Page:Our Sister Republic - Mexico.djvu/367

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353
THE PROTESTANT MISSIONS IN MEXICO.

as if it had the small-pox. Strange, is it not, that Mexico did not love the Empire?

The Protestant movement in Mexico is something which I cannot fully understand, and which particularly surprised, and I may say astonished me, more than anything else I witnessed. I am not a member of any church, and profess no special creed, but as an enemy of every form of slavery and oppression, I cannot but regard this Protestant movement with interest and sympathy. That it will accomplish all which is expected of it by its friends, I am not inclined to believe; but that it will be the means of reforming the Catholic Church of Mexico and removing the abuses which made it a by-word, reproach, and curse to the country, I regard as highly probable. I must bear testimony to the earnestness and devotion of these "Evangelical Christians" of Mexico, and their wonderful success. I am not inclined to meddle much with the religious affairs of any people, but as a matter of fact, and as illustrating the condition of the country, I append the statement of the leader in this great movement, without endorsing his conclusions. The mere facts, I know to be as he has stated them:

"The immense number of magnificent stone churches that are to be seen in the cities and villages of this republic, remind the traveler of the overwhelming power that Rome once exercised over this land. The convents, church buildings, jewelry gold and silver, and real estate that she once owned, won for the Mexican Roman church the title of "the richest of churches." A vast part of the mineral wealth of Mexico passed into the hands of the satellites of Rome that swarmed here, and enabled them to fortify themselves till they imagined their position to be impregnable. Like a vessel becalmed in