Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

[From The Index of Jan. 6, 1872.]

[From The Index of Jan. 6, 1872.]

Christianity is the great system of faith and practice which is organized in the Christian Church; and its history is the history of the Christian Church. Such, I believe, is the definition which it has made for itself; and such is substantially the only definition of it which will abide the test of time.

Thus defined, I recognize with gratitude the great good which Christianity has done in the past, and is to some extent doing in the present. Nothing can long endure which has not struck root into the true, the admirable, the everlasting; and Christianity has endured for nearly two thousand years. But it is a product of humanity, and everything human is born to die. Today Christianity is dying a lingering death—to be prolonged until its usefulness to the world shall have been wholly exhausted. To many it is dead already, and the number of these is increasing day by day. For these I speak.

Together with great good, Christianity has wrought great evil in the world. The good is daily lessening, and the evil becoming daily more marked and more pernicious. It is time that some should with sincerity and openness utter aloud what great multitudes are thinking in the silence of their own souls, even though they may be only half conscious of the real drift of their own thought. The taught are in advance of their teachers. Christianity no longer proclaims the highest truth, inculcates the purest ethics, breathes the noblest spirit, stimulates to the grandest life, holds up to the soul and to society the loftiest ideal of that which ought to be. It has stood still while the race has moved on. It has become page 2 the chief hindrance in the path of man to the destiny marked out lor him in the very laws of his own being—the chief obstacle to the realization of those magnificent dreams which are the inspiration of his sublimest endeavor. Thousands are becoming aware of this. For these I speak.

With all seriousness, then, and with intense conviction of the truth and urgent necessity of what I say, I Impeach Christianity before the Bar of Civilized Mankind. In the name of all that is best, noblest and divinest in human nature, I impeach it of high crimes and misdemeanors against the peace of the world and the progress of the race towards a freer and holier future. And I summon it to appear before this high tribunal of Humanity, to show good cause why it shall not stand condemned and sentenced by its judge. For it is not I that speak, but the largest mind, the purest conscience, the tenderest heart, and the most earnest spirit of the nineteenth century. They bring no flippant or idle charge, but utter the world's grave declaration of independence of the Power that has become a Tyranny.

These are the leading counts of my indictment.