“Infidel Views of the ‘Logic of Christianity’” The American Sentinel 1, 12, pp. 90, 91.

December 1886

THE following letter was received at this office September 29. As the SENTINEL aims to do full justice to National Reform, we insert the letter entire.

SPARTA, Ill., Sept. 20, 1886.

THE SENTINEL EDITORS—Gents: I have received several numbers of your journal. I do not intend to become a subscriber. I have met with your best arguments before, in the contest with infidels. When I want to refresh my mind I will send for the Boston Investigator, or some paper of that class. I would rather have the strong statement of the infidel argument as infidels put it, and not the feeble statement of infidelity as made by Christians. You are in the wrong company. You are fighting your own side of the cause. Abbott, of the Index, said in my hearing, “The logic of Christianity is under your movement. If I were a Christian I would be with you, but as I am not, I oppose you with all my might.” (I give his words from memory.) In the judgment of most Christians you are on the wrong side; so also in the judgment of honest infidels. Better shinny on your own side. But if not, I prefer to get the Simon-pure infidel arguments against national Christianity. You can add nothing to them, so please stop the paper. I have had samples enough.

Yours respectfully, D. O. FARIS.

Mr. Faris is, of course, a National Reformer, and thinks, even as he says, that we are “in the wrong company.” And to prove that we are in the wrong, he quotes Mr. Abbott’s statement that “the logic of Christianity” is behind the National Reform movement. The value of Mr. Faris’s proof can be better appreciated when it is understood what Mr. Abbott considers the logic of Christianity. According to Mr. Abbott’s estimate, then, what is the logic of Christianity? Everybody who is at all acquainted with Mr. Abbott’s opinion of Christianity, knows that what he holds to be the logic of Christianity is the destruction of all liberty, cruel oppression, and persistent and bloody persecution. With such a view as this of what the logic of Christianity is, we say that Mr. Abbott is literally correct when he says that the logic of Christianity is behind the National Reform movement. This, all opponents of that movement will realize as surely as the movement shall prove a success.

But the Christianity which Mr. Abbott sees is not the Christianity of Christ, nor that of those who follow Christ: the Christianity which Mr. Abbott sees, in common with Colonel Ingersol, the Investigator, and all other of Mr. Faris’s “honest infidels,” is the Christianity (?) of Romanism, of the Inquisition, of the torture-chamber, of the thumb-screw, the rack, and the stake. Everybody knows that this is the Christianity, and that this is “the logic of Christianity,” which these “honest infidels” never weary of holding up before the world. That such is the view that Mr. Abbott holds in relation to what Christianity is, we prove by his own words, in the very speech to which Mr. Faris refers. The speech was made at the Cincinnati National Reform Convention, February 1, 1872. We quote from the record. In that speech Mr. Abbott said:—

“The reaction you will create will open the eyes of millions to the fact that Christianity and freedom are incompatible.”

With such views of Christianity we do not wonder at all that infidels say that if they believed in Christianity they would take their stand by the side of National Reformers. If we believed that “Christianity and freedom are incompatible,” and then believed in Christianity, we should instantly take our stand by the side of Mr. Faris and his fellow “reformers;” for the utter destruction of freedom in free America is the logic of National Reform. Now, if National Reform represents Christianity, then “the logic of Christianity” does lie behind the National Reform movement. If Mr. Faris accepts Mr. Abbott’s definition and views of Christianity, he is at perfect liberty to do so, and we freely yield to him and to National Reform all the comfort they can get from such Christianity, and from Mr. Abbott’s hypothetical Christian indorsement of the National Reform movement. As for us we accept no such definition, nor any such views, of Christianity nor of the logic of Christianity; and because we do not, but believe in Christianity with all our heart, we oppose National Reform with our might. Nor do we expect to fall into the mistake into which Mr. Abbott seems to have fallen, of confounding Christianity and National Reform.

Further, Mr. Faris kindly informs us that “in the judgment of most Christians” we “are on the wrong side.” Mr. Faris may be correct in his estimate of “the judgment of most Christians.” But that is nothing to us. We are not trying to shape our course according to the judgment of the multitude, even though that multitude be composed of “most Christians,” that would be contrary to the principles of both the Bible and sound journalism. “The judgment of most Christians” is not the final judgment. Our sole endeavor in all our work and in all our ways, is to so conform to the word of God that we may at the last receive the approval of the judgment of God. Besides this, we know full well that “in the judgment of most Christians,” William Lloyd Garrison was “on the wrong side” when he declared that slavery was wrong and should be abolished. “In the judgment of most Christians” John Wesley was on the wrong side. “In the judgment of most Christians” Martin Luther was on the wrong side. “In the judgment of most Christians” of the popular and powerful religionists of the day, the apostles of Christ were on the wrong side, and were commanded “not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” And so say we to Mr. Faris, and to all those whose “judgment” he seems to be empowered to express.

And, too, our correspondent courteously invites us to “stop the paper.” This paper started expressly to expose the iniquity that lurks in the National Reform movement, and to awake the American people to the danger that threatens their liberties should that movement succeed. The paper has now been running but a year, yet it has had a total circulation of more than 136,000 copies, and we are happy to know that its influence is being felt even in [91] National Reform circles, and we do not propose to stop the paper. Sorry are we, Mr. Faris, that we cannot please you, but in our judgment and perhaps “in the judgment of most Christians” in this matter, “you are on the wrong side”—at least as yet. A. T. J. [91]

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