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 39

Letter No II

page 9

Letter No II.

I am glad, Mr. Editor, to fulfil my promise which I made to you and your readers in the last issue of the Reflector—viz,: that I would trouble you again. I say "trouble you" again, for I know what a trouble all the Orthodox are to the heretics, more especially if they are of such sound faith as I am.

You still, Mr. Editor, are going on in the evil "tenor of your ways." You still are trying to teach the people to use their common sense and reasoning powers. When will you learn to rely upon faith? Oh! when will you repose placidly in the bosom of Orthodoxy?

For the good of your readers and your hearers I will point out a few of the benefits I have received from being Orthodox.

1st. I never need to think. All my thinking is done for me. I get my creeds ready made as I do my clothes, and all that I have to do is to see that I hand them on to my children without a single heretical hole in them.

2nd. I have the comforting conviction that I shall be saved, and that you will be damned. This is indeed comforting. I am furthermore comforted by the fact that the blessings of heaven are reserved for a few, that I am among that few, and that we few choice spirits shall flap our angelic wings in Eternal bliss, whilst the page 10 great majority of the human race are roasting for ever. These "glad-tidings" I intend to preach to the miserable Kaffirs of this country. It will make them happy.

3rd. I am respected. The more I believe the more I am respected. I get invited out to sip tea and spend evenings with old women, simply because there's nothing I can't believe, if it is labelled "Orthodox." Respectability is Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy means a broad-cloth suit and free admission to all tea-fights and prayer-meetings. Turn heretic and you lose these blessings.

4th. I have now the privilege of talking nonsense without the fear of contradiction. I get in a pulpit and I am safe from criticism. Nobody dare to take me to task. I enjoy a glorious immunity from all questioning. Our Faith covers a multitude of defects, and really works miracles. It turns twaddle into perennial streams of divine comfort and instruction. Where should I and my brother clergymen be if it were not for such a Faith and such a miracle?

5th. By being Orthodox you may calculate on the support and co-operation of the Times, a paper which is truly the backbone of South African civilisation, and without which the world itself would be in danger of ruin. Talk Orthodox nonsense and you may calculate upon a paragraph in this great paper, but talk sound sense, and let it be "christened" heresy, and the clerks in the office won't treat you with common civility when you deliver your advertisements or settle your accounts. Who wouldn't be Orthodox when they enjoy such privileges and such immunities?

6th. This is the principal advantage—You need not be so good as you seem. What you fall short in conduct page 11 your belief will make up for you. Only get the credit of being a great "Believer," and your conduct will never be criticised. Only let people see your Faith, and then you can do pretty well as you like. Turn heretic and you're never safe. The Orthodox will watch your character like a cat watching a mouse. Orthodoxy enjoys a great immunity in this respect.

These, Mr. Editor, are only a few of the advantages privileges and immunities of Orthodoxy; but I feel sure they are sufficient to convince all the candid among your hearers and readers of the vast superiority it enjoys over Heresy, I would advise those among them who are heretics to turn Orthodox, and those who are Orthodox to keep so, if they expect the refreshing society of parsons and old women, and an easy passport to our brother saints "on the other side of Jordan."—I remain, yours, etc.

decorative feature