Bible History for the Use of Catholic Schools - R. Gilmour

OLD TESTAMENT HISTORY




Age I:
From Adam to Abraham


Containing 2083 Years.




1.—The Creation of the World.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was void and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. Then God said: "Let there be light!" and light was made. This was the work of the first day.

2. On the second day was created the firmament with all its expansive beauty.

On the third day God gathered together the waters into one place, and commanded the dry land to appear; the waters He called sea, and the dry land earth. Thus were formed the fountains, the streams, and the rivers.

3. Then God commanded the earth to bring forth plants, and green trees, and flowers of many various forms and different colors.

On the fourth day were made the great lights that shine in the heavens: the sun, the moon, and the stars. On the fifth day the fish that are in the waters, and the birds that are in the air were created.

4. The sixth day God created all manner of living creatures that are upon the earth, each in its kind.

At last He said: "Let us make man to our own image and likeness, and let him have dominion over the whole earth." So God formed man out of the slime of the earth, and breathed into him an immortal soul, and called him Adam; that is, taken from the earth. God saw all the things that He had made, and they were good. So He rested on the seventh day, and blessed it.

5. As God created man on the sixth day of creation, so on Good Friday, the sixth day of Holy Week, He redeemed him. And as the body of the first Adam was formed from the earth whilst it was yet pure and blessed, so was Jesus Christ, the second Adam, born of Mary, a virgin, pure and without original sin.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 1.—What was done in the beginning? How was the earth created? What did God create on the first day? What on the second? What on the third? What were the waters called? What did the earth bring forth? What was created on the fourth day? On the fifth? And sixth? Why did God call the first man Adam, What did God do on the seventh day?



2.—Happiness of Adam and Eve in Paradise.


1. The heavens and the earth being finished, God planted a garden, a terrestrial paradise, in which were all manner of trees and precious fruits. In the midst thereof He placed two trees, one the tree of life, the other the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God then told Adam he might eat of the fruit of every tree in the garden, but "of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he should not eat; fist on the day he would eat, he should surely die."

2. Then God brought before Adam all the beasts of the earth, that he might give to each its name. But for Adam there was not found a companion like to himself. And God said: "It is not good for man to be alone; let us make a help-mate like unto himself." So God cast a deep sleep upon Adam, and from his side took a rib, which He formed into a woman. When Adam awoke, God brought the woman to him, and he called her Eve; that is, the mother of all the living.

3. Whilst Adam and Eve were in Paradise, God treated them as a father does his children, and they were happy; at the same time the tree of life preserved them from sickness and death.—The tree of life was a figure of the Sacrament of the Altar, of which it is written: "He who is fed by it shall live forever."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 2.—What was placed in paradise? What are the names of the trees? What was to happen if Adam eat the fruit? What were brought before Adam? What was not found? Of what was the woman formed? What does Eve mean? What is said of Paradise? And of the tree of life?



3.—The Angels and the Fall of our First Parents.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Besides the visible, God also created an invisible world, namely His angels. At first they were good and perfectly happy; but in time some became dazzled with their own perfections, and, yielding to pride, revolted against God. Michael, and the other angels that remained faithful, fought against them, vanquished and overthrew them, together with their leader, Lucifer, who is also called Satan.

2. But Satan, fallen and lost, began to contrast his misery with man's happiness, and, raging with anger and envy, resolved to seduce man from his obedience to God. For this end he made use of the serpent.

3. One day, while Eve was looking at the forbidden tree, the serpent, coming near, asked her why she did not eat of its fruit. Eve answered, God had forbidden them to touch it, lest they should die. But the serpent artfully replied, they would not die; on the contrary, their eyes would be opened, and they would be as gods, knowing good and evil. Eve looked again upon the tree; her curiosity was excited: the more she looked, the more the forbidden fruit appeared enticing. At length she stretched forth her hand, plucked the fruit, eat and gave to Adam, who also eat. This was their first sin.

4. Immediately their eyes were opened, but far otherwise than they had expected. Covered with shame, they sewed together fig-leaves and made garments for themselves, and, trembling, hid among the trees.

5. From one tree came ruin: from another, the tree of the cross, came redemption and victory over sin and the devil.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 3.—What was created? At first, what were they? How did they fall? What is said of Satan? How did he tempt Eve? Did he succeed? What happened to Adam and Eve? What is said of the tree and the cross?



4.—The Punishment of Sin and the Promise of a Redeemer.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In the evening God came into the garden and called Adam, who, trembling with fear, approached and acknowledged that he had eaten the forbidden fruit, but threw the blame on the woman. She, in turn, blamed the serpent.

2. Then God cursed the serpent, condemning him to crawl upon the ground and to eat dust all the days of his life: besides, He said, enmity should exist between the serpent and the woman, but in the end the woman would crush his head.

3. Then God told the woman she should bring forth her children in sorrow, and, for her disobedience, be subject to her husband. To the man He said: "Cursed is the earth in thy work: thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and in the sweat of thy brow thou shalt eat thy bread, until thou return to the earth from whence thou earnest: for dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return."

4. Then God made garments of skins, and clothing Adam And Eve in them, drove them out of Paradise. At the entrance of the garden angels, with a fiery sword, were placed to guard against their return.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 4.—Who called Adam? What was said? What curse did God pronounce on the serpent? What curse did God pronounce on Eve? On Adam? Of what did God make clothing? What happened to Adam and Eve? What was placed at the gate of Paradise?



5.—Cain and Abel.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Adam and Eve had many children; of these, the eldest were Cain and his brother Abel. Cain was a husbandman, and wicked; but Abel, a shepherd, was just and good. Both offered sacrifice to God—Abel, a lamb; Cain, of the fruits of the earth. God, who knew the secrets of their hearts, looked with favor on the sacrifice of Abel, but turned away His face from the sacrifice of Cain.

2. When Cain saw this, his mind was filled with anger and jealousy against his brother. His countenance fell; and though God chid him in kindness, telling him if he did well he would be rewarded equally with Abel, yet Cain would not be appeased.

3. So, nourishing his anger and giving way to his spite, Cain one day asked Abel to go with him into the fields. There he rose up against his brother and slew him. As soon as the blood of the innocent Abel stained the ground, God cried out to Cain: "Where is thy brother?" but Cain, hardened in his crime, answered he did not know, nor was he his brother's keeper.

4. But God, from whom nothing can be hid, told Cain that Abel's blood cried to Him for vengeance, and, because he had dared to touch his brother, he should be a fugitive and a vagabond on the face of the earth. When Cain heard this sentence of God, he gave way to despair, saying: "My sin is too great to be pardoned." So God set a mark upon him, and he went forth, a wanderer and a fugitive upon the face of the earth.

5. The murdered Abel is a figure of Jesus Christ, while Cain is a figure of the traitor Judas and the Jewish people, who put our Saviour to death.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 5.—What is said of Cain and Abel? What were their sacrifices? How did God receive them? How did Cain act? How did he answer God? What was Cain's sentence? What is said of Abel and Christ? Of Cain and Judas?



6.—The Deluge.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The descendants of Adam were divided into two classes—the good and the bad. To console Adam for the death of Abel, God gave him the pious Seth. Seth's posterity were known as the children of God, while the descendants of Cain were very wicked.

2. By degrees mankind became corrupt, Noah alone remaining just. God bade Noah build an Ark, for in a hundred years He would destroy by a deluge every living creature on the face of the earth. The following are the dimensions and construction of the Ark: its length, three hundred cubits; its breadth, fifty; and its height, thirty cubits. In the upper part was a window, and in the side a door.

3. For a hundred years Noah labored on the construction of the Ark. During this time he preached penance to the wicked, and warned them of the evils that were to come; but they heeded him not. Then God commanded him to go into the Ark and to take with him his wife, and his three sons and their wives; moreover to take with him of every animal two of a sort, and food sufficient.

4. After seven days the deluge came. The fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the floodgates of heaven were opened, but the Ark floated peacefully upon the waters. Overwhelmed with despair, men began to climb the trees, and in vain to ascend the hills. The waters continued to increase, until they had risen fifteen cubits above the tops of the highest mountains.

5. Thus perished every living thing that then moved upon the earth: from man to the beasts of the earth; from the birds in the air to the reptiles on the ground. Noah and all that were in the Ark alone remained.

Noah is a figure of Jesus Christ, as the Ark is a figure of the Catholic Church.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 6.—How were men divided? Who descended from Seth? Who from Cain? Who alone remained just? What did roe build? How long was he building the Ark? Who went into the Ark? When did the deluge come? What is said of the Ark? What of men? What perished?


7.—The Sacrifice of Noah.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the waters had covered the earth for a hundred and fifty days, God remembered Noah and sent a warm wind, that by degrees abated the waters. Soon the mountains began to appear, and in the seventh month the Ark rested on the top of Mount Ararat, in Armenia.

2. Noah, eager to learn if the waters had subsided, opened the window of the Ark and sent forth a raven, which did not return; then he sent forth a dove, which, not finding where her foot might rest, returned to the Ark. After seven days, Noah again sent forth the dove, which returned in the evening, carrying in its beak an olive branch. By this, Noah knew that the waters were abated upon the earth. At the command of God, Noah and his wife, and his sons and his sons' wives, and every living creature that was with them, went forth from the Ark, after having been shut up in it for a whole year.

3. Filled with gratitude, Noah built an altar, and, taking of the animals that were pure, offered sacrifice to the Lord. God was pleased with him for this, and set His rainbow in the heavens. Then God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Behold, I will establish my covenant with you and with your posterity. There shall be no more a deluge to destroy all flesh. While the earth exists, seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease. And the arc that I have placed in the clouds shall be the sign of my covenant with you."

4. The impenitent sinner is like the raven that returned not to the Ark, while the dove is like the faithful soul that finds its rest only in Jesus Christ and His Church.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 7.—How long did the deluge continue? Where did the Ark rest? How did Noah know the waters were gone? How long was Noah in the Ark? What did Noah offer? What covenant did God make? What is said of the raven and the dove?



8.—The Sons of Noah.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Noah had three sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Together with them he tilled the ground and planted the vine. When the vintage came, not knowing the strength of wine, he drank too freely, and, becoming drunk, lay in his tent. Ham, finding him in this condition, laughed, and, going, told his brothers what he had seen.

2. But they, filled with reverence, and moved with filial love, took a cloak, and, putting it upon their shoulders, turned away their eyes, and, going backward, covered their father. When Noah awoke, and learned what had taken place, he cursed Ham, in his descendants, but blessed Shem and Japheth.


The Tower of Babel

3. Soon the descendants of Noah began so to multiply that they could no longer dwell together in the same place. In their pride, before separating, they resolved to build a city and a tower that would reach to heaven. But God easily confounded them in their foolish project. On a sudden their language was confused, and they could not understand one another. Before this there had been but one language; but now there were many. The city and the tower were abandoned, and the people dispersed.

4. The posterity of Shem was spread over the greater part of Asia. From him are descended the Israelites, the chosen people of God. The descendants of Ham went to Africa, while the children of Japheth passed over to Europe.

5. The pride of Babel led to the confusion of languages; while, on Pentecost, the humility of the apostles led to their union.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 8.—What is said of Noah's sons? What happened to Noah? What did Ham do? What did Shem and Japheth do? What did Noah do? What is said of the Tower of Babel? What did God do? What was confused? Where did the people go? Where did the descendants of Shem go? Who are descended from Shem? Who are descended from Ham? And who from Japheth? What is said of Babel and Pentecost?


What the Bible Tells Us About the Early History of Mankind

This first age of the world comprises creation and the early history of mankind. The record in the Bible of these many, many centuries is very brief. It gives us only some of the traditions about these times that have important religious lessons for us. For God in His book, the Bible, is concerned mainly in telling us about His constant interest in men, how in those far-off days as today He blessed and encouraged the good, forgave the repentant, and punished the wicked. God is not interested in telling us in His book about men's doings in the beginning of history, about how they lived or how they discovered new parts of the world or new things about nature. For this reason we find there very little about such things.

No dates are given for these early events, because the Bible itself gives none. In those early days no fixed point or great event, like the birth of our Lord, had been selected by people to date other events from.


END OF THE FIRST AGE.


Age II:
From the Call of Abraham to Moses

NOTE: The dates at the head of lessons prefixed by an * are only approximate.



9.—The Call of Abraham. *[B.C. 2000]


1. At Haran, in the midst of a wicked world, there lived Chaldean named Abraham, a most upright man. God chose him, that through him the knowledge of the true God and the hope in the promised Redeemer might be preserved among men. For this reason, the Lord commanded Abraham to leave his country and his kinsfolk, and go into a strange land. God moreover promised that Abraham should be the father of a great people, and that in him all nations should be blessed.

2. Abraham obeyed, and, with Sarah his wife, and Lot his nephew, together with his servants and flocks, came into Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. Here the Lord appeared to Abraham, and promised to give him and his posterity that land. In gratitude, Abraham built an altar and offered sacrifice to the Lord.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 9.—What is said of Abraham? Where did God send Abraham? Why? What did God promise? Where did Abraham come? What is said of Canaan?



10.—The Virtues of Abraham.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. His Love of Peace.—In time, because of the scarcity of pasture, quarrels arose between the herdsmen of Abraham and the herdsmen of his nephew Lot; so Abraham, who loved peace rather than gain, thought it better that he and Lot should part. He gave Lot the choice to go either to the right or to the left. Lot chose the country about the Jordan, and dwelt in Sodom, while Abraham remained at Hebron.

2. His Disinterestedness.—Not long after this there came into that country strange kings, who pillaged the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, took Lot captive, and carried off with them all his substance. When Abraham heard this sad news, he gathered together three hundred of his servants, and, pursuing, defeated those kings, delivered Lot, and, recovering all his substance, led him back to his own country.

3. It was on this occasion Abraham was met by Melchisedech, King of Salem, and priest of the Most High, who, offering sacrifice of bread and wine, blessed Abraham. At the same time, the King of Sodom offered Abraham all the booty that had been taken, only to restore the captives, but Abraham would take nothing.

4. In this victory over the foreign kings, we have a type of Christ's victory over the powers of hell. The sacrifice of Melchisedech in bread and wine was a symbol of the Sacrifice of the Mass, which is also offered under the appearances of bread and wine.

5. Abraham's Faith.—One night God led Abraham to the door of his tent, and said to him: "Lift up your eyes to heaven, and count the stars if you can; thus shall your posterity be multiplied upon the earth."

6. God again appeared to him, and confirmed His former promise, adding that He would make a covenant with him. In return, God required Abraham to serve Him faithfully. To confirm this covenant between them, God promised Abraham a son, whose name should be called Isaac. Abraham believed the word of the Lord, and his faith, confirmed by his works, was imputed to him. It was on this occasion that God prescribed the ceremony of circumcision.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 10.—How did Abraham show his love for peace? What is said of Lot? Where did he go? Where did Abraham remain? What is said about Sodom and Gomorrah? Who was taken captive? What did Abraham do? Whom did he meet when returning? What is said of Melchisedech's sacrifice? What did God promise Abraham? What did God make with him? Who was, Isaac? What did God prescribe?



11.—Abraham's Hospitality.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. During the extreme heat of the day, three strangers approached Abraham's tent. As soon as he saw them, bowing himself to the ground, he said to the most distinguished of them: "My lord, pass not by the door of my tent: stop and rest under the shade of the tree, and I will set before you a little bread, that you may refresh yourself."

2. Then Sarah hastened to make flour-cakes upon the hearth, whilst Abraham chose a tender calf from the flock, and, hastening, gave it to the servants to dress and boil; then he took milk and butter, and the calf and the cakes, and set them before the strangers, while he stood by to serve them.

3. When they had eaten, he who appeared chief among the strangers told Abraham that in a year he would return, and, by that time, Sarah his wife would have a son. When Abraham heard this, he knew that it was God Himself, accompanied by two angels, whom he had entertained.

4. Abraham's Love of his Neighbor.—When the three strangers departed, Abraham accompanied them some distance on their journey to Sodom. On the way, the Lord told Abraham of the iniquity of Sodom and Gomorrah, and how He was about to destroy the two wicked cities. When Abraham heard this, full of charity for his erring neighbors, he besought the Lord not to destroy the just with the unjust.

5. Pleading, he besought the Lord to spare the sinful cities of the plain, if there could be found in them fifty just. And when the Lord yielded to his prayer, he yet again and again urged, until the Lord agreed, if ten just could be found, not to destroy Sodom. But ten just could not be found; therefore, on the following morning, came the punishment as terrible in its severity as it was strange in its novelty.

6. The Lord having left the two angels, they came to Lot, in Sodom. On the morrow they led Lot, his wife, and his two daughters forth from the place; then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone on the unfortunate cities, destroying them with all their inhabitants. But Lot's wife, forgetting the command of the angels, looked back, and, for her curiosity, was on the spot turned into a pillar of salt. The country round about was turned into a sulphurous lake—now known as the Dead Sea—which will ever remain a monument of the wrath of God for the sins of men.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 11.—Who approached Abraham's tent? What did Sarah and Abraham do? What did the strangers promise? Whom did Abraham accompany? What did the Lord tell him? For what did Abraham plead? What came on the morrow? Who were saved? What happened to Lot's wife? What were Sodom and Gomorrah turned Into? What is its name?



12.—Abraham's Spirit of Self-sacrifice.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. As had been foretold, the year after the destruction of Sodom, Isaac was born. His father loved him most tenderly, because he had been born to him in his old age. One night God, that He might try him, commanded Abraham to take his beloved Isaac and to go up into Mount Moria, and there to sacrifice him.

2. Without a word, Abraham rose, and cutting wood placed it on an ass, and, taking with him his son and two servants, went forth as the Lord had commanded him. On the third day, seeing in the distance the place whither he had been commanded to go, he ordered the servants to rest while he and Isaac would go up the mountain.

3. Then Abraham put the wood on Isaac's shoulders, and they went on together. On the way, Isaac remarked that they had the fire and the wood with them, but they had no victim for the sacrifice. But his father assured him God would provide a victim. When they were come to the place God had showed them, Abraham built an altar, and, placing the wood upon it, bound Isaac and laid him also upon it; then he took the sword to sacrifice his much-loved son.

4. Just as Abraham was about to strike, an angel touched his hand and told him not to harm the boy; that the Lord was satisfied, since for His sake, he had not spared his only begotten son. Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw behind him a ram sticking among the bushes; taking it, he offered it instead of his son.

5. The angel spoke again to Abraham, telling him the Lord would bless him for this offering he had made; that his posterity would be as numerous as the sand of the sea; and that from him would be born ONE in whom all nations would be blessed.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 12.—Who was born? How did God test Abraham's faith? What did Isaac remark? What did Abraham do? How was Isaac saved? what promises did God make?



13.—Isaac Marries Rebecca.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Abraham had grown old, he became anxious to choose for his son a wife who feared God. Therefore, calling his faithful servant Eliezer, he sent him into Mesopotamia, that, amongst his own friends and kinsfolk, he might seek for a wife for Isaac. Eliezer took ten camels, and, loading them with his master's goods, departed for the city of Haran, where Abraham's brother, Nachor, lived.

2. When Eliezer approached the city, he made the camels lie down by the wells, where the women were wont to draw water; then he prayed thus to the Lord: "O Lord, this day come to my help and have mercy upon my master Abraham! Soon the young women of this city will come forth to draw water; grant, therefore, that the maid who shall say to me, 'Drink, and I will give thy camels also to drink,' may be, O Lord, the same whom Thou hast provided for Thy servant, Isaac!"

3. Scarce had he finished, when there came from the city a young woman, named Rebecca, as modest as she was beautiful. On her shoulders she carried a pitcher. When she had filled it, Eliezer said to her, "Give me to drink." She answered, "Drink," and kindly offered him her pitcher. Then she said, "I will also draw water for your camels."

4. When the servant heard this, he stood awhile in silent amazement, watching till she had given the camels to drink; then he gave her ear rings and golden bracelets, and asked whose daughter she was, and whether there was room in her father's house for him to lodge. In answer, she told him she was the daughter of Bathuel, the son of Nachor, and, moreover, there was room at her father's, together with plenty of straw and hay. When Eliezer heard this, he adored God, who had brought his journey to so successful an end.

5. He then went to Bathuel's house, but would neither eat nor drink till he had delivered his message. When they all heard for what he had come, and what had happened, Laban, Rebecca's brother, as also Bathuel, her father, said: "God had directed all these events, and that he should take Rebecca with him."

6. Then Eliezer again adored God, and, bringing forth vessels of silver and gold, and rich garments, gave them to Rebecca. He also gave presents to her mother and her brothers. A banquet was prepared; they ate, drank, and made merry. In the morning Rebecca's parents and her brothers blessed her, and she left her father's home to become the wife of Isaac.

Abraham lived to the advanced age of a hundred and seventy-five years. God blessed him in all his works, and he died full of grace and virtues.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 13.—What did Abraham wish to choose? Whom did he send? What was Eliezer's prayer? How did it turn out? What did Eliezer give Rebecca? What did she tell him? Where did Eliezer go? What happened? Where did Rebecca go? How old was Abraham when he died?



14.—Esau and Jacob.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. For twenty years Isaac and Rebecca lived together before God blessed them with children. They prayed to the Lord, and He gave them two sons—Esau, the first-born, and Jacob, the second. Esau was red and hairy, and rough in his manners; but Jacob was smooth, and of a gentle disposition. Esau became a hunter and a husbandman, while Jacob was a shepherd.

2. Isaac loved the bold and courageous Esau, and eat with delight the game which he brought from the chase; but Rebecca loved rather the smooth and gentle Jacob, because God had told her he would yet rule his elder brother.

3. One day Jacob had prepared a dish of lentil pottage, when Esau, who was returning from the chase, met him, and asked him for it. But Jacob refused unless Esau would sell him his birthright. So Esau, thinking lightly of the matter, sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.

This transfer of Esau's birthright to Jacob was symbolical of the Jews, who, in the time of Christ, rejected the Gospel, and their rights were transferred to the Gentiles, who were chosen in their stead.

4. When Isaac had grown old and his eyes were dim, he one day called Esau to his bedside, and told him to go into the fields, and, when he had taken some game, to make him a savory dish, that he might bless him before he died. Rebecca overheard this conversation; as soon as Esau had gone out she called Jacob, and bade him hasten and bring two kids, that she might prepare a dish for his father, that, carrying it in, he might get his father's blessing instead of Esau.

5. At first Jacob objected, lest his father would discover the fraud, and thus, instead of a blessing, he would receive a curse. But Rebecca overcame his objection, and, clothing him in the skin of a kid, sent him to his father.

Isaac doubted, but calling Jacob to him, and touching him, he said: "The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands of Esau." So he eat, and blessed Jacob.

6. Scarce had Jacob gone out when Esau entered with what he had caught in the chase. When Esau heard what had been done, he became very angry, accusing Jacob of having first robbed him of his birthright, and now of his father's blessing. From that day Esau hated Jacob and threatened his life. Rebecca, seeing this, persuaded Jacob to go and stay for a while at Haran, with her brother Laban, until Esau's anger would be appeased. Jacob consented, and immediately started on his journey.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 14.—What sons had Isaac and Rebecca? What was Esau? What was Jacob? What had Jacob prepared? Who asked for it? What did Jacob ask him to sell? For what did Esau sell his birthright? Of what is this transfer of the birthright a picture? How did Jacob get his father's blessing? What was Jacob's objection? How did he succeed? When Esau discovered the fraud, how did he act? Where did Jacob go?



15.—Jacob's Flight and Sojourn with Laban.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Night overtook Jacob on his journey. Wearied, he took a stone and placed it under his head whilst he slept. In his sleep he saw a ladder whose foot rested upon the earth and its top reached up to heaven. He saw, besides, angels ascending and descending upon it, whilst the Lord leaned on its top. The Lord spoke to him and promised to give him, and his posterity after him, the land on which he then slept.

2. When Jacob awoke, he took the stone on which he had slept and set it up for a title; then he poured oil upon it and called the place Bethel, that is, the house of God.

[Bethel is a figure of the Church, where Jesus Christ Himself dwells, and in which the angels, more effectually than by this mysterious ladder, carry our prayers to God and bring again His graces to us.]

3. Jacob continued his journey, and came to a well around which three flocks of sheep were lying. He asked the shepherds if they knew Laban. They said they did, and pointed to Rachel, his daughter, who was driving her flocks also to the well. When Jacob saw her, he hastened to take away the stone that covered the well, and helped her to give drink to her flocks. He then told her who he was.

4. When Rachel heard that he was her cousin, she ran home to tell her father, who came in haste to meet Jacob, and, embracing him, led him into his house. Jacob remained twenty years with Laban, tending his flocks. In many ways Laban strove to lessen Jacob's wages; but as often as he strove to injure Jacob, God blessed him, until Jacob became immensely rich. In time, Jacob married Rachel, and also her sister Lea.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 15.—Describe Jacob's ladder. What did God promise? What does Bethel mean? What is said of Bethel and the Church? Whom did Jacob meet at the well? What happened? How long did Jacob serve Laban? Whom did he marry?



16.—Jacob's Return.


1. Owing to Jacob's great wealth, Laban became extremely jealous of him. At the command of God, Jacob gathered together all his servants, and his flocks of sheep and of goats and of camels and of asses, and went into his own country. When he arrived at the banks of the Jordan, a river that marks the limits of Canaan, he began to fear the former anger of Esau. He then sent messengers to make peace with him; but without giving an answer, Esau came to meet his brother, accompanied by four hundred men.

2. When Jacob heard this, he was much alarmed, and prayed God to deliver him out of his brother's hands. During the night an angel appeared to him and wrestled with him till the morning. Before the angel left him, he changed his name from Jacob to Israel, that is to say, strong against God.

3. This contest of the angel with Jacob is a lively figure of the Church. Pagan emperors, heresiarchs, and, above all, hell, have made constant war against her; but as Jacob was not overcome by the angel, neither has the Church been overcome, nor shall she be to the end of time.

4. In the morning Jacob saw Esau coming towards him. He hastened to divide his children and his servants and his flocks into two companies; then, advancing to meet Esau, bowed himself seven times before him. The brothers embraced and wept for joy; Jacob's children, also advancing, bowed themselves before Esau.

5. After a short delay the brothers parted, and Jacob pursued his journey; penetrated with a lively sense of the divine protection, he came into the land of Canaan. When his old father saw him he was much rejoiced, and gave God thanks that his son had returned. Isaac died at the advanced age of a hundred and eighty years, and was buried by his sons Esau and Jacob.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 16.—How did Laban act towards Jacob? What did Jacob gather together? What happened at the Jordan? with whom did Jacob wrestle? What does Israel mean? How is Jacob's contest a figure of the Church? How did Esau and Jacob meet? How old was Isaac when he died?



17.—Joseph in his Father's House.


1. Jacob had twelve sons, of whom Joseph was the best. His father loved him above all his brothers; and when they saw the coat of many colors which his father made for him, they were filled with rage and envy. One day, while they were tending their flocks, his brothers committed a grievous fault. Joseph told his father, and by this only the more were his brothers enraged against him.

2. On another occasion Joseph told his brothers a dream he had had. He appeared, he said, to be binding sheaves with them in the field, when suddenly his sheaf rose up, and theirs, standing round about, bowed down to his. His brothers asked him, "If he wished to be their king?" So they only hated him the more.

3. Joseph had another dream, in which the sun and the moon and eleven stars seemed to worship him. This time his father asked him, "Whether he expected that he and his mother and his brothers should worship him?" But then, reflecting upon the whole matter, Jacob thought God might have great things in store for his son.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 17.—What is said of Joseph? Why did his brothers hate him? What were his dreams?



18.—Joseph Sold into Egypt. [B.C. *1800]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Some time after this Jacob sent Joseph to see his brothers, who were feeding their flocks at Sichem, that he might bring him back word how they were. But when the brothers saw Joseph coming to them, they determined to kill him and cast him into a pit that was near by. When Ruben, the eldest brother, heard this cruelty of his brothers, he persuaded them to let him down alive into an empty cistern that was there. This he did hoping he might rescue the boy out of their hands.

2. As soon as Joseph arrived he was stripped of his coat of many colors and cast into the empty cistern. Whilst his brothers were eating, they saw some Ismaelite merchants passing on their way to Egypt, their camels carrying their merchandise. Then Judah advised his brothers not to kill Joseph—for he was their brother—and it would be better to sell him; so they drew him out of the cistern and sold him to the Ismaelites for twenty pieces of silver.

3. Ruben was absent when Joseph was sold, and, returning shortly after, sought the boy, and, not finding him, went, in much trouble, to the others to know what they had done with him; but they were indifferent to his inquiries.

Then the brothers killed a kid, and dipping Joseph's coat in its blood, sent it to their father, pretending they had found it. Jacob knew the coat at once, and concluded a wild beast had killed his son. Rending his garments and putting on sackcloth, he would not be comforted.

4. In many respects Joseph's life was a picture of the life of Jesus Christ. Joseph was hated by his brothers because of his great virtues; Jesus was hated for His doctrines and the prophecies that foretold His greatness. Joseph was betrayed, sold, and calumniated; so was Christ. Joseph triumphed in the end; so did Jesus Christ. Joseph was made governor over Egypt; Jesus is Ring of heaven and earth. Joseph saved his brothers; Jesus Christ redeemed and saved mankind.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 18.—Where was Joseph sent? What did his brothers propose? What did Ruben say? What was done with Joseph? To whom was Joseph sold? For how much? How did Ruben act? What was done with Joseph's coat How did Jacob act when he saw the coat? How was Joseph's life a picture of the life of Jesus Christ?



19.—Joseph in the House of Potiphar.


1. When the Ismaelites came into Egypt, they sold Joseph to Potiphar, the chief officer in Pharaoh's army. God was with Joseph, so that whatever he undertook succeeded. Soon he was placed in charge of Potiphar's house.

2. After some time Potiphar's wife strove to persuade him to commit a grievous sin, but he would not. However, she continued to press her wishes, until one day, when she was more pressing than usual, Joseph fled, leaving his cloak in her hands.

3. Finding she could not succeed, her love was turned into hatred, and, seeing Joseph's cloak in her hands, resolved to ruin the innocent young man. Then, with well-affected horror, she began to cry out against Joseph; and when Potiphar came home, repeated her falsehoods and calumnies. Her husband believed her story, and, seeing the cloak, became very angry and cast Joseph into prison.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 19.—To whom was Joseph sold? How did Potiphar's wife act? Who cast Joseph into prison?



20.—Joseph in Prison.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Joseph soon found favor with the keeper of the prison. Here, as before with Potiphar's house, Joseph was placed in charge of the other prisoners. Two of Pharaoh's officers, the cup-bearer and chief baker, were also cast into prison.

2. On the same night they had each a dream that made them very sad. In the morning Joseph noticed their sorrow, and, asking why, they told him of their dreams, and that no one could interpret them. Joseph bade them tell them to him.

3. The cup-bearer said: "I saw before me three branches of a vine, which, by degrees, grew and blossomed, and at length brought forth grapes. I took the grapes and pressed them into the king's cup, and gave him to drink." When Joseph heard this, he answered: "The three branches are yet three days, when the king will restore yen to your former dignity, and you shall present the cup as heretofore. Remember me, and speak to the king for me, for though cast into prison, I am innocent."

4. Then the chief baker said: "I carried on my head three baskets of meal. In the uppermost were all kinds of pastry, of which the birds came and eat." Joseph answered: "The three baskets are three days, when the king shall cut off your head, and hang your body on a gibbet, where the birds shall eat your flesh."

5. Three days after, everything happened as Joseph had foretold: the king restored the cup-bearer, and he presented the cup as before, but the baker he hanged on a gibbet. The cup-bearer, however, in his prosperity, forgot Joseph.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 20.—What position did Joseph hold in the prison? What happened there? What was the cup-bearer's dream? What was the baker's' Row were they fulfilled? Whom did the cup-bearer forget?



21.—Joseph's Greatness.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After two years Pharaoh had a dream. He seemed to stand on the bank of the Nile, while seven fat kine came up and fed in the marshes; then there came up seven other kine, lean and ill-favored, that devoured the fat kine. After this the king awoke.

2. Pharaoh slept again, and dreamt another dream: he saw seven ears of corn, full and fair, growing upon one stalk; then he saw seven other ears grow up, thin and blasted, and these eat up the first. So Pharaoh awoke. In the morning the king sent for all the wise men and soothsayers of Egypt, to whom he related his dreams, but no one could interpret them,

3. Then the cup-bearer remembered Joseph, and told the king how, in prison, Joseph had interpreted both his and the chief baker's dream. Immediately Joseph was sent for. When the king related his dreams to him, Joseph told the king their interpretation depended not on him but on God.

4. "This," said Joseph, "is the interpretation of you' dreams: the seven fat kine and the seven full ears are seven years of plenty; the seven lean kine and the seven blasted ears are seven years of famine, which will follow and eat up all the abundance of the seven years of plenty. The famine shall be in all the land. Let, therefore, the king choose a wise man, and make him ruler over Egypt; and let him, during the years of abundance, gather the crops into public granaries, that there may be food against the seven years of famine."

5. This counsel pleased Pharaoh, and, admiring the wisdom and prudence that appeared in Joseph, he chose him. Then tie took the ring from his own finger and put it upon Joseph's, and, putting upon him a silken robe, and round his neck a chain of gold, made him go up into his second chariot, while a herald went before, crying aloud: "Let all the people bow their knee before Joseph, who is made governor of Egypt." Pharaoh also changed Joseph's name, and called him "Saviour of the world," Joseph was then thirty years of age.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 21.—What was Pharaoh's first dream? What his second? Who could not interpret the dreams? Who could? What was the interpretation of the dreams? Who was made governor of Egypt? What was Joseph called?



22.—Joseph's Brethren go into Egypt.


1. During the seven years of plenty, Joseph stored up great quantities of wheat. As he had foretold, the famine came, and the people demanded bread from the king; but he sent them to Joseph, who opened the granaries and gave out wheat.

2. The famine passed also into the land of Canaan. Jacob, hearing there was wheat in Egypt, sent ten of his sons thither, that they might buy; but Benjamin, the youngest, he kept at home, lest any harm should befall him on the way. In time the brothers arrived in Egypt, and, coming to Joseph, humbly bowed themselves before him. He knew them, but they did not know him.

3. Joseph began to charge them with being spies, but they declared their innocence, and how they had come only to buy wheat. They also told him that, originally, they were twelve brothers; that the youngest was at home with their father, but the other was not living. Joseph, that he might further try them, threatened to cast one of them into prison until the others should return and bring their younger brother, that he might see if they were men of truth or no.

4. When the brothers saw themselves so harshly treated, they began to speak one to the other, not thinking that Joseph understood what they said, as he had spoken to them only through an interpreter. In their trouble they remembered how they had treated him, and acknowledged that their present treatment was a just punishment for their former cruelty to their younger brother. When Joseph heard this, going out, he wept.

5. Then Simeon was cast into prison, while the sacks of the others were filled with corn, and their money put secretly in each man's sack; provisions were also given them for the journey. When all was ready, the brothers loaded their asses and went their way.

6. Coming to their father, they told him all that had happened; and, emptying their sacks, each found the price of his corn. Great fear came upon them. When Jacob heard what had happened, he began to lament his sad lot—how they would rob him of his children; Joseph was not, Simeon was a prisoner, and now they would take Benjamin away.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 22.—After seven years what happened? What did Joseph give the people? What did Jacob do? Who was kept at home? How did the brothers appear before Joseph p What did they tell him? What did Joseph threaten? What did the brothers say to each other? What did Joseph do? Who was cast into prison? What was done to the others? What did they tell their father? What was found in each man's sack? How did Jacob act?



23.—Benjamin goes down to Egypt.


1. When their wheat was all eaten, Jacob ordered his sons to go again into Egypt; but Judah said it was useless unless they took Benjamin with them. After considering the matter well, Jacob at length consented. Taking with them Benjamin, and double money, they started again.

2. When they arrived in Egypt, and Joseph saw Benjamin, he commanded his steward to bring them into the palace, that they might dine with him. The steward did as he was ordered. They, seeing what was done, became frightened, and began to think it was because of the money they had found in their sacks; but the steward told them not to fear, and, going, brought Simeon to them.

3. When Joseph came in to see them, they bowed down before him and presented the gifts they had brought. He saluted them kindly and asked for their father: if he yet lived, and if he were well. Having answered him, he turned to Benjamin, and, blessing him, went out and, for joy, wept.

4. Washing his face, he returned and ordered dinner. When he seated them each in the order of his age, they wondered exceedingly. To each he gave a share, but Benjamin's was five times larger than that of any other. So they eat and drank and made merry with Joseph.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 23.—What did Jacob order? What at first did Jacob refuse? When they arrived in Egypt, what did Joseph command? How did the brothers feel? How did Joseph receive them? How did Joseph act towards Benjamin? How did Joseph seat his brothers? Whose share was the greatest? How did the brothers act?



24.—Joseph's Silver Cup.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Joseph would again prove his brothers, to see if they were as jealous and hard-hearted towards Benjamin as they had been to himself; so, when the feast was ended, he bade his steward fill their sacks with corn, to put each man's money back into his sack, and his own silver cup into the sack of the youngest. The order was obeyed, and in the morning they departed.

2. But scarce were they gone when Joseph sent his steward after them, charging them with returning evil for good in having stolen his master's silver cup. When the sons of Jacob heard the accusation, they were overwhelmed with fear, and declared that with whomsoever the cup would be found, he should die. Hastening, they opened their sacks, and the cup was found in Benjamin's. Confounded, they gazed on each other, and, rending their garments, returned to Joseph.

3. They cast themselves at his feet, and Judah, in their name, said they had no excuse to make; that they were thus justly punished for their sins; and that hereafter they would be his slaves. Joseph, however, declared that only he with whom the cup had been found should be his slave; the others would be free to go.

4. When Judah heard this, he drew near to Joseph and told him how much it had cost their father to let Benjamin go, how he had pledged himself for the return of the boy, and how, if they returned without Benjamin, he feared it would kill their aged father; then Judah offered himself to be slave instead of his younger brother Benjamin.

5. Joseph could no longer restrain himself, but, bursting into tears, said to his brothers, "I am Joseph." They could not answer him, so great was their fear; but he spoke kindly to them, assuring them that all they had done to him had been directed by God. Then he asked how his father was, and commanded his brothers to hasten and tell him of his son's glory to come down to Egypt, for there were yet five years of famine.

When Pharaoh heard the news, he promised to give Jacob of the fat of Egypt. Then Joseph dismissed his brothers, sending with them chariots and provisions, costly robes and silver.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 24.—What is said of Joseph's silver cup? What did the brothers say? In whose sack was the cup found? What did Judah offer? What message did Joseph send his father?



25.—Jacob goes down to Egypt.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Joseph's brothers came to their father and told him the news,—how his son yet lived, and was governor of Egypt,—Jacob awoke as from a dream. At first he could not believe what he heard, but when he saw the chariots of the king, and received the rich presents sent by his son, his spirits revived, and he was satisfied, now that Joseph lived, to go down to Egypt, that he might see him before he died.

2. Jacob gathered together all his possessions and, accompanied by his sons and their wives and their children,—in all to the number of seventy,—began his journey. When he came to the borders of the land of Canaan, the Lord appeared to him and told him to fear nothing, for He would go down with him, and would yet make of him a great nation, and in time would bring him back again.

3. Judah went on before to tell Joseph that his father was coming. Joseph hastened to meet his father, and, seeing him, fell upon his neck and wept. "Now I die in peace." said Jacob, "since I see your face."

In the same manner spoke the aged Simeon, seventeen hundred year afterwards, when, in the Temple of Jerusalem, he saw the true Joseph, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world.

4. When Joseph presented his father to the king, he asked him his age. The old man said, "I am a hundred and thirty years of age; yet I am not as old as my fathers."

Joseph gave his father and his brethren possessions in Gessen, because there was there great abundance of grass for their flocks.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 25.—How did Jacob act when he heard Joseph was alive? What did Jacob gather together? Who appeared to him? What did the Lord tell him? Who told Joseph his father was coming? Describe the meeting of Joseph and Jacob. What is said of Simeon? How old was Jacob when he went into Egypt?



26.—The Death of Jacob and Joseph.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, Jacob fell sick. When Joseph heard this he took his two sons, Ephraim and Manasses, and hastened to visit his father. When Jacob saw the two boys, he blessed them.

2. Then he called together his sons, and told them God would yet lead them back to their own country; but he charged them to bury him in the land of Canaan. Then he blessed them, foretelling what would happen in the latter lays.

To Judah he gave the greatest blessing, saying: "Yon shall rule over your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you, and the sceptre shall not pass from Judah till He cometh that is to be sent, the Expectation of Nations."'

3. This celebrated prophecy, that so clearly marked the time when the Messiah would come, was accomplished when Herod, the first stranger, ruled over Judea. In him the sceptre passed from Judah.

4. When Jacob was dead, Joseph threw himself on his father's face, weeping and kissing him. Then he ordered the physicians to embalm the body, and when, according to the custom of the Egyptians, he had mourned for seventy days, he, with his brothers and an immense multitude, carried the body into the land of Canaan. Thus was Jacob buried at Hebron.

5. Joseph lived to the age of a hundred and ten years, and saw his children's children to the third generation. When he saw his end drawing near, he called his brothers to him, and told them they would have trouble after his death; to fear nothing, however, as God would surely lead them hack to the land He had promised to their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then, having charged them to take his bones up with them, he died, and his body was embalmed and laid in a coffin.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 26.—How many years after his arrival when Jacob fell sick? What were the names of Joseph's sons? What did Jacob do before he died? What prophecy was given to Judah? Where was this prophecy fulfilled? What was dare with Jacob's body? Where was be buried? What did Joseph foretell? What was done with his body?



27.—The Patience of Job.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Contemporary with the patriarchs there lived in Arabia a man named Job. He had seven sons and three daughters; for possessions he had seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred asses, besides many servants. He was much esteemed on account of his great wealth, but much more so for his piety.

2. On a certain day God said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job, how there is none like to him on the whole earth?" Satan replied that it was easy for Job to serve God, that he was rich and blessed in all his actions; but, "Touch him," said Satan, "and he will curse you and abandon you." God gave Satan permission, only not to touch his person.

3. Soon after this, while the sons and daughters of Job were eating and drinking together in the house of their eldest brother, there came a messenger to Job to tell him how the Sabeans had taken his oxen and his asses, and slain his servants. The messenger had hardly finished when there came another, telling how fire had fallen from heaven and consumed his sheep and his shepherds. There came still a third, saying the Chaldeans had taken his camels and slain his servants. And while he was yet speaking there came a fourth with the sad news that the house in which his children were feasting had been blown down by a wind and all were killed.

4. When Job heard these things, rising up, he rent his garments, and, falling down, adored God. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away," said he; "blessed be the name of the Lord." So Job sinned not, and God rejoiced in His servant.

5. Satan again appeared before the Lord and said, if God would but touch Job's person, He would see Job would curse Him. God put Job in Satan's power. Then Satan struck Job with a grievous ulcer, so that he was covered with sores from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. Job scraped his sores with a potsherd.

6. Job's wife, seeing this, came and upbraided him for his folly. But Job answered, "If we have received good from the hand of God, why will we not receive evil?" So again Job sinned not.

7. When Job's friends heard what had befallen him, three of them came to condole with him. Seeing him, they wept, and, sitting down, for seven days and seven nights no one spoke, for they saw how great was his grief.

8. At length Job opened his mouth and began to lament his suffering; but his friends only reproached him with his faults. Job would not confess that he was guilty, but stoutly maintained his innocence and his confidence in God.

9. This confidence was not misplaced, for Job was delivered from his afflictions, and had possessions twice as great as before. Again he had seven sons and three daughters, and after this lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his children's children to the fourth generation. He died an old man, full of joy and happiness.

10. Job is a figure of Jesus Christ, who, bruised from the top of His head to the sole of His foot, and scorned as a man covered with iniquities, complained not. We see also in Job's case how far sometimes God permits the devil to exercise his powers.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 27.—What is said of Job? What did sod say to Satan? What did Satan say to God? Who were eating and drinking? What did the first messenger tell Job? What the second? Third? And fourth? What did Job say? What power did God give Satan the second time? With what was Job struck? What did Job answer his wife? Who came to see Job? What did they do? What did Job maintain? What reward did Job receive for hi8 patience. Of whom was Job a figure? How?


END OF THE SECOND AGE.


Age III:
From Moses to David



28. —The Birth of Moses [B.C. *1500]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In Egypt the posterity of Jacob rapidly increased, and soon became a great people. In the mean time other kings arose, who knew not Joseph, and, seeing how great the Israelites had become, began to fear them; so they oppressed the children of Jacob, put heavy burdens upon them; and finally ordered the Egyptian midwives to cast into the Nile all the male children that would be born among the Hebrews.

2. One of the Hebrew women bore a son, whom she loved most tenderly. For three months she hid him; but, finding tit impossible to conceal him any longer, she made a basket of bulrushes, and, smearing it with pitch, laid the child in it, and placed the basket among the sedges by the bank of the river. Then she sent his sister to watch what would come to pass.

3. By the direction of God, Pharaoh's daughter came down to the river to wash herself, and, seeing the basket, sent her maid to bring it. When she opened it and saw the child, she knew it belonged to one of the Hebrew women. The sister approaching, Pharaoh's daughter sent her to bring a nurse. She ran and brought the mother. Pharaoh's daughter gave her the child to nurse, and, when he was grown up, adopted him, calling him Moses, that is, saved front the waters.

4. Moses was a figure of Jesus Christ. Moses was saved from the river: Jesus, from Herod. Moses, when young, was wise in words ant powerful in deeds; so also Christ, who, at the age of twelve, was the wonder of priests and doctors. Moses divided the waters of the sea; Christ calmed the winds and the storms. Moses led the way to the Promised Land; Christ is the way to heaven.

5. Moses, amid great miracles, gave the Old Law to the Jews; Christ with the most stupendous miracles, gave the New Law to the world. Moses abolished idolatry among the Jews; Christ, in the world. Moses gave civil liberty to the Jews; Christ, spiritual liberty to mankind.

6. Moses fasted forty days on the mountain; Christ fasted forty days in the desert. Moses descended from the mountain with his face transfigured; Christ was transfigured on the mountain. In the desert, Moses fed the people with manna; Christ feeds the world with His own body and blood. Moses confirmed the Old Law with the blood of bullocks; Christ sealed the New Law with His own blood.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 28.—What is said of Jacob's posterity? How did the kings of Egypt treat them? What order was given to the midwives? Tell the story of the birth of Moses and how he was saved. What does Moses mean? Tell how Moses was a figure of Jesus Christ.



29.—The Call of Moses.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Moses attained his fortieth year he resolved to share the miseries of his people. By his vigorous defence of the Hebrews against the cruelty of the Egyptians, he incurred the displeasure of the king, who resolved to put him to death; but Moses fled to Madian, in Arabia, where he lived for forty years, tending the flocks of his father-in-law, Jethro, a priest of that country.

2. One day, when Moses had led his flock to the mountain of Horeb, God appeared to him in the midst of a burning bush. Moses was much astonished that the bush was not consumed, and approached to see what it could mean; but God commanded him to stand still and take off his shoes, for the place was holy. At the voice of God, Moses fell on his face.

3. Then God told him how He had seen the afflictions of the Hebrews, and that He was about to deliver them; besides, He had chosen him to lead the people out of Egypt. At first Moses objected, alleging his weakness and slowness of speech; but God promised to be with him, and gave him Aaron, his brother, as spokesman.

4. Then Moses returned to Egypt, and Aaron with him, and, assembling the people of Israel, Aaron spoke to them all the Lord had commanded. When Moses had wrought miracles, before the people, they believed and adored God.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 29.—How old was Moses when he resolved to join his people? Whose anger did he excite? Where did he flee? Whose flocks did he keep? In what did God appear to Moses? what did God command him to dot Who was given as spokesman? Where did Moses and Aaron go?



30.—The Ten Plagues of Egypt.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Moses and Aaron were both about eighty years of age when they first presented themselves before Pharaoh and commanded him to let the Israelites go into the desert to sacrifice to the Lord. But Pharaoh refused, and commanded the Israelites to be oppressed more and more. Their tasks were also increased.

2. Again Moses and Aaron presented themselves before Pharaoh. At the command of God, Aaron cast his rod before the king, and immediately it was changed into a serpent. Pharaoh only the more hardened his heart and would not let the people go. Then God sent ten plagues upon Pharaoh and his people.

3. For the first, Aaron struck the Nile with his rod, and its waters were changed into blood, and corrupted. After seven days he again stretched his hand over the waters of Egypt, and there came up frogs that covered the whole land. Then, in turn, the dust of the earth was turned into flies and insects that tormented both man and beast.

4. In quick succession there followed a murrain amongst the cattle, and boils and swellings upon man and beast. For the seventh plague, God sent thunder and hail, and lightning running along the ground. After this was added the plague of locusts to eat up what the hail had spared; and, at last, impenetrable darkness covered the land.

But Pharaoh hardened his heart and would not let the people go as the Lord commanded; so God struck him with tenth plague more terrible than all the rest.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 30.—How old were Moses and Aaron when they went to Pharaoh? What did they ask of him? What did Pharaoh do? What was done the second time Moses presented himself to Pharaoh? What was the first plague? What was the second, third, etc.? Did Pharaoh let the people go?



31.—The Death of the First-born.—The Paschal Lamb.—The Departure from Egypt.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Before God sent His tenth plague He wished to prepare the Israelites for it. Each family was therefore commanded by Moses and Aaron to prepare a lamb without blemish, and on the fourteenth day of the month to sacrifice it, and to sprinkle their door-posts with its blood. They were further required to roast the lamb at the fire, and whilst, with unleavened bread and wild lettuce, they eat its flesh, to stand with their loins girt and staves in their hands. The Israelites did all they were commanded.

2. About the middle of the night, the angel of the Lord struck all the first-born of Egypt, even from the first-born of Pharaoh to the humblest of the land: no family escaped. But the angel, seeing the blood on the door-posts of the Israelites, spared them.

3. When Pharaoh saw this, he rose up and, calling Moses and Aaron, commanded them to go forth and to take the Israelites with them. The Egyptians also pressed them to go, fearing lest all would die. The Israelites went forth from Egypt, two hundred and fifteen years after Jacob had gone thither, to the number of six hundred thousand men, besides women and children. They carried with them the bones of Joseph.

4. The paschal lamb was a figure of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, who was offered on the cross. By His blood we also are marked and delivered from eternal death. The deliverance of the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt is also a figure of man's delivery from the bondage of sin and hell.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 3l.—What did God command the Israelites to eat? How was the paschal lamb to be eaten? With what were the door-posts sprinkled? What happened about the middle of the night? Who were spared? What did Pharaoh do? How long were the Israelites in Egypt? How many entered Egypt? How many left it? Whose bones were carried out? Of what was the paschal lamb a figure?



32.—The Passage of the Red Sea.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. God became the guide of the Israelites, leading them on their way by a cloud in the day and a pillar of fire in the night. In a few days they came to the Red Sea. Meanwhile Pharaoh repented that he had let the Israelites go, anti resolved to gather together his horses and chariots and pursue them. When the Israelites saw the Egyptians behind them and the sea before them, they were seized with great fear. But Moses encouraged them, and assured them the Lord would fight for them.

2. The cloud that had gone before the Israelites now went behind them, and become a wall of separation between the Egyptians and the Israelites. On the side of the former it was dark, but on the side of the latter it shone with a clear light. Thus the two armies were separated during the night. By command of God, Moses stretched forth his rod over the sea, and the waters were divided, rising as a wall to the right and to the left.

3. During the night the Israelites passed through on dry land. In the morning the Egyptians also followed, but, at the command of God, Moses again stretched forth his rod over the sea, and the waters returned to their place—Pharaoh and his whole army, his chariots and his horsemen, were swallowed up, so that not a single person escaped.

4. The cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night were a figure of Jesus Christ. He is the light, in which those who walk will not perish. The Red Sea is also a figure of Baptism, since we must all receive it if we will enter heaven.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 32.—Who became the guide of the Israelites? What was seen in the day? What in the night? What did Pharaoh do? What became of the cloud? Tell how the Israelites passed the Red Sea. What happened to the Egyptians? What was a figure of Jesus Christ? How? Of what was the Red Sea a figure? How?



33.—The Quails, the Manna, and the Water in the Desert.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the Israelites came into the desert they could find no bread; then they began to murmur against Moses, and to wish for the flesh-pots of Egypt. God promised them flesh to the full, and, in the morning, bread. In the evening there came into the camp an immense number of quails, which were easily caught; and in the morning the desert was covered with small white seeds that appeared like hoar-frost. When the Israelites saw this they cried out MAN-HU! that is, What is this?

2. Then Moses told them it was the bread which the Lord had sent them. They were commanded to gather as much as each one needed. The people did so, and found the taste thereof like fine flour mixed with honey.

3. For forty years God fed the Israelites with this bread, which was afterwards called manna. It fell no more after they came into the land of Canaan.

This manna was preeminently a figure of the Sacrament of the Altar In which Jesus Christ gives Himself under the appearance of bread and wine.

4. Some time after this there was a scarcity of water, and the Israelites began again to murmur. God told Moses to take his rod, and to go to Mount Horeb and strike the rock. He did so, and immediately there came forth water in such abundance that the people quenched their thirst and were satisfied.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 33.—In the desert what did the people do? What did God send in the evening? What in the morning? What was the taste of the manna? How long did God feed the Israelites on manna? What was the manna a figure How did God supply water?



34.—The Ten Commandments.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Three months after their departure from Egypt the Israelites came to Mount Sinai. God called Moses, and he went up into the mountain. Here the Lord spoke to him, and bade him remind the people of all He had already done for them, and how He would continue to protect them if they would be faithful to Him, and that He would make them a chosen people. When Moses descended from the mountain and told the people all the words of the Lord, they cried out, "We will do all the Lord bath spoken."

2. Then God commanded the people to purify themselves to-morrow and the next day, and to be ready for the third. On the morning of the third day it began to thunder and lighten; a thick cloud covered the mountain. The top of Mount Sinai was on fire, and it shook to its base. Then came the sound of a trumpet, that grew louder and louder, until the people trembled with an exceeding great fear.

3. When Moses had led the people to the foot of the mountain, the Lord spoke thus:

  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.
  2. Thou shalt not take the, name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day.
  4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.

4. When the people, who were camped round about the mountain, beard these things, trembling with fear and full of reverence, they promised to do all the Lord commanded them. Moses built an altar and offered sacrifice to the Lord. He took also of the blood of the victims and sprinkled it upon the people, as a sign of the covenant the Lord had that day made with them.

5. As the covenant of the Old Law was established on Mount Sinai, so was the covenant of the New Law sealed on Calvary. There God showed His power; here, His mercy. Both covenants were sealed with blood: at Sinai with the blood of bullocks; on Calvary with the blood of Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 34.—When did the people come to Sinai? Who was called up to the mountain? What did God tell Moses? What did the people say? What were the people commanded to do? What happened on the third day? Repeat the ten commandments. What did Moses offer? With what did he sprinkle the people? What comparison between Sinai and Calvary?



35.—The Golden Calf.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After this, Moses again went up into the mountain, and for forty days and forty nights remained conversing with God. The Lord gave him two tables of stone, on which were written the ten commandments. While Moses delayed on the mountain, the people began to murmur, and came to Aaron and demanded that he would make for them gods like to those of the Egyptians. Not thinking they would comply with his command, he said to them, "Bring me the golden earrings of your wives and daughters."

2. Contrary to his expectations, they brought them, and, being a weak man, he had not courage to resist their wicked wish; so he cast them into a furnace and made a golden calf, and built an altar. Then the Israelites gathered together and offered sacrifice, and, eating and drinking, rose up to play, after the manner of the pagans.

3. When Moses came down from the mountain and saw these abominations, he was exceeding angry, and throwing down the tables on which the ten commandments were written, broke them. Seizing upon the golden calf, he burned it, and beat it into powder. Then he commanded the sons of Levi to unsheathe their swords, to march through the camp and return, and to put to death all whom they met. There were slain on that day about twenty-three thousand men dared not look upon him; so Moses was forced to put a veil on his face when he spoke to the people.

4. Moses again returned to the Lord on the mountain, and prayed for the pardon of the people. The Lord heard his prayer. Moses hewed two tables of stone like the first, and God again wrote on them the ten commandments.

5. When Moses had finished speaking with the Lord, he descended from the mountain carrying with him the two tables of the Law. His face had become horned, and shone Is the rav,9 of the sun. When the Israelites saw this, they

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 35.—How long did Moses remain on the mountain? What did God give him? What did the people ask of Aaron? What did he make? What aid the people do? How did Moses act? What were broken? What did the sons of Levi do? How many were killed? Where did Moses go again? What did he bring back with him? What appeared on the face of Moses?



36.—The Ordinances for the Worship of God.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Besides the ten commandments which God gave Moses, He also gave many other ordinances. These latter related to the public worship, which, with extreme care, Moses established according as God commanded him.

2. The Tabernacle.—Moses began by constructing a tenth whose supports were made of setim-wood and were so framed that they could easily be taken apart. The length of the tent was thirty cubits, and the height ten, and' the breadth ten. The supports were overlaid with gold, and the whole was covered with most precious hangings. Within hung a veil of magnificent tapestry, which divided the Tabernacle into two parts—the smaller called the Holy of Holies; the larger, the Sanctuary.

3. Within the Holy of Holies was placed the Ark of the Covenant, a small box made of the most precious wood, overlaid with gold and surmounted by two cherubim. In the Ark were placed the two tables of the Law.

Within the Sanctuary were kept three objects consecrated to the worship of God: the Table of Showbread, on which were placed twelve loaves of bread, made of the finest flour; the Golden Candlestick, that, with its seven lights, shone during the entire night; and, lastly, the Altar of Perfumes, on which was burned the finest incense.

4. Besides this, Moses constructed around the Tabernacle a grand portico which enclosed two other sacred objects: the Altar of Holocausts, and the Great Brazen Basin in which the priests were commanded to purify themselves before they performed any sacred function.

5. This Ark was a figure of the tabernacle in Catholic churches; the Holy of Holies, of the altar on which is offered the sacrifice of the New Law; the Sanctuary corresponded to the place the priests occupy; and the portico represented the body of the church, where the people now worship.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

6. The sacrifices of the Old Law were either bloody, in which were offered heifers and sheep and goats and doves; or unbloody, in which were offered cakes and unleavened bread and wine.

The bloody sacrifices prefigured the bloody sacrifice of Christ upon the cross; the unbloody were a type of the sacrifice of the Mass.

7. The Religious Feasts were: 1st. The Pasch, on which the Israelites eat the flesh of a lamb, and for seven days unleavened bread, in remembrance of their deliverance out of Egypt. 2nd. The feast of Pentecost, celebrated seven weeks after the Pasch, in remembrance of the Law received on Mount Sinai. At this feast were also offered the first-fruits. 3rd. The feast of Tabernacles, in memory of their long sojourn in the desert. During this feast the Israelites were required to live in tents made from the branches of trees. 4th. The feast of Expiation, on which the priest sacrificed a heifer for his own sins and a goat for the sins of the people. Then he entered into the Holy of Holies, carrying with him the golden censer and the blood of the victim: with the former he incensed the Ark, with the latter he sprinkled the pavement.

8. The Ministers of Divine Worship were: 1st. The High Priest. To this office Moses consecrated Aaron, anointing him, and clothing him with the various vestments of his office. 2nd. The Priests proper, who were the sons of Aaron, and whose office it was to offer sacrifice. 3rd. The Levites, who were of the tribe of Levi, and who were charged with the lower offices within the Tabernacle.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 36.—What besides the commandments did God give? Describe the Tabernacle. What was the Holy of Holies? What was placed in it? What was the Ark? What three objects were kept within the Sanctuary? What did the portico enclose? Show how these different objects correspond to things in the Catholic Church. What kinds of sacrifices were in the Old Law? What was the Pasch? What was Pentecost? What was the feast of Tabernacles? Of Expiation? Who was the High Priest? Who were the Priests? The Levites?



37.—The False Messengers.—The Murmurs of the People.—God's Chastisements.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The Israelites remained a year at Mount Sinai. When they started on their way, Moses chose twelve men, among whom were Joshua and Caleb, to go into the Land of Promise. After forty days they returned, carrying with them specimens of the fruits of the country. Amongst these was an enormous bunch of grapes borne on the shoulders of two men, besides apples and pomegranates and figs. The land, indeed, said they, overflowed with abundance, but the inhabitants were giants.

2. Then the people wept, and again murmured against Moses and Aaron, wishing they had died in Egypt or in the desert. In vain did Joshua and Caleb speak of the richness of the country and the weakness of the people. The multitude, led on by the others, would not listen, but cried out the more to return to Egypt.

3. When the murmur was at its height, the glory of God was seen over the Ark of the Covenant. Then the Lord said to Moses He would destroy the Israelites, for they were an incredulous people. The Lord even offered to make Moses ruler over a greater nation; but Moses, the meekest of men, only prayed the more that the Lord would pardon them.

4. At his prayer the Lord again pardoned the people; yet, as a punishment for their sin, He declared that not one of them that had attained his twentieth year should enter the Promised Land, Joshua and Caleb excepted. Their children would enter, but for forty years should the people wander in the desert—a year for every day spent in exploring the country.

5. This history of the Jews is similar to what happened in the time of Jesus Christ. The Jews, as a whole, would not understand the spiritual kingdom promised and established by Christ; hence they rejected Him. On the cross He begged His Father to forgive them. That prayer is still being answered in the constant but small stream of conversions to Christ and will be fully answered before the end of the world, according to the prophecy of St. Paul.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 37.—How long did the people remain at Sinai? Who were sent to Canaan? What report did they bring back? How did the people act? Who spoke in vain? What appeared over the Ark? What did God say He would do? What punishment did God decree? What is said of the Jews?



38.—Core, Dathan, and Abiron.


1. Some time after the events related in the preceding chapter, two hundred and fifty Levites, led on by Core, Dathan, and Abiron, revolted against Moses and Aaron, denying their authority. On the following day the Lord commanded the people to go out from the tents of these wicked men;, not to touch anything belonging to them, lest they also would be involved in their sin. While the people were looking on to see what would come to pass, the earth opened under the feet of the three leaders and swallowed them down, with their tents and all their substance. Then a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty Levites. Moses and Aaron were that day vindicated.

2. In modern times we often see similar revolts against the priests of God. Ambitious and wicked men wish to rule the Church; but, like Core and his companions, they will ever receive a just punishment for their pride and presumption.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 38.—Who revolted? How were they punished? What do we see in modern times?



39.—The Hesitation of Moses, and the Brazen Serpent.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Water again failed, and the people began to murmur. Then the Lord commanded Moses to take his rod and strike the rock. Moses, for a moment, doubted; then struck the rock, when water gushed forth in great abundance. This momentary doubt greatly displeased God, and He declared that Moses, because he had not believed, should not lead the people into the Promised Land.

2. Shortly after, the people rebelled again, and, murmuring, complained they had neither food nor water. When God saw this He sent among them fiery serpents, whose sting burned like fire. Many died amid the most cruel torments. When the people saw this they came to Moses, acknowledging their sin, and begging him to pray to the Lord that He would take the serpents from amongst them.

3. Moses prayed, when the Lord commanded him to make a brazen serpent and to set it up for a sign. He did so, and as many as looked upon it were healed.

4. This serpent prefigured Our Saviour nailed to the cross; for as the Israelites were cured by looking upon the serpent, so are all who, with faith, look up to Christ cured of the wounds of sin caused by the bite of the infernal serpent.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 39.—What failed? How was water supplied? How did Moses act? How did God punish him? What did God send? What happened? What was set up? Of whom was the brazen serpent a figure?



40.—The Death of Moses


1. When, according to the course of nature, the time came that Moses must die, the Lord commanded him, in the presence of the people, to put his hand upon Joshua, that they might have no cause to disobey him. Then Moses told the people he was about to die; that he would not pass over the Jordan with them, nor enter the Promised Land.

2. He then reminded them of all the Lord had done for them—how He had nourished them in the desert, and how He had watched over them; then he commanded the people to keep the commandments, to love the Lord, and to hearken to His voice. He also foretold them, in a spirit of prophecy, that the Lord would in time raise up a PROPHET like to him, whom they should hear. He spoke of Christ.

3. When Moses had finished speaking, he went up to the top of Mount Nebo, from which the Lord showed him the land of Canaan. When Moses saw it he rejoiced; and, full of gratitude and thanks to God, died at the ripe old age of a hundred and twenty years. The Lord buried him in the valley of Phogor, but the spot no man knows. Israel mourned for him thirty days. There was never after a prophet Hie Moses.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 40 Who succeeded Moses? What did Moses remind the people of? What prophecy did Moses make? Where did Moses die? Where was he buried?



41.—The Israelites enter the Promised Land. [B.C. *1315]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the death of Moses, the Lord commanded Joshua to pass over the Jordan. The priests took the Ark of the Covenant and marched before; the people followed. When they were come to the banks of the Jordan, and the priests had touched the water with the soles of their feet, the waters above stood still, while the waters below ran down, leaving a dry passage for the people to pass over.

2. When all had passed, the waters returned to their usual course. The people encamped near Jericho, where they celebrated the feast of the Pasch.

Jericho was a large and populous city, well fortified with walls. For six succeeding days the Israelites went round about it. On the seventh the priests carried with them the Ark of the Covenant, while seven priests sounded the trumpets of Jubilee, and the people shouted with a great cry. All this was done by the command of God. At the sound of the trumpets and the shout of the people, the walls fell flat to the ground, and the Israelites entered and took the city.

3. In time, Joshua conquered all the country, and, by lot, divided it among the twelve tribes of Israel. Each tribe bore the name and was descended from one of the twelve sons of Jacob. Thus, after their long wanderings, had the Israelites arrived in the Land of Promise.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 41.—Who led the people over the Jordan? What happened? What feast was celebrated? What was Jericho? now was it taken? Who conquered Canaan? How was the land divided?



42.—The Judges.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Surely the Israelites owed a deep debt of gratitude to the Lord for the rich and magnificent country He had given them; but they were an ungrateful people, and were easily led astray by their pagan neighbors. Shortly after their arrival in the Promised Land they fell into idolatry. In punishment for their crime, the Lord delivered them into the hands of their enemies. Servitude taught them repentance and their dependence upon God. Having humbled themselves before Him, He sent pious men, called Judges, selected from among the people, to deliver them and to rule them.

2. Their repentance was but of short duration; at the death of each Judge they returned to their sins and idolatry. For four hundred years this faithless and thankless people were in turn changing from God to the worship of idols—relapsing and repenting. The sixteen Judges sent during this time were: Othouiel, Aod, Samgar, Barac, Debbora, Gideon, Abimelech, Molar, Jair, Jephte, Abesan, Ahialon, Abdon, Samson, Eli, and Samuel.

3. Amongst these, Samson was one of the most remarkable. So great was his strength that, on one occasion, by the mere power of his hands, he tore a furious lion into pieces. On another, he slew a thousand men with the jaw-bone of an ass. After this, while asleep, he was made prisoner by the Philistines, and bound with seven cords; but, when he awoke, he broke them like burnt flax.

4. During his life, Samson waged a continual war upon the Philistines: at one time carrying away the gates of their city; at another, burning their crops. At length he was made prisoner and his eyes put out. While the Philistines were feasting and making merry over their victory, Samson was brought out to make sport for them. Wearied, he leaned against the pillars that supported the house in which the Philistines were assembled; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and, his strength returning, he shook the pillars, and the house fell, killing himself and three thousand of his enemies.

The pious and humble Gideon, who fought against the Madianites, was also very renowned.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 42.—What did the Israelites owe the Lord? How did they act? What punishment did God send? Who were the judges? How many were there? What is said of Samson? Give some examples of his strength. Against whom did he make war? How did he die?



43.—The Pious Ruth.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. During the time of the Judges, a certain man of Bethlehem went, with his wife and his two sons, into the land of Moab. His name was Elimelech, and his wife's name Naomi. His sons married women of Moab. In time, Elimelech and his two sons died. Oppressed with grief, Naomi returned to Bethlehem, and her two daughters-in-law resolved to accompany her.

2. When they had come some distance on the way, Naomi strove to persuade her daughters-in-law to return to their own country. Orpha yielded, but Ruth would not; so Ruth came to Bethlehem with Naomi. They returned at the harvest-time, and, being poor, Ruth went into the fields to glean the ears of corn left by the reapers.

3. Led by the hand of God, she went to glean in the fields of Boils, a man of great wealth, and a relation of Elimelech. During the day, Boaz came into the fields to see the reapers. When he saw Ruth and heard with what courage she had followed Naomi, and with what fidelity she served her, he spoke kindly to her, and told her to remain with his servants and to follow his reapers; besides, when she was thirsty, to go to the vessels and drink. Boaz, moreover, commanded the reapers to let fall, now and then, handfuls of corn, that she might gather them without shame.

4. Some time after this Boaz married Ruth. The Lord blessed them and gave them a son, named Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. From this family Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, descended.

The Moabites were not Jews, but strangers and enemies; hence Our Saviour in descending from Ruth, a Moabite, wished to show that He was the Saviour not of the Jews alone, but of all mankind.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 43.—Who went to Moab? Who returned to Bethlehem? Who accompanied her? Where did Ruth go? Who met her? What did Boaz say? Who marries Ruth? Who was Obed? Jesse? David? From whom is Jesus Christ descended?



44.—The Sons of Eli. [B.C. *1100]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Holt the high priest was Judge in Israel, there lived a pious couple named Elcana and his wife Hannah. Hannah had no children, for which she grieved very much. On a certain day she came to the tabernacle of the Lord at Silo, where, weeping and praying, she said: "O Lord God of hosts? if Thou wilt give me a son, I will consecrate him to Thee." God heard her prayer and gave her a son, whom she called Samuel.

2. When Samuel was three years old his mother took him to Eli the high priest, at Silo. Here she consecrated him to God; and Samuel served the Lord in the tabernacle, and grew in favor with God and man.

3. Samuel and John the Baptist are much alike in their histories. Both were a gift for the prayers of their parents; both were early consecrated to God; and both preached penance to the people. Samuel was the last Judge, and the immediate precursor of the great King David; John the Baptist was the last of the prophets and the pre-cursor of Jesus Christ, the Eternal King. Samuel anointed David; John baptized Jesus.

4. Eli had two wicked sons—Ophni and Phinees. When the people came to Silo to sacrifice to the Lord, the two young men were wont to come and by violence take the flesh of the sacrifice. They committed also other abominations in the sanctuary. Eli reproved them but mildly. He did not chastise them as he should have done.

5. One night, while Eli slept within the enclosure of the sanctuary, and Samuel near him, the Lord called Samuel, He, thinking it was Eli, rose and went to him; but Eli told him he had not called him, and bade him go and sleep. This was repeated three times, when Eli understood it was the Lord who called. Then he bade Samuel answer Him and listen to what He would say. Samuel did so.

6. On the morrow Eli called Samuel, who told him all the Lord had said; how the Lord would punish him and his two sons—the father because he had not punished his sons, and the sons for their wickedness. When Eli heard this he bowed before the will of God.

7. Some time after this there arose a bloody war between the Philistines and the Israelites. Of the latter, thirty thousand were slain, and among the dead were the sons of Eli. The Ark, that had been carried into the battle, was taken. When Eli heard this terrible news he fell from the stool on which he was sitting, and, breaking his neck, died.

8. The Philistines carried the Ark into the temple of their god, Dagon. But the Lord afflicted them in many ways: their god was thrown down, their fields were overrun with mice, their cities were devastated by pestilence, until the Philistines were glad to send back the Ark to Israel.

9. Samuel succeeded Eli in the office of Judge. He assembled the people and pointed out their sins. He also promised them, if they would repent, the Lord would deliver them out of the hands of the Philistines. The people fasted and confessed their sins. God gave them the victory, and for many years peace reigned over the land.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 44.—When did Elcana and Hannah live? What was Hannah's prayer? When was Samuel consecrated to God? How are Samuel and John the Baptist compared? What is said of Eli and his sons? What is said of Samuel? How did Eli die? How did his sons die? What happened to the Philistines? Who succeeded Eli? What did Samuel promise? What reigned over the land?



45. Saul, the First King. [B.C. *1040]


1. When Samuel had grown old he appointed his sons Judges over Israel; but they walked not in the fear of the Lord. Then the people asked for a king. When Samuel heard this he was very angry, because he wished that God alone should be King of Israel. God, however, yielded, and Samuel anointed Saul king. He was a beautiful and valiant youth, from the tribe of Benjamin, and stood head and shoulders above any other man in Israel.

2. In the beginning of his reign the Lord was with Saul, and gave him the victory over his enemies. On one occasion he unfortunately disobeyed God.

He was commanded to cut off the Amalecites, and to spare nothing; but, in the pride of his power, he spared the best of the flocks, and, on his return, built triumphal arches to celebrate his victory. For this he was cut off from the throne of Israel, and his posterity forbidden to succeed him.

3. Saul was a figure of the Jewish Church. Chosen by God, at first she surpassed all others in her knowledge of God and the graces with which she was endowed. But, little by little, she fell. She forgot her obedience, her humility, her charity, and, in the pride of her insolence, trusted alone in her sacrifices. She also rejected the Christian Church, chosen to succeed her. Saul persecuted David; so did the Jews persecute Jesus Christ. David wept for the death of Saul; so did Jesus Christ weep over Jerusalem.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 45.—What did the people ask for? Who was anointed king? What is said of Saul? How did he reign in the beginning? For what was Saul cut off from the throne of Israel? How was Saul a figure of the Jewish Church?



46. —David.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. At the command of God, Samuel went to Bethlehem, to the house of Jesse. When he arrived, David, the youngest of the sons of Jesse, was in the fields tending his father's flocks. Samuel sent for him, and, taking a horn of oil, anointed him. As the Spirit of God came upon David, it departed from Saul.

2. Saul became subject to fits of melancholy, and an evil spirit haunted him. On such occasions David was brought in to play upon his harp and soothe the troubled mind of the king. Thus David was introduced into Saul's house. Moreover, Saul made David his armor-bearer, not knowing that he had been consecrated king. As often as David played, Saul was soothed.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 46.—Who was anointed king? Whose son was he? With what was Saul attacked? Who prayed for him? What was David made?



47.—David and Goliath.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. A new war broke out between the Philistines and the Israelites. The Philistines were encamped on one mountain, the Israelites on another directly opposite—a narrow valley lying between them. A giant, named Goliath, advanced from the camp of the Philistines. His height was six cubits and a span; he had on his head a brazen helmet, and was clothed in a heavy coat of mail. The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam.

2. Thus arrayed, Goliath defied the armies of Israel, asking that a man be sent to fight him. For forty days this giant presented himself—to the shame of Saul and the terror of the Israelites, for no man dared to meet him.

David came to the camp to see how it fared with his brothers. When he saw Goliath, and heard his taunts, his blood boiled within him, mad, coming to Saul, he said, "I will fight this Philistine."

3. At first Saul refused, but, on the representations of David, at length yielded. Then Saul clothed David in his own armor; but, unaccustomed to it, David put it off, and, choosing five smooth stones from the brook, took his sling and went forth to meet Goliath.

4. When the giant saw him he despised him, asking if he thought he was a dog. But David feared not; he went forth in the might and the power of God. When the two champions drew near to each other, David chose one of the stones that he carried with him, and, casting it with his sling, struck the Philistine on the forehead with such force that he fell with his face to the ground. Then David ran and, drawing the sword of Goliath from its sheath, cut off his head.

5. When the Philistines saw their champion was slain, they fled; but the Israelites, shouting and pursuing, killed many of them, and pillaged their camp.

This victory of David over Goliath was a figure of Christ's victory over the devil. As Goliath for forty days insulted the armies of Israel, so did the devil for four thousand years war against God's kingdom on earth; and as David conquered Goliath with a staff and five smooth stones, so did Jesus Christ conquer the devil by His cross and His five wounds.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 47.—What is said of the armies of the Israelites and Philistines? Who was Goliath? What did Goliath to? Who killed him? How What comparison between David and Christ? And between Goliath and the devil?



48.—Jonathan's Love and Saul's Hatred for David.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Saul and the army returned from their victory over the Philistines, the women of Israel came forth from the different cities playing and singing, "Saul hath killed his thousands, but David his tens of thousands." When Saul heard this he became exceedingly angry, and one day strove to strike David with his lance; but David escaped.

2. Shortly after this Saul offered his daughter Michal in marriage to David, on condition that he would kill two hundred Philistines. Saul hoped that the Philistines would kill David. But David killed the Philistines, and was only the more loved by the people. When Saul saw this his hatred increased, and he became more decided on David's death.

3. In proportion as Saul hated David, did Jonathan, the king's son, love him. David and Jonathan made with each other a covenant of peace. They often spoke to each other of Saul's hatred. Jonathan reasoned with his father, and spoke of what David had done against the Philistines. For the moment Saul was appeased.

4. For the fourth time David went to war with the Philistines. His victory only aroused anew the anger and jealousy of Saul, who strove to strike him with his javelin; but David escaped for the second time. Again Jonathan pleaded for his friend: Saul's anger would not be appeased, and in his rage he even drew his sword to kill his own son.

5. When Jonathan saw this he went to David, and told him what had happened, and advised him to flee. Weeping, Jonathan sent David away, but bade him never forget the covenant they had made, nor what they had sworn to the Lord.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 48.—What did the women sing? How did Saul act? What did he try to do? On what condition did Saul offer his daughter to David? What is said of David and Jonathan? How did Jonathan plead for David? What did Saul try a second time? What did Jonathan advise David?



49.—David's Generosity to Saul.— Saul's Death. [B.C. *1013]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. For a while David's life was in constant danger from the hands of Saul; but he placed his confidence in God, who did not desert him.

One day Saul pursued David with three thousand men. Wearied, Saul entered a cave in which David and his men lay concealed, but Saul knew it not. David's men would have killed Saul, but David would not allow them, contenting himself with cutting off the hem of Saul's robe.

2. On another occasion Saul pursued David into the desert of Hachila. While Saul and his general, Abner, together with the whole army, were asleep, David and Abisai entered the camp. Abisai would have run Saul through with his spear, but David forbade him. David, however, took the spear that was at the king's head.

3. When they were gone some distance from the camp, David cried to the king, and he awoke. When Saul saw, by the loss of his spear, how he had been in David's power, and how, for the second time, David had spared him, he repented, and returned with his army, while David went his way.

4. War again broke out between the Philistines and the Israelites. Saul assembled an army and went forth to meet the enemy. In the battle Saul was mortally wounded, and, fearing he might fall into the hands of the Philistines, fell on his own sword, and died. By his sinful death David was freed from danger, but he rejoiced not; he only saw the virtues and good qualities of the king. In this same battle Jonathan was also killed. When David heard of his friend's death he wept bitterly, calling him brother, and comparing his love for him to the love of a mother for her child.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 49.—What is said of David's life? How did David show his generosity? How did Saul act? How did Saul die? Who else was killed? How did David take Jonathan's death?


END OF THE THIRD AGE.


Age IV:
From David to the Division of the Kingdom



50.—The Great and Pious King David.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After Saul's death David was chosen king of Israel. He established his residence at Jerusalem, and, by the number of his armies and the brilliancy of his victories, was very renowned amongst the neighboring nations. He had twelve generals, each with an army of twenty-four thousand men under him, and, over all, Joab was placed general-in-chief.

2. During his long and turbulent reign David carried on many wars. In turn he subdued the Philistines, the Moabites, the Syrians, the Edomites, and the Ammonites. By his victories, immense treasures of gold and great quantities of booty were brought to Jerusalem. When David died he left a kingdom that extended from Egypt to the Euphrates. In every respect this was the most brilliant period in the history of Israel, as well for its victories abroad as for the wisdom of its legislation at home.

3. David paid much attention to the administration of justice. He chose wise men for his counsellors and upright men to rule the people. He also appointed honest men to guard the royal treasures and manage the crown lands. Order was everywhere.

4. David, moreover, strove, as well by his own example as by his influence, to cultivate and spread the worship of the true God among his subjects. On Mount Sion he built a magnificent tent in which to place the Ark of the Covenant. When all things were ready the Ark was carried thither with great pomp and show. In the procession were all the princes of the people, clad in purple robes, while the priests wore their richest vestments. Three thousand armed men served as a guard of honor, whilst the people attended in countless numbers.

5. Those who marched before and those who immediately surrounded the Ark played upon lutes and harps, and on cymbals and trumpets. David himself walked before the priests, playing on his harp, while at every few steps a bull and heifer were offered in sacrifice to the Lord.

6. After this David divided the priests into twenty-four classes, and each, in its turn, was commanded to serve before the Lord. From amongst the Levites were chosen four thousand singers, whose duty it was to chant, day by day, the praises of God, and to play on all manner of musical instruments.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 50.—Who was chosen king? What is said of him? What of his armies? Who were subdued? What was brought to Jerusalem? What is said of David's reign? What was built on Mount Sion? What was placed in it? How were the priests divided? What was the duty of the Levites?



51.—The Revolt and Chastisement of Absalom.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. David committed two grievous crimes: first, he persuaded Bathsheba to sin with him, and then, to hide her shame, caused Uriah, her husband, to be murdered. But the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to him, who fearlessly reproached him with his crimes. David humbly acknowledged his faults and confessed his sins against the Lord. At the sight of his humiliation God pardoned him, but, as a punishment, sent him many trials.

2. Of these the most severe was the revolt of his son Absalom, the most beautiful man in Israel. Absalom began by flattering the people and pandering to their prejudices. When he thought himself strong enough he openly revolted. From all sides the people ran to his standard. When David heard this he left Jerusalem, and, passing over the brook Cedron, went, barefooted and his head uncovered, up the Mount of Olives, weeping on the way.

3. A man from the house of Saul, named Semei, met David as he fled, and, throwing stones at him, cursed him, calling him a man of blood. Abisai, one of David's servants, wished to kill Semei, but David forbade him, hoping God might perhaps turn his curses into blessings.

4. In the mean time Absalom pursued his father beyond the Jordan; the two armies met, and Absalom was defeated. While he fled, mounted on a mule, Absalom passed under a large oak-tree, in the branches of which his hair became entangled, and, the mule passing on, he was left hanging by the hair. When Joab, one of the king's generals, heard this, he ran and thrust three spears into the ungrateful heart of Absalom. He threw the body into a deep pit, and cast upon it a great heap of stones.

5. When David heard of his son's death he was greatly afflicted, and, weeping, cried out, "My son Absalom, would to God I had died in your stead, Absalom, my son Absalom." After this David returned to Jerusalem, accompanied by his army and a great multitude of people who came forth to meet him.

6. David is a figure of Jesus Christ—in his family residence, Bethlehem; In the obscurity of his youth; in his victory over Goliath; in his sorrow when he passed over the brook Cedron; by his ascent of the Mount of Olives; in his generosity to his persecutors; and, finally in his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

7. As David had to contend against two enemies, Saul and Absalom, so have two enemies risen against Christ and His Church—the first, Judaism, which the Church replaced: the second, heresy, which has so often risen against the Catholic Church, and, by flattering the passions of men, succeeded in blinding the multitude and leading them astray.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 51.—Whom did God send to David? What did David do? What great punishment did God send? Who cursed David? What happened to Absalom? Where did David go? Of whom is David a figure? How?



52.—The Last Days of David.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. David reigned over Israel from his thirtieth to seventieth year. When he saw his end approaching he called together the princes and principal men of the nation, and told them how he bad intended to build a Temple to the Lord; how he had gathered together gold and silver, brass and iron, and wood and stone, but that God had forbidden him, as he was a man of blood and of many wars. God, however, would allow his son Solomon to build the Temple.

2. Then David gave Solomon minute directions as to its construction, and warned him that it was not a house for man he was building, but a dwelling-place for the Lord. David, besides, told Solomon never to forsake the Lord, but to serve Him with a docile heart; and, further, to remember that in the day he forsook God, God would forsake him.

David died, and was buried on Mount Sion, and Solomon, his son, succeeded him.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 52.—How long did David reign? What did he say about the Temple? What did be say to Solomon?



53.—The Wisdom of Solomon.[B.C. 973]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In the beginning of his reign Solomon loved the Lord, and walked in his father's footsteps. One night the Lord appeared to him, and bade him ask what he would. Solomon asked for wisdom, that he might rule with justice. When the Lord heard this He was much pleased, and gave Solomon not only the wisdom he had asked for, but also riches and honors and a long life.

2. Besides, God gave him a true knowledge of all things in nature, so that he understood the admirable order of creation, the power of the elements, the course of the seasons, the position of the stars, the instincts of animals, and the thoughts of men, together with a knowledge of the diversity of plants, and the medicinal virtues of their roots. All nature was open to his mind, whence it came to pass that the wise men of the world and the princes of nations stood in admiration at the wisdom of Solomon.

3. One day two women came to him demanding judgment in their case. The first said: "This woman and myself live together in one house. We have each had a child. During the night her son died. When she discovered this she rose, whilst I slept, and took my son from my side, and laid her dead son in his place. In the morning I saw the dead child, but, on a closer examination, I discovered it was not mine."

4. In answer to this the other said, "Surely your son is dead, and mine lives." But the first answered, "It is not so." Thus the two women disputed before the king. Then Solomon ordered a sword to be brought and the living child to be divided, and half to be given to one, and half to the other. When the mother of the child heard this she was filled with dismay and overwhelmed with agony. Torn with a mother's love for her child, she cried out to the king, "My lord, give her the child alive; do not kill it." But the other said, "Let it be divided."

5. Then Solomon ordered the living child to be given to the first: "for," said he, "she is the mother." Soon this judgment was known in all the land of Israel, and the people were filled with admiration for Solomon, because they saw the Spirit of God was in him.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 53.— What is said of Solomon? What did God give him? What besides wisdom? What is said of the two women? What was Solomon's decision?



54.—The Building and Dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem.


1. In the fourth year of his reign Solomon began to build, on Mount Moria, in Jerusalem, a Temple to the Lord. During its construction seventy thousand men were employed to cut and bring the wood that was needed, while eighty thousand more were engaged in quarrying and dressing the stone, Besides these, thirty-six hundred overseers were needed to lee that all was done according as it had been planned. Ten thousand Israelites were sent to cut down cedars and pine-trees on the mountains of Libanus.

2. The building itself was of vast and magnificent proportions. Its length was sixty cubits, its height thirty, and its breadth twenty cubits. Besides this there were added porticos that ran round the main building, and also courts for the use of the priests and the people. The interior was lined with cedar, and ornamented with carvings representing cherubim, palm-trees, and all kinds of flowers. Everything deeded in the Temple for the worship of God was of the purest gold, among which are enumerated ten tables, a large number of candlesticks, and a hundred chalices.

3. At the end of seven years the Temple was finished, when the princes and ancients of the people assembled together, and carried the Ark from Mount Sion to the sanctuary prepared for it. The people walked before, while the Levites played upon cymbals and harps, and a hundred priests sounded their trumpets, and all tae multitude sang, "Praise to the Lord, because He is good; and His mercy endureth forever." On the way an innumerable number of oxen and sheep were offered in sacrifice.

4. When the Ark was placed within the sanctuary, a cloud filled the Temple, and the multitude fell upon their knees. Solomon, lifting up his hands towards heaven, said: "Lord, the God of Israel! nothing can be compared to Thee; nor can the heavens contain Thee, much less this house: nevertheless I have built it, that here Thou mayest listen to the prayers of the people, and mayest be merciful to them. "

5. Whilst Solomon was yet praying and the people were round about adoring, fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifices. God again appeared to Solomon, and told him his prayer was heard; and this Temple he had built should ever be a place where the prayers of those who came to offer their vows would be heard.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 54.—What did Solomon build? How many men were engaged upon it? Describe the Temple and the things needed for the worship of God. Describe the dedication. What happened when the Ark was placed in the sanctuary? What did God promise Solomon I



55.—The Magnificence of Solomon. —His End.


1. For the first twenty years of his reign Solomon walked in the footsteps of his father David. His name and his greatness were known throughout the world. Nations paid him tribute, and his vessels whitened the seas from India to Spain, carrying gold and ebony and precious stones to his capital.

2. In this general prosperity many cities were built through the land, and Jerusalem rose to the highest splendor and magnificence. Solomon built a palace of untold wealth; his throne was of ivory overlaid with gold, while within the palace hung fifty massive bucklers of the same precious metal.

3. The vessels, the chalices, the utensils, and everything necessary for the service of the Lord, were of the purest gold. The people lived in peace, and neighboring nations sought Solomon's friendship. Even the Queen of Saba, dazzled by the splendor of his fame, came to visit him, that she might for herself see his magnificence and prove his wisdom. These were the days of Israel's glory.

4. But Solomon did not end his reign as he began it. When he grew old he was led away from God by the blandishments of pagan women; his heart became corrupted, and he fell into idolatry; nay, to please his women, he built a temple for their idols. When the Lord saw this He became exceedingly angry, and told Solomon, that, for his sins, the kingdom would be divided and given to another: "yet," said the Lord, "for the love I bore thy father David, I will leave two tribes to thy son."

5. Hurried on by his passion, and blinded by his sins, Solomon fell from his greatness. He oppressed his subjects, and scandalized his people, until discontent and revolt showed themselves everywhere. Amid general gloom, Solomon, the wisest of men, died—a sad example of the weakness and fickleness of man and the vanity of life.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 55.—What is said of the first years of Solomon's reign? Describe Solomon's magnificence. What is said of the ornaments and vessels of the Temple? Who came to see Solomon? How did Solomon end his days?



56.—The Division of the Kingdom. [B.C. 932]


1. After the death of Solomon the people came to his son Rehoboam, and asked him to lighten a little the burden which his father had imposed upon them. Rehoboam bade them return in three days. In the mean time he consulted the old men, who recommended mercy and kindness; and then the young men, who advised harshness. Following the advice of the young men, Rehoboam said to the people, on the third day: "My father put a heavy yoke upon you; I will make it heavier. My father beat you with whips; I will chastise you with scorpions."

2. When the people heard this they became very angry and stoned Aduran, the king's messenger, and, choosing Jeroboam, one of Solomon's servants, made him king over ten tribes. The two tribes of Judah and Benjamin adhered to Rehoboam.

Thus, according as God had foretold Solomon, were the Jewish people divided into two kingdoms—Israel and Judah. Jerusalem remained the capital of Judah, while Samaria, at a later period, became the capital of Israel.

3. This sinful separation of the ten tribes from their harsh yet lawful king is a figure of so many who by heresy and sin, separate themselves from the Catholic Church, God's true representative upon earth.

Jerusalem represented truth; Samaria, heresy. At the former was the Temple, where alone sacrifice pleasing to God could be offered. There was the Ark of the Covenant, and there alone was the priesthood that God had established.

4. The separated tribes, from which was formed the kingdom of Israel, were by far more numerous than the two that remained faithful. This mattered not. As with heresy, so with them; in a few years they entirely disappeared from history, leaving but a name behind them.

5. To the two tribes God showed mercy, for from them came the Saviour of the world. So shall it be with the Catholic Church: she has seen the rise and fall of all forms of heresies, many of which for a time, seemed to threaten her existence; but they have passed away, while she remains, as she will remain to the end.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 56.—How did Rehoboam treat the people? What happened? What was Jeroboam made? Who adhered to Rehoboam? Into what were the Jews divided? What were the capitals of the two nations? What is said of the kingdom of Israel and of the kingdom of Judah? What is said of the Catholic Church and heresy?


END OF THE FOURTH AGE



Age V:
Kingdom of Israel to its Destruction by Assyria.



57.—A General View.


1. Soon after their separation from the Kingdom of Judah; the people of Israel fell into idolatry. It happened thus; Jeroboam said to himself, "If my people go up to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice, as the law commands, they will soon return to Rehoboam and abandon me." So he made two calves of gold, and setting them up, said to the people, "Go not up to Jerusalem, for your gods are here." The people obeyed him and adored the idols.

2. During his whole reign Rehoboam made war upon Jeroboam; nor was peace ever permanently established between the two kingdoms. So bitter became the strife that frequently the stranger and the pagan were called in to help the weaker side.

For two hundred and fifty-three years Israel, whose capital was at Samaria, maintained a separate existence. During this time Israel had nineteen kings, most of whom came to the throne by violence or by the murder of their predecessors. Disorder, vice, idolatry, reigned supreme.

3. To punish the kings and correct the people, and that He might leave them no shadow of excuse for their wickedness, God, from time to time, raised up saintly men called prophets. These prophets preached and wrought miracles, both in the kingdom of Israel and in the kingdom of Judah.

4. God did everything to save his chosen people; at one time humbling them by the hands of their enemies; at another cheering them on with the promises of the, Redeemer. But they were a perverse and stiff-necked people, nor would they obey. Hence God could say to them, in all justice: "O Israel! thy destruction is from thyself."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 57.—How did the people of Israel fall into idolatry? What did Rehoboam do against Jeroboam? How long did the kingdom of Israel last? What was its character? Who were the prophets? What did they do?



58.—God sends the Prophet Elias. [B.C. *850l]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Ahab was one of the most wicked of all the kings that ruled over Israel. In concert with his pagan wife Jezabel he built a temple to the god Baal. He appointed four hundred and fifty priests to serve this false god, whilst at the same time he put to death all the priests of the true God he could find in his kingdom.

2. When God saw the wickedness of this king, He sent Elias the prophet to him to tell him no rain should fall in Israel. When Ahab heard this he became exceedingly angry, and secretly sought to put Elias to death. But God bade the prophet go to the torrent of Carith, where the ravens would feed him.

3. Elias did as he was commanded, and night and morning the ravens brought him bread and flesh, and he drank from the torrent. In time the torrent also dried up, when the Lord told Elias to go to Serepta, in the land of the Sidonians, where a widow would feed him.

4. Elias went, and, as he was entering the city, he met the widow, from whom he asked a little water to drink. When she went to bring it Elias called after her to bring him also a little morsel of bread. But she answered, It I have but a handful of meal and a little oil in a cruse. I am gathering a few sticks wherewith to cook it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die."

5. Elias bade her fear not, but to make a cake for him, and then to make one for herself and son: "For her meal would not fail, nor her oil diminish, until rain would fall upon the earth." The woman did as he commanded her, and her meal failed not, nor did her oil diminish.

6. Some time afterwards the widow's son died, and at the prayer of Elias the child was restored to life. When the woman saw what was done she said to Elias: "Now I know you are a man of God."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 58.—What is said of Ahab? What did he build? Who came to him? Where did Elias go? How was he fed? Where did God send him? Tell what happened to the widow of Serepta?



59.—Elias and the Priests of Baal.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. For three years and six months no rain fell in Israel. Again Elias presented himself to Ahab, who with much anger chid him for the distress that was then in the country. But Elias answered him that he had not plunged Israel into its present trouble, but the king himself by his sins and his idolatries.

2. Then Elias bade the king assemble all Israel upon Mount Carmel, and also the four hundred and fifty priests of Baal. Ahab did so, and went himself to the mountain. When they were all assembled Elias made the following proposition:, "I am alone," said he; "the priests of Baal are four hundred and fifty: let two bullocks be given us; let` them choose one and I will choose the other; let them kill their bullock and I will kill mine; and let each of us lay our bullock upon wood, but put no fire under it; then let them call upon their gods and I will call upon my God; and let the God that shall answer by fire be God." The proposition pleased the people.

3. The priests of Baal prepared themselves with great solemnity, and when they had dressed their bullock, laid it on the altar. From morning till noon they called upon Baal, but he heard them not.

Then Elias began to laugh at them, bidding them: "Cry louder; perhaps Baal was asleep; or maybe entertaining himself with a friend; or perhaps he might be on a journey and away from home." They continued to cry all the louder, but no Baal spoke.

4. Elias built an altar also, and dressing his bullock laid it on it. He dug a trench round about the altar and filled it with water; he also poured water on the wood. Then he called upon the Lord to show his power, that the people might be converted.

5. While Elias was yet praying fire came down from heaven and consumed the holocaust, as also the wood and the stones of the altar—nay, the very water in the trench. When the people saw this they fell on their faces and cried out: "The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is the true God!"

Then the priests of Baal were slain, and shortly after rain fell in great abundance.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 59.—For how long did no rain fall? What proposal did Elias make? How did the priests of Baal act? What did Elias do? What was the result?



60.—The Vineyard of Naboth.


1. A man named Naboth had a vineyard near the palace of King Ahab. The king wished to buy it, but Naboth would not sell it: so Ahab became very angry. When Jezabel, the queen, heard what had happened, she sent for false witnesses, who accused Naboth "of having blasphemed against God and the king." Naboth was stoned to death, and Ahab took the vineyard.

2. By the command of God, Elias came to Ahab and told him because he had done this wicked thing, and unjustly taken the vineyard of Naboth, the dogs would lick his blood and eat the flesh of Jezabel.

This prophecy was fulfilled to the letter. Three years after, Ahab was mortally wounded in battle, and the dogs licked his blood; and some time after that, during the reign of Jehu, Jezabel, by the king's orders, was thrown from a window and trampled to death under the horses' feet. When, some hours afterwards, her friends came to seek for the body, it was found torn to pieces by the dogs.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 60.—What is said of Naboth's vineyard? How did Ahab get it? What did Elias tell Ahab? How was the prophecy fulfilled?



61.—The Prophet Eliseus.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. By God's command Elias chose Eliseus for his successor. When the time drew near that Elias should go to God he strove to escape from Eliseus, but he could not; and, while they were waking together, Elias was parted from Eliseus by a fiery chariot and carried up into heaven by a whirlwind. The mantle of Elias fell upon Eliseus, and he was filled with the spirit and miraculous powers of his master.

2. One day Eliseus was insulted by some rude boys, who mockingly called him "Bald head." The prophet threatened them in the name of the Lord, and at the same instant two bears came from the woods and tore forty of these wicked boys to pieces.

3. On another occasion, Naaman, a distinguished Syrian general, came to Eliseus to be cured of leprosy. When he came to the house where Eliseus was, the prophet sent him word by his servant to go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and he would be clean. Naaman became exceedingly angry, because he thought he had been slighted by the prophet.

4. However, at the earnest advice of his servants, Naaman went, and, bathing seven times in the Jordan, was cured.. When Naaman saw what was done he returned to Eliseus, and acknowledged there was no God but the God of Israel. Then he besought the prophet to take a gift, but he would not.

5. When Naaman was gone, Giezi, Eliseus' servant, ran after him and told him that two sons of the prophet's had just called upon his master, and he had been sent for a talent of silver and two changes of garments. Naaman gave him two talents of silver, and Giezi returned to his master.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

6. When Eliseus saw him he asked where he had been. But Giezi denied he had been anywhere. Eliseus became indignant at the lie, and said to him: "My spirit was with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you. Even now you have the silver and garments that were given you. As a punishment for your sin the leprosy of Naaman shall stick to you forever." And Giezi went out a leper, white as snow.

7. After working many miracles, Eliseus died and was buried. Some time after his death a man died, and his friends came to bury him near the grave of Eliseus. But suddenly a band of robbers coming upon them, they threw the dead man into the grave where the body of Eliseus lay. Scarce had the dead man touched the bones of Eliseus when he came to life and stood upon his feet.

This fact proves that even among the Jews God wrought miracles by the relics of His saints.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 61.—Who succeeded Elias? How did Elias go up to heaven? What fell upon Eliseus? What happened to the rude boys? Tell the story of Naaman. What happened to Giezi? What happened to the dead man?



62.—Jonas the Prophet.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the death of Eliseus God chose Jonas for His prophet. One day God bade him go to Nineveh and preach penance, for the sins of the people had become very great.

Nineveh was the capital of Assyria, and Jonas wished it to perish. Hence he fled to the sea, and embarked aboard a vessel going to Tarshish, thinking he would thus flee from the Lord.

2. When the ship had pushed out from the land God sent a violent storm, so that the vessel was in danger of being lost. They cast lots to see who was the cause of the evil, and the lot fell upon Jonas. Then he told them what he had done, and advised them to cast him into the sea. The sailors cast him overboard, and immediately the sea became calm.

3. The Lord had prepared a great fish—a whale—which swallowed up Jonas. For three days and three nights the prophet was in the whale's belly. Then he prayed to the Lord for help. God heard him, and on the third day the fish vomited him out on dry land.

4. Jonas was a figure of Jesus Christ. Jonas was cast into the sea that, by the loss of one, the crew might be saved. By the sacrifice of Christ the world was redeemed. Jonas was three days in the whale's belly; Christ was three days in the tomb.

5. God said to Jonas a second time: "Go into Nineveh and cry, 'Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed.'" When the people heard these words they believed in God, and, fasting, clothed themselves in sackcloth and ashes. Even the king shared in the general penance, and by proclamation commanded every one to abandon his sins, that perhaps God would spare the city. When God saw the sincerity of their repentance, He heard the prayer of the people and did not destroy the city.

6. Jonas, fearing he might be considered a false prophet, was displeased, and, going, built for himself a booth, outside the walls of the city. During the night the Lord caused an ivy to grow up, that it might shade the prophet from the heat of the sun. Jonas was much pleased; but in the following night God prepared a worm to strike the ivy, and it withered.

7. Then there came a hot, burning wind, while the rays of the sun beat upon the head of the prophet. Scorched by the heat, discouraged and dejected, Jonas wished to die. But the Lord said to him: "You are grieved and dejected for the loss of a miserable ivy that you neither planted nor made to grow: should I not spare Nineveh, a great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand men?"

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 62.—Where was Jonas sent? What happened to him? How long was Jonas in the whale's belly? How was Jonas a figure of Jesus Christ? What did the people of Nineveh do? How did Jonas act? What did Jonas build? W hat is said of the ivy? What became of Nineveh?



63.—The End of the Kingdom [B.C. 722] of Israel.


1. Nineveh, an idolatrous city, did penance, and found grace with God; but Israel became daily more and more wicked. She set God at defiance, and despised His prophets, until, weary with her crimes, He resolved on her destruction.

2. Suddenly and unexpectedly, Salmanasar, King of Assyria, came with a powerful army, and laid siege to Samaria, the capital of Israel. After three years he took the city, and led the greater portion of the inhabitants captives into Assyria, while those who remained became mixed with the neighboring nations.

3. The religion of the Samaritans was a compound of Judaism and paganism. The people of Judea hated the Samaritans, both because of their religion and because of their revolt. Hence, Our Saviour was called a Samaritan, because the Jews thought they could call a man no worse name.

Those who were led away into captivity never returned, but becoming mixed with the people of Assyria and the surrounding nations, were lost to history, and perished as a people. Not a trace of the ten tribes remains to-day.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 63.—Who destroyed Israel? How? What became of the people? What was the religion of the Samaritans? Why was Christ called a Samaritan?



64.—The Old Tobias.


1. Among those who were led into captivity by Salmanasar was a God-fearing man, named Tobias. From his youth he had avoided the society of the wicked and kept the commandments. He spent much of his time in consoling his fellow-captives, and by his charities helping to relieve their wants. To feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and in the night to bury the dead was his usual care.

2. One day, wearied and exhausted with burying the dead, he returned to his house, and, lying down by the wall, fell asleep. Whilst he slept the hot dung from a swallow's nest fell into his eyes, and he lost his sight. Tobias bore his affliction without murmur, and strove to purify himself by his trials.

3. Tobias being rendered helpless by the loss of his sight, his wife Anna went out every day to weave, that she might help to support him. One day she received, over and above her wages, a little kid. When Tobias heard it bleating he began to fear lest it might have been gotten dishonestly, and not until he had been assured that it was a gift would he touch it.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 64.—What is said of Tobias? What did he dot How did Tobias lose his sight? What is said about the kid?



65.—The Counsels of Tobias to his Son.


1. After Tobias had been proved in many tribulations he thought he was going to die, so he balled his son to him, that he might give him some advice.

"When I die," said he, "fail not to bury me. Honor thy mother, nor forget what she suffered for thee. When she lies bury her by my side. Fear God and never sin; keep pride from your heart, and seek the counsel of the wise man.

2. "Do to another what you would wish him to do to you. Give alms according to your means: if you have much, give much; if little, give little: but give with a good heart We are poor, it is true; but, if we fear God and avoid sin, we will receive much."

When the young Tobias heard his good old father speaking in this manner he fell upon his neck, and, weeping, promised to do all he had commanded.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 65.—What counsels did Tobias give his son? How did the young Tobias act?



66.—The journey of the Young Tobias.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After this advice, Tobias wished to send his son to a distant city, called Rages, to collect a debt. Before he started the old man was very anxious to select for him a suitable companion—one who also knew the way. The young Tobias l went out to seek one, and he found a beautiful young man standing girded and ready for the road. It was the Angel Raphael, but Tobias knew it not.

2. Tobias asked he stranger if he knew the road to Rages. He answered, "Yes." Then he led him into the house, when the angel promised to lead the younger Tobias to Rages and back again. Tobias blessed them, and they departed.

3 At the end of the first day's journey they came to the River Tigris. When Tobias wished to wash his feet a monstrous fish rose up to devour him. The angel bade him fear not, but seize the fish and draw it out. Tobias did so. Then, according to the directions of the angel, he took out the heart and the gall and the liver, and put them away to be used for medicine. They then roasted as much of the fish as they could eat; the rest they salted and took with them.

4. When they drew near to a certain city the angel told Tobias that there lived there a man named Raguel, a near relation; that, moreover, he had a daughter named Sara, whom he must ask in marriage. When Raguel saw him and heard who he was, he was exceedingly glad, and readily gave him his daughter. Tobias remained with his father-in-law during the rejoicings for his marriage, but Raphael went on to Rages and received the money for which they had come.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 66.—Tell the history of Raphael. What is said about the ash? What is said of Raguel!



67.—The Return of Tobias.


1. When Tobias had been with Raguel for some time he thought of returning home, lest his father might be uneasy at his delay. At first Raguel strove to persuade him to remain; but when he saw the young man resolved to go he divided his property, and gave him half as a marriage gift, and, blessing him and his daughter, dismissed them.

2. After they had come some distance on the way, Raphael and Tobias, leaving Sara and the company to follow, went on before. By the advice of the angel, Tobias took with him the gall of the fish, which he had preserved.

Meanwhile the parents of Tobias became very anxious at the long delay of their son. His mother wept unceasingly and every day went to the top of a neighboring hill, from which she could see a great way off.

3. At length she saw him in the distance and recognized him at once. Then she ran back and told her husband that their son was coming. The old man, led by the hand, hastened to meet his son, and, kissing him, they both wept for joy. In the mean time the dog that had accompanied the younger Tobias on his journey ran on before, wagging his tail and jumping with delight.

4. When they had all thanked God for His mercies, Tobias anointed his father's eyes with the gall of the fish widen he had brought with him, and immediately the old man recovered his sight. Falling on his knees, he praised God—as well because He had afflicted him with blindness as now because He had cured him.

Seven days after this, Sara arrived, and, with her, the servants, the flocks, and the camels her father had given her, besides the money which Gabelus had paid. A great feast was made, and they gave themselves up to rejoicing.

5. When the days of the feast were finished Tobias asked his father what reward they would give the young man that had accompanied him, or what recompense could be sufficient for all he had done for them. After consulting they called the angel and offered him half of all they possessed, but he refused. Then he bade them rejoice and give thanks to God for His mercies to them, to pray and to fast, and to fear not; "for," said he, "I am Raphael, one of the angels that stand before God, and have been sent by the Lord to heal you."

6. When they heard this they were much troubled, and fell with their faces to the ground. But the angel said to them: "Fear not; it was God's will I should be with you; bless Him and sing His praise." Then he disappeared, but they continued to praise God and to publish all His wonders. At a good old age they were both gathered to their fathers, full of grace before God and men.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 67. What did Raphael divide? What is said of the meeting of the old and young Tobias? How did Tobias recover his sight? What is said of Sara? What was offered to Raphael? What did he say?



Age VI:
Kingdom of Judah from Rehoboam to the Birth of Jesus



68.—A Summary of the Principal Events. [B.C. 932]


1. From the death of King Rehoboam to the year 587 before Christ, eighteen princes of the house of David successively governed Judah. Some of them were men of wisdom, who, fearing God, listened to the prophets that were sent to them; but many of them were wicked and perverse, who gave themselves up to idolatry and led the people into sin.

2. To punish these latter, in the year 606 God permitted Jerusalem to be taken by the Babylonians, and the principal men among the Jews to be led into captivity. Eighteen years afterwards—that is, in the year 5S8 before Christ—the entire population of Judah was carried into Babylon, and the kingdom of Judah destroyed.

3. For seventy years the Jews remained captives in Babylon, until they learned to humble themselves and acknowledge their sins. During their captivity their faith was strengthened by the words of the prophets, and by their piety they edified their conquerors, and spread amongst them a knowledge of the Redeemer.

4. At the end of seventy years—536 before Christ—God led the Jews back to their own country. They immediately rebuilt Jerusalem and the Temple, and for two hundred years lived in peace and contentment.

After the death of Alexander the Great—323 years before Christ—they were again persecuted by different nations, until Herod, a stranger, ascended the throne of David. Then according to the prophecy of Jacob, the time was come when Christ should be horn.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 68.—What is said of David's successors? When were the Jews carried into Babylon? How long did they remain in captivity? When did the Jews return? What was rebuilt?



69.—The Kings of Judah from Rehoboam to Hezekiah.


1. Abia, a brave but wicked prince, succeeded his father, Rehoboam, on the throne of Judah. In turn he was succeeded by Asa, who, in the beginning, ruled with justice, and by his many brilliant victories added to the glory of Judah, but at last ended in forgetting God.

2. Josaphat, who succeeded him, was better than any of his three predecessors. He abolished idolatry, and appointed God-fearing men to judge the people and teach them the law of God. For his piety, God gave him the victory over his enemies.

3. Josaphat was succeeded by his son Jehoram, a cruel and idolatrous prince, who, in turn, was succeeded by Ahaziah, as wicked as his predecessor. Ahaziah was succeeded by his wife, Athalia, who, for seven years, committed all kinds of abominations in Judah.

She murdered all the children of the royal family, Jehoash, the grandson of Ahaziah, excepted, who was hidden by Joiada, the high priest. He afterwards ascended the throne, and, during the lifetime of Joiada, was a virtuous and pious prince, but after the death of the high priest, like so many of his predecessors, fell into idolatry.

4. Amasias, Ozias, and Joatham successively reigned in Judah. In some respects they were better than their predecessors; yet they often fell into idolatry.

Once Ozias wished to usurp the duties of the priesthood, and, entering into the Temple, insisted upon burning incense before the Lord. The priest boldly resisted him, and ordered him to leave the sanctuary.

5. Ozias became exceedingly angry, and threatened to strike the priest with the censer he held in his hand. On the instant he was struck by the hand of God, and covered with a leprosy that never left him. Until the day of his death, Ozias remained a public example of how God punishes the presumption of a layman who assumes the duties of 3 priest.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 60.—What is said of the successors of Rehoboam? What is said of Ozias?



70.—The Pious King Hezekiah. [B.C. *700]


1. The noble and pious Hezekiah ascended the throne of Judah after the death of Achaz, the wicked and idolatrous son of Joatham. Like David, he was a man according to God's own heart. He purified the Temple and abolished idolatry, for which God blessed him, and Judah rose in power and influence.

2. During his reign, Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, laid siege to Jerusalem, but Hezekiah feared not. While the Assyrians lay round about the city, Hezekiah went to the Temple and prayed to the Lord. He also sent the priests, clad in their robes of mourning, to Isaiah the prophet, begging him also to pray in their behalf. The Lord heard his prayer, and in the night sent His angel into the camp of the Assyrians, and there were slain ere the morning a hundred and eighty thousand of the enemy. The rest perished in their flight.

3. About this time Hezekiah fell seriously ill, and the prophet Isaiah came to him and warned him to arrange his affairs, for he was about to die. When the king heard this he became greatly alarmed, and, turning his face to the Temple, prayed earnestly to the Lord. His prayer was heard, and fifteen years were added to his life. His reign was one of the most glorious in the history of Judah.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 70.—What is said of Hezekiah? How was Sennacherib defeated? How many were stilled? What was added to the life of Hezekiah?



71.—The Kings immediately preceding the Babylonian Captivity.


1. Manasses succeeded his father, Hezekiah, on the throne of Judah. He was a wicked prince, and wantonly shed the blood of the innocent. He rebuilt the altars of the false gods which his father had destroyed; and, influenced by his bad example, the people became more sinful than even the pagans. Asa punishment for his crimes, God permitted this wicked king to fall into the hands of the Assyrians, who led him a captive to Babylon.

2. In his captivity he learned to acknowledge his faults and to do penance for his sins. God took compassion on him and brought him back to Jerusalem, where, in his latter days, he strove to repair the scandals of his early reign.

3. His son Amon succeeded him, only to imitate him in his wickedness; but his grandson Josias strove to follow the example of his latter days. During the reign of Josias, idolatry was rooted out and religion restored. That he might not see the evils that were about to come upon the kingdom of Judah, God took him to Himself after a short reign of nine years.

4. He was succeeded by Joachaz, Joachim, and Sedecias, all wicked princes, who led the people away from God, and, by their idolatries, brought about the captivity of Babylon. With but few exceptions, Judah was cursed with bad kings. Her history is sin and its punishment, until, at length, she ended in crucifying Jesus Christ and being cast off by God.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 71.—What is said of Manasses? How did God punish him? How did he end his days? What is said or Josias? What is said of Judah?



72.—The Prophets.


1. From the beginning of the reign of Rehoboam to the captivity of Sedecias, God raised up men gifted with special powers, and into whom He breathed His own Spirit. These were the prophets, whom He sent to preach penance to the people, and to threaten kings with the judgments that awaited them if they continued to forget God.

2. The most renowned of the prophets who arose during the early history of Judah were Joel, Micah, and Isaiah. These prophets were generally poor men, but bold in the power of God; nor did they fear to resist kings, or to cry out against their sins.

3. At their preaching many repented and for a while returned to God. For their fearless war against sin, and their open denunciations of both kings and people, some of them were put to death. Though dead, their words lived in the hearts of the just, among whom the true faith was preserved, and by whom the hopes and promises that had been made of the Redeemer that was to come were handed down to cheer the world.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 72.—Who were the Prophets? Who were much renowned? What did they preach? How did some of them die?



73.—The Captivity of Babylon. (FROM 606 to 536 YEARS A.D.)


1. After the death of the pious King Josias, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, came and besieged Jerusalem. When he had taken the city he carried back with him to Babylon the principal men of the nation, together with a part of the sacred vessels of the Temple. This happened in the year 606 before Christ, and was the beginning of what in history is known as the "Babylonian Captivity."

2. Three years after this Nebuchadnezzar returned to Jerusalem, and carried Jechonias, the king, back with him to Babylon. He also, on this occasion, carried with him into captivity a great part of the people, besides immense treasures. He left Sedecias to rule over the remnant of Judah.

3. Sedecias revolted, and Nebuchadnezzar returned for the third time, and destroyed Jerusalem, and burned the gorgeous and magnificent Temple of Solomon, carrying with him nearly the entire Jewish people. He put out the eyes of Sedecias, and, loading him with chains, carried him a captive to Babylon. This happened in the year 587 before Christ.

4. At this time lived Jeremiah the prophet, who, long before, had warned the people of the destruction that was about to come upon them. Alone and in sorrow, he continued to weep over Jerusalem, and at times presented himself to the people with a chain round his neck, as a sign of the captivity that was near at hand. But his warnings were received with curses and persecutions.

5. When at length Jerusalem was destroyed, Jeremiah remained to console the remnant of the nation that was left, and to weep amid the ruins of the once glorious city.

In his grand Lamentations, Jeremiah cries out from the depth of his sorrow: "How sorrowful, alas! are the ways that lead to Mount Moria; there are now none to come to the feast. The gates of the city are destroyed; the priests weep; the virgins are without ornament. O you who pass by the way, see if there is sorrow like unto my sorrow! Alas! is this the city of magnificence, the perfect in beauty, the joy of the world?"

6. During their captivity the Jews did penance for their sins and became sincerely converted to the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar was kind and considerate to them; but they wept and sighed to return to their country. "By the rivers of Babylon," cried they, "we sat, and wept when we remembered Sion. On the branches of the willow-trees we hung up our harps; for how could we sing the songs of Sion in a strange land?"

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 73.—What is said of Nebuchadnezzar? When did he return? What did he carry back with him? Who was left? What happened to Jerusalem and the Temple? What is said of Jeremiah? What Is said of the Lamentations? What is said of the Jews in Captivity.



74.—Daniel and the Three Young Men.


1. Amongst the captives at Babylon were several youths of the royal race. Amongst these were Daniel and his three companions, Azarias, Ananias, and Misael. By the command of King Nebuchadnezzar, they were selected, as well for the beauty of their persons as for their intelligence, and orders were given to feed them daily from the royal table.

2. But by the Jewish law several kinds of meats were forbidden to be eaten. These young men, fearing they would be required to eat of these forbidden meats, came to the chief eunuch of the king and begged him to let them for ten days be fed on pulse and to drink water only, and then if they were not fatter and fairer than those who were fed from the icing's table, they would submit and eat what he wished.

3. The proposition pleased Malabar, the chief eunuch, and et the end of ten days their faces were fatter and fairer than those who had been fed from the king's table. From this time forward they were fed on pulse and water only.

4. God gave them, besides comeliness of person, great abundance of wisdom, so that when some time afterwards they were called before the king, none were found equal to them. Thus they were selected and placed in the service of Nebuchadnezzar.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 74.—Tell the history of Daniel and his companions.



75.—Daniel saves Susanna.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Among the Jewish captives at Babylon was a man named Joachim, as distinguished for his goodness as his wife, Susanna, was for her beauty and her virtue. Many of the Jews came to his house, for there two of the ancients were wont to administer justice.

2. Joachim had an orchard near his house, where his wife, Susanna, was accustomed to walk at mid-day. The two judges, who were wicked men, knew this, and one day concealed themselves in the orchard. According to custom Susanna came in to walk, when they came to her and strove to persuade her to commit sin with them, but she refused. They then threatened to accuse her before the people.

3. When Susanna saw herself thus straitened on every side, she knew not what to do. "If I yield," said she, "I am ruined before God; and if I do not, I will not escape your hands. However, it is better to fall into your hands innocent than to sin against God."

So she cried with a loud voice, and the old men cried also. When the people were come together the two men accused Susanna.

4. On the morrow Susanna was cited before the tribunal. She came accompanied by her parents and friends, all weeping for the disgrace that had happened to them. The old men renewed their charge, and faith was placed in their words. Susanna was condemned to death, but she prayed to the Lord and He heard her.

5. When they were leading her forth to be stoned, Daniel, enlightened by the Spirit of God, cried out: "Let there be another trial; these men have borne false witness!" The people, hearing this, returned in haste.

6. Then Daniel commanded the two old men to be separated one from the other. When this was done Daniel asked the first under what tree he had seen Susanna. He answered: "Under a mastic-tree." He was then put aside and the other asked under what tree he had seen the woman. He answered: "Under a holm-tree."

7. When the people heard their contradictory stories they Saw how false had been their accusation against the virtuous Susanna; and praised God, who thus preserved those who trusted in Him.

From that day Daniel was great in the eyes of the people.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 75.—Tell the history of Susanna, Where was Susanna sited on the morrow? To what was she condemned? Who saved Susanna? How?



76.—The Three Young Men in the Fiery Furnace.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Nebuchadnezzar made a statue of gold, and setting it up, commanded the grandees and people of his kingdom to tall down and adore it. Every one obeyed—Ananias, Misael, and Azarias excepted. Daniel was not present, or he also world have disobeyed. The Babylonians, seeing that the three young men would not adore the idol, accused them to the king.

2. When Nebuchadnezzar saw that even he could not in, duce them to adore his statue, filled with fury, he ordered a furnace to be heated seven times more than usual, and the young men to be thrown into it. His order was immediately obeyed. However, the men who threw them in were burned to death.

3. An angel descended with the three young men, whilst God sent a soft, dewy air, that blew within the furnace like an evening breeze. Not a hair of their heads vas singed, nor were their clothes touched by the fire.

4. When the king heard this wonder he came and looked into the furnace himself. "Did we not," he asked, "cast three men, bound, into the fire? Behold! I see foul, loose, and unhurt; and the fourth is like the Son of God." Then the king cried out: "Servants of God, come forth!"

5. They obeyed; and when the king saw there was no sign of fire upon them, he thanked God, who had thus saved His servants, because they had preferred to die rather than sin. Nebuchadnezzar also published a decree that no one should blaspheme against the God of the Jews. The young men were advanced to the highest dignities.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 76.—Tell the history of the golden statue. What was done to the three young men? How were they saved?



77.—Daniel and King Belshazzar.


1. After Nebuchadnezzar's death, his grandson, Belshazzar, reigned in Babylon. He made a great feast for his nobles and their wives. When they were all full of wine, the king ordered the golden vessels which his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, had brought from the Temple of Jerusalem, to be brought in, that he and his guests might drink from them. Whilst they were drinking a hand appeared upon the wall, and wrote certain words.

2. When Belshazzar saw this he became greatly troubled, and, trembling with fear, sent for his soothsayers; but no one could interpret the handwriting. Then Daniel was sent for.

He said: "These are the words: MANE, THECEL, PHARES; and this is the interpretation: Mane—the days of thy kingdom are numbered, and it is at an end; Thecel—thy merits are weighed in the balance, and thou are found wanting; Phares—thy kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians."

3. That same night this prophecy was fulfilled. The Medes and the Persians, by turning the bed of the river Euphrates, entered Babylon during the night, and Belshazzar was slain and his kingdom divided. Darius the Mede succeeded to the kingdom of Babylon.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 77.—What happened to Belshazzar? What was the hand-writing? Who interpreted it? Was it fulfilled? How?



78.—Daniel and the Idol Bel.


1. Cyrus, King of Persia, soon made himself master of Babylon. He showed much attention to Daniel, and often invited him to his table. One day Cyrus asked Daniel why he would not adore Bel, the god of the Babylonians. Daniel answered that he adored only the living God, by whom all things were created.

2. But the king said: "So is Bel a living god; he eats daily a dozen measures of flour and forty sheep, and, besides, drinks six pitchers of wine." But Daniel only laughed at him, and bade the king not to be deceived: "for clay and brass could not eat." Then Cyrus sent for the priests of Bel, and told them what Daniel had said.

3. The priests proposed that the king should himself place the meats before Bel, and seal the door of the temple, and if, on the morrow, they were not eaten, then they would willingly suffer death. This proposition pleased Cyrus.

4. When Cyrus had put the priests out of the temple, he set the meats before Bel. But Daniel, in the presence of the king, sifted fine ashes on the floor of the temple. They then closed the door, and sealed it with the king's ring.

During the night, as was their custom, the priests entered the temple by a secret door, and, together with their wives and their children, eat up the sacrifices that were placed before the idol.

5. Early in the morning, Cyrus and Daniel came to the temple and found the seals unbroken. When they entered, and the king saw the empty table, he cried out: "Great is Bel, and he cannot be deceived!" But Daniel pointed to the footprints that were upon the pavement. Having examined the place a little closer, the secret door was found under the table on which the meats had been placed. When the king saw how he had been deceived he killed the priests, and Daniel destroyed the god Bel and burned his temple.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 78.—What is said of Bel? How did Daniel undeceive Cyrus?



79.—Daniel in the Lions' Den.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Besides the god Bel, the Babylonians also adored a great dragon. Cyrus said one day to Daniel: "However, you can not say this is not a living god." Daniel, without discussing the king's words, proposed to kill the dragon without sword or club. When Cyrus consented, Daniel boiled pitch and fat together, into which he mixed hair. He then made balls of the mixture, and, putting them into the dragon's mouth, the so-called god burst asunder.

2. When the Babylonians heard what had happened, they came, in great fury, and demanded that Daniel be delivered up to them. At first Cyrus refused, but at length yielded to the fury of the mob. Daniel was delivered to then, and they cast him into the lions' den. On purpose no food was given to the seven furious lions that were there confined, with the hope that Daniel would be the sooner devoured; but Daniel remained unhurt.

3. After six days Daniel was hungry. Now, at this time, there lived amid the ruins of Jerusalem a prophet, named Habakkuk. He had boiled some pottage, and was carrying it to the reapers that were in the field.

While on the way an angel appeared to him, and ordered him to carry the dinner he had in his hands to Daniel, who was then in the lions' den. Habakkuk answered: "He had never been in Babylon, and did not know the den of which he spoke." The angel took Habakkuk by the hair of the head and, with the rapidity of lightning, carried him to Babylon, and placed him over the den where Daniel was.

4. When Daniel had eaten the dinner thus so miraculously sent him, he thanked God, who had not forgotten him in hilt distress. But the angel carried back Habakkuk, and placed him where he had found him.

5. On the seventh day the king came to the lions' den, and found Daniel quietly sitting in the midst of the wild beasts. When Cyrus saw this he was much astonished, and immediately caused Daniel to be drawn out and his persecutors to be thrown in. Before these wicked men had fallen to the bottom of the den they were torn to pieces and devoured by the starved and angry lions. The king also published au edict, in which he commanded all to venerate and fear the God of Daniel, because He was the Savior, working signs and wonders upon earth.

6. The young men in the furnace and Daniel in the lions' den were figures of Christ. Daniel came forth from the lions unhurt; Christ rose, from the tomb glorious and immortal. Daniel remained with the Jews (luring their long captivity to console and cheer them; so does Christ remain with His Church to guard and protect her against her enemies.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 79.—How did Daniel kill the dragon? What was done to Daniel? Who brought food to Daniel? How was Daniel delivered? Who were figures of Christ? How?



80.—The Jews Return from Captivity. [B.C. 537]


1. When the seventy years of captivity foretold by the prophets were finished, God moved the heart of Artaxerxes, King of the Medes and Persians, with compassion for the captives. In the year 538 before Christ Artaxerxes published an edict that the Jews might return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple of the Lord.

2. Under the leadership of Zorobabel, a prince of the people, more than forty thousand Jews returned at this time. Artaxerxes was very kind to them, giving them money, and restoring the vessels of gold and silver Nebuchadnezzar had taken away. When the people arrived at Jerusalem they built an altar, until the Temple could be finished. For twenty-one years they labored upon the new Temple. When it was finished, and the old men came to see it, they wept and lamented; for its magnificence was not to be compared to the Temple of Solomon.

3. Twenty years after Zorobabel had gone to Jerusalem, Ezra, a holy priest, gathered together many of the Jews that still remained in Babylon and led them back to their own country. Here, with the aid of his saintly friend, Nehemiah, he strove to instruct the people in the law of God, and purify them from the abominations which they had contracted among their pagan masters.

4. Nehemiah moreover urged the people to rebuild Jerusalem. With ready willingness they followed his example, and, from the high-priest to the least among them, each put his hand to the work.

When the Samaritans saw with what rapidity the city rose from its ashes, fearing for their own safety, they strove by plots and falsehoods to stop the work; but they failed. So earnestly did everybody work, that at the end of fifty-two days the walls of Jerusalem and the gates and the towers were finished. In time the city also was built up.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 80.—Under whom did the Jews return? What did thy build? What is said of the new Temple? Who led many of the Jews back? What did Ezra and Nehemiah do? What did the Samaritans strive to do?



81.—The Prophets after the Captivity.


1. During the long captivity of Babylon, the prophets Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel instructed and sustained the Jews by their prophecies. After their return to Jerusalem, God raised up others to cheer and encourage His people, amongst these latter were Haggai and Zachariah, by whose prophecies that the Messiah would one day enter this new Temple, the people were strongly encouraged to push on the work. It was in this sense they said, "The glory of the second Temple will be far greater than the glory of the first."

2. The last of the prophets whom God raised up among the Jews was Malachi, who lived about four hundred years before Christ. He preached against the hypocrites of his day, and more especially against the priests. Malachi is remarkable for his celebrated prophecy: "That God would reject the sacrifices of the Old Law, and in their place institute a New Sacrifice, that would not cease from the rising to the setting of the sun." This prophecy is fulfilled in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

3. About the year 277 A.C. the Old Testament was translated from the Hebrew into Greek. This translation is known as the Septuagint. When this was done Greek was spoken everywhere; hence by this translation a knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, and more particularly of the prophecies concerning the Messiah, was scattered among the pagan nations.

4. About the same time also, under the inspiration of God, a Jew named Jesus, the son of Sirach, wrote a book of pious sentences. The object of the book was to teach men truth and lead them to God. This book is known as the book of Ecclesiastes.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 81.—Who were the prophets during the captivity? Who were after? What is said of Malachi? What is the Septuagint? Who wrote the book of Ecclesiastes?



82.—Esther.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The great kindness shown by the kings of Persia to the Jews induced many of them to remain in Babylon. Amongst these was Esther.

During the reign of Ahasuerus, Esther lived with her uncle, Mordecai. By chance the king saw her, and, being much pleased with her, made her his queen.

2. Her uncle; Mordecai, became very uneasy lest anything would happen to his adopted daughter; hence he stood daily before the king's palace. While Mordecai thus watched over the interest of his adopted child, he one day discovered a conspiracy by which two officers intended to kill the king. Instantly he warned Esther, who told Ahasuerus. The officers were put to death, and the event nut in the annals of the kingdom.

3. Some time after this the king raised Haman to the highest dignities in the state. All the king's servants bent the knee before him, Mordecai excepted. When Haman noticed this he became exceedingly angry, and resolved on the destruction of the obstinate Jew.

4. That he might the better accomplish his object, Haman pretended that the Jews were about to revolt, and succeeded in persuading the king to publish an edict that all of them that were in his kingdom should on the same day be put to death, together with their wives and their children, and all their possessions be confiscated to the crown.

5. When Mordecai heard the news he hastened to Esther and urged her to plead for her people. But there was a law forbidding any subject to present himself before the king unless called. Esther resolved to brave the danger. She clothed herself in her most gorgeous apparel, and, begging God to bless her mission, presented herself to the king while he was sitting on his throne.

6. Esther threw herself at the king's feet, but fainted at sight of his angry look. When Ahasuerus saw the distress of his queen, he relented, and, descending from his throne, raised her up, and supported her till she recovered. Then the king said to her: "fear not, Esther; you shall not die. What do you wish?" The peen merely asked him to bring Haman with him, and come the following evening to the banquet she had prepared. The king promised to come.

7. During the night the king could not sleep, and, to amuse himself, ordered the annals of his reign to be read Rif him. When it came to the conspiracy which Mordecai had discovered, the king asked what reward Mordecai had received for what he had done. Being answered, "None," Ahasuerus sent for Haman, and asked: "What ought to be done to the man whom the king wished to honor?"

8. Haman, thinking the king wished to honor himself, said: "The man whom the king would honor should be clothed in the royal robes, and be placed on the king's horse, and the first of the king's princes should walk before him and cry aloud: 'Thus shall he be honored whom the king wishes to honor.'" The king then bade Haman go and do to Mordecai, the Jew, as he had counselled. Haman dared not disobey the king.

9. In the mean time the hour for the queen's feast came on, and Haman hastened to attend. During the feast the king asked Esther what she wished, promising to give even to the half of his kingdom. The queen asked but for her life and the lives of her people. When the king heard how his confidence had been abused, and how, under false pretences, the Jews were about to be destroyed, he became angry and asked who had dared to do this thing. Esther answered, "Haman."

10. The king rose in great fury, and, calling together his eunuchs, asked what he should do. But one said, "Haman has prepared a gibbet fifty cubits high on which to hang Mordecai." Then the king said, "Hang Haman on it."

That very hour Haman was hung, and Mordecai invested with his dignity. The edict against the Jews was revoked, sand many of the pagans were converted.

11. Queen Esther was a figure of the Blessed Virgin. Esther was alone exempted from the rigors of the Persian law; the Blessed Virgin was alone exempted from original sin. Esther saved her people; Mary gave a Savior to the world.

Mordecai was the faithful guardian of Esther; Joseph was the guardian of Jesus and Mary. Mordecai was placed in the highest office of state; Joseph holds one of the highest places in heaven.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 82: Tell the history of Esther, What did Mordecai do? What is said of Haman? What did Esther do? What was the result? What counsel did Haman give? Where did Haman hasten to go? What happened to Haman? What happened to Mordecai? How is Esther a figure of the Blessed Virgin?



83.—Judith.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the Jews were reestablished in their own country, God, in a most wonderful manner, again delivered them by the hands of a woman. Holofernes, an Assyrian general, advanced into Judea with a powerful army. He took many of the cities, and treated the inhabitants with extreme cruelty. At length he laid siege to Bethulia, and, cutting off the aqueduct by which the city was supplied with water, the inhabitants were soon reduced to the last extremity.

2. When they saw themselves in this condition they agreed to surrender if within five days they received no help. There was within the city a young widow named Judith, of great wealth and beauty. When she heard the resolution to which the leaders had come, she laid aside the garments of her widowhood, and, anointing herself, put on her richest ornaments.

3. Thus arrayed, she went, accompanied by her servant, to the Assyrian camp. God also added to her beauty. When Holofernes saw her he received her most kindly, and gave orders to his servants to permit her to come and to go at he' pleasure.

4. Four days after her arrival in the Assyrian camp, Holofernes gave a great banquet to the officers of his army. Late in the night he threw himself upon his bed, and, being drunk, slept heavily. Judith drew near the bed on which Holofernes lay, and, praying to God to strengthen her arm, took the sword that hung at the top of the bed and cut off his head.

5. Then she put the head in a bag and gave it to her servant, and, hastening from the Assyrian camp, came to Bethulia. When she had assembled the leaders and the people, she showed them the head of Holofernes, and bade them praise the Lord, who had protected her from sin, and, by her hands, killed their enemy.

6. The Jews, seeing how God had thus fought for them, hung the head of Holofernes from the walls of the city, and, going forth, attacked the Assyrians, who, without a leader, were easily overcome, and many of them slain.

Judith was much esteemed, not only by the inhabitants of her native city, but by all Judea; and when she died all the people wept.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 83.—What is the history of Judith! Whose head did she cut off? What did the Jews do? What was done at the death of Judith?



84.—Eleazar the Martyr. [B.C. 168]


1. In the year 333 before Christ, Alexander the Great put an end to the kingdom of Persia, which had ruled over the Jews since the time of Cyrus. After this they fell into the power of the kings of Egypt, and finally under the power of the kings of Syria.

2. Among these latter, Antiochus was very cruel. He burned the sacred books, and forbade, under pain of death, any one to observe the Law. Many basely apostatized, while, on the other hand, many remained faithful, preferring death to sin.

3. Among these latter was the venerable Eleazar, an old man of ninety years of age, and much esteemed for his knowledge of the Law. Antiochus commanded him to eat the flesh of swine, threatening him with death if he refused. But his religion forbade him to obey, and the brave old man would rather die than offend God.

4. His friends strove to persuade him to yield, nay, even urged him to save his life by pretending to eat the forbidden flesh, though he did not. But Eleazar scorned deceit: "I may deceive men," said he, "but I cannot deceive God, and my example might lead others astray." The old man suffered a cruel death, but truth triumphed in his sufferings.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 84.—Into whose power did the Jews fall? What is said of Antiochus? What is said of Eleazar?



85.—The Martyrdom of the Seven Maccabees.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Amongst others that were brought before Antiochus were the seven Maccabees and their mother. When they were ordered to eat the forbidden flesh of the swine they refused, and said they would rather die than break the laws of God.

2. When the king heard this he became very angry, and ordered the seven brothers to be beaten with rods. But the heroic youths still refusing to obey, Antiochus commanded frying-pans and brazen caldrons to be made hot. Then the executioners seized the eldest and cut out his tongue; after this they tore off the skin from his head, and chopped off his hands and his feet, and at last threw him into the red-hot frying-pan. His mother and his brothers stood encouraging him and exhorting him to persevere.

3. When the first was dead, the second eldest was brought, and the skin of his head also pulled off. He too, was asked if He would eat the forbidden meat; but he boldly answered, "No." He was tormented as his brother had been. The third and the fourth, as also the fifth and the sixth, willingly offered themselves to the executioners, and died proclaiming their faith in God and their hopes of eternal happiness.

4. The youngest still remained. The king hoped by kindness to win him over. He promised him honors and riches, even his own friendship, if he would renounce the Jewish religion; but he would not yield. Then the king exhorted the mother to persuade her son to save his life, but she only the more encouraged her child to be a worthy successor of his six martyred brothers.

5. While his mother was yet speaking to him, he boldly cried out: "I will not obey the king, nor will I break the law of God." When the king heard this he was greatly incensed, and ordered him to be more cruelly tormented than any of the rest. Last of all the mother suffered death with the same heroic constancy that had marked the sufferings of her seven noble sons.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 85.—What is said of the Maccabees? How was the eldest brother put to death? How was the second eldest? How did the others die? How did the king act towards the youngest? What was done to the mother?



86.—Mathathias and Judas Maccabeus [B.C. 168]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. During the reign of Antiochus there lived in Judea a priest named Mathathias, who had five sons. When he saw the abominations that were committed against the Law, and the cruelties with which the people were oppressed, he resolved to free his country. Calling upon all those who would defend the Law of God to follow him, he fled with his sons and many others into the mountains.

2. At first he was content with overthrowing the idols and the altars of the pagan gods; then, as his numbers increased, he began to make war on the enemies of his country.

After his death the leadership fell upon his son Judas, who, because of his invincible courage, was called Maccabeus. Bold as a lion, he met and vanquished the generals of Antiochus one after another.

3. He also retook Jerusalem and purified the Temple. The altar was consecrated anew, amid the sounds of harps and lutes and cymbals; the sacrifices were restored; and a great feast was appointed to celebrate his victories.

4. When Antiochus heard of the success of the Maccabees he became very angry. Gathering together an immense army, he resolved to lead it himself against Jerusalem, and forever destroy the place; but God's judgments overtook him on the way.

One day he fell from his chariot and hurt himself very badly. His sores putrefied, and worms began to crawl out of his wounds; the flesh fell off from his bones, and the whole body sent forth a stench insupportable to himself as well as all around him.

5. When Antiochus saw how grievously he suffered, he acknowledged the hand of God in his punishment, and, hoping to escape death, humbled himself and lamented his cruelty. He even promised to repair, as far as he could, the evils he had done, But his repentance was insincere, and God listened not to his prayer. He died amid the most cruel torments, leaving to the world a frightful example of the justice of God.

6. After his death his son strove to reconquer Judea; but the Maccabees, trusting in God, assembled their followers and went forth to battle. In the heat of the engagement suddenly there came from heaven five men, whose armor shone as the sun, and whose horses were covered with golden harness. Two placed themselves on either side of Judas, whilst the other three hurled darts on the enemy: at the same time the lightning flashed in the faces of the Syrians. Stunned and confounded, many fell to the ground, whilst the others turned and fled. The enemy left twenty thousand infantry and six thousand cavalry dead upon the field.

7. After many victories Judas established the independence of his country; yet not without loss. Many of the Jews were killed; but on examining the bodies of the dead there were found concealed under their coats offerings that had been stolen from the temples of the pagan idols. Then all knew the cause of their death.

8. When Judas saw why they had been punished, he did not despair, but, trusting in the power of prayer and the mercy of God, sent twelve thousand drachmas of silver to Jerusalem, that sacrifices might be offered for them, saying: "It is s holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER . 86.—What is said of Mathathias? What is said of Judas Maccabeus? How did Antiochus die? How was the son of Antiochus defeated? What did Judas send to Jerusalem? Why?



87.—From the Maccabees to Jesus Christ


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the death of the pious and heroic Judas, hi? brothers, one after another, were placed at the head of the nation. Under their wise guidance many victories were won and peace established, and Judea began again to flourish. Unhappily, their successors did not walk in their footsteps, and gradually the inconstant Jews fell again into sin.

2. The nation, however, still recognized the one true God, and exteriorly observed the forms of the Law; but the heart? of the people were far from God.

Two sects rose up among them: one, the hypocritical Pharisees;  the other, the incredulous Sadducees. The former placed all perfection in the exterior observance of the Law, the latter denied much that was in the Law, more particularly the resurrection of the dead.

3. Beyond Judea the world was buried in idolatry and abomination; cruelty and oppression were everywhere, and mankind longed for the coming of the Messiah. There remained but one thing more,—the fulfilment of the prophecy made by Jacob to his son Judah,—and this was not long delayed.

4. The successors of the Maccabees lived in continual war, civil as well as foreign; brother fought against brother; murder and rapine replaced peace and honesty. As a last hope, the Romans were called in to arbitrate between the parties. Soon they filled the country with their armies; the government was seized upon, and Herod, a stranger, appointed king of the Jews. Thus perished the kingdom of Judea; the sceptre had passed from the tribe of Judah; the time was come when the Messiah, the Savior, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, should come to bless the world and save mankind, to whom be praise and benediction forever and ever.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 87.—What is said of the later history of the Jews? Who were the Pharisees? Who were the Sadducees? What is said of the world in general? What alone was wanting? Who were brought into Judea? Why? Who was made king? For whom was the time come?

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

END OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.

NEW TESTAMENT HISTORY

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour



History of Our Lord Jesus Christ



1.—The Birth of John the Baptist Announced.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. During the reign of King Herod there lived in the mountains of Judea an aged priest, named Zachary, and his wife, Elizabeth. Though just before God and otherwise happy, there was one drawback—they had no family. They had often asked for a son, but their prayers seemed unheard,

2. One day while Zachary, according to the custom of the priests, was burning incense within the sanctuary, suddenly an angel appeared at the right of the altar. Zachary was much frightened, but the angel bade him fear not. Thee the angel told him his prayer had at length been heard, and his wife, Elizabeth, in her old age, would bear him a son, and he should call his name John.

3. When Zachary heard this he began to doubt, and to reason with himself, saying he was old and his wife was old In answer to his objections the angel said to him: "Because you have doubted and have not believed my word, you shall be dumb till what I have announced to you come to pass." The angel disappeared, but Zachary was struck dumb from that moment.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 1.—What is told of Zachary and Elizabeth? What happened to Zachary at the altar?



2.—The Birth of Jesus Announced.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Six months after the events above related, the angel Gabriel was sent to Nazareth, a little town in Galilee, to a virgin called Mary. Though of the royal family of David, she was very poor in this world's goods; but in virtues she was exceedingly rich. A short time before the angel appeared to her she had been married to a poor carpenter, called Joseph, who, like herself, also belonged to the house of David.

2. While this humble virgin was deeply absorbed in prayer, suddenly the angel Gabriel entered her chamber, and said to her: "Hail, full of grace! the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women!"

3. When Mary heard these strange and, to her, startling words, she became exceedingly troubled, not knowing what they could mean. But the angel hastened to relieve her anxiety by telling her that God had sent him to announce the coming of the Messiah, and that she had been chosen to be His mother. When Mary objected that she was a virgin, and knew not man, the angel bade her fear not: "for the Holy Ghost would come upon her, and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, and the Holy One that should be born of her should be called the Son of God."

4. To confirm his words Gabriel told her that her cousin Elizabeth had also conceived. When Mary understood the great things God proposed to do in her she no longer opposed the divine will, but gave her consent. The same moment she consented she became the Mother of God. In her was thus fulfilled the promise made in the garden of paradise, that the woman should crush the serpent's head. The Son of Mary has indeed conquered the devil.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 2.—Who came to Mary? Who was she? What is said of Mary? What did Gabriel say to her? How did Mary act? To confirm his words, what did Gabriel tell Mary?



3.—Mary visits Elizabeth.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the angel left her, Mary hastened to visit her cousin. When she entered the house, Elizabeth was suddenly filled with the Holy Ghost, and, in an ecstasy of joy, cried out: "Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!"

2. Mary was also carried away with the fulness of the grace that was within her, and burst forth into that magnificent canticle the Church daily sings, and is so well known as the Magnificat, viz.:

"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit bath rejoiced in God, my Savior; because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid. Behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."

3. Mary remained about three months with Elizabeth; after this she returned to her own humble home, at Nazareth, where she gave herself up to prayer and to the duties of her house.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 3.—Where did Mary go? What happened when Mary met Elizabeth? What is said of the Magnificat? How long did Mary stay with Elizabeth?



4.—The Birth of John the Baptist.


1. When the time was come Elizabeth brought forth a son. It was customary among the Jews to give a name to the child at its circumcision. Now when the neighbors gathered together to do for the child as the law required, they thought to call him by his father's name. But Elizabeth objected, and ordered him to be called John.

2. Some hesitating, they asked the father; but he, being dumb, took a pen and wrote, "John is the name." On the instant Zachary recovered his speech, and began to praise God and to publish His works.

Fear came upon all when they saw and heard what had happened; and, wondering, they asked: "What would the child become, for the hand of God was with him?"

3. Soon the news of these wonders was spread through the mountains of Judea, and excited in some hopes, in others fears, according as each regarded it.

The child grew, and the Spirit of God was in him. At a tender age John went into the desert, where he remained in prayer and penance, until God bade him come into Judea and preach to the people of Israel. It was of him the prophet Malachi said, "I will send My angel, who will prepare the way before Me."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 4.—What happened at the birth of John? What at his Circumcision? How was John regarded? Where did he go?



5.—The Birth of Jesus Christ.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Joseph discovered the condition of his wife Mary, he was very much troubled, and, not understanding the deep mystery that surrounded her, resolved to put her away secretly. Whilst he was thus debating the matter with himself, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in sleep and told him to fear not, for Mary had become a mother by the over-shadowing power of God; and, moreover, the angel bade him call the child that would be born of her Jesus—that is to say, Savior. Joseph did as he was commanded.

2. Soon after this, Augustus, the Roman Emperor, published an edict that the whole world should be enrolled. This enrolment first began in Judea, and every one was required to go to his family city, there to be enrolled. It was thus Joseph and Mary, being descendants of David, were forced to go to Bethlehem, the city of David.

3. When they arrived the city was full of strangers, and they could find no place in the inns or among their friends, and so were forced to seek for shelter in a poor stable, near by the gates of the city. It was in this wretched place, that but poorly served as a shelter for the ox and the ass, that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Master of all things, was born. With holy joy and tender care, Mary, the Virgin Mother, wrapped her child in swaddling-clothes and laid Him in the manger.

4. The prophecy of Micah was accomplished: "And thou, Bethlehem, art the least among the cities of Judah, but out of thee shall come the Ruler of Israel.";

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 5.—What is said of Joseph? How was he prevented from sending Mary away? What is said of Augustus? Why did Mary and Joseph go to Bethlehem? Where was Christ born? What prophecy was fulfilled?



6.—The Shepherds.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. On the night Christ was born a few shepherds were watching their flocks a short distance from Bethlehem. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to them and a bright light shone round about them. Great fear came upon them; but the angel bade them fear not, for he came to announce to them tidings of great joy. Then he told them that in the neighboring city of Bethlehem a child had just been born, who was Christ the Lord and the Savior of the world; and, as a sign of the truth he told them they would find the child wrapped in swaddling-clothes and laid in a manger. While he was yet speaking a great multitude of angels suddenly appeared and began to sing, "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to men of good-will!"

2. When the angels disappeared the shepherds hastened to go over to Bethlehem, where they found the child lying in the manger. Wondering, they told Mary and Joseph all they had heard, and, having adored the infant King, returned, glorifying God.

Eight days after this the child was circumcised and received the name of JESUS.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 6.—What is said of the shepherds? What sign was given the shepherds? Where did they find the child? When was Jesus circumcised?



7.—The Kings from the East


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Some time after the birth of Christ there came into Jerusalem three Eastern kings, asking where they could find the new-born King of the Jews, for they had seen His star in the east, and were come to adore Him. When Herod, the king, heard this he was very much troubled, as was also all Jerusalem. Then he called together the chief priests and doctors of the law and asked where Christ should be born. They promptly answered at Bethlehem.

2. When Herod heard this he called the three king, privately to him, and bade them go and search for the child, and when they had found Him, to come and tell him. So he dismissed them. They had scarcely left Jerusalem when the star they had seen in the east again went before them, until it stood over where the child was. Entering, they found the infant Savior, and, falling down, adored Him. They then presented gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

3. In the night God warned them in a dream not to return to Herod, for he meditated mischief to the child. They therefore returned another way into their own country.

We have also a star, that leads us to the heavenly Jerusalem, namely, the grace of God, by which we are enlightened and led on to the truth taught us by the Church.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 7.—Where ale the wise men come from? How did Herod act towards them? What again appeared? What did they find? What they offer? How did they return to their own country?



8.—Jesus presented in the Temple.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph parried the child to the Temple, that they might present Him to the Lord. They also took with them the usual offering of the poor,—two turtle-doves,—according as the Law prescribed.

2. At this time there was living at Jerusalem a man named Simeon. He was very pious, and the Holy Ghost had revealed to him that he should not die until he had seen the Savior. When Mary and Joseph entered the Temple, Simeon, led by the Spirit, also entered. Seeing the child, he took Him in his arms and cried out: "Now, O Lord, dismiss Thy servant in peace, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation."

3. After this he blessed Mary and Joseph; but he warned her that a sword of sorrow should one day pierce her heart.

While Simeon was speaking, a prophetess named Ann entered the Temple. She also took the child in her arms, and, praising God, went forth, publishing the news to all who were looking for the redemption of Israel.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 8.—When was Jesus presented in the Temple? What happened? What did Simeon do and say? What did Ann do?



9.—The Flight into Egypt.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Herod, seeing the Magi did not return to him, became very angry, and, resolving to destroy this new-born King, ordered all the children in Bethlehem and the country round about to be put to death. He foolishly thought Jesus would surely be killed among the rest, little dreaming how easily God could shield Him.

2. Whilst Herod was preparing for the murder of the holy innocents, an angel appeared to Joseph in his sleep, and told

3. He had scarce gone, when Herod's messengers came to Bethlehem, and tearing the children from their mothers' arms, murdered them. Every house was filled with lamentation and sorrow, and the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled: "Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they were not." As a punishment for his cruelty, Herod died, some years after, amid the most horrid torments.

4. Again the angel appeared to Joseph, and commanded him to return to Judea, because Herod was dead. Joseph rose, and, taking the child and Mary, returned, and dwelt in Nazareth. Thus it came to pass that Christ was called a Nazarene.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

Jesus, the Savior of the world, was saved by a miracle; so was Moses, the savior of the Israelites, saved by a miracle.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 9.—What did Herod order? How was Jesus saved? What was done to the children? How did Herod die? Where did Joseph dwell after his return from Egypt?



10.—The Child Jesus in the Temple.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In accordance with the custom of the Jews, Mary and Joseph went up every year to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Pasch. At the age of twelve years Jesus also went up to Jerusalem with His parents. When the celebration was over, Mary and Joseph, together with their friends, returned to their homes; but Jesus remained in Jerusalem.

2. Not finding the child in their own company, His parents thought He was with some of their friends, and so continued the journey. But, when at night they sought Him and could not find Him, they were filled with much anxiety, and hastened back to Jerusalem.

3. After a search of three days they found Him in the Temple, in the midst of the doctors, listening to them and asking them questions. All were astonished at His wisdom and His answers.

His mother, approaching, asked Him why He had acted thus towards them. In a kindly manner He told them He was there engaged about His Father's business. In obedience to their wishes He returned to Nazareth, and was subject to them. He also grew in age and wisdom and grace before God and men.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 10.—What happened when Jesus was twelve years old? Where was He found? How did He act towards His parents?



The Public Life of Jesus Christ



11.—The Preaching of John the Baptist.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. For thirty years Jesus lived in obscurity at Nazareth, When the time was come that He should begin His public life, He commanded John the Baptist to come forth from the desert, where, from his childhood, he had lived, and to preach to the people. John obeyed, and came into the country about the Jordan.

2. Soon the fame of John's preaching was spread far and near, and great crowds from Jerusalem and Judea came to him by the banks of the Jordan. Here they saw a man of most austere manners, with a leathern girdle round his waist, whose food was the wild locust, and whose cry was, "Do penance, for the kingdom of God is at hand." Many were baptized, confessing their sins.

3. When John saw the Pharisees and Sadducees amongst the multitudes that came to hear him, he cried out to them: "Do penance, and trust not to your descent from Abraham, for the axe is about to be laid to the root of the tree."

John the Baptist made a great impression on his hearers, and many thought he was the Messiah. But he said he was not; on the contrary, he was but the voice of one crying in the wilderness.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 11.—How long did Jesus live at Nazareth? What is said of John the Baptist? What was his cry? What did John say of himself?



12.—Jesus is Baptized and Tempted.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Jesus also came to John, at the Jordan, to be baptized. At first John refused, saying he was not worthy to do so great an act. But when Christ bade him do it, that thereby "they might fulfil all justice," John yielded, and baptized Jesus. Immediately the heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in the form of a dove, and rested on Jesus, whilst a voice from heaven was heard, saying: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

2. After His Baptism Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, there to be tempted by the devil. After He had fasted forty days and forty nights, the devil came to Him, and strove to persuade Him, as a proof of His divinity, to turn the stones into bread; but Jesus would not.

3. Again the devil dared to tempt Him, by carrying Him to Jerusalem, where he placed Him on the pinnacle of the Temple, telling Him to cast Himself down: '' For if He were the Son of God the angels would protect Him." But Jesus said, "Tempt not the Lord thy God."

4. A third time Satan came, and, carrying Jesus Christ up into a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the earth, promising to give them to Him, if He would fall down and adore him. But Jesus, with a holy anger, bade him "Begone, for the Lord only should be adored." Then Satan left Him, and angels came and ministered to Him.

In the deluge, water cleansed the world from its corruptions; in Baptism, water cleanses the soul from its sin.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 12.—What happened at the Baptism of Jesus? What happened after His Baptism? Describe Christ's temptations.



13.—Jesus the Lamb of God.


1. Some time after His Baptism, Jesus came into the country where John was baptizing. When John saw Him, pointing to Him, he exclaimed: "Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. This is He of whom I have already spoken when I said, 'There is one who will come after me, who is preferred before me;' and He is the Son of God, for at His Baptism I saw the Holy Ghost descend from heaven in the form of a dove, and rest upon Him."

2. Under the Jewish religion every day there was offered on the altar of holocausts a lamb to the Lord; under the New Law Jesus Christ is this Lamb of Sacrifice, that was once offered on Calvary, and is now tally offered in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 13.—Tell what John said when he saw Jesus the second time. What is said of the lamb in the Old Law, and what in the New?



14.—The First Disciples of Jesus Christ.


1. On the following day, as Jesus was walking on the banks of the Jordan, two of the disciples of John the Baptist, named Andrew and John, saw Him. They remained with Jesus during the day. Toward the evening Andrew brought Simon, his brother, to Jesus. As soon as Jesus saw him, He said, "Thou art called Simon, son of Jonah: hereafter thou shalt be called Peter."

2. The next day Jesus saw Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." When Philip had listened for a while he hastened to seek his brother Nathaniel. Finding him under a fig-tree, he told him that at last the Messiah was come, and Jesus of Nazareth was the person. At first Nathaniel was inclined to be incredulous, owing to the prejudice that existed against the Nazarenes, but at last he yielded and went with his brother.

3. When Jesus saw him coming, He said: "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile." But Nathaniel's astonishment knew no bounds when Jesus told him how Philip had found him under the fig-tree, and how He had known him long before. Filled with awe, Nathaniel bowed himself before Jesus, and acknowledged Him to be the Son of God. Nathaniel afterwards became one of Christ's disciples under the name of Bartholomew.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 14.—Who were the first disciples of Christ? What did Christ say to Peter? What is said of Philip and Nathaniel? By what name it Nathaniel also known?



15.—The Marriage at Cana.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Three days after Jesus had called Philip and Nathaniel to follow Him, a marriage-feast was celebrated at Cana of Galilee. Jesus and Mary were there, as also the newly-chosen disciples. During the feast the wine failed, when Mary, coming to Jesus, mentioned the fact to Him. At first Jesus seemed inclined to do nothing to remove the embarrassment of the master of the house; but Mary, who new the kindness of her Son, came to the servants and bade them do whatever He told them.

2. There stood six stone pitchers, each containing from two to three measures. Now Jesus came to the servants and told them to fill them with water; then to draw out and carry to the chief steward. When the steward had tasted the water made wine, he was much astonished, and, calling the bride-groom, chid him for having kept the best wine to the end of the feast.

This was the first public miracle Jesus wrought, and those who saw it not only were astonished, but believed Jesus was the Son of God.

3. It was at this feast of Cana that Jesus sanctified marriage, and raised it to the dignity of a sacrament. And this change of water into wine was emblematic of that still greater change in the Sacrifice of the Mass, where wine is changed into the blood of Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 15.—Who were at the marriage-feast? What failed? How was the wine supplied? What was the first public miracle Jesus wrought? When was marriage instituted



The First Year of Christ's Public Ministry



16.—Christ's Zeal for the Sanctity of the Temple [A.D. 31]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. About this time Jesus went up to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast of the Pasch. Entering the Temple, He found many who were there selling oxen and sheep and doves, while the money-changers sat at their tables. Animated with a holy zeal, He made a whip of cords and drove out those who thus profaned the house of God. No one dared to resist Him, and soon the place was empty.

2. The few who remained asked by what authority He assumed to act as He had done. His only answer was, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." He meant His body, but the Jews thought He meant that grand and gorgeous temple that had cost their forefathers forty-six years of labor and an immense treasure of gold and silver.

3. During the celebration of this Paschal feast Jesus wrought a great many miracles in and near Jerusalem. Many, when they saw His works and heard His words, were led to believe in Him.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 16.—How did Jesus purify the Temple? What did Jesus say to those who remained?



17.—Nicodemus comes to see Jesus.


1. Whilst Jesus was at Jerusalem celebrating this feast of the Pasch, Nicodemus, a member of the great Jewish Council, came to Him in the night-time and said: "Master, we know Thou art a teacher from God, for no man can do what Thou doest if God were not with him."

2. After they had talked together for a while, Nicodemus asked what he must do to be saved. Jesus answered, "He must be born again of water and the Holy Ghost." When Nicodemus heard this he was much puzzled to understand what he had heard; but Christ only repeated His words, and added, "That God had sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that the world might be saved through Him."

3. It was at this interview that Christ taught the necessity of Baptism. The Catholic Church not only teaches this doctrine to-day, but insists that all her children shall be baptized. As the Israelites were saved from the slavery of Egypt by passing through the Red Sea, so are Christians freed from the slavery of sin by the waters of Baptism.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 17.—Who came to see Jesus? What did Nicodemus say to Jesus? What answer did Jesus give? What did Christ teach at this interview?



18.—Jesus at the Well of Jacob.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the feast of the Pasch was over Jesus passed through Judea, baptizing as He went. On His way to Nazareth He came to a city called Shechem, in the country of Samaria. Being weary, He sat down near a well which formerly Jacob had dug, and which was much visited by the people, because it was near the gate. His disciples, leaving Him, went into the city to buy bread.

2. While Jesus was sitting by the well, a woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her for a drink. Now the Jews so hated the Samaritans that they would have preferred to die rather than ask a favor from them. So, when the woman heard the request, she was very much astonished, and asked how it came that He, who was a Jew, asked her for a drink.

3. Jesus said to her, if she knew who it was that asked her for a drink, maybe she would ask Him for a drink; for He would give her living water. When she heard of living water, and how those who drank of it would not thirst again, she asked for it, that she might be saved the trouble of coming so often to draw water. Then Jesus revealed to her the secret sins of her life. Being struck at the Spirit of God, which she so clearly saw in Him, she said: "Sir, I see Thou art a prophet."

4. The Samaritans had built a temple on Gerizim, a mountain near the city of Shechem, where they were accustomed to offer sacrifice, as the Jews did at Jerusalem. The woman asked, "Who was right, the Jew or the Samaritan?" But Jesus said: "The time will come—nay, was come—when men would worship God neither on Mount Gerizim nor at Jerusalem."

5. Jesus also said to her that He was the Messiah. When she heard this she left her water-pot, and, hastening into the city, told the inhabitants all that had happened. The Samaritans came to Jesus, and asked Him to remain with them. He stayed two days, teaching and instructing them, many believing in Him.

6. The water which Jesus gives is interior light to guide the soul, and grace to overcome the passions. Those who will truly serve God must offer Him not the appearances of piety, but humility, faith, and charity. These are the fountains from which all true religion springs.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 18.—Tell what happened at the well of Jacob. What did Jesus ask for? What astonished the woman? What did Jesus reveal to her? What did the woman tell the people of the city? What did the Samaritans do? How did Jesus act?



19.—Jesus preaches at Nazareth.


1. After Jesus left Shechem He returned to Nazareth, His native city. It was His custom to go frequently into they synagogue. One day, while many of the people were assembled, Jesus rose up to read. The book of Isaiah was given Him, and, opening it, He read from the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me; He bath anointed Me, and sent Me to preach the Gospel to the poor, and to heal the contrite of heart."

2. Having shut the book, He returned it to the doctors All eyes were fixed upon Him, and wonder and doubt fine their minds when He began to show them what the prophets had said of the Messiah. But they were confounded when' He referred these prophecies to Himself, and clearly proved He was the Messiah.

3. "Is not this," said they, "the son of Joseph the carpenter?" In answer, Jesus said, "It was not wonderful that He was not believed, for a prophet had no honor in his own country. Even," said He, "Elias was rejected by his own, and was forced to confer his favors upon the pagan widow of Sarepta."

4. When the people heard this they were filled with rage, for they saw He referred to them. They finally forbade Him to speak any more, and, thrusting Him out, brought Him to the brow of the mountain on which the city was built, intending to cast Him down. But Jesus, when He saw Himself on the edge of the precipice, turned, and with a calm dignity, that utterly confounded and paralyzed His enemies, passed through their midst.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 19.—What did Jesus do at Nazareth? What confounded the people? What question did they ask? How were they answered? What did they propose to do to Jesus? flow did He escape?



20.—The Miracle of Jesus at Capernaum.


1. From Nazareth Jesus went to Capernaum, where He taught on the Sabbath days. All were in admiration and astonishment at His doctrines; for He spoke as no man had ever spoken, and his words penetrated into the inmost recesses of their hearts.

2. One day, while He was speaking, a man who was possessed by a devil cried out: "Let us alone! What have we to do with Thee? I know Thou art the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked the devil and drove him out of the man. When the people saw this, fear came upon them, and they knew not what to think.

3. Going out of the synagogue, Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew, his brother. Simon's mother-in-law was very sick. Her friends asked Jesus to do something for her. He approached the bed on which she lay, and, taking her by the hand, lifted her up. Immediately the fever left her, and, rising, she began to minister to Him and His disciples.

4. During the evening of this same day the inhabitants of the city came to Peter's house, carrying with them the sick and those that were possessed. Jesus went to the door and cured the sick and drove out the devils. On the next day He went into Galilee, where He also cured the sick and the infirm.

5. Under the Jewish dispensation, the saints and the prophets also wrought miracles, but in the name of God, from whom they had their authority. Jesus, on the contrary, wrought His miracles in His own name, and by His own authority, thus distinguishing Himself from those who went before Him and from those who came after Him.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 20.—What did Jesus do at Capernaum? What miracles did He do? What did the saints and prophets do?



21.—The Miraculous Draught of Fishes.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Jesus passed over from Capernaum to the Sea of Galilee. Here the multitude pressed to see Him and to hear His words. By the shore were two vessels; the nearest, Peter's. Into this Jesus entered, and requested Peter to push out a little from the land. Then He sat down and taught the multitude.

2. When Jesus had finished speaking, He told Peter to launch out into the deep and to let down his net. Peter answered that he and his partners had been fishing all the night, but had caught nothing; ye., as He wished it, they would let down the net. Scarce had they done so when the net was filled with such a quantity of fish that it was nearly breaking. They made signs to their partners to come and help them, and both ships were filled, so that they were almost sinking.

3. When Peter saw this he fell at the feet of Jesus and said, "Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man." But Jesus answered, "Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt be taking men." Having brought the ships to the shore Peter and his companions left all and followed Jesus.

4. Jesus chose Peter's ship from which to teach. In the Ronne Catholic Church, of which Peter's ship was a figure, Jesus Christ continues to teach through the Popes, who are the lawful successors or Peter.

The miraculous draught of fishes was also symbolic. The sea is the world, the net the Church. The fishers are the bishops and priests; the fish are the faithful who voluntarily enter the Church, that thereby they may be saved.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 21.—What did Jesus do at the Sea of Galilee? What miracle did he work? What is said of Peter's ship?



22.—The Paralytic.


1. One day, while Jesus taught in a certain house of Capernaum, surrounded by the Pharisees and doctors, who had come from Galilee and the surrounding towns to hear Him, a man sick of the palsy was brought to the door. When those who carried the sick man found, because of the multitude, they could not reach Jesus, they went up on the roof of the house,—which, according to the custom of the East, was flat and had an opening in it,—and let the sick man down into the midst of the crowd.

2. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the sick man: "Thy sins are forgiven." When the doctors and the Pharisees heard this they said: "This man blasphemes. Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus, who knew the thoughts of their hearts, asked them whether it was easier to forgive sins than to cure the man. "But that you may know," said He, "that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins, I say to this sick man: Arise, take up thy bed and go into thy house." And the sick man rose, and took up his bed, and returned to his house, praising God.

3. All those who saw this palpable miracle were confounded and astonished. They had heard Jesus say, "Thy sins are forgiven," and, in proof of His power to forgive sins, they had seen Him cure the man. Hence it was not astonishing that, being unable to explain the mystery, they simply cried out, "We have seen wonderful things to-day!"

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 22.—What did Jesus say to the man sick of the palsy? What did the doctors say? What did Jesus do? What effect had this miracle on the multitude?



23.—The Sermon on the Mountain.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Jesus, seeing a great multitude come to Him, went up into a mountain and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and the multitude stood round about, on the sides of the mountain, listening in silence. Jesus thus began:


The Eight Beatitudes.

2. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice, for they shall be filled.

3. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.

The Dignity and Duties of the Apostles.

4. After Jesus had spoken thus to the people, He turned to His apostles, and told them they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world; and that if the one lost its savor, or the other was put under a bushel, each was equally worthless.


The Duties of Christians.

5. Again turning to the people, Jesus said to them that their "justice should be more than that of the Scribes and Pharisees; neither should they kill, nor call another fool; nor should they offer a gift to God whilst they were in anger with their brother." Besides these grand maxims of justice, He taught them to love their enemies, to do good to those that hated them, and to pray for those that persecuted and calumniated them.


The Sanctity of Marriage.

6. Having thus spoken of the general duties of Christians one to another, Jesus gave the following very clear and decided command concerning the nature and sanctity of marriage, to wit, "Let no man put away his wife; for what God has joined together, let no man put asunder." Then He added that, in all their actions, they should have purity of intention, nor do anything for the applause of men.


The Works of a Christian.

7. After this, Jesus spoke to the multitude of the vanities of life and the folly of laying up treasures on earth. He bade them rather lay up treasures in heaven, where neither the moth nor the rust could consume nor the thief steal. He also told them not to be anxious for the things of life—how they should be clothed or what they should eat; for the birds neither sowed, nor did they gather into barns, and yet God fed them.

8. "Consider," said He, "the lilies of the field: they labor not, neither do they spin; and yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed as one of them." He added: "No man can serve two masters: you cannot serve God and mammon."


The End of the Sermon.

9. Besides these and many other exhortations, Jesus said: "Swear not: let your words be yea, yea; no, no; do unto others as you wish them to do unto you; judge not, that you be not judged."

10. Then Jesus concluded with that beautiful similitude that has been so often quoted: that those who did as He had commanded "would be like a house built on a rock: the winds blew and the floods came, but the house fell not; but those who kept not His words would be like a house built on the sands: when the winds blew and the floods came, it fell."

11. When the people heard all these words they were in admiration not only at the doctrines they heard, but also with Jesus Himself, for He spoke to them not as the Scribes and Pharisees, but as one having authority.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 23.—What was the first part of the Sermon on the Mount aim? Repeat the eight beatitudes. What did Jesus say of the apostles? What was said of Christians in general? What was said of marriage? What other lessons did Jesus give? What effect had Christ's words on the multitude?



24.—The Leper.—The Centurion's Servant.


1. When Jesus came down from the mountain, a leper came to Him and, adoring, asked to be cleansed. Jesus stretched forth His hand and touched him, and immediately he was cleansed. Then He commanded the leper to go to the priest and offer the gift prescribed by Moses.

2. Among the Jews, when a leper was cured, he was required to show himself to the priest, who, having examined him, declared him cleansed, and removed from him the restrictions imposed by the law of Moses. This declaration of the Jewish priest was a figure of the sacramental absolution of the Christian priest, who, absolving sinners, may be justly said to cleanse them from a spiritual leprosy.

3. Jesus came again into Capernaum, where a Roman centurion approached Him and told Him that his servant lay dangerously ill. Jesus offered to go and cure him, but the centurion said: "Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst enter under my roof; say only the word, and my servant shall be healed."

4. When Jesus heard this He declared He had not found such faith in Israel; nay, that many would come from the east and the west, and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the Jews themselves would be cast forth, because they would not believe.

5. Then He turned to the centurion and said: "As you have believed, so be it done;" and immediately the servant was cured.

The Jews did not receive Christianity as willingly as the Gentiles; in like manner Joseph's brethren despised him, whilst the Egyptians admired him.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 24.—What is said of the leper? What was a custom among the Jews? What was it a figure of? What happened at Capernaum?



25.—The Widow's Son of Naim.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Once when Jesus was entering the city of Naim, accompanied by His disciples and a great multitude, He met a funeral procession in which a widow's son was carried out to be buried. Jesus, seeing the great sorrow of the mother, and the many friends that were with her, came and said, "Weep not."

2. Then He approached the bier on which the dead man lay, and, touching the body, said, "Arise;" and the young man rose up and began to speak. Jesus presented the son to the mother. When those who were present saw what was done, great fear came upon them, and they began to glorify God, because "a great prophet had arisen amongst them."

3. This miracle is symbolic of the future resurrection, when God will raise up all men from the grave. Even now it has its fulfilment in the Sacrament of Penance, where Jesus Christ, through His priests, raises up the sinner from the spiritual death of sin.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 25.—Tell how Jesus raised the widow's son.



26.—Mary Magdalene.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. A certain Pharisee, named Simon, invited Jesus to come and eat with him. Jesus went, and, while He was at table, Mary Magdalene came and brought with her an alabaster box filled with precious perfume. Entering the house, she cast herself on her knees, and began to wash the feet of Jesus with her tears, and to wipe them with the hair of her head; then, kissing them, she anointed them with the precious perfume she had brought.

2. When the Pharisee saw this he began to doubt in Jesus; saying to himself: "Were this man a prophet, He would surely know this woman is a sinner."

Jesus, knowing his thoughts, spoke to him as follows: "A certain man had two debtors: one owed him five hundred pence; the other, fifty. As neither could pay him, he forgave them both. Which, do you think, loved him most?" The Pharisee said: "I suppose he to whom he forgave most."

3. "You see this woman," said Jesus. "I entered your house, and you gave Me no water for My feet; yet she has washed them with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. You did not anoint My head, but she has anointed My feet. I say to you many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved much."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 26.—Give the history of Mary Magdalene and the anointing of Jesus.



27.—The Messengers of John the Baptist.


1. Owing to the poverty and obscurity of His life, many thought Jesus was not the Son of God, and could not be the Messiah. John the Baptist, not that he doubted, but that he might afford Jesus an opportunity of publicly proclaiming His divinity, sent two of his disciples to ask Him if He were the Messiah or not.

2. Jesus, without saying yes or no, simply referred to the miracles He had wrought and the evils He had cured, and told the messengers to say to John: "The blind see, the deaf hear, the dead rise, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them." These things had been long before prophesied of the Messiah by Isaiah.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 27.—For what did John send messengers? What answers did Jesus give John's messengers?



The Second Year of Christ's Public Ministry



28.—Jesus cures a Man who had been Sick Thirty-eight Years.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In the second year of His public preaching, Jesus went up to Jerusalem to assist at the Paschal solemnities. There was at Jerusalem a pond, called Bethsaida, having around it five porches. In these porches lay many sick, such as the blind, the lame, and the paralytic.

2. At certain times an angel came down into the pond and moved the waters, and he who first entered after the waters had been disturbed was cured of whatever disease he might have.

3. Now there lay in one of the porches a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus came to him and asked him if he would like to be cured. The poor man answered he had little chance, for he had no one to put him in after the angel had troubled the waters. Jesus said to him: "Arise; take up thy bed and walk." The man rose and, taking up his bed, walked.

4. The Jews, seeing what Christ had done, began to murmur, because He had cured the sick man on the Sabbath. When Jesus met their objections by telling them that not only His Father worked, but that He also worked, they became exceedingly angry; for they saw by this He made Himself equal to God.

5. They then strove to kill Him, but He all the more declared Himself the Son of God, and that in Him, and through Him, were men to be saved. Then He appealed to the works He did as the best testimony that His Father had sent Him.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 28.—Tell the history of the man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. How was he cured? What did the Jews complain of? What did they strive to do? What did Christ declare?



29,—The Seven Parables of the Kingdom of God.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Jesus came again to the Sea of Galilee, and, entering a ship, taught the multitude that stood on the shore.

2. The Parable of the Sower.—A man went out to sow seed. Some fell by the wayside, and the birds picked it up; some fell on stony ground, and, springing up, soon withered away, because it had no root; some fell among thorns, and was soon choked; but others fell upon good ground, and brought forth fruit—some a hundred, some sixty, some thirty-fold.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

3. Jesus afterwards gave this explanation of the parable to His disciples: The seed is the word of God: that by the wayside are those who hear; but the devil comes and takes the word out of their hearts, lest, believing, they should he saved. The seed that fell upon the rock are those who, at first, joyfully receive the word, and for a while believe, but, having no roots in time of temptation easily fall away.

4. That which fell among thorns are those who hear, but, going away, are choked with the cares and pleasures of life and yield no fruit. But the seed that fell on good ground are those who, hearing the word with a good heart, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience.

5. The Parable of the Cockle.—Jesus spoke another parable: A man sowed good seed in his field, and when he slept his enemy came and sowed cockle. When the blades sprang up the cockle appeared; but the master bade the servants let both grow until the harvest, when he would tell the reapers to gather the cockle into bundles and burn it, but to gather the wheat into his barn.

6. The following is the interpretation of this parable: The sower is the Son of God; the field is the world; the seed is the good; the cockle is the bad; the enemy that sowed the cockle is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. As the cockle was gathered and burned, so shall the wicked be in the day of judgment.

7. The Parable of the Mustard-seed.—Jesus spoke another parable: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard-seed: it is the least of all seeds; but when it grows up and becomes a tree, the birds can rest in its branches.

8. The Parable of the Leaven.—A woman took leaven and hid it in three measures of meal, until the whole was leavened: so is the kingdom of God.

9. The Parable of the Treasure.—The kingdom of heaven is like to a treasure hidden in a field: when a man finds it, he goes and sells all he has and buys that field.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

10. The Parable of the Pearl.—The kingdom of heaven is again like to a merchant seeking pearls: he finds one of great price; then he goes and sells all he has and buys it.

11. The Parable of the Good and Bad Fishes.—Again the kingdom of heaven is like a net east into the sea: it gathers all kinds of fishes; but, when it is drawn out, men select the good and cast away the bad: so shall it be at the end of the world—the angels shall separate the just from the unjust.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 29.—What is the parable of the sower? Tell the parable of the cockle. What is its interpretation? What are the other parables?



30.—The Tempest Calmed.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After Jesus had finished speaking to the people, He said to His apostles: "Let us pass over to the other side." Before they started, a Scribe came to Him and proposed to follow Him; but Jesus, knowing how selfish his heart was, simply answered: "The foxes have holes, and the birds have nests, but I have not whereon to lay My head." When the Scribe heard this he went away.

2. Shortly after the ship left the land a violent storm arose. The waves covered the ship, but Jesus slept. The storm increasing, the disciples came to Jesus and told Him they feared all would be lost. Then Jesus rose and, chiding them for their want of faith, calmed the winds and the sea. When the disciples saw this a great fear came upon them.

3. The stormy sea is the world; the ship is the Church, which rider safely amid the tempest, for Christ is with her.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 30.—What is said of the Scribe? Tell the story of the tempest.



31.—The Daughter of Jairus.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the ship landed, a multitude of people came and, with great joy, welcomed Jesus. Among those who met Him was a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, who begged Him to come and heal his daughter, who lay dangerously ill. Jesus went with him.

2. As Jesus was passing through the crowd, a woman who had been sick for twelve years, and had in vain sought relief from many physicians, came behind Him and touched His garment. She was immediately cured.

3. Whilst they were on the way, a servant came to Jairus and told him his daughter was dead, and it was useless to trouble himself any further. But Jesus said to him: "Fear not; only believe."

4. When they came to the house where the young woman was, they found a great crowd weeping and lamenting. But Jesus, approaching, said: "Weep not; she is not dead." They laughed at Him, for they all knew too well she was dead.

5. Then Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John and the parents of the girl, and went into the room where she lay. Taking her by the hand, He said: "Arise!" and immediately she rose and began to walk through the house.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER . 31.—What did Jesus do to the daughter of Jairus? What happened to the woman in the crowd?



32.—Jesus chooses His Apostles.


1. Every day crowds of people came from far and near to hear Jesus. He was moved with great compassion for them. Seeing them wandering about like sheep without a shepherd, He said to His disciples: "The harvest is great, but the laborers are few."

2. The following night was spent in prayer. In the morning Jesus called His disciples, and from amongst them chose twelve, whom He called apostles—that is, sent. Their names were Peter and Andrew, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew, James the Less and Thaddeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot.

3. When Jesus had chosen them, He gave them power to heal the sick, to raise the dead, and to drive out devils. Then He sent them forth to preach, but forbade them to take anything with them but their staff. They were thus taught to put their trust in God, and not to hope for success through human means.

4. He moreover told them they must suffer for His sake—nay, that they would be scourged and put to death. "But," said He, "the disciple is not above the master; and if they do these things to Me, how much more to you?"

5. But He consoled them by the promise that He would be with them, and speak through them; and that those who heard them heard Him, and that those who despised them despised Him.

6. The apostles went forth two by two, preaching and driving out devils and healing the sick. Some time after this Jesus added seventy disciples, whose duties were to help the apostles, and go before Christ as the apostles had done.

7. The blessing which Our Lord gave by His doctrines was spread through His apostles, as the blessing given to Abraham long before descended to the sons of Jacob. As Gideon with his little band vanquished his enemies, so did the apostles with their staff change the face of society and subdue the world to the yoke of Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 32.—Who were the apostles? What powers did He give them? Where did He send them? How did He console them? What did the apostles do? Whom did Jesus add to the apostles?



33.—John the Baptist Beheaded.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, had married Herodias, his brother's wife. John the Baptist came to him, and told him it was not lawful for him to have his brother's wife. When Herod heard this he became exceedingly angry, and cast John into prison, hoping thus to silence him.

2. Now it happened that Herod, on his birthday, gave a grand feast to the princes of Galilee. During the feast the daughter of Herodias danced for Herod and his court. The king was much pleased, and promised to give the young woman whatever she would ask, even to the half of his kingdom. He confirmed this promise with an oath.

3. The damsel hastened to her mother, who advised her to ask for the head of John the Baptist, that thus they might be revenged on him for what he had said. The daughter returned and asked for the head of John.

4. When Herod heard this he was very sad, but, because of his oath, he sent and had John beheaded. The head was placed upon a dish and brought to the young woman, who carried it to her mother.

5. Like John the Baptist, the saintly and fearless prophet Elias had presented himself, on a similar occasion, before King Achab. Like Herod, Achab also hated the truth, and strove to put the man of God to death, but failed.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 33.—For what was John the Baptist cast into prison? How did he die?



34.—The Miracles of the Loaves and Fishes.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. About the time of the Pasch, the apostles returned from their first mission. Coming to Jesus, they told Him what they had done and what they had taught. Jesus then took them with Him, and they crossed the Sea of Galilee, and went into the desert. A great multitude followed them. When Jesus saw how many had come, He began to teach them and to heal their sick.

2. About the evening, the apostles proposed to send the multitude home, as they had nothing to give them to eat. Jesus asked what they had. The apostles answered, "Five loaves and two fishes."

3. Then Jesus commanded the people to sit down on the grass, and, having taken the loaves and the two fishes, blessed them and gave them to His apostles, who distributed them amongst the people. There were about five thousand men, besides the women and children, and yet there was enough for all. When they were done, twelve baskets of fragments were gathered up.

4. When the people saw this stupendous miracle they were filled with admiration, and wished to make Jesus their king. But He, knowing their design, hid Himself, and during the night passed with His disciples over to Capernaum.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 34.—What is said of the return of the apostles? Tell the history of the loaves and fishes. What effect had this miracle on the people?



35.—The Promise of the Blessed Sacrament.


1. The day after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the people came to Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum. When He saw how they came to Him, because they had eaten of the miraculous bread, He told them not to labor for perishable bread, but for that bread which never perished, and which He could give.

2. Then He told them that He was the living bread, and that this bread was His flesh. When the Jews heard this they were scandalized, and asked: "How could He give them His flesh to eat." But Jesus only repeated His former assertion in a stronger and more emphatic manner, and concluded with these clear and decided words: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you. For My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed."

3. Many of the disciples, when they heard these words, were very much troubled, and because they could not understand how Christ could give them His body to eat and His blood to drink, went away, and walked no more with Him.

4. But Jesus continued to affirm this incomprehensible mystery all the more, and at last turned to Peter, and asked him if he would also go away. But Peter, who could understand the doctrine no better than the others, declared he would not, but would believe it; not that he understood it, but because Jesus Christ had said it, and "He had the words of eternal life."

5. As the manna fell from heaven to support the Israelites in the desert, so is the Blessed Sacrament daily present upon our altars to feed and nourish the soul in the battle of life.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 35.—What happened on the day after the miracle of the loaves and fishes? How did the Jews receive the words of Jesus? How did Jests meet their objection? What did many do? How did Peter act? What is said Of the manna and the Blessed Sacrament?



36.—The Woman of Canaan.


1. Jesus went into the country of Tyre and Sidon, and a pagan woman of Canaan came to Him, asking Him to cure her daughter, who was possessed by a devil. But Jesus made her no answer. The woman continued to urge her request until the disciples thought of putting her away, but Jesus forbade them.

2. The woman coming near, adored Jesus, when He said to her, "It is not good to give the bread of the children to the dogs." But she answered, °The whelps sometimes eat the crumbs that fall from the tables of their masters." When Jesus heard this He was much struck with her faith, and cured her daughter.

Jesus found faith among the pagans of Sidon, as, on a former ma= don, Jonas had found it among the pagans of Nineveh.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 36.—What is said of the Woman of Canaan?



37.—The Primacy conferred on Peter. [A.D. 32]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Jesus came to the city of Caesarea Philippi, and that He might try His apostles, asked what the people generally thought of Him. The apostles answered there was great difference of opinion; some taking Him for Elias, some for Moses, and some thought He was a prophet. Then Jesus asked them what was their own opinion on the matter. Peter answered in the name of all: "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God."

2. When Jesus heard this unqualified acknowledgment of His divinity, He said to Peter: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth shall be loosed also in heaven."

3. Peter was thus the first of the apostles who made a public profession of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and, for his faith, Jesus made him the chief among the apostles, and the future visible head of the Church. For eighteen hundred years, the Popes, who are the legitimate successors of St. Peter, have been placed at the head of the Christian world.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 37.—What did Jesus do at Caesarea Philippi? What was the opinion of the people about Him? What did Peter say? What power did Christ confer on Peter? What is said of the Popes?



38.—The Transfiguration.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After six days, Jesus took Peter and James and John with Him up into a mountain. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone as the sun, and His garments became white as snow. Moses and Elias also appeared, and began to talk with Him.

2. When the apostles saw the ravishing beauty of Christ's person, they proposed, in their joy, to build three tabernacles: one for Him, one for Moses, and one for Elias. Whilst they were speaking a voice from heaven cried out, "This is My beloved Son: hear ye Him!"

3. At these words the apostles fell flat on the ground, nor did they look up until Jesus came and bade them rise. When they lifted up their eyes they saw no one but Jesus, who commanded them to tell the vision to no one till after He had risen from the dead.

4. Jesus, transfigured, appeared between the two greatest men of the Old Law—Moses, the lawgiver, and Elias, the miracle-worker. In Hie glory He infinitely surpassed both the one and the other, proving clearly that He was the centre of majesty as well as the origin of power, both in the Jewish and Christian dispensation.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 38.—Tell the history of the Transfiguration.



39.—Jesus the Friend of Children.—Scandal.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. One day, after teaching, Jesus sat down to rest, when the women brought their children to Him, that He might bless them. The apostles, anxious to spare Him, strove to keep beak the crowd; but Jesus said to then, "Suffer little children to come to Me, for in their innocence they are like the angels in heaven." Then Jesus laid His hands upon the heads of the children and blessed them.

2. On another occasion the apostles asked Jesus who was the greatest in heaven. He called a little child, and, placing it in their midst, said, "That to become great in heaven, we must on earth become innocent and humble as children."

3. It was on this occasion Christ pronounced a woe upon those who scandalized the young, or led them into sin; and the reason He gave was, "their angels were ever before the face of God."

As Tobias was protected by an angel, so have we angels to guard us, though with the eyes of the body we cannot see them.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 39.—What is said of little children?



40.—The Pardon of Injuries.—The Unforgiving Servant.


1. One day Peter asked Our Savior how often he should forgive his brother. Jesus said, Till seventy times seven;" by which is meant an indefinite number.

2. To confirm His words to Peter, Jesus related the following parable: A king wished to take an account of his affairs, so he called his servants. One came who owed ten thousand talents, and, being unable to pay, the master ordered him and his wife and his children to be sold. The poor man, when he saw the misfortune that was come upon him, fell upon his knees and begged for time, promising to pay all. The master, taking pity on him, forgave the debt.

3. When this servant left the master, he met a fellow-servant who owed him a hundred pence. Seizing him by the throat, he demanded immediate payment. The servant begged for a little time. He would not give it, but cast him into prison.

4. When the other servants saw what was done, they told the master, who, calling the unforgiving servant to him, chid him for his harshness, and then cast him into prison until his own debt should be paid. Christ concluded with these memorable words: "So also shall My heavenly Father do unto you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 40.—What is the lesson on forgiving injuries? What is said of the two servants? How did the master act? What conclusion did Christ draw?



41.—The Power of the Keys given to the Apostles.


1. At the time St. Peter made his glorious profession of faith in the divinity of Christ, he received, besides the primacy in the Church, a special power of binding and loosing on earth. About the period we are writing, Jesus extended the same power to the other apostles.

2. The words in which this power was conferred were as follows: "Amen, I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed also in heaven." And in order that there might be no doubt as to the authority of the apostles when they went forth to preach, Christ added: "He that hears you hears Me; and he that despises you despises Me."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 41.—What power was granted the apostles? What are the words in which Christ conferred this power?



42.—The Parable of the Good Samaritan.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Once, while Jesus was teaching, a lawyer came to Him, and asked what he must do to be saved. Jesus answered: "Love God with your whole heart, and love your neighbor as yourself." When the lawyer heard of his neighbor, he thought he would entrap Our Savior, and asked, "Who is my neighbor?"

2. In answer Jesus narrated the following parable: A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way he fell among robbers, who stripped him, and wounding him, left him half-dead. Shortly afterwards a priest came by the same way, and, though he saw the helpless condition of the wounded man, passed on. In like manner, a Levite also passed.

3. But a Samaritan, passing, saw the wounded man, and coming, bound up his wounds, and placing him on his own ass, took him to the inn. The next day he took two pence and gave to the host, bidding him take care of the wounded man, and promising to pay on his return whatever additional expense would be incurred.

4. When Our Savior had finished, He asked the lawyer, "Who was neighbor to the man who fell among robbers?" The Doctor answered: "He that showed mercy." Then Jesus said: "Go and do in like manner."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 42, What did the lawyer ask? What answer did he get? Relate the parable of the Good Samaritan? What conclusion is drawn from the parable?



43.—Mary and Martha.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After this Jesus came to a town called Bethany. Here a woman, named Martha, received Him into her house. Martha gave herself much trouble, arranging and fixing the house, that she might show her respect for her guest; but her sister Mary went and sat down at the feet of Jesus, and listened to His words.

2. When Martha saw that Mary left all the care of the house to her, she came to Jesus and requested Him to speak to her sister, that she might help her. But Jesus told Martha not to trouble herself about many things—one thing was necessary; and, as Mary had chosen the better part, He would not disturb her.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 43.—What is said of Martha? What is said of Mary? Whose conduct was preferred?



44.—The Lord's Prayer.


1. One day, after Jesus had been praying in a retired spot, one of His disciples came to Him, and asked Him to teach them to pray, as John had taught his disciples. Jesus said: "When you pray, say: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen."

2. Jesus said besides, "Come to Me, all you that labor and are heavy ladened, and I will refresh you. My yoke is sweet, and My burden is light. Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 44.—Tell the history of the Lord's Prayer. What other maxims did Jesus give?



45.—The Lost Sheep and the Good Shepherd.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. At the feast of Tabernacles, Jesus went up to Jerusalem, where He taught. Many of those who came to hear Him were publicans and sinners. When the Scribes and Pharisees saw this they began to murmur. That He might the better illustrate His own character, and at the same time teach them a lesson, Jesus gave the following parable:

2. "What man having a hundred sheep, and losing one, does not leave the ninety-nine and seek for that which was lost until he find it? When he has found it, does he not call together his friends and neighbors, and say to them, 'Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost? As a man does with his lost sheep, so does God with the sinner that repents."

3. "I am the good Shepherd," said Christ. "The good shepherd gives his life for his flock; but the hireling, when lie sees the wolf, flies. I lay down My life for My sheep. I have other sheep that are not yet of this fold; them also must bring. There shall be but one fold and one Shepherd,"

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 45.—What gave occasion for the parable of the good shepherd? Relate it. What does Christ say of Himself?



46.—The Prodigal Son.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After Jesus had given the above parable, that so beautifully explains what a good shepherd should be, He spoke another, to illustrate the forgiving character of His Father towards a repenting sinner.

2. "A certain man," said He, "had two sons. The younger asked his father for his portion, and, having received his share, went into a far country. He was not long there till he spent what his father had given him, and the companions of his folly abandoning him when they found he had no more to spend, he was reduced to extreme want.

3. "Seeing nothing but starvation staring him in the face, he went and hired himself to a farmer, who sent him to feed swine. When the young man saw the condition to which he was reduced, entering into himself, he rose up and returned to his father.

4. "The kind-hearted father was watching, and when he saw his poor prodigal son returning to him, hastened out to meet him, and, falling on his neck, kissed him, and welcomed him back to the home of his childhood. The son said: 'Father, I have sinned against Heaven and before thee. I am not worthy to be called thy son.'

5. "But the father ordered the servants to bring forth the best robe in the house and put it on him, and to put a ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet. Then he commanded them to hasten and bring the fatted calf, that they might kill it and make merry.

6. "The eldest son was in the fields, and when he returned, and heard music and dancing, and learned the cause, he was very angry. Calling his father, he complained that he had made so much of his disobedient and dissipated brother, whilst he had never received anything, not even a kid, with which to make merry with his friends. But his father said it was but right to rejoice, for his brother that was dead had come to life, and he who had been lost was found."

7. In this parable Jesus Christ taught the doctrine of penance. First, the prodigal son recognizes his sins, repents, and returns to his father. Secondly, he confesses, and is ready to make satisfaction for what ha has dome. In the same manner the sinner recognizes his sins, repents, and confesses them; then willingly accepts the penance imposed on him; and lastly, the absolution of the priest reconciles him to God.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 46.—Relate the parable of the prodigal son. What Joel the parable of the prodigal child teach? How?



47.—The Rich Man and Lazarus.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Jesus, continuing to preach, spoke as follows: "There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day. There was also a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at the rich man's gate, begging for the crumbs that fell from his table; moreover, the dogs licked his sores.

2. "In due time the beggar died, and was carried to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died, but was buried in hell. Here, lifting up his eyes, he saw Lazarus, and begged Abraham to send him to him, that he might dip his finger in water and cool his tongue. But Abraham reminded the rich man how it had been with him and Lazarus in life, and how just it was that he, who had feasted on good things, should now suffer, whilst he who had suffered should be rewarded.

3. "'Besides,' said Abraham. 'there is between us a great lake, so that no one can pass from us to you, nor from you to us.'

"As a last appeal, the rich man begged Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers, that they might be kept out of hell; but Abraham refused, saying: 'They have Moses and the prophets: let them hear them.'"

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 47.—What is said of the rich man? What is said of Lazarus? What did Abraham say? What last appeal did the rich man make? How was he answered?



48.—The Cure of the Man Born Blind.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Jesus was celebrating the feast of Tabernacles. He went out from the Temple on the Sabbath day. He met a man who had been blind from his birth. The disciples asked if it was because of any fault in the blind man himself, or in his parents, that he had been born blind. Jesus answered that the blindness was neither because of any fault in the man, nor in his parents, but simply to manifest the works of God.

2. Jesus spat on the ground and made clay, and spread the clay on the eyes of the blind man. Then He bade him go and wash in the pool of Siloe. The blind man went, washed, and returned seeing.

3. When those who had formerly known him saw him, they were confounded, and took him to the Pharisees. They asked him how he had been cured. He told them. When they heard how Jesus had cured him on the Sabbath, some said He was God, and some said He was a sinner, whilst others said, "A sinner cannot do such miracles; "and there was a division.

4. There were some also who would not believe the man had been blind; so they sent for his parents, who testified that he had been born blind, and that it was their son. When the blind man began to reason, and to show that none but God could restore sight to the blind, the Pharisees became very angry, and cast him out.

5. Some time after this Jesus met him, and asked him if he believed in the Son of God. When, to his question, Jesus told him He was the Son of God, the man who had been blind fell on his knees and adored Jesus, saying: "Lord, I believe."

6. In this miracle we have a remarkable fulfilment of the words of the prophet Isaiah concerning Christ, that in His time "the eyes of the blind should be opened." Such a miracle could only be done by God; hence the anger and rage of unbelieving Pharisees when they could neither disprove nor gainsay the cure of the man who had been born blind.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 48.—What is said of the blind man? How was he cured? How did the Pharisees act? Who were called? What was done to the blind man? Why? What happened to him afterwards?



49.—The Ten Lepers.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the feast of Tabernacles, Jesus passed through Samaria and Galilee. On the way He met ten lepers. By the law of Moses, lepers were forbidden to live in the towns or cities, or to mingle among the people, and were required to live in the country, apart by themselves. When Jesus saw the ten lepers, He commanded them to go and show themselves to the priest. Whilst they were going they were cleansed.

2. One of them, when he saw what had happened, returned, and cast himself at the feet of Jesus; and this man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked if the other nine had not also been cleansed, and how came it that only the stranger returned to give thanks? Then Jesus, to console the grateful leper, said: "Rise: thy faith hath made thee whole."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 49.—Tell the history of the ten lepers.



50.—The Publican and the Pharisee.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Jesus saw how some trusted in their own works and despised others, He spoke the following parable: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, the other a publican. The Pharisee, standing, prayed thus: 'O God, I thank Thee that I am not like the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers; nor am I like this publican. I fast twice c week, and I give tithes of all I possess.'

2. "But the publican, standing afar off, would not so much as lift up his eyes, but struck his breast, saying. 'O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.'

"I say to you, the publican was justified, but the Pharisee was not; because he that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 50.—Relate the parable of the Pharisee and the publican. What did the Pharisee do? What did the publican do? Which was justified?



51.—The Rich Young Man.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. A rich young man came to Jesus and asked what he must do to be saved. Jesus bade him keep the commandments. But the young man, hesitating, asked, "What commandments?" Jesus said: "gill not, steal not, neither shalt thou bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother." The young man, hearing this, answered he had kept all these from his youth.

2. Jesus then turned to him and said: "If you will be perfect, sell all you have and give it to the poor, and come and follow Me." But the young man went away sorrowful. When he had gone, Jesus turned to His disciples and remarked how difficult it was for a rich man to part with his wealth, and very few of them would enter heaven.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 51.—What is said of the rich young man? Describe his interview with Jesus. What is said of the rich?



52.—The Laborers in the Vineyard.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After Jesus had spoken to His disciples of the rewards that awaited the faithful servant, He gave the following parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like to the master of a vine-yard. In the morning he went out to hire laborers; and, having agreed to give them each a penny a day, sent them into his vineyard.

2. "He went out at the third and the sixth and the ninth hours, and seeing men standing idle, sent them into his vineyard, telling them he would give them what was right. He did the same at the eleventh hour.

3. "In the evening the master called the laborers, and paid them each a penny. But when those who had labored from the morning came, and received only a penny, they began to complain because the others, who had not labored as much as they, had been made equal to them.

4. "The master answered, they had agreed for a penny; he had paid them, and he did not see why they should complain because he was generous."

Then Jesus said: "So shall it be in heaven: the last shall be first, and the first last; for many are called, but few are chosen."

5. Two thousand years before the coming of Jesus Christ, the Jews were called to be the chosen people of God. They despised this call, and so comparatively but few of them have been chosen to have a part in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. When the Jews denied and rejected Jesus Christ, He turned to the Gentiles, who, in immense numbers, enrolled themselves under His banner, and thus they who were last have become first, and the Jews, who were first, have become last.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 52.—Tell the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. What is said of the Jews and Gentiles?



53.—The Resurrection of Lazarus.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Jesus was assisting at the feast of the dedication of the Temple, He openly taught that He and the Father were one. When the Jews heard this, and saw that He thus made Himself equal to God, they became very angry, and determined to stone Him. But hearing of their intentions, Jesus quietly left Jerusalem and went into the country about the Jordan. There He received a message from the two sisters Mary and Martha, of Bethany, telling him their brother Lazarus was very sick.

2. But He remained two days longer, remarking to His disciples that Lazarus was dead. When He came to Bethany Martha met Him, and complained that He had been so slow; but Jesus bade her have courage, for her brother would again come to life.

3. Martha called Mary, who was at home weeping. She rose and hastened to meet Jesus, who was yet outside the town, end, casting herself at His feet, said: "Lord, if you had been here, my brother had not died."

4. When Jesus saw her weeping, and saw the other Jews who accompanied her also weeping, He asked where they had laid Lazarus. They brought Him to the sepulchre. He commanded them to take away the stone that lay over the door; then He lifted up His eyes to heaven, and praying, cried out: "Lazarus, come forth." Immediately Lazarus rose and came forth from the grave, bound in the napkins and grave-clothes in which he had been buried. Many of the Jews believed in Jesus, but others went and told the chief priests and Pharisees what had happened.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 53.—What did Jesus teach concerning Himself and the Father? Where did He go? What message did He receive? What happened when Jesus came to Bethany?



54.—The Jews Seek to Kill Jesus.


1. When the Pharisees and Scribes heard of the resurrection of Lazarus, and how the people were following Jesus, they said. "If we let Him alone, everybody will believe in Him." They asked Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, what he thought of the matter. But he answered: "It is expedient that one man die for the people, that the whole nation perish not." This he said by inspiration.

2. From that day they sought to put Jesus to death. For this reason He walked no more openly among the Jews, but, going away, dwelt in the city of Ephrem. The Jews hated Jesus because His works proved His divinity; and Cain killed his brother because God loved Abel.

3. Six days after the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus said to His apostles: "We are about to go up to Jerusalem, and I shall be betrayed and condemned to death; then I shall be scourged, and at last crucified; but I shall rise again on the third day." This remarkable prophecy was fulfilled to the letter in the passion and death of Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 54.—When the Pharisees heard of the resurrection of Lazarus, how did they act? What did the high priest say? What did the Jews try to do? What prophesy did Jesus give?



55. Zacheus, the Chief of the Publicans.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. There lived in Jericho a man named Zacheus, the chief of the publicans. He strove to see Jesus when He passed through the city, but, being a man of small stature, he could not on account of the crowd. He then ran on and climbed up a sycamore-tree. When Jesus came to the tree, he lifted up His eyes and said to Zacheus: "Make haste and come down, for to-day I must abide in your house." Zacheus hastened, and with great joy received Him into his house.

2. When the others saw this they began to murmur because Jesus had gone into the house of a publican, who from his profession was considered a sinner. Jesus said to Zacheus: "This day salvation is come into this house, for the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 55.—What is said of Zacheus?



56.—Mary Magdalene Anoints Jesus.


1. From Jericho Jesus went to Bethany, where Simon the leper made a supper for Him. Lazarus was one of the guests, and Martha, his sister, helped to wait upon them. Now, while they were all sitting at supper, Mary Magdalene took a box of precious ointment, and, coming into the house, knelt down and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped them with the hair of her head. The house was filled with the sweet odor of the ointment.

2. When Judas Iscariot saw this he began to complain and to murmur at the waste. He asked why they had not sold the ointment and given the price to the poor—not that he cared for the poor, but because he carried the purse and was a thief.

3. Jesus bade them let the woman alone, for she had done a good work in embalming His body for the tomb. He said also that wheresoever His Gospel would be preached, the piety of Mary Magdalene would be proclaimed.

4. Like Judas, many nowadays cry "Prodigality!" if they are asked to contribute for the beauty of the church or the splendor of divine worship. They also say, "Let it be given to the poor," but Jesus says, "Do both: ornament the church and help the poor."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 56.—From Jericho where did Jesus go? What happened? What did Mary Magdalene do? What did Judas say? What did Jesus say? What do many nowadays say?



57.—Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. On the following day Jesus came to Jerusalem, but, before entering, stopped at Mount Olivet, just outside the walls of the city. From there He sent His disciples to Bethphage, a little town close by, and bade them bring the ass which they would find tied by the way.

2. The disciples did as He commanded, and, bringing the ass, put their garments on it; then they placed Jesus thereon and led Him into Jerusalem. On the way great multitudes of the people met Him. Some spread their garments on the ground, some cut down branches from the palm-trees and strewed them before Him, whilst all cried: "Hosanna to the Son of David! blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!"

3. Many of the Pharisees were also in the crowd. When they heard the people shouting, and saw the honors that were paid to Jesus, they asked Him to rebuke His disciples, and to tell the people to hold their peace; but He would not.

4. As Jesus drew near the city, looking upon it, He wept; then He cried out: "O Jerusalem! if you had known the things that are for your peace; but now they are hidden from your eyes. The days shall come when your enemies shall compass you about, and shall beat you flat to the ground, and there shall not remain of you a stone upon a stone."

5. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He went directly to the Temple, where from every direction the sick, the blind, and the paralytic were brought to Him, and He cured them all. At last the people became very much excited, and even the children caught up the general enthusiasm and cried out: Hosanna to the Son of David!"

6. When the Pharisees heard this they became more and more enraged, and, coming to Him, asked if He heard what was said. Jesus answered, "Yes; but," said He, "have you never read what was written by the prophet: Out of the mouths of infants and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise?"

7. Long before had Zacharias the prophet foretold the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, when he said: "Rejoice, daughter of Sion, and shout, daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King will come to thee: He is poor, and riding upon an ass."

8. Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem on the very day the Jews were required by the law of Moses to procure the Paschal lamb. How significant His every act! The Paschal lamb was offered for the Jewish people; but Jesus, who is the true Paschal Lamb, was offered, not for a people, but for a world.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 57.—What is said of Christ's entry into Jerusalem? What did the multitude do? How did the Pharisees act? What did Jesus say of Jerusalem? What was done in the Temple? How did Jesus answer the Pharisees? What did Zacharias prophesy? On what day did Jesus enter Jerusalem?



58.—The Parable of the Marriage Feast.


1. On the next day, while Jesus was teaching in the Temple, He said: "The kingdom of heaven is like to a king who made a marriage feast for his son. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. He sent a second time, but they not only refused, but, seizing his servants, put them to death.

2. "When the king heard this he became very angry, and, sending his armies, destroyed the murderers and burnt their city.

"That his marriage feast might not be without guests, the king sent his servants into the highways and invited all, the good as well as the bad, to come.

3. "The king, going into the banqueting-hall, found a guest who had not on a wedding-garment. When asked why he had neglected to put on a wedding-garment, he was silent. Then the king ordered him to be bound hand and foot, and to be cast into exterior darkness."

4. In the East it was customary for kings to supply their guests with wedding-garments; hence the crime of the unfortunate man, who, through carelessness, had neglected to put on the proper garment, even though provided for him.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 58.—Tell the parable of the marriage feast. What was done to the dumb guest? What was a custom in the East?



59.—The Tribute to Caesar.


1. When the Scribes and Pharisees heard the parable of the marriage feast, they knew Jesus meant them by the guests who had refused to come. In consequence they were very angry, and began to plot how they might entrap Him in His words, that thereby they might have a pretext to condemn Him.

2. For this purpose they sent some of their own disciples, together with some of the friends of Herod, to Him. They began by flattering Hint and praising Him for His bold and fearless declaration of His opinions. When they thought they had deceived Him as to their intentions, they, with deep cunning, asked Him "whether it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar or not."

3. Jesus knew very well what their motives were, and the treacherous plot by which they hoped to entrap Him; for if He said "Yes," the Jews would hate Him as being an enemy to their country, and if He said "No," Herod would seize upon Him for resisting the government.

4. Jesus asked for a penny. When it was presented to Him, He asked "whose image was on it." They said, "Caesar's." Then said Jesus: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."

When they heard this their malice was forced to yield in admiration to His wisdom. Going away, they dared ask Him no more questions.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 59.—How did the Scribes try to entrap Jesus? How did He answer them? What did they do?



60.—Christ Foretells the Destruction of Jerusalem
and the End of the World.


1. After Jesus had finished speaking, He rose to leave the Temple. As He was passing out, His disciples began to admire its magnificence and solidity; but Jesus told them not to trust too much to appearances; that that Temple which they now so much admired, and of which the Jews were so proud, would ere long be destroyed; nor would there remain of it so much as a stone upon a stone.

2. When He came to Mount Olivet, that stands but a short distance from the city, I3e sat down and began to speak to His disciples of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world. They asked Him when these things would take place.

3. In answer to the first question He said: "When you shall see an army encompass Jerusalem about, know that her destruction is at hand. Then let those that are in Judea flee to the mountains, and those that are in Jerusalem hasten to depart, for the days of vengeance and tribulation are come: many shall fall by the sword, many shall be led away captives among the nations of the earth, and Jerusalem shall be destroyed."

4. To the second question He said: "Be not deceived: My Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, and then shall the end come. There shall be tribulations such as have not been; false Christs shall arise, and false prophets shall come, doing wonders and showing signs, so as almost to deceive the elect. But the end is not yet.

5. "Other signs shall appear: The sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven, the earth shall be moved, the sea shall roar, and men shall wither away for fear of the things that are to come. Then shall the sign of the Son of Man appear, and He Himself shall come in His majesty; the angels shall gather together the elect from the four winds. But no one knows either the day or the hour, but the Father alone."

6. Thirty-seven years after this remarkable prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, Titus, a Roman general, came with an army and laid siege to Jerusalem. The prophecy was fulfilled to the letter: the walls were beaten down, the city was taken, the Temple burned, and the Jews were carried into captivity, never to return.

In its own time will the prophecy concerning the end of the world be also fulfilled.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 60.—What did Jesus say concerning the Temple? Of what did Jesus speak when He came to Mount Olivet? When was Jerusalem to be destroyed? What did Jesus say about the end of the world? Who destroyed Jerusalem? When?



61.—The Parable of the Five Wise and the Five Foolish Virgins.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Jesus continued to speak to His disciples, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like to ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom. Five were wise and five were foolish. The foolish took no oil with them but the wise took oil in vessels together with their lamps.

2. "Whilst the bridegroom tarried, they all slept. During the night the bridegroom came, and they rose and went forth to meet him. But soon the foolish virgins found their lamps had gone out, and, while they went to buy oil, the bridegroom entered, and the doors were shut.

3. "At length the foolish virgins came, but could not enter. When they cried out to open for them, the bridegroom answered, 'I know you not.' Watch, for you know not when the Son of Man shall come."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 61.—Tell the parable of the virgins.



62.—The Parable of the Talents.


1. Again Jesus gave another parable: "The end of the world is like to a man who went into a far country. He called together his servants, and delivered to them his goods. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; and to another, one. Then he started on his journey.

2. "How he that bad received the five talents went and traded with them till he gained other five talents. In like manner he that had received the two gained other two; but he that had received the one talent went away and buried his lord's money.

3. "After a long time the lord returned; and he that had received the five talents came and brought with him the other five. When the lord saw this he said: 'Well done, thou good and faithful servant: because thou hest been faithful over a few things, I will set thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.' In like manner the lord spoke to him that had gained the two talents.

4. "But he that had received the one talent came and said. 'Lord, I knew thou wert a hard man, and, being afraid, I hid thy talent in the ground. Here is what is thine.' The lord reproached him for his sloth, and, taking the talent from him, gave it to him who had the ten talents. Then he commanded the unprofitable servant to be bound hand and foot and cast into exterior darkness."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 62.—Tell the parable of the talents.



63.—The Last Judgment.


1. Among the last of the public instructions Christ gave the people was a discourse on the Last Judgment, and an exhortation to His disciples to prepare for it. The negligence of men, and the little influence that the mere love for God has to change the mind, rendered it necessary to add fear to the other motives for serving God.

2. Jesus began by a description of the commotions that would beforehand take place in the heavens and on the earth; telling how the sun and the moon and the stars would change, and the earth tremble, and how after this an angel would sound the last trumpet and call the dead to judgment. Then would come the Son of Man, surrounded by His angels and seated on a cloud, while all the nations of the earth would be gathered before Him.

3. When all mankind shall have been thus gathered before Him, Jesus Christ shall send out His angels to separate the good from the bad, placing the former on His right hand and the latter on His left. Then shall Christ turn to the good and say to them: "Come, ye blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

4. But He shall turn to the wicked and, with an angry countenance, say: "Depart from Me, ye accursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels." And these shall go into everlasting punishment, but the just into life everlasting.

5. At His first coming Jesus appeared in poverty and weakness, but at His second He shall appear as a judge, surrounded by His majesty, and backed by His power. The cross, now so much despised, will then be the sign of His glory.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 63.—Besides love, what else is needed to serve God? Describe the Last Judgment. What shall be done to the good? What to the bad? What is the difference between the first and the last coming of Jesus Christ?



The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ



64.—The Paschal Lamb.


1. On the first day of the Azymes the Jews were commanded by the law of Moses to sacrifice the Paschal lamb, and for eight days to eat unleavened bread. On that day Jesus told Peter and John to go and prepare the Pasch for Him and His disciples.

2. They went into the city, and, as Jesus had bidden them, prepared the Pasch. When the evening was come Jesus sat down to table with His twelve apostles, declaring how much and how long He had desired to eat that supper with them.

3. The Jewish Paschal lamb was a figure of Jesus Christ, the true Paschal Lamb; for this reason Christ was by His own will put to death on the cross on the same day and at the very hour that year by year the Jewish Paschal lamb was offered in the Temple.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 64.—What was done on the first day of the Azymes?



65.—The Washing of Feet.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When they had all eaten, Jesus rose from the table and girded Himself with a towel. Then pouring water into a basin, He began to wash the feet of His disciples and to wipe them with the towel.

2. When He came to Peter, the brave apostle declared never should his word wash his feet; but when Jesus told him it was necessary, if he would have share with Him, Peter yielded.

3. After Jesus had washed the feet of the apostles, He again sat down and began to discourse to them on what He had done. "The servant," said He, "is not greater than the master; and if I, who am Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."

4. When Jesus said the washing of feet was necessary, He wished to show how necessary Baptism and Penance were. By these, sins are washed away through the merits of Christ; so was the washing of feet at the Last Supper a symbol of these sacraments.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 65.—Describe the washing of feet by Jesus. What did Peter do and say? Of what was the washing of feet a symbol?



66.—Christ Institutes the Blessed Sacrament.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the washing of the apostles' feet came that sacred and solemn moment Christ had so long desired. He was about to enter on His Passion, and must fulfil that promise He had before made, that "He would give His body to eat and His blood to drink."

2. Therefore, while they were all sitting at the table, Jesus took of the bread that was before Him, and, holding it in His sacred hands, lifted up His eyes to heaven; then He gave thanks, and, blessing the bread, gave it to His disciples, saying: "Take ye and eat; THIS IS MY BODY, which is given for you." By these words Jesus changed the bread into His adorable body.

3. Then He took the chalice, in which was a part of the wine that had been used at the supper, and, giving thanks, blessed it, and gave it also to His disciples, saying: "Drink ye all of this, FOR THIS IS MY BLOOD of the new testament which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins. Do this for a commemoration of Me."

4. By these words Jesus changed the wine into His blood; and by the words, "Do this for a commemoration of Me,'' He ordained the apostles priests, and instituted for all time the august Sacrament of the Altar.

Jesus is the Melchisedech of the New Law, who, as King and Priest, offered Himself under the appearances of bread and wine.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 66.—Describe the institution of the Blessed Sacraments. What did Christ do? What did He say? What is Jesus in the New Law?



67.—Jesus Foretells the Treason of Judas and the Denial of Peter.


1. After the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus became depressed and very much troubled. He knew that Judas Iscariot was about to betray Him for the paltry sum of thirty pieces of silver.

2. That the traitor might have no excuse, Jesus publicly declared "one of them was about to betray Him." Instantly there was a commotion among the apostles, and each began to ask: "Is it I?"

3. John, whom Jesus loved most tenderly, was sitting by His side. Peter made a sign to him to ask Jesus of whom He spoke. John, leaning on the bosom of Jesus, did so. Jesus answered: "It is he to whom I shall reach bread dipped;" and, immediately dipping the bread, He handed it to Judas. As soon as Judas had eaten the morsel, Satan entered into him, and, going out, he consummated his treason.

4. When Judas was gone Jesus said, in a very solemn manner: "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; I will be with you only a little while." Peter, hearing this, asked "where He would go." Jesus answered: "Where I go, thou canst not follow now." Peter became very much excited, and, with great vehemence, asked "why he could not follow now, as he was ready to lay down his life for Him."

5. But Jesus, turning to him, said: "Amen, amen, I say to thee, this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice."

Joseph was sold by his brothers, that he might save them in the time of famine; Jesus was sold by Judas, that He might redeem and save mankind.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 67.—After the institution of the Blessed Sacrament what happened to Jesus? How did Jesus act towards Judas Iscariot? What did Judas do? What did Jesus say to Peter?



68.—Christ's Last Discourse to His Apostles.


1. After Judas left the supper-room, Jesus, turning to the other apostles, said: "I am about to leave you, but before I go I give you a new commandment: Love one another. Be not troubled: I will not entirely leave you; at present I go to prepare a place for you in My Father's house; I will come again and take you with Me.

2. "I will also ask My Father to give you another Paraclete, who will teach you all things, and abide with you forever. I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one can come to the Father but through Me. I am the vine; My Father is the husbandman: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, shall bear much fruit. My peace I leave you; My peace I give you."

3. When Jesus had finished with these grave and affectionate words, He lifted up His eyes to heaven and said: "Father, the hour is come, glorify Thy Son. I pray for Mine; sanctify them. I pray not for Mine only, but for those also who, through their word, shall believe in Me, that they may be one with Me, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 66.—What was Christ's last discourse to His apostles?



69.—Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When Jesus had finished His prayer, He went with His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane, near Mount Olivet. Having entered, He bade His disciples sit down and rest, while He went to pray. Taking with Him Peter and James and John, He went away a little distance. Oppressed with grief, He said: "My soul is sorrowful even unto death: stay here and watch."

2. Leaving the three apostles, He went forward a little distance, and, falling fiat on the ground, prayed thus: "O My Father! if it is possible, let this chalice pass from Me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt." Then, rising, He came to the apostles; but they were asleep. Jesus left them, and went again and prayed as He had done before. For the third time He prayed in the same manner, saying the same words.

3. When Jesus had finished His prayer, and for the third time had submitted Himself to the will of his Father, He began His agony. Oppressed with the load of sin that was placed upon Him, and overwhelmed with grief, His sweat became as drops of blood trickling on the ground. His Father sent an angel to comfort Him. When His agony was over, Jesus rose, and, coming to His disciples, said, "Arise, let us go; he that shall betray Me is at hand."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 69.—What happened in the garden of Gethsemane? What was Christ's prayer? What is said of His agony?



70.—Jesus Delivered up to His Enemies.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Jesus was still speaking to His apostles, a great multitude of the priests and people came into the garden. Some carried swords in their hands; others carried clubs and torches. Judas Iscariot walked at their head. When Judas came to Jesus he said, "Hail, Rabbi," and kissed Him.

2. Jesus advanced towards the multitude and asked them whom they sought. They said, "Jesus of Nazareth." He simply answered, "I am He;" when the multitude, overcome with fear, went back and fell to the ground. Then Jesus said, "You have come to seize Me as if I were a thief: whilst I was daily in the Temple, you did not touch Me."

3. As soon as Jesus had said this, the soldiers advanced and seized Him. Peter, seeing what was done to his Master, drew his sword and cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of the high priest; but Jesus bade him put back his sword into the scabbard, saying that, if He needed help, His Father Would send Him more than twelve legions of angels.

4. Jesus touched the ear of Malchus and healed it; then He delivered Himself into the hands of the soldiers, who bound Him. The disciples, seeing this, fled; Peter and John alone following at a distance.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 70.—Who betrayed Jesus? With what? When the soldiers seized Jesus what did Peter do? Who alone followed Jesus?



71.—Jesus before the High Priest.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The multitude led Jesus to the house of Annas, one of the priests. There He was asked concerning His doctrines and disciples. Jesus simply answered, He had taught openly; His words and actions were well known. For this, one of the servants struck Him, asking how He dared to answer thus.

2. After much abuse, Annas sent Jesus to Caiaphas the high priest. Here were assembled the priests and the Scribes and a great multitude of the people. Christ was led into their midst; false witnesses were brought in, and all manner of accusations were made against Him; they were determined to put Him to death.

3. When the witnesses had been examined, Caiaphas rose and asked Jesus if He had anything to say; but Jesus held His peace.

Again Caiaphas rose, and adjured Him by the living God to tell whether He was the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus answered, "I am."

4. The high priest, hearing of this, rent his garments, and declared there was no need of further evidence: all had heard the blasphemy, and, by their law, He who made Himself God, deserved death. He then asked what they thought. They all cried out, "He is worthy of death."

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 71.—Where was Jesus led? What was Jesus asked? What was done to Him? What was done at the house of Caiaphas?



72.—Peter Denies Jesus


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Whilst Jesus was before the tribunal of the high priest, Peter remained in the hall, among the soldiers, warming himself. One of the servants of the high priest came to him and accused him of being not only a follower of Jesus, but of having been in the garden with Him. Peter declared he knew Him not; and the cock crew.

2. A short time after this, another servant, seeing Peter, said to those that were standing about: "This man was also with Jesus." Peter again denied, and swore with an oath that he knew not Jesus.

3. About an hour after this, a friend of Malchus, whose ear Peter had cut off, also charged him with being a disciple of Jesus; but Peter began to swear he knew not the man. The cock crew the second time.

4. At that moment Jesus was led through the hall. Turning, He looked at Peter, who remembered what Christ had said to him in the early part of the evening: "Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny Me thrice." Peter went out and wept bitterly.

It is related in history that after his denial of Christ Peter always wept when he heard a cock crow, and so frequent were his tears that they made furrows in his cheeks.

5. Man is very week: Peter saw his Master on Thabor, and yet denied Him in the judgment hall. Had he prayed in the garden, he would not have been so timid in trial: let us, therefore, watch and pray.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 72.—Tell how Peter denied Jesus. What is said of Peter's after-life?



73.—The Despair of Judas.


1. When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned to death, he repented of what he had done. Going to the chief priests, he threw down the thirty pieces of silver, declaring he had betrayed innocent blood; then he went out and hanged himself.

2. The priests, taking the money, bought with it a potter's field, in which to bury strangers, for it was not lawful to put blood-money in the treasury of the Temple. This field was called by the Jews Haceldama; that is, the field of blood.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 73.—How did Judas act? What was done with the money?



74.—Jesus Insulted.


After Jesus was condemned by the great council, the soldiers took him into a large hall, and there began to mock Him and to spit upon Him. Blindfolding Him, they buffeted Him, and then tauntingly asked who struck Him; yet, in the midst of their blasphemies, their jeers, and their scoffs, Jesus remained silent—a wonder to men and angels.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 74.—What insults were heaped upon Jesus? How did Jesus act?



75.—Jesus Before Pilate and Herod.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. As soon as it was day the great council of the Jews assembled, and again condemned Jesus to death. But Judea being at that time a Roman province, the Jews were forbidden to inflict punishment of death on anyone until they had received the permission of the governor. They therefore, dragged Jesus before Pontius Pilate, who was then governor of Judea.

2. When Jesus was brought before him, Pilate asked what was the accusation against Him. The multitude cried out, "He is a seditious man; He forbids the people to pay tribute to Caesar, and, moreover, declares He is Christ, the King."

3. Pilate asked Jesus if He were a king. He declared He was, but that His kingdom was not of this world. When Pilate heard this he said to the people, "I find no fault in the man." But they only cried out the more, "He is a disturber of the peace, from Galilee even to Jerusalem."

4. Pilate, hearing of Galilee, asked if Jesus were a Galilean. Learning He was, Pilate sent Him to Herod, governor of Galilee, who was then in Jerusalem attending the Paschal feast. When Herod saw Jesus he was very much pleased. He had heard a great deal about Him, and now hoped to see some miracle.

5. But, when questioned, Jesus remained silent. Herod, seeing that his idle curiosity would not be gratified, mocked Our Savior, and, in derision, clothing Him in a white garment, sent Him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate were reconciled to each other, having before been enemies.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 75.—What did the great council do? What could the Jews not do? Why? Before whom was Christ dragged? What accusations were made against Him? To whom did Pilate send Jesus? How did Herod treat Jesus?



76.—Jesus and Barabbas.


1. During the whole of Christ's trial, Pilate strove to save Him, because he saw Jesus was innocent. But Pilate was a weak man, and feared to resist popular opinion. To add to his embarrassment, his wife had a dream which frightened her very much, and, while Pilate was sitting in the judgment-hall, she sent him a message to have nothing to do with Jesus, because He was a just man.

2. There was a custom among the Jews that, on the feast of the Pasch, the governor should release any prisoner whom the people chose. Pilate, hoping to save Jesus, presented for their choice Jesus or Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a thief and an assassin.

3. The priests and the ancients persuaded the people to demand the release of Barabbas and the death of Jesus; so, when Pilate again asked whom would he release, they cried out, "Barabbas;" and when he asked what he would do with Jesus, they cried out, "Crucify Him."

4. Barabbas is a picture of sin. Man disobeys, and, by his sin, drives the grace of God from his soul, thus, in a certain sense, killing the soul. Jesus came to free man from sin, and, by His sufferings, pay the ransom for all sin.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 76.—Tell the story of Jesus and Barabbas.



77.—Jesus is Scourged and Crowned with Thorns.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Pilate still hoped to save Jesus from death, and, at the same time, satisfy the people; He, therefore, ordered Jesus to be scourged. The soldiers led our blessed Savior out of the hall into a courtyard. There they stripped Him, and, tying Him to a pillar, scourged Him.

2. After this, mocking Him, they put a purple garment on him, and, platting a crown of thorns, put it on His head. For a sceptre they put a reed in His hand, and, coming, bowed the knee before Him, saying: "Hail, King of the Jews." They also spat on Him, and, taking the reed, struck Him with it, thus driving the thorns deeper into His head.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 77.—Tell how Christ was scourged. After scourging May what was done?



78.—Jesus is Condemned to Death.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Pilate, seeing the pitiable condition to which Jesus was reduced, thought the sight of Him would appease the malice of the Jews. For this reason he led the Son of God out on a high balcony, and, presenting Him in all His misery, said, "Behold the Man." But the barbarous, blood-thirsty people only cried out the more, "Crucify Him, crucify Him."

2. Pilate still continued irresolute, and hesitated what to do. But when the leaders of the people came and said to him, if he released Jesus he was no friend of Caesar's, he seems to have made up his mind. Hoping to quiet the stings of his conscience, he took a basin of water and, going before the multitude, washed his hands, saying: "I am innocent of the blood of this just man." But the people cried out, "His blood be upon us, and upon our children."

3. For eighteen hundred years has the blood of Christ been upon the Jews. Driven from Judea—without country, without home—strangers amongst strangers—hated, yet feared—have they wandered from nation to nation, bearing with them the visible signs of God's curse. Like Cain, marked with a mysterious sign, they shall continue to wander till the end of the world.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 78.—What did Pilate do with Jesus on the balcony? What did the people say? What argument did the leaders use to persuade Pilate to condemn Jesus? What is said of the blood of Jesus, and the Jews?



79.—The Journey to Calvary.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Pilate, seeing he could not prevail upon the people, at last passed sentence of death upon Jesus. Then the soldiers took Him, and, placing a heavy cross on His wounded shoulders, led Him forth to Calvary. This was the usual place for the execution of criminals.

2. As Jesus passed through the streets, His strength Niles and He fell several times. His executioners, seeing He could not carry the cross any further, compelled Simon the Cyrene, whom they met on the way, to take it up and carry it to Calvary. Together with Jesus, two thieves were also led fort to be crucified.

3. Amongst the crowd that accompanied Jesus were many women, weeping and lamenting. Turning to them, He strove to console them, and, in the kindest words, bade them not weep for Him, but for themselves and for their children.

4. What a sublime example of patience Christ gave in His Passion! Condemned unjustly, He nevertheless, without a murmur, takes His cross; treated with the utmost cruelty and inhumanity, He complains not. So ought we to act when trials are sent to us, or men persecute us.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 79.—Who passed sentence of death on Jesus? What was placed on Christ's shoulders? What happened on the way to Calvary? Who carried the cross? Who were in the crowd? What did Jesus say to the women?



80.—Jesus is Nailed to the Cross.


1. When Jesus reached Calvary the soldiers offered Him wine mixed with gall. This draught helped to render the agony of crucifixion less keen, by deadening the feeling of sense. But Jesus refused to drink, being determined to suffer unshrinkingly all His Father had decreed.

2. He was then stripped of His garments and nailed to the cross. On each side of Jesus was crucified one of the thieves that had been led forth with Him. The soldiers divided His garments amongst them, but for His coat they cast lots.

3. This coat of Our Savior was a figure of His Church. Woven from top to bottom without seams: so is the Church without division—one and indivisible.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 80.—What was done to Jesus on Calvary? Who were crucified with Jesus? What was done with his garments?



81.—Jesus on the Cross.


1. At length Jesus was raised up, and hung suspended by His wounds. How cruel were his torments, whilst His blood ran in streams to the ground! But the Jews remained unmoved; nay, they even mocked Him, and, in derision, cried out, "Vah! You, who said You could destroy the Temple of God, and in three days rebuild it, come down form the cross, if You be the Son of God." The only answer Jesus made was a prayer for their forgiveness: "Father," said He, "forgive them, for they know not what they do."

2. One of the thieves who was hanging at His side also began to blaspheme, and, chiding, bad Him, if He were the Christ, to save Himself and them. But the other thief remonstrated: "We," said he, "suffer justly, but this man unjustly." Then he turned to Jesus and asked to be remembered by Him. Jesus said, "This day thou shalt be with Me in paradise."

3. In this history of the penitent thief we have one of the best examples of the power of prayer—one repentant word, and he is saved. In the desert, Moses set up a brazen serpent, upon which those who were bitten looked and were cured; on Calvary, Jesus hung upon the cross, that those who look upon Him in faith and love may be cured of the wounds of the soul.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 81.—What is said of Jesus on the cross? How did the Jews act? How did Jesus answer them? What happened to one of the thieves? What example does the penitent thief give us? What is said of the brazen serpent and the cross?



82 —Mary at the Foot of the Cross.


1. Whilst Jesus was hanging upon the cross, Mary, His mother, and John the apostle, came and stood at its foot. When Jesus saw then He said to His mother, "Woman, behold thy son!" then He said to John, "Behold thy mother!" and from that hour John took the Blessed Virgin under his care.

2. As formerly the heroic mother of the Maccabees stood encouraging her seven sons to die bravely for their religion, so did Mary stand at the foot of the cross. Then indeed was Simeon's prophecy fulfilled: truly, a sword of sorrow pierced her heart. In John, every Christian was given as a child to Mary.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 82.—What is said of Mary and John at the foot of the Cross?



83.—Jesus Dies upon the Cross.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. About noon of the day on which Christ was crucified, the whole earth was covered with darkness. This continued for three hours. In the midst of this general gloom, and as life was ebbing away, Jesus, seeing that God had withdrawn His consolations from Him, cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

2. After this Jesus said, "I thirst." A soldier dipped a sponge in vinegar, and, putting it on a reed, gave Him to drink. When Jesus had tasted the vinegar, He said, "It is consummated," and, bowing down His head, died.

3. At the moment Christ died, nature shook to her centre; the earth trembled, the rocks were split, the graves were opened, and the dead arose; the veil of the Temple was rent from the top to the bottom. When the centurion and the guard of soldiers that stood round the cross saw this, they cried out, "Indeed this was the Son of God." The multitude returned to Jerusalem, striking their breasts, and wondering at what they had seen.

4. At length man's redemption is accomplished; Christ has triumphed. His extended arms show the extent of His love, and His wounds are the fountains from whence grace flows to pay the debt of sin. With Christ's death ended the law of Moses; hence the veil of the Temple, which had heretofore separated the people from the sanctuary, was torn, as a sign that Christ had opened the way to heaven. The bloody sacrifices of Moses had passed away,—the shadow was gone,—and in their stead was substituted the only true and real sacrifice, Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 83.—What happened at noon of the day Christ was crucified? What did Jesus say just before He died? What happened when Christ died?



84.—Jesus is Laid in the Tomb.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Christ was crucified on the eve of the Sabbath. That the bodies of the criminals might not remain exposed to view during the Paschal solemnities, the soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves, that they might die the sooner. Bat when they came to Jesus, He was already dead; so they did not break His legs, but one of them opened His side with a spear. Immediately there ran forth blood and water.

2. Towards evening, Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the great Jewish council, but a secret believer in Christ, came to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate having granted his prayer, Joseph and Nicodemus came and took the body from the cross. They then embalmed it with precious perfumes, and, wrapping it in white linen cloths, laid it in a sepulchre. This sepulchre was cut in a rock, and situated in a garden near Calvary.

3. The chief priests and Pharisees, though they had apparently conquered, were not at ease. They remembered well that Jesus had foretold His death, and how He would rise again on the third day. Fearing that, possibly, the apostles might steal the body and declare that He had risen, they came to Pilate and asked him to place his seal upon the, tomb, and set a guard to watch it. He did so.

4. Eve, the mother of mankind was taken from Adam's side; so the Church, our spiritual mother, came forth from the side of Christ. It was forbidden to break the bones of the Paschal lamb; neither were the bones of Jesus Christ, the true Paschal Lamb, broken. In all things, even the smallest, we see the fulfilment not only of the prophecies, hut of the types and figures that foretold the life and death of Christ.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 84.—What was done to the thieves? What did one of the soldiers do? What ran from Christ's side? Who asked for Christ's body? What was done with it? How was the tomb guarded? What is said of Eve and the March?



The Glorious Life of Jesus Christ



85.—The Resurrection of Jesus Christ.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The body of Jesus Christ was two days in the tomb. On the morning of the third, the guards were startled by an earthquake, that shook the ground, and the sudden appearance of an angel, that rolled back the stone from the mouth of the sepulchre. Their wonder knew no bounds when they saw Jesus coming forth from the tomb, His face shining as the sun. For the moment, in terror, they fell to the ground; then, rising, fled into Jerusalem.

2. Early in the morning of the third day, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, came to the tomb, that they might embalm the body of Jesus. On the way they began to consider how they would roll back the stone that closed up the door of the sepulchre. No wonder, when they arrived and found, not only the stone rolled back, but the tomb empty, they were overcome with astonishment.

3. As soon as Mary Magdalene saw how matters stood, she hastened back and told the apostles, but the other women remained. Stooping down to look into the tomb, they saw an angel, who bade them fear not, for Jesus was risen, and had gone before them into Galilee, where they would see Him. The angel told them also to hasten to the apostles, and more particularly to Peter, and tell them the news.

4. These pious women had hardly left the place when Peter and John came. They had doubted Mary Magdalene's word, and came to see for themselves. John arrived first, but Peter entered first. Finding nothing but the linens in which the body had been wrapped, they hastened back to tell the others.

5. As He foretold, Jesus remained among the dead as long as Jonas had been in the whale's belly. Though dead, His sacred body was not corrupted, for long before had the Psalmist declared: "Thy Holy One all not see corruption."

Jesus was not raised from the dead—He rose by His own power; and as His body rose glorious and transformed, so shall the bodies of the just rise. Since the Resurrection of Christ, His tomb has remained, and ever will remain, an object of reverence and love to the Christian world.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 85.—How long was the body of Jesus in the tomb? What happened on the third day? Who came to the tomb? What did they find? What is said of Mary Magdalene? What of the other women? What did Peter and John do? What is said of Jesus and Jonas? What of the tomb of Christ?



86.—Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Scarce had Peter and John left the sepulchre when Mary Magdalene arrived. Overwhelmed with sorrow at the loss of the body of her Master, she entered the sepulchre. Here she met an angel, who asked her why she wept. She answered, "They have taken away the body of my Lord, and I know not where they have laid it."

2. When she had said this, not knowing it was an angel to whom she spoke, she left the sepulchre. As she came out, she met Jesus, but did not know Him. Thinking He was the gardener, she asked Him where the body was. But Jesus simply said, "Mary," when she recognized Him, and threw herself at His feet.

3. Jesus then told her to hasten and tell the apostles, for He was about to ascend to His Father. Having disappeared from her sight, Mary came to the disciples; but they would neither believe that she had seen the Lord nor that He was risen.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 86.—What is said of Mary Magdalene? Whom did she meet? How did she recognize Jesus? What message did Jesus give her? How did the apostles receive her?



87.—The Resurrection of Jesus is Announced to the Chief Priests.


1. When the guards fled from the sepulchre, they hastened to the city to tell what had happened. The chief priests having heard the startling news, assembled the rulers of the people to consider what steps they should take.

2. They saw that, if the news went among the people that Jesus was risen from the dead, all their schemes to discredit Him would be forever destroyed; so they called the guards before them, and promised to give them money if they would only agree to say, "The disciples of Jesus came while they slept, and stole the body away." The soldiers took the money and did as they were required.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 87.—What did the chief priests do? What bargain did they make with the soldiers?



88.—Jesus Appears to Two Disciples while They were going to Emmaus.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Towards evening of the day Jesus rose from the dead two of His disciples were going to Emmaus, a little village about two leagues from Jerusalem. On the way they talked of what had happened during the past days.

2. Jesus came near them and began to speak to them, but they did not recognize Him. Remarking how sad they were, one of them, named Cleophas, asked Him if He were a stranger, or how came it that He had not heard what had happened at Jerusalem.

3. They then told Him of Jesus; how they had believed He was the Messiah, and what great hopes had been founded on Him; but, just as they thought his power about to be established, the chiefs of the Jews had seized upon Him and crucified Him; and this was, moreover, the third day since He had been laid in the tomb. They added also, strange rumors were afloat that He was again risen.

4. When they had finished, Jesus began with the prophecies of Moses, and, continuing through the prophets, explained to them the things that related to Himself, showing it was necessary for Christ to suffer as He had.

As they drew near the town, He pretended to go further; but they pressed Him to remain with them, as it was evening.

5. Yielding to their wishes, He sat down to table with them. He took bread, and blessed it, and gave it to them. Their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; but He immediately vanished from their sight.

6. After His Resurrection, Jesus showed Himself no more to the Jews,—they had rejected Him and resisted all His efforts to convert them; He appeared only to His disciples.

In like manner to-day He conies to those who, with a good heart, receive Him, but abandons those who despise His warnings and reject His graces.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 88.—Tell what happened to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus? How did they recognize Jesus?



89.—Jesus Appears to the Apostles.


1. After Jesus had disappeared, the two disciples rose and hastened back to Jerusalem. Here they found the eleven apostles in a great state of excitement, for Peter had just come in, declaring he had seen the Lord. Then the two disciples told how they had also seen Him, and how they had known Him in the breaking of bread.

2. Whilst they were yet speaking, Jesus entered the room in which they were all assembled, the doors being shut. He said to them: "Peace be to you." And when the apostles were doubting and troubled, fearing it was a spirit they saw, Jesus showed them His hands and His feet, and bade them touch Him, and convince themselves that it was not a spirit they saw. They still doubting, He took a piece of broiled fish and a part of a honeycomb, and eat it before them.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 89.—To whom else did Jesus appear? How? How did Jesus prove He was not a spirit?



90.—Jesus Institutes the Sacrament of Penance.


1. When at last the apostles were convinced it was the Lord they saw, Jesus repeated His salutation of peace be to them. He added besides: "As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you." Then He breathed upon them, and said: "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained them."

2. In these two commissions conferred upon the apostles we have the most unqualified proof of the divinity of the Catholic Church and the power of the Catholic priesthood. The apostles were mortal, but the Church is immortal; hence these powers were conferred not only on the apostles, but were through them to descend to their legitimate successors, the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church.

3. From the beginning, the bishops and priests have claimed the power to forgive sins; but it is a power they can only exercise in the administration of the Sacrament of Penance.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 90.—Tell how Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Penance. How is the divinity of the Catholic Church proved? How is the power of the priesthood shown? In what sacrament are sins forgiven?



91.—Jesus and St. Thomas.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Thomas, one of the apostles, was absent, when Jesus appeared to the others. But Thomas would not believe on their word, and even declared that, unless with his own eyes he saw the marks of the nails in the hands and feet of Jesus, and put his hand into the side of Jesus, he would not believe.

2. Eight days after this the apostles were assembled, and Thomas with them. Again Jesus entered, the doors being shut. Jesus then bade Thomas look at His wounds and put his hand into His side.

3. When Thomas saw Jesus he fell down on his knees and, cried out, "My Lord and my God." But Jesus said to him. "Because thou hast seen Me, Thomas, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen Me, and have believed.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 91.—What is said of Jesus and Thomas?



92.—Peter is Appointed Chief Pastor.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. In obedience to the command of Jesus, the apostles left Jerusalem and went into Galilee. Here Jesus appeared to them at the Sea of Galilee, and again their nets were filled with a miraculous draught of fishes.

2. After they had all dined, Jesus said to Peter; "Simon, lovest thou Me more than these?" And upon Peter declaring how much he did love Him, Jesus said, "Feed My lambs." This same question was repeated until the third time, when Jesus said, "Feed My sheep."

3. By the lambs and the sheep are meant the faithful and the pastors of the Church. There is something remarkable in the manner in which Christ treats Peter: Christ enters Peter's ship; Peter is called the rock. Peter is commissioned to confirm the other apostles; Christ prays for Peter; and, in all the lists of the apostles, Peter is always named first.

This primacy continues in the Catholic Church, and is found in the Popes, who are the legitimate successors of Peter.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 92.—What happened at the Sea of Galilee? What power was conferred on Peter? How did Christ treat Peter? In whom is the primacy found?



93.—The Promise of the Holy Ghost.


1. After this Jesus appeared several times to His apostles, instructing them, and directing them in their future labors. He spoke to them more in detail of the nature and destiny of His Church; of her development and establishment upon earth.

2. On the fortieth day after His Resurrection, Jesus appeared, for the last time on earth, to His apostles, who were then all assembled at Jerusalem. Amongst other things, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem for a few days, but to remain till the Holy Ghost should come upon them; after which they should go forth to bear testimony of Him—not only in Jerusalem and Judea, but even to the end of the earth. This promise was fulfilled ten days after, when the Holy Ghost came, in the form of fiery tongues, and sat upon the apostles.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 93.—On what did Christ more particularly instruct His apostles? What happened on the fortieth day? What command did Christ give the apostles?



94.—Christ's Last Commission to His Apostles.—His Ascension.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After Jesus had finished speaking, He led His apostles out to Mount Olivet. There He said to them: "All power is given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go into the whole world and preach the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: and, behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world."

2. Jesus, having finished speaking, lifted hp His hands and blessed His apostles. Whilst in the very act of blessing them, He slowly rose from the earth and ascended into heaven, where He sits, and will forever sit, on the right hand of His Father.

Lost in wonder and overwhelmed with sorrow, the apostles continued to gaze upon Him as He ascended, until a cloud coming concealed Him from their sight.

3. While the apostles were still looking up to heaven, two angels, clad in white robes, came and said to them: "This Jesus, whom you have seen ascending into heaven, shall come again."

The apostles hearing this, fell upon the ground and adored God; then rising, returned to Jerusalem to await the fulfilment of the promises made to them.

4. Elias was a figure of Christ. This prophet was carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot; and, according to the prophecy of Malachi,

he will come again on earth just before the last day.

Adam by sin drew man from God; Christ by His Ascension raised man's thought to heaven, and held out the hope of a blessed eternity.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 94. What was the last commission Christ gave His apostles? From what mount did Christ ascend? Tell what happened to the apostles. What is said of Elias and Adam 996.—



95.—An Observation.


1. All that has been here related of the life of our blessed Savior—what He did, and what He said—is found in the four gospels. But we must not conclude from this that Jesus did nothing nor said anything besides.

2. It is a part of Catholic teaching that Christ said many things and did much that is not related in the sacred Scriptures; nay, we have it on the authority of St. John himself, in the last chapter of his gospel, that Jesus did so many things besides what have been recorded, that he verily believed, if they were all written, the world could not contain the books in which they should be written.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 95.—What is said in this chapter? What is a part of Catholic teaching?



The History of the Apostles



96.—A Preliminary Remark.


1. Jesus Christ came into the world that He might destroy the power of the devil, and in its place establish the kingdom of God; hence at His Ascension He left His Church small, it is true, but yet complete, that, like a grain of mustard-seed, it might grow until it had filled the whole world.

2. This growth and expansion of the Church was first begun in Judea, and afterwards extended to the whole world, under and by the apostles themselves, whose history we are about to relate in the following chapters.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 96. What is said of the rise and development of the Church?



97.—The Election of the Apostle Matthias.


1. After the Ascension the apostles remained at Jerusalem, as they had been commanded. For ten days they continued in prayer, the Blessed Virgin and many of the disciples being with them. They occupied an upper room—called among Eastern nations a Cenaculum. Here in all were assembled about a hundred and twenty persons.

2. It was during this time Peter rose and proposed that, as Judas Iscariot had proved false to his apostleship, another be chosen in his stead. The proposition was approved, and, having prayed to God, lots were cast, and Matthias, one of the disciples, chosen.



98.—The Descent of the Holy Ghost.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Ten days after the Ascension of Jesus Christ was celebrated the Jewish Pentecost. On this day, while the apostles and disciples were still within the upper chamber, suddenly there was heard the sound as if it were of a great wind coming from heaven. At the same time tehre appeared cloven tongues of fire, that sat upon each one present.

2. In a moment all were filled with the Holy Ghost. No longer timid or fearful, the apostles sallied forth to preach Christ and Him crucified.

Jerusalem was filled with strangers who had come up from all parts of the world to celebrated the feast of Pentecost. Soon the news spread abroad, and in a short time an immense multitude assembled round the house in which the apostles were. But what was their astonishment when each one heard the apostles speaking in his own tongue!

3. Amazed and confounded the asked: "Are not these Galileans who speak? and how comes it that we every one hear our own tongue?" But others said: "They are full of new wine."

4. Then Peter rose, and standing with the eleven, said: "Men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, know that these men are not drunk, but in them are fulfilled the words of the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass and I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh.'

5. "Moreover, this also hear: Jesus of Nazareth, a man who, by the wonders and miracles He wrought in your midst, proved Himself sent by God, was crucified and put to death by wicked men; but now He is in heaven, seated at the right hand of God. It is He that has poured out His Spirit upon us, as you see; and it is certain that Jesus is the Savior and the Lord of Heaven and earth."

6. When the multitude heard this, they were touched with compunction, and asked Peter what they would do. But he answered: "Do penance, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ."

On this occasion about three thousand were baptized. With them began that miraculous expansion of the Church, that, increasing day by day, ended in the conversion of the world and the establishment of Christianity.

7. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Ghost enlightened the minds of the multitude, that they might understand the apostles; but at Babel God confounded the multitude, that by the confusion of tongues their pride might be humbled and their vain project stopped.

8. The first Jewish Pentecost was celebrated at Mount Sinai, amid thunder and lightning. There God proclaimed the Old Law. On the first Christian Pentecost the Holy Ghost came in the form of fiery tongues, that He might confirm and give testimony of the New Law.

The Jewish Pentecost was celebrated during the harvest feast; on the first Christian Pentecost the Holy Ghost reaped a rich harvest of converts among the Jews.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 98.—When was Pentecost celebrated? What happened to the apostles? Who were in Jerusalem? What caused astonishment? What did Peter say? What did the people do? How many were converted at Peter's first sermon? What is said of the Jewish and what of the Christian Pentecost?



99.—Peter Cures the Lame Man.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Shortly after Peter's first sermon to the Jews, and the miraculous conversion of the three thousand, Peter and John went up to the Temple to pray. A man who had been lame from his birth was every day carried by his friends and laid at one of the gates of the Temple, that he might beg alms from those who entered.

2. When this man saw Peter and John entering, he begged an alms from them. Peter said to him: "Gold or silver I have none to give, but what I have I will give: in the name of Jesus Christ, rise and walk."

On the spot the man rose, and, leaping for joy, entered the Temple, praising God.

3. When the multitude saw this, they stood confounded and amazed. Peter, seeing their astonishment, said: "Why do you wonder at this? or why do you look at us as if by our power we had made this man to walk? Know it is in the name and by the power of Jesus of Nazareth that this man walks."

This discourse, and the sight of the miracle that had been wrought, produced so great an impression on the multitude that five thousand people were converted and baptized.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 99. Who cured the lame man? What did Peter say? What was the result of Peter's words?



100.—Peter and John before the Great Council.


1. Whilst Peter and John were yet speaking to the people, the priests and the officers commanding in the Temple came to them. Enraged to find the apostles openly teaching, they laid hands on them and cast them into prison.

2. On the following day the chief priests assembled in the council hall. Peter and John, being brought in, were asked by what power they had cured the lame man. Peter said "the lame man had been cured in the name and by the power of Jesus Christ, whom they had crucified, and who was now risen from the dead."

3. When the priests heard this, they put the apostles out of the council hall. Consulting with themselves, they asked what should be done. "It was clear," said they, "a miracle had been wrought, and they could not deny it."

4. Having agreed among themselves, they recalled the apostles, and forbade them either to speak or to teach any more in the name of Jesus. But Peter asked: "Is it just we should obey you rather than God? We must speak what we have seen and heard."

The judges contented themselves with merely threatening the two apostles, and then dismissed them.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 100. What happened to Peter and John? What answer did they give the council?



101.—The Lives of the First Christians.


1. Nothing could exceed the holiness of the lives of the first Christians. All had but one heart, and all were animated with the same spirit. The apostles were unwearied in their labors, and the faithful were constant in the breaking of bread and in the labor of prayer.

2. All their goods were in common. Those who had fields or houses sold them and placed the price in the hands of the apostles, who distributed to each according as he needed. Soon their unbounded charity to the poor and their brotherly love for each other began to produce their effects. Both Jew and Gentile was forced to respect them. Their numbers increased daily.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 101.—What is said of the early Christians? How were their goods held? What effects did their lives produce?



102.—Ananias and Saphira.


1. At this time there lived a man named Ananias and his wife Saphira. They sold a field, but secretly kept back a part of the price. The balance Ananias gave to the apostles, pretending it was all he had received.

2. Peter said to him: "Ananias, why have you suffered Satan to tempt you to lie to the Holy Ghost? and why have you kept back a part of the price of the field? You have not lied to men, but to God."

On the spot Ananias fell down dead at the feet of the apostle.

3. Three hours after, Saphira came and, not knowing what had happened to her husband, repeated the same lie. She also fell dead. When these things were heard, fear and terror came upon all the faithful.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 102.—Tell the history of Ananias and Saphira.



103.—The Apostles are Thrown into Prison.


1. The apostles continued to work miracles. From the villages round about, the sick and those possessed by unclean spirits were brought to Jerusalem, and the apostles cured them. Peter, above all the rest, was held in the highest esteem. So unlimited became his power, that his very shadow cured the sick as he passed through the streets.

2. By the authority of the Jewish priests, Peter and John were again seized and cast into prison; but during the night an angel opened the prison doors and bade them go forth to the Temple and teach the people.

3. In the morning, when the officers went to bring the apostles before the council, they found the doors of the prison indeed closed, and the guards at their post, but no prisoners. The council was confounded.

4. Shortly after a man came, who told them Peter and John were in the Temple teaching the people. An officer hastened and, with great violence, brought them before the council. The high priest rose and reproached them for continuing to preach, notwithstanding the former prohibitions of the council. The apostles said, "God must be obeyed." At the same time Peter declared that Jesus, whom they had crucified, was the Christ, and that He was risen from the dead.

5. When the priests heard this they gnashed their teeth, and in their rage began to consider how they might put them to death.

At this part of the proceedings, Gamaliel, a member of the great council, and also a doctor of the Law, rose and commanded the apostles to be put out.

6. "Men of Israel," said lie, "consider well what you are about to do. If this be the work of men, it will soon fall to nothing; but if it be the work of God, you cannot destroy it." They despised this advice.

7. The apostles were recalled, and, having been scourged, were forbidden again to speak in the name of Jesus. But they went forth from the council rejoicing that they were found worthy to suffer for their divine Master. Neither did they cease, either in the Temple or in the houses, to preach Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 103.—What did the apostles continue to do? What is said of Peter's shadow? What was done to Peter and John? How were they set at liberty? What did the council do? What did Peter answer? What did Gamaliel say? What was done to the apostles? How did they act after?



104.—Stephen the Deacon.—The First Martyr.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. As the number of the faithful increased, there arose murmurs on account of the manner in which the food was distributed. When the apostles saw this they directed the people to choose seven men, of good character, full of wisdom and the Holy Ghost, and they laid their hands upon them. These were the seven deacons spoken of in the Scriptures, among whom were Philip and Stephen. To them was intrusted the care of the temporalities of the Church, that the apostles might give themselves entirely to prayer and to the preaching of the word of God.

2. Stephen did great wonders and wrought many miracles; few could resist the power of his eloquence.

The Jews accused him of having spoken against Moses and blasphemed against God; then they seized him and led him before the great council. When he stood before the judges, those who looked at him thought they saw the face of an angel.

3. The high priest rose and asked him if the charge that had been made against him were true. Stephen, standing before the council, answered by reviewing the history of the Jewish Church, and showing that it was but the forerunner of the Christian dispensation. He concluded with reproaching the Jews for their disbelief in having resisted the Holy Ghost, and for having crucified the Messiah.

4. When they heard this, they shook with rage, and gnashed their teeth against him. Their anger knew no bounds when Stephen, lifting up his eyes, cried out, "I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God."

5. Hearing this, the multitude stopped their ears, and, rushing upon him, hurried him out of the city to stone him. The witnesses laid their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul—afterwards better known as the celebrated St. Paul. Whilst they were stoning him, Stephen exclaimed: "Lord, lay this not to their charge." Having said this, he slept in the Lord.

6. All, who deliberately resist God and His representatives, have a dreadful account to give to God. There has always been persecution of God's Church, but truth spreads the more it is persecuted, so that the saying "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" has passed into an adage,

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 104.—Why were deacons chosen? What was intrusted to their care? What did Stephen do? What did he say before the council? How was it received? What was done to Stephen? What was said at the feet of Saul? What effect has persecution on the Church?



105.—Confirmation.—The Baptism of the Ethiopian.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. With Stephen's death began at Jerusalem a cruel persecution against the Church. Saul was one of the bitterest enemies of the Christians; his anger knew no rest. With unsparing fury men and women were dragged before the tribunals and cast into prison. Many fled from Jerusalem and spread themselves through Judea and Samaria.

2. Those who thus fled, passing from place to place, preached the word of God. Amongst the number was Philip the deacon, who, going to Samaria, preached the Gospel. He wrought miracles, and many were converted.

3. The apostles at Jerusalem, hearing that Samaria had received the word of God, sent thither Peter and John. When they were come, praying, they laid their hands upon the converts, and as many as were baptized received the Holy Ghost.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

4. In this visit of Peter and John to Samaria there is the clearest evidence of the conferring by the apostles of the Sacrament of Confirmation. Philip could preach and baptize, but being only a deacon, could not confirm. Apostles alone, and their successors, the bishops of the Church can confirm.

5. Whilst Philip was at Samaria, an angel came to him and commanded him to go down by the road that led from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip obeyed. On the way he met a distinguished Ethiopian eunuch, the treasurer of the queen of Ethiopia. He had been up to Jerusalem to attend at one of the feasts. At the moment Philip met him he was sitting in his chariot, reading from the prophet Isaiah.

6. Directed by the Holy Ghost, Philip drew near, and asked him if he understood what he read. But the eunuch answered, L6 How can I, unless some one show me?" Philip went up into the chariot and began to speak to him of Jesus and the Gospel.

7. Amongst other things, Philip spoke to him of Baptism. Meanwhile they came to a place where there was water, when the eunuch asked why he could not be baptized. Philip said, if he believed, there was no objection. Upon the eunuch declaring he did believe in Jesus Christ, he was baptized.

The eunuch, full of joy, continued his journey, but the Spirit of God took Philip away.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 105.—After Stephen's death, what happened at Jerusalem? Who was a bitter enemy? Who preached at Samaria? How do you show that the apostles administered Confirmation? Tell the history of Philip and the eunuch.



106.—The Conversion of St. Paul.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the martyrdom of St. Stephen, Saul became one of the most active persecutors of the Christians. Resolved on their ruin, he went to the high priest and asked for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, authorizing him to seize upon every man or woman whom he would find either believing in Jesus or teaching in His name.

2. Animated with this spirit, and armed with the authority of the Jewish priesthood, he started for Damascus. As he approached the place, suddenly a bright light shone round about him. Struck as if by lightning, he fell to the ground, while, at the same time, a voice said to him: "Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute Me?" Saul asked who spoke to him; when the voice said, "I am Jesus, whom thou persecutest."

3. Trembling and confounded, Saul asked what he should do. Jesus bade him rise and go into the city, when it would be told him what he must do. Saul rose, but discovered he was blind. His companions led him into Damascus, where be remained three days at the house of one Judas, neither eating nor drinking.

4. At this time there lived in Damascus a man named Ananias. The Lord commanded him to go to Saul and place his hands upon him. No sooner had Ananias touched Saul than scales fell from his eyes, and he recovered his sight. Saul rose and was baptized. His name was changed to Paul.

5. With all the zeal of a new convert, Paul began to preach Jesus. All that heard him were astonished. The Jews became very angry, and by every means in their power strove to put him to death; but God protected him.

6. In the history of Saul we have the fulfilment of Jacob's prophecy to his son Benjamin, when he said: "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall eat the prey, and in the evening he shall divide the spoil."

Saul belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. In his youth, the morning of life, he persecuted the Church; afterwards, in the evening of life, he gathered together both Jew and Gentile, and offered them as a precious gift at the feet of Christ.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 106.—What is said of Saul? What happened to him on the road to Damascus? Who baptized Saul? How did Saul act after his baptism? What prophecy is fulfilled in Saul?



107.—Peter Visits the Different Churches in Judea.—Cornelius is Baptized.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. When the persecution had somewhat ceased, Peter visited the several churches in Judea, preaching to the people, and confirming them in their faith.

At Lydda Peter cured a man named Aeneas, who for eight years had been confined to his bed by the palsy. At Joppa he raised to life the charitable Tabitha. By the fame of these miracles many were converted and the influence of Christianity extended.

2. While Peter was still at Joppa there lived at Caesarea a man named Cornelius. One day, whilst Cornelius was at prayer, an angel appeared to him, and bade him send to Joppa for a man named Peter, who would tell him what to do. Cornelius sent at once.

3. About the time the messengers drew near to Joppa, Peter was praying; he also had a vision. The heavens appeared to him to open, and as it were a great sheet was let down, in which were all manner of four-footed beasts, and creeping things and birds; a voice said to him: "Arise, kill, and eat."

4. Now it was not allowed the Jews to eat all manner of beasts; so Peter answered he could not, as he had never eaten anything unclean. But the voice said to him, "Call not that common that God has purified." This was done three times, when the vision disappeared.

5. While Peter was reflecting on the meaning of the vision, the Spirit of God said to him, "Three men seek you; rise and go with them."

On the next day Peter went with the messengers. When Cornelius related the vision he had had, Peter understood his own. By it Peter understood that hereafter there was to be no distinction between Jew and Gentile in the Christian Church, and that Christ had died for all mankind.

6. Then Peter began to speak of Jesus: how He had been crucified, and how He had risen again from the dead, and that through Him was man to be saved. While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Ghost came upon the Gentiles who were present, and to the astonishment of the apostle they began to speak in divers tongues. When Peter saw this, he commanded them to be baptized. These were the first Gentiles received into the Church.

7. From this time the apostles turned their attention to the Gentile as well as the Jew. Paul became especially the apostle of the Gentile. At Antioch the converts were first called Christians—that is, followers of Christ.

8. Jesus died for all; and as Joseph during the seven years' famine fed not only the Egyptian, but also the Israelite and the stranger, so must the Jew and the Gentile share in the merits of Jesus Christ. The Jews formed but a small part of mankind, and at best never were very docile; hence the Christian Church from the beginning was formed principally from the Gentiles.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 107.—Where did Peter go? What did he do at Lydda and Joppa? Tell how Cornelius was received into the Church. Who were the first Gentiles received into the Church? Who became especially the apostle of the Gentiles? Where were the Christians first known by that name?



108.—Peter Cast into Prison. [A.D.44]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. After the conversion of Cornelius, Peter returned to Jerusalem. About the year 44, Herod Agrippa, the king, again raised a persecution against the Christians. He beheaded James, the brother of John, and cast Peter into prison. But the Church prayed for her venerated head.

2. The night before he was to have been led forth to punishment, Peter lay, bound with chains, between two soldiers, while guards walked before the door.

On a sudden an angel stood before him, and a heavenly light filled the prison. The angel touched Peter and bade him rise and put on his sandals and follow him. Peter obeyed, not knowing whether or not it was a vision he saw. They passed the first and second guard, and came to an iron gate that of itself opened to them. Having passed out into the city the angel disappeared.

3. Peter coming to himself, saw that God had sent an angel to deliver him from the power of Herod. Then he went to the house of Mark, where many of the faithful were assembled in prayer. Rapping, a young woman named Rode, or Rose, came to open the door.

4. When she recognized Peter's voice, filled with joy, she ran back to tell those who were within that Peter was at the door. They would not believe her; but as Peter continued to rap, they at length opened the door, and to their amazement Peter walked in. When he told them how he had been delivered out of prison, they all began to praise God.

5. In the morning there was great consternation among the soldiers. No one could tell how Peter had escaped or where he had gone. Herod questioned the soldiers, and then punished them severely.

6. Shortly after this, Herod was receiving ambassadors from Caesarea. The people began to applaud him, and flattering him cried out, "You speak as a god, not as a man."

Herod took the glory to himself. On the spot an angel struck him with a loathsome disease, and in a few days he died amid the most horrid torments—a fit example of the power of God and the pride of man.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 108.—What did Herod raise? Who was beheaded? Who was cast into prison? How was Peter liberated? What happened at the house of Mark? What was done to the soldiers? How did Herod die?



109.—St. Paul's First Apostolic Journey. [A.D. 42]


1. After his miraculous conversion St. Paul was received with much joy among the apostles. For some time he continued to teach at Antioch; but after a while, directed by the Holy Ghost, he and Barnabas were sent to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.

2. Wherever he went Paul first preached to the Jews, and only when they refused to hear him did he turn to the Gentiles. Many of these latter were converted, while the former, rejecting the grace thus offered them, were left with out excuse.

3. Long before had the prophet Isaiah spoken of St. Paul and his labors, when he declared that "God would choose of the elect and send them to the people of the sea: He would send them into Africa and Lydia, into Italy and Greece, and the islands afar off, that they might announce His glory to the Gentiles, and all flesh should adore."

4. When St. Paul and Barnabas left Antioch they directed their steps to the island of Cyprus. On their arrival Sergius, the Roman proconsul, sent for them, that he might hear the word of God. But there was at the proconsul's house a Jewish magician, named Elymas, who strove to turn Sergius from the faith.

5. St. Paul, seeing the malice of Elymas, and also inspired by the Holy Ghost, turning to him, said: "Because you have tried to pervert the ways of God, you shall be blind for a time." Immediately he was struck blind. When tho proconsul saw this he believed, and was baptized.

6. From Cyprus, Paul and Barnabas sailed for Asia Minors Arriving at Antioch in Pisidia, they preached to both Jew and Gentile. Many were converted. Here the Jews became very much excited, and coming together, contradicted Paul; but he, turning to them, said: "It behooved us to preach to you first; now you have rejected the word of God, and we turn to the Gentile."

7. The Jews continued to harass and persecute Paul and Barnabas, until, wearied, they shook the dust from their feet and left the place. They passed from city to city, preaching and establishing churches.

8. At Lystra, a city of Lycaonia, Paul cured a man who had been lame from his birth. When the people saw this, they thought Paul and Barnabas were gods, and wished to offer sacrifice to them; but Paul forbade them. Many believed.

9. Soon after this certain Jews came to Lystra from the cities where Paul had already been preaching. They succeeded in exciting an insurrection against him, and the multitude rising up stoned him, and dragging him out of the city, left him for dead. Paul, however, recovered, and returned into the city, where he remained for some time.

10. After preaching the Gospel at Derbe, Paul and Barnabas returned to Antioch, passing through the places where they had already preached. Everywhere they exhorted the faithful to persevere, and in every church they appointed bishops, having first prayed and imposed hands upon them.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 109.—What is said of Paul after his conversion? To whom did he first preach? What was done at Cyprus? What happened to Ely etas? From Cyprus, where did Paul and Barnabas go? How did the Jews act? What was done at Lystra? What was done to Paul? Who were appointed in the churches?



110.—The Council of Jerusalem. [A.D. 50]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. During the apostolic time several subjects of dispute arose. Amongst these was, at Antioch, the subject of circumcision—some of the Jewish converts insisting on it, while Paul and Barnabas resisted it. To avoid all possibility of error, it was agreed to refer the whole matter to the apostles at Jerusalem. For this purpose Paul and Barnabas were sent thither.

2. When they arrived the apostles and the ancients assembled, under the presidency of Peter, to deliberate on the subject. After the matter had been well discussed, Peter rose and said: "As God had made no difference between the Jew and the Gentile, giving the Holy Ghost to the one as well to the other, there should be no difference within the Church; nor should the law of circumcision be imposed on any one."

3. Under this teaching it was decided that the ancient ceremonial laws of Moses had lost their effect, and for the future should not be imposed upon the Christians.

The council wrote to the faithful at Antioch, saying: "It hath seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, not to lay this burden upon you."

4. When the bishops of the Catholic Church, who are the legitimate successors of the apostles, assemble under the presidency of the pope, who is the true successor of Peter, we have a general council similar to that held at Jerusalem under the apostles. Its decisions are infallible, for they are the decisions of God's Church, which according to the teachings of Jesus Christ, is in an invisible manner guided and preserved from error by and through the Holy Ghost.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 110. On what was their dispute? What was done on the matter? What did Peter say? What conclusion did the council come to? What is said of the Catholic Church?



111.—The Second Voyage of St. Paul.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Some time after this St. Paul started on a second missionary journey. He passed through Syria, and again went into Asia Minor, preaching everywhere, visiting the old and establishing new churches.

At Troas he had a vision in which he was called to Macedonia. Immediately he set sail, accompanied by Silas, Luke, and Timothy. They passed over from Asia, and arrived safely at Philippi, the capital of Macedonia.

2. Here the apostle stayed with a merchant named Lydia, one of the new converts. There was also in the city a girl possessed by a divining spirit. She brought much gain to her masters. Paul, taking her, drove out the evil spirit.

3. When her masters saw their hopes of gain gone, they became very much displeased, and seizing Paul and Silas, cast them into prison, having first beaten them with rods. About the middle of the night, while Paul and Silas were praying, suddenly there came a great earthquake and shook the jail to its foundations. All the doors were opened, and the bonds of the prisoners were loosened.

4. When the jailer awoke and found the doors of the prison open, he took his sword and was about to kill himself, thinking the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried out they were there. The jailer, trembling, entered with a light, and falling down at the feet of Paul, asked what he must do to be saved. Paul bade him believe in the Lord Jesus; and, having instructed him, that same night baptized him and all his family.

5. In the morning the magistrates, hearing that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, sent to beg their pardon for having scourged them, for it was unlawful to scourge a Roman citizen. They then set them at liberty.

6. Paul established a small church at Philippi; thence he passed to Thessalonica, and afterwards to Berea and several other cities, establishing churches and preaching the word. At last he came to Athens, the capital of Greece.

7. Seeing how the city was given up to idolatry, his zeal was roused, and he began to preach in the market-place. He was taken before the Areopagus, where the philosophers and leading men of the city were assembled, and was asked to state the nature of the doctrines he taught.

8. Paul rose and addressed the vast multitude, saying, "Athenians, in passing through your city, I found an altar on which was written: 'TO THE UNKNOWN GOD:' what you here worship without knowing it, I preach." He then gave a long and detailed account of the nature of God and the character of the Christian religion, concluding with the resurrection of the dead.

9. When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, but others said they would hear him again. A few joined him; amongst whom was one named Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus.

[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

10. From Athens Paul went to Corinth. He first preached to the Jews; but they contradicting, and refusing to listen to him, he said to them, "Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean."

He then preached to the Corinthians, and soon had the satisfaction of seeing many converted. After a year and a half spent at Corinth, Paul passed over to Asia, and, returning by Ephesus, came to Antioch.

11. The Church grew with astonishing rapidity; her influence was felt everywhere. The little cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, had begun to grow, and now covered nearly the face of the heavens. The earth was about to receive the genial rain. Christ came to call the Jews, but they threw away their vocation with the same indifference that Esau had sold his birthright for a mess of pottage.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 111.—What is said of Paul's second voyage? Where was he called to go? Into what trouble did Paul and Silas get? What is said of their imprisonment? How did they get out of jail? From Philippi, where did Paul go? What did he do at Athens? Who joined him? How long did Paul stay at Corinth?



112.—St. Paul's Third Voyage.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. Soon after his return from his second voyage, St. Paul started on a third missionary tour. Again he passed through Asia Minor, and finally came to Ephesus, at that time the capital of the Roman possessions in Asia. Here he baptized twelve men who formerly had received the baptism of John, and, laying hands upon them, they received the Holy Ghost.

2. For two years Paul remained at Ephesus. Through his teaching most of the inhabitants of that part of Asia learned the doctrines of Christianity. Paul wrought many miracles, and his power became so great, that the simple touch of the handkerchiefs that had touched his body was sufficient to cure the sick. Fear came upon those who saw these things, and many came, confessing their sins.

3. While St. Paul was at Ephesus there arose a violent persecution against him. There was in the place a grand temple, dedicated to the goddess Diana. The silversmiths made small miniature temples, which they sold at considerable gain. When, by the conversion of the inhabitants, they saw their trade gone, headed by one Demetrius, they rose up against Paul, and only with much difficulty could the magistrates save him from their hands.

4. When the tumult had subsided, Paul, having exhorted the disciples to persevere, passed over to Macedonia, and afterwards to Greece. From thence he returned to Asia, and came to Troas, where he stayed a week. On Sunday, the faithful assembled in a large hall to celebrate the divine mysteries. While St. Paul was preaching, a young man, who had been sleeping, fell from one of the windows, and was killed. Paul raised him to life.

5. From Troas, Paul went to the islands of Lesbos and Chios, and thence to Samos and Miletus. At this latter place he sent for the chief men of the church at Ephesus, and spoke to them words of affectionate adieu: "I go," said he, "to Jerusalem, but I know not what shall befall me. Only this I know: that the Holy Ghost has warned me that chains and afflictions await me. But I fear not these things, only that I fulfil my mission. I know you shall see my face no more; therefore take heed to yourselves, and to the flock over which the Holy Ghost has placed you.

6. "After my departure there shall rise up men speaking perverse things. Watch, therefore, remembering that, for three years, I ceased not, night nor day, to admonish every one of you. And now I commend you to God, who is able to give you an inheritance amongst His saints."

7. When he had said this, he knelt down and prayed with them. All began to weep, and, falling upon his neck, kissed him. They grieved particularly because he had said they would see him no more. Leading him to the ship, they bade him an affectionate farewell.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 112.—Where did Paul go on his third voyage? What did he do at Ephesus? What wonders did Paul do at Ephesus? What caused the persecution against Paul at Ephesus? What happened at Troas? What was done at Miletus?



113.—Imprisonment and Death of St. Paul. [A.D.67.]


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. The conversion of St. Paul had, from the beginning, been a sore blow to the Jews. His zeal for Christianity and his great success in making converts only increased their hatred; hence on his return to Jerusalem they excited so great a tumult against him, that in order to save him from violence it became necessary for the Roman governor to cast him into prison, and finally to send him to Felix, the governor of Caesarea.

2. Paul remained two years a prisoner at Caesarea, when he appealed to the emperor at Rome. On the voyage the ship was wrecked at the island of Malta, and Paul was saved only by a miracle.

3. After two years of easy captivity spent at Rome, Paul was set at liberty. Again he visited the scenes of his former labors, preaching anew the word of God, and confirming the converts in their faith.

About the year 67, St. Paul again returned to Rome. Shortly after, Nero, the emperor, raised a cruel persecution against the Christians; St. Paul was seized upon and cast into prison, and, a few days after, beheaded.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 113.—Why was Paul sent to Caesarea? On the voyage to Rome, what happened to St. Paul? How did St. Paul die? When?



114.—The Other Apostles.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

1. While St. Paul was preaching in Asia and Europe, the other apostles were not idle. Everywhere they preached the Gospel and established churches, appointing bishops to guide the faithful and transmit the doctrines they had received. Some went to Persia, others to Arabia, while some went even to the distant India. By the end of the first century there was no country then known that had not heard of Christ.

2. During this time some of the apostles and two of their disciples, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, wrote short histories of Our Savior's life. St. Paul and some of the other apostles also wrote letters, or, as they are better known, "Epistles," of instruction, either to churches they had themselves established, or to others that asked them for advice. By degrees these writings were gathered together, and became known under the general name of the New Testament.

3. After preaching at Jerusalem, for a while St. Peter chose Antioch as the centre of his apostolic labors. At a later period he established his see at Rome, where to-day his successors reside, and from whence they rule the Church of God. At the same place and on the same day that St. Paul was beheaded, St. Peter was crucified with his head down. All the other apostles, John excepted, also shed their blood in proof of their faith in Jesus Christ.

4. After Our Savior's death, St. John took the Blessed Virgil: to himself, and by his tender love partly recompensed for the loss of her divine Son. After her death John was seized upon and cast into a caldron of boiling oil. Saved by a miracle, he was banished to the island of Patmos, where he wrote his prophetic Revelations. After his release he dwelt in Ephesus. Here he wrote his gospel, and for many years preached but one sermon: "My children, love one another."

About the year 100 he died—alone of all the apostles—a natural death.

5. Under the Old Law Jerusalem was the centre of the Jewish religion; under the Christian dispensation, Rome is the centre of Catholicity, and the Pope is the head of the Christian Church.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 114.—Whatis said of the other apostles? What did some of the apostles write? What did St. Paul write? Under what name are these writings known? Where did Peter establish his see? How did Peter die? How did the other apostles die? What is said of St. John? What is said of Rome and Jerusalem?



115.—Conclusion.


1. In this short and exceedingly condensed history it will be seen how God, for four thousand years, strove to prepare mankind for the coming of Jesus Christ: at one time by revelations made directly by Himself; at another by the prophets whom from time to time He sent to enlighten the world.

2. When Jesus Christ did come, He showed how the revelations made concerning Him were verified in Himself, and also proved His divinity by His miracles. He then preached and established His Church, choosing His apostles to be witnesses both of His words and His works. In time He died, rose again, and ascending into heaven, the work of redemption was accomplished.

3. The first apostles whom Christ chose to announce His doctrines to the world have also passed away, but the work of Jesus Christ, the Holy Catholic Church, remains, and will remain to the end.

4. She is founded upon truth; her voice is the voice of truth; hence she is as imperishable as truth itself. The cement that binds together the parts of this grand old edifice is none other than the blood of Jesus Christ; also the blood of His apostles and martyrs, who have so generously and freely sacrificed their lives in proof of the doctrines they so fearlessly preached, and which were once delivered to them by their divine Master, Jesus Christ.

5. Let the storms of human passion rage as they may against this Church; let the violence of human power spend itself for her ruin; let the poison of heresy and the malice of blasphemy conspire against her, yet this Church shall never be shaken nor destroyed.

6. Let us then rejoice that we belong to the Catholic Church; let us only remain faithful to the end; let us keep the commandments, and enlightened, purified, and strengthened by the graces which the Church alone can give, we need have no fear; one day we must, we infallibly will, pass from God's kingdom upon earth to God's kingdom in heaven, where, with the angels, we will for endless ages rejoice in an ocean of bliss; where, in the heavenly Jerusalem, with the saints of the Old as well as with the saints of the New Law, we shall forever bless and adore the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

QUESTIONS TO CHAPTER 115.—What is said in this last chapter? When Christ came, what did He do? Who have passed away? What work of Christ still remains? What is said of the Church?


END OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.

CHURCH HISTORY




First Period:
From the Birth of Christ to the Fall of Rome



1.—The Beginning of the Church.


1. Four thousand years before the coming of Christ, Adam was created. With the birth of Christ begins the Christian era. Under the reign of Augustus, Emperor of Rome, Christ was born, and at the age of thirty years began to preach in Jerusalem and Judea.

2. At the end of three years He was seized upon and put to death, but after three days rose again, and for forty days appeared to His apostles and other devout men and women. He then ascended into heaven, and in ten days after the Holy Ghost came upon the apostles, and they began to preach the Gospel.

3. When it was noised abroad through Jerusalem that the Holy Ghost had visibly descended upon the apostles, great multitudes came together, when Peter, rising up, began to preach. The multitude were amazed, for each one heard him and the other apostles speaking in his own tongue: Jews and Gentiles, Medes and Persians, and citizens from Egypt and Arabia. At this first sermon three thousand were converted.

4. To the gift of tongues was also added the gift of miracles. The sick were cured, the lame walked, and the Church grew apace. In a short time Jerusalem was in great commotion. The apostles spread themselves everywhere, passing from town to village, and from country to country.

5. At first Peter confined himself to preaching to the Jews, passing through Judea and Samaria, then into Asia Minor, where for eight years he resided at Antioch. After this he passed over to Rome, where he fixed his see, and for twenty-five years, as Bishop of Rome, governed the whole Church. The Popes, being the successors of Peter, are also called Bishops of Rome, where, with but short interruptions, they have always resided.



2.—The Apostles.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

ST. PETER AND ST. PAUL IN PRISON.


1. At first the other apostles preached in Jerusalem and in the villages throughout Judea, but soon they also passed to other lands, visiting Arabia and Persia. Everywhere great numbers were converted, churches established, priests and bishops ordained; miracles and the gift of tongues proving the divinity of their mission.

2. The Greater and Lesser James confined themselves to Jerusalem, the latter becoming the bishop thereof. Bartholomew went to Persia, Thomas to India; Philip preached in Phrygia, Andrew in Achaia, whilst Matthew spent himself for the Parthians and Ethiopians. Jude died in Armenia, Simon in Persia; and Matthias, who was chosen to fill the place of Judas, was beheaded at Colchis.

3. For a time John preached in Judea and Samaria, but at length went also to Rome, where he was seized upon and banished to Patmos, an island in the Aegean Sea. Here he was favored with the revelations which he has recorded in the Apocalypse. After the death of Domitian he was released and went to Ephesus, where he wrote his gospel and for many years preached charity to his people. He died at the age of ninety-one years, the last of the apostles and the only one who died a natural death.

4. At first St. Paul was a fiery persecutor of the Church, assisting and consenting to the stoning of St. Stephen, the first martyr. Not content with persecuting the Christians at Jerusalem, he obtained letters from the high priest and went to Damascus, there to persecute the Church. On the way, Jesus appeared to him. Falling from his horse, he was lifted up blind and led into the city, where he was baptized by Ananias, and at once became a most zealous apostle.

5. After he had preached at Damascus, St. Paul went to Galicia and Greece, stopping at Athens and Corinth. From thence he passed into Asia Minor and Judea, and going up to Jerusalem, he met Peter and other apostles, with whom he conferred on matters concerning the future of the Church.

6. Whilst preaching in Judea he was frequently cast into prison, scourged, and his life threatened. After many years he was sent a prisoner to Rome, where he met St. Peter, who had long dwelt there. For two years he was allowed the freedom of the city, preaching openly and converting many.

7. During the persecution of Nero, he was seized upon, and with St. Peter cast into prison, where he remained for nearly nine months. While there, he converted the jailer' and a number of the prisoners. At the prayer of Peter a fountain of water burst forth in the floor of the prison, and they were baptized.

8. In the year 67 they were both condemned to death, and on the 29th of June St. Paul was beheaded on the Ostian way, just outside the walls of Rome; while St. Peter was crucified on Mount Janiculum, within the walls. Both places are yet shown and constantly visited by pious pilgrims. The bodies of these two great saints are buried in Rome,—the one in St. Peter's Church, the other in the Church of St. Paul.



3.—The Spread of Christianity.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

CRUCIFIXION OF ST. PETER.


1. The conversion of the world to Christianity is the most wonderful event in history. Conquerors, such as Alexander and Caesar, have subdued nations; after centuries of toil and sacrifice Greece and Rome grew into power; but nothing in history is like to the work of the apostles.

2. Here were twelve uneducated men, without money or influence, from a nation despised, preaching a doctrine hated, yet in the face of every opposition, nay even death, they converted the world. To Jews and Gentiles, Medes and Persians, Greeks and Romans, Arabians and Ethiopians, even to the far distant India was the Gospel preached ere the death of Peter and Paul in the year 67, just thirty-four years after the death of Christ.

3. Not only had the Gospel been thus preached to the whole world, and the Church organized, congregations formed, bishops and priests ordained, but the whole of the Scriptures were written with the exception of the Gospel of St. John, which was written later on, in the year 94.

4. The New Testament is divided into Gospels and Epistles, Acts and Revelations. The Gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; the Acts of the Apostles, a short view of the establishment of the Christian Church, by St. Luke; the Epistles by Peter and Paul, James, John, and Jude; and the Apocalypse, or Revelations, by St. John. These, with the Old Testament, form the Bible—a sacred code of laws to guide and instruct mankind.

5. The fervor of the first Christians was as remarkable as was their conversion. They had but one heart and one soul. They held their goods in common, each giving what he had for the good of all. Prayer and the breaking of bread was their constant occupation; humility and chastity the virtues that distinguished them; and so kind to each other were they that the pagans in wonder used to cry out, "See how they love one another."

6. Not only did the apostles preach the Gospel and establish the Church, but under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost they determined the forms for the administration of the Sacraments and the celebration of the Mass. Their work was not of man but of God, hence must last forever. As Christ is unchangeable, so are His doctrines unchangeable. Man may change, but God and His works change not.



4.—The Persecutions of the Church—The Jews.


1. With the spread of Christianity rose enmities and hatreds amongst both Jews and Gentiles. As the Jews had persecuted Christ, so they also persecuted His apostles, and were the first to rise up against Christianity. They scourged Peter and John; stoned St. Stephen; cast St. James head-long from the roof of the Temple, and beat out his brains with a fuller's mallet.

2. They also seized upon the Christians wherever they were found, scourged them and threw them into prison; others they banished, some they put to death. The Christians, seeing this, fled, thus spreading the doctrine of Christ and adding to the fold by the virtues they practiced. Wherever the Jews were in power there the followers of Christ suffered.

3. Elsewhere the other apostles were equally maltreated. St. Bartholomew was skinned alive; St. Matthew died in Parthia, Andrew in Achaia; St. Philip was martyred in Phrygia, Thomas in India; St. Jude gave up his life in Armenia; and Simon shed his blood for the conversion of Persia. While at Rome St. John was cast into a caldron of boiling oil, but by a miracle came forth unhurt. Every one of the apostles, St. John alone excepted, as before mentioned, died by violence, giving their lives for their faith.

4. For a time God permitted these persecutions, but in time their punishment came, first on the Jews, then upon the Romans. In the year 69 the Jews revolted against Rome, when Titus, the Roman general, collected an army and besieged Jerusalem, surrounding the city with vast fortifications.

5. Soon famine, then pestilence, set in. The city was torn by factions from within, while the Romans battered down the walls from without. Neither young nor old were spared; Jerusalem was doomed. The prophecy of Christ was about to be fulfilled. Forewarned, the Christians had fled. Within one year, more than one million Jews died from pestilence or were killed by the Romans. The city was taken, the Temple burned, the people sold into slavery, and thus dispersed over the world as we now find them, without country or king. Truly the blood of Christ is upon them.



5.—Roman Persecutions.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

MARTYRDOM OF ST. IGNATIUS.


1. During the first three hundred years of the Christian era there were ten general persecutions raised against the Church by the Roman emperors, besides many local persecutions by governors and city magistrates. The first general persecution was raised by Nero (66). He had burned the city of Rome, and seeing the anger of the people, accused the Christians, who in the moment of passion were seized upon, cast into prison, or put to death.

2. Many were exposed to wild beasts, others thrown into the Tiber. Some were beheaded; some were crucified; others rolled up in pitch, and at night burned to light up the public gardens. Old men and tender women, even boys and girls, gave up their lives for Christ.

3. Nine other emperors proclaimed persecutions throughout the empire. Amongst these the persecutions under Domitian (93), Severus (202), Maximin (235), and Diocletian (303), were the most severe. During these three hundred years Rome looked more like a slaughter-house than a place where men might dwell. From every province of the empire Christians were dragged to Rome, to be torn to pieces in the amphitheatre, or burned at the stake for the amusement of the people. This was the age of martyrs.

4. During this period the catacombs were dug, and in them the Christians hid, buried their dead, and held their religious services. In them are found to-day the bodies of the martyrs, with the symbols of faith on their tombs—pictures, altars, chalices, inscriptions, teaching every article of Catholic faith, showing beyond a doubt the identity of the Catholic religion of to-day with the religion of Christians in the first ages of the Church.

5. During these persecutions St. Polycarp was first burned at the stake and finally stabbed to death; St. Ignatius was devoured by lions; Sts. Perpetua and Felicitas were tossed on the horns of a furious heifer, and afterward slain by the sword; St. Agnes was beheaded; St. Lawrence roasted on a gridiron; and St. Cecilia, condemned to be suffocated in the bath, from which she came forth unharmed, met her death by the blows of the executioner. All that human cruelty could devise was tried; but the Christians remained firm, adding daily to their numbers by the virtues of their lives and the constancy of their faith. So widespread and so deeply rooted did Christianity become, that in the year 320 Constantine the Great declared himself a Christian, and persecutions ceased. Christ had triumphed; the world was converted.



6.—Heresies.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

ST. AUGUSTINE, BISHOP OF HIPPO.


1. With the spread of Christianity rose heresy. In the time of the apostles the Jewish converts sought to unite the ceremonial law of Moses with the new law of Christ. Against this St. Paul preached. At the Council of Jerusalem (51), St. Peter presiding, it was resolved not to impose the observance of the Mosaic law upon the Christian Church.

2. After this came Simon of Samaria, called Magus because he was a magician. When Sts. Peter and John came to Samaria to confirm the faithful who had been baptized by Philip, Simon, seeing the effect of the sacrament, offered to buy what he regarded as a magical power. St. Peter rebuked him and warned him of the wickedness of his conduct. Instead of profiting by the rebuke, Simon became the enemy of the apostles, and began to teach false doctrines. After him came the Ebionites and Cerinthians, who are spoken of by St. John, and against whom he wrote his gospel, to prove the divinity of Christ which they denied.

3. In the second and third centuries rose the Gnostics, who taught that the world was eternal; then the Manicheans, who held that there were two eternal principles, one good, the other bad; also the Sabellians, who denied that there are three persons in God. Against these the principal Christian writers were Irenaeus and Tertullian, Cyprian and Origen.

4. In the year 319 Arius, a priest of Alexandria, attacked the divinity of Christ, teaching that the Son was not equal to the Father. At the Council of Nice (325) he was condemned, and, refusing to retract, was banished. Ten years after (336), returning to Constantinople, he attempted to force himself into the Church, but the hand of God came upon him and he died, his blood gushing out of his mouth and his bowels bursting forth.

5. In the year 417 came Pelagius, who taught many grave errors on the subjects of Grace and Original Sin. Against this latter heresy God raised up the great St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, in Africa, whose writings remain a monument for all ages. Around him are clustered the names of St. Athanasius, who wrote against Arius, and Sts. Jerome, Basil, and Gregory of Nazianzen, who are a tower of strength in the cause of Christianity.



7.—Heresies. (Concluded.)


1. In the year 430 Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople, began to preach that the Blessed Virgin was not the Mother of God, but only the Mother of Christ, contrary to the true faith that teaches there is but one person in Christ, and that consequently the Blessed Virgin is the Mother of God. Nestorius was condemned at the Council of Ephesus (431); then banished. He died in 439, HIS TONGUE ROTTING IN HIS MOUTH.

2. In combating the errors of Nestorius, Eutyches, a monk of Constantinople, fell into another error. Nestorius had taught there were two persons in Christ: Eutyches taught there was but one nature in Christ, while the true doctrine is that there are two natures in Christ, one human, the other divine. This heresy was condemned, first at the Council of Chalcedon (451), and again at the Council of Constantinople, held in the year 553.

3. The above heresies, together with the later heresy against the Holy Ghost, in which it was taught that the Holy Ghost did not proceed from the Father and the Son, but from the Father only, constitute the great heresies of the Church down to the time of the Protestant Reformation, when Luther and Calvin revived the old Pelagian heresies on Grace and Justification and added several of their own.

4. This heresy on the Holy Ghost is held by the present schismatic Greek Church, now spread through Russia and Turkey. The Nestorian and Eutychian heresies still survive in some parts of Asia and Persia.



8.—Fall of the Roman Empire.


1. With the conversion of Constantine, Rome seemed for a short time to have received a new lease of life, but this was not to be. Rome had sinned too deeply. For three hundred years she had persecuted the Church; the blood of the martyrs was on her head; she must fall. The decree had long before gone forth, and by the mouth of His prophets God had foretold what He would do. Pagan Rome must fall and Christian Rome take her place.

2. Conquest had made Rome rich, and with wealth had come corruption and weakness. Society was divided into two classes, master and slave. Owing to war and conquest the latter class was far more numerous than the former. Besides, the exactions of Rome had made the provinces very discontent. Everywhere there were murmurings and signs of the coming storm. The people were oppressed; the slaves ready for revolt; the provinces growing in power; there was but needed a spark to fire the volcano on which Rome rested. The occasion came towards the latter part of the fourth century.

3. In the year 361 Julian, surnamed the Apostate, mounted the throne of the Caesars. At first he pretended to be a Christian, but in a short time threw off the mask, and attempted to restore the Pagan religion. This seems to have been the last drop; the cup was full; God's patience was exhausted; the time was come, and God sent forth His hosts to destroy this proud and sinful Mistress that for twelve hundred years had ruled the world.

4. To falsify the words of Christ, "that the Temple of Jerusalem should be destroyed," Julian undertook to rebuild it. He called together the Jews and began to clear away the ruins. When the last stone of the original foundation had been removed, and the workmen were about to begin the foundations for the new Temple, balls of fire burst forth from the earth, so that the work had to be abandoned. Thus the very prophecy, "that not a stone should be left upon a stone of that grand building," which he had attempted to falsify, was by him literally fulfilled.

5. In a war with the Persians Julian was killed, crying out, "O Nazarean, Thou hast conquered." He had attempted to war against God, but, as ever must be, failed.



9.—Rome Destroyed.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

POPE LEO THE GREAT AND ATTILA.


1. In the beginning of the fifth century vast hordes of barbarians began to descend from the north of Europe, and to sweep over the fairest provinces of the Roman Empire. Wherever they came they left ruin and desolation behind.

2. First came the Visigoths, in the year 410, led by the warlike Alaric. They invaded Italy, and took Rome, giving up the city to pillage and killing many of the inhabitants. After the death of Alaric they settled in France and Spain, and there founded a kingdom.

3. In the year 451, Attila, King of the Huns, swept through Europe, desolated France, and, crossing over to Italy, appeared before Rome. At the prayer of St. Leo, then Pope, the city was spared, and Attila withdrew his army. Genseric, the warlike king of the Vandals, had established his kingdom in Africa, and made Carthage its capital. In the year 455, crossing the sea with a numerous fleet and going up the Tiber, he entered Rome. For two weeks the Vandals continued to pillage the city, and it was only by the entreaties of Pope Leo that the buildings were saved from destruction and the lives of the inhabitants were spared. Still later, in 546, the Goths, under Totila, again took Rome and pillaged it.

4. The Saxons invaded Britain, while the Franks over-ran the greater part of France, ultimately giving their name to the country. Such was the condition of things when Odoacer, King of the Heruli, in the year 476, took Rome, and, making himself master of the country, proclaimed himself King of Italy. With him ended the Roman Empire that for twelve hundred years had been a power and a terror to the nations of the earth, and for much of the time had ruled the world.

5. While Rome was virtuous she was strong; but when luxury and pride crept in she grew weak, and, by her corruptions, fell with none to mourn her. Had she retained her virtue; had she not yielded to the corruptions of wealth; had she received Christ and not imbrued her hands in the blood of His saints—she had not fallen, as she did, a scoff and a byword to the nations of the earth. Like proud Babylon, she rose up against God and trusted in her own strength. For a time man may turn his back upon God, but in the end God will assert His power.



10.—The Christian Apologists.


1. Coeval with the rise of Christianity rose a contest with paganism. In the light of Christian truth the shallowness and falsehood of pagan philosophy was easily seen. The worship of false gods was widespread and deeply rooted, while the knowledge of the true God was known only to the Jews, a race despised and of little power or influence. Everywhere irreligion prevailed.

2. Because the Christians could not and would not accept these gods, and so refused to worship them, they were declared enemies to the state and offenders against the religion of the gods. They were accused of sacrilege; of adoring an ass's head; of atheism and immorality; of disloyalty to the secular powers and a divided allegiance; and, lastly, of eating a child at their religious feasts.

3. To combat these errors and false accusations—so similar to those of our own times—God raised up men of great learning, who not only refuted these errors and the heresies that rose among Christians themselves, but triumphantly vindicated the truth of Christianity, proving that Christ was the Messiah, and His religion but the fulfilment of the prophecies made by Moses and the prophets.

4. The most distinguished of these early writers—or, as they are called, Apologists, Fathers, Doctors—were Justin, martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen among the Greeks; Tertullian and Cyprian among the Latins.

5. Justin (167) wrote two Apologies, or rather defences of Christianity—one to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, the second to Marcus Aurelius. For this latter he was put to death, and so won his martyr's crown.

6. Origen, the most illustrious of Clement's scholars, wrote (253) a triumphant vindication of Christianity in refutation of the false charges made against it by Celsus, a most learned and subtle Greek philosopher, while Tertullian (204), a priest of Carthage, wrote not only a complete refutation of the charges made by the pagans against Christianity, but proved most triumphantly the divinity and perpetuity of the Catholic Church.

7. The writings of these men will ever remain as monuments of Christian faith, and full and complete refutations of the falsehoods and weaknesses of pagan philosophy. They fully cover the controversy between paganism and Christianity, and are the storehouse from which all future writers on paganism have drawn.



11.—The Doctors and Fathers of the Church.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

ST. ATHANASIUS BANISHED FROM ALEXANDRIA.


1. Besides the Apologists, who devoted themselves to the defence of Christianity, its divinity and perfection, and the refutation of paganism, God also raised up, in the subsequent ages of the Church, men of great learning and deep thought to refute the heresies that from time to time arose to disturb Christian society.

2. Those ecclesiastical writers in. the early ages of the Church who were distinguished by a holy life were honored by the title of "Fathers of the Church," while those who in earlier or later times united in themselves exceptional learning and pure Catholic teaching with holiness of life are known as "Doctors of the Church."

The most distinguished among these Doctors and Fathers of the Church were Athanasius and Chrysostom, Basil and Gregory Nazianzen in the East; Jerome, Ambrose, and Augustine in the West.

3. Athanasius distinguished himself at the Council of Nice (325) by his brilliant refutation of Arianism, while Basil (360) and Gregory labored for the general defence of the Church. St. Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople (398), called the golden-mouthed, is considered the most eloquent of all the Christian orators, a worthy rival of Cicero and Demosthenes.

4. Jerome (420) immortalized himself by his translation of the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek, giving us what is now known as the Vulgate, a work that will ever remain as a monument of erudition and correctness. Ambrose (385), Bishop of Milan, besides his able refutation of heresy and his general defence of religion, distinguished himself by his heroic rebuke of the Emperor Theodosius for the wanton massacre of the inhabitants of Thessalonica. He is also renowned as being the means in God's hands used for the conversion of St. Augustine.

5. St. Augustine was born in the year 354, and in the early part of his life embraced the errors of the Manicheans, much to the sorrow of his saintly mother, Monica. In 385 he was converted by the preaching of St. Ambrose and the prayers of his mother, and in 396 became Bishop of Hippo, Africa. St. Augustine is pre-eminently noted for his victorious defence of the Catholic religion against the heresies of his day.

6. Of all the great men known to Christianity, no two have so impressed themselves upon the Church as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, the latter born in the kingdom of Naples, Italy, 1227. The former dealt with the entire body of revealed truth—God, the Holy Trinity; man, the powers of body and soul; grace, free will, and our future destiny; the latter, with society and government. St. Augustine sought to explain the dogmas of revelation, and to refute heresy, while St. Thomas laid down the principles on which society is built, and the binding influence of religion upon king and people. Between them, the whole body of Christian dogma has been explained, and every form of heresy, so far known, refuted. Nothing escaped them. The most profound truths, equally with the most minute details, are to be found in their works.

7. Besides the above, the Church has ever had men of great learning and ability, distinguished in every branch of knowledge. In more modern times the names of Albertus Magnus (1254), St. Francis de Sales (1654), Bossuet (1704), and St. Alphonsus Liguori (1787), will easily be recalled, together with a host of others distinguished in theology and philosophy, science and literature. No institution has done so much for the development of the human intellect as the Catholic Church, nor can; for to her alone has God given the great commission, "Go teach all nations."



Second Period:
From the Fall of Rome to the Protestant Reformation



12.—The Conversion of the Barbarians.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

THE BAPTISM OF CLOVIS.


1. From the death of Christ to the fall of the Roman Empire Christianity had made great progress in Asia, Africa, and Europe. At the conversion of Constantine (312) the population of the empire appears to have been about 120,000,000, of whom 30,000,000 were Christians, leaving, as will be seen, the pagans largely in the ascendant.

2. When the barbarians came from the North and swept over Europe like an avalanche, destroying all before them, civilization seemed doomed, and would certainly have been destroyed but for the Church. But God had prepared a means of salvation, and the Church set herself to the conversion of Europe. Up to the fall of Rome, Christianity had been confined, in Europe and Africa, principally to the shores of the Mediterranean. There were flourishing churches all along the north of Africa—at Carthage, at Hippo, and in Egypt; in Europe the Faith was widespread —in Greece, in Sicily, in Italy, and in the south of France and Spain. Elsewhere in Europe Christianity was little known when Rome fell.

3. The Vandals, who settled in the north of Africa, were tainted with the Arian heresy, and long persecuted the Church there, as did the Visigoths in Spain. The Saxons destroyed almost every vestige of Christianity in Britain. From the same cause religion suffered everywhere throughout Italy and France.

4. As early as the year 241, the Franks, a German tribe, invaded France, and by degrees seized upon the greater part of the country. Clovis, their king, married Clotilda, a Christian, and a woman of great piety. She often spoke to her husband of the Christian religion, to which he became most kindly disposed. In a battle with the Germans (496), Clovis vowed that if the God of Clotilda would give him the victory, he would become a Christian. God gave him the victory, and Clovis, with more than 3000 of his army, was baptized by St. Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, being the first Catholic king of Europe. With Clovis the conversion of the whole French nation soon followed, and France has since remained one of the most faithful of the Catholic countries.

5. Shortly after the conversion of the Franks, the Suevi (562), the Visigoths (587), and (593) the Lombards of northern Italy were converted to the true Faith, but the great event of this period was the conversion of Ireland and England.



13.—The Conversion of Ireland and Scotland.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

ST. PATRICK.


1. To St. Patrick is due the credit of Christianizing Ireland by his missionary labors. The tradition is that he was born in Brittany in 387, and was captured and held a slave in Ireland for several years. He escaped to Rome, where he was ordained, and was sent by Pope Celestine to Ireland in 432.

2. His success was immediate and very great, although paganism existed and the Druids exercised great influence over their followers for more than two generations after. So zealous, however, were St. Patrick's successors after his death that they finally extirpated paganism from the island and when that was accomplished they extended their missionary labors to the continent of Europe, where for several centuries, amid the greatest hardships and under persecution, they evangelized the people in the territory extending from Italy to the Baltic Sea.

3. Many of those missionaries have been canonized, and indeed it may be said that the Christianization of the greater part of Europe was due to the Irish missionaries.

4. Count de Montalembert has devoted a work of seven volumes, entitled "The Monks of the `Vest," to the lives and labors of those holy men.

5. In the year 563 St. Columba, an Irish missionary, with twelve companions, founded at Iona, an island of Scotland, a monastery in which they began to preach to the Scots on the mainland and rapidly converted them, so that within forty years Scotland was almost entirely Christian. Among those missionaries were men of great erudition, so that, naturally, wherever they went on their apostolic labors they established scats of learning which became the parents of many schools and colleges and formed and preserved whatever civilization existed in Europe through the Middle Ages. They converted northern and central England, in fact, all of that country except what was then known as the Kingdom of Kent, which owes its conversion to St. Augustine.

6. Students thronged to those schools from all parts of Europe, and, returning to their native lands, preached the Gospel there. St. Boniface, trained in Ireland, converted Germany and Bavaria, and met with the crown of martyrdom in 755. So renowned were Irishmen for learning and sanctity that the country came to be known throughout Europe as the "Island of Saints and Scholars," a glorious title which she has ever since retained. "The classic tradition," says M. Darmesteter, "to all appearance dead in Europe, burst out into full flower in the Isle of Saints, and the Renaissance began in Ireland seven hundred years before it was known in Italy. During three centuries Ireland was the asylum of the higher learning which took sanctuary there from the uncultured states of Europe."

7. Among the many saints of Ireland might be mentioned St. Bridget, the daughter of a Leinster chieftain, founder of numerous communities of nuns; St. Columba of Columkille, the founder of many monasteries and churches in various parts of Ireland, and the Apostle of Scotland; St. Finnan, founder of the great school of Clonard; St. Kieran, who established the famous monastery of Clonmacnoise; St. Kevin, founder of Glendalough; St. Senan of Scattery Island; St. Comgall, founder of the college of Bangor; St. Columbanus, founder of the monasteries of Luxeuil and Fontaine, a learned writer; St. Gall, after whom St. Gall in Switzerland is named; St. Kilian of Franconia; St. Vergilius, bishop of Salzburg, a celebrated scientist; John Scotus Erigena, the most eminent philosopher and scholar in Europe during the middle of the ninth century. St. Brendan, a native of Kerry and Bishop of Clonfert, who was known as The Navigator, is said by some writers to have been the first to discover the American continent, in the sixth century.

8. The zeal of the Irish race in the cause of Christianity has always continued; wherever they settled they carried the Faith with them and spread it. In its practice they have largely overcome the prejudice of non-Catholics to the Church.



14.—The Conversion of England and Germany.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

ST. BONIFACE.


1. At what precise period Christianity was first preached in Britain is not positively known, but it seems quite certain that at the end of the second century Lucius, a British prince, was converted, and at his petition Pope Eleutherius sent two priests, Fugatius and Damianus, who converted many. During the persecution of Diocletian (305) quite a number were put to death, among whom St. Alban is honored as the first English martyr.

2. In the second century the Saxons were a small German tribe, but by the fourth century had grown to be a powerful people. In their piratical expeditions they often invaded Britain, and when Rome withdrew her legions, the British invited the Saxons to help them repel the attacks of the Picts and Scots. For their reward the Saxons drove out the inhabitants and divided the country into seven kingdoms, at the same time almost entirely destroying Christianity in the island.

3. In the year 597 Pope Gregory the Great sent Augustine, prior of a Benedictine convent in Rome, with a band of forty missionaries, to preach the Gospel in Britain. They were kindly received, and Ethelbert, King of Kent, with many of his people, was baptized. From Kent the Gospel spread rapidly through the other kingdoms. To meet the growing wants of the new church, Augustine went to France and at Arles was consecrated bishop. Returning to England he fixed his see at Canterbury. By the end of the seventh century the whole island was Christian.

4. With the Roman armies the Christian religion had been carried into Germany, but there was no general conversion of the nation till St. Boniface, an Anglo-Saxon, began the work in earnest. For more than thirty years he travelled over Germany and Bavaria. He found the country covered with idols; he left it Christian. In the year 755 he was put to death, a martyr of zeal.

5. The conversion of the Northern nations began only in the ninth century, and made but slow progress. The Saxons did not accept the Faith until after their subjection by Charlemagne. St. Ansgar, who died in 865, became the apostle of Denmark. Those Normans who settled in the northwestern part of France (Normandy) were converted in the first half of the tenth century, but the greater part of the nation, which had remained in Scandinavia, did not forsake its idols and profess Christianity until a hundred years later. Sts. Cyril and Methodius became the apostles of the Slays. The Poles were converted in the tenth century; the Hungarians received the Faith during the life of their holy King, St. Stephen (997–1038), and the Russians a hundred years later.

6. The struggle had beer. long and the resistance great, but in the end Christ had conquered. The Jews had tried persecution, and failed; Rome had for three hundred years warred against the Church, and failed; the barbarians had resisted, but in time were subdued; heresy and schism had striven to rend the seamless garment of Christ, and failed. God alone is great; God alone is eternal; and as He, so is His Church—spotless and eternal.



15.—Religious Orders—East.


1. From the beginning of the Church the most fervent and earnest devoted themselves to prayer and meditation, giving their goods to the poor and themselves to works of charity and penance. In the community of goods and the consecrated virgins spoken of in the New Testament is found the first germs of monastic life; but not till the middle of the third century was there anything like organized communities of Religious or any fixed Rule for their government. Up to that time each had been a rule to himself, living in his own family, or where convenience best suited.

2. In the year 251 St. Anthony was born in Egypt, of rich and virtuous parents. Hearing one day in the church the words, "If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell all thou hast and give to the poor," he took them literally. Selling all he had, he retired to the wilderness and gave himself up to prayer and fasting.

3. His food was bread, his drink water; his bed a mat, or the bare earth; his clothing a shirt of hair and a cloak of skin. After many years thus spent in the deserts of Thebais, God gave him the gift of miracles. This drew to him many followers, whom he formed into communities, and for whom he drew up rules, including the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

4. These monks, as they were called, spent their time in fasting and prayer and labor. Their food was bread and water, of which they ate but once a day, and that not till the evening; their bed a mat, and their abode a little cell or a cave in the rocks.

5. Soon these communities spread not only through Egypt and Palestine, but also through Syria and Greece, and the whole East.

6. St. Anthony died (356) at the advanced age of one hundred and five years, leaving after him the beginning of an institution that has been one of the glories of the Church, and the most powerful of means for the sanctification of souls and the promulgation of the Gospel. The monks of the East, but more particularly of the West, have been the great missionaries, the great writers and scholars, of the world. There is nothing they have not touched and nothing they have not beautified, be it history, or science, or philosophy, or theology.



16.—Religious Orders—West.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

DEATH OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.


1. The work that St. Anthony began in the desert was continued by Pachomius on the banks of the Nile; St. Hilarion, a disciple of St. Jerome, carried the monastic rule into Palestine; while St. Basil the Great, by his learning and wisdom, gave strength and knowledge to the Order. St. Augustine, in Africa (396), organized communities of women, for whom he wrote rules, yet used as the basis of the Rules for most of all the female religious communities since his time.

2. Though much had been done, as above shown, yet much had yet to be done ere monasticism would attain its power and perfection. This came in the West with St. Benedict, who was born in Italy in 480.

3. At the age of fourteen he left Rome, where he was at school, and went secretly to Subiaco, where for three years he dwelt unknown to the world. From thence he was made abbot of a monastery at Vicovaro, but the monks becoming dissatisfied with his strictness, he left and went to Monte Cassino (529), where he established a monastery that in time became the most celebrated house of learning and religion the world has ever seen.

4. Besides prayer and penance, and the usual vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, St. Benedict added labor—intellectual and manual. Under the hand of the Benedictines, deserts, marshes, and mountains became gardens; their monasteries became homes of learning; in them history was written, science cultivated, and religion and civilization found their great defenders. It is usual to decry the monks, but the fact must ever remain that through them whatever of classic lore or ancient or mediaeval history we have, has been preserved.

5. During the Middle Ages, the Benedictine, the Franciscan, and the Dominican Orders were the great religious power of Europe. To the Benedictines is due whatever of ancient civilization we have, and in the Franciscans and Dominicans we have the great preachers and theologians.

6. In the beginning monks were only laymen, and not till well on in the Middle Ages were priests admitted amongst them. In the twelfth century the Albigenses and Waldenses rose in the south of France to disturb society with their errors. To counteract their teachings, and to try to convert them, St. Dominic, a Spanish priest (1215), established the Religious Order known as the Dominicans, or Friar Preachers. To preaching they united great learning. The most distinguished among them is St. Thomas Aquinas.

7. Contemporary with St. Dominic was St. Francis of Assisi. He, too, established an Order (1223) whose end was also preaching. To learning he added extreme poverty in dress and food. St. Dominic, seeing the great success of the Franciscan Order, added poverty to his rule. Hence both Orders are known as Mendicant Orders, the members of both being required by their Rule to make begging a part of their religious life. The Benedictines, Dominicans, and Franciscans were the three great Orders of the Mediaeval Church. Other Orders arose, but they were but branches; such as the Cistercians by St. Bernard (1113), and the Carthusians (1101) under St. Bruno, who sought merely to revive the fervor of the Benedictine Rule, or to add greater rigor to its austerities.



17. Mohammedanism.


1. Mohammed was born at Mecca, in Arabia, in the year 569. In youth he engaged in commerce, but at the age of forty began to preach religion, giving himself out as a prophet. He promised his followers wealth and power in this world, and a paradise of sensual pleasures in the next. He also taught the doctrine of fatalism.

2. Aided, it is said, by an apostate monk, Mohammed composed a book, known as the Koran, filled with fables and maxims drawn from the Old and New Testaments. He held that Christ was a prophet, and that there was but one God. He forbade the use of pork or wine to his followers, but permitted polygamy.

3. In the year 622 Mohammed fled to Medina, where he began a war on all who would not believe in him. In 630, at the head of an army, he returned to Mecca, took it, and at once began a career of conquest seldom equaled by the most renowned.

4. At his death (632) all Arabia had accepted Mohammed, and, within twenty years after, his successors had subdued Syria and Palestine, Egypt and Persia (651). From Asia they swept along the Mediterranean, subduing Northern Africa (707), and so completely destroying Christianity that scarce a vestige remains. Thence they passed over to Spain (711) and seized upon the greater part of the country.

5. The Christians that were spared fled to the mountains. For seven hundred years war between the Mohammedans and Christians of Spain was carried on, and only ended (1492) when, under Ferdinand and Isabella, the Moorish city of Granada was taken, and the Moors finally driven out or converted.

6. In 732 a countless host of Mohammedans, or, as they were also called, Saracens, invaded the south of France, carrying destruction and ruin everywhere. Wherever they had come, so far, their power had been irresistible. Europe seemed destined to fall before them, as Asia and Africa had already done. But at this moment God raised up in France Duke Charles, surnamed Martel, who with his army met the Saracens near Poitiers, where a great battle was fought. The Saracens were defeated, and it is said three hundred thousand of them were left dead upon the field. Christendom was saved, and the further progress of the Mohammedans was forever arrested in Europe.



18.—Temporal Power of the Popes.


1. From the time of Constantine (330), the Roman emperors had gradually concentrated their power in the East, leaving Rome and the West much to itself. During the invasions of the barbarians the people began to look to the Popes for protection, so that from the necessities of the times the Popes became, to a great extent, the civil as well as the ecclesiastical rulers of Rome. This was finally and formally settled in 755 by the act of Pepin, King of France, and later in 774, by Charlemagne.

2. In 755, while Stephen II filled the pontifical chair, the Lombards, under their king, Astolphus, invaded the Roman territory and laid waste the surrounding country. Having in vain appealed to the Eastern emperor for assistance, the Pope turned to Pepin, son of Charles Martel, who crossed the Alps, drove back the Lombards, and by a solemn act gave to the Pope and his successors forever the territory of Rome and Ravenna, together with Bologna and Ferrara, and a considerable portion of the territory stretching along the Adriatic.

3. Twenty years later (774), when the Lombards a third time attacked Rome, Charlemagne crossed into Italy, and defeating them, confirmed the grant given to Pope Stephen, adding new territory to the original gift. From that time to 1870 the Popes governed Rome and the states above named. In 1870 Victor Emmanuel, King of Sardinia, invaded the states of the Church, and took Rome. The Eternal city has since been held by the Italian Government; and the Popes, in protest, have remained within the Vatican.

4. Though these temporal possessions are not essential to the existence of the Church to-day any more than they were during the first three centuries of Christianity, yet they are of immense benefit. The necessities of religion require that the Pope be independent of kings and princes, that he be free from the intrigues of courts and politicians, and that he be free to communicate with the bishops of the world. This he cannot do if he is dependent on any government for his liberty, nor can he act freely and independently with governments if he is subject to any particular government. This is well seen in the present condition of Rome, where infidels are robbing the Church and destroying religion.



19.—The Crusades.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

PREACHING THE CRUSADES.


1. In the year 614 the Persians captured the city of Jerusalem, persecuted the people of Palestine, and carried off the true cross, which the pious queen Helena had discovered. The Greek emperor, Heraclius, freed Jerusalem and brought back the true cross in solemn procession. Twenty-four years later Jerusalem was again captured, this time by the Mohammedans, who pillaged the city and subjected the Christians to great hardships.

2. During the reign of Charlemagne the western empire assumed much of its ancient glory and power. The Mohammedans were kept in check, and the Christians in the East were to some extent protected against cruelties and persecutions. But after his death (814) persecution was renewed, and continued to the end of the eleventh century, when the first Crusade began.

3. During the eleventh century religious zeal ran very high, and many visited the Holy Land as pious pilgrims. On these pilgrimages they were subjected to great indignities, the Mohammedans robbing them and often putting them to death or reducing them to slavery.

4. The recital of these indignities and persecutions greatly excited the Christians of Europe. Popes Sylvester II and Gregory VII appealed to the Christian princes of Europe to protect the Christians in the East, and to free Jerusalem from the power of the Mussulman.

5. In the year 1094 Peter, surnamed the Hermit, visited the Holy Land, and on his return spoke to Pope Urban II of the distress of the Christians in the East, The Pope called a council at Clermont, at which it was resolved to recover Jerusalem.

6. Amid great enthusiasm large armies were raised. Cries of "God wills it" were everywhere heard. The march was begun, and soon Constantinople was reached. Nice was taken; Antioch fell into the hands of the Crusaders, and in a short time the most of Palestine was in possession of the Christians.

7. When the Crusaders first saw Jerusalem from a neighboring hill, they fell on their knees and kissed the ground, then, rising and shouting "God wills it," rushed to the attack. For five weeks the Mussulman held the walls, but on Friday, July 15, 1099, at three o'clock in the afternoon, the city was taken by assault, and the Tomb of Christ was in the hands of the Crusaders.

8. Eight days after, Godfrey of Bouillon was elected king; but, when offered a golden crown, he refused to wear it, saying "that it was not fit that he should wear a crown of gold where the King of kings had worn a crown of thorns."

9. By the battle of Ascalon, fought on the 12th of August of the same year, the whole of Palestine fell into the hands of the Crusaders. Jerusalem remained in possession of the Christians for eighty-eight years, when it was again taken by the Saracens (1187), and, with the exception of a short interval of eleven years, from 1228 to 1239, it was under the dominion of the Turks until 1917, when it was retaken by the English army operating in Palestine during the World War.



20.—The Crusades. (Concluded.)


1. In 1144 the Moslems attacked the Christians of Palestine; Edessa was taken and the inhabitants put to the sword.

When the news reached Europe St. Bernard was preaching a new Crusade. Thereupon Louis VII, King of France, and Conrad III, Emperor of Germany, raised two large armies and marched for the Holy Land. They failed; and after an ineffectual attempt to reduce Damascus, returned with but a remnant of their armies.

2. After the fall of Jerusalem in 1187, the Emperor of Germany, Frederick Barbarossa, and Philip, King of France, with Richard Coeur-de-Lion, King of England, raised each an army, and in 1189 marched for Jerusalem. Frederick died on the journey. After a siege of twenty-three months Acre was taken, when Philip returned, leaving Richard to continue the war. In 1192 Richard concluded a treaty with the Turks, by which the Christians were at liberty to visit Jerusalem and Palestine without molestation. With his return ended this third and best-equipped of all the Crusades.

3. A fourth (1203) and a fifth (1228) Crusade were undertaken for the defence of Palestine. In the former, Constantinople was taken, and for fifty-six years was held by Baldwin, Count of Flanders, and his successors; by the latter, Jerusalem was ceded to Frederick II, Emperor of Germany, but no substantial benefits remained to the Christians by either expedition.

4. In 1244 the Turks burst into Syria, and, overrunning Palestine, again took Jerusalem and pillaged it. To repel these barbarians, St. Louis, King of France, headed the sixth Crusade, but was defeated and taken prisoner (1250). On the payment of a large ransom he was set at liberty, and, with other prisoners, returned to France. Twenty years after (1270), Louis undertook still another Crusade, but his fleet was driven by adverse winds to the coast of Africa, where he landed his troops near the site of ancient Carthage. A virulent plague breaking out, his army was swept away, and he himself fell a victim.

5. Though the Crusades had failed to free the Holy Land from the power of the infidel, and had cost Europe immense loss of both men and treasure, yet they were not without benefit. By them commerce had been enlarged, knowledge increased, and the refinement of the East brought to the West. The fine arts, a wider knowledge of geography and mathematics, and the institution of chivalry, were some of the advantages derived from the Crusades, to which must be added the stop they put to Mohammedan conquest.



21.—Science and Literature during the Middle Ages.


1. In the fall of the Roman Empire and the invasion of Europe by the barbarians literature received a rude shock, and for a time science and letters seemed doomed; but God had provided a savior in the monks, with whom some of the princes and rulers co-operated.

2. Owing to the disturbed state of society occasioned by the constant wars of the barbarians and the devastations consequent thereon, for a time little could be done for the cultivation of letters. The wonder is not that so little was done, but that under the circumstances so much was done.

3. With the reorganization of the empire under Pepin, King of France (741), and its final consolidation under his son Charlemagne (800), literature began to revive. Charlemagne was a great patron of letters. Under his reign, notwithstanding his continual wars, he established schools, and gathered together the learned from his whole empire.

4. From England he invited Alcuin (804), a distinguished scholar and pupil of the Venerable Bede, under whose direction academies were established, and the sons of the more wealthy flocked to his lectures. Alcuin spoke Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; was master of philosophy, theology, history, and mathematics. Under his teaching, the schools of France soon became celebrated, and scholars from all Europe came to learn wisdom at his lips. The impulse thus given to letters by Charlemagne was continued by his successors.

5. Alfred the Great, King of England (870), after defeating the Danes and driving them out of the country, also turned his attention to the education of his people. For this purpose he in turn invited men of learning from France, founded schools, and encouraged letters, so that under his reign science and learning made great progress.

6. Otho, Emperor of Germany (973), was also a great patron of education; he established schools and patronized the learned. His example revived and infused new life into the schools of France and England. During this period the schools of Ireland were also very celebrated; so much so, that as many as twenty-five thousand scholars are said to have attended at one time the schools of Armagh.

7. In the year 529 the celebrated monastery of Monte Cassino, in Italy, was founded by St. Benedict; and by the end of the 12th century the monasteries of Cluny in France, Bee in Normandy, and the schools of Oxford and Canterbury in England had grown into great repute. Popes Sylvester II (1003) and Gregory VII (1013) were also great patrons of learning, besides being defenders of the Faith; while Lanfranc and St. Anselm, in England, had rendered illustrious the see of Canterbury, and by their learning adorned the age in which they lived.



22.—The Monks and Literature.


1. It is popular with modern historians to decry the monks, and to accuse them of laziness and ignorance. Because, forsooth, steamboats, telegraphs, and railroads were unknown to the Middle Ages, then the men of the past were ignorant, and the Church sought to keep the world in darkness. This is not correct either in fact or in reason.

2. The truth is, there was much more learning among the masses, and scholars far more profound, during the Middle Ages, than has been generally admitted. The usual mode of reasoning is to compare the past with the present, and if the present has what the past had not, then to conclude that the past was buried in darkness, and that ignorance reigned supreme. The unfairness of this reasoning is easily seen.

3. To reason justly we must consider the condition of the past—the disruption of society by the fall of Rome, the devastation of Europe by the barbarians, and the necessary reorganization of society and the formation of new governments. To these must be added the ignorance and number of the slaves, the rudeness of the barbarians, and the continual wars consequent on the rude and uncivilized state of society.

4. To overcome the above, schools and colleges had to be established, manners softened, the barbarian civilized, and slavery abolished. Yet all this was done during the Middle Ages; and, though learning was not as diffused among the people then as now, yet there were scholars not only as profound as any of to-day, but they found audiences fully as able to understand and appreciate them as any we find in modern times.

5. At first the monks were but cultivators of the soil; but as the monasteries grew in size and wealth they opened hospitals, then schools, where rich and poor were free to attend. In these schools were taught grammar and rhetoric, arithmetic and logic, Greek and Roman classics.

6. The best fitted among the monks were selected, some to teach, some to copy, some to write on history or Sacred Scripture. Others devoted themselves to science, or architecture, or the fine arts.

7. The churches and monasteries that time, fire, and the Reformation have spared show the state of perfection to which architecture was carried, as also carving and painting. To these must be added music, and the discoveries and inventions of the Middle Ages, showing not only a high degree of intelligence, but causing wonder to the honest-minded that so much could have been done in the midst of so much that was adverse.

8. The writings of Bede, Alcuin, Scotus Erigena, Ger.—bert, Anselm, Bernard, Bonaventure, St. Thomas, Dante, Petrarch, show not only men of profound minds, but men of most extensive learning. By their fruits let the past be judged, and by them it will be seen that the Middle Ages were neither so dark, nor Catholics so ignorant, as so-called history pretends to tell.



23.—Discoveries and Inventions of Catholics.


[Illustration] from Bible History for Catholics by R. Gilmour

THE CATHEDRAL OF COLOGNE.


1. A common mode of reasoning is to assume that the past is not equal to the present, or vice versa, as it best suits our vanity. So men of modern times very often assume that an improvement is a discovery. That the present age has improved on the past is not to be doubted, but that much that is really original has been either invented or discovered in the present age may be very honestly doubted, It is also commonly assumed that Catholics have done nothing for either science or art. This is a grave mistake, as will be seen by the following list of discoveries and inventions, all by Catholics, and many of them before the Protestant Reformation.

2. Architecture, music, sculpture, painting, glass-staining, and such like have been always taken as criterions of the civilization of which they were the outcome. The architectures of Rome and Greece and Babylon and Egypt are taken to-day as signs of the advanced state of civilization in those countries, when they built to the wonder of the world. So we can point to the great cathedrals of Europe, such as Cologne, Spire, Milan, Canterbury, and Winchester, that to-day are the wonder and admiration of all, as monuments of the high cultivation of the Middle Ages, when they were built.

3. Besides this may be mentioned the cultivation and manufacture of silk introduced into Europe by two monks in the year 551; the invention of water-mills (555), window-glass for churches and dwellings (601), bells for churches (605), organs (673); paper, made of cotton (706), made of linen (1270); the Gregorian Chant, by Pope Gregory the Great (600), to which was added the gamut, or scale in music, that so aids in its study; also clocks with balance and wheels (1089); glass-staining, with the art of imprinting figures upon it (1199); gunpowder (1214), watches (1306), and the mariner's compass (1310).

4. To these inventions of the Middle Ages must be added the inventions and discoveries made by Catholics before and since the Reformation. Amongst these are printing (1400), the discovery of America and its partial colonization in the 11th century, and its after discovery in 1492 by Columbus, also the doubling of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497.

5. In 1542 the Solar System was discovered by Copernicus, and in 1543 steamboat navigation was demonstrated in Spain by Blasco de Garay. The rotundity of the earth was taught by Virgilius (764), afterwards by Dante (1320) in his immortal Inferno, and in 1610 its motion was demonstrated by Galileo, as also the satellites of Jupiter discovered. In 1582 the Calendar now used was corrected by Pope Gregory.

6. In 1597 the thermometer was invented by Galileo; the telescope and microscope in 1609, and the barometer in 1643. In 1630 the art of enameling on ivory was invented, and in 1780 galvanism was discovered. The weaving of satin and broadcloth were discoveries of the Middle Ages (1189).

7. When we add to all this the abolition of slavery in Europe, the civilization of the barbarians, the softening of manners, the elevation of woman, the Magna Charta, trial by jury, the habeas corpus, the Common Law, and the sanctity of home—all the direct results of the teachings of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages—it will be seen that not only has the Church been no obstacle to progress, but her children were the pioneers of every branch of science. Yes, every branch of modern science owes, not only its origin, but the main part of its growth, to Catholic scientists, so that it can be said with sincerest truth that the scepter of Science belongs to the Church.



Third Period:
From the Reformation to the French Revolution



24.—Causes of the Reformation.


1. Two causes largely contributed to the success of the religious revolt, or the so-called Reformation, in the sixteenth century—one the decline of morals, the other the spread of the heresies of Wyclif and Hus. The great progress in manufactures and commerce made it possible for merchants to accumulate great wealth. This opened the way to abuses of all kinds, and soon led to a general looseness of morals. At that time the nobles were permitted to nominate bishops and abbots, and only the wealthy could obtain these offices. This brought about great laxity among the clergy and in the monasteries, whence it gradually worked down through the masses. The discovery of printing about the time of Luther rendered possible the rapid spread of heresy, to which must be added the long contest between the Church and the secular powers, which had greatly weakened authority.

2. In the year 1356, John Wyclif, a fellow of Oxford University in England, began to preach against the Mendicant Orders. Four years after, he attacked the whole ecclesiastical order, teaching that the Pope was not the head of the Church, nor were the bishops superior to priests; that priests and civil magistrates lost their authority when they fell into mortal sin, ending all by the denial of Transubstantiation.

3. These doctrines readily found followers, who, under the name of Lollards, created great disturbance, assuming the right to preach when and where they pleased. In 1380 Wyclif translated the Bible into English, and four years later died, after having been condemned by the Pope and several Councils in England. His doctrines were finally condemned at the Council of Constance (1414).

4. In 1402 Jerome of Prague returned from Oxford, where he had been studying, and began to preach the doctrines of Wyclif. He was seconded by John Hus of the same place, who not only taught the condemned doctrines of Wyclif, but went further—denying the authority of the Pope, attacking the clergy, the doctrines of the Church on indulgences, the Blessed Virgin, the Saints, and communion under one kind,

5. Hus's doctrines spread rapidly through Bohemia. In 1414 the Council of Constance was held, before which he appeared, was condemned, and burned at the stake (1415). The same fate befell Jerome of Prague, May 30, 1416. The followers of Hus rose in great force, overran Bohemia, and were not finally subdued till 1436; but by this time his doctrines were widespread. The tares had been sown, and in 1517 brought forth their fruit in the heresy of Luther, when he began to preach against indulgences, and to maintain the heresies taught by Wyclif and Hus.

6. It can not be denied that the laxity of morals greatly contributed to the spread of these heresies, while the wealth of the Church afforded a specious pretext to attack the clergy. Besides, as will be readily seen, the doctrines of Wyclif and Hus appealed to the worst passions, exciting directly to rebellion against authority. The same was true in a worse degree of Luther's doctrines, exciting not only to rebellion against authority, but appealing to the worst form of intellectual pride.



25.—Luther.


1. November 10, 1483, Martin Luther, the chief of the Protestant Reformers, was born in Eisleben, in Saxony. In 1505 he became a monk of the Order of St. Augustine, and shortly after was appointed professor in the University of Wittenberg.

2. In 1517 Pope Leo X published a jubilee, and directed that the alms to be given should be sent to Rome to help complete the great Cathedral of St. Peter, then being built. Tetzel, Superior of the Dominicans, was appointed to preach this jubilee throughout Germany, which greatly displeased Luther, because of the slight, as he supposed, that had thus been thrown upon the Augustinians by not inviting them to preach the jubilee.

3. At first Luther attacked only the Dominicans, but in a short time he also attacked the doctrine of indulgences itself, publishing, October 31, 1517, his famous declaration of principles, in which were embodied the germs of the Protestant Reformation. In 1520 his doctrines were condemned by the Pope and he himself excommunicated.

4. In 1522 Luther translated the Bible into German, and with it proclaimed the doctrine of "an open Bible and free interpretation" as a fundamental doctrine. He also denied the supremacy of the Pope, the authority of the Church, the celibacy of the clergy, the efficacy of the sacraments, the doctrine of purgatory, and the teachings of the Church on justification and original sin.

5. He forbade his followers to honor the Saints or to obey the commandments of the Church, rejecting all the sacraments except Baptism and the Lord's Supper. He also taught that faith without  good works would secure man's salvation, contrary to the Catholic doctrine, which teaches that men are saved by faith with good works.

6. Luther with his "open Bible and free interpretation" paved the way to the multiplicity of sects and the vagaries of opinion into which Protestantism has divided. In 1525 Luther married Catherine von Bora, a nun whom he had persuaded to leave her convent, and in 1546 he died, with Protestantism torn into pieces by contending sects.

7. The doctrines of Luther spread rapidly throughout Saxony, the north of Germany, and Prussia. Thence they passed into Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, encouraged by princes and kings, and everywhere accompanied with bloodshed and disorder.

8. In 1545 the Council of Trent was convened, and, after seventeen years of careful examination, condemned the heresies of Luther, at the same time affirming the true doctrine on the sacraments, grace, original sin, justification, and free will. The Canon of Scripture was more precisely determined, and many wise laws published. For over three hundred years no new Council was held till 1869, when the Council of the Vatican assembled, but in 1870 was forced to adjourn in consequence of the seizure of Rome by Victor Emmanuel, as has been seen.



26.—Spread of the Religious Revolt.


1. Protestantism had overthrown the old religion, and had substituted nothing but disorder and division in its place. The chiefs of the religious revolution, fearing the universal destruction of Christian virtue, now called upon the temporal rulers to come to the rescue. One State after another saw its sovereign embrace Lutheranism. Everywhere the churches were violently taken from Catholics, priests and monks were driven away, and the possessions of the Church were confiscated.

2. In Switzerland the eastern cantons were lost to the Church mainly through the influence of Zwingli, an apostate military chaplain. He began to preach his heretical doctrines in Zurich and Constance in 1523, and in the next year he married. Some of the western cantons adopted the teachings of the Anabaptists, who denied the validity of infant Baptism. Thus it followed that rival leagues were formed, and in 1531 war broke out between the Catholic and Protestant cantons, in which the former were victorious. In the following year a convention was held which granted each canton the liberty to establish its own belief and form of government.

3. Frederick I of Denmark permitted the Lutheran preachers to spread the new creed in his kingdom, and soon after (1526) openly professed the heresy himself. His son and successor, Christian II, made Lutheranism the established religion of the country. Bishops were imprisoned and robbed of their possessions, Religious of both sexes had to leave their monasteries, and their property was confiscated.

4. To prevent the clergy from holding too much power in Sweden, the king, Gustavus Vasa, introduced the "Reformed" religion, much against the will of the people. The king and the nobles appropriated the Church lands, monks and nuns were driven out of their monasteries, or put to death with great cruelty. At a diet held in 1544, all the feast-days were suppressed, and most of the Catholic customs were done away with. Moreover, the declaration was made that the country would "never again abandon the word of God and the pure Gospel," referring to the Protestant Bible, which had been translated into the language of the people.

5. Norway was still subject to Danish rule, and the government took advantage of its power to force the new gospel on the people. Protestantism found its way even to Iceland, about the year 1550.

6. The new sects made inroads into Austria and Bavaria, and gained many adherents in Hungary and Poland, though these countries never abandoned the true Faith. At the opening date of the Council of Trent, 1545, Protestantism had almost reached its high-water mark in Europe. From the time that the Council, after many interruptions, was brought to a close in 1563, various causes combined to bring about a gradual retrogression.

7. Previous to the religious revolt, the Netherlands consisted of a number of provinces, each having its own governor. One of these, William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, by his intrigues, drew the people into revolt against the Church and their sovereign. Heretical preachers spread their doctrines with great boldness, and in 1578 the provinces split into two distinct groups. Those of the north formed a league called the Union of Utrecht, and demanded freedom of worship for the Protestants; while those of the south firmly upheld the supremacy of Catholicism. The united provinces gradually formed the independent republic of Holland. It was recognized as such at the Treaty of Westphalia (1648), and was universally regarded as the champion of Protestantism.



27.—Calvin and Knox.


1. John Calvin was born 1509 at Noyon, France, and died at Geneva, 1564. At first he studied for the priesthood and received Minor Orders, but afterwards studied law. In 1532 he adopted the doctrines of Luther, and in 1535 published his celebrated "Institutions," in which he taught that all men were predestined by the forewill of God to heaven or hell; thus destroying free will, and making God the author of sin.

2. In 1536 he went to Geneva, whence, two years later, he was banished because of his great rigor and vehemence. In 1541 he returned, and from that time to his death (1564) ruled Geneva with a rod of iron. In 1553 he burned Servetus, because he taught doctrines on the Trinity objectionable to Calvin, thus denying to others the freedom he claimed for himself.

3. Calvin forbade all religious ceremonies, denying the Mass, the Real Presence, and the sacramental character of bishops and priests.

4. From Geneva, Calvin directed his disciples and followers in France. The French Calvinists, called Huguenots, became both a political and a military power in their country. They formed a great secret society, and gradually threatened to overthrow the government itself. They brought on the civil wars called "wars of religion," which during thirty years devastated the country, and were marked by rude vandalism and many bloody massacres.

5. Calvin was a man of strong character, great rigor, and deep, resolute will. He is by many deemed the soul of the Reformation. He was perhaps the most highly gifted of all the reformers, and his writings, especially on the Scriptures, are still held in great esteem by Protestants. His doctrines were condemned by the Council of Trent, together with those of Luther.

6. John Knox, author of the Reformation in Scotland, was born in the year 1505. He was ordained a priest, but in 1547 began to preach against the Pope and the Mass. He was a man of violent temper and rude manners. In 1554 he adopted the doctrines of Calvin, and succeeded in having them so universally adopted in Scotland that Catholicity was almost entirely rejected by the Scotch. He died in 1572, revered by the Scotch, but known in history as the "ruffian of the Reformation."



28.—The Protestant Reformation in England.


1. In the beginning, Henry VIII, King of England, was strongly opposed to the doctrines of Luther, writing a book against him, for which he was called by the Pope "Defender of the Faith," a title still retained by the kings and queens of England.

2. In 1509 he married Catherine of Aragon, but twenty-four years after conceived an unlawful passion for Anne Boleyn, waiting-maid to the queen. Because the Pope refused to divorce him from his lawful wife, Catherine, he declared himself head of the Church in England, forced Parliament to divorce him (1533), then publicly married Anne Boleyn, to whom he had been already privately married some months before.

3. Three years later (1536) he had her beheaded, and on the next day married Jane Seymour, who died the year following, when he again married. Within six months this marriage was also annulled, and he married Catherine Howard, who was beheaded the next year, when he married again. He was preparing to have his sixth wife divorced when he himself died, despised and detested by all. Such was the man who began the Reformation in England.

4. After the death of Henry VIII (1547), the Reformation was continued by Edward VI (1547–1553) and Elizabeth (1558–1603). During the reign of Elizabeth, the ancient hierarchy became extinct in England, and Catholicity was almost entirely destroyed. The persecution of Catholics continued under her successors, with short intermissions, until the end of the eighteenth century.

5. When Henry VIII separated from the Church, he began a most violent persecution, seizing upon the monasteries, driving out the Religious, and dividing their lands among his partisans. Prison, fines, confiscation, torture, death, was the doom of all who refused to acknowledge him as the head of the Church. He beheaded Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and Thomas More, Chancellor, two of the most distinguished men of England, because they would not sanction his divorce or acknowledge his supremacy in spiritual matters.

6. To the schism of Henry, Edward and Elizabeth added heresy, suppressing the Mass, destroying images, pillaging and profaning churches, changing dogma and ceremonies, the nation basely accepting all at the beck of its rulers. From the death of Elizabeth (1603) to the present day, the "English Church," as it is now called, has been but the slave of the State, the kings and queens of England being its head.

7. To make converts, Catholicity has ever appealed to reason; Protestantism, like Mohammedanism, to force and violence. In England and Scotland Protestantism was forced upon the people by fines, imprisonment, and death; in Germany and Prussia, Sweden and Denmark and Norway, the same. In America the Puritans acted in like manner.

8. Protestantism began with "an open Bible and free interpretation," and has ended in division and disbelief. By this principle every one becomes judge of what he will or will not believe. Hence, amongst Protestants there are almost as many religions as there are individuals, the churches divided and torn into pieces, ending in infidelity. On the other hand, Catholicity remains ever the same; because Catholicity is truth, and truth changes not.



29.—The Church in Other Lands.


1. Of all the northern nations, Ireland alone held fast to the true religion, and defied the assaults of heresy. After a long and bloody struggle for liberty, the country was conquered by Elizabeth, Queen of England. She imposed upon the people a whole hierarchy of Protestant archbishops, bishops, and rectors, whom the nation had to support, although they did nothing, for they had no flocks to tend. Laws were made forbidding Catholics to own property, and rewards were offered to those who would apostatize. Hundreds of priests were martyred for the Faith, and thousands were sent into exile. These persecutions tended but to strengthen the faith of the people, and this, along with the glorious record of saintly martyrs, proved a consolation to the Church. Many of the exiled priests went to America, where they planted the old faith in the virgin soil of the Western Continent.

2. Spain was another Catholic country which resisted the strong current of Protestantism. The number of illustrious saints raised up by God, during this period of spiritual desolation, in some manner compensated for the losses which the Church sustained through the apostasy of so many of her children. St. Ignatius Loyola, born in 1491, the founder of the Society of Jesus, was called by God to defend the Church against Luther, Calvin, and their followers. Other saints were St. Francis Xavier, the Apostle of India; St. Francis Borgia; St. John of the Cross; and St. Teresa.

3. In North America the labors of the missionaries were most consoling to the Church. In a few years whole tribes of natives submitted to the teachings of the Gospel. French missionaries founded churches among the Hurons and Algonquins, and the fierce Iroquois became fervent Christians by the power of Divine grace. Las Casas, a Spanish Dominican, labored during fifty years among the Indians of the Antilles and converted thousands to the Faith.

4. In South America every country had its flourishing missions. In 1555 Spanish missionaries civilized the wandering tribes of Paraguay, formed them into a nation, taught them the arts and sciences, and erected schools and workshops. Many of these converts served God with all the piety and zeal of the first Christians.

5. The Church made wonderful progress in Asia. St. Francis Xavier and his companions converted many in India. In Japan the number of Christians rose to several hundred thousand, many of whom, amid the fiercest persecutions, glorified God by their holy lives, and won the martyr's crown.

6. China, too, had its martyrs. The Jesuit missionaries were the first to open this new field to the fructifying seed of the Gospel. Later on (1631), the Dominicans landed in China, and converted many to the Faith.

7. The Philippines, discovered by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, had been named by him San Lazaro. Later on, the name was changed to Filipino, in honor of Philip II of Spain. In 1564 Legaspi left Mexico for the Philippines, taking with him some Augustinian Fathers, who began at once to labor at the conversion of the natives. A few years later Bishop Salazar, a Dominican, arrived, with a few Jesuits. He is one of the most prominent figures in the history of the Philippines. The Franciscans came to the islands in 1577, and a few years later the Dominicans. These zealous missionaries won the natives by their self-sacrificing devotedness, and converted them in great numbers. The missionaries wrote books in the native dialects, established schools, and labored untiringly at the material and moral improvement of the people.

8. The Capuchin missionaries labored successfully in Africa. They converted many in Mozambique and along the eastern coast. The King of Abyssinia was converted in 1626, but his successors drove the missionaries from the country.

9. Besides these consoling conquests of souls among pagan nations, another feature stands out prominently in the history of this period. The Church of God was guided through these troublesome times by a number of illustrious and saintly Popes. When the Protestant revolt began in 1517, the See of Peter was occupied by Leo X. He was a great promoter of science and art, and he contributed largely to the cultural development of the West. Paul III (1534–1549) was a Pope of commanding virtue and great personality. He actually turned the tide of the times in favor of religion. He especially encouraged the many Religious Orders which appeared at that time, such as the Capuchins, Barnabites, Jesuits, Ursulines, and others. St. Pius V (1566–1572) was a Dominican. He brought about the coalition of fleets that defeated the Turks in the famous battle of Lepanto in 1571. Gregory XIII (1572–1585) gave to the world the reformed calendar. He spared no efforts to restore the Faith in countries that had become Protestant. Sixtus V (1585–1590) published the Vulgate edition of the Bible. He also established the Roman Congregations, each of which is charged with special ecclesiastical affairs. Paul V (1605–1621) was very zealous in preserving the purity of the Faith. He did very much for the education of the clergy, and promoted the works of the missions. Gregory XV (1621–1623) instituted the Congregation of the Propaganda, which controls and sustains the work of foreign missions.



30.—Religious Orders.


1. Various causes prevented the continuous sessions of the Council of Trent, so that eighteen years elapsed before the Council closed in December, 1563. Never before had the Christian doctrine been so ably defended and so clearly defined, and never had it been so evident that the Spirit of God was at work in the guidance of the Catholic Church. The Fathers of the Council, returning to their homes, carried its decrees to all parts of the world, and labored earnestly to have them put into practice.

2. During the period of years covered by the sessions of the Council, the work of God was going on in England, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, and the Church was full of promise. Many of the older Religious Orders had been reformed, and new Religious Congregations were established. In many places nations were won back to the unity of the Faith, and a great impetus was given to the Christian education of youth. Although these glorious works developed as time went on, the fact that not more was really accomplished was due to the constant struggle going on between the Church and the spirit of heresy and infidelity, which had its origin in the Protestant Reformation.

3. At the time when Henry VIII was drawing the English nation from their allegiance to the Church, St. Ignatius Loyola founded the Society of Jesus. Ignatius was a Spanish nobleman. While on a bed of suffering, he read the lives of Jesus Christ and of the saints. Enlightened by grace, he resolved on doing great things for the cause of God and religion. He prepared himself for his lifework by prayer and penance, and by years of study at the University of Paris. Here he gathered about him a few generous souls among the professors and students, and these formed the nucleus of the Society. As his plan developed, the new institute was approved by Paul III. The virtue and learning of these apostolic men soon won universal admiration. As teaching was a fundamental duty of the Society of Jesus, schools, colleges, and universities were soon established under the direction of the Jesuit Fathers. St. Ignatius himself founded two colleges in the Eternal City.

4. Of St. Philip Neri it may be said that he was the principal cause of the spiritual renovation in Rome. Although he had influence even as a layman, after his ordination to the priesthood his power over men grew all the more. He loved to gather the young about him, and he was eminently successful in making virtue attractive to them. A number of priests gathered about him, and lived under his guidance. Large crowds of people repaired to the churches where he held the services. These churches of St. Philip were called oratories, and his disciples, Oratorians. The Oratorians did not form a Religious Order, but they lived in community, without being bound by the vows of religion.

5. The Congregation of the Mission, or the Lazarists founded in France by St. Vincent de Paul (1624) were the first to begin the work of giving missions to the people. They went in bands, and passed from one town to another. They preached, explained the Catechism, heard confessions, and brought thousands to the profession and practice of their Faith.



31.—Religious Orders. (Concluded.)


1. The first Order devoted to the education of girls dates back to the sixteenth century. St. Angela Merici is claimed to be the founder. Separate Congregations were formed in '.different centers. They chose St. Ursula as their patron and were called Ursulines. During the first hundred years of its existence, the Order established houses in almost every country of Europe.

2. The Order of the Visitation was founded in 1618 by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal. The members of the Order devote themselves to works of mercy, and to the education of girls.

3. The Daughters of St. Vincent de Paul were founded in 1633. The members devote themselves to the relief of suffering in hospitals, in prisons and orphanages, and on the battlefield. Before the French Revolution, the Sisters of Charity, by which name they are more generally known, had 426 establishments in different parts of Europe.

4. In 1680 St. John Baptist de la Salle founded the Congregation known as the Christian Brothers. He established schools for the purpose of teaching children and youth the pure doctrine of the Gospel and the practice of Christian virtue.

5. The Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, whose members are generally known as Redemptorists, was founded in 1732 by St. Alphonsus Liguori. The object of this great saint and doctor of the Church was to multiply the number of apostolic missionaries, who would win back to God multitudes of misguided men. The secret societies met no greater foe than the Redemptorist missionaries.



Fourth Period.
From the French Revolution to the Present Time



32.—The French Revolution.


1. Though Calvinism had spread to certain parts in France, it was generally repressed and almost destroyed by the strong Catholic faith of the people and the untiring efforts of the clergy. About the middle of the seventeenth century, a heresy sprang up known as Jansenism. It spread rapidly in France and in the Netherlands. The heretics abolished frequent Communion, and their stern and rigid doctrines tended to diminish confidence in God's mercy. This condition of things was one of the causes that led up to the French Revolution.

2. Gallicanism was another one of the evils that beset the French nation. The kings claimed certain rights from the days of feudalism. They called these "Gallican Liberties." One of these permitted the king to dispose of vacant benefices in some of the provinces. The result was that such benefices were bestowed upon the younger sons of the nobility, who often became priests for the purpose of being promoted to bishoprics. Among the articles of Gallicanism were these, that the Pope's decision in points of faith was not infallible unless attended by the consent of the Church and that in spiritual matters he was subject to a General Council. The result was that many lost faith in the supreme authority of the Holy See, and the bonds which united the people to the center of Christianity were gradually slackened.

3. The other enemies of the Church were the self-styled philosophers of the eighteenth century. These were for the most part literary men of distinction. Owing to their elegant style of writing, they gained many readers, especially among those affected by Jansenism, Gallicanism, or the prevalent vices of French society. The false philosophers set religion aside, and proclaimed reason the highest authority in all intellectual and spiritual matters. Pure reason and the sovereignty of the people were to be the only ruling powers in the world, and, God being put aside, humanity would make the earth a paradise of delight. Voltaire and Rousseau were the chief promoters of this false philosophy.

4. Secret societies, especially freemasonry, philosophism, infidel literature, and the bad example of many who held offices in Church and State, had rapidly gained ground in France, and were threatening the destruction of the country. Besides, the nation was heavily in debt. The people were burdened with taxes, while the nobility and higher clergy were exempted. The National Assembly then proceeded to confiscate the property of the Church, in order to pay off the nation's debt. All monasteries and convents were suppressed, and their inmates dispersed.

5. After the Religious were removed, the Church itself was attacked by the revolutionists. They made laws according to which the Pope was to be ignored, and bishops and priests were to be elected by the people. This reform was called the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy." No priest or bishop could be nominated to any office without taking the oath of fidelity to this Constitution. Those who refused to take the oath were not allowed to exercise their functions, while the comparatively small number of those who consented were appointed to important positions. Pope Pius VI issued a decree condemning the appointments, and ordered all ecclesiastics who had taken the oath to retract under pain of suspension. The Assembly then condemned to exile all priests who refused to take the oath. Many faithful priests remained in disguise. Hundreds were imprisoned or put to death. Thousands of chapels were desecrated and destroyed. by the revolutionists.



33.—The French Revolution. (Concluded.)


1. Louis %VI was king in name only. His firmness in refusing to take part in the crimes of his subjects caused him to be deposed and imprisoned. After a mock trial, king and queen were publicly executed. The National Convention then abolished the Catholic religion in France, and proclaimed the worship of "Reason." The churches were closed to Catholic worship. The images of the saints were destroyed, and the crucifixes dragged through the streets amid the yells and the frantic shouts of the mobs.

2. General Bonaparte, having obtained control of affairs in France, saw that he could not establish public order without granting peace to the Church. In 1801 he made an agreement, called the Concordat, with the Holy See, and thereby restored Catholic worship in the country. The churches were again opened, many zealous priests returned from exile, and several communities devoted to the education of youth sprang into existence.

3. Napoleon Bonaparte became emperor in 1804, and prevailed upon Pope Pius VII to crown him at Paris. A few years later he invaded Rome, and declared the States of the Church incorporated in the Kingdom of Italy. Pius VII protested, and Napoleon ordered him to be seized and taken to France as a prisoner. After the disastrous invasion of Russia, Napoleon consented to send the Pope back to Rome. Not long afterwards, Napoleon fell from power, and Louis $VIII was restored to the throne of France. Pius VII devoted himself with ardor to the restoration of peace and order in the Church.

4. One of the great dangers following the French Revolution was the neglect of education. To provide for the education of girls, Blessed Madeleine Sophie Barat instituted the Ladies of the Sacred Heart. Blessed Julie Billiart devoted her life to the instruction of the poor. After some time she went to Belgium, and founded at Namur the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Notre Dame. The Venerable Joseph Chaminade, a devoted priest who had remained in France in disguise during the greater part of the Revolution, established the Institute of the Daughters of Mary, and, a few years later, the Society of the Brothers of Mary, both of which were to be devoted to the work of education.



34.—The Church in Europe.


1. In France, during the Second Monarchy, which followed the fall of Napoleon, Catholicism was established as the state religion by Louis VIII (1814–1824) and flourished during the reign of Charles X (1824–1830). The Society for the Propagation of the Faith was established at Lyons in 1822, and Frederick Ozanam organized the St. Vincent de Paul Society in 1833. Laws favorable to Catholic education were passed in 1830 and 1850, but these were nullified by the Minister of State, M. Drury, who, under Napoleon III (1852–1871), adopted a program of non-sectarian schools, supported by the Socialist followers of Marx and the Evolutionist followers of Paul Bert. Since Catholics were divided on the question of the limits of state interference in religious matters—called Gallicanism—the Freemasons, during the Third Republic, succeeded in secularizing the hospitals in 1881, suppressing military chaplaincies in 1881, and legalizing divorce in 1884. Education was persecuted from that day until the Great World War in 1914, although in 1875 permission had been granted by the government to establish five Catholic universities—called "Catholic Instituts"—at Paris, Lille, Angers, Lyons and Toulouse.

2. After the fall of the French Empire the Italian Princes established friendly relations with the Holy See. But in 1370 Victor Emmanuel captured Rome, robbing the Pope of his temporal possessions, except his residence, the Vatican building. Since then, the Popes have been prisoners in the Vatican. In the new kingdom the Catholic religion was officially established, though the greater part of the Church's property was appropriated by the government and the remainder placed under strict supervision. In 1878 Pius IX issued the decree Non expedit, forbidding Catholics to participate in the election of deputies to the national parliament. More than ninety-seven per cent of the people remained loyal to the Church, though only during the closing days of Pope Leo XIII was the political power of the Freemasonic minority challenged. When. Pope Pius X, in 1905, modified the decree of Pope Pius IX, Non expedit, in regard to elections more than twenty deputies were immediately elected to the Chamber.

3. Spain, though always a Catholic country, persecuted the Church, especially in 1839, when Don Carlos failed to succeed his father, Ferdinand VII, to the throne. The efforts of the Liberals and Freemasons to secularize education, expel Religious and legalize civil divorce, were defeated through the action of Alphonsus XII, (1875–1885) who declared Catholicism the state religion. Under the new republic of 1931, Church and State have been separated and the former is again suffering persecution.

4. Portugal suppressed the Religious Orders in 1833, put religion out of the schools in 1845, and subsequently exercised control over all Church property. In 1910, the revolutionary powers dethroned the king, established a republic, effected a separation of Church and State, suppressed monasteries and persecuted religion generally.

5. Belgium, assigned by the Congress of Vienna (1815) to William I of Holland, achieved its independence in 1830, Leopold I, a Protestant, becoming King. The Liberals, though accepting the school system approved in 1842, with the help of the Socialists have persecuted the Catholic schools consistently, especially in 1880, when the Belgian ambassador to the Vatican was recalled. In 1886 Catholic labor organizations were formed by the Rev. Ceslaus Rutten, which have ever since kept a sharp eye on the legislation. The Catholic party held the ascendancy from 1884 up to the outbreak of the War, when radical changes, such as the abolition of the plural vote, were effected.

6. Holland—an independent state since 1648—persecuted the Church under William I (1815–1840) and William II (1840–1849), though the Constitution of 1848 was favorable to Catholics. Pius IX re-established the Hierarchy in 1853. The Church has enjoyed absolute liberty since 1884.



35. The Church in Europe. (Concluded.)


1. After the formation of the German Empire (1871), Prussia, acting through the Chancellor, Bismarck, began a war on the Church through the "May Laws" (1873), by which the Jesuits and their schools were suppressed, and the "Kulturkampf" (or struggle for culture) proscribing the free life of Catholicism and withdrawing state support. But the Catholic party, in the Reichstag, "The Centre," formed by Windthorst, finally succeeded in bringing back some of the Religious Orders in 1887, the Redemptorists in 1894 and the Jesuits in 1904. Diplomatic relations were opened up with Leo XIII in 1882, and in 1885 the Pope acted as arbiter between Germany and Spain regarding the possession of the Caroline Islands.

2. Austria negotiated a Concordat with the Holy See in 1855, guaranteeing absolute freedom to the Church. This was practically nullified by the Edict of Toleration in 1861. After the declaration of Papal Infallibility, a persecution of the Church raged until Lueger, Mayor of Vienna, organized Catholic opposition. The Protestants waged an active campaign of proselytism—called "Los von Rom" (Break with Rome) from 1897 to 1903.

3. Switzerland in 1815 began a persecution of the Church. The Old Catholic party—those who rejected Papal Infallibility—also carried on a persecution of the Church. Leo XIII, in 1895, brought about the transfer of the churches seized by the Old Catholics. The University of Fribourg opened in 1886 was entrusted to the Dominicans.

4. Through the efforts of Daniel O'Connell the Catholics of Great Britain and Ireland obtained admittance to public offices and Parliament from which they had been barred by law (1829). In 1850, Pope Pius IX restored the Catholic Hierarchy in England where there are now three million Catholics. The Catholic population in Ireland now numbers over three million. With the restoration of national freedom achieved by Ireland in 1922 the Church in that country looks forward to an era of tranquillity and renewed spiritual activity bound to result in the greatest benefit to the Irish people.



36.—Catholic Missions.


1. While on the one hand the Church was being so sadly despoiled in Europe by the violence of Protestantism, she was on the other consoled by the heroism of her martyrs, and the numerous conversions to her fold amid the forests of America.

2. In 1608 the French founded Quebec in Canada. Here Jesuits planted the cross as the sign of their Faith, and established a missionary house. From Quebec they penetrated into New York, where Jogues gave his life for the conversion of the Mohawks, and Brebeuf and Lalemant died at the stake for their Huron converts. Up the St. Lawrence and the Ottawa rivers, along lakes Huron and Michigan, through forests and amid the wild tribes of the West, Marquette sought the Mississippi, preaching the Gospel everywhere.

3. The Franciscans, Jesuits, and Dominicans in turn tried for many years to establish missions in Lower California. After suffering extreme privations, due principally to the sterility of the soil, and the difficulty of obtaining supplies, they were repeatedly obliged to abandon the undertaking.

4. In Upper California the conditions were much more favorable. In 1769 the Franciscan, Father Junipero Serra, founded the first of a chain of missions which extended from San Diego to Sonoma, a distance of six hundred miles. In all of these the Fathers labored with remarkable success. In 1845, when but few Fathers and Indians survived, the records showed more than 90,000 Indian converts.



37.—Catholic Missions (Concluded).


1. After the conquest of Mexico by Hernando Cortez, the Franciscans were the first to offer their services for the conversion of the natives (1524). They began their apostolic labors in various places near the City of Mexico, and in a few years most of the inhabitants had received Baptism. The apparition of the Blessed Virgin (1531), Our Lady of Guadalupe, to the Indian Juan Diego, had a powerful effect upon the natives, and the number of converts increased very noticeably. Later on, the Jesuits also entered the field, especially in northern Mexico.

2. Central America and South America were visited by the missionaries about the same time as Mexico. The Jesuits were especially successful in Paraguay. Wherever the Church extended its influence, it became the protector of the poor, the ignorant, and the afflicted.

3. Father Andrew White and four other Jesuits arrived in the territory which is now the State of Maryland, in 1634, with an expedition from England under Cecil Calvert. These zealous laborers not only ministered to the Catholics of the colony, but also converted many of the Protestant pioneers. They conducted missions among the Indians along the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River.

4. In 1642, Clayborne, at the head of a fanatical band of Puritans who had been expelled from the Virginia settlement, obtained shelter in the Maryland colony. Two years after, they attacked the Catholics of the settlement and sent Father White in chains to England. The Catholics regained control, but they were constantly menaced by their Puritan neighbors. In 1692 the latter seized the government, and enacted the penal laws against Catholics. This was the attitude of the Protestants against the Catholic settlement that first raised the standard of freedom of conscience in the New World. From Maryland, the starting-point of Catholicity in the English colonies, Father Greaton was sent to Philadelphia (1730). Others went to New Jersey and to New York.



38.—Progress of Religion in Colonial Days.


1. Before the Revolution in 1776 there were only 25,000 Catholics in the thirteen original colonies. The penal laws enacted in Great Britain against Catholics were enforced in the colonies. However, when the great struggle for independence began, Catholics were foremost in the defence of colonial rights. Influenced by the clergy and prominent Catholic leaders, they rendered distinguished services. Catholic nations, such as France, Spain, and Poland, came to the aid of the colonies. This brought about a change in public sentiment in favor of Catholicity.

2. The principle of freedom of religion was incorporated in the Federal Constitution (Art. VI), which declared that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." In 1791 an amendment of the Federal Constitution granted religious freedom to all. It declared that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

3. In 1789 Father John Carroll was appointed first Bishop of Baltimore. He went to England to be consecrated, returning to this country in December, 1790. The next year saw the opening of Georgetown College, which he had founded two years before. He also founded a seminary for the clergy, and introduced into his diocese the first community of religious women, a colony of Carmelite nuns who had come from Antwerp.

4. A number of French priests, exiled during the Revolution in their country, had fled to England. Many of these came to this country to minister to the faithful and to labor in the Indian missions.

5. Immigration from France and Ireland had increased the number of Catholics in America to about 150,000. Owing to this rapid increase in numbers, and the vast extent of the single diocese of Baltimore, Bishop Carroll requested of Pope Pius VII a division of the work. The Holy See made Baltimore an archdiocese, and appointed four suffragan bishops at New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown. Other bishoprics followed in a few years. The see of Charlestown was erected in 1820, that of Cincinnati in 1821, St. Louis in 1826, and Mobile in 1829.

6. The First Provincial Council was held in Baltimore in 1829. At that time the number of Catholics was estimated at 500,000. All the decrees of the Council were approved by the Holy See. They referred to religious discipline, to the necessity of Catholic schools, periodicals and books, and provided against scandals.

7. At the Second and Third Provincial Councils of Baltimore the Fathers proposed the erection of new dioceses. They also encouraged Catholic journalism. In 1837 there were five Catholic weekly papers.

8. Other Provincial Councils followed at regular intervals of three years. At the Sixth Council, in 1846, twenty-three Bishops were present. It was at this Council that the Fathers proclaimed "the Blessed Virgin Mary conceived without sin'" the Patroness of the Catholic Church in the United States.

9. The Seventh and last Provincial Council of Baltimore was held in 1849. At that time the Irish and German immigration had raised the number of Catholics to three million, with about 1,800 priests in charge. A considerable number of institutions of learning had been established, many of which were conducted by religious communities. Among the latter were the Jesuits, Benedictines, Franciscans, Trappists, and Redemptorists, the Congregations of the Holy Cross and of the Precious Blood, and the Brothers of the Christian Schools.



39.—Progress of Religion in the Nineteenth Century.


1. In 1852 the First Plenary Council of Baltimore convened. It was presided over by the Most Reverend Francis Kenrick, Archbishop of Baltimore. Six Archbishops, thirty-five Bishops, and a number of superiors of Religious Orders and many theologians attended the sessions. Among other things, Bishops were exhorted to have a Catholic school in every parish, and to use their influence with the civil authorities to prevent any one in the army or navy from being obliged to attend religious services repugnant to his conscience.

2. While the rapid increase in the number of Catholics caused the faithful to rejoice, it called forth at the same time the envy and hatred of sectarians and infidels. Catholics and foreigners, chiefly Catholic Irishmen, were denounced from Protestant pulpits as enemies of the Republic. Books and pamphlets were circulated for the purpose of inflaming the passions of the mob. Bishops and priests were insulted and church property destroyed. A party was formally organized in New York in 1852. They came to be known as "Know-nothings," from the fact that they were obliged by oath to secrecy, and when asked about their organization and its purpose they would answer, "I don't know." Their purpose was "to resist the policy of the Church of Rome, and to place in all the offices of honor, trust, or profit none but native American Protestant citizens." Bishop Spalding said of them: "It was not the American people who were seeking to make war on the Church, but merely a party of religious fanatics . . . who incited the mobs to bloodshed and incendiarism."

3. The Second Plenary Council of Baltimore was held in 1866. Many new bishoprics were erected, and the Fathers expressed their desire for the establishment of a Catholic university. In 1875 the Holy Father Pius IX created Archbishop McCloskey of New York the first American Cardinal. The number of Religious Orders of men and women had increased considerably. They devoted themselves to education and to works of charity, and brought immeasurable benefits to the Church in this country. The Indian missions were in a flourishing condition.

4. The Third Plenary Council of Baltimore was convened by Pope Leo XIII in 1884. Most Reverend James Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore, who later was created a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII, presided over the Council. One of the subjects that received special attention was the harmonious co-operation of the Church with the laws of the country. Although Church and State are completely separated in the United States, they work with united efforts for the welfare of the people. Yet from time to time there are outbursts of bigotry against the Catholic religion in various parts of the country. These should serve as a warning to Catholics that they must be watchful, united, and active, if they would preserve that liberty of conscience guaranteed them by the Federal Constitution.



40.—Progress of Religion in the Nineteenth Century. (Concluded.)


1. Canada became a province of Great Britain in 1763, at which time it numbered about 63,000 Catholics. At present, Canada has about two and one-half million Catholics. The Oblates of Mary Immaculate have been actively engaged since 1841 in converting the Indians of the West and Northwest. To the present day the original settlers of the country, the French-Canadians, have remained faithful to their religion.

2. Ever since the sixteenth century the Franciscan missionaries had labored at the conversion of the Mexican people. Schools and colleges were established throughout the country, and Christian civilization and religion flourished together until Mexico became a republic in 1824. At that time the revolutionary party was strongly opposed to the Church. This anti-religious feeling was created by the freemasons, who had established a large number of lodges, the members of which practically held control of the republican government. They made laws which enabled them to confiscate the property of the Religious Orders and to close the Catholic institutions of learning.

3. From 1825 to 1876 the history of Mexico is one long record of rebellion and civil war. In 1857 a Constitution was enacted in which the separation of Church and State was decreed. Later additional laws were passed which placed severe restrictions on the Church. For long periods the Government did not enforce these regulations and at the present time the Church is quietly permitted to carry out its mission.

4. In 1824 the States of Central America declared their independence from Spain and Portugal. The leaders were men hostile to the Catholic Church, and, as a result, the clergy and Religious Orders were persecuted, and the property belonging to the Church was confiscated. At present each State has a Bishop and a large number of priests, as most of the inhabitants are still Catholic.

5. The history of the various countries of South America in the nineteenth century is similar to that of Central America. All had their revolutions and civil wars, during which the Church was persecuted and oppressed. While Brazil was an Empire, the Masonic lodges used their influence to oppress the Church. However, when Brazil became a republic (1889), Church and State were separated, and freedom of worship was guaranteed. Both religion and education are now very prosperous.

6. The foundation of the first church in Australia was laid at St. Mary's Sydney. There are now over a million Catholics, seven Archbishops, sixteen Bishops, and seventeen hundred priests in the Australian Commonwealth, which includes Tasmania and New Zealand. Here, as elsewhere, the Catholic press exerts a great influence for the maintenance and spread of religion.



The Church in General



41.—In the Twentieth Century.


1. The opening of the twentieth century found the religious situation of the world promising everywhere except in France. In July, 1901, the "Law of Associations" destroyed the Religious Orders, whilst the suppression of over one hundred congregations by Premier Combes eliminated all Catholic primary schools. In 1905 the "Association of Worship" was established, giving the state full control over the funds and property of the Church. The Holy See severed diplomatic relations with France in 1904. In. the following year the Concordat was abolished, whilst in 1906 all ecclesiastical property passed into the hands of the state. The heroic patriotism of the bishops and priests during the World War had as its effect a change of attitude of the Government toward the Church. The Religious Orders had been expelled, but now their country needed them. They came willingly and served on the battlefields and in the hospitals. While the Government did not lessen the severity of the "Law of Associations," it became more conciliating and showed a desire to renew diplomatic relations with the Holy See. Thus an ambassador was accredited to the Vatican and in return the Pope sent an Apostolic Nuncio to Paris.

2. Pius X, who succeeded Leo XIII, by his decree on Children's Communion and Frequent Communion aroused the piety of the modern Catholic world whilst by his condemnation of Modernism he preserved the integrity of the faith. He also ordered reforms to be made in Church Music and issued an important encyclical on the teaching of Christian Doctrine. In 1909 he established a school in Rome, called the "Bible Institute," for the study of Sacred Scripture. Finally, he decreed that the law book of the Church called "The Code of Canon Law" be revised. It was during his reign that Archbishop Farley of New York and Archbishop O'Connell of Boston, were elevated to the Cardinalate. He died on August 20, 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the War, heartbroken over this world catastrophe.

3. Pope Benedict XV, who succeeded Pius X, because an international figure and the common spiritual father of combatants on both sides, maintained an admirable neutrality throughout the World War, bending all his energies toward the alleviation of suffering and the softening of the rigors of the War. His celebrated Encyclical on Peace was issued on Pentecost in 1920. It did more than anything else to influence the nations to give up hating each other and it practically opened the way to peace. Catholics on both sides rallied generously to the call of arms, being about equally matched in numbers. Pope Benedict elevated Archbishop Dougherty of Philadelphia to the Cardinalate in 1921. The Pope died on January 22, 1922.

4. The signing of the armistice, November 3, 1918, saw the Church bravely undertaking problems in all countries except Russia, where the Bolsheviki seized the government, forming the "Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic." It decreed separation of Church and State, and seized all church property, forbade religious instruction in. all schools, and approved divorce and civil marriage. On March 3, 1923, Rt. Rev. Monsignor Constantine Butchkavitch, the Vicar General of Petrograd, and five other priests were executed for teaching religion. At the present time the Soviet government not only forbids religious worship but ridicules all things considered sacred by believers. There are only a few Catholic priests in Russia now.

5. The Church in Germany at the present time is undergoing a severe trial. After the World War Germany became a republic. In 1919 the Constitution for the new State was adopted. In it the separation of Church and State was decreed. Thus the Church was left free to regulate its affairs. Then Adolf Hitler became chancellor. Notwithstanding an agreement made in 1932 between the Church and the Government, the chancellor restricted the Church in its activities, especially those concerned with the education and control of Catholic youth. The Bishops protested but without avail. When individual bishops and priests, aroused by the irreligious tendencies of the Government, warned the faithful, many were arrested and imprisoned. In 1935 the Bishops issued a pastoral letter denouncing Government attacks on denominational education and condemning certain measures of the Government which endangered morals and religion. They exhorted the Catholic people to maintain order saying that "the Spirit of Christ . . . achieves victory by other weapons than those of the spirit of the world."

6. Mexico has a population of about 161/2 million, of which Catholics number about 101/2 million. The Constitution which was adopted in 1917 contained severe measures against the Church, but only in 1924 did the Government enforce them. A period of persecution set in. The Apostolic Delegate was banished and Bishops, priests and Religious were exiled or imprisoned and even put to death. Among the martyrs was Father **Pro, a Jesuit. In 1929 the persecution subsided somewhat and at the present time only 300 priests are permitted to function. The Holy Father protested in vain. American Bishops and Catholic Societies did their utmost to induce our Government to protest but without results. The Catholic people of Mexico are setting an example of heroic martyrdom while their rulers are determined to destroy all Religion and true freedom.

7. In Spain too, where in 1931 the Monarchy was replaced by a republican form of government, radicalism and unbelief have obtained the upper hand. A wave of violent hate was let loose upon the Church. Riots occurred during which mobs plundered and burnt many churches and institutions. The new Constitution contains most radical provisions against the Church. In the last two years the Government's attitude towards the Church has become milder, but recently there have been repetitions of the violent attacks on the Church and its property. The Bishops have accepted the new form of Government and are working for a revision of those parts of the Constitution unjust to the Church.

8. On February 6, 1922, Cardinal Achille Ratti, Archbishop of Milan, was elected Pope. He took the name of Pius XI. The world as a result of the War had undergone vast changes. The Pope had adopted "The Peace of Christ in the Reign of Christ" as his motto. He furthered the cause of the Foreign Missions, encouraging the training of native priests, and consecrated six Chinese bishops at one time in Rome. In 1924 Pope Pius XI elevated Archbishop Hayes of New York and Archbishop Mundelein of Chicago to the Cardinalate. The Pope proclaimed the year 1925 a Great Jubilee and established the new Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King. A notable event of his reign was the settlement he made in 1929 called the Lateran Treaty with the Italian Government, the latter recognizing the independence of the Holy See. Shortly thereafter on December 31, 1929, the Pope issued an encyclical "On the Christian Education of Youth", a most important pronouncement of Catholic principles of education. On the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 1930, the Pope celebrated Holy Mass in St. Peter's, Rome, in reparation for the blasphemous insults offered to God in Russia. While the Pope's heart was anxious and sorrowful because of the anti-religious manifestations in Russia, Mexico and Spain, other events of a joyous character consoled him. Thus on June 29, 1930, he canonized St. Isaac Jogues and companions, Jesuit Missionaries martyred by the Indians, the first in North America to be so honored, and on September 20, 1930, a large group of the Jacobite religion in Southwest India was received into the Church by the Most Rev. Alois Benziger, Bishop of Quilon. In the same year, on January 8, Pope Pins XI issued a letter of great moment treating of "Christian Marriage". On February 12, 1931, the Holy Father inaugurated the Vatican Radio Station (H.V.J. meaning Holy See—Vatican—Jesus) by speaking a message of good will to the entire world. On the fortieth anniversary in 1931 of the issue of the celebrated encyclical by Pope Leo XIII on Labor. the Pope wrote a letter called "Quadragesimo Anno" confirming the principles of social reform laid down by Pope Leo XIII. In the same year Pope Pius XI celebrated the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus at which the doctrine that Jesus Christ is one Divine Person, having two natures, the nature of God and the nature of Man, and that the Blessed Virgin is the Mother of God, was upheld.

When the economic crisis began in 1932 Pope Pius XI addressed a letter to the world in which he appealed to all to be just in their dealings with men and ordered that on June 3, the Feast of the Sacred Heart, there be made in all Churches of the world a public act of reparation for all the offenses given to the Divine Heart of Jesus. Again in 1932 the Holy Father announced an extraordinary Holy Year of Jubilee to mark the nineteenth century of the Death of Our Lord. In the same year he defined the principles underlying "Catholic Action" interpreting this term as "the participation of the laity in the Apostolate of the hierarchy."

During 1933 the Holy Father proclaimed a Holy Year beginning April 1. In this year he also made Concordats with Austria and the German Government. In December of the year the Pope canonized Saint Bernadette Soubirous, the peasant girl to whom the Blessed Virgin appeared at Lourdes. The Holy Father opened the world's first ultra-short-wave radiotelephone station.

On May 19, 1935, Pope Pius XI, at a solemn ceremony in St. Peters, announced the canonization of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, English martyrs. At the close of this year the Holy Father published his letter "On the Christian Priesthood".

9. The American Catholics stood loyally by their country when the United States declared war on the Central Powers in 1917. The Catholic Church of America, speaking through Cardinal Gibbons, was the first religious body to offer its services to the Government. The needs of the soldiers were provided for by over 1500 priests serving as Army and Navy chaplains and by the Knights of Columbus and other Catholic organizations who, later on, joining with fourteen Archbishops and an Administrative Committee of four Bishops, formed the National Catholic War Council. The "Historic Records" of the latter declare "that the Catholics of the nation furnished about one-third of the total armed forces, and that approximately twenty per cent of the men who gave their lives in the struggle were of the Catholic Faith."

This national Catholic war organization, after the signing of the armistice, developed (December, 1917) into the "National Catholic Welfare Conference." It carries on. reconstruction work along the lines of the "Bishops' Program" (February 12, 1.919), in which the Catholic teaching on new social questions is clearly defined.

10. In our Country the Church is spreading rapidly, converts alone number about 25,000 annually. In recognition of the growth of Catholicism in America, Pope Pius XI permitted the Twenty-eighth International Eucharistic Congress to be held at Chicago, June 20–24, 1926. This is the first time that the United States was so honored. The Papal Legate to the Congress was John Cardinal Bonzano, formerly the Apostolic Delegate at Washington, D. C. Twelve Cardinals, hundreds of Archbishops and Bishops, thousands of Priests and Religious and over a million of the laity from the four corners of the earth were present in Chicago. Another recent manifestation of the belief in and love for our blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist was the large religious assemblage at the Seventh National Eucharistic Congress in the United States at Cleveland. September 23–26, 1935. His Eminence, Cardinal Hayes represented the Pope as his Legate.

Among the many societies that exist to promote the spiritual welfare of Catholics in America, the "League of the Sacred Heart" and "The Holy Name Society" are notable for their large membership, leading countless numbers monthly to Holy Communion. The movement for the organization of retreats for laymen has spread over the entire country and is productive of untold spiritual benefits. To further wholesome Catholic life among our young people generally numerous societies, clubs, etc., have been formed. Outstanding among these are The Sodality of Our Lady, a national organization under the direction of the Jesuits for young men and women, while for boys and girls there exist the Catholic Boy or Girl Scouts, the Catholic Boys' Brigade, the Junior Holy Name Society. The Newman Clubs under the guidance of duly appointed chaplains look after the spiritual welfare of Catholic students attending non-Catholic educational institutions. The professions also have their associations offering spiritual and social benefits to their members. Among these are the Catholic Lawyers' Guild, St. Luke's Guild for Physicians, The Catholic Nurses' Association, etc.

The cause of Catholic Action is well on its way to realize the object set by the Holy Father. First and foremost its principles are expressed in the activities of the National Councils of Catholic Men and Women which are under the direction of the National Catholic Welfare Conference. Thus also the work of the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Central Verein for the bettering of the social conditions among youth and the working class is progressing. Other organizations which also work in the same direction are the Catholic Conference on Industrial Problems; the Catholic Association for International Peace, the Catholic Big Brothers' and Big Sisters' Leagues, the Catholic Evidence Guild, the Catholic National League of Decency and the Catholic League for Social Justice.

The work of Catholic charity is carried on under the direction of the Bishops in each diocese in a truly Christ-like manner. Thus numerous hospitals, homes for the aged, institutions for orphans, the mentally defective, and other agencies for relief of human suffering have been established. These are mostly in charge of the various Religious orders of men and women who devote themselves unsparingly to this cause. In 1933 the St. Vincent de Paul Society, which has done notable work in helping the poor, celebrated the centenary jubilee of its foundation.

The mission of the Church to preach the Gospel to all has steadily gone forward. To safeguard the faith of those already blessed by its possession but living in districts difficult of approach, the Catholic Church Extension Society was founded in 1905. It develops the missionary spirit among Catholics and helps in the erection and support of churches in poor localities. In 1907 a board of Catholic Negro missions was formed to promote the spiritual welfare of colored people. In 1935 the Holy Father directed that the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine be organized in every parish for the purpose of teaching religion to the young as well as to those adults who did not have the advantage of a Catholic education. Heretofore this work had been largely done by such Catholic organizations as the Rural Life Conference and the Catholic Instruction League. To help the spread of Catholic knowledge and practice Catholic radio hours have been inaugurated in various parts of the country, first among which is the Catholic Hour Broadcast, under the auspices of the National Council of Catholic Men, which takes place every Sunday afternoon. Nearly in every diocese there are one or more Catholic newspapers and magazines published. The Catholic Telegraph, Cincinnati, the oldest Catholic weekly, celebrated its centenary in 1931. The only Catholic daily newspaper at the present time is The Catholic Tribune, Dubuque, Iowa, which was founded in 1921. Another means of circulating doctrinal knowledge by the large distribution of printed matter is achieved through the International Catholic Truth Society.

The needs of the Church for bringing the light of the Faith to the heathen in foreign lands has been cared for by the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, the national office of which is in New York. Help for the extension of this work is also given by such organizations as the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America established in 1912 for the education of priests and Sisters to work in foreign countries and by the Chinese Mission Society of St. Columban founded in 1919. For the cultivation of this missionary spirit among our young people the Catholic Student Crusade was organized in 1918. The greater number of Religious Orders for men and women have done their share in sending numerous members of their Orders into the foreign mission field.

To further the work of Catholic education by cooperative means the National Catholic Educational Association was organized in 1904. Its work and activities comprise every form of educational endeavor toward unification and co-ordination of the Catholic educational system. At the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore a law was passed that every Parish should have a Catholic school, also that every diocese should have a school board made up of priests. Later the management of all the Catholic educational institutions in a diocese was placed under a superintendent who is a priest and represents the Bishop. Since the Third Plenary Council the Catholic Educational system has realized the fondest expectations of the Fathers of the Council.



42.—General Conclusion.


1. Though much has been necessarily omitted in this short history of the Church, yet enough has been given to show how strangely the world has warred against God and religion.

2. The Jews rejected Christ and persecuted His apostles, to be themselves in turn persecuted and scattered over the world without home or country. Rome persecuted the Church, and, in the vain hope of destroying Christianity, deluged the empire with the blood of the martyrs.

3. Heresy rose, and by division strove to destroy the unity of faith, beginning with the denial of the divinity of Jesus Christ, and ending in the claim of men to determine for themselves what they shall or shall not believe, and in the deification of human reason.

4. Heretofore the controversy between the Church and the world has been on matters of faith. In the Protestant world faith is rapidly passing away, to be replaced by indifference or positive hostility to religion. The sects have lost their power, are divided and torn among themselves, their only bond of unity being a hostility to Catholicity.

5. Within the Church there is much to console and much to afflict. The indifferentism of the world is largely affecting the faith of Catholics; numbers are becoming cold or adopting the loose doctrines of the day. The teachings on civil freedom now so prevalent are inciting to a religious freedom that must end in disbelief.

6. At no time in the Church's history have the Bishops been so united with the Sovereign Pontiff or among themselves. Priests and people are filled with zeal. In England, Scotland, and America the Church is growing with wonderful rapidity, and in Asia and Africa thousands are being added to the fold. Persecution but purifies and unites; Christ is with His Church, always fair and ever true. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but Christ and His Church abide forever.



Review Questions
(Numbers indicate chapters)


  1. When did the Christian era begin?
  2. Mention some of the apostles and describe some of their deeds in the work of conversion.
  3. Explain how the conversion of the world to Christianity came about.
  4. How did God punish the Jews for their persecution of the Christians?
  5. Name some Saints who died for the faith under the Roman Emperors.
  6. Tell about some of the notorious heresies in the early centuries.
  7. What false doctrine did Nestorius preach?
  8. Describe the condition of Rome when Julian became emperor.
  9. Give a brief account of the destruction of Rome.
  10. Who were the Christian apologists?
  11. Distinguish between the apologists and the "Fathers of the Church." Name some famous "Doctors" of the Church.
  12. What effect had the conversion of Clovis on France?
  13. Mention some of Ireland's important saints.
  14. Who preached the Gospel in Britain with great success? Who converted Germany to Christianity?
  15. When did organized religious communities begin to exist?
  16. Name three great orders that were powers in religion during the middle ages.
  17. Give a brief explanation of Mohammedanism. Who finally checked their advance and thus saved Europe?
  18. When did the Popes become the civil rulers of Rome?
  19. What were the Crusades and when did they take place?
  20. What benefits did Europe derive from them?
  21. Under whose rule did literature begin to revive?
  22. What did the monks of the middle ages do for literature?
  23. Name some contributions made by Catholics in the interest of art, science and manufacture before and since the Reformation.
  24. What caused the Reformation? What doctrines did Luther mainly attack?
  25. What conclusions did the Council of Trent reach regarding Luther?
  26. What resulted from this religious revolution?
  27. Who were Calvin and Knox?
  28. Who headed the Protestant Reformation in England?
  29. Tell something regarding the spread of Christianity in the New World.
  30. Who founded the Society of Jesus? Who founded the Congregation of the Mission?
  31. Name some other religious orders and their founders.
  32. What was the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy?"
  33. What happened in France after the execution of Louis XVI and his Queen?
  34. What was the "Law of 1903" in France?
  35. What was the "Kulturkampf?" What religion predominates in Austria at present?
  36. Give a brief summary of the work of the Catholic missionaries in America and Canada.
  37. What order of Missionaries converted Mexico?
  38. When and where was the first Provincial Council held? Who was the first Bishop of Baltimore?
  39. What measures were urged at the First Plenary Council of Baltimore? Who were the Know-nothings? What progress was made at the Second Plenary Council? Who was the first American Cardinal? What subject received special attention at the Third Plenary Council?
  40. Give a brief outline of the condition of the Church in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Australia.
  41. What was the "Association of Worship in France?" What was the famous decree issued by Pius X? What was Benedict XV's attitude during the world war? What unfortunate condition hampers the workings of the Catholic Church in Russia? Tell something about the activities of American Catholics during the war. What is the National Catholic Welfare Conference? When was the Eucharistic Congress held in the United States? Tell what you know about the organization of Catholic education.


The Feasts of the Church

1. The better to teach her children the great truths of Religion and the more strongly to impress upon their minds the mysteries of Redemption, the Church has appointed certain religious feasts to be kept. That these may never be forgotten, and may follow each other in due order, the Ecclesiastical Year is divided into three parts, namely: 1st, From Advent to Lent; 2nd, From Lent to Pentecost; and 3rd, From Pentecost to Advent again.

2. Advent means coming, and immediately precedes Christmas, the feast in which the Church celebrates the first coming of Christ upon earth. The four Sundays of Advent represent the four thousand years before the earning of Christ upon the earth, when the world lay buried in the darkness of infidelity, and the knowledge of the true God was mostly confined to the Patriarchs, and, after them, to the Jewish nation.

3. During Advent the priest wears purple vestments, as a sign of sorrow and penance. There is no "Gloria in Excelsis" said at Mass, and all worldly amusements are set aside, that thus, in penance, the world may prepare for Christmas, the most beautiful of all the festivals of the year, when young and old, great and small, become children with Christ, their new-born King. Christmas is peculiarly the feast of childhood, because on that day Christ was born—a child—to the world.

4. The birth of Christ is threefold. 1st, His eternal generation in the bosom of His Father; 2nd, His birth of the Blessed Virgin, at Bethlehem; and 3rd, His birth in the soul, by grace. These three births are symbolized by the three Masses that every priest is permitted to say on Christmas day. Then the joy of the Christian world bursts forth in the glad song of "Glory to God in the Highest," sung for the first time by the angels, when on the first Christmas morn, they announced that a Savior was born.

5. After Christmas comes the feast of Saint Stephen, the first martyr, who was stoned to death, and, like his Master upon the cross, died praying for his enemies. Then follow in quick succession the feasts of the Circumcision and Epiphany, the former reminding us that, on the eighth day after His birth, Christ first shed His blood; the latter telling of the visit of the Wise Men, who came from the far-off East to adore Him.

6. On the second of February is commemorated the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. This feast is also known as Candlemas, because on that day are blessed the candles to be used in the church during the year. On this day candles are also blessed to be used by the faithful in their homes, either at their private devotions or when the sacraments are to be administered to the sick.

7. Lent, the second part of the Ecclesiastical Year, begins with Ash-Wednesday, a day deriving its name from the custom of blessing ashes and sprinkling them on the heads of the faithful, to remind them that dust they are, and unto dust they shall return.

8. During the forty days of Lent there is no "Gloria" sung at Mass; and again, as in Advent, the priest is clad in purple; amusements are laid aside, and in imitation of Christ's fast of forty days, the faithful are commanded to fast and do penance for their sins.

9. On Passion-Sunday, to remind us of the sorrow and suffering of Christ, the crucifixes and pictures in the church are covered, and remain so till Holy Saturday. On Palm-Sunday palms are blessed, distributed among the people, and carried in procession round the church, to commemorate the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem.

10. The institution of the Blessed Sacrament is commemorated on Holy Thursday. On this day the consecrated Host, which is to be consumed at the office of the next day, is kept on a side-altar, decorated with flowers and lights, and called the Repository. From the Mass of this day to the Mass of Holy Saturday no church-bells are rung,—a sign of the deep sorrow of the Church.

11. On Good Friday all is hushed: the altars are bare, the priest is clad in deepest black, and the plaintive song of the Church tells the agony of her heart. The great sacrifice on Calvary, on which Christ Our Savior died for the world, is in the thoughts of the faithful; while sorrow for sin and love for God fill their hearts.

12. Holy Saturday, the day on which Christ's body lay in the tomb, is spent in prayer and meditation. At the Mass of this day is blessed the new fire, struck from a rock, a fit emblem of Christ, who is both light to the world and a rock to His Church.

13. The Baptismal Water and the Paschal Candle are blessed after the reading of the prophecies that foretold the coming of Our Savior. Then, in the calm repose of expectation, the world awaits the glorious dawn of Easter-day, to burst forth in a grand Alleluia of praise to Christ risen from the dead.

14. As Christ rose at early morn, so at dawn of day the bells ring out their merry peal to tell us of Easter and of Christ risen from the dead. By His death Christ showed Himself man; but by His Resurrection He proved Himself God.

15. The season of the year when Easter comes also con-tributes much to the general joy. Winter is past, and spring is come; the merry song of the birds tells of their return to cheer us with their presence; the trees are clothing themselves in softest green, and the fields are decked in fairest flowers. All nature is waking from its wintry sleep, as if to join the Church in joyful praise, for Christ has risen triumphant over sin and hell.

16. The first Sunday after Easter is called Low Sunday; in ancient times the Catechumens, that were baptized on Holy Saturday, were wont to wear up to this day the white robes that were put on them at their baptism.

After Easter come the Rogation-days, or days of prayer, when the Church calls upon her children to pray for preservation from evil, for the attainment of all things necessary for their spiritual and temporal welfare, but especially for the blessing of God on the fruits of the earth.

17. Forty days after Easter the Ascension of Christ into heaven is celebrated, and another interval of ten days ushers in the feast of Pentecost. It commemorates the day on which, in accordance with the promise of Christ, the Holy Ghost came in the form of fiery tongues and sat upon His apostles, filling them with courage and wisdom, and power and strength, to go forth to teach and convert the world. With this first Pentecost began the abiding presence of the Holy Ghost in the Church, a presence that has never ceased, and never will cease till time shall be no more, because Christ promised that the Holy Ghost should forever abide with His Church and teach her all truth.

18. The Sunday following Pentecost is Trinity Sunday, and with it begins the third part of the Ecclesiastical Year. On this day the Church honors, in an especial manner, the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity, three Divine Persons in one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

19. Thursday in the first week after Trinity Sunday is that great feast of love, Corpus Christi, on which we celebrate the bodily presence of Christ in His Church. It was not enough for Christ to die for the world, but, as a new and wonderful proof of His love, He yet remains on earth, even after His ascension into heaven. On Holy Thursday the Church celebrated the institution of the Blessed Sacrament, but that was a joy mingled with the sorrows of Holy Week.

20. Another and more fitting time was needed, when the Christian heart could give itself to holiest joy and bound-less praise of Him who, through love for man, lives upon our altars. Hence the feast of Corpus Christi, or "the body of Christ," was instituted.

21. Besides these greater feasts that speak to us of God, His nature, and His works, there are others that tell us of His mother. Such are: the Immaculate Conception, to remind us that the Blessed Virgin Mary, through the merits of her divine Son, was preserved free from guilt of original sin; the Annunciation, to remind us how, more than eighteen hundred years ago, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to Mary, the humble virgin of Nazareth, to announce to her that she had been chosen of all the daughters of Eve, as alone worthy to be the mother of the long-looked-for Redeemer; and the Assumption, to recall to our minds that when, in obedience to the decree of God, the Blessed Virgin died, she was immediately raised to life again, and in triumph carried up by the angels into heaven, where, body and soul united, she is and will be for eternity.

22. There are also the lesser feats of the Saints, as those of Peter and Paul, and John, and other apostles, together with those of that heroic band of martyrs and confessors who have adorned the history of the Church from the beginning even to our own times. All these minor festivals end and are included in the glorious feast of All Saints, on which are gathered together all Christian heroes, the known and the unknown, that none may pass without their due share of praise. But as the Church forgets none of her children, she adds the feast of All Souls, on which we pray for the dead detained in Purgatory, that they may soon be free from their sufferings.

23. All Souls' Day closes the Ecclesiastical Year, but it begins again with Advent, followed by that round of feasts and joys that tell us of another year of hopes and sorrows. Besides these feasts there are the Sunday obligations of rest and worship, when the Holy Sacrifice is offered, the Scriptures are read, and the people instructed.

24. The Ember-days, which are the Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays immediately after the first Sunday of Lent, Pentecost, September 14th, and the third Sunday of Advent, are days of fasting and of abstinence. According to Pope St. Leo, the object of this fast is that we may purify our souls and do penance as we begin each quarter of the year.

25. It is not enough for us to know these feasts and fasts, but we must keep them, as the Church commands; for when we obey her we obey the voice of God, and may then hope to share with Him the never-ending joys of heaven.



Review Questions



Why has the Church appointed certain religious feasts which must be kept?
Into how many parts is the Ecclesiastical year divided?
Explain the meaning of Advent.
Why is the priest permitted to say three masses on Christmas?
When is the feast of the first martyr celebrated?
What reminders do the feasts of the Circumcision and Epiphany carry with them?
When does the feast of Candlemas occur?
What are fast days? Days of abstinence?
When does Lent begin and what significance does it hold?
Why are crucifixes and pictures covered on Passion Sunday?
Explain briefly the significance of those days which collectively comprise Holy Week.
What important event is commemorated on Holy Thursday?
Why is the Easter season a joyful one?
What is the first Sunday after Easter called?
What are Rogation days?
What feast is celebrated 40 days after Easter?
What does the Church honor on Trinity Sunday?
What do we celebrate on the feast of Corpus Christi?
What two important feasts are dedicated to the Blessed Virgin?
On what feast does the Church remember all her Christian heroes?
What day does she set aside for souls detained in Purgatory?
What day closes the Ecclesiastical year? What are Ember days?


Holy Days of Obligation in the United States.


Date  Holy Days
    All the Sundays of the Year.
Aug. 15.   The Assumption.
Jan. 1.   The Circumcision.
Nov. 1.   All Saints.
Easter+40   Ascension Day.
Dec. 8.   The Immaculate Conception.
Dec. 25.   Christmas Day.


Table of the More Important Facts
in Old Testament History

(The dates prefixed by an * are only approximate)
B. C.   Events
    Creation of the world and of man. The fall of man. The Deluge. The separation of the nations.
*2000   The call of Abraham, the Father of the Jewish People.
*1800   The Israelites settle in Egypt.
*1415   The Exodus. The Israelites leave Egypt under Moses, wander in the desert for forty years, and finally settle, under Joshua, in the Promised Land. Many scholars date Exodus c. 1300.
*1360-1040   The Judges rule over Israel.
*1080-1013   The rule of Samuel, the last Judge, and the reign of Saul, the first King.
*1013-973   Reign of King David.
973-933   Reign of Solomon.
932   The Kingdom of David is divided: The Kingdom of Israel in the North with Samaria as capital, including ten tribes; the Kingdom of Judah in the South with Jerusalem as capital, comprising the tribes of Judah and Benjamin.
*850   The Ministry of the Prophet Elias.
722   The Kingdom of Israel is destroyed by the Assyrians. Sargon II takes Samaria. The people are led away to Babylon and Nineveh.
    The Ministry of the Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.
587   End of the Kingdom of Judah. Jerusalem captured by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. All but the poorest of the people deported to Babylon.
    Ezekiel and Daniel prophesy during the captivity of the Jews in Babylon.
538   Edict of Cyrus permitting the Jews to return to Jerusalem. Some of them return under Zorobabel.
    Judah a province of the Persian Empire until 333.
*450   The last of the Prophets, Malachi.
333   Palestine subdued by Alexander the Great and remains a province of his Empire until 323.
323   Palestine subject to rule of Egyptian Kings until 198.
198   Antiochus the Great, King of Syria, obtains possession of Palestine.
168   Antiochus Ephiphanes attempts to suppress the religion of the Jews.
167-135   The Maccabees, Mathathias, Judas, Jonathan and Simon, secure Jewish independence and rule over the Jews.
135-63   John Hyrcanus, son of Simon, elected High Priest. He and his descendants rule the people.
63   Jerusalem is captured by Pompey and Palestine becomes a part of the Roman province of Syria.
48   Herod the Great becomes King.