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Title: Public School Education
Author: Müller, Michael, 1825-1899
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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_Priest of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer._


Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


INTRODUCTORY                                               7


EDUCATION--ITS OBJECT AND NECESSITY                       17


ORIGIN OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM                        41


EXPOSÉ OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM                        75


ON THE MALE PORTION OF SOCIETY                            82


ON THE FEMALE PORTION OF SOCIETY                          87


WHAT IS IT TO BE A MOTHER?                               110


CONTINUED                                                128


RIGHTS.--ITS INCOMPETENCY TO EDUCATE                     139


AND COMMON LAW                                           163


IN OUR COUNTRY                                           189






ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS                                    340


OUR CHILDREN                                             373




American fellow-citizens--America is my home! I have no other country.
After my God and my religion, my country is the dearest object of my
life! I love my country as dearly as any one else can. It is this love
that makes my heart bleed when I call to mind the actual state of
society in our country, and the principles that prevail everywhere. It
is indeed but too true that we live in a most anti-Christian age;
principles are disregarded, and iniquity is held in veneration. We see
nothing but confusion in religion, in government, in the family circle.
Sects spring up and swarm like locusts, destroying not only revealed
religion, but rejecting even the law of nature. Fraud, theft, and
robbery are practised almost as a common trade. The press justifies
rebellion, secret societies, and plots for the overthrow of established
governments. The civil law, by granting divorce, has broken the family
tie. Children are allowed to grow up in ignorance of true religious
principles, and thereby become regardless of their parents. The number
of apostates from Christianity is on the increase, at least in the
rising generation. Current literature is penetrated with the spirit of
licentiousness, from the pretentious quarterly to the arrogant and
flippant daily newspaper, and the weekly and monthly publications are
mostly heathen or maudlin. They express and inculcate, on the one hand,
stoical, cold, and polished pride of mere intellect, or on the other,
empty and wretched sentimentality. Some employ the skill of the engraver
to caricature the institutions and offices of the Christian religion,
and others to exhibit the grossest forms of vice, and the most
distressing scenes of crime and suffering. The illustrated press has
become to us what the amphitheatre was to the Romans when men were
slain, women were outraged, and Christians given to the lions to please
a degenerate populace. The number of the most unnatural crimes is beyond
computation. A wide-spread and deep-seated dishonesty and corruption
has, like some poisonous virus, inoculated the great body of our public
men in national, state, and municipal positions, so much so that
rascality seems to be the rule, and honesty the exception. Real
statesmanship has departed from amongst us; neither the men nor the
principles of the olden time exist any longer.

The shameless cynicism with which the great public plunderers of our day
brazen out their infamy, is only equalled by the apathy with which the
public permits these robberies, and condone for them by lavishing place
and power upon the offenders. "The way of the transgressor" has ceased
to be "hard"--unless he be a transgressor of very low degree--and
rascality rides rampant over the land, from the halls of Congress to the
lowest department of public plunder.

The poet has well said that Vice, once grown familiar to the view, after
first exciting our hate, next succeeded in gaining our pity, and
finally was taken into our embrace.

The familiarity of the public mind with daily and almost hourly
instances of public peculation and betrayal of high trusts has created
this indulgent disposition, until at last the wholesome indignation,
which is the best safeguard of honesty, has been diluted into a maudlin
sympathy with the malefactors. And the rankness of the growth of this
evil is not more startling than its rapidity. It is a new thing--a foul
fungus, suddenly forced into fetid life, out of the corruptions
engendered by the war. It is "a new departure" in a wrong
direction--down that smooth, broad path to the devil.

We all remember the sensation which, before the war, was ever caused by
the discovery of a public defaulter, and the indignation which drove him
ever forth from place and country, on his detection. Punishment sure and
swift was certain to seize upon him, if he dared linger after the facts
were known.

A breach of trust was not then considered a joke, nor theft elevated
into the dignity of a fine art, whose most eminent professors were to
be regarded with envy and admiration.

Think of the clamor which was raised over the comparatively petty
peculations of Swartwout, Schuyler, Fowler, and other small sinners like
them, who even found the country too hot to hold them, and died in
exile, as an expiation to the public sentiment they had outraged.

Yet their frauds were as molehills to the mountains which the busy hands
of our public peculators have heaped up, and are daily piling higher.
Within the last ten years, where they stole cents, their successors
stole by thousands and tens of thousands; and, instead of flying from
punishment, flaunt their crimes and their ill-gotten wealth in the face
of the community, heedless either of the arm of the law, or the more
potent hiss of public scorn.

And this financial dishonesty of the times is as true of commercial as
of political circles, and as patent at Washington as at New York and
other cities. "Think you that those eighteen men on whom the tower of
Siloam fell, were sinners above all others in Jerusalem? I tell you
nay!" Think you that those six or seven on whom the axe of the public
press fell, are sinners above all in New York and elsewhere? If all men
that have been guilty of fraud in New York and elsewhere were to have a
tower fall on them, there would be funerals enough for fifty years.

One of the saddest symptoms of degeneracy in a people is evinced by a
desperate levity--a scoffing spirit such as that which inspired the
French people when they denied even God, and substituted a prostitute to
be their "Goddess of Reason." Much of that spirit is unhappily
manifesting itself in our country.

That most fearful picture of a corrupt community drawn by Curran in his
description of the public pests of his day--"remaining at the bottom
like drowned bodies while soundness remained in them, but rising only as
they rotted, and floating only from the buoyancy of corruption"--seems,
unhappily, destined to find its parallel here, unless public virtue and
public indignation should awake to condemn and chastise the corruption
which is tainting and poisoning the air around us.

The judgment which overtook the men of Siloam was visited on them for
sins not unlike those which seem to invite a similar judgment from
offended Heaven upon our modern Siloams, and is no jesting matter. Nay,
in view of the many recent terrible visitations which have fallen upon
different parts of our country, many voices have already been raised
proclaiming them as marks of Divine wrath against national sins,
perpetrated by a people who should, by their lives, testify their sense
of the blessings showered upon them in more prodigal profusion than on
any other nation in the annals of mankind.

That the great body of our people are corrupt, or that they at heart
approve of corruption, no one will be mad enough to maintain. But they
are responsible before Heaven and to posterity for the criminal apathy
they manifest in their silent sanction of the corruption and crime which
are fast making the American name a synonyme for theft, for brazen
impudence and unblushing rascality.

In the life of a nation, as in that of an individual, there are periods
which are critical; and a restoration to health, or the certainty of
speedy death, depends on the way this malady is met. The crisis which
now menaces the life and health of the United States cannot be far
distant; for private virtue cannot long survive the death of public
honor and honesty, nor private morality fail to catch the contagion of
public profligacy. If the representative men of a country, those in whom
its high trusts are reposed, be corrupt and shameless, they will drag
down into the same mire the morals of the people they plunder and
misrepresent. Indeed we want no prophet, nor one raised from the dead,
to tell us the awfully fatal results. What can be done to stem the
fearful torrent of evils that flood the land? We all know that when, in
1765, the famous Stamp Act was passed in the British Parliament, on the
news reaching Boston the bells were muffled, and rang a funeral peal. In
New York the "Act" was carried through the streets with a death's head
bearing this inscription: "The Folly of England and the Ruin of
America." So great was the opposition to the "Act," that it was repealed
during the spring of 1766. This shows how quickly the evils of society
can be put down if people set to work in earnest.

Now we cannot expect the people to set to work in earnest about stemming
the torrent of the great evils of the land, unless they are well
enlightened as to the source from which they flow. This source is
principally that wrong system of education introduced into this country
about fifty years ago. At that time very few, perhaps, could foresee
what effects it was calculated to produce. After a long trial, we can
now pronounce on it with certainty by its results. The tree, no longer a
sapling, can be judged by its fruits. These fruits have been so bad that
it is high time to call the attention of the public to the tree.

Now in calling attention to this tree, I wish it to be once for all
distinctly understood, that whatever of a seemingly or even really harsh
nature I may say in this discussion on the Public Schools, is intended
and directed _solely against the system_. For those who manage or
officiate in them, as teachers or otherwise, I have, I trust, all the
courtesy, charity, and respect due from one citizen to another. If I
offend the prejudices, convictions, or susceptibilities of any on this
strangely misrepresented subject, no one can more regret it than myself;
I can truly say it is not intended. All I ask of my fellow-citizens is a
fair discussion on this great question of education, to look at it
without prejudice, without bigotry; for if prejudice and bigotry stand
in our way, they will stand in the way of the glory and stability of
this country, whose future God only knows. It is the duty of all
citizens to labor with a good heart, a clear mind, an earnest soul, to
do all they can in building up, and strengthening, and making still more
glorious this great American people.



The question of Education is, of all others, the most important. It has
for some time back received a good deal of attention in public meetings,
in newspapers, and in the pulpit. In fact it has become a question of
the day. On this question, however, there is unfortunately such an
amount of ignorance, prejudice, and confusion of ideas, that it is
almost impossible to make the public understand it. The reason of this
is, because so many follow the vague views expressed on this subject in
newspapers. Many a paper is undoubtedly political, and so far partisan;
and as such its editor will defend and advance what he believes to be
the principles of his party. But the question of education rises above
party politics; yet when you read many a paper you will find that the
editor appeals to the prejudice and passions of party in a way quite
unworthy of an independent journalist, and of the grave subject under
consideration. He advances principles which, at first sight, seem to be
quite true; for instance: "Public School Education is necessary for our
republican form of government, for the very life of the Republic." "It
is an admitted axiom, that our form of government, more than all others,
depends on the intelligence of the people." "The framers of our
Constitution firmly believed that a republic form of government could
not endure without intelligence and education generally diffused among
the people. The State must, therefore, take all means within its power
to promote and encourage popular education, and furnish this
intelligence of the people through her public schools."

At first sight such principles seem to be true, and the people in
general will accept them. Experience teaches that the public will
accept, without question, almost any maxim or problem, provided it be
formulated in such a manner as to convey some specific meaning that does
not demand reflection or complex examination. For the same reason no
small portion of the public will reject anything that at first sight
seems to exceed the measure of their understanding. Knaves and
charlatans, knowing this, impose on the public by flattering their
intelligence, that they may accomplish their own ambitious and selfish
ends. In this way a multitude of pernicious religious, social, and
political maxims have come into vogue, especially in reference to the
question of public instruction. Yet on the sound principles concerning
this question of education, and on the right understanding of them,
depend not only the temporal and eternal happiness of the people, but
also the future maintenance and freedom, nay, even the material
prosperity, of the Republic.

In the discussion of the system of education it will no longer do to use
vague, unmeaning expressions, or to advance some general puzzling
principles to keep the public in the dark on this important point. It is
high time that the public should be thoroughly enlightened on the
subject of education. Everybody is talking about education,--the
advantages of education, the necessity of education; and yet almost all
have come to use the word in its narrowest and most imperfect meaning,
as implying mere cultivation of the intellectual faculties, and even
this is done in the most superficial manner, by cramming the mind with
facts, instead of making it reflect and reason. The great majority even
of those who write upon the subject take no higher view.

The term _education_ comprehends something more than mere instruction.
One may be instructed without being educated; but he cannot be educated
without being instructed. The one has a partial or limited, the other a
complete or general, meaning. What, then, is the meaning of Education?
Education comes from the Latin "educo," and means, according to Plato,
"to give to the body and soul all the perfection of which they are
susceptible"; in other words, the object of education is to render the
youth of both sexes beautiful, healthful, strong, intelligent and
virtuous. It is doubtless the will of the Creator that man--the
masterpiece of the visible world--should be raised to that perfection of
which he is capable, and for the acquisition of which he is offered the
proper means. It is the soul of man which constitutes the dignity of his
being, and makes him the king of the universe. Now the body is the
dwelling of the soul--the palace of this noble king; the nobility of the
soul must induce us to attend to its palace--to the health and strength
and beauty of the body;--health, strength and beauty are the noble
qualities of the body.

The noble qualities of the soul are virtue and learning. Virtue and
learning are the two trees planted by God in Paradise; they are the two
great luminaries created by God to give light to the world; they are the
two Testaments, the Old and the New; they are the two sisters, Martha
and Mary, living under one roof in great union and harmony, and mutually
supporting each other.

Learning is, next to virtue, the most noble ornament and the highest
improvement of the human mind. It is by learning that all the natural
faculties of the mind obtain an eminent degree of perfection. The memory
is exceedingly improved by appropriate exercise, and becomes, as it
were, a storehouse of names, facts, entire discourses, etc., according
to every one's exigency or purposes. The understanding--the light of the
soul--is exceedingly improved by exercise, and by the acquisition of
solid science and useful knowledge. Judgment, the most valuable of all
the properties of the mind, and by which the other faculties are poised,
governed and directed, is formed and perfected by experience, and
regular well-digested studies and reflection; and by them it attains to
true justness and taste. The mind, by the same means, acquires a
steadiness, and conquers the aversion which sloth raises against the
serious employments of its talents.

How much the perfection of the mind depends upon culture, appears in the
difference of understanding between the savages (who, except in
treachery, cunning and shape, scarce seem to differ from the apes which
inhabit their forests) and the most elegant and civilized nations. A
piece of ground left wild produces nothing but weeds and briers, which
by culture would be covered with corn, flowers and fruit. The difference
is not less between a rough mind and one that is well cultivated.

The same natural culture, indeed, suits not all persons. Geniuses must
be explored, and the manner of instructing proportioned to them. But
there is one thing which suits all persons, and without which knowledge
is nothing but "a sounding brass and tinkling cymbal": this is the
supernatural culture of the soul, or the habitual endeavor of man of
rendering himself more pleasing in the sight of God by the acquisition
of solid Christian virtues, in order thus to reach his last end--his
eternal happiness. It is for this reason that our Saviour tells us:
"What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own
soul? For what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"--(Matt. xvi.
26.) It is, then, the _supernatural culture_, or the perfection of the
soul, that is to be principally attended to in education.

Now what is the perfection of soul? The perfection of each being in
general, is that which renders the being better and more perfect. It is
clear that inferior beings cannot make superior ones better and more
perfect. Now the soul, being immortal, is superior to all earthly or
perishable things. These, then, cannot make the soul better and more
perfect, but rather worse than she is; for he who seeks what is worse
than himself, makes himself worse than he was before. Therefore the good
of the soul can be only that which is better and more excellent than the
soul herself is. Now God alone is this Good--He being Goodness Itself.
He who possesses God may be said to possess the goodness of all other
things; for whatever goodness they possess, they have from God. In the
sun, for instance, you admire the light; in a flower, beauty; in bread,
the savor; in the earth, its fertility; all these have their being from
God. No doubt God has reserved to Himself far more than He has bestowed
upon creatures; this truth admitted, it necessarily follows that he who
enjoys God possesses in him all other things; and consequently the very
same delight which he would have taken in other things, had he enjoyed
them separately, he enjoys in God, in a far greater measure, and in a
more elevated manner. For this reason, St. Francis of Assisium often
used to exclaim: "My God and my All"--a saying to which he was so
accustomed that he could scarcely think of anything else, and often
spent whole nights in meditating on this truth.

Certainly true contentment is only that which is taken in the Creator,
and not that which is taken in the creature; a contentment which no man
can take from the soul, and in comparison with which all other joy is
sadness, all pleasure sorrow, all sweetness bitter, all beauty ugliness,
all delight affliction. It is most certain that "when face to face we
shall see God as He is," we shall have most perfect joy and happiness.
It follows, then, most clearly, that the nearer we approach to God in
this life, the more contentment of mind and the greater happiness of
soul we shall enjoy; and this contentment and joy is of the self-same
nature as that which we shall have in heaven; the only difference is,
that here our joy and happiness is in an incipient state, whilst there
it will be brought to perfection. He, then, is a truly wise and learned,
a truly well-educated, man, who here below has learned how to seek God,
and to be united as much as possible with the Supreme Good of his soul.
He therefore imparts a good education to the soul, who teaches her how
to seek and to find her own Good.

Now what is it to teach the soul to find her own Supreme Good? It is to
train, to teach, to lead the child in the way he should go, leading him
in the paths of duty, first to God, and secondly to his neighbor. All
not professed infidels, it appears to me, must admit this definition.
But as very many believe in "Webster," or "Worcester," I give the
former's definition of education: "Educate"--To instill into the mind
principles of art, science, _morals_, _religion_, and behavior.
According to this definition of education, morals and religion
constitute essential parts of education. Indeed, the first and most
important of all duties which the child must learn are his moral and
religious duties; for it will, I hope, be universally admitted that man
is not born into this world merely to "propagate his species, make
money, enjoy the pleasures of this world, and die." If he is not born
for that end, then it is most important that he be taught for what end
he was born, and the way appointed by his Creator to attain that end.

Every child born into this world is given a body and soul. This soul,
for which the body was created, and which will rise with it at the last
day, be judged with it for the acts done in life, and be happy or
unhappy with it for all eternity, is, in consequence of the "fall,"
turned away from God, and the body, no longer acting in obedience to
right reason, seeks its own gratification, like any irrational animal.
Religion (from _religio_) is the means provided by a merciful God to
reunite the chain broken by the sin of our first parents, and bridge
over the chasm opened between man and his divine destiny. To give this
knowledge of religion is the principal purpose of education. Without
this it is mere natural _instruction_, but no education at all. It would
be worse than giving, as we say, "the play of Hamlet with the part of
the Prince of Denmark left out."

Religion, then, forms the spirit and essence of all true education. As
leaven must be diffused throughout the entire mass in order to produce
its effects, so religion must be thoroughly diffused throughout the
child's entire education, in order to be solid and effective. Not a
moment of the hours of school should be left without religious
influence. It is the constant breathing of the air that preserves our
bodily life, and it is the constant dwelling in a religious atmosphere
that preserves the life of the youthful soul. Here are laid the
primitive principles of future character and conduct. These religious
principles may be forgotten, or partially effaced, in the journey of
life, but they will nevertheless endure, because they are engraved by
the finger of God Himself. The poor wanderer, when the world has turned
its back upon him, after having trusted to its promises only to be
deceived, after having yielded to its temptations and blandishments only
to be cruelly injured and mocked, may, at last, in the bitterness of his
heart, "remember the days of his youth," and "return to his father's
house." So long as faith remains, however great the vice or the crime,
there is something to build on, and room to hope for repentance, for
reformation, and final salvation. Faith or religion once gone, all is
gone. Religion is the crystal vase in which education is contained, or
rather the spirit which infuses and vitalizes it. Religion is the very
life of society, the very soul of a Christian State.

All nations and governments know and understand that to exclude
Christian education from the schools is to exclude it from their law,
legislature, courts, and public and private manners. It should, then,
ever be borne in mind that religion, though distinguishable, is never
separable from true civil and political science and philosophy.
Enlightened statesmanship will always accept and recognize religious
education as a most valuable and powerful ally in the government of the
State, or political society. The great Washington clearly asserts this
in his farewell address to the American people: "Of the dispositions,"
he says, "which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are
indispensable supports. Where is the security for property or for life,
if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are
administered in our courts of justice? And let it not be supposed that
morality can be maintained without religion." Accordingly our
legislatures are opened with prayer, the Bible is on the benches of our
courts; it is put into the hands of jurymen, voters, and even
tax-payers; indeed, from its late use and abuse, one might think that we
were living under the Pentateuch, and that the whole moral law and Ten
Commandments were bound to the brows of the public or State

Indeed, the politics of every tribe, nation, or people, will reflect in
an exact degree their moral and religious convictions and education. If
these are false, the political society will be violent, disorderly, and
abnormal; if true, the State is calm, prosperous, strong and happy. If
these propositions be true, and I claim they are as axiomatic and
undeniable as any proposition in Euclid--yea more so, for they are the
maxims of inspired wisdom--how immeasurably important is a true
Christian education!

And if its influence is so great in determining even the political
conduct of men, it is still more necessary and powerful in forming the
character of true woman--the Christian wife, mother, and daughter. The
influence of Christian woman on society is incalculable. Admitting it
possible, for a moment, that irreligious men might construct or direct
an atheistical State, yet it would be utterly vain to build up the
family, the groundwork of all organized communities, without the aid of
the Christian woman. She it is who, in the deep and silent recesses of
the household, puts together those primitive and enduring materials,
each in its place and order, on which will rest and grow, to full beauty
and development, the fair proportion of every well-ordained State. This
foundation is laid in the care and rearing of good and dutiful children.
The task of the Christian mother may indeed be slow, and unobserved;
but God makes use of the weak to confound the strong, and this is
beautifully illustrated in the Christian woman, who is strong because
she is weak, most influential when she is most retired, and most happy,
honored, cherished and respected when she is doing the work assigned her
by Divine Providence, in the bosom of her household.

It will be admitted, then, that the education of girls demands a special
culture. Generally upon mothers the domestic instruction of the
children, in their infancy, mainly depends. They ought, therefore, to be
well instructed in the motives of religion, articles of faith, and all
the practical duties and maxims of piety. Then history, geography, and
some tincture of works of genius and spirit, may be joined with suitable
arts and other accomplishments of their sex and condition, provided they
be guided by and referred to religion, and provided books of piety and
exercises of devotion always have the first place, both in their hearts
and in their time.

They should, then, from their earliest years, if possible, be separated
in their studies, their plays, and their going and returning from
school, from children of the opposite sex. They should be placed under
the _surveillance and instruction_ of mature and pious women. Every
possible occasion and influence should be used to instil into their
young and plastic minds, by lesson and example, principles of religion
and morality. Their studies should be grave and practical. Their nervous
organization is naturally acute, and should be strengthened, but not
stimulated, as it too often is, thereby laying the foundation for that
terrible and tormenting train of neuralgic affections of after-life,
debilitating mind and body.

A thorough Christian education, then, is the basis of all happiness and
peace, for the family as well as for the State itself; for every State
is but the union of several families. It is for this reason that we find
good parents so willing to make every sacrifice for the Christian
education of their children, and that all true statesmen, and all true
lovers of their country, have always encouraged and advocated that kind
of education which is based upon Christian principles.

Good, dutiful children are the greatest blessing for parents and for the
State, whilst children without religion are the greatest misfortune,
the greatest curse that can come upon parents and upon the State.

History informs us that Dion the philosopher gave a sharp reproof to
Dionysius the tyrant, on account of his cruelty. Dionysius felt highly
offended, and resolved to avenge himself on Dion; so he took the son of
Dion prisoner, not, indeed, for the purpose of killing him, but of
giving him up into the hands of a godless teacher. After the young man
had been long enough under this teacher to learn from him everything
that was bad and impious, Dionysius sent him back to his father. Now
what object had the tyrant in acting thus? He foresaw that this
corrupted son, by his impious conduct during his whole lifetime, would
cause his father constant grief and sorrow, so much so that he would be
for him a lifelong affliction and curse. This, the tyrant thought, was
the longest and greatest revenge he could take on Dion for having
censured his conduct.

Plato, a heathen philosopher, relates that when the sons of the Persian
kings had reached the age of fourteen, they were given to four teachers.
The first of these teachers had to instruct them in their duties towards
God; the second, to be truthful under all circumstances; the third, to
overcome their passions; and the fourth teacher taught them how to be
valiant and intrepid men.

This truth, that good children are the greatest blessing and that bad
children are the greatest affliction that can befall parents and the
State, needs no further illustration. There is no father, there is no
mother, there is no statesman, who is not thoroughly convinced of this
truth. Can we, then, wonder that the Catholic Church has always
encouraged a truly Christian education?

There is nothing in history better established than the fact that the
Catholic Church has been at all times, and under the most trying
circumstances, the generous fostering-mother of education. She has
labored especially, with untiring care, to educate the poor, who are her
favorite children. It was the Catholic Church that founded, and endowed
liberally, almost all the great universities of Europe. Protestants and
infidels are very apt to overlook the incalculable benefits which the
Church has conferred on mankind, and yet without her agency civilization
would have been simply impossible.

The Catholic Church was, moreover, the first to establish common
schools for the free education of the people. As early as A.D. 529, we
find the Council of Vaison recommending the establishment of public
schools. In 800, a synod at Mentz ordered that the parochial priests
should have schools in the towns and villages, that "the little children
of all the faithful should learn letters from them. Let them receive and
teach these with the utmost charity, that they themselves may shine as
the stars forever. Let them receive no remuneration from their scholars,
unless what the parents, through charity, may voluntarily offer." A
Council at Rome, in 836, ordained that there should be three kinds of
schools throughout Christendom: episcopal, parochial in towns and
villages, and others wherever there could be found place and
opportunity. The Council of Lateran, in 1179, ordained the establishment
of a grammar school in every cathedral for the gratuitous instruction of
the poor. This ordinance was enlarged and enforced by the Council of
Lyons, in 1245. In a word, from the days of Charlemagne, in the ninth
century, down to those of Leo X., in the sixteenth century, free schools
sprang up in rapid succession over the greater part of Europe; and,
mark well, it was almost always under the shadow of her churches and her
monasteries! Throughout the entire period, called, by ignorant bigotry,
the "dark ages," Roman Pontiffs and Catholic Bishops assembled in
council and enacted laws requiring the establishment of free schools in
connection with all the cathedral and parochial churches. This is a fact
so clearly proven by Catholic and Protestant historians, that to deny it
would be to betray a gross ignorance of history. Even at the present
day, the Papal States, with a population of only about 2,000,000,
contain seven universities, with an average attendance of 660 students,
whilst Prussia, with a population of 14,000,000, and so renowned for her
education, has only seven! Again, in every street in Rome there are, at
short distances, public primary schools for the education of the
children of the middle and lower classes. Rome, with a population of
only about 158,000 souls, has 372 public primary schools, with 482
teachers, and over 14,000 children attending them, whilst Berlin, with a
population more than double that of Rome, has only 264 schools. Thus
originated the popular or common schools, or the free education of the
people, as an outgrowth of the Catholic Church.

Every one knows that to the Catholic Church is due the preservation of
literature after the downfall of the Roman Empire; and all those who are
versed in history must admit that the Popes, the rulers of the Church,
have been the greatest promoters and protectors of literature and
learned men in every age. They collected and preserved the writings of
the great historians, poets, and philosophers of Greece and Rome, and
they encouraged and rewarded the learned men who, by their labors, made
those fountains of classical literature easily accessible to all
students. What shall I say of the patronage which they accorded to
painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and the other arts which raise
up and refine the human soul? Even the present glorious Pontiff, Pius
IX., in the midst of troubles and persecutions, has done more for
education than the richest and most powerful sovereigns of the world.
You will unite with me, I am sure, in praying that he may soon recover
the sovereignty of Rome and the Papal States, and that he may live many
years to defend, as he has done in the past, the cause of religion,
truth, Christian education, and civilization in the world. But it would
take a whole day to refer even briefly to all that the Catholic Church
and her Supreme Pontiffs have done to dissipate ignorance, and to
improve and enlighten the mind of man. I shall merely add that a
Protestant writer, and an open enemy of our religion, does not hesitate
to state that, acting under the guidance and protection of the Holy See,
some of our religious orders, which are so often assailed and
calumniated, have done more for the promotion of philosophy, theology,
history, archæology, and learning in general, than all the great
universities of the world, with all their wealth and patronage.

Moreover, it is a well-known fact that the Catholic Church has always
fought for the liberty to educate her children not only in the necessary
branches of science, but also, and above all, to teach them, at the same
time, their religious duties towards God and their fellow-men. And who
but an infidel can blame her for that?

Every one must know that by the united efforts of the Catholic clergy
and laity, schools, colleges, seminaries, boarding-schools for ladies
and boys, and other educational establishments, have been erected in
almost every part of the world, and erected without a cent of public
money, which was so plentifully lavished on Protestant institutions.
But, without leaving this country, do we not find in the various States
of the Union magnificent proofs of generous Catholic zeal in promoting
everything connected with education? And have not the parochial and
religious clergy in so many places made the noblest exertions to erect
institutions for the instruction of their flocks? and have not the laity
assisted them in a most munificent manner? All this shows their great
desire to promote the growth of knowledge.

Man is born a believing creature, and cannot, if he would, destroy
altogether this noble attribute of his nature. If he is not taught, or
will not accept, a belief in the living and uncreated God, he will
create and worship some other god in His stead. He cannot rest on _pure
negation_. There never has been a real, absolute unbeliever. All the
so-called unbelievers are either knaves or idiots. All the Gentile
nations of the past have been religious people; all the Pagan powers of
the present are also believers. There never has been a nation without
faith, without an altar, without a sacrifice. Man can never, even for a
single instant, escape the All-seeing Eye of God, or avoid the
obligations of duty imposed on him by his Creator. The Pantheists of
ancient as well as of modern times recognize this fact, although they do
not discharge their religious obligations conformably to the Divine
will, but make to themselves other gods instead.

As there has been a religion and a ritual among all nations, tribes and
peoples, so has there been also a "hierarchy" to teach this religion,
and make known its obligations. These religious obligations constituted
then, and constitute even now, the basis of all popular education
throughout the world--Christian, Gentile, or Pagan--there is no
exception to this fact save in these _United States_ of America.



Strange as it may seem, it is a certain undeniable fact that there is
not, on the entire continent of Europe, or in the entire world, a single
country, Protestant or Catholic, that upholds the Pagan system of
education which has been adopted in this free country. In all of them
Catholic and Protestant children receive religious instruction, during
the school-hours, from their respective pastors. The present system of
the Public Schools in the United States professes to exclude all
religious exercises. We are often told that this is the American system,
and that it is very impertinent for foreigners to wish to bring religion
into schools against the American idea. Now the assertion that the
exclusion of all religion from the schools is truly American, that it is
an essential part of our national system, is utterly false. So far as
any system of public schools can be said to have an American idea, the
idea will be found to be "education based on religious instruction."

The first schools established in the Union were religious denominational
schools. These schools were supported by the churches with which they
were connected, and by their patrons. Religious exercises formed a part
of the daily duties of the class-room. The early founders of this
Republic were not able to understand how they could bring up their
children in the knowledge, love, and service of God by banishing the
Bible, prayer, and religious exercises of every kind from the school.
Hence religion was reverenced, and its duties attended to in all
institutions of learning in the country. The American system of
education, in its incipiency, and for a long while, was one founded on
Bible-teaching and religious exercises. The present system is
un-American, anti-American.

Now how did it happen that the primitive Christian system of education
became unchristian and anti-American? To make you understand more
clearly the origin of the present system of the Public Schools, I must
first show you how _Secret Societies seek to spread Irreligious
Education in Europe_.

These societies profess the most irreligious and anti-social doctrines.
Among the chief means employed by them for pushing forward their
diabolical principles is _Education without Religion_. The
"International," one of the most powerful of these organizations, has
lately put forward a programme, in which the following points are laid
down as most necessary to be insisted upon in the agitation conducted by
the socialist democratic party in Switzerland:

     "... _Compulsory and gratuitous education_ up to the completion
     of the fourteenth year of each child's age.... Separation of
     the Church from the State, _and also of the schools from the

About three short years ago a pamphlet was published in which we find
detailed the efforts made in France to spread irreligion by means of bad
education. The letters of eighty of the Prelates of France are appended
to the pamphlet. Alas! the sad forebodings of that noble episcopate
have been too soon and too terribly fulfilled!

The following lengthy extracts are taken from the late Pastoral of the
Bishops of Ireland on Christian Education:


     "'I see,' says the most reverend author, 'that for some time
     past the most extraordinary efforts are made in France to
     spread impiety, immorality, the most anti-social theories,
     under the pretext of spreading education. No longer as
     formerly, it is in newspapers and books that religion,
     morality, and the eternal principles of good order are attacked
     with the most deceitful and formidable weapon of a corrupt
     system of education. Under cover of an excellent object--and
     here is the great danger, for we are deluded by this
     pretext--under the pretext of spreading education and waging
     war against ignorance, infidelity is spread, war is waged
     against religion; and thus, whether we will or no, we rush on
     to the ruin of all order, moral and social. And we, the
     Bishops, who are as desirous as others, and perhaps more
     desirous than others, to see spread far and wide the blessings
     of education, the education of children, female education, the
     education of our whole people, for this is by excellence a
     Christian work, we are accused of being enemies of education,
     because we oppose anti-Christian and anti-social education.'"

The first fact mentioned by the learned writer is the existence of
schools, which are called "_professional schools for females_," into
which young girls are received at twelve years of age and upwards, for
the purpose of continuing their education and learning a profession.
These schools have been founded by women, free-thinkers, who formally
and expressly declare it to be their object to train the youth of their
own sex in rationalism and infidelity. The following incident shows the
impious end for which these schools have been founded: One of the
principal teachers died, and over her grave her husband pronounced these
words,--"I will tell you, for it is my duty to tell you, that if this
funeral is that of a free-thinker" [unaccompanied by any religious
ceremony], "it is so not only by my wish, but also and chiefly because
such was the desire of my dear wife." He adds that she had devoted
herself to "the great work of spreading education and _morality without
religion_, because she had no faith except in _learning and in
justice_; she was of those who, having once seen and comprehended these
truths, can have no other beacon to guide them _in life, or at the hour
of death_." Round that grave, whose occupant had rejected religion and
its ministrations in life and in death, stood three hundred girls,
pupils of those "_professional schools_," holding bouquets in their
hands, and throwing flowers on the coffin of their mistress. The schools
are of a piece with the teachers. Ten hours are spent in them, but all
religious instruction is strictly forbidden, under the pretext that they
are free schools, "_open to children of all persuasions, without
religious distinction_." The founders of these schools propose to give
to the girls intrusted to them _a moral education without ever speaking
to them of religion!_ And this is the system of education which people
are anxious to spread throughout France, and even in this country also.
But, though we hope they will not succeed, can we feel fully confident
that we shall escape the contagion, when we remember that this system is
no other than the "_mixed system_," and when we bear in mind the
untiring efforts which are made to develop and consolidate that system
in Ireland in every branch of education, from the university, through
the model-school, down to the humblest village-school? Read the
description of the schools in France, of which we are speaking, and say,
does it not apply to every school, even in Ireland, where the mixed
principle is thoroughly carried out?

     "The printed prospectus of these schools" [continues the most
     reverend writer] "clearly explains the advantages of
     professional education, while it hides the religious danger
     under vague expressions of an apparent liberality, such as the
     following: '_The school is open to children of all persuasions,
     without religious distinction_.' The meaning of which words is
     no other than that in these schools, where children are kept
     from the twelfth to the eighteenth year of their age, and for
     ten hours every day (from eight A.M. to six P.M.), God and the
     Gospel shall be treated as if they never existed; not only
     religion shall never be mentioned, but these girls shall be
     taught morality independent of any dogmatic faith, any

     "The second engine used by the enemies of religion in France
     for the maintenance and spread of infidelity, is the
     Educational League. This League has been introduced from
     Belgium into France by the Freemasons and the
     'Solidaires'--the members of an impious association, the avowed
     object of which is to prevent persons from receiving the
     sacraments, or any of the sacred rites of the Church, in life
     or in death. The Educational League, with a wonderful spirit of
     propagandism, has established throughout France libraries and
     courses of instruction for men and for women, and even for
     girls and young children. On their banner is inscribed 'Spread
     of Education'; but under this device is hidden the scheme of
     propagating irreligion. The founder of the 'League' in
     France[A] was a Freemason, and both his declarations and those
     of the organs of Freemasonry leave no doubt of the Masonic
     origin of the scheme, and of the spirit which animates it. Now
     the third article of the statutes of the 'League' declares,
     when speaking of the education to be given by their
     association, that 'neither politics nor _religion_ shall have
     any part in it.' And lest there should be any mistake as to the
     meaning of this article, one of the leading Masonic journals
     declares that religion is 'useless as an instrument for forming
     the minds of children, and that from a certain point of view it
     is _capable of leading them to abandon all moral principles_.
     It is incumbent on us, therefore,' concludes this journal, 'to
     _exclude_ all religion. We will teach you its rights and duties
     in the name of liberty, of conscience, of reason, and, in
     fine, in the name of our society.'[B] And again: 'Freemasons
     must give in their adhesion _en masse_ to the excellent
     Educational League, and the lodges must in the peace of their
     temples seek out the best means of making it effectual. Their
     influence in this way will be most useful. _The principles we
     profess are precisely in accord with those which inspired that
     project._'[C] In April of the same year, the same organ of
     Freemasonry contained the following paragraph: 'We are happy to
     announce that the Educational League and the statue of _our
     brother_ Voltaire meet with the greatest support in all the
     lodges. There could not be two subscription-lists more in
     harmony with each other: Voltaire, the representative of the
     destruction of prejudices and superstition; the Educational
     League, the engine for building up a new society based _solely
     upon learning and instruction_. Our brethren understood it so.'
     In fine, that there may not remain upon our minds the least
     doubt as to the identity of the principles of this League with
     those of Voltaire, we find its founder in France proposing, at
     a great Masonic dinner, a toast to the memory of that
     arch-infidel; while the newspaper from which we have quoted so
     largely, informs its readers that at one of the 'professional
     schools,' described above, the prize for good conduct (_le prix
     de morale_) was awarded to '_the daughters of a free-thinker,
     who have never attended any place of religious worship_.'"

We cannot better conclude our remarks on the efforts made in France to
destroy religion in the masses by means of education, than in the
following words of warning, not less applicable to good and sincere
Catholics in Ireland nowadays, than to those to whom they were specially

     "Good and sincere Catholics (continues the author of the
     pamphlet already quoted), who, deceived by the motto of the
     association, have given their names to this _Educational
     League_, take part, without knowing it, in a Masonic
     institution, and in building up this new state of society, from
     which religion is to be banished. Well may the Bishop of Metz
     say: 'These persons forget that, like Proteus in the fable,
     Freemasonry knows how to multiply _ad infinitum_ its
     transformations and its names. Yesterday it called itself '_Les
     Solidaires_,' or 'morality independent of religion,' or
     'freedom of thought'; to-day it takes the title of an
     'Educational League'; to-morrow it will find some other name by
     which to deceive the simple."

The efforts to corrupt the youth of unhappy France by means of bad
education in its higher branches, have been not less energetic and
wide-spread. The lectures of the School of Medicine of Paris were
inaugurated in 1865, amid shouts of "_Materialism forever_,"[D] and on
the thirtieth of December a candidate for degrees was permitted by the
Medical Faculty to advance the following revolutionary doctrine,
grounded on the materialistic principles he had been taught: "Who still
speaks to us of free-will? As the stone which falls to the ground obeys
the laws of weight, man obeys the laws which are proper to him....
Responsibility is the same for all, that is to say, _none_." And again:
"Physicians must not be accomplices of the magistrates and judges, who
punish men for acts for which they are not responsible"--pp. 32, 33.
Here we have a sample of the teaching of the School of Medicine of
Paris, not only the first medical school of France, but among the first
schools of Europe. And this sample is, unfortunately, not a solitary
one. The Medical Faculty of the University of Paris gave medals in 1866
for two dissertations, in one of which we find a denial of the act of
creation and of God the Creator, and a rejection of every metaphysical
idea, _as useless and dangerous_; while human thought is set down as
produced _by heat!_ In the other we read the following propositions:
"Matter is eternal." "The action of a _First Cause_ is useless and
irrational--_it is chimerical!_" Again: "It is absolutely impossible to
explain the existence of a creative power"; and "an immaterial being is
not necessary for the production of life." And, "to attribute the
phenomena of life to an immaterial soul, is to substitute a chimerical
being for the hypothesis of machinists." "Materialists have done good
service to physiology by eliminating metaphysical entities from this
study. The idea of the soul, as an immaterial power, is a mere
abstraction; in fact, nothing of the kind exists."

Unhappily these principles, subversive of all morality, are not advanced
by the aspirants only to academical distinctions; most certainly the
students would not advance these theories had they not learned them from
their masters. Hence we find one of the Professors of the University of
France, in Bordeaux, asserting, that "even among civilized nations moral
ideas are so relative, contradictory, and dependent on exterior and
individual relations, that it is impossible, and will always be
impossible, to find an absolute definition of goodness."--p. 38, _note_.
And the "Medical Review" published the discourse pronounced by one of
the physicians of the Faculty of Paris, M. Verneuil, over the grave of a
member of their learned body, Dr. Foucher, in which we find the

     "'We are reproached with believing with the sages of old, that
     Fate is blind, and as such presides over our lot. And why
     should we not believe it?... Humbling and sad as is this
     admission, still we must make it: imperceptible elements of the
     great social organization appearing upon this earth as living
     beings, fragments of matter agitated by a spirit, we are born,
     we live, and we die, unconscious of our destiny, playing our
     part without any precise notion of the end, and in the midst of
     the darkness which covers our origin and our end, having only
     one consolation--the love of our fellow-man.

     "'This simple philosophy alone,' M. Verneuil continues,
     'assuages our grief and ends by drying our tears. By the side
     of the half-open tomb we ask, whether he whom it contains
     served the good cause without deceit.... If, by his
     intelligence or his kindness of heart, he labored in the great
     work, we say he has paid his part of the common debt, and
     whether he returns to his original nothing or not, whether he
     is destroyed or merely changes his form, whether he hears our
     words or not, we thank him in the name of the past and of the

Another distinguished Professor published, in 1866, _Lectures on the
Physiology of the Nervous System_, in which we find the following

     "We admit,' he says, '_without any restriction_, that
     intellectual phenomena in animals are of the same order as in
     man....' 'As for _free-will_, we comprehend a certain kind of
     free-will in the more intelligent animals; and, on the other
     hand, we may add, that perhaps man is not so free as he would
     fain persuade himself he is.' And '_as to feeling the
     distinction between good and evil_, it is a grave question,
     _which we must first study in man himself!_'"

Let it not be supposed that these principles are merely announced as
abstractions; conclusions are drawn from them which must fill every
thinking mind with horror. Eighty students of the Normal School, the
great training institution of teachers for the North of France,
applauded such conclusions in a public letter. Several of the infidel
Professors of the Faculty of Medicine received ovations from crowded
class-rooms; millions of immoral and irreligious books were scattered
throughout the country. Thus Freemasonry, under the pretext of combating
ignorance, wages a deceitful and implacable war against religion. "We
too," says the organ of Freemasons,[E] "we too expect our Messiah, the
true Messiah, of the mind and reason--universal education!"

     "It is scarcely necessary for us to remind you, dearly beloved
     brethren, that the seeds of irreligion and anarchy thus sown
     broadcast over the fair face of France, have already produced a
     too abundant harvest of evils, perhaps the most disastrous
     recorded on the page of history. All Europe has been horrified
     by the atrocities perpetrated within the last few months in the
     name of liberty in that city, which was looked on as the centre
     of the civilization of the world. National monuments have been
     destroyed, peaceable citizens robbed and murdered, the
     venerable Archbishop, many of the clergy, and leading members
     of the civil and military authorities, massacred in cold blood.
     In other cities of France, too, we have seen anarchy and
     irreligion proclaimed--miscreants in arms against the property,
     and liberty, and lives of their fellow-citizens, often of the
     helpless and unprotected; and all this at a moment when the
     country was invaded, and a part of it occupied, by its enemies.
     The storm had been sown, and in very truth unfortunate France
     has reaped the whirlwind.


"And unhappily, dearly beloved brethren, the spread of infidel
principles by means of bad education is not confined to France. A few
years ago a congress of students was held in Liège, in Belgium, where
infidel and anti-social principles in their worst form were proclaimed
amidst the plaudits of the assembly. In England irreligion and socialism
are publicly taught. Even in our own country it is a matter of
notoriety, that a Chair in one of the Queen's Colleges has been occupied
since their foundation by a gentleman, who, in a published work,
extolled the first French revolution, and, in another place of the same
book, compared our Saviour, whose name be praised forever, to Luther and
to Mahomet! Again: In Trinity College one of the Fellows denies the
fundamental truth of Christianity respecting the eternity of the
punishment of sin; and others call in question the inspiration of the
Holy Scriptures, or of portions of them, and impugn many truths which
constitute the foundation of all revealed religion. In the same
University, too, the doctrines of Positivism, a late form of infidel
philosophy, have a large number of followers. The nature of that
philosophy may be gathered from the following passages in the 'Catechism
of Positivism, or Summary Exposition of the Universal Religion,'
translated from the French of Auguste Comte. The preface begins thus:

     "'In the name of the past and of the future, the servants of
     humanity--both its philosophical and practical servants--come
     forward to claim, as their due, the general direction of this
     world. Their object is to constitute at length a real
     Providence in all departments--moral, intellectual, and
     material. Consequently they exclude, once for all, from
     political supremacy, all the different servants of
     God--Catholic, Protestant, or Deist--as being at once
     behind-hand and a cause of disturbance.'

"The work consists of 'Thirteen Systematic Conversations between a Woman
and a Priest of Humanity,' and the doctrines contained in it are
epitomized in the following blasphemous lines:

"_'In a word, Humanity definitely occupies the place of God, but she
does not forget the services which the idea of God provisionally


"Again, during the last two sessions of Parliament, a Select Committee
of the House of Lords sat to inquire into the condition of the English
Universities. The Marquis of Salisbury was the chairman. The evidence
taken before that committee reveals the appalling fact that infidelity,
or doubt as to the first principles of the Christian religion, nay, of
belief in God, is wide-spread in the Universities of England, and
especially among the most intellectual of the students; and that this
sad result is due in a great measure to the teaching and examinations.
In the first report for the session 1871, pp. 67, 69, and 70, in the
evidence of the Rev. Professor Liddon, D.D., Canon of St. Paul's,
London, and Professor of Exegesis in the University of Oxford, we find
the following passages:

     _"Quest._ 695. _Chairman._--'Very strong evidence has been
     given to us upon the influence of the Final School' (the
     examination for degrees with honors) 'upon Oxford thought, as
     tending to produce at least momentary disbelief.'

     "_Witness._--'I have no doubt whatever it is one of the main
     causes of our present embarrassments.'

     "696.--'That, I suppose, is a comparatively new phenomenon?'

     "'Yes; it dates from the last great modification in the system
     pursued in the Honors School of _literæ humaniores_. It is
     mainly the one-sided system, as I should venture to call it, of
     modern philosophical writers.'

     "697.--'Is there any special defect in the management which
     produces this state of things, or is it essential to the nature
     of the school?'

     "'I fear it is to a great extent essential to the nature of the
     school, as its subjects are at present distributed.'

"Again, in answer to Question 706, the same witness says:

     "'I ought to have stated to the noble Chairman just now that
     cases have come within my own experience of men who have come
     up from school as Christians, and have been earnest Christians
     up to the time of beginning to read philosophy for the Final
     School, but who, during the year and a half or two years
     employed in this study, have surrendered first their
     Christianity, and next their belief in God, and have left the
     University not believing in a Supreme Being.'"

Now what kind of a being is the infidel, or the man without religion? To
have no religion is a crime, and to boast of having none is the height
of folly. He that has no religion must necessarily lose the esteem and
confidence of his friends. What confidence, I ask, can be placed in a
man who has no religion, and, consequently, no knowledge of his duties?
What confidence can you place in a man who never feels himself bound by
any obligation of conscience, who has no higher motive to direct him
than his self-love, his own interests? The pagan Roman, though
enlightened only by reason, had yet virtue enough to say: "I live not
for _myself_, but for the Republic"; but the infidel's motto is: "I live
only for myself; I care for no one but myself." Oh, what a monster would
such a man be in society were he really to think as he speaks, and to
act as he thinks!

A man who has no religion, must first prove that he is honest before we
can believe him to be so. It is said of kings and rulers, they must
prove that they have a heart, and it may also be said of the man who has
no religion, that _he must prove_ that he has a _conscience._ And I fear
he would not find it so easy a task.

A man without religion is a man without reason, a man without principle,
a man sunk in the grossest ignorance of what religion is. He blasphemes
what he does not understand. He rails at the doctrines of Christianity,
without really knowing what these doctrines are. He sneers at the
doctrines and practices of religion, because he cannot refute them. He
speaks with the utmost gravity of the fine arts, the fashions, and even
matters the most trivial, and he turns into ridicule the most sacred
subjects. In the midst of his own circle of fops and silly women, he
utters his shallow conceits with all the pompous assurance of a pedant.

The man without religion is a dishonest plagiarist, who copies from
Christian writers all the objections made against the Church by the
infidels of former and modern times; but he takes good care to omit all
the excellent answers and complete refutations which are contained in
these very same writings. His object is not to seek the truth, but to
propagate falsehood.

The man without religion is a slave of the most degrading superstition.
Instead of worshipping the true, free, living God, who governs all
things by His Providence, he bows before the horrid phantom of blind
chance or inexorable destiny. He is a man who obstinately refuses to
believe the most solidly-established facts in favor of religion, and
yet, with blind credulity, greedily swallows the most absurd falsehoods
uttered _against religion_. He is a man whose reason has fled, and whose
passions speak, object and decide in the name of reason.

The man without religion often pretends to be an infidel merely in order
to appear fashionable. He is usually conceited, obstinate, puffed up
with pride, a great talker, always shallow and fickle, skipping from one
subject to another without even thoroughly examining a single one. At
one moment he is a Deist, at another a Materialist, then he is a
Sceptic, and again an Atheist; always changing his views, but always a
slave of his passions, always an enemy of Christ.

The man without religion is a slave of the most shameful passions. He
tries to prove to the world that man is a brute, in order that he might
have the gratification of leading the life of a brute. I ask you, what
virtue can that man have who believes that whatever he desires is
lawful, who designates the most shameful crimes by the refined name of
innocent pleasures? What virtue can that man have who knows no other law
than his passions; who believes that God regards with equal eye truth
and falsehood, vice and virtue? He may indeed practise some natural
virtues, but these virtues are in general only _exterior_. They are
practised merely out of human respect; they do not come from the heart.
Now the seat of true virtue is in the heart, and not in the exterior. He
that acts merely to please man and not to please God, has no real

The man without religion often praises all religions; he is a true
knave. He says: "If I were to choose my religion, I would become a
Catholic, for it is the most reasonable of all religions." But in his
heart he despises all religion. He is a man who scrapes together all the
wicked and absurd calumnies he can find against the Church. He falsely
accuses her of teaching monstrous doctrines which she has always
abhorred and condemned, and he displays his ingenuity by combating those
monstrous doctrines which he himself has invented, or copied from
authors as dishonest as himself. The infidel is a monster without faith,
without law, without religion, without God.

There are many who call themselves "free-thinkers," many who reject all
revealed religion, merely out of silly puerile vanity. They affect
singularity in order to attract notice, in order to make people believe
that they are strong-minded, that they are independent. Poor deluded
slaves of human respect! They affect singularity in order to attract
notice, and they forget that there is another class of people in the
world also noted for singularity. In fact they are so singular that they
have to be shut up for safe keeping in a mad-house.

What is the difference between an infidel and a madman? The only
difference is, that the madness of the infidel is wilful, while the
madness of the poor lunatic is entirely involuntary. The one arouses our
compassion, while the other excites our contempt and just indignation.

Finally, the man without religion says: "There is no God." He says so
"_in his heart_", says Holy Writ; he says not so in his head, because he
knows better. Let him be in imminent danger of death, or of a
considerable loss of fortune, and you will see how quick, on such
occasions, he lays aside the mask of infidelity; he makes his profession
of faith in an Almighty God; he cries out: "Lord save me, I am
perishing! Lord have mercy on me!" and the like.

There is still another proof to show that the infidel does not believe
what he says: why is it that he makes his impious doctrines the subject
of conversation on every occasion? It is, of course, first to
communicate his devilish principles to others, and make them as bad as
he himself is; but this is not the only reason. The good Catholic seldom
speaks of his religion; he feels assured, by the grace of God, that his
religion is the only true one, and that he will be saved if he lives up
to his religion. This, however, is not the case with the infidel. He is
constantly tormented in his soul. "There is no peace, no happiness for
the impious," says Holy Scripture.--(Isa. xlviii. 22.) He tries to quiet
the fears of his soul, the remorse of his conscience. So he communicates
to others, on every occasion, his perverse principles, hoping that he
may meet with some of his fellow-men who may approve of his impious
views, and that thus he may find some relief for his interior torments.
He resembles a timid night-traveller. A timid man, who is obliged to
travel during a dark night, begins to sing and to cry in order to keep
away too great fear. The infidel is a sort of night-traveller; he
certainly travels in the horrible darkness of his impiety. His interior
conviction tells him that there is a God, who will certainly punish him
in the most frightful manner. This fills him with great fear, and makes
him extremely unhappy every moment of his life. He cannot bear the sight
of a Catholic church, of a Catholic procession, of an image of our Lord,
of a picture of a saint, of a prayer-book, of a good Catholic, of a
priest; in a word, he cannot bear anything that reminds him of God, of
religion, of his guilt, and of his impiety. So he cries, on every
occasion, against faith in God, in all that God has revealed and
proposes to us for our belief by the Holy Church. What is the object of
his impious cries? It is to deafen, to keep down in some measure, the
clamors of his bad conscience. Our hand will involuntarily touch that
part of the body where we feel pain. So, in like manner, the tongue of
the infidel touches, on all occasions, involuntarily as it were, upon
all those truths of our holy religion which inspire him with fear of the
judgments of Almighty God. He feels but too keenly that he cannot do
away with God and His sacred religion, by denying His existence.

I have given you the true portrait--the true likeness--of the man
without religion. Were you given to see a devil and the soul of an
infidel at the same time, you would find the sight of the devil more
bearable than that of the infidel. For St. James the Apostle tells us,
that "the devil believes and trembles."--(Chap. ii. 19.) Now the Public
School system was invented and introduced into this country to turn the
rising generations into men of the above description.

_Spread of Infidelity through Bad Education in America; or, The Object
of the Public School System._

Mr. O. A. Brownson, in his book "The Convert," Chaps. VII. and VIII.,
gives us the following information on the origin of the Public Schools
in this country:

     "Frances Wright was born in Scotland, and inherited a
     considerable property. She had been highly educated, and was a
     woman of rare original powers, and extensive and varied
     information. She was brought up in the utilitarian principles
     of Jeremy Bentham. She visited this country in 1824. Returning
     to England in 1825, she wrote a book in a strain of almost
     unbounded eulogy of the American people and their institutions.
     She saw only one stain upon the American character, one thing
     in the condition of the American people to censure or to
     deplore--that was negro-slavery.

     "When, in the next year, Mr. Owen came, with his friends, to
     commence his experiment of creating a new moral world at New
     Harmony, Frances Wright came with him, not as a full believer
     in his crotchets, but to try an experiment, devised with
     Jefferson, Lafayette, and others, for the emancipation of the

     "Fanny Wright, however, failed in her negro experiment. She
     soon discovered that the American people were not, as yet,
     prepared to engage in earnest for the abolition of slavery. On
     more mature reflection she came to the conclusion that slavery
     must be abolished only as the result of a general emancipation,
     and a radical reform of the American people themselves.

     "The first step to be taken for this purpose was to rouse the
     American mind to a sense of its rights and dignity, to
     emancipate it from superstition, from its subjection to the
     clergy, and its fear of unseen powers, to withdraw it from the
     contemplation of the stars or an imaginary heaven after death,
     and fix it on the great and glorious work of promoting _man's
     earthly well-being_.

     "The second step was, by political action, to get adopted, at
     the earliest practical moment, a system of State schools, in
     which all the children from two years old and upward should be
     fed, clothed, in a word, maintained, instructed, and educated
     at the public expense.

     "In furtherance of the first object, Fanny prepared a course of
     Lectures on _Knowledge_, which she delivered in the principal
     cities of the Union. She thought that she possessed advantages
     in the fact that she was a woman; for there would, for that
     reason, be a greater curiosity to hear her, and she would be
     permitted to speak with greater boldness and directness against
     the clergy and superstition than would be one of the other sex.

     "The great measure, however, on which Fanny and her friends
     relied for ultimate success, was the system of public schools.
     These schools were intended to deprive, as well as to relieve,
     parents of all care and responsibility of their children after
     a year or two years of age. It was assumed that parents were,
     in general, incompetent to train up their children, provide
     proper establishments, teachers and governors for them, till
     they should reach the age of majority.

     "The _aim_ was, on the one hand, to relieve marriage of its
     burdens, and to remove the principal reasons for making it
     _indissoluble_; and, on the other hand, to provide for bringing
     up all children, in a rational manner, to be reasonable men and
     women, that is, _free from superstition, free from all belief
     in God and immortality_, free from all regard for the
     invisible, and make them look _upon this life_ as _their only
     life_, this earth as their only home, and _the promotion of
     their earthly interests and enjoyments as their only end_. The
     three great enemies to earthly happiness were held to be
     religion, marriage, or family and private property. Once get
     rid of these three institutions, and we may hope soon to
     realize our earthly paradise. For religion is to be substituted
     science, that is, science of the world, of the five senses
     only; for private property, a community of goods; and for
     private families, a community of wives.

     "Fanny Wright and her school saw clearly that their principles
     could not be carried into practice in the present state of
     society. So they proposed them to be adopted only by a future
     generation, trained and prepared in a system of schools founded
     and sustained by the Public. They placed their dependence on
     education in a system of _Public Schools_, managed after a plan
     of William Phiquepal, a Frenchman, and subsequently the husband
     of Fanny Wright.

     "In order to get their system of schools adopted, they proposed
     to organize the whole Union, secretly, very much on the plan of
     the Carbonari of Europe. The members of this secret society
     were to avail themselves of all the means in their power, each
     in his own locality, to form public opinion in favor of
     education by the State at the public expense, and to get such
     men elected to the Legislatures as would be likely to favor
     their purposes. This secret organization commenced in the State
     of New York, and was to extend over the whole Union. Mr. O. A.
     Brownson was one of the agents for organizing the State of New
     York. He, however, became tired of the work, and abandoned it
     after a few months."

       *       *       *       *       *

     "The attention of so-called philanthropic men in all parts of
     the country, was directed to the subject. In 1817, and the
     following years, commenced what has been improperly termed a
     revival of education. To form public opinion in favor of Public
     Schools, the following means were employed: Public School
     societies and organizations were established in New York,
     Philadelphia, Boston, Portland, Lancaster, Pittsburgh,
     Worcester, Hartford, Lowell, Providence, Cincinnati, etc.;
     Thomas H. Gallaudet, James G. Carter, and Walter R. Johnson,
     made great efforts through the press; there were established
     the 'American Journal of Education,' in January, 1826, and the
     'American Annals of Education.' Conventions were held
     throughout New England from 1826 to 1830, in behalf of Public
     Schools; lectures were delivered in every precinct in the
     States, on the subject of education; there were also
     established local school periodicals, as well as others of a
     more general character, to contribute towards forming public
     opinion in favor of Public Schools, in every corner of the
     country. All these means, and the zealous and unwearied efforts
     of Horace Mann, Henry Barnard, and others, have contributed
     towards the success in establishing the Public Schools in our
     country."--_American Encyclopædia_.

This is a brief history of the Public Schools. It tells, in clear terms,
all that they are, and all that they are to bring about, namely: a
generation without belief in God and immortality, free from all regard
for the invisible--a generation that looks upon this life as their only
life, this earth as their only home, and the promotion of their earthly
interests and enjoyments as their only end--a generation that looks
upon religion, marriage, or family and private property as the greatest
enemies to worldly happiness--a generation that substitutes science of
this world for religion, a community of goods for private property, a
community of wives for private family; in other words, a generation that
substitutes the devil for God, hell for heaven, sin and vice for virtue
and holiness of life.

We may, then, confidently assert that the defenders and upholders of
_Public Schools without religion_ seek in America, as well as in Europe,
to turn the people into refined Pagans. They recently betrayed
themselves. They wish, as Dr. Wehrenphennig and Dr. Wirgow openly said,
for an equalization of religious contradictories, a religion and an
education which stands above creeds, and knows nothing about dogmas; in
other words, they wish for a religion of which a certain poet says: "My
religion is to have no religion." The object, then, of these godless,
irreligious _Public Schools_ is to spread among the people the worst of
religions, the _no religion_, the religion which pleases most hardened
adulterers and criminals--the religion of irrational animals. How far
this diabolical scheme has succeeded is well known, for there are at
present from twenty to twenty-five millions of people in the United
States who profess no distinct religious belief. Everywhere the same
effects have been observed. Licentiousness, cruelty, and
vice--"Positivism," or the substitution of the harlotry of the passions
for the calm and elevating influences of reason and religion. How can it
be otherwise?


[A] Jean Macé.

[B] "_La Solidarite." _(Le Monde Maconnique, October, 5866 [1866], p.

[C] "_La Solidarite." _(Le Monde Maconnique, February, 5867 [1867].)

[D] Vive le Materialisme.

[E] Le Monde Maconnique, June, 1866.



It is a fundamental principle of Christianity, admitted even by
Protestants, that man cannot reach his destiny without a knowledge of
the religion which Jesus Christ taught, and which He sealed with His
precious Blood. Now this fundamental principle is virtually ignored in
our present school system, which proposes to educate without religion.
The whole course of instruction is imparted without any reference to
religion, without any of those occasional observations that are so
necessary in our days, and especially in this country, in order to
explain the seeming inconsistencies between scientific facts and the
doctrines of faith. Instruction, to be useful, must show that the
discoveries of science are, as is really the case, evidences of
religion. It must show the harmony that exists between history and
philosophy and the truths of faith. Secular knowledge should be the
handmaid of religion; but no religion, no knowledge of God, is permitted
to be taught in these schools.

Let a stranger, say an educated Pagan, enter one of our public schools;
will he discover sign, symbol or token of any kind to indicate that
either the teacher or children are Christians? Or suppose this Pagan, or
a Turk, or Atheist sends children there to be educated, they can do so
with perfect safety to their Pagan, Mohammedan, or infidel superstitions
or opinions. They will not, through the whole course of instruction,
hear a prayer, a lecture, or a single advice, lesson, or precept of the
Church; they will, as far as the State plan of teaching extends, remain
ignorant of the "holy name of God," or the Blessed Trinity, or the
Lord's Prayer, or the Ten Commandments, or the Gospels, or the death and
sufferings of our Lord, or the resurrection of the body, or a future
state of reward and punishment. _No prayer_ is offered up or even
permitted to be taught to those little ones whom our Lord loves so
tenderly. The teacher is not even permitted by law to explain what is
meant by the term "our Saviour," "our Redeemer"!

Should a child ask, in a reading-lesson, what "our Lord and Saviour"
meant, the teacher must tell him: "Hush! if you want to know that you
must ask somebody out of school! We don't teach anything about religion
here! We have no Lord, or God, or Saviour here!"

In reference to this manner of educating the youth of America, the
Protestant Bishop of Tennessee said some time ago:

     "The secular system took no notice of God or of Christ, or of
     the Church of the Living God, or, except in the most incidental
     way, of God's Holy Word. The intellect was stimulated to the
     highest degree, but the heart and the affections were left
     uncultivated. It was a system which trained for the business of
     life, not for the duties of life. As there were differences of
     opinion about Christianity, it was not allowed to be spoken of,
     and a knowledge of it was not one of the qualifications for a
     teacher. A man might be a Mohammedan or a Hindoo if he were
     only a proficient in geography, arithmetic, or the exact
     sciences. The teachers in the normal schools might be infidels
     provided they did not openly inculcate their scepticism; and,
     in point of fact, in the schools which were designed to train
     teachers only, a vast majority were not Christians."

The school-books must be made unchristian lest they give offence to the
countless sects of Protestantism. Voltaire, Paine, or Renan may be read
in the Public Schools, but nothing of God.

If our Public Schools differ in any degree from the ancient heathen, it
is to our greater shame and confusion, and to their advantage. They
taught piety to "_their gods_;" we ignore the _true God altogether_, and
bring the false gods of the heathens down to earth to be made the slaves
and instruments of our sensual gratifications. Thus the mind of the
child is, and remains, a religious void; at least, there is but a
religious mist in his intellect. The child even unlearns, in the society
of the school, whatever principles of religion he may have learned from
his parents.

The present common school system of education necessarily begets
contempt of religion. Men trained under such a system learn to look upon
religion as a dress which is to be worn only on Sunday, and to be laid
aside during the rest of the week; they look upon religion as something
which may do very well in the church, or in the meeting-house, but which
is entirely out of place in business, in society, and in the daily
transactions of life. The child has logic enough to think that he is
taught whatever is necessary for his future career, and that religion
must not be necessary, otherwise it would be taught in school.

And what will the child learn, in this Pagan system of education, to
press down his rising passions? What precept of positive virtue does he
learn? What principle of self-restraint? What does he learn in such a
school to make him obedient, honest, chaste, a good citizen, a good
Christian? The common school system proceeds on the principle of
suffering the passions of youth to take any development which fallen
nature may bring about, and then trusting to a riper age for a change
for the better, just as if it were possible "to gather grapes of briars,
or figs of thorns."

In these Public Schools the whole education of children is directed to
the cultivation of their heads or intellectual faculties alone. The
heart, with all its moral and mysterious emotions, is entirely
neglected. Every mental power and acquirement is intended and directed
to promote their prosperity, success, and happiness in this life; at
least this is what is sought and promised as the reward of study and
application. They are constantly presented with the bright side of the
world. Scientific knowledge, they are taught, will do away with the old
drudgery of labor, and bring the acquirement of wealth and honor within
the reach of all, no matter how poor or humble the condition of their
fathers or mothers. They have all, no doubt, read the Declaration of
Independence, and learned that all men are created free and equal. They
have shared the equal bounty of the State in the way of education, and
have, in the language of the day, "an equal right on the world for a

I ask if this is not a pretty fair and not overdrawn statement of the
case? You will bear in mind that all this time the free-and-easy social
intercourse of the sexes is going on; that while their studies and
exercises are strictly confined to dry, secular knowledge, or such other
pursuits as might excite their vanity, pride, or imagination, not one
line or lesson, caution or command, as stated before, is used or
administered to curb or control the natural, I might say inevitable, cry
of the youthful passions clamoring for their gratification.



Let us now suppose the young men educated under the present Public
School system fairly launched into the world, and, for the first time,
thrown on their own resources. They are all well, indeed
_over-educated._ The greater part of their families are necessarily in
poor or moderate circumstances. Will their learned and accomplished sons
take the humble and laborious trades or occupations of their fathers? I
fear not. We should not expect more from human nature than there is in
it. All these fine young public school graduates cannot get nice
situations as clerks, professors, editors, teachers, etc., etc., and the
professions are all full to overflowing.

You must remember that, as I have said, not one of the boys have ever
been taught the first principle, prayer, or moral duty. They are, as far
as the Public School-training went, perfectly ignorant of the Divine law
as rule of our life; they are, in fact, but educated apes or animals.
How can this young man reconcile "poverty and wealth," "labor and ease,"
"sickness and health," "adversity and prosperity," "rich and poor,"
"obedience and authority," "liberty and law," etc., etc. All these are
enigmas to him, or, if he affects to understand them at all, he thinks
they arise from bad management or bad government, and can and ought to
be remedied by repression or sumptuary legislation. He will be a tyrant
or slave, a glutton or miser, a fanatic or libertine, a sneak-thief or
highway robber, as circumstances may influence him. Think you that the
common "fall back" on principle of self-interest--well or ill
understood--will ever restrain such a one from doing any act of impulse
or indulgence, provided he thinks it can be safely done? He will look on
life as a game of address or force, in which the best man is he who
carries off the prize.

He will look upon power as belonging of right to the strongest; the
weak, or those who differ from him in opinion, he will treat with
contempt and cruelty, and will think they have no rights he is bound to
respect. In power, such a man will be arbitrary and cruel; out of power,
he will be faithless, hypocritical and subservient. Trust him with
authority, he will abuse it; trust him with money, he will steal it;
trust him with your confidence, and he will betray it. Such a man--Pagan
and unprincipled as he is--may nevertheless affect, when it suits his
purpose, great religious zeal and purity. He will talk of
"_Philanthropy_" and the "_Humanities_," have great compassion, perhaps,
for "a dray-horse," and give the cold shoulder to the houseless pauper
or orphan.

The heart of such a man is cold, insincere, destitute of every tender
chord for a tender vibration, of every particle of right or just feeling
or principle that can be touched; on the contrary, it is roused to rage,
revenge and falsehood if interfered with. How is such a heart to be
touched or moved, or placed under such influences as could move it?
Indeed, it would require a miracle! Nay, even a miracle would fail to
make a salutary impression upon such a heart. A French infidel declared
that, should he be told that the most remarkable miracle was occurring
close by his house, he would not take a step out of his way to see it.
Pride never surrenders; it prefers rather to take an illogical position
than to bow even to the authority of reason. Furious, beside itself, and
absurd, it revolts against evidence. To all reasoning, to undeniable
evidence, the infidel--the man without religion--opposes his own will:
"Such is my determination." It is sweet to him to be stronger,
single-handed, than common sense, stronger than miracles, than even the
God who manifests Himself by them.

Such a man is always in favor of _strong government_, provided he can
get to run it. He will talk loudly of loyalty and the "_life of the
nation_." He worships the _State_, because, to his gross animal
understanding, it represents _power_, and makes money his God, because
it gives him this power. Such a man may be called civilized, but he is
only an _accomplished barbarian_. His head and hands are instructed, his
heart, and low passions and appetites, unbridled and untamed. Such a man
can never be made to understand the beautiful and benign principles of
our republican form of government. Like all brutes, he relies on force,
and tries and judges every issue by success. What he calls "_the final
arbitrament of arms_" is to such a one a righteous decision, provided
always it be in his favor. He may affect the demagogue, and talk loudly
about the power of the people, but you will observe that this refers to
them _en masse_, in the whole or concrete. He cannot understand the
individual man as entitled to any consideration or rights (unless he
happened to be made rich) independently of the State. Indeed, he looks
upon poor men as made for the State, and it can be only on this ground
that he claims the children as its property--"children of the State"!!
He insists on educating them by the _State_, and for the State, and not
for the comfort and support of their fathers and mothers, nor that they
should thereby fulfil the immortal destiny for which they were created.
He holds the life, the dignity, the comfort or happiness of the family
or individual as nought in the balance against "_the life, the power,
the wealth and glory of the nation_." "_Perish the People_--live the
State"; this is his motto, and such have ever been the principles and
motto of all Pagans from the beginning.



What I have said in the preceding chapter is but a faint picture of the
bad effects of what is called _polite education_, as given in the Public
Schools, on the male portion of society. It is with some reluctance that
I am now going to trace the same evil influence in its still more
injurious consequences on the female portion. It is very difficult to
treat this part of the subject with the necessary freedom, not only on
account of its intrinsic delicacy, but also because of that false (and
indeed to themselves injurious) idea that there is nothing wanting to
the absolute perfection of our women.

Let it not be said, that in calling public attention to these evil
consequences on the female portion of the community, we are
overstepping the boundaries of propriety or decency. There is a license
for the poet; a license for the stage; a license for the bar; a license
for the writer of fiction; a license for the press, and why should there
not be a license for a Christian writer? It is high time for _true_
modesty to take the place of that _false modesty_ which has driven
virtue, like an exile, out of the land, and peopled it largely with
Fourrierites, Owenites, and other socialists and free-lovers.

Now, whatever success a "godless system of education" may have on boys,
I think all must admit that it must prove not only a failure, but a
positive injury, to girls. It is not that moral and religious education
is not equally required by both, in a spiritual sense, but that women,
in an especial manner, have certain duties assigned them, in the Order
of Providence, of so high and holy a character, that it requires, in
some sense, a special education to fit them for the faithful discharge
of these duties.

Let us remember that the Public School-girls of to-day will be the
mothers of to-morrow. Mothers are called by God to take particular care
of the bodily and spiritual life of their children. This care is a
heavy, a very heavy burden indeed, and mothers cannot carry this burden
without a tender love for their children. Now God has made the love of
mothers for their children a necessary love. It is for this reason that
there is no command in the Divine Law for parents to love their
children, whilst, on the contrary, children are commanded to love their
parents. Love towards one's own offspring is a love so deeply planted in
the heart by Nature herself, that the wild beasts never fail to love
their young. It is said that even tigers, hearing the cry of their
whelps when they are taken by the hunters, will plunge into the sea to
swim after the vessels where they are confined.

A mother's love is proverbial. Indeed, there is no love so pure and so
thoroughly disinterested as the love of a good mother for her child. Her
love knows no change; brothers and sisters have forgotten each other;
fathers have proved unforgiving to their children; husbands have been
false to their wives, and wives to their husbands, and children too
often forget their parents; but you rarely hear of a mother forgetting
even her ungrateful, disobedient children, whose actions have lacerated
her heart, and caused dark shadows to glide before her eyes, and enter
her very soul. Still there are moments when her faithful heart yearns
towards them; there are moments when the reminiscences of the happy
_past_ obliterate the _present_ sorrow, and the poor wounded spirit is
cheered for a while, because there is still one of the fibres of the
root of hope left in her forlorn breast, and a languid smile will flit
over her wan and prematurely faded face. Yes, she forgives, though there
is no River Lethe for her to drink from in this life; showing that her
love is the most pure in this world, and the nearest approach to the
love that God has so graciously bestowed upon her.

Some years ago a vessel sailed from the coast of Ireland. It was filled
with passengers who were coming to this country to better their future.
The vessel set sail with a favorable wind. The sky was clear, and the
sun shone gayly upon the sparkling sea. But suddenly the heavens grew
dark. A fierce storm arose. The winds howled madly around the vessel.
The ship was hurried on--on, till it was dashed against the rocks. The
wild, surging waves dashed over it. The vessel split in twain. Part
remained hanging amid the rocks, and the rest sank, with those on board,
beneath the waves, far down into the depth of the sea. The storm
continued to rage for several days. At last, when the wind had died
away, some hardy fishermen, who lived on the coast, took a skiff and
rowed out to the wreck. They entered the part of the vessel that
remained hanging amid the rocks. They broke open the cabin door. They
heard distinctly the feeble wail of a child. They rushed in. They found
a little babe lying upon the breast of its dead mother. The child was
eagerly sucking the blood which oozed from a large wound in its mother's
breast. The mother had died of cold and hunger; but, even amid her
fearful sufferings, she did not forget her child. She took a sharp
knife, and, with the wonderful love of a mother's heart, she made a deep
gash in her breast, in order that her child might preserve its life by
drinking her own heart's blood!

And when the darling child of the Christian mother is on the point of
death, ah! how tender is not her prayer to the Author of Life that He
spare the child.

"Oh, God of mercy," she prays, "spare my child! Heaven is already full
of light and gladness. Do not then take to heaven the light and joy of
my heart. Thou art ever happy, O my God! do not then deprive me of my
only happiness. God of compassion, O leave me the sweet babe whom Thou
hast given me! my love, and all my happiness, is centred in him. Since
he has come to me, the earth, and sea, and sky, the whole world around
has grown doubly beautiful. The air seems filled with light, and song,
and sweetness. Ah, do not take my child away, for when his tender body
lies beneath the sod, my heart and life shall lie there with it, and
this whole world shall grow dark and dreary as one vast gloomy
graveyard. O God! remember I am yet so young. I am not used to tears.
Deal gently with my poor weak heart! I have never yet known what it is
to lose a friend, a relative, or beloved one. O God! shall, then, the
first that teaches me the dread meaning of grave and shroud be my own,
my first-born child? O Jesus, I conjure Thee, by Thy wounded
Heart--wounded for love of me--do not crush my tender heart, for Thou
hast made it tender. Thou hast made me a mother; oh, spare my darling

Ah! who can measure the depth of the wonderful love of a mother's heart!
But this natural love of a mother for her offspring, in order to be
persevering and untiring, must be cultivated--must be ennobled and
supernaturalized by religious education; otherwise this love will
decrease, and be lost in the end, and with the loss of this love the
Christian woman has lost her divine calling. Now as no religious
education is imparted to the girls in the Public Schools, can we wonder
to see thousands and thousands of them who have lost their divine
calling--can we wonder that we hear of a countless number of unnatural
crimes, committed under the veil of marriage, that are becoming so
common at the present day? Dr. Storer, of Massachusetts, declares that
increase of children in Massachusetts is limited almost wholly to the
foreign population. Mr. Warren Johnson, State Superintendent of Common
Schools in Maine, reports to the Legislature a decrease of 16,683,
between the ages of four and twenty-one years, from the census of 1858.
Total decrease from maximum of 1860 is nearly 20,000. Mr. Johnson asks:
"Are the modern fashionable criminalities of infanticide creeping into
our State community?" Dr. H. R. Storer, of Massachusetts, in 1859,
declared that forced abortions in America were of frequent occurrence,
and that this frequency was increasing so, that from 1 in 1,633 of the
population in 1805, it had risen to 1 in 340 in 1849; and Dr. Kyle, of
Xenia, Ohio, asserted that abortions occurred most frequently among
those who are known as the better class; among church members, and those
generally who pretend to be the most polite, virtuous, moral and
religious. And, without mincing matters at all, this eminent physician
boldly declares that "a venal press, a demoralized clergy, and the
prevalence of medical charlatanism, are the principal causes of the
fearful increase of this abominable crime." The paucity of children in
the families of wealthy and well-to-do Americans has been publicly
noticed and commented upon time and again; but the true cause thereof,
if known, was carefully concealed. And can we wonder that the crime has
descended from the highest to the lowest, and now pervades all classes
of society? Statistics have been frequently published to show that in
certain States of the Union, and in certain districts of those States,
the births did not, and do not, equal the deaths; and were it not for
the foreign population among us many of those districts, and not a few
of those States, would be depopulated in a few years. Massachusetts and
New York lead the van in this criminal record. Dr. T. A. Reamy, of
Zanesville, Ohio, in 1867, wrote, that after a careful survey of the
field he was ready to say that "to-day no sin approaches with such
stealth and dangerous power the altars of the Church as foeticide;
and, unless it can be stayed, not only will it work its legitimate moral
depravity and social ruin, but (he believed) God will visit dreadful
judgment upon us no less severe, perhaps, than He did upon the Cities of
the Plain."

In 1865, Dr. Morse Stewart, of Detroit, Michigan, declared that few of
either sex entered the marital relation without full information as to
the ways and means of destroying the legitimate results of matrimony.
And among married persons so extensive has this practice become, that
people of high repute not only commit this crime, but do not even blush
to speak boastingly among their intimates of the deed, and the means of
accomplishing it.

Dr. Nathan Allen, of Lowell, Mass., at a meeting of the Social Science
Association, Boston, entitled "Wanted--More Mothers," remarked "that the
increase of population for twenty-five years has been mainly in cities
and towns, and it will be found to be largely made up of foreign
element; and in the smaller villages, chiefly American, the stock has
hardly increased at all.

"We find there are absolutely more deaths than births among the strictly
American children; so that, aside from immigration, and births of
children of foreign parentage, the population of Massachusetts is really

"Another fact developed by report is, that whereas, in 1765, nearly
one-half of the population of Massachusetts was under fifteen years of
age, it is believed that, at the _present_ time, _not_ more than
_one-fifth_ of the purely American population is under that age. In an
equal number of American and foreign families, the births will be nearly
three times as many in the latter as in the former. In some of the old
towns, the records of a hundred years do not show a single instance of
a married couple without children. The New York census of 1865 shows
that, out of nine hundred and ninety-three thousand two hundred and
thirty-six married women, one hundred and thirty-seven thousand seven
hundred and forty-five had no children, and three hundred and
thirty-three thousand only had one or two.

"In the small town of Billerica, there are ninety families with ten or
more children; five of these had fourteen, and one twenty-one: the total
in the ninety families is ten hundred and ninety-three. The birth-rates
show that American families _do not_ increase at _all_, and the
inspection of the registration in other States shows that the same
remark applies to all."

Many parts of Vermont are undergoing a gradual depopulation. Sandgate
had a population of 1,187 in 1810, and 805 in 1860.

The town of Rupert had a population of 1,848 in 1800, which had
diminished to 1,103 in 1860.

The town of Arlington was settled in the year 1762. In the year 1800 all
the arable and pasturage land was occupied, and the inhabitants
numbered 1,569. In 1830 the number had decreased to 1,207, and in 1860
to 1,146.

Mrs. A. B. Boone says, in her book "The Increase of Crime," "I have
frequently heard women say 'I don't mind having one or two children, but
no more for me.' When I first heard these expressions I thought it
merely a joke, but eventually I found out they _meant_ what they said,
and I was amazed. And when these women do condescend to have one or two
children, what sort of a lifelong inheritance are they giving their
offspring? ill-health even unto death. Frequently I come in contact with
women of thirty, and even twenty-five, so debilitated that they are far
more fit for hospitals than to fill the sacred office of either wife or

"I am sorry to add that the crime of _child-murder_ is carried on to the
greatest extent among the wealthy. In Cambridgeport, a medical lady
informed me that she was continually applied to for this purpose, and
always refused in the most decided manner; but, to her knowledge, one
woman performed, on an average, from a hundred to a hundred and fifty
cases in a week. And yet churches abound in this place.

"The Rev. Dr. Todd has written two most truthful lectures, one entitled
'Fashionable Murders,' and the other 'A Cloud with a Dark Lining.' His
revelations with regard to the determination that the Americans evince
not to have children, is fearfully true, more especially among the

"Speaking of having children, reminds me of a circumstance that happened
some fifteen years ago. I had a letter of introduction to a lady who
wished to engage my children to read at a party she was about to give.
She received me with an air of melancholy politeness, at the same time
informing me that the gathering was postponed, as dear little Fanny was
'real sick.' I saw a wine-glass and teaspoon on the table by the side of
the sofa, which had a small blanket on it bound with sky-blue ribbon,
covering up something that I supposed to be a sick child. I approached,
and gently drew aside the blanket. I jumped back--it was a poodle-dog,
whose black eyes winked at me as if about to cry: a sort of appeal for
sympathy shone in its glowing orbs. I was almost convulsed with
laughter, it was so unexpected. When able to speak, I said, 'Pardon me,
madam, for laughing; but I thought it was a baby.' She replied
indignantly, 'Oh, dear, no! I never had a baby; nor I don't want one
either!' And it would be a blessing, I say, if such women as these
_never_ became mothers. When I was a young girl, and heard people say
they hated children, and saw them fondling dogs, and feeding kittens
with a spoon because the _old cat_ was too weak to attend to so many,
and knew, at the same time, that poor _human mothers_ were compelled
(just as _slaves once_ were) to separate from their husbands and
children when _poverty_ demanded that they should go into the '_Union_,'
or, rather, _Dis_union--I say, when I pondered on these things, thoughts
would flit through my mind, whether, when death severed the body from
the _souls_ of these people, that their spirits were not instantly
infused into cats and dogs, and that they came back in those shapes as a
penance for their _brutality_ to mankind, and their _loving-kindness_ to
_brutes_. However, we never went to the party. The woman remarked to a
friend that she thought me devoid of all feeling, to laugh at a little,
sick, _innocent_ dog!

"Three doors from the rooms I lived in is the stylish house of Dr. and
Mrs. Grindle, where there are hundreds of 'fashionable murders'
committed yearly. And twice the papers have teemed with accounts of the
unhappy mothers dying, and on the last occasion the child was not to be
found, although born alive--and nothing done to either the doctor or his

A gentleman of one of the smaller towns of Connecticut writes to the
_Independent_ as follows: "I have just read, with great interest, your
editorial on the 'Murder of Helplessness.' The paper will go into
hundreds of families where the crime is practised, to bear witness
against it; for, thank God, it is fashionable to take the _Independent_.
For more than a year it has been on my mind to write to you upon this
question. You will have the thanks of every well-wisher of the human
race. But you make a great mistake when you speak of the crime of
foeticide as being confined to the large cities. It prevails all over
the country. I dare not tell you what I know--and the information has
been given me unsolicited--in reference to this horrid practice in the
land. I do not believe there is a village in the New England States but
this crime is practised more or less. There are men who make it their
business, with medicine and instruments, to carry on this slaughter. And
even M.D.'s (physicians) in good and regular standing in the church have
practised it. Men are making here, in this highly moral State, $3,000
and $4,000 a year in the small towns alone, at this business. Their
patients are from the highly religious and fashionable to the low and
vicious. Their scale of charges is according to the cupidity and size of
purse of the victims. Delicate females go, in the dead of night, dressed
in masculine attire, to avoid detection, to obtain the means to hide
their shame. The cause of the evil lies in 'lust, which is as near to
the murder as fire to smoke.' The demoralization of the people at large,
in the practice of licentiousness, furnishes a topic of the greatest
anxiety to the philanthropist. When American women lose their shame, the
race is lost--church-membership is no bar. The continence of man and the
chastity of woman is the only hope."

Trustworthy physicians assure us there are not less than sixty ghouls
(gules) in New York City, who grow rich by killing infants. We have
seen the number stated at six times sixty. Those who have passed
through Fifth Avenue, New York, must have noticed a magnificent
dwelling, or rather palace, in the neighborhood of the Central Park. It
was built by a certain doctress who has acquired her wealth by the
murder of helpless innocents.

The unhappy victims of these ghouls are not generally of the low and
debased sort. Most of these illegitimate mothers are of the educated
classes, many of them, shocking to say, under the age of fifteen; many
of them delicate, sensitive females, who make use of these unhallowed
means to hide their shame from the eyes of their friends and relatives.

The number of marriages (outside the Catholic Church) has largely
decreased within the past few years. The crime of infanticide is largely
increasing. A certain species of it is practised in the first families,
and the drugs and implements for committing such murders are publicly
sold everywhere. Physicians advertise publicly, offering their services
to enable people, as they say, "to enjoy the pleasures of marriage
without the burden." At least 25,000 foeticides are annually
committed. How to preserve their looks, and how to avoid having
children, seem to be the chief aim of many women nowadays. In the upper
classes of society, in some of our large cities, a lady who is the
mother of more than two children is looked upon as unfashionable.

The author of the book "Satan in Society" writes, on page 130-131, as
follows: "A medical writer of some note published, in 1861, a pamphlet,
in which he declared himself the hero of three hundred abortions." He
admits, in a work of his, that he only found abortion necessary to save
the life of the mother in four instances, thus publicly confessing that
in an immense number of cases he has performed the operation on other
grounds; and yet, in the face of all this self-accusation, several
attempts at his expulsion from his county medical society have been
defeated, and he is accounted "a brother in good standing" of several
learned bodies, and holds an enviable position in a fashionable church
and fashionable society. This rascal walks unhung; for this the "Medical
Code" is primarily responsible, and after that the "ministers of the
Gospel," the "worshippers" in the churches, the dwellers in "south

I have said above that the love of children has always been deemed a
sign of superior intelligence--of noble manhood. Affection for its
offspring is a quality possessed alike by all animals, with scarcely an
exception; and few indeed of the millions of the animal creation seek to
destroy their own offspring after birth, or to so neglect them as to
leave them liable to destruction by other bodies or forces. It was left
for human intelligences to encompass the death of their children, both
before birth and after, and it was left to the anti-Christian
civilization of this nineteenth century also to discover and adopt the
most revolting and barbarous means to accomplish this end. The crime of
foeticide, or infanticide, is not of recent growth. Like every other
crime, it has had a venerable existence, but its beastly development
among us has been mainly the work of a few years. Thirteen years ago its
prevalence attracted the attention of medical jurists in all parts of
our country, and essays, tracts, and bound volumes were issued against
it. But the crime grew apace, and its deadly and dastardly fruits appear
before us to-day, sickening to the moral conscience and religious
sentiments of the nation.

And in view of the alarming increase of this crime of child-murder, the
prediction of Dr. M. B. Wright to the Medical Society of Ohio, in 1860,
will soon be fulfilled, namely: "The time is not far distant when
children will be sacrificed among us with as little hesitation as among
the Hindoos, unless we stop it here and now."

The frightful increase of immorality, of unnatural crimes, in these
latter years, and especially in those very States where the common
school system of education is fully carried out, as in New England,
proves, beyond doubt, that there is something essentially wrong in this
system. Some years ago the public were startled by the shocking
developments of depravity in one of the female Public Schools of Boston;
so shocking, indeed, as almost to stagger belief. The Boston _Times_
published the whole occurrence at the time, but after creating great
excitement for a few weeks, the matter was quietly hushed up, for fear
of injuring the character of the common schools.

Only a few years ago other startling transactions came to light in New
York, involving the character of some of the leading school
commissioners, and some of the principal female teachers in the common
schools. These scandals became so notorious, that they could be no
longer blinked at or smothered, and several of the leading papers came
out openly, to lash vice in high places. The Chicago papers assert
openly that the Public Schools there are _assignation houses_, for boys
and girls above a certain age.

"It is but six or seven years ago that Mr. Wilbur H. Storey, who owns
the _Chicago Times_--the paper, at that time, of largest circulation in
Chicago--published in his paper, and sustained the assertion, that the
Public School system in Chicago had become so corrupt, that any
school-boy attending, who had reached fourteen years of age, was
whistled at by his companions as a _spooney_, if he had not a _liaison_
with some one or more of the Public School-girls!

"The Daily _Sentinel_, of Indianapolis, quoted Mr. Storey's articles,
and said, with great regret, that it was only too true of Indianapolis
also, judging by the wanton manners of troops of the girls attending
Public Schools in Indianapolis."

And there are but too many cities to which the same order of remark
applies. Far be it from me to say that _all_ the children of the Public
Schools of any of these cities are corrupted. It is marvellous how some
are protected from even the _knowledge_ of vice, in these hot-beds of
pollution. But the _system_ of schools without the control of positive
religious teaching and discipline, tends only to one vile end. We are
assured, as to the City of New York, that smart girls, even of most
immature years, show their discontent at their neglected fate, from
hearing girls only a few years older tell what "_nice_" acquaintances
they have made on the streets, or in the cars, going or coming, and what
delicious lunches they have taken with these "gentlemen" at restaurants
of most unquestionably bad repute. These things I have learned from a
friend who heard them from members of the City Police, and from others
that could not avoid the unhappy knowledge of the facts indicated.

The moral character of the Public Schools in many of our cities has sunk
so low, that even courtesans have disguised themselves as school-girls,
in order the more surely to ply their foul avocation.

Does any one wonder, then, that we hear and read of "Trunk Horrors"?
Does any one wonder that we have divorces, despair, infanticides,
foeticides, suicides, bagnios, etc., and that other class, I fear not
less numerous, but certainly more dangerous, "_the assignation houses_"?
These you cannot "police," or "localize." They, like a subtle poison,
circulate through all the veins and arteries of that society called in
fashionable phrase "genteel," penetrating the vital tissues of the
social body, and corrupting, too often, the very fountains of life.



Let us again bear in mind that the Public School-girls of to-day will be
the mothers of to-morrow. Mothers are destined, by God, to bring up
children for heaven. This is their grand mission. What a happiness, what
an honor for a mother to give angels to heaven! Would to God she only
knew the real dignity and importance of her mission, and comprehended
the qualifications in the moral and religious order that best prepare
her for the duties of her sublime calling! What mission can be more
sublime, more sacred, what mission can be more meritorious before God
than that of giving to the young child the primary lessons of religion?

There is indeed nothing more honorable, nothing more meritorious,
nothing which conducts to higher perfection, than to instruct children
in their religious duties. This instruction of children is a royal,
apostolic, angelic, and divine function. _Royal_, because the office of
a king is to protect his people from danger. _Apostolic_, because our
Lord commissioned apostles to instruct the nations, and, as St. Jerome
says, thus made them the saviours of men. _Angelic_, because the
angelical spirits in heaven enlighten, purify, and perfect each other
according to their spheres, and their earthly mission is to labor
without ceasing for the salvation of man. St. Peter Chrysologus calls
those who instruct others in the way of salvation, "the substitutes of
angels." Indeed this mission of mothers is divine; they are called to
carry on the very work of God Himself. Everything that Almighty God has
done from the creation of the world, and which He will continue to do to
the end, has been, and will be, for the salvation of mankind. For this
He sent His Son from heaven, who enlightened the world by His doctrine,
and who still continues to instruct His people by His chosen disciples.
Those mothers, then, who direct their children in the paths to heaven,
who allure them from vice, who form them to virtue, may fitly be termed
apostles, angels, and saviours. Oh! what glory awaits those mothers who
perform the office of angels, and even of God Himself, in laboring for
the salvation of the souls of their children. If this employment is
honorable for mothers, it is also not less meritorious for them. What is
the religious instruction of children, but conferring on a class of our
race, the weakest and most helpless, with inconceivable labor and
fatigue, the greatest of all blessings? For while the physical
development of the child advances with age, it is not so with the
mental; for religious instruction only can develop the noble faculties
of the soul. The soul of a child, so to speak, would continue to live
enshrouded in Pagan darkness, if the mother did not impart and infuse
the light of truth. All the gold in the world is but dross in comparison
with true religious knowledge.

Our Saviour says: "Whosoever shall give to drink to one of these little
ones, even a cup of cold water, shall not lose his reward."--(Matt. x.
42.) May we not infer that those mothers who bestow upon children the
treasures of divine knowledge will receive an exceedingly great reward?
If God denounces so severely those who scandalize little children: "But
he that shall scandalize one of these little ones, it were better for
him that a mill-stone were hanged about his neck, and he were drowned in
the depth of the sea" (Matt. xviii. 6), what recompense will mothers not
receive who instruct and sanctify them?

Mothers who give their efforts and means to this object, choose the
surest way to appease the anger of God, and to insure their own
salvation. They choose the best means of attaining a high degree of
perfection. Almighty God gives to each one the graces proper to his
vocation. Mothers, therefore, who are devoted to the religious
instruction of their children, must rest assured that God will give them
extraordinary graces to arrive at perfection. "Whoever," says our Lord,
"shall receive one such little child in My name, receiveth Me."--(Matt.
xviii. 5.) Whosoever, then, believes that our Saviour will not allow
Himself to be surpassed in liberality, must also believe that He will
bestow His choicest blessings on those mothers who instruct their
children in the knowledge of God and the love of virtue.

What obligations have not the "angels" of children "who always see the
face of the Father who is in heaven" (Matt. xviii. 10), to pray for
these mothers--their dear colleagues and charitable substitutes, who
perform their office and hold their place on earth. The children will
pray for their mothers, and God can refuse nothing to the prayers of
children, and their supplications will ascend with the prayers of the

Do you desire, O Christian mother, to be saved? Do you wish to acquire
great treasures in heaven, and to attain great perfection in this
life?--Employ yourself diligently in the religious instruction of your
children. Do you wish to gain the love of our Lord, and to deserve His
protection?--Teach your children to fear and love God; you cannot do
anything more pleasing to His Divine Heart.

It is related in the Gospel that mothers brought to Him little children,
that He might touch them. And the disciples rebuked them that brought
them. And when Jesus saw it, He was much displeased, and said to them:
"Suffer little children to come to me, and forbid them not: for of such
is the kingdom of God; and embracing them, and laying His hands on them,
He blessed them." If Jesus was displeased with those who prevented
little children from coming to Him, what love and tenderness will He not
have for those mothers by whose means they come to Him?

Oh! how consoled will they not be in their last hour, when they shall
see the souls of those whom they prepared for heaven, accompanied by
their good angels, surrounding their bed of death, forming, as it were,
a guard to protect them from the snares and assaults of the enemy!

This is a happiness which those mothers may confidently expect who labor
assiduously to give their children a good religious education. Ah! would
to God, I say once more, that mothers would understand their sublime
mission on earth!

But it is just here that the difficulty lies: how can a mother give the
child these early lessons of piety and devotion, if she has never
learned them herself? How can she train it to raise its young heart to
that Heavenly Father, and ask Him for His continued mercy and blessings,
of whose name or law she has never been informed or instructed in the
Public Schools? How can she impart to her child that knowledge which
she herself has never learned in the Public Schools, and which she has
always been taught to look upon as unnecessary? Can she teach the child
to love God and keep His commandments, to hate sin, and avoid it for the
love of God?--To love, honor, and obey its parents, not from natural
motives alone, but because, in so doing, it would love, honor, and obey
God in the person of its father and mother, and have thus not only a
great reward, and length of days here below, but also the joys of heaven
above? This lesson the poor mother was never taught in the Public
Schools. How can she teach her sweet child that it has an immortal soul,
that God sees even the inmost thoughts of the soul, that it is this soul
that sins by consenting to the evil inclinations of the heart; that when
the child is tempted to pride, gluttony, anger, disobedience, theft,
lies, or any manner of uncleanness, even in thought as well as deed,
that it must call on God and its good guardian angel to come to its
assistance, and keep its soul from consenting, and its body from doing,
any of those things that might offend its good God? All this the poor
mother has not been taught in the Public Schools. The State claims the
right to educate her, and it did not regard this kind of knowledge
necessary, else it would have provided it.

Let us again bear in mind that the Public School-girls of to-day will be
the women of to-morrow.

The most majestic kingdom for woman to reign in is home. A woman nowhere
looks more lovely, more truly great, more fascinating, and more really
beautiful and useful, than when in her own house, surrounded by her
children, giving them what instruction she is capable of, or devising
some plan of intellectual entertainment. Depend on it that this is the
grandest position in this world for a woman, and this home-audience is
nearer and sweeter to the affectionate heart of a mother whose brain is
properly developed, than all the applause and flatteries that the outer
world can bestow. It is not in the court-room, the pulpit, and rostrum,
but it is among the household congregation that woman's influence can
achieve so much, and reign paramount. This, however, is not easily
understood and practised by women who have been educated without
religion. And it is for this reason that such women cannot make
faithful wives and tender mothers.

Young ladies whose education has been devoid of moral and religious
instruction, whose imagination, always over-ardent and vivacious, has
been still more stimulated by a class of exercises, public examinations,
and studies better calculated to give them an unreal than a sober view
of life, are not prepared to fulfil their divine mission on earth. An
illustration of this truth is the fact that quite recently over six
hundred personal applications--mostly made by girls of from fifteen to
twenty--were made in one day at the Grand Opera House in New York to
fill places in the ballet and Oriental marches of the spectacle of Lalla
Rookh. Assuredly this fact is evidence that the women in New York, like
so many women in all quarters of the land, are unwilling to do the work
which properly belongs to them to do, and prefer any shift, even the
degrading one mentioned above, to honest household labor. There are
thousands of ladies to whom the following description, written by a lady
herself, may well be applied:

"How is it that there is not more nature in the present age, and less
sophistication in society, and that mothers do not teach their daughters
to fit themselves for wives and mothers? For they all seem to be setting
traps to get husbands. Why, the young ladies of the present day are
quite ashamed should they be ignorant of the name of the last new opera
and its composer, but would feel quite indignant if they were asked
whether they knew how to make good soup, or broil a beefsteak, or mend

"Above all, you can notice in the young ladies of the present day a
madness beyond description for dress, for balls, theatres,
watering-places, and all kinds of worldly amusements; you can see in
them the greatest desire to appear ladies. They go and spend the whole
day at the perfumer's, where they purchase their complexion; at the
goldsmith's and the milliner's, where they get their figures. A few days
ago, the father of one of these ladies had to pay a bill of forty-nine
hundred dollars at the milliner's, for his daughter. The chief mental
agony of the masses of the young women of the present day seems to be,
who shall have the largest possible waterfall, the smallest bonnet, and
make themselves the greatest fright. They do nothing from morning till
night but read novels, and look at their white hands, or the passers-by
in the street. They all seem to be senseless creatures, for their
capacious brain soars no higher than dress, fashion, pleasure, comfort
of life. Were it not for their vain daughters, hundreds of parents at
this moment would have a happier countenance, and not that careworn,
wretched look that we so frequently see when honest people get in debt,
incurred by living beyond their _means_. Were it not for the
extravagancy of young women, young men would not be afraid to marry,
consequently would not be led into the temptations that they are in the
single state, for marriage is one sure step towards morality, and
consequently tends to the decrease of crime.

"Very many young ladies act as catch-traps, with their painted faces and
affected sweetness, to lure young men into the swamps of iniquity.

"I frequently read comments about servants not knowing and performing
their proper duties; in fact, of their incompetency to fill the office
they apply for: _and it is true_.

"In Boston, a short time ago, one hundred and eighty unfortunate girls
were arrested in _one night_; and I doubt not that the greater portion
of them could have _once_ been respectable servants, but considered the
office and _name too low_! Men think it no disgrace to become carpenters
and masons, and it is certainly as respectable to clean a house, and
keep it in order, as it is to build it. And what kind of a name have
these girls now? What future have these women to look forward to?
Generally the world's cold, nipping scorn, combined with ill-health and
destitution. A girl would much rather work in a factory, or a 'saloon,'
because she can be called 'Miss,' dress finer, and imagine she will be
thought a _lady_! Poor girl! It is this delusion, this false pride, that
crowds the streets nightly with pretty young girls, some of whom count
only twelve short summers. With Hamlet, I exclaim, 'Oh, horrible! most
horrible!' I lived in a house in which there was a girl, Annie C., not
seventeen, and she attended in a restaurant. I once said to her, 'Why do
you not take the situation of a seamstress, or a nurse in a gentleman's
family?' She turned upon me in the most insolent way, saying, 'Me be a
servant! That will do very well for Irish, or Dutch, or English girls,
but I am an _American_, and feel myself as _good as anybody_.'

"However, this girl afterwards went as a ballet-girl at one of the
lowest places in Boston; and the last account I heard of her was, she
was travelling with an Ethiopian troop _alone_. Poor young creature!
what will be her end? The truth is, that after a girl is fifteen years
old, in this country, she considers herself a person of _sound
judgment_, and the parents look up to these sprites with a sort of
deferential fear. These girls are simply living pictures walking about
the earth, deriding everything they are incapable of understanding. And
who could be charmed with such women? with such 'Grecian Bends,' Grecian
noses? The genuine well-bred woman will shine out from beneath the
plainest garb; and shoddy vulgarity, even should it be incased in rubies
and diamonds, will only be rendered the more obvious and conspicuous to
those who at a glance can discover the difference--to those who cannot
be deceived, even by the radiant sparkling of these richest of gems."

This sort of women wish to have the "women's rights." They would like,
if they knew how, to turn the world upside down, and inside out. This
great desire among a certain class of women, to have the world think
that they possess masculine power, generally proceeds from persons who
wish to create a sensation, and fail to do so in the station they belong
to. When a woman wishes to go out of her natural element, she shows that
her intellect is shallow, and she is desirous of being thought greater
than her sex generally; while, in reality, she discovers to us her own
littleness. These people seem to wish to be what it is impossible for
them ever to become--"men."

"When God created man in his own image, He said, 'It is not good that
man should live alone: I will make him a helpmeet.' Now, had God meant
to create merely a companion capable of following the same pursuits, and
capable of the same herculean labors that evidently is meant to be man's
destiny, why, He would have made _another man_. But no! When God caused
a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, he took out one of his ribs, and made a
_woman_--a being in EVERY WAY THE COMPLEMENT OF MAN. And, after they ate
of the tree of knowledge, God said to the woman, 'Thy desire shall be to
thy husband, and he shall RULE _over thee_.' And unto Adam he said,
'Because thou hast _hearkened_ unto the voice of thy wife, and hast
eaten of the tree which I commanded thee, saying, _Thou shalt_ not eat
of it, cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it
all the days of thy life;' thus plainly demonstrating to us, that MAN
was meant to _rule_. Bear in mind that God was _angry_ because Adam
HEARKENED unto the voice of his WIFE; and Adam called his wife Eve
because she was the mother of all living. So it is clear to be seen,
that woman was meant to attend to the duties of a mother in caring for
her offspring, and man was intended to labor as the provider for her
whom he chose as a helpmeet, as well as for the entire household. Woman
has natural nourishment sent to her for the babe long before she is able
to leave her couch. Does not all this prove to every thinking person
that woman's sphere and calling are _widely different_?"

The good and perfection of women consist in remaining contentedly in the
place which God has assigned them, and in performing well the duties of
their divine calling. If the hand wishes to be in the place of the eye,
and the eye wishes to be where the hand is, they become burdensome, and
disturb the good order and harmony of the body. Now it is the same with
the members of the social body. If women are in the place, or engaged in
the occupation which God has chosen for them, they enjoy a profound
peace; they rest under His protection; they are nourished by His grace;
they are enriched by His blessings, and work out their eternal happiness
with but little pain.

This truth, however, is considered by many women as one of trifling
importance; they seem not to care as to whether they live up to their
divine calling or not. The Holy Ghost, however, admonishes every one
thus: "Let every man abide in the vocation to which he was called" (1
Cor. vii. 20); for, "Blessed is the man that shall continue in
wisdom--and that considereth her ways in his heart."--(Eccles. xiv. 22,
23.) Blessed that woman who well considers her divine calling,
penetrates into, and admires its greatness, and endeavors, with all her
strength and heart, to comply with all its duties. One of the most usual
temptations which the arch-enemy of mankind makes use of to shake
women's happiness, in the present day, is to excite in them disgust and
dissatisfaction for their divine calling. Hence it is that we so often
hear them complain of their state of life; they fancy that, by changing
their condition of life, they shall fare better: yes, provided they
changed themselves. Would to God they were sworn enemies of these
useless, dangerous, and bad desires! God wills to speak to them amidst
the thorns, and out of the midst of the bush (Exod. iii. 2), and they
will Him to speak to them in "_the whistling of a gentle air_."--(III
Kings, xix. 12.) They ought, then, to remain on board the ship in which
they are, in order to cross from this life to the other; and they ought
to remain there willingly, and with affection. Let them not think of
anything else; let them not wish for that which they are not, but let
them earnestly desire to be the very best of what they are. Let them
endeavor to do their best to perfect themselves where they are, and bear
courageously all the crosses, light or heavy, that they may encounter.
Let them _believe that this is the leading principle, and yet the one
least understood in the Christian life_. Every one follows his own
taste; very few place their happiness in fulfilling their duty according
to the pleasure of our Lord. What is the use of building castles in
Spain, when we are obliged to live in America? "As a bird that wandereth
from her nest, so is a man that leaveth his place" (Prov. xxvii. 8), his
occupation, or station of life. Let every woman remain firm in her
calling, if she wishes to insure her tranquillity of mind, her peace of
heart, her temporal and eternal happiness.

To become unfaithful to their vocation is for women to suffer as many
pangs as a limb which, through some accident, has been wrenched out of
place. They are continually tormented by evil spirits, who have power
over a soul that is out of its proper sphere. They are no longer under
the protection of God, since they have withdrawn from His guidance, and
voluntarily abandoned His watchful Providence. They fall often into
grievous sins, because they are not sustained by the grace which belongs
to the state in which God desires them to be. A woman, therefore, can
never show her superior intellectual powers better than by cheerfully
accepting the calling for which the Creator evidently intended her; that
is, for _woman, wife, and mother_.



Few questions affect so directly the welfare and interests of the people
as the question of education; and assuredly, in this country, there is
none of more moment as regards the well-being and permanence of our
national institutions. These, our institutions, our prosperity and
civilization, depend for their permanence and perpetuity, not so much on
the culture of the arts, sciences, literature, or philosophy, as on the
general diffusion of the salutary and vivifying principles of religion.
History tells us in its every page, that the decline and downfall of
nations have ever been caused by irreligion and immorality.

Indeed, it is not the State that has made men free, nor can it, on its
own professed origin, keep _itself_ or _them_ free. It has no mission
to reform men or manners; its boasted material civilization is no
civilization at all. For steam, railroads, telegraphs, printing, and in
fact all the arts and natural sciences, have never civilized or
converted one man, not even a naked savage, and never will. They are the
results of civilization, and even then the least part. Nor are they
adequate to maintain or preserve the State. What is called _material
civilization_ is nothing else than _polished barbarism_,--a kind of
monster, with the intelligence of a man, and the cruelty and instincts
of a beast. It may flatter the vanity of modern nations to think they
are superior to the ancients in scientific and industrial developments,
but if they rely on this alone, they are greatly mistaken. I admit the
superiority of the moderns, but not on this account. In the first place,
many arts and products of head and hands have been lost, but even those
that remain are the envy and despair of modern competitors. Besides,
every age must be judged by comparison with its contemporaries. Yet they
have fallen; and antiquarian travellers search in vain for the ruins of
the proudest and greatest cities of the past. The nation and
people--the most gallant and accomplished of all antiquity--who engraved
their names on the imperishable fields of Platæa and Marathon, who
conquered at Salamis, or died at Thermopylæ--that carried eloquence,
heroism, and art to a pitch never since attained--the age which boasted
of Pericles and Praxitelles, of Plato and Aristides--perished from
excess of its material civilization, deprived, as it was, of the vital
element of true religion. Without this no nation can live, nor exhibit
in its actions true grandeur, or nobility of character. There is among
such a cruelty, a perfidy, and a beastly lust, which sooner or later
bring on their decay and ruin.

Look at ancient Rome, the once proud mistress of the world. In her
palmiest days, amidst her thousands of marble palaces and triumphal
arches, amidst her innumerable temples and altars, there was _not one to
Mercy_. Nor was there, amidst all this barbaric display, a single
_hospital_ for the poor of any age or condition. The Roman eagle was
carried at the head of victorious legions to the "_Hither Inde_," and
far beyond the depths of "_Hercynian forests_." Conquered kings marched
at the head of subjugated nations to swell her triumphs; the wealth and
strength of the then known world lay at her feet.

Here was exhibited on a scale--the grandest the world ever saw or will
see--the triumphs of "_material civilization_." Yet all this crumbled
and fell before the rude hatchets of the long-haired "_barbarian
hordes_," coming they knew not from whence, and going they knew not
whither, only able to give the single answer, that they were "_the
scourge of God_." Where, then, was the power to save? It was not in
their material civilization, nor in their impotent and terrified
legions. What all these could not do was accomplished by an unarmed
man--Pope Leo the Great, speaking in the name of that mighty God,
unknown alike to Attila and to Roman wisdom. That God still reigns, and
Him it is the State would exclude from the Public Schools! thereby
denying alike the lessons of history and its Christian duty. These
United States, or no existing nation (relatively to the age), has never
attained the point of artistic, æsthetic, social or material perfection
of the Greco-Roman States; yet they fell, as I have just said, to
slavery and ruin, not so much from the blows of the barbarians, as from
the dissolving influence of a _material civilization_, resulting
inevitably in public and private impotence and demoralization.

Only keep up the present godless system of State education, and depend
on it, as sure as effect follows cause, every species of villany and
defilement will flood the land. It is certain that all education which
is not based on religion is heathenish, and must prove destructive in
the end. It will destroy the very people whom it was expected to save.
It will consume them as a fire.

Nor can it be otherwise; for what brought on the "Cities of the Plain"
the material fires of heaven? Or what were the sins and crimes of the
Gentile nations that called forth the terrible chastisements predicted
by the prophets? Why, the self-same pride, worldly-mindedness, ambition,
sensuality, and _disregard of God and His laws_ which is at this hour
taught in the Public Schools. This, I am aware, is a grave charge, but
it is made with all deliberation and sense of responsibility. Indeed,
the ancients were in many respects more excusable than we are. They had
but the Old Law, always incomplete and obscure, whilst we live under the
fulfilment of the new law, with all its aids and graces. Now, if God did
not spare the "Cities of the Plain," if He destroyed the ancient nations
in punishment for their wicked lives and disregard of Himself and His
law, what reason have our modern heathens and infidels to escape God's
vengeance--they who in every respect are more guilty in His sight? Let
the measure of the evil consequences of the Public School system become
full, and rest assured the wrath of God will not fail to come down upon
the American people. The late American war was a great punishment for
the whole country. Thousands of men were launched into eternity
unprepared to appear before their Eternal Judge. Yet this punishment is
only a forerunner of a far more terrible one. The Lord is patient, and
slow in punishing a whole nation, which He may spare for many years for
the sake of His just. Yet for all that He will not fail to punish
private families, fathers, and mothers, and children, if they have no
regard for Him and His law--if they are practical infidels, and give
themselves up to their beastly passions. Let me give you some
instances, taken from the little book "Fate of Infidelity," by a
Converted Infidel.

"You all have, undoubtedly, heard of Blind Palmer, a professed infidel.
After he had tried to lecture against Christ he lost his sight, and died
suddenly in Philadelphia, in the forty-second year of his age. You will
also have heard of the so-called Orange County Infidel Society. They
held, among other tenets, that it was right to indulge in
lasciviousness, and that it was right to regulate their conduct as their
propensities and appetites should dictate; and as these principles were
carried into practical operation by some families belonging to the
association, in one instance a son held criminal intercourse with his
mother, and publicly justified his conduct. The step-father, and husband
to the mother who thus debased herself, boldly avowed that, in his
opinion, it was morally right to hold such intercourse. The members of
this impious society were visited by God in a remarkable manner. They
all died, within five years, in some strange or unnatural manner. One of
these was seized with a sudden and violent illness, and in his agony
exclaimed: 'My bowels are on fire--die I must,' and his spirit passed

"Dr. H., another of the party, was found dead in his bed the next

"D. D., a printer, fell in a fit and died immediately, and three others
were drowned within a few days.

"B. A., a lawyer, came to his death by starvation, and C. C., also
educated for the bar, and a man of superior intellectual endowments,
died of want, hunger, and filth.

"Another one, who had studied to be a preacher, suddenly disappeared,
but at length his remains were found fast in the ice, where he evidently
had been for a long time, as the fowls of the air, and the inhabitants
of the deep, had consumed the most of his flesh.

"Joshua Miller, notorious as a teacher of infidelity, was found upon a
stolen horse, and was shot by Col. J. Woodhull; N. Miller, his brother,
who was discovered one Sunday morning seated upon a log playing cards,
was also shot.

"Benjamin Kelly was shot off his horse by a boy, the son of one Clark,
who had been murdered by Kelly; his body remained upon the ground until
his flesh had been consumed by birds.

"I. Smith committed suicide by stabbing himself, while he was in prison
for crime.

"W. Smith was shot by B. Thorpe and others, for robbery.

"S. T. betrayed his own confidential friend for a few dollars; his
friend was hung, and he was afterwards shot by D. Lancaster.

"I. V. was shot by a company of militia. I. D., in a drunken fit, was
frozen to death.

"I. B., and I. Smith, and J. Vervellen, B. R., and one other individual,
were hung for heinous crimes they had committed. N. B., W. T., and W.
H., were drowned. C. C. hung himself. A. S. was struck with an axe, and
bled to death.

"F. S. fell from his horse and was killed. W. Clark drank himself to
death; he was eaten by the hogs before his bones were found, which were
recognized by his clothing. J. A., sen., died in the woods, his rum-jug
by his side; he was not found until a dog brought home one of his legs,
which was identified by his stocking; his bones had been picked by

"S. C. hung himself, and another destroyed himself by taking laudanum.
D. D. was hired for ten dollars to shoot a man, for which offence he
died upon the gallows.

"The most of those who survived were either sent to the State Prison, or
were publicly whipped for crimes committed against the peace and dignity
of the State."

This is a brief history of the Orange County "Liberals," as they called
themselves. To the infidel and evil-doer, it presents matter worthy of
serious reflection, while the believer will recognize in each event the
special judgment of God, which is too clearly indicated to be doubted by
any honest mind. I ask, will the Lord fail to visit with similar
judgments all those who are guilty of the same crimes? Will the Lord
fail to visit with similar judgments all those who, by keeping up and
defending a godless system of education, prepare the young for
infidelity, and all kinds of crimes and iniquities? If the Lord punished
so severely the King Antiochus for carrying away the sacred vessels from
the temple of Jerusalem; if He sent so many plagues upon the Egyptians,
and drowned, at last, the King Pharaoh and his whole army in the Red
Sea, for refusing to let the people of God offer sacrifices where and
in the manner the Lord desired it, what will be the punishments for
those who, by a godless system of education, abolish religion? If God
slew twenty-four thousand men of the Israelites for having fallen into
fornication (Numb. xxv.), with what punishments will He visit those who
add, to the sin of fornication and adultery, even the crime of
child-murder! Numberless child-murders are committed daily in the land.
Assuredly the voice of these innocent victims will cry to heaven for
vengeance, and the Lord will not deafen His ear to their voice. If the
American people will not soon put an end to the godless system of
education, if they permit any longer the rising generation to be raised
to infidelity, the wrath of the Lord, enkindled against them ever since
the introduction of the godless system of education, will fall upon
them. In former times, when the Lord threatened the people with His
chastisements, they entered into themselves, and did penance, because
they had faith, and the Lord was appeased. But our modern heathens laugh
at the very idea of doing penance. So the wrath of the Lord will surely
overtake them when they least expect it.



It is certain and undeniable that two orders of things actually exist in
this world, the natural order and the supernatural--nature and grace.
These two orders have the same ultimate end, though, in themselves, they
are distinct. Nature is, and must be, always subordinate to grace; the
natural must be always subservient to the supernatural. This is God's
immutable decree. Hence religion must always hold the first place in
everything. A system of education that places the natural and the
supernatural on the same level is absurd, and must be condemned; but a
system of education that ignores the supernatural altogether, is, if
possible, even more wicked and detestable. Yet this wicked, detestable,
irreligious system, diabolical in its origin, and subversive of all
political, social, and religious order, is imposed by the State upon all
Christian denominations, whether they approve of it or not. Now the
State has no right whatever to force such a godless system upon its

For the right understanding of this most important point, I attach great
importance to a clear understanding of what is commonly called the

_What is the State?_

People in general have a vague and confused conception of this matter.
You will hear the people talk of the "sovereignty of the State," "the
life of the State," "the power of the State," "the absolute authority of
the State," "the paramount allegiance due to the State," etc., etc. Not
only the Public at large, but even those who assume to lead and direct
public opinion, are constantly blundering on this subject.

There is nothing so _fertile_ as an idea; it will, like every other germ
or seed, bring forth in time according to its kind. If it be a good one,
it will bring forth good fruit; if it be a false or bad one, it will
spread its evil fruits over society. Be it one or the other, it is never
barren; sooner or later, the idea or maxim takes form and substance in
an _Institution_; then it operates, in a material manner, for good or

To illustrate: a false conception of the nature and authority, of the
legitimate functions, rights and duties of what is called the "State,"
has led, and will, if not corrected, ever lead to the most deplorable
political, social, and religious disorder and oppression. As diverging
lines in mathematics can never approximate, but must continue to widen
as they are extended, so a false departure from a political "standpoint"
can never be rectified unless by a return to correct first principles.
This is what is meant by the democratic maxim, "that a frequent return
to first principles is necessary to secure the ends of public liberty."

Indeed, this error, this diverging point in constitutional
interpretation, has been the real cause--the "causa causarum"--of the
late war; and not the "negro," or "cotton," or the "spirit of
domination," or "difference of race," or what not, might serve as the
"_proximate cause_," but the real cause lay far back of them. I am
willing to admit that political events do not always proceed on a
strictly logical order, but nevertheless there is a sequence, indeed an
inevitable chain of cause and effect in the progress of public affairs,
such as we see in individual conduct, but only on a broader scale.

Now what is the _civil power_, or _State_; what its origin, its
authority, its legitimate functions, its rights and duties? Here I must,
of necessity, be very brief. The State originated from the natural
desire which men experience to obtain certain goods, such as peace,
security of life and property, of personal rights and privileges, etc.,
etc. These are goods which neither individuals, nor families, nor
private corporations can procure for themselves satisfactorily. People
therefore unite to establish a State, in order to attain, through the
State, what they cannot do by their own private exertions. The State,
then, is made by the people and for the people. In our form of
government it is a mere corporate agency. Its duty is to see that
justice is administered, and personal rights and property protected. It
holds the sword of justice not for _itself_, but for _others_; it is the
_servant_, and not the _master_. The people were not made for the State,
or given to the State, but the State is posterior to the people; it was,
as I said before, established by the people and for the people. In
them, under God, resides the sovereignty and ultimate permanent
authority. The right of the State is to discharge the duties assigned it
within the sphere of its delegated authority--that is all.

That sphere of action of the State in this country is clearly defined in
the written Constitution. The State, then, must scrupulously abstain
from violating any of the rights it was organized to protect.

There never has been, and never will be, but two forms of
government--one seeking to restrain, the other to enlarge, the liberties
of the people. To the former belong the centralized and despotic
governments of the past and present; to the latter, the limited and
representative ones.

Russia, without doubt, is the highest type of that despotism so common
among Pagan nations. The Czar is the successor of the Gentile Cæsar; he
unites in himself the civil and spiritual power; the inevitable result
is social oppression, denial of the rights of conscience, of the family,
and of the political society. Our government has already made gigantic
steps in the same direction. Many of the political minds of this country
have been drawn within the circle of _monarchial_ ideas. They are
unconsciously, as it were, adopting their forms of thought, and applying
their forms of expression to our government, and claiming for it the
prerogatives and supremacy appertaining to the feudal institutions of
Asia and Europe. Our simple democratic form of government seems to be
getting ashamed of its plebeian origin, and ambitious to ape the
language and pretensions of its former masters. This decadence was made
apparent not long ago, in the discussions "for the removal of the United
States Capitol." In a two-hours' discussion, the word "Republic," or
"Federal Government," or "United States," was not once mentioned!! It
was "_Nation_," "Empire," etc., etc., _usque ad nauseam_, from beginning
to end. To a reflecting mind, this language has an ominous significance.
It smacks strongly of monarchy.

But some one will perhaps say, "Sir, what has all this dissertation to
do with your subject? You commence by disclaiming against the _Public
School System_, and here you are giving a grave lecture on the nation
relapsing into imperialism or monarchy."

It has a great deal to do; it is an attempt to trace effects to their
causes. This government of ours, both in its Federal and State capacity,
is growing ambitious to play the _King_. It is setting itself up as
master. It is using the language of all tyrants: "_Sic volo, sic
jubeo_," etc., etc. It claims, after the example of Prussia or Russia,
or some other despotism, _to direct the education of the children_ of
the people. It even claims them as belonging to itself. It is the great
feudal master. It takes upon itself the old duty of providing
instruction for the sons and daughters of its dependents. It takes upon
itself the discharge of duties imposed on parents by Divine Law, just as
if fathers and mothers had lost their natural instincts as well as sense
of duty; just as if the State had all the intelligence, virtue, and
forethought of the public in her keeping. It dispenses parents from a
duty from which God will never dispense them. It has usurped the office
of teacher; it will, if not checked, set itself up as preacher. It makes
Sunday laws, temperance laws; it places marriage on the footing of
simple contracts, facilitates divorce; it is constantly, in all these
things and many others, repeating the "mot" ascribed to a King of
France: "_L'état c'est moi_." In fine, it makes, as it has been aptly,
but not very reverently, said, God a little man, and itself and the
State a little god, not in love and charity, indeed, but in power and

Here is where the danger comes from, and it is against this that the
people must provide. The people must see to it that the State, or those
who are charged with its authority, keep within their proper place. The
people can never be too vigilant or jealous of their constituted
authority, never permit themselves to be the victims of misplaced
confidence. The State is not seldom the usurper--the rebel that should
be watched. The allegiance is not to it, but from it to the people--its
master. "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."

The people have been greatly deceived and wronged by the State on the
establishment of the Public School system. The better to understand
this, let us see again, in a few words, what are the _principles_ on
which the establishment of public schools is based. How did men arrive
at the idea that the State should be a school-master? If we consult
history, we shall find that this idea rests upon most objectionable
grounds. In Europe--in Protestant countries--the education of youth was
held to belong to the church. But as the Protestant prince was also the
chief bishop of his church, he had the care of schools, as well as the
administration of other religious matters. According to this principle
of the _State-church_, all the schools were _State-schools_. At the
present day, Protestant princes and princesses are not looked upon as
chief bishops, but the consequence of this objectionable system does
still remain, and has gained a foothold even in this free country.

The French Revolution, among other things, diffused communistic and
socialistic theories. Nay, communism and socialism seemed to have, for a
moment, the fullest sway in those revolutionary proceedings. It is from
such socialistic revolutionists that came the idea, or rather principle,
which was made a law, that the State should educate the children of its
subjects. Accordingly the school-system was arranged, which Napoleon I.
highly welcomed and retained, as he saw in it a welcome instrument of
his despotism. In fact, nothing pleases State-absolutism or despotism so
much as the complete control of education through the system of
State-schools. As the result of impartial history, then, we see that the
foundation of the State-school system is nothing else than the
objectionable Protestant State-church, and especially revolutionary

But most absurd did the State-school system appear after it had been
transplanted into free America. Here this "State system of education"
was at first applied to the poor, and other unprovided-for "waifs of
society." But not long after, the State claimed to have a paramount
interest in the children of all classes; it made no distinction, it knew
not the rich from the poor, but opened its scholastic treasures alike,
and it was thought to be all right.

What an absurdity! The State, as I have remarked, must scrupulously
abstain from violating any of those rights which it was organized to
protect. It must not paralyze or take away the industry of the
individual, family, or private institutions by substituting for it its
own industry. The State should rather protect and promote the industry
of its subjects, as well as other rights and liberties. Let me speak
more plainly: the State, for instance, should protect trade, but it
should not be itself a tradesman; the State should encourage
agriculture, but it should not be itself a farmer; the State should
sustain honest handicraft, but it should not work at shoe-making or
tailoring, and bread-baking. So, in the same manner, the State should
promote and protect education, but it should not be itself a
school-master, and give instruction.

What a cry would be raised if the State erected State workshops, and
thereby ruined all other similar trades! Now the State does the same
thing, as far as possible, in regard to education. What an absurdity! In
our free country, State education has no more foundation in good sense
than the old sumptuary laws, that regulated the length of a boot or the
dimensions of a skirt.

If the State claims the right to educate our children, why does it not
just as well claim the right to nurse, feed, clothe, doctor, and lodge
them? Indeed these necessities are more indispensable, and must be
supplied to a considerable extent before education can be given at all.
Why should the State throw all these burdens on the parents, and assume
that of instruction? It cannot claim to know more of grammar than of
the art of nursing and cooking. It is even said that the tailor and
barber have more to do in fashioning the man than the school-master.

Again, how absurd is it not for the State to undertake to teach all
alike, without regard to their circumstances or prospects in life, the
same business. This scholastic equality soon ends, if it ever had a
reality. They cannot all expect to be Newtons, Humboldts, or La Places.
They cannot be all, nay, not one in ten thousand, "professors," or
"editors," or what not. We cannot, if we would, escape the sentence
imposed on our forefather in the garden: "Thou shalt eat thy bread in
the sweat of thy face." As well might the State claim that all the
children from seven to seventeen years of age should sit at the same
table, provided at public expense, and be served with the same food and
the same number of dishes. If the State (in order to prepare the rising
generation to make citizens, which must be its reason, if any) thinks it
necessary to prescribe a State education, it is equally important that
their food, and even their clothing, should be of the approved State
quality and pattern!!! All know that this was the old Lacædemonian plan,
and how it ended history tells;--in ferocity, avarice, dishonesty and
disruption. All admit the folly and wickedness of forcing a people into
uniformity in matter of religion. Now it is just as unreasonable, just
as absurd, just as wicked to force the people into uniformity in the
matter of education. One species of tyranny as well as the other
disregards the just claims of conscience, tramples on the most vital
rights of individuals, and usurps the most sacred right of the family.

The State may, indeed, require that the children should be educated, in
order that they may one day become worthy members of society, and fit
subjects for the State; but claim, and give, and control their
education, the State cannot. There is in all this matter a feature not
always clearly represented. It is this: any provision made by the
"State" for education, must refer _to the poor and otherwise
unprovided_, and be justified on the grounds of the State standing to
these classes _in loco parentis_; beyond this, though the State, as to
"charitable uses," may be defined _parens patria_, yet, as to the people
at large, _it has nothing to do with their education whatever_. If this
simple though undeniable fact were properly understood, it would save a
world of trouble and confusion.

I am speaking of a "_Christian State_," and the State in America is
Christian. The very graves, if necessary, would open and give up their
dead to bear testimony to its Christian origin. Its civilization is
Christian, and is the product of the principles of the "_New Law_" as
taught and promulgated by the Church. The distinguishing feature of this
civilization is, that it has asserted the dignity of freedom of the
_individual man_, while the ancient, or Gentile, civilization, _sunk_
the _individual man_ in the composite society called the State. In that
case it was but reasonable that the _State_ should, _as owner_, take
upon itself the burden of providing, not only for his government, but
also for the education of his offspring. These, too, belonged to it, on
the maxim of Roman or Pagan law, that _partus sequitur ventrem_, or the
offspring follows the parent. This is the origin of the Pagan doctrine,
"_the children of the State_"--a miserable relic of barbarism. It is
important to keep this fact in mind, when we deny the _supremacy of the
State_ in the matter of education.

Our children, then, are not the _children of the State_. The State has
no children, and never had, nor will. The State does not own them, nor
their fathers nor mothers, nor anybody else in this country, thank God!
We have not got that far yet on the road to civil slavery, and I hope we
never shall. We are not Pagans, nor Mahometans, nor Russians. We have
not sold out, and don't intend to! We are free, for with a great price
our forefathers have bought this freedom; and better still, we are made,
through the mercy of our Divine Author, Christians, and heirs to a
heavenly kingdom. Our children, too, are free; they belong by the order
of nature to their parents, and by the order of grace to our Lord Jesus
Christ. They are children of God and heirs to His heavenly kingdom. It
is not on the State, but on parents, that God imposed the duty to
educate their children, a duty from which no State can dispense, nor can
fathers and mothers relieve themselves of this duty by the vicarious
assumption of the State. They have to give a severe account of their
children on the Day of Judgment, and they cannot allow any power to
disturb them in insisting upon their rights and making free use of them.
The State has no more authority or control rightfully over our
children, than over a man's wife. The right to educate our children is a
right of conscience, and a right of the family. Now these rights do not
belong to the temporal order at all; and outside of this the State has
no claim, no right, no authority. When the State has children, it will
be time enough to teach them. How long will it take our enlightened age
to learn this simple but important truth?

Nothing shows better the absurdity of the State in claiming the right of
education, than its incompetency for the task. The State is forbidden
any interference with religion.

I have shown that the whole system is infidel in principle. The State
says we want no religion taught in the Public Schools, because, as we
cannot teach you religion without inculcating some form or other
professed by some sect or other, and as we do not wish to give offence,
we will teach you none. Let the child believe anything or nothing, so as
it is not some form of "sectarianism." I worship in the "Pantheon;" all
are alike to me, of course. In all this the State is perfectly
consistent, and cannot do otherwise. It has undertaken a part _it is not
competent to perform_. The State, as State, professes no form of
belief. Its gods, its worships, its altars, its victims, its rewards,
its punishments, its heaven, its hell--are here. It teaches no religion,
because it don't profess any. It was not born, it will not die, it has
no soul, it was not created, it will not be judged in the world to come,
like men.

But let me not be misunderstood as concluding that states, nations, or
kingdoms are not moral persons, and are not responsible for their acts
and conduct to Almighty God. They have no right to do wrong more than an
individual. "States" have their lives, their mission, their destiny;
they have their sphere here below. They represent the temporal, or the
things which belong to Cæsar.

The State, then, is a moral person, and _a fortiori_, a religious
person, _for there can be no morality without religion_. But though
religion, in a general sense, be recognized by the State, it has no
authority to control or direct it. It must respect the conscience of an
individual. This is his birthright, and cannot be voted away, whether to
support Public Schools or Public Churches.

If there be amongst us any number, great or small, who deny the common
faith, it is the duty of the State to tolerate them. A greater
power--God--does this. But the State itself cannot profess or _play
infidel_, or, under pretence of avoiding sectarian partiality, strike at
the root of all Christianity. I admit the State is of the "temporal
order," and cannot discriminate between the various modes of belief; but
not for that can it place itself _outside_ of them. It is
_distinguishable_, but not _separable_, from the spiritual order. It is
simply a means to a greater end. It is a mischievous error to say that
the State has nothing to do with religion, and may act outside of its
obligations. If by this it is meant that the State cannot establish or
maintain any special form of religion, or interfere with its profession,
or even denial by others, I admit the proposition; but if, on the other
hand, it is meant that it regards Christianity and infidelity, God or no
God, truth and error, either as equal or unimportant, then I utterly
deny and condemn it. To bear with and tolerate error is its duty; to
foster or provide for its support or propagation, or place it on the
same footing with revealed truth, is another and very different thing.

The constitutions of the State guarantee to every citizen the right to
worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; but this is
not guaranteeing to every one the liberty of not worshipping God at all,
to deny His existence, His revelation, or to worship a false god. The
freedom guaranteed is the freedom of religion, not the freedom of
infidelity. The American Constitution grants to the infidel the right of
protection in his civil and political equality, but it grants him no
right to protection and support in his infidelity; for infidelity is not
a religion, but the denial of all religion. The American State is
Christian, and under the Christian law, and is based upon Christian
principles. It is bound to protect and enforce Christian morals and its
laws, whether assailed by Mormonism, Spiritism, Freelovism, Pantheism,
or Atheism. But the State does the contrary. For, I ask, is not the
State indirectly prohibiting the profession of Christianity by
establishing a system of education which prohibits all religious
instruction? The State forbids the teacher to speak a word on the
subject of religion.

The State says that "it is an admitted axiom that our form of
government, more than all others, depends on the _virtue and
intelligence of the people_. The State proposes to furnish this _virtue_
and _intelligence_ through the _Public Schools_." That is, the safety of
the State depends on the virtue and intelligence of the people, and the
latter is derived from the virtue and intelligence of the "State." But
where does the virtue and intelligence of the State come from? The only
answer on this theory is, from the people. So the "State" enlightens and
purifies the people, and the people enlighten and purify the "State."
The people support the State, the State supports the Public Schools, and
they support the State. If this is not what logicians call a "vicious
circle," it looks very much like it. It puts me in mind of the Brahmin's
theory of the support of the earth. The Hindoo says, "The world rests on
the back of an elephant--the elephant rests on the back of a turtle."
But what does the turtle rest on? So it is with our "_Public School
Brahmins_." They will tell you, with all the coolness of Hindoo
hypocrisy and pretension, that the "State depends on the schools--the
schools on the State or people," but they do not say what the turtle
stands on. This is the dilemma that all who rest society on the State,
or on an atheistical basis, get into. They would cut the world loose
from its assigned order of dependence on Divine Law, and "set it a-going
on its own hook." But the trouble is, they have no support for this
turtle; they have an earth without axis. The Public School savans would
have a self-supporting, a self-adjusting, and a self-created State,
balanced on nothing, resting on nothing, responsible to nothing, and
believing in nothing but in its own perfection and immortality. They
pretend, "through godless schools," to give virtue without morality,
morality without religion, and religion without God; thereby sinking
below the level of the poor Indian, whose untutored mind sees God in the
clouds, and hears Him in the wind.

The nameless abominations of the Communists, Fourrierists, and other
such vile and degraded fraternities; the cold-blooded murders and
frightful suicides that fill so many domestic hearths with grief and
shame; the scarcely-concealed corruption of public and professional men;
the adroit peculation and wilful embezzlement of the public money; those
monopolizing speculations and voluntary insolvencies so ruinous to the
community at large; and, above all, those shocking atrocities so common
in our country of unbelief--the legal dissolution of the matrimonial
tie, and the wanton tampering with life in its very bud; all these are
humiliating facts sufficient to convince any impartial mind that there
can be no social virtue, no morality, no true and lasting greatness,
without religion.

"Religion," says Lord Derby, "is not a thing apart from education, but
is interwoven with its whole system; it is a principle which controls
and regulates the whole mind and happiness of the people." And, "Popular
education," says Guizot, "to be truly good and socially useful, must be
fundamentally religious."

The essential element of education--its pith and marrow, so to speak--is
the religious element. By excluding it from the school-room the State
has committed a crying injustice to the rising generation, and one of
the worst--if not the very worst--of crimes against society. It is not
one portion of the "triple man," but the whole--the physical,
intellectual, and moral being--the body, the mind, the head, as stated
in a previous chapter--that must be cultivated and "brought up."
Neglect any one part of man's nature, and you at once disturb the
equilibrium of the whole, and produce disorder; educate the body at the
expense of the mind and soul, and you will have only animated clay;
educate the intelligence at the expense of the moral and religious
feelings, and you but fearfully increase a man's power to effect evil.
You store the arsenal of his mind with weapons to sap alike the altar
and the throne, to carry on a war of extermination against every holy
principle, against the welfare and the very existence of society.

Science, without religion, is more destructive than the sword in the
hands of unprincipled men; it will prove more of a demon than a god. It
is these upholders of the present Public School system that arrest the
progress of true happiness in our country, and prepare terrible
catastrophes, which may deluge the land with blood.

Who were the leaders in the work of destruction and wholesale butchery
in the Reign of Terror? The nurslings of lyceums in which the chaotic
principles of the "philosophers" were proclaimed as _oracles of truth_.

Who are those turbulent revolutionists who now long to erect the
guillotine by the Tuilleries? And who are those secret conspirators and
their myrmidon partisans who have sworn to unify Italy or lay it in
ruins? Men who were taught to scout the idea of a God and rail at
religion, to consider Christianity as a thing of the past; men who revel
in wild chimeras by night, and seek to realize their mad dreams by day.

Let us, then, dear American fellow-citizens, rest assured that
intellectual discipline, without the coöperation of any religious
element, will not, and cannot, produce the greatness of a nation, nor
can it maintain its life and splendor and prevent its decay; let us, on
the contrary, be persuaded that the only safety for a commonwealth, the
only source of greatness and prosperity for a nation, as well as of
tranquillity and happiness for the individual, is the true religion of
Jesus Christ; it is this religion alone that is the safeguard of
morality, and morality is the best security of law, as well as the
surest pledge of freedom.



We have seen, so far, that the irreligious, godless system of the Public
Schools tends directly to turn the youth of both sexes into the worst
kind of infidels; to make them disregard good principles, and hold
iniquity in veneration; to do away, not only with all revealed religion,
but even with the law of nature; to make them practise fraud, theft, and
robbery almost as a common trade; to make them regardless of their
parents and of all divinely constituted authority; we have seen that
this godless system of education is the most powerful means to create
confusion, not only in religion, but also in government and in the
family circle; to increase the number of apostates, and make of these
apostates members of such secret societies as aim at the overthrow of
governments and all good order, and Christian religion itself.

Truly, this godless system of education, if carried out to its logical
consequences, will disrupt society, destroy the right of the Christian
family entirely, bring back on the world the barbarism, tyranny and
brutality of Pagan antiquity, and make slaves and victims of its
children and their posterity forever!

Who does not feel most indignant at the State for having introduced such
a godless system of education? And for the support of this system of
education--of this _prolific mother of children of anti-Christ_--we are
enormously tithed and taxed! Horrible!

I have shown that the State in America is Christian; that it cannot
profess or play infidel. What right, then, has a Christian State to
compel Christians to support infidel schools? Is not this compulsory
support most violative of constitutional and religious rights? According
to the Constitution of the State, "no human authority can control or
interfere with the rights of conscience." Now, the direction and control
of the education of our children is clearly not only a duty, but a
"right of conscience." This right, of course, belongs to all
denominations, whether few or many. By what authority, then, does the
State impose _an established system_ of education at our expense against
this constitutionally guaranteed right of conscience? I would like to
know wherein this differs from an established church, such as has been
lately removed, after having been imposed for centuries by State
supremacy on the Irish people, without their consent.

_It is, in fact, much worse_; for though the Episcopal Church was not in
accordance with the religious belief of a majority, yet it was,
nevertheless, a Christian Church of a sect of high orthodox pretensions.
But these "_Public Schools_," for whose support we and all other
Christian denominations are taxed, are, by their own confession, utterly
_irreligious_. The early Christians refused to burn even a little
gum-rosin (incense) before the Pagan idols, and preferred rather to go
to the lions; but we Christians, in this late day, and in what is
boastingly called "Free America," are forced to pay taxes to support
what is worse than heathen idols--schools from which the name of God is
excluded, and, to our shame, we submit.

Referring to the wrong done to Catholics who cannot, in conscience, send
their children to these schools, Judge Taft, of Ohio, said not long ago:

"This is too large a circumstance to be covered by the Latin phrase, 'De
minimis non curat lex.' These Catholics (paying their proportion of the
taxes) are constrained, every year, on conscientious grounds, to yield
to others their right to one-third of the school-money, a sum averaging,
at the present time, about $200,000 every year. That is to say, these
people are _punished_ every year, for believing as they do, to the
extent of $200,000; and to that extent those of us who send our children
to these excellent common schools _become beneficiaries of the Catholic
money_. What a shame for Protestants to have their children educated for
money robbed from Catholics! Mercantile life is supposed to cultivate,
in some, a relish for hard bargains. But if it were a business matter,
and not a matter of religious concern, could business men be found
willing to exact such a pecuniary advantage as this? I think it would
shock the secular conscience!"

The State, in creating _free schools_, is like the Turkish Bashaw's mode
of making pork cheap. He first compelled the Jews to buy it at a rate
fixed by himself; but the Jews had no use for it, so it was left for
every one to pick up at will. Indeed, what is a school worth when a man
will pay a premium to be exempt from sending his children to it? The
State, boasting of its splendid Public Schools, is also like that poor
fellow who wore a gold watch and boasted of it. "Where did you get it?"
he was asked. "I got it as a present," he answered. Then he related how
one day he met with a rich man: "I knocked him down," he said, "put my
foot on his throat, and said: 'Give me your watch, or I kill you.' So he
gave it to me." "Pay your taxes for the erection and support of our
Public Schools," says the lord State to the poor and to the rich, "or I
sell your property." What a shame! The Catholics ask no favor, but they
insist on their rights. In this country, whose discoverer was a
Catholic--in this country, where the principle of religious toleration
was first established by a Catholic nobleman, the famous and chivalric
Calvert, Earl of Baltimore--in this country, whose people are largely
indebted for their freedom to the armed coöperation and generous aid of
Catholic France--in this country, whose constitutional freedom has been
struck down by the malevolent Puritanism _which in one breath declares
that Catholics are opposed to education, and in the next insists that
they shall be deprived of the means necessary for its maintenance_--in
this country, I say, we Catholics are entitled to equal rights, and to a
fair share, to a just apportionment of the annual amount raised by
taxation for the support of our charitable and educational institutions.
We ask only what is fair, what is just, what is right; and we base our
demand upon principle, and not upon the ground of favors granted or

If the State taxes us, as a religious and Christian people, for the
education of our children, it must give us a Christian education. If it
cannot, or will not do that, it must cease to tax us, and leave the
education of our children to ourselves. If the Christian gives to Cæsar
what belongs to Cæsar, he has a right to demand of Cæsar that he allow
him to give to God what belongs to God.

Again, the Constitution says, "That no person shall be compelled to
erect, support, or attend any place of public worship, nor support any
minister of the gospel, or teacher of religion," etc.; and it says,
"That no private property ought to be taken or applied to public use
without just compensation." Now let us apply these constitutional
principles to State-schools, and see if our compulsory support of them
is not violative of our constitution as well as common law. Why is it
"that no person shall be compelled to erect, support, or attend any
place of public worship, nor support any minister of religion"? Simply
because he "don't want to"; and he don't want to, "because it is against
his conscience"; and "no human authority," says the Constitution, "can
control or interfere with the rights of conscience"; that is all the
reason, and no other. The State believes that all places of worship, and
ministers of the gospel, are good; but, knowing that there is a
difference of opinion among the people on that subject, wisely leaves
such matters to their choice, and will not take private property for
public use without compensation. Why, then, is private property taken
for Public Schools without compensation? We cannot use them in
conscience, and we have seen there is no lawful power or authority to
"control or interfere with conscience." I ask, then, if I am not right
in stating that our compulsory support of an odious and infidel system
of Public Schools, against our conscience and against our consent, is
not far worse than the support of any form of church establishment?

Moreover, according to the Constitution, "No preference can ever be
given by law to any church, sect, or mode of worship." This section is
often quoted as the authority and reason for excluding religious
teachings from the Public Schools; but, strange enough, it is flagrantly
violated by the present system, giving a _preference by law_ to the
_unbelievers_, and thereby discriminating against the believers of all
sects and denominations. For, after all, there can be but two churches,
or, if you please, sects, in the eye of the State--the believers and
unbelievers. To the former belong the various Christian denominations,
and to the latter those who deny and _protest_ against all religious
faith and belief. Those certainly are the last, and for that reason, if
for no other, are the _best or worst_ (as people may choose to view
them) sect. It is, then, this last product, this "_caput mortuum_" of
all sects and believers of every shade and kind, that is favored by the
no-belief system of education.

"Though the State may not give any preference to any church or sect," it
is not, on that account, authorized to ignore and reject all; but, on
the contrary, is obliged in justice to assist all or none, as, by this
course alone, it avoids giving preference to any. This is what the law
contemplates, and the only course that comports with reason and justice.
If it suits the _last sect_--the _unbelievers or no-believers_--to
exclude morals or religion from schools, all right; let them keep on as
at present. But if it suits the various other churches or sects to
modify the system to suit their conscientious views and beliefs, to
apply their own proportion of the school tax for that purpose, it is
their undeniable and lawful right.

There is one view in which the public will agree in regard to the Public
Schools: it is that they cost too much money. For the management of the
godless Public Schools there is a costly array of "Commissioners," and
"Inspectors," and "Trustees," and "Superintendents," and "Secretaries of
Boards," and "Central Officers," all in league with "Contractors," to
make "a good thing"--so-called--out of the plan. We have, now,
contractors for buildings and repairs, contractors for furniture,
contractors for books, contractors for furnaces, contractors for fuel,
contractors even for pianos, and all making money out of it. The
"Boards" that give the contracts do not make any money by way of
commissions, do they? Ah! you know full well that hundreds of thousands
of dollars are annually spent or squandered in running these Public
Schools, and which are recommended, in a particular manner, for their

But aside, for a moment, from these _Public Schools_, so numerous, so
costly, so grand and imposing in their exterior, managed by a little
army of high-paid professors, teachers, superintendents and assistants,
costing the people of every city and State hundreds of thousands of
dollars annually, there is another army, yea, a volunteer army, not
commissioned or paid by the State, but by a greater power--God--who, for
His love, and that uncomparable reward which only God bestows, devote
themselves to teaching, instructing, training and educating the poor,
the needy, the orphan, the houseless, the homeless, the forlorn, the
despised, as well as the more favored of the earth. These make no
grandiloquent printed reports in costly binding; they have no official
stenographers or reporters to noise their proceedings in "morning
papers"; they have no "Polytechnic Halls," fitted up with pretentious
libraries, and all the surroundings of upholstery, and heating and
cooling apparatus; but winter and summer, early and late, they keep the
even tenor of their way with an "_eye single_" to their humble and
laborious duties.

In nearly all the cities of America, in those busy and worldly centres
of traffic and trade, of luxury and wealth, with their average of good
and evil, virtue and crime, this "_volunteer army_" distributes itself
noiselessly, quietly, and as it were obscurely, not heralded nor
preceded by the emblems of pomp or worldly power, but nevertheless
making its conquests and asserting its quiet influence in lanes and
alleys, gathering up the little children, taking them to its camps, and
instructing and educating them in the service of God and society.

You may have seen, in some of those cities, that long line of little
boys or girls, two by two, extending to the length of a block or more;
you may have observed how regularly they are assorted, the tallest in
first, and ranging down to the little ones, whose busy feet are trying
to keep up with the column. You may also have noted the order and
silence (so unusual among children), and your attention was arrested,
and perhaps you know not how all this order in this beautiful panorama
was brought about. Well, with these boys you may have observed two men,
one at the head, the other at the foot of this long line. If you saw
this for the first time you may have wondered, and I suppose been even
amused, at the figure and costume of those men;--the broad-brimmed hat,
the long, strange-fashioned robe, the white collar, the collected air
and mien, all bespeak the _Christian Brother_. These men, nevertheless,
are "profoundly learned in all the sciences of the schools." They have
abandoned home, family, friends, and have devoted themselves, merely for
a scant support, to the education of the young.

If, on the other hand, the long line are girls, you may have observed
two ladies; one at the head, the other at the foot. You will at a glance
conclude they are not of the world. Their costume is of the homeliest
cut and quality, but scrupulously clean; there is a something about
their very presence that impresses you with reverence and respect, and
you must be a very hardened sinner indeed if you did not feel the better
of having even their shadow fall upon you. These silent, collected, but
impressive women are "_Nuns_" of one order or another. They, too, have
left all to serve God in the persons of these little children. They have
made sacrifices greater than the world can appreciate or understand, and
which only the Divine Master can reward. Their whole life is a silent
but an eloquent sermon, their whole conduct the gospel in action. You
will remember they are women like others of their sex, and mayhap have
been flattered and petted, and once filled with the natural vanity and
expectations of their sex; but all these they have put _behind_ them,
and henceforth and forever their walk, and life, and conversation is
with God, and in the service of His little ones. Now it will be easily
seen that the personal influence of such men and women over the life and
manners of children, must be immensely beneficial. It is granted that
the influence of father and mother is potential for good or evil. So it
is with teachers. Children are shrewd observers, and are apt to take
some one as a prototype and exemplar. This one they copy as near as may
be. These "Christian Brothers," and "Nuns, or Sisters," are good models;
they teach the children to pray in the best of all ways--by praying
themselves first; they try to impress on these tender souls sentiments
of love, obedience, and respect to their fathers and mothers, and, above
all, their duties to our dear Lord. They accompany them to His altar on
Sundays and holy days, beginning and ending all their daily lessons with
a little prayer or devotion. For the rest, they give them, in their
schools, a plain, practical education.

Every day (we are told) there are instances of men slipping from the
high rounds to the lowest one in the ladder of wealth. Business men find
themselves engulphed in the sea of financial embarrassment, from which
they emerge with nothing but their personal resources to depend upon for
a living. Clerks, salesmen, and others find themselves thrown out of
employment, with no prospect of speedily obtaining places which they are
competent to fill, and with no other means of gaining a livelihood. How
many men are there in every city to-day, some of whom have families
dependent on them for support, who bewail the mistake they made in not
learning useful trades in their younger days? There are hundreds of
them. There are men in every city who have seen better days, men of
education and business ability, who envy the mechanic, who has a sure
support for himself and family in his handicraft. Parents make a great
mistake when they impose upon the brain of their boy the task of
supporting him, without preparing his hands for emergencies.

No matter how favorable a boy's circumstances may be, he should enter
the battle of life as every prudent general enters the battle of armies:
with a reliable reserve to fall back upon in case of disaster. Every man
is liable to be reduced to the lowest pecuniary point at some stage of
his life, and it is hardly necessary to refer to the large proportion of
men who reach that point. No man is poor who is the master of a trade.
It is a kind of capital that defies the storm of financial reverse, and
that clings to a man when all else has been swept away. It consoles him,
in the hour of adversity, with the assurance that, let whatever may
befall him, he need have no fear for the support of himself and his

Unfortunately a silly notion--the offspring of a sham aristocracy--has,
of late years, led many parents to regard a trade as something
disreputable, with which their children should not be tainted. Labor
disreputable! What would the world be without it? It is the very power
that moves the world. A Power higher than the throne of the aristocracy
has ennobled labor, and he who would disparage it must set himself above
the Divine principle, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread!" A
trade is a "friend in need"; it is independence and wealth--a rich
legacy which the poorest father may give to his son, and which the
richest should regard as more valuable than gold.

Now what kind of education is necessary for a tradesman to carry on
business successfully? Only a plain, practical education; that is to
say, that kind and amount of knowledge of daily ordinary use and
appreciation. It is reading, writing, arithmetic, English grammar, and
geography, and possibly a knowledge of the German language, sufficient
to speak it.

If we look around we will see that all the important and every-day
duties of life are carried on by the use of industry, common sense,
reading, writing, and arithmetic.

And it might almost be said that the failures are to be ascribed, in
part, if not to over-education, at least to the common misdirection of
acquirements, accompanied with the vague ambition and desires which they
invariably excite, but rarely serve to satisfy. Why, I could find, for
instance, in the history, management, and success of every newspaper
editor, a living proof of my proposition. Not that I leave it to be
inferred that there is not, in these newspapers, the evidences of every
kind of acquirements and ability; but that the founders within my
knowledge, and those who have made it the _power_ and _success_ that it
is, have worked with these ordinary instruments. But why give one
instance when there are so many on every side--so much so that the
success of what is called the learned class is so rare, that it must be
put among the exceptions.

As to those who are able, and desire further information, they can have
it to any extent at the colleges, convents, academies and higher

Many of our "dissenting brethren," of the various denominations, are
equally diligent, according to the measure of grace and light given
them, to bring their children up in Christian morals and education. They
have their own schools, and support them, or they send their children to
Catholic institutions, and will not have them tempted or corrupted by
the evil influences, moral, social, and intellectual, that emanate and
surround those "_whited sepulchres_"--the godless schools--as the miasm
emanates and surrounds the pestilent marsh. In all these schools the
children are carefully trained in Christian practices, prayers, and
religious duties, as well as taught a good, plain, practical course of
studies. In fact, they are truly _educated_; while in the Public Schools
they are simply instructed, as you might irrational animals, according
to their instinct. The Jews also teach and bring up their children in
the religion of their fathers, at their own expense; so that more than
one-half are, fortunately for themselves, and fortunately for society,
the good order and well-being of the State, educated outside of immoral
and dangerous pest-houses. It is on this element of our population that
the future of the State depends; for if we are to have a sound public
conscience and a controlling conservative influence in public or private
affairs, we must, under God and His Church, obtain it from a true
Christian education.

At these parish schools, supported by voluntary aid, the expenses of
pupils per year is under seven dollars; at the Public Schools, it is, I
am informed, about thirty-two dollars; so that it costs about four times
as much to give the poor, miserable, shallow, infidel instruction in the
Public Schools, as it does to give a good Christian education in the
denominational ones; or, in plainer language, to educate 20,000 children
in denominational schools saves to tax-payers not less than the _small
sum_! of $500,000.

"If thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off and cast it from thee;
for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish,
rather than thy whole body be cast into hell."--(Matt. v. 30.) By the
present Public School system, the State scandalizes the family, because
it usurps the rights and duties that belong alone to parents; it
scandalizes the tax-payer, because it takes money from him which it has
no right to take; it scandalizes society, because, instead of teaching
virtue, it teaches vice; it scandalizes the young men and the young
women, because, instead of inspiring them with love for Christianity and
their religious duties, it inspires them rather with contempt for
religion, and turns them into actual unbelievers, and thus destroys the
very life of society and the basis of every government; it scandalizes
all nations, because there is not, and there has never been, any nation
inculcating education without religion.

By its present system of education, the State has weakened, and will
finally break up and destroy, the Christian family. The social unit is
the family, not the individual; and the greatest danger to American
society is, that we are rapidly becoming a nation of isolated
individuals, without family ties or affections. The family has already
been much weakened, and is fast disappearing. We have broken away from
the old homestead, have lost the restraining and purifying associations
that gathered round it, and live away from home in hotels and
boarding-houses. A large and influential class of women not only
neglect, but disdain, the retired and simple domestic virtues, and scorn
to be tied down to the modest but essential duties--the drudgery, they
call it--of wives and mothers. We are daily losing the faith, the
virtues, the habits, and the manners, without which the family cannot be
sustained. This, coupled with the separate pecuniary interests of
husband and wife secured, make the family, to a fearful extent, the mere
shadow of what it was and of what it should be. What remains of the
family is only held together by the graces and virtue of women. But even
this last hope is fast breaking down, by the great facility of obtaining
a divorce _a vinculo matrimonii_--a facility by which the laws of most
of the States of the Union grant to lust the widest margin of license,
and legalize concubinage and adultery. Now when the family goes, the
nation goes too, or ceases to be worth preserving. God made the family
the type and basis of society; "male and female made he them."

By its present system of education, the State makes war on God and His
Christ, and says, with Lucifer, "Non servio"; and this is the daring
rebel against God and His law, that would claim the innocent children
of the Christian family as its own; teach them its false maxims,
promising them, as Satan, its master, did the Saviour, riches, and
honors, and power, if they will but fall down and worship it. How
incomprehensibly strange it is, that good men and women who profess
Christianity, and acknowledge the obligations of its commandments,
should give ear to this tempter, instead of saying, "Get behind me,
Satan," and, "Thou art a liar and a cheat from the beginning." The
State, in this subject of education, represents the world; and religion,
as well as experience, teaches us its folly, its wickedness, its
treachery and its ambition. "The State promises bread and gives a
stone." It promises wealth, and honor, and gives taxes, slavery, and
degradation. It is blind, and it attempts to lead; it is ignorant, and
it offers to teach and direct the young. It will not receive the law,
and it claims the right to give it. It arrogates the "_higher law_," and
"_would be as God_." There is the danger; and it is against this the
fight must be made, if we would not surrender our civil and religious
freedom, our temporal and eternal happiness.

Surely it is time for all good Christians of America to cry out to our
rulers, "And now, O ye rulers, understand; receive instruction, you that
judge the earth."--(Ps. ii. x.) Do not force any longer upon a Christian
nation an educational system which produces such results; do not train
any longer our children without religion--to infidelity, and
consequently to revolution. Do not teach the youth of America any longer
to reject God and His religion; they will not be long faithful to you if
you make them unfaithful to the faith of their fathers. You, and all the
classes in society who delight in seeing the influence of religion
weakened or destroyed, never seem to realize, until it is too late, that
you are sure to be the especial victims of your own success. The man who
scorns to love God and His law, how shall he continue to love his
neighbor? The man who has said "there is no God," is he not on the point
of also saying "lust is lawful," "property is robbery"? If you raise
instruments to deny God and to do away with all religious principles,
God will use these very instruments to do away with you also.

Your Pagan system of education will ultimately overturn all order in
the land. Among ancient Pagan nations, where the poor were comparatively
ignorant--where they did not know their rights--it was easy to hold them
in bondage; but now things have changed. Discontent in the lower order
of society can no longer be smothered. Education has become general;
and, unfortunately, the very element, without which education is often a
curse, is omitted. Religious education has been separated from secular
instruction. Without religion, the poor are unable to control their
passions, or to bear their hard lot. They see wealth around them, and,
unless taught by religion, they see no reason why that wealth should not
be divided amongst them. Why should they starve, while their neighbors
roll in splendor and luxury? If the poor were ignorant, they would not,
perhaps, notice all the sad privations of their state; they would not,
perhaps, feel them so keenly. But they are partially educated, and "a
little learning is a dangerous thing."

They know their power, and, not having the soothing influence of
religion to restrain them, they use their power. They have done so in
France and elsewhere, and if they do not always succeed in producing
revolution, and anarchy, it is only the bayonet that prevents them. Such
is the abyss that yawns beneath the feet of our country, and into which
the advocates of _education without religion_--perhaps some of them
unconsciously--seek to precipitate us, by continuing to force upon this
Christian nation an anti-Christian, an anti-American system of

Surely the grievance is not simply an affair of taxes, or so much money
unjustly levied and collected. This we might bear, as we have to do in
other cases of injustice, for righteousness' sake. But we have a duty to
God, ourselves, and our children. We recognize the office and
obligations of the State as _temporal ruler_, but we do not acknowledge
in it an absolute and _unconditional_ authority. We do not admit the
doctrine of _passive obedience_. We will not and cannot surrender the
education of our children to its dictation and control, for that is a
trust placed in our hands by a higher power, and for which we will have
to answer, at the last day, on our salvation. I ask--am I right in all
that I have said upon the State and its godless system of education? If
I am, then I think I have a right to ask for a verdict of "Guilty." If
there are still some who cannot see that I am right, then let them,
without delay, be operated upon for _amaurosis_. But then, in God's
name, is it not high time to inquire what should be done to correct the
system, and stop the torrent of its evil influences? This is a great
question; it demands a speedy and satisfactory solution. The interests
it involves are commensurate with time and eternity.



Men look around, and ask, Where is the remedy for the so wide-spread
corruption of all classes of society? This is a most important question.
It is not difficult for a Christian to answer it. A skilful physician,
who wishes to cure his patient, endeavors first to remove the cause of
the disease. So, in like manner, if we wish to stem the torrent of the
evils that flood the land, we must stop the source from which they flow.

Now the leading men and the most prominent journals of New York and New
England, confess that the greater part of the wide-spread immorality in
our day and country is to be traced to the separation of religion from
the instruction in our Public Schools.

Governor Brown, addressing the Seventh National Teachers' Convention in
St. Louis, in August last, said: "It is a very customary declaration to
pronounce that education is the great safeguard of republics against the
decay of virtue and the reign of immorality. Yet the facts can scarcely
bear out the proposition. The highest civilizations, both ancient and
modern, have sometimes been the most flagitious. Nowadays, certainly,
your prime rascals have been educated rascals."

And indeed if we go to Auburn, Sing Sing, and other prisons, and examine
some of the criminals confined there, we will find that there is truth
in the Governor's words.

Do the managers of the Erie Railway lack any kind of intelligence that
could be communicated in a common school? Are not those pests, the
Washington and Albany lobbies, rather _too_ knowing? Had not those
blood-suckers, the shoddy-ites and army contractors, an average common
school education? Do not the "gold rings" and the "whiskey rings" know
how to read and write? Were not Catiline of old, and Aaron Burr and
Benedict Arnold of more recent times, men of intelligence? Were not the
parties to the recent tragedy, two of whom Mr. Beecher united in unholy
wedlock, passable enough in point of merely intellectual cultivation?
Mephistopheles was a person of surprising accomplishments, and the
ablest debates in literature are those which Milton puts in the mouths
of the grand synod of devils in Pandemonium. Byron was a prodigy of
intelligence; but, whether Mrs. Stowe's revolting accusation be true or
not, he was certainly a profligate.

No one, certainly, gifted with ordinary power of observation, will
ascribe crime solely to ignorance, nor will such a one fail to see that
a large class of the most audacious and dangerous offenders of both
sexes are educated, nay, over-educated, according to the Public School

The Boston Daily _Herald_, of October 20th, published the following as
an editorial article:

"Year after year the Chief of Police publishes his statistics of
prostitution in this city, but how few of the citizens bestow more than
a passing thought upon the misery that they represent! Although these
figures are large enough to make every lover of humanity hang his head
with feelings of sorrow and shame at the picture, we are assured that
they represent but a little, as it were, of the actual licentiousness
that prevails among all classes of society. Within a few months, a
gentleman[F] whose scientific attainments have made his name a household
word in all lands, has personally investigated the subject, and the
result has filled him with dismay; when he sees the depths of
degradation to which men and women have fallen, he has almost lost faith
in the boasted civilization of the nineteenth century. In the course of
his inquiries he has visited both the well-known 'houses of pleasure'
and the 'private establishments' scattered all over the city. He states
that he has a list of both, with the street and number, the number of
inmates, and many other facts that would perfectly astonish the people
if made public. He freely conversed with the inmates, and the
life-histories that were revealed were sad indeed. To his utter
surprise, a large proportion of the 'soiled doves' _traced their fall to
influences that met them in the Public Schools_; and although Boston is
justly proud of its schools, it would seem, from his story, that they
need a thorough purification. In too many of them the most obscene and
soul-polluting books and pictures circulate among both sexes. The very
secrecy with which it is done throws an almost irresistible charm about
it; and to such an extent has the evil gone, that we fear a large
proportion of both boys and girls possess some of the articles, which
they kindly (?) lend to each other. The natural result follows, and
frequently the most debasing and revolting practises are indulged in.
And the evil is not confined alone to Boston. Other cities suffer in the
same way. It is but a few years since the second city in the
Commonwealth was stirred almost to its foundations by the discovery of
an association of boys and girls who were wont to indulge their passions
in one of the school-houses of the city; and not long ago another
somewhat similar affair was discovered by the authorities, but hushed up
for fear of depopulating the schools."

"That the devil is in the _Public Schools_, raging and rampant there
among the _pupils_ as well as among the _teachers_, no one can well
doubt who has sent a little child into them, as guiltless of evil or
unclean thoughts as a newly fallen snowflake, and had him come home, in
a short time, contaminated almost beyond belief by the vileness and
filth which he has seen, and heard, and learned _there_."--(Hathe Tyng
Griswold, in _Old and New_, for March; or _Boston Pilot_, April 6,

A celebrated physician of this country says in his book, "Satan in
Society," as follows:

"The evils and dangers of the present system of educating and bringing
up the boys and girls of our country, are too obvious to require minute
description. Irreligion and infidelity are progressing _pari passu_ with
the advance guards of immorality and crime, and all are _fostered_, if
_not engendered_, by the _materialistic system of school instruction_,
and the consequent wretched training at home and on the play-ground. The
entire absence of all religious instruction from the school-room is fast
bearing fruit in a generation of infidels, and we are becoming worse
even than the Pagans of old, who had at least their positive sciences of
philosophy, and their religion, such as it was, to oppose which was a
criminal offence. To those who would dispute this somewhat horrible
assertion, the author would point to the published statistics of church
attendance, from which it appears that of the entire population but a
very small proportion are habitual church-goers. Deducting from these,
again, those who attend church simply as a matter of fashion, or from
other than religious motives, and there remains a minimum almost too
small to be considered, abundantly sustaining our charge. The
disintegration of the prevalent forms of religious belief, the rapid
multiplication of sects, the increase in the ranks of intellectual
sceptics, the fashionable detractions from, and perversions of, the Holy
Scriptures, acting with the influences already mentioned, may well cause

"But we have not only the removal of the salutary restraints of
religious influence from our popular system of education; we have the
promiscuous intermingling of the sexes in our Public Schools, which,
however much we may theorize to the contrary, is, to say the least,
subversive of that modest reserve and shyness which in all ages have
proved the true ægis of virtue. We are bound to accept human nature as
it is, and not as we would wish it to be, and both Christian and Pagan
philosophy agree in detecting therein certain very dangerous elements.
Among the most dangerous and inevitable is the sexual instinct, which,
implanted by the Creator for the wisest purposes, is, perhaps, the most
potent of all evils when not properly restrained, retarded, and
directed. This mysterious instinct develops earlier in proportion as the
eye and the imagination are soonest furnished the materials upon which
it thrives; and, long before the age of puberty, it is strong, and
well-nigh ungovernable, in those who have been allowed these unfortunate
occasions. The boy of the present generation has more practical
knowledge of this instinct at the age of fifteen, than, under proper
training, he should be entitled to at the time of his marriage; and the
boy of eleven or twelve boastfully announces to his companions the
evidences of his approaching virility. Nourished by languishing glances
during the hours passed in the school-room, fanned by more intimate
association on the journey to and from school, fed by stolen interviews
and openly-arranged festivities--picnics, excursions, parties and the
like--stimulated by the prurient gossip of the newspaper, the flash
novels, sentimental weeklies, and magazines, the gallant of twelve years
is the libertine of fourteen. That this picture is not overdrawn, every
experienced physician will bear witness.

"And as for the Public School-girls, they return from their '_polishing
schools_'--these demoiselles--cursed with a superficial smattering of
everything but what they ought to have learned--physical and moral
wrecks, whom we physicians are expected to _wind up_ in the morning for
the husband-hunting excitements of the evening. And these creatures are
intended for wives! But _wives_ only, for it is fast going out of
fashion to intend them for _mothers_--an 'accident' of the kind being
regarded as'_foolish_'!

"We assert, then, that the present system of education, by its faults of
omission and commission, is directly responsible, not, it is true, for
the bare existence, but for the enormous prevalence of vices and crimes
which we deplore; and we call upon the civil authorities to so modify
the obnoxious arrangements of our schools, and upon parents and
guardians to so instruct and govern their charges, that the evils may be
suppressed, if not extinguished."

The attempt to prepare man for his duties in social life with morals and
religion left out, is not only a failure, but a crime. Yes, it is not
only a failure, but a crime of such magnitude, that society has already
begun to suffer its consequences in a demoralization and _general
libertinage_ of the most shameful kind. This education without religion
and morals is the poisoned fountain from which flows, and will flow, if
not purified by adding the essential elements now omitted, the impure
streams of all kinds of vice. If God is despised, governments will be
trampled on; if God's law is hated, the laws of men will be violated;
man will see only his own interest, his neighbor's property will only
whet his appetite; his neighbor's life will be only a secondary
consideration; he would, according to his creed, be a fool not to shed
blood when his interest requires it; his fellow-men become imbued with
his principles--anarchy succeeds subordination--vice takes the place of
virtue--what was sacred is profaned--what was honorable becomes
disgraceful--might becomes right--treatises are waste paper--honor is an
empty name--the most sacred obligations dwindle down into mere optional
practices--youth despises age--wisdom is folly--subjection to authority
is laughed at as a foolish dream--the moral code itself soon becomes
little more than the bugbear of the weak-minded--crowns are trampled
under foot--thrones are overturned--nations steeped in blood, and
republics swept from the face of the earth.

Yes, continue a little longer to educate the greater part of the
community according to the present system of the Public Schools, and
rest assured we shall soon have a hell upon earth--society will be
stabbed to the heart by the ruffian assassin called _godless Public
School education_--it will reel, stagger, and sink a bleeding victim to
the ground, expiring, like the suicide, by the wound itself has
inflicted. I truly believe that if Satan was presented with a blank
sheet of paper, and bade to write on it the most fatal gift to man, he
would simply write one word--"godless schools." He might then turn his
attention from this planet; "godless Public Schools" would do the rest.

Now what is to be done to stop the poisoned source from which the
diabolical spirit and the crimes of our country flow? A certain class
come forward and say, "Let the Bible be read in our Public Schools. The
Bible is the grand source of religion and morality. The Bible alone,
without note or comment, is the grand source of life and civilization."

Very well, let the Bible be admitted, but with the Bible you must send
the key--the interpreter. And then, which of all the Bibles, and whom
among the numerous sects, shall be sent?

To read the Bible, without note or comment, to young children, is to
abandon them to dangerous speculation, or to leave them dry and barren
of all Christian knowledge. In mixed schools there is no other resource,
because it is impossible to make any comment upon any doctrinal teaching
of Christ and His Apostles, without trenching upon the conscientious
opinions of some one or other of the listeners. "The Father and I are
One." "The Father is greater than I." Here at once we have the Unitarian
and the Trinitarian at a dead-lock! "This is My Body." "It is the spirit
which quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing." Here we have
the primitive Lutheran, who believed in the real presence
(consubstantially), and his Calvinistic coadjutor in reform, squarely at
issue! "Unless you be born again of water and the Holy Ghost," etc. Here
we have the Baptist and the Quaker very seriously divided in opinion.
Nevertheless, widely as they differ the one from the other, there is a
fundamental assimilation between all the Protestant sects which may
render it possible for them to unite in one educational organization;
and yet we find many of the most enlightened and earnest among the
Protestant clergy of America now zealously advocating the denominational
system, such as we find it in the European countries. They believe that
education should be distinctly based upon doctrinal religion, and they
are liberal enough to insist that, by natural right as well as by the
constitutional guarantees of our free country, no doctrine adverse to
the faith of a parent may lawfully be forced or surreptitiously imposed
upon his child. It is well known, however, that between the Catholic
faith and all Protestant creeds, there is a gulf which cannot be bridged
over. It would, therefore, be simply impossible to adopt any religious
teaching whatever in mixed schools, without at once interfering with
Catholic conscience. No such teaching is attempted, as a general rule,
we believe, in the Public Schools of the United States, and hence we
have only a vague announcement of moral precepts, the utter futility
and barrenness of which must be evident to every one. Catholics,
agreeing with very many enlightened and zealous Protestants, believe
that secular education, administered without religion, is not only vain,
but exceedingly pernicious; that it is fast undermining the Christian
faith of this nation; that it is rapidly filling the land with
rationalism; that it is destroying the authority of the Holy Scriptures;
that it is educating men who prefix "Reverend" and affix "D.D." to their
names, the more effectually to preach covert infidelity and immorality
to Christian congregations; that, instead of the saving morality of the
Gospel of Christ, which rests upon revealed mysteries and supernatural
gifts, it is offering us that same old array of the natural virtues or
qualities which helped, for a while, like rotten pillars, to prop up the
heathen nations of old. It must, then, be evident to every man of common
sense that the reading of the Bible alone, though it be the Word of God,
will _not_ counterbalance the results of Pagan education. Indeed the
reading of the Bible alone is by no means an adequate remedy to stem the
torrent of the evils in our country. What impurities have not been
committed under the sanction of those words of the Lord, "Increase and
multiply"! A host of sectarians, following in the wake of the
Anabaptists of Munster, in Germany, have, on the authority of those
words, dared to legitimate polygamy. On such misapplication of a text
from the Gospel, Luther, Bucerus, and Melanchthon have permitted Philip,
the Landgrave of Hesse, to have two wives.

In the name of the Bible, of the Word of God, Luther at first incited
the German peasantry to revolt against their rulers, and then,
frightened at his own work, he persuaded the princes to massacre the
peasants. John of Leyden found, in his studies of the Bible, that he
should marry eleven women at once. Herman felt himself clearly
designated, in the Bible, as the Envoy of the Lord. Nicholas learned
from it that there was no necessity of anything connected with faith,
and that we must live in sin in order that grace may abound. Sympson
pretends to find in the Scriptures an ordination that men should walk in
the streets stark naked, to teach the rich a lesson that they must
divest themselves of everything. Richard Hill justified, with the Bible
in hand, adultery and manslaughter as deeds never failing to work out
some good purpose, especially when joined to incest, in which case more
saints are added to the earth and more blessed to the heavens. Even on
the avowal of honest Protestants, no crime or abomination has ever
failed to find its pretended justification in some scriptural text.

What, then, must we think of the reading of the Bible, when its reading,
without note or comment, leads to such consequences? Indeed what has
been said on the evil consequences of the Public School system on
society proves sufficiently that the reading of the Bible is no adequate
means at all to stem the torrent of crimes in our country. Nowhere has
the Bible been read more frequently, during school-hours, than in the
Public Schools of the New England States, and yet nowhere have the
results of these schools proved more fatal than in these very States.
The reading of the Bible alone, therefore, though it be the Word of God,
will _not_ counterbalance the results of Pagan education.

There are others who maintain "that religious instruction should be left
to parents."

Now it is not only idle, but cruel, to say that the place and provision
for such Christian instruction and formation is under the roof of the
parents' home; that the best school is the family. This is indeed true
of the early formation by affection, influence, example, by which
fathers and mothers fashion the first outlines of character, and mature
them while the education of their children is advancing. None have
reminded parents of this more faithfully than the Pastors of the Church.
But to say that fathers and mothers are to educate their children, and
that their home is to be the school of Christian instruction,
catechetical teaching, formation of conscience, preparation for
sacraments, and the like, is either the shallow talk of men who know
nothing of Christian education, or care nothing for it, or a heartless
mockery of our poor. The rich, the refined, the educated, whose time is
their own, do not educate their own children. They systematically send
them to schools and colleges, or pay for tutors or governesses under
their own roof. They wisely shrink from a work for which, if they have
the time, they seldom have the acquirements or the gift, or the method
of the perseverance or the patience. And if this be, as it is,
universally true of those who are the most competent, and the most
provided with all the means and opportunities for the work, now is it
not hardness of heart, or want of common sense, to say that the children
of the poor are to learn reading, and writing, and summing, indeed, at
school, but that their Christian teaching and formation must be provided
at home? The workingmen of these countries are at labor from twilight to
twilight. Their wives have the burden of the whole family; the poor
mother is alone both the head and the servant of the whole house. When
is she to teach, and train, and shape, and fashion the characters,
hearts, consciences, intellects of the children? Is it to be done in the
midst of a day's work, or in the weariness after the day's work is done?
And are they competent to do what the mother of the rich cannot do?
Broken with cares, wearied by work, suffering from poverty, often
fainting from sickness because worn out with all these burdens, how
shall the father or mother of a family, huddled into a single room, do
what the rich and the educated, in their spacious houses, and with
abundant leisure, never dream of attempting?

Moreover, as I have shown in a preceding chapter, it must be admitted
that a mother not educated in religious and moral principles cannot
inform the mind and heart of the young child; this fully disposes of the
argument that domestic teaching alone will supply what is acknowledged
to be wanting in the "Public Schools." It is to be hoped that we shall
hear no more of this heartless talk.

"Well, then," some will say, "let our children receive, _in
Sunday-schools_, that amount of religious culture and instruction which
the State says shall not be given in the school, and which is believed
to be so essential in the education of the young."

Now it is in vain to open our Sunday-schools and expect to cure, on one
day of the week, or rather a few hours of that day (when this even
depends, in a great part, on the weather), the work not only of the
other six, but the fruits of years of an ill-directed and godless State
education. The Sunday-schools are nothing but so many "_Poor-man's
soothing plasters_" on Christian consciences. The want of religious
training for six days in the week, added to the positive knowledge of
error on all religious subjects which youths may acquire during that
time, will more than counterbalance the best-directed efforts of parents
and the clergy to give any definite knowledge on the truths of
revelation. The question whether or not religious education is
compatible with Public School education, has been tried in all
English-speaking countries, and in parts of Germany, with this result:
that, a class, the Public School children are without any adequate
religious knowledge or training. The clergy may have Sunday-schools, as
they have, in all their churches; but what can children learn, in a few
hours, of a subject which took three years from the Saviour of man to
teach even to the apostles? And then the apostles, after three years of
instruction from the lips of Christ, did not understand the Christian
religion; they were slow to understand, and, after His resurrection,
Christ upbraided them with incredulity and hardness of heart. Even the
children of the Public Schools, as far as experience goes, lose all
taste for the study of religion, which is developed among the children
of Christian schools without any effort. Sunday-schools, at best, may
train children to be Christians _one day_ in the week, and Pagans six
days. School-days over, the usual result will be _Pagans_ all the seven
days of the week.

If it is in vain to say, "Let the Bible be read in our Public Schools,"
or "let our children receive religious instruction from their parents,
or in Sunday-schools, in order to arrest the fast-spreading crimes of
the land," it is still more in vain to say, "Let the Legislature be
called upon."

It cannot be denied that the higher culture of America has, from the
time of the introduction of the present Public School system, ceased to
be Christian. What is the natural harvest of this sowing? It is that we
have already a generation of men, thousands of whom are not fit to be
the heads and fathers of families. But this is not all; we have also
ever so many guides of public opinion, ever so many ministers of public
affairs, and ever so many lawgivers of the United States, who are
infidels and profligates; who see _only themselves_ in all they do, who
desire only to fret out their little hour on the political stage _with
a sharp eye to their own interests_, without the smallest desire to
secure the Republic against future disasters--who cannot, or _will_ not,
see the disastrous storms the ship of the Republic will soon have to
encounter. What good, then, could be expected from calling upon the
Legislature? It would only show its impotency, or, what is more, its own
corruption. The executive is unable, suspected, or often found in the
"_ring_," or, to use a common expression, "Justice stinks." The
judiciary, by its very nature, always timid, and too often time-serving,
can do nothing. Well, then, the press: what shall be said of it? Only
this: that it would be unreasonable to expect it to possess the
supernatural powers of healing such a multitude of foul lepers, or to be
able at any time to lift itself far above the level of the general
average of the age and country.

What, then, must be done to save society from the perils that menace
it--to stem the tide that bids fair to sweep away, eventually, even
civilization itself? We must proceed on a true principle. When we
proceed on a true principle, the more logically and completely we carry
it out the better; but when we start with a false principle, the more
logical we are, and the farther we push it, the worse. Our consistency
increases, instead of diminishing, the evils we would cure. The
reformers started wrong. They would reform the Church by placing her
under human control. Their successors have in each generation found they
did not go far enough, and have, each in its turn, struggled to push it
farther and farther, till they find themselves without any church life,
without faith, without religion, and beginning to doubt if there be even
a God. So, in the question of education, the upholders of the Public
School system have pushed the false principle "that all individual,
domestic, social, and political evils are due to ignorance, and can only
be prevented by high intellectual culture," till they have nearly taught
away all religious belief and morality, have well-nigh abolished the
family which is the social unit, and find that the evils they pretended
to prevent, and the wrongs they sought to redress, are fast increasing.

We must, then, proceed on a true principle in trying to remedy the
profligacy that disgraces so many of our crowded centres, and the
demoralization that is fast gangrening even our rural districts.

One thousand eight hundred and forty-odd years ago, you might have
observed a poor, meanly-clad wanderer, wending his steps on the Appian
way to the Capitol of the world,--the wealthy, magnificent, and ungodly
city of Rome. He has passed its gates, and threads his way unobserved
through its populous streets. On every side he beholds gorgeous palaces
raised at the expense of downtrodden nationalities; stately temples
dedicated to as many false gods as nations were congregated in Rome;
public baths and amphitheatres devoted to pleasure and to cruelty;
statues, monuments, and triumphal arches raised to the memory of
blood-thirsty tyrants. He passes warriors and senators, beggars and
cripples, effeminate and dissolute women, gladiators and slaves,
merchants and statesmen, orators and philosophers;--all classes, all
ranks, all conditions of men of every language and color under the sun.
Everywhere he sees a maddening race for pleasure; everywhere the impress
of luxury, everywhere the full growth of crime, side by side with
indescribable suffering, diabolical cruelty and barbarity. And this
poor, meanly-clad wanderer was St. Peter. Oh! how the noble heart of the
fisherman of Galilee must have bled, when he observed the empire of
Satan so supreme--when he witnessed the shocking licentiousness of the
temple and the homestead; when he saw the fearful degradation of woman
groaning under the load of her own infamy; when he saw the heart-rending
inhumanity which slew the innocent babes and threw them into the Tiber;
when he saw how prisoners of war, slaves, and soldiers were trained for
bloody fights, and entered the arena of the amphitheatre, and strove
whole days to strangle one another, for the special entertainment of the
Roman people. When Peter came to Rome, that city was the condensation of
all the idolatry, all the oppression, all the injustice, all the
immoralities of the world; for the world was centred in Rome.

Here, then, were evils to be remedied similar to those of our day and
country. Pagan philosophers, poets and orators, had tried their best to
cure these evils and to elevate mankind, but they had tried in vain.
What they were unable to bring about, St. Peter accomplished by
preaching to the Roman people Christianity--the religion of Jesus
Christ--which imparts to the mind infallibly the light of truth, and
lays down for the will authoritatively the unchangeable principles of
supernatural morality, true prosperity, true happiness, and peace on
earth and for eternity. Indeed, it is a well-known fact that the
Capitoline temple, and with it the many shrines of idolatry, the golden
house of Nero, and with it Roman excess and Roman cruelty, the throne of
the Cæsars, and with it Roman oppression and Roman injustice, gave way
and disappeared in proportion as the light of Christianity was infused
into that foul mass, into that rotten society, centred in Rome. It was
this Christian religion that changed a sinful people into saints, and so
many holy inhabitants of heaven. And what the blessings of the religion
of Christ brought about in Rome, they bring about wherever they are
diffused. Hence all true lovers of the country tell us that there is but
one remedy for the cure of the diabolical spirit and the crimes of our
country--it is to teach our children the truth and blessings of the
Christian religion. It is the Christian religion that infallibly and
authoritatively teaches the duties of civil authorities towards their
subjects, of husbands towards their wives, of parents towards their
children, of masters towards their servants, of pastors towards their
flocks, of the faithful towards their pastors, of servants towards their
masters, of wives towards their husbands, of children towards their
parents, of subjects towards their lawfully constituted civil
authorities, of all men towards God, their Supreme Master, and just
Rewarder of good and evil. Moreover, it is the Christian religion alone
that affords men the means to obtain God's grace, which enlightens the
mind to see the beauty of virtue, inflames the heart with love for it,
and inclines the will to practise it with perseverance. If we then wish
to be sure of having a virtuous and virile people, we must Christianize
our youth, especially during their school hours; we must bring up our
children in a religious atmosphere. I have already remarked that
religion may be compared to leaven. As leaven must be diffused
throughout the entire mass in order to produce its effects, so the
Christian religion must be thoroughly diffused throughout the child's
entire education, in order to be solid and effective.

Not a moment of the hours of school should be left without religious
influence. It is the constant breathing of the air that preserves our
bodily life, and it is the constant dwelling in a religious atmosphere
that preserves the life of the youthful soul. Religion is not a study,
or an exercise that may be restricted to a certain place, or a certain
hour. It is a faith and a law which ought to be felt everywhere, and
which in this manner alone can exercise all its beneficent influence
upon our minds and lives. It will never do to suffer the child to devote
six days in the week to worldly science, and to depend on Sunday for a
religious training. This would be like reserving the salt which should
season our food during the week, and taking it all in a dose on Sunday.
By such a system we may make expert shop-boys, first-rate accountants,
shrewd and thriving "earth-worms"; but it would be presumption to think
of thus making good citizens, still less virtuous Christians.

Let us be assured that our young men know their duties to God, to their
neighbors, and to themselves, and they will then, but not till then, be
true Christians. In being true Christians they will be dutiful sons,
faithful husbands, affectionate fathers, gentle masters, honest
servants, law-loving and law-abiding citizens, true statesmen, good
soldiers, and valiant defenders of the country, chaste and sober
companions, the joy of God and of society.

But, above all, let us be assured that our daughters are educated as
women, not as men. Women are not needed as men; they are needed as
women: to do, not what men can do as well as they, but what men cannot
do. Woman was created to be a wife and a mother; that is her destiny. To
that destiny all her instincts point, and for it nature has specially
qualified her. Her proper sphere is home, and her proper function is the
care of the household, to manage a family, to take care of children, and
attend to their early training. For this she is endowed with patience,
endurance, passive courage, quick sensibilities, a sympathetic nature,
and great executive and administrative ability. She was born to be a
queen in her own household, and make home cheerful, bright, and happy.
There it is that she is really great, noble, almost divine.

Now the general complaint is that the greater part of our Public
School-girls are not fit to be good wives, mothers and housekeepers. As
wives, they forget what they owe to their husbands, are capricious and
vain, often light and frivolous, extravagant and foolish, bent on having
their own way, though ruinous to the family, and generally contriving,
by coaxings, blandishments, or poutings, to get it. They hold obedience
in horror, and seek only to govern their husbands and all around them.

As mothers, they not only neglect, but disdain, the retired and simple
domestic virtues, and scorn to be tied down to the modest but essential
duties--the drudgery, they call it--of mothers; they manage to be
relieved of household cares, especially of child-bearing, and of the
duty of bringing up children. They repress their maternal instincts, and
the horrible crime of infanticide before birth now becomes so fearfully
prevalent, that the American nation is actually threatened with
extinction. If they condescend to have one or two children, they set
them an ill example; for if children see that their mother, as a wife,
forgets to honor and obey her husband, and always wants to have her own
way with him, they soon lose all respect for her, and insist on having
their own way with her, and usually succeed.

As housekeepers they devote their time to pleasure or amusement, wasting
their life in luxurious ease, in reading sentimental or sensational
novels, or in following the caprices of fashion; thus they let the
household go to ruin, and the honest earnings of the husband becomes
speedily insufficient for the family expenses, and he is sorely tempted
to provide for them by rash speculation or by fraud, which, though it
may be carried on for a while without detection, is sure to end in
disgrace and ruin at last.

There is indeed nothing which more grieves the wise and good, or makes
them tremble for the future of the country, than the way in which our
daughters are educated in the Public Schools. When they become wives and
mothers, they have none of the habits or character necessary to govern
their household and to train their children properly. Hence arise that
growing neglect or laxity of family discipline; that insubordination,
that lawlessness, and precocious depravity of Young America; that almost
total lack of filial reverence and obedience with the children of this
generation. Exceptions there happily are; but the number of children
that grow up without any proper training or discipline at home is
fearfully large, and their evil example corrupts not a few of those who
are well brought up. The country is no better than the town. As a rule,
children are no longer subjected to a steady and firm, but mild and
judicious, discipline, or trained to habits of filial love, respect and
obedience. These habits are acquired only in a school of obedience, made
pleasant and cheerful by a mother's playful smile and a mother's love.
The care and management of children during their early years belong
specially to the mother. The education of children may be said to
commence from the moment they open their eyes and ears to the sights and
sounds of the world about them; and of these sights and sounds the words
and example of the mother are the most impressive and the most enduring.
Of all lessons, those learned at the knees of a good mother sink the
deepest into the mind and heart, and last the longest. Many of the
noblest and best men that ever lived, and adorned and benefited the
world, have declared that, under God, they owed everything that was good
and useful in their lives to the love of virtue, and truthfulness, and
piety, and the fear of God instilled into their hearts by the lips of a
pious mother. It is her special function to plant and develop in their
young and impressible minds the seeds of virtue, love, reverence, and
obedience, and to train her daughters, by precept and example, not to
catch husbands that will give them splendid establishments, but to be,
in due time, modest and affectionate wives, tender and judicious
mothers, and prudent and careful housekeepers. This the father cannot
do; and his interference, except by wise counsel, and to honor and
sustain the mother, will generally be worse than nothing. The task
devolves specially on the mother; for it demands the sympathy with
children which is peculiar to the female heart, the strong maternal
instinct implanted by nature, and directed by a judicious education,
that blending of love and authority, sentiment and reason, sweetness and
power, so characteristic of the noble and true-hearted woman, and which
so admirably fit her to be loved and honored, only less than adored, in
her own household. But though the duties and responsibilities of mothers
in this matter are the heaviest and most important for themselves, and
for the society of all others, yet there are none which are more

Now wives and mothers, by neglecting their domestic duties and the
proper family discipline, fail to offer the necessary resistance to
growing lawlessness and crime, aggravated, if not generated, by the
false notions of freedom and equality so widely entertained. It is only
by home discipline, and the early habits of reverence and obedience to
which our children are trained, that the license the government
tolerates, and the courts hardly dare attempt to restrain, can be
counteracted, and the community made a law-loving and a law-abiding

Why is it that the very bases of society have been sapped, and the
conditions of good government despised, or denounced under the name of
despotism? Why is it that social and political life is poisoned in its
source, and the blood of the nation corrupted? It is because wives and
mothers have failed in their domestic duties, and the discipline of
their families. And they have failed in this, because the State did not,
and could not, bring them up to it.

The evils we have to cure cannot be reached by the reading of the
Bible, by Sunday-school training, nor by any possible political or
legislative action. Men or women cannot be legislated into virtue. That
the remedy, to a great extent, must be supplied by woman's action and
influence, we not only concede, but claim. But it is only as woman, as
wife, as mother, that she must do the work: as woman, to soften
asperities, and to refine what else were coarse and brutal; as wife, to
sustain with her affection the resolutions and just aspirations of her
husband, and render home bright and cheerful--"the sweetest place on
earth"; as mother, to direct and inspire the noble and righteous
aspirations of her sons--to train and form her children to early habits
of piety, filial love and reverence, of obedience to God's law, and
respect for authority.

There are, in our day, comparatively few mothers who are qualified to do
this. But what they can and should do is to see that they have a better
and more thorough system of education for their sons, but especially for
their daughters--a system of education that specially adapts them to the
destiny of their sex, and prepares them to find their happiness in their
homes, and the satisfaction of their highest ambition in discharging
its manifold duties, so much higher, nobler, and more essential to the
virtue and well-being of the community, the nation, the society, and to
the life and progress of the human race, than any which devolve on king
or emperor, magistrate or legislator. We would not have their generous
instincts repressed, their quick sensibilities blunted, or their warm,
sympathetic nature chilled, nor even the lighter graces and
accomplishments neglected; but we would have them all directed and
harmonized by solid intellectual instruction, and moral and religious
culture. We would have them, whether rich or poor, trained to find the
centre of their affections in their home; their chief ambition in making
it cheerful, bright, radiant and happy. Whether destined to grace a
magnificent palace, or to adorn the humble cottage of poverty, this
should be the ideal aimed at in their education. They should be trained
to love home, and to find their pleasure in sharing its cares and
performing its duties, however arduous or painful.

There are, as I have said, comparatively few mothers qualified to give
their daughters such an education, especially in our own country; for
comparatively few have received such an education themselves, or are
able fully to appreciate its importance. They can find little help in
the fashionable boarding-schools for finishing young ladies; and, in
general, these schools only aggravate the evils to be cured. The best
and the only respectable schools for daughters that we have in the
country are the conventual schools taught by women consecrated to God,
and specially devoted to the work of education. These schools, indeed,
are not always all that might be wished. The religious cannot,
certainly, supply the place of the mother in giving their pupils that
practical home-training so necessary, and which can be given only by
mothers who have themselves been properly educated; but they go as far
as is possible in remedying the defects of the present generation of
mothers, and in counteracting their follies and vain ambitions. With all
the faults that can be alleged against any of them, the conventual
schools, even as they are, it must be conceded, are infinitely the best
schools for daughters in the land, and, upon the whole, worthy of the
high praise and liberal patronage their devotedness and
disinterestedness secure them. We have seldom found their graduates
weak and sickly sentimentalists. They develop in their pupils a cheerful
and healthy tone, and a high sense of duty; give them solid moral,
religious instruction; cultivate successfully their moral and religious
affections; refine their manners, purify their tastes, and send them out
feeling that life is serious, life is earnest, and resolved always to
act under a deep sense of their personal responsibilities; meet whatever
may be their lot with brave hearts, and without murmuring and repining.

The editor of the _New York Herald_ prefaces an account of a Catholic
academy with the following remarks:

"However divided public opinion may be as to secular and religious
schools--no matter what differences in opinion may exist in the
community as to the policy of aiding or discouraging purely sectarian
systems of education--there can be but little opposition from any
quarter to the verdict of experience given by many thousand families,
that these devoted women--the Sisters of the Catholic Church--are the
best teachers of young girls, the safest instructors in this age of
loose, worldly, and rampant New Englandism. Those matters of education
which make the lady, in their hands, subordinate to the great object of
making every girl committed to their care a true woman, are imbued with
those principles which have made our mothers our pride and boast. Those
of us who cavil at Catholic pretensions, sneer at their assumption, and
ridicule their observances, must acknowledge that the Sisters are far
ahead and above any organization of the sort of which Protestantism can
boast. The self-sacrifice, the devotion, the single-mindedness, the calm
trust in a Power unseen, the humility of manner and rare unselfishness
which characterize the Sisters, has no parallel in any organization of
the reformed faith. The war placed the claims of the Sisters of Charity
fairly before the country; but these Sisters of the different branches
have, in peace, 'victories no less renowned than in war.' Educating the
poor children, directing the untutored mind of the youthful alien savage
in our midst, or holding the beacon of intellectual advancement bright
and burning before the female youth of the country, and beckoning them
to advance, they are ever doing a good and noble work."

We do not disguise the fact that our hopes for the future, in great
measure, rest on these conventual schools; if they are multiplied, and
the number of their graduates increase, and enter upon the serious
duties of life, the ideal of female education will become higher and
broader; a nobler class of wives and mothers will exert a healthy and
purifying influence; religion will become a real power in the Republic;
the moral tone of the community, and the standard of private and public
morality, will be elevated; and thus may gradually be acquired the
virtues that will enable us, as a people, to escape the dangers that now
threaten us, and to save the Republic as well as our own souls.

Sectarians, indeed, declaim against these schools, and denounce them as
a subtle device of Satan to make their daughters "Romanists"; but Satan
probably dislikes "Romanism" even more than sectarians do, and is much
more in earnest to suppress or ruin our conventual schools, in which he
is not held in much honor, than he is to sustain and encourage them. At
any rate, our countrymen who have such a horror of the religion it is
our glory to profess, that they cannot call it by its true name, would
do well, before denouncing these schools, to establish better schools
for daughters of their own. These modest, retiring Sisters and Nuns, who
have no new theories and schemes of social reform, and upon whom a
certain class of women look down with haughty contempt, as weak,
spiritless, and narrow-minded, have chosen the better part, and are
doing infinitely more to raise woman to her true dignity, and for the
political and social, as well as for the moral and religious, progress
of the country, than the Woman's Rights party, with all their grand
conventions, brilliant speeches, stirring lectures and spirited
journals. By way of parenthesis, we dare tell these women who are
wasting so much time, energy, philanthropy, and brilliant eloquence in
agitating for female suffrage and eligibility, which, if conceded, would
only make matters worse, that, if they have the real interest of their
sex or of the community at heart, they should turn their attention to
the education of daughters for their special functions, not as men, but
as women, who are one day to be wives and mothers--woman's true destiny.

Undoubtedly the special destiny of women is to be wives and mothers; but
we are told that there are thousands of women who are not and cannot be
wives and mothers. In the older and more densely settled States of the
Union, there is an excess of females over males, and all cannot get
husbands if they would. Yet, we repeat, woman was created to be a wife
and a mother, and the woman that is not fails of her special destiny.
Under the Christian dispensation honorable provision has been made for
that large class of women who, either from preference, or from any other
cause, do not marry. Virginity, which was regarded as a reproach, became
an honor under the Christian law. Those women who do not wish, or cannot
be wives and mothers in the natural order, may be both, in the spiritual
order, if they will, and are properly educated for it. They can be
wedded to the Holy Spirit, and be the mothers of minds and hearts. The
holy virgins and devout widows who consecrated themselves to God, in or
out of religious orders, are both, and fulfil in the spiritual order
their proper destiny. We hold them in high honor, because they become
mothers to the motherless, to the poor, to the forsaken, to the
homeless. They instruct the ignorant, nurse the sick, help the helpless,
tend the aged, catch the last breath of the dying, pray for the
unbelieving and the cold-hearted, and elevate the moral tone of society,
and shed a cheering radiance along the pathway of life. They have no
need to be idle or useless. In a world of so much sin and sorrow,
sickness and suffering, there is always work enough for them to do; it
is on the poor and motherless, the destitute and the downtrodden, the
sinful and the sorrowful, the aged and infirm, the ignorant and the
neglected, that, under proper direction, they can lavish the wealth of
their affections, the tenderness of their hearts, and the ardor of their
charity, and find true joy and happiness in so doing, ample scope for
woman's noblest ambition, and chances enough to acquire merit in the
sight of heaven, and true glory, that will shine brighter and brighter
forever. They thus are dear to God, dear to the Church, and dear to
Christian society. They are to be envied, not pitied. It is only because
you have lost faith in Christ, faith in the holy Catholic Church, and
have become gross in your minds, of "earth earthy," that you deplore the
lot of the women who cannot, in the natural order, find husbands, and
call them, contemptuously, "old maids"--a miserable relic of heathenism
or Protestantism, neither of which have anything to hold out to old
maids. But Jesus Christ has provided for them better than you are able
to understand.

The Father of our country, then, was right when he said, in his farewell
address to the American nation, that religion and morality are the
"props" of society, and the "pillars" of the State. Let us, then, rest
assured that the best way to check the torrent of infidelity and
immorality, to avert impending evils, to prepare the golden age of our
Republic, is to infuse good morals by the most powerful of all
means--_Christian Education_.


[F] Prof. Aggassiz.



We live in a time of great activity and change, and intense worldliness.
"Men run to and fro and knowledge is increased." Would that we could
feel that there is an increase also in integrity and virtue, and respect
for Religion. We all know that it is not so. So far as we can form
accurate ideas of the social and religious condition of men at any
particular period in the world's history, we may doubt whether the words
of the Apostle St. Paul, describing what shall come to pass in what he
calls "the last days," ever touched any people so closely as they do
those of our times and country. "Men," he says, "shall be lovers of
themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to
parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace,
slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors,
stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasure, more than lovers of God."
Well may the Apostle speak of such times as "dangerous times." When the
moral atmosphere we breathe is so full of what the Scriptures call "the
spirit of this world," we can only hope to escape its corrupting
influences by doing all in our power to diffuse Christian principles
among the rising generation, by means of truly Christian schools.

The arrangements can be made without disturbing the general system. It
is this: "Let the State aid, but not direct, a system of plain English
education, confined to all those whose circumstances are limited, or who
are left destitute, or orphans. Let all religious denominations, when
they desire it, have the privilege of conducting their own schools,
subject only to general uniform inspection and examination on the part
of the State, and have their proportion of the school-moneys." The
wealthy classes will know how to take care of the education of their
own children, as they do of their family affairs in other matters.

The advocates of this "Denominational System" yield to none in their
endeavors to secure to _all_ the children within the State a good,
solid, and practical education, according to the religious convictions
and circumstances of all. This, they claim, is not, and cannot be
furnished on the present plan. They do not, as falsely charged, desire
to distract or divide, or introduce sectarianism into the Public
Schools; on the contrary, they _wish_ to satisfy conscience by yielding
_to all others what they claim for themselves_, and cannot help
denouncing the present system as practically resulting in a form of
sectarianism worse than any yet professed: to wit, "Indifferentism."

If the "Denominational System" was adopted, it would satisfy and do
justice to all, and, at the same time, excite such rivalry and
competition among teachers as to advance education, whilst it diminishes
its cost in the same ratio. We have seen that it costs about four times
as much to give the miserable infidel instruction in the Public Schools,
as it does to give a good Christian education in the denominational
schools. What possible objection, then, can there be to adopt the
denominational, or separate system, when it costs four times less, and
imparts, to say the least, as good an education to the greatest number
of children? It is no argument to urge that schools would be sectarian.
We have sectarian churches, and various shades and differences of
belief, already. This would not alter one or the other a particle. The
State cannot impose uniformity on churches; why force it on schools?
Indeed it is worse, inasmuch as this scholastic conformity or uniformity
is against all religions, and in favor of infidelity, or the
no-religious sect, if there be such a one. It discriminates against the
believers, and is in favor of the unbelievers.

But it is easy to see what the matter is. It is not religion these men
fear so much as _competition_. One session's trial of the separate
system would so clearly demonstrate to the public the economy and
advantages of this plan, that the troop of paid teachers, officers,
musicians, and others, who are fattening at the expense of a credulous
people, would be exposed, and have to take their "carpet-bags" and
tramp. However, I have no cause of quarrel with the employés, male or
female, of the Public Schools. They do not elect themselves, nor make
their salaries, and they are not to be blamed for taking them. If the
clever gentleman who draws (in one State, at least) $2,750 for ten
months, four hours' a day work, or the accomplished lady who gets $2,000
for the same time and labor, or the three musicians at $2,000 each, or
the humble, but perhaps not less useful, corps of "school-sweepers"
(janitors), who are rewarded with $16,886.50, or the officers (three),
who pocket $14,457.90 salary, and $20,771.96 office-expenses!! are so
handsomely rewarded, it is their good fortune, and not their fault.
There is, doubtless, a great deal of human nature in their composition,
as well as others.

There is no earthly way of giving satisfaction to all, except by
granting the denominational system, thereby leaving to all sects and
denominations, as well as to those who do not range themselves under any
specific form at all, to apply a fair proportion of the school-money.
All those who prefer the present plan would have no change to make, and
all those who desire the separate plan would have the right to select
their own class-books and teachers; in other words, would have the
interior management of their own schools. This is the way church matters
are managed to the satisfaction of all. Peoples' views and convictions
on education are just as conscientious and distinct as on religion, and
they have just as good a right to them. If any man denies this truth, I
would like him to give his reasons.

There is one other thing to be taken into consideration here: if, as is
claimed, all, from the highest to the lowest, have a right to an
education at the hands of the State, and if, as is admitted, all should
be instructed in their moral and religious duties, if not by the State,
at least by their parents and pastors, who will instruct the poor little
orphans, the very class for whose benefit the public provide an
education--who, I say, will instruct them in the way they should go? who
will answer for these little "waifs of society"? They ask for bread, and
the State gives them a stone; it has, with the best intentions in the
world, no better to give them. These considerations have compelled most
of the European States, as well as our neighbors--the Canadians--to
abandon the _godless system_, and establish separate schools, when
asked to do so by the members of any denomination.[G]

There _is no exception to this rule, except here!_ With all our boasted
progress, we are behind all civilized nations in this important

Now by adopting this fair method, the poor orphans and ragged children,
who have the first and best claim of all, would be educated. As it is,
it is a notorious fact, that as far as Public Schools are concerned,
they are left out in the cold. This fact is capable of being
demonstrated to any lady or gentleman who will visit the Catholic
orphanages and poor schools of any city. If any one doubts this, and
does me the honor of putting himself at my disposal, I will show him or
her thousands of such poor ragged little ones in one evening. Now is it
not drawing largely upon public credulity, as well as on the public
purse, to ask for thousands for high schools, and normal schools, etc.,
to educate the children, in great part, of the rich, or, at best,
comparatively well to do, and turn their backs on the poor fatherless
orphans and the ragged children of the poor widow or laboring man? Will
anybody who has his eyesight doubt or deny this? If so, he can be
convinced, any day of the week, by looking at the class and style of
boys and girls who go to the upper Public Schools, and observing the
boys and girls (several hundreds in number) who go to the poor schools
of the Sisters of Mercy, or, in fact, to any other charity convent

The Bible, or religious education in schools, will ever come up to vex
and torment the public, especially the Catholic portion of the
community, until the right of separate schools is granted. It is
especially the Catholics that do and must insist upon having separate
schools, for it is the Catholics that have always done all in their
power to establish and maintain the republican form of government, and
it is through the influence of Catholicity alone that our Republic can
be maintained, and increased in power and glory.

A body which has lost the principle of its animation becomes dust. Hence
it is an axiom that the change or perversion of the principles by which
anything was produced, is the destruction of that very thing; if you can
change or pervert the principles from which anything springs, you
destroy it. For instance, one single foreign element introduced into the
blood produces death; one false assumption admitted into science,
destroys its certainty; one false principle admitted into morals, is
fatal. Now our American nation is departing from the principles which
created their civilization, and upon which their grand Republic is
based. Their civilization is becoming every day more and more material,
and this material civilization, while more and more material, is
becoming less moral; society is becoming less solid, less safe, less
stable; individuals are becoming more anarchical, the intellect more
licentious, the wills of men more stubborn, and this self-will expresses
itself in their actions, so that it is true to say that, by means of
godless education, the principles of Christianity upon which the
American Republic was founded, and by which it has hitherto been
preserved, have been rejected, and are being violated on every side. Our
Republic, therefore is no more progressing, but is going back.

About fifteen years ago a number of leading politicians and statesmen of
America, of highest name and note, met together to consider the
condition of the United States. It was before the war, when there were
already many causes of anxiety. It was said that there was a universal
and growing license of the individual will, and that law and government
were powerless to restrain it; that if the will of the multitude became
licentious, it would seriously threaten the public welfare and liberty
of the country. The conclusion they came to was, that, _unless there
could be found some power which could restrain the individual will_,
this danger would at last _seriously menace the United States_.

Now it is easy to say what that power is. It is the power which created
the Christian society--it is the power which drew the world out of the
darkness of heathenism, abolished slavery, restored woman to her true
dignity--it is the power which established and maintained republican
governments, and that power is the power of Catholicity. Whensoever this
power is weakened or lost, immediately all political society decays.
There will be a bright future for America if this power will be
maintained and preserved.

The Catholic Church is the grandest Republic that was ever established.
But it is a Republic of a supernatural order. It has for its Founder
Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself. He chose St. Peter for its first
President. This grand Republic is divided, as it were, into as many
States as there are dioceses; each diocese has a Bishop--a true
successor of the Apostles--for Governor, and each Bishop has priests to
assist him in the spiritual government of the diocese. The Constitution
of this Republic was made by Jesus Christ. It cannot be changed or
altered at all, either by the President, or by the votes of its
citizens. St. Peter and the other Apostles, and their lawful successors,
were bound in conscience, by Jesus Christ, to keep His Constitution--His
doctrine--and teach others to keep it, under pain of forfeiture of
eternal life. The President and the Governors of this Republic--the
Pope and the Catholic Bishops--are not at liberty to govern its
citizens, the Catholics, as they please; they have to govern them
according to the Constitution--the Doctrine of Jesus Christ. Now
Almighty God governs men in accordance with the nature with which He has
created them, as beings endowed with reason and free-will. God adapts
His government to our rational and voluntary faculties, and governs us
without violence to either, and by really satisfying both. The rulers of
the Catholic Church have to do the same; they must govern men as
freemen. Hence the Catholic Church leaves to every people its own
nationality, and to every State its own independence; she ameliorates
the political and social order, only by infusing into the hearts of the
people and their rulers the principles of justice and love, and a sense
of accountability to God. The action of the Church in political and
social matters is indirect, not direct, and in strict accordance with
the free-will of individuals and the autonomy of states. Servile fear
does not rank very high among Catholic theologians. The Church, when she
can, resorts to coercive measures only to repress disorders in the
public body. Hence her rulers are called shepherds, not lords, and
shepherds of their Master's flock, not of their own, and are to feed,
tend, protect the flock, and take care of its increase for Him, with
sole reference to His will, and His honor and glory. The Catholic Church
proffers to all every assistance necessary for the attainment of the
most heroic sanctity, but she forces no man to accept that assistance.
Catholics believe the doctrines of the Church, because they believe the
Catholic Church the Church of God--they believe that Jesus Christ
commissioned St. Peter and the Apostles, and their lawful successors, to
teach all men in His name--to teach them infallibly and authoritatively
His divine doctrine--they believe that this Church is the medium through
which God manifests His will and dispenses His grace to man, and through
which alone we can hope for heaven; they believe that nothing can be
more reasonable than to believe God at His word, and that, above all,
they must seek the kingdom of God and secure their eternal salvation.

Being governed by the Church, as freemen, in the spirit of a republican
government, and enjoying, as they do, the freedom of the children of
God, Catholics feel nowhere more at home than under a republican form of
government. If a great pope could say in truth that he was nowhere more
pope than in America, every Catholic can, and does, also, say in truth,
"Nowhere can I be a better Christian than in the United States." Hence
it is that Catholics are very generally attached to the republican
institutions of the country--no class of our citizens more so--and would
defend them at the sacrifice of their lives. Catholics far more readily
adjust themselves to our institutions than non-Catholics, and among
Catholics it must be observed that _they_ succeed best who best
understand and best practise their religion. They who are least truly
American, and yield most to demagogues, are those who have very little
of Catholicity, except the accident of being born of Catholic parents,
who had them baptized in infancy.

Practical Catholics are the best Republicans! If we consult history, we
find that they were always foremost in establishing and maintaining the
republican form of government. Who originated all the free principles
which lie at the basis of our own noble Constitution? Who gave us trial
by jury, _habeas corpus_, stationary courts, and the principle--for
which we fought and conquered in our revolutionary struggle against
Protestant England--that taxes are not to be levied without the free
consent of those who pay them? All these cardinal elements of free
government date back to the good old Catholic times, in the middle
ages--some three hundred years before the dawn of the Reformation! Our
Catholic forefathers gave them all to us.

Again, we are indebted to Catholics for all the republics which ever
existed in Christian times, down to the year 1776: for those of
Switzerland, Venice, Genoa, Andorra, San Marino, and a host of minor
free Commonwealths, which sprang up in the "dark ages." Some of these
republics still exist, proud monuments and unanswerable evidences of
Catholic devotion to freedom. They are acknowledged by Protestants, no
less than by Catholics. I subjoin the testimony of an able writer in the
New York _Tribune_, believed to be Bayard Taylor. This distinguished
traveller--a staunch Protestant--appeals to history, and speaks from
personal observation. He writes:

"Truth compels us to add that the oldest republic now existing is that
of San Marino, not only Catholic, but wholly surrounded by the especial
dominion of the popes, who might have crushed it like an egg-shell at
any time these last thousand years--but they didn't. The only republic
we ever travelled in besides our own is Switzerland, half of its cantons
or states entirely Catholic, yet never, that we have heard of,
unfaithful to the cause of freedom. We never heard the Catholics of
Hungary accused of backwardness in the late glorious struggle of their
country for freedom, though its leaders were Protestants, fighting
against a leading Catholic power avowedly in favor of religious as well
as civil liberty. And chivalric, unhappy Poland, almost wholly Catholic,
has made as gallant struggles for freedom as any other nation; while of
the three despotisms that crushed her, but one was Catholic."

Let us bring the subject home to our own times and country. Who, I would
ask, first reared in triumph the broad banner of universal freedom on
this North American Continent? Who first proclaimed in this new world a
truth too wide and expansive to enter into the head of, or to be
comprehended by, a narrow-minded bigot--a truth that every man should
be free to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience? Who
_first_ proclaimed, on this broad continent, the glorious principles of
universal freedom? Read Bancroft, read Goodrich, read Frost, read every
Protestant historian of our country, and you will see there inscribed,
on the historic page, a _fact_ which reflects immortal honor on our
American Catholic ancestry--that Lord Baltimore and his Catholic
colonists of Maryland were the _first_ to proclaim universal liberty,
civil and religious; the _first_ to announce, as the basis of their
legislation, the great and noble principle that no man's faith and
conscience should be a bar to his holding any office, or enjoying any
_civil privilege_ of the community.

What American can forget the names of Rochambeau, De Grasse, De Kalb,
Pulaski, La Fayette, Kosciusko? Without the aid of these noble Catholic
heroes, and of the brave troops whom they led on to victory, would we
have succeeded at all in our great revolutionary contest? Men of the
clearest heads, and of the greatest political forecast, living at that
time, thought not; at least they deemed the result exceedingly

And during the whole war of the Revolution, who ever heard of a Catholic
coward, or of a Catholic traitor? When the Protestant General, Gates,
fled from the battle-field of Camden with the Protestant militia of
North Carolina and Virginia, who but Catholics stood firm at their
posts, and fought and died with the brave old Catholic hero, De Kalb?
the veteran who, when others ingloriously fled, seized his good sword,
and cried out to the brave old Maryland and Pennsylvania lines, "Stand
firm, for I am too old to fly!" Who ever heard of a Catholic Arnold? And
who has not heard of the brave Irish and German soldiers who, at a
somewhat later period, mainly composed the invincible army of the
impetuous "Mad Anthony" Wayne, and constituted the great bulwark of our
defence against the savage invasions which threatened our whole
northwestern frontier with devastation and ruin?

All these facts, and many more of a similar kind which might be alleged,
cannot have passed away, as yet, from the memory of our American
citizens. Americans cannot have forgotten, as yet, that the man who
perilled most in signing the Declaration of Independence was a Roman
Catholic, and that when Charles Carroll, of Carrolton, put his name to
that instrument, Benjamin Franklin observed, "There goes a cool million
in support of the cause!"

And when our energies were exhausted, and the stoutest hearts
entertained the most gloomy forebodings as to the final issue, Catholic
France stepped gallantly forth to the rescue of our infant freedom,
almost crushed by an overwhelming English tyranny! Catholic Spain also
subsequently lent us her aid against England. Many of our most sagacious
statesmen have believed that, but for this timely aid, our Declaration
of Independence could scarcely have been made good.

These facts, which are but a few of those which might be adduced, prove
conclusively that Catholicity is still what she was in the middle
ages--the steadfast friend and support of free institutions.

The great roots of all the evils that press upon society, and make man
unhappy, are--


Hence he who wishes to civilize the world, and thus assist in executing
the plans of God's providence, must remove these two great roots of evil
by imparting to the mind infallibly the light of truth, and by laying
down for the will authoritatively the unchangeable principles of
morality. It is the Catholic Church that has accomplished in society
this twofold task, by means of education.

In the Pagan world, education was an edifice built up on the principles
of slavery. The motto was, "Odi profanum vulgus et arceo." Education was
the privilege of the aristocracy. The great mass of people was
studiously kept in ignorance of the treasures of the mind. This state of
things was done away with by the Roman Catholic Church, when she
established the monastic institutions of the West. The whole of Europe
was soon covered with schools, not only for the wealthy, but for the
poorest even of the poor. Yes, education was systematized, and an
emulation was created for learning, such as the world had never seen
before. Italy, Germany, France, England, and Spain, had their
universities; but side by side with these, their colleges, gymnasiums,
parish and village schools, as numerous as the churches and monasteries,
which the efforts of the Holy See had scattered with lavish hand over
the length and breadth of the land.

And where was the source of all this light? I answer, at _Rome_. For
when the barbarian hordes poured down upon Europe from the Caspian
Mountains, it was the Popes who saved civilization. They collected, in
the Vatican, the manuscripts of the ancient authors, gathered from all
parts of the earth at enormous expense. The barbarians, who destroyed
everything by fire and sword, had already advanced as far as Rome.
Attila, who called himself the scourge of God, stood before its walls;
there was no emperor, no praetorian guard, no legions present to save
the ancient Capital of the world. But there was a Pope--Leo I. And Leo
went forth, and by entreaties, and threats of God's displeasure, induced
the dreaded king of the Huns to retire. Scarcely had Attila retired,
before Genseric, king of the Vandals, made his appearance, invited by
Eudoxia, the empress, to the plunder of Rome. Leo met him, and obtained
from him the lives and the honor of the Romans, and the sparing of the
public monuments which adorned the city in such numbers. Thus Leo the
Great saved Europe from barbarism. To the name of Leo, I might add those
of Gregory I., Sylvester II., Gregory XIII., Benedict XIV., Julius III.,
Paul III., Leo X., Clement VIII., John XX., and a host of others, who
must be looked upon as the preservers of science and the arts, even amid
the very fearful torrent of barbarism that was spreading itself, like an
inundation, over the whole of Europe. The principle of the Catholic
Church has ever been this: "By the knowledge of Divine things, and the
guidance of an infallible teacher, the human mind must gain certainty in
regard to the sublimest problems, the great questions of life: by them
the origin, the end, the norm and limit of man's activity must be made
known, for then alone can he venture fearlessly upon the sphere of human
efforts, and human developments, and human science." And, truly, never
has science gained the ascendancy outside of the Church that it has
always held in the Church. And what I say of science I say also of the
arts. I say it of architecture, of sculpture, and of painting. I need
only point to the Basilica of Peter, to the museums and libraries of
Rome. It is to Rome the youthful artist always turns his steps, in order
to drink in, at the monuments of art and of science, the genius and
inspiration he seeks for in vain in his own country. He feels, only too
keenly, that railroads and telegraphs, steamships and power-looms,
banking-houses and stock companies, though good and useful institutions,
are not the mothers of genius, nor the schools of inspiration; and
therefore he leaves his country, and goes to Rome, and there feasts on
the fruits gathered by the hands of St. Peter's successors, and then
returns home with a name which will live for ages in the memory of those
who have learned to appreciate the true and the beautiful.

It is thus that the Catholic Church has accomplished the great work of
enlightening society. She has shed the light of Faith over the East and
the West, over the North and the South, and with the faith she has
established the principles of true science on their natural bases. She
has imparted education to the masses, wherever she was left free to
adopt her own, and untrammelled by civil interference. She has fostered
and protected the arts and the sciences, and to-day, if all the
libraries, and all the museums, and all the galleries of art in the
world were destroyed, Rome alone would possess quite enough to supply
the want, as it did in former ages, when others supplied themselves by
plundering Rome.

The depravity of man shows itself in the constant endeavor to shake off
the restraint placed by law and duty upon his will; and to this we must
ascribe the licentiousness which has at all times afflicted society.
Passion acknowledges no law, and spares neither rights nor conventions;
where it has the power, it exercises it to the advantage of self, and to
the detriment of social order. The Church is by its very constitution
Catholic, and hence looks upon all men as brothers of the same family.
She acknowledges not the natural right of one man over another, and
hence her Catholicity lays a heavy restraint upon all the efforts of
self-love, and curbs with a mighty hand the temerity of those who would
destroy the harmony of life implied in the idea of Catholicity.

One of the first principles of all social happiness is, that before the
law of nature, and before the face of God, all men are equal. This
principle is based on the unity of the human race, the origin of all men
from one common father. If we study the History of Paganism, we find
that all heathen nations overturned this great principle, since we find
among all heathen nations the evil of _Slavery_. Prior to the coming of
Christ, the great majority of men were looked upon as a higher
development of the animal, as animated instruments which might be bought
and sold, given away and pawned; which might be tormented, maltreated,
or murdered; as beings, in a word, for whom the idea of right, duty,
pity, mercy, and law had no existence. Who can read, without a feeling
of intense horror, the accounts left us of the treatment of their slaves
by the Romans? There was no law that could restrain in the least the
wantonness, the cruelty, the licentious excess of the master, who, as
master, possessed the absolute right to do with his slaves whatsoever he
pleased. To remove this stain of slavery has ever been the aim of the
Catholic Church. "Since the Saviour and Creator of the world," says Pope
Gregory I., in his celebrated decree, "wished to become man, in order,
by grace and liberty, to break the chains of our slavery, it is right
and good to bestow again upon man, whom nature has permitted to be born
free, but whom the law of nations has brought under the yoke of slavery,
the blessing of their original liberty." Through all the middle
ages--called by Protestants the _dark ages of the world_--the echo of
these words of Gregory I. is heard; and in the thirteenth century Pope
Pius II. could say, "Thanks to God, and the Apostolic See, the yoke of
slavery does no longer disgrace any European nation." Since then slavery
was again introduced into Africa, and the newly-discovered regions of
America, and again the Popes raised their voices in the interests of
liberty,--from Pius II. to Pius VII., who, even at the time Napoleon had
robbed him of his liberty, and held him captive in a foreign land,
became the defender of the negro, to Gregory XVI., who, on the third of
November, 1839, insisted in a special Bull on the abolition of the slave
trade, and who spoke in a strain as if he had lived and sat side by side
with Gregory I., thirteen hundred years before. But here let us observe,
that not only the vindication of liberty for all, not only the
abolition of slavery, but the very mode of action followed in this
matter by the Popes, has gained for them immortal honor, and the esteem
of all good men. When the Church abolished slavery in any country where
it existed, the Popes did not compel masters, by harshness or threats,
to manumit their slaves; they did not bring into action the base
intrigues, the low chicanery, the canting hypocrisy of modern statesmen;
they did not raise armies, and send them into the lands of their masters
to burn and to pillage, to lay waste and to destroy; they did not
slaughter, by their schemes, over a million of free men and another
million of slaves; they did not make widows and orphans without numbers;
they did not impoverish the land, and lay upon their subjects burdens
which would crush them into very dust. Nothing of all this. That is not
the way in which the Church abolished slavery. The Popes sent bishops
and priests into those countries where slavery existed, to enlighten the
minds of the masters, and convince them that slaves were men, and
consequently had souls, like other people, too. The Popes, bishops and
priests infused into the hearts of masters a deep love for Jesus Christ,
and consequently a deep love for souls. The Popes, bishops and priests
taught masters to look upon their slaves as created by the same God,
redeemed by the same Jesus Christ, destined for the same glory. The
consequence was, that the relations of slave and master became the
relations of brother to brother; the master began to love his slave, and
to ameliorate his condition, till at last, forced by his own
acknowledged principles, he granted to him his liberty. Thus it was that
slavery was abolished by the preaching of the Popes, bishops and
priests. The great barrier to all the healthy, permanent, and free
development of nations was thus broken down; the blessings, the
privileges of society, were made equally attainable by the masses, and
ceased to be the special monopoly of a few, who, for the most part, had
nothing to recommend them except their wealth.

If any doubt remain as to the favorable influence of Catholicity on
civil liberty, it would be dispelled by the express teaching of the
theologians, writing in accordance with the principles and the spirit of
the Church. Not to extend this point too much, I will confine myself to
the authority of the great St. Thomas Aquinas, who, as a theologian,
has perhaps had greater weight in the Catholic Church than any other
man. His testimony may also show us what were the general sentiments of
the school-men in the thirteenth century, when he wrote.

Speaking of the origin of civil power and the objects of law, he lays
down these principles: "The law, strictly speaking, is directed
primarily and principally to the common good; and to decree anything for
the common benefit _belongs either to the whole body of the people, or
to some one acting in their place_." (Summa Theologiæ, i. 2, I. Quæst.
Art. iii., Resp.) He pronounces the following opinion as to the best
form of government: "Wherefore the choice of rulers in any state or
kingdom is best, when one is _chosen for his merit to preside over all_,
and under him are other rulers _chosen for their merit; and the
government belongs to all, because the rulers may be chosen from any
class of society; and the choice is made by all_." (Ibid, Quæst. cv.
Art. 1.) One would think that he is hearing a Democrat of the modern
stamp, and yet it is a monk of the dark ages! Many other testimonies of
similar import might be cited, but these will suffice.

And what has Protestantism done for human freedom? The Reformation
dawned on the world in the year 1517. What did it do for the cause of
freedom from that date down to 1776--when our Republic arose? Did it
strike one blow for liberty during these two centuries and a half? Did
it originate one republican principle, or found one solitary republic?
Not one. In Germany, where it had full sway, it ruthlessly trampled in
the dust all the noble franchises of the Catholic middle ages; it
established political despotism everywhere; it united church and state;
in a word, it brought about that very state of things which continues to
exist, with but slight amelioration, even down to the present day. In
England, it did the same; it broke down the bulwarks of the British
Constitution, derived from the Catholic Magna Charta; it set at naught
popular rights, and gave to the king or queen unlimited power in church
and state; and it required a bloody struggle and a revolution, one
hundred and fifty years afterwards, to restore to something of their
former integrity the old chartered rights of the British people.

Protestantism has always boasted much, but it has really done little for
the cause of human freedom. As to the liberties which we enjoy in our
country, we cheerfully award to our Protestant fellow-citizens the
praise which is so justly due them for _their_ share in the glorious

But as to the power of Protestantism to maintain the Republic by
checking the great evils that have already sapped its foundations, it
has not any at all. How could Protestantism check infidelity, since it
leads to it? There are two causes of infidelity that have existed from
the beginning of the world. But about three centuries ago Protestantism
opened a very wide avenue to infidelity. Protestantism introduced the
principle, "There is no divinely-commissioned authority to teach
infallibly." Now infidelity exists in this principle of Protestantism,
as the oak exists in the acorn, as the consequence is in the premise. On
the claim of private judgment, Protestants reject the authority of St.
Peter, the Vicar of Christ. The Calvinists, going, as they do, by the
same principle, reject the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed

The Socinians, following the same principle, reject, to-day, the
Divinity of Christ, and therefore abjure Christianity, and fall back
into utter incredulity.

The German and French philosophers, rationalists, and pantheists, of all
degrees, do not even stop at that; they go farther, and deny the
existence of a God Creator, and all by the privilege of free and private

The individual reason taking, as it does, the place of faith, the
Protestant, whether he believes it or not, is an infidel in germ, and
the infidel is a Protestant in full bloom; in other words, infidelity is
nothing but Protestantism in the highest degree. Hence it is that Edgar
Quinet, a great herald of Protestantism, is right in styling the
Protestant sects _the thousand gates open to get out of Christianity_.
No wonder, then, that thousands of Protestants have ended, and continue
to end, in framing their formula of faith thus: "I believe in nothing."

But let us bring this subject home to our country. The disastrous issue
of the revolutionary movements which convulsed all Europe in 1848-9,
has thrown upon our shores masses of foreign political refugees, most of
whom are infidels in religion, and red republicans, or destructionists
of all social order in politics. They are men of desperate character and
fortune--outlaws from society, with the brand of infidelity upon their
brow. It is by this fast-increasing class of men that "Young America" is
attracted, and learn from them their anarchical principles. The
greatest, and, in fact, the only real danger to the permanency of our
republican institutions, is to be apprehended from this class of
infidels in our community.

Now what has contributed most towards the enormous increase of these
enemies of our republic? It is the godless education given in the Public
Schools. And who established these schools, and who robbed the money
from the people to support them--to make this source of infidelity flow
so abundantly all over the land? You find the answer to this question in
Chapter III.

Protestantism was a separation from the source and current of the
Divine-human life which exists in the Catholic Church, and which
redeems and saves the world; and Protestants are therefore thrown back
upon nature, and able to live only the natural life of the race--saving
the portion of Christian life they brought away with them at the time of
separation, and which, as not renewed from its source, must, in time, be

It is therefore evident that Protestantism cannot fight infidelity. It
is only the Catholic Church that can take open ground against these men
so hostile to our country, and she feels honored by their bitter
hostility. It could not be otherwise. Her principles are eminently
conservative in all questions of religion and of civil policy; theirs
are radical and destructive in both. Theirs is the old war of Satan
against Christ; of the sons of Belial against the keepers of the law; of
false and anti-social against true and rational liberty--"the liberty of
the glory of the children of God."

Let these enemies of the country unfold their banners of "Infidelity,"
"Socialism," "Free Thought," "Scepticism," "Communism," "No God," "No
Christ," "No Pope," "No Church," and a thousand others; let them grind
their teeth, let them froth and foam at the mouth, let them tremble
with rage, let them shake their heads with an air of majesty, as if they
would say to the Church, "We bury you to-morrow, we write your epitaph
and chant your De Profundis; our league is mighty, our forces are
multitudinous, our weapons are powerful, our bravery is desperate."

The Catholic Church calmly answers, "I know you hate me because I am the
palladium of truth and of public and private morality; I am the root and
bond of charity and faith; I love justice and hate iniquity. But it is
for this very reason that I will remain forever; for truth and justice
being, in the end, always victorious, I will not cease to bless and to
triumph. All the works of the earth have perished; time has obliterated
them. But I remain, because Christ remains, and I will endure until I
pass from my earthly exile to my country in heaven.

"Human theories and systems have flitted across my path like birds of
night, but they have vanished; numberless sects have, like so many
waves, dashed themselves to froth against me, this rock, or, recoiling,
have been lost in the vast ocean of forgetfulness. Kingdoms and empires
that once existed in inimitable worldly grandeur are no more; dynasties
have died out, and have been replaced by others.

"Thrones and sceptres and crowns have withstood me; but, immutable, like
God, who laid my foundation, I am the firm, unshaken centre round which
the weal and woe of nations move--weal if they adhere to it--woe if they
separate from it. If the world takes from me the cross of gold, I will
bless the world with one of wood.

"Tear down my Banner of the Cross if you can! Touch a single fold of it
if you dare! Sound your battle-cry; rally your hosts--marshal your
ranks! Storm these lofty summits. They never yet have been surrendered.
The flag that waves above them has never trailed in defeat, and the
hearts that guard that flag have never flinched before the foe, and the
bravery that shoots through every film of these hearts has never
faltered. On with the conflict! Let it rage! Our line of battle reaches
back to Calvary. That line has never been broken by wildest onset! These
soldiers have never fled! We are the sons of veterans who have marched
through a campaign of eighteen hundred years--marched and never
halted--marched and always triumphed! We belong to the old Imperial
Guard of Faith! We never yet have met a Waterloo!

"I am a queen--but a warrior-queen. You will never find me on a throne
here below. Banner in hand, I am ever in the midst of battle. I have
never granted a day of truce to my enemies. War against all who war
against God--war against all who war against Christ--war against all who
war against man--war against all who war against truth--this is my

"Peace here below, I have never known. Rest here below, I have never
found. I am always on the march--my banner ever unfurled--my war-cry
ever sounding!

"Therefore, in the storm and shock of my battle of to-day with my
enemies, my soldier-children fear not. Around my old chieftain they
rally. What though some may desert and leave the lines? The lines close
up again--and the deserters are not missed. What though a Judas Iscariot
may betray? A brave Matthias takes his place. What though a few of
craven spirit may flee? The ranks they left are filled by brave men and

"From the hill of Calvary to the hill of the Vatican, from Peter before
the Council to Pius before the Sardinian, my history has been one long,
uninterrupted battle--and my battle one long and glorious victory."

We cannot but smile when we hear infidels talk of the downfall of the
Church. What could hell and its agents do more than they have already
done for her destruction? They have employed tortures for the body, but
they could not reach the spirit; they have tried heresy, or the denial
of revealed truth, to such an extent that we cannot see room for any new
heresy; they have, by the hand of schism, torn whole countries from the
unity of the Church; but what she lost on one side of the globe, she
gained tenfold on the other. All these have ignominiously failed to
verify the prophecies of hell, that "the Church shall fall."

Look, for instance, at the tremendous effort of the so-called glorious
Reformation, together with its twin sister--the unbelief of the
nineteenth century. Whole legions of church reformers, together with
armies of philosophers armed with negation, and a thousand and one
systems of Paganism, rushed on against the Chair of Peter, and swore
that the Papacy would fall, and with it the whole Church. Three hundred
years are over, and the Catholic Church is still alive, and, to all
appearances, more vigorous than ever. The nations have proved that they
can get along very well without reformers, but not without the Catholic
Church. Men are foolish enough to dream of the destruction of the
Papacy. Napoleon tried the game, and, from the summit of his empire,
walked into exile, whilst his victim, Pius VII., leaving his prison,
entered Rome in triumph. A great statesman of France said, not long ago,
that those who tried to swallow the Papacy, and with it the whole
Church, always died of indigestion. Let the enemies of the Catholic
Church beware! If they dash their heads against this rock, they must not
be astonished to find them broken.

And what power has Protestantism to check the National Crime--the murder
of helpless innocents? Everybody knows, who knows anything about the
subject, that among the Roman Catholic population this crime is hardly
known. The reason for the rare occurrence of this crime among Catholics,
is their religion. The doctrine of the Catholic Church, her canons, her
pontifical constitutions, her theologians, without exception, teach,
and always have taught, that even the intention of preventing or
destroying human life, at any period from the first instant of
conception, is a heinous crime, equal at least in guilt to the crime of

Now as to the power of Protestantism to check this crime, Dr. Storer,
the distinguished Protestant physician of Boston, says: "We are
compelled to admit that _Protestantism_ has failed to check the increase
of criminal abortion." (Criminal Abortion, p. 55.) "There can be no
doubt that the Romish ordinance, flanked, on the one hand, by the
confessional, and by denouncement and excommunications on the other, has
saved to the world _thousands of infant lives_." (Ibid. p. 74.) "During
the ten years which have passed since the preceding sentence was
written, we have had ample verification of its truth. _Several hundreds
of Protestant women_ have personally acknowledged to us their guilt,
against whom only seven Catholics, and of these we found, upon further
inquiry, that all but two were only nominally so, not going to the

It is, then, not Protestantism, it is the Catholic Church alone that
has the power to oppose herself to the propagation of so heinous a
crime, and prevent her children from shedding the blood of helpless

The third great evil which has made the most fearful inroad among us, so
as already to have extorted many a warning cry, is _the contempt of the
marriage tie_.

The family, as I have said in a previous chapter, is the groundwork of
civil society. If the family be Christian, the State will also be
Christian; and if the family be corrupt, the State cannot remain long
untarnished. It is the holy sacrament of marriage that gives sanctity to
the family, and strength to civil society. To reject that sacrament is
to sow the seeds of revolution. Revolution in the family begets
revolution in the State. When a government, which, by its very nature,
should restrain immorality, allows the separation of man and wife, it
sanctions the right of revolution in the family, and sooner or later
that government will feel the dire effects of its own corrupt doctrine.
Now it is a matter of fact that the contempt of the marriage tie, so
prevalent in our country, is owing to Protestantism. If any one wishes
to learn how the Continental Reformers regarded the Sacrament of
Matrimony, let him read Luther's sermon on Marriage (if he can do so
without a blush), or, better still, the dogmatical judgment of Luther,
Melanchthon, Bucer, and the rest, giving permission! to the innocent
Landgrave of Hesse to commit bigamy, pure and simple.

It is the Catholic Church alone, again, that has always regarded the
Christian marriage as the corner-stone of society; and at that
corner-stone have the Popes stood guard for eighteen centuries, by
insisting that Christian marriage is one, holy, and indissoluble. Woman,
weak and unprotected, has, as the history of the Church abundantly
proves, found at Rome that guaranty which was refused her by him who had
sworn at the altar of God to love her and to cherish her till death.
Whilst, in the nations whom the Reformation of the sixteenth century
tore from the bosom of the Church, the sacred laws of matrimony are
trampled in the dust, whilst the statistics of these nations hold up to
the world the sad spectacle of divorces as numerous as marriages, of
separations of husband from wife, and wife from husband, for the most
trivial causes, thus granting to lust the widest margin of license, and
legalizing concubinage and adultery; whilst the nineteenth century
records in its annals the existence of a community of licentious
polygamists within the borders of one of the most civilized countries of
the earth, we must yet see the decree emanating from Rome that would
permit even a beggar to repudiate his lawful wife, in order to give his
affections to an adulteress.

The female portion of our race would always have sunk back into a new
slavery, had not the Popes entered the breach for the protection of the
Unity, the sanctity, the Indissolubility of matrimony. In the midst of
the barbarous ages, during which the conqueror and warrior swayed the
sceptre of empire, and kings and petty tyrants acknowledged no other
right but that of force, it was the Popes that opposed their authority,
like a wall of brass, to the sensuality and the passions of the mighty
ones of the earth, and stood forth as the protectors of innocence and
outraged virtue, as the champions of the rights of women, against the
wanton excesses of tyrannical husbands, by enforcing, in their full
severity, the laws of Christian marriage. If Christian Europe is not
covered with harems, if polygamy has never gained a foothold in Europe,
if, with the indissolubility and sanctity of matrimony, the palladium of
European civilization has been saved from destruction, it is all owing
to the Popes. "If the Popes"--says the Protestant Von Müller--"if the
Popes could hold up no other merit than that which they gained by
protecting monogamy against the brutal lusts of those in power,
notwithstanding bribes, threats, and persecutions, that alone would
render them immortal for all future ages."

And how had they to battle till they had gained this merit? What
sufferings had they to endure, what trials to undergo? When King
Lothair, in the ninth century, repudiated his lawful wife in order to
live with a concubine, Pope Nicholas I. at once took upon himself the
defence of the rights and of the honor of the unhappy wife. All the arts
of an intriguing policy were plied, but Nicholas remained unshaken;
threats were used, but Nicholas remained firm. At last the king's
brother, Louis II., appears with an army before the walls of Rome, in
order to compel the Pope to yield. It is useless--Nicholas swerves not
from the line of duty. Rome is besieged; the priests and people are
maltreated and plundered; sanctuaries are desecrated; the cross is torn
down and trampled under foot, and, in the midst of these scenes of blood
and sacrilege, Nicholas flies to the Church of St. Peter; there he is
besieged by the army of the Emperor for two days and two nights; left
without food or drink, he is willing to die of starvation on the tomb of
St. Peter, rather than yield to a brutal tyrant, and sacrifice the
sanctity of Christian marriage, the law of life of Christian society.
And the perseverance of Nicholas I. was crowned with victory. He had to
contend against a licentious king, who was tired of restraint; against
an emperor, who, with an army at his heels, came to enforce his
brother's unjust demands; against two councils of venal bishops, the one
at Metz, the other at Aix-la-Chapelle, who had sanctioned the scandals
of the adulterous monarch. Yet, with all this opposition, and the
suffering it cost him, the Pope succeeded in procuring the
acknowledgment of the rights of an injured woman. And during succeeding
ages we find Gregory V. carrying on a similar combat against King
Robert, and Urban II. against King Philip of France. In the thirteenth
century, Philip Augustus, mightier than his predecessors, set to work
all the levers of power, in order to move the Pope to divorce him from
his wife Ingelburgis. Hear the noble answer of the great Innocent III.:

"Since, by the grace of God, we have the firm and unshaken will never to
separate ourselves from Justice and Truth, neither moved by petitions,
nor bribed by presents, neither induced by love, nor intimidated by
hate, we will continue to go on in the royal path, turning neither to
the right nor to the left; and we judge without any respect to persons,
since God Himself does not respect persons."

After the death of his first wife, Isabella, Philip Augustus wished to
gain the favor of Denmark by marrying Ingelburgis. The union had hardly
been solemnized, when he wished to be divorced from her. A council of
venal bishops assembled at Compiegne, and annulled his lawful marriage.
The queen, poor woman, was summoned before her Judges, and the sentence
was read and translated to her. She could not speak the language of
France, so her only cry was "Rome!" And Rome heard her cry of distress,
and came to her rescue. Innocent III. needed the alliance of France in
the troubles in which he was engaged with Germany; Innocent III. needed
the assistance of France for the Crusade; yet Innocent III. sent Peter
of Capua as Legate to France; a Council is convoked by the Legate of the
Pope; Philip refuses to appear, in spite of the summons, and the whole
of the kingdom of Philip is placed under interdict. Philip's rage knows
no bounds: bishops are banished, his lawful wife is imprisoned, and the
king vents his rage on the clergy of France. The barons, at last, appeal
against Philip to the sword. The king complains to the Pope of the
harshness of the Legate, and when Innocent only confirms the sentence of
the Legate, the king exclaims, "Happy Saladin; he had no Pope!" Yet the
king was forced to obey. When he asked the barons assembled in council,
"What must I do?" their answer was: "Obey the Pope; put away Agnes and
restore Ingelburgis." And, thanks to the severity of Innocent III.,
Philip repudiated the concubine, and restored Ingelburgis to her rights,
as wife and queen. Hear what the Protestant Hurter says, in his life of
Innocent: "If Christianity has not been thrown aside, as a worthless
creed, into some isolated corner of the world; if it has not, like the
sects of India, been reduced to a mere theory; if its European vitality
has outlived the voluptuous effeminacy of the East, it is due to the
watchful severity of the Roman Pontiffs--to their increasing care to
maintain the principles of authority in the Church."

As often as we look to England, that land of perfidy and deceit, we are
reminded of the words of Innocent III. to Philip Augustus. We see
Clement using them as his principles in his conduct towards the royal
brute Henry VIII. Catherine of Aragon, the lawful wife of Henry, had
been repudiated by her disgraceful husband, and it was again to Rome she
appealed for protection. Clement remonstrates with Henry. The monarch
calls the Pope hard names. Clement repeats, "Thou shalt not commit
adultery!" Henry threatens to tear England from the Church; he does it;
still Clement insists, "Thou shalt not commit adultery!" Fisher and More
go to bleed out their life at Tyburn; still the Pope repeats, "Thou
shalt not commit adultery!" Henry had two wives at the same time, and,
after _them_, took a new wife, and killed off his old wife, whenever his
beastly passion prompted. The enslavement of the people followed. Henry
made himself head of the Church, and bade the English nation recognize
him as such. The penalty of disobeying the tyrant was death. The mass of
the English yielded. This adulterous beast--this ferocious monster--they
accepted as their pope; and their children, following in their steps,
accepted his bastard brood--of either sex--as their popes; while the
only and true Pope, the successor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Jesus
Christ, was rejected by them. To such depths of servility and
degradation do apostate nations fall. The firmness of the Pope cost
England's loss to the Church. It cost the Pope bitter tears, and he
prayed to Heaven not to visit on the people of England the crimes of the
despot; he prayed for the conversion of the nation; but sacrifice the
sanctity, the indissolubility of matrimony, that he could never
do--abandon helpless women to the brutality of men who were tired of the
restraints of morality--no, that the Pope could never permit. If the
Court, if the palace of the domestic hearth refused a shelter, Rome was
always open, a refuge to injured and downtrodden innocence.

"One must obey God more than man." This has ever been the language of
the Popes, whenever there was question of defending the laws of God
against the powers of the earth; and in thus defending the laws of God,
they protected against outrage the personal dignity, the moral liberty
and the intellectual freedom of man. "Because there was a Pope," says a
Protestant historian, "there could not any longer be a Tiberius in
Europe, and the direction of the religious and spiritual welfare of man
was withdrawn from the hands of royalty." Because there were Popes, the
will of Cæsar could not any longer be substituted for law; for the Popes
made the Gospel the law-book of the nations. Now the Gospel teaches that
all power comes from God; that from God the sovereign derives his power,
to rule in justice and equity for the welfare of his subjects, and that
the subjects are bound to obey their rules, for conscience sake. Hence,
adopting the great principal of action, the Popes have at all times
condemned the spirit of rebellion, and have anathematized those
principles, those factions, those organizations whose aim is, and has
always been, to overturn lawful authority and to substitute anarchy in
the place of the harmony of legitimate government. In conformity with
this rule of action the Popes Clement XII., Benedict XIV., Pius VII.,
Leo XII., Gregory XVI., and Pius IX. have condemned secret societies,
whose object is the overthrow of civil and religious government. But at
the same time that the Popes required from subjects obedience to their
lawful governments, they have ever defended subjects against the abuse
of power, or against the tyranny of unjust rulers. In Pagan times it had
the appearance as if the people existed for the sovereign, and not the
sovereign for the people; but in the days and in the countries where the
spiritual supremacy of the Pope was acknowledged by rulers, the Pagan
idea had necessarily to disappear, for the Popes gave the princes to
understand that they existed for the people, and not the people for

Viewed in this light, what a magnificent spectacle does the Catholic
Church present to our admiration, and how does the honest heart of
downtrodden nationality yearn that these happy days may once more
return! Taken mostly from the middle classes, sometimes even from the
most humble ranks of society, the Popes ascended the Chair of Peter; and
these men, who had been the sons of artisans and mechanics, but who had,
by their virtue and talent, gained a merit which neither wealth nor a
noble pedigree could bestow, became the arbiters between nation and
nation, between prince and people, always prepared to weld together the
chain of broken friendship, and to protect, by their power and
authority, the rights of subjects oppressed by tyrannical rulers. It was
indeed a blessing for Europe that Nicholas I. could curb, with an iron
hand, the tyranny of kings and nobles. It was indeed a blessing, not for
Europe alone, but for the world, that there lived a genius on earth in
the person of Gregory VII., who knew how to protect the Saxons against
the wanton lawlessness of Henry, King of Germany, a monster who ground
his subjects remorselessly in the dust, and respected neither the
sanctity of virginity nor the sacredness of marriage; neither the rights
of the Church, nor those of the State; whose very existence seemed to
have no other aim but that of the leech, to draw out the blood from the
hearts of his unhappy subjects. What would have become of Germany had
there not been a power superior to that of this godless prince? It was
Gregory VII. who hurled him from his throne, and restored to the noble
Saxons and Thuringians their independence, not by the power of the
sword, but by the scathing power of his anathema. The same I may say of
Boniface VIII., and of Innocent III. There was, happily for Europe, a
Court of Appeal, to which even monarchs were forced to bow; and that
court was Rome. It was to Rome that the nations appealed, when their
independence was at stake or their rights were trampled upon. And Rome
was never deaf to the cry of distress, whether it came from Germany or
from France, from England or from Poland, from Spain or from the shores
of the Bosphorus.

And when the liberty of a nation was on the verge of destruction, and
when emperors, and kings, and barons rode rough-shod over the rights,
natural and vested, of their subjects, forgetting the sacred trust
confided to them, became tyrants, when neither prosperity nor undivided
liberty were secure from that rapacious grasp; when even the rights of
conscience were set aside with impunity; it was the Popes of Rome who
buckled on the armor of Justice, and humbled the pride of princes--even
if, as a consequence, they had to say, with a Gregory VII., "Dilexi
Justitiam et odivi iniquitatem; ideo morior in exilio"--"I die in exile
because I have loved justice and hated iniquity."

The influence of Catholicity tends strongly to break down all barriers
of separate nationalities, and to bring about a brotherhood of citizens,
in which the love of our common country and of one another would absorb
every sectional feeling. Catholicity is of no nation, of no language, of
no people; she knows no geographical bounds; she breaks down all the
walls of separation between race and race, and she looks alike upon
every people, and tribe, and caste. Her views are as enlarged as the
territory which she inhabits; and this is as wide as the world. Jew and
Gentile, Greek and barbarian, Irish, German, French, English, and
American, are all alike to her. The evident tendency of this principle
is to level all sectional feelings and local prejudices, by enlarging
the views of mankind, and thus to bring about harmony in society, based
upon mutual forbearance and charity. And, in fact, so far as the
influence of the Catholic Church could be brought to bear upon the
anomalous condition of society in America, it has been exercised for
securing the desirable result of causing all its heterogeneous elements
to be merged in the one variegated but homogeneous nationality.
Protestantism isolates and divides; Catholicity brings together and

The Catholic Church is a grand fact in history--a fact so great that
there would be no history without it--a fact permanent, repeating itself
perpetually, entering into the concerns of all the nations on the face
of the earth, appearing again and again on the records of time, and
benefiting, perceived or unperceived, directly or indirectly, socially,
morally, and supernaturally, every individual who forms part of the
great organism of human society.

Around this Church human society moves like a wheel around its axle; it
is on this Church that society depends for its support, its life, its
energy, like the planetary system on the sun. Show me an age, a
country, a nation deprived of the influence of Catholicity, and I will
show you an age, a country, a nation without morals, without virtue.
Yes, if "Religion and Science, Liberty and Justice, Principle and
Right," are not empty sounds--if they have a meaning--they owe their
energetic existence in the world to the Catholic Church.

Such is the power and such is the influence of Catholicity. Yet I do not
pretend that our Catholic population is perfect, or that in them you
will find no shortcomings, nothing to be censured or regretted.
Certainly in our cities and large towns may be found, I am sorry to say,
many so-called liberal or _nominal_ Catholics, who are no credit to
their religion, to the land of their birth, or to that of their
adoption. Subjected at home, as they were, to the restraints imposed by
Protestant or quasi-Protestant governments, they feel, on coming here,
that they are loosed from all restraints, and forgetting the obedience
they owe to their pastors, to the prelates whom the Holy Ghost has
placed over them, they become insubordinate, and live more as
non-Catholics than as Catholics. The children of these are, to a great
extent, shamefully neglected, and suffered to grow up without the
simplest moral and religious instruction, and to become recruits to our
vicious population, our rowdies and our criminals. This is certainly to
be deplored, but can easily be explained without prejudice to the
influence of Catholicity, by adverting to the condition to which those
individuals were reduced before coming here; to their disappointments
and discouragements in a strange land; to their exposure to new and
unlooked-for temptations; to the fact that they were by no means the
best of Catholics even in their native countries; to their poverty,
destitution, ignorance, insufficient culture, and a certain natural
shiftlessness and recklessness, and to our _great lack of schools,
churches, and priests_. The proportion, however, that these bear to our
whole Catholic population, is far less than is commonly supposed, and
they are not so habitually depraved as they appear, for they seldom or
never consult appearances, and have little skill in concealing their
vices. As low and degraded as this class of our Catholic population may
be, they never are so low or so vicious as the corresponding class of
non-Catholics in every nation. A non-Catholic vicious class is always
worse than it appears; a Catholic vicious class is less bad. In the
worst there is always some germ that, with proper care, may be nursed
into life, that may blossom and bear fruit. Yet, if we look at the
Catholic population as it is, and is every year becoming, we cannot but
be struck with its marvellous energy and progress. We will find that
population more intellectual, more cultivated, more moral, more active,
living, and energetic than any other.

The Catholic population of this country, taken as a body, have a
personal freedom, an independence, a self-respect, a conscientiousness,
a love of truth, and a devotion to principle, not to be found in any
other class of American citizens. Their moral tone, as well as their
moral standard, is far higher, and they act more uniformly under a sense
of deep responsibility to God and their country. They are the most
law-loving and law-abiding people. The men of that population are the
most vigorous, and the hardiest; their virgins are the chastest; their
matrons the most faithful. Catholics do, as to the great majority, act
from honest principle, from sincere and earnest conviction, and are
prepared to die sooner than in any grave matters swerve from what they
regard as truth and justice. They have the principle and the firmness to
stand by what they believe true and just, in good report and evil
report, whether the world be with them or be against them. Among
Catholics you will not find the flunkeyism which Carlyle so unmercifully
ridicules in the middling classes of Great Britain, or that respect to
mere wealth, that worship of the money-bag, or that base servility to
the mob, or public opinion, so common and so ruinous to public and
private virtue in the United States.

The mental activity of Catholics, all things considered, is far more
remarkable than that of our non-Catholic countrymen; and, in proportion
to their numbers and means, they contribute far more than any other
class of American citizens to the purposes of education, both common and
liberal, for they receive little or nothing from the public treasury;
and in addition to supporting numerous schools of their own, they are
forced to contribute their quota to the support of those of the State.
Thus, to take a single illustration, the public school-tax in Cincinnati
for last year amounted to $810,000. Of this the Catholics--such is
their proportion in that community--contributed $230,000, or more than
one-third of the whole rate. This large sum--£162,000--goes to the
management and formation of schools which the Catholics of Cincinnati
are debarred, by their consciences, from entering. They have therefore
their own schools, which they have built, and support entirely at their
own expense, without any assistance whatever from the State. The
education which they give is known to be excellent; but it is based on
religion, and is not controlled by the State and paid officials. The
consequence is, that not only are they not encouraged, but they are
actually taxed by the State.

Thus, for instance, the Cathedral School is obliged to pay to the State
an annual tax of £120, and the schools of another parish £200. The
Catholics of the Cathedral Parish have not only to pay the State
school-tax, and the heavy tax laid on their school-buildings, but they
have to find $3,500 annually to meet the current school expenses. All
this has to be collected by the clergy as best they can.

The non-Catholic has no conception of the treasure the Union possesses
in these thirteen millions of Catholics, humble in their outward
circumstances as the majority of them may be. A true, high-toned,
chivalric national character will be formed, and a true, generous, and
lofty patriotism will be generated and sustained in proportion as the
force of Catholicity is brought to bear upon our American people, and
the life of practical Catholics falls into the current of American life.
Catholics have their faults and shortcomings, yet they are the salt of
the American community, and the really conservative element in the
American population. In a few years they will be the Americans of the
Americans, and on them will rest the performance of the glorious work of
sustaining American civilization, and realizing the hopes of the
founders of our great and growing Republic.

It must, then, be evident to every true lover of the Republic, that the
State, were it at liberty to favor any particular portion of the
community, should favor its conservative element--the Catholics--instead
of robbing Catholics of millions of dollars, to continue, by godless
education, the impious work for the increase of the number of enemies of
the Republic; it should rather supply Catholics with the means to bring
up their children in the spirit of true freedom--in the spirit of
devotedness to republican institutions. But as the State is neither
Catholic nor Protestant, it should at least act justly and impartially;
it should not favor its own enemies; it should not make a lie or a farce
of our glorious Constitution; it should no longer play the usurper and
the robber; it should no longer continue digging its own grave;
it should not tax Catholics any longer to support infidel
institutions--nurseries of all kinds of crimes--and thus continue to
violate most atrociously the very letter and spirit of the Constitution,
and to commit a direct outrage on the most sacred convictions of

It is the well-instructed practical Catholic that is alone capable of
appreciating and realizing true freedom. Ever foremost to concede the
rights of God, ever careful to trench on the rights of his
fellow-creatures, he is, for all this (and precisely _because_ of this),
well aware of his own rights and dignity as a man, as a citizen, and as
a baptized Christian--a regenerated son of God--and, knowing his rights
and dignity, he dares maintain them! He protests against godless
education as a volcano that is destined to bury law and authority, and
bring about universal anarchy, and prepare and establish the reign of
antichrist. We must, then, have separate schools to educate our rising
generation in a religious atmosphere, and imbue them with the principles
of Christianity. All those who oppose any longer the denominational
system, in any manner whatsoever, are traitors to the Republic and the
worst enemies of the country, and from henceforth the vengeance of God
will not be slow to overtake them. On the contrary, he who will be first
and foremost in promoting this noblest of objects--the establishment of
denominational schools--may truly be called the _saviour_ of the
Republic,--the _father of his country_; he will be as great, nay, even
greater, than Washington himself. Upon him the blessings of heaven will
descend in superabundance, and his name will be blessed from generation
to generation.


[G] By "An Act to restore to Roman Catholics in Upper Canada certain
rights in respect to Separate Schools," passed May 5, 1863, they
provided that "the Roman Catholic separate schools shall be entitled to
a share in the fund annually granted by the legislature of the province
for the support of common schools, and shall be entitled also to a share
in all other public grants, investments, and allotments for common
school purposes now made or hereafter to be made by the municipal
authorities, according to the average number of pupils attending such
school, as compared with the whole average number of pupils attending
schools in the same city, town, village or township."--Cap. 5, sec. 20.



So far I have spoken as an American citizen. I have shown to all my
fellow-citizens the tree with its fruits--the Public School system in
broad daylight. All who call themselves Christians, or who consider
themselves men of common sense, and warm promoters of the happiness of
their fellow-citizens, will agree with me in saying that the Public
School system is a tree of which we must say what God said to Adam of
the tree standing in the middle of paradise: "Of the tree of knowledge
of good and evil thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou _shalt
eat of it thou shalt die the death_."--(Gen ii. 17.) It is now time for
me to speak as a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the duty of
the Catholic priest to teach the children of the Catholic Church the
language of their spiritual Mother--the Church. This language is no
other than that of the Supreme Head of the Church--the Pope. Now the
language of the Vicar of Christ in regard to godless education is very
plain and unmistakable.

Jesus Christ, our Divine Saviour, has said: "What doth it profit a man
if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own
soul?"--(Matt. xvi. 26.) What will it profit you or your children to
gain all knowledge, and to attain the greatest success in this world,
if, through your fault, and through your exposing them to the danger of
evil education, they suffer the loss of that faith, without which "it is
impossible to please God"?--(Heb. xi.)

_Teaching of the Syllabus._

Guided by this principle, our Holy Father, Pope Pius IX., has declared
that Catholics cannot "_approve of a system of educating youth
unconnected with the Catholic Faith and the power of the Church, and
which regards the knowledge of merely natural things, and only, or at
least primarily, the ends of earthly social life_."[H] Catholic parents
cannot approve of an education which fits their children only for this
life, and ignores that life in which the soul is to live forever. As
faith is the foundation of all our hopes for eternity, and as faith
without good works is dead, we cannot choose for our children an
education which would endanger their faith and morals, and consequently
imperil their eternal welfare.

_Teaching of Pope Pius VII._

This is no novel doctrine, as some assert. In the beginning of the
century, the illustrious Pius VII., in an Encyclical letter addressed to
the Bishops of the Catholic world, July 10th, 1800, thus writes:--

"It is your duty to take care of the whole flock over which the Holy
Ghost has placed you as Bishops, but in particular to watch over
children and young men. They ought to be the special object of your
paternal love, of your vigilant solicitude, of your zeal, of all your
care. They who have tried to subvert society and families, to destroy
authority, divine and human, have spared no pains to infect and corrupt
youth, hoping thus the more easily to execute their infamous projects.
They know that the mind and heart of young persons, like soft wax, to
which one may give what form he pleases, are very susceptible of every
sort of impression; that they keep tenaciously, when age has now
hardened them, those which they had early received, and reject others.
Thence the well-known proverb taken from the Scripture, 'A young man
according to his way, even when he is old he will not depart from it.'
Suffer not, then, venerable brethren, the children of this world to be
more prudent in this respect than the children of light. Examine,
therefore, with the greatest attention, to what manner of persons is
confided the education of children, and of young men in the colleges and
seminaries; of what sort are the instructions given them; what sort of
schools exist among you; of what sort are the teachers in the lyceums.
Examine into all this with the greatest care, sound everything, let
nothing escape your vigilant eye; keep off, repulse the ravening wolves
that seek to devour these innocent lambs; drive out of the sheepfold
those which have gotten in; remove them as soon as can be, for such is
the power which has been given to you by the Lord for the edification of
your sheep."

_Rescripts of His Present Holiness Condemning the Queen's Colleges of

Our Holy Father Pope Pius IX., consulting for the special wants of the
Catholics of Ireland, has not ceased, almost from the very beginning of
his glorious pontificate, to repeat similar instructions in his
apostolic letters to the Irish Bishops. Hence, by his rescripts of
October 1847, and October 1848, he condemned, from their first
institution, the Queen's Colleges, on account of their "grievous and
intrinsic dangers to faith and morals"; and since then he has frequently
repeated his sacred admonitions, warning the bishops and the faithful
people to beware of evil systems of public instruction; and to secure,
by every means in their power, the blessings of Catholic education for
the rising generation.

_Resolutions of Irish Bishops in 1824 and 1826._

Nor have the Irish prelates been unmindful of their duty in this
respect. In 1824, that is to say, five years before Catholic
emancipation, and in the midst of the struggle for that recognition of
the existence of their people as citizens, they presented to Parliament
a petition, from which I make the following extract, which clearly shows
their conviction of the necessity of religious education:

"That in the Roman Catholic Church the literary and religious
instruction of youth are universally combined, and that no system of
education which separates them can be acceptable to the members of her
communion; that the religious instruction of youth in Catholic schools
is always conveyed by means of catachetical instruction, daily prayer,
and the reading of religious books, wherein the Gospel morality is
explained and inculcated; that Roman Catholics have ever considered the
reading of the Sacred Scriptures by children as an inadequate means of
imparting to them religious instruction, as a usage whereby the Word of
God is made liable to irreverence, youth exposed to misunderstand its
meaning, and thereby not unfrequently to receive in early life
impressions which may afterwards prove injurious to their own best
interests, as well as to those of the society which they are destined to
form. That schools whereof the master professes a religion different
from that of his pupils, or from which such religious instruction as the
Catholic Church prescribes for youth is excluded, or in which books and
tracts not sanctioned by it are read or commented on, cannot be resorted
to by the children of Roman Catholics; and that threats and rewards have
been found equally unavailing as a means of inducing Catholic parents to
procure education for their children from such persons or in such
schools; that any system of education incompatible with the discipline
of the Catholic Church, or superintended exclusively by persons
professing a religion different from that of the vast majority of the
poor of Ireland, cannot possibly be acceptable to the latter, and must,
in its progress, be slow and embarrassed, generating often distrust and
discord as well as a want of that mutual good faith and perfect
confidence which should prevail between those who receive benefits and
those who dispense them."

The Irish Bishops again expressed the like sentiments in 1826.

_Address of the National Synod of Thurles._

A National Synod met in Thurles in August, 1860, and again the Prelates
spoke words of instruction, of which recent sad events in France have
furnished a new and most melancholy confirmation.

"As rulers of the Church of Christ, chief pastors of His flock,
religiously responsible to the Prince of Pastors for every soul
committed to our charge, it forms, as is obvious, our first and
paramount duty to attend to the pastures in which they feed--the
doctrines with which they are nourished. And surely if ever there was a
period which called for the unsleeping vigilance, the prudent foresight,
the intrepid and self-sacrificing zeal of our august ministry--that
period is the present. The alarming spectacle which the Christian world
exhibits at the present day, the novel but formidable forms in which
error presents itself, and the manifold evils and perils by which the
Church is encompassed, must be evident to the most superficial observer.
It is no longer a single heresy or an eccentric fanaticism, the denial
of some revealed truth, or the excesses of some extravagant error, but a
comprehensive, all-pervading, well-digested system of unbelief, suited
to every capacity and reaching every intellect, that corrupts and
desolates the moral world. Is not such the calamitous spectacle which
the continent of Europe offers to us at this moment? Education, the
source of all intellectual life, by which the mind of man is nurtured
and disciplined, his principles determined, his feelings regulated, his
judgments fixed, his character formed, has been forcibly dissevered from
every connection with religion, and made the vehicle of that cold
scepticism and heartless indifferentism which have seduced and corrupted
youth, and by a necessary consequence shaken to its centre the whole
fabric of social life. Separated from her heavenly monitor, learning is
no longer the organ of that wisdom which cometh from above, which,
according to St. James, is 'chaste, peaceable, modest, easy to be
persuaded, consenting to the good, full of mercy and good fruits,
without judging, without dissimulation,' but rather of that wisdom which
he describes as 'earthly, sensual, and devilish.'--(James iii. 15-17.)

"It is, we feel assured, unnecessary to observe to you, that of all
modes of propagating error, education is the most subtle and dangerous,
furnishing, as it does, the aliment by which the social body is
sustained, which circulates through every vein, and reaches every
member; and that if this aliment should prove to be corrupt or
deleterious, it will not fail to carry moral disease and death to the
entire system. Hence the awful obligations we are under, at the peril of
our souls, of watching over the education of the people whom God has
intrusted to our charge.

"Listen to the emphatic words in which the present illustrious Pontiff
sets forth the dangers to which youth is exposed at the present time,
and the duties which are placed upon the pastors of the people in this
regard. 'It is incumbent upon you,' he says, 'and upon ourselves, to
labor with all diligence and energy, and with great firmness of purpose,
and to be vigilant in everything that regards schools, and the
instruction and education of children and youths of both sexes. For you
well know that the modern enemies of religion and human society, with a
most diabolical spirit, direct all their artifices to pervert the minds
and hearts of youth from their earliest years. Wherefore, they leave
nothing untried; they shrink from no attempt to withdraw schools, and
every institution destined for the education of youth, from
the authority of the Church and the vigilance of her holy
pastors.'--_Encycl. Letter of Pius IX., eighth December, 1849._

"Such are the words of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, which show the
responsibility under which we are placed, and point out our duty to
protect from the insidious snares laid for their destruction the lambs
of the fold--that most helpless but precious portion of the flock of
Jesus Christ which the prophet represents as carried in His bosom."

_Mixed System again Condemned._

Again, in 1859, 1862, 1863, 1867, and 1869, the Irish Bishops renewed
their condemnation of the godless system, and demanded for their
children the advantage of truly Catholic education.

_Unanimity of Catholic Bishops throughout the World on this Point._

The Bishops of Prussia, of Austria, of Belgium, of Holland, of Canada,
and of the United States, in their pastorals, their synodical addresses,
and in their other publications, condemn with one accord the mixed
system, and declare that education based upon our holy religion is alone
suitable for Catholic children. Not to multiply quotations, it will
suffice to cite the following extract from the address of the Plenary
Synod of the Church of the United States, held at Baltimore, in the year
1866. That Council was one of the most numerous assemblies held after
the Council of Trent, until the meeting of the General Council of the
Vatican. Its decrees were signed by seven Archbishops, thirty-seven
Bishops, two procurators of absent Bishops, and two Abbots.


"The experience of every day shows more and more plainly what serious
evils and great dangers are entailed upon Catholic youth by their
frequentation of Public Schools in this country. Such is the nature of
the system of teaching therein employed, that it is not possible to
prevent young Catholics from incurring, through its influence, danger to
their faith and morals; nor can we ascribe to any other cause that
destructive spirit of indifferentism which has made, and is now making,
such rapid strides in this country, and that corruption of morals which
we have to deplore in those of tender years. Familiar intercourse with
those of false religions, or of no religion; the daily use of authors
who assail with calumny and sarcasm our holy religion, its practices,
and even its saints--these gradually impair, in the minds of Catholic
children, the vigor and influence of the true religion. Besides, the
morals and examples of their fellow-scholars are generally so corrupt,
and so great their license in word and deed, that through continual
contact with them the modesty and piety of our children, even of those
who have been best trained at home, disappear like wax before the fire.
These evils and dangers did not escape the knowledge of our
predecessors, as we learn from the following decrees:

"'(_a_) Whereas many Catholic children, especially those born of poor
parents, have been, and are still, exposed in several places of this
province, to great danger of losing their faith and morals, owing to the
want of good masters to whom their education may safely be intrusted, we
consider it absolutely necessary that schools should be established in
which the young may be imbued with the principles of faith and morality,
and at the same receive instruction in letters.'"--_Council of
Baltimore, No. 33._

_Teachings of the Supreme Pontiff, Pius IX._

In fine, to show the union of the Bishops throughout the world with the
Apostolic See in their teaching respecting education, I add the words of
the Supreme Pontiff Pope Pius IX., in which, replying to the Archbishop
of Freiburg, in Germany, His Holiness clearly expounds, as the
Infallible Teacher of the faithful, the truth I am now developing for
the instruction of Catholics:

"It is not wonderful that these unhappy efforts (to spread irreligious
and revolutionary principles) should be directed chiefly to corrupt the
training and education of youth; and there is no doubt that the greatest
injury is inflicted on society, when the directing authority and
salutary power of the Church are withdrawn from public and private
education, on which the happiness of the Church and of the Commonwealth
depends so much. For thus society is, little by little, deprived of that
truly Christian spirit which alone can permanently secure the foundation
of peace and public order, and promote and direct the true and useful
progress of civilization, and give man those helps which are necessary
for him in order to attain, after this life, his last end
hereafter--eternal happiness. And in truth a system of teaching, which
not only is limited to the knowledge of natural things, and does not
pass beyond the bounds of our life on earth, but also departs from the
truth revealed by God, must necessarily be guided by the spirit of error
and lies; and education, which, without the aid of the Christian
doctrine and of its salutary moral precepts, instructs the minds and
moulds the tender heart of youth, which is so prone to evil, must
infallibly produce a generation which will have no guide but its own
wicked passions and wild conceits, and which will be a source of the
greatest misfortunes to the Commonwealth and their own families.

"But if this detestable system of education, so far removed from
Catholic faith and ecclesiastical authority, becomes a source of evils,
both to individuals and to society, when it is employed in the higher
teaching, and in schools frequented by the better class, who does not
see that the same system will give rise to still greater evils, if it be
introduced into primary schools? For it is in these schools, above all,
that the children of the people ought to be carefully taught from their
tender years the mysteries and precepts of our holy religion, and to be
trained with diligence to piety, good morals, religion and civilization.
In such schools religious teaching ought to have so leading a place in
all that concerns education and instruction, that whatever else the
children may learn should appear subsidiary to it. The young,
therefore, are exposed to the greatest perils whenever, in the schools,
education is not closely united with religious teaching. Wherefore,
since primary schools are established chiefly to give the people a
religious education, and to lead them to piety and Christian morality,
they have justly attracted to themselves, in a greater degree than other
educational institutions, all the care, solicitude, and vigilance of the
Church. The design of withdrawing primary schools from the control of
the Church, and the exertions made to carry this design into effect, are
therefore inspired by a spirit of hostility towards her, and by the
desire of extinguishing among the people the divine light of our holy
faith. The Church, which has founded these schools, has ever regarded
them with the greatest care and interest, and looked upon them as the
chief object of her ecclesiastical authority and government; and
whatsoever removed them from her, inflicted serious injury both on her
and on the schools. Those who pretend that the Church ought to abdicate
or suspend her control and her salutary action upon the primary
schools, in reality ask her to disobey the commands of her Divine
Author, and to be false to the charge she has received from God, of
guiding all men to salvation; and in whatever country this pernicious
design of removing the schools from the ecclesiastical authority should
be entertained and carried into execution, and the young thereby exposed
to the danger of losing their faith, there the Church would be in duty
bound not only to use her best efforts, and to employ every means to
secure for them the necessary Christian education and instruction, but,
moreover, would feel herself obliged to warn all the faithful, and to
declare that no one can in conscience frequent such schools, as being
adverse to the Catholic Church."

I exclaim with the great St. Augustine: "Securus judicat orbis
terrarum." The Bishops of the universal world, united to the Vicar of
Christ, speak with authority; their judgment cannot be gainsaid. Peter
has spoken through Pius; the question is settled; would that the error,
too, were at an end!

_Testimonies of Enemies of the Catholic Church._

However, it is not from the Bishops alone that we learn the dangers of
bad education. Our opponents, too, the enemies of our holy religion,
deem no other means more efficacious for alienating our children from
our mother, the Catholic Church.

One of the greatest enemies of the Catholic faith in the first half of
the last century, Primate Boulter, who took a chief part in founding the
notorious "Charter Schools," writing to the Bishop of London on the
fifteenth of May, 1730, said:

"I can assure you the Papists here are so numerous, that it highly
concerns us in point of interest, as well as out of concern for the
salvation of these poor creatures who are our fellow-subjects, to try
all possible means to bring them and theirs to the true religion; and
one of the most likely methods we can think of is, if possible,
_instructing and converting the young generation_; for instead of
converting these that are adults, we are daily losing many of our meaner
people, who go off to Popery."

And with respect to mixed education in particular, we have the opinion
of another Anglican prelate, who, in despite of his professions of
liberality, may be fittingly classed with Primate Boulter in his
contempt for our people, and desire to subvert our holy religion by the
means of education--the late Protestant Archbishop of Dublin, Dr.
Whately. We are informed by his daughter, that on one occasion he said:
"The education supplied by the National Board is gradually undermining
the vast fabric of the Irish Roman Catholic Church.". (_Life of Dr.
Whately_, pp. 244, first edition.) Again: "I believe, as I said the
other day, that _mixed education_ is gradually enlightening the mass of
the people, and that if we give it up, we give the only hope of weaning
the Irish from the abuses of Popery. But I cannot venture openly to
profess this opinion, I cannot openly support the Educational Board as
an instrument of conversion. I have to fight its battles with one hand,
and that my best, tied behind me." (p. 246.)

The language of the Church, then, and even that of the enemies of our
religion, is quite plain on the subject of godless education. The good
Catholic understands this language of his spiritual mother; he listens
to it; he repeats it to himself and others, and he goes by it. Not long
ago the Catholics of Ireland presented a requisition to the English
Government to show their unanimity, and their determination to secure a
Catholic education for Catholic children. What a glorious array of
signatures is attached to it! There we find the honored names of the
only Catholic lords that the operation of penal laws has left in that
land ever faithful to the Church. There we read the names of the Lord
Mayor, and the aldermen and town councillors of the great City of
Dublin, of many baronets and deputy lieutenants, of several members of
Parliament, magistrates, high sheriffs, clergymen, wealthy merchants,
and land-owners; of men distinguished in the various scientific and
literary professions or pursuits; of country gentlemen, traders,
artisans, and of all the classes that constitute the bone and sinew of
the country. In a word, the requisition is signed by more than 30,000
Catholics of every degree. May it not be considered as a great
plebiscite? Is it not a proof that the laity and clergy are all of one
mind? Is it not a solid refutation of the foolish assertion of some
Presbyterians, that the Catholic laity take no interest in the
education question, and that, were it not for the priests, the laity
would be perfectly satisfied to accept godless instruction for their
children? Those who attribute this baneful indifference to the laity,
misrepresent and calumniate them, and show their ignorance of their real
feelings, and of the efforts which Catholics in Ireland, in Belgium, in
Germany, and in other countries, have made to have and to preserve a
good Christian education for their children. The principal Catholic
gentlemen in Ireland some time ago published an important declaration,
presented afterwards to Parliament, in which they proclaimed their
adhesion to the principles held by the true Church in regard to

As for the Catholic laity of Ireland in general, feeling, as they do in
a special manner, the signal blessing they enjoy in possessing the true
faith, and knowing that it is a priceless treasure with which, far more
precious than worldly substance, they can enrich their children, their
love for Catholic education is proved to evidence by the multitudes of
their sons and daughters who throng every Catholic school, and
especially every school in which the presence of Christian Brothers or
of Nuns gives a guarantee that religion shall have the first place, and
shall impregnate the whole atmosphere which their little ones are to
breathe for so many hours of the day. They have proved, also, their
dislike and fear of mixed education, by turning their faces away from
schools in which no expense had been spared, on which thousands of
pounds of the public money had been squandered, but against which their
Bishops deemed it their duty to warn them. Hence, in several Model
Schools erected in populous cities and towns, where the great majority
of the inhabitants are Catholics, sometimes not ten, sometimes not two
of their children are found within the unhallowed precincts of those
mixed institutions.

In fine, the opinion of all the Irish Catholics on this subject of
education is so well known, that nearly all of the Liberal candidates
who sought their votes at the last elections for the House of Commons,
declared in their electioneering addresses their adhesion to the
principle of denominational education, and their determination to uphold
it, and push it forward in Parliament.

And with good reason are they steadfast in those principles, for they
know the necessary connection between good education and the
maintenance of religion in their country. And they are determined to
struggle for the establishment, in Ireland, of a sound Catholic system
of public education, and never to relax their efforts till they obtain
the recognition of this, their own and their children's right, even as
they wrung Catholic emancipation from a hostile Parliament.

Thus the Catholic laity practise what their pastors teach; and in
Ireland and other countries, both pastors and people are united in
holding that nothing so effectually destroys religion in a country as a
godless system of instruction, whilst they believe, at the same time,
that a good Christian education contributes to preserve true religion,
and to spread the practice of every virtue and of good works through the

Though the Catholic Church and her children are so anxious for the
progress of knowledge, and have made such sacrifices for the
civilization and enlightenment of the world, yet they do not
indiscriminately approve of every system of education. Every one knows
how much is done in our days, by the enemies of religion, to poison the
sources of knowledge, and to undermine religion, under the pretext of
promoting the liberal arts and sciences. In order to give a proper
impulse to study, by securing protection for it, some insist that the
full control of public instruction should be given to the government of
each country, to be carried on by Ministers of State, or public boards;
others attach so much importance to the development of the intellectual
faculties, that they call for compulsory and gratuitous education, in
order to give a great degree of culture to all classes; and others, in
fine, demand an unsectarian education, pretending that God should be
banished from the school, and children brought up without being
subjected to any religious influences. The Catholic Church and her
pastors, being charged to feed the flock of Christ with the food of
truth and life, and to preserve the lambs of the fold from the contagion
of error, cannot approve such systems, which seem to have been invented
by the fashion of the day, a desire of innovation, or a spirit of
hostility to religion.

It was to His Church, and not to the State, that Jesus Christ gave the
command, "Go and teach all nations."--(Matt. xxviii.) "As the Father
hath sent Me, so do I send you also."--(John xx.) "Feed My lambs, feed
My sheep."--(John xxi.)

The office of the Church is to teach and sanctify all men. She receives
the child on its first entrance into the world, and, by means of holy
baptism, makes it a child of God. Like her Divine Bridegroom, she says:
"Suffer the little children to come to me."

Now the Christian school is the place and the provision made for the
training of those who are baptized into the Christian faith. They have
been made children of God, and as such they have a right to four things
belonging to them by a right of inheritance, to which all other rights
are secondary. They have a right to the knowledge of their faith; to the
training of their conscience by the knowledge of God's commandments; to
the Sacraments of grace; and to a moral formation, founded on the
precepts and example of our Divine Saviour. These four things belong, by
a Divine right, to the child of the poorest working man; by a right more
sacred than that which guards the inheritance of lands and titles to the
child of the rich. A child of God, and an heir to the kingdom of heaven,
holds these four things by a higher title; and his claim is under the
jurisdiction of a Divine Judge. But the school is the place and the
provision for the insuring of these four vital parts of his right to the
Christian child. They cannot be taught or learned elsewhere; there is no
other place of systematic and sufficient formation. And if so, then the
school becomes the depository of the rights of parents, and of the
inheritance of their children. The school is strictly a court of the
Temple, a porch outside the Sanctuary. It cannot be separated from the
Church. It was created by the Church, and the Church created it for its
own mission to its children. As the Church cannot surrender to any power
on earth the formation of its own children, so it cannot surrender to
any the direction of its own schools.

It was the Church, as I have shown in the second chapter, that gave life
and being to Christian education; and education must remain under the
guardianship of the Church, if it will not cease to be Christian.
History shows us that it is the Church that has civilized the nations,
and it is the Church that keeps them from falling back into their former
degradation. Learning was not diffused among mankind until the Church
removed the veil of sin and ignorance, made man really free, and widened
the narrow limits of human thought by showing to man the infinite, the
eternal destiny that awaited him. This supernatural light--this "freedom
of the children of God"--is the very foundation, the very lifespring of
civilization. The Catholic Church, then, far from being opposed to
education, is its great and most zealous promoter. But she cannot help
being opposed to the Pagan system of education adopted in the Public
Schools of this country.

It is clear that this plan takes away the right of parents, whom God has
charged with the care of their children, and it must necessarily
interfere with the proper management of families. In the second place,
it ignores the rights of the Church, to whom Christ gave the commission
to teach all nations. In the third place, since governments, as
constituted at present, have no religion, the teaching they give must
tend to infidelity. In the fourth place, if governments take into their
hands the management of things which do not appertain to them, the
probability is that they will neglect, or carry on badly, the great
temporal affairs which it is their duty to attend to. In the last
place, experience shows that education carried on by the State is most
expensive, and that it opens the way to intrigues and frauds. To confirm
all these observations, it is sufficient to refer to France, where State
influence has been supreme for the last seventy years in university
education, and where the Government has exercised an exorbitant control
over every branch of public instruction. What has been the result?
Literature has fallen away, the number of schools has decreased, the
French language has decayed, whilst moral corruption has penetrated the
heart of the country, and infidelity of the worst kind has been
patronized and encouraged among the teachers of youth, and the highest
honors have been decreed to Littres and Renans, and other decided
enemies of Jesus Christ. May we not read the condemnation of all such
proceedings in the lurid flames of the burning Capital of modern
civilization? Now, is it not clear that the primary object of education
must be frustrated in the mixed system which proposes to unite children
of all religions in the same school, and to treat of nothing in the
class hours that could offend any of these discordant elements? If
there be a Jew in the school, you cannot speak of the Gospel; if there
be a Mahometan, nothing could be said against polygamy, and other
degrading doctrines of the Koran; due respect must also be paid to the
teaching of Arians and Socinians, who deny the Trinity of persons in
God, and the Divinity of Christ; and to the opinions of Calvinists and
Lutherans, of Methodists and other sectaries, who assail almost every
point of revealed religion. In this case, how can the atmosphere of the
school be religious; and must not children living in it grow up in
ignorance both of the dogmas and practices of religion?

This result may not be unacceptable to those who are outside the
Catholic Church, because, not acknowledging any Divine authority to
guide or rule them, they have no certainty in doctrinal matters, and
they do not attach any importance to external discipline. But how
different is the case with Catholics! We have many distinctive
doctrines, such as the Real Presence in the Blessed Eucharist, the power
of remitting sin, the Divine origin of the Church, and the primacy and
infallibity of the Pope, all which it is our duty to learn and to
believe. We are also bound to observe many precepts, to hear Mass, to
pray and make the sign of the Cross, to go to confession, to fast and
abstain, and to obey other commandments of the Church. If these
doctrines, so sublime, and so far above the intelligence of man, be not
continually inculcated on the mind of a child, how can he know them, or
believe them as he ought? And if the practices referred to be not
frequently urged on his attention, will he not ignore or neglect them
because they are hard to flesh and blood? And what will be the case
where the Protestant pupils in a school are in a considerable majority,
and the teacher of the same religion? Will not the Protestant children
turn the doctrines and practices of the Catholics into ridicule? And
will not the example, and the words, and the gestures of the heterodox
master, especially if he be kind and friendly, produce impressions
dangerous to belief on the youthful Catholic mind? Is it not probable
that a Catholic boy, observing how his master, to whom he looks up with
respect, is accustomed to act, will easily persuade himself that there
is no necessity of going to confession, or fasting, or making the sign
of the cross, or performing works of mortification? Indeed, the
probability is that Catholics educated in such circumstances, if they do
not abandon their religion altogether, will be only lukewarm,
indifferent, or dangerous members of the Church.

And here let me direct your attention to another dangerous tendency of
godless education. In this system all religions, true or false, are
treated with equal respect; not only Anglicans and Presbyterians, but
Wesleyans and Plymouth Brothers, and the followers of every other small
and miserable sect that has started into existence in modern times, are
put on a footing of equality with the true Catholic Church, which traces
its origin back to its Divine Founder, has existed in every age, defied
the fury of persecution and the ravages of time, and numbers under its
sceptre two hundred millions of faithful children spread over the world.
And is not this to proclaim that there is no difference between light
and darkness, no preference to be given to Christ over Belial, to truth
over heresy, and error and infidelity? In a word, is not this to teach
indifference to religion, or, what is equivalent, that no religion is
necessary? What shall I now say of books so compiled as to meet the
exigencies of godless education? Have they not the same tendency to
promote ignorance of, or indifference to, religion? No religious
dogmatical teaching, no inculcation of pious practices, no mention of
the great and sublime mysteries of Catholicity can be admitted in them,
lest some things should be said offensive to any sect that sends
children to the school. This suppression of Catholic truth is most
detrimental to our poor Catholic children, many of whom never read any
books except those which they use in school, and learn nothing except
what they meet with in those books, or hear from their master. Is not
this a serious loss? Is it not a great evil for Catholics to be brought
up in ignorance, not only of the doctrines, but also of the history of
the Church to which they belong, and of the life and deeds of so many
Christian heroes whose virtues illustrated the world?

How far superior is the system of the Christian Brothers, and other
Catholic educational institutions! Their books make continual reference
to the mysteries of religion, they depict the glories of the Church, the
majesties of the Apostolic See, and continually inflame the youthful
mind to the practice of good works, by proposing to them the lives and
virtues of holy men, and by continually reminding them of their
religious duties, of the end of man, and of other great motives
calculated to induce them to serve God. In regard to this matter, I
shall merely add that the common school-books have been generally
compiled by Protestants, that scarcely any extract from Catholic authors
is admitted in them, that they contain many Methodistical stories, that
their language is that of the Protestant Bible, and that they contain
many things offensive to our love of religion.

Do you want to see what man without God--without religion--can do? Read
the history of the last eighty years in Paris. You have there one simple
phenomenon--generation rising after generation, without God in the
world. And why? Because, without Christian education. First, an
atheistical revolution; next, an empire penetrated through with a
masking philosophy and a reckless indifferentism; afterwards came
governments changed in name and in form, but not in practice, nor in
spirit. The Church, trammelled by protection, her spiritual action faint
and paralyzed, could not penetrate the masses of the people, and bring
her salutary influence to bear upon them. She labored fervently; her
sons fought nobly for Christian freedom; thousands were saved; but for
eighty years the mass of men has grown up without God and without Christ
in the world. These outbursts of horror, strife, outrage, sacrilege,
bloodshed, are the harvest reaped from the rank soil in which such seed
was cast. All this is true. But how did souls created to the image of
God grow up in such a state? They were robbed: robbed before they were
born; robbed of their inheritance, and reared up in an education without
Christianity. Let this be a warning to ourselves! We are told that a
child may be taught to read, and to write, and to spell, and to sum,
without Christianity. Who denies it? But what does this make of them? To
what do they grow up? The formation of the will and heart and character,
the formation of a man, is education, and not the reading, and the
writing, and the spelling, and the summing. Physiology, astronomy,
chemistry, anatomy, and all other sciences with sounding names, and of
Greek etymology, will not teach our children the respect, love, and
obedience due to parents. They will not teach them modesty, which is the
brightest ornament of woman, and renders the relation of man with his
fellow-man harmonious and pleasant. They will not teach them industry
and purity, which insure peace and happiness in the family circle. They
will not teach them the fidelity which the espoused owe to each other,
nor the obligations contracted by parents towards their children, nor
will they teach them to know, love, and serve God in this world, in
order to be happy with Him forever in the next.

For fifteen hundred years Christians served God and loved man, before,
as yet, they received this cultivation of our age; and we, because we
have it so profusely, are forgetting the deeper and diviner lessons. The
tradition of Christian education in this country is, as yet, unbroken.
It has, however, been greatly undermined. It will be completely broken
if we Catholics do not strive, to the best of our power, to preserve it.
We Catholics, therefore, believe that it is our most sacred duty to
bring up our children in "the discipline and correction of the Lord." We
hold that it is our most conscientious obligation to bequeath to our
children the most valuable of all legacies--good religious impressions,
and a sound religious education. We hold that religious education is
the most essential part of instruction.

Now we know that religious education _is not_, and cannot, be given in
our present school system. Our present system of common-school education
either ignores religion altogether, or teaches principles which are
false and dangerous; and if it gives any religious education, it
consists merely in certain vague, unmeaning generalities, and is often
worse than no education at all. Instruction without religion, is like a
ship without a compass. Ignorance is, indeed, a great evil; but of the
two evils, it is even better, in some respects, for our children to
remain ignorant, than to acquire mere worldly knowledge without any
religious training; for without religion they grow up a burden to
themselves, and a pest to society.

Human nature is prone to evil; and the rising passions, especially in
youth, need religious influence to check them. There is a vast
difference between teaching the child's _head_ and forming his _heart_.
Mere instruction in reading, writing, and arithmetic will never teach a
young man to control his passions, and to practise virtue. Such
instruction may do for Pagans, but it will never do for Catholics.

We can say that, so far as our Catholic children are concerned, the
workings of our Public School system have proved, and do prove, highly
detrimental to their faith and morals. So strongly has the conviction of
this been impressed upon the minds both of the pastors and parents, that
most strenuous efforts, and even enormous sacrifices have been made, and
continue to be made, in order to establish and support Catholic
parochial schools. In many cities of the Union there is, at the present
moment, in daily attendance at these schools, an average number of
between eighteen and twenty thousand children. The annual expense for
the maintenance of these schools does not fall short of one hundred
thousand dollars; while the amount expended for the purchase of lots,
and the erection of proper school buildings, etc., considerably exceeds
a million.

The Catholics of New York subscribed, in 1868, $132,000 for the support
of their own school, and, besides, they had contributed a million and a
quarter of dollars for the sites and the buildings of Catholic schools.

Nothing but the deepest sense of the many dangers to which the religious
and moral principles of the children are exposed, could prompt Catholic
parents to make such pecuniary sacrifices, or assume such onerous
burdens; for it has to be borne in mind that, while they are thus
obliged, through conscientious motives, to support their own schools,
they have, at the same time, to bear their share of the taxation imposed
for the support of the Public Schools.

All this is true; yet I can scarcely refrain from expressing my surprise
at the extremely abnormal lethargy manifested by so many Catholics, both
in high and low places, regarding a duty, the chief one incumbent upon
them as members of the family, as citizens, as Christians and as

Now the cause for the indifference existing among our people on the
question of Catholic education, may be attributed to a false process of
reasoning. They argue: it will cost money. True; but it is not by
_State_ aid, or _City_ aid, that the work of Catholic daily instruction
and education in parochial schools is to be carried on. These schools
are to be supported, as our _churches_ are, by the alms of the

The Catholics of other countries have their duties to perform,
different, in part, from ours, but demanding great self-sacrifice. We,
too, except we be "bastards, and not sons," must make our great
sacrifices. The first, the most pressing, is that of supporting a good
Catholic education. In neglecting Catholic education, we lose that which
money cannot buy. Can we conceive of a parent, a Catholic parent, so
cruel, so depraved, and so God-forsaken as to sacrifice his child, both
body and soul, and devote him to eternal destruction, through eagerness
to spare the paltry pence that a proper education might cost? It seems
quite certain that if we wait for just appropriations from the State
before we shoulder the burden ourselves, wait for it to compel us to
accept of Catholic education, we shall find ourselves in a very unfit
condition to appreciate the favor; and from present indications, this
generation, at least, is likely to pass away before such interest will
be manifested in our behalf.

Now we must be persuaded that if we allow one generation to be brought
up in unbelief, and the course of tradition to be once interrupted, the
following generations will fall into a darkness and ignorance worse
than that of Paganism; living here without a God, and quitting this
world without any consoling hope of a blessed immortality.

So it proved, not long ago, with an unhappy wretch, the child of parents
that had forgotten the law of their God, and sent her to one of the
Public Schools in a town on the North River. She played the harlot, when
she grew old enough, and then sought to add to this the crime of a
horrible _murder_--the murder of the child that was of her own flesh and
blood. In procuring its murder, she lost her own life. In the den of the
monster-abortionist, and finding herself dying, one of the vile
attendants now declares that she shrieked and begged for a Catholic
priest. The Jew into whose murderous gripe she had put herself, found
some means to quiet her cry, and she died without seeing a priest. God
will keep His word! He has said, "Because _thou_ hast forgotten the law
of thy God, I will _forget thy children_!"

I do not say that Catholic parents are obliged, under the pain of mortal
sin, to have _any_ secular education given to their children. But I do
say that they _are forbidden_, by the law of the Catholic Church, to
send their children to _any_ schools where the Catholic religion is not
_practised and taught_.

If neglect to comply with the law of God and of His Church, neglect to
receive the sacraments at certain times, and under certain
circumstances, is a mortal sin, is it much less a sin to neglect the
proper education of our youth, upon which, to a great extent, their
entire future depends? And if the sacraments are refused to persons
persisting in sin, should not a sin of this great character be also
considered in the conditions requisite for the worthy reception of the
sacraments? I hesitate not to pronounce this matter of education a
matter of conscience, and it should be treated accordingly by those who
have the charge of souls. We see ecclesiastical edifices of great
magnitude, splendor, and expense, erected everywhere by Catholics, but
for what purpose? To attract non-Catholics? Bosh! A Catholic can hear
Mass in caverns, in catacombs, or under hedges, as they have often been
obliged to do; but if we lose our children there will be none to hear it
anywhere, nor any to offer the Holy Sacrifice, even in our most
gorgeous cathedrals. Where will be our Catholics? Scandal and disgrace
will be the order of the day.

I do not wish it to be understood here that I entertain any, even the
least, doubt of the indefectibility of the Church, or of the faithful
fulfilment of the promises of Christ; for the Church will exist in spite
of man. But again I say that Catholics are violating a most sacred duty
in not providing facilities for Catholic education.

This, O Catholics! is what the money you are making so rapidly ought, in
generous part, to be devoted to. So _you_ will think, at a day fast
coming, when your bodies will be buried sumptuously, your souls
forgotten by the living, and the estates you have hoarded with so much
industry shall have become, perhaps, the objects of disgraceful
law-suits among your heirs.

Dear Catholics, let us cast off our lethargy; let us be unitedly active
in this matter; let us discard the flimsy arguments of "_liberal_"
Catholics who would discourage the enterprise, regarding every such as
our most dangerous foe. Let us make our voice heard and our actions
felt, and bring up our children in a manner creditable to ourselves, an
honor and consolation to their parents, a blessing to society, worthy
members of the Church of God, and candidates for the kingdom of heaven.


[H] "Hant propositionem auctoritate Nostra Apostolica reprobamus,
proscribimus atque damnamus eamque ab omnibus Catholicæ Ecclesiæ filiis
veluti reprobatam, proscriptam atque damnatam omnino haberi volumus et
mandamus."--Syllabus, Prop. xlviii.



There are some who assert that "there is no sectarian teaching in the
Public Schools, and consequently a Catholic may send his children to
them without exposing them to any danger." Now even supposing there
really were no sectarian teaching in the common schools, even then a
Catholic parent cannot send his children to such a school without
exposing them to the greatest danger. Those who approve of the Public
Schools because nothing sectarian is taught there, act like a certain
husbandman who wished to transplant a fine young tree to a certain part
of his garden. On examining the new place, however, he found that the
ground was filled with poisonous ingredients, which would greatly
endanger the life of the tree. He therefore transplanted the tree to a
sandy hill, where there were, indeed, no poisonous ingredients, but
where there was also no nourishment for the tree. Now will any one
assert that the young tree was not in danger of perishing in this new
place? And will any one assert that the faith and soul of a child are
not in danger of being ruined in those godless common schools? Even if
Protestantism is not taught there, infidelity is taught and practised
there, and infidelity is even worse than Protestantism.

But is it really true that Protestantism is not taught in many of our
Public Schools? This is unfortunately far from being the case. Napoleon
I. introduced the Public School system into France, in order, as he
honestly declared, "to possess the means of controlling political and
moral opinions." Puritans and Freemasons, in this country, have clearly
the same end in view in upholding the present system of Public Schools.

In the early days of New England, and even of several of the other
American States, the Puritans always used the Public Schools as a
powerful means of spreading their peculiar doctrines. When they were
stripped of this power by the liberal founders of American
independence, they still struggled for many years to accomplish, by
indirect means, the injustice which they dared not _maintain_ openly. We
all remember how the poor Catholic boys and girls of the Public Schools
were harassed by colporteurs and proselytizers, who carried baskets
filled, not with bread for the poor hungry children, no, but with oily
tracts, cunningly devised to weaken, or even destroy, the religious
faith of those poor little ones. In some schools even, Catholic children
were urged and enticed to go to the sectarian Sunday-schools, and
pictures, cakes, and sweetmeats were liberally promised, in order to
induce them to go. Teachers were selected with special regard to their
bitter hatred of the Catholic Church, and their zeal for "evangelical"
propagandism. Some years ago, in New Orleans, when the school-board was
composed of bigoted sectarians, many of them sectarian preachers, all
the Catholic teachers, male and female, were turned out of the schools,
merely because they were Catholics.

And even if Catholic children are not always expressly taught doctrines
opposed to their religion, nevertheless the school-books which they use
are, as I have said, frequently tainted with anti-Catholic prejudices
and misrepresentations. Nothing can be more evident than the decidedly
anti-Catholic spirit of English literature in all its departments. It
has grown up, ever since England's apostasy, in an anti-Catholic soil,
in an anti-Catholic atmosphere, and from an anti-Catholic stem. It is
essentially anti-Catholic, and tends, wherever it comes in contact with
Catholic feelings and principles, to sully, infect, and utterly corrupt
them. _Sound knowledge_, a _sound head_, _strong faith_, and _great
grace_--all these combined--may indeed preserve one whom the necessity
of his position may lead into un-Catholic schools; but no one will deny
that this anti-Catholic literature must exercise a most baneful
influence over all those who, without sufficient preparation from nature
or grace, plunge into it, in the pursuit of amusement or knowledge.
Protestant ideas will not make the Catholic turn Protestant, there is
not much danger of that, but they will tend to make him an infidel; they
will destroy his principles without putting others in their place; they
will relax and deaden the whole spiritual man.

In these schools, Catholic children are taught that the Catholic Church
is the nursery of ignorance and vice; they are taught that all the
knowledge, civilization, and virtue which the world now possesses, are
the offspring of the so-called "Reformation." They learn nothing of the
true history of Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Ireland, Austria, and
the other Catholic countries of Europe; they learn nothing of the true
history of Mexico, and the various Catholic countries of North and South
America. They never hear of the vast libraries of Catholic learning, the
rich endowments of Catholic education all over the world, for ages; they
never hear of the countless universities, colleges, academies, and free
schools established by the Catholic Church, and by Catholic governments,
throughout Christendom. Where is the common school book whose author has
manly honesty enough to acknowledge that even the famous universities of
Oxford and Cambridge were founded by Catholics, and plundered from their
lawful possessors by an apostate government?

Moreover, Catholic children are often singled out by their
school-companions, and sometimes even by their teachers, as objects of
ridicule. Now what is the result of all this training? The consequence
is, that either the Catholic children become ashamed of their holy
religion, and despise their parents, or, if they have the courage to
hold out, their tender minds are subject to numberless petty annoyances;
they must endure a species of martyrdom. This is no exaggeration; I have
it from good authority. Practically speaking, the present common school
system is but a gigantic scheme for proselytism and for infidelity.

Now we intend that our children shall be taught to love and revere their
holy Church. We wish to teach them that that Church has been, for over
eighteen hundred years, the faithful guardian of that very Bible of
which Protestants prate so loudly, and which they dishonor so much. We
wish our children to learn that the Catholic Church has been, in all
ages, the friend and supporter of true liberty; _i.e._, liberty united
to order and justice. We wish them to know that the Catholic Church has
ever been the jealous guardian of the sanctity of marriage; that she has
always defended it against brutal lust, and heathen divorce courts. We
wish our children to know, moreover, that the Catholic Church holds the
sword of vengeance uplifted above the heads of the child-murderers, and
the perpetrators of unnatural crimes. We wish our children, in fine, to
regard the Church as the only hope of society, the only salvation of
their country, the only means of preserving intact all the blessings of

The Public Schools are not only seminaries of infidelity, they are,
moreover, in many cases, hot-beds of immorality. In these schools every
child is received, no matter how vicious or corrupt he or his parents
may be. "One mangy sheep," as the homely proverb says, "infects the
whole flock." So one corrupt child in a school is capable of corrupting
and ruining all the others. And, in fact, where have our young people
learned the shameful habit of self-abuse, and many other foul, unnatural
crimes, that are bringing so many thousands to an early grave? Ask those
unhappy victims, ask our physicians throughout the country, and they
will tell you that, in almost every instance, it was from the evil
companions with whom they associated in the common schools. Ah! you will
see, only on the Day of Judgment, how many unnatural crimes have been
taught and propagated, from generation to generation, in these very
hot-beds of iniquity.

"But, Father," some one will say, "what harm can there be in sending
children to Public Schools? for many of the teachers are professing
Christians, and exert a continual Christian influence."

But many more are non-professors, and exert an anti-Christian influence.
Go and visit those schools, and you will soon be able to tell the
religious _status_ of the teachers in charge, by the general tone of the
exercises. One presided over by a zealous Methodist resembles a
Methodist Sunday-school, or conference meeting. Another, under the care
of a "smart young man," delighting in love songs, boating songs, etc.,
has the general tone of a young folks' glee-club. In another, in which
one of the professors is an atheist, it is a matter of common remark
among the boys that Prof. ---- said there was no God. In another, one of
the teachers is overheard sneering at a child because she believes in
our Lord Jesus Christ, and has a reverence for religious things.

What I have just said is true. I have it from good authority. It is
therefore no recommendation at all for the Public School system to say
that many of the teachers are professing Christians. Even the very fact
that many of the teachers in the Public Schools are good Catholics, is
no recommendation whatever for these schools, for it matters nothing,
absolutely nothing, whether the teacher be Catholic or not; according to
_law_, no teacher is allowed to explain a single dogma of Catholic
faith. Now the dogmas of our holy faith have been _revealed_, and, in
order to be known, _they must be taught_. Ordinarily speaking, education
is necessary to learn and preserve the faith. The Catholics of Ireland,
indeed, by the special assistance of God, preserved their holy faith,
though they were not permitted, by a bigoted government, to receive the
education they needed and desired. But in this country, where there is
no such prohibition, where parents are free to send their children to
Catholic schools, it is presumption in them, it is a rash defiance to
the ordinary laws of God's providence, to neglect the daily systematic
training of the minds and hearts of their children, in conformity with
Catholic discipline. Julian the Apostate forbade Catholics to be
educated in their holy faith, for he knew very well that there is no
more certain means of destroying the faith than by not suffering it to
be taught.

It is almost certain that wherever there are no Catholic schools,
wherever the Catholic religion is not taught and practised in school,
there the Catholic religion will practically die out, as soon as
immigration from Catholic countries ceases.

Bishop England has asserted that the Catholic Church loses more, in this
country, by apostasy, than it gains by conversions. Archbishop Spalding,
of Baltimore, asserted one day that, in one body of Methodist ministers,
he observed seven or eight who were children of Catholics, and they were
the smartest preachers among them.

Neglected children of Catholic parents become the worst enemies of the
Catholic Church. The young man who set fire to St. Augustine's Church,
in Philadelphia, Pa., was a Catholic, and he gloried in being able to
burn his name out of the baptismal record. By a just punishment of God,
these neglected Catholic children will become our persecutors.

It is not sufficient to teach the Catechism in church or at home. No!
it is not the _knowledge_ of the faith, but the _daily practice_ of it,
that produces Catholic life. Nothing but the constant practice of our
holy religion can train our youth to withstand the dangers of this age,
and this country. It is not necessary to argue this point. Look at the
tens of thousands of Catholics who never think of going to Mass on a
week-day, and who often neglect it even on Sundays and holy days. Look
at all those who never think of visiting our Lord in the Blessed
Sacrament; who never go to confession more than once or twice a year,
and sometimes not even that. Do they not prove, beyond a doubt, that the
practical _habit_ of devotion was not taught them in their youth?

Look, on the other hand, at those congregations who, in the tender,
susceptible time of youth, were in the habit of going to Mass every day
before the opening of the school. See how, when the bell rings, a goodly
number of them find time, even on week-days, to assist at the most holy
Sacrifice of the Mass. In such congregations there is indeed Catholic
life. These pious Catholics carry the blessing of heaven with them
wherever they go. Amid all the cares and troubles of life they are gay
and cheerful, whilst others grumble and are sad. The religious doctrines
and practices learned in youth, can seldom or never be blotted out. The
question of Catholic schools is a question of making the country
Catholic. If this means be neglected, all other means will avail but

There are others, again, who assert "that the discussion of the
education question should be put off for the present as yet, under the
pretence that our adversaries are as yet too numerous, and that it is
well for us to do nothing until their feelings are more in our favor."
If we are to wait until it will please them to say that our claims are
just, the day will never dawn when our rights shall be admitted;
darkness cannot coalesce with light, vice with virtue, or Belial with
Christ. Will those who deny the Divine authority of the Church, assail
her doctrines, and seek her destruction, ever cordially assist us in
obtaining from our rulers a system of public instruction not dangerous
or destructive to our faith? If we consent to defer the education
question until the torrent of bigotry will be dried up, we shall be
laughed at, and compared to the simple peasant who determined to sit on
the bank of a great river and not to attempt to pass it until all its
waters should have rolled by; or we shall be compared to the careless
farmer who allows rank weeds to grow up in his garden, together with the
good plants, till at last the good plants are dwarfed and smothered by
the noxious weeds. In my opinion, our own policy with those in authority
should be to insist on our rights in season and out of season; and even
when our claims may have been slighted or rejected, to continue our
demands until every grievance shall be removed.

We must make great exertions to obtain the object of our desires, and
display great energy in our proceedings. We have numerous and active
enemies to contend with--men as enthusiastic in a bad cause as the
Pharisees of the Gospel, who compassed earth and sea to make a
proselyte, but who cared very little for his moral progress, once they
had secured his adherence to their views. However, we are not left alone
in our struggle for religious education. With us we have the sympathy of
the Catholics of the world, who are fighting the same battle as we
ourselves, and cheer us on by their example. We have with us the
blessing of the successor of St. Peter, who has repeatedly approved of
the justice of our cause, and we have the sanction of Christ Himself for
the safety of the lambs of whose folds we are laboring. But omitting all
this, I believe that the most influential and distinguished members, lay
and clerical, of the Anglican body, are with us, and that the principal
liberal and enlightened Protestants of the Union wish us success.

The State does not interfere with the free exercise of our religion,
neither should it interfere with our system of education;--two measures
of great importance, well calculated gradually to promote the public
welfare of the country. If the State seriously wishes to check the
growth of revolution, or to stem the growing torrent of communism and
infidelity, they ought to discountenance infidel institutions, and give
schools to Catholics, in which they may uphold the true principles of
authority, human and Divine, in accordance with the traditions of the
Catholic Church of America, and thus strengthen the foundations not only
of religion, but of society in general.

Again, some will say, "I do not see why people can object so much to
Public Schools; I myself went there, and I think I am as good a
Catholic as any one of those who were educated at Catholic schools and

If you really have tried to be a good Catholic, if you have complied
faithfully with all your religious duties, you will have to avow that it
is all owing to the beneficial Catholic influence under which you were
placed during the time of your scholarship, and afterwards. If you
escaped the general contagion of unbelief and vice, remember that it is
owing to a kind of miracle of Divine Protection. But what I have said in
reference to Public Schools shows sufficiently that such a protection is
extended to but few children--it is an exception to the ordinary course
of Divine Providence, and God is not bound to grant it to any one.

A certain friend of mine--a man of great learning and experience--wrote
to me one day, that "he himself had been, in his youth, subjected to
college training; that, be it by nature or by grace, or both combined,
he resisted and escaped. But," he adds, "from my observation and
experience, I would say it did require a miracle for Catholic youth to
escape the damnable effects of a non-Catholic school education." I have
had opportunities, in this line, that many a priest has never had. I
assert that a Catholic boy of tender years, and perhaps careless
training, can be preserved from moral contamination, in public and mixed
schools, by nothing less than a miracle. I will not chop logic with any
one about it. It is a matter of fact. I therefore assert it as of
ascertained result, that in _most_ cases--_especially_ in those cases
where there are enough of Catholics together to have a school of their
own--their frequenting a school without religion will land _most_ of
them in utter carelessness of their religion.

Grace does not destroy _nature_. And it is _nature_ that--

     "... as the twig is bent, the tree inclines."

But let me ask you, How can you think that you are as good a Catholic as
others; you who object to the teaching of the Church, to the persuasion
of all sensible men? Indeed, your language betrays you. Your very
language convinces me still more of the necessity of having Catholic
schools where our children learn the language and imbibe the spirit of
their spiritual mother--the Catholic Church. The Public Schools are none
the better for your having frequented them. Let us suppose a father
wishes to send his children across the ocean. Now he knows for certain
that the vessel which is about to leave for the old country will be
wrecked; he also knows that a few of the passengers will be saved, as it
were, by a miracle, but he knows not who they are. Will he send his
children by that vessel?

Now the Public Schools are like a large vessel. The greater part of
those who have embarked in it have suffered shipwreck in their faith and
good morals. What father, then, will be mad enough to send his children
by this vessel, across the ocean of time, to their heavenly fatherland?

There are others, again, who assert "that we must not attempt to have
Catholic schools until we can afford to conduct them so as to compete
with the Public Schools."

The point in question is godless schools, which are condemned on account
of being infidel in principle. Even with all their faults, our schools
are, it must be conceded, not infidel, but Christian schools. We are at
liberty, there, to teach our children our holy religion whenever we
wish. We can give them good books, and bring them up in a religious
atmosphere. If we do for the establishment and organization of Catholic
schools what we can, God will not hold us responsible for the loss of
those of our children who did not profit by their religious education,
while, on the contrary, we remain accountable to God for those who, for
want of a Catholic education, suffer shipwreck in their faith and
morals, and are lost forever. In the sight of God, the above excuse will
avail us nothing.

Some, even most of our schools, may have been more or less defective in
the beginning. Well, what was the Church at the time of the Apostles?
There were then no gorgeous cathedrals as nowadays. The Christians were
instructed and sanctified in the Catacombs, and in poor private
dwellings. So, in a country like ours, the kingdom of heaven is compared
to a mustard seed. Churches and schools are insignificant in the
beginning; but, by degrees, more life and splendor is infused into them,
and they grow up to perfection.

We honor and venerate the Apostles as the corner-stones of Christianity.
Happy, thrice happy, those pastors who lay solid foundations for future
Catholic life by establishing nurseries--Catholic schools--for its
maintenance and propagation. Their reward will be like unto that of the
Apostles. Our successors will bring our feeble beginnings to perfection.
This is the natural course of things. We may not have the happiness to
witness a plentiful harvest from the seed that we have sown with so much
toil and labor; but we should nevertheless bear in mind that those
bishops and priests who have the happiness of laying the foundations of
future Catholic life in our country, resemble our Lord Jesus Christ, Who
suffered His Apostles to perform even greater miracles than He Himself
had wrought.

I know the above objection is more frequently made in the New England
States than anywhere else. Now it is a well-known fact that the Yankee
race is fast dying out. They have either no children at all, or only one
or two. Hence it is that the larger portion of the Public School
children are the children of Catholic parents. These States foresee that
were the Catholic children to leave their schools, their Public School
buildings would soon be empty, and stand there as eloquent monuments to
tell on the folly of the States for having erected them. Now in order to
keep the Catholic children at their schools, and thus keep up their fine
lucrative establishments, they have, in several places, taken in the
Catholic priests as members of the School Boards. Truly, "the children
of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light."
These priests, by accepting the honor! of membership! of the School
Board, give, thereby, at least a _tacit approbation_ of the godless
Public Schools. Thus the State, by conferring this privilege! throws
dust into the eyes of the people. It is, therefore, quite evident that
were this _tacit approbation_ of the Catholic clergy withdrawn, were
they to erect Catholic schools, the godless schools would soon be
emptied and suspended, and there would hardly be other but Catholic
schools. The Catholic teachers of the Public Schools would follow our
children, and would be too happy in teaching on Catholic ground, and
according to Catholic principles.

Should a sufficient number of children be left for the Public Schools,
this would be no reason whatever to fear that our Catholic schools
could not compete with the Public Schools; for, generally speaking,
Catholic children are more talented than those of Protestants or
infidels. The reason of this is easily to be seen: they have been
baptized; the veil of sin has been raised from their souls, and the
Catholic life which they lead makes their minds brighter, more quick to
perceive, and to understand what is difficult. About six months ago the
priests of St. James's Church, in New York, exhorted the parents to take
their children out of the Public Schools, and send them to Catholic
schools. What happened? Three of the Public School teachers came and
complained to the priests that the brightest gems of their school had
left, and that, on that account, they could not have the exhibition
which they intended soon to give. A short time ago, at an exhibition in
Boston, it was a Catholic young lady that took the prize medal.

And after all, the principal object for getting up Catholic schools is
not to show off their superiority to, or their equality with, infidel
schools--this is not even a secondary end--we want Catholic schools to
preserve our Catholic religion, our Catholic traditions, our Catholic
spirit and morals; we want them to raise in them children for heaven,
not for hell; children for God, not for the devil; children for a happy
eternity, not for everlasting damnation. That's all. Hence Jesus Christ,
on the Day of Judgment, will not ask parents and pastors of souls
whether their schools could compete with infidel schools, but whether
they did all in their power to secure the eternal welfare of their
children by a good Catholic education.

Father John de Starchia, Provincial of the Friars Minor, made
regulations more favorable to worldly science than to the spirit of
piety and religion, attaching, as he did, more importance to the
education of the mind than to that of the heart. St. Francis of Assisium
upbraided him for it, but in vain. So the great servant of God cursed
the Provincial, and deposed him at the ensuing chapter. The saint was
entreated, by some of his brethren in religion, to withdraw this curse
from the Provincial, a learned noble man, and to give him his blessing.
But neither the learning nor the noble extraction of the Provincial
could prevail upon St. Francis to comply with their request. "I cannot,"
said he, "bless him whom the Lord has cursed"--a dreadful reply, which
soon after was verified. This unfortunate man died exclaiming: "I am
damned and cursed for all eternity!" Some frightful circumstances which
followed after his death, confirmed his awful prediction. (Life of St.
Francis of Assisium.) Such a malediction should strike terror into the
hearts of all those who attach more importance to the cultivation of the
mind than to that of the heart, and on that account prefer godless
Public Schools to Catholic schools.

Again, one may object: "The religious development does not necessarily
suppose a literary development too. A person may be illiterate, and yet
learned in the science of the saints, and a man may be learned in
science, and ignorant of his duty towards God and his fellow-creatures.
There were, are, and will be members of the Catholic Church, who,
ignorant of science, of book-learning, did not become infidels, but
exhibited a practical faith throughout life, and died in the odor of
sanctity. Divine faith does not require as a companion, in the
individual Catholic, a knowledge of profane literature, but humility,
compunction, self-denial, and a contempt of the world. Schools are
therefore not absolutely necessary for our children."

As far as the little profit is concerned that mere book-learning does
towards enabling the masses of mankind to accomplish the great end of
their being--the salvation of their souls--I am disposed to go all
lengths with him in this. But he and I must both acknowledge that the
whole current of Catholic influence and practice has set in favor of
book-learning and of schools. The Popes have been constant in this line,
and Catholic Bishops have acted in the same direction.

But grant that _school learning_ is of little account. Something even
harder is said of _riches_. There is no _woe_ on those that spend their
time on book-learning; there _is_ a "woe to them that are rich"!
Nevertheless, Catholics, as others, strive to acquire wealth. So that
they do it honestly, the Catholic Church does not condemn it. Book
education, like riches, is a means of advancement in the world. The
instructed are, on the whole, of greater consideration than the
uninstructed. The business of the Catholic Church is to see that this
source of power is not turned to the destruction of those that acquire

Besides, I fully agree that, as a universal proposition,
school-learning, or book-learning, is not necessary to the salvation of
souls--which is the _great_ end of human life. So far, the objection is
correct in saying that _Catholic_ schools are not, as a universal
proposition, necessary for Catholics.

But, _in hac providentia_; in a condition in which Catholics, like
others, are striving that their children may obtain the mastery,
_book_-learning is, like money, a grand element of strength and of
consideration. This is what those in care of souls must look to.
Book-learning and wealth are neither of them against faith. They are
simple elements of power--_physical paraphernalia_. The great thing is,
how they may be _used_!

Again mark! I do not say that it is of strict obligation for Catholics
to send their children to _any_ school. For the comparatively few that
have at once the means and the disposition, I hold that there is _no_
education like that received under the parental roof. _There_ is the
true home of sturdy independence in men, and of affectionate and chaste
devotion in women. Moreover, it is a great good fortune for
conscientious parents, with growing childhood around them, to have the
charge and responsibility of these children. It is education for parents
as well as children. It brings the strong element of parental affection,
in aid of all other motives for living a good life, as an example to
beloved young ones. We mourn that Catholics, at least, so seldom, when
they have the means, make their own houses the schools for their own
children. But this can be done by few, comparatively. Nor can select and
private schools, with few scholars, and those picked ones, be had. As a
matter of fact, the children of most Catholics must receive whatever
_school_ instruction they get, in large and general schools.

God may, by a miracle, preserve the faith in a whole nation, as He
really did in the Irish, because they were _forbidden_ to use the
ordinary means whereby Catholics bring up their offspring in the faith.
But, when Irish men and women come to this country, where there is _no_
prohibition of their having Catholic schools, and having their children
educated in them, it is, as I have said, a rash defiance of the ordinary
laws of God's Providence, to neglect the daily and systematic training
of the intellects of their children in conformity with Catholic

There are some who say "they pay taxes, and they, of course, would like
to profit as well as others by their contribution to the school fund."
It is nothing but right that they should; but they cannot, and ought
not, to do so upon the conditions imposed on them. The Christians of the
first centuries paid taxes to the Roman Empire, for they had been taught
by their Divine Master to render unto Cæsar what belonged to Cæsar; but
rather than refuse to render to God what belonged to God, rather than
give up their faith, or expose themselves to the danger of losing it,
they went to the lions.

At a later period, the Irish, so much taunted for their ignorance in
reading and writing, paid heavy taxes to the British Government, and, be
it said to their honor, they, for a time, deprived themselves of the
most useful knowledge, not on account of their opposition to schools,
but because when the teachers of their choice were hunted down by
government officials, and shot like wild beasts, if caught in the act of
teaching, they refused to go to the State schools, which they could not
attend without betraying the faith of their ancestors.

We also pay taxes, and will continue to do so in submission to a most
unjust law; but, thanks be to God! we are at liberty to seek legal
redress, and our exertions should increase until it is obtained by those
very means which were used to establish godless schools, viz.: the
press, lecturing, preaching, etc., to form, again, _public opinion_ in
favor of Christian schools, and electing such men to legislatures as are
down upon godless schools, and advocate the establishment of Christian
schools for the well-being of our country. In the meantime, in order to
preserve the true faith, and save the world from the deadly indifference
into which it is falling, Catholic schools must be got up, and kept up,
at any cost.

Finally, there are some of the clergy who say, "It is so much trouble to
get up schools, and to support them--where to get the teachers, and the
money to pay them." True, it is troublesome to establish schools; but we
have to live on troubles. Our very troubles become our ladder to heaven,
if borne for the sake of Jesus Christ. If we do not wish to undergo
troubles and trials of every kind for the sake of Jesus, and for the
salvation of those for whom He shed His heart's blood, we should not
have become priests. Our right and claim to heaven can be established
only by following our Lord, and by carrying our cross after Him.

As to the fear of not getting money for building and supporting schools,
let us look at those magnificent school-buildings in every city and town
of the country. Where did those priests who built them get the money? It
was no angel from heaven that brought it. The parents of the children
that are educated in these schools gave it. Let us rest assured that
money will not be wanting to a priest if his zeal is great enough to
show to parents the absolute necessity of Catholic schools, in order to
save their children from becoming scourges for society in this life, and
from becoming victims of hell in the next. Let a priest unite great
charity and affection for children, and he will at once lay hold on the
hearts and money of their parents. Those parents who have no money to
offer, will most willingly offer their labor for so noble a work. This
has been our experience for years in every place where we took charge
of a congregation. Let every child--the poor excepted--pay from thirty
to forty cents a month. The money thus collected will cover all the
expenses for teachers, and for the books of the poor children. Parents
are but too happy to have a priest who takes a lively interest in the
temporal and eternal happiness of their children. For the promotion of
this happiness, parents will give to the priest the last cent they have
got--nay, their own hearts' blood, if necessary. This we have witnessed
many times. We have established schools in country places, where the
people made very little money; yet they were but too happy to give us
money for the building and support of schools. There are hundreds of
priests who can say the same of themselves. And should there be
refractory characters who do not care about a good Catholic education,
let us refuse them absolution, as penitents who are not disposed for the
worthy reception of the sacraments. We cannot scruple to do this.

The voice of common sense, the voice of sad experience, the voice of
Catholic bishops, and especially the voice of the Holy Father, is raised
against, and condemns, the Public School system as a huge humbug,
injuring, not promoting, personal virtue and good citizenship, and as
being most pernicious to Catholic faith, and life, and all good morals.
A pastor, therefore, cannot maintain the contrary opinion without
incurring great guilt before God and the Church. He cannot allow parents
to send their children to such schools of infidelity and immorality. He
cannot give them absolution, and say, "Innocens sum!" For he must know
and understand that parents are bound before the Almighty to raise their
children good Catholics, to plant in their hearts the seed of godliness
and parental obedience; this was their promise at the baptismal font.
They are bound in conscience to redeem this promise; but they cannot do
this, so long as their children go to the Public Schools; for it must be
conceded that children attending these godless Public Schools are in
_proximate occasion of sin_, and this occasion is in esse for them. This
being so, parents cannot receive absolution unless they remove from
their children this occasion of sin. "I do not see," says the Archbishop
of Cincinnati--and many other bishops say the same--"I do not see how
parents can be absolved, if they are not disposed to support Catholic
schools, and send their children thereto."

"Duty compels us"--says the Bishop of Vincennes, Ind., in his Pastoral
Letter of 1872--"duty compels us to instruct the pastors of our churches
to refuse absolution to parents who, having the facilities and means of
educating their children in a Christian manner, do, from worldly
motives, expose them to the danger of losing their faith. This measure,
however, being very rigorous, we intend that it shall be recurred to in
extreme cases only, and when all means of persuasion have been

As for teachers, there are everywhere many young ladies who have
received a splendid education, and who would feel but too happy to
become teachers for our children, and bring them up in such a manner as
to fit them for business in this life, and for heaven hereafter.

But why so many objections? It was in the following manner that two
bishops silenced all such objections, and made Catholic schools spring
up all over their dioceses in a short time: they told their priests
"that, were they not to have schools within a certain limited time, they
would dismiss them from their dioceses; and that, should their
parishioners not be willing to provide the means for establishing and
supporting Catholic schools, they would withdraw from them their
priests." This looks like believing in the Catholic Church. From the
moment that the priests saw this determination of their bishop--the
people were overjoyed at it--_Catholic schools_, and, with them,
_Catholic life_, sprang up, and diffused itself at once all over the two

Let, then, everyone of our clergy take courage, and the Lord will
dispose the hearts of the rich and the poor in his favor;--the hearts of
the rich to provide him with means, the hearts of the poor to aid him,
by their prayers, in the promotion of so noble a work as is the
establishment of good Catholic schools.



It is a matter of fact that the Protestant movement was chiefly directed
against the Papacy, and that it involved a hundred years of so-called
religious wars. This movement gave the princes who took the side of the
Church an opportunity, of which they were not slow to avail themselves,
to extend and consolidate their power over their Catholic subjects, and
to establish in their dominions monarchical absolutism, or what we may
choose to call modern Cæsarism.

Under plea of serving religion, they extended their power over matters
which had hitherto either been left free, or subject only to the
jurisdiction of the spiritual authority. They were defenders of the
faith against armed heretics; and they pretended that this excess of
power was necessary, in order to succeed in their undertaking. A habit
of depending on them as the external defenders of religion and her
altars, of the freedom of conscience, and of the Catholic civilization
itself, was generated; the king took the place in the thoughts and
affections of the people that was due to the Soverign Pontiff, and by
giving the direction to the schools and universities in all things not
absolutely of faith, they gradually became the lords of men's minds as
well as bodies. In France, Spain, Portugal, and a large part of Italy,
all through the seventeenth century, the youth were trained in the
maxim--the Prince is the State, and his pleasure is law. Bossuet, in his
politics, did only faithfully express the political sentiments and
convictions of his age, shared by the great body of Catholics as well as
of non-Catholics. Rational liberty had few defenders, and they were
excluded, like Fenelon, from the Court. The politics of Philip II. of
Spain, of Richelieu, Mazarin, and Louis XIV. in France, which were the
politics of Catholic Europe, scarcely opposed by any one, except by the
Popes, through the greater part of the sixteenth and the whole of the
seventeenth centuries, tended directly to enslave the people, and to
restrict the freedom and influence of the Church.

Trained under despotic influences by the skilful hand of despotism,
extending to all matters not absolutely of the sanctuary, and sometimes
daring, with sacrilegious foot, to invade the sanctuary itself, the
people were gradually formed interiorly, as well as exteriorly, to the
purposes of the despot. They grew up with the habits and beliefs which
Cæsarism, when not resisted, is sure to generate.

The clergy, sympathizing, as is the case with every national clergy,
with the sentiments of their age and nation in all things not strictly
of faith, had little disposition to labor to keep alive the spirit of
freedom in the hearts of the people, and would not have been permitted
to do it, even if they had been so disposed. Schools were sustained,
but, affected by the prevailing despotism, education declined; free
thought was prohibited; and it is hard to find a literature tamer, less
original and living, than that of Catholic Europe all through the
eighteenth century, down almost to our own times.

As the Catholic religion was professedly patronized by the sovereigns,
the Church, in superficial minds, seemed to sanction the prevailing
Cæsarism. The clergy, because they preached peace, and thought to fulfil
their mission without disturbing the State, came, for the first time in
history, to be regarded as the chief supporters of the despot.

They who retained some reminiscences of the liberties once enjoyed by
Catholic Europe, and the noble principles of freedom, asserted in the
Middle Ages by the monks in their cells, and the most eminent Doctors of
the Church from their chairs, became alienated from Catholicity in
proportion as they cherished the spirit of resistance, and, unhappily,
imbibed the fatal conviction that to overthrow the despot's throne they
must break down the altar. Rightly interpreted, the old French
Revolution, although bitterly anti-Catholic and infidel, was not so much
hatred of religion, and impatience of her salutary restraints, as the
indignant uprising of a misgoverned people against a civil despotism
that affected injuriously all orders, ranks and conditions of society.
The sovereigns had taken good care that an attack on them should involve
an attack on religion, and to have it deeply impressed on their subjects
that resistance to them was rebellion against God. The priest, who
should have labored publicly to correct the issue made up by the
sovereigns in accord with unbelievers, would have promoted sedition, and
done more harm than good; besides, he would have been at once reduced to
silence, in some one of the many ways despotism has usually at its

The horrors of the French Revolution, the universal breaking up of
society it involved, the persecution of the Church and of her clergy,
and her religious, which it shamelessly introduced in the name of
liberty, the ruthless war it waged upon religion, virtue, all that wise
and good men hold sacred, not unnaturally, to say the least, tended to
create in the minds of the clergy and the people, who remained firm in
their faith, and justly regarded religion as the first want of man and
society, a deeper distrust of the practicability of liberty, and a
deeper horror of all movements attempted in its name. This, again, as
naturally tended to alienate the party clamoring for political and
social reform still more from Catholicity; which, in its turn, has
reacted with new force on the Catholic party, and made them still more
determined in their anti-liberal convictions and efforts. These
tendencies, on both sides, have been aggravated by the European
revolutions and repressions, till now almost everywhere the lines are
well defined, and the so-called Liberals are, almost to a man, bitterly
anti-Catholic, and the sovereigns seem to have succeeded in forcing the
issue: The Church and Cæsarism, or Liberty and Infidelity.

Certainly, as religion is of the highest necessity to man and society,
infinitely more important than political freedom and social well-being,
I am unable to conceive how the Catholic party, under the circumstances,
could well have acted differently. Their error was in their want of
vigilance and sagacity in the beginning, in suffering the political
Cæsarism to revive and consolidate itself in the State, or the
sovereigns, in the outset, to force upon the Catholic world so false an
issue, or to place them in so unnatural and so embarrassing a position.
The truth is, the Catholic party, yielding to the sovereigns, lost, to
some extent, for the eighteenth century, the control of the mind of the
age, and failed to lead its intelligence--they who should always be
first and foremost in every department of human thought and activity.

That the struggles in Europe have an influence on the Catholic clergy
and laity in this country, cannot be denied. As yet many of our
Catholics, whether foreign-born or native-born, seem scarcely to realize
the fact that they are freemen, and possess, in this land of freedom,
equal rights with their fellow-citizens of every other denomination.
They have so long been an oppressed people, that their freedom here
seems hardly real. And unhappily even some of the clergy seem to be too
timid and backward in defending boldly and publicly those doctrines of
our holy faith which are opposed to the popular errors of our infidel
age. So far we have, thank God, been enjoying full religious liberty;
but it will depend mainly on the Catholic clergy to maintain this
liberty, by upholding the religious principles upon which all true
liberty is based. In order to maintain these principles they must defend
liberty of education to the utmost, and must not cease to remind the
State that it is its solemn duty to govern a free Christian people in a
Christian manner, and according to the Constitution of the Republic; and
that, under no pretence whatever, can it violate this Constitution in so
vital a point as is the education of our children; and that it is a
constant and crying injustice to tax Catholics for the support of
godless schools. We must not yield any of our constitutional rights; if
we do, the Church will be implicated, by degrees, in the same kind of
struggle which is now becoming so serious in Europe.

Now in order to meet with success, let us take up the press. In our
country, unfortunately, an unchristian press is guaranteed the fullest
liberty, and the evils that flow from that liberty are widely spread. It
is certain that this unrestricted freedom of the press, which every one
is ready to abuse, and which allows every one to constitute himself a
teacher of the public, can be defended neither on principles of reason
nor of faith. It becomes, therefore, not only our privilege, but our
solemn duty, to combat the unchristian by a really Christian press--a
matter on which the Church, and the Head of the Church, have spoken in
an unmistakable manner. If Catholics have not thorough Catholic papers,
they will take periodicals which are not Catholic. To have even one good
paper, through which we can give expression to our thoughts, is a great
blessing and a great gain; but that certainly does not enable us to give
our voice that weight in the questions of the day to which it is
entitled. A great deal has, of late years, been done for the
establishment of Catholic journals, and much good has been accomplished
by them. But far more might have been done had the Catholic press
received more support both from the clergy and laity. It is so easy for
the clergy to give this support by encouraging the Catholics in general,
but especially the members of so many excellent Catholic associations,
to subscribe to such periodicals. One word from the priest on the
usefulness of having a good Catholic paper and magazine in the family,
will induce a hundred times more Catholics to become subscribers, than
the longest appeal of a newspaper editor. The stronger the Catholic
press becomes, the more the attention of the nation is called to it, the
more shall we secure their respect for us and our religion. Yes, it is
absolutely necessary in a country like ours, where religious tracts
from Protestant societies, and pamphlets and periodicals of the most
obscene character, are flying over the land like leaves before the
autumn wind, that Catholic journals should be called into existence on
every hand, and that no sacrifice should be spared to do so, and to
encourage those already in existence. If the clergy only take the matter
in hand, they will find those willing and able to carry the matter
through. Let us use our talents, as God shall grant us grace and
ability, that we may, by so powerful a means as is the press,
disseminate the principles of truth, in order to contend with error. The
light of truth is far more calculated to dispel the darkness of error,
than the light of the sun is to disperse the darkness of the night. Why
are there so many talents lying idle among us? Why so many pens that
move not, when they should be burning with love for God, and for the
welfare of their fellow-men? Why so many tongues that are ever silent,
when they might, day after day, preach the good tidings of the Gospel of
Christ? Let us rest assured God has given to us, to every man his
vocation, his sphere of action and holy influence, wherein he can
proclaim to those around him that faith which maketh wise unto
salvation. Let us not be cowards,--let us show as much determination and
courage, let us sacrifice as much for the propagation of truth as its
enemies do for the dissemination of error; bearing, however, always in
mind that the manner in which we must combat error ought to be
charitable; for otherwise it is not calculated to command respect, and
make a salutary impression. It is thus that our fellow-citizens of other
denominations will come to understand that we appreciate our liberty,
and know how to use it for the benefit of the public.

But all rights and liberties avail nothing, in the end, if Catholic
education itself is not what it ought to be. And the great battle that
is waging, that education may not be deprived of its Christian
character, can be won by us only on condition that teachers, and
educators themselves, as well as parents and the clergy, understand
precisely the full bearing of the question.

To-day, more than ever, we need a thorough Catholic education. The
enemies of our religion are now making war upon its dogmas more
generally and craftily than at any former period. Their attacks, for
being wily and concealed, are all the more pernicious. The impious rage
of a Voltaire, or the "solemn sneer" of a Gibbon, would be less
dangerous than this insidious warfare. They disguise their designs under
the appearance of devotion to progressive ideas, and hatred of
superstition and intolerance, all the better to instil the slow but
deadly poison. By honeyed words, a studied candor, a dazzle of
erudition, they have spread their "gossamer nets of seduction" over the
world. The press teems with books and journals in which doctrines
subversive of religion and morality are so elegantly set forth, that the
unguarded reader is very apt to be deceived by the fascination of false
charms, and to mistake a most hideous and dangerous object for the very
type of beauty. The serpent stealthily glides under the silken verdure
of a polished style. Nothing is omitted. The passions are fed, and the
morbid sensibilities pandered to; firmness in the cause of truth or
virtue is called obstinacy; and strength of soul, a refractory
blindness. The bases of morality are sapped in the name of liberty; the
discipline of the Church, when not branded as sheer "mummery," is held
up as hostile to personal freedom; and her dogmas, with one or two
exceptions, are treated as opinions which may be received or rejected
with like indifference.

Nor is this irreligious tendency confined to literary publications; it
finds numerous and powerful advocates in men of scientific pursuits, who
strive to make the worse appear the better cause. The chemist has never
found in his crucible that intangible something which men call spirit;
so, in the name of science, he pronounces it a myth. The anatomist has
dissected the human frame; but, failing to meet the immaterial
substance--the soul--he denies its existence. The physicist has weighed
the conflicting theories of his predecessors in the scale of criticism,
and finally decides that bodies are nothing more than the accidental
assemblage of atoms, and rejects the very idea of a Creator. The
geologist, after investigating the secrets of the earth, triumphantly
tells us that he has accumulated an overwhelming mass of facts to refute
the biblical cosmogony, and thus subvert the authority of the inspired
record. The astronomer flatters himself that he has discovered natural
and necessary laws, which do away with the necessity of admitting that a
Divine Hand once launched the heavenly bodies into space, and still
guides them in their courses; the stenographer has studied the
peculiarities of the races; he has met with widely-different
conformations, and believes himself sufficiently authorized to deny the
unity of the human family; in a word, they conclude that nothing exists
but matter, that God is a myth, and the soul "the dream of a dream."

Thus do men attack these sacred truths, which cannot be shaken without
greatly injuring, and finally destroying, the social edifice.

Now, when we see the snares so cunningly laid to entrap our youth, can
we wonder that so many of our Catholic young men, even after they have
been educated at Catholic colleges, are caught in them, and fall into
infidelity? A short time ago, a gentleman of great learning, and a
celebrated convert to our Church, told me that he had the greatest
trouble to keep his son from falling into infidelity, though he was
naturally inclined to piety. He said that he had him educated at one of
the best colleges in the country, and that he felt surprised at the fact
that so many of the young men educated there had become infidels. "I
cannot," he said, "account for this, otherwise than by presuming that
the religious training there is not solid enough; that the heathen world
is too much read and studied; that principles somewhat too lax are in
vogue; that the truths of our religion are taught too superficially;
that the principles which underlie the dogmas are not sufficiently
explained, inculcated, and impressed upon the minds of the young men,
and that their educators fail in giving them a correct idea of the
spirit and essence of our religion, which is based on divine revelation,
and invested in a Body divinely commissioned to teach all men,
authoritatively and infallibly, all its sacred and immutable
truths--truths which we are consequently bound in conscience to receive
without hesitation.

"Now what I have said of certain colleges applies also, unhappily, to
many of our female academies; they are by no means what they should be,
according to the spirit of the Church; they conform too much to the
spirit of the world; they have too many human considerations; they make
too many allowances for Protestant pupils at the expense of the Catholic
spirit and training of our young Catholic ladies; they yield too much to
the spirit of the age; in a word, they attend more to the intellectual
than to the spiritual culture of their pupils.

"But what is even more surprising than all this is, that some of our
Catholic clergy, and among them some even of those who should be first
and foremost in fighting for sound religious principles, and seeing that
our youth are carefully brought up in them, are too much inclined to
yield to the godless spirit of the age--to the so-called liberal views
on Catholic education, which have been clearly and solemnly condemned by
the Holy See. They tell us poor people in the world, that, if we are
careless in bringing up our children as good Catholics, we are worse
than heathens, and have denied our faith! that, if our children are lost
through our neglect, we also shall be lost. I would like to know whether
God will show Himself more merciful to those of our clergy who take so
little interest in the religious instruction of our youth; who make
little or no exertions to establish Catholic schools, where we could
have our children properly educated; who, when they condescend to
instruct them, do so in bombastic language, in scholastic terms which
the poor children cannot understand, taking no pains to give their
instructions in plain words, and in a manner attractive for children.

"As the pastor is, so is the flock. We enjoy full religious liberty in
our country. All we need is good, courageous pastors--standard-bearers
in the cause of God and the people. We would be only too happy to follow
them, and to support and encourage them by every means in our power.
What an immense amount of good could thus be achieved in a short time!
Our religion never loses anything of its efficacy upon the minds and
hearts of men; it can only lose in as far as it is not brought to bear
upon them. What is most wanted is not argument, but instruction and

"I can hardly account for this want of zeal for true Catholic education
in so many of our clergy, who are otherwise models of every virtue, than
by supposing the fact that their ecclesiastical training must have been
deficient in many respects, or that they must have spent their youth in
our godless Public Schools, where they were never thoroughly imbued with
the true spirit of the Catholic Church--the spirit of God.

"I have quietly, for some time, studied, as far as I was able, the
prevailing spirit of our people; noted the remarks and efforts of a few
ecclesiastics, laics, and Catholic periodicals (and, alas! how very few)
made in behalf of the sacred obligation of education, and endeavored to
compare the results with the efforts, and the observation _made_ is
sadly disheartening.

"Examine the Catholic almanacs, the census of the various States, or
those of the United States, and ascertain, first, the number of
Catholics in the country; second, the number of those between the ages
of six and twenty-one years; then divide this last number by the number
of Catholic schools, including colleges, academies, convents, parochial
and private schools, and the _quotient_ will be what? _Indifference to
Catholic education!_ In other words, this simple operation in vulgar
arithmetic demonstrates that in no country claiming to be enlightened
can be found _thirteen millions_ of Catholics with such an inadequate
number of schools as we have, or are likely to have, if a policy widely
different from that which prevails at present be not _early_ inaugurated
and steadily pursued. It is, indeed, true--and I willingly, cheerfully
admit the fact--that most of our priests, and nearly all our bishops,
are exerting themselves zealously, strenuously, and with marked success,
in the cause of education. But _not all_ the priests; _not all_ the
bishops are enlisted in the cause; nor are all in _positive_ sympathy
with it. All may be, perhaps are, agreed in believing that Catholic
education is necessary; but _all are not_ agreed as to the necessity of
Catholic schools in which it may be secured. Unanimity exists as to the
_end_, but not as to the _means_ to that end. And this lack or absence
of unanimity, especially among those whose peculiar province it is to
shape and direct Catholic sentiment, has produced, and continues to
produce, the most injurious consequences.

"Many of the clergy are _not_ opposed to the Public Schools, nor do they
feel reluctant to publicly make known the "faith which is in them," when
an opportunity presents itself. Many are opposed to these schools, but
theirs is a _negative_ opposition; that is, they are not in favor of
them. They believe that Catholic schools are better and safer, but they
do not consider it a duty incumbent on themselves to undertake the labor
and trouble inseparable from the establishment and direction of
parochial schools. These reverend gentlemen are simply neutrals; that
is, _if men may, or can, be neutral on such a subject_.

"Thought is free, and it may, perhaps, be impossible to have entire
unanimity in matters of opinion only; but if one of the ends sought to
be attained by the Church be the securing to each child a Catholic
education, it is very evident that the establishment of schools should
not be left to the discretion or whim of the several pastors. Upon
subjects far less important than that of schools, the statutes in many
dioceses are clear, explicit, binding. Is there any reason for their
silence on the subject of education? Our bishops have not only the
power, but the will, to enforce such matters of discipline as they deem
necessary. This granted--because too clear to be denied--does it not
follow that the establishment of schools maybe made obligatory upon
pastors? Let discipline be made uniform, and we will not witness such an
anomalous condition of things as exist at present. Duties are never in
collision; obligations never clash. There is but one right thing to be
done, but one right cause to pursue, all things considered; and whatever
is in conflict with this cannot be a duty, whatever may seem to be its
claim. In some parts of this country, the sacraments are refused to
those who decline to have their children attend Catholic schools where
such are convenient; but there is not, so far as I am informed, in those
parts, any _rule_ making it obligatory upon pastors to establish such
schools. In other sections, to withhold the sacraments for such a cause
is unthought of. The consequence is that many Catholics are at a loss to
understand why it is that an act which subjects them to such severe
punishment in one diocese should in another not call forth even a mild
reproof--pass unnoticed. In actions indifferent in themselves, it may be
wise, "when in Rome, to do as the Romans do"; but where _principle_ is
involved, such an easy adaptability cannot be encouraged.

"In this laxity of discipline, and in this want of uniformity, in this
wide difference of opinion among those who give direction to Catholic
sentiment, and who speak, as it were, _ex cathedra_, may be found some
of the causes for the indifference existing among our people on the
question of Catholic education.

"But it is so convenient to allow things to go on in the old way, and
so hard to establish anything new. Yet a thing which, in the great
struggle between the Church and antichrist, is one of the most powerful
means of victory, is really worth the highest sacrifice. Indeed, the
establishment of thorough Catholic schools is the most important step
that can be taken by our clergy to solve certain social questions, and
which can be solved only on Catholic principles. The greatest social
danger of the age, is the dechristianization and demoralization of the
rising generation. This dechristianization and demoralization are, to a
great extent, the cause of the wretchedness of society, and make that
wretchedness almost incurable. What enormous dimensions has this evil
assumed under the present godless system of education in the Public
Schools! But even the evils resulting from this system might, to a great
extent, be healed, if the clergy labor, with the zeal and fire of
apostolic times, to have good schools, and imbue our children therein
with thorough Christian knowledge, with fervent piety and earnest
devotion. Oh! if the children of light were only as wise as the children
of the world, we should witness wonders. It is true that evil makes its
way in this world better than goodness does, but it is also true that
goodness does not prosper, because those who represent it take the
matter too lightly, or do not go about it as they should. More is often
done for the worst cause than men are willing to do or to sacrifice for
the best. A great deal has of late years been done for the establishment
and maintenance of Catholic schools. Let us sincerely hope that a great
deal more will be done, and more universally; and need requires us not
only to pray, but to work with all our strength, with inexhaustible
patience and devotion, at the establishment of Catholic schools, and
make, for this noblest of objects, sacrifices not less generous than
those made by infidels in behalf of godless education."

It was thus that the good old gentleman spoke to me. He uttered great
truths. His language is that of all good Catholics in the country. I
have often heard it. It is no exaggeration to assert that the salvation
of those of our clergy who have charge of congregations depends, in a
great measure, on the solicitude with which they promote the thorough
Catholic education of those children who are confided to their care.

"Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus saith the Lord
God: Behold I Myself come upon the shepherds, I will require My flock at
their hand."--(Ezek. xxxiv. 9, 10.)

If our Lord will require His flock at the hands of their pastors, He
will undoubtedly require from them a stricter account of that part of
his flock for which he has always shown a particular predilection, that
is, for children. It was to children that He gave the special honor of
being the first to shed their blood for His name's sake. He has given
them to us as a model of humility, which we should imitate: "Unless you
become like little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven."
He wishes that every one should hold them in great honor: "See that you
despise not one of these little ones." Why not? "For I say to you, that
their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven."--(Matt.
xviii. 10.)

He wishes every one to be on his guard, lest he should scandalize a
little child: "It were better for him that a mill-stone were put about
his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one
of these little ones."--(Matt. xviii. 6.)

He says that the love, attention, and respect paid to a child, is paid
to Himself. "And Jesus took a child and said to them: Whosoever shall
receive this child in My name, receiveth Me."--(Luke ix. 48.)

He rebuked those who tried to prevent little children from being
presented to Him, that He might bless them: "And they brought to Him
young children, that he might touch them. And the disciples rebuked
those who brought them; whom, when Jesus saw, He was much displeased,
and saith to them: Suffer the little ones to come unto Me, and forbid
them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Amen I say to you,
whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a _little child_,
shall not enter into it. And embracing them, and laying His hands upon
them, He blessed them."--(Mark x. 13-16.)

The motives, then, that should induce every priest to devote himself
zealously to the spiritual welfare of youth, are: First, the great
interest which Jesus Christ takes in children; and second, the more
abundant fruits reaped from the care bestowed upon the young.

The Son of God came into the world to redeem all who were lost. But do
children profit by His abundant redemption? Do they draw from the source
of graces that are open to all? Will they be marked with the seal of
Divine Adoption, and be nourished with His own Flesh in the Sacrament of
His love? Will they be counted, in the course of their career, among the
number of His faithful disciples, or among the enemies of His law? Will
they one day be admitted into His kingdom? Will they be excluded? Is it
heaven or hell that will be their lot for all eternity? It is we
priests, and almost we only, that are expected to solve these problems.
Children are the noblest portion of the flock that is confided to our
care. Their fate is in our hands. If our zeal is not active in their
salvation, Jesus will lose, in them, the fruit of His sufferings and
death. How many are deprived forever of the sight and possession of God,
because they have not received a good Catholic education. Who is to
blame? Has the pastor sufficiently instructed, warned, and watched over
them? How many lose their baptismal innocence almost as soon as they
are capable of losing it, grow up in vicious habits, grow old in sin,
and die impenitent at last, because they were neglected in early youth,
were not subjected to the amiable yoke of virtue! "Bonum est viro, cum
portaverit jugum ab adolescentia suâ."--(Thren. iii. 27.) If the first
years of life are pure, they often sanctify all the after life; but if
the roots of the tree are rotten and dead, the branches will not be more
healthy. "Adolescentes, cum semel à malitiâ fuerint occupati, quasi
incaptivitatem essent adducti, quoquo diabolus jusserit eunt."--(S.
Chrys. Hom. 19 in Gen.) Education is the mould in which a man's moral,
intellectual, and religious character is formed. Man will become, in his
old age, what education made him in his youth. "Adolescens juxta viam
suam, etiam cum senuerit, non recedet ab ea."--(Prov. xxii. 6.) All is a
snare and seduction for youth. If the fear of God, the horror of evil,
the maxims of religion, are not profoundly engraven in the soul, what is
to protect young people from their passions? What can be expected of a
young man who has never heard of the happiness of virtue, the hopes of
the future life, and the blessings or the woes of eternity? Now who
will give the Christian education, if not the pastor? Can we rely on the
parents? on Sunday-school teachers? Oh, priests! we are almost the only
resource of these poor children. Can we, knowing, as we do, how much
Jesus Christ loves them, can we, I say, resign ourselves to leaving them
in their misery? "The kings of the earth have their favorites," said St.
Augustine. The favorites of Jesus Christ are innocent souls. What is
more innocent than the heart of a child whom baptism has purified from
original stain, and who has not, as yet, contracted the stain of actual
sin? This heart is the sanctuary of the Holy Ghost. Who can tell with
what delight He makes of it His abode? Deliciæ meæ esse cum filiis
hominum. Look at the mothers who penetrated the crowd that surrounded
the Saviour, in order to beg Him to bless their children.... They are at
first repulsed; but soon after, what is their joy when they hear the
good Master approve their desires, and justify what a zeal, little
enlightened, taxed with indiscretion! Ah! let us understand the desires
of the Son of God. "Suffer," says He to us, "suffer little children to
come to me." What! You banish those who are dearest to Me? They who
resemble them belong to the kingdom of heaven. If you love Me, take care
of My sheep, but neglect not My lambs. Pasce agnos meos. Despise not one
of My little ones. "Videte ne contemnatis unum ex his pusillis."--(Matt.
xviii. 10.) I regard as done to Myself, all that is done to them. "Qui
susceperit unum parvulum talem, in nomine meo, me suscipit."--(Ibid. 5.)
O Saviour of the world! the desire to be beloved by Thee, and to prove
my love for Thee, urges me to devote myself to the Catholic education of
our children.

How great and consoling are not the fruits of zeal, when it has youth
for its object! The good pastor never despairs of the salvation of his
sheep, whatever may be their wanderings; he knows the power of grace,
and the infinite mercy of the Lord. But what difficulties does he not
encounter when he undertakes to bring back to God persons advanced in
age! Children, on the contrary, oppose but one obstacle to his
zeal--levity. All he needs with them is patience. Their souls are like
new earth, which waits only culture to produce a quadruple. They are
flexible plants, which take the form and direction given to them. Their
hearts, pure from criminal affections, are susceptible of happy
impressions and tendencies. They believe in authority. A religious
instinct leads them to the priest. They adopt with confidence the faith
and the sentiments of those who instruct them. Oh, how easy to soften
that age, in speaking of a God Who has made Himself a child, and Who
died for us! to awaken the fear of the Lord, compassion for those who
suffer, gratitude, divine love, in souls predisposed, by the grace of
baptism, to all the Christian virtues! Ask the most zealous pastors, and
all will tell you that no part of their ministry is more consoling than
that which is exercised for youth, because the fruits are incomparably
more abundant. Although all my efforts for the sanctification of an old
man, ever unfaithful to his duties, should be crowned with success, they
could not help his long life being frightfully void of merits, and a
permanent revolt against heaven. But if there be a child in question, my
zeal sanctifies his whole life; I deposit in his soul the germ of all
the good that he will do, and I shall participate in all the good works
with which his career will be filled. All believers have come out of one
single Abraham. From one child, well brought up, a whole generation of
true Christians can proceed. In this little flock that surrounds me, God
sees, perhaps, elect souls on whom His Providence has formed great
designs--pious instructors, holy priests, who will carry far the
knowledge of His name, and aid Him in saving millions of souls. In what
astonishment would the first catechists of a St. Vincent de Paul, of a
Francis Xavier, be thrown, had they been told what would become of those
children, and what they would one day accomplish! But even supposing
that all those confided to me follow the common way, I have in them the
surest means of renewing my parish. To-day they receive the movement, in
fifteen years they will give it. They will transmit good principles,
happy inclinations to their own children, who will transmit them in
their turn. Behold, it is thus that holy traditions are established, and
a chain of solid virtues perpetuated; ages will reap what I have sown in
a few days. It is by these considerations that the greatest saints, and
the finest geniuses of Christianity, became so much attached to the
education of youth. St. Jerome, St. Gregory Pope, St. Augustine, St.
Vincent Ferrier, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Francis de Sales, St. Joseph
Calasanctius, Gerson, Bellarmin, Bossuet, Fenelon, M. Olier, etc.,
believed they could never better employ their time and talents than in
consecrating them to the education of the young. "It is considered
honorable and useful to educate the son of a monarch, presumptive heir
to his crown.... But the child that I form to virtue, is he not the
child of God, inheritor of the kingdom of heaven?"--(Gerson.) "Believe
me," said St. Francis de Sales, "the angels of little children love
those with a particular love who bring them up in the fear of God, and
who plant in their tender souls holy devotion." Have we always
comprehended all the good that we can do to children by our humble

But if we wish for the end, we must also wish for the means--for
Catholic schools. They are the nurseries of the Church, as novitiates
are the nurseries of religious orders. The chief pastoral work of the
Church is to be done in the school. The school must be the chief
solicitude of the priest. He must consider no trouble too great, no
sacrifice of time and convenience too much, in order to secure good
attendance and efficiency in the school. Neither sick calls, nor any
other ecclesiastical duties, should be allowed to interfere with the
school. He must be the life and character of the school, and it is
principally he who must administer correction. The authority of the
priest, his interest in the school, and his relation towards the
parents, are far more persuasive and effectual as corrections, than
scoldings and penances inflicted by the master and mistress.

It seems to me that we cannot insist too much upon the vital importance
of the Catholic school. A priest's time is never better employed than
when three or four hours of it are daily spent in school--and that so
regularly, that his presence in the school is looked for alike by
teachers, children, and parents--and when he then occupies another
portion of his day in looking after the defaulters, and in talking with
parents over the school duties, and the future prospects of their
children. Thus the parents feel that in sending their children to be
educated there, they are not turning them over to a number of paid
teachers, nor even to Brothers and Sisters, but to the clergy
themselves, for their education. This personal interest and solicitude
of the priest reacts upon the parents as well as upon the children.

A pastor, then, wishing to secure the salvation of the best part of the
flock of Jesus Christ, must do all in his power to establish good
Catholic schools, and oblige parents to send their children to them, and
not to Public Schools--to the grave of Catholicity. It is _then_, also,
and not till then, that we shall see more young people called to the
priesthood, and to such religious orders as devote themselves especially
to the education of youth. In Europe, the bishops and priests, together
with the laity, fight for the liberty of educating the children
according to Catholic principles and customs. In this country, our
religious liberty is as great as it possibly can be. Now not to profit
by this liberty, is for the shepherds of the flock of Jesus Christ to
incur the greatest guilt; it is to be like that ungodly Bishop of
Burgos, who, on being told by Las Casas that seven thousand children had
perished in three months, said: "Look you, what a queer fool! what is
this to me, and what is that to the King?" To which Las Casas replied:
"Is it nothing to your Lordship that all these souls should perish? Oh,
great and eternal God! And to whom, then, is it of any concern?"--(Life
of Las Casas, by Arthur Helps.)

To be destitute of ardent zeal for the spiritual welfare of children, is
to see, with indifferent eyes, the Blood of Jesus Christ trodden under
foot; it is to see the image and likeness of God lie in the mire, and
not care for it; it is to despise the Blessed Trinity; the Father, who
created them; the Son, who redeemed them; the Holy Ghost, who sanctified
them; it is to belong to that class of shepherds, of whom the Lord
commanded Ezekiel to prophesy as follows: "Son of man, prophesy
concerning the shepherds of Israel: prophesy and say to the shepherds:
Thus saith the Lord God: Wo to the shepherds of Israel.... My flock you
did not feed. The weak you have not strengthened; and that which was
sick, you have not healed: that which was broken, you have not bound up;
and that which was driven away, you have not brought again; neither have
you sought that which was lost:... and My sheep were scattered, because
there was no shepherd: and they became the prey of all the beasts of the
field, and were scattered. My sheep have wandered in every mountain,
and in every high hill: and there was none, I say, that sought them.
Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Behold, I Myself
come upon the shepherds. I will require My flock at their
hands."--(Ezek. xxxiv. 2-10.) To be destitute of this zeal for the
Catholic education of our children, is to hide the five talents which
the Lord has given us, instead of gaining other five talents. Surely the
Lord will say: "And the unprofitable servant cast ye out into the
exterior darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of
teeth."--(Matt. xxv. 30.)

What a shame for pastors of souls to know that the devil, in alliance
with the wicked, is at work, day and night, for the ruin and destruction
of youth, and to be so little concerned about their eternal loss; just
as if it was not true what the holy Fathers say, that the salvation of
one soul is worth more than the whole visible world! Since when is it,
then, that the price of the souls of little children has been lessened?
Ah, as long as the price of the Blood of Jesus Christ remains of an
infinite value, so long the price of souls will remain the same also!
Heaven and earth will pass away, but this truth will not. The devil
knows and understands it but too well. Oh! how he delights in a priest
who is called, by Jesus Christ, "the hireling, because he has no care
for the sheep, and who seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and
flieth."--(John x. 12.)

On the Day of Judgment, such a priest will be confounded by that poor
man of whom we read, in the life of St. Francis de Sales, as follows:
One day this holy and zealous pastor, on a visit of his diocese, had
reached the top of one of those dreadful mountains, overwhelmed with
fatigue and cold, his hands and feet completely benumbed, in order to
visit a single parish in that dreary situation; while he was viewing,
with astonishment, those immense blocks of ice of an uncommon thickness,
the inhabitants, who had approached to meet him, related that some days
before a shepherd, running after a strayed sheep, had fallen into one of
these tremendous precipices. They added that his fate would never have
been known if his companion, who was in search of him, had not
discovered his hat on the edge of the precipice. The poor man,
therefore, imagined that the shepherd might be still relieved, or, if
he should have perished, that he might be honored with a Christian

With this view he descended, by the means of ropes, this icy precipice,
whence he was drawn up, pierced through with cold, and holding in his
arms his companion, who was dead, and almost frozen into a block of ice.
Francis, hearing this account, turned to his attendants, who were
disheartened with the extreme fatigues which they had every day to
encounter, and availing himself of this circumstance to encourage them,
he said: "Some persons imagine that we do too much, and we certainly do
far less than these poor people. You have heard in what manner one has
lost his life in an attempt to find a strayed animal; and how another
has exposed himself to the danger of perishing, in order to procure for
his friend a burial, which, under these circumstances, might have been
dispensed with. These examples speak to us in forcible language; by this
charity we are confounded, we who perform much less for the salvation of
souls intrusted to our care, than those poor people do for the security
of animals confided to their charge." Then the holy Prelate heaved a
deep sigh, saying: "My God, what a beautiful lesson for bishops and
pastors! This poor shepherd has sacrificed his life to save a strayed
sheep, and I, alas! have so little zeal for the salvation of souls. The
least obstacle suffices to deter me, and make me calculate my every step
and trouble. Great God, give me true zeal, and the genuine spirit of a
good shepherd! Ah, how many shepherds of souls will not this herdsman
judge!" Alas! how just and how true is this remark. If we saw our very
enemies surrounded by fire, we would think of means to rescue them from
the danger; and now we see thousands of little children, redeemed at the
price of the blood of Jesus Christ, on the point of losing their faith,
and with it their souls; and shall we be less concerned and less active
for these images and likenesses of God than for their frames, their

We hear a little child weeping, and we at once try to console it; we
hear a little dog whining at the door, and we open it; a poor beggar
asks for a piece of bread, and we give it; and we hear the Mother of our
Catholic children--the Catholic Church--cry in lamentable accents: "Let
my little ones have the bread of life--a good Christian education"--and
we do not heed her voice. We hear Jesus Christ cry, "Suffer the little
ones to come unto Me," by means of a Catholic education; we hear him
say: "Woe to him who scandalizes a little child"--who makes it lose his
innocence--his faith--his soul, by sending it to godless schools; we see
Him weep over Jerusalem, over the loss of so many Catholic children, and
we hear Him say: "Weep not over me, but for _your children_"; and
neither His voice nor His tears make any impression. We say with the man
in the Gospel, "Trouble me not, the door (of our heart) is now shut, I
cannot rise and give thee."--(Luke xi.) If an ass, says our Lord, falls
into a pit, you will pull him out even on a Sabbath-day; and an innocent
soul, nay, thousands of innocent children, fall away from Me and pass
over to the army of the apostate angels, and become My and your
adversaries, and you do not care. Oh, what great cruelty, what hardness
of heart, nay, what great impiety! If we were blind, we should not have
sin; but as Jesus Christ has spoken to us on the subject of education
through His Vicar on earth, through so many zealous bishops, through
sad experience, nay, even through many of those who are outside the
Church, we have no excuse for our sin of suffering devilish wolves to
devour our youth in our country. "My watchmen," says the Lord, "are all
_dumb dogs_, not able to bark, seeing vain things, _sleeping_, and
loving dreams."--(Isa. lvi. 10.) Truly the curses and maledictions of
all those who led a bad life, and were damned for want of a good
Christian education, which we neglected to give them, will come down
upon us! What shall we answer? "And he was silent."--Matt. xxii.

Marvellous, indeed, have been God's gracious dealings with this poor
land of ours, so very far above what we could have dreamed or hoped for
some years ago, that we may say in all truth that the finger of God has
touched us. That touch has quickened Catholic life in our land to a
wonderful extent; not, indeed, as yet, with the great exuberance of
Catholic European countries, but nevertheless with almost exulting
gladness; for to-day there are few indeed of our cities and towns in
which at least the pulse of Catholic life does not beat strongly.

But why have these great things been done for us? Why has our Catholic
life been increased and strengthened so wonderfully, except to win more
souls to Christ, to bring more of the American people into closer union
with God? If this be so, then we must not leave our Lord to work alone;
we must be fellow-workers with Him, by helping forward the growth of
holiness, the progress of the spiritual life, the poverty of the Cross,
the spreading of His Spirit in opposition to the formal and
self-indulgent spirit of the age, and this by every means in our power;
and, above all, by multiplying amongst us Catholic schools and
institutions. What the future may have in store for the Church in
America we cannot tell; whether, when more of God's Spirit has been
poured out upon us, our sons and our daughters shall prophesy, and our
young men shall see visions, and our old men shall dream dreams, as in
the days of old; but of this we may be sure, that in exact proportion as
our clergy exert that mighty energy which springs from the living faith
that overcomes the world, in order to leaven the mass of the American
people, and to build up, throughout the length and breadth of the land,
temples and schools to God's holy name, and altars to His honor, will
be the manifestation of the kingdom of God with power and majesty in the
midst of this American land, and the grasp of God's Church upon the
hearts and minds of this American people!

       *       *       *       *       *

I have now only to add that I submit this, and whatever else I have
written, to the better judgment of our Bishops, but especially to the
Holy See, anxiously desirous to think nothing, to say nothing, to teach
nothing but what is approved of by those to whom the sacred deposit of
Faith has been committed--those who watch over us as being _to render an
account to God for our souls_.

Now, should the Prelates of the Church deem this publication ever so
little calculated to promote the great cause for which it has been
written, the compiler will believe himself amply rewarded for his labor,
and he will feel extremely grateful if they encourage its circulation by
giving it their special approbation and recommendation.

Father Michael Müller's Books,





       *       *       *       *       *

[_Letter from Archbishop Spalding._]

"We have read with much pleasure and with great edification this
valuable work, composed by one of our Redemptorist Fathers in Baltimore.
We have found the matter solid, well digested, and instructive, and the
style simple, earnest, and full of unction. The examples are, in
general, appropriately selected as illustrations of the text; and many
of them are very edifying, and even touching. These are, of course, to
be received, according to the author's timely protest in the beginning,
with the wise reserve expressly ordered by the Church in regard to such
matters, in the well-known Bull of Urban VIII.; but, with this necessary
precaution, such legends are profitable unto edification, as the way of
teaching by example is much more compendious, as well as much more
impressive, than that by word or writing. It is refreshing to find, in
this cold utilitarian age, a work issued from the press so full of
Catholic life, and so glowing with the fire of Catholic love. Believing
that its extensive circulation and diligent perusal will be promotive of
piety, and will be useful to all classes both within and without the
Church, we earnestly recommend the work to the faithful people under our

     "MARTIN JOHN SPALDING, _Archbishop of Baltimore_.

     "_Baltimore_, Feast of St. Francis de Sales, 1868."

       *       *       *       *       *

[_Letter from Bishop Luers._]

"Rev. and Dear Sir:--'The Blessed Eucharist,' of which you have kindly
sent me a copy, is truly a charming work. It should be in every Catholic

     Yours truly in Christ,

     "J. H. LUERS, _Bishop of Fort Wayne_.

     "_Fort Wayne_, January 23, 1868."

[_From the "Banner of the South," Augusta, Georgia._]

"We have read this beautiful book; we have tasted the sweetness of its
thoughts, and we are reading it again. There is a humility about its
style so like His humility who dwells with us in the Holy Sacrament:
deep thoughts in plain words--doctrinal sublimities in language so
simple, that a child, without effort, may understand. It is indeed a
book of piety, and it will fill many a heart with love for the Great
Mystery of the Altar.

     "REV. FATHER RYAN, _of Augusta, Ga._"

       *       *       *       *       *

[_Letter to the Editors of the "Baltimore Mirror."_]

"Messrs. Editors of the _Baltimore Mirror_:--If you have room in your
columns, permit me, through them, to say a word or two about Father
Müller's book, 'The Blessed Eucharist.' But how shall I begin? To say it
is great, good, or grand, is not enough. The nearest I can come to
expressing what I feel about it, is to say, next to receiving the
Blessed Eucharist, is the perusal of this inestimable book. I wish to
say to every reader of the _Mirror_, buy the book. No matter how great a
sinner you are, the hope of speedy relief is pointed out to you here; no
matter how weak and discouraged you are, the way to strengthen you is
shown here; no matter how dear the privilege is to you of receiving the
Blessed Sacrament, it will become doubly dear after reading this book.
To the rich I would say, buy two copies and give one to your poor
brother; his prayers and blessings will well repay you for the trifling
expenditure. To the ladies I would say, spare yourself a bit of ribbon
and buy the book. To the gentlemen, a few less cigars or drinks, and buy
the book. Every single page of it is worth the price of the volume.
Could dear Father Müller have heard the prayers and seen the tears of a
poor old lady who is crippled, and cannot go to church, when it was
being read to her this morning, he would be rewarded as I know he wishes
to be. To one and all I say, buy the book.


     "_Harrisburg, Pa., 1868._"


       *       *       *       *       *

[_Letter from Archbishop Spalding._]

"The Book on Prayer, Key of Salvation, is a collection of beautiful
jewels. It is a truly admirable book. In point of intrinsic merit, it is
superior to its predecessor--the golden book on the Holy
Eucharist--making due allowance for the difference of subject. It is
replete with interest and solid instruction, and is specially well
adapted for spiritual reading in religious communities and in families.
We take much pleasure in recommending to our diocesans this excellent
work of Rev. M. Müller, C.S.S.R., which appears in a second revised

     "M. J. SPALDING, _Archbishop of Baltimore._

     "_Baltimore_, Ash Wednesday, 1869."

SANCTIFICATION. With an Historical Account of the Origin and Effects of
the Miraculous Picture. Price, 40 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

[_Letter from James A. McMaster, Editor and Proprietor of "New York
Freeman's Journal."_]

"MY DEAR FATHER MÜLLER,--I have read the manuscript you were so kind as
to leave with me, on 'Our Lady of Perpetual Help.'

"I will say, sincerely, that I think it even more valuable, and more
interesting, than your book on the Blessed Eucharist, that has done so
much good, and is liked so much by pious souls. More than this it cannot
be needed to say; but I will add that, in my poor judgment at least, it
is so desirable to have it _speedily_ published, that I wish the angels
may _tickle the lungs_ of any one that, beyond what is necessary, delays
its production.

     "Affectionately and humbly yours,


     "_New York_, May 19, 1871."


       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "Boston Pilot," Nov. 25, 1871._]

"The author of this excellent work is the Rev. Michael Müller,
C.S.S.R.--a name deservedly held in great esteem in the Catholic
community. We shall not praise the author for his eminent qualities, for
we do not wish to give him pain. But of his work, which we have
carefully examined, we must say that it will compare favorably with
Rodriguez, Nigronius, and Cassian. True, it is written for Superiors of
Religious Communities, yet it will prove eminently useful to Pastors and
Directors of Souls. Father Müller exhibits a knowledge of Religious and
Ascetic Economy truly wonderful. We bespeak for this work a wide
circulation. It is a book of that enticing class that, once taken up, it
will not be laid down until read through, from A to Z. Dry as the
subject may appear, it is so handled that the _Utile Dulci_ must needs
be felt by all readers. Again we thank Father Müller for this new
addition he has given to the stock of our American Catholic Literature
and profitable reading.


[_From the "New York Freeman's Journal."_]

"This book will be very valuable to Superiors of Religious Houses, for
whom it is primarily intended. But it is the book, also, for a great
many others. It is a book for Catholic Pastors of parishes--for they
have governmental responsibility of souls. It is a book for priests who
sit in the Confessional, for these, too, have to deal with all sorts of
temperaments and of characters. But it is a book, also, for _Catholic
parents_--for these, by Divine order, have the care and responsibility
for the right training of their children."

       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "Pittsburgh Catholic."_]

"This is a work which will be very acceptable to the Superiors of
Religious Orders. In a clear and forcible manner the reverend author has
laid before us the awful responsibility, with its trials and
consolations, which rests on the shoulders of all those who are called
to rule and direct the various characters that enter the religious

"The art of arts, and the science of sciences, is to rule--to govern
men. With this beautiful as well as profound saying of St. Gregory, the
reverend author opens his first chapter. Around it he hangs all the
wisdom which many years of study and experience have enabled him to

"We have every hope that the work will meet with a well-merited
reception. It may truly be called the 'Golden Rule,' since it embraces
all the duties of Superiors."

       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "Baltimore Mirror," Nov. 4, 1871._]

"This excellent work, by a talented and respected clergyman of this
city, although written principally for the instruction of those who have
charge of religious communities, will prove of immense benefit to all in
authority, whether clerical or lay; and while the director of souls will
find in it much sound advice, the parent, the teacher, will treasure it
as a safe guide in the performance of duties too often little
understood. If it is hard to learn to obey, still harder is it to learn
how to govern. The perusal of 'THE GOLDEN RULE' will do much towards
avoiding the misuse of the 'brief authority' with which one is clothed.

"The book bears the 'Imprimatur' of the Most Rev. Archbishop of
Baltimore, and its typographical execution does credit to the

       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "New York Tablet," Nov. 11, 1871._]

"This is truly a golden book, full of sublime instruction for the
governing and the governed, not only in religious communities, for whom
it seems specially intended, but amongst Christians in the world. It is
a work of the highest importance, and ought to find a place in the
library of every religious house."


       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "Boston Pilot."_]

"This is a valuable work. Father Müller is a writer well-known to the
Catholics: his writings have proved most acceptable for their solidity
and practicalness. This is a timely production, when, by an inexplicable
inconsistency, the agency of spirits is asserted, and their existence
denied. The history of Nicola cannot be contradicted; and page 114
contains the clearest exposition of the nature of Spiritualism
(spiritism), and the conclusive proofs of its agency.


       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "New York Tablet."_]

"This little book is full, from beginning to end, of extraordinary and
intense interest. The narrative contained in the first part of it is one
that shows in a remarkable manner the dread power of Our Lord in His
Sacrament of the Altar, a power which the infernal legions recognize,
and before which they tremble. The second part gives a short but deeply
interesting account of modern spiritualism, as the form which
divination, sorcery, and devil-worship has assumed in our days. It is
written in a simple, agreeable style, that makes it pleasant to read."

THE RELIGIOUS STATE. Price, 75 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "Pittsburgh Catholic."_]

"This is an excellent little work--one which should be read by all. It
shows the origin of the religious state, and the advantages to be
derived by a life solely devoted to the service of God. The many
objections that are frequently put forward against religious orders are
answered in a clear and brief manner."

THE CATHOLIC PRIEST. Price, 50 cents.

       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "New York Tablet."_]

"The priest is measured in every light which the various obligations and
phases of his sacred character throw around him. His mighty proportions
on the world's stage are drawn with power, and thorough appreciation.
Not a single grade in his ministry but is educed with a fine
distinctness, from the position in which he is the dear friend and
adviser of his flock, up to that awful height in which he is permitted
to touch, with his consecrated hands, the Body and Blood of his Lord and
God. Written in a strain of fervent enthusiasm, it is, for Catholics, a
book to be read and cherished."

       *       *       *       *       *

[_From the "Pittsburgh Catholic."_]

"This is a small volume of 163 pages. In it the learned author shows us
how, by the institution of the Sacred Priesthood by our Divine Lord, the
priest is constituted the light of the world, the salt of the earth, the
guide, father and friend of the people, and the obligations the faithful
are under to hearken to his counsels. We wish the volume an extensive

       *       *       *       *       *

THE OUR FATHER. Vol. I. Price, 50 cents.


       *       *       *       *       *




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