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very interesting. It is a wonder that Mr. Lambert
did not let the inspired volume explain the creation,
especially as it was already written. Even the men-
tion of book, chapter, and verse would do, as Bibles
are accessible to every one. According to his belief
the Bible is the infallible word of God, of which he
is an infallible interpreter.

But, wait a minute. Perhaps it is as the infallible
interpreter that he explains that God can place an
eternal act, etc. No, that cannot be either, for he
does not settle the question in debate; he says only
that Ingersoll is wrong. The only affirmations cf
his own belief that he settles positively are that
"God did not exist in time before creation," and
"God is alone before creation was." How would
that sound without the words "in time"? But it
would not do to leave them out, for the author's
words must be given correctly. Notice, God did
not exist before creation, God did exist before crea-

"But the word vacuum has a gross material
sense, and you used it for a purpose," said Mr.

His meaning must be that Ingersoll used it in a


gross material sense for a bad purpose. According
to the dictionary and common usage, vacuum is
simply an empty space ; this leaves out all consider-
ations of arguments of scholars as to whether there
can be any empty space (vacuum) or not; it also
leaves out the seeming contradiction of the state-
ment that the earth before creation was void (vacu-
um), and yet had water in it, and also had the
spirit of God moving on the face of the waters. I
see no way of getting a hint of any kind of bad pur-
pose for which the word vacuum could be used.
The words "gross material sense" gives no light on
the subject. It seems as if Ingersoll used the word
just as Mr. Lambert's argument shows he used it,
meaning emptiness, tho Mr. Lambert thinks he is
wrong, for "in the hypothesis that God is he is
something." Well, we would never suppose that
Mr. Lambert took the gross material sense to mean
God, even if he had not shown that he believed In-
gersoll meant simply emptiness.

While weighing in my mind the relative merits of
two courses of action to get me out of the difficulty
of understanding how the word vacuum could be
used in a gross material sense : whether to advertise
for an explanation of this difficult passage, or to
write to Mr. Lambert admitting that I need instruc-
tion, any suggestion from others will be thankfully


In answer to the greater difficulty in the second
hypothesis, Mr. Lambert says that it is a pity Inger-
soll didn't take time and space to weigh those diffi-
culties. It seems to me his arguments preceding
and following the remark are exactly on those
points, while Mr. Lambert contents himself with re-
iterating, by way of answer, that our minds are
finite ; we cannot know God absolutely, but we know
with certainty that he is, and explaining the beliefs
of the Gnostics and Pantheists.


Ingersoll. "What we know of the infinite is al-
most infinitely limited, but little as we know, all
have an equal right to express their honest thot."

Lambert. "Has any man the right, common sense
being the judge, to talk about that of which his
knowledge is almost infinitely limited? All may
have an equal right to give their honest thot, but
none have the right to give their honest thot on all
subjects and under all circumstances. Common
sense and decency forbid it. The honesty of a thot
does not give weight or importance or truth to it.
If so, lunatics would be the best of reasoners, for
none are more honest in their thots than they.
Thot must be judged with reference to its truth,


and not with reference to the honesty of him who
thinks it. This ple*a of honesty in thinking is a
justification of every error and crime, for we must,
in the very nature of the case, take the thinker's
word for the honesty of his thot. Guiteau, if we
can believe him, expressed his honest thot by means
of an English bulldog revolver, and, if your theory
be true, he had a right to do it.

"The right to give an honest thot implies the right
to realize that thot in action and habit. If it means
less than this, it means the right to gabble like an
idiot. I assume that it is not this latter right you
claim. Then, in claiming the right to give your
honest thot, you claim to realize that thot in act and
practice, and cause it, as far as you can, to pene-
trate, and obtain in human society. If your claim
for liberty of thot means less than this, it is the
veriest delusion.

"I take it, then, that in claiming the right to give
your honest thot, you claim the right to promulgate
that thot, and to put it in practice in the affairs of
life. Now, in view of this claim of yours, I ask,
by what right you interfere with the slaveholder's
honest thot, or the Mormon's honest thot? Your
plea for the right of expressing honest thot is a
miserable pretense, or else by it you mean that those
only who agree with you have the right of express-
ing it in word or action. The doctrines of our


loquacious liberals, when analyzed, will be found to
mean this and nothing more."

Comment. Does this mean that Mr. Ingersoll
has not the right to talk because his knowledge of
the infinite is limited, while it is different with his
critic? No; for he admits all have an equal right,
tho he limits it to certain subjects and certain times.
The correct inference might be that Ingersoll had no
right to express his thoughts on the creation of the
universe in a public debate; but carrying that out
might lead some people to believe that the other side
could be barred. Further along we find that it is
only the truth which can, by right, be spoken. Who
is to be the judge as to whether it is the truth or
not before it is expressed? Should it be privately
submitted to an opponent before it is published, and
suppressed if not true, in the opinion of the ex-
ponent of opposite views ? Would Mr. Lambert be
willing to submit his thots to this text and abide by
the judgment given? Perhaps he would say that
everything affecting faith and morals should be sub-
mitted to the decision of an infallible teacher ; al-
most everything has some bearing on morals and
the church has shown that many interesting sub-
jects are inimical to faith; witness, geography, as-
tronomy, chemistry, philosophy, history, literature,
and politics.

Here he expresses his thot that according to Mr.


Ingersoll's theory Guiteau had a right to express
his thot by means of an English bulldog revolver;
if not, it means to gabble like an idiot. Let us
shorten that for a clear view. Ingersoll's idea of
the right to express thots on the universe means
Guiteau had a right to shoot Garfield, or he gabbles
like an idiot, because the right to express thot im-
plies the right to realize it in action and habit. Sup-
posing that is an honest thot, admitting that its ele-
gance or inelegance does not affect the undeniable
right of expression, its truth is questionable, and if
it is not true Mr. Lambert's own rule would justify
its suppression. But let it stand (against him), for
liberals, loquacious or reticent, do not wish to , re-
strict thot even when expressed in the style of Mr.

Does my right to say God can place an eternal
act, or to say I cannot conceive an eternal act, carry
with it the right of assassination? Many people
would draw a line between an expression of opinion
on a self-existent or created universe and murder,
and would never see the slightest connection be-
tween expression of the opinion and such an act.

Let us hear how Mr. Lambert would realize any
opinion of the universe in action and habit. He
gives his opinion, without expressing it in action
and habit, that Ingersoll's "plea for the right of
expressing thot is a miserable pretense, or else by it


you" (Ingersoll) "mean that only those who agree
with you have the right of expressing it in word or
action. The doctrines of our loquacious liberals,
when analyzed, will be found to mean precisely this
and nothing more."

In short, Mr. Lambert's argument seems to be:
People do not have the right to express thots on the
universe, for that right carries with it the right to
murder. Therefore, he has no right to give the
opinions he has been giving or any other opinions,
for he has no right to murder. What does he really
think on this subject? That no one has a right to
have thots?

Can onyone else interpret the expression of belief
that "all" have a right to express thot, to mean "only
those agreeing with me" have the right?

As for loquacious liberals, if there is one liberal
who fills pages with obscure, unmeaning, contradic-
tory dissertations, who writes paragraphs of scorn-
ful vituperation of a blameless character, leaving
the subject he pretends to discuss untouched, let
him be discountenanced by other liberals, and let
his friends try to lead him to better ways.


Lambert. "As Mr. Black did not advance this
argument I am at a loss to understand why it was


introduced by Mr. Ingersoll, unless it was to give us
a specimen of his ability in the way of metaphysical

Comment. Mr. Black did advance the argument
that the existence of God was proved by the design
of the universe. (See page 35 of the Ingersoll-
Black discussion.)

Quoting, "It will not do to say that the universe
was designed, and therefore there must be a de-
signer." This man who says in his introduction
this is not a subject to make merry over, and that the
orator of applause and laughter stops his clatter and
pauses in his ribaldry, breaks the quotation in
two to say, "Why not, if all have a right to give
their honest thot?"

Everyone will understand that this is a specimen
of Mr. Lambert's wit, which is not intended to be
a part of the argument; it is not expected that any-
one would take the meaning to be that the right to
speak any belief was denied, for it is plain that "it
will not do to say" is equivalent to "it is not suffi-
cient to say" without proof that there is a designer.

He then goes on to answer, certainly there must
be proofs, and they are found in works of theology
and philosophy; that it is Mr. Ingersoll's place to
answer those proofs, and not very cunningly leave
the inference that no such proofs exist; if Mr. In-


gersoll was ignorant of those proofs he should have
informed himself.

Now, tho Mr. Black said it would be a waste of
time and space to enumerate proofs that the uni-
verse was created by a preexistent and self-con-
scious Being, and he would assume that all would
have sense and reason enough to see that it could
not have been designed without a Designer, and
tho he did not give any proofs, Mr. Ingersoll did
answer what has been given by other authors as
proofs, beginning, however, with the above, which
is here quoted and commented on in such an extra-
ordinary manner.

What would be said of anyone who should an-
swer in any but a religious argument that it would
be a waste of time to give proofs? In anything
but religion no man would think of relying on mere
assertion to combat another's opinion, admitting
that he would attempt no proof. And Mr. Lambert
comes into the discussion reiterating the dogma un-
der discussion by way of answer to reasons for dis-
belief in the dogma.

He denies that Christians say so wonderful a
thing as man must have had a creator ; but they do
say it, and the theological books dealing with the
subject that I have so far seen give that as a rea-
son. But Mr. Lambert calls it childish nonsense.
He says the proof that all things were created is


not in their being wonderful, but that they exist.
Of course he does not mean that God does not ex-
ist. He says in another place that man is curious
and wonderful because he exists and is finite. He
says "the idea of a self -existent, eternal designer ex-
cludes the idea of a design prior to or independent
of him. This is so self-evident that it needs only to
be stated." There is the same assumption of the de-

To show that everything had to have a designer
but God he says : "The universe is the eternal idea
of God realized in time and space by the creative
act." That sentence is really wonderful. I pre-
sume the subjects of the priest not only look upon
it as wonderful but accept it as the statement of a
profound "Truth." I wonder if they pretend to
understand it? How many could remember that
as they could less ingenious contrivances ?

But I find I haven't given Ingersoll's words,
which are here criticized:

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 that the universe
has a 'plan' and then assert that there must have
been an infinite maker. The idea that the design


must have had 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 watchmaker, and we say, 'So curious and
wonderful a thing as man must have had a maker.'
We find God, and then 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 sup-
pose that just as the wonder increased the necessity
for a creator increased, because it is the wonder of
the thing that suggests the idea of creation. Is it
possible that a designer exists from all eternity
without design ? Was there no design in having an
infinite designer? For me it is hard to see the de-
sign 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 agonies 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, the pov-
erty and crime, of the cruelty and malice, of the
heartlessness of this 'design' and 'plan' wher
beak and claw and tooth tear and rend the quiver-
ing flesh of weakness and despair, I can not con-


vince myself that it is the result of infinite wisdom,
benevolence, and justice."

Lambert. In answer to the remark about the
plan of earthquakes, etc., Mr. Lambert, to illustrate
Mr. Ingersoll's egotism, tells a story of a boy whose
eye was hurt by a cinder from a passing locomotive.
He asks himself what design or plan a great corpo-
ration could have in throwing a cinder into his eye,
and represents the boy as saying it is difficult for
him to see design or benevolence in it. "Who will
say that boy was not a philosopher and an egotist,
or that a fortune does not await him when he is old
enough to take the lecture field?"

Comment. As the great corporation has never
been supposed to be infinite and to plan the uni-
verse you see how far he had to bring his anec-
dote to connect it with the subject and bring in
insulting insinuations. Not seeming to care that
he is now at work against the design argument
which he has been upholding he proceeds as ?f
Ingersoll were advocating the doctrine he Lam-
bert has, for the time, abandoned. He calls upon
Ingersoll to prove that God designed suffering be-
fore attributing it to him. "You should be just,
even to God." This follows immediately after his
quotation where Ingersoll argues that God could
not have designed suffering.



Lambert. "Crime is the result of human liberty
tho not a necessary result and suffering is the
result of crime." He illustrates his argument on
liberty and crime and suffering by saying ship-
wrecked mariners must not blame the captain when
the shipwreck is the result of disobedience to his

Comment. As a rule shipwrecks are not the re-
sult of disobedience to the captain's commands, but
of the power of wind and wave entirely beyond
the control of anyone.

Lambert. "To those who see in man's nature
and destiny nothing higher than that of the grass-
hopper, or the potato bug . . . there must be some-
thing inexplicable in the sufferings of this life."

Comment. Here he is supposed to indicate In-
gersoll, as he is the subject of criticism, but the
designation is too unsuitable to give any concern
to the friends of the high-minded poet whose ob-
ject in life was progress and the happiness of others.

Suffering is inexplicable to those only who be-
lieve it was designed. Mr. Lambert would say that
God did not design it, but he says God designed the


universe; at any rate, that is the only thing to be
made out of the pages before us, not forgetting
the definition, "The universe is the eternal idea of
God realized in time and space by the creative act."
(Consulting the text every few words kept me
from ending that, "expressed in words.")

Universe is the whole thing, earth, sun, etc.
which must include the whole of the earth every-
thing on it, of course. If God did not design every-
thing, who did design the part that he did not?
Evil is especially indicated in Isaiah xlvi, 7, as
being the creation of God, and it is given in his
own words, "I create evil. I, the Lord, do these
things." The opinion that suffering is the result
of crime is not sustained, even in the one instance
given by Mr. Lambert. It is admitted that crime
is sometimes the cause of suffering to the guilty
one who commits the crime, but it is also the cause
of the suffering of the innocent as well as the
guilty. Besides crime there are unavoidable acci-
dents, and diseases contracted thro no fault of the

"Crime is the result of human liberty tho not
the necessary result and suffering is the result of
crime," says this Catholic theologian. "Evils that
are the results of man's perversions of liberty can
not be attributed to the design of God."

All this about crime's being the result of liberty,


perversion of liberty, man's free agency, seems to
me to be the filling of space left by the absence of
reasons. Do people ever say of any particular
crime that it is the result of liberty? Say a man
shoots another because he is angry or wishes to
rob him, no one would ever think of calling the
crime the result of liberty, or of the perversion of
liberty, but of the ugly temper of the criminal ; the
loss of his liberty will be the result of the crime.

Mr. Lambert does not say God planned the good
and the Devil sometimes overcame the good with
evil, or that God's plan was upset in any way. We
gather the idea (think of an Ingersoll or a huckle-
berry and have a good, uproarious laugh) from
Mr. Lambert's arguments that the universe would
have gone on all right if that pestiferous quality,
liberty, had been left out of the plan.

Lambert (in chapter v, "pursuing" his victim
"with cold, relentless cruelty," as the preface has
it), starts out with the idea that the victim can
not see on account of "intellectual staphyloma";
that he puts his judgment above God's and attempts
to assume his place; "men have been kindly, but
firmly consigned to insane asylums for such phil-
osophy" ; that he should doubt his powers of vision,
which is "difficult to a man of almost infinite self-
assertive capacity, but is wisdom"; accuses him of
attributing death, suffering, crime, cruelty and


malice to the plan; tells him "it is unphilosophical
to attribute to a plan objectionable features when
you confess ignorance of that plan."

Comment. The brief statement by Mr. Ingersoll
of his reasons for thinking that the belief in the
eternity of the Universe is more reasonable than
the belief that it was designed, was too plain to
be misunderstood by anyone. Does his cold, re-
lentless dissector (see preface) represent him as
arguing that God designed the misery of the world
and was therefore unjust, to give the impression
to the people of his church that he had advo-
cated the doctrine which his argument showed he
questioned and doubted did he so represent In-
gersoll as accusing God of cruelty and injustice,
thinking they would look at it as he guided them
in spite of Inger soil's words which Lambert him-
self quotes? It seems he did think they would,
and the chances are that he was right in so think-
ing. Ingersoll could not fail to be understood, but
the subjects of the church are barred from seeing
his writings unless given by an author who pub-
lishes them under the Imprimatur of the church.
It is not enough for the powers of the church that
they should be allowed to present their own case
in any way they choose, having their own argu-
ments or anything they might wish to have in
place of arguments side by side with the work


they do not wish their subjects to accept, or even
before it ; they do not allow anything they suspect
might prove subversive of any of the dogmas or
practices of their religion to be submitted to the
judgment of their subjects. The sacred congre-
gation of the Holy Office is still at work. The
present "Father of his country" is more determined
than was his predecessor in Galileo's time to crush
liberty and to keep intelligence and progress away
from the world.

Mr. Black avoids the argument against design
of the cruelty and suffering of the world, saying,
"We have neither jurisdiction nor capacity to re-
judge the justice of God." Ingersoll notices this,
and answers :

Ingersoll. "In other words, we have no right to
think upon this subject, no right to examine the
questions most vitally affecting human kind. We
are simply to accept the ignorant statements of
the barbarian dead. This question cannot be
settled by saying that it would be a mere waste
of time and space to enumerate the proofs which
skow that the universe was created by a pre-
existent and self-conscious Being. The time and
space should have been 'wasted' and the proofs
should have been enumerated. These 'proofs' are
what the wisest and greatest are trying to find.
Logic is not satisfied with assertion. It cares noth-


ing for the opinions of the 'great' nothing for the
prejudices of the many, and least of all for tht
superstitions of the dead. In the world of science
a fact is a legal tender; assertions and miracles
are spurious coins. We have the right to rejudge
the justice even of a god. No one should throw
away his reason the fruit of all experience. It is
the intellectual capital of the soul; the only light,
the only guide, and without it the brain becomes
the palace of an idiot king, attended by a retinue
of thieves and hypocrites."

Lambert. Stating a truth is not avoiding a
question; "you, however, avoid the question by
not admitting Black's proposition, or disproving
it. It is the hinge on which the whole argument
turns, and you should not have avoided it." He
then goes on with more than ten pages of com-
ment on Ingersoll's reasoning in disproof (which
is cool, as he just charged Ingersoll with avoiding
the question). He restates Mr. Black's proposi-
tion about rejudging the infinite; he says: "The
finite cannot be the measure of the infinite. God's
justice is infinite. The human mind is finite. Hence
the latter cannot be the measure of the former in
other words, wt have not the capacity, and, for a
stronger reason, not the jurisdiction to rejudge the
justice of God," and continues, "This is the clear
issue Mr. Black made with you, but instead of


meeting it squarely, as candor would dictate, you
ptoceed to avoid it by misstating it. Thus you
say : 'In other words, we have no right to think
upon this subject ' This is neatly done. But it
will not succeed. Mr. Black did not say we have
no right to think. He said we have no right to
judge, and it seems to me that any adult, whose in-
tellect is not below the average, will see a differ-
ence between thinking and judging. You honor the

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