Talmage Interview 3
Robert Green Ingersoll
20 page printout. Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. **** **** This file, its printout, or copies of either are to be copied and given away, but NOT sold. Bank of Wisdom, Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 The Works of ROBERT G. INGERSOLL **** **** INTERVIEWS ON REV. TALMAGE. THIRD INTERVIEW. 1882 Sinner. Is God infinite in wisdom and power? Parson. He is. Sinner. Does he at all times know just what ought to be done? Parson. He does. Sinner. Does he always do just what ought to be done? Parson. He does. Sinner. Why do you pray to him? Parson. Because he is unchangeable. ***** ***** QUESTION. I want to ask you a few questions about Mr. Talmage's third sermon. what do you think of it? ANSWER. I often ask myself the questions: Is there anything in the occupation of a minister, -- any thing in his surroundings, that makes him incapable of treating an opponent fairly, or decently? Is there anything in the doctrine of universal forgiveness that compels a man to speak of one who differs with him only in terms of disrespect and hatred? Is it necessary for those who profess to love the whole world, to hate the few they come in actual contact with? Mr. Talmage, no doubt, professes to love all mankind, -- Jew and Gentile, Christian and Pagan. No doubt, he believes in the missionary effort, and thinks we should do all in our power to save the soul of the most benighted savage; and yet he shows anything but affection for the "heathen" at home. He loves the ones he never saw, -- is real anxious for their welfare, -- but for the ones he knows, he exhibits only scorn and hatred. In one breath, he tells us that Christ loves us, and in the next, that we are "wolves and dogs." We are informed that Christ forgave even his murderers, but that now he hates an honest unbeliever with all his heart. He can forgive the ones who drove the nails into his hands and feet, -- the one who thrust the spear through his quivering flesh, -- but he cannot forgive the man who entertains an honest doubt about the "scheme of salvation." He regards the man who thinks, as a "mouth- maker at heaven." Is it possible that Christ is less forgiving in heaven than he was in Jerusalem? Did he excuse murderers then, and does he damn thinkers now? Once he pitied even thieves; does he now abhor an intellectually honest man? Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 1 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE QUESTION. Mr. Talmage seems to think that you have no right to give your opinion about the Bible. Do you think that laymen have the same right as ministers to examine the Scriptures? ANSWER. If God only made a revelation for preachers, of course we will have to depend on the Preachers for information. But the preachers have made the mistake of showing the revelation. They ask us, the laymen, to read it, and certainly there is no use of reading it, unless we are permitted to think for ourselves while we read. If after reading the Bible we believe it to be true, we will say so, If we are honest. If we do not believe it, we will say so, if we are honest. But why should God be so particular about our believing the stories in his book? Why should God object to having his book examined? We do not have to call upon legislators, or courts, to protect Shakespeare from the derision of mankind. Was not God able to write a book that would command the love and admiration of the world? If the God of Mr. Talmage is infinite, he knew exactly how the stories of the Old Testament would strike a gentleman of the nineteenth century. He knew that many would have their doubts, -- that thousands of them -- and I may say most of them, -- would refuse to believe that a miracle had ever been performed. Now, it seems to me that he should either have left the stories out, or furnished evidence enough to convince the world. According to Mr. Talmage, thousands of people are pouring over the Niagara of unbelief into the gulf of eternal pain. Why does not God furnish more evidence? Just in proportion as man has developed intellectually, he has demanded additional testimony. That which satisfies a barbarian, excites only the laughter of a civilized man. Certainly God should furnish evidence in harmony with the spirit of the age. If God wrote his Bible for the average man, he should have written it in such a way that it would have carried conviction to the brain and heart of the average man; and he should have made no man in such a way that he could not, by any possibility, believe it. There certainly should be a harmony between the Bible and the human brain. If I do not believe the Bible, whose fault is it? Mr. Talmage insists that his God wrote the Bible for me, and made me. If this is true, the book and the man should agree. There is no sense in God writing a book for me and then making me in such a way that I cannot believe his book. QUESTION. But. Mr. Talmage says the reason why you hate the Bible is, that your soul is poisoned; that the Bible "throws you into a rage precisely as pure water brings on a paroxysm of hydrophobia." ANSWER. Is it because the mind of the infidel is poisoned, that he refuses to believe that an infinite God commanded the murder of mothers, maidens and babes? Is it because their minds are impure, that they refuse to believe that a good God established the institution of human slavery, or that he protected it when established? Is it because their minds are vile, that they refuse to believe that an infinite God established or protected polygamy? Is it a sure sign of an impure mind, when a man insists that God never waged wars of extermination against his helpless children? Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 2 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE Does it show that a man has been entirely given over to the devil, because he refuses to believe that God ordered a father to sacrifice his son? Does it show that a heart is entirely without mercy, simply because a man denies the justice of eternal pain? I denounce many parts of the Old Testament because they are infinitely repugnant to my sense of justice, -- because they are bloody, brutal and infamous -- because they uphold crime and destroy human liberty. It is impossible for me to imagine a greater monster than the God of the Old Testament. He is unworthy of my worship. He commands only my detestation, my execration, and my passionate hatred. The God who commanded the murder of children is an infamous fiend. The God who believed in polygamy, is worthy only of contempt. The God who established slavery should be hated by every free man. The Jehovah of the Jews was simply a barbarian, and the Old Testament is mostly the barbarous record of a barbarous people. If the Jehovah of the Jews is the real God, I do not wish to be his friend. From him I neither ask, nor expect, nor would I be willing to receive, even an eternity of joy. According to the Old Testament, he established a government, -- political state, -- and yet, no civilized country to-day would re-enact these laws of God. QUESTION. What do you think of the explanation given by Mr. Talmage of the stopping of the sun and moon in the time of Joshua, in order that a battle might be completed? ANSWER. Of course, if there is an infinite God he could have stopped the sun and moon. No one pretends to prescribe limits to the power of the infinite. Even admitting that such a being existed the question whether he did stop the sun and moon, or not, still remains. According to the account, these planets were stopped, in order that Joshua might continue the pursuit of a routed enemy. I take it for granted that a being of infinite wisdom would not waste any force, -- that he would not throw away any "omnipotence," and that, under ordinary circumstances, he would husband his resources. I find that this spirit exists, at least in embryo, in Mr. Talmage. He proceeds to explain this miracle. He does not assert that the earth was stopped on its axis, but suggests "refraction" as a way out of the difficulty. Now, while the stopping of the earth on its axis accounts for the sun remaining in the same relative position, it does not account for the stoppage of the moon. The moon has a motion of its own, and even if the earth had been stopped in its rotary motion, the moon would have gone on. The Bible tells us that the moon was stopped. One would suppose that the sun would have given sufficient light for all practical purposes. Will Mr. Talmage be kind enough to explain the stoppage of the moon? Every one knows that the moon is somewhat obscure when the sun is in the midst of the heavens. The moon when compared with the sun at such a time, is much like one of the discourses of Mr. Talmage side by side with a chapter from Humboldt; -- it is useless. In the same chapter in which the account of the stoppage of the sun and moon is given, we find that God cast down from heaven great hailstones on Joshua's enemies. Did he get out of hailstones? Had he no "omnipotence" left? Was it necessary for him to stop the sun and moon and depend entirely upon the efforts of Joshua? Would Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 3 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE not the force employed in stopping the rotary motion of the earth have been sufficient to destroy the enemy? Would not a millionth part of the force necessary to stop the moon, have pierced the enemy's center, and rolled up both his flanks? A resort to lightning would have been, in my judgment, much more economical and rather more effective. If he had simply opened the earth, and swallowed them, as he did Korah and his company, it would have been a vast saving of "omnipotent" muscle. Yet, the foremost orthodox minister of the Presbyterian Church, -- the one who calls all unbelievers "wolves and dogs," and "brazen fools," in his effort to account for this miracle, is driven to the subterfuge of an "optical illusion." We are seriously informed that "God probably "changed the nature of the air," and performed this feat of legerdemain through the instrumentality of "refraction." It seems to me it would have been fully as easy to have changed the nature of the air breathed by the enemy, so that it would not have supported life. He could have accomplished this by changing only a little air, in that vicinity; whereas, according to the Talmagian view, he changed the atmosphere of the world. Or, a small "local flood "might have done the work. The optical illusion and refraction view. ingenious as it may appear, was not original with Mr. Talmage. The Rev. Henry M. Morey, of South Bend, Indiana, used, upon this subject, the following language; "The phenomenon was simply "optical. The rotary motion of the earth was not disturbed, but the light of the sun was prolonged by the same laws of refraction and reflection by which the sun now appears to be above the horizon when it is really below. The medium through which the sun's rays passed, might have been miraculously influenced so as to have caused the sun to linger above the horizon long after its usual time for disappearance." I Pronounce the opinion of Mr. Morey to be the ripest product of Christian scholarship. According to the Morey-Talmage view. the sun lingered somewhat above the horizon. But this is inconsistent with the Bible account. We are not told in the Scriptures that the sun "lingered above the horizon," but that it "stood still in the midst of heaven for about a whole day." The trouble about the optical-illusion view is, that it makes the day too long. If the air was miraculously changed, so that it refracted the rays of the sun, while the earth turned over as usual for about a whole day, then, at the end of that time, the sun must have been again visible in the east. It would then naturally shine twelve hours more, so that this miraculous day must have been at least thirty-six hours in length. There were first twelve hours of natural light, then twelve hours of refracted and reflected light, and then twelve hours more of natural light. This makes the day too long. So, I say to Mr. Talmage, as I said to Mr. Morey: If you will depend a little less on refraction, and a little more on reflection, you will see that the whole story is a barbaric myth and foolish fable. For my part, I do not see why God should be pleased to have me believe a story of this character. I can hardly think that there is great joy in heaven over another falsehood swallowed. I can imagine that a man may deny this story, and still be an excellent citizen, a good father, an obliging neighbor, and in all respects a just and truthful man. I can also Imagine that a man may believe this story, and yet assassinate a President of the United States. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 4 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE I am afraid that Mr. Talmage is beginning to be touched, in spite of himself, with some new ideas. He tells us that worlds are born and that worlds die. this is not exactly the Bible view. you would think that he imagined that a world was naturally produced, -- that the aggregation of atoms was natural, and that disintegration came to worlds, as to men, through old age. Yet this is not the Bible view. According to the Bible, these worlds were not born, -- they were created out of "nothing," or out of "omnipotence," which is much the same. According to the Bible, it took this infinite God six days to make this atom called earth; and according to the account, he did not work nights, -- he worked from the mornings to the evenings, -- and I suppose rested nights, as he has since that time on Sundays. Admitting that the battle which Joshua fought was exceedingly important -- which I do not think -- is it not a little strange that this God, in all subsequent battles of the world's history, of which we know anything, has maintained the strictest neutrality? The earth turned as usual at Yorktown, and at Gettysburg the moon pursued her usual course; and so far as I know, neither at Waterloo nor at Sedan were there any peculiar freaks of "refraction" or "reflection." QUESTION. Mr. Talmage tells us that there was in the early part of this century a dark day, when workmen went home from their fields, and legislatures and courts adjourned, and that the darkness of that day has not yet been explained. What is your opinion about that? ANSWER. My opinion is, that if at that time we had been at war with England, and a battle had been commenced in the morning, and in the afternoon the American forces had been driven from their position and were hard pressed by the enemy, and if the day had become suddenly dark, and so dark that the Americans were thereby enabled to escape, thousands of theologians of the calibre of Mr. Talmage would have honestly believed that there had been an interposition of divine Providence. No battle was fought that day, and consequently, even the ministers are looking for natural causes. In olden times, when the heavens were visited by comets, war, pestilence and famine were predicted. If wars came, the prediction was remembered; if nothing happened, it was forgotten. When eclipses visited the sun and moon, the barbarian fell upon his knees, and accounted for the phenomena by the wickedness of his neighbor. Mr. Talmage tells us that his father was terrified by the meteoric shower that visited our earth in 1833. The terror of the father may account for the credulity of the son. Astronomers will be surprised to read the declaration of Mr. Talmage that the meteoric shower has never been explained. Meteors visit the earth every year of its life, and in a certain portion of the orbit they are always expected, and they always come. Mr. Newcomb has written a work on astronomy that all ministers ought to read. QUESTION. Mr. Talmage also charges you with "making light of holy things," and seems to be astonished that you should ridicule the anointing oil of Aaron? Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 5 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE ANSWER. I find that the God who had no time to say anything on the subject of slavery, and who found no room upon the tables of stone to say a word against polygamy, and in favor of the rights of woman, wife and mother, took time to give a recipe for making hair oil. And in order that the priests might have the exclusive right to manufacture this oil, decreed the penalty of death on all who should infringe. I admit that I am incapable of seeing the beauty of this symbol. Neither could I ever see the necessity of Masons putting oil on the corner-stone of a building. Of course, I do not know the exact chemical effect that oil has on stone, and I see no harm in laughing at such a ceremony. If the oil does good, the laughter will do no harm; and if the oil will do no harm, the laughter will do no good. Personally, I am willing that Masons should put oil on all stones; but, if Masons should insist that I must believe in the efficacy of the ceremony. or be eternally damned, I would have about the same feeling toward the Masons that I now have toward Mr. Talmage. I presume that at one time the putting of oil on a corner-stone had some meaning; but that it ever did any good, no sensible man will insist. It is a custom to break a bottle of champagne over the bow of a newly-launched ship, but I have never considered this ceremony important to the commercial interests of the world. I have the same opinion about putting oil on stones, as about putting water on heads. For my part. I see no good in the rite of baptism. Still, it may do no harm, unless people are immersed during cold weather. Neither have I the slightest objection to the baptism of anybody; but if people tell me that I must be baptized or suffer eternal agony, then I deny it. If they say that baptism does any earthly good, I deny it. No one objects to any harmless ceremony; but the moment it is insisted that a ceremony is necessary, the reason of which no man can see, then the practice of the ceremony becomes hurtful, for the reason that it is maintained only at the expense of intelligence and manhood. It is hurtful for people to imagine that they can Please God by any ceremony whatever. If there is any God, there is only one way to please him, and that is, by a conscientious discharge of your obligations to your fellow-men. Millions of people imagine that they can please God by wearing certain kinds of cloth. Think of a God who can be pleased with a coat of a certain cut! Others, to earn a smile of heaven, shave their heads, or trim their beards, or Perforate their ears: or lips or noses. Others maim and mutilate their bodies. Others think to please God by simply shutting their eyes, by swinging censers, by lighting candles, by repeating poor Latin, by making a sign of the cross with holy water, by ringing bells, by going without meat, by eating fish, by getting hungry, by counting beads, by making themselves miserable Sundays, by looking solemn, by refusing to marry, by hearing sermons; and others imagine that they can please God by calumniating unbelievers. There is an old story of an Irishman who, when dying, sent for a priest. The reputation of the dying man was so perfectly miserable, that the priest refused to administer the rite of extreme unction. The priest therefore asked him if he could recollect any decent action that he had ever done. The dying man said that he could not. "very well," said the priest, "then you Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 6 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE will have to be damned." In a moment, the pinched and pale face brightened, and he said to the priest: "I have thought of one good action." "What is it?" asked the priest. And the dying man said, "Once I killed a gauger." I suppose that in the next world some ministers, driven to extremes, may reply: "Once I told a lie about an infidel." QUESTION. you see that Mr. Talmage still sticks to me whale and Jonah story. What do you think of his argument, or of his explanation, rather, of that miracle? ANSWER. The edge of his orthodoxy seems to be crumbling. He tells us that "there is in the mouth of the common whale a cavity large enough for a man to live in without descent into his stomach," -- and yet Christ says, that Jonah was in the whale's belly, not in his mouth. But why should Mr. Talmage say that? We are told in the sacred account that "God prepared a great fish" for the sole purpose of having Jonah swallowed. The size of the present whale has nothing to do with the story. No matter whether the throat of the whale of to-day is large or small, -- that has nothing to do with it. The simple story is, that God prepared a fish and had Jonah swallowed. And yet Mr. Talmage throws out the suggestion that probably this whale held Jonah in his mouth for three days and nights. I admit that Jonah's chance for air would have been a little better in his mouth, and his chance for water a little worse. Probably the whale that swallowed Jonah was the same fish spoken of by Procopius, -- both accounts being entitled, in my judgment, to equal credence. I am a little surprised that Mr. Talmage forgot to mention the fish spoken of by Munchausen -- an equally reliable author, -- and who has given, not simply the bald fact that a fish swallowed a ship, but was good enough to furnish the details. Mr. Talmage should remember that out of Jonah's biography grew the habit of calling any remarkable lie, "a fish story." There is one thing that Mr. Talmage. should not forget; and that is, that miracles should not be explained. Miracles are told simply to be believed, not to be understood. Somebody suggested to Mr. Talmage that, in all probability, a person in the stomach of a whale would be digested in less than three days. Mr. Talmage, again showing his lack of confidence in God, refusing to believe that God could change the nature of gastric juice, -- having no opportunity to rely upon "refraction or reflection," frankly admits that Jonah had to save himself by keeping on the constant go and jump. This gastric-juice theory of Mr. Talmage is an abandonment of his mouth hypothesis. I do not wonder that Mr. Talmage thought of the mouth theory. Possibly, the two theories had better be united -- so that we may say that Jonah, when he got tired of the activity necessary to avoid the gastric juice, could have strolled into the mouth for a rest. What a picture! Jonah sitting on the edge of the lower jaw, wiping the perspiration and the gastric juice from his anxious face, and vainly looking through the open mouth for signs of land! In this story of Jonah, we are told that "the Lord spake unto the fish." In what language? It must be remembered that this fish was only a few hours old. He had been prepared during the storm, Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 7 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE for the sole purpose of swallowing Jonah. He was a fish of exceedingly limited experience. He had no hereditary knowledge, because he did not spring from ancestors; consequently, he had no instincts. Would such a fish understand any language? It may be contended that the fish, having been made for the occasion, was given a sufficient knowledge of language to understand an ordinary commandment; but, if Mr. Talmage is right, I think an order to the fish would have been entirely unnecessary. When we take into consideration that a thing the size of a man had been promenading up and down the stomach of this fish for three days and three nights, successfully baffling the efforts of gastric juice, we can readily believe that the fish was as anxious to have Jonah go, as Jonah was to leave. But the whale part is, after all, not the most wonderful portion of the book of Jonah. According to this wonderful account, "the word of the Lord came to Jonah," telling him to "go and cry against the city of Nineveh;" but Jonah, instead of going, endeavored to evade the Lord by taking ship for Tarshish. As soon as the Lord heard of this, he sent out a great wind into the sea," and frightened the sailors to that extent that after assuring themselves, by casting lots, that Jonah was the man, they threw him into the sea. After escaping from the whale, he went to Nineveh, and delivered his pretended message from God. In consequence of his message, Jonah having no credentials from God, -- nothing certifying to his official character, the King of Nineveh covered himself with sack-cloth and sat down in some ashes. He then caused a decree to be issued that every man and beast should abstain from food and water; and further, that every man and beast should be covered with sack-cloth. This was done in the hope that Jonah's God would repent, and turn away his fierce anger. When we take into consideration the fact that the people of Nineveh were not Hebrews, and had not the slightest confidence in the God of the Jews -- knew no more of, and cared no more for, Jehovah than we now care for Jupiter, or Neptune; the effect produced by the proclamation of Jonah is, to say the least of it, almost incredible. We are also informed, in this book, that the moment God saw all the people sitting in the ashes, and all the animals covered with sack-cloth, he repented. This failure on the part of God to destroy the unbelievers displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. Jonah was much like the modern minister, who seems always to be personally aggrieved if the pestilence and famine prophesied by him do not come. Jonah was displeased to that degree, that he asked God to kill him. Jonah then went out of the city, even after God had repented, made him a booth and sat under it, in the shade, waiting to see what would become of the city. God then "prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah that it might be a shadow over his head to deliver him from his grief." And then we have this pathetic line: "So Jonah was exceedingly glad of the gourd." God having prepared a fish, and also prepared a gourd, proposed next morning to prepare a worm. And when the sun rose next day, the worm that God had prepared, "smote the gourd, so that it withered." I can hardly believe that an infinite being prepared a worm to smite a gourd so that it withered, in order to keep the sun Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 8 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE from the bald head of a prophet. According to the account, after sunrise, and after the worm had smitten the gourd, "God prepared a vehement east wind." This was not an ordinary wind, but one prepared expressly for that occasion. After the wind had been prepared, "the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, and he fainted, and wished in himself to die." All this was done in order to convince Jonah that a man who would deplore the loss of a gourd, ought not to wish for the destruction of a city. Is it possible for any intelligent man now to believe that the history of Jonah is literally true? For my part, I cannot see the necessity either of believing it, or of preaching it. It has nothing to do with honesty, with mercy, or with morality. The bad may believe it, and the good may hold it in contempt. I do not see that civilization has the slightest interest in the fish, the gourd, the worm, or the vehement east wind. Does Mr. Talmage think that it is absolutely necessary to believe all the story? Does he not think it probable that a God of infinite mercy, rather than damn the soul of an honest man to hell forever, would waive, for instance, the worm, -- provided he believed in the vehement east wind, the gourd and the fish? Mr. Talmage, by insisting on the literal truth of the Bible stories, is doing Christianity great harm. Thousands of young men will say: "I can't become a Christian if it is necessary to believe the adventures of Jonah." Mr. Talmage will put into the paths of multitudes of people willing to do right, anxious to make the world a little better than it is, -- this stumbling block. He could have explained it, called it an allegory, poetical license, a child of the oriental imagination, a symbol, a parable, a poem, a dream, a legend, a myth, a divine figure, or a great truth wrapped in the rags and shreds and patches of seeming falsehood. His efforts to belittle the miracle, to suggest the mouth instead of the stomach, -- to suggest that Jonah took deck passage. or lodged in the forecastle instead of in the cabin or steerage, -- to suggest motion as a means of avoiding digestion, is a serious theological blunder, and may cause the loss of many souls. If Mr. Talmage will consult with other ministers, they will tell him to let this story alone -- that he will simply "provoke investigation and discussion" -- two things to be avoided. They will tell him that they are not willing their salary should hang on so slender a thread. and will advise him not to bother his gourd about Jonah's. They will also tell him that in this age of the world, arguments cannot be answered by "a vehement east wind." Some people will think that it would have been just as easy for God to have pulled the gourd up, as to have prepared a worm to bite it. QUESTION. Mr. Talmage charges that you have said there are indecencies in the Bible. Are you still of that opinion? ANSWER. Mr. Talmage endeavors to evade the charge, by saying that "there are things in the Bible not intended to be read, either in the family circle, or in the pulpit, but nevertheless they are to be "read." My own judgment is, that an infinite being should not Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 9 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE inspire the writing of indecent things. It will not do to say, that the Bible description of sin "warns and saves." There is nothing in the history of Tamar calculated to "warn and save;" and the same may be said of many other passages in the Old Testament. Most Christians would be glad to know that all such passages are interpolations. I regret that Shakespeare ever wrote a line that could not be read any where, and by any person. But Shakespeare, great as he was, did not rise entirely above his time. So of most poets. Nearly all have stained their pages with some vulgarity; and I am sorry for it, and hope the time will come when we shall have an edition of all the great writers and poets from which every such passage is eliminated. It is with the Bible as with most other books. It is a mingling of good and bad. There are many exquisite passages in the Bible, -- many good laws, -- many wise sayings, -- and there are many passages that should never have been written. I do not propose to throw away the good on account of the had, neither do I propose to accept the bad on account of the good. The Bible need not be taken as an entirety. It is the business of every man who reads it, to discriminate between that which is good and that which is bad. There are also many passages neither good nor bad, -- wholly and totally indifferent -- conveying no information -- utterly destitute of ideas, -- and as to these passages, my only objection to them is that they waste time and paper. I am in favor of every passage in the Bible that conveys information. I am in favor of every wise proverb, of every verse coming from human experience and that appeals to the heart of man. I am in favor of every passage that inculcates justice, generosity, purity, and mercy. I am satisfied that much of the historical part is false. Some of it is probably true. Let us have the courage to take the true, and throw the false away. I am satisfied that many of the passages are barbaric, and many of them are good. Let us have the wisdom to accept the good and to reject the barbaric. No system of religion should go in partnership with barbarism. Neither should any Christian feel it his duty to defend the savagery of the past. The philosophy of Christ must stand independently of the mistakes of the Old Testament. We should do justice whether a woman was made from a rib or from "omnipotence." We should be merciful whether the flood was general, or local. We should be kind and obliging whether Jonah was swallowed by a fish or not. The miraculous has nothing to do with the moral. Intelligence is of more value than inspiration. Brain is better than Bible. Reason is above all religion. I do not believe that any civilized human being clings to the Bible on account of its barbaric passages. I am candid enough to believe that every Christian in the world would think more of the Bible, if it had not upheld slavery, if it had denounced Polygamy, if it had cried out against wars of extermination, if it had spared women and babes, if it had upheld everywhere, and at all times, the standard of Justice and mercy. But when it is claimed that the book is perfect, that it is inspired, that it is, in fact, the word of an infinitely wise and good God, -- then it should be without a defect. There should not be within its lids an impure word; it should not express an impure thought. There should not be one word in favor of injustice, Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 10 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE not one word in favor of slavery, not one word in favor of wars of extermination. There must be another revision of the Scriptures. The chaff must be thrown away. The dross must be rejected; and only that be retained which is in exact harmony with the brain and heart of the greatest and the best. QUESTION. Mr. Talmage charges you with unfairness, because you account for the death of art in Palestine, by the commandment which forbids the making of graven images. ANSWER. I have said that that commandment was the death of art, and I say so still. I insist that by reason of that commandment, Palestine produced no painter and no sculptor until after the destruction of Jerusalem. Mr. Talmage, in order to answer that statement, goes on to show that hundreds and thousands of pictures were produced in the Middle Ages. That is a departure in pleading. Will he give us the names of the painters that existed in Palestine from Mount Sinai to the destruction of the temple? Will he give us the names of the sculptors between those times? Mohammed prohibited his followers from making any representation of human or animal life, and as a result, Mohammedans have never produced a painter nor a sculptor, except in the portrayal and chiseling of vegetable forms. They were confined to trees and vines, and flowers. No Mohammedan has portrayed the human face or form. But the commandment of Jehovah went farther than that of Mohammed, and prevented portraying the image of anything. The assassination of art was complete. There is another thing that should not be forgotten. We are indebted for the encouragement of art, not to the Protestant Church; if indebted to any, it is to the Catholic. The Catholic adorned the cathedral with painting and statue -- not the Protestant. The Protestants opposed music and painting, and refused to decorate their temples. But if Mr. Talmage wishes to know to whom we are indebted for art, let him read the mythology of Greece and Rome. the early Christians destroyed paintings and statues. they were the enemies of all beauty. They hated and detested every expression of art. They looked upon the love of statues as a form of idolatry. They looked upon every painting as a remnant of Paganism. They destroyed all upon which they could lay their ignorant hands. Hundred of years afterwards, the world was compelled to search for the fragments that Christian fury had left. The Greeks filled the world with beauty. For every stream and mountain and cataract they had a god or goddess. Their sculptors impersonated every dream and hope, and their mythology feeds, to-day, the imagination of mankind. The Venus de Milo is the impersonation of beauty, in ruin -- the sublimest fragment of the ancient world. Our mythology is infinitely unpoetic and barren -- our deity an old bachelor from eternity, who once believed in indiscriminate massacre. Upon the throne of our heaven, woman finds no place. Our mythology is destitute of the maternal. QUESTION. Mr. Talmage denies your statement that the Old Testament humiliates woman. He also denies that the New Testament says anything against woman. How is it? Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 11 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE ANSWER. Of course, I never considered a book upholding polygamy to be the friend of woman. Eve according to that book, is the mother of us all, and yet the inspired writer does not tell us how long she lived, -- does not even mention her death -- makes not the slightest reference as to what finally became of her. Methuselah lived nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and yet, there is not the slightest mention made of Mrs. Methuselah. Enoch was translated, and his widow is not mentioned. There is not a word about Mrs. Seth, or Mrs. Enos, or Mrs. Cainan, or Mrs. Mahalaleel, or Mrs. Jared. We do not know the name of Mrs. Noah, and I believe not the name of a solitary woman is given from the creation of Eve -- with the exception of two of Lamech's wives -- until Sarai is mentioned as being the wife of Abram. If you wish really to know the Bible estimation of woman, turn to the fourth and fifth verses of the twelfth chapter of Leviticus, in which a woman, for the crime of having borne a son, is unfit to touch a hallowed thing, or to come in the holy sanctuary for thirty-three days; but if a woman was the mother of a girl, then she became totally unfit to enter the sanctuary, or pollute with her touch a hallowed thing, far sixty-six days. The pollution was twice as great when she had borne a daughter. It is a little difficult to see why it is a greater crime to give birth to a daughter than to a son. Surely, a law like that did not tend to the elevation of woman. you will also find in the same chapter that a woman had to offer a pigeon, or a turtle-dove, as a sin offering, in order to expiate the crime of having become a mother. By the Levitical law, a mother was unclean The priest had to make an atonement for her. If there is, beneath the stars, a figure of complete and perfect purity, it is a mother holding in her arms her child. The laws respecting women, given by commandment of Jehovah to the Jews, were born of barbarism, and in this day and age should be regarded only with detestation and contempt. The twentieth and twenty-first verses of the nineteenth chapter of Leviticus show that the same punishment was not meted to men and women guilty of the same crime. The real explanation of what we find in the Old Testament degrading to woman, lies in the fact, that the overflow of Love's mysterious Nile -- the sacred source of life -- was, by its savage authors, deemed unclean. QUESTION. But what have you to say about the women of the Bible, mentioned by Mr. Talmage, and held up as examples for all time of all that is sweet and womanly? ANSWER. I believe that Esther is his principal heroine. Let us see who she was. According to the book of Esther, Ahasuerus who was king of Persia, or some such place, ordered Vashti his queen to show herself to the people and the princes, because she was "exceedingly fair to look upon." For some reason -- modesty perhaps -- she refused to appear. And thereupon the king "sent letters into all his provinces and to every people after their language, that every man should bear rule in his own house;" it being feared that if it should become public that Vashti had disobeyed, all other Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 12 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE wives, might follow her example. The king also, for the purpose of impressing upon all women the necessity of obeying their husbands, issued a decree that "Vashti should come no more before him," and that he would "give her royal estate unto another." This was done that "all the wives should give to their husbands honor, both to great and small." After this, "the king appointed officers in all the provinces of his kingdom that they might gather together all the fair young virgins," and bring them to his palace, put them in the custody of his chamberlain, and have them thoroughly washed. Then the king was to look over the lot and take each day the one that pleased him best until he found the one to put in the place of Vashti. A fellow by the name of Mordecai, living in that part of the country, hearing of the opportunity to sell a girl, brought Esther, his uncle's daughter, -- she being an orphan, and very beautiful -- to see whether she might not he the lucky one. The remainder of the second chapter of this book, I do not care to repeat. It is sufficient to say that Esther at last was chosen. The king at this time did not know that Esther was a Jewess. Mordecai her kinsman, however, discovered a plot to assassinate the king, and Esther told the king, and the two plotting gentlemen were hanged on a tree. After a while, a man by the name of Haman was made Secretary of State, and everybody coming in his presence bowed except Mordecai. Mordecai was probably depending on the influence of Esther. Haman finally became so vexed, that he made up his mind to have all the Jews in the kingdom destroyed. (The number of Jews at that time in Persia must have been immense.) Haman thereupon requested the king to have an order issued to destroy all the Jews, and in consideration of the order, proposed to pay ten thousand talents of silver. And thereupon, letters were written to the governors of the various provinces, sealed with the king's ring, sent by post in all directions, with instructions to kill all the Jews, both young and old -- little children and women, -- in one day. (One would think that the king copied this order from another part of the Old Testament, or had found an original by Jehovah.) The people immediately made preparations for the killing. Mordecai clothed himself with sack-cloth, and Esther called upon one of the king's chamberlains, and she finally got the history of the affair, as well as a copy of the writing, and thereupon made up her mind to go in and ask the king to save her people. At that time, Bismarck's idea of government being in full force, any one entering the king's presence without an invitation, was liable to be put to death. And in case any one did go in to see the king, if the king failed to hold out his golden scepter, his life was not spared. Notwithstanding this order, Esther put on her best clothes, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, while the king sat on his royal throne. When the king saw her standing in the court, he held out his scepter, and Esther drew near, and he asked her what she wished; and thereupon she asked that the king and Haman might take dinner with her that day, and it Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 13 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE was done. While they were feasting, the king again asked Esther what she wanted; and her second request was, that they would come and dine with her once more. When Haman left the palace that day. he saw Mordecai again at the gate, standing as stiffly as usual, and it filled Haman with indignation. So Haman, taking the advice of his wife, made a gallows fifty cubits high, for the special benefit of Mordecai. The next day, when Haman went to see the king, the king, having the night before refreshed his memory in respect to the service done him by Mordecai, asked Haman what ought to be done for the man whom the king wished to honor. Haman, supposing of course that the king referred to him, said that royal Purple ought to be brought forth, such as the king wore, and the horse that the king rode on, and the crown-royal should be set on the man's head; -- that one of the most noble princes should lead the horse, and as he went through the streets, proclaim: "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor." Thereupon the king: told Haman that Mordecai was the man that the king wished to honor. And Haman was forced to lead this horse, backed by Mordecai, through the streets, shouting: "This shall be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honor." Immediately afterward, he went to the banquet that Esther had prepared, and the king again asked Esther her petition. She then asked for the salvation of her people; stating at the same time, that if her people had been sold into slavery, she would have held her tongue; but since they were about to be killed, she could not keep silent. The king asked her who had done this thing; and Esther replied that it was the wicked Haman. Thereupon one of the chamberlains, remembering the gallows that had been made for Mordecai, mentioned it, and the king immediately ordered that Haman be hanged thereon; which was done. And Mordecai immediately became Secretary of State. The order against the Jews was then rescinded; and Ahasuerus, willing to do anything that Esther desired, hanged all of Haman's folks. He not only did this, but he immediately issued an order to all the Jews allowing them to kill the other folks. And the Jews got together throughout one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, "and such was their power, that no man could stand against them; and thereupon the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and with slaughter and destruction, and did whatever they pleased to those who hated them." And in the palace of the king, the Jews slew and destroyed five hundred men, besides ten sons of Haman; and in the rest of the provinces, they slew seventy-five thousand people. And after this work of slaughter, the Jews had a day of gladness and feasting. One can see from this, what a beautiful Bible character Esther was -- how filled with all that is womanly, gentle, kind and tender! This story is one of the most unreasonable, as well as one of the most heartless and revengeful, in the whole Bible. Ahasuerus was a monster, and Esther equally infamous; and yet, this woman is held up for the admiration of mankind by a Brooklyn pastor. There is this peculiarity about the book of Esther: the name of God is not mentioned in it, and the deity is not referred to, directly or Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 14 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE indirectly; -- yet it is claimed to be an inspired book. If Jehovah wrote it, he certainly cannot be charged with egotism. I most cheerfully admit that the book of Ruth is quite a pleasant story, and the affection of Ruth for her mother-in-law exceedingly touching, but I am of opinion that Ruth did many things that would be regarded as somewhat indiscreet, even in the city of Brooklyn. All I can find about Hannah is, that she made a little coat for her boy Samuel, and brought it to him from year to year. Where he got his vest an pantaloons we are not told. But this fact seems hardly enough to make her name immortal. So also Mr. Talmage refers us to the wonderful woman Abigail. The story about Abigail, told in plain English, is this: David sent some of his followers to Nabal, Abigail's husband, and demanded food. Nabal, who knew nothing about David, and cared less, refused. Abigail heard about it, and took food to David and his servants. She was very much struck, apparently, with David and David with her. A few days afterward Nabal died -- supposed to have been killed by the Lord -- but probably poisoned; and thereupon David took Abigail to wife. The whole matter should have been investigated by the grand jury. We are also referred to Dorcas, who no doubt was a good woman -- made clothes for the poor and gave alms, as millions have done since then. It seems that this woman died. Peter was sent for, and thereupon raised her from the dead, and she is never mentioned any more. Is it not a little strange that a woman who had been actually raised from the dead, should have so completely passed out of the memory of her time, that when she died the second time, she was entirely unnoticed? Is it not astonishing that so little is in the New Testament concerning the mother of Christ? My own opinion is, that she was an excellent woman, and the wife of Joseph; and that Joseph was the actual father of Christ. I think there can be no reasonable doubt that such was the opinion of the authors of the original gospels. Upon any other hypothesis, it is impossible to account for their having given the genealogy of Joseph to prove that Christ was of the blood of David. The idea that he was the Son of God, or in any way miraculously produced, was an afterthought, and is hardly entitled now to serious consideration. The gospels were written so long after the death of Christ, that very little was known of him, and substantially nothing of his parents. How is it that not one word is said about the death of Mary -- not one word about the death of Joseph? How did it happen that Christ did not visit his mother after his resurrection? The first time he speaks to his mother is when he was twelve years old. His mother having told him that she and his father had been seeking him, he replied: "How is it that ye sought me: wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" The second time was at the marriage feast in Cana, when he said to her: "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" And the third time was at the cross, when "Jesus, seeing his mother standing by Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 15 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE the disciple whom he loved, said to her: Woman, be hold thy son;" and to the disciple: "Behold thy mother." And. this is all. The best thing about the Catholic Church is the deification of Mary, -- and yet this is denounced by Protestantism as idolatry. There is something in the human heart that prompts man to tell his fault more freely to the mother than to the father. The cruelty of Jehovah is softened by the mercy of Mary. Is it not strange that none of the disciples of Christ said anything about their parents, -- that we know absolutely nothing of them? Is there any evidence that they showed any particular respect even for the mother of Christ? Mary Magdalene is, in many respects, the tenderest and most loving character in the New Testament. According to the account, her love for Christ knew no abatement, -- no change -- true even in the hopeless shadow of the cross. Neither did it die with his death. She waited at the sepulchre; she hasted in the early morning to his tomb, and yet the only comfort Christ gave to this true and loving soul lies in these strangely cold and heartless words: "Touch me not." There is nothing tending to show that the women spoken of in the Bible were superior to the ones we know. There are to-day millions of women making coats for their sons, -- hundreds of thousands of women, true not simply to innocent people, falsely accused, but to criminals. Many a loving heart is as true to the gallows as Mary was to the cross. There are hundreds of thousands of women accepting poverty and want and dishonor, for the love they bear unworthy men; hundreds and thousands, hundreds and thousands, working day and night, with strained eyes and tired hands, for husbands and children, -- clothed in rags, housed in huts and hovels, hoping day after day for the angel of death. There are thousands of women in Christian England, working in iron, laboring in the fields and toiling in mines. There are hundreds and thousands in Europe, everywhere, doing the work of men -- deformed by toil, and who would become simply wild and ferocious beasts, except for the love they bear for home and child. You need not go back four thousand years for heroines. The world is filled with them to-day. They do not belong to any nation, nor to any religion, nor exclusively to any race. Wherever woman is found, they are found. There is no description of any women in the Bible that equal thousands and thousands of women known to-day. The women mentioned by Mr. Talmage fall almost infinitely below. not simply those in real life, but the creations of the imagination found in the world of fiction. They will not compare with the women born of Shakespeare's brain. You will find none like Isabella, in whose spotless life, love and reason blended into perfect truth; nor Juliet, within whose heart passion and purity met, like white and red within the bosom of a rose; nor Cordelia, who chose to suffer loss rather than show her wealth of love with those who gilded dross with golden words in hope of gain; nor Miranda, who told her love as freely as a flower gives its bosom to the kisses of the Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 16 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE sun; nor Imogene, who asked: "What is it to be false?" nor Hermione, who bore with perfect faith and hope the cross of shame, and who at last forgave with all her heart; nor Desdemona, her innocence so perfect and her love so pure, that she was incapable of suspecting that another could suspect, and sought with dying words to hide her lover's crime. If we wish to find what the Bible thinks of woman, all that is necessary to do is to read it. We will find that everywhere she is spoken of simply as property, -- as belonging absolutely to the man. We will find that whenever a man got tired of his wife, all he had to do was to give her a writing of divorcement, and that then the mother of his children became a houseless and a homeless wanderer. We will find that men were allowed to have as many wives as they could get, either by courtship, purchase, or conquest. The Jewish people in the olden time were in many respects like their barbarian neighbors. If we read the New Testament, we will find in the epistle of Paul to Timothy, the following gallant passages: "Let the woman learn in silence, with all "subjection." "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." And for these kind, gentle and civilized remarks the apostle Paul gives the following reasons: "For Adam was first formed, then Eve." "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman "being deceived was in the transgression." Certainly women ought to feel under great obligation to the apostle Paul. In the fifth chapter of the same epistle, Paul, advising Timothy as to what kind of people he should admit into his society or church, uses the following language: "Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man." "But the younger widows refuse, for when they "have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry." This same Paul did not seem to think polygamy wrong, except in a bishop. He tells Timothy that: "A bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife." He also lays down the rule that a deacon should be the husband of one wife, leaving us to infer that the other members might have as many as they could get. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 17 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE In the second epistle to Timothy, Paul speaks of "grandmother Lois," who was referred to in such extravagant language by Mr. Talmage, and nothing is said touching her character in the least. All her virtues live in the imagination, and in the imagination alone. Paul, also, in his epistle to the Ephesians, says: "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church." "Therefore, as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands, in everything." You will find, too, that in the seventh chapter of First Corinthians, Paul laments that all men are not bachelors like himself, and in the second verse of that chapter he gives the only reason for which he was willing that men and women should many. He advised all the unmarried, and all widows, to remain as he was. In the ninth verse of this same chapter is a slander too vulgar for repetition, -- an estimate of woman and of woman's love so low and vile, that every woman should hold the inspired author in infinite abhorrence. Paul sums up the whole matter, however, by telling those who have wives or husbands, to stay with them -- as necessary evils only to be tolerated -- but sincerely regrets that anybody was ever married; and finally says that: "They that have wives should be as though they had none;" because, in his opinion: "He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord; but he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife." "There is this difference also," he tells us, "between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit; but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband." Of course, it is contended that these things have tended to the elevation of woman. The idea that it is better to love the Lord than to love your wife, or your husband, is infinitely absurd. Nobody ever did love the Lord, -- nobody can -- until he becomes acquainted with him. Saint Paul also tells us that "Man is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man;" and for the purpose of sustaining this position, says: "For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man; neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man." Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 18 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE Of course, we can all see that man could have gotten along well enough without woman, but woman, by no possibility, could have gotten along without man. And yet, this is called "inspired;" and this apostle Paul is supposed to have known more than all the people now upon the earth. No wonder Paul at last was constrained to say: "We are fools for Christ's sake." QUESTION. How do you account for the present condition of woman in what is known as "the civilized world," unless the Bible has bettered her condition? ANSWER. We must remember that thousands of things enter into the problem of civilization. Soil, climate, and geographical position, united with countless other influences, have resulted in the civilization of our time. If we want to find what the influence of the Bible has been, we must ascertain the condition of Europe when the Bible was considered as absolutely true, and when it wielded its greatest influence. Christianity as a form of religion had actual possession of Europe during the Middle Ages. At that time, it exerted its greatest power. Then it had the opportunity of breaking the shackles from the limbs of woman. Christianity found the Roman matron a free woman. Polygamy was never known in Rome; and although divorces were allowed by law, the Roman state had been founded for more than five hundred years before either a husband or a wife asked for a divorce. From the foundation of Christianity, -- I mean from the time it became the force in the Roman state, -- woman, as such, went down in the scale of civilization. The scepter was taken from her hands, and she became once more the slave and serf of man. The men also were made slaves, and woman has regained her liberty by the same means that man has regained his, -- by wresting authority from the hands of the church. While the church had power, the wife and mother was not considered as good as the begging nun; the husband and father was far below the vermin-covered monk; homes were of no value compared with the cathedral; for God had to have a house, no matter how many of his children were wanderers. During all the years in which woman has struggled for equal liberty with man, she has been met with the Bible doctrine that she is the inferior of the man; that Adam was made first, and Eve afterwards; that man was not made for woman, but that woman was made for man. I find that in this day and generation, the meanest men have the lowest estimate of woman; that the greater the man is, the grander he is, the more he thinks of mother, wife and daughter. I also find that just in the proportion that he has lost confidence in the polygamy of Jehovah and in the advice and philosophy of Saint Paul, he believes in the rights and liberties of woman. As a matter of fact, men have risen from a perusal of the Bible, and murdered their wives. They have risen from reading its pages, and inflicted cruel and even mortal blows upon their children. Men have risen from reading the Bible and torn the flesh of others with red- hot pincers. They have laid down the sacred volume long enough to pour molten lead into the ears of others. They have stopped reading the sacred Scriptures for a sufficient time to incarcerate their fellow-men, to load them with chains, and then they have gone back to their reading, allowing their victims to die in darkness and Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 19 THIRD INTERVIEW ON TALMAGE despair. Men have stopped reading the Old Testament long enough to drive a stake into the ground and collect a few fagots and burn an honest man. Even ministers have denied themselves the privilege of reading the sacred book long enough to tell falsehoods about their fellow-men. There is no crime that Bible readers and Bible believers and Bible worshipers and Bible defenders have not committed. There is no meanness of which some Bible reader, believer, and defender, has not been guilty. Bible believers and Bible defenders have filled the world with calumnies and slanders. Bible believers and Bible defender, have not only whipped their wives, but they have murdered them; they have murdered their children. I do not say that reading the Bible will necessarily make men dishonest, but I do say, that reading the Bible will not prevent their committing crimes. I do not say that believing the Bible will necessarily make men commit burglary, but I do say that a belief in the Bible has caused men to persecute each other, to imprison each other, and to burn each other. Only a little while ago, a British clergyman murdered his wife. Only a little while ago, an American Protestant clergyman whipped his boy to death, because the boy refused to say a prayer. The Rev. Mr. Crowley not only believed the Bible, but was licensed to expound it. He had been "called" to the ministry, and upon his head had been laid the holy hands; and yet, he deliberately starved orphans, and while looking upon their sunken eyes and hollow cheeks, sung pious hymns and quoted with great unction: "Suffer little children to come unto me." As a matter of fact, in the last twenty years, more money has been stolen by Christian cashiers, Christian presidents, Christian directors, Christian trustees and Christian statesmen, than by all other convicts in all the penitentiaries in all the Christian world. The assassin of Henry the Fourth was a Bible reader and a Bible believer. The instigators of the massacre of St. Bartholomew were believers in your sacred Scriptures. The men who invested their money in the slave-trade believed themselves filled with the Holy Ghost, and read with rapture the Psalms of David and the Sermon on the Mount. The murderers of Scotch Presbyterians were believers in Revelation, and the Presbyterians, when they murdered others, were also believers. Nearly every man who expiates a crime upon the gallows is a believer in the Bible. For a thousand years, the daggers of assassination and the swords of war were blest by priests -- by the believers in the sacred Scriptures. The assassin of President Garfield is a believer in the Bible, a hater of infidelity, a believer in personal inspiration, and he expects in a few weeks to join the winged and redeemed in heaven. If a man would follow, to-day, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane. **** **** Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship. Bank of Wisdom Box 926, Louisville, KY 40201 20
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