3: "Now the man Moses was very MEEK, above all the men which were on the face of the earth." This circumstance alone, were there no other, is sufficient to indicate that the whole is a made-up story. Eaton's cheap edition appeared January 1, 1796, with the above letter on the reverse of the title. Mark says it was sun-rising, and John says it was dark. Soon as the evening shades prevail,  The moon takes up the wondrous tale,  And nightly to the list'ning earth  Repeats the story of her birth;  Whilst all the stars that round her burn,  And all the planets, in their turn,  Confirm the tidings as they roll,  And spread the truth from pole to pole. Those who rest their faith upon such authority put man in the place of God, and have no true foundation for future happiness. It is only the living grains that produce the next crop. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene. The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related that it is difficult to class them separately. The progress of an animal from one state of being to another, as from a worm to a butterfly, applies to the case; but this of a grain does not, and shows Paul to have been what he says of others, a fool. If we consider the nature of our condition here, we must see there is no occasion for such a thing as revealed religion. Here the rage of the prophet becomes excessive, and he is ready to destroy himself. The character of the person called Paul, according to the accounts given of him, has in it a great deal of violence and fanaticism; he had persecuted with as much heat as he preached afterwards; the stroke he had received had changed his thinking, without altering his constitution; and either as a Jew or a Christian he was the same zealot. HAVING thus shown the irreconcileable inconsistencies between the real word of God existing in the universe, and that which is called the word of God, as shown to us in a printed book that any man might make, I proceed to speak of the three principal means that have been employed in all ages, and perhaps in all countries, to impose upon mankind. It is, therefore, proper for us to know who told us so, that we may know what credit to give to the report. I shall begin with those two, reserving, what I have to say on the general character of the men called prophets to another part of the work. Certainly she would not. The suspicion that the theory of what is called the Christian church is fabulous, is becoming very extensive in all countries; and it will be a consolation to men staggering under that suspicion, and doubting what to believe and what to disbelieve, to see the subject freely investigated. Examination Of The Old Testament, Chapter 9. And, on the other hand, are we to suppose that every world in the boundless creation had an Eve, an apple, a serpent, and a redeemer? Several of the most extraordinary matters related in one history, as having happened during the reign of such or such of their kings, are not to be found in the other, in relating the reign of the same king: for example, the two first rival kings, after the death of Solomon, were Rehoboam and Jeroboam; and in i Kings xii. It came to pass, however, as the story relates, that the Ninevites reformed, and that God, according to the Bible phrase, repented him of the evil he had said he would do unto them, and did it not. In like manner of reasoning, everything we behold carries in itself the internal evidence that it did not make itself. Nothing is more frequent, as well in history as in conversation, than to refer to a fact in the room of a date: it is most natural so to do, because a fact fixes itself in the memory better than a date; secondly, because the fact includes the date, and serves to give two ideas at once; and this manner of speaking by circumstances implies as positively that the fact alluded to is past, as if it was so expressed. In enumerating the several exploits of Joshua, and of the tribes, and of the places which they conquered or attempted, it is said, xv. Once start a ghost, and credulity fills up the history of its life, and assigns the cause of its appearance; one tells it one way, another another way, till there are as many stories about the ghost, and about the proprietor of the ghost, as there are about Jesus Christ in these four books. And even if they were, there is no possibility of proving the hand-writing in either case. [24]—Though it is impossible for us to know identically who the writer of Deuteronomy was, it is not difficult to discover him professionally, that he was some Jewish priest, who lived, as I shall shew in the course of this work, at least three hundred and fifty years after the time of Moses. The offer was refused because it was my intention it should not appear till it appeared in America, as that, and not England was the place for its operation. Kant's religious utterances at the beginning of the French Revolution brought on him a royal mandate of silence, because he had worked out from "the moral law within" a principle of human equality precisely similar to that which Paine had derived from his Quaker doctrine of the "inner light" of every man. Mr. J.G. Had it been true, it would have filled up whole chapters of those books, and been the chosen theme and general chorus of all the writers; but instead of this, little and trivial things, and mere prattling conversation of 'he said this and she said that' are often tediously detailed, while this most important of all, had it been true, is passed off in a slovenly manner by a single dash of the pen, and that by one writer only, and not so much as hinted at by the rest. The English engineer Hall, who assisted Paine in making the model of his iron bridge, wrote to his friends in England, in 1786: "My employer has Common Sense enough to disbelieve most of the common systematic theories of Divinity, but does not seem to establish any for himself." Jonah and the whale are also made into a sign and type. The systems of the one are as false as those of the other, and are calculated for mutual support. Jeremiah joined himself afterwards to Nebuchadnezzar, and went about prophesying for him against the Egyptians, who had marched to the relief of Jerusalem while it was besieged. (Conway). Nor would Lanthenas have omitted any of the paragraphs lacking in his translation. And as to the writer of the book of John, though he details all the circumstances of the crucifixion down to the burial of Christ, he says nothing about either the darkness—the veil of the temple—the earthquake—the rocks—the graves—nor the dead men. It is also absurd to suppose that such doctrine can make any part of a revealed religion. Epistles of Paul—The epistles ascribed to Paul, being fourteen in number, almost fill up the remaining part of the Testament. are, word for word, In 1 Chronicles i., beginning at the 43d verse. Moses authored the Torah, Joshua authored Joshua, etc. The blank in the note was probably "Symonds" in the original, and possibly that publisher was imposed upon. We see it in the abundance with which he fills the earth. And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him and brought him before Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand; and Saul said unto him, Whose son art thou, thou young man? This, the account says, Ahaz declined doing; giving as a reason that he would not tempt the Lord; upon which Isaiah, who is the speaker, says, ver. He plagiarized by anticipation many things from the rationalistic leaders of our time, from Strauss and Baur (being the first to expatiate on "Christian Mythology"), from Renan (being the first to attempt recovery of the human Jesus), and notably from Huxley, who has repeated Paine's arguments on the untrustworthiness of the biblical manuscripts and canon, on the inconsistencies of the narratives of Christ's resurrection, and various other points. Your affectionate friend and fellow-citizen. Obscenity in matters of faith, however wrapped up, is always a token of fable and imposture; for it is necessary to our serious belief in God, that we do not connect it with stories that run, as this does, into ludicrous interpretations. 3. Who is there among you of all his people? Yes. Dr. Priestley, then in America, answered Paine's work, and in quoting less than a page from the "Age of Reason" he made three alterations,—one of which changed "church mythologists" into "Christian mythologists,"—and also raised the editorial footnote into the text, omitting the reference to Mosheim. 22. They take the book of Creation as the word of God; they refer to no other book; and all the inferences they make are drawn from that volume. He occupies the whole immensity of space. You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine.


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