Through Five Republics On Horseback Being An Account Of Many Wanderings In South America By G. Whitfield Ray
 -  Guiness's Romanism and
Reformation.]

Prelates and priests, monks and nuns exert an influence that is all-
pervading. William E. Curtis - Page 10
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Guiness's "Romanism And Reformation."]

Prelates and priests, monks and nuns exert an influence that is all- pervading.

William E. Curtis, United States Commissioner to South America, wrote: "One-fourth of all the property belongs to the bishop. There is a Catholic church for every 150 inhabitants. Ten per cent. of the population are priests, monks or nuns, and 272 out of the 365 days of the year are observed as fast or feast days. The priests control the government and rule the country as absolutely as if the Pope were its king. As a result, 75 per cent. of the children born are illegitimate, and the social and political condition presents a picture of the dark ages." It is said that, in one town, every fourth person you meet is a priest or a nun, or an ecclesiastic of some sort.

Yet, with all this to battle against, the Christian missionary is making his influence felt.

La Razon, an important newspaper of Trujillo, in a recent issue says: "In homage to truth, we make known with pleasure that the ministers of Protestantism have benefited this town more in one year than all the priests and friars of the Papal sect have done in three centuries."

"Last year," writes Mr. Milne, of the American Bible Society, "one of our colporteurs in Ayacucho had to make his escape by the roof of a house where he was staying, from a mob of half-castes, led on by a friar. Finding their prey had escaped, they took his clothes and several boxes of Bibles to the plaza of the city and burnt them."

It was not such a going-back as the outside world thought, but, oh, it was a deeply significant one, when recently the leading men of the Republic of Guatemala met together and solemnly threw over the religion of their fathers, which, during 400 years of practice, had failed to uplift, and re-established the old paganism of cultured Rome.

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