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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 87

Orthodoxy is That

Orthodoxy is That

which rots, and heresy is that which grows for ever. Orthodoxy is the night of the past, full of the darkness of superstition; and heresy is the eternal coming day, the light of which strikes the grand foreheads of the intellectual pioneers of the world. I saw their implements of agriculture, from the plow mude of a crooked stick, attached to the horn of an ox by some twisted straw, with which our ancestors scraped the earth, and from that to the agricultural implements of this generation, that make it possible for a man to cultivate the soil without being an ignoramus.

In the old time old time there was but one crop; and when the rain did not come in answer to the prayer of hypocrites a famine came and people fell upon their knees. At that time they were full of superstition. They were frightened, all the time page 4 for fear that some god would he enraged at his poor, hapless, feeble, and starving children. But now, instead of depending upon one crop they have several, and if there is not rain enough for one there may be enough for another. And if the frosts kill all, we have railroads and steamships enough to bring what we need from some other part of the world. Since man has found out something about agriculture, the gods have retired from the business of producing famines.

I saw at the same time their musical instruments, from the tom-tom—that is, a hoop with a couple of strings of raw-hide drawn across it—from that tom-tom, up to the instruments we have to-day, that make the common air blossom with melody, and I said to myself there is a regular advancement. I saw at the same time