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PASTOR CHINIQUY AT THE TOWN HALL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 62, 17 February 1880
PASTOR CHINIQUY AT THE TOWN HALL.
Last night Father Cbiniquy delivered his promised address in the Town Hall. There were 500 or GOO persons in the hall, and the Rev, A. M. Beattie presided After singing the 100th Psalm, and prayer had been offered by the Rev. Mr. Keall, The Chairman briefly introduced the lecturer. He said he could hardly realise the fact that they had one among them who had been for many years a man prominent in the Catholic Church, but who was now taking part with them in the service of God from a Protestant view. Mr. Cbiniquy bad been a leading man in the Church of Romo, and now he was doing a great work in the Protestant cause. He (the Chairman) was proud indeed to occupy the chair on the occasion of the Rev. Charles Chiniquy’s lecture to the people of Ashburton, and it was now with pleasure he introduced him to them that night. Father Chiniqny, in opening his address, said he had been asked by a gentleman of the press what became of the money he raised in his travels through Christian countries. In reply to this, he would ask the president to read several extracts from English religious periodicals, and also letters from dignitaries of the Church of England, men cf high social standing in the° old country, America, and these colonies. These bore testimony to Mr. Chiniquy’s integrity and to the value and magnitude of ids work. He then proceeded with his lecture, taking for his motto the passage from the GOth Psalm—- “ Come and see what the Lord hath done for my soul.” The rev. gentleman then proceeded to say that he had been brought up in the Catholic Church, and bad remained in it for many years. While he had remained in it he was in every sense of the word an honest Catholic and a zealous priest. During his priesthood in Canada he had been instrumental in bringing 92 Protestants over to Romanism. Tho Church of Rome ordered every priest to curse the Protestants—every one who believed that there was salvation out of the Roman Church—every one who believed that the Pope was not the Vicar of Christ upon earth. As he read the Bible he was led to see that there were errors in the Church—that it did not follow the word of God bub the lying traditions of men. He learned as bo read and studied that salvation could only come through the blood of Jesus Christ, and his troubled conscience pointed out to him powerfully that Jesus only was the intercessor, and iii.at Mary had no power in the heavenly mediation at all. He preached in the Cathedral of Montreal, and there lie told the people that a king could only punish and put down rebellion, but a rebel might be forgiven if ha came to the king through a friend whom the king loved interceding. Sinners came to Mary .and pleaded to her that she would’intercede with her Son for their salvation. He fairly believed the Saviour would not refuse any favor to His mother. The people were in tears when he had finished, and the Bishop complimented him on his address. (At this juncture he asked the Chairman to read Matthew xii., and Mark, end of 3rd chapter.) These passages having been read, Mr. Cbiniquy said they were the word of God, and they came to him with fearful power after ho had delivered that address at Montreal. It was forced upon him that he had told those people a black and blasphemous lie, inasmuch as Jesus Avas the only mediator betAveen God and man, and Jesus had OAvned as His mother and His brother every man and Avoraan who
owned Him as Lord. The refusal of Jesus Christ to own His mother more than any other woman was proof that He did not desire her to have the position assigned to her that was assigned to her by the Catholic Church. It was a. terrible struggle that went on in his soul when his conaoienco began to tell him of the idolatory that ho was guilty of when ho appealed to Mary for intercession, and asked his people to pray to her, and he detailed a controversy ho had with the Bishop on the subject, in which he laid before the bishop the story of Christ’s turning water into wine, where Mary’s recpiest was not granted, but Mary was rebuked. Christ always protested against Mary’s interference, and did not want any one to come between Him. and humanity. After asking the Bishop which of the two was highest in Heaven, which of Ihe two died for man and suffered for him, which of the two loved man most—Jesus or Mary—and obtaining an answer from the Bishop in favor of Jesus, he said to him that he would not leave the Catholic Church, but he would never again ask the people to r/r_> to Mary’s feet when it was so easy at once to go to the feet of Christ. The differences in the Protestant religion between the various sects staggered him (the lecturer) sadly before he joined them. lie could not see how lie could join them, for they were represented to fight like wild cats. But when he thought of how Jesus was the true vine, and His people the branches, it was made plain to him that so long as the different branches of the Church brought forth good fruit, and were joined to the True Vine they were the true Church. Here the lecturer gave several happy illustrations of how the Lord did not love a small branch less than he did a large one. He then proceeded to show how the wafer of the Roman Church was made, and related how his servant girl had made them often, and eaten the fragments, sharing them with the cats and dugs of the household. Those wafers were taken to the alter and in the hands of the priest the words of the mass were repeated over them, and they were belived to hare been turned into the real body and blood, the Great Almighty and Eternal God. At this point he asked the Chairman to read the second commandment jn which idolatry was forbidden. He said that as he meditated on this commandment and thought of his daily manufacture of God in the mass, he was forced to the conclusion that he was making his own God with his own hand, an 1 bowing down and worshipping it, —in this he was an idolater, and his conscience and lie struggled fearfully in this matter ; but he struggled with the matter, anr the light came to him. He was not converted, but he. was shaken, and the day of his conversion was not very far off. He was a priest, but he was wealthy. He had obtained in his time some of the wealthiest parishes in Canada. He was wanted to go to Illinois. It was then a wilderness, and the land could be bought at a nominal price. He went to Illinois, and invited his countrymen to follow. He planted crosses all over the wilderness, and soon there were 75,000 of the French people forming a colony in Illinois. Those wore all of the Church of Rome. The Bishop had been guilty of gross sins, and in time he (the speaker) was .able to bring these sins home to him, and he was dismissed. The new Bishop when ho came wanted to obtain from Ohiniquy a statement that he was not a Protestant, but a good priest. He also desired a full submission to the Church. Chiniquy was fully prepared to give him a submission to the Church, according to the word of God and the gospel of Christ, as contained in the Scriptures. The Bishop pressed him to his bosom, and, overjoyed, gave him a letter of peace between himself and he, in which Chiniquy was set down as a good Catholic and one of his best priests. The Bishop consulted with his fellows, and they said Chiniqny’s was not an act of submission, but the declaration of a Protestant. He called Chiniquy, and after procuring from him the letter ho had given him, he burned it in the fire. He demanded of Mr. Chiniquy an unconditional submission to his authority, without any reference to the Gospel, the Bible, or any other agency'. This Mr. Chiniquy would not submit to, saying the act was not an act of submission, but an act of adoration. He was then told that unless ho did so he could no longer be a priest of Rome. Ho at once took up his hat and left the room. Ho went home, and struggled with his God for light. He had now loft the church of his father, his mother, and his country. He had sacrificed his reputation amongst the people, and was now an outcast, and lie wanted guidance. Tin’s lie sought with all his might to obtain from God. He found that he had all his previous life fought against the Protestants, and now he added the enmity uf the Church of Rome. As he thought on all this ho felt tempted to take his own life, and should have done so, but God stayed his hand. He read his Testament, and in the 7th chapter of Ist Corinthians, he read “ Ye are bought with a price, be ye not the servants of men ” This satisfied him ho was not the servant of anyone but Jesus, who had bought him with His blood. The lecturer then in glowing language detailed his conversion, after which event he preached to his own congregation, announcing to them that he was no longer a priest of Rome, and that henceforth lie must leave them. He spoke for two hours, and at the close he said he would only leave at their own wish. Ho asked those who thought it was better to have a priest of Rome to preach to them than to have one who had gone out from the Church like Chiniquy to stand up. To his surprise not a soul moved. A young man rose up and said Jesus had died for him, and he would never invoke any other aid. To this all the people said Amen, and every man and woman requested Mr. Chiniquy to remain with them and preach Jesus only. That day 1000 converts followed him, six months after there were ‘2OOO, and they' kept on increasing till now they were 25,000, with 18 priests in their midst who had renounced Catholicism. The Church of Romo was assuredly falling, falling. Already it is shaking. He had heard from How' York that 0000 Irishmen had left the Church, and everywhere he could point to places where she was losing ground, and tottering. The rev. gentleman concluded by expressing a hope that Protestants would live lives becoming their profession. Thee meeting then closed.
PASTOR CHINIQUY AT THE TOWN HALL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 62, 17 February 1880
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