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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

Chapter IX. — The sounding of the fifth angel

Chapter IX.

The sounding of the fifth angel.

And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth, and to him was given the keys of that place wherein were stored those seven pious frauds, and in holy writ it was found written, for that which befalleth the sons of man befalleth beasts, even one thing befalleth them. As the one dieth so dieth the other: Yea, they have all one breath, so that man hath no pre-eminence above a beast, for it is all vanity. All go into one place, all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

2. And he opened hell and its torment, and the smoke thereof disappeared before the intelligence of man, for now hath man travelled much and learning hath increased.

3. And from where the smoke had been came forth men with long noses armed with sharp pens and cutting questions, and were bold and fearless, and their tongues stung like scorpions, so much so that dogma, bigotry, and superstition had no spirit left in them.

4. And it was commanded them to hurt those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads, and whose mouth did scowl upon science, and whose bullet-shaped head did deny that an operation of sense was a condition precedent to the naming of the word.

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5. And their nakedness and shame did prick their conscience like unto the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man.

6. And they were weak in concentration and were busy with vain things, so that the days were shortened wherein no sheet anchor held, and gone were their stiff upper lip and their backbone and their principles, and they drifted down hill looking for the sheep that would jump the fence, and seeing none, many committed suicide, and some trying did not succeed.

7. The rank and file of the erstwhile immortal locusts had visionary crowns given unto them, and their faces were the faces of those frightened unto death, for some saw and others dreamt of Jacob's God and what it meant, and they cried for rocks to fall upon them.

8. And those having long hair, black clothes, and Roman collars, against great odds held out manfully, saying: That the souls of believers at death did immediately pass into glory, yet to the good things of this life they did very much cling.

9. And they had orthodox breastplates and leather lungs of denominationalism.

10. And faith fought with dogma and creeds warred with sects, and of their souls they did sing: Up to the clouds where angels dwell, it mounts triumphant there, or devils plunge it down to hell, in infinite despair.

11. Piety and its infallable decretals had a Pope with a following of political bad ones who bolstered one man one vote, and one day every three years to elect the demagogic agitator who did in the day of decision join forces with beer, bible, and grossness, and in hostile array were arrayed against all that was decent and respectable.

12. One woe is past, and behold there come two woes more hereafter.

13. And the sixth angel sounded, and towards the cool of the evening sanity did assert itself, saying: It was the living only that could praise God. Yet in his view Bill was broad, for de regarded religious errors as of little importance, believing that ill persuasions were equally acceptable to a long suffering God. It was narrowness and intolerance and blood lust and deadly hatred amongst the several persuasions that caused Bill to raise his mighty hand and show them his gospel of the seven senses and the word, for well he knew their hidden manna, and what did cause war amongst the nations.

14. And nations were angry and let loose their war-lords and their fighting forces who at death went into one place, and some with long heads who were chiefly of the circumcised did say, set us live as long as we can by keeping clear of brutes.

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15. And from hordes of conscription came into the arena prepared armies of destruction.

16. And their forces numbered millions. I did not count them, and their chaplains looked and listened upwards for that great shout, whilst those with well-balanced mind did modestly assert that God acted upon mankind in no other way than through human agents.

17. And from their guns issued fire and smoke and brimstone, as also soft-nosed bullets and frightfulness, and when their phychological gropers groped for that everlasting middle term which was suitable to the occasion, their naming was as were their stock of common terms.

18. And many were killed by gas and by gun, and by bomb and by bayonet, and their women wept and waited for him that was promised, but none saw him installed upon his spiritual throne.

19. Man made upright had found out many death dealing in ventions, but that instrument of instruments, the sign of which is the common term, he did greatly neglect.

20. And those not killed by these plagues let go their swollen imaginations, and they did worship devils and idols and things that could not see nor walk.

21. Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornification, nor of their thefts, but were indeed poor two-legged creatures, in sorry and travail, running their mortal course, and none could rise above the low level of their horizon. Yet they longed for something, but instead of looking for it under man's laws of thought they strained their necks skywards, seeing not that it was a day of small things on earth, where God's purpose with man was being fought out. All this time Bill's ginnelling mind had been looking under stones, and lo under the drop of the eye-lash he found a new heaven and a new earth, and made practical demonstration of his physical and his scientific truth, and the world would not have the God of Jacob because of its rod of iron.