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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From The Baptist Reporter, 1858
Our readers have heard of the sly way in which Romish missionaries make converts to papacy among the Chinese and other pagan nations. Under various pretences they will get access to the infants and little children, and having marked them with a sign of the cross with a finger wetted from a phial of holy water, which they carry about them for the purpose, and having silently repeated the usual words, they put them down as converts.
So they say themselves, and they glory in the fact. Lately they have been playing similar tricks nearer home. Here is a strange tale!
The Geneva correspondent of The Record says, "Your readers are no doubt aware of the recent repetition at Bologna of the priestly act of kidnapping a Hebrew child to transform him into a Christian. But here a new mode of sending Jewish children to heaven was lately essayed by a priest.
According to the prevailing custom among the middle classes in this country, a Jewess gave her newly-born infant to a nurse to be brought up. The nurse, at the confessional, revealed her sin of nursing an infidel child, and asked for counsel and consolation.
The reverend father, instead of calming her troubled conscience and assuaging her fears, aggravated her grief still more by expatiating on her sin.
"What shall I do then?" asked the terrified penitent, "Shall I baptize the child?"
"No," replied the holy man; "Alas! We are in infidel Piedmont, and such a baptism will not rescue the child from its infidel parents, and he will be brought up as a blasphemer of Christ and the saints, which would make things worse."
"What then shall I do? Is there no remedy, Father?"
"Yes, my child, there is one," was the rejoinder.
Here the confessor advised her to starve the child for some days: and when on the point of death to send for him and he would baptize it. Thus the body would be restored to the Jews, but the soul would be saved. The conscience-stricken blind bigot did as her ghastly father advised her.
The child was reduced to the last extremity, and the priest was sent for to pour on it the blessed regenerating water. But ere he came the moans and throes of the child awakened the woman's feelings in the nurse, and she sent for the parents. They came a little before the priest, and the child was saved. The nurse confessed her guilt, and the priest will be brought before the tribunal."