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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

Some one Had to Lead the Way

Some one Had to Lead the Way.

The Church is, and always has been, incapable of a forward movement. Religion always looks back. The Church has already reduced Spain to a guitar, Italy to a hand-organ, and Ireland to exile.

Some one not connected with the Church had to attack the monster that was eating out the heart of the world. Some one had to sacrifice himself for the good of all. The people were in the most abject poverty; their manhood had been taken from them by pomp, by pageantry, and power.

Progress is born of doubt and enquiry.

The Church never doubts—never enquires. To doubt is heresy; to enquire is to admit that you do not know. The Church does neither.

More than a century ago Catholicism, wrapped in robes red with the innocent blood of millions, holding in her frantic clutch crowns and sceptres, honours and gold, the keys of Heaven and Hell, trampling beneath her feet the liberties of nations, in the proud moment of almost universal dominion felt within her heartless breast the deadly dagger of Voltaire. From that blow the Church can never recover. Livid with hatred, she launched her eternal anathema at the great destroyer, and ignorant Protestants have echoed the curse of Rome.

In our country the Church was all-powerful; and, although divided into many sects, would instantly unite to repel a common foe. Paine did for Protestantism what Voltaire did for Catholicism.