C. H. SPURGEON
ENDED ONE OF HIS GREAT SERMONS AGAINST POPERY WITH THE WORDS-
I count no words too severe. If my every speech
should be a thunderbolt and every word a lightning flash, it would not be too
strong to protest against the accursed system which once degraded the whole
earth to kiss the Pope’s foot, and is degrading our nation still, and that
through a so-called Protestant church. O, God Almighty, thou God of Latimer
and Ridley, God of the martyrs, whose ashes are still among us, wilt thou
suffer this people to go back again to false gods and saints and saintesses,
and virgins, and crucifixes, relics, and cast clouts and rotten rags; for to
this also will they come if thy grace prevent not. Oh, my hearers, Jesus is
the only Saviour of the sons of men. Believe in him and live. This is the
only gospel: at your peril reject it. I pray you receive it for Christ’s sake.
In the middle spread of the R. C. Universe 8/6/03 there is a long article on the spear which pierced
the Saviour’s side after His death.
More and more Rome is returning to relics, the darkness of
the pre Reformation ages. Rome’s language is guarded but relics are not
condemned or rejected but rather honoured and revered.
If Rome rejects relics why does she spend so
much time in giving their supposed history and credibility?
The article in the Universe goes into the greatest of details.
It tells us the name of the soldier who used the spear and about the
enthusiasm of world leaders from Constantine to
Hitler who sought the holy relic.
It announces that the ‘holy’ spear was taken out of the Vienna Museum after World War II for excavation.
The article states:-
In chapter 19 St John tells how, with the Sabbath fast approaching, it
was suggested to Pontius Pilate that the deaths of Jesus and the two thieves
crucified alongside him would be hastened by suffocation if their legs were to
The governor gave his consent and the brutal order
was carried out on the two men condemned with Christ. But when they came to
Jesus, the Roman soldiers realised he was already dead, and to prove it one of
the men thrust his lance into the Saviour’s side, releasing a flow of water and
The incident was recorded by St John as proof that in death Christ had fulfilled the Old
Testament prophecies that “a bone of him shall not be broken” and “they shall
look on him whom they pierced”.
The soldier who wielded the lance is not named in
the gospel account: but according to the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus,
formerly called the Acts of Pontius Pilate, he was a half-blind centurion
called Longinus who, falling to his knees immediately afterwards, had his sight
miraculously restored. He then quit the Roman army for a life of prayer, was
tortured to death for his faith, and became a saint.
However the Rev Sabine Baring Gould in his Lives of
the Saints casts some doubt on the accuracy of this story by pointing out that
the soldier’s name may simply have resulted from a misreading of the Greek word
longche, meaning spear.
Nevertheless alleged relics of the unknown “soldier”
have been preserved throughout Christendom, and include a rival “spear”, for
which no serious claims of authenticity have been made, at the Vatican.
But having established in his gospel account that
someone did indeed drive a spear into the dead Saviour’s side, it requires very
little imagination to understand why such an artefact, stained with the very
blood of Christ, would if it remained in existence, be one of the most
important and holy relics known to the Christian world.
Legend has it that in the fourth century AD,
Constantine the Great invoked the power of the spear to Christianise the Roman Empire, and that Charlemagne (born in around
742 AD) was also empowered by its possession.
Two hundred years later, Luitprand of Cremona left
the first written account of the Holy relic, connecting it to the first Holy
Roman Emperor Constantine: while in 1084, his successor Henry VI claimed at his
coronation that the spear also embodied one of the nails used at the
By the 14th century, its propaganda value
was such that Charles IV of Bohemia and
Germany promoted his claims to the throne by
proclaiming the relic “the lance of the Lord”.
But in 1424, Sigismund of Luxembourg sold the spear to the town council of Nuremberg where it remained until 1800 when it was
smuggled to Vienna to save it from capture by Napoleon.
It was there that the young Adolf Hitler saw the
spear and coveted it for the power he believe it would bestow on its possessor:
so in 1938 and on the brink of war the Nazis seized the lance and took it back
Occultists claim Hitler saw the weapon as a sort of
modern-day Excalibur which would keep his regime in power for as long as he
More sober-minded historians say his theft of the
Hapsburg royal family’s “crown jewels”, which included the spear, was entirely
consistent with his plundering of other museums, and that he regarded the relic
as simply another of the spoils of war. And at the end of the conflict, the
spear – or perhaps only a copy – was recovered by American soldiers and
returned to Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Now however that the dubious claims of the spear stand exposed but as
the article states:-
Its origins soon forgotten, popular piety did the
rest and the spear continued to be revered – alongside lesser treasures such as
a tooth from St John the Baptist and the arm bone of St Anne
–down the centuries.
Veneration of such relics are superstitious idolatry. Even if the
relic is genuine it has no spiritual value. In the history of Israel the fiery serpent lifted up on a pole brought
healing to thousands but King Hezekiah, when he saw how it was being
worshipped, had it destroyed.
7 Therefore the people came to
Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and
against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And
Moses prayed for the people.
8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and
set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten,
when he looketh upon it, shall live.
9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and
it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the
serpent of brass, he lived.
2 Kings 18:1-4
1 ¶ Now it came to pass in the
third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2 Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he
reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the
daughter of Zachariah.
3 And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD,
according to all that David his father did.
4 He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down
the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for
unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it
What is the second commandment?
‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of
anything that is in Heaven above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in
the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve
them. For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that
hate me and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my
What is forbidden in the second commandment?
‘The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images or
any other way not appointed by His Word.’
How does Rome get over the second commandment which states that
we must not make or bow down or serve graven images?
The Church of Rome oftentimes omits the second commandment completely
form her Catechisms, as for example in the Maynooth Catechism and Butler’s Irish Catechism. Having omitted the second
commandment Rome then changes the tenth commandment into
two parts in order to still have ten commandments.
What does the Church of Rome understand by relics?
‘The dead bodies or bones of the saints also whatever other things
belong to them in their mortal life.’
What are the two classes of relics principally
prized by Rome?
‘They are (i) Particles of the skull, bones, skin, teeth, hair, nails
and drops of blood of the saints: and (ii) The instruments of torture by which
they suffered death.’
Name some of the relics which are displayed and
honoured by the Church of Rome?
The Church of Rome displays and honours among a great many other things
the following alleged relics – The hair of St. Magdalene, stones thrown at St.
Stephen, hay from the manger of Bethlehem, the tail of Baalim’s ass, a tooth of
St. Paul, parings of St. Edmund’s toes, and it is said there are more heads of
St. Peter than one or two.
What honour is said to be due to relics?
The Council of Trent did not define it. Modern authorities declare
that relics are ‘Dear pledges which animate their confidence in the communion
and intercession of the saints.’ And that there ought to be rendered to them
‘an inferior an relative honour as they relate to Christ and the saints and
their memorials of them.’ ‘At the formal exhibition of relics at St. Peter’s
in Rome formal and public worship is offered to them
and the Pope and Cardinals kneel before them as they do before the host and the
What fact is positive disproof of the genuiness of Rome’s relics?
The fact that there are so many relics of each apostle and saint and so
many duplicates of every article of primitive interest. The apostles must each
have had several heads and a corresponding number of limbs to have furnished
the present supply. Helena who discovered the Cross must have had three bodies
as there is now one in the Church of Aracaeli in Rome, a second in the Continent of
Hautvilliers near Rheims and a third in Constantinople – each one honoured as the true body of the saint.
The Cross must have been of enormous size to have furnished all the pieces now
exhibited. There are even relics of angels, for example the feather of Michael
What is the boast of the Church of Rome in regard to
the working of miracles?
She claims that the power has been transmitted to her; that her relics,
images and saints have all wrought and continue still to work miracles.
Cardinal Newman said, ‘Certainly the Catholic Church from east to west, from
north to south is hung with miracles.’
Does not the character of the doctrines, in support
of which the miracles of Rome are
appealed to, warrant us to reject them?
‘Yes, God declared that any sign given or wonder wrought in support of
any doctrine contrary to His Word is, without, further examination, to be
What is the moral code or character of Rome’s alleged miracles?
‘It has been to a great extent of a low unworthy and childish type.
According to Schaff the miracles of the Church of Rome have been not so much
supernatural and above reason but unnatural and against reason. We are told
for example how St Bernius after being in full sail for France, finding he had forgotten something, walked by
dryshod on the sea. How St Dionysius after being beheaded took his head in his
hand and walked two miles. How St Anthony made a heretic’s horse do obeisance
to the host by inclining his head and kneeling. How St Hilarion in answer to
the appeal of one of the faithful who patronised the turf but was invariably
beaten by his antagonist gave him a jug of water with which to sprinkle his
horses and the course, the result being that his horses were able to fly past
his competitors and win every race! In contrast to all this the miracles of
Christ were works of dignity and power which always corresponded with the
object of His mission and were themselves a beautiful illustration of the blessings
He came to bestow.’
What was Newman’s opinions of the miracles of Rome before he turned over to the Romish Church?
Newman said that such miracles were ‘unworthy of an all wise author,’
and he added, ‘the notorious insincerity and frauds of the Church of Rome in
other things were in themselves enough to throw a strong suspicion on its
testimony to its miracles.’ After he seceded to the Church of Rome he accepted
her miracles even the bowing of her crucifixes, the winking of her madonnas and
the liquidification of the blood of St Januarius.’
Is this feature of Rome’s character not foretold and severely condemned in
‘Yes, One of the features of the man of sin, as described by Paul, is
‘His whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power and signs and
lying wonders (literally with all power and signs and wonder of falsehood, the
term ‘falsehood’ referring to each of the three preceding substantives) and
with all deceivableness or unrighteousness in them that perish.’ For twelve or
fifteen centuries the Church of Rome has filled up with her false dogmas and
spurious miracles this apostolic outline of the character of the great
As we go to press another relic of a R. C. saint has arrived to tour Ireland – a part of a saints tongue!!!!