in the Church of Rome
by Charles Chiniquy
CHAPTER 60 Back to Contents
EQUALITY AND FRATERNITY OF MEN PROCLAIMED BY CHRIST.
"Be ye not called Rabbi. For one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren" (Matt. xxiii. 8).
"God is not respecter of persons; but in every nation, he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him" (Acts x. 34, 35).
"Jesus called them unto Him and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
"But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
"Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and give His life as a ransom for many" (Matt. 25, 28).
PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY PROCLAIMED BY CHRIST.
"If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. . . . If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John viii. 31, 32, 36).
"The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke iv. 18).
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Cor. iii. 17).
TOLERANCE AND LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE PROCLAIMED BY CHRIST.
"And they did not receive Him (Christ), because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when His disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, Lord, wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did?
"But He turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of:
"For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them" (Luke ix. 53, 56).
"Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
"Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath; the cup which my Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it? For all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword" (John xviii. 10, 11; Matt. xxvi. 51, 52).
It is no wonder that the people of Judea, filled with admiration at these sublime doctrines of equality, fraternity, liberty and tolerance, should exclaim, "Never man spake like this man!"
Is it on those admirable principles that the Church of Rome is founded? No! for she has, thousands of times, proclaimed that her mission was to destroy them all, even if she had to wade in the blood of those who support them.
But just as the Romish Church is not only the very antipodes and the most implacable enemy of those admirable doctrines and principles, so the constitution of the United States is the ripe fruit of this divine seed, sown by the Son of God Himself in the bosom of humanity, eighteen hundred years ago.
Yes, in reference to those principles of fraternity, equality, liberty, and tolerance, the constitution of the United States is to the Gospel of Christ what the fruit is to the tree which has given it. And this is the verdict given by the whole world, the Church of Rome excepted.
Why is it that the poor, the bruised, the wounded, and the oppressed from every land turn their eyes, their hearts, and their steps towards this country? It is because all the echoes of heaven and earth have told them that the Untied States Republic is, par excellence, the land of fraternity, fair play, equality, and liberty.
The Pope of Rome and his Jesuits know this better than any one. Hence their constant and supreme efforts to destroy this Republic. Believing and preaching that it is their duty to exterminate the individuals who differ from them in religion, they assume that it is their duty to destroy the governments and the nations who refuse to submit to their yoke, when they can do it safely.
The mission of Rome being to teach that the inferior, the people, must obey his superior, just as the corpse obeys the hand which moves it, or as the stick obeys the arm which directs it, she knows well that she cannot fulfill her mission and attain her object so long as this government of a free, sovereign people, stands; she is, then, bound to oppose, paralyze, and destroy that government when she finds her opportunity.
With lynx eye, she watched that opportunity: and with anxiety and rage she spied from her cradle the onward march of this young giant Republic. She knew that it was in the bosom of every true citizen of the United States to propagate those accursed (by her) principles of equality, fraternity, and liberty all over the world. She saw that the irresistible influence of those principles were felt on the most distant nations, as well as on the poor, miserable Irish people, she was keeping under her heavy and ignominious yoke; she understood that there was a real danger for her very existence, if those principles would continue to spread; that her slavery star would go down as the liberty star would rise on the horizon. In a word, Rome saw at once that the very existence of the United States was a formidable menace to her own life. Already she had seen the chains of two millions of her Irish slaves melted at the simple touch of the warm rays of liberty which had fallen from the stars and stripes banners. From the very beginning she perfidiously sowed the germs of division and hatred between the two great sections of this country, and she felt an unspeakable joy when she saw that she had succeeded in dividing its South from the North, on the burning question of slavery. She looked upon that division as her golden opportunity. To crush one party by the other, and reign over the bloody ruins of both, has invariably been her policy. She hoped that the hour of her supreme triumph over this continent was come. She ordered her elder son, the Emperor of France, to keep himself ready to help her to crush the North, by having an army in Mexico ready to support the South, and she bade all the Roman Catholic bishops, priests, and people to enroll themselves under the banners of slavery, by joining themselves to the party of the Democracy. And everybody knows how the Roman Catholic bishops and priests, almost to a man, obeyed that order. Only one bishop dared to disobey. Above everything, it was ordered to oppose the election of Lincoln at any cost. For, from the very first day that his eloquent voice had been heard, a thrill of terror had gone through the hearts of the partisans of slavery. The Democratic press, which was then, as it is still now, almost entirely under the control of the Roman Catholics, and the devoted tool of the Jesuits, deluged the country with the most fearful denunciations against him. They called him an ape, a stupid brute, a most dangerous lunatic, a bloody monster, a merciless tyrant, ect., ect. In a word, Rome exhausted all her resources of language, she ransacked the English dictionary to find the most suitable expressions to fill the people with contempt, hatred, and horror against him. But it was written in the decrees of God that honest Abraham Lincoln should be proclaimed President of the United States, the 4th of March 1861.
At the end of August, having known from a Roman Catholic priest, whom, by the mercy of God, I had persuaded to leave the errors of Popery, that there was a plot among them to assassinate the President, I thought it was my duty to go and tell him what I knew, at the same time giving him a new assurance of gratitude for what he had done for me.
Knowing that I was among those who were waiting in the ante-chamber, he sent immediately for me, and received me with greater cordiality and marks of kindness than I could expect.
"I am so glad to meet you again," he said: "you see that your friends, the Jesuits, have not yet killed me. But they would have surely done it when I passed through their most devoted city, Baltimore, had I not defeated their plans, by passing incognito a few hours before they expected me. We have the proof that the company which has been selected and organized to murder me was led by a rabid Roman Catholic, called Byrne; it was almost entirely composed of Roman Catholics; more than that, there were two disguised priests among them, to lead and encourage them. I am sorry to have so little time to see you: but I will not let you go before telling you that, a few days ago, I saw Mr. Morse, the learned inventor of electric telegraphy: he told me that when he was in Rome, not long ago, he found out the proofs of a most formidable conspiracy against this country and all its institutions. It is evident that it is to the intrigues and emissaries of the Pope that we owe, in great part, the horrible evil war which is threatening to cover the country with blood and ruins.
"I am sorry that Professor Morse had to leave Rome before he could know more about the secret plans of the Jesuits against the liberties and the very existence of this country. But do you know that I want you to take his place and continue that investigation? My plan is to attach you to my ambassador of France, as one of the secretaries. In that honourable position you would go from Paris to Rome, where you might find, through the directions of Mr. Morse, an opportunity of re-uniting the broken threads of his researches. 'It takes a Greek to fight a Greek.' As you have been twenty-five years a priest of Rome, I do not know any man in the United States so well acquainted as you are with the tricks of the Jesuits, and on the devotedness of whom I could better rely. And when, once on the staff of my ambassador, even as one of the secretaries, might you not soon yourself become the ambassador? I am in need of Christian men in every department of the public service, but more in those high positions. What do you think of that?"
"My dear President," I answered, "I feel overwhelmed by your kindness. Surely nothing could be more pleasant to me than to grant our request. The honour you want to confer upon me is much above my merit: but my conscience tells me that I cannot give up the preaching of the Gospel to my poor French Canadian countrymen, who are still in the errors of Popery. For I am about the only one who, by the Providence of God, has any real influence over them. I am, surely, the only one the bishops and priests seem to fear in that work. The many attempts they have made to take away my life are a proof of it. Besides that, though I consider the present President of the Unites States much above the Emperors of France, Russia, and Austria, much above the greatest kings of the world, I feel that I am the servant, the ambassador of One who is as much above even the good and great President of the United States as the heavens are above the earth. I appeal to your own Christian and honourable feelings to know if I can forsake the one for the other."
The President became very solemn, and replied: "You are right! you are right! There is nothing so great under heaven as to be the ambassador of Christ."
But then, coming back to himself, with one of his fine jokes, which he had always ready, he added: "Yes! yes! You are the ambassador of a greater Prince than I am: but He does not pay you with so good cash as I would do." He then added: "I am exceedingly pleased to see you. However, I am so pressed just now, by most important affairs, that you must excuse me if I ask you to give your place to one of my generals who is there, waiting for me. Please come again to-morrow at ten o'clock; I have a very important question to ask you on a matter which has been constantly before my mind these last few weeks."
The next day I was, at the appointed hour, with my noble friend, who said: "I could not give you more than ten minutes yesterday, but I will give you twenty today. I want your views about a thing which is exceedingly puzzling to me, and you are the only one to whom I like to speak on that subject. A great number of Democratic papers have been sent to me lately, evidently written by Roman Catholics, publishing that I was born a Roman Catholic, and baptized by a priest. They call me a renegade, an apostate, on account of that; and they heap upon my head mountains of abuses. At first I laughed at that, for it is a lie. Thanks be to God, I have never been a Roman Catholic. No priest of Rome has ever laid his hand on my head. But the persistency of the Romish press to present this falsehood to their readers as a gospel truth, must have a meaning. Please tell me, as briefly as possible, what you think about that."
"My dear President," I answered, "it was just this strange story published about you, which brought me here yesterday. I wanted to say a word about it; but you were too busy. Let me tell you that I wept as a child when I read that story for the first time. For, not only my impression is that it is your sentence of death; but I have from the lips of a converted priest, that it is in order to excite the fanaticism of the Roman Catholic murderers, whom they hope to find sooner or later, to strike you down; they have invented that false story of your being born in the Church of Rome, and of your being baptized by a priest. They want, by that, to brand your face with the ignominious mark of apostasy. Do not forget that, in the Church of Rome, an apostate is an outcast, who has no place in society, and who has no right to live.
"The Jesuits want the Roman Catholics to believe that you are a monster, an open enemy of God and of His Church, that you are an excommunicated man. For every apostate is, ipso facto (by that very fact) excommunicated. I have brought to you the theology of one of the most learned and approved of the Jesuits of his time, Busembaum, who, with many others, say that the man who will kill you will do a good and holy work. More than that, here is a copy of a decree of Gregory VII., proclaiming that the killing of an apostate, or an heretic and an excommunicated man, as you are declared to be, is not murder; nay, that it is a good, a Christian action. That decree is incorporated in the canon law, which every priest must study, and which every good Catholic must follow.
"My dear President, I must repeat to you here what I said when at Urbana in 1856. My fear is that you will fall under the blows of a Jesuit assassin if you do not pay more attention than you have done, till now, to protect yourself. Remember that because Coligny was an heretic, as you are, he was brutally murdered in the St. Bartholomew night; that Henry IV. was stabbed by the Jesuit assassin, Revaillac, the 14th of May, 1610, for having given liberty of conscience to his people; and that William the Taciturn was shot dead by another Jesuit murderer, called Girard, for having broken the yoke of the Pope. The Church of Rome is absolutely the same today as she was then; she does believe and teach today, as then, that she has the right and that it is her duty to punish by death any heretic who is in her way as an obstacle to her designs. The unanimity with which the Catholic hierarchy of the United States is on the side of the rebels is an incontrovertible evidence that Rome wants to destroy this republic, and as you are, by your personal virtues, your popularity, your love for liberty, your position, the greatest obstacle to the diabolical schemes, their hatred is concentrated upon you; you are the daily object of their maledictions; it is at your breast they will direct their blows. My blood chills in my veins when I contemplate the day which may come, sooner or later, when Rome will add to all her other iniquities the murder of Abraham Lincoln."
When saying these things to the President, I was exceedingly moved, my voice was as choked, and I could hardly retain my tears. But the President was perfectly calm. When I had finished speaking, he took the volume of Busembaum from my hand, read the lines which I had marked with red ink, and I helped him to translate them into English. He then gave me back the book, and said:
"I will repeat to you what I said at Urbana, when for the first time you told me your fears lest I would be assassinated by the Jesuits: 'Man must not care where and when he will die, provided he dies at the post of honour and duty.' But I may add, today, that I have a presentiment that God will call me to Him through the hand of an assassin. Let His will, and, not mine be done!" He then looked at his watch and said, "I am sorry, that the twenty minutes I had consecrated to our interview have almost passed away; I will be for ever grateful for the warning words you have addressed to me about the dangers ahead of my life, from Rome. I know that they are not imaginary dangers. If I were fighting against a Protestant South, as a nation, there would be no danger of assassination. The nations who read the Bible, fight bravely on the battle-fields, but they do not assassinate their enemies. The Pope and the Jesuits, with their infernal Inquisition, are the only organized powers in the world which have recourse to the dagger of the assassin to murder those whom they cannot convince with their arguments or conquer with the sword.
"Unfortunately, I feel more and more, every day, that it is not against the Americans of the South, alone, I am fighting, it is more against the Pope of Rome, his perfidious Jesuits and their blind and blood-thirsty slaves, than against the real American Protestants, that we have to defend ourselves. Here is the real danger of our position. So long as they will hope to conquer the North, they will spare me; but the day we will rout their armies (and that day will surely come, with the help of God), take their cities, and force them to submit, then, it is my impression that the Jesuits, who are the principal rulers of the South, will do what they have almost invariably done in the past. The dagger, or the pistol of one of their adepts, will do what the strong hands of the warriors could not achieve. This civil war seems to be nothing but a political affair to those who do not see, as I do, the secret springs of that terrible drama. But it is more a religious than a civil war. It is Rome who wants to rule and degrade the North, as she has ruled and degraded the South, from the very day of its discovery. There are only very few of the Southern leaders who are not more or less under the influence of the Jesuits, through their wives, family relations, and their friends. Several members of the family of Jeff Davis belong to the Church of Rome. Even the Protestant ministers are under the influence of the Jesuits without suspecting it. To keep her ascendancy in the North, as she does in the South, Rome is doing here what she has done in Mexico, and in all the South American Republics; she is paralyzing, by a civil war, the arms of the soldiers of Liberty. She divides our nation, in order to weaken, subdue and rule it.
"Surely we have some brave and reliable Roman Catholic officers and soldiers in our armies, but they form an insignificant minority when compared with the Roman Catholic traitors against whom we have to guard ourselves, day and night. The fact is, that the immense majority of Roman Catholic bishops, priests and laymen, are rebels in heart, when they cannot be in fact; with very few exceptions, they are publicly in favour of slavery. I understand, now, why the patriots of France, who determined to see the colours of Liberty floating over their great and beautiful country, were forced to hand or shoot almost all the priests and the monks as the irreconcilable enemies of Liberty. For it is a fact, which is now evident to me, that, with very few exceptions, every priest and every true Roman Catholic is a determined enemy of Liberty. Their extermination in France, was one of those terrible necessities which no human wisdom could avoid; it looks to me now as an order from heaven to save France. May God grant that the same terrible necessity be never felt in the United States! But there is a thing which is very certain; it is, that if the American people could learn what I know of the fierce hatred of the generality of the priests of Rome against our institutions, our schools, our most sacred rights, and our so dearly bought liberties, they would drive them away, to-morrow, from among us, or they would shoot them as traitors. But I keep those sad secrets in my heart; you are the only one to whom I reveal them, for I know that you learned them before me. The history of these last thousand years tells us that wherever the Church of Rome is not a dagger to pierce the bosom of a free nation, she is a stone to her neck, and a ball to her feet, to paralyze her, and prevent her advance in the ways of civilization, science, intelligence, happiness and liberty. But I forget that my twenty minutes are gone long ago.
"Please accept my sincere thanks for the new lights you have given me on the dangers of my position, and come again. I will always see you with a new pleasure."
My second visit to Abraham Lincoln was at the beginning of June, 1862. The grand victory of the "Monitor" over the "Merrimac," and the conquest of New Orleans, by the brave and Christian Farragut had filled every heart with joy; I wanted to unite my feeble voice to that of the whole country to tell him how I blessed God for that glorious success. But I found him so busy that I could only shake hands with him.
The third and last time I went to pay my respects to the doomed President, and warn him against the impending dangers which I knew were threatening him, was on the morning of June 8th, 1864, when he was absolutely besieged by people who wanted to see him. After a kind and warm shaking of hands, he said:
"I am much pleased to see you again. But it is impossible, today, to say anything more than this: To-morrow afternoon, I will receive the delegation of the deputies of all the loyal states, sent to officially announce the desire of the country that I should remain the President four years more. I invite you to be present with them at that interesting meeting. You will see some of the most prominent men of our Republic, and I will be glad to introduce you to them. You will not present yourself as a delegate of the people, but only as the guest of the President; and that there may be no trouble, I will give you this card, with a permit to enter with the delegation. But do not leave Washington before I see you again; I have some important matters on which I want to know your mind."
The next day, it was my privilege to have the greatest honour ever received by me. The good President wanted me to stand at his right hand, when he received the delegation, and hear the address presented by Governor Dennison, the President of the Convention, to which he replied in his own admirable simplicity and eloquence; finishing by one of his most witty anecdotes. "I am reminded in this convention of a story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion, wisely, 'That it was not best to swap horses when crossing a stream.'"
The next day, he kindly took me with him in his carriage, when visiting the thirty thousand wounded soldiers picked up on the battle-fields of the seven days' battle of the Wilderness, and the thirty days' battle around Richmond, where Grant was just breaking the backbone of the rebellion. On the way to and from the hospitals, I could not talk much. The noise of the carriage rapidly drawn on the pavement was too great. Besides that, my soul was so much distressed, and my heart so much broken by the sight of the horrors of that fratricidal war, that my voice was as stifled. The only thought which seemed to occupy the mind of the President was the part which Rome had in that horrible struggle. Many times he repeated:
"This war would never have been possible without the sinister influence of the Jesuits. We owe it to Popery that we now see our land reddened with the blood of her noblest sons. Though there were great differences of opinion between the South and the North, on the question of slavery, neither Jeff Davis nor any one of the leading men of the Confederacy would have dared to attack the North, had they not relied on the promises of the Jesuits, that under the mask of Democracy, the money and the arms of the Roman Catholic, even the arms of France, were at their disposal, if they would attack us. I pity the priests, the bishops and the monks of Rome in the United States, when the people realize that they are, in great part, responsible for the tears and the blood shed in this war; the later the more terrible will the retribution be. I conceal what I know, on that subject, from the knowledge of the nation; for if the people knew the whole truth, this war would turn into a religious war, and it would, at once, take a tenfold more savage and bloody character, it would become merciless as all religious wars are. It would become a war of extermination on both sides. The Protestants of both the North and the South would surely unite to exterminate the priests and the Jesuits, if they could hear what Professor Morse has said to me of the plots made in the very city of Rome to destroy this Republic, and if they could learn how the priests, the nuns, and the monks, which daily land on our shores, under the pretext of preaching their religion, instructing the people in their schools, taking care of the sick in the hospitals, are nothing else but the emissaries of the Pope, of Napoleon, and the other despots of Europe, to undermine our institutions, alienate the hearts of our people from our constitution, and our laws, destroy our schools, and prepare a reign of anarchy here as they have done in Ireland, in Mexico, in Spain, and wherever there are any people who want to be free, ect."
When the President was speaking thus, we arrived at the door of his mansion. He invited me to go with him to his study, and said:
"Thought I am very busy, I must rest an hour with you. I am in need of that rest. My head is aching, I feel as crushed under the burden on affairs which are on my shoulders. There are many important things about the plots of the Jesuits that I can learn only from you. Please wait just a moment, I have just received some dispatches from General Grant, to which I must give an answer. My secretary is waiting for me. I go to him. Please amuse yourself with those books, during my short absence."
Twenty-five minutes later, the President had returned, with his face flushed with joy. "Glorious news! General Grant has again beaten Lee, and forced him to retreat towards Richmond, when he will have to surrender before long. Grant is a real hero. But let us come to the question I want to put to you. Have you read the letter of the Pope to Jeff Davis, and what do you think of it?"
"My dear President," I answered, "it is just that letter which brought me to your presence again, the day before yesterday. I wanted to come and see you, from the very day I read it. But I knew you were so overwhelmed with the affairs of your government, that I would not be able to see you. However, the anxieties of my mind were so, that I determined to go over every barrier to warn you again against the new dangers and plots which I knew would come out from that perfidious letter, against your life.
"That letter is a poisoned arrow thrown by the Pope, at you personally; and it will be more than a miracle if it be not your irrevocable warrant of death. Before reading it, it is true that every Catholic could see by the unanimity of the bishops siding with the rebel cause, that their church as a whole, was against this free Republican government. However, a good number of liberty-loving Irish, German and French Catholics, following more the instincts of their noble nature, than the degrading principles of their church, enrolled themselves under the banners of Liberty, and they have fought like heroes. To detach these men from the rank and file of the Northern armies, and force them to help the cause of the rebellion, because the object of the intrigues of the Jesuits. Secret and pressing letters were addressed from Rome to the bishops, ordering them to weaken your armies by detaching those men from you. The bishops answered, that they could not do that without exposing themselves to be shot. But they advised the Pope to acknowledge, at once, the legitimacy of the Southern Republic, and to take Jeff Davis under his supreme protection, by a letter, which would be read everywhere.
"That letter, then, tells logically the Roman Catholics that you are a blood-thirsty tyrant! a most execrable being when fighting against a government which the infallible and holy Pope of Rome recognizes as legitimate. The Pope, by this letter, tells his blind slaves that you are an infamous usurper, when considering yourself the President of the Southern States; that you are outraging the God of heaven and earth, by continuing such a sanguinary war to subdue a nation over whom God Almighty has declared, through His infallible pontiff, the Pope, that you have not the least right: that letter means that you will give an account to God and man for the blood and tears you cause to flow in order to satisfy your ambition.
"By this letter of the Pope to Jeff Davis you are not only an apostate, as you were thought before, whom every man had the right to kill, according to the canonical laws of Rome; but you are more vile, criminal and cruel than the horse thief, the public banditti, and the lawless brigand, robber and murderer, whom it is a duty to stop and kill, when we take them in their acts of blood, and that there is no other way to put an end to their plunders and murders.
"And, my dear President, the meaning I give you of this perfidious letter of the Pope to Jeff Davis, is not a fancy imagination on my part, it is the unanimous explanation given me by a great number of the priests of Rome, with whom I have had occasion to speak on that subject. In the name of God, and in the name of our dear country, which is in so much need of your services, I conjure you to pay more attention to protect your precious life, and not continue to expose it as you have done till now."
The President listened to my words with breathless attention. He replied;
"You confirm me in the views I had taken of the letter of the Pope. Professor Morse is of the same mind with you. It is, indeed, the most perfidious act which could occur under present circumstances. You are perfectly correct when you say that it was to detach the Roman Catholics who had enrolled themselves in our armies. Since the publication of that letter, a great number of them have deserted their banners and turned traitors; very few, comparatively, have remained true to their oath of fidelity. It is, however, very lucky that one of those few, Sheridan, is worth a whole army by his ability, his patriotism and his heroic courage. It is true, also, that Meade has remained with us, and gained the bloody battle of Gettysburg. But how could he lose it, when he was surrounded by such heroes as Howard, Reynolds, Buford, Wadsworth, Cutler, Slocum, Sickes, Hancock, Barnes, ect. But it is evident that his Romanism superseded his patriotism after the battle. He let the army of Lee escape, when it was so easy to cut his retreat and force him to surrender, after having lost nearly the half of his soldiers in the last three days' carnage.
"When Meade was to order the pursuit, after the battle, a stranger came, in haste, to the headquarters, and that stranger was a disguised Jesuit. After a ten minutes' conversation with him, Meade made such arrangements for the pursuit of the enemy, that he escaped almost untouched, with the loss of only two guns!
"You re right," continued the President, "when you say that this letter of the Pope has entirely changed the nature and the ground of the war. Before they read it, the Roman Catholics could see that I was fighting against Jeff Davis and his Southern Confederacy. But now, they must believe that it is against Christ and His holy vicar, the Pope, that I am raising my sacrilegious hands; we have the daily proofs that their indignation, their hatred, their malice, against me, are a hundredfold intensified. New projects of assassination are detected almost every day, accompanied with such savage circumstances, that they bring to my memory the massacre of the St. Bartholomew and the Gunpowder Plot. We feel, at their investigation, that they come from the same masters in the art of murder, the Jesuits.
"The New York riots were evidently a Romish plot from beginning to end. We have the proofs in hand that they were the work of Bishop Hughes and his emissaries. No doubt can remain in the minds of the most incredulous about the bloody attempts of Rome to destroy New York, when we know the easy way it was stopped. I wrote to Bishop Hughes, telling him that the whole country would hold him responsible for it if he would not stop it at once. He then gathered the rioters around his palace, called them his 'dear friends,' invited them to go back home peacefully, and all was finished! so Jupiter of old used to raise a storm and stop it with a nod of his head!
"From the beginning of our civil war, there has been, not a secret, but a public alliance, between the Pope of Rome and Jeff Davis, and that alliance has followed the common laws of this world affairs. The greater has led the smaller, the stronger has guided the weaker. The Pope and his Jesuits have advised, supported, and directed Jeff Davis on the land, from the first gun shot at Fort Sumter, by the rabid Roman Catholic Beauregard. They are helping him on the sea by guiding and supporting the other rabid Roman Catholic pirate, Semmes, on the ocean. And they will help the rebellion when firing their last gun to shed the blood of the last soldier of Liberty, who will fall in this fratricidal war. In my interview with Bishop Hughes, I told him, 'that every stranger who had sworn allegiance to our government by becoming a United States citizen, as himself, was liable to be shot or hung as a perjured traitor and an armed spy, as the sentence of the court-martial may direct. And he will be so shot and hanged accordingly, as there will be no exchange of such prisoners'. After I had put this flea in the ears of the Romish bishop, I requested him to go and report my words to the Pope. Seeing the dangerous position of his bishops and priests when siding with the rebels, my hope was that he would advise them, for their own interests, to become loyal and true to their allegiance and help us through the remaining part of the war. But he result has been the very contrary. The Pope has thrown away the mask, and shown himself the public partisan and the protector of the rebellion, by taking Jeff Davis by the hand, and impudently recognizing the Southern States as a legitimate government. Now, I have the proof in hand that that very Bishop Hughes, whom I had sent to Rome that he might induce the Pope to urge the Roman Catholics of the North at least, to be true to their oath of allegiance, and whom I thanked publicly, when, under the impression that he had acted honestly, according to the promise he had given me, is the very man who advised the Pope to recognize the legitimacy of the Southern Republic, and put the whole weight of his tiara in the balance against us in favour of our enemies! Such is the perfidy of those Jesuits. Two cankers are biting the very entrails of the United States today: the Romish and the Mormon priests. Both are equally at work to form a people of the most abject, ignorant and fanatical slaves, who will recognize no other authority but their supreme pontiffs. Both are aiming at the destruction of our schools, to raise themselves upon our ruins. Both shelter themselves under our grand and holy principles of liberty of conscience, to destroy that very liberty of conscience, and bind the world before their heavy and ignominious yoke. The Mormon and the Jesuit priests are equally the uncompromising enemies of our constitution and our laws; but the more dangerous of the two is the Jesuits the Romish priest, for he knows better now to conceal his hatred under the mask of friendship and public good: he is better trained to commit the most cruel and diabolical deeds for the glory of God. "Till lately, I was in favour of the unlimited liberty of conscience as our constitution gives it to the Roman Catholics. But now, it seems to me that, sooner or later, the people will be forced to put a restriction to that clause towards the Papists. Is it not an act of folly to give absolute liberty of conscience to a set of men who are publicly sworn to cut our throats the very day they have their opportunity for doing it? It is right to give the privilege of citizenship to men who are the sworn and public enemies of our constitution, our laws, our liberties, and our lives?
"The very moment that Popery assumed the right of life and death on a citizen of France, Spain, Germany, England, or the United States, it assumed to be the power, the government of France, Spain, England, Germany, and the United States. Those States then committed a suicidal act by allowing Popery to put a foot on their territory with the privilege of citizenship. The power of life and death is the supreme power, and two supreme powers cannot exist on the same territory without anarchy, riots, bloodshed, and civil wars without end. When Popery will give up the power of life and death which it proclaims on its own divine power, in all its theological books and canon laws, then, and then alone, it can be tolerated and can receive the privileges of citizenship in a free country.
"Is it not an absurdity to give to a man a thing which he is sworn to hate, curse, and destroy? And does not the Church of Rome hate, curse, and destroy liberty of conscience whenever she can do it safely? I am for liberty of conscience in its noblest, broadest, highest sense. But I cannot give liberty of conscience to the Pope and to his followers, the Papists, so long as they tell me, through all their councils, theologians, and canon laws, that their conscience orders them to burn my wife, strangle my children, and cut my throat when they find their opportunity! This does not seem to be understood by the people today. But sooner or later, the light of common sense will make it clear to every one that no liberty of conscience can be granted to men who are sworn to obey a Pope, who pretends to have the right to put to death those who differ from him religion.
"You are not the first to warn me against the dangers of assassination. My ambassadors in Italy, France, and England, as well as Professor Morse, have many times warned me against the plots of the murderers which they have detected in those different countries. But I see no other safeguard against those murderers but to be always ready to die, as Christ advises it. As we must all die sooner or later, it makes very little difference to me whether I die from a dagger plunged through the heart or from an inflammation of the lungs. Let me tell you that I have lately read a passage in the Old Testament which has made a profound, and, I hope, a salutary impression on me. Here is that passage."
The President took his Bible, opened it at the third chapter of Deuteronomy, and read from the 22nd to the 28th verse:-
"Ye shall not fear them: for the Lord your God He shall fight for you. And I besought the Lord at that time, saying, O Lord God, Thou hast begun to shew Thy servant Thy greatness and Thy mighty hand; for what God is there, in heaven or in earth, that can do according to Thy works, and according to Thy might! I pray Thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, Let it suffice thee: speak no more unto Me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan."
After the President had read these words with great solemnity, he added: "My dear Father Chiniquy, let me tell you that I have read these strange and beautiful verses several times these last five or six weeks. The more I read them, the more it seems to me that God has written them for me as well as for Moses. Has He not taken me from my poor log cabin by the hand, as He did of Moses in the reeds of the Nile, to put me at the head of the greatest and the most blessed of modern nations, just as He put that prophet at the head of the most blessed nation of ancient times? Has not God granted me a privilege which was not granted to any living man, when I broke the fetters of 4,000,000 of men and made them free? Has not our God given me the most glorious victories over our enemies? Are not the armies of the Confederacy so reduced to a handful of men when compared to what they were two years ago, that the day is fast approaching when they will have to surrender?
"Now, I see the end of this terrible conflict, with the same joy of Moses, when, at the end of his trying forty years in the wilderness; and I pray my God to grant me to see the days of peace, and untold prosperity, which will follow this cruel war, as Moses asked God to see the other side of Jordan and enter the Promised Land. But do you know that I hear in my soul, as the voice of God, giving me the rebuke which was given to Moses?
"Yes! every time that my soul goes to God to ask the favour of seeing the other side of Jordan, and eating the fruits of that peace, after which I am longing with such an unspeakable desire, do you know that there is a still, but solemn voice, which tells me that I will see those things, only from a long distance, and that I will be among the dead, when the nation which God granted me to lead through those awful trials, will cross the Jordan, and dwell in that Land of Promise, where peace, industry, happiness, and liberty, will make every one happy; and why so? Because He has already given me favours which He never gave, I dare say, to any man, in these latter days.
"Why did God Almighty refuse to Moses the favour of crossing the Jordan, and entering the Promised Land? It was on account of his own nations's sins! That law of divine retribution and justice, by which one must suffer for another, is surely a terrible mystery. But it is a fact which no man who has any intelligence and knowledge can deny. Moses, who knew that law, though he probably did not understand it better than we do, calmly says to his people, 'God was wroth with me for your sakes.'
"But though we do not understand that mysterious and terrible law, we find it written in letters of tears and blood wherever we go. We do not read a single page of history, without finding undeniable traces of its existence.
"Where is the mother who has not shed tears and suffered real tortures, for her children's sake?
"Who is the good king, the worthy emperor, the gifted chieftain, who have not suffered unspeakable mental agonies, or even death, for their people's sake?
"Is not our Christian religion the highest expression of the wisdom, mercy, and love of God! But what is Christianity if not the very incarnation of that eternal law of divine justice in our humanity?
"When I look on Moses, alone, silently dying on the Mount Pisgah, I see that law, in one of its most sublime human manifestations, and I am filled with admiration and awe.
"But when I consider that law of justice, and expiation in the death of the Just, the divine Son of Mary, on the mountain of Calvary, I remain mute in my adoration. The spectacle of that crucified one which is before my eyes, is more than sublime, it is divine! Moses died for his people's sake, but Christ died for the whole world's sake! Both died to fulfill the same eternal law of the divine justice, though in a different measure.
"Now would it not be the greatest of honours and privileges bestowed upon me, if God, in His infinite love, mercy and wisdom, would put me between His faithful servant, Moses, and His eternal Son, Jesus, that I might die as they did, for my nation's sake!
"My God alone knows what I have already suffered for my dear country's sake. But my fear is that the justice of God is not yet paid. When I look upon the rivers of tears and blood drawn by the lashes of the merciless masters from the veins of the very heart of those millions of defenseless slaves, these two hundred years. When I remember the agonies, the cries, the unspeakable tortures of those unfortunate people, at which I have, to some extent, connived with so many others, a part of my life, I feel that we are still far from the complete expiation. For the judgments of God are true and righteous.
"It seems to me that the Lord wants, today, as He wanted in the days of Moses, another victim a victim which he has himself chosen, anointed and prepared for the sacrifice, by raising it above the rest of His people. I cannot conceal from you that my impression is that I am that victim. So many plots have already been made against my life, that it is a real miracle that they have all failed, when we consider that the great majority of them were in the hands of skillful Roman Catholic murderers, evidently trained by Jesuits. But can we expect that God will make a perpetual miracle to save my life? I believe not. The Jesuits are so expert in those deeds of blood, that Henry IV. said that it was impossible to escape them, and he became their victim, though he did all that could be done to protect himself. My escape from their hands, since the letter of the Pope to Jeff Davis has sharpened a million of daggers to pierce my breast, would be more than a miracle.
"But just as the Lord heard no murmur from the lips of Moses when He told him that he had to die, before crossing the Jordan, for the sins of his people; so I hope and pray that He will hear no murmur from me when I fall for my nations's sake.
"The only two favours I ask of the Lord are, first, that I may die for the sacred cause in which I am engaged, and when I am the standard bearer of the rights and liberties of my country.
"The second favour I ask of God is, that my dear son, Robert, when I am gone, will be one of those who lift us that flag of Liberty which will cover my tomb, and carry it with honour and fidelity, to the end of his life, as his father did, surrounded by the millions who will be called with him to fight and die for the defense and honour of our country."
Never had I heard such sublime words: Never had I seen a human face so solemn and so prophet-like as the face of the President, when uttering these things. Every sentence had come to me as a hymn from heaven, reverberated by the echoes of the mountains of Pisgah and Calvary. I was beside myself. Bathed in tears, I tried to say something, but I could not utter a word.
I knew the hour to leave had come, I asked from the President permission to fall on my knees, and pray with him that his life might be spared: and he knelt with me. But I prayed more with my tears and sobs, than with my words.
Then I pressed his hand on my lips and bathed it with my tears, and with a heart filled with an unspeakable desolation, I bade him Adieu! It was for the last time!
For the hour was fast approaching when he was to fall by the hands of a Jesuit assassin, for his nation's sake.
CHAPTER 61 Back to Contents
Every time I met President Lincoln I wondered how such elevation of thought and such childish simplicity could be found in the same man. After my interviews with him many times, I said to myself: "How can this rail-splitter have so easily raised himself to the highest range of human thought and philosophy?"
The secret of this was, that Lincoln had spent a great part of his life at the school of Christ, and that he meditated his sublime teachings to an extent unsuspected by the world. I found in him the most perfect type of Christianity I ever met. Professedly, he was neither a strict Presbyterian, nor a Baptist, nor a Methodist; but he was the embodiment of all which is more perfect and Christian in them. His religion was the very essence of what God wants in man. It was from Christ Himself he had learned to love God and his neighbour, as it was from Christ he had learned the dignity and the value of man. "Ye are all brethren, the children of God," was his great motto.
It was from the Gospel that he had learned his principles of equality, fraternity, and liberty, as it was from the Gospel he had learned that sublime, childish simplicity which, alone, and for ever, won the admiration and affection of all those who approached him. I could cite many facts to illustrate this, but I will give only one, not to be too long: it was taken from the Memoirs of Mr. Bateman, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Illinois.
"Mr. Lincoln paused: for long minutes, his features surcharged with emotion. Then he rose and walked up and down the reception room, in the effort to retain or regain his self-possession. Stopping at last, he said, with a trembling voice and his cheeks wet with tears: I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming and I know that His hand is in it. If He has a place and work for me, and I think He has, I believe I am ready! I am nothing, but truth is everything! I know I am right, because I know that liberty is right: for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God. I have told them that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and Christ and reason say the same thing, and they will find it so. Douglas does not care whether slavery is voted up or down. But God cares, and humanity cares, and I care. And with God's help, I will not fail. I may not see the end, but it will come, and I shall be vindicated; and those men will see that they have not read their Bible right! Does it not appear strange that men can ignore the moral aspect of this contest? A revelation could not make it plainer to me that slavery, or the Government, must be destroyed. The future would be something awful, as I look at it, but for this ROCK on which I stand (alluding to the Gospel book he still held in his hand). It seems as if God had borne with slavery until the very teachers of religion had come to defend it from the Bible, and to claim for it a Divine character and sanction. And now the cup of iniquity is full, and the vials of wrath will be poured out.'"
Mr. Bateman adds: "After this, the conversation was continued for a long time. Everything he said was of a very deep, tender, and religious tone, and all was tinged with a touching melancholy. He repeatedly referred to his conviction 'that the day of wrath was at hand,' and that he was to be an actor in the struggle which would end in the overthrow of slavery, though he might not live to see the end. After further reference to a belief in Divine Providence, and the fact of God, in history, the conversation turned upon prayer. He freely stated his belief in the duty, privilege, and efficacy of prayer; and he intimated, in no unmistakable terms, that he had sought, in that way, the divine guidance and favour."
The effect of this conversation upon the mind of Mr. Bateman, a Christian gentleman whom Mr. Lincoln profoundly respected, was to convince him that Mr. Lincoln had, in his quiet way, found a path to the Christian standpoint, that he had found God, and rested on the eternal truth of God. As the two men were about to separate, Mr. Bateman remarked: "I had not supposed that you were accustomed to think so much upon this class of subjects; certainly your friends generally are ignorant of the sentiments you have expressed to me."
He quickly replied: "I know they are, but I think more on these subjects than upon all others, and I have done so for years; and I am willing you should know it."[*]
More than once I felt as if I were in the presence of an old prophet, when listening to his views about the future destinies of the United States. In one of my last interviews with him, I was filled with an admiration which it would be difficult to express, when I heard the following views and predictions:
"It is with the Southern leaders of this civil war as with the big and small wheels of our railroad cars. Those who ignore the laws of mechanics are apt to think that the large, strong, and noisy wheels they see are the motive power, but they are mistaken. The real motive power is not seen; it is noiseless and well concealed in the dark, behind its iron walls. The motive power are the few well-concealed pails of water heated into steam, which is itself directed by the noiseless, small but unerring engineer's finger.
"The common people see and hear the big, noisy wheels of the Southern Confederacy's cars; they call they Jeff Davis, Lee, Toombs, Beauregard, Semmes, ect., and they honestly think that they are the motive power, the first cause of our troubles. But this is a mistake. The true motive power is secreted behind the thick walls of the Vatican, the colleges and schools of the Jesuits, the convents of the nuns, and the confessional boxes of Rome.
"There is a fact which is too much ignored by the American people, and with which I am acquainted only since I became President; it is that the best, the leading families of the South have received their education in great part, if not in whole, from the Jesuits and the nuns. Hence those degrading principles of slavery, pride, cruelty, which are as a second nature among so many of those people. Hence that strange want of fair play, humanity; that implacable hatred against the ideas of equality and liberty as we find them in the Gospel of Christ. You do not ignore that the first settlers of Louisiana, Florida, New Mexico, Texas, South California and Missouri were Roman Catholics, and that their first teachers were Jesuits. It is true that those states have been conquered or bought by us since. But Rome had put the deadly virus of her antisocial and anti-Christian maxims into the veins of the people before they became American citizens. Unfortunately, the Jesuits and the nuns have in great part remained the teachers of those people since. They have continued in a silent, but most efficacious way, to spread their hatred against our institutions, our laws, our schools, our rights and our liberties in such a way that this terrible conflict became unavoidable between the North and the South. As I told you before, it is to Popery that we owe this terrible civil war.
"I would have laughed at the man who would have told me that before I became the President. But Professor Morse has opened my eyes on that subject. And now I see that mystery; I understand that engineering of hell which, though not seen or even suspected by the country, is putting in motion the large, heavy, and noisy wheels of the state cars of the Southern Confederacy. Our people is not yet ready to learn and believe those things, and perhaps it is not the proper time to initiate them to those dark mysteries of hell; it would throw oil on a fire which is already sufficiently destructive.
"You are almost the only one with whom I speak freely on that subject. But sooner or later the nation will know the real origin of those rivers of blood and tears, which are spreading desolation and death everywhere. And then those who have caused those desolations and disasters will be called to give an account of them.
"I do not pretend to be a prophet.But though not a prophet, I see a very dark cloud on our horizon. And that dark cloud is coming from Rome. It is filled with tears of blood. It will rise and increase till its flanks will be torn by a flash of lightning, followed by a fearful peal of thunder. Then a cyclone, such as the world has never seen, will pass over this country, spreading ruin and desolation from north to south. After it is over, there will be long days of peace and prosperity: for Popery, with its Jesuits and merciless Inquisition, will have been for ever swept away from our country. Neither I nor you, but our children, will see those things."
Many of those who approached Abraham Lincoln felt that there was a prophetic spirit in him, and that he was continually walking and acting with the thought of God in his mind, and only in view to do His will and work for His glory. Speaking of the slaves, he said one day before the members of his cabinet:
"I have not decided against a proclamation of liberty to the slaves, but I hold the matter under advisement. And I can assure you that the subject is on my mind, by day and by night, more than any other. Whatever shall appear to be God's will, I will do."[*]
A few days before that proclamation, he said, before several of his counselors: "I made a solemn vow before God that if General Lee was driven back from Pennsylvania, I would crown the result by the declaration of freedom to the slaves."[**]
But I would have volumes to write, instead of a short chapter, were I to give all the facts I have collected of the sincere and profound piety of Abraham Lincoln.
I cannot, however, omit his admirable and solemn act of faith in the eternal justice of God, as expressed in the closing words of his last inaugural address of the 4th of March, 1865.
"Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's 520 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn by the lash shall be paid by another drawn by the sword, as we said 3,000 years ago, so still it must be said: The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."
These sublime words, falling from the lips of the greatest Christian whom God ever put at the head of a nation, only a few days before his martyrdom, sent a thrill of wonder through the whole world. The Godfearing people and the upright of every nation listened to them as if they had just come from the golden harp of David. Even the infidels remain mute with admiration and awe. It seemed to all that the echoes of heaven and earth were repeating that last hymn, falling from the heart of the noblest and truest Gospel man of our days: "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether" (Psalm xix. 9).
The 6th of April, 1865, President Lincoln was invited by General Grant to enter Richmond, the capital of the rebel states, which he had just captured. The ninth, the beaten army of Lee, surrounded by the victorious legions of the soldiers of Liberty, were forced to lay down their arms and their banners at the feet of the generals of Lincoln. The tenth, the victorious President addressed an immense multitude of the citizens of Washington, to invite them to thank God and the armies for the glorious victories of the last few days, and for the blessed peace which was to follow these five years of slaughter.
But he was on the top of the mountain of Pisgah, and though he had fervently prayed that he might cross the Jordan and enter with his people into the Land of Promise, after which he had so often sighed, he was not to see his request granted. The answer had come from heaven, "You will not cross the Jordan, and you will not enter that Promised Land, which is there, so near. You must die for your nation's sake!" The lips, the heart, and the soul of the New Moses were still repeating the sublime words, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether," when the Jesuit assassin, Booth, murdered him, the 14th of April, 1865, at ten o'clock p.m.
Let us hear the eloquent historian, Abbot, on that sad event: "In the midst of unparalleled success, and while all the bells of the land were ringing with joy, a calamity fell upon us which overwhelmed the country in consternation and awe. On Friday evening, April 14th, President Lincoln attended Ford's Theater, in Washington. He was sitting quietly in his box, listening to the drama, when a man entered the door of the lobby leading to the box, closing the door behind him. Drawing near to the President, he drew from his pocket a small pistol, and shot him in the back of the head. As the President fell, senseless and mortally wounded, and the shriek of his wife, who was seated at his side, pierced every ear, the assassin leaped from the box, a perpendicular height of nine feet, and as he rushed across the stage, bare-headed, brandished a dagger, exclaiming, 'Sic semper tyrannis!' and disappeared behind the side scenes. There was a moment of silent consternation. Then ensued a scene of confusion which it is in vain to attempt to describe.
"The dying President was taken into a house near by, and placed upon a bed. What a scene did that room present! The chief of a mighty nation lay there, senseless, drenched in blood, his brains oozing from his wound! Sumner, Farwell, and Colfax and Stanton, and many others were there, filled with grief and consternation.
"The surgeon, General Barnes, solemnly examined the wound. There was silence as of the grave, the life and death of the nation seemed dependent on the result. General Barnes looked up sadly and said, 'The wound is mortal!'
"'Oh! No! General, no! no!' cried out Secretary Stanton, and sinking into a chair, he covered his face and wept like a child. Senator Sumner tenderly held the head of the unconscious martyr.
"Though all unused to weep, he sobs as though his great heat would break. In his anguish, his head falls upon the blood-stained pillow, and his black locks blend with those of the dying victim, which care and toil has rendered gray, and which blood has crimsoned. What a scene! Sumner, who had lingered through months of agony, having himself been stricken down by he bludgeon of slavery, now sobbing and fainting in anguish over the prostrate form of his friend, whom slavery had slain! This vile rebellion, after deluging the land in blood, has culminated in a crime which appalls all nations.
"Nobel Abraham, true descendant of the father of the faithful; honest in every trust, humble as a child, tender-hearted as a woman, who could not bear to injure even his most envenomed foes: who, in the hour of triumph, was saddened lest the feelings of his adversaries should be wounded by their defeat, with 'charity of all, malice towards none,' endowed with 'common sense,' intelligence never surpassed, and with power of intellect which enabled him to grapple with the most gigantic opponents in debates, developing abilities as a statesman, which won the gratitude of his country and the admiration of the world, and with graces and amiability which drew to him all generous hearts; dies by the bullet of the assassin!"[*]
But who was that assassin? Booth was nothing but a tool of the Jesuits. It was Rome who directed his arm, after corrupting his heart and damning his soul.
After I had mixed my tears with those of the grand country of my adoption, I fell on my knees and asked my God to grant me to show to the world what I knew to be the truth, viz., that that horrible crime was the work of popery. And, after twenty years of constant and most difficult researches, I came fearlessly today before the American people, to say and prove that the President, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated by the priests and the Jesuits of Rome.
In the book of the testimonies given in the prosecution of the assassin of Lincoln, published by Ben Pitman, and in the two volumes of the trial of John Surratt, in 1867, we have the legal and irrefutable proof that the plot of the assassins of Lincoln was matured, if not started, in the house of Mary Surratt, No. 561, H. Street, Washington City, D.C. But who were living in that house, and who were visiting that family? The legal answer says: "The most devoted Catholics in the city!" The sworn testimonies show more than that. They show that it was the common rendezvous of the priests of Washington. Several priests swear that they were going there "sometimes," and when pressed to answer what they meant by "sometimes," they were not sure if it was not once a week or once a month. One of them, less on his guard, swore that he seldom passed before that house without entering; and he said he never passed less than once a week. The devoted Roman Catholic (an apostate from Protestantism) called L.J. Weichman, who was himself living in that house, swears that Father Wiget was very often in that house, and Father Lahiman swears that he was living with Mrs. Surratt in the same house!
What does the presence of so many priests in that house reveal to the world? No man of common sense, who knows anything about the priests of Rome, can entertain any doubt that, not only they knew all that was going on inside those walls, but that they were the advisers, the counselors, the very soul of that infernal plot. Why did Rome keep one of her priests, under that roof, from morning till night and from night till morning? Why did she send many others, almost every day of the week, into that dark nest of plotters against the very existence of the great republic, and against the life of her President, her principal generals and leading men, if it were not to be the advisers, the rulers, the secret motive power of the infernal plot.
No one, if he is not an idiot, will think and say that those priests, who were the personal friends and the father confessors of Booth, John Surratt, Mrs. and Misses Surratt, could be constantly there without knowing what was going on, particularly when we know that every one of those priests was a rabid rebel in heart. Every one of those priests, knowing that his infallible Pope had called Jeff Davis his dear son, and had taken the Southern Confederacy under his protection, was bound to believe that the most holy thing a man could do, was to fight for the Southern cause, by destroying those who were its enemies.
Read the history of the assassination of Admiral Coligny, Henry III. and Henry IV., and William the Taciturn, by the hired assassins of the Jesuits; compare them with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and you will find that one resembles the others as one drop of water resembles another. You will understand that they all come from the same source, Rome!
In all those murders, you will find that the murderers, selected and trained by the Jesuits, were of the most exalted Roman Catholic piety, living in the company of priests, going to confess very often, receiving the communion the day before, if not the very day of the murder. You will see in all those horrible deeds of hell, prepared behind the dark walls of the holy inquisition, that the assassins were considering themselves as the chosen instruments of God, to save the nations by striking its tyrant; that they firmly believed that there was no sin in killing the enemy of the people of the holy church, and of the infallible Pope!
Compare the last hours of the Jesuit Ravaillac, the assassin of Henry IV., who absolutely refuses to repent, though suffering the most horrible torture on the rack, with Booth, who suffering also the most horrible tortures from is broken leg, writes in his daily memorandum, the very day before his death: "I can never repent, though we hated to kill. Our country owed all her troubles to him (Lincoln), and God simply made me the instrument of his punishment."
Yes! Compare the bloody deeds of those two assassins, and you will see that they had been trained in the same school; they had been taught by the same teachers. Evidently the Jesuit Ravaillac, calling all the saints of heaven to his help, at his last hour; and Booth pressing the medal of the Virgin Mary on his breast, when falling mortally wounded, are both coming out of the same Jesuit mould.
Who has lost his common sense enough to suppose that it was Jeff Davis who had filled the mind and the heart of Booth with that religious and so exalted fanaticism! Surely Jeff Davis has promised the money to reward the assassins and nerve their arms, by the hope of becoming rich.The testimonies on that account say that he had promised one million dollars.
That arch-rebel could give the money; but the Jesuits alone could select the assassins, train them, and show them a crown of glory in heaven, if they would kill the author of the bloodshed, the famous renegade and apostate the enemy of the Pope and of the Church Lincoln.
Who does not see the lessons given by the Jesuits to Booth, in their daily intercourse in Mary Surratt's house, when he reads those lines written by Booth a few hours before his death: "I can never repent; God made me the instrument of His punishment!" Compare these words with the doctrines and principles taught by the councils, the decrees of the Pope, and the laws of holy inquisition, as you find them in Chapter LIX. of this volume, and you will find that the sentiments and belief of Booth flow from those principles, as the river flows from its source.
And that pious Miss Surratt who, the very next day after the murder of Lincoln, said, without being rebuked, in the presence of several other witnesses: "The death of Abraham Lincoln is no more than the death of any nigger in the army" where did she get that maxim, if not from her church? Had not that church recently proclaimed, through her highest legal and civil authority, the devoted Roman Catholic Judge Taney, in his Dred Scot decision, the Negroes have no right, which the white is bound to respect! By bringing the President on a level with the lowest nigger, Rome was saying that he had no right even to his life; for this was the maxim of the rebel priests, who, everywhere, had made themselves the echoes of the sentence of their distinguished co-religionist Taney.
It was from the very lips of the priests, who were constantly coming in and going out of their house, that those young ladies had learned those anti-social and anti-Christian doctrines. Read in the testimony concerning Mrs. Mary E. Surratt (pp. 122, 123), how the Jesuits had perfectly drilled her in the art of perjuring herself. In the very moment when the government officer orders her to prepare herself, with her daughter, to follow him as prisoner, at about ten p.m., Payne, the would-be murderer of Seward, knocks at the door and wants to see Mrs. Surratt. But instead of having Mrs. Surratt to open the door, he finds himself confronted, face to face, with the government detective, Major Smith, who swears:
"I questioned him in regard to his occupation, and what business he had at the house at this late hour of the night. He stated that he was a labourer, and had come to dig a gutter at the request of Mrs. Surratt.
"I went to the parlour door, and said, 'Mrs. Surratt, will you step here a minute?' She came out, and I asked her, 'Do you know this man, and did you hire him to come and dig a gutter for you?' She answered, raising her right hand, 'Before God, sir, I do not know this man; I have never seen him, and I did not hire him to dig a gutter for me.'"
But it was proved after, by several unimpeachable witnesses, that she knew very well that Payne was a personal friend of her son, who, many times, had come to her house, in company of his friend and pet, Booth. She had received the communion just two or three days before that public perjury. Just a moment after making it, the officer ordered her to step out into the carriage. But before doing it, she asked permission to kneel down and pray; which was granted.
I ask it from any man of common sense, could Jeff Davis have imparted such a religious calm and self-possession to that woman when her hands were just reddened with the blood of the President, and she was on her way to trial!
No! such sang froid, such calm in that soul, in such a terrible and solemn hour, could come only from the teachings of those Jesuits who, for more than six months, were in her house, showing her a crown of eternal glory if she could help to kill the monster, apostate Lincoln the only cause of that horrible civil war! There is not the least doubt that the priests had perfectly succeeded in persuading Mary Surratt and Booth that the killing of Lincoln was a most holy and deserving work, for which God had an eternal reward in store.
There is a fact to which the American people have not yet given a sufficient attention. It is that, without a single exception, the conspirators were Roman Catholics. The learned and great patriot, General Baker, in his admirable report, struck and bewildered by that strange, mysterious and portentous fact, said:
"I mention, as an exceptional and remarkable fact, that every conspirator, in custody, is by education a Catholic."
But those words which, if well understood by the United States, would have thrown so much light on the true causes of their untold and unspeakable disasters, fell as if on the ears of deaf men. Very few, if any, paid attention to them. As General Baker says, all the conspirators were attending Catholic Church services and were educated Roman Catholics. It is true that some of them, as Atzeroth, Payne and Harold, asked for Protestant ministers, when they were to be hung. But they had been considered, till then, as converts to Romanism. At page 437 of The Trial of John Surratt, Louis Weichman tells us that he was going to St. Aloysin's Church with Atzeroth, and that it was there that he introduced him to Mr. Brothy (another Roman Catholic).
It is a well authenticated fact, that Booth and Weichman, who were themselves Protestant perverts to Romanism, had proselytized a good number of semi-Protestants and infidels who, either from conviction, or from hope of the fortunes promised to the successful murderers, were themselves very zealous for the Church of Rome. Payne, Atzeroth and Harold, were among those proselytes. But when those murderers were to appear before the country, and receive the just punishment of their crime, the Jesuits were too shrewd to ignore that if they were all coming on the scaffold as Roman Catholics, and accompanied by their father confessors, it would, at once, open the eyes of the American people, and clearly show that this was a Roman Catholic plot. They persuaded three of their proselytes to avail themselves of the theological principles of the Church of Rome, that a man is allowed to conceal his religion, nay, that he may say that he is a heretic, a Protestant, though he is a Roman Catholic, when it is for his own interest or the best interests of his church to conceal the truth and deceive the people. Here is the doctrine of Rome on that subject.
"It is often more to the glory of God and the good of our neighbour to cover the faith than to confess it; for example, if concealed among heretics, you may accomplish a greater amount of good; of if, by declaring our religion more of evil would follow for example, great trouble, death, the hostility of a tyrant."
It is evident that the Jesuits had never had better reasons to suspect that the declaration of their religion would damage them and excite the wrath of their tyrant, viz., the American people. Lloyds, in whose house Mrs. Surratt concealed the carbine which Booth wanted for protection, when just after the murder he was to flee towards the Southern States, was a firm Roman Catholic. Dr. Mudd, at whose place Booth stopped, to have his broken leg dressed, was a Roman Catholic, and so was Garrett, in whose barn Booth was caught and killed. Why so? Because, as Jeff Davis was the only man to pay one million dollars to those who would kill Abraham Lincoln, the Jesuits were the only men to select the murderers and prepare everything to protect them after their diabolical deed, and such murderers could not be found except among their blind and fanatical slaves.
The great, he fatal mistake of the American Government in the prosecution of the assassins of Abraham Lincoln was to constantly keep out of sight the religious element of that terrible drama. Nothing would have been more easy, then, than to find out the complicity of the priests, who were not only coming every week and every day, but who were even living in that den of murderers. But this was carefully avoided from the beginning to the end of the trial. When, not long after the execution of the murderers, I went, incognito, to Washington to begin my investigation about its true and real authors, I was not a little surprised to see that not a single one of the Government men to whom I addressed myself, would consent to have any talk with me on that matter, except after I had given my word of honour that I would never mention their names in connection with the result of my investigation. I saw, with a profound distress, that the influence of Rome was almost supreme in Washington. I could not find a single statesman who would dare to face that nefarious influence and fight it down.
Several of the government men in whom I had more confidence, told me: "We had not the least doubt that the Jesuits were at the bottom of that great iniquity; we even feared, sometimes, that this would come out so clearly before the military tribunal, that there would be no possibility of keeping it out of the public sight. This was not through cowardice, as you think, but through a wisdom which you ought to approve, if you cannot admire it. Had we been in days of peace, we know that with a little more pressure on the witnesses, many priests would have been compromised; for Mrs. Surratt's house was their common rendezvous; it is more than probable that several of them might have been hung. But the civil war was hardly over. The Confederacy, though broken down, was still living in millions of hearts; murderers and formidable elements of discord were still seen everywhere, to which the hanging or exiling of those priests would have given a new life. Riots after riots would have accompanied and followed their execution. We thought we had had enough of blood, fires, devastations and bad feelings. We were all longing after days of peace: the country was in need of them. We concluded that the best interests of humanity was to punish only those who were publicly and visibly guilty; that the verdict might receive the approbation of all, without creating any new bad feelings. Allow us also tell you that this policy was that of our late President. For you know it well, there was nothing which that good and great man feared so much as to arm the Protestants against the Catholics, and the Catholics against the Protestants."
But if any one has still any doubts of the complicity of the Jesuits in the murder of Abraham Lincoln, let him give a moment of attention to the following facts, and their doubts will be for ever removed. It is only from the very Jesuit accomplices' lips that I take my sworn testimonies.
It is evident that a very elaborate plan of escape had been prepared by the priests of Rome to save the lives of the assassins and the conspirators. It would be too long to follow all the murderers when, Cain-like, they were fleeing in every direction, to escape the vengeance of God and man. Let us fix our eyes on John Surratt, who was in Washington the 14th of April, helping Booth in the perpetration of the assassination. Who will take care of him? Who will protect and conceal him? Who will press him on their bosom, put their mantles on his shoulders to conceal him from the just vengeance of the human and divine laws? The priest, Charles Boucher, swears that only a few days after the murder, John Surratt was sent to him by Father Lapierre, of Montreal; that he kept him concealed in his parsonage of St. Liboire from the end of April to the end of July, then he took him back, secretly, to Father Lapierre, who kept him secreted in his own father's house, under the very shadow of the Montreal bishop's palace. He swears that Father Lapierre visited him (Surratt) often, when secreted at St. Liboire, and that he (Father Boucher) visited him, at least, twice a week, from the end of July to September, when concealed in Father Lapierre's house in Montreal.
That same father, Charles Boucher, swears that he accompanied John Surratt in a carriage, in the company of Father Lapierre, to the steamer "Montreal," when starting for Quebec: that Father Lapaierre kept him (John Surratt) under lock during the voyage from Montreal to Quebec, and that he accompanied him, disguised from the Montreal steamer to the ocean steamer, "Peruvian."
The doctor of the steamer "Peruvian," L.I.A. McMillan, swears that Father Lapierre introduced him to John Surratt under the false name of McCarthy, whom he was keeping locked in his state room, and whom he conducted disguised to the ocean steamer "Peruvian," and with whom he remained till she left Quebec for Europe, the 15th September, 1865.
But who is that Father Lapierre who takes such a tender, I dare say a paternal care of Surratt? It is not less a personage than the canon of Bishop Bourget, of Montreal. He is the confidential man of the bishop; he lives with the bishop, eats at his table, assists him with his counsel, and has to receive his advice in every step of life. According to the laws of Rome, the canons are to the bishop what the arms are to the body.
Now, I ask: Is it not evident that the bishops and the priests of Washington have trusted this murderer to the care of the bishops and priests of Montreal, that they might conceal, feed, and protect him for nearly six months, under the very shadow of the bishops palace? Would they have done that if they were not his accomplices? Why did they so continually remain with him day and night, if they were not in fear that he might compromise them by an indiscreet word? Why do we see those priests (I ought to say, those two ambassadors and anointed representatives of the Pope), alone in the carriage which takes that great culprit from his house of concealment to the steamer? Why do they keep him there, under lock, till they transfer him, under a disguised name, to the ocean steamer, the "Peruvian," on the 15th July, 1865? Why such tender sympathies for that stranger? Why going through such trouble and expense for that young American among the bishops and priests of Canada? There is only one answer. He was one of their tools, one of their selected men to strike the great Republic of Equality and Liberty to the heart. For more than six months before the murder, the priests had lodged, eaten, conversed, slept with him under the same roof in Washington. They had trained him to his deed of blood, by promising him protection on earth, and a crown of glory in heaven, if he would only be true to their designs to the end. And he had been true to the end.
Now the great crime is accomplished! Lincoln is murdered! Jeff Davis, the dear son of the Pope, is avenged! The great Republic has been struck to the heart! The soldiers of Liberty all over the world are weeping over the dead form of the one who had led them to victory: a cry of desolation goes from earth to heaven.
It seems as if we heard the death-knell of the cause of freedom, equality and fraternity among men. It was many centuries since the implacable enemies of the rights and liberties of men had struck such a giant foe: their joy was as great as their victory complete.
But do you see that man fleeing from Washington towards the north? He has the mark of Cain on his forehead, his hands are reddened with blood, he is pale and trembling, for he knows it; a whole outraged nation is after him for her just vengeance; he hears the thundering voice of God: "Where is thy brother?" Where will he find a refuge? Where, outside of hell, will he meet friends to shelter and save him from the just vengeance of God and men?
Oh! He has sure refuge in the arms of that church who, for more than a thousand years, is crying: "Death to all the heretics! death to all the soldiers of Liberty!" He has devoted friends among the very men who, after having prepared the massacre of Admiral Coligny, and his 75,000 Protestant countrymen, rang the bells of Rome to express their joy when they heard that, at last, the King of France had slaughtered them all.
But where will those bishops and priests of Canada send John Surratt when they find it impossible to conceal him any longer from the thousands of detectives of the United States, who are ransacking Canada to find out his retreat? Who will conceal, feed, lodge, and protect him after the priests of Canada pressed his hand for the last time on board of the "Peruvian," the 15th of September, 1865?
Who can have any doubt about that? Who can suppose that any one but the Pope himself and his Jesuits will protect the murderer of Abraham Lincoln in Europe?
If you want to see him after he has crossed the ocean, go to Vitry, at the door of Rome, and there you will find him enrolled under the banners of the Pope, in the 9th company of his Zouaves, under the false name of Watson. Of course, the Pope was forced to withdraw his protection over him, after the Government of the United States had found him there, and he was brought back to Washington to be tried.
But on his arrival as a prisoner in the United States, his Jesuit father confessor whispered in his ear: "Fear not, you will not be condemned! Through the influence of a high Roman Catholic lady, two or three of the jurymen will be Roman Catholics, and you will be safe."
Those who have read the two volumes of the trial of John Surratt know that never more evident proofs of guilt were brought against a murderer than in that case. But the Roman Catholic jurymen had read the theology of St. Thomas, a book which the Pope has ordered to be taught in every college, academy, and university of Rome, they had learned that it is the duty of the Roman Catholics to exterminate all the heretics.
They had read the decree of the Councils of Constance, that no faith was to be kept with heretics. They had read in the Council of Lateran that the Catholics who arm themselves for the extermination of heretics, have all their sins forgiven, and receive the same blessings as those who go and fight for the rescue of the Holy Land.
Those jurymen were told by their father confessors that the most holy father, the Pope, Gregory VII., had solemnly and infallibly declared that "the killing of an heretic was no murder." Jure Canonico.
After such teachings, how could the Roman Catholic jurymen find John Surratt guilty of murder for killing the heretic Lincoln? The jury having disagreed, no verdict could be given. The Government was forced to let the murderer go unpunished.
But when the irreconcilable enemies of all the rights and liberties of men were congratulating themselves on their successful efforts to save the life of John Surratt, the God of heaven was stamping again on their faces the mark of murder, in such a way that all eyes will see it.
"Murder will out," is a truth repeated by all nations from the beginning of the world. It is the knowledge of that truth which has sustained me in my long and difficult researches of the true authors of the assassination of Lincoln, and which enables me today to present to the world a fact, which seems almost miraculous, to show the complicity of the priests of Rome in the murder of the martyred President.
Some time ago, I providentially met the Rev. Mr. R. A. Conwell, at Chicago. Having known that I was in search of the facts about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, he told me he knew one of those facts which might perhaps throw some light on the subject of my researches.
"The very day of the murder," he said, "he was in the Roman Catholic village of St. Joseph, Minnesota State, when, at about six o'clock in the afternoon, he was told by a Roman Catholic of the place, who was a purveyor for a great number of priests who lived in that town, where they have a monastery, that the State Secretary Seward and President Lincoln had just been killed. This was told me," he said, "in the presence of a most respectable gentlemen, called Bennett, who was not less puzzled than me. As there were no railroad lines nearer than forty miles, nor telegraph offices nearer than eighty miles from that place, we could not see how such news was spread in that town. The next day, the 15th of April, I was at St. Cloud, a town about twelve miles distant, where there were neither railroad nor telegraph; I said to several people that I had been told in the priestly village of St. Joseph, by a Roman Catholic, that Abraham Lincoln and the Secretary Seward had been assassinated. They answered me that they had heard nothing about it. But the next Sabbath, the 16th of April, when going to the church of St. Cloud, to preach, a friend gave me a copy of a telegram sent to him on the Saturday, reporting that Abraham Lincoln and Secretary Seward had been assassinated the very day before, which was Friday, the 14th, at 10 p.m. But how could the Roman Catholic purveyor of the priests of St. Joseph have told me the same thing, before several witnesses, just four hours before its occurrence? I spoke of that strange thing to many that same day, and, the very next day, I wrote to the St. Paul 'Press' under the heading of 'a strange coincidence.' Some time later, the editor of the St. Paul 'Pioneer,' having denied what I had written on that subject, I addressed him the following note, which he had printed, and which I have kept. Here it is, you may keep it as an infallible proof of my veracity.
"TO THE EDITOR OF THE ST. PAUL 'PIONEER.'"
"You assume the non-truth of a short paragraph furnished by me to the St. Paul 'Press,' viz:
"A STRANGE COINCIDENCE !
"At 6:30 p.m., Friday last, April 14th, I was told as an item of news, eight miles west of this place, that Lincoln and Seward had been assassinated. This was three hours after I had heard the news."
"St. Cloud, 17th of April, 1865.
"The integrity of history requires that the above coincidence be established. And if anyone calls it in question, then proofs more ample than reared their sanguinary shadows to comfort a traitor can now be given.
"F. A. Conwell."
I asked that gentleman if he would be kind enough to give me the fact under oath, that I might make use of it in the report I intended to publish about the assassination of Lincoln. And he kindly granted my request in the following form:-
State of Illinois,
Cook County. s,s.
Rev. F. A. Conwell being sworn, deposes and says that he is seventy-one years old, that he is resident of North Evanston, in Cook County, State of Illinois, that he has been in the ministry for fifty-six years, and is now one of the chaplains of the "Seamen's Bethel Home," in Chicago; that he was chaplain of the 1st Minnesota Regiment, in the war of the rebellion. That, on the 14th day of April, A.D. 1865, he was in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and reached there so early as six o'clock in the evening, in company with Mr. Bennett, who, then and now, is a resident of St. Cloud, Minnesota. That on that date, there was no telegraph nearer than Minneapolis, about eighty miles from St. Joseph; and there was no railroad communication nearer than Avoka, Minnesota, about forty miles distant. That when he reached St. Joseph, on the 14th day of April, 1865, one Mr. Linneman, who then kept the hotel of St. Joseph, told affiant that President Lincoln and Secretary Seward were assassinated, that it was not later than half-past six o'clock, on Friday, April 14th, 1865, when Mr. Linneman told me this. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Bennett came in the hotel, and I told him that Mr. Linneman said the President Lincoln and Secretary Seward were assassinated; and then, the same Mr. Linneman reported the same conversation to Mr. Bennett in my presence. That during that time, Mr. Linneman told me that he had the charge of the friary or college for young men, under the priests, who were studying for the priesthood of St. Joseph. That there was a large multitude of this kind at St. Joseph, at this time. Affiant says that, on Saturday morning, April 15th, 1865, he went to St. Cloud, a distance of about ten miles, and reached there about eight o'clock in the morning. That there was no railroad or telegraph communication to St. Cloud. When he arrived at St. Cloud, he told Mr. Haworth, the hotel keeper, that he had been told that President Lincoln and Secretary Seward had been assassinated, and asked if it was true. He further told Henry Clay, Wait, Charles Gilman, who was afterwards Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota, and Rev. Mr. Tice, the same thing, and inquired of them if they had any such news; and they replied that they had not heard anything of the kind.
Affiant says that, on Sunday morning, April 16th, 1865, he preached in St. Cloud, and on the way to the church, a copy of telegram was handed him, stating that the President and Secretary were assassinated Friday evening at about nine o'clock. This telegram has been brought to St. Cloud by Mr. Gorton, who had reached St. Cloud by stage; and this was the first intelligence that had reached St. Cloud of the event.
Affiant says further that on Monday morning,
April 17th, 1865, he furnished the "Press," a paper of
St. Paul, a statement that three hours before the event took
place, he had been informed at St. Joseph, Minnesota, that the
President had been assassinated, and this was published in the
Francis Asbury Conwell.
Subscribed and sworn to be Francis A. Conwell, before me, a Notary Public of Kankakee County, Illinois, at Chicago, Cook County, this 6th day of September, 1883.
Stephen R. Moore, Notary Public.
Though this document was very important and precious to me, I felt that it would be much more valuable if it could be corroborated by the testimonies of Messrs. Bennett and Linneman, themselves, and I immediately sent a magistrate to find out if they were still living, and if they remembered the facts of the sworn declaration of Rev. Mr. Conwell. By the good providence of God, both of these gentlemen were found living, and both gave the following testimonies:
State of Minnesota,
Sterns County, City of St. Cloud.
Horace P. Bennett, being sworn, deposes and says that he is aged sixtyfour years; that he is a resident of St. Cloud, Minnesota, and has resided in this county since 1856; that he is acquainted with the Rev. F. A. Conwell, who was chaplain of the 1st Minnesota Regiment in the war of the rebellion; that on the 14th of April, 1865, he was in St. Joseph, Minnesota, in company with Mr. Francis A. Conwell; that they reached St. Joseph about sundown on said April 14th; that there was no railroad or telegraph communication with St. Joseph, at that time, nor nearer than Avoka, about forty miles distant. That affiant, on reaching the hotel kept by Mr. Linneman, went to the barn while Rev. F. A. Conwell entered the hotel; and shortly afterwards, affiant had returned to the hotel, Mr. Conwell told him that Mr. Linneman had reported to him the assassination of President Lincoln; that Linneman was present and substantiated the statement.
That on Saturday morning, April 15th, affiant and Rev. Conwell came to St. Cloud and reported that they had been told at St. Joseph about the assassination of President Lincoln, that no one at St. Cloud had heard of the event at this time, that the first news of the event which reached St. Cloud was on Sunday morning, April 16th, when the news was brought by Leander Gorton, who had just come up from Avoka, Minnesota; that they spoke to several persons of St. Cloud, concerning the matter, when they reached there, on Sunday morning, but affiant does not now remember who those different persons were, and further affiant says not.
Horace P. Bennett.
Sworn before me, and subscribed in my presence, this 18th day of October, A.D. 1883.
Andrew C. Robertson, Notary Public.
Mr. Linneman having refused to swear on his written declaration, which I have in my possession, I take only from it what refers to the principal fact, viz, that three or four hours before Lincoln was assassinated at Washington, the 14th of April, 1865, the fact was told as already accomplished, in the priestly village of St. Joseph, Minnesota.
"He (Linneman) remembers the time that Messrs. Conwell and Bennett came to this place (St. Joseph, Minnesota) on Friday evening, before the President was killed, and he asked them, if they had heard he was dead, and they replied they had not. He heard this rumour in his store from people who came in and out. But he cannot remember from whom.
"J. H. Linneman.
"October 20th, 1883."
I present here to the world a fact of the greatest gravity, and that fact is so well authenticated that it cannot allow even the possibility of a doubt.
Three or four hours before Lincoln was murdered in Washington, the 14th of April, 1865, that murder was not only known by some one, but it was circulated and talked of in the streets, and in the houses of the priestly and Romish town of St. Joseph, Minnesota. The fact is undeniable; the testimonies are unchallengeable: and there were no railroad nor any telegraph communications nearer than forty or eighty miles from the nearest station to St. Joseph.
Naturally every one asked: "How could such news spread? Where is the source of such a rumour?" Mr. Linneman, who is a Roman Catholic, tells us that though he heard this from many in his store, and in the streets, he does not remember the name of a single one who told him that. And when we hear this from him, we understand why he did not dare to swear upon it, and shrank from the idea of perjuring himself. For every one feels that his memory cannot be so poor as that, when he remembers so well the names of the two strangers, Messrs. Conwell and Bennett, to whom he had announced the assassination of Lincoln, just seventeen years before. But if the memory of Mr. Linneman is so deficient on that subject, we can help him, and tell him with mathematical accuracy:
"You got the news from your priests of St. Joseph! The conspiracy which cost the life of the martyred President was prepared by the priests of Washington, in the house of Mary Surratt, No. 541, H. Street. The priests of St. Joseph were often visiting Washington, and boarding, probably, at Mrs. Surrat's, as the priests of Washington were often visiting their brother priests at St. Joseph. Those priests of Washington were in daily communication with their co-rebel priests of St. Joseph; they were their intimate friends. There were no secrets among them, as there are no secrets among priests. They are the members of the same body, the branches of the same tree. The details of the murder, as the day selected for its commission, were as well known among the priests of St. Joseph, as they were among those of Washington. The death of Lincoln was such a glorious event for those priests! That infamous apostate, Lincoln, who, baptized in the Holy Church, had rebelled against her, broken his oath of allegiance to the Pope, taken the very day of his baptism, and lived the life of an apostate! That infamous Lincoln, who had dared to fight against the Confederacy of the South after the Vicar of Christ had solemnly declared that their cause was just, legitimate and holy! That bloody tyrant, that godless and infamous man, was to receive, at last, the just chastisement of his crimes, the 14th of April! What glorious news!"
How could the priests conceal such a joyful event from their bosom friend, Mr. Linneman? He was their confidential man: he was their purveyor: he was their right hand man among the faithful of St. Joseph. They thought that they would be guilty of a want of confidence in their bosom friend, if they did not tell him all about the glorious event of that great day. But, of course, they requested him not to mention their names, if he would spread the joyful news among the devoted Roman Catholics who almost exclusively, formed the people of St. Joseph. Mr. Linneman has honourably and faithfully kept his promise never to reveal their names, and today, we have in our hand, the authentic testimonies signed by him that, though some body, the 14th of April, told him that President Lincoln was assassinated, he does not know who told him that!
But there is not a man of sound judgment who will have any doubt about that fact, the 14th of April, 1865, the priests of Rome knew and circulated the death of Lincoln four hours before its occurrence in their Roman Catholic town of St. Joseph, Minnesota. But they could not circulate it without knowing it, and they could not know it, without belonging to the band of conspirators who assassinated President Lincoln.
[*] The Inner Life of Lincoln. By Carpenter. Pp. 193 - 195.
[*] Six Months in the White House. By Carpenter. P. 86.
[*] History of the Civil War. By Abbot. Vol. ii., p. 594.
Continue to Chapter 62