The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8
Sir,—A perusal of the letter in your August number from the Rev. Wazir Beg, emboldens me to place a difficulty before you, in the hope that that gentleman will explain satisfactorily the perplexity under which I am labouring; and as I can conscientiously say that I am "an honest searcher after divine truth," I shall be much obliged by an answer.
My difficulty, then, begins very early in the volume of the sacred lore, namely, at the narrative of the Fall of our first parents: concerning which, if true, I am driven to adopt one of the two following propositions—either that God is not omnipotent, or that He is not the all-loving and merciful God which the churches make Him out to be. For, if He was the latter, He would have disallowed an event (the Fall) which has brought eternal damnation to countless millions of the human race, but if He could not prevent it, then he is not the former. It is on answer to say that God in his mercy has opened a way for us, through His Son, as that event again, even if true, has damned countless millions more for not believing on Him. "He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." These, truly, are very awful words, but as I prefer still retaining God in my thoughts as "my Father that is in Heaven," who is able to do for his children (and willing as well as able) everything that an earthly parent could, plus His Omnipotence, I must reject the story of the Fall and everything which hangs thereby (which is not a little) until Mr. Wazir Beg or some other kind friend will enlighten my darkness.
A great deal of Mr. Wazir Beg's letter I quite agree with, especially that relative to abusive epithets. Abuse, Mr. Editor, never yet strengthened an argument and never will.
Believe me, yours truly,
R. B. Leefe.