The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1
A Sanguinary Code
A Sanguinary Code.
When the Church (say these reverend gentlemen) used the faggot and dungeon it mistook the letter of God's law as given to us in His blessed Word. Oh! did it? Well, now allow me to inform you that the church was carrying out God's law to the very letter when it put to death some forty thousand persons for witchcraft in England alone. One of the laws in the twenty-second chapter of Exodus given by God Himself forbids us to suffer a witch to live, and the divines who say the church was not acting according to the law as stated in the Bible are either insane or dishonest. But oh, says another divine, we are living under a new dispensation, the Bible was given to the Jews only. Now Christ Himself gives the lie direct to that assertion—Matthew v., 17: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." But it is not what Christ said or God either that these reverend gentlemen preach. This army of locusts (I mean the clergy of course), have preached and still are preaching every conceivable thing to their dupes, except what is stated in the Bible and common sense.
It is only this army of locusts that is supposed to be able to lead us where we can partake of pastures fresh and green; yes there is a great deal of green about it till the orthodox spectacles fall from one's eyes and then lo! and behold all is chaff. What can these reverend gentlemen know about the Bible any more than any one else who can read it? But as we are told by these divines that the mention of a lady's nose and the Tower of Lebanon signify their genius, sagacity, and learning, I will take page 15 for granted that they are ripe, and full of it. But of what does their learning consist? All that a divine can possibly learn in reference to his trade, is to make himself acquainted with the writings of Christian authorities, which I admit will take many years of study, as this I know from my own experience; and what is it he will then be acquainted with? He will then be acquainted with the disputes that took place between the Jews themselves, then between the Jews and Christians, and then between the Christians themselves as to which writings were the Word of God and which were not. This will form about one-half of his education, and the other half will consist of being acquainted with the mad and hellish disputes which have taken place between Christians themselves as to the meaning of these writings after they had accepted them as being the Word of God.
Now out of a catalogue of some two hundred sacred writings given in Du Pin's History of the Canon and Writers of the Old and New Testaments, I can only find 66 in my Bible. Yet we have it on the authority of the church's most famous theologians that all these writings have been taken by Christians for the Word of God; while on the other hand, every one of these writings (which include our Bible, of course), have been pronounced spurious and rejected by some Christians as not being the Word of God.
The same, for instance, as the Protestants are doing to-day—they reject some of these writings and swear they are not the Word of God; while the Roman Catholic Church accepts them and swears just as hard that they are the Word of God.
There are two classes of persons that believe the Bible to be the Word of God. One class believes it because it is paid for doing so, the other class believes it because it knows no better.