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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

What Man Must Do

What Man Must Do.

If abuses are destroyed, man must destroy them, of slaves are freed, man must free them. If new ruths are discovered, man must discover them. If he naked are clothed; if the hungry are fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition driven from the mind; if the defenceless are projected, and if the right finally triumphs, all must be he work of man. The grand victories of the future just be won by man, and by man alone.

During that frightful period known as the "Dark [unclear: ges]," Faith reigned, with scarcely a rebellious subject. Her temples were "carpeted with knees," and the wealth of nations adorned her countless [unclear: hrines]. The great painters prostituted their genius immortalize her vagaries, while the poets enshrined them in song. At her bidding, man covered the Earth with blood. The scales of Justice were turned with her gold, and for her use were invented all the tanning instruments of pain. She built cathedrals or God, and dungeons for men. She peopled the louds with angels and the earth with slaves.

Of what use have the gods been to man? It is no Answer to say that some god created the world, Established certain laws, and then turned his attention to other matters, leaving his children weak, [unclear: gnorant], and unaided, to fight the battle of life alone. It is no solution to declare that in some other world this god will render a few, or even all, his subjects happy. What right have we to expect that a perfectly wise, good, and powerful being will ever do better than he has done, and is doing? The world is filled with imperfections. If it was made [unclear: y] an infinite being, what reason have we for saying that he will render it nearer perfect than it now is? the infinite "Father" allows a majority of his children to live in ignorance and wretchedness now, what evidence is there that he will ever improve their condition? Will God have more power? Will he become more merciful? Will his love for his poor reatures increase? Can the conduct of infinite wisdom, power, and love ever change? Is the ifinite capable of any improvement whatever?

We are informed by the clergy that this world is a find of school; that the evils by which we are surrounded are for the purpose of developing our souls, and that only by suffering can men become pure, strong, virtuous and grand.

Supposing this to be true, what is to become of those who die in infancy? The little children, according to this philosophy, can never be developed. They were so unfortunate as to escape the ennobling i influences of pain and misery, and as a consequence, are doomed to an eternity of mental inferiority. If the clergy are right on this question, none are so unfortunate as the happy, and we should envy only the suffering and distressed. If evil is necessary to the development of man, in this life, how is it possible I for the soul to improve in the perfect joy of paradise?