Ingersoll's Mistakes About Moses.By D. R. Dungan,
Dunedin: Mackay, Bracken & Co., Printers, Moray Place. MDCCCLXXX.
he lecture which I am about to review was delivered in Chicago, Illinois, March 23rd, A.D., 1879. It is Mr. Ingersoll's stereotyped lecture entitled "Some Mistakes of Moses." The report of this speech in the Chicago Tribune of March 24th, has laughter eighty-one times; frequently it is preceded by such words as "continued," "renewed," "groat," "prolonged," "uproarious." Applause also occurs twelve times. Hence the speech must have been a profound one, and heard by a refined and intellectual audience.
Mr. Ingersoll is a most extraordinary man. His wit is sparkling and original; his invective is withering, and the undercurrent of blasphemy hisses through almost every paragraph; his humor protrudes, and if ever put on the background comes to the front again on the slightest provocation; he is reckless in his statements; he is irreverent—not to say impudent—in his treatment of believers; his power in assertion is a rare gift; in the use of hyperbole he surpasses the wildest imagination of the most fervid oriental; his logic is suffering from paralysis, and gives no signs of recovery; to make half-statements of facts and create false issues respecting them, he is the peer of any man, living or dead. He is not a slave to truth, but a free man. When he wishes to take a position, he takes it, and if the facts are adverse, it is all the worse for them. It would be unreasonable to ask such a man to descend to the dull routine of logic. If he were compelled to establish his premises by the induction of facts, and reach his conclusion in a legitimate way, the opportunities for the display of genius would be gone, and he would become as tame and dull and stupid and platitudinarian as clergymen, whom he represents as occupying the caverns of darkness, and, like the owls, "hooting the hoots that have been hooted for the last 1800 years." Unless he should be permitted to perform his feats of clog-dancing on the slack-wire of his own spiritual aberration, and turn intellectual hand-springs to the astonishment of the common people and the unbounded delight of the God-hating, the spell of his power would be broken, and there would even be danger of mistaking him for a common man. In the use of materials he is gifted beyond a parrallel in history. If you have read his episode on the gods you page 6 have read the quintessence of all his more recent effusions. He changes the combinations, rearranges the compilations and variations, and thus startles the world and convulses his disciples with a lecture that is unquestionably new in its title.
As for Moses, Mr. Ingersoll evidently neither knows nor cares to know much about him. But the name gave him a new suit for his old lecture, and furnished him with an opportunity to fling his innuendoes and vituperations at believers in Christ, and uproar the liberty-loving with mirthfulness. At just what they laughed, one can't always tell from reading the lecture; but they laughed and cheered, and so the speaker accomplished his purpose.
Pity for Preachers.
The lecture opens with commiseration for preachers. These conies are but a feeble folk. They are a class of unlearned, insipid, narrow-minded, slack-twisted, hair-brained, half-witted, ill-constructed, bigoted, egotistic dullards. They would not do for doctors, lawyers, or politicians, and the ministry is therefore the only market open to these unfortunates. With such thoughts, the bowels of the orator yearn towards these helpless victims of superstition, and he deluges them with his overflowing sympathy until they are covered quite out of sight. Kind man that he is.
What a critique is all this sentimental saliva on the millions of church-goers in our own land. And when we think that the best minds of all civilized nations are under the control of these clergymen, and willing to listen to them week after week and year after year, and support them with their influence and money, Mr. Ingersoll's grimaces, distortions, and wailings should not be wondered at. If these men could only be won away from these old theological dogmas that demand so much sacrifice of worldly charms, and their hope of future rewards, and he had to look up and behold the beauty and grandeur of the new gospel of frog-spawn and protoplasm, they might even yet attain to some of the lower rounds of mental independency before they go to the land of forgetfulness, from whence comes no cheering ray of light, nor word of promise. But how sad, how inexpressibly sad must be the thought that when they have been gotten to hear a dozen or a half dozen of the world-regulating lectures from the most astonishing orator of which the present age can boast, they grow sick and tired and return to the old story about Jesus of Nazareth.
Ministers are a set of goodish weaklings, with neither the ability nor the inclination to make any progress. The majority of them may be men of extensive reading; many thousands may have graduated from institutions in which Mr. Ingersoll would not be a respectable sophomore; but what boots it—as they are Christians, and not infidels, they are unlearned and ignorant men.page 7
On the other hand, as soon as a man becomes an infidel, he is learned. It is not necessary for him to graduate in any institution of learning, that he should have a knowledge of classics or history, or any branch of science; let him avow infidel views, and read some lectures on geology, the flood, and the origin of man, and he will be ready to placard himself—Prof. Shoddy, from Boston. He can then look wisely, talk of the pious-incompetent in our Universities, criticise believers, and pronounce the whole religious world a race of unlearned and narrow-hearted bigots.
Church and School.
Mr. Ingersoll says, "I wish to see an eternal divorce and separation between church and school."
I have no doubt of it. And yet, but for the work of the church, we would be a full century behind our present educational status. And remove the colleges that Christians have built and endowed from our own land, and there would be such a relapse in our educational work as a hundred years of secular effort would not make good. Though infidels have done nothing in the way of furnishing the opportunities for the higher education, yet it is the legitimate work of their orators to traduce Christians, and insinuate that all learned men are infidels, and that in the place of the old superstition, they would give us science!! Such are their claims. Never was there a people with such large pretentions, and yet such small assets when the balance sheets are stricken, as the infidels of the present time.
Our orator says of Christians, "They believe in three gods with one head."
From what nonsense that has been perpetrated in the name of Christianity this statement may have come, or if it were only thrown in as a funnygram, to fill up, and amuse, I can't say. At any rate the intelligence of his audience was sufficient to enable them to see the point, for they laughed; and, no doubt, the purpose of the speaker was accomplished.
The following display of logical acumen ought surely to astonish the world:
"Now, it was said that the Bible was inspired. Was it true? If true, it did not need to be inspired."
Neither the gentlemen himself, nor the committee who conducted the laughing service, seems to know the purpose of inspiration. It was not the purpose of inspiration to change the facts, but to make them known. Many truths lie hidden from sight, and, if known, must be revealed by one wiser than we. Thus, by the aid of inspiration, the prophets were enabled to look into the future, and tell of coming events, with all the accuracy with which the historian could afterwards record them.
Genesis and Joshua.
I will now read you a paragraph which, for misapprehension, stupidity, and buffoonery, can only be equalled by the gentleman himself:
"At the time spoken of, it would seem that light and darkness were mixed,—and of course any one would perceive how this could be. Darkness was evidently believed to be an entity. It was said to have spread over Egypt so thick that it could be felt, and some of it was afterwards exhibited at Rome in a bottle."
"The next day 'they' made the sun and moon,—the sun to rule by day, the moon by night,—and set them for signs and for seasons. The man who wrote that must have thought the sun was about three feet in diameter, for, according to the same book, the sun was stopped a whole day to give a general by the name of Joshua time to kill a few more Amalekites, and another time it was turned ten degrees backward to convince Hezekiah that he was not going to die of a boil. How much easier it would have been to cure the boil! It had been calculated by one of the best mathematicians and astronomers that to stop the world would cause as much heat as it would take to burn a lump of solid coal three times as big as the earth. Col. Ingersoll said he supposed he would be damned if he didn't believe it, and he'd be damned if he did believe it."
In respect to accuracy of statement, that excels almost any paragraph in the whole speech. It contains five sentences, and yet there are but three clearly pronounced untruths in it! Now, for such a man, with such a subject, and on such an occasion, the restraints of conscience must have been severe to cause him to adhere so closely and tamely to the facts. The sun is not said to have stood still when Joshua fought with the Amalekites. There is no statement as to when the sun, moon, and stars were made. There is no evidence that any one supposed the sun was about three feet in diameter. No one said the world stood still. But then he had more sentences than positive slips of statement, and that is well for him.
As to the existence of light before the transparency of the fourth day, or how the light of day was continued while Joshua fought against the Amorities, or by what means the shadow was made to recede from Hezekiah, I know nothing. But I accept these revelations on their own basis, and can believe them to be the work of divine power. All miraculous occurrences must ever remain beyond our reach while we are in the flesh.
Creation of Man.
We next have the gentleman attending to the creation of man. He says that the accounts of making of man and woman were contradictory, for this reason:
"In one place man was spoken of as the last thing made; in another as made before the beasts; in the former as being made male and female; and in the latter, only the man was made, and there was no intention of making a woman whatever. In fact, according to the second chapter, Adam was offered a beast as a helpmeet, but Adam didn't see anything he fancied. Col. Ingersoll was glad he didn't. If he had, there never would have been a free-thinker in the world, and we should have all died orthodox."
Again we are blinded by the brilliancy of oratory, and astonished at the gentleman's research and depth of knowledge in divine things. Even the Scriptures are open to his sight!
|1.||There is no account of man being made before the beasts.|
|2.||There is no statement of creation that indicates a want of intention to make woman.|
|3.||There is no indication in the Scriptures that Adam was ever offered a beast as a helpmeet.|
|4.||If there had been such a companion chosen, there might have been a race of infidels, as they delight in such genealogy.|
Here again the untruths are about equal to the number of periods. Any man who will read the Scriptures may know why the two notices of the beginning of man occur, and that the latter is an itemised account of several things, without following the order in which these things came. But why should Mr. Ingersoll be blamed? It was his purpose to find that Moses had made some mistakes. And as Moses had not made them, the gentleman was compelled to make them for him. If any clergyman in the United States should deal thus rudely and unfairly with any infidel author, I would expect him to be regarded as coarse, vulgar, and untruthful. But as this was done by Mr. Ingersoll, the orator and genius of the age, and as it was Moses, who, perhaps, had no friend in the crowd, that the gentleman was bedaubing and be-smirching, it only adds to the laurels already achieved in his benevolent calling.
Mr. Ingersoll then represents Christians as expecting to be happy because others are to be damned, and also because they believe the Bible account of woman having been made from the rib of the man. Of course this has no existence in fact; but what of that? Both the speaker and the hearer were just as merry as if there were any such beings as those whom he represented.
Then the freethinker was introduced as a model gentleman; faithful to his wife and children, kind and true to all men; and yet the poor fellow has to be shut out of heaven simply because he could not agree with the narrow-mindedness and bigotry of the churches.
After this some delinquent disciple asks permission to pass into the realms of bliss. When strictly questioned he is found to be a liar, a thief and a bigamist, and a scoundrel on general principles; and yet he is permitted to enter through the pearly gates, simply because he believes that God made Adam and Eve. And all this senseless drivel is presented as being the veritable faith of the whole Christian world. This shows what an easy thing it is to make a creed for an opponent, and then condemn him for the foolish things you have made him affirm.
In this comparison, the best character among sceptics is opposed to the poorest character among believers. Suppose that some clergyman should deal with the subject in this way! Let him present the pious Knox or the God-fearing Wesley as samples of Christian life, and with them compare some lecherous scapegrace as the legitimate work of unbelief! Would they not everywhere raise the cry of unfairness? And yet these are real characters, while those of Mr. Ingersoll were purely imaginary. Believers have in their ranks multiplied thousands of the purest and noblest men on the earth. It is also true that infidelity represents hundreds of thousands very like the brutal Rand, whose soul was saturated with every vice, and whose very name had almost become a synonym for all the more fearful crimes known to the catalogue, who, when the crowd pressed upon the prison bars to look upon this caged lion, looked them undauntedly in the face and then, stretching himself to his full height, said, "I am a Bob Ingersoll man!"
We do not shrink from any comparison of systems, either by the use of reason or of fact. It is not possible that the influence of scepticism upon morals can be otherwise than injurious. The doctrine of materialism is the doctrine of individual irresponsibility. And when a man is made to believe that he will die like a beast, he will most likely live like one. If there is no future dependent upon the character formed here, then the wish of the hour will furnish the rule of life. Am I told that there are men and women of honor among infidels? I readily grant it. But their honor is in no way attributable to their infidelity. They are better than their philosophy, for it is without a redeeming feature.
He has the Christian doctrine of the atonement saving the murderer while it damns the murdered. We would not have known of the existence of any such a doctrine but for the gentleman's page 11 kindness. The atonement has made it possible for all men to be saved, while if any refuse they are left where their own sins have placed them.
The flood of Noah and the ark are the next objects of his learned hilarity. In the ark, especially, he finds the fatted calf with which to make merry with his friends.
"The building of the ark, which had one door which shut on the outside, and one window twenty-two inches square. If Noah had any hobby in the world, it was ventilation. He went into this ark, taking his family with him, and a certain number of all the animals in the world. It had been ascertained that there were 1,100,000 insects necessary to go into this ark. The audience could see the trouble that man had. Some people said the flood was not universal, that it was partial; but if that was the case, why did God say "I will destroy every living substance beneath the whole heaven?" If it was partial, why did Noah put the birds in there—the eagle, the vulture, the condor? How did he get them in? Were they inspired to go there, or did he drive them up! There were also animals in this hemisphere. How did he get them across? It must be remembered that there are some animals which would be very unpleasant in an ark, unless the ventilation were perfect. After he got the animals in, God shut the door, and Noah pulled down the window. Then it began to rain. It kept on raining until the water went over the highest mountains whose peaks were covered with snow and ice. The water was five and one-half miles deep, and it must have rained 800 feet a day. How was that for dampness? Finally they came down upon Mount Ararat, 17,000 feet above the level of the sea. Then Noah opened the window and got a breath of fresh air, and they let out the animals, and Noah got a drink. Then God made a bargain with him that he wouldn't drown any more, and put the rainbow on the clouds as attesting what he said."
On the representation of the flood I remark,
|1.||There is no evidence that the window spoken of was the only medium of light and ventilation.|
|2.||We cannot now determine either the form or the size of this window.|
|3.||The animals came to him by divine direction, the denial of which only raises the old question of miracles, on which infidels have been answered times without number.|
|4.||His statement respecting insects, if inside by any other man than an infidel, and to any other than an infidel audience, would be regarded as casting a reflection on the free school system.page 12|
|5.||From all that can be found in Genesis, it is not necessary to regard the flood as universal.|
|6.||The flood was most probably brought about by the upheaval of the earth's crust where it was thinest, thus elevating the ocean bed, and correspondingly depressing the land-portion. Only a few feet of elevation of the ocean bed would be needed. Hence the difficulties of the flood were manufactured for the occasion. And all their uproarious merriment is only another proof that men can laugh at the things of which they are wholly ignorant.|
The Increase of Israel.
The gentleman next startled his hearers by telling how the Jewish nation was started.
"They were in Canaan then, and they numbered seventy souls, counting Joseph and his children, who were already in Egypt. They lived in Canaan 215 years, and then went into Egypt, where they also lived 215 years, at the expiration of which time they numbered 3,000,000 souls. At the time of the Revolution in this country, there were 3,000,000 people. Since that time there has been four doubles, until now there are 48,000,000. In 215 years with eight doubles, the children of Israel would have increased to 40,000, instead of 3,000,000. He knew there were 3,000,000, because they had 600,000 men of war. For every honest voter in the State of Illinois there were five other people, and everybody knew that there were more voters, as a rule, than there were men of war. If the Jews had 600,000 men of war, they must have had, at the lowest possible estimate, 3,000,000 people. Was that true? Was there a minister in Chicago who would certify to his own idiocy by claiming that 70 people in 215 years increased to 3,000,000? If there was, let him say so, and don't let him begin to talk about the civilizing influence of a lie. When they got into the desert they took a census, and found they had 22,273 first-born males. It was reasonable to suppose there was about the same number of first-born girls, or 45,000 first-born children. There must be about as many mothers as first-born children. Dividing 3,000,000 by 45,000 mothers, it was found that the women in Israel had to have on the average 68 children apiece. Some stories were too thin. This was two thick. There must have been about 300 births per day, and according to the Old Testament, the mother had to make a sacrifice for the crime of having been a mother! If there was anything in the universe that was infinitely pure, it was a mother with a child in her arms, and yet a Jewish women had to sacrifice a couple of doves or pigeons, and the priests had to eat the pigeons in the most holy place. At the rate of 300 births a day, and with only three priests, each of the latter would have to eat 200 pigeons apiece per day. Col. page 13 Ingersoll looked upon those priests as the champion bird-eaters of this world."
Let us sum up the facts here.
|1.||The circumstances of the Jews while in Egypt were conducive to a rapid increase of numbers.|
|2.||We know that they had 51 males at the beginning of their 215 years of bondage.|
|3.||Each man might have had a family of ten children within ten years after going into Egypt. And a like increase might have obtained every 30 years thereafter.|
|4.||This would give us eight generations; counting ten years for the first, 30 for all the others except the last which would have but 25. This, however, would be enough, as we are at liberty to suppose that they had many children when they came out of bondage.|
|5.||If these children were half boys and half girls, then each generation would increase their males by five-fold.|
|6.||The following calculation will show the number that they might have had, and yet no miracle needed.|
|The number they went into Egypt with,||51|
|1st Generation thereafter||255|
|2nd Generation thereafter||1,275|
|3rd Generation thereafter||6,375|
|4th Generation thereafter||31,875|
|5th Generation thereafter||159,375|
|6th Generation thereafter||696,875|
|7th Generation thereafter||3,984,375|
|8th Generation thereafter||19,921,785|
Thus by natural causes their numbers might have been 33 times what they were recorded.
And yet there were more than 51 males that wont down into Egypt with Jacob. It would be unreasonable to suppose that he had no servants. And they too would go in the national count. From Gen. xiv., 14, we learn that Abraham had 318 trained men in his service who answered as soldiers. Nor can we suppose that Jacob was without such help. When he was returning from Padan Aram he sent many presents to Esau in advance of his coming. At least thirty men would have been needed to have conveyed these flocks. See Gen. xxxii., 13-20.
Then he remained in Canaan at least forty years, and was greatly prospered. His sons also have come to own extensive flocks and herds, and would also have many servants. To suppose that page 14 there were 200 in the family, 100 men servants and 100 women servants, would be a very moderate calculation. Upon this basis, then, there would have been at least 150 men who went down into Egypt, and hence according to the possible rate of increase we noticed a few minutes ago, they would have had a hundred times as many as the record calls for.
The gentleman seems to suppose that all the mothers of firstborn were then alive; that these must have been of recent date; that they had but three priests, and that these priests had to eat so many pigeons when a first-born was offered to the Lord; and yet not one of these things is taught in the Scriptures.
Now if such objections as these were urged by some essayist in the presence of a club of scientific goslings who read the Science Monthly, and sneeze when Prof. Youmans takes snuff; who suppose that they will never have credit for independency of thought unless they sneer at religion and the Bible, it would be no cause of surprise. But to think of a grown man ranting out such objections, only shows that they can find nothing else. Indeed, the only wonder, when all the facts are in, is that the children of Israel did not number more than they did. I rather look for this to be their next objection.
In the Desert.
The impossibility of finding subsistence in the desert was the next thing to be alarmed at. But what does the gentleman know about that land during that age. The making of timber into charcoal in order to pay tribute has long ago removed the attractions for rain, and the land is not now in the condition of 3000 years ago, nor does it resemble its former fertility.
"The land of Canaan did not flow with milk and honey." I suppose not literally, and yet, as compared with their former condition, the description was well enough.
The gentleman snuffs at the manna, and thinks it very ordinary food. Possibly a better acquaintance would impress him more favorably. His ridicule respecting it is only the sneer that is made to take the place of argument concerning miracle.
Bible and Women.
"In speaking of the divorce business, he asked if anybody could believe that God would allow a man to give his wife a writing of divorcement and make the mother of his children a houseless wanderer and vagrant? There wasn't one word in the Old Testament for woman except the words of shame and humiliation."
We would hardly expect the gentleman ever to manage a divorce case. And yet nothing pleases him better. The divorce page 15 system of Illinois is very far below that of the law of Moses. And yet Mr. Ingersoll finds no fault with it on that account. But Israelites were only out of bondage, and because of the condition in which they then were, Moses gave them this permit, Mark x., 5. Generally, infidel lectures fault the Scriptures because they are two strict respecting divorce.
When the gentleman said "there wasn't one word in the Old Testament for women except words of shame and humilation," he exhibited the quality for which he is more noted than for any other. I will name a few respects in which the Law of Moses was superior to any ancient and modern laws, in awarding justice and furnishing protection to woman.
|1.||A widow's garment should not be demanded as surety Dent, xxiv., 17.|
|2.||She could demand the care and protection of the community as her right. Ex. xxii., 22; Deut. xxvii., 19.|
|3.||And any neglect or oppression was condemned. Job xxii., 9; Psalms xciv., 6.|
|4.||In times of danger she could deposit her property in the treasury for safe keeping. 2 Macc. iii., 10.|
|5.||Any outrage on a maiden was visited with the severest punishment. Deut. xxii., 25-27. After all this, while listening to the odes of Deborah and Hannah, and the song of triumph led by Miriam; yet hearing of the immortal honor of Jephthah's daughter; our ears yet greeted with the shouting joy of the multidude of women as they went out to meet Saul and David returning with the victorious army, he still says there was nothing but shame and humiliation for the women.|
High above all the laws of the ancients was that of Moses respecting woman. Indeed, the Bible has ever been, and is now, the best friend to women. And just as it is believed and followed does she come to be the companion and equal of man.
"What woman believed in the institution of polygamy? What man believed in that infamy? If they did not they were better than their God 4,000 years ago, who believed in it, and taught it, and upheld it. The speaker denounced it as the infamy of infamies, and made an eloquent plea for the sancity of the family hearth."
God never believed in nor taught polygamy. The Scriptures can not be found that so teach. God suffered it, and so he suffered unnumbered nuisances to run at large. Even good men now commit blunders as they did then. But that in no way indicates that God sanctioned polygamy. But where did Mr. page 16 Ingersoll learn to abhor this institution with such righteous indignation? Has it been among the nations who know not God? These nations practice polygamy yet. Did he get his aversion from the philosophy of scepticism? It contains no teaching on the subject. Indeed, as we shall see, even in his own creed, men are left to follow out their own preferences. It seems then that he objects to the Bible because he makes it contradict the morality which he has learned from it. But in this he was only about as inconsistent as his system.
The Marrow of the Thing.
"He wanted everyone to swear that he would not, directly or indirectly, give a dollar to any man to preach these falsehoods of the Bible. They had done harm enough, had covered the world with blood, with asylums for the insane, and to cast a shadow in the heart, of every child and every good, tender man and woman. No matter what might come, let each do what he believed to be right,"
Now you have the marrow and fatness of freethought! "Swear that you will not give a dollar directly or indirectly," to the religion of the Bible. What a burlesque on profanity! How would they swear? By whom would they swear? They have no God, and why should they waste their time and breath with such idle ceremonies?
But think of the liberality of which they boast, and their unutterable contempt for narrow-mindedness. All this, when translated into English reads: Let all the people pay me—R. G. Ingersoll—one dollar apiece to hear my animadversions on Moses; but no one must hear any defence of the religion which I malign, unless wholly at the expense of the friends of the Bible.
This is in keeping with the whole course of the gentleman. Everywhere (almost) he has been challenged to the defence of his position, and asked to verify his statements. But he can't think of it. The work would be too laborious. It is easier to have his say where his statements cannot be questioned, where he can raise the laugh, and the money, and then go on his way rejoicing. The gentleman knows that if the people shall hear both sides of the question, his race will be short and inglorious. Hence his effort to prevent the defenders of the Bible from being heard. This is the liberal foam of Danton, Robespierre, and Marat over again. But the consistency is not such as to entitle it to our respect.
Why do these men remain in our midst! Why do they not emigrate to some happy land where their souls will not be vexed with our devotions; where they could bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of freethought and freelove, and where they will never be told of future rewards by preachers who reason page 17 of righteousness, temperance and judgement to come? Ah! They wish to remain in a land of schools and intelligence, and unfortunately for the claims of infidelity, these exist in the land where the people are under the influence of the old superstition as they do not exist anywhere else. And it is known too, that business energy, and progress in the sciences, are about in proportion with the acknowledgement of the claims of Christianity.
Unwittingly, the gentleman says that we have covered the world with asylums for the insane. So we have. He might have said the same things respecting asylums for the poor, the outcast, the inebriate, for the orphan, the helpless, the fallen; yes, yes, we have carried bread to the hungry, and sunshine into desolate homes. Not only so, but to the account of Christianity is to be charged the reformatory institutions of the age, and nearly all the efforts to save the world from drunkenness and accompanying vices. To all of which we plead guilty. And it may be said, too, that infidelity is guilty of none of these things.
But when he says that we have covered the world with blood, he is contradicted by the principles of the religion of Christ and the history of the world. The religion introduced by the Son of God is the religion of peace, and just as it takes possession of the hearts of any people, will walls of defence be broken down, and peace and good will be established among men.
The sum of all that infidelity demands is popularly stated; that it was his will that every man should do what he believes to be right. This modern Mirabeau would sweep the earth of all religious conviction, and in the place of it turn man over to the control of his ignorance and passion. It is the doctrine of Hobbes in its primitive form : Let a man do that which seems good in his own eyes, for he owes allegiance to no one but himself. And a man is at liberty to do and get whatever he wishes that is consistent with his personal safety. By this philosophy every man becomes a law unto himself. No matter how drunken, lecherous, fraudulent, infamous, and abominable, if only self is satisfied then it must be all right. Talk of blood-letting! Was there ever a more horrible spectacle than the French Revolution, conducted and propelled by infidelity, in which 3,000,000 were deliberately butchered in less than ten years? Talk of infamy! Never has the world known the equal of the abominations of those who have put God out of their minds!
"They are corrupt and speak wickedly concerning oppression; they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. Therefore his people return hither, and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them."—Ps. lxxiii., 8-10.
Mackay, Bracken & Co., "Saturday Advertiser" Office, Moray Place.