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The Signs of the Times, vol. 13

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    “Where Are the Protestants?” The Signs of the Times 13, 6, pp. 88, 89.

    ONE of the most noticeable, most humiliating, and at the same time, from the interests and destinies involved, most important movements of the present day, is the fast-growing alliance between Catholicism and so-called Protestantism. It is hardly correct though to call it an alliance, for in fact it is scarcely more than an out-an-out surrender of the “Protestants” to the Catholic Church, for the advances are all on the part of the “Protestants.” Protestantism, which in name does, and in fact ought to, represent open and direct antagonism to Catholicism now in doctrine, in work, and in methods of work, represents close relationship with Catholicism. In short, that which is called Protestantism is now such only in name, and has actually ceased to be Protestant in anything where Catholicism is concerned.SITI February 10, 1887, page 88.1

    We have mentioned this before, in these columns, but as the evil work goes on we shall have to mention it more and more. Because such movement, or any movement that tends to increase the power of Catholicism, can be fraught with evil only. The Papacy knows no change of heart. Its outward form it may and often does change, so that it may the better accomplish its evil and oppressive designs upon men and nations. It is true that now there is a close resemblance between Catholicism and Protestantism, but it is not because Protestantism has grown worse. “As the Protestant churches have been seeking the favor of the world, false charity has blinded their eyes. They do not see but that it is right to believe good of all evil; and as the inevitable result, they will finally believe evil of all good. Instead of standing in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints, they are now, as it were, apologizing to Rome for their uncharitable opinion of her, begging pardon for their bigotry.”SITI February 10, 1887, page 88.2

    “A day of great intellectual darkness has been shown to be favorable to the success of Popery. It will yet be demonstrated that a day of great intellectual light is equally favorable for its success. In the movements now in progress in the United States to secure for the institutions and usages of the church the support of the State, Protestants are following in the steps of Papists. Nay, more, they are opening the door for popery to regain in Protestant America the supremacy which she has lost in the Old World. And that which gives greater significance to this movement is the fact that the principal object contemplated is the enforcement of Sunday observance.”SITI February 10, 1887, page 88.3

    An important item on this subject we find in the Christian Statesman, Jan. 13, 1887, copied from an article by the late Dr. A. A. Hodge, in the Princeton Review. Dr. Hodge was one of the vice-presidents of the National Reform Association, and was zealously devoted to the objects sought by that Association. Dr. Hodge was writing on the subject of teaching religion in the public schools, really insisting that the State shall teach religion, and said:—SITI February 10, 1887, page 88.4

    “It is great to be regretted that this tremendous question has been obscured and belittled by being identified with the entirely subordinate matter of reading short portions of the King James’s version of the Bible in the public schools. Another principal occasion of confusion on this subject, is the unavoidable mutual prejudice and misunderstanding that prevails between the two great divisions of our Christian population, the Romanist and the Protestant. The protest against the reading of the Protestant version of Scripture came in the first instance from the Romanists. Hence, in the triangular conflict which ensued, between Protestants, Romanists, and infidels, many intelligent Christians, on both sides, mistook the stress of battle. Every intelligent Catholic ought to know by this time that all the evangelical churches are fundamentally at one with him in essential Christian doctrine. And every intelligent Protestant ought to know by this time, in the light of the terrible socialistic revolutions which are threatened, that the danger to our country in this age is infinitely more from skepticism than from superstition. We have, Protestant and Romanist alike, a common essential Christianity, abundantly sufficient for the purposes of the public schools, and all that remains for specific indoctrinization may easily be left to the Sabbath-schools and the churches respectively. We are in the same sense Christian theists. We believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in his fatherly providence and love. We believe in the same divine human Saviour, and place alike all our hope of salvation on his office and work as Mediator. We believe in the infallibility and authority of the inspired word of God, and we nearly approximate agreement on all questions touching the Sabbath, the oath, the rights of property, marriage, and divorce, etc., and with regard to the religious elements of science, physical and moral, and on all questions in which the State, or the schools of the State, have jurisdiction. Let us mutually agree, as citizens, not as ecclesiastics, upon a large, fair, common basis of religious faith, for the common needs of the State and her schools, leaving all differences to the churches, and, thus united, we will carry the country before us.”SITI February 10, 1887, page 88.5

    Think of it: “Every intelligent Catholic ought to know by this time that all evangelical churches are fundamentally at one with him in essential Christian doctrine”! So then to be “at one” with the Catholic Church is an evidence that you are “evangelical.” And thus “evangelical” Protestantism is one with Catholicism. And Rev. A. A. Hodge, D.D., was one of the foremost men in the Presbyterian Church in the United States.SITI February 10, 1887, page 89.1

    The Statesman remarked upon this extract:—SITI February 10, 1887, page 89.2

    “We have yet to hear, however, the first utterance from any recognize Roman Catholic authority, of like spirit with the above.”SITI February 10, 1887, page 89.3

    So have we. Nor do we expect to see any such utterance. What need is there of it? As the Protestants are all going to Rome, all that Roman Catholic authorities need to do is to wait. Not so, however, with the Protestants. They don’t propose to stand on ceremony. They want help, and they don’t hesitate to go to Rome to get it. The country is in danger from these “terrible socialistic revolutions,” and so to save themselves and the country from the dangers of Socialism, they propose to give all into the cruel hands of Rome. We have not the least doubt that they will really unite and that before long, and when “thus united” they “will indeed carry the country before” them. But, farewell liberty when that time comes. If there be any people in this country who think themselves Protestants, it is high time for them to examine themselves and see whether they really are such or not. J.SITI February 10, 1887, page 89.4