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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

He Forgave Them all Freely There

He Forgave Them all Freely There,

yet, although He forgave them, He will in the nineteenth century damn to eternal fire an honest man for the expression of his honest thought. (Applause.) That won't do. (Laughter.)

I find, too, in Luke the account of two thieves that were crucified at the same time. The other Gospels speak of them. One says that both railed upon Him. Another says nothing about it. In Luke we are told that one did, but one of the thieves looked and pitied Christ, and Christ said to that thief: "This day shalt thou meet Me in Paradise." Why did He say that? Because the thief pitied Him, and God cannot afford to trample beneath the feet of His infinite wrath the smallest blossom of pity that ever shed its perfume in the human heart. (Applause.) Who was this thief I To what Church did he belong? (Laughter.) I don't know. The fact that he was a thief throws no light upon that question. (Roars.) Who was he? What did he believe? I don't know. Did he believe in the Old Testament and the miracles? I don't know. Did he believe that Christ was God? I don't know. Why, then, was the promise made to him that he should meet Christ in Paradise? Simply because he pitied innocence suffering upon the cross. God cannot afford to damn any man capable of pitying anybody. (Applause.)

And now we come to John; and that's where the trouble commences. (Laughter.) The other Gospels preach the doctrine that God will be merciful to the merciful, forgiving to the forgiving, kind to the kind, loving to the loving, just to the just, merciful to the good. Now we come to John. And here is another doctrine. And let me say that John wasn't written until centuries after the others. This the Church made up. (Laughter.) "And Jesus answered and said unto him: Verily I say unto you, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Why didn't He tell Matthew that? Why didn't He tell Luke that? Why didn't He tell Mark that?