by Charles Chiniquy
TO ALL THE FAITHFUL MINISTERS OF THE GOSPEL,
I also, dedicate this book.
Venerable Ministers of the Gospel! Rome is the great danger ahead for the Church of Christ, and you do not understand it enough.
The consequence is an ignorance of Romanism which becomes more and more deplorable and fatal, every day.
It is ignorance which paves the way to the triumph of Rome, in a near future, if there is not a complete change in your views, on that subject.
It is that ignorance which paralyzes the arm of the Church of Christ, and makes the glorious word “Protestant” senseless, almost a dead and ridiculous word. For who does really protest against Rome, to-day? where are those who sound the trumpet of alarm?
When Rome is striking you to the heart by cursing your schools and wrenching the Bible from the hands of your children; when she is not only battering your doors, but scaling your walls and storming your citadels, how few dare go to the breach and repulse the audacious and sacrilegious foe?
Why so? Because modern Protestants have not only forgotten what Rome was, what she is, and what she will forever be: the most irreconcilable 5and powerful enemy of the Gospel of Christ; but they consider her almost a branch of the church whose corner-stone is Christ.
Faithful ministers of the Gospel! I present you this book that you may know that the monster Church of Rome, who shed the blood of your forefathers, is still at work, to-day, at your very door, to enchain your people to the feet of her idols. Read it, and for the first time, you will see the inside life of Popery with the exactness of Photography. From the supreme art with which the mind of the young and timid child is fettered, enchained and paralyzed, to the unspeakable degradation of the priest under the iron heel of the bishop, everything will be revealed to you as it has never been before.
The superstitions, the ridiculous and humiliating practices, the secret and mental agonies of the monks, the nuns and the priests, will be shown to you as they were never shown before. In this book, the sophisms and errors of Romanism are discussed and refuted with a clearness, simplicity and evidence which my twenty-five years of priesthood only could teach me. It is not in boasting that I say this. There can be no boasting in me for having been so many years an abject slave of the Pope. The book I offer you is an arsenal filled with the best weapons you ever had to fight, and, with the help of God, conquer the foe.
TO THE BISHOPS, PRIESTS AND PEOPLE OF ROME,
this book is also dedicated.
In the name of your immortal souls, I ask you, Roman Catholics, to read this book.
By the mercy of God, you will find, in its pages, how you are cruelly deceived by your vain and lying traditions.
You will see that it is not through your ceremonies, masses, confessions, purgatory, indulgences, fastings, etc., you are saved. You have nothing to do but to believe, repent and love.
Salvation is a gift! Eternal life is a gift! Forgiveness of sin is a gift! Christ is a gift!
Read this book, presented by the most devoted of your friends, and, by the mercy of God, you will see the errors of your ways—you will look to the GIFT—you will accept it—and in its possession you will feel rich and happy for time and eternity.
(Articles regarding former Roman Catholic priest Charles Chiniquy can be found in the archives of the New York Times. A subscription to the Times is required.)