate who either altered the sentence of the Inquisition, or delayed more than six days in carrying it into execution. In the beginning of the thirteenth century, Innocent III instituted the Inquisition, and issued the first appeal to princes to employ their power for the suppression of heresy. In 1209, De Montfort (at Innocent’s instigation), began the massacre of the Albigenses. In 1215, the Fourth Council of the Lateran enjoined all rulers,‘ as they desired to be esteemed faithful, to swear a public oath that they would labor earnestly, and to the full extent of their power, to exterminate from their dominions all those who were branded as heretics by the Church.’ The Council of Avignon, in 1209, enjoined all bishops to call upon the civil power to exterminate heretics. The Bull of Innocent III threatened any prince who failed to extirpate heretics from his realm with excommunication, and with the loss of his realm.”

 (Lecky, History of the Rise and Progress of Rationalism in Europe, vol. II, chap. iv, passim.)

As confessedly “tolerance came in only when faith went out,” eternal gratitude and glory are the due meed of RATIONALISM, which has struck the sword and the stake from the armory of Faith, and left it a jaded sycophant begging “tolerance” of and for its bloody self.

England was rather distant from Rome and the English spirit did not yield so debasedly as some others did to the orders and dominion of priestcraft; but so early as Alfred the Great, so vaunted by the Church for his piety and learning, we have this picture of prostitution of State to Church; and the effects on both: “In the joint code of laws published by Alfred and Guthrum, apostasy was declared a crime, the payment of Peter’s Pence was commanded, and the practice of heathen rites was forbidden. ... But the clergy, ... discharging in each district the functions of local state officials, seem never to have quite regained the religious spirit.” (CE. i, 507.)

Out of scores of instances of legal enactments made by superstitious rulers under the terrors of papal threats, I cite here but one, in the quaint words of a militant philosopher: “Consequent to this claim of the Pope to be the Vicar Generall of {253} Christ in the present Church is the doctrine of the fourth Counsell of Lateran, held under Pope Innocent the third (Chap. 3, de Haereticis), That if a King at the Popes admonition, doe not purge his Kingdom of Haeresies, and being excommunicate for the same, doe not give satisfaction within a year, his Subjects are absolved of the bond of their obedience. Where, by Haeresies are understood all opinions which the Church of Rome hath forbidden to be maintained.” (Hobbes, Leviathan, Pt. iv, ch. 44, p. 333; 1651.) The infallible but presumptuous claim of the Vicars of God may be stated in the terms of the famous Bull of the “Two Swords”:

Under the control of the Church are two swords, that is, two powers. ... Both swords are in the power of the Church, the spiritual and the temporal; the spiritual is wielded in the Church by the hand of the clergy; the secular is to be employed for the Church by the hand of the civil authority, but under the direction of the spiritual power. The one sword must be subordinate to the other; the earthly power must submit to the spiritual authority, as this has precedence of the secular on account of its greatness and sublimity; for the spiritual power has the right to establish and guide the secular power, and also to judge it when it does not act rightly. ... This authority, although granted to man, and exercised by man, is not a human authority, but rather a Divine one granted to Peter by Divine commission and confirmed in him and his successors. Consequently, whoever opposes this power ordained of God opposes the law of God.” (Bull Unam Sanctam, Boniface VIII, Nov. 18, 1302; CE. xv, 126.)
Our review of the Forgery Founded Church having demonstrated the monstrous falsity of every divine premise of this “Bull,” the hollow sham of these sonorous braggart phrases is ghastly apparent. They are priestly lies!


 “And the Lord said unto his servant, Go into the highway and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.” Jesus. (Luke xiv, 28.)
Disparaging the commands of its Lord to force them in, his Vicarate apologizes: “Instances of compulsory conversions such as have occurred at different periods of the Church’s history must be ascribed to the misplaced zeal of autocratic individuals.” (CE. xi, 703.) The facts of history, as cited by CE. itself, belie this apologetic clerical passing of the odium for such felonious duress to autocratic individuals uninfluenced by the “moral” constraint of the Church-beneficiary and unswayed by its anathemas and threats of formal excommunication. A criminal who resorts to murder to prevent the escape of the victims who support him, would readily threaten murder to add greatly to the number of his supporting victims. It was St. Augustine himself, greatest pillar and authority of the Church Persecutrix, who first invoked, the Christ’s fatal fanatic command, “Compel them to come in,” as complementary to the bloody edicts of the earlier “Christian” emperors and of his own fatuous fulminations against the “liberty of error,” as above noticed. The first temptation to come to Christ was by bribes, as when Constantine offered a gold coin and a clean baptismal robe to all {254} who would undergo that process; and the example of the Emperor in favoring Christianity drew great numbers of servile subjects to the feast of the Lord. We have read the cynical confession: that when governments favor a religious sect by giving its adherents all the offices and honors of the State and excluding all opponents, “the army of civil servants becomes a more powerful body of missionaries than the ordained ministers.” When Clovis came to Christ he tolled 3000 of his retainers into the baptismal font with him at one time. Pepin “had been filled with this lofty conception, consequently extraordinary success attended the missionary labors of the Church. ... The conversion of the Avars had been attempted by the Bavarian Duke; after their subjugation, they were placed under the jurisdiction” of high prelates of the Church. (CE. v, 611.) “When the conversion of their prince was publicly known, the (people) of his kingdom are said to have flocked in crowds to receive the Christian faith.” (CE. i, 669.)

When Charlemagne spent those seven days in Rome with His Holiness, who tricked him into believing that “his imperial dignity was an act of God, made known, of course, through the agency of the Vicar of Christ” (CE. iii, 615), and they together formed those “many great designs for the glory of God and the exaltation of the Church,” due execution of the command of the Christ, “Compel them to come in,” was one of the great designs conspired with His Vicar: “True to his own and his father’s understanding with the pope, he invariably insisted on baptism as the sign of submission, punishing with appalling barbarity any resistance, as when, in cold blood, he beheaded in one day 4500 persons at Verdun, in A.D. 782. Under such circumstances it is not wonderful that clerical influence extended so fast. Always bearing in mind his engagement with the papacy, that Roman Christianity should be enforced upon Europe wherever his influence could reach, he remorselessly carried into execution the penalty of death that he had awarded to the crimes of: 1. refusing baptism; 2. false pretense of baptism; 3. relapse to idolatry; 4. the murder of a bishop or priest; 5. human sacrifice; 6. eating meat in Lent. To the pagan German his sword was a grim, but convincing missionary.” (Draper, The Intellectual Development of Europe, i, 374.) This secular authority is confirmed by this clerical admission; that under the Carlovingian Empire, “in war conversion went hand in hand with victory; in peace Charles ruled through bishops. ... The Teutonic Order began the great conflict which after more than half a century of bloodshed dealt the death-blow to paganism in Prussia.” (CE. iii, 700, 705.) Conversion by force and arms continued through the Ages of Faith and brought entire nations to Christ: “More lasting success followed the attempts, patterned on the Crusades, to carry on wars of conversion and conquest in those territories of north-eastern Europe peopled by tribes that had lapsed from the Faith or that were still heathen; among such pagans were the Obotrites, Pomeranians, Wiltzi, Serbs, Letts, Livonians, Finns, and Prussians. The preliminary work was done in the twelfth century by missionaries. They were aided with armed forces [by several kings and rulers]. From the beginning of the thirteenth century Crusades were undertaken against Livonia, Courland, Esthonia, and Prussia. In Lithuania Christianity did not win until 1368.” (CE. v, 612.) In Hungary, during the tenth and eleventh centuries, “the new religion was spread by the sword. ... {255} With these laws King St. Stephen brought over almost all his people to the Catholic Faith. ... He [a later King] took strong measures against those who had fallen away from the Faith.” (CE. vii, 548-9.)

Thus it was that by war and bloody imposition rather than by washing in the Blood of the Lamb, “vast tribes of savages who had always been idolaters, who were perfectly incapable, from their low state of civilization, of forming any but anthropomorphic conceptions of the Deity, or of concentrating their attention steadily on any visible object, and who for the most part were converted, not by individual persuasion, but by the commands of their chiefs, embraced Christianity in such multitudes that their habits soon became the dominating habits of the Church. From this time the tendency to idolatry was irresistible. The old images were worshipped under new names.” (Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, i, 218.) The brand of conversion was marked by the outfit of missionaries and military auxiliaries who first caught the barbarians; and if the wrong kind got them first, it made all the difference in the world in point of whether the result was the intelligent working of the Holy Ghost or sheer ignorance. The, great Bishop “Ulphilas (311-388) taught the Goths the Arian theology; Arian kingdoms arose in Spain, Africa, Italy. The Gepidae, Heruli, Vandals, Alans, and Lombards received a system which they were as little capable of understanding as they were of defending, and the Catholic bishops, the monks, the sword of Clovis, the action of the papacy, made an end of it before the eighth century.” (CE. i, 707.) Arianism was very simple; it held that there was but a One-Person God, and denied the Blessed Trinity of Three-in-One. Thus Arianism was “an attempt to rationalize the Creed by stripping it of mystery so far as the relation of Christ to God was concerned” (Ib.). But this simple and de-mystified theology, the non-Catholic barbarians were too ignorant to understand; whereas, the other barbarians whose, minds were enlightened by the Holy Ghost at the point of the Catholic sword, were perfectly intelligent to comprehend the Mystery of the Holy Trinity,—which would have stumped Aristotle. The Arians had only to follow the ordinary Multiplication Table—”One times One is One”; whereas the Orthodox. had to multiply curiously,—”Three times One is One!” The true formula is—Three times Naught is Nothing! 


In truth, however, “these nations were only Christianized upon the surface, their conversion being indicated by little more than their making the sign of the cross.” (Draper, Op. cit., i, 365.) True, indeed, it is, as is scores of times confessed: “Paganism had not been renewed in Christ.” (CE. iii, 700.) “Christians who considered themselves faithful, held in a measure to the worship of the sun. Leo the Great in his day says that it was the custom of many Christians to stand on the steps of the Church of St. Peter and pay homage to the Sun by obeisance and prayers.” (CE. iv, 297; cf, iii, 724-727.) And generally was it true: “The pagani retained the worship of the old gods even after they were all Christianized.” (CE. vi, 12.) Among the Germans, and it is exactly as with all others, “the acceptance of the Christian name and ideas was at first a purely mechanical one.” (CE. vi, 485.) {256}

 As the result of the superficial veneer, in the early days when persecution occasionally broke out, and offering incense to the statue of Dea Roma or the Emperor was the test of Pagan patriotism, great numbers of laity and even of clergy “flocked at once to the altars of the heathen idols to offer sacrifice.” (CE. ix, 2.) “The apostates and the timid who had bought a certificate of apostasy, became so numerous as to fancy that they could lay down the law to the Church, ... a state of affairs which gave rise to controversies and deplorable troubles. A bishop, followed by his whole community, was to be seen sacrificing to the gods.” (CE. i, 191.) At first the Church “imposed perpetual penance and excommunication without hope of pardon” on the backsliders; “however, the great number of Lapsi and Libellatici ... led to a relaxation of the rigor of ecclesiastical discipline, leaving the forgiveness of the sin to God alone” (CE. i, 624), while their easy return to the decimated fold of Holy Church immensely increased its sacred revenues and extended its sway. However, “when the Roman Empire became Christian, apostates were punished by deprivation of all civil rights. They could not give evidence in a court of law, and could neither bequeath nor inherit property. To induce anyone to apostatize was an offense punishable with death, under the Theodosian Code, XVI, 7, De Apostasis.” (CE. i, 625.)

Thus by centuries of fraud, fear and force was the “house of God” filled from the highways and the hedges, the forests and the wattle villages,, with Pagans “nominally converted to Christianity.” Heathen superstitions veneered with the Pagan superstitions called Christianity, blended together for the further bestialization of the Faithful of Holy Church of the Christ, and the pall of the Dark Ages of Faith settled down over benighted, Church-ruled Christendom,—that “civilization thoroughly saturated with Christianity,” and “fully absorbed in the supernatural.” Two holy characteristics of the Age of Faith, the grovelling fear of guilt and devout concern for the devil, are thus commended: “Superstition is abject and crouching, it is full of thoughts of guilt; it distrusts God and dreads the power of evil” (CE. i, 555); and, with the pious Christians, “as among all savages, disease and death were commonly ascribed to evil spirits or witchcraft.” (CE. xiv, 26.) So through the Ages of Faith!

Holy Church and Divine Christianity being now in full power and possession over mind and body of Christendom, it had free scope to bring forth fruits unto perfection of “Christian Civilization.” 


Wherefore, by their fruits ye shall know them.” Jesus.

What Christianity did for [to] Civilization

 The first effects of a new, and particularly an official State Religion, are upon mind and morals,—the state of culture or prevailing civilizing conditions; essentially, on the system of moral and intellectual education of the peoples subject to it. This is recognized by the Church: “ As in many other respects, so for the work of education, the advent of Christianity is the most important epoch in the history of mankind.” (CE. v, 299.) Alas, this is  disastrously true, as the Church’s own history demonstrates. Jesus Christ, says CE., was the “Perfect Teacher”; “to His Apostles He gave the command,‘ Going, therefore, teach ye all nations.’ These words are the charter of the Christian Church as a teaching institution” (ib.). Here it got its Divine License to teach, and it taught. How effective was the Church as the Divinely instituted Pedagogue of Christendom, can be justly appreciated only through a knowledge of what kind of education, moral and mental, previously and at the time existed, and what educational system the Church inherited from the “heathens” when it assumed its sacred monopoly of teaching, and by a comparison between the pre-christian and the Christian systems and results. By what the Church destroyed of existing systems, and by what is produced through its own,—by these fruits of its zeal for Christian teaching must the success of its execution of its Divine Commission be known and judged.

Christianity arose and finally prevailed in the Graeco-Roman world, and there is exercised its Divine License as exclusive teacher of faith and morals and of secular education. Before the advent of Christianity, the nations of the Pagan Empire were—we are told—”such as sit in darkness and the shadow of death”; the “Perfect Teacher” came “to give light to them that sat in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Luke, i, 79; cf. Matt. iv, 16). A dismal picture is thus presented, and for centuries was touched up with the darkest colors by Christian preachments, of the moral depravity if not intellectual benightedness of the poor heathens before the “Light of the World” was shed upon them from the Cross on Calvary. The Greeks and Romans knew naught of Moses and the Prophets, had never conned the Ten Commandments, and had never murdered any one “who hearkeneth not unto the priest,” as commanded in Deut. xvii, 12. Deplorable indeed must have been their state before the Divine Teacher undertook their enlightenment. The picture of their actual moral and intellectual plight we will scan as drawn by Christian scholars. Here is faintly a sketch of— 


 “The education of the Greeks exhibits a progressive development. ... The ideal of Athenian education was the completely developed man. Beauty of mind and body, the cultivation of every inborn faculty and energy, harmony between thought and life, decorum, temperance, and regularity—such were the results aimed at in the home and in the school, in social intercourse, and in civic relations.‘ We are lovers of the beautiful,’ said Pericles,‘ yet simple in our tastes,’ and we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness’

 (Thucydides, II, 40). ...

The Greeks indeed laid stress on courage, temperance, and obedience to law; and if their theoretical disquisitions—[or those of the Christians, for that matter]—could be taken as fair accounts of their actual practice, it would be difficult to find, among the products of human thinking, a more exalted ideal. The essential weakness of their moral education was the failure to provide any adequate sanction—[e.g., the fear of Hell and damnation]—for the principles they formulated and the counsels they gave their youth. ... The practice of religion, whether in public services or in household worship, exercised but little {258} influence upon the formation of character. ... As to the future life, the Greeks believed in the immortality of the soul; but this belief had little or no practical significance [as to them, virtue was its own reward]. ...

 “Thus the motive for virtuous action was found, not in respect for Divine law nor in the hope of eternal reward, but simply in the desire to temper in due proportion the elements of human nature. Virtue is not self-possession for the sake of duty, but, as Plato says,‘ a kind of health and good habit of the soul,’ while vice is‘ a disease and deformity and sickness of it.’ The just man‘ will so regulate his own character as to be on good terms with himself, and to set those three principles (reason, passion, and desire) in tune together, as if they were verily three chords of a harmony, a higher, a lower, and a middle, and whatever may lie between these; and after he has bound all three together and reduced the many elements of his nature to a real unity as a temperate and duly harmonized man, he will then at length proceed to do whatever he has to do’ (Republic, IV, 443). This conception of virtue as a self-balancing was closely bound up with that idea of personal worth which has already been mentioned as the central element in Greek life and education. ... The aim of education, therefore, is to develop knowledge of the GOOD.”

 (CE. v, 296-7.)

Saving their depraved want of respect for “Divine law”—(proclaimed by priests), and their woeful neglect to provide “adequate sanction” of “bribe of Heaven and threat of Hell” (priest-devised), for inducement to their Nature-harmonized character, the godless Greeks did fairly well in “developing the knowledge of the good” and attaining the most “exalted ideal”—outside of Jewish-Christian revelation—to be found among mankind, of personal and civic virtue, due alone to their high “idea of personal worth,” rather than to the revealed concept of humanity pre-damned, “conceived in sin and born in iniquity,” crawling through this Vale of Tears as “Vile worms of the dust,” of Christian self-confession. But then, God in his inscrutable Wisdom had withheld his precious revelation of Total Depravity from the Greeks,—knowing, probably, that they did not need it, and had bestowed it only on the obscure tribe of barbarian polygamous Hebrews, who eminently fitted the revelation. So it was not the Greeks’ fault that they were no worse off, without the revelation, than were the Jews with it. We will come to the Christians anon.

Though, thus, the “Sun of Righteousness” did not illumine the revelationless skies of Greek Culture, the most splendrous Stars of intellect and soul which ever—(before the Star of Bethlehem arose)—shone down the vistas of Time, blazed in its zenith. The name of every star in that Pagan Greek galaxy is known to every intelligent person throughout Christendom today; the light from these or those of them illuminates every page and every phase of Art, Literature and Science known today to the inestimable glory of man and boon of humanity. The living germ of some, the unsurpassed perfection of others, is the product of the intellect and the soul of the poor Pagan Greeks who had no Divine Revelation and were bereft of the priceless “benefit of Clergy” as a teaching institution. {259}

 Let us gaze for a moment as through the telescope of Time and scan the brilliant luminaries of the heavens of Pagan Greek genius, undimmed then by the Light of the Cross. Beginning with those who were about contemporary in their appearance with post-exilic Hebrew revelation, say about 600 B.C., we will name only those immortally known to every high-school student, skipping among the galaxies down to the time, about 400 A.D., when they were for a thousand years eclipsed by the Light of the Cross shining in the “Dark Ages” of Christian Faith.

The Pagan Greeks, unfamiliar with the Hebrew revelation of the Divine Right of Kings—(anointed by priests)—to rule mankind, invented Democracy, the right of the people to rule themselves,—a heresy recognized in the Declaration as a self-evident proposition, that all just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed. News about Moses and his Divine laws not having penetrated into Pagan Greece, a scheme of purely human codes for human conduct was devised by the heathen Lawgivers, Draco, Solon, Lycurgus. The revealed Mosaic History of the Hebrews not being available as a model, the poor Pagan Greeks had to make shift with Herodotus, “Father of History,” Thucydides, Xenophon, Strabo, Plutarch, Pausanius, Polybius, Claudius Ptolemy, Dion Cassius. The God-drafted plans of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and of Solomon’s Temple not being at hand to imitate, uninspired Greeks planned and built the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, the Propylaea, the Temple of Diana of Ephesus, the Temple of Apollo at Corinth, the Serapion and the Museum, “Home of all the Muses,” at Alexandria. The summit of human art in sculpture was reached in Pagan Greece, the Apollo Belvedere, the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory, the Laocoon, the friezes of the Parthenon; consummate masters of the “Old Masters” were the Pagans Phidias, Praxiteles, Callimachus, Scopas, Polyclitus, with the chisel; Apelles, Zeuxis, Polygnotus, Parrhasius, Pausias, with the brush. Statesmen and military leaders unknown to Hebrew History, yet whose names are immortal, led the Pagan Greeks to greatness and glory: Themistocles, Pericles, Aristides the Just, Lycurgus, Miltiades, Leonidas, Alexander the Great, who conquered the God-led Jews. Poor heathen orators, who never heard Jehovah speak from Sinai, nor the Christ on the Mount,—their supreme eloquence has echoed down the ages: Demosthenes, Democrates, Aeschines, Lysias, Isocrates.

Literature and the Theater were born in Pagan Greece; the “Classics” of Pagan thought and dramatic majesty came from the minds and pens of uninspired heathen who knew no line of the inspired “Law and Prophets” of the Hebrews, made semi-intelligible and sonorous only by the very free treatment of skilled translators into Elizabethan English; they are the immortal and inimitable standards of literary form, style, culture, in every university, high school, play-house, and cultured home in Christendom today. For poetry: Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, Anacreon, Theocritus, the burning Sappho; for drama: Esebylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, besides the historians and orators named, the delightful old Aesop, the philosophers and scholars yet to name. The drama, tragedy, comedy, the chorus, melodrama; the epic, the ode, the lyric, the elegy, poetic form and measure, the very words for all these things, pure Pagan Greek. Philosophy—the love of Wisdom—the highest reach of the uninspired human intellect into {260} the mysteries, not of faith and godliness, but of mind and soul, in search of the first principles of being,—the “ousia of the on,” and for the Supreme Good, the noblest rules of human conduct and happiness: Thales, Anaximander, Anaxagoras, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Xenophanes, Leucippus, Democritus, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato of the Academy, Aristotle of the Lyceum, Epicurus, Pythagoras, Zeno the Stoic, Antisthenes the Cynic, whose lofty moral systems have exalted mankind ever since, and whose words and works have dominated civilization and made their names immortal, though none of them knew of Moses, the Christ, or the Apostles,—although Heraclitus invented the “Logos” which St. John worked up into the creative “Word of God” for Christian consumption.

Science, supremest handmaid of civilization, the true “God of this world,” its splendid dawn was in Pagan Greece, unshackled by Genesis and Divine Mosaic revelation. Here Greek thought, undeterred by priestly ban and unafrighted by Popish Inquisition, sought to fathom the secrets of Creation and of Nature, to explain the Riddle of the Universe, to make the forces of Nature the obedient servitors of Man. Astronomy was born with Thales [640-546 B.C.], the first of the Seven Sages of Greece. Utterly ignorant of the Divine handiwork of the Six Days, and of universal creation out of universal Nothing, and not having travelled enough to verify the four corners of the flat earth, guarded by the Four Angels of the Corners, guardians of the Four Winds, he sought for the First Principle, the arche, of Creation, attributing all matter to changes in atoms; not knowing the revelation that the sun was set in a solid “firmament” arched over the flat earth, and somehow trundled across it daily to light Adam and his progeny, and had been stopped still for Joshua and turned backward ten degrees for Hezekiab, but fancying that it was governed by fixed natural law, by unaided power of mind he calculated and predicted the eclipse of 565 B.C., and discovered the Solstices and Equinoxes; he calculated so nearly the solar revolutions, that he corrected the calendar and divided the year into 365 days, which it still has; he taught the Egyptians to measure the height of the Pyramids by triangulation from the shadow of a rod he set up near them, and invented several of the theorems adopted by Euclid. Anaximander (610-546 B.C.), like his master ignorant of Mosaic astronomy, discovered and taught the obliquity of the ecliptic, due to the erratic behavior of the equator of the earth in swinging round the sun; he approximated the sizes and distances of the planets—not all set on the same solid plane; he discovered the phases of the moon, and constructed the first astronomical globes; he was the first to discard oral teaching, and commit the principles of natural science to writing. 

Pythagoras of Samos (c. 584 B.C.), was a universal genius; he coined the word “philosopher,” according to Cicero; made discoveries in music, which he conceived as a science based on mathematical principles, and fancied the “music of the spheres.” As he hadn’t read Genesis, he defiantly (through such ignorance) proclaimed that the earth was a globe revolving around the sun or central fire, and had inhabitable Antipodes,—heathen notions which got several Christian gentlemen into more or less trouble some 2000 years later when they revived the idea. He speculated on eclipses as natural phenomena rather than special dispensations of Providence; he disputed Moses on Geology by claiming that the {261} earth-surface hadn’t always been just so, but that the sea had once been land, the land sea; that islands had once formed parts of continents; that mountains were forever being washed down by rivers and new mountains thus formed; that volcanoes were outlets for subterranean fires, rather than public entrances into Hell; that fossils were the buried remains of ancient plants and animals turned into stone, rather than theological proofs of Noah’s Flood embedded for confutation of Infidels in the Rock of Faith.; Democritus (e. 460 B.C.), the “Laughing Philosopher,” the most learned thinker of his day and renowned for all the moral virtues; he wrote some 72 books on physics, mathematics, ethics, grammar; totally unlearned in Bible science, he scouted the idea of Design in Nature, declaring it lapped in universal law; he upheld belief in secondary physical causes, but not in a primary immaterial First Cause, declaring that by natural law could all the phenomena of the universe be accounted for; that there was no need of, no room for, supernatural interference or Divine Providence. He left immortal mark on the world of knowledge by his elaborated theory of atoms, or constituents of matter too small to be cut or divided; boldly and logically he applied this theory to the gods themselves, holding that they were mere aggregates of material atoms—(seemingly verified by the fact of eating the body of deity in wafers)—only mightier and more powerful than men,—and seemingly, to walk and talk, hate and kill, there must be something material about them. Modern chemistry the most universal and useful of the sciences, is founded on modifications of the atomic theory of Democritus.

Hippocrates (c. 460 - c. 377 B.C.) is known as the “Father of Medicine.” He was the first physician to differentiate diseases, and to ascribe them to different causes, on the basis of accurate observation and common sense. His great axiom was: “To know is one thing; merely to believe one knows is another. To know is science, but merely to believe one knows is ignorance.” In his days all sickness and ailments were considered as inflicted directly by the gods; the later revelation that it was all due to devils in the inner works of man was not then known. But the result was the same: all curing was the monopoly of the priests, the friends and favorites of the gods and possessors of all godly lore. As the only physicians, the priests had great revenues and a fine livelihood from the offerings made by patients who flocked for relief to the temples of Esculapius, which filled the ancient world. Hippocrates. sought to separate medicine from religion, thus incurring the venomous attacks of the priests and pious quacks. Never having heard of “fig leaf poultices,” or spittle to oust devils, “He laid down certain principles of science upon which modern medicine is built: 1. There is no authority except facts; 2. Facts are obtained by accurate observation; 3. Deductions are to be made only from facts.” Not knowing the Christian art of casting out devils, the heathen “Hippocrates introduced a new system of treatment; he began by making a careful study of the patient’s body, and having diagnosed the complaint, set about curing it by giving directions to the sufferer as to his diet and the routine of his daily life, leaving Nature largely to heal herself.” As about ninety percent of all ills are such as would heal themselves if let alone, or if treated with simple hygienic means, and many cures are greatly aided by “faith” even in Pagan gods, the element of the miraculous {262} is greatly discounted in the successes of the priests of Esculapius, and possibly in those of Loreto and Lourdes. He had no real successor until Vesalius, the first real surgeon; the Inquisition nearly got him because his anatomical researches disclosed that man had the same number of ribs as woman, not one less to represent that taken for Eve; and he disproved the Church’s sacred science of the “Resurrection Bone.”

Aristotle (384-322 iii. c.) the Stagyrite, friend and tutor of Alexander the Great, besides being one of the greatest philosophers, was the foremost man of science of his day, and in his encyclopedic works laid the foundation of Natural science or physics, Natural History, meteorology or the phenomena of the heavens, animal anatomy, to all which he applied the processes of closest research and experiment and the principles of inductive reasoning. By reason of the limitations of his process, and over-dogmatism rather than experiment in some lines, be made many curious mistakes, which ham-strung the human mind for ages. One was the assertion that two objects of different weight, dropped from the same height to the earth, would strike the earth at different intervals of time, the heavier first; when Galileo denied this theory and offered to disprove it by experiment, the pious Christians of Pisa scouted and scorned him; when he ascended the Leaning Tower and dropped two iron balls, one of one pound weight, the other of one hundred, and both struck the ground at the same instant, they refused to accept the demonstration, and drove him out of the city; so strong was the hold of even the errors of Pagan Aristotle on Christian credulity.

 Aristotle had not read the cosmic revelations of Moses, and was ignorant of the true history of Creation as revealed through him. He discovered sea shells and the fossil remains of marine animals on the tops of the mountains of Greece, and embedded far down from the surface in the sides of the mountain gorges; he noted that the rocks lay in great layers or strata one above another, with different kinds of fossils in the several strata. In his Pagan imagination Aristotle commented on this: that if sea-shells were on the tops of mountains far from the sea, why, to get there the tops of the mountains must once have been in the bottom of the sea, the rocks formed under the sea, and the shells and other animal remains embedded in them must once have lived and died in the sea and there have been deposited in the mud of the bottom before it hardened into rock. If Aristotle had climbed Pike’s Peak be would have found great beds of ocean coral in the rocks there; sea shell-fish and sponges—(which Aristotle himself first discovered to be animals)—in the rocky walls of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. 

Theophrastus (c. 373-287 B.C.), disciple and successor of Aristotle as head of the Peripatetic School of philosophy; his chief renown was as the first of the botanists, on which study he left some sixteen books; for 1800 years after his death the science lay dormant; not a single new discovery in that subject was made until after the close of the millennium of the Christian Ages of Faith. {263}

Aristarchus (c. 220-143 B.C.) was a celebrated astronomer of the new school at Alexandria. From his predecessors he knew that the earth revolved around the sun, and how the plane of the ecliptic was designed; he calculated the inclination of earth’s axis to the pole as the angle of 23 1/2 degrees, and thus verified the obliquity of the ecliptic, and explained the succession of the seasons. Aristarchus had not read Moses on the solid firmament and flat earth; he clearly maintained that day and night were due to the spinning of the earth on its own axis every twenty-four hours; his only extant work is “On the Sizes and Distances of the Sun and Moon,” wherein by rigorous and elegant geometry and reasoning he reached results inaccurate only because of the imperfect state of knowledge in his time. By exquisite calculations he added 1/1623 of a day to Callipsus’ estimate of 365 1/2 days for the length of the solar year; and is said to have invented a hemispherical sundial.

Hipparchus (c. 150 B.C.) made the first catalogue of stars, to the number of over 1,000; but his master achievement was the discovery and calculation of the “precession of the equinoxes” about 130 B.C. Without telescope or instruments, and with no Mosaic Manual on Astronomy to muddle his thought, by the powers of mathematical reasoning from observation he detected the complex movements of the earth, first in rapid rotation on its own axis, and a much slower circular and irregular movement around the region of the poles, which causes the equator to cut the plane of the ecliptic at a slightly different point each year; this he estimated at not more than fifty seconds of a degree each year, and that the forward revolution in “precession” was completed in about 26,000 years. Such are the powers of the human mind untrammeled by revelation.

Archimedes (287-212 B.C.), one of the most distinguished men of science who ever lived. He discovered the law of specific gravity, in connection with the fraudulent alloys put into Hiero’s crown; so excited was he when the thought struck him that, crying “Eureka” he jumped from his bath and ran home naked to proclaim the discovery. He discovered the laws governing the lever, and the principles of the pulley, and the famous endless water-screw used to this day in Egypt to raise water from the Nile for irrigation; he was the first to determine the ratio of the diameter to the circumference of a circle, calculating pie to be smaller than 3-1/7 and greater than 3-10/71, which is pretty close for a heathen not having the “Book of Numbers” before him. He made other discoveries and inventions too numerous to relate; he disregarded his mechanical contrivances as beneath the dignity of pure science.

Euclid (c. 300 B.C.) is too well known for his “Principles of Geometry” to need more than mention. Erastosthenes (c. 276-194 B.C.) was the Librarian of the great Library of Ptolemy II Philadelphus, at Alexandria, containing some 700,000 volumes. He invented the imaginary lines, parallels of longitude and latitude, which adorn all our globes and maps to this day. Not knowing the revelation that the earth is flat, he measured its circumference. Noticing that a pillar set up at Alexandria cast a certain shadow at noon on the summer solstice, while a similar pillar at Syene cast no shadow at that time, and was thus on the tropic; he measured the distance between the two places, as 5,000 stadia, {264} about 574 miles; described a circle with a radius equal to the height of the pillar at Alexandria, found the length of the small are formed on it by the shadow, which was 1/50 of the circle, and represented the arc of the earth’s circle between Alexandria and Syene; multiplying the distance by 50 he obtained 28,700 miles as the circumference of the earth; a figure excessive due to mis-measurement, but a magnificent intellectual accomplishment. Erastosthenes was also the founder of scientific chronology, calculating the dates of the chief political and literary events back to the supposed time of the fall of Troy; a date quite as uncertain as that of the later birth of Jesus Christ from which the monk Dennis the Little essayed to fix the subsequent chronology of Christian history.

Hero of Alexandria (c. 130 B.C.) discovered the principle of the working-power of steam and devised the first steam-engines. In his Pneumatica he describes the aeolipyle, which may be called a primitive steam reaction turbine; he also mentions another device which may be described as the prototype of the pressure engine. (Encyc. Brit. xxi, 351-2.)

Strabo (c. 63 B.C.-19 A.D.), the most famous early geographer and a noted historian; he left a Geography of the world, as then known, in seventeen books, and made a map of the world; travelled over much of it, and described what be saw. From a comparison of the shape of Vesuvius, not then a “burning mountain,” with the active Etna, he forecast that it might some day become active, as it did in 79 A.D. to the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, described by the Roman philosopher and natural historian, Pliny, who overlooked the Star of Bethlehem, and the earthquake and eclipse of Calvary. Strabo was ignorant of the cosmogony of Moses and the Flood of Noah; so he declared that the fossil shells which he discovered in rocks far inland from the sea proved that those rocks had been formed under the sea by silt brought down by rivers, in which living shell animals had become embedded. If Moses had revealed this interesting fact, much human persecution and suffering would have been avoided.

The principles of Evolution were discovered and taught by most of the ancient Greek philosophers above named and many others, all of whom were profoundly ignorant of the cosmogony of Genesis, and who “endeavored to substitute a natural explanation of the cosmos for the old myths.” Anaximander (588-624 B.C.), though he had not read Genesis, anticipated to the very word “slime” used in the True Bible as the material of animal and human creation; “he introduced the idea of primordial terrestrial slime, a mixture of earth and water, from which, under the influence of the sun’s heat, plants, animals, and human beings were directly produced.” Empedocles of Agrigentum (495-435 B.C.) “may justly be called the father of the evolution idea. ... All organisms arose through the fortuitous play of the two great forces of Nature upon the four elements.” Anaxagoras (500-428) “was the first to trace the origin of animals and plants to preexisting germs in the air and ether.” Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), the first great naturalist, shows “in his four essays upon the parts, locomotion, generation, and vital principles of animals, that he fully understood adaptation in its modern sense; ... he rightly conceived of life as the function of the {265} organism, not as a separate principle; ... he develops the idea of purposive progresses in the development of bodily parts and functions.” The doctrine is very substantially developed by the Roman Lucretius, 99-55 B.C. (H.F. Osborn, From the Greeks to Darwin, pp. 50, et seq.)

 The vital germs of virtually every modern science had thus their origin and some notable development in the fertile minds of the Greek thinkers and in their great schools of thought, in the centuries which preceded the Advent of the “Perfect Teacher” and his divinely instituted successors in school-craft. If these profound researches into Nature had been included in the Curriculum of the Church, rather than fire and sword employed to extirpate them and all who ventured to pursue them, Holy Church would not have had the “Dark Ages of Faith” to record and apologize for. To what perfection of Civilization and Knowledge might Humanity have arrived in these 2000 years wasted on the Supernatural, and the “Sacred Science of Christianity”! 


 The Greeks with their brilliant culture and educational system lay for the most part remote from the Holy See of God’s Teacher-Church at Rome; so it may be that the environment of the Teacher was really in a region which lay in darkness and the shadow of death, and thus its divine efforts were thwarted and rendered desultory. Thus it becomes important to know the degree of intellectual darkness and incapacity which whelmed the Empire of the West. The tale may best be told in the words of its Inspired Tutor.

 “In striking contrast with the Greek character, that of the Romans was practical, utilitarian, grave, austere. Their religion was serious, and it permeated their whole life, hallowing all its relations. The family, especially, was far more sacred than in Sparta or Athens, and the position of woman as wife and mother more exalted and influential. ...

 “The ideal at which the Roman aimed was neither harmony nor happiness, but the performance of duty and the maintenance of his rights. Yet this ideal was to be realized through service to the State. Deep as was the family feeling, it was always subordinate to devotion to the public weal.‘ Parents are dear,’ said Cicero,‘ and children and kindred, but all loves are bound up in the love of our common country’

(De Officiis, I. 17). ...

Thus the moral element predominated, and virtues of a practical sort were inculcated: first of all pietas, obedience to parents and to the gods; then prudence, fair dealing, courage, reverence, firmness, and earnestness. These qualities were to be developed, not by abstract or philosophical reasoning, but through the imitation of worthy models and, as far as possible of living concrete examples.‘ Vitae discimus, We learn for life,’ said Seneca; and this sentence sums up the whole purpose of Roman education—[in contrast to “We learn for heaven,” as we shall see the Christian ideal of education]. {266}

In the course of time, elementary schools (ludi) were opened, but they were conducted by private teachers and were supplementary to the home instruction. About the middle of the third century B.C. foreign influences began to make themselves felt. The works of the Greeks were translated into Latin, Greek teachers were introduced, and schools established in which the educational characteristics of the Greeks reappeared. Under the direction of the literatus and the grammaticus education took on a literary character, while in the school of the rhetor the art of oratory was carefully cultivated.”
(CE. v, 298; see p. 358-9.) 


Pagan education, as a whole, with its ideals, successes, and failures, has a profound significance. It was the product of the highest human wisdom, speculative and practical, that the world has known—[thus confessedly, as the highest, higher than the Christian]. It pursued in turn the ideals that appeal most strongly to the human mind. It engaged the thought of the greatest philosophers and the action of the wisest legislators. Art, science, and literature were placed at its service, and the mighty influence of the State was exerted in its behalf. In itself, therefore, and in its results, it shows how much and how little human reason can accomplish when it seeks no guidance higher than itself and strives for no purposes other than those which find, or might find, their realization in the present phase of existence.”

(CE. v, 298.)

The splendors of the intellect and culture of Pagan Greece, its whole harmonious system of education, mental, moral and physical, which were the glory that was Greece, were transported thus to Rome and kindled anew there the torch of Reason which illumined and made splendid the power that was Rome. With clerical disparagement that all this intellectual and moral grandeur was accomplished by human reason alone with “no guidance higher than itself,” that is, without the heaven-endowed tutorship of priestcraft, CE. yet confesses, that “Pagan education ... was the product of the highest human wisdom ... that the world has ever known,” pursuing “the ideals that appeal most strongly to the human mind.” It was in literature and in law, in history, in government, and in the practical arts and sciences, rather than in pure science, that the Roman genius rose to its highest reaches. The undimmed lustre of the Roman mind yet casts its splendors over the world of thought; Roman law, “the action of the wisest legislators,” yet governs the actions of men and nations throughout the civilized world. A few illustrious names of universal renown must suffice to put into high relief the culture of Rome from the dawn of the Christian era till the pall of the Christian Ages of Faith fell over the Roman world. Augustus Caesar (not to mention Julius), Cicero, Cato, Seneca, the Plinys, Tacitus, Livy, Horace, Vergil, Lucretius, the Scipios, Gaius, Paulus, Papinian, Tribonius, Antoninius Pius, Marcus Aurelius; the roster may be mightily extended and every glorious name be known to every schoolboy.

Thus was the Pagan Roman world intellectually and morally illumined when there befell— {267}


under the tutelage of the vicars of the Perfect Teacher. The story again may be told by the accredited apologists who thus explain “The Aim of Christian Education,” in response to the Divine Command. All education for practical objects of this life, for all “purposes which might find their realization in the present phase of existence,” was piously and disdainfully rejected. For over a millennium, as will be soon admitted, Christian “education” was virtually limited to candidates for the priesthood and to the vain mummeries of monks; with few and straggling exceptions no one but a churchman was taught a word: the simple proof is, that scarce one person in a thousand of the population of Christendom except priests, could read or write his own name. The “education” of the Clergy will be known by its fruits, of which we shall have some tastes. Thus CE. discloses


To these Apostles He gave the command, ‘Going therefore, teach ye all nations’ (Matt. xxviii, 19)—[a forged Mandate, as we have seen]. These [forged] words are the charter of the Christian Church as a teaching institution. While they refer directly to the doctrine of salvation, and therefore to the imparting of religious truth, they nevertheless, or rather by the very nature of that truth and its consequences for life, carry with them the obligation of insisting on certain characteristics which have a decisive bearing on all educational problems (p. 299-300). ...

 “Work of the Church. Apart from the preaching of the Apostles, the earliest form of Christian instruction was that given to the catechumens in preparation for baptism. Its object was twofold: to impart a knowledge of Christian truth, and to train the candidate in the practice of religion. ... Until the third century this mode of instruction was an important adjunct to the Apostolate; but in the fifth and sixth centuries it was gradually replaced by private instruction of the converts, and by the training given in other schools to those who had been baptized in infancy. The catechumenal schools, however, gave expression to the spirit which was to animate all subsequent Christian education: they were open to every one who accepted the Faith, and they united religious instruction with moral discipline. The‘ catechetical’ schools, also under the bishop’s supervision, prepared young clerics for the priesthood. The courses of study included philosophy and theology, and naturally took on an apologetic character in defense of Christian truth against the attacks of pagan learning. ...

 “Philosophy and literature were factors which had to be contended with as well as the educational system, which was still largely under pagan control. ... Fear of the corrupting influence of pagan literature had more and more alienated Christians from such studies. ... {268}

 “[In the Middle Ages] education was provided for the clergy in the cathedral schools under the direct control of the bishop and for the laity in parochial schools to which all had access—[but few availed thereof]. In the curriculum religion held the first place; other subjects were few and elementary, comprising at best the trivium and the quadrivium. ... [I cannot forbear to add this—The history of education records no greater undertaking; for the task was not that of improving or perfecting, [the brilliant system of pagan education], but of creating [the dull schools of religious instruction]; and had not the Church gone vigorously about her business, modern civilization would have been retarded for centuries [!]

 “The monasteries were the sole schools for teaching; they offered the only professional training; they were the only universities of research; they alone served as publishing houses for the multiplication of books; they were the only libraries for the preservation of learning; they produced the only scholars; they were the sole educational institutions of this period. ...

 “Two other movements form the climax of the Church’s activity during the Middle Ages. The development of Scholasticism meant the revival of Greek philosophy, and in particular that of Aristotle; but it also meant that philosophy was now to serve the cause of Christian truth. ... Having used the subtleties of Greek thought to sharpen the student’s mind, the Church thereupon presented to him her..

 “The same synthetic spirit took concrete form in the universities. ... In university teaching all the then known branches of science were represented. ... The university was thus, in the educational sphere, the highest expression of that completeness which had all along characterized the teaching of the Church.”

(CE. v, 299-303, passim.)
All these “universities were devoted for the most part to the development of theology.” (CE. vii, 368; i, 264.) The “greatest” of these Christian universities was that of Paris, which originated about 1211; “legends of foundation of universities by Alfred, Charlemagne, and Theodosius II, are myths. The students were not boys, but mature men, many clergy. ... Barbarous Latin of the universities and the wretched translations of Aristotle used in commentaries and lectures: the Scholastic method of teaching with its endless hair-splitting and disputations; much time was spent in gaining very little knowledge or hardly any value,” were the charges made by the new school of Humanists, headed by Erasmus, “Prince of Humanists,” which destroyed the old Christian ideals of education. (CE. xv, 194.)

The wonderful Middle Ages universities, so scorned by the Humanists of the Renaissance, and so fondly cherished by the Church, are not to be confounded in thought with such modernistic institutions as Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia or Harvard—(which all started on a purely “Christian” standard). A revealing pen- {269} sketch of them all, based on that of Paris, is drawn by Prof. James Harvey Robinson: “There were no university buildings, and in Paris the lectures were given in the Latin Quarter, in Straw Street, so called from the straw strewn on the floors of the hired rooms where the lecturer explained the text-book [a handwritten manuscript], with the students squatting on the floor before him. There were no laboratories, for there was no experimentation. All that was required was a copy of the text-book. This the lecturer explained sentence by sentence, and the students listened and sometimes took notes.

The most striking peculiarity of the instruction of the medieval university was the supreme deference paid to Aristotle. ... Aristotle was, of course, a pagan. He was uncertain whether the soul existed after death; he had never heard of the Bible and knew nothing of the salvation of man through Christ. One would suppose that he would have been rejected with horror by the ardent Christian believers of the Middle Ages. But the teachers of the thirteenth century were fascinated by his logic and astonished at his learning. ... He was called‘ The Philosopher’; and so fully were scholars convinced that it had pleased God to permit Aristotle to say the last word upon each and every branch of knowledge that they humbly accepted him, along with the Bible, the Church Fathers, and the canon and Roman law, as one of the unquestionable authorities which together formed a complete and final guide for humanity in conduct and in every branch of science. ... No attention was given to the great subject of history in the medieval universities, nor was Greek taught.”

 (Robinson, The Ordeal of Civilization, pp. 207-208.)

The school of Erasmus and the other great Humanists who preceded and followed him brought the Renaissance to its fullness of glory in emancipating the mind from the fetters of the Dark Ages of Faith, and destroyed the rotten fruits of a millennium of “Christian education.” Thereupon, says CE., painfully confessing the truth, with reservations, once the schools were secularized, they fell rapidly under influences which transformed ideals, systems and methods. Philosophy detached from theology, formulated new theories of life and its values, that moved, at first slowly and then more rapidly, away from the positive teachings of Christianity. Science in turn cast off its allegiance to philosophy and finally proclaimed itself the only sort of knowledge worth seeking. ...
During three centuries past, the main endeavor outside the Catholic Church has been to establish education on a purely naturalistic basis, whether this be aesthetic culture or scientific knowledge, individual perfection or social service. ... The Catholic Church has been obliged to carry on ... the struggle in behalf of those truths on which Christianity is founded; and her educational work during the modern period may be described in general terms as the steadfast maintenance of the union between the natural and the supernatural. ... It is specially the parochial school that has served in recent times as an essential factor in the work of religion. ... Sound moral instruction is impossible apart from religious education. ... Catholic parents are bound in {270} conscience to provide for the education of their children, either at home or in schools of the right sort.” (CE. v, 295-304, passim.) “Parochial schools ... aimed at fostering vocations to the priesthood.” (CE. xiii, 555.)
The high Christian educational ideal of fettering Reason with Faith, and the underlying objective of all Church teaching, is again strongly insisted upon by our spokesman for Christian education:
The Christian Church, by virtue of her Divine charter,‘ Going, teach ye all nations,’ is essentially a teaching organization. ... Truths which are not of their nature spiritual, truths of science, or history, matters of culture, in a word, profane learning—these do not belong intrinsically to the pregame of the Church’s teaching. Nevertheless, they enter into her work by force of circumstances, when, namely, the Christian youth cannot attain a knowledge of them without incurring a grave danger to faith or morals. ... She assumes—[therefore, not divinely ordained to her, but self-arrogated]—the task of teaching the secular branches in such a way that religion is the centralizing, unifying, and vitalizing force in the educational process.”
(CE. xiii, 555.)



“Apart from Religion the observance of the Moral Law is impossible.” (CE. x, 559.)

 “The wonderful efficacy displayed by the religion of Christ in purifying the morals of Europe has no parallel.” (CE. iii, 34.)

 “Her holiness appears in the fruits which she brings forth.” (CE. iii, 759.)

The above gems of pious self-gratulation are culled from the plethoric treasure-chest of like paste jewels of ecclesiastical false pretense, and are set in high relief as tribute to the presumptuous genius of Pharisaism. A few more out of many may be displayed as a foil to what follows: “Sound moral instruction is impossible apart from religious education” (CE. v, 304),—though this seems to be discounted by this formal admission of the entire efficacy of purely secular ethic of Plato and the Pagans: “All moral conduct may be summed up in the rule: Avoid evil and do good” (CE. v, 28); and by this self-evident truth: “Material prosperity and a high degree of civilization may be found where the Church does not exist.” (CE. iii, 760.) Whether either of these highly beneficent conditions have been found where the Church in plenitude of power and pride did exist, will soon be disclosed. However, these disproofs to the contrary , “The Church has ever affirmed that the beliefs of Theism and morality are essentially connected, and that apart from religion the observance of the moral law is impossible.” (CE. x, 559.) {271}

 Yet we have just read from the teeming pages of CE. the glowing tributes to the morally “exalted ideals” of the Pagan Greeks, and that with the Pagan Romans “the moral element predominated”; that “Pagan education, as a whole, was the product of the highest human wisdom that the world has ever known,”—and withal without the Light of the Cross to illumine the Pagan mind and conscience. Indeed, in the next sentences after the last above, CE., waxing philosophical, belies fully its “Morality Lie” thesis, that “apart from religion the observance of the moral law is impossible,” by this explicit admission of the natural source and origin of Morality: “The Church admits that the moral law is knowable to reason: for the due regulation of our free actions, in which morality consists, is simply their right ordering with a view to the perfecting of our rational nature. ... The Greeks of classical times were in moral questions influenced rather by non-religious conceptions such as that of natural shame than the fear of the gods; while one great religious system, namely Buddhism, explicitly taught the entire independence of the moral code from any belief in God.” (CE. x, 559.) We shall wonder, as we read the Christian record, how far the “beliefs of Theism” make for morality in higher or more wholesome degree than “the entire independence of the moral code from any belief in God.” Morals is from mores, “custom”; it is social, not supernatural in origin; humanly conventional, not of divine imposition and sanction. The “morals,” customs, of an age or a people depend always on what is then regarded as socially convenient, on the character of education and example given by their preceptors and their environment.

The foregoing clerical admissions of the purely natural origin and sanctions of morals, of the Moral Law, are perfectly valid and convincing; a more formal and incontrovertible statement of the fact and the principle, taken from a special study of the subject, under the title “Ethics” in CE., by a Jesuit Professor of Moral Philosophy, is added for the complete refutation of the Christian “Morality Lie”:

”Morality, or sum of prescriptions which govern moral conduct. ... Ethics takes its origin from the empirical fact that certain general principles and concepts of the moral order are common to all peoples at all times. ... It is a universally recognized principle that we should not do to others what we would not wish them to do to us. ... The general practical judgments and principles:‘ Do good and avoid evil,’‘ Lead a life according to reason,’ etc., from which all the Commandments of the Decalogue are derived, are the basis of the natural law, of which St. Paul (Rom. ii, 14) says, it is written in the hearts of all men, made known to all men by nature herself.”

 (CE. v, 557, 562.)

It is because only of the nauseating persistence of the dingdonging of this pestilent “Christian Morality Lie,” by priest, parson and press, that the loathsome record of the unparalleled moral corruption of the Church and of Christendom under the Church, is here in very summary and imperfect manner displayed in refutation of this immense False Pretense. It rings false from every pulpit and Christian apologist today as it has through all the centuries of Creed and Crime of the Church. Here in thumbnail {272} sketch is the summary of Christian results after a millennium of undisputed moral sway: “The Church was the guide of the Western nations from the close of the seventh century to the beginning of the sixteenth” (CE. vii, 370); and for result: “At the beginning of the Reformation, the condition of the clergy, and consequently of the people, was a very sad one. ... The unfortunate state of the clergy, their corrupt morals.” (CE. vii, 387.) “The Lateran was spoken of as a brothel, and the moral corruption of Rome became the subject of general odium.” (CE. viii, 426.) That there may be no mistake about the insistent pretense of the Church to teach and impose morality, “The Roman Pontiffs have always, as their office demands, guarded the Christian faith and morals,” as admitted by the Apostolic Letter of His Holiness Pius IX, dated June 29, 1868, by which he summoned the celebrated Vatican Council which decreed Papal Infallibility in all matters of faith and morals. (CE. i, 176.) Therefore it was, that “the Church of the Middle Ages, having now attained to power, continued through her priests to propagate the Gospel. ... In the wake of religion follows her inseparable companion, morality.” (CE. xii, 418.) We shall now see the Church at work for morality and the moral “fruits” of Christianity through the Dark Ages of Faith. “Those were indeed golden days for the ecclesiastical profession, since the credulity of men reached a height which seemed to insure to the clergy a long and universal dominion,—until the prospects of the Church were suddenly darkened, and human reason began to rebel ... with the rise of that secular and skeptical spirit to which European civilization owes its origin,” as Buckle says and demonstrates and I will briefly sketch, after first letting CE. reveal facts which are the harvest-fruits of Christian Morality.

How, then, are we surprised to read the official confession, that these same Middle Ages were, of all human epochs, “an age of terrible corruption and social decadence”? (CE. i, 318.) Surely the good cleric who penned these shaming words was a moral dyspeptic or must have developed a pessimistic in-growing conscience. We turn the pages of this ponderous Apology for the Faith to find the records of Church history giving the lie to this scandalous and disgraceful confession. There are fifteen great quarto tomes of CE., of over 700 double-column pages each; and surely if this confession is mistaken or untrue, the glorious facts of Church morality, its ever-radiant and redolent “sweetness and light,” which cannot be hid, will be made manifest for the confusion of those who might mock over this confession. The following paragraphs are the gleanings from just one, the first, of these fifteen volumes, recording the sacred history of the Church, in which “her holiness appears in the fruits which she brings forth,” as therein preserved, and unparalleled “in purifying the morals of Europe” for fifteen centuries and more under her undisputed moral sway. In this one sample volume is the true assay of the “fruits” conserved in them all; a typical cross-section of Church history. Multiply by fifteen the product of these revelations of the “fruits which she brings forth,” and even the most unregenerate critic of Christianity must agree with CE, that “the wonderful efficacy of the religion of Christ in purifying the morals of Europe has no parallel” in any religion or history known to mankind. The following passages are word for word from Volume I—(unless otherwise indicated),—of the Catholic Encyclopedia, arranged {273} roughly in chronological order, through part only of one letter of the Alphabet. They give thus a sort of segmentary cross-cut and bird’s-eye-view of the moral and social conditions of Christendom through the centuries, with quite imperfect glimpses of that sweet charity one to another which distinguishes those who love their enemies—in the fashion of King Richard to his brother: “For I do love my brother Clarence so, That I would see his sweet soul In the bosom of good old Abraham!”

Countless instances of Christian “morality” we have already seen in the myriad holy forgeries of the Church throughout fifteen centuries; again are confessed “the many apocryphal [forged] writings in the first five centuries of the Christian era.” (CE. i, 132.) Whoever would forge for Christ’s sake or his own profit would as readily commit any other crime for the same ends, as we shall see to the limit of abhorrence. But the predilect perversity of the Christians clerical and lay, was the “lusts of the flesh,” that distinctive “crime” so proscribed and so practiced by the expounders of “Christian virtue,” and the “inseparable companion” of the most religious. That “sex-scandals” were rampant in the earliest days of the several infant Churches is manifest in quite all of the second-century Epistles of the New Testament, as any one may read unto edification. The Agape, or Christian “love feast” was all its name implies; it was “a form of ancient Pagan funeral feast. From the fourth century onward ... the agape gave rise to flagrant and intolerable abuses” (i, 202). From the first century, “the Agapeta, were virgins who consecrated themselves to God with a vow of chastity and associated with laymen, who like themselves had taken a vow of chastity. ... It resulted in abuses and scandals. ... St. Jerome [about 400] asked indignantly,‘ Why was this pest of Agapette introduced into the Church?’ St. Cyprian shows that abuses of this kind developed in Africa and the East. The Council of Ancyra, in 314, forbade virgins consecrated to God to thus live with men as sisters. This did not correct the practice entirely, for St. Jerome arraigns Syrian monks for living in cities with Christian virgins. These Agapetae are sometimes confounded with the Subintroductae, or women who lived with clerics without marriage.” (202.)

St. Cyprian, On the State of the Church, just before the Decian persecution (e. 250), admits: “There was no true devotion in the priests. ... That the simple were deluded, and the brethren circumvented by craft and fraud. That great numbers of the bishops ... were eager only to heap up money, to seize people’s lands by treachery and fraud, and to increase their stock by exorbitant usury.”

 (Quoted by Middleton, Free Inquiry, Int. Disc. lxvii-ix.)

”Solicitation, in canon law, is the crime of making use of the Sacrament of Penance for the purpose of drawing others into sins of lust. Numerous popes have denounced this crime vehemently, and decreed punishments for its commission ... in connection with the Confessional, during or before” (xiv, 134). “The crime of abduction was, doubtless, extremely rare among the early Christians. In the fourth century, when men grew bolder, the number of wife-captors became exceedingly numerous. To cheek this”—a long line of Church enactments listed, down to the Council of Trent (1500’s) was futile. (CE. i, 33.) While some of the following descriptions are {274} applied to particular time and place, yet as is evident from the content and ensemble, like conditions existed “always and everywhere” through the Middle Ages, that delectable “civilization thoroughly saturated with Christianity.” Thus “even in the fourth century, St. John Chrysostom testifies to the decline of fervor in the Christian family, and contends that it is no longer possible for children to obtain proper religious and moral training in their own homes” (555), already so debased was Christianity.

Loving Christian differences of opinion, enhanced by corporal methods of seeking each to force the other to the same opinion, were so ubiquitous and universal that birth was given to a special and deadly new species of human hatred and a distinctive name coined for it: Odium Theologicum—Theological Hatred, and the maxim: “Hell hath no fury like an offended Saint.” The Father of Church History, Bishop Eusebius, has scathing passages, and he refuses “to record the dissensions and follies which they exercised against each other before the (Diocletian) persecution.” (Hist. Eccles. Bk. VIII, chap. 2.) And in Chapter 12, entitled “The Prelates of the Church,” Eusebius wordily and in figured speech thus in substance describes them: “the different heads of the churches, who from being shepherds of the reasonable flocks of Christ. ... were condemned by divine justice as unworthy of such a charge; ... moreover, the ambitious aspirings of many to office, and the injudicious and unlawful ordinations that took place, the divisions among the confessors themselves, the great schisms and difficulties industriously fomented by the factious, ... heaping up affliction upon affliction: all this I have resolved to pass by,” as too shameful to be preserved in detail. Speaking of the Church historian Socrates, who died about 400: “Living as he did in an age of bitter polemics, he strove to avoid the animosities and hatreds engendered by theological differences.” (CE. xiv, 119.)

We recall the embittered and bloody strifes which waged from the early days of the fourth century between the partizans of Arius, who denied the Divinity of Jesus Christ and consequently the existence of the Blessed Trinity or Three-in-One Godhead, and the “orthodox” or “right-thinking” faction which vociferated that Father and Son were of the same eternal age and “homoousion” or “of the same substance,”—of which puzzle it is assured: “It is manifest that a dogma so mysterious presupposes a divine revelation.” (CE. ix, 309.) But that “divine revelation” was let into the clerical mind through the efficacious grace of clubs, stones and knives, by force of fraud and deviltry, as thus witnessed: “The great definition of the Homoousion, promulgated at Nicaea in 325, so far from putting an end to further discussion, became rather the occasion of keener debate and for still more distressing confusion of statement in the formulation of theories on the relationship of Our Lord to His Father. [Other angry Councils with the Holy Ghost were held on the “theory”] at Ariminum for the West, and at Seleucia for the East, in 359. At both Councils, as the result of dishonest intrigue and an unscrupulous use of intimidation, ... the Homoousion was given up and the Son was declared to be merely similar to—no longer identical in substance with—the Father. St. Jerome’s characterization of the issue still affords the best commentary:‘ The whole world groaned in wonderment to find itself Arian’” (CE. i, 79.) Thus are divine {275} revelations made manifest! The Christian trait of love for enemies is exemplified: “The sudden death of Arius [attributed to poison] was looked upon by contemporary Catholics as an answer to the prayers of the good bishop.” (CE. i, 285.) All the “new nations” except the Franks, converted under Clovis, were “Arian heretics”; and for some four centuries maybe a million throats were cut in the name of One God or Three, before the “divine revelation” of Three-in-One won out.

”The accession of Constantine found the African Church rent by controversies and heresies: Catholics and Donatists contended not only in a wordy warfare, but also in a violent and sanguinary way. ... Attempts at reconciliation, at the suggestion of the Emperor Constantius, only widened the breach, and led to armed repression, an ever-growing discontent, and an enmity that became more and more embittered. ... One act of violence followed another and begot new conflicts. ... Even in such condition of peril—[the bitter reprisals of the Arian Vandals which filled the fifth century], the Christians of Africa were far from showing those virtues which might be looked for in a time of persecution. ... Crimes of all kinds made Africa one of the most wretched provinces in the world. Nor had the Vandals escaped the effects of this moral corruption, which slowly destroyed their power and eventually effected their ruin. ... While one part of the episcopate wasted its time and energies in fruitless theological discussions, others failed of their duty. The last forty years of the seventh century witnessed the gradual fall of the fragments of Byzantine Africa into the hands of the Arabs. ... In this overwhelming disaster the African Church was blotted out.” (CE. i) 191-2.) God failed to protect his Holy own!

If prelates and priests, the shepherds of the flocks, wallowed in moral defilement, judge of the state of the witless sheep of the heavenly fold. “Valence, the central see of the Kingdom, had been scandalized by the dissolute Bishop Maximum, and the see in consequence had been vacant for fifty years,” till 486. (616.) “Pope St. Agapetus I (535-536) was the son of a Roman priest slain during the riots in the days of Pope Symmachus. His first official act was to burn in the presence of the assembled clergy the anathema which Boniface II had propounded against the latter’s rival Dioscurus” (202). St. Angilbert, Abbott, “at this period [about 790] was leading a very worldly life. ... Angilbert undoubtedly had an intrigue with Charlemagne’s unmarried daughter Bertha, and became by her the father of two children” (490). “On the death of Pope Formosus (896) there began for the papacy a time of the deepest humiliation, such as it has never experienced before or since. After the successor of Formosus, Boniface VI, had ruled only fifteen days, Stephen VI (properly, VII), was raised to the Papal Chair. In his blind rage, Stephen not only abused the memory of Formosus but also treated his body with indignity. Stephen was strangled in prison in the summer of 897, and the six following popes (to 904) owed their elevation to the struggles of the political parties. Christophorus, the last of them, was overthrown by Sergius III (904-911).” (ii, 147.) Pope Agapetus II, (946-956), “for ten years, during what has been termed the period of deepest humiliation for the papacy. ... He labored incessantly to restore the decadent discipline in churches and cloisters; and in quieting {276} disturbances in the metropolitan see of Rheims; and at putting an end to anarchy in Italy” (i, 203). Such periods of “deepest humiliation to the papacy” were quite recurrent: “The Popes Benedict from the fourth to the ninth inclusive belong to the darkest period of papal history (900-1048) ... Benedict VI was thrown into prison by the anti-pope Boniface VII, and strangled by his orders, in 974. Benedict VII was a layman and became pope by force, and drove out Boniface VII; died 983. ... Pope Benedict IX had long caused scandal to the Church by his disorderly life. His immediate successor, Pope Gregory VI (1044-46) had persuaded Benedict IX to resign the Chair of Peter, and to do so bestowed valuable possessions on him” (31).

”There can be no doubt that at this period (800’s) the law of celibacy was ill observed by priests” (507). St. Arialdo was ‘martyred at Milan in 1065, for his attempt to reform the simoniacal and immoral clergy of that city. ... For inveighing against abuses he was excommunicated by the bishop” (707). Pope Alexander II (1061-73) was a leader in “that great agitation against simony and clerical incontinence. ... A faction elected Honorius II as pope—public opinion clamoring for reform. Alexander was omnipresent, through his legates, punishing simoniacal bishops and incontinent clergy” (286). “The Church at that time (1072) was torn by the schisms of anti-popes” (541).—”The desperate moral barbarism of the age.” (vii, 229.) ]Pope Anacletus II (1130-38) had before his election supported the popes in their fifty years’ war for reform. If we can believe his enemies, he disgraced his office by gross immorality and by his greed in the accumulation of lucre. There can be no doubt that he determined to buy or force his way into the Papal Chair. ... On the death of Honorius, two popes, Anacletus II and Innocent II were elected and consecrated on the same day, by the factions in the Sacred College. ... When Anacletus died, another anti-pope, Victor IV, was elected by one faction” (447).

The “glorious thirteenth century,” which the Faithful for some unfathomable reason exalt proudly above all the others of the Dark Ages of Faith, was ushered in with the murderous Holy Inquisition and the unholy crusade against the Albigenses, tens of thousands of whom were butchered and the fairest half of France laid desolate. The motive for this unprecedented butchery and devastation is naively confessed to be “their wealth ... their contempt for the Catholic clergy, caused by the ignorance and the worldly, too frequently scandalous lives of the latter” (268). “With the zeal of an apostle St. Anthony [d. 1231] undertook to reform the morality of his time; ... enormous scandals were repaired” (557). “The barons of the Campagna fought with each other and with the Pope and, issuing from their castles, raided the country in every direction, and even robbed the pilgrims on their way to the tombs of the Apostles. ... William I took captive many wealthy Greeks, the greater number of whom he sold into slavery” (157). “A period of decline followed after the middle of the thirteenth century, when war and rapine did much injury ... suffered again in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries from the prevailing social disturbances” (145). “Pope Alexander IV (1254-61) was easily led away by the whisperings of flatterers, and inclined to listen to the wicked suggestions of avaricious persons. ... He continued {277} Innocent IV’s policy of a war of extermination against the progeny of Frederick II. ... The pecuniary assistance these measures brought him was dearly bought by the embitterment of the English clergy and people against the Holy See. ... The unity of Christendom was a thing of the past” (288). About 1300, “all looked forward to the time when the religious orders, whose laxity had been occasioned in great measure by the general looseness of the times, would be restored to their former discipline”

Under Pope Alexander V (1409-1410) “The Great Schism (1378-1417) rent the Church. As cardinal he had sanctioned the agreement of the rival Colleges of Cardinals to join in a common effort for unity. He thus incurred the displeasure of Gregory XII [who deposed him]. At, the Council of Pisa (1409) he preached the opening sermon, a scathing condemnation of the rival popes, and presided at the deliberations of the theologians who declared those popes heretics and schismatics ... in the riven Catholic world. ... His legitimacy was soon questioned, and the world was chagrined to find that instead of two popes it now had three. ... Whether or not Alexander was a true pope is a question still discussed” (288-9).

Speaking of “moral” conditions in the Holy City and prevailing in the age, CE. thus summarizes the “sweetness and light” of Christendom in the time of His Holiness Sixtus IV (died 1484): “His dominating passion was nepotism, heaping riches and favors on his unworthy relatives. His nephew, the Cardinal Rafael Riario, plotted to overthrow the Medici; the pope was cognizant of the plot, though probably not of the intention to assassinate, and even laid Florence under an interdict because it rose in fury against the conspirators and brutal murderers of Giuliano dei Medici. Henceforth, until the Reformation, the secular interests of the papacy were of paramount importance. The attitude of Sixtus towards the conspiracy of the Pazzi, his wars and treachery, his promotion to the highest offices in the Church of such men as ... are blots upon his career. Nevertheless, there is a praiseworthy side to his pontificate. He took measures to suppress abuses in the Inquisition, vigorously opposed the Waldenses, and annulled the decrees of the Council of Constance. Under him Rome became once more habitable, and he did much to improve the sanitary conditions of the city.” (CE. xiv, 32, 33.)

Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503) was so notoriously infamous and his history is so large and so well known, with his six bastards, including Caesar and Lucrezia Borgia, and his numerous Vatican mistresses and dissolute Papal Court, under whose regime again “the Vatican was a brothel,” that he is simply mentioned in his order. When one of his bastard sons “was fished out of the Tiber with his throat cut ... that it was a warning from Heaven to repent, no one felt more keenly than the Pope himself. He spoke of resigning; and proclaimed his determination to set about that reform of the Church‘ in Head and members’ for which the world had so long been clamoring”; but his grief was assuaged by the attentions of his lady loves, notably pretty Guilia Farnese, niece of the Cardinal, and whose picture as an angel now adorns one of the great frescos of the Vatican. “Long ago Leo the Great (440-461) declared,‘ the {278} dignity of Peter suffers no diminution even in an unworthy successor.’” (289, 294, passim.) Maybe so; but, the question, simply is, “the unparalleled purification of morals” produced by the religion of Christ!

About this juncture, and after a thousand years of such conditions in the Church and the Heads of the Church, popes, prelates, priests, and monks, and rife among the degraded people, the protests of Christendom swelling steadily for several centuries broke into the Protestant Reformation by force and arms. A thumbnail sketch of the culmination and the causes leading up to it throughout the Middle Age “civilization thoroughly saturated with Christianity,” is drawn by CE. in two paragraphs here quoted:

At the time of Gregory VII’s elevation to the papacy (1073-85), the Christian world was in a deplorable condition. During the desolating period of transition -- the terrible period of warfare and rapine, violence, and corruption in high places, which followed immediately upon the dissolution of the Carlovingian Empire [in the 800’s], a period when society in Europe seemed doomed to destruction and ruin—the Church had not been able to escape from the general debasement [to which it had so signally contributed, if not caused]. The tenth century, the saddest perhaps, in Christian annals, is characterized by the vivid remark of [Cardinal] Baronius that Christ was as asleep in the vessel of the Church. At the time of Leo IX’s election in 1049, according to the testimony of St. Bruno, Bishop of Segni,‘ the whole worldly in wickedness, holiness had disappeared, justice had perished, and truth had been buried; Simon Magus was lording it over the Church, whose bishops were given to luxury and fornication.’ St. Peter Damien, the fiercest censor of his age, unrolls a frightful picture of the decay of clerical morality in the lurid pages of his‘ Book of Gomorrah.’ Writing in 1075, Gregory himself laments the unhappy state of the Church.‘ The Eastern Church has fallen away from the Faith and is now assailed on every side by infidels. Wherever I turn my eyes—to the west, to the north, to the south,—I find everywhere bishops who have obtained their office in an irregular way, whose lives and conversations are strangely at variance with their sacred calling; who go through their duties not for the love of Christ but from motives of worldly gain. And those among whom I live are worse than Jews or Pagans.’ ... Gregory made every effort to stamp out of the Church the two consuming evils of the age, simony and clerical incontinency. ... Gregory began his great work of purifying the Church by a reformation of the clergy. In 1074 he enacted the following decrees [a series aimed at the two universal vices named]. But they met with vigorous resistance, ... called forth a most violent storm of opposition throughout Italy, Germany, and France. And the reason for this opposition on the part of the vast throng of immoral and simoniacal clerics is not far to seek.” (CE. vi, 793-4.)
Still, nearly five centuries later:
Churchmen in high places were constantly unmindful of truth, justice, purity, self-denial; many had lost all sense of Christian ideals; not a few were deeply stained by Pagan [?] vices. ... The earlier years of Aeneas Sylvius [Pope Pius {279} II, 1458-64], the whole career of Rodrigo Borgia (Alexander VI), the life of Farnese, afterwards Paul III, until he was compelled to reform himself as well as the Curia, ... all with disregard for the most elementary virtues. Julius II fought and intrigued like a mere secular prince; Leo X, although certainly not an unbeliever—[it was His Holiness who framed the famous “witty epigram: ‘What profit has not that Fable of Christ brought us,”; Encyc. Brit., 14th Ed. xix, 217]—was frivolous in the extreme; Clement VII drew on himself the contempt as well as hatred of all who had dealings with him, by his crooked ways and cowardly subterfuges which led to the taking and pillage of Rome. Now, it is not unfair to trace in these popes, as in their advisers, a certain common type, the pattern of which was Caesar Borgia, sometime cardinal, but always in mind and action a condottiere [bandit], while its philosopher was Machiavelli. We may express it in the words of Villari as a‘ prodigious intellectual activity accompanied by moral decay.’ ... Not only did they fall away from monastic severities, they lost all manly and decent self-control. ... Worse things than Savonarola had seen were to happen. And a catastrophe was inevitable. Erasmus laughed to scorn the Ciceronian pedantries [of sundry Cardinals named]; he quotes with disgust the paganizing terms in which some Roman preachers travestied the persons and scenes of the Gospels, ... outcry against cancerous vices which were sapping the life of Italy. ... [Some] demanded reform according to Catholic principles [Others] taught education in principle and practice on orthodox lines. ... The Sorbonne objected, however, to any publication of Scripture without approved Catholic notes; and this in a day which might be justly termed one of rebuke and blasphemy. ... Poggio, the mocking adversary of the clergy, was for half a century in the service of the popes. Filelfo, a pagan unabashed and foul, was rewarded by Nicholas V for his abominable satires. Pius II had the faults of a smart society journalist, and took neither himself nor his age seriously. Platina, with whom Paul II quarreled on political grounds, wrote a vindictive slanderous book,‘ The Lives of the Roman Pontiffs,’ which, however, was in some degree justified by the project of reformation‘ in Head and members’ constantly put forth and never fulfilled until Christendom had been rent in twain.”
(CE. xii, 767-768.)
Speaking again of prevailing conditions at the end of a thousand years of inspired care of the Christian morals, by their Holinesses, the following sentences culled from one article are a little cluster of the “fruits” of Christianity: “The scientific and ascetic training of the clergy left much to be desired, the moral standard of many being very low, and the practice of celibacy not everywhere observed. Not less serious was the condition of many monasteries of men, and even of Women. ... The members of the clergy were in many places regarded with scorn. ... As to the Christian people itself, in numerous districts ignorance, superstition, religious indifference, and immorality were rife. ... Worldly ideas, luxury and immorality rapidly gained ground at the center of ecclesiastical life. When ecclesiastical authority grew weak at the fountain head, it necessarily decayed elsewhere. ... In {280} proportion as the papal authority lost the respect of many, resentment grew against both the Curia and the Papacy. ... This vast ecclesiastical wealth, ... such riches in the hands of the clergy. ... Higher intellectual culture was confined in a great measure to the higher clergy. ... The parochial clergy were to a great extent ignorant and indifferent.” (CE. xii, 700-703, passim.)

        The Church leaped to arms to prevent any reform of these degrading conditions to which her holy guidance had brought Christendom, and for over a century, until the Religious Peace of 1648, with fire and sword made Europe a slaughter-pen in the desperate effort to suppress the revolt and force its forged faith and its creed of love and morals, which we have just seen exemplified, down the throats of revolted and disgusted humanity. The Dominican “Dogs of the Lord” were let loose in all the bloody fiery fury of the Holy Inquisition; Alva, Tilly and Wallenstein ravaged and destroyed Europe, culminating in the glories of Magdeburg and St. Bartholomew for which His Holiness and his Church sang Te Deums. “Soon the Counter-Reformation, called into life by the Council of Trent (1545-63) to prevent the loss of the whole of middle Europe, appeared; its success was assured by the aid of the Society of Jesus.” (CE. v, 612.) Abetted by the crafty and cruel Society of Jesus, under its renowned leader this miracle is said to have been wrought: “St. Ignatius, alive to the causes which had provoked so many nations to revolt from the clergy ... did the most astonishing feat recorded in modern history’ He reformed the Church by means of the papacy when sunk to its lowest ebb; and he took the heathen classics from neo-pagans to make them the instruments of Catholic education. ... In May, 1527, Rome was laid waste, its churches profaned, its libraries pillaged, by a rabble of miscreants.’ But,’ said the Cardinal Cajetan,‘ it was a just judgment on the Romans.’ ... It was a change so marked that Scaliger termed the Italians generally hypocrites. ... The papacy aimed henceforth at becoming an‘ ideal government under spiritual and converted men.’ Urban VIII (1623-44) was the last who could be deemed a Renaissance pontiff.” (CE. xii, 769.) This was over one hundred years after the boasted “reformation in Head and members.”

So here the Augean stables were at length cleansed; the papacy—for the fourth time in Volume I recorded as “sunk to its lowest ebb,” was now to be “an ideal government under spiritual and converted men,” and the chronic millennial infamies of Holy Church washed out by a baptism of Faith and “good works meet unto repentance.” But was it so?

Adrian VI was Holiness of Rome in 1522-1523: “Appalling tasks lay before him in this [again] darkest hour of the Papacy. To extirpate inveterate abuses; to reform a court which thrived on corruption, and detested the very name of reform; to hold in leash the young and warlike princes, ready to bound at each other’s throats,—these were herculean labors. ... His nuncio to Germany, Chierigati, [made the exaggerated] acknowledgment, that the Roman Court had been the fountain-head of all the corruptions in the Church. Cardinal Adrian of Costello (in 1517) was implicated in a charge of conspiring with Cardinal Petrucci to poison the pope Leo X, and confessed” (i, 160). “Under the direct orders of the pope, {281} Clement VII, Archbishop B. [in 1538] caused many [Protestants in Scotland] to ... be put to death. Modern humanity condemns the cruel manner of their execution; but such severities were the result of the spirit of the age (ii, 374),—which quite as thoroughly inspired the same Protestants and was as villainously practiced by them when they had the chance. The sixteenth century was “a scandalous age.” (CE. ii, 375.) About 1600 a special Papal representative “was commissioned to reform a convent at Naples, which by the laxity of its discipline had become a source of great scandal. Certain wicked men were accustomed to have clandestine meetings with the nuns” (i, 472). Pope Alexander VII (1655-1667) was “elected after a struggle of eighty days; at a time when churchmen were being forced to realize the deplorable consequences, moral and financial, of nepotism; ... nepotic abuses came to weigh as heavily as ever upon the papacy ... endeavors to enrich their families” (294). Pope Alexander VIII (1689-1691) “bestowed on his relations the riches they were eager to accumulate; in their behalf, and to the discredit of his pontificate, he revived sinecure offices. Out of compassion for the poor of well-nigh impoverished Italy, he sought to succor them by reducing the taxes” (295).

”The eighteenth century was not an age remarkable for depth of spiritual life” (334). “Here [in the bishopric of St. Agatha, near Naples, in 1762] with 30,000 uninstructed people, 400 mostly indifferent and sometimes scandalous secular clergy, and 17 more or less relaxed religious houses ... a field so overgrown with weeds that they seemed the only crop” (337). In 1799 “people were already rejoicing that the Papacy and the Church had come to an end. But the priest, Count Antonio Rosmini ... published his ideas in 1848 in the treatise‘ Of the Five Plagues of the Church,’ in which he also particularly recommended the reform of the Church. ... The demand for reform in the States of the Church was in fact not unjustified.” (CE. xiv, 264, 265.) Much later like data could be added.

Thus in our search for its sweetness and light, we have as it were scratched the surface of the history of Holy Church, for a thousand five hundred years, as recorded by itself; thus in one volume out of fifteen have we verified the priestly boast: “Her holiness appears in the fruits which she brings forth.” The most lurid features, as under long lines of Holinesses, for example, Benedicts, Eugenes, and Johns, fall outside our limited alphabetical scope; we have made no note of the interminable political wars and throat-cuttings joyously moted by fifteen hundred years of Popes; nor of the infinite blood-lust and greed of the execrated Holy Inquisition and of interminable successions of Popes, papal Curias and blood-sodden prelates. The choice of every Pope is guided by the Holy Ghost itself, aided indirectly but effectively in a hundred instances by bribery and the dagger. Even this trinity of Holy Electors of the Vicars of God has not always kept the “Succession of Peter” in a straight line; a goodly number of times the Spirit has descended upon numerous doublets and triplets of Holinesses at one and the same time: “At various times in the history of the Church illegal pretenders to the Papal Chair have arisen, and frequently exercised pontifical functions in defiance of the true occupant. According to Hergenrother, there are {282} 29 [doublet and triplet sets] in the following order,”—naming them, beginning about 200 A.D. and extending down to 1449. (CE. i, 582.) The turmoils and scandals leading to and resulting from these, the priestly anathemas spit at each other, the blood and terror, and the unspeakably debased social conditions which made it all possible—in the name of Christ, can be but faintly imagined. This is but a fractional and imperfect inventory of the crops of “the fruits which she has brought forth” since her first budding out of the graft of Forgery and Fraud upon the iron stock of Force.

What price Religion! Paganism—and Christianity! Which—upon the record—has been the more shameless and debauched, and wrought the worst for morality and civilization? If, but for the glorious” civilizing effects” of Christianity’s “civilization would have been retarded for a thousand years”—What would not Civilization be today but for the “sweetness and light” of the Church and its Dark Ages of Faith?


”Of course, the beginnings of all profane knowledge can be traced back to the time when‘ Priest’ and‘ scholar’ meant one and the same thing.” (CE. vi, 447.)

 ”There is nothing more despicable than an ignorant priest.” Cardinal Farness. (CE. v, 788-9.)

A panoramic view, sketched by pious clerical pens, has passed before us, depicting in high light the outlines of moral and intellectual culture of two civilizations: the one Pagan, secular, brilliant, of Pre-Christian Greece and Rome; the other “a civilization thoroughly saturated with Christianity,” with Christian morality and culture this section, added from CE., must determine its intellectual achievements. So insistent and ever-proclaimed are the clerical claims for the education of Christendom, and its “Christian civilization,” which, without its glorious and heroic activities, “would have been retarded for a thousand years,” that it is but just and fair to let the Church repeat several times what it claims to have done; then let it tell in its own words what it did.

Here are a few of the exalted cultural claims of the Church: “The Church, although officially the teacher of revealed truth only, has always been interested in the cultivation of every branch of human knowledge. But the truth unfolded by reason cannot contradict the truth revealed by God! The Encyclical next shows, by extracts from many Fathers of the Church, what reason helped by revelation can do for [to] the progress of human knowledge”! (Encyc. AEterni-Patris, Leo XIII, 1879; CE. i, 177.) “The Christian Church during this era—a fact of the greatest importance—was the guardian of the remains of classical literature.” (CE. vi, 485.) “The preservation of the fragments of Greek and Roman classics now extant is largely due to the monasteries, which for twelve centuries after the fall of the Western Empire were the {283} custodians of manuscripts of the ancient Greek philosophy and the Latin rhetoricians.” (CE. i, 696.) “In addition to their prescribed studies, the monks were constantly occupied in copying the classic texts.” (CE. v, 303.)


        In the sweet-sounding music of this clerical chorus, a rudely jarring discord is struck by these dissonant notes: “The revival of the classics, lost for a thousand years in Western Christendom. ... The loss of Greek authors and the decline of Church Latin into barbarism were misfortunes in a universal ruin.” (CE. xii, 277.) An attempt by Charlemagne to establish even rudimentary education was abortive, and “the accumulated wisdom of the past ... was in danger of perishing,” but “When the permanent renaissance of learning came several centuries later, the light began again to pierce through the storm-clouds of feudal strife and anarchy.” (CE. i, 277.) We shall see that every scrap of Greek and Latin learning which, after twelve centuries, slowly filtered into Christendom, came from the hated Arabs through the more hated Jews, after Christians first made contact with civilization through the Crusades: “Indeed, whatever influence came from the Mosque passed through the Synagogue before it reached the Church.” (CE. i, 676.)

 In one singular and unintentional way, however, is it true that “the preservation of fragments of Greek and Roman classics is due to the monasteries, which were the custodians of manuscripts of the ancient Greek philosophy,” science, and literature. Such manuscripts existed in great numbers in the age of Greek and Roman culture; they were written on enduring parchment. When the Light of the Cross dimmed Pagan culture, and its learning became abhorrent to the pious Christian, the monks needed papyrus for their literary efforts, so they gathered in the manuscripts wherever found;—and thus they “preserved” them: “Due to cost of vellum, old books were scraped and used again”—(that is the meaning of “Palimpsest”)—for the scribbling of the precious monkish chronicles and theological folderol soon to be noticed. “In the West much use was made of old manuscripts from the seventh to the ninth century, when, in consequence of the disturbed state of the country, there was some scarcity of material, and the old volumes of neglected authors were used for more popular works. ... The practice continued down to the sixteenth century. Many Latin and most Greek manuscripts are on reused vellum. A manuscript in the Vatican contained part of the 91st Book of Livy’s‘ Roman History.’ The famous Sinai Bible discovered by Tischendorff was written over by lives of female saints. Parts of the Iliad and the‘ Elements’ of Euclid were covered by monkish treatises. The‘ De Republica’ of Cicero, was discovered under the Commentary of Augustine on Psalms, and several of his Orations under the Acts of the Council of Chalcedon.” Other such monkish palimpsests were discovered to contain the Institutes of Gaius; eight orations of the Roman senator Symmachus, the Comedies of Plautus, parts of Euripides, epistles of Antoninus Pius, Lucius Verus, Marcus Aurelius, and others, the‘ Fasti Consolaris’ of 486, the Codex Theodosianus, are among the precious remains of Greek and Roman erudition which were “Preserved” in this monkish fashion in the erudite monasteries. (NIE. xvii, 762-3.) As for “monks constantly occupied in copying {284} the classic texts,” for the preservation and diffusion of Pagan culture, it is a joke! They couldn’t read Greek nor good Latin, and nobody else could read at all,—also, Holy Church and Churchmen loathed Pagan culture and literature.

The Church, however, got an early and fair start on its wonderful career as the organizer and creator of civilization. In 529 [by priest-prompted edict of Justinian] “the schools of philosophy were closed. From that date Christianity had no rival.” (CE. ii, 43.) We have read the Imperial Law of Justinian with the fatal title: “Pagans Forbidden to give Instruction”; consequently “the State schools of the Empire had fallen into decay.” (CE. xiii, 555.) Thenceforth the Church, inspired by its Holy Ghost, was the sole Mentor and Instructor of Christendom. Before the dazzling Light diffused by the Church blinds us to the view, let us take a farewell look at the Pagan civilization of the Roman world, as recorded under the Antonine Emperors and their successors, such conditions prevailing quite up to the era of Justinian and the Church;—it will be a millennium and a half before we see a spark of such like:

”The internal peace and prosperity were no less remarkable than the absence of war. Trade and commence flourished; new routes were opened, and new roads built throughout the Empire, so that all parts of it were in close touch with the capital. The remarkable municipal life of the period, when new and flourishing cities covered the Roman world, is revealed by the numerous inscriptions that record the generosity of wealthy patrons or the activity of free burghers. ... Guilds and organizations of all conceivable kinds, mainly for philanthropic purposes, came into existence everywhere. By means of these associations the poorer classes were in a sense insured against poverty. ... The activity of the Emperor was not confined to merely official acts; private movements for the succor of the poor and of orphans received his unstinted support. The scope of the alimentary institutions of former reigns was broadened, and the establishment of charitable foundations such as that of the‘ Puellae Faustinianae’ is a sure indication of a general softening of manners and a truer sense of humanity. The period was also one of considerable literary and scientific activity. ... The most lasting influence of the life and reign of Antoninus was that which he exercised in the sphere of law. Five great Stoic jurisconsults [named] were the constant advisers of the Emperor, and under his protection they infused a spirit of leniency and mildness into Roman legislation which effectually safeguarded the weak and unprotected, slaves, wards, and orphans, against aggressions of the powerful. ... An impulse was given in this direction which produced the later golden period of Roman jurisprudence under Septimus Severus, Caracalla, and Alexander Severus.”

 (CE. i, 587.)

For vivid contrast, we may here recall the “vivid remark” of Bishop St. Bruno, in the year 1049, that “justice had perished” (CE. vi, 793) and the confession, relating to the beginning of the Reformation five hundred years later: “Churchmen in high places were constantly unmindful of justice.” (CE. xii, 767.) The “golden period of Roman jurisprudence” had been replaced by Christian “superstitions in the administration of justice during many {285} centuries of the Middle Ages, and known as ordeals or‘ judgments of God.’ ... These‘ judgments of God’ gave rise to new superstitions. Whether guilty or not, persons subjected to the trials would often put more confidence in charms, magic formulas, and ointments than in the Providence of God.” (CE. xiv, 341,) Up to as late as 1538 “the legal lore had hitherto been presented in a very barbarous form.” (CE. i, 273.) As for benevolence,: charity, the care of the poor, the protection of the weak against the strong, the cursory Pagan record just quoted must suffice; their continuance in the Christian Dark Ages is sufficiently belied by the shocking social conditions to be cursorily noticed in the general cultural sketch to follow. As for widows and orphans, one of the proudest brags of the clerics, the Church by sword and rack and stake, has made an infinity more of widows and orphans that she ever scantily cared for in her monkish lazzarettos and pestilential lying-in shambles. With respect to slavery, which the Church boasts to have suppressed, this pious lie is nailed by the fact of the gradual shifting of technical slavery into universal serfdom throughout Europe for centuries, and its persistence in “Christian” England, America and Brazil until almost the present generation, and the existence today of millions of slaves in very Christian Abyssinia; and the world knows the part which the Christian soul-savers took in the United States in upholding slavery as a God-ordained institution of the Blessed Bible. But the Church not only aided and abetted slavery; it owned slaves, and it actively engaged in the most revolting forms of slave-trade: “Clement V (1309) decreed that resisting Venetians should be sold into slavery, and Gregory XI and Sixtus IV [of blessed memory] decreed the same for the Florentines, and Julius II for both Florence and Bologna. The Bull by which Nicholas V (1442) encouraged Portugal to what became the organized trade in negro slaves. ... In 1538 Paul III decreed slavery against all Englishmen who should dare to support Henry VIII against the pope”! (Encyc. Brit., 14th ed. xix, 35.)

The Church mightily prides itself on its suppression of the bloody sports of the arena, the gladiatorial combats, because the monk Telemachus, after 400 A.D., jumped into the arena (with two Pagan companions) and protested against them, which act incited the Pagan throng in the Amphitheatre to urge their abolition. But for four hundred years not Church nor Christian had raised a voice of protest; and during as much of this period as it had the power, the Church was merrily murdering Pagans and heretics; and the cruelties of free combat in the arena were speedily replaced by the infamous torturings and slow burnings of countless human beings for Christ’s sweet sake: while bull-fights adorn every holiday and holy day of the “Most Christian” countries today. Fie for Christian “reforms”!

Following upon the Pagan cultural civilization depicted by CE. existing in the closing epoch of the Roman Empire, we have a lengthy account by the same clerical scholars of the Christian culture of the ensuing Age of Faith: “The learning and opinions of the first [Christian] few hundred years were comprehensively set forth in the tremendous work of Isidore of Seville (d. 636). During the next few centuries, which were comparatively barren of literary achievements, the only men to achieve any celebrity were [five named up to 1003].” ... Others are named up to 1280,—”For all these Albertus Magnus had opened the door to the rich treasure- {286} house of Greek and Arabian learning.” (CE. vi, 449, 450.) The principal product of Christian erudition up to these times was ludicrous lying legends and saint and martyr tales: “Needless to say that they do not embody any real historical information, and their chief utility is to afford an example of the pious popular credulity of the times” (CE. i, 131). The state of Christian historical lore through these ages may be appreciated by the following summary:

”The historical literature of the Middle Ages may be classed under three general heads: chronicles, annals, and lives of saints. ... As a matter of fact, profane history, as dealt with by Pagan historians, no longer appealed to Christian writers. History, as viewed from the Christian standpoint, took into account only the Kingdom of God, and to the new generation [of Christians] the center of such history was the narration of the misfortunes undergone by the Jewish nation, a subject ignored by the Roman historians. Christians had need of a new general history in sympathy with their ideal. ... Under Charlemagne ... the great internal misfortunes and dissensions of the kingdom are carefully ignored, so as not to cast discredit on the reigning princes. ... The majority of these local chronicles reproduce the traditions, popular or local, of the monastery which they concern and confine themselves to recording gossip and various kinds of information, ... without asking themselves whether the version of these sources had been tainted with legends, and they did not take the trouble to examine the origin and value of their information. ... The authors were bounded by a limited horizon, often equipped with merely a rudimentary training. Such chronicles, moreover, were often written with the same purpose as the lives of the saints. Those, having a general tendency to enhance as much as possible the glory of their hero, were nothing more than panegyric. Monastic chronicles and annals were not free from this tendency, and often begin with an account of the life of the saint who founded the abbey, concerning themselves more with asceticism than with historical facts and events, which would be of much value to us today. In conclusion, the first part of these chronicles, written for the most part since the eleventh century, almost always recount legends, often based on oral tradition, but sometimes invented for the purpose of embellishing the early history of the monastery, and of thus increasing the devotion of the faithful. ... Chronology especially was often treated carelessly.” (CE. 1, 531-536, passim.)

With respect to literature and history we have thus a millennial blank of Christian achievement: but the Church’s forte was Science, for “the Church fosters and promotes the sciences in many ways,”—so long as they do not contradict the “sacred science of Christianity.” This we may see exemplified in the following clerical summarization.

”Speculations concerning the rotundity of the earth and the possible existence of human beings‘ with their feet turned towards ours,’ were of interest to the Fathers of the early Church only in so far as they seemed to encroach upon the {287} fundamental Christian dogma of the unity of the human race, and the consequent universality of original sin and redemption. This is clearly seen from the following passage of St. Augustine (De Civitate Dei, xvi, 9): For Scripture, which confirms the truth of its historical statements by the accomplishment of its prophecies, teaches no falsehood; and it is too absurd to say ... there is a race of human beings not descended from that one first man.’ This opinion of St. Augustine was commonly held until the progress of science ... dissipated the scruples arising from a defective knowledge of geography. A singular exception occurs to us in the middle of the eighth century. From a letter of Pope St. Zachary (1 May, 748), addressed to St. Boniface, we learn that the great Apostle of Germany had invoked the papal censure upon Vergilius. Among other alleged misdeeds and errors was numbered that of holding‘ that beneath the earth there was another world and other men, another sun and moon.’ In reply, the Pope directs St. Boniface to convoke a council and,‘ if it be made clear’ that Vergilius adheres to this‘ perverse teaching, contrary to the Lord and to his own soul,’ to expel him from the Church, deprived of his priestly dignity’! This is the only information that we possess regarding an incident which is made to figure largely in the imaginary warfare between theology and science. ... The case of the Irish monk who suffered the penalty of being several centuries ahead of his age remains on the page of history, like the parallel case of Galileo, as a solemn admonition against a hasty resort to ecclesiastical censure,” as CE,. naively remarks. (CE. i, 581-2.)

 Summing up the vivifying cultural achievements of over a thousand years down to the beginning of the end of the regimen of Church embrutishment of men, this ludicrous composite of confession of debasement and self-laudation greets us: “The Middle Ages did not bequeath to Rome any institutions that could be called scientific or literary academies. As a rule, there was slight inclination for such institutions. ... A special reason why literature did not get a stronger foothold at Rome is to be found in the constant politico-religious disturbances of the Middle Ages. ... Medieval Rome was certainly no place for learned academies. ... From the earliest days of the Renaissance the Church was the highest type of such an academy, that is, of the broadest kind of culture”! (CE. i, 83, 84.) Yet despite this highest type of academy as was the Church, the broadest kind of culture which, it personified and radiated, the full splendor of the Renaissance had been reacting upon and illuminating the Church for two or three centuries, when we discover this amazing lack of clerical learning and intelligence confessed by the Church. The Protestant heresy was at its zenith; in 1559-74 the Protestants published an Ecclesiastical History called “Centuriators,” in thirteen volumes, “showing century by century, how far the Catholic Church had departed from primitive teaching and practices,” as CE. describes it. This heretic work caused “keen distress and dismay in Catholic circles; and provided the Reformers with a formidable weapon of attack on the Catholic Church. It did much harm. The feasibility of a counter-attack appealed to Catholic scholars, but nothing adequate was provided, for the science of history was still a thing {288} of the future. Its founder was as yet but 21 years of age”—Baronius, later Cardinal. He studied hard, and later produced his Annales, 12 volumes, “which he had foreseen in a vision would be the term of his work,” and by which the “Centuries were eclipsed,”—but in which he ruthlessly destroyed by sane and fearless criticism so many thousands of Church saint-and-martyr myths, that “the Annals were condemned by the Spanish Inquisition” (CE. ii, 305, 306).

Such was the net—and gross - result of fifteen hundred years of the much-boasted zeal for learning and teaching of the Divinely-appointed sole Teacher of Christendom, in the broad fields of historical knowledge, literature, and general intellectual culture. In the grand realm of the Sciences, which the Church has ever cherished and encouraged, may we hope for bigger and better results?


“The Church, far from hindering the pursuit of the sciences, fosters and promotes them in many ways.” (CE. xiii, 609.)

“When a dogma contradicts a scientific assertion, the latter has to be revised”! (CE. xiii, 607.)

The Middle Ages, as generally understood, “is a term used to designate that period of European history between the Fall of the Roman Empire and about the middle of the fifteenth century,” (CE. x, 235),—the era of the discovery of printing,—a full thousand years. The highly significant and evidently unstudied explanation is made: “The Middle Ages have become an interlude, clearly bounded on both extremities by a more civilized or humane idea of life, which men are endeavoring to realize in politics, education, manners, literature, and religion.” (CE. xii, 765.) Those two clearly bounded extremities are the Pagan civilization of the dying Roman Empire and the secular, skeptical, rationalistic “Renaissance of Knowledge,” which CE. clerically complains embodied “the ideas and spirit of classic paganism.” (i, 34.) We have just seen that during this Millennium “thoroughly saturated with Christianity” there was, in Christendom, no literature, other than theological treatises, monkish chronicles and Saint-tales, and no science of whatever category,—except “sacred science” or theology: “Theology is the very science of faith itself” (CE. xiii, 598); and we have seen to what intellectual status that sacred science led the human mind. The zeal with which the Church pursued its propagation of the Faith as the central feature of its educational system, with all other branches of human knowledge as an indifferent “side line,” we have noted, in the language of the ecclesiastical scientists. The Church maintains that it “fosters and promotes sciences in many ways,” and inferentially always has encouraged and protected science in all its manifold forms of utilitarian humanism. But Holy Church has some naive notions of science and of the ecclesiastical limitations imposed upon it. While thus fostering and promoting the sciences, “Yet”, says CE., “while acknowledging the freedom due to them, she tries to preserve {289} them from falling into errors contrary to Divine doctrine, and from overstepping their boundaries and throwing into confusion matters that belong to the domain of faith”! (Vatican Decrees, Sess. III, De Fide, ch. 4; CE. xiii, 609.)

The priestly principle of the subordination of scientific fact to dogmatic faith is thus naively posed:

Science is limited by truth, which belongs to its very essence. Should science ever have to choose between truth and freedom (a choice not at all imaginary), it must under all circumstances decide for truth, under the penalty of self-extermination. ... Ethics is more important for mankind than science. Those who believe in revelation, know that the Commandments are the criteria by which men will be judged.

 (Matt. xxv, 35-46.) ...

The demand for unlimited freedom in science is unreasonable and unjust, because it leads to license and rebellion. ... To submit one’s understanding to a doctrine supposed—[is that all?]—to be Divine and guaranteed to be infallible is undoubtedly more consistent than to accept prevailing postulates of science. ...

 “When a clearly defined dogma contradicts a scientific assertion, THE LATTER HAS TO BE REVISED”! (CE. xiii, 598-607, passim.)

Than this last sentence, a more palpable and ridiculous untruth has never been uttered by the clerical Liars of the Lord. No single scientific fact ever discovered and proclaimed, in all the struggling history of Science in defiance of Church, has ever been “revised,” altered or withdrawn in deference to religious Dogma. Every fact of science has proudly and triumphantly defied and refuted Dogma and Church, and made them both cheap and ridiculous. Faith hates facts; they are forever divorced on grounds of congenital incompatibility. The Church, True Church, and Protestant, has screamed and reviled at every truth of Science which was ever discovered; with high priestly anathema, the curse of God, with prison, rack, and stake, it has sought to suppress and kill every thought of the human mind, every bold thinker, whose truths for the benefit of mankind have contradicted and ridiculed it and its holy dogmas. Every single one; I challenge the production of a solitary instance of exception. The catalogue is too vast to even summarize here; for details and proofs the monumental works of Dr. Andrew D. White, The Warfare between Science and Theology, and Dr. John W. Draper’s Conflict between Science and Religion,—(the latter on the Church’s Index of Prohibited Books), may be profitably consulted and are cheerfully recommended in refutation of this example of priestly mendacity. We have read what happened to that “singular exception,” the Irish monk Bishop Vergilius.

But let the false pretense be exposed by a few examples given by the American apologist for “the Holy See, deservedly known as the nursing mother of schools and universities,” such as we have above admired. Until these “universities” began, about the year {290} 1211 (CE. xii, 766) of the Christian epoch, no one had dared to think; Christendom was too steeped in ignorance and credulity to think. These Middle Ages, says CE. (xii, 38), were “a civilization thoroughly saturated with Christianity,” and therefore incapable of scientific thought or feeling. “All Greek learning [had been] lost for a thousand years in Western Christendom. ... The loss of Greek authors and the decline of Church Latin [as well as the Latin Church] into barbarism were misfortunes in a universal ruin.” (CE. xii, 765.) But men’s minds could not forever be kept in the chains of priestly dominance; Gulliver began to wake and rouse and to struggle against the multiplied strands of theological cobwebs with which the Lilliputs of Faith had fast bound him while in his millennial sleep of the Christian Dark Ages of Faith. “Under these circumstances,” admits CE,. “a revival of learning so soon as the West was capable of it, might have been foreseen.” (CE. xxi, 765.) The Church was keen and hostile, and did forsee what was coming. The first University was founded in 1211; in identically that time the Holy Inquisition was established by His Holiness Innocent III to guard against heretics and “other innovators.” “The taking of Constantinople in 1204, the introduction of Arabian, Jewish, and Greek works into the Christian schools, the rise of the universities—these are the events which led to the extraordinary intellectual activity of the thirteenth century. ... Even in the Christian schools there were declared Pantheists ... who bade fair to prejudice the cause of Aristotelianism. These developments were suppressed by the most stringent disciplinary measures during the first few decades of the thirteenth century. ... Roger Bacon demonstrated by his unsuccessful attempts to develop the natural sciences the possibilities of another kind which were latent in Aristotelianism.” (CE. xiii, 548, 549.)

Roger Bacon (1214-1294), the “Doctor Mirabilis,” whose “attempts to develop the natural sciences” were so drastically suppressed, was the genius of the dawning “Revival of Learning”—the Renaissance. He wrote over eighty books, a number of the most important in a secret cryptogram for fear of the ecclesiastical consequences—which he finally suffered. “It is in these treatises that Bacon speaks of the reflection of light, mirages, burning-mirrors, of the diameters of the celestial bodies and their distances from one another, of their conjunction and eclipses; that he explains the laws of ebb and flow, proves the Julian calendar to be wrong; he explains the composition and effects of gunpowder, discusses and affirms the possibility of steam-vessels and aerostats, of microscopes and telescopes, and some other inventions made many centuries later. ...‘Pope Nicholas IV, on the advice of many brethren condemned and rejected the doctrine of the English brother Roger Bacon, Doctor of Divinity, which contains many suspect innovations, by reason of which Roger was imprisoned’ 12 or 14 years” (CE. xiii, 112), until death released him from the strangling clutches of the “nursing-mother of schools and Universities,”—which always “encourages Science”!

Roger’s great German contemporary “Blessed Albertus Magnus” (c. 1206-1280), was “accused of magic and of neglecting the sacred sciences. ... Albert respected authority and traditions, was prudent in proposing the results of his investigations. ... sometimes he hesitates and does not express his own opinion, {291} probably because he feared that his theories, which were‘ advanced’ for those times—[when Church was “far from hindering the pursuit of the sciences”],—would excite surprise and occasion unfavorable comment.” Among the products of his “magic,” Blessed Albert “gives an elaborate demonstration of the sphericity of the earth. ... More important than Albert’s development of the physical sciences was his influence on the study of philosophy and theology.‘ All inferior (i.e. natural) sciences should be servants (ancellas) of Theology, which is superior and the mistress’ (Aquinas).” (CE. i, 265-6.) Thus the Church thwarted and prevented what would have been the much earlier “triumph of scientific discovery, with which, as a rule, ... the seats of academic authority had too little sympathy.” (CE. xiii, 549.)

The criminal ignorance and bigotry of the Church are nowhere more convincingly evident than in its repression of medical science through the ages when pestilence and plague swept unchecked through Christendom, while holy priests and monks chanted litanies and scared devils as the sole means of staying the ravages of Disease and Death. Listen to the same old story: “Modern medical science rests upon a Greek foundation. ... The secret of the immortality of Hippocrates rests on the fact that he pointed out the means whereby medicine became a science. ... Hippocratic medical science celebrated its renascence in the eighteenth century. ... Arabian medical science forms an important chapter in the history of the development of medicine, [largely] because it preserved Greek medical science. ... With the decline of Arabian rule [and Christian rise, in Spain]—began the decay of medicine. ... In 1085 Toledo was taken from the Moors, and Spain became the transmitter of Arabian medicine.” Here comes in the first medical scientist to defy the Church and escape its Holy Inquisition. Vesalius (born 1511), became physician to the Emperor Charles V; “his eagerness to learn went so far that he stole corpses from the gallows to work on at night in his room. ... The supreme service of Vesalius is that he for the first time [in 1500 years of Church cherishing of Science], with information derived from the direct study of the dead body, attacked with keen criticism the hitherto unassailable Galen, and thus brought about its overthrow. Vesalius is the founder of scientific anatomy and of the technique of modern dissection. Unfortunately, he himself destroyed a part of his scripts on learning that his enemies intended to submit his work to ecclesiastical censure”! (CE. x, 123-130, passim.) Indeed, “at that era a scholar ... who generally struck out so many new ideas in opposition to the commonly held opinion, could easily be accused of heresy. So many of his relations with Protestant scholars appeared suspicious. ... Personally he avoided expressing his opinion, in order not to fall under suspicion of heresy”! (CE. xv, 379.) In defiance of the ban of the Holy Ghost on dissection and anatomy, Vesalius dissected the stolen corpses: his work disproved the Luz, or “Resurrection Bone,” the nucleus of the heavenly restoration of the human body, and disclosed that Adam’s missing rib, lost since Eve was carved from it some 4500 years previously, was still there. These impious refutations of the Church’s sacred science so enraged the clerical savants that it required all the efforts of the Emperor to save his great physician from the Dogs of the Lord and the Holy Inquisition. {292}

 A word only may be added on the highly significant question of hospitals and asylums in the Ages of Faith. “The idealism of medieval theological beliefs led to the founding of orphan asylums and hospitals. But the impracticability and‘ other-worldliness’ of the Middle Ages prevented effective treatment of the diseases of the inmates. Such hospitals were merely dark, crowded, and unsanitary places of refuge for the needy and sick, who received no rational medical attention. ... The Middle Ages, which some profess to admire, were in reality times of low civilization.” For a shocking account of the hospitals, lying-in dens and insane pens of medieval Christian idealism, reference must be made to Dr. Henry W. Haggard’s Devils, Drugs and Doctors; (cf. CE. vii, 492; x, 125). Such as these miserable lazzaretti were, they were for the superstitious Faithful only: “The bigoted Pius V actually directed that no medical assistance should be given to any person who declined spiritual attendance”! (Macaulay, Const. Essays; Church and State, p. 136.)

But for the benighted theological repression of thought and of discovery of the secrets and powers of Nature, here barely hinted, the germs of modern science and invention which lay latent and struggling in the fertile minds of these great pioneers, would have quickly developed and would have recreated civilization and enriched humanity centuries before they did, when Holy Church got too feeble and discredited longer to enchain the minds of men. But, as it was, the “sacred science of Christianity” must be protected by force and proscription against the facts and knowledge of Nature and the quickening minds of men. To guard its precious Bible “revelations,” the Church upheld the Bible and forced all men to close their minds when they opened its sacred pages. At last, Galileo fitted two bits of glass into an old Church organ-pipe, poked it at the “firmament of heaven” which had cost Jehovah a whole day’s work, and, Lo! the whole of the “sacred science” of the Church collapsed into universal ruin! The truth of God’s revelation became an exploded myth, and its inspired Bible a book of Fable. The holy Church screeched in terror its unholy anathemas. “What, more than all,” confesses the CE., “raised alarm [over the discoveries of Copernicus and Galileo], was anxiety for the credit of Holy Scripture, the letter of which was then universally believed to be the supreme authority in matters of SCIENCE, as in all others.” (CE. vi, 344.) The Church made monstrous efforts to murder the new thought: “we know from the calendar of saints and other sources how much had been done to cheek the wild license of thought and speech in the Peninsula. Giordano Bruno, renegade and pantheist, was burnt in 1600; Campanella spent [27] long years in prison. The different measures meted out to Copernicus by Clement VII and to Galileo by Paul V need no comment [its shame chokes the Church]! The papacy aimed henceforth at becoming an‘ ideal government under spiritual and converted men.’” (CE. xii, 768.) The Church missed this aim; but with the unholy aid of its Holy Inquisition, which in 1542 it declared to be “the supreme tribunal for the whole world” (CE. xiii, 137), and its sacred “Index of Prohibited Books,” instituted in 1557, it murdered men and thought for yet several centuries. The up-to-date edition of 1929 closes the minds of the “Faithful” to over 5,000 books of the highest intellectual merit—as partially catalogued in the news dispatches. (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Nov. 11, and Dec. 1, 1930). This {293} precious Proscription for preserving the “purity and genuineness of her Apostolic doctrine” intact for the “guileless and innocent hearts” of the Babes of Faith, and to prevent them from learning anything which might put them “on inquiry” as to the “purity and genuineness” of these holy “Apostolic” myths, includes the immortal works of Gibbon, Sterne, Dumas, Victor Hugo, our own Dr. Draper, Anatole France, La Fontaine, Lamartine, Balzac, Rousseau, Steele, Addison, Talleyrand, Henry Hallam, Voltaire, Zola, Maeterlinck—(this my Book will probably be added by special Decree);—in a word every book by—(mine excluded)—the brilliant and fearless thinkers of the world who have scorned Holy Church, and have been laureated by winning inclusion in this Holy Index of Inspired Ignorance. It is a vain and foolish gesture of Bigotry, defeating its own malicious purpose: “Prohibited Books illuminate the world; words suppressed or condemned are repeated from one end of the world to the other,” as Emerson admirably has expressed. But no wonder that “a [Faithful] Christian child knows more of the important truths [of a certain brand] than did Kant, Herbert Spencer, or Huxley,” as is the “sour grapes” sneer of CE. (xiii, 607) at those whose minds are free to seek and find the truths of Nature and work from them true Miracles of Science; for the boundless benefit of Man.

This enlightened Index, established at the behest of the Holy Ghost for keeping men ignorant, dates from the foundation of the Faith; it deserves a word of admiration, which may be spoken by its learned apologist: “Before the art of printing was discovered, it sufficed to burn a few manuscript copies to prevent the spreading of a doctrine. So it was done at Ephesus in the presence of St. Paul (Acts xix, 19). It is known that the other Apostles, the Fathers of the Church, and the Council of Nice (325) exercised the same authority; [citing] the various censures, prohibitions, and indexes issued by cities, universities, bishops, provincial councils, and popes, through the Christian centuries.” (CE. xiii, 607.) Who wonders that they were “The Dark Ages”?

With the final childish, senile sneer of the Church we will. dismiss this phase of examination of the paralyzing efficiency of Faith. Says our guardian of the archaic fossils embedded in the Rock of Faith: “It is true, the believer is less free in his knowledge than the unbeliever, but only because he [which one?] knows more. Hence it is, that a well-instructed Christian child knows more of the important truths than did Kant, Herbert Spencer, or Huxley. Believing scientists—[a self-stultification] do not wish to be free-thinkers just as respectable people do not wish to be vagabonds”! (CE. xiii, 607.)

So be it! But the vagabonds of Freethought are those who, at infinite cost of torture and blood, through all the centuries of Creed and Crime of the Church, and in heroic scorn of the Church and her “sacred science,” have made our dearly-earned civilization what even it is to-day. Step by step, from contest to ultimate conquest, in every single conflict of Fact with Faith, the Church has been defeated and has retreated—put to shaming rout. It has been a slow and tortuous progress,—

For faith, fanatic faith, once wedded fast To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last”! {294}
But fantastic Faith has wondrous powers of “accommodation” and specious tenacity of false pretense of being forever inspiredly right. The process of adjustment has throughout a thousand instances been the same: Faith is confronted with a discrediting Fact; it curses it and denies it. When the fact is crammed down its throat and it is forced to recognize it, it lyingly denies that it had ever denied it. Then when all mankind has united in joyful acceptance of the new fact, the arch hypocrite declares that it is entirely in accord with its “sacred science,” and tries to steal all credit for it as one of its very own grand contributions to “Christian civilization,” and sanctimoniously wheezes, “How much grander a concept it gives of the infinite knowledge and glory of Gawd in His wonderful process of Nature”! Oh, Hypocrisy! Thou art the Church of God! “Semper eadem”—lying and shameless!

A thrilling retrospect, and inspirational look into the Future, are thus expressed: “It is to scientific devotion more than to any other cause that man owes his present position on a new earth and under new heavens. Nothing else has so immeasurably enlarged his conception. Everywhere his experiments have opened up stretches of infinity ... Personified Science might indeed be proud to have begun so humbly and to have achieved so much. By the use of her method men have weighed the planets as in scales, they have read the secrets of the animal and vegetable world. They have discovered‘ what is in man,’ not wholly, but in some large and wonderful degree. Instead of the burnt-out lamp of dogmatism Science has given to humanity‘ the light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.’ In an effort to minimize drudgery and misery her great discoveries have attained to concrete availability in useful arts that have remade the world and increased immeasurably the comfort of men and their joy. ... Scientific devotion has broadened the horizon of man at every step. In the course of time humanity must leave the shrines of its cherished idols behind and push steadily on! Sensing the poetic nature of this truth, James Russell Lowell spoke in verse to those of his fellow men who could understand:

‘New times demand new measures and new men; The world advances, and in time outgrows The laws which in our father’s times were best; And, doubtless, after us, some purer scheme Will be shaped out by wiser men then we, Made wiser by the steady growth of truth.’” ...

(Dr. Ernest R. Trattner: The Autobiography of God, pp. 289 et seq., passim. Scribners; 1930. Cf. Science Remaking the World: Caldwell and Slosson; Doubleday, Page; 1924; Two Thousand Years of Science: Harvey-Gibson; Macmillan; 1929).

In glorious contrast to the murderous principles, and practices of Faith—
“Reason did never sentence or condemn Faith to the torture. Freedom all she claims For larger understanding of her aims; Hers no evasion, sleight, or stratagem, But only fearless quest our ignorance to stem.”



 “The RENAISSANCE—the achievements of the modern spirit in opposition to the spirit which prevailed during the Middle Ages”! (CE. xii. 765.)
During the Dark Ages of Faith men were born into the world with the same capacities and potentialities of intellect as were the Sages of Greece and the Jurisconsults and Statesmen of Rome. The poles are not farther apart, however, day and night not more different in volume of light, than the prechristian and Christian eras in point of intellectual product. Why so vast a difference? Simply—that the pre-Christian mind was free, and explored unfettered and unafraid the boundless zones of Nature, in search of the Supreme Good and the practical benefits to be wrung from the world in which Pagan man lived for the benefit of himself and of his kind: while the Christian mind was bound by what it regarded as revealed Truth and shackled by theology and priestcraft, which closed every highway and bypath of approach to Nature with the warning sign: “No Thoroughfare. Moses.” “When one has once believed, search should cease,” as Father Tertullian said. The ban of Eden—”Of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge thou shalt not eat,” was enforced by the Priest by ecclesiastical censorship and burning of books, by the Inquisition of Faith, the Index, the rack, the stake. The ingrained aim and end of Man was Heaven; for that other-worldly destiny alone was he taught and trained; that was the whole Christian scheme of education and outlook on life; the things of this world were contemned and ignored.

Through these Ages of Faith two careers only were open to men—priestcraft and military. With rarest exception only clerical persons could read or write; the great masses of the peoples were utterly illiterate, ignorant, superstitious, devout slaves of priestcraft; their civil status serfs; they lived in filth and squalor unbelievable, wearing their coarse fabric or leathern garments until they rotted off their unwashed bodies, the victims of disease, plagues and famines which often killed off near half the population, and aided by wars and rapine incessant, greatly incited and waged by the political Church to further its corrupt greed and ambition, keep the squalid population of Europe at a standstill, so that it took a century to double the miserable masses, fed on black rye bread and slops, and on lying saint-tales, martyr-myths and forged relics for increase of stupid and credulous devotion to its faithless Faith and Priests, the while they were brutalized and kept savage by the almost daily free spectacles furnished by Holy Church of public torturings and burnings by slow priest-set fires of countless heroic men and women who were unafraid to despise and defy the priests. Faith thus flourished on ignorance and credulity, which the Church diligently fostered and exploited for its unholy purposes of wealth and power, of rule by ruin. As none but priests could read and write, while kings and public men were mere soldiers and illiterates, and public business must be carried on through written documents, the public offices of State, from the King’s chancellor and ambassadors to the lowliest clerks, were priests, and thus Priestcraft and Church increased {296} their sinister power and dominance and wealth. These facts explain the sinister motive of the priestly monopoly of literacy, and fully account for the crass ignorance of Christendom which the vaunted Teaching Mission of the Church entailed.


For a long dark span of centuries Holy Church, as sole and unique, Divinely inspired and guided Teacher of Christendom, plied the gentle art of Pedagogy for the Faithful. The net result of the intellectual efforts of the Inspired Teacher may be summed up and made luminous by a couple of descriptions of the wonderful “benefit of clergy” as a Teaching Institution. Says first Dr. James Harvey Robinson: “For six or seven centuries after the overthrow of the Roman government in the West [476], very few outside of the clergy ever dreamed of studying, or even of learning to read and write. Even in the Thirteenth Century an offender who wished to prove that he belonged to the clergy in order that he might be tried by a church court, had only to show that he could read a single line; for it was assumed by the judges that no one unconnected with the church could read at all. It was therefore inevitable that all the teachers were clergymen, that almost all the books were written by priests and monks, and that the clergy was the ruling power in all intellectual, artistic, and literary matters—the chief guardians and promoters of civilization. Moreover, the civil government was forced to rely upon churchmen to write out the public documents and proclamations. The priests and monks held the pen for the king. Representatives of the clergy sat in the king’s councils and acted as his ministers; in fact, the conduct of government largely devolved upon them.” (Robinson, The Ordeal of Civilization, pp. 157-8.) This “benefit of clergy,” in the legal sense in which it is above used, and the degraded state of ignorance which gave occasion for it and the presumptions of the clergy enforcing it, are defined and explained by the clergy: “Benefit of Clergy.—The exemption from the jurisdiction of the secular courts, which ... was accorded to clergymen. ... When a clerk was brought before a court, he proved his claim to benefit of clergy by reading, and he was turned over to the ecclesiastical court, as only the clergy were generally able to read. This gave rise to the extension of the benefit of clergy to all who could read. [It is added, for historical interest]: The privilege of benefit of clergy was entirely abolished in England in 1827. In the Colonies it had been recognized, but by Act of Congress of 30 April, 1790, it was taken away in the Federal courts of the United States. Traces of it are found in some courts of different States, but it has been practically outlawed by statutes or by adjudication.” (CE. ii, 446-7.) All this serves to confirm the truth of the statement, that the Church and the clergy imposed and perpetuated Ignorance as the basis of their sordid greed for power and control over the Ignorant.


But—for a wonder under such conditions, and after a thousand years, a slow but portentous change began to manifest itself in sodden Christendom. Note this pregnant statement: “Up to this time (1250) almost wholly absorbed in the supernatural, [men {297} now] took more interest in worldly things. Unconditional renunciation of the world came to an end, and men grew more matter-of-fact and practical.” (CE. vi, 493.) As the result of this “extraordinary change ... education found its way among laymen, and it developed trade.” (Ib.) This confirms the fact that only priests could read and write or had any sort of “education,” in all those Church-taught ages when “scholar and priest meant one and the same thing.” Indeed, it is stated: “Only the clergy were generally able to read.” (CE. ii, 446.) About that time it was that the feeling of nationality first began to stir in minds of civil rulers and of people able to realize the imperial schemes of Holy Church for one great Empire under the rule of the Vicar of God.

To forestall and check this dangerous restlessness of peoples, Kings, and nascent nationality, the Church devised that since time-honored scheme of joining restless factions in war on some common enemy, thus to avert domestic difficulties: here was born the gigantic folly and crime of the Crusades, for the pretended rescue of the empty and apocryphal “Sepulchre of Christ from the Infidel.” This titanic scheme and its purposes are naively thus confessed: “The idea of the Crusades corresponds to a political conception which was realized in Christendom only from the eleventh to the fifteenth century: this supposes a union of all peoples and sovereigns under the direction of the popes. ... The history of the Crusades is therefore intimately connected with that of the popes and the Church. These Holy Wars were essentially a papal enterprise. The idea of quelling all dissensions among Christians, of uniting them under the same standard and sending them forth against the Mohammedans was conceived in the eleventh century, at a time when there were as yet no organized states in Europe.” (CE. iv, 543, 556.) A more gigantic crime and overwhelming failure of ambitious design was probably never recorded in history. But far different and more transcendent results for civilization were brought about. Indeed, the Crusades were the beginning of European civilization. Says CE.: “The Crusades brought about results of which the popes had never dreamed, and which were perhaps the most important of all. They reestablished traffic between the East and West which, after having been suspended for several centuries, was then resumed with even greater energy; they were the means of bringing from the depths of their respective provinces and introducing into the most civilized Asiatic countries Western knights, to whom a new world was thus revealed, and who returned to their native land filled with novel ideas. ... Moreover, as early as the end of the twelfth century, the development of general culture was the direct result of these Holy Wars. ... If, indeed, the Christian civilization of Europe has become universal culture, in the highest sense, the glory redounds, in no small measure, to the Crusades”! (CE. iv, 556.) “The original aim of the Crusades, it is true, was not attained. But the civilization of Western Europe gained from the Orient the best the East had to give and thus was greatly aided in its development” (CE. v, 612). The yet quasi-barbarian rulers and rabbles of Christendom were thus brought into direct contact with a real civilization; had their first glimpse of Arabian culture and civilized refinements of life, saw the men with whom they were in deadly conflict who were vastly their superiors in every ideal and practical accomplishment, and infinitely more humane. One instance will illustrate the difference between Christian brutality and Moslem humanity. When the Christian {298} Crusaders of Christ captured Jerusalem in 1099 and rushed in to rescue the tomb of their dead God from the Infidel, the streets of the Holy City ran with human blood up to the horses’ bridles; “the Christians entered Jerusalem from all sides [July 15, 1099] and slew its inhabitants regardless of age or sex”! (CE. iv, 547.) When nearly a century later (September 17, 1187), Saladin and his “Infidel hosts” recaptured the City and overthrew the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, not a murder nor act of violence or outrage was committed on the inhabitants, and the murderous hordes of Christ were allowed to depart in peace. The Christians began to learn what civilization was. Thus “ the Crusades—those magnificent expeditions which, inspired and supported by the Church, brought huge masses of people into contact with the Orient. ... They were the means of spreading ... the theories and methods of Arabian scholarship, at that time quite advanced, and thereby placing the researches of Western scholars on entirely new bases, and putting before them new aims and objects.” (CE. vi, 448.) An immense confession of Christian failure!


As very pertinent to an understanding of the Rebirth of Learning, a paragraph will be devoted to a summary notice of Arabian culture and its saving influence on Christian ignorance; for it was, the Arabs who brought learning, literature and science to benighted Christendom and created the Renaissance which ended the Dark Ages of Faith.

”When the Arabs came in contact with other civilizations (in the eighth century), notably with that of Persia, their speculative and scientific activities were stimulated into action. About A.D. 750 the Abassides, an enlightened line of Caliphs, came to the throne, who encouraged learning, and patronized the representatives of foreign culture. ... They made ample use of Greek philosophy, and in their free inquiries into the secrets of nature, in which they soon outstripped the Greeks themselves, they paid little attention to the precepts of the Koran. The Arabians translated [the works of Plato, Galen, and Aristotle]. ... The Arabians developed Greek philosophy in its relation to medicine, and in this regard they exerted the most far-reaching influence in Europe. ... The Arabian philosophy, as is well known, exercised a profound influence on the Scholastic philosophy of the twelfth and succeeding centuries.” (CE. i, 675-6.) “The Arabian conquerors had learned from the Syrians the arts and sciences of the Greek world. They became especially proficient in medicine, mathematics, and philosophy, for the study of which they erected in every part of their domain schools and libraries. In the twelfth century—[the first Christians ones were in the thirteenth]—Moorish Spain had nineteen colleges, and their renown attracted hundreds of Christian scholars from every part of Europe. Herein lay a grave menace to Christian orthodoxy.

”The BIBLE had been set up as an infallible source of knowledge not only in matters of religion, but of history, chronology, and physical science. The result was a reaction against the very essentials of Christianity. ... Biblical chronology, as then [19th century] understood, and the literal historic {299} interpretation of the Book of Genesis were thrown into confusion by the advancing sciences—astronomy, with its grand nebular hypothesis; biology, with its even more fruitful theory of evolution; geology, and prehistoric archaeology. ... But able apologists were forthcoming to assay a conciliation of science and religion”! (CE. i, 621, 622.) Be it noted, that it was not until late nineteenth century, when natural Science had made the “sacred science” of the Bible ridiculous, that the “conciliators” came forth with the Big False Pretense that “the Holy Bible was never intended as a Book of Science, but only of moral and religious edification”! Why then, one wonders, does Holy Bible teach “Science”—abound in what is—though false and ridiculous—essentially teachings of “science”: e.g. the origin and form of the earth, and its fixity in space at the center of the universe as the “footstool of God”; the position and movements of sun and stars in the phony “firmament of heaven”; the origin and “Fall of Man” and the “special creation” of animals; the geographical absurdities of the Garden of Eden and its Four Rivers, the Flood and the Divine original and purpose of the Rainbow; the differentiation of languages at Babel; the cause of disease as the reactions to malignant devils in the inner works of men, and the Divine prescriptions for cure of the “Great Physician,” the “Lord who healeth thee,” by spit-salve, prayers of faith, ointment, holy water, and devil-exorcism by ignorant priests? If the Holy Ghost of God wrote or inspired the Bible, funny it is that it talked such foolishness, which was exactly what ignorant priests would have written out of the ignorance and superstitions of their times, without any inspiration of God to confirm them in the nonsense. If the All-Wise God who dictated the Blessed Bible and its foolish “science falsely so called,” had just spoken the facts of his own divine Creation, truthfully,—had just once said that the earth is round instead of flat, and revolves on its axis and around the sun instead of standing still while the sun went around it; that disease is caused by dirt and germs, instead of by devils; and had given sensible precepts of prophylaxis and of cure; in a word, had “revealed” out of his supposed Infinite Wisdom some of the things which are just now, after some thousands of years of Bible-worship and bloody Church-repression, being painfully and dearly worked out by heroic human effort,—Who would not gladly and proudly hail the “Holy Bible, Book Divine,” and for a certainty know that it was truly the intellectual work of a God? But! The priests and the parsons pretend yet that it is Divine; men of science and the coming generation know that it is ignorant priestly Imposture.

But to return to the Arabs, who “in their free inquiries into the secrets of Nature paid little attention to the precepts of the Koran,” and were destined to “throw into confusion” the “sacred science” of the Blessed Bible. “ It cannot be exactly said when the first translations of Arabic writings began to be received by the Christians of the West: probably about 1000. In the beginning of the twelfth century the contributions of Mohammedan science and philosophy to Latin Christendom became more and more frequent and important. ... About 1134 John of Luna translated Al-Fergani’s treatise‘ Astronomy,’ which was an abridgement of Ptolemy’s‘ Almagest,’ thereby introducing Christians to the Ptolemaic system,” —followed by a page of other Arabian works translated for the Christians. (CE, xii, 49; cf. ib. xv, 184.) Thus {300} Christendom got even its grand fable of the earth as the center of the universe from the Greek Ptolemy through the Arabs,—and damned Copernicus and martyred Galileo for daring to disprove it . “In 1085 Toledo was taken from the Moors, and Spain became the transmitter of Arabian medicine.” (CE. x, 130.) Gerard of Cremona (died 1187), “ a twelfth century student of Arabic science and translator from Arabic into Latin, went to Toledo, and soon acquired a great proficiency in Arabic; he translated not only the‘ Almagest,’ but also the entire works of Avicenna, into Latin; he translated 76 books from Arabic into Latin. His activities, and that of a group of men who formed a regular college of translators at Toledo, brought the world of Arabian learning within reach of the scholars of Latin Christendom, and prepared the way for that conflict of ideas out of which sprang the Scholasticism of the thirteenth century.” (CE. vi, 468.) At this late period of Christian intellectual awakening, now for the first time “Aristotle’s philosophy was finding its way through Moorish and Jewish channels into the Christian schools of Europe.” (CE. vi, 555.) Even “the compass was invented in the East and brought to Europe by the Arabs.” (CE. i, 379.) And so of scores of inventions and branches of learning which were known to and cultivated by the Infidel Arabs, which through them became elements of the slow civilizing of quasi-barbarian Christendom so long under the divine tutelage of Holy Church and the priests.

Thus Christendom had wallowed through a thousand years of Christian ignorance until it was awakened by the shock of contact with Arabian civilization and learning through the Crusades. Then, slowly and dangerously , “as might have been foreseen, a revival of learning, so soon as the West was capable of it,” occurred. (CE. xii, 765.) One can only wonder why the Christian West, instructed by God’s own Teacher, was not sooner capable of learning anything but monkish lore or religious lies. The Church apologizes, that “ the middle Ages occupy those tumultuous years when barbarians turned Christians were learning slowly to be civilized, from 476 [the end of the Roman Empire] to 1400.” (CE. xii, 765.) But, the Eastern Empire, dominated by the original “Orthodox” Eastern Catholic Church, was never “overthrown by the barbarians,” but remained in quiet and undisputed possession of its Faith and “Christian Civilization”; but its whole history is almost as foul and besotted, blood-reddened and Christian-barbarous as the Western Empire. And, since the closing of the Pagan schools in 529 at Christian behest, “the Church had no rival” as sole and inspired civilizer and instructor of Christendom. The poor Arabs were at that time disunited and ever-warring tribes of idolatrous barbarians, steeped in ignorance and “sin.” Mohammed fled from their fury in the Great Hegira in 622; he died ten years later, in 632. Yet, in exactly 100 years, even before they were checked by the Christian Charles Martel at the battle of Tours in the heart of France, in the year 732, the Mohammedan Arabs became and remained the most highly civilized people in the world, the masters of an illustrious Empire of far greater extent than Christendom,—and which embraced the greater part of Christendom; and minions of good Christians quickly dropped God and Christ and became worshippers of Allah and his Prophet Mohammed. A strange Providence of the Christian God! This leads to a moment’s disposal of one of the most pretentious and specious clerical claims, that the “divinity” of the Christian religion is proved by its “miraculous spread and preservation.”


One of the Church’s most precious platitudes is its oft-used plea of “the demonstration of the truth of Christianity based on the wonderful propagation of His religion.” (CE. i, 621.) Starting with a handful of Galilean peasants, in three centuries, up to the time of Constantine, it claims to have been “preached to every creature which is under heaven” (Gal. i, 23), and to have won maybe a million or two out of the hundred millions of the Roman Empire. We have seen the mode and manner of “conversion” of very many of these comers to the Christ; as well as of the most dubious Christian efficacy of the hordes of “barbarians” later won by the missionary sword. This “rapid spread” and propagation of the Faith is a “triumphant proof of the divinity and truth of Christianity”! It is also a familiar and threadbare “proof,” the “miraculous” persistence and preservation of the Christian religion through some nineteen centuries. If this be a proof, many “false” religions are even more divine and true; for the religions of Brahma, Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, have existed and persisted, all for many centuries, some for a millennium, before Christianity, and ever since until now, and they embrace together countless millions more of devout worshippers than does Christianity. And we have seen the conditions of ignorance in which Christianity flourished and the terror by which it was preserved during the ages of Faith; and all world knows what the Church has become, and is faster becoming, with the advent and advance of the Age of Reason.

But if the slow and tortuous spread of Christianity by force and arms is proof of its “miraculous” character, what shall we say of Mohammedanism? “Its uninterrupted spread, from the seventh century to the present time, among all the races of the continent, is one of the most remarkable facts of history. Today a Mussulman may travel from Monrovia to Mecca, and thence to Batavia without once setting foot on‘ infidel’ soil. Three phases in this movement of expansion may be distinguished. In the first (638-1050) the Arabs, in a rapid advance, propagated Islam along the whole Mediterranean coast, from Egypt to Morocco, a conquest greatly aided by the exploitation of the country by Byzantine [Christian] governors, the divisions among the Christians, and political disorganization. The second period (1050-1750)—all Africa except Ethiopia. ... The last period of the Mohammedan expansion extends to the present time. ... Daily, one may say, Islam spreads.” (CE. i, 187.) Christianity retrogresses. Aye, worse than that, for the vaunted miraculous nature and preservation of Christianity: “The one dangerous rival with which Christianity had to contend in the Middle Ages was the Mohammedan religion. Within a century of its birth, it had torn from Christendom some of its fairest lands, and extended like a huge crescent from Spain over Northern Africa, Egypt, PALESTINE, Arabia, Persia, and Syria, to the eastern part of Asia Minor. The danger which this fanatic religion offered to Christian faith, in countries where the two religions come in contact, was not to be lightly treated.” (CE. i, 620-1.) Thus at the first onrush of the champions of Mohammed the Impostor, of a notoriously false Faith, the “Infidels” wrested from the devotees of the True Faith their holiest shrines, the empty Sepulchre of their dead God, the sites of his birth, crucifixion and resurrection; and they hold them unto this day. During three {302} hundred years of bloody and fanatic “Holy Wars” united Christendom lost millions of lives and treasure in efforts to “rescue” this empty grave of its Christ from the impudent impostors; but for three hundred years the armies of the Cross were beaten and driven away from their sacred goal. “This immense fact,” says Ingersoll, “sowed the seeds of distrust throughout Christendom, and millions began to lose confidence in a God who had been vanquished by Mohammed. ... At that time the world believed in trial by battle—that God would take the side of the right—and there had been a trial by battle between the Cross and the Crescent, and Mohammed had been victorious.” In their Westward course of conquest, “the Moslems even crossed the Pyrennees, threatening to stable their horses in St. Peter’s at Rome, but were at last defeated by Charles Martel at Tours, in 732, just one hundred years from the death of Mohammed. This defeat arrested their western conquests and saved Europe. ... They were finally conquered by the Mongols and Turks, in the thirteenth century, but the new conquerors adopted Mohammed’s religion, and in the fifteenth century, overthrew the tottering Byzantine Empire (1453). From that stronghold (Constantinople) they even threatened the German Empire, but were successfully defeated at the gates of Vienna, and driven back across the Danube, in 1683.” (CE. x, 425.) The Christian God had failed to protect and save the vast majority of his own people. As Dr. Harry Elmer Barnes aptly says: “If the test of the validity of a religion is to be its growth, spread and proselyting capacity, then Mohammedanism can make a more impressive appeal than Christianity. Christianity had the advantage of being launched six and a half centuries before Mohammedanism. Yet today the Mohammedans far outnumber the Christians, and the Mohammedans have, moreover, reconquered the very areas in which Christianity arose and established its first strongholds.” (Barnes, The Twilight of Christianity, p. 416.) This may close with a quaint specimen of medieval Christian historical learning, from that great literary light of the Church, Monk Matthew Paris (died 1259), who, says CE., “as an historian holds the first place among English chroniclers.” In “his great work,‘ Chronica Majora,’ from the Creation until the year of his death,” the erudite Monk explains the unworthy motives why Mohammed quit the True Church and became an impious Infidel: “It is well known that Mohammed was once a cardinal, and became heretic because he failed to be elected pope. Also having drunk to excess, he fell by the roadside, and in this condition was killed by swine. And for that reason, his followers abhor pork even unto this day”! This notable occurrence was probably later than the time when Buddha was canonized a Catholic Saint.


”And the Beast was taken ... which deceived them that had received the Mark of the Beast ... and both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” (Rev. xix, 20.)

The Apocalyptic Marks of the Beast are translated by ecclesiastical sophism into the pretended “Four Marks of the Church”: Apostolicity, Sanctity, Unity, Catholicity, as branded upon the “Visible Body of Christ” by the Formula of the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. (CE. iii, 450-758). The first two of these Marks we have seen totally obliterated by the processes of {303} the review of the Record which we have made, and by the seas of blood and clouds of smoke of burning human bodies which have stained them beyond recognition; and the third is simply a frayed figure of clerical speech. Probably no one will envy The Church the fourth and only remaining of its holy Marks. As for “Unity,” it is a very relative term; as long as even two units cohere there is unity—of those two. Christendom was once coextensive with the Roman Empire, and was then by force and arms further extended over all the north of Europe; we have seen the process. Then came the Arab incursion, and within one century the Church lost its most splendid fields and Churches, the vast Christian territories of Asia and Africa, and Spain. The “Great Schism” between East and West tore the immense Eastern Empire from the “Unity” of the True “Catholic” Church. The Turks, turned Mohammedan, in turn wrested the lost Eastern Empire from Christianity and it became Infidel, as mostly it remains today. Then came the “so-called Reformation” revolt of Luther: “The effect of the Reformation was to separate from the Church all the Scandinavian, most of the Teutonic, and a few of the Latin-speaking populations of Europe.” (CE. iii, 704.) To these must be added England, Scotland, Wales, a good part of “Ever Faithful” Ireland; much of the Americas followed in the train of disaster. The age-long causes of this last destruction are well known; they have cried out on nearly every page of this book. Succinctly: “Since the twelfth century, the Church was losing much of its influence on the thoughts of men. ... The faults and wealth of the clergy must have contributed something. ... The growth of national divisions, the increased secularism of everyday life, the diminished influence of the Church and the papacy, all these interdependent influences had broken up the spiritual unity of Christendom at least two centuries before the Reformation. ... At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Christendom was weary of religious war and persecution. ... Religious divisions were too deep-seated to permit the reconstruction of a Christian polity.” (CE. iii, 704.) The final note of despair of the Church,—of rejoicing for all freed from it,—is the conclusion of its review of Christendom: “The word Christian has come in recent times to express our common civilization rather than a religion which so many Europeans now no longer profess”! (Ib.) Let us be rid of the hateful Word!

In a word, men had long since come painfully to realize the incontrovertible truth stated by the historian of Civilization in England: “The prosperity of nations depends upon principles to which the clergy, as a body, are invariably opposed.” (Buckle, Vol. 11, Pt. 1, p. 42.) What of the divine mark of “unity” is thus left in the Church is the fast disappearing coherence of decaying particles in face of the general debacle attendant upon the Articles of Death.


”Leave thy gift upon the Altar, and go thy way.” Jesus.

 ”They which minister about holy things, live of the things of the Temple; and they which wait at the Altar are partakers of the things of the Altar.” Paul. {304}

 ”The Lord loveth a cheerful giver.” Anon.

All ancient religions we have seen are admittedly false, all Pagan priestcrafts fraudulent. The Pagan priestcraft held the lavished wealth of millions of superstitious dupes, and ruled the minds and destinies of men and nations. The motive and raison d’etre of priestcraft, confessedly, was greed and graft, wealth and power and privilege. When Paganism later was called Christianity,—No man can deny history by alleging any difference: we have seen too many analogies and identities. At the advent of Christianity, scores of religions flourished throughout the Roman Empire; the Roman world was thick covered with sumptuous Temples and swarmed with plutocratic Priestcraft. So rich were the “pickings” from the superstitious masses and rulers and so alluring the “Get-rich-quick” possibilities of religion, that new creeds and cults were ever in the making. Christianity came along, born in poverty and “made as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things” (I Cor. iv, 13); but even then petty faction leadership had its meed: the believers in the quick end of the world and the Second Coming in the Kingdom, pooled their poor belongings “and laid them down at the apostles’ feet”; and these holy ones operated this first pool. But “the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved,” and it gradually increased in strength if not in grace. As the numbers grew and prestige and contributions increased, many “false teachers” arose among the “Sheep” and brought “damnable heresies” into the Fold. Scores of the Fathers filled parchments with dreary diatribes “Against all Heresies,” of which over ninety flourished in the first three centuries which CE. catalogues and describes the hair-splitting differences of doctrine which gave excuse to splitting the Fold and dividing the spoil, And for cutting throats and beating out brains until the end of the seventh century. All these factious sects of “Christians” waxed more or less powerful and wealthy; the Arian anti-Trinity “heretics,” the Donatists, Montanists, Manichaeans, Monophysites, and innumerable others divided Europe and the contributions of the credulous for centuries, until suppressed by law and sword of the Orthodox. It is the latter, the True Church, which “gathered. gear by every wile (un)-justified by honor.” An authoritative summary, gleaned at random from CE., of the grafting results is instructive.

”When peace was given to the Church by Constantine, at the beginning of the fourth century, an era of temporal prosperity for the Church set in. As Europe gradually became Christian, the donations for religious purposes increased by leaps and bounds. Gifts of land and money for ecclesiastical purposes were now legally recognized, and though some of the later Roman emperors placed restrictions upon the donations of the faithful, yet the wealth of the Church rapidly increased. Whatever losses were suffered in the [incursions of the barbarians], were made up for later, when the conquering barbarians in their turn were converted to Christianity. ... The wealth of the Church at this period [the “so-called Reformation”] his sometimes been made a matter of reproach to her, ... admitting that abuses were indeed at times unquestionable.” (CE. iii, 762.) Such “abuses” and the ghoulish clerical greed were exactly why some of the later Roman emperors “placed restrictions” on grafting the Faithful. Lecky gives a graphic picture of the priests with the itching palm: “ Rich widows {305} were surrounded by swarms of clerical sycophants, who addressed them in tender diminutives, studied and consulted their every foible, and, under the guise of piety, lay in wait for their gifts or bequests. The evil attained such a point that a law was made under Valentinian depriving the Christian priests and monks of that power of receiving Legacies which was possessed by every other class of the community.” (History of European Morals, ii, 151.) These shaming facts are confirmed by many of the contemporary Fathers. From the Latin text of St. Jerome I turn into English his mournful admission that the deprivation was justified: “The priests of the idols might receive inheritances; only the clergy and monks were prohibited by this law, and prohibited not by persecutors, but by Christian princes ... I grieve that we should merit this law.” (Epist. lii.) We remember that already the Christian emperors, by “persecuting laws,” had prohibited Pagans from making wills and from receiving bequests, and the law which declared all wills void which were not made before a priest,—who was there to get his share. The priestly profits rolled up through the Ages of Faith. Out of hundreds of like generalizations and specific instances cited, I make these limited selections, which show the universal process of clerical greed.

”The early Christians were lavish in their support of religion, and frequently turned their possessions over to the Church. ... Towards the end of Charlemagne’s reign the regenerated peoples contributed generously to the support of ecclesiastical institutions.” (v, 421.) Indeed, so great had its volume then become, that “Church property excited the cupidity of the various factions, upon the death of Charlemagne.” (v, 774.) Even a hundred years previously the Church estates could make a prince’s rewards: “Charles Martel is charged with secularizing many ecclesiastical estates, which he took from the churches and abbeys and gave in fief to his warriors as a recompense for their services, This land actually remained the property of the ecclesiastical establishments in question.” (vi, 241.) The Church grabbed all and shirked all; as a result, “Naturally there was a desire on the part of the king and princes to force the Church to take her share in the national burdens and duties.” (vi, 63.) “To this age belongs the famous grant to the Church of one-tenth of his land by Ethelburt, father of Alfred the Great” (i, 507). “On the authority of the Doomsday Book [of William the Conqueror], the possessions of the Church represented 25% of the assessment in the country [England] in 1066, and 26 1/2% of its cultivated area in 1086.” (v, 103.) “In 1127 Stephen gave to these monks his forest in Furness. This grant was most munificent, for it included large possessions in woods, pastures, fisheries, and mills, with a large share in the salt works and mines of the district.” (vi, 324.) “The see of Exeter was one of the largest and richest in England. The diocese was originally very wealthy.” (v, 708-9.) “The English people at large complained of the enormous revenue which the pope and the Italians drew from their country, ... the financial demands of the Curia.” (vii, 38.) “Bitterness existed for a considerable time between the monks and the people of F., who complained of the abbey’s imposts and exactions.” (vi, 20.) “Vast sum of money extorted from the English clergy in 1531.” (iv, 26.) {306}

 In France the clergy formed “a wealthy body of men, gradually extending their possessions throughout the kingdom” during the Middle Ages. (i, 795.) “In 1384 almost a third of the land in the kingdom of Bohemia belonged to the Church.” (ii, 613.) In Germany, twelfth century, “the difficulty of administering the vast landed possessions caused the abbots to grant certain sections in fief.” (vi, 314.) “The gifts of German princes, nobles, and private individuals increased the landed possessions of the abbey so rapidly that they soon extended over distant parts of Germany,”—long list of provinces. (vi, 313.) “In parts of Germany [in 1770] the number and wealth of the religious houses, in some instances their uselessness, and occasionally their disorders, tempted the princes to lay violent and rapacious hands on them.” (iv, 38.) “The luxury of bishops and the worldly possessions of monks” led to violent rebellion in Italy, in twelfth century. (i, 748.) At this and most times, the “prelates were the most powerful and the wealthiest subjects of the State.” (ii, 186.) “The steady growth of power and wealth of the Church, since the beginning of the twelfth century, introduced an ever-increasing spirit of worldliness.” (vii, 129.) “The liberality of the faithful was a constant incitement to depart from the rule of poverty. This liberality showed itself mainly in gifts of real property, for example, in endowments for prayers for the dead, which were then usually founded with real estate. In the fourteenth century began the land wars and feuds (e.g. the Hundred Years’ War in France), which relaxed every bond of discipline and good order.” (vi, 284.) To all this and these, “the faults and wealth of the clergy must have contributed something. The spiritual ruler seemed almost merged in the sovereign of Rome and the feudal lord of Sicily. Money was needed, and in order to obtain it funds had to be raised ... and by means which aroused much discontent and affected the credit of Rome. ... Even in the twelfth century complaints of venality were frequent and bitter.” (iii, 703.) “Simony, the most abominable of crimes ... was the evil so prevalent daring the Middle Ages.” (xiv, 1, 2.) Hundreds of instances are recited in CE. of the teeming wealth wrung by the Church and clergy from the fears of the Faithful; of the inordinate riches of popes and prelates, abbots and monks, Churches and their plethoric treasuries. The Church existed for riches and it got, rather ill-got them in inestimable enormity of amount. From the cradle to the grave of every faithful who had anything to get, the Church wheedled, extorted or coerced it. Fear was ever the foundation of the Faith and of the “liberality” of contributions to it.

Among the greatest and greediest mints of ecclesiastical finance, were Simony, several times above mentioned,—the sale of every kind of hierarchical office and dignity, from the popedom to the jobs of the meanest servitors of the Servants of God; and the sale of Indulgences, or remissions of the pains of Purgatory. This non-existent place of expiation of “Sin,” acquired or “Original,” to fit the befouled soul for Heaven, was first charted if not invented by His holiness Gregory the Great, about 600 A.D. “An indulgence offers the penitent sinner the means of discharging this debt [to God] during the life on earth” (CE. vii, 783),—provided that “debt” is adequately liquidated by cash into the coffers of God’s Vicars on earth. These indulgences are of various kinds, efficacy and price: “ The most important distinction, however, is {307} that between plenary indulgences and partial. By a plenary indulgence is meant the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory. A partial indulgence commutes only a certain portion of the penalty. ... Some indulgences are granted in behalf of the living only, while others may be applied in behalf of the souls of the departed” (Ib. 783-4). Leo X, he who perpetrated the celebrated aphorism—”What profit has not that Fable of Christ brought us,” rose in defense of the revenues, and in his Bull “Exurge Domine,” 1520, “condemned Luther’s assertions that‘ Indulgences are pious frauds of the faithful’; ... the Council of Trent, 1563, pronounces anathema against those who either declare that indulgences are useless or deny that the Church has power to grant them” (Ib.). The flimsy basis of the traffic is thus referred to the forged “famous Petrine text” which we have seen is itself a huge fraud: “Once it is admitted that Christ left the Church the power to forgive sins, the power of granting indulgences is logically inferred” (p. 785); but logically perfect inferences can readily be made from false premises; the premises must be true to yield valid and truthful “inference” or conclusion. Not only were genuine but false indulgences hawked throughout Christendom, resulting in immense revenues—and abuses, for “one of the worst abuses that of inventing or falsifying grants of indulgence. Previous to the Reformation, such practices abounded” (p. 787). The Council of Trent sought to stop outside profits from this traffic, declaring it to be “a grievous abuse among Christian people, and of other disorders arising from superstition, (etc.) ... on account of the widespread corruption” (Ib.); though it seems that now “with the decline in the financial possibilities of the system, there is no danger of the recurrence of the old abuses” (p. 788). But still they sell well and net fine revenues; the writer has invested in them several times in Mexico, for souvenirs,—there being no Purgatory for unbelievers in that fiery near-Hell.

A graphic picture is drawn by the great historian of the Middle Ages, which shows Avarice as the cornerstone and effective motive of the Church. Hallam, Von Ranke, and many historians, give revolting examples in the concrete through many ages; here is their summary:

”Covetousness, especially, became almost a characteristic vice. ... Many of the peculiar and prominent characteristics in the faith and discipline of those ages appear to have been either introduced or sedulously promoted for the purposes of sordid fraud. To these purposes conspired the veneration for relies, the worship of images, the idolatry of saints and martyrs, the religious inviolability of sanctuaries, the consecration of cemeteries, but, above all, the doctrine of purgatory and masses for the relief of the dead. A creed thus contrived, operating upon the minds of barbarians, lavish though rapacious, and devout though dissolute, naturally caused a torrent of opulence to flow in upon the Church. ... Even those legacies to charitable purposes. ... were frequently applied to their own benefit. They failed not, above all, to inculcate upon the wealthy sinner that no atonement could be so acceptable to Heaven as liberal presents to its earthly delegates. To die without allotting of worldly wealth to pious uses was accounted almost like suicide, or a refusal of the last sacraments; {308} and hence intestacy passed for a sort of fraud upon the Church, which she punished by taking the administration of the deceased’s effects into her own hands. ... And, as if all these means of accumulating what they could not legitimately enjoy were insufficient, the monks prostituted their knowledge of writing to the purpose of forging charters in their own favor, which might easily impose upon an ignorant age, since it has required a peculiar science to detect them in modern times. Such rapacity might seem incredible in men cut off from the pursuits of life and the hopes of posterity, if we did not behold every day the unreasonableness of avarice and the fervor of professional attachments.”

 (Hallam, History of the Middle Ages, Vol. 1, Bk. vii, passim.)


Ambitious and avaricious Christians who had been unable to get their hands into the “orthodox” Treasury of the Lord, were incited by the vision of the seas of easy money which flowed into it and by the ostentatious opulence of the partakers of the Lord’s Altar, to emulate the zeal for riches displayed by the truly Faithful. A lengthy article under the title Impostors—[or is it “Stop! Thief!”?]—is devoted by CE. to the long line of hypocrites with itching palms who broke away from the True Fold the better to fleece the Faithful by their impostures. The period of the Great Schism of the West, particularly, “was also an epoch when many fanatical or designing persons reaped a rich harvest out of the credulity of the populace.” (CE. vii, 699.) Many thousands left the True Church and flocked after religious Pretenders of every sort, pouring treasures into their uncanonical coffers, to the great pecuniary deprivation of Holy Church. Dozens of these perverters of the Sacred Revenue through the succeeding centuries are catalogued, coming down to our own near-secular times. Invidiously included under the opprobrious designation of “Impostors” are the inspired Prophet of the Mormons, Joseph Smith, and the inspired Prophetess, Mother Mary Baker-Glover-Patterson-Eddy,—the immense financial success of whose respective religions may well excite envy, and bring them within the terminology of Orthodox Odium Theologicum—a “BITTER ENEMY, THE HEAD OF THE RIVAL RELIGION,” as is the approved form, to credit CE. (vii, 620), in speaking of one’s religious rivals. The point of the moral is, that according to Orthodox criteria all these Harvesters in the Vineyard of the Lord are unscrupulous Impostors for revenue only, and batten only by preying on “the credulity of the populace,”—which is the by-product of Religion, as we have seen it exemplified. When Ignorance is ended Credulity ceases, and Ecclesiastical Pelf and Power languishing die. If, as profanely jibed, “Without Hell Christianity isn’t worth a damn,” a fortiori—without Revenue, is not Religion with out Reason to be?

Made wise by the history of the past, in modern times most constitutions and governments, all in which the Church is not still powerful, have put just restrictions on the rapacity of the Church and have forbidden direct subsidies of support to it and its ministers. Indeed, “In most European countries the civil authority restricts in three ways the right of the Church to receive donations: by imposing forms and conditions; by reserving the right {309} to say what institutions may receive donations, and by requiring the approval of the civil authority.” (CE. v, 117.) In this country, Federal and State constitutions ordain separation of State and Church, forbid the establishment of any religion, and prohibit grants of money in support of it. But withal, so inveterate is the force of grafting habit, so prone yet the politicians to cater to “The Church” upon the specious pretext that the Church and religion are of some utility for “moral” purposes and as “the Big Policeman” for the restriction of vice and crime—the politicians not being familiar with the “moral record” of the Church, that the Church evades the principle and often the letter of the law, and is yet largely supported and kept alive by the people through the secular State. Some nine billions of dollars of deadhand and deadhead property thus escapes taxation in the United States, and the idle and vicious priestcraft and its system are supported by the State its constitution and laws notwithstanding. For every dollar of tax-exempt property, the taxpayer pays double. The vast majority of the people supports thus a small but vocal minority, which but for such public favors would soon perish off the land, for its own membership could not and would not keep it going if it had to pay the taxes, the burden of which it now shifts to the unbelieving or indifferent majority. The system is unjust and undemocratic, is immoral. In his Annual Message to Congress in 1875, President Grant pointed out that the tax-free property of Churches was at the time about one billion dollars; that “by 1900, without check, it is safe to say this property will reach a sum exceeding three billions of dollars”; and he added:

”So vast a sum, receiving all the protection and benefits of Government without bearing its proportion of the burdens and expenses of the same, will not be looked upon acquiescently by those who have to pay the taxes. In a growing country, where real estate enhances so rapidly with time, as in the United States, there is scarcely a limit to the wealth that may be acquired by corporations, religious or otherwise, if allowed to retain real estate without taxation. The contemplation of so vast a property as here alluded to, without taxation, may lead to sequestration without constitutional authority and through blood. I would suggest the taxation of all property equally, whether church or corporation.” (Messages and Papers of the Presidents, vol. vii, p. 334-5.

Sequestration and blood have been required to put a curb on Church greed in many modern and “Christian” countries, even in Italy, Spain and France, the “most favored nations” of Holy Church. Russia and Mexico have followed suit; they had been ground into desperation by the luxurious exactions of their respective Churches, and the debased ignorance and poverty which were thus imposed on their peoples. Every country of Europe, even the “Most Christian,” where the Society of Jesus has grasped wealth and power, has been forced to expel the parasites; and to “padlock” the vast establishments of religious orders. If one would take a census of illiteracy and poverty, just in those countries where the Church has had or yet has most power and wealth, the people are most ignorant and impoverished. It may be a “coincidence,” but it is a very suspicious matter of fact. All these things are of the “fruits,” moral and educational, of Christianity. {310}

Until now the “damning things of the Church” arrayed in these pages, have been known only as the result of laborious research by a limited number: I broadcast them now so that they may be known to all. Even the “Man of God” may plead ignorance heretofore of the frauds of his Church and the falsity of his religion. Here it is demonstrated to him. To beg money now on the plea that the giver “lendeth to the Lord,” that money paid for prayers for the dead relieves the souls in Purgatory,—both these coin-cajoling pleas are now known to be false; obtaining money by these false pretenses, now, is Larceny. This is timely and serious warning, which it may be salutary to heed.


”If any man is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” Paul.

 ”Where we can understand, it is a moral crime to cherish the un-understood.” Shotwell.

These two quotations represent the difference between the viewpoints of the cleric and the scholar. “A mere recital of facts is of little avail unless certain fundamental principles be kept in view,” says our oft-quoted Defender of the Faith,—a truth which I would now drive home to the reader—but in a very different sense than is expressed in the clerical conclusion of the sentence,—”and unless the fact of Christian revelation be given its due importance.” The False Pretense of “Christian revelation” has been exposed and exploded by the real revelations of falsity and fraud in every pretended one of them, by this same Apologist for Christian imposture. Contrasting the wondrous results of “Christian” training—such as we have seen exemplified—with those suffered by the poor Pagan without any revelation, the same Apologist makes this deprecatory comment: “That he should learn to think for himself was of course out of the question. With such a training, the development of free personality was of course out of the question.” (CE. v, 296.) Such a disparaging verdict much rather condemns the Christian system and its aims and results, which obviously are, that its devotees, or victims should be “able to believe automatically a number of things which—[in reason]—they know are not true,” and which they must therefore accept “of faith,” subjecting their reason to the priest-instilled Faith. It is to the awakening of Reason, in the light of the facts herein presented, that I appeal against the preoccupations or prejudices of Faith,—those “superstitions drunk in with their mother’s milk,” and never since questioned with open mind.

The ex-Pagan Fathers of Christianity now turned Defenders of the new Faith, and propagandists of it among their fellow Pagans, were very fervid and eloquent in their appeals to the reason of the Pagans as against their mother-inherited superstitions. In his First Apology to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, Father Justin Martyr makes a fine appeal for the use of reason in defiance of tradition and authority,—a fine gesture to the Pagan,—but a principle seldom applied by a Christian in point of his own imposed creeds: “Reason directs those who are truly pious and philosophical to honor and love only what is true, declining to follow the opinions of the ancients, if these be worthless.” (Chap. ii, ANF. i, 63.) As {311} the preceding review has shown the opinions of the ancient Fathers to be worthless with respect to the “facts” of the Christian religion, and that that religion is quite worthless either as divine truth or effective police, it should therefore be discarded, except for such good moral precepts as are to be found in it as in all religions and all moral systems.

In those times the Christian Church was small and feeble, and had not yet snatched the cynical power whereby, ever since, it “requires the acceptance and practice not of the religion one may choose, but of that which God prescribes ... to be the only true one,” as asserted by His Holiness Leo XIII, in the Encyclical Immortale Dei, of November 1, 1885. (CE. xiv, 764.) Whereupon, the “choosers” of their religion became “heretics,” and were quite “justly burned,” as that same Pope admits. But before the successors of Constantine gave the Church the sword and the stake for persuasions unto faith, it was necessary that the Christian Apologists should appeal to reason with the intelligent classes of Pagans. Father Lactantius uses argument in his great Apology addressed to Constantine and intended for the learned Pagans of the imperial entourage, which I would earnestly address now to those who yet hesitate in their inherited Christianity:

It is therefore right, especially in a matter on which the whole plan of life turns, that every one should place confidence in himself, and use his own judgment and individual capacity for the investigation and weighing of the truth, rather than through confidence in others to be deceived by their errors, as though he himself were without understanding. God has given wisdom to all alike, that they might be able both to investigate things which they have not heard, and to weigh things which they have heard. Nor. because they (our ancestors) preceded us in time, did they also outstrip us in wisdom; for if this is given equally to all, we can not be anticipated in it by those who precede us.”

 (Lact., Divine Institutes, II, viii; ANF. VII, 51.)

If no one, upon reason, or even by caprice, ever changed his opinion, belief, status, we would all be savages still. In matter of religion, the ancestors of every one of us were once Pagans, and those who became Christians were dubbed “atheists” by those remaining faithful to the old gods,—until they too changed to the new. Then these ex-Pagan ancestors of ours were Catholics, of the “orthodox” or one of the ninety-odd “heretic” brands which finally perished or conformed by Grace of God and the Orthodox sword. Others many of our good Catholic ancestors just a few hundred years ago became “heretics” of the Protestant brands, and so continue or until lately continued,—and then threw off the old tradition of faith, and became Rationalists. Every gradation of change was due to one pregnant cause: increasing intelligence of the individual. Each advance sloughed off sundry inherited articles of faith, which then became discarded superstitions. Dean Milman spoke truly of the reason for the decadence of the Pagan religions; his reasons apply as aptly to the Christian: “The progress of knowledge was fatal to the religions of Greece and Rome. ... Poetry had been religion; religion was becoming mere poetry.” (Hist. of Christianity, I, 33.) {312}

Father Lactantius has a Chapter entitled “Cicero and Other Men of Learning Erred in not Turning Away the People from Error.” It is a moral crime, as Dr. Shotwell says, to cling to error when we can come to understand it as error. Not only that, urges Lactantius, it is wrong for those who know a vital truth to refrain from striving to turn men away from harmful error. His argument was much applauded by the Church, and is the argument of every missionary to the “heathen” today. Lactantius thus justly chides:

Cicero was well aware that the deities which men worshipped were false. For when he had spoken many things which tended to the overthrow of religious ceremonies, he said nevertheless that these matters ought not; to be discussed by the vulgar, lest such discussion should extinguish the system of religion which was publicly received. ... Nay, rather, if you have any virtue, Cicero, endeavor to make the people Wise: that is a befitting subject, on which you may expend all the powers of your eloquence ... in the dispersion of the errors of mankind, and the recalling of the minds of men to a healthy state.”

 (Lactantius, Divine Institutes, II, iii; ANF. VII, 43.

To this ideal of the use of Reason, which Lactantius and the earlier Fathers of the weakling Church held before the intelligent Pagans to incite them to discard the errors and superstitions of Paganism, this book is devoted in the earnest hope and purpose to evoke the use of Reason to the discard of the identical errors and superstitions of “that newer Paganism later called Christianity,” which yet persist among the priest-taught masses of Christendom.

That Christian Appeal to Reason was not with the intelligent classes of Pagandom very effective; more persuasive methods must, therefore, be divised to bring the Pagans to the Altar and Treasury of the Lord. We have read the succession of laws of the now “Christian Emperors,” which at the behest of the Priests proscribed Paganism upon pain of death and confiscation, made outlaws of all who refused to take the name of Christian, or continued to offer incense to the old gods, or became “heretics” to the official Faith; all who were guilty of these “crimes—let them be stricken by the avenging sword.” As the newer “barbarian”’ nations came upon the Christian scene, “the Catholic Faith was spread by the sword” among and upon them, and all who hesitated or backslid were murdered by Christian law and sword. Crass ignorance, credulity and superstition were then imposed and enforced upon Christendom in order to “preserve the purity of the faith” in the unthinking minds of unknowing dupes of the Church and the Priests who waxed in wealth and in dominion over witless Christendom. When after a millennium during which men were too ignorant to be heretic, the light of thought and reason began to dawn upon the horizon of the Dark Ages of Faith, the Inquisition and the Index, the tortures of the rack and the stake, were providentially provided for the further preservation of Faith by augment of Ignorance and Terror. In all these holy Ages of Faith, in this “civilization thoroughly saturated with Christianity,” the Siamese Twins of Creed and Crime, Faith and Filth, popular Poverty and Ecclesiastical Opulence, stalked hand in hand—”the inseparable companions of Religion.” The Renaissance and the Reformation came to enfranchise men from {313} Authority and blind Obedience, and the way was blazed for Rationalism and the Age of Reason. The unquestionable record of all this we have read in the amazing and unblushing confessions of Holy Church itself.

At the time of the Reformation admitted conditions existed which today are infinitely more active and more thoroughgoing: “The Christian religious ideal—[never a matter of practice]—was to a great extent lost sight of; higher intellectual culture, previously confined in great measure to the clergy, but now common among the laity, assumed a secular character. ... Only a faint interest in the supernatural life survived.” (CE. xii, 703.) Education is now becoming universal; the hateful history of the Church and of Religion is becoming general knowledge; the Church, forced by ever-growing Secularism and Rationalism, has lost the power of compulsion and all but that of persuasion to belief in its forged and fatuous creeds, with all but the unthinking minority, and is itself almost secularized, held together as a sort of social center for the masses without other social contacts, and as matter of “good form” for the pretentiously pious, were infantile hymns are vocalized to an empty Heaven, and the unco gude chorus their petitions to the inhering and unheeding Throne of Grace, “beseeching the Lord upon the universal prayer-theme of‘ Gimme!’” Universally, too, as old John Duffy poetizes it, “The rich they pray for pounds, and the poor they pray for pence.”

The utter futility of prayer in objective sense for the obtaining of the subject-matter of the supplication, even of the “Give us this day our daily bread,”—which many do get and many and more others miserably go without, is confessed by CE., which frankly attributes all these things to the operation of the Law of Chance: “The apparent success which so often attends superstition can mostly be accounted for by natural causes, although [it piously adds] it would be rash to deny all supernatural intervention (e.g. in the phenomena of Spiritualism). When the object is to ascertain, or to effect in a general way, one of two possible events, the law of probabilities gives an equal chance to success and failure; and success does more to support than failure would do to destroy superstition, for, on its side, there are arrayed the religious instinct, sympathy and apathy, confidence and distrust, encouragement and discouragement, and,—perhaps strongest of all—the healing power of nature.” (CE. xiv, 341.) There, in a nutshell, is the profound psychology of the priest-instilled “religious instinct,” and of the hit-or-miss “efficacy of prayer” for the cajoling of “heavenly gifts” of earthly benefits and of the eversion of the heaven-sent or devil-inflicted evils whereof suffering humanity is the sport and prey,—to the utter indifference of their Celestial Pater!

The last sentence of the clerical admission above—”the healing power of nature,” bears destructively upon one of the most insistent of religious superstitions, the efficiency of prayers, and saints, and relies, and shrines, and pious mummeries, to which millions of the afflicted and deluded of God’s children resort for the relief of their torments and the cure of their diseases,—which their loving Father God inflicts or prevents. From the earliest times of priestcraft until this very year of grace, the {314} priests and parsons and charlatans of every stripe preach and encourage this ancient heathen superstition,—and reap rich rewards through the imposture. The perfectly natural cause and explanation of numerous occasional instances of success at the game, which incites to further superstition and greater abuses, is curiously but truly confessed: “There are few religions in which recourse is not had to supernatural aid for miraculous cures. The testimony of reliable witnesses and the numerous ex-votos that have come down to us from antiquity leave no doubt as to the reality of these cures. It was natural that they should have been viewed as miraculous in an age when the remarkable power of suggestion to effect cures was not understood. Modern science recognizes that strong mental impressions can powerfully influence the nervous system and through it the bodily organs, leading in some instances to sudden illness or death, in others to remarkable cures. Such is the so-called mind cure or cure by suggestion. It explains naturally many extraordinary cures recorded in the annals of many religions. Still it has its recognized limits. It cannot restore of a sudden a half-decayed organ, or heal instantly a gaping wound caused by a cancer.” (CE. xii, 743.)

This thus confesses the huge false pretense of “miracle of God” in such cases of relief or cure of nervous or mental maladies as are claimed for the impostures of Lourdes, St. Anne’s, Maiden, the Calvary Baptist Holy Rollers and all such shrines of religious imposture and superstition. In antiquity, the fictitious Pagan gods did not exist,—the cures attributed to them and paid for to the priests were entirely due to nature, and the claims of the priests were frauds. The Christians now confess the “recognized limits” of their God to do more than Nature did under the Pagan gods: the pretense of “miracle,” of “supernatural intervention” is seen to be as fraudulent in modern times as it is admitted to have been in ancient. The Pagans believed, and prayed, and paid the priests, and some by auto-suggestion found relief or were cured, many others believed, and prayed, and paid—and their natural sufferings were enhanced by their disappointment. But did they cease therefore to believe and pray and pay? Probably then the pious apologetics of defeatism were the same as now. If the thing prayed for cometh to pass—”the gods have—God has—answered our prayers; blessed be their—His—holy name!” and the fortunate results are noised abroad. If by equal chance the prayed-for benefit is unattained, then “God knows better than we what is best for us,” and the less said about the failure the better for childlike Faith. When exposed to danger or death we escape, it is “the wonderful Providence of God,”—nothing being thought or said about those so curiously designated “Acts of God” which permitted or inflicted the disaster; whereas, if we die or continue in suffering, why, “God’s ways are not our ways”; “the ways of God are beyond our finite understanding,” et cetera of pious apologies for the silence and failure of God to help his suffering and neglected children.

It would seem that every fossil of credulity embedded in the ancient Rock of Faith has in the course of this review been picked out and the Rock itself drilled through and through for the easy task of final demolition. For nigh two thousand years it has cast its baleful shadow upon civilization, stunting and dwarfing the minds and faculties of men clouded by its worthless bulk. Though {315} vastly undermined and hacked and tottering, the blighting effects of Church and religious superstition are yet in many odious respects persistent; humanity and civilization yet suffer under the lingering disease of priest-imposed delusions and the hateful miasma of religious intolerance in every land cursed yet by priestcraft, parsonate, and the odium of theology.

”When the Devil was sick, the Devil a Saint would be!” The Church is dying now; has been forced despite itself and its enginery of torture and murder, to desist from the worst of its deviltry, to appear a bit civilized; some of its partizans and dupes think it “reformed,” pure-minded and clean-handed. It is only measurably so perforce, and reluctantly. Even today the Law of God, conserved in the latest Edition of the holy Canon Law, commands murder for unbelief; these infamous “principles are in their own nature irreformable; ... owing to changed conditions [forced upon it by secular civilization] are to all practical intents and purposes obsolete ... The custom of burning heretics is really not a question of justice, but a question of civilization”! (CE. xiv, 769.) Thus the Church confesses itself uncivilized; it retains and insists upon the God-ordained justice of burning and murder; but is forced by heretic civilization, acquired in bloody despite of the Church, to conform to the decrees of Civilization. But as—however—Holy Church is impotent, dying, and will soon be dead—then only De mortuis nil nisi bonum!—Speed its hastening Death!

Founded in fraud by avarice and ambition, propagated by sword and fire, perpetuated by ignorance and fear; by increase of knowledge and free expression of thought rendered now all but impotent except in will and malice, priestcraft yet grasps for power and dominion over mind and spirit of men. In present default of rack and stake, it struggles yet to impose itself through such unholy means as it can still partially command,—fines and imprisonment under ridiculous medieval laws for the absurd priestly “crimes” of blasphemy and sacrilege, “desecration of the Lord’s Day” by innocent diversions instead of attending dull preachings and paying the priests by the gift upon the Altar or in the contribution plate. Odious laws for the repression of human liberty; for the outlawing of honest men who refuse the superstitious forms of Religious Oath imposed in courts and legal proceedings, of which several shocking instances have recently occurred, depriving men of liberty and property, and potentially of life through refusal of their testimony in court. Religious Intolerance flames through the land, as notorious instances have lately made evident. Good Christians yet cordially dislike and distrust all others of differing brands of Faith, which sentiments Christians and Jews religiously reciprocate in holy hatred and intolerance of each other, while all unite in utter abhorrence and damnation of the Liberal and the Unbeliever, condemned alike by private Christian spite and public obloquy, of a vocal and intolerant minority; by political disqualifications for public office wherever this or that Sect is yet in a majority and can enforce its intolerance by law. “A careful study of the history of religious toleration,” says the historian of Civilization, “will prove, that in every Christian country where it has been adopted, it has been forced upon the clergy by the authority of the secular classes. At the present day it is still unknown to those nations {316} among whom the ecclesiastical power is stronger than the temporal power.” In quite half the countries of Latin America and several of Europe—the most backward and poverty-stricken and priest-ridden of them—yet today public office and honors can be attained only by the votaries of the Sect in power, and the free and public practice of any other than the official cult is prohibited by law. I have the codes of these “Christian” countries.

Even in our own “tolerant” country today, religious fanaticism succeeds in its attacks, to impose by law the “sacred science of Genesis” in the universities and schools to the outlawry of the teachings of the truths of Nature. Preachers and teachers who dare express honest opinions of liberalism or unbelief are by pious religionists discharged and their families deprived of bread and support. Religious Pharisees seek to seize the public schools to disseminate their obsolete superstitions in the minds of youth—the hope of the future, and the last chance of the Church. Individual peace and friendliness, public peace and good understanding are often jeopardized and destroyed by Religion. Corrupt and insulting ecclesiastical government is rampant in many of our large cities and in a number of entire States. In a word, and despite all, the Twentieth Century is still under the hang-over spell of medieval theology and an the holy spites and intolerance of rancorous Religiosity.

The fatal work of Church and Priest through the Christian Era—as herein revealed, has wrought ignorance, superstition and vice: it has been and remains a supreme failure. Faith is become obsolete before Facts. Christianity is proved to be a fraudulent Bankrupt; this is its final adjudication before the bar of Civilization.

The Christian Religion—shown to be a congeries of revamped Pagan Superstitions and of Priestly Lies—is not respectable for belief: every honest and self-respecting mind must repudiate it in disgust. We can all “Do good, for good is good to do”!

Faith—fondly called “the most precious heritage of the race,” is not a thing whereof to be proud; it is not Intelligent or of Reason. Not a flicker of intelligence is required to believe: millions of the most illiterate and ignorant of earth’s teeming populations are the firmest in their “faith” in every form of religious superstition known to the priests of the world, the most devout believers of this or that imposture,—”most assured of what they are most ignorant” withal. Indeed, as aptly quoted: “Unbelief is no crime that Ignorance was ever capable of being guilty of.” Buckle truly says, that to the secular and skeptical spirit European civilization owes its origin: that “it is evident, that until doubt began, progress was impossible” (Ch. vii, 242); and CE. has confessed, as is also self-evident,—”Toleration only came in when Faith went out.” What a boon then to humanity to hasten and complete its going!

Disbelief, doubt, inquiry of truth, rejection of superstition, is distinctly an act of Intelligence; it often requires heroic virtue of bravery and independence of mind to disbelieve, to revolt against and reject the creeds and credulities of the ignorant {317} community,—as evidenced by the whole holy bloody history of religious rancor and intolerance which has so inadequately but shockingly been reviewed. It is the bravest men and the finest minds, with high courage to dare and defy Holy Church, whom that unholy Hoodlum has murdered, but who have saved and recreated Civilization, as even yet inadequately it has been achieved.

Think to what Civilization might have attained by this Twentieth Century. For nigh two thousand years Christianity has held sway and thrall over the most dominant part of the world and portion of the human race. In each generation for most of the two thousand years there have been hundreds of thousands of men and women—Priests, monks, nuns, and “religious” nondescripts, devoted through life to the unrealities of “Other-worldliness” to the utter neglect of the world in which they lived, resolved, all too oft, “to make of earth a hell that they might merit heaven.” In the pursuit of such impracticalities, and to force all others to believe, doubtless millions of books and sermons of sophistry have been their output, not to mention ignorance, wars, famines, plagues and bestialities innumerable that they have brought about to the destruction of civilization. Thus, in aggregate, millions of human beings—many of them of very high mental capacity, have devoted some millions of years of labor or of sloth to Theology and Religion,—lives, years and labor wasted! If these years and labors had but been devoted to pure and applied Science, to the discovery and conquest of the powers of Nature, to Knowledge of the Worth While—medicine, surgery anesthetics, antiseptics, sanitation—the catalogue is endless; to the outlawry of War and the establishment of universal Peace; the abolition of Crime, Poverty, and Disease—in a word, to the Social Sciences and Service, to Humanism and the Humanities, instead of to Theism and Theology—to what glorious heights would not Civilization and Humanity have scaled!

The timorous Religionist—affrighted at the threatened loss of the “opiate” and “crutches” of Faith, often asks: “What are you going to give us in its place?” A cure!—so that you will not need these artificial aids. When the surgeon excises a dangerous tumor, or the physician heals a mental or physical disease,—he restores to health of body or mind,—does not inflict some other form of disease in place of the one cured. So with the fictitious mental disorder of Religion,—for that it is a mental disorder of most malignant kind is proved by the inveterate hates and crimes it has caused the sufferers from it to be guilty of through all the Ages of Faith, as disclosed in this review. The sufferer goes through life, actually—or what is the same thing, under the delusion of disability,—hobbling on crutches, or with frequent injections of “dope” to allay real or imagined pain. Either by material means or by “mind cure” he is healed of the real or imaginary ailment: he throws away his crutches, discards his daily narcotic; health and strength come to his members and his whole body; the faculties of the mind are freed from the inhibitions of disease and disability. The sufferer goes through life, actually—or what is the same thing, under the delusion of disability,—hobbling on crutches, or with frequent injections of “dope” to allay real or imagined pain. Either by mental means or by “mind cure” he is healed of the real or {318} imaginary ailment: he throws away his crutches, discards his daily narcotic; health and strength come to his members and his whole body; the faculties of the mind are freed from the inhibitions of disease and disability. The grandest cure ever wrought in the man and in humanity is free the mind from Superstition, to release all the energies of mind and body for the glorious work for Mankind. The noblest and most blest worker for Humanity is the Humanist.

Religious Toleration and freedom of thought and of beneficent research, came in only as religious Faith went out; Civilization began only as the Dark Ages of Faith came to an end. The Church has had its long Night—those Dark Ages of Faith. Therein it shed its boasted refulgence of “sweetness and light”—in the Dark. The Church is very like the fire-fly—the homely lightning Bug,—it needs darkness in which to shine. But the Day is come; the supernatural Light of the Cross is faded and paled before the luminous truths of Nature discovered now and exploited by free men for the good of mankind.

It remains yet to complete the good work for civilization and humanity by destroying the last lingering works and delusions of decadent and decayed priestcraft; through the universal triumph of Rationalism to fully and finally Ecraser l’Infame. Truly and prophetically spoke Zola: “Civilization will not attain to its perfection, until the last stone from the last church falls on the last priest!”

A new and free Civilization rises from the ruins of the Ages of Faith; with heart aglow and high purpose set on the attainment of the ancient “Supreme Good,” it hails the glorious possibilities of the scientific Age of Reason, which will redeem humanity from the blight of the centuries of Unreason. Men may now know and freely and unafraid make known the truth: and the Truth shall make mankind Free.

In the fine imagery of Dr. Trattner, his autobiographic God looks into the now not so distant Future, and thus communes: “Before Me is the Scroll of Destiny. See! Man has already scaled the foot-hills. Not one man alone, or two, or three, but all the nations. Everywhere men and women together are now leading their children forward consecrated to the Ideal. ... I am satisfied. It is the day—the day of complete Emancipation!”


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Forgery In Christianity