Lemuel K. Washburn: “Saving the Soul”


The man who can deliberately, and in cold blood, as it were, try to save his soul, must be grossly selfish.


To do that which shall redound to one’s own advantage or profit, without care or consideration of another, shows little humanity. The finer feeling is that which looks after others rather than one’s self. It can only increase selfishness to seek salvation.


When a man gets the idea that his soul must be saved, and goes to work to save it, the things that he will do in order to insure its salvation tend to lessen its value; and by the time he thinks his soul is saved it is generally not worth saving. The more willing we are to be lost, the more chance there is that we will not be.


The cheapest method of saving one’s soul is by believing something. This requires but little effort and no brains. Christianity is organized gullibility. It tells people to believe what it teaches and it will save their souls. It remains to be seen whether Christianity fulfills its part of the contract.


It occurs to us that before we try to save our soul we ought to know that we have a soul and that it needs saving. We fail to see any necessity for anxiety on account of our soul. We do not care to go into the salvation business and let the priest get all the dividends. Any person who can seriously talk about “saving his soul” ought to have a guardian.

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