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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

He was a Reformer

He was a Reformer

in his day. He was an infidel in his time. He was regarded as a blasphemer, and His life was destroyed by hypocrites who have in all ages done what they could to trample freedom out of the human mind. (Applause.) Had I lived at that time I would have been His friend. (Applause.) And should He come again He will not find a better friend than I will be. (Applause.) That is for the man. For the theological creation I have a different feeling. If He was in fact God, He knew there was no such thing as death; He knew that what we call death was but the eternal opening of the golden gates of everlasting joy. And it took no heroism to face a death that was simply eternal life. (Applause.) When a poor boy 16 years of age goes upon the field of battle to keep his nag in heaven, not knowing but that death ends all, not knowing but that when the shadows creep over him the darkness will be eternal, there is heroism. (Applause.) And so for the man who in the darkness said, "My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"—for that man I have nothing but admiration, respect, and love. (Applause.)

A while ago I made up my mind to find out what it was necessary for me to do in order to be saved, (Laughter.) If I have got a soul, I want it to be saved. (Renewed laughter.) I don't wish to lose anything (laughter) that is of value. For thousands of years the world has been asking the question, "What shall we do to be saved?" Saved from poverty? No. Crime? No. Tyranny? No. But "What shall we do to be saved from the eternal wrath of the God who made us all?" If God made us. He will not destroy us. (Applause.) Infinite wisdom never made a poor investment. (Renewed applause.) And upon all the works of an infinite God a dividend must finally be declared. (Applause.) The pulpit has cast a shadow even over the cradle. The doctrine of endless punishment has covered the cheeks of this world with tears. I despise it, and I defy it.

I made up my mind, I say, to see what I had to do in order to save my soul according to the Testament, and thereupon I read it. I read the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and I found that the Church had been deceiving me. I found that the clergy did not understand their own book. I found that they had been building upon passages that had been interpolated. I found that they had been building upon passages that were entirely untrue, and I will tell you why I think so.