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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Take a Look Behind the Altar

Take a Look Behind the Altar.

The result of this investigation was given to the world in the "Age of Reason." From the moment of its publication he became infamous. He was culminated beyond measure. To slander him was to sccure the thanks of the church. All his services were instantly forgotten, disparaged, or denied. He was shunned as though he had been a pestilence. Most of his old friends forsook him. He was regarded as a moral plague, and at the bare mention of his name the bloody hands of the church were raised in horror. He was denounced as the mast despicable of men.

Not content with following him to his grave, they pursued him after death with redoubled fury, and recounted with infinite gusto and satisfaction the supposed horrors of his death-bed; glorified in fact that he forlorn and friendless, and gloated like fiends over what they supposed to be the agonising remorse of his lonely death.

It is wonderful that all his services were thus forgotten. It is amazing that one kind word did not fall from some pulpit; that some one did not accord to him, at least—honesty. Strange that in the general denunciation some one did not remember his labour for liberty, his devotion to principle, his zeal for the rights of his fellow-men. He had, by brave and splendid efforts, associated his name with the cause of progress. He had made it impossible to write the history of political freedom with his name left out. He was one of the creators of light; one of the heralds of the dawn. He hated tyranny in the name of kings, and in the name of God, with every drop of his noble blood. He believed in liberty and justice, and in the sacred doctrine of human equality. Under these divine banners he fought the battle of his life. In both worlds he offered his blood for the good of man. In the wilderness of America, in the French Assembly, in the sombre cell waiting for death, he was the same unflinching, unwavering friend of his race; the same undaunted champion of universal freedom. And for this he has been hated; for this