Page:Germ Growers.djvu/221

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disease, death, and disaster among men. The black death, and the plague, and smallpox, and cholera, and typhus and typhoid fevers have all had their origin in this way, and some of these are kept alive since by the carelessness of men. But of later years men are beginning to understand health and disease better, and so the power of these evil beings is becoming greatly restricted in this direction."

Here he paused again, and I took heart and said—

"Is it simply to gratify their love of inflicting pain that they cultivate and propagate these plagues?"

"Partly that, no doubt," he said, "but, above all, their purpose is to set men against the Infinite One by making them believe Him to be the Creator of painful and abominable diseases."

"But why should they not blame Him," said I, "if He has called into existence those evil beings who invent such diseases?"

"Suppose," replied Leäfar, "that a human enemy were to poison your water supply. Would you blame God or man?"

"Man, I suppose," replied I.

"Yes," he said, "for you would recognise the fact that man, being man, is free, and that once his freedom absolutely ceases he is no longer man. The Infinite