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It is utterly inconceivable that any man believing in the truth of the Christian religion should publicly deny it, because he who believes in that religion would believe that, by a public denial, he would peril the eternal salvation of his soul. It is conceivable, and without any great effort of the mind, that millions who do not believe in the Christian religion should openly say that they did. In a country where religion is supposed to be in power--where it has rewards for pretence, where it pays a premium upon hypocrisy, where it at least is willing to purchase silence--it is easily conceivable that millions pretend to believe what they do not. And yet I believe it has been charged against myself not only that I was insincere, but that I took the side I am on for the sake of popularity; and the audience to-night goes far toward justifying the accusation.

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