| PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN ON
POPERY, THE JESUITS, AND
LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE
by Charles Chiniquy
“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 Jesuit – the Romish priest, for he knows better how 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? Is it 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 has 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 in religion.”
(The above is taken from 50 Years in the “Church” of Rome, by Charles Chiniquy, pgs.502-3, published in 1886 by the Protestant Literature Depository. Although we have seen no evidence that Lincoln was regenerated, he was a man of great intelligence with no illusions about the diabolical nature of Roman Catholicism, and especially its Jesuits (O that Christians were as knowledgeable about such things!). He was well aware of the part they played in the Civil War which ravaged the United States; and indeed, as ex-priest Chiniquy proves in his book, Lincoln himself was assassinated on the orders of the Jesuits.
Lincoln’s position on liberty of conscience will not be popular today, when “toleration” is heard everywhere. However: “While religious liberty is the best course a government can pursue, it being the work of the Holy Spirit to convict men of sin and of false religion and draw them to Christ, and not any government’s duty to make one denomination the ‘State Church’; yet it is the government’s duty to protect its citizens from those who are dangerous to the well-being of society. The Roman Catholic institution in general, and the Jesuits in particular, are dangerous to the well-being of any society, as history has proved.... The freedom to practice one’s religion is one thing; but when certain members of a religion use their religious freedom to cause wars, topple governments, etc., that is quite another thing!” (Shaun Willcock, “Holy War” Against South Africa.).
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