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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Upon the Book of John

Upon the Book of John

all this doctrine of regeneration, all this doctrine that it is necessary to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, all the doctrine that salvation depends upon belief,—in the Book of John all these doctrines find their warrant; nowhere else; nowhere else. Read these three Gospels, and then read John, and you will agree with me that the Gospels teach that we must be kind, we must be merciful, we must be forgiving, and thereupon that God will forgive us,—and then say whether or not that doctrine is better than the doctrine that somebody else can be good for you, that somebody else can be bad for you, and that the only way to get to Heaven is to believe something that you don't understand. (Applause.)

Now, upon these Gospels that I have read the Churches rest, and out of those things that I have read they have made their creeds. And the first Church to make a creed, so far as I know, was the Catholic. I take it, that is ths first Church that had any power. That is the Church that preserved all these miracles for us. (Laughter.) That is the Church that preserved the manuscripts for ns. That is the Church whose word we have to take. That Church is the witness that Protestantism brings to the bar of history to prove miracles that happened 1800 years ago (applause); and, while the witness is there, Protestantism takes the pains to say: "You can't believe one word that the witness says now." That Church is the only one that keeps up a constant communication with Heaven (laughter) through the instrumentality of a large number of decayed Saints. (Roars.) That Church has an agent of God on earth; that Church has a person who stands in the place of Deity; that Church, according to their doctrine, is infallible. That Church has persecuted to the exact extent of her power, and always will. In Spain that Church stands erect, that Church is arrogant; in the United States that Church crawls: but the object in both countries is precisely the same, and that is the destruction of intellectual liberty. (Great applause.) That Church teaches us that we can make God happy by being miserable ourselves. That Church teaches us that a nun is holier in the sight of God than a loving mother with her child in her thrilled and thrilling arms. That Church teaches you that a priest is better than a father. That Church teaches you that celibacy is better than that passion of love that has made everything of beauty in this world. (Applause.) That Church tells the girl of 16 or 18 years of age, with eyes like dew and light—that girl with the red of health in the white of her beautiful cheeks—it tells that girl: "Put on a veil woven of death and night, kneel upon stone, and you will please God." I tell you that