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BY

M. M. MANGASARIAN

When I seriously believe a thing, I say so in a few
words, leaving the reader to determine what my be-
lief is worth. But I do not choose to temper down
every expression of personal opinion into courteous
generalities. Let us learn to speak plainly and intelli-
gibly first, and, if it may be, gracefully afterwards.

JOHN RUSKIN.

INDEPENDENT RELIGIOUS SOCIETY

(RATIONALIST)
FINE ARTS BUILDING

CHICAGO

To make it possible for a man to be as honest in

his religion as he would like to be in his business ; to make him as unafraid in church as he aims to be anywhere else, and to help make him as impatient of a lie on Sunday as he is on any other day of the week, is the object of these studies on the bible. I wish to be able to kindle in the breast of every free citizen of this free country the love of truth, irrespective of whether it helps or hurts; I wish to shame cowardice and cant out of every man and woman who speaks the English language.

Copyright, 1911, by M. M. Mangasarian.

An Extraordinary Book

BOOK which claims infallibility; which aspires M to absolute authority over mind and body; which demands unconditional surrender to all its pretensions upon penalty of eternal damnation, is an extraordinary book and should, therefore, be subjected to extraordinary tests.

Neither Christian priests nor Jewish rabbis approve of applying to the bible the same tests by which other books are tried.

Why?
Because it will help the bible ?
It can not be that.
Because it might hurt the bible?
We can think of no other reason.

But why devote so much space and time to the discussion of a book in which the educated world no longer believes? Why not take up issues that are more alive and more useful? I am of the opinion that the people who leave the bible alone do so, not because they think the book has ceased to hurt, but because they are still afraid of it, or its clientèle. The generality of reformers would rather fight giants than the great paper idol of the churches — because it is safer.

Clergymen with liberal tendencies seek to dull the edge of all criticism against the bible by admitting in advance the conclusions of scholarship in reference to it, but still pretending to find a unique use for the book as "literature.” Indeed! And since when has the

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