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)^HOUGH the wriUngi of the ETangelists are in 
the hands of every one, nothing is more common 
than to find the professors of Chrbtianity, unaequalnt* 
ed with the history of the founder of ttveir r^igion ; . 
and even among those who have perused that history, 
it is still more rare to find any who have venlured 
seriously to examine ity It must, indeed, be acksew- 
iedged) that the ignotance of tj^e one, and the want of 
reflection in the other, on a subject which tbey, neTer^i 
tkeless^ regard as of infinite importasee, may arise 
&om the disUke naturally occasioned by the perusal of 
the New Testaments In &ct, there reign in that work 
a confusion, an obscurity^ amd a barbarity of stile, w^ 
adapted to confound the ignorant, and disgust eidigh- 
tened minds. Scarcely is^ there a history, ancient or 
modem, which docs not possess more method and per- 
spicuity than that of Jesus Christ ; neither do we per- • 
ceive (hat the Holy Qhost, it& putative author, bassiHr> 
passed, or even eq:ualled inany profane . bistoriai^ ^ 
whose writings are not so important to mankind. Thie^' 
clergy confess, that the Apostles were illiterate men, 

iiiid of coarse manners ; and it does hot appear ihM, 
the spirit of God, wliich inspired them, troubled itself 
with rectifyng their defects. On the contrary, it seems 
to have adopted them ;' to have accommodated itself to 
the weak understandings of its instruments; and tv 
have inspired them with works wherein we meet not 
with the judgment, order, or precision, that are found 
in many human compositions. Hence, the gospels 
present us with a confused assemblage of prodigies^ 
anachronisms, and contradictions,- in which criticism 
loses itself, and which would make anj other book be 
rejected with contempt. 

It is by mysteries the mind is prepared to respect 
religion and its teachers. We are therefore warrant^' 
ed to suspect, that an obscurity was designedly given 
to these writings. Jn matfers of religion it is prudent 
■ever to speak very distinctly. Truths, simple and 
easily understood, do not strike the human imagination 
in so lively a manner, as ambiguous oracles and impe-; 
netrable mysteries. Jesus Christ, although come onr 
purpose to enlighten the world, was to be a stumbling 
block to most people. The sdiall number of the elecfy; 
the difficulty of salvation^ and the danger of exercis« 
. iDg reason, are every where announced in the gospel.^ 
£very thing seems indeed to demonstrate, that God 
has cent his ttear Son to the nations, on purpose 
cmly to ensnare them ; and that they should not com-f 
prehend any part of the religion which he meant tcR- 
promulgate.* In this the Eternal appears to have ih"^ 

-■» - ■■'-■ ^ ■ . . -^ ■ . .■ - -"■•■ . -^f;^, 

* By the scriptures, and the fathers of the charch, God is al« 
ways represented as a seducer. He permitted Ere to be seduced 
by a serpent. He hardened the heart iX Pharaoh. Christ him* 
^f yHM a ^tone of ttumbling, • ^<; ,. 

tencled to tbrow mortals into darkness, perplexity, a 
diffidence of themselves, and a continual embarra^-: 
hieot, obliging them to have recourse every moment to 
those infallible luminaries, their priests, and to remaiii 
for ever Hinder the tutelage of the church. Her minis* 
ters, we know, claim the exclusive privilege of imder-^ 
standing and explaining the holj scriptures; and no 
mortal can expect to obtain future felicity, if he does 
|M>t pay due submission to their decisions. 

Thus, it belongs not to the vulgar to examine reli- 
gion. On mere inspection of the gospel every person 
must be convinced that the book is divine — ^^that every 
word contained in it is inspired by the Holy Ghosts j 
and thait the explanations, given by the church, . of 
that celestial work, in like manner emanate from the. 
Most High. In the first ages of Chfristiaoity, thpj^ 
TVho embraced the religion of Jesus were only some 
dregs of the people ; consequently, very simple, unac- 
quainted with letters, and disposed to believe all the 
^vouders any one chose to announce. Jesus, in hiq 
iermons, addressed himself to the Tulgar only; he 
would have intercourse with none but persons of that 
'cast ; he constantly retfused to work miracles in pre- 
'«ence of the most clear-sighted people of the nation; 
he inveighed unceasingly against the learned, the doc* 

i » The opinion of most theologists is, that the Holy Ghost 
hi* cevealed to the ^red writers even the orthography of the 
words they have employed, yea, even the points and commas.' 
Bat supj^sing the reality of this inspiration, still it would not 
be sufScifBot; it would he further necessary to guarantee, that 
all the cqpyists and monks, during the ages of ignorance, wh# 
have transmitted the revealed writings, have committed no 
faplts in trapfcribing them. A point or a|comroa, inisplacedt 
ajre spfficient, iirf_kiiow, tfi alter c<nDpletely the sease of # 
passage. ; .;'^-?-.---- : .' ,;.• ^. -' :/ -" ■ * 

torS}^ and the rich; against all in whom he could not 
find the pliability necessary for adopting bis maxims. 
We see him continually ekipllin|; poorness of sj^iritj^ 
simplicity, and faith*. ^ 
. His disciples, and after NJiem the ministers of the 
church, have faithfully followed bis footsteps ; they 
have always represented faith, or blind submission, as 
the first of virtues; as the disposition most agreeable to 
God, and most necessary to salvation. This principle 
serves for a basis to the Christian religion, and, above 
all, to the power of the clergy. The pastors, therefore, 
who succeeded the Apostles, employed the greatest 
care in secreting the Gospels from the inspection of all 
who were not initiated in the mysteries of religion. 
They e^ibited these books to those only whose faith 
they had tried, and whom they found already disposed 
to regard them as divine. This mysterious spirit has 
been transmitted down even to our days. In several 
countries the commonalty among Christians are inter<^ 
dicte^ from perusing the Scriptures, especially in the 
Romish communion^ whose clergy are best acquainted 
with the manner of governing mankind. The Ceuocil 
of Trent has decreed, in the most explicit manner,, that 
^' it belongs to the church alone to decide oo, the true 
meaning of the Scriptures, and giye their interpretat^ 

tionf.** ;; ^ . ,_.,^^.. . \., .,,.,...„.. , _^:.^^^^ -■, 

ft Wefind Jesu&incu}eat»g faith in att hUdiMourscw, andes^pe* 
cUUy Uv St> Matthew and St* Mark-~-** He who bath faith shalF 
reiQOTe nwuatains." — " He who shall believe and is haptized 
shall be savsd," &c- Several Christtan sects believe, accdrdiog;^ 
tp these passages, that faiUi itself, wrthout works, is sufficient 
for salvAtion. 

f The. Cardinal Pallaviicini, in his Bi»tory of the Council o^ 
^jrent, (sets. IV.) removes every difficulty, by saying, that " all 

. ^: 



It IS true, the reading of the sacred books is per^ 
milted, and even recommended to the Protestants, who 
are also enjoined to examine their religion. But faith 
must always precede that reading, and follow, that ex- 
ami nation ; so that before reading, a Protestant is 
bound to believe the Gospel to be divine; and the 
examination which he makes of it, is allowable only,, 
while he finds there ^hat the ministers of his sect have 
resolved that he shall find ; beyond this, be is re- 
garded as an ungodly man, and often punished for 
the weakness of his intellects. 

. We must then conclude, that the salvation of Chris- 
tians depends neither on the reading nor understand*, 
ing of the sacred books, but in the firm belief thsA 
these books are divine. If, unfortunately, the readings 
or examination of'any person, does not coincide witk 
the decisions, interpretations, and commentaries of the 
church, he is in danger of being ruined, and of incur- 
ring eternal damnation. To read the gospel, he must 
commence with being disposed blindly to believe all 
which that book contains; to examine the gospel, he 
must be previously resolved to find nothing there but 
the holy and the adorable ; in fine, to understand thii 
gospel, he must entertain a fixed persuasion, that our 
priests can never either be themselves deceived, or 
\yish to deceive others, in the manner they explajjn 
it» *' Believe, (say they), believf on our words, that. 
this book is the work of God himself; if you dare to 
doubt it,.you shall be damned. Are you unable tocom-; 
prehendany of what €rod reveals to you there ? IBeUetm- 
evermore : — God has- revealed himself that he msry net 

■.■---. • ■ ■-->. 

the faith of Christiant is founded only on one siBgle artidc)ii 
namely^ the ifffalK^/e authority of the church.'' ^ .. I^ 

be understood. The glor^ 6f God is to conceal hia 
word,' * or rather, by speaking in an unintelligible 
manner, does not God intimate that he wants every 
one to refer it to as, to whom he has confided his im- 
portant secrets ? — A truth, of which you must not 
doubt, seeing that we persecute )n this world, and 
damn in the other, whoever dares to question the testi* 
mony which we bear to ourselves.'*" ' , . - , " - 
' However erroneous this reasoning liiay appear to the 
profane, it is suflScient for the greater part of believers, 
\Fhere, therefore, they 4o not read the gospel,, or 
where they do read it, they do not examine it; where 
fhey examine, it is with prejudiced eyes, and with £|. 
fixed determination to find there only what shall be 
conformable to their own prejudices,, and the interests 
of their guides. ^ In consistency with his fears and 
prepossessions, a Christian believes himself lost, should., 
be find in the sacred bdok& reasoa to doubt the veraV 
crtjr of bis pricsts^f*^^^'^^^:-r^'-''^^r^^'''^^"^^^ 
-i With such dispositions, it is not surprising to see men. 
persisting in their ignorance, and making a merit of 
rejecting the lights which reason ofiers them. It is. 
thus that error is perpetuated, and that nations, in con- 
cert with those who deceive them, bestow on interest- 

"" • JVwWj* (jf" Sbterooff, XXV. 2. rt is on this ocHoqs ms^'irQ,, 
so dishonourable toithe <iiTinity, that all mysteries are foanded^ 
Whal right had Bt. Justin to reproach the Pagans with the ira- 
y»ety of one of their poets, who had said that the gods, during^ 
tfib*- greater pact oi their' time, '^ amused tbemselres with do-i 
enTtn^mcB ?" — Is nat the whole Bible a continual snare laid for 
the human understanding ? Is not the whole conduct of Christ, 
according to the gospel itself, a snare laid for the Jews ; so thi^t 
bearing thej might not andersland} and seeing they migbt KOt 
IdkTc itt the Mes»ah F*^ ' -^ ^ c^.^t./ -^ .i^. .---.- — 

ed clieats an unboimded confidence in whdt ihey re^ 
gard as of the greatest importance to their own feliein 
tj. But the darkness, which for so many ages has lenve-^ 
loped the human mind, begins to dissipate. In spite oC 
the tyrannic cares of their jealous guides, mankindseeoi 
desirous to burst from the pupilage, wherein^ manjr 
causes combine in attempting to retain them. The ig<« 
norance in which the priesthood fostered the credulous, 
bas vanished from amongst many nations ; the despo- 
tism of priests is enfeebledin several flourishing states; 
science has rendered the mind more liberal ; and man* 
kind begin, to blush at the ignominious fetters, under 
which the clergy have so long made both kings and 
people groan. The human mind indeed seems strug*^ 
gling in every country to break in pieces its chaiiis. ^ 
Having premised this, we proceed to examine, witb-. 
out any prejudice, the life of Jesus Christ. We shall 
deduce our facts from the gospel only } memorials re-i 
verenced and acknowledged by the doctors of the 
Christian religion. ' To illustrate these facts, we shall 
^employ the aid of criticism. We shall exhibit, in the 
simplest manner, the conduct, maxims, and policy of 
an obscure legislator, who, after his death, acquired a 
celebrity to which there is no reason for presuming 
^hat he pretended while alive. We, shall contemplate 
in its o'adle a religion which, at first destined soleljr. 
for the vilest populace of a nation, the most abject^, 
the most credulous, and the most stupid on earth, b4e« 
came, by little and little, mistress of the Romans ; thc| 
firebrand of nations, the absolute sovereign of Eunhr 
pean monarchs ; arbiter of the destiny of kingdoms ; 
the cause of their friendship, and of their hate; the 
cement which serves to strengthen their alliance ojt^. 
their discord ; and the leaven always ready to pu|. 


teinds in fermentation. In fine, we shall behbld ail 
artisan, a melancholj enthusiast and Unskilful jug^- 
gler, bursting out of a carpenter^s shop, in order to de- 
ceive men of his own cast ; miscatrjing in all his pro- 
jects; himself punished as a public incendiary ; djingf 
on a cross; and jet af^r bis death becoming th^ 
legislator and the god of many nations, and an ob-<^ 
ject of adoration to beings who pretend to commoa 
0ensc!/'-^ ;3;." ' :_ - .v./; ' -.•'..,. ,^;-''v ■'■-. - 

There is eVery-rtfasoii to heli^ve, if the'ttoly Gfiost 
had foreseen the transcendant fortune which the re* 
ligion of Jesus was one day to attain ; if he had fore* 
seen that this religion would, in the course of time, be 
received by kings, civilized iiations, scholars, and per- 
sons in the higher circles of life ; if he had suspected 
that this religion would be examined, analysed, dis^ 
cussed and criticised by logicians ; there is, we say, rea- 
son to believe that the Holy Qhost would have left us 
memoirs less shapeless, facts more circumstantial, proofs 
mor^ authentic, and materials better digested than 
those we possess on the life and doctrine of its founder* 
He would have chosen writers better qualified than 
ihose be has inspired, to transmit to nations the 
speeches and actions of the Saviour of the World ; 
he would have made him to act and speak, on tiie most 
trifling point, in a manner more worthy of a god ; he. 
would have put in his mouth a language more noble, 
score perspicuous, and more persuasive ; and he would 
have employed means more certain to convince rebel*^ 
ions reason, and abash incredulity'* ' 

Nothing of all this has occurred : the gospel is 
iieretyan eastern romance, disgusting to every man of 
common sense, and apparently addressed to the igno- 
nmty the stupid, and the vulgar, the only persona whom 


it tan mislead.* Criticism finds there do conneistion 
of facts, no agreement of circumstances, no train of 
principles, and no uniformity of relation. Four me% 
unpolished and devoid of letters, pass for the faithful 
authors of memoirs containing the life of Jesus 
Christ; and it is on their testimony, that Christians 
believe themselves bound to receive the religion they- 
profess; and adopt, without examination, the most con- 
tradictory &cts, the most incredible actions^ the most 
amazing prodigies, the most unconnected system, the 
most unintelligible doctrine, and the most revolting 
' masteries I 

Supposing, however, that the gospels In our hands 
belong to the authors to whom th^y are attributed s 
that they were in reality written by apostles or discij* 
pies of apostles, should it not follow from this alone, 
that their testimony ought to be suspected i Could 
not men, who are described as ignorant, anddestituto 
of pairtis, be themselves deceived ? Could not enthu- 
siasts and very credulous fanatics imagine^ Uiat they 

' * Victor of Tunis inforras us, thatj in the sixth century, tli# 
Emperor Apastasius caused the gospels to be corrected, as works 
composed by fools. ^^j ^, . - 

. The fUemcDts of Euclid are intelligible to all who eadeaToi;(r to 
innder^tand them ; they excite no dispute among geometrJcianif 
Is it so with the Bible? and dp its revealed frutAs occasion no 
disputes among divines ? By what fatalitj have writings cevealed 
by God himself still need of commentaries 7 and why do they de? 
mand additional lights from on high, before they can be believed 
or understood ? Is it not astonishing, that what was intended 
as a guide to mankind, should be wholly above their .comprer 
hen^ion i Is it not cruel, that what is of mostimportance to them^ 
should be least known? All is mystery, darkness, uncertaintyi^.^: 
and matter of dispute, in a religion intended by the Most Bigl| 
to enlighten the human race, r:, \ 


had seen manj things which nevcff existed, and thut 
become the dupes of deception?* Gould not im- 
postors, strongly attached to a sect whereby they 
Subsisted, and which therefore they had an interest to 
support, attest miracles, and publish facts, with tbe 
felsehood of which they were well acquainted? and 
could not tbe first Christking, bj a pious fraud, after* 
wards add or retrench things essential to the works 
ascribed to the apostles ? We know that Origen, so 
early as the third century, c(»nplained loudly of the 
corruption of manuscripts. '* What shall we say (ex- 
claims he) of tbe errors of transcribers, and of the 
impious temerity with which they have corrected the 
text ? What shaJl ire say of the licence of those, who 
jpromiscttously interpolate or erase at their pleasure V* 
These questions form warrantable prejudices against 
the pCrso&s to whom the gospels have been ascribed, 
and dgainst the purity of their text. 

It is also- extremely dilkult to ascertain, with any 
degteer of certainty, whether those books belong to th* 
authors whose names they bear. It is a well known 
Ikct, that in the first ages of Christianity there was a 

• Whoerer has perused the ancient historians, particularly 
Herodotus, Plutarch, Livy, and Josephus, must feel the force 

Of this reasoning. These writers. With a pious credulity similar 

to that of Christiana, relate prodigies pregnant with absurdities^ 
jHiich they theraselyes pretended to have witnessed, or were 
fritnessed by others. Among the wonders that appeared at 
Rome, some time before the triomvBrate, many statues of the- 
Clods sweat blood and water ; and there was an Ox which spoke.^ 
tender the empire of Caligula, the statue of Jupiter at Olympu» 
burst forth into such loud fits of laughter, that those who were 
taking it down to carry to Rome, abandoned their work and 
fled in terror. A Crow prognosticated misfortune to Domilian* 
jud aaX)w| paid the same compliment to Herod. 



very great namber t>f gospelg, different firom-one smo^ 
tber, and composed for the use of diff^rept ehureheii 
and different sects of Christiaos. Th0 truth of thin 
has-been confessed bj ecclesiastical historians of thQ 
greatest credit.* There is therefore reason to suspeetj 
that the persons who composed these gospels mightf' 
with the view of giving them more weight, have attrU 
buted them to apostles, or disciples, who actnal^j^ had no 
share in them. That ides, once adopted by igoorant 
and crednlous Christians, might be transmitted from 
age to Vige, and pass at last for unquestionable, in timet 
when it was no longer possible to ascertrtin the author* 
4»r the &ct8 related. 

It is w^ known, that among some fifty gospeli^ 
with which Christianity in its epmmencemeut wasinaa* 

^ * Tide TiIl«mont, torn. ii. p. 47, 217,438. SL Epipbui* HpiaiL 
34. The celebrated Henry Dodwell affirm*, that it was not till 
the reiga of Trajan, or indeed of Hadrian (i. e. more tbui a 
century after Christ) that a coUeetion, or canon, of the bodis of 

the New Testaraeat was made. These writii^ ha4 even till thra 

been concealed in the archives of churches, and were only ia 

the haods.of priests, who could dispose of them at their pleasure* 

DodweWf Diasertationa en Irenteum, p. 66, Sec, To this may b« 

iuided« tiie profound work of Mr. Freret, pabli^ied in lTfi6, 
nuder the titl^ of Exomen Critique des ^pologi^t ie im RH^ioM 

^ Itiseyideat, that, amQtfg the first Christian 4octeri, Vbert 
was a great number of pious forj^ers, who, to make their ca«W 
prevail, framed and forged gospels, legeads, romaaces, oracles 
«f S^ils, and other works, of whicA tha inq^oitttve and f^^l^" 
were so striking, tbM tlie cimrcfa its^faas heofi forced to rejeet 
ihera. To be convinced of litis, we have <Mil]r to cut our *j*m 
on the work mtitled Coiex Aferyrkw Ahvi TeH«m«»Ut pob- 
lished by J. A. Tdbrictus, at Hamburgh, IT 19. The praeUoeAf 

framing Svangelieal Romances, was not even recency Uh off ki 
Ihe Koraish Church. A Jesuit, called &ther JcrenwJbviery' li 

dated, the cliurcl), assembled in council at Nice, choM^ ^ 
four of them onlj, and rejected the rest as apocryphal^ 

although the latter had nothing more ridiculous in 
them than those Ti^hich were admitted. Thus, at the 
end of three centuries (i. e. in the three hundred and 

twenty-fifth year of the Christian era), some bishopi 
decided, that these ibur gospels were the only ones 
which ought to be adopted, or which had been really 
inspired by the Holy Ghost. A miracle enabled them 
to discover this important truth, so difficult to be dis- . 
cerned, at a time even then not very remote from that 
of the apostles. They placed, it is said, promiscuously, 
books apocryphal and authentic under an altar :t^ 
the Fathers of the Conncil betook themselves to pray- 
ers, in order to obtain of the Lord, that he would per- 
mit the false or doubtful books to remain %md^ the 
altar, whilst those which were truly inspired by the 
Holy Ghost should place themselves above it — a cir- 
cumstance whichjdid not fail to occur. It is then on 
this miracle that our faith depends ! It is to it that 

a Missionary fia Persia, composed a ridictiloas history of Jesuis 
liis mother, and St. Peter, in the Persian and Latin languages, 
which was published qnder the title Bistorica Chri$ti Persicot 
io 4to, Lugd. Batay. 1639. UHisioiredu PeupU de Dieu, by th« 
Her. Father Berruyer, is well known. In the thirteenth century, 
the Cordeliers composed a book pnder the title L'Evangila 

s -'In all ages, Christiuis, whether Orthodox or Heretics, haye 
J)een piously occupied in deceiving the simple. Some have gone . 
so f ju* as to palm works on Jesus, and we have a pretended letter 
of his to king Agbarus. It ought to be remarked, that author* 
apprpyed by the Church, such as St. Cletsens Romanus, St. 
J^atius Martyr, St. Justin, and St. Glement of Alexandria, have ' 
.iQiapted passages which are not to be found in the four gospeU 
.a!4mi»e*a^ present. ;frfr-it!W ;^n|*St J. *'fim^^ ^mh^'^m 

Christians owe the assurance of possessing the trvnr 
gospels, or faithful memoirs of the lite of Christ ! It is , 
from these only thej are permitted to deduce the prin- 
ciples of their belief, and the rules of conduct f?hich 
tliej ought to observe, in order to obtain eterual salva- 
tion I ■ (ii\ri.»»H>y .^iJ.'-iir. Ontj.i.j If i'-»iii^ ..> , 

t.jTbus, the authority of the books vchich serve for the 
basis of the Christian religion, is founded solely on tlie . 
authority of a council, of an assembly of priests and . 
bishops. But these bishops and priests, judges and par^ , 
ties in an affair wherein they were obviously interes- 
ted-^-couid they not be themselves deceived ? Indepen- ' 
dently of the apocryphal miracle, which enabled them . 
to distinguish the true gospels from the false — had they 
any sign^ which could fairly enable them to distinguish, 
the writings which they ought to receive frojm those . 
which they ought to reject ? , st fttr c^ ' 

;t<JSome will tell us, that the church assembled in' age* 
neral council is infallible ; that then the Holy Ghost 
inspires it, and that its decisions ought to be regarded 
as those of God himself. If we demand, where is the 
proof that the ehurch enjoys this infallibility ? it will 
be answered, that the gospel assures it,%and that Jesug 
Christ has expressly promised to assist and enlightea 
Lis church until the consummation of ages^ Here the 
incredulous will reply, t' at the church then, or its mi' 
ni8ter8,cr^te righats to themselves ; for it is their au- 
thority 'which alone establishes the authenticity of v ' 
books whereby their own authority is established; this 
is obviously a circle of ei-iors. In short, an assembljr 
iof ishops and f^rfestis has decided, that t e books wl ich 
attribute to themselves an infallible itUthority, have 
|l)eendivipely inspired. . \" ?-« 

-^^.Notwithstanding that decision, t^ere still remaiil^^ 


eome difficulti'es on the authenticity of the gospels. Ta 
the first place, it may be asked, whether the decJMon 
ef the Councilor Nice, composed of three hundfed and 
eighteen Imhops, ought to be regarded a» that of the 
universal church ? Were all who formed that »aeniblj 
entirely of the same opinion among themselves ? Were 
there no disputes amoi^ these nien inspired by the 
Holy Ghost i Was their decision unanimously acdept- 
ed I Had not the secular authority of Constantine a 
chief share in the adoption <^ the decrees of that cele- 
brated coimcil I In this case, was it not the imperial 
power, rather than the spiritual authraity, which de- 
cided the authenticity of the gospels ? 

In the second place, many tfaeologists agree, that the 
univ^sal church, although infallible in dogma, may err 
in fa^ts. Now it is evident, that in the case alluded to, 
'' c^^imi depends on fact. Indeed, before deciding whe- 
ther the dogmas contained in the gospels be divine, it 
was necessary to know, beyond the possibility of a 
doubt, whether the four gospels in question were really 
written by the inspired authors to whom they are as- 
cribed ; this is obviously a fact. It was further neces- 
sary to know, whether these gospels have never been 
altered, mutilated, augmented, interpolated, or fiilsified, 
by the diffba-ent bands through which they have passed 
in the course of three eenturies; this is likewise a 
fact. Can the fathers of the ehfirch infallU>Iy guaran- 
tee the probity of all the depositaries of those writings, 
and the exactness of all the traBscribers ? Cantiiesefa- 
thers decide definitively, that, during so long a period, 
none could insert niar\'ello«s relations or dogmas in 
these nsemoire, unknown ' to those wbo are their sup-^^ 
pesed authors 2 Does not ecclesiastical history inform 
«B, that, in ^le origin of Oirigtianfty^ there were 

«ehisms, disputes, heresies, and sects without nQmW; 
and that each of the disputants founded his opinions 
on the gospels ? Even in the time of the Council a^ 
Nice, do we not find that the whole church was di<* 
vided on the fundamental article of the Christiaii 
religion, the divinity of Jesus ? ^^ 

Thus, on ccMisidering the matter closelj, it wiH ht 
leen that the Council of Nice was the true founder of 
Christianity, which, till th^ wandered at ran^on; did 
not acknowledge Christ to be god; had not anj authen- 
tic gospels; was without a fixed law ; and had nocod« 
of doctrine whereon to rely. A number of bishops 
and priests, very few in comparison of those whoeeoi- 
posed the whole Christian church, and these iHshops 
very little in union amoBg themselves, have decided 
on the point roost essential to the salvation of nations. 
They have decided on the divinitjr of Jesus ; on the aur 
thenticity of the gospels ; that, according to these, their 
own authority ought to be deemed infallible. In a word^ 
they have deeraed on faith { Nevertheless, their deci- 
sions might have remained without force, if they had 
not been backed by the authority of Constantino. 
This prince gave prevalence to the opinion of these 
\ ^ Others of the Council, who knew how to draw him, tor 
'.)m time, to their own side ;* and who, amidst this mul- 
titude of gospels and writings with which Christianity 
Was inundated, did not &il to declare those divine, 

• Ecclesiastical history proTes, that Constantine afterwards 
' |K^ecated Athanasius, exiled him to Treves, and died an Ariaa. 
i Hisfoa Constantine lived and died in the same sect. Father Pe- 
^ tau the Jecuit, and oUier learned men, helieved that the Church 
I mat Socinlan or Arian before the council of Nice. It is at least 
certain,, that the word consaManHal, which was adopted by that 
council, had been condemoed by the council of Antioch hekt 

tr^icibtliey judged most conformable to their owil fiaf' 

tictilar opinions, or to the ruling faction. In religion^ 

as ill other things, the reasoning of the strongest partt/ is 

tdwat/s tM besti '4ru4'". '^§' ■■ ''■4^fi.,. «w-,..cj»,^9s}4J!i, 

'- '. Behold then, in t!i^ last resort, the authority of an 

emperor, who determines the chief points of the 

Christian religion ! This emperor, but little 6xed in 

^13 own faith, decides^ until further orders, that Jesus 

is consubtantial with the Father, and compels his sub-^ 

Jects to receive, as inspired, the" four gospels we have 

in our bands* t It is in these memoirs, exclusively 

adopted by some fathers in the Council of Nice ; by 

tiiem attributed to apostles, or unexceptionable wit<> 

Besses, inspired by the Holy Ghost ; by them pro- 

. jiosed to serVe as an indispensable rule to Christians^ 

that we are to seek for the materials of our history* 

We shall state them with fidelity ; we shall compare, 

and connect the relations, often discordauty which 

they contain^ we shall see if the tacts which they de* 

tail are worthy of God,^ and calculated to procure to 

'mankind the advantages which they expect. This en> 

quiry will enable us to judge rightly of the Christian 

religion; of the degree of confidence we ought to 

place in it ; of the esteem we ought to entertain for 

its lessons and dogma's; and. ol the idea we sbooUt 

ibrm of Jesus its founder. .•??r->'w ^'V^^ ^'^-''■r^v.'h.a'oti-i^i 

Though, in composing this history, we have laid it 

down as a rule to employ the gospels only, we pre- 

against the fitmoas Paul of Samosata. But our doctors have 
jrecourse to saying, Vith St. Augustine, that the ancient general 
councils were corrected by posterior councils; or else they teH 
us, with the Cardinal de Cusa, *' that the Church, by changing 
its opinion, obliges us to believe that XjSod also changes his.'* 
.miut iiis that the clergy sport with Cbristians. ^^ 


.;, .: .,^:,.:_,* ^i* :. ■■■:,:,. 

iQiD^ flot to flatter otnrseliws, tlot it will filcQse evetjT 
bo<fyj or tiiat tte elei^ ivtll ailbpt our hiboiira. The 
bonnecticHw» which we shall form ;. the biterpr^ations wc 
shall give; thd animadveniions we stnll present t^ 
our readers; will not be always ;entirelj agreeable to 
ihe Tiews of our ^tritotd guides, the greatef part oC 
whom are enemies to all eaquiiy. To nich nen we 
would state, that criticisnL giVes a lustre to tratii^ 
that to reject all examination, is to acknowledge tha 
weakness of th^ caose ; and that not- to wi^ fcH: dis^ 
cussioo) is to avow ft to foe incapable of siistainiBg a 

If they tell usy that ottr ideas are repu^naat to tUft 
dedsions of councils, of the&tfaers, and of the iini<> 
^ersal churth ; to this we shall answer) that, hctXKrding 
to the sacred books, opposition is not always a crimen 
ire EArall {^ad the 'example of an apostle, to whom the 
Christian religion is under the greatest obli|^tionS'>*«' 
what do we say !-^tt> wh(Mn akMse, perhaps^ it owes its 
existence. Now this apostle boasts of hMYvng mth*^ 
stood the gfreat St. P^ter to hn &ce, that Tisible besud 
of the church, appointed by Christ himself to feed hfg 
flock ; and whose in&illibflity, therefore, is at least m 
probable as that of his successors, and even thatof tho 
church assembled in oeimmenical council.- 
• If they tax us with innovation, we shall plead the 
example of Jesus himself, who was regarded as an »r« 
notfitor by the Jews, and who was a martyr for the rt^ 
form be wanted to introduce. We, ho wevor, candidly 
d^lare, that we haveao desire to imitate him in; this-^ 
we ^applaud only to the mar^rdom exclusively. If 
the tenets «d:vanced be onacceptable, the author, as he 
has no pretensions to divine inspiration, leaves to 
every one the liberty of rejecting or receiving his in- 


terpi^tatiools, knd method of inresttgsitidn. He dfoet 
hot threaten with eternal torments those who resist his 
•rguments ; he has not erefdit enough to promise hea* 
ven to such as jield to them t he pretends neither te 
constrain, nor to seduce those who do not think as h« 
'does. He is desirous only to calm ^ mind ; alia/ 
anitnositj; and sooth the passions of those zealots, 
,who are ever ready to harass their fellow creatures, on 
account of opinions which may not appearequally con« 
vincing to all tlie world. He promises ta point out 
the ridiculous cruelty of those men of bloody who per- 
secute for dogmas which they themselves do not un- 
derstand. He ventures to flatter himself, that such 
of his readers as peruse this enquiry with coolness, 
will acknowledge, that it is very possible to doubt of 
the inspiration of the gospels, and of the divine mis- 
sion of Jesus, without ceasing, notwithstanding that, 
' to be a rational and honest man. . 

Such as are exasperated against this work, are en- 
^ treated to remember, that faith is a gift of heaven ; 
ihsX the vDont of U is not a xnce ; that if the Jews, who 
were eye witnesses of the wonders of Christ, did not 
^.lielieve them, it is very pardonable to doubt them at 
fthe b^inning of the nineteenth century, especially on 
'^finding that the narrative of these marvels, said to 
have been inspired by the Holy Ghost, are not uni- 
form, nor placed in harmony with each other. In 
fine, fieiy devotees are earnestly entreated to moderate 
^ their holy rage, and suffer the meekness, so ofi;en re- 
commended by their divine Saviour, sometimes to oc- 
cupy the place of that bitter zeal, and persecuting 
spirit, which creates so many enemies to the Christian 
religion and its doctors. Let them remember, that if 
it is to patience and forbearaiiee (Christ promises tbj» 



4 ._■-■■.■■■.•.-■- '# 

• M ■ : V ^ -^- 

possession oftbeeartb, it is much to be feared that 
pride, intolerance, and inhumanity, will render the 
ministers of the churoh detestable, and make them lose 
that empire over minds, which to them is so agreeable. 
If they wish to reign over rational men, they must dis- 
play reason, knowledge, and, above all, virtues more 
useful than those wherewith the teachers of the gospel 
have so long infested society. Jesus has said, in th^ 
idearest manner, " Happy are the meek, far theyshaU 
inherit the earth /* unless indeed interpreters should 
pretend, that this only signilies the necessity of perse* 
cuting, exterminating, and cutting the throats of thgaf 
whose affections they wish to gain.* 

If it were permitted to cite the maxims of a profane 
-person by that of the Son of Grod^ we would quote 
" imi ^ ■ ~ ' 

* The modern religion of Eqrope, says the author of The 
. System of Nature, hiSTisibly caufed more ravages and trooble* 
'yfhan any other saperstttion ; it if in that respect very aceord- 
^ ttnt to its principles. They may well preach tolenmce, and mild- 
pess in the name of a despotic God* who claims a right to the 
homage of the whde earth; who is extremely Jealous that any 
other doctrines should he received than what hare his sanction ; 
irho punishes crueOy for erroneous opinions; who demands un* 
hounded zeal from his adorers. "Spch a being mast cooseqaentty 
hiake fanatiod persecutors of all men. The theology of the 
present day is a^ubtile venom, calculated* through the import- 
ance which \i attached to if, to infect every one* By dint of me- 
taphysics, modern theologians have become systematically 
absurd and wielded. 3/ once admitting the odious ideas which 
they entertain of the divinity, it is impdssible to make them un- 
derstand that they ought to be humane, equitable, pacific, in- 
dulgent, and tolerant. They pretend that these humane and 
fiocial virtues are not leasonable in the cause of reHgioB, and 
would be treason in the eyes of the celestial Monarch, to wbOI9 
^ p^&ty thing ought to be «acrificcd> 


bere the ftpopfath^m of the prolbimd Machiavel, thai 
'^ empires ttre preserved by the same means whereby 
they are estaWished," It w» by dint of meekness, 
patience, and precaution, that the disciples of Jesus 
succeeded in estahllslnngC^istianity^. Their succesmrs 
have employed violence; but not iKitil they- found 
themselves supported by devout tyrants. Since then, 
the gospel of peace has been the signal of war; the 
pacific disciples of Jesns have become implacable 
warriors ;*ha ve treated eatch other as ferocious beasts ; 
and the dhurch has been perpetnaily torn by dissen- 
sions, schisms, and factions. If the primitive spirit 
of patience and meekness does nOt quicfely i^urn to 
the aid of rel^igion, it Is to be feared that it will be« 
come the f^bject of the hatred d* nations, who begin to 
feel that morality is preferable to obscure dogmas, and 
that peace is of greater value than the holy frenzy of 
the ministers of the gospel. c.^' 

>«b We caanot, therefore, with too much earnestness ex-f^ 
hert them, £[^ their own sakes, to moderatioa. Let 
them imitate their divine Master, who never employed 
his Father's power to ejfterrainate the Jews, of whom 
he had so m]uch*to complain, He did not make the 
arfinies of heaven descend, in order to establish his 
doctFine ; he chose nuther to surrender to the secnW 
arm than give ap the i«€dels, whom fai8*prodigies and 
transcendent resAoning tronld not convince. Though 
he was the depositary of the power of the Most High-; 
though he was inspired by the Holy Spirit ; though he 
had at his command all the annals of Paradise ; we do- 
«iot €od that he has perfor-med any great miracles on 
the understandings of his auditory^ He sulTered them 
to remain iit their Mindness, though be had come on 
•purpose to enlighten thetn, We cannot doubt, that a 

, il 

conduct BO wise vr9.9 intended to make the pastors 
ofiiis churdi.<wboare not possrased of more persua- 
sive powers^tlian their master), sensible that it is not 
by violence tfaej can reconcile tiie mind to incredible 
things ; and that it would be unjust to force others to 
comprehend wfaat^' without laTOur from above, it would 
be impossible for themselves to comptrehend ; or wbat, 
even with such £ivour,- they but very imperfectly an- 
derstand. iis*^.. 

,^.But it is time to conclude an introduction, periiaps, 
already too long to a work which, even without pre- 
9mbl^ may be tiresome to the clergy, and irritate the 
temper xt( the devout, particularly of female devotees. 
The author does himself the justice to believe, that he 
has written enough to be allowed the privilege of ex*- 
pecting to be attacked by a cloud of writers, obliged, 
by situation, to repel his blows, and to defend, right 
pr wrong, a cause wherein they are so much interested. 
He reckons that, on his death, his bo<^ will be cruelly 
calumniated; his reputation torn ; and his arguments 
taken to pieces or mutilated. He. expects to be treat- 
ed as impious— a blasphemer— as antichrist^ and to 
be loaded with al\ the epithets ivhich the pious are in 
use to lavish on those who disquiet them. He will 
not, however, sleep the less traoqail for tbat ; but a^ 
bis sleep may prevent him fi*om replying, he thinks it 
his duty to inform his antagonists before hand, that m- 
puries are not reasons. He does more — he bequeaths 
them charitable advice, to which the defenders of re- 
ligion do not usually pay sufficient attention. Thejr 
^re then apprised, that if, in their learned refuta- 
tions, they do not resolve completely all the objec- 
tions brought against them, they will have done no- 
thing for their cause. The infallible defenders of a re- 


ligion^ in which it is affirmed, tBat erery fbin^ w di* 
yiaelj inspired, are bound not to leare a single ar»|^, 
gttment behind, and ought to be convinced that an—;- 
swering to an argument is not always setting it aside,. 
Tbejr should please also to keep in remembrance, thatf. 
a single falsehood, a single absorditj, a nngle con* 
tradictioD, or a single blander, lairlj pointed out i»'' 
the gospels,^ is sufficient to render suspected, and ev.e» : 
to overturn, the authority of a book which ought to 
be perfect in all its parts, if it b«f^true, that it is the 
work of an infinite] J perfect Being. An incredulous ,, 
person,^ being but a roan, may sometimes reasoa^^ 
wrcmg; but it is never permitted to a God, or bis in-^;^ 
strwsents, either to contradict themselves,, or to tallt t 


nonsense^. vj/S'T, 

* They sbut onr tnoufbs, says Mirabaud, by assertiDg, tbs^l 
Ctod himself hath spoken, and thus made himself kuoirn to men. \^ 
But when, where, and to whom hath he spoken ? 'Where are thd ^ 
divMie eraeles ? An hundred voices raise themselvei-'^^be sara* -^ 
mMnent;. an hundred hands- exhibit them t» me in absurd and ' 
^scoidant collections. I run tbera overr. aad,, through tb^ 
wboIe„ I find that the God ef wisddm has spoken an obscure^, 
insidious, aad irrational language; that the God 0f goodne$$r^' 
feas been cruet and sanguinary ; that the God of Justice has been "'- 
vnjust, partial, and ordered iniquity } that tfte God of mercies 
d^estmes the most unhappy Tietiras of his ang6r, to the most 
bideees punishments. Many obstacles, besides^ present them* 
kItcs when men attempt to verify the pretend«d ptrecepts (^ a 
^rviattyr who has never literally held the same language in any 
two- countries \ who has spoken in so many places ; at so man j 
times; and always so variously', that be appears every where to 
Wvc diown himself, only with the determined design of throw- 
ii^ the bitman mind^ into the most strange perplexity. — yii0 
Sjfatgm ef JVature^ \<A. Wu Tp. M^ 

•^-^^^*^#^wbcE homo! ' ^^*^^^m^ 

'k^tMr^, Oft, ■ :.^ v;;tt?^ 


^^; -JESUS OilK-IST. .^;: :'j :::j>i vCl' 

«***'^'-^ CHAP. I. -^■•=''»^'^:i 


: i 

However sightly we cast our eyes over tl^ iHstorjr 
of the Jews, such as it is transmitted io their sacred 
books, we are forced to acknowledge, that this peo* 
pie were at ail times the blindest, the most . stupid^ 
the most credalous, the most superstitious, and the 
flilUest that ever appeared on the earth. Moses, bf 
dint of miracles, or delusions, succeeded in subjug^at* 
injg^the Israelites.* After having liberated them from 


« Jartta Martf riofornu us, that MoiOi was the graadsoaof 
a great magician, who comaiuaicated to him all his art. Vxai)^ 
ton and Chereraan, Egyptian hiftoriaat, respecting whom testi* 
Bumies have been transmitted bj Josepji the Jew* state 
tiiat a midtitude oi lepert were driven out of Egypt by kif^, 
Amenopbis % and that these exiles elected for thev' Jeadec a 
priett of Heliapolif, whose name was Moses, who form^ 
^MrtkewarcJigion and a code of |aws< Jpseph. ^atr* A^ 

the Hon rod of the Egyptians, h^ |>i]|^4lieiii under his 
own". This celebrated legislator had evidently no 
other intention than to subject the Hebrews for ever to 
his purposes, and, after himself, to render them the 
slaves of his family and tribe. It is indeed obvioas^ 
that the Mosaical economy bad no other object than 
to deliver up the people of Israel to the tyranny and 
^extortions of priests and Levites. These the law, which 
was promulgated in name of the Eternal, authorised 
to devour the rest of f^ naffiSV, and crush them un- 
der an insupportable yoke. The chosen people of God 
•were, in short, destined solely to be the prey of the 
priesthood ; to satiate their aVarice and ambition ; and 
to becacKBethe instrument and victiro of their passions. 
HefiGP, by the law and policy of the priests, the 
people of God were kept in a profound ignorance ; in 
an abject superstition ; in an unsocial and savage 

pten, lift' W e. 9, IV 18.-— Diedoriu SM;Bhi% also relates t&e 
history of Moses; 9ide ttznai»Kion of Abbe Tanasson-— From 
the Bible itself it appears, that Moses beg^an his career by as-' 
sassinating^an Egyptian, Woo was quarrelling with a Hebrew; 
after which he fled into Arabia, and mariledthe dtlaghter of an 
idofatrotts prrest^ by wKon> Ire -wda ofteo reproached fanr b\» 
cruelty, tkenab he returaed into ]^ypt« aad placed kiimself at 
tbebcaid.:of ki«totioB, which was dissatisfied with King Fha- 
ToalU' Meies reigned very tyrannically. The examples of 

Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, show to what kind of people he 
had aa aYersion* He at last disappeared like Romulus, no one 

being able ta find hia hedy* nor the place of his sepulture^ 

Theaatber of The Three Iwp0stor», a translation of which wer 
understand is-preparhi* for fhe pres*, 9tafe»that Moses eoscealed 
Intitielf in a cave, or pitj which he bad fomd in his soKtude, 
? where fee retired from tnrfe to time, under preteiice ©f holdii^ 
conference with bts God j and which he had for a long time des- 
tined for his gr*ve-. In order that the people, wot "^findii^ kia 
Iro^y, niigM persttade thenselTe^ it htMl hccacarried to beavcA.. 

1 '-- 


aversion for the l^st of mankind ^ ift ian inveterate 
hatred of other forms of worshfp ; and in a biirbaroui 
and sangiiiniary intolerance towsirds every foreign reli- 
gion.* All the neighbxjurs of the ^Hebrews were,- 
therefore, Aeiir enemies, if the h<% natibin Was thai 
object of the love of the Mbsi High, it iraVsmiobjecJt 
of contempt aWdfiorrot" tb ajll thbsfe who had occasion' 
to know it. For this it was ' fndeWed to its religions 
institutions; to thelaHoiirs of its jfriests • to its diyi- 
Tinersj and its prophetfi) whb contiifiniaHy^^ofited by its 
crednlity, in displaying wohdets, aiicJ kindlitig its deli* 
rium.T \ 

Und^f t!ie''%iiid^iiee of teses, and of generals W 
jiidges who governed them afterward^, the Jewish peo- 

• JoBepnns^iinormsiistnattne surrounding nations consmered 
the Jews '* the most stupid of barbarians, and that they had 
nerer invented any thing useful to man." Joseph- c. .^ppiott, 
lib.^ d'. S6e ako th^ trork «Mit1ed Opinions des Jfnciens sttr les 
Jiiifs, by Mirabaud. Yet there ard men of letters blind enoogli 
to maintain, that the Greeks borrovred a great number of pbi« 
losophical and theological ideas from the Jews ! 

f The art of proflfaecying was then an actual profession, and 
no doubt ift Us^fJiil and profitable branch of cootmerce in-tbjit 
misierable nation, which bieiieved God to be ^onstftntly busy in 
their affairs. St. Jerome says, that the Sadducees rejected \Sih 
prophets, contenting themselves with bJelieving the fire bdoks 
attributed to Moses. Dodwell, de jure laicomttif asserts, that 
the prophets prepared themselves tb prophecy by drinking 
wine. Fide p. 259- We actually find Isaiah complaining that 
" the priests and the prophets have erred through strong drink; 
they are swallowed up with wine; they are out of the wartr 
thrdngh Strang drink i they err in vision; they stumblein judg- 
ment," chap, xzviii. 7i It seems they were jugglers, poets, afid 
muskians, who had made' themselves masters of their tradeii, 
anil knew how to exercise thetff profitably, and live cbmlbrt? 
ablj. ■ 1 ' ' ■■--'^' '"'' ' 

pie distinguished themselves only by massacres, imjns^ 
wars, cruelties, usurpations, and infamies, which were« 
enjoined them in the nameoftheElteroal.* Weary oftlie 
government of their, priests, which drew on them nor 
things but misfortunes and Uoody defeats, the descen-; 
dants of Abraham demanded kings ;t but, under these^ 
the state was perpetually torn with disputes between 
the priesthood and the government. Superstition 
9imed always at ruling over pc^icy. Prophets and 
priests pretended to reign over kings, pf whom such a^ 
were not sufficiently submissive to the interpreters of 
heaven, were renounced by the Lord ; and, from that 
lime, unacknowledged and opposed -by their own sub*' 
jects. Fanatics and impostors, absolute roasters of 
the understandings of their nation, were continually 
readv to rouse it, and excite in.ita bosom the most ter- 

:^ * Proud of the proUctioa (^ Jehovah, the Hebrews marched 
forth to victory. Heaven authorised them to commit knaverj 
and cruel^ty. Religion) united to avidity, rendered them deaf 
to the cries of nature; and, under the conduct of inhuman 
chiefs, they destroyed the Canaanitish nations with a barbarity 
at which every man must revolt, whose reason is not annihilated 
by superstition. Their fury destroyed every thing, even in< 
fants at the breast, in those cities whither these monsters car^ 
ried their victorious arms. By the commands of their God, or 
liis {irophets, good faith was violated, justice outraged, and th» 
most unheard of cruelties exercised. — Bouhnger. 
^,, -f It appears that the Lord seldom or ever made a person a 
iing for his goodness, or foreknew how he would turn out. 
^£r8t of all chose Sault one would think for hi&tallness; and 
he soon repented of that} then David seemed to be chown for 
his fresh colour and courage; and the Lord was so fond of him 
as to'promise him on oath, that he would fix the crown on his 
seed for ever ; yet only a sixth part of the promise, Remained to 
his grandson; and ever since the captivity, all the promise )^ff 
Eeea forgot. — P. Anet. • . , -g^ 


rible revolutions. It was the intrig^ues of the prophets 
that deprived Saul of his crown, and bestowed it on' 
David, /Ae man according to God's own heart — that ii 
to saj, devoted to the will of the priests.* it was tfa«r- 
]M'ophets, who, to punish the defection of SolomonTiir 
the person of bis son, occasioned the separation of the 
kingdoms of J udea and lisrael. It was the projects 
who kept these two kingdoms continually at variance ;;. 
weakened them by means of each other; desolated them 
by religious and fatal warsj conducted them to com- 
plete ruin; a total dispersion of their, inhabitants; and 
a long captivity among the Assyrians. 
"^ So many calamities did not, however, open the eyes 
of the Jews, who were obstinate in refusing^o acknow- 
ledge the true source of their misfortanes. Restored, 
to their homes by the bounty of Cyrus, they were again? 
governed by priestaand prophets, whose maxims ren- 
dered them turbulent, and drew on them the hatred of. 
sovereigns who subdued them. The Greek princes'^ 
treated with the greatest severity a people viHhota thft ^ 

^ * Tfa6 prophet Samuel, displeased with Saul, who refuted to ' 
second his cruelly, declared that he had forfeited the crown, 
and raised up a riTal to him in the person (^ David. - Elias the 
prophet appears to have been a seditious subject, who, finding . 
himself unable to succeed in his rebellious designs, 
per to escape deserved punishment by flight* Jeremiah him- 
self gives us to understand, that he conspired with the Assyrians 
against his besieged country. He seems to have employed him- 
self in depriving his fellow citizens of both the will aUd the - 
courage to defend themielvet. He purchased .a field of hi^ m» - 
lations, at the very time when he informed l^s cQunbrytnea . 
that they were abotot to be dispersed, and led a^vay ioto ^aptir 
vity. The king of Assyria recommended this prophet to iiif 
general Nabuzaradauj whom he cpiluoaaded to take great ca(0 
of htm. — 3e& Jtremitth, 

oracles and promises of their prophets rendered al- 
-ways relM^tous, and ungovernable. The Jews, in fine, 
became the prey of the Romans, whose yoke they bore 
with fear, against whom impostors often incited thera; 
to re¥olty and who at last, tired of their frequent re- 
beliioius, entirely destroyed them as a nation. ..mi-tnyf 
4#£|ttch, in a few wwds, is the history of the Jewish 
people. It presents the most memorable examples 
0f the evils which ianaticisoa and superstition pro- 
duce; for it is evident that the continual revolutions, 
Ikkwdy wars, and total destruction of that nation, had 
no other cause than its unwearied credulity ; its sub- 
mission to priests ; its eethusiasm ; and its furious 
zeal, exci4)ed by the inspired. On Feadiog the Old 
Testament, we are in^ed feroed to confess, that the 
people of Giod (thanks to the roguery of their spiritual 
guides) were, beyond contradiction, the most unfortu* 
imte people that ever existed.. Yet the roost solemn pro- 
mises of Jehovah seemed toassure tothatpeoplea ilou- . 
rishing and puissant ^npire. God had made an eternal 
alliance with Abraham and bis posterity ; but the Jews, 
£irfr0Ba reaping the fruits x>f this alliance, and far 
from enjoying the prosperity they had been led to ex- 
pect, lived continually in the midst of calamities, and 
were, more than all other nations, the sport of 'fright- 
ful revolutions. So many disasters, however, were in- 
capable of rendering them more considerate ; the ex- 
perience of so nuiny age% did not binder them from re- 
lying on oraeles so often contradicted; and the more 
unfortunate they found themselves, the more rooted 
were they in their credulity. The destruction of 
their nation- could not brinff them to doubt either of 
the excellence of their law, the wisdom of their institu- 
ttpns, or the veracity of their prophets, who succes* 


^ively relieved eacb other, either in menacing them in 
the name of the Lord, or in re-animating their frivo> 

' )ou8 hopes. ,Aj| 

Strongly convinced that they were the sacred and 

chosen people of the Most High, alone worthy of his 

favours, the Jews, in spite of all their miseries, were 

continually persuaded that their Godi could not have 

' fibandoned them. They therefore constaDtly looked 
for an end to their afflictions, and promised themselves 
a deliverance, which obscure oracles had led them to,, 
expect. Building on these fanatical notions, they were 
at all times . disposed to listen with avidity to every 
inan who announced himself as inspired by Heaven ; 
they eagerly ran after every singular personage who 

^ could feed their expectations ; they followed whoever 
had the secret of astonishing them by impostures, which 
■ their stupidity made them take for miracles, supef^ 
natural works, and unquestionable signs of divine 
power. Disposed to see the marvellous in the most tri- 
cing events, every adroit impostor was onthe watch to 
deceive them, and was certain of making-flaore or less 
adherents, especially among the populace, who every 
where are destitute of experience and knowledge. 

It was in the midst of a people of this disposition, 

that the personage appeared whose history we write. 
He very soon found followers among the most despica- 
ble of the rabble. Secqnded by these, he preached, as 
usual, reformation to his fellow citizens ; he wrought 
wonders; he styled himself the envoy of the Divinity; 
be particularly founded his mission on vague, obscure, 
and ambiguous predictions, contained in the sacred 
books of the Jews ; he applied them to himself; h& 
announced himself as the Messiah or messenger, the 
(deliverer of Israel, who for so many ages was the ob- 


ject of the nation's hope. His disciples^ his adherent?^ 
and afterwards fheir successors, have found means to 
applj' to their master the ancient prophecies, wherein 
he seemed the least perceptibly desired. The Chris- 
tianis, docile and full of faith, have had the good for- 
tune to see the founder of their religion predicted in 
the clearest manner throughout the whole Old Testa- 
ment. By dint of allegories, figures, interpretations, 
and commentaries, their doctors have brought them to 
$see in this shapeless eompilalion all that thej-hadaii 
interest in pointing out to them. When passages 
taken literally did not countenance deceit agreeable 
to their views, they contrived for them a twofold sense ; 
they pretended, that it was not necessary to under- 
stand them literally, but to give them a mj/stica^, 
edkgoricalf and spiritual meaning. To explain, there- 
fore, these pretended predictions, they continually 
substituted one name for another ; they rejected the 
literal meaning, in order to adopt a figurative one; 
they changed the most natural signification of word^ ; 
they applied the same passages to •events quite oppo- 
site ; they retrenched the names of some pei^onages 
plainly designed, in order to put in their place that of 
Jesus; and in all this, they did not blush to make the 
most crying abuse of the principles of language.* - » 

- * Any thing may be found in the Bible, if it be read with the 
imagtoatioa of St. Augustine, -nho pretended to see all the 
New Testament in the Old. According to him, the death of 
Abel is a type of that of Christ ; the two wives of Abraham are 
the synagogue and the church : a piece of red clolh, held up 
by an harlot, who betrayed Jericho, signifies the blood of Christ i 
the Iamb, goat, and lion, are figures of Jesus Christ } the bra- 
zen serpent represents the sacrifice on the cross. Even the mys- 
tteriQ^ of the Christiau religion are aonouitced in the Old T^l-^ 

. The third chapterof Genesis furnishes us with astrik<« 
ing example of the manner in which the doctors of the 
Christian religion have allegorised passages of scrip- 
ture, in order to applj them to Jesus. In this chapter 
God sajs to the serpent, convicted of having seduced 
the woman, the seed of the woman shall bruise ihjf 
bead. This prophecy appears with so much the more 
difficulty to apply to Christ, that these words follofr 
the preceding — and thou shalt bruise his heel. We 
are much embarrassed to comprehend, why that seed 
of the woman mn&i be understood of Jesus. If he waW 
the Son of God, or God himself, he could not be pro- 
duced from tJie seed. of the woman ; if he was man, he 
is not pointed out in a particular manner by these 
_ words ; for all men, without exception ^ are produced 
from the seed of women. According to our interpreters, 
ihe serpent is sin; the seed of the woman that bruises 
it, is Jesus incarnate in the womb of Mary. Since 
the coming of Christ, however, sin, typified by these^ 

kament: Manaa represents the Eucharist, &c. — Fide St. Jag. 
Serja.l8,!f Ep. I5§. 

How can a man, in his senses, see in the Immanuet announced 
by Isaiah, the Messiah, whose name is Jesus ? How discover in 
an o^bscure and crucified Jew, a leader tvhe thmtt govern Iirmel f 
How see a royal deliverer and rettorer of the Jews in one, who, far 
from delivering his natioo, came only to destroy their laws? and, 
after whose coming, their land was desolated by the BomansJ 
A man must be sharp-sighted indeed to find the Messiah in thejr 
.vpredictioHS. Jesus himself does not seem to have been more 
clear or happy in his. In St. Luke (c. 21), he speaks of tfae^ last 
judgment; he mentions angels, who at the sound of the trum- 
pet, assemble mankind before him ; he adds>" verily I say unto 
you, this generation shall not pass away until these things are 
accomplished." The world, however, still stands, and Chris* 
tians have bpen expecting the lastjudgmeot for jears 1 


pent, has at all times subsisted ; from wbich we are 
warranted to conclude, that Jesus Christ has not des' 
, trojed it, and that therefore the prediction is neither 
literally nor allegorically accomplished* ^ff 

.''■'In the twenty-second chapter of Genesis, God pro- 
mises to Abraham, that in his seed all. the nations of the 
earth shall be blessed. What we stile prosperity, the 
Hebrews termed blessings. If Abraham and his race 
enjoyed a continued prosperity, it was only for a very 
^hort period ; the Hebrews became afterwards the 
Slaves of the Egyptians, and were, as has been seen, 
the most unfortunate people on earth, Christians 
have also given a mystic sense to this prophecy : — they 
substitute the name of Jesus in place of that of Abra- 
ham, and it is in him that all the nations shall be bless- 
ed ; the advantages they shall enjoy will be persecu- 
tions, calamities, and misfortunes of every kind ; and 
his disciples, like himself, shall undergo the most pain- 
ful punishments. Hence we see, that, following our 
interpreters, the word blessing has changed its mean- 
ing ; it no longer implies prosperity; it signifies what 
in ordinary language, is termed curses, disasters, afflic- 
tions, troubles, divisions, and religious wars — calami- 
ti^with which the Christian nations have been coor 
iinuaMy blessed since the establishment of the church.* 
Christians believe that they see Jesus expressly an- 
nounced in the 49th chapter of Genesis. The patriarch 
Jacob there promises sovereign power to Judah. 
^'The sceptre (says. he) shall not depart from Judah, 
nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh 
come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people 
]^.*' It is thus that several interpreters translate the 


liv^ • See chapter XVIII. of thi» work. 


tentli verse of the 4dtb drnpter of Geaesig, Oilien 
have translated it thu^ >^ the- authbril^f shall ^r ever 
be lA'Jifitafr, when -the life^siah' shall have ti»ttiei^ 

: Others read, **^the authc^ifyshtttt be in Jadal^ %tfi' Aer 
messenger receive^ in SlAldh ,Ae -sovereigs ■ fov/en^^ 
Others again render the' passage '!» ^8'iiianiieip,-')''^h<» 

> people 6f Judah shall be in affliction, tilt the laeBseB- 
ger of the Lord ct^nestd - put ah ^nnd 10 H;" 'and ac-^ 
tording to others, " tilt the citj of Shilohbedestniyedi^^ 
This diversity in ' the tratislatiofi of i <he salne passaMp 
ought iihqiiestionabljrtd rettdet' the propheiey v^^ 
suspicious. ' Pir^ i^e 'see ' ii knpossibt^ Co de- • 
termine (he significajtkoii of the ^ori SAihk^ -Or fo^ 
ascertain, whc$tfaer iibe th^ itame ofa' tnat^et aeitj-. Se«> 

- condljv i^ is proved, bj the sacred beoks^^ ire^eived* 
equally by Jews and Chi'jstians, that the- soVereig^< 

5 power is ^one fVom Judah $ ura^ whoUy atinihflated 
during the Baliylonish baptfvrty, ^nd has -6ot been ^<^ ' 
established ' since^ - ■ If it is pretended, that jesiis" 
came to restore tho power of Judtlh, -we : aiseilf,' 
on the contrary, that, in the time of Christ, Judah Was 
without authority, for Judah had submitted' to tfie, 
Romans. But i|Ur doctors have again recourse to i^te-* 
gory, :— accprfjing to them, tiie pow,er of' Jij^d^hwas ji^^^ 
spiritu^Vl^vrerpf Jeaua over Christians, designed by . 

They, in likeaianii^, see ChrtgttaniHxnicedi b]^ Bab i 
}aani, whoby theliye wasonty a false prophet; rHe thtt^ ' 
expr^eshimselfjn the S^th chapterbf NnubWi^' (1^,^ 
17)—* <' He hath said; who heard the w<Hrdjsbf,Gro(Land' 
knew. itk% k^flwl^ejpf l^ejfp^vljig^^ who 
viioii of the Aliaig^^y ^i^g i|»(0)^iice, :bi|t,hiM^i 
^Jiiseyes opea>: I^Aall seehimbut not Bow$l«h«^4>db«idr> 
himlnitnotB^h; there shall come astaroot ofJacob^t 

and a sceptre «hdl rise out of Istflel/' &c. In this qnin- 
teHigi^;j«i|roB|'-tb^r'Pi^^i*^ 4o'«8be\f:-<}liristian8 ar 
d^nprediQti0noflhe)fi)Ui|fePiortheif jDelj^KM}.' Itlshtf 
w^^ibeMar, bieeause'lils^ltinil^istiadpotrihe eniigfaty^ 
enS'i^miadst' v!Z%i> scisptfe, vikkh$hgUrhe out of. Is^ 
rtfeli, 'is the cross dIV CJbrwV ^' tk«;aH}>e»f, which he, has^ 
trjUM)phed,oy»>the l)evfivr\irho^ m${Hie'fif th^ victory, . 
ceasef^ppttovre|gi|,fllill pD^aiiby: aad^.ta, i%0de)r a 
tfae,4»H«pIhof*reaiist^ )r. vf^i*? AtN i*i_| '* .^mSo oi -pMn^ri 

fMat of • all the pispphecieg contained In the. Old Tes* 
m^% Iberejs notoRe 4^j^bicb4l|f) Qbristian doctora, 
have-attadied mpro; iH)[>oitan^ • (ban-t tliat , i^iid . im 
Iaaiah,ch^.'viii>o]:4. 'A')virgin,y0^a>yoimg;yKomaQy\ 
(fQF>tb9,H«hceW; word sigcMi^ lK>jt^^ sbaU conc^^, 
ar^heatM StWtyOfid shall ccM, his- name ImmamteL , - To , 
find <m% Jesus Chtist in thi»fii«edietiony it} is firet,^ all , 
n^cessacy t« be'coavwcedy tiii|ttbi^ 'yirgiq. or woman ^ 
isMioyi^ n^t»4^ is^oecessgryy-no^toentc^in adoubt, 
wbetberJaoiaauel be the same with Jesps^. It ba^jaeen , 
ob)«et^, aad will always ^M^objecteid^agaiAst t^is pro- , 

* DeviU are considered as the eBemies aad seducers of the ^ 
hninan race,,, and perpetually busied, ia.dmwing them into sin.r 
A p^ ^Itjiributed to them ofj)erforiniii^ miracles, similar to 
those wrottghl by the. Host Sigh ;- and, above all, a power diat 
cduiiteracts this Almighty; and renSfers aH bl^pii'djiicfa abortir^'j* 
Though the Christian religion did not formerly allow thetisaaie'i' 
powjertoi the Bttrii as.itd God« it-;sq|i|KMieArtii«ff thsit mafero- 
lei^.KeipgpreTeHted-ai<Biikiad (firom eater4ai&> into _tfae .enipy" f 
m<!^of.^e$ti{|i^d tbein;by,^« |^oodjp|ess of^God,a^d_^ - 
ted moit of them into etetn^ perdi^on., !Ch'ristiaos, ^lowever,.: 
noif virtually attribute, to the^pevil an' empire 'iniicb inore t!*.'\ 
tensive than that etth'e Supreme Beilig. The la^r with diffi-^-^ 
cfiBiy isavesa-fe^ (^lert; wbaelW foiira^r cat¥i«« «*, In' ^t§' 
e^ bim; tbe greater part' Af roanktod^^viiotistea toibii-^Mtroe^A 
ti:f» Ico^tatiMMw ratber tbaa .tbo abMl«le.4om«iMM* jal^Oaih m'-i^ 



^hetf, that it ts klBciM^TorM tfe cfe!i|)<f^f brtskJali 
**6mivhc*nd^,iK€fJ)^^^a§te 1^ tai!e?n,^t6'^^'^satisfi^a t!mt 

tH&^rfyce Is'^^hd^a iti)tH§^t1ifed t is iiT *cbii^6^irartiott, 
btf ^aeicmtit^if th^ krri^kl W^ ft^j^ih aha Pdkaft , kfl%s t6f 

. h&^iing tiiaf Ife^tilf lta4' for^ isuffibiisnt f W^|)f6iMi^ 
iiim-thte assi^ta^ce ofk^ litnrd, \irhbm ^Vi^i^- (friipll^ 
ninadeMi^^to^bfe' oiPh!s*tJMrn' parf^^^ To"gt«*arAi«^ 
the tHdth 'df^iis'prt^ses', Is&fah tells ^is ^Hm^fi^^hat 

^ncB t^)li^!^ th^t' he* dbe^nbt '"#1^^' to^^n^t^lbe 

Ii©rd. r The Pi'oph^et/ how^v^i) ^^^Ii^i^^' ^o <^ti^(^« 

Iilrtii,^aii«^i]^e9:fr di^^-^r^^'A'tyd/diig w«^D»l^ ^iiyi'^ 


«d Imdfiaifttel/'^ No^ 'thse folbwit%' chaptet' «ff<b^n» 

us who this joung woman was : she was the Wi^^ 

Isaiah htttise^ir.^" I «^kudto>Yir^ (stfy^ iS^ffiitiMil 

witfiessies; im^^ I'^'Wbift Unto;^^ pw>]^h^e%tiwd 

fih<3; coneeiTc^ <dtid ba^ la (.-oii/f The simpfe^ iRdpe£|ti«i» 

'^ of thi^ «^^,> 8«l^^^ W cafTf the c«i^ lit ifaVoHs^%f' the 

'iiiered«il<>ii^''WUdfnsUntain thdtthidpr&^hcnc^ldiii^fiti 

- respect 'ftpftefU^ to Jesiis. 'Buttheolb^sbha<vie-thd 

f )ll^t^i)eg€>of'iilterpi«tfn§^itinthiEf iBioiiR)^ ^ 

>^te' to<the^%wn fNirpd^es, without reckotihi^oa Hie 

tfttiira^iofi'Sfi Kfittthew^ wh« wa» divtcfeljrifispired^ 

firtheifoifaeradf tlfei €ouitdl<of ^ieeha?e deddod wilfei- 

^ 'F^«^iilg> ibrvl^af d In the' pei'usal of Ifbiah^ (4;h8t>; 
i*« 6)i 'we find the fbUowing passage:^ — *« Unto as a 
ehiklikborflf (81^ th6 Pro(»het),~attd ^e gi0veniiii6iit 
^all foe* opotr his shoUldersi'* ' If the child foretoM ^ 
Isaiah was born in his time, it can no le4%er b6 said^ : 


that theProphet meant to ,^p^k of . Christy , who vfa» 
born seiKeral centuries aBer hiin^; for thf> birth pt^esuL 
being ^ dislaiit,.f:oul4 A9^;.^ I^^i^ deliverance, to 
Aba:^ a$ his enemies pressed so cl?s^b^, 4ipQn,hiia. ^uch 
are^tbie^oT>ie<ettoiis of;unbe^ieyei^j.|t|-Me,lt is an? 
swe^; th^t the prophets f pqlf^ of futqre events as if 
jUie^^frerepastror.preseia^,.^ ,7^isfinswer requires pnljf 
to :be estahiishe^l hy pi:Qi9f*j:r\i^ i^ likewise added,;tbat. 
ibe^l^rth; of IsaiaVs. sennas xtnlj.^a tjpe oSii^t of 
Ji^ist ;ic>r to him, it is afiSrmed,^ is applicable *< the 
^oyeram^nt on the shoulder^'* . iv^(^ is Here spoke^ 
of ;: and in. which our doctors perceive yejj distipctlj 
ptantedout the^ cross that Je^us carried, on his shoiil^ 
clei^when>g(Hng tOfC.all^arjE., :TJhii8 pur -interpreters 
hate the holiness pf seeing the siga <^>4omini^li'» 
otf empiit^y in> "what vwpuld .'appear, to. eyes less en- 
lightemed^ theu s^H/olp^B^hq^^l^ w^^Mi^s,. pDd 

iplavery. fjff? ^rru y^U ; -■;*; :;rfr-rt1^f luovi-^irf} n:*7< -.u 

f«€ttis^i proper also to enquire h<^¥'it-conpes. to ,be sai^ 
that, jn the' Christian s^rstem^it is/uot i^:9JU necessary a 
prophecjf'have rclatipnyin all itS'part8,|ta thesiibject 
or , tact-ito ivhich it is applied.; , The sacred: writei^ do 
nptinfpp tp'c^te a w^ole^r9p.hefqy,:hut-e^I^ a pajteage, 
%f^e<^hed ]>hrBsej<>r iadee4 o^cni^jMog^J^^ord)^ 
positeto the^«|ub|/9ct thj^ treat pf, withpuft) tro^|>ii9§ 
ibemselvie|i:iKl(^^er;whf.t|Krecedesor ivhat|bl)evirs tbeif 
)4iiotati<ai^ lia^ ^nn^xion for ^ot'i«iftlh w^t they-.arQ 
sfjeaking of. "Iii the e^tunple utidef diseusiBi^D,^ iSl;« 
Matthew, wishing to quote Isaiah, and apply a pro- 
phecy; to Christ, t^es ef this pfophecjt these detached 
words only, A vkgin, or a yojung woipao^ s^^U. poneeicfi 
%(fi^—he stood, ^1 p»e^d of nojqqrerfJ^,)A.qQpr4ingi^ 
th&t Evafl^^t, theiYirgiQ; Mpi^ulbai^! ^iOn(Qeived*>r5! 
HMuwh had^aay^tha^ajgiriy w w»B|ffl^i ^Mdajsongpiye^ 

. ^e therefore igi9i0)iiatel J qo^clvi(le4,4]^^|i^ 9^9^ 

tion Qf ^esua wp f(>li^t<>l^ bij If ^ij^h* T^>» .vfigye. (QOft? 
necUoniftlu^cieflt #»r §t.|i^tth?w,.9iMJi,41,(?J^fe^^ 
who, Uk% jbiio, jbeJieTe tji^ §ee th^ |»^^4^ pp^i^^ 
outiq^k pxp^I^^y. ,, wiisjiiii 

. if pUpwing thus sIrajQg? method, ^bfj h»v« dl^oadU 

" ▼ance4#e^%uitb9ri|y.osf is^i^hlP^ric^ypt^ Jetawsiwftf 
the M^s^^h ^ffffm^^ iq j^ fem* Iq the^50^ <^i 
ter thi^ PrppJb^jt desprjbes, jo a y^.^f^fhfitic mwaer, 

I the mis^rtune? ^n4 j9i)ffeHdg^ of h\s brother Jecemiah. 

^hejr have Ipng laboured to apply that prophecy to 

;^li|r^t; Jbpj have distiofOtlj $eei\ him p<^A-ted Qut ia 

the <f fuiip oj^sorrQnrs," Qf w^om Isiaiah hece.speaks ;?— 

BPt^atiti8r€|g?^^4e.4 rathpr asa^ithfi^ jancl ctrciims 

fitantlal napi^tiye pf the passipq of J«@vis> than as a pie« 
''diction. But, in fact, sound criticism. JDBkUst.acknQw? 

l^e, .tll^ ^hifl hi9tp|7 r^WtiespnJ^ tp JcceinguBh. Not 

. |o.v4eprii^e^4heq9g9.^e9, hpwAyer<> pC .the cesoiir^sp 

j iiaefuji a p^^(^ inighJtluroMh) th^jhavc^ clpjplAed,ifait 

^Uithp, (»|e, ^i^ph^^^? ««#-e5(^^r^^ shAuld 

1 l^ave pl^i^. % tjius ifmm ip a4(9i]t4wg.tliatiUKe Aac-* 

2 c^tlYj^.of js^ji^^. J^;^ii|iali.^riko^(^ th^jrhavp 
lifilA ik^OkWn as a priii$H[^€^ that; J^r^mh wm aj^rie 
tfr/^j»^jQCi4e8D«.. ItffiMl<^flttbejrJ|Ke8!liw»,4l^ 
^'«ti:iptl{r;«Pi»6fiiltfm^tfs ; hu^ )» the,(^ri$ti||p,«^|pn, 

;. <|uis«te,tP tM juiticQ pf thfi^QPIIi^ 

PQB^jr,,liMe ngt^i^tfiUh^. 4r8^ RTfiach^a of Qbrji^liwiyy, 
mniL^r tfe^ thp^ fisher? c^n4 <i4w)tW ofi^^^ pIprpW 
haye fi^ej^^fiyjy .e9)plpJ/^(t|^^ cucipupin^ltfepiiCjCi pyo?. 

ptio^h^tikMy '^I'susi Christ ^n^ B1i« tMtch . Abel, >ai- 

iaS§fei9M1>f hk brolhfer; wasaprophetfefi^iii^ of J^ 

' Ittil i»ttt td dfei&th t^rlliia deiHral Tb^iaci^ifi'c^ of Isaae; 

which was not accomplished, wa^ fh^imagt^ ^f tbat 
abcom^ilslted bif:tH^ <<>&il: The relaii6w-<)i''predic- 
ti»ti» mUkW <c^vid«i% fiact for their ol^jeet Ak^ham; 
i^ttfc^iiftMhB^ mmi, dMhiiSimm^Uaivvi^ So* 
lt)mcRrf^'J&i^fDldfi;;^r^^be},' bf^th^r ^rteiehl pefsdn- 
a|f^j t^«^ tf^Ti^^^ t^ Ch*?it: Hm death i^^ rdpre^ 
t^rttedbf the bf^od erf" h^idWs aWd of buM Bj^ aiU 

* «f thfe^ aite^drfes/ th6 dfiteifent history df thJs'^€<ivi 
terv^ dfiJsr ftif iift'niAn5c& eli^^^irents in the life of Jesy | 
«B#1£ge Afeft)!^ dip tft^ edtatrtfihfaeiit of his i^ll^^.^ 

' hr tH& mtfttil^r il rs^ek^ td'fta^ ill tk'e scinj^tired vrKii^ 
ever #e'desire/ i:"''''') iHiiJo-: J-^fiV lu j^i' ./tciirtfh 

ioH woiydrt«' ud^^'tb ihyssttgSte'^t'hd^ fetxiofi» pt^ 
]^ecjr«f liib ^^tit/ vif^^lti of ®kiiiet,'*in WhicK tKl^ 
6i*i^ai#ddfctdW bJdifev^'they sefe^Kekjditfinf of Christ 
jieMly att^itete^dt tvfe tt\Je,nim*irOki^iirorhi8 ««i 
tor^4^U«)b^nMtt^iFlrt;l6 l^'^i^thci'ijature^of thesis 
««f^s'^;t!fb/ #tliHd« hth# jlffev^^tSS* WuW ti^\iW^to 
intei^i%t^i¥ !' tliiS^pi^difclihif'itti^tthen hav^'b^^ 
veijiJgl'^^i^BStoi^ilChrfefttfhhyi TlfeafclestcriticSj' 
]foM0^,id^t^'i4,«th^t tikeyi^d -tfe^^ tbli^ elnt^rka^ 
sedj^l^fM'^tkitfptif^g^o iSk th« c^ysidkfMeiltiiMdi^tto 
end of these sev^Wrty' Wfeeks: Orf'thfeHBey «re tfeVe^ 
]i«tlklb isWaRfiii^^td t#g¥«(i! eVHit ofihe '«oin»^'or 
tM^'MA^iih'. We Miiyw ll^' J^wg*i^Me usd^ot'weeti 
dfmif^ «^^^kk>ofW^y^ atid Wfefek^ oTly^Irs* lll^%3r 
KftM^^PiidUV^ih, <tfiti^ thi :^l&lil^oti«>l^"ra^C^Met 

light'on nothing, for tbe chronological table, which the^ 
doctors of Louvain have published, gives us only thred^ 
hundred and forty •three years, intervening betweeii^ 
the time when thejiaawb^bb weeks ci commence, and" 

the death of Jesus. Many critics have believed, that^ 
this prediction had been added afterwards to the text 
of Daniel, in favour of Jonathan Maccabeus. We may^^ 
judge of the little cre(ni**tl6aY*ain be g-iven to this pro^^ 
phecy of Daniel^, from tbp pit^jgipus^^jp^r of com-^ 
mentaries that have been made on it.* "^ 

After this statement; tind^^fthout dwelling longelp 

on prophecies unintelligible even to those who adduce'' 

them as proofs, let us proceed to the life of Christ, and 
seeif.iris: better adapted td oonfirm a GJu^sUaaaa Jii^^ 
rdigion. ■' '■''il'^.i..-j .^vt:,'*, •..;, : ^, ;w-'!-'-- ' '■i.j'iipf 

•oThecelisbrate^ Atttkeny Collitu composed^tiKo. tdrtoils an^.f 
profound If ork^ wheriHa hq depton^trfites Ui^ n<({iif^of J^he^^prfir^ 
pbe^ier of the Qld^.Testameat canb&UteraUy»mAiedto3em»i^ 
On wis lubject we have also several able workibjixJews. one. of . 
wbich ns^ this title, Lwer Ivtxzacnon Fettui another Mwnmenr, 

i^^ldH a{^ ti hei$&^^i^m^^MA%mu2^ 
S^initti'pvSXmiA by%%^tertt^m^4tdi 'AlterJJ TBii: Tbe ni^ 
turat flHMuii]i^'«rttie^f eWtiA filri^^iejfies ittay lie foU^' in a (^ij^ 
Tvom* V<wk of -tbe.Jew Tsiyie Or<rbio» -tbe.niaiHucriptW 1rbi<h^>* 
ft^exit^: it is .eatide4 ^ Israel Tindiqate^f^orflth^^atu^fl^l 

^'^V^AU'iAt^'ibhm Villi hmi jfsCfiJBliJ^qXa^JJbaJBS? t«ip 

b^fii^iifni v^fT .ifiBtft afi09b >)J liybii0;^Jii "lo M^^ 
-m^-itm ad fclwov/ ^-rgJisrio -sa»aoos ,li»Ioino aiarfj J«il} 


■hffn'.'^^mm- CHAPTEft ^.mh^^(^^mm^ 

:*°^ / OF Tttfe BiRtH OP JES08 C0KIST. I/'' ^^^ ' 

spreadabroadamongst the Jews, coincide in making: 
them hope for the return of the favour of the Almigh- 
tfi. God had promised them^ a deliverer, a messen- 
<g^,^a M^sidh:, wHo should k'e^toi^'the ^wclr of tsraei: 
Thit delivefjipi' was to bfe of 'fhe^'Se^of David', the' 
^nacb dccor'^ngh God's bim Ikearty io 'subnii^ive, to^ 
the priests,' and so' zealous for religion^ It wai^ doiyb^* 
less, to recompense the. devotion and docility: of this • 
holy usurper, that the prophets and the priests, loaded •■ 
wiUi his kindness, prdmreied fiim,~ in the iiatee'of hea- ' 
T^^'^hat 'hifif ^irtfly ishbuld lefglif for **ver. If fhat*^ 
fiimood' ' predf^oti wds' " cleir^"1>eSi^,''^du«iig ' ' the "],, 
Babylonish captivity, and the subsequent period, the 
Jews at this time, no less credulous than their ance8« ;% 
tors, rested in expectation, and persuaded themselves, k 
that it was impossible their'^prophets and diviners '^t 
could, or intended to deceive them. They imagined 
that their oracles, sooner or later, would be accom* 
plished, and that they should see a descendant ci David 

"restore the honoii^orth^ nation. 

( It was to conform themseWes io tbesepredictlont 

«nd fwpukir notions, that the- writera of the Oospeis 

took care lo give Christ a genealogy^ by which Ikejr 

|>retended to prove that ko was doscended in a direct 

line from David, and coaisequentiy> had a right, in vi««i 

tiie of his birth, to arrogate the dbaracter 'Of Messiah. 

Nevertheless, criticism has exhausted its^f on this 

genealogy. Such as ate not possessed of ftdth, hvre' 

fieen surprised to find, that the Holj Ghost has dietat- 

«^ it different^ to the two evangelists who httve de« 

tailed it : for, as \ms been sO'A'e^ueDtly remarked, the 

genealogy given by St. Matthew is not the saijie with 

that of St. Lttke : a disparity which has throwa Cbris- 

4ian interpreters into eBibarTassm^nts, fironi which all 

their subtilty has hitherto been unable ,to reseue 

them* They tell us, that «ae t^ these genealogies is 

that of Joseph ; but supposing Joseph to be of the raee 

of Da vid-^a Christian cannot believe that he was -the 

real father of Jesus, because his religion enjoins him t» 

believe steadfastly, that Christ is the Son of '(}od. 

Jligain, supposing these two discordant gesfealogies to 

be Mary's, in that case th« Holy Ghost has blundered 

Jkk one of them, and ui^lievers will always have rea- 

iBon to lament the want of exactness in the writers he 

.^as deigned to inspire. In whatever<way we- considef 

them, one of the genealogies in the Gospel will always 

«ppear faulty and incomplete^ alid the extraction c^ 

'Jesus will be very weakly established. It was, how- 

ifcver, a point that merited some at-tention, seeing, in 

■«o far as concerns the Jews, it was evidently oh 

bis illustrious birth that the Messiah was to fbiihd his 

claims, ^ < 

l P^y^Py^^ ro*y be in t)^i8j ]^t ug ^^xftiain^ th^ 


■;.V ■*?«., 'Bt-vf*': ''Vf^'^^v^ 


particulars which preceded and accompanied the bii^th 
of Christ. One evangelist alorne bas narrated them ; 
all the others have superticiatly passed over circum-^ 
stances as marvellous as thej ire important. St. Mat-^ 
tbew, content with his genealogy, speaks but in few 
words of the preternatural roe^nner wherein Jestis way 
Ibnned in the Womb of his mother. The speech of an 
angel, seek) in a dream, suffices to conriilce Joseph of 

the virtue of his wife, and he adopts ber child without' 

any hesitation. St. Mai^k makes no mention of this 
meinorable incident. St. John, who, by the assistance 

of his mystic and Platonic theology, could embellish 

that fact^ or rather confound it, so as to shelter himself 

£rom the attacks of criticism, bas not said one Word 

. about it. We are, therefore, constrained to satisfy 

^pelves with the m^tenala^t. l^ukftitaft^tcansmitted 

nf ^According to this evangelist, Elizabeth, ' kinswo- 
anan of Mary, and wife of a priest named Zachariah,^ 
wais in >the sixth month of her pregnancy, '^ whea 
the angel; Gabriel was sent from God unto a. city 
called Nazareth, to a virgin e^^poused to a man 
whose n'ame was Joseph, of the house of David, and 
the virgia'a name was Mary. And the angel came in 
unto her, and said, Hail thou that art highly favoured^ 
the Lord is with thee ; blessed art thou among womea. 
And when she saw him^ she was troubled at his say- 

. ; • Some critici bate drawn ftcka this velatioksbip of Elizabeth 
with Mary, a proof that the latter vasnot of the race of David. 
To espouse a nnest, Elizabeth ought to have beea of the tribe 
of Leri, ana not of Judah, to which David belonged. St. 4u~ 
gustine sajs that, in his time, several works which he ternis 
apocryphal, asserted that Mary was of tht tribe of Levi. See 
^1H. 8S, contra Frauttuati chap. 9. 

insr, ^nd cast in her nHod what manner of salutation 
this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear 
not, Marv ; for thou hast found* favour with God. 
And behold thou shalt.concdve in thy womb, ^nd 
bring forth a son, and shalt call-his name Jesus. Theo. 
said Mary to the angel. How shall this be, for I know 

not a man? And the angel answered and said, unto 

her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and ths 
power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; ther««; 
fore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, 

shall he called the Son of God. And Mary said. Be- 
hold the handmaid of the I^ord ; be it unto me accprdt 
ing to thy word* Thereafter Qtdda the tei| t} thje. &ase\ 
departed from her>*V ;?ifr>-'/5 «>l«!i"!-^,;.i . -'.i^i^''^M*r 
Now what is there in all this that is any way marvel* 
ous? Nothing indeed is more simplethan this^iarratire.- 
If the least reflection is employed on it, the wonderful 
will vanish ; and we shall find the greatest care hag 
been taken to spare the modesty of the young persons 
i¥ho might read this relation. An angel* enters th^ 

*' The quality of angel, which the CTangelist gires to Ga^ 
hriei, cannot perplex us. The difficulty ban^s solely Qu the f^r 
nonorayof the -word^, Jttget, God, and Mail' JesUs is semelitneir 
called the Sod of Man, and sometimes the Son of God. Judges, 
princes, and grandees, are called gods ia sereral passages of 
scripture- Exod. xxii. last verse. Psalm xvii>. 6. The patri'» 
archs, and Moses, belieTed that God showed himself In -visions^, 
hut St. Faul« inhis epistle to the Hebrews ii. 2, assures us that H 
was ooly angels, amd npt God himself, who promulgated the law, 
and spoke to the holy patriarchs. Thus is God already reduced 
ti) be only an angel, In the New Testament, the doctors ar« 
called angels. — St, Matthew, Epist. to Galatians It. 14, Rev. ii. &c, 
Qere then are angels reduced to men. In short, the nanies of ^0</$, 
arfgels, »ai saints, among the Jews, were merely titles wbidL 
W£re given and taken> without attaching any cousequenc* tft ' 


libaseofMaiP)') W%<»e kusband was absetif. H«sa« 
tates he^, that 19, payd her a Cdmptiitfent, whieh may bcT 
translated as follows — "Good day, toy dear Mary J 
^u are indeed ad(M'able-*^WJiat attPacticMis 1 vr^ot 
^aces! c^all women, you are the most k>vely in my 
&^e9. Your charois are pledges to you of my sinceriv 
^^Ui Crown then my passion. Fear not the conse'* 
^uences of your eomplaisance ; jour husband is a sim* 
pteton ;' by visions and dreams we can make him be- 
tiev^e whateTier w^e desire^ The good man will regard 
your pregnancy as the cffeet<)f a miracle of the Most 
High; he will adopt your child with joy, and all will 
ge on in the best manner possible. " Mary, charmed 
-with these words, and little accustomed to receive the 
like compliments from her husband, replied, '^ Well I 
•^I yield — I rely en y pur word and address i dfo witl? 
ne as ?ou please. "■'*'^>'''*"^-'''''w^'> slfn'siivsl'tss-^ ;t&-sm-..s;lt*| 
^'Nothing is more easy than i4^ disengage the relatieni 
#f St. liuke from the marvellous^ The event of Ma^ 
fjr'^s pregnancy, follews in the orderof nature, and if 
we substitute a young man in the place of the angel, 
th6 passage of the evangelist will have nothing incre-. 
dible in it. In fact many have thou§;bt that the an- 

ttiem. fh*w is coirfirttoerf by t^t Christ reibarks in St. John xi 
34, Ae. 1P6 foTno a dear Wtea 6f ihe birth of Jesds, the reader' 
shottld coDSuh; tht story of brother Xuclus, in the talei of ** La' 
jTontaine." According to the aprocrypbal gospel of** tha "Nati- 
vity of Mary," trhich Father Jerome Xavier entirely addpti^ 
llfaf y was consecrated to th6 Lord, and brought up in tbe tern-' 
{de, which she did not leave till sixteen years of age. f hisnrait 
create a suspicion that her pregnancy -was the effect of some in^' 
frigoe 6f the priesti, Trboi perhaps made her beHeve, that it was' 
diod who had begot a chil^oa hes-r-CHtJi Jlg^tryplu V^< T.p* 

gel Gabrt^vvas no etber than j^gallatit, who, profit« 
iftg:by the «i)isf$nee of Joseph, fouud the de- 
clare and gr»ti€y>his passionv^iba^Nrt^^ij^i er irfisi«4*«rtj 
>0We shall not stop to Jarni conjectures on the true 
name and station of Mary's, lover. The Jews, whose . 
testimonjr on- this &ul^ect m^ ^pear suspicious, as-r 
f ert, as we s^U afterwairds relate, that this favourite 
lover was ft soldier; — the ttiilitary hace always claims 
en the hearts of the ladies. They add, that from his 
commerce with the wife of Joseph, the Messiah of the 
Christians sprung ; that the discontented hu<:band left 
bis faithless wife, ip order to retire to Babylon, aiid 
that Jesus with his mother went to Egypt, where he . 
learned the trade of a conjurer)., and afterwards i^« 
turned to practise in Judeat%<i^i'Hf%fi>^-*!|»»'iiNKiir^ t|> 

ii Whether these histories, or, if they will, Rabbi-^ 
nical fables, be true or false, it is certain that the nar. -K 
rative of St. Luke, if not stripped of the marveUou^ ; 
will always present insurmountable difficulties to ih€»'|;^ 
minds of the incredulous. They will ask. How. God^ ' 
beii^mpure «pirit, could overshadow amonumy and 
excite in her all the movements necessary to the pro«> 
duction of a child ? They will ask. How the divin* 
pature coald unite with the nature of a woman ? They ; 
will maintain, that the narrative is unworthy of th^ v 
power and majesty of the Supreme Being, vcho did not v; 
stand in need ofeinployiag instruments as ridiculous as ; 
indecent, to operate 4he salvation of mankind. Il ^ 
T^ill be thought, that the Almighty should have em- 

' •• Such as are curiorigto gee' the histdi-y and fables which th» 
ttabbis haTe'made Abbot Jesns, wiH Gtid them in a Hebrew book 
translated into Latin aader the title of toldes Jeshuit inserted in 
the collectioD pubHshed by Wag^enseil, to irhicb we have ahreadj^ 
referred. ' . \«ao?w.*f^P^^:N4 ' -"^it 


ployed other means for conveying Jesus into the womb 
of his motlier; fae might have made him appear on 
the earth without needing to be incarnate in the belly 
of a woman ;* but th<ere must be wonder» in ro- 
mances, and especially in religious. It was in all ages 
supposed that great men were 'born in «n^extraordinaiy 
manner. Among the Heathclte, Minerva sprang out 
of the brain of Jupiter; Bacchus was preserved io th« 

- • Theologists have agitated thc,que«tion, whether in the con* 
ccptlon of Christ, the Virgin Mary emisei'it semen 9 According 
to TiUemonty torn. ii. p. 5,t"he Gnostics, wfio'liTed jn the time of 
the apostles, denied eV<in then that Ible Word was incarnate in 
the womb of the woman, and averref that it had taken a bodj 
only {R appearance — a circumstance whicb.must destroy the mira" 
cle of the returrecLioa. Basilides» in like naaaiier, maintainsthat 
Jesus w^s not incarnate. Tillemont, torn. ii. p. S^l. SU Epipk., 
mdverSf heerat. Theodoret, hceretic- fab- Kb. i. p. 19&' Lactantius, 
in order to establish that the spirit of God coatd impregnate a 
virgin, cites the etample of the Thracian Mares, and other fe- 
males, rendered prolific by th&wind. Nothing is more indecent 
and ridiculous than the theological questions^ to which the birth 
of Jesus Christ has givea rise. Some doctors,, tapre serve Marjr'a 
virginity, have raaint^oed, that Jesus did not come into th« 
world, like other men, aperla vuloa, but rather ji«r vulvam clau- 
iam. The celebrated John Scotus, on the contrary, regarded 
that opinion as rery dangerous, as it wouM follow, that " Jieinis 
Christ could not be'bom of the Virgin^ but '* merely bad com* 
tHit of her." A monk of Citeaux, called PtoleiB.y de Luques> af-« 
firmed that Jesus was engendered near tbe Virgin's heart, from 
three drops of her blood. — Blbliotheque Aogloise^ tome ii* p, 
S54-5. The great St. Thomas Aquinas has examined, whether 
Jesus Christ could not have been w\. hermaphrodite 1 :uid whether 
he could not have been of the feminine gender f Oth$rs hav* 
agitated the question, ''' Whether Jesus eould have been incar-. 
sate in. a cow ?" We may therefore see, bow pne absurdity naj 
engender others, iu the prolific minds of theoloi^ists. t *iia1 W 

- ^ 

1i}cn;^ Q^ ^^ same god.; Among- 4he Chines^j tb« ^od 
Fo was generated by' »■ virgin, rendei^d^ pi^aiific 
by m nay of the san. With Cfari«stiaflS) Je^u§ is born 
of a virgin, iitfpi*gna ted bjr the operation of the Holy 
Ghost, «iid diie -remains a virgin after that operation ! 
Incapable of elevating themselves to God,'*tien have 
made htm descend to their own nature; fiiieh is the 
origin of all incarnations, the belief of whieb is spread 
lhr«ughout the world. ..^vi ■ -.- „ij.=/ 

. All the wojiders, however, which precede the blrlfi 
pf Jesus, are terminated by a very natural occurrence; 
At the end of nine months his mother is dielivered like 
all other women ; and after so many incredible and 
«trpemattirai events, the Son of God conrtes into the 
5vorld like all other people's children. This conformity 
in btrtfa, Will ever occasion the surnMse of a conformity 
in thepfaysicalcauses which produced the son of Mafj. 
Indeed, the isupernatural only can produce the super- 
natural <; from material agents result physical ef- 
fects; and they maintain in the schools, that there 
■roust always be a parity of nature between cause and 
«ffiecL " '. /'an^fv;* "" ■5#-- 

Though, according io Christians, Jesus was at one 
and the same time man and God, persons hard of belief 
will say, it was necessary that the divine germ brought ' 
IVoni heaven, to be deposited' in the womb of Mary, 
should ^nlain at the same time both divinity aiid bo^ 
dy, to ^eonie Sob of God. To use the language of 
theologists, the hypostatic union of the two natures in 
Christ must have taken place before his birth, and im- 
mixed in the %vomb of his mother. In that case^ we 
cannot conceive fak>w it could happen, that the divine 
nature should continue torpid and inactive during the 
whole time of Mary's pregnancy, in so much that she. 

Iierself ^ad not even been wurned of tfae time othet iit« 
lying. The proof of this we find in St: Luke, ehap. 
ii* — ^' la those days (says he) there went outade* 
cree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should ba 
taxed. And as all went to be taxed, ev^y one out of 
bis own city, Joseph also went out of Nazareth — ^ — ^— 
find came to Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary, who 
yas great wif^h child. And so it was, that while they 
were there, the days were accomplished that she' 9bduld 
he delivered, and she brought forth her first born spn^ 
and wrapt him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a 
jmanger, bect^use there was no room for Ihem in th& 

'.(liTbis narrative proves that Mary was ti^en anpro* 
«ided, and ilmt the Holy Ghost, who bad done so ma* 
fry thin^ for her, had neglected to wani her of an 
.event so likely to interest him, and so important to all 
^Aiankind. The humanity Qf Jesus being sabject to 
Jtnetj casualty in our nature, might have perished i& 
•tbisjourney, undertaken at a time ver^r critical -to his 
jnother* In fine, we do not understand how the mo# 
ther could remain in comprete ignorance of the 
f)roxtmity of her time, and how the Eternal oM»Id so 
abandon th^jir^idmis child.iiebAd d«^Qsit£d i^t" Jeer 

iwpmb*! ff'-'^-s ?>n'y:h'^''"^ tni^'?'""?fs.'r>r?';'^" r-^^i' >rf"'llt''# 
,'"^8ome other circomstances of the relation of Si* 
Luke present new dtfficnlties. He speaks of a taxing 
X^nomeration) -by order' of CflBsar Augoatits :-^a faot 
of whidi no mention is made by any htRtorian^ Jew- 
ish or profane.* We are also astonished to find 

ii\^* Wemay alio 944, Aat St. Luke asserts, this pretended Ua* 
Jnf via* made lender Qoirinus or Cyfeneos ; huUt it hai b^ea^^* 
■ ^n ^T Mtf ^ ,^|i^ ^uiatUius Varus was at the tive ^evornftr flf 


tlie son of God born in poverty, having no other asj* 
lum than a stable, and no other Cradle then a manger ; 
and at the tenderest age, in a rigorous season, exposed 
%o miseries without number. 

It is true, our theologists have found a way to an- 
swer all these difiSlcul ties. They maintain, that a just 
God, wishing to appease himself, destined, from the 
bgginning, his innocent son to afflictioos, in order to 
have a motive for pardoning the guilty human race, 
which had become hateful to him through Adam^s 
transgression, in which, however, his descendants had 
no share.* By an act of justice, whereof the mind of 

the prormee. Christian preachers and scribes remark With de* 
light, that the temple of Jtauu was shut, and that a profound 
peace reigned throughout the whole world at the time of-Christ's 
birth ; but the falsehood of this fact has been proT4$d in a book 
published in 1700. See Bertiardt tATouveileM de Ut BefubUfue 4e» 
Lettres, tome 15. 

. * After all, it appears, from the account of the creation 
ascribed to Moses, that the human race are not ail the descen- 
dants of Adam ; consequently they cannot be held partakers of 
his guilt. In the first chapter of Genesis, God is said to hare 
created man out of tiotMng. In the second chapter, Adam b-re- 
presented as hariog been formed of the clay of thdarth. No re- 
strictions whatever as to what they should eat, were imposed on 
the men who were created of nothing. '* Behold (said God to 
; them) I hare given yon every herb bearing seed upon earth, and 
^ iUl trees which have in them seed according to their kind« 
that it may be to you for meat.** To Adam, however, he said: 
*f Thou mayest eat of every tree in the garden i but of the tree (^ 
knowledge of good and evil tho^ thnlt not eat^f<^in the day 
^ott eatest of it thou shalt die the death." In the first crea-, 
tioa, man and woman were formipd at the name aomeut, and the 
sexes distinguished by the terms male and female. Bat it wfts 
aot till after a proper helper could not be found for AdMii 
MBong the first creation, that God said, '* Let us makte » helpe^ 


^<-'-: . ' ''•■ i ■ , .1 

inan can form no Idea, a God, wbose essence render^ 

iiim incapable of commiting ^in, is loaded with the inij^ 

quities of man, and must expiate them in order to dis^ 

arm the indignation of a father he has not offended* 

Such are the inconceivable principles which sery^.for 

the basis of the (Christian theology,* ' * 

.Oiir doctors aid — It was the will of {jod that, th^ 

birth of his SonshoXildbeaccoQipahied. with the same 

accidents as thai of other men, io console tlie latter i^r. 

the inisfof'tunes attendant on ^neii* existence.. Man^ 

say they, is guilty before h<j is born, because all chil^ 

dren are bound to pay the d^bts of their fathers f— ^_ 

thus man suffers justly as a sinner himselfj and as 

charged with the sin of his first father. Granting this; 

what more consolatory to us than seeing aGod, inno- 

tenbe add holiness itself^ suffering in a stable all the evils 

attached to indigent ! I'hat (ionsdlatiop, would have 

been wanting to men, if God had ordaiiied that ^^. 

like unto himself—and God sent a deep jteep upon Adam, an^ 
^en he had slept, God took one oi his ribs, and filled up the 
fiesh for it." Of ibia rih a companion was made for Adam, 
Trhich, of himself, he called a woman. These two distinct crea- 
ttons prove fatal to the dogma, that Cfarisldied for a//men. His 
i^eadi cannol be beneficial to those who 4re dot the descendants 
of Adi^nij.because,, unless he is acknowledged the father of alt 

. mankind,' his transgression cannot be imputed to tSe whole hq<<| 
ihan race. It must therefore be confined to the . Jews onljV 
irhiGh clears the Gentiles of the sin of Adam, and also of the ab^ 
cessitybf an atonefaient for gnilt, in which they coiitd not pos^ 
iibly participate. We are at a loss, to' know, by what ingenuity 
odr Cb'ristiah doctors will attempt to ^et irid of this difficultyf 
• The sacrifice of the Son of God is mentioned as a piroof of hiif 
beneTolence. Is it not rather a pi"oof of his ferocity, cruelty^ 
and implacable Tengeahce? A good Christian on bis ddathbed 
SSild,** he had never been able to conceive hoii^ kgoddGhd Could 

Tint Jmiilndcignf God to death to appease aJUsIGoA^^^W^W^ 



Son shodlJ lie born in splendour, and sm abundance, off' 
the comforts of life^ Iftheinndcent Jesus Had notsuf'* 
fered, mankind, incapable ofextinguishing a debt con- 
tracted bj Adam, w6uld have been for ever excluded 

' from Paradise. As to the painful, journey Mary was 
obliged to undertake in such critical circumstances, 
this occurrence had been foreseen by eternal wisdom;, 
which had resolved, that Christ should be born at Beth- 
lehem, and not at Nazareth. It was necessary— 
Uaving been foretold, it behoved to be accomplished. 

However solid tliese answers may appear toihe laith* 
ful, they are ^otrcapable of convincing tbe incredulous, 
tTnbelievers exclaim agaihst the injustice of maki n^ a^^ 

_2 most innocent God sutfer, and loading him with the ini-* 

qiiitie'sof the earth; neither can thejr conceiv(^, by whaf^ 
-; prin6i{iie ofe(][uity the Supreme jBeipg could make tho' 
human, race responsible, for 'a fault committed by their 
first pqjrfehts, without tUeir knowledge and participaV 
lion? The?'maihtaih, tliat^ in fa jr justice, children ha:ve* 

■ a* nght lo'repbiiqd^ltlie succiession of their parents, 
-wheii tbey have \opay out of the estate debf s which 'the '' 
Htter have contracted. The incredulous remark,Vtnat 

/ the conduct' attributed to God by the-Christian mytho* 
logy, is injurious to him, in so far as it represents him 
as the most implacable, the most cruel, and the most 
unjust of tyrants.* Finally, they contend that it'^Outd 
hjave been wiser to have hindered man from commit •• 
ting sin than to permit him to sin, and make bis own 
Son die to expiate man's iniquity «i»iV)o.u>M«M|«t)^ 

With respect to the journey to Bethliehem, we can* 
not discover the necessity, of it. The place where th« 
Saviour of the world Was to beborri, seems a cirCuteJ^ ; 
jBt^Qce perfectly indiflSsrentUof the 89} vatiou of Difia«~ 

• gee Appendix, No. I, 



I(ind. As for tlie prophecy an*ouDeing the glory of,' 
: Bethlehem, in baviqg given existence to |the " Lea* 
der of IsraeV* — it does not appear to agree with Je- 
sus, who was born there in a stable, and who was re- [ 

. - jected bj the people whose leader he was to be. It is 
only a pious straining that can make this prediction, 
apply to Christ. yVe are indeed assured, that it had. 
been foretold Jesus was to be bora in poverty ; while^ 
on the other hand, the Messiah of the Jews is gene- . ' 
rally announced by the prophets as a prince, a hero, 
and a conqueror. It is necessary then to &now which 
of these prophecies we ought to adopt. Our doc-,~ 

. tors, will not fail to tell us, *^ the predictions an<^ 
nouDciog that Jesus would be born and live in indi-j 
gence and meanness, ought to be taken liierallt/, an4 
those which announce his power and glory oiight to^, 

' be taken allegorkally," But this solution will not sa-' 
«. ' tisfy the incredulous; they will affirm, that employing^^ 
this maimer of explant^tion, they will always 4nd ia.' 
the sacred writings wliatever they may think they^ 
stand in need of. They will conclude, that the scrip- 
ture is to Christians what the clouds are to the man,- 
who imagines h« perceive in them whatever figures^ 

1 S3! H^l i , . ■ f _■'■ .<»>. 

^ The prot^^o»peK ascribed to St James, relates som*; 
coriou* and rtdicutoas circumstances, on which none of our .' 
four canonical evangelists haye wished to rely ; yet they " 
baxe nothing revoking to persons who possess faith enongfa*'^:, 
This proto^ospel informs, us, for example, of the ill hamour;> 
of Joseph pu seeing his wife pregnant, and the reproaches he 
loaded ker with qn account of her lewdness* unworthy, ac-.^ 
cording to it, of a virgin reared under the eyes of priests* 
Mary excuses herself with tears; she protests her Innocence, 
aad ** tweus in the name of the living God, that she is ignorant 

.from fvhence the child has come to hpr." It appears, that ia 
- her distress, she had forgot the adyenture of Gabriel : — that angel 
came the night following to eqcourage by a dreampoor Joseph, 
'who, on his part, was on the point of having an affair with the 
priests, who accused him of haying palmed this child, to the pre- 
judice of Mary's vow of virginity. On this the priests made the 
two spouses drink of the waters of jeaUnuy^ that is, of a potion, 
which, by a miracle, did them no injury { the high p'riest, there* 
fore, declared them most ionocent. 

It is likewise related in the same gospel, that after Mary had 
been delivered, Salome^ refusing to credit the midwife who as« 
•nred her that the delivered was still a virgin, laid her hand on 
. Mary in order to satisfy herself of the fact. Immediately this 
rash hand felt itself on fire; but she was cured on taking tb« 
little Jeius in her armf* See Cpdex jfpocr. N. T. tom&i. p. 95-~> 



- • 


^■. ... .-- 


^0t- ■ 

'Jf^/y.-, . ■ - .^. , 

.'•^ ./:■ 





■".— . ''* 






*;!f diiv trnM ^CHAPTER IIIj'^*^.'^^^ *"^ ^'* ''*'^'^ 

iiiii 'J^***' ^HICH FOLLOWED THE BIRTH '*0# i^jJ^S«£ 

;i5:;.f«i.t'^^fei«-S?ASiA-.f ■-■;•;■ ^ : •' - ; ' 'i^ ''^^vIl .'T.M'i 'I'^zJ:^ _h-'': • -.illi 

' OF the four historians of Jesus adopted bj th© 
church, two are wholly silent on the facts we are to 
relate in this chapter ; and St. Matthew and St. Luke 
who have transmitted them, are not atall unanimous ia 
particulars. So discordant indeed are their relations^ 
that the ablest commentators do not know how recon-* 
cile them. These differences, it is true, are less per-> 
ceptible when the Evangelists are read the one 
after the other, or without reflection ; but thej become 
particularly striking, when we take the trouble of com- 
paring tliena. This is undoubtedly the Feason why 
we have hitherto had no concordance of the gospels, 
"which received the general approbation of the church. 
Even those which have been printed, have not been 
universally adopted, though it must be acknowledged 
that they contain nothing contrary to faith. It is perhaps 
from judicious policy, that the heads of the church have 
not approved of any system on this point ; they have 
probably fe]t the impossibility of reconciling narratives 
f discordant as those of the four Evangelists ; for the 


lAoly Gbos^ douWless With a Vievr to. fexiefdiie the 
ikrth of the » faithful, lias inspired them yerj difier- 
entlj. Besides^ . aa able concordance of the Cxospelt 
would prove, a very dangerous work,:— it would ne- 
cessarily brings tog^ether facts related by autjbors,, who, 
very far from supporting) would only reciprocally weak? 

^ €n eac^ other — a /circumstsinqe whi^h could Botfail to, 
, stagger at least the faith of the 'Compiler. 
;^f St. Matthew, who, according to common opinion, 
wrote the first history of Jesus, asserts, that, as soon 
as Christ was born, and while he was still in the stable 
at Belhlebem, M^g4 came from the East to Jerusalem, 
and enquired where the king of the Jews was, whose 
fitar they had observed in their own, country* He- 
rod, who then reigned in Judea, being informed of the 
motive of their journey, consulted the people of the 
law; and- having learned that Christ was to.., be 
born at Bethlehem, he permitted the Magi to go 
there, recommending to them to In&rm themselves 
exactly of. this chiid^ that he himself might do hinv 
homage,* , 

It appears, from the narrative of St. Matthew, that 
as soon as tbe-Magi left Herod, they took the road to 
Bethlehem,, a place not far from Jeriisalem.. It i^ 
surprising that this prince, alarmed at ihe arrival of 
the.jyiagi, who had thus announced the birth of a, 
king of the Jews, did not take more precaution to allav 

:' bisrown uneasiness, and that of the capita], which the 
gospel represents as in a state of consternation at. this 
grand event. It would have been very easy for him to, 
have satisfied himself of the fact,^ without being under 
the necessity of relying, on strangers, who didj^^t^^f^r 

.Aiicrt , •SI;,J4?ta»ewii.,2.&.c. . , 

eute his commissioii. The Magi did not retarn : Joseph 
h^d time to save himself and his little family bj flight f 
Herod remained tranquil in spite of his suspicions and 
fears. It was not till after a considerable interval that 
he got into a passion on finding himself deceived ; an d 
then, to preserve his crown in safety, he ordered a ge- 
neral massacre of 4he children of Bethlehem and the 
neighbouring villages ! But why suppose such conduct 
in a sovereign, jealous, distrustful, and cruel? This 
prince had assembled the doctors of the law and princi- 
pal men of the nation ; their ad vice had confirmed the 
rumour spread by the wise men ; they said it was at 
Bethlehem that Christ was to be born, and yet Herod 
did nothing for his own.tranquillity ! Either Herod had 
fiiith in the prophecies of the Jews, or he did not be- 
£eve them. In the first case, and instead of rl^lying 
on strangers, he ought himself to have gone, with all 
his court, to Bethlehem, and paid homage to the Saviour 
of the nation. In the second case, it is absurd to mak^ 
Herod order a general massacre <ji infants, on account 
of a suspicion founded on a prophecy which he did not 
believe. ;"" - - ;.'\-'r' .I-.-''; ' . k' 

Neither do we find that' this prince's indignation 
ivas roused till after the lapse of several days, and after 
he perceived that the Magi derided him, and returned 
by another road. Why did he not learn by the sfime 
means, the flight of Jesus, of Joseph, and bis mother ? 
Their retreat must certainly have been observed in » 
place so small as Bethlehem. It will perhaps be said, thai 
God on this occasion, permitted Herod to be blinded ; 
but God should not have pei^itted the inhabitants of 
Bethlehem and its environs to be so obstinate in pre- 
serving a secret that was to cost the lives of all their 
xhildren. Possessed of the powcf ^f working mir»- 



tl6s^ tbuid not God have saved bis son hy Aior@ geh- 
tie means than the useless massacre of a great num- 
ber of inoocents?— On the' other ' handj Herod was 
not absolute master in Judea» The Romans would 
tiot< have permitred him- to exercise such cruelties \ 
and' the Jewish nation^ persuaded of the birth of 
Christy Woiild not have been accessary \o tbemk A 
King of England, mor^ absolutie than a petty soveretgni 
<of J udea-, dependent on the Romans^ woftld not b^ 
tobeyed^ were he to order his guards to go and cut the 
throats of all the <^iklren in a neighbouring village^ 
because three strangers, in passing through Londba^ 
liad said to btni) that among the in&nts born in that 
village there Was one, who, according to the rules of 
Judicral astirology) was destined to be one day king of 
Great Britain^ At the time when astrology wias in 
vogue, they would have contented themselves with 
eansing search to be made for the suspected infenti 
they would have kept it in solitary confinement^ or 
perhkps put it to death; but without compreheriding 
other iiiaoicent children in its proscription. 
«' We might indeed oppose to the relation of Matthew 
the' silence of the other evangelists, and especially 
thatt)f the historian Josephus, who, having rea8<mstd 
hate Herdd, would not have failed to relate a feet sd 
likely to reader him odioas as the massacre of the in^ 
nocents. Philo is likewise silent on the sabfectj 
and no reason can be divined why these two cele- 
iMPated historians should have agreed in concealing 
a feet so horrible. We cannot suppose it has proceed^ 
ed firoA hatred to the Chmtian religion; for that de^ 
tached feet would prove neither for' nor against it. W* 
are, therefore, wairanted to conclude that this ntassa''- 
creisa&Me; and that Matthew seems to have iti* 



vented it mertly to havfe the opportunity of ap})ljtng lin 
ancient prophecy, which was his predominant taste. 
Biit in this instance he has obviously deceived him- 
self. The prophecy which he applies to the massacrs 
of the iundcents^ is taken froiil Jeremiah. AU the 
Jews understood it as relating^ to the Babylonish cap- 
tivity. It is conceived as follows : "The Lord bath 
said, the voice of lamentationSj groanings, and bitter 

' tears, has been heard from on high of Rachael, who 
weeped for her children, and refused to be comforted 
for them, because they were noti" — The following^ 
verse is so plain, that it is inconceivable why Matthew 
has ventured to apply it to the pretended massacre ^t 
Bethlehem t— " Thus saith the Lord (continues Jere- 
miah), refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyea 
from tears ; for thy Work shall be rewarded, and thj 
children shall come again from the land of the ene- 
my." Their return from the captivity is here clearly 
pointed out, when the Israelites should again plant 
vines after obtaining possession of their own countryi« 
It is also to accomplish a prophecy^ that the same 
St. Matthew makes Jesus travel into Egypt* This 
journeyj or rather Christ's return^ had, according 
to him, been predicted by Hosea in these words i 
** Out of Egypt have I called my son." But it is evi- 
dent, that this passage is to be considered only as re« 
lating to the deliverance of the Israelites from bond- 
age, through the ministry of Moses. Besides, th» 
journey and abode of Jesus in Egypt^ do not s^ree in 
any manner with some circumstances which happenipd 
in the infancy ofChrist, as related by .St^ Luke, who in- 
forms us, that at the end of eight days Jesus was cir'* 
.cumcised. The time of Mary's purification being ac* 

. somplishcd^ according to the law of Moses^ Joseph an4 


his roolher carried Christ to Jerusalem, in order to 
present biin to the Lord, agreeably to the law which 
ordained the consecrating to him the first bom (first 
fruits), and offering a sacrifice for them. On this occa* 
sion, Lpke^eUs us^ that old Sioieon took the infant in 
bis arms, and declared in the presence of all the peopU 
assisting at the ceremony, that the child was the Sa* 
Viour of Israel. An old prophetess, called Anna, bore 
aloud the same testimonj in his favour, and spoke of him . 
to all. those who looked for the redemption of the Jews» 
But why were speeches thus publicly made in the 
temple of Jerusalem, in which city Herod resided, un«! 
^known to a pi'ince «o suspicious? They were miich 
( better calculated to excite his uneasiness, and awake 
aTs jealousy, th^ the arrival of afitrol(^ers< from th^ 
East, ot [jHit^ ?irj t*»isr>'ii>r?>t9^ ttf lliff ,€v^^»s$ '^^*nli 
Did Joseph and Mary, whd cameto Jerusalem for th« 
presentationof Jesus, and purification of .his mother, 
return to Bethlehem ? and went they from thence into 
Egypt in place, of going to Naiar^h ? St. Luke says . 
indeed, most expressly, that when they had. performed 
all tlungs according to the law of theLord^ they re<> 
turned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. But 
in what tinoe did th6 parents of Jesus accomplish all 
that the law ordained i W<p8 it before going into 
Egypt, or after their return from that country, where, 
accoi^ding to St. Matthew, they had taken refuge to 
shelter themselves from the cruelty of Herqd ? In a 
word, did the purification of the virgin, and the present 
tation of her son in the temple, take place before or "" 
after the death of that wicked prince? According to 
LevUicus, the purification of a mother who had brought i 
a son into the world, was to be made at the end o£^ 
, thirty days. Heuoe.we see how very diffiault it is ta 


reconcile the fiigrl>t into Sgypt, and the massaere of tli« 
innocents, ivhich St. Matthew relates^ with the narra* 
live of St. Luke, who sa^s, that, " aftor halving per- 
formed the ordinances of the law, Joseph and Mary 
returned into Galilee, to their own city Jilazareth ;'* 
find then adds, " they went to Jerusalem every year 
to celdlirate the passover." ■ If we could adopt the 
relation of the two evangelists, at what time are we 
to place the coming of the Magi fronrtbe^East in or- 
der to adore Christ; the anger orH^rod ; the flight into 
£!gypt; and the massacre of the innocents? We are 
forced to coaclude, either that the relation of St. Luke 
is defectire, or that St. Matthew «vished to deceive his 
readers with improbable tales. In whatever way we 
(consider tlie matter, the Holy Gboit^ tvho inspiredl 
these apostles, will in either case be found to .)hivC> 
^mmltted a mistake? nit') riifw^yifeM bHaif^f^-xjC bid 
t"' There is another fact on which oqir two evangelists 
do not better agree. St. Matthew^ a& we have seen, 
makes the Magi come toJBethlehsmfrora the extremity 
of the East, to adore the child jBaus,and:offer himpre-< 
sents. St. Luke, less taken wi^h the marvellous,, 
makes this child be adored by simfi^e sh^herds, wha 
wat^ted their fiocks. during n^hi, nod t« whom an 
angel announced the great event of the birth of the 
Saviour of Israel.- The latter evangelist speaks nei- 
of the appamtion of the star, nor of the coming of the 
Magi, norefthe cruelty of Herod-T-circumstances, how- 
ever, which cmgbt to have been recorded by St. Luke, 
who informs us that he was so ej|act(^ informed of 
every thing concerning JestiR,'* ♦si?^* V ii'."^h' "^Hl^^fJp 
:$n;Whatever may be in this, the pareoits of Christ, .ei- 
ther aft^ their retarn from Egypt, or after his firesen- 
_MoD in the temple, went to reside at Na^r^^ 

St. MattheW) as usual, perceives in this the accom- 
plishment of the prediction, he shall be tolled a Naza^ 
rene ; but unfortunately for his purpose, this prophe-* 
cy isnot to be found in the Bible, nor can it be d|^ 
vined by whom it wsijs uttered. It is however cer-> 
tain, that Nazarene among the Jews, sig^nified a m* 
gabondf a person excluded from the rest of the wOrM ; 
that Nazareth was a very pitiful town, inhabited bj^ 
l^eings so wretched that their poverty had l^ecome pro* 
Terbial; and that bazars, vagrante, and people wbom 
pobody would own, were called Nazarenes,* . .iV,f,.fe 

-,1^; It Is of importance to remark, that the firsi^CfarisVians wero 
sjtyled J\razarenet. We find them also designed EbionUesyA^'iye^ 
from a Hebrew word which signifies a mendicant., a wretch, and a 
pauper, Every body knows tbatSt. Francis and St. Pominic, wh9, 
in the 13th century, proposed to revive primitive Christianity,, 
funded orders of mendicant monks, destined to live solely on. 
^ms,.to hs true ^azarenest and to levy contrlbutioDs on the, 
community, which these vagabonds have never ceased to oppress^ 
Salmeron, in order to re-aaimate these mendicant monks, has 
maintained that Jesus Christ himself was a beggar. Be that as i^ 
^ay, it is not unseaspoable here to make some remarks en th& ' 
Nazaren^Sj whieh wi}l throw great light on the history of Chris- 
jtianity. It is well known, that the name of Nazarenes was given 
%p the apostles and Jews, who were first converted. The Jews 
regarded them a» heretics (mlnian\ and excommunicated perr. 
40ns ( and, according to St. Jerome, anathematised them in a& 
their synagogues, under the name of Nazarenes. SU Hieronymf. 
EpisU art ibk.m laaiam. v. 18. The Jewseven sA. present give the 
name of Nazarenes (Nozer im) to the Chri8tian», whom the jirabs 
and Persians call Nazari. The fir^t Jew«, converted b^ Je^mi 
^d his apostles, were only some reformed Jews: they pre^eriwd* 
£ircumcisi<^u and other usages appointed by the law of Moses. 
'f Nazaraei (sajs St Jero e\ ita Christum recipiuat, ut oh« 
scrvationes legis veteris noil amittant. Ad. Jes. 8." In ]hi& thej 
followed the example of .lesus, who being circumcised, and 
f Jew durin|^ his whole }ife, h^ often taught, that it «as oe* 


We have seen, in the coarse of tTiis chapter, hoir 
little harmorij exists between the two erang^elists^ 
respecting the circwmstjiDces attending^ the Inrtb of 
Jesus. Let us now* examine what could have beew 
the views of these two writers iir relating these facts 
99 very differentl3r/»t»>^*j^>^-«R«fr''^s^v«Bi5ik^ ^fi^ 

It is at least impossibTe that Jesus, as St. Luke re-^ 
)ates, could constantly reside at Nazareth till he. wa»- 
twelve yearsofage, if it be truethat he was carriedf 
soon after hi» birth into Eg^ypt,' where St. Matthew 

cestary fo respect and observe tbe law. Yet in process of tiin* 
the Nazarenes, or Ebionites, were aaathematised bj tbe other. 
Christians, for having nnrterf the ceremomes of the law witSr- 
the gospel of Christ St. Jerome, ' speaking- of tbeni and ther 
disciples of Corinthus, says, " Qui (EJblonr et Cerjntfir?eni>cre-- 
denies in Cfaristo, propter hoc soiura a patribus anathematizafr^ 
sunt, qaod legis reremo nias Christ! evangelio miscnenint. Sic 
nor'a confess! sant, nt vetera non aniitterent. St. Hieron. ia 
Epistol ad Angastin." It seems, that in acting thus, the Ebio- 
nites, or Nazarenes, conformed themselves to the intentions of 
Jesns andhis apostles. It is, therefore, sar prising 16 see them' 
treated afterwards as heretics. But we will see (in chap. It.) the- 
true cause of this change ; it was evidently owing to St. Panl» 
whose party prevailed Over that of St. Peter, the other apostles,. ^-^ 
and the Nazarenes or Judaising Christians. Thus St. PanI cor*^ 
reeled and reformed the system of Jesus Christ, who batf 
preached only a Judaism reformed. TTie apostle of the Gen-, 
tiles succeeded in making his master, and his old comrades, be^ 
regarded as heretics, or bad Christians. Thus it is, that theolo^ 
gists frequently lake the liberty of riectifying the rcKgron of th& 
Saviour they adore ! Moreover, the Nazarenes had a gospel ii» 
Hebrew very different from the one we possess, and which wa» 
attributed to St. Barnabas. See Toland, in a work published wn-.- 
der the title of Nazare^ves, in octavo, London, 1718. Ae^ 
cording to that gospel, the Nazarenes did not believe in the dUr*"' 
vinHy of Jesus ChrifiU 


makes him remain uRtil the death of Herod; £<i?eji 
^ the time that Jesus lived, he Was Upbraided with bis 
stay in Egypt.t ' His enemies arerred that he diero 
learned magic, to which they attributed the wondei^, uc 
cuojiing trickS) they saw him perforni. St. Lttke^ U> d^ 
away these accusations, has thought proper silent 
as to the journey to Egypt, which made his hero sus- 
pected. He fixes him, therefore, at Nazareth^ aild 
makes hiip go every year with his parents to Jerusalem.^ 
But the precaution of that evangelist seems to havio^ 
been useless. 8t. Matthew, who wrote before him^ had 
established the journey and abode of Jesus in Egypt. 
Origen, in his dispute with Celsus, does not deny itr 
Hence we see, that the Christian doctors did not doubt 
that Jesas had been in that country, notwithstanding^ 
the silence of^. Luke. . Let us endeavour then to de^ 
yelope the motives of these two writers. - '• 

"^1 The Jews in general agreed in the expectation of a 
Messiah or Deliverer ; but as the different orders 
of the state had their prophets, they also possessed 
different signs by which they were to know the Mes-^ ! 
siah. Tire great, the rich, and persons well informed^' 
did not surely Expect that the deliverer ofl^ael should 
be bom iu a stable, and sprung from the dregs of the 

people. They unddubtedly ejtpected their deliveranco 

by a prince, a warrior, a man of power, able to make 

himself respected by the nations inimical to Judea, and 

If ■ , 

'' • "fhe gospel of the infancy* df JeMsiChrist, ascribed to i\i€ 
apostle St Thomas, makes the holy family trdvel iato Egypt, and 
tnakes Jesus gofromcity to city, Working miracles suMcientto'; 
procure them a comfortable subsistence. The water Mary usecf ^• 
in washing her child, cctred lepers, and persons possefssed withf 
devils^ the presence of Chri:^ made the idols fall dowa, ^c.-' 
Codex\A pec tome 1. p, 1S2. - 

«s ,. 


to toeak in pieces their ehains. The poor, on iti0 66fi* 
trarjr, who, as well as the g^eat and the rich, have their 
portiodofself love) thought they might flatter them^ 
selves that the Messiah would be bom in their clas^* 
Their nation atid their neighbours flirnished manj e:r<^ 
amples of great men sprung from the bo^om of pOvertj i 
and the oraeles, with which this nation was f^ were 
of stich a nature^ that every family believed itself entf^ 
tied to aspire to the honour of giving birth to a Mes* 
siah ; though the most general opinion was, that tht9 
delii;erer was to come of the race of David, -w ,'- - --« 

Admitting this, shepherd's and people of thi^ ld#6ist 
order isight readily believe, that a woman, delivered iit 
a stable at Bethl^em, bad brought the Christ into 
the woild. It may likwise be presumed, that Mary^ 
with a view to render herself interring, said to tho«e 
who visited'her, that she was descended from the blood 
of kings — a pretension well adajrtedto excite'the com-* 
miseration and wonderment of the people. This 
secret, and the confused remembranGe of some prophe* 
cies about Bethlehem> the native country of Davld^ 
were sufficient to operate cm. the imaginatioiM of these 
credulous people, little scrupulous about proofs of 
vrhat was told tbem»T '^•^t^^i^m -,'*♦«*>« »'«^ oit^a s^jU 

St. Matthew, who reckoned on the credulity of bis 
readers,* had his bead full of {vopbecies and popular 

* Men are always as credulous as children upon religioat 
subjects- As thej comprehead nothing about it, and are ae-ver'- 
theless toldtbat they mast believe it, they imagine they ran no 
risk in joining sentiments with the priests, whom they suppose 
to liave succeeded in discovering that <wluch they do not under* 
sland. The most rational people ask themselves, ** What shall 
we do ? — what interest can so many people have to deceive ?** 
To these we say, they do deceive you, eilher became they art 

notions. To fill op ai)Iank of thirty yean ia Ui liisioiy 
diPesus, he cOoirtved to make him travel ioto 'JB^y^ 
withoot foreseeing the ol^ectiras that might be iMude 
on account of tiie n^lect of the holy fomily to fulfil 
the ordinances of the law ; such as the cirottaidsiMi of 
the child, Ms pres«itiulion in the temple, the ^nxrifi- • 
cation of his mother, . and the c^ebration of the passo- 
ver—oeremoiries which conld only be performed at Je- 
rusalem. Perhaps it Is t<yjiisliQr the journey to Egypt^ 
and thosie^ negligences, that St. Matthew introducea 
the prophecy of Ilosea relative to the return from tltat 
placie. It seems "also to justify the duration of Jeni8*s 
abode there, drat he relates the wrath of Herod, and 
, the fitble of the massacre of the innocents, which he 
- niakes that prince order, though his crimes had, la 
other respects, rendered him sufficiently odious to the 
' Jews as well as to strangers. Mankind in general are 
disposed te believe, every thing of a man become. Bi« 
mous for his wickedness. 

St Luke, to elude the reproaches which in his time 
might be thrown^ on Jesos, on account of his residence' 
and joarnejr in Egypt, has not : menttimed it at all ; 
but bis silence' does not destroy its rcftlity. w>Uwafr 
necessary, to free Christ from the suspicion of, magicp 
, <mI _■■'■■■■■■ .'.)rffr-?»f ob tHilih^Mr- 

tbtmi^TM deceived, or becavselhey kave a greit iStef^Jii 

Credality, says Heivetius, is partly the effipct (of ind^ac^. 
We have been habituated to believe a ibing tba^ ia absnrd ; the 

f^Jsity of such a belief is sttspecled j >ut to be fiilly salisSeli te. 

quires the fatigae of ezamiaatiOD. This iri artiikttf&t diidera 
going ; aad thus choose rather to believe than examine. la.snch 
4icpo«iti.on, the most coavincing proof of tbe fdsity Qf an 
' opinioD will always appear ins^fficief^t, JEvpry we^ rfMO^g 
l^ersaadest every ridicuioift#tory,%i^fl|e|^*5^ j^^^ g^^;. ^^, 

"^ tmt.^^lias. i&t' dear^ him cif kccusations' brought 

a^fjrtslibN'birth^ .ivhtcb'aret^iik^ ft» wcHjirfatfi*! r^u^^^P' 
^;Oeisti^,tiWebratedpbjsiqi8nf4pho lived in these* 
cbndicedtuhjr of vG^iBlmititjj apd'wibd had carefuMf 
«^]Ucfed . aU which: Ind Jbeen :pabiiabed>agafnfit Christy 
aeiertd jthiKt he ^fts the finiit of iadulterjr. Origeri^ in 
bis wjo^^ against Oekus, had pfeaervied this acdasation, 
bot^he has.not transtnitted the prcmfs on iwhtcb it- was 
f(^it4ed. ' Uabelieversj^i however, have, endeavoured: 
to supply. thef&)!anjd.foiind the opiiikHi .of Cel^sion; 

"Whit follows: ^J-*-?^ -rn K^; '\ >ii^iU-i J^- >][ U> T-^ u^vV] '-.•^ 

& '1%9(. FronKthe testira'oiiy of JSt.'lfattfaew himself, it 
it most certain that Joseph was %ery ainich dissa tisfied 
withthepregnam^.iof bis trife, in whicb be had no( 
psrt.i -He' -formed ^the jdesign of qnitting- her secretljf 
and without noise ; a resohition fn)i& which be; was di«> 
vorted by an • angel, o^ '^ dream, or perhaps reflection^, 
wiiicb always passes amobg. Jews for the effect of an 
inspiration from on high. It appears, however, thafc 
^^ Uesign^of Joseph ' bad traospired, and was after- 
tvilfd^ tamed into a matter of reproach against Jesos*- 
Btit>St»Ii«ke^ more prudent than v^t* Matthew, baai 
aot v^ntured^toroebtion either, the ill humour of Joi^: 
sepji> or the good-natured conduct : be followed*: 
Neither do we find, though be formed this resolu- 
tion ds to bis vfife's amoni*, tbat this easy man againi 
appeared on the stage from the time Jesus entered on^ 
it.' We aire no Where informed of his death, and it is 
otvipiiS; that he n€ver aftef'wards beheld his pdtativo 
8w!^itbaa eye oCiiq^e8S;*^.\|he^^ 

^^* ^.l^amas -tiK/l. fb.'of mg^^ 
d^plb WM Very old at the time of tis marriage with the virgio > 
> aad addf, that he Was a widtmer, aOi father o£ fix-cbit^^ b|i 

QHit, tiberdisno m^liod of Josep^.^- If we admit^^ 
with m LtiMe,Hh^ histif^ bf j^ub' (aisiiu# witfe' ifte' 
dbctd^ in tfie temple 6f^ynt8sAein'li¥&m 
proof of the' indifference wfaiidb reigned b4»twee'q .the - 
pretended father and ,8appo8e4 , son : th^y Ji^ei'^ t^t. ijilP 
end of three daVii, leind deigned not to interchange a 

word,, ■ .* :„v V. r , .,., ^ ,f 

fSecondli/* If td these presufnptibhs are joineid tesif- - 
monies more 'positive^ and a'hig'hiAitiqtiitj, which con-r. ~ 
^rm the susiiicibhseiitertaineii coticbrhing the birth qf^ 
Jesus, we will 6bttii&' jpiroofs thai m'lisl C4^'vinc^^>velr^ 
iinprejudited person. The Emperbr Jtiliaii^ ais^welt at ' 
Cehite, who both had carefully examined anthe'VrHinjg;a ^' 
existing' in their tiine, for and against the Ghristiaq^ 
reti^on aiid ftsaluthor, t^priescfnt the ihothejr ; of Jesus! 
as a prdstittite)' living by her defmiicheries, an^ furne£L 
iriff bfibte^ befrdtlied. Frcito the lieginniri^' ol* tStris- 
tianity, the sect of Antidicomarites regarded Jesus as a 
bastard. ''1[n the woiiiB of the J«ws, he is treated ite iin 
adtiltero^ child i^««rd,«!ta68tih^^)<|fcr days, 'ifeiWditis^ 
a l^artied'Pivttt^ant Critic,, ks we^^tfs n^vi^rar dtlifrs^ - 
l^e^inain^ineii;^ not on^ 

of a^cHiiP(iftalipfcexcppj^8f^,,hyti^^lso, that Mary, yepudi% 
ated by J^epb, bad i^other ichildren by di fibrent < h«»<r «« 
ban^. 'Besides, this svppbsed viiigifi did not ^'^^'iar 
' reason fiyft forsaking J«^ph:fwid fly rh'g into "B^ptvri^ 
he^^dny 'iA jirevWiHftg ti%^lori aiirnhg the ^eW^^tates/ 

-j\ c«j- 

hi«'fii%t wife. According to fhie proto-gospel'kier'ihed to' iStT 
James the YoiiQg, the g^A manfiad mucb diffictitty in'pe^tt? 
ingon hitnselfto e3poaieMary,'wfaose^age intlinitFafi^ hiiri; tiiailf 
the high prieii c<mvivrc^ hiin^ififiiillng^^ p^4fl^ir tffit^ j^ftej^' W 
themahflibst conf^iiii^ble toli'fSsVie^s: Gdd^*,''iipbcM»Ji.iN?'t»' 
^me i. p. 88, ftC. "^iii %«i6aH te1iii^iftfit«4^itat>)&14ieitrii^i^ 


ij^at slie made this journey to sHeltef herself Ctom., fbe, 
pursuit of. befj spoyse, who, in pjpite of the nq<j;turtf|| 
visions which, had been eurolojed. to, oaafy hkip^ 
inight have deliTered her up to the rigoi^r of the la^s^ , 
We. know that the Hebre^ws, did not, uodei^tand jestii?^. 
o^jthis subject, s '', \1,,,,„., ,,,,. ,,;;.,, _. , ^,; 
We also find in the Talmud*, the name of Panther.' 
surnamed Bar-Pantker, whom thej reckon in the ni^mr, 
ber pf the jg^allants, or^h.usbanj|s of the.y|rgin. From 
thence it wonid appear^ ttiat Mary, repudiated by, 
Joseph, or afler her flight, espoused , Papther, an^ 
Bgjptiau soldier^ her faypurite loy^j^y.^qd the ^. real fa- 
thec of Jesus. St. John Damascene thought to.|'epa,ir the, 
jnjwy wbifii '^ might do tp^ Mary's repu-^ 
tation, by 8ayii]g||^at th|? naipe of JBflr;iPfl^%jr. jfas 

^^f^§}*f^^J^!^^^^^^^^^*'^' Marj^,?an^d . ^conp^^ijentjly 
ip that c^f Joseph. . But, Isf , either Ma r« ,was_ jii^^t the. 

kinswoman of Joseph*, or she was not the pousin o^ 

f.* la '%,w*iA,- published doriog fbe preaept ye»r. by Solomatf 

Benn^aJfelisbJew^ entitled " The Coattaocy of Israel," wO; 

£nd the followins account of the Talmud : — This ezteouTe. 

work is a commentary oa the Bible,and the Mi^nah ; the conteni t 
thereof ibclude all the juridical, crimiaal, ritiMftl, coBJugal, an^ 
agriealtorallaws at large. It was prodneeil by means of cor- 
To^ondaice among ih9 different collides, established in place* 
Inhere the Jews were diqiersed. by way of polenical questions,! 
controversies, and debates. It contains also moral y^ilosophy, < 
ethics, and yarious allegorical phrases* AH these doctrines were 
collected into one work, which bears the title of the ' Talmnd i* 
which was eoudaded by Rabinan Saboroy, who succeeded Ba-: 
bina, and Babbi Ashah, the chief doctors in Assyria, and the 
£rst promoters of the Talmud. They )iroduced ako some, 
brandies <^ the scieoees, as mathematics, astrooopy, ai^d cM^'^ii 
nology f all pf whicbu^e condiided inthe year of the Creatio^ 
_ 4200, and «cc<wdiag to the Christian era ^00 years.. ^jji^^^jiMatit 

^Ilizabetb) who was married to a priest, aiul tberefore of 
Ipbe tribe oihetu-^Sdlyy We no where fiod in the Bible 
/ the Bomeof Panther atnong^be descendants of David; 
J f this bad been an hereditary surnaiue in that family, 
it woiild be found somewhere, uniess we suppose 
that John Damascene has learned^it by a particular re- 
' velatidn. 3dly, ThenameofPon^A^ is by no means 
"Hebrew. jA .■■.;*' ;rv.'^ _ 

It will periia|>s be said, that these rumours, so inju- 
ric^us to Jesus and his mother, are calumnies invented 
hy the enemies of the Christian religion. Bat why 
decide, if thepleas of both parties are not investigated ? 
V The iinputatiofis are very ancient ; they have been ad- 
vanced against' Christiains ever since the origin of their 
religion ; and they have never satisfactorily refuted 
them. In the time of Jesus, we find that his contem- 
poraries regarded bis wonders as the effects of magic, 
the delusions of the devil, the consequences of the 
power of Beelzebub, or slight of hahd tricks.* In 

particulac^ the relatibms of Jiesas were' of ^kiit opmioR, 

and regarded him as an impostor-^ circumstance sta- 
ted in the Gospel itself^ wbere we shall nfterwardi 
find that IhOy wanted ' to arrest liim. On the other 

ji^M^hltioHiiiiotli4mBUd •■ ■■'■:■■■■ -;*$> 

Mf Ife can op|<Me ta 'tke miractei of Moses and Christy thoM 
1 li0if9rnne!d>-%>MalioiD«t^M.(pc:e8eBce>.ofIaUi Mecci and.Aeabia 
.assembled,! '^e eff^eJ| of < the^prppii^etym^cles wasatleaA to 

convince the Acabians.! tliat^be yas a divine persoitf , Tie mi- 

; rades of Jesus convinced nobodj of his mission. St. Paul hira- 

-~.s self, who afterwards became the most ardent of his disciples, 

was not c^nTinqed by the mijBi^Ies, of which* in his time* there 

,^ existed so many witnefses } a new one.w.^s pecessary for his con- 

^ , vers ioiv ^ ^, vhatffg^ tj||fn do the;^ . at this , da;, ,deina,Bd be- 

. lief, of, ppj^^adess Fl)ichtC<Mdd liot.c;onj«iac^,§vea, in Al^,tij9f[.4tf 

the apostle%\inlx ^ sI)ort time after jth^J^l^ii^a^^i^^l ^.« /^j,, : : 

band, Jesas never spealis«f Jii» ift&nejr^ ^lop eftlietinN) 
that had preceded htapreaehrng. Theie ^ evei^^ re 
son to believe, he did notvlove to recikr to G/ttunfi 
statuees dishonourahte to bis mothbrf toward- whoni 
Indeed we shall very soon find liim.'&iM«^in filial res« 

The evange1is(»,-'m'1il2bmamKrf^ pasBir«ry slightly 
over the first jears of their hero's life. St. Matthenc 
makes .hinirstiirn from' Egifptioflf the tisath of Hecod,'' 
tdthout mentioning in what year that happened. Ho 
thus leaves Jbis commentators in an embarrassment, as 
(o whether Jesns was then two or ten jiears old. Wo find 
indeed, that the term of ten years is, through eonapla^ 
tance, invented on account of the dispute between hiai 
and the doclorsof Jerusalem, which St. Luke places a^"^ 
his twelfth year. This excepted, Jesus disappeareft 
from the scefke, not, to shew^himself again till thirtjf 
years of age»* ■rjT4tio.y':^if:.iifc?#v mf~-.i»^-mt^^f^^im'^^'' - 
:: : It is <iifficult what be did iiniil that age{ 
If wo credit St. Luke^ he remained at Nazareth. Ye^ 
there is reason to believe tbat he: was somewhere else^ 
lor tbo purpose of learnii^ the [mrt which be was af^^ 
terwards to play.; If he bad always resided at Naza^;^! 
<reth, the inhabitants of that small town would bave;^^^ 
known hini perfectly. Yeiy far firooi tbi^^-r-tbey aro 
siArprisedat seeing^htmj when tlnrty years of 'age. They 
only t<^ettnre that they knew bim ; and ask each . 
dther> " Is itbt4his the son ofjosepjii t *'— ^ft que^dpn iprW 

*" Jesb'ffpCThapspaM«d'acori8Td^erabtei>ak'o^ amoBjf ^ 

tlie contemplative Egsenians or Tliermpeutift, who were a kind of 
very enthusiastic Ji;wish monks, Wjiii^ in th^'ticinity of A^x4 
ancMa itt'E^ypt, where it appeir^'lfe? 'A«w up lihi'iJCTei^e' mnf^*^ 
truly DMBatfie tf^arifie. 5ee chap. xtii. of tbi* WdrK.^^^'^'i* ^ 







ridicdlouiar irt ^ iftontfc of persont who mtst ltate<^3«ei| 
pii the coifstftnf fciabitofjse^ing Jesus^^^in thet aaeco^ emi^^ 
' pM»(Vf their tdvro. This does ftot kinder St. I#tl9i^ 
from teHii^ a», tbat'heiieciiiiia a oitrpent^ ia (bd^it^rlb* 
^^opof faufiretdnded&theej )aod tb«i be^ wrougltlr^al 
btildiirgSJor insftriUDeiits Qf!]ntsbartchry..f^ . Bill «tic|kif| 
profesti6ii.C0ifVd'iiottioiig'a§^t«eiwidkra man in whom ^'i^ 
findMI-^mbitioiisanilirestlessaiiiidj i > Huimniii'^nf 
i 'fit m\hb» hemt&Pj therefore^ heie to ^uittSt. JUid^, itn 
order tofoUowSt. Matthew^ who places the hap^ism 
of John«fteptke retiirBfrom £gjpty tiod: makea'; Jesils 
fbtthwithi'ttdmoieaoe his misaionw • It is also^ to ispeali 
ptoferly>, ^tithis epoch, we aoght to begia^ the-ii£e of 
Christ. Yet, to let nothing be lost to the reader of^th^ 
evaagf^lical' ipww i o irt, ' tiie Bubject of our Ittersaiy' ila- 
boiirs, vr» (hoQg<ht' it our duty not to ' pass over,' 
>. lence ther<ntcifM8tiili0es wHlch ba^^'fajeeii noticed, as 
these pretiiAlnaries -are ^Iculated to throw nraeh light 
pn th»f)eF8on fifid abtipns of Jiefiu& .;£e$ide&, the in- 
terval between the birth and preaching of Christ, haf 
not been the part of his history least exposed to the 
«hafU of criticism. St. Matthew, as we have seen, ta 

* ^ Juatia Martyr coatra Tryphon. The gospel of the in- 

faacy iDformg as, that Jesus, when young, amused himself with 

forming small birds of clay, whfch he afterwards animated, and 

. then they flew into the air. The same book says, that he knew 

: more than his schoolmaster, whom he killed for having struck 

. ' iiim, because Jesus refused to read the letters of the alphabet. 

:^ We find also, that Jesus assisted Joseph in his labours, and by a 

V miracle lengthened the pieces of wood, when cut too short or 

- too narrow. All these extravagancies are not more difficult to 

'; believe than many other wonders related in the acknowledged 

'! ;gospels. Codex. Apocryph. N. T. tome i. p. 198, &c. and III. 

7 p. 424-44U 

- ^m 

accovmt for his master's aliseace during the thirtjF 
jearS) makes him go into Egypt, and return in an un^ 
Hmited time. St. Luke, who digested his memmrs af- 
ter Matthew, perceiTing tiiat the abode in Egypt cast 
a suspicion of magic on. the miracles of Jesi^ makes 
him remain in Galilee, going and coming eTery^jealr. to 
Jerusalem ; and fixes his abode in the country, by makr 
ing him appear, at the age of twelve,, in the capital, in 
the midst of the doctors,, and debating with them^ But 

St. Mark and St. John, profiting by the criticism which 
these different arrangements had. experiencedy make 
the Messiah drop from the clouds, and puthim.instaDtljr 
to laboor atthe geeat wwk otthe; salvaliQiB ,af . man^ 
kind. :'"5f. %T';;?y-; fvn!.-:-:f-rrfr!*o-- !-;{ -: .^-Y ...:-«* 
It is thus tluit, on combining and comparing the se- 
veral relations, we are enabled to discover tke trues^s^ 
temofthe Grospds, in which, without adopting any ^ 
alterations, we will find materials for composiiig the 
life of Jesus, by merely reducing the inarvellous to its 
preper value. |5«»l3g^ifq* l:^*e'-#jil#;-«*M^ ^^s^ri^i hn-^^n 
sUr <|jf tmmq^^'$?%^}V-ri<^ii-t4 >;ii% Sti^^ »^ii tm'Ml Per- 

t: ,.»,.j 


- '^^'f^^^ -'chapter IV, * "^'" 


fV'^" • ■ ■ ■ - .' i^ 


^- ^ ■ - " ^ . , , ,, ^ 


ipROlVt the time tb6 Ilomains subdued Judea^ the sU' 
perstitious inhabitants of that country^ impatient to se6 
the arrival of the Messiah or Deliverer, so often pro-* 
mised to thieir fathers, seemed inclined to quicken the 

. telowness of the Eterh£ll by the ardour of their desires. 
This disposition of mind gave birth to impostures, re<* 
volts, and disturbances; the authors of whidh the Ro* 
hian power punished in such a manner as to discou- 
rage their adherents, or at least quickly to disperse 
them. Down to the era we are about to speak of^ 
<which the gospel of St. Luke fixes at the fifteenth 
year of the reign of Tiberius), none of those who 
had attempted to pass for the Messiah had been able 
to succeed. To have acted that part well, there was 
need of forces more considerable than those which all 
Judea could oppose to the conquerors of the world. 

'•-■ It was therefore necessary to have recourse to craft, 
and to employ delusions and trick in place of force; 
For this purpose, it was of importance to be well ac- 

.: quainted with the disposition of the Jewish nation; to 


tiiTect a great respect for its laws and usages, for which U 
entertained the most profound veneration ; to profit in- 
geniously by the predictions with which they were im- 
bued ; to move the passions^ and warm the imagina- 
tions of that fanatical and credulous people. But all 
ihis behoved to be silently eflfected; it was necessary 
for him who attempted it to avoid rendering himself 
suspected by the Romans ; it was necessary to be on his 
guard against the priests, doctors, and persons of edu- 
cation, capable of penetrating and thwarting his 
designs. It was therefore essential to commence with 
gaining adherents and co-operators, and thereafter a ' 
party among the people, to support him against the 
grandees of the nation. Policy required to shew him- 
self rarely in the capital, to preach in the country, and 
render odious to the populace, priests who devoured 
the nation, nobles who oppressed it, and rich people 
of whom it ought to be naturally jealous. Not ta 
alarm minds too much, prudence demanded that he 
should speak in ambiguous language and parables. 
Neither could he dispense with working c miracles, 
which much more than all the harangues in the world 
were at all times calculated to seduce ignorant devo- 
tees, disposed to see tlie finger of God in every act, 
the true causes of which they were unable to de- 
velope.* t .. r-^ivt*- Hit ' y -^i<.'M_ 

* Miracles, says Boulanger, appear to hare been inrented ttf 
supply the vrant of good reasons. Truth and evidence have no 
need of miracles to ensure their reception. Is it not very as^ 
ionising that God Almighty should find it easier to derange the 
order of Natofe^ than to conrince mankind of truths the most ' 
evident, and calculated to force theTr assent ? Miracles were ia> 
troduced to prove things which it is impossible to believe ; for 
tbere ii no need of miracles when w« talk of reason. Things 


Such was the conduct bf the personage whose life 
we examine. Whether we suppose that he had been 
in Egjpt, for the purpose of acquiring the talents ne- 
cessary to his ¥iews, or that he had always resided at 
Nazareth, Jesus was not ignorant of the dispositions 
of his countrymen. ~ As he knew how much predic- 
tions were indispensably requisite to work upon the 
minds of the Jews, he made choice of a prophet and a 
forerunner in the person of his cousin John Baptist. 
The latter, evidently in concert with Jesus, preached 
repentance, baptized on the banks of the Jordan, and 
announced the coming of a personage greater than 
himself. He said to those who gave ear to him, "I 
indeed baptize you with water unto repentance : but 
he thatxometh after me is mightier than I, the latchet 
of whose shoe I am not worthy to loose : he shall bap- 
tize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire." 

Jesus accordingly repaired to John on purpose to 
arrange matters with him, and to receive baptism from 
his hands. According to the report of St. Matthew, 
John, at first, made some difficulty, affirming, that so far 
from being worthy to baptize Jesus, it was from him 

incredible are here adduced in proof of incredible thing^s. 
Almost all impostors who have fabricated religions, have an- 
Hounced incredibilities to mankind. They have afterwards fa- 
bricated miracles in proof of those incredibilities. " You can- 
not (they said) comprehend what I tell you ; but I will clearly 
prove that I tell the truth, by doing things that you cannot 
comprehend." Trutlt is simple and evident; the marvellous is 
ever to he suspected. Nature is always true to herself; she actt 
by invarying laws. To say that God performs miracles, irtii 
Day that he contradicts himself, and violates the laws which he 
has prescribed to nature; it is to say, that be renders useless 
huroao reason, of which JHy« the author. 

tbat he himself ought to receive baptism, At last, 
Jiowever, he yielded to the orders of Christ, and admi? 
iiistered to him the sacrament of which the innocent soi) 
pf God could not stand in nee4.* -; i,i 7 ..:.,•> 

There is reason to believe, that in this interview 
the two kinsmen settled their pla,ns, and took the 
necessary measures for making them succeed. They 
both had ambition, and shared the mission betweeq 
them :r^St,John yielded the first character to Jesus, 
whom he judged better qualified to play it with success, 
and contented hin^self with bejng his precursor, preachi 
ing in the desert, beating up for followers, and prepar*! 
^ ing the ways for hiiu-r-all in consequence of a prophet 
cy of Isaiah, who had said," J*repareye the way of the 
a' Lord, make straight in the desert a -highway for pur 
God" — an obscure and vague prediction, in which, 
however. Christians believe they see clearly- designed 
the Messiah and his holy precursor. ^ .. vi,s'.:. , 

The arrangemeuts being once settled by our two 
jnissiooaries, Jojin took care to tell those who caoie to 


• St. Matthew, chap. iii. 14. The Jews were in the use of 
baptiziug all the proselytes they made. Baptism was, according 
to them, OL regeneration, calculated to render the baptized quite s\ 
new mac, in so far as to be then entitled to marry his own mother. 
But John and JesUs wished to baptize, or regenerate, the Jews 
themselves, pr«tending that regeneration was as necessary for 
them as for the prpselytes. See ^ern^rcl la NouTelle^ de la Re-, 
publ . des Lettres, tome.- 3 1 . page 566. i- ..4*. ; , ■_,-( , 1 ^^gjji :. j,y a-ki-. 
. The ceremony of baptism was practised io the jqysle^ie& of 
Mjthias, and those initiated were- thereby regenerated. Mythiaf 
was also a me^i^itor. Though Christian divines consider bsp^ 
tism necessary to salvatipn, we find Paul would not suflfer th^ 
Corinthians to be baptized. We also learn that he circum^is94 
Timothy. — Chrisjtianity U^veileif, p*^^ a ;;$..' } . ;.,,! i"; ; ;e ,i 

77 . 

to hear him, that, to pacify Heaven, it was time to 
repent;* that the arrival of the Messiah was iiot far 
off; and that he had seeo hhn. The sermons of John 
having made considerable noise, the priests of Jerusa*^ 
lem, vigilant as to what might interest religion, and 
wishing to be informed .of his views, and acquainted 
with his person, they dispatched emissaries after him ; 
these men put some questions to him, and asked if he 
was the Christ, or Elias, or a prophet. + John an- 
swered, that he was none of those. But when he was 
asked bj what authoritj he. baptized and preached, he 
declared, that he was the forerunner of the Messiah. 
This proceeding of the priests only tended to give 

" ■ ■ t" ■ ■ -1' >.-.■-■-,-." - f-l-i ■ . '■ ' ■ ■ 

■ * TIiCBaperiititioils %an,' If he be wiclced,' gives himself np 
tp crime wilh remorse ; but his religion quickly furnisbei him 
yith the means of getting rid of it. His life is generally a 
long series of error and grief; of sin atid expiation. Stilt he 
frequently commits crimes of greater magnitude in order to ex- 
piate the former. Destitute of any permanent ideas of morality, 
he accustoms himself to look on nothing as a crime, but that 
"which the ministers and interpreters of heaven forbid him to 
commit. He thu9 considers actions of the blackest dye, which 
are held out to him as agreeable to God, as the means of effacing 
his transgressions. History affords numerous examples of fanjitics 
expiating, by the most atrocious persecutions, their adulteries, 
infamy, unjust wars, and usurpations ; and, to wash away their 
iniquities, bathe themselves in the blood of those superstitious 
beings, whose infatuation made them martyrs. 

+ It was an opinion received by several Jews, that Elias must 
come before the Messiah. A ^reat number of Christians b&» 
lieve also, in our days, that the coming of Elias ought to pr^ 
cede the advent of Jesus Christ, in order to judge the worlds. 
See the sentiments of the fathers on the return of Elias. It is 
also the opinion of the Jansenists at this day, who, like the first 
(Christians, have their heads filled with^matical and. wopf^i 
j^pas of tl^e near en^ of the world. K ~,^5#^ ^^>it r «» ^«i0 


greater weight to John's asserti(His,and naturally excit« 
ed the curiosity of the people assembled to bear him. 
The next day they went id a crowd to the place where 
fhe preacher baptized^ when, pn^ting skilfully by the 
circumstance, and perceiving^ Jes»9 approaching, he 

exclaimed, ^< Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh 

away the sin of the world. This is he of whom I said, 
after me eometh a man which is preferred before me.*! 
It is proper to observe, that the author of the gos- 
pel ascribed to John, perceiving that it was important 
to remove the suspicion of collusion between Jesus 
and bis forerunner, makes the Baptist declare twice 
tl^t ke kftez/p Mm not, before baptizing him; bat that 
it had been revealed to him by the Deity, that the per- 
son,t on whom he should see the Holy Ghost descent!* 

ing during his baptism, was the Son of God. From 
thence we see that according to this evangelist, John 
did not know Jesus; who was however his kinsmaUj^ 

according to St. Luke. ^ ';/ -^ > >*!» s 

:«>rcJohn was much esteemed by the people, whom a 
kind of austere and extraordinary life has always the 
power of seducing. They did not su^eet that a mis- 
sionary, so detached from the things of this world^ 
could ever deceive them. They believed on his word> 
that the Holy Ghost, under the form of a dove,* had. 

* The Holy Ghost ^ras, according to. the new nunifestatioa 
of it, a bodi^ Being, which eoultl appear in one or many distinct 
bodies, at one and tfae same time. At Pentecost it came like- 
the rmhing of a mighty vomiy and appeared on tbe head of each 
speaker tike a fiery, cloven tongue. There is' not a word of tho' 
Holy Ghost in aii the Old Testament. There is mention made 
of the Holy Spirit as a nature, or quality j but not of the ^c)llJ 
^ost as a bodily thing.— i>. Atiet^ « t^J ^- ^'^ -f^ -^ ^^ "^■- f'^^ 

7^. -■.. " '• ■ 

- r -■- T^ ' ■ 

descended pnjesu«, ana that he was the Christ 6f 
Messiah promised by the prophets. V 

On another occasion we will also find John Baptist 
affecting^ not to know his cousin Jesus Christ : he de-* 

puted to him some of his disciples to learn who he zoos f 

Jesus replied) that they had only to relate to Jfohn the 
miracles he had operated ^ and by that sign their mas-^ 
(er would recognise him. We shall have occasion a& 
ter wards to speak of this embassy.* 

Jesus had associated with him a confident, then 
called Simon, and afterwards Cephas .or Peter, who 
had been the disciple of John. Scarcely had Simon 
taken his arrangements with the Messiah, when he 
drew over his brother Andrew to the new sect. These 
two brothers were fishermen. We readily presume^ 
that Christ would not choose his followers among the 
grandees of the «)untry. 

The progress of John Baptist, and the attachment 
of the people to him, alarmed the priests* they com- 
plained loudly^ and John was arrested by order of the 
tetrarch Herod, who, according to St. Matthew, mado 
him be beheaded through complaisance to Herodias 
his sister-in-law. Yet we do not find the historians 
of this prince reproaching him with the punishment of 
the forerunner. After John's death^ his disciples at^ 
tached themselves to Christ, whose coming John had 
announced, and who, in his turn^ had rendered in be- 
half of John the most public testimonies in presence of 
the people: for Jesus had openly declared, that Johii 
was ** greater than a prophet, and greater than an 
angel, and that he was not born of womkn w^P was 
greater than him." Nevertheless, the Messiah, dreadi^ 

^»ii^^. £,;'.., i,»,See Chap. XI. of thUwork.-,:. ■,.„-, .■■"stsi'" ■ 

---i'r '..*>. 

ihgtobe involved in the affair of his forferuriner, tett 
his two disciples at Jerusalem, and withdrew into the 
desert, where he staid forty dajs. It has been re- 
marked, that during the imprisronment-of John, Christ 
^;did not think of deliveriifg hinl ; he performed no 
miracle in his behalf ; after bis death, he spoke but 
little of him, and forbore pronouncing his eulogy. 
He had no more need of him, and perhap? he wished 
by this conduct, to give a lessoji to tbose' who serve 
the views of the ambitious only in a secondary capacity, 
and teach them that theiy ought tiot to reckon too muc& 
on gratitude. ■■■:'^"'-^''^'' - --^^?'^;fef^***f»?^^*^-5*'^« - 

' It would have been a bad exOrdiuni to assign fear 
as the motive of the Messiah's retreat. The gbspeL 
informs us that he was carried up hy the Spirit, whic^ 
transported him to the desert. It was necessary that 
Christ should surpass his forerunner. The latter had 
led a very austere life, his only nourish itient being wild 
honey and locusts ; but the gospel aflSrms, that Jesus 
eat nothing at all during his retreat, and that on the last 
day, having felt himself ^Mwgry/ angels Came and mi* 
nistered to him. 

Moreover, to evince the importance of his mission, 
the prejudice which it was to occasion to the empire of 
thedeviljand the infinite advantages which were to' 
result from it to his followers, Jesus on his return 
pretended that Satan had tempted him i made the 
most flattering offers on purpose to engage him to de- 
sist frpm his enterprise ; and proffered him the moRai'" 
chy of the universe, if he would renounce his project 
of redeeming the human race. The refusal he gave 
to these propositions, evinced a supernaturalN desire 
to labour fbr the salvation of the world. Such as 
^heard these details must have been filled with aston- 

h^noli^nt, pdnetrat^d With gratitude, and burning with, 
zeal for the preacher^; of consequence, the number df 
his adherents increased; 

St. John theEvangeUst, or the person who has writ- 
ten underhis name, whose object appears particularly 
to havi^ been to establish the divinity of Jesusj has not 
luetitioned his carrying aWaj, abode in the desert, and 
temptation'. TfaeBe transactions mtist hav6 been reci> 
koned by him prejudicial to the doctrine be want&d to 
introduce; Sti Mat the W; St. Mark, and St. Luke, relate 
the carrying aw^y, and temptations which ensued, in 
a different manner, but calculated to ^hew thd power 
of Satan over the Messiah. In fact^ he transported him, 
no doubt in spite of himself, to the pinnacle of the tem- 
ple, and by an astonishing miracle made Jesus con* 
1template3 from the 'summit of a mountain j all the king- 
doms of thb univeree^ without even excepting- thosfe 
whose inhabitants were antipodes of Judea^ It must 
he confessed, that^ according to the gospels, the devil 
works marvels, whi<ih j^ield in nothing to those of 
iChrist. .•/ ■ _ ; ^rm^mr 

The flight dnd absence of Jesus made bim lose for 
Scfme time, his two first disciples Peter and Andrew, 
^he necessity of providing for their owti subsistence, 
eonstraioed them to resume their former trade of fishers. 
As their master durst not then sojourn at Jerusalem, he 
retired towards the banks of the sea of Galilee, where 
he recovered them^ ** Follow me (said he to them) ; 
Leave your nets; of catchers of fish I will make 
you fishers of men.* He probably made them under- 

. * This doctrine iras zealously acted upon during all the 
Kazarene era. The Roman Catholics fished^, in many parts of 
the g^lObe, with the net of sword, fire, and water; they op« 


Mimd, that l!he reflettionS fee! huA mvtde ^ring feis fW- 
tJFemeiyt, fuftfidshed hiiB witti €ert*in means of sQbsi&t- 
ing without toil, by the credulity of th& vulgar. The 
t^o brothers' forthwith followed faim, 

■-.l^^be^er Jesus had beea expelled from Nazareth 
hf kirsfellow citizeRS, •or wliether be had quilted it of 
b«B own accord^ he departed and fixed hk residence fop 
the time lat Capernaiun, a -iBariftsiBe dty, situated on 
ike confines of the tribes of ZalMtloo aod Naphtali. 
His watber, a widow, or separated from her hustmnd, 
followed hina : she could be useful to Jesus, and the 
little troop of adherents who lived with hi<n. 

It was at this time, that our bero, seconded by his 
dlsciplee, betook himself to preachiii^. His sermon, 
like that of John, consisted in sayings Repent, for the 
kingdom of heaoen is at hand. We ought perhaps at 
ibis period to fix the era of the inifisioB of Christ. 
John, !we have seen, commenced preadiing in the fif-> 
teentbyear of Tiberius ; it was in the same year, that 
bis interview with Jesus took place, when be was bap- 
tized by John. It was also towards the end of this year 
^bat John disappeared : after which Jesus was in the 
desert, from whence be returned to reside with bis mo- 
ther io the city of Capernaum. There he sojourned 

'pressed mall -tiieir dominions (to their eTerlasting shame), tho 
Jews, as weli as other persnasions of mai^Lind. Our modem 
reformed filasarenes 'contiiuie to recognise the same doctrine, 
itU with gotd prospects amd ftumcntfy, and not without a 'benefi- 
cial view towards macdund. They formed themselves into a 
Fisher Society, in order to support ^Aer» or prose fj/tes, and to 
assist, in some measure, the poor and unintelligent jf«Ae«' which 
fall in their net. Indeed such a command br doctrine is not 
id be found in any part of the Bible, nor in the Talinudical 
Treatises of the Hebrews.— ri/c " The Constancy of Israel,* 

n. sbort tim« only, on account of the aff^roae^ of tlie 
fe»tiv9lof the passover, to celebrate which be repaired 
to Jerusalem. Wo nwj^ therefore, fix the commonce- 
mentof Christ^s preaching at the stxteenth jear of Ti- 
berius. This is the only sjstem the gospel presents. 
He celebrated the passov^r three tknes before his 
death; and the eominon opinion i$, that his preaching^ 
lasted three jears, w until the nineteenth jear of the 
same emperor; 

The rumours excited by the baptism and preaching 
of John, and the testimonies he bore in behalf of €hrist, 
having died away on the imprisonment and punish- 
ment of the forerunner, and flight of the Messiah, the 
latter resumed courage, and thought that, with the 
assistance of bis disciples, be ought to make a new at- 
tempt. Too well known or disparaged at Nazareth^ 
and slighted by his kinsfolk, who, on all oecasi^M, 
seemed to know what to think of him, Jesns quitted 
that uBgratelbl city on purpose to establish himself, as 
we bare remarked,, at Capernaum, in the sixteenth yeaf 
of Tiberius. It was there that be beto(^ hiimelf to 
preaching his new system to some poor fi^ermen, and 
other low people. 'He soon found, however, that his 
mission wft» too circumscribed in that place : but to 
acquire lame eclat, he judged it necessary to perform 
a miracle, that is to say, in the language of the Jew^ 
some trick capable of exciting the wonderment of the 
vulgar. An opportunity occurred for this: some inha- 
bitants of Cana, a small village of Galilee Snp^or, at 
the distance of about fifteen leagues from Capernaum, 
invited Jesus sind bis mother to a wedding. The mar- 
ried persons were poor, though St. John, who alone 
relates this story, gives them a steward ; yet he tells 
US, that their wine failed at the moment the. guests 


were balf intoxicated, or gaj, and tbat tSS^itcheni 
were found ^mptj. On this Mary,^ who knew the power 
or the dexterity of her son, spoke to him : They have 
«o wine, said she^ in an insinuating tone ; Jesus an-t 
swered her very roughly, and in a manner which evir 
dently denoted 9, man warmed with wine : Woman, what 
have I to do with thee ? It may howeyer be supposed, 
that Chf^ist bad not tots^lly )ost the use of his reason, 
as be still possessed presence of mind to transmute 
water into wine, so that the miraculous wine was even 
fo,und better than the natural wine they bad drank at 

This first miracle of Jesus was performed in pre^ 
sence of a great number of witnesses, already half 
drunk ; but the text does not inform us, whether they 
were equally astonished the day following,, when the 
liimes of the wine were dissipated. Perhaps, Indeed, 
this miracle was witnessed by the steward alone, with 
whom it is not impossible Jesus had secret intellit 
gence. The incredulous, less easily persuaded than the 
poor half-intoxicated villagers, do not observe in this 
transmutation of water intQ_ wine, a motive for being 
convinced of the divine power of Jesus. They re* 
mark, tbat in the operation, he employed water in 
order to make his wine ; a circumstance which may 
give room to suspect, that he made only a composition, 
of which he, )i|ke many others, might have the secret.* 

* A supernatural exen\f io order to be believed, requires 
much stronger proofg than a fact no way contradictory to pro? 
bability. It is easy to lielieve, oq the testimony of Fbilostrates, 
that Appollonius existed, because his existence has nothing in 
it contrary to reason ; but I will not believe Pfailostrates, when 
he tells me thai App<d)onius performed miracles. I belieTC 

that Jesus Christ died ; bull do OQt hdie.T§ tliat he rpse fifpm ^$ 
dead.: — BouJanger. 


There was, in fact, no more power necessary to create 
if iue, and fill the pitchers without putting^ water into 
them, than to make an actual trajpmutation of water 
into wine. At leaet, by acting in this ihanner, he would 
have removed the suspicion of having made only a 

In whatever manner the miracle may have been per- 
formed, it appears to have* made some impression on 
those who saw it, or who heard it related. It is cer- 
tain Jesus profited by it to extend his mission even to 
thecafM^tal of Judea; only giving time for his miracle 
to spread, in order to produce its effect. In expecta- 
tion of this, he withdrew with his mother, brothers, 
and disciples, to Capernaum, where he remained till 
the festival of the pas^oyer (the time of which was near), 
should collect at Jerusalem a multitude of people, be-: 
fore whom he flattered himself with beiijgable to ope- 
f^tip ^ gre.^Muniberofi^arvels. 




*' ir ' 


■ ■;' ■ '"'''C V ,^^ , ,W»TH NICODEMUS* -^ 

THE noise of the miracle at Cana harmg reached 
Jerusalem, by means of those who repaired to that ci- 
ty from Galilee, Jesas went there himself^ accompat 
liied by some of bis disciples ; but of the number of the 
latter we are ignorant. It was, as has been men- 
tioned, the time of the passover, and consequently, a 
moment when almost the whole nation were assembled 
in the capital. Such an occasion was doubtless fa- 
vourable for working miracles. St. John accordingly 
affirms that Jesus performed a great number, without, 
however, detailing any of them. Several of the wit- 
nesses of Christ's power believed in him, according to 
our historian ; but he did not place much confidence 
in them. The reason given for this is, '< Because he 
knew all men, and needed not that any should tes- 
tify of man ; for he knew what was in man.*'* — In 
short, he knew every thing, except the means of giv- 
ing to those who saw his miracles the .dispositions ho 

* S\. John ii. 34 and 2IU 


Bot,iiow reconcile ^Et^ in the Woviders Tp&etorm^ 
hy Jesas, kt these nenr oomveris, with the bad dii^osi- 
tiens )they irere known to possess ? If be knew the 
state of mind of these wknesses of Ms miracles, whf 
p^form them with<»itain loss ? In this there is a want 
of jttst inference in the writer, which nost not, how- 
ever,.be imputed to Jesus. It is perhaps better not to 
refer to St. John in this matter, than to believe that 
his sagacious master would perform miracles without 
design^ or for the sole pleasure of working them. 

In the same journey to Jerusalem, Christ performed 
an exploit wbidb is as great as a miracle, andm'inces a 
very powerful arm. According to an aii<^ent usage, mer- 
chants had est^ltshed ttemselves,^ specially duiing 
the solemn festivals, under the porticos wbicfa exivi* 
roned the temf^. They furnished victdBsand offer* 
ings to the devoat, which they were .to present to the 
Lord, ifl order to accomplish the ordinances of tiie 
law ; and, for the accommodation of the Jews who re^ 
paired f&ither from different countries, and for their 
own interest, the priests had permitted the money 
changers to £x their offices in this place. Jesus, who 
on every occa8i<Mi shewed himeelf'bHt little favourablo 
to the clergy, was shocked at this nsage, which, far from 
being criminal, tended to fecilitate the accomplishment 
of die Mosaical law. He made a scourg« of ropes, 
and, displaying a vigorous arm on those merchants, 
drove Aem into the streets, frightened their cattle, and 
overturned the counters, without any, in tlieir aston-*^ 
ishment, being able to oppose his enterprise. It may 
be conjectured, the people had no reason to be displea- 
sed with the disturbance, and that they profited by the 
money and effects which Jesus overturned in tbe pa- 
roxysm of his seal. No -doubt his disciples did not 


forget themselves on this dccasidn^ their mnster coulct 
bj this exploit make provision for them, especially If 
they had been ill the secret, and enable them to defray 
all. expenses during^ their residentie . in the capital.* 
Besides, thej saw iii'^ this. event the accomplishment 
of a prophecy of the Psalmist,- trho foretold, that the 
Messiah would be " eatea upwitb the zeal of the 
house of the Lord' *-^a prophecy which was evidently 
verified by the uproar whidi Christ had occasioned^ 
With, respect to the jnercbants, it wotild appear they 
bad not comprehended the mystic s^fnse of this predic- 
tion, or at least they did not expect to see it verified 
at their own expence. In their first surprise, they did 
xot oppose the unexpected attacks of a man who must 
have appeared to them a maniac ; but^ on recovering 
from their astonishment, they complained to the ma-^ 
gistrates of the loss they bad sustained; The magis- 
trates, afraid^ perhapS) of involvings their authority, 
by punishing a man of whom the people had become 
the accomplice, or a fanatic whose zeal might be ap^ 
proved of by devotees, did not wish to use rigour for 
this time ; they contented themselves with sending 
to Jesus^ to know from himself by what authority he 
acted— " What sign (said they to Christ) she west 
thou unto us, seeing that thoU.doest. these things T' 
Oil which Jesus answered^hem, '^ Destroy this temple^ 

* SU Augustin says, that, of rigfit diviae^ aU things belong 
to the just: — a maxim founded on a passage in the Psalms, which 
states, that the just shall eat the fruit of the labour of the un- 
righteous. It is known that the Popje, hy a bull giten in favour' 
of the kings of Caslile, Arragon, and Portugal, fixed the lind 
oi demarcation, whieh was to rale the conquests each had gained 
over the li^deis. After such principie»i isooi; the whole earth 
to become a prey to Cbristiau rapacity i 

and in three days! will raise it up.^ But ike JeWi 
ifrerenot tempted to itaake trial of tHs;— ^tbej tookhim 
for a foolj and returned, shrugging their shoulders. 
If, however, thej had taken Christ at his word^ thej 
would have experienced i^reat embarassitiettt ; for the 
gospel informs US) that it was not of the temple of 
Jerusalem he spok^ but of hrs own body. He meant 
his resurrection^, says- St. John, which was to happen 
three days aftei^ his ^atb^ The Jews bad not suffieient 
discernment to divine this enigma, and the disciples 
themselvea did not penetrate its true meaiiift|;i till a 
long time after, when they pretendcfd their mlister had 
risen from the dead. We i^nnot forbear admiring 
Providence, wbteh, wishing to instruct) enlighten, and 
convert the-Jewish people by the mouth of Christ, em'^ 
ployed only figures, allegories, and entgrantieal sym* 
bols, totally ' inexpiieable by persons the most Inge* 
Bious and most experienced.* '^'^'^^ ^mim-^ <nl : Itm 
But though Jesus had the power of raisti^ himself 
ffom the dead, he did not wiish to employ tfaii marvel- 
lous power in saving himself when in the hands of the 
i-CKfiEiOTi^s*.'- wiQid-'i-mk'^'^i- tiis^'^WB&jin *emms ■ "w^-^kti^soq'- 

■6t!^:'. "■' - ■: ■'■ .^--u ' " '■-' : '' ' ■' ■• ' ■ -"■.'V'i 
* Bf^ligioB U by no meaiU formed for eTeath& most intdii* 
gent part of mankiad, who, as well as the uniastrocted, are ut- 
terly incapable of comprehendiag any of those aerial sttbtil- 
ties on which it reits. Who it the man that anderstandi the 
doctrines of the tpititttalUjf of God ; of the fmrntfterta^a^of the 
soul ; or of the mysteries of r6ligt<m 2-^Noae indeed witt pre* 
tend to this. Yet we .find these theological specaUlioo^ which 
no one anderstands, have frequently disturbed the repose of 
mankind, through the stabborn dispositions of those who 
gave them credence. Even the women have believed them- 
selves obliged to take a part in the quarrels, excited by idle 
donlemplirtori, who are always of less ntilily to society (haa the 
meanest artizan, ' di ?fio /"rsf^© ^i o^a 


Jfews, readj to arrest and punish him as a disturber'of 
the public repose. He thought it more convenient 
and prudent to decamp, without noise, and shelter 
liitnself bj natural wajs from the pursuit of those 
whom his brilliant expedition might have displeased. 
He proposed, therefore, to withdraw from Jerusalem 
during night, when a devout Pharisee, wishing to be 
instructed, came to see. him. He was called Nico- 
dj^mus, and,iield:the place of seoatof — a rank which 
does not aj^ajs exempt from; iacredulitjt >' Rabbi, 
(said he |tjO Jesus), we know tl|at thou art a teacher 
sent from; God .; for no man cap, do. jtbjese iq jracl^s i^ajt 
thou doest, except God be with hiwa.!?, . '?• m^h^'«^ ; r 
, This opportunity was &vourable for Jesus to de- 
clare biniself : by a single word he could have decided 
gn hjs'diyiiiiity, and acknowledged, before this senator 
4lo kindly disposed, that he was God.; Yet he did none 
of this; he evaded answering directly, and contented 
himself with saying to. iN^icodemus, that nobody can 
share in the kingdom of Go4 .unless h& born again. 
The . i^jtonished proselyte 'exclairaeid, that it -was im- 
possible for a man already old to be bom again, or 
enter of new into his mother's womb. On which Jesus 
repilied: *^I say unto thee, except a man be born of wa- 
ter and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom 
of God." It appears, that Nicodemus was not better 
satisfied than before ; Jesus, therefore, to Biftke himself 
more pei^picuous, added, '' Knowest thou not, that 
what is born of the flesh is flesh,- and that which is 
born of the spirit is spirit ? Marvel not, that I said 
unto thee, ye must be born again — Th^ wind bloweth 
where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof 

but cannot tell whence itcometh, and whither it goeth : 

80 is everyone that is born of the spirit." mi&'moi&sm 


'^' tn spite of the precision and plainness of these in- 
structions (resembling the reasonings of our theolo- 
gians), Nicodemus, whose understanding was doubt- 
less shut up, did not yet comprehend any part of them 
— " How (asks he) can these things be ?" Here Jesus, 
pushed to extremitj, grew angff j. " How (says he to 
him), art thou a master of Israel, aii4 knoi^est not 
these things ? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, we speak 
that we do know, and testify ithat we have 8ee% 
and ye receive not our witness. If I have told yoir 
earthly things, and je believe not, how shall ye believe 
if I tell joa of heavenly things? ;Ajid no maii hath as- 
cended up to heaven but he that came down from hea- 
ven, even the son of man wt^icb isin hea;ren."* 
' We thought it our.duty to relate this curious diar 
logue, as a specimen of the logic of Jesus; the more 
so as it seenft to have -served as a modelfor the fashion 
of reasoning observed by all the Christian doctors, 
who are in the use of explaining obscure things by 
things still more obscure and unintelligible. They 
terminate all disputes, by referring the decision to 
their own testimony ; that is, to the authority of the ' 
church or clergy, entrusted by God himself with regu- 
lating what the faithful ought to believe. ^ 

The rest of the conversation of Jesus with Nicode- 
]DUS is eqps^lly perspicuous, and in the same tone : 
Christ alone speaks, and appears by dint of his reasons 
to have silenced the docile senator, who, it seems, 
retired fully convinced. Thus it is, that a lively faith 
disposes the elect to yield to the lessons, dogmas, and 

pvsteries of religion, even when it is impossible to at*« 

t^.^l(^#a:^i*siiiu;j45? .* St. Joba Ui« 1-13« u^h-'O- 


tacB any- meaning to the words thej hear pronoan* 

- * The first of the Christian yirtaes, says Boulanger, Ufaiih^ 
which serres as a foundation for all the others. It consists in an 
impossible CMviction of the revealed doctrines, and absurd 
fables, -which the Christian religion commands its disciples to 
believe. Hence it appears, that thig virtue exacts a total re^ 
nunciatioB of reason, an impracticable assent to improbable 
facts, and a blind submission to the authority of priests, "who 
are the only guarantees of the truth of the doctrines and 
miracles that every Christiaa mud. believe, under penalty of 
damnation. This virtae, though so necessary to all mankind, 
is, nevertheless, a gift of heaven, and the effect of special grace. 
It forbids all doubt and enquiry, and it deprive^s man of the 
liberty of exercising his reason and reflection. It reduces hiiiil 
to the passive acquiescence of beasts, in matters which he is, at 
tiie same time, told are of all things Uie nosA important to his 
eternal happiness. Hence it is plain, that £uth is a virtue iavevtr 
ed by men, who, shrinking from the light of reason, deceived 
their fellow creatures, to subject them to their own authority, 
and degraded them, that they might exercise an empire over 
their minds. If faith be a virtue, it is certainly useful only to 
the spiritual guides of the Christians; for they alone gather its 
fruits. It cannot but be injurious to other men, who are 
taught by it to despise that reason which distinguishes them 
from brutes, and is their only faithful guide in this world. 
Christians, however, represent this reason as perverted, and an 
unfaithful guide; by which they seem to intimate that it was 
not made for reasonable beings. But may we not ask, how far 
this renunciation of reason ought to be carried ? Do not they 
themselves, in certain cases, have recourse to reason ? Do they 
not appeal to reason, when they endeavour to prove the exist* 
ence of their God ? 4>^^ ■ ■«i*>f-^l»'--i^..fe4-Bp»-iiBF«%^ 

It is an absurdity to say, we believe that of which we have 
no conception. What then are the motives o*" the Christian for en-^ 
tertaining such a belief ? — His confidence in bis spiritual guides. 
But what is the foundation of this confidence? — Revelation, 
On what then is Revelation itself founded ? — On the authority of 
spiritual guides. Such is the manner in which Christians reason. 


■ T^ere is no further mention of Nicodemtis — We 
know not whether he resigned his office of senator to 
enrol himself among the disciples of Christ. Perhaps 
he was contented with secretly furiiighing succours 
to Jesus and his troop, in gratitude for the luminous 
instructions he had received. There is reason to be- 
lieve, that he knew how to profit by them, for St. John 
makes him return on the scene after the death of 
Christ, bringing a hundred pounds- weight of aloes and 
myrrh, for the purpose of embalming his body, and in- 
terring it, with the assistance of Joseph of Arimathea. 
This would prove, that he had come from his conversa- 
tion with Jesus a more able theologist than he had 
begun it. It is to be presumed, that, on thie occasion, 
Jesus granted him grace effectual or sufficient, (saving 
grace,)* without which it would have been perfectly 
impossible to comprehend any of his sublime theb- 

It must, however, be owned, that the impossibility of 
comprehending the doctrine of Jesus furnishes to the i 

ix^ According to theology, men have occaiionfor supernatural 
grace to do good. This doctrine is without doubt very hurt- 
ful to sound morality. Men always wait for the caUfrvm above 
.to do good, and those who direct them never employ the calls 
from beleWf that is the natural motives, to excite them to vir- 
tue. But the clergy know not how to give a true definition of 
:vlrlue. They say it is aa ejBTect of grace that disposes men to 

'■': do that which is agreeable to the Divinity. But what is grace 7 
-How does it act upon man ? What is it that is agreeable to God? 

'y Wherefore doeth not God g^ve to all men the grace to do that 
'fwhich is ^reeable in his eyes? ^dhuc sub Judice est. We arc 
unceasingly told to do good, because God requires it ;'but no one 
has ever been able to teach us what that good is which is ac" 
<;eptable to the Almighty, and by the performance of which i^ 
•ball obtaiu his approbation. ;»';' 


Incrediilous a plausible pretext for denj^ing that it can 
be divine. They caniiot conceive why a God, «5tit 
IK^hely i» instruct men, should never distinctly explain 
Ininself. No oracle of Pagailistn employed terms more 
arob^uous, than : the divine missionary chosen by Pro!> 
videnee to enlighten nations. It may therefore be con- 
iduded, that in this God ifimself made it bis study to 
'oieate obstades to his projects, and that he laid an un- 
avoidable snare not only for the Jews, but also for all 
4hose who must read the gospel, intirder to draw from. 
:lbencetl)e knowledge necessary to sadvation ; a con- 
duct which appears equally unworthy of a good and 
jost God, endowed with presci^ice and wisdom ;* yet 
with faith we may at last succeed in reconciling every 
thing, and readily coniprehend why God should speak 
'without wishiiig to'be understood.-^ . #ri|^ 

^-t ' " ' I ' 

<^ * It was said to a very celebrated philosopher, ioat God 

'liad inade man after his own image. ' " Man has returned him 

tte compliment,*' replied the ' sage. Xeb(^hanes observed, 

that if the ox or the elephant understood sculpture or painting, 

they would not fiiil to represent the Divinity under their own 

peculiar figure. In this they would have as much reason asPo- 

lycletus, or Phidias, who gave him the human form. We see, 

says Lamotte Le Yajer, that theanthrophy serTesfor the founda- 
tion of all Christianity. ifMit^i.-mnim: ^; __ 
*"+ It IS evident, says Mirabaud^ 'tKat~aII revelatidn which is 
'not distinct, or which teaches mysteries., cannot be the work 
of a wise and intelligent being. As soon as be speaks, they 
ought to presume that it is for the purpose of being under- 
stood by those to whom he intends to nianifest himself' To 
speakto as not to be understood, only announces foUy, or want 
of good faith. It is then demonstrable, that eVery thing which 
the priesthood have called mystery, are inventions to throw a 
thick veilover their own peculiar contradictions, and their 
•sn peculiar ignorance of the Divinity. They think to Mlv<t 


- As »oon as J«9!i)i9 b^ qiiitted I*iicpd^mas fae lef^ J.^< 
rusalem, his »}>Qde in whioh liatl become yery dangeroos, 
and betook Jiioiaelf t^ iraail^ring; throuf h the country of 
Jttdeaj frbere heepjpjledigreaitersa^ty. . There is rea- 
8oa to^ presume j; tibajL the^rdndalhehad.oecasipiiadia 
the ciipitaiv wbi^f^ »o gr^at^ a.iBultitiid^ <iifj^F€f) Uie^ j^-t 
serabled^:lia«liit0t;|uake him kiMMvn io paanyj 
he how^visr susceeded in gaipiqg partisa^i^ in.the^.couo^ 
try.cBiitt ko(f« did h^ ei»p}0j hiiBsqlfdurlpg^this period^. 
St. Joho/iB^?m»/us,: in .chapter third, 4h^t he jMip- 
ttZ0di thejcefiftef he tellsius, in chapter fourth,, that; ho 
did not baptize, but that his disciples baptized. &9 

One thing is certain, that after this he quitted Judea 
on purpose to go into Galilee. It was perhaps to be 
still more private, or to prevent the schism, which, ac- 
cording to the gospel, was ready to take place between 
the Jews baptized by John, and those whom Jesus and 

all difficulties, by saying it is a mystery. Besides, the interest of 
the clergy dictates that man should know nothing of that preten- 
ded science, of which they hare made themselYes the deposi* 

Revelation^ remarks the same intelligent writer, far from 
being a proof of the goodness of God, or of his commiseration 
for men, ia only a proof of his malice. Indeed all revelation 
supposes the DiTinity has been capable of leaTing the human 

species, during a cooiiderable period, unacqaaiated with truths 
the most important to' tlieir happiness. This revelation, made 
to a small number of chosen men, would moreover suppose a 
partiality, and an unjust predilection, but litle. compatible with 
the goodness of the common father of the human race. This 
revelation injures the divine immutability, since, by it, God 
would have permited men, at one time, to be ignorant of his 
will, and, at another lime, that they should be instructed in 

hhs dis^ples bad on tbeir pftrt baptized < Jesus Con' 
:ce« Yed that pt'udence required hrm to be at a distance^ 
in order to leave the field inore finee to a man whom 
he kn6w stiH usefbl tohi^own Mitereetj and who, as» 
we have seen, contented himself witb playing the se- 
cond part under bim. It verf soon appeared that Christ 
made a greater number of proseljteis than his cousin, 
and this circumstance in the end might have created a 
misunderstan^ng between them. ' Jesus tbereliMre di- 
rected bis march toward Samaria, - v^itber we are to 
follow bim, and from thence 1^ again passed intoGa- 
lileei*"-ii;i^ ^ ^inzib ^ibl hM i4«l, <v _ io/j^lM^ 

bnr, ^0^-51. ffirn!?* s>'*!ii Utu: <ti.ldl. ^d b-v^jiqcd ; wiT. *ji|i 

-ssoi^^lj -{li t'j/lfc^af^tSJ a'iSTT 3ff:A T»^i •*■ ■-''^o '^ > j» h'j^ 

< ^ . ,^ ^ \ . 

£ v« > ^', ^* i-^f'iU biu*>t.' .rri..'? «"={>i 

80 "^ '- ' '■- ' \A(S.s.'-.i, J T.U ' 
^' , ? 

* . r li ' > 


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5 *#i4 


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• .fl'J^U-Kj't 


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■^' ;:SN*':'^B*^I^ '■ CHAPTER' VI.-^-^^**^^***^^^^'" 


'■ ;•■ -3^*, . -OF the OEBASENES. ' , '^ ^:^j.5 

■i IT may be observed here once for all, that in this 

y . ^_>fexain1nationof the history of Jesus, we follow the most 

- ' •^generally received arrangement of facts, without mean- 

I " '- .wag to guarantee, that they occurred precisely in that 

' ':lRf, -order. Chronological mistakes are not of much ifi>fK>r« 

^^^* ' stance, when they do net ibflucinc^ the nature of events. 

; I 3esides, the evangelists, without Hxing any eras, conteat 

^:' ;, - ithemsel ves with saying at that timet which, at the period 

' v: t^e live, dispenses with our giving a very exact chrono- 

^; / ' «k>gy of the following tr|insactioRS. precision, indeed, 

' '. uirould require a labour as immense assuperfluouSy^^and 

. r ^<>'M14 only tend to^hewthat the history of Jeaus,dicta- 

. , '' ' jtedby the HolyOhost^is muciimore incorrect than that 

' ' , .<4>f celel^rated.Pajgans, even of an antiquity more T,emotQ. 

^ ' - It : wqtuld also prove that tl\e inspired writers of this ina- 

;? portant history contradict themselves every instairt, by 

-•k l> faking their hero act at the same time in different 

l^_ .p^e^j a^d xjften remotie from each other. Chi'thp 

^-'.. ^^th^.ba44« this paiii^ul labour would Tiot^info^ 

-tf: #hich of the evangelists we ought to follow ih pti' 

.ie«m^ to bi«^ bretbr^,,f je^eing aU in the eyes of faj^^ 

- ^hiv^ lequalty tnifeh ob tbetf i^de. Tiine aod placd 



siiaDge nothing in tbe nature of facts ; and it is from 
' tb^se facts we musi endeavour to form our ideas of t)ie 

legislator of the Christians. / <• 

'\ Je^s having begun 'bis joximey ia tlie summer sei- 

son, felt himself oppressed with thirst near Siebar, in 

. the country of Samaria ; an incident which gave rise 

to ti singular adventure. Near "this city there was a 

well, known by the name of the fountain of Jacob. 

{^atigued with his Journey, Christ sat down on ti^ 

brink of the Av^iii waiting the return of bis disciples, 

who had gone tov^e «ty in .quest of provisictas. It 

-was about noon, when a female came to draw water 

from the fountain. \ Jesus asked bar to Jdrink out of 

-the V€SSei she held; but the Samaritan, who knew 

ffom his countenance that he was a Jew, was astoni* 

ifhed at bis request, as there was no commerce or 

frieaftdsbip between the orthodox Jews awi the Sama- 

Tifans. According to the custom of partisans of diffei- 

ent S6ct8, they detested each other most cordially. 

The Messiah, who was not so delicate as the ordinaiy 

Jews, undertook the conversion of the female heretic, 

■^for whose sex and profession we find in bim a weakness 

through the whole course of his history./** if ^bou kneW^ 

est,** said he to her, ** the gift <rf God, and who it is 

that saith to thee. Give me to drita/k, thou wouMst 

liaVe asked of bim, and he wouid bate given tfati^ 

living water.*' The Samaritjiii woman, nrhb rftii 

hot observe Jesus have any vessel in his band, asked - 

j^ni whence he could draw the living water of which 

Ji^ spoke- i*' On this the IVlessiab, assuming, a mysteri- 

j5g^ \ton.§;* answered heir, *'Wbo8o driiiketh df 

*A toyStieHous and «mnte(^g9>Ie tnw it esstttialfy ae6tt« 
lify to the TBiaiatet^ of «II rd^oasL jy «itar intcOii^ fli< 
^kn without mfttarj, inoUk appefur k» divine to the gtnr* 

y^i'.-- '■"' 

s» = 


V---:-:- '■^i:v :.'^- ■ ' -'" -" -■' 

rv^felWell sbdl thirtt agairi, but whoisoever driftketh of 

Ihe water that I shall give him shall never' thirst ; it 

iliali be iri him a well of water springing up into ever* 

'_;^, listing life.''-^— Our female adventurer, who was a dame 

' • oftesy virtue, askied some of that marvellotts water, cat* 

J-Colated to estempt her from coming bfterwards to drai^ 

- /TIWeM^* Jesus, who, from the discourse, had been able td 

, t'drscover the profession of this woman, ingeniously go^ 

;^^^^tffrom^be btisinesg, by telling her to go sett h«^ 

, Jrlinsband and return; reckoniiig, perhaps, on1>eing 

'*ble to Steal away when she was gone. But the lady 

, ^Jte^Aed to him her life; ^ave some details of her con- 

; .■■ iilact ; and th«fcby enabled him to conjecture enough 

y^^Mto speak as a cOnjuror. Accordingly he told her 

5j^^hat she had had fiv6 huSbttitds; that she had none at 

H^i time, and that tb^ man with whom she lived waar 

only a gallant Immediately, the Samaritab wornat^ 

took JesBS for a sorcerer or a prephet; he did not 

^eny it ; and ad he wag not afraid of being stoned 61^ 

punished at the moment, he made bold for the first 

lilae to confess that he was the Messiah. 

r^ 'i'hey were at this part of their dialogue, when the 

fs9&7 of m6&, and would he Usa tOefo! to the sacerdojtal order^ 

liAose interest it is tbat itte people diouM compr^oid nothing 

of that whidi they befie^e to be the saest iinpoitant to thenv 

v%^|Saels without dmibt the sea«t of the dei|^.*'The priest must 

:^|jfre ,^ p9citi^^Bc^ tix^nuximj^KSixensiBeiPfal^, whom he mskeB 

apeak and act in 4h UBintdfigible manner, reserving to himself 

Ihe right of exj^mwng to moitalisr his pleaBQie in Ids own man- 

■■'■■Met; yriSie the peOf^, who in general wish to have thdr^ imagb 

safioBS pieaoad^ tatted ^lan Adr taidnsiaan^bigs instructed, give 

Ihe pre^treaee M^ a Clod thuttia most c(»eeafed, most myste^ 

4111^ fi^ jnost uokpQ^, He»ce thf! tnni^on c^ many naliaiu^ 

a|9K4 the «tiiy ^ tiie waEB% of ao invia^ agen^«<- 

'^■'^■^^, ' - - ' ■ 

'.'■'- \ ■ 


^-etura of Jesus* disci pks put an end to the convqrsatiojff^ 
The latter, whether they knew the profe&fiion of tbe^, 

^ loquacious dame, or were more (intolerant than thei|i| 
' master, were scandalized and surprized at the tete^ 

f tete ; yet none, of them dared to criticise thecondui^, 
of Christ. On the other hand, the Samaritan woman sef>f 
ing his retinue, believed in reality that he was a propl^pt;'' 
or the Messiah ; so leaving her pitcher, she went direc^y, 
tQ Sichar, " Come and see," said she to the inl>abitants^, 
"a man who told me all thiogs that ever I did ; is po^; 
this the Christ ?'* — The astonished inhabitants assem^i 
bl^dj went out and met Jesus; and charmed with heai^* 
^i^ him preach, without comprehending one word,, p^ 
^is discourse, they invited him to co^ and reside wit^ 
them, He yielded to their offers for tw^o days only A 
the provisions purchased were put up in reserve, and. 
tli^ troop lived 4" ring that time at the cost of these 
^ Jberetiqs, delighted no doubt with defraying the.e:?^^ " 

p<ences of theSavibur and hisjbllov^ers. i,,j^5 , ,,.^1, 
, ...Aljl^ the marvellous in this adventure ti,irns on Jesus 

; having divined that the Samaritan lady had had fiy*^ 
)jusbapds, and lived at that timejn crinainal interc6urse 
with a favourite. Yet it is easy to perceive that Christ 
<iou]d learn this anecdote, either in . Ws conversati.oa 
^vith the prating dame^ pijblkr rtt»npnr, qxj>svi^sik^ 
other very simple way. f a?! ^xi i^^ai& n^i^j^^Mm^^^'l^ 

' - But uhbelievers find another reason for criticfsin^ 
Pris r<»lation of St Jdhn : and laying aside the m«ihryM^ 
1feu§, fheyattect the truth of the Aill hisfj 

J»ry attestsi, that in the time of Jfsuj^jd^rist,. Samai^ 
was peopled by colonies of differeat nafcion«,j^bich^: 
^ Assyriaosb^ transported tfaither'afiep ttee destartrctio* 
of the kingdom of rsrael, Thik ^o-^W s<^ ' to exfefti^^ 
th^ ej^ectation dftlie fti^iab; in w&ich,"ac<K>tdH|g^to^ 

- ^-^ ■ ^ V ■ ■''■-' .; '. ■: > ' i- : .. ; -r'.:^ '-^^ 


St. John, the Samaritans lived. Pag;ans aod Idolators 
. ^-jCouWl nbt have very distinct notions of an event parti* *v 
- cular to Judea. If the Samaritans were the desc«n?'^ >? 
."; ^ants of Jacob, it was piot necessary to put into thr - .. 
inouth of the Samaritan wom^h. these words, " Our *;?- 
^- fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say, Jera» V i^^ 
j^alem is the place where men ought to worsbipi." : i It V 
; .was also absurd to make Jesus say, *' ye shall no more ^ 
• worship the Father, either in this mountain or at Jeru« ji v ^ 
. .salem ; ye wor^ip ye know not what.'* Firsts the law _ 
. V jof Moses does not forbid, lih^ worshipping God iu 

jwhatever place we may find ourselves. Secoiidly, the ' '^ 
daws or usages of the Jews required, in the time of 
' , phrist, that w^ne should offer sacrifice any where ex* 

> cept in vthe temple of the capital : but the .places <^1 > 
' 'Pfayer depended ;0Ji every man's own will and plea-' > ' 
. . sure. Thirdly,, it is absurd to aver, that the descen*--,/.' 
A^n\.% of Jacob, did not know the<jrod whom t^<^y^doEi»fc; '^ 
''■■ tedjto be Jehovah, the God o^ Mg^es imd tl>e Jtevjrp;: ; • 
unless it is pretended, that they did nofknow whom. , 
•they worshipped. On this^ headi indeed, since the m»•)*^ 
' -sion of Jesua, Christians have undoubtedly nothing to^ 
vV-feproach them with. Fourthly, The words r)f Jesus ott 
f 'this occasion stem to itisinuate, tha:t he wanted to abo- , 

''^. iish the worship of the Father ; at least it is certain t,bai^4 
'' ,ChristiaBs> shajre their homage; between hijm and. bis 
-v-Son, which, iaith apart, appears to iannibilate the 

v^Hlogma of -ilie unify of God.* .Moreover, Jesus djl4^ 

', ,.^ i; - '.-.■'■M^^- ^ ■' ■ ' ^ . ._ . o:Ii /-'''-v". - ., : . ■.;,'■;( 

,-:-, _:,f ^ avI .^^'^ .■.■^'^'•-: -^;^ J''-^ <"■':';!; ■,■■-// /;^^i> Ji.sJr-^ir^-Px 

^^^^.j^jThe^ djpgmft ^ tjicr trinity ^ ei^titly boiwwea from the 

■^- ^pipreaes of \PIa^, or frpin the a|l^;Y)rjes i^uider vvMcIi' tl^t >x(ki ' 

: mantic.pbilosopha c^tpse tp,^^ It ai^)«c|rE^ 

^t il^ Cfirisdan rdd^giOB ,is 

- part of its dogmas. I%to admitted tliree Byforiasest <» modes 

J-'S'-'' ' -■'■ ■>■'■'. ..^;.^.'L?;v"''-.V*''Vft 


wot guess rigbtly in saying, that the Father wonfd , 
he no longer worshipped either at Jerasalem, or oil th^ 
mountain ; for this Father has not ceased one instattt 
to be worshipped -there for these eighteen centortets 
pasty by Jews, by Chrirtians, and thereafter^ by Ma ho* 
metans./' , ;- v%«?^-<;^*^«'-' . : "* 

If If it is maintained tfiatthfe Samaritan woman was ii 
heathen, it is not very Hkely that she would h« ve re- 
garded Jesus as the Messiah, whom she neither koew 
of nor expected. Add also to this, that the Samarf- 
tans believed in Jesus on the word of SF courtezan ; 
ft credulity of which Jews and Christians only could 
be susceptible. JesuB and his disciples wefef Jews, amd 
in that character excluded from Samaria. It imports 
fiot therefore by whom the country was inhabited. '■* 
f Two days fcarrag elafpSed,»and the Samaritans of 
Sichar being, in £di appearance, sufficiently instructt^ 
JeSttS quitted their city, and accompanied by his d^ 
ciptes^ took the road of Upper Galilee. In this yovti^ 

etheiagin ^e dnrfinitr: &e litst cottsdtatedi^be saprtme Go^; 
tile MCondy the Logos, word, ot dhme iMeUigence, proceedhlg 
frcax) tbe $rst; the^iid e \im Wjfif^ or soul of . the woijd* Trhp 
early teacher;^ of the Christian reJi^n »[y>ear to have been V\ir 
toiucs ; thdr oithusiasm probabhf fijund m I'lato a doctrine JDa^ 
iogtms to thefr f^dKogs. "SkA they- been gtatefid, ikej Would 
Jbfire TGio6arded him as » proi^M, w, at kasi, a»oi»cS the&thata 
of the qfairdi. The Jesuitical migw«BB«riet. fcun4 a diving tH 
'J^tSxX n^9rly spnflar t» tha*- of the Chostiazjs. % the Twt#s 
God is caliy EonHn(hcik, the onfy God, and- KooHnosum, thr 
three^D^ God. They also give hixlr the titles, Om, Ha, Humj^in- 

tiii^<ie, :<rl^i, power dr word, kBart,^fove. !rte ^anfeKor t^ee 
Was j^ajrr revelred antoog the anctents; b^^catise Saiom, M t&e 
orient^ li^gua^,. i^^^nfiles d^, it i^ i^iHk t^. 10 d^nlfy A^A, 

'••■'' . 

*■'•,-'.. ... 
^;^'*.' s,.-?-iv: >,-vJr3 

.- '-T. 


P' "*'""'"^, - /■ > '>v-'--<. 


'<^ ney, Christ, considering the bad dispoBitioa «f hw -v 
Ivcountry men, thought proper not to entertbe city^^f Na- -% 

zareth, the place of^his nativity. He a|^Hed to him* 
^- ^ self the famous proverb, that > prcphet has no hm<mr ^ ! 
;Wa his own countrtf* It was otherwise in the rest :fi^ thit; ^'^' 
jsi province :-r-as soon as tt»e people knew of the arri'i^ 
#^ of Jesus, they ueglecte4 nothing to welGome him* Sth 
. liLnke assures us that he was esteemed and hoDOtired 
;|4)y every body.f . There is reason to believe that tbese 
. K^Ood people had beheld the wonders which he had 
;|pperated in Jeritsalem, during the festival of the p«9S*^v 
^jyretX In gratitude for these favourable dispositiene^ v-^ 
And for the faith he found among the Galileans,. Christ f - 
,;>did not content hixoself with instructing them, birt^ 
? confirmed his mission, and testified bis love, ^ a 
^i^ crowd of prodigies. The number was doubtless veapy 
t4^gfeat, as St. Matthew is constrained to say vaguelji, / 
that he healed all manner of aickness, and all sntBuenr^ 
of disease among the peofile ;§-— that it was sufficteRt 
to present to him the sick, whatever dise^ea tb^y 
might be ai&icted with; lunatics, whoBe oiumb^ wap 
great in that country ; idiots, hypochondriacs, aqd pi^f 
sons possessed witb de^ls. bad but to % to huBi ff^ 
relief and theur cure waa certain. f4;fec> 

This multitude of miracles^ % %so they style tb# 
cures operated by Jesusy drew after ^im a crowd jqC 
idlers and vagabonds, as well from Galilee as ffom Jk»> ^ 
rusalem, Decapolis, Judea^ and the countiy beytond 
Jprdan. It was in this Journey he made the acquuisir 
tioD of two famous disciples : they w«ne brQth^r% soo^ 
of « fisherman of the vsmt of <Zehed^> 9Q<i called Jai^fi 

tiiid JFobit. The first, though very probably he could 
not read j afterwards composed nautical works, which 
arc even at this day revered by Christians. With re- 
spect to John, who was a very fine lad, he became the 
fayoufrife of bis masjter, and received from hira marks of 
distinguished tenderness. He became afterwards a 
Bublime Plalonist, and, through gratitude, deified 
Ghrtet" ill the gospiels aud epistles published in his 

t-r The reputail'ibh and resoutces of Jesus were so greal 
in Galilee, that to augment the number of his disciples 
it was only necessary for him to open his mouth and 
speak. The two disciples already mentioned he called 
with an intention to keep near his person. Wishing, 
hoi^evef, to repoee himself after the fatigues of preach* 
iing^and miracles, be resolved to quit the cities, and re- 
•tiire to the set coast. He conjectured, that to make 
bhiSself d^irable, and not waste his credit, it was pra- 
deat not to suifer himself to be seen either too long oi* 
tod n^r. Th^ people, fond of hearing the wondef«* , 
fol sermons of Jesus, followed him. Pressed by the 
crowd, be happily perceived two vessels ; and throwing 
hiniself into one of them, ** precisely that which apper* ^ 
tained to Simon Peter, the first of his disciples, he h^ 
irangued tbei eager multitude from it." Thus the boat 
-erf a'fish^rman became a pulpit, from whence the Deity 
Siteed-his oracles. ■-' -\ -■-^^^^ ^' <^^--^^^':'-^^^^^^ — '^. , 

( fithe Galileans w%re notT^liali ^S^ 
-tHk^ of Jesus* adherents augments. We find his 
fOdrfirst apostles labouring in their trade of fishermen 
dafing tbeafaHode of the^ Messiah in the prdviiiicel The 
day on whicb he preached in the vessel had not been 
fortuQat^fpir them rand the night pre<:edin:g it bad not 
beea moi^' favooiralilei J^tts^ who kpew more thaa 

' ' 

. ■ . 

• - 

- .y"' '• ." ■ 


' ■' . ' * 



one profession, thought, that it behoved hiinto do some- 
thing for people, who shewed so much zeal. "Whlehi . 
therefore, he hajS finished bis harangue, and the crowd 

had retired, he bade Simon advance into the middle 
of the water, and cast his net; the latter excused jMfft- 
self, saying, that he had already thrown several jtlrties 
without success. Bat Christ insJ8ted:-^lhen Sitnoiif^ 
said, I will cast it on thy word: on which; by an'asto^ ' 
nishing miracle, the net broke on allsidesJ Simon^and 
Andrew being unable to drag it Qut, .they called their 
comrades, and drew otit of it fishes enough^to fill two 
ships. Our fishermen were so surprised, that Peter 
took his master for ;a wizard, and prayed- hin(i ta de- 
part . But Jesus encouraged him, and promised not 
again to; occasion the like alarms, seeh^^ Ifhat hence^ 
forth he,'Peter, sfaouldnb Wngerbusy-faima^f witb Ib^ 
catchmg of fish. . : /> vio:? ' ,';, i;;. 

- The Messiahy .finding himself near ^E!^8V judged^ it 
proper to enter that place, as. he had once befoi^ per-i 
formed a miracle there. An officer of 'iCapernautii^ 
whose eon was sick of a fever, repaired ' to thiStVillageij 
00 purpose to try the ren^dies of Jesus; of wl^s€u:effii£ 
cacy'so many persons boasteki. He^besought* thePpfay^ 
sician to come to his house, and cure-his ^n>;^^u<t dui| 
Esculapius, who did not cbuse to o^rat^ before/^|res 
too clear-sighted, got rid of this importunat&|ier6Qi»^ 
such.a way as not to irisk himself, in case. hti> sbouleb 
not succeed : Go, said he to the^officer; i^^ton/tyef^. 
The officer, while' Approaching ".his x>wnbabitationV 
learned that the fever; which perhaps Was'^oterifiittetitJ 
bad left his son. No more was necessary t9 cry lip' tbtf 
nati'acle, and conviert all the family^ * ^ ^^.b lj/o?i ,i 
• After having traversed the sea coast, and madesome 
piff^xM Cana^ J^sus Fjepaired.jK) Ca))en)ftumi; wjiere, la 



i-.- -'>.■■. --.-VV- v., -.■^<- 


pLmWy of ^mon Feter wM established in that city ; and 
It was QO doubt this redsoo, joined with the bad treat- 
ment be bad received from the inhabitants of Nazarttb, 
t^at'deterri|i«ed Cbrrst to make choice of tbia abode, 
{tftpipearahe wjas abhoirredjQ the city where he bad 
be^ educated; for. aasooo as he attempted tcf preach 
t|^e« the people wanted to tipow him headlong. At 
^perofauqa they- listened to and admired him; be ha- 
l4U)gued is the syoagogue, explained the scripture, and 
l^wed that he bEmserfwas foretold in it. ^ la the midst 
<^ his sermon one sabbath day^ they broaght luiii a 
person possessed, who, perliaps in concert with hiai^ 
began to cry out with all his might ; ** Let us alone) 
wbatbaire we, to d4 M(ith thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth ? 
•rt' ikovL asms to, dsatioy u»h I know thee who thoii 
slA, the holy one of ^ God." The people waited is 
t^rsor for tbo iasuye of thiSiadvientttre, when Jesus, cer- 
t90» <^ bts: g^ound^ tiddressed himself not to the man, 
^t to the deyll potsessing him, '* Hold thy peace,*^ 
^aid he, '^^nd come out of him.*' Inmiediately the 
BiAUgQ Spirit overturned the possessed, thi;ew hln into 
h^^ble co9Tiil8ions» and disappeared; withoirt anj 
pencm seeti^ bihos^ . I ^ 

I Pbysicifma» and especially those^quainted with tiite 
^llsjb^rQ. eouotiies, do noil admit miracles of the nature 
«| this one. They know that: the diseates takoi for 
pamuiwi, wercL qmn^ sotdy feo diioidersL prodooed 
p the brain by excessive heat. These maladie* werd 
(lequeat in Snde^ where tuperatttton and ignorance 
UniP^ed the ptogt^ts c^, mediciiK and of all uaefbl 
Iniiowledge.* Out <^ that country we find Init 



few peTsont poHeflsed wilEh devirs. TbuA- iii(ir^dtilit]f 

" < «trip» Jesus of a great number of his miracles; f^t 

'1 eren taking Efv ay from him the pos^ssiqttii ihkt€ iStWt 

jemains enough* Most of the possessed found ansong ^ ^ 
;^. ua, are hypochondriacs, maniacs, hysterical wdm^a^^^ 
naelanchoty' persons, and ^ose tOrm«titjed' With thC" 
vapours or spasms : or they are iiiipoStor#, who, tO 
. / gain money, interest the simple and displsty the pdwit 
c of the priests, consent to receive the devil, otf^piifptfi^ 
' that the clergy may have the glory of eispelling hitif. 
There is scarcely a possession fimo^gst us ^hich cduM"^ 
reaist a floggingv • , ^ 4 

Miracles are food for th<» imagination, but ^te'y 
- body requires more substantial alrmeots; 'the adven« 

war f^;djmt sdeftce and all hmma^ knowledge, y^HSck have heeithi 
■^ ; ' iodeed upon as obstacles to salva&m. Neither reason nor stnd^ ' 
' ... ilte necessary to men who are to sidxnit thar judgments to tibc 
w joie of Mtii. Frcnn the confesaton of Christittis thanselvei^' 
'■'■'■\ Urn founders o€ •'their rdigion were amj^ andT ^oxaht nrtiv- 
^Hieir discqples xoust be as little .enBghteoed aa they were to sbibdiSi0 
" the^ tables and reveries they haVe recSved from thena. It bar 
always been remarked, that the most onlightfflffid men sddom nalK. 
V the best Christians. Science is ^t to en^Mtrass faith; moreovet-r 
f '' it tarns the attenti<m from the great woii of salvation^ whicfi"^ 
is* represented as the only no^essary one. If sdeh^e be sti i' vin e a Mfe' 
t« political apdety, j^goorance is much moitir so to rtSg^ 8^ 
kS nmusters. lliose ages destitote of sdeheeimd industry, wear 
the golden age of the chtyreh of Chrnt Thm wet^ kiags"clud&%; 
Stttnnissive to priests; tiien the coflfees of priests hdd all tlie 
ildies of sodety. The mimsters of a rety manerous sect hart 
«lrien kept^ from the t^&k of their fikDoWers, the aacred pagaa'' 
■nibaeb contain the laws of Aeh- r^jSoii. This conduct is UBN^; 
•dlMibtedly very discacet; fov readbtg die faflde is the surest o^C 
an means to prevent its bdng TeBjfect&L - If, in fiu^ die ma:AH| 
«f rthe Christian religion reipecting science were xigipi|Qp^. 
and universally ^W«d« no yMisA wcwty swld wDMiM^*- 

tuwwltich has been related- had led to the hour of 

diDner. Gn leaving the synagogue, Jesus was in- 
vited to the house of Simon Peter, where every things ' 
appears to have been prepared, for which he might 
have occasion in performing a second miracle. The 
inother-ip-law of Simon felt herself sick, St the mo- 
- ment they had need of her niinistry in managing the ' 
kitchen. Jesus, who possessed the talent of very rea- 
^ ' dily curing the kinsfolk of his disciples, took her by 
W- _ the hand, and made her rise from her bed: she 
came out of it completely cured, cooked the vic« 
tuals, and found herself in a conditioa to serve the' 

gUeStSi j#- ■(fivJrfeiu,'!;^ =;?;,; -.^vt^i .V>i j;..-ii --^i^^ i^j.VwM-"i^- 

- The same day^ in the dusk "of the evening, they • 
brought Jesus all the sick in Capernaum, and all the 
possessed, whom, according to St. Matthew, he' 
cured by some words; and, according to St. Luke, 
- by laying hands on them. Several devils, on coming, 
out of the possessed, had the impudence to betray the 
secret of the physician,: and openly declare, that he' 
was Christ the Son of God. This indiscretion much, 
displeased Jesus, who wished, or feigned to wish, to 
keep private.— St, Luke tells us, that "he rebuked ' 
<" them, and suffered them not to speak, for they < 
knew that he was Christ." Here it is proper to- • 
remark, that according to theologists, the Son of God, 
in all his conduct, had in view only to lead the devil 
astray, and conceal from him the mystery of the i 
' redemption. Yet we see, that Jesus was never able to' 
. •' s.ucceed in deceiving his too cunning eneray.-r-In the- ' 
">1;. whole Gospel system, the devil is more sly and 
/ 5 ■ powerful than both God the Father and God the Soil ; 
.:. .J- ^t least it is certain, that he is always successful ia 
vSi^^^wthjfarting their designs, ajad socce^ in rsdiji^jng .; 


■■ 7 

" /■ 

■'■■'■■ ■ . " \ ■' ' ■ 

"God the Fathrer to the hard necessity of 'making^ his 
dear Son die, in order to repair the evil which Satan 

^ bad done to mankind. Christianity is real mani- 
chaeism,* wherein every advantage, is on the side of 

,'the bad principle, who, by the great number of adhe- 
rents he continues to acquire, seems to render nuga« 
tory all the purposes of the Deity. 

• " ' If the devil knew that Jesus was the Christ, such 

^knowledge must have been posterior to his retirement 
into the desert, for he then spoke to him in a style which 

^intimated that he knew him not.-^Itis, however, Super- 
iluous to examine at whiit time the devil acquired this 
knowledge; but it is manifest that he had it only by 
divine permission. Now God, by granting to the devil 

^ the knowledge of Bis Son, either wished, or did not 

^i wish, that he should speak of it. If hCrwished, Jesus did 
wrwig in opposing it, if he did not wish it, how was 

; the devil able to act contrary to the divine will ? Jesus 
carefully concealed his quality, the knowledge where- 
of could alone operate salvation. But in this case, 

^ * The doctrine of two prindples is borrowed from Zoroaster, 

.. the celebrated legislator of the Per^ans, who . flotirished \inder 

% Darius Hystaspes. Oromasdes or Oromazns, the ancient of daji^ 

%and Ariinaries, the genius of darkneiss, are the original divinitieB 

f of manichseism. Oromazes is the name, which the Magi and 

>^ Chaldeans gave to the Supreme Being, and which, in the Chaldaic 

- language^ ognifies buniing light. They represent God as sur- 

roimded by fiie, and declare that his body is like unto %ht, and 

Ins soul unto truth. This God was the good principle, but there 

was another bad principle which they called Arimanes, or Arimanus, 

that is in Chaldmc, my enemy, or cujoning' and deceitful It is 

opposed to Oromazes, who was to destroy it however at last. 

This is the Osuds and Typhon of the Egyptians; this the Pandom 

of the Greeks ; this the Jehovah and Satan of Jews and Christians ^ 

and such, are the vain eSorts of all the a^s to explain the origin 

'ofgoodandevUr --^ ■ * v .*>^ 

' ~i--\ 

the devil biinaelf hadtbe great^t interest; to coisceal itt^ 
It was therefolre centFary to hit oi^n intereat, and tb^. 
wiH of the Almigbly, that tbe devil made kaown thi^ 
quality of Cbrist. Besides, if Jesus realty did no^- 
wish tbal ttedeviiV'sliould discover bimv why delaj^; 
im^sing siienee QB^ bin) ui^til be bad 8|>oken? t 

The conduct of the Messiah in these fi^ticulars hai 
^ made it be believed^ that not daring tc endanger biiai»4 
telf by publicly asstiming the quality of Christ, or Spi# 
of God, be was not sincerely displeasied with the deviiSy. 
wlbo were at his conimaml^ for divulging his secret,i 
and sparing him the trouble of speaking. It wati 
moreover eliciting a, very impcHrtant confeasion outol[ 
the mouth of enemies. > 

^ Jesus was not ignorant»^ that to retain bis infliienc^ 
«^r the minds 0^ juen, it was necessary to- prevent' 
iatiety. Accordingly, on the day following that on 
which sa many miracles' h€kd been wrousght in Capef-. 
naum, he depart^^ before day^ break,, and witbdrev^- 
into a desert. All legiskUJOtre h9¥e loved retirement ;;< 
it is there they have had divine inspirations, and it is 
on emerging ^om these my^eriousasyiunis, they have 
performed miracles cattulated to deceive the eyes ol^ 
the- astonished vtdgar. Si3lit2H:y recoUectsoa iS'tMssidea. 
altiiiie» necesiiiry^ i& QEd«e to. iawMtigate thfeataftecl|- 
oup afikirs. , , > c • - . ; i^r^ 

Meanwhile the di9ci]?lesd#'JiffQ^ 
His 9ight, did not.lose sight vf their master; they niff^ 
paired to him at the moment he thonght bin^aelf alon^ 
synd in£9>riQed him tUal they^had been.eyeryr wbere in^ 
seasch of bim. In faet^ tfaere were sttlk nsany sick aQd» 
p o^sesscd persoos^in the country ; yet thlseensideration^ 
d^d. not induce Jesus to return to Capeirnaum ; oirj 
wtncb account many resorted to biin in iii% iiplrelt* 

i »■>. 


- » 

' ? * 

■; . 

' : ""■■- — *"' . \V " ^.. 

\ ' , 


* ■ 

^ . 


- ,■"■'■ 

;';/' ' ■ "^ "' 


fc: To get rid of Uiem, hie agamlrftversedGslMlee/ where 
he coDtiDued to cute the sick, and oast out deVtts : 
this is aU the gospel memion*. It appears he tarried 
little OF none at all On his road, and preached as bt 
went along: for in a very short time he had advanced 
» CMisiderahle way on the shore of the sea of G^iiee; 

' ^^ the mal^tude which followed him augmented 
|jlBO|itiniially:, by suppliesof idle and cuFious p^ple that 
every tillage produced, our preacher, finding himsielf 
piressed d<^n by the €?owd» gave orders to his dts* 
ciples to coflvey Wim tOrtjl»s Qti»er«td^OD the territdi^ 
9f the Gerasenes. "> ' ^ -. » ^ 

When he was landed^ a doctor of the law repiaived 

to Vina, and offered to becoai.e hia foUower : but lesus 

fei^ readily concaved that a'ijofc^br could not suit biiii!$ 

her woakjli^ivecuta bad figure in^a company comppsett 

ol fishermoB and clowns^ such as those of whcmi thd 

liDesgiabi had formed ,h» otimrt. He- gave thff doctor to 

' underef andt that he wonidrTepent of' this step : th at'tbte 

kind of life would not agree with him ; ihe Son of man, 

.^said he to the doctor, hath no where to lay his head, ., 

Cb.risf wqrulij not per^Pit bis disciptfes to laml^Ie too " 

W u^ thi^ ^ territory of the^ Geraseoes^; for amoogsi 

ttMMBr wafer some o£ that ceuiitryi One arired; hi» 

psnuissiiyn torgo: and p«f£iri» the* lask dnties to Mir 

l^her,-^othef wairtedto gp-antf embraceriik^ftftft^^ 

t»uljle8uffh^3^y refused their requests. Iftsioner^ 

P d^vjedfor^DftSK^i^r- that b^^ughi to " let the dead bis^ 
theiffdeAA*' ^Tbei)libe^ that '^ whoeiwe faa^wil^ kilb 
Im taaadr te^ihs'^ugtti ^aM^lo^siba^ i6^no«^fif^#N« 

P^ifcei^!^ in ia|i(5^^ 

pretext of the kingdom of heaten, ohligedfhis di8ci|lfeft , 


4 -: 

"y to neglect the most sacred duties of morality. -Biit ^ 

Cbristianr, docile to the lessons of their divine.mast^f, 
' which they dare not fexamine, have made perfectioti '\, 
consist in^a total abandonment of those objects wbicli -C; 
flaturehas rendered dearest toman. Christianity seems ^ 
intended only to create discbrd, detach men from every ; 
thitig on earth, and break the ties which ought to unite 
them^ There is, according to Christ's maxims^ but one 
thing needful, namely, to be attached to hini exclu- 
sively: a ma-xim very useful, in meriting heaven, but 
calculated to destroy every society in the world.* ■'-•''^ 
iA^T our missionary had ^pent some time in the 
; country of the Gerasenes, Viere it appears be kept 
, incog, one: day towards the evening he passed over tof . 
the other side of the lakey having previously dismisdeS 
• the people, who had come tha|: day on purpose to bear . j 
him ; but he did not preach. - Jesus, fatigued, fell asleep ■ 
on the passage, whilst a furious tempest overtook the ^^^ 
/ thip^ His aflFrighted disciples, impressed with the '-^ 

* Notwithstanding the eulogies lavished by Christians on the . 

* precq>t8 of th eTr divine master, some of them are wholly contrary , f • 

. i to equity and right reason; "When Jesus says, ** Make to yovu:-? w/ 

- sdv^s. frifflids in heaven of the inammon. of sUnrighteouaiess,'* ,r 

does lie not plainly inanuate, that we may take .fitmi others ^.< 

5 vrfierBwithal to give to the Church? IHvii^ will sajy that h« ^^^ 

i^ke in parables; these parables, however, are eaily unfolded. 

;! Ii( the mean while, this precept is but too wefl &lldwed. Many 

^ Christians dieat an^ swindle during all their livesi to have the 

pkasute^i^ making donatioQfis, at thdr death, to churches, monas- 

' teriesi &c The Messiah at : another time treated; his mother ex-.. 

' . tremely iB, when she was seeking him. with 'the opost parental 
soficitud^. He commanded his disaples to steal an ass; he drowned. 
^ a herd of swin4 &C. jt.inust 6(B confessKf tifia^ 
V^ Mt agree'extrem^ WeD %itii g«|od inorality. .Ckndianiiy tJii^ 
^ tfeSed, p. 14T-8^^^;;c^.yp^*4'iJ> ;iivii^aii*.;^^i^ ■ 

■a.^^- :;',•: ..-:': , :,,.--;/■.■;::,•■-;»;■ 

,--■ .r'^j^j^ 

V *^ -F- -- 


; idea of their master being more powerful when awake 

r>^ than when asleep, acquainted him with the danger. 

r^'rh This conduct drew on them reproabbes for theif want 

'*' of faith, while it probably gaVe tijpaf td the tempest to 

subside. Then Jesus, in the tone of a master^ com- 

maoded^tbesea to be stjil, and immedu^tely , the order 

;.: I was obeye<3i . ^pU ip spj,te of this prpdigy, the faith of 

J the disciples was still fpr a long tip»e wavering., Jesus 

' on this returned im^l,ediately to the cojuntry of the Ge- 

' rasenes, without having either preached or performed 

miracles on the other fide,. „,._^ 

:_ . ^^^^■^m0'^'^^ ^MM: ; ^■\ 

li '^'.•i. 


•■V,. . ■,S;^:tl^ii*iJ^:^^;l^ 

: '^. 

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■ ''','\ ^^fi^J-'sim■ff^^t:J^i'$:%>t^|-■■■:' ..|;'"/^ 

.■ii:^^.'Aim^-^^mW ' '■ ' 'jIC ■ / 


■'■^;-^ H^-''^-f>(m^i^^^':ii' '■■' mm-,- 


._r.;'^ ;i3C . -■ .. ' 

'"• '-'^^^fiil^''- ■' " - ■■ :. ■' --'i' . 

:vii^.,-^Ui^..|i'U. ■: 

■ ." '^\.Uf»<.:ilo'j':,m.:;iuA- ■'*.,'•' 

•-■'■■■■ K . 

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'■.i' ''^m^' 

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. ; 

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^^;>. '^' .•• -.5 .'.J 

i . • :;lfn^;t>t0: ^iimtsiu^'^^n-h'i?^-- 

^^■t-3^ ," ^' ' ' 

■ /^ ' .^7 ' ■' '' • ' ■ ''■•■■: ', -V ■ r - 

:•. ..-^ ♦/*?»<» -?*■(•. 

■ ■ ' ' ■' ' ' ■ , ' • ' ' ' . ^ ^ 


i^W*^*^"^' ■^'' 

'■::■'■ ' ^ ■ :-■'■■ '■ . ■ '.: 'h,t.^'^i^- -. 


fe's*^*- ^ ■'■■■■' 

"'..b:,fiii4<:i^':i^ihii^-, '"'■•'.■ s»t^.':]: 

_! * - 

■ J / 

^r"' «t fcttEftr tXtt TtiB Eird dl?-*i* FIRST '^'V^.i;'^ • 



i»-:- . •. ^.-J 

JESUS, landed again in the country of the Gcra- ' 
senes, took a route by which na person had forsonie time 
passed. Two demoniacs, inhabiting the tombs in the 
oeigh'bourbood, rendered this passage dabgerou^ 
Scarcely had Christ shewn himself, when these two 
madmed ran to meet him. As he was a connoisseur ^. 
in matters of possession, he no sooner perceived them '^ 

. than he began to exorcise, in order to make the uncleaa> 
spirit come out of them. Nptwithstanding his divine | 

: skill, he at^quitted himself very imperfectly on this oc-^u 
casion. It was not with one devil, but with a legion p, . 
of devils he had to deal. One of them, laughing at the^^ 
mistake of the Son of God who asked him bis name^^ \ 

'answered, lam called Legion. On .this Jesus changed ^ 
his* batteries, and was proceeding to dislodge them, 

'when the devils, obstinate in continuing in the coun« 

V try, or very little desirous of returning to hell, propo- 
sed a capitulation^ One of the articles bore, that, on 

^ leaving the body of the possessed, they should enter 
Into a Herd of swine, which fed hard by on the decli- 

=lf Tity of a hilt. Jesus readily agreed, f'r once, to grant 

1' •omething on the prayer of the devils, and not use hi» 



^%iil|l|oi(i^ ngorou&Iy. Neither he nor his di^cip|^, a^ 
gpod Jews» atq iH^rk ; he r!ec|^<wi€d, thei;^for<?, that 
f Wiq^ fi^Kpb ibfte4 by i.1^ law ^f Mof^es^ m \^t \ve| I pterv^e 
for 9 r^tr«atto devils. H^ conseiited to the t^'eaty ; tlie 
di^roon^ caine out oC t^eii: former r^ideoce to enter 
|«i^ the swine, v^hq^ , Reeling S^aa vt^it bio rtbepa, were 
4»hr<»vp:p iiS'tp ^xunrnotipDr^pr yperhap^ w^ete t^rijSed io. ^ 

wery eatiiral maqaer : and b^viog precipitaied them- 
|§l]|es Ifito^be sea^ wecc; drowned to^e oumber of 
about two thousaod. , h- 

;^; |f a legion of deyiJ? is composed of th^ i^Ofie n^m- 
J^r, ^r a Homan l^ion^ we iBust believe, that there ^ 
VP^re six thousand 4^vils. This evidently ipake thre§ 
46yils for each bPg*a;|iuffi4Rif)^»iWQj^ri ^ iivdj^.l^^ 
|Qt.jcoiDiQit suicide. . i^:'r ^/i'^-^'-; ■■'';::--.:■;. •.-n'.vv ;.'^v'^^ 
'kvj^oaajs grave authors assure us, tha^^ •^us ^^ve^ 
laMghed, nof even siifvi^d;* yet it is very dijl^cu^^tio^ 
i>^«jsve» that tile Son of <iod cpuifl |)|re8erv» h'* ^T?*'??*^ 
i^er performing ^ch^trip^ ^Rt It 4id not appear i;^ 
morous to the herdsmen, who fpup^thia fine ^(racl^ 
--:;5icrieii"''": ■' ' ■'■■<■■■ '■• ■■ ' ■ ■^cf'ii|^^ 'i^:^<^_ 

#*>'lE.^ieaty/in tte Jfevrf ifo GKre^mj!, p^' 14. ed. l«d], . 
ipe&ing 6f iesBB Christ kt^^ Aeoe wmaxk^bk Woodi shr 
f^lie iFas very gva^e. Hie w# s^e^ t^t we^ W twe ofocs^ioQji, 
Imt jJt i^iMDt lifted t^t lie J^ laiij^e^s not ]|>vt, he hap^s^^il^ 
fw^tl^j >?? ^1^ (^Inqfsostoin. remajrks." As |n^ are apni^Qmecl 
le xegaxd God as a- yejpj ,ma%naat bdng, ai^d not ufider^taoil^ 

TSR^^iMirs, difj^ leqil^ ' gf kritf ' & an who cotoe on Us'Mt- 

"i^esl Vi^ taatei'^km^^ tte more It plmusev mc9, 

who bve to indulge fear. To succeed^ reformers .fiji^ a)l;if^|f 

Tftj^cf^^^ Ifjp^fp^y p^e^l fi. I^^l^er. ijrhp e^cit^. tioror is 

■ al^^ys .certain of sniocea^ , ' i^e tlfansenisis. axe reforitlers, ^rbo 

imh^e'^^Iilrin^baeV Cl^kt&ntf 'ttr th^ ^il^ii«^ ^bom;^iihd il^ 

»6^1mte' pleasant, that they complained of itio*' tbeif 2f 
masters^ arid ran to the city, where the affair was no^ 
I sooner kn&wn, than the proprietors of the swine jfer. 
" - from being converted, bewarled a prodigy so ruiaoui .: 
to them, and maintained that it was a matter of pubti€ '', > 

^concern. The Geraienes Wfent in a body to oppose Hbe ..r ' 
entry of Jesus into their city,-*and, from inability ' td ;^ 
punish, tesouglit him to leave their territory as spoa^^ 
as possible. Such was the efffect whichLthe miracle of /; 

' the swine producedv . - - __/:';f.(r^-y~,i ^j^i^^i.-:^^^ ^j . 

This meiribrable IMsaiitic^ nittS^ 
attested by three evangelists, who, however,- vary* ia ^ 
some circumstances. St. Matthew informs us^ that the 
possessed were two in number : Mark and Luke main* , 
tain that there was only oiie, but so-furious, acc<)rdifig - 
' to St. Mark, that they could no longer bind him rt?e« >V 
''tinth fetters. St* LMke is certaiti^ that' the devil fre- X. /? 
quently carried him into the deserts; St. Mark affirms t/ 
that he spent days arid- nights in*tne tombSj and on' tbe ?-^ " 
neighbouring mountains/^ ^t**^^ ' - mumi:, . 

On this occasion Jesus was also proclaimed Christ by ^ ^ 
the dervil. As be was among 4iiB friends, or disciples, 
'^ at the time^<he did not enjoin silence to Satan, The ■ p 
jiicknowledgm6nt was useful whfen given in private, i ^ ;- ■ 
atod could not hurt him ; but fherfe were occiasions on p:- \ 
. /which it might do harm if nmde in public, where our '$r - 
/i^uissant miracle-worker evinced dVrcumspection, espe- C ;■ 

daily . when he did. not pereeiye himself siilfeieiiitly Ir \\ 
. ^-sUpported;^t''^'^"'- . ..-. -A '- : t ''?>3» f!^'^'^^ -•' 

•" -^Unbelievers pretend to discotfeif importarit errors, . 
V J *«aid evident marks of falsehopd in tfie tiarfatiVe, which 
^^toorappear&; ridiculous. 1st, Tljcy ^r^eYSurprised tp 

sfee. devils,- who, according to ChraBtiMs,, a^e epo- ' 
*^ IRgjimed to eternal torments in hell les?iiig it on pur^ 

"■■ :'^:. 

• -*.-■'. ■;^.,-#:;V,: :>i.>-s.v^ 

. \ ' ■ ' , ' ' .. ■' ^ -* nr 

pote to take I>osses8ton of the inhabitants of this eaitW 
Sdly,' There is T-easots to beu astonished at s^eitif the 
6evil address prayers to* the Son of God. ' It is an 
article of fdith, among Christians, that to pray, grace 
^ fs requisite; that the damned cannot pray ; and^much 
more ^o, that this ^irace must be denied to the chiefs Of 
tbe damned,' 3^1y, The incredalous are ofifend^d at a 
iniracfe by x^hich J^sus benefited two persons pos- 
sessed witlj devils; at the expence of the prciprielorsof 
two thousand swine,, to wtiom this miracle ccst at 
least f^ur thousand pounds steiling; rah action ' not 
quite agreeable to the ruteis of equity. 4111^; We can- 
not copceive hoW Jesus, whom their law inspired with 
a horror towards swine, /could have h^rds of animals 
which among* them were of no use, and which they 
- /cotild not even touch without being defiled ; aiidi Sthlyj 
V iit is indecorous' to m|tke the Son of 6(^ enter into a 
vicom promise with devils; ridiculouis to make them 
^v^inter intoswim^; ^an4 unjust to make them enter into 
and destroy other people's property. iit 

.^^ Moreover, we are. not informed what, became .of 
these devils after < being precipitated into the see* 
3[*here is reason^ to believe, that, in coming outiofth'd 
swine they entered into the Jews, ' to procure fotqui^ 
Saviour the pleasure of casting theita oiitiigain; for the* 
, ipuring o^fpapple possessed ^^^^^ aU miracles t^ in 
vjrhich hewfs post eqcpert. ' . - ^ /-. 

i-i With respectto the possessed person cured l>yJe8Uf, 
psnetrated with gratitude to his'physicianj with #h6oi' 
. he was perhaps :previously acquain^ed,^ hcNwant^ io 
fo>\\6w Cimsft^PQrdibjg to $t Mark ; C'S^t'^t 5w2^j^ 
^ |leen tluitiMsjt^imoDy might becpfaeisuspiciQiu%>ifi^: 
put himself Intbe train of 4he Messiah, who U^^^bre 
cfaose^tte ^at he should qr«|>yf ^o'ttis famfly/ a^ 


«n9Quape;t|ie mercies be bd4 receiyetl from the lipixl, . 
He was a ij^tive of Decapolis, a cduntrV,, as we liav4 
seen," v^ry inucn dispqsed to' qredulity^ Accordiogly. : '^ - 
as soon as the man had there recounted his adven- ^^ 
t«re, every body was tninsported lyith adnuiAtion,— ; . r ^ 
"We are, however, astonished at the differWice of dis- "i? 

position between these folks, so ren^arkable for a do- - , 
cile faith, atid the Gerasenes:— the inhabitants of Pet- - 

capoHs believe all without seeing any thing, whilst tb^cj 1 
Gerasenes, eye-witnesses'pf the prodigy, are not uiqyeil 1 , 
by it, ^nd uncivilly refuse Jesus 'adiuit|:apce into their 
city. We commonly find in the gospeji that to witi- - ^ 
ness a oii^cle is a very ^troo^ reason fot not b;^lieving <l 

;*•'''''■'"'""■" '•■' "•' ' ' '■ •' ■"'''■ . ^"'^ - • ■ '.-V ■■■ .^';''_. ■ ■ ', 

, Tbe bsirdn^ of heart wd uBbelief of the Gerasene*. 
and particularly the tequest they nnade tbeMejSsiab no^ ; 
to :^nter among tbem^ obligjed bim to re-<^mbark vyitli 
fiis disciples, and jreturn to Galilee, where bf; was v^fj; 
kindly received. It is not, however, relfited whetbei; . -_ 

* *> ff tbe <%ristian8 dl^ Jerusalem, a^d the testimony of al - . 
Gtdile^ to' pMve the Horades of Christ, I see them attested tx^ tv '., 
% an ipionnt populace ; gx 1 Aefosead, how it. catM be pcm{)I^ ; ,.. 
tbaJ^ an entir? pec^le, who had ^feesi witne^sses to the p^rack^ pi v'; . , ^ :^' 
Chxi^^ should consent to his death/ and even earnestly demaiifi '! 

ft? Would the people of London or at Psui^ suffer .a man v^o . . 
bad liaised the dead, . festered the blind to s^ht, and healed tibe ^' ; - 
lame and paralytic, to be put to deal& -befMe t&eir eyes?- V -^ - ' 
4ie Jews, denundcd tibe de^ cf Jjbsus, afltis:. miracles. are at 
oywie awiQi^^ted in tlie min4 9f eirqry ungr^udieei^ Vf^^VOR^vr - 

lA^ k not be said tiiat y^ tniraCles of Christ iaie as w^ attest^ 
edasany&ct in profane history, axA Ihat to doubt them Is al 
lifficidam as to douU the ezistoKre of Scq:^ or oftTfesar, ^^^ 
IK leSere ontf 09 the npat «f tb» historiaas by «46m timjf v r 



., ♦* 


he Continptgd tK^e is hot ^ccutrately kttibwiii^-'-^The 

friends of Jesu^ jnid tbe felatioDs of iiis ditidples and 

mother, received, as jt appears, from time lx> time, in- 

'•ifeftigence (if his wonders, which they took carevto cir- 

fcutate: ahd^ on learning that they wanted him, he pre- 

tfurh^ to IC^>erhaui». Scarcely "Was his arrival known, 

-fehen the pebple, always ^xrd «f sefmonsand miracles, 

T^orted to fami^in crowds. Neither his house nor the 

space, betbre the door could contain the mtiltitude.^ 

|j|e; required the voice of a Stentor to make himsdlf 

heard at the e;rttemities of the cro#d ; hc^t perhaps the 

idlei«, Content with following him without knowing 

why, were bat Very little troubled abont understaad* 

ing his orations. ii*; 

.^' ^he piKirweeSy to whomi^vtn* succeas began toghre 

tinobrsige, resolyed tasatisfy theiDsel^viea,t€tlieTewaaifi^ 

)reatity in what Was reported of liim. Tb clear ap ^itt 

jqaattec, ^sne doctors of Oaljilee, who tl^ete npt of ibi 

'JMttbec ol'our missionary's admirers, repaired to. hun. 

Tiaey heard him pleach , and (»me frem his aerjnona 

tti6re pfep«^e86ed a|^imt hiia; even hi& mtntcled 

t^uldrixjtctlnverttljtem.. Yet, according to St. Litk^ 

Ihe power of the Lord >was disptayed iii their prese^ficfe 

ii^ the cure of th^<sick. Bui;, as has b^en remarked, the 


i|bttt* ^^IlitOy !» not teipidbdfle; n<Sth«p fe ^ ^ vtaOB, 
We ttdiefve flte fnrbbafale &ct8, wlule w« r^ect wkfa^ cc^ttbipC 
Hbn n&adeB i^coniiiitecl hj l^tus livius. The most stufM 
Ifiidl^ & oftoi Jbitied to ibs most ^stingc&hed tdenis. 'Of 
^ Chtbdan religion ^tinmSies imumenMe dkaraples. fo 
lite of reB^obj an teJ^imy is Mbl^ to ^asp^adnu 1%e 

fiaSif^kteaed men aee tmt H^ -niieh iStteif are Intbidca^ ititk 
^^Xli^a8in,and dazzled by die dMei^of a T«3d ira«^g!aa(£te^>^ ^ 
imgracle is a thing impossdbte in the mddr iif i^^ 
ciMnged bjr Ood, he ^ not tnanmtable.«-i^ 

:-■■■-■ ■■, ■ :" f. .■-., ■'y • . ^^ I. 

kiirteles of the Messiah ,wers calc.ulati^ to coiivinc;^^- - ^ 
tfadse^nly wjho did not see them. Thus it is, that these^ 

^ miracles are believed at present by people who would|; 
aot prcdit those perforrped in their presencfs. ' ,., 

■Four men who carried a paralytic.onJbii8be(^, unabla^- 
to p«ietrate through the crowd to JeSjUS, ,were. advise^f ^ 
to mount up with the burden to the roof of the hous€^ " 
and making an opening there, to let down^the siciy 
man in his bed, and lay, him at the physician's feet.— -^^-^ 
The idea appeared ingeuioys and new to the,1atterij| ;- 

accordingly, addressing the sick man, "My son/' **%f J 
he, " be of good courj^e, thy siiis are forgiven thee."^^ ' 

; This absolution or remission was, no doubt, pronounced^ ^:. 
so.asto be heaM by the emissary doctors, whp ^®^|,i^ 

* It is up<m passages in the Bible comilar ta tias^ that tIie,Ca^ 
thoBc dergy have &uaded the practice of absdudon. 'Domain;^ 
twAi says Boulaoger, the abject and &natic ideas, inrith whidi tfae^^ _^ 

priest has £lledhis pupils in thdbr childhood, he coitimands theilt;^ i 
V to come jBo^uently, and depoat in Bis bosom thdr bidden fitults^* ^^ 
their most secaret actions ^d thoughts^ He obliges them toho* 

mifiate thansdves at Ins feet, and rendec homs^e to his power; 

he frightens the anminals, tmd afterwards, if they axe judged '^ 

worthy, he leconeiteB them to God,^ who, on the command of his 

ministers, remits their ans. The Chiistiaii sects that admit this 

practice, boast of it as extremely usefiil in r^ulating the maiH 

mets, and restraining the passions of men ; but experience pirovfei^f . 
that the countries in whi^ this usage Is most &ithMly obsenred^K 
Jtt<eidigtinguiahed; rather' fas their dissohtfe lives. than Ihe pnritip' ^ 
0^^^^ manners. By suehea^ e^qiiations they are only anbol^F « 
eoed In vice. The lives of Christians are cifdes of succesnv? 
^e^Eences and confesdons. The priesthood re^ '^be.|HX>fit: of tins 
^fSetice, by means o£ which^ their .exercise an absolute dosmriieni ' - ' ' 
jQqir^/1^ consciences (^ nu^^ How great must be the powe^f 
"0f>4|Bi),;0nder oi men, who poiisess all the secrets of fiimilies; vho'^ 
jefm..iaai^ at pleasure the destructive flame of .£n)iiticlnn; and''" 
'Open onnut the i^ites of heaven atwiU 1 '^^ "^ 

V j^* 


" V,V' 



■ ■.*-. Jn ■ ', 

;. ■ ■•.' , - 



"> ' 

;^ - ". 

• - T^W!' 




'•■■^yi— •> 

^lieir dispb^ioDd^ Sdd rested his discourse to theiii- 

" Why do you suffer wicked thbughts to enter mtiS 

3^6ur hearts ? #!liieti U easier to say to this paralytic^ 

^3^ ytaa 4rfc forgiven tfeee ; or tb say to him, Arfsfe^ 

tafe€ up tfey bed tttd walk?" This qdestion, bbldfy 

^ro'pbsed, in tbemVdn of a fan^ticar people, the sport 

of pr^udicfe, embdtriiSsed the doctors, who did not: 

think proper to atJSWer it Jesus, profiting by thiftl? 

dkhbarlNi^sri^Bnt, said lo the paralytic, informed of the 

p^ft h€ had to play, Arist, take up tkp bed, and go mid 

thiHi Ao»W.-^^bis ^roiiKgy impressed thieir niinds witlif 

ttffrtrf : it ebpiecially liifad&tiur cfoctorS, thfe spies, tretiii*' 

Wfei'\«'Mt6Hhfe people fexdai toed, ** Never have weseiBtt 

b^fbre^ any thing so wonderfiil." ■* 

vi» But if tbe dbctdfs Were afraid* they were not ca^J^ 

yerted; and riot^itbstanding the cure of the parajytic,' 

tfa^y had lio faitli id the a^olutiou granted by Jesus, 

it may, therefore, be' supposed that this rniracle was 

aittended with circumstahces which rendered it suspi- 
cliaii$; perliaps the gospel itself wiU ejiafbl^ ostodis^ 
CibVertHem. . ' •--.:•■♦ ' • ■■-'■ - ' "*'' 

* r We shall first ol)sejrve, that when the same fact is' 
diffbfently related- by drSeteiit historians equal in au* 
thdrityy we are ecfi»tFained to doubt it ; o^r; at least, are 
entitled todeay that it htfs happened in themahner 
siippb^ed. Tbis prlndif^^ of criticism muSt appl^r to* 
[thfe: iiarrattires' of btfr" inspired writi^rs, as #eH s» td' 
tfe«l#£tbf otheift.-^F^#, St MatlheW tells us merelyi^ 
thata paralytic wafpreii^tedtb Jebus, who cured hidi^ 
wkl^fit i^e^bg ^t^ie w^dnderful circHmstance of l\^i 
rddP:.Ming perforated, a^ the other ernaments witH^ 
wtych .&^- Maris tind St Luke haveembelUs1)ed.ti|^r 
narrative. Thus, either we are'iti the right in susd^-- 





; that it has not occurred in. the manoer related by: ^le 

/• two last evangelists,* . ■ ./ ;. . //; - 

f^Ia the second place, Mark ^od Loire, vrha say that' 

the sick man was elevated on his bed to the top of th^ 

houseinwhiyh Christ was, haViiig previously inform*; 

ed us the crowd was so great that ;t<be bearers of the| 

diseased were unable to force their way through it, supn 

pose^ without expressii^ it io wordSk > another Ycrjft 

grqat miracle. This operalipi^ pnesupp!(^es,;.tbat tl)e, 

ctrriers penetrated through the .crowds Arpived||»; 

W6 know aot how, at the foot jC^rtl^^Ai^Ml,- they coaUlv 

^ not singly, and far less loaded with the. sic^'inan,^-d8iii-^. 

ber up ta theroofof the house. Luke, says, they Ihade 
^ ap opening through the tjljes. Iq that case the people^ 
l&ust have perceived them \ and particularly those ia . 
the: inside of the house. During the tilent attentipiv 
they no doubt lent to the discourse of ,Jesus» they tnu^tt 
, ;;cf iiiecessity have heard the noisein^de by th? men in r^ia^i - 
ipg i^p a 1^ tp the roof, and after.war^s uncovering thin^v 
roof and making a hX)le in it, through which to.cQBvejPj^?? 
ffthe sick man.— This operation became more diflicult>^> 

still, if the rooi, instelid of beipg cov^ered with tites, 
" ifras flat. — Now^all the houses of thj? Jews aitd oi;ie9Mk^^ 
V. tals were, and stiU are, covered in tl^is manner. AUi-r 
these difficulties furnish sufQcient motivesfor.doubtiingijr/. 
this grand miracle. It will become more ^probable,^if;<. 
' ?^e suppose tbat the siokman v^s-already in the houaet 
ifiytjtb Jesus; that things >i?ere pre^^usly arranged, an^t 
tjiat they let down, by a trap-door made on, purpose, at,; 
pafalytic most certain of ; beii?g/cur^ on, cpijaDsaii^jpCp'f 
' t^e; ^essiah.^ > This t^osactiop might appeauTfix^piQiirt 

-^■'* C^ifqMtre as to this history/ St; Matthew ix, iS^ldflt V/'wif 

xfi&us to a populace disposed to is6e prodigies isfery 

-^-^here, but it made less impres§ioii dnthe dociors, who 

liad come on purpose closely to scrutinise the conduct of 

our adventurer. They conjectured, that it was^dan- 

t^rous' to contradict Weak fanatics, but they did no^ 

f£>r all that, credit tbe miracle they had Witnessed. 

^""^'^ Some days' thefeafter, Jesus Went and preached / 
ialong the sea coast, and passing near the cujstbm-hpuse, - 
perceived Matthew, one of the oiBcers, who sat there. ■ 
His mien pleased the Messiah, on whose jnvitati on our ' 
»ubalt«rn financier quitted his post, and followed him^ 
' after having in the first place given a great entertain- 
ment to Jesiji and his party, l^atthew presented to hint ; 
asguesta, publicans,, and toll-bar officers, bis brethren^ - 
aod others of similar repute; but the Pharisees and! 
doctors, who watched the behaviour of Christ, came 
pui^Osely to Matthew's house to be Assured of the fact, , 

• -■^fesus, occupied no doubt with gratifying bis appetite,- 

• did not at Kirst observe that he was- watched, SonitK 
words, however, spoken rather loudly, attracted hfskt^ ^ 
tention ; it was the doctors who reproached the disct? 
pics with drinking and, eating with persons of doubtfrf/; 

Reputation. " How," probably said they to them, 
** bow dares your master, who constantly preaches up 
yirtue, sobriety, and repentance, shew himself publij^ljr, 
"Cl'K in such bad company ? How can h^ associate with; , 
knaves, monopolizers, a.hd meo whom their extortioot 
ffende^ odious to the nation ? Why does he carry in hi?:; 
Ii^in women of bad lives, such as Susan* and jan€, 

^# It q>pean, irot^ndatandBig aU Us gnviQr, tliat tiw IIkBm 
liiii^J^ithe foible of :; Jesus : melancholy pmong ave iwr liie 
k^ svsoeptible <tf ^tiiu weakness. He wtts-yeiy axdeody 'k(ved~ 
Ipfii Maff<|-Magdala% yitia ^pphurs to -hove been dw iSedcji of . 
iMMkkfndiDg devotees, or debauched feroaleii, whose 


^e4 in this^inaanw, Isnew not \f,eU bo^ to feply ; bt^ 
j^sus, without bein^ disconcerted, ans^^redthe^i wit|^ 
a proverb :— " ft is npt the whole /' said be, ** t^iittbf 
sicff , who have need of a pbysicif^i," After th^, h^ pite<^ 
i passage of scri future, which cannot ndvv be fouijd— y 
•.^ Learn," said he tp tbem, " the trutli of this s?iyiflg, i 
Iqve mercy better than saefifice** It appears, tbe'doii^- 
tors did not consider thepa^elyes defpat^c^, and Jefm 
wa^ so transported with passion as to say, that l|^ 
"..came not to call the rightesous bu^ sinnerst to repent 
tance.** In that tase, why did he rejecj^ the j^harisqef 
^d doctors, wbom he called mhifened sepd^hr^sf £^* 
tber the adversaries of Jesiif w^e rightepu^, or. tb^jr 
^^re sinners whom he was come to cai| tp^ repenj^qi^ 
9^ consequently he ought npt to have renoKQped .^})§9I» 
,^. Wbateyer reason Jesus might enjplpy ^ pa^ia^*^ 
justify his conduct, it waj yery soqq publisbedabro^/^ 
John Baptist's discip^e^ who beard it^ ami wbojg^ .pi^ih 
bap^Jiealousy excited, camein search of bipn» ^nd a^k;*^ 
the reason of the difiere^nc(^ ijQ th^ Ufe lie i^ni his dipci* 
pies led, and that which they themselyeafpUovifed. "V?!^^ 
fastt (said tbey) continually, vjrhilst you and yogr fo^l^-^^ 
^5, make very gppdch^r, ye pjr^ctisei ^u^tejriti,e$,,§y^i 

nki&t ui^uafly leads tliaa to give tliemsdves up to i^ig^qn, Wiub 
ai much pasacHi after tlidr convoaon, as ^ey dkl befolift tdf tliife 
voKld andtiidr lovors. The ABng^aises nraiatoiai^ that Mi^ 
^^9 bad a qrlmiiw]' compiais^nce ^ tit? SsvloiKr.— -Fide il^ 
Cbp^tkidp/ tome i T^.I'acuUy of Iii«dk>gy, at.^Eui^ S^!?!^ 
SsadaSif ia 16!^> that Mary Mag^^alene^ Maxj, the sister of I^ 
^ani«i i»N| i^||97,-ti}e'eous^a)i, lio^ one and the jtamelad;: tait 
tb^ Sejc)}(n^@i h^a^ iHbm f^Smeei. Ua opi&ioiv Sad ptK^ftlllr 
^»t cffel B LJ "f8 Ihc^ yeay 4iffe]n»t MoryiHtSKe Bosaardfc l^iN 



,A"h^;r' .': • - 


i'-:y. ;:. 

■•';;" ''-V-'-;. ,. 

i«<s--.-ln-l' -Sk 


1 - '^^^ freqqen^ ^be compaiiy of persons of e«U rep^t^, ' 
; Sec The reproach^ was embapra^ing, but les.m, ^^ 

l^mself off very well. '* "yhe friep^s. 9f the bridegroom, 
/\. icepUed |ie«) o^gbt neither to fast i^sT Uve in aof row?, 

whilst they Kaye the l]iride^i;Qopfi ^viththem ;^ a tjme vtiU. 

come when the bcidegroom shall be taken awfiy ftoji^ 

theua : and tben they shall ftisjt. No loaa puttleth.|| 
piece of new cloth on an old gJarmeDt-rrneither domeii 
put new wine iqto old bottte*;r-rand m persw wka for 
D^w ;!^iae when he can get ^Id^ for W. fituls Iho^^iri/d 
' better." John's disciples had no reply to reason so 
sublime and contincingk It appears that Jesus/ wh^e 
/'' example is folloVed by ojir npbdern efoctort, e^ily got 

V 'o}it of this affair by the aidi of an enigmatical syn^l^]l| 
V ojc pqpopftus l^ml^agt, ve'^ proper arg^o^ept^. tp §^ 

^ mouths of IhoK Wiha axe not inclined to di,jBpttt^ 

V 4itonliaUy s^oui what they 6b- n&t understand. 

' , ,ff: ThFa incident demonstrates/ that .the Phari^s an(| 

i- doclpre were not the oijjy pjeraon^. who wf re Qfieni^e^ 

Ij5it;h, ^hfi con4u;ct of Je^u^^afl^ tbj^ company he fr^ 

qfteait;0d; alrti^hcoufirmecibythegQapeL^ Weimis* 

'>; obseire that tfiis trait in the conduKJi of Christ piaift)^ 

•t i^ides the cahse in fevou^o^the ^artfzans of lax mp- 

.V )ra]lity/aQd furnishes them withyictpripjjs ^:t^s against 

:V the mo4eT9 puritans, /\^e may ajftp remark; that Ih^ 

ligitioqB. and ex|»)esj|i(H)E«k ^ Jesus, on this <me9»\^»i 

juithpriae' and justify thb cDndiid and lftiigtia^e< of our 

, faoljc guides, fflad dipeoialljF dur fords the bisboj^, -virho^ 

'•^■t .-..,/. .- - -, ■ ' '■ ■ .y ■ :, ■'-:. ■'- ^ ', "". ■''<>' 

^^% IMtiibfw he. St. M(M^ ii. St. Xi^k^^^n ^^sj^fidt^m 
«pM« 9n. tmiabf^ to St, Bmabaa, m/^^ck tli9t ^xm^ MS* 

eivrm^^ tiM^ <f apmti«fk ^091 die j^&#i^ d^lam, wt»^9i$ 

' ( /;■■ 


' trhen r^roacbed with their iniquitous behaviour, shut 
<»ar {nouths by averring that we ouj^t to do at they tell 
: ^, and not what they do !^ «:n5/ W^mn^t " ^^v;, 
-C^ftlt cannot be. denied, that the discrepancy, which ejc« ; 
" isted between the conduct of Jesus and the principlesU^ 
adopted by the Jews, or even in his own doctrine, rc^-'-^ 
"- quired great miracles to prove his mission. Oup mis^V 
. sionary was not ignorant of this j prodigies, there- V^ 
' ;^fore, were commonly' the strongest of his argument*, t- 
. 1 and of a nature well aaiculated^to gain the vulgar* ;^^^' 
who never pique themselves on reasoning, but are -v. 

* fo almost an 'ages complaints have been made of abuses ia \ , 
Ihe church, aod reformation has been taOeed <£, Notwithstand- .; 
log this pretended reform in the heads of the church, it iias ti^%: 
:^/^a^ been ccon^ited. AvBricious, tuibident, and seditious - 
'■-^pae^ have made nations groan under the weight of thor vioes;, • _ 
, while princes wi^e too w^k^to bring^ them to reason. These |^: 
f ifnlightened men, .says JiGrabaud, who call themselves the minis* i^- 
^ters of the Most l^h, fire^pjoitly preach nothing but hatred^V, 
discord, aad fury, in his name. The IKvinity, far from having ,yv 
;i& useful influence over their own morals, commonly does ad ^ ' 
^paore than render them more ambidous^ mors covetous, more : V 
rjiaidened, more obstinate, and mc^ proud. In those cotmtiies 
^ where their anpire is established in- the most solid manner, and 
whoe th^ enjoy impunity;, are they then enemies to that de- 
bauchery,'^ that intempdrance, and those excesses, against which 
. '^Utej: are constantly dedahnmg ? On the contrary, do we not see 
- j Utem emb<ddened ki crime; intrepid in imquity; giving ifffl 
'^ wope to thenr irre^gdarities, to thdr vengeance, to their hatred 
fod to their suqndous cruelties ? The priesti are generally the 
most crafty of men^^ and the best of than are truly vricked. 
Of ^ llie clergy, it was justly remarked by Boulanger, that whUe 
tiiose blood-sudcers of soaety wallow'in an^'atiAndance, diame- 
fei to4he states by whom tH^ are t(^rated, th^ man of tdenCs, 
jlie msB of scienoe^ and the brave warrior, ,wer& siitf&red -to lan- 
^jdsh in indigeDc^ and pooil^ exist oii tUe^oaeft mdeessaries of fife. 

• T ; '» " ■ "^ " 'tt- >■..-'-.--."■■■; - f "■■■ ^ . • - . 


V - ' 




;«'•., •.• •■ ■• 



.- <!^- *'' 


', ^ ■ 

> -. ■ . . *^ 




s{/>t«*dy in'^very thing to aide with tfte:inan who exhihitr 

^^:|ropders^^aa4 adquires the secret of gaining their fancy; 

After Jesus had. silenced John^s.diisciples, the chief 

of a synagogue waited on the Saviour, find besought 

him to com^ and lay hands on his' daughter, twelve 

iyears old, who was dead, accferding to St Matthew, 

/|i>ut vf ho \ras only very nekt according to St Mark 

and St Luke: a difference which seems to merit 

-^me attention. Jesus complied with the invitation ; 

«o4 whiiMpr6ceeding to the house overheated faim- 

•eif lo much, that a virtue went oat of^im fit to cure 

< l^l;thosewho were in its atmosphere. We shall not 

form conjectures on the nature of this virtue or divine 

•transpiration; we shall only remark, that it was so 

' "poteni as suddenly to:;Cure a woman afilicted for 

twelve years with an issue of blood ; a malady which 

^ Improbably .the- spectators JiaA. not better verified than', 

its oure. On this occasion Christ perceiv^ that thefe 

' IJad gone 6ut^ of; hjm^a considerable portion of vir tuej 

he, therefore, turned towards the female afflicted with 

>|l^e piles, tyJ)om his dimples had rudely pushed back; 

- :%nd,seeing.b^r prostrate at his feet, ^Mteughtei'* Jsaid her,) beof good heart, , thy tfaifih hath made thee 
%bole.*', The poor' woman, whom the discipte&had ind.-* 
mida'ted* charmed with being JiJieved tromber fright inio 

- fasyaimimner,. confessed i^peqly She was. cured., idi jo 
^^s^bea.OttT miracle perfbrtner was , arriyedi at? «^ 

hpnf»e of Jairus,:(i!uch was^the name of the chief of the 
.i^n^gogu^ th^: eame and; annohnced to the tatter 
%at ihis daughter had expired a; m<!>ment b^fe^te, aad 
tk»t 6thei hQi&^. was full ininstrelSj who were alreaily 
|}<[»foyrmrit)g:<«^ dixge or mourptul eohcertp accQrding:,tO 
the custom of the tountryii Jesu^vwhoiOfttbe vm$^s^ 
ffAit^ ^Ifttlief^ of .the gii* toipi^tlcj wai-Wdiojpn- 



- pcrlfed at ttie news ; lie began with makiiyg evefy iKjd^ 
ntke, and then havitig entered alone, by ih6 ViHut df i 
dome w^rds raised her' from the dead. ' / 
•3 In histoncal matters We must prefer two WrlleFS ";- 
who agree, to a tjhii'd who Contradicts them. Noil^ 
liuke and Marie a£Brm that tbe damsel was dead ; bUC 
Werd iinfdrhinafcely it is tb^ hero hinMelf Who weakih^ 
bit victoify.? . (^ their saying to bJM that she Was deaS§5 ^ 
be affii^ed that :sb«w»|:<miy asleep. There are gir^ 
whaai twelve year* of ageare actoaHy subfj^ct to suthf h 

vvFoons; On tii'^'otber hand, the father of the da'ni^ 


appears -to havie. acquainted the phyatcian Wiftf tb€ 
<9onditiofi of hi? child; and he, more in the secret tha^' 
ofehersf'did notbeliere the intelligence of b^r death.' 
ilift ebtered alone into her chamber. Well assure of bef . 
jecovery if she was only in a swoon r if he had found . 
ksr d^ inreality^ there^^is every reason tb beliievi^, 
bfr wpttld have returned, and told thfe father that 
b« had been called wh^n too late, and was vekied^ '■ 
" i«jthe*ccident^'-' ^"I^^^^^W^^*^- ■ '■ M'^^ 

'<.; >iM^9^ boweviei', did not wish that this mil^cld 
'ifii<Hi^dte'publishM^*^^e forbade the fathier and mo- ^ 
tbcu^ctf the danisel to tdl what bad happebtid. Oui^ 
cbsriatab was not sbltcitous to divulge au affair whieh 
ffiigiA more aind more etdte the indignatkm and fur^ . 
.of the Jews of JerusateJEiti,^ whither he was sooti aftet f<l. 
fttj^iltf <in purpose to* celebrate the passongr.-^^Mb're- 
d^i*, tife acoeidntof this miiscle seeihs to cfviri6e tb^ 
fht^lSofidfGod had acquired some scattering of it^di^ 
AMne in Egypt. Xt appears at least th^ he was vebaitif 
ki'thcf 8piasmodiedi8€»8ies of women ; and no more wail 
UTaB^^to iflddce the Tulgsr to negardA maiara ior<t 

€ne9,0t pctfe»m«Fof^nm*cie«. > ' 4* %% - <^ -• ^ -^Hi 

Ottce i& tbc traitf (ii^pentt^wpndeKihim did do^ 


^ '& ./■">*"■ _^^U'.\"/V-'^"-\.-'--?S '►' 

^^■^ \y 


Ciest satisfied with this one. According to St Mat- 

1 ^ew, who alone relates the three facts we are ^oing 

y ^^o meotioQ, two blind men who foUowed him began 

' i^^o exclnim, JSon of Diavid, kave.mercy on us, TliQugh 

:> Ififtus, in his quality of God, knew.- the most secj^t 

thoughts of men, hechose to heviva voce assured of tiie 

di^fk>sition of the sick people :with whom be traa- 

sacted. He tbereforb asked, if .they bad mjuch, faith, 

or if they sincerely believed that he; was able to do 

what they reqiies^c^ of him. Our blindifolks answer^ 

I in the affirmatives then touching their eye3« 'f Be it 

unto you,'* said he, **accordiug to yoiHT faith," and 

: instantly they received their sights *' i - '; * 

.. ^'i Weknov/not how to reconcilesuch lively faith in two 

b}ind men, wit]i the untractableness afterwards display- 

e^. Their physician^ who inight have good reasons 

„ for not being known, mo#t expressly forbade them U> 

' spisajk of their pufe » thi^y however spread it instantly 

N through the country. The silence of those who were 

'■-' ■ witnesses of this great miracle, is not more astonisb- 

ing that! the indiisctetion of the blind inen. wh"^ were 

.tl|^obj^t|B_.ofit.'.. '. . ,. '.„ ■ >^- 

.1^^ fact^more niiracnlous stil^Lia ,tfae obduracy of th^ 

Jew8» who were so stubborn, that' the many wonders^ 

^« performed one after another, and on ih&same day, were 

Hot able to convipce the doctorsi Nevertheless jJe. 

' Jsui^ far from being (j^isiqouraged, determined stllVfu^ 

-■ J;^ef \a exhibit a specimen of his powe^. , A dnmb man, 

.{^Pisessed with a de?il« was presented >^o? Christ, wfa<» 

t fxpelled the demon but of bim^ and the dumb began 

to speak. At sigbt of this miracle, the people, as usual, 

' were in ektasy, whilst the Pharisees and doctors,' whif 

badalso exor<^ists^among them« saw nothing surpfisihg 

in it: they pretended that their exorcists performed 




their conjurations in the name of God, ivhilst Jesuf 
roacle bis id the name of the devil. Thus they accus^ 
Christ of castiag out the devii by the devil, which 
was indeed a contradiction. But this contradiction 
did not prove the diirinity of Jesus ; it proved only 
that the Pharisees were frequently capable -of talking 
aonsense and contradicting themselves, like all super*; 
vtitious Itnd credulous people. When theologists die- . 
pute, we very soon discover that the wranglers on 
hoth sides alike speak nonsense : "and by contradictiDg 
tWemselves, impugn their own auth5t>rity.*^.i ,jl jv-i^V- ' ^ 

* Dora. La Taste, a c^brated Beoediodne «f Ae Mofidat 
jftac^y WTO^ ^emp Jettera against the pretended miracles of tlie 
Deacon Paris, whidtf he ascribed to the operation of the dciril. 
His zeal was rewarded with a Inshopridk; his partizans did not 
perceiTe, that the arguments which ftis monk employed in com- 
Imfing the mirades of a Jansenist, d^ltroyed, by a rd}oaKd, the 
tSBPades of Jesus Christ,, which were 'less amj^y attested^ than 
Unse of Patk. A. Swiss and Ekotestaut dergymm has aba flt- 
tfcfked the fnaacles of Fythagcoas, Apdlonius ThyaneuS) jSod 
the SeT^>hic St. Erancis, in a manner which equally destroys aU 
those Christians have inserted in the gospel See the bode ip- 

titled, De ndntculis quae Pythagoroe, Sfc, tribuntur libenur, dudcire 

FMleku&ero HelveHo, Dtiaci, 1784, in 8vo. The fiunoos Wool- 

0Uia composed a woik vaudier the name of ''-Discourses on ilie 

Mlcacles of Jesus Chiist^-' S vols. 17*^, in wiAdi he pi!9Vfls» that 

even acoordkig to the Others of the church, all the jnirad^ivf 

i ; Cfazist are onfy allegories. Mr. Woolston's discourses were fo 

' eminent for the lucidus' ordo in argumentatum, incontrovei^ 

4de reasotdn^ and irtflexible justice, that the secular arm was 

' 'emi^(^ed to crush him ': thus, a man, of the most blameless iBm- 

kiers, whose 'literary labours in theology divines and bisiwps 

Str^ in vmi to le&ite, became an ittustrious example of (jdbe 

persecuting spirit of churchmen, whose integrant and wngwio- 

aiy dispodtions, while seconded by the temporal power/ (thus 

iec%n>caBy eSad&ag each other) no pleas ctf humanity or sacred ;ju4- 

^b» dfiii'eoptrouL ' ^ ./,:f^l^. 



£' V^^'^- 

.y V 

^"*^^l^^, CHAPTER VliL'^;"i^^'^%^ 

■- 'm^f^-. ': ^ ■ ■ [■ . - . ■ -' ^ ,■■ • i'." 



■ ii^riiRi^ •c5i2#:^i;--^?^-.r- '^z ■ --ci-?; t'i|-\'. -'^-••' 

i-OUR doetor had closed the first yeatr of his miS8io»^ 
ia a very glorious manner. He repaired to Jerusaleiit|< 
with a view to try his fortune, gather the fruit of his' 
labours, or form a party in the capital, which he^ 
hoped to carry, after havipg acquired adhereflts in jthiej 
oountry. — Thfere was, inched, every reason to l)elieTQ,_^ i 
that •the noise of the wonders which he had operaiedf . 
tbe yeir f^receding, is Gtiiiee, would produce a livelft ' 
effect on thi6 ppptilace of Jerosaletn, but it produced^ ; , 
consequences very opposite to those yfrhlda Jesus ha^ 
hoped for or foreseen. It migbt be $ai4 that the in»^ > 
fftraal legion which he l^ commaiuied to pass iotflrf/ " 
tfafe ««^ine of the Gerasenes, bad ;fixed their abode iil|^^.f^ 
the beads of the inhabitants of the country. Th**»; 
gOispei shews us in the former only an incredible batd?* 
oess of heart. In nain Christ wrought before tfiel^ - 
; eyes a multitude of prodigies, calculated to coofirxnt^ 
th« wondefs related to them ; in vain did he eiiipl(^f / 
hit «Kvine rhetoifc to demonstrate, in the clearest man^' 
nfr he was al^ the divinity of his mission; all Ml^ 
efibrts served only to redouble the cholei: of IM 
eoemies, and iodace them to devise meand to puni^a 
BMiB» whom they -pexisiated in regioding a^n ji 
diffiiataB, aiMl a dAiig<^oaa impoitor. 



. ■ <_ t '*>--. -■''--, ''• 

■'. -• ■ . ■.•'._ " "^ • • ,; 

It is true, the adversaries of Jesua -furpnsed him . 
sometimes at fault — They reproached him with vio- \ 
lating the ordinances of a law venerated by them as 
sacred,- and from which he bad promised never to ; 
depart — They regafded these violations as a proof of f; 
heresy, and it did n<)t enter their heads that a God 

: could raise himself above ordinary rules, and possess >i 
k the right of changing every thing. They were Jews '■ 
—and, therefore, ,obstinatdy attached to their divine ' 

■ ordinances; and they did not conceive how a true .> 
messenger of God could allow himself to tixiipple , ' 
underfoot, what they were- accustomed to regard as - 
sacred and agreeable to the Deity.* , .; ^ .\ ,- , .> ^,i^^_^::,M 

-'■^■r - . . .'-'-:■? ■ ■■ , v. rr.. .''..•-.■:>,;--?• 

> * The Jews, £be most superstitious^ hatk>n on earth, lelying :,1 
tq)On the supposed promise of their God, have alirays eqiected' .v 
the coming of a monarcn or conqueror, yrho is to elevate ihem • 
firan disgrace, and crown than idth triumph. It was iinpoBrfk r 
Ue for them to see this^ defiverer in tlie pers(m of Jesus ; wluv ^ 
instead of bdng the restoier of the HelKtew nation, was iUi dc*«^ 
troyer, and ance whose coming th^ seem to hove lost all&voar : 

' witili God. . To those who assert that this destruction, and the V 
^Qsp^rioa, of t}ie Jews, is a proof of the truth of Christian ]^ro> - ,. 
phecy, it is- answered, that it was easy to foretd the ^aepeaaea ' > 

: </aDd destiiuction .of a restlesai, turbulent, and rebellious "pec^ief 
who were cmitinuany torn and convulsed l^ intestine diviaoos ; ^ ^ 
beades, they had been often coiKluered and dispersed. Tba ~" 
temple destroyed by lltus^ had {oevlously sufferel the same &1» ' 
iJSrem Nebuchadnezzar, who carried the orptive tribes into Assyw 
rii^ and spread them tibreugfaout his teiiitories. ^Tbe ^jspawni 

„.M the Jews is more peroeptiUe than that of odier couquend 

' nations, because those nations have genera%,^after'a certailii 
time^ become confounded with their ccmqnerors ; whereas the 
Jews -refuse to interminj^, by domestic connections, with''ibK 
wiiere they reside and have re^dody nudntaiin^ Iftis 
It is diflSsvut with the Cuefaies or Panis of IBenia 
as well as the ,4rtpeniana who .dwdl in MahaMkan 

>■ ' Jr'' 

- s ■ ' '■''i. " " • -^ - •-"«■-.-' »-- , 

8.; fc 


v.- ■ •'■ "'^. '^"^ -.■■■" 

->, So many .obstacles drd not.discpurage Jesus. He deter- 
mined to supceed at any p.irice ; and tbougl^ without a 
toiraciebe might have foreseen what would be the issu4| 
of his enterprise, he was sensible he must conquer or die » 
that fbrtune~favours only, the brave; and that it was 
nepessary to play an illustrious part, or tamely consent ■ 
to languish in misery^ in the solitude of some obscur|^. 
jullage in GalileeJ -,.•* 

'^ On arriv ing at Jerusalem, he devoted his first carfes 
ip sick paupersr— the rich had their own physicians. 
At this time there was in the city, and near the sheep 
port, a fountain, or famous pool, of which, however, 
with the exception of the Gospel, no historian has ever 
spoken, though, from its propertieSj it well deserved 
tp be transmitted to posterity. It wag a vast^edifice, 
nound which stretched five 'magnificent galleries, in the 
centre of which was a sheet of water, that possessed ' 
tdmirable properties^— but these were known only to 
poor people and mendicants, and they knew theih 
.doubtless by a particular revelation. \ IJnder' these 
galleries were seen languishing a great number of 
' wreCches, who patiently . waited for a miracle. God^ 
on giving tOLtbe waterofttjB pool the faculty of curing 
all diseases, had annexed aVbndition to it— -The .first 
wha could plunge therein after an angel bad troubled ' 
it, which happened only at a ceitain time, coold xdpj^ 

oaontXKS. The Hciirews ranain disperatd, because :^ aretia^- 
apctal,*into]araiit, and Uibdl;y- attached tp ihdr wpeistitioiui*^' 
Moreover, ib^Atta of the Aptetles dearly prove, tbat the ^^ 
fa^pan %0( btf dupened,^ even before the time a£ SesoB. -SyinW 
cv^from Greece, F^t^ Arabia^ &c tbke feast of PeirtdcbBt, 
Acts & 8. It #88, in &ct, only the inhalbtttots of Jtkdea^ weie 
dtaiwned by the Romani, aA^..the dc^ath of Gbxtst-^r^Hamty: 


obtttn the benefit of a cure. Hie chief magistrate of 
Jerusalem, who probably knew nothing of the exist- 
ence of this marvel, had not established there any re- 
gulation of police. The most forward and agil6 of the 
paralytics or sick, and such as had i^iends atways io 
readiness to throw them into the wat^f When iti^ras 
troulbled, ravished, often very unjustly, the merCy of 
being delivered from their diseases; f.H? *%>»i*>v 

, . A paralytic, among others, had bieen there fbr thir- 
ty-eight years, without any body b'avmg had the cha^ 
rity to lend him a helping hand in descending to the' 
fountain. Jesus, who beheld him lying on his bed;:' 
asked him if he wanted to be cured ? "Yes," answers 
ed the sick man, "but I have nbbody to put me idt*^ 
the water when it is troubled." **That signifies no* 
filing, (replied Jesus) — Arise, take up thy bed and 
walk," This wretched man, perhaps, not unlike 
many of our beggars, who, to soften the public, feign 
diseases they do not laboi^ under, and who on this ee^ 
casion might be gained over by some trifle to be ao^^ 
cessary to the farce ; — ^^this miserable, we say, did fiot 
leave him to speak twice-— on the order of ^eSus h& 
took up his couch and departed.' ^^''^■- r^^- 
I Among the Jews, howler, they ^d not, as among^^ 
ail, promenade On festival days* This cure was pet»* 
formed Gh the l^bbath. Our panalytic bdving beett^r 
met by a man of the law, the latter reprimanded him,j ' 
fbr ^RMlbg tb« flW l iiww c e* of r^igfioB laf can^fing^' 
h^l)ed* Tfa^ inuas^tesior bad no other exctise Hey 
giv% but tW tie wifo bad cored bmi had at the taitf<^ 
tine commanded him to do ihts. He was t^en ^eiii<ji' 
tioBed ftboirt the prasoB who bad given this ordai^; 
bat lie knew nothkur of biu. JeMs hod not taid^^ ' 
who be was; an^ pi if the actios hwi been ▼eiy'^v 

(Nrdinary, t'he person on whom the mjrade was petf 
formed bad not informed himself of the author of it.—^ 
Here the matter ended, as they made no further en- 
quiry. But Jetus having sometime after met the pa- 
ralytic, made himself known to him, and then the lat* 
ter informed the Jews of the name of his curer. Tfaiese 
fiCebrews were so irritated, that from this instant 
they formed the design of getting Christ put to death, 
because, according to St. John, he had done t^h^etftingf 
ontheSaihath day.* 

' Nevertheless, it is not probable >tbat this wa3 the 
tfuecsuiseoftbe rage of the (Jews. However scrnpur 
loos we suppose them, it is presumed that their pb|^«' 
jiccans and surgeons did. not think themselves obliged to 
refuse xBedicines to the sick on the Sabbath. There (s 
reasQa to believe, that Jesus, not content with fi^xmg^ 
did fnofeorer order those he eured to violate t][ie ,Slab- 
bath tiy carrying their bed^ which was a servile wo^Ict 
<tt ratlier these unbelievers regarded the joainacli^. c^ 
the Saviour as mere delusi<Mis, impostures, tiicks cf 
dexb^ity, and himself as a cheat, who naigbt excite 4it' 

iesiw having learnied iksA thi^ Jew;^ were ill diaposed 
towards him on account of the transaction of the Sab- 
hatb,. which they accused him of vtdhHiing, «(feaipfed 
to jnsti|^ .hiiQpietj^ 3^ naa^^ a l^ne djIilconT&e, te^inj^ 
to p»9Wtiia(: fee^a? the ^osji (pif Gcfd^ a|i^ thatljls JFar 
t4i«r«i»tihocifled kiw^ot tp<)fes<wy^4;h»^ 'i fal'^ fe ' J^ilt h^- 
took carenort'to expkiia liimseM frvtfJMiamt^ mM^'m 
filiation; and byiiisambigu«*us 4tttig»i€ige,W«Bii»ttte4^ 
the ^t^rnity of hk father, biut did not calihiin Gofli T« 
the J«W« divining his pl^ject, we,i:9 very taiieh 4|^^^ 

<L-. . : 

—(5 >"— ; r-.y^-^rw -•.-^f.;^ ., 

•■•'/".■ .rg:^tfyi^^^ 

■V^>' -: 


■ '■ .• . t!:.|?KqoJr,,-, 

1 -.■■■','■■.' 


'■■*'"-"*'. 1 

i-'- ' ■■ .'•'. ' -H' ' ■■: "-'" 

^i "'• ' ■ . ■ : ' 



, ed at this pretensiOD.*^ "He changiedi therefore, hi« 
batteries, and threw himself on the neceaity by which 
be atted. "Verily, said he <to them, the Son dc«9 

.nothing of himself, but wBat he seeth the Father do . 
Tbe Father, who lovd^ him, sheweth him all things 
that he himself doeth, and he will shew him greater 
ivorks than these." By th^e expressions Christ 
ceenis to overthrow his' own eternity and* infinite 
knowledge; for he announces himself as susceptible 
of learning somethiag, or as th^ ape of the Divinity. 
' To impress ffie minds of these unbejievers, whom. '^ 

/Ms enigmatical jargon could not convince, be declared 
tbat henceforth the Father will no longer mtermeddlev; 
in judging men, but had devolved tbat ciire on his Son. 
This, however, had no effect % as the Jews expected a J^ 
gr^tjudge,^ th^ %ere not yet staggered. Jesus, like v 
oiirChristiah teafcbdrs, for want of better arguifieotSt^ 

look the resolution to iiQtimldate his audience, know- . 
ing well that fear always prevents the exercise of rea- p 
k>if,'^ He gave them, tbereibre, to Understand, that the 
Ixid of the world was near, which ought to make them 

( tremblcf .\ 

; The^testimooy^ of Jdio-Baptist, had, acrl we ^ave ^ 

. f 1%e seoood ««suBg of Chiisf^ hninwHately afbr tile d/i- 
Mltxa^^xm^ ci Jexvauilan, attended witH aD the bI^ and ccnco^* 
teiits of the end of the w(^,^ announced bofii in Mttthemr aai 
hklsH^ ; and imii-these, and other pacts t)f, die New Testament 

Jlti^apfaai, the disci^les^wace told, that th^ were to be |>iefl^Bt 
l»tluHt 9oeaaon> either-afive OT raised up £p(9n the d That 
pvicptioii was not topassawajuntS aH these tldngs' woe ftil^ 

*^^ic^ and both heaven and earth AtaM sooner fill than ftSM 
pctdK^&BKk Jesty e i p res fly sd^ «if sending' forth }Sa diadples - 
to'greach the gospel, ^ye shaU not have gone over all the ddes 
of^ Jtidah, until the Son of Man ImT come." The apostles there- 

'*Tr **• 




sfeltfh, farai^ed i?!j<^-fif^ 6ocde!i*es of J^v«; but oh 
th^ other *icfei tW6 «fiflfef6tifc^ they hkd r^ifiafyd bfei* 
,t^feen' tbfe ddndut^ 6'^ th^ Falfter, and th^t of the M»^ 
runner, destroyed tTmfbftie of this testifiiowy ? 6Wr drt^ 
tof^ (Vfi^^rfrfeH^ th^r^briEi ttt' hSfe fttf neeicf of it, iin(I 
•trtiVe even fo W^AkeW il« vSIue. HkWeis «i hUfftH/g 
dad d sfHttingH^ to t-traiW- ^oii ^fVf nmhg fhr A ^dn 
sdhto rejoiciinhk Ifg^i ; IHt^ a gfeOlHi-tbitntsithintfisV 
Here be appealed to his Wori^, Whicii he tod^rft^iWftt 
to de itifalli bfe pto6^9 ©F his diving ttoiislaH. He tfff^ 
•rfoi^htediy for^dt a! tTifii Y^ftknetiltj th^ heiipbke to ptii^ 
pte who regardf^ hi^ mal^v^louS deedfr as delustiOtjAT 
and itapottai<eS^; M« #^6rlra ^iie pi-ecisely the thiA^ 
Wbieh' it WiiA' oeiie'^itei'y t* prove eveff to the veiyHff^f 
MfhlQ saw them ^erfefrnred! YeflSris ftiair^er of rea^ 
sbtihio: bas beerf siikre ad^ted wHh s^eesS by Chf^ 
tiiitl docttfrd, \^bd, #fi(ettidotrtits' 6robje«ionS ire adVaSfiil 

\ ' • ■ : . : ^:' . ^: .-■ , _ ^ ,?^ 

iik« ^aSedH tie SUt Umu, mAsO^ eadef Ht^ v^ld. /nteevenif 
bmriiig^ bdied the <ivedi^}tioi4 the suceearars of tbe apostlep went 
wiBing to give imother inteipretation to tbe words of Jesitt; 
and, therefor^ instead of the (destritctioii « the world bdi^ 
implied in these predictions, they, by a &dfity pecUfiar to & 
d^, WliteA f%JilMl eimiiStm xbvtdh'^ hi stay dfficulty^ gave 
out that Gloist onijr spoke in reference to a grand miUenium, 
^HHi' Ws^- "wu MbOtKi 'ti aitabHsh en die' eartfi; Acfeord&igf^, 
tf iflfii t/fSsSit/k %e fiflft dfiotintf In th^ fie^ eeiitury, and fihon 
- IWhfl #al tHfaiHtaitikM to Piffiaa, biAap of Hienpdi^ by sxat 
tM^Sciii "bf flii ilil%^ dlAJ^^ It^#n alsb eincbcaced by Jw 

Wtt^maiim li«UttAiSS VitmuiMii^ and tiKtaoBti ahntriour^ 
na iii^HaiiP laCfi&lt ' Su^iisMfa^ tt>^(U! be o fl hiifl & <i-3fc i i*i foK^ 
Jilnlfi^ ^ftfPlfeigt flte te but be xnqftf 

^ f«|fctf8fed!«#lfa-lBMdl^|^^ at Ihecud of lii& 

^^^ ^ uj l M M ^ <Bif g»i*i IbnauBJest d gahiaiA vA 

nflNMRMa ilNloi^* ■ ■ 


ced against the mission of Jesus^ throw themselves Im- 
mediately on his miraculous works, which were at all 
times incapable of convincing the very persons who 
they tell us had been witnesses of them. 5^^,-;. -r^^^^. 
Among the proofs. employed by Christ to exalt his 
mission, he advanced one, the only tendency of which 
is to destroy the mission of Moses, and make hii|i be re- 
garded as an impostor. He told them. You have never 
hetard the voic^e 0/ my Father; whilst it . was on the 
voice of this Father, of whom M086S was the irtterpre- 
ter, that all the law of the Jews was founded. How-, 
ever, after haying thus annihilated the authority of 
scripture, our orator wished further to prop his mis- 
sion on the same scriptures, by which, according to 
him, he was announced. "Fear," says he, " the 
Father; I will not be the person who will accuse you 
before him ; it will be Moses, in whom you trust, be- 
cause you believed not in him; for if you believed 
in him, you would also believe in me.* I am come 
inHhe name of the Father, and you pay no attiention 
to it; another will come in his OWQ name, and you 
jwill believe m him. ^ . 

- •--.- • ........ » — If 

^1^ Notwitluitandm^ this teatimonj in finrour of MoMt^ >wl^ 
confidoice can be placed in the prstoiskms of. a jussi to ^^v^ 
iupiration^ who^ after asserting he wrought so many mirach^i 
Muid not convert hi» people from idolatty ; and who, after fasv* 
ang caused forty-sevai thousand Isra^tes - to perish^ - by due 
s^ord; had the e^rcnteiy toawimie the Jatleof thenteekotiqip 
on earth ? Is it certasn tiiat t^ bodes wIucharef|lttIih^te^<^to 
Moses, and report so many miracukNu drgnmstarKys, .are ^gm-' 
fectly authentk;?, and what p^pc^ haife we pfyhum^aeipn, ,^em^ 
the testixnony of a nwnber of soi^ia^&ixias igfuaas^ 
I0U8 Israefites, who were cyidentl^ the dasjfm td iioa§^ i a9fiia m 

" - ;v>. ; ^ :;'?:r -;" " ■--' ■ ' . /•' . ' ■ ■ •■ "■■ ;'-■■ "■' -/■'• '-'v -"^ •■'i 

-:^ ' '/^ ■ C . •' • - \' ." ■' ..;■■-./• .;.i-;"';;'' '-'.^'^ 


they found it unconnected, contradictory, olffensive, andf - 
blasphemous ; tlie fear of seeing the end of the worldj^ 
arrive, did not hinder them from perceiving the wantf 
of^ust inference in the orator, who took away fronihii'^ . 
Father, and restored to him the quality of judge ofv' . 
men, which he had at first appropriated to himself.^ 
Besides, it would appeaV, the Jews were of good cou-* 
rage as to this end of the world, which events had so* 
often belied. Their posterity, who beheld the world^' 
subsisting after this, notwithstanding the express pre-^J 
diction of Jesus and, his disciples, have founded theii^; 
repugnance for his doctrine, among other things, on^. J 
tlus want iof accomplishment; and from his sublimi^> 
discouriSe the incredulous conclude, that it is very dif-t» 
ficuit for an impostor to speak -long without contract 
dieting and detecting himself. - ,'1 i ; 

^ The inefficacy of tKts harangue made Jesus per-' "^ 
<;eive, that it was in vain to prosecute the-plan of mira4r 
cles, in order to draw over to his party the Jewd of Jeru- 
salem; ■ He forebote therefore to perform 4hem^ thought 
the circumstance of the festival of tbe passover would 
seem to furnish him with a very favourable oppdfttinUjf;" 
It even Jippeiars he was completely disgusted with-'thie in*;. 
iferediility of these wretches, w'ho showed thieniselTesi.p.O' 
ways disposed to witness the gr^at thipi^, which l^ 
hiad exhibited with success to the inhabitants of! Ga4it^ 
if^.' • To see miracles/ there must be a «implicity> 
WlJre iPiare in a capital than in the qbuntry ; bteSfdeSi-H^ 
; Mie popu lace are well disposed eyeit in large cities, ti^ 
^^gi'sbates and. best informed ^persons pommohly ^^P ' 
ji$|8^f^ bija)wark agai^stiCTj^dulity.*^ .r/: ^r^V 

y/J^T^ Ve iaye hg^ ^ ,tM {K>pula«e runnm^ to ihe miradbs of 
M. Fans, ^od beUeving tliem ; . we Jiave evcsn hea^, persons of dis* 
tingiushed rank, and women of quality, persuaded dl tiidr i^-a 

.*■ -i ■ ■ 


, i. ' :^'_- ; "^ -'^ iiyvlV'VVJi.^ .- ■• /■ •'■^'J-y': 


The same thing happened to oor thauipaturgf in. 
Jeru5a]em. Perhaps h^ despaired pf the salvation of 
tiii5se injjclels, for during tjie sl^^rt sp^pe of time he so-. 
J9M^ned in |;i]^t city, he kept po measur^^ w^tb then» ; 
b^ loftded \kfim with abusive language: but it does 
not apppgif.^that |,I)i^ plan ^aipgd pFoselytpp, thoijgh 
shijc^ 4:hat ti|?)e [^is djsc'^ples aq<l the pripst? have fre- 
quently encjpayoured to 9i| thje lil^e n^eans, 
and ^yen l^:q<^r^o^_^^:^ ;,.^.^p. ,^.^^,^.^ 

a&tj, attest theqn opeqly; but tl^ese mi^ades were never aUe 
to conquer the ino^dulity of the Mc^nist deegy, ot ibe govertt-. 
meat, nor the police ; and the latter^ as every l^y fcoows^ a&- 
oeeded in putting an end to the miracles of the Most High. Tbam 
occaaoned the foUo^g epigr^ V¥f^ , V©i5^ jthf . g«^, ;9f J^j 

* > ^ t; '^ Depar le rot, defense a Dieu^ ^^'tS^|> ^n§ ATt?SD}4 

* -M£^ )t> f' '3%e kfeg^wmrajands tlat CW ijljafi i»ttti 
. * ^miil 1^ 8 l^fMF W^ mir»cle» ^ this spot - i^f^.rt ff^;^!^ 
God «a« '^Ndient ; ^ jpq h^^ger p?rfowed i^wH^ ifff t)l« 
J|lf)^fl4fts, m wth jij^ut, daoBi, ^d in the garret* 4 ^ f^v^ 

,:,f It ia r^^ f/i f^^ctiaA, says W^abs^ ^t^ tb^ rd^gwn <if 

1|^ Christians^ wVd^ boasts of giving the justest idea f£ the 

I^pinty ; which edicts diat Divinity oli the side of goodness 

;f - aikl incxcy; when his worshippers are accysed of b^ig txam 

'^ biilrat . ^od saftguaiary ; which piKles itself on liarrii^ taug^ 

t^ purest tystem of TBCKaJHtj ; vhidi pceten^ t« have eii» 

^p^ifished o^nea|4: ao^. p^ac^ for evfx jm<«(^ those wkf. 
jgiffBeas itj-Hiti^^ieD, I saj, to. remark, that this region Ifff 

/ .erased more divisicnis and disputes — more political and civil 
wars, and 'uqpe' crimes of every spedeB, than all the other 
xdlgious in the world united. If it is aaid that the fo nlgium 
fi '^eaixung will prevent^ this superstition from produciiiy; on 
ft(^[^e sudi dS^ipal e^^^ : It is' aiisw^xed, tl^t fanktidipfn, i^ 

^ - i^ 4^1^ dmgei«j]iB r : and Oa^ anksfe Hhs drase Itt^ ttfiata^^f 


. •?:■'« 

f : 


ila ghojt, in tlji^ journey, )mu% ba4 np AM<;qeis9i»^Uif 
disciples d^d not meet with good cheer; to sustain life 
they were red 4C(?d to the necessity of taHing a little 
«orn in the environs of the city ;^ and were surprise^ <(t 
this occupation on the Sabbath day.-rTb^ violatipii 
of tbe law appeared to the Jews a greateJT cjrin^ tb^ 
theft. In yajn cotnplaint was ina4e/to their jnaster^, 
from him no satisfaction could b^Sntained. He beat 
off the Pliarisees, by coippaifiQg; what bis disciples bad 
done with the conduct of Pavid, "wbq bio^self, on an 
€mergency^ ate, and also made bis foiloweF?^^ eat, t(»Q 
shew-'bread, th,e use whereof the I^ord F^seryed for tbc 
priests alpne :^ adding, that " the Sabbath was madQ foi 
ipan, and not man fortbe Sabbath ;** therefore, he con<f 
<|lVided,**that the Son pf man is Lord of theSabbath»**t 
t Critics have remarked in several circurostanQQs (^ 
the life of our man God, that bis hunxanHy was 
fVequently liable to commit mistakes. For ^xantpl^A 
on tbe occasion we speak of, be gave tb§ i\ai^^ 
pf Abiatbar to the high priest, who permit^. 
David to eat the shew breads The Bo^Y Crbpst 

t^ eff^ win ar«( }^ ibfi mo^r ,80 loog «8, 9U|wbr9l7^ion f^ 
be £eld in comdclera^doii, jand sbaD have power, there viQ b^ 
disputes, penseCHtHms, inquisitions,' reg^ddeB, disotdets, &c.---flo 
kqg as maiddnd flhiA be so hmettidnal as te conader TeHgkn at 
«. ^UQg i^ tbe firat lmportaiioe$ its vddisten vifi have ^d epptvw 
tijuer of c^nfiwn^^, ecery t^png w €!Br1||, ui?4« thp pttfttapcf 
«f senrin^the XHyiQUy:, tljtatU^ of p^cmf)^ tMr qvr^ «>tere|t«; 
^0ie C|hzistiaQ' diurph has oaiv oae way of wJ|lng away th^ 
accusadon Inroughl against 1^ of being iiitdlerant kod mnC 
naaody, sotemaily to 4ecitai^<* tibk^ it Is not alowaUb to yeimM ti 
miD$aKe ^ «Be ftarhiB opmoni." But HiiiJIs fdiatti^ dd^ 

'taMatt.3di.St.MaAii?tx4eft ' ,"" : V ., ;^i. 


high priest wascalled Achimelech.TheerroiLwould beno^.' 
thitijgif an ordinary miln had fallen into it, but it becomes ' 
enibarrassing in a man-God, or in God made(man^^ 
vrhOtti "we ought to suppose incapable of blunders. * 

On the same occasion, Jesus, to justify the conduct ' 
of his disciples, maintained that the priests themselves 
violated the Sabbath, by serving God. in the temple on 
thatday; and this, according to the principles of oui?'^ 
theology, is styled visibly confounding sem/e works 
with spiritual. But this is to have the same idea of a 
robbery and of the oblation of a sacrifice; it is td' ->• 
tax God with being ignorant of what he did, by orif 
daiiiing, at one and the same time, the observance and 
the- violation of a day Which he had consecrated to - 

repose.' ''' '' .,: : ■■. ^^. '.'/^ ... • "^ . , . ^ - 

Qur doctors furtner justify Christ, with saying, 
that, as God, he was absolute master of all things ; 
l$ut in that case he ought to have procured better ' ~"; 
cheer'^to h la disciples. It would not have cost him 
niore! to have per in it'ted them to encroach CD the 
table of some rich financier of Jerusalem, or even 
tiiat ofthe high priests,; who lived at the experibe of 

0od bis father, than to permit his disciples to forage 
|D thi^ &elds of the poor inhabitants ofthe oountfy. 
At least it, was previously necessary to verify such so-' 
Vfereigaty Over all things in the eyes of the Jews, / 
who, ifrbin not knowing this jmportaDt truth, werena^ J^ 
tujrj^ify^ offended at the conduct which the Son of God 
8een[iie4flft authorise. It is apparently on this princi- ' 
p|eii8eserall€hrt&^n doctors have pretended, that aU v ;. 
things appertain to the just ; that it is permitted them : ;\ 
to seize on the property of infidels ahd: the unholy; V^^^ 
th«t the clergy hav« right to levy contributions on the ^ ' 

"yvi .,- 

people ; and that the Pope may dispose of crowns ^t 
his pleasure. It is on the same principle thd^t actions | 
are defended, which unbelievers regard as usurpations 
and violence, exercised by the Chrlstiabs on the inha- 
bitants of the new world. Hence we see, that it is of i 
the ^utmost innportance to Christians not to depaitt 
from the example which Jesus has given them in this! 
passage of the gospel ; it appears especially to interestl; 
the power of the Pope and the rights of the clergy. 
.Pretensions, so well founded, did not, howeyer,| 
strike the carnal minds pf the Jews; they persisted inf 
believing that it was not permitted to rob, particularl}^ 
on the Sabbath ; and not knowing the extent o^ tb<^ 
rightspf Jesus, tbjey took him for an impostor^ ai^ 
his disciples for knaves. They believe^d him to be i^^ 
dangerous man, who, under pretence of reformiog thi^ 
Hebrews, sought only to subvert their laws, trampled] 
on their ordinances, and strove to overturn their relM 
gion. They agreed, therefore, among them8ely<es, t(t 
collect the proofs they had against him, accuse, an<i: 
cause him to be arrested; but our hero, who. had il|«i 
formation of their designs, frustrated them by Iftiuriiig 
JeFusalom,. >«r#^i- • --■.^vrat 


V, i~ -.-^^^^ ■.:;.. .^■' ,^;trj 5 .^.^::^ 

^i^:r>fooj no CHAPTER IX. ')\'\3»oTo'/ftfus 

tH^^d«s intef}ti<Mi of btsi eoer^iies, ^« ^gi^in liieidok iifid^^ 
i«i!P fa the ^•rkidgdf m\v«c\e^, #t«h d Viev^ t^ gi^ 
^p«Mh fk^daf« of his ifii^iob ta |^sd(}» of ^k:^ fetbtif^ 
ibfe di«pOfifffio«» tbdti t^e iDh«lbi^lyts of ^tfsjvkfi^. 
mi 4ispit^mie eCftvti^eA hn^, th^ to g«?ti tlJF6 cjt^ittt, 
,ii ii|<^s%t4U tr^ee^Hdfy «& ^rt^^rtie^t tf}$ fd¥d)6it iii the ed-^ 
/^rimk^ «^ ptiam ih tiwf eoitoti^ «e gi^at ««iiibe^ of 
sf^Ri€«9H«f^ ^ho w%lif» id doe ti«be antd p^stcei^ aid bim 
i&^¥tiifift(i«btng'ih«- fMCTiduMy {tf^^^ritMS, dodloi«, ind 
iiAlg|«tmii8^7 Mill fmi h44ii> M ^^otftf^^n t1 t\k i»0)y 
^iy^i4lite'«bj«ctdf hlr«agordai(|yM^ fi 

* These new prodigies, however, produced lid re- 
markable effect. The Jews, who had been at Jeriisa- 
l^m, during the festival of the passover, on returning 
home, prepossessed their fellow -citizens against, our 
idventiirer. If be found the secret of gttiniog the admi- 
^l^tion of the peopfe in the places he passed through 
^^pD leaving the capital, be bad the chimin to fiud op- 
posenlB in the Pharisees and doctors of these places. 
The following faQ.t shows to what a degree the people 
%ere prepossessed.— rOn a Sabbath day, Jesus entered 
' jfitathe synagogue of a place, the name of which has 
;jjK>t been presenred^-— He fouad there, perhaps, by 

- I 

A i. . ■ 





chande, a nan who faad^or said be had a withered haad^f ; 
The sight of the d iseas^d^ Who was {wobably some nc^ ";.; 
ed mendicant and Iciliave, aiid.the presenGe of thephy^ _ 
sician, exieited the attention of the doctors. They 
watchedJestiscloselV—- "Let us see, (s^idthey, one to 
ahothe'r) if he' wil{ darie to heal this tnan on the sabr .^ 
bath day^*' But obserVii^ that Jesus remained ina«i> 
tive, they questioned him on the head of the sabbatby 
of which, on so many occasions, be bad appeared to make 
but Httte account. It was apparently one of the principal 
points of his reform. He was perhaps sensible, like iia« 
6f thie^ utility of atrrogating a great numbet of festi vite. 
Be that as it may, the doctors asked him, " Master* Is 
;^tt^lawful to heal on this day ?** Christ was frequent-^ 
'IV W%e habit of ansWefring one, question by an<^betf; 
- !^l.ogic -^as riot the science in which the Xewft< «rere 
%<«t conversant. Jesus replied, to them,- "1» it laffe- - 
%1- tb 'do good on 1;he sab^th day,'0r tO do evif? 
;U£b'sa% life, or to tieike it away ?" This qucstioa, ac- - 
tbrding to ^- Mark, confoundfed the doctors. Jfe- 
. 'vertheless, there is reason to believe, unless we stipf>. 
pose the Jews to have 1)een a hundred tinies more std- 
. pid than they really were, that this question^^was very 
' ilif timed. * They were prohibited from applying tdscsr-. ^ 
' vilie ONCcupatiohs only, but must have been penBitt€>d W 
discharge the most pressing obli^tion^ of mOraUty 
. ^ven on the sabbalfh 'day. - It is to ^e pr esuined, tbl^ a 
% jiiiiid^ife, for example, Unt her ninistiy on tliat^i^, 

,i Jtf on every other.* , 

.f--^ ''■'■ ■' ■-■■,■'■ _ •. \ ..•:■■;.- , 

l^/^if 8te la iiOiaph a;n. ^ note taken fsam the *Mnmd^ pr9^ 

Q'' Aftil was pemitted to anoint the toA witli o3 on tlie Saibbatb 

' fltirifnuch x%Qur, dnt Ibey iBA not slBiBtw tiKntadres, ot ^dilt Aqr 
to sstisQr flie most upraising wants of life^ Ttaa paiii{ps-^e 

lis • 

. , .:. ^s8Us cotoiuaijBeji his questionis, and a&ke^ ^thefi^^ , if 
^hen a sbeej) fell into a 4ilch on the , sabbath d^y, 

, -^Mj would not draw it ;.out? .^^^Jspni hence, without 
awaiting for, an answer, he; very justly concluded that 

it was permitted to do good on the, 8abh«itb. To 

it, be said to the gi^k, whom; he had perhaps suborn- 
ed to play.thi^ scene, in the" synagogue, *^ Arise,, stand 
,iip,and streitcb forth your ban4}"; and imniediatelybi? 
liand became as the other.- ^ut J^us, ren^arking 
Ithat this prodigy opeiiatediio change la theiE^D^inids, 
,4af^d a f uf ious look on the assembly, and, ^ bpMlQg 
< ,frith a holy cj^ipieri instantly ,;ft^rao^,, the |det^t^ble 

'^v,M& acted' Jw^Im]^ ;i for these^ panghty d9ctp|Fp,^)Re|it 

; immediately, and took coup^ with the • olppe^f .of 

Ceroid, *?. how they might de^roy him,"^ Je^v»;s^, who 

.was infbrmed of reT:4ry thing by bjs adherents^, ^^ed 

, itbe/Sea fihofe,,wherjef it was ,fi^w.ay8.,^y ^or Jifm to 

,;^ect hi^ escapne. ^4« disciples,; several pt^^v^jbiom 

^juider$too4 pasfigation, followed him . .thither. ; ,, , . A 

«tiQultitadep<f, people, more credulous than ttie doctors, 

.j^aired t0j,hio|i coi the uoi^ of.bis^tnarvels. .Tbere 

vcaine^. to him hjearers from .Galilee, from Jerusalenc),^ 

.•il^pin Idumea^ .from the other side .Jordanv.:an4,pyen 

Q_ftT9ni.Tyrj5 J^nd; Sidpn. This muUitud^ furnjshed^l^im 

; ?|?Ritb a preti^^t; for giving^ directions tp^^iis d/spijj>lcs 

fi^^ hold a bark in rei^jnefs, tb^ he flight i^ojt,)t>e,^.too 

^y^vu^li tfarppged,,bi)M9 trut|i|to escape, in caseit ^))p|4|d 

, |i)e attempted to pursue him. , #, <^ «^' 

, 'fi - On this shore, favourable to his designs, Jesus per- 

B^fonoed a great iiunalier of miracles, and cnted aa infi-; 

' ^t^txscanon to the zeproadies .>^^ wltidi- the Jje^ir^. loaded iTe^ 
>' ^^ip:thatiiead,.vwlu> had refonned Xb^ ndiculgus custoijai^b^ hSi own 

( >- ♦ St. Matt xiL St. Mark vi» and aL 

. •> 

nity of peo{>le unknown ;-; we must piously believe it.- 
oh the Wdrd of St. Matthew and St. Marfcj* AH thetej 
wotiders were performed on the sick, and especiallyv 

oh tbfe pkissessed. ' The latter, at' whatever -das tanteex 

they perceived the>' Saviour, prostrated themselves^, 
before hicbj rendered homage to his-- glory, and pro- 
claimed hina the Gbiist; whilst he, always full of mo-* 
desty, commanded them with threats not to reveal him ;i 
the whole to aGCOmplish a prophecy, which said of him;' 
Ht shall not dispute nar cry, nor make his voice be heard^ 
in the streets ;t— -a prophecy, which; however, was fre-' 
quefntly contradicted by his continual disputes with the- 
dlDCtors and Pharisees, and by the uproar he frequently- 
occasioned in the temple, the streets of Jerusalem, and-, 
tbe^ynagogues in the neighbourhood. ' ^ 

Nothing k more astonishing than the obstinacy of 
the devil, in acknowledging Jesus, and confessing his 
divinity, and the stubbornness of the doctors in not re^' 
eogtiizing him, in sopite of his cares tamake the one- 
silent t<)' convince the other. It is evident^ that the: 
S6n of God bias coOk^ with the sple intent of prevent* 
ing the Jews from prt^ting by his comings and acknow-' 
ledging the titles of hiis mission ; it may be said that her 
has she*rh himself merely to receive th^ homage of 
thedeVfl ; atletot we peirceive only Satan and his di*i 
ciples proclaiming aloud the quality of Jesus. ' ' ■ » 

When Christ had preached much, cured much, and 
exorcised miuch, he Wishied to be alone for sQaie time; 
toTeflect on the situation of his a£^irs. With a view) 
toenj^y niorie liberty, he went up into a mountain^ 
whtire he spent the trhole night. The result of bis 
solitary i^ectioiiB and prayers was, that Jle.stoo^ 19 

♦ Si Matt.<JDi, St. M^ iil St. Luk^ vL — , , 

lieed of assUt^nts ; but that he could no longer, with* ,- 

■ Ottt giving tmibrage to ibe government, contiiiu^i,' 
i^nrarching up and down wUh a company so numeroui^< 

' as that of the idlen which he dragged after him in hii, 
^ suite. ^.A'uo,,-. ;. /si^iy 5^ - ,. '.f'- 

When day appeared, bcrcalled his discif^es, at least ;- 

those among them whom he judged most worthy of cpn^^v 

fidence, and selected twelve to remain near bis person.*v. 

This is what St. Liike says; but St Mark insiDuates* ; 

that he chose biff twelve apostles on purp<^e to send.' i 

■ lliem on a mission. As Jesus himself howevejra^, 
' sures us, that be cbos^ them to ie near him, and. as the. 

apostles, content with begging* and making provi*.-;* 
ao& for themselves and their master, did not pern - 
form any mission during thie lif^ of Jesus, at lea^ ' 
Out of Judedj we will adhere to tfa^ first opinion, f.^ . 
, The names of these apostles were as follows ;-—r 
Simon Peter, Andre Wj Matthew, Simon-Zelotes*, . 
James, -Pbilip^ Thomas, Jude, John, BartholomeVy ^ 
^ another Jatioes, and Judas Iscariot the treasurer. i^..^ ^7> 
:^ :.^ Jesusi bad not money to give such of bis disciples m, i\ 

fbe was about to s^id on missions:; betold tfaem no doubt ; 

' 'i* * , ' * ' ■■ ■ 

:pto:goand push their |brtune.--H;e, boivcver, took caret "^^ 
f to impart to Uiem bis ^secrets, teach them the art pfj|>i<« v 
:lRcle8k and give tbem receipts to cijire diseases and.cagt > 
lo^t devils; in snort, he comdaunicated to them tb^ ' 
I^Qwer of remitting sins, to bind and to unbind in/ the ^ 
QMiA oC heaven ; prerogative^, which, ^ if tbey did, no$^ '' 
JHffich ' ^e apostfee, have; dheen worth iminens^ t^e&r 
~^^iii» tOttbeiSr succeswra. To Jtie );^ter,tbe rpugi^H 
stiff ba» become a crettrr , 11 Ytaff of command, rafltkitig 
^ Iniqirer felt by the most puissant ^pverdgDSof ^ 

/-4r.^:- ^ 

. • St tike Ve jo: &ii^-i.iJL :.'V^^I: 

«• ^ " 7 

f ' 



; . --.i 

,U .tin,. 

earth. The bag otHpaiet of the apostte*- fikr^^ir^ 
converted iuto treisuresi betrefices/ prindj^tiiBS, atrd^ 
revenues; permission to beg has become a right td 
exact tenths, devour nations, fatt6iitfn tb6 sriostatii^ 
of the wretched, and iixr^o^^^l^dixii^ the pn^\'- 

leg§ j0f pillaging 8ofiietjr«;ajad disturbing ^t with ubn^ 
punitjr. In fine/the ^ucqerao^k of these fii^^i^sioa^Ti 
ries sent by Jesus Christ, became iiieii4ica»t»wboeii-i 
joyed the prerogative df| knocking "^Vfowii^^^^^^^^ 
'who refused to bestow charities on themV ot to dl&e|r 
their commands.- Many people have imagined, that 
Jesus never concerned himself aboj^it the ^ttbsistence of 
the ministers, of the church ; buli^if we. examine at- 
tentively the gospel, and especially the Acts of the 
Apotles, we shall there find the badis of tihe riches^ 
grandeur, and even despotism of the clergy.*- It juB 


r * The independence ^ tbe Christian ^i^ u founde4 vpaa ibe 

inind^et of thdr religion. Of this dictm^stance tii^ hsfe 

taken care to profit; and, inqnessed ^th .this idea, th^, aftor 

bong enriched by the generbsiltjr of Imigs^' have always prov(4 

ungrateful tor the true Sources of {itat own opuloioe and psiji^: 

I^pes.— What this body had g^ed through surprise ojr Jm|mtf 

i^hsnce, it was found impotflfi>Ie to recover fins tbi£r l^iae|^^ 

They finesaw tiiat future generations, imMrig loose ftonf 1^ 

fetters of prcgiidice, might tear from them ^ae danatioDi||^|HBg[ 

had ganed, by extortions of tenor,' and tiie evJ3s df ha 

iSbey thetefiire persuaded mantind, that they hdd 

alone, what had been Jg^ep them by their 

hyk miracle of credufity they were l»^^!ved on the^W<"# 

tile iniaests of the do^ became 9eit)nraCe^ fro^ 

Mot devoted tO; 6od, and dioSenito be his 

longer cw^unded whh , tke pro&i^ Itcw^^BBodjei^ 

Boonced all power over thcni. 

befs of thdr own body, iflence ^fpta^'ieaiila^ 

«Qmo4ttod by tfaem w^ bp^ai^', aiid'tlie^ i«rM^r«^ ^ 



ntvet but to benefit tbemselyes and tbeir confidents, , 
that impostors devise reforms, or institute sects^.l^^ ^^^^ 

:• ' ;t ■.■•":■ '^ ''■■ .i ;■■. '»- 'v- ■■-*-'-^*^%" .»'"Ci''--- '^■''»/;- >'" -- ••" "^ ■;-*■ ' *' 

pMal of God alone, were sacred and inviolaUe. Though they ccm-, 
tributed nothing to pubEc charge, or at least no more than they, 
pleased, their possessions were defended and enlarged by &natic' 
soyerdgns, who hoped thereby to conciliate the favour of hearen.' 
Jn &ct, those reverend wolv^ in shepherds' dothingy under pretencei 
of feeding with instruction, devoured ifdth avarice^;, and secure in - 
thdr disguise, flattened on the blood of their flocks, unpunished and 
VDsaBDetb^Lj^^hristiamty UnvtUed, < ^ . ^ ^ - 












- i 




■ *^ 





79^ ^r;i5*£a^ ?«ii -filSjiJ fiTB'fi Vi»^V|4>%? ;.^r>{fel«r»TQ' %^?«3niJi# " 

'{! rf^itt fjT/ip itf)^ .J«rl tei^w >90p.%:' ■ 
.'i^tal^&^D '^diit't^ya bsA&xRq'k 'Qim'm^'^rd-i Hs% JMfi^ifa^. ^ ;;_' 'T- 





; xciv>'/t-f5, ?«^^{i<aa<ft<|,aKrf;^i;'^ m'iiifj^si^^-oJ %:rf!Otj tdesiif- 
,: . ,:r^ id hsimn '^MiV'-tlAir i JiiJt Arj-J .;^^ ;^'^s^- 
• ;' . : . ■ ■■;•..■ , i ■ '^ •;;.v><|^% .f/^ffj^ftiif^'. 


4^iii',>l<i''BStJS— pBSERVATIOWS ON THAT MOftALITlfi^^tl^l jtifc 

' rf"\ '- ■ '-f ••- ■ '■""■-■■- T- ■^■. '; - "-■■'■:*■-;'"■■. " . • ^ '■■■ ■ ' "'■■'■ >-^' ' /:- "'■ -^■;^ : . 

<. THE dread of being arrested having constrained Je- 
^us to abandon the cities, where be had too many eQ&> 
ipies, the. country bjecaine his ordinary residence. : The 
people, affected by his lessons, or at least some male 
and female devotees v^hom he had converted, furnish- 
ed provisiom to the divine man and bis foHo^jrers, 
Obliged to wander about incessantly j, biii^ ib^ii^selves 
'In movntatins. and desertsj, aiid sleep in ithe open air, 
.purapbstl^f became frequently discc>ntented with their 
lot; Aiid this kind of life* compared with that which 
iiad preceded it, must ha!f;e ap(!)eared to themivVeEy v 
dtstressihgi and often create murmurs. ^In spit&of tbfc 
■inultitiide of spiritual graces, whith they '"fcould not 
fjjil tOTeceiveih the society of the Messiah, these isste)- 
^nal men expected something more sut^tantial, ptf 4^ 
Vtoting themselves tof his service. They were ^doubt- 
'i%s» promised im portant posts, riches, and • poweF in 
~^'ihe ktngdom he was aboutto establisb. Jesus dn this 
y account' frequent!^ exp^nenbed almost as mjiicb diiOft- 
^jc^uity. in retainiqg them,, as in convincing- th<?~^ifebeliipiuj 
' >2ew8.,by:^is miracles and fine arguments. Tb^ mea^ 
>::<flilre of their! appetite, and well being, was at this time 
.¥thek)nly rule itif their ftiltb^ To pr^ent their murmart, 
'^Wn^ ifiiriiilariie theiii with a fn%al life, ^hftlr^^ 

'VVt ;.__;- ,:-,o;; 

sioi^iy saw he would be obliged perhaps for a .long • 
timeto co^e to make them lead, be pronounced an ora- 
tion on true happirfess :,it is the ,one known by the 
name of, the Sermon im the MoUht, and related by St. r •_■ 
Matthew, chap, v.^ * ^ v . / 

/^ Acdtfirding w oar "OfatOY, "trae 'liap - , 

in poverfy >(^spinti that is, in ignorance, and contempt >-. 
of a proud knowledge, which bids us exercise our rea- 
son, and 8tri{>9 man of that blind submission^ which is -■'■.■ 
necessary to induce him ^to snbmlt to a guide. Qa 
thts o^cifiion, Jesus pre'ached to his apostles and the ; 
surrouhding tnoltitude, a pious docility which impti- 

citly-^nredits eVery thing without examizfation ;** and ^ / 

'*l«l*ft t>uj<tK Tchm in%<>^tfi:^ffA\i^ ('tit '(t*- i*'^! 'fe'fi'-< (^iqaaq -; 

'^9^ ]£eB,"«ajB'Bo(ua(iger, lifinclly ftOow on in tte padis wSch -- 
"l^bcl^Jtljdien trod; they jbdleF^ beeaufe> in infancy they trese - 
0|d tiuy miKt beHere— they hepe, because thar pipgenitprs °- - 
Mc^ff^i- aid. tiny . MenAili, because they trembled. In ryoiim \ ' 
the ardour of our ,paiE^i»is, and. the continual il)nety -'(if ' our .-Q_., 
JRDses,' mevient US tl^ddng sehimisly of a rdigiofa' too austere 
and 'gtoMny' to^Jeaflfe IS, by diance, a young man exanrriiieg it; '^^ > 
bie ctoes jt ivitfiaAjytial^j w without perBererance ; he is often ^' ;, 
. disgusted with «i sipi^e ■ glance of the eye>. on contemplating an •. \ 
clgset so re^rolting. In iiper ag^, new, passions and care^ ' : - 
ideas of^ wakaDaaOj greatness, power, the deaie of richer, add > ^ - - 
thie hurry of biimiess, absbib the^. whole attention <rf man, -^ / . , 
-var leare hhn b|it £ew moments to think of religien, whidh he -:'"■- /■_ 
Diercr has the iasuze to scru&uxe. In dd age, theiacukiep are '^ -;- 
.bhaated, habits become mcorpotated with the machine, the '>-' ,^ 
senses are ddbOitated By time ;^ mfirmify, and we are no '' 
hmger able to penetrate bac^ to 'the source of oiir opihiims; 
Weft^ the fear (^ ' death .then renders an incaniinatwin, ov^ 
"HiiaA terror cdmmopfy preodes, voy fiable to suq^ndon.' Cnif 
anthotity ^ao ffies . to the : support of the pp^w&es «f ^maa* 
1^ ; ceqatp0Jkt i jtl|ei9 'to ignarana^ >by, fiirbidd^ enq^^ , and 
Jm^ jtsetf^m comjuMaltepdwusB ,to:Bunidi aji^ wJKt qtfgpq?^ to ^o« 

■■ ^, r .-. ;^ ^-.i^ ■ i<-' -"•<■-_{■.■-' ^^ .:..':- .^ "■,..• -■■si.,' • 

shewed them, that" 'the kitigdorT) of heaven trmi Id be 

'•the reward of^his happy - disposition. . Such 'ia*the 

s seffse which lias al ways. tJ^iveh'^tO' the w'drds 

" ^iofi^esijs; B^fsied are ttte^podf in spirit^' for theirs is tie 

y^i kiftgdom ofheavennln #liJ«8^ feo^ .9^* itef i%neJi^^r%j 

. ''^; Among the apostles, there were some whose padsioii* 

-ate dispositions wii^t hai^a ^eett'^r^3"*Wc'Vii *;6 tbfe pro- 

<- /gr0S8 of th« sect • a it nitty 41* geti^ral'^b^ l^r^^u m^d that 

v? rough' men devoid :ofedticaiiOii, bavse? refiofeivlr-mais^w i 

^ ,^ iwrs. Jesus denaitSnstrated - to" them^he* ' neces.^t ty tif ' 

I meekness, civility, and patience, in ordg*!"to g^in 'i^rch. 

(^selytes, and attain' i^sMBi^'s ; he redrrmttil^ded tothem 

moderation and tolfei^iotii as thecertj^ti mfeans 6f ifl^ 

"* 'Sinuating themse^eiB^ int^ th<s mihds36f rhen, and thriv- 

4itig in the v*«0rld,*arid ais the surest :vvay of making 

* "^ tOtoqwests. '^TM»^1s^;. tbfe: tJue sefftfc'Of-i^iese vrt)rd^, • 

Happy are thrmeiki/or ^theyi shaUinheni thetarthl^Mt 
' \ I f«<li^i6WngijafterWaf^s ^6 fnsplir6:^'tl^ couragejf 

them to untlersl^v thtit t6' li^'fe in t^rs^is ffelidity ,i«n4<l ^ 
aiftVtiifisllible qiiethodgarrft^xpiatiiig >iI|^u^^^^ 
ittif^- tfabm'tbftttfoifeir v^atlons^^sboiiCllP^t ^(iure^f^ 
ever; ithat >tlr^ir K^cs'shouki' be drted- op>; > thatj t<beif 
nyseiy should termit«fiti3^(«indthal^theti< Itaip^fcsfaotild ^ » 
be appeased. .fIMi«se' <Kye»qMitiofis miid'frihJinises "^^^iptPe 
ind ispehsabiy ' Titec^arj^ to fortify -thi^ a|>6stles ag^^st 
«v6ry4cc4den!^;w-hfcb, inithecours&ofttierfr enteppr^seffi 
ffiigh£t)efa}^th^mH4]i vtheiiietUitie of a ^ef destitute 
pfi i fiches I ami i^Qt^jRti 'an^ i ftncapabie' of if^OciH-ing^ vC 
bim»df*or?6t^erS'^eIcoritfdrt8'ofie3tisfcesficB.''^::n vIJiBtV^j^, 
♦i'dfe»o6jr;»With ?a^viewi"'r'iia dbiibt, ctf aitveetfeiiiiigi*be J 
iGJt - of ^ li» apbsd^s^v recbih meisded > Qom^'assidnri-Jto cti^ #V 
listeamg j^ltitude^ o£ivi^9»cb be; ai; ii^iia8L>hiiii:>paTit|pi 
f l»od' jin the greatest needitri ii i^Str % tlitudtedt/i teadti^ 

.,.■■■">,'-.■ - ■■"- : '. ; ^r ' '■ - 

■---, -s- 

-'^' r».- 

Ai-VV?;^;. ,.-_.. ,^C'.:^-*-.^ 


- 1 ■ ■•■■.■ ■ . . ~ ^ ..-.■■_■ 

perceived, that the Messiah felt the most impe- 
rious necessity to preach up charity to |;iis auditors^ 
for he lived only on alins, and his success depended 
obviously on the generosity of the public, and the 
' benefactions of the good souls who hearkened to bit 
^ lessoB^.^- ';:;.M:- ' ~ii^^*^:0mw^m' .>j^'f««^-^. ■ 
-r^The preacher recomisieirded peace and concord, disr. 
positions indispensably neceeeary to a new born, w«aks 
and persecuted sect; but this necessity ceased to op£- 
fate» when this sect had attained-stfength enough io 
dictate the law. . 

'He afterwards foitified his disciples agaiiist the per^ 
SQCutions which they were to experience ; he address* 
: ed himself tc^ their self-love, i|Mirniig tUeai on by mo- i 
tiv<s» Oif l^onour : *• Ye are fssyis be) the salt of the earth, ; 
^e light of the world." He gave theco to understand 
^ that they were the " aucce^ors of the prophets,'* mm 
'■ 90 much respected by the Jews ; and to soare in whose 
:§k^, they ought t& expect the same crosses wbieb 
. ^Ibioir iUustrioua. predecessocs heretolore exiMerie»e^; 
In fine, he called on them^ to regard it as a Jelieit^^ , 
fjad most worthy oC-^toaffH^ly rewards, to be haledi, / 
^, porsecute^, : (KkBtesaned, traduced, and to be deprived I 
^ of ev^ tbing that is oommonly Kgaided aa corotUiil* 
; ; tag the weUfbeiog aod bappmessctf man. 

/ A^er having thus fortified bia disciples a^nat) the 

'miafortuiies wbicfei would attend their miaaioD, he ad-^ 

I dressed himatif more partieularfy to the people. He pre^ < 

>^ aentfid to them a new morality, which, ao fiirfKun being:^ 

f totally repugoaatte that of the Jens, could easily be 'i 

feoooeiled with it. ^Things weve not as yslrstiffieiaBt- 
pi^woakweed lor abrogating entirely tba lt|W of Moseai, 
^^ g^afe chADges ihinii maalniid. A misaiooary^afcill 
- /^ £eeble^ murt^at fifst confine himself to r^ocmiDgabuaefi^. 

■"«', ^ '■'.-- -. ,- " . ♦ - ■*' '■ - - '' '■•'• ' '.- '■ '• - ■- ' r ■ ' \ '■' v ■ ■ 

^ ) 

\vithout seeking to probe to the bottoro.-^Jesut, there-^ 
foi^, tritely contented bimielf with Bhewing, tb^ 
the Id w was faulty in some places, and that he pro^ 
posed to perfect it. Such is the language -which all ¥e*T 
former^ employ. ^, 

4i^ Jesus accordingly expressly declared to the peopi^w 
that he wag not come to destroy, but to fulfil thelaws^ 
and he also affirmed that, in heaven, Iranks would be 
fijced according to the rigorous observance of all its , 
articles. He insinuated, however, to bis audience, that^ 
neither they, nor their doctors, understood any of tbs|f 
law which) they believed, they faithfully pnu^tised. He 
undertook therefore to explain it ; apd as all reformerf-' 
pretend to puritanical austerity, and to a supernatu*" 
ral and more than human perfection^, he went beyond 
the law. The following is the substance of his mar*' 
vellous mstructions :— *.' v. .. < 

*'Tou have (said he) heard that it was said h^^ 
fii«n of old ti^, Tli^ra shait not kill; and whosoever 
M&lt kiH tMW be punished with death ; but I say utktb 
you, that it is necessary to extend this prdhibi^on and 
punishment even to wrath^ seeing it is wrath which 
pushes one ob to put bis fellow-creature to deatb.-*^ 

Yte Would puliish «dult6i7i only when it iscooiinitted; 
bht I tell y«it, Umt, itt (his «rtiele^ diesire alone rendeis 
d^Tii «is culpabl<^ as ikci Ton petbiaps will answer^ 
tfaatman is not the master of his passions aoddeurei*^ 
aod that be can hardly resist tbem^ I agree with you 
i>n thiir you bave not any po#er, even on tbebaini<^ 

ymt ti«Ad.*^ Tbe pe^^BCes, mcrificas, mk expuitiofia, 
#bltib y6ur ptieSts impose oil you, are not capable «»f 

TC '8p|908n mot ocsus WBssw not igwoiigg «i iiwwwjgy ^^^s^ 

mm 9m m im dH!h§ damA "mtimm in^ ii^^M 

/ ; 



:; V 

procuriog the r€mission of your sins ; behold, then, the - 
only means of preveating them, or making reparation y - 
for themr JIas y.our eye, or any other of your members,- -^ : 
• soli cited you to commit iniquity ? Cut oft* thai member, :'_ 

* or, pull out that eye, and throw it from you; for. ifei^ V' - 
more expedient, that one of your: members should-";, 
perish, than the -whole^ body <be ti>rown into helPfire; '/ #, 
If Moses,Jnspired by the Divinity, 4iad known this bell ' . 
or piace<lestined ibr-your.sufferiug eternal punishment^ y 

, Jie wpttld not have failed to riienace you , with it; but , / -s' 
he was, absolutely ignorant of the important dogma of --'- 
another life:'~ he has th<?refore spoken only of the pr^- •;' | 
sent, to which he has limited "your misfortunes, or ~. -^ 
your felicity. Had it not been for this, he wOuld not f[.. Jh 
have neglected to acquai^it you with a fact sowell. caU -, ~ .^ 
culated to inspire you with fear, and render life insup-. . . ^ 

■• v> ^ij.«^8a:,/ .j^, ^*.,'-^^lat.?iii %^^ j^^^^s-. m^tl 'i^'t -** ■\ \' ' 
^ tion aad efiSbtual calling, which make God the most ^latied :^j^ 
, ^nd cruel of . tytants,* by supposiog' that he punishes to all eter- ;.' . 
nitv those to whom he reAi^es the mdaus or the wHl of saving, i* 
tnemsialves. V';,"; ■'■":' ";"*•■ .'"':■-"'''''■ " '■:'..'• 

Tlie doctrine ofpredestinaljon"' was- also a tenet of the Jews.'" ' 
In &e writings- of Moses a Grod is exMbite^, 'initio, in liis decKie»'f\ 
is partially fond of a diosen people, and uxgust to .all otfae»B»;; \ ' 
. The theology and history of the Qreeks represent men as :pOr i ^ - 
nished for necessary crimes foretold 'hy oracles. Of this Ores^,?; ; 
tes, CEdipus, Ajax, &c. are examples. Mankiitd have always ry:»\ ^ 
, d^cribed God a^ the inost uhjuit of bangs. According to 
■^ sotzie sects, God best(»rs his grace on wlti^m he pleases, witttout 
; ~: tsHo^ regard to i merit; This Js much. m(xre .confanii^falentOr;tfae 
V,Chri^}lp>, Pagan, aq^ Jewish ^talian^ than the doctrine of 
, -^^other sects, who say. that God gr^^ib^. grace to aU who ask and 
o deserve it. It is certain, that Chn^a^ in general are true &talist8. ~ • - 

>9%^ ajfctempt^^o'^evadexti^^a^^ 
-^ sirfiGad«irejB^sfeaABS» ; j|f,g?,:i^^^ 

'JS^^'~:^ -;,..'-.:..:../.- :.::.^.. ': .^.-....v. -''.-,"'" "jC--.,r» -./■'- >:\'.-: - 


■1 L- 





■ ^ 

portable.* . . You" use too freely v the perrQission of di*^v i 
yprce^ the least disgust makes ^you; repudiate yoUt; 

:C* We are quite surprised at finding that Moses and the andent 
Hebrew writers have no where made menlaon of the Qx^taa. of 
vfiiiurelife, which now-a-days forms one of the. most ^poitant ^ 
artides of the Christian religion. SolOmoxv- speaks of the death t 
of men by ccnnpating it with thaf of brutes. See Ecclesidtt. 
Some of the prophets, it is true, have epokeraof^. place called 
Cheol, which has been translated Sell (^nferj;. yet it is e?ident 
that this word implies merely sepulchre or tomb. Tlrey have 
Jnlike manner, translated the Hebrew word Topheth into HeU ; , 
but on examining the term closely^ we find' tb^ it designates a. 
place cf punishm^t near Jerusalem, where male&ctors wa% pii> 
nislied, and their carcases burned, ' It was only after the Bahy- 
lonish captivity, that, the. Jews knew the dogma of another 11^, and 
the resurrection, \diich they learned of the Perdan disciples of 2th 
roast^. In the time of Jesus, that dogma was not even'generaliy 
received. The Pharisiees admitted' it, and the Sadducees rg^ected 
it. See a work under the MeL'EnferJDetruU (ffdll^itroifedj 
in 12mo. London^ 1769. i-^\iz^ *,^? ? '-TiVrj .>7«7^t;^ 

jfr^Mah(»net percdved^ ,^ well ajs XThristian divine8,sthe jaecei- 
sity of , frightening mankmd in order to govern than. ".Tluwe 
(say the Alcoran) who do not believe, shall be dothed in a gar- 
ment of fire ; boiling water shall be poured on their ^eads ; thdr' 
^ctins and thdr entrails shall be smitten with rods of kon. When- 
.eyfer they .diall strive teescape from 1^, and avdd its toreiaitB, 
they shall be again thrust,; and the devils diall sajruntfr them, 
Mijte the pain of bumiTtg." Akoran,c.9. 

- ,Onthe other hand, the Shnstian represents his God aspoiaii^ 
soyrt ' itniMunded vengeance-, to all eternity. fiSs &iiatidran' feeds ] 
itseff witii the' idea of a hdl, where God, transfiirmed into a fiero- 
<aou8 executioner,' is unjust as implacable, shaU bathe fairasdf 
in^ thetears (^,his wretched creatures^' and popetuate thdr exist- 
ence to render them eternally miserable. Th«%, doathed wSih 
r^smveng^t he. shafi^Tnoc^ at the : tonnaits of uiineriB^ 'find' listen witli 
captures ioiHtiR groans with- which they shaHinfdce ^ tseBzenanefii 
0^ their pribonsvTesound:: not .^smallest hope of smne dbtant 
"^^erinkuH^itTitfa^rpaiBa shall give thentaQ i^ari^«7€« tt^laib- 
ginary -relief ! . . ; >E M* : 

s- . 


■ ■ . . .. . , . , ^ ■ 

wiyes; but I tell you, thftt you ought to repudiiite 
them only, when you have surprized tljem in adultery. 
It is too cruel to stone one for this fault ; we ought to ' 
\Ai€ re6t)€dt fbi the >j^edkness of thfe s^x/* ¥; '^4 7*. 
^^^r^Jesus, whose birth, as we have seen, was very equi- 
vocal, had particular reasons /or wishing that adultery \ 
should be treated with more indu^ence^ Independently 
of Mary hra Mother, from wh6id Jbseph trts very pit>^ ■< 
liably Sfeparated, our preacher had in his traift danaiMs, 

'whose condiict has been every thing but irreproacb- 
able, anterior to their conversion.* Brides, the in* 
dvlgence which he preached, must have gained him the ';^^ 

^ htAttM of all the ladies in his a«fditoryt 

Th* M««iah <>owt!nued nfcafriy hi the«l tfemi*i^=ii 
** God has prOtHised yoii of old times blessiijgs, prbs- 
-perlty, and glory ; but he has changeci his intention, <- 

' -and revoiced these promises; as you were almost ' 
-always, and still are, the most tfnhappy, ihe ttiipet< 

-fo^ishi afid »ost despised peciplt on ^rth, ym otif ht ~ 
t* Suspect, that these pompouii: pt6t]ffl^es vreteiotstt ■* 

; allegories. You ought, therefore, to have an abject and 
mortifying morality, conformable to your ge^HHS, your; ' 

Ontitation, atod your n^i^ery. If it does 6ot procure you ; 
w«lfere inthi« wciHd, ftvt oagbl t« h&p^ thatt it Will: , 
render you more happy in th^ flext< Tlie hqjmiliatr6tft X- 

T-^'yoiiiOught to make, are the certain means of attaining :.>, 

Cone day that glory, which hitherto neither you nor/;: 
your fatfaeris have ever sbeen alfifle to acquire. Wbto ^ 

' ^fiefore a f>eiritm shall give yoti a blow on one checj^» ^ 

jh * fcictei, afary Magdalrpe^ who irim i notdi osiBieaoiii JKeJtiu V ^ 
I Iwi in In softe Jtmimki wife 6f Oiisay Uerod^a steiMod, wfa^ «^|V 
^•ndiq9 te the ttatSdon, ra&bed mA hnodk ier iMtbiad^;/' 
"-/toioibir tlM^ifailidh^ and initf 


., r • . - - , , , . ;'i; - . • ■ ■-,::.■'' -■ : ' 

\ -. 

159 "■./■: ■V'.\;-;;v--i. 


^ffer instently the other. Do 'not ga to law— lawyei-s 
will ruid you; and besides, the poor are always in ^e 
wrong when opposed to the rich. Give to whoever 
asks of you, and refuse nothing you possess ; it is by 
relying on the punctual practice of this important pre- 
cept, that I send my disciples into the world without 
money or provisions/* ; ' 

; "I db hot give you any description of paradise 
--it is sufficient for you to know in gross, that ypu 
will be perfectly happy there. But to get there, it 
is necessary to be more than men — }t is necessary 
to love your enemies;* render good for evil ; preserve 
tio remembrance of the cruellest outrages; bless the 
hand that strikes yoi) ; and not speak one silly word ; 
for one only will suffice to precipitate you into hell. 
. H^ve a pleaisant aspeet when you fast ; but especiatly 

ii;. . . : ....-,..:...-. ';.^.—:'^ :;-; ^r ••" ;' - •, 'v-:,?;- 

:^'^Tb iSftr Qttf enmntes v m tfo imm A man may oAsfiim 
^iom. dtnng ev9 to tihe person by. wliom he is injured ; inrt fciVc 
ii^ tfn aftc^aa tviddi tam only be excited in our bearts %y «■ 
olject winch we siq^ose fiiendly towards us. Pditic nadfflU, 
who have enacted just and wise laws^ have always forlndden hi- 
dWdadtak ta iswBg* or doj 'Justice to tiiewsdvea. A soithnent 
of fueMflkj^ «f gBudtama of muI, or hmmaa, ma^ xadiioeinaB* 



^Iribd toi^gMd tft thpse firom ^diein they bb^ hyones. % 

thq^ fnk tibtenaeivti daove^ thrir aieteie^ apid nacf 
cianga^tht iBspositien^^ their iuwts. tbaas, without hnr 
fag taamaan ta « supaniatiaral mon^, we&d tht^ it »o«rslB» 
,iiwa» to a^fc thl» iwirn «i iwreage m omr heart» ^^riatians. aaaf 
tiipBrfm ceaat.t6 hoasi th» forgiv«M8a ci ii^imss, te a pM«pt 
Ifeii oAUd be fhraii ^aajly hy AetnCk)^ «» wMgk prare*lb»^piae 
^p||lin ai the^ftOMMlity. Eythf^ra^lnngtbdbfet^thmoC^ttiiii. 
ttUii ^hek ion inmigii theo|8^sft oa thoe enaaaiBa QB^bgp i» 
IhMht tQ cflMBrtc^anfaifeo ftimda^'' «|d; aoara^tapi^ limt 
^k ^ JKAla*^ JvVnMii iBlui l9id; iMin^ 
ven|^ it ^ dohig anodier n^juiy.^, V ' ^k i^p "=- 

'<-^. '::-:- -^'X 

T . ■; t ," I 


live \wthout foresigl^t^ — A-m ass nothing,, ^styque^a ^ 
cite the wrath of ray Father. -Think npt of tjOrtnon- ' 
irow-— live at random, like the birds that nev^r Jthink of 
solving, gathering, ox aeci|niul«U:i,ng ^rbvisionsi De-^ 
tacn yGujrs^lves from all things herah(plo,w*7-seek-ti]i^ 
kingdom of Godf, which I^and£riydjscip)ij88VfiIl,^Il yoA' 
for your charities. This conduct canncVt fail to, plunge 
you into misery ; but then, you shajl' beg in your turn. 
God will provide for your. ,wa,nts — aslt,aitdJt shall be 
-^iven'you. Do not the beggars find, to our 
divine precepts, wherewith to live at the expence of 
tlie simpletons who labour?* My disciple^ and I, are 
we not an example^evincingi that even, without toil, 
one may draw himself out of scrapes, and nev^r perisli. 
by hunger? If our manner ^of.Uving.,appe^rs.not^o 
agree with my language, I warn you that you jhust not 
judge my person, nor condemn your masters and doctors. 
Do not intermeddle with state affairs; that care is re- 
served for mie, and thosejn w^ono:I,confide».^ ^^Xlaeroaster 
issupericM'tp the discipie~rilt'jf^to.4xie i^pflfjticirlaryoti- 
ought to listen. If you calKtae your fiamfeei^j it ianrooj 

./If V"!^. — : ' " , . : ^^ • ,-"; " i',7,if ■ OiTv^ frT„; i:-.':;'feiisa5 cvsr! vi.?/ ,. 
;!?^ See what is-saidin a note ob-cbapJilL; wttete-dieidiasarauii 
are. iBtft6oned. : "Ilie wlibk Clawtm doctme is &touxBhte t» , 
niendieahts^ ibeggaK,:caM 'cbroBes; Our. {M^dateajfiA^m^ difttbtbt' 
property of ;thechtirch is i!cai.'pBiinmafnyof^-S»ef^ 
Seed -of Jesus Cbrist.. As ithftspritesta'are-usiiMly 'the self- 
^dBp()gkonea and ^sixSaiv^n^^ v^^^^ 
fceftt^'iip 'Charity ; .consequoit^i^ciB ; ver^'devotiEj cAdMrifea^^Hfae 
iodMciie 'laity, indK-J donadonsv^tor nuniks, and legacies iahoffi^- 
iaia^ which seem e^tebfishedr onfy to Jie vgainM . to tlief^^ri&a&BS^ 
teatcin,: Imt very lit^ ' feOfAe tuaforttmate. ..'.DBeades, "ih^ne|b|>i 
hfiflhments encoui;^^ idkness':;:' a. - good govermnrait ' caaaaaot mMK 
totMt^'Pt^or.^ itc#iE>ipniishi'^ by'phifeflrioDi^'aadiiMWfe 

4itBaiUs^wa^mtiBa'Mei to ftovide ftr the ifwdv o^itltoie who art 

• » ' t« ■';> ,1^" ,.,,-. -, . ' 

< . " it , ' ; ^' • V ' . -. ^t ■■■--' , -■. '' -J, , -. - ■ ; i' . ^v *^»'T,^>f" ^\ ^jj • 

c«Siaiy to do what I desire j^offf,: ^ The practice-; 
of my morality is difficult, arid even impossible^ tb^^ 
many persons; but the broad and easy way condiicw' 
to^perdition ; and to enter into heaven, it is necessaiy 
to be as perfect as my heavenly Father. I must war^" 
you against my enemies, or those "who shaH pteach *6 
you a doctrine contrary to mine. Treat them aV - 
wolves; they are false prophets— shew themno in-f 
dulgence: for it is -not to them that' you ought to' b# 
humane, tolerant, and pacific." ' ' '• * ' * -^ 

In the course of his discourse, JeSns taught them af"^ 
short form of prayer, known to Christians by thehatniiP 
of the Lord's prayer,* Though theSoti oTGod rnayhav^ 
shewn himself on this occasion the declared enem;^ of 
long prayers, the Christian church is full of pious sFuji^ 
gagds^ who, in spite of his decision, believie they cai*- 
iiot perform any thing move agreeable to God, thJwf 
spending tbek whole time in mumbUiig pr^yiers in'i 
very kwi^ tone, or singing them in a very high one, anw^l 
frcqu^tly in #'iangiiage they do nOt understand. U 
appears, that in this, as iii tnany other* things^' tlal ■ 
church has rectified the ideas of its divine founder.'il:'^ 

St. Matthew informs us, that the discourse, of which 
we have given the substance, . transported the pebplii 
with admiratioQ at the doctrine of Jesus, for heittlr. 
structed them as one having authority, ai}d not as tb^ 
scribes. — The latter, perhaps j spoke in a more simple 
fashiqo, and consequently less admired by the vulgat^ 

^ M. BafflU|ig9 inforBis lis, ^at the Jikws have a prayer called 
Eadgah, in which th^ say to Go^'' O. God, exalted and haIIo«^ 
ed he ,tiiy nam«.*^May thy kii^Qm come/'&c Tim ptBjet 
is die short anci^ one piresored by the Jews. Hence we sea 
that Jesiis .wa9 but a plagiary, and not the author of tile Lor^s ' 
prayer. — ^^Basnage Hist, des Juifs^ tome 9. p^ 374, 


;./ ,:. :■ m. ^ ,. v.; ,^: 

whose wonder is excited in proportion to their iuabili« 
ty to cpmprehend, or practice, the precepts given 
them. Thus the sermon of Jesus had not, at that time, 
any contradictors. It has, however, since then fi|r- 
nished ample scope for dispute to our casuists and 
theologians ; they have subtilly distinguished between 
things which were merely of counsel, and those Qipre^: 
Qept, which ought rigorously to be observed. It was 
in fact soon felt, that the subli me morality of the Son 
of God did not suit m ankind, and Ha literal observance 
became necessarily destructive to socie ty. — It was, 
there^re, requisite to abate it, and recur to that mai- 
vellous distinction, in order to shelter the honour of 
the divine legislator, and reconcile his fanatical n^orali- 
ty with the wants of the human race. v.^^'-'p^^^^'s? 

< I Moreover, this discourse presents difficulties, which 
will always appear very embarrassing to persons accus- 
tomed to reflect on what they read. They find, that 
it is ridiculous and false to say, a law is accomplished, 

. wb^n it is proposed and permitted to violate it, and add 
fii:-i retrench the most essential points. Since the 
time of Jesus, why has that law been completely abro- 
gated by St. Paul and his adherents, who, as we have 
seen,^ seceded from the Chriatian pactizans of Juda- 

^jism? Why do Christians entertain at present so 
much horror at that same Judaism, except indeed 
when the privileges and pretensions of the olergy are 
in question — articles on which our Christian priests are 
very judaical, and which they have prudently borrowed 
tftdm -Leviticus; alltosupply thfenegtecfe of Christ; who 
•jb his gospel was not sufficiently atteinitiv^ eifber to 
their teniporal interests, divimrigMs, or sacrea hierar- 
chy ? By what law do the inquisitors (if Christians) in 
J^ortugal and Spain burn those who are accused^ oi con- 

■ .;?=";'■■■ 

i-:':- *' 

.■,■-■.■..-' ■ ■ . ' ' "^ . . -*■'■ :■* . '"- .:'■ - - 

victed of having observed the usages of a law, which . 
Jesus has declared, that he did not Wish to abolishf hut / 
to fuljilf By what law have Christian doctors dispen- . 
sed with circumcision, and permit themselves to eat i 
pork, bacon, pudding, hare, &c. ? Why has Sunday, oi^ ■ 
the /lay of the sun among Pagans, been substituted for - « 
Sabbath or Satiirdav? ' "UV- '' 

' 9dly, It is hel3 unjust to pUhisk in ih-e' same manner : 
a mati in a passion and af murderer. One may be In a ; 
passion and restrain himself, or afterwards repair the ; ^ 
injury done ; but he cannot restore life to man, whom * . 
he Ikis deprived of it. 
3dly, The restriction of divorce to the single case of %• ' 

\ adultery is a law very hard, and very prejudicial to tbd 
happiness of married presons. . This precept compels ft - 

'l man to live with a woman, who in other respects may* ; : . 

;^ be odious to him. Besides, it is gener^tlly very diflftcuti / 

i, to convict a female of adultery ; she usually uses prc6aq- '- j 
ftion to avoid conviction on account of her debauch- 

•".■4 ' ■■.,■.." 

'fy feries. Is it not very grievous, and even dangerotis,"tb 
live with a person who occasions continual suspicioh^ ? 
j;. ■ '^4thly, It is absurd to make a crime of desire, espe- 
.^.^ially without supposing the liberty o\ m?iU\ but Jesus 
'^ is not very explicit on that important article. On the 
j;- contrary, from' the train of his discourse he appears tb 
recognize the, necessity oi man,, 'who has no authority 
, over a single hair of his head. St. Paul, his la^pstle, 
declares in many places against the liberty of man, 
whom he compares with a vessel in the hands of a pot- 
ter.* But if there be no proportion hetweeri the ivork- 
man and his work; if t^e latter has no right tO'say to 
the former, wfiy have you fashioned me thus ^ if there 

•/St Augxistiae says, that " man is not master of hi* 

■■■: ■ •■ '. ■ ; •:•> ; -' -- # .. \ :^- 

--■ , ■:'■'.' ■ ■ -• ' '-■- '^: -.' ,■ - - .*■•■. -*.■•' 

- ' .■ . " . "■■' ' " .- ^>.v>> - • ' ■"■ ■ ^ .■ ■ ■ .■-' ' 

-■■■:;: ,--,^ .. m4-''.;,.,:-,,' ■■;: -: 

be no analog3^ t)etw(een iliein, how can^ tliiqr bear anyV :^ 
relation to each other ? If God is incorporeal, how does . 1^ 
he act upon bodies ; or how can these bodies disturb bis': | 
repose, or excite in him motions of anger? If man is rela-? 4 
tively toGod as an earthen vase, this Tase owes neither v. < 
thanks nor adoration ta the potter who gave him so in-' f- 
significant a form. If tbis poweris displeased with hi9 ;> 
%wn vessel because he formed it badly^r because it is fr 
not fit for the uses he intended, the potterj, if he is not v 
an Irra^tional being, can only btame himself for the % 
defects which appear. He no doubt can break it in f 
pieces, and the vase cannot prevent him;" but if, in-. ' 
stead of forming it anew, and giving it a Hgure more # 
suitable to his designs, he punishes the vase for the bad %^ 
qualities he has himself conferred upon it, be would 
shew himselfto be completely deprived of reason. This, 
-in &ct, is the view which Chriitiaoity gives of its Grod. 
tt represents mankind as having no more relation withr 
the divinity than stones. But if God owes nothing to 
man ; if he is not bound to show' him either justice or v 
goodness, man on his part Oan owe nothing to God. Wq v 
have no idea of any relation between beings which are ^ 
' not reciprocal. The duties of men amongst themselves " 
axe fotmded upon their mu tual wants, If God has no^ 
occasion for these services, they cannot owe him any>:i 
thing; neither can they possibly <^end him by their 
actions. , ;. . . ^ : 

, Jlhly, it is a very strange remedy to cut oft" or 
plucV out a member every time it is an occasion of scan- 
dal or sin: it contradicts thej)recept not to make 'an 
attempt on one*s life. Qrigen is blamed by the 
Chnstiaas for having performed ^ operation, which 
be no doubt judged necessary for preserving bis chas^ 


■---."■- ■•;.• '■,'■*■--:- n-i-y- •St"'.-- .: .^ .\i"'^''' ■ ■ ^ u - 

- ' .? , ■ ' . ' ' ' . I •'>•-'.' 

t(ty.* It i« 90t thrpagb the ineflakt)«r8^.bu|t1ie iocltna- 
tj^O, that^a persoo'sips : it is therefore absurd to say 
tliftpne^ball escape damnation of the body by depidv- 
ing of himself a member. What Would become of 
SO maay prelates and ecclesiastical libertines, if to ap- 
pease, the lusts of the flesh, , and make reparation for 
tomdal, tl^ey should take it in|o tbeir heads to follow 
the counsel of Jesus? ^^. : " '," 

. (^hly. The suppressipa of a just defence of one's per- 
jK^ and rigl^ts, against an aggressor or unjust litigant, 
il ta oyerttim the laws of every society. It is to op^ 
j|t4oor to iniq^uities and crimes, and render useless the 
l^^rcise of justice. By such maxims a people could 
.npt ^ist ten years. u^^v- 

,^lJftbiy> The counselor pi^ept, to possess nothing, 
amass nothing, auii think not of the morrow, would be 
v^iy prejudicial to iinmili^ ;-*-4i father ought ^ pro- 

* Aiistotle and Ejuctetus recommencled diastity of speech. 
Menander said, ''diat a good man could nerer consoit to de- 
festtik » triigBv o^ mwiiiil aduketj." T^^uSus^ flStO, Cfutff yiltKeni 
-^IlllPtl. WtiM Jaltimr "ihmia ^ G9ia tW he hpd ||if- 
,«ri^»«dl lii» K^riWIi^ ift Ids yowth." The Bamibiff made laws 
flpMiil nfaHet y^ JPffthpr Tmdmd miiinfm tat, *' thai the ^unau 
Mift ]|«t onl^ ^rfKsaett acfioQf^ bul aka i^pura dieu^tfr and 
ikAxx" U Aw i^)||e««9 t&at chattily aod i^i^ (rf, mam^tfs 
tfna CBtoMMfl «^eR Wfott ^ ChHstian xi^gioA eaited. ^ 
AtlSf it iftt«% ^leiqrA^ «Qd ineesaaatfy ayeirt^gwmslgpli^ 
fiMWS and fHlMQ|lieni^ whom ihef e^^aOBnSxmie d^ifige^^ 
iiifl.vBMtllift qp«ii )wil<«:^ we €to not 1^ ihat plifloMii^ 
wm§^ l^mtt yih0\ tmAtml^mttm aad en^^r^Ar Suob epo^ 
fPlW afawMt ««i7eiii% fNdwcd Ibr the JtSi^oiu. Ipie Dgo^ 
.siasR who peiaMMd tfes 'Brnpecm Umj. XL Janam CaoMpil^ 
: |j^ H ^TiHlH "<K<» wt tnbliieriis. TElw^^ «ei9 n^^h^CBiCH , 





'-^^ suit ^luggaitls ohlyj such ias priests iand monks, t^o 
- 1|i^d labour "m hoiroT, and c^tcul^te on living at the 

T^pencebfthe jMiblic, - , *- ^ 

*{v iiSt^ly, It is DOW easy to per6eive^ that the {Promises 

: r iaaile the Jews by the^^mouth of Moses^ inspired by the 

^^ 1^ have not been verified tftef ally, and are only 

' allegorical. But it was not from the Son of God that 

rthe; Jews should 'have learned this fatal tr£tl)> Once 

-fjdeceived by the Divinity; they oiight to have^dreadi^ 

^^Ijeing again deceived by afnbthet'enyby. Like J^us» 

Y K Hoses had made^ promises ; like J^esus;; Moses ht^ bonr- 

:* firmed his prQmis^ and mission' l^iniracle^ j yetthese 

promises have beenfound deceptivejimd 'SejfelyVJfll*!-' 

Jjgqricil, This idea oiij^ht to hav^ cr^ted^resumptions 

;3*^ngerous to the promises of Christ^*' /' ' - 

'^ 9fehly, To say that it i|*neces8ary to be'poor inspint, 

. and to say afterwards that to attain heaven it is neces- 

1^^^ -^ ^ &Bt QmsfSiiDsi mi^t^^ expected^ «li 

\j^lfe w<»d <^ 6b9^ and Ids £^«thf^ 8<M» to see l&e end c^'te 

" %oiid, idB^0^ever>'S^|leodaK^ day afterxia^, 

u^$^ the axnihlL of dtfist^lti the «I^dr i^^^tven! 4btj wdumfi 

hiaA he was to establish on earth a teaQ|i^^ Id^c^d^ idudi-%w 

y^'^ndiue a thousand yean. S^^ei^hc^^ 

^il^t.Irenalas, hare finnly befieved iim ^h hahii'^ 

-'^vjifet ^^ or rdgn of Saturn. The 4^di; ifei«Uia% 'te?li^^ 

, M%a^d^M aitive^ <jiajq^ed its opimon en tbe'i]nntter>^a»7oii'iaaiiPf 

i ftteis, and Sedated the Millfinarians leredes.. Si £i«iiBlU^ •fittHE" 

evei^ hasldft us^a poetical deMx^cm of the afa«Bcidatlicfe andlOl* 

'mat ]Jea8ures, whi^'tyi reign was to pxocunu • St Jvai^'Mii^ 

etpected also this iSme kmgdom. - \See iSksikB^ taait '9i p. SOt. 

^ Ycft -we-kiiow ^t how to ire&onfa|]e^& prefi^Eite ^^ tteeiwA) 

of the worU^QQCidehy ehzist^ aiid^Ofer^iUMBkstf^iJI^tlAd^ #ii^ 

^ >fM to tittt diiiat^^ of tiie wodd^iio ^HoihiiB^'inK 'iMM\ 

raaee i^pears strange ii»l9ed[4ii a GocL . . r"*^'' 


^t;»r :r.^-^^.:»,^-_- :,li;:.,^v.'r--,-,.lj.^ • .v., ^., v^. 'V"'.^ 

ikiy tobetperfect as tlie heaveal^ Fatbai^i« Ik^i-fiecfV Is 
tQ^aike Gfod ^ 'stiipid being ; t6 afford to Athc^stC a 
'iOliiUonhfoi ali the • evU tliey' perceive Un nature ; and 
to pretendftbaf to enter paradise^ one qiuitbe'a foot, 
BiM^^bas man the power of-being\Sp^itoal or poor in 
apirit^- reasonable jor fi>dtsli» beiievi»g' ^op-t|ttbelie¥-' 
£1^? Is ndti4he;hoiys!ifeupidity of faifcb a gift, whieb 
God grantsioniy to whpin> he will? Isitt^notbtrjust' t<>' ' 
damn people of aoderstanding? a® ^ii'T^ 

Liastly^ In thiis seri&on, Jesus" recoiUntreK^' tb W- 
ware ^ false prophetti and say*^ <;l|at it^ is by theit 
%0rk8 we ^hall know them. ^^ Yet as we' htive sfeen, 
tbo; priests. tdl- us, .".we. ougbt to do^as :t^idy say, wilb- 
<»it imitating what tbegr do," wbfeH^we fidd tbeiT' c^ 
duct little conformable to the maxinro tyy preacbP^ 
It was necessary, tl^refore, to give^ ii^f'asnbther i^gti 
than works^ whereby, to^Tecognis^^<falE^ propbeti;^br 
cisi&the faithful will q£ten be reduced to l^feVe, fiift 
the clergy are provided only With tying pi'O{^et0w 

It is in this .manner unbelievers iargue; that is to 
Mr^^ all those who have notieceitedfrbm beaven/woip 
iKf«o/</nn^ so nee^saiy^-for not percei<(ring tbeisfafflt 
of inference, felse , principles, and nurmberless incdr^r^ 
teneieftf which most directly result frqm, the m'orelitydf 
Jesus. l!*bis morality appears a divine c^^/ifiBuvre t^; 
djodle Cbristians illuminated by faith ; ^nd It was mu1bt^ 
>dmired by those who heard it deli^ered^- We know not, 
however, if many of the auditors were s^Hrffected by it^ 
to follow it literally; to admire a<l'octi1he, andTbelieye 
it true ai^d divii^e, is a thinjg much more easy ttian td 
jltactiae it. Many persons set^a bigher. value on evang«^ 
licalvift!^, which are suhlioie^n the<»^g,thaiK>i$ theb#^ 
man vitffiei^ wht^ reasohcommands ua to practif^ii^' 

■ - ■-* ft . - 

>HiIt is fMt tbi^n f utpdisiog^ thai the ftt^)«rnftturel andL 
raarvAlkms inofality qC Jesua was iapplauded by tfaLfsk 
who beard It. It was addressed to paupers, tbe divga 
of the people* and the miserable. Ad austere stoical 
BiOFality iBQst please the wretched ; it transfoittM 
tbeir actual situation into virtfie; it flattcis^tbeir vanity.^ 
makes ^tbem proud of their laisery ; hardena' thepa^ 
against the. strokes of fortune *» and persuades thsi# 
that they are much more valuable than the rich, ,mbi^ 
xadtreattbem $ and that th^ Deifey,^liodeligbta iB>«ce* 

ing man »uffer»^ pceCisffs ; the. wcetchfKl to thostf y^'-' 

5^'Cte the other hand, the vulgar imagine, that Itiose 
vbo possess tiie faculty of restnining their passioD^ 
despising what men seek after, and deprivHUg theaii^ 
selves of what ex^tes tbedesires of others, ace extrtti 
orditiaiy beinp^. not only agreeable ta God, but«i« 
dowed by h^m with preterBaturai grace, without ABbkb 
tbey would be incapable of the exertiona, tb^-aie 
^ee«|.to mpke. Tbiia a baissh morality, which aecmilito 
proceed £roai inseasibility, pleases the rabble, inposca 
xmtjbe igtiorant, aind is/ sufficient to excHe tbe admine 
tiou of tbesimiH^ It is not even displeasing to pev^ 
atins placed ia mere hapf^^ situatioiiSj who admire 
tbe doctrine, weU assured of IMing,the aeeret to elude 
tbe practice of it^ by tbe assistance .of theif indolgctit 
^Hidea; there is, o^y ssmali number of ftuatiea who 
follow it jiteimlly. .^: ^^ 

Such were the dispc»itioQ« wbixrb mu«t have ind<uG- 
ed so msua^ people to receive tlic doctrine of Jeeui* 
HisQi^xunsrhatcfaed a^nultitude of obstmate martyrs^ 
.9^0^ in the h.c^ of caning to themselves a road to 
faeai^o^ set tormentft and a€licti&ns at defiafvce. The 
^me maxims produced peoitenta of every kni}, soli- 



:'.>■•■■-. / --' ^-V-V'-V-^S^; ■■. ;-.-t',,: .- ^^ : ;■;--•>-:•;;:. .;,'■.:.-. .. 

■* . I . ^ ■■'•■;■.,>-.'' 'N --:•.-■ ■> JU^^KT- ■ -"■- ■ -■,■-■ ^ . *- '■ \. ■ -V ■ -' ■ ■. ■ ■ / 

.■■■ ^'.- ■ ■' ■^■- ' ' •— ^'"^^ '"■ -;-^^^- :■-:-•■:?... \Hi»fe=,- ■,•:.; % v:.>/^';,.,.i(-:r.v - - •.. ■ 

"4 tatife*^ atitl»wit«8, cenobites, aod moaks, whio^ ia enau- 

klllon of eacll^ otber, reiidered tbemseLvesMlIttstcious 

T ' in the eyes of nations by their austerities, volnnlsu'y 

>/ . p6Terty, a total renilnciation of the comforts of oature, 

i ' 5 ' *Dd a continual struggle against the gentlest and^ost 

'1 kkirlnl indinatioDa.* The counaelsand precepts of the 

«> gospel inundated nation* with a vast nuinbei^ of ma4- 

«u8ti» eDei7:iie» (^ themselves, and perfectly uselestto 

c^ars-^-These wonderful toen were admiied»T^pected^ 

wd reivefed as saints b^tbeic fellow citizen!* wbo« 

tbi»iiB(iselves deficient in grace or entbusiasm necessary 

€»« imitatiag them ^ or following faithfully the /Cqunsell 

of) tb^.SQB of God, bxKl recourse to their iBterces8io% 

ilio>der to obtain pardon for their sinsj, and. indulgence 

ftom the Almighty^ whom they auptposed irritated JM: 

tb« impossibility in wbicbtbey found thfeinselvetf^ 

J^Mot^ing/ Ivterally the precepts of his Son. In fift^ 

% 19; eaiBar. to pesceiye^; that these prepej^U rigoroiflh 

J^obseanfctd* would ^drag sodety into total ruin> for«> 

'f ^ty js supported only because that most jElhiiifitiana^ 

' illiniiring the doctrine of i^Sk^n of Cbd as divine, ($vh 

pen ae with practisi ng k, and lollow the pr<^;>enaity of 

•atiMn^ even at the i^k of being damne^t 

' * To form » true idea of C&irutian nxwditgr, such aabas Been 
1^4^ hy the most esteoned ^foctora, we have oi^ to letot 4 ''^ft 
of'theleaniedBaxbeyrac, i)tt):^uaked on the sut^/ un^tbe itOb 
0Tra^ 4fif la mamkilmfeveiti in 4te. Amsterdaas- ItSft '= : mi 1^ 
i It is aeverd 4Saa»k^. tdatedf in Levi^oM xvil 11 ipur ]4« 4kat 
the soul consists of the blood. $t Paul still itfxQug obscup^ Ibe 
question of the immortality toftilKsoid. In his first qHstlstothe 
Thessaloman^ y. 2S* not content witli making man double, he 
anitfes 1^ ttdAe, aid' dflBGfIbeiB^iyiii> as* vinfM^^f feil^ imi, 
MBtNuam* -^ ^BameatBtr he glM» t»:?Ai iiad^nCMc^ thrt tie Wly 
MMl ynii^timmimr tfat ^bw^i^ qpfiit h temorti. Wm-wm 

pect to the doctrine of the resmrecHon^ rsdu)Iaxa>i^^ 

r^ .V 

-- -i .-^^Hii^.'; V,'" ,:■• ._ '. ',■■ ", ' W-'!'-'-:'*-' . ■■'*"-~^- ^J--,' 

' "^ Iq the'gotpe) Jesus menaces w»th- eternal punish- 
inent those wbd shall not fulfil hHrprebepts;. This 
frightful doctrine wais not contradicted^ih the assembly; 
the supefeitit rous love to tremfa tgj those who threaten 
theoirmbst, are the most eagerly listening. Tbis^ was 
undOubtiedly the time fofeatabtishing firmly the dogma 
^f the spirituaUty and imthortaUty of the soul. The Son 
of God ought to liave explained , to those Jews,- but 
little acquliinted wiith thb matter, how apartof man 
couldsufferih hell, whihf Another pkrt was totting in 
the earth. But oui' preacher' %as not acquainted 
with any of the ddgmai^ which; hiis church has since 
Uiiight. He had not. clear ideas of spirituality; he 
ftppke of it bhly in a yery obscure mantier : •** Fear 
(said he, in one place^) biinr 'who can throw both 
bbdy^'ialnd soul into heir'^^wdrds which must have 
^^ieared linint^Uigible in 'ayiangnage; in Which the 
0iil tras ta^efn Ifbr the blodid or animating principle^ 
^^t waa not till a long tttrien after Jesus, iafhd when ^ 
Bb^e Piatbnists b4d been initial^ in- Christianity, WiM 
ffi#^lHtu^ity S^^'irfiii^^ we¥e cofr. 

▼ert^d into' dci^a<^ Before' ^eir tiine, the ^wr and 
jGhristians had onl^^'^ vague 'nations on that4inpbrfant 
siiinect. We find doctors ip the first ages speaking 
tajatof GodancHhe seui^EiflDms^ar^siiDstanpe^. njore 
,«^e, indeed t^oj^^^l^l^die^^^ le^e^p^ 

forlattei^m^pb^^iciaus jto^^MfEer WiS«^ sublime id$as 
of imindv thif ;^i^ Mdaated^utMleiiftandf^ are beWilder- 

«f tbe OittftiaiU. SeeiFkid^MZ Wd, d« 





V ">• ■' v^^' r' -■'''': ■ '" ' ' ■:■'■'. ^ ' 


GHAPTOR Xr. ^^ '^ ^ > 


- TH6trGH (li^obsUnacy of tKM<a^to^ of the^^i^ 
BBd principal men a^ong th^ lews creifited continu^t 
obstacles to tbe success which .(Cbti^t had promis64 
biinself, be did not lose courage ;h^ agaiii ha<i recoqpiie 
io ^rod^tes^ tlie ceVtaio OLeans of* (captivating^ 
tk>puTace/on whom fc^^plaioly |Mifceite(i it Was a&b&U 
sairy to found bis hopes. This people were very smd* 
jedtto diseasesbf tbe'sikiir, such as leprosy and stnajtl^f^ 
curan^us disprders. Ko doiibt qan be entert^iDed p$ 
^18 point, when we consider -the preeitutions wbiPti 
the law of Moses ordains asaihst these infirmities. To 
^tabiish his reputatibii the morel Christ resolved t^' 
uu^ertake the ctip of tbiji disjgusting disease wtt^ . 
WDicb his countryineB were m i^uch infectedl 

Accordipg to St. Luke, f^ l^per.cai^ and pro^^t* ** 
ed , hifnscliF' al the " feet ' ctf Jesus, .^d adored ftirii, sa^. 
ibgl/that hehadlieald hini sipdkda of as a yery able ' 

nuM, and tnat, , ii ne was iqcbaed. He couTd cure bim ; ~ 
•-<$h this, Jesus merely stretched forth his hand,^ ao^ 
ttie leprosy disappeared* ,9ith<etto Christ (lacT oaiy 

•U,Las^%l% SL&atlVL'^ 9L'mslk,t49, 

:!.;■/:::•>';;■-. ■ '. . ^;i,:-^; ,-'; ." -i^^v 

<5-.v "J 

^dbm mended it to tbose be cured to go and present 
Uiemselves to the priests, in order to offer them the 
gift prescribed in such cases;* but on this occasion 
he thought that he would reconcile them by strictly 
enjoining this mark of <|igf|rence; H^ therefore exacted 
of the cured leper, that he would satisfy the ordinance 
of the law ; butat the same time recommended secrecy 
as to the physician's name^^ — a secret which was not 
better presier^d' by^httrithaii by^tithe^^^^ Jesiis fdrgdt 
that' it wa^ h6t suffi*2i^e*i'it foiJoripSle silence otf the ^Jier- 
sons he cure^,but tHat it was likewise Viecessary to lay . 
^restrainton all the tongues of the spectators ;- unless 
S^deed it is supposed tiiat these miracles were perfbrm* 
ed with shut doors, and witnessed by the SavioiirV di^ct- 
pies only y or, rather, that they were not performed at aOl 

Meanwhiiie, the leper's indiscretion was the cause' 
Vfhy Jesus, aceording to St. Mark, no longer ventilred 
tO: appear in the city.t Ttie priests seem to have takei^ 
ip in isioqd the curfc he had peffo ' He thcrefbjce^ 

Withd/ew ipto Jthe desartjtr wTiere the more he ;Bf as' 
followed, the more he/buried himself in concealmenj^ 
Itlwas in vain that in . tbia situiatum the people desired! 
to. bear him; it.was m vam that the sick, who,r9tt 
tAer him requested tneir cur<&;v he no longer %unejnea 
^atmarvellous virtue, calculated to cure ereiydisiN 
.. ofder, to exhale from liim. * 

After haying wandered lor some time in th6 desaif, 
fimiitiating on.his aflfwfs,he re-appeared at C^pernadm?^ 
T&&ddnarestic of a Boman centurion.'much bejoTed^fev 

'■'vX , • Lev£':dr.'»^s£M{itt.vffi.4.' ' \[ 

A St 

*--, <•' 


/ ' 

his master, w&s &t ^e,|K>lnt of d^a^th frjpm<ati attibck tyf 
jtVe p^'jjK This Pagan believed |hat< Jesus eotrid 
easily cure his slave; but instead of presenting him to 
(^hr|st» as he ought to have done, he deputed sofnC 
Jewish senatoris, ivbom he seems to have brcHight from 
^erusalem^ to wait on tlje Messiah. However div> / 
l^greeahle tlM commission tnigbt be to i^rsons vrhbiii 
the centuri||i right to comman^ and ivho by 
^at step seemed to ackqowledge the miisioii of jfesos* 
^ese senators performed it. CHrist, flattered with ^ 
seeing an idolater apply to him, set out immediately^ 
hut the centurion sent some of his people to infonii' 
Jesus, that he was not worthy of the hopour thus uii* 
landed hiittby^<|fli^ his hpuse,; and that tacuri^Ws 
iBeryant it was sufficient to fipeal(,.^only one wo^ 
Jesus was delighted with thi&; he declared, that^Ae ' 
had not found *o much fdith in Israel ; find with ond 
^woi-d, if the Gospel may be believed, he performed tb^ 
Wife, ;He afterwards gave the Jews to understiuid,^ 
lii?it if ^hiey persisted in their hardneas of hearty (th<h 
Qply disease ygbicfatheSon of God could sever ciiTCj* 
iboug b he had come for that purposet, ) the idplk*' 
trbus nations would-be substituted in their st^d in the" 
inheritance of heaven, and that God, r)otwiibst9Qding^ 
his prcinii8es,w6u]a abandon his ancient friends inir 
.^ever and for ewr. The Gospd, however* does net %^i 
us, v^hejther this centurion, so fuH of fdthj ways >fe^|^ ■ 
self converted. - ■■' '■'' ■■ ■•'•^. \ ■ -■■''.''■,J\:-C^ 

\"5%6^day after this cure, Jesus, ha^iog left dape^# ! 

' t We aie assured that the Men^-^f-^&e^J^^ 

desriy predicted. iand ■ dtejgnated by t^, <mn:-'pta;^kek£i 

l«it in that cas^ bow tfoa^ &e Jews v^^to !«ebgi^^i&o#^ 

!■. ■-■i'::-y^^- -■■-:> 

%i«im,' arrived at Haiif', a sihall town In 6aHtee« &l3oat 
iwenty lea^aes dUtant, Which profiesthat Clb rfst wa^ t 

iti«ai be aiMwered} tfiat the blindi^ss of ^^ J6Vra traii ^ 
p^edftttd !^ the "same prophets 'who had preelktdd the,> «9> 
jectio^i and death of the MeaalaL To tUu J object diat « 
'wise, and omnqtotent God, who must always ecactly aimfit 
Bs ineaiis to <hk ends^ ought to have anployed a more cerUnn 
itad efficacious ^jiode of d^ermce for his peo^; but if hg 
iM'ilk Intend thdr deKveraifce (and sid«ly to knoW tibal ihe 
^dbase adopted would \M is taatkmODnt), then it was usd^yi 
to send his son, and ta eiqiose fahn to 'a certain and fare^ 
r cypn death. It will be sajd, that the ccffruption and vsHdoBcK* 
ness of the Jews had at length exhausted the~ patience o^ .ti^ 
A&ughff, who, altkough he had sworn an eternal alliai^ 
vrith Abrahaxn's' posterity, was now determined in^ cdnise- 
qiieBce to break the treaty. It wifi be prietettded that GfA 
Vfis now xescdv^ed to rgect the WeStaewi, kad adopt. the Geo* 
l|b nations, who had been tBe Objects of his hair^ ibr^l^ 
tmg a peiiod; but surely nothii^ can be more incbn^tfcat 
HHh. just notions of an immutable Deity, whose mercies ase 
iolfinite, and whose goodness is inexhaustible. • If the Mef* 
Aijk .amioiHiced by tiie Jewish prophets ^as sent to tke 
Je^rs;, then ought he to have bete thai* ddiveicr, and.tibt 
the destroyer of their . wordi^ and natioot. tf it be tMfiy 
poidble to discover any meanmg in tbe ebscui:^ eni^natisfi 
Mades of the > Jewish j^Kopihets — if any thing can be divined 
19 ^^iOie inezpficable logogiaphes wludi, have been dSgnified 
liiSi tiie pompdus ntoie c^ prophecies, we ■«dian find that tt>e 
f^V^neU, whoa in a ^ood huniour, sihrays jitortuse^ the ^^Wi 
tan ^ a yengeg <tf t^aai^. wdwngi^ a ■ testwipp- of the Imagigtom i S 
judea,"«id not an aboEsher qf the leBgiwi of.Mosefc Jf thg 
Messiah was sa^-toj^ GentSes, then was b^^ the Tlftiqlsh 
pconiised to ihe .fews j he cOul^ not be the destroyer of their 
nation. If it be said, that Jesus himsdif declared he came not 
jto abpBsh but to fulfil the law of Moss4 Aslir I ^ft -^ H^^ 
tjgytiaiW;r^eft the JSevliBlrilispri^^ • ; rv t 

.^^^m^oH^Upmi yittf^ weitaitt it^ Jisus ^ui^ «Mift-!nd^'lftf> 
lBft^.ie«tai^.i«iictold by tfag ptiphcti^ 'sbr* iitisr e^lttbff 'thIlP 

gt^ Walker^ Fbrtubi^^ hi6 g^t^^^ Ni^^me to per^ 
form an excellent miracle. A poor %idbw had losit 
her son: they were already carrying him to be buriedj 
thediscoDsolatb mother, accompanied by a great muf* 
'ihude, followed the funeral p'rocession. Jesus, m^avM 
iWith com passion, approached the bier, itnll laid ^ts 
Hand on ti;; -^Imrtifedktely those' who carried, it stop* 
ped. Yow^ man ! said Clirist, speakm^ to the <|^ 
ceased, I sat/ to ihee, Ari^. Forthwith be who wia 
d^ad sat up.' This miracle terri^ed ail the assistai^^ ' 
but converted nobody. Itis proper to remark, thai 
this tratisactiOt^ is tebited by St. Luke alone ; and e^la 
if it weie better Verified, wie might justly suspect tba£ 
the tlisbonsolate mother M^d secret inieliigence with, 

the performer.* .--^ _;:•._ ^. -Ji^^-'--, -•^..^''-v-S' ..v;"^:'. 

/Some hi^toriati^ htive ma<re JoibVCiaptist this, ' 

jiferiod ;' Others ma'db him dfe much earlier.' Here S^ 
Matthew and St. Luke introduce the discipleS of ttc 
precursor, oh piurpose to question Jesus on the part of. 
their mksterf. " Art thou, he that was to come, or look 

be' catne to ^K}fi^ the Jew£aif diqiensatioB, whkji, thoi^ 
histihited by GocT Mmself, had beonne obnoxious to hko. 
U'iStaM ibu&ibk deity, tired if^t& £be ^(m&^ of lus diosim 
l^bople, had 'at lait relented 6? lui ii^us^be to thie Geh^ii^ 
it was i»operi^ to Jiiem that Be ^dakt have simt hia ^m. 
He would, in -that xase, have ^^red bis ancient fiiends the 
homl "cnn^e of dddde, wliic^ he obfiged thein td eoiomait, 
hf Tibi tiwwJiin^ tibora to knOw wlidm he had sent. The Jews^ 
gO^' Wkc ^ccaiftM^ fer ndt discbveiiiig their Mesdah ia 
aC^iBldBli nfecbBsdiJ, destitute of liue (Mfct^ akribed to lM^~ 
by &e&; own fm^hets, sild who cofttiibaj^ nield^ to tiieir fiii^; 
inoess, nor to theh d^texan«j&HjPrei»rDa«M igslnk^'Mllii^kim 

* St Luke, viL II— if. 

tstM8aja.iMSti»iiK,vs.f&;^ N 

"A i I 



wc lor anothet',>*^u #he Messiah: Jn r^ply worked 
miracles in their presence, cured thf? sick, cast put 
devils, and gave sight to' the blind, ; after which be 
said to John's deputiesj,** Go and relati^ to John what 
you have heard and seen*." It was. o^ this occa«iqi$i 
that Jesus pronounced the eulogy, of John. He had» 
as we ]bave seen in chapter fourth of this history, his 
Reasons for doing so. ''Amongst, all those^ "said be, 
** that are born of woman, verily I say unto ypu^ there 
is not a greater than John . Baptist,'* Our panegyrist 
prbfitec) afterwards by this circuoistance lo abuse the 
Pharisees aqd doctors, who rejected both his baptism 
and John's. He cotDpared . these, unbelievers , to 
*' Children sitting in the market place, and calling to 
. one another, we: have piped to you, and you have not 
danced; we have chantc^d funeral, airs, ^.^n4 ye have 
not weeped." But we are nqt infdrmed whether this 
jargon converted the.^octorsf. 

- After this our speech-makeiscomparcd his own cpn?t. 
<iuct with that of the precursor. "John," said be,* 
*'t;ame neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and 
you say he hath a devil. I drink,, eat and love good, 
cheer, yet you reject m,e also, under pretence tbatlaoi 
a drunken sot and a debauchee;^ an^ iUbat I frequent 
the company of mpn and women ef bad reputatjon.'* 
.■/fie.gavethe populace, however, to understand; that 
tbeif suflfrage was sufficient for him ; as' if he had tolj^ 
them, *' I am certain of you— you are top poor in ffirit 
to jJerceive of yourselves the irregularity plf my cpn^ 
4uct — my wonders especially pass with you; *yott 
ft^puid not reflect; you are. the true children of wis* 
iiom, wMch mil be juttifi$d by you%" 
» . - , • ■ ■■.-'. 

♦ St. Matt si. U. t St Luke, viL 18, S2» . v 
JSt.J«att.iLn. St-I^Og^^l^ 

'^ 1. 

»/'■"-' ■■■ -f"' ^' . ■* ' 

' After this fiai^n^e» ft Pfaariide, who, to jul^l^f 
him by his conduct, b^ been no#Uys moved by |e^uii| 
invited the orator to ditirier*; but-he%sed Chrirft in i^ 
•most tiiipolite.inahn|er. He did not cause hii feet to 
b6 bathed,' nor' y id he present perfiiines, accomitig tb 
the^(abli»hed'cust6iiEi'of the J^w^ towards i^ei^ per^'' 
son. Th6Ugh the splf-Iove of Jesus might be BlSTehd^ 
at this omii^dri, ^e did not decline sitting dowii at 
taMe^ Wt whHelie- was eaiting, a-woman Of batdfaiiQe 
bathed^ hls^ feet With her tears, "wiped them with hef 
beautifHil- hai^, and -" thereafter aboitfted them writif i^ 
most preciiikis perfume."* Tb6 Pharisee did ' not ooih- 
prehend th^ %ystery. As stupid as ihdredUlbds, ^is' 
conjeictuitid that ^eisiis did not fenow the profe^iion of 
the female; but' he wJw grossly Mistaken : the cour^^^ 
zan in •qU€lstion ^fttfd Ml her fairiiiy were^ intl^aieH^^ : 
cbnfiected with 'Ctirist. St. John fnfbrins uis, that ih^ 
was called' IN^iy'Magdalane, and thait she was the sisif^^ 
ofMarthaiiftd 'L'a^Vus,' pebple w^ll kridwri^ 
and who, as we shall Very soon see, held a regular 
^drrespotideiicfe y^rlh him. Xft 'patticular it^ appekrji^^ \ 
f batMag^dalane entertained the 'mosltiender sehtimentJr 
for the ^ oriio^. rh sa noqu 1^^' /. -^r y^^i 

jjiJrhis actip^n of the couitezao did^,nl^tidisccm^rt&e^ 
Savi6up;ohe;:explained hiw love^'i tli6 cares sh^ nn'deis'^ 
ed him| a'tidsthe kissies wiih; #bicV sh^ 

/9* It Is fi« tra&ti of:fi)dii^j tNifuaiated mth. tibe tni&etaiilEi 
oflthe EO^oios, t^; taldits^: !. of poetical: rapti^^ 
ifli^ &c .tliati these. quSiaia have . been t deified iaiideii^Sbm 

^Nnfr and a fever hare eqtaSif bad ahati;, flodL Mr ha^^ 

,''■'■ ." ■ ^ - -• -.'■' - ■ *■-. • - ■ ■ ■ 


|j^ weie forgive)^ on account pf the JoTe i&e had ijis- 
jl^yod. St. t.i3J^e in^ms u« ip the cbaptef f^iiQwiog, 
IJb^t Jesus Ivsd 4^UyeiTecl .tbi^lady.of i^^k deffl§^y^ 

f^rvice which doi^btless merited aH her grat^itude. ^ 

tt^at as J^ way, ^^^ri?* enpployed this iijitiirect way 9^ 
^wingtjie Phariseje the uiciviljty of i^m heijaviour Ibo 
|, jpap pf bis qon^fqueoce. 

The relatiQ{)9 of ^u«rii»fpri|ie4 of Ihejaoiae be ma^e» 
9^ 8^sp^Gti»g ij^at h/e coii^d,i^ot lead a ^moj pure life 
^qt^pngst.the gentry with yrbpni be-fsvociate^ ; pr fearing 
Uiat bi3 cop^H^^*^^^^^''^ would diiaw binoi into toiue 
upljijicky j^ffair^ went fipm iN'azare^th toOapernaum oii 
purpose to fei^ him/ and'Causi^bim tobte.cpnfined., 
^^y were evi^eixOy afraj4 of beii;^ involved in hUi 
djfpace, and x^,h99§ rather to charge themselves ^iljt 
t|ie:cp|i^tiop j^f tl^ir kinsnian, than see h^ delivcrcji 
ijyp^io ji^tice; janevep^ inrhich they foresaw was likely-, 
yery soon happ^* ? /jhey therefore circulated a? 
rumour, that h^ wa|9,a'fool whose biain was di8ordere4f 

b^Sl^red tihat ^/^k^ to MtzSnite to snoe £i^k% all tbeiii 
«fi|^ wMch he. xou|A not aopount for^ Tins Js the lefMWA 
«^y. dieimui, hyrtmc Ti^oun, and' swi9mnpg in tiie ^heaifl^ 
liare bcoi looked iqwn as divine inspoatians. The Mab^^ 
mMxA hn^ stin -m'- gfeat xeepect fat ibd& llie Ch^otiaat 
reggti ft tmiov m'Vm fmm «f heaven; ihey call visbai 
%|f[|S Ibpqngfi w^ich Qthos vtpJd eta fbity, , g /jdfH n« B> a^ 
ampiQit qf ^ i]^ FoP?^ ^ arp fi^jfl^iical «i^ v 

sud^^et^'t^ Ti^pqinsy are the. most s^l^^^ to vi^Ma and to 
dtlMAsL' VmieDta, a&d moiikB ivln '£^t, aie most oqMttd' 
to receiye the &rouis of the Most "ESf^ or to have ^vitasti' 
ak-iiaemm, Acoorfling <» Jfm^m ^ Csniais i&e&^ 
liNl:'«alnea Ivid «net^ Aa^oofst >Iiir> 

apiagv^ 'It ivaa wfaMB %lM> «dta4 thm !|ta^ 


-•*• »■ 



JefliMi'>iBffonMed.^ their arriv^ aoidjtliw afiQtiee ^, 
tfafiiejfiiuinejt, kept close in lii» qlttaTteif^ : ^nd^ ha^lill^. 
\^prodi|^ 4 B reiser «» for ttie luomeQt they sfaouldl s^Jipciai*. 
.l^e peepie wboi ba«l got a bintr of this^ ar^ w«re toM 

befonehanil' by tbe eniiaaaiies of ibe' M essiaby repaired 
tluther ill a crowd. ,A« S0OQ as the mlati^QOft appstred^ 
a blind aindldumb man poBsessi^ vitb ia d^vii was- 
bffoeghtHGbrtfa : Jeausexorcised him, Okepa&ks»s^wati^[ 
delif«re4k and the peopte wene in admifaitian. "' v- oij^.^ 
T^ doqtfkm be|»eld with paia the credtrtity of tba> 
i»bt4e,aDd fotesaw ;tbi»<consequepce8 ofit-^The ktust 
' Bi«n of jes]i8»i little affected by tb^ miracle^ pyotirisedr 
ter the dofdidrB touseaU their efibrts to-d^lH^r up tQ 
them so daiigevousa iiiaa.->*-He is a sorcerer; said soii>e3 
be %i«^ prophet, isaid; others; He miwt proi^ it^aaiid a; 
tbinl ; aB(^ ndtwritfastajiding^ tbe great miraete 'faf^ had 
pezfocraed^otiiPerr added, %e( m a^k offrnm a sign in the 
aH? .^Oiod God^^widtrtieNaMr8nefr^'**lie neithef 
taheKtmeSr pjopihet ; wt koovt^ hitn b6tt€ir tban;«fry. 
body ; he is a poor lad whose brain w" dfisof^eTed'.**^ • 

All these spe^hvst yrem related to Jesus ;<^6 i^ 
tmvreA them by parable' and inveeti>ve8, aiid dei^ded 
^(t&s^ffrdm the ciiarge of being a wiisardi^y^ saying 
itwas isdseani - toi ttnitkaifi> that be cast out denlsby 
tfae^'pwMeivofdeTiis). As tt» ^he itttpiitsAkkr of fbtty^ ; 
ber^t^peiiwl it wicb affifariag that-#hoe^er ahbuld at- 
toek hisi' pa the ficove of ^m^rstatH^ing^ cotiid not ebts* 
pe^'the neoiissioo <^-hi^ Msin» eithiSr iQf£hisl%f In the 
othet world.' Tbfe BW^fetibtedly- }» what m%^ be t^ 
diBifctood by the (SJ* igawfrff^ Jfo^y 

K€v«il^Ktes6 tbe^EftHvfra^^ibuVseubjpifemandinga^ 
ti§«'i»ag foltoired i fiw^ this puypose a d^jutatioti was 
a€ttt tai«ii»; <biit Instead of a sfgn-tfr :^l^ hrgaf% 


*->,•* ^ 


;; . i,l.. ■ 

J^em one in the water. He rrferrea oiir^inquisitive 
V rlolks to Jonas, and told them tbey should ■ have no 
jgotber; for, added he, ** As Jonas was three days and 
j£jtbree nights in the beHy of the whale, so shall the 
'■;Son of man be three days and three, nights in the 
heart of , the earth." The Jews, who were neither 
wizards nor prophets, Vould not comprehend this lan^- 
;"^uag^. Jesns, to w horn xmiraclei gchbI nothing when 
ev^ry thing was arranged for performing them, did not 
^fisk himself by wQTklog them impnmtptu, or in the 
pr^ence of those whom he judged acute enough to 
examine them. — On ithis occasion he put off these 
:;^poor Jews, whom he calculated on converting to him- 
^'Self for ever, with an unintelligible answer. 
,^.^he refusal to perform a pjrodigy in the air creates a 
belief that Jesus decliued the contest : raillery was intro* 
duced : the! Sonof God got into a passion, and launched 
v.^out in 'prophetical invectives, against the Jews. He 
-.^ compared the conduct of the gufen of Sheba with 
- theirs; boasted of his. being greater and wiser than 
.Solomon; and threatened to deprive them of the light 
■'- which he shed in their country. We are of opinion. 
^ however,, that, if he had deigned to qonsoat to give the 
sign demanded, he would have spread this light much 
further.— Bui there is reason to believe the li^essiali 
felt that a sign i n the a ir w as much more d ifficul t thaft; 
%pkU.tb(CK>e h4 had given on^ the earth, where he was better' 
?{3>1^ to. arrapge, matters than alcift in the atmosphere, 
a regiQi^ in «biicb tb^re wapnobody to concert witjbc: 
. Meanwhfle J^us* mother had Joined her other cbil* 
' ^ren and relatiops in order to soothe and ei^age them 
to desist from their pursuits, but she could not prevail 
on them. Tb^y persisted m tbf design 6i taking up 

i*^' '. ••it' '^"'.? ■'?^('v*f-?'V'^?r*?*.l^^'^^'^>'9K 


■-'^•i --■.?-:^'-":: :.^v:'/' -'^ -^/.v-.-;^ :;.;;■.-,-." ,>,?>:-,>i:- ;. -v'': :0- ■M' "' ■ ■■^^•'v - ^ 

X^v v--v/;:::^;A:rv",:si! •:- ,v ,> ,^- .■■'•:.;; .v 

-* ' / . 

■ Y ■ 

o!i)rV':a4v^Qturer ; but as tbey* conld not penetrate 
ttirough thie multitude and ^fe close up to hiniii they 
seift notice they were there^ " Behold," said some 
Otte to Jesus, *' thy ftibther and' thy brethren who se^k. 
thee;"i'—Chrt«t knowing the object of their visit which 
he Wias no- ways eager t& receive, abjured such froward 
relations : " Who is my mother, and' who are nvy bre- 
thTen?" isaid he ; after which^ stretching forth hishaud 
towards the people, "JBeAoi?</,'* added he, *? «^i»of^6eri, 
and my bpethren ; I know no other ktnsinen thdn those 
who hiearkeri to my M^prd, and put it in practice."" The 
peo|)le, flattered with the preference, took Jesus uiideK 
their (irotectioB, and ,the attempt of his famvly wai ' 
thus turned to their confusion*. 

Escaped froni this perilous adventure, afraid of be- 
ing caught unawares, or mistrusting the t^nstancy of 
the populace; who,' 'ndtwithstanditigtbe pleaaure thjey 
found in iseeiog hi ib perform his juggies, mi^ht desert 
h^-^at hist, Jesus thought proper to prpTtde for. hi^ 
safety by leaving the towni'. He accordingly dei 
parted with bis twelve apostles, the ladies pf his trai% 
Mary his mother, Jane and Magdalane, who agisted the 
company' with thar property. .Th^fe is reason to be- 
lieve that the last, who, before sfae was with the Mes- 
siah, had ihade gufu^ of her charms,; was rich in jewela 
^nd ready money; Thfs rendered her cdntersiori oif 
great importance to the sect, and especially to Jesus, 
who could not; without cruelty, tefuse to repay so^, 
much love^ with a little return. • I 

»HThe persecution whidb Jesus, experienced escited 
aa.interest itt bisv^ebalf, and it vpo^d seein proGul^ 

• St Mattril.4«. ^a£MaA, ffi. » MSfc^y^lia. Ifu 
t«t Matt. xffi. 1. ^ ^ R 


•^ ^-.^ 

.#tto greater couDtenance. A maititude^f pd9>le tiai> 
^fe)4ed by curiostt^r, &8 86on as the]r knew, the i^Qod be 
had taken;«wetit out of the tpwiw. and hamktB in the 
ebviro]^ to see bim. To avoid beiag incomrodded by 
the crowd, be again tesolyed ta go on Wrd ik vessel ; 
dnd having done so, he began' to preaclf tostbose on 
shore; but; recvilecting thesGrapeiTiwhidi hi» former 
Simons had brongbt him into, he didnott3i.inlc iit pf^u- 
dent tc» «xptain himself so cfeatljT; ti^ therefore, pre' 
/erred speflkiog iii' parables^; wbicb^rie ahan^a so^cepi- 
ttble of a double meaning, ' It may be. believed- the 
expi:^atieni.of^ these enigmas was circulatea by meana 
#f ^6' apostles, to whom Jesus gave it in charge*.? 
' One day, chagrined at his little ftuoces8>. he distinctly 
avowed ths^ be bad changed hr$ resolution as to the 
3dw8^ rand meaotr toak^Kidon tbetr cooversion. The 
xeaesoBi^MdopQgso b^ expressed to them iii parablesri 
^.tbat seeing/* said be, "they may not perceive,^and 
bearing tbey may .not understand, iest at.finy time 
tbi^ sboulclbe.coBlierted^ and their sina^oukl belbr* 
gfreti t&ero.t^* ^^j',- ^ - •' . 

& It inttttbeo^ned^ that i^ Is very, difficult to recoil^ 
eite this c(»d uc^ 'of God. Weit^ we not aftaid of com- 
niiSting . sacptl«g^ hy bsziirdii!^ coi^tiiies-OD the 
SHssiqnr.o^ Jesus, might it not be presumed, tllat «t 
fiist b&b«4 the desigB of giylng laws to tbe Jew9* but 
perceiving af^wards bis little 8Ucoef», be resohret^^ 
1^ began to be4i«paxagedt Ui that country; to seek bit 
fortune elsewhere, and^gain Qtber subjepts ? Whafcfae 
ftptriNBted \»\m disciples loi thie.ceoret interview.^ ap- 
^^»,to fa9vei)ee*:f9r the purpose of pfepacBig th 

-,.-vi,---.-,... ■- -:j^~- :,. 




-. \ 


-^■'r.'V ■-■•■:■■ -v:^"- :>. >."^ ^. 

fortbifiJabiinge; %t hk ^imishtottnt ptetefi«5tl rii'hifc 
(k8»gWB,ivhich wBPd not ex^ttted tili a hjtig thfife aftfet 
by his «p08t*eg^ who no dbubt cawfully tp6asuf ed lip 
this-conforfitoce. /■■' ■.y;r>j'.:. - .^ -■:Am^,^ 

We stifoold not eater into a detail cff all the- pnraiiri& 
wlndb ii^\x% ctti ploy t3d itt «coMa ifl unicatftig his mar^dt- 
lous (lobtt^tee to tfee JSft#fei c^'^reathitig^Withoiit lielttg 
QBdemooA Siich ^' disfeii^ston i/^otrtd becotne very 
tire8orn«'r we thferefbre *dv'ise those w:ho tts^ hive » 
taste %\' -iiieh laad' of apologues rather to iread thos^ of 
Esop 6rI.«FoDtaitiei which they Will find tnoi-e ambi^ 
ihg and thore iiSstrtnitive^^thari this fiibles of 'Christ. 
Those,^feioweteir; Who wish to consult the pambl^s or 
apologues of the gospel i* ill find them in the following 

Th& parable tjf * the w»iri', Luke, niiV6---^rf the; cwg 
(xaUi ftitn^, ibi JifiBf. f6— ^bf the fti»T^ IMfett, xhfc 
24^0? ttre Wferf, Mai-k iv. iJdr-df thejfrtf«« o/^jnii^ 
ta%Ai Mattl xiii. Sl^-i'*^ ''the ^awii, fh. 'xiii. 33-^i^ 
the Attltlen treasure,- ib. ' xrfi. 44r-of the ^p^2^» |b^ 
xiii, 45— of the ifi^ cd&i ihl(y the sea, ih: 47--^acrd 

Jesiis ijrifdrmed th^t his brothers and ' coDsins were 
frcto hpiinfe;' went to 'N'azareth ii^coaipaaied with hi» 
a^dfittel. He perhaps wanted to conyince His country* 
men th tit he was hot Such a jfoo^ as was reported, r^ro* 
bably he' hdp^d tb coofe^ witH his family^ and gaiq 
them over to his %ide. Hci^diTived on^he sabbaf^i andt 
repair^ to the syjiag^giie : ioaimediately the priesti 
Very poiitieiypresetit^ blind v^ he opened it^ 

and stumbled precisely oh this paisMige of i^ab': 
1** The Spirit of tb4 Lord ha^ jested upon ine, and ther&. 
ibre ttttii anoihte^^ preach.** ^ l|aV!i$%it t^e l^ok,' 

. I- - 

■ 4 

,* - "^ '^ '.v.- ■' i ,- .* '• - ,■/<;--.*? '^'tf-^^V^;- * .' ■ ■■ ■ -.^■^: *fV 

he deliyered it to the priesl aod sat down ; but be did 

not Beglect to apply to himself this passage of the 

prophet, where also mention is made. of miracles and 

prodigies. There were present, either by, chance or 

I design, several Galileans, who having been witnesses 

of the marvels he bad performed the y«ar preceding, 

\\ did not hesitate to bear testimony in his favour. But 

the Kazarenes, who knew what tptl^ink of Jesus, were 

^ shocked at his magisterial tone. ''Isnot this/* said 

,, they to one another, " the carpenter, tbeson of Joseph 

the carpenter ? Is not his mother called Maiy ? Are 

not his brethren and sisters with us? Whence then 

has he so much skill ? How and by what means does 

he work the miracles related to us ?'* ' ^v, 

r Jesus, bearing these discourses, saw plainly, that this 

>. 'was not the proper place for performing prod igies.-:- 

r But he wished that his inaction might be attj(;ibuted to 

the evil dispositions of his countrymen, who Were sur« 

prised to hear the sagacity and power of a man vaunted, 

y whose eoirduct appeared to them very equtvocaU 

- "I We well,** said Jesus to them, *^that you apply 

*' to me the proverb,^ Physician cure thyself ; and that, 

:" to prove the truth of the marveU; you have heai^d of 

, : me, you wish me to perform some bf those fine ,leger- 

, demiains which I have elsewhere exhibited^^ but 1 know 

i I shall labour in vain in this city: I am too,|Virell coo- 

viiiced of the truth of the proverb. No -nian is a 

prophet in his own country.** \To justify himself he 

quoted examples which would seem to throw a siispi- 

cion on the miracles of the prophets of the Old Testa- 

i ineut, whom this proverb, even by itself, was calcu-; 

lated to make pate for knaves. Whatever opinion* we 

may form of this, be cited the example of Elias, whO} 

'■V-' \- 

'• V-V' 'Vi^i'-^ -.' 


among all the widows of Israel, did not find one more 

, /^ deserving of a miracle than ber of Sarepta, a woman 

\ ;v of the country of the Sidoniads. In the days of £lias 

I Judea was overrun with lepe/s; and yet the Prophet 

\ ;. cured Naaman, who was a Syrian and an idolater, in 

vV preference to his countrymen. 

This harangue, which' tended to insinuate the repro- 
• ? bation and perversity of the audienceji put them into 
.V: > ill humour, and excited their >rage so much, that they ' 

dragged the orator out of the synagogue, and Jed him 

^ •/* to the top of a mountain with an intention to throw 

,. him down headlong; but he had the good fortune to 

. ' escape, and thus avoid the late which was intended 

bini in the place of his nativity. , 
1 > St. Matthew, 'speaking of this journey lo Nazareth^ 
"^ says that his m^ter did not perform many miracles 
\^ there on account of the unbelief of the inhabitants. ■• 
. »>f , But St. Mark sayspositively, that he. cou/Jitoif (id any, 

which is still more probable.* ^ 

, : 1^ > Our luminous interpreters and coimn^titators befieve, 

V " that Jesus escaped only, by a mii^cle out of the hands 

,; of the Naisarenes. ' But would it have cost him more 

to perform a mirade in order to cohvert them, and 

thereby prevent their mischievous designs ? This was 

^ all that was required of him, and then he woi^id not 

bave stood in need of performing a miracle in order to 

^ ':iiave hims^f and- place his person in security.'' Jistus 

Vdiever performed miracles but with certain loss ; lie 

always dispensed with working any, whien tibdy would 

have been decisive. t ^ 

, ''/-* ;* -^ -i'-v 

^; I f^ V* Compare Oft tiiufiusl;, S^ 

jfi, .^^v* jf. 



*« w--. 

■c - 

S- ^^ '-'■ -'^■•'.7- ' 

--- . 

'.' "'- ■ ■ ■' 

FtiSTii r' lA'iiw nl^J 

-^k ^1 


",/>/^t -^i^i v^:;^x -vnf^ ;.-i<^'/-^' '■' ' , __,,/ ' ■ • >rji>^.?^'^^;*«H^N^^ i^ 

, '. ilittioir dP THE AP08tL£9. THE IJfSTBITCTIOirs iBSVS G^Vk "^ 

■"'-'■ "V'-___!' ' - ■ ' ■ ' ' '"'^ 't"' j f-'"'-'-'^ 


* ','^'" OF THE SBCOBb T«i.i OP HIS OWN MISSION.' ^ ;,^- 

' ' I; OISSATISFIEJX witb W» expeditioo tq Na^retl^ .^ 
P ' Jesus went to Upper Graitlee» which fa>d j^neady been tb0 

tbeatce of his wonders. He foood tbe inhabitanU-'of 

\.thtt country ia a disposition better adapted to bis puxr^ 

y: pose. He petceivedjj however, that the oec^sity thegrr 

-^ ' were under oCsuspenditig their labour m, qs^to,stomi^ 

1 and hear him, kept a great nuoiber at hopoe. Tbil^ 

^ c^Qstderatipn ohligied bim to dispell )m apostles by 

/;two ajD<i two in the provioce., It is psobable, be i^ 

l^^vedoa tbi9 dispersioo because he fouD^tfia^Cfirii, 

I jKKinoos.and jkcodigie^ did uQtgaim proselyte^ enoi^bu. 

I^The coatinualeolei^ise^of yaeneiBies ioadie^hw^^^ 

the qecessity^priocj'fasing his party.. ^ . 

y Jt af)i|Mears that Jesus bad ab^eady stfat several of iiin 
< ^scitpies 00 miatioo, retaining near bimieif bis tweiva 
^a{i0stles only ; it V»egr» however, be presumM tbsit theac^ 
I piieacbers wexe 1eu| yet mere novices; tbeii laboura 

were unsuccessful ; for they found the devMs sor obsti* 
:-' nate as to resist their exorcisms. Yet this want of 

aiiccesft was owifOgraolel^F. t» tbe weakacsaqi^ tb^-faii^ 

and would seem ^o throw a shade ob the foresigbllaad 

peuetration of tbdr^difine master. Why did he seud 

r ^- 

\. ,:^^.'.^S.;-r'yr -,,: f^:-. 



- t ■"•' . '^~ ^ <- y . - ^ ■ : ■ •- ■' . 

^^x> , /■ 

■"•" ^<- ;'■■ .'•-■■ ,- - -c ",«,:-.•' ■ 

^;.^^'^:^r^:■--^U'■C■ y-L. -x <> \ : 


■-Sjii^£-fe?fe^-- ■ ' ' ^ 

*> 1 1 



t)aimio«)aii0$j!i^O90 dispositions w^« not s^ffickentl^r 

koQwi? tq hmi Besides, it l^elpoged to him tiioD& t9 ' 

bestow 90 tbem befiore haiad i^ necessary stocks of ^t^ 

* Wbaiafer opinion may befofn^ of Ik^Sr there U 

reason fbjr helieyipg thafe tbe^osUei whp never quitted i ^' /! 

their masi^r» j£^w hiincp^ii>ft^y derating, enjoyed 

hie confi^eqce, and had faiUi from ;the^r8thand---were • _ 

better qualified than the disciples to laboue to t^eaatiaf . 

faction of the publio, TjMW^eans, ful^yresohredto ^v "^ : 

moike a desperate efifert, re^aewedaUtheU powers^ 9^ 

gare them his instrnctiows, lof whiph the following, j^s 

th« wihstjince : " E?eiy tljiug being weU wosidiefi?^^ 

do not go;< among the QentUes, %dr! ^vr. ^ewf, wiU -^ 

^rfaarge H &» a crimie agaio^k H9K a»d \^ll leiJE^^f^^ , ^ 

• feproach .iigain^t m«e^ o?l. i« tr>» J[ rl^9iFf *»lr^*dy v^ ^:'' 
thrmktoned t^ re»piia<cei4h«snb t^t i* ii^RtjU i»«?f«f^ ^ .,^; 
to< nakeo&0 attempt mqrer yon will j^ereipr^^ieaci^ Ji-, 

tothe Jew^ooly^ Eep«At9nQe9nppiQ6e8.sp|^^^ii4 ? 

iew /vraats ; h«ii^ the ionlil^; of^ f Icia^. , ^ h^^.<Q9 
mon^ to give you, but,8|ri:w^ pick Mpf^ryovfseljy^ 

wh»i you can. Providence wiil provide fpfJH^WJ'J^ ' 
be takes cate of liie sp»rrow», he will tiii«e5i;w«| of J-W 
Moreover ^pect to he iU received* r^yijfid* ^ofiflei^ . - 
cuted; but be of good courage; all is for the best*. 
SiJaEu^jift'tto tonger requiftitfe ;. : pfeacb:^]¥»i«ily .^hd ^n 
tiyeiiGnifte^tOps wbai r ha^v«'«poii%ntQ'yOiii^in.«^^ 
JtitGtpit\i^mM tb^ r km th# Mci^Hi»i «i« s<»n-^ 
l>aii<iari4 1^ Son^f 'fepd: : ^^ ^^ 

apwyvlJiMs with piisiHftsiiBtiityitv «J itM* !^>*MWi!Ti ri:^ ; ' 
^^i^^TMugbl send ^IbiPtb Mi sheep inilbtf^znldibi«r 
wolves, explain to the good people thit you are i^ef ^ 

.'.<*?■' - 

^e sftfegtiard of t1ie^t>rt H%b; who wHi teke a terrii;/ 

bic revenge far the outrages ofiferedyooi and HberaWji; ^^ 

reward those who welcome yo«i.*ii-You'doTiot riBquif4fe 

t9 concert measures for supplying your-c*p!ences ; H 

belbrigs to those -whose schils you are gc^g to save ta, 

< provide for the wants^of your bod4es i carry nOt there^ 

' jfereeithergold, orsilver, orprovfeion, ortwbsui&of 

talment; take ft g^>od<;udgei, and depart ^itl'Jlbe*iiame, 

■'•-';■-- oi;th^l.ord.''--'^-" '■■' -^ -■ ■ \ ■■'ji^-i;-^ . ■ ,i ' : 

; /,'< « Take care in yourwajr always to preach that tkk 

^ hmgdbmj>f heaven u at hah^: Speak of the end of the 

worlds this WiU intimidikte women and poltroons: On 

: euteringcitiet and Villages^ inform yourself underhand 

\>f stfch k;redalbus people, as are very charitable and 

s." prepossessed in our &v>ouf.Yt>«WilU salute theia 

'^▼iHjr; skying. Peace be io tkkhoute, Bui the peace ' 

K y(ki bring iiiusfr be only aUegorUaU for my doctrine is 

> talciilkted' Co ereate trouble, discord, aid division^ 

M J „ i-^erf where.^ Whoever wmild follow me must abai^ 

i 'A ' tfon fet hff- . ittother, kiiism<»i^ and family ; we vvsnt 

^ ; t>n1^fiaeBai and enthusiasts,' who, attaching thonselvet 

" * Wbo)^^to lis, trample every human ^»nsideralion unde^ 

foot I tudme ii&t to send peeteci hut a tmtrJL >A<<ft like 

mdfictisciigbt embroil you with your hosti, you will 

I ^MtJJdm^ Calnn^ joa the 30^ «f Sqitenober 1691, «lot^ Iht 

llBoiwmg Mt^.tfll^ Hi§^,Clu^^lain of the; IBngof Navaxte.: 
CN^^Hqaer, j^ifOj/^dxA xidy», .^,^^ the rewai^ at joat - 
paiiis; but aSove «d], do not fiul to rid the country of tii6fe 
za36i» woundid^ wbo stir up'liie pinpie to Mvottr i^gabt ii& 

*^r ^Siidi m o n atem ahould be exMisBS$utttdit^a$,I koeiB «iftii>rfjiiiirf 
^ *lfidnel SKvfetui Urn Spamaid.**-— ViAi Mediu JUmrthei, 

^ : ■- ■ . ■ .-tv --■-:.- :'■-■..■ . .- o^:«i:. .:*-■.% J -. ;f-v ^ ^ ' 





; cbange. your abode ^m time to time. Do not rdy 

~ on Che power I bitte of raising the dead : tbesafegt" 

■ v -way for- yOa it not 'to risk your being killed ; shun ' 

therefore places where you shall find yourselTes 

. .menaced with persecution. Jueave disobedient cities 

, and houses, sAaitfl^tiW4^r^n>mrjo^'yotir-/eel. Tell; 

■ - them, that they have incurred , the punishment . of 

; Sodom and Gjomorrab. Declare, in my name, that the 

' divine vengeance is ready to make them sensible c^ 

tbeirguilt, and that tbe inhabitants of these cities; will 

be l^ss rigorously punched than those who shall ha^e. 

." the audacity to resist your li^isona. The gre%t and lasts 

., day is at hand : I assure you, that ^ou shall notba^vje: 

^, ' Slushed yoiir tour through, all the cities of Israel* 

:"i>efbre the Son of tnaii shall arrive**" • ? 

r Such is the sense and spirit of the instructions whicb 

^ Jesus gave to bis apostles. In charging them , to 

divulge his secret^ he gave thqm a commission, which, 

'^VnotwithsCandii^ his omnipotence, he himself dared 

, tibt execute. But it was a grand policy' to have in-' 

' ' struments to act^ Without exposing himself personally* 

V' - in the matter.^ > ^ w- : _^, 

; fTbese trifles^ however, scarcely meritpotice:— We 

, -' mtt tooresurprised tafind the Son of God proclaiming 

. : v^ -peace arid charit^, and at the same time asserting tbkt 

■' ^hfe brings war an^ batr^V Ifc is witht^t doubt a Crc4 

only who can reconcile the te contradictiona. It^4t 

^' . besides unquestion£^ble, that the apostles, eaiid espe- 

T 1^ ^cially their succewors in the sacredininistry, have ih 

'^? S P'^^Wtig their gospel brought on the world troubletr 

K\v^iQd divisions unknown in all other preceding religipqs. 

■.■;;; '• ,. -' . l.^rrn ■ - '-^*^^y: — 


V ■ > V . - * St Matt. X. St Marie vi. St liiAelit 

' > iF 

The; incrediijlous, who by the wiy refer to the history 
of the cbnrch) fiodj that the ^glad Hdirigt which they 
camebn purpose t6 announce^ have plonged the bnoisn 
race iuto tears and blood** i^n // a;it>iitq < "51 ki^sv <_^ 
It is obvious from bis^langvage, that Tditm ic^twt^ed 
people of property with the 'maintenance of bis ap08-> 
ties. Their successors have taken sufficient advantage 
of this, and through it assumed an authority taexer- 
dse for many ages the most cruel extortions on im- 
poverished nations. Would not the Almighty have 
rendered his apostles more respectable by rendeiing 
^tbem incapable of suffering, and exeonpting them from 
tiie wants of naturb? There is reason to believe, that 
tiiis would have given more weight to their sublime 
sermons and those of their infallible snccessor^i «? >'^^^^^ 
• Critics maintain ako that it was false to ssryn^r 
Cfighteen hundred years ago the end of the world was nedf, 

_ * If the Christian rdi^an be as is pietoadfid, a iMttEunt 
Ut the crimes of men;— ^f it produces salutaiy efi&cts on soonoe 
in£yiduals— can these advantages, so xar^ so inefficient and 
dfwbtftil, be compared with the evidmt ai^d immense eviiB 
which tlus religion has produced on the earth? Can the pte* 
vention oi a £nv trifing crime% some cmversians uadcss to 
aoq^tf, acBBoa stezfle and tardy repoitaaces» «it^ into the 
balance against the perpetual (fiasensions, Uoody wars;, hofoi, 
massacres, persecutions^ and crueldes, of whidi the Chiistiaa 
itiBgitm ha^ been a contmual cause and pretext? For one 
steret waM tiraught suppressed by it, there are even ^^AuXb 
nalioBs anntd for redproeal destmctkm; t)K faeaMs of naPIioBi 
qI &natic8 are inflamed; £Bii3ie9 and states are fluagediiinto 
confufflon; and the earth is bedewed with tean «id Upod. 
jLfter this, let ctHomon sense dedde. t^ magmtude «i tba 
lidvantages which mai&md derive frcnh the gtad tidings wMch 
Christians pretend to have received imn their God. 


and itiiOr<d falte Btill to affirJQQ that tiie great Judge would 
arrive before the apostles could have tinie to make the 
tour of the cities of Israel. It is true, theologists un. 
d^rstand that the end of the world shall happen when 
all the Jewish cities, that is, when all the Jews shall 
be converted. Time will demonstrate whether it be 
IB that sense we ought to understand the words of 
Jeius: meanwhile the world still remains, £md dofi 
not appear to threaten speedy, fuini 

It is likewise very probable, that, besides these pub^ 

lie instructions, Jesus gave more particular Ones to his 

; apostles. They departed in the hope ot charities 

< >;WbiGh they were to receive from Jews, of wjioin the 

greatest number were alrenldy in a state of reprobatipB, 

^' ot damned in petto by Providetrce. Jestis alteted bif> 

v orders in part; be reserved for himself the cities, aotd 

'^ >.left the vUIages only to his apostles. Accoi^ngly 

they went here and there, calling out. Hearken to Hit 

^ gktd tidmgi ; iht worfd is iiearkitniL Rqftta thet^ 

/t fatti praift fast, dhd give »> mMey and ^^oviti^M, fef 

\:^ having acquainted you With this interesting secret. We: 

\^ are also assured, that they cured several diseases by the 

-;> application of a certain oiL They bad doubtless done 

B jtaott excellent things, but the paraciete (the comforter) 

; ./^' wasiaot yet comer mati^te tl^ instructions of the Soti 

?^ , (Df God, the trttderstatidings 6f the apostles were .not 

V yet sufficiently brtghtehed * ; fOf We do iSdt fifid that 

tke missionapies, with their balsam and fine speeches* 

flude otany converts. The iacredulotts are stiU mucli 

f^^ surfyrised to find, in the instractioiis of Christ to bia 

apostles, an explicit order to labour oaly ien* the ebn^ 

\'' -/ ,.- ; -■'■'" '■ ' • ■ • ■ • ■■ . ■" " 

■',■ " ■•■ '■■- - ■ ' .-■■.^ii^:5-?4* :;;■■•■■ ' - ■ ' ' : — 


V tflcsibh bftne fews^^^^^^^ pfoWbityoif agaiMtr 

pi^eachiog to the Geotiles. They maintaiD, that a 
righteous; God co)|ld make no distinction of persons i| 
. that the common father of miadkind must show an equal ' 
« l^Te to all his. chiidreQ* ; t^at it tost no mor& to the 

^'« What should we say of the hihac of a numaous ofil^iii^, 
' yrfxo ibotdd waste all his fenAiess tqxm one child^ and ne^er 
- admit, the rest to W pvtsesce, u^ than {Rimsh ' tha^' for. 
having no knowledge of his person? "V^ou^ not such a can' 
dutA denote caprice and cmelfy^ Would he not be ginltf 
^ of an mjustice that we- have iierer heard of- m the most ' 
' deprared and unfeeling of our spedes? How coulda &tha ^ 
>^ ibaxik. of punishiwg a child for not cUmig his wiD, which he' 
:^ tiiou^t p^fi^ier to conceal frtHn him? We must, HbeireSace, 
'■'■{ -condude .Ibati a particulai; revdatioD pre^^ui^poses not a good 

^"^'-•and equitaUliB God, : but sb& an . ui^just and whhnacat tTrant,, 
1 'niiOj if he be lavidi of his &irourstoa few/ is at least crud 
-^ and wjust' to the riest. Eevelationj m this case, does not, 
Kf prove the goodness, ^liit the dpice, of a bdbg, whom ^rdigion 
-■■i* dedisKa to be the perfection of wisdom, benevolence, and justice 
V naad :^ ^common &ther of aH the cogpomon face. . T£ self-intereftt 
; v' idtoidd carry; a few tp. admire the hidden wajs of the Ahxa^tj, . 
:,6^wbat oaf^ th6 many to .tfamk who are made the victims ' 
jVof his in^stice and partu^ty? Assured^ pride alone could 
ever hag^mduced a particular pec^de to fancy themseh;es 
^ ,1S» ptiv^ied ci tfae& race, and the oiiiy fevoinred of heavea., 
"XWbadied[ Jffy vani^, they perceived not the wro^ they aflfered 
4ijjam Cjieabor, in fffenmung that aU his jcreatiires, beang equ^ 
>^;W9dE (^ his hands^ were not equdly the objects of his 
Cfize ^and affectiim. It b;, nevcatkeless, upon particular revda- ^ 
tkms'that an the idgiras m the world are ^juaded. As 
C^recy m^ h^ Ihe vamty to think hlmsdf of more import* 
"^yiicfe '^iluiB his fe|bW> so has every aatkn conceited that 
vJtM^fweee the exdiuive fevouxites <^ the aiithm «f naluze. 
ir^he Indians bdieve. that . Brttaa , s^oke >fer thdr instnic* 
"tkm ahme, the Jews ^d the Christians are persuaded that 
the world .was, created, fer"^ them, ,and that Ciod has mam- 
feted ^mself &[" tiiem oajJ^Prriervtaivi ajgainH RaUgUm 


- v:^.' ;--:.' -"■■'; v":^^--- 

i \VPt ^'."'-x- 

' ' ' ■, '' ^ 

^^ <^ ■^^'-'^-■ 

' f^^'i^ 


■' ' ^ '■■-." 


w^o is friendly to one codntr^ only, is a God fiurely 
localy and cannot be the God of the universe ; and that 
a God' palatial, excidsivej atid udjust, who follows est" 
price alone in his cbdicej can nieither' be 'perfect nor 
the model of perfe<jti6n.\^ In short j those iv^lio have not 
the happiness bf being «aj^e(% Minded hy iaith, c^ 
not comprehend how the e<][uitabl& and wise Lord of * 
j>liU the nations of the ekrth could cberish excliisitnely . 
the Jewish people; his ^f[nite prescience ought to 
faaye showii Mm tfii>t bis loyeahd favours 'would be 
cefi^leBl^ldstonMEhis^nt^K^aBe people. 
I'v'^tAb^ctSri remark; ^ become the SdiJ 

^Xjt^ f gi exclaim^ *• Woe ifnfo th^e, Chorazin ! wofe 
^-^ unto thee, Bethsaida4 for if the mighty works^'bich 
f 'Weredone in you had beefl^dona inrTyireandrSidon,'^ 
thleyl^i^ld have repeiht^'Tdogj ago i sackcldth and 
osh^.**^ ■ Wbtald it ' iibt 'Hate been- wiser to go aiid ; 
pidicfa td dCi^ ek)i dticil^; wheire Christ was fcerfcaitf of 
sud:ess^ thin to'pejSii^in pffecliing to thfe Jew1|^*a^ to 
: wte>toi^ti»as^^ertaiii Itmisbai^n^^ - \ ^«^'« '>^- 
.b^esU^^ d<9#4eft alone, went abo^inlieaching through 
■iiiany"<?kie»i>f Galtl^e^ liuti4fej^ved'df the^ateifetaiice 
of his d^tf-cotifSdentii; tie^dtid lildi in'th^sie pls^ wbi^ 
' '*^';'*any-w6ndera.*^^^^^*'^*"':*^ ^^■'- «=^-^'^'''*'M*:'^''*^^^*'' ''**^-- 
' Xmmt hk^ Mthef^ &tf t6c m^tS^fltiaana Mplk^ 
^ paying little^tenifon W thf^ cotid&i: 'bf Jesus ; th^y ' 
despised a man whom tfey't^^di^' as^^ag^t,"^^"^! 
. a foci little to be feit^2' '"fis^tf^ fe^^lgfiie Of 
HMod's officers are slid''t8^Aaffeiy#8fc^ty^it% 
along with the Pharis^/itb^d^iitoftilnff^fm 
~ !C0ittNiiaiiiM bad uasn^tit^'ll^^ 

'■— -v ■■:■.- ■ -'■.'" 
viqpary could giVe umbiagf solely \o the Jewish prie$t» 
and the doqtors of tbe law, again^ wbom be ^ecl^im'* 
ed with the greatest indeconim-: By this conduct bQ 
rendered biroself very agreeable \Q the people^ long 
weary p^ the extortioas of these public bloodsuckeifi 
who, without pity, drained the nation, treated tb? 
poorer sort |vith disdain, and, as the parage of th? 
priest and t6e SaQaaritan evinces, were destitute- of 
charity. The priests and doctors were very numerouf 
in Jerusalem ; on wbiqb account the peopl^e, in ^f 
capital, as we have seen, were less disposed than elser 
.where to listen to our preacher, and tbere i^ rQ^i/999 
to believe, that the priests were the true ^useypf* the 
hatred aad co^teqipt ^tfrti^i||ed ajtai^Jt bw i» Jl|ii 
great cit}U;^,;\7':"'1-;^Ff. Vrlr-^l v* jl-Xlfr-Ht'iff .^iH*' of -rr^- 
..3y a very singular contrariety, the most obscufe 
inljervalinaurbero'slife was that wherein hiei,a^unre4 
^^ greatest celebrity, Jesus was wholly, unknowi^f^ 1 
^e court of Herod; wbil^ at the bead c^f b^ troofS 
^dsurrounded by multitudes* be chased ^way devils, 
gave sight to the blind and spejlcb ta the U9Ut^ expelr 
led tbe 4^11ers firom^he temple, «,Dd mij^ the d«ad. 
But whileiie led a private life in Galileey-^wben, duih 
ing the minion of his aposiles^ be fouvd himself alop$ 
and without followers, and content with pr^chiog n^* - 
j»eatance,— it waatben that hjis,iai;Qfi^ pe^trating even 
p> the, throBj?, je^cited in the monarch a desire to i» 
iee buu« Accogdipg tp St. XfUl^e* a ray of light struck 
the b^rt ol^ ^rod i doubt ^1^ his ewnd ; ** lobn/' 
said hie, " bfvel causoij^ tf> be beheaded, but be muft ] 
.■^Te^jf7P^,jffpm^;t^^ tberefor^iA^S/tbjat S9 

naiiny mi^^:|es fure p^iformed by Um ; but wbo^sbould 

V-. :■' 




,^lhit be of wfeom I hear such great things?'* Herod 
. must see Jesus to explain thes4 matters, and for this 
■j .purpose he sent for hini*. 

^v .rjlf nature had given Christ unquestionable rights to 
^^ the throxie of Judea, we might beHeve that these pre- 
1 -tensions were his motives for nrot putting himself in 
v the power of a prince, the usurper of his ctown.; Buf ' 
:; Jesus could nc* dissemble that his pretensions were not 
■Ai, ,too well established ; he knew besides, thatfora long^tiine 
; g, past the family xjfEhivid had lost the sovereign poweiV. 
'; We must therefore search for another motiij^ for his 
^^^using to see Herod ; the more so, as the mterview 
, -with the Son of God would not only have contributed 
.to the conversion of this prince and aM his court, but 
V; evett of all Judea, and perhaps of the whole Rbmart 
V .empire. A single miracle of consequencev performed 
: ;.before a court, acknowledged and attested by persons 
;T5 -of high atithority, would doubtless have been more 
' -, effectual than the suspected testimony of all the pea^ 
.*antry and vagabonds in Galilee. Far fronCL comply- 
ing with' the. requests of Hejrod, and performing so 
eminent a benefit;^Jesus withdrew into a desert as soon 
as he learned the prince'^bt^^onf. He who often 
-tittered the mtost terrible eenar against such as reject- 
ed him, scorned the I'nyitatioTi of. a sovereign, and fled' 
iatOa desert, instead of labouring for his conversion. 
'The Messiah, who made no diflRculty in entering the 
- Jlouse of^'cfcnturimi to heat His slave, refused^ to visit 
* anftonarch in prd«r to cure hi* bAiodnesS, and' bring 

• St; LtAe, t. 7. S^. 
+ StMattxiv. 13. 

■ i_.;^ ~ 

St. mat, yL t^ M 

r ■'- ■ - ■ V "/ ' ■ ''.'■ ' ('■ 

•-■ D D -r^ "^"- ■ 

si Katt. :drr 

back to himself all his subjects, for whom, he affirmed, 
that he was specially sentlkt4^ii4^lte;s;^i#ii^ . 

Our theologians explain these contradictions by re- 
ferriug us to the inexplicable decrees of Providence. 
But the' incredulous maintainv that Jesus, who well 
knew how to work wonders in the eyes of a simple 
populace, dared not to expose himself before an en- 
lightened court ; and it must be owned, that the man- 
ner in wtich he comported himself before his judges, 
before whom he was after^vards to appear, strengthens 
this opinion. . ■ 

Meanwhile, the mission of the apostles expired.^ 
In a short time they had traversed Galilee: and it ap- 
pearsfrom the repast^ which Jesus soon after gave to 
a crowd of people that the preaching of his missiona- 
ries bad procured an abundant harvest. Loaded with 
the alms of the Galileans, the apostles returned to their 
master, who again found himself incommoded by the 
multitude which flocked to see him. — To enjoy more 
liberty, the party embarked on board a smalt vessel, 
which conveyed them across '. the sea of Galilee. 
There, in a retired spot, the apostles gave an account 
of the success of their mission— they made arrange* 
ments for the future, and especially secured their pro- 
visions in a place of safety. 

Those who had seen Jesus embark, thought, perhapi, 
they were for .ever to be deprived of the pleasure of 
seeing him perform wonders. They made the tour pf 
the lake, and though on foot, reached the other 8i4e 
before Jesus arrived there in bis vessel. He preached 
to them, wrought miracles and enured the diseased ; and 
these labours lasted until the evening. — His disciplqp 
dWvised him to send away the ^ople froni thet 


■^ -. . . .-if ^' '^' ''-'•-■ 

•. •'fv- 

/ ^eisart place, that they might go in search of lodgingr- 
V and victuals jn the neighbouring villi^es. He made 
- too reply on the article of lodging ; —i there were 
•;: doubtless few persons in this multitude who were ac- 
^:^ customed to sleep on down — besides/ the nights were 
''^^ likely not cold in th4t season • and climate. But wish- 
^ iog to amuse himself with the embarrassment of thosis 
-; who made the proposal, and who might not know the 
resources which the collections of his apostles had pro- 
cured, " It is necessary," said he, ** that they should 
go into the villages,— give them, yourselves, wherewith 
to eat." " Think you 80 ?" replied they,;— " shall 
we go and buy two hundred pennyw(^rth of bread^and 
"'••I give theni to eat?"— Philipj who perhaps was not in 
^ the secret*, cepresented the impossibility of finding^ 
bread to feed this multitude: Upon which Christ said 
V 'toPetdr, *' See how many loaves you 'have." I^ 
■' .. found i^one at all<—a circumstance the more surpriz^f 
ing, as, according to St Mark, they had withdrawn to 
this place " on purpose to eat.t" Peter, without ansi^ 
;' v;4 . wering the question, said to his master, *^ There is U 
':-:■■'- ^1 young lad here, who has five barley loaves and two 
>Jt^ Jesus ordered them to be brought, and 

f^;. , 2xiade the multitude range themselves in companies of 
^ i^^-i hundreds and of fifties.— From this arrangement it 
:x * appeared that there were five thousand men, besides^ 
? • women and children. WheQ every one had taken his 

¥i>i, -. place on the grass^ Jesus, according to the usage of 
igll" itbe JewSj blessed the loaves and fishesy broke, and disif 
■>^-'- ' ■■•>.■■■ ' ■ ' ,.-".•/.-■- ■ 'N^B' 

;-;s(;l .*In important affiiixs, it was alw^ Feter^ Jsmei^ a«<l 
-^i^/v*. ' John, whom Jesus en^)loy«d. 


^^-' .-' ;'H. :;.--■* 

tributed tb<^m among tfae aposdes, who gave thereof to 
the people as much 8» they desired; they likewise 
filled twelve haskets with die fragments of this Gehei> 
brated entertainment. The guests, penetrated with 
admiration, exclaimed, " This is of a- truth a prophet^ 
and thai propfeet who should come into the worid^;*^ 
wbichy translated into ordinary language, iii^ns. The 
true Amphitfion is he who gives us our dinner. Th* 

. apostles spoke not a word. ^ u,u .y» , ^i;i: ^ :: n?i^4.. 
^ Some criticsi founding otf tfee hnpossibSities' tMs 
miracle presents, have ventured to doubt the truth of 
it : as if the impossibility oi things could prejudice tb^ 
reality of^ a miracle, the ^sence of which is to pro* 
duce things impossible. Yet if attfention is gifentO 
the itccount of the evangelists, who are not, h<Jwever, 

• very unanimous on particulars, we shall find, that tfaiv 
miracle presents nothing impossible, if we are inclined 
to give any credit to the firudence ^ the Son of Godi 
wbo on this occasion, found that he could not mak€i ti 
better use of the provisions anoassed by bis apostles^, 
than to distribute them to a faungry multitude. Bf 
this act, he saw himself certain of gaining their fatotttt 
It may be, the crowd wa(8 not quite so numerous ast^ 
related* Besides, our apostles, in passing to the bppo- 
site^shore, might have thrown their nets with sufficient 
success to furnish fish for the company assembled.* 
This meal must have appeared miraculous to persotMT 
who knew that ie>us had no fortune, and lived on aloMU 
We accordingly find, that the people wanted to pro- 
claim kingthepersoD who haci so sumptuously regained 

*St. ''-^&^ 81-^ St. Itfatth. z^ i^^ JOd St 

: ■ '■*^i : ' V; -■' "i '/'•-•;■ :T ■■' ■ - -^ ' '.■■ ' \ ": >' ■ '-i ^:.. -' j; \ ^ '• .' V:::^:^'^'': ' ■ 

■ ). 

;♦ <• ' '': / 

mW'-.i ■■. ■ •. ---■-•3^:- "-^ V^ -'r I-- 

" . - -^ . . ..^ , -. 

them. The iiafertamment no dout>t recalled to t^eiri. 
' tttiad the idea c^ a Messiah, itpdeir whose govemtnieDt L 

abundaBce Was^O feign. V^' H^of^ ^^ reqiiisf te , tb 
C induce a handful of miseraiyie^ to beiieve, thaf the « 
. preacher, wiwL by a thiracb fed fliem so libetallv, 
^; ibast be the easiradrHinaTy "man ^e nation escpecte^. "'_,' 
; * Vlfhis great inira<i!e then Will bec6me very probable, 
b^ supposing that' tiie apostle in their collection had 
.received a large quan^ty of bread. They amused 
themselves, i<s4ias been observed, With fishing while 
' they crossfed the lake ; Jesus gafe them the hint ?— 
"when evening was come, things were dbposed Without 
, the observations of the people, who were thus fed , " 
y V „ with provisions amassed by means very natural. 

Though the Galileans wished to proclaim Christ: 
. : king, he did not think proper to accept an honour? 
-.which he found himself for the present incapable of 
""i^. supporting. His exhausted provisions did not suffer 
him to^ undertake the frequent entertaining of so many 
^ . guests at his^wn expence; and, though this conduct 
: ? much more than all his: other miracles, would have 
vv^ gained him. the affections of the beggars, idlers, and 
^ V^: vagabonds of the co^nt^y, the necessity of his affairs 
; '^,- ' prevented him from recurring to it. 
■^^j Thus Je^s^crowned the second year of his mission 
'■-:'' withau action well adapted, to conciliate the love of 
the people, and at the same time give uneasiness to 
:;4; the magistrates, This^ stroke of eclat must doubtless 
^jT. have alarmed those in power, who, perceived tbat the 
i^ affair might become very serious, especially consider* 
" - ing the iutt-ntion the Galileans had'dvsplayed of pro- 
claiming our adventurer king. The priesiS probabljr 

profited by these dispositions in order to^ destroy 

.(...- A. 


Christ, who at all times appeared anxious to gain the 
populace, on purpose to aid him afterwards in suIh 
duing the great. This'project might have succeed-, 
ed, if Judea, as in times past, had been still governed 
by kings of its own nation, who, as the Bible esta- 
blishes, depended continually on the caprice of priests, 
of prophets, or of the first comer, who by predic- 
tions, declamations, and wonders, could, at will, stir 
up the Hebrew nation, and dispose of the crown e 
whereas in the time of Jesus, -the Roman govern- 
ment had^ noU^imgc^^ fear ;iit>m, tl^^ .efforts xifsuper- 
Stition.^ ,.^^J^^\,_ ^-yyr^ ^{■-i.,'^'>A■^;5fi^^i:.i!;f€•■??• i's^i 'r[ 

■* ^ ■ ' ■' ' . ■.'••■ ■■ . - • -■••'. 

:r. -:•■';::' '••'■. ^'''^ / L-^'-'^-n,^ i^n©-?'»V_9i:.*' . V'"" 

.-'•'.so-'' -^J I -:"■'- ' ZC- .■■'.y-''k'»''^ -.^h.-'-rK:-. 

..^'iv;;^ I 


S-< ':>.'; "■-, ■ .!5-: >, :^ -r- .• ;'';-T.ii 


■ l;^ ;S,M,".a :-.' -• Hi u -^ 

,-.-rf*-'- ..<.?>■-■- .=;■"■■.-. ■ - ^ -p^y^ :--iV-0 t^rZ ./■ --.:;ii-f^-^ 


^rjt^M^p <M ' tvj ;^* iUZ^'iAAMii ^;^iji^ ^<i i3D^ti3i^0^q " 

) ' 201 





: ^ 


^ '-^^r^tiv ' -■ CHAPTER Xlli. 

-' ' ■ "buji .m ■ • ^^^ ; .. , - ■ 

!^-'' UNTIL THE TIME HE LEFT IT. , ' I^ ' 

«I,THE expression of St. Joha*, who tells us, that 
Jesusi, knowing the guests he had entertained would 
^ ' come and take him by force on purpose to. make him theif 
_ king, demonstrates that these guests, had withdrawn afc- 
the end of the entertainment. . This observation ena- 
bles us'to flx pretty correctly the route of Jesus, and 
affords a reason for his conduct. 
: ' It was already late when the disciples said to their 
; master, that it was time to send away the people. The; 
V preparations for the repast must have consumed time? 
; . the distribution of the victuals required also some 
, ; ... hours; so that daylight could not have been far off 
when the m^eal was finished, and when Jesus dismissed 
- ^. his guests. It was about the evening he learned the del 
. ! ^; sign they Md of carrying him off to make him kibg ; 
5 and it was not until after having received this intelli^ 
' ^: gence, that he took the resolution of concealing himselif 
> f^^^, in a mountain, after having dispatched his disciples to 
' " Capernaum. The latter to reach the place were obliged 
to make several tacks ; when Jesus, observing thlsy 
cbaQged his resolution, and s^t out for Gennesaret, <m 

-ii.^f<^.-> f" 


liQkiM:!^^?.^^, - • Chap, ti rcr. 1*. ' 

the north side of the lake. Seeing him approach at 
the momeDt they thought him far off in the recesses of 
the mountainy his disciples were terri6ed ; Mey took 
hint for a spirit, for spirits were very common in 
Jadea. They w«re eohfirmed hi their opinion when 
they perceived his shadow near their vessel. Simon- 
Peter observing him advance, did not doubt but he had 
seen him walking on the waters. . In attempting to ggr 
'and meet his mastetthe felt himself sinking : but Jesas 
took him by the hand, and sared him from the danger 
in which he believed himself to be ; and, after repri- 
manding him fqr bis cowardice, went witbhim on boaVd 
the ship. The apostles, who had not been rau(h struct 
with the miracle of the five- loaves, were very much 
astonished at this. They had been in grreat fear, and 
fear disposes to belie ve ; in their di«Firess t4)ey confess- 
ed uuaoimowsly, that he was trul^ the Sen of God. 

Jesus reached Gennesaret at noon. There several of 
bis guests recognized him, and didtiot neglect to an* 
nouBce his arrival to odiers. They presented hi m tbei 
diseased, and he performed a great number of cure& 
We cannot too much admire the faith of the Gaiiieans^ 
who exposed at alLseasoin their «icj( in the streets, aad 
^ complaisance of Jesus, who indefatigably cured 
them! \,' 

.-JThe guests at th^ miraculous svipper two days be- 
fore^ whom tfaeii affairs called home, had returned; 
l«t tbo greateat Dumb^, that is, all the labouring peo* 
p|e,. Iiaving seen Jiesua'ahip take the direction of €a- 
pe^am, bad set out by land for that city. Some ves- 
sels from Tiberias arrived there at the same time, but 
iioneciarried Jesus, and nobody had seen him ; for he 
bad made his passage during pig||t» The crowd how* 

.^ :■ '-r.:-tu 


WS ^mils: 

f: mir tftFric4 iiitl» mli€|teif of being agaiii^Ql^»kie$|i 

: i groiis, wbeft tlieytoftroed At Capernaum Ihat Cbiiiit 

. . was OQ the opposite shore. - Immediately all our i4l9 

> folks set out, either hylaad or b^ water, om purpose to^ 

''^-.^ vistthim*. •■•"■;-■.'">-■- .;,.:^<>." ■s.^r..;,;- ■,- -r-r^; 

Sut these parasites^ instead of finding a ]«|^6t served : 
,f out OD the grass vere entertained with a sei^iran. Jesuq^ 
; «b4| faid not alwa3r8 wherewith tadditiy.^eexpences 

of JO nnmeFOus a ooiurt, held forth to^m 1^i« te%,; 
■ W^^Sfi : ** Verily, ▼erily, I say tmto yotr, ye seek- mtvl' 
not because you eaw the Riirade8,ibi^t bejtauie yh did 
^ . eat d£ the loaves^ and were fflled.'-^LabajUHr," added }b^ 
V ¥ f<Hr life evefUwting:*— «. — r* His heamrs, whose ideas 
.^ V extended no,t beyond the present life, did iH>t Gompre- 
bend wbal: Jesua meant; ; thi^ tbefefore asked hi%> 
- wbat it was requisijte thej^'^ouU do; on which be*" 

I^TB them to u&denUod» that it waa necsessary tbey 

: diQuld become bis disciples, as he was the Mesvr- 
'3" flib^ Here we ftiie qtHtesuf prised to find thjomask^/ 
^ isgof Jettts, *^ Wim npi ihmeA iAom tktn^ikatm 

£m tliat piifpo6ef4^oii ^ill perbapd im^c^ th^ 
supper you gave us, bjat did not our fiaben eat marma 
mih ^firtfotfart^'ycaa»9 and a^er all, wbf t is your ; 

swfqpor ill coflBiif^rieOB wi^ tbak wpodajr ^' : . . ^ lixni- 
FipQktbis we nu^perceiv^^iat JaiiM ttrat^'iii'^fH^ 

. io^r«ew^r £bes4r GflaUeans to His jiiBrQr.' The co*^ . 

Q^ob of ^t mitft^Ql<)tis rebist was done tapsble «l 
ioofll^ theip^. Jesus jb no purpote niaii;t^n«^; that 

iJii«^lw4 wi^4vbi$b Moaaa bad M llN^^i^^ 
WW n^l^litt btead of '^civ^ wbk^ tf Ola fiOttUi >^ 

f -,-«■• nf^vCj- ^.-. ,, • , _ '...;'*;", . 



perly uouri&h ; An empty beU^^as rio-ears^ sothfif 
suffered bfm to preach on.^Alt^r'he bad spoke si great 
deal. " Well," said they in-their turn, *'*;give us then 
this bread, which alor)e nourishe^i for it signifies little 
to us what kind of bread we eat; but some we must 
have; Promise to furnish us- with it at all timed, and 
at this pri^ we shall be at your devotion.'!; SiU' no i#i. 
s It appear'^, that if Jesus at this moment had pds*^ 
siesaed the'feame resoutces as forroerly, he wobM bate 
tbeen abteiiaf little expende^ t^J form a «ftitiU a.pDy^ 
which the pleasure and assurance of havingfood.witb* 
out! toll would have soon increased; bati ail-&iledi 
^bese people offered themselves to him» providing .he 
ifbuld always furnish them with bread. The proposi- 
tion was urgent,'and Jesus' got off with* so badia^ ghice, 
that his disciples themt^el^ were shocked at it. -JQe 
said to them,^^ that he himself was bread, that his flesh 
was meialt, and bis blood wine ; and that to get to 
l^eav6n^'''lfe>was- necessary to eat this bread and m<at^ 
knd d^ink>'t1]itt<^)Wirie sent dowil) from heaven: that 
those odty wfab^t it .would be:rai8e up, and conduct 
to everlasting bapquetpf^/fOiaf dull folks pompM-ebemd* 

*''^^'(SfocfaiMof'^^fiu(^^ upon Hdf axid 

amilar passages of Hi^ New Td*ainent. > Thoise, says ^e»<i 
linggrV who Zander Portliest firom jreascm,: andr hate entered 
most de^Iy intp. tfae^^irit of the .Clu^Hsfian i«l^n, :,iiot 
contented, widi .^ihe' d^rk mysteries .ctnnmon tQ« other sects, 
l^ive invaite4 one stiH darker and more astonisljing^ which 
4^ '^qmma&\' ^ransubistantiatiota.'^'"^ At ibe ' kll-poWe^ful 
coimn^cl tif i ^tet' the -God- of ' the "DhiVersi^ W^^f<ftced to 
deseend fitia ^»>llla1wtati<« jsf ids -glory, f and '^^banrfoitni him- 
self into a ineoe of bread. This bread is afterwards wor- 
shiped by a people who boast their detestation of iddatry! 

At-scod as iSm doctrine'l^, ''jt'i^not peculiar to CbristiaDS; 

'-■■-'■'■ ;i 4 


V ^ 

fed rttin^ of this itiysteHous jargon, Qoutrived on pur-*. 
p08(B to piJHBZle t^ern. Perceiving that they were hot 
moved %y if, he informed them, that in order to follow ^ 
him,a'))artieular call was necessary, and that as they 
were nt>fr disposed to do this, they were, therefore^ not - 
calledVt^-f'l 'j'j-«-^J;;?n..;.>;c^:^7ft.;:-, - ^.c.u-H . ' ■: 

twr does >it<^<«gpedr to hare originated with Christ, B» In-» 
dostas^l^ Bramas distribute a kind of grain in their \Pag(K 
^-^ d^J,-. {this, distrib^ution is ; called Prajadam or Eucharist, The 
, Mexicans J)elieve in a kind of transubstantiatiolh, wMch is ^ 
mentioned by father Ac«sta in his Travels, chap. 24. Hie 
ftwtestants have Ijad the ediitAge to rgect transubstantia-s'^ 
tbin;' though it is fomiaBy estalHisbed foy CbriBt, who says/^ 
";ZV»ire, ^ai; ,ihU ds m^ bbdtf" ^ The Peruvians l^ve a rdi^ ^ 
^(^ ceEempnyy m whicjij, < aJ^r sac3nficang a Iamb, thej^v^ 
mingle, his blood with flour, and distcibufe jt ainongst thlt ' 
peobie.— Jra^anotfjtterf. /i^, S. (Jop. 2Q. ?7 '? r ' , :,y, 'r 

* We c^not do^too Hauch in order to expocle tjie absiura :^ 
doctpnes, . of .: grace .f^id ; predestination held by ~ .Christians. 
An. intelligent writer, whom fwe havie already quoted, 
ranarksT^^We Scarcely ' find any tt&its ef the . Suptemfe 
^eing in 'iUti fiuidam^tals a£ this religion, 'but wlfet- stror^ly 4 
inin^ss Us Until nodofas subvendve of his iiu»:al .attribttfjs^ >: 
If we ezc^aiiu ag^unst a conduct so unwiurthy of a just and ' 

bepeficeat .Being, relijgipn vpU. tell us that God 4s the .d^^ser 

■'_ of his own gifts; that he owes us nothing^: that' we are but ^^rv 
^ woipna. of tl^0 eartlj, . who have no .right to scrutinize his 
actions , and that to .' nnjurmiw- or ctmiplain, ' is to " iiicur' his 
everksdng Presentment. It is' easy to fiiscbv^ ifife %(ralnesi' 
cf sud[i.Te^ning. Pqwer, .1 3.6 cotit^d; 'caoa^iiA^er' cbiifi^ V 
Ihe right'^to, 3fiolate. justice. 'A srfvel«ign who putiishSS'^d 
WY^i^j Without any T^rdf to rnacit aiii deifiatt,'"'in both 
' caa/sa incurs, the imputaSion' of blame:* his subjetets inayi 
iH^ped,' '.^1^ and' ;^' hii6, "but never dana mH&tefy feve 
jm4 ,8fijf:e'5in^ If he be'.deerB^d a :ffit-fetA^edt of priiMi', ^'g' 
can 'oriiy^be by those wM laii^e 'had th/ gwjfl "Ibrtt^'^tb be 
- selected as the objects of his kindness. If it 1>e true,,-^al irf 

'^'^^-.;*. .... 

/ «06 ; 

THeidherentslesus procured od this occasi^ were 

hvA few* The Jews, on the other bami, were iodigBant 

' that be shofrtd preten d to have descended from hcftveo* 

:^^ We knoWj said they, hi$ father and mother, and we* 

know where he waiiiom. All thrae ruinourg, liproad* 

'ing as far as Jerusalem, so .irritated ^tbe priests, Uiat 

they resolved on his death ; but the Son of God eluded 

their pursuits and deisignli by «kiUal marcbci aad 

! cctanterinarches, which dtscoocerted their Tigik»Bce» 

U was especially in thi^ blpital tltat they wisl\ed to^- 

■mmre bim* ^^t Jesus bad not l>een there at the last ' 

"^pasBOTer. His distance frOQd the ip«tropoli8 di^ not 

'prevent thefti ftom knbwifig bis most secret proceed* 

i^ga; and frotti -this he ccHicltided there were s<rtne 

. lafae brethreii'm Diiiftber of his disciples. He 

was not deceived: but the fear of beipg betrayed 

in a country where his resources began to 1bil, 

' tfirdii^h hi8 refusal to give Ihe people bread, in- 

, liuced him to dissemble tUl he should arrive in a place 

i>f salety. He set out therefore^ on his journey h^me- 

..vard to Capernaum. At this place he recite^ nearly 

M» saise sermon be had in vain preached to the.Giali- 

leans. No dne, however, would coBiseDt to i^ceivelbt 

fpod his flesb and blood. Those Wfaor enjoyed his^coior- 

f^^dli to God we are but as wtmns tf ^ eaxtli, or that £i 
iys. luads we ate as a vedael in the hands of a potter, thai 
must it Mow thi^ there is no moral rela&m betwj^en the 
CRatate and his Creator. Seeing, therefine, that a woAtt- 
<lf the earUi owes to man who crushes Imn no&hig> afaul &at 
th e vessel can have no oMigation to the potter who fi>imtit, 
and asf^osiog that man is but a w<nQi, or a brittle vcfsd in 
tfie es^matieB of his maker, then must he be afil» ineapaUe 
la honMiB «r i>%k1 lamf^^bv^m 7, conchide that idi|^ k 


m . 

-' r : 

■ N 

.- > , .:_::.^:^■> V^ •:■.,.;. C^": '•./>■ ■\ '■^^".\-^^*:^^:' 


ikteoec^i iBoiSif-fei^ wdl ^ Hiat her gtt«,^iief clwer j V^ . 

but bis oth<r <iyi|clple8 asserted, that they, could not ' 
Mib8i8t<« thisBiyfiterious peGe^ and took their l^ve of ;V 
him*. Unable to do better, Christ was oblig^t^ ' 
suffer tbem to depart. ^^> 

Jesus observing the d^fectio&'Of a part (^ hisfolo 
lowers, was vexed at it ; Mid in sorrow for tbe^riii it 
.would xyceasion, as^ed^e twelve, "And wiU you pdsQi ^r 
]ieave' me ? Cfn which Suaoa Feter iinswered^ ** Loff<!^ 
to whom sfaall we go? ll^ou hast the words of eteiflal 
life. , ^nd we believe^ and are sure, that thou ait the M 
Christ, the Son of the Uving God." Thus Jeaps was f^:" 
ftasure^, iu the best way he could, of the fidelity of his- ^ ^ 
apostleas-—yet we . see, thz^ in ^ite of bis infinite v^' 
knowledge^ he alwi^ kept the traitor JUidas iq bis f /^ '^. 
cmBpany, thougli he must have foreseen loathe wouhl ' 
< J deliver him up to his ^emies. ' , .-. 

^^ Afeanwhile Christ departed ODpMrpoie to retiifROKto I - 
t Cralilee, whiither his apostles followed him/ tbou^lus :^^ 

« last preachmg, and particularly the refusal ckT victuals, , 
- luid dissatbfied the Chdileans. They did not indeed | 

give him a very wekdane reception. The arrival oif 
'^^ tome Phurisees and doctors fromJerusalanooBspletely 
I< marred enrety thing* They were deputed t^ thedliiffs v 
ll in the capital to W£^ch the conduct of Jiesus, and to ^ 
^rs:' ^ put the people oh th^r guard against him. Every one v ^^ 
> '^ khows, how strictly the Jews adhere to the «eiein<M)ieji * 
^ !' ^ of their law ; and in spite of bis protestations of «t- 
' l^tacbmentiio it, Jesus, like his trufty friends, observed 
:':. r 1^^ It wu particularly taken aisiss 

~'' fhat they ate without washmit^^ir htuids. tmM^if^ 


fended himself With saying, that it Was better to vioi 
late traditions and neglect cetemonie^j^i^ to infringe 
the commandments of God, as the doctof» did. Be 
advanced, contrary to express laW, ihdt' nothing which 
enters the body dejiles it, and that it is what comes dut of 
it that' renders it impure. This seems to establish, 
ihtttCJhrrst and his party #ere not scrupulous as tb 
thfeir aliniehts. Thereafter ^le laulichedout in inveci 
%ites against the 'dOGtors^ Wh6m he called hypocrites, 
ignbraniand blind, who cdddUctied others that were also 
blind. In his ariger be^aid^tibt perceive that tbecortii' 
pliment Was not less bffeb^ire to the people than t6 
their guides. On this acdotmt the latlei^ preserved a 
dee^ 'resentment, but the populace did riot regard it. 
Besides, J^us did not 'a-Ilow theu> time for Tcflection ; 
he engaged their attention by a fine discourse, to protfe 
that the lawyers and priests were the Worst of men', 
and the least charitable, and that n<»ie<^nld be haj3py, 
either in ^his world or in the other, without becomiii^ 
bi^dlisciples. -«• ' ' ^«*^yjleltf:»iitiiq Ms ,2frid!>«5iq lesl 
■In tlie mean time He was informed that there was ttd^ 
safety for him in- this place. He therefore left it in 
great haste, with an intent to go to wards the frontiers 
of Tyre and Sidon. His design was to live'oohcealed 
in a house of the country, whitherbe'had witjidraWn ; 
but with such gr^trenown asthatof our hero, it Wall- 
difficult to continue long unknown^ The "Secret of hife 
retreat was divulged; and, as misfoitune sbmetilnes 
turns to good, this trifling duplicity protoi^d him thfe 
advantage of perfonttihg a miracle ambtig ttie GenlUcs^ 
A woman. of Canaan came,' and besought hiitj to ddi- 
Tcr her daughter from a devil that tormented her.* 
Jesus at first raa^i^JidrasA^ee.: She insisted — the 


-",, ,• 

Apostles interceded, and pressiigd their master to grant 
her request, me^ly on purpose jto silence her ; for she 
spoke clamoroulry, and might have disclosed tbrat he 
was the Messiah. He defended himself on the plea of 
his being sent to the Jews only, and not to the Heathen. 
.*— They again ^-besought him, and answered hiscom- 
parisou by another. — He at length yielded}' and the 
giri was dehvered from her devil or her vapourSi*r/ 

The. success of Jesus in this countiy terminated 
with this miracle. He passed from thence into- De^ 
capplis; and there acquired some consequence from 
the cdre of a dumb and deaf man, on pronouncing the 
word JEpheta,sLnd then putting his finger into his ears 
and spittle oti his tongue. It would, thereifore, appear 
that our 'missionary made a sufficiently abundant har- 
vest ol alms. -He n^oreover wrought a great number 

, of ^thiracles oh the sick^ the cripple and the mainaed. 
But it Was his custom to steal away when his miracul6us 
poWer began to maCke a noise ; he accordingly with« 
drew to a mountain at the distance of three' days jour« 
ney from the place where he had performed so tmny 
miraclesf. The people in a crowd followed Inm ini 
his retreat, and it appears that they did so without eat^ 
ing; But at this time, Christ loaded with provi8R>bs 
or money procured by his miracles, again saw himself 
in a situation to lay the table-cloth. As jf he knew 
4liothing (^ thisi he asked one of his afpostles how many 

'i^foaves.. they .had: Seven was the answer- He then 
^syiC^ideted the multitude to sit down on the ground $ and 

Jttaking^he Iciaves,! blessed ^m, together with some 

' ]braallfisbe&'^Tbe^weredisti:ibuted to four thousand 

^ *^ PI *kt;lkI^tt!^'-S£i Luke, Til St Jblm,viL ^ l'^'' ;] 

;,.:■■_' ^. ■;j-v-;3iC^^ • - ■"■ ■■■ 

.,.;.'"'■'. '-.-'-:''■'' :^ .''-:■': -■■ -..'■' .. .• ' v^' •• ^ L^" - . .-v 

^~^i^-<', : -^ ^^' ■ --i ■•■•.... ' - .■■ • ■'"' ' '..■-* 

j^- .'*. :■<■'. -' ..;■ ' -^ ■ . -, I "■■' . - .' - ,."'-^' 


men, besides tvoaieB^ndtchtldreti, who wtt^ei all sat^ 
Jied; tnd with the lemahi^ of tberapASt,, they after* ' 
KWirda filled seven baricets. This fMlt^ appears tb 
1ttft«ei«repeUti what we have cdated before; . 

yd St Cbrysastom maiotaifis, that the diffeceoce ol t^ 
jMoaber of haasketa proves iri%£rag«bl; they asust not ha 
'■''icoBfooaded*' f-'\Y 'ihv-\'Ar^i ii%ti^j^-.4%->iiii 7-* ftiipltm 

Admittnig thiSy it would appear, that Jesus, having * 
Vbd longef ai^ aafe rotreab in his owo country, aadri- 
'Seed <once aoore the tnoiKy and proyiskuiB^Iua pitdt*^^ 
Agiea had jeaafaled fate to jam^ It was sutce^Mxaf to- 
gain the^people, and be Jii that time felt he /had very 
^great ne^iclf them ; he waageaearous when be had th*? 
^ laeaos toh^ao, and he hadiiot fbi^ thotTthesy b^ pro- .. 
, nisedto &Ueiwhim, provided he woqld gvfe themfood. 

' The<ief ftBgelists, .howev^, ov^faeatcd with the idea _ 
^fif IhiES ^miracle, forgot anolherequalty di^seririi^ Iheir :/ 
- |aoitio&f-^It was iadeed a prodi^ to see iom thousAod 
; MeOy witi^tii reckoning wonien and little ch^dreii, 
f^filloivfing Jesua during three daQFswithotitl eating ori: 
^MaiiiBg ; or ^se we must bdieve, t^t^ {irep^r^ to ; 
^jMivet^tbesepeoplebad prondad tb^iavielvea wilb pro* ^^ 
, ,«^tQBS^ which '. auddeal^ &iied. But, to, a 4esart, ^ 
' Wfa^Bloeizaoie^e boskets tkey made use of io gather* ' ? 
4tei^ up :the;ieseiai]is of the eniertainineot ? it 4f \& ba 
j^e0aiBed,^ dceptdowAfrom h^mn*. .9Mt» 
mi the olbier huMi,:wi^ n<rt Madiefkka^es and ishea drop 
^iaim %hot It wias andoubtedfy. «tittlii«qiii«te,. h^r* 
■maw. minckg ^ feed this inflitilade .^iiniig tho tbvoe 
l^iaijIt^nKarah^BecesBiiy lor; thear retarik Yptt jMiK>)(gh^ 
4iitJib«!wfa(de busMeaSy it wouW hmra Wru qborjter 
,^ way to have made the people feel neither hunger nor 
thirst It^Qu^ have been.% shortf^. way, hy an e& 



f wv^ 

' .'.£) 


I -■ v.. 

'}^ ir)|);(1biit^^pf Jjl^e^^ 9n4 9pare4 Je^us the trouble 
,;<>f 80 many ei^rtainments, flights^ marches, an4 PQunr 
It^iparchea, wfeip^lj,;a Jjast teriiiinaitecl in a Bbnnner so 
tragical to this hero o^t|je roiptance^,', 
I The Phiarinee? ^d ^q^dil^cges <J;i/^ not lo|s^feigbt pf 
i^e^s; and on legrping that be ^9^ re(,t|rne<jl to the 
ii^terlor of the kingdom, they weni ip aej^rpjj of hjna. 
fThe evangelists, it is suspected, made thein muc)^ 
fprpi^ Ithap they i^ere in reality, by representing th«em 
|i9 -<*ger to rM>n tbero. . Was it ^hen sp di^cult p^ 
ji,rrie^t thirteen men ? ^e that j^s it iway, Jtiieiae Fharir 
sefSf at this tiqae apcpsted Jesns very pi>litely, fiod ^ 
mmded pf hii^^ Vf^'^ryile. " Yom perform them," s«i4 
tbe^» ** hy dpfseps, in pr^ence of a thousand peoplf^ 
pM9* \>y ypur o*'? confpspion, do not believe in you ; 
%iv^«6 ^^n a spepi^en pf yp|ir slj^iH, apd i^re shall )b^ 
less opipi^tjvf jti^gn l^pse of wjiomyoil pomplam. Qp 
thj3n:Sbe,w us ^if .^^ndescensiOn." JesjL^s v^af inexor- 
adp^, and perfk^u^y reared them to ^pnas. Thil 
E^fist^lp$/^«4<tMgi: 1^, in ^m» inveighed agai|wi 
them> 9fl4 39 it^ pp;^f)enp^,pf Jtbeie incopvenient «|^^ 
t^tpEs f^dpred b|s ppsi^Jiap^^, i^e qjaijtte^ J^^^WJ »n 
Ofd^r tO£9''^'fi^t^saida. . •- ■"'aL:^'^v.%'-^^.u.' 

P* the^ay iws »j)p^tl^ g^^dj^im tJhptfiga^pn^lj^i 
tj»fos^ tp^Wprk fi iptciiQl^ in ^re^encepf persons m}M> 
fAtr£)at<ed him 19 sp jiji^pdsoqaKe aWni^r; on wi»<?^ 

imi^ h^ ^ i6g^tp gwe tji^m tp,underj»iiapd, jthat h^ 

could not operate before people so clear-sighted; Me- 

imvm of.^ero4i Qur^i^ly folks, »|io Ji^ npJt ^ifl)p 
to provide bread, thought their mastPr meant to rp- 
pTOvethem for ^irtie^igt^be; ' ^Al^'y ojiierl^ 
would have \m^T^^'m^Ml^^^^ 

■ ■-K.;-.'.--'/r. ■ -■ ■••%/>> ■ ,v ■ .. - ■-,■.-•. • , ,^ ■.,•-,. 

- ■^"■■^'•' ''- -sV- ''-•'•■>••.'■-''■ "^ ' ■■'"'"; .(-■. -:'■■■■ r';^' '■'■ '^ 

-.-. < 

"" rfr ■ ■ .- - ■ ' - 
(lis aftaifs cliagrineU hira, i^\AWitet0 m^ve^ 

" ''^: On bis ent6r!Dg'1ifelhsaritfa;*the^^ brought him a blin^"^ 
iiianwhoiji he cuted by applyi^f^ spital to hiis eyesl 
V This remedy at first produced a pleasant effect: the 
, ftiJin saw other men, like trees, walkihg; JeSuVlihen 

taid his hands on him, and immediately he 8a^,<^trit^| - 
\ Qtherwiscf ■ '• ' ^ *f^ 

'^But this conquest to the Messiaff,.'^'-; 
/ lie, therefore, -went to try his fortune in the viIf%ot^ ' 

in the environs of C^Bsarea-Philippi/ It is in this jbih^f 
^ ney, that asking bis 'apostles -what they thought of biW, 
some said that he passed for Elia8,otherS. for Jeri^niia^;- 
X &c,; but Peter openly confessed that he'aeknowiedg^^ 

him for the Christ :± a confession which has flin^^ " 

gained him the honour of supremacy in the sacr^ <^^j;. 
lege, and of being declared the head of the church; '^«-^^'^^^^-:^ 

Though sovereign in heaven,* Christ possessed j&o|^^% : 
thing on earth, and. of.cocrrse tonld confer no tempoB^- ~~^ i 
. ral gifts. Instead . of tbefse, he gave bis disciples tb|: >^ 
• spiritual pirivilege of daihhing and saving the test df 
' \ mankind at their pWasure.-— -fleipromised to Pfete^'lbe 
•?■.: place of door-keeper of Poradifet Bince becroHte so lesP 
' "^ ferative an oflBce to his successors and'^assighs. '■ Mean- J|[k 
': v^ileJeSus recomnfended'sile^^^ the party' otitftii -^ 
• {iriPddiotion; but perhaps theti^tor Jfeda^, notl satisli^ 
/with the office <yf treasur^H *^' not i^wr^ tb^ i^ 

• '1 ^^^t^itbstandift^ tli^ Wftrage i^lteteri ^e^ccftW*^; 

i qabhc^ wbfcb migbt result fron^ tlie'chblc*- «f tlj^ - 

•■ ...S/^ -■/; ( .':.. ■;_'-:,' •:;;:■ ':;_••■:!: ;i-';7id s'/v«>-i{j oJ. 

:r-.y^?*St.Matt.xn., auMaik,OT|.,j^Lu^JOV,;^ — dJ avolS" ' 
^^ - t StMaikviiL»-36. Xrf* J v . .> ^ : ■ 

I St Mrtt xvt St Mink; 1^ ^ ^l 



priesU were^litays present to the mii^ of Jesus. * HiSt, 
eem hioiselt' cried dovirn, aiid rejected on all sides, and 
firestimed witU good sepse, that beiog once excluded 
£roni: all the prov^inces, and the Gentiles not much iag 
dinrd to receive a Jjew, expelled his ow;n country, for 
legislator, h^ would be constrainedj sooner or later, to 
return to Jerusaletn, wher6 he must expect to raeeit 
with perilous adventures. On the other ha*id, the 
HoQians, masters of the forces over whom -thtt Jews 
douhi arrogate na authority ^^ would very quickly ftaye 
put an end to the mission of a man ^ horn they must 
baV^ regarded either as a foot or as a disturber of the 
public p^acerif be should have dared to declare against 
tiietn. There is reason, indeed, tc telieve tbat the 
mission of Jesus ex?8ted in Judea merely because the 
Komans wer^ not much: displeased that a restless aUd 
turbulent people should amuse themselves with follow- 
ing a man of bis rank, a pretended Messiah, to whose, 
appearance the prepossessions of the nation gave risje. )'*' 
Aiw«ys certain of being able to crush those who dared ( / 
to undertake the boldest enterprises, they troubled 
tlvemselves iittje about what inight be done in the 
country by a party no wav formidable to an authority; 
seconded by disciplined legions. 

- The situation of the Son. of God must have alarme^d^ 
the'companioUs of his fortune, however dull we may 
suppose them to have. been; it was therefore neces- ^ 
sary tocontrive means to encourage those at least who 
were the honest dupes of bis vain promises. , He did 
npj^vjiissejtoble^the," bad state of his aflairs, the fat«j b|^ 
M to dreadjandibedciath with w,bipbb€wa8 m^^ 
He anfeicrpatt-d them on tb4s subjectj^and declaifed that 
even if he should sutler death, "ttt^teiH^t^fitfefefe'dis-- f\^ 




- V 

cdvtngeidti W iithe fend of thrtig ^ay^he w«ild It•i^; 
ttiumpbiiit ft-om the tbftib,^^W^ shall afterwards 
the use the apostles ir(,ade of this prediction tirliicli;; 
must at th6 tinie have appfeafed to them as foolish eHh- 
itlfcredible. « 

To iietain thcfiti as bis folioweri« and revive their zeal^ 
Christ entertained them incessantly with the beauty of 
bis Father's kingdom; but he for^^arned them, that to 
aitiVe there, they mtist have courage, love him sincer^^ 
iy, and agree to suffer with him. These melancholy 
stermons demonstrated the situation of the orator^ and 
tended ral:her to depress than incite the courage of hi% 
auditory. He, therefore, thought it seasonable to pr«4r 
sent to his difciples a specimen of the glory of whicll;' 
he had so often vaunted. For this purpose he exhU - 
hited the brilHant ^ectacle of the tram^guration^ AII^ 
the Apostles were not witnesses of it ; he granted thii^; 
fkvour to three only, Peter, James, and John, his mo^^" 
intimate confidents, to whom he recommended silence- 
This scene took place, it is said, on mount Tbabo^l 
T^re Jestis appeared irradiated With glory, accooipaw} 
nied with two otheiiSi whom the apostles took for Mos^ 
ahd EHa^, and whom, as far as we tan discover, they 
had never seen before.* A cloud ^neatpectedly ctiv«* 

l^ipiA the three luminous bodies; and when they no 
lottgter beh^d ^ny person, a voice was beard pr0^& 
Bdundng tb^e worda, ThU is m^ betovedSon^ The 

V^^ Hiebidiylact assuiles us, that . ^' m the ^trinufiguration iBk 
sq^MteS Tiecoisidjieh. ilfoSdg and Slias, not by their visi^, whbb 
tbejT faaiS never Se^ but by their taft." We Miftoet, homeva^tim 
the apostle* wefe i» wel aoqoaiitfed withtheootftrtrMncer of MoHM 


■1w:--'.;;< f.:- 



- ^ :: ■ 

' *■•' J 





, 1 


dUeipled Wdrtiikliiep whil6 the ipeetacljS ijras displdj^^d 
^ #4i dreuoiifttaace \;rhich bfts oc^adiotted a 8tttpicidti> 
that the whole waft only a dream* -4^ 

- The ^poitles, tfha retnained at theibot of the motiti*- 
fftin, and had been deprived of this spectacle, wished ^ 
tx> try their spiritual powers ob a lunatic, or one pos- 
' sessed; but the devil dlst^garded their exorcismft. The 
ftther of the disordered person, perceiving their master 
descending from the mountath» imihi^iately presented 
bis son to bin). Whom Jestis c«Mred; he then gave a 
strong repriMatid t<y t\iOi^ fumt^len ; tdd them tlmt 
their wdnt of stieeeds "waft owing to want of faith, 11 
grain of whieb . Wa6 snfiBeient to remove mountain*; 
he therefore recommended to tbem fHHtiog and praylef, 
as the surest receipt fbr estpeHing certain demon#i 
more rebellious than others*. 

. f The people, however, withstood all these wonders f 
ttie devils, with whom ihey were possessed, could h<M| 
be expelled by any means whicb Christ iBad yet oon* 
trived. Eicpecting» therefore, toiiraw over some of 
t^e stmtigerS) whom tb« Bolenmittes brought e^ ways iia 
giftnat numbers lo the t^pital, be Tesolv«d, on^accevitift 
of the feast of Tabernacles, secretly tb' repair thitfier. 

Agitated, however^ by the most troublesome misgi* 

f iags, he traversed Galilee ; be explained himself oa 
bit fears in an «aigiii«tiGai «od boocealed nwafier ,10 
his &po%tltfS> Who «ouM net oeanpirebsnd whfat Iw lud; 
btil Who, 6n dbserviiig their mastet grieved, c<m!brmtd 

themselves to his humour. 

Oa axriviog «t Capernaun^ the {ilace of his visual 
retideMei ihe elBcets diaiiged with looUectkig 4be ^m* 

'^'i^ifi^Mi^-^MatL. ni «t llait> ja. SU lldK^'te. i7,s^ . ,i^' 

|^*V '.' 

■?;i'A'%.' '■"- A ^.•- '■■'.■r ■ ;;/"■:>;*'. '^"r 

.v-~:^:,. '■rz-. 

,- J,; n 



nipie' lVl9Uhew their old compaDiouj they accordingljt^ 
.exacted the custom or tribute. Jesus beiog a.Jew w^'. 
offeaded at tbeir demand ; but whether they did oofS!^^ 
hearken to hid reasons, or that be did uot wish to be^ ' 
koow^, be dispatci^ed Peter in search of a piece of; . 
tbiity-peuce in the n)outb of a fish ; or rather desire^^^ 
biin go and catch a fish, which being ^old for that| i 
^lun^seryed topay the castQtn. , _ fr"" 

^.The , apostles, j having understood fronti: the Savipur*» . 
discourse's, that his l^ingdom was stiil very distant,. 
amus(e4. thfeniselves with disputing ou the pre-eminenced ^ • 
. arjd rapks they should enjoy in the enipirewhicli ha<^^ , 
been obscurely announced to them, ^n this they havej 
beeji,slDce faithfully imitated by tlueir successors*. Id, ^ 

.: # i ''-- '^- ,.■ /^:^r^i^>4 r^^:iih-&^miUi^■vir::^.^^\i^^'/ 

*']^ disputes between Cfaxisthin . priasts luve' always beeni, . 

scenes of animosity^ hatred, and heresy. We find these to ,-■;:' 
have existed since the in&ncy of the church. 'A religioii5 ~~ 
finihd^ on' wonders, fkbles, and obscure oracleis could onljr f? 
he a 'fruitful source of quarrels. Priests attended to ridicu4t^ ;. 
Jous doctrines, instead of useful, knowledge; and whem they}'^ 
riiQuId have stuped true morality, and taught mankind then; -' '' 
, xeal duties, they otdj strove to gain adherents. They busied 
' themselves in useless speculations on a barbarous, and enig^'' >; 
vmatical science, which^ under the pompous title of the scioic^ 
•f God, , or theology, excited in the vuj^r a reverential awe/ - 
jFbtgr invented a lugoted, presumptuous and absurd, systenql^ 
■ as] incomprdienisible as : tbe.ggd whom, they, aflfected to wor« 
'fiap. Hence arose disputes, on disputes cOKU^rning puerile.^^ 
, oubtilties, odious questions, and artdtrary o|Hnions, which, ^ 
&r from being usefiil, only tended to pdson ' the , peace ' (if ' 
sodety. In these contentions we r^;ret to find the mostpro- 
SatBod geniuses: ooeupied,-<'and are forced ' t» oensiire the proft- 
#tution of taleiits worthy a better cause. The people, ever 
&a^, -of ; 'tuibidence enteved - into ^xiarrels they, -^could not 

,-*'■:■-' .■%~,,.^i;!^, . ;:;,», • 





E^esus took ocqaiiion fvOEEi t&is dldpole to 

Oliver sg sa-ffibf^ on bumility. ^ fie cailetjh fof a chiid, 

. placed it ia^be midst of them, and declared, that tbis 

child WaWdi6 great^t amotig tbem. This^inoi^.by 

which our dlergy Have profited so well, cobtaios jSne 

parabtesi and poittts out excellent nie^ns whereby :td 

s^aro heavei^i bat not to thrive on earth. As'all/tfi^s^ 

, howievfei*^ -ire only repetitjtons of what i»taugtovia|ibi$ 

seitnon bn' the m<!>oBt, we refer the reader toiiii.'^J j :0:=;i* 

''Jesus wrought no< thirflcl^k 4«Mrfi^ his abod^ :at 

Cdpernaum, -where be had an interest not to be jboo 

^ nracb spoken -'of. ' His bifetferen 'or his parents, who it 

'■ seecn& %ere of tlds saftie iiiiiid * air the priests, repaired 

to that j^lace <6n']^af(>osetc> pjef^uade him to leave fall 

- asylttm fttidgoiffto4t}dea,'''Where he might exbibft hit 
sl^tJ^Thi^remifl(]^hUB^tiiat the feasts should^ <^^ 
him to Jerusalem, where 4ie could not faUto find ajn 
. opportunity of signalising himself.* 

This if oiifcjirtone enabled Jesus to'fbfei^^tHSt they^ 
. were plotting against him. Here eternal truth extrt<ii; . 


undentand. Princes undertook tlie defence of tliOK i»e8ts&<7 
wished to fitvour,, and (Mrthodiozy was decided by the longest sword. 
This assistance the churdi never hesitated to recave in times of 
danger; for on sadk occanons the clergy rely rather on human' 
asastance tlutt on the pronuse of God, who declared^ that the 
soepftre of the widced should not rest upon the tot of the lighteoA 
. The heroes found in the anBa& o^ the diurdi, hare beoi obstinate 
fanatics, fiictious rdids, or fiirioUs poraecutors; they were numstett. 
of madness, sediticm, and cruelty. The would, m the days of ois 
anceston^ was depopulated in the defence of ex^vagandes wMek 
excites laughto- in a podten^, not indeed nmck wiser dun tiiey 
were. — Christianitjf UmteSed. ' '' '^ 

* St. Jdm, T* 


- '^ \- -•■■'..' ^ ■; 

<:lited it^lf froBi these i»portaDitii«« |»]^ JDean9 H^l^ii^r 
hood. The Son of Cod jtoid his bFetiir^ to go to tine 
feast, but assiiretil them tbftt for himself he jwoul4 w% 
go,* This, howeyjer, did not hioder him from t^I^ipg 
the road to Jerasal«Hi, but with the gf«ate^t secresy« 
im his tvay he cured t$o lepers, among whom cuie ooly^ 
who was a Samaritaa, shewed any gjratityde to ki» 
l^ysiciati ; and from courtesy to hid fftith bis .siQ# wer^t 
»remitted.t Notwithstanding this^i&iracJ/s ap^ ^hso^p^ 
tion, the iocredulous do not 6nd, that Christ ca|i be 
acquitted of h^yiog preyftricated. It seeias very 
strange that the ^n of Qo4i to wbdm hj^oi^Qipotejs^e 
ftimished jbo many honourable means of nctiQg ^p«plyj 
had recourse to subtiUy ^Qd deception ip or^r to 
eliidethe snares of his en^iies. This cqndit^t cajct ^ ' 
ex9)Uiiifid>0Rly by admiMing^^tbat 9bat«^q^ialse|?i9l(|f| 
ykcxm^^ym is^rwih w the g9sp«>. ,,n^u.^^i:^i^^, ^q. 

-JTJX'> iijiiJTi ixitm^is- ^*r/.A, .mA tm^&^^ :-^i.i^\,^yfji^ 

«a«9(nl> lit ix-^h.'j c»i iv*i5ix2^' 'J 'iii fiiiuil> :^ ^Softatapfji i^2* 

•»;t,«iJ jfeflj i-.«''v '»'-«.-: x-^i-i n;f t^ 'J-'-fj ft": . „ - ^^-i 

• _ ^ , - .-,.^ > : ^^ >; ^^^^^i^.^^^>:^y^^ ^^^ ^^^ .^ - * 




. i^iy<>v> ^ CHAPTER XIV. ^ '^^ ' • . ' ■ ^' :> ^ 
hM^x.^r. ':!'* >,*^r, M' ^- • v''H • * . ; ^^ 




\ \^f^*'^T^;if:., "'oFOlIYES. — THE liORD's SUyj^BR*-- ' ■..' . * "'''' 
■.■J^A'>h'i-ti.:v.yi-,*.'.^'ti.r^„ l.RREStE1&i • ;*» ^^-'-.W.^r---/^ 

, J "^ , ^ ^ • ^ 

r-^-^'j^ IS proWble tlisit our hero changed Bis iiiteiiti<>^ 
^ of showing himself publicly at Jerui^km on leaming 
% tbfe diversity of optntoas wbicti divided the cs^sita^ on 
%YS account*. He iniftgined tliat bis presence ^i^ dis- 
courses woirid remedy ttie inconstancy of the people, 
aod remove the perplexity of disputants ; but he de- 
ceived hisoself. He who so often recommended the - 
■aanmng of serpenia, failed on this occasion. But hoir ^ 
revoke an immuta We 'decree ? The world had been 
f Created solely oii purpose that man might sin, imd maa . 
had sinned in order that Christ by his death might iraf^ 
:^h^ -glo^y of iQ^iBg atonement for the sinner. c 

". J If th^ Srpoke mueh evil of Jesus in Jerusalem, they 
sp<^« alsd much good. Praise is a snare, wherein Uie 
Son of Xjrdd himself Was caught. Flattering himsdf 
^TJ^iih being able to reconcile the suffrages, he went to 
the tempie and preached^ But what must have beeii 

•StJohii,Tij.ll, &C. 
Q a 



his Mrprise, when on beginning to speak be heard the 
} cries of rage, and the multitude accusing him pf ^eing 

• jsjp^sessed with a deviJ. 'In spite of the confused noi«e 
^that reigned amOn^ the Audience, Jesus continued to 

* ^harangue. Perhaps, indeed, be might have succeeded 
^in conquering the bad disposition of the assembly, if 

"' -a company of j archers had not arrived, and interrupted < 

him precisely in the warmest part of his sermon. He 

'Was speaking of his heavenly Father, and this occur* 

- ~ i^ence has, undoubtedly, made us lose a sublime^treatise 

Jbft the nature of the Diyinity *. . Ttu?se : atchers, ,h^f^ 

/^*»:rjijjjg c&cumstance, however, need fcaroely be regretted, 

• : for tte'^ancient fethers have &imlsfied us with many subUmt 

and edifying works on diis subject. Tertulhan has pofi- 
txyely saidj that Godis a Ao£?^. In the council of Elvira it 
;^ is foAidden to Eght wax candles in diurch-yards, for fear of 
N wring the souls of the saints. In the fourth century spirihiaKfy 
was not yet decreed: there « was a great dilute between • 
^ - the 'monks of Egypt dbout God, in order to ascertain whetiier 
/ . he was corporeal or incorporeal M. ,de Beausobre, in his 
Hist, de Manicheisme, tome 1. p. 807, shews, that among 
' the first Christian doctors, each formed ideas of. God and 1ihe^ ' 
" soul conformable to the {^osophic sect ' in which he had 
V been educated. A Platorast made God .incorporeal; a Py- 
- tiiagorean made hun an intelligent fire, a Jight endowed with '' 
intdligoice; .an Epiciuean made hkn a material hang, a^ 
animal ixmaoTiai. and very happy. Many doctors revered by 
'" '- the churdi would now-ar>days endaiiger themsdves were tb^ 
.^ not quickly to retract their errors. Moses himself t^ould 
W burned by the inquisition for being bo& a Jew and a 
, HMrterialisL^ Even few Christians have tijitten on the existeooc 

Cff.Gofl, without drawing on themselves, an accusation ci Athdsin. 
Descartes, Clarke, Pascal, .Amauld, . and Nicole, hare 
/, been conadered as Atheists. The reason is pl&:— It 
'. ' is impossible 'ti> prove the existence of a '^cbig^'rso jn- 
;J';' consistent as the< God of the Christiani. We shall be tdd • 

^ - - ? " — . ■,--- -.':,*. ■ - \ ■ * V .(% ■ ^ - * i ' .'■?•. -'v .■ - ■* ' 


'-f V; 

. -I- 

^Hfever, had no desigri to iseize him : they wished ooly to 
%np6se silence on him ; it was therefore easy for him 
/to'slealawaty; ?«Hp'-. v--^^ '. ■-, .'i: 

. *.^ Jesus, whose temper appears to liave been vindictive 
asod restless, was pi(^ued «+ the insult, and continued 
hifif invectives against the pri^sls,^ doctors, and prin* 
ci pal men among the Jews, who taking counsel -on 
th^ subject, they agreed to fulminate a decree against 
him, and try hirfi for contumacy ; but Nicodenius, 
wiift)m W£ mentioned before, undertook his detence, 
iiiid proposed to his brethren to go atid hear binrbe* 
fore condemning him. They, however, insisted that 
Tip good ever tame Out of 'Nazareth^ i.e. that his pr^ 
teg6 could be only a vagabond. » ■ ,;- * ''ri^ ■ 

V."In bis retreat on the mount of Oljves, Jesus learned 
that they had delayed bils trial. He therefore appeared 
next day in the temple by day-break. The doctors and 
sehatdrs came a little later, and brought him a femi^Ie 
acijused of adultery-^a crime for which, according to 
the law, she ought to suffer deaths The doctors, per- 
haps acquainted with her conduct, and informed of 
Christ's drawing after him ,; women of wicked lives, 
wknted to ettsnare > him. Hera^ight have got off by 
mferely saying, that it was not for him" to judge ; but 
be wished to argue. He wrote on the ground ; an^ 

concluded very -prudently, that for one to judge it is' 

that. men have no means of ju^[ing of the Divinity^ and, that 
qnpr . Ainderstandihgs are too 9arrow 4o fonn any idea of hmu 
Why then do they dispute incessantly concerning him? WITje;; 
asAgn to him qualities which destroy each other ? Why it&*;; 
count -ftbles of him ? Why quaiTfel^-and cut each others' thrc^i|i'\ 
because liKese &bled are c^rently intopreted by differoit penniig^v 
andbjrdjflE^ne^Dations? ;- " 

:"->--, a Q 1 , .'.,■: 

7 ~- ■ .. ' _ .■ , ■"■"'." 

l^ .., =^ "■■-.•■--'>"■'.-■■.',,- •"■ .V'-,-''. 


\ ■ . - :.;, '■"■.■--.',- " • - .-Si - 1 ■" - " 

necessary to be himself exempted from alt sin. Tbee , 
addressing himself to the. doctors, " let him among 
you who is without sin, cast the first stone at her,J 
At these word's they departed, shrugging their shoQld-< • 
ers. Jesus remained alone with the adultress, whom 

the Jews would not have treaited so tendetily if she ha4 

- befen really culpable : on this he said to her, " Sinct 

no man hath accused thee, neither will I coiHie«ni^ 

thee: Gotten, and sin no roore.^' ;:; 

Having happily eaicaped from- this danger, JesUs - / 
tl^ught himself in safety; but, induced by his natural, ,' ' 
petulance, he again hazarded a sermon in the temp|e; 
be spoke only of himself; and what follows was pearly 
his strongest argument. ** You ask," said he, " a full 
proof by^two witnesses. Now I bear witness of my • • ; 
Father, and my Father bears witness of me; ypu - ' , 
therefore ought to believe in me:" which amounts to 
this — my Father prove* -met and I prove my Fatherf 
'■. ^ The doctors were but little surprised witb this cir?:;^ 
. cuitous and erroneous reasoning, and with a view to 
coine directly to the point, ** Who art thou?" **.^ 
am," replied Jesus, ^' from the beginning, and I have 
many things to say to you ; but I speak to the world 
those things only which I have heard of my Father."^ 
V The audience were no doubt impatienrt at these anabif ' 
> - guous answers. Jesus, who wanted to augment tbeijif. . 
einharrassment,' then added, that they would kno^^ ; 
Mm niuch better after they had put him to death. *«*% '; 
; J Thc' Messiah did not onnit to display great views ^^{ 
this conference; he informed his hearers, in dark laitf--.; 
; gtiage, that it would not perhaps be impos6tbl£j tj^ 
' sl^keqff the/ Roman yoke. But either throngb l«9I 
^ o( chastisement, or that ihey did not believw' s«<;b a 

^ j^:;, " ..,.• : . ^' .-' •■ •; ■;',.- ?« < •:• . '-,.".:^ ^■■■■•:';'.-;.; >'.''''■. i-/.v-jt- 

'*" - '•. ' . ... ,, • ■- , ' '■• *- :" ■ -' ''''.■ /.• -■■'., ■:.'•';. . '■■•. lir'**' 
-■--_■..,, _ V /■ ^, . . • '•. » ^ . .' -t- ^---v ■ - f • 

' . , ' -. .-'"*-.' , '•■■'■ C- ', ■ -■ -■ .'■ ':■'■' : : -.' ■',:■» ' ' 

■~. ~ ^ ' ^ J'... '. ~:' ' ■ ■ "■ I ''' .'.i ■' '- 'i' '\-^'^ •■" '■"■H■■..■ 


^'%i<KmaithM*o effect "ib great a ftrvoHi^Bi^ tbey 
affected iiot to comprehend him. Piqued at. Ondiog, , 
Che doctors and Pharisees io dull a&d opiniativ.e, h^ " 
called them children of the devil; he affirmed that l^e 
was older than Abraham. la short, be br^lce oat id a ' 
itmnner so ufMreasonable that the p^ple, 4ec\aring 
against him, ^ere about to stooe hioK Je»us, perceivijpg; 
biB fo)Iy when too lat^, concealed himselrf at fifst^ f^<^ 
thfereafteF seized an opportunity to escape, :<jifV ^ 

- - From ibis time his mii^Qles became mor^ rarre, aoiii 
tfee aeal of the people subnded. It was therefore nftt' • 
eessary to rdsindlie it: Jesus accordiagly performed ^ 
miracle by caring a man born blind, with a little eartih) 
moistened with spittle. This man was a well knoWQ 
tnendtcsint, whom they could not suspect <^ any ^rtif 
lice. Yet tbey would do, longer tolerate him after be " 
iiad received his. sight; an inctdent whcch no doubt 
diminished the alms he was in use to receive ; but per- 
haps he was otade a disciple ; and indeed some leg^i4s 
assert that, iafler the death, of Jesus, he cai^e iutQ Gaul, 
where he became a bishop or iiispector, whiej^ at lea§| <: 
presupposes good organs of vision. 
:-(J^ thia4;^S;;it i»Jiy^ tie pr^ made a: nttise ^pd 
, came tothe laiowle^gQ.O^ the Pbai'isees. Thd t^V^^ 
% undbrweftt-ftfi ex4ii»iiiatiooL; he openiy coa^essedikb^ 
V ^tre:called-Jei[jtis had\:ure^ him witba cky cf faoacaBfef* 
^ position and sonae ^atl^n^si^nSUoam.' It mtft^^^^^ 
eves, be acknowi^dgefT tbM tb^ bad humour bf^ic? 
Pharisees went a little to^ far oiii thi^ occasion. They 
^tnade it a crime for the phystciadi to have coin posed, ^ta 
oiiitinent on tbeSftbbath) aiid fortaed : the pfc^tAJ^ 
ekcbmjptiiiic^tihg W^^ should eo^nte&uo <we 
physician. ,^^ . ^ ^ 

. ''^39i^i»^i0m>m*i ii^i^ ^-fri -ns^J a^i 

-' ' ' ' ■ - ".^ » ' ■' ■ ' 

■ ■■ . ■ •' . - ,- T;'; .."'","■ .-'^' -'' 

t ■ * ■ ' ■ , .^ i . , , ■ ■ ' ■ 

- ^ .. , , - ■■' 

piiwer of exconimuhication among the Jews; he fouoc]^'^ 
himself crossed in all his dedigDS ; and dared nQt ven»^ 
• tare to preach jn^ Jerusalem, or shew himself in. any,' 
other place; every thing, even his miradles, turnei 
'against him. It was not eveii without some difficulty, ."» 
that he had escaped from thei[:apital. At. a little dis*47 
tafece' he knew- of an asylum and society in Bethany; -/v. 
where his friend Lazarus possessed a bouse. He-acf:y 
cordingly took the resolution of retiring thither; but-^i'^ :^ 
\^though it was a large house, the' party that accom pat ;[ 
; nied him might have incommoded their host. .TbicS^r 
>'d€te^min«3 JeSus to send seventy of bi$ disciples on as^^ " 
J mission to Judea/to whom it appears, be ijow gavfi 
■ ;Teiy ample powers; for on their return we find them 
applauding themselves, and overjoyed ait .the'facility - 
with which they expelled the devils. > •; ' 

Scarcely bad Christ arrived at Bethany, when, in i:, 
orderto receive him in a becoming m^AUer, they prjfti 
jateired ahanquet. But tb^ voluptuous Magd^ade, <x>n- 
tent to devour with, her. eyes heir dearSayjour^^ leCt 

,~'*^ Jesus, it is said by some ^fniers, was ve^ bdki^l, 
liiuchvery natoralty accounts fin tb(l» Magdalane's attacb- 
;!fiait fo'bim. We liave a small tract, in Latin, (m:^ bet^ufy 
^ Chtist^ composed by a Miniirie nailed Fijaret, and -iimtqd 
uoder the title of De smgvlahHi lesu Chritti J>. N. Salvatorif 
pKlduriiyi^oey in l^o. Paris, 1651. In^ the suppcxititioaB 
letter of . Lentuhis addressed to ibe Roman senate, will bb 
found an exact deaaiption of the p6ra<m' of Jesus. 'CSodcr 
Apoeryph. N. T. tome I, p. 301. — Others, however, have 
maintained, that Jesus, to shew his humifity, assumed a pity 
mgl^ visage. It woukl reaUy be gratifying, ; if some c^^r 
inan or laymaa of the present day would point out <Hie particular 
^ to the life, character,^ or person of the M«S^, in wludi all or 
ev^ only two of hu bistariaiis agree. 

■•■ -■'' ■""■".(^■'c :-■--■ . • - ] ;■-.•.■ 

:■->: :.r" ■'^■'- H^-')^ %--^v-v: ... 

■^ -<-• 


-■ V f 

. 'C " - 







Zi^- ' 



^n :'. 

".^ ? ." 


f -'' - 



■>'■ - 


, J*'- 


' ^'' .V 



... -H*"' 

■ >■»'": 






■-■■'- iV^v,". 


ir\'- - 


-.:?'% fSir:, 


■-. V 



. v 


;^- i •:■..■ .^- ■ ^ - - ^ ■■*■,'■. 

Mattha' her sister, t6 sujjerintend the arrangements ^ 
in the kitchen, while she herself continued at his f€et.J 
Peevishness, and pei^haps jealousy, got the better 6i^:^' 
•/.Martha; she came and scolded Magdalene, but tl^ 
- tender Messiah undertook the defence of. his peniten^^r 
* : and asserted that she. had chosen the better part ; brof : 
> ther Lazarus, who came in unexpectedly^ terminated 
. - the squabble by orderinjg them to their work*. ' 

;T This little altercation, however, was the cause why 
Jesus did not tarry long at -Bethany.— When aborfit 
leaving it, a Pharisee, through pure curiosity, invito 
him to dinner. ' The Messiah accepted his invkation; 
but mir unpolished Jew had not the civility ta give his 
guest waterto wash with. This occasioned him a fine 
rr* lecture on charity, filled with marvellous compartsoM;; . 
}' which, howeveri we^shall pass over in silence, as one 
orator so frequently conned over the same lesson, and 
- as' this dinner appears tp bea repetition of one we have 
^" already mentioned. -^ * • i Csuj ro i- /^ 

i From this period, till the feast of the dedication bf 
} the temple, our hero wandered in the en vircus of Jer«ii> 
4; salem, along with his disciples, whom he incessantly 
!v ; entertained with the grandeur of h is aerial kingdQiii|, 
£ and what it was necessary to do in order to enter ife; 
It was, according to St. Luke, on this occasion, ani^ 
according to St. Matthew, in the sermon on the mount, 
ihat he taught the apostles, whp could notr^idd/a 
fbbrt prayer, called, since that time, the Lord's prayer, 
which (injurious as it is to the Divhiityi wboiti it 
seems to .accuse: of leading k* mtotemptaihn), Chns- 
^itos^tillrieoxitinue toc»pepeat. .v=^j^ijiL,iV v/ ..nRw^, 


lOUt j 

Meanwhite titoe win on widiout any tdirrfiftt^. 
Tbje cessation of prodigies and preaching occasioned ' 

; that of altns. Jesus again hazarded a sermon in a vlt- 
la^ ; hut although it attracted the admiration of the .: 
people, who asked nothing hietter than to admire, it\^ 

," produced no effect. Towards the end of Christ's mis* / 
siofQ weno longer see the crowd running after him. — If r 
he wished to -perform a miracle, he ws» under the -tooip i 
eessity of caiUng thos« he wished to^ure. For eighteen t 
jfeacs an old w^man of this village had been quite bent; 
it was, according to the language of the country, the i: 
^eiRil, who had kept her in this inconvenient posturew-~ 
Jesus Galled her and exclaimed: " Woman, thou art ,. 
loosed from thine infirmity*." The old woman made J, 
<^Eorts to become straight ; she approached the feet of y 
the Messiah wit^ the pace of a tortoise ; he lajdhis band \, 
On. ber, and' immediately she walked upright like a : 

w;ench of fifteen. At this time the devil spoke not a ^~ 
word on his departure ; on which it has been remarked ;; 
that SataiQ fbllowed always the opinion of the specta- | 
jbi^« of the Savioiir*s miracles, and marvellously coii^ ^^ 
^ided with them in acknowledging or rejecti'ng Christ . 
TbiB aiuilQgOQS conduct of tbe spectaitors and Satan, , 
ti^^ perhaps^ the result of the excommonicatipn fuliBt> ^J 
jaatjed i^atnst all tvho regarded Jesus as tbe Messiali . v 
- jM^lie repuiti^ton of John Baptist subsistied still on the .^ 
^91^ pi the Jpfdan. To excite the primitive aeal, or ,^; 
jjterbaps with an inteot to induce tbe disciples of John, ^' 
wkp bad borne; him such ftatteriag testimony, to follow 
.bun, Jesus tamed towaids that quarter ; but the at- 
tempt was fruitless. He succeeded no better in curii^ ;, 

> .^-i-.. ' >.i^-i ?ti '/^-^s^iC.--* 


e.yf Stk^WavaaK.:!!: ,^-: 




tt dropsidal person' that chanced to be in the houi^ie of 
a Pharisee who gave the Saviour i dinner. His ctrre^ 

■ , ^ere adttrired^ but he spoiled all by his extravagaitt 
,Argtmentfr, so ofit^nsive were they to the gi^atest pirt 
t)f hid heslrers. As a lait resource he Assayed to attach 
to himself publicans, officers, and such like disr^putJ^ 
bib petsons ; but these were only feebie ptops, and 
fbeir familiarity oiade him lob^ the little esteem which 
others stiA entertained for hiiii.* 

' \The sight of puuisbni^nt ha» often joccasioncd' ibe 
loss of courage even to the most determined b^tb; 
Ours, agitated by a crowd of untoward events, itna^gihed 
that nothing being dearer to men thanrHfe, and nothing 
"^nore difficult than to come badk after leaving it, th^ 
^ople of Jerusalem nolwithstanding the cldmours of 
the priests would not fail to declare in his favour if h1^ 
could succised in making them belii^ve that he had the 
^idWer of raising the dead. Lazarus the intimate friend 
of Jestis, appealed to him the fittest person iiu tbd 
WOiW for presenting to the public the spectacfe of i 
itead mail brought agaitf to lift. Wheti every thitig 
was f)>rOpterly concctted and disposed, Christ Set out 
for Bethany. Learni^j^ tbis^ Malrtbki and Magt^laor^f 
sent to meet himyand publicly itiformedvhim that their 
brother was very srcf . Jestrs made thenk no answei', 
bnt<8peakidg aloud so as to be heard, 'VThis sickness,"' 
said he, " is Hot uirtO deatfe, but for the glory Of GOd." 

-i-^-This was already telling too much. 

Instead of going to Bethany or any where else, 
Christ remained two days in a village without doln^aflfy 

*••'« • . ' . - ♦- e* Wu.^- ^ eft: 't ..tL- .^ 



thing; thereafter he told his apostles that it wag pe- 
cessary to return into Judea. He was already there 
at the time he spoke, but he meant no doubt to speak 
of the capital. They represented that it would be a 
very imprudent journey, as a short tintie before the 
populace wanted to stone him. We see that Jesu& 
said this oh purpose to give room to his friends to iu" 
^ vite him not to neglect brother Lazarus in his sickness. 
Besides the following words evince that he had no in- 
tention of going to Jerusalem. Our ir\etid Lazarus 
sieepeth; but J go that I may awake him out of sleep, 
H-On hearing this the apostles thought he had reco- 
vered. Jesus declared to them thtit he teas dead, and 
that he was highly pleased with his not having been 
present at JLazarus's decease, as it would aft'ord means 
to confirm them in the faith- tir^ ; / 1 : , ;o^ ais*v| i^ii 
^ The two day« which Jesus passed in the village, 
joined to the long space of time he took in going about 
half a league, were immediately converted into jfoun 
~ days from the time he pretended Lazarus was dead. 
At last he arrived at 'the abode of the defunct, whpm 
they had deposited in a vault adjoining to his house, 
and not Recording to the custom of those days, in a 
sepulchre put of the city. After some questions put 
to Martha on her belief, he assured her, that her bro-^ 
ther would rise again. Yes, said she, but it will be at 
the last day. Here our Thaumaturge affected to be 
very sensibly touched; he trembled, he wept*, in- 

" \* At Yendome, in the monastery of the Holy Trini^, is 
^ preserved the sacred tear which Jesus shed while lamen&ig 
bte fdend Lazarus. M. de Thiers, a Frenchman, having had 
the resolution to write agdnst the authentid^ of this rdic, got into 
(dangerous scr^te with the BeBedictioes. 

'V. '":.r 


. .voked the aid of heaven, caused himself to be brought 
to the vault, made it be opened, called on Lazarus with { 
ia loud voice, and commairded him to come forth. The" 
dead man, thoupfh tifed and wrapped up in his grave . 
clothes, arose and was unloosed before witnesses at the 
entrance of the vault. 
-i^It must be acknowledged, that this, prodigy wag 

-•conducted with very little dexterity. St. John, the ' 
t)nly Evangelist who relates this striking miracle, in 
vain props his relation with the presence of the Jews: ; 
he destroys his own wOrk by not making them come 
till after the death of Lazarus to console hfs sisters. 
It was necessary that the Jews should have seen him ^< 

' 'die, dead, and embalmed ; that they should have felt the ^ 
stneM of his corruption { and that they should have con- ■ 
•versed withhimafter his coming oiitof the tomb*. CJn- , 
'bdievers, who have treated on miracles, have exhausted 
all the darts of criticism on this one. To investigate *' 
it would be only repeating what j;hey have said. The j 

■■- Jews found in it such strong marks of knavery, that , 
far from being coaverted they took more serious mea- 
sures against Jesus, who having, intimation thereof 
withdrew towards' the desart to a city called Ephrem^i 

* where he abode with his disciples. In the mean timej 
the cities and villages were enjoined to refuse him aAt 
asylum, and the inhabitants to deliver him up to the 
magistrates. In fact, this miracle occasioned a general 
proscription of the "Messiah. On presenting himself 
;at the gates of a town in Samaria, they at first refused 
to let him pas's; he was not permitted to stop at Jerii 
cho, though he there gave sight tp a blind manf. He 

y •St.John,xL ' ' :?^ 

-" f St Matthew ssj9y (xz. S9y &c.) that Jesiu gave aght to ttoth 
y Ufadmen. 

V -F 

there&re returned to Bethany, where he was feoeived^r. 
pot by Lazarus who had perhaps been obliged to sav^s 
himself 'on account of his being concerned in such aift 
ii^posture, but, as St. Matthew afBrms, by Simon the 
leper. Lazarus after his |'esurre)ction appeared: no- 
longer on the stage*. ' hi. 
This rejection and desertion of Christ threw tbitf 
apostles into consternation. To re-anlnaate their coo^ 
fidence, Jesus caused a fig^treei -to die in twenty-fbiir 
hours to punish it for not producing figs at a season- 
when it was physically impo^eible for it to carry aay, 
that is about the month of Marchf.— As all the actions 
of the Messiah, even when they appear foolish to ww 
dinary men, hay^ an important sigaifiqation in the eyes 
of devote^ illnmipated by faith, we oiight to perc^re^ 
in the miracle of tbjs fig-tree Poe of the fundament^ 
flogmas of the Christie religipn syp^holically repre- 
seDt4^4- Iq this point pf view, the fig-tree cursed is tbe^^r 

inass of mankind, whom, according to our theologian, 
tlie Gpd of mercy curses, 'find condemns to eternal 
flames, for having neither had faith nor grace which 
they could not possibly acquire of tfaemHeI?e8, and 
whiph (jrod does not seem to have been willing to give 
them. Thus we shall find that the ridiculous passage 
of the fig^trpe.jn the gospej, is intended to typify oi^ 
of the most profound dogma* pf the Christian religion^^ 

* A l^;eHd, according to Baronhis, affizms that Lazarus went 
afterwards to preadi the &ith to liie Provencals, tmd was the 
tot iuthop of Marseilles. lu f<» Magdabme, die went to bewail 
ho: nns aod 1^ death {£ her lover in a desart of FroveiMJf, 
cs^^lcuSc^rOe Bcaimfi (the Ho^ Balm.) Martha, as every hodf 
kaows; lies interred at Taiascon^ 

t St. Mark, xi. 20. ' " 

.. ^^ For TnaJBtainmg tfa« dogma, that tUs as vxfl as oAcr 
jNteteaded miracies of Chzist were xoss^ aU^g«nicaI> the viB> 

j^ Whilst ^esus in this manner 4n9tru9(ed his apottle^. 
by-figures and ingenious parables, they were labouring 
hard against him at Jerusalem. It appears, that the 
Sanhedrim was divided on his account. They perhap9 
wished much to punish him» but not to put him to 
death. All were of opinion that he should be arrested 
without noise, and that they should consider after- 
wards on the punishment to be inflicted on him. The 
»ao«t fiery of the priests wished that he should beseized 
in the capitsd, and assassinated during the huriry of the 
festival. This establishes that they did not consider 
themselves certain the people would not interest them* 
selves in his Sehalf. Perhaps they had great reason: 
—What a part of the populace did in his favour whejft 
he appVoBched Jerusalem, evinced that it would have 

been very dangerous to Jict openly. In purwianoBof 

^is plaq, Xhe^ secretly pi-Qini^ a. reward tp who§v^ 
fthould deliver up Jesus, and we shall soon find one of 
his apostles betray his masjer for a very trifling sum- f 
There is suffciei^t reason ^o. believe that before en- 
tering Jerusalem, Jesus c^u^d his f^pproach to be au- 
SlOiinc^ ^ his friendf..ip |i?>*^$;lly« ,Hi8 adherents Jlf?k»; 
. -,•:-■-■/'■. '■=■'-"- V[ ^',Q.:'-r ■ \ - • /^;k^ 

ilfif^ Woglstaa so &r ^cdled tlie «Kyignati«n of tl|e' dexgy', 
^(mt tfaey penectited lum even ui^to deatl^ Having heegi^^ « 
pq^K^i^ m tiie ^ng'» Beadi lor ^t^ years^ as f {wpu^ 
196^ fo^ pubWng lu« '^Dlispoivs^ on tbe W^^f ^ 
fpof* powering iotqr^ used lor his r^etuse prpvei uzuivai&^ 
if)im agjf($iiBA to t^ rancour of tl^ pjtSfestiiQod; M At lait 
^b^Qon^ H martyr to tljeewwo^lP^l^i^*^ **?•**** ^^^ 
» t^taxmte^ whid* iwf s^ prpWty #cl beap^olence caQwt 
hi «i^»9«3, . if evw efuaU«d, w th^ 'i^biole Cbiisdsn i^hucqlu 
X«i TBTfiS^t^ th« qpimop avowed by Wopbtao wi^ue ibom 
l^kichW strCTMOBsly >dd ^ ttw ijRPgt, csMt»raM ^r p«^M«f 
(^ the anient &thers. '..ysi '^" ■ - J 



boured to render his entry into tfie capital somewhat 
brilliant. As for himself, affecting to display modesty 
in the midst of his triumph, or unable to do better, 
Christ chose for his steed a young ass that had never 
been rode on, which his disciples, by his order, had 
seized with its mother. In place of a saddle, some of 
the disciples laid their clothes on the back of the ass*. 
The company advanced in good order. — ^The people, 
ever fond of a spectacle, ran to see this ; and we may 
believe that if some at tbis time paid sincere homage 

^ .'* At Verona are the remains of this ass, -preserved in the 
bdfy of an artificial ass. It was the unH. of Jesus that the 
beast he used, ^ould pass .the rest of his days in qviiet and ]£• 
berty. Weary with having so long gnawed on the pastures 
of' Palestine, the ass resolved to visit foreign countries, and 
to undertake a voyage by sea; he had no need, of a ship; 
the waves became smooth, and the liqmd elonent as hard as 
Ciystjd. After he had visited the islands of Cyprus, Rhodes, 
Candia, Malta, and ^cily, he passed over the Gulph of 
Venice, and staid scnne days in the plade where that'&mous 
city has since been built: but. feeling the air to be unhealtb- 
fill, and the pastiurage bad, among the salt and marshy isles, 
Martin continued his voyage, mounted the river Adige dry 
died, and coming up to Verona, he made choice of that dty 
for his last resdence. After he had lived there some yean^ 
Take an ass of estate and quality, he died to fbe great grief of 
the confiratemity. So lanentaUe and universal a l»raying made 
the echoes resound through the country, and never was so 
r nd a melodhf heard at the ftmoral of sudi an animal even in 
Airadra itself! But they quickly f^und a way to alleviate their 
gn^; ^for all the honours imaginable bdng rendered to the 
Uessed deceased, the devotees of Verona carefulfy preserved 
the rdiques, and put tbem into the belly of an artiSdal am 
made for that purpose, tdiere they are*kept to this day, 
io the great jay ttad edification of jaoaa aotiBl^-Missott and 

to the triumpher, the greatest number laughed at hiiii 
and shouted at the ridiculous farce*. 

The chief magistrate, fearing an uproar, endea-' 
youred to quiet the populace, to whom the disciples 
had set the example. He accordingly addresjsed Jesus 
himself, who answered that " the stones would speak 
rather than his friends should be silent." — This seeihed 
to insinuate an insurrection in case they should attempt 
to employ authority ; and the magistrate understood 
very well that this was not the moment to provoke 
■^esus... , ■ , ,^3 ^^.^ :,.J-;H;^^- . '■%:.-. 

, As soon as Christ had entered Jerusalem, he betook 

,' himself to weeping and predicting its ruin. The an- 
Qouncing of calamities was, and will ever be, a sure 
method to excite the attention of the vulgar. Some 
persons of consequence who knew not the cause of the- , 
riotous assemblies of the people around Jesus, on eohr 
guiry were answered. It is Jesus of Nazareth-— it is a 
prophet of Galilee.^ St. Mark assures us that'in this 
trapsaction, decisive in behalf of the Son of God, Jesus 
pBce more gave to the*people the pillage of the mej*- 
chandize exposed to sale in the court before the porch 
of the templet.. This is very credible ; it was indeed, 
wiser and more necessary at present than at the formei- 
period. ■ ' c:;^;., n'eWil^:.. 

,. I Profiting by the tumult, Jesus cured a great ijaany- 
blind and lame people. Whilst these wonders were 
performing on one side, they exclaimed Hosannah on 
the othert> Some besought the author of these es^^ 

* St Matt xd. St Mark, ^ St. Lakt, liz. and J|^ 
John, xiL • i-- 

■ t St Mark, zL 15. '•■ .■.)i;,, .■-vr.;c-;i'5*V: ;. 

^:3f J stMatfrd.14. St John, am. ' ■ -^H^^^^^-^;''^' 


d^ffiiiMit* aii4 6t~ Ms' iMiiMto Itol^ tBeifiti ; Ixill tfie 
Messiah ba<^ DO longer measures fo observe — He pef- 
teived it was necessary to gain over tlie popular en-:.,; 
thfisiasDi, and that it would be silly to appease if. 
Besides, the uncertainty of success had thrown him in- 
ta distress, which hindered him from seeitig or under- 
standing anything. A child, frightened or too much 
pressed in the crowd, began: to cry v^hiie .fesus wis 
Sjpteaking, "Father, sAve me from this hour.** Thej' ' 
to6k the child's voice for a voice from heaven. St. 
John, iporeover, informs us that the disciples had 
psts^ed op the people the famous mrracfeof Lazarosy^ 
r^iurrectioD, ^hich attested by eye witnesses, mti'8ti>^ 

' few* made ^ grcSft impression on the astonisheid vulgaifi^l 
They did not entertafn a donbt.that the voice from 
leiven wM^h^ they had h^rd, was that of an ang^ 
vrhd bone teM^mony to Je^s; and the hitter profititi^ 
deiteipusly of the occasion, said to th'ein, " 'thU 

' lr6iee camae^ nt>t ^ecatnse of me, but for your sakes.**^ 
He Afterwards took occasion from thence to harrangul: 
the people; and! announce himself as the Christ; hMi 
fcfr spoiled his sermon by expressions which sftewed th^ . 
frOttble into which bis apprehensions had thit)^n hiif^ 
atid nbtf knowing how to dfraw froth the ciircaioil^t&nci^y 

: all the adi^ntage it seemed to promise,, he left the citj^|^. 
diiid Retired to Bethany where He passed tfte ni^t witl^ 
MEi'<KseipIes; '" 'w 

^'Ib general our hero was subject to \oW spirit,— - 

f Wfe constantly fitod in him a mixture Of audWci ty addf 
pusillanimity. Accustomed to strike his blows in the. 
cSfiwtftry, aiid atjjidng rude afltfignoriinf people, he did. 
not know bow to conduct himself in a city, of to slic- 
ed against vigilant and intelligent enemies. , ns^^i^ 

^ .■ . 


' • \ '-'.''- : ^ ■ ^-^"-■■•*'-a:',' 

. :■..>■- ■ ^ 

- -. -f •:;...^^'w%5^-: 

' - * 

••. '■ ^\ :' '■ ' '; ^ </~Si^ ,i ' 

: ~>;i t^.; 

;;■>-, 'ij'*/ . ■ ,.''-t^. 

'^ Thus he lost the froit of his m^norable journey, 
"which had been so l6n^ before prbjeeted. We do not 
indeed fiiicl that after tbfs he rieturned to Jerusalerft, 
except to undergo^ hi§ trial, ^ Melftnfcholy and fear had 
deprived him of all priBSence ofmind^ and his disciples 
"were under the necessity of remtndin^ him that it was 
tinje to celebrate the Passover. They asked him wHere 
be wishied tbem to go and prepare the-entertainment : 
, He bade them take the^ first house they met with, which 
they did. A chamber was provided for them where 
^hi^ assembled with their master, wlro, ever occupied 
with his sorrowful thoughts, gave them to understand 
that this Passover would likely be /tbe.last which he 
«hofuld celeblrate with them.— His khguage was 
inoumful; he. hathed their feet in order to teach them 
that humility was essehtiaily necessary when they w^itt 
^Veakesti Having afterwards sat down to tables he 
made them understand in hinguage su;ffi6i6ntly explicit 
that he was afraid of being betrayed' l^ one of them, 
Th<Jre'^§i "fevery reason "to bislieve tbai'hlssuispicibtjs feft ' 
principally on Judas, whose frequent gOihg to and 
tbining from theijoirees of the priests might be fcnowi^ 
to hTs'mnster: As Judas was treasurer to the party^ 
and cbnsleqtfehtTy charged With paying ihe expencesi' 
of the entertainment, Jesus wished ^tlbo l>e understbcKl 
that they w^re then regaled at' the expense of his li^ 
«Bd his blood. '* Take/' said be to th^m inra iigujca-* • 
tive ' style; ** ib* this is my body^*^*-*Thef eaiPter'he 
'^ve them the ciip, sdying'tbat it waV ** bra blood whtcii 
wWtoii« shed fOF thfetn.'' . Jadas^ veijy jeadtly com^ 
^ehending tl^ nieaning of this en iginft« arose ftovsi 
table; and iiiQi,mediately withdr^Vv : ,, but Hhe othes 
«pMtlei did opt ttndenta&d it It is, ^w^er, on tbti 

emblem that some doctors have since built the famous . 
dogma of transubstunttatiqn ; they enjoin rationai 
brings to believe, that at the word of a priest bread is 
changed into the real body y and wine into the real blood of 
Christ ! They have taken the figurative words of oujr 
missionary literally, and have employed them in forin* 
ipg a mys/er^, or rather ' the most curious Juggle that 
ever has been devised b/; priests on ^^.rpose to decjeiy^ 
mankind** .^^4-.:,j.v;,:- ■■ J/,/*"- ' ■" --t^ 

-! After supper our guests retired with their nr^aster to 
the mount of Olives/ where they thought themselves 
in safety J but .our hero did not entertain the- sam^ 
opinion.' ,S€arcely had the Man^God entered the^ajv . 
den ot Oliver when a moital terror seized htm;, be 
yrept like a child and aDtici|[)ated the pangs of deatl^ 
His . apostles, ^ more tranquil, yielded to sleep, and 
Jesufr, who was afraid of being surprised, mildly r^ 
proached them— r** Could you not,?' said he, " watcb^ 
wi^ me one hour ?" Judas, whom we have seen de- 
Jp^ar^ suddenly, and who had not roomed the par^y^g^ve 
extreme uneasiness to .Christ, and every moment rer 
doubled his terror. It is affirmed thjat an angel came 
to strengthen hiin in his situ^ation': Yet be was a^er*- 
wards seized with a bloody swj&it, which can onl^ 
denote a very gret^t weakness, c, fa 

jo'-- :'-'j.4'^fS-^^-A • ■; ^^^f•^^J;•*^^y'i^(^^■:: 
* TIk Fhrtestants are ymmg Ja. zeiHroachiii^ the "C^thofici 
w|th die iiOgEQak -<£. irtmstJntantiaiioa. Those wbp; b#efi^ 
that God coold be ^mofe^ ought not, to hold osiers ridi- 
culous who 8^ that God can be <^An^d into bread. If thie 
dogma c^ trapasubstantiation is an absurdity, it is a verj an- 
dent one in the churdh, and only evinces the jnrqtl^ious t^ 
ctality of the first of the Mthfid. . St^ Pai4' St. IgAatJai<> tlie 
aaartyx^ St Iroihiiy^ flpeak of this absurd ^i^^ 
tJathoBcs, i, 1, ' " 

-,:-■ -^ iiT^ i --^ 

" J ^ 

. • ,/ -'^ ^^7.;,-V^ 

vS . - 

\:' ''K- '"'. C:'-",_^ 


: ' ^ 

■'::'U ■■':■'■. '\. ■ 


. ■ : :' 

!^■>,.. -r-S- 

■TlW agitated condition af the Saviour appears vei^' 
surprising to persons in vvhose mindis Mth bas>Ilot' 
^emoved every difficulty the gospel presents; they are: 
much astonished ta find such weakness in a God wfa<r 
knew from all eternity that he was destin£Mi to die for 
the redemption of the human race. They aver, that 
God his father, without exposing his dear innocent son 
to such cruel torments, might by one word have par- 
.doned guilty men, conform^ them to his views, and 

- remitted their iniquities : they think that the conduct 
of God woiild have been more simple and generous in ' 

^ apposing his wrath at less expenee on account of an 
apple eat four thousand years ago. But the ways of 

_. God are not- those of men. The Deity, ought never= 
to act in a naturdl vrky or be easily understood. It 

^ is the essence of religii^, that men should never 
comprehend -any part of the divine conduct;'' this fur- 
nishes to their spiritual guides the pleasure of explain- 
ing it to them for their money.* . 

Whatever sentiments we may entertain on this, it is 
certain that the Man-God, on the appFoacli of his 
death, shewed a weakness which ihany ordinary men. 
would htush to display in a similar situation. Mean- 
while the traitor Judas, at the head of a company of 
arqhers or soldiery proceeded towards Je$u,9 whose 
retreats he knew. A kiss was the signal by which' the 

.. guards were to recognise the person whom they had 
orders to seize. Already Christ beheld the lai^honis 

"^fSmie^ hsEve tiiougiit that &e ISeigy oiikbc serve arU 
hflotier ^i^gaktet despotism, but eiqpetiaice six£cteiitly> picnrdi 

mi t^ body on afl occa^ifltfs ^stiPoUites for ^ ^Ym tetoests 



.V.;..:"v.:5l=-:^:i-;.-:::^,.-v:-: ^ ..;..--. ^;.c--. 

• , advancing which lighted the march of these shirri;. 
and perceiving the iiQ possibility of escaping, he made 
a virtue of necessity. Like a coward become despe- 
' rate, M resolutely presented himself to the partyi^ 
V ** Whom seek yef* said he, with; a firm tone:-^ 
' * \* Jesus/' answered they. " 1 wn he** Here Judas 
t^oiififmedv with a kiss this heroical confession. The 
apostle&^ awakened by the noise^ came to the succoujp^^ 
of their master- Peter,, the most -zealous ainong therBj 
cut oflE" with a. stroke of his sabre the ear of.Malc^ua 
servant of tiie High Priest.* Jesus, observing the 
inutility of resistance, commanded him to put up his 
sword, set in order the ear of Malchus, (who escaped 
at the expense of being frightened^ ,aivd afterwards 

* Is It not' eKtraordinsBy that Jesns^ who inculcate the 

doctnne of ^oii-resistance so far as to enjoin that ''to .fahn 

who ^niteth on-, the right cheek we should turn the left also,.*-. 

pemdtted any of his disciples to wear a sword? Does liot 

this show that Clmst himself felt the difficulty of coidformlng 

to his madms, and at the same time MfiBing that part in sot^ty 

which nature has assigned to ^ mankind?. Accordmg^ ^ td 

Lactantins, no christi^ can be a soldier. The en^tiror 

Charles V. used to say that "behjg a warrior it was impos- 

" J, nble for him. to have either conscience or reUgion." H?s ge« 

• . " neral, the Marquis de Fiscaire^ said, ". thai nothing was 

>: mrae difficulf than to serve at one; and the s^me time the 

A^ God Mars and Jesus Christ" Gener^y speaking, notbmg 

,/ is more contrary to the spirit of Christianity than the pro». 

/ |. fe^don of arms; nevertheless, tiie most chm;^ princei have 

- / •' most inmierous armies, and are perpetually at war. The 

v^- dergy also would be extremely sorry if the maxims of the 

.r - .f evwogeSatSt' or the Christian meelmess, Were to be xigidly 

'^ fbUowed. It in no wise accords with their intererta. They 

have^occa^ott too: soldiers, to gire toUdity to their dootxineft 

' ,} ^ their <K»tn« rights f-^How long, loae^ «^ ye rem^ 

// '/ t|ie dupes erf an iDtCTested priest hood ? ; 

■r . . 


■^ , 

surrendered himself to, and accompanied those who > 
bad come to seize hitn. 

It Is related that the party who- came on purpose to 
apprehend Jesus, were forced at first to ^iye ground.-^ 
The fact is very probable : it was dark, and the archers 
perceiving the apostles but very indistinctly, might 
believe that their enemies were more numerous than 
in reality, and therefore be afraid of being surrounded : 
but plucking up courage they fulfilled their comhals- . 

4don. , -^ 

- Whilst they bound the Son of Grod. with c(Mrds,'he 
besouglit the chief of the detachment not to molest 
his apo^les, and as they wanted himself only, he easily 
obtained his request, ^t. John belieVes that r Jesus 
made this entreaty in order to folfil^ prophecy ; but . 
it appears our hero thought it was neither usjeful noT 
just to involve men in hisTuin, whose assntance migbt . 
Btin be necessary to him, ^or who, being^t large, wotd^^ 
have -a better opportunity to act in his favour- , - •<. 

.,- .iivt(m$r::W- 


'^V <>■; 




■^ ' -V '■■'■.':- ' , ■•;-■■ '-'.-^ ^.'. ; ^.Wr-.'' 

WHEN the enemiea.of Jesas saw Uipa in their hands ^ 
they were not less embarrassed than before that event. W 

From the time the Romans had subdued the Jewish > 

» ■ ■.'■'.•- 

nation, they had no longer the right- of the 8word,,,j. 
To punish Ihose who had iB^Ded against religion^ it, j^r 
was sufficieat at any fomier period* that the high priest. ,,.^ 
immounced sentence on the culprit The Romans^ ^; 
more' tolerant in this point, rarely punished with 4^ 
death jf and, besides, to take away life they required ~' 
decisive proofs against the accused. 

Annanias, father-in-law of the high priest Caiphas, 
was known among the Jews for a very subtile man. It 
was to Annanias* house, therefore, that they first con- 
ducted Jesus. We are ignorant of what passsed in 
this first scene of the bloody tragedy of Christ; it is 
only to be presumed, that he underwent an examina* 
tion which proved no way fevourable to him. , 

From the house of Annanias they conducted Jesus 
to that of Caiphas. He was the man most interested 
by his office in the ruin of every innovator in matters 
of religion, yet we do not find that pontiff speaking 
with anger; he conducted himself according to law 
and aa a man who understood l^it professioiL-o 

• V' ■' -•^"■■■-' . ' - . ' ,- -■■ '^^ ■'"--■■''"•■■■■ - . ' ^ '''. ' .. ■ 

'■-■''• ; . ■■ ■ ^ .-■ ^-, %» . '-^ '■■''"'- W — ■ -^ ^; --.■-^" .' > .V?': ;V;- ,''.v .';';, 

1 " ' 

V^ I 

' ** Vf ho,** said iie to Jesus, " are your disciples, j^h^r 
' -f number and names ?" Jesus, made no answer.— ^ , 
, / * But at least/* continued Caiphis, ** explain to nae 
I' ytHir; doctrine. = Wtiat end does it-purpose ? you must 
hiiire a system. Tell^isthen what itis.'- At last the 
,^ Messiah coodesceaded to say, " I spoke pp^nly to the 
\ .[ world ; it is not I, but those who have heard me, tha|^. 
ought t^'bfe interrogated." 

Heresone ^of the offioerff of the hig'h priest gave 

Jesus a blow on the ear, saying, " Answerest tUoe the 

high priest so^?** The reprimand was hajrsh,.but it 

inujst be 6wn6d, that the answer of Chridt was kittle 

i ti^spectful to a man invested with authority, ahd the 

■ i flight of put^ng questions in order to discover th« 

"^ truth from the mouth of the acqused. Jesus ought 

, J- to have been better acquaiirteid with his own doctrine 

}• than th^ |}i^8bnts of Gahlee or Judea, before .whoii|^ 

h6 bad tiif dagh prefei-erice affected to preach in an 

' > , unintelligible manner. It was therefore very just and 

natural to sUppdsei that Jeidos could give a better ac-, 

;- coUntiof his true sentiments and obscure parables^ than 

an ignoTJlht multitude who bad listened Vvithout being 

>• ever ab16 to comprehend him. He alone could bej 

-^ supposed to possess the s«:ret of unitii^ into system 

^ the scattered and i|ncond|^d principles of his. heft? . 

- •♦etily doctrine. ■. ■ 7''~^~^^-tv#i^'- •■ .;■..; .\.,,-^ 

Caiphas, unable to draw any-thing from the accusedj 

' ■ " * ' '". •.'■'•■:' 

- ^ r*We remark jwith.« Chrjst forgot <m tluf 

Oepa^on to put in pratstice t)ie 'expeUent ^ connsel whitdb.. he 
bad ; given . in th^ senitHm on the Mountj-rrwhen 'a pesrsoii 
recdves fi Ubw^'onti^one die^ to ttuii-the othier^: -so trn» 
itis, thfi^ .preaidiers do not alwa^ act as they pceach to 

/>"^J» --)',-(,:., "t" 'y 


X jr.^ 


.>j^%raitcd till next morniE(g,,wheii the council w<>ul4 -^y*^ 
«85erobl«, in or^er to contiuue this inquest. Christ 
^^peared bueibre the Sanliedrio), tbe most respectabte 
, tribunal in the nation. /The gospel represents th6 ^ 
priefti and chiefs of the Jews occupied during the 
whole night that Jesus was arrested, in searci^ing fqr 
and suborning /a&£ witnesses against hlna.; Tja^y pro* 
duced two pecsons^on whom they very unjustly bestowed 
this epithet, These witnesses indeed deposed to a fact 
verified by the gospel itself.-^** .We4iettrd bim *ay 
that be would destroy the temple, and rebuild it ia 
three days.'* It is at least certain, that < Jesus had - ^ 
uttered, these words, " Destroy this temple, and in 
three days I will raise it up*,** But the poor witnesses 
knew not that he then spoke in bis figurative 4tyle» 
Their mistake was pardonable, for according to the 
gospel, the apostles themselves did not discover, the 
true sense of thes€i words till after , the resurrection of 
their master. v .^ 

^ Tliis evidence was not sufficient to condemn Jesus 
.Ito death. The Jews; however iniquitous we may sup- 
pose them tojiave been, did not sentence fools to die| 
and these words of Christ iliust have appeared to them 
the mere effect of delirium. Accordingly the bjigh[ 
priest contented himself with asking, whalb^^e bad to 
answer ; and as the accused refused to speak^ be did not 
further insist on t^at point. . /. ? 

fie passed then to questions more serious : ** Are yoii 
the Christ ?*' «aid he # ^esus; How' <Jid the Messiah 
' answer this question ? ** If I tdl it you, ^rw will not?' 
believe me, and ,you will ii'ot suiSer mfe id' d^pait. But:. ; 

f St. Uatt xzvi 61. St Sfaik, sir. AS. St JoEm; IL l»-^: 



94$ ' ' - 

ftefieailer ti'ie Sop of (nan shall sit on the right hand of 
God."-^-^* You aje then the Son of God?" continaed 
the priest— -" You have said it," replied the accused. 
^^hiii it is not s.uffil;ient that we should say it : it U 
^jj who are to ausWer; onee more, are you thf? 
iChri^l ? I coiyure you hy the living God t6ll us if yoa 
a»febt« Son ?**—*"** Ywi h»ve said it,'* answered JesuRt 
«^he S^tt of rMrari;" (f. e. the Son of God)^^ « shall one 
]iiy Joth6 in' tfiie clouds of heaven." NotWithstandui| 
t^ese\ perpleixed apswre^s* the judges iaiagined l^hej^ 
understood the meaniag :of hi;^ woFdf_ ; and they plainly 
jSKroeivedj that h<e w^ed to give himself out for- tMe 
Son of God. ^ He hat% sjftokeri blasjJhei^y," i%id ttiefi 
Wd linhie^lAt^ corsiWdfed, tha^^^^ deatti*, 

4^'iudgrnertt wisiiqiyvv^v^ according t$) the Uw of 
4l^,Jew<^, and whicp ^ysyilso appear so to Chjrist^^lh . 
rWrbiQi&ei sffiguioaty l&wis pUnbh' with death those whoi^^ 
*lie clergy i^a^elisd^ of: '%twspheflQy:-^Th^ GhrtSti^ns 
%fi¥ir thfetefo^iiho'l^ blij^e %e fcons^dret o^ the 
^f^^s^ ib'ofl^n imifai^ei feyTeccieslasticat'and sfeiquiaE 

i^.i^i&l>d0i^t'iia(gist|M» ||ai{ d^^ ftpqtf'ni^mGfe fo provi^, 
•dar Si the fooaetB t>f ifesus CMirt;^ «<Sck>rdnig to ^e ira^bBlil^ 
Adfanne^ «jf . Lni^ XIV; tbea^ ^irire tbirtf^twa fiidltie& Theie 
afifl jf t^ ly :W^iiM.'t/wnfe\ih» fbstnd toiir ' nt^d^ adticnedBig* to ifii^ 
^ctrispnideoIcK o£tiieInquiMti<«, iwlto bian^^Iaspliiti^ 

4iaf*flfied tndi8ytedJibt*oi£ .<>';■ ^ • "-<: .J .fv-./ 

V-t J|««ii -^iie M^Ttteve'iicoqadei!^ it tlidr dutjr to ^i^ttKe 
tbese-^'ftBrbcicus'^ifioMilde^i'^ ' W svei^ ^ ^y, says lifixabit^il, 
-^aflb dMti^ffcliiiinr, «r)1|eHia(ttei3» of hea^> hooichdnks the ]i^ 
'«ital»;^'«qititablft^ aad »^<Mi«[lictft evet^ i»die^ occasiem ; so moA 
dtat (tfaey-^nialfer it: a=^ «dtiiy to trd^ th<^ who devkte fioin 
tltffir iaade«f HpirdaB^Mirttti tfae'utoioak bpirlMEffi^. m^kdOCi 

r-^Cfaftheptherliand, if it was pecessaiy tbat C^bj^sfc 
- sbouM die ; if he wished it ; if t^e reprobation of the Jev^- 

au increduloiis person^ ceases to be a man in the eyes of »|iie 
'. superstitious.. Every society . infected with the venom \of 

le&^dhy pre8«tt8 imimnerable examjiles of jiur^cal ass^s^ 
I. nations which the tribunals commit withoHt scruple^ and 

withoi^ remorse. Judges, who are equitable on every otinr 

- occaMon^ are< no longer ^ /when there is a question befine • 

• them as to theology. • In /bathing themsehres in blood t^^ 

r believe they conform to the views of the divinity. Aktuo^ 

; ' tfvery wh^re the laws are subordinate to superstition, and are 

j^ Xeco^pEces in its fuiy. !FE%y Intimate or transform mtO 

diities those cruahies whidi dre tbe most contr^ ' to tii^ 
j^^ rites <^ humanity. — Are not all these^ aveng^re of religidfi, 

who, with gaiety of heart, and diiough .piety aad duty, },^p^ 

indate those victJ^ to it -which it i^pojats, blind intderants? 

Are they not ^tyrants who hate > die iryustice to dultage opgU 
r^ ifldff,' ^d the &illy to believe tKat they can enslave the' miiid? 
'■% Ate they not fSEuatics on- -^honr the hair, dictated by intnrttiah , 
I fsguidkes, inclose <r the 'peob^atj, , of ' becfflning ferociota ., 

bnites ? — ^L;ai not all .^iOtc oonrea^as who, to av^igjs < 

heaven, torment and persecute .th^.^subgects, and saciifiee^ 

tf J^]^^ idcMms tb thdr gods,- m^ wlumi xeBgiaus zeal^^hai / 

r^ ^ converted into tigers? ' Are not those pnests so (darefid of 

^# the souTs health, who insolently break mto the sanctuary of 

^ the thoi;^ht% ::to. t^. end that they aaay Sadi iuLtfae c^f^nions 

:of man motives for ; mjuxing him, o^iou» knaves and disttob* 
4t,'jtt9 of ,th0 ttaad's re|KMe^ : whom iifiigiaa -hraioiUB, and wfacm^ 
^'l^r^Bsen detests^^ iWtot/ vifla^^ are nime odious' in the- ^«« 

rof iHunani^ ^itm. ^oae a&maulInqmiUeny who -bj ilie 
' ^l^ind^aess of princes cn^ the adrantage of ju^pfig #ieir 
>^' own enennes, and committing thenivriOictt^ Janea? ! Neiveii- 

s^M^ the vsiiqpeniit&» 'of tiie' peQ|dr/4ildi^!them >fiaqpiecied, 
^>i .in|r:.the fe^oc- of iixigBitrfex^iiitdmR.ijfgmtit^ 

^shOTt, do iM>t a thoijunntd examines -Jvof« that rdi^^ . 

fef^iy, .wh«e i»o^i¥ie^v< oed justified ithe ,mo¥ii vaiVfOfimkMB 

{|i^n99^l -liasit not. a thousand tiilKt::8fined men/ <#idr'tte 
poBiardf of honuddes ; ]^ looie pmuom mack mtm tcnSde 


^/••'•-■■■>,.f*;..;,>--^.v:.:r;:■,:^y7t},>,> - ■ , : ■ 

_ - : r 

■,•■*: A 

was resolved on, Jesus acted vetjf ^^d^erfy^itl keepii^g 
them in error. But if this was the inteiitioir of P'rb-'* 
vidence, why preach to them ? Why p'erform miracles 
beforea whole people, whilst a ^rtiallntimber were only 
to f^rofit by it? Did Jesus wish to save them ? Itf 
that case why not convince the whole Sanhedrim of hi** 
power ? Why did he not burst hjs bonds? Why didt^. 
he not by a single word change their ''obstinate heatts?^ 
Did he wish, to destroy them? Why not then strike 
them dead ? Why not instantly precipitate thbmintd 
hell? ^ 

The judges could not comprehend why an accused) 
person, who could not extricate himself from tbeil^ 
bands, could b,e the Son of God. Thlty accord ingty 
declared him worthy of death ; but notidefinit1vely,^4^ 
it was requisite that the sehtence should b^ approved 
of, and executed by the Romans, sovereigns of the 
nation. During these transactions, Jesus was <treat^d ^ 
in the cruellest manner by the Jews, whom as well aa 

tlian tiioie wilkb it pietended to zertrain, , aaid broMi ilie 
mpst sacred boiids <^ mortals ? < Has it not, tnder the pr^ 
text (£ diatj, of Mth, of piety, and of zeal^ fkroured mt> 
el^, stu{Hditr, amlntkm and tyTaiiBy?^ Has not- the came 
of God made. inuider,,j)etMy, rebeQum,' and.' 1^^ le|^ 

timate oifajects? Have not those princes who have frequency 
made themselves the avengers iof heaven, the lictors of x^- 
'fftfa, hundreds of times, been its victims ? Jn fin^ has no^ 
:tb6i name, of God been< tbe signal ifiir the most dinnal fiiDies, 
pod ;^e loaost fingfatfld jnd :widi:ed^loiitrage8?--^Have not the 
ahars of the foda enxyyvifia^ swam in ISobdf and mld^ 
•mbxiera &im they m^y have ^exh^iited <the ,^dbity,' waft' he 
iiotalw«^ the cause or the pretext of the most insolent v|iok 
^latioftof^ rigterfhumway? : - . 

K K ■« ■ ' 

Cbristiaii's zeal permitted!, or rattier' ehjoine^, to Ve : 

'savage, •:r^,f■^>-r>-^■l^"g:s3: ???'*? ■^'■^ ■ ' " -'^'^ ' " 

It is during this night,* and. the morning of the fol-' . 
lowing day so fatal to the Sayiour of the world,, that 
we must place the three denials of St. Peter the chief 
of the apostles ; yet for him bis master had prayed., - 
His comrades, seized with dismay, had dispersed them- \ ; 
selves in Jerusalem audits neighbourhood. Several \ 
among them would have acted like Peter, if they bad 
^und themselves in a similar situation. He had at v 
least the merit of keeping near his master ; He abjured . 
tim, it is true^ but would it have been of more avail r'- 
ii,hy acknowledging him openly, Peter lihould hav^ 
'j^ntangled hinau?elf in a very scurvy affair, without be- 
' iijg in a condition to relieve the Saviour. 
^ , "The SanheKbim repaired to the palace of Pilate tWe 
Oman governor, in order to get the sentence coniV 
V, ifirmed. Jesus was conducted thither. Pilate instantly-i 
|)e.rceived,|tbat it was an affair in which fanaticism airdl^r 
' folly had the greatest share. < Filled with contempt fb^,, 
so ridiculous a motive, .be at first testifiiad unw^lingtl 
-ness tomeddleln it. J4idgehm yourselves^f said be t6 
. > 'the inagistrates. On tbis the latter because.&lse wit* 
, j^esses.! Zeal^ ^o doubt, made t^eih imagine, thTiik 
fpery thing was aUowed againit an enetny; of .relig.ion|. 
;.Tb«y interested the sovereign power ij9 their quarrrf.^-^ 
They accused J6SU9 of wi^shing. "f to ii^ais^ i^^ 
''king of the Jews," and of bavdng tisa^tatnedy tlia^ 
"'tbey ought not to pay bribute t«><!aesar." We lie^ 
cognise here the ^eoias of the dfergjr, w>o^ to ^ ruin 
their enenaies, areisever Tery fastidious in^i^ice 
4A means. Tbey especially strjye to tjefider i^« iattisr 


suspected l^ the temporal power, in order to engage ( ' ^^ 
it, through motives of self-interest, to revenge t%eir 
injuries, or satiate their passions. 

Pilate could not'avoid paying attention to accusations 
of so serious a nature. Unable to persuade himself, 
that the man he beheW could have conceived pr-ojects 
so ridiculpus, he interrogated him :—^^? Are you the 
king of the Jew»?'* On which iesus, in his turn, in« 
terrogated Pilate, and demanded .** Say you this of 
yourself, or haye others told it you ?"— ** Of what cony 
sequence is it to me," returned Pilate, "that you pre;^ 
tend to be the king of &e Jewi ? You do not apbear 
to be a naan much to be dreaded by the Kmperor ihy 
master—-! apa ijpt of your satioa ; I concern xbyself 
Yeiy little w^h your silly quarrels. ' Your prit^ts are 
yx)ur accusers—;! have my ow^ (^iniotioF them~7-bat 
they accuse you; they deliver you fnto my haqds---| 
^ell, me then. What have ^yoa ddnifr?" lesiis ioiiiglUi 
very easily hayebipiigh* hiiBself off in thfg affiiii-; huX 
in the distress he was, his judgment began to yabderi 
and, far fronts pef^na;ing the ^ft/ttfurabH dispositibn of 
Pilate, who wished to jsavebiiii, he replied; *• ttat his 
^^irigdom wasBO^ of this worlil-^hat h^ was tb^ truth/* 
&c. On this; the j^rovernorl asked }iim^;^(tt: ts the 
truth f BuLt the Saviour made no rfeply,'' tfrpqgh'ii^ 
question well desereedi a<categoricd ans^iit: 

Pilate, a little alarmed on account of Jesuit,, 4e- 
clar^d> >tha,t he •*.f<MwAi«fltbMig> h* hridi f^di||y^^ 
^Seath:** ^ ibis. ivedbiMed the cn^d bf ^is eio^i^ 
.W«iii|; learaed 4hat the isccused wa^.gT^^^t^ni^; lia^ 
^ |et quit qX ^e ii4|cuIous T^iisinem, (seizpii die^ O)^ 
iMMPhinijty tp^erid Jbiift.tq J^fid* tO; wbosfe .t€?H^iic$» 
Jesiis originally belonged. Wq have salft leStref^iiisre, 





desire was now gratified. Bat, on seeing his obstinacy 
and constant refusal to answer ttie qu^tions put to 
him» he conceived a sovereign contempt for him. To 
Pilate, therefore, he sent him back clothed in a white 
robeby way of derision. The goveriior, however, saw 
no capital crime in Jesus, and wished to save him; 
besides, his superstitious wife had a <]reara, that inte- 
rested her in favour of our missionary.* — Piiate then 
said to the Jews, that he could finnd nothing in 
the man, which rendered him worthy of death. But 
the peo|^e, mis-led, and wishing him to be crucified, 
cried out, Tolle, Tolle, away, away with ihim. The 
Governor now deviled another, plan t& save him. •*! . 
release,'* said he, "every year a criminal; supposing 
that Jesus may be culpal^le,^ I am going to set him 
free.** The cries were redoubled, a^id the Jews de- 
manded, that a robber called Barabbas should profit of 
this inercy in preference to Jestut, whose punishment 
they'^rsisted to urge. 

-4 l^he Romans, desirous to calm the rage of a fanatical 
pec^le, caus^ Jesus to be whipped. Thereafter, they 

' dressed him in a ridiculous manner, crowned himi with 
thorns, and made him hoM^ reed instead df a sceptre i 
kflter which Pilate' shewed him to the people,- saying, 
'* Behold your king ! are' you not yet satisfied } Se^ 

i^ * Jdm Mafida, and odter fidnfcaton of legends, infoim la^, 
iiutt the ^rife of FOate was call^ Froda, or Frocula. Tbqr 
hilve made a 'ffidnt of her. Some authors have nrade Pilate him« 
fdf a Cfaansthn, and even a martyr. Others affiim that Koo put 
faiJDa to deaA, fiar having been concerned in the cnuafision of Chnft* 
Othen assert, tiiat FOsti was doled to'Tknne si Dauphin^ whe^ 
iie]dBedliiiB0d£^ ^ i r^r- tr, -.. 





how to please jrou I^ have bedecked huxi* Be, then less 

^i^&i^J : Wnot ' carry ypur iniJignation f urt|ier :, he ought 

. no l6A|fer to give you, umbrage.'* V V|, 

' 'The" priests^ whose majcim i^ ysntotr tojor^vf, w^e 

iibf moved* l^' this spectacle ; it was only the|death of 

their enemy' that could satisfy thenf. .They. shifted 

thefir attacks," and, to intimidate the governor, gave 

. hin^ to understand, that by sulfering. the accused to 

live, he betrayed the interests of his master. It was 

Ihen tiiat Pilate, fearing the effects of. the "malice of 

the clergy, Consigned ^ Jesus to the Jews^ t^t they 

y iiiight 'satisfy their rage, on hiin, and . executia^ their 

pirojects ; declaring, howeyer, that '^^ he; w£^Wd hj|? 
nahds of li,"^aii<r his Opipion i^hey ; 

pfi't him '^to death. We cannot well conceive how & ' 
Kpnian 'governor, who exercised sovereign power ip 
jTudea, could yield so easily to the, wishes of the Jew^j; 
liut we cannot inpre easily Cpi|ceive ho w6bd permitted 
Jhis'bbnesi governor to become throiigb weal^ness an "^ 
accomplice in the death of his dear Sopi , . . -,,J,^ ^ 

Jesus, abandoned to, the, n^e of devotees, agjuii^^ 
Tef ed the cruellest treatmei^t.'* Pilate, to humble thpie 

X^*^ Si 'Ju^i^^ O^ltian, ; A Lad^tius, *iSEc liwre 

li^prosxhed^ %e pagans mth ike^ gocbt^ serei^ of whcnvc 
aixoi-din^ ia^ 'ibt po&s, MSL dqpeiSehced ipexs^dslGoa- and i«|ft 
usage. Ware not ~ these . rej^roach^ I»eposim«s M^ tibe 
mouflis of ti^ sdatera "tf j d^^ rf ^ 

o^ religion p6rb^ed VerV :Wiin ^ riflladoiattej b^ : ot^^^ fl^ ~r73 

aa»eriy MS;t btit never saw tiiat or flMar own^jct^pon . Lao- ^^ ^ 

,^^titis ask^the p^jiM, '*^ ik po^Kfto iakf %f a Gto* • 

. im -ejpl^ ob^eff^ tb^&f "<»• fonjk fo*; c^tc^ 'hhtaiaf ? "'Nd- 
*o^," says 'iei "fa fool enrt^h ^ &;io ; '^;JI«I' ^■;^ 
«f Mn6^ imi^- 8KbW» "ftj^t he feaftt S^ttfeniee!^^^^^^ 




of the cross to bear, that he was their king : ^qd i^ #■ 

thing could jnduce him to recede from this resolution. ,jr ;• 

** What is written is written,** said he. to. thofee who i^' 

ffeijtlfestra him to alter an inscription dishonourably. t<^ i- ;^ 

their nation. It is also propejr to observe, that this ip- ^,'^; 

scription is difierently^expressed ,by .the four evjange* f--^ 

'/ The Jews treated Christ as a king detUroned, and y" 
made him experience the most ^bfoody outrages, .^ '", 
Though he had said that, if he were inclined, he could > 
make legions x>f angels come to his protection, yet the | 
Jews, notwithstanding their natural credulity, paid n^ f :^ 
credit to his assertion, and nothing could stop their ;> > 
feliglous cruelty, excited by the priests! They made V '^ 
him tike the road to Calvary. Christ sunk unider tE(3 ^> 
Wight of his^cross, but they Ipaded one Simon withitL fi ?' 
#ho was more vigorous than biin ; the unfortunate Jesus f; ' 
must have been indeed inuch enfeebled by'^what he bajj i^- 
Sijffere^ during both the iilgtit and the moroiug. ^.v 

'* At Fast Christ was pkqed on the cross, the usqal pu- «>: . 
nishment of slaves.- He did not suffer long under the 
agonies, of ci:uci|jx.ion: after iijvokirig^his.Fatherj, and ^' 
la.oientlpg'hl^^'beingf so snaraef^^ abandi^ped, he ex> 
j>ired,jt jyjs^idybebweciitwo thieves^* / H^re:it iv {Meon> 

♦ %J|att xxvfi, 44..Su3Sf^ air.S«vavX,^«tt:\SU^ ^^^^^ 
&c it ii.„8ffld/tiiat;.Je^ wh©i dTmg^^^ccIaiipM^ MUI Elij ft >: 
hmma aalfiicictem I . (My .^r04-! pay <drOct ! v^ hett tlio^ i# > 
ioiaskea. nn^ !)l ^ . "I^ ^p^^laSaxt -m^A ietj ridiciilous in lfi|»i 
mouth ^ Qmsty the, j^ he ^cted hof^Og Jbeeir agreed tip. 
with Jua fiithoc-fitna ^ ^tcniity, be ought to bsre known vhat 
be<i{^dito^eroeQt 4AJ^^ we may appose that this .ezdamatijDfi 
was fcnxt a feint meant to deeewe tbe ijiectatonh-^ conduct Iitt|& 
becoming a divimty« « ! 


' --'r''^' 


;■ -' -^ ■"■; 

, - ■ ■ ' •" ,--'^" -i^ <"~* ' ■ -■- .V 

'■'.'i-- '^J'■lt■''-^^'*^'' 


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■J ;_ 

pel* to rematk, ttet the Holy Ghost, wtio inspired St, 
Markj mftkes JdBUS die at the third hour, that i», at 
nine Oi*clock in the morning, whilst the Holy Ghost* 
who in like tnaafier inspired St. John, mak^ Jesus die 
at the nxthhour, that is, at mid-dfay. The iiory Ghost 
is not more consistent in the story of the two thieves, 
in ^ose company Jesus was crucified. St Matthew 
and St. Mark tell us, that the two thieves insulted him 
with abusive language ; while St Luke assures us, that 
oue only of the two abused the Saviour, and that the 
Other repriAianded his comrade for his insolence, and 
besought Jesaa ** to remember him when he should 
come to his kingdom.*' But our interpreters have a 
thousand ways of proving that the Hcrty Ghost never 
contradicts himself, even when be speaks in the most 
tontradictory ntanner. Those who have Y^aith are satis^ | • 
fted with theit arguments, but they do not so power- \ „ „ •/ 
ftilly impress the freethinkers, who have the misfortune 
to reason. 

The remorse of Judas soon revenged JesUs on t\\\% 
traitor. He restored to the priests the thirty pieces 
be had received from them,^nd \vent forth with to hang> 
himself.* According to St. Matthew, the selling of 

* AgcaOmg tii ii» ^oapA al The Iftfimey rf Jems 
KQC. Jwlas was po Mcai i c d of a devil frraa bis in^mcy, and 
woidd Inte every body whsa the demon agitated him;— -he \ '^ 
«ne day bit the little Jesus on the ode, who Ml a wee^ag: (^ " " 
'ihtttOK €ame out' of J^tes ittflor the "fetm of a mad de^. 
fjaliex ApdoTp. N. *C, tcfiie 1. p. 197. Some heretida 
CbristiaijfB have much esteemed Judas Iscariot, maintaiids^ that 
^UMiout him the inyMevy of '&e redemp&Mi ooiflft not have been 
^iMOmidishM >-an ttsa ntot destitute of itiaSeift; !iideed/ v% 
ttea^^ man, -m^yhi %Sm% ^HaOtet, waa eidy the , fasfam- 
Mcnt of the salvation of the umverae, and e:Mtor «f ^ 

• ■ ' • - ' ■'* ' ' l\\. ■■■ ■ 



/ Jesus for thirty pieces bad been fpijetold by Jeremiah : 

r ijt must'bowever be obsepved, that ,the pFediction 4o^ 

^BOt appear jm the writings of this prophet, w'hich Would 

f create a suspicion, that the evaugelists, little satisfied 

I with applying to Christ some prophecies, sjuch as are 

f extant in the Old Testament, iwve taken the -liberty 

< of drawing from their own. store, or forging theini^ben 

% in need. But our able interpteters are not at all eoir 

if barrassed with this; and a holy blindness will always 

;*;|:ffevent these bagatelles ffroni being •:- . 

^'ji,;The Gospel informs us, that at the^ death of Christ 

alLnature seemed to take part in:the grand evcHat^ : At 

f jth& moment he expired there was -it total eclipse*; a 

|4rightful sriakiug of the earth was felt, 'ahd several 

> holy personages came out of their tombs to take a walk 

.on the streets of Jerusalem.* The Jews, alone had 

.the niisfortune to see nothing of all this; it ;iippear», 

that these wonders were performed only in the fancy 

i^ of the disciples of Jesus. As for the eclipse^ it was 

^^pubtless an inconceivable prodigy, which could not 

f^iiave takefi place without a total derangement ta^ the 

f^ viZK\ii\vt& 6i \)e^ woi-W. A total eclipse of ^heLSua 

4urrBg full iBOon, the tinae at which the 

^e passover was fixed by the Jews, is of all miracles 

vtbe most impossible. Na contemporary -aul^ho^ has 

J . i^eBtiofted 4t, though tiiis phenomenon Well' merits 

Jeerees. of God Iwao^sdf ? Tl^ese heretics have aba fl, gOjIfNil^ ^ 
/jl^, which theT: mdce Judas the author, Stlireiieiti^ h>, 1- 99''?^ 

,5 How then i^0aait tenned "tfa^ jSrj^ Jhtitt. of thens that 

^wiaek pi>*ccded Hat, if 4«ws V3p^hMJi>el^ ^ "P^^sm 
Jpnmliie,^adB" '- ./^vina s^>; '•> r. .. j imm ^ 



'*' • - ;^'^''' :-■'•♦ --:V'/;-*,^j'-¥i^ i-vi^"^' 

-■,>••;» ;. . ;' ^] '■>. : ';•-" -^"'^ -->' 

.:fc^-Vv.:^.?::.ivV^':- ' -• .:>-"•- V'' 

' v. ■"■ 

/ ; to;^^ ^^Dsniiti^ed TO piwyriti^.* The incr^ulous 

r": th^^l-efore mainiiin^ that tlieVe was Wed ipse oh this 

•^cv^ bcdasroni^'b^bjf tibe TOrhmcm sens^^^ whosat'^ 

\y|_ aifUfiesei'mdrv^lls, or cjjf tlife.gbod faith of the writer^ 

]:-K'^ Wfio l&aveattested th6iri^' With rejspect to the shaking 

'- <if the '^arthi t^ey" suspect that Ihe apostles' of Jesus, 

' , behtim'becl #ith fear'jjt t^^si^ht Of their divine master*s 

. rate, \pei-e*^1ie only persons Wlto felt it. In this way 

'. . . fnjJeed iitiie thing bfecomes very probable. 

V :^ - 'HV'hW'Jesiis was'dead,- or believed to 'b(^"80,t afte*^ 

> - afi iubisfort had been niadeinlns side, from which came 

• ' bldb(l attd a' Whitish fluid, which they took for watfer^ 

'; hii. ^dy wsis etitibaloaed, and depositfetJ 'in a tomb. 

. . K^ l^hls tS^al ;3bne' On' Friday evening. : He had sevef^ 

X tiiiifes^iitiihated/that he Would ri^e agaiftfiie third d^y^ 

, > '-y tlia^fs^t rtife^d of three idaysatid thi*^ nights. Yel^ 

% ir ori 'the Siifiday ^lldwririgi iearly in the morning. 

'''V^'ktS^ «rn^0ta ' fw^&>^: ' t>i!)t^ Iftli* .'Sfi 

wnteb i»eten&,' that ffife^ ecS^^'fidre ' i^oken of 

hu ^en^^attes£ed by TlK^tu,' an author wholly ui^own, and 
Iqr Ptogwi; whose ¥«n*^ no longer odBta, Ikit Has b^ ' afecl>lb|- 
^q^ Afna^fswi, a.Chiistian^au&brof tlie third coituiy. 1l^ 
fbH^rati 8a^8'mafdy,|ihat" in' tl^e i^bufth y^ ctf tlie '^^ OIy£^ 
•lad there was a <iqia&3iea(i^ ec^S(l; btit:<£ds las ndtldbg io^in^^ 
loiisin iL • ^ " * . ^ 

;;^^ jT^Mi^il^siun^ y M.'^*** ' ^: 

j4^> '.'Vfe are U^ th^' '^^y ^ nbt, ' acit^i^^fg .to cu:^^^ 
'^leat hw legs. Hiis'Sneo^'Md thfe " Tibcirty of taking away: iu$ 
%r, ^d thev' murfat 'take care' of ms wounds onfiiidiiiff tliiat 

was not aeaa,aaa ja. .tnis maimer brmg JUBt.oack to file, 
jEJeast for some time. It is proper to observ.e, tlutt they laid 
ram ^ a tomb quite new, irom wuenpe Ms coscuues nad p^hap^ 
ta^' cafV to ge^' Bim <&*• ' tTe lio\!^ever tlunM^i it our iuiir 
tomDow^tiiie vuunar cmipion, ^ 'fupposuur that oesds, was. x 
;^iv'Aaui.'' ■'' '- ■i4.1fi?i> ten io. -^/iuKnJ'jO ^^jlJ^lW c -i 

L L 2 



tomb, wherein be had been laid, was fou^ empty. 
— r-The J'^wa, always opiniative, did not admit th»t 
t lie was risen «gain. They held it more'natnral to 
tj believe thgt he had failed in his word ; or to suppose 
that his disciples had found means to cariy him p^. 
This. could easily have been executed by force; b^ 
^ bribing the guards, whom the priests and Pharisees 
had placed around his sepulchre; or by cunning. As 
Pilate took but little interest in the matter, we do not 
find that he punished the guards merely fromcompli- 
ance to the fears of the Jews» for neglecting to take 
cariK of what he had confided to them, and which, ap- 
peared to him very ridiculous. The idolatrouSi go* 
vernor, little acquainted with the resources or designs 
of the apostles, never suspected they could persuade 
any person^ that a man, whose death was well attested* 
could return to life.* It^was, however, on this .marvel* 

- ' V 

* It is not suipifsBiig thftt'a pagan abould 4oubt tbe ifemaP-: 
notion of Christ From, the first day of the chun^j sev^r^ 
Cbcnsdans have liot beKered it, permving' re^ plainfy' tlw'mcc^ 
grpty of siippoang that the Son of Qod could die; they haVie 
liierefore denied the death of thdr divine master. On this siibi^ 
Jject the followers of Ba^Sdes affinn, that Jesus at the tune of 
his pasdon assumed tjie appearance of Simon the CyreneaOj ani 
trspsferred to him his own, under which the said Shnoa was cni« 
dfied in his stead, while Christ, who behdd this without bein^ 
hhos^fseen, laughed at their mistake, St. Ireneus, Eh. L c. 3^ 
S. Epiph. hsrs. sdv. num. .3. The_ Cointhinis, or diK^pfet of 
Cerinthus, who was contemporary witii the aposttes^ 'and the 
Carpycratians, in ii&e manner, demed that Jesus could have beeii 
actuaBy crucified. Some have maintained, that the traitor Jqdfs 
vraa punished in place of his master. Yet these sectaries r^;aided 
^Thrist as a mere man^ and not as a god. Urns we find Chi^ 
tiiBis contanpoMi; with the aportles believing in Christ, and 
ye^ like her^c^ doubting of his death. — M. de TOleQiont, 

' ■ ' ' ' ■ *.'■ ' 



I »'''^ 


*1 ■',■' ■- ':' 

lous notioni as we sfialt tw^ tliat a sect was alte . 

founded, powerful enougli to subject by degrees the 

Roman empire and a considerable portion of the globe. 
On the other haitd, the pn^ishnient of our hero |^ 

must have produced very little sensation in the world,lf 
> and his adventures miwthasre been strangely unknown, }*; 
■' since we do not find that any historian, with the ex- > 

cepiion qi;t,hp^^eva9geli9)i;§^Q^e%i;aeption of t^i^ 

tome 2. p. 221. St Ep^lu hovk ^ Sfi^ 30. Theodoret Hsretk, ' 
ftb-Kb. 1. 

*Tbe cdebtated Blondd, le Fevre de Saumur, and other gpoi 
critics, have sho^mi, that the piassage of the ' historian Josephus, 

wltere he q[)eaks in praise of Jesus, has been viaUy nitnpdyteti^ 

1^ aipiotu'fittmd <tf Christians. This fraud is Hcewise veiy aU^ 
_4: exposed in an exodlent disserta&ni. in manuscript by the ^^ i 
M. I'Abhe de Looguerue. If the passage, £EiTouridde to Jeapi^ /~ 
had been really written by Josephus, that historian cdold not^ v' '' 
without bdng guilty of im absurdly, cG^ienSe with becoming »'^ - 

The deVout fingios of writBigB> who ancie^fy fabricated 
vouchers for the Christian xdigion,. have taken case to co^nteneli^ | - ^ 
with as much<g0od £pdi, two letters of Pilafe, addressed to. the ; 
, en^teror 'nb^iius, in which this idolatrous governor qpeaks C^';'-- . 
,, Jesus, lus miracles, death, and resurrection in the sanie tmie as- > 
-; the most zealous i£sc^de couSd have employed. We late abi 
' a testimony as autiientic in a letter df one Zienfulux to the Bomaa 
^'senate. Although tikese siq^o^tious piecos may. be now^ i;**- . ; 
4^ jected by the church, they were ad(^^ by CMstiffiis in tl|» f > 
L> time of TortuUian, as m^ be seen in Ids Apolog. c. 5. SI. These 5 
; letters are to be £9und entire in the Codex Apocryp. N.T. toote 1. 

In die'Appenc&c we have ^ven a list of books aaentioBed b^ 

.v' tiie fishers and oUter ancient writers, ascribed to Jesus and 1^ 

i^tosdes, which we see ao ve^scm for reg^oding as less.avt- 

tbentic thw the bgo^ qvnposin; the New Testamnit, at pcsf^it 

^ in our haiids>^ 

-j' li.TlV^^ Ci '-i'-t'm.ip.y'f '4^iC.'t |,«*^j',^«t'ifl:r|j<H»;.^,^i^l'fir- '•■■"/ .Jiii--!!.;-,.-.- 

' " -. ' ' ' ■- • ■ ' . ' I " ■ ■ " ' 

-_;.,, ■-^i^^.^i^-, ;. ;;-^ I <. :^ ,.;-■- ,,■; ^- ■■'.■*»■"■ ,--vi,^ ,•; ^if'a; '. -i- -■ ■■ •' " '" . ' . 

■^-* ■ ; -*' ''-;^ .-■ 1 - ■ .'. ^ ■ ' ' ' t- - : . - "-,--■ 








.^..IffM bistocy of th^ ly^ .pJE;aii o%iar^ matt termi- 
/|R^9 qoog^niQply wi;t^ jbyis de9,tti ; but it is <i|J|i^i;eqt yvitjiL^ 

, 31 Mafi^God wild h^ tlie pa^wer of mising; b^ 

'; thi^ dfeady or whom hfis'acUiereiits tiave the faculty' p^ 

■ fcdaltiqf rls^^it will: Tttis li^pene^ f 't#an^ 

to. bis apostles or evanigeusts, we see him «iU piaViflg 

a considerable part even after hrs decease. ^ ^^^ 

toj^^he hiooierit.Chrfst vr^darrestedy his^^ disciples, ^as 

?|i^'have fianrfited;^' dispersed 'themselves) i«i:J«rEisalem» 

-at^'ili^i^i^Bdurho^. WrlH t^ Siraoir 

£e|er, ^ho did not Ipse sieht of bim diiriftg exa- 

/^yRinaUah^the; baii^g, of .tfte^^jigb j^ie^. . , Tqis ap6stl| 
frasHimiotfs, for blis dowl^: interest^ tQi4iniPy<^th^.resyji 

y^it;'^*^' fEnboiimgitig cheinisfelfiesB on: finding Jbhat JesiM^v 
Ilft(^%t?iii^^al^ f^^ in^s^3i!imf^^ tfte^dfe^ 

,-;cyples. re-^ssembled, cojQcej^e(! meastires, Strt^ ^tfef^-* 
inuiea, as their master was dead, or reputed, so. td 
|«k>i&^dyd0tsge.[of ^be;j[iotiQps Hrjiic^ i^fjb.a<jl^djffus^a 

:^#dAfl^7his' mi8stonv>»r Accustomed 'foFiiA loj»g a(4)^iriG|4<r 
,. " ^"ItB'leiSirfa^wand&rtegli^eWflider^s^^eomrmahdf/ai^ 

; i r ing, exorcisms, and miracles, they resolved toTcbtitltttift' 






a profession more easily exercised, and incomparably 
more lucrative than tljevr Qrigtnal occupations* . Tbey : 
had enjoyjed an opportunity of observing that it wai"' 
better to catch men than fish. But how could the: disf: 
ciples of a man who .was punished as^n impostor, naake^ 
themselves . listened to? It was necessary to giV'^ 
out that their master having, during his Iffe, raised 
others from the dead, had, after his own death, raised ' 
himself, in virtue of. bis omnipotence. Jesus bad pre: '^^ 
dieted it ; it was thferefore necessary to ac^Onp^plish i 
, thie prediction. The honour of the master and bisdiSf | 
ciples thereby acquired a new lustre; and the sect* 
far from seeing itself annihilated or disgraced, wai > 
enabled to acquire new partizans in this credulout^ 
nation. . 

' in consequence of this reasoning, the good apostki ' 
had only toAiake the bbdy of their master, dead or 
alive, to disappear, which, if it had remained in the ^ 
tomb,, would have borne evidence against them. Thef 
did not even wait till the three days and three; nigbte 
in the pretended pjophecyr^ere expired. The .de»^y :^ >^ 
body disappeared on the Second day ; atfd thus the 
second^day after his deq^se. Our hero, triumpMng 
over hell and the grave, found himself revivified.* 


* Hie andent finanoB of Jiie Gospeb have ftbiKOted 
-which dief have asciibed to Nieodemiu. In it we Jeam 
hmr Cluist passed his time after: lus death till his tesiHoecv 
tiSoq, his joumej to hell, the ddiveeance of tl^ , pfttrian^ 
the discomfitiite Of ^atan/ &c. All these detai^ are atteetat,, 
hjr- two^dead persons who came .purposely from titeodiar 
worid, to acquaint Anhanias, Caiidias, and the doctors ig^ 
Judea, (rf.rthflse efreato. Codes, i^ocryph. Kr X. «OMe>a. 

. fl^ &a V' 

■, . ■*;■>- - vrvH^ffiw 


" ■ ■ ' .\"\. -'-^: K, 

'. , >,.''■ 



_ » ■ > ~-'' ■■ " ■ - " ''. 


■■ ■■ iMM • -. > 1 ' ■ 



if Christ was not yet dead of fals punishment, his 

" rettirrectibn had nothing surprising in Jt. If he wSb 

itttially dead, the cave, "^ here his body was deposited, 

might very probably have secret passages, through 

Vhich they could enter and come-out, without being 

, bbserved or stopt by the enormous sto^e with which 

' ihey had affected to block up its entrance, and near 

which the guards had been placed. Thus the dead 

^Ody might h;]ive been carried "off either by force or by 

stratagem ; and perhaps it had -never been deposited 

^ in the tomb at all. In whatever manner the affair wa« 

transacted, a report was cir^culated that Jesus was 

tisen, and his body not to be found. ^ i>>f 

V' Nothing is of more importance to a Christian, tbaa 

\ to ascertain satisfactorily the resurrection of Christ. 

i St. Paul tells us, that ** if Jesus be not risen, our hope 

/ It vain." Indeed without this miracle of Omnipotence, 

\ intended to manifest the superiority of Christ over 

( ibther men, and the interest the Deity took in his suc- 

/ ^Mss, Jesus must appear only as an adventurer, or 

\ ^iKS^k fanatic, punished for having given umbrage to 

/ th6 priests of his country. 

y Itf IB therefere requisite to examine seriously a fact, 
( on which alone the belief of every Christian is founded. 
) In doing this it is necessary to satisfy ourselves of the 
\ qiiaHty of the witnesses wK^ittesTtbe fact^ whether 
J3ai^ were acute, <iiamteresTed> and intelligent pe<i»> 
TStm^x If ih^ i ^»ee in th e nagjtrr es they giv^^oFSi 
/ ^fe^dttu mstaiices th^y relate. SudTare^tlite^precattir 
\ If^s usuany employed to diScoveT the decree of ))f6- 
, , JbabiUtjr or evidence of facts. Thesy are alsptUe tij^ie 

\ iieeeBBarii!; wheo it i9 intended to examine mpettKHnftMl 
I facts, which, to be believed, require much vti^oi^er 

-■■■-■■ ■ * T 

' . -■ .^-; --. .^'-mc^ 





proofs than ordinary facts. On the unanitnpus testl* 
mony of some hrstorians, we reiadily believe" that Caesar 
made himself master of Gaul ; the circumstances of 
his conquest would be less established,^ were we to Hnd | 
them rdated by himself only, or his adherents; btft /,, 
they would appear incredible, if we found in them pro- 
■digies or facts contrary to the order of nature. We 
would then have reason to believe, that it was intended 
to impose on us ; or, if we judged more favourably of the 
authors, we would regard them as enthusiasts and fools. 
'-'. Agreeably to these principles, adopted by sound 
criticism, let us consider who are the witnesses that 
•' attest the marvellous, and consequently the least pro- 

- bable facts which , history can produce. They are 
apostles-i->But who are these apostles? They are ad- 
herents of Jesus. Were these apostles enlighteneclr 
men ? Every thing proves that they were ignorant and^; 

; rude, and that an indefatigable credulity was the most^- 
prominent trait in their character. Did they beholji| 
Jesus rising from the dead? — No; — no one behelii'^ 
thifl great miracle. The apostles thecnselves did not V 
see their master coming out of the grave ; they raerelj^v 
found that his tomb was empty; but this by no meaiis 
V proves that he had risen. , It will however be said, the 
''; apostles saw him afterwards and conver^d with him^ 

- and that he likewise shewed himself to some womeDi, 
- 1 who knew him very well. But these apostles and these 
■'{■' women, did they see distinctly ? Did not their pre- 
possessed imaginations make them see what did n<Qt 

. exist? Is it absolutely certain that their master w^ 
;?*: dead before they laid him in the tomb? . si 

;: ' In the second place, were tliese witnesses disinterest' h 
edf The apostles and disciples of J«5a» livere doubt- ; ^ 


V> -^ 

l€s« interested in the glory of the master they hj^ 
followed during the course of his mission. Their 
interests were confounded with those of a man who 
enabled them to sul)sist without toil. Several among 
them expected to be recompensed for their attachment 
to him, by the favours whjch he promised to bestovv^ 
. on them in the kingdom he was about to establish^ 
, Finding these hopes destroyed by the deaths rea,l or 
supposed, of their chief, most 'of the apostles, per- 
suaded that all was- over, lost courage; but others, less 
, daunted, conceived that it was not necessal^y to throw 
the handle after the hatchet; that they might profit 
still by the imptessions which the preaching of Christ 
and his wonders had made on the people. They be> 
lieved tba^t their niaster naight again return, or, if they 
supposed hin) dead, tliey coiU4 feign that be had fofe* 
told he would rise again.' They therefore agreed that 
it was proper to circulate the report of his resurreor 
tion ; to say that they had seen him ; and to assert 
^ 'thnt Jesus had triumphantly come out of the tomb» 
' which wpuld appear very credible ia the case of J| 
personage who had evinced himself capable of raising 
others from the dead. Knowing the imbecility of 
those they had to deal with, they presumed that the 
people were prepared long before band to believe the 
marvellous wonder which they intended to announce. 
Tb^y conceived, tha,t, iu ordet to Sji^bsist, it was ike« 
cessary to continue pjeaching the doctrine of a a^n 
who would pot have attracted an audiencei if it ht^^ 
DOt been taken for granted that he was risen again, 
^ They felt that it was necessary to preach ihe resuvri^- 
tion of Christ, or consent to perish with hunger. 
JTbey for^aw, moreover^ thai it waf oeeessary to brave 

ctiastisement and even death, rather than renounce an 
opinion OT docftine -on which th^ir daily subsistenfcc' 
and welfare absolutely de^jended. Hence unbelievers * 
conclnde, that the witnesses of the resurrectioh of 
Christ werd any thing but disinterested, and were' .; 
spurred on by the principle, that fte who risks nothing; i^ 
gains nothing. 

Itk the thiT^ plac6,arfe the W^itttessesof the resurrec-i ; 
tion of Christ unanimous^'va. their evidence ? Muchf^- 
more, are they consistent with themselves in the nar-'* 
rati vtes they give ? We find neither the one nor the V 
other. Though Jesus, according to some of thef 
erangelists, had fbretold in the most positive manner;- 
that he would rise, again*, St. John makes no mentioti-- 
of this prediction, but expressly declares, that thcdi**,- 
c:i|>les of Jesus knew not that he must rise again Jront- 
the deadf. This denotes in them a total ignorance of 
thst great/event; said, however, to have been announc- - 
edby their master; and creates a suspicion that these- 
pr^ictibns of Christ yrete piously invented aftefi^^ 
v^rards j and insertecl in process of time into the text of ;• 
St. Matthew, St Mark, and St. Luke. Yet nothing^ 
c'att be more pjositive. than the manner in which St;' ' 
Matthew, speaks of thfe prediction ; hevsupposes it sort 
^ell known by the public, that he affirms, the priests- 
ahd Pharisees went4o Pilate, and told him, Wt remem^ 
Iter (his deceiver Mid while he was yet alive, that afte0 
ik^ei days hi wbuld rise dgaint* We do not, however, 
'fiiifd ftf ahy 6f the evangelists a passage where this 
Te*'i!fr?ectioh is foretold m so pub!i<r and decided a man* 

• St iftkft: xxvL SS; Sfc'^drk, xvL 8$. '■'•/ 

t St Jrm, it. 9i^'^-y^li^::t *t-i;^-+ StM[ittl2^«ii^^ 

■ ' ^ ■ .i , -1 

ner. St. Matthfiw himself relates only the answer of Je< 
su&to those who demaaded of him a sign; it consistecl^f 
as we have elsewhere said, m referring them to " Jona», 
who was three days and three nights in the belly of the 
whale ; so,*' said he, " shall the Son of man be three 
days and three nights in the heart of the earth*." 
Now Jesus, haying died on Friday, at the ninth hour/, 
or mid-day, and risen again the second \lay early in 
the morning, was not,, as we have already remarked,- 
" three days and three nights in tho hear^ of the earth.'%, . 
Besides, the obscure manner in which Christ expres- 
sed himself in this pretended prediction, could- not. 
enable the priests and Pharisees to conclude that 
Jesus must die and rise again, or to excite their alarmy 
unless it is pretended, that, on this occasion, these^ 
enemies of Christ received by a particular revelatioit$ 
the interpretation of the mysterious prediction^^ik^^^^ - 
; .St. John tells us, that when Jesus was taken dowii^r^ 
from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemu»,^y 
in order to embalm him, brought a mixture of aloea^<: 
and myrrh,, weighing about a hundred pounds, and; 
that he afterwards took the body, wrapt, it in «?-■ 
clean linen cloth, furnished spices according to thd^ 
•ustom practised'- by the Jew^ in their funeral Gece<# 
monies, and laid it in the tombt. Thus was Jesu«# 
embalmed^ Carried away, and buried. On the otheri. 
hand, St. Matthew and St. Luke tell us that this sepuI-<^ 
ture and embalming- were performed in presence of/ 
, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Je8U9|j|^ 
wbQ> consequently must have known what NicodeaiU4<| ^ 

' ♦StMattxiL 38, Ac ^^^^^j+ St Jolm,xix..S&— 40. ^^< ., 
^9t.2tf«ttzxriL(n. StBfilrft Kf.4f. St Luke, zam. <5^^i 4 - 

■■-■ z 

• ., .. ^'i, „' .,-1 , . • - - -_; • •'■"_/>'^ ^ :^; 

I • • - ' '■•■ 

had done; yet St. Mark, forgetting all this, tellf Qf> 
that these sam^ women brought saeet spices {aromB.' 
tics) ill order to embalm his body, and came for that 
purpose early in tiie morning of the day subsequent 
to tlie Sabbath*. St. Luke has no better memory, - 
and informs us, that these ladies came al^o to embalm 
a dead body, which according to St. John, had already 
received a hundred pounds toeight of aromatics, and 
iil^ciQ^d in a sepulchre, the entrance of which was 
blocked upby a massy stone, which embarrassed the 
women as much at finding it as the incredulous are ., 
with these cphtradictions of our evangelistsf^ -*, >,^*!^ir«>: 
'»^hese ladies, however, who dreaded the obstacle of 
the stone, did not dread the obstacle of the guard ') 
which St. Matthew placed at the entrance of the tomh. " 
But if these women knew that Christ was to rise again ' 
at- the end of three days, why were they so careful in ' 
embalming his body ? — unless indeed we suppose that - 
Jesus made a secret to his niother and the tender Mag<^ '': 
dalane of an event which it is asserted was publicly '" 
predicted, andi which was perfectly well known not 
only by his disciples, but also by the priests and Phari- : 
sees, of whose extraordinary precautions we arc in-- T 
formed by St Matthew. According to this evangelist,*- 
these precautions were founded on the fear the. priests 
were under, that the disciples of Jesus " should comC'^ 
aod parry away his body, and afterwards say unto" 
thejpeople, that be is risen from the dead; an error, 
which, in their opinion, would be more dangerous than 
the first.'* Nevertheless we find some women and 
disciples continually joaming about the toinb, Q^g'^ 

vr ■:'-'^-- ,-■-■- ■ ■• , -^ -■; . - ,:■'■■: 

:■ ;.f^,.:y-;^' St. JIarit, xii 1. . - ;. ^. -f 5t. tuke, ndf. R^/^; ;.^.^ - ; 





and coming freely, and offerhig to embalm the same 
chsad body twice^ It mast be acknowledged tbataiU 
tbiis surpasses human understandiirg*.>*r'^%"'f^'*^'*''r * 
* It is not more easy to conceive the conduct^ of the 
guards placed near the tomb at th'e solicitation of the 

priests, or that of the priests themselves. According 

to St. Matthew, these guards, terrified at the resucrec* 

tioQ of Christ, ran to Jerusalem to tell the priests, 

**>th4t the angei of the Lord had descended cfromhea* 

▼en, and taken away the stone which blocked up 

Uie tombr and that at the sight of him they bad 

nearly expired through fear." On this the priests, 

Act at all. doubting the troth of the relation oi the 

guards, enjoined them to say publicly that the disci-i 

plea of Jesus had carried away his body during the 

B%bt, and while they were asleep. They alsogftte 

the Boldi^s money to* speak io ttiis mannfer, and pro^ 

mised topftcify the governor, if l\e wished to punisb 

tHein for their TKg\tgenGe^k,im^ <:^'>^i^f^M^M*^^^^ 

't« As to this narrative, it is proper to observe, that the 

guards did not say they bad se^n Jesus rise from thcf^ 

dead ^ they pretended merely to have seen " the as^el' 

^f the Lord, descending frftni heaven, and FolHn|p{ 

i^way^ the stone which was at the entice of tbd> 

tomb.'* Thus this history announces dn appdritioltf 

only, and nota resurrection* We migbt ejcplain it ia{ '[ 

a manner natural enough by supposing that daring thie^« 

Btght^ while the guards were buried in 'sleep, the act^^- 

faerents of Jesus came by the light of flambeaus, withrK 

an armed force, to open rtie tomb and intimidate ther|' 

*^idi«:^ taken unawares, wbo in the aklrm tb^y ejc*<' 

-^ * St littt^Mttfi. «-^««. ■J''^'^-:'f9t.M^pcvm^^ 



■;-^v ar.rV • " ■■ .„■ . . .; .; --■--'■". ' ■ ^ •■ .. . 

- . ■• '■■■■■■■■' ■ ^ y-:.V"v. ■■^'- • -.;v ; • ■ . 

perienced imagjined tbey bad seen tbdir prey taken 

/iput of their haads by a preternatural power, aod that: 
they afterwards affirmed all this in order to justify 
tbemselvfs. , 

The most singular cirquinstaace is the conduct of 
the priests, who li>elieved in earnest the relation of the . ^ 
guards, and cooseqaently gave credit to a miracle 
Strong enough to convince them of the power of Je- 
sus; But far from being fuoyed by the prodigy, wbieb , - 
they thus believed, they gave money to the soldiers to 
•engage them to tell, not the incident as it occurred, 
but that the disciples of Jesus came by night to take ' - 
away the body of their master. On the other band, , 
^ the guards, who n^ist have been more dead than alive ^ 

'through terror at the spectacle they had witnessed* ^ , ' 
accepted motney for publishing a fals^ood: a condtict ^^ 
for which the angel of the Lord might very properly ; 
have punished them. Far, however, from dreadii^ ^, 
punishment, these soldiers for a sum of money con- { - 
sented to betray their cooscieaces. But 'could the 
Jewish priests, however base we may suppose them, 
'be silly exKiugh to im^ine that these men , after bar- ' 
,>- ing witneSacd so terrible a miracle, would be very 
;/ faithful in preserviii^ the secret? It must havebeeR 
i an insigmfi.cant oiiFacle indeed which could make xio 
;> impjession either on the soldiers who had seen it, or 
i oa the priests who believed it on the relation, of tbete , ^ 
-soldiers. If the priests were convinced of the realiQT 
(^ tl^ miracle, was it not natural that they should 
-: lecc^hise Jesiis for the Messiah, and that they should-^ 

unite with him io labourijog to deliver their coaatry 
^, from the yoke of idolaters? 

^^ ^^ this occasioQ^ iiideed^ thft itngd of the Loid ^ >-; 
-^ ':'"" -,■■:-• .-_ - '• ;■- ■ *'r 

■'■:'■ Zi^ ' ■'' '.■' 



seems to have bungled the affair, by so terrifying the 
soldiets that they fled without having time to see Jesus 
rising from the dead, whose resurrection, however, 
was the object of all this pompous preparation. Very 
far from allowing it to be seen by any one, this awk- 
war(i angel chased away the guards who ought to have 
been the witnesses of the mighty wonder. ."-;-,r^:^\ 
It appears in fact, that the transaction of Tesus* 
resurrection was seen by ^nobody. His disciples did 
not see it; the soldiers, who guarded bis tomb, did not 
^ee it ; and the priests and Jews did not hold this fact 
to be so memorable assome persons who beheld no part 
of it. It -was only after his resurrection that Jesus 
shewed himself. But to whom did he shew himself ? 
;To disciples interested in saying that he was risen 
^again ; to women, who td the same interest joined also 
weak minds and ardent imaginations, disposed to form 
^phantoms and chimeras. * ^t^i*v^^^^ *^ 

These remarks will enable us to jud^e of all the pre- 
', tended appearances of Jesus after his resurrection. 
,^^:^Besides, the evangelists are not unanimous as to these 
appearances. St. Matthew relates, that Jesus shewed 
'.^himself to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary; 
^while St. John makes mention of Mary Magdalene 
.,; singly. St. Matthew tells us, that Jesus shewed himself 
„y*to the two Marys on tfie road whilst returning from 
j^.the sepulchre on purpose to apprise the disciples of 
;Wbattbey had seen. St. John informs us, that Mary 
r Magdalene, after visiting^ the sepulchre, went and car- 
" ried the news to the disciples, and thereafter returned 
vto this same sepulchre, where she beheld Jesus in the 
company of angels. St. Matthew affirms, that the two 
_ Marys embraced the feet 6f Jesus. St. John says. 

/ x. 



.^1^;. /;.:.■ /:;::.; 

Jesus forbade Magdalane to touch himr ^ Matthew> 
informs us, that Jesus bade ^he two Marys tell hifi di&rf 
ciples thai he v>a$ going into Galilte. §t. Joho sAyif 
Jesus ordered Mary to acqaaint his diseiples,^ ^ W M 
was go^ig to his Fa$her ; that is, to heavei».2^Bik it is^ 
more singularstiU^.tbat, according to St. Mark,. thfiifL'- 
disciples- thef&selvealT^erQ not incliDed to credit the 
apparition of Christ to, Magdalane; agc^e^bly toS^;) 
Luke, they treated all that she told them of ai^els aft 
reveries. According to St. John, Magdakine herself 
did not at first believe that she hafl.eeea her adorable 
lover, whom she toolj; for the gardener.if . . ; . : ; 

There is no greater certaiiity in theap|>antioa of 
Jesus to St. Peter and St. John. These two. apostles 
went, to (he sepulchre, but they did not flqd the^ ^e^i 
master. / According to Stt ;Jobn^ he himself ,8§(w aei^h*^ 
' Jesus nor the angels. From Sti.Luke it aippearsg it|faia^ 
these, apostles arrivied after the angels wetegone; m^ 
from St. Johfi» bef<»e< ib^ ai^els had fHriy^d^: Tbd 
witoesees; .are indeed v<ery j^ltl^ f|B0iiiti(Hift ^ ^^ihfs$i^ *' 
smgiels, who seem to baveb^n seen only ; by the gQe4 
ladies^ whom they cbar§peji| >1^o aqHOunce to^tb^disciples 
the rf;8»Frec^0B of J^ua. Sti^Mattbewix^ifc^sinenti^ 
of Ode apgel only^ whojin $t^ Maiik c|i|ls ; ^ yaw§ mtfiti 
§t» John aflfinns, that tbefe Were tyyo.,*:,;;. . sd 

c.Iiissaid, that Je$us slewed himself agaki ^tiva 
disciples of Bm^us, -^ledMiStmfitnandiC^eopA^^^^/bwt 
they did not rcjcognize him, ^hougb they bs^d lived fan 
mtli^Iy with him. Tbey proceeded », long wbile;iR 
his CQinpitfiy without iflij^^|ip|ffj^!Ki^wa8----acife 


-■* ^' - . : - / ^m : ~-\ -■•■^- -V- 

,«- failure of memory. It is true^ St. Luke tells ii9lh»tJ^ 

- their eyes were as if ihut. li it not very sirrgeter thM^f; 
"Jesus should shew himself in tyrder not to be known*-; 

"again? They, howeve,r, recognized;; him aftenirai'ds;^^ 
'but immediately dreading, as- it ^ould seem^ to be^^ 
seen too nearly, the phantom disappeared. The two^J^ " 
- diacifjies went immediately- and announced the neW^A 
^ : to their brethren aissembled st^erulalem^ where JiBsU9^;| . 

- arrived fiJlly as soon as ^[^e^^i^yiibr^'i^c -^'jsmipf^^' 
Q*|St. I^atthew, St -Mark, 'and St. Luke^ agree in tell- ^^ 

* ing us, that wfiett the discipliesi werfe infoTmed bf the^;^; 
_ -- resurrectiojp^ ^^f ' Jedus,' they saW h*in for the fifst and^^ 
■ r ; Ifltst, trme.^ But the author of the Actg of the Apostles^ „ 
StiJohn, atid St. Paul, contradict thii assertion; 'foiTi 
they «peftk^f-«everal other »«p^ear^nces^ Wtrich aftci<? ^ ; 
'; ^rapds'Oe^urredi St. Matthew and 1^ Mark ibfornltr^^v 
thtit the disciples Vecet^ed OFde«% to'gb and join Jesu^?- 
JQHGali^e; butsSt. iruk^ and' th^mithor of th^ Aicfli^f ^^ 
/fti^^3thfea8ameSt;l>ake) s^s, 4;hatthe^ disci pte#W^^.t^ 
-Vi^fd^red nofii to go out of Jerusakm. W4th reSpfebe m ' 
fliis la*t apparition, ®t; MclttbeW |>lace6 iton a moi«i- 
stainin Galihe,' Wher6* Jesfis bstd - fixed *he rendeavoui^:: ,, 
'■\ for fctog etentof of the day of- bh^ fesurr^etion ;^^whFilfl#^ 
J St. Luke informsusitbafc'it cwa^^at JifrrfSafeifri ihd tellf 
■ :^fii;^h«ft^in»oi^diat*iy thereiiFteg Ctiridt /afeo^nded iAtb 
r !^"fe6ave&f,'knd di^ppearea'fcir^eff^.'?^: ¥6^ 
I the Atjis'^f^ rtitf^'Apostles i§^ *ibfr^ this opJiMii^ :*fe 

days^with his^disM^iples; in ordlerto instruotfh^;-^ <■ "^ 
There still remain to be considered two appearances * 
of JesH&.to his tpostlei^' thd dne a^ whicb^Thootas^as 
^~'. fiot present, and. refused to believe tboee who aiss^red 

--f-r'-'-i-'"-,^ - . ■ -. r ■.^'■- 


'--^....■,v-<' .--^T ■■:■,'■■•.-:'-'% \.'" -i-. '"-'-" '■^-■'v -'^-^ ■':■ -^:*f' v; •: 
"-^ ;••■, •"'•:">.■•',•■.■■:*-•.■,■/-,*-*.■'':.-»■-',-'• '.■- ^i'"''" :/-,-'-..^.>.':;'cJii--'" ' '- '- 

7 btinQ£~|h^r bavHig seeii their master, and. the ^.th^ 

when Thpjmasb recognised h is mast et, who shewed Jjini 

. *! ' i his wouadsrf To render one of these apparitions more 

." ■' marvelious, they assure us, that JesUs was seen in the 

midst of his disciples, whiM the doors were shut. But 

' ' V this will not appear surmising to those who know that 

V ~ Christ, after his resurrection, had a.a immaterial or iti' 

■';.■ corporeal body,>. which consequently could make itself 

y r; - a passable through thejmallest orifices. His disciples, 

^ ^ ; took him for a spirit : yet this 5/>m| had wounds, Waf. 

.^; ^ pialpable, and took foodV ; But perhaps all this was only 

chimerical, and those apparitions mere illusions of 

J; sense. Indeed, how could the apostles be assured of 

the reality of what they saw? A being who hsus the 

po^er of changihg the <?oursp of nature, can destroy 

all |;he rules by which we judge of certainty; and oit 

^is^uppositioQ theapoiitles coukl never be certain of 

having «een Chrfst after his resurreictkMi.^ -J^ji^^s- • 

St John speaks of several appearances of Jesus ^ 

' v;;^ his disciples, of whifcb no mention is made b^the othi^ 

eyangelists i hence we see that, hit testimony destroys 

theirs»fOr; th^ destroy his. As to the appari- 

, : . tioHs of J^uswhtdk St. Paul mentions, be was not a 

witD^ of them, and knew them^nly by hearsay ;jwb 

<>:? ' find him accordingly speaking of them in a^^ mamier 

ireiy little exact. He s^s, for examplq, that JeniU 

ihewed himself* to the twelve," while it is evident, 

^^ - tbt^ by the death of Judas, the apostoHc college waa 

5 "^ le&uced to isleven. We are surpriied to see these i#»' 

' V accuracies in ah inspired author ; they may render tq|hi 

"fttclous what be likewise says of the apparition of ^iMUj^ 

to,fivehundfedof the brethren at once^. As to hi^* 

■ ■■ •, ■ ■ . "'■ '-•*- '-' '■■','' ' ', ■ 

-■•.,.'• '• - - f VV. '. .--, '-r.' • ^ , " ■■J- . ■' . , ;' :r 



gelf we kiio«r« 4bfti tie tie¥er»m h\iilDi^%^ in t-, 
vmon* and GOi^idering the testimonies on which the 
I'esurrection of Jesus is founded, perhaps we may say> 
as much of the other apostles and disciples. They, 
were Jews, enthusiasts, and prophets ; and consequently T 
subject to dreaming even while^&wfike; The iacredu- 

' * St. l^aul biiAsdf iiiifonns uS that lie wai nviabed. tip to 

the third heaven. But why was he transported thither^ aiidl, . 

'What Sd he leam by his " journeys ? — T%ings taupeakabk^^' 

which no man could comprehend. What advantage are man^- 

Enid to derive from all tiiis? Li liie Jicts of the Apostlei^ 

we find that this mane Paul was guUty of a &Isehood in a9j» 

Wig b^c^ the H)^ Priest, that he was persecuted beeautCj^ 

he VMS a Pharisee^ and on account of the resurreetioi^' 

Here^ m &ct, are two imtrudis. First;, Pnil was not a Th^,' 

itsee at the time, but a most zealous qioslle of the Chzistiaa 

ieligian, ^id consequent^ a Chiistivi. Seecmdiy, the zecQi*' , 

;,8ations brought agmpet him did bat xe&r to iam opu^oo oii .. 

't^ xesuzrection. if we knpw that the jostles lOQetimM' 

wan4»ed firom the truth, how shall wje be&ye theBi oa' 

other occasions ? We indeed find ths great apostle contintt<i 

^Dy changing his counsels and conducL At JerusaTem her 

strentiOMBly oppes^ Peter because he &voui«d Judaism^ 

^1^ lie hinKielf shortly after complied wttk Jewidi rites ; 

and. boasted that he always accommodated Ima^ to tilf^ 

circumstances of the tim«, and became eU ^ngs to ali me%. 

By this h# set an example to the JesEOts in India, who yret% 

' lepmached with having united the wordi^ of the Pagans tof^ 

tjMt ef- CSitist. We do not know that tiie protestant Chiisti« 

IK)S. of t^ present day> who are emplojred as nuaeionaries M 

Hjodjos t an , are as yxprnmodating as tliar b^etfam tb8 

Jesuits : but this we knpw by x«>, less aa authority th«9Q oflacifi) 

docinnepts recently hud on the table of the H(9iBe C^. CommpB|. 

%aSt. we Christians make a traffic of tl]^ Pagan r^^gion In India, 

' by. actual^ oampdfii^f 4fae natives to pay a Ms. far tiimmykio iftf^H. 

»ttm temples, to worA^ Ae Idol Jdggei%t^ft I ■ 




r . 


if It >' 


•'■!--■■"■..''... " ;' ' • , -,- - >■ , ■ :' • -■■;■. 

.. •» .A:- . /,.,.-. i., ■,• ', ,■.'-,'-: 1 :..■,. ■,-■ -. ,} .V i ■ -• ■. 

' they can form of witnesses who attest the resurrection 
of the Saviour, on which however the Christisin religion 
. i» solely established. 

It appears indeed most certain, from the nature of 
the testimonies we have examined, that Providence 
^' has in a singular manner neglected to give to an event 
so memorable and of such great importance,' the an- 
J thenticity it seemed to require. Laying asid e faith, «' 
wiitcb n ever experiences any difficul ty about p^roofs, no 
man can believe facts, even the most natural,! from 
fOQchers se faulty, proofe so weak^ relations so con- 
tradictory, and, testimonies so suspicious as those 
wlilcfa ttie evangelists furnish us on the most ineiedi- 
, bte and marvellous occurrence that was ever related. 
Independent of the visible interest these historians had 
t, in establishing the belief of the resurrection of their 
master, and which ought to put us oh^ur guard against 
thiun, they seem to have written merely to contradict 
■ ojae another, and reciprocally weaken their testimonies. 
To adopt relations, in which we have only a tissue 
f"' of incoQclusiveness, contradictions, improbable facts, 
and absurdities, calculated to destroy all confidence in 
history, requires indeed grace from above. Yet Chris- 
^^_ ' tians do not for a moment doubt the resurrection t 
% and their lielief in this respect is founded on a rock, 
^l tb^ is^ according tpinfidete, on prejudices -they have 
,|l:V;i3i|a^r examined, and to which, from eariy infancy. 


^^i^r spiritual guides have prttdently attached fhe 
greatest imaportance. They teach '-them to immolate 
00: l^he alt^r of faith, reason, j udgment, and good sense t 
'—After this sacrifice, it is no longer difficult to make 
them acknowledge j withbut enquiry, the most palpa- 

'■::J -> 

ble abwlfmties lof tirulli*, oft yMth it% not '{Sermif tell 
eyen to be sceptical. _^ i, v? 'j«i^ 

It is in vain, that. peopl^of sense demonstHrte^i!^ 
falsity of, these pretended truths ; it is in vain, that an 
inteiligetit critic stands up against interested testimo- 
Dies, visibly suggested by enthusiasm and iniposturef:- 
it is in vain> that bunaanity exclaims against wars, mas« 
sacresr and horrors without number, wbicb absurd: 
disputes on absurd dogmjis have occasioned. They 
Biience people by saying, that ** it i* written, I will 

. destroy the, wisdom .of the wise, and will bring to 
nought the understanding of the prudent. — Where is 
the wi«e? Where are the scribes? (the doctors of 
the law). Hath not Grod made foolish the wisdom of : 
this world Uy causing the foolishness of the gospel to 
be preached*?**" It is by such declamations against 
reason and wisdom, that fanatics and impostors haye 
succeeded in bd(isbing good sense from the earth', 
and iashioning slaves whd m^e a merit ""of subjects 
ing reason to faith, of extinguishing a sacred torcll|? 
which would conduct them with certainty, on pur- 
pose to lead them astray in the darkness these intc^ 
rested^ guides know how to infuse into minds. To de-^ 
grade reason is an outrage against God itg author^' 
and it is an outrage against man who is thereby re*' 

^ duccd to the condition of brutes. 
"^kTfae dogma of the resurrection of Jesus is onljT 
attested by men whote subsistence depended" on that' 
absofd romance ; and at roguery eontitiwdly belie$Uuy% 
these lying witnesses could not agree among them<^ 
selves in tbdr evidaice. They tell us, that Jesus bad 

r^:s-^ ---> 

t-' - " , 

•1 .<:,'■"♦ 

-• jit,%|-afeH<: ■ SI'S" rv.;:v>. J-, --■•■■ ,' -'m 

publicly^ predic ted his own jfeimrrection. He Ough t 

tSerefore to have risen again publicly; he bp«^ttd 

have shewu 'faimself, n<$f- in secret to his disciples^ 

b ut openly to priesis," Pharisees, doctors, a»fi nieo of 

understandi agj especially after having intimated^ that 

itwas the onhf agn wh ich- would be given them Wza 

- itnotackiiOwiedgitig the falsehood pf his mi6<ioh, to 

refuse the sign by. which he had solemnly promised 

■vt© prove the truth of thattniHsioh ? Was it reasonable 

^C"to require the J^ws to believe, on the word o£ his-^ 

^ ^disciples, a feet which he could have bbhvinced them j^ 

>.;|with their own ^es?; J|tow is it possible for rational' v; 

*rpe«sbnf :of- the present 'age to believe, after the lapse'i 

;~^of eighteen hundred, years, oo the discordant testimp* f 

nies of i'oar interested evaiigeiists^ fanaticsiTor fabulisfcs, , 

a ^ct -w hich 'they could not make be believed in their ^;; 

own time^ excepts by a email nuQiber of- imbecile 

people, .iucapabje ofireaaoning^ foiid^of the marvel^i^ 

loin, taifeitl !of too limited understan^ngs to escape the^ .|: 

snares JjUfd, for \ their si mpLteity.* - A Roman gover-. y^^. 

' Bor»i a./ftetravchi a. -Jewish high priest, converted' ^:^:v^*s 

the apparition of. Christ, .would; have made a greatef 
<,impres^ioft ion > a <man of sense thau ah usdredii^ecret 
apparitiposj to his cbosen'dtsciplesb LThd ;<»\n37e^siiHil 
. cf-the Sanhe^riiA a^t'ieFtiisalemoto tbe faith, would; 
bave been ol'greateV weight; ^than ali the rbbscure; 
? liibble whi<^ibh[e apostles prevailed on tb beUeve their ', 
improbable juai^els,, iand. persuaded that they bad; " 

seen Christ alive after his death. ft* 

iid^ ftodeed. wieiw ^ fss;^\^^ that .^ppM^ 
Dem^ '^ Hie 'i Jews were ^ tne anoet triffing pf uT ^ 
and- that they weri the <Miiy p6(^ iriio had {^^ * 

never «ittBa'<>utjflij^ '.tWag^XlliBfoJ fcr - fife* Jwflm 

i^ui#< Jfwo»» Kb. g. ' 






tf the apparitions of Jesus to bis apostles were ijvt 
obviously fables invented by roguery^ or adopted 
throagh enthusiasm and iguorlince, the. motive of these 
clandestine visits cannot be divined. Become incaK 
pable of sofferingy re-established in his divine omni- 
potence, was be still afraid of the Jews? Could he 
dread being put to death a second time ? ByshQwing ' 
himself^ had he not better reason toflatter himself with 
converting theiiij than he deriyM from all his sermong 
and miracles ? '-m} ?■«- ■• -^i-^^H^cr^ii-'ds^^ '-.f^W: ^^m?4=i^l 

But it is said, that the Jews by their oppiositioa de- 
served to be rejected.; that the views of Providence 
were changed; and that God no longer : Wished his 
chosen people should be converted. These anawen < 
are so mairy insults to the divinity. How is it po»* ^ 
sible for men to withstaiidOod ? Is it notio deny the 
Divine Ommif>ot«[ice to ppetend that man can oppose 
its will ? Mao, it is asserted^ is fr«e : but miist not a "^ 
Grod who knew every thing, have foreseen dfaat did 
Jews would abuse their liberty by resisting IwS wiHi^ ::| 
In that case why send them his Son i^ Why make bioi' '> 
stifEier to no purpose an infamous and cruel death ^~ .^' 
Why fibt send ihim at onx^ to creatupes disposed to ,v^. 
hear hiniy and render him theii; homage? To preteivA '^^[ 
that the. riewsof Providence were cban^ped^'jii^ it ndt ^s- 
to attaick the divine immutability ? nnbsss indeed st: '% 
be said, that the <I>ei>fy bad firom alt eternity resolved 
0D iSiis change— ^hich, however, will not i^elter Miat 

imm|itability, 'fi>^«*i#|i^i^ * \u-^s\^: . '. m^ 

vr Thus in i^hatever point of view we contemplate the 


^qm pf jGhrist, far from \p\v^ fpunded on solid proofed, 

1iDezceptie^dl^&iesttmj^y,:9a^ i!^spec^ji>le!^i4faoci^. 


is obvioasly established on falsehood and knavery,' 
•which pervade every page of the discordant relations : 
of those who have pretended |to vouch it. ; ' 

;*ij After having made their hero revive tind shew htiri-^ 
self, we know not how often, to his trusty disciples, it^, , 
was necessary in the end to make him disappear al-* j*^ 
together — to send him back to. heaven^ in order td^%' 
conclude the romance. But our story*^ tellers are not"- ,/' 
more in union on this disappearance than on other^ 
things* They agree neither as to the time nor the^' 
place of Jesus* ascension. St. Mark and St.- Luke^ 
inform us, that Christ, after having shewn Himself tbf^ 
the eleven apostles, while they were at table, and 
spoke to them, ascended into heaven. St. Luke bote-' 
ever adds, that he conducted them out of Jerusalem atf* 
far as Bethany ; and there be lifted up his hands and^ 
blessed them, and was afterwards carried up into hea-p 
▼en. St, Mark contradicts St. Luke, and makes Jesus 
ascend to heaven fromGalilee : and as if he had ^en y^i 
what passed on higb, places him on the right, han4 ©^ ^y 
God, who on this oceae^oir yielded toliimt^e place ojf: u 
hofiO«**. St. Mattihewaod St. John ^ hot speak x]^ i^ 
this ascensioD. If We referred it to them,^tfe must ;. 
presume, that Jesus is still on earth, for, according to' /^ 
the first of these evaDgelisf&,- bis Mst words t6 his dis-.-/ 
oip)es gave tbem to onderstand, that **^ hc^ tvoiild 
THaim with them until the etid of tlie wortd/* To&P 
our ideas otr this subject, St. Luke tells us, sai^e foa^e 
seen, that Jesus ascended into heaven the very evening^ 

* The £»ble of the aecension of Chriit is yrmSAy ^m^ 
$d &0m that of the ascensioa of Bomuhis ami SviStatf G^iEfir> 

ifUkh Lantantius hQwerer finds veij ifdi^^iloQsi to/dHMUt 
ItmxxLt, h. 1. IM, ■ ' ^ '^ 

"' ■'• ■' ' '" o o 

"" ■'.'■■\.-V'--' '."^ 

.-.'■,- rt '/A 

• ■ -■■■ ''-J ' ■ ■ ■ ." 

• > ; Vi ' " . 


> >-V^--^-J^v 



■ V . -^ 

r \i-' -.. '^ :. 

of the (lay of the resurrection. But the same St*^ 
Luke, who is supposed to be the author of the Acts of 
the Apostles, informs us, that Jesus tarried fort^ da^^ 
after his resurrection with "his dear disciples. , Faith 
only can extricate us frona this embarrassment. St^* 
John ad vantes "nothing on the matter, but leaves us iO^~, , 
uncertainty as to the time which Jesus passed on earth | 
after his resurrection. Scfme unbelievers on observ^- •-, 
ing the romantic style reigning in the gospel on thlf, < ^v 
apostle, have concluded from the manner in which he ^^ 
finishes his history, that he meant to ^ive free course :. 
to the fables which might afterwards be published - 
about Chrifct. He terminates his narrative with these C 
words ; ** Jesus did also many other things, andTif thej .' ' 
jibould be written every one, I suppose, that even the 
Irorld itself Could not contain the books that should ^^, ^: 
written;" find with this hyperbole, the well4)elove3' :-. 
apostle finishes the Platonic romance'which he made on X 
bis master*, -ff ^"*#*r T5^1t^)i>*i^v^3#'s-^x\-^ ■. 

' * We/i^ already giren exan^-flf ^\ fifttei ^toitainad ft 



m the S^Snsat gospds, puUished and adopted by the ^dif-* , • = r -f 
fojent sects of Christiaiuty. These ^bles demonstrate! both . J^^^* -| 
tile impudent juggling trf the forgers who composed such 
"itMnances, . and the aftonLslung stupidity of the -diflerent .;^ >,; 
sectaries who believe them.j^It is also proper to obserre, .^ ..'• 

.^that the Aots of the Apostles, cataposeA hy St. Luke, r^e,^ ^^^^ J^^^ 
)B«dy with mwiteness the transactions oT St Paul, his ma»»« i^^:^^ .Jig 

,«,ter, and give us sc^cely any * infbrmaticm of the. success, or. ;?^.':; -4^ 
^'fete of his/ I geth^rga . Yet other romance ^writers have wor- 
thily suppued this' defect. One Abdtas,^ among others, has 
trannnitted us in nine books liie AjpastoSe , History, but - 
Aaugjit with so naai^ febles, prodigiesj and adsmrdities, that 
the church thought itsdf obliged to rgect them, at ft ^time^ . ^ 
w^ifip its chSdien had. no longer the empliaty of the ^rst "^ 

|||^ Ignorance however has at tipi«9 :pidde4 to this andent 

'%- "" ,. r . ^'^m 

.•.^i^l^s^j«-*'«e*s^fi^;?^-«->'*^^ .'■,;'' ■.-^. 

jAr. •>.-- ;•-**■ 

c--? 'J 

'" ■ -1 --■^ - ■-*'.•,. ^» 


\- :s:.1f^;i«tM,^"\ 

'f f 

i;_jji|^%|l.i*i i^f^- 




''^'K-^: ■ OF ITS PROGRESS. ' " ', 

'-'€' '••, .,■."_ . • ■-..•. - * 

:f ^\^n% mere reading o^ the life of Jesus, such as w« 
I^ye presented it, according to the monuments wnich 

>*- . 

// ' 

. •<.. 

^ Christians respect as inspired^ must be sufficient to un- 
- ^ deceive every thinking being. But it is the property j^ 
I > of superstition to prevent thinking: it beriumbs the 
ifr^s f soul, confounds the reason, perverts the judgment, ren* 
ders doubtful the most obvious truthg, ani makes a 
meri/t with its slaves of despi sing enc^uiry, and of rely- 
ing blindly on the word of those who g overn them. It 
t IS not unseasonable, therefore, to bring again tinder re- 
yiew, some reflections,^ which may be useful to those 
headers who have not courage to draw out of the eBH* 
quiry we have made, the coosequencea which natuis^ly 
result from it ; and^thus aid them in forming rational 
.'- ideas of the Christ they adore, of his disciples whom 

;!;f# >- credidity ; and weak people and knaves have existed, who piously 

^ *6Vived the &bles and traditions of the aiident romantic wnters. 

jVi- ■ ^n>ese are the only montdrs we possess concemiiig the qpostles:- 

Is ^ speciiiiauwif them will be found at the end of tome 1. of the Codex 

^o Q a 

m*'''^'''\-: . '*^ 

■'•:■:-■ - . . ^.- ■-. • } • . '" '■ - ■ - ■ 

' •■.••- ■ -. i ■ . . I ■ ■ if 

they revere, an^ of books which they are accustomed 
^ to regard as divine. ,^ ■■-• '^.^j:--:^^^%i''ii^§^A:-%;i>r'^' 

Oar examination of the birth of Christ ought to' 
render it very suspicious. We have feund the^oly 
Ghost mistaken on that important article of Jesus' life ; . 
for he inspired two evangelists with two very different ? 
genealogies. Notwithstanding so striking a blunder, ; ■ 
and the consanguinity of the Virgm Mary and Eliza- 
beth, wife of the priest 2^charias, we shall not cavil on 
these points :— we shall grant, that Mary might really 
be of the race of David :-^many examples demon- - 
strate, that the branches of races more illustrious have - 
fallen into misery. Departing also from the supposi- ^ 
tion, that Mary, the immaculate wife of Joseph, maf^ 
_ have willingly yielded to the angel; or, simple aiqld 
', devout, may have been deceived by the angel^ there is 
every reason to believe! that she afterwards taught her 
son his descent from David, and perhaps some marvel- 
lous circumstances, which, by justifying the mother, 
might kindle the enthusiasm. of the child. Thus, at ft 
very early age, Jeisus might be really persuaded both . 
of his royal extraction, and of the wonders which had^ 
" accompanied his birth, These^deas might afterwards ^ 
inflame his ambition, and by degrees make him believe y 
that he was destined to play a grand p£lrt in bis native- 
country. Prepossessed with these sublime notions, he I 
concluded with'being conwnced of their authenticity';' 
and intoxicating himself more and more by the perusal 
of obscure prophecies, and the study of traditioBft 
c «pjread abroad in |iis own coutttry. It i* th^q^^^rj^ 
'possible^ that dur adventurerir^if^ bav^^cQtoetoiii'- 
i^^fieve himself actuary called by the ©hwHity, ancl^^ 
pointed out by the prophets to be the reformer, the 


J 'A 

' -f 


chief, and the Messiah of Israel. He was indeed a 
visionary, and found people silly enough to be caught 
by his reveries*. - ^ V' ^ ; j'Siii? 

V Another cause might likewise contribute to heat the 
brain of our missionary. Some learned men have conr 
jectured, with much appearance of truth, that Jesus 
framed his morality, and acquired his knowledge itt 
the house of a kind of nionks, or Jewish Coenobites, 
(friars) called Therapeutes or Essenians. We cer- 
tainly find a striking conformity between what Philo 
tells us of these pious enthusiast^ and the sublime 
precepts of Christ The Therapeutes quitted father 
and mother, wife, children, and property, in order to 
apply themselves to contemplation. They explained 
the scripture in a mannej* purely allegorical; they 
abstained from all oaths ; they lived in common ; they 
suffered with resolution the misfortunes of life, and 
died with joy f. From all which it may be concluded, 

* It is an ardent and tender temperament that produces 
mptic devotion. Hysterical women are those who com- 
monly love God 'with most vlvaGity ; they love hhn to' dis- 
traction as they would love a man. In monasteries, most cf 
the devotees- are of this description. Their jmaginations 
grow wild, and they ^ve to their God> whom they paint in 
tiie most captivating colours, that tenderness which they are not 
pfenslitted to bestow on beings of thdoc own sp^es* Christianity 
Vhveiled. . y, ' ■'**!;; 

t Sea FhOo on ConiempkHve L^e. The Ifirst MustB. M 
the chiBdi) strudE witb the confarmity between tiie maaoen 
tMA Philo ^irSbutes to the Therapeutes^ and tisose of tbe 
fiqjt^ ehristiaa^ do not &itmi^ a doubt that liay w^ tbe 
pexptaiis this leasned Jew^ mfondb ta point out under the name 
of VSliHTapeut^j, pr cienkempladTe EasemsBS. It is certain 
that, -Ip. ti^ tmie «£ Hit historiaoL J^isephMS, tfaree^ sects weM 
reckoned in Judea, the 1 Ekadsefs^ tfaa daddaceea^ «i^ the 

// » 

,; ) either that Jesus had been ^ Therapeute before his 
preachins, or at least that he had bonowed theijr 
doctrines, s ' ^ -^ . . .s^^i^-- - -f ^o. 

/Whatever maybe in this, in the midst of an igno- 
rant and superstitious nation; perpetually fed with 
oracles and pompous promises; miserable at that time, 
and, discontented with the Roman yoke; continually 
cajoled with the expectation of a deliverer, who was 
to restore them with hohour; our enthusiast, without 
difficulty, found an audience, and, by degrees, adhe- v 
rents. Men are naturally disposed >to listen to, and — 
believe, those who make them hope for an end to their 
miseries. Misfortunes render them timorous and ere-' 
1^ J dulous, and lead them to superstition. / A fanatic 
easily makes conquests slmong a wretched people. It 
is not then wonderful, that Jesus should very soon 
acquire partizans, especially among the populace, who 
in every country" are easily seduced. 

Our hero knew the weakness of his fellow->eitizens. — 
They wanted prodigies, and he/ in their eyes, per- 
formed them. A stupid people, totally strangers to ' ., 
the natural sciences, to medicine, or to the resources > 
of artifice, easily mistook very sitnple operations for & 
miracles, and attributed effects to the finger of God ;^'/, 
>yhich might be owing to the knowledge Jesns had j^; 

Essenians, or Esseues. From the dme of that wtiter, tfier» K 
i no kaigeE any mention made of l^e latter ; hfnce some ;^;^': 
leaned men have ccmduded, tliat these Essauans, or Hie*' 
zi^ieutes, were afterwards confounded and incorporated -titfix 
the first ClaistiBns, who, accoroBng to erery evidence, led a 
mamier. of life perfectly' similar to thars. ; Le t!lac BiUioth.- 
Unroersdle, torn. 4. p^ 59d, ^&c. and 'Bernard s KouteDes de 
to^qaiM. des Jifttgea, torn; 3S: p. SOS. -^ 

^■'^' •,■■'_ : '.V' "^ " ". \_,^''."'^. ''':J::^;^:/^K:^i-^' ^^-^f 

•■■t . 


,; • 


.> ■ 




acquired during the long interVa^ that preceded*%is 
missidn.* Nothing in the world is more common than 
the combination of enthusiasm and imposture;' the 
most sincere devotees, when they intend to advance 
what they believe to be the word of God,, Or to make 
religion prosper, often countenan'ce frauds, which they 
style pious. There are but few zealots who do not 
even think crimes allowable when ihe interests of reli- 
gion are concerned. In religion, as at p lay, one begfns 
I with Ifeing dupe an d ends with being knave. " liii :<vi?5: 
1^ ^j'hus, on considering things attentively, and weigh- 
ing the particulars of the life of Christ, we must Tast 
persuaded, that he was a fanatic, who really thought 
himself inspired, favour^ by Heaveg^ sent to his na- 
tion, and in short the Messi^ ;• — th{(t to siipport his 
divine missicMi, he made no difficulty to employ*' frauds 
the best calculated to succeed with a F>epple to whoiti' 
miracles were absolutely necfessary, and whom, with- 
out miracles, the ri^ost eloquent harangues, 'the wisest' 
precepts, the moet intelligent counsels, and the truest 
principles, could never have" convinoed.-— In a woVdf, 
a ip^dley of enthusiasm andr ju^ling appears i^' cbi&- 
stitute thejcharacterof Jesusv^andit is that of almost, 
all spiritual adventurers who assume the namie W Re- ( ^ 
. formers, or become the cbiefs'of a sect. 

- * V- ' ' ■■;■>■;■"-■''->■- 

^ .* 

* * The- waj^t of rexp^ence in ; evecj . countrf ^ has fKtafy 
pp^oduced ,the sfuxie; ^c^s. The. iaptoicaas c^^ 
S^iaiiiardf Qo^s because "they used gm^wder, rode on MecsdMli^ 
.and had yessds which sailed qmbs aioae. . I^Bi^iahal^t^Si 

' ^the island of Tenian, having no^kso'^lfidlge: of-fire bc!£lie''<l^ 
w^^ vintedhy Eiut»eiEUi8> took them fiwaBimalsthe &nittna£1i«^ 
saw then); who devoured wood. .'vhsJe^ 



We always find Christ, during his inission, preach-^ 
ing the kingdom of his Father, and supporting his 

preaching with wonders. At first he spoke only in .^ 

a very reserved manner of bis quality of Messiah, Son /i 

of God, and Son of David. There was prudence in ■•, 

not giving himself out for such. — But he suffered the - •: 

secret to be revealed by the mouth of the devil, to C- 

impose silence on whom he commonly took great care! '4 
not, however, until after the devil had spoken in a man- 
ner sufficiently intelligible to make an impression on ^ v; 
the spectators. He thus, with the assistance of his^ 
possessed, his proselytes, or his convulsionaries, pro- 
cured testimonies in his behalf, which from his own 

mouth V7t>uld have been very suspicious^ find might ^' 

have rendered bim odious. < « '' 

Our operator also took care to choose his^fround for "" 
performing miracles; . be constantly refused to"bperate 
his wonders before peTsons whom be supposed inclined ; ^' 
to criticise them. If he sometimes, pe»formed them in — ' 
the i^agogues, and in presence of the doctors, it was' ^ *% 
in the certainty that tbe less fastidious populace, wlito> , • 

believed in bis miracles, would take bis part, and de- ; 

£gDd him against the evil dipsigns of the more acute <3 
spectatorsJ^i fi^W^:k^i}^i^^kw^i^^:^*i*^'W^ : ^^ 
5::'^ The apostles. of Jesus appear to- have been m^n of , '; 

their master's temper, either credulous or mis-led en- < 

:^ fo Ike' nnDZier^ soanfr yiars itgo la^ "Pai^ aa the tamb ' . 

fB^-J)eae^» Pttrit, . mTractwt Were wiw^ffat- m presence of t&f ' ' \ 

iHlgllfgest peraeD% ytha dated ma&ei to criticise nor co^' > 

tndkit ibeat, for fear of beoi^ rndtrieated by a pf^nilace ob« , j^; 

ftHiate ia sedng prodigiee^ and whsm impostors would not haird ; f f^ 

fi^k4/IM€xdtfragaLa8ll3w«»idi»'i^od9bft^ ^ . %} 

Toguedes. -.- -, ,.._... - ■• - ■•.'■. \'.k^ 

■ ■ ,■ ■* ■ ^ ."■--* - v., / ■-■„■- 1. ^^- - "- '■ 


thusiasts, adroit cheats, or. often both together. 

, There is every reason to believe that Christ, vtrho had 
skill in men, admitted into his intimate confidence 
those only in whom he remarked the most submissive !• 

^ credulity or the greatest address. On important oc%. 

- . ,, casions, such as the miracle of multiplying the loaves, 
, the transfiguration, &c. we find, as already noticed, 

that he used always the ministry of Peter, James, and 
John.^- ^,,,.L..,,y.-^^-.r' , _ ,_./ -.';..-_ 

It is easy to cpnceivfe that his disciples aaji -adheff|f- 
.; rents were much attached to him, either by the ties? 
of interest or of jcredulity. The most crafty perceived, • 
that their fortunes could only be^ameliorated under the, 
I' conduct of a man who knew how to impose on the^i 

— , vulgar, and make his followers live at the expence of , "" 
charitable devote^. Fishermen, formerly obliged to-f 
subsist by a labour painful and often attended with 

^ iosuccess, ^congived that it was more advantageous 
^ to attach themselves to a missionary, who made thetwt^ 
* r live, comfortably without trouble. The most cre-i^^: 
dulous expected always to make a brilliant fortune.^; 
: s and occupy posts of eminence in the new kingdom^ 
their chief intended to, establi^sh*. -[ 

The hopes and comforts of both vanished, on tfaec?.' 
* " death of Jesus. ^J^be.njof t. p^Msyi|nimo4J8 lost coarage^^ . 

,..',-'^ ^' • . ■ • • ■ - .- 

.;,-■• It was evidently from earthly or interested motives, and 
>: :' not heavenlji^ > that the apQsdes attached themselves to Christ 
', At the last suf^B tk^re was a strife amongst iheai'who 
; - should be cKcotmted the greatest. , " " The meanest," as j^dkc^ 
.'^r^ Parker expressed it, 'Mioped at least to have been made" lovd /// '' 
1 < mayor of Capernaum." And ^ven at his ascaosidn the only ) ,i 
^question his'di8cq)les asked^ was^ Lprdjvnit thou at this Umc restore 
il^i^j^^^^'figain the kirigdom of Israel? .? v . 


but the ihost able and subtle did not think themselves 
under the necessity of abandoning the J»arty. They 
therefore contrived, as we Jiave «een, the tale of the . 
resurrection, by the aid of which both the reputation 
of their master and their own fortune were secured. 
It also appears! that these apostl& never sin- jc/ 
cerely believed their master was a God. The Acts 
incontestibly demonstrate this fact. The same 
Simon Peter who had recognised Jesus for the Son of 
the living God, declared in his first sermon, that h^ 
was man. *^ Ye know," says he,' " that Jesus of Na- 
zareth was a MAN whom God hath rendered famous " 
among you — Yet ye have crucified him — but God 
hath raised him- up again," &c.* This passage "proves 
most clearly, that the chief of the apostles dared not 
yet hazard, or was wholly ignorant of the doctrine of 
the divinity of Jesus, which was afterwards contrived \ 
by the self-interest of the clergy, and adopted by the 
foolishness of Christians, whose credulity was never 
startled by the gnaatest absurditiesT and self-interest 
and foolishness have perpetuated this doctrine until 
our time. By dint of repeating the same tales for «o 
long,a period, they have succeeded in making people 
believe the most ridiculous fables. ' The religion of.the ^ 
r ^\ children is always regulated by the fancy of their fa- 
thersf. ■,,,....; ; - , - 

/ » " 

> ' r 

* Acts c^ the Apostles, h. ^ — 96. , ,- *, ^ ^% , , •^•-f \'i W 
>t^ The word Trmitif was Jirst used by TheophHus, bishop , 
of Antiodi, in the year 160, to eiq>ress persons, as tliey 
are called, ia tiie Godhead. The passage in the Ist Epffiile 
of JdiQ, c. &. Vi 7/, never appeared till the 2d edition of Erasmus's 2 
N. T. about 1560.. Tlie 1st edition was pzi|ited in 151*, andp 
the text alluded to is no< in tA , , -'. ,-^, v p^/^^-sjuVV^^Jt »? »-'■' 

r ' 


It appears, however, that theaposUes of Jesut, de- 
prived of the counsels of their master, would not haye 
succeeded in procuring their doctrine to be adopted, 
if they had not found powerful Miccours after his 
death, and wisely selected for associates men more 
adroit than themselves, and better calculated for the 
business. They deliberated together ort their com- 
mon interests ; it was then the Holy. Ghost descended 
on them ; that is, they considered on the means of earn-^: 
ing a subsistence, gaining proselytes, and increasing 
the number of their adberentSi in order to secure them- 
selves against the enterprises of the priests and gran-' 
dees of the nation, whom the new sect might have 
very much displeased. The latter, little satisfied with 
having put Jesus to death, had also the imprudence^, 
to persecutfe his ^adherents. They engaged Herod to* 
destroy James the brother of Christ; finally they cau^d 
Stephen to be stoned. These priests and doctors did 
not perceive/ that persecution is the surest method of 
spreading fanaticism, and that it always gives irpport- 
ance to the party persecuted.^ - ' 

s*#Accordingly this persecuting spirit, inherent in the 
clergy, served only to make new partisans to the per- 
secuted sect. Bad treatment, imprisonments, and pu- 
nishments, always render sectaries more obstinat», and 
interesting objects to those who witness their suflFer- 
ings. Tortures excite our pity in behalf of the' person 
who endures them. Every fanatic that is punished 
i^ certa!in of finding credulous friends, who uid him, 
because they persuade themselves it ibr for religiofthe 
is persecuted. iv ^.^^ ^^ ^ ; «'h i 

The persecution, instigated by the priests, also mttde 
the new sectaries perceivef that it was of the utmost 


:^mportance t<> tbem to unite their interests. - Tiiey felt 
'*tt necessary to avoid quarrels, and every thing which 

could create division; they in consequence lived in % ^ : ,>!^ 
-"'Concord and peace. (^j^»^v>r~t«4f^"^^^->p- " - ^ 

The apostles, now fiecome hea^s of the seel/ ne- 
glected not their own interests. One of the first fiicul- 
ties with which the Holy Ghost inspired them, *eas to 
profit by devout souls, and engage them to place all 
their property in common. The -apostles were the ^ • 
depositaries of these goods ; and had under their orders 
ministers or servants, known by the name o f deacons, ^J 
charged with the distribtrtion 'of alms. There is every 
reason to believe! that these great saints did not forget 
themselves in these distributions. It appears also, ,- l"^ 
that the law for this communion of goods, was observed -: , 
with rigour, as we find, in the Acts of the Apostles, ,■ - 
Ananias and Saphira struck dead on the prayer af'St. / 
Peter, for having had the temerity to retain a portion'--^ 
of their own property: — a conduct which would ap- ; 
, peac as unjust as barbarous in any other person but an 
Spostleijf Christ. It must however be acknowledged, ^ - 
that the law which obliged the rich to place their pro- , 
perty in common, was very important, not only to the^ 
apostles, but likewise for encreasing ttiesect and gam- iJ^ 
ing.partizans. The poor undoubtedly must have been ^ >"i 
^ ^ I eager to join a partyf where the rich engaged to lay the £; ^ f 
cloth for the indigent. Hence it is easy to perceive :;."" 
bow this institution might, without a miracle, strengthen 
i> faith, and daily augment the number of the faithful. 
xH isa iOf^all the adherents^ tbe new-born sect acquired, -/: , 
^i t 5 taere was none superior to Saul, afterwards knowp by 
■|^1^4henameof St. Paul. The actions and writings as- 
i; ? •' cribcd to this apostle, exhibit ^ bifio as an^ ainbitious,^ 

\j^S ^^^ 1-^^^^ ^-^ ^^'^'T^^^' . 




^7 , 


-■ vt*^ 

^ active, intrepid, and opjniative inan, full of enthu-, ^ 
' siasm, and capable of inspiring others with it. Engaged'f 

• at first jii the profession of a tent-maker, he afterwards^ 

• attached Wraself to the service of Gamaliel, a doc/or oC 
-the law,_ and rendered services to the priests in theirf 

' persecirtions against the Christians. There is howevert 
reason to believe^ that the apostles^feeling the utility 

/Which a man of SauTs character might be of to the' 
party, profited by some disgust he had taken, in order 

•^ to draw him over to their sect; he consented, very" 

• readily conceiving that by the assistance of his talents, 
superior to those of his brethren, he might easTly sue. 

^ ceed in placing himself at the head of a party, to whlcb'^ 
he' knew the me^ns of rendering himself necessary. 
He pretended therefore that bis cdnversion was the 
' effect" of a miracle, and that God himself had called;^ 
him. He caused himself to be baptised at Damascus^ 
joined the apostles at Jerusalem, was admitted a mem-l 
' beF of their college, and soon made them acquainted 
with his talents*. ^ He betook himself to preaching 
Christ and his resurrection, and laboured in gaining 
' over souls. His Vehement zeal hurried hitn, witJaout 
fear or hesitation, into quarrels with the priests, always 
: indignant at the conduct of the apostles ; but his per< 
secutibns rendered him dearer to his party, of which' 
^hjB became from that time the prime mover and soul, 
>^ Often m'altreated and b^isbeci by the Jews, he con- 
4j jectured that it would be >eneftcial not to confilie him- 
1^^ self to them, but that conquests might likewise be 
4' made among the heathen. He no doubt knew very wefU 
■f ' that'mankind resemble each other in all superstitioht ; 




i^A^ ulihe ApoiBtlei, c. 9. 





n II" 


that they are every where equally curious about what- 
ever is marvellous; susceptible of fanaticism, lovers 
of novelties, and easily deceived. — Paul,, therefore, 

1 sometimes prefiched to the Jews, and soiQetimes, on 
their refusal, addressed himself to the Gentiles, among 
whom he succeeded in enlisting a considerable num- 
ber .of recruits,, 'A.^:.. 
Jesus, born in the bosom of Judaism, and knowing 
well the attachment of his fellow-citizens to the law 
of Moses, had always openly declared^ that h"fe was 
come to "accomplish, and not to destroy it." His 
first apostles were, like himself, Jews; and frequently 
shewed much attachment to the rites of their religion. 
They took it amiss that Paul their brother would not 
subject tbe proselytes he made among the Gentiles| to 
Judaical usages. Filled with vi^ws more vast than 
those entertained by the other apostles, he did not 
wish to disgust his new converts with inconvenient 
ceremonies, such as circumcUion and abstinence from 
certain meats. The better to attain his ends, he 
thought it his duty to neglect usages, which he consi- 
dered as trifles, while his brethren regarded them as* 
most essential*. Paul endeavoured to pr,evaii on them 

: ,* The. first prosdytes which the apostles made among the 
Jews, as we have elsewhere said, were called Nazarenes or 
EtuomteSj who lieliered in Jesus without forsa^g . the ' law 
>of Moses on that account Of consequence they regarded 
St. Paul ^ as an hoetic or an apostate. This &ct, atterted 
by Origin, Eusei>iu8, and St Epiphamus, is inqrartant in 
giving .us ■a distinct idea of ptimitire Christianity, which we 
see divided into two sects almost ias soon as St Paul had em- 
braced it In fact, this new apostle very soon separated 
himself fircmi his brethren to preadi a doctrine different from 
theirs, and opeoty undermined the Judaibm which St Feter>^ 

: , ... , : . 'm 

to hear i^dSoh : afid it wSs 6*n this 06ca%l6h he fesisted V ? j 
St. Peter, who did not wish that they should relax in / 'f 
' articles important in his eyes. / ) 

This altercation produced a real schism. Paul left 

,.i. . 

St James; and aS the other heads of the church po^isted 
HI respecdng. But as St. Paul had success among the Gen- 
tUes, his party prevailed; Judaism^ ^as entirely proscribed, 
and Christianity became ^.uite a new religion, of which 
' Judaism had been only the figure. Thus St. P%ul wholly 
changed the religious system of Christ, who had ■ proposed 
only to reform Judaism, professed the law of Moses, and 
declared himself to have come on purpose to accompUsh, and 
not to abolish .it. The principal apostles followed the con- 
duct' of thdr master, and shewed themselves much attached \ '' " 
to the law . and usages of thdr fkthers. St. Paul, notwith- 
standing thdr protestations, took a difl^ent doiu'se; he dis- 
played a contempt or indifference for the legal ordinances, 
to which, we however observe,' he, through policy, sometimes 
subjected ' himsdf. Thus we find he circumcised Timothy, 
and performed Jewish ceremonies in the temple 6l Jem- 
salem. j* 

Not content with decrying the law of Moses, St. Paul, by 
his own confes^on, preached a gospel of his own. He says 
poffltively, in his ejqstle ,to the Galatians^ chap. i. 11> &c. 
"That the gospel which I preach is not after men," and 
that he had received it by a particular .revelation <^/ Jesus 
Christ He speaks likewise of his quarrels with the other 
heads of the sect; but his disdple St Luke passes over these 
very slightly in the Acts, which are much more the Jets of 
Paul Ulan the ' Acts of the Apostles. It appears evident, 
that he embroiled himself with his brethren, the partizans of 
the dtcamdsion, and founders ci the^azarenes or . Ebiodtes, 
L *^ reformed Jews cohvCTted to J^eua. Tliey ^had a g6q>el 
littfe conformable to that of Paul, as they cotnbined the4a# 
of Christ with that of Moses. St Irenaeus, St Justin, St; 
Epiphaidiis, Eusebius, Theodoret; and St Augnsthie, agree' 
in telling us^f that th«>se Ebionites, or converted Jews, re» 
garded Jesus as a "mere man, son <}f Joseph- and Maiy, 

" ' - Vr.-: ■ :i^i- V";-;- ^/-/ :< l'^ 

• '■^» ': V' * 

S » ■ ' 

■z m. 

V- -:^^:-:>-'^.'V-^v^i\^tc-* 

,• -.--if' 


' v • -? 



(/ H 'I 


'in * 

his brethren to preach the Judaical gospel or circum- 
cision, whilst he preached his own in Asia Minor and 
ID Greece, sometimes to the Hefleoistic Jews, whom Z 
he found established there, and sometimes to theidola-- '\ 
trous Greeks, whose language^ thpugh, unknown to 
the other apostles, Paul was ac<}uai9.ted with. His 
mission had a success which far surpassed that of his 
brethren; in so much that we may fairly regard Paul / 
as the true founder of 'the Christian religion such as it 
is at this day. If we have recourse to the Acts of the 
Apostles, we perceive in this new preacher an activity, ' 
a warmth, a vehemence, and an enthusiasm well adapted 
to communicate itself. The missionaries he formed) 
spread his doctrine to a great distance. The gospel of 
the apostle of the Gentiles prevailed over the gospel of 
the Judaizing apostles; and in a short time there were ' 
a great nun>ber of Christians in all the provinces of 
the Roman empire. ^^ ^-*^ .K^*;?isa^ ;^^»^fi^^©itev^-^-^ 
To a miserable people, cfushed by tyrants and op- . 
pressors of every kind, ihe principles ofthe new sect 
had powerful attractions. It^ maxims, which, tended 
to introduce equality and a community of goods, were 
calculated to- entice persons despised. Its promises 
flattered miserable fanatics, to whom was annoiunced 
the end of a per\'er8e world, the approaching arrival 
of Jesus, and a kingdom wherein abundance and hap- , 

to wljonrf 4iey gave the name of Son of Grod, only on account -_ ^: 
of his virtues* From this it is evidmi diat it was St Paul 
fvlioddfied Jesus and abofisHed Judaism. The PauKtes, become 
the strongest^ prevdled over the Ebionites, or ^dples of v 
the sspoeHiea, and treated them as heretics. Hence we see - 
it is the religioD of St P^.and not that of Jesus. Christ, 
i^ch at present sut^sta. ''-^}^ "^^''^-^r^h^' C^^f»^R»-*"^3^M'.r-v 




;-,,:, ...291-7 -..■•.■ . ■. ■ 

piness would reign. To be admitted there, they merely ' 
required of the proselytes " to believe in Jesus Christ, 
and be baptized." As for the 'austere maxims of the 
Christian sect, they were not of a nature to disgust 
mrsevables, accustomed from their situation to sufier, 
and to experiencle the want of the fconreftiences ot" 
life. Its dogmais, few in the beginning, v^ere readily 
adopted by ignorant men, fond of wonders, whom their 
own mythology disposed to i:eceive the fables of ChnV- 
tians :* besides, their own preachers wrought mira* 

* SSi sup^staianB hare resranbbnoes and aiffinities. Thi^ 
heatheim peroeived in thdr n^igion drcumstanoea cpnfofmiiblA 
to Ciizistianity. Thej had Sibyls, oracles, aad predictions, 
iTheir myt|iology exlul>ited .gods dethroned and repladog one 
another. There we ' see gods persecuted, exHed, and put to 
death ; an Oaris kffied \sj Typhon, and raisled again fitwi' 
As dead; iin Apollo expdled fixun heaven; on Adcmis, £»!. 
We espedally find many points of conformity between Escu- 
lapiiis and Jesus Christ. The heathep god was son of Apollo 
^nd the "maid, Boebia^ y and, like .J^sus, performed a great 
number Off ttihraculous cures. tie was punished and fhuhder- 
Struck by Jupiter, %x, h^iving rai^d the dead and restored theni 
to a better ^fe. Aftec his death, he too went and rgdaied the god 

'Ilie &th6rsJof ^e (^ixrch Qiem ^ve fbuod stiikiiig 

ctn)ibtmitie9 between Jesus apd Prometheus^ who was ca^e^ 
^^ wisd^mi of the Ja^iet. He was pUqished by Jupiter iat 
having saved the human race, who w^ on the pqiht of bom; 
precQHtated Jnto Tartonis, . Sui^ s^ys, fhat' iXiey gave 

^-Ibrometheils a surname^ which agnifies He who died for ihti 

' people. |Ie was cruC^Sled on "Cauca^s; and Tertufiian i!i>eit^ 
of crossep found thexe. ■ tlis blood produced a plant, w^^ • 

;,,j*nafit^ mvuLierablip. :* See ^ treatifie /of M. de 'B)(H|^ 
^titied Be In superstifim (on superstatidp}^ hxa^tetdsfo^ 

^1688, 18mo/ p. llj-— 1181 Tlus author aTso otseireB, that 

,/ ,f » 



, ■ ^- ■ ^ 

I cles, which did not permit them to doubt those said to 
have been perfornied by Jesus. There is, therefore, 
reason to presume, that different missionaries, in emu- 
lation of one another, took care to compose romances, 
or histories of Christ, wherein they related a great 
number of prodigies calculated to make their hero be 
revered, and to interest the veneration of the faithful. 
tn this: manner the different collections, known by the 
name of Gospels, seem to have been framed, wherein, 
along with very simple facts which might have really 
occurred, we find many relations that appear credible 
only to enthusiasts and fools. These histories, com- 
posed by different hands, on traditions little uniforin, 
and by authors of very different characters, are not 
much in harmony ; hence the want of conformity in 
the relations of our evangelists, which has been fre- 
quently noticed in the course of this work. There 
was, as we have elsewhere remarked, a vast number 

= v: '»'^ "^^r- :;oi. "'-■:V/ '/?:i;: ''.;';. ' • .'T J'i'rs^ ;-!>■;*. Jk:;:. ^^i^'pif 

'■■-'. ; ■ „ ■■ ■-■,-■,• '■ ■--.'■' :..,., 

the lieathens had some ideas pf the Trinity. The same god 
was stykd Jupiter in heaven, Mercuiy on earth, ai^d Phito 
IP heO. See p. 106. Mercujy is called Hermes in Gieece, 
which signifies interpreter ; this god and son of Jupiter is 
often called the word intet^eted. The mystery of the .Tii- 
nity is owing to Flato, who of the goodness, toisdom, and power 
of God, made three hypostases, that is, personified these divine 
attributes. See. Platonisme devoUe, by Souverain, a Sodnian, 

,^ „ \ 8vo. 1700, p. 65. ' ^ 

I, Ja &ct, we know that the heathens admitted a hell (ht 

'^ ( Tartarus, a last judgment, g^m» angels, demons ; metatnor» 
jAoses or mcamations, and a thousand feHles, analogous to. 
tiiose of Christians.. SeTa:^! of their philosophers have be-, 
fieved in the end of the world; and that doctrine, accordiagia, 
Lactantiutb wondei&IIy favoured the pxeachers of the gospeL -'wi^U; 




of gospels in the first ages of the church ;* and out of 
these the council of Nice chose only four, to which 
they gave the divine sanction. 

We shall not here examine whether these gopels 
really belong to the authors tp whom they' are ascribed. 
The opinion which attributes them to their putative 
writers, might have been founded at first on some tra-^ 
ditioQ, true or false, which existed in the time of the 
council of Nice, or which the fathers of that council 
had an interest in sanctioning. . We shall only remark, 
that it is difficult to persuade ourselves, without faith, 
that the gospel of St. John especially, filled with Pla^ 
. tonic notions, could be composed by the sou of Zebe« 
dee; by a poor fisherman, who, perhaps, incapable oC 
writing, and even reading, could not be acquainted 
with the philosophy of Plato.t 

Whatever opinion may be formed as to this, we find 
the mystical and marvellous philosophy of Plato intro- 
duced very early into Christianity, which agreed in 

' " 0- ' ■ . J? ■'. M , . 

' * See Appendix for a list of these gospels. ■' ' ' 

f From the infancy of Chtistdanity there have been peo-. 

pk, who have denied the authenticity of the gospels. Maf^ 

das accused them of being filled with &Isehoods. The 

Aloges and Theodotians rejected the gospel according to St.. 

John, which th^ regarded as a tissue of lies. See TiQimont 

Ifenunrs, tCHue S. p. 256. St. Epipb. Hsrens. 51. Ulli*. 

mont. t 2. p. 438. St Augustin in his QmfessioHS, L 7. c. 9. 

eatjSf that he had &\md in the Platonists the whole begmrang. 

Qf the gospel of St John. Origai (contra CelsumJ informs us, 

that this heathen reproached Christ with having taken firoia, 

Plato Hus finest maxims, which the gospel attributes to hhn, 

iand among others the one which says, that ''it is more easj for 

a.c^imel to go through the eye of a needle^ than tot a rich man tol^.-« 

1"" i ' 


./i-'.'sS 'V/ -•■..' '^"i-''.^ -•-'^.- .';' -V-j" -- . ■■'' • -.vrv 

' :294 


«ev«ral respects witli the tenets held by the followers 
of that emineRt philosopher; while, on the other hand, 
bis perplexed philosophy must also have easily amal- 
gamated with the principles of the Christian sect. 
This analogy introduced into the religion of Christians 
the notions o{ Spirituality^ Trinity ^ and the Logos, or 
Word, besides a multitude of magical and theurgicat - 
cleremoriies, which, in the hands of the priests of Chris- 
tiiahity, have become mysteries, -or sacraments. On 
reading Porphyry, JanibUchus, and particularly Plofci- 
. iius, we are surprised to liear them speaking so fre- 
////// \ ^'^^^^^y ^^ ^^® same Style as our theologists. These 
iTnarks of resemblance drew several Platonists «>vt'r to 
the faith, who figured among the doctors of the ehurch, . 
0( this number were St. Clement of Alexandria, St, • 
Ireneusj St. Justin Martyr, Origen, Ac* Platonism 
may indeed be rega rded as t be source of the princ ipal 
dogmas and mysteries of the Christian religion.* 

~ ~ ■ - r~~ ~ ~~ I -.. , .. ""Iv" IJiiliui' 

v' -' . . i - ' •. -■.'/- ■ ■•>■... ;:.,'• ^ 

* Those who doubt die truth of this assertion, have mily 
to read the works of the disd^lds of ^kto, who- Were all 
sup«stitious persons aiid Theurgists^ whose ideas ktG sufBi^tly 
libabgouB to those of.Clu^stidiis. "Wife find indeed ^liese writing 
^ed with recdpts to make the gods tuid good genfi descdbd/ - 
^d to diAre awSy the bad, &c. See partfetilarfy Piatonisme devoile. . 
Tertufli^ reproaches the heretics 6f his time with having wandered* ' 
astray in order to introduce Pfetonism/ Stoicism, andfiialectfes^intd . 
C^iiStianitJr. Vidirint qui StaiCum et PUctomcum, tt Walectkam ( 
^tiitiatiismujit prottUonini. T%rtuB. de praiSjJription. adv; ^ 
haet&L c 8. ft was evidently the nffiCtdre of ^» tmmtelli- '; 
gfbU dodiine' of Plkto, With the iMatectics of Arfetotfci % 
^, .1 ^Tt$dh r^dearei theelbgy so seiiseteiSS, / diS^otabte, an* f 
feau^ wJtIi subtilties: flie cartBnal PaBdvichri adcaows. \^ 
ledger, tluit « wit&ottt Aristedfe the Chri^da&i ^uld lac^e^ tJ 
manted a great number <^ articles of feidi,* ; , ^^ „" "^ "; "; V! 

■^T\fe austere and fanatical lives of ChrustiaAd naust 
/^ ako bav€ favourably disposed a great number of Stoics 
in behalf of the sect, vi'ho were accustomed to make a 
merit of despising objects desirable to other mea, de<- 
pricing themselves of the comforts of life, and bravii^. 
affliction and death. We accordingly fiad a great 
number of enthusiasts tinctured with these maxims in 
the Christian religion. Thi^ fanatical way of linking 
was very necessary to th,e firs£ Christians, in the naidst 
of the ciHDsstes and' persecutions which they sfaftered at 
^rst on the part of the Jews, and tberealter on tliff 
part of the emperors and gtandees, incited by the hea- 
then priests The latter, according to the custom of 
, \ the priesthood in all countries, made a very cruel war 
7 ' on a sect who attacked tkeir gods, aQd menaced theic 
'I temples with a general desertion. Tb« uoi verse wag 
weary of the imposturcs and exactions of these priests* 
thenr costly sacrifices, and lying o^lesi. Their kai« 
▼eries had been frequently unveiled, aqd the new 
sect tend>ered totoankind a worship less expensive,, and 
which, without behag addressed so muclrto the eyes 
as the worship of idols, was better adapted than the 
other to set the i&aagioasliion at work, a«kd excite en^ 
tbujsias^. ■:i^t-^:^mipfczA:'t'^^-.,e^'-i-- ^ ':A 

■^'Christianity was moreover ffetterihg and cdti*qKttl6Vjr 
to tbe wretched; it placed all men on the isattie le#ii^; 
humbled the rich» and was aanouuced as destined £r>c 
tlie pobir thorough, pgrelfereilce.. AtQaog the Ron^ns^. 
filsvefrvpere itiseinfr mes^rs e»cfe»d«d from teir^ioa; 
atnf it might bave been ^id, that tfre go* <f?d not astt^- 
cfecn tberoselves with the.hornage of tneijie deg)!!iifed 
beings.^^ , The poor, besides^ haa not wteev^itb 16 
satisfy the rapacity of Pagan priests^ who, like «ujr^ 


did nothing without money. Thus slaves and perfiont 
in misery must have been -strongly attached to a ays' 
tem, according to which all men are equal in the eyes 
of the Divinity, and that the wretched have better 
right to the favours of a suffering and contemned Gock 
than persons temporally happy, ^u'^'-y Qf^'-isi^^^^Ma- 
The priests of Paganism therefore became uneasy 
at the rapid progress of the sect. The government 
was alarmed at the clandestine assemblies which the 
Christians held. They were believed to be the ene- 
mies of the emperors, because they continually refused 
to offer sacrifices to thegods of the country for theif 
prosperity. Even the people, ever zealous, believed 
them enemies of their gods, because they would not 
join in their worship. They treated the Christians as 
Atheists and impious persons, because they did not 
conceive what could be the invisible objects of their 
adoration ; and because they took offence at the mys- 
teries, which they saw them celebrating in the greatest 
secrecy*. The Christians, thus loaded- with the pub- 
lic hatred, very soon became its victims ; they wen 

^ We may see from the t^lc^ies of St Justin, Tatian, 
Aihenagoras, Tertullian, and Amobius, that the most aJKH 
minable crime s were imputed to the first Chiistians, such as 
eating litde childroi, hemg irreli^otis and sao^^ous, com"* 
mitting inc ontinences and incest in their nocturnal aasernhGesT 
It was pretended that t h^ fastened a dog to a candlestict^ 
"axkAr when by \ mean s-, of this the light was exdnguistiedj the 
sexes coupled pnmuscuously. These opinions, spread ablQSf 
amon^ Si people, instated them against " the- Christianti, 
whom they r^arded as the cause of the wrath of the godi^> > 
and of "the public r^lamMt^. We accordingly see that^ even 
under the mildest emperort, the popular fory kindled per«. 
aecntions. . -^ 




pefsecatedv: and persecution, as it always happens^ 
rendered them moreopiniative. Enthusiasm more and 
more enflamed their souls ; they made it a glory to 
resist the efforts of tyrants; they even went so fer as 
to brave theit punishments, and concluded, vrith be- 
lieving, that the greatest happiDes&'^yas to perish under 
their severities. In this they flattered themselves with 
resembling the Son of God, and were persuaded, that 
by dying for his cause, thtey were certain of reigning 
with him in heaven. ; _ . 

. In consequence of these fanatical ideas, so ^attelring 
to vanity, martyrdom became an: object of ambition to 
many Christians. Independent of the heavenly re* 
wards, which they believed assured to those who suffer- 
ed with constancy, and perished for religion, they saw 
them esteemed, revered, and carefully attended to, 
during their lives, while honours, almost divine, were 
decreed them after death. On the contraryj those of 
the Christian community, who had the weakness to 
shrink from tortures, and renounce their religion^ were 
dGoffed at, despised, and regarded as infamous. So 
many- motives combined, contributed to warm the ima- 
ginations of the faitlrful, already sufBciently agitated 
by notions of the approaching end of the world, the 
coming of Jesus, his happy reign^ and impressed with 
the fanatical notions which glnt the writings of the 
Christians. They gubmitted cheerfully to punish- 
ments, and gloried in their chains : they courted 
martyrdom as a favour, and often, through a blind 
xeal, provoked the rage of their persecutors. The 
naagistfs^tes \yy their proscriptions and tortures, tiusetl 
the enthusiasm 'of the Christians to kindle more and 
more. Their courage was besides supported by the 

:•':>>.■ ■ 

~ ■ ■ ■ - , " ' . ."> • 

headsrof their MCt," wliQ constantly dfapSayed the hea- 
vens opening to the heroes who consented tQ ?^^er ajad 
p^ishfoj their cause, which they took care to make 
the poor fanatics regard as the cause <if God himself. 
A martjnr, at all times, is rperely the vipttm of the e«^ 
tfau siasTic or knavish priegt wiio has been able to »e^ 
Huce hiai.* ^^ '. ■ :'i-:' .■ '~~~. •') 

Men are" always disgusted with Chose who use vio- 
lence ; they conjecture that they are wrong, and that 
those against whom they commit violence have re^don 
on their side. Persecution will ever make partidans to 
the cause persecuted/:' and those to which we allud^ 
iended thehiare to confirm Christians in their religi<m. 
The spectatorjB of their sufferings fwere interested for 
them. They were canious to kno^ the principles of a 
sect which drew on ftself such cruel treatment, s^^d 
infased into its adherents a courage believed to be suh' 
pernaturaU They imagined that such a religion could 
be the work of a Qod only ; its partisans appeared ex- 
traordinary men, and their enthusiasm became ooata- 
gious. Violence served only to spread it the morei 
and, according to the language of a Christian doctor, 
*'tbe blood of the martyrs became Uie seed ,or fch^ 
cbur<^^3^3i^.:'ic' htm. -mhl 'yi^qm:^^^"^' i:tf<^c}i " VjI ' 

* Mar^ Ip CrTf^k gtgmfifg vfSness. 3u^ with Ithe . e]i^: 
eepfioQ of the aposdes, (whose actions have been transmit^ ^ 
ted to us duly bj the foigers of legends), , what kind of teth 
to<my could Bien> who bad never seen Jesua^ bear him^ axA 
•wko could ]mow htm adj inaa. th^ stories told them bjr 
preadiers, who had yfhai. they thonsdves ki^w of h&n oa^ 
by a very suepido^ l^adition ? A mar^ is in gaieral only^a 
fixd, dumped by another fool, who was ^ dupe of ^ knar^ 
whose ol^ect' was to estabKsh a sect, and who bhnaelf ^ frequently 
was {ranUied for his prqjectsj^i ^,v=>, j:. i^^ i .^ '?* 

' .■- ,. .•-,- - ■:>.'- ... 1.^ , ..■;.v.;- 



The clergy would fain make the propagation of 
Christianity pass for an' evident miracle of divine om- 
nipotence ; while it was owing solely to natural causes, 
inherent in the human mind, the property of which it 
is to adhere strenuously _ to its own way of thinking; 
harden itself against violence; applaud itself for its 
pertip^city ; admire courage in others ; feel an interest 
for those who display it ; and suffer itself to be gained 
by their enthusiaani. A little reflection will show that 
the obstinacy of the mairtyrs, far from be ing a sign of 
the divine protection, or of the goodness of their cause, 
can be regarded only as the effect of blindness, occa- 
sioaed by the reiteiiated lessons of their fanatical of 
deceitful priests.* What conduct more extravagant 

It (t 

'*^ The learned H. Dodwdl has written two copious dii- 
sertaljons on the mar^rlrs : the one to prove that diej were 
n^ so niBnerous as is commonly imag^ed ; and the other 
to demonstrate that their constancy can ' be ascribed only 
to vexy natural causey. Dodwell's IMssertationes Cypii- 
pice, in 8vo, Oxonis, 1684. ft cannot be denied, that the 
frenzy of martyrdom wqs an ejndemical diseiEise among the 
jSrst Christians, to "which thdr spiritual phyncians were ob%ed 
^ «^Iy remedies, as these wretdiied bongs were guilty of 
•nicide. « - . 

Many of the^ primttjive C%i8^tians, in^ad of fying as the 
gpspd directs, not oi^y r^ voluntar% to execution, but] 
provoked their judges to do them that favor. Uod^ Trajai^ 
all the Christians in a citj^ of Ada came in a txidy to- the 
proconsul, and offered themselves to the staughter, w|ii|di 
mode him cry, " O ! ye lo^ppy people, if, ye have a nund 
to die, have ye not halters and precipices enough to ^cA. 
your lives, but ye. must come here for executioners.*' Tertul. 
ad Sca^ c 5. p. 11. Fleury'^ Manners ^f the Chr^tians, &c. 
TfaiB was a general laraotice imder the Antpnini. Marcus 
^toninuB severely ' reflected on the obstinacy of the Chriv 

<sl ■ - 







• *.'- -. 

'>• t 





than that of a sovereign, who, abre and without enTu- 
ision of blood to extend bis power, should prefer to do 
it by the massacre of the most faithful of his subjects? 
Is it not annihilating the divine wisdom and goodness 
to assert, that a God, to whom eyei-y thing is pos- 
sible, among so many ways which he may have bad 
to establish his religion, will venture upon ,th]!t of 
making its dearest friends victims to the fury of 
its cruellest enemies? Such are ttie notions which 
Christianity presents ; and it is easy to perceive tha^t 
they are the neclessary consequences of a fundamental 
absurdity, on which that religion is established. It 
inaintains,-that a j^st God did not wish to chuse any 
other way to redeem guilty men,' than that of making 

tisns ^ thus nmning lieadlong to 4eath; and St. "Cyprian 
laboured hard to comfort those who were so unhspfpy as to 
escape the crown ^ martTrdom. The enoxues of Jufian the 
apostate/ even admit' that the ^Christians of his time- did every 
thing they could to provoke that emperor to put them to 
d^tith. V Dr. Hickes^ a celebrated prQtestant divine, goes s» 
hx as to say that the Christians " were not illegally perse- 
^ted^by Julian.*' — See Ins Aiftwer to JiiUan, 'c iL -&c 
After aD, it will be found tiiat eve ry x^otent pasrfon has hs 
martyrs. Pr ide, vanity, prqudj ce, love, patrioti8m> and 

jeven vice itadf, produces ' mar^TS ; or at least a contemp t "ol 
fvery kind of clanger, ) la it then surprising diat enthusiajtth 
j a^d^ fenaricjsm, , the strong est pasa orig of mankind, have so 
pften enabled -men, ins^ed with the hopes ttiey give, to fisft^ 
flnd des^se death ? Beades, if Christia ns can boast a cat a-, 
^^)^^ of martyrs^ Jews ^ can' do tl^ sameT 'iTie imibrtun^ 
Jews, condemned to the flamds ^by' the inqtaroon, were 
mgrtyr s to tfadrt^Iigion; and ^heir fortitude proves as much fa 

their &VOUr as tiiat of 't>M» f! tifi«fi»>Tig fsfn • Sh in favmir -~of 

(3>TOtianity. If martyrs demonstrate the truth: o^ a Te&gim or 
aect^ tdiere are we 'to lo<A for the true one ?■ — Boulanger, 
Vohey's ^^xans cf Empires f SfCf^ 


, • - ■ ,':■■■ '-.-K '.: >;- ■■:3> -■.->■ 


' r 



; his dear inQOcent son be. ptut to-death. According' to 

such principles, it can surprise tbatso ,un* 

;' reasonable a. God should wish to convert the heathen, 

his enemies/ by the. murder of Christians, his children. 

y Though these absurdities are believed, such as do not 

possess the holy blindness of faith cannot comprehend 

V wb|^ the Son of God, having already shed hfs blood for 

the redemption of men, was not a sufficient sacrifice ? 

. and why, to jpffect the conversion of the world, there 

■ . was still a necessity for the blood of an immense num- 

b^r of martyrs, wKose mei^s must have been undoubt- 

y- edly much less than, those of Jesus ? To resolve these 

I difficulties, theologians refer us to the eternal decrees, 

\- the wisdom of which w^ are not permitted to criticise. 

f This is aending us far back indeed ; yet notwithstand- 

A ing the solidity of the answer, the incredulous persist 

{ir in saying thut their limited understandings can neither 

•^ find justice, nor wisdom, nor goodness, in eternal de- 

y crees^ which could in such a manner effect the salvar 

' tion of the humap racp. - 

^.Persecutions were not the only means which served 
-^ to propagate the religion of christians. The jpreachers, 
;' zealous for the salvation of so^ls, or rather desirous to 
i extend their own power over th«^ minds of men, and 
Vstrengthen their party, inherited Arom the Jews the 
passion of making proselytes*. This passion suited 

~tf illei^ouMi^ &r tfadr particular oltject to extend 

the pewcir of the dei^gy. The chvurch sends entliuaastB ex 

koaves to tbe extremities of the earth to heat up fas sulgects. 

The- misafamarifiB -lihere. transact their busmess yaatlj wdS, 
and open to ^thonsehres new brandhes of. commerce, wliile 
ihey act .^th pnidence. ' The insolaicel aiid impnxteiioe tf 
tin Jmitts hare ocoasioned the prosca^dini of the (%>istiah 

^■■* '/^!^^^^ ':':■ _\ ■ 

.:- : ■- V-,;-- .•:.^*f .;.*<•.•■ ,-•.. . .' ..- -.-.'r , ^ 

- •;: ■ ■ ■■ >^- ' ■ 

sot r 

presumptuoire fanatics, who were persuaded, thiat they . 
alone possessed- exclusively the divine favour : it was 
unknown to the heathens, who were accustomed to suf- 
fer every one peaceably to adore his gods, providing 
that his worship did not disturb the public tranquil- 
lity, K:^:^■H'•^■>^v.:^>■■■,---^'.v ■■'. ■ / ' fr 

Prompted by zeal, the Christian itaissionarieis, ftdt- 
withstanding persecutions and dangers, spread theiii- 
selves, with an ardour unparalleled, wherever they could 
penetrate, in order to convert idolaters, and bring - 
back strayed sheep to the fold of Jesus. This activif 5^ ' 
naturally merited the recompence of very great succesi* 
Men, whom their idolatrous priests neglected. Were 
flattered with seeing themselves courted, and becoming 
the object of the disinterested cares of personages, 
' w^tr ttfTQugh pure tenderness for them Caine from 
afar, and through the greatest perils, to bring thetb \^/ 
consolation. In consequence of theise dispositibns, 
they listened favourably to them ; they showed kind- 
ness to men so obliging, and were enchanted with their 
doctrine and relations. Many adopted their lessons, 
placed themselves under their guidance, and found 

where wdl received in the beginning, and in gmeral 8u£fer 
martyrdom only when their real designs are discovoced., 
Ksariln, emjperor of China, asked the Jesuit missionaries at > ^ 
^dda what thejr would «iy if he wo^ld send nnanonaiies to \^ 
their luetiaa ? The revdts excited hythe Jesuits in J^Mm / , 
and EAioi»a are Well knowm A holy nmaiflfiary has beea^ 
heard to skf, that without mudeeia, maiAmanea ceoid nevft 
ntfdEe prosdytes. Jt T&aaaas to be seeb whether tiie pto- 
ppsed SQ^ocms to HiadoMan under the slmction of thfe^Britidb 
gov€BUQeatlld& find i^ i^taasKj to empfey i3aeBe^(mul.umfimf -. 





that their God an<i dogmas were superior to tltose 
which had preceded them.' f' ^/>!»' 
^i Thus by degrees and without a miracle, Christianity 
ptanted • colonies, more or less considerable, in every 
part of the Roman empire. They were directed, and 
governed by inspectors, overseers, or bishops,* who, in 
spite of the dangers with which they were menaced,- 
laboured obstinately, and without intermission, in 
augmenting the number of their disciples, that is, of 
slaves devoted to their holy wills. Empire over opi- 
nions was always the most Unbounded. . As nothing 
has greater power over the minds of the vulgar than 
religion. Christians every where displayed an unli- 
mited submission to their spiritual sovereigns, on whose 
laws they persuaded themselves that their eternal hap- 
piness depended. Thus our missionaries, converted 
into bishops, exercised, with consent of their disci- 
ples, a spiritual magistracy and sacred jurisdiction 
which, in the end, placed them not only above other ' 
priests, but 'also^ made them respected by, and neces- 

-*, Fleuiy informf us that in the earfy periods of Chris- 
tianity '' all the clergy, even to the bishops, lived afler a poor, 
at least a plain and ordinary manner." St Jerome ia^iiy 
disapproved the distinctions' of bishops and priests, or curates. 
He asserted that^ according to St. Paul, they were tjhe same 
thing, " tin by the instigation of the devil there were desti- 
nations in rdigion." At this day Inshops, who do nothing, 
c^joy great revenues, wlule innumerable curates who labour 
are dying for hunger j and fvhile lazy priests, those blood- 
supers- of sode^, thus wallow fai an abundance shamefiil to 
the states by ^om they are tolerated, the nan (£ talents, 
^ / the man of sdence, and the brave soldier are suffered to langtush 
in indigeHce, and scarcdy exist on the mere necesmies of life. 



;'\ '^'. . 



^7 ^-*^.v;.-L-.^ 


ff ff 

sary toj the temporal power. Princes have always 
employed religion and its miniisters with success in 
crushing the people, and keep ing them mider the 
yoke. Impostures and ddusiop^are ot' no me to so- 
,f \ vereigns Who govern, but they are very useful to those ( / 
who tyraTmize,*Y ;?-■>■";»$'>« vcj« ^}V^*?!^mm'^^'f-ii^m''rm ■_- 

* I' * - . . * ■ J. ^ 

%S'W:'^'^:\ ♦ See AEpendix, Na nL ^'^^^ ;-'>^-'^fe?^i 

'" J '■■' 

■: ;j 



J I '' 

.\ . ' 


tf-"-- _'. 

\ ^' 


' 3, 

- , . ■'i 

.O V 


• r- 

" -i • - 


^ U;- 

■ ' *. 

'' '■ : ■" 


fc '■ 




-■ -. -, 



* ■- 


'J.\ '--':■ -■' '.; fnl^-'./iJ wet's. j';*xj >Ii/S;-fJ 




'"'^ ^*r^^liflife€HAPTER XVIII. ." ;.::■:. !.':^a:<;..V 3 

Account of Christianity "from constantine^ to tme 

■ ■ ^ ^^:,<'-^-mPiW. ■ .PRESENT .TIME. „ • • .. ^^^.j^^^h:^ . 

' 'AT the end of the three centuries, we find Chris- 
tianity, advanced by all those means, becoine a for- 
midable party iu^the Roman Empire. The sovereign 
power acknowledged tlie impossibility of stifling it; 
and Christians, scattered in great numbers through all 
the provinces, formed an imposing jcombinatjon.* 
Ambitious chiefs incessantly wrested from one another 
the right of reigning over the wrecks of an enslaved 
republic itiach sought to increase liis own strength, 
and acquire an advantage over his rfvals. It was in] ^ 
these circumstances that Constantine, to strengthen /^ /«"</ 
/^.. himself first against Maxentius, aind thereafter against \ /' 
Licinius, thought it his interest, by a stroke of policy, 
4o draw over all the Christians to. his party. ^ For this 
purpose he openly favoured them, and thereby jrein- 
V -; forced his army with all the soldiers of that numerous 
. ^^- v.sect. In gratitude for the advantages they procured 
- ^biio^ he concluded with embracing their religion, now 

/V?t •We are, said TertulHan, but of yestexday, and jet ihe 
worid is filled; ^tjatii us— your dtie8> your houses, youi^ gar- 

%i' ri8<ni8, your villages, your colonies, your very, camp^ your / ^ 
tribes, your palaces, your senate,, your courts d' jwrt^— ^'^^ 
^,Apol;.c.ST.,r ... ; ,^>, ,: ;.^,..^,_;c.^^,^..^. :' .' ':' ':i'^ 

. '."'-.•>.;':■■. :..*:!:■i>^^.>Jj.J>^ v'- , - • -t^.'-^j-- 

' -, ' .^^' • >. ..■*,-■■ 

;'.'."' ■/•*-'"s.^-^^'*v' v\-,'.-,,-i^'" .-■■•■: '-i'' •■>•- '^ ■ 1_'' '■■■ 

^,,^r\.^■:CV-■':••:■■'•'t;■».■:.'^•'■,■-■-•.-\■v™. ^ . .. ■, ',-V.t-. - 

'i^ ■■•.'•'.■--"> r . . - : - :. .,■ - ■-.'...■ c; ^. i .■ .. ,'• 

J* '\. 



become so powerful. He honoured, distinguished ' 
and enriched the Christian bishops, well assured of, 
attaching them to himself by his liberality to their »:' 
pastors, land the favour l^e shewed them. Aided by* .' 
their succours, he flattered himself with the disposal 
of the flock.* '■•-■■ ":^ ->: -V.^ ,;'■''-, 'va'; ;:■-■ ■:'--:.:^" ,'.. 

By this political revolution, so favourable to the 
clergy, the bashful chiefs of the Christians, who 
hitherto had reigned only in secret and without eclat, 
sprung out of the dust, and became men of import-; 
ance. Seconded by a very despotical emperor, whose 
interests were linked with theirs, they very soon em- 
ployed their credit to avenge their injuries, and return : .' 
to their enemies, with usury, the evils which they had 
received. The unexpected change in the fortune of 
the Christians made Lhem soon forget the mild and 
tolerating maxims of their legislator. They conceived, , ' 
that these maxims, made for wretches destitute of 

- r 

power, could no longer syit men sapported by sove. 
reigns ; they attacked the temples and gods (d pa^ 
ganism; their worshippers were exclude4^ from place* 
of trust, and the master lavished his favours on those, 
only who consented to think like him, and justify his 
change by imitating it. f Thus, without any miracle, • 

........ ,\ ] .■:■■■ ''.:.'-_:. • " ■ . - / .•", . ■ ; • .; x^ ^■■„ 

* It is evident that Constantine, notwithstanding the ;;■ 
eul(^ums the Christians have bestot^ed on him, was an abo-v"^ 
mingle prince, stained < with the murder of his w^e, his scm, _ ^ 
and his colleague. He sought in vain for expiation in the'^, ^ 
heathen religibn, but found it only in the Clmstian. If he l^^I- . 
was really a Christian, his example will iaerve,' Re rasOij others, ;^' . - 
to proy«, that a person may be at once' very ^ev«ut and v«y- ;■<;",. 

t It is well established, timt Constantine, his duUfHi, r ' 

• . . ■ y .. . .. , V . iJi, . 

, ■^. ■ « -,■.'_.-'■■;, .._.■'._ -I ■ ..-1 '^- •-;;;.- -i.^;.,;. ^ \'- . 

f ' 




^'eofirtljecamfe G&ristiao, <a* at least -feigned t<> J)0r 

V ' BO, and tbed8ic@D<i4fit8 of hypocritical cpurtiecs wiOfp 

y Ciiristians in reality,* '; • : ^ 

Even before the time^ ConstanitiQe, (jhristiaQiity 

liad been rent by disputie»» heresies, acbisoo^i and jioi>- 

' Huskies between the Christian chiefe^t The;adii<^ 

; rents of the different doctors had reviled, anath^eQiC* 

tised, and maJtreated each other without their qnarsds 

iaaking a noise in the world. The subtil ties of Gt^ 

cian metaphysics, introduce into the Christian Mtlt- 

gion, had hatched an infinity of disputes, which liad 

not hitherto been attended with .any- remarkable coii)- 

- sequences. .- All these quarrels burst forth in the i^n. 

of Coneit^tine; The Jbitshopts and champions of difr, 

: fereot parties cabalied to draw over the«09peror to 

^ th&t side, and th^s aid t^em in crushing ^ir iidsf^- 

varies. At the same tiine a very cjop&^erabl^ party 

<of Cbrittians^ under the baan^ of ti^: priest' AHutt 

■ ■ -^ ■•/•■'■ - ' . 

'■■---. ^ ,.'%»•' = 

i and espedaify lliieodo^us, us^ mmeara-pf vio^ceS in ordw 

to amiHiflate pdganisia. To be coimn(ied''of tfaK, we -have only 

:, totead^ llieodoa^m c(»di3,^n. tit li. de Fa^anis; 8act^km,JEt 

■; TeitopUsJ^ijiAi'r ■>^'-''- '-/^ 

^ * '1^ .tcue, sayp |i'lei«^a the J)M:baiiaijs. yie^ f^yy^rtj^; 

the Francs :tmne4,jC!hj;is^Qf(^ J P04 the Goths aijid i<pn4>ar^ 

became_good CathoUcs; but diey remained barbarians i^iH. 

' f St Epiphaiy,^* wild wrote in the fourth century \df #e 

Christisoi era, Infbiiins us, that m bSs time'tiiere were alreadly 

^awptkoire k^edeit »t ^^tB, into whicb .Giim^mfi Were #- 

vid«df . St. JreiMBiii^ ' w^ iir^ad • in % sec^p^ cs^^i^wry, ,4^, 

before [^seif, ^ajr^»iy^i;eft|bed a , great ^pinb^r.^ Mmce , thenj we 

' \ bare |>^he)d ^£Sresie| muMplym m the church without end; but 

' ' this" V.npl 'swp^sii^ :=-rin* Works so confiadictorjr, so, obsMniife, 

flndf^sG 'afcsurd, as ^cwe' of tfehitfc tfie BiMe l3\cofl^)ofte^ ' ieWly 

CMe^aiay 9eaA 'wfaat&v^ beds in waat of to'jpJ3Ef> V9 i^^Mt&^Sbe 

in6st opposite and extravagant. _ ^ ^ 

■ '-■ ■ : " '•■'' ' -"'■ r' ':'',>''"^'~ ■ -s s ''.'''•-' '^ . ■'■ . :- ■ 


denied the divinity of Jeso^'**^!^ f^ile^t^ifed in t\ie 
principles of the religion that party bad embraced^ ; 
but wishing to decide the question, the emperor re- 
ferred it io the judgment of the bishops. He con- 
vened them in the city of Nice, and the plurality of 
suffrages regdlated definitively the symbol of ikith. 
Jesus became, a God comubstdntial with his Father; 
the Holy Ghost was likewise a God proceeding from 
the two others; finally, these three Gods combined, 
made only one God. i ^i? ii WiJv^ . 7 

Tumultuous clamours made this unintelligible deci*. 
sion pass, and concerted it into a sacred dogma, not* 
withstanding the reclamations of opponents, whoivere 
silenced by treating them as blasphemers and heretics. 
The priests who had the strongest lungs, declared 
themselves orthodox. The emperor, little acquainted 
witki the ground of the quarrel, ranged himselC. for 
the time on their side, and quitted it afterwards, ap- 
cording as he thought proper to lend an ear 8ometime9 
to the bisthops' of one party, and sometimes to those of 
another. The history of the church inforims us, that 
Constantine, whom we here see adhering to the deci- 
'sion of the council of Nice, made^the orthodox and 
the heretics alternately experience his severkiea. h . 

Nevertheless, after many years, and even ages of 
disputes, the bishops of Cbtistendom have agreed in 
r^rarding Jesus as atii]e<?od. . Ttiey felt in the end 
that it %K^BSportant for them to have a God for their 
founder— a tenet which could not fail to render thek 
own authority moire respected. They maintained, that 
thia authority was derived from the apostles, who held 
theirs direcUy firom Christ, that is, from God himseli^ 
It would iiow-ft«4&ya bexriminal to doubt the truth ff 

lAr _■-■,-: <•«,- ■ ,. 

,. . - ^.^ ./ . 

this opimoQ> though many Christians are not yet con- 
yiRced of it, and venture to appeal to the decision Of 
the universal church^r ' \ 

:■,« The bishops assembled at Nice, decided also, as we 
have elsewhere related, on the authenticity of the gos- 
pels and books ordained to serve for a rule to Chris* 
tiftns, It is then to these doctors, as has b^en already 
remarked, that Christians owe their faith, which how- 
ever was afterwards frequently shaken by disputes, 
heresies, and wars, apd even b^ assemblies of bishops, 
who often annulled what other assemblies of bishops 
had decreed J n the most solemn manner. To reckon 
from Cpnatantine to our time, the interest of the heads 
of the phurch dictated every decree, and formed the 
rvle, by which dogmas were established, often wholly 
vnknowQ to the founders of their religion. The uni- | /^ 

vfifse became the arena of the passions, disputes, in- 
trigues, and cruelties of these holy gladiators, who 



ff It ^' 

• .-^^plfe. ■.-.-.. . . >t'.'':ii 

, t^^^^Excq>t the English all Protestant Christians regect Epuco- 
ficy, and regard it as an iisurped power.. Among the CadioHcsA 
the Jansenists think the same, which is the true cause of the 
enmity the Pope and "^i^ops display against them. It ^^teere 
St. Jerome was, on tias point, of the opinion of the Janseqistt. 
Yet we see St.>Paul at first mudi occuined in advancing the 
Jl^iscopal digni^. St. Igiatius of Antiocb, disdple of ike 

'7 apostles, insnuates in lus epistles, the l^gh (pinion which the' 
Christians <Aig^t to have of a bishop; and the very ootient 
axOhoT^oS the Apostolic Constittttions^ L 1. c^ 9, opeajty^ dwlsres, / / 
^t a bishop it agoden earth, destined to rule over aU men, priests, \f " *' 
C kings, tmd magistrates,. Though tiiese C^»uftVt(ffon« are reputed 

J ' j||)0cryphal, the bishops have conformed thwcoildnct to' fite^i 
nwre than to t|ie canonical goqpel, Wherdra Jesus,; &r fixMl as- 
signing prera^|iitives to Inshops, dedar^^ thie^ inlns kin^(9tt^ere 
jn^\i9 ngi^et^firfi nor Ifutf -,-*:: 

"y . 

Utir^ted edch other with the' titmost bafbarttyiJ^i <T«m- 
porkl soveiieigtis; united in ititeiie^t Witb sf>irittMd ^inefe, 
or blinded by them, thought ttidliselves at all times 
ibbliged fro pai'take of tbeir faty. Prioces -seeined to 
bbld the B\^ord for -the sole purpose of e«ttif»g tfee 
Ifaroats of victirtis poitited out t^ the prt^stSj who 
itaflueaced thfeir ihiads. These bl?aded priaces be* 
lieVed they seHed God, ot iaboiii'ed for the welfare -of 
^pir kingdotnS, by espoasiiig all l^e passion^' of- the 
jiriests, vrho were become the morjt arrogantt, the iziCMt , 
Vindictive, the most, covetous, and the mest flagittaas ; 
of men.* . - ■ 

■' «We shall rtot eater into a detail of afl Che -qaan^ls 
Which the Christian religion has prod^ced.t We«ha11 
itoerely observe, that they wefre continual, and liave 
been frequently attended with consequences aodeplor-. y.^ 
aible, that nations have had reason tqoretlian a hundred 
titiies e^ery ic^tary, to regret'thepe'aceful paganism, - 
and tolerating idolatry of their ancestof-s. The gos- 
pel, or the glad tidings, constantly gave the signal for ^ - 
ttxecofliTnissioh of crimes. TBte'CRoss^ks TWB'fiAN- 


;^|U(^,£A3RTH wixji.BLQOD. , The wiJ[l of Heavctt .was ^7/ 
.iiAdeiBtood by nQlK)% ; and^he ole(fj|r t^sputed^thoitt 
^hd an the mamier. of «splainiu|[ diflfclea, iwthich the 
, "Befty had himself ^oaie 'td>fes?ealto mortaSs, 'It^was^? 

• T ^mIiPK:. aaq[Mites yrtxe mdlus, apd trdm ducting fl^y . 

i&m M iatQ ^guiazels and eeS^^taas. ih^ plergy in3 4ttod&g 
jrW, were tiie mo^ zealous, broke > 'fitrtb into tbe jgteal^ _. 
.|ie^> aioid , when t}ie monk% i])OVe ,1aS olIiei|| (^spoUisjiBd. iQie 

qfvut^ there were na lAeUidaiB tdo^lct^ Or ijom-'in^^mu 


■ .-^'^--yrx ^ .-_/v, -*^; iiv. >", -.-:.->. 


■< , 

1^ -■_-... •"■"■-■'- » 

ilviiyB indispeas&ble to take a side ia ^e most odiateU 
ligdMeciuanrete: neutrality was regacded as iDi|)iety, 
3'iife party for wbich the prince declared, was al way* 
otthedox, and ©n tbat account believed it had a light 
to exterminate all others; the orthodox in the ehurcb 
twere tiiose wKo Md the power to exile, imprison, iitiui 

tlestroy their adrerearies.* ^ 

'Mi- The bisbops, wh»om the puksance of an empei^r 

f had Taisedf torn the dust, soon becaitte rebeJlious fi«b» 

'Jeds ; «nd, under preteoce of malBtaining th^r spif 

>fifeaal.poiirez,i JabouQpd to be iQde|«ndent,of the sove? 

teign, and eye» the laws of society. They .|nakitjaiiiad 

#ibat^ pnlices :tbeiJaseW:e8« being ( sul^^ts ^ <Chrl9t^ 

£%cight jtoTibe : sirbjected tonthe jvarisdidtton o£ \ii» :te>' 

f ^^resetitstiTfis ;«u eartk Thus the tpretonded' mCf 

v^essors of isome ^sh^oien lot, Judea, to vihata. Goa^ 

^tflitiner had. Jtpekchediiorfchihi band, airofgated: io 
themselves the right of reigning over kings; and ia 
this way the kingdom of heaven served to conquer the 
Tntigdoms of «be canh. v f ^ 

] ^ '^Hitherto tif# Chriiitian sett;, spread throughout tf|e 
lempic^ had beea governed by bi&Qpspt chiefs jnidefi 
vfJjaode^.pf/eBAb other, aud ^pe^otl^^ual Jiw 
t^Nsflictioa*' Tihis made the chuteA im aristoecatt^ 
|tef>ltftlic; ^btft^its g»ventoient 800g'became'^oti6aBeliiia'» 
ji52Five5"^les|iotH]! Tbe respect whfdb ^s ^^^ 

" ,^l* %ii^Sl^' ralaritanus; ^^ea a most ottbodoz bisA^, jSi 
*^ fenral ^^|sQnxn^^ tio the son df jdoBst^mtmi^' "323 

not adni^Ie to ^. the eip^peror Jmnse^ that Jt was the duty^i^ 
the ordiodox to IcSl Constantitis on account cf las Ai&nian^ 
yniatk he called Idolatiy ; and for this £ie quoted Deut^ 2^ 6. 
<viiiem^4gtaBitfi^%' 48, 10 v; iB9 ^^ u. jS«e^if ojmsotfs %Mr^ t» 


cntertaioed for Rome, the capital of the world, seemed 
to ^ive a kind of superiority to the bishop or spiritual 
head of the Christians established there.* His bre- 
thren, therefore, frequently shewed a deference to -^L 
him, and occasionally consulted hiral. Nothing more >: h 
was wanting to the ambition of the bishops of Rome* 
or to advance the right they arrogated of judging laeir 
brethren, and incite them to declare themselves the 
monarchs of the Christian church. -A very apocryphal 
tradition had made St Peter travel to Rome, and had ■% 

also made this chief of the apostles establish his see 
ifl-^at city. The Roman bishop therefore^ pretended 
tojiaYe succeeded to the rights of Simon Peter, to 
whom Jesus in the gospel had entrusted more particu- 
larly the care of feeding his sheep.. He accordingly ' - 
assumed the pompous title of successor of St. Peter, 
universal bishop, and vicar of Jesus Christ.t It is 

* Several auiihOTs have denied, and wi& math reason, ibat ^- 
St Peter ever seta. fiiot in Rome. In the Acts of th^ Ap0»- ^ A 
ties no mention is made of this jotimey, unless -we suppose , '^' 
that Luke has omitted to speak of St Peter, who was a Na- '>/ 
zarine or Ebionite, for the purpose of attributing to St. Paul 
Ids master the converdon of the ca^utaL See what has faeoi 
said heiate of the squabbles of St Paul with the Judaiang ^. .., 
apostles. If St Peter had been at Rome, his gospd would ; r| 
have been forced to yidd to that of the apostle of the gentile«[^' V' ' ' 
more accommodating to the heathens^ as it dispensed with 
drcumdsionl It may therefore be presumed that St Paul was 
the first pope.^-Hist. des Papes, tcnne 1. litres et Monumoos* 
des Peres Apostoliques, par Abraham Ruchat, iQSvoylieyd^^lTSS. 
Fr. Spanheim filii desstertat iv. Ludg. Batav. 1679. ' ' *^^ ^ ^ . W 

t Bendes, H was at Rome, the inost (^ulQit C3iriBti«|s^ 
redd^ Hie Rttadsh church gavf large chanties to ih^ 

.J . ■ 




;■' V: 

tru% these titles were often contested with faim by the 
ortentiEil bishops, too proud to bow willingly under the 
yoke of their brother ; but by degrees, through dint 
of artifices, intrigues, and frequently violences, those 
who enjoyed the see of Rome, ever prosecuting their 
project with ardour, succeeded in getting themselves 
acknowledged in the west as the heads of the Christian 
church ;* - 

Pliant and submissive at first to sovereigns, whose 
power they dreaded, they soon mounted on their shoul- 
ders ; and trampled them under their feet^ when they 
saw themselves certain of their power over the minds 
of devotees, rendered frantic by superstition. Tbeii 
indeed, they threw off the mask, gave to nations the 
signal of revolt, incited Christians to their mutual de< 
struction, and precipitated kings from their thrones. 
To support their pride,' they shed pceans of blood ; 
they made weak princes the vile sport of their pai« 
sion, sometimes their victims and sometimes their 
executioners. Sovereigns, become their vassals, exe-{ 
-cuted with fear and trembling the decrees Heaven 
.pronounced against the enemies of the holy see, which 
had created itself the arbiter of f^ith. In fact, these 

fidthfiil in the provinces; itsbii&op was the richest, and even 
.ia. the idme of the pagans, the Rqpian aee was the olgect of 
amlntiim andjcontests of the priests, who wrangled among them« 
sehres finr the fkx^ of Jesus. 

* To such a ptdi of grandeur had the deiical iixp:ac$ar 
.ttadied about this period, that " the emperor Mazhnus caused 
.St Martin with one of his pii^ to eat at the same table with hku^ 
aad the empress lut.vr% served than mth her own hands.''—)*! 

"■ "-■# 


f krfiitiia^ff '']^iit(fi& immolated td their Gdd a thouMn^ 
times tat>r6 hdman Tictimsthaii pagaaism bad sacti* 
Seed to atMts divinities. ♦ 

After having sacceeded ia subduing the bisbops, tbe\ 
head of the church, with a view to est^^lish and pre#^ " 
iierve his ehipire over the people, inurfdated the states *' 
^the prfnces attached to liie sect, with a multitude 
of subaltern priests and monks, who acted as his spies^ p 
his eitiissaries, and the organs which he employed in 
making known his wilt at a distance^ and serving his 
^iuiibitidn^ Thus nations were del uged witb ^en use* - 
\^ bi* dangerous. St^ne, under pretext of attaining 
Christian ^erfectipn, astonished the vulgar with a kiM 
of frantic life, denied themselves the common pfea#v 
Stores <^eiistfence, renounced the world, and languished ' 
^fhe recesses of a doister> awaitiopg the death whtdh 
thi^ifdisagreeable life must have rendered desirable* V 
Tbey imagined to please Grod hy occcrpying them^ 
Ik^e^ l^iy WTth prayers, sterile and esctravagaat 
tli^ititfohs, dmd tendering themselves the victims 'Offt 
destructive fe^aticism. These fools, whom Chris* 
^iMnity- estee^s^ may be considered «i the victims 
*nd m^etyrs ^^f the higher- clergy, who take ^dare never 
to imitate them.* 

'^*' * tJtefeaaiuty. tortdAnns Suicide ; yet W ' teHftS^^^sT %i«». 
'W& of peiiedi<A, knd aS personages ecAa^RfA -With 'supeih 
natural grace, mea and wonoen^ who/ liy peui te nc e -aM "sesis^ . 
less ai;eteiities,^ evidently abri^e their ^^s. It is asserted, 
Ihait ibi T^&& of La Trsppe €nded ^eb ^S^ In; » teW 
ye&f!^ 'ip^ (^'jpbCli^^. ii ft thien Tribre crittiii^''tt io^^ 
^td laB liS^ at ohce, than to Mbwir ten ytejfe "at ^ <mk 
laeaafro^figh? tf nuaffirtfl -^ete tmne toitrfsftitt, 'fliey ^nrbdlS - 
jperoenre, tiiat it is very ndictdoiK ^ catdemn tt^Hftitildis "^wtl ^ 

..■% yx*-; 


I- Few people, hb'wever, felt themselves inclined, to 
lepire to this sublime perfection. Most of the monksy 
more indulgent to themselves, were content with re- 
nouncing the world, vegetating in solitude, languish- 
ing in an abundant sloth, and living in absolute idle- 
iiiess, at the expence of nati(^ns who toil. If some 
amon^ them were devoted to study, they employed 
themselves only with the vain subtilties of an unintel- 
ligible theology, calculated to incite; disturbances in 
society, and foment discord. Others more active 
spread themselves over the globe s and, under pretence 
of preaching the gospel, preached up theniselves, the 
interests of the -clergy, and especially the submission 
due to the Rbman pontiff, who was always their true 
sovereign. These emissaries i ndeed never had any 
other country than th e church, any other master than 
its head, or any other interest than that of disturbing 
tHe state, in order to advance the divine rights of th^ 
clergy. I'attbl'ul in following the example of Jesu^ , 
they brought the^sword, sowed discord, and kindled 
wars, sedi tions, perse cutions, and- crusades. They 

' sounded the tocsin of revolt against princes who y^ere 
disagreeable or rebellious to the haughty tyrant of the 
church ; they frequently employed the sacrificing knife 
of fanaticism, and plunged it in the hearts of kings-; 
and, to make the cause of God prosper, they justified 
the most, hori-ible crimes, and threw the whole earth 
iato consternation. 
Such, especially in latter times, w^re the maxim^ 

.. and conduct of ah order of monks, who, pretending 

' .■ ■■ ■ . . ■ ■ -■:;.•■' '• :':i-''Hh-hni. 

drag his «arcase into the street, while they regard a frantic L ,f 
monk, -or an enthusiastic wenci^ as saints agreeable to God. }**' ' 



io waft ill the roof steps ofj^esus, assumed the aameof 
bis Societt/, Solely and blindly devoted to the interests 
of the Roman pontiff, they seemed to have come into 
the world for the purpose of bringing the universe un- 
der his chains. They corrupted the youth, the educa- 
tion of whom they wished exclusively to engross ; they 
strove to restore barbarism, knowing weU that want of 
knowledge is the greatest prop of superstition ; they ex- < 
tolled ignorance and; blind submission ;- they depraved 
the manners, and in their stead substituted vain usages 
arid superstitions, compatible wijtb eveity vice, and cal- 
culated to suppress: the remorsp ^yvhich crtcne might 
produce. They preached up slavery and unbounded 
submission to princes, who themselves: were their, 
slaves, and who consented to J[>ec9roe the instruments 
of their vengeance. They preached rebellion aucj. re- 
gicide against the princes who refused to bend under 
the odious yok^e of the successor of St. Peter,, whom 
they iiad the effrontery to declare infallible, and whose 
decisions they preferred far above those of, the univer- 
sal church. By their assistance the pope became not oaly 
the despot, but jeven the true God of the Christians. 

There were persons, however, who ventured to 
protest against the violences, extortions, and, lisyrp^^ 
tions of this spiritual tyrant. There were sovereigns, 
who, to defend their own rightSy ventured to struggle 
with him ; but, in ti mes of ignorance, the contest was 
always unequal between the temp oral and ,gpiritual ^ i 
power of opin^ion. At last, preachers, discontented 
with the Koman pontiff, opened the eyes of maaj.; 
they preached reformation^ and destroyed some abuses 
and dogmas which appeared to them the most dis- 
^vstmg. Sopae princes seized ttiis opportunity to 



'' a; 


f m 

breaik the chains wherewith they had been so long op- 
pressed. Without renounclDg Christianity, which 
they always regarded as a religion w^lly divine, tli^y 
renounced Romish Christianity, which they considere4 

.as a superstition I corrupted through the avarice, in- 
terest, and passions of the clergy. .Content with lop?, 
ping Qff in this manner som6 branchies of a poisoned j 
tree, which, its bitter fruits sbouldjhave discovered, 
our reforrntrs did not -perceive, that .eyen the pjjinci- 
pies of a religion, founded on fanaticism and .impos- 
ture^ must of necessity always produce fanatics and 
knaves. Tiiey dtd not observe, that an exclusive re» 
ligiou, which pretends to ei^oy alone the approbation 
of the Most High, 'must ^be from its essence arrogant 
and proud, and becfoiine at' last tyrannical, intolerant, 
a^d sanguinary. They did not perceive, that tb^ 
man\a of proselytism, the pretended zeal for the sal- 
vation of souls; and passion of the priests for dominion 
over consciepqes, m^st,, sooner or later, create devasr 
tatipn. Christianity re^orin6(i, pretending to resemble 
thep^re Clhristianity of the first'days of the church, 
produced fiery |)reacber8, persons illuminated, and 
public incendiaries, who, under pretence of establish' 
ing the kingdom of Christ, excited troubles, massacres, 
revolts, and endkss disorders. Christian pripoes 'of 
every sect, thought themselves obliged to support the 

• decisions of th^it dpctprs. They regarded as infalUble, 
opinions ^bicb they themselves had adopted;, th^j en- 
forced them by fire and sword ; and were eve/y where 

. iio.cdnfed^acf^irvpriestff^ to make war on all 

' who did not think tike tfheifl. * 

*T^ .psBtertapt^ A»ve ppneisute^ flis v# as tljp Bffln^ , , 
// ( dcigy, CaWn caused ^mf!0 to be biBiiit at ^lieBevp, whife(^>'/ 

"< We see, especially,' th^ intolerant and persecuting ^ 
ipirit reigning in countries which continue subject to 
the Roman pontiff. It was there, that priests, nurtur* 
ed'inthe maxims of a spiritual despotism, dared with 
most insolence to tyrannize over minds. They had the 
effrontery to maintain, that the prince could not, with- 
out impiety, dispense with entering into fheir quarrels/ 
sharing their frenzy, and shedding the blood of theif 
enemies. Contrary to the express orders of Christ, 
the emissaries of the vicar of Jesus preached openly 
in his name persecution, revenge, hatred, and mas- 
sacre.*" Their clamours imposed on sovereigns,; and 
the least credulous trembled at sight of their power, 
which they dared not curb. A superstitious and cow- 
ardly policy made them believe, that it was the interest 
of the throne to unite itself for ever with these inhuman . 
and boisterous madmen. Thus princes, submissive to 
the clergy, and making common cause with them, be- 
came the ministers of their vengeance, and' the execu-i " 
tore of their will. These blind princes were obliged to 
support a power the rival of their own, but they did not 
perceive, that they injured their own authority by de- 

the)r bumed Calvinists at .^aria. The A]ia]>aptists commit^ 
ted unheard-of. excesses in Germany. The Enghih liturgy' 
made Charles I. lose Ids head, who wanted to introduce it 
into Scotland. In HoUand the Gromaiists warmly persecuted the 
^^Lrmiidans. '/.:"■;;'■ " '■-•*.;'-■-'■-■'•- ..... 

■♦■ ■•'«?/ 

r *.The g«8pd contradicts itself ihcewantiy : It blows hot and 
cold on the article of toleration, which is very cdnvedent &r theo^* 
,a>L^ \ legians, whatever side they take. Wheii their party is the 
' vreakes^ they rest on passages which recommend mildness; but 
so soon as that party get the upperhand, they are theiiiautfabiised 

I bj;. other passages to crush their ady^ariet. » . - . 




divering up their subjects to the tyranny and extor- 
tions of a swarm of men, whose interest it was to 

^^plunge them into ignorance, incite thdir fajiaticism, 
make themselves masters of their minds, domineer 
over their consciences, and, in short, make them fit 
instruments to serve their pride, avarice, revenge, and 
obstinacy. By this worthless policy, in the states most 
submissive to the spiritual dominion of the .Roman 
pontiff, the liberty of thinking was proscribed with| 
fury, activity was repressed, science was punished, 
and industry crushed^ by the rapacity of the clergy, 
while morals were neglected, and their place supplied 
by traditional observances. Nations vegetated in in- 
activity; men cultivated only monastic virtues, grievous 
to themselves, and useless to society.* They had n^ 
other impulse than what their fanaticism afforded, and 
no other science than an obscure jargon of theology.^ 
Their understandings had no other employment than 
endless disputes on mysterious subtilties, unworthy of 
rational beings. Those futile Occupations engrossed 
the attention of the most profound genius, whose la-> 
bours would have been useful, if they had been directed 
to o^ects really interesting. 
Nations were impoverished to foster, in abundance, | 

* Tlie learned Abbd Fleury agrees as to these £Eict8, in la 
Mcews des Chretiens, partie 5. § 54. where he fays, that 
Christians' &ught to observe exactly what is practised in 'the 
most orderly monasteries^ to become livitiff examples of ChrisKim ' 
morality. Thus, by this confession, a good Christian is a true 
monk: now a monk is a citizen dead to sodety. WhatwouM. 
becooi* of a coijtntry where every body should pretend to Cbriirtiaii 
perfection, and to attain which was their only aim ? Tbeet 
i^ould be ndther merchants, nor soldiers, nor maiiied persons. 


mchnculry, BD^ ^ten in druDkenness, legions of monks, 
I»rieste, ^d pontiffs, froqi whom ;tbe^ derived no real 
benefits. Under pretence of beatowiog stipends on the 
iBtercesaora with God, they ricbly eodowed a muiti-" 
tude of 4rones, whqae iprayers and reveries procured 
obly^ paisery and di^nsions. Education, entrusted 
tbroagbout Cbristeadom to base or ignorant prfests, 
was calcuiated to form superstitious persons only, des- 
titute Of the qualities necessary to make- useful citizens. 
Tbe instruction they gave Christians, was confined to 
inculcatlBg dogmas and mysteries whicb tlie latter pe- 
ver jcoiild comprehend. Tbey incessantly^ preached 
-up evangelical morality; but that sublime morality 
which ^U 'the world esteems, and which so few pcac- 
ttoe, because it is inco»ipatible with the nature and 
wants of man, did not restrain the :passions, or ^ver 
check their irregularity of manners. When that Stcrtcal 
naoraAity was practised, it was only by som« imbecile 
fanatics or ffiery enthosiasts. whom tbte ardour of their 
aeai rendered dangerous to society. The saints of 
Gbrist^auvty were either the most useless or most A^i* 
lioiiSfOf-men. -^ . ^' ■■^^^iti^^r'' 

Princes, the great, the rich, and evjaj;the hea^s of 
tiie j«4arch, thpu^t themselves eK<^used from )tlie ^ri- 
gorous and literal practice of precepts and counsels, 
which a God himself <had come on purpose to commu- 
mkd!^. ' Ttjgey'Xek Christian perfecttOfl* toaome nris^- 
atyieqSojatsV for Whom ailone it seenaed origieaftly-dcii- 
tlqjgf^ , yolttiif^lsant guides gtnoothed for others' the 
pc«#~tp fiftcsSi^e, and, without bridling the passions, 
Il9ipi^a4ip4 their vot%ri^ that it was sufficient to pome 
9t^s4af€Nirt^Bn€8~/0eo<>i/%«!<their faults to ^^ h9mble ^ 
t1)em8elt^'«t^beirleet» undergo tbe penances «ndce*. 


f ' ■ 

^\ -'■ 

't .^s,-- : .4'' ■.>-S'-"<"C • 

>'-^ » 




reraonies which they should impose^ jind espieei^Uy 
make donations to the church, iu order ta obtaini from 
God remission of the outrages they committed oftx^^Bis 
creatures. By these means, in most Christiairc^iui^ 
tries, people and pripses openly united-^devotioQwil^ 
the most^ideous deprai^ty of manners^ and ~ dfteitil \9^llk 
the blackest crimes^ There were deyout tyiiiitfr anil 
adulterers^ oppressors and iniquitous, i^ifnlfl^tin^esilip' 
tiers without morals, and public depredatof^ dk^na^ J 
devout. There Were knait^ of every kind c|i<^^|^i^ 
the greatest zeal for a religion, th6 minidters of%^^ 
rim posed easy expiations even on tfapse w4n» iP^ate^ , 
its most expr^s, precepts*/' ^ r^U^ ^--^c^ 
Thus, by the cares (^ (h»; spiritual guides ^'^C^f is* 
tianity* concord waa banished firpmstabsr priiuEfiS' 
sunk into bondage; th^people were blih«fed| bq^Ewo^ 
was stifled ; nations were impoverished >;<^ ^l66^oa»nE>> 
lity was unknown ; and the most devout IC^vstmxut 
were commonly devbid. of tb66e talents knti ;yvfrt«M 
which are indispensably necessary for tl^ iufp^rt i)f 
society.;^,., ~ ,:■/■■-,,.• ::^t;>;;t,;;, , ' .:; 

*W is assertec^ and rqteated erety di^i ^t^jnSifflf^M 
fiecessaty, and that it is a, check. Jt is neoens^^iB^b^^]!^ 
open our«ejes convinced, that religion anaqng 
Hi^, fecftrSinl nobody, not even the pnesb wf^ 
five by it TIi6 most ^out natknis of fior^ 
ltal6tai§i ^^fctaga^g^ atid i^lpattiitfdii^ ai^ affile ■ _ 

i(bew ^t^enS: the ' example of perfidy^ crui^r,r.-:aB4zi'^^ 

unbd^lked llcentidusness. To ittstrain m^ tl^ 

of filsduMdiB nor &blt8 ; but of! good Iswb, gosd 

ceMOD, ta)enti^,sdfiBC|^ gjopd fiy^i^fj^ j igaPffc fwd: 

nuBiljIna^ tli^ «rf nol ci^dile of ) 


' / 

*;' Such are the immense advantages which the religion 
of Christ has procured to the world ! Such are the 
effects we see resulting from the gospel, or the gZarf 
/<Wtng«, which the Son of God came in person, to an- 
nounce! 'Lp^udge of it hy its fruits^ that is, accord- 
ing to the rule which the Messiah himself has given, 
the incredulous' find, that Christianity was allegorically 
represented by the Jig tree accurted. But those who 
have faith, assure us, that in the-other world this tree 
will some day produce delicious fruits. We must 
t therefore wait for them in patience, for every thing 
jjfevinces that the great benefits promised "by this reli- 
gloi^ are very little perceptible in the present world. iV 
3:.There are, however, people who carry incredulity 
so far as to think, that if there exists a Grod really 
jealous of his rights, he will confer little recompence 
on mortals so impious a& to associate with him a man, 
a Jew, and a charlatan ; and to pay him honours which 
are due only to the Divinity. Indeed, in supposing 
that God is offended by the actions of his creatures, 
and concerns himself with their behaviour,, he must 
be irritated at the odious conduct of many Christians, 
who, under pretence of devotion and zeal, believe 
diemielves permitted to violatet he most sacVed duties 
6f nature, of which they make the Deity the' author. 
t**T[i iiij add our unbelievers, very difficult tpcalcu-. 
late the duration of human, extravagancies ||^ut th«y 
flatter themselves, that the reign of falsehoodn^rad error 
win terminate at some period, and give place to, reasoh 
ilid^tr^h*. They hope, that nations and their chiefs 

^^A^'ifd^fti^iman published* lBfi&i3ttd(»r, 1699, a bode under 
the ti|^ of Joh, Craigii Seati, theohgicB Ckristiaiuf frinev* 
fm_nuiA*maiiea, wlierdn he ebdeavoun ta prove, that evtfy 

thipg founded on the testimony of moi, whether inspirad ve 





SS3 ' 

wifl someday perceive the danger resuUing- froni their" 
prejudices'; that thev wilPolush at KfaVihg piraatftuted 
their prkises on objects deserving soWreign contempt ; 
that they J will regret the blOod and treasures which 
baneful fables and ireveries have cost them ; ffijd that 
they will be at jast ashamed of 4)iaving been^the dupes 
and victims of a nsass of romances, destitute oF proba- 
bility, and nrever possessing a pdore solr^ foundation 
than the astonishing credulity of mjen, arid the astonish^ 
ing impudence of those who preach them. These un- 
^lievers vervture at least to '^impse at a tinoi^, wheo 
men, become more sensible of their own interistj will 
acknowledge the truly barlwrous foHy of hating and 
torfinentlng - themselves, and cutting t>he "anothejr's 
throats for obscure dogmas, puerile optllioris and cere- ^ 
monies unworthy of rational bein^ and on w4iicb it is 
impossibleHobe everunanimoufi.^ These infidels push- 


not inqnred, is 0^7 > proM>le, and , that- lb ^robabil^ ■ SS^^ 
minighes ii^i proportion as mankuid recede horn the time the / 
Witnesses Kved, on whose testimony tliey brieve. ;"(3(n^^ ^t^ 
prin<^le he makes an algebrakal "calc^dation^ 'apcording^ tof 
which he affinnsj that it is probable the Chi^dan- feSglon^ 
will endore still 1454 years, at the end of which its proba- 
bility of oidarance will be reduced to nothing. But he 
supposes, that the Igst judgment 'nmst\amye in time to pre- 
vent this total edipse of the &ith. Vi^ther these calcula- 
tions and jiP^^ctures be true or &Ise, w« may apply to the 
religion dffln»us whafeM^Lactantius said of the heathen my- 
thology, aoccffding to whidi Jupiter had dethroned his 
filther Sabum: ' Video aHum Deum fuisse regtm primis iem- 
jxnibut, aUum consefuentUms, Potest ergo fieri f ut aUvs fit 
potteafuiurmi. , Si emmregnum pritts mutdtmn est ; ^r desperemus 
etiam potteriiu^posse mutarif Lactant Institut Divin. lib. L|^ 11. 
Jf God was weary of ^ Jewish Religion, why may be not become 
wewyof the Christian alsa? j;, 1 *? r 

- u u ^ 

1 1 , 


// " 

324 -z -' ..- ■; 

* / . - 

their temerity so far as to maintaia, that it is very 
possible sovereigns and subjects may one day loathe a 
religion burdensome to the people, and producing real 
advantages only to the priests of a beggarly and cru- 
cified God. They think, that the profane ^ laity, if qn- 
deceived, could easily bring their priests back to the 
frugal life of the apostles or of Christ, whom they 
ought to regard as a model; at least, these infidels 
imagine, that tlie ministers of the God of peace would be 
obliged to live more peaceably, and follow some occu? 
pation more honest than that of deceiving, or tearing 
to pieces, the society which fosters them. 
^iIf it is demanded of us what can be substituted -for 
a religion which at all times produced only effects 
pernicious to the happiness of the human race, we \'^ 
will bid men cultivate their redSQn, which much better V 
^^^,\ than absurd and deceptive systems, will advance their 
welfare, and make them sensible of the value of vir- 
tue. Finally, we will tell them with TertuUian— - 
Why pain YOtfRSfiLVES in seeking for a. DIVINB 


NATUEfi.* %,t^ a;, ij.^.^ m>'J!--^ tt-^ma^ ^'^{r-^i^^ 

V"^ ^ * ^ TcrifdL de cotokA tfu&ty. 


*?r^ -^ 


^-^-'.^ •' .1^ ct^^j^S^" .:•■ .-..^^li^:.- 

Jt '• 

5fe^^ti;^ja»is^i'>r^«*w*i»rf "WJaf. ^-aiVJ^ \.vv t>ife& 


■■^■' • T\":^-v' * 



' ii^jkl te- ' ^ *-*'-- •' 





1; "GOD, bf an iiicdncnvable act of his 6mmpotence« created 
i^e uBiverse out of nothing.* fie made the eafth for the 
"Residence of man, whom he created in his own image. 
Scarcely had this man, the prime object of the labours of 
;tbe Almighty, seen the light, when his creator set a snare 
<:vfor him, into which God undoubtedly knew that he must I ^ 
'%^dL - A serpent, which speaks, sednces a woman, who is no 
Tray surprised at this phenomenon. Being persuaded by the I ,/ 
serpent, she solicits her husband to eat of a fruit forbidden 
by God himself. Adam, the father c^ the human race, by 
this light fault draws upon himself and his innocent postonty 
inoum^bie evils, Difhich are followed but not terminated by 
death. By the offence of only one man, the whole huihan 
^ race incu^the wrai^ of God ; and they are' at length pu- 
nished fbr }nvolun|;4ry &ults with an universal delnge. 'God 
repents having pe»jiled the earth, and he finds it easier to { 

* Ex nilah niJuiJiti was conaidjered as an a^iom by aiupientfhikMp- 
plien. The creation, as admitted by CfaristiaBS of the^proseiit day, 
i. e. the«(^<ii>R^a///Atn|'«/ro»no<[AMj^ J8 a theological iaventioo not /^ ^ ^ 

indeed of ^ry ,yei»ete date. The word\Ban(A, wbicb is Used iBGeitesis, I 
•ijfQifiet toJRmijMM', arriingtfio dirpo$e matter (dreaifyexUting, I r^ 




y-«frown aad dtatroy the human race, than to cliange theii'^ 
/ hearts. ' " , 

A small number of the just, however, escaped this des-* 
tructive flood; but the deluged earth, and the-destructiou of 
maukind, did not satiate the implacable vengeance of their 
Creator : a new generation appeared. These, though de- 
scended from the friends of God, ivbom he had preserved in v- 
the general shipwreck of the worlds incense him by new 
crimes. The Almighty is represented as having been inca- 
pable of rendering his. creatures such as he desired them : a, 
Tiew torrent of corruption carries away mankind, and wrathf^ 
is again excited in the bosom of Jehovah ! - . # 

Partial in his a€fections and preferences, God, at length, 
casts his eyes on an idolatrous Assyrian.* He enters into 
an alliance with this man, «nd covenants that his posterity . 
shall be multiplied" to the number of the stars of Heaven, or 
the sands of the sea, and that they shall for ever enjoy the 
favour of God. To this chosen race he reveals his will : foi: 
them, regardless of his justice he 'destroys whole nations,. 
Nevertheless this favoured race is not the more happy, or 
inore attached to their God. They fly to strange gods, fr<Hn 
whom 'they seek succonrs which, are denied to them by thdut 
own , They frequently . insult i he God wh» is able to extoT'^ : 
minate them. Sometitxtes he punished, sometime console* 
them ; at one period he hates them without a cause i and at 

'*■ Tbe Arabians believe Aat Abraham, ^Mn after hie wil^'lmri, WM 
hid byhis father in a certain care nnder- % sKmntaitt, for fesr of tht 
Cbaldeaos, who sought to li^ hands en him, becaase the astrologen- 
bad foretold that be wqald prore the destraction of their gods. 'In 
process of time, Abraham, . n^hen be . wa» grpwa to jemn f(^xaaixuitj, 
one ereniag' eain«^nt of the care, and .began with great $(fa»ir%tio&,to 
contemplate die Hearens, with their inBamerable stats, .and, iiy 
chanee, seeing the planet Teav arise, whicn gr^Iy exceeds ffie' 'rest , 
in beanty and lirightaess,^ he said, *' This is my God, and my Creator/' 
BM a little after, when the moon appeared, he changed his opinion, 
and said, i' This is my God and' tey Creator." At fength when the sua 
arose, being astonished^ he cried out, << This is r^tly my God and my 
Grestor, than whom nothing cap be imagined more splendid^ lohj.9r^ 
IbeantHtJ." Bnt whe'n he had spoken diese words, the angel Gabriel 
appeared and stood before him, and tdnght bisa the true €rod and the 
y ae reUgioR, Abr, Ecc. Hist. Arab. c. ri. 

<■■ ■■/'.- 



c another he caresses them with &p little Reason. , At Isstj find-i 
ing it impossible to reclaim this perverse people, for whom ' 
he continues to feel the warmest tenderness, he sends 
amongst them his own son. To this son ihej will not listen, 
What do I say ?<— this beloved son, equal to God his father, 

, is put to an ignominious death by his favourite nation ! 
/His father at the same time finda it impoissibie to save the' 
human race without the sacrifice of his own. son. Thus an 
innocent God becomes the victim of a just Ood,.by whom 

. he is beloved: both consent to this strange sacrifice judged 
necessary by a God who knows that it will be useless tQ an 

' hardened nation which noticing can reclaim. ,,--%».> .^ 

H vi^t ,We should expect that the death of this God, bang un- 
less to Israel, must serve' at least to expiate the sins of th6 
rest of the human race. Notwithstanding the eternal alli- 

— ance with the Hebrews^ solemnly sworn, to by the Most 

I High, and so many times renewed, that favourite Datiea 
find themselves At last deserted by their God who could not 
reduce tlum to obedience. The merits of the sofftmngs and 
death, of.his son, are applied to the nations before excluded 
fromiiis bounty. ' These are recontiled to Heaven,; now be*, 
come more just in regard to them, and return to grace. 
Yet in spite of:all the efforts of God, his favours are lavished 
in vain : mankind continue to ^n,' to enkindle. the divine 
wrath, and to render themselves worthy c^the eternal pu- 
nishment previously prepared and destined for the greats 
part of the human race. : ;^. 

Such is the faithful history of the God. on whom the 
fooodatioB ,^of the Christian religion is laid^ - His ccmduct 
being so^^^^irange, cruel < and opposite to a).l reason, is it 
surprising to see the -worshippers of this God ignoraiit of 
their ' dfntie^, des^tjit^ of homimit|r and 'justice, and striving 
to assimilate themselves to the model of that barbarous di<* 
vinity which they adore ? What indnlgence have mankind 
aright to expect from a God who spared not even his own 
son .' What indulgence can the Christian who believes this 
fable shew to his fellow man. Ought he not to imagine 
that the surest means of plying his God, is to inutate his 
ferocity and cruelty ? 


l^tittfiisGod is not always nhjnist and cruel ; bis cOD^aci 
Varies. Sometimes he appears to have created all qatare for 
man alone ; at others he 'seems to have created man only as 
an object whereon to exercise his arbitrary rage. Sometimes 
they are cherished by him, notwithstanding all their faults i 
at others the whole species is condemned to eternal misery 
for an apple.—- This unchangeable God is alternately agi- 
tated by anger and love, revenge and pity* benevolence 
and fury. His conduct is continually destitute of that uni* 
formity which characterises wisdom. Partial in his affec- 
tions, he makes it the duty of his favourite people delibes^ 
ately to commit the most atrocious crimes. He commands 
them to violatje good faith and contemn the rights of na^ 
tions : he enjoins upon them the comnussion of robbery and 
murder. On other occasions we see him forbidding the sam^ 
crimen ordaining justice, and prescribing to mankind ab- 
stinence* from whatever disturbs the good order of society. 
This God, who in turn is styled the God of Vene eanee, the 
/ I God of Mercies, the God of Arms, and the God oO*«ac*, is 
constantl y at variance witfi himself. His subjects are conse- 
quently each for himself, at liberty to imitate that part of 
his conduct which he finds most congenial to bis hilmoun 
Hence their morality becomes arbitrary, which renders it 
no way 8«rprising that they have . never yet been able to 
agree among themselves, whether it would be most pleasing 
to their God to tolerate the various opinions of mankind, or 
to exterminate all who differ flrom themselves ? Tt is in fact 
a problem widi most Christians, whether it would be more 
expedient to persecute and assassinate those who think not 
sts th^ do, or to treat them with humanity and suffer them 
to live in peace? 

, Ckrittianitif Unveilfd, by Boulangef, Chap. |r«" 


,'- * 

■ v'-;. 


.,:\- ^:f^«*ir.>-"-7 -■•■■'' "-'--■ ^^ ■ ^-•- II.,-. - ■ %U:i 


Weee ve to believe Christians, there conld have been no 
♦roe morality on earth until the coming' of the founder, of 
Iheir tect. Tliey represe nt the world as having been 
plunged in darkness ^and vice at all times and places where 
^ I jDhrist was tinkn6#h. Vet morality was alwa ys necessary y ^ 
to mankind ; for, withopt it, no society can exist. We 
find, that before the time of C hrist, there were flourishing 
jSid virtdou8\ nation s, and enlightened philoio pbers, idio 
c ontinually remin ded "S^aakind of the ir duties. T Ke yte^ 
qepts of Socrates, Confaci as, a nd the Gymnosophists of ] 
India, are by no means inferior to those of the Messiah of 
the Christians.^ ^e find amo ngst heathois, innu merable 
instances o f eqnity ^ Ham anity, temperance, disinierested- 
ness, patience, and meekness, which flatly contradict the 
prjetenisipns of the C hristians, and prove, that before Christ 

* The purest part of the iTstem of morals taught ia the New Testa- 
pient, and which is ao much boasted of )>y Christians, appears 
nothing more than a iiteral copy of the Motals qf Co)i/«diw, "frho wrote 
near 600 years before die birth of Christ. This will appear evideat fi«» 
Ae following extracts : 

** Do to another what yoa ^onld tbey should do unto you \ and do 
f \ not unto another what you would should not be done unto yon: thoa 
^ I only needeat this law alone ; it is the foundation and principle of all the 
rest." 24thMorfd. 

*' Desire not ^e death of diiae enemy^; thou wouldtt desite it in ttaai-i 
his life is in the hands of Heaven.'' 51st Moral. 

*^ Acknowledge thy benefits by the return of other benefits, bBta^ar 
revenge iajruries^^ 53rd Monti. 

^' We jnay have aa aversion for an enemy without desiring revfenge. 
•The motions of natnre are not always Ciimiaal.^ 63rd Moral. 

Confttciusinstructedakw^ll by his example as by his pnieqitsj and 
it woiidd bewell if his-ttoraki were taught ita aH die schools aadcolleg«t 

•f BbTope^ inslittd «f iiOie «liristiu cs«e& wi'dogiBU wkieh the stud^ 
.•an never cbmpr^head. .^ 

/r /i 



/ j #a8 ftn6wtf\ofteaitB,' virtue ~^^ 
)f f' " \ real than those h6 eame to teach. 


Was a supernatural revelation necessary t6' inform man- 
kind ^at societj- cannot exist without, virtue, and that, by 
the adinission of vice, societies consent to their own des- 
truction? Was it necessary that 4' t(*jE>d Should speak, to 
shew, that they have need of mutual aid and mutuallove ? 
Was assistance from on High aeeessiury to discover^ that 
revengf is an evir, and a^. outrage upon the laws, which, 
when they are just, assume^ to thenaselves the right of retri- 
bution ? Is dot thefbrgivetxess <>f injuries connected with 
this principle ? And is not .hatred eternalized, where im- 
placable rev^ge is exercised?;' Is not the pardoning of our 
enemiea a greatness <>f ^i^^ which gives us an advantage 
over those whoi pffend us"? When we. do good to our ene- 
naie^, does it not give iis a sup^eriority over them ? Is not 
SQchcwiduct calculated £o multiply pur friends ?= Bpes not 
every man, who is desirous to ^ live, perceive ,d)at vice, in- 
temperance, and voluptuousness must shorts the period, of y 
life ? : Has not experience detfionstrated to every thinking 
being,' that vice is injurious and detestable even to those who 
are not free from its eihpire, and that the pi^actice of virtue 
is the only means of acquiring real esteem and love ? How- 
ever, little mlinkind. may reflefdt on what- they themselves, 
tjiek true interests, and the' 'ends oT society are, they mxal' 
feel: what they ought to be' to. each othjac. . Good^jla^wiU 
render them good; and where these exist* ^^re is iio need 
of flying to Heaven"*for' rules for thepreservatiBB and hap- 
jnne^' of society. Riutson is siifficieflbfr td tift^ ti* ©«* dutier 
to OUT fellow creatures. What assistincfi^ti^ reca\»ie 
fropi ^religion by which it is, continutdly contradicted and 

It i« sud that ChriBlM^tyy i«r fWn'coaQteiaisting mo- 
rality, is its chief support, and refidcift it» obTigatioiis more - 

tacred, W rginnfi: tfadni i^e 'sMffetion' of (jfbd. "in iiay'bpi- 
nvm, , hoiKever, the ^Cbnstian religion, ,ig.s|?ad'9t snjpport;^ 
npcaiitys^^renders it .weak:andvprecarM^i9.^ It eaofopt ji^Msi-^ 
bty hav4B «ay seltd fonndatioo on the^foBfm&Ddsof a jCI^ 
who is changing, partial, and capricious,^ and ordains with. 




' ". ' - ./ -■-'■"■ -■ 


r'- - 

tol«ratioa atid persecution. It is iiiiposuble>to follow ibe j 
precepts of a rational itiooilityy uader the empire of aTe%i 
ligioD which Jmakes a merit ;«f rti\e most destmctlTe zeal» 
enthasTa»tQ,,^d faaaticisio* A relig^ou whick, commands iu 
to imitate the cooduct vf a despot whoiriiMsgbts t»«BHiare^ 
bis creatureff who is imphKsable in bis. ineageaoce, and de- 
votes; to flaintag destractioa all wholiaye the Jiiisfiiartiute to- 
di8plea8ebu9».i& incompatible wii^ all moralist The iDn^- ^ 
merable crimes with i^bicb the- Chiigti»n» t nore tBao; la^ 
o>thej reUgJoOi h^ ■ stai oed itfteltV have alwayg be en c<Htt-- 
mitted nnder the pretepce of : pleasing the fero«ou& god, 
whom the Chrigitians fiiiy€ inh erited from the Jewa. The. 
moral-character ofi tfiia godi must of neQBi «^»ff»vem the; 
m or<d cond]ii<^ of tbo^ who. adore him. ^r^r, hhdofi/j*^.^- 
_Sl9i^ty tinosild be. founded upon im^eble f ules.* A 
^lod wbo^dertroys these rules, destrojrt his pw-D work. If 
C^mI be thjB C|«ator of man» if he intends their happineiN^' 
a^d preservation, he . would have them to be just, homaa^ 
and benevv^nt, apd averse to injustice, fanaticbm^ ^nd 
cnael^j ;';;>'. ■■••"" -: 

We/ may ^u» age what we o nghf to tbiok of those diinaes: 
who pret<a;id,;^t[;wi thoat the iChrigtian relifflon thwe could 
be neither v<noralifc|r n or v trthe, among maukmd. The con- 
verse of this prop<^ition wouM -much nigbeir^approacn the 

* " It csdnot Iw too' often lepetted," says Mirabaad, ^Aat there k 
BO motalitjr mtfiont ctatvoMng t^ nature of own, and -bis tnie refai- 
tiont^ witb ' the beings of bis species j so fited principles formon's oott.' 
dQetin,Begidattaf it iqpoa nnjnsS, caprieions, «nd wicked goife; not iowMl 
politick witboDjtoofisabinif the ifatiue of ann Uring in society aad Ac 
way to nMifl^^bis, wants and enore bis^ happiaeas} nf; jfood.j^rcHt. 
ment can iband itself upon a de^tic God— 4iewiU atwajni, make ^- 
tanta of.bis Kfiresentalaves^.abl^m will be good witinwt oounltis^ 
the HBtort and di« iead af jwlicitjr ; ao jnriiqinrtideace can be aAraata^ 
geoas 'for mfioafc^ if -it is reifidaied Vfm die ; es^pn^aari paksidns of 
deified tj^fiUis. Ifr.cdncatipa wiU, be ntisval aalns itbe ioaoded v]^ 
'Reaa^Uf aad '. ;a^ fit^. ehisMiaa. aadU^p^o^lses. la • sboit, tfia« it no ; 
\-wtxttf no pntbitT, |u> taleata aiider oorropt fM^ters^nnder the eon* 
I dnct of tbote pmstB wHo render .asai the enemies of ■ tbemsdTes a«d of 
od>erS| ^atfd #bo toaMnatl^ aad '^4^si^ sfsk to it^« the seeds «f rHh> 
Mt^f^St9i^ev6e, and of c«tt <ag* <— g jrtfiH ^^aticritytoh ];V. p.e4ft./, 





tfti^; udA k^ght bci maiaibuiiedi that tveif;€Smul^ia ^hm 
'ttdkaAiea his fj^odasd practise all hi» codMialids, Vfd«efie' 
ecBBsrily be an iiJEtmoF^ perioa^ If- it be totd that i^iSiit 
Q^mo^ands «re not alwajs uegtist, aod that tiie. Scripttir4t» 
ofibea bfcatbe benevoleocei harmony « and e(][tit^^ I finai*^, 
Gbrcrtiaiifi oaast have an iacoBstadt riiordhty , sdiQletini^ 
gotiid and soaetiof^ bad, acctitdhig to ititetest-afid mdifi- 
ditaifc It a^rpears ^lat the^ ntlȣ either be Wholly desti- 
tute of trae iB«valft5rj 6t vibr^ etOxi^Bvi^lj ^f6m Vtrtoe t» i 
vK^ aad from tice to virtrier '»#«*» ^*» gsdftp:>i4«v^ 

The Cbtistito reltgion k but ft- fo tt^n prop m teotrality. 
It -^11 wit b^ar exai^n^iODy^ add €t^ matt i^d di»> 
covers it& defeei^ wilK be readjr to^ believe ^at . the n^ontHty 
fcntndcMl OQ sacfa a basis cab be only a chioSerai Thii#We 
often behold men, who kav6^ eoiiched the neck bi^fieath ttk^ 
y<^e of neligioaj break lodtse at once, and Abandon' tfa^- 
seli-es to debaadi^^, io^^penKftej-Mldev^rjrlibdefTi^C!. 
Bscsping from the dav6ry of sclp^ntetMoft, they tfy to cdfU* 
plete anarol^j and Asbelieve lAie ei^ifttiine^ of all moral cttr- 
XusBi beeafase they W» foand is^igbtf td b6 only a 'fiible. 
Qence, among Christians, the words infidel and libtft^ 
1mm become qftios^oioius* AH th^ee incJOavwHenefca lifottld 
be avoided, if mankind, instead of being tttugM Viik(l6h^'tdlt, I 

•mttetM^tAn aittrtd morafity; iiistiHid of iiitikBtting \tL* 
tnaipeFaiiee «nd vice» B66altse.tb<ey a#e tsSHa^e to God tAd 
religion^, they should be pre vented, by convincing man that 
Ihey are des^ c tive to his exi sfenqi^ and. render him con- 
temptiblelB society ; that they are ditai^pfovedraad t^H'bid-' 
den by reftgoa anff^j^uref ~<i^ aim SblHS"y iia9crvafeoa, ObH 


diteet him to take tBe^ Chittel farfi tt> pmtntoe- fsMMj, 
Whatever may b€ ^g #ill bf G««f, mA rfial^^dtuBydTlfe' 
ftitare tetv^af^ and puni8h^%fs/knnoim?e<<^^^^^ religion, it 
it easy to, prove te^eiq^ aia.n that ijtis UL.tlu&WOrid bis in* 
terest to preserve bis h|?^th, to respeet virtue^ aequire the 
eateeis of bis Mow^^refttarcs, and^ in fine, to Initibaitte, 
temperotis, and vtfiuotc^ Ttiolse wlrai^ pks^tbi&s wi^U not sufiHf 

thetti to attend to plrffiettJlte, mdUf, and ^easoiiable. will 
riOtBife mor^ docile, to the vmceo^ which ihef will 

cease to betiave tbe moment it ^opposes -tlMiir mi«ai|diiue 
propensities* ^/'^'■'':'-'''^^^^:r:'^-''^ 


'-:^' Ji^ '-^f.' 

> . 

.^■'-.'-. . .•,:■.■'■••:;■'--'-"':• -^" •.- '"'\ '-::*''' ':--r.-\f^^y.^ly' ^ ^ 

' Icjt iti^ the pret?iidle4 a4^pnt^gf»» vblch^e Clinician 
•-' reUjgi,^ Ufi^f Wprality be uq Ipr^r i^Musted*. Tbfprju- 
cif^es clmwn from reve\§.tl9fi t.eM ^ ij^ 4^fttj:mr)jp^» IJ^e 
h;iye ^rej^ent ex^ofipl^ pf Chjii^tiw ja^tip^^y mbp^g i^sjc^js 
are ftr mpre cprrupted than tbp9^ pf p^plf l^bpn^ Xhisg^ 
style infi<iel§ i^pd b;eatbej}9 ; |be fprmer are at least mpst sub- 
ject ip religipus fanaticism, a pussipn calculated to banish 
justice and all the social virtue If om society, , " 

Chi;bttaDity creates intpleniDce and persecutPrs, whp are 

much more injurious to society than the mPst abandpned 

debauchees. It is at least certain, that the most Christian 

V nations ^ £urope are not those w))e<«uti<ae moratity is 

most felt and practised. In Spain, PortugaL and Italy, 

^ where the most superstitious sect of Christiansi nas fixeditt 

- ' iresidence, p^ple irve in the most shameful' iguor^mceof 

^theit duties. Robbery, assassination, debauchery, andper- 

. secution are tbere carried to their worst 6xtr6me ; and yet 

'"' "all men. are full -of religion. Few virtuous men exist^'in 

those countries. There religion itself become an accopi- 

*' Jipiicfe to vice, fiirnishes criminals with an ajsylum, andp;^ 

''"**curw to them easy mean's of reconciliatidn with 6od. 

Presents, prayers,' and ceremonies procure mknkind d.'<^B<- 

^pensatiou from the practice of virtue.- Even^am^ngst nia- 

^; iaions,* tfhb bbaist' of possessing Chrrstianityi^ iill its piiiity, 

vl religion has so entirely absot'bed theattentiou of itssec^iafies, 

'* ,^ilfotwitiwt9Q4iB^ tb« hs^y mfia«iices f^riliated < t«h . di4 <£larM- 
t^tM rdigiaiv, i^ we find mote virbK^ in iho^ wJ)f»_Aro^9«' Jtf Ijbf^ 

, id those who. are itrau^eis )tp j^ ? ,^rp the I9e^,^||^lfed >y ill^ 

'^^"^^lolid of ^ven a Deity, more faoq^t than others?' jit jmigbt .be img- 
l^aefl that we woiilil ask in' Tain' aniong^ Chrutlans ror rapinf^ fofr 
nieaCioii)'' adultery, and bppjgession. Amon^ the' iotittodox covrttert 

" yHJM *f mwftrtit- Chnariaq titrodea, io #« not ditMl^r intrig>tte8, etti 

tfi^pl^t^i^ )ioptfifist, lu^d ftn^paivce s^i^ te^^^ fhastisc^H^^^^^ 
we not find crimes that shnii the da^ and erery species of ini- 

bed repentance, to tippease' that divine justice which they hare insulted; 
4loiiB|^ ^e whole coarse of their live*. 



^IttMity etaters ndt into thfeii^'tlioaghts ; Wnii^^ny 64tbu- 
Jl V late that they fulfil all thefr duties by a scrupuloti^ bf^^eirt^- 
1/ /fl^ tibn of the tniimtise of superstitious cerem%>Die8, wti?fet they 
are strangers to'all social affections, ancl labour'f(]>r the d^- 
strttctibn of htim«a happiness. «. i^ ' 

: -^:":' <;-"", - * ' Christianity Unveikd, Chap.' xu 

. *i Y . PoUltcaliiEffects of the Christian ReligionMUy 

': - ■ ^ 

'; After liaying seen the inutility, and evien danger of the ^ 
perfections, virtues, and duties proposed by the Christian 
\ Tcligioti, i^ \ais enquire whether its political influences be 
) more happy, and whether it can in reahty^ pron^ote the 
, wel&re of a nation, among whom it is established and faith- 
foil^ observed. We at once find, that wherever this reli- 
gion jsadmitte^^ two opposite legislations, ever fift variaace 
with e^h other, established themselves. Although 4hi8 reli- 
I gioh preaches love andpeace, it soon, annihilates the effects 
of those^recepts by the divisions which it necfsiajrily SQWs^ 
among its. sectaries, who unavoidably interpret i^et&oAy 
the .ainbiguoas oracles announced in holy writ. ^ We' find 
that from the infancy of religion the most acrimonious dis- ~ 
pates have continually taken place among divines. The** 
successive i^es of Christianity have been stained with 
schisms, h^riesaes, persecutions, and contests widely disjcdr- 

I j d^t finom its boasted spirit of peace and concord, which 

is in &ct incompatible with a religion whose precepts are so 
" \ dark and eqnivocaL l a all rel igio ns disputes each par ty 

* I belieyes that €tod is on i ts ride, and cpP8e<|BCTtly they, are* ^ 
^)g tfBatg». Indeed, b^ can it be otbeifwne, wben^ they 

'^MXl'^e reBgiOBB <m earA dcebre that Aej We emaaSteS ttam 
Goii^ mad pretend to possess an exchnTc i%^ to' h^, fsvoan.- The 
Im&ai' asseiti ttat ibe Brama himself Is Ae aathsr af fait warAip. 
^ '•flUiKliinsa derives liis from the awful <WS«t. If Ac Jew aad 


^onfouhd tht cause of <?od with lliat of thirir own^?anity ? 
mins mutually averse to concession, they quarrel and fight 
Until force has decided a contest in whi|i|||they never appeal 
tt* reison. In fact, political «Citfaortties have ever been 
forced to. intei^fere in all the distensions which ittve arisen 
among Christiaus. Govehtiments have alwe^aBsteBedto the 
fdvoloos disputes of priests, and foolishly eoiisiddred ihem 
as objects of the last importance. ^ They have txmceivedf 
that in a religioA established by God himself, there could be 
nothing of a trifling nature. Thus princes have arined them*- 
selves^ Against their own subjects, whose opimons differed 
from.iheir*s. Thiewiay of thinking at court has dcfcided-the 
creed and faith of subject. Opinions supported by kings 
and priests have been the only trite ones. Their creatures 
have b^eh the guardians of orthodoxy., and were coooki 
missioned to exterminate all whdm they chosetcil d^otmnate 
heretic, and rebels. :/-^^^ ' ^^m>%i<i<ri^^^..|^>h if " ~ 

The prejudices of princes or their false piolicy, IbiiA'^xkased 
them to consider those of their subjects who differ from 
themselves i irreligious opinionii, al bad citizena, dangerims 
to the $tate, i&nd enemies to their power. If, Kanvii^ to 
pries|», the, business of finishing their own imp^runiekt'dis- 
puteV» they ^^d not assisted their quarrels add pas^cii^dnSf^ 
they wo^ld have died away of themselve|j, and i4Wiir-1]aVf 

AeCliristiaB bare ree4iive^'A«1ni /rom Jdtmwii^iTbj fhCijidbKii^t^f 
Mom and J^snv the MabAmetaa aAnnt, ^«tM J)M|^gf<isfd;U«.^Q;B htf 
prophet, inspireil by the nune God. , T^hns ^1 r^U^m, OKtma to a j^f na* 
•rigiB; aad ti^y all lBterdieijd|ie^aM.ofjmua>a in^ 
their sacretd ii<lee. fiscfi pretdndi to Itie tl^e oAIy^t^ 'ApCy'lo fluTexilii. 
sion of all often. All aeBace witlv flie wia^^c^^li^fk 'titese #bo 
>efitte to eitlbmit 4o Amip'niMhj^-wiAf^m^ 
lalielioodliyfte palpaUa eoBttaSetiom^ wi& wUicfc^ith^.«m4HM^:jJij 
t^ miMkqpMi, olMean, aad oft^ od){g|Bp, |d^ <!r^>0h ^yjgf^ji^ 
fodhead ; bj ibe whinneal kws wVi<^,^y attribnte to hiiM^j ji^>y tbe 
,dupQtes "NUeb.diey ^eaenleBnioa^ their aeetariM. {a sber^t^ey^ 
, appear to lie aln^ 'of lOi^MtnfeiilBBd' i^ eiiiudly dugiu^a^ to tea. 
■on. ThaaW^ttfe'sdMra of pretenno^ AiChrbtiaarelifioBltisiMad^ 

•ad m.^fi»^ngmi* «at«ied*j«aia»JMii iiritjiji iiw^ jiropmty w 
tbeicV ii:dfM^ J^iu^o rh^^mms^i >v?- mimmdud' thm^ ■ ; 




S36 .\ 

^itvixhed tHe p^ace of oaticMjs^ U thof e kings had iq^^- 
tiaHyrec«n| pau sed the good aad punished the bad without 
rqi^fd t4> t^ir jvoiship, ceremoniesi, a^ncl speculative opi^ 
nioi^, #Of Wiould i»>t have made many of their subjects 
s«ph eni^Q^ifS/^ tltat pover by which they found themselv^ 
oppnef^, j^iistians have always attempted to reclaim 
l^^ff^i»% hy iioj^f^tioe, violence, and persecution. Ought not 
th^ ^ h^ve perceived that this conduct was calculated 
<Hily tp pE|M|#pe l^yffp^t^ f^^ ,b|i4d^ ^pmmt i»F . ?B^ 
tefe§Wi<«J#^ ;••--:. :'-- ".■.:■';■ .".,■•■.■. *^: .\-v;. 

Pm: Jth^se i^ection« are not designed {ox prisces^ who, 
fro^ their |n£)Acy, have been $lled with fanatic^m. an<i 
pr«ja4i<^ They, instead of being actuated by virtuous 
zpklktives, l|ave forqoied obstinate attachments to _ frivolities, 
s^ inipetaoua«rdoui:for doctrines fcureign to ti)e welfare of 
their «tates> and « boundless wrath agtanst all who refuse to 
bend to their despotic opinions. Such sovereigns find it a 
fi^fl^/Yfa^ U* di^troy mankind tjtian reclain) them by laild 
mi^s.. T^^ haughty d^ppti»n will not condescend tp 
semop., ^4iigu>njaa9uref then) that tyranny is lawfi|l, and 
ciiie}t7|ii.erit<Hiou8, when they are employed in the cause of 

7^^ christian ri^igjpn, in factj alwayjs makes^ despots 

\ 9n4 ^,^Q^ ^f all jthe ^pver^gns b^ whom it is «d9jpted. It 

represents them as gods upon earth; it causies their very 

captiecs to be re^^eefed as the <«iitt ctf Heaven itself. It 

Aetti^s inahkhid -into their handti as an herd of 'slaves, of 

i^^i^ th^' iailnf"dii In return for 

i^r ze^X^T'tiAj^oQ, all the outra|;es upon justice ^that't^ey 

qi9 Qo^mji w^i^gw^, l^j^ir objects are oommaD^ed 

under $»» «f tiu» yjatib of ih^ M9it I%k, to jwl^t ^^-^ 

QQt^aXttnnury^o the s«ord thai etrikes instead of protect* 

tng tliwi. ; It ii'not, -diiBrtfoi**, B^ fhat since 

theestablishnalent of iAiM ^s^m^ 'yreJM 

w^oa^xo^ vim3^r , id^vppt t^r^tts, w|io^ a^l^o^^^ obstinately 

at$^h«f|l t9J^ffim»hfafff,h^g^ W4wst» lM::^ti9V^^BWK)'<:ru^ 

WJh«tevar«fiiie Iht ^oppifesnoBsimid ravages fii tbese xgki^ 

•Of pK ^ftoentieal prinecBv tba pii^sta -hBim ^wtfulcd to 

preach aubmissiou to thdrmbjecti* On the d^Mar hand^ 




li!t«»nMbe sttTpnsedto see so imaiy ireak «^ inc^d t 
prineeff «uppfnrt is iheir tarn the hiteiMt «f a vel^ioix 
which tbdf fake poHcy judged tieccMarjp te tiie lemasimeeitt 
of that iiiith<Mnty. H kings woe enlightened;^ jtHM aiidimr* 
twnie, and knew an df^aetw Sd theit t«A dmies^ they we^iM 
fate had no n ee d df the >vA off supcw^oai in ^efttittg 
iatioDS. Bht, as it i» morte easf toeon^^ r to fttCi ^fttti t(^ 
aoynre tatents or practise inxXxKj tftw fd ifet fln teai^ 
♦ften feu rid in princes sapport fi> r itself^ atid d«t>tf etiofl^ 
far lis enemies. - 

The ministers of rdigitia have not had the saifie cOttlpliist- 
«nee £»r princes vrho refiwedrto make a coomiM eaose with 
^em, espouse their qBctrrelsi and beteoeae ^nAtseHijeiit to / 
tbdr passions. They have arisen i^inst those who have / 
th^atled tfaett Tietrs, ptmidied their escess«»i toifched their 
ioMttuaitMSy endcRtoured to subject tiieBB to leiksoif^ or t^ 
ptess their arabitioiis designsw , tlie pfieits oil sueh 6eca« 
ifons, «ry oot^ Impiety I Saerilegel 'fhl'fr ^ey prefeud 
thiAtiieso?ereigQ puli* Atj Aond «Ar the muHty aild ndti^ 
thei^te graoled tiiem l^ God Imnsdil Theii they ^tdl^ 
YOitr to exdtfe naitotEs to rdMttofi. Tlfiey aria ftBoe^tk 
agatiist sovMrei^, whom they deelare tfiwtts i&t YacAa^ 
hee&waBbdg in sttbmisnon to the chweh* tUstPtHt^iAihtyt 
Steady to revenge any injustice dode4oitB Ibi^fterS. tiidf 
are themselves sfibmissive« and preaeh subtttttsiotf^ toOliheitt^' 
only when 1^ arepermitted to share the alidi«tfHy, or iM^ 
too fcM>le. to resist iii This is the raisdnwhy 4he Apostle 
ifi the infiittcy of Christianity, being desttti^ df^ po#4*r^ 
preached sttbordiMrion. No sooner had this tiligi«(ft' gie^ttl^ 
sD^ci^t strec^th than it preached resistsmoe «ld' i^l^i^toar ; 
detkroaing some kings and assassinaitittg. otthete*. 

'f it it veil to oiiaerre, Aat the pries^ who are perj^etoillir oryu^ 1 
-•at io ffii people tb inhpit thenuelTei to their Mvere^^f, beeaoge 
tbi^ antliiAf^- it^fe^itetl fVbdr ]^f(!&~t)dc&lue the/are iJie inu^^ 
of Ute dii1ii%, i^^ray dift^ dfeir Ikiigtt*^^ M^eiuitsf iSA Idfe- 
ruga Aoe* not bHa^Mthtaiit to die: dhtotb. TlW dl^i^ iv^^HA 9m. 
foKaam. only diat it may. dirtot i^ Ubwa ai^kaut AmIt .eoeibsiea } it 
or«|duow« if wheaerer it fiads it contrary to its mtsrflstSj jQi(ifB^vM» 
oir Ibe laruifaU . powers .preach np ot>edieiM» to the vkqUc powers onljr 
Wft^li ^eife^tffe fal^tlj defdted to ifiem. Mirabautf. 


f/ * 

II n 


tAt nrf polifteat body wfaerei]liis_rdigiMi is estatili^edi,' 
thtt^^we two rival po wer^~ wScli j^iocesgant contcatum' 
' c<w>vttlae jMid wcmnd the rtate«" The citizens divide intof 
opposite p^rti^«^h of V which fighta o» thin ig~ it ^ghtg Tor 
G od. Th^ contea ts at d iffereiit timet terminate diffe-^ 
"reatly7 bnt 4he. trmmphant party i» always in th e ri^ iw 
By : attentive eyamin row'of inch events we « hall e sci^ 
the dmntnion of fimatici^in. It is ty stimnlatiDg mankind 
to enquiry that they mnstbe frei ^ from the shackl es of su* 
per stitioo. Let mank ind^ think till they have thrown asi^^ 
^^rp^^^c^^and they will think justly. The jei^~or 
the pnCTtbood will cease, when men cease to be ignoranF" 
anid crcfdulotis. Credulity is the o^pring of ignorancej and 
sppersti tion IS the chilij of credulity. ^ "^ 

^ Bat most fcit^ Aread that mankind should be cnlight* 
ened. Accomplices with the p riesthood they have fikrmed 
a ^ej^e with them to stiflgjrgiKon, and persecute all who 

coiAde in its guidance. Blind to their o wp interest and ' 
those of t&eif subjects, they wistTogly to command atoVea^ 
foi^^ng those sla ves are always at the dfapoeal of the 
priests^ il'^s we see. science neglected and ignorance trU 
umphaat in those countries where* this religion holds ibe 
most absokite dominion. Arts uid sciences are the children 
of liberty, and sepalrated from their parents, they lang^ish^ 
and die. Amiong Christian nations, the least superstitious 
are the most fi«e, powerful, and happy. In countries^ 
where Sjuritual and temporal despotism are leagued, the 
peo^egrovd in the most sbam<^ul ignorance and.lethargic 
inactivity. The European nations who boast of possessing 
the purest fiiith, are notsurdy the most flourishing and pow-^ 
erful. Their kings, enslaved themselves 1^ prieats, bave 
not ^ergy and courage enough to make a single strugfgle 
for their own welfare or that of their subjects. I>riests i^^ 
such states are the only order of men who are ricK^ 4>ther. 
citizens Umgoish in the deepest iudigraice.. Bat irf VKtatsu^^ 
portance are the power and hn^iDess of natioos to the se(>> 
taries<^a rdigion wbo sieek not f(Mr-hapinness in th» tv^d^» 
who belteve riches injurious, preadi a God of povetty* and 
^ecominend abasemeoito liie sont, an^ niortification of Ove, 


■ i'i 








'■' iiesti ? tt is, without doubt, to compel people to ptactise4 M 
these /maxims, that the clei^y in many Christian states have 
taken possession of. most of the riches, and live in splendour j { "^ f ; 
while roeir fellow-citizens are set forward, ib' ^he road t(f 
Heanren unincumbered with *ny burthen of earaily wealth. 
Such are the political advantages society derives from the 
Christian religion. It forms an independent state withit i a 
state. It renders the people slaves. Wlien sovereigns are 
obedient to it, it favou rs their tyranny; when >the y are 
disc^edierit. it renders their subjects fan atite and repellioos. 
When it accords with political power, it'convulseSjMebases, 
and impoverishes nations ; when not, it makes citizens un- 
social, turbulent, intolerant, and mutinous*. 

Cjkristianity Unveiled J Chap. jat^. 


vv ;- ~ 

- * See, La Contagion 8acree.hj Trencliturd, published in 1768. la 
that /work the grievons iaflnedce of sapeistitionr on goTeminentj»'c^'|i 
striking'ljr displayed. '. . .. 




No religion ever pla cedjla s ectarie» in more complete iaad I , | ' 
j POB^uri dqpendaace on priests than" the Christian. . Those L V i ■ 
^ 1 na^es never lose sight ^of their prey. They take^«infalli- 
^ I ble measures for subjecting mankind,. and making all con- 
tribute to their power, riches^ and dominion. Havio^ as- 
sumed the office of mediator between the heavenly monarish 
and his subjects, these priests are looked upon as courtiers 
in iavoar, loinistenlscommissioned to ese^cise power in Ips 
name, and fixvonrites to whom he can refuse nothing 
Thus they become absolute masters of the de^ny of the 
Christians. They gain establishn^ent^ and ^tfjender them- 
selves necessary by the introduction of inntinmefable prac-l j 


.J ■ 

--- '^t 


\- . "■■■:/.■ .'.,:,-,.3*Ql. ,;--V^^''' ".■ "-■ -^ 

tices and diiiies, w,hich though puerile. and ridiculous, they 
have the address to make their flocks consider asindispeuT 
sahly necessary to their salvatioq. They represent the 
omiss ion of these pretende d duties as a crime in^itely \ r 
greater than an open violation of the laws of morality and 

Let us not'then be surpriised that in the most zealous, that, 
is to say, the most superstitious sects, we see mankind per- 
petually anijoyed with priests. Searcy are they bom, v^en 
under the pretext of washtBg away original sin, their priests 
impose on them a mercenary baptism, and pretend to recou-r 
cile them with a God whom |hey haye .as yet been unable 
to' offend. By mean s of a few words and magical cereiiiOr 
nies they are thas snatched fro m the dominion of Satan. 
From thetenderest infancy their education^ is frequently en~ 
trusted to priests whose principal care is to > instil into them 
«irly the p'rej5&ces "necessary 'to the vi ews of the churc h» 
Terrors a re now^ntroduced into their mirids^ which increase 
during the whole of their lives. They are instructed in the ta- 
'l>les, absurd doctrines, and incomprehei^sible mysteries of a 
marvellous religion ; they are formed into superstitious Chris- 
tians, and rendered incapable of bang useful citizens or 
enlightened men. One thing only is represented to thein as 
necessary, which is to be jin all things "devoutly submissive 
to religion. ** Be devout," say their teachers, *? be blind, 
despise thy r^ison, attend to Heaven, and neglect earth, 
this is all thy God Remands to conduct thee to eternal 

felicity." •" ' '■''-'. ^'f f^ ■■...';,:; V ?'*r-i--;-'vf?t I'rf^rgO;*;;?^!^ . ■'■ 

Without the consent of his priests, a Christian cannot 
acquire a knowledge of the mysteries of • his . religion, 
from which they assume a right to exclude him entii«ly. This 
privation, however, he has no great reason to lament. . But 
the anathemas or excommunications of the priests generally \ ' 
do a real mischief to mankind. These spiritual punishments W 
produce teinporal effects, and every citizen who incurs the L 
disgrace of the church, is in danger of that of the goyem- 
meiit, «ind becomes odious to ; his fellow citizens.- -, 

Priests have taken upon themselvesthe management of mar- 
riages. Without their consent, a Christian cannot legally be- 
came a father. He must first submit to the capricious for- 



iiiaHties of his religion^ without which his children must be 
.excladed from the rank of citizens. 

During ail, the Christian is obliged to assist in the 
ceremonies of worship under ithe direction of hfs priests. 
When he has performed this important duty, he esteems 


him self the fay ourite of Cijod, and per suades himself that , 
Tie^^no longer fOwes any thing to society. Thus frivolotis \ 
practice take place of morality, which is always rendered 
subordinate to religion. "^ \ f^ ^"^^ -^ 

When death approaches, the Christian, stretched in agony 
on his bed, is still assailed in those distressful moments by 
priestsT In some sects, religion seems to, have been inventecl 
to render the bitter death of man ten thousand times more 
bitter. A mtdicious priest comes to the^ couch of the dying 

man, and .holds before him, arrayed in more than all ite 

. Z. . _J ; ; 1 i_ 5 ^— 1 i_ 

terrors, t h e spectacle of his app roaching end. Although this 
custom is destr active to citizens, it is extremely profitable 
to th e pries thood, who owe much of their nqhes to legacies 
procured by it. Bforality is not quite so highly advantaged 
by it. Experience proves^ that most Christiann live in se« 
curity, and post pone till death their reconciliation T^ith 
God. By means of a late repentjtnce, and largesses to the 
priesthood, their faults .are expiated, and they are permitted 
to hope, <^at I^e aven will forget the accu moiated crimes of 
a long and w icked life. ^ " ~ 

Death itself does not terminate the empire of the priest- 
hood in certain sects, .which find means to make money 
even out of the dead bodies of their followers. These, for 
a sufficient sum, are permitted to be deposited in temples, 
where they have the privilege of spreading infection and 
disease^ The sacerdotal power extends still further. The 
prayers of the church are purchased at a dear ra£e, to die- 
liver the souls of the dead from . their pretended tormients 
inflicted in the other world, for their purification. Happy 
they who are rich in. k religion, whose priests, biang fa- 
vourites with |5od, can be hired \.si prevail on him to remit 
the punishments which his immutable Justice had intended 
to inflict. ' r ■ ^i^: / . « 

CAmltonify i7Mod/n(y Oiap* xiii J 


Jpoaks nieniioned by the Fatnei-^, and other andH- 
v^^ent Writers, said to have been written byJesv^^ 
Christ J his Apostles, and other Disciples* t«^« ■ 

1 • . , -ij;f,-i 


A Letter written with hk own 
-^;hand to Abgaras king of 
t',.,VEdessa. . - -_' 

An Epistle to Peter and 

.. iilxe Parables and Sermons of 

Christ - 

A Hymn which Christ se- 

^i|:cretly^ taught his Disciples 

' - abd Apostles. 
i A Book of the ' Magic of 
:' Jni,"C!irist, or the Art whereby 

i; he wrought~his Miracles. 

-:^^ A Book of 'the Nativity of 

y .v_ Jesus, vof . the Holy Virgin 

vj^'^s Ws Mother, and her Mid-. 

•'.'- ^ wife. 

; A Letter written by Christ, 
;^ and dropt down from Hea- 

if^ ven in the 6th Century. 


^4ktr^y: ' MARY. ■ --^■<-:l^ m 

* An Epistle to Ignatius. 
Another Epistle to.the Sici- 

nans. ^ . ■ - 

A Book of the Nativity of 

the Virgin. ^ 

The Book of the Virgin 
': ,-Mary and :her Midwife. 
^ l^^e History and Traditions 
^ ; of Marji. 
The Book oi Mary, concern- 
'f*- iiig^he BCracles of Christ, 

and the Ring of &ng Sotl. 

lomon. _ t|,^ 

The greater and lesser Qe€«-C ^ 

tions of Mary. 
The Book, of the Progeny of 

■■'Mary. '; ^!^?^-\ 

;S eiio-, 

'■'■'' i^ ^?^MSaSi^, 

:■•'■ ■ . PETER:V:-^v^^^^_ .-^^ 

The Gos]^ of Peter^ «^*1^bt';^-^ 
— Acts of Pieter. M-^ '4v^ ; 
— ^ Revelation of Peteir.; /^ ^- V 
Another Revelation. • 1' 
The Epistle of Peter to Cle^ ; 

mens. V.&b^^^ 

The Disputation of Peter ajpyS , 

Appion. ,;. : -• • 

The Doctrine of Peten ■' 'f - ^^ . 

Preaching of Peter;^^ ^^ 

Liturgy of Peter. *1 .^Jj^ ' 

. Itinerary of Peter, ry^^ :,p:^ 

— - Judgment of Peter,^-^',;< -"^ , 

. "ANDREW, ^f^'^^f 
The Gospel of Andrew. ^#*^ ' 

Actfrof Andfew. 

'1 -.i' 



The Gospel of James. 
• LituYgy of James. 
A Book on the Death of the 
Virgin, ' '• - 

. . c'ft'^fi ■;.■;;■■. • ' 


The Acts of John. ;.♦ 

W .■ , ' ! . , ■ 




Whe Itioftrwy of ^^D, 

-t^-r-Iitl^^ of John, ;: , ; 

i^-^Traclitions of John. I ^ 
^^^^'Epi&tlig 4i Jehu to the 
; i.^)!i Hjtirepic. 

y^ ('<A !Bak)k! oa i^-^ Daatii.<ef 

•'Maiy.''- <-^:j ,rc» ,rf '^-''-f * ^ 

' The JH^emorial of Jesas 

Christ, and' his Descent 

^^* 4x0111 the Cross. 

• -Another Revelatioti ef John. 


"^Tne CJospel of Bartholomew. 
/ 5 PHILIP. 

— The €rOspel of Philip. 

—Acta Qf Philip. , 


The Gospel of Thomas. 
■ Acts of Thomas. 

Book of the infancy of 
, ip R evelations of Thomas. 
——Itinerary of Thomas. 



'A Book of the Infancy. 
The Liturgy of Matthei^t^^- 


The Liturgy of Mark. 

■Gospel of the Egyptians. 
■ P assion of Barnabas. 

ThfcGaipdl ofTl«daa^— | 

y; Matthias; 

The "Gospel df-Matthias. 


■I. my 

diriUitioRtof Mattii^.^ :< 
Lets of MaUHieiiili i^jt 




- iH' i A xka «f ^tttl 

«— -»— JEpistle -to the Laodtf- 

A Third Epistle^o th^TRie^ 
i» iftlimidns. 

AThird Epistke to Use Cft. 
riatbisuts. r 

An Epistle firom tl^e Comir 
' thiims^ with Patirs Answer. 

The Epistle -tor laiid -frodi 
Seneca. . 

The Revelations of PauU 
Another Revelation^ 
Tbe "Visions of Paul. 

. Anabaction of Paul* ' 

^The Gospel of Paul* 

——Preaching of Paul. 
■ Narrative concerning 
' , . the charming of Vi- 

' pcrs* 

■ !'i iP recepts of Peter and 


The Gospel of Barnabas. 
Epistle of Barnabat* : 



When we find Christianity at its very commencement, 
inundated with so many Gospels, Epistles, Revelations, &c. 
the greater part of which are regarded as authentic by a 
vast majority of Christians of the present dij^ by what 

^ Vv 

"^m^r- -■ ■'■■' ' ^ - •* 

criterion are we to determine' that 'the books recerved by 
protestants are the only works possessing Divime Authority ? 
— ^The^difficulty increases when it is recollected that these 
books* before the invention "of printing, were liable ,to be 
:/ I altered and interpolated at pleasure. Printing was invented 
in the year 1450) and first brought to. England by WilUam 
Caxt^n iit 1471. The first translation of the Bible from 
the Hebrew was by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus, 277 
years B. C. The translation called the Sep^agint was made 
by the LXX, or rather by seventy-two persons in se- 
rent^-two days. From this the vulgate or Latin transla- 
tion was first printed in 1462, and called Jerom's of Prague. 
The first English translation of the. Bible was by order of 
Henry the Vlfl. Act 27tb, 1541. That now in use by James I. 

1611, Act 6th.' "^^'^.px i.. . \ ^, -^ 1:5. ^i'.^i: ;;_'.>,, '* 
^ If the Bible be ille word of God, it requires not the wretch- 

,/ -fid aid of prosecutions to defend it-; aud the legislature 

might with as much propriety enact a law to protect the rays 

of the sun as to proteiEi^ ti^e Kble, if the jSib^ like the sua, 

Iw the wrk pf Go^g'rSirlf i^ 

■■"■■':■■■' ll^'^VgjJ.Tifces**^^:''^-^ ^^ ^ ... 

■'•:■- ^'-''^r'^v-v: ; -.fetsi^- ''''• •'' '^'''-"'''■":^iiif^^^^^^^'^i>^^^-3^' 

^-.^,,.„.V. . ^-..v ■ . -,.,.-.^{ .^v,.;..^... ,.^,.^^,-. .^=...^ ; , 

^'^^,-.^,-.-.,- ■ ■ .,-. ,>^a/-:.4->; ■ -. ^ . . ~: