As a straw indicating what we have for some time pointed out—the tendency of Protestantism to fraternize with Roman Catholicism—we note the fact that when Cardinal Gibbons visited Charleston, S.C., recently to lay the cornerstone of a new Cathedral, he was given a public reception, and a number of Protestant ministers and a Jewish rabbi occupied seats upon the platform beside the Cardinal and his under bishops during the services. Only one protestant, W.T. Thompson, pastor of the Scotch Presbyterian Church, was found, and his protest reads thus:—
"The presence of these Protestants was doubtless intended only as a courtesy, but it was more—it was a virtual endorsement of those proceedings, and a godspeed to the gigantic ecclesiastical organization that conducted them. It is the boast of that church that it is the only church of God. The Cardinal said as much yesterday. It brands all others as heretics. A former bishop of Charleston declared, 'Within thirty years the Protestant heresy will come to an end.' It claims for itself temporal and spiritual supremacy. It tolerates those who differ from it, only where it has not the power to enforce its claims. Its spirit has undergone no change since those days when it gave its order for, and sang its Te Deum over, the wholesale, indiscriminate slaughter of helpless Protestants.
"Its fundamental principles are antagonistic to our government and its most cherished institutions. Its growth in this country menaces some of our dearest rights and privileges. Notes of warning have come to us from many of the foremost [R1208 : page 6] statesmen and thinkers as to what we may expect, should it ever gain the ascendancy; and yet we have the spectacle of Protestant preachers and laymen, some of them the descendants of Huguenots, glorifying a Romish Cardinal and encouraging the extension of the spiritual despotism here presents. Had the circumstances been reversed, Romanists would have been conspicuous by their absence.
"I contend that Protestants are sacrificing their history and are putting contempt upon their martyr dead, are stultifying their former testimony and are sweeping the ground from under their feet as to mission work in Romish lands, and are imperiling the future of their country by favoring Romish pretension and progress."—W. T. Thompson, Pastor.
Is it not quite evident that the world is rapidly getting ready for a Religious-Union-Trust, in which Protestants will unite, and then join hands with Rome to carry forward their plans and schemes which have so much in common, and to oppose the development and promulgation of any further light upon God's plan? God's word clearly indicates this outcome, and we see the signs of it increasing daily.
If this desire for union were upon a proper basis, if all were willing to abandon sectarian names and bonds and confessions to come together voluntarily as one company, recognizing all who love the Redeemer and desire to serve him and to secure and preserve to themselves and to each other the freedom which God designed for each, and desiring each one to study God's Word to learn his will without prejudice—that would be a proper union, a union such as our Lord designed and every true Christian should rejoice in and co-operate with. But we all know that such a union without bondage is not contemplated and no such suggestion would for a moment be entertained by any of the various sects.
The union they desire and are striving for will be an additional bond and not a dissolving of present sectarian shackles. They propose that each sect shall still fetter thought among its own people and preserve its own peculiarities, traditions, customs, names, doctrines, etc., but that in addition another robe be thrown around all, which will merely conceal the factions and make the really many and discordant factions of the nominal Church appear as one before the world for the sake of the influence. But the patching of the old garment will be in vain: the rent will be made worse. The Lord's plan is to dissolve the old, worn-out system which has for so long misrepresented his word and his plan and deceived many into bondage and error.
The Lord will organize and establish his Church in glory and power very soon, and it will be found to contain all the faithful believers who in their day were "overcomers" and valiant for the Truth—one church under one head—Christ.