The Power Of A Bad Book
( Originally Published 1902 )
MARTIN THORN, who murdered Guildensuppe in so foul a manner, died in the electrical chair in Sing Sing, in expiation of his crime. A little time before his execution, he said to the Catholic priest who ministered to him at the last : " I was not always bad ; I was a good boy and a good man at first. I believed in the Bible, and in God and the future life. I liked the company of good people. The fatal mistake of my life was the reading of one of Ingersoll's books. I am sorry Robert Ingersoll ever lived. I am sorry that I ever read a line of his. The reading of that book was the first step away from God and heaven, and my course has been downward ever since, till I have come to the blackest crime and am now compelled to face the most disgraceful death."
Thousands of young men can trace the first step away from the God of their fathers to the reading of some sceptical book, or the listening to some orator as he laughs at the Bible, ridicules Christ, or blasphemes the Creator. To destroy a man's faith in God, and the future life, is to take every support from under virtue, is to withdraw every bolt from character and leave the soul a moral wreck.