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Letters to the Editor.

Mountain Ash Education Committee.

-----------___-Mountain Ash…

The Theatres.

Merthyr's Labour Mayor.





MOUNTAIN ASH INSTITUTE. A Grievous Sin. Sir,—St. Paul in a fine passage of his 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, speaks in glowing eloquence of the "charity" which "thinketh no evil." Would that the fol- lowers of Christ would follow his (Paul's) example in this! Malignancy, thy name is —— J.P.J. asserts that my last letter is full of half-truths, which are worse than whole falsehoods. Let the unbiassed reader judge. "Dogmatism," said Dou- glas Jerrold, "is only puppyism grown to maturity." This sarcastic wit never said a truer thing. J.P.J. is dogmatic. Arrogance, thy name is J.P.J., what right hast thou to say, "This is the truth; I have taken the trouble to decide the point, and all you have to do, is to accept what I present you P" J.P.J. has been reading Christian apologetics. Christian apologists 'are, striving vainly to reconcile religion and science. I fancy I can see the self-satisfied smile on J.P.J.'s face as he writes, "There is nothing in the advance of scientific knowledge or the critical art that separ- ates or undermines the foundations of belief itself." And again he speaks of the "damage done to religion by the ad- vance of science" as allegations which are untrue. If J.P.J. had the slightest knowledge of the two sciences, biology and astronomy, he could never have writ- ten these words. Let us examine his assertions. What religion is J.P.J, defending? Oh, the Christian religion. Like myself, he is an infidel as far as all other religions are concerned. But is it true that there is nothing in the advance of scientific knowledge to undermine a belief in the Christian religion? What are the two foundation stones of the Christian re- ligion. They are, the fall of man through Adam, and the rise of man- i.e., the redemption,through Christ. What says Science? Listen to what a defender of the Christian faith, a. Mr. Ballard, says: "Modern 'science is pledged to evolution, and Christianity can only be justified scientifically on evo- lutionary lines." And what is this theory of evolution? If evolution is true Adam is a myth, and so is the "fall of man." Man, says evolution, was not created perfect, and fell, but has slowly evolved from the animal kingdom. Man never fell, but in the words of Blatch- ford, "he has had a long, slow rise." And "science is pledged to evolution," re- member. There goes one of the founda- tion stones of the Christian religion. Now, if evolution is true, there was no fall; no Adam, no Garden of Eden. But if man never fell, why did Christ suffer and die on Calvary ? If the fall is a myth, then the redemption through Christ is also a myth. Both these dog- mas are inevitably bound up one in the other. There goes the other foundation stone of the Christian religion. Let your readers now judge whether the "advance of scientific knowledge and the critical art separates or undermines the belief in the Christian religion." Knowledge, thy name is not J.P.J. says that "science cannot explain creation.' If he would study a little more upon scientific conclusions he would not say such silly things. Science does not seek to explain creation. Scientists do not believe in creation. Matter, says science, cannot be created, for it cannot be destroyed. That which cannot be de- stroyed cannot be created. Matter, ac- cording to science, is eternal. Science knows nothing of a starting point or be- ginning. It is true that there are many problems which science has not yet solved, but surely our ignorance is no proof of the supernatural. "I believe in God," says J.P.J., "not from what I see in Nature, but from what I find in man." Exactly, Nature does not supply us with a shred of evi- dence for the existence of the super- natural, therefore, J.P.J. turns to man to look for this evidence. And what does he nnds? Credulity, thy name is J.P.J. finds himself the result of gener- ations of credulous, superstitious, and ignorant men and women. For gener- ations his ancestors have been believers in the supernatural. So J.P.J. is here- ditarily superstitious and credulous. He exists in an environment of credulity and superstition. And because heredity and environment have made him credulous and superstitious, lo! and behold he finds in this a proof of the supernatural. Wondrous are the works of faith! By faith J.P.J. believes that God is love- transcendant, all-pervading. J.P.J., who is so ignorant of natural things, seems to know all about the supernatural. How does J.P.J. know that God is love? Not from Nature or the world. But "we get this faith from ourselves." Dear me, and how ? Oh, because "that which is in us recognises that there is not one lost good, We will admit that there is not one lost nor one fruitless pang." Great Scot! good. But "not one fruitless pang!" It fairly takes one's breath away. Does he mean to say that cancer, consumption, and all the diseases that man suffers lead to ultimate good? Does he mean to tell us that explosions, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and shipwrecks lead to ultimate good? Not one fruitless, pang! We all know that it bears bad! fruits. Sorrow, pain, and anguish. It is the old, old story, "God doeth all things well." Let us pass on. J.P.J. would do well to read his Bible: It is easy to believe it if you do not read it. He denies that those followers of the "Prince of Peace' who murdered, tor- tured, and persecuted heretics, witches, and one another, gathered their erron- eous notions of Christianity from the Scriptures. Their notions were not er- roneous. They were gathered from the Scriptures. The command to murder heretics is in Deut. xiii., 6-10. The com- mand to murder witches reads, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live," Ex. xxii., 18. After admitting that Christianity is "a sincere belief in Christ as the Son of the Living God," J.P.J. goes on to assert that this is: but half of Christianity, and that this belief is the basis of the other half—"to abstain from theft, perjury, and adultery." But motives to morality do not come from religion. They come from our social sympathies. Preach to a tiger and he will eat you. Differ from a Torquemada and he will burn you. When one man wants another to help him he does not judge from the name of his sect, but by the glance of his eye, and the lines of his mouth. Some men are born philanthropists, others are born criminals. Between these are multi- tudes, in whom good and bad tendencies are variously mixed, and who may be made better or worse by education and environment. The liate Professor Clifford was an Atheist, and one of the gentlest and kindest of men. Jay Gould was a member of a Christian church. He left twenty millions of money, and not a penny to any charity or good cause. Ethics existed previous to Christianity; they are not peculiar to the Christian creed. Other creeds preach and practice the same ethics. You say that the Bible is so good that it justifies anyone to be- lieve it to be the true and only word of God. The Bible contains contradictions, false science, and history, tales of cruel slaughter commanded by Jehovah, and obscene stories. And you say this is the true and only word of God. And you ask me ito worship this God? Experience, you say, is the foundation of your belief. I answer experience is also the founda- tion of my unbelief. You say that vou will not answer certain arguments, "be- cause they are childish. "Speak the truth and shame the devil." You cannot answer them. Tney are unanswerable. You should never accuse yourself of being a fool, but all the same I agree with you upon that subject. J.P.J. will write no more. Is there anyone else who, would like to pick up the cudgels in defence of his creed? I chal- lenge every minister or clergyman in the district to discuss with me either ppon the public platform or in the press, the relative merits of Christianity and Secu- larism. One word to J.P.J. Have the courage to sign your full name in future.—I am, etc., T.BENETT. 10, Harcourt-terrace, Penrhiwceiber.


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