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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

5. Lastly, I Impeach Christianity in the Name of Humanitarian Religion—

5. Lastly, I Impeach Christianity in the Name of Humanitarian Religion

Because it stands stubbornly in the path of all human progress, blocking the way of every movement, which aims at the enlargement of human life,—opposes, and has always opposed, every genuine reform in human affairs,—consults only the interests of its own creed, and sets its face like a flint against the purely secular education in which, by a quick instinct, it recognizes the most dangerous enemy of this creed.

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Because it teaches the impossibility of Humanity's advance through its own natural exertions, and insists that it should rely on supernatural assistance alone—thus extinguishing aspiration and drying up the fountain-head of all progress.

Because it teaches despair of human nature, as rained, lost, and depraved—incapable of all salvation but that which comes from without, and subject to no law of natural development but that of degeneration, carrying it from bad to worse and from worse to worst. It thus denies the great, hopeful doctrine of humanitarian religion, that Humanity tends by its own free efforts to grow better as it grows older, and to emerge from a lower into a higher state in accordance with natural laws.

Because it proclaims ideas of God which would drive every reflective mind acquainted with modern knowledge into absolute atheism, were it not that modern knowledge itself furnishes the elements of a far higher idea of God in universal Nature. It thus appears as the most insidious enemy of the religious sentiment—the destroyer of that pure and ennobling worship which recognizes the Divine throughout all Time and Space, and creates in the soul of man a consciousness of profound spiritual oneness with the vast Whole of which he is a part.

In the name, therefore, of Human Intelligence, of Human Virtue, of the Human Heart, of Human Freedom, of Humanitarian Religion, I seriously and earnestly impeach Christianity before the tribunal of the Humanity it still continues to outrage and enslave. I impeach it in the name of that which is higher than itself, not lower—in the name of Truth, of Morality, of Love, of Liberty, of God; and I summon it to answer at the bar of Humanity, its rightful judge, that it may clear itself of the high crimes and misdemeanors of which I accuse it, or else submit to the sentence of just condemnation pronounced against it by the public opinion of civilized mankind.

Francis E. Abbot.