Wydawca: Skyline Kategoria: Humanistyka Język: angielski Rok wydania: 2017

Vices of Convents and Monasteries, Priests and Nuns ebook

Thos. E. Watson  

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Opis ebooka Vices of Convents and Monasteries, Priests and Nuns - Thos. E. Watson

When any species of wrong-doing can wear the disguise of righteousness, the blindest among us can see how dangerous that kind of crime may become—how hard to prove, punish and put down. There are immense Arabian plains where nomad robbers have practised their profession, from a time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary; yet those plains and the nomad bands that pitch their tents beneath the Oriental sun remain very much as they were in the days of Abraham. But where robbery has disguised itself as Law, and one class has aimed the law-making machine at the others, saying " Stand and deliver!" whole regions have become deserts, and great peoples have been blotted out. In fact, the highwayman, the cattle-lifter and the pickpocket have never in the least affected the destinies of nations. The pirate and the buccaneer have never been able to destroy the commerce of the seas, beggar provinces, and change noble harbors into neglected pools. It is when the robbers intrench themselves in Parliaments, Reichstags and Congresses, and the robbery takes the form of "Law," that spoliation becomes destructive. Bank laws and money-contraction laws beat down more victims than armies. Protective Tariff "laws," infinitely more ruinous than all the Lafittes and Captain Kidds, drive the American flag from the seas, while on land they make a thousand Rockefellers, Carnegies, Morgans, Guggenheims, McCormicks and Armours, at the same time that they are casting millions of the despoiled out of house and home.

Opinie o ebooku Vices of Convents and Monasteries, Priests and Nuns - Thos. E. Watson

Fragment ebooka Vices of Convents and Monasteries, Priests and Nuns - Thos. E. Watson

Thos. E. Watson

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Table of contents

CHAPTER I.

CHAPTER II.

CHAPTER I.

When any species of wrong-doing can wear the disguise of righteousness, the blindest among us can see how dangerous that kind of crime may become—how hard to prove, punish and put down. There are immense Arabian plains where nomad robbers have practised their profession, from a time whereof the memory of man runneth not to the contrary; yet those plains and the nomad bands that pitch their tents beneath the Oriental sun remain very much as they were in the days of Abraham. But where robbery has disguised itself as Law, and one class has aimed the law-making machine at the others, saying " Stand and deliver!" whole regions have become deserts, and great peoples have been blotted out. In fact, the highwayman, the cattle-lifter and the pickpocket have never in the least affected the destinies of nations. The pirate and the buccaneer have never been able to destroy the commerce of the seas, beggar provinces, and change noble harbors into neglected pools. It is when the robbers intrench themselves in Parliaments, Reichstags and Congresses, and the robbery takes the form of "Law," that spoliation becomes destructive. Bank laws and money-contraction laws beat down more victims than armies. Protective Tariff "laws," infinitely more ruinous than all the Lafittes and Captain Kidds, drive the American flag from the seas, while on land they make a thousand Rockefellers, Carnegies, Morgans, Guggenheims, McCormicks and Armours, at the same time that they are casting millions of the despoiled out of house and home. There are realms where religious mendicancy keeps to the primitive forms of the beggar's bowl and pouch. It is the free-will offering. In these countries of voluntary tributes, religious feeling has branched into the fewest channels, has lost the least of its original force, and maintains today its most impregnable position. But where the priestly caste was able to intrench its mendicancy in Law, and arrogantly say to the laity, " Pay me one-tenth of all thou hast!" religion was first to well-nigh lose its beauty and its strength, and like, the Rhine, almost disappear into the intricate morasses of subdivisions. Ten thousand virulent disputes about tithes ushered in the diabolisms of the French Revolution; and many of my readers will remember how Charles Dickens, when a Parliamentary reporter, dropped his pencil in tears, unable to go on, as Daniel O'Connell described one of the tragedies of a tithe-riot in Ireland. When Religion went forth as Christ sent it forth, it demanded nothing for the priest. Yet, the same religion, organized into an episcopacy, afterwards wrote the tax of one-tenth upon the statute-book, and sold the widow's cow to pay the priest for his prayer. In those days, it must have been a gruesome spectacle as the burly parson, a picture of physical fullness, stood in the background, personifying Law and Religion, while the bailiff raided the cotter's wretched premises, pounced upon pigs and poultry, or dragged household goods off to public sale. Yet, during centuries of outrage, pain and starvation, this sort of robbery disguised itself with a double domino of Law and Religion. Forgive me, if I digress briefly to mention how vividly I was reminded of all this, by the thrifty, business-like manner in which Bishop P. J. Donohue, of Wheeling, West Virginia, sold out a laboring man, S. W. Hawley, for rent, in the year of our Crucified Lord, 1913. To satisfy the debt due to this most worshipful Bishop of God, the following personal property was seized, and advertised for sale, to-wit: 3 bed springs and 3 beds, 3 mattresses, 1 stove, 2 tables, 10 chairs, 3 pictures, 1 broom, 4 comforts, 2 blankets, 3 quilts, 4 pillows, and some dishes. (It was further stated that Hawley's back was broken, while working in the coal mines.) George Alfred Townsend, who was so well known to journalism as "Gath," wrote a novel which he called "The Entailed Hat." The book would have lived gloriously, had it not been for the hat: the sternly absurd conditions which this idea about the Entailed Hat fastened upon the author, killed his novel. But there was in it one passage which lingers yet in my recollection, after the lapse of more than 30 years. There were two brothers, shrewd, pushing, flinty Jews, who drove hard bargains, hard collections, and filled a store-room with household plunder sold for debt, and bought in by the Jews, to be resold at a profit. "Gath" gave tongue to each article of this pitiful domestic furniture, torn from the homes of the poor, and auctioned at public outcry. The old rickety cradle spoke of the babes that had lain in it, and of the mother-songs that had been sung over it, as the foot which moves the world softly pedalled the wooden rockers. The loom and the spindle had their stories to tell: the table and the dishes spoke of the plain meals and unpretentious hospitalities of the lowly: the chairs remembered the humble hearth and fireside, and many a circle of bright faces they had helped to form around the cheerful glow of the burning logs. The silent clock, with no life of moving hands on its dust-covered face, spoke of how the short and simple annals of the poor had been measured by it, how it had timed the marriage and the funeral, the birth and death; and how it had missed the toil-hardened hands that used to wind it up, every night. And so on—the dirge of the Household Goods! As my eye ran over the items of the poor man's goods ordered to sale for the most worshipful Bishop Donohue—the consecrated disciple of Christ who didn't even have as much of a home as the foxes and the birds—I might have thought of one or two blistering passages in the glorious old Code of Moses; I might have recalled some of the bitterest of the words of Jesus Christ, against those rich, haughty, unmerciful lordlings who grind the faces of the poor. But I did not: on the contrary, that passage in "Gath's" novel rose out of the mist of 30 years, and brought back the plaintive lament of the household goods, seized, carried away, and sold into strange hands to pay a trifling debt. "Gath," following literary tradition, most canonically chose Jews to act as shylocks: it would never have occurred to him that a consecrated Bishop of Jesus Christ could sell the poor Christian's blanket off the bed, sell the bed itself, sell the table at which the family ate, and the chairs that they sat on. Not only the mattress on which the tired limbs of labor stretched themselves to rest, and the pillows upon which the aching head had lain, but the very broom which swept the floor, had to be seized to satisfy the rent of this godly landlord, the Bishop of a homeless Christ! To make this picture perfect, the family Bible ought to have been levied on—and this Catholic Bishop ought to have bought it in. Having acquired the Book in that manner, a natural curiosity might have prompted him to read it. One thing, however, the most worshipful Bishop might yet do: he might take the proceeds of the sale of Hawley's beds, mattresses, pillows, stove, dishes, comforts, blankets, chairs and broom—and contribute the whole sum to Foreign Missions. * * * * * * * "Thou shalt not commit adultery!" All Christians take their laws and their religion more or less from the Jews. Who the Jews took it from, is another question. Skeptical scholars say that they took it from the older peoples of the East, of the Nile, the Euphrates: orthodox Christianity maintains that they took it by revelation direct from Jehovah. Therefore, every sect in Christendom stands committed to the proposition that God Almighty, clothed in all His terrors, with the clouds darkening the skies, the thunders for His heralds and the lightenings for the flaming swords that went before His face, came down to Sinai, and wrote upon the everlasting tablets, "Thou shalt not commit adultery!"