Excerpts From

The pictures in this volume appeared in The Truth Seeker during the years 1886 to 1889, and are republished at the request of the readers of that journal,who desired them in more permanent form. They are—with the exception of two or three—the work of Watson Heston, who weekly illustrates the cover pages of The Truth Seeker with designs showing the abuses of the people by the church and designs showing the puerilities of the Bible.

The Truth Seeker is published by The Truth Seeker Company for $3 a year.

Uncle Sam and the Priests

There are now thirty post chaplains in the army, authorized by the act of March 2, 1849, and four regimental chaplains, one for each of the colored regiments, authorized by the act of July 28, 1866. These thirty-four officers rank as captains of infantry with pay varying from $125 to $175 per month according to length of service. But there are over one hundred army posts in the country, and consequently some of them are without chaplains.... There isn’t the shadow of a ghost of a shaving of constitutional authority for swearing in a chaplain as a United States officer. In fact, it is forbidden; for the prohibition against religious establishment is violated by such act. But some of the members of the House are pious, and of course are willing to violate not only a constitution but the rights of all other citizens to get daily religion at some one’s else expense, and the rest of the members are afraid to antagonize the churches. So the people have to pay for what about eight of every ten of the members regard as a positive nuisance. — The Truth Seeker, Feb. 1, 1890.

The Italian priests, unique in the world, are the real enemies of their country, and when Italy finds herself pledged to defend her land against invasion, the priest will be the spy of the enemy, and will excite a civil war in the country where all these ministers have left him absolute master. — Garibaldi.

Women and the Church

The Bible has done more toward degrading woman and toward keeping her in subjection to the masculine gender than any other influence in the world. From the passage, "Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee," to "Wives, submit yourself unto your own husbands as unto the Lord," woman has been made a mere slave to tyrant man, and it is only when the spirit of the Bible, in this respect, has been disregarded, that woman has assumed her true position in life, an equal of man in all respects. — D. M. Bennett.

The Bible and Science

The first typical battle-field to which I would refer is that of geography—the simplest elementary doctrine of the earth’s shape and surface. Among the legacies of thought left by the ancient world to the modern, were certain ideas of the rotundity of the earth. . . . Six hundred years pass away, and in the fourteenth century two men publicly assert the doctrine. The first of these, Peter of Abano, escapes punishment by natural death; the second, known as Cecco dAscoli, a man of seventy years, is burnt alive....

Columbus is the next warrior. The world has heard of his battles; how the bishop of Ceuta worsted him in Portugal; how at the Junta of Salamanca the theologians overwhelmed him with quotations from the Psalms, from St. Paul, and from St. Augustine. And even after Columbus was triumphant, and after his voyage had greatly strengthened the theory of the earth’s sphericity, the church, by its highest authority, was again solemnly committed to the theory of the earth’s flatness. In 1493 Pope Alexander VI issues a bull laying down a line of demarkation upon the earth as a flat disk....

But in 1519 science gains a crushing victory. Magalhaens makes his famous voyages. He proves the earth to be round, for his great expedition circumnavigates it; he proves the doctrine of the antipodes, for he sees the men of the antipodes; but even this does not end the war. Many earnest and good men oppose the doctrine for two hundred years longer. Then the French astronomers make their measurements of degrees in equatorial and polar regions, and add to other proofs that of the lengthened pendulum; when this was done, when the deductions of science were seen to be established by the simple test of measurement, beautifully, perfectly, then and then only this war of twelve centuries ended. — Prof. A. D. White.

Studies in Natural History

On the first day of last May, 1879, in the hamlet of Pocasset, in the town of Sandwich, Charles E. Freeman, a conscientious Christian, a good husband, and a kind father, by direct command of God, as he said, deliberately killed his daughter, nearly four years of age, as she lay sleeping in bed; the mother of the child consenting to the horrible deed.

He held the knife suspended for some time, expecting that God would stay his hand; but, as he did not, the knife descended, and the deed was done.

On the afternoon of the next day, he called a number of his Christian brethren and neighbors together, and told them what he had done, showing them the body of his child. On being asked how he felt the next morning after the murder, he replied, "Glorious! at peace with God and all mankind."

But this was a religious murder—a murder committed by a well-meaning man, uninfluenced by hate or lust, and in obedience to the dictates of his conscience. It was a religious murder; and it is this that renders it so worthy of our consideration. It was the direct fruit of the man’s Christian creed; and only the common sense and the natural morality that we possess as human beings save us from similar deeds of horror in every town of the land.Wm. Denton’s Pocasset Tragedy.

The Children and the Church

People justify all kinds of tyranny towards children upon the ground that they are totally depraved. At the bottom of ages of cruelty lies this infamous doctrine of total depravity. Religion contemplates a child as a living crime —heir to an infinite curse — doomed to eternal fire. — Ingersoll.

The Christians and the Mohammedans

It does not appear how the very traditions of learning and physical research could have survived in Europe but for the Mohammedans and the Jews. — Review of Drapers History of Intellectual Development.

We know that fragments of Greek and Roman art — a few manuscripts saved from Christian destruction, some inventions and discoveries of the Moors were the seeds of modern civilization. — Ingersoll.

Science was actually thrust into the brain of Europe at the point of Moorish bayonets. — Ingersoll.

Full Table of Contents

Uncle Sam and the Priests

  • The Pests that Bother Uncle Sam
  • Uncle Sam Sleeps, but the Priests Do Not
  • Romanism with Her Mask On
  • The Mask Off
  • "Submit to the Roman Pontiff as to God"
  • The Skeleton that Uncle Sam may Find in his Closet
  • A New Laocoön
  • The Trail of the Serpent
  • Some Undesirable Immigrants
  • The Skeleton that Uncle Sam may Find in his Closet
  • A New Laocoön
  • The Trail of the Serpent
  • Some Undesirable Immigrants
  • Lay Loyalty
  • "Where Liberty Reigns the Tyrant Seeks to Slay Her."
  • The Outcome of Church and State Union
  • The God-in-the-Constitution Guerillas
  • Religious Treason the Ruin of the Republic
  • A Transformation of the Bartholdi Statue
  • "What Uncle Sam Should Do"

The Church Robbing the People

  • New York City's Annual Gift to the Churches
  • The Taxpayers and the Churches I
  • The Taxpayers and the Churches II


  • Thanksgiving I
  • Thanksgiving II
  • Thanksgiving III

Sabbath Laws

  • Sabbatarian Efforts in the National Senate
  • Sunday in a Sabbatarian City
  • The Clergy's Opportunity
  • As the Clergy Desire Sunday I
  • As the Clergy Desire Sunday II
  • As the Clergy Desire Sunday III

The Children and the Church

  • Two Ways to Go
  • Which Shall We Have?
  • A Teacher We Do Not Want
  • The Shadow in Our Schools
  • A New Application of an Old Text
  • The Reptiles in the Path
  • Recruiting for Church Institutions
  • A Parochial School Lesson
  • Products of the Parochial Schools
  • The Disguise Slips Off
  • A Web for the Unwary
  • The Religious Trap
  • Sunday School Scholars
  • The Joys of the Sunday-School Boy

Woman and the Church

  • Woman's Path from Servitude to Freedom
  • Encouragement to Go Astray
  • St. Paul as a Member of the School Board
  • The Church's Use for Woman
  • A Contrast
  • Fishing
  • Woman the Supporter of Preacher and Pope
  • Helping the Church
  • The Church's Chief Support
  • When Womanhood Awakes

The Church and Thomas Paine

  • Thomas Paine
  • The Preacher and the Patriot
  • One Work by Paine Outweighs the Preachers
  • Why Paine Was Denounced
  • Paine's Services and His Reward from the Church
  • Once upon a Time a Donkey Kicked a Lion

Studies in Natural History

  • A Question for Theological Ethnologists
  • Some Problems in Evolution
  • The Prototype of the Methodist Revival
  • Religion in Man and Instinct in the Brute

The Bible and Science

  • The Bible and Geology
  • The Bible and Geography

The Clergy and Their Flocks

  • Shearing Time
  • The Clergy's Hold Upon the People
  • One of a Very Numerous Class
  • The Physician and the Flock
  • Duty to the Clergy
  • At Conference Time
  • Work of a Methodist Conference
  • The Burden of the Cross
  • Clerical Privileges
  • The Ark of the Lord
  • Sympathizing "With Their Pastor"
  • One Triumphant Saint
  • Appearance and Pact
  • Chaplains in the Army and Navy
  • A Desirable Bargain

Piety in Our Penitentiaries

  • A Religious Procession
  • The Atonement Doctrine
  • Practical Application of the Atonement
  • The Great Efficacy of Baptism
  • How to Get a Halo and a Harp

The Lord and His Works

  • Divine Benevolence
  • The Tabernacles of the Lord I
  • The Tabernacles of the Lord II
  • A Few Victims of Divine Beneficence


  • A Drouth in Cambridge, Ill., in 1887
  • Our Father in Heaven

The Creeds

  • What Is Christianity? I
  • What Is Christianity? II
  • What Is Christianity? III
  • The Clamor of the Creeds
  • Sustaining the Creeds
  • The Creedal Fiddle
  • The Creeds of the World
  • Christianity's Holy Family
  • Janus faced Creedalists
  • The Creedalists and the Government

The Christians and the Mohammedans

  • Their Scientific Records Compared

Two Samples of Christianity's Work.

  • Romans of the Past and Present
  • Peruvians Before and Since the Conquest


  • The Hypocrisy of Christian Missionary I
  • The Hypocrisy of Christian Missionary II
  • Christian Missionaries in India
  • Missionary Methods in the Church of England
  • A Poor Rule that Doesn't Work Both Ways

The Lord's Instruments.

  • Religious Rule

Bible Doctrines and Their Results

  • Biblical Temperance Statements
  • Biblical Temperance Statements Applied
  • The Christian Scheme
  • The Authority of the Footpad
  • The Wisdom of Solomon
  • The Law and the Gospel Not the Same
  • Result of Faith at Findlay, Ohio
  • Damned for Disbelieving?
  • Irresponsibility of Christians
  • Jesus Paid It All
  • A Candidate for Glory
  • Some Tests for True Believers
  • Following Christ
  • An Earnest Christian
  • A Trial of Faith
  • The Faults in Christian Morality I
  • The Faults in Christian Morality II
  • The Faults in Christian Morality III
  • The Faults in Christian Morality IV
  • The Faults in Christian Morality V
  • An Incident of a Snow-storm, January, 1889
  • Another Incident of Another Snow-storm
  • On the Anxious Seat
  • Different Stories of an Alleged Occurrence

The Church and Slavery

  • The Ghost in the Methodist Churchyard

Priests in Politics

  • The Colossus of New York
  • The Political Caliban and the Religious Rogues

Ireland and the Church

  • A Contribution to the Irish Question
  • The Churches in Ireland
  • The Gospel of Peace in Ireland
  • The Trouble With Pat

The Church's Idea of Civilization.

  • The Gallows
  • What Rome Would Use to Civilize People

The Uses of the Cross

  • Its Evolution

Unkind Reflections Upon the Church

  • Decline of the Papacy in Italy
  • The Old Tiger and His Whelps
  • "Don't Hurt Our Feelings!"
  • Shake, Old Man; We're on the Same Lay

Persecutions by the Church

  • The Burning of Bruno
  • The Only Thing on Which the Sects Agree
  • An Unwelcome Pilgrimage
  • When Christians Made the Laws
  • Superstition the Same in All Places and Ages
  • Banishment of Roger Williams
  • Case of Dr. McGlynn
  • Casting Pearls Before Swine
  • The Bigotry of Church and State

Some Allegories

  • The Genii Who Preside Over Knowledge
  • The Three Graces of Infidelity
  • A Clerical Move
  • The Trinity that Ruled the Dark Ages
  • "Let the Ghosts Go"
  • The Race Between Infidel and Statesman
  • The Enemy and the Friend of Liberty
  • Roman Catholic Pandora's Box
  • A New Rendering of an Old Rhyme
  • An Error in Biblical Navigation
  • The World Still Moves


  • On the Probation Plan — Scene Outside the Gates of the New Jerusalem
  • On the Probation Plan — Scene Inside the Gates of the New Jerusalem
  • Into Heaven via Purgatory


  • How to Make the Road to Salvation Plain
  • The Glory of Election
  • The Amusement of the Saints in Heaven
  • A Clerical Surprise Party
  • The Theologians and Skeptics
  • The Devil's Occupation Gone


  • Talmage's Petrified Blasphemer
  • The Futility of Hitching Evolution to Orthodoxy
  • The Evolution of a Sacrament
  • A Hint to Talmage, Sam Jones, et al.
  • Women's Christian Temperance Union's Crusade
  • Tools of the Clerical Trade
  • The Modern Balaam