Upon passages in the New Testament rests the doctrine of eternal pain. This doctrine subverts every idea of justice. A finite being can neither commit an infinite sin, nor a sin against the Infinite. A being of infinite goodness and wisdom has no right to create any being whose life is not a blessing. Infinite wisdom has no right to create a failure, and surely a man destined to everlasting failure is not a conspicuous success. The doctrine of eternal punishment is the most infamous of all doctrines--born of ignorance, cruelty and fear. Around the angel of immortality, Christianity has coiled this serpent. Upon Love's breast the church has placed the eternal asp. And yet in the same book in which is taught this most frightful of dogmas, we are assured that "the Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works." A few days ago upon the wide sea, was found a barque called "The Tiger," Captain Kreuger, in command. The vessel had been one hundred and twenty-six days upon the sea. For days the crew had been without water, without food, and were starving. For nine days not a drop had passed their lips. The crew consisted of the captain, a mate, and eleven men. At the end of one hundred and eighteen days from Liverpool they killed the captain's Newfoundland dog. This lasted them four days. During the next five days they had nothing. For weeks they had had no light and were unable to see the compass at night. On the one hundred and twenty-fifth day Captain Kreuger, a German, took a revolver in his hand, stood up before the men, and placing the weapon at his temple said "Boys, we can't stand this much longer, and to save you all, I am willing to die." The mate grasped the revolver and begged the captain to wait another day. The next day, upon the horizon of their despair, they saw the smoke of the steamship Nebo. They were rescued. Suppose that Captain Kreuger was not a Christian, and suppose that he had sent the ball crashing through his brain, and had done so simply to keep the crew from starvation, do you tell me that a God of infinite mercy would forever damn that man?
Do not misunderstand me. I insist that every passage in the Bible upholding crime was written by savage man. I insist that if there is a God, he is not, never was, and never will be in favor of slavery, polygamy, wars of extermination, or religious persecution. Does any Christian believe that if the real God were to write a book now, he would uphold the crimes commanded in the Old Testament? Has Jehovah improved? Has infinite mercy become more merciful? Has infinite wisdom intellectually advanced?