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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

He Ascended Bodily Before Their Eyes

He Ascended Bodily Before Their Eyes.

If there ever was any important thing happened in this world that is one. If there page 9 is any conversation people would be apt to recollect it would be the last conversation with a God, before He rose through the air and seated Himself upon the Throne of the Infinite. We have in this Testament five accounts of the last conversation happening between Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Matthew gives it, and yet Matthew does not state that in that connection He said: "Whosoever believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and whosoever believeth not shall be damned." If He did say these words, they were the most important that ever fell from His lips. Matthew either didn't hear it, or didn't believe it, or forgot it. Then I turn to Luke, and he gives an account of this same last conversation, and not one word does he say upon that subject. Now, it is the most important thing, if Christ said it, that He ever said. Then I turn to John, and he gives an account of the last conversation, but not one solitary word upon the subject of belief or unbelief,—not one solitary word on the subject of damnation. Not one. Then I turn to the first chapter of the Acts, and there I find an account of the last conversation, and in that conversation not one word upon this subject. Now, I say that that demonstrates that the passage in Mark is an interpolation. What other reason have I got? That there is not one particle of sense in it (Laughter.) Why? No man can control his belief. You hear evidence for and against, and the integrity of the soul stands at the scales and tells which side rises and which side falls. (Applause.) You cannot believe as you will. You must believe as you must. And He might as well have said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel, and whosoever has red hair shall be saved (laughter), and whosoever hath not shall be damned." (Renewed laughter.) Then I have another reason. I am much obliged to the gentleman who interpolated those passages; I am much obliged to him that he put in some more—two more. Now hear: "And these signs shall follow them that believe." Good! "In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover." Bring on your believer. (Applause and laughter.) Let him cast out a devil. I don't claim a large one. (Laughter.) Just a little one for a cent. (Renewed laughter.) Let him take up serpents. (A voice—"Copperheads.") If he drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt him. Let me mix up a dose for an average believer (laughter), and if it doesn't "hurt" him, I will join a church. (Laughter and applause.) Oh, but they say that those things lasted only through the Apostolic age. Let us sec. "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel, and whosoever believes and is baptised shall be saved, and these signs shall follow them that believe." How long? I think at least until they had gone into all the world. (Applause.) Certainly those signs should follow until all the world had been visited. If that declaration was in the mouth of Christ, He then knew that one-half of the world was unknown, and that He would be dead 1492 years before