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GOD OUT AND MAN IN.
Replies to Ingersoll.
Some Opinions of the Press upon a Thorough Reading
of the Advance Sheets.
From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. * * * “This book is a philosophical consideration of Ingersoll's unphilosophical assertions. * * * Mere opinions make sorry stand against trained reason. Ingersoll is met at every step with demand for accurate distinctions and exact definitions. His conception of God is presented as a misconception; his interpretations of Holy Scriptures, as misinterpretations; his historical mistakes are corrected; his distortions of facts are pointed out. All of these things are done with a happy freedom from technical terms. * * * The author turns the guns of fatalistic necessity to the support of the freedom of will. * * He opens a new world of thought to many in his treatment of the will and his philosophical defense of miracles. The author's illustrations are drawn from chemistry, natural philosophy, and almost every department of science. It is patient reasoning with a man who has spoken from impressions, and would rationalize those impressions. The logician who meets the assertions of Ingersoll with severe analysis, insisting upon exact definitions and ideas; a correct distinction between method and power, as relating to law; the distinction between facts and their principle, results and effects, sequences and consequences, modifications and differentiations, predictions and commands, has done what deserves the appreciation of those who have accepted for their teacher one who thinks more of making a mere hit than arriving at the truth. * * * The critic will find objections to this book, but they are trivial to its grand scope and ultimatum. It is the answer of a man on the heights to a grumbler in the mists of the valley.'
From Rochester Morning Herald.
“Dr. W. H. PLATT, D. D., LL. D., of St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal Church of this city, in a book entitled “God Out and Man In," takes up sentence after sentence in Ingersoll's lecture delivered in this city January 16, 1880, and squares them by the cold logic of an analytical mind, deftly, sharply, fearlessly, thoughtfully, and, whereever he can get a chance for a logical dissent from the colonel's glittering and oftimes diffuse statements, his reasoning seems conclusive and final. Dr. Platt is evidently a full man, and out of the storehouse of his abundant reading and thinking he brings a vast retinue of forces, against which the brilliant colonel shall scarcely prevail. It may be said that Ingersoll's lecture was delivered for popular comprehension, and Dr. Platt's analysis and reflection, is, on tbe other hand, strict in its definition of terms and remorselessly acute in its pursuit of statements to their logical conclusion. But even the popular use Ingersoll puts his thought to does not excuse any illogical frame his thought may assume,
It is impossible in the necessary limits of a newspaper notice to
review Dr, Platt's book in extenso), or to do inore than 'state his method, and a brief analysis of the contents of his work. He assumes the dialogic form, quoting from Ingersoll directly, and putting his answers in the mouth of a lawyer, and criticising Ingersoll's statements, as an acute, well equipped lawyer would be supposed to do. Dr. Platt was a lawyer of considerable eminence before he entered the ministry, and the old processes of thought are retained and utilized with vigor.
The discussion of God as the supernatural out of nature is especially close and satisfactory, and the chapter on God out of science is especially suggestive to the anxious inquirer after a scientific method consistent with a religious spirit. Dr. Platt's work is for thinkers who can follow logic closely. It is an intellectual burnisher. It stimulates all the activities of the reasoning power. It is not easy reading, but it is very profitable reading. It must be read with a clear head, or one will soon lose his way. As to the ground traversed, it may be said that that matter was settled by Ingersoll. Dr. Platt follows him and allows no statement of the orator to go unchallenged of proof, and this of necessity leads him into certain fields of discussion that he would undoubtedly have avoided had the line been wholly of his own selection.
From the Literary Notices of the Guardian (P. E.) THE SOUTHERN PULPIT. March, 1883. Richmond, Va. 8vo, pp. 218.
“One of the keenest exposures which we have seen of the utter folly and nonsense of Col. Robert Ingersoll's Atheism, is an article in this Monthly (containing only the first two chapters of this book), by Rev. W. H. Platt, D. D., LL.D., Rector of St. Paul's Church, Rochester, N. Y. It is entitled, "God Out and Man In." Dr. Platt begins with the following statements in one of Col. Ingersoll's lectures. “The next great thing for us to do is to get God out of religion.” “There will be no religious liberty until man is the source of religion." He follows up Col. Ingersoll in a number of similar blasphemous statements, and convicts him of the grossest misstatements of facts, and of a sort of logic which could only have proceeded from a blinded reason and a perverted heart."
From Rochester Post Express.
* * * “The author's command of the subject is unquestioned, his knowledge extensive and accurate. The most satisfactory section is that in which he insists on the fact that the whole tendency of modern investigation is towards the belief in the existence, we will not claim in the God of the Bible, but of some great spiritual force, which forms the center and source of the universe. Mr. Ingersoll's absurd glorification of Tom Paine is shrewdly criticised."
From the Rochester Daily Union and Advertiser. GOD OUT AND MAN IN: or Replies to Robert G. Ingersoll.
“The learned author has indulged in but few rhetorical flights, having restricted himself to the cold, precise and colorless language of scientific investigation. · Disdaining, except parenthetically, to notice the coarse diatribes and blasphemous gibes of the so called sage of Peoria, he has thrown down the gage of battle in a fair and open field; and it is only a deserved tribute to pronounce his essay the most powerful, logical, exhaustive, and, we may add, triumphant refutation we have seen, of the dangerous doctrines put forth by his assumed infidel interlocutor. The whole Christian world owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. Platt for his masterly, complete and philosophical defense of a faith, under the humanizing and beneficent influence of which our civilization has attained its growth and strength : and as such we cordially commend it to our readers.
“ Man has made all religions. The next great thing for us to do
“August Comte endeavored to put humanity in place of Jehovah,
W. H. PLATT, D.D., LL.D.
RECTOR OF ST. PAUL'S CHURCH, ROCHESTER, N. Y,
ROCHESTER, N. Y.