|delphia > Fifty Years in the Church of Rome by Pastor Charles Chiniquy (Introduction)
A Voice from the Philadelphian Church Age
by Charles Chiniquy
by Tom Stewart
Charles Chiniquy: The LORD's Faithful Witness to the Harlotry
A testimony of the love of God "to
save them to the uttermost that come unto God by [Christ
Jesus]" (Hebrews 7:25),
and a faithful warning to the Church of Jesus Christ concerning the treacheries of
the Harlot Church of Rome, is the life of Charles Chiniquy. As a French Canadian
youth, Chiniquy was given the gift of his love for the Word of God by his unconventionally
Roman Catholic parents, even though Scripture in the common tongue had been expressly
forbidden by the Council of Trent. Without his knowledge, the seeds of Protestantism
had been effectively sown in him, as desired by the blessed translating efforts of
both John Wycliffe and William Tyndale. "But he
that received Seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word, and understandeth
it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty,
some thirty" (Matthew
Why all the commotion about Protestants historically encouraging the reading of the
Word of God, when both Catholics and Protestants may freely read-- but generally
ignore-- the Scriptures today? "Faith cometh by
hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). Because the
Word of God does not benefit anyone unless it is believed. "For
unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the Word preached did
not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it" (Hebrews 4:2). Worse, too many
are oblivious to their false sense of security in a Deceptive Faith that has not
the works of Love. "For in Jesus Christ neither
circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by Love" (Galatians 5:6). [Please read our article,
Faith the Only Condition for Eternal Salvation? Or, The Biblical Doctrine of Justification
by Faith" ---New Window, for an important clarification of this often misinterpreted
Chiniquy aspired to the priesthood of Rome, but his joy of being ordained a priest
of Rome became "as if a thunderbolt had fallen
upon me when I pronounced the awful oath which is required from every priest: 'I
will never interpret the Holy Scriptures except according to the unanimous consent
of the Holy Fathers' " (excerpt from Chiniquy's
"Fifty Years in the Church of Rome"). How unlike Rome's oath is
the Scripture, "20 But ye have an Unction [Greek, chrisma]
from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 27
But the Anointing [Greek,
chrisma, or unction] which ye have received of Him abideth
in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same Anointing
teacheth you of all things, and is Truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught
you, ye shall abide in Him" (1John 2:20,27)!
As a proponent of total abstinence from alcoholic beverages, he was vehemently opposed
by his drunken fellow priests. "For a bishop must
be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to
wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre" (Titus 1:7). He was horrified
at the liberties taken by the priests of Rome, especially with their female confessors,
who were required to confess their most intimate faults to the ears of a man, in
the name of Auricular Confession. "For it is a
shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret" (Ephesians 5:12). He led an effort to bring Catholicism to the United States by bringing
in a large colony of French Canadian Catholics to the state of Illinois. Attacked
by jealous priests, Chiniquy was compelled to require the services of Abraham Lincoln,
who ably defeated the Jesuits in open court battle; however, as Chiniquy warned,
the Jesuits would not forgive or forget their wound. Chiniquy later demonstrated
that Lincoln's assassination in 1865 by John Wilkes Booth was carefully orchestrated
by a conspiracy of Jesuit-Catholic accomplices. "Lest
Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2Corinthians 2:11).
Suffice it to say that Chiniquy's breaking into the full freedom and liberty of the
Gospel was aided by the whale vomiting its unwanted meal. Rome ultimately excommunicated
Chiniquy, but not before he gave his resignation. The bishop "answered
angrily: 'Mr. Chiniquy, I am your superior, I do not want to argue with you. You
are inferior: your business is to obey me. Give me at once an act of submission,
in which you will simply say that you and your people will submit yourselves to my
authority, and promise to do anything I will bid you.' I calmly answered: 'What you
ask me is not an act of submission, it is an act of adoration. I do absolutely refuse
to give it.' 'If it be so, sir,' he answered, 'you can no longer be a Roman Catholic
priest.' I raised my hands to heaven, and cried with a loud voice: 'May God Almighty
be for ever blessed'" (excerpt from Chiniquy's
"Fifty Years in the Church of Rome"). "So
then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth
Chiniquy returned to his room to contemplate the enormity of his situation. Taking
his New Testament, he glanced providentially at these words, "Ye
are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men"
Gospel Salvation now became very plain to this former priest. "Strange
to say! Those words came to my mind, more as a light than an articulated sound. They
suddenly but most beautifully and powerfully gave me, as much as a man can know it,
the knowledge of the great mystery of a perfect salvation through Christ alone. They
at once brought a great and delightful calm to my soul. I said to myself: 'Jesus
has bought me, then I am His; for when I have bought a thing it is mine, absolutely
mine! Jesus has bought me! I, then, belong to Him! He alone has a right over me.
I do not belong to the bishops, to the popes, not even to the church, as I have been
told till now. I belong to Jesus and to Him alone! His Word must be my guide, and
my light by day and by night. Jesus has bought me,' I said again to myself; 'then
He has saved me! and if so, I am saved, perfectly saved, for ever saved! for Jesus
cannot save me by half. Jesus is my God; the works of God are perfect. My salvation
must, then, be a perfect salvation. But how has He saved me? What price has He paid
for my poor guilty soul?' The answer came as quickly as lightning: 'He bought you
with His blood shed on the cross! He saved you by dying on Calvary!'" (Chiniquy's emancipating thoughts from his "Fifty Years in
the Church of Rome").
Venerable Ministers of the Gospel! Rome is the great danger
ahead for the Church of Christ, and you do not understand it enough.
The atmosphere of light, honesty, truth, and holiness in which you are born, and
which you have breathed since your infancy, makes it almost impossible for you to
realize the dark mysteries of idolatry, immorality, degrading slavery, hatred of
the Word of God, concealed behind the walls of that Modern Babylon. You are too honest
to suspect them; and your precious time is too much taken by the sacred duties of
your ministry, to study the long labyrinth of argumentations which form the bulk
of the greater number of controversial books. Besides that, the majority of the books
of controversy against Rome are of such a dry character that, though many begin to
read them, very few have the courage to go to the end. The consequence is an ignorance
of Romanism which becomes and more deplorable and fatal every day.
It is that ignorance which paves the way to the triumph of Rome, in a near future,
if there is not a complete change in your views on that subject.
It is that ignorance which paralyses the arm of the Church of Christ, and makes the
glorious word "Protestant" senseless, almost a dead and ridiculous word.
For who does really protest against Rome today? where are those who sound the trumpet
When Rome is striking you to the heart by cursing your schools and wrenching the
Bible from the hands of your children; when she is not only battering your doors,
but scaling your walls and storming your citadels, how few dare to go to the breach
and repulse the audacious and sacrilegious foe?
Why so? Because modern Protestants have not only forgotten what Rome was, what she
is, and what she will for ever be; the most irreconcilable and powerful enemy of
the Gospel of Christ; but they consider her almost as a branch of the church whose
corner stone is Christ.
Faithful ministers of the Gospel! I present you this book that you may know that
the monster Church of Rome, who shed the blood of your forefathers is still at work
today, at your very door, to enchain your people to the feet of her idols. Read it,
and, for the first time, you will see the inside life of Popery with the exactness
of photography. From the supreme art with which the mind of the young and timid child
is fettered, enchained, and paralyzed, to the unspeakable degradation of the priest
under the iron heel of the bishop, everything will be revealed to you as it has never
The superstitions, the ridiculous and humiliating practices, the secret and mental
agonies of the monks, the nuns and the priests, will be shown to you as they were
never shown before. In this book, the sophisms and errors of Romanism are discussed
and refuted with a clearness, simplicity, and evidence, which my twenty-five years
of priesthood only could teach me. It is not in boasting that I say this. There can
be no boasting in me for having been so many years an abject slave of the Pope. The
book I offer you is an arsenal filled with the best weapons you ever had to fight,
and, with the help of God, to conquer the foe.
The learned and zealous champion of Protestantism in Great Britain, Rev. Dr. Badenoch,
who has revised the manuscript, wrote to a friend: "I do not think there is
a Protestant work more thrilling in interest and more important at the present time.
It is not only full of incidents, but also of arguments on the side of truth with
all classes of Romaninsts, from the bishops to the parish priest. I know of no work
which gives so graphically the springs of Roman Catholic life, and, at the same time,
meets the plausible objections to Protestantism in Roman Catholic circles. I wish,
with all my heart, that this work would be published in Great Britain."
The venerable, learned, and so well known Rev. Dr. Kemp, Principal of the Young Ladies'
College, of Ottawa, Canada, only a few days before his premature death wrote: "Mr.
Chiniquy has submitted every chapter of his `Fifty Years in the Church of Rome' to
me: I have read it with care and with the deepest interest; and I commend it to the
public favour in the highest terms. It is the only book I know that gives anything
like a full and authentic account of the inner workings of Popery on this continent,
and so effectively unmasks its pretense to sanctity. Besides the most interesting
biographical incidents, it contains incisive refutations of the most plausible assumptions
and deadly errors of the Romish Church. It is well fitted to awaken Protestants to
the insidious designs of the arch-enemy of their faith and liberties, and to arouse
them to a decisive opposition. It is written in a kindly and Christian spirit, does
not indulge in denunciations, and, while speaking in truth, it does so in love. Its
style is lively and its English good, with only a delicate flavour of the author's
TO THE BISHOPS, PRIESTS, AND PEOPLE OF ROME
this book is also dedicated.
In the name of your immortal souls, I ask you, Roman Catholics, to read this book.
By the mercy of God, you will fine, in its pages, how you are cruelly deceived by
your vain and lying traditions.
You will see that is not through your ceremonies, masses, confessions, purgatory,
indulgences, fastings, ect., you are saved. You have nothing to do but to believe,
repent, and love.
Salvation is a gift! Eternal life is a gift! Forgiveness of sin is a gift! Christ
is a gift!
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