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Talmage Interview 3

Robert Green Ingersoll

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                The Works of ROBERT G. INGERSOLL

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                   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?

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     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?

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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

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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.

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     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?

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     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

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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,

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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

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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

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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,

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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?

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     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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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     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."

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     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

Bank of Wisdom

The Bank of Wisdom is run by Emmett Fields out of his home in Kentucky. He painstakingly scanned in these works and put them on disks for others to have available. Mr. Fields makes these disks available for only the cost of the media.

Files made available from the Bank of Wisdom may be freely reproduced and given away, but may not be sold.

Reproducible Electronic Publishing can defeat censorship.

Bank of WisdomThe Bank of Wisdom is a collection of the most thoughtful, scholarly and factual books. These computer books are reprints of suppressed books and will cover American and world history; the Biographies and writings of famous persons, and especially of our nations Founding Fathers. They will include philosophy and religion. all these subjects, and more, will be made available to the public in electronic form, easily copied and distributed, so that America can again become what its Founders intended --

The Free Market-Place of Ideas.

The Bank of Wisdom is always looking for more of these old, hidden, suppressed and forgotten books that contain needed facts and information for today. If you have such books please contact us, we need to give them back to America.

Bank of Wisdom
Box 926
Louisville, KY 40201

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The Historical Library is provided for those doing research into the history of nontheism. It is not intended to be--and should not be used as--a source of modern, up-to-date information regarding atheistic issues. DO NOT CONTACT US ABOUT THESE DOCUMENTS. Please read the full Historical Library Disclaimer
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