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THE VISION OF RELIGION ON THE PACIFIC COAST.
On Sunday, October 8th, 1876, was celebrated the Centennial anniversary of the foundation of the Mission from which San Francisco has grown. The occasion suggested the poem that follows.
For its proper understanding it may be well to state that as early as 1601 a band of Franciscans arrived in Lower California; that in 1683 the Jesuits organized the Indian Mission there; that these were most successful, and nearly the whole peninsula was Chris. tianized, when, in 1767, the venerable missionaries, in consequence of a decree from the mother country, were summoned before the Governor, and by him sent adrift; that the spiritual direction of Lower California was given to the Dominicans, and that of Upper California to the Franciscans. Then it was that the bay of San Francisco was discovered; then also was it that Padre Juniper Serra, with a few settlers from Soñora, founded the Mission from which San Francisco dates its origin. Afterwards the Missions were harassed by unscrupulous fortune-seekers, who objected to see the Indian taught that he had a soul to save, and the dignity of manhood to support; they were also interfered with by the Spanish and Mexican governments; in 1833 the latter deprived the Franciscans of all control over them, and from that date they dwindled into insignificance. The work of sixty years was undone; in nine years the Indian population reduced from thirty thousand to four thousand.
E'en these might not the Red Man's harvest save, Wherein is told of the Planting of the Harvest.
Though all their life and strength and zeal they
gave, In chain of ignorance the Red Man lay,
That they the desolating storm might stave.
Wherein is told of the Scattering of the Harvest. And freeing, make his soul more great.
Lo! gath'reth a storm o'er the smiling plain; A heavenly feeling o'er their yearnings stole;
Angry and black doth it loom: A heavenly voice spake in their inmost soul;
It felleth the workman-scattereth the grainA heavenly message on a golden scroll
Bringeth to dolefullest doom,
All that in beauty did bloom Received they: “Go, the Indian teach," it read :
For God and for men :-now famine and blight With joy they on their heavenly mission sped ;
Incumber that plain once smilingly bright. Nor of the Red Man's fury had they dread.
And whence came that storm so fierce in its might, Nor of the ocean's perils took they heed;
Sweeping away all before? Nor how their hearts on quitting home did bleed. From evil men's hearts, more black than black night. So glad were they to sow the Gospel seed.
Hate deep in their souls they bore;
Crime on their faces they wore; They reached the wished-for land; the Red Man Crime-loving, peace-hating, - those good men to heard
roam Their teachings; to its depths his soul was stirred; They sent far away from their new-built home. And in his heart's fresh glebe sank God's sweet word.
Their flint-hardened hearts, of Heaven bereft,
Raged with mad fierceness for gain; The lab'rers worked with all their main and might; Greed gnawed at their souls till naught else was left; The harvest ripened to a goodly sight;
So into gold did they fain And all around was made a pro
Coin the poor Indian's pain,
As toiled he a slave with durance untold, The Red Man's ways were changed; his heart sub- In sickness and health, through heat and through dued :
cold. His nature fierce with gentleness imbued ; The lab'rers daily thanks to God renewed.
PART III. But they this smiling harvest might not reap; Wherein is told of Fray Geronimo's Vision of a Nor of the soil of souls possession keep;
More Abiding Harvest. Nor might they lay their bones there in death's sleep.
Among the mission priests first sent away,
A monk there was with guileless heart, These hoary-headed saints are sent adrift
Who ever and anon bemoaned the day, Upon the ocean's tossing waves to shift;
When from that harvest he did part. To steer for other lands the sails they lift.
For he had heard a sailor speak of land And other lab'rers come to glean the field
That northward lay, with harbor close, These good men left with such a heavy yield
And flowery meads by perfumed breezes fanned, Of souls grace-laden and salvation-sealed.
And men unknown to Spanish foes.
Be with her now!
O lead her prow!
Save them, O save !
They boldly brave.
“Now, Fray Geronimo, what seest thou?"
“O brother, I see glorious views; A mission-bearing bark hath turned her prow,
To bring the Red Man Gospel news.
WHY THE CHURCH CONDEMNS FREEMASONRY.
It needs no very acute observa- practice its precepts. There was a tion to recognize the fact, that Free- time, and not so long ago, when masonry is struggling with a fiercer there were many who looked upon and a more determined energy than Masonry as a harmless, if a someever against the liberty, nay, against what bibulous and nonsensical assothe very existence, of the Catholic ciation, in which men met together Church. The old pretences with for purely social purposes, and which the body sought to cheat the dressed themselves, on gala nights, world as to the real purposes of the in triangles, and aprons, and comorganization are being daily aban- passes, and squares, and yards of doned, and its chiefs make now but glaring silk, and constellations of little effort to conceal what was all glaring decorations. It is a matter along felt by the Church to be a of no small moment that such vain certainty, that its deadly warfare is imaginings are fast disappearing with Catholicity_its doctrines and from the minds of Catholics, and its morality—its spiritual head on that our people have awakened to earth-and those members of it who the stern, if somewhat painful, con
viction, that Freemasonry, even tells us that the number of “active amongst ourselves, where it does not members" is little more than five dare to put itself forth in all its hundred thousand. And even of native deformity and abominations, these, not all of them are admitted means nothing less than a battle to a knowledge of, or a participation against Catholicity. The doings of in, the hidden wire-pulling which the fraternity in Belgium, in Ger- sets in motion, checks, precipitates many, in Switzerland, in Italy, in -in fact, governs the secret policy Brazil, have put beyond the possi- of the party of revolution in the bility of doubt the nature and the world. This tremendous power for end of the results at which it aims, evil is confined to a very few, and and without travelling outside bound.' the profoundest caution is exercised aries with which we are all of us in the selection of agents for carrymore familiar, we may say that there ing it into effect. The eight milare proofs and indications nearer lions of ordinary initiated members home of the spirit and the principles know but little of the doings of the that animate the sect.
chiefs of the organization, but they That Masonry has lost nothing of furnish a wide field out of which to its old spirit of active propagandism, choose the trusty, crafty, reckless, unis abundantly evidenced by the zeal, principled, impious men who are to the earnestness, and the persever be elevated into the companionship ance with which it is being spread of the five hundred thousand, from throughout Great Britain and on the out of which again the ablest, the Continent. We learn that at the most daring, the most desperate, the close of last year there were no most abandoned, and the most deless than eight millions of Free- fiant of God and man are to be masons in the world-acting in con- picked for the iniquitous and ruthcert, as far as concert was needed - less execution of the imperative oband leagued together by the fearfully ligations of the sect. blasphemous oath that enshrouds It is clear from what we have said, “the secret” of the organization. that every individual Mason is not Of course, it is not to be assumed to be accounted a bad or an unbethat each one of these eight millions lieving man. There are Masons who is equally responsible for the infamies give themselves but slight concern of the fraternity in the sense that as to the inner workings of the craft. each one of them is equally well in- There are men amongst them who structed in the purposes, the pro- would not be trusted with this ceedings, and the mode of action of knowledge, and who, if they were the sect. To a certain extent they asked to have participation in the cannot, it is true, be held irrespon- peculiar operations of Masonry, sible for the anti-Catholic and anti- would shrink with horror from assoChristian excesses perpetrated in ciation in a body that could contemvarious countries by the agencies of plate such ends, and use such means Freemasonry. But the number of for their attainment. From men those to whom the secret, mysterious such as these (and of course we are ordinances of the governing body, now speaking of non-Catholics, whose in movements connected with the religious code does not forbid, much revolutionary and infidel projects of less condemn, Freemasonry) the the organization, are communicated, genuine leaders of the fraternity careor whose co-operation in council or fully conceal their projects and their in execution is invited, is exceed- plans, and humor them with feasting ingly small. In fact, one of their and merriment, and a specious show own recognized authorities, the of benevolence and mutual good Monde Maconique, of August, 1866, fellowship. But, at the same time,
it cannot be forgotten that even a terrible warning to others. Then these men bind themselves in this they may burn it, and cast its ashes alliance by the solemn taking of a to the winds, to the end that there fearful oath, which pledges them, by may not remain a single trace of the the invocation of God's holy name, memory of my treason. So help me to a blind obedience to an authority God, and his holy Gospel. Amen." of which they know nothing, and to Surely this is not such an oath as a mysterious secret which, for aught the heads of a harmless organization they know, may be the very incarna- ought to exact of candidates seeking tion of infamy or blasphemy. On for admission to it; neither is it an what ground can they justify such oath which a candidate could sericonduct? Is there a single affair of ously take without feeling that it their existence about which they meant either a hideous and revolting would act in a similar manner? If blasphemy, or a screen for some unabout any conceivable business or holy mystery-an impious mumengagement of life they were asked mery, or a solemn surrender of his to thus blindly bind themselves to a free will to a despotic conspiracy. (to them) irresponsible authority, or We use the word “seriously,” for to a course of conduct of which not we assume that no educated Chriseven the faintest outline was vouch- tian is unaware that if an oath, such safed to them, they would look upon as that we have quoted above, be the man who would ask them to do taken otherwise than seriously, it so either as an idiot, or more likely amounts to a criminal profanity; as a rogue and a scoundrel, fit for and, therefore, if he takes it seriously, the attentions and punitive adminis- he must take it with a full and prestration of the nearest policeman. ent consciousness of the act he is Yet this is precisely to what the oath doing. If "the secrets' which he of Masonry pledges every man who swears he will never divulge, be, as takes it. For what is that oath? Masons are fond of saying they are, Here it is: “I swear, in the name of no "secrets” at all, why is it that the Supreme Architect of all worlds, the name of the great God is dragged never to reveal the secrets, the signs, down to be polluted by contact with the grips, the pass-words, the doc- profane surroundings which mean trines, or the customs of the Free- nothing? If, on the other hand, the masons; and to preserve with refer- secret be a something which means ence to them an eternal silence. I nought but good, which aims at no promise and swear to God never to purpose less praiseworthy than indibetray any of them either by writing, vidual benevolence and social brothby word, or gesture; never to cause erhood, why is it that the sanction them to be written, lithographed, or of an awful oath should be considprinted; never to make public any- ered essential in order to guard its thing of that which has now been inviolability? Why need, or why confided to me, or of that which should, a man be asked to swear shall be confided to me in the future. that he will not reveal the working I pledge myself to this, and submit principle of a system that breathes myself to the following penalties if and lives only for the common weal? I fail in keeping my word. They It looks simply a gigantic jugglemay burn my lips with a red-hot the effort to persuade the world that iron, they may cut off my hand, Masonry and its secrets are only they may pluck out my tongue, they pleasant fictions, to keep alive and may cut my throat, they may hang intensify the curiosity of those not up my dead body in a Lodge till the enrolled upon its mysterious recadmission of a new brother, as a ords. scourge for my faithlessness, and as We say again, that we do not hold every individual Mason directly con- sibility of genuine Catholicity coscious of, and therefore directly re- existing with Masonry, and theresponsible for, the irreligious and fore it is that Masonry, in every revolutionary excesses that have sphere and in every fashion that it stamped with execration the doings can, places itself as a barrier to the of the craft throughout Europe and growth and the influence of Cathoin portions of the Western Conti- licity. In fact, to all intents and nent. We wish to guard ourselves purposes, directly on the Continent, against the imputation of such an directly as far as it can in these counexaggeration. But we maintain that tries, but still more so indirectly by these excesses, notorious as they now continued affiliation with the avoware, and admitted, as they are, to be edly anti-Christian organizations in the result of Masonic agencies, ought various parts of the eastern and of themselves to be a sufficient indi- western hemispheres-Freemasonry cation of the real purposes of Free- is a huge anti-Catholic association, masonry, and to make it clear that, striving for the enslavement, the degshroud them as they may, the heads radation, and, if possible, the deof the organization have but two struction of God's holy Church on grand objects ever steadily before earth. their gaze—the annihilation of Cath- Almost without any effort at conolicity, and the overthrow of legiti- cealment, or rather with a boastful mate authority. How else can we parade of its atheism, the organs of explain the operations of the secret Masonry put forth the rejection of a societies, avowedly all in union with Divinity, such as all Christians are Freemasonry, in France, Italy, Ger- supposed to recognize, as almost the many, Switzerland, and Brazil? It foundation of the Masonic Institute. is true that a Catholic may become It talks in an incoherent, jabbering, a Mason, and the Masons will be maundering sort of way of a “Suglad to get him ; but what is the preme Architect,” a “ Jehovah," a meaning of a Catholic becoming a “Great Being,” and condescends, Mason? It means that he puts his in its oaths and travesties of religion, Church at defiance; that he sets at to use the phrase “God;" but it nought its sacred ordinances; that is the “God” of the godlessness of he casts away from him the priceless Voltaire, of Rousseau, of Mazzini, gifts and blessings of grace it mer- of Strauss, and of Renan, not the cifully stretches out to him; that he God of the Christian's faith, the laughs its infallible authority to Christian's hope, and the Christian's scorn, and loads his soul with the love; not the God of all mercy, the infamy of an atrocious perjury. To beneficent and patient ruler who be sure, a Catholic may become a bears so enduringly the infamies of Mason, and Masonry will rejoice; an infamous sect, and shortens his for, if we could by possibility sup- right arm, even though iniquity pose every Catholic to be a Mason, calls so loudly for its avenging we might not be unwarranted in be- stroke. Thus we find, according to lieving that God had proved faith- the Gazette des Francs Macons of less to his Church, and that, in truth, December 15th, 1866, that the Gerthe gates of hell had prevailed against man lodges agreed to the following it. And in such a (thank God!) im- declaration : “ The Deist Freemapossible event, would there not be sons are above religious divisions. exceeding exultation in Masondom, Not only is it necessary to put ourand would it not feel that it had ac- selves away beyond the different recomplished at least one portion of ligions, but even beyond belief in its supremely malicious commission! any God whatsoever." And the