By Sylvester Hassell
The Gospel Messenger–April 1919
The first of these dangers that I will mention is German Infidelity, which has for more than a hundred years done its utmost to destroy the Bible, and during the last four years, to conquer or destroy nearly all mankind. As Rationalism, or so-called, but miscalled, “Higher Criticism,” it has denied the Divine inspiration and infallibility of the Old and New Testament Scripture, substituting carnal reason for spiritual faith, nature for God, evolution for creation, contradicting the Three-Oneness of God, the deity, incarnation, atonement, resurrection, ascension, and the return of the Son of God to earth to raise the dead and judge the world in righteousness; the personality and deity and omnipotence of the Holy Spirit; the necessity of redemption and regeneration; the resurrection of the dead, the everlasting misery of the wicked, and the everlasting happiness of the righteous. It makes everything natural, and denies all the prophecies and all the miracles of the Bible, and declares that it was not written by the persons or at the times claimed, and that it abounds in mistakes in science, in history, in morals, and in religion. The authors of these awful falsehoods have been proved to have been ignorant and dishonest; but this system of Satan has more or less pervaded the Protestant and, to a large extent the Baptist world, poisoning the theological seminaries, the colleges and universities, the Sunday schools, the pulpits, the periodicals, and the missions of these people; and, like a deadly cancer, it is continually growing.
The second great danger to the human race is Russian Bolshevism*, the most extreme socialism, a combination of atheism, anarchism, usurpation, free-lovism, robbery, and murder; by its tens of thousands of murders its bloody hands have far surpassed the horrors of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution of the last decade of the eighteenth century. Its Red Army is growing, and has turned Russia into chaos, and threatens soon to invade Germany, and is scattering its devilish propaganda over Europe and America. Bolshevism has almost swallowed up Greek Catholicism, and it intends, if unchecked, to convert the whole world into a pandemonium.
The last danger to the human race, and the greatest because of its age, its duplicity, its intrigues, its history, its wealth, and its claimed adherence of about three hundred million votaries, is Roman Catholicism, especially in its political efforts and assumptions. It claims to be the only true Christianity, and yet it perverts every doctrine and practice of the Christian Religion. It claims the apostolical succession of its head, or Pope, arid that he is the representative of God on earth, and the Lord of heaven, earth, and hell, and has the right to rule over the whole human race, and is infallible in all his official decisions of faith and morals, and should be obeyed by every human being. It maintains the dreadful heresies of traditionalism, baptismal regeneration, aurictilar confession, priestly celibacy and absolution, transubstantiation, mental reservation, the sinlessness of Mary the mother of Jesus, the idolatrous worship of her and of other “saints” and relics and images, the insufficiency of the atonement of Christ, the saving efficacy of human works, the union of Church and State, the right of the Romish apostasy to impoverish, enslave, torture, and murder non-Catholics, as in the Dark Ages, the existence of purgatory, and the power of priests, for enough money given them, to pray souls out of it. This “masterpiece of Satan” falsifies history, caters to and corrupts both.our great political parties and the large daily papers, seeks to destroy our public schools, calling them godless and impure, gets public money for its parochial schools and its charitable institutions, mobs and kills or greatly injures those who lecture against it, and keeps the nations under its influence in ignorance and poverty, and burns Bibles, and forbids its members to read and interpret the Scriptures.
Mr. W. E. H. Lechy, the distinguished Irish historian, truthfully says, “The Church of Rome has caused more wars, has shed more innocent blood, and inflicted more unmerited suffering than any other institution that has ever existed among mankind.” The Pope is believed to have occasioned the great World War by attempting, according to his Concordant or agreement, June 24, 1914, with the King of Serbia, to convert Greek Catholic Serbia into a Roman Catholic State by the agency of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand, a zealous Romanist, heir-presumptive to the throne of Austria, which led a Serbian youth, Gavrillo Princip, to assassinate the Archduke, June 28, 1914, at Sarajevo, Bosnia, which act was used as a pretext by the German Kaiser to urge Francis JosEph Emperor of Austria-Hungary, to begin with him a war for the subjugation of Europe. And, utterly distrusting the Pope, as a politician and a friend of the Kaiser, the governments of Italy and France stipulated with the government of England, before the close of the war, that the Pope should not have a seat at the Peace Conference. For more than five hundred years the civilized non-Catholic world has believed that, in the seventeenth chapter of Revelation, the Apostle John prophesied of Roman Catholicism as “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations, of the Earth,” a woman arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, drunken with the blood of the saints and of the martyrs of Jesus, seated upon a scarlet colored beast of world-power, full of names of blasphemy. In the last verse of this chapter John says that “this woman was the great city which reigned over the kings of the earth,” which was Rome. Pagan Rome murdered tens of thousands of the followers of Jesus; but Papal Rome murdered tens of millions of them. No wonder that Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, wished that the Atlantic were an ocean of fire, which the priest-ridden millions of Europe could never cross; and that Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, predicted that Rome would seek to destroy American rights and liberties, and then, in the most horrible of civil wars, this less than one-sixth of our population would be swept from the face of the earth.
The Apostle John, in the sixteenth chapter of Revelation (verses 13 to 16), foretells of “three unclean spirits, like frogs, coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet (the Devil, the World-Power, and the False Church), the spirits of devils, working miracles (wonders), and going forth to gather the whole world to the battle of the great day of God Almighty.” In these last days, in this evening of time, perhaps these evils of which I have spoken are the three frog-like, unclean spirits marshaling the world to universal battle. In the mud and mire of their uncleanness, and in the darkness of their delusions, these frog-like spirits of demons croak out their doleful notes, ominous of the destruction of the unbelieving and ungodly world at the second personal coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge and condemn the enemies of truth and righteousness-the enemies of God and man.
*Elder Hassell wrote of Russian Bolsheviks in 1919. This faction ultimately became the Communist Party of Russia. When you read his writing, supplement the word “Communism” for “Russian Bolshevism” for a modern application.