Meet us on:
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future."

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Chapter 38

    • Rate it:
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 38
    Previous Chapter
    I sat through the sermon, and the offertory, and the recessional. After that my uncle tried to detain me, to warn and scold me; but he no longer used physical force, and nothing but that would have held me. At the door I asked one of the ushers what had become of the prophet, thinking he might be in jail. But the answer was that the gang had gone off, carrying their wounded; so I ran round the corner to where my car was parked, and within ten minutes I was on Western City Street, where Carpenter had announced that he would speak.

    There had been nothing said about the proposed meeting in the papers, and no one knew about it save those who had been present at Grant Hall. But it looked as if they had told everyone they knew, and everyone they had told had come. The wide street was packed solid for a block, and in the midst of this throng stood Carpenter, upon a wagon, making a speech.

    There was no chance to get near, so I bethought me of an alley which ran parallel to the street. There was an obscure hotel on the street, and I entered it through the rear entrance, and had no trouble in persuading the clerk to let me join some of the guests of the hotel who were watching the scene from the second story windows.

    The first thing which caught my attention was the figure of Everett, seated on the floor of the wagon from which the speech was being made. I saw that his face was covered with blood; I learned later that he had three teeth knocked out, and his nose broken. Nevertheless, there he was with his stenographer's notebook, taking down the prophet's words. He told me afterwards that he had taken even what Carpenter said in the church. "I've an idea he won't last very long," was the way he put it; "and if they should get rid of him, every word he's said will be precious. Anyhow, I'm going to get what I can."

    Also I saw Korwsky, lying on the floor of the wagon, evidently knocked out; and two other men whom I did not know, nursing battered and bloody faces. Having taken all that in at a glance, I gave my attention to what Carpenter was saying.

    He was discussing churches and those who attend them. Later on, my attention was called to the curious fact that his discourse was merely a translation into modern American of portions of the twenty-third chapter of St. Matthew; a free adaptation of those ancient words to present day practices and conditions. But I had no idea of this while I listened; I was shocked by what seemed to me a furious tirade, and the guests of the hotel were even more shocked--I think they would have taken to throwing things out of the windows at the orator, had it not been for their fear of the crowd. Said Carpenter:

    "The theologians and scholars and the pious laymen fill the leisure class churches, and it would be all right if you were to listen to what they preach, and do that; but don't follow their actions, for they never practice what they preach. They load the backs of the working-classes with crushing burdens, but they themselves never move a finger to carry a burden, and everything they do is for show. They wear frock-coats and silk hats on Sundays, and they sit at the speakers' tables at the banquets of the Civic Federation, and they occupy the best pews in the churches, and their doings are reported in all the papers; they are called leading citizens and pillars of the church. But don't you be called leading citizens, for the only useful man is the man who produces. (Applause.) And whoever exalts himself shall be abased, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    "Woe unto you, doctors of divinity and Catholics, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; you don't go in yourself and you don't let others go in. Woe unto you, doctors of divinity and Presbyterians, hypocrites! for you foreclose mortgages on widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers. For this you will receive the greater damnation! Woe unto you, doctors of divinity and Methodists, hypocrites! for you send missionaries to Africa to make one convert, and when you have made him, is twice as much a child of hell as yourselves. (Applause.) Woe unto you, blind guides, with your subtleties of doctrine, your transubstantiation and consubstantiation and all the rest of it; you fools and blind! Woe unto you, doctors of divity and Episcopalians, hypocrites! for you drop your checks into the collection-plate and you pay no heed to the really important things in the Bible, which are justice and mercy and faith in goodness. You blind guides, who choke over a fly and swallow a flivver! (Laughter.) Woe unto you, doctors of divinity and Anglicans, hypocrites! for you dress in immaculate clothing kept clean by the toil of frail women, but within you are full of extortion and excess. You blind high churchmen, clean first your hearts, so that the clothes you wear may represent you. Woe unto you, doctors of divinity and Baptists, hypocrites! for you are like marble tombs which appear beautiful on the outside, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. (Applause.) Woe unto you doctors of divinity and Unitarians, hypocrites! because you erect statues to dead reformers, and put wreaths upon the tombs of old-time martyrs. You say, if we had been alive in those days, we would not have helped to kill those good men. That ought to show you how to treat us at present. (Laughter.) But you are the children of those who killed the good men; so go ahead and kill us too! You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?"
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 38
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a Upton Sinclair essay and need some advice, post your Upton Sinclair essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Want to read

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?