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the reason, scramble intellect and make of men drooling derelicts. What for? I'll tell you—that Doctor Chapman and his professional rooters may roll in cheap honors, be immune from all useful labor and wax fat on the pay of those who work. Second, that the orthodox churches may not advance into workshops and schoolhouses, but may remain forever the home of a superstition 6 One would think that the promise of making a person exempt from the results of his own misdeeds, would turn the man of brains from these religious shell-men in disgust. But under their hypnotic spell, the minds of many seem to suffer an obsession, and they are caught in the swirl of foolish feeling, like a grocer's clerk in the hands of a mesmerist. At Northfield, Massachusetts, is a college at which men are taught and trained, just as men are drilled at a Tonsorial College, in every phase of this pleasing episcopopography. There is a good fellow by the suggestive name of Sunday who works the religious graft. Sunday is the whirling dervish up to date. He and Chapman and their cappers purposely avoid any trace of the ecclesiastic in their attire. They dress like drummers—trousers carefully creased, two watch-chains and a warm vest. Their manner is free and easy, their attitude familiar. The way they address the Almighty reveals that their reverence for Him springs out of the supposition that He is very much like themselves. The indelicacy of the revivalists who recently called meetings to pray for Fay Mills, was shown in their ardent supplications to God that He should make Mills to be like them. Fay Mills tells of the best way to use this life here and now. He does not prophesy what will become of you if you do not accept his belief, neither does he promise everlasting life as a reward for thinking as he does. He realizes that he has not the agency of everlasting life. Fay Mills is more interested in having a soul that is worth saving than in saving a soul that is n't. Chapman talks about lost souls as he might about collar buttons lost under a bureau, just as if God ever misplaced anything, or that all souls were not God's souls, and therefore forever in His keeping. Doctor Chapman wants all men to act alike
and believe alike, not realizing that progress is the result of individuality, and so long as a man thinks, whether he is right or wrong, he is making head. Neither does he realize that wrong thinking is better than no thinking at all, and that the only damnation consists in ceasing to think, and accepting the conclusions of another 4 Final truths and final conclusions are wholly unthinkable to sensible people in their sane moments, but these revivalists wish to sum up truth for all time and put their leaden seal upon it. In Los Angeles is a preacher by the name of McIntyre, a type of the blatant Bellarmine who exiled Galileo-a man who never doubts his own infallibility, who talks like an oracle and continually tells of perdition for all who disagree with him. Needless to say that McIntyre lacks humor.
Personally, I prefer the McGregors, but in Los Angeles the McIntyres are popular. It was McIntyre who called a meeting to pray for Fay Mills, and in proposing the meeting McIntyre made the unblushing announcement that he had never met Mills nor heard him speak, nor had he read one of his books.
Chapman and McIntyre represent the modern types of Phariseeism-spielers and spouters for churchianity, and such are the men who make superstition of so long life. Superstition is the one Infamy-Voltaire was right. To pretend to believe a thing at which your reason revolts—to stultify your intellectthis, if it exists at all, is the unpardonable sin. These muftis preach “the blood of Jesus,” the dogma that man without a belief in miracles is eternally lost, that everlasting life depends upon acknowledging this, that or the other. Self-reliance, self-control and self-respect are the three things that make a man a man. But man has so recently taken on this ability to think, that he has not yet gotten used to handling it. The tool is cumbrous in his hands. He is afraid of it—this one characteristic that differentiates him from the lower animals-so he abdicates and turns his divine birthright over to a syndicate. This combination called a church agrees to take care of his doubts and fears and do his thinking for him, and to help matters along he is assured that he is not fit to think for himself, and to do so would be a sin. Man, in his present crude state, holds somewhat the same attitude toward reason that an Apache Indian holds toward a camera—the Indian thinks that to have his picture taken means that he will shrivel up and blow away in a month. And Stanley relates that a watch with its constant ticking sent the bravest of Congo chiefs into a cold sweat of agonizing fear; on discovering which, the explorer had but to draw his Waterbury and threaten to turn the whole bunch into crocodiles, and at once they got busy and did his bidding Stanley exhibited the true Northfield-revival quality in banking on the superstition of his wavering and frightened followers. The revival meetin' is an orgie of the soul, a spiritual debauch-a dropping from sane and sensible control into eroticism. No person of normal intelligence can afford to throw the reins of reason on the neck of emotion and ride a Tam O'Shanter race to Bedlam 6 This hysteria of the uncurbed feelings is the only blasphemy, and if there were a personal God, He surely would be grieved to see that we have so absurd an idea of Him, as to imagine He would be pleased with our deporting the divine gift of reason into the hell-box.