« ÎnapoiContinuați »
destruction;" and would, on this principle, justify the barbarities practised by the Jews, not defensively but offensively, on the peoples they came all the way from Egypt to rob and exterminate !
But let us apply the Father's logic to the exact point at issue, and see where it will land the Jewish race. “If enemies come to conquer, a nation has a right to conquer them.” The Jews came professedly to conquer: therefore, the heathen nations had a right to conquer them. “If they give no quarter, they have a right to none." The Jews gave no quarter, therefore had a right to none. “If the death of the whole population be their purpose, it is right to defeat it by putting them all to the sword if necessary.” The death of the whole population of the heathen nations was the avowed purpose of the Jews; hence the right of those nations to defeat that purpose by putting all of the Jews to the sword!
And these principles we are told are “practised by all except Christian nations;” and that if they “do not practise them, it is because the benign influence of Christianity has refined the sentiments and softened the harsher features of man's nature," etc. If what the Jews did was right, the light of Christianity would only reveal its justice more fully; if wrong, that light more clearly reveals its atrocious nature by rendering its darkness visible. The gospel of love will not justify the doctrine of hate.
Lambert.—“ God is the Creator, the Supreme Ruler of the universe and of all men. As such, man owes him allegiance and obedience.”
Not so; man owes him allegiance not because he is powerful, but because he is just; obedience, because of the righteousness of his law; and love, because his tender mercy is over all his works-because he first loved us. What is the obedience which power alone commands ? What the love
that fear exacts? A kiss to the tyrant's rod. Such low conceptions of deity and of the grounds of human obligation make "Bob" Ingersolls possible.
Here a protest must be entered against the methods of warfare commended by the Father and termed “civilized."
Ingersoll.—" If they kill the babes in our cradles must we brain theirs ?"
Lambert.—“Yes, by all means brain them; tear them limb from limb, salt them, ship them to the Cannibal islands," etc.
Reader, do not mistake; the foregoing was not written by a Fiji chief, but by a disciple of the Prince of Peace !
REPLY TO CHAPTER XI.
Wars of Extermination-Slavery—Defensive Wars not Wars of Conquest
Alleged Superiority of Physical over Moral Power.
There is so much small talk in the “ Notes,” so many personal Alings (I am sorry to say not of a high order of merit), and such laborious attempts to avoid main issues by very small criticisms, that an honest reviewer who desires to meet fairly every salient point in dispute finds the winnowing process unpleasant and laborious.
Why was it necessary for the Father to cloud his argument by interspersing it with personal detractions of Mr. Ingersoll, and with fulsome eulogies on his own performance? What has Mr. Ingersoll's personal character, good or bad, or the Father's cleverness, to do with the subject in dispute ? We know the Father is a great man and a perfect exterminator as a disputant, for we are assured of both facts, not only by Reverend Patrick Cronan, but by the Reverend Father Lambert himself, by oft repeated assumptions and assertions which can leave no doubt in the minds of his readers. It is his right to do so that all may know what they might have failed to discover from a perusal of his argument. But it would be a mercy to his readers if he would write an autobiography and, fully portraying his exceeding merit, leave the subject of the present controversy to the elucidation of facts and arguments, free from self-adulation and personal censure. Every human being is equally interested in the present issue; and no man in such a contest should seek victory for the sake of selfglorification, nor by other than fair and seemly methods. He who is convicted of error is the victor in a controversy : for he has gained that which he had not; his opponent retaining only what he already possessed.
In disputation we should never lose sight of the point in issue. Let us return to it. Mr. Ingersoll, in his articles reviewed in the “Notes,” sought to answer the question, “Is all of the Bible Inspired ?” To prove the negation of this query, he instanced, among other things, the aggressive wars of the Jews as recorded in the Old Testament, with a “ Thus saith the Lord" for their sanction; the practice of polygamy in its vilest forms, and unrebuked by divine reproof; and slavery as instituted by command of God.
Of course the consistent apologist who would maintain the plenary inspiration of the Old Testament must, in some way and to his own satisfaction, justify those wars, as also the institutions which, at the present day, we regard as abominations. The chapter under review is, in the main, devoted to the subjects of war and slavery. Mr. Ingersoll had said that a war of conquest was simple murder. It would seem that no one should have mistaken his meaning,—certainly no one who kept in mind the kind of wars he was condemning, i. e., the aggressive wars of the Jews. But for those who must stand or fall by the plenary inspiration of the Hebrew Scriptures it is, at least, more politic to confuse than make clear.
The Father attempts to enlighten his opponent, who, he says, does not understand Judge Black's argument, by stating it "syllogistically," thus :
"According to Mr. Ingersoll,' a war of conquest is simple murder.'
But the war with the South was a war of conquest. Therefore, the war against the South was simple murder. Now
Mr. Ingersoll participated in that war, therefore Mr. Ingersoll was a party to the crime of murder.”
The fallacy of this syllogistic statement lies in the misuse of the little word “conquest” as applied to the facts of which Mr. Ingersoll was writing. The words, “wars of conquest,” in their proper historical application, mean aggressive wars, wherein one nation seeks to subdue and to establish dominion over another; and not defensive wars for the establishment of independent governments, nor wars to maintain the integrity of governments already established.
The historian, or conversationalist even, who should affirm that the United States had ever conquered Great Britain would be laughed at.
There never was a war waged by the United States against the “South," any more than a war against the city of New York when her riotous elements were quelled by the Federal soldiery. There was a rebellion in the Southern States against lawfully constituted authority-an attempt to subvert the general government in certain States.
This authority was maintained by force of arms. this a war of conquest ?
Since writing the above I have read a paragraph in Mr. Ingersoll's essay. It is beautifully and forcibly written. I will quote it, for it will show the reader how faithfully the Father has kept his promise to give a fair statement of Mr. Ingersoll's arguments.
Ingersoll.—“Mr. Black justifies the wars of extermination and conquest, because the American people fought for the integrity of their own country, fought to do away with the infamous institution of slavery, fought to preserve the jewels of liberty and justice for themselves and for their children. Is it possible that his mind is so clouded by political and religious prejudice ... that he sees no difference between a war of ex