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tion in debate. Thus is assumed, by one dash of the pen, the point in dispute.
Ingersoll.—“ It is somewhat difficult to discern the design or the benevolence in so making the world that billions of animals live on the agonies of others.”
Lambert.—“ Until you prove that God so made the world that billions of animals live on the agonies of others, you are not called upon to discern design or benevolence in this agonizing state of things. It does not follow because agony and suffering exist that God designed it to be so. It is for you to prove that God designed this suffering before you should attribute it to him. You should be just-even to God."
Can it be possible that Father Lambert fails to see the issue raised by Mr. Ingersoll's remark? or that he is ignorant of the scientific facts to which he alludes ? or—10, he would not intentionally mislead those whom it is his duty to point heavenward. Therefore I say—for I think I understand the Father —that he attributes all of the suffering in the animal kingdom to the primal sin of Adam. If not, if God did not design it, to what does he impute that suffering? We find from the conformation of the teeth, stomach and other structural parts of animals, that some were made carnivorous, flesh-eaters ; others herbivorous, feeders on plants and trees; yet thousands of years before man inhabited this globe, we are told by those who have delved the deepest into this "rock-ribbed earth" and brought to the light most of its hidden secrets, that flesh has nurtured flesh, torn by the stronger from the bones of weaker animals—the herbivorous becoming the victims of the carnivorous, who devoured also the weaker of their own species. The scales of fishes and bones of animals found in the excrements of extinct animals prove these facts beyond scientific doubt.
Had we the ability, we could not in an essay like this incorporate a treatise on geology or paleontology; but we have asserted only facts known to the merest tyros in these departments, and asserted by men the best informed in these sciences, and of almost every grade of religious faith. Why should Christian teachers ignore these facts, and attempt to brush them away by the force of an obscure sentence?
If design can be seen in nature, the teeth, stomach, etc., of animals indicate that they were originally intended to feed upon each other—the weaker and more innocent to be devoured by the stronger and more savage. Such is the order of nature, and ever has been, according to the "testimony of the rocks.” If, then, death and suffering did exist before human transgression (as science teaches us it did), why claim that, contrary to all analogy, the effect goes before its cause? Or, if it be true that there is one exception, to the otherwise universal law, that the cause in the order of time precedes its effect, it is incumbent on those who assert it to prove it—and that by the most irrefragable evidence.
Lambert.—"God made man a free agent. ... But man abused the gift of liberty, and, in so doing, produced discord in universal harmony. ... He betrayed it [his trust) and
] thus became a victim of the disorder he himself produced. The agent is responsible to his principal, and a failure to perform the duties assigned him brings upon him punishment and disgrace.”
Be it so, and, waiving the hardship to prattling infancy, in that the child must suffer for sin committed six thousand years before it was born, does it seem just that dumb brutes should endure uncompensated suffering because
“ In Adam's fall
You may be right in your picture of a world where all things dark and mysterious to us here will there be illumined by heavenly light. I hope so.
It is said that Agassiz believed in the immortality of fishes -at worst a beautiful conceit, which showed the goodness of the great man's soul. But no heaven could we covet where we must lose the identity of self-forget the past with its memories of moral battles fought and won-of friendships so dear and loves so holy that heaven would not be heaven if it denied their continuance. Picture not to us, “ beyond the parting and the greeting," a heaven darkened and made desolate by the absence of loved ones, in their eternal banishment made translucent by the lurid glare of hell. Those of us dissenters who revere a Supreme Spirit bow not to a Moloch, with fiery outstretched arms, waiting to receive helpless victims consigned to him by soulless dogma; but a being whose love extendeth to all, and whose "mercy endureth forever."
Yet let no one have the temerity or ingratitude to construe that mercy into a sin-license. Suffering in the moral world is the child of violated law, and, if the soul survive the decay of the body, we cannot conceive why God is under greater obligation, or is more willing, irrespective of our own efforts, to save us from the consequences of our sins hereafter than in our present state.
REPLY TO CHAPTER V.
Mr. Ingersoll's Reply to the Argument from “Design”-Self-existence Alleged
hy Father Lambert to Imply the Infinity and Perfection of every Attribute; the Fallacy of the Doctrine—“ Infinite Justice” a Redundant Expression; the Word Just not Logically Admitting of Degrees of Comparison-God Supposed to be Flattered by Complimentary Words—The Finite Cannot Measure the Infinite, bui may Test its Nature and Quality--Opinion, Good or Bad, is Judgment.
To do justice to Mr. Ingersoll, as well as to show how fragmentary are the Father's citations from him, I will quote, somewhat at length, Mr. Ingersoll's reply to the argument from design. I will do justice even to an infidel!
Ingersoll.—“I know as little as any one else about the 'plan' of the universe; and as to the 'design'I know just as little. It will not do to say that the universe was designed, and therefore there must be a designer. There must first be proof that it was designed.' It will not do to say the universe has a 'plan,' and then assert that there must have been an finite Maker. The idea that a design must have a beginning and that a designer need not, is a simple expression of human ignorance. We find a watch, and we say: 'So curious
and wonderful a thing must have had a maker. We find · the watch-maker, and we say: 'So curious and wonderful
a thing as man must have had a Maker. We find God, and we say: 'He is so wonderful that he must not have had a Maker.'
“In other words, all things a little wonderful must have been created, but it is possible for something to be so wonderful that it always existed. One would suppose that just as the wonder increased the necessity for a Creator increased, because it is the wonder of the thing that suggests the design of creation. Is it possible that a designer exists from all eternity without a design? Was there no design in having an infinite designer? For me it is hard to see the plan or design in earthquakes and pestilences. It is somewhat difficult to discern the design or the benevolence in so making the world that billions of animals live only on the agony of others. The justice of God is not visible to me in the history of this world. When I think of the suffering and death, of the poverty and crime, of the cruelty and malice, of the heartlessness of this design' and 'plan,' where beak and claw and tooth tear and rend the quivering flesh of weakness and despair, I cannot convince myself that it is the result of infinite wisdom, benevolence and justice."
In the brief excerpt which the Father quotes from the above, “ The justice of God is not visible to me in the history of this world," Mr. Ingersoll only states an orthodox sentiment, a sentiment proclaimed from the pulpit thousands of times every week. It accords with the teachings of Scripture; it is the oft sad refrain of the songs of the modern Zion, and of afflicted, pious hearts everywhere. All say, "we know not why it is that sin defiles us, that sickness tortures us, and that death, cold, ghastly death, is the conqueror of all.” But the Father, in his haste to vanquish his adversary, selects the passage of all others the least obnoxious to orthodox criticism.
Lambert.--" If there is an infinite, self-existent being, he must, from his very nature, be infinite in everything; and, if in everything, infinite in his justice. To assert that he is not