Book Review: “Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal” by Sarah J. Richardson

 lifegreynunneryWhen one gets a glimpse into the evils of Romanism perpetuated in the name of Jesus throughout history, words are hard to find to express the tempest of emotions roiling within.  Here, the account of Sarah J. Richardson and her years spent in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal are no exception.  Incredulity, shock, grief, loathing and more will flood your heart as you read the incredible account of her years spent imprisoned in this whitewashed sepulcher, which indeed appeared outwardly beautiful, but inwardly was full of all manner of dead men’s bones and uncleanness.

The book starts by providing a little background on Sarah’s earliest years and how her partially intoxicated father, in an act he thought for her best interests, gave his daughter away to the nunnery.  Sarah recalls this painful time of parting from her father by writing:

I am sure my father did not realize what he was doing. Had he waited for a little reflection, he would never have consented to such an arrangement, and my fate would have been quite different. But as it was, he immediately sent for the priest, and gave me to him, to be provided for, as his own child, until I was of age. I was then to be allowed to go out into the world if I chose. To this, Priest Dow consented. … Though I was at that time but six years old, I remember perfectly, all that passed upon that memorable occasion. I did not then comprehend the full meaning of what was said, but I understood enough to fill my heart with sorrow and apprehension.

But reflect on what he was doing was not to be for Sarah’s father, for his mind was made up and for his rashness he would never again see his daughter.  And so Sarah was torn away from her family and the world at large and carried away unto the world of the convent from which the eyes of most are prevented from venturing too deep into its hidden recesses.

From here Sarah begins the recollection of her life and the strict discipline and monastic life she was subjected to.  Something for which Roman Catholics are well known for where self-denial and beating of the body are held in high esteem.  As far as discipline is concerned, the nunnery was marked by it where the slightest infringement of the law of the land could yield the harshest of penalties.  One such law was that the children were not to speak, nay not even to groan or turn on their sides at night lest they cause the least bit of disturbance to the “holy” silence so cherished in convents.

This “holy” silence was to be observed throughout the convent where the nuns had to walk on their tip toes, and upon opening and closing a door had to do so with the utmost of care so as to not disturb the “peace.”  A rule which Sarah found herself mistakenly breaking when one morning in haste, she closed the door much to quickly where “it came together with a loud crash.”  We pick up her story where she writes about what happened next.

On entering the room, I found the Superior waiting for me; in her hand she held a stick about a foot long, to the end of which was attached nine leather strings, some twelve or fifteen inches long, and about the size of a man’s little finger. She bade me come to her, in a voice so cold and stern it sent a thrill of terror through my frame, and I trembled with the apprehension of some impending evil. I had no idea that she was about to punish me, for I was not aware that I had done anything to deserve it; but her looks frightened me, and I feared,–I know not what. She took hold of my arm, and without saying a word, gave me ten or twelve strokes over the head and shoulders with this miniature cat-o’-nine-tails. … But when I began to cry, and beg to go to my father, she sternly bade me stop crying at once, for I could not go to my father. I must stay there, she said, and learn to remember all her commands and obey then. She then taught me the following verse:

   I am a little nun,
The sisters I will mind;
When I am pretty and learn,
Then they will use me kind.
I must not be so noisy
When I go about the house,
I’ll close the doors so softly
They’ll think I am a mouse.

And so began the life of Sarah in the convent.  A life which would be filled with torments and griefs that far surpassed her beating for closing the door too loudly.  Beatings not for her alone though but for all within its walls who dared to violate the orders of the Superior and priests, not matter how inane or petty they were.

More can be said but the reader of this post is encouraged to take the time and read this book for themselves.  In posting this I know many will outright dismiss Sarah’s account as the ravings of a lunatic or the ramblings of yet another anti-Catholic conspirator. To this charge the reader would be well advised to study the history of Rome before making such a hasty verdict.  For we only need to look back a few years to recall the horrors and abject wickedness of Romanism brought into the light as the “sex scandal” became headline news.  Horrors that if protested against before this story broke, would have met with the same denial, incredulity and ridicule.

Or, one should peer back a little into history at the time of the inquisitions to find that men were of such hardened hearts that they could inflict the most horrible of terrors upon those who would not submit to the Papacy.  All of which that Rome would assiduously deny until there was so much proof she could do nothing but slink back into her corner.

A letter to the pope.

Thanks to Banner of Truth for reprinting this letter from Charles Hodge to Pope Pius the Ninth. In today’s atmosphere of blur-the-lines doctrinal positions it’s refreshing to see how men of old stood their ground on principles and refused to compromise truth on the alter of ecumenicalism.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The text of a letter written by Charles Hodge of Princeton Theological Seminary on behalf of the two General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, explaining why the Pope’s invitation to Protestants to send delegates to the first Vatican Council of 1869-70 was being declined.

To Pius the Ninth, Bishop of Rome,

By your encyclical letter dated 1869 you invite Protestants to send delegates to the Council called to meet at Rome during the month of December of the current year. That letter has been brought to the attention of the two General Assemblies of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Those Assemblies represent about five thousand ministers and a still larger number of Christian congregations.

Believing as we do, that it is the will of Christ that his Church on earth should be united, and recognizing the duty of doing all we consistently can to promote Christian charity and fellowship, we deem it right briefly to present the reasons which forbid our participation in the deliberations of the approaching Council.

Continue reading

Oh anathema, my anathema.

How many anathemas are you under?

Mark, from Here I Blog, decided to count his:

“I decided to count the number of anathemas that I am under from the 33 canons on justification. My count is 23 anathemas as I understand the canons. I tried to consider any nuances. Keep in mind that this is only 1 of 25 sessions of Trent.”

Read his post and see how many anathemas Romanism has you under here.


How to think like a Roman Catholic.

The following is an illustrated lesson to help you understand how the average Roman Catholic thinks on the matter of idolatry. I have provided several images which will allow you to better understand how a Romanist processes information.

But before we begin, and so you can fully grasp this lesson, you must carefully read the following passages from Leviticus 26:1 and Exodus 20:4-5 (respectively):

“You shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to bow down to it; for I am the LORD your God.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,”

Now, let’s begin.

To see if you think like a Roman Catholic, what is your response to each of the the following pictures (the “proper” Romanist responses are indicated below each image).

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

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Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

Pagan idol worship condemned by scripture.

_______________________________

Veneration.

_______________________________

To see if you’ve been successfully conditioned to think like a Roman Catholic, we’ll conclude with one last picture.

Examine the following photograph carefully. The worshipers in the picture are from India, a country dominated with the worship of countless idols of Hindu gods made from stone and wood. So, are the people in this picture merely offering veneration, or are they pagan idol worshipers violating God’s prohibition of such activity found in Leviticus 26:1 and Exodus 20:4-5?

The answer: They are Roman Catholics, so therefore, their actions are only that of veneration.

If you answered this correctly, you are thinking like a Romanist, if you answered incorrectly you either need to start again at the beginning of this post, or you’re simply one of those fundamentalists who takes God’s prohibition against idolatry literally and seriously.

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Revelation 21:8

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

The blasphemy of Rome’s priesthood.

Reminiscent of The Pharisees

“The priest speaks, and Christ, the eternal and omnipotent God, bows his head in humble obedience to the priest’s command.”

– “Father” John O’Brien

The Faith of Millions

“Jesus died to institute the priesthood. Had he not died, where should we find the victim that the priests now offer? It was not necessary for the Redeemer to die in order to save the world; a drop of his blood, a single tear, or prayer, was sufficient to procure salvation for all . . . but to institute the priesthood, the death of Jesus Christ was necessary.”

– Alphonsus Ligouri

The Dignity and Duties of the Priest

They just don’t get it.

For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:2-4

They just don’t get it.

The false religions and cults simply cannot grasp the simplicity of the gospel message. This is evidenced anytime you have a conversation with one of them about sin, grace, faith, and justification.

You can go round and round in debate with a member of one of these organizations and you often walk away with a headache because they can’t see the forest for the trees.

They have been so indoctrinated to believe their respective organization’s interpretations of biblical texts that when someone presents them with the proper interpretation of biblical texts (using Scripture to interpret Scripture) they simply reject it.

It is so sad to watch the deceived continue in their deception, especially when they are leading others down the same broad path.

It’s like trying to convince a fish that it’s wet; the fish has known nothing but wet, so it cannot even fathom what dry is.

Recently the Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by my home and dropped off an advertisement with my wife for an upcoming event. They won’t stay to talk (our house has been flagged for almost five years now) but they will occasionally still drop off literature . . . and run.

In their latest dump-and-run literature drop they gave my wife a flier for their upcoming commemoration of the anniversary of Jesus’ death. Here’s the opening line from that advertisement:

“John the Baptizer stated that Jesus ‘takes away the sin of the world.’ (John 1:29) This drew attention to Jesus’ role in saving obedient mankind.”

Jesus saved the obedient? 

See how subtle their deception is?

The obedient don’t need a Savior. Jesus Himself said He came for the sinner, not the righteous (Matthew 9:13, Mark 2:17).

This declaration by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is predicated on the erroneous assumption that our obedience is a prerequisite for Christ to be able save us. This is classic Watchtower Organization rhetoric and is essentially the doctrine of all cults and false religions: Believing you must do your part and cooperate with God to help Him or enable Him to save you.

They just don’t get it.

If the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe obedience is required as a means or requirement of salvation (which anyone who knows Watchtower doctrine can attest that this is indeed their position) then they better be obedient to all the Law without ever sinning once from cradle to grave, otherwise they will be found guilty of breaking all the Law (James 2:10):

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.

But what’s even more damning to those seeking salvation via the conduit of obedience is the fact that they are under a curse for doing the very thing they think will save them (Galatians 3:10):

For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.”

What Jehovah’s Witnesses (and Mormons, and Roman Catholics, and Muslims, etc.) fail to understand is that regeneration comes before obedience, not the other way around. Romans 8:6-8 makes our inability very clear:

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

It’s a classic case of putting of the cart before the horse.

They just don’t get it.

It’s only after we’ve been saved, regenerated, made alive in Christ, been born again, that our works and obedience are pleasing and acceptable to God 

Our obedience is borne out of a love and desire to please the One who purchased us with His own blood, not out of us trying to appease Him and merit His favor like the pagans try do for their idols.

Our obedience, and the good works we do after being saved, come from God and are prepared beforehand for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). This is why our behavior should reflect our conversion (Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20, Ephesians 4:1) and why the absence of which should cause us to question whether or not we’ve been genuinely converted.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you– unless indeed you fail the test?  2 Corinthians 13:5

Simply put, regeneration precedes obedience (John 14:15, John 14:21-24, 1 John 3:24).

What obedience did Abraham offer to become righteous before God (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3)? What obedience did John the Baptist declare to those coming to be baptized (Matthew 3:2)? What obedience did Christ declare upon the start of His earthly ministry (Matthew 4:17) or later in His ministry (Luke 13:5)? What obedience did the thief on the cross exhibit to be with Jesus that very day in paradise (Luke 23:39-43)? What obedience did Paul tell the Philippian jailer he needed to perform to be saved (Acts 16:30-31)?

The false faiths that dot the landscape of Christianity like pock marks all invalidate the word of God for the sake of their traditions (Matthew 15:6), and their works-righteousness gospel is in complete contradiction to Jesus’ teaching of the means of the free gift of God’s grace and mercy as cited in His example of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14. You cannot read those words of our Lord and still believe that your obedience (or anything for that matter) merits you any favor in God’s eyes. If you still believe otherwise, then you make Christ’s brutal, bloody, and barbaric sacrifice null and void because it was all done in vain. 

I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. Galatians 2:21

See also: Why Don’t They Get it?

Sermon of the week: “The Deity of Christ – An Examination of the Verses the Cults Use” by Charlie Campbell.

Your sermon of the week is one that defenders of the faith are going to love. The Deity of Christ – An Examination of the Verses the Cults Use by Charlie Campbell examines the eight most commonly used verses that Jehovah’s Witnesses employ to attack Christ’s deity. Campbell does a fantastic job of presenting the texts as the Jehovah’s Witnesses do (twisted and out of context), then he goes point by point as he dismantles each of their misrepresentations using the light of Scripture.

HT: The Atlantic Baptist