Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll

Robert Green Ingersoll
劊Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll - Latest

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Title: Lectures of Col. R.G. Ingersoll - Latest
Author: Col. Robert Green Ingersoll
Release Date: June, 2005 [EBook #8389] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on July 6, 2003]
Edition: 10
Language: English
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Lectures of Col. R. G. Ingersoll--Latest

Thomas Paine Liberty of Man, Woman and Child Orthodoxy Blasphemy Some Reasons Why Intellectual Development Human Rights Talmagian Theology (Second Lecture) Talmagian Theology (Third Lecture) Religious Intolerance Hereafter Review of His Reviewers How the Gods Grow The Religion of our Day Heretics And Heresies The Bible Voltaire Myth and Miracle Ingersoll's Letter, on The Chinese God Ingersoll's Letter, Is Suicide a Sin? Ingersoll's Letter, The Right To One's Life

Ingersoll's Lecture on Thomas Paine--Delivered in Central Music Hall, Chicago, January 29, 1880 (From the Chicago Times, Verbatim Report)

Ladies and Gentlemen:--It so happened that the first speech--the very first public speech I ever made--took occasion to defend the memory of Thomas Paine.
I did it because I had read a little something of the history of my country. I did it because I felt indebted to him for the liberty I then enjoyed--and whatever religion may be true, ingratitude is the blackest of crimes. And whether there is any God or not, in every star that shines, gratitude is a virtue.
The man who will tell the truth about the dead is a good man, and for one, about this man, I intend to tell just as near the truth as I can.
Most history consists in giving the details of things that never happened--most biography is usually the lie coming from the mouth of flattery, or the slander coming from the lips of malice, and whoever attacks the religion of a country will, in his turn, be attacked. Whoever attacks a superstition will find that superstition defended by all the meanness of ingenuity. Whoever attacks a superstition will find that there is still one weapon left in the arsenal of Jehovah--slander.
I was reading, yesterday, a poem called the "Light of Asia," and I read in that how a Boodh seeing a tigress perishing of thirst, with her mouth upon the dry stone of a stream, with her two cubs sucking at her dry and empty dugs, this Boodh took pity upon this wild and famishing beast, and, throwing from himself the Yellowrobe of his order, and stepping naked before this tigress, said: "Here is meat for you and your cubs." In one moment the crooked daggers of her claws ran riot in his flesh, and in another he was devoured. Such, during nearly all the history of this world, has been the history of every man who has stood in front of superstition.
Thomas Paine, as has been so eloquently said by the gentleman who introduced me, was a friend of man, and whoever is a friend of man is also a friend of God--if there is one. But God has had many friends who were the enemies of their fellow-men. There is but one test by which to measure any man who has lived. Did he leave this world better than he found it? Did he leave in this world more liberty? Did he leave in this world more goodness, more humanity, than when he was born? That is the test. And whatever may have been the faults of Thomas Paine, no American who appreciates liberty, no American who believes in true democracy and pure republicanism, should ever breathe one word against his name. Every American, with the divine mantle of charity, should cover all his faults, and with a never-tiring tongue should recount his virtues.
He was a common man. He did not belong to the aristocracy. Upon the head of his father God had never poured
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