PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY G. W. FOOTE
AT 14 CLERKENWELL GREEN, E.C.
Heinrich Heine called himself a soldier in the army of human liberation. It was a modest description of himself, for he was more; his position was that of a leader, and his sword was like the mystic Excalibur, flashing with the hues of his genius, and dealing death to the enemies of freedom.
Humbler fighters than Heine may count themselves as simple soldiers in that great army, whose leaders' names are graven deep in the history of modern Europe. I also venture to rank myself with them, and it is the summit of my ambition. To be indeed a soldier in that army, however low and obscure, is not to have lived in vain; to persevere, to fight to the end, is to live (if unknown) in the future of humanity.
In the course of my service to "the cause" I have wielded tongue and pen as weapons. The spoken word has gone, like spilt water, except as it may have made an impression on the listeners. The written word remains. Most of it, in truth, was only the week's work, done honestly, but under no special impulse. Some of the rest -- as I have been told, and as in a few cases I feel -- is of less doubtful value; having occasionally the merit of a free play of mind on subjects that are too often treated with ignorance, timidity, or hypocrisy.
This is my reason for publishing in a separate and durable form the articles in this collection. Whether it is a sufficient reason the reader will judge for himself.
No serious attempt has been made at classification. Here and there articles have been placed in intended proximity, though written at different intervals in the past ten years. Sometimes, for an obvious reason, the date of composition has been indicated. Otherwise there is no approach to systematic arrangement; and if this is a defect, the reader has on the other hand the benefit of variety.
The ambitious, and hardly excusable, thing about this collection is its title. But the selection of a label for such a miscellany was not an easy task, and I ask the reader's indulgence in consideration of the difficulty. The title I have chosen is at least a pretty one, and in a sense it is appropriate. These articles are flowers of my Freethought; the blossomings of my mind on particular occasions, after much investigation and pondering.
Wherever I have made a rash statement I shall be happy to be corrected; wherever I may have argued wrongly, I shall be happy to be set right. But I am less amenable to appeals on the ground of "taste." They are almost invariably made by those who wish failure to one's propaganda. A fair controversialist will refrain from personalities. I have done this, and I will do no more. I believe in free thought and honest speech. In the war of ideas there is neither treaty nor truce. To ask for quarter is to admit defeat; and to give it is treachery to Truth.
G. W. FOOTE
|Where Is Hell?||27|
|Spurgeon And Hell||30|
|Is Spurgeon In Heaven?||34|
|God In Japan||38|
|Stanley On Providence||42|
|Gone To God||45|
|Wait Till You Die||81|
|Mr. Gladstone On Devils||94|
|The Gospel Of Freethought||101|
|Who Are The Blasphemers?||112|
|Christianity And Common Sense||114|
|The Lord Of Lords||117|
|Consecrating The Colors||122|
|Christmas In Holloway Gaol||125|
|Who Killed Christ?||130|
|Did Jesus Ascend?||134|
|The Rising Son||137|
|St. Paul's Veracity||140|
|No Faith With Heretics||145|
|The Logic Of Persecution||147|
|Luther And The Devil||151|
|Living By Faith||161|
|Desecrating A Church||166|
|Tennyson And The Bible||174|
|Christ's Old Coat||179|
|Christ's Coat, Number Two||183|
|Scotched, Not Slain||186|
|God And The Weather||193|
|A Real Miracle||200|
|Jesus On Women||204|
|Paul On Women||208|