From The Truth Seeker (1875)
A classic Freethought essay from 1875
by founder: D. M. Bennett
For sending this essay among others through the US Mail, D.M. Bennett was tried in 1879 for obscenity, found guilty and sentenced to 13 months in jail.
OPEN LETTER TO JESUS CHRIST
[How old were you when you commenced working at the carpenters’ trade? Did you stretch boards, doors, etc., for your stepfather when he made them too short?]
It is quite possible some people may deem it improper that a letter addressed to the distinguished personage named above should be written, but we cannot so regard it. Countless prayers and appeals are daily made to him from all sorts of people, from all sorts of places, and upon all sorts of subjects. Every one says or asks what he pleases, and no man is authorized to dictate what shall be said. A prayer is an appeal, a letter is another form of appeal. Any individual has a right to either form. That a letter is any more improper than a prayer is not obvious, and in this case a letter is preferred:
To His Excellency, IMMANUEL J. CHRIST, otherwise called ” Prince of Peace,” “Sun of Righteousness,” “ Lion of the Tribe of Judah,“ “ Wonderful,” “ Counsellor,” “ The Messiah,” “The Redeemer,” “ The Savior,” “ The Bridegroom,” “ The Lamb of God,” “Captain of our Salvation,” “Son of God,” “ Son of Man,“ etc., etc.
Respected Sir: Learning from our daily papers that it is expected you will pass a few days in our immediate vicinity, in company with your agents, Moody and Sankey, who are supposed to be in your special service, and who have just commenced a grand starring engagement through our principal cities, in your interest, I embrace this opportunity to address you in this manner, hoping I may be able to attract your attention and to receive a reply. I am in quest of truth, and many say it is to be found with you, and to attain any good gift whatsoever of you, it is only necessary to ask. I wish knowledge and information on many subjects, and I hereby make my wants known, I trust with due respect and in a proper spirit. If I have not troubled you latterly as often as many do, I hope it will not disparage my chances of recognition.
If your memory serves you, you probably can bring to mind that something over a quarter of a century ago I was in the habit of addressing you regularly four or five times a day, and from one year’s end to another, but finally coming to the conclusion that my appeals were not heard, or that they availed me nothing, I discontinued them, thus saving much time and breath, as well as disappointment also, and losing nothing, so far as I was able to judge. After a silence of more than twenty-five years, it is hoped this effort will be successful; but if it is not, I shall not be greatly surprised.