Choose a topic from Vol 2:


Proof of God's existence
God's nature
Supreme control over all things and the problem of suffering and evil


Destiny of man
Immortality of man's soul
Pre-existence denied
The human free will
Determinism absurd


Necessity of religion
Salvation of the soul
Voice of science
Religious racketeers
Divine revelation
Revealed mysteries
Existence of miracles

The Religion of the Bible

Gospels historical
Missing Books of the Bible
The Bible inspired
Biblical account of creation
New Testament problems
Supposed contradictions in Sacred Scripture

The Christian Faith

Source of Christian teaching
Jewish rejection of Christ
Christianity a new religion
Rational foundation for belief
Causes of unbelief

A Definite Christian Faith

Divisions amongst Christians
Schisms unjustified
Facing the problem
The wrong approach
Is one religion as good as another?
Obligation of inquiry
Charity and tolerance

The Protestant Reformation

Meaning of "Protestant"
Causes of the Reformation
Catholic reaction
Reformers mistaken
The idealization of Protestantism
The Catholic estimate

The Truth of Catholicism

Meaning of the word "Church"
Origin of the Church
The Catholic claim
The Roman hierarchy
The Pope
The Petrine text
St. Peter's supremacy
St. Peter in Rome
Temporal power
Unity of the Church
Holiness of the Church
Catholicity of the Church
Apostolicity of the Church
Indefectibility of the Church
Obligation to be a Catholic

The Church and the Bible

Catholic attitude towards the Bible
Is Bible reading forbidden to Catholics?
Protestant Bibles
The Catholic Douay Version
Principle of private interpretation
Need of Tradition
The teaching authority of the Catholic Church

The Dogmas of the Church

Revolt against dogma
Value of a Creed
The divine gift of Faith
Faith and reason
The "Dark Ages"
The claims of science
The Holy Trinity
Creation and evolution
Grace and salvation
The Sacraments
Holy Eucharist
The Sacrifice of the Mass
Holy Communion
The Catholic Priesthood
Marriage and divorce
Extreme Unction
The resurrection of the body
The end of the world

The Church and Her Moral Teachings

The Inquisition
Other superstitions
Attendance at Mass
Sex education
Attitude to "Free Love"

The Church in Her Worship

Magnificent edifices
Lavish ritual
Women in Church
Catholics and "Mother's Day"
Liturgical Days
Burial rites
Candles and votive lamps
The rosary
Lourdes water
The Scapular

The Church and Social Welfare

Social influence of the Church
The education question
The Church and world distress
Catholic attitude towards Capitalism
The remedy for social ills
Communism condemned
The Fascist State
Morality of war
May individuals become soldiers?
The Church and peace
Capital punishment
Catholic Action

Comparative Study of Non-Catholic Denominations

Defections from the Catholic Church
Coptic Church
Greek Orthodox Church
Anglican Episcopal Church
The "Free" or "Nonconformist" Churches
Church of Christ
Seventh Day Adventists
Plymouth Brethren
Catholic Apostolic Church or Irvingites
Salvation Army
Christian Science
British Israelism
Liberal Catholics
Witnesses of Jehovah
Buchmanism or the "Oxford Group Movement"
From Protestantism to Catholicism

To and From Rome

Conversion of Cardinal Newman
Why Gladstone refrained
The peculiar case of Lord Halifax
Gibbon the historian
Secession of Father Chiniquy
Father Tyrrell, the modernist
Bishop Garrett's departure
Judgment on lapsed Catholics
Protestant apathy towards conversion of Catholics
Principles for converts to Catholicism
God's will that all should become Catholics


555. Are we to suppose an eternal devil as well as an eternal God? Or did God create the devil?

We cannot suppose an eternal uncreated devil. Yet God did not create the devil as a devil. In other words, God did not create any evil spiritual being as evil. He created all things other than Himself, including angels. The angels as created by God were beings of a spiritual nature, endowed with intelligence and free will; and as the terminus of God's creative action they were entirely good. But some angels misused their freedom of will, and rendered themselves evil by their opposition to the God who is goodness itself. Evil is opposed to good. He who is opposed to God is opposed to the good, and renders himself therefore evil. But God is not the cause of such evil. His purpose in giving freedom of will was in order that the angels might have the great dignity of offering Him, not a compulsory love, but a love of free choice. And He forbade that misuse of the gift of freedom which rejects the infinite goodness of its source. God could not forbid sin yet be the cause of it. St. Peter's words that God spared not the angels who sinned show that some angels fell from the good state in which they previously existed into a sinful state; that they were responsible for their own evil choice; that God had that dominion over them which could belong only to their Creator; and that God does punish deliberately chosen and unrepented wickedness.

556. The rebellion of angels in heaven is an enigma to me.

It is a mystery which human reason cannot probe to its full depths, but in no way is there any actual conflict with reasonable principles.

557. These angels had an intelligence immeasurably transcending that of human beings.

That is true. Where men have to secure data through their senses, and reason discursively from premises to conclusions, with liability to error both as regards facts and logical process, the angels, as pure spirits untrammelled by the weight of earthly and material bodies, could perceive truth by an immediate intuition. For this reason their guilt was immeasurably greater than that of human beings. And therefore God showed mercy to men, though He spared not the angels who sinned.

558. They must have known that they were created by God, and that by His very uncreated Nature God infinitely surpassed them.

That is quite true. They fell into no intellectual error on that point.

559. Yet we are told that pride led them to attempt equality with the uncreated God.

They were not so foolish, of course, as to think that they could be equal to the uncreated God. Yet pride did cause their fall. Pride is a sin of the will, not of the intelligence. But every choice of the will, even though it be an evil choice, presupposes at least an intellectual apprehension of the evil thing to be chosen. There must be a theoretical error before a practical error. But how could an angelic intelligence go wrong in its ideas? We must remember that the angels were creatures, and not the Creator. Keener though they were than men in their powers of intuition, their intelligence was yet finite and limited. It was quite possible for them, therefore, to give less attention to one aspect of the truth, and to give more attention to another. It was possible for them to concentrate their attention upon their own natural perfection, and to fail to advert sufficiently to their origin by creation, and to their essential dependence upon God. Granted this, an evil choice of the will by pride was correspondingly possible. Regarding themselves as made for themselves rather than for God, they could pretend to an independence of Him, regarding Him as not necessary to them. And all this without wrongly thinking that they could be absolutely equal to Him and infinitely perfect.

560. Is not the devil merely an evil influence?

We cannot say that he is an evil influence. Rather he has an evil influence, both upon individuals and upon society.

561. I read recently in a book that possession by devils as recorded in the Gospels was merely lunacy. The book was written by a clergyman.

It is quite true that those possessed by devils were maddened by them, and exhibited signs of lunacy. But it is not true to conclude that this lunacy was due to merely natural and physical causes. If Protestant clergymen wish to deny the existence of evil spirits as personal enemies of mankind, then they will have to abandon belief in the Gospels and in Christ, if they are logical. Christ spoke of the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. That would be absurd if the devils were not individual, intelligent, responsible, and personal beings. The effort to find any explanation other than the actual existence of unseen spirits is useless and ridiculous; useless in the light of such texts as St. Peter's words, "God spared not the angels who sinned"; ridiculous in those who still pretend to believe in the Christian religion. The argument can only be, "I do not believe in the devil because he is not seen, and because he is evil." Yet these people believe in God despite His not being visible to bodily eyes; and they have to believe in the existence of moral evil, at least in the case of human beings. There is no reason why they should deny the existence of created spiritual beings who are morally evil, save the prevailing fashion of unbelief in the supernatural altogether.

562. I fail to see how devils can tempt men.

How can men tempt each other? They sow evil thoughts into the minds of their fellow men, or impress weaker individuals by the subtle influence of a strong yet evil personality. Devils can do the same. They have but to enter into the current of our own inclinations, or into the smiling appeal of seductive pleasures. They have only to lean on that which is already at breaking-point, or check higher aspirations as they present themselves. The influence of devils can be like that of an undetected poison gas breathed in imperceptibly with the atmosphere.

563. But why should devils tempt men?

If a man is evil, he uses even his good powers for evil. We know how evil men can be apostles of evil. Now having fallen themselves, evil spirits want other creatures of God to fall; and they use their powers for this evil purpose.

564. Men alone are responsible for the evil they do. To blame the devil is a subterfuge of cowardice.

It is true that men are responsible only for such conduct as is their own deliberate choice. And therefore men alone are responsible for the evil they do. But they are not responsible for all their temptations to do evil. If people blame the devil by saying, "The devil made me do it," that is a subterfuge. The devil cannot "make" people sin against their own will. But it is not a subterfuge to attribute to the devil certain temptations, although I admit that some people are only too ready to declare that he is the source of their temptations. Often enough their own crass stupidity, and lack of care, is the cause of their temptations.

565. What does the "Beast" of Dan. VII. mean?

The beast spoken of by Daniel the prophet means in general the spirit of evil as in bitter opposition to the good. But the vision of Daniel had a very wide and complex significance. It was on four planes at one and the same time. On the cosmic plane he saw, not any particular conflict, but the universal triumph of God in the whole of creation. On the ethical plane he saw the struggle of right and wrong amongst men. On the eschatological plane he saw the consummation of this struggle at the end of the world. On the historical plane he saw Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, who in 172 B. C. took Jerusalem by force, and later desecrated the Temple, setting up a pagan altar which, in the First Book of Machabees is called the "Abomination of Desolation"--an expression used by Daniel himself.

566. Will you explain Rev. XIII., 18?

The verse says, "Here is wisdom. He that hath understanding, let him count the number of the beast. For it is the number of a man; and the number of him is six hundred sixty six." As regards the explanation, we must remember that the Greek and Hebrew alphabets have numerical significance. If the letters of a man's name added up to a certain number, that would be his number. Dozens of names throughout history have been made to add up to 666 by various methods, and no certain solution is possible as to the actual meaning of St. John. The name of Nero Caesar in Hebrew lettering makes 666; and possibly that is as good an explanation as can be given. The number may, of course, refer to some adversary of Christ yet to appear. St. John's words suggest that the correct interpretation will require a wisdom on the plane of his own inspiration when he wrote the Apocalypse. And that, of course, could only be a special gift of God, which the average reader cannot expect to possess.



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