Geese In Their Hoods

             by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

           — Compiled and Edited by Timothy F. Kauffman

"Pope" or "Vicar"



ISBN 0-9637141-7-1         

What were Spurgeon's views on ROMAN CATHOLICISM? This attractive collection of his writings taken from the Autobiography and The Sword and the Trowel is the answer. This anthology of Spurgeon's writings on Rome includes detailed observations of Romanism from his travels, as well as the topical issues he addressed in his monthly magazine. Whether it be the Anglican movement toward Rome, the Inquisitions, Papal Infallibility, the exaltation of Mary, or the testimony of nature against Roman Catholicism, this book contains the best of his views — apart from statements found in the 63-volume sermon series.) Accompanied by the original illustrations and woodcarvings, GEESE IN THEIR HOODS is a must for anyone who loves Spurgeon's writings and the charming candor with which he countered the advances of Romanism in 19th century England.

$12 trade paperback      

204 Pages

37 Chapters

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"Essence of lies, and quintessence of blasphemy, as the religion of Rome IS... it nevertheless fascinates a certain order of Protestants, of whom we fear it may be truly said that 'they have received a strong delusion to believe a lie, that they may be damned.' Seeing that it is so, it becomes all who would preserve their fellow-immortals from destruction to be plain and earnest in their warnings. Not in a party-spirit, but for truth's sake, our Protestantism must protest perpetually. Dignitaries of the papal confederacy are just now very prominent in benevolent movements, and we may be sure that they have ends to serve other than those which strike the public eye. A priest lives only for his church; he may profess to have other objects, but this is a mere blind. Our ancient enemies have small belief in our common sense if they imagine that we shall ever be able to trust them, after having so often beheld the depths of Jesuitical cunning and duplicity. The sooner we let certain Archbishops and Cardinals know that we are aware of their designs, and will in nothing co-operate with them, the better for us and our country. Of course, we shall be howled at as bigots, but we can afford to smile at that cry, when it comes from the church which invented the Inquisition. 'No peace with Rome' is the motto of reason as well as of religion." [C. H. Spurgeon, January 1873]

Read the FOREWARD below  

Geese In Their Hoods...

"In the frequent quarrels between the priests and monks of the Church of Rome, the two parties of rogues were silly enough to expose each other's villainies. On the edifices belonging to monasteries, priests were caricatured in the stonework; and on the churches built by priests, the monks and friars were held up to ridicule. A great deal of real truth was thus brought out by their mutual recriminations. The ancient carving above is a specimen of a common caricature representing the clergy as foxes with geese in their hoods; a very admirable picture whether monks or priests were intended. Popery, with its secret confessional and priestly interference at dying beds, is essentially a fox. Puseyism, pretending to be Protestant, and gradually bringing in all the foolery of Rome, is a deep fox indeed. Yet there are geese silly enough to be deceived by priests in this nineteenth century; and so long as the supply of such geese is kept up, the foxes will never cease to prowl.


"Reader, do you believe that men like yourself have priestly power? Do you think that they can regenerate infants by sprinkling them, and turn bread and wine into the very body and blood of Jesus Christ? Do you think that a bishop can bestow the Holy Ghost, and that a parish clergyman can forgive sins? If so, your head can be seen in the picture peeping out from the cowl of the fox. You are the victim of crafty deceivers. Your soul will be their prey in life and in death. They cajole you with soft words, fine vestments, loud pretensions, and cunning smiles, but they will conduct you down to the chambers of death, and lead you to the gates of hell. Silly goose, may grace make thee wise!

"Jesus Christ is the true Priest who can forgive all your sins; go to him at once, without the intervention of these pretenders. Make confession to him! Seek absolution from him! The Holy Ghost alone can cause you to be born again, and the grace of God alone can bring you to glory. Avoid Puseyite and Romish foxes, for they seek to make a gain of you, and lead you not to Jesus, but to their Church and all its mummeries. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in these deceivers."




Timothy F. Kauffman

Publisher (1997)

White Horse Publications

It is not often that one can broadcast the news that something has been accomplished 9,874 years AHEAD of schedule. It is true, though. Something has happened that Charles Haddon Spurgeon did not expect until at least the year 11,868 AD. Spurgeon thought that that year would be the earliest possible date for evangelicals to consider sitting down at the table with Roman Catholicism! In fact, contrary to the current popular view that Evangelicals should work together with Rome to stave off the advance of unbelievers in our culture, Spurgeon actually had the wherewithal to suggest that both Evangelicals and unbelievers would find it in their respective interests to stave off Rome. Though he phrased his sentiments carefully so as not to suggest any formal unity with the world, Spurgeon did nonetheless believe that Roman Catholicism posed enough of a THREAT to the civil and spiritual liberties of Christians and non- that it was in the interest of both to keep Rome at bay, repentance forthcoming or no

"If the church of Rome could at this moment change its Ethiopian skin for ever, lay aside its leopard's spots, and become a pure community, ten thousand years of immaculate holiness and self-denying philanthropy could not avail to blot out the remembrance of the enormous crimes with which the Inquisition has loaded it. There is a deep and indelible sentence of damnation written upon the apostate church by avenging justice for its more than infernal cruelties, and the curse is registered in heaven; nor can any pretences to present liberality reverse the condemnation which outraged humanity has pronounced against it; its infamy is engraven in the rock for ever. Centuries of the most liberal policy would not convince mankind that Popery had become tolerant at heart; she wallowed so greedily in oppression, torture, and murder in her palmy days, that the foam of human gore hangs around her wolfish fangs, and men will not believe her to be a gentle lamb, let her bleat as she may. Against her common humanity is up in arms as much as evangelical religion. Her confessional is as dangerous to the mere moralist as to the Christian; her inquisition would be as ruinous to mercantile prosperity as to spiritual activity. Men of all religions and of no religion should deprecate the growth of a system which rendered the Inquisition possible; while followers of Jesus, for their own sake as well as for their Lord's should oppose it with all their might." [GEESE IN THEIR HOODS, pgs. 144-145]

Unfortunately, Spurgeon would now have to receive the report that what he thought nearly impossible had happened, not 10,000 years after, but a scant 126 years after he wrote this warning in April of 1868. In 1994, the unlikeliest of all words"TOGETHER"was added as a suffix to two words which often flowed from the end of Spurgeon's pen and frequently fell from his lips: "Evangelicals" and "Catholics."

Spurgeon often spoke of Rome and preached about Evangelicals, but always on the tendency of the former to infect the gospel of the latter, or on the need for the latter to be warned of the cunning devices of the former. Spurgeon never thought the two could possible be joined, except, perhaps, in a mad run headlong from opposite ends of a battlefield.  In Spurgeon's mind, the two would always be at war.

Spurgeon's special burden was to have a church IN England, rather than a church OF England, and often his writings against the state-sponsored Anglican Church were riddled with criticisms of Rome. In his eyes, the Anglican priesthood was the "twin sister of Rome" [GEESE, pg. 125], and the Church of England was a "church abounding with undisguised Romanisers" [pg. 126]. In his writings against the Church of Englandto his credit, noting the exceptions where they were plainhe found it necessary to lay waste to the Roman doctrines which had influenced the "Anglican Papacy" [pgs. 126 & 156]; and naturally, when he would attack Rome, he could not help but to present to his readers the fact that the same fruits which came from the large expanse of the Romanist system could be seen in a smaller scope before their eyes in the Anglican Church, which church he called "a nursery for Papists" [pg. 156]. Since he had lost members of his congregation to Rome THROUGH the church of England, the two were practically inseparable, and therefore, his preaching rarely treated of one and not the other. They were one and the same in theory and in practice, in teaching and in fruit. No distinction was necessary in expounding their error.

For this reason it humored, and no doubt frustrated, Spurgeon that the Church of England pretended to be Protestantism's "last line of defense against Rome." He saw that the church of England was Protestant in name only, and he pleaded for an end to "state-churchism." To his thinking, even the church of England had the latent ability to do as Rome had done during the Inquisitions, and for this reason, Christ's kingdom could never properly be wed to those of this world as Rome was ever eager to do

"The inmost soul of Protestantism is the responsibility of the conscience to GOD ALONE, the spiritual nature of true religion, and the freedom of faith from the rule of earthly lords. State-churchism is antichristian, and always ripens into oppression and tyranny wherever opportunity is given it. 'NO POPERY' is our cry, and therefore laying the axe at the root of the system, we demand the abolition of every union between church and state, and the disallowance of every form of interference on the part of Caesar with things which belong alone to God." [GEESE, pgs. 146-147]

He saw in the church of England the possibility of what Rome had become. His calls for believers to come out of Rome were accompanied by equally desperate cries for believers to come out of "English Popery" [pg. 125] where "the pope's work is being better done by our state-paid clergy than by his Jesuits or Cardinals" [pg. 156]. His desire for a pure Church of Jesus Christ IN England was so strong, that he was unwilling even to join hands with state-supported church OF England to defend against the onslaught of Rome; and this even though the Anglican Church called Rome the enemy, too. Only Christ could protect His Church from the gates of hell, and Roman AND Anglican Ritualism were to be resisted in that struggle. A union with the Anglican priests would have contaminated the very Gospel which Spurgeon knew was the Church's only hope against ROMANISM. Anglicanism was a hindrancenot a help. And Rome, not culture, was the primary enemy to be contended with. The culture had no gospel, and therefore posed no greater threat that the Church had ever encountered before, but Rome had something far more dangerous: a FALSE gospel, and she was holding it out to all. The true Gospel of Christ was the answer for everyoneAnglican, Papist, or unbelieverand Spurgeon insisted that it be held out to every man one at a time as the Lord would draw them by the preaching of the Word, rather than through a system of works, sacraments and rituals.

In one tract, Geese in their Hoods, he lamented that the unlearned and the unsure were being lured by the siren song of Rome and being carried off by foxes to the lair. Like the carving on the front cover of this work [see above], he saw them as unsuspecting geese being carried in the hoods of them which they thought to be their very protectors. At the moment the geese seemed to themselves to be the most secure, they were in the most danger. Spurgeon would no doubt see as "geese" the many Protestants who are converting to Rome today.

Even the ecumenical theologians and culture warriors of our time who insist on blurring the differences between Rome and Christianity, thinking themselves to have found a strong protector in Roman Catholicism, have taken fire into their bosoms and do not know that their clothes are about to catch fire. They are geese in the foxes' hoods; they have invited and welcomed danger into the Church of Christ. This is the very thing that Spurgeon thought to be so heart-rending in his day: "Silly goose, may grace make thee wise! Avoid... Romish foxes, for they seek to make a gain of you, and lead you not to Jesus" [pg. 166]. The Church of Christ needs nothing but the Gospel to prevail against the world; the Church does not need to enlist the strong arm of the state, nor does she need to yoke herself with Rome to spread throughout the world the Gospel of Christ. Her Husband and Lord will see to the ultimate triumph of the Church.

This anthology of Spurgeon's writings against Roman Catholicism is offered as a reminder that the Church must be ever diligent in her protection of the Gospel against those who deny it and also against those who try to synthesize it with traditions of men. I would that there were men like Spurgeon in today's church, men not afraid of Rome's great size, nor so fearful for their reputations that they could not speak the truth about the "renowned scarlet lady of the seven hills" [pg. 125]. Let us get a good look at the face of the foxes before we ride comfortably in their hoods to the lair, for "so long as the supply of such geese is kept up, the foxes will never cease to prowl" [pg. 166]. And let us forsake all alliances with unbelievers lest the gospel of Christ which is "the power of God" be tainted with the foolishness of "them that are perishing" (1 Corinthians 1:18). And let cease the supply to the foxes.

"Standing where Satan's seat is, in the midst of ten thousand idols, I beseech those who worship God in the spirit to wrestle in prayer for times of refreshing, that all lands may know that Jesus Christ is Lord. How long shall the Name of Jesus be blasphemed by the idolatries of Antichrist? It may be that the times of darkness will last will the children of light cry out bitterly, day and night, by reason of soul-anguish. Then will God avenge His own elect, and that speedily. As I have trodden the Appian Way, I rejoiced that Jesus, whom Paul preached, is yet alive, and is certain, in due season, to put down His enemies. Already He has desolated the Colosseum, where His faithful martyrs poured forth their blood; the pagan power has fallen, and so also shall the papal, and all other which opposes His Kingdom. Let us proclaim a spiritual crusade, and set up our banners of redoubled prayer. It is certain that supplication produces marvellous results in Heaven and earth; its power is proven in our own personal experience, and throughout the history of the Church. Brethren, LET US PRAY." C. H. Spurgeon, in a letter to Tabernacle church and friends in general

From C. H. Spurgeon's AUTOBIOGRAPHY Vol 3, Chapter 73, pg. 203    






"Ask of me, and I shall give thee." [Psalms 2:8-9]

Christ's Universal Kingdom, and How It Cometh

The power and grace of God will be conspicuously seen in the subjugation of this world to Christ: every heart shall know that it was wrought be the power of God in answer to the prayer of Christ and his church. I believe, brethren, that the length of time spent in the accomplishment of the divine plan has much of it been occupied with getting rid of those many forms of human power which have intruded into the place of the Spirit.

If you and I had been about in our Lord's day, and could have had everything managed to our hand, we should have converted Caesar straight away by argument or by oratory; we should then have converted all his legions by every means within our reach; and, I warrant you, with Caesar and his legions at our back we would have Christianised the world in no time: would we not? Yes, but that is not God's way at all, nor the right and effectual way to set up a spiritual kingdom.

Bribes and threats are alike unlawful, eloquence and carnal reasoning are out of court, the power of divine love is the one weapon for this campaign. Long ago the prophet wrote, "Not by might, nor by power, but by Spirit, saith the Lord." The fact is that such conversions as could be brought about by physical force, or by mere mental energy, or by the prestige of rank and pomp, are not conversions at all. The kingdom of Christ is not a kingdom of this world, else would his servants fight; it rests on a spiritual basis, and is to be advanced by spiritual means.

Yet Christ's servants gradually slipped down into the notion that his kingdom was of this world, and could be upheld by human power. A Roman emperor professed to be converted, using a deep policy to settle himself upon the throne; then Christianity became the State-patronized religion; it seemed that the world was Christianized, whereas, indeed, the church was heathenized. Hence sprang the monster of State-church, a conjunction ill-assorted, and fraught with untold ills. This incongruous thing is half human, half divine: as a theory it fascinates, as a fact it betrays; it promises to advance the truth, and is itself a negation of it.

Under its influences a system of religion was fashioned, which beyond all false religions, and beyond even Atheism itself, is the greatest hindrance to the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Under its influence dark ages lowered over the world; men were not permitted to think; a Bible could scarcely be found, and a preacher of the gospel, if found, was put to death.

That was the result of human power coming in with the sword in one hand and the gospel in the other, and developing its pride of ecclesiastical power into a triple crown, and Inquisition, and an infallible Pope. This parasite, this canker, this incubus of the church will be removed by the grace of God, and by his providence in due season. The kings of the earth who have loved this unchaste system will grow weary of it and destroy it. Read Revelation 17:16, and see how terrible her end will be. The death of the system will come from those who gave it life: the powers of earth created thy system, and they will in due time destroy it.

from Christ's Universal Kingdom, and How It Cometh

MTP Vol 26, Year 1880, pg. 261-262, Psalms 2:8-9

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