Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Robert Ingersoll, Famed Agnostic

I read a quote that a friend had copied from Robert Ingersoll, the famed orator of the 19th Century who was the son of a minister.  Ingersoll's father was a fast and true friend of Charles Finney, the great evangelist of the day.  However, Ingersoll's father had difficulties in his pastorates and was held in contempt in some "church trials" when Ingersoll was a lad.  This impacted him, and he had no use for religion after that.

Ingersoll was an intellectual and proclaimed his views widely, going around the country with crowds willing to pay to hear him.  His aversion to religion and God and church was well-known in his lifetime.  However, there is some discrepancy over his last days of life.  Some claim he recanted his "free thinking" and was repentant.  Others of the humanist side vehemently deny this.  Only God knows.

Here is a quote from someone from that era:  "A gentleman whom I recently met in Southern California, told me in all earnestness the true story, as he called it, of Mr. Ingersoll's last moments. He said that these moments were filled with fear and remorse; that over and over again he expressed regret that he had spent so much of his life in opposing Christianity, and that he called on God for pardon and mercy."

As I repeat myself, those who are predisposed to a position can never be persuaded by thought and reason.  It is a matter of the heart.  Every heart matters.  God never turns anyone away who repents and accepts his love and grace.

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