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The Father is referred to Acts i. 16: “Men and brethren: This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” This verse is in keeping with Romans ix. 17: “For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”
Ingersoll.—“I insisted upon knowing how the sufferings of an innocent man could satisfy for the sins of the guilty.”
After a long diatribe on different kinds of justice, prefaced by scurrilous and abusive language, the Father says:
Lambert.-—" You ask, how can the sufferings of the innocent satisfy for the sins of the guilty? The sufferings of the innocent do not satisfy for the sins of the guilty; they can, however, satisfy for the sufferings due the sins of the guilty, which is quite another thing. You can pay a fine of five dollars for a loafer who has committed an assault, and save him the sufferings of six months in the workhouse; but while your vicarious sufferings to the extent of five dollars remit the punishment, they do not satisfy' for the offence.”
Startling logic! Wonderful analogy! If I pay five dollars for the loafer who commits an assault I satisfy the penalty imposed by the judicial officer. The penalty is a pecuniary one, and, whether in strict justice or not (for the administration of human law is imperfect), the officer of the law is obliged to take it. But suppose the "loafer” is convicted of murder and is about to be hanged, or commits petit larceny and is about to be imprisoned, can I take his place on the scaffold in the one case, or suffer incarceration in his stead in the other? We pause for a reply.
REPLY TO CHAPTER XXI.
Non-Resistance—The Standard of Right and Wrong-Experience Teaches that
Evil Acts Produce Evil Consequences—A Saint and Father of the Catholic Church Justified the Polygamy of the Jews.
How pleasant would be the labor of controversy, in cases like the present, if disputants loved truth above all things, and their fellow-man next to truth! What is victory purchased at the price of verity? What a triumph over an adversary if we fail to lift him up and dismiss him with a blessing? They who war with carnal weapons are despised if they seek a mean or covert advantage; or if, after they have vanquished him, they treat a fallen foe with aught save kindness. What of those valiant knights who wield the “sword of the Spirit,” and on whose heavenly armor is emblazoned the motto: “When reviled revile not again?
The Father's anxiety to do justice to his opponent is made beautifully manifest in the beginning of Chapter XXI. In his first article in the North American Review Mr. Ingersoll said : '“Neither can I admit that a man, by doing me an injury, can place me under obligation to do him a service. To render benefits for injuries is to ignore all distinctions between actions. He who treats his friends and enemies alike has neither love nor justice. The idea of non-resistance never occurred to a man with power to protect himself. The doctrine was the child of weakness, born when resistance was impossible. To allow a crime to be committed when you can prevent it is next to committing the crime yourself. And yet, under the banner of non-resistance, the church has shed the blood of millions, and in the folds of her sacred vestments have gleamed the daggers of assassination."
To what does Mr. Ingersoll refer but to the doctrine announced in Matthew v. 39, 40: “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek turn to him the other also.
“And if a man will sue thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.”
Yet the Father culls a mere fragment from the article from which I have quoted, and says:
Lambert.—“This is one of your soft, indefinite generalities. Let us see what it means and what it is worth practically.” Then he asks, "Non-resistance to what?"
“ To say the least, this is cool.
Perhaps the Father may fail to understand the following quotation : "Let us take the teachings of the New Testament concerning resistance to evil: the doctrine concerning the citizen's relation to government. What is it? “Resist not evil.' The Quaker is the only man that attempts to carry out the doctrine of the New Testament in this direction; and if all the world were Quakers [they fought like Trojans in the late war] we might possibly get along with it, though I question whether even then it would not be a pretty tame, poor kind of a world. Through resistance to injury, resistance to tyrants, fighting for liberty, fighting for right, has the civilization of the world grown. Paul says, “He that resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God.' 'The powers that be are ordained of God. That is substantially the New Testament doctrine. The powers that be are manifestations of the will of God, and resistance to tyranny and injury of any kind is unchristian. Yet look back down the pathway of the
ages upon which our ancestors have trod, leading to the grand ideas of freedom and civilization which we hold to-day. See the barons at Runnymede demanding from King John the concessions of the Magna Charta. The influence of the New Testament would have been on the side of the weakminded, vacillating, unscrupulous, tyrannous John,” etc."Beliefs about the Bible," pp. 171-2.
One question of interest and dignity is raised in this discussion; i. c., what is the standard or gauge of right and wrong? Extreme cases should not be here discussed. In regard to most of these Christian and heathen are in substantial accord. But in regard to the every-day affairs of life, how are we to know what duty requires of us?
Mr. Ingersoll's doctrine is, that whatever conduces to the substantial happiness of humanity is good; and that whatever, in act or thought, tends to lessen the sum total of that substantial happiness is evil. The priest says no; and contends that the will of God is the only standard of right and wrong. The learned Blackstone, while clinging to revelation as the guide of guides, yet says, that the Almighty “has graciously reduced the rule of obedience, to this one paternal precept, that man should pursue his own true and substantial happiness." How does this differ from Mr. Ingersoll's doctrine ?
But with either or both rules may we not err ? Alas ! here comes in that disturbing element, human infirmity.
Men like to be as gods, knowing everything: they like to speak ex cathedra, and, as they can't be gods, they delight to officiate as vicars or subvicars of the celestial powers.
Take the one rule: everything that is right tends to the happiness of mankind. With the priest, we ask, “but who is to determine what acts tend to the happiness of mankind ?” Test the other rule, “the will of God.” Can we thereby
" obtain certainty? Let history and individual experience
answer. Who is the interpreter of the will of God? The church? What church? The Catholic ?
The Catholic ? Are her members more liable to discern right from wrong than the adherents to other faiths ? Are they more observant of the admitted moral code ? Have not her garments been dyed in the blood of martyrs ?
The Father asks: “Do you, before performing an act, pause to reflect whether that act, in the long run, will tend in the general sum to the happiness of mankind? Of course you don't. Such a calculation is beyond the power of man, hence your definition of right is a wretched humbug."
So will we say when Mr. Ingersoll claims that his rule will admit of perfect application when used by imperfect man. But what of your rule? Do you, before doing an act, pause to ascertain the will of God in regard to that particular act ? For example: you have asserted that a certain passage in Josephus is genuine and that " it is not even claimed to be an interpolation, except by a few interested critics,” whom you stigmatize as "infidels and Tooley street tailors." Now, reverend sir, I have shown you by quotations from the highest authorities, not infidel but Christian, not Protestant only but Catholic as well as Jewish, that this particular paragraph in Josephus is almost universally regarded as spurious—as a base forgery. Having shown you this, are you prepared to say whether you consulted your rule of faith before penning those lines which falsify history and cast unjust opprobrium upon the wise and good? Did the church, or, if for the present you prefer, the sons and ecclesiastics of the church, during the reign of Philip the Second, of Spain, torture and burn according to your infallible rule? Suppose, then, that your standard be the true one, who is to apply it? The church? The church cannot be present to gauge and direct individual action. How, then, is your "rule" to be applied so that the devout inquirer